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TV REPORTS
KELLER'S SMACKDOWN REPORT 3/31: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of broadcast

Mar 31, 2005 - 9:00:00 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY


By Wade Keller, Torch editor

WWE SMACKDOWN
MARCH 31, 2005
TAPED TUESDAY IN HOUSTON, TEX.


-Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. Cole explained that Tazz wasn't there because there was a death in his family.

1 -- EDDIE GUERRERO vs. DANNY BASHAM (w/Doug Basham)

Guerrero and Basham exchanged armlocks early. Then Guerrero took over with 3 Amigos. Doug interfered. Rey Mysterio ran out to stop the interference, but kicked Guerrero by mistake. Danny then scored the leverage pin. Afterward Guerrero expressed anger to Mysterio. Mysterio said he was trying to help. Guerrero finally accepted his apology.

WINNER: Basham at 4:00.

STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Too short to amount to much. But nice additional tease of tension between Guerrero and Mysterio.

-A feud recap aired of JBL vs. Cena.

[Commercial Break]

-Teddy Long and JBL had some heated words over last week's show-closing situation with John Cena defacing his limo. JBL guaranteed he'd walk out of WrestleMania with the title. That's a big deal because usually wrestlers won't make guarantees if that's the not the plan. Even with heels. Especially Vince McMahon. We'll see, though.

2- CHAVO GUERRERO vs. FUNAKI vs. SCOTTY 2 HOTTY vs. SPIKE DUDLEY vs. PAUL LONDON vs. AKIO vs. KIDMAN - Battle Royal for the Cruiserweight Title

Chavo Guerrero was eliminated right away meaning there would be a new champ. He protested at ringside and tried to yank his belt out of the ring announcer's arms at ringside. One problem with Chavo is that he always seems to be cartoonish. He didn't seem upset with losing a valuable title. He instead acted the same as he always does, but it never seems serious enough to be taken seriously. Funaki was next eliminated. Scotty snuck in The Worm before being eliminated by Akio with a nice looking kick off the top rope. It came down to Kidman vs. Akio. First went Akio, then Kidman via a London headscissors. London celebrated like when Kurt Angle won his first World Hvt. Title. Just that celebration made the title seem more important than anything the last several champions have done with the belt.

WINNER London at 6:25 to capture the Cruiserweight Title.

STAR RATING: ** -- Solid spots, but still just a six minute battle royal.

[Commercial Break]

-The humorless, pointless Undertaker as Dirty Harry movie spoof re-aired. I guess the only novelty of it is seeing Mark Callaway looking different. Otherwise, it stood out as the least entertaining of the spoofs.

-Carlito told Teddy Long that he might have some ideas for embarrassing him, but instead he'd like to return to the ring. He said he had medical clearance. He was without his shoulder sling. Carlito said he'd wrestle anyone. Long said his opponent would be John Cena. Carlito almost choked on his apple.

-Guerrero and Rey said they wanted revenge for what happened earlier. Rey said he would offer to wrestle Doug Basham later. Guerrero said that would work well. "That's why I love you, Rey," he said. He told him he'd have his back later just as he had his earlier.

-A commercial aired for the Hall of Fame Ceremony on Spike TV.

[Commercial Break]

3 -- BOOKER T vs. LUTHER REIGNS

Before the match Booker psyched himself with his wife backstage with a little pep talk. He put Reigns away with a scissors kick.

WINNER: Booker T at 4:43.

STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Decent action. Some good energy from both.

-Long was talking to a WWE.com producer backstage. He began bragging about what an eventful show he was having and wanted him to add that Cena vs. Carlito was coming up later. He then noticed "Cowboy" Bob Orton sitting on a couch backstage. Cowboy said that his son has him worried because he's in over his head with Undertaker. He said, "The boy is gonna get hurt." He begged Long to give him a chance to talk to Undertaker. He said talking to his kid hasn't worked. Long told him that wouldn't be a good idea. He said normally he wouldn't recommend it, but tonight he would allow it. "The ring is yours right now."

[Commercial Break]

-A commercial aired for the Piper's Pit with Steve Austin including a clip of Austin diving off of a truck onto Vince McMahon in the ring.

-Tony Chimel introduced "Cowboy" Bob Orton. Cowboy got booed when talked about how proud he was of molding his son into the Legend Killer that he has become. He then asked for Undertaker to talk to the ring and hear him out. Lawler wondered if Cowboy Bob had a death wish. The lights went out and Taker's elaborate ring entrance took place. Cowboy asked Taker to please forget about last week's slap and just have a good, competitive match at WrestleMania. Taker told Cowboy Bob that it took just one slap to seal his son's fate. He said he would "rest - in - peace." Orton said he's never bowed down to any man, but he got down on his knees and begged Taker. "Please, I'm beggin' ya'" At that point Randy Orton blind-sided Taker with an RKO. Randy and Cowboy Bob bailed out of the ring and celebrated their accomplishment. Taker eventually rose with a mean look on his face. Well done. Cowboy Bob was good. He was never a great interview in his day, but he was believable as a fatherly figure who it turned out had sinister intentions.

[Commercial Break]

-They showed footage of Taker trying to stand after the RKO, but collapsing back to the mat. Nice touch to get the RKO over as a devastating, threatening move.

-Lawler bragged that "Raw's Randy Orton is going to end Undertaker's winning streak." Cole said not to bet on it.

4 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. DOUG BASHAM

Doug got in some early offense, but Rey came back and hit the 619. When he went to the top rope, Danny jumped onto the ring apron. Eddie knocked Danny down, but also bumped into the top rope and knocked Rey off balance. That led to a Doug leverage pin. Rey asked Eddie what he was thinking. Eddie said, "Accidents happen. You know that." Rey finally said, "You're right. You're right. Accidents do happen." It was a neat effect that you had to strain just a bit to hear their conversation because it felt less like a performance for the cameras and more real.

WINNER: Doug at 2:17.

STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Nothing wrong with it other than even that shouldn't have been enough to pin Rey. For a guy in line for a possible major singles push over the next year, he (nor Eddie) should be losing with so little going wrong. He fell of the top rope. Big deal.

[Commercial Break]

-Josh Matthews interviewed Kurt Angle and asked if his WrestleMania strategy changed since failing to take out Shawn Michaels on Raw on Monday. Angle took exception to the usage of the term "failure." He said he doesn't even know the meaning of the word. Not to be too pick, but, well, if he doesn't know the definition, why is he so upset. For all he knows, it could mean "Kurt is the Greatest." Angle then said he would show Josh his strategy by attacking Josh and stripping him of his jacket. For a second there, it looked like he was headed to Heidenreich territory. He dragged him to the ring. He beat on Josh in the ring, who bled form the mouth. When Josh tried to fight back, Angle gave him an Angle Slam. He shouted, "This is Shawn Michaels!" He then applied the Anklelock. Josh tapped out and screamed in pain. Angle released it, stood and put his foot on Josh's back, and then told Michaels this would be the scene at WrestleMania. He then introduced his highlight video.

[Commercial Break]

-A clip aired of the 1987 Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff cage match from Saturday Night's Main Event.

-Cole introduced Big Show and then Akebono. As Akebono walked to the ring, he said Akebono was from Japan. He must've been corrected because a few seconds later he said, "Of course, Akebono is from Hawaii." Cole explained that the rules for Sunday's Sumo match would be the winner would knock his opponent out of the circle in the ring or off of his feet. Cole said it was time for the weigh-in. Big Show stepped on the scale and weighed in at 493 pounds. This looked like the start of the second season of "The Biggest Loser." Akebono then stood on the scale. It read 504. Not a huge difference, actually. Akebono looked quite a bit fatter than Show, but Show has a couple inches on him. Show said he may be bigger, but he's not taller. He said it's all about power and he bragged about tipping over the Jeep last week. Show said he respects what he's done in his world, but this is WWE, and it's his world. He said Sunday they'll find out who can push whom around. Akebono said, "Indeed we will." He said he saw Big Show push the Jeep over and it was impressive. He said he was looking forward to the match at WrestleMania. He said since Show gave him the honor of having a sumo match on Sunday, he wanted to have a WWE-style match tonight. Cole said that was next. Should Teddy Long approve it? Who's running this ship, anyway?

[Commercial Break]

5 -- AKEBONO vs. NO NAME GIVEN

Show watched from ringside. Akebono knocked the jobber around with quick hand thrusts, knocking him out of the ring. It's annoying when they don't even mention the name of the wrestler in the ring. Akebono slammed his opponent into the turnbuckles and then squat over him and scored the pin. Show stood and applauded respectfully.

WINNER: Akebono at 1:00.

STAR RATING: n/a

-Cole and Lawler ran down the entire WrestleMania line-up for a final time.

[Commercial Break]

6 -- CARLITO COOL vs. JOHN CENA

Carlito bailed out early in the match. Cena chased him around ringside. When Cena returned to the ring, Carlito stomped on him. Cena took over control right away again, pounding on Carlito. At 2:15 JBL walked out with police officers. He said they were there to arrest him for vandalizing his limo. "You're going to jail!" said JBL. They cuffed Cena in the ring. "He's a common piece of garbage," said JBL. Lawler asked, "What is it that goes on around here on Smackdown, Michaels?" JBL said he shouldn't have vandalized his car. He said, "I know you will post bail, but at WrestleMania, it will be a lot more humiliating when you are forced to worship at the feet of the Wrestling God." He taunted Cena to his face as the cops restrained him. It's good that JBL noted that Cena would post bail since some viewers might think the match at WM21 was off. When JBL touched Cena, Cena checked JBL. JBL then kicked him in the gut. Cena went down. JBL claimed it was self-defense. He then waved his hand in Cena's face and said, "You can't see me."

WINNER: No contest at 2:30.

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show. To contribute your thoughts on Smackdown, click here.


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