Smackdown – July 15, 2004

Date: July 15, 2004
Location: Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s a big night around here with JBL defending the World Title against Eddie Guerrero inside a cage. This is Eddie’s big rematch since Smackdown doesn’t have a pay per view this month so the question is what kind of shenanigans should we expect. The show could be ok, though I’ve been very wrong on that front before. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of John Cena being stripped of the US Title by a power mad Kurt Angle. That makes a lot more sense than having him lose the title.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Booker T. to get things going. Booker says he’s all about championships and isn’t happy with the fans chanting the FIVE TIME part with him. None of them are five time WCW Champions so they shouldn’t be saying anything. Anyway, Booker wants the US Title because he didn’t lose to Cena in last week’s title shot. That’s why he wants Kurt Angle to come out here right now and award him the title. Instead here’s Rene Dupree to say that Americans don’t deserve to be the US Champion since they have no culture. Come on, this place is named after DONUTS.

Dupree wants the title, but here’s Kenzo Suzuki to rant about something in Japanese. Booker says he speaks fluent Japanese and Kenzo says Booker should be champion. Actually Hiroko says Kenzo thinks it should be him because Kenzo loves America. Booker tells Kenzo to say something in English, so he says Booker’s catchphrase to a nice reaction from the crowd. Booker: “TELL ME YOU DIDN’T JUST SAY THAT!” Arguing ensues so here’s Cena to a pretty strong pop.

Cena thinks this is some kind of We Are The World mix tape reunion. Or maybe they’re trying to recreate the Wizard of Oz, with Hiroko as a makeup heavy Dorthy, the dumb Booker as the Scarecrow, the testicle-less Kenzo as the Tin Man, Michael Cole representing the Lollipop Guild and the cowardly Frenchman. We’re not in Kansas anymore though because this is John Cena country and the champ is here.

Cena is going to walk down the yellow brick road to Angle’s office and get his title back, or he’ll just take it himself. He heads to the back and kicks the door in, finding Angle holding the title. Cena picks Angle up from the chair but Luther Reigns makes the save….until Cena throws him through the wall. Security takes Cena away and Angle promises to do something tonight.

Rey Mysterio/Spike Dudley vs. Jamie Noble/Chavo Guerrero

Spike headlocks Jamie down to start and small packages an invading Chavo for two. A spinebuster gives Chavo the same with Rey making an early save. I don’t think it was that bad dude. Rey has had it with the double teaming and springboards in (over the referee) to take both villains out. Stereo dives (with the camera missing Spike’s) take Jamie and Chavo out again but Chavo breaks up a springboard to put Rey in trouble. Since they seem to be in a hurry, Rey bulldogs both of them down almost immediately and it’s back to Spike.

The top rope double stomp gets two on Jamie and everything breaks down. There’s the 619 to Chavo but he’s able to break up one on Jamie. The Dudley Dog connects but Chavo pulls Spike out at two. Jamie hits the tiger driver, only to have D-Von Dudley come in for the distraction, allowing Bubba Ray to kick Jamie low. That’s enough for Spike (who didn’t see what happened) get the pin.

Rating: C. They packed a lot of good stuff in there and made a little something out of a match that should have just been filler. Spike is WAY better when he’s in there against people his own size (or as close to it as you can get) instead of playing the giant killer and this was another entertaining performance, even with the storyline ending.

Post match Spike sees his brothers and figures out what happened so he tells them to leave him alone.

Raw Rebound.

Recap of JBL winning the title from Eddie at the Great American Bash and the El Gran Luchadore thing from last week.

Reigns has been pulled out of the wall but Angle says he might have tweaked his knee and needs his cast adjusted. As for Cena, he can face Booker, Suzuki and Dupree at once.

Summerslam ad with the Olympics theme. I always liked that one.

Booker T./Rene Dupree/Kenzo Suzuki vs. John Cena

Elimination rules. For some reason Kenzo gets his full entrance while Booker and Rene have to share one. No wonder Dupree doesn’t like us. Rene starts for the team as Cole tries to brag about an American winning the Tour de France five times. I’m sure that won’t sound really stupid one day. I mean, it sounds stupid now but it’ll be even worse later. We take a very early break and come back with Kenzo coming in for a slam from Cena. Rene cuts Cena off with a knee to the back though and Kenzo scores with a Shining Wizard. That’s enough to tie Cena in the Tree of Woe and, using Hiroko’s sash, Kenzo chokes away for a DQ.

Rene comes in for a French Tickler but Cena catapults him into the post and gets a very fast rollup to tie things up. Booker starts hammering away and drops the knee for a delayed two. The chinlock goes on for a bit, followed by a superkick to the chest (Does it have to hit the face to be a superkick?) for two. Cena makes the comeback with the usual and the Shuffle connects for two but Booker throws him outside. Cue Reigns to post Cena and the ax kick gives Booker the pin.

Rating: D+. This was angle advancement more than anything else and that’s fine. Cena continues to be kept strong as it took four people to finally put him down. You can pencil in Cena vs. Booker for a US Title feud and that’s a pretty good place to be. Or Cena vs. Angle down the line when Angle gets out of the wheelchair permanently.

Heidenreich is coming. I mean, coming back as he was already on Raw a few times but now he’s going to be a monster. Oh and he has Paul Heyman with him.

Eddie Guerrero praises El Gran Luchadore but says this week, JBL won’t be able to run. Inside the case there is fear, anxiety, pain and the WWE Championship. That’s going to be a real high for Eddie.

Quick look back at Paul London and Billy Kidman winning the Tag Team Titles last week.

D-Von Dudley vs. Paul London

D-Von gets aggressive to start and hammers away in the corner with London’s right hands not having much effect. Bubba’s advice to D-Von: “KILL HIM!” A suplex gives D-Von two and a Hennig neck snap is good for the same. That means it’s off to a neck crank (Bubba: “COME ON CHAMP!”) for a bit before London flips out of a German suplex attempt. An enziguri hits D-Von for two but he backdrops London out to the floor. Bubba decks Kidman and whips London with a belt but London sends the Dudleys into each other and rolls D-Von up for the pin.

Rating: D. Quick and to the point here with London winning off a glorified fluke. That’s not the worst thing in the world though as they won the titles clean in the match that really matters. Beating some fired up Dudleys either at a big Smackdown or at Summerslam will be a good win for the champs as they’re actually being built up as a new team. See how easy it can be?

Reigns wants Cena so Angle makes the match for next week. For now though, Angle wants to watch the main event and promises that no one will forget tonight. Nothing ominous there at all. I do appreciate the hole in the wall not being repaired or addressed in any way.

Smackdown World Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

JBL is defending and the ONLY way to win is pin, submission or escape over the top (the door is chained shut). I don’t think WWE knows the definition of “only”. Also, there’s something amusing about the announcement that this is the cage match as the cage is being lowered. The fans are rabid for Eddie here. JBL seems to panic a bit as he sees that the cage is locked. Eddie can’t send him into the cage to start so he goes with right hands to the head instead.

Instead JBL sends him head first into the cage but it’s way too early to go over the top. A fall away slam sends Eddie flying but he’s still fine enough to make a save. JBL gets knocked down so Eddie tries and misses a frog splash. Eddie is up fast enough to crotch JBL on the top and Three Amigos keep the champ in trouble. They head up top and JBL grabs a top rope superplex to send us to a break.

Back again with Eddie hitting a dropkick to block the Clothesline From JBL and they’re both down. JBL is up first and gets two off a spinebuster as the fans get behind Eddie again. This attempt gets cut off with a grab of the trunks (and a bit too much exposure), setting up a Russian legsweep from the top. Eddie takes his time getting up so JBL slaps on a sleeper this time around. That’s not the most thrilling move in the world and not something that I like to see in a cage match, though JBL choking with the wrist tape helps a bit more.

Eddie gets smart by running in a circle and using the momentum to send JBL flying into the cage for a break. Another ram into the cage gets a delayed two but JBL backdrops him into the cage. That means an even more delayed two, followed by the Clothesline From JBL for a not very near fall.

We take another break and come back again with Eddie jumping up the side of the cage to make a save. They head back down to the mat with Eddie reversing a fall away slam into the cage into a DDT. He goes up instead of covering though and gets a leg over the top before JBL makes a save. The still good powerbomb gets two more and it’s JBL’s turn to climb up and get pulled back down. Eddie goes all the way to the top of the cage….and turns around for the frog splash in the big spot of the match.

There’s no cover at first though so we look at an angle from the side, which makes it look even better. JBL eventually kicks out, which isn’t surprising as it took almost a minute after the splash hit. A DDT gives JBL a long breather and he goes up this time but Eddie is right behind him. Cue El Gran Luchadore to climb into the cage though and grab Eddie’s leg. That’s enough for JBL to get out and retain the title, sucking the life out of the arena.

Rating: B. These two have certainly figured out some better chemistry and this was a heck of a good match with nearly half an hour including commercials. The important thing here was they nailed the drama and Eddie can’t really complain about losing when he had the win but went for the splash instead. The ending is going to move Eddie on to something else, though I’m almost worried about what is next for JBL. It takes the right opponent to get something passable out of him and this show is thin on top at the moment.

Post match Luchadore jumps Eddie and goes to leave but Eddie pulls the mask off just in time. It’s Angle, who is mad that he lost his mask but happy that Eddie lost to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. This was a pretty solid show all things considered, though I’m not sure how good things can be in the future. Eddie vs. Angle is a proven solid match and Cena vs. Booker will be fine. Above all else, the lack of JBL talking helped so much around here. He can have a watchable enough match under the right circumstances, but there aren’t many people left to fight him at the moment. Anyway, I’ll take what I can get for the big show of the month, even though what’s coming might be a lot weaker.


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