Date: February 26, 2004
Location: Kemper Arena, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
So Kurt Angle is now full on heel again and that means Smackdown World Champion Eddie Guerrero is in real trouble. On top of that you can see most of the Wrestlemania card and that’s a good thing given how close we are to the show. There are a few interpromotional matches tonight too, meaning we might even see some guest stars tonight. Let’s get to it.
Angle says people have been asking why he did it. Was it revenge? Jealousy? Or the WWE Championship? We’ll find out tonight. My bet is on hair jealousy.
Rey Mysterio vs. Jamie Noble vs. Billy Kidman vs. Nunzio
The winner gets a Cruiserweight shot at Wrestlemania. Noble jumps Mysterio before Kidman is even out here and it’s a big brawl to start. Hang on though as we cut to the back where Eddie Guerrero goes into Paul Heyman’s office. With Tajiri, Sakoda and Akio in the background, Eddie promises to beat up Angle tonight. Eddie wants to know what Heyman knew about all of this but Paul denies everything.
That’s enough for Eddie so he leaves Heyman to promise to take care of Tajiri and company’s problems. With that out of the way, we go back to the arena for a series of dives to the floor that leaves everyone down. Kidman and Nunzio fight on top with Nunzio getting crotched and Kidman falling to the floor. A double clothesline puts Mysterio and Noble down as we take a break.
Back with Noble’s tiger bomb being reversed into a 619 attempt but Kidman breaks it up with a hard clothesline. Mysterio gets two off a facebuster and a nasty looking moonsault press hits Kidman. Noble makes the save and throws Mysterio outside, followed by a neckbreaker for two on his cousin. As Kidman is sent outside, Mysterio hits the 619 on Nunzio….and here are Heyman and Tajiri and company to say this match is canceled.
Rating: C+. This was getting good until the hitting a wall ending but that’s going to set up a storyline. That being said, I do like the idea of these four starting off the show and giving the fans some high flying. That’s always going to work and it worked here. On the other hand though, you have the cutaway to Eddie, which has its good and bad elements. I like the idea of having things feel more realistic (as in not having Eddie pop in right after a match ends) but I’m never big on cutting away from a match. Just go with a split screen or something. But still, good match.
Heyman says there is no Japanese representation in this match and we can’t have racial discrimination around here. Therefore, at Wrestlemania, it’s going to be a Cruiserweight Open elimination match for the title. Akio and Sakoda hit the ring but Rey suicide dives Tajiri before bailing.
We look back at Eddie winning the title and being attacked by Angle two days later. That was a great heel turn and beatdown.
Scotty 2 Hotty/Rikishi vs. APA
Non-title and at least it’s not the Bashams again. Faarooq shoves Scotty down like he’s not even there to start so Scotty nips up and moon walks. Thankfully Faarooq punches him in the face and brings Bradshaw in so the pace can pick up (it’s a bad sign when Bradshaw is the more active member of the team).
Scotty throws some right hands and makes a blind tag so Rikishi can hit the belly to belly on Bradshaw. The sitdown splash misses though and brings the announcers back to the match instead of talking about Vince’s announcements on Raw. Scotty offers a distraction so Rikishi can superkick Bradshaw but here are the Bashams for a distraction. The Clothesline finishes Rikishi.
Rating: D. All things considered, this was about as good as it was going to get. Faarooq just couldn’t move anymore and you’re only going to get so much out of the other three in the first place. The ending would seem to set up a multi-team match at Wrestlemania and while these titles don’t need to be defended there, at least it’s some fresh blood in the mix.
Here’s the segment from Raw with Vince announcing Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar for Wrestlemania, Austin being named guest referee, and Lesnar running in to F5 Austin.
Lesnar talks about begging Vince to make the match because Austin brought Goldberg to No Way out, which is why he lost the WWE Championship. You can’t fault his logic. Goldberg can feel pain in New York and if Austin gets involved, he’ll feel OFF THE HOOK pain.
Here’s Eddie for a chat. After soaking in the chants, he talks about winning the title and going back to see his buddies. He doesn’t know how long he’s going to hold the title because he takes it one day at a time. It’s been eleven days as champion now but more importantly he’s been clean from drugs and alcohol for two years now. That was one day at a time too and it’s a formula that works.
Last week changed things though and now he wants Angle out here right now. Eddie wants to deal with him one punch at a time. There’s no Angle so Eddie wants to take the fight to him instead. Eddie storms up the ramp and heads to the back where he finds Heyman and Dawn Marie instead. Heyman has her call the cops, who show up in about four seconds with Angle by their side. It’s almost on but Eddie shoves Heyman into Dawn by mistake, sending Heyman into hysterics. The cops take Eddie out of the arena.
Brock Lesnar vs. Billy Gunn
Brock powers him around but stops after the GOLDBERG chants get under his skin. An overhead belly to belly has Gunn in trouble but he avoids a charge in the corner to send Lesnar shoulder first into the post. Gunn puts on one of the worst cross armbreakers I’ve ever seen and thankfully Brock is right next to the ropes so they can do something else. The Stinger Splash is cut off by a knee to the ribs and a good looking spinebuster gives Lesnar two. As always there’s something cathartic about seeing Gunn get beaten up.
We hit the gutwrench on the mat but since that’s boring even for Lesnar, he throws Gunn down with a German suplex. And never mind as it’s right back to the gutwrench. Billy fights back and hits a running jumping Diamond Cutter (I’m sure Orton will be thrilled) but misses another Stinger Splash. The F5 gives Lesnar the pin.
Rating: D+. Much longer than it needed to be here with Gunn not being the most believable opponent for Lesnar. I know Gunn was a big favorite of the company but I need more than Lesnar beating him up for eight minutes. At least Lesnar won clean and goes into what should be a heck of a fight with Goldberg at Wrestlemania.
Wrestlemania rundown. It’s a heck of a three hour card but they’re stretching it to four. Also, nice touch in having just the Undertaker symbol instead of his picture. Keep things a little more mysterious.
Here are Torrie Wilson and Sable in evening gowns and holding hands because fans go for things like that. Sign in the front row: Playboy cover + lotion = smiley face. Torrie thanks the fans for everything before talking about the Evening Gown match at Wrestlemania. After some sexual innuendo and general trash talk, here’s John Cena to interrupt. Torrie and Sable dancing to Cena’s music in evening gowns is quite the strange visual. Cena makes the exact jokes you would expect about the Playboy….and that’s it as it’s time for the main event.
John Cena/Rey Mysterio vs. Big Show/Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Rey is substituting for Eddie. Chavo and Rey start things off with a quick wrestling sequence before Rey goes with the right hands. A faceplant allows the hot tag off to Show for the huge toss across the ring. That always looks impressive, no matter how many times I’ve seen it. Chavo comes back in and gets caught in the sitout bulldog so Cena can come in with a top rope ax handle to the head. Cena knocks Show off the apron but he’s right back in to break up the FU.
Back from a break with Show working on Cena’s knee, which is still banged up from the Rumble. That’s a heck of a knee injury. The fans get behind Cena but it just seems to make Show angrier, making them quite the nuisance. Cena goes with the sleeper on Show’s back but gets flipped forward without much effort. Show is staggered enough that Cena can get over to Rey though and it’s dropkicks to the knee a go-go.
Since Show can shrug those off, Rey gets thrown down again and Chavo rolls some vertical suplexes. The missed frog splash lets Rey get two off la majistral as everything breaks down. Cena gets sent into the barricade but manages to send Big Show over it for a crash. Back inside, the 619 is enough to put Chavo away. You don’t see that get the pin on its own very often.
Rating: C+. Nice tag match here with both feuds getting some attention. Cena vs. Show should be a good though completely predictable match and that’s perfectly fine. Rey vs. Chavo on the other hand is a match that could take place at any other show but here, it’s something that has been bogged down by having to get a bunch of people on the show. That’s not always pleasant, but I get why it needs to happen.
Post match Show beats up Rey and chokeslams Cena.
Same Angle video that opened the show.
Here’s Angle for his explanation. Angle has been asked why he attacked Eddie and it’s because it was the right thing to do. He attacked Eddie for the fans of Smackdown and for America. Eddie is a former drug addict who tells children that it’s cool to lie, cheat and steal. America was built on character and it needs to go back to its fundamental principles. This country has given us the freedom of choice and Eddie can’t have a clear conscience.
It’s a matter of time before Eddie falls off the wagon and we don’t need a drug addict as WWE Champion. As soon as Eddie won the title, it started eating at Angle’s soul. He knew he had to do something and has even prayed about it. Angle knows he’s going to receive criticism for what he’s done but he had to do it. That’s it for Angle but here’s Eddie to go after him. Cue Heyman with the cops to have Eddie arrested for assault. Angle follows the cuffed Guerrero into the police car and talks a bunch of trash about how much of an embarrassment Eddie is to the title. The car pulls away to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. Every week that goes by shows that Smackdown’s contribution to the show is one match but it’s going to be one awesome setup. Everything else is either Raw focused or some interpromotional match and that makes for some interesting television. You have Eddie vs. Angle and Cena vs. Big Show (which isn’t really a major match), meaning TV can be laser focused on those two matches. On the other hand you have Raw where all kinds of matches need focus and nothing can really stand out above the rest. The Eddie vs. Angle stuff was good but the rest was pretty weak, as tends to be the case lately.
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