Judgment Day 2005

Judgment Day 2005
Date: May 22, 2005
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 9,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s time for another Smackdown pay per view and that could go in a variety of ways. Granted it tends to be a variety of bad with these things but there are a few different levels. This time around there are two matches that look good with JBL vs. John Cena in an I Quit match and Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio, which should be enough to get it past bad. Let’s get to it.

The opening video focuses on Eddie vs. Rey with Eddie being presented as the sinner. Then there is Kurt Angle who has surrendered to his desires of passion. Finally, you have JBL and Cena, who are headed for guaranteed agony.

There isn’t even an intro from the announcers as we go straight to the first match.

Tag Team Titles: MNM vs. Charlie Haas/Hardcore Holly

MNM is defending and Melina has a mic on the way to the ring. Charlie throws Nitro around to start and even lifts him into the air by the arm. An armdrag gets two (yes an armdrag) and it’s off to Holly, which sends Nitro bailing into the corner. Mercury comes in and jumps over Holly but gets caught (mostly) with the dropkick.

The hanging kick to the ribs set up the corner chops to Mercury, plus one for Nitro for a bonus. The Alabama Slam is loaded up but the referee yells at Haas, allowing Nitro to make the save with a superkick. We actually get a LET’S GO HARDCORE chant as Mercury hits a neckbreaker for two. Nitro grabs the chinlock with a knee in the back, which is broken up in a hurry with Holly hitting the full nelson slam for the double knockdown.

Haas gets the hot tag and hits a dropkick of his own to start the house cleaning. The big dive over the top connects and a small package gets two on Mercury. Everything breaks down and Holly goes shoulder first into the post, allowing Nitro to get in a cheap shot from the apron. The Snapshot retains the titles.

Rating: C. I came into this expecting nothing and got a completely watchable match so we’ll call this a nice surprise. Haas and Holly aren’t great challengers but they did what they could here and got the fans into it. MNM is a very good team though and should have the titles for a long time.

We recap Big Show getting taken down by Carlito’s poison apple and Carlito debuting Matt Morgan as his new bodyguard.

Big Show vs. Carlito

Before the match, Carlito talks about Randy Moss (former Minnesota Viking) saying he left because Minnesota wasn’t cool. They don’t respect talent like Matt Morgan, who is cool because he’s big and strong. Tonight, Morgan is going to watch Carlito destroy Big Show. Carlito bails to the floor to start with Show eventually tossing him into the corner for the overhand chops.

Morgan’s distraction doesn’t help as Show tosses Carlito again and stalks away a bit. A slam keeps Carlito in trouble so Morgan low bridges Show to the floor to finally put him in trouble. Back in and Show beats Carlito up even more but the referee gets bumped, allowing Morgan to offer another distraction. This one works a bit better as Carlito gets in a low blow into Morgan’s F5 so Carlito can steal the pin.

Rating: D-. This wouldn’t have even been a good TV match as it was more a way to set up Morgan vs. Big Show in the battle of the giants down the line. I still don’t get much out of Carlito. Maybe it’s the goofy looking hair or the character in general, but he just does not appeal to me. He has his moments and can do well enough in the ring, but it never has clicked for me.

We recap Booker T. vs. Kurt Angle. Booker eliminated Angle from a #1 contenders match so Angle got obsessed. This caused him to go nuts about Booker’s wife Sharmell, who he described as a “gutter sl**.” Angle went into full on stalker mode on Sharmell and claimed that she liked it, sending Booker further over the edge. Angle has promised to dominate both of them tonight so Booker superkicked a TV.

Sharmell gives Booker a pep talk but gets a delivery: lingerie and handcuffs, but they’re not from Booker. Cole: “Is Kurt Angle absolutely insane?” Yes, yes he is.

Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero vs. Paul London

Chavo is challenging. They trade kicks to the legs to start until Chavo takes him down and hammer away. After Cole explains that Chavo won the title from Chavo, he talks about a tilt-a-whirl knee to the knee. We hit something like a seated abdominal stretch to stay on the ribs which were banged up a few weeks ago. London gets up with a hurricanrana but the 450 hits raised knees to put the champ right back in trouble.

A belly to back suplex gives Chavo two and a dropkick to the ribs gets two. The rather logical abdominal stretch goes on but London slips out and hits his own belly to back suplex. A leg lariat keeps Chavo in trouble and an enziguri gets two. London spinwheel kicks him down again and there’s the big flip dive to the floor for a bonus. Chavo is back up with his own dive but London crotches him back inside. A backdrop puts Chavo down again and the 450 retains the title.

Rating: C+. The story of the match made sense and they beat each other up well enough, but the interest just wasn’t there for the most part. I’m not sure what you can do to make Chavo vs. London interesting and that’s one of the biggest problems with the title. The wrestlers are treated as second class talent and while the match was fine, it comes and goes and it doesn’t draw much interest.

Booker is looking for Angle. After searching a few bathrooms, Booker tells the locker room to tell him if they see Angle.

Sharmell is in Booker’s locker room when Angle appears and shoves her on the couch. He puts his hand over her mouth and says he can get her anytime. After the match, she’s his. As usual, Booker comes off as REALLY STUPID for leaving her alone when Angle is nowhere to be found.

Kurt Angle vs. Booker T.

Booker goes right at him (well duh) with right hands and a choke on the ropes as this is likely to be more of a fight than anything else. Kurt reverses in the corner and drives some shoulders into the ribs. The chinlock goes on early but Booker fights up and gets in a neck snap across the top.

Booker shrugs off a nearly desperation ankle lock attempt and drapes Angle over the top for the ax kick. Since that’s not big enough for a match like this, Angle posts him to take over again. Back in and Angle gets two off a suplex and we hit the chinlock with a bodyscissors. That’s broken up as well and Booker hammers away, only to crotch himself on a side kick attempt. Angle pounds away in the corner before putting on the waistlock to keep Booker down.

Booker gets back up and hits a spinning kick to the face as Angle is cut on the forehead. The ax kick and Angle Slam are countered so it’s the Book End for two on Angle. The comeback is on though as Angle rolls the German suplexes and nails an overhead belly to belly. Another Angle Slam is countered into a small package…for a very fast pin in what might not have been how things were supposed to go.

Rating: B-. The match was the usual upper midcard/main event style stuff but the story is just so disturbing in a lot of ways that it loses most of its positive value. Booker needed to be a little angrier here, but at least he started out aggressive, which is more than a lot of people seem to understand in this kind of a story. Odds are we’ll see this again, but hopefully without the need for a shower inducing Angle promos.

Post match Sharmell runs out as Angle beats up Booker some more. Angle pulls out the handcuffs but Booker makes the save and cuffs Angle to the ropes. Sharmell slaps the heck out of him and kicks him low for the feel good moment.

Boxing legend Roberto Duran is here.

Tazz has keys to victory in the I Quit match. #3: Don’t quit.

US Title: Orlando Jordan vs. Heidenreich

Heidenreich is challenging after beating Jordan in a non-title match on Smackdown. Hold on though as Heidenreich needs to find a new friend. This time it’s a young girl named Alex who screams a lot. She sits in a special chair (which looks rather unspecial) and he reads a poem about looking for friends in Minneapolis and wanting to hear the Heidenreich chant. Jordan dropkicks him through the ropes to start and stomps away in the corner with more aggression than usual.

Heidenreich doesn’t like Jordan yelling at Alex though and hammers away, only to get sent outside for his efforts. A belly to back suplex gets a very delayed two and we hit the neck crank. Heidenreich fights up and does his walk to start the comeback, including the pummeling in the corner. Jordan kicks him in the face and grabs a swinging neckbreaker for two more. A drop toehold sends Heidenreich throat first into the middle rope and a DDT retains the title.

Rating: F. It’s the United States Title and they can’t come up with ANYTHING better than this? Heidenreich is the big goofy face and you have him lose clean in five minutes? Jordan is just such a vacuum of charisma and the title is dying more and more every day he has the title. I know it isn’t in great shape at the moment, but they can’t find anyone else to fight over the thing?

Post match Alex helps Heidenreich up.

JBL talks about how lives are broken in a fight and you are no longer a man if you quit. A few years ago Cena was in the stands cheering for whoever JBL was beating for a championship. Tonight Cena has no backup plan and he’ll quit to the wrestling god.

We recap Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio. They had been partners but Eddie started to get jealous over the fact that he couldn’t beat Rey. Then Chavo Guerrero got in Eddie’s head and told Eddie that Rey would never be family. The two of them got in a few arguments until Eddie fully turned on him as he went completely over the edge. Now Rey wants revenge as Eddie needs to prove that he can beat Mysterio. This has been incredible stuff from Guerrero, who keeps falling further and further into the jealousy and it is going to near perfection.

Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero

Rey has bad ribs coming in. Eddie tries to sneak up on Rey as he prays in the corner so Rey slugs away as it turns into an early fist fight. Some kicks to the ribs and shots to the head have Eddie in more trouble. They head outside and Eddie whips him into the steps and then the post for a bonus. We’ll add the announcers’ table too as Eddie stays on the bad ribs. Another drop onto the table has Rey in real trouble but the referee pulls Eddie off of him.

They head back in as the EDDIE SUCKS chants are in full swing. Eddie shouts down at Rey and there’s a belly to back suplex to bang up the ribs some more. The abdominal stretch goes on for a good while before Eddie plants him face/ribs first with a reverse powerbomb. The bandage comes off of Rey’s ribs and it’s a half crab to work them over even more. Rey slips out and scores with an enziguri and they’re both down for a breather. A springboard dropkick gives Rey two and they’re both a little staggered.

Eddie dropkicks the knee though and puts on a full Boston crab. Now it’s an STF with Rey crawling as hard as he can to the ropes. With that out of the way, it’s time to go to the floor with Eddie loading up the steps. Rey saves himself with a ram into the post though and they’re both down again. Back in and they slug it out with Eddie doing his dance until Rey hits….a big boot? From Rey Mysterio? The springboard seated senton gives Rey two so he hammers away in the corner with rights and lefts.

The missed charge goes shoulder first into the post though and Eddie hits a top rope superplex to destroy the ribs even worse. Rey slips out of the Third Amigo though and a hurricanrana (with a leg around the body instead of the head) looks to load up the 619. Cue Chavo for a distraction though and Eddie grabs a chair, which is dropkicked into his knee. Rey takes Chavo down and hits the 619 on Eddie, but the West Coast Pop is chaired out of the air for the DQ.

Rating: B+. This worked incredibly well with Eddie’s mind breaking down more and more every second until he forgot why he was here in the first place and got disqualified instead of going for the win. The ending keeps the story moving forward too as you can’t have Eddie win here and Rey pinning him has been done before. This advances things and gives Rey a reason to want revenge while knowing he can still beat Eddie. Well booked and well wrestled, but did you expect anything else?

Post match Eddie chairs him down and Rey has to be helped out.

We recap JBL vs. John Cena. JBL lost the title to Cena at Wrestlemania but has since been obsessed with the idea of getting the title back. He sees Cena as a poor champion because Cena is a street thug so it’s a match where someone has to give up, with an I Quit match. This is likely to be the violent showdown that Wrestlemania wasn’t, and that’s a good thing.

Smackdown World Title: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. John Cena

Cena is defending and this is an I Quit match. JBL, with the older title design, comes out in the limo so Cena rides out on the back of a flatbed truck, which features a turntable on the back. They trade some long form armbars to start until an armbar sends JBL bailing to the floor. A suplex brings him back in but he pounds Cena in the back to block a backdrop. JBL DDT’s him for a cover, though not for a count because, you know, there aren’t any in this match.

Things head outside with Cena sending him face first into various things before going into the crowd. A swinging neckbreaker onto the concrete doesn’t have much effect on Cena so it’s back to ringside. JBL grabs the mic and demands that Cena quit so Cena slugs away, only to get sent into the steps. Just like on Smackdown, JBL grabs a belt and whips away, followed by a choke around the post.

With that broken up, JBL loads up a powerbomb through the announcers’ table but gets backdropped through the other instead. Cena throws him across the other table so JBL comes up with the Eddie Guerrero chair to the face. The bloody Cena staggers to his feet so JBL hits him with the steps and mocks You Can’t See Me. The Clothesline From JBL connects and so does the second for good measure.

Now it’s time to choke with a chain as Cena is in big trouble. There’s a low blow to cut Cena down again but JBL talks too much trash, allowing Cena to initiate the finishing sequence. The FU connects so JBL takes a walk, with Cena following and sending him into the limo. Another swinging neckbreaker drops Cena onto the hood, which is now covered in blood too.

JBL chokes him with a cable and Cena is COVERED in blood with one of the nastier cuts I’ve seen in a long time. He won’t quit though and sends JBL face first through a TV to bust him open too. A suplex onto the top of the limo makes it even worse…so JBL tries to get inside the limo. That’s fine with Cena, who pulls him back and sends him into the open door a few times.

When it doesn’t break, Cena takes it off and drops it on the hood, meaning it’s time to go to the flatbed truck. JBL is sent into a C02 tank but is fine enough to hit a DDT onto the bed for the double knockdown. Cena uses a microphone to knock JBL off of a speaker and through the table as JBL can barely walk. With nothing else working, Cena grabs an exhaust pipe off of the truck and goes over to JBL….who quits out of fear.

Rating: A-. I’ve always loved this one as Cena looked like the warrior and the conquering hero who JBL completely underestimated what he was capable of doing. Cena needed a win like this and he looked like a champion here, which isn’t something that he had done before. This was a big step forward for him and the definitive end to the feud with JBL. Great match, better performance from Cena, and a heck of a blade job.

Post match Cena knocks him through a glass wall anyway and poses, COVERED in blood, to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. The shorter run time (just over two and a half hours) helps this one quite a bit as those last two matches, which eat up about 40% of the show are both great and more than enough to make up for a lot of the problems with the other stuff. The two big matches being that good aren’t exactly a surprise and Booker vs. Angle was good enough to carry the rest of the show. Just don’t watch Jordan vs. Heidenreich ever again. Check out the two main events if you have time as they both hold up very well. The rest….eh just watch Wrestlemania again.

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