Date: September 2, 2004
Location: ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
This feels like the big non-PPV month edition of the show with a huge main event in the form of Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle in a 2/3 falls match, which should blow off their feud once and for all. Other than that we have more between JBL and Undertaker, which is likely going to give us a title rematch at whatever the next pay per view is going to be. Let’s get to it.
The opening video focuses on Angle vs. Guerrero, as it certainly should. It really has been a great rivalry.
Here’s Booker T. for a chat. Booker is sick of everyone going around chanting CENA no matter where he is. Last week he tied to score in the series and we get a clip of the second match. That wasn’t it though, as Booker won the third match over the weekend, only needing a pull of the jean shorts to take the lead. Booker rhymes a bit but here’s Rey Mysterio to cut him off, giving us a great bugged out eye look.
Rey thinks Booker must be sick of the John Cena chants and might prefer the 619 version. A fight is teased but here’s Kenzo Suzuki to interrupt. Kenzo says 619 is an American area code and since Rey isn’t from America, he is a liar, liar, pants on fire. That’s not cool with Suzuki, who is a real American with a smile like Tom Cruise. Rob Van Dam comes in and jumps Suzuki, only to have Rene Dupree jump him to keep things even. Theodore Long comes out to make a six man tag for right now.
Booker T./Kenzo Suzuki/Rene Dupree vs. Rey Mysterio/Rob Van Dam/John Cena
Booker is in street clothes. We’re joined in progress with Cena planting Suzuki but a Booker distraction breaks up the Shuffle. It’s enough to allow Booker to come in and hammer away before handing it off to Dupree. That’s fine with Cena who ax handles him down and brings in the fresh Van Dam. Dupree gets kicked down and it’s time for an early standoff.
Booker comes back in for some more success but, possibly not being so comfortable wrestling in business casual, hands it back to Dupree for a chinlock. The hold lasts as long as you would expect as it’s off to Rey for the springboard spinning crossbody. Rey breaks up the French Tickler and Van Dam comes back in as everything breaks down. A 619 into Dropping the Dime finishes Dupree.
Rating: C-. Kind of a bland match but it was a better idea than the same singles matches that we’re going to see time after time. The problem here though is the villains, as neither Dupree or Suzuki are even remotely intimidating or imposing. Neither is a threat to Mysterio or Van Dam, meaning these matches aren’t the most enthralling.
We see the ending of Angle vs. Guerrero at Wrestlemania.
Long comes up to Paul Heyman in the back and wants to see Heidenreich. That’s not possible as Heidenreich is behind a locked door due to public safety. Long can dig that, but Heyman is personally responsible for Heidenreich’s actions. After attacking Josh Matthews last week, Heidenreich is being fined $5000, which is Heyman’s responsibility. Oh and no checks, as Heyman isn’t the most reliable when it comes to money. Heyman: “Holla holla holla to you too Mr. Long.”
We look back at Billy Kidman hitting the shooting star press on Chavo Guerrero last week with his knee hitting Chavo’s head. In unseen footage from last week, we see Chavo being tended to by medics. He was unconscious for five minutes and very hazy for twenty more.
Jamie Noble comes up to Kidman in the back, saying Kidman should be gone after what happened last week. Kidman thinks Jamie sounds afraid and doesn’t exactly seem apologetic.
Carlito Caribbean Cool is coming and you better be cool.
Billy Kidman/Paul London vs. FBI
Non-title and it’s Nunzio and Johnny Stamboli for the Italians. During their entrances, the FBI talks about how they’re a bit weary of the shooting star as well. Nunzio’s advice: don’t play dead or you’ll be dead. London wastes no time in kicking Nunzio out to the floor but everything breaks down in a hurry. We settle down to Johnny backdropping London with ease as Tazz explains why Johnny is called the Bull. Something about him being strong.
The comeback doesn’t take long and the hot tag brings in Kidman, who is suddenly dangerous. A headscissors takes Nunzio down and a neckbreaker gets zero as Johnny makes one of the fastest saves of all time. Johnny gets knocked outside with London hitting a flip dive to the floor, leaving Kidman to dropkick Nunzio down. Kidman goes up…but has a crisis of confidence and can’t launch. Instead he climbs down and tags London back in, allowing Nunzio to grab a backslide for the pin.
Rating: D+. I can certainly appreciate turning something that happened organically into a storyline, but this is the second time the champs have lost a non-title match to a very low level team. The division is hardly deep in the first place and having your champions, who work well together, lose to teams like this is a bad idea, especially so frequently.
Post match Kidman isn’t sure what to do but here’s Heidenreich to beat up both champs. Just in case they had something left in the tank. The beatdown goes on for a long time with Heyman having to come in and calm things down.
Long sends a referee to get Heidenreich because the fines are increasing. Torrie Wilson comes in to say she’s nervous about Big Show coming back. Does anyone remember that story? Long says this is a different Big Show, because he’s attended anger management. As you might guess, Torrie isn’t convinced.
Orlando Jordan vs. Charlie Haas
JBL, now without the halo, because you heal faster after having one of those ripped off before you get beaten up, is out for commentary. Haas takes him down without much effort but the referee rather annoyingly walks between them, allowing Jordan to spear him down. Jordan unhooks a turnbuckle pad before going with a kick to Haas’ ribs. Haas ducks a high crossbody and gets caught in a high collar suplex for two. Jordan gets desperate and goes for the turnbuckle, sending Haas into the exposed steal. A neckbreaker (kind of a reverse Twist of Fate) finishes Haas.
Rating: D. You have to establish Jordan as the lackey but that wasn’t exactly the most thrilling way to do it. Then again, nothing about Jordan has ever been described as thrilling and that was on full display here. At some point, the lack of talent is going to catch up with you and that’s the case with Jordan. He’s just not very good and there’s no way around it.
Post match Jordan distracts the referee so JBL can hit the Clothesline.
Ivory, Linda McMahon and Big Show are at the Republican National Convention. Show could not look less interested if he tried in the most entertaining part of the night.
Dudley Boyz vs. Hardcore Holly/Billy Gunn
Spike is here with Bubba and D-Von and slaps Holly before the bell. It doesn’t seem to matter as Gunn shoulders D-Von down to take over early on. Bubba offers a trip though and D-Von nails a quick clothesline. Some elbow drops get two but Gunn gets in an elbow of his own, allowing the hot tag to Holly.
The crowd reaction is about what you would expect but Holly plows ahead anyway. Everything breaks down and Spike pulls D-Von out of the way of a charge. Bubba charges into an elbow in the corner and gets caught with a top rope bulldog, only to have Spike come in with a title shot to the head, giving Bubba the easy pin.
Rating: D. And that’s Gunn’s last match in WWE for over eight years. I know he got a very nice midcard push at one point, but how far can you go with a name and theme song of Mr. A**? The answer would be a lot higher than expected, but there’s only so much you can do with what he had. He certainly had a great career, especially in tag team wrestling, and the Hall of Fame induction is coming one day. I was never much of a fan though and watching him back after the Attitude Era hasn’t been a lot of fun. Gunn did well for himself, but he must have a headache from hitting that ceiling so hard.
Clip of the end of Guerrero vs. Angle from Summerslam.
Carlito is still coming. Nothing has changed in the last thirty five minutes. At least it’s a different vignette, but it doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a weaker version of Razor Ramon.
Smackdown Throwback: Big Show and Brock Lesnar break the ring. I know it’s been done again since but that’s still an incredible sight.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle
2/3 falls. They go with the amateur grappling to start with Angle naturally getting the better of things. Eddie spins out of a front facelock and we get the first of what will likely be multiple standoffs. Angle goes with an armbar so Eddie picks the ankle for the break. The technical stuff continues with Angle grabbing a headlock, plus a handful of hair for a bonus. Back up and Eddie grabs a headlock but this time grabs the singlet to match the cheating move for move.
Angle isn’t happy so Eddie grabs it again to start setting in the frustration. He is however smart enough to take the singlet down, causing Cole to dub this a chess match. Tazz: “You take your clothes off when you play chess?” Angle gets his singlet pulled down and it’s time to take a breather as Eddie lays across the top rope. Back in and Eddie dances a bit before grabbing a waistlock, only to have Angle get in a clandestine low blow to take over. Eddie kicks him low right back, earning himself a DQ for the first fall.
We take a break and come back with Angle getting two off a suplex. Angle slaps on the waistlock until Eddie suplexes his way to freedom. You don’t suplex with Angle though as a belly to belly takes Eddie right back down for two. The chinlock goes on (with Angle ripping at the face like a villain should) for a bit before Angle rolls the German suplexes. The Angle Slam is loaded up but Eddie reverses into a rollup to tie things up in a hurry.
We take another break and come back with Eddie caught in another waistlock. Eddie snaps up and hits a hurricanrana but can’t follow up. Angle’s right hand just fires Eddie up and the comeback is on. The first Amigo is countered into a German suplex but the Angle Slam is countered into a DDT. Eddie goes up for the frog splash and of course it’s Angle running the corner for the belly to belly superplex.
Yet another German suplex is countered into a roll into the buckle, allowing Eddie to hit Three Amigos this time around. Cue Luther Reigns to distract Eddie from the frog splash though, allowing Angle to roll out of the way. Another Angle Slam sets up the ankle lock (first time in the match), which Eddie rolls through into a ref bump. Instead of doing the smart thing though, Eddie dives onto Reigns and grabs a chair.
Some weak shots abound, setting up Eddie laying down and throwing the chair to Angle. Naturally the referee sees it and yells as Eddie lays on his side and waves before dropping back down. That’s such an easy joke but Eddie makes it work. The referee keeps yelling so Reigns chairs Eddie in the knee, setting up the ankle lock for the tap.
Rating: B. It’s good and something close to a greatest hits collection, but it really didn’t hit the top gear that you might have expected. The match wasn’t quite a classic but what we got was very good. It looked rather crisp and it was so nice to have Angle hold out on the ankle lock until the end. Thirty minutes at this level is nothing to sneeze at and Eddie even has a door open for one more match if necessary. It’s a fitting end to the feud as they called back to previous matches and had a good match of their own right here.
Post match Reigns lays Eddie out to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The main event is certainly good, but the rest of the show was a great example of how boring things can be around here right now. The tag division in particular looked awful and there isn’t much aside from Eddie vs. Angle and Booker vs. Cena, which isn’t enough to carry the show week to week. It’s enough this week, but I don’t think they can count on thirty minutes from Angle and Eddie every single time.
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