My GOD it’s been a long time since I’ve recapped THIS show… Last time I was recapping this, I believe Faarooq was masturbating, while Mark Henry was rolling up frying pans, while Christian was jealous and losing to bearhugs, while Hulkamania was limping wild, while Chris Jericho had an undefined role, while Edge was shaving Kurt Angle, while Triple H remembered being That Damn Good – but couldn’t remember how to live it… I also haven’t really watched the show since that timeframe either, as I self-imposed a Smackdown! boycott in response to Stephanie McMahon being positioned as the General Manager. She has been gone 3 months, and I’m going to assume that the WWE has learned from their mistakes – but of course when one assumes they make an ASS out of U and ME, but we’ll see what all transpires.
Two weeks ago, Los Guerreros didn’t win back the tag-team titles from the (ugh) Bashams – and Chavo turned his back on Uncle Eddie as a result of this devastating loss, and NOT due to years of abuse at the hands of Eddie. WWE history acknowledges no such history of abuse, and 1998 NEVER HAPPENED…except on RAW where it happens every week. Kurt Angle sticks his nose in their business, and introduces Chavo Guerrero Sr. to apologize to Eddie. And what IS with Kurt involved in this? It makes no sense. Kurt’s actions NEVER make sense. The writing never makes sense. I’m a smarkysmarksmark and there ain’t NOTHING any of you can do about it!
Really lame opening theme music plays. WWE – so hip it hurts.
We are LIVE on tape delay from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and my feet SMELL! Yeesh, you’d think I’d been wearing the same socks for a week. Our hosts are MICHAEL COLE and TAZZ IS TURNING HEEL.
REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. #1 CONTENDER CHUCK PALUMBO (with Johnny Stamboli and Nunzio) (in a non title match)
When oh when will Chuck get his long-awaited Cruiserweight Title shot? Chuck Palumbo – always a bridesmaid, but never a bride. (Except that one time with Billy…) Thinking of undefined roles, have the FBI ever *done* anything since coming together, other than walk to the ring and try to be Italian Stereotypes? You’ve got a mafia style group together…get them to do some gangster shit already! Chuck knocks Mysterio down with a shoulderblock. Powerbomb is attempted – but Rey hops those shoulders and pounds away, dropping Chuck down for a 1 count. Michael Cole raves about the size of Rey’s heart. Rey kicks at the knees, but Chuck shoves him off. Rey escapes Chuck’s attempts to grab at him, and kicks him into the ropes, setting up the 619. It fails – because as Rey bounces off the ropes, Stamboli happens to pull down the middle one, and Rey takes a tumble. The referee hits 7 before Rey climbs back in to get his ass kicked. Belly to back gets a 2. Michael Cole can’t get over the power of Chuck! He IS a former WCW World Champion. Weren’t those a fantastic 7 minutes? Half crab is applied, and Rey gets dragged out to the middle of the ring while Nunzio, you guessed it, MAKES FACES. Rey kicks Chuck off, but gets driven spine first into the corner. Rey is placed on the top, but when Chuck climbs, Rey leaps forward and drives Palumbo back with a super Thesz press! Palumbo recovers, and tries a groggy sideslam, but Rey’s awake and rolls through the move, getting 2. Immediately Rey’s back off the ropes, springboard – over the head moonsault into an inverted DDT! Hey – that’s Ultimo’s move! 1, 2, Chuck barely kicks out. Chuck is up, and runs over Rey with a big boot. Close 2 – the crowd though that was it! Chuck tries to follow up, leaping at Rey, but misses and hits the corner post with authority! Rey goes up top, tries a crossbody block, but Chuck catches him. Rey manages to roll over the head of Chuck, grabs a handful of tights, 1, 2, 3! (5:12) **1/4 Okay, that was fun. The FBI all attack, 3-on-1. Stamboli and Stamboli hit the Sicilian Slice, while JAIME HOWARD enters. Nunzio awaits…and Noble hands off a payment, clearly thanks for having weakened Mysterio. Noble poses with the Cruiserweight Title.
Last week, Chris Benoit and John Cena forced Paul Heyman to eat soap. Up next, an interview with Paul E.!
JOSH MATTHEWS stands backstage with PAUL HEYMAN. Heyman whines about the lack of respect he’s getting from John Cena and Chris Benoit. However, that is all going to change tonight. He looks to Vince McMahon, who brought wrestling out of the smokey bingo halls (don’t start…), and will follow his vision. The lowbrow Benoit and Cena will team against MATT MORGAN, RHYNO, THE BIG SHOW, and BROCK LESNAR. Apparently, this will teach Cena and Benoit to respect his authorat-iah!
LOS CHAVO GUERREROS are standing around, making fun of Eddie Guerrero, when lurching in the shadows is one KURT ANGLE. Sr. tells Kurt to stay out of his business. Kurt reminds Sr. however that it was Sr. who told him he wanted to speak to Eddie, and Kurt set it up – and it wound up being nothing but a lie, so as a result he’s definitely a part of this. Jr. starts whining about being held down by Eddie, but Kurt cuts him off stating he grew up with 4 older brothers. Each one was bigger and stronger than him, so he did what he had to in order to get attention – which was win a “gold freakin’ medal for my country”. He didn’t lie or cheat. And with that, Kurt storms off to cry about none of his business.
WRESTLEMANIA RECALL: Jake Roberts hangs out with Alice Cooper before losing to the Honky Tonk Man.
YOSHIHIRO TAJIRI vs. BILLY KIDMAN (in a Royal Rumble qualifying match)
Well – this is BIG. The winner of this has GOT to be the favorite in the Royal Rumble. I think I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…PUT ON SOME PANTS BILLY! Tajiri attempts an early powerbomb, but takes a rana for his trouble. Kidman continues to find new counters to the move impossible to hit on him. Kidman heads up, but gets caught and armdragged back in. Cole acknowledges that Goldberg has got to be the favorite in the Rumble while Tajiri kicks away at Kidman. Hammerlock is applied on the mat, but Kidman fights out and hits a drop toe hold to break. Kidman hits a running clothesline and gets 2. Tajiri gets in a few loud sounding kicks, and draws 2. Handspring elbow is countered by Kidman’s dropkick, and Tajiri is pulled to the corner for the Shooting Star Press! Tajiri JUST rolls out of the way, and Kidman eats canvas. The Buzzsaw Kick connects, tights are pulled, and we have a winner. (2:32) 3/4* Criminally short.
THE BIG SHOW (in a neck brace) accuses BROCK LESNAR of shadowing him all the time. Lesnar denies this feverishly, while I yearn for the days of these 2 feuding. Big Show being thrown all over the place like a rag doll, while Chokeslams were being hit… It was a thing of beauty. Show suggests that Lesnar is hanging off him because Big Show has a 50 foot restraining order on Bob, so if Lesnar’s near-by, Bob can’t attack. Lesnar is afraid of a guy named Bob… I think we have the world’s pussiest champion since Vince Russo. Show then decides to give me a boner by suggesting he’s going after the WWE Title once again! Maybe he’ll win that and never defend it. And those OTHER smarks who are not me would cry, while I would be happy. And with that, Show goes off to his locker room.
ALBERT (sans facial hair) vs. DAWN MARIE???
Da fock is this????? Oh, Dawn’s just here to announce that the winner of the next match is going to be entered into the Royal Rumble. She’s going to pit Albert against someone who’s defeated him in the past, and we all KNOW who’s coming now…
ALBERT (sans facial hair) vs. SHANNON MOORE (in a Royal Rumble qualifying match)
I think Dawn Marie might have a better chance against Albert. Moore takes him down with a drop toe hold into the turnbuckle, but he’s caught in a bearhug seconds later. Shannon does the only thing he can do... BITE his way out! Albert does NOT take kindly to that, which is surprising for a man of his lifestyle. Either way, Shannon winds up launched in a very uncomfortable manner into the turnbuckles. That gets 2 before Moore puts a foot on the ropes. Shannon’s luck is about to wear out, when suddenly THE GREATEST dances out onto the stage with HIS BUTLER in tow. It’s announced by Cole that Miller’s involved in the Rumble. Moore gets in a dropkick from behind and rolls Albert up for 2. Shannon rolls out, Albert follows, and Moore gets swung into the ringsteps. Back in, Moore gets hit with the backbreaker, 1, 2, 3. (1:40) 3/4* That was surprisingly good.
PAUL HEYMAN stands with RHYNO, MATT MORGAN, and BROCK LESNAR, giving them a pep-talk. Heyman wonders where Show is, while Lesnar grumbles about him hiding out from Bob Holly all alone.
JOHN CENA and CHRIS BENOIT vs. MATT MORGAN, RHYNO, BROCK LESNAR, and THE BIG SHOW
“Yo yo yo yo yo… Last week, Paul Heyman, I’m here to apologize ‘Cause when fatass was eating soap I should have rubbed some in his eyes It was Paul Heyman who made the match, ain’t no way I’m stopping it Last week, he was chewing soap, that boy’s just used to dropping it And it’s ironic that his favorite team is the New York Yankees Who is his favorite Little Rascal? Alfalfa, or is it Spanky? Or is it Brock, I heard they give eachother naked backrubs Big Show’s got the neckbrace, he was bobbing for apples in Paul’s bathtub Tonight is just like the Rumble, competition is soft People attack me, I throw ‘em out, they just keep beating ‘em off”
It’s immediately apparent that Big Show is nowhere to be seen – and we cut quickly to the back to find out for about the millionth time, they’re going to recycle the old “trapped in the locker room thanks to a forklift” angle. PAUL HEYMAN throws a fit from his lifeguard style chair at ringside. And we take a break as the fans start in with their “YOU TAPPED OUT” chants.
I take this opportunity to break into a Margarita flavoured Bacardi Breezer, leftovers from the drinks my girlfriend picked out last weekend…
We return while RING CREW attempts to save The Big Show. Back at ringside, Paul starts talking up Brock to keep him from shitting his pants, being all alone without his large friend. Brock and Benoit start, but Lesnar rolls out before Benoit can do anything. Back in he gets…and tags out to Matt Morgan. Benoit figures “what the fuck” and chops the hell out of Morgan for fun. Cena is tagged in, and he lays down the street style punches, before slamming the big man. Morgan recovers and pounds away at the back of Cena – and tags in Rhyno. Rhyno takes down Cena with a shoulderblock, but Cena comes right back with a hiptoss. He dives at Heyman’s chair which is sitting right in front of the ring, but Rhyno catches him, and pulls him back to the middle of the ring. Cena lays in with a stiff clothesline and gets 2. Benoit is tagged back in, and he goes to work with a snap suplex for 2. The chops are laid in, but Rhyno counters with a whip, sending Benoit back first into the corner. Lesnar is of course now more than happy to tag in. He stomps a mudhole in Benoit while Heyman laughs. An elbow is dropped on Benoit, and Brock takes this opportunity to inform Cena that “you can’t see this”. Benoit shoves off Brock, quickly tags in Cena, and Cena absolutely lays into him for that show of disrespect moments ago. He gets in a flying shoulder tackle for 2. They bump bodies, and Brock’s weight causes Cena to fall back, and he follows with a spinebuster. A trio of covers draw a trio of 2’s. Rhyno comes in and immediately slaps on a criss-cross choke. Benoit takes his hands off the tag-rope, so the ref wanders over, and Brock sneaks in a few stomps on Cena. Rhyno officially tags out to Brock – so Brock comes in and does the “you can’t see this” once again, but this time Cena’s too weakened to do anything about it. Shoulderblocks are laid in the corner – but an avalanche misses, and Cena hits a quick DDT with Lesnar stunned. Cena tries to crawl out – but Lesnar’s got the foot. A kick to the face is all Brock needs to let the hold go, and Benoit is tagged in. Canadian House Of Fire!!!! Kicks and chops are fired at the champ! The rolling Germans hit twice! Brock does a standing switch on the third – but Benoit escapes JUST in time as Rhyno comes flying with a Gore RIGHT into Brock!!!! Benoit takes out Rhyno, and hits Matt Morgan who’s entered the ring with a rolling German, followed by a release. THUMB TO THE THROAT! Lesnar scoots back in, goes for the F5, but Benoit counters in mid-air into the Crossface!!!!!!! Rhyno ruins THAT moment with a hard spinebuster! Rhyno heads back to the apron in order to get officially tagged in, which he is – but runs right into a drop toe hold from Benoit and springs hard into the ropes. Lesnar’s had about enough of these guys and heads off to the back. However, BOB HOLLY was waiting for this, grabs Brock on the ramp, and applies a full nelson, NEVER ready to let go. FIT FINLAY with his crew breaks the hold, and Brock lays in a cheap shot on Holly. Lesnar takes off to the back while the security pounds on Bob. Heyman continues to call for Lesnar to come back. And we take another break…
We come back to Rhyno attempting a pinfall on Benoit, and getting 2. The fans are busy chanting “YOU ATE SOAP” at Heyman. Morgan comes in and headbutts Benoit before choking him out on the apron. The fans meanwhile clamour for Cena. Rhyno fires off some shots to Benoit, but goes for one too many, which Benoit ducks and follows with a belly to back. Rhyno senses the impending tag – and nails Cena off the apron. He follows with a belly to belly on Benoit, and quickly hits the GORE!!!! 1, 2, Cena comes out of NOWHERE to break that one up. Morgan is in, misses a couple of elbows right away, and takes an enzuigiri. Finally Cena can make the hot tag! Rhyno takes a clothesline and Throwback in quick succession. A double axehandle from the top connects, and gets Cena a close 2 before Morgan breaks it up. With Morgan’s distraction, Rhyno gets in a belly to belly suplex, but Cena sidesteps the GORE – allowing a rollup for 2! FU hits seconds later, and we’ve got us a couple of winners!!!! (19:30) *** Benoit and Cena clear the ring – and spy Paul Heyman all alone in his lifeguard chair. He starts with the blood curdling screams – but if a GM falls into the ring, and none of his friends are around, did it REALLY happen? Cena and Benoit test out this theory, shoving the chair forward into the ring, and Heyman tumbles inside. THE BIG SHOW angrily charges the ring though, having finally escaped from his locker room – and tosses both guys all over the place. Benoit takes a gorilla press, and Cena a REALLY high chokeslam. Benoit’s chokeslam isn’t far behind. Cena’s then dumped over the top, as is Benoit. Show’s made his point…he has NO intention of losing the Royal Rumble this Sunday.
After the break, let’s watch some highlights from just seconds ago… Michael Cole announces that no one man can throw Big Show over the top, but I SWEAR I’ve seen Rocky do it on more than one occasion. And if I’m not mistaken, Kane got him in 2002.
BRADSHAW vs. AKIO vs. SAKODA (in a Royal Rumble qualifying match)
Oh good lord… It’s Bradshaw’s wet dream. A double shoulderblock takes out both of the Japanese fellows at once. A fallaway slam from the top hits Sakoda, and draws a 2. Akio kicks Bradshaw in the face, and follows with a spinning heel kick. Akio applies a Tarantula variation while Sakoda kicks away. They hit a double team suplex, where Akio gets a 2, and Sakoda does as well immediately after. Double enzuigiri! Sakoda gets 2 before Akio breaks it up, and vice-versa. Neither guy can score a proper pinfall without the other breaking it up. In the process, Sakoda winds up taking a back elbow, but Akio dodges a Clothesline From Hell. Sakoda rushes in a Shining Wizard, knocking Bradshaw to the outside, and Akio rolls up Sakoda for 2. Akio follows with a spinning heel kick and goes up. Sakoda waits – but Akio points out that Bradshaw is back in. Sakoda turns…and takes a big boot to the face. Akio comes off the top, but Bradshaw hits a Clothesline From Hell, and scores the pinfall. (2:46) * Bradshaw did absolutely nothing, and had a good match as a result. I’d have loved to have watched the other two just do their thing.
BILLY GUNN is back – and finally has reached the #1 moment on the Best Of Billy Gunn. The moment? Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo’s marriage. You have GOT to be kidding me… Gunn says that one moment got him onto the front page of every newspaper in America, and more publicity than he’s ever had, so I guess he’s got a point. He then reels off his accomplishments, and states at the Royal Rumble he’s going to add to the list… Billy Gunn returns in 3 days.
Our theme song du jour is Puddle Of Mudd “Nothing Left To Lose”.
JIM ROSS and JERRY LAWLER stop by to make noises. They hype the RAW matches, just for fun.
Tazz says those are decent, but here’s some REAL matches… He and Cole run down their end of the card.
KURT ANGLE preps EDDIE GUERRERO for their match in moments. Kurt’s concern is to win the match, but reminds Eddie that his brother lied, and his nephew turned his back on him. Facing facts, Eddie’s family is screwed up. Eddie nearly loses it right there, but Kurt holds him back, and tells him he has to control his Latino Heat rather than let the Latino Heat control him.
EDDIE GUERRERO and KURT ANGLE vs. LOS CHAVO GUERREROS
Eddie’s got his lowrider, while Kurt’s got his “You Suck” chants. Of course, I can’t get the “I Don’t…SUCK!” chants out of my head. Chavo Sr. looks frighteningly similar to Larry Zbyszko. Eddie’s desperate to start, but Kurt won’t let him. Jr. starts for the other team, and takes a fireman’s carry. Kurt applies a headlock on the mat – while I note that Kurt has ceased shaving his chest. Kurt runs Jr. over with a shoulderblock, and Jr. rolls out. Sr. gets the tag, and THIS should be interesting. Eddie begs for a tag, but Kurt is still holding off. Kurt puts Sr. in a hammerlock, and hits an armdrag. Jr. rushes the ring, but Kurt throws him around some more. Eddie’s had enough, and charges, so both Chavo’s roll out. Kurt asks him to control himself, and asks him back to the corner. Jr. comes in and demands Eddie, so Kurt tags him in to a HUGE “EDDIE!” chant. Eddie cheapshots Sr., knocking him off the apron, and throws Jr. over the top to the floor. Eddie follows, but the Chavo’s are ready and pound away. Back in, Jr. hits a belly to back suplex, and appears mighty fired up. European uppercut is hit in the corner, and Jr. distracts the ref to allow Sr. to choke out Eddie. Sr. applies a surfboard type move. Eddie nearly gets out, so Jr. hops in and pounds away. Eddie starts a comeback, with some shots, but both the Chavo’s keep hitting European uppercuts, and a massive “CHAVO SUCKS!” chant erupts now. This crowd is sizzling. Sr. applies a chinlock, so Eddie pulls at what hair he has left to make him break the hold. Jr. comes in, and hiptosses Eddie into a press, getting 2. Upon standing, Eddie takes a standing dropkick. Jr. gets cocky however, and walks into a tilt-a-whirl. A tag is made to Kurt, who absolutely cleans house. Each Chavo takes a German suplex, with Jr. getting stuck in an Anklelock. Sr. breaks it up, so Kurt goes for an Olympic Slam, but suddenly his knee goes out. Eddie tags himself in, Kurt looks pissed, but Kurt’s hurt and allows it. The Chavo boys appears to be ganging up on Eddie again however, so Kurt gets in to throw a German at Jr. Meanwhile, Eddie hits his brother with a belly to back, but now Kurt looks SERIOUSLY hurt, rolling around in pain, holding his eyes. Eddie goes over to check, but the blinded by pain Kurt nails him with an Olympic Slam! Kurt rolls outside, holding himself and the ref makes the dreaded “X”, since we all figured it out officially during the Kevin Nash disaster of 2002 – and thus it’s cool to screw with smarks now. (Hint: The new way of announcing a wrestler is Really Hurt For Real is for the referee to start yelling “CABBAGE” at the top of his lungs… Watch for it!) Eddie’s left all alone, and the Chavo boys stomp away. Jr. hits a Froggy Splash on Eddie, and scores the pinfall. (9:02) **1/2 Father and son head to the back, scowling at Eddie every once in awhile while Eddie attempts to contain his rage… And with that, the show fades. G’night!
Generally I enjoyed this column. I would however take issue with one thing as being a bit overly general: - Don’t dominate the conversation with irrelevant comparisons. The Benoit/Booker T best of 7 series in WCW was great.