Smackdown – April 22, 2004

Smackdown
Date: April 22, 2004
Location: Prospera Palace, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

So last week saw what should probably be the death of Kurt Angle after Big Show chokeslammed him off a balcony, breaking both Angle’s head and leg. Other than that we’re still getting ready for JBL’s World Title shot against champion Eddie Guerrero, which isn’t the most thrilling thing in the world. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the chokeslam with Show suddenly being a slasher movie stalker who threatened to kill Torrie Wilson.

Cole and Tazz list off Angle’s injuries, including a broken leg, a severe concussion and internal injuries. No word on the BIG POOL OF BLOOD under his head? Or is that part of the concussion?

Opening sequence.

Rob Van Dam vs. Booker T.

Thank goodness Booker has dropped the remixed version of his theme and has gone back to the original. Rob dives on him before the bell and the fight is on in a hurry. They head inside for the opening bell with Rob nailing the step over spinning kick and choking in the corner. Booker gets sent outside again and comes back inside, only to get clotheslined to the floor one more time.

As Cole continues to panic about the lack of a General Manager tonight (Then who made this match?), Booker gets in his own kick to the face and you can hear the fans lose some of their energy. A chinlock doesn’t last long as Rob breaks it up with a suplex and hits the middle rope kick to the face. Three straight legdrops have Booker in trouble as Rob keeps looking at the entrance. Rolling Thunder connects but some pyro goes off to break up the Five Star. Booker rolls him up for the pin.

Rating: D+. It was fun while it lasted but this didn’t have the time to go anywhere, especially with the finish. You would think that last week’s DQ and then this week’s cheap finish would set up a pay per view match and it’s not like they have anything else to fill up the Judgment Day card in the first place. Not long enough to go anywhere but the long form match last week wasn’t exactly a classic anyway.

The pyro brings out Paul Heyman, who is in charge for one night only. After a break, he gets in the ring and says that Van Dam has a Thursday night show because Heyman built this show up in the first place. He’s already built up one brand and prostituted its legacy, meaning ECW. Rob would know about that as he’s ruined its legacy more than anyone else.

This brings out the Dudley Boyz with Bubba getting in Heyman’s face, saying that anything Heyman has to say to Rob about ECW can be said to the two of them as well. Heyman says they’ve become self parodies too, which is why he never tried to get the Dudleys on Smackdown.

When they left ECW, they became caricatures of their former selves. When did they do something extreme or newsworthy that people were talking about it the next day? At least Tazz got out of the ring when it was time so they should follow his lead. Now Bubba and D-Von are just Vince McMahon’s domesticated pets. That’s enough to get the Dudleys to beat down Rob with a low blow leaving him laying. Heyman says that was just a good start. You can only be so extreme in yellow camo shorts and Bubba has long since hit that ceiling.

Tag Team Titles: Scotty 2 Hotty/Rikishi vs. Charlie Haas/???

Scotty and Rikishi are defending and Charlie’s mystery partner is….Rico. Well of course it is because why make Haas into something of value? Rico and Rikishi start and you can almost guarantee that their time as Tag Team Champions won’t be mentioned whatsoever. Rikishi (who looks weird without wrist tape) sends Rico into the corner so Rico bends over in front of him.

Rikishi does the same so Rico tries a waistlock, which freaks the big man out. For some reason Rico tries a sunset flip so Rikishi spanks himself, only to have Rico do it as well. It’s off to Scotty and that means some ballroom dancing. Scotty tries to skin the cat and gets spanked as well before it’s off to Charlie with a limp wristed tag. Things settle down a bit until Charlie gets crotched on the post (Cole: “Rico’s not gonna like this!”). A double noggin knocker puts Charlie in even more trouble but Rico’s distraction lets him send Scotty into the buckle.

Rico comes back in for a suggestive rollup and gets kicked to the corner for a tag right back to Charlie. A few clotheslines send Charlie into the corner for the Stinkface….but Rico takes his place, making sure to put on Jackie’s lip balm first. Rikishi obliges and Rico needs a cigarette. Scotty loads up the Worm but Rico kisses him as Jackie grabs Rikishi from behind. The distracted Scotty gets rolled up for the pin and the titles.

Rating: D-. This was as good as it was going to be and the “comedy” was still unfunny. To be fair though, it’s not like the titles had any value in the first place so putting them on another makeshift comedy team isn’t exactly a death sentence. Just get them onto the Dudleys and be done with it already because they’re the only team of value on the show.

Long recap of Big Show losing his job and then his mind before Angle lost his healthy leg and a lot of blood.

JBL apologizes for something that happened earlier today at the airport. Apparently he ran into El Gran Luchador, the Heavyweight Champion of Mexico, and got challenged to a match tonight. The match is next, but first Heyman announces Eddie Guerrero vs. the Dudley. Which one? It doesn’t matter, as they look alike.

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. El Gran Luchador

Luchador is a masked man with a Women’s Title painted red, white and green and played by Paul London. JBL shoves him down to start as the fans chant for MEXICO. A right hand puts Luchador down again and a delayed vertical suplex has JBL smiling. Luchador stops a charge in the corner with a raised boot and snaps off a headscissors.

A moonsault press gives Luchador two but JBL throws him down with the Last Call. JBL channels his inner Tito Santana with an ARRIBA, puts out an invisible cigarette on Luchador’s back and powerbombs the heck out of him….for two. He puts the unconscious Luchador’s arm on his chest for two more, followed by the Clothesline From JBL for the pin.

Rating: D-. This was perfect for you fans who have always wanted to see Bradshaw smiling a lot while beating up the most generic luchador this side of a Canadian named Sami. It wasn’t even the worst match I’ve ever seen or anything but it was really boring with the same Bradshaw offense that wasn’t been anything special in the entirety of his time with the APA. I mean, I know he has a radio show but that’s not exactly enough to make up for everything else.

It’s time for the Cafe de Rene with an accordion player and a mini Eiffel Tower. He doesn’t like the fans being happy about Angle’s injuries so it’s time to teach them some class. That brings him to his guest: Torrie Wilson. Tazz: “Hot women, poodles and accordions.” Rene pours her some wine and mentions the Divas Magazine before going into an interrogation about last week.

Why was she laughing about Big Show losing his job? It’s her fault that Angle isn’t here enjoying wine. He gets out of his chair and yells more, saying Torrie is everything wrong with North American women who need men to do everything. A comparison to Fifi is enough to get Rene slapped in the face so he picks her up, drawing in John Cena for the save and wreck the set.

John Cena vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr./Chavo Guerrero Sr.

Jr. starts for the team, which is the best option they have. You know, of the two. Cena slams him down a few times without much effort and it’s already time for a breather. Back in and Cena scores with a shoulder but Sr.’s distraction lets Jr. get in a few shots. A knee to the back sets up a dropkick to give Jr. two and it’s Sr. coming in for some stomping.

That’s it for Papa Guerrero as Jr. is back in to work on the ribs. A rather vocal CENA chant doesn’t get him out of trouble as the rapid tagging and forearms to the back continue. Cena fights back without much effort but Sr. breaks up the FU. Sr. takes it instead but Jr. knocks Cena outside. Cue Dupree to post Cena though and it’s a brainbuster to give Jr. the pin.

Rating: D. It wasn’t a clean loss, but my goodness the idea of Dupree getting the first shot at the US Title is a bit much. He really does show how little depth there is to Smackdown at the moment, or maybe just how worthless May’s pay per view is going to be. Cena is exploding at the moment, but he needs something better to do.

In the back, Heyman makes Torrie vs. Dupree for next week.

Mordecai is coming to clean WWE of impurity. He says the day of judgment draws near, which should mean his debut.

Here’s Booker T. for a chat. He’s the biggest star here on Smackdown and every one of the suckers here knows it. Those same suckers who cheered him just a few months ago are now asking him why. He went from being a star on Raw to being a mega star here on Smackdown. Now it’s time to bring everyone up to his level because he’s the best thing ever on Smackdown. Pretty soon he’ll be the most famous man in America….and there goes the gong. Booker shows off his intelligence and bails through the crowd without Undertaker actually appearing.

Raw ReBound.

We recap the Tag Team Title change.

Rico is very happy with the titles and grabs a handful of Charlie. He thinks it was Jackie, but then realizes what really happened.

Eddie Guerrero vs. D-Von Dudley

Non-title with Heyman at ringside. Which Dudley it was is treated as a big deal with Bubba starting but D-Von jumps Eddie from behind to actually wrestle the match. You know, because it totally matters here. A backdrop puts Eddie down and a trip to the floor lets Bubba get in a clothesline.

Back in and a delayed suplex gives D-Von two, followed by the neck crank. It’s almost like D-Von has nothing special for offense and shouldn’t be in a long form singles match. Eddie low bridges him to the floor where Bubba offers a distraction, setting up the double countout. And never mind as before I can finish typing that, Heyman says we’re still going. Cole: “This atrocity is going to continue!” Dude it’s been about five minutes and Eddie wasn’t exactly hanging on by his fingertips.

We take a break and come back with Eddie suplexing his way out of a belly to back suplex. A super hurricanrana gives Eddie two but D-Von gets his neckbreaker out of the corner. The sleeper goes on and Bubba yells at fans. With Heyman standing in front of commentary, Cole talks about how Heyman hasn’t said a word all match….as he’s talking to Bubba. It takes talent to be as stupid as Cole really is.

Eddie finally gets out of the sleeper and avoids a middle rope elbow but D-Von is right there to break up the frog splash. A superplex gives D-Von two but Eddie starts his dancing comeback. The interfering Bubba is brought in so D-Von grabs a small package with Bubba holding the foot to pin Eddie. This would be the second match in a row where a champion is pinned thanks to interference.

Rating: D. I feel like I need a nap after watching that match. D-Von is part of a tag team for a reason: he’s not very interesting on his own. There’s not much that Eddie can do when his opponent’s big move in a fifteen minute match is a neckbreaker. I’m not sure why the Dudley Boyz are supposed to be the new monster team, as it’s just them with a heel turn. I need a lot more than that.

Post match JBL comes in to powerbomb Eddie. The Clothesline From JBL ends the show.

Overall Rating: F. That main event is a great allegory for the whole show’s problems right now. There is talent on the roster but they need better people to work with them. Cena vs. Dupree, Eddie vs. JBL and the less entertaining version of Too Cool vs. the latest oddball combination isn’t exactly my idea of a good show. There’s nothing on here worth seeing and I’m really not sure I see that changing for a very long time. Sometimes you’ll see a show rise up to overcome its lack of talent but this one ran in the other direction and was dragged down. Horrible week and one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen from Smackdown.

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