Date: November 25, 2004
Location: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
It’s Thanksgiving and that means we’re likely in for a heavily themed show. That’s rarely a good idea around here as WWE doesn’t have the best track record with these things. That being said, there are worse things they could do, like focus on Orlando Jordan vs. Josh Matthews again. Let’s get to it.
Vince McMahon narrates a video thanking the troops.
Joy Giovanni is setting the Thanksgiving table and happens to be leaning over quite a bit.
Here’s Torrie Wilson, tonight’s ring announcer, to wish us a happy Thanksgiving and hopes we saved room for dessert: Smackdown. With that bad line out of the way, she introduces the first match.
Rey Mysterio vs. Rene Dupree
Kenzo Suzuki and Rob Van Dam are barred from ringside. Dupree has a black eye coming in and the announcers try to figure where it came from. Maybe a match perhaps? Rey starts fast with the top rope wristdrag but the springboard crossbody is dropkicked out of the air. A guillotine legdrop misses, which is far better than jumping straight down with nothing in mind. Rey’s sitout bulldog gets two more but the 619 attempt is sidestepped for a crash to the floor. Rene’s bad luck continues with a posting and the springboard seated senton gets two. Now the 619 can connect, setting up the springboard legdrop for the pin.
Rating: D+. This was as generic of a match as you can get with both guys doing their regular stuff and getting out of there in a few minutes. You’re only going to get so much out of a match like this but since there are almost no other teams on the show, this is about all you can expect for a build towards the title match. They might as well bring out Van Dam and Suzuki for their match now.
In the back, Hiroko explains Thanksgiving to Kenzo Suzuki, who is too busy fawning over Torrie. Hiroko gets the point and leaves in a huff.
We recap last week’s Tough Enough competition.
Here are Al Snow and the Tough Enough competitors for this week’s shenanigans. Ryan Reeves has two broken ribs but he isn’t quitting. This week’s elimination: Daniel Rodimer, who would bounce around developmental for a long time as a Stephanie McMahon project that never worked out. Tonight it’s arm wrestling with Mizanin having to compete right handed to make it even less fair. Puder beats Mizanin in about a second and Reeves beats Smith, albeit with some more effort. After Smith and Mizanin give their predictions, Puder actually beats Reeves without much trouble.
Eddie and Booker T. are ready for their tag match tonight against JBL and Orlando Jordan. Amy Weber comes in and offers her services as an image consultant, which manages to drive a wedge between them over who will be winning the upcoming title match. Booker talks about Eddie already getting his rematch but Eddie explains why those weren’t fair. Eddie talks about Booker being a five time WCW World Champion and it turns into an argument over family. Amy breaks it up by saying they’re forgetting about Undertaker. Eddie says he doesn’t forget anything and leaves angry.
As we transition to the announcers, we get a CGI version of JBL’s entrance….with JBL as a turkey in the limo. These have been going on throughout the night and they’re as bizarre as they sound.
We recap John Cena winning the US Title from Carlito last week and getting attacked by Jesus after. His kidney is messed up pretty badly.
Carlito and Jesus brag about the injury with Carlito saying Jesus took care of Cena. They still have the chain that injured the kidney last week, which was like a drive by. Jesus says he showed Cena what it was like to be from the streets and if Cena ever comes back, he’ll do it again anywhere Cena wants. Carlito spits apple at the camera.
Rey and RVD alternate between Spanish and English about Rob vs. Suzuki.
Rob Van Dam vs. Kenzo Suzuki
Rey and Rene are barred this time. Rob starts fast with the kicks to the face but gets crotched on top to cut off the momentum. A running clothesline gives Kenzo two as the announcers talk about Japanese Thanksgiving. Kenzo drops a running knee, which Cole describes as “well that was a knee to the nose”, because he’s good at explaining the obvious. Rob fights up with a kick to the face, followed by a springboard kick to the face for good measure. Rolling Thunder connects to set up the Five Star but Hiroko gets in the way. She also hands over her sash, which Kenzo uses to choke Van Dam for the DQ.
Rating: D. So the solution to the boring Tag Team Champions is to have them wrestle two bad matches. They can’t drop the titles soon enough as this has been a terrible reign between two guys who couldn’t get a strong reaction if their lives depended on it. Kenzo going after Torrie isn’t going to work either, though at least it seems that they’re moving towards the team dropping the title.
Post match Hiroko goes after Torrie to set up a catfight with Kenzo breaking it up and gyrating in front of Torrie. Rob kicks him in the face.
Joy has put all the food in the ring with Josh Matthews hosting Big Show’s Thanksgiving. Show is happy to celebrate his favorite holiday and says he’s glad to celebrate with the greatest announce team of all time. Well he would if this was Monday and Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were here. Show plugs the Rise and Fall of ECW DVD before asking Tazz not to have a flashback and suplex him through the pumpkin pie. Fans: “ECW! ECW!” Show: “You should buy the DVD!”
Show talks about eating a bunch of food when he was a kid, to the point where his dad put a lock on the refrigerator. Then one Thanksgiving his sister brought her boyfriend over. That wasn’t working for Show, so he waited until no one was looking, knocked him out with a turkey, tied him up and threw him into the neighbor’s yard. He told the sister that the boyfriend went home so she went after him, meaning more food for Show.
Now it’s on to all the food he liked to eat, including the cranberry sauce that better be shaped like a can. He calls Cole, Tazz, Tony Chimmel and the production staff to the ring to eat because it’s time to share the wealth. Everyone goes to eat but here’s Luther Reigns to interrupt. Reigns talks about never having a Thanksgiving because he was always in prison.
These people talk about not having enough to eat but he spent his time trying to stay alive. Reigns gets in the ring and makes Joy put him some food together, earning herself a pie to the face. Show sends him into the food and Reigns bails, leaving everyone else to get in a food fight. Joy pies Show to make things even.
I remember watching this live and the same thing stood out to me nearly fifteen years ago: Show sounded natural. This wasn’t scripted and was pretty obviously him being told “go talk about Thanksgiving for a few minutes.” Show is a good talker so it’s not like there was any danger there. Why that isn’t done today is one of the great mysteries of modern WWE.
The announcers are covered in food.
Here’s Kurt Angle, with armed security, for a chat. Angle is thankful for this holiday but not as thankful as the fans are for him starting the Kurt Angle Invitational. The security holds up the Gold Medal and tonight it’s time for someone else to get a shot at it.
Kurt Angle vs. Cody Steele
The fans chant what sounds like LIAR when Cody says he’s from Rochester. Angle even volunteers to drop down to all fours so Cody can have an early advantage. The reversal takes all of five seconds and Angle hits him in the face. That means a breather for Steele, who agrees to go down as well because he doesn’t seem that bright. Of course Angle kicks him in the face and it’s the Angle Slam into the ankle lock for the fast tap.
Angle gets in a little more ankle cranking for a bonus.
The remaining Tough Enough participants get twenty seconds each to tell us what they’re thankful for.
Mizanin is glad to be here, for the Mizfits who vote for him and for not being Daniel Puder.
Reeves is thankful for food and family. He does a survey asking who the people are here to see and Snow has to take the mic away from him for taking too long.
Smith thanks God, friends, family and the fans.
Puder says just about the same thing as Smith while promising to win. His three favorite words are Snap Crackle and Pop and he’ll show us what that means soon.
We look back at Heidenreich breaking down last week.
Paul Heyman talks about Heidenreich being under round the clock supervision and on medication. He knows a different side of Heidenreich, who is a very sensitive man. Heyman actually bows his head in prayer for him. I’ll give WWE this: they’re trying everything they can with Heidenreich, even if he’s that terrible.
Jackie Gayda and Michelle McCool are stretching for obvious reasons when Charlie Haas comes in. Michelle leaves and Charlie likes Jackie’s pilgrim outfit. Jackie is ready to rip Dawn Marie’s costume off and then her head is coming with it. That makes Charlie happy and he doesn’t like the rumors of him cheating on her with Dawn Marie. Kissing ensues. That’s better than Charlie talking again.
Dawn Marie vs. Jackie Gayda
Indian vs. Pilgrim. Catfight, referee shoved, done in thirty seconds.
Post match Charlie tries to break it up and pulls Dawn off. It says a lot when a story about two gorgeous women fighting in small outfits is this uninteresting.
Booker T./Eddie Guerrero vs. John Bradshaw Layfield/Orlando Jordan
JBL and Eddie start by throwing the towel at each other until Eddie snaps off some armdrags. Booker comes in and side slams Jordan for two because Jordan is really not very good. A JBL cheap shot from the apron lets Jordan take Booker down and we hit the chinlock. It’s back to JBL for an elbow to the face and some elbow drops get two.
Jordan grabs another chinlock as Cole thinks the fans are split on who they want as champion. As long as it’s not JBL that is. Booker gets up pretty easily and makes the hot tag off to Eddie so house can be cleaned. Three Amigos keep JBL in trouble and everything breaks down. JBL powerbombs Eddie out of the corner and boots Booker in the face.
Booker pops up for the ax kick but a fan in a Rey Mysterio mask decks Booker in the jaw. There’s something hilarious about the smartened up security guard sitting there with his arms crossed as a fake fan attacks a wrestler. So much for suspension of disbelief. It’s Danny Basham, followed by another “fan” (Cole: “Now who could this be?” I’m guessing the other fan helping Danny Basham is…..Funaki probably.) shoving Eddie off the top. That would be Doug Basham, who smiles as the Clothesline From JBL finishes Eddie.
Rating: D. Believe it or not, Jordan was in fact able to bring down a pair of Hall of Famers and JBL, who should be in there too. There’s no way to believe that he’s a threat to these two and yet he’s in there week after week for reasons I still don’t understand. It’s another bad match to close out the show, which really doesn’t surprise me.
Post match Undertaker comes out to crush JBL, leaving the Bashams as an afterthought to end the show.
Overall Rating: F. I’ve had to say this a lot lately but I feel so sorry for the fans who bought tickets to this. Quick matches from the Tag Team Title feud, an Angle squash, a thirty second match between Dawn and Jackie, a food fight and a thirty second long arm wrestling tournament from people fighting for a chance to train in developmental. Then their big main event: an Orlando Jordan match. If I paid money for this show, I wouldn’t be coming back and that’s been the case for a few weeks now.
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