Smackdown – September 23, 2004

Date: September 23, 2004
Location: America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re coming up on No Mercy and that means it’s time to really get things going. Well as much as things can get going around here. The big story coming out of last week was Big Show deciding to face Kurt Angle at the pay per view, again because WWE doesn’t know how contracts actually work. The card isn’t looking thrilling but maybe they’ll get better tonight. Oh and it’s the fifth anniversary of the show so things might be a little different tonight. Let’s get to it.

Vince McMahon welcomes us to the show and thanks us for five years. More great memories will be made tonight. Nothing wrong with that.

Opening sequence, and a new one at that. No words to the theme song, but an update was needed.

New graphics too, now with a white background.

Billy Kidman vs. Paul London

Kidman’s head doesn’t seem to be in the game…and he walks out for the countout after about a minute without making a single bit of contact.

Hang on though as we have a replacement.

Booker T. vs. Paul London

Non-title. Booker jumps him fast to start and elbows London in the face for two. London has a busted nose but he comes back with a middle rope kick to the jaw to take over more than you might have expected. A hot shot gets Booker out of trouble though and we hit the double arm crank. London makes the comeback with a variety of kicks to the head for two but Booker rolls through a crossbody and puts his feet on the ropes for the pin. Ignore London’s shoulder being about eight inches off the mat.

Rating: C-. It was energetic while it lasted and that’s all I can ask for in something like this. I’m not sure why Booker came out for a match like this as he tends to be a somewhat cowardly champion but London got in some offense and Booker had to cheat to win. Not too bad here and when you consider how short it was, the match looks a little better.

Post match Booker says he’ll treat John Cena even worse but London jumps him from behind and leaves.

Cole won’t talk about Heidenreich but he’ll throw us to a Mick Foley video, talking about his favorite Smackdown moment. It’s from after a show went off the air when Rock was doing his shtick but dropped his sunglasses. They both stood there until Foley picked them up and got a “The Rock thanks you for that.” The transformation from Mankind into Cactus Jack gets a quick mention.

Kidman is about to leave when Theodore Long comes in to say he made a match and wanted to see it. Just like everyone wants to see Kidman doing the shooting star press. The match is going to happen and if it doesn’t, Kidman is fired.

Spike Dudley and Rey Mysterio have a staredown but Spike doesn’t want this set up as him stabbing Rey in the back. Rey thinks he’s loco and speaks some Spanish but here’s Kenzo Suzuki to tell Rey that he’ll be sorry. That means a shot to Suzuki’s face and Rey running.

Smackdown Throwback: Rock makes Coach do the Charleston. That was always a great pairing.

Some Phoenix Suns are here and don’t seem to want to look at the camera.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Spike Dudley

Spike is defending and has Bubba and D-Von in his corner. Rey starts fast by sending Spike face first into the corner and then he does it again for good measure. Bubba comes in for a cheap shot but gets caught, meaning it’s a double ejection. With Spike panicking, Rey hits a baseball slide but the referee won’t let him hit a dive. Instead Rey dives over the referee, in a spot straight out of ECW.

Back in and they bump heads for a break so abrupt that Cole has to apologize for it after the commercial. Rey goes shoulder first into the post but crotches the champ on top for the super hurricanrana. They’re certainly going back and forth here. The springboard spinning crossbody hits the referee, leaving Rey to load up the 619. Cue Suzuki and Rene Dupree to lay Mysterio out though and Spike retains.

Rating: C. I really don’t know what they see in Spike getting this kind of a push, though he’s certainly not the worst. It’s more along the lines of he’s not interesting and I don’t buy Bubba and D-Von as being intimidated or scared of him. They telegraphed the interference ending too and it didn’t help things. What we got was watchable, though this title reign has run its course.

Post match the beatdown is on until Rob Van Dam makes the save.

Video on the Wrestlemania XXI press conference. HHH gets in a good line by saying Hollywood is going Wrestlemania.

Stephanie McMahon’s favorite Smackdown moment was slapping her mom because it was hard for her to do. Or the mixed tag match where she was knocked off the apron and got knocked out on the steps because HHH came out and carried her to the back. Later that night, Kurt Angle kissed her, but he’s the worst kisser in the world.

Long makes Mysterio/Van Dam vs. Dupree/Suzuki for the titles at No Mercy. Long: “Fo shizzle fizzle.” Dupree: “FO SHIZZLE FIZZLE???”

Cole still doesn’t want to talk about Heidenreich but Tazz makes us watch a clip anyway. They try to say it was because Heidenreich was pulling on Cole’s arm but…what else is there to say about something like this? I can’t believe they actually showed it again.

Heidenreich is on his way to the ring but stops in Vince’s office instead, allowing Cole to calm down a bit.

Smackdown Throwback: Big Show and Brock Lesnar break the ring. That’s still a great visual.

Gangrel/Viscera vs. Undertaker

Fallout from last week with JBL hiring the former Ministry goons. Speaking of JBL, here he is in the limo, driving through Undertaker’s smoke for a somewhat cool visual. Viscera misses a charge in the corner (he never was that bright) and Undertaker punches Mideon without much trouble. Big boots abound but Viscera grabs a chokebomb to cut him off. The big splash gives Viscera two but a second attempt misses, allowing Undertaker to clothesline Gangrel. Undertaker cleans house with ease and the Tombstone finishes Gangrel. This was exactly what it should have been.

Post match Undertaker chokeslams (eh close enough) Viscera and crushes his throat with a chair while looking at JBL. A lot of pointing and posing ensues.

Heidenreich tells Vince that they’re similar but Vince doesn’t get where this is going. It’s a poem actually about how no one knows him, and that is a poem by Heidenreich.

Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson

They’re both schoolgirls….but here’s Long to interrupt before anything can start. Actually hang on a second (playa) because he has a better idea.

Fabulous Moolah/Mae Young vs. Dawn Marie/Torrie Wilson

And yes they’re all schoolgirls. We go to the “comedy” with Mae and Dawn taking turns grabbing the referee’s pants. Torrie comes in and tries a sunset flip, with Mae sitting down on it for more laughter. There’s the required Bronco Buster and it’s off to Dawn vs. Moolah. Dawn loses her top to the first real pop of the match and a schoolgirl finishes Marie, thank goodness.

Rating: F. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Diva Search, it’s that WWE can indeed manage to screw up good looking women in nice outfits. I get the idea here but egads it’s just not funny. At least they beat up the models instead of the wrestlers and that’s about all the positives you can say about this one.

Steve Austin’s favorite Smackdown moment: the first Tribute to the Troops. Oh and singing to Vince McMahon, which really was a funny bit. So none of these people advertised last week are actually going to be here in person are they?

Billy Graham is here again, just like he was on Monday.

John Cena, on top of the production truck, talks about how great Smackdown has been over the years, even quoting the Rock’s greatest hits. Well that would be different today. He gets in a few Austin lines for a bonus before promising to win the Best of Five Series.

No Mercy rundown.

Kurt Angle demands our attention and lists off some great names he’s beaten on this show. Yet he wasn’t asked about his favorite Smackdown moment. That’s a disgrace, but not as much of a disgrace as Big Show. Last week Show signed up to face him at No Mercy, so tonight he’ll create his own Smackdown moment.

Hulk Hogan’s favorite Smackdown moment is winning the Tag Team Titles with Edge on the 4th of July.

Kurt Angle/Luther Reigns vs. Big Show/Eddie Guerrero

Eddie and Angle start things off but it’s off to the power guys before any contact is made. Show shoves Reigns down but an Angle distraction lets Luther hammer away to very limited success. It’s back to Eddie to chop Reigns in the corner, followed by Three Amigos and a quick taunt to Angle. That’s enough to bring Angle in for a cheap shot and the villains take over for the first time.

Of course Angle is fine with going after Eddie on the mat but the threat of a Show right hand from the apron lets Eddie hit a quick hilo. Angle gets in his own suplex for two and the beating continues. The Angle Slam is countered with an armdrag though and Eddie nails a dropkick. Show comes back in for a chokeslam on Reigns but Angle breaks up a super frog splash.

Back from a break with Angle working on Eddie’s ankle off a variety of holds. Well at least he mixes it up a bit. Reigns comes in for hold that doesn’t seem like it would actually hurt but a suplex works a bit better. Thankfully Angle comes back in and grabs a better looking ankle hold, which Eddie reverses with an ankle lock of his own. With Angle and Reigns down, the hot tag brings in Show so house can be cleaned. A splash crushes both of them and it’s a side slam into the super frog splash (from Show’s shoulders) for…not the pin on Angle as Mark Jindrak runs in for the DQ.

Rating: C. It was your standard main event tag match until the pretty weak ending, though I can understand not jobbing Angle. What we got wasn’t bad though as Eddie is still one of the most popular faces on the show. Speaking of the show, the Big one is doing well enough as a face and is in the best shape I’ve seen him in in years, though the interest is probably limited.

Post match Jindrak takes out Eddie but Show gets his hands on him….so Angle whips out a tranquilizer dart gun and shoots Show in the back to make him wobble. Show tries to fight anyway but the dart sticking out of his back finally takes him down. With Show out, Jindrak runs to the back and comes back with scissors and hair clippers to leave Show bald, a look that he would have for the rest of his career. The haircut takes a long time to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. Aside from the complete disaster that was Torrie and Dawn as schoolgirls (just go with it), this was a completely mediocre show with very little standing out and almost nothing I can remember by the ending. The show was completely watchable, but No Mercy is looking weaker and weaker by the show.

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