Date: February 24, 2005
Location: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
We’re finally done with No Way Out and that means we’re officially on the Road to Wrestlemania. After this week’s Raw, we now have an official main event with John Cena winning the #1 contenders tournament, earning a Smackdown World Title shot against JBL. I wonder what they’ll talk about. Let’s get to it.
This show is sponsored by Friends Of JBL, meaning we’re starting with a look at him surviving No Way Out’s main event against Big Show.
We look at Batista signing to face HHH, leaving Cena to challenge JBL.
Tag Team Titles: Eddie Guerrero/Rey Mysterio vs. Basham Brothers
The Bashams are challenging in a rematch from No Way Out. The fans are behind Eddie to start as he shoulders Danny into the corner early on. Some kicks to the arm allow a tag to Rey, who snaps off a headscissors for two. It’s already back to Eddie but the Bashams get him into the corner, setting up a super spinebuster (cool, though not as cool as it sounds) to send us to an early break.
Back with Eddie grabbing a swinging neckbreaker for a breather but Rey is down on the floor. Danny hits his own swinging neckbreaker for two as we see Doug sending Rey into the steps during the break. I can appreciate the bonus details like that. Eddie gets over for the corner for a tag but there’s still no Rey to keep the theme going. Danny cranks on Eddie’s arms before a quick powerslam gets two. A half crab lets Doug do something in the match but he lets go to take care of Rey again.
Eddie fights out of the corner and walks over for the tag to Rey, which wasn’t as awesome as it should have been. Everything breaks down and the champs hammer away in the corner. Rey’s springboard moonsault press gets two but Doug is right back with an Angel’s Wings for two. Eddie is right back in but the 619 hits him in the ribs by mistake. A belly to back suplex into a top rope headbutt gets two with Eddie diving back in for the save. The 619 into the frog splash into Dropping the Dime retains the titles.
Rating: C. This is a much better use of the Bashams as they’re fine for a midcard heel team who wins on occasion. Rey and Eddie’s tension continues, which you can all but guarantee for a match at Wrestlemania. They can have some better than usual tag matches on the way there though and that’s a nice way to go for a few weeks.
Stills of Cena vs. Angle.
The women are in their locker room when Orlando Jordan, in a tuxedo, comes in (after being invited like a gentleman should). They are all invited to JBL’s celebration tonight and it’s black tie. Good thing they have wrestling gear (or whatever you call what they’re wearing here) and formal wear packed on the same night.
Here’s Kurt Angle for his invitational. He’s not in the mood to play around tonight so let’s get this going fast.
Kurt Angle vs. Matt Martel
Martel is better known as Matt Striker. Hang on though as Martel won’t let Angle finish talking. He wants to know how it felt to lose to Cena. Angle punches him in the face and gets two off a German suplex, which he pulls up at two. Another suplex sets up something like an STF (which Tazz calls a freestyle bow and arrow) into the Angle Slam. Angle pulls him up again so it’s the grapevined ankle lock for the easy win.
Post match Tazz asks Angle about Shawn Michaels challenging him to Wrestlemania. Angle leaves without saying anything.
JBL has a lot of friends arriving for later.
Heidenreich is writing a poem and ignores a question about Booker T. to read it. The poem is about getting disqualified against Booker because Heidenreich is crazy.
Stills of the barbed wire cage match. We also see some new footage of JBL crawling out from under the ring as Big Show posed on the steps. Then Batista and Cena showed up to clean house.
It’s time for the celebration, featuring a bunch of food on tables in the aisle and well dressed people.
JBL is so banged up that he can’t wear his cowboy hat. He isn’t postponing the celebration either because he has earned this moment. It’s his entrance into the Hall of Fame.
The Bashams and Jordan are in the ring as everyone else is drinking champagne. Jordan introduces JBL, who takes his sweet time getting to the ring, with his music even starting over. Jordan gives another introduction and unveils a portrait of JBL as champion. JBL finally gets to talk and says he loves everyone, which is appropriate in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia needs him because none of their sports teams are champion, but they can live through him.
This Sunday, he made the impossible look routine when he beat Big Show. JBL cannot lose and that is why Batista didn’t come to Smackdown. He likes the best things in life and is the kind of champion these people can never be like. In the 242 days he has been champion, he has proven his greatness, which he will do again at Wrestlemania.
JBL says it’s time to start the party (before the ice sculptures of his cowboy hat melts) but here’s Big Show to break a lot of stuff. Uh, you lost clean on Sunday dude. Stop being so uppity. The numbers get the better of Show, who gets tied in the ropes. Cue Cena for the save and I think we have a tag match for later. Naturally the portrait is broken over JBL’s head and we cut to a crowd shot for something. Indeed, here is Long to make the tag match. This went a good while and the setup took longer than it needed to, but Cena’s reaction was very strong.
Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero vs. Funaki
Chavo is defending and kicks away at Funaki to start. Some stomping has Funaki in trouble but he’s back up with some right hands. Chavo goes face first into the buckle but the tornado DDT is broken up. What looks to be an Alabama Slam out of the corner sees Chavo driven back first into the buckle, only to have him get to his feet (with some help from a rope) for the Gory Bomb to retain.
Rating: D+. Another match without enough time to do much but giving Chavo the pin over the former champion is a good idea. He won the title in a gauntlet match and didn’t pin Funaki, so it makes his reign look more legitimized here. It wasn’t anything worth seeing but at least it went the right way.
Post match Paul London runs in and chases Chavo off.
Undertaker vs. Mark Jindrak/Luther Reigns
Good grief how long does Undertaker have to spend beating these two up? Reigns drops to the floor so Undertaker can beat up Jindrak without any problem. Undertaker beats Reigns down and triangle chokes Jindrak for the easy win.
Post match Reigns yells at Jindrak and lays him out until referees break it up.
Here’s Theodore Long to find out the fate of his job. He’s proud of what he has done as GM but here’s Carlito to say he’s looking forward to Long being fired. Long brings in Linda McMahon to bring up the energy….and we’re robbed of the old Wrestlemania theme song because she’s just on the screen. Long gets to keep his job, and even steals Carlito’s apple. Next week, it’s payback time for Carlito. I’m guessing he’s healthy again because the angle ended in a hurry.
Big Show/John Cena vs. Orlando Jordan/John Bradshaw Layfield
Show has a taped up head and JBL has tape on his ribs and left arm. For some reason, Tony Chimel nearly laughs as he reads Big Show’s weight. Joined in progress with Show chopping and throwing Jordan around. He wants JBL and even reaches Jordan’s hand over for the tag which doesn’t come. Instead it’s off to Cena for the first time and the beating continues, with JBL running from Cena.
JBL does trip him from the floor though and then sends Cena hard into the steps, only to be stalked by Show. Now JBL is tilling to come in (how heelish of him) but a single punch to the bad ribs means it’s back to Jordan. A clothesline gives Jordan two and JBL makes sure to choke with the tag rope in the corner. Cena is in trouble so Show comes in to wreck some people, including a big shoulder to Jordan. The FU plants Jordan again but Cena doesn’t cover. Cena: “THIS IS WHAT WE DO!”. The Shuffle of all things gets the pin for a change.
Rating: D+. Just a short form house show main event here, with Cena and Show destroying Jordan in the end, which is how something like this should have gone. There was something rather satisfying about seeing Jordan get run over by Show and JBL laying there while Cena wrecked Jordan was rather appropriate. In other words, I like seeing Jordan get beaten up.
Overall Rating: D. This wasn’t the strongest show but all that matters is Cena vs. JBL and that got a bit of advancement in the end. They have a few weeks to really hammer that match in, though the ending to the title match is about as obvious as you can get. There is still time to set some stories up, though Reigns and Jindrak splitting isn’t going to do it. Not the worst show, but it was all about one story and they spent a lot of unnecessary time talking to get there.
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