A recent piece of reader e-mail asks: hello my name is bobby ... i was wondering if u new anything about eh up coming wrestlemania i really would like some of the spoilers thank u ... e mail me back at (address removed)
Well Bobby, your wish is the command of Bryon Frazier! I had to pay him three times as much as I normally do in order to get him to divulge the info, but it was well worth it. Enjoy!
On to the show.
The opening package highlights the apparently wicked awesome Eddie/Rey feud I’ve been missing in my continued ignoring of Smackdown!, while Booker and Angle is ... weird. “Booker, I want to have sex with your wife!” Seriously, what the fuck is that? That’s not the Kurt I know, nor one I *want* to know.
We are LIVE from Minneapolis, Minnesota! The show’s already starting, and I barely have time to mention that our hosts are MICHAEL COLE and TAZZ for Team America, while CARLOS CABRERA and HUGO SAVINOVICH make up the Team Mexico. At least we know who’d win in a soccer match.
MNM (with Melina) vs. BOB HOLLY and CHARLIE HAAS (for the WWE tag-team titles)
Who the hell are these guys?!? And why on EARTH are they wearing the tag-team titles? Apparently their gimmick is to wear fur coats and point a whole lot. Their tag-team titles also dangle from their pants in some weird phallic message to the world that I do not wish to decipher. And speaking of phallic objects, why is the biggest dick in wrestling, Bob Holly even getting pay-per-view time? Is there some rule that says he MUST take up time on every Smackdown! PPV even if he hasn’t done anything in ... oh ... 6 years? Nitro and Haas start, with Nitro taking Haas down and working a keylock. Haas bridges out and armdrags Nitro to the floor! Haas quickly whips Nitro back in, and continues his armdrags, getting a 2. Holly and Mercury trade off, and Mercury is met with a dropkick to the face. Bob knocks Nitro off the apron, and starts working over Mercury with some vicious chops. Holly goes for the Alabama Slam to finish, but Nitro sneaks in with a superkick to breakt that up. Nitro puts himself in officially and chokes the hell out of Holly. Mercury in, hits a neckbreaker, and gets 2. Bob starts throwing chops again, but Mercury stops him short with a clothesline for 2. Back to Nitro who moves into the rear chinlock, while the fans are surprisingly hot here. I don’t get it! Holly escapes, hits a chokeslam, and the building is SCREAMING “HOLLY, HOLLY!” Jesus Christ! Haas gets a tag to a big pop, and backdrops Mercury. Dropkick to the face! Spear for Nitro! A clothesline sends Nitro the floor, and Mercury is also send out! The fans are just LOSING IT - and Haas dives on both with a tope!!! Melina trips up Haas, but Mercury can’t take advantage and gets rolled up for 2! A small package from Haas gets 2! He nails the Exploder, and Holly comes to chase off Nitro. He misses his charge, nails the ringpost with his shoulder, and falls to the floor! The distraction is enough to waste time while Haas is covering, and by the time the ref sees it, he only gets 2. Nitro and Mercury quickly finish with the Snap Shot at 8:04. *** I can’t believe how hot the crowd was for Haas and Holly. Good stuff.
CARLITO “CARRIBEAN” COOL (with Matt Morgan) vs. THE BIG SHOW
Carlito grabs the stick before the match, and mentions he was talking to his good friend Randy Moss. He apparently left Minnesota because the people in Minnesota aren’t cool. He doesn’t think they appreciate talent like Matt Morgan. “You people laugh at him just because he’s ... different.” Matt looks a little annoyed, but Carlito quickly mentions he’s bigger, faster, and stronger than everyone in the building. Carlito stalls to start, and Show doesn’t look too thrilled about it - but doesn’t bother chasing. By the time he catches him, he whips Carlito to the corner, and starts throwing his giant chops. A hiptoss sends Carlito clear across the ring, and Show walks on him. He goes to bounce off the ropes, but Morgan yanks ‘em down and Show tumbles to the outside. Morgan works him over a little, and rolls Show in for 2! Carlito gets the brilliant idea to go toe to toe with Show, and gets headbutted for his trouble. An avalanche damn near kills Carlito dead. A second whip to the corner bumps the referee - and Carlito goes low. Show no sells, and goes for the chokeslam. Morgan breaks it up and hits an F5 on Big Show!! The referee is rolled in, and Carlito gets the pin at 5:43. 1/4* Big Show jobs again, yippee.
Michael Cole plugs One Night Stand and tries to convince us he loved watch ECW “back in the day!”
SHARMELL SULLIVAN rubs BOOKER T’s shoulders and demands he take Kurt Angle out. A package arrives with lingerie ... and handcuffs. Booker flips out, and promises to take care of this bidnez now. Weird showing the highlight package if it’s not the next match on the card.
CHAVO GUERRERO JR. vs. PAUL LONDON (for the WWE world cruiserweight title)
London does his crazy ass goose step around the ring, but sadly gets no reaction. Chavo throws some uppercuts at the champ, and nails him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He applies a version of a seated abdominal stretch, but London escapes, and explodes with a clothesline. London hits a rana and gets 2. A sweet mule kick sends Chavo crashing to the corner, and a dropsault sets Chavo up for the 450! Chavo counters by putting up his knees, and that winds London something fierce! A backdrop from Chavo gets 2. A hotshot hangs London out to dry, and a dropkick off that gets 2. Standing abdominal stretch allows Chavo to work over the weakened ribs, and London squeals. Chavo goes for a backdrop, but London twists in midair and lands on top for 2! London throws a belly to belly overhead out of nowhere, and follows with a spinning heel kick for 2! Blind charge misses, but a standing enzuirigi goes not, and London gets 2! London goes for a victory roll, but Chavo sits down and holds the ropes for 2! Chavo tries a gory bomb, but a spin kick takes Chavo down! Chavo rolls out for safety from the 450, so London says “fuck it” and flies off the top with a tope con hilo!!!! They head back in, where Chavo punches London off the apron - and the hits him with a tope suicida! Beautiful! Chavo heads up, but London cuts him off and goes for a superplex! Chavo fights him off and goes for a superbomb - but London backdrops him and hits the 450 for the win at 10:43! **1/2 This was disappointing considering what London’s capable of, but Chavo is getting to be like death in the Cruiserweight division.
BOOKER T runs around the backstage area trying to find Kurt Angle. Instead, he finds FUNAKI who has not in fact seen Kurt Angle. BILLY KIDMAN hasn’t either. A BASHAM, SHANNON MOORE, BOB HOLLY, and CHARLIE HAAS are no help.
Meanwhile, SHARMELL SULLIVAN has been found by KURT ANGLE. Kurt says after he beats Booker, she’s all his. “See you soon!”
KURT ANGLE vs. BOOKER T
This is the same match that was part of the first series of WCW title changes on WWF TV, and it was wicked at that point. Beastiality sex was at no time a focal point however...except of course for the lingering presence of Stephanie McMahon. Booker, as you can imagine, is none too pleased about the developments concerning his wife, and beats Kurt down. Angle quickly locks on a front facelock, but Booker shoulders his way out of that. They trade chops, and next thing you know Kurt’s throwing his shoulder into Booker’s midsection in the corner. Camera reveals Angle’s bleeding from the mouth as he throws uppercuts. We move into a rear chinlock, from which Booker escapes. Hiptoss for Angle! A dropkick to the jaw drops Kurt, so he begs off. That suckers Booker RIGHT in, and Angle goes for the anklelock! Booker quickly escapes, and kicks Angle away. Harlem sidekick! A hotshot hangs Angle out to dry, and Booker hits an axekick on the apron!!! Booker chops away on the floor, but winds up getting whipped face first into the ringpost. This match is so on like a steamy pot of neckbones! Back in, Angle drops elbows. A vertical suplex gets 2, with Booker apparently kicking out on emotion alone ... if you’re Michael Cole. “Booker, what caused you to kick out?” “My deep love of pancakes.” Angle tries the rear chinlock on the mat, but Booker, once again on Michael Cole’s emotion, gets up and shakes around like a junkie in need of a fix. Harlem sidekick misses, and Booker crotches himself on the ropes! Backdrop suplex gets 2 for Kurt. Angle continues to stomp mudholes in the corner, and a backbreaker gets 2. A gutwrench fails to get Booker to tap, and Mr. T winds up throwing a spinning heel kick at the gold medallist! Flying jalapeno is followed by a vertical suplex for 2! A superkick knocks Kurt clear to the moon, but the axe kick misses! Angle goes for the Olympic Slam, but it’s turned into the Book End for 2!!! Booker talks to the hand, does a Spinaroonie...and gets clotheslined. Oh Booker. Angle throws a pair of German suplexes, and finishes with a belly to belly overhead for 2! Olympic Slam is attempted, and Booker rolls Angle up for ... 3 at 14:08. ***1/4 That ending seemed to come completely out of nowhere, and Angle *clearly* kicked out. The Observer is reporting that wasn’t the finish, and Kurt was none to pleased. Angle hits an Olympic Slam for kicks, and SHARMELL SULLIVAN checks on her man. Kurt whips out a pair of handcuffs, and drags Sharmell into the ring. So much for Angle for Abstinence. Booker saves the day, handcuffs Angle to the ropes, and beats him down. Sharmell adds a low blow for fun, as Angle’s nose runs wild.
Tazz opts to kill some time by discussing tonight’s main event!
TAZZ’S KEYS TO VICTORY
1. Right outta the box 2. Pure persistence 3. DON’T QUIT
JULES WINNFIELD vs. IVAN DRAGO (for the WWE united states heavyweight title)
“Before we get started, I got one thing I gotta do... I need to find me a new FRIEND! Who wants to be my friend? WHO? WHERE’S MY FRIEND? WHERE’S MY FRIEND?” Heidenreich finds a friend in the front row named ALEX. He offers up a poem, and she squeals in delight.
“I’ve traveled the world in search of a friend Never ever knowing where the road might end Well the road runs right through Minneapolis tonight Because I’m facing Orlando Jordan for a championship fight Orlando Jordan is tough and he is the US champ But the odds are in my favor when I hear the Heidenreich chant OJ looks like a rascal from his head down to his feet Just looking at his hair, I like to call him Whole Wheat OJ! And that was a poem by Heidenreich”
Jordan hits a swinging dropkick to Heidenreich on the floor, and drags him in. A corner clothesline knocks him right down, but he gets up and hits a belly to belly for 2! OJ dumps Heidenreich to the floor, and tells the girl to shut up. Good advice. Back in, Jordan hits a backdrop suplex for 2. Fans: “BUCKWHEAT SUCKS!” Jordan kicks at Heidenreich’s head, but he goosesteps around the ring (his version of Hulking Up), and hits a series of clotheslines. A big boot gets 2! Jordan comes back with a swinging neckbreaker for 2. The idiot doesn’t follow up, stopping instead to write “OJ” with his hands, and gets rolled up for 2. Jordan comes back with a DDT for the win to retain at 4:55. 1/2* Well, that was crap. The little girl gets in the ring after the match, and encourages more goosestepping. He complies.
Speaking of goosesteps, JOHN “BRADSHAW” LAYFIELD appears holding the WWE championship, standing by with JOSH MATTHEWS. Real men don’t quit! “I’m gonna make you bleed John!” He figures Cena’s better off going back to rap, his movie career, or running for governor of Minnesota because they’ll elect anyone. Hah! “I am a wrestling god!”
EDDIE GUERRERO vs. REY MYSTERIO JR.
Rey’s ribs are taped up from the injury on the ringsteps - but he is medically cleared to compete. A small “EDDIE” chant breaks out before the match, while Eddie considers attacking Rey from behind while he’s praying. Rey’s not impressed at all, and next thing you know, they’re bitchslapping the shit out of eachother. Mysterio pounds on Guerrero, but he’s way too small to keep it up - and Eddie quickly takes over the offense. Rey fires back with a shoulderblock, and hops on Eddie to throw a number of haymakers on the mat! Eddie takes a powder, but Rey’s on his ass. This breathes bad news for Mysterio, who’s suckered into Eddie’s web, and whipped into the steps. Eddie yanks Rey right up, and jabs his shoulders into the ringpost. That’s followed with a spinebuster into the US announce table that does damage to the already injured ribs. Because it was so much fun the first time, Eddie does it again! The fans start to side with Eddie, but ONE LOOK quickly turns the arena into a loud “EDDIE SUCKS!!!” And *that* is why Guerrero is the man. Back in, Rey takes a pounding to the head, highlighted with a short dropkick for 2! Eddie turns back to the ribs once again, delivering a side slam for 2. A one handed abdominal stretch is applied, just to show his dominance, and Rey squeals like the proverbial pig. Rey escapes - goes for a rana, but winds up getting flipped up too far, and into a pancake for 2! Eddie opts to rip off Rey’s protective bandages, and locks on a half crab. Eddie releases, goes back to the leg - but Mysterio flips right over and hits a desperation enzuigiri! Eddie gets up first, and goes on the offensive, however Rey backdrops him to high hell! Rey attacks, but faces the same. However, Mysterio lands on the apron, and re-enters with a springboard flying headbutt!!! Eat your heart out Chris Benoit! Rey starts throwing his punches again, but Eddie dropkicks him in the knees to knock that off, and locks Rey in a Boston crab. Mysterio crawls to the ropes, but before he can grab it Eddie puts on an STF. Rey makes the ropes - and Eddie breaks cleanly. Looking for a new strategy to put Mysterio away, Eddie sends Rey on a belly flop ride, sliding him through the bottom rope to the floor! Eddie rips apart the ringsteps, and sets up the spot that started it all. Rey knows what’s coming, and fights viciously, ramming Eddie back first into the ringpost over and over! Eddie staggers off, and Mysterio takes off ... only to return with a 619 around the ringpost! Back in, the boys get into a slugfest, which Rey wins with a BIG BOOT of all things!!! The fact he made it look credible speaks volumes! A clothesline gets 2! Rey explodes with a spinning heel kick, and calls for the West Coast Pop! Instead he uses a springboard Thesz press, and gets 2! An interesting set of gorilla punches is used for a 10-punch count-a-long from Rey. Next, he sets up a torpedo - but Guerrero sidesteps, and Rey bangs his shoulder into the ringpost hard! Eddie sees his place to take over, and puts Mysterio up top! A superplex looks to break Rey into 15,000 pieces ... but it only gets 2! Eddie flips out because he’s still incapable of beating Rey. He collects himself, and quickly whips through the Three Amigos, but Rey lands on his feet on the third! Eddie is caught with a body scissors, and the 619 is setup, but here comes CHAVO GUERRERO JR. Eddie brings a chair into the ring while the referee is distracted by Chavo - but Rey kicks it away. The 619 connects, and Rey again sets up the West Coast Pop. This time around, Eddie swings like mighty Casey with the chair - and the referee is NOT impressed at all, giving Rey another victory at 18:31. **** Eddie doesn’t care about the announcement of Rey’s victory, and goes to town with the chair! Rey takes a half dozen chairshots to the back before Eddie grins, and walks off to the back - getting a total mix of cheers and boos.
JOHN “BRADSHAW” LAYFIELD vs. JOHN CENA (in an “I Quit” match for the WWE title)
Cena gets an impressive ring entrance, showing up on the back of a flatbed while a DJ spins his theme song from the back. Puts that stretch limo of JBL to shame. This is apparently the first I Quit match for the belt since the infamous Rock/Mankind match. We can only hope JBL takes as many chairshots as Mick did. Cena works a headlock, but gets shoved off. A shoulderblock is followed by a side headlock takedown. JBL fights it and reverses. Now he throws a big shoulderblock, but Cena stands and hiptosses JBL. Bradshaw takes a run to the floor for a minute, but winds up getting suplexed back in. Cena tries to choke JBL out - but he BITES Cena to escape, and starts clubbing over his back. A DDT is hit, and JBL goes for a cover, forgetting there’s no pinfalls here. Frustration shows, and JBL winds up getting backdropped. A clothesline sends him to the floor, and Cena’s right behind him with a jumping forearm to the back. Just because he can, Cena throws Bradshaw face first to the steps a couple times - but gets cocky, and a whip reversal sends Cena into the crowd. Now on the concrete, JBL hits a spinning neckbreaker! Cena sells it well, but continues to fight, and a slugfest emerges. Back to ringside, JBL starts ripping apart the Spanish announce table. Tazz: “Hey, amigo, you might want to get out of there.” JBL: “Say I Quit, or your ass is mine!” Cena responds with the power of the punch! Cena however hasn’t learned from previous mistakes, and sees a whip reversed AGAIN, this time sending him into the ringsteps! Bradshaw grabs a belt, and starts whipping Cena like a dog. It’s tied around his neck AROUND the ringpost, but he refuses to quit. Instead, Cena jerks his head forward which pulls JBL face first into the ringpost! JBL isn’t impressed, and tells him to quit or he’s going through the announce table. Cena: “KISS MY ASS!” A backdrop sends BRADSHAW threw the table instead!!!! Replays show that Bradshaw nics his back on the edge of the table - and when we return he’s taking a TV upside the head!! Even with his brains scrambled, JBL’s quick enough to grab a chair, and swing for the fences! Cena immediately does a five alarm blade job, in an impressive visual. The steps are used to pound Cena in the head, and Bradshaw just starts slapping Cena around. Back in, the microphone is used to pound Cena in the face, and a Clothesline From Hell is hit! Cena staggers, and he’s belted with a second one!!! Make it three! JBL goes over and grabs Cena’s chain (!!!) - and starts choking him out. Cena is an absolute bloody mess, and Bradshaw screams “QUIT, QUIT, QUIT, TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT, QUIT!” Cena responds with some fire, but JBL goes low. “Quit! I told you you would bleed. Now quit! *THUMP* I SAID QUIT! *THUMP* I told you this would happen! *THUMP* Give me my championship back you punk ass bitch!” Now THAT sets Cena off, and he starts pounding the crap out of JBL. A hiptoss and spinning side slam take down Bradshaw. The blood looks like face paint at this point. Five knuckle shuffle, and FU connect!!! JBL rolls to the floor, gives Cena the finger, and walks off. Cena’s okay with that, and backdrops Bradshaw on top of his limo. Cena: “I ain’t gonna quit!” Cena goes to finish...but JBL hits a neckbreaker on top of the limo. Momentum swings once again, and they brawl towards the electrical equipment. JBL yanks out a cord, and uses it to choke out Cena. They ask him, and his answer is “HELL NO!” He escapes, and puts Bradshaw head first through a TV!!! His face explodes in a bloody mess from his trip through the glass screen. And Cena proceeds to make that 10 times worse, putting JBL face first through a window of his limousine! To the top they go again, where Bradshaw takes a suplex! JBL tries to crawl into the safety of his limo, but Cena yanks him out and whips him into the door several times, to the point it’s knocked off its hinges. Onto the flatbed, JBL snaps off a DDT! “QUIT! I SAID QUIT!” Cena continues to refuse, so JBL grabs a speaker cord and chokes him. To gain leverage, Bradshaw mounts the speaker - but Cena fights him off, and JBL falls through a table nearby! Cena rips the exhaust pipe off the flatbed, but Bradshaw quickly quits before he gets hit with the thing at 22:42. ***1/4 Cena hits him with the pipe anyway, sending Bradshaw through the glass Judgment Day set! Cena celebrates with both championship belts and the show quickly goes off the air.
Just a small point. It is a common misconception that the whole 'Mae Young giving birth to a hand' stuff is the work on Vince Russo. That happened in early February 2000, around the time Benoit and co. turned up.