Smackdown – March 31, 2005

Date: March 31, 2019
Location: Reliant Arena, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 5,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

It’s the very last show before Wrestlemania and that can’t come soon enough. This week’s Raw was a great example of what happens when the show is set in stone and there is nothing worth doing to get us to the pay per view. Hopefully that isn’t the case this time around but I don’t have the highest hopes. Let’s get to it.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Danny Basham

There’s no Rey Mysterio, which seems to be at Eddie’s request. Danny starts in on the arm as Jerry (replacing Tazz who is having family issues) gets in the LATINO HEEEAT line. Eddie spins up so Danny poses at him, earning a poke to the eye. You don’t need an eye for a powerslam though as Danny is already showing more fire than Muhammad Hassan did in his match with Shawn on Monday.

Basham misses a splash in the corner and gets dropkicked as the comeback is on. Right hands in the corner draw Doug up for a failed save attempt, meaning it’s time for Three Amigos. Now Doug’s cheap shots can work though, drawing out Rey for the save. Rey kicks Eddie by mistake though, knocking him into a rollup to give Doug the big upset pin.

Rating: C. There was some fire in the match but what mattered here was the story advancement, which was better than I would have guessed. Eddie and Rey’s issues have been slowly simmering over the last few weeks with Chavo starting to get inside Eddie’s head, which can make for quite the match on Sunday. Who knew that Danny, another of the OVW stars who was great on his own, could hang here? It’s almost like it should have been obvious while he and Doug were wasting time trying to get Shaniqua over.

We look at last week’s JBL vs. John Cena debate.

JBL yells at Theodore Long for letting it get out of control last week. It better not happen tonight or the Wrestlemania main event is off.

Cruiserweight Title: Battle Royal

Spike Dudley, Akio, Scotty 2 Hotty, Nunzio, Funaki, Billy Kidman, Paul London, Chavo Guerrero

Chavo is defending…and everyone goes after him to start for the elimination in about ten seconds. The fans are behind Scotty as everyone brawls with Funaki being eliminated second. Kidman tosses Nunzio to get us down to five but Spike breaks up the Worm on Akio. That’s fine with Scotty, who hits the Worm on Spike instead and superkicks him out.

We’re down to Kidman, Scotty, London and Akio as London stomps on Akio’s back. Scotty gets sent to the apron and a middle rope kick from Akio is good for the elimination. Kidman gets all aggressive and pounds on London but can’t get rid of him. London gets in a dropkick to both of them and Kidman accidentally backdrops Akio to the apron. A dropkick gets rid of Akio and London headscissors Kidman out for the title.

Rating: D+. London is as good of a choice as any here as the fans react to him and it’s not like the title has any real value at the moment. I can appreciate them getting a spot like this, though I can imagine it isn’t living up to a Wrestlemania payday. Hopefully they got thrown onto the DVD as an extra for the sake of an extra payout or something.

Akebono arrives.

Dirty Harry Wrestlemania trailer.

Carlito comes in to see Theodore Long and has an idea: he can get back in the ring tonight but Long says no. He isn’t medically cleared, so Long has a better idea. Some Carlito protests get him back in the ring….against John Cena.

Eddie comes up to Rey, who tries to apologize but Eddie knows it was an accident. Eddie is just frustrated, so Rey agrees to wrestle Doug Basham tonight, even though he’s not scheduled. Just to make Wrestlemania fair you see.

Booker T. vs. Luther Reigns

In the back, Sharmell gives Booker a pep talk about how he needs this win. Reigns powers him into the corner to start and then hits Booker in the face a few times. Booker’s hook kick to the face drops him but a missed side kick crotches him on the ropes. The side slam sets up the chinlock but Booker’s comeback doesn’t take long. A superkick sets up the Spinarooni into the scissors kick for the pin.

Rating: D. Booker goes from a Heidenreich feud to facing Reigns? What did he do to deserve something like this? With everything else that he can do, you put him against those numskulls? The match was every Reigns match, as he can’t do anything in the ring other than generic power stuff. Booker deserves better.

Long finds Bob Orton in his office. Bob is worried about what Randy is going to be doing and wants to talk to the Undertaker about it. Long is cool with it out of respect for Orton.

Classic Steve Austin Moment: the zamboni.

Here’s Bob Orton for a chat. He’s honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and he’s honored to have a World Champion son, but Randy is taking it too far. Bob calls Undertaker out and after the full entrance, Bob talks about how he has no problem with Undertaker. Randy has taken it too far though and Bob nearly begs Undertaker to not kill him. Undertaker says Randy’s fate is sealed and he will rest in peace at Wrestlemania. Cue Randy for a quick RKO so he and his dad can leave. It’s not a sign if they need to bring in Randy’s dad to make this work. It was going fine enough with just the two of them.

Doug Basham vs. Rey Mysterio

Eddie and Danny are both at ringside and a Danny distraction lets Doug get in a cheap shot from behind. A ribs first drop across the top rope sets up the abdominal stretch but Rey gets out in a hurry. The standing Lionsault gives Rey two and the 619 connects but Danny’s distraction draws in Eddie, who accidentally crotches Rey. Doug steals the pin to even things up between Rey and Eddie.

Post match Rey accepts that it was just an accident.

Braveheart Wrestlemania trailer.

Kurt Angle doesn’t like being told that he failed on Raw. He beats up Josh Matthews and carries him to the ring due to a bad case of being Josh Matthews. Angle beats him around the arena, including on the stage and at ringside. Josh actually gets in a right hand so it’s the ankle lock with a grapevine. After letting go, Angle says he’ll do the same to Shawn on Sunday and sets up a video package about his career. The highlight reels alone from these two have been worth everything else.

Classic Hulk Hogan Moment: the Saturday Night’s Main Event match against Paul Orndorff.

Cole is in the ring for the weigh-in between Big Show and Akebono. They both come out and Cole explains sumo wrestling. Show weighs 493 and Akebono (barefoot) weighs 504, which surprises Show, who last week said he expected Akebono to weigh more. He says this is the first time in his life that someone has weighed more than him, meaning he has forgotten the match with Loch Ness (which wasn’t all that bad). Show talks about how big of a deal Akebono is in sumo but this is the WWE. Akebono is looking forward to their match on Sunday and wants a match right now.

Akebono vs. ???

Thrust to the chest and a squatting cover is good for the pin. For Akebono that is.

Wrestlemania rundown.

John Cena vs. Carlito

Carlito hides in the ropes to start, which is probably the best thing he can do. The chase goes badly for Carlito as well so he pokes Cena in the eye for what is likely the peak of his offense. Cena explodes with the clothesline and sends Carlito head first into the buckle over and over. The FU is loaded up but here are JBL and the police to arrest Cena as the match is thrown out.

Cena is arrested for destroying JBL’s limo and the trash talk is on as the cops take Cena away. JBL does put a hand on Cena so Cena can get a shoulder to the ribs. That earns him a low blow and a You Can’t See Me from JBL to end the show. JBL had to get in a little something on Cena before Wrestlemania.

Overall Rating: D+. The Rey/Eddie stuff was good but other than that, they were out of ideas for Wrestlemania a few weeks ago so it’s quite the relief to finally get to the show. The stuff that has nothing to do with Sunday plus the sumo wrestling thing made me want to fast forward instead of see Wrestlemania. They did a good job with one match though and Eddie vs. Rey needed the help. The last few weeks have not been kind to Wrestlemania, but Sunday is all that matters so it might be all right in the end.

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