TV REPORTS 8/19 WWE Smackdown review: Keller's ongoing "virtual time" analysis of broadcast
Aug 19, 2004 - 9:00:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
AUGUST 19, 2004
TAPED TUESDAY IN HAMILTON, ONT.
-Michael Cole and Tazz introduced the show as JBL was helped out of his white limo by Orlando Jordan. He stepped out of the car wearing a head halo, plastic body brace, and neck immobilized. It's as elaborate as concoction of contraptions ever used to sell a beating as I've ever seen. Hilariously, he wore his cowboy hat on top of the head brace so it sat several inches over his head. JBL struggled with each step. Jordan told him he didn't need to do this. JBL insisted. When he got into the ring, JBL said he had a headache and would appreciate the fans being quiet. The crowd of course roared. Jordan told the fans considering his condition they show should more respect to their champion. Jordan is doing a really good job in his role. The best part was when he took the place of the referee and stopped counting at Summerslam during a pin attempt because Taker lifted his shoulder before three. He may have been cheating, but he wouldn't count to three unless Taker's shoulder was really down. A villain with a sense of fair play.
JBL told fans at home with TiVo to push pause and put the kids and wife to bed because the footage about to air wasn't pretty. Freeze frames aired of Undertaker hitting Bradshaw in the head with the title belt. JBL said he got himself DQ'd because he was about to lose and didn't want to get pinned. He said instead of accepting defeat like a man, he attacked him like a coward. His voice cracked as he said Taker tried to end his career by slamming him into the hood of his limousine. He said unlike the Canadian Army, he has been to Iraq. He said he thought he saw the face of evil, but he hadn't until he saw Undertaker. They then cut to a freeze frame of that silly facial expression Undertaker made after slamming JBL through the roof of the limo with his eyes rolled back and strings of spit connecting his teeth his wide-open mouth with his tongue sticking out. I think those facial expressions are so corny. It reminds me of Gangrel, i.e. mid-cardish.
When the Canadian crowd booed JBL, he told them to watch out because they're there to protect him. "You may be our weak sister, but we're always there to protect you," he said. JBL's delivery and lines were strong, but I still don't understand why a heel who wrestles 90 percent of his matches in the U.S. would cut a major promo on TV that does nothing but make many Americans giggle with him at the expense of Canadians instead of get fuming mad at him. He closed by thanking the fans and saying God Bless America. Undertaker's music began to play and JBL began panicking. Jordan tried to calm him down. JBL said, "I thought he wasn't here!" Taker stepped out onto the stage as fog filled the aisleway. Jordan grabbed a chair and warned Taker about entering the ring. JBL fell when trying to get out of the ring, but he had no flexibility in the plastic bodybrace. When he fell Cole said, "He looks like a turtle." Cole said it as if he was speaking in foreign tongue and didn't know what inflection to use. "HE looks LIKE a turTLE!" JBL escaped through a crowd and fell backwards onto a fan.
1 -- SPIKE DUDLEY (w/Bubba, D-Von) vs. SCOTTY 2 HOTTY
You knew the match would be short when Scotty went into the Worm routine at 1:00. Bubba yanked his leg out of from under him when he went into that ridiculous single-leg hop routine before the even more ridiculous Worm routine (please, America, stop cheering this move so he can stop doing it!). It's hard to feel for Scotty whenever the Worm backfires. The only reason The People's Elbow works is because The Rock does it, but even he could barely get away with it until he become a main event icon. Anyway, Bubba beat up on Scotty as D-Von distracted the referee. When Bubba threw Scotty back into the ring, Spike covered him. Scotty kicked out and then made a comeback, catching Spike with a boot. He beat his chest and signalled a comeback and tried for a pin after a sideslam (that's the second best finisher he has after The Worm?). Spike turned the tables with an eye rake shortly thereafter and finished off Scotty with his Dudley Dog finisher. All three Dudleys beat up Scotty after the match. Spike kicked Scotty between the legs as D-Von and Bubba held him.
WINNER: Spike at 3:10 to retain the Cruiserweight Title.
STAR RATING: * -- That was a good three match if you can get past the stupid Worm routine.
After the break, Cole said: "It's been a wild night already, and speaking of wild..." as he led into the Raw Rebound segment. How does Cole do it? He managed to tie in how wild Smackdown has been with how wild Raw was. What a transition artist! It's clever, original, and quite frankly genius.
Cole then said, "Brace yourself for next week's Smackdown." What was it that we had to brace ourselves for? That's right, match no. 2 in the Booker T vs. John Cena best of five series. I hope you all braced yourself because had you not, I can only imagine what happened. A pair of "fans" held up a big "Heidenreich Next Week" sign behind Cole and Tazz. Great, now how many fans at plotting to stand behind Cole and Tazz in future weeks with a sign of their choosing.
-Josh Matthews interviewed John Cena. He asked if he was ready for Booker next week. Cena asked Matthews if he can swallow a whole convenience store bratwurst, and then said, "Yes." When Cena said, "The champ is here," Spike Dudley walked in and said the only champ he sees is himself with his Cruiserweight Title. Cena told Spike he looks like Dennis the Menace finally grew up. When Cena said Spike needed to get himself some glasses because "you can't see me," Spike gave Cena a low-blow. When Cena grabbed Spike by the throat, Bubba and D-Von attacked him. Spike bent over and said, "Can you see me now!?" Great stuff! Good show so far.
2 -- BILLY KIDMAN & PAUL LONDON vs. JAMIE NOBLE & CHAVO GUERRERO JR. -- Non-Title Match
When London gave Noble a nice headscissors, Cole said, "That's why he's one half of the tag team champions." Noble and Chavo took control on London until a hot-tag to Kidman at 3:30. When London climbed to the top rope, Chavo knocked him off to the floor. Kidman escaped a Gory Bomb attempt and then hit the BK Bomb (sounds like something bad that happens after you eat at Burger King). Kidman then sunset flipped Chavo, but Noble yanked Chavo on top of Kidman and then Chavo held the middle rope. Kidman sold the loss, perhaps a little more than was called for, clutching his head in mid-ring as if he just watched his entire family get run over by a steam roller.
WINNERS: Noble & Guerrero at 5:05.
STAR RATING: *
-Teddy Long strutted backstage and ran into ref Brian Hebner. He told Hebner to go find Cena and the Dudleys and tell them about one of his house rules that if they're going to fight backstage, they have to be prepared to bring it to the ring. He said Cena would have to fight "the Dudley" later.
-Eddie Guerrero made his way to the ring for a promo. He said they haven't settled who's the better wrestler between himself and Kurt Angle since he won at WrestleMania and Angle beat him at Summerslam. He asked for a tie-breaker. Angle then stepped out onto the stage with mic in hand with Luther Reigns by his side. Angle asked the crowd if they wanted to see a rematch. They said yes, so he said the answer was no. Guerrero said Angle won his respect because nobody ever wrestled him as well as Angle did at Summerslam. Guerrero talked about respect for a few more minutes, then offered a handshake as a gesture of respect. When Angle didn't accept, Guerrero looked at him seriously and said, "You're better than that." Angle thought about it, then stepped up and shook his hand. Guerrero quickly gave Angle a cheap shot. Angle bailed out to ringside. Guerrero said Angle should know him better than that, then bragged, saying, "I lied!" When Angle and Luther Reigns came at Guerrero from opposite sides of the ring, Rey Mysterio charged out and fended off Angle and Reigns, who quickly retreated up the ramp. The best part of this segment was that Cole didn't laugh and endorse Guerrero's actions at first. He was quiet as Tazz criticized Guerrero. Cole let out a little chuckle, but did a nice job not trying to oversell his chummy endorsement of Guerrero outwitting Angle. The segment did a nice job playing into Guerrero's persona as a "liar, cheater, stealer" in a clever way while Angle clearly was the more cowardly and unsportsman of the two overall.
3 -- JOHN CENA vs. D-VON DUDLEY
Booker T did commentary during the match promoting their second Best of Five Series match next week. After the match Cena told Booker he has something that belongs to him. He said he has held his "jewelry way too long." He said he can breath for now, but next week he'll show him he means business. Cena's got his edge back this week. No poopy jokes. I like the "Champ is Here" catchphrase and the little high-pitched noise he makes (he can pull it off as long as he stays away from poopy jokes).
WINNER: Cena at 3:00.
STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Not much to it, but fine.
-Cole announced Long just booked Rey & Guerrero vs. Angle & Reigns.
-A Smackdown flashback aired from its debut episode two years ago. Cole and Tazz said they would be showing greatest moments from Smackdown in coming weeks leading to their five year anniversary in September.
4 -- ROB VAN DAM vs. RENE DUPREE
RVD won with a Five-Star. Kenzo Suzuki attacked RVD afterward. He's still on the roster? He made all of those ridiculous facial expressions and grunts that remind me of the worst movie I've ever seen, "3 Ninjas." Neither Kenzo or 3 Ninjas are even entertaining in a campy way.
WINNER: RVD at 5:42.
STAR RATING: * -- Basic stuff. Okay.
-Backstage Long walked into the production truck and handed a tape to a woman in a headset. He said he was on his way to the ring to make a major announcement.
-A clip aired of Maven being announced as the first Tough Enough winner. They showed Josh Matthews and Christopher Nowinski reacting to the announcement. Cole and Tazz then announced the new Tough Enough coming to Smackdown and UPN this fall. They gave out a mailing address for potential contestants to send in a sixty second tape of themselves to enter competition. The winner this time gets $1 million, which WWE believes will encourage a much better crop of contestants to surface such as pro bodybuilders, pro football player, Olympians, amateur wrestlers, "any elite athlete out there." It should improve the crop of contestants considerably, although $1 million would go a long way if they spent it on a new, first-class training facility and recruiting efforts with better base-pay to attract potential future stars. Cole and Tazz joked that $1 million is more than they make. Yes it is, and it's more than most wrestlers in WWE make in their first 8 years in the business, so the winner is going to get hazed big time by the bitter wrestlers who feel underpushed. But if WWE ends up with a major top tier star because of the big payoff attracting a better crop of contestants, then it will be worth it.
-Teddy Long came out. He announced the return of Big Show to Smackdown. No explanation for how that's allowed given that Big Show lost a stip that sent him out of WWE. He just said he had resigned him. A vignette aired on Big Show. Long said he was "on a roll without butter" and then formally told the crowd about his TV main event. Eddie Guerrero drove out with Mysterio.
5 -- KURT ANGLE & LUTHER REIGNS vs. REY MYSTERIO & EDDIE GUERRERO
They cut to a break at 4:30 after a strange exchange where Angle softly knocked into the ref to distract him as Reigns pulled down the top rope so Guerrero fell to the floor.
Angle worked over Guerrero after the break for several minutes. At 13:30 Guerrero hot-tagged Rey. Angle and Reigns took control of Rey quickly. The ref got bumped. Rey yanked Reigns's neck over the top rope on a dropdown and then gave Angle a 619 around a ringpost. He followed with a springboard legdrop on Reigns followed by a dropkick and 619 at Reigns. Angle cut off the 619 with a chairshot on Rey's legs from ringside. The ref was still down. Angle went for an anklelock. Guerrero chased Angle to the back with a chair. In the ring, Guerrero gave Reigns a low blow just as Reigns lifted Rey. The ref was still out. Angle didn't return, leaving Reigns to fend for himself.
Rey hot-tagged Guerrero who gave Reigns his Three A Amigos triple unreleased vertical suplex series. When Guerrero went to the top rope, Rey gave Reigns a 619 to set it up. Guerrero then hit the Frog Splash for the pin. Angle finally made his way back after the pinfall and poured white paint all over Guerrero's low rider convertible as a form of payback. Guerrero threw a tantrum, almost as if a fan had shouted "You suck" at him. Cole called Angle's actions an outrage.
WINNERS: Guerrero & Mysterio in 17:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Average match.
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