Smackdown – November 4, 2004

Smackdown
Date: November 4, 2004
Location: Savvis Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Attendance: 5,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re coming up on Survivor Series and after last week, we know most of what we have for most of the pay per view. The problem is that means we know what’s coming and that’s not the most appealing thing in the world. Last week’s show wasn’t the most interesting in the world with a long Orlando Jordan match making it even worse. Hopefully that’s not the case this week so let’s get to it.

We open with a look at the Tough Enough guys having to work out a lot today, then eat pasta and drink milk before working out again. After two hours of training, it’s time to go to the ring for the opening of the show.

The Tough Enough finalists are in the ring and Al Snow brings out Kurt Angle as a special guest. Angle yells at all of them and threatens most of them, mainly telling them to shut up, though Mizanin does get an MTV SUCKS. Justice has nothing to say and starts smiling, which doesn’t sit well with Angle. He brings up last week’s issues with Big Show, which didn’t impress him.

Angle shot Big Show with a tranquilizer and shaved his head because that’s tough. This is Angle’s ring and in Angle’s ring, you’re the St. Louis Cardinals and he’s the Boston Red Sox (recent World Series matchup with the Red Sox sweeping the Cardinals). Yeah they have a chance to win a million dollars and for that he hates them because he didn’t earn it. Angle has them back up and demonstrates six squat thrusts.

Tonight we’re having a competition with the winner being the person who can do the most squat thrusts. They all mess up the first one and as the competition goes on, here’s a two minute recap of last week’s segment with Big Show. Back with referee Charles Robinson helping to judge and they pick up the pace as Justice is the first eliminated after nearly four minutes of exercising. More eliminations get us down to Puder and Nawrocki with Puder being eliminated seconds later. Nawrocki’s reward: a match with Angle right now. Total time spent watching seven wrestling hopefuls do exercises: five minutes.

Kurt Angle vs. Chris Nawrocki

Angle wrestles him down for a pin in 29 seconds, breaking Chris’ ribs in the process.

We’re still not done yet as Puder volunteers to face Angle as well.

Kurt Angle vs. Daniel Puder

Angle takes him down into a front facelock and we get a LOUD UFC chant. They grapple against the ropes and Puder gets a keylock but Angle gets on top of him for a pin, despite the shoulder pretty clearly being up.

From what I (a casual UFC fan at best) can tell, Puder would have snapped his arm as the hold was in full and Robinson was smart enough to count the pin before Angle had his arm broken or had to tap out. It’s not surprising as Puder has experience in this kind of fighting, though I do wonder how hard Angle was actually going against him.

Still though, Puder had a chance and went for it so good for him. I mean, not the best idea in the world for your long term career, but if you’re told it’s a real fight and you have that kind of training, this could happen. He caught Angle off guard, showing why this was a pretty bad idea from WWE’s side of things.

Post match Angle talks trash to Puder and tells him to stay off his back in a wrestling contest. Angle declares none of them tough enough and wants them out of his face.

We look back at Booker T. beating Orlando Jordan last week to earn a shot at JBL at Survivor Series.

JBL slaps Josh Matthews in the face for asking about Jordan losing. Jordan threatens him too and Josh stands up for himself, saying he’s tired of taking this kind of abuse. Josh says Jordan needs to have his head in the game rather than stuck inside JBL.

Booker T. vs. Orlando Jordan

Twenty minutes of Tough Enough, a Josh Matthews promo and now an Orlando Jordan match??? Is WWE mad at the fans for some reason? Booker strikes away in the corner to start and slaps on an armbar. The forearm cuts off Jordan’s offense and it’s right back to the armbar. A superkick drops Jordan again and there’s a spinebuster, drawing in JBL for the DQ.

Post match it’s the Clothesline From JBL to knock Booker out.

Spike Dudley tells Bubba Ray and D-Von to get rid of Big Show tonight so they can be on Team Angle at Survivor Series. Spike even has a plan: go to the ring and call out Big Show. Tables are encouraged. I’m still trying to figure out why Spike is in this role.

Josh Matthews comes in to see Theodore Long and is told to be professional. Booker barges in and wants JBL and Jordan tonight. That’s fine with Long, who gives him Josh as a partner. E pluribus gads what in the world is this show supposed to be? Is Josh some advertisement for Tough Enough? Is that the best thing they can do on a show like this?

The Dudleys are in the ring with Spike standing on a table and demanding Big Show come out here RIGHT NOW. Show comes out and gets distracted by Spike so a low blow can set up a 3D. Another table is brought in and Show chokeslams both of them through, leaving Spike to run while talking trash at the same time. I’m glad we established that the Big Show is in fact tough.

Post break Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak ask Angle who he can get as a fourth man. Angle says he has that covered and walks over to Carlito and Jesus to ask if Carlito wants in. Carlito swallows the apple and shakes Kurt’s hand.

Raw Rebound. We’re about forty five minutes into this show and, counting the Tough Enough matches, we’ve had about three and a half minutes of wrestling.

Rey Mysterio comes up to Rob Van Dam and speaks Spanish. Rob: “Little Timmy is stuck in the well???” They’re ready for their tag match.

Rob Van Dam/Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Jindrak/Luther Reigns

Rey and Jindrak start things off with Mark not exactly looking impressed. The Rick Rude hip swivel takes too long and Rey pounds away on the ribs, setting up a headscissors into the corner. Van Dam comes in for the split legged moonsault but Jindrak drives him into the corner for the tag off to Reigns. A kick to the face doesn’t do much to slow him down so it’s a belly to back suplex into a chinlock to slow Van Dam down.

Another kick to the face works better for Rob so it’s back to Rey for the springboard seated senton. Jindrak breaks up the 619 though and we take a break. Back with Rey fighting out of a chinlock but getting caught in a half nelson driver. Jindrak sends him hard into the corner and let’s hit the uninterrupted hip swivel here. We also hit the chinlock as this isn’t exactly thrilling stuff.

The villains nearly miss a double shoulder so Reigns goes with the more accurate stomping to the back. That’s enough action though and it’s back to Jindrak for a double arm crank. The bearhug goes on, which is exactly the move you knew was coming. Rey finally grabs a tornado DDT to plant Reigns and it’s back to Van Dam as a few of the things break down. Rey backdrops Van Dam into a moonsault with Reigns having to make the save. The 619 knocks Jindrak into the Five Star for the pin.

Rating: D. I know I wanted more wrestling but I was hoping for something a little less sluggish than this one. Jindrak and Reigns are as lame of a pair of lackeys as you’re going to get and this was as much of a showcase of their shortcomings as you were going to find. Really dull match here and the last thing this show needed.

Post match Carlito and Jesus come out to throw Van Dam and Mysterio inside for the big beatdown. Eddie Guerrero makes the save with a chair.

Survivor Series rundown.

We look back at Undertaker signing to face Heidenreich and threatening Paul Heyman last week.

Eddie comes in to see Long and is told that Mysterio will be off the team. Mysterio will now be in a four way for the Cruiserweight Title with Spike Dudley, Chavo Guerrero and Billy Kidman. Therefore, Eddie needs to find a replacement and he has until next week. Long: “Comprende playa?”

We recap Jackie attacking Dawn Marie last week for suggesting that Dawn is having an affair with Charlie Haas.

And now: ARM WRESTLING! Dawn comes out first and dedicates her victory to Charlie Haas. They’re both in barely there clothes and Cole gets in the most interesting thing about this whole deal: these two have the same birthday. Dawn actually doesn’t waste time and just headbutts Jackie to start the catfight.

Haas comes in on crutches but here’s Heidenreich to beat him up. Jackie’s save attempt goes as well as you would expect as Heyman comes out saying that Heidenreich is going to get fired. Heyman keeps telling Heidenreich that it’s not Undertaker but Heidenreich gives Haas a shoulder breaker and the Undertaker folded arms pose.

Here are Snow and the Tough Enough guys again so here’s a recap of their evening so far. All of the contestants are presented for your voting consideration. Before they’re done, here’s Torrie Wilson to say they’ll be put to the ultimate test next week. At the start of next week’s show, they’ll be taking the Torrie Wilson Sex Test. They better be up to the challenge. Torrie looks at all of them to wrap this up.

Video on Big Show vs. Kurt Angle before their match next week.

Booker T./Josh Matthews vs. Orlando Jordan/John Bradshaw Layfield

JBL and Jordan get a jobbers’ entrance. Thankfully Booker and JBL start things off (yes JBL really is one of the two best options in this one) with Booker hammering away up against the ropes. A few shots in the corner have JBL in trouble but a shoulder drops Booker in short order. Jordan comes in and gets kicked in the face, drawing JBL for a failed save attempt as he elbows Jordan by mistake (or maybe because getting rid of Jordan improves his chances).

A superkick sends JBL outside and it’s off to Josh, who hits a rather nice high crossbody to Jordan. There’s a dropkick to knock JBL off the apron and it’s back to Booker but JBL gets in a forearm to knock Booker into Josh for a tag. Booker goes into the steps to make it even worse so Josh jumps on JBL’s back and ruffles his hair a bit. Jordan comes in and throws Josh around as the shirt comes off. The slow beating continues until Booker finally gets up and kicks Jordan in the head, allowing Josh to make the tag. Booker cleans house, hits a Book End on each, and pins Jordan.

Rating: D. You have to give this one a bit of a break as it’s a match involving someone whose training ended with Tough Enough. I get that it’s some way of advertising Tough Enough and showing that the show means something, but it’s a bad sign that Josh’s stuff looked equal to if not better than Maven’s from Raw. Booker winning was fine and they kept it short, but it’s still not a great idea.

Josh is out cold to end the show.

Overall Rating: F. This was a different kind of terrible as it wasn’t a show where it felt like no one was trying. Instead, this felt like a show where their best ideas and a good enough effort just didn’t work. The biggest problem is of course Tough Enough, which took up nearly a third of the whole show. I get that WWE has gone reality show crazy but it doesn’t work as this big of a part of the weekly TV show. You can only get so much out a segment like that as these people are just names with little more than their looks to distinguish themselves. It’s still miles ahead of the Diva Search, but the extra time brings it back down.

Then there’s everything else and EGADS it’s not getting any better. The rest of the show featured a story including a backstage announcer, an arm wrestling segment, Spike Dudley and a very long, dull tag match. And now I’m supposed to want to watch the best of this show on pay per view? Like I said they were trying out there but it’s such bad material with almost no one interesting (Booker is very good, but he’s not exactly exciting in the role) around. It really goes to show you how valuable Cena is to this show, but they could use a name or two from Raw to breathe some life into the show because this was a complete failure.

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