TV REPORTS KELLER'S SMACKDOWN REPORT 3/17: Orton-Taker, Angle-Jannetty, JBL-Cena angle
Mar 24, 2005 - 7:06:00 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By Wade Keller, Torch editor
Better late than never, he is my rundown and match ratings for last week's Smackdown...
MARCH 17, 2005
TAPED TUESDAY IN SAVANNAH, GA.
-The show opened - and rightfully so - with Michael Cole and Tazz talking about the incident last week where John Cena gave Teddy Long the FU. They showed a clip of it, and Cole said Long would be dishing out punishment later in the show. It's great that they didn't just let that go. When an authority figure is attacked by a wrestler, it has to be treated as a major incident worthy of ramifications.
-Kurt Angle walked out to the ring and said he knows Marty Jannetty can rock, "now let's see how you can tap."
1 -- KURT ANGLE vs. MARTY JANNETTY
Cole said Jannetty may have bitten off more than he can chew. Tazz said they needed to wait and see. Cole pointed out that Jannetty had been in three WrestleManias and is a former tag champ. Fans chanted "Marty, Marty" as the match began. After an armdrag. by Jannetty, Cole was impressed and wondered where Jannetty had been. Tazz and Cole wondered if Angle could learn about Shawn Michaels's tendencies by wrestling Jannetty. Good analysis to give every moment of the match added meaning. Jannetty skinned the cat and head scissored Angle over the top rope to the floor.
Angle had taken over offense after the return from the break. Steady mat-based exchanges with good, realistic intensity in these early minutes. Angle went into a long body-scissors/headlock. Jannetty escaped an Ankle Slam and took over offense with a series of punches. It's nice that Angle is the type of wrestler secure enough with himself to not have a problem going a long distance with Jannetty, who has been away from the spotlight for so long. Angle went back to matwork. Jannetty came back again and hit a DDT at 14:00. Cole wondered if Jannetty could pull off a monumental upset. His flurry of offense included a jump spin wheel kick and a huracanrana. That didn't look fun for Angle's neck as it snapped a little upon impact. Jannetty then went to the top rope and hit a crossbody block. Angle rolled through for a leverage two count. Angle followed with a released German suplex. Then he pulled down the straps and went for another Angle Slam. Jannetty countered with a roll through for a near fall. Jannetty escaped an anklelock attempt with a jump reverse sidekick. Jannetty scored a convincing near fall with a schoolboy at 16:30. Angle then slipped on the anklelock. Jannetty powered out. Cole said Jannetty was feeding off of the crowd, who were clearly into the match. Angle then applied another anklelock for the win.
WINNER: Angle via tapout at at 17:44.
STAR RATING: ***3/4 -- I really liked that match. Just smartly executed minus a lot of cliches that can diminish the impact of an underdog vs. favorite match. That was a clinic in how to get matwork over. The near falls and near submissions were really well executed. Jannetty struggle right before he tapped out was great. It was also really nice to open Smackdown with a match where the actual wrestling mattered and was talked about. The crowd was into it. Good all-around opening segment.
-Backstage Teddy Long told an assistant he is ready to make his announcement regarding Cena.
-Long looked at the camera and said it's his job to present the best for the fans, but as G.M. he won't allow Smackdown superstars to lay their hands on him. "I will not allow the inmates to run the asylum." JBL interrupted. He said he must now realize what he has been telling him all along - that John Cena is "a reprehensible piece of garbage." He recommended that Long permanently suspect Cena. Long said he isn't going that far. He did say Cena won't be able to lay a hand on him before WM or else he will forfeit his WWE Title match at WM21. "Now you're talking," JBL said with a big smile on his face. Long said the exception is bell-to-bell during a match. Cena's punishment for giving Long the FU should have had more to it if the point was to send a message that touching G.M.s is a big deal. Long then announced that JBL would be a six-man tag match against Cena & Rey Mysterio & Eddie Guerrero. JBL wasn't happy. Not at all.
-Backstage Eddie Guerrero was fixing his hair at a sink when Chavo Jr. walked up to him. He asked Guerrero, "What happened to you? I used to look up to you? It's like you're a disappointment to the family." He said he's holding back and Rey is holding him back, too. Eddie said he's onto Chavo, trying to stir trouble. Chavo told Eddie he's changed. Eddie said he's the one who's changed. Chavo told him to stop calling himself a Guerrero if he's going to keep acting this way. Guerrero threw some furniture and looked at himself in the mirror. This is a nicely done mid-card plot that's built well over the past few weeks.
-They showed Joy and Torrie mingling with fans in a crowd.
2 -- BOOKER T vs. LUTHER REIGNS
Booker T's wife, Shawnell, was shown cheering on her husband from ringside. Well, that dooms her to something bad happening to her (storyline-wise) soon. Just as the match was about to begin, Heidenreich walked out with the strobe lights flashing. He joined Tazz and Cole at ringside. He avoided shaking Tazz's hand when offered. Heidenreich put on a headset, but didn't say anything. Heidenreich growled and sneered at the table like a hungry dog watching neighbors BBQing from the other side of the fence. Reigns ducked a wheel kick, but Booker scored with a subsequent sidekick (the names of which no wrestling announcer will ever bother to learn for some reason). Booker then did the Spinarooni followed by the scissors kick (or "a kick to the back of the head," as Cole called it). They showed Shawnell applauding at ringside.
WINNER: Booker T at 4:02.
STAR RATING: 3/4* -- What you'd expect in the ring from these two.
-Heidenreich stood on the table after the match and said on the house mic he had something to say. He then read a poem about being consumed by hate. He said he wanted to thank Booker for showing him the light and a new way to live his life. He said he'd finally get to show the whole world the real Heidenreich. Booker had no idea what he was talking about and signalled he's Coo-Coo for Cocoa Puffs.
-The "When Harry Met Sally" spoof aired.
-Teddy Long stood in center-ring and introduced Eric Bischoff. Bischoff came out and said that Raw is going to dominate Smackdown at WM21 this year. The Smackdown crowd had a mixed reaction to Bischoff saying Michaels would be Smackdown's Angle. He also predicted a Randy Orton victory over Undertaker. Orton came out, played to the crowd, and shook hands with Bischoff. Long introduced Undertaker, stating that he is 12-0 at WrestleMania. Orton took a few steps back when Taker entered the ring. Taker signed the contract. Orton said before he signed it, he told him he has nothing but respect for him and his legacy. He told Taker that soon his WrestleMania record would 12-1. He said he would not fail like the previous 12. He said he is unlike all the others because he is not afraid. He signed the contract and reiterated that he is the Legend Killer. He then slapped Taker. Taker took a deep breath and then through his magical powers (or a friend in the production booth) made the lights flicker and thunder and lighting filled the arena. Orton fled the scene with a look of real fear. Good segment. Orton's mic work was right on. Taker played his role well. Cole and Tazz wisely said nothing.
-A clip aired from 1987 with Hulk Hogan beating Andre the Giant at WM3.
-A clips aired of Miss Jackie and Lauren Jones interacting with fans for pictures.
3 -- PAUL LONDON vs. KIDMAN
Cole recapped the history between these two. Cole and Tazz talked about the previous segment, which was appropriate to drive home the angle, but still disappointing because the action in the ring deserved their full attention, just as Angle-Jannetty got. Cole said Kidman had a new intensity since his return. London scored the clean pin after a 450. Cole said he is the no. 1 contender for the Cruiserweight Title. I hope they give London at least eight-to-ten minutes to have a strong undercard match at WM21 in the Cruiserweight Title match.
WINNER: London at 4:45.
STAR RATING: ** -- Short, but very good action.
-They showed Carlito begrudgingly helping at the concession stand selling hotdogs to fans. He stole some money from the register and didn't give proper change to the kid. H squirted ketchup on the kid and then ate his hot dog. When a ma stood up to him, Carlito spit his chewed up bite of hot dog at him. Carlito went back to reading USA Today with his feet on the counter.
-A clip aired of Steve Austin in 1999 brawling with Rock.
-Cole stood center ring and introduced Big Show. A clip aired of Akebono as a sumo wrestler in Japan. Show said this will be the biggest challenge of his career. He said he's never been in a sumo match or faced someone who weighs as much or more than him. He said Akebono was the first American-born Sumo Champion. He said he is the only person on the planet, though, that he can't push around.
-JBL discussed with Orlando Jordan the strategy for the main event six-man tag. JBL got an idea.
-The Raw recap aired.
-Dawn Marie was shown mixing with fans in the crowd. Michelle McCool was shown elsewhere. Dawn then walked up to her and yelled at her. She then attacked her and they rolled to the ring with a pullapart cat fight.
-Cole and Tazz plugged the entire WrestleMania line-up.
-JBL approached Cena backstage. He taunted him. He tried to get him angry enough to touch him. He told him he hates rap because it's all about illiterate inner city gangs endorsing violence. He said Cena won't be champion because "people like you don't make it to a level like me." He mocked his social upbringing. He said his mom spent most of her time on her back to pay the bills. He said he didn't know his daddy. He said he knew his dad, "rich, and still married, by the way." He challenged him to take the easy out like his mamma did. He said he will embarrass him at WrestleMania, so he might as well take his shot at him now. He yelled, "Do it!" Cena told JBL he is as stupid as he looks. He said he won't hit him now because in five minutes the bell will ring and when it does, he would "beat your (bleep). Thanks for the motivation, partner!"
4 -- JOHN CENA & EDDIE GUERRERO & REY MYSTERIO vs. JBL & THE BASHAMS
Cena kept pointing at JBL, but JBL avoided tagged in against him in the early minutes.
JBL tagged in at 7:00 with Rey already beaten down. He taunted Cena as he worked over Rey. Cena tagged in at 9:30 and gave the FU to Danny Basham. He then backdropped JBL and shoulder tackled him to ringside. He followed up with a vengeance, but JBL reversed Cena into the steel steps. Mysterio dove over the top rope onto JBL at ringside. Guerrero inside the ring gave Doug his Three Amigos series for the win. After the bell rang, Cena was tempted to hit JBL with a chair. JBL begged off. Cole yelled, "Cena's going to blow his WrestleMania title chance!" Cena, though, calmed himself despite JBL's goading. He let out his frustration on Danny Basham with the chair at ringside.
WINNERS: Guerrero & Mysterio & Cena at 11:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Solid tag action. Great finishing sequence building anticipation for JBL vs. Cena at WM21, giving a taste while leaving fans wanting more.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
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.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
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)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**