TV REPORTS 7/1 WWE Smackdown review: Keller's ongoing "virtual time" analysis of broadcast
Jul 1, 2004 - 9:00:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
JULY 1, 2004
TAPED TUESDAY IN FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.
-Kurt Angle opened the show addressing the crowd from his office desk. He said last night he made a decision he was proud of. Footage aired of the controversial title change. The way he talked about Guerrero, it came across as a promo for his return match to the ring, perhaps as soon as Summerslam, against Guerrero.
-Michael Cole and Tazz introduced the show, then Bradshaw walked out and shook hands with fans and even kissed babies with a big smile on his face. Cole said he's never seen Bradshaw so happy. Bradshaw entered the ring and gloated about his title win. He said since Ronald Reagan died, America needs a new hero, and his intent is to be that hero. He told the fans that they may wish to shake hands with him, but they shouldn't be offended if afterward he squirts on some hand sanitizer to get rid of any germs, "because you don't want your WWE Champion to get sick, do you?" he said. He said he would be a defending champion, and Angle let him pick his opponent as long as it wasn't Guerrero. He said Guerrero had fallen off the wagon and was either drinking popping pills. He said it's a shame WWE fans had to suffer through having a champion they couldn't be proud of, but now that has changed. He said he guaranteed he would win the title at Judgment Day, and now he guarantees he'll be a champion they can be proud of. Excellent seven minute promo.
-Cole said shockingly the person to pulled the lever to bury Paul Bearer in cement was, shockingly, Undertaker. He promised footage of it would air later.
1 -- ROB VAN DAM vs. RENE DUPREE vs. BOOKER T -- U.S. Title no. 1 contender's match
Booker and Dupree teamed up on RVD in the opening minutes. RVD made a comeback at 3:30, knocking Booker to ringside and then tying up Dupree in the ropes. Booker reentered with a chair. RVD jump reverse sidekicked the chair into Booker's face. RVD then catapulted Dupree over the top rope (which Cole called a sling-shot). RVD then dove off the top rope onto Dupree at ringside. Of course, with all three wrestlers at ringside, that meant it was commercial break time.
At 10:00, Dupree did his French tickler dance over Booker. Booker moved when he went for the fistdrop. As Dupree choked booker in the corner after a low blow, RVD set up a chair in the corner. When RVD went to whip Dupree into it, Dupree reversed RVD head-first into it. Dupree then hit a German suplex for near fall. Booker then fisherman suplexed Dupree for a near fall. Booker came back with a spinebuster on Dupree, then he went through the Spinaroonie routine. RVD then kicked Booker in the midst of it. RVD hit his Five-Star Frogsplash on Booker. Dupree then covered a hurting RVD for a near fall as Booker rolled out of the ring to recover from the impact. Dupree missed with a punch and RVD came back with an atomic drop followed by a spinning hook kick to Dupree's face. He then hit Dupree with a Five-Star. When he went for the cover, Booker yanked RVD out of the ring. Booker then rolled up Dupree with both legs hooked for the win.
WINNER: Booker at 13:10 to become no. 1 contender for the U.S. Title.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Nice TV match with some good near falls.
-A backstage worker told a very friendly and happy Bradshaw that the candidates he asked for were waiting for him. He said he'd be right there. He debated which had to wear, then put one on as they cut to a break.
-Luther Reigns presented referee Charles Robinson that he had video footage of his missing Sable using a handful of tights to pin Torrie Wilson at the Great American Bash. He said Angle isn't fond of Torrie, but he does expect perfection from his referees. He said Robinson had been chosen to be the ref for the rematch, and if he screwed up, the consequences would be severe.
-Elsewhere backstage, Booker and Cena were face-to-face jawing at each other. Hardcore Holly, the Dudleys, and Rey Mysterio looked on. Bradshaw walked into the room and said he was going to give someone an opportunity to become WWE Champion. When he looked at Rey, he said, "I love you people" under his breath. He revealed it was going to be "a Dudley." Bubba Ray and D-Von were both very happy. Bradshaw then revealed it would be Spike Dudley. Cena and Rey laughed at D-Von and Bubba.
-Cole once again plugged footage of "Undertaker burying Paul Bearer in a concrete crypt." No mention of "death" or "murder," though.
-They recapped the U.S. Title contender's match and plugged Booker T vs. Cena on next week's show.
2 -- MORDECAI vs. REY MYSTERIO JR.
Among the things not to like about the Mordecai gimmick is the music, which sounds like really cheesy music outside of a haunted house aimed at kids 10 and under at a State Fair. Mordecai overpowered Mysterio in the opening seconds, but he quickly got in some offense. Mordecai, though, slipped Rey into a full nelson and then dropped him face-first into the top turnbuckle. Mordecai pulled Rey by his arms backwards head-first into the ringpost. Back in the ring he scored a two count. He then began throwing axe handles and then applied a Cobrar Clutch style hold followed by a hangman chinlock. Rey kicked out of it, and then caught a charging Mordecai with boots. He took him down with a dropkick and followed up with a springboard bodyblock for a two count. Rey followed with a springboard DDT. Rey hit a 619 at 3:30 followed by a huracanrana attempt. Mordecai escaped and gave Rey a big boot. He followed for a Crucifix attempt, but Rey escaped and rolled up Mordecai for the three count.
WINNER: Mysterio at 4:27.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- They did a nice job setting up Rey as an underdog, although as Cruiserweight Champion with more than ten years experience, he really shouldn't have been no matter Mordecai's size advantage. However, given the way WWE works, it seemed as if Rey was being set up to get Mordecai to that "next level." Instead, Rey's win was in part a sign that Mordecai's push is being cooled off and primarily was used so Cole could say that if Rey can beat the bigger Mordecai, then maybe Spike can beat the larger Bradshaw.
-Cole said Bearer suffered severe internal injuries to the lungs and trachea. Tazz said it's unlikely they'll ever see Bearer on Smackdown again. So they killed off Bearer's character, but kept him barely alive to avoid any murder charges. Cole said he footage of the incident was not suitable to all viewers and just as they were about to go to it, Paul Heyman came out. He said is the single-most impactful (not a proper word) powerbroker in all of WWE. He said he forced the Undertaker against his own will to accept that his human emotions for Paul Bearer were the only things "stopping him from inflicting a reign of terror the likes of which fans have never seen before." He said he was surprised when Taker stepped up and "did the right thing." Footage aired, including overhead angles of a head that looked like Bearer's being covered in cement, but they didn't show his face before the cement covered his head. Heyman said now Undertaker has no restraints and there is nothing stopping him from being more dangerous than he has ever been before. He said Undertaker has no one to thank but Paul Heyman. He said Taker owes him a debt of gratitude and he intends to collect on it with interest. Undertaker interrupted and showed up on the big screen and said if he did that to Bearer, one of the only people he cares about, then imagine what he's willing to do to Heyman. Heyman got bug-eyed for a moment, and then contemplated ramifications of Taker's words.
3 -- SABLE vs. TORRIE WILSON
They fought each with an energy level that made it seem as if they really were trying to hurt each other. You can't say that about all of the men's matches, and I'll take the sense that they're really fighting even if their moves are a bit sloppy over a smooth match that seems more like a performance than a fight. Torrie finished off Sable with a DDT as Sable struggled underneath and shoved Torrie off after the three count. Who does she think she is, one of the Road Warriors? Ref Charles Robinson looked relieved afterward.
WINNER: Wilson at 3:05.
STAR RATING: 3/4*
-Angle then appeared on the big screen and said for Robinson to understand how his decisions affect the superstars, he needs to wrestle a match. Angle insisted Robinson take off his shirt. Robinson did. Angle said his opponent, Luther Reigns, was headed to the ring.
4 -- LUTHER REIGNS vs. CHARLES ROBINSON
Robins pleaded to try to get out of the match, but to no avail. When Reigns began beating on Robinson. Charlie Haas ran out and made an immediate save. That's a good sign that they've got some plans for Haas besides Velocity while Rico is out of action. It also shows they think Haas will be a good opponent at house shows to give Reigns some seasoning. I get the feeling WWE management wants Reigns to be everything that Test never turned out to be despite high hopes.
WINNER: No contest.
-Raw Rebound aired.
-Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley talked to Spike about his WWE Title. They said they've never received a WWE Title match, but they are wishing Spike luck to make the family look good. Bubba told Spike that after he beats JBL, he knows that he and D-Von would be the first in line for a chance at the WWE Championship. Spike removed Bubba's hand from his face and told Bubba he's going to beat JBL on his own. He said regarding their offer to help, "Thanks, but no thanks."
-A Summerslam commercial aired with an Olympics-like beginning, but then Batista powerbombing a long jumper into the sandpit. Kurt Angle asked what fans expected, then plugged Summerslam.
-Kenzo Suzuki and Huroko walked out. Tazz called Huroko shadey. Cole said they weren't expecting them. Kenzo rambled on in Japanese for a minute. Cena interrupted and told Kenzo he's in North Carolina and nobody understands him. He imitated Gozilla. Tazz laughed uproariously. At least Cole didn't fake a laugh. Cena said, "We know about the happy ending. You all try to keep it secret, but we know it. And we love ya' for it." Cena said he is there for Kenzo because "I'm your boy." He said it was time to replay Kenzo's promo so he could interpret it because "I'm fluent in Japanese." Cena watched, and then said, "Ladies and gentleman, I make these horribly ugly faces because I'm horribly constipated, and my name is Kenzo Suzuki." The next clip aired. Cena said: "The poo poo, the poo poo, the poo poo is horrible. It's like trying to stuff a french bread through a key hole. That's why I need to be lifted to the ring." Cole pointed out Kenzo doesn't understand English. Another clip aired. Cena interpreted: "This is my hermaphradite proctologist, Horuku. Tonight we will go on a date. Maybe we will see the movie White Chicks. I think she will like it. She gets her face painted white every night." The crowd oohhed at that suggestive comment. More footage of Kenzo aired. Cena said: "You can catch my horrible Japanese mullet on your gay naked beach, and if you have problems with your poop, you too can be Kenzo Suzuki." I haven't been to a naked gay beach lately, but I think the last place you'd see Kenzo's haircut is a gay naked beach. Cena then taught Kenzo some English. He waved his hand in front of his face and said, "You can't see me." Well, if Cena's aiming for the 8-13 year old boy crowd, that's the promo to cut. Suzuki made a bunch of lame faces at Huroku afterward. He's so bad.
-Bradshaw introduced himself to backstage workers with a big smile on his face, calling himself the "new WWE Champion" during each handshake. Bradshaw then noticed that Eddie Guerrero's car was present. Cole proclaimed: "Eddie Guerrero is here after all! Eddie is here!" Then he plugged the Bradshaw vs. Spike main event, which they've done a nice job setting the stage for throughout the rest of the show.
5 -- BRADSHAW vs. SPIKE DUDLEY -- WWE Title match
Bradshaw dominated from the start. When Spike teased a comeback and showed good fire at 2:15, Bradshaw quickly regained control. He beat on Spike at ringside for a while. Spike scored a near fall after a Dudley Death Drop at 6:30. After Bradshaw kicked out, he got mad and began battering Spike. He seemed to have Spike knocked out before he powerbombed him for the pin.
WINNER: Bradshaw at 7:28.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Solid underdog vs. champ match.
-Eddie Guerrero walked out onto the stage after the pin. He looked quite serious. Then he charged the ring and gave Bradshaw a kick between the legs followed by a DDT. Guerrero danced a little, then went to the top rope. Bradshaw rolled out of the ring. He grabbed his title belt and retreated to the back. Cole said Bradshaw was backing away from a fight. As Bradshaw was about to get into his white limo, Guerrero asked Bradshaw if he wanted to hear what he had to say. Guerrero asked him to enjoy his reign while it lasts because it won't be long. Guerrero said long before Kurt Angle became G.M., he put a return match clause in his contract. He said he gets to choose the type of match that he wants. Bradshaw screamed, "No, no!" He said in two weeks on Smackdown, it would be JBL vs. Guerrero for the WWE Title in a steel cage match. The crowd popped, Tazz and Cole hyped the announcement, and the show ended with a panicked Bradshaw protesting the news.
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