Smackdown – April 28, 2005

Date: April 28, 2005
Location: NEC Arena, Birmingham, England
Attendance: 9,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re still over in England and this time around we’ll be seeing a four way elimination match to determine the first challenger for John Cena’s Smackdown World Title. There is a good chance that match is going to be getting a lot of the TV time, though I’m hoping we get some time on Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Carlito to open things up with Carlito’s Cabana. Carlito goes over some British food stereotypes and wants to spit apple in the Queen’s face. See, England is NOT cool because they have not yet discovered cool. We get a picture of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, who must not be cool.

That brings him to his guest: Kurt Angle, who immediately agrees with Carlito’s take on England. There really is nothing cool around here, like making Shawn Michaels tap at Wrestlemania or beating Eddie Guerrero a few weeks ago. That’s cool, but what is REALLY cool is winning the four way tonight and going on to become a five time WWE Champion. This brings out a rather muscular British wrestler to interrupt and Angle isn’t happy.

The guy introduces himself as Steve Lewington, who wants to take part in the Kurt Angle Invitational. That isn’t happening, but Angle throws in a bad British accent to say no in a better way. Angle sends him away and jumps him from behind, which is the American way. He promises to become #1 contender tonight….and Lewington jumps him from behind. A low blow cuts Lewington off though and the Angle Slam/ankle lock make it even worse. Carlito adds an apple spit. This felt like filler, which can be a problem on the British shows.

Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero vs. Paul London

London is defending and Torrie Wilson is guest ring announcer for obvious reasons. London’s head was stapled together a few weeks ago so Chavo sends him face first into the buckle in a smart move. A few more shots to the head don’t do much good so London hits a rolling kick to the face, followed by a dropsault for two. London goes up top but gets shoved off, sending him ribs first into the turnbuckle and out to the floor. That’s quite the crash and it’s enough for the countout.

Rating: D+. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere but it should set up a rematch for the title down the line. Chavo has a reasonable complaint about losing the title in a battle royal so giving him a few matches against London is a good idea. What might not be a good idea is having your champion lose like this when he isn’t the most established star in the first place.

Post match Chavo celebrates with the title but Torrie says she has been informed that a championship cannot change hands on a countout. Is there reason to believe that she knew that before he told him? Chavo lets out some frustrations with a Gory Bomb.

We recap the issues between Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero, which included them losing the Tag Team Titles last week.

The Daily Star Girls are here….and that’s it.

Sharmell is firing Booker T. up when Heidenreich shows up. Booker gets in his face….but Heidenreich just wants to read a poem about the four way. Sharmell can dig the poem, which has Booker winning. Heidenreich is happy because he made two friends tonight. They really still see potential in this poetry gimmick?

Eddie comes in to see Rey to try and bury the hatchet. As Eddie talks about being a bad partner lately, Chavo comes in to say he’s going to win the Cruiserweight Title soon. If the two of them play their cards right, they could be champions again. Eddie doesn’t like this line of thinking and says everyone is just like Chavo: jealous of the relationship Eddie and Rey have. He and Rey are family, but Chavo doesn’t buy that because Rey is no Guerrero.

Eddie says Rey has been more of a brother than his own blood and is there for him every time. Eddie asks if Rey is his family and Rey cuts off Chavo for interfering. Chavo isn’t part of this and needs to leave. Chavo leaves and Rey agrees that they are great friends and partners. Yeah Eddie may not be all there mentally sometimes but that’s the case with everyone. His heart is in it though and that’s what counts now and forever. It’s time to go win some titles. Awesome stuff here, as has been the case with almost everything Eddie and Rey have been doing.

Tag Team Titles: MNM vs. Eddie Guerrero/Rey Mysterio

Eddie and Rey are challenging. It’s Nitro in trouble early as both Eddie and Rey get in a few shots to the face. Nitro sends Eddie to the apron, allowing Mercury to pull him down to the floor and then post him for a bonus. As the fans whistle at Melina, the champs start keeping Guerrero down in the corner like a good team should. Eddie gets up without much trouble and drives over for the tag to Rey, who springboards in as only he can. He also accidentally runs into Eddie as only he can, though a springboard moonsault is still good enough for two on Mercury.

A hurricanrana looks to set up the 619 on Mercury as Eddie is walking out. One heck of a powerbomb plants Mysterio as Eddie is watching on the Titantron. Eddie eventually comes back and gets on the apron as we take a break. Back with Rey in trouble, including Nitro’s breakdancing legdrop connecting for two.

We hit the waistlock as Eddie is looking annoyed on the apron. Nitro switches to a reverse chinlock until Rey kicks him off, only to have Eddie look like he’s sitting through a seminar on proper handwashing technique. Eddie won’t reach his hand out when Rey gets over so Mercury pulls him away and drops an elbow to the back. The assisted elevated DDT plants Rey to retain the titles.

Rating: C. This worked very well from a storytelling perspective though not so much from a wrestling perspective. That wasn’t the point here though and the big angle was quite good as an enhanced version of how Strike Force split back at Wrestlemania V. It was very well done and it’s likely to keep being awesome.

Post match MNM destroys Rey and posts him as Eddie just stands there watching from the apron. He slowly walks away as Rey screams for him to come back in one of the best moments they’ve done in a long time.

Post break we recap the whole thing, which isn’t as effective with Cole calling every step of it.

John Cena vs. Rene Dupree

Non-title. Before Cena comes out, Rene talks about being a REAL European athlete because he’s from France. Dupree starts fast and even gets in a spinebuster for some right hands. We hit the reverse chinlock again before a kick to the back sets up a second version. Cena finally realizes how boring this is and finishes with the usual in a hurry.

Rating: D. This was rather boring despite barely breaking three minutes. Cena vs. Dupree has been done so many times and it isn’t made better by the fact that Dupree has never felt like a threat to him. I had almost forgotten that Dupree was even a thing at this point and that might be better for everyone.

Matt Morgan vs. Mikey Whiplash

Whiplash would go on to become a name in British wrestling. Morgan gets to stutter about how he stutters. Who in the world looked at someone like Morgan and thought STUTTERING was the right way to go? Morgan blasts him in the face for what he thought was laughter and generally mauls him for a bit before finishing with the suplex into the hard Rock Bottom for the pin in a hurry.

JBL, still with the classic title belt, says it doesn’t matter where we are, because the fans still want to chant his name. Big Show comes in to say JBL says the same thing every week. No matter what he says, JBL is on a losing streak (no he isn’t) and tonight it’s going to continue (no it isn’t).

We go behind the scenes of John Cena’s music video (for Bad Bad Man with all of it’s 80s greatness), complete with Christina Aguliera showing up and sounding rather uninterested. The video premieres next week.

Booker T. vs. Big Show vs. John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Kurt Angle

Elimination rules for the #1 contendership and Orlando Jordan is here with JBL. Angle already has the straps down so you know this is serious. The brawl is on in a hurry to start with Show cleaning house, even knocking away a German suplex attempt. A legdrop crushes JBL and sends Booker flying off a toss. Show crushes all three of them in the corner but Angle pops out with an Angle Slam for one.

Booker adds the ax kick for two and the Clothesline From JBL gets the same. They knock Show outside for the huge Angle Slam through the table….and a countout for the elimination. In a four way? That’s a creative way to get rid of him, even if it goes against the general rules of the match. We take a break and come back with Booker fighting out of the corner but crotching himself off a missed sidekick.

A whip into the steps slows JBL down and Angle suplexes Booker for two. JBL comes back in and walks into a Book End for two but Angle is right back with the rolling German suplexes for the same on Booker. Neither the Angle Slam or the Book End can connect so Angle picks the ankle. That’s broken up as well so Angle hits the Slam for two more. Booker’s superkick gets his own near fall as Jordan slides in a chair. That earns him an ejection and the distraction lets Angle chair Booker in the head for the second elimination to get us down to one on one.

We take another break and come back with JBL slightly cut open and Angle fighting out of a chinlock. The ankle lock goes on but gets broken up just as quickly and there’s the fall away slam. The Clothesline hits the referee though, just as Angle gets the ankle lock. JBL calls out the Bashams for the save so it’s a bunch of suplexes all around. That includes some rolling German suplexes to JBL and the ankle lock gets the tap, which no one sees. Cue Booker to chair Angle down, allowing JBL to steal the pin and the title shot.

Rating: B-. Booker vs. Angle made this work rather well, even when the ending was as obvious as you could have gotten. They have made no secret about the fact that this was JBL’s win the entire way and that’s fine. It makes the most sense and you can have the other three get title shots later on if they want to. Not a great match, but it got around the clear finish and that’s kind of hard to do.

JBL does You Can’t See Me to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a story heavy show and that gave it a way around some of the lame wrestling. The shows over in England are often a bit off wrestling wise (probably due to the travel issues) so going with some big angle advancement was the right call. It’s a good show and now we can start the build towards whatever their next pay per view is going to be.

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