A few things... First, the Shawn Michaels November Jukebox is nearly done and will be posted in a couple of days. Second, go read Bryon Frazier’s most recent column because it’s hysterical and I told you to. Third...well, I don’t have a third - but since good things come in threes I felt it important to try.
We start out with our usual hype packages for the night’s big matches. Angle/Big Show, Cena/Booker, and Undertaker/JBL TONIGHT!
LIGHT THE PYRO because we are LIVE from the Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey! MICHAEL COLE and TAZZ man the announce booth, but HUGO SAVINOVICH and CARLOS CABRERA appear to be much more interesting - especially as Hugo screams and holds is his arms wide open when describing the size of the Big Show. Priceless!
EDDIE GUERRERO vs. LUTHER REIGNS (with Mark Jindrak)
Yeesh, from main eventing to THIS overnight? Who’d Eddie piss off? I haven’t seen much from Luther, so I’ll assume Positive Intent for the time being. Luther powers Eddie back to the corner to start and clotheslines him. Eddie comes back with a thumb to the eye and an elbow to knock Luther down. Eddie mounts Luther from behind, and applies a headlock to some loud “EDDIE” chants. Luther escapes and takes Eddie down with a shoulderblock. Eddie comes right back with a legsweep and dropkicks the big man in the midsection. A snapmare gets 2. Luther comes back with a gorilla press slam while Cole discusses the “Legendary Eddie Guerrero”. When on earth did that happen??? Luther whips Eddie to the corner, and he hits the buckle hard and collapses. Luther works a bearhug, but Eddie thumbs to the eyes to escape only to fall victim to a big boot seconds later. That gets 2. Luther goes to a surfboard, but Eddie rolls through and kicks Luther in the face to break it. Reigns isn’t phased and hits a belly to back suplex for 2. A backbreaker from Luther is held, and he pushes back on Eddie’s neck to bend the back further. Eddie manages to fight his way loose, and charges Luther - only to miss and go flying to the floor. Luther distracts the referee, and Jindrak stomps at the prone Guerrero. Back in, Luther hits a back elbow for 2. He hits another backbreaker, and again holds it in place with pressure on the chin. A powerslam connects, but it only gets a 2 count. The heels throw a fit about the count! Luther decides to go for a slop drop, but Eddie uses the ropes to flip over and hit an inverted DDT!!! Both guys are down, but get up at 9. Eddie works over Luther’s midsection, and dropkicks the big man in the face! The flying jalapeno levels Luther, and Eddie goes for the vertical trifecta, which Michael Cole calls, I shit you not, the “Three Amigos”. Give me a fucking break!!!! Luther blocks the third and gives Eddie a front suplex. Eddie rolls out for air, and seems to spy something in the front row. Quietly he reaches over into the back pocket of a security guard and steals a small club! He places it into his boot, grabs a chair, and heads back in. He and Luther get into a tug o war over the chair, and Luther winds up getting it, stumbling back, and NEARLY hitting Jindrak. Everyone avoids collision though, so they’re happy...until Guerrero dropkicks the chair into Luther’s face, who in turn falls into Jindrak knocking him off the apron. Luther falls, and Eddie goes up! The Froggy Splash MISSES the target, and while everyone rolls around in pain Eddie reaches into his boot. Club in hand, Eddie DECKS Luther and plays dead when the referee turns around! Slowly he recovers, goes up, hits the Frog Splash, and scores the pinfall at 13:22! **3/4 Fun little opener, and I guess it keeps Eddie busy until his next big program comes along. I remain optimistic we haven’t seen the end of Eddie in the main event.
Backstage, JOSH MATTHEWS stands with DAWN MARIE. She suggests that Charlie Haas is infatuated with her, and she sleeps with him whenever he needs some. She then offers to say it to JACKIE GAYDA’s face and enters her dressing room where Jackie is nekkid. Dawn tells Jackie she’s blowing Charlie, and then makes fun of the size of Jackie’s breasts. Yeesh, begone all of you.
SPIKE DUDLEY (with The Dudley Boyz) vs. NUNZIO (with Johnny Stamboli) (for the WWE cruiserweight title)
Welcome to reason #23595 that I don’t watch Smackdown!, as Spike Dudley woke up one morning, decided he was evil, and his brothers were all “he’s evil, we’d better do what he says!” If THAT wasn’t enough, Spike proceeded to get pushed, and that’s around the time I vomited. Tazz suggests Nunzio is a major league threat to Spike, which tells you something about the Cruiserweight division since Nunzio hasn’t won a match in about 6 years. They roll around the ring for awhile, and Nunzio powers Spike back to the corner. A couple of shoulderblocks and two hiptosses send Spike to the outside of the ring. Spike re-enters, but a powerslam attempt backfires with Nunzio on top for 2. A cradle gets 2. Nunzio goes for an armwringer, and kicks at the arm - but Spike reverses into a hammerlock only to get dumped seconds later. Nunzio flies over the top and hits Spike with a springboard plancha! Back in, Nunzio tries a pinfall for 2. He heads up, but D-Von shoves Nunzio off the top rope and back in where Spike steals a 2. Spike works a full nelson, and when Nunzio escapes he delivers a drop toe hold. Nunzio gets in an unexpected cradle for 2 - but can’t follow up, taking a dropkick to the midsection. Spike gets 2. Bubba gets in a free shot on Nunzio when the ref is busy with D-Von, and Spike gets 2. Back to the full nelson, but Nunzio gets away, and when Spike tries to go to the top - Nunzio LAUNCHES him across the ring! Backdrop suplex with a bridge gets 2! Nunzio throws Spike face first to the corner for another 2! Nunzio goes up, hits the Sicilian Slice, but Spike gets his foot on the ropes at 2! Spike dumps Nunzio to the outside, tries the Stuff but misses, Nunzio backdrops him, and he rolls Spike back in for another 2. Spike tries an Acid Drop which is turned into a backslide for 2! Bubba gets on the apron only to get decked by Nunzio. D-Von trips up Nunzio, but Stamboli attacks to break the hold. Nunzio goes for a Stinger splash, but misses and eats the turnbuckle! Bubba immediately posts Nunzio crotch first, and Spike runs in to steal the pinfall at 9:49. **1/4 That was certainly energetic, but I cannot get pumped when the Cruiserweight division is being built around Spike Dudley of all people. And it’s a REALLY sad state of affairs when he’s not even the worst Cruiserweight champion THIS YEAR thanks to Jacqueline and Chavo Classic. Bring me some Lucha! Bring me a Japanese Invasion led by Sonny Onoo. ANYTHING ELSE. Please!
A retro video hypes the Undertaker’s first title win at Survivor Series 1991 against Hulk Hogan, a match that was offered as part of October’s WWE Jukebox. Still on WWE.com if you’re interested.
We get the build up to the London/Kidman match that featured Kidman freaking out about using the Shooting Star Press after giving Chavo a concussion. He wound up walking out of several matches because he refused to hurt anyone else, and he lost the tag-team titles as a result. Paul London was LESS than impressed and slapped Kidman. Teddy Long told Kidman one more walkout would result in his ass being fired.
BILLY KIDMAN vs. PAUL LONDON (Kidman will be fired if he refuses to wrestle)
Kidman won’t get in the ring, so London gives him a baseball slide dropkick and throws Kidman in to start the match. London hits a backdrop and kicks Kidman in the back. London hits a back elbow and a dropkick gets 2. London hits a clothesline, and sends Kidman flying to the outside with a dropkick. Kidman stands, and suddenly London springboards himself with the second rope INSIDE the ring and goes to the outside with a moonsault. Back in, London hits a slingshot crossbody for 2! Kidman rakes London’s eyes and kicks him in the face. Kidman throws London across the ring, stomach first into the ringpost. London is completely wrapped around it, so Kidman gives him a baseball slide dropkick to make it worse. Kidman yanks London back in, and works a ground abdominal stretch. London battles out, but Kidman boots him in the stomach for 2. A surfboard is applied, released, and Kidman hits a gutbuster for 2. A flapjack gets 2. Back to the abdominal stretch, and Kidman makes sure to include some punches to London’s ribs. London throws a forearm, and follows with a spinning heel kick! Kidman tries a tornado DDT, but London blocks and hits an enzuigiri for 2! London makes the same fatal mistake many before him have, and tries to powerbomb Kidman. You can guess the results. Kidman gets 2. London hits a rana out of nowhere, and holds the legs for 2! Kidman comes back with a dropkick, and goes up for the Shooting Star Press. He’s not much interested though, and walks off to some pretty heavy crowd heat. The referee starts counting him out, gets to 7, and decides to come back in. London hits a superkick, and now HE goes up! He goes for a Shooting Star Press of his own, but Kidman gets the knees up! Kidman goes up again, says “fuck it”, and hits the Shooting Star Press for the win at 10:36! **3/4 Kidman makes faces, and London starts bleeding from the mouth. “I hope you people are happy! YOU made me do that! Look at that, he’s probably got broken ribs and internal injuries, and it’s all because of YOU! YOU made me do it!” They put London on a stretcher, and suddenly Kidman’s back up and hits ANOTHER Shooting Star Press, and this time the fans aren’t as excited as the first. Kidman leaves to some nice heat, and London winds up on a gurney headed for the exit.
Another hype clip shows us title win #2 for Taker at Wrestlemania 13 against Sid.
JOSH MATTHEWS meets with JOHN LAYFIELD (R - Tex) in the locker room. JBL doesn’t feel that showing clips of Undertaker winning the title is particularly fair, since they’re not airing his greatest matches. (Can we replace JBL with Al Snow in the classic Mick Foley joke right about now?) JBL says he’s guaranteed victory in every title match he’s had, but can’t say the words tonight...opting instead to go with “he’ll take the title over my dead body.”
RENE DUPREE and KENZO SUZUKI (with Fifi and Hiroku) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. and ROB VAN DAM (for the WWE tag-team titles)
I...don’t even want to know who’s brilliant idea this tag-team was. Dupree asks how we’re doing, and introduces the champions of the world - but all in French so nobody understands. Kenzo sings Born In The USA to celebrate his love of America which is kind of funny. Does Smackdown! even have a tag-team division? At least RAW has La Resistance and...okay, RAW doesn’t have much of a tag-team division either. RVD and Dupree start. Dupree takes RVD down, but RVD rolls around and winds up on top for 2. Dupree tries a powerbomb, but gets backdropped. He rolls right through and gets a 2. Van Dam comes forward and gets 2. Dupree and RVD proceed to miss about 500 moves each, and the fans give them a standing ovation. Rey comes in and delivers a dropkick for 2. Kenzo enters and chops away. Rey dropkicks Kenzo in the face sending him outside, and dumps Dupree. RVD enters, and they hit dual tope con hilos on the champs! RVD rolls Suzuki in and gets 2. A spin kick levels Kenzo, and RVD knocks Dupree off the apron. Up he goes to finish, but Dupree shoves him aside and RVD crashes to the floor! He slowly gets in, but he’s dizzy and Kenzo takes over. Drop of the knee, chokehold, and snapmare. Dupree gets in, hits the Hennig necksnap and works a chinlock. Rey is knocked off the apron, and Dupree applies a surfboard while tagging in Kenzo. Kenzo gets in his free shots, and drops a knee for 2 before Rey saves. Kenzo sends him right back out. Van Dam kicks Kenzo in the face and makes a hot tag to Rey! Rey kicks Kenzo in the midsection and delivers a spinning DDT for 2! Dupree comes in, but he’s quickly dumped. Attention back to Suzuki, Rey hits a springboard senton and gets 2. Kenzo starts to come back, but gets set up in the 619 position. Rey tries for it, but Dupree blocks him. RVD sweeps Dupree’s legs out, and hits Rolling Thunder! RVD puts Kenzo back in position so that Rey can hit 619! He attempts to drop the dime, but Dupree cuts him off! RVD dives off the apron onto Dupree, but back in the ring Kenzo rolls Rey up and uses the ropes for the pin at 9:09. *3/4 That was way too short.
A promo hypes the upcoming Taboo Tuesday event. Fans make the call!
KURT ANGLE vs. THE BIG SHOW
Big Show looks positively badass without any hair. Show starts by rubbing his sweat all over Angle’s face, and has some less than encouraging words for Kurt. Show launches Kurt out of the ring. Angle gets back in, tries to attack, but winds up taking a HUGE shoulderblock. Kurt attempts to give Show a German, but he can’t budge him, and Show runs him back to the corner. A hiptoss is followed by a vertical suplex...and then JUMPS on Kurt’s sternum. Ow!!!! Show delivers a gorilla press slam, and Angle’s had enough...heading to the back. Referee BRIAN HEBNER counts Kurt out at 3:37, and the fans aren’t much for THAT decision!
THEODORE LONG struts down to the ring, and tells Kurt if he doesn’t get back in the ring he will NEVER wrestle on Smackdown! again. “I don’t care if it takes all night long, there will be a decisive winner here tonight!” If Kurt doesn’t get back into the ring before a 10 count, he’s done. Angle opts to re-enter, NEARLY not making it because he trips over the steps on the way back to the ring! Show starts in with the Giant Chops, and stands on Angle’s chest when he falls. Hiptoss sends Kurt across the ring, and a whip to the buckle sees Kurt fly to the outside! Angle desperately grabs a chair, which Show punches right back into his face. Show rolls him in, drops a leg, and rather than take a pinfall he decides to keep the beating going. The chops are laid in, but a blind charge leads to an elbow - and Angle heads up while Show staggers. He jumps...but right into Show’s arms, and he’s powerslammed! Show calls for the Chokeslam, but Angle rolls forward, hooks a leg, and goes all the way through into an anklelock! It’s the FIRST offensive move for Kurt in the match, but a nasty one, because Show crawls around the ring howling in serious pain! Show nearly taps, but he hangs on - and manages to kick Kurt away...right into the referee. Both Show and Hebner play dead, and Angle goes to get a chair. He runs the chair into Show’s knee, and starts dropping elbows on it. Show rolls to the apron where Kurt works a legscissors using the apron as leverage! He releases, and chop blocks Show in the ring. A variation on the spinning toe hold is worked, until Kurt lets go quickly, tries a pin, but only gets 1. Angle keeps trying to work the hold, but Show shoves him off, and slams him. A big boot connects, but a second attempt misses, and Show crotches himself on the top rope! Kurt IMMEDIATELY hits the Olympic Slam...but it’s only a 2! Angle is desperate now, and rolls to the outside, finding the tranquilizer gun again! Show’s ready this time though, and grabs it out of Kurt’s hands, and breaks the gun in 2. In a rage, Show fires off an alley-oop, and sends Kurt to the top rope. The super Chokeslam connects, Show covers, and gets the 3 at 15:07! ***1/4 Very solid match, and hopefully the start of a push that leads him to taking the title from JBL... Hey, I can dream.
We get a promo for Carlito “Carribean” Cool... He’s coming this Thursday (or, the Thursday after this PPV aired) donchaknow?
LUTHER REIGNS and MARK JINDRAK hit the ring to help Kurt Angle to the back.
BOOKER T vs. JOHN CENA (winner of series gets the United States Title, match 5 of best of 5, series tied 2-2)
We start with a mid-ring slugfest, and Cena wins the exchange by throwing a shoulderblock and gets 2. Booker comes back with a drop toe hold, and applies a front facelock. Cena ducks a Harlem sidekick, and clotheslines Booker to the outside. Booker re-enters, and pounds Cena down with shots to the back. Cena throws a clothesline, but Booker retaliates with a spinebuster for 2. They head out to the floor where Booker lays in some chops, and whips Cena into the steps. A second attempt is reversed by Cena, and Booker hits them this time. Cena rolls Booker back in and gets 2. Booker blocks a charge, and hits Cena with a Stun Gun. That’s followed by a crescent kick, and gets a 2! Cena tries a crossbody block, and nearly gets Booker several times, but can’t score more than 2. Booker whips Cena to the corner, and gives him a vertical suplex for 2. Booker works a headlock on the mat, but Cena fights to his feet and hits a vertical suplex. Booker comes back with a flapjack for 2. Booker goes for the axekick, but Cena moves, and Booker crotches himself on the top rope. Cena hits a bulldog to gain control, and fires the crowd up with a five knuckle shuffle. It gets 2. Cena pumps his shoes, goes for the FU, but it’s blocked with the Book End, but Booker only scores 2. He’s furious, and grabs a chair. CHARLES ROBINSON tells him if he even thinks about bringing it into the ring, he’ll call the match right there! Booker drops it, goes for the axekick instead, but Cena sidesteps, and Booker hits canvas! Cena covers for 2. Booker tries a DDT, but Cena fights him off, nails the FU, and scores the pin to win the title at 10:22. *3/4 This whole series was bland, and Booker’s falling further and further into mediocrity as a performer. Naturally the WWE has now decided it’s time to push him into a World Title feud with JBL.
WWE Fanatics Series presents “My Name Is Eugene”. Good lord.
Let’s relive Over The Edge 1999! I guess it’s safe to show footage from this show now? We relive Undertaker’s title win over Steve Austin.
THE DUDLEY BOYZ and DAWN MARIE vs. RICO, CHARLIE HAAS, and MISS JACKIE
Rico’s been fired since this, and I’m surprised the useless Dawn Marie hasn’t followed yet. D-Von and Haas start, with D-Von stomping a mudhole. Haas comes back with a couple of hiptosses, and a dropkick gets 2. Dawn Marie enters, and Haas won’t touch her - so Jackie tags herself in, and rips Dawn’s shirt off which reads “Charlie loves Dawn”. Jackie chokes her out with the shirt. Bubba pulls Jackie down by the hair, and tags himself in. He asks for a kiss, and closes his eyes. Jackie tags in Rico, who GLADLY plants one on Bubba. Bubba rolls out to vomit. D-Von tags in, and Bubba runs off to the back, having had enough of Rico. Rico backslides D-Von for 2. A schoolboy gets 2. A heel kick drops D-Von, and Rico goes up. Bubba returns to crotch Rico on the top rope, and D-Von stomps away when he falls back in. D-Von drops an elbow and gets 2. Bubba enters and dumps Rico to the outside. D-Von slams Rico’s face to the ringsteps, and rolls him back in. Bubba uses his athletic tape to choke out Rico, but Rico comes back with a DDT. Haas wants a tag, and gets it. D-Von tags in as well, and but Charlie’s a Haas of fire. D-Von is backdropped, Bubba is dropkicked, Bubba takes an exploder suplex, D-Von takes a flying jalapeno, Bubba takes a German...and Dawn starts begging for mercy. Charlie hesitates allowing D-Von to get some shots in, but Rico hits a crossbody off the top for 2. The girls get into it in the middle of the ring while Bubba slams Rico. The Dudleys go for Wazzup, but D-Von won’t do it on Rico’s crotch for fear of what may be there, and the hesitation costs them. The faces clean house, and the girls continue to roll around. Haas hits an axehandle off the top, and Rico follows with a moonsault for the win at 8:48! *** Surprisingly good match from this crew, and Rico actually shined here, which makes his release a little strange. Not that I’ll lose any sleep over it, but I don’t really understand.
Judgment Day 2002 saw The Undertaker win the WWE Title for a fourth time against Hulk Hogan, during a pretty decent heel run.
JOHN “BRADSHAW” LAYFIELD vs. THE UNDERTAKER (in a last ride match for the WWE title)
It’s 1996 all over again!!! Dumb gimmicks and visuals compensate for lack of wrestling talent, and Undertaker’s inability to put people over clean. Bradshaw attacks before the bell, but Undertaker quickly takes him down with a flurry of punches. Taker goes Old School early on, and follows with a headbutt. Taker nosells a shot from JBL, and gives him a big boot. An elbowdrop misses, but we have a zombie situp instantly. Bradshaw drives a thumb to Taker’s eye, and stomps away at him in the corner. Taker comes right back with a chokeslam, and decides it’s hearse time! JBL clings onto the ropes to avoid taking the ride, but Undertaker hammers away. A leg is dropped on the apron, and JBL tumbles to the floor. Outside, Taker whips JBL to the steps, and continues his assault. The Spanish announce table is ripped apart, but in the meantime Bradshaw’s recovered and drives the steps to Taker’s head. JBL takes full control, slamming Taker to the guardrail - and goes to get the steps again. In the aisle, JBL hits Undertaker with the steps in the head, and Taker collapses. JBL tries to get Taker into the hearse, but he fights him off. Back to the ring they go, and Bradshaw comes off the top with a shoulder block! A neckbreaker hits, but JBL can’t follow up before getting caught in a triangle choke! He taps out, but since that’s not the stip here the match doesn’t end. Bradshaw passes out. Taker sends JBL to the floor, and follows close to behind. Bradshaw’s slammed face first to the Spanish announce table. A whip is reversed by JBL, and Undertaker goes knee first to the ringsteps. JBL tries a piledriver on the steps, but he can’t get it down and Taker backdrops him. Taker clotheslines Bradshaw into the front row, and hammers away. Back to ringside, Undertaker steals from JBL’s playbook and winds up delivering a tombstone on the ringsteps!!!! JBL’s skull opens up immediately, and the blood starts pouring. In an act of desperation, Bradshaw grabs a chair and slams Undertaker over the head! Taker crumbles, as does JBL. Bradshaw wakes up first, and grabs one of the TV monitors from the announce table, using it to crack Taker over the head! They both wind up on the table, and Taker chokeslams JBL through the Spanish table! Taker’s had enough, and decides that now is the time to haul JBL to the hearse. He opens the door, and suddenly JON HEIDENREICH pops out the door, and knocks Undertaker out with ether! He smothers Taker until he falls into the hearse, and the car drives off. However - live from inside the hearse, Undertaker sits up! He pops out the door, and goes straight after Heidenreich...forgetting about Bradshaw long enough to eat a Clothesline From Hell. The heels again put Taker into the hearse, and it drives off a second time...this time for good, and JBL retains at 21:07. **1/2 Leaps and bounds better than SummerSlam, but this had no business main eventing any PPV telecast. JBL announces he’s unbeatable, and the greatest champion of all time.
In the back, PAUL HEYMAN emerges as the driver of the hearse, and calls for Heidenreich to drive his truck into it. Heidenreich nails the hearse at full speed, causing an explosion of fire. Undertaker is presumed dead...again. And we close the show.
I’ll give this show credit for having nothing terribly offensive (main event aside), but like all the other problems with the WWE right now, none of the feuds were properly built up and it felt like something I could have seen on television...the notable exception being the Kidman/London feud. Smackdown! could seriously benefit by considering moving The Big Show or Eddie Guerrero back into the main slot, and killing JBL for good - because I have little desire to spend money on a show being main evented by George Bush’s clone.
Here’s hoping Armageddon picks up the pace a little.
Thread ahead: Give Thanks for this Birthday Satire (11/22/04) Next thread: The Llakor Project: Chapters Twenty-Three and Twenty-Four Previous thread: The Llakor Project: Day Twenty-Seven, Chapters Twenty to Twenty-Two
Recently I found an old Herb Kunze compilation videotape while cleaning the apartment, and I decided to watch it from beginning to end. It soon became obvious that this tape had a great selection of matches and moments from Wrestling history.