Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New York City, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
We’re getting closer and closer to the Great American Bash and this week is all about the Undertaker possibly joining forces with Paul Heyman and the Dudley Boyz for the sake of saving Paul Bearer. That just screams bad idea due to some of the people involved (hint: their names are Bubba and D-Von) but maybe the others can save things. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Bearer being kidnapped and Heyman’s proposition. This is somehow better than JBL’s radio show discussions.
Kurt Angle is in the ring to open the show. He used to come here to Long Island when he was WWE Champion and people booed him out of the building. It didn’t matter though because Angle knew he was better than everyone. The fans start a pretty fast paced YOU SUCK chant until Angle says he can never wrestle again. We see a clip of last week’s brawl between Booker T. and John Cena, which saw Angle get knocked over by Cena and hit in the knee by Booker’s chair shot.
Angle wants an apology so here’s Booker to say it was all Cena’s fault. He couldn’t sleep for three days after he hit Angle, so now he’ll apologize five times. Angle accepts it and excuses him but now it’s Cena’s turn. The rap is cut off by a raving Angle (always entertaining) but Cena says he didn’t mean to hit Angle last week, because Angle would still be in the hospital if he tried to.
Angle has talked to the board of directors and Cena is now on probation, meaning he’s stripped of the US Title on the spot if he lays a hand on Angle again. For tonight though, Cena needs to apologize for who he is. That’s not happening because Cena isn’t changing a thing and if Angle doesn’t like it, he can wheel himself out of here. Besides, they’re even. Cena can’t touch him but Angle can’t see him. That’s enough for Cena but Angle says Cena has three matches tonight. Each one will be five minutes long and the first man to beat him gets a US Title shot at the Great American Bash. I’ve heard worse ideas….I think?
Kenzo Suzuki vs. Scotty 2 Hotty
Suzuki is carried to the ring on a throne with a woman walking behind him. The announcers talk about Suzuki wanting vengeance, though they’re not sure what the vengeance is for actually. My guess is for Scotty’s dancing. Suzuki goes after the arm to start and chops at the neck, with a big one putting Scotty down in the corner. A kick to the face drops Scotty again and Kenzo starts spinning around for some reason. Scotty scores with a superkick but a claw STO finishes him off in a hurry. Based on this match, Suzuki has an awesome future. Provided he can build a time machine and go back to a territory in 1984.
Angle talks to Cena’s opponents for tonight (Booker T., Rob Van Dam and Rene Dupree) so they can draw straws to determine an order, but that has to be behind closed doors.
Earlier today, JBL went to a salon and made fun of the immigrants who took care of him. It’s far too late, but this is the kind of thing he should have been doing from the beginning: going over the top and taking advantage of the people he constantly insults to show what a hypocrite he is. That’s the kind of person you want to see take a beating, not a guy droning on about a radio show and a stock portfolio.
JBL arrives at the arena, decides this place isn’t worth his time, and leaves. The driver won’t listen to him though, mainly because the driver is Eddie. So was Eddie driving all day or did he switch places in the fifteen seconds JBL was outside of the car and looking forward the whole time? Either way, JBL can’t operate a door so Eddie drives off, hitting some trash on the way.
Earlier today, the Dudleys and Heyman drank to celebrate what they did. Heyman says not so fast, because Paul Bearer was the only person Undertaker would go to for advice. Now they control Bearer, who controls the Undertaker. Heyman is going to the arena alone tonight so they tell him to be careful.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Chavo Classic, with his ladies, is on commentary. Rey wristdrags him to start and Chavo isn’t sure what to do. Chavo gets in a dropkick though and it’s already time to choke on the rope. That’s not the best idea though as Rey sends him through those ropes for a big dive off the top. Back from a break with Chavo dropkick Rey out of the air and Classic turning into the biggest cheerleader ever, though he does think he could do it better than Jr. We hit the chinlock with a knee in the back for a bit before Chavo puts him on top.
That earns him an elbow to the face and a moonsault press for two. A kick to the face has Rey right back down and Tazz starts singing Beatles songs and talking about Fantasy Island. The springboard seated senton gives Rey two and a spinning armdrag has Chavo in….and never mind the trouble as he Alley Oops Rey to drop him again. Chavo’s Gory Bomb (Classic: “My dad invented this move!”) is broken up and there’s the 619, followed by some failed interference from Classic. Rey grabs a hurricanrana for the pin.
Rating: C-. Ok it’s time to get the title on Rey again. The Classic stuff was funny for a little while (his commentary is still great) but having him holding the title has already run its limited course. Either put it on Jr. or give it back to Rey, because they really need to restore some credibility to the title after the last few weeks.
Jr. is furious with his dad.
As the parking lot is being cleaned up, Eddie drives the (now smoking and mostly destroyed) limo back in. He switches to reverse and backs into another car, knocking what looks like a bunch of crash pads onto it.
Back from a break and Eddie drives the ruined limo (only one horn left and a headlight hanging off) into the arena. He opens the back door but Bradshaw has passed out with the food and drinks all over him. Eddie gets in the ring and makes some jokes as Bradshaw is waking up and stumbles out of the limo. After putting on the hat, he sees the damage and panics. Again: much more entertaining because it’s not just JBL talking about the same thing he’s talked about for weeks.
Video on the European tour.
The following three matches are all non-title with five minute time limits and whoever beats Cena first gets a US Title shot at the Great American Bash. That’s actually unique for a change.
John Cena vs. Booker T.
Kurt Angle is out to watch. Booker slams him down to start but Cena comes out of the corner with a running clothesline. A hot shot and the superkick give Booker two, followed by a kick to the face for two more. We hit the chinlock, which Tazz calls good strategy after talking about how little time he has left. Cena fights up but gets knocked right back down with the side kick. Booker takes his sweet time though and Cena blasts him with a clothesline. A slow motion ax kick misses as time expires.
Rating: D. That’s on a bit of a sliding scale as you can only do so much with a match designed to go to a short time limit. Booker wasn’t even acting urgently here and it made you wonder what he was thinking. He knew the idea of the match (the big clock on the screen probably gave him an idea) but he was walking around rather slowly and not really going for it. That doesn’t make sense.
John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam
Joined in progress after the break (Nine seconds after the break. What’s the point?) with Van Dam spinning around and getting two off a spinning kick to the face. Cena clotheslines him out of the air for two of his own and hits a running forearm to the back (kind of an odd move). A running knee to the ribs and a suplex give Cena two but Van Dam scores with the stepover kick. The split legged moonsault connects for two more but Booker crotches Rob to break up the Five Star. Angle ejects Booker from ringside so Rob breaks up a superplex attempt and kicks Cena in the face. There’s the Five Star, but time expires again.
Rating: C-. Better match but still not good, though having Booker interfere made Van Dam look a little bit better. It’s a bit of a stretch for Rob to not be able to beat a tired Cena so the interference worked well here. It could also set up a Van Dam vs. Booker match, which could help out the pay per view card quite a bit.
John Cena vs. Rene Dupree
Cena is spent but takes him down for some right hands anyway. Dupree punches him right back though and drops an elbow for two. The abdominal stretch goes on for a bit until Cena hiptosses his way out. A sunset flip dives Cena two but Dupree tries a powerslam and…I guess forgets to rotate as Cena almost lands on his face. Cena, holding his hip, comes back with the shoulders and the Shuffle for two but the FU is countered into a spinebuster. That’s only a delayed near fall and a powerbomb is blocked as time expires.
Dupree asks for five more minutes so Angle says go ahead. A belly to belly plants Cena and Dupree hits the French Tickler….but walks into the FU for the pin.
Rating: D+. Well it wasn’t exactly great and the bonus stuff just made Dupree look even weaker than he has in recent weeks. Dupree still knows how to get booed and that’s going to be worth something but Cena is on a different level right now and isn’t about to lose to him. It wasn’t a good match or anything, but at least Dupree lasted the five minutes.
Post match Angle says Cena didn’t win in the five minutes so it didn’t count. Booker runs back in and beats Cena down with Van Dam making the save. Angle says Cena didn’t win anything in the challenge so he’ll defend against all three of them at the Bash. Cena and Van Dam have some words and Rob kicks him in the head.
Long recap of the Heyman/Dudleys/Undertaker story.
Here’s Paul Heyman with a bag over his shoulder. He wants to make sure the cameras are recording because this is where everything begins. Tonight is the night when the most powerful force in wrestling joins forces with the most creative man in wrestling. So Undertaker needs to come out here with an answer….and there’s the gong. Undertaker slowly comes to the ring and Heyman pulls the Urn out of the bag. He holds it up and Undertaker stares at it before taking the knee to end the show with Tazz and Cole panicking.
Overall Rating: D. The Cena stuff was a fine idea that didn’t work great in practicality, the Eddie/JBL stuff was an improvement but that’s not exactly a huge step up, and Kenzo Suzuki debuted. What exactly is there that was a good thing on this show? Somehow, it’s Chavo Classic, who was entertaining on commentary and part of the only story that didn’t have me checking the time to see how much longer was left. The show is getting slightly better, but it’s still one of the worst times the show has ever seen.
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