Smackdown – February 12, 2004

Date: February 12, 2004
Location: Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for No Way Out and that means we’re in for a lot more Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar. That’s a very good thing too as it’s the best thing on this show, which isn’t exactly a high bar to clear at the moment. However, since we’re about a month away from Wrestlemania, there’s a strong chance that we’ll be seeing more on Goldberg vs. Lesnar, which received a lot of attention on Monday. Let’s get to it.

We open with a look at Smackdown General Manager Paul Heyman showing up on Raw to talk about Lesnar and getting speared by Goldberg instead. Please let that be the majority of the time this story gets.

Opening sequence.

Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri

Non-title and Mysterio again has boxer Jorge Paez in his corner. Tajiri charges straight into a boot in the corner and gets headscissored down, setting up the sitout bulldog. Cue Chavo and Chavo though, allowing Tajiri to get in a shot from behind. The camel clutch goes on as the fans chant for Eddie. Rey rolls out without much effort and hits a basement dropkick, which Cole calls unique. A kick to the ribs cuts Mysterio off as Cole wonders if the fans know that No Way Out is in three days. Depends on if he means the live fans or the ones at home. Rey hits a quick 619 into the springboard seated senton for the pin out of nowhere.

Rating: C-. I’m still not sure why we need two people coming out for a distraction in a three minute match but WWE wouldn’t know what they were doing without some kind of shenanigans. Mysterio vs. Chavo could be fun, especially if they’re allowed to wrestle the kind of match that suits them best.

Post match the Chavos attack but Paez makes the save, dances a bit, nips up twice in a row, and knocks Sr. silly with a left hand.

Cole and Tazz rant about Goldberg attacking Heyman on Monday. Must be time to care about the brands again.

Lesnar comes in to see Heyman and recaps the Goldberg ticket/Heyman goes to Smackdown stories. Heyman is very sore but Lesnar gets rather intense and promises to retain the title before beating up Goldberg for fun. Then the people will be chanting WHO’S GOLDBERG. The guy you just beat up perhaps?

Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Danny Basham

The Tag Team Title rematch is on Sunday but it’s a handicap match with Shaniqua joining the Bashams. I’m sure nothing but good will come from this. Scotty starts fast and sends Danny into the corner with more authority than you would expect. A dropkick gets two and takes Danny down with an armbar. Doug’s distraction lets Danny get in a thumb to the eye and it’s cravate time. A belly to back is good for two and we’ll try another cravate. Scotty makes a comeback with clotheslines but charges into an elbow in the corner. A cradle with Doug pushing Danny forward is good for the pin.

Rating: D+. Certainly not the worst match but Rikishi and Scotty aren’t exactly thrilling champions. The problem though is there aren’t exactly any positive options for the titles outside of Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. At the very least the new champions means less of Shaniqua on my TV and that’s an improvement by itself.

Post match Rikishi and Scotty beat up the Bashams, who manage to save Shaniqua from a Rump Shaker.

Mysterio and Paez speak Spanish and promise to beat up Chavo and Chavo on Sunday. Chavo wants to take away the mask and the title but Mysterio isn’t letting that happen.

Chavo Jr. is annoyed that Chavo Sr. has ice on his face and promises to beat down the jumping bean on Sunday. Then Sr. will beat up Paez. Sr.: “WHAT?”

Kurt Angle is confident that he’ll win on Sunday. One of his opponents thinks he’s Eminem and the other eats M&Ms so he can move on to Wrestlemania.

Hardcore Holly vs. Rhyno

It looks like our long national Why Is Holly Being Pushed-mare is over. Holly takes him to the mat to start in an opening I didn’t quite expect. A hiptoss puts Rhyno down again and Holly whips him hard into the corner for two. Back up and Rhyno lifts him up for a powerbomb, dropping Holly face first onto the buckle to take over. It’s off to a bodyscissors so it’s time to talk about No Way out with Tazz trying to talk about what’s right in front of us. The spinebuster puts Holly down again but he dropkicks the Gore away. Rhyno hammers away in the corner but shoves the referee for the lame DQ.

Rating: D. Rhyno working the ribs was fine as it looked to be setting up the Gore but you’re only going to get so much out of these two having a match with that finish. Holly is getting back to where he belongs though and that’s one of the best things that could come out of this. It wasn’t terrible, but what else were you expecting here?

They keep brawling post match with referees breaking it up.

Angle has been attacked backstage and is taken away by medics.

As Angle is having a neck brace put on, there’s a Mariachi band playing in the ring. This company really needs to learn something about transitions. Anyway the band is the F Cincos and here’s Lesnar dancing to the ring in a sombrero. Brock says he’s throwing Eddie a little celebration tonight because Sunday is going to be a very sad day. The band plays again, with Brock showing more energy than I’ve ever seen from him as he conducts.

Eddie runs in to clear the ring but Brock eventually gets back in. He paid good money for those guys to swim here and this is how Eddie repays them? Brock knows that Eddie is a fighter and the fans start an EDDIE chant. On Sunday, Eddie is fighting Lesnar instead of the odds and this time he can’t win. Brock is going to torture him because while Eddie was an addict, Brock was winning NCAA and WWE Championships. Eddie better be addicted to losing because he’ll get a fix on Sunday.

It’s true that Eddie is an addict and a few years ago in Minneapolis, he was very high at an event. Someone carried him from an arena into rehab but he did that to himself. He lost everything like his wife, his job and his kids, but he lost himself. At that point he had to make a decision and now he’s here in front of you. He’s earned the respect of his kids and gotten his life back day by day.

The title around Lesnar’s waist is Eddie’s way of saying he’s sorry and of telling his kids that they can have what they want. This ring is his new addiction and on Sunday, he’s going to get high again. I remember watching this live and it’s still a great promo with Eddie selling the fact that he has to win because this is his life. For Brock it’s just another match against someone beneath him, which makes for a really strong Sunday going into Sunday.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Bradshaw

The teams are set for a match on Sunday. Bradshaw takes him down by the arm to start and gets as far as you’re going to get against Benjamin on the ground. The Last Call works a bit better and Haas’ distraction just lets Faarooq low bridge Benjamin to the floor. Back in and the Clothesline is blocked to damage Bradshaw’s arm. Benjamin stays on him with a Fujiwara armbar but Bradshaw doesn’t seem to mind. Back up and a big boot sets up a clothesline with the arm seeming fine. A superkick gives Benjamin two but the Clothesline takes his head off for the pin.

Rating: D+. This is some weird night of the midcard matches but they haven’t been the worst. I’m not sure why I’d want to see the APA in a pay per view tag match in 2004 but they only have so much they can use on a brand split show. The arm thing was a fine enough idea but it didn’t go anywhere with Bradshaw hitting the Clothesline anyway.

Angle is waking up and the suspects in his attack are Big Show, Cena and Lesnar.

Here’s Jamie Noble to address his issues with Nidia. Jamie isn’t happy with her spending all of his inheritance money. He should have dumped her when she went blind because he can have any woman in this crowd that he wanted. Nidia can still get out of this if she gives him back all the stuff he got her and leaves his life for good.

Cue Nidia in a truck with a wood chipper attached with an announcement: Noble is going to wrestle blindfolded on Sunday. Oh dear. Anyway, one of the guys in the truck with her demonstrates the wood chipper and Nidia throws the coat in. Was the wood chipper really necessary? Couldn’t they have accomplished the same result with some paint or a pair of scissors?

And now, a sitdown interview with Torrie Wilson and Sable talking about shooting Playboy together. Oh and there’s no sexual tension between them, but they both find each other hot. They’re friends now and just happen to be naked together in the magazine. This is exactly as you would expect it to be as they’re suddenly all good.

Pay per view rundown.

Kurt Angle/Eddie Guerrero vs. Big Show/Brock Lesnar

There’s no Angle so it’s time for a substitution.

John Cena/Eddie Guerrero vs. Big Show/Brock Lesnar

Show and Cena get things going with Show being knocked outside early on. It’s already off to Lesnar and Eddie with Guerrero getting the better of a slugout and reversing a gorilla press into a quick rollup. Some shots to the ribs have Lesnar in more trouble but a spinebuster evens things out in a hurry. Show comes back in to throw Eddie around, only to miss a sitdown splash. It’s back to Cena, who eats a headbutt in short order.

Cole asks if anyone has ever been on a roll like Show, who again hasn’t exactly won anything of significance this year. Eddie low bridges Show and Lesnar to the floor and checks on Cena as we take a break. Back with Cena caught in an abdominal stretch and a Shell Shock gets two. Lesnar grabs a gutwrench and cuts off Cena’s comeback with a knee to the ribs. A waistlock keeps Cena down and it’s back to Show.

The next Cena comeback is stopped with a boot to the face but Cena gets in a clothesline. The Throwback, with Show spinning around to land on his back instead of face first and a DDT still aren’t enough for the hot tag as Lesnar comes in to deck Eddie. Cena DDTs Lesnar as well and NOW the hot tag can bring Eddie in. The rolling suplexes connect and Show gets dropkicked off the apron. A missile dropkick gets two on Lesnar as Cena and Show fight to the floor. Cue Angle to chair the two of them down, leaving Eddie to hit Lesnar low with the chain for the pin.

Rating: C+. Eddie winning is the right call as he doesn’t have the best odds going into Sunday. It’s also a good idea to have Angle run in and advance the triple threat a little bit as the match doesn’t have a lot of hype so far. The match itself wasn’t bad though it was a little long with the ribs work on Cena taking its sweet time. The ending helped though and the thing was enough of a success on both fronts.

Overall Rating: D+. This show really emphasized how much of a one match card Sunday is going to be with only Eddie vs. Lesnar having any fire. The triple threat should be good but it’s not like there’s other than those two matches. I’m not exactly interested in Shaniqua in a title match, Nidia vs. Noble or the World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Bradshaw and the guy who used to be Faarooq. Hopefully Eddie and Lesnar can save it, as they almost did here.

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