Date: October 21, 2004
Location: MetroCentre, Rockford, Illinois
Commentators: Michael, Cole, Tazz
Maybe it’s having Taboo Tuesday dulling my brain for nearly three hours but last week’s show isn’t exactly standing out to me. I’m not sure what to expect here but Survivor Series is in about a month so the build is probably about to begin. Carlito is the US Champion and seems to be getting some traction while Kurt Angle vs. Big Show doesn’t seem to be finishing up anytime soon. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Torrie Wilson, basically in a swimsuit, as guest ring announcer.
Carlito Caribbean Cool vs. Rico
Non-title. Before the match, Carlito says the title looks good on him and he would look good on Torrie. She isn’t interested so he spits the apple on her, sending Torrie running off. The fans are behind Rico as he backdrops Carlito to start but Carlito’s swinging neckbreaker gets two. Rico has to fight out of the very early chinlock and there’s the first spank. A kick to the face staggers Carlito and another kick to the face makes things even worse. Not that it matters as Carlito is right back with an Overdrive (that Rocker Dropper into a neckbreaker) for the pin.
That would be Rico’s last match in WWE. I always liked the guy, but there was no way he was going to do anything with that gimmick. It’s a shame too as his time in OVW was outstanding and he could have been something if he was allowed to be taken seriously, but the character was death.
Cole and Tazz talk about John Cena’s injuries. He’s recovering and should be able to save his kidney.
Booker T. complains to Theodore Long about being put in a six man tag with Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio because he’s done with tag teaming. Long doesn’t want to hear it and doesn’t care what Booker does, as long as it’s out there in the ring. Tonight, Long needs him to represent gangster. True that.
Video on Billy Kidman injuring Chavo Guerrero and being upset that no one was there for him when he was depressed. Kidman has since snapped and become selfish, using the shooting star as a weapon on everyone he can.
Here’s the injured Guerrero for his return, which Cole hypes up as FIFTY FIVE days in the making. Less than two months isn’t exactly some epic return but Cole hadn’t learned subtlety yet (or ever actually). Cole: “Many people call Chavo the greatest cruiserweight in Smackdown history and it’s really hard to argue that point.” He also hasn’t learned much about Smackdown, Smackdown’s history, or cruiserweights. Chavo talks about the overwhelming support he received while he was sitting at home and he’s very grateful. He’s been excited to set foot in the ring again but here’s Kidman to interrupt.
They’re both victims in this thing because Kidman suffered too. The people made him into a monster over an accident and that’s a lot to go through. All that matters is that Chavo forgives him, though Chavo doesn’t seem to agree. Chavo says this isn’t ballet and talks about a friend who has stuck by him throughout the entire thing. They shake hands, but that friend wasn’t Kidman so Chavo beats him down. A running clothesline sends Kidman to the floor.
Paul Heyman comes in to see Heidenreich before his first match on Smackdown. Long wants to cancel the match but Heidenreich is having none of that. Apparently there are some safety concerns so Heidenreich has to come out in a straitjacket. Neither of them like the idea with Heyman saying it leaves him vulnerable to the Undertaker. Heidenreich is willing to wear it because he wants to fight. The jacket feels like sweet home.
Video of the Survivor Series press conference.
Heidenreich vs. Shannon Moore
Shannon is smart enough to go after Heidenreich while the jacket is still on but a headbutt knocks him right back down. Heidenreich throws him outside but Shannon comes back in with some forearms. A big boot and backbreaker have Moore in trouble again though and a swinging Boss Man Slam finishes him off.
Post match the jacket goes back on but Heidenreich isn’t done. He wants Undertaker and calls him out while defenseless. No one comes out so Heidenreich demands Heyman bring him.
Torrie complains about Carlito spitting apple on her when Kenzo Suzuki comes up to sing to her. Thankfully Long comes in to cut things off. This wasn’t on the Network version because laws about music are screwy.
Long strolls up to Carlito and asks about the spitting on Torrie. Carlito doesn’t even get a chance to answer before Long switches to accusing him of attacking Cena in the club. That’s not a cool tone and Carlito is going to talk to his lawyers before he answers.
Video on the European tour. The FBI being so over is a strange sight to see.
Orlando Jordan interrupts Booker’s jump rope session to ask about a meeting with JBL. Booker walks away.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Mark Jindrak
Luther Reigns is out with Jindrak. Eddie flips out of an early wristlock but gets caught in a headlock. One arm gets Jindrak out of a fight over a top wristlock as Cole and Tazz make short jokes about each other. Eddie finally gets smart and pulls him down by the hair to escape before hitting a pair of armdrags into a dropkick. We take a break and come back with Eddie headlocking him down, allowing the announcers to hype up the Tough Enough finalists being unveiled tonight.
Jindrak suplexes his way to freedom and we hit the chinlock. A backdrop gets two on Eddie and we’re already back in the chinlock. Eddie fights up and gets in a headscissors, setting up the Three Amigos, which actually connect for a change. The frog splash is broken up by Reigns, who gets kicked off the apron and ejected but the distraction lets Kurt Angle run in and slide Jindrak the ring bell. Now the splash hits the bell and Jindrak gets the cheap pin.
Rating: D+. You know, for someone who is billed as this amazing athlete with a record vertical leap (which I believe still stands in WWE today), Jindrak is a pretty basic wrestler. He’s huge and has a great physique, but he doesn’t exactly do anything that shows off his abilities. Here he used basic arm holds, a backdrop and some chinlocks. Any lower midcard guy can do that, which makes me wonder why they’re wasting that kind of natural ability.
Heyman comes in to see Long because Heidenreich would like a favor. Long: “Now this is going to be good.” Heidenreich wants a match with Undertaker at Survivor Series and Long makes the match without hesitation. That’s not it though as Long needs a signed contract. Heyman is fine with that and has power of attorney over Heidenreich so he’ll sign right now. It’s not so simple though as Long wants Heyman to get a contract signed….by Undertaker. Oh and have it by next week.
Booker comes in to see Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio, saying that while they’re a great team, he’s doing his own thing. He didn’t want any part of this six man tonight and wants them to stay out of his way. Booker leaves before they can say anything so Rob and Rey agree to watch each other’s back.
The announcers discuss the awesomeness of Tough Enough.
And now, the Tough Enough competition in Venice Beach, California. Various people talk about what a big chance this is, including a certain Mike Mizanin, in what I believe is his first appearance on WWE TV. A guy in tye dye named Brian Danovich talks about how he’s wanted to do this his entire life and gets a good amount of screen time.
First up is an obstacle course, then a weightlifting test and a 40 yard dash (on sand). After the physical tests, we’ll have a personality/charisma test. We see some highlights of the physical stuff with various people collapsing and vomiting. Believe it or not, Bill DeMott is right there yelling at everyone. Daniel Rodimer is very confident and seems to do well with the physical aspects. You can tell they see potential there. Big John Studd’s son is here as well and wants to do well to honor his father. Marty Wright is very intense and has face paint on. He’s thirty years old but is ready to prove himself because he wants a job from Vince.
Some of the guys got in the ring for some grappling and to show what they could do as far as charisma and entertainment. One guy agreed to run into the ocean naked. Danovich tried to impress them on the bench press and seemed to injure his chest. On the second day, it seems to be more of the same with an ex-NFL player collapsing and leaving, though he apologized for wasting everyone’s time. That’s impressive.
Danovich came back with a huge bruise on his arm (that has to be a torn muscle) and did the obstacle course with one arm, actually finishing the thing. He had a torn bicep and a torn pectoral and promised to get to the big time one day. Al Snow gave him a very nice speech…and then immediately cut him.
As he was leaving though, Johnny Ace said that because of that heart, WWE wanted to pay for his surgery and send him to OVW on a developmental deal (From what I can find, he kept getting hurt and never made it to the main roster, or even to a match as far as I can tell. He passed away in August 2018 from what seems like an overdose.). Miz gets a quick profile where he talks about how he sees being on the Real World as a detriment. He wanted to be a wrestler and actually proved that he was a good athlete in the tests.
Back to Wright, he admitted that he was actually forty years old and was cut for lying. He would debut for OVW about seven months later as the Boogeyman. Daniel Puder is a UFC fighter and admitted that his promo was terrible. On the second day he had the best time on the course and got a woman to get in the ring with him because he’s cute.
The eight finalists:
Everyone is really happy to have made the finals. This ran for nearly eighteen minutes and while it served well as a way to get to know some people, it was WAY too long to air on a regular TV show. Make it a half hour special somewhere but don’t spent a fifth of your air time on something like this. I’d also hope they didn’t air this live in the arena, though with a taped show there’s a good chance they didn’t. This was several steps above the Diva Search, which consisted of things like selling ice cream and dancing. It’s still not exactly the best idea in the world, but it makes for slightly less annoying TV.
JBL and Jordan come up to Booker in the back but he cuts them off and congratulates JBL for all of his success. As a fellow Texan, Booker thinks along a similar path and likes the idea of having a house boy. He’s just kidding, though Jordan doesn’t find it funny.
John Bradshaw Layfield/Kenzo Suzuki/Rene Dupree vs. Rob Van Dam/Rey Mysterio/Booker T.
This is billed as a Champions Showcase. Rob and Rene start things off and the announcers bring up last week’s scary German suplex to Dupree. They go to the mat this time for an early standoff before Rob tags Rey while going down from a sunset flip. That means a pair of dropkicks to both sides of Dupree but another blind tag brings Suzuki in. An enziguri sends him into the corner and it’s a Bronco Buster from Rey into a split legged moonsault from Rob.
It’s already back to Rey for a springboard seated senton and the springboard spinning crossbody gets two. A headscissors/headlock takeover has the tag champs down so JBL comes in for a fall away slam. That’s fine with Rob, who crossbodies both of them for a double knockdown as Booker watches from the apron. Rob dives onto Rene but Kenzo throws Rey’s feet at Booker to knock him to the floor.
Back from a break with JBL suplexing Rey and grabbing a sleeper, which is quite strange looking given the size difference. Rey gets out and hits a headscissors but Booker won’t tag, allowing JBL to drag Rey into the corner. Dupree comes in but the 619 is broken up with a kick to the back.
Everything breaks down and Van Dam misses an ax handle off the apron for a crash into the announcers’ table so Rey DDT’s Dupree. Booker finally gets the tag to face JBL and they smile at each other. Booker loads up Rey for the Clothesline From JBL but winds up kicking all three villains down. Rene and Kenzo are sent outside, leaving JBL to take the ax kick for the pin.
Rating: C+. This was as efficient as they could get with a nice story being told of Booker being in it for himself and then going exactly the way he should have gone. Booker is more than qualified for a run after the title and could get a good match out of JBL if everything goes right. You can see the obvious Tag Team Title match on a pay per view as well so it’s a well done job of knocking out two stories at once.
JBL looks terrified to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. What we got was good and you can see some seeds planted for Survivor Series, but egads that Tough Enough thing felt out of place. It’s way too long and while it gives me a lot more hope than the Diva Search did, I’m almost terrified to see what else we might have to sit through going forward. The rest of the show was the usual hit or miss, though the main event was good stuff and helps set up a lot going forward. Overall, not the worst, but that Tough Enough thing really hurt it. Oh and Heidenreich, who is still awful.
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