With a 52-hour week on the horizon, I figured the odds of getting Smackdown! actually done were NIL unless I tackled it immediately and continued to leave WM XX on the backburner temporarily. So here we are!
This show may contain Attitude – Entertainment – WW!
TONY CHIMEL immediately welcomes the new United States Champion JOHN CENA cold, which prompts the hometown pop because we are in Boston, Massachusetts! MICHAEL COLE and TAZZ provide the announcing as usual.
“Yo yo yo yo yo yo YO! Damn yall alive tonight! This is my home, this is where I’m from. Yall are my peoples. Hell, I used to buy tickets to the old Boston Garden. I could only afford the cheap ones where I was sitting right behind the pole, but that’s real and we gotta kick this off real! Now is Beantown here to represent? So let me hear the WHOLE building make some noise! (30 seconds of crowd noise follows.)
You see uh, Wrestlemania, Big Show didn’t think I was a fighter I put him on an FU diet, he came out 10 pounds lighter The Smackdown! video game’s the only way he can play me I bring championships home like my name was Tom Brady But there’s some people out there that think I disgrace this title’s heritage That’s because your boy’s causing more controversy than gay marriages Cole, Cole, no offense bro, we’re still cool right? Aight bro, aight Plus, the FCC is cracking down on me too Man those people suck, just like the Yankees do But I’m still throwing the W up, changing the whole industry I’m like the big Dick(?) bro, nobody can finish me”
PAUL HEYMAN enters with an announcement. He addresses the Lesnar rumors – and states that he’s no longer a part of Paul Heyman’s Smackdown! In fact, Lesnar’s left the WWE completely. For Cena, that could be good news – because there’s a world of opportunity for any superstar that wants to grab it. This could mean that Cena’s the new face of Smackdown! (The fans like THAT!) However, with the upcoming draft on RAW, there’s no telling who’s going to wind up on Smackdown! Heyman turns his attention to the fact that Cena’s an ungrateful star, and like all the other ungrateful stars of Smackdown!, he better pray he moves to RAW – because otherwise his life is going to be made a living hell. Because of the Smackdown! locker room, Heyman got Stunned by Austin, and he’s just a mite pissed off about it. Therefore, he wants EVERYONE gone from his room, especially Cena, whom he slaps. A second attempt to slap Cena is blocked, and Cena delivers a right! RHYNO hits the ring to save the boss, and we’re off…
RHYNO vs. JOHN CENA (for the WWE United States title)
The two slug it out – and Rhyno hits a spinebuster for an early 2. More pounding and screaming from the Manbeast ensues. A headbutt drops Cena, but he manages to fire back with some elbows to the ribs. Charging Rhyno in the corner, he gets nailed with a back elbow, and Rhyno stomps away. Cena comes back with an elbow of his own, and 2 clotheslines. Spinning sidewalk slam connects – and Cena pumps it up! 5 Knuckle Shuffle, FU, we have a squash! (2:17) 1/2* Well, that got ‘em fired up in a damn hurry.
EDGE IS COMING! EDGE IS COMING! CALL 9-1-1 BECAUSE EDGE IS COMING!
Backstage, PAUL HEYMAN whines about what happened, and walks right past THE ACOLYTES who are yukking it up at Heyman’s expense. Heyman reminds them he’s not a wrestler, but a business man – and brings up the fact that they’re about to get a tag-team title shot. However, if they don’t win, they’re fired. Christ almighty, here’s hoping the champs retain!!!!
SCOTTY 2 HOTTY and RIKISHI vs. THE ACOLYTES (for the WWE tag-team titles)
Faarooq tries on one of the belts, possibly for the very last time… Scotty and Bradshaw start. Scotty wisely tags out after Bradshaw challenges him to a shower room brawl. Bradshaw shoves him, but tries a big boot that’s blocked and takes a couple of headbutts. Rikishi chops away, and tags in Scotty. Scotty hammers Bradshaw, and kicks him in the head upon charging. Bradshaw comes back with the Last Call fallaway slam for 2. Faarooq tags in and pounds on Scotty. A shoulder breaker is hit – getting 2 for Faarooq. Scotty attempts to crawl to his corner, but he’s stopped, and Bradshaw enters to hit a double team shoulderblock and get 2. Bradshaw pulls out the Torture Rack(!!!) and holds it for about 40 seconds. Faarooq enters, clotheslines Scotty, and gets 2. Faarooq slaps on a rear chinlock, and drops his weight down across the back of Scotty several times. Scotty turns himself over on the third attempt and knees Faarooq in the groin – so Bradshaw re-enters. He puts Scotty up top, which proves to be less than brilliant, because Scotty manages a tornado DDT – and tags out to Rikishi! Clothesline to Bradshaw, clothesline to Faarooq, DDT to Bradshaw, and Scotty sets up the Worm on Bradshaw…with Faarooq standing there the whole time, and winds up getting decked. They step aside to allow Bradshaw to miss a Clothesline From Hell and walk right into a superkick for 3. Champs retain, Acolytes are fired! (6:18) *1/4 Faarooq gets a little misty as we head to commercial.
Upon return, the duo are storming through the backstage area. Bradshaw promises to set things straight. He gets into Heyman’s face, and demands he says the words “YOU’RE FIRED!” Heyman says that apparently nobody listens to him around here anymore. He never said the APA would be fired…he said “you’re fired” directing the comment at Faarooq. Heyman says he thinks very highly of Bradshaw – a financial analyst with his own book published, and a slot on FOX news. “How much longer were you willing to carry around this piece of excess baggage?” Heyman walks out. Faarooq: “Hey man, we don’t need this garbage, let’s get out of here bro.” Only Bradshaw doesn’t leave… “Oh. Hey hold on man, don’t tell me… After all these years. Well I’ll be damned. All these years.” Bradshaw cries while the fans boo him out of the building.
LET US TAKE YOU BACK TO RAW: Vince McMahon promises it will all begin again, and we’ll redraft the rosters this coming week.
DAWN MARIE calls THE WORLD’S GREATEST TAG-TEAM, BILLY GUNN, and REY MYSTERIO JR. into a room – and PAUL HEYMAN is there to address them. Heyman tells them that the Smackdown! locker room was united last week…but united against him – so he plans on dividing them. These 4 guys are going to be part of a gauntlet, with the winner of the gauntlet getting a shot against Eddie Guerrero for the belt tonight. That doesn’t really coincide with the fact that Bischoff wasn’t allowed to make World Title matches on Monday…but whatever. Shelton: “There’s no divide and conquer here. I mean, we’re the World’s Greatest Tag-Team.” Of course that’s digging his own grave, and Heyman books the WGTT against each other to open the gauntlet.
Wrestlemania recap package airs.
SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. CHARLIE HAAS (in a gauntlet match)
They shake hands to start – and lock up. Haas hits a snapmare, but Shelton rolls through into a hammerlock on the mat. Cole hopes to pick up people like Triple H, Steve Austin, and the Dudley Boys. Quite frankly, since I’m a RAW kind of guy anyway, you’re welcome to them. We’ll take the WGTT and Rey Jr. in exchange, HAPPILY! Fireman’s carry from Haas and moves to a key lock. Benjamin gets out, and they trade waist locks – with eventually both guys back on the mat and Shelton in a headscissors. Shelton escapes and goes to the hammerlock, but winds up caught in a leg lock. They stand, with Haas holding a hammerlock, and Shelton flips himself over in a snazzy effort to escape, before hiptossing his partner. Shelton offers the sarcastic respect, gently patting his partner on the head – which serves to piss Haas off, so Shelton smartly bails. Once Haas has a chance to calm down, Shelton’s back in but gets taken down and caught in a front face lock. Shelton moves quickly in mid move, and falls on top to get 2. Benjamin pats his partner on the ass – once again driving Haas nuts, so Shelton heads outside to chuckle while Haas controls his emotions. Back in, Haas elbows his partner, and runs him over with a series of clotheslines. Backdrop, belly to back, and that gets 2. Standing dropkick hits the mark, and a German suplex with bridge gets 2. Blind charge, Shelton leaps over it – tries a superkick, but it’s blocked. He keeps going through anyway, with the Dragon Whip which hits – and we have a winner! (6:06) **1/2 Both guys showed a ton of personality in this one, showing they may be ready for singles pushes if they decide to split ‘em on opposite shows. They make up after the match with a handshake and hug.
Backstage, BRADSHAW pleads his case to FAAROOQ, stating he’s got too much going on to let it go “because you said something stupid. Come on Ron!” Faarooq just walks out – and that is likely the last time we see him on WWE programming.
SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. BILLY GUNN (in a gauntlet match)
Benjamin shows fire right away, pounding down Gunn in the corner, and choking him out with the boot. Gunn fires back with punches, but takes an elbow to the face, and clothesline. Gunn rolls out to recover, but Shelton’s on him like Percy Pringle on a buffet, and continues the assault outside. Knee to the midsection, but a whip is reversed – and Shelton goes crashing into the security wall. Gunn breaks the 10 count, and goes back to throw Shelton back into the ring. Snapmare, kneedrop, cover, Gunn gets 2. Boot to the midsection to set up the Fameasser – but Shelton stands and slams him before anything happens, getting 2. Rear chinlock, and rolls him through with a rear naked choke. The referee checks in on Gunn, who’s still hanging in there. Billy manages to elbow his way out, but takes a back elbow to knock him back down – giving Shelton another 2. The fans chant “USA!” for whatever reason. Running Shining Wizard – and a camel clutch is slapped on. Gunn fights to his feet, and hits a jawbreaker. A big boot to the head follows, and a neckbreaker puts the momentum back in Gunn’s corner. He hits a couple of clotheslines and a tilt-a-whirl slam…for 2. Avalanche hits – boot to the midsection, but a Fameasser misses, and Shelton rolls him up instantly, holding the ropes for good measure, and steals the pinfall! (6:03) *3/4 Nothing offensive here – and Shelton’s on a roll!
THE BIG SHOW wanders out to the stage, and Shelton doesn’t look TOO pleased…but remains focused, eyes set firmly on the big man as we head to commercial.
We return, and Show’s got a microphone. He reminds us that he had the United States Title stolen from him at Wrestlemania, as Cena used a set of knuckles to score the victory. “He cheated! He became another Boston street punk. You see, there is some good news out of all of this. I just came from Paul Heyman’s office, and Paul and I had a little talk. He and I had a talk about what happened last week on Smackdown!, we talked, and everything’s cool.” Because they managed to work everything out, Paul put him in the World Title gauntlet – but he’s not next. Like all good things, you’ve got to wait, because he’s last. “And understand this Beantown, I’m walking out of here tonight the new WWE champion.”
Wrestlemania 21 ad – coming March 2005 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles!
SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (in a gauntlet match)
They lock up to start – and Rey tries to do something from a waist lock, but he’s far too small. Rey is whipped to the ropes, but he hangs up, and boots Shelton in the face. Rana hits, but a monkey flip is blocked, and Rey’s put up top. Not a good place to put the perrenial high flyer, and he flies with a super sunset flip for 2. Shelton comes back with an exploder suplex for 2. Belly to back, 2 handed cover, and we get 2. Shelton drops a knee on the face of Rey, and stomps on the shoulder. Rey slowly gets to his feet, and takes a pounding when he does, before getting whipped hard into the opposite turnbuckle. Benjamin pounces with a cross armbreaker, but Rey escapes. Caught again, Rey springs himself off the ropes, and delivers a bulldog for 2. Shelton comes back with a powerslam, getting another 2. Rey blocks an attempted German, misses a moonsault, but hits a rana setting Shelton on the ropes. 6-1-9 connects, Rey drops the dime, and scores the win! (4:58) ** Backstage, THE BIG SHOW looks on, chuckling at the idea of having to face Mysterio to get a title shot.
Recap of the WWE hall of fame inductions.
REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. THE BIG SHOW (in a gauntlet match – winner gets a WWE title shot)
Michael Cole brings back fond memories of Rey being swung like a baseball bat on a stretcher into the ringpost at Backlash 2003. The only bright spot on a TERRIBLE show! Rey immediately bails as the bell rings. Rey tries to drawn Show out of the ring, but Show’s not an idiot – and to avoid getting counted out, Rey has to get back in. Rey dances around the ring, and through Show’s legs. He NEARLY gets caught in one corner, but scurries away. He’s not so lucky the second time, getting tossed across the ring. In the corner, Show delivers a big chop, and then stands on Rey’s ribs. Rey crawls to the apron, Show grabs him, but Rey drops down with a jawbreaker! Springboard dropkick hits Show in the knees – but Show comes back with a big boot and one handed cover for 2. Show jumps on Rey’s ribs. Yeah, you read that right. Show throws Rey with one arm across the ring, and drops a leg for 2! Show drags Rey to the corner, and once again stands on his back before kicking him to the outside. Show poses in the ring, and if this was a video game, he’d be drawing all sorts of energy to hit his finisher! Rey gets back in slowly at the 8 count, and gets slapped right back down again. Show stands on Rey’s neck, and gorilla presses him. JOHN CENA’s music hits – and I don’t blame Show for being pissed. Go the hell away, you had your match and I didn’t see Show bothering YOU! Show walks to the outside, and the referee is issuing his 10 count. Show turns around, and takes a 6-1-9 to the head! The referee runs over to Rey with his back turned to Show, allowing Cena to rush in and level Show with his title belt, and in turn Show falls skull first into the ring post. By the time he turns back, Cena’s back up the ramp, and he can finish counting Big Show out. (5:29) *1/4 Stupid match, and I hate continually having Big Show booked like a buffoon. The good of course is Rey vs. Eddie is next…with a chance to relive some magic from their feud nearly 7 years ago.
REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (for the WWE title)
Eddie offers the hand of respect, and of course Rey takes it. They lock up, and Rey takes Eddie over with a hiptoss. Eddie comes back with a snapmare, and he holds on for 2. Eddie continues to hold the headlock, tries a belly to back, but Rey lands on his feet and snaps off a rana into a pin for 2. Eddie tries a powerbomb, but Rey again slips away, and rolls through with a sunset flip for 2! Eddie hurries back to his feet, after 2 close calls – and winds up taking another rana, this one sending him to the floor. Eddie looks a little spooked, and Rey makes the “I want the belt” motion. Eddie gets in the ring and shoves Rey. Rey in retaliation slaps Eddie – and tries a bulldog. It’s blocked, and Rey is thrown face first into the top rope. A hammerlock is applied, followed by an armbar. Rey slowly works his way to the ropes, and breaks it – but Eddie hits a drop toe hold once Rey comes back, and slaps on a Fujiwara armbar. Eddie with a standing hammerlock, but Rey elevates himself enough to snapmare Eddie, and launches Eddie across the ring. Rey scurries to the apron, and delivers a rana that sends Eddie back to the outside once again. Cole reminds us that unlike the gauntlet – a countout here does not get him the WWE title. Rey hits a MASSIVE moonsault that looks like it actually finishes with a reverse DDT – and we head to commercial break!
We return to find the two fighting on the top rope, and Eddie hitting a top rope superplex! Eddie sneaks in a cover, and gets 2. Replays of the moonsault show the reverse DDT appeared to have taken place, as I suspected. Eddie tosses Rey outside of the ring, and once Rey gets close enough to coming back in, Eddie pulls him in quick. Eddie works over the shoulder, and gets in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker out of NOWHERE…for 2! The hammerlock is once again re-applied, and picks Rey up off his feet with the hold applied! Rey squirms all over the place, but manages to roll forward with a hiptoss, and gets 2! Eddie hits a desperation clothesline, and goes back to the hammerlock again. This time, Eddie bridges back to add further pressure on the hold while Rey screams in pain, but refuses to tap out. Eddie releases the hold, and loses his temper, screaming at the referee to ring the bell. He stomps the hell out of Rey, covers, and it’s another 2. He continues to work over the bad arm of Rey, but Rey uses the good one to get in some punches, and springboards into a DDT! A cover gets 2 – and Rey shows some frustration. Rey follows with a springboard senton splash for 2, and tries to follow with a quebrada, but it’s caught be Eddie, so Rey simply turns and DDTs him again for another 2! Rey tries a rana out of Eddie’s electric chair, but it’s blocked, and Eddie hits the vertical suplexes. On the third one – Rey manages to roll through, and get a 2 count. Eddie, not pleased, hits the third one upon standing, and calls for the Frog Splash! The fans stand as Eddie heads up, but it MISSES! Rey sets Eddie on the ropes, hits the 6-1-9! Rey tries to drop the dime, but Eddie moves out of the way, applies la majistral, and scores the win!!!! (17:47) ***3/4
PAUL HEYMAN immediately comes out to moan about the fact that on his show English is suddenly a second language. He says they can forget about being drafted – and with any luck, they’ll be deported. Heyman says he’s the only person guaranteed to be on Smackdown! next week, and promises to employ his vision and guarantees he will be respected. “There’s not a man that will stand in my way.” BONG!!!!!!!!! The fans explode as the lights go out. A fog emerges on the stage – and emerging from the back is PAUL BEARER with THE UNDERTAKER right behind. Heyman heads into the safety that only a professional wrestling ring can provide while The Undertaker slowly makes his way down. Heyman starts screaming “HELP!!!!!!” at the top of his lungs while Undertaker removes his coat and hat. Eddie and Rey shove Heyman into Taker, and get the hell out of there themselves! TOMBSTONE to Heyman, and Undertaker sticks out his tongue while his eyes roll back in his head. And we’re out!
Steven Emanuel's pick of the best PPV promos can be viewed on this very site. They are:
Wrestlemania 5-7: PPV Promo
Wrestlemania 15: Ragin' Climax Rock/Austin Match Promo
Wrestlemania 14: DX Raided Austin/Micheals Match Promo
Over the Edge 1998: