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5/16 WWE Judgment Day PPV review: Keller's ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live event

May 16, 2004 - 9:40:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

I'll be covering tonight's PPV throughout the evening, so check back in, hitting refresh if necessary to see the latest update. Then after the show, send your 1-10 score, picks for best and worst matches, and additional brief thoughts to torchreax@pwtorch.com...

WWE JUDGMENT DAY PPV (Smackdown-brand)
MAY 16, 2004
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. AT STAPLES CENTER
LIVE ON PPV

HEAT NOTES

Ivory and Todd Grisham stood outside of Staples Center to talk about the event, which actually gave the PPV a "big event feel" since it resembled the All-Star Game... Josh Matthews stood outside of Booker T's locker room and he had a bunch of voodoo ceremony noises coming out of it. Michael Cole and Tazz assumed it was a party and questioned Booker's demeanor before the big match... Mark Jindrak beat Funaki in the one Heat match...

JUDGMENT DAY PPV COVERAGE

Michael Cole and Tazz introduced the show. They touted the sellout crowd and compared it to the sellout the Los Angeles Lakers drew the night before for their victory over the San Antonio Spurs at the same arena.

1 -- REY MYSTERIO JR. & ROB VAN DAM vs. BUBBA RAY & D-VON DUDLEY

The Dudleys took early offense. Cole and Tazz talked about the Dudleys history holding tag titles in WWE, WCW, and ECW in the past. RVD made a comeback and hit a flying flip onto Bubba at ringside. Rey then dove onto D-Von at ringside with a crossbody block. Rey and RVD celebrated in mid-ring. Back in the ring RVD worked over D-Von. When RVD bounced into the ropes, Bubba yanked the top rope down so RVD fell to the floor. D-Von worked over RVD, then tagged in Bubba. Rey got a hot-tag, but after some offense, Bubba caught him and dropped him throat-first over the top rope. D-Von tagged in and went to a chinlock at 5:00. The match really slowed to a crawl at this point. Bubba trash-talked Rey after a suplex. RVD then took a swing at Bubba. D-Von fake tagged in while the ref was distracted by RVD. RVD got a hot-tag, but the ref didn't see it so he disallowed it. As he talked RVD into leaving, the Dudleys double-teamed Rey. "That's why the Dudleys are so successful in these tag team matches," said Tazz. The Dudleys continued to beat on Rey. Rey was hung upside down in the corner and managed to punch at Bubba and execute a partial stunner-type move that looked a bit too contrived. Rey then hit a moonsault bodyblock for a near fall on Bubba at 10:00. RVD finally got the hot-tag and hit the Dudleys with kicks. Four-way action followed. Bubba backdropped Rey over the top rope. The Dudleys then set RVD up for the D-Von top rope diving headbutt, but Rey knocked him off balance and he straddled the top rope. Rey then gave the Rough Rider to Bubba in the corner. RVD then launched Rey into D-Von into the corner. He hit a leg scissors into a roll-up for a near fall. The Dudleys came back and set up their Dudley Death Drop. RVD hit an enzuigiri from behind on Bubba. He set them up against the middle rope and Rey hit both a 619. RVD then hit D-Von with a Frog Splash for the win.

WINNERS: Rey & RVD in 13:00.

STAR RATING: ** -- Not as exciting as it might sound. Pretty flat for the whole match until a nice finishing sequence. Even so, the few cool signature moves Rey is allowed to do have become repetitive. Rey should be allowed to introduce new cool moves regularly to keep him fresh. Those who never saw Rey's matches in Mexico ten years ago would feel absolutely ripped off at what he does in WWE.

-Josh Matthews entered Booker's locker room. Booker complained that Matthews was interrupting his pre-match ritual, but then told him to ask him any question. As usual, Josh couldn't get a word in edgewise and just tensed up as Booker went on a spiel about Undertaker's powers and now he's countering with his own special powers. He held up the little bag of soil.

-Luther rolled a big curtained square something toward the ring. Cole and Tazz kept asking, "Where's Kurt," as if everyone in the audience have an IQ of 14 and didn't know Angle was inside of it. Angle rose up to the top of it on a lift. Angle ripped on L.A. fans, saying he doesn't see angels, he sees lazy incompetent cell phone users hoping for a dream that will never come. Angle said he sees L.A. as the home of an overrated basketball team whose star player will miss the Olympics because he'll be on trial. He said worst of all, he sees a crowd full of Eddie Guerrero supporters. He said when John Bradshaw Layfield beats Guerrero for the WWE Title, he expects the fans to do what they do best - "riot!" He said that's why when the show is over, he's getting the heck out of the town. He then wished upon them the biggest earthquake in history. Angle better hope there isn't a massive earthquake tomorrow. He then ordered Torrie Wilson to come out "right now." When Torrie entered the ring, Angle blamed her for the end of his career and then he said her career would be on the line. He said if she lost, she'd be fired.

2 -- DAWN MARIE vs. TORRIE WILSON

A fan held up a sign that read "DUD." In the end, Torrie ripped Dawn's trunks, revealing 99.97 percent of her ass which had a thread-thin thong. Dawn went for a pin on Torrie, but Torrie kicked out and then hit a backslide for the win.

WINNER: Wilson at 5:00.

STAR RATING: 1/4*

-Bradshaw said he was disappointed to find a country of Eddie Guerreros, no more so than in L.A. He said at least those who wash his car and sell him fruit on highways are at least trying to earn a living. He said those who lie, cheat, and steal are not part of "his America." He said he'd win his match for his kind of America. He said in his country, everyone speaks English and no one is part of dysfunctional welfare families.

3 -- MORDECAI vs. SCOTTY 2 HOTTY

Mordecai walked out with the full histrionics of his ring entrance with fire surrounding him. Mordecai looks like an indy wrestler dressed up for Halloween. He doesn't really have much of a presence that fits this gimmick. He looks like he bleaches his hair and eyebrowws and goatee, but his look otherwise seems more like a babyfaced rookie. Cole asked, "When is the last time you saw Scotty 2 Hotty manhandled in this way?" asked Cole. That's just one of those stupid things Cole says that makes him look bad. Scotty always gets manhandled, yet Cole made it sound as if Scotty were Kane or even Chris Jericho. Scotty signalled for his Worm, but Mordecai interrupted (and thus turned himself babyface) and hit his finisher, basically a Razor's Edge, for the win. "This guy is freaky," said Cole, further humiliating himself with forced statements void of any actual convincing human emotion.

WINNER: Mordecai in 3:00.

STAR RATING: 1/4* -- This is not the type of gimmick that has any chance at all to interest even one person on this planet into buying a ticket or ordering a PPV. It's really retro in a bad, bush league way.

-The camera, for some reason, chose to go to Chavo Classic as he was pulling his pants up. Jacqueline walked in. Chavo Classic panicked that a woman would see him with his pants down. Jacqueline presented him with pink women's underwear. She said if you lose to a girl, you might as well dress like her. As Chavo Jr. chewed her out, Chavo Classic played with the underwear. Cole and Tazz pretended unconvincingly to be really amused by the whole thing.

4 -- RICO (w/Miss Jackie) & CHARLIE HAAS vs. BOB HOLLY & BILLY GUNN

Cole said it's not often the tag champions are the underdog going into a title match, but with Gunn being a 14 time tag team champion, that is the case. Rico immediately used his tactics, prompting Holly and Gunn to leap to ringside and then argue over who had to wrestle the match. After Rico grabbed Gunn's butt, he went to tag Holly. Holly leaped to the floor to avoid the tag. Rico then jumped on Gunn's back and tried to ride him. Rico then got serious with a series of roundhouse kicks. He then thrust his crotch into Gunn's face. Eventually Holly and Haas tagged in. Holly worked over Haas with chops then settled into a chinlock. With all the holds out there, there's no excuse to do chinlocks anymore. Crowds, for better or for worse, see them as nothing more than restholds and tune out during them. Not that a chinlock from Holly wouldn't hurt in real life, but it's not the least bit interesting to watch. Holly then hit Haas with a dropkick, then tagged in Gunn. Gunn caught a charging Haas with a boot to the face. Rico told Gunn, "Don't you hurt my Charlie." At 10:00 Rico got a hot tag and worked over Gunn in mid-ring. Gunn took some nice, hard flatback bumps, then surprised Rico with a Famasser. Haas then intervened with a German suplex. Holly tagged in and set up his finisher, but Rico superkicked Holly as the ref was distracted by Gunn. Haas then scored the pin.

WINNERS: Rico & Haas in 11:00 to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles.

STAR RATING: *1/2

-They went to Undertaker and Paul Bearer backstage. Bearer spoke! He said Booker T may believe he has special powers, but it would be his judgment day. Taker then said, "Rest... in... peace." How about, "Sleepwalk.... through... you're... gimmick."

5 -- JACQUELINE vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR. - Cruiserweight Title match

Chavo had his left arm tied behind his back. He took early offense, but soon ended up going shoulder-first into the ringpost. Jacqueline threw two roundhouse kicks followed by a reverse sidekick for a near fall. When Classic tried to interfere, Jackie knocked him off the ring apron. Chavo then hit Jacqueline in the ring to take control. Jacqueline mule kicked Chavo Jr. and then hit a sunset flip for a near fall. When Chavo Jr. dove to ringside, Classic untied his arm. Cole said, "This isn't right!" Chavo reentered the ring, but pretended his arm was still tied. When Classic distracted the ref, Chavo hit an unsuspecting Jacqueline with his freed arm. Then he put his arm back behind his back and pretended it was still tied. When Classic distracted the ref again, Chavo Jr. dropped her throat first over the top rope. Classic grabbed a chair at ringside. Chavo then gave Jacqueline a Gory Bomb. The ref turned and counted to three. After the match, Chavo Jr. said, "You made me do this, Jacqueline." He also blamed the fans who laughed at him. He said nobody could ever laugh at him again because he is Cruiserweight Champion again.

WINNER: Chavo Jr. in 5:00 to capture the Cruiserweight Title.

STAR RATING: 1/2* -- The Guerreros are an entertaining act. The wrestling was background to the "entertainment" element of the match, which was well done.

-A plug aired for WrestleMania 21 back at Staples Center. Leave it to WWE to drop the Roman numerals once it gets to 20 because there's no way their fans could understand or figure out what XXI stands for. At least they titled it "WrestleMania X-11" or "WrestleMania XX-1" or "WrestleMania 20-I."

6 -- JOHN CENA vs. RENE DUPREE

Before the match, John Cena did a rap saying there is no chance of Rene Dupree beating him. He had the crowd laughing at his one-liners with the biggest pop coming when he said after he beats Dupree, his head will be hanging like the San Antonio Spurs. Cole explained that joke to the viewers by pointing out the Spurs are who the Lakers beat the night before. Thanks, Michaels. When Cena took a shot at France, for some reason Cole didn't explain to us that France is a European country that was against the U.S. coalition's invasion of Iraq. Cena went to clothesline Dupree over the top rope, but Dupree didn't make it over and it turned into an awkward, painful looking situation. Dupree took control at ringside. Back in the ring, Dupree stomped away at Cena. They moved at a methodical pace that wouldn't cause Ox Baker to break a sweat. Dupree applied a bearhug at 5:00. Have they been studying tapes of 1974 AWA house show matches? Cena made a comeback with punches, a clothesline, and a flying shoulder tackle. He took Dupree down with a sideslam, then looked to the crowd and did his "you can't see me" routine leading to his Five-Knuckle Shuffle. He took so long, Dupree moved. It's hard to cheer for a babyface who postures so much, it costs him a chance to win. Dupree then did his French Tickler Dance. He went for his own Five-Knuckle Shuffle, but Cena moved. Cena then came off the second rope. Dupree kicked him in the gut and DDT'd Cena to the mat. Cena went for his FU, but Dupree countered and slammed Cena to the mat for a near fall. Cena got a nice pop when he kicked out. They went into a series of near falls. Cena then hit the FU for the win. Cena played to the crowd with a Lakers jersey, thus turning heel on the 80-90 percent of the viewers who don't like the Lakers. When Cena went into the crowd, Cole said, "He loves the Smackdown fans." I don't think it's humanly possible for Cole to sound more patronizing and less genuine than he has lately, especially tonight.

WINNER: Cena in 10:00 to retain the U.S. Hvt. Title.

STAR RATING: * -- Mostly a yawner. Really uninspired, saved by a decent final minute.

-A vignette aired for Kenzo Suzuki.

-Cole said, "We have a treat for you." What, a two star match. He then gave us that fake, forced mouth-smile (you know, where his his mouth "smiles," but his eyes say, "please someone save me from this hell.") and said it was time for Booker T vs. Undertaker.

7 -- UNDERTAKER vs. BOOKER T

The basic stuff you'd expect from these two for the first five minutes including an Undertaker rope walk. At 6:00 the ref went down. Booker then pulled out the baggy and threw the dirt at Taker. Taker was unphased. Booker, though, did take control a minute later and wrapped Taker's leg around the ringpost. At 9:00 Booker scored a near fall. When Taker fought back, Booker stopped him with a scissors kick and scored a two count. Taker, though, eventually decisively finished off Booker with a chokeslam, Tombstone, and clean three count.

WINNER: Undertaker in 12:00.

STAR RATING: *

8 -- EDDIE GUERRERO vs. JOHN BRADSHAW LAYFIELD

They went into the prematch vignette for this match at just 10:03 ET, giving this match basically the entire final hour to fill. Bradshaw claiming he's worthy of being in a main event slot because he's worked so hard this past month to get into shape would be like an unworldly, naive, recently-elected president saying he was worthy to be president because he started reading and learning about the world the month before he was sworn into office. Talk about cramming! Before the match, Bradshaw said he was going to make Eddie Guerrero's mother his maid so she can live out the final years of her life in his home in New York City. He guaranteed, "absolutely guaranteed," he would be victorious in the ring. Guerrero rode out in a bouncy car. When Eddie entered the ring, Bradshaw asked how his mom was. Cole was upset. I think it was considerate of Bradshaw to care. Eddie worked over Bradshaw at the start with a fervor. Cole said Bradshaw would have to survive the early flurry of emotions from Guerrero. At 2:00 Eddie threw Bradshaw into the ring and yapped at him about his mother. Then he threw him out of the ring again. Tazz said he didn't expect Guerrero to dominate so decisively so early. Guerrero whipped Bradshaw into the stairs, but Bradshaw reversed it, sending Guerrero shoulder-first into the steel. Back in the ring at 4:00 Guerrero fought back, but Bradshaw quickly KO'd Guerrero with a punch. He followed with an elbow for a two count. Bradshaw threw some forearms at Guerrero in the corner, then went into a side headlock. Eddie escaped briefly, but then Bradshaw put Guerrero back on the mat with a headlock. At 7:00 Bradshaw caught Guerrero flying at him and then gave him an overhead fallaway slam onto the mat on the floor. Bradshaw then backdropped a charging Guerrero into the Spanish announers' table. Both wrestlers rolled into the ring to break the countout. Bradshaw then went to a bearhug. More 1974 AWA house show action. Guerrero poked Bradshaw's eyes to escape, then whipped Bradhaw into the corner and followed up with punches and playing to the crowd. He hit a dropkick followed by his series of three unreleased vertical suplexes. At 13:00 Bradshaw came back quickly and fought out of a powerbomb set-up, then slapped his chest and ran toward the ropes, but the ref went down. When Bradshaw charged, Guerrero backdropped him to the floor. Guerrero threw Bradshaw into the American announcers's table area. Bradshaw then surprised Guerrero with a chair. Guerrero bladed and hit a real gusher. Blood was flowing about as fast as you'll ever see it that quickly after gigging. Cole said Guerrero was bleeding like a sieve. Guerrero's blood splattered all over the mat as Bradshaw punched away at his forehead. Then he hit his Clothesline from Hell, but the ref was still KO'd from being knocked down several minutes earlier by Guerrero. Bradshaw got so frustrated, he pounded on the back of the ref. Who does he think he is, Brad Miller? He went for a pin when a second ref arrived, but Guerrero managed to kick out. When Bradshaw charged at Guerrero, Guerrero dropped down and the second ref went down. Bradshaw then powerbombed Guerrero and the original ref came to enough to count a near fall. Guerrero kicked out again. The crowd popped and chanted "Eddie, Eddie." Bradshaw looked on in disbelief. He went for another pin. Guerrero kicked out again. Bradshaw applied a sleeper. Tazz and Cole said that Guerrero would probably easily pass out quickly given his loss of blood. Bradshaw back suplexed out of it. The blood didn't clot at all as it flowed out of Guerrero's forehead like a faucet. It was beyond entertaining. Guerrero began to dance and pound his chest. He began the Hulk Hogan-style superman comeback with a punches to Bradshaw. Guerrero flew into Bradshaw's arms. Bradshaw went for an overhead suplex, but Guerrero countered into a DDT. Guerrero struggled to make it to the corner. Guerrero went for a frog splash, but Bradshaw moved. The ref counted both men down. Bradshaw rolled out of the ring. He grabbed Guerrero's title belt and a chair. He threw the chair into the ring. The ref grabbed the chair and threw it out of the ring. Bradshaw entered the ring with the belt. Guerrero hit Bradshaw with a low blow. Guerrero hit Bradshaw with the belt and the ref DQ'd him. Guerrero continued to punch away at Bradshaw. Three referees pulled Guerrero off of him. Guerrero broke free and hit Bradshaw with the belt. Bradshaw ended up bleeding himself from the forehead. Guerrero then hit a Frog Splash. When Bradshaw began to retreat up the aisle, Guerrero charged at him and tackled him.

WINNER: Bradshaw via DQ in 23:00.

STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Take away the blood and there wasn't a lot to this match. And the blood was so extreme, it actually began to take away from it being even watchable, although that's a matter of taste. Guerrero's intensity in wanting to go after Bradshaw from the opening minute of the match to the post-match brawling was believable and fit the storyline. Not embarrassingly bad, but hardly PPV main event worthy, either. The show ended at 10:40 p.m. ET.


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