Smackdown – August 12, 2004

Smackdown
Date: August 12, 2004
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for Summerslam and things are mostly set for the pay per view. The big story (if you can call it that) coming out of last week’s show is Orlando Jordan joining forces with JBL, meaning it’s probably time for Jordan to die at Undertaker’s hands. Other than that we’ll be in for some last minute pushes towards the pay per view. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here are JBL and Orlando Jordan to open things up. After a quick look at the mini Undertaker and Jordan saving JBL last week, JBL paraphrases Richard Nixon by saying that he is not a midget. He’s certainly not intimidated by Undertaker though he’s certainly respectful of what Undertaker has done in WWE. JBL lists off a variety of names that Undertaker has defeated over his career but JBL isn’t on that list.

Undertaker may have few weaknesses, but JBL is going to exploit them at Summerslam. Championships are won in the ring, which is where JBL defies the odds. At Summerslam, JBL will not only remain WWE Champion but defeat the Undertaker. That brings him to Jordan, who is both a great American and JBL’s new Chief of Staff.

Jordan says JBL has taught him that you have to take something you want, which is why he stopped Undertaker last week. Not that JBL needed the help or anything. JBL compares Jordan to the troops overseas and announces that it’s Jordan vs. Undertaker tonight. They’re trying to hide the fact that Jordan is Jordan and it’s not really working.

Spike Dudley vs. Paul London

Non-title. The Dudleys vs. Rey Mysterio/Billy Kidman/London is confirmed for Summerslam. Speaking of the Dudleys, they come out to start things off, complete with Bubba wearing a bandanna for an odd look. London gets sent outside early on and Kidman stares the Dudleys down to prevent violence. Back in and the Dudley Dog is blocked and London kicks him in the face for two. An enziguri drops Spike again but Ray breaks up the 450, allowing Spike to get a rollup for the pin.

Rating: D+. Short angle advancement here as the Dudleys win because of the numbers game. I’m still not sold on Spike as the evil boss but there are worse storylines to get upset about around here. London and Kidman still can’t get away from the Dudleys, which isn’t doing their title reign any favors. Not a terrible match, but it wasn’t exactly designed to be a great one.

Post match the Dudleys beat the champs down.

Cole and Tazz explain the main event, which is called a Summer Games Relay. It’s a six man tag, but the catch is the match is made up of five minute periods. One person each will start for five minutes, then there’s a coin toss. The winning team gets to send in a replacement for five minutes. After that is over, the team that lost the toss gets to send in their replacement for five minutes. They keep alternating every five minutes until there’s a fall. That doesn’t sound bad.

Heidenreich and Paul Heyman will be at Summerslam.

Scotty 2 Hotty asks what’s up with Spike. It’s simple: Spike has just come home to his family and it’s gotten him the Cruiserweight Title. So who needs friends? A slap to the face looks to set up a fight but Bubba and D-Von intervene.

Kurt Angle comes in to Theodore Long’s office to rant about Eddie Guerrero selling his stuff. Long says it was for charity and offers to let Angle call Eddie out tonight. But is Kurt man enough to go out there and do it? Angle says he is, so Teddy tells him to get to steppin.

Chavo Guerrero vs. Nunzio

Nunzio has Johnny the Bull with him. Chavo works on the arm to start but gets taken down into a front facelock. That’s broken up so a Johnny distraction lets Nunzio snap off a hurricanrana. Chavo is fine enough to hit a t-bone suplex but the Gory Bomb is reversed. A rollup with a grab of the ropes gives Chavo two as Johnny breaks it up. Nunzio grabs a rollup of his own for the pin, even though Chavo seemed to get his shoulder up. Nothing special but quite the random filler match.

Undertaker vs. Orlando Jordan

There’s smoke in the ring as a loud TAKER chant starts up. The arm cranking begins but Jordan shoulders away in the corner to break up Old School. Undertaker charges into a boot in the corner and Jordan stomps away. That’s pretty much it for Jordan’s offense as it’s a chokeslam to send him outside. Back in and Old School connects, setting up something like a DDT for two.

The required JBL distraction lets Jordan get in a low blow and a few right hands. Undertaker realizes how bad it looks to sell for this goof and throws Jordan outside again, only to get thrown into the steps. Back in again and the jumping clothesline sets up the running corner clothesline. Snake Eyes connects but JBL comes in for the DQ.

Rating: D-. There’s just no way around it: Jordan is terrible at just about everything he does and having Undertaker sell for him wasn’t a good idea. Undertaker is challenging for the World Title in three days and he’s in trouble against Jordan? There’s a reason that Jordan hasn’t been around in months and this showed just how bad he was. Really bad match and I don’t see it getting any better.

The villains bail and Undertaker sits up for the stare.

Here’s Long to talk about Angle vs. Guerrero at Summerslam. Angle and Guerrero come out with Eddie asking about Angle’s wheelchair and the missing Luther Reigns. Since Angle doesn’t have anywhere to hide, he has to say something to Eddie’s face. Angle says he doesn’t have to hide because he had a legitimate injury. Eddie has no idea what it’s like to have something taken from you like that, but Eddie says that’s what Angle did to him when he stole the WWE Championship.

Angle brings up Eddie stealing his stuff (Eddie: “That was for a good cause!”) and then showing that footage from Wrestlemania where Eddie stole a victory. It’s just a way of hiding the fact that Eddie has to cheat to beat him. Maybe it’s true that Eddie can’t beat him without cheating, maybe he can. That’s what we need to find out on Sunday because Angle can’t hide behind his General Manager position any longer. Maybe Angle doesn’t know if he can beat Eddie either.

Long cuts them off and says that in the spirit of competition, he wants to see a handshake, if they’re man enough that is. They shake hands rather aggressively to end a very good segment. This is a well told story with both guys having a reason to be here. They’ve built it up over several months and I want to see what’s going to be a great match. Sometimes it really is that simple.

Team Cena vs. Team Booker T.

Rob Van Dam, Charlie Haas, John Cena

Booker T., Luther Reigns, Rene Dupree

One fall to a finish with Van Dam and Booker starting. Why it’s not Captain Cena starting isn’t clear but maybe they want to save that showdown for the first of at least three matches at Summerslam. Team Booker already won the toss so they’ll get the first replacement after five minutes. The rules are a little complicated but it sounds fun. Before the match, Cena praises his teammates and likes Jackie’s eyes. Yes eyes.

Booker and Van Dam trade hammerlocks to start with Rob getting the better of an armbar. A hot shot gets Booker out of trouble and the hook kick to the face gets two. The armbar doesn’t get Booker very far so he chops away in the corner. Rob is right back with a loud kick to the head and the step over kick gets two more. There’s a jumping kick to the face and the Five Star but the first period expires, meaning Luther Reigns comes in before the pin. The beatdown is on and we take a break.

Back with Rob throwing some right hands and hitting the springboard kick to the face. Rolling Thunder gets two but Reigns catches him with a spinebuster to end the second period. That means Haas comes into tie Luther’s leg in the ropes and pull on it a bit. A quick crank of the leg and a takedown keeps the leg in trouble but Reigns is right up with a butterfly suplex. Haas gets clotheslined for two and a belly to back gets the same.

Back from another break with Rene working over a beaten down Haas. Rene takes a bit too long going up top though and gets dropkicked out of the air. That and a bridging German suplex give Haas two, followed by more suplexes for more two’s. Booker trips Haas from the floor though and Rene grabs an STF (which might be worse than Cena’s) until time expires. Cena comes in and, after checking on Haas, takes Rene down for some bad right hands to the head. A running neckbreaker out of the corner gets Dupree out of trouble and it’s off to a camel clutch.

Cena breaks up that and a regular chinlock but misses the flying shoulder. The French Tickler wastes some time, but Tazz does get to sing about it which is always a highlight. Another comeback includes the FU attempt but Dupree grabs the rope to kill off the rest of the time. Booker comes in again and hits the hooking kick to the face. A You Can’t See Me knee drop gets two and it’s off to the chinlock. Cena fights up and drops Booker to the floor, with Van Dam getting in a few shots. Tazz declares that not kosher, especially as Cena rolls Booker up for the pin.

Rating: C+. The wrestling wasn’t awesome here but they did have a unique idea and it was perfectly watchable throughout. Cena getting the pin ahead of Sunday is fine, even if that match doesn’t mean anything on that night. It was fun and different though, which is certainly better than watching some of the same stuff over and over again, which happens far too often.

A brawl ends the show.

Overall Rating: D+. It’s a tale of two shows here with the main event working and the JBL/Orlando Jordan stuff being rather awful. There’s not much you can do to get around a lack of talent and WWE doesn’t seem to get that with Jordan. At least there was some other stuff to balance it out, but that’s not exactly enough to make this show work. Angle and Eddie were awesome and that helped a lot, but they couldn’t make up for the rest of the show being pretty lame.

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