Date: December 18, 2003
Location: Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
This is the last regular show of the year as next week’s is from Iraq for the first Tribute to the Troops. Since last week’s show was a stand alone episode, odds are that’s going to be the case this week as well as I can’t imagine them setting up much and then just dropping it for a week for the special. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Brock Lesnar destroying Rey Mysterio last week until Hardcore Holly made the save. I might sign up for more beatings from Brock.
Here’s John Cena to get things going. It’s almost Christmas and the real reason for this season is to make love to Mrs. Claus (“She’ll be hanging off the balls from my Christmas tree.”). Funnier than his usual stuff at least.
Big Show vs. Orlando Jordan
Non-title (well duh) with Cena on commentary. Jordan goes straight at him and actually knocks Show into the corner. A dropkick has no effect and the Hog Log (Cena: “The HOG LOG?”) gives Show two. Cole tries to talk in hip hop lingo and Cena just rips him apart until the chokeslam cuts Jordan off for the pin.
Post match Show and Cena have a staredown before their match next week. Of note: a fan holds up a sign saying “The guy behind me can’t see.” I’ve seen that several times before and it’s still one of the worst signs you can make. How pathetic does your life have to be that when you buy an expensive seat to a show, the best thing you can do is make a sign to intentionally ruin someone’s night? Does that make you feel good about yourself? And how annoyed would you be if someone in front of you held up the same sign?
Hardcore Holly arrives and a security guard won’t let him in. Another guard comes up to say that Holly is Paul Heyman’s invited guest and has a private room.
Back from a break with A-Train in the ring and Brock Lesnar coming out, flanked by Heyman and Matt Morgan. Brock talks about beating Mysterio last week and brings up A-Train losing to Shannon Moore. Morgan brings up A-Train losing Team Lesnar money when he lost the match, which Lesnar says was his money. After we see a clip of the loss, Lesnar demands an answer and it better be good. A-Train apologizes for losing the money and embarrassing the team but wants to make things better.
Heyman thinks A-Train could make it up by dealing with Hardcore Holly. See, Holly’s suspension is lifted and tonight it’s an All or Nothing match. If Holly wins, he gets a title shot against Lesnar. If Holly loses, his contract is terminated immediately and he’s gone from WWE altogether. Tonight, it’s a tag team match with A-Train/Morgan vs. Holly/Moore. Lesnar doesn’t seem happy, much like the fans who are getting that as a main event.
Christmas in Iraq video.
Tag Team Titles: Los Guerreros vs. Scotty 2 Hotty/Rikishi vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Basham Brothers
The Bashams are defending and it’s one fall to a finish. Shaniqua is back with the Bashams (having not actually missed any time) but thankfully the masks are gone. Eddie and Rikishi start with the big man launching Eddie over in a backdrop. Chavo comes in and both Guerreros are suplexed at the same time. They escape a double Stinkface though and it’s off to Haas, who tries to slam Rikishi due to reasons of low intelligence.
Scotty comes in for some elbow drops but Haas brings in Shelton to take over. A very fast exploder suplex puts Scotty down but Danny and Eddie tag themselves in with a hurricanrana putting Danny down in a hurry. Both Bashams wind up in the corner for the double Stinkface with everyone else cheering. Thankfully we don’t get any jokes about them liking it as we take a break.
Back with Scotty tagging himself in and hitting the Worm for two on Danny. The save allows the Bashams to take over on Scotty as the announcers talk about going to Iraq. A sleeper is broken up without too much effort and the hot tag brings in Rikishi…for all of three seconds until Chavo’s blind tag (another one) lets him come in with a missile dropkick. Eddie hits Three Amigos and Danny takes the jump over Charlie to land on his back.
Chavo takes Danny up for a superplex but Doug comes in with a frog splash (a very telegraphed one too) to retain, even though Eddie hit them for the save before the three count. You could see Nick Patrick looking all over the place as he counted (like he was looking for someone to make a save) and Cole sounded a little confused too so something didn’t seem right there.
Rating: D+. Such is the problem with these matches containing so many people. With all the blind tags and quick sequences where you have to get people in and out to make sure everyone gets some time, you can’t get anything going. Also, yay the Bashams retain in a match where you don’t even have to have them lose the fall to get the titles off of them. There’s no coming back from such a stupid and terrible gimmick and having them hold the titles even longer isn’t making them any more over than they were before.
Heyman has put everyone’s name into a tumbler (save for Chris Benoit of course) and tonight, Lesnar is going to pull one out to give someone a title shot.
Lamont introduces The Cat for the weekly dancing session. Cole: “Somebody call my papa!” Cue Sable before he can get anywhere for some ranting and raving about him kissing her last week. Cat says he did (well yeah) but she didn’t look too hot last week. All he was trying to do was give her some hot Cat sugar to warm her up. He goes to kiss her again but here’s Vince to interrupt. Lamont holds the ropes open so Vince knocks him off as I cringe at where this may go.
Cat says he’s the greatest, Vince says he’s the greatest, Cat says he’s the greatest, Vince dances, Cat dances and Vince kicks Cat low. Vince: “SOMEBODY BETTER CALL THE CAT’S MAMA!” So Vince and the Cat are having a dance off on a show where Hardcore Holly is in the main event for a chance to become #1 contender. Oh and the Tag Team Champions are sex slaves to the most boring dominatrix of all time. Kind of a drop from the Smackdown Six days.
Rey Mysterio vs. Jamie Noble
For the #1 contendership. They hit the mat to start before running the ropes, including a monkey flip to put Noble down. Rey tries it again but Noble sticks the landing, setting up stereo dropkicks for a standoff. Rey’s headscissors out of the corner is countered into a faceplant and we hit a camel clutch. Back up and Noble’s charge hits post so Rey gets in a moonsault press for two.
In a counter that you would think someone else would have used before, Noble pulls the ropes apart and Rey crashes to the floor on a 619 attempt. That’s not enough for Jamie though as he throws Nidia inside and dropkicks her into the referee and Rey. Not that it matters as the tiger driver is countered into a hurricanrana to give Rey the pin. So Noble isn’t just a cheater, but also stupid. Such is life as a heel.
Rating: C-. The ending brings it down, much like Noble’s face run being aborted pretty quickly. I was digging his time for the forces of good but instead of making a new name out of a talented guy, let’s go with a story about Nidia instead. You know, the chick from Tough Enough so they might be able to get another season of the show.
Jamie tells Nidia that it was Mysterio.
Holly isn’t happy but he’ll do what he has to do tonight. He’s going to break Brock’s neck and take his title. No Bob, you’re not.
Chris Benoit vs. Chuck Palumbo
Benoit clears the ring of Nunzio and Stamboli but Palumbo gets in a cheap shot. The referee ejects the other two to get things even, albeit with Palumbo in full control to start. The big right hands connect and it’s time to talk about Iraq again. A cravate and belly to back suplex give Palumbo two but Benoit snaps him down by the arm. Back up and Palumbo goes shoulder first into the post (second match in a row) to set up the Crossface. Palumbo makes the rope so Benoit grabs a dragon screw legwhip. Some German suplexes into the Swan Dive get two so it’s the Crossface to make Palumbo tap.
Rating: C. This was completely fine as Benoit survives an early disadvantage to win. It’s good that they have something planned for him with this “he can’t have a title shot” thing as it makes Benoit seem like a threat to Lesnar. That’s what they need to build up, especially with Holly being the current challenger. Have I mentioned how stupid that really is? I wouldn’t want the message to be lost.
Rey comes in to see Nidia and explains (in Spanish for no apparent reason) that it was Jamie who dropkicked her. Nidia doesn’t believe him.
Rhyno vs. Faarooq
Rhyno wanted Bradshaw but gets Faarooq instead as Bradshaw is already in Iraq. Faarooq catches him from trying to run and hits a forearm to the back. A quick trip to the floor goes badly for Faarooq and it’s Rhyno stomping away back inside. The spinebuster gives Faarooq two so Rhyno hits him low for the fast DQ.
Rhyno Gores him down post match.
Heyman hypes up the possible matches for Lesnar, making it very clear that it’s going to be a joke.
In the ring, Heyman brings out Lesnar for the drawing. An annoyed Lesnar pulls out a name and we have a match.
Smackdown World Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Shannon Moore
Brock is defending. Shannon gets in a few shots to the knee and hits a dropkick to the jaw. That’s enough though as a series of clotheslines sets up the Brock Lock to retain the title in less than two minutes.
Post match Lesnar brags about being the best champion ever. He could have defended against anyone and pulls some more balls out of the tumbler. They all say Moore.
Hardcore Holly/Shannon Moore vs. A-Train/Matt Morgan
Yes your final three matches include Faarooq, Moore and Holly. Lesnar is at ringside and Lesnar is flanked by security. With Holly yelling at Lesnar, A-Train and Morgan run in to jump the still beaten down Moore. Morgan does the boot choke in the corner and A-Train hits a bunch of backbreakers.
A bearhug goes on with Morgan shaking Moore around and the Train Wreck draws Holly in for a save. An enziguri is enough for the hot tag so Holly can clean house until Lesnar chairs him in the back. Cole rants about how Holly has everything on the line before saying he has nothing to lose. A sitout powerbomb gives Morgan two but A-Train runs into Matt by mistake. The Alabama Slam gives Holly the pin.
Rating: D. Shannon’s selling was good (as always) but egads I’m not going to care about Holly. Who is buying that Lesnar is scared of the guy who spent years as a race car driver and then as part of a wacky family while trading the Hardcore Title with Road Dogg? I can’t imagine even a small portion of the audience is buying Holly as a real threat to Lesnar and it’s killing the story they’re going for. Holly’s team winning was very clear and at least they kept it short.
Overall Rating: D-. Oh my goodness Christmas has come early. By that I mean Christmas vacation as there wasn’t a lot of interest put into this show with a bunch of matches being too short to rate and Holly and Moore getting a ton of TV time. How am I supposed to get into much going on right now as we’re still waiting on Benoit to get his big time chance? I know it’s coming but they’re not making it easy to get there. Now to be fair a lot of that is just due to the holiday season, but egads find something better to bridge the gap.
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