Smackdown – April 7, 2005

Smackdown
Date: April 7, 2005
Location: iPayOne Center, San Diego, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the first show after Wrestlemania and that means things are going to be resetting just a bit. John Cena won the Smackdown World Title and that means things should feel a little more energized around here. I’m not sure what to expect, but hopefully it’s a better structured show than Raw. Let’s get to it.

This one is rated TV-MA, which should make it a bit more interesting.

Here’s JBL to get things going, because we’re doing the same thing Raw did. Cole says that JBL’s title reign lasted 244 days, which isn’t really close to the 280 that it actually was. That’s quite the error but we’ll move on to JBL ranting about how awesome he is/was while John Cena left the arena in handcuffs last week. Cena is not in his league and maybe JBL should just go back to his great life in New York City. He isn’t riding into the sunset though because he wants his rematch.

JBL quotes the Jack Nicholson court room speech from A Few Good Men but here’s Eddie Guerrero to cut him off. Eddie didn’t like hearing JBL say the people need him as champion because they only thing they need is for him to shut up. If JBL wants the title back, he’ll have to go through Eddie because he deserves it. Cue Booker T. to say they can go to the back of the line but it’s Big Show cutting them all off. The fans chant for Eddie as Big Show threatens to shove JBL’s hat somewhere.

Now it’s Rey Mysterio joining the fray and Eddie isn’t looking happy. JBL to Rey: “Try it in English.” Rey says he should get the shot because we’re in the 619 but here’s Kurt Angle to say Eddie, Big Show and JBL all lost at Wrestlemania. Booker wasn’t even on Wrestlemania! As for Rey, you can’t challenge for the title without being an adult. Angle was very busy on Sunday because he got arrested for armed robbery. He stole the show and everyone saw it and the police had to do something.

JBL tells everyone to get out of the ring but here’s Theodore Long to say JBL doesn’t have a rematch clause in his Wrestlemania contract. They all have a case and they’ll have a chance to prove it in a series of matches to determine the new #1 contender, though the word tournament isn’t mentioned. We’ll start with JBL vs. Mysterio. I’m not sure if you can call it a tournament, but that’s the same thing we just got to set up Wrestlemania.

There is a bikini contest tonight, which I really hope isn’t what makes this TV-MA.

Cruiserweight Title: Paul London vs. Billy Kidman

London is defending and Chavo Guerrero is on commentary, talking about the twenty five men who eliminated him from the battle royal last week. On a related note: I love the way Charles Robinson flips the belt up to hold it over his head. It’s a nice touch. London grabs an early armdrag but gets thrown into the corner for his efforts. A heck of an Irish whip into the corner has London in more trouble and some knees to the face make it even worse. London tries to fight up but gets sent hard into the buckle and down to the floor in a crash that looked pretty bad.

Back in and London is busted open with the blood gushing as London starts his comeback. A hurricanrana gives London two but Kidman’s dropkick is good for the same. We pause so Robinson can ask if London wants to continue and the distraction lets Kidman hit the BK Bomb. Kidman grabs a fireman’s carry but London rolls through into a small package for the pin.

Rating: C. The blood was quite the addition (as well as the TV-MA explanation) and it felt

like the match ended in a hurry as a result. London is an easy guy to like and putting him against Chavo should give us some good matches. It’s better than having the cruiserweights barely ever show up and there is never a problem with some faster paced matches.

Post match Kidman and Chavo beat London down.

Long Wrestlemania recap.

Luther Reigns mocks Big Show’s sumo gear and some humor challenged wrestlers find this HILARIOUS. Show pops up and says let’s do this right now.

Big Show vs. Luther Reigns

Show chops him to the floor to start so Reigns tries to power him into the corner. That earns him some sumo strikes back across the ring and Show knocks him outside again. A big boot and corner splash set up the chokeslam to finish Reigns. That would be Reigns’ last match on Smackdown and he’s little more than a small footnote in wrestling history. He had a great look but couldn’t do anything in the ring or anything significant on the mic, so he went nowhere.

Here’s John Cena for his first comments as champ and the fans seem happy to see him. Cena talks about JBL being the longest reigning champion in a decade and all the things that he accomplished with the title. After all that though, the champ is here. He’s been told that he isn’t a superstar and doesn’t respect the business or its championships. Apparently traditionalists got offended when he modified the US Title, so take a look at the coveted WWE Title.

Cena goes outside and climbs into the crowd, saying that it doesn’t matter who it is coming at him: Booker T., Eddie Guerrero, JBL, the Brooklyn Brawler, Iron Mike Sharp or Steve Gatorwolf. You want some, come get some. The celebration is on in the crowd and it does feel like a big deal and a new era.

Post break and the celebration is still on.

Here’s Kurt Angle for the Gold Medal Invitational. Before we get to that though, he talks about Cena’s days being numbered because next week he’s facing Eddie Guerrero in the #1 contender series.

Kurt Angle vs. Jose Quesada

Angle asks if Jose’s family is here and jumps him as he goes to point. German suplex, Angle Slam and ankle lock finish Jose at 36 seconds.

Post match Angle puts on the ankle lock again and makes Jose scream as a preview for Eddie.

Carlito didn’t like Piper’s Pit so next week it’s Carlito’s Cabana. Anyone cool is invited, and the interviewer thinks he might qualify. The apple is loaded up so he backs off immediately.

Rey Mysterio is ready when Eddie comes in to give him a pep talk. Mysterio isn’t wild on the idea of Eddie being out there with him after what happened last week. Besides, he can beat anyone on any given night, just like he did to Eddie on Sunday. Eddie doesn’t look happy.

Michael Cole is in the ring to host a bikini contest to plug the Viva Las Divas magazine and DVD. We have Miss Jackie, Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson but Michelle McCool, Joy Giovanni and Lauren Jones interrupt. They should be included too so they disrobe as well and, of course, Torrie wins because she always does. This was a way to fill in time with good looking women so it worked on that front.

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Rey Mysterio

Orlando Jordan is here with JBL and we finally get the rules of the series: there are three singles matches and the winners go to a triple threat match in the UK for the title shot at a date to be announced. Better than a standard tournament. Rey moves around to start and bails to the floor, eventually suckering JBL in for a dropkick.

That’s shrugged off though and JBL forearms him in the back as the fans stay behind Rey. A shot to the face knocks Mysterio down again but he’s fine enough to snap JBL’s throat across the top. Rey’s hurricanrana puts JBL on the floor and a baseball slide puts Jordan on the floor. Back from a break with Rey holding a sleeper until JBL flips him forward for the counter. JBL starts working on the ribs and back with a suplex getting two.

A straight right hand puts Rey down again and a super fall away slam is good for two more. JBL kicks him in the face for daring to try a comeback and the expected bearhug goes on. Rey bites at the face to escape so JBL plants him with a spinebuster for two instead. The belly to back superplex is countered though and Rey hits a top rope moonsault press for his own near fall.

That means the pace can pick up, including a DDT to plant JBL. Jordan breaks up the 619 though, which draws out Eddie to deal with him. Eddie hammers away on Jordan so JBL kicks him in the back for the save. Now the 619 hits JBL, with the announcers declaring that he is gonna do it. The West Coast Pop looks to finish but Eddie comes in for the DQ.

Rating: C+. This was getting good by the end and then they went to the logical ending. It’s fine to have Mysterio lose here because of Eddie as their issues can continue while also getting us closer to the logical JBL rematch. JBL knows how to put on a power display like this though and the match was entertaining as a result.

Post match the Bashams run in to go after Eddie and Rey but Cena makes the save. JBL points at him to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. I liked this one better than Raw, even though Raw had better wrestling throughout the night. This show felt like it had more filler but it also felt like it was a show that kept things rolling rather than taking most of the night off. We have a series of challengers for the title (though the end result isn’t much of a secret) and actual comments from the new champ rather than seeing him getting beaten up for a few minutes in a lame match. It wasn’t a great show but it made me want to see where some things were going and that’s what you want from a show like this.

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