The SmarK Rant for WWE Velocity – 05.01.04
And now we finish this series off, thank god. On the bright side, at the rate they add new content these days, I’ll be 85 years old before they get around to the next batch of 8 episodes after promising 10 of them a decade earlier.
Also this episode is only 40 minutes instead of the usual 48, so maybe they cut some stuff out?
Taped from wherever Smackdown was taped.
Your hosts are Josh Matthews & Bill DeMott. This show is like where commentary teams go to die.
John Cena v. Akio
So this is the “new Velocity” according to Josh, and John Cena is the US champion after Wrestlemania XX, and his raps are no longer angry, as he’s sucking up to the crowd and getting more family friendly, even throwing his throwback jersey out into the crowd for having the best sign. John picks someone with a “My other sign is in the shop” sign. OK, so Akio is apparently a repackaged Jimmy Wang Yang, who was a henchman for Tajiri before getting abandoned onto this show soon after. I don’t remember any of that, but I guess it happened. Akio attacks and beats on Cena with kicks in the corner, but Cena tries for the Throwback neckbreaker and Akio’s friend Sakoda pulls down the top rope and puts him on the floor. Back in, Akio with more kicks in the corner, but Cena hits him with elbows and a sideslam to set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle, and then he pumps up the shoes and finishes him off with the FU at 1:55. Cena was HOLY SHIT level over here, and once he figured out stuff like the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the “You Can’t See Me” deal, you might as well have gift-wrapped the WWE title and put it under his Christmas tree. I know they wanted to wait for Wrestlemania to anoint him and it’s hard to argue with the results, but there’s a strong argument that he could have wiped out JBL at Summerslam and gotten an 8 month head start on it.
“The Reflection of Perfection” Mark Jindrak v. Shannon Moore
So we’ve got Mark Jindrak, managed by Teddy Long, completely ripping off the Narcissist from 1993, complete with mirror in the ring. WHAT EVEN IS LIFE?!? Like remember Russo ripping off Mr. Perfect and Lex Luger with Palumbo and Stasiak in WCW’s dying days? And now we’ve got Jindrak, from that same group of guys, ripping off BOTH of those gimmicks. AT THE SAME TIME. AND I DON’T FUCKING REMEMBER ANY OF THIS AT ALL. This is nuts. Jindrak beats on Moore in the corner and tosses him to the floor. Back in, he hurls Shannon into the corner and puts him in a Torture Rack, but Moore escapes to the apron and fights back from there. Moore goes up, but Jindrak flips him to the mat and finishes with a back suplex into a uranage at 1:55. This was literally Shannon Moore wrestling himself by flinging his own body around the ring like a ragdoll for 2 minutes while Jindrak did fuck all.
Jamie Noble v. Rey Mysterio
Rey works a hammerlock on the mat, but Noble reverses out and goes to a wristlock. Rey flips up and into a sunset flip for two, however. Rey gets a takedown for two and they reverse suplex attempts, but Rey gets a quebrada for two and takes him down with a headlock. That goes on for a bit while the announcers keep promising that the match is about to explode and get really good. Noble escapes and goes to work on the arm, running Rey into the corner as we take a break. The announcers note that Noble has “remained in control through the break”, which is BULLSHIT because the edit is clearly right where they left off. Speaking of edits, we get one of those awkward camera angles where you can see the announcers sitting at ringside and not saying anything while you can hear them talking. WHAT BLACK MAGIC VENTRILOQUISM IS THIS? Noble boots him down in the corner and goes to a double wristlock and continues to work on the arm, but Rey reverses him into the corner Noble goes into the post. Rey pounds him with kicks and follows with a leg lariat for two. Rey mule kicks him into the corner and follows with an awkward baseball slide into the corner, and a split legged moonsault gets two. Noble takes him down with a cross armbreaker, but Rey makes the ropes and bails to the apron. Back in, Noble tries the powerbomb, but Rey counters him into the 619 and finishes Drop the Dime at 11:15. “A five star match!” declares Josh. OH COME ON. This was “good” at best, a paint by numbers Rey match that never caught fire. ***
Meanwhile, on Smackdown, Eddie Guerrero faces the Dudley Boyz and overcomes all odds to defeat them while evil GM Kurt Angle watches on. The Dudleyz try a beatdown, but RVD makes the save and kicks D-Von in the nuts, and we get stereo frog splashes from the babyfaces in a cool spot.
John Bradshaw Layfield v. Funaki
Wow, what a main event to end this show on. And yet so appropriate. This was actually super-early in Bradshaw’s repackage, as he was given the new gimmick and then basically shot to the top immediately. JBL beats on Funaki in the corner and gets a big boot, then kicks Funaki to the floor. The canned heat machine is completely out of control here, as they pipe in the same “OOOOOOOOOH!” for all of the bumps taken by Funaki on the floor. Funaki is actually busted open from a trip to the stairs, and JBL drops elbows on him in the ring and then throws him out again. Bradshaw whips him in the railing as even noted bullying asshole Bill DeMott is offended by the disgusting tactics shown by JBL here. Back in, JBL powerbombs him, hits a short arm lariat, and pins him at 3:33. Bradshaw was working super-aggressive here, but that was actually the wrong way to go with the character, and he quickly adjusted to working as the stalling, chicken-shit heel so that he couldn’t possibly get cheered for anything he did. Otherwise he would have just ended up as another failed Bradshaw push attempt, I’m pretty sure.
Honestly they must have cut a TON of the usual filler out of this one because it was literally just the four matches and a quick Smackdown recap and that’s it. The Noble-Rey Rey match was OK, but the rest was just the usual “cruiserweights getting squashed by heavyweights” stuff we’ve been watching for years. Probably the worst episode of the entire lot, and that’s saying something.
But we’re done with this, probably for good, and now I can go back to Superstars in peace.