Third PPV of 2005, third in a row I’ve recapped. Yikes, I’d better slow down, lest I start getting people to believe I’m CONSISTENT!
Speaking of consistency, I realize I said that today I’d post the WWF Mind Games recap, but I figured this one should be prioritized and stuff... Let’s push that one back to Friday. And Sunday will be my return to recapping ROH. Watch as I swallow a gun!
In the meantime, we are LIVE from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - home of Kurt Angle, who suffered his first pinfall loss here at the hands of The Rock! Our hosts are MICHAEL COLE and TAZZ, but more importantly we’ve got HUGO SAVINOVICH and CARLOS CABRERA on the Spanish side! Those poor SAPs, always the B-team. I do love their enthusiasm, even if I can’t understand a word of it.
REY MYSTERIO JR. and EDDIE GUERRERO vs. THE BASHAMS (for the WWE tag-team titles)
I think the titles are on life support, barring a sudden influx of talented tag-teams. Seriously, why aren’t they pushing harder to bring in AMW? Eddie and Danny start - and Danny makes sure that Eddie knows he’s a secretary of defense. Eddie hiptosses Danny, and Rey springboards in on the arm. A legdrop gets 2 for Mysterio. Doug in, and he slaps Rey around. Rey just hiptosses him, and tags in Eddie. Eddie works over the midsection of Doug, and follows with a rana. Doug comes back with a series of shoulderblocks to the midsection, and Danny is tagged in. He criss-crosses the arms of Guerrero and uses that to choke Eddie out. Eddie escapes with a backdrop suplex, but Doug comes in before Eddie can tag out and cuts off the ring. Doug hits a powerslam for 2, tries a headbutt, but misses, allowing Eddie to tag out. Rey hits a springboard senton for 2. A crossbody block gets 2. A bulldog (or if you’re Michael Cole, a DDT) from Rey is good for another 2. The Bashams make an illegal switch while the referee is busy, and a clothesline takes out Rey. They make a series of quick tags now while working over Mysterio. Danny works a full nelson, trying to get a tapout, while Tazz explains the physics of escaping the hold. On the mat, Danny goes to a Tender Loving Hug, and they spoon for about 45 seconds. Rey finally has enough, so Danny throws him into the buckle. A double hotshot on Mysterio gets 2 for Danny. Rey tries to make a tag, but Danny holds the leg of Rey, and tags in Doug. Rey is placed on the top, but he boots Doug off, and hits a beautiful moonsault for 2! Danny in, and he goes straight to the headlock while the fans chant “LET’S GO REY!” The referee happens to notice at this point that Eddie’s wandered FAR from his corner, and checks the tag ropes... Apparently, Eddie’s tied two ropes together, and thus is on a longer leash. The ref is NOT impressed and chews him out. The Bashams meanwhile hit Rey with a double facecrusher for 2 before Eddie saves. Rey gets a burst of momentum and is able to scoot away from the onslaught of the Basham duo - and after a small chase he tags in Eddie. Clotheslines for all! Dropkicks for others! A rana/armdrag takes out both Bashams, and Eddie gets 2 on Danny. They come back with an H-Bomb for 2. A double vertical suplex is attempted, but Rey comes in and uses a chop block on a Basham, and Eddie cradles the other for 2. Eddie goes and grabs a title belt, but Rey asks him not to cheat. So Eddie says screw it, and fakes a Frog Splash on Doug. Doug thinks he actually tried one, and when Eddie plays dead, he gets cradled for 2. Danny tries to get Eddie disqualified by tossing him a title belt, but Eddie plays hot potato and sends it over to Doug who’s caught. The referee admonishes him, so Doug hands it over. Meanwhile, Rey suddenly decides it’s okay to cheat and sends the other belt to Eddie - and he clocks Doug behind the ref’s back. Rey hits Danny with a 619, and Eddie gets the pin and titles at 14:51! **1/4 Very slow paced match, not at all playing to the strengths of Eddie and Rey. Any chance of sending them to RAW to feud with E&C and the Canadian Chrises?
TEDDY LONG celebrates the opening match, and asks his PRODUCER to make Batista as comfortable as possible if and when he shows up. CARLOS “CARRIBEAN” COOL shows up with MRS. RODRIGUEZ, who’s the wife of someone on the Board Of Directors apparently. She says she’s banking on Long signing Batista. As she walks off, Cool mentions that he overheard that if he doesn’t sign Batista, he’ll be out of a job. “And that? That’s cool!”
TORRIE WILSON and DAWN MARIE, who apparently get along these days despite the fact Dawn fucked Torrie’s dad to death, saunter down to ringside to help host some upcoming rookie diva search contest.
And here come the contestants for this contest. Ugh, ENOUGH DIVAS ALREADY!
Measurements: 34-25-34 Hometown: Boston, MA Credentials: Massage therapist, special friend of Big Show
Measurements: 36-25-34 Hometown: Alberta, Canada (I guess that makes her a heel by default?) Credentials: Playboy model, Miss Hawaiian Tropic Canada
Measurements: 34-23-34 Hometown: Jackson, MS Credentials: Model, NYU graduate
Measurements: 34-24-36 Hometown: Palatka, FL Credentials: Personal trainer, gymnist
Then they stand there and pose. No, really. And that concludes Round 1. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHIT??? You’re allowed to vote for your favorite on wwe.com RIGHT NOW, but on what, I have no idea.
The absolutely brilliant Pulp Fiction Wrestlemania ad is inserted here.
JON HEIDENREICH (with Little Johnny) vs. BOOKER T
Yay, we get poetry!
“No way out, no way in Does it really matter, maybe in the end The world calls Heidenreich crazy But little do they know I have so much good inside Just waiting to be shown Booker T dares to make fun of Heidenreich Well I’ll show you all Just what it’s like To feel all my pain and strife That I have dealt with my entire life And THAT was a poem by Heidenreich”
Heidenreich throws his boxing punches to knock Booker down, and a clothesline gets an early 2. Booker comes back with a mule kick, and Heidenreich starts hitting himself. I love this guy. They head outside where Booker sends Heidenreich face first to the steps, and they go back in. Booker hits a superkick for 2. Cole brings back memories of being anally raped by Heidenreich, for god knows WHAT reason. A clothesline turns Booker inside out, while the announcers re-write history and try to convince us that Booker once main-evented a Wrestlemania, REALLY loosely defining “main event”. Heidenreich applies a chinlock and BITES the forearm of Booker. He releases, hits a big boot, and gets 2. He puts on a keylock and shouts “I DON’T LIKE YOU!!!” I don’t care how bad he is in the ring, this guy is oozing charisma. Booker comes back with a spinebuster, and gets into a punching match with Heidenreich. A flying jalapeno is followed by a couple clotheslines and a spinning heel kick. Spinaroonie, boot to the midsection, but the axekick misses! Booker goes for the Book End, but it’s blocked, so Booker simply sends him outside. Heidenreich grabs the nearest chain and drives it into Booker’s throat, causing him to fall and the referee calls for the bell at 6:49. 1/2* Heidenreich isn’t done though, rolls Booker in, and tries to get the pinfall. He counts 3 himself since the referee blatantly refuses to. Heidenreich declares himself the winner and walks to the back.
EDDIE GUERRERO and REY MYSTERIO JR. celebrate their big tag-team title win with close, personal friends BOB HOLLY, SCOTTY 2 HOTTY, CHARLIE HAAS, and JOHN CENA. Bob says he wants to see Cena do the same thing later tonight. Eddie then pulls Cena alone, and congratulates Cena for getting to this point - but reminds him it’s all for naught if he doesn’t beat Angle. “This is history. You beating Angle tonight, that means you’re going to main event Wrestlemania. Brother, that’s what everybody works for. What’s what we live, breathe, and drink 24/7.” Eddie mentions that Kurt said he was going to apply the anklelock and force John to tap, but Eddie orders Cena not to tap. The longer he hangs on, the more frustrated Kurt’s going to get, and he’s going to make mistakes. “Good luck. God bless you.”
FUNAKI vs. PAUL LONDON
This is a series of matches that are going to lead to the Cruiserweight Title apparently. Basically, a random drawing has put these guys in, and once one guy is eliminated, the next match starts right after. Last man standing is the champ. London works a headlock and takes down Funaki with a shoulderblock. Funaki comes back with an armdrag, but meets London’s elbow. London misses a charge, is hit with a bulldog, and Funaki gets 2. Spike kicks Funaki in the back, London gets a rollup, and Funaki is eliminated at 1:38!
PAUL LONDON vs. SPIKE DUDLEY
So the belt is definitely changing hands now. Spike hammers London in the corner, and dances on his chest. However, Moore is distracting the referee on the apron, and Funaki superkicks Spike in revenge, and London gets the pin at 0:22.
PAUL LONDON vs. SHANNON MOORE
Moore flies in with a rana for 2. A bridge pin gets 2. He tries a backslide for 2. Moore works a side headlock, but London escapes and chops away. A roll through gets 2 for London. Moore comes back by whipping London to the buckle 3 times, but misses a corkscrew moonsault! London heads up, hits the 450, and gets the pin at 1:39!
PAUL LONDON vs. “FLYING ELVIS” JIMMY YANG
What the fuck is with these pins? Akio comes in with a clothesline for 2. Tazz reminds us we will NEVER see this on Monday Nights, but with the lack of any real time here, who cares? Akio works a leg scissor submission over the ropes, releases, and gets 2. An enzuigiri gets a 2 count for Akio. London kicks at Akio, but gets stomped down. They fight up to the top where London hits a super neckbreaker. The referee goes to count them both out, and Chavo doesn’t mind THAT! However, London gets up at 9, but Akio does not, and Akio is eliminated at 3:27. To the finale...
PAUL LONDON vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR. (for the WWE cruiserweight title)
Chavo sees London as easy pickings now, and gets in a cover for 2. London sneaks in a small package for 2. Chavo uppercuts London, and screams “YOU WANNA MAKE ME WORK? FINE!” He stomps away at London the mat, goes for a neckbreaker, but London blocks with the ropes and Chavo crashes hard. London gets 2. A dragon suplex from London gets 2! London backdrops Chavo, hits a beautiful dropkick, and gets 2! Chavo comes back by sending London face first to the buckle, but promptly gets rolled up for 2. Chavo reverses that with a handful of tights and wins the match and title back at 2:40(9:46 total). *3/4 10 minutes for 5 pins??? I know we continually whine about the misuse of the Cruiserweight division, but this is definitely a glaring example - when at least 25-30 minutes should have been allotted, or not bother at all. And the wrong guy goes over to boot. Total crap.
Backstage, THE BIG SHOW looks on thoughtfully.
Speaking of total crap, it’s time for the second round of the 2005 Rookie Diva Contest. This is the “talent contest”. JOY GIOVANNI shows off her talent for massaging people, and strips down to her unmentionables before working over TORRIE WILSON. Scintillating. DAWN MARIE takes exception, and promises she could give a better rub down than that, and Torrie suggests the girls ask any of the boys backstage. Oh snap. ROCHELLE LOEWEN tells jokes. “How do you make a Kleenex dance? You put a little boogie in it.” Dawn tells her the only joke around here is Rochelle, and demands the next contestant. LAUREN JONES does a dance, which might be better described as a drunken hyper striptease, and Dawn tears her down and asks her not to quit her day job. MICHELLE MCCOOL, cut from the Southern redneck cloth, simply bodyslams Dawn Marie drawing a loud pop from the crowd. Please go to wwe.com and vote to get your $35 back.
JOSH MATTHEWS meets with JOHN “BRADSHAW” LAYFIELD, and asks him if he’s ready for the match tonight. Bradshaw already knows he’s going to bleed like a faucet, and is willing to go do that because the championship is eternal, even if his body is temporary. JBL throws in that Big Show has no heart and no guts, and promises that people will remember this day because they’ll realize he is who he says he is. “I AM THE WRESTLING GOD!” I think I just threw up a lot.
LUTHER REIGNS (with Mark Jindrak) vs. THE UNDERTAKER
Great, we’re done with Heidenreich against Taker, here’s Luther Reigns to stink up our screens for awhile. And, if you can believe this, the show is ONLY half over at this point. Undertaker pounds Reigns back into the corner to start, but Luther comes back with a series of boots to the misection. Taker fires off a big boot to the face and gets 2. We go old school, and that’s followed by a flatliner for 2. Luther unties the turnbuckle pad, and turns to beat on the Taker. Undertaker comes back with a headbutt. Reigns comes out of the corner with a clothesline for 2. They fight over an Irish whip, which Undertaker wins, and Reigns is sent back first into the exposed bolt. Reigns is set across the apron, and hit with Undertaker’s running legdrop thing. Reigns is now begging off, but Undertaker is having none of it, and winds up getting lowblowed. Taker falls, and Luther slams Taker’s head into the exposed bolt in the corner. A vertical suplex from Reigns gets 2. Luther “drops” a knee that whiffs by about 6 feet, but Taker sells it. A scoop slam and elbow drop gets 2. They move to a half crab, and Luther stands on Taker’s head to add to it. Taker kicks out of the hold, and clotheslines him down for 2. Taker hits a big boot, but gets speared a second later, and Luther gets 2. Another elbow drop gets 2. Taker again starts to fight out, but he gets hit with a high knee. Regardless, he no sells and hits a flying clothesline. A corner clothesline has Reigns staggering. Another big boot connects, and the legdrop gets 2, because Undertaker is not Hulk Hogan. The chokeslam is good, but the tombstone is blocked and turned into a Scorpion death drop for 2!!!! He goes for a second death drop, but Taker escapes and hits a DDT! Zombie situp, thumb to the throat, tombstone, and it’s over at 11:44, thank god. 1/4* This show is right on track for quickly ranking up there in the top 10 worst WWF shows of all time...
Here’s the Fatal Attraction ad for Wrestlemania, if only because these are FAR more entertaining than anything No Way Out is bringing us.
And because this won’t END, TORRIE WILSON saunters BACK out. Apparently Dawn Marie is boycotting this segment. This is the swimsuit portion, and, if you can believe this, THEY WEAR SWIMSUITS! OMG! SPOOGE! Torrie calls it a tough decision, and polls the audience to kill even MORE time, because heaven forbid the cruiserweight wrestlers could have taken up this segment. And now the wwe.com resluts... I mean, results:
Joy: 65% Rochelle: 11% Lauren: 6% Michelle: 18%
So the payoff? Joy gets some roses and a hug from Torrie... Tazz declares us all winners, like this is the special Olympics or something.
JOHN CENA vs. KURT ANGLE (in the 8-man #1 WWE title contenders tournament, non-title match)
Angle claws Cena right back to the ropes, and a break is ordered. Kurt takes him down with a headlock, and squeezes with everything he’s got. Cena escapes, but is taken down with a shoulderblock and the headlock is re-applied. Once again Cena gets away, but is hit with a belly to belly, and Angle works some freestyle wrestling holds on the mat. A drop toe hold is hit, and moved into the front facelock. Cena comes back with some shoulderblocks to Kurt’s midsection, and when Angle attacks, Cena clotheslines him to the outside! He dives on Kurt on the announce table, and pounds away. Back in, Cena hits a vertical suplex for 2. The fans have started chanting “LET’S GO ANGLE”, and were even booing some of Cena’s offense on the outside. Cena hits a big boot and clothesline to take Angle down. He goes for the F-U, but Angle escapes and rolls to the safety of the outside. Kurt slowly gets back in, and Cena beats him down in the corner. Angle comes back with a German that sends Cena neck first into the buckle, and that draws a loud “ANGLE” chant. A vertical suplex gets 1. Slightly frustrated, Angle hits a backbreaker for 2. Kurt snapmares Cena over, and applies a full body scissors. With the hold still on, Angle grinds his elbow into Cena’s face. Cena fights out and hits a back elbow, but Kurt starts in on the Germans. A trifecta gets 2. Angle tries a camel clutch, but Cena manages to get out and hits a flying shoulderblock. A series of clotheslines knock Kurt slightly loopy, but Angle comes back with an eye rake. It doesn’t phase Cena, who hits a spinebuster and gets 2. Angle nails yet another German, but Cena shakes that baby of and fires back with a blue thunder bomb, scoring another 2! Cena tries the F-U again, but Angle rolls through for 2. They stand, and Kurt tosses him with an overhead belly to belly. The Olympic slam is blocked, and Cena scores with a DDT for 2. Cena sits Angle up in an electric chair position, but Kurt rolls forward and goes to the anklelock! Cena tosses him off, and Angle crashes to the floor. The fans are solidly behind Cena now. Angle starts back in, but Cena hits a guillotine legdrop off the top, and gets a 2!!! Angle is dizzy, and walks into an F-U...for 2!!! Cena thinks he’s won, and even celebrates, but the referee lets him know it’s not over. So the attack is back on, and Angle boots him in the kneecap! Cena collapses, causing Angle to smell blood. He applies a leglock, releases, and then clips Cena as he stands. To the outside, Kurt wraps Cena’s legs around the ringpost for a bit, then re-enters and slaps on a deathlock. Cena breaks it with the ropes, but Angle’s not letting up, stomping all over the injured ankle. The Olympic slam connects, and Angle roars to the crowd! Anklelock, middle of the ring, and nowhere to go. He fights and fights, but Angle keeps him in the middle. Cena’s face shows he clearly remembers the words from Eddie Guerrero, but it gets worse when Angle falls to the mat and applies a full legbar!!! Cena continues to crawl, crawl, crawl...and makes the ropes to break! Angle continues to hold, even with Cena in the ropes, and when the referee tries to break it up, Cena shoves Angle into him, and the referee is down. Kurt locks eyes with Cena’s chair sitting on the turnbuckle, and grabs it. However, Cena spears him, hits the F-U, and the referee wakes up to count the pin at 19:21, making Cena the #1 contender! *** Angle throws a total shit fit on his way out. They tried damn hard, but unfortunately it fell a little flat, and not enough to save the show this time. So like Judgment Day 2003, the weight of an ENTIRE crappy show is going to fall on the shoulders of Big Show. Can he save them again?
JOHN “BRADSHAW” LAYFIELD vs. THE BIG SHOW (in a barbed wire steel cage match for the WWE title)
Show, as you would PROBABLY expect, immediately lays waste to Bradshaw. In the corner, here come the Giant Chops! Show tries to send Bradshaw into the cage, but he blocks it. A shoulder to the gut from JBL takes down Show, and as he stands, Bradshaw hits a neckbreaker! JBL heads up to see if there’s any way over the top, but can’t find an opening through the barbs and leaps back in... Show catches him off the leap, hits a fallaway slam, and gets 2! Cole: “A right hand from Big Show, who’s been dominating since the beginning!” Of course, he says this at the 2:10 mark. While Show starts the chopping, we get a look at Bradshaw’s wrist which was sliced open by a barb while he was on the top. Show suplexes Bradshaw, and goes back to the chops. An avalanche is blocked with a big boot, and JBL sends Show face first into the side of the cage. Bradshaw continues to look for ways to escape, while a shot of Show reveals he’s busted wide open. A shoulderblock from the top hits Show, and JBL stomps away. An elbowdrop gets 2. Another elbowdrop gets another 2. Checking out the ropes, he finds a tag rope, and uses it to choke out the Big Show. Show escapes, and comes back with a big boot. The alley oop sends Bradshaw into the support beam, and Show hangs on to finish the sequence with a powerbomb! Show sends JBL face first to the cage a couple of times, busting him right open - because current WWE law says “he who touches steel must produce at least one face full of blood”. ORLANDO JORDAN decides to run down now and climb the cage, and THE BASHAMS work over the mesh with wire cutters. However, TEDDY LONG is having none of it, and tells them to get to steppin’. Long misses the fact the bolt cutters were left in the ring though, and JBL hits Show in the face with it, followed by a Clothesline From Hell...for 2!!!! The crowd doesn’t react at all. However, Show wakes them right up with a chokeslam...also only getting 2!!! He calls for a second one, but Bradshaw hits a low blow, follows with a big boot, and gets 2. JBL looks for a way out, and grabs the bolt cutters. Up he goes to the top, and he starts cutting at the barbs. However, Show catches him and they fight on the top rope. Show sends Bradshaw face first to the steel beam three times, so JBL thumbs the eye to stay in control. Show grabs a goozle from the top...and CHOKESLAMS JBL THROUGH THE RING! That totally wakes the crowd right the hell up! Show goes looking for a safe part of the ring to walk on, finds it, and doesn’t know what to do. So rather than waste his time on Bradshaw, Show rips at the chain on the door and tears it right off!!!! He unlatches the door, walks right out, and wins the title at 15:11!!! However, the fans are caught by surprise when Bradshaw’s announced as the victor...but the camera pans around and we see that he climbed out under the ring from the wreckage and retained. *1/2 The fans react by just sitting on their hands, because after 8 months of JBL, we’re simply at a point where it’s impossible to care anymore. That, and Pittsburgh crowds have always kind of sucked anyway. Show attacks JBL after the match, but Orlando and the Bashams come back to save...
...that is, until BATISTA heads down, and totally clears the ring of anything that moves. JBL crawls back up the ramp to safety, heading right into JOHN CENA. Cena shoves Bradshaw into a bunch of TV equipment near the stage, and gives him a spinebuster into the debris!!!! Cena poses up on stage while Batista shakes his head from the ring. Dave and Cena take turns posing for the crowd, and close out the show.
If I can give you one piece of advise that you EVER take seriously...
This show was originally scheduled for January 22, but due to a huge snowstorm in the area was postponed until tonight. To make up for the show being delayed, IWA added two matches to the card: Samoa Joe v.