SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE Smackdown “WrestleMania Revenge” house show report
March 20, 2004
Aberdeen, Scotland at The Press and Journal Arena, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre
Report by Gary Kelman, PWTorch.com reader
Attendance Estimate: 4,500
It had been ten months since Smackdown had last been in town and some things have changed: The most over heel is not the most over face, the champion is “retired.” Some things are still the same: Big Show challenging for the WWE Title and Rikishi dancing his ass off for the biggest pop of the sight.
(1) Billy Kidman beat Chuck Palumbo. A pretty blah match to start things off with the “grab a hold” ring-style philosophy in full effect. Chucky got most of the offence in making it a little obvious who was going to win. Kidma teased the SSP but eventually won with a roll up.
(2) Hardcore Holly & Billy Gunn beat The Basham Brothers. Hardcore and Billy got far bigger pops than I would have hoped for. Billy seemed to be pretty fired up and made me laugh a few times by screaming out stuff at the Bashama and the ref before hitting moves. This was actually a pretty fun match with the Bashams doing plenty of illegal swapping and mocking Bob Holly for his driving history. Hardcore and Billy got the win when “Mr Ass” hit the fame-asser on one of the Bashams.
After the match Billy signalled to the crowd to get the cameras ready and he spun round while revealing his ass. But then things got worse as Billy insisted that Hardcore do the same. Bob complied but thankfully for me only exposed his ass to the other side of the arena. I mean really…who wants to see Hardcore Holly’s ass?
(3) Rhyno beat Orlando Jordan. I don’t think many people even knew who Orlando Jordan was. Rhyno got a huge face pop and several ECW chants. I just want to go off on a little side rant here but in every damn arena the WWE goes to, you always get an ECW chant at some point, yeah? Doesn’t matter which country, which state, you always hear “E-C-Dub, E-C-Dub” But where were all these passionate and loyal ECW fanatics when Paul Heyman was filing for backruptcy, eh? If all these people who so proudly chant E-C-Dub like it’s some sort of badge of honor had bought an occasional PPV or T-shirt maybe ECDub would still be around?
Anyways, this was a fairly short match that ended in what I thought was a beautiful piece of drama. Rhyno jumped off the second turnbuckle over a rushing Jordan but appeared to injure his knee on landing. The match was stopped and several referees and a trainer came out as I debated with a boy sitting next to me if the injury was real or not. I initially thought it was a work but it carried on for too damn long and made a believer out of me. Jordan was on the ring apron holding the ropes open when Rhyno charged, Gore-Gore-Goring him off the apron which was enough to get a pin. The crowd loved that and so did I.
(4) Chavo Guerrero beat Rey Mysterio and Nunzio in a Triple Threat Elimination Crusierweight Championship match. Rey got the biggest pop of the night so far with his entarance. Nunzio and Chavo (who got nothing but “Eddie, Eddie” chants all night) spend most of the early going double teaming Rey before heel miscommunication got them going at each other. Rey eliminated Nunzio with a seated seaton but Nunzio got his revenge when he cost Rey the Cruiserweight title by returning and sweeping his legs as he went for the 6-1-9 on Chavo.. Post match, Rey beat up on Nunzio some and eventually hit the double 6-1-9 on both his opponents.
(5) Nidia beat Jamie Noble in a blindfold match. Tony Chimmel introduced Noble as “Jamie ‘By God’ Noble, the Redneck Messiah” and then had a good chuckle to the ref about it. This was very, very similar to the match they had on the PPV in February right up to Noble nearly grabbing Nidia’s boobs in the corner to lifting up his mask while Nidia was on the top rope. The only difference was the very end in which Nidia hit a low blow while the ref was retreving Noble’s hood and she got an inside cradle to win the match.
(6) John Cena beat Bradshaw in a U.S. Championship match. Paul Heyman – in a neckbrace – came to the ring for a monologue and got quite a favourable reaction including those E-C-Dub chants that bother me so much. He looked humbled saying “I hear some of you have the good taste to chant those 3 letters ECW. One of my regrets was that we were never able to take ECW to Scotland…” all seeming very sincere and heartfelt before adding “..so we could prove that Scotland has the biggest concentration of wankers in the world.”
Paul then bashed Scotland and Aberdeen saying that if he saw any man wearing a kilt he would beat them until they were as useless as a woman from Aberdeen. Cena’s music hut and sure enough he was decked out in a kilt and sporan.
And in another quite intricate (for a house show anyways) piece of story-telling, Paul cowered away saying he would fight anyone but Cena. Bradshaw’s music hit and the drunken Texan teased beating up on Heyman. Just as it looked like Paul might be about to take a beating, Bradshaw jumped Cena instead and his defence of the U.S Title was on.
If any of you are wondering, turns out a Scotsman wears blue boxers under his kilt. Or at least, that’s what Cena was wearing. He actually wrestled the entire match in the thing. Match was about as good as a Bradshaw match gets with Cena winning with a F-U out of nothing. Bradshaw was getting lots of “You sold out” chants. Out of everyone, Cena was the most over guy on the card by quite a margin, even over Eddie.
(7) Rikishi & Scottie 2 Hottie beat Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas to retain the WWE Tag Team Championships. Shelton grapped the house mic before the match and did a ridiculous Scottish accent and he told us that he had worked out the problem with Scotland: too many Scots. Touché. Rikishi promised Shelton he would be getting the stinkface because of his comments. TWGTT, although getting mostly heat, where also cheered by small sections of the crowd.
Scottie was face-in-peril for most the match. When the hot tag was made to the “Kish, he delivered on the stinkface promise and pinned Haas with a butt-drop. Afterwards, Rikishi and Scottie just left which I thought was weird as last May Rikishi’s dancing got the biggest reaction of the night by far. I figured they probably don’t remember individual crowd reactions…
(8) Torrie Wilson beat Dawn Marie. Short, sweet and pointless. Torrie won with a roll-up out of the corner. The crowd were very into Torrie.
(9) Eddie Guerrero beat the Big Show to retain the WWE Championship. Eddie got a nice but not over-whelming reaction. I just wanted to stand and applaud, give him a nice ovation to say “Well done, you deserve it” but I don’t think most of the other people in the crowd were feeling what I was.
Eddie got his ass handed to him for most of the match, almost to the point of being a squash. Punches were prertty much the only offence he got in. Late on, he managed to get some momentum going and hit the frog-splash but Show kicked out. With referee Nick Patrick down, Eddie hit Show with the belt and then did the spot where he plays dead as the ref turns round and slowly makes the cover like he’s barely conscious.
After the match Eddie was attacked by Chavo and the World’s Greatest Tag Team. Rey and Cena came to help out but were out-numbered when the Bashams also came out to help the heels. Well, I could see where this was going. Sure enough, out came Scottie and Rikishi to make the save and with the heels disposed off, Cena suggested it was time to “bust a move”. Before anyone could though, Bradshaw came out and demanded that he should be the one who dances and proceded to embarras himself with some 2-step and ass-shaking. Everyone blasted Bradshaw with their signature moves and it was time for the faces to do their thing to a delighted audience. Cena did some pretty cool break dancing.(if that’s what the kids call it these days) but Eddie seemed a bit embarrased and only did that shoulder wiggle thing he does.
Not a classic card of wrestling but any means but lots of fun and the crowd went home very happy. The roster was severely depleted (Lesnar and Angle had both been advertised, too) and lacked any real star power.(I’m not sure Eddie has been accepted as a top-liner by the masses yet, unfortuantly). But just like last time, it didn’t matter. The people who were there put on an entertaining show and it seemed like everyone had a good time, including the wrestlers..
Biggest face heat:
1) End of the show antics w/ Rikishi and Co.
Biggest heel heat:
1) Heyman, after he turned on the crowd
3) Big Show
4) World’s Greatest Tag Team