Well, how about that? After everything that has been going on with Cablevision in the past couple of weeks, I was quite surprised that I was able to get tonight’s pay per view. Now, while I may seem pleased about it, this is quite possibly the worst card in recent memory that WWE has put on and most are dreading tonight’s broadcast, myself included. However, WWE has gotten some good shows out of some god awful cards in the past and tonight may be no different.
Let’s get right to it with the Bonus Heat Match for tonight.
By the way…Peter “Fake Razor” Ramon has quit recapping Heat for TSM due to the fact that Heat is…well…not good. Also, in a couple of weeks, TSM writer Dr. Tom will be forced to quit doing Smackdown. Because of this, Raw reporter Jared “JHawk” Hawkins will be moved up to Smackdown and Patrick Spoon will be doing Raw instead of Velocity, leaving that position open as well. If anyone is interested in doing a weekly recap in either of these shows, send me a sample of your work at [email protected]. Keep in mind that I don’t accept attachments in my e-mails, so please cut and paste the article into the body of the email. We’re looking for originality, humor, knowledge of the product and above all else, fairness in reporting. Due to the amount of material that I most likely will be receiving, if I don’t get back to you eventually, no hard feelings.
Bonus Heat Match: The Hurricane vs. Steven Richards
Match Background: It seems like these two guys have faced each other on every Heat this year. They did compete on the pre-PPV Heat this past October, prior to the No Mercy PPV with Hurricane getting the win with the VERTEBREAKER~! Steven Richards also happened to be the last man to ever take the move in WWE on an edition of Heat earlier this year. Well, once again, these men will square off before a pay per view event. With Hurricane getting a small push and Richards getting all of his air time during Victoria’s matches, a Hurricane victory is more than expected.
The Match: The Hurricane looks like the Green Lantern more than usual tonight as he comes to the ring tonight. Richards comes on in and they start with a tie up in the corner. Richards tries a cheap shot, but Hurricane blocks it and goes for a few punches. Richards attempts an atomic drop out of the corner, but Helms elevates himself over SR and sunset flips him for a two count. Richards sends Hurricane over the top onto the apron and hits him with a stunner, draping Helms neck onto the ropes and sending him falling to the floor. Back in now, Richards gets a vertical suplex for a two count and continues to work the back with a surfboard stretch. The crowd gets behind Helms, who’s able to get out of the move and hit a pair of jumping clotheslines and a modified neckbreaker for two. Helms heads to the top and gets a nice cross body block for a close two count. Eye of the Hurricane is blocked and Richards attempts a roll up, but Helms holds onto the ropes and charges at him with the Shining Wizard for the pin! JR actually says “Shades of the Great Muta with the Shining Wizard”, which in incorrect I believe as he didn’t start using the move until he changed into Keiji Muto. I could be wrong…
My Opinion: The match served its purpose, which is always to pump up the crowd before the pay per view as Hurricane is over and these two generally have decent matches with each other. The only problem that I have with them is the fact that they are way too short. 3/4*
Live from Flair Country…Charlotte, NC.
The PPV starts as WWE blatantly displays their laziness by reusing the same video montage from last year’s Judgment Day PPV (which was the first one I ever reviewed), as well as the same sound bites. The only differences are the clips of the current wrestlers interspersed in there running down tonight’s card.
The show starts off on a good foot as Stone Cold Steve Austin comes to the ring to a nice reaction. The crowd gets all “WHAT!” happy as Austin says that he’s simply here to watch the “bad ass matches” here tonight. He says that he’s going to his own personal skybox to watch the match amongst the crowd. Let’s be honest…that’s not exactly rubbing elbows with the public. He gets a few beers and shares one with Tazz by the announce table before heading up to the skybox before the first match.
John Cena, Johnny Stamboli and Chuck Palumbo (w/Nunzio) vs. Chris Benoit, Spanky and Rhyno
Match Background: The FBI have been on a roll lately, taking out various superstars such as The Undertaker and Nathan Jones. After Benoit lost to John Cena in the finals of the Smackdown #1 Contenders tournament, the FBI told Benoit that they had bet money on him and since he lost, he had to pay up. This lead to a small feud with the FBI. John Cena has been having his problems with Brian “Spanky” Kendrick as of late as Spanky dissed him for losing to Brock Lesnar at Backlash. He tried to mock him with a rap of his own and a feud started from there. Chris Benoit’s sometime tag team partner, Rhyno, faced Cena two weeks ago on Smackdown and defeated him due to Spanky’s help. Afterwards, Cena got Rhyno to run into the steel steps, injuring his leg. This past week on Smackdown, Benoit faced Cena once again and the FBI came in for the DQ, prompting Rhyno to save…but with Cena in there as well, the numbers were too great. Spanky came in for the save and this lead to tonight’s 6 man tag team match.
The Match: Cena went from being in the Smackdown Main Event last month to being in tonight’s opener. Looks like another example of WWE pushing a guy to the moon and then sending him back down to the midcard for a while. Cena heads to the ring first, takes the mic and drops this gem on us:
“This is thuginomics, but tonight I’m baptized
cuz I’ve got family ties with the FBI’s
Tonight we handin’ out a special, Two for One black eyes
Its like a mafia movie, I’ll have you cheerin’ the bad guys
Cuz we really Goodfellas, makin’ you offers you can’t refuse
Have you jumpin off the pier in some concrete shoes
We’ll beat you down so bad, you can’t identify the body
You’ll be baked like manicotti, we’re the new John Gotti’s
So don’t with Nunzio, Palumbo or Stamboli
You’ll be stuck sleeping with the fishes, getting stuffed like ravioli
I change my name to Corleone like a Godfather flick
Your girl like Italian sausage cuz she swallowed my – “
Benoit, Rhyno and Spanky come out separately, but charge to the ring after meeting up on the ramp as the heels scatter out of the ring prior to the bell. The heels meet up near the aisle, laughing at Benoit and Rhyno, who are leaning on the ropes, but Spanky uses his partners backs to springboard off of and takes down all three men on the outside with a somersault! Cena ends up in the ring with Spanky with Cena in control as Michael Cole actually tries to sell to the home crowd that Spanky out rapped John Cena on Smackdown a few weeks ago. Yeah…right. Tazz calls him on it as Spanky hits an enziguiri to get some separation, but the FBI come in and hit a double team side slam. Palumbo takes over on Spanky and shakes him around like a rag doll before slamming him for two. Spanky breaks out of a second bear hug and attempts a tag, but gets cut off with a Palumbo clothesline. Spanky is finally able to break free after a head scissors that causes the FBI to collide with one another and makes a tag to Benoit who transforms into a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! Cena gets a snap suplex from Benoit as well as a HARSH release German Suplex before Benoit delivers one to Palumbo as well. He signals for the headbutt (CUT THROAT~!) and hits it on Palumbo but isn’t able to go for the cover as Nunzio runs into the ring. Rhyno cuts him off with a GORE~! and the FBI leader falls to the outside. This allows John Cena to get up and go after Benoit, but Spanky makes a blind tag and connects to Cena’s back with a missile dropkick. Spanky goes for Sliced Bread #2 on Palumbo, but Nunzio gets on the apron and holds onto his feet, allowing Chuck to set him up for the Kiss of Death (backbreaker/legdrop combo) from the FBI for the three count.
Winners: The FBI and John Cena
After the match, Cena is semi-surprised that the match is over so quickly and Spanky is revealed to have a cut below his left eye.
My Opinion: Once again, this match could have been a lot better if they were given more time. Think about it this way, neither Stamboli nor Rhyno were ever tagged into the match and Benoit was only in there for a brief moment before all hell breaks loose, like in all 6 man tags. This was a match that could have taken place on Smackdown and even then, wouldn’t be as good as the rest of the other matches due to its brevity. *
In Stone Cold’s skybox, Eric Bischoff comes in and demands that they share the skybox for the broadcast because everything is 50/50 between them, being co-GM’s and all. Austin is his usual comical self as he deals with Bischoff and gets Eric to drink with him for the night.
JR & The King intro a video package on the following tag team match…
Test & Scott Steiner (w/Stacy Keibler) vs. La Resistance (Rene Dupree & Sylvian Grenier)
Match Background: During Steiner’s brief feud with Chris Nowinski based on the War in Iraq, they had a debate where Steiner said that anyone who doesn’t agree with the U.S. can go to Hell…or France. The following week, this brought out La Resistance, who debuted by double teaming Scott Steiner over his anti-French comments. Meanwhile, Scott Steiner and Test have been having their share of problems lately as tag team partners, mostly due to Stacy Keibler and Test’s jealousy, but they’ll TRY to put their differences aside for tonight in order to take on La Resistance. With a Test/Steiner feud about to start any moment now, plus the fact that this is La Resistance’s first PPV, don’t look for a Test/Steiner victory tonight.
The Match: La Resistance heads to the ring and their outfit just SCREAMS “Vega from Street Fighter 2” to me. Am I wrong? My best friend seems to disagree with me on that one. They get on THE STICK~! and incite a “USA” chant with their comments and Pat Patterson-like speech impediments. Scott Steiner actually gets a big pop for his theme as he and Test head to the ring with Stacy. Dupree and Test start the match out as Dupree lands a slap on Test and does a little dance before tasting a HARD slap himself. Test is able to take over in the corner and tags out to Scott Steiner who proceeds to chop the hell out of him there as well. A pair of clotheslines lead to the lazy elbowdrop and some push ups by Steiner. Grenier is able to land a knee to the back on Steiner, but Big Poppa Pump simply turns around and lands a clubbing blow, sending him to the outside. This allows Dupree to drop him onto the ropes, with Steiner landing on the outside. Back in the ring, La Resistance get a doubleteam suplex on Steiner for a two count before Grenier puts on a surfboard stretch as Stacy tries to get the crowd going. Steiner gets up, sends Grenier to the corner and EATS BOOT, allowing Grenier to get a flying clothesline for two. Dupree tags in and leaps off the top, into the awaiting arms of Scott Steiner who throws him with an overhead suplex. Both men tag out and Test is a CANADIAN…EN…FUEGO~! Test gets a full nelson slam on Grenier, but Dupree interrupts the count. Steiner and Dupree head to the outside as Test sets up for the BIG ABOOT~! but Grenier puts the ref in Test’s path. Test stops dead in his tracks and turns around to nail Dupree, allowing Grenier to get a double leg takeover and put his feet on the ropes for a two count. Steiner back in and gets another suplex as Test nails the pumphandle slam and goes for the cover. Referee Nick Patrick is too busy trying to get Scott Steiner out of the ring and doesn’t count the pinfall, so Test gets in his face. Grenier dropkicks Test, who bounces off the ropes, hitting Stacy who was standing on the apron and goes flying into Scott Steiner’s arms. Test looks displeased as Grenier gets a roll up for two. Steiner comes in and goes for his double underhook suplex, but it’s broken up. Test charges at them with the BIG ABOOT~! but they move out of the way and Steiner takes it, knocking him down. La Resistance toss Test into the ring post and hit a double spinebuster on Steiner (called a flapjack by J.R.) for the pin.
Winners: La Resistance
After the match, Stacy goes to check on Steiner and Test drags her away. Stacy actually pulls him off of her and goes to check on Scott again before he grabs her with more force and makes her leave with him.
My Opinion: Sadly, these two teams got almost double the time as the previous 6 man tag and put on a match of similar quality. La Resistance just looked lost out there and Test of all people seemed to be the best worker in the match. It looks as if the issue between La Resistance and these two are now over as it seems as if they’ll finally get to the Steiner/Test confrontation that has been brewing in recent weeks. *
We head to the back where Mr. America is greeting everyone and runs into Ace Reporter Gregory Helms. Helms says he’s got sources claiming that Mr. America is really Hulk Hogan. America says that his sources tell HIM that Gregory Helms is really the Hurricane! Helms then says that his sources must obviously be wrong and Mr. America is definitely not Hogan…to which Mr. America also retorts that his sources are just as wrong. Cute little segment, but mighty pointless. Nice to see them continue to mix the Raw and Smackdown talent on the PPV’s though.
In the locker room area, Josh Matthews asks Eddie Guerrero what he’s going to about the fact that Chavo Guerrero will not be able to compete tonight in the Ladder Match against Team Angle. Eddie says that he went out and found another partner to replace Chavo….Tajiri! Eddie puts one of Angle’s medals around Tajiri’s neck as Tajiri says that “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal, Esse!”
Another Kurt Angle video promo airs, hyping up his injury and eventual return to the ring.
Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri vs. Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) in a Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles
Match Background: In February, Team Angle defeated Los Guerreros (Chavo and Eddie) for the WWE Tag Team Titles. Although they squared off in a Triple Threat Match at Mania, Los Guerrero’s weren’t able to get a regular 2 vs. 2 tag team title rematch until last month’s Backlash, which saw Team Angle CHEAT TO WIN~! After the match, however, Eddie and Chavo ran away with the belts and kept them until the next Smackdown…where Team Angle regained them, but lost Kurt Angle’s medals. Los Guerrero’s ended up stealing Kurt Angle’s framed photo as well and Stephanie McMahon made a match for tonight…but it would be a ladder match. Sadly, Chavo Guerrero suffered an injury during the velocity taping (torn tricep) and will be out of action for about 6 months or so. This lead to the substitution for tonight…
The Match: The crowd sends their love to Team Angle with the usual “You Suck” chants as Haas and Benjamin head to the ring. Eddie & Tajiri come out to the Los Guerrero’s theme music, although I have a feeling that Eddie will be using “Latino Heat” once again now that Chavo is out for 6 months. The match starts out as Tajiri goes to the ring to face Haas and Eddie takes on Benjamin in the aisle way. Shelton tosses Eddie into the ladder, which is in the aisle way as Tajiri takes over on Hass in the ring with a spinning wheel kick. He goes for the Pearl Harbor Kick on Hass, but Benjamin comes in and they put the boots to him before nailing a double back elbow. Eddie gets into the ring and Shelton presses him onto Haas’ knee in a double team gut buster. Haas and Benjamin go underneath the ring to retrieve another ladder for some reason and Tajiri attempts a pescado onto Haas. Somehow, Tajiri gets caught on the ropes and the move is blown badly. Eddie tries one of his own onto Benjamin and overshoots him, but thankfully, Shelton doesn’t sell it. I wouldn’t have guessed two blown spots by those two guys in this match. Team Angle get the ladder into the ring and set it up to head for the Tag Titles, but Tajiri sneaks in and hits a handspring back elbow into the ladder to knock the ladder and them down. Eddie comes into the ring and sets up the ladder into Haas’ crotch…and he and Tajiri baseball slide into it, causing Haas to sell it like PURE DEATH. Eddie and Tajiri put another ladder into the ring and place Haas onto it, sandwiching him in between two of them. Guerrero hits his slingshot senton onto the ladders, squashing Haas and causing some back pain for himself as well. Tajiri starts to climb the ladder, but Shelton pulls him off of it…and Tajiri’s JAW smacks one of the rungs hardway. Shelton starts climbing the ladder, but doesn’t get far before Eddie dropkicks him off. Eddie places the ladder in the corner and goes to whip Shelton into it…but Benjamin turns it around and powerslams him onto it! That gets a replay and it deserved one. Haas then places Tajiri on one of the ladders, holding it horizontally while Shelton climbs the other…jumping off onto Tajiri’s back in a modification of Team Angle’s favorite double team! As Shelton began to climb, the crowd began to cheer as they saw it coming. That also gets a replay as Haas starts climbing the ladder to get the titles, but Eddie gets up and knocks the ladder over, sending Haas to the floor! Eddie takes a ladder and rams it into Shelton’s midsection and then wedges it in between the top and middle turnbuckles. He goes to whip Shelton into it, but for the second time in a row, Shelton reverses it and Eddie’s back tastes the steel. In another poorly executed spot, Tajiri kicks that ladder like a see saw to send it flying into Shelton’s face, but it barely moves, so Tajiri does it again without much power…and then Shelton has to sell the weak shot. Haas gets back into the ring and Tajiri nails him with a roundhouse kick and Shelton gets one as well. Tajiri takes the ladder from the corner and uses it to ram into the midsection of both Team Angle members. Tajiri baseball slides into the ladder, which barely hits Shelton, but he sells it anyway. Tajiri turns his attention to Haas and puts the Tarantula on him, but Shelton nails him with the ladder as he’s performing the move! Eddie’s back in the ring now, but Team Angle still has control of the match. Haas goes to set up the ladder, but Eddie is able to monkey flip Shelton out of the corner and into the ladder, knocking them both down. Eddie suplexes Shelton to the outside and tosses Haas out as well before setting up the ladder for himself. He starts to climb it, but Team Angle all already back in the ring. He’s able to fight them off and being climbing, but Haas is on the other side of the ladder and Shelton is underneath him. Eddie shoves Shelton down and Frogsplashes him off of the ladder! Haas starts climbing up the ladder now and Eddie begins to climb the other side, brawling at the top. He nails Haas and hits the SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB~! (MDK BOMB) off the ladder! An “Eddie” chant starts as he starts to climb the ladder again, but Shelton is in and has a hold of his legs. Tajiri gets into the ring and climbs the other side…and spews the mist into Shelton’s face! Eddie gets the titles and the match is over!
Winners and NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri
My Opinion: Well, I guess I was wrong. I figured that with Chavo out of tonight’s match, Team Angle would definitely retain, but my guess is that they simply wanted to swerve the audience as I’m sure most had the same mentality. If Chavo wasn’t out for 6 months, I could definitely see a Chavo/Tajiri feud over this. This match was supposed to have been the best match of the night and sadly, it wasn’t even that good. There were too many blown or badly executed spots and Team Angle looked a bit lost in this match as well. Some of the big spots were pretty cool, but for the most part, this match will not be remembered as a ladder match classic. With Team Angle being the only real team on Smackdown anymore besides the FBI (which is more of a stable than a team), I can’t imagine them not regaining the tag titles soon. **1/4.
Back in the Skybox, Bischoff and Austin talk about Eddie Guerrero’s talent and how they’d love to have him on Raw again. He won’t return Bischoff’s calls though, so Austin says he’ll try to get him. Austin then gets Bischoff to drink a beer…but he sips out of the cup and Austin asks the crowd if they think he drinks beer like a sissy. The sheep say yes and Austin shows him how to chug a cold one. He persuades Bischoff to try and chug it as we cut to the back.
Terri is in the back with Chris Jericho and she asks him about his chances in tonight’s IC Title Battle Royal. As Jericho sings his own praises, Rowdy Roddy Piper gets in his face to confront him over the war of words they’ve been waging against each other during their respective interview segments. They get a few good barbs in on each other before they talk about what they’re going to do tonight…Jericho winning the IC Title and Piper ripping off Mr. America’s mask and exposing Hogan to the world. Cute segment and once again, I appreciate the way that the Raw and Smackdown talents interact once a month.
J.R. and The King introduce a video package on the Intercontinental Title for the next match. However, it’s the EXACT SAME PACKAGE they used in October when the title was retired. That’s just plain old laziness, WWE.
The IC Title Battle Royal
Match Background: This one is simple enough. The WWE braintrusts took away the IC back in October, leaving the World Heavyweight Title as the only singles title for the Raw roster to compete for. Since that title is welded onto Triple H’s waist permanently, this didn’t really allow any movement for the midcard as thus, Raw has sunk to new lows since. When Stone Cold Steve Austin returned to Raw as the co-GM, the first thing he did was bring back the IC title and declare that a battle royal would be held at Judgment Day to determine who the champion would be. The catch though is that the battle royal would only include former IC Champs. The only exception to that rule is Booker T, who was awarded the spot in the battle royal by Austin after Teddy Long told him they need a black man in there.
The Match: Howard Finkle introduces Pat Patterson to the crowd as the first IC Champ ever will be awarding the title to the winner. J.R. mentions the fact that Jeff Jarrett held the title the most number of times (6), but The King makes sure to bury him again with the next sentence. Sean Morely makes his way to the ring…wearing a towel and with the old Val Venis music. He’s introduced AS Val Venis and he takes THE STICK~! He announces the return of Val Venis and makes his usual sexual double entendre for the crowd. The participants in the match are Venis, Chris Jericho, Christian, Goldust, Booker T, Kane, Lance Storm, Rob Van Dam and Test, pulling out double duty tonight. In a nice touch, J.R. runs down each participants history with the IC title, namely who they defeated to win the belt each time. As the bell rings, Kane goes right after his tag team partner RVD, but all the other participants gang up on him and try to take him out immediately. Kane powers them all away as if he was underneath a pile of Agent Smiths and throws Lance Storm over the top immediately. Of all people, RVD clips Kane, but gets DDT’ed by Venis. The rest of the guys pick up Kane and throw him over the top to eliminate him. Kane comes back in though and attacks EVERYONE, including RVD, in a form of revenge. Booker T pops up and throws Test over the top and then Goldust gets rid of Venis. Christian throws RVD over the top, but he lands on the apron. Jericho takes advantage and hits his springboard dropkick on RVD, knocking him down to the floor and eliminating him. And just like that, we’re down to 4 men: Goldust, Booker T, Christian and Chris Jericho. It’s amusing that it would come down to these 4 as they feuded for the tag titles for months. Christian and Jericho start teaming up again to try and get Goldust out, but Booker interferes and it goes back to one on one brawling for a bit. Eventually, they double team Goldust, but he’s able to take them both down and with the help of Booker, hits the Golden Globes (Shattered Dreams) on both men. Booker gives the crowd a SPINAROONIE~! and Goldust tries to throw Booker over the top, but it’s reversed and Goldust is eliminated! Goldust and Booker actually laugh about it as Goldust tries to say “hey…worth a shot” to his friend. Booker, alone with Christian and Jericho falls victim to a double team. Jericho, calling the shots between the two, gets his shots in on Booker and they try to eliminate The Book, but he fights back. Booker fights back, but can’t overcome both men. Booker actually gets a small comeback and tosses Jericho over the top, but Y2J holds on and skins the cat back into the ring. Christian and Jericho once again get the advantage on Booker T as he’s planted by a Christian reverse DDT. Jericho goes for the Lionsault, but Christian runs from behind and shoves him over the top, eliminating him! Jericho can’t believe it! It’s down to Christian vs. Booker!
Christian goes to work on Booker on the mat with chokes and punches, but Booker gets up and nails a few forearms and spin kicks. Booker misses a spin kick, allowing Christian to pull him down by the hair and Booker sits by the ropes to regain his composure. Christian, trying to take advantage, goes for a dropkick, but Booker moves out of the way and the ref on the outside eats it! The ref is down and I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Booker tosses Christian over the top, onto the apron and superkicks him down for the apparent elimination and the win! The music starts to play and Patterson goes to award him the title, but is cut off by Christian. He nails Patterson and takes the IC title, gets in the ring….and nails Booker in the face with the belt! He picks Booker up as the ref is starting to awaken and tosses him over the top! The bell rings as the ref sees Christian eliminate Booker and he’s the new IC Champ!
My Opinion: Why would they bring back Val Venis? That character is dead and buried and doesn’t have any more legs left. Chief Morely at least had different directions he could go in. I didn’t care for the rapid fire eliminations. Goldust trying to trick Booker and throw him out was pretty clever, but they still played up on their friendship after the match, which I liked. Jericho getting betrayed by Christian was also a cool moment as Christian gets the semi-rub and sets up a few matches or confrontations between those two. Once the ref was knocked out, I could smell a screwy finish coming. Although I would have liked to have seen Booker win it, it at the very least sets up a chase for the title, so we’re looking at a few Christian/Booker matches. It’s all good with me. *1/2
In the back, Sable shows off her ACTING CHOPS as she rubs herself with baby oil to taunt Torrie. You know, I just CAN’T believe she didn’t make it in Hollywood!
Yes, that is sarcasm to the fullest extent.
They do a tale of the tape for Torrie vs. Sable and they give the measurements…but not the cup size. THAT’S WHAT MATTERS!
A video package on Torrie vs. Sable airs…and they show a bit footage of Sable from ’98-99. She looked EONS better back then. This isn’t a real match, so the normal format doesn’t apply.
Tazz is in the ring as the host and when he introduces Torrie, the camera cuts to the entranceway where Torrie is behind a curtain along with Lillian Garcia. Lillian sings Torrie’s theme as they dance behind the curtain with each other. Torrie heads to the ring as Lillian continues singing and you’d think that she’s in the main event at Wrestlemania going for the freakin’ WWE Title with the way this is going.
Sable starts first as she disrobes as does her usual ridiculous grinding.
Then, it’s Torrie’s turn and she’s actually not wearing something nearly as revealing as Sable.
Tazz then polls the crowd and Sable gets more of a reaction than Torrie, who actually gets some boos. Tazz tries to play it off as a tie, but before he finishes polling the crowd the second time….Torrie says that she’s not done. She unties her bikini, revealing an outfit that resembles shiny dental floss and doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Tazz doesn’t even poll the crowd this and says it’s unanimous and declares Torrie the winner. I bet WWE didn’t want to take the chance that the crowd would actually favor Sable. Torrie goes over to Sable and plants a light kiss on her lips (to a big pop) before walking out.
I’d like to simply point out that this was just a waste of time, incase you didn’t get the drift already. Think about it. If you can afford 35 bucks for this pay per view, you can afford the 6 or 7 bucks it takes to buy the Playboy’s that they’re in and actually get to see them NAKED instead of teasing us. And there’s always the Internet.
Back in the skybox, Bischoff is a bit tipsy…and Austin keeps making him drink. Bischoff doesn’t want to drink anymore and Austin tells him that he’s got something to make him feel better. He gives him a few jalapeños and Bischoff devours them thinking that they’re pickles…and then realizes what he just did! Austin hands him the bottle and Bischoff drinks the juice, making it even worse! Bischoff then takes the next beer he can find to wash it down…
This better be going somewhere.
In the back, Piper bitches to Sean O’Haire about Chris Jericho’s comments, but O’Haire lets him know that Jericho didn’t become IC Champ tonight, so it doesn’t matter. Vince McMahon walks in and gasses Piper up by letting him know that he was just as integral to WWE’s boom in the 80’s as Hogan. He tells Piper that he’s going to take Mr. America down and allow Vince McMahon to unmask him and reveal Hogan’s face to the world.
We go back to Cole and Tazz who introduce a video package on the angle with Mr. America and Piper where NWA:TNA’s Tenacious Z interfered and Piper accidentally revealed his handicap.
Mr. America vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper (w/Sean O’Haire)
Match Background: When Mr. America debuted on Smackdown, he did so on Piper’s Pit and it was blatantly obvious to the world who it really was, Hulk Hogan under a mask. Vince McMahon, who got rid of Hogan by paying him to sit at home, was furious that Hogan would attempt a comeback like this, but Mr. America insisted that it wasn’t him. Vince then became enraged at his daughter for signing Mr. America to an iron clad contract that states he can’t be fired or suspended, which she says she had to put in his contract in order to guarantee that he didn’t sign with Raw. The only way the contract would become null and void would be if Mr. America were to be unmasked and proven to be Hulk Hogan. Vince then said that he wanted someone to face Mr. America at the PPV and unmask him…and many heels volunteered. That night, Mr. America went on Piper’s Pit again and gave the American flag to a “fan” at ringside. Piper became so enraged at Mr. America’s charade that he attacked him and Sean O’Haire took the flag away from the kid. They began to beat up on Mr. America when the kid jumped the rail and attacked Piper with the flag. Sean O’Haire took him down and Piper went after the kid…and ended up snatching his prosthetic leg off. In shock, he and O’Haire left to face the wrath of Vince McMahon…who instead gave the match to Piper for showing just how black hearted he could be.
On a side not, the kid, aka Tenacious Z (Zackary Gowan) lost his leg to cancer at the age of 8. While in the hospital, Hulk Hogan, his favorite wrestler, paid him a visit and ever since that day, Z fought hard to become a professional wrestler, despite his disability. You’ll be amazed when the kid gets in the ring, as he’s actually a high flyer.
The Match: Mr. America comes to the ring with a steel chair and takes THE STICK~! He says that the chair is for a good friend of his…Zack Gowan (Tenacious Z). Zack walks to the ring with a cane and sits down at ringside as he must be LOVING this moment, being in the corner of his idol. O’Haire and Piper doubleteam Mr. America as he gets into the ring, but the ref gets distracted by Piper in order for O’Haire to get some last minute hits in. America rams Piper’s head into the turnbuckle a few times and gets the 10 punches in the corner. O’Haire trips up America as Piper distracts the ref, but America is able to turn the tides on him for a moment until Piper nails him from behind. He throws him back into the ring and takes off his weight belt and whips America with it. Mr. America takes the belt back and begins to whip Piper with it…but O’Haire distracts Mr. America and Piper puts on a sleeper. Mr. America gets up at the very last minute, of course, but Piper takes control again. Mr. America starts Hulking Up and nails the big boot, but then Vince McMahon comes down to the ring and distracts him, allowing Piper to get a low blow in. McMahon hands Sean O’Haire a lead pipe and as Vince distracts the ref, Sean goes in after Mr. America…but he ducks and nails Piper. Mr. America gets the legdrop and Vince McMahon tries to stop the ref, but is cut off by Zack Gowan! ONE…TWO…THREE.
Winner: Mr. America
Gowan gets into the ring and hides behind Mr. America as Vince is upset at ringside. Vince looks like he’s got a plan as he goes up the ramp…
Mr. America poses for the crowd to “Real American.”
My Opinion: Well, we weren’t expecting much and we didn’t get much. The match was laden with interference and it’s probably for the best too. At least Piper can’t say he was defeated by Hulk Hogan…he was defeated by Mr. America, right? I really don’t care for this angle at all, but since Vince is involved, it’s not going away any times soon. ½*
In the back, Triple H walks to ring all INTENSE~! and gets stopped by his ex-wife (real life fiancée) Stephanie McMahon who tells him to be careful. He says nothing and continues to walk towards the ring.
We get another video package on the PPV for the following match…
Triple H (w/Ric Flair) vs. Kevin Nash (w/Shawn Michaels) for the World Heavyweight Championship
Match Background: Triple H & Kevin Nash were apparently the best of friends…or so WWE tells us. They were never on screen buddies or even part of the same stable actually. Anyway, Nash made his re-debut about two months ago saving Shawn Michaels from a Triple H attack with a sledgehammer. Nash didn’t know why there was so much tension between the two. My guess is that he didn’t bother watching SummerSlam ’02 when HHH hit HBK in the back with a sledgehammer. Overlooking that MINOR setback, he just wanted them to shake hands and play nice with each other so he can be happy. Triple H didn’t see things that way and gave him an ultimatum, side with HBK or HHH. After Nash took too long to decide, HHH made the decision for him by kicking him in the groin. The rift between these two then grew apart even more when HHH hit Nash with a sledgehammer and pinned him in last months 6 man tag team match. This lead to Nash looking for revenge and he almost got it during a boring 15 minute brawl that took place on Raw a few weeks ago, but alas, HHH escaped. Last week, however, Nash was able to put the hurt on HHH and lay him out with the help of Shawn Michaels leading up to this match for the World Heavyweight Title.
The Match: Ric Flair gets his own separate entrance and gets a big pop from the hometown crowd. Nash goes right after HHH at the top of the entrance way and Ric Flair gives chase as well. HBK cuts off Flair and end up brawling to the back, leaving Nash and HHH to themselves at ringside. Nash throws HHH into the ring steps and then tosses him into the announce table before getting the champion in the ring for the official start of the match. Nash takes HHH down with an elbow and some knees in the corner. Nash then uses his size to his advantage by back body dropping HHH, who then heads to the outside again and up the aisle way. Nash catches him though and rams him into the ring post before throwing him back into the ring. HHH runs into a big boot and Nash follows it up with a triad of elbowdrops. HHH rakes Nash’s eyes and then shoves the ref in order to get himself intentionally DQ’ed, but Hebner doesn’t go for it. Nash takes over once again, but ducks too early and HHH gets a swinging neckbreaker to get some separation.
Nash regains the advantage in the corner and starts the ground and pound on Triple H before Hebner tells Nash to get off. Nash shoves him down…and Hebner gets up and pulls Nash off by the hair. Nash doesn’t exactly appreciate it. Triple H takes the time to run around the ring and regain his composure, but ends up clotheslining the ref accidentally as soon as he gets back in. Nash once again ducks his head too early and eats a kick to the face by Trips, but Nash no-sells it…leaving Triple H no choice but to kick him square in the groin. Triple H heads to one of the corners and exposes the steel bolt underneath. He tries to ram Nash into it, but Nash is able to block it and get a sidewalk slam on Trips, but the ref is down. Nash elbows in the corner lead to a second big boot and Nash says its time for the Jackknife. Do my ears deceive me or do I hear boos from the crowd? Instead of going for the Lazy Bomb, Nash goes for Snake Eyes on the exposes buckle, but the ref gets in the way and Nash shoves him down, allowing HHH to slip out and ram Nash into it. Triple H hits the Pedigree and goes for the cover…ONE…TWO…NO! Triple H goes for a second attempt, but gets back body dropped over the top rope. HHH goes underneath the ring and gets the sledgehammer. Earl tries to take it away from him, but HHH nails him with it for the DQ finish.
Winner: Kevin Nash via DQ.
Nash gets up and nails Snake Eyes on the exposed turnbuckle (which REALLY looked bad as Trips didn’t even make contact) and then follows it up with the Lazy Bomb. Nash picks up the sledgehammer as the refs help Triple H get to the back. Nash puts the hammer back down and knocks down all of the refs before heading to the Raw announce stage with the champion. Ric Flair comes back and chops Nash…only to be completely no sold and knocked down with one punch. Security try to stop Nash and he shoves everyone down, including Shawn Michaels. He sets up Triple H and powerbombs him through the announce table in ROUGH fashion…and thus ends the post match beatdown. Officials check on HHH as he’s not really moving…eventually, he gets up with the help of the officials and heads to the back.
My Opinion: We got the type of match we were expecting from these two, a slow, plodding brawl that was a bit overbooked to hide the weaknesses of both men. Amazingly enough, Triple H did NOT job to his friend like everyone predicted, but from the looks of it, that’ll happen next month.
In a totally unrelated subject, I’m really not feeling Triple H’s tights anymore. The red ones, the purple ones, they’ve got to go. You’re already stinking up the ring, but do you have to look like a complete fruit while you do it? *1/4.
In the skybox again, Bischoff doesn’t feel so well and Austin keeps trying to fill him up with food and beer. He gets his personal waitress for the night bring over a GORGEOUS tray of buffalo wings…but Bischoff ends up hurling on her AND the fans sitting in front of the skybox! They replay it a few times and the fact that the waitress smiles throughout the whole thing just annoys the hell out of me.
Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline vs. Victoria (w/Steven Richards) vs. Jazz (w/Teddy Long) for the WWE Women’s Title
Match Background: This match was just thrown together with no real rhyme or reason. Teddy Long said on Heat that they made Jazz defend her title in a Fatal Four Way because she can lose the title without being pinned and therefore, “The Man” is trying to keep her down. Each woman has held the title before and have been in the hunt for the title as of late, except for Jacqueline.
The Match: As everyone makes their entrances, I can’t help but think that Jacqueline is overdue for a new theme. Victoria’s theme rules all. My best friend thinks that Steven Richards tights rule because he sticks out like the sorest thumb in the rule. I can see that.
The match starts with Victoria pairing up with Trish and Jazz pairs up with Jacqueline in the corners. The babyface ladies clear the ring and then go at it themselves until Victoria trips up Trish and takes her to the outside where she whips her into the ring post. In the ring, Jacqueline gets a butterfly suplex on the Women’s Champ for two. Victoria gets a tilt a whirl into a sideslam for a broken up two count and Jazz hooks Victoria from behind and hits the Bitch Slam. Jacqueline gets one as well, but Jazz doesn’t see Trish come at her from behind and she gets a clothesline for a two count. Trish goes for the roundhouse kick, but Jazz ducks, prompting Trish to try it again. Jazz catches it though and transitions BEAUTIFULLY into an STF. Victoria goes for a kick to the midsection on Jacqueline, who catches that and turns it into a deep single leg crab! Trish is able to get to the ropes to get Jazz off of her and Jazz immediately kicks Jacqueline off of Victoria so she can put the STF on the downed psycho. Trish gets Jazz off, but Jazz fires back with a jawbreaker and a hard chop. They begin brawling in the ring and Trish “Matrixes” out of a clothesline attempt and Lawler makes the required “Reloaded” joke. She gets the Kawada Kick for a close two count as Jacqueline sets Victoria up on the top turnbuckle and Trish does the same to Jazz. Trish handstand ranas Jazz down and does it to Victoria as well. Trish goes for the Stratusfaction Bulldog, but Victoria lifts her over the ropes and throws her down…and Trish lands on her FACE! That’s GOT to have hurt! Victoria goes for the Widow’s Peak on Jacqueline, but Jacque gets out and Northern Lights her for a two count that is broken up with a Jazz splash. Jazz picks her up and DDT’s her….for the pin!? I guess she’s been reading Nik Johnson’s articles.
After the match, Trish gets back into the ring and you can see that she’s got a bloody lip and a possible chipped tooth…
My Opinion: Pretty decent match by the women and it really says something when the women’s match is one of the highlights of tonight’s card. New life really needs to be put into this division though because every single one of these women have held the title already and there aren’t any real babyface contenders for it besides Trish. **
The reigns are handed over to Cole and Tazz for the rest of the evening as they show a video package on the events leading up to tonight’s main event.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show in a Stretcher Match for the WWE Title
Match Background: This will be the third time that these two men have met on pay per view and the second time that Show will be facing Brock as the challenger for the WWE Title. The first time occurred at Survivor Series 2002, where Show won the title from Brock (and was the first to defeat him) when Lesnar’s agent at the time, Paul Heyman, screwed the champ. Brock cost Show the title at Armaggedon against Kurt Angle and faced the man at the Royal Rumble to settle the score. The winner would enter the Rumble match itself and Brock defeated Show and went on to win the Rumble that night as well. Brock regained the title at Wrestlemania as Show began teaming up with A-Train on a regular basis. After being humiliated a few times by Rey Mysterio, Show defeated him in a one on one match up at last month’s Backlash. After the match, Rey was placed on a stretcher, only for Show to return and swing him into the ring post, stretcher and all. This infuriated Brock Lesnar who called out the Big Show and they agreed to a title match at Judgment Day. However, there would be a small twist. This match would be a stretcher match, the first in WWE since Andre the Giant took on Killer Khan in 1986. The last stretcher match that took place in North America on a national level was Scott Hall vs. Jeff Jarrett on an early edition of NWA:TNA, which I also reviewed. Prior to that, Sabu took on RVD in a stretcher match in 1996 in ECW that ended up with both men being carted to the back in a stretcher. The build up for this match suggests that the Big Show is too big to be placed on a normal stretcher. Can Brock retain the title tonight against the man that took the title from him the first time?
The Match: There are a few stretchers at ringside and apparently, the way this match is to be won, the opponent must be placed on a stretcher and rolled past a yellow line at the top of the ramp. There are no count outs and no DQ’s as well. Show comes to the ring with the same stretcher board he’s been using in recent weeks with Mysterio’s, Benoit’s and Lesnar’s name on it. Show charges at Lesnar with the board, but Lesnar ducks and unleashes a flurry of kicks and punches onto Show before nailing him with a few board shots to the back, including one to the head that knocks Show over the top rope. He nails him with it a few more times, but Show comes back with a boot to the midsection and a headbutt and Lesnar sells it like a MAN. Show sets the board up near the ring post and goes to ram Lesnar into it, but Brock slips out and shoves Show into the post himself. Lesnar rolls a stretcher into Show’s face, using it as a weapon, but Show is able to come back with a clubbing blow and a press slam onto the stretcher. Show takes the board and just WAFFLES Brock on the back with it before throwing Brock back into the ring where Lesnar is able to get the advantage with shoulder tackles. Lesnar tries to irish whip the Big Show out of the corner, but Show grabs him and hits a MASSIVE Chokeslam! If this were a regular match, it would be OVER! Show heads to ringside to get a stretcher board and puts it into the ring to put Brock on. He places the champ on the board and Show drops a big leg and Lesnar sells that like a GROWN ASS MAN. Show places Brock on a stretcher and begins wheeling him towards the yellow line. Brock kicks at Show and tries to sit up, but Show clotheslines Brock off of the stretcher and he takes a hard fall onto the floor! Show once again just NAILS Brock with the stretcher board before heading back to the ring with him. Lesnar tries to fight back and heads up the ramp, nailing him with the stretcher board several times and uses some electrical cable to choke out Show. Brock then places Show on a stretcher and tries to wheel him past the yellow line, but Show holds onto the cable and gets pulled off of the stretcher when Lesnar makes one last effort at a powerful pull. They begin brawling up the ramp again and Lesnar uses the stage to kick show and then tackles him on the floor! Lesnar then BODY SLAMS Show onto stretcher, but Show falls off of it. Lesnar simply can’t keep him on the stretcher no matter what he tries. He rams the stretcher into Show’s body, but it turns into a tug of war that Lesnar uses when Show rams it into Lesnar’s ribs. Show positions a stretcher in the aisleway and rams Lesnar into the steel post before getting another stretcher board from under the ring. These guys are just WAILING on each other with this thing! Lesnar gets into the ring as Show gets on the apron and Lesnar charges at Show…knocking him off of the apron onto the stretcher that Show placed at ringside…but falling off because the stretcher is just too small! Lesnar leaves and heads to the back, pointing to his noggin as if to say “Oh, I’m smart…”. Show gets to his feet and heads back into the ring and all of a sudden, Rey Mysterio’s music hits! Rey appears from behind and attacks Show with a 619 to the midsection! Rey’s offense is short lived though as Show clotheslines the hell out of him and signals for the Chokeslam! All of a sudden, Lesnar BUSTS through the stage with a forklift like he’s been playing Crazy Taxi all day and the crowd erupts for the four wheeled messiah! He drives it to the ring and the distraction allows Rey to get on Show with a sleeper as Lesnar gets on the forklift! Show tosses Rey off…but Lesnar gives into the ring with a flying cross body! Lesnar just EXPLODES with intensity! You know what that means….BROCK SMASH~!!! He charges at Show with shoulder tackles in the corner at a rapid fire pace…a VERTICAL Suplex to the Big Show…and the F5! He places Big Show on the stretcher board….then places him on the forklift and drives him past the yellow line to retain the title!
Winner: Brock Lesnar
My Opinion: This match actually surpassed my expectations. The match was booked very smart as Show was played up to his strengths and he and Lesnar were very innovative with the way they used the stretchers. For the first time, Lesnar allowed his in ring charisma to just shine through and the crowd ATE IT UP. This was definitely their best outing yet as Lesnar was able to carry the match. Their first match was marred by the fact that Lesnar was injured and their second match was kept very short due to the fact that Lesnar was going to pull double duty that night, so this one was actually given time to develop. This match didn’t hurt anyone at all. Not Show, not Lesnar, not even Rey. **3/4.
Brock celebrates on the top of the forklift with Show raised 10 feet in the air in an impressive visual to close out the show.
Overall: Only three matches were over ** and none were of the *** caliber tonight. This was probably the worst card that WWE has produced in quite some time and the only pleasant surprise was the main event, in my humble opinion. There still doesn’t seem to be a step in the right direction in terms of storylines and there were way too many unnecessary backstage segments. What was the Austin/Bischoff thing supposed to set up anyway? Can you imagine this…it’s actually going to get WORSE when the split PPV’s start next month. Either way, unless you really don’t believe that Brock/Show was as good as it was, there’s no real reason to get a tape, get a replay or get anything associated with this PPV whatsoever.
‘Til next time,
The Dames, Damian Gonzalez
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