Smackdown – January 27, 2005

Smackdown
Date: January 27, 2005
Location: Alltel Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for the Royal Rumble and that means more polishing up John Cena for either winning the Royal Rumble or getting the next big title shot after the show. Other than that, we have a rather spiffy three way feud for the World Title, which is a lot better than I was expecting. Maybe they can even continue it as we get through the final show. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the three way feud between Kurt Angle, Big Show and WWE Champion JBL, which has mainly been focused on Joy Giovanni and Amy Weber. Last week, Angle and JBL teamed up to take out Big Show’s knee. In quite the surprise, the two of them haven’t dragged the feud down and have played their roles rather well.

JBL, Angle and their respective cronies are happy with what they did last week. Tonight, they’re going to do it again when they take down Booker T., Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio in a six man tag. Well Luther Reigns, Mark Jindrak and Orlando Jordan will that is. JBL: “United we stand, divided they fall.”

Orlando Jordan/Mark Jindrak/Luther Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio/Eddie Guerrero/Booker T.

One of these teams is very talented. I’ll let you figure out which is which. Booker and Jindrak get things going but the fans want Eddie. A clothesline takes Jindrak down and it’s Eddie coming in with the slingshot hilo. Rey adds the springboard dropkick for two but Jindrak takes him into the corner. Jordan comes in and gets caught with a springboard crossbody as the pathetic lackeys can’t keep anything going.

A backdrop cuts Jordan off and Booker comes in for the Big Apple Blast (Hart Attack with a side kick instead of a clot). Everything breaks down for a few seconds and it’s Rey being thrown over the top and down onto Eddie as we take a break. Back with Booker hitting the Book End on Jordan and bringing Mysterio back in. A dropkick sends Jordan into the corner but Jindrak saves Jordan from the Bronco Buster. Reigns and Jordan get in an argument over who gets to beat up Mysterio but Jordan is fine enough to get two off a backbreaker.

It’s off to Jindrak for a chinlock until a Booker distraction lets Eddie sneak in with a poke to the eye. That’s not enough for the tag though as Jordan comes back in for a neck crank. Rey breaks out and crawls through some legs before sending the villains into each other. The hot tag brings Eddie in and the fans are rather pleased. Everything breaks down and it’s a 619 to Jindrak. The ax kick into the frog splash is good for the pin.

Rating: C-. The parade of chinlocks was a little much but the last minute and a half picked things up a lot with Mysterio knowing how to get a crowd going. The coalition style team isn’t going to work in the end and it’s even worse when they’re against a team with that much talent. Cut out a few minutes in the middle and this could have been rather good.

Post match Reigns shoves Jordan down and blames him for the loss. The Bashams come out to break things up. Angle and JBL come out as well and we take a break. Back with JBL blaming Angle for everything but Kurt says it was Jordan’s fault for being a bad deputy. JBL needs a cabinet because he’s the champion, which Angle will never be again. Angle says he was winning championships when JBL was getting drunk at frat parties.

JBL is one ankle lock away from being the cowboy in the bar, which sends JBL into a rant about Bill Clinton. Threats are made but here’s Theodore Long (in a salmon jacket) to interrupt. It turns out that Big Show is healthy enough for Sunday, but Long is interested in Angle talking about being the last man standing. That’s why tonight it’s JBL vs. Angle in a Last Man Standing match.

Clip of the Steve Austin press conference.

Video on Heidenreich vs. Undertaker for Sunday’s Casket match.

US Title: John Cena vs. Kenzo Suzuki

Cena is defending and hammers away to start as I don’t see this being the most competitive match. They head outside with Cena sending Suzuki into the post as this is complete dominance so far. Cena drives him back first into the announcers’ table before channeling his inner Rock by doing his own commentary. Back in and Kenzo finally sends him into the corner for a breather….which lasts all of five seconds before Cena is back with some chops. Cena initiates the finishing sequence and ends Kenzo with the FU.

Rating: D+. Cena might as well have been facing the Brooklyn Brawler here, which has been the case with just about anyone he’s been facing as of late. That triple threat feud on top of the card is leaving Cena without anything interesting to do but at least they’re not making these matches longer than they need to. Bring on the Rumble.

Post match Cena says that’s momentum and tonight, Suzuki ran into the Chain Gang. That’s what’s going to happen to twenty nine people on Sunday. Cena wants to know who is in the Rumble and mentions a fan in a certain seat, which happens to be a kid. Cena: “Little man, if you was in the Rumble, we would all whip your a**!” With that threat to a minor out of the way, Cena wraps things up.

Eddie and Rey are celebrating their victory and laughing when Booker comes in. He’s not happy with not being invited but calms down a bit as they praise him for his part earlier tonight. Booker gets on Eddie for costing them the titles last week but Eddie talks about the Rumble, which he could win. The other two don’t see it that way and Rey tells him to sit down. They both think they could win and won’t trust Eddie on Sunday. This was a perfectly nice character building segment and I could go for a lot more of those.

Here’s Heidenreich for a chat because that match needs two segments. He has a poem for us but stops in a hurry because a fan has a mini casket with a picture of Heidenreich inside. After breaking that apart, he gets through his poem, which is about his greatest battle. As he talks, he starts foaming at the mouth and shouts NO CASKET. Can we please get rid of this goon already?

Angle goes to Long’s office but Long comes outside for some reason. The main event tonight is unfair but Long sees it differently. Maybe Angle is just scared of JBL? The match is still on.

Royal Rumble Qualifying Match: Spike Dudley vs. Paul London vs. Shannon Moore vs. Funaki

Non-title and one fall to a finish. Funaki knocks Spike off the apron at the bell and it’s time for the very early rollups. Shannon gets thrown outside and Spike gets two off a belly to back to Funaki. London knees Spike in the face for the same but Spike is right back with a half Walls of Jericho.

The other two make the save as Tazz talks about Moore’s makeup. Funaki pulls London off the corner and sends him outside for a nasty looking crash. Spike’s running headbutt to Funaki’s ribs gets two with Shannon making the save. Spike knocks Moore outside but gets caught in a reverse tornado DDT. London is back up and shoves Moore and Funaki off the top, setting up a 450 to Spike for the surprise pin.

Rating: C. As usual, what are you supposed to do with four and a half minutes in a four way match? London winning was a nice surprise and it’s not like Funaki is hurt by a loss like this. If nothing else for the sake of letting him have a big bump during his elimination, which he does as well as anyone else.

After blowing off Carlito’s request for a petition signature, JBL goes to ask Long about getting the match canceled. This time Long just slams the door in his face, which is enough to make JBL sign.

ANOTHER video on Heidenreich vs. Undertaker.

Amy Weber comes up to the rest of the women in the locker room. Dawn Marie takes obsession to Amy snapping her fingers but listens to her pitch to sign Carlito’s petition. Joy isn’t there but Amy is NOT scared to ask her. Joy comes up from behind with some yogurt. The obvious happens.

Royal Rumble rundown.

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Kurt Angle

Non-title Last Man Standing match. Reigns, Jindrak, Jordan and the Bashams are at ringside. We’re joined in progress with Angle taking JBL down but JBL runs him over and drops an elbow for….well nothing because that’s not how this match works. Kurt goes for the arm so JBL powers out and chops away in the corner. The fall away slam gives JBL a five count and a top rope superplex is good for nine.

The Clothesline From JBL is countered into the ankle lock to make JBL tap but thankfully Angle is smart enough to not let it go. Instead the Bashams break it up and the fight is on outside. Despite them not breaking any rules, the referee ejects everyone and we take a break. Back with Angle going face first into the steps as things have turned into more of a brawl, which makes sense for something like this.

JBL whips him over the announcers’ table but spends too much time clearing it off, allowing Angle to dive off and get a breather. Angle backdrops his way to freedom but can’t get the Angle Slam through the table. Instead JBL posts him for a nine count (took thirty seconds) and gets annoyed when Angle gets up. Back in and Angle rolls the German suplexes, hitting a ridiculous eight in a row before letting go.

JBL gets up again so Angle grabs a rear naked choke. That’s still not enough so Angle tries a front facelock, which is reversed into a spinebuster (makes sense as JBL couldn’t do much more than pick him up and drop him). The powerbomb plants Angle for nine but he’s right back with the Angle Slam.

That’s another nine and JBL blasts him with the Clothesline. They’re both up at nine and the exhausted/near defeated look on JBL’s face is a great visual. With nothing else working, JBL grabs a chair but Angle takes it away. JBL kicks it into his face but Angle blasts him in the head before collapsing, meaning it’s a double ten count for the draw.

Rating: B. I know all of the focus is on the Rumble and Batista/Cena, but this is a really underrated feud, especially with Big Show thrown in. There’s a rather nice chemistry there and the story is actually making me want to see more. I know everything goes away as soon as Sunday is over, but they deserve a good deal of credit for a story that has no reason to be this interesting. The match itself was a good brawl with both guys beating each other up and the logical finish of a draw. As usual, JBL is better off working a power brawling style and Angle can play off of that all day long.

We cut to Long’s office where he thanks Big Show for the idea for the match. Show says he loves it when a plan comes together and promises to win on Sunday.

Overall Rating: B-. It’s good that we’re moving on soon enough because this holding pattern has been going on for a while now. That being said, it’s been a rather nice holding pattern with a shockingly good World Title feud and Cena oozing star power. They’ve set things up very well and Cena can get his title shot either by winning the Rumble or whatever else he has to do at No Way Out. This was an enjoyable show and they’re hitting the right notes at the correct time.

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