Torch Flashbacks KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 5 YRS. AGO (2-11-04): Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg hype with Paul Heyman, Eddie Guerrero & John Cena vs. Big Show & Lesnar
Feb 13, 2009 - 1:56:36 PM
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BY Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
FEBRUARY 12, 2004
TAPED TUESDAY IN TACOMA, WASH.
-The show opened with clips from Paul Heyman on Raw getting into it with Goldberg.
-The opening montage aired, then Michael Cole and Tazz introduced the show.
1 -- REY MYSTERIO (w/boxer Jorge Paez) vs. TAJIRI
Tajiri applied an Abdominal Stretch in the "WWE New Style" required mid-match submission hold, even if a match is only give three minutes. Rey hit the 619 at 2:45 and followed up with a springboard crotch to the face for the clean win. Afterward, Chavo Jr. and Sr. went after Rey. Paez made the save. Tajiri takes the best bump from the 619. He did a little dance routine and then KO'd Chavo Sr. with a hook to the face.
WINNER: Rey at 3:01
STAR RATING: * -- Not much of a match time-wise, but good for what it was.
-The clip of Heyman on Raw aired again. Then they went backstage to a frustrated Brock Lesnar who complained about Steve Austin giving Goldberg the ticket to No Way Out. Heyman said Goldberg is trying to intimidate him. Lesnar said he isn't intimidated by anybody. Lesnar said after he beats Eddie Guerrero, he will prove he isn't intimidated by him. I like this angle as I think it's a clever, effective way to build up to an inter-brand match at WM20, but I'm concerned that all of the focus is on Lesnar-Goldberg, not Lesnar-Guerrero, which undercuts Guerrero's credibility. I would have liked to have heard Heyman make a point to Lesnar that he shouldn't underestimate Guerrero, or have the announcers make a point of that.
2 -- SCOTTY 2 HOTTY (w/Rikishi) vs. DANNY BASHAM (w/Doug Basham, Shaniqua)
Cole and Tazz talked about Shaniqua being put in a tag team title match on Sunday with the Bashams as her partner. Cole wondered if she was involved in the decision, whether that would mean she's one of the champions. Shaniqua gave Scotty a vicious clothesline at 2:00 leading to a two count by Danny. Scotty and Danny each took turns applying armbars during the match. Scotty teased the Worm, but Danny blocked it with an elbow and then went for the cover. Doug used his foot to to give Danny leverage on the roll-up of Scotty. After the match, Scotty knocked Shaniqua onto her face. Rikishi set up the Stinkface, but the Bashams yanked her out of the ring first. The obvious point was that Shaniqua would be getting Stinkface at the PPV.
WINNER: Danny Basham at 4:14.
STAR RATING: * -- Nice short match.
-Josh Matthews interviewed Rey Mysterio, who said he has earned everything he's got in the wrestling business over the last ten years. He said Chavo may be jealous of him, but he can't have his title. He said Sunday "it's on, it's on."
-Chavo Sr. iced his face, and it was hard not to laugh at his facial expressions. Chavo Jr. then ranted and raved about what he was going to do to Rey, then he said his father would get revenge on Paez. Chavo Sr. muttered, "What?"
-Josh Matthews interviewed Kurt Angle about his triple threat match at the PPV. He injected some humor, saying one wants to be Eminem and the other eats a lot of M&Ms, then he said he'd beat them and go on to a title match at WrestleMania.
-Cole plugged the Show & Lesnar vs. Eddie & Angle main event tag.
3 -- RHYNO vs. HARDCORE HOLLY
Cole and Tazz built this up well as a battle of two very tough power wrestlers. They struggled back and forth trying to outpower each other. When Rhyno went for a Gore, though, Holly hit him with a high dropkick to the face. Nice counter. Rhyno kicked out of a pin attempt at 4:38. Rhyno came back with some punches on Holly in the corner. When the ref stepped in, Rhyno shoved him, prompting the "New Style" DQ. Holly went nuts on Rhyno at ringside after the match.
WINNER: Holly at 5:12.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Good, believable action. The finish is fine considering they're apparently just starting a feud between them.
-They went backstage where medics were rushing to Angle, who was lying on the floor having been attacked.
-They were still backstage with Angle being placed in a back immobilizer with medics surrounding him.
-Suddenly a Mariachi band began playing in the ring. I thought I was at Chi Chis for a second. Brock Lesnar walked out. Here we go. Now Guerrero is becoming Lesnar's focus instead of just Goldberg and Austin. Lesnar did a hilarious dance on his way to the ring with a big grin on his face and a big Mexican hat on. Eddie Guerrero charged to the ring to interrupt the mocking performance by Lesnar. Lesnar complained that the band "swam a long way" to get to Smackdown and he ruined their moment in the spotlight. Lesnar said the people love him because he's a fighter. Lesnar talked about all that he was accomplishing while Eddie was in rehab. He told him he hopes Eddie is addicted because he's going to give him his fix. Eddie finally spoke up and said, "I'll give it to you, that was pretty good." He asked him if he really wanted to go down that road. Eddie said a few years ago in Minneapolis, Brock's hometown, he was in the shower and he was high. The crowd popped. He said they carried him out of the arena and straight into rehab. "They didn't do that, I did that to myself," he said. "That was just the beginning. Because through all those three years, not only did I lose my job, I lost my wife, I lost my kids, and I lost my self. I lost my spirit. I disgraced my race, I disgraced my family, and I disgraced myself." He said every since, day by day, he has earned his kids back and his life back. He said the belt around his waist symbolizes for him that he's going to give his kids a better life, a better education. "That's my addiction," he said. "I'm addicted to the high I get from them (the fans). I'm addicted to the high that I get when I go home and I tell my family, 'Hey, I'm doing it.' I'm addicted to the satisfaction that I get telling everybody like you who didn't believe in me that you can stick it." Lesnar went from cocky to a bit thrown off. Guerrero as an addict, he'll do anything and run over anybody to get that belt around his waist and get his high in the ring at No Way Out and become the WWE Champion. I'd say that was the best interview of Eddie Guerrero's career. Really good stuff that ties in a ribbon everything they've done with his character in recent weeks and months.
4 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN (w/Charlie Haas) vs. BRADSHAW (w/Faarooq)
This was a preview of the newly announced APA vs. Haas & Benjamin match. Bradshaw punched Haas at ringside when he made a move toward him. Bradshaw then gave Benjamin an overhead suplex. Benjamin then reversed course with a fireman's carry takeover. When he bounced into the ropes, Faarooq held down the top rope, so Benjamin dropped to the floor. Back in the ring, Benjamin blocked a Clothesline from Hell attempt by Bradshaw. Benjamin worked over his arm for next minute or so. Bradshaw came back and mustered a Clothesline from Hell out of nowhere for the sudden win.
WINNER: Bradshaw at 6:07.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Another solid TV match. It accomplished what it should have, building up to an undercard PPV match.
-Matthews backstage said he had an Angle update. He said Angle was stable. He said speculation was that Show and Cena are suspects, but the third suspect is Brock Lesnar. He said he'd provide more info when available.
-Jamie Noble stood in center ring and said he knew Nidia was all scared about their match on PPV on Sunday. He said she brought it on herself because she "isn't satisfied with nothing." He said she spent him dry. He said he should have dumped her the second she went blind because "I can have any woman I want." He said there wasn't a woman in the crowd who wouldn't kill to become his girlfriend. He told her to get all of her crap out of his house and get out of his life once and for all. He told her not to take any of the fancy stuff he bought for her, "especially that five thousand dollar mink coat that you love so much." He said he wanted it back. Nidia walked out and said Noble has to wear a blindfold in their match on Sunday. Then a woodchipper was driven out and Nidia put the mink coat through the wood chipper. Tazz said, "That is downright wrong. That coat was five thousand dollars. That's not funny, Cole" Cole was laughing. Tazz should have pointed out that a lot of minks died a horrible death for that coat.
-Rue interviewed Sable and Torrie Wilson. Somebody invented a camera focus lens that is softer than the one Barbara Walters uses on her close-ups. Sable joked that Torrie can let loose when she gets in the mood. When asked if there is any sexual attraction between them, Torrie said she is attracted to men, but "how could you not be attracted to this (pointing to Sable)." Sable said same to Torrie. Then they giggled.
-Tazz said he loves Playboy. Cole asked to get a copy early. Uh, Jerry Lawler has a copy. Then they went over the PPV line-up: Jamie Noble blindfolded vs. Nidia, Cena vs. Angle vs. Show, Lesnar vs. Guerrero for the WWE Title, Scotty & Rikishi vs. The Bashams & Shaniqua in a three-on-two match with the tag belts on the line, and Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Jr. for the Cruiserweight Title.
-Ring introductions for Brock Lesnar and Big Show took place.
5 -- EDDIE GUERRERO & JOHN CENA vs. BIG SHOW & BROCK LESNAR
Guerrero came to the ring first. Then Angle's music played, but Angle didn't come out. Then Cena's music played and he walked out. Show's expressed changed drastically. So that's how it works. You sign a contract for a tag match, and if your partner gets hurt, you can arbitrarily be joined by someone else? I guess it makes as much sense as the Shawn Michaels contract signing for WrestleMania earlier this week on Raw. At 1:00, Lesnar pressed Guerrero, but Guerrero turned it into a sunset flip. Lesnar then gave Guerrero a spinebuster at 1:45. Show tagged in. Guerrero went for a sunset flip, and Show went for a sitdown that could have killed Guerrero, but Guerrero moved and then tagged in Cena. Show beat on Cena right away including a legdrop. Guerrero grabbed Show from behind and yanked him over the top rope. When Lesnar charged at Guerrero, he tossed Lesnar over the top rope.
Back from the break, Show had Cena in an abdominal stretch. Show tagged in Lesnar who stomped away at Cena. Lesnar gave Cena a fisherman suplex for a two count. Guerrero made the save. Lesnar grounded Cena. Cena snuck in a hope spot, but Lesnar quickly regained control. Lesnar tagged in Big Show at 11:00. He elbowed Cena's back. Cena attempted a comeback with some punches that rocked Show, but Show fired back with a big boot to floor Cena once again. Tazz asked Cole if he thought Lesnar was going to bring out the Mariachi Band again. Cole said that was absolute humiliation by Lesnar of Guerrero. That's another one of those instances where Cole sounds like a robot saying what he thinks he's supposed to say and overstating it in the process and sounding less than genuine in the process. Cena made a full-fledged comeback with a DDT at 14:00. Cena almost made the hot tag, but Lesnar got the tag first and stopped the tag from taking place. Cena, though, moved out of Lesnar's charge, so Lesnar went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Cena then DDT'd Lesnar and hot-tagged Guerrero at 15:00. Guerrero went to work on Lesnar. He dropkicked Lesnar leg and then clotheslined him. He followed with a triple vertical suplex series. Guerrero went to the top rope and hit a top rope dropkick for a near fall. Show interfered with a lame looking slidekick to Guerrero's head that showed some light. Cena then jumped into the ring. Show and Cena fought to ringside. In the ring, both Guerrero and Lesnar struggled to get to their feet. Angle ran to ringside and nailed Show with a chair to the head. Then he hit Cena with a chair. Tazz and Cole couldn't figure out if that meant it was Show or Cena who attacked Angle. Guerrero then gave Lesnar a low-blow from behind with his hand wrapped in a chain, then rolled him up tightly for a three count.
WINNERS: Guerrero & Cena when Guerrero pinned Lesnar at 17:13.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Really good main event tag match. The psychology building to the hot tags was especially strong. The finish where Guerrero needed (a) a distraction by Angle, (b) a low blow, and (c) a hand wrapped in a chain in order to beat Lesnar suggests that Guerrero won't be beating Lesnar clean at the PPV on Sunday. It strongly suggests Goldberg is going to be the primary reason Guerrero wins the belt, not any semblance of Guerrero "getting the better of Lesnar" on his own that night.
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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
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He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
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