Sorry for the delay on this. A really nasty storm knocked out the power for about a fourth of the city and my house didn’t have electricity for about thirty hours.
Date: February 19, 2004
Location: SaveMart Arena, Fresno, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
Viva la new champion. Eddie Guerrero shocked the world (kind of, assuming you didn’t pay attention to the pretty obvious Wrestlemanai booking) and defeated Brock Lesnar to become WWE Champion. He even already has his first challenger with Kurt Angle winning a triple threat match to earn the Wrestlemania title shot. Let’s get to it.
We open with a quick look at Eddie winning the title. That’s a pretty cool moment.
Paul Heyman has requested Brock Lesnar not appear tonight due to Lesnar’s temper possibly threatening the public safety. Eddie Guerrero may be the new WWE Champion but the celebration may be short lived. Tonight, Eddie will make his first defense against Chavo Guerrero. As a bonus, there will be a special guest referee to be announced later. Why do I expect him to be bald and told that he sucks?
Here’s Kurt Angle to the chorus of YOU SUCKs for a chat. Angle asks if we’re ready to party because tonight is about Eddie. He was never one of Eddie’s critics and it’s going to be a privilege to face Eddie for the title at Wrestlemania. Angle actually has the fans give Eddie three cheers but here’s John Cena to interrupt. Cena mocks Angle for actually saying HIP HIP HOORAY over Eddie. Cena: “I gotta agree with these people. You suck!”
Since three cheers aren’t exactly Cena’s style, he has one side of the arena say Latino and the other says Heat. With that out of the way, Cena praises Angle for making it to Wrestlemania. The thing is though, the chants make it sound like Eddie is going to take care of Angle. Cena is ready to fight but here’s Heyman with a better idea.
John Cena/Kurt Angle vs. Basham Brothers
Angle and Danny start things off with Kurt easily taking him to the mat. An armbar keeps Danny down until it’s off to Cena for a spinebuster on Doug. Angle gets tossed into Cena to knock him to the floor and the fight is almost on. Back from a break with Doug working on Cena’s banged up knee, even shrugging off a headbutt to the head to stay on it. Cena slips out of a slam though and scores with a DDT to put Danny down.
That’s enough for the hot tag off to Angle and let’s hit those suplexes. Danny slips out of the Angle Slam though and sends Kurt into Doug. Cole describes this as some vintage Basham double teaming, even though the Bashams have been around for what, eight months? Angle gets sent to the floor, leaving Cena grab the FU for the pin on Danny.
Rating: C+. In a surprise to no one, Cena and Angle have some good chemistry together whether facing each other or teaming together. This was a nice match and while the tag division can’t really handle the few established teams taking a loss, it’s not like there are many options to face Angle and Cena at the moment.
Stills of Chavo Guerrero Jr. cheating to beat Rey Mysterio for the Cruiserweight Title.
We look back at Hardcore Holly defeating Big Show in a non-title match last month, setting up a title match tonight. The lack of hardcore rules don’t help Holly here.
Mysterio comes in to see Heyman, who summarizes everything he thinks Mysterio is going to say. Actually Rey wants a rematch, which Heyman grants….if Chavo wins the WWE Title tonight. That’s not a bad little twist. Rey is cool with that and agrees to take the rest of the night off.
Here’s Eddie for his big championship celebration and he comes through the crowd for a nice touch. Confetti and balloons fall to really make this feel special, until the balloons are popped to make it a little more annoying. He even gets pyro when he holds the title up. Eddie asks if all this fuss is about him and talks about becoming the new champion along with everyone else.
To everyone who was with him all along, gracias. To everyone else, Spanish swearing. Eddie wants to know who is going to celebrate with him so here are the Chavos. Jr. talks about having one of the biggest moments of his life but IT’S STILL ALL ABOUT EDDIE. This is so Owen vs. Bret it’s not even funny. Eddie offers him a balloon in a much funnier moment but Jr. wants to be serious.
After tonight, this is all over and he’ll have two titles. Eddie isn’t convinced but Jr. has a surprise: the guest referee is Chavo Sr. So….why does Heyman hate Eddie? Just general heel vs. face reasons? I mean, you knew the story was going to happen but a justification or reason might be nice.
US Title: Big Show vs. Hardcore Holly
Show is defending and brushes off Holly’s early jumping. Ever the fighter, Holly even kicks at the knee from his back so Show tosses him around some more. A shoulder to the ribs does put Show down but he avoids the top rope legdrop. The chokeslam retains the title in short order. So long Holly, it wasn’t very pleasant.
Post match here’s Cena again, this time with a challenge for the US Title at Wrestlemania. Show says it’s on and it’s time to teach Cena a lesson. How to have a six month title reign in three short defenses?
Brock Lesnar is here.
Video on Lesnar vs. Goldberg from Sunday.
Here’s a ticked off Lesnar for a chat. Lesnar is rather upset in losing his title because it meant a lot to him. Eddie is just going to pawn it, unlike an All-American like Lesnar. All of this happened because of Goldberg and that means there’s a price to pay. Lesnar begs Vince to set up the match at Wrestlemania, even begging on his knees. That’s quite the visual from Lesnar. Imagine: him having emotion and, dare I say, a personality.
Sr. gives Jr. a pep talk.
Sable and Torrie Wilson had a Playboy signing in New York. There’s something so weird about that.
Tazz plugs a behind the scenes look at the Playboy shoot in Smackdown Magazine. Do these people get how Playboy works?
Recap of Undertaker’s latest creepy warnings to Kane.
Sr. has been knocked unconscious and since Angle happens to be there, he’ll be guest referee tonight. Well duh.
Smackdown World Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Only Eddie is defending and Angle is guest referee. The title does look great on Eddie. A toss of the title to Chavo lets Eddie take over early on, including the slingshot hilo. Chavo’s comeback is cut off by an early Gory Stretch as Tazz makes a good point: Chavo won a title too and doesn’t even get a celebration? A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets Chavo out of trouble and he hits his own rolling verticals.
Chavo’s good looking frog splash hits raised knees but Eddie sends him hard to the floor. Cue Sr. to yell at Eddie though, allowing Jr. to grab a rollup for two. Eddie rolls some verticals of his own but he bangs up his knee off a missed frog splash. Now it’s Mysterio running out to hit a 619 around the post on Sr. as we take a break. Back with Chavo working the knee, including a half crab Liontamer. That goes nowhere so Chavo switches gears with a dropkick instead.
A Muta Lock goes back to the knee and we hit the half crab again. Eddie fights up and snaps off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker of his own (nice touch of them having a lot of the same offense due to growing up together and being in the same family) but it bangs up the knee again. The knee is fine enough for a top rope superplex, though he almost drops Chavo on the way down. There’s some blood on Eddie’s chest and Chavo’s ear (not exactly combinations you often see) and Eddie makes it worse with a powerbomb. The frog splash connects but Angle stops counting at two and attacks Eddie for the no contest.
Rating: B. More good stuff from these two, which isn’t exactly surprising given how well they know each other. There wasn’t a ton of drama for a new champion, but you don’t need to have the big title match two days after Eddie wins the title and especially not a month before Wrestlemania. Just let him have a showcase and set up Wrestlemania in the end. Perfectly fine choices and a good match too.
Post match Angle beats the heck out of Eddie until Mysterio runs in for a failed save. Angle mauls him too and Eddie is busted open to end the show. The EDDIE cheers make Angle even madder and he hits Eddie with the title to end the show after a good beatdown and heel turn.
Overall Rating: C+. Given that the entire show was three matches and two of them involved Eddie and Angle, you can’t say much else about this week. The big angle at the end was great and Cena vs. Show being set for Wrestlemania is the expected and right way to go. Smackdown is already looking better than Raw, but the rest of the card doesn’t have much time to get set up. Good stuff tonight, lead by two of the best around.
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