Date: August 26, 2004
Location: Save Mart Center, Fresno, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
We’ll wrap up the Smackdown half of the month here and that’s not the worst thing in the world. The big match this week will see john Cena face Booker T. in the second match in the best of five series for the US Title. Other than that we have the very injured JBL running from the Undertaker and Eddie Guerrero wanting one more match with Kurt Angle. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Rey Mysterio saving Eddie Guerrero from Kurt Angle and Luther Reigns, setting up last week’s tag match main event. Angle pouring paint on the low rider to end the show was a great touch.
Here’s Eddie to get things going. Last week, Angle defaced his personal property so this week, Eddie is going to deface him. That means Eddie wants a fight but he gets Luther Reigns instead. Reigns has seen a lot of fights in his day from prisons to bars, and he knows that Angle would annihilate him. Eddie is ready to fight anyway but Angle pops up on screen to say come to the parking lot.
The chase is on and Angle hides behind what he says is his car. Eddie pours trash on it and smashes the windows with a pipe but Reigns runs in from behind and beats him down. They get in another car and speed away, leaving Eddie to beat up the car a little more. Theodore Long comes up and says it’s his car. Eddie’s look makes up for any problems this might have had. Security takes Eddie away as Long cries over the car. Alas, no Final Fight reenactment.
Kenzo Suzuki vs. Rob Van Dam
Fallout from last week when Kenzo beat Van Dam down after a match. Before the match, Kenzo brags about Japanese cars before saying he loves America. Van Dam kicks him off the throne and starts beating up the people who carried it in. American jerk. Back in and Kenzo shoulders him down at the opening bell to take over.
The abdominal stretch goes on for a bit until Rob slips out and fires off some kicks. The top rope kick to the face gives Rob two and the split legged moonsault is good for the same as Rob finally changes up the offense a bit. It’s time for the Five Star but Rob has to dive onto an invading Rene Dupree. Not that it matters as a small package finishes Suzuki.
Rating: D. What were you expecting here? It’s very clear that Suzuki is already a lost cause and while Rene is better, he’s not exactly an upgrade as a partner. Van Dam hasn’t had trouble beating either of these goons and whoever he finds as a partner shouldn’t have any issue either.
Post match Dupree and Suzuki beat Rob down and show each other respect. Yeah it’s still not interesting.
Long is still crying over his car and talking about how it was a classic and all he had. JBL and Orlando Jordan come up and yell about Long ignoring them all week. They want something done about Undertaker because this is an unsafe working environment. Long makes a title match for tonight against Undertaker but since JBL can’t wrestle, Jordan can defend it for him. So now his future depends on Orlando Jordan. Just give up now man.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Billy Kidman
Jamie Noble and Paul London are at ringside. Kidman isn’t having this feeling out process and snaps off an early hurricanrana. Chavo gets in a few shots of his own to take over and it’s an armbar to keep him in trouble. That goes nowhere so Kidman fights up with a backdrop and a clothesline. The BK Bomb doesn’t work due to the bad arm so Kidman kicks him in the head instead. Noble breaks up the shooting star so London takes him out and kicks Chavo in the head. That’s enough for Kidman to hit the shooting star for the pin.
Rating: D+. This didn’t have time to get very far but the Tag Team Title match should be fun. The problem is the champs aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire and no one buys the challengers as a serious threat. There’s no division at the moment and that’s not likely to get better anytime soon.
Carlito Caribbean Cool vignette, this time showing him for the first time. The apple spit and catchphrase make their debuts as well.
Long is STILL devastated over his car when Angle and Reigns return. Angle doesn’t care about the car and gets a 2/3 falls match with Eddie next week. As for tonight, he can face Rey Mysterio. Dang Long is on fire and he makes Luther sweep up the mess as a bonus.
John Cena vs. Booker T.
Match #2 in the best of 5 series with Cena up 1-0. Booker starts fast by forearming him down and a suplex gets two. Cena is right back with an elbow of his own but Booker hits a superkick. The chinlock goes on early until Booker knees him in the back, followed by a missile dropkick for two. Another kick to the face gets another two and it’s already off to the second chinlock.
Booker switches it up to a double arm crank before getting two more off a spinebuster. This has been almost all Booker and the comeback can come anytime now. We hit another chinlock for another little while until Cena pops back to live with shoulders. The Shuffle connects for two but Booker sends him face first into the buckle. That and a backslide with feet on the ropes ties the series up.
Rating: D+. If there was a rating between D and D+, I’d go with that for this one. It was a lot of laying around in chinlocks and while it wasn’t the worst, it wasn’t thrilling. To be fair though, it’s the second of what is likely to be five matches so you can only get so annoyed at what they’re doing. Not the worst, but it felt like they were holding back/saving stuff for later. Understandable, but not really thrilling.
Match #3 will be taking place in Australia over the weekend at a house show. Good idea actually.
Paul Heyman is in the ring and introduces the new reason for his supreme confidence: Heidenreich. They get right to the point with Heidenreich saying he’s more than just hype and beating the heck out of Josh Matthews, including a shoulder breaker and a cobra clutch. Anything that involves Josh being hurt is a good thing for me.
Big Show is coming back.
Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio
It’s worked before so this should be fine. Angle takes him down without much effort to start, which tends to be the case. Rey is back up with an armdrag and it’s time to mock Angle’s pose. You know that makes it serious but Angle charges into another headlock and the early frustration is setting in. Rey headscissors him outside for a baseball slide and we take a break. Back with Rey caught in a chinlock, as tends to be the case when you come back from a break around here. At least Angle has a knee in the back to keep things fresh.
An overhead belly to belly makes things even worse and it’s off to a bearhug, with Angle dropping to a knee to deal with the height. A release German suplex gives Angle two more so Rey pops back up with a dropkick. The 619 connects but the West Coast Pop is countered into a powerbomb for two. The Angle Slam is countered into an inverted DDT for a heck of a near fall so Rey tries a victory roll. Angle has been studying his Owen Hart though as he sits down on it for the pin.
Rating: B. Well of course these two had a good match. They’ve always had solid chemistry together and this was no exception. Angle winning clean over a guy who wrestles a similar style as Eddie Guerrero is a good way to set up next week’s 2/3 falls. It’s also not like a loss to Angle hurts Mysterio very much, especially when Mysterio isn’t doing anything at the moment anyway.
Smackdown flashback: Arnold Schwarzenegger beats up HHH.
JBL gives Jordan a pep talk and isn’t exactly thrilled with the prospects. Jordan wants to wear the title and that’s shot down as fast as you might guess.
Smackdown World Title: Orlando Jordan vs. Undertaker
Jordan is defending in JBL’s place. He also gets to hold the title in what feels like fan fiction gone mad. Undertaker’s entrance gives us a hilarious visual of JBL, with the cowboy hat on top of the halo, turning to look and looking into the camera in the process with his eyes bugging out. Jordan tries slugging away and gets his head kicked off for two. Old School connects in a hurry and the jumping clothesline gets two. A JBL distraction lets Jordan get in his first major offense, because it’s not like he can do it himself.
Back in and some right hands stagger Jordan but Undertaker goes after JBL again. The results are the same this time around and Jordan gets two off a Downward Spiral. That just makes Undertaker sit up though and it’s time for the proper beating to begin. A right hand knocks JBL off the apron and there’s the Tombstone, but JBL pulls the referee out for the DQ.
Rating: D+. All things considered, this wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I don’t think anyone was expecting anything other than JBL interfering for the DQ and it’s not a bad thing to go with the obvious. Jordan still isn’t anything more than a warm body who isn’t any good in the ring, but he serves a purpose here. Not a terrible match, but an exercise in killing time.
Post match Undertaker beats up JBL, ripping the braces off and hitting a chokeslam. Undertaker poses with the title to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. It’s hard to put into words, but there’s something about Smackdown that feels so much more together than Raw. Over on Raw you get the big angles and stories and promos, but Smackdown tends to be more low key, allowing them to show things off a little bit better and let them develop. It might never get as big around here, but it also never feels as bogged down when a story is bad. You can go either way with that, but both are rather entertaining.
This was a great example of that kind of Smackdown and I had a good time with it, though it wasn’t the most interesting thing in the world. They’re building things up for the next few weeks and those stories sound interesting. If we can get some great action out of these stories (Eddie vs. Kurt seems like), it’s going to be easy to see Smackdown pulling ahead, though both shows are getting a little better.
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