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   Fri, January 9, 2004



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COMMENT





Smackdown!: Holly chokes out Big Show
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


With just a little over two weeks to the Royal Rumble, things are heating up on Smackdown! Michael Cole and Tazz bring us the live-on-tape action, this time from Huntsville, Alabama.

Just a quick side note. I see Sean O'Haire in the opening, but I haven't seen him in months. If anyone has any knowledge of his whereabouts, please contact your local authorities, or the WWE creative staff.

Kurt Angle returned last week, and he's kicking off tonight's show. Angle is pleased the he is in the Rumble, and he vows he will win it for the U.S. troops stationed around the world. Angle is on a mission tonight, though. He is trying to stop one of the greatest tag-teams from self-destructing, Los Guerreros. Chavo makes his way to the ring, and tells Kurt he had to show Eddie some tough love last week. Eddie has heard enough and joins the two men in the ring. Chavo splits, but Angle persuades him to rejoin his uncle in the ring. Chavo extends his hand in friendship. Eddie reluctantly accepts, and Angle raises both men's hands in victory.

Backstage, Josh Matthews asks Big Show why he asked for a street fight with Hardcore Holly. Show tells Matthews flat out that he wants to hurt Holly.

Match #1 - Chris Benoit vs. The FBI - Mini-Rumble

Heyman informs Benoit that this will be Royal Rumble rules. With one exception, instead of "everyman for himself", it's "everyman for Benoit". Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli hits the ring first, and Benoit immediately goes to work on him. Benoit can't overpower the big man, so instead he incapacitates him with a sharpshooter, as Chuck Palumbo enters the fray. Palumbo is nailed with a suplex, but does manage to get in some offense. Stamboli joins in, but gets hung upside down on the top rope. A baseball slide from Benoit knocks Stamboli over and "The Bull" is eliminated. Palumbo sets Benoit up for a press slam, but has it countered into the Crippler Cross Face. Palumbo taps, but to no avail. Benoit keeps the CCF locked in, until Nunzio hits the ring. Benoit is double teamed by the FBI. Nunzio pulls the top rope down, so Palumbo can toss Benoit out. Instead, Benoit goes up and over Palumbo, and pushes him over the rope. Nunzio grabs his partner, only to be tossed over the top. Palumbo rolls back in. He sets Benoit up for a powerbomb, that Benoit reverses with a head scissors. Benoit then ducks a superkick, and back suplexes Palumbo over the top rope to win the match. Paul Heyman looks amused, as he walks off stage.

Winner via elimination: Chris Benoit

Match #2 - Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty vs. The Basham Brothers -- WWE Tag Team Title match

This match never gets underway, as the Bashams jump Rikishi and Scotty from behind. The challengers are then knocked out with shots from the title belts.

The Bashams' celebration is short lived, as Kurt Angle takes the stage. He tells the Bashams that when a title match is advertised, you have to deliver. So, he talked with Heyman, and there will be new challengers, Los Guerreros.

Match #3 - Los Guerreros vs. The Basham Brothers -- WWE Tag Team Title match

The champs are not happy about this turn of events. Eddie starts things off by reversing a top wristlock into a headlock. Chavo tags in and it looks the family dispute is over. Los Guerreros double-team Danny Basham. Eddie and Chavo take turns "cheating" when the refs back is turned. The momentum shifts, however, when Eddie is tossed from the ring.

After a commercial break, Eddie is in trouble in the ring. Danny and Doug take turns wearing down Latino Heat, who cannot get a tag to Chavo. Eddie lands a head scissors on Danny, but Eddie still cannot get tag to Chavo. The younger Guerrero does his part by breaking up a pin to save the match. The crowd starts chanting for Chavo, and he finally gets a hot tag in. Chavo cleans house with the Bashams. Eddie joins in on the fun, as Danny and Doug are launched out from opposite sides of the ring. Los Guerreros the crush their respective advesaries with flying body presses from the ring. Chavo rolls Danny back in the ring. With the champ on his feet, Chavo tries a sunset flip over the top rope, but cannot get it over. Danny drops on Chavo's shoulders and holds the ropes to get the pin.

Winner via pinfall: The Bashams

Chavo is tossed from the ring, after the match, as Eddie jumps in. The Bashams go to work on Eddie. Chavo looks like he is going to grab a chair and help his uncle, but instead he take a seat and watches the assault. After the Bashams finish, Chavo enters the ring and helps Eddie up, only to knock him back down with a right hand to the head. Chavo busts Eddie open, and leaves him bleeding in the ring as he drives off in the low rider.

Match #4 - A-Train vs. John Cena

This was a surprisingly short match. Cena tries for an early F-U, but A-train slips out of it, and puts down Cena with a punch. A-train then hits Cena with a vertical suplex, and then chokes him on the ropes. Cena regains his forms, and goes to the top rope. After pumping up his shoes, Cena nails the big with a high-risk maneuver. Cena ducks a clothesline, and then Stone Cold style, kicks A-Train in the stomach and hits the F-U.

Winner via pinfall: John Cena

Back in the trainer's room, Kurt Angle is consoling Eddie Guerrero. Eddie doesn't say a word the entire time. He just sits there fuming, as Angle apologizes for sticking his nose in family business. Angle flat out says he sorry.

Match #5 - Rey Mysterio vs. Akio w. Sakoda

This was a very good cruiserweight match. Akio ties a baseball slide, as Mysterio is hung in the tree of woe, but Rey lifts himself up, and Akio crotches himself on the ring post. Mysterio follows up with a springboard lateral press. The cruiserweight champ goes to the top rope, but is caught with a spinning heel kick in mid-air from Akio. Mysterio regains his sense, and hits Sakoda on the apron. He then knocks Akio into the ropes and nails the 619 on both men. Mysterio targets Akio with the West Coast Pop, hits it and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio

Guess what? From here on until the Royal Rumble we're going to be treated to the "Best of Billy Gunn". I find it hard to believe that they could only find three moments from his storied career to show us.

Hardcore Holly tells Josh Matthews that Big Show is dumb for requesting a street fight with him. Really? Ya think?

Elsewhere in the arena, Nidia is on the phone with Jamie Noble. It seems that he is stuck in traffic. After she hangs up Paul Heyman grace us with his presence. He tells Nidia that if Noble can't wrestle, he will name a suitable replacement. And the replacement is she.

Match #5 - Tajiri vs. Nidia

Well, Noble is late, so Heyman "escorts" Nidia to the ring. He tells her to go through with the match or Noble is fired. The bell rings, and Tajiri jumps on the opportunity. He pins Nidia after a few slams.

Winner via pinfall: Tajiri

After the bell, Tajiri looks to do some more damage, but Rey Mysterio chases him off. Mysterio then helps Nidia to the ring, and back up the ramp, when Noble finally shows. And what does Rey get for being a nice guy? He gets a punch in the face.

Match #7 - Big Show vs. Hardcore Holly - Street Fight

Here comes the pain! Brock Lesnar joins the boys at the announce table to offer his insights into the main event. Shouldn't a street fight take place in, oh, a street? Anyway, weapons are strewn about the ring. Big Show strikes first with a kendo stick, and tosses Holly into the ring. Holly fights back with a broom, and the fight spills to the floor. Holly stuns Show, and then turns his attention to the champ. Holly and Lesnar's fight is broken up by Show, who tosses Holly into the ring post. The action returns to the ring, where Show is brought to his knees with a series of chair shots. Holly then unfolds the chair, and places it around Show's throat. Holly is choking the Big Show out with the chair. Big Show taps to the most unique submissions I've seen in a while.

Winner by submission: Hardcore Holly

After the match Holly heads towards Lesnar. Brock wants nothing to do with Holly and his chair, so Lesnar jumps the security barrier, and retreats through the crowd.

Dale Plummer is a rookie on the SLAM! Wrestling staff. Dale is eagerly awaiting news that he will compete in the Royal Rumble.