Smackdown – July 22, 2004

Date: July 22, 2004
Location: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

Things got interesting again last week with General Manager Kurt Angle revealing that his leg seems to be fine as he attacked Eddie Guerrero, costing him the Smackdown World Title in the process. Tonight is going to be all about the fallout as we’re coming up on Summerslam next month. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the cage match and Angle screwing Eddie over. That frog splash off the top of the cage looks better every time I see it.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Angle, again in the wheelchair with Luther Reigns pushing him to ringside. Angle gets in the ring on a crutch and insists that he is NOT a con artist. He’s an extraordinary human being capable of incredible things. Like winning an Olympic gold medal with a broken freaking neck. Last week he saw a horrible human like Eddie Guerrero about to steal the title and that inspired him to do the impossible. Sure he regressed after that and his surgeon wasn’t happy with him, but it was the moral thing to do.

Angle likes a Smackdown where people like John Cena are stripped of the US Title, men like John Bradshaw Layfield stand tall as the WWE Champion and Eddie becomes obsolete. As for tonight, Eddie needs to come out here and get on his knees to beg for his job. Before Eddie can come out though, Angle has hometown boy Tony Chimmel get in the ring. Tony announced Eddie as the winner of Angle’s last match, but since Eddie cheated and Tony announced him as the winner anyway, Tony should be fired.

Therefore, Tony has to get on his knees and beg first. He does beg, and it’s weird to hear the announcer voice talking in conversation instead of introductions. Angle fires him anyway and promises to have Eddie beg tonight as well. Good opening segment with Angle’s lies looking better than they did before. The Chimmel thing seemed very forced though.

Josh Matthews is filling in for Tony. Egads help me now.

Chavo Guerrero vs. Jamie Noble vs. Spike Dudley

The winner gets a title shot next week. Jamie and Chavo double team Spike to start until a missed clothesline puts Jamie down. Chavo is back up to jump Spike but the villains can’t get along, allowing Spike to get Jamie in a half crab. That’s broken up as well with Chavo throwing Jamie outside and Spike sending Chavo out as well. A dive hits both of them and everyone is down. Back in and Spike’s top rope double stomp hits Noble with Chavo adding a side salto for two. With Jamie down in the corner, the Dudley Dog finishes Chavo to give Spike the title shot.

Rating: C. The wrestling was good but it didn’t have any heat from the crowd. Spike winning is the best choice as Jamie hasn’t meant anything in about a year and Chavo vs. Mysterio has been done to death. It’s nice to have an entertaining match like this though and that’s always going to have a place on a wrestling show.

Video on the Japan tour. Now this makes sense compared to Raw’s version when they looked at shows in New England.

The women (they’re not wrestlers and I don’t think you can call four people a division) want to perform more often so Angle (still holding the US Title) makes a four way lingerie match. I think the women are supposed to be disappointed by the lingerie match but they’re such bad actresses that you can’t tell.

Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Billy Kidman

D-Von and Paul London are here of course. Bubba goes with the power to start and runs him over with a shoulder. Speeding things up works for a bit for Kidman until he walks into a spinebuster to cut him right back down. A falling headbutt sets up a neck crank as the announcers talk about JBL’s Rocky Challenge later tonight, while making it clear that the Rock is NOT here. Just in case you started to get excited over something JBL related you see. Kidman fights up and hits an enziguri but the seconds distract the referee by mistake, allowing D-Von to break up the shooting star press. The Bubba Bomb is good for the pin.

Rating: D+. I can go with the singles matches to build up the rematch, mainly because there aren’t exactly many other teams for the Dudleys to fight. The cheating finish was fine and the rematch should be good, but it would be smart to have London and Kidman win a match after becoming champions. Even a squash or two.

We recap John Cena’s issues with Angle and Luther Reigns.

Angle is very proud of Booker T. and awards him the US Title…..kind of, as he has to wait to clear it with the Board of Directors. Booker can hold the title tonight though. Funaki says this isn’t fair and Angle doesn’t want to hear it. Angle: “You know what’s not fair? You’re a broadcast journalist and can’t even say broadcast journalist!” Angle fires him.

The Dudleys congratulate Spike on his win and next week they get their own shot at the Tag Team Titles. They take credit for Spike’s success and promise to not interfere next week if Spike doesn’t interfere in D-Von’s match tonight. Spike seems fine with that, until he finds out that D-Von is facing Rey Mysterio. We’re supposed to believe that Rey would be in over his head with D-Von?

Here’s JBL for his Rocky Challenge. He talks about being a great American in Philadelphia and promises to be the champion that Philadelphia needs. Unlike the Philadelphia 76ers, he doesn’t have to go through a metal detector on his way to work. As for the Flyers….well that’s a Canadian sport and he doesn’t watch it. That leaves him with Rocky Balboa and tonight’s Rocky Challenge. JBL calls in a wrestler he has sitting at ringside and if the unnamed wrestler wins, he gets a title shot at Summerslam.

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. ???

Non-title and the unnamed wrestler is future OVW Champion Mike Kruel (listed on the WWE Network but not on commentary). Belly to back suplex, fall away slam, powerbomb, Clothesline From JBL for the pin.

Post match JBL says he doesn’t have an opponent for Summerslam so he’ll just go watch….and here’s the Undertaker. JBL actually stays in place and says he was going to announce his Summerslam title defense against Shannon Moore. He offers to let Undertaker leave but opts to leave himself, only to get chokeslammed. So there’s Summerslam, because that’s the match the world needed to see.

Heidenreich video, which is off the Network version for some reason.

Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson vs. Sable vs. Miss Jackie

One fall to a finish and they all get to disrobe. Hang on though as Angle wheels himself out to say they’re all useless. No one wants to see them wrestle in their lingerie so they’re all fired. I know this is supposed to be a big heel moment but he’s right: what exactly do these women do around here? It’s certainly better than having them try to wrestle.

Rey Mysterio vs. D-Von Dudley

Non-title of course. D-Von hammers him down to start and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker makes things even worse. Some headbutts to the back set up a chinlock but Rey is right back up with a top rope seated senton. Since it’s Mysterio though, he’s already grabbing his knee. Rey is fine enough for some right hands and a moonsault into a reverse DDT (in one motion as opposed to the AJ Styles version where he stops on his feet in the middle).

D-Von takes him to the apron but his powerbomb is reversed into a hurricanrana to bring it right back inside. Bubba breaks up the 619 though and somehow the referee didn’t see a thing. This brings out London and Kidman to take care of Bubba, with Kidman shoving D-Von off the top as payback from earlier. The 619 into the springboard splash is good for the pin, which Cole calls an upset. I know Rey hadn’t won the World Title yet, but him pinning D-Von in a singles match isn’t an upset.

Rating: D+. Stupid line from Cole at the end aside, there wasn’t much to this one but it was fine as a way for Kidman and London to get back at the Dudleys for earlier. Mysterio vs. Spike seems to be setting up as something interesting next week and while I can’t imagine the Tag Team Titles changing hands, a surprise Cruiserweight Title change isn’t out of the cards.

Raw Rebound.

John Cena vs. Luther Reigns

Cena has thundersticks, which I always thought were cool. Before the match, Cena says that Angle may have stolen his belt but the champ is still here in Philadelphia. Cena talks about Angle’s wife cheating on him with some AA batteries and how Luther is more stuck to Angle than Kurt’s wheelchair. Luther is ready to fight here and the brawl is on in a hurry with Cena being knocked to the floor.

A butterfly suplex has Cena in more trouble and it’s off to the chinlock. The comeback is cut off with a spinebuster but Reigns misses the kneedrop that takes way too long to set up. Cena makes the real comeback with the ProtoPlex into the Shuffle but the referee gets bumped. There’s a DDT and Cena pumps up the shows as Booker T. comes out. The belt shot misses though and Cena steals the fast pin.

Rating: D. This is a match that happened and was little more than a way to help the build towards Cena vs. Booker for the US Title. Reigns is fine in the role as an enforcer but he’s not exactly the best wrestler in the world. Cena is now to the point where he can help carry something like this but it didn’t have the time to go anywhere and Reigns’ offense wasn’t exactly good.

Here’s Angle on a crutch so Eddie can beg him for his job. Eddie has two choices: beg Angle or go beg in the streets. See, this way Eddie doesn’t have to wash windows. Instead, here’s Vince McMahon to interrupt. Vince doesn’t like Angle making people beg for their jobs and grovel like this while pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. Angle has committed career suicide by messing with Vince because this could cost Vince a humanitarian award since he isn’t employing a handicapped General Manager.

Therefore, Angle needs to resign RIGHT NOW. Kurt swears that he really is handicapped but Vince tells him to get on his feet. Vince kicks the crutch out and Angle is fine, so he’s back on the active roster of wrestlers. He’s going to wrestle, and we’ll make that match at Summerslam against Eddie Guerrero. Cue Eddie (with Vince doing the dance) to smile at Angle and give Vince a ride to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. Here’s the big thing about this show: you can see the stories that they’re going for and in this case, the stories are actually decent. The lack of attempted murder helps a lot too. Undertaker vs. JBL sounds pretty weak and while we’re waiting on more matches to be set up for Summerslam, the Eddie vs. Angle match sounds awesome. The show is starting to make sense again and while it’s still not good, Cena is rising up in a hurry and coupling that with an actually interesting heel in Angle should make for a much, much easier show to watch.

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