Smackdown – April 15, 2004

Date: April 15, 2004
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

Is it too much to ask to have more than one big story on the show? Last week saw JBL announced as the new #1 contender in a story that dominated the last two weeks. The second biggest story has been Booker T. vs. Rob Van Dam, which feels a long way down the ladder. That’s the main event tonight though so maybe it’s going to get a little better. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of last week’s big angle, partially set to Steve Blackman’s music for some reason.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Eddie Guerrero to open things up. He’s received about 27 phone calls this week from Kurt Angle (complete with an imitation, with Angle insisting that he DOES NOT suck), demanding an apology. JBL isn’t a great American because of his riches. See, JBL has been trying to pull one over on the fans by saying he’s from New York in his business suits. Eddie looks at him and sees a great American sellout.

JBL’s money doesn’t make him better or smarter than anyone else….and here’s an approved message from JBL on the screen. It’s a campaign style ad focusing on Eddie’s lying, cheating and stealing, which has a small vocal minority. Real Americans need to silence that voice and support a good man like JBL. Eddie says he’s tired of dealing with this same stuff since he became champion and he’s sick of it. Yeah he does all those things but he worked hard to get here. It took him seventeen years to get his first title shot and it wasn’t handed to him in a bogus award ceremony. Now JBL is #1 contender so let’s do it tonight.

Instead here’s Kurt Angle, who doesn’t appreciate any of this. Angle doesn’t appreciate him (how rude) so Eddie can have his title match tonight. Now it’s JBL in the limo to interrupt. He’d love to face Eddie tonight but after a week of shaking hands and kissing babies (and some baby mamas), he’s a little tired so the match can’t take place tonight. Angel agrees and lets JBL have his title match at Judgment Day. Tonight, it’s Eddie vs. Big Show. Eddie is stunned, as am I over this somehow taking nearly eighteen minutes.

Post break Show comes in to see Angle and JBL. He wants to know if he has a WWE Championship match tonight, but that’s a big negative. Show yells at both of them and isn’t happy with being their enforcer. If he can’t beat Eddie tonight, he quits.

John Cena vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Non-title and there are a lot of Cena signs in the crowd. We have two champions in the ring so the opening commentary is all about Big Show vs. Eddie Guerrero. Cena doesn’t respond well to being slapped in the face and slaps Chavo even harder as the announcers actually notice a match going on.

A headlock and a clothesline keep Chavo in trouble and it’s off to the second headlock on the mat. Chavo sends him outside and Chavo Sr. gets in a cowboy boot to the back of the head. Back in and we hit a camel clutch (continuing the family tradition) for all of five seconds before Cena powers out. A dropkick gives Chavo two but Cena is right back with the running shoulder. The Throwback, followed by taking Sr. out, sets up the FU for the pin.

Rating: D+. You would kind of expect something a little better from two champions, but I can’t say I’m surprised that the Cruiserweight Champion was beaten clean in such short order. I could have gone for a botched interference from Sr. or something but it’s not like the Cruiserweight Champion is on the US Champion’s level in the first place.

Video on Booker’s initial complaints about being on Smackdown. It looks like we’ll be going over the whole history to set up the main event. All two weeks of it.

Rene Dupree is having a new romantic dinner with Fifi (a different dog this week) and announces his new interview segment starting next week: Cafe de Rene.

We look back at Big Show attacking Eddie by powerbombing him onto a lowrider…in October of last year. Did we really need to have a flashback for a one off match?

Charlie Haas is warming up when Jamie Noble comes in. Jamie tells him to not worry about amateur wrestling when he faces Rico. It might as well be an intergender match. Charlie isn’t worried so Jamie talks about all the things Rico might do. The final advice: don’t let Rico get you from behind. Nunzio comes in and wishes Haas good luck too.

Rico vs. Charlie Haas

Jobber entrance for Charlie. Rico and Jackie Gayda pose on a mini stage on the way to the ring. We start with some prancing and Charlie is disgusted by an early lockup. Charlie takes him down and shouts about Rico being sick so Rico reverses and starts groping. Rico gets behind him and Charlie bails to the ropes as this is firmly in bad comedy territory.

A sunset flip lets Rico pull the trunks down, meaning more humor. Charlie forearms him in the face and chokes away as the announcers find this hilarious. Rico slips out of a suplex and kisses Haas, who bails to the floor. That’s enough to send Haas bailing to the floor for some water, but Rico pulls up his thong to scare Haas off for the countout.

Rating: F. Hey, did you know that wrestlers who may be gay are “sick” and apparently disgusting? They also seem to be completely incapable of not molesting their opponents, which seems to be the case with every WWE wrestler using the same gimmick. This is always so dumb and I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse.

Post match Haas vomits. Fair enough.

JBL promises Show a pizza if he wins but Show says he’s doing this for himself.

A man in a white beard is surrounded by candles and reads a bunch of Bible verses. His name is Mordecai and he’s here to be the right hand of the destroyer. Oh dear indeed. Cool vignette though.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Big Show

Non-title with Show’s career on the line. Show wastes no time in hammering away and a headbutt puts Eddie down. Some tosses send Eddie from corner to corner and there’s a choke for good measure. Eddie gets smart by stomping on the foot but another headbutt keeps him in trouble. Show makes it even worse with the loud chops but a low bridge takes him to the floor.

Eddie dropkicks him down again and we take a break. Back with Show choking on the mat before starting in on the arm. He even gets smart by wrapping Eddie’s arm around the rope. That doesn’t suit Show very well so let’s try a bearhug instead, followed by a big boot. It’s right back to the arm, which really doesn’t seem right coming from Show. Eddie’s comeback is cut off by a clothesline and Show walks around the ring a bit. Now that suits him very well.

Eddie gets knocked outside and finds a wrench under the ring, which he loads into the back of Show’s boot. The referee catches Show pulling it out and the distraction lets Eddie hammer away. Is there a reason why he didn’t distract the referee and hit Show with the wrench? A middle rope tornado DDT puts Show down but the kickout sends Eddie into the referee. With no one looking, Eddie gets in a low blow and another DDT, setting up the frog splash for the pin.

Rating: D. Well this didn’t need to be fifteen minutes long to put it mildly. To be fair though, Show was in need of knee surgery (hence him leaving) so he probably wasn’t moving nearly as well as he would have otherwise. Eddie won just as he should have and he did what he could, but there’s a limit to what a hampered Show can pull off.

Post match Eddie leads the fans in an extended Goodbye Song, which seems to hurt Show’s feelings.

Clip of Van Dam winning his first match on Smackdown and Booker being miserable.

Show is leaving and runs into Torrie laughing with the makeup lady. That must be about him so Show gets in her face and leaves. Torrie is terrified and leaves because she doesn’t have a match tonight.

Teddy Long introduces Mark Jindrak, who has the perfect body and the looks of Adonis. Mark looks at himself in a mirror and Teddy calls him the Reflection of Perfection over and over.

Mark Jindrak vs. Spike Dudley

Jindrak throws him into the corner to start and starts talking trash, followed by a pretty impressive dropkick to knock Spike off the top. A delayed one arm vertical suplex keeps Spike down and the belly to back suplex into a side slam finishes him in a hurry. Total squash.

Video of Booker walking out on Van Dam tonight. Do they really need to stretch out a show this much?

Raw ReBound looks at just about everything on the show.

Torrie goes to leave but Show comes up (from the direction that Torrie was looking, though she’s still surprised) and yells at her for laughing. He kicks in the windows of her car as Torrie begs him to calm down. Show breaks more windows and then turns the car over. Torrie runs away screaming and Show very slowly walks after her. Somehow this took nearly five minutes.

In case we didn’t spend enough time on it already, here are two replays of the car being flipped.

Booker T. vs. Rob Van Dam

It’s the rare serious Van Dam this week. Rob stomps him down in the corner to start and gets two off a standing moonsault. They head outside with Booker in even more trouble, this time off some kicks to the ribs. The spinning kick to the back knocks Booker off the barricade and we take a break.

Back with Booker hot shotting him for what sounds like his first real offense. Booker hits a neckbreaker and Tazz thinks he’s going after the neck. Even Cole mocks him for making such an obvious observation and Booker drops a knee for two. We hit the chinlock for a few seconds before Van Dam is back up, only to be kicked right back down.

The Book End is blocked and Van Dam hits his step over spinning kick to the face. Rob’s springboard kick to the face gets two and the split legged moonsault gets the same. Booker rolls away from the Five Star though and Booker superkicks him into the ropes with Rob’s arms getting tied up. A bunch of right hands actually get Booker disqualified at the five count. You don’t see that every day.

Rating: C-. It was far from great or even very good but at this point I’ll take anything I can get. The feud isn’t quite as big of a deal as WWE seems to think it is, though there’s a story to it that doesn’t revolve around the idea of Rico kissing someone or a cowboy hat, which puts it ahead of a lot of the stuff on this show.

Post match Booker beats on him a little more and does a Spinarooni.

Show has somehow caught Torrie (who was running while he slowly walked) and has her above a conveniently placed ledge. He threatens to throw her off the ledge until Angle shows up. Angle says he’s the one who gets in trouble if something happens to Torrie and violence is threatened. Torrie is allowed to leave so Angle goes after Show, who chokeslams him off the ledge, setting up a loud THUD. We look down and Kurt is unconscious with blood flowing from the back of his head and his leg bent at a rather nasty angle. So that’s it for Show and Angle seems to be close to dead. I guess that’s at least half of a happy ending?

Overall Rating: D-. Another horrible show, this time with the completely stupid Rico match, Torrie running away like the girl in a slasher movie and Angle being nearly murdered. Eddie and Big Show had a horrible match and now we’re gearing up for JBL vs. Eddie in over a month. If Van Dam vs. Booker is as good of a secondary story as they have, it’s going to be a very, very long year.

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