Smackdown – January 6, 2005

Date: January 6, 2005
Location: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re in a new year and it’s time to start building towards the Royal Rumble, featuring another Undertaker vs. Heidenreich match. I’m not sure why anyone would be looking forward to that but hopefully it wraps up their feud once and for all. Other than that, John Cena is looking like the star of stars and I’m thinking that has some potential. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Fallout from last week’s Tag Team Title match. Rey brings out the 619 Cam but Eddie steals it for some filming of guest timekeeper Joy Giovanni. We get started with Rey snapping off a headscissors but getting caught in a test of strength. That’s broken up with Rey climbing onto Eddie’s back for two off a sunset flip, meaning it’s an early standoff. Back up and it’s another headscissors to rattle Eddie some more.

Rey charges again but this time he gets faceplanted down, setting up an armbar on the right (not left Cole) arm. The hammerlock goes on for a good bit until Rey makes the rope, with Eddie not letting go immediately. Rey tries a moonsault but gets caught in the Tree of Woe for a dropkick to the ribs. Eddie misses a charge though and crotches himself against the post as we take a break.

Back with Rey holding something like an abdominal stretch on the mat before switching to an armbar. An exchange of sleepers goes to Rey, followed by a springboard armdrag. Rey gets two off a Lionsault and we hit the chinlock. That’s broken up so Rey dropkicks him into the ropes, only to miss the 619. Eddie chills in the corner so Rey tries a Bronco Buster, which is blocked with a raised boot.

It was NOT a low blow though (Eddie promises) so Rey takes him up top but the hurricanrana is countered into a powerbomb. A missed charge bumps the referee though and Eddie has an idea. It’s the old grab the title spot so he throws it to Rey….who throws it right back and drops down as the referee gets up.

Eddie crawls around on his stomach to hide the title and INSISTS that he did not use the belt. He tries to crawl over and throw it away but gets caught, giving us a hilarious look on his face. Rey cracks up and Eddie tries to convince the referee that it means Rey did it. That’s almost a double DQ but Eddie’s begging keeps the match going….and lets Rey small package him for the pin.

Rating: B-. Well of course these two had a fun match, but the ending was hysterical with Eddie going so over the top when he had no idea what to do in the situation. His NO and HE’S LAUGHING got some actual laughter and they did it for the right reason. How often do you get that in wrestling?

Post match Rey shakes an unenthusiastic Eddie’s hand.

Heidenreich thanks Paul Heyman for coming to help him with the casket stipulation. For some reason, Heyman is treated like a big reveal here and isn’t shown until a little bit into Heidenreich’s speech. Heyman promises to fix things.

Cruiserweight Title: Funaki vs. Akio

Funaki is defending and Carlito, with his petition, is on commentary. Hang on actually as Carlito gets a signature from the cameraman and some fans. Funaki starts fast with an armdrag to send Akio outside, followed by some rollups for two each. Carlito isn’t done though and even gets inside, asking the referee and wrestlers for signatures.

With Carlito sent outside (sans signatures), it’s time to get some security guards to sign. Akio’s enziguri gets two and it’s off to a quickly broken armbar. Funaki hits a bulldog for two as Carlito is asking more fans for signatures. Akio misses a corkscrew moonsault and gets DDTed off the middle rope for the pin.

Rating: D. What were you expecting here? This was all about Carlito’s deal and does very little to make me want to see the cruiserweights for the time being. You can’t put a squash match in there instead of a title match? Hopefully they don’t do any more of this stuff, or at least not in a match that should matter.

Post match Joy won’t sign so Carlito spits apple on her. I do not find this to be cool.

Heyman and Heidenreich try to talk Long out of the casket match at the Royal Rumble. Violence seems to be threatened so Long gives Heidenreich an offer: If he can beat Undertaker tonight, he gets to pick a new stipulation. Oh and we’ll make it a handicap match with Heyman involved. Heyman: “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND???”

Kurt Angle meets with Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak but Amy Weber comes in and wants to talk to him in private. She offers him her services, which Angle sees as her hedging her bets. Personal relations are implied and Angle seems rather happy.

Here’s Angle for the Kurt Angle Invitational and he’s feeling like he’s up for a gamble tonight. By that he means doing the same thing he’s done every week.

Kurt Angle vs. Brian Black

Black looks a bit like Chris Nowinski with shorter hair. Angle makes him tap in less than thirty seconds.

Torrie Wilson and Jackie Gayda meet Daniel Puder, who doesn’t seem entirely impressed. Puder brings up Jackie cheating on Charlie Haas and wishes her better luck with men in the future. They can leave now, with Puder saying they’re just after his money.

And now, a battle rap between John Cena and Kenzo Suzuki before their US Title match next week. Kenzo, now clean shaven, is dressed like Uncle Sam. It’s Kenzo going first and talking about how much he loves America with the usual lame jokes. Cena on the other hand goes with a bunch of gay jokes about him and sex jokes about Hiroko. Kenzo says something about Cena sucking so Cena brings out Rochelle, Michelle and Lauren.

They get Kenzo’s attention and he flirts with them a bit. Cena: “I swear, he’s got some game.” The women seem more disturbed than anything else so Hiroko jumps on Michelle’s back. That’s broken up and Cena cleans house. They’re just biding time until Cena goes after the World Title because everyone else feels beneath him.

Next week: the Tag Team Titles are on the line in a four way.

Rob Van Dam vs. Doug Basham

Danny Basham and Orlando Jordan are in Doug’s corner. Rob takes him to the mat without much effort as Mysterio has come out to even the score a bit. The threat of a kick to the face sends Doug outside, where he shoves Rey and gets punched down. That’s an ejection for Rey so Van Dam moonsaults down onto Doug for two back inside. They slug it out on the floor with Van Dam going back first into the apron so Doug can start in on the spine.

The bow and arrow hold doesn’t last long so Doug tries a Vader Bomb, which hits raised feet. Rob hits the middle rope boot to the face and Rolling Thunder keeps Doug in trouble. A distraction lets Orlando give Doug a foreign object but the referee catches him, allowing Danny to change places. Danny’s chokebomb is good for the pin.

Rating: D+. Nothing special to see here though it does give the Bashams a little momentum as we head into next week’s title match. The tag division isn’t exactly strong right now but Van Dam and Mysterio have felt like filler champions since they won the belts. That’s not a bad thing but I’m not sure who is going to work well as champions.

Angle lets himself into Amy’s dressing room but she’s in the shower. The suit comes off and, after Angle rubs his nipples, it’s Joy in the shower and a lot of screaming ensues. Angle pulls her towel off and smiles again as Joy runs off. Angle gets his pants on and chases after her, but finds Big Show holding her, meaning panic sets in as Angle tries to explain things. The chase is on and they wind up in the ring as the announcers try to figure out the locker room situation. Reigns and Jindrak try to help and get destroyed but Angle grabs a chair. This goes badly as well and Angle is dispatched.

Post break, here’s the same thing you just saw.

JBL, Amy and Jordan are very happy about what happened and of course Amy has put a sign up on Joy’s locker room to mess with Angle. Yeah it was telegraphed but it worked fine.

Raw Rebound.

Heidenreich punches a wall to warm up as Heyman tries to calm him down about the casket. He was totally going to volunteer to be on Heidenreich’s team if Long didn’t order him to do it.

Heidenreich/Paul Heyman vs. Undertaker

If Heidenreich/Heyman win, they can pick a different stipulation for the Rumble match. Heyman is in a suit here. Heidenreich starts for the team and shoulders Undertaker down, which is more success than you would usually expect against undertaker. An armdrag of all things takes Heidenreich down but he sends Undertaker into the corner and hammers away.

The chinlock doesn’t do anything so Heidenreich knocks him down for two more. Undertaker is right back with his usual series of strikes and the jumping clothesline puts Heidenreich back down. Snake Eyes into the big boot sends Heidenreich to the floor….and we’ve got druids.

They bring two caskets to the ring (Cole: “Perhaps one casket is for Heidenreich and the other is for Heyman!”) and Heidenreich panics. He tags Heyman and runs out into the crowd as Undertaker’s head snaps to Heyman. A lot of screaming is cut off by the Tombstone and Heyman is sent into the casket for the win. To be fair the casket is outside so I guess it would be a countout. Then again there’s no bell so I guess it’s just assumed.

Rating: D. This was exactly what it should have been as Undertaker vs. Heidenreich in a long match is nothing I ever need to see again. Since WWE seems to think they MUST finish this feud though, keeping it short is the best idea possible. Now just let Undertaker crush him at the Rumble (in another short match) and be done with it.

Overall Rating: D+. The opener carries a lot of the show and the Angle/Joy thing was fine, though the Undertaker vs. Heidenreich stuff just isn’t working. They need to get to the Royal Rumble build already so Cena can become the main event star he’s destined to be. You can feel the energy when he’s on screen and there’s no one even close to that right now.

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