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   Fri, January 23, 2004



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Smackdown: Guerrero family feud grows
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


The Royal Rumble is only three days away, as Michael Cole and Tazz bring us all the Smackdown! action from Minneapolis, Minnesota. First, some good news, UPN as renewed SD! For two more seasons, which means I still have a purpose at SLAM!

The slots in the Royal Rumble are filling up fast, and more will be decided tonight with qualification matches. Rey Mysterio kicks off the show, though, with a warm-up match for his cruiserweight title defense at the Rumble.

Match #1 - Rey Mysterio vs. Chuck Palumbo w/ The FBI

How is this fair? Not only is Mysterio outsized, he's also out numbered. Mysterio doesn't back down, and hits Palumbo with some right hands to the face. Palumbo shrugs them off, and misses Mysterio with a clothesline, but catches him with a second. Palumbo picks him up for a power bomb, which Rey fights his way out of. Palumbo is knocked into the ropes, but Mysterio is low-bridged on the 619 attempt by the Bull on the outside. Palumbo locks Mysterio in a single leg Boston crab, which Mysterio eventually rolls out of. The cruiserweight champ is still in trouble, fighting his way off the top turnbuckle. With the momentum, Mysterio tries a springboard moonsault. Palumbo catches it in mid-air, but Mysterio turns it into an inverted DDT. The FBI provides a distraction, which allows Palumbo to catch Mysterio with a big boot. Mysterio staggers to the corner, but sidesteps a corner charge, sending Palumbo shoulder first into the ring post. Mysterio goes high risk again, and is caught in mid-air. He is able to get a sunset flip over, and pin Palumbo for the win.

Winner via pin fall: Rey Mysterio

After the match, the FBI hit the ring, putting the boots to Mysterio. Jamie Noble walks to the ring, to check on his opponent for the Royal Rumble. He has words with Nunzio in the middle of the ring, and then gives him an envelope filled with cash.

Backstage, Josh Matthews interviews Paul Heyman. Heyman tells us thanks to Benoit and Cena, there is no more respect on Smackdown! In fact, those two have ruined the show. So, tonight those two will team up to take on Rhyno, Matt Morgan, Big Show and Brock Lesnar.

Elsewhere in the arena, the Chavo boys are hanging out. Kurt Angle interrupts their revelry. They tell Angle to stay out of Guerrero family business. Angle responds by saying that Chavo Sr. betrayed him last week by attacking Eddie, so now this is his business.

Match #2 -- Tajiri vs. Billy Kidman ? Royal Rumble Qualifying Match

Attention! We have a Billy Kidman sighting! Enjoy it while it lasts because Kidman is toast after missing a shooting star press. Tajiri sizes up his woozy opponent, and finishes him off with a kick to the temple. No PPV bonus check for Kidman this month, it's a good thing he's got a hot wife.

Winner via pinfall: Tajiri

Brock Lesnar is still following Big Show around. Show speaks up, and tells the champ the restraining order is to protect himself, not Brock Lesnar. Show says he needs some Big Show time to get ready for the Rumble. Lesnar tries to explain that he is here for Show's protection, an extra line of defense if you will. Big Show doesn't buy it, and heads into his locker room, leaving Brock Lesnar looking worried in the hallway.

Match #3 -- A-Train vs. Shannon Moore -- Royal Rumble Qualifying Match

A-Train is in the ring, when Dawn Marie comes out with an announcement. She tells him that his opponent tonight is someone that has beat him, and that person is Shannon Moore. Moore tries to cut the big man down with right hands with no success. A drop toehold takes down A-Train, but he is up quickly, locking Moore in a bear hug. Earnest 'The Cat' Miller dances on the top of the ramp, and Moore almost pins a distracted A-Train with a schoolboy. A-train gets his shoulders up and tosses Moore to the outside. Moore is picked up by his legs and swung into the steel steps. Moore is tossed back in the ring, where A-Train hits the Derailer and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: A-Train

Paul Heyman is getting his troops fired up. Big Show is nowhere to be seen, but Heyman isn't worried. He says Show is getting psyched up for the handicap match.

Match #4 ?-- John Cena and Chris Benoit vs. Rhyno, Matt Morgan, Brock Lesnar, and The Big Show.

Paul Heyman brings a lifeguard's chair with him to ringside, to get a nice high seat for this match. Big Show's music plays, but no Big Show. In the back, a forklift is blocking the door to his locker room, and none of the stagehands can get it moved. Lesnar starts yelling at Heyman. After a commercial break, things haven't changed, but the match is started. Lesnar ducks out of the ring, and ends up tagging in Morgan. Benoit takes it to Morgan, letting the big man have it. Cena tags in, but get caught in the enemy's corner, where he is double-teamed. Cena fights out, and taunts Heyman, giving Rhyno an opportunity to lay him out with a clothesline. Cena is able to tag in Benoit, who hits a snap suplex on Rhyno. The Champ tags in, and beat down Benoit. Cena tags in, and is laid out with a spinebuster. Cena is able to tag out, after Lesnar hit the ring post. Benoit knocks Lesnar in Morgan, who hits the floor, and then sends Rhyno flying off the apron. Lesnar switches position during a suplex, and Benoit breaks free narrowly missing a Gore from Rhyno, which connects with Lesnar instead. Benoit then hits a release suplex on Morgan. The rabid wolverine heads to the top rope, but is cut off by Lesnar. Benoit is set up for the F-5, but counters into the Crippler Cross Face. Rhyno breaks the hold, and Lesnar, deciding that he has had enough, heads to the back. Hardcore Holly jumps from behind the Champ, and both men are separated by refs and officials, but not before Lesnar can get a cheap shot in.

Back in the ring, Rhyno hits a belly to belly on Benoit, and sets him up for a Gore. This time he hits his intended target, and Cena has to break up the pin fall. Morgan tags in, and misses two elbow drops. Benoit then lays him out with a kick to the head. Cena and Rhyno tag in. Cena nails the throwback and a flying elbow. Rhyno regains some momentum with a belly to belly, but misses a Gore. Cena sets Rhyno up, and nails him with an F-U and gets the pin.

Winner via pin fall: John Cena and Chris Benoit

After the bell, Cena and Benoit dump Heyman off his perch and into the ring. Heyman looks to be in trouble, but a very angry Big Show hits the ring. A few power and choke slams later, Heyman is saved, and Cena and Benoit will be hurting at the rumble.

Match #5 -- Bradshaw vs. Akio vs. Sakado -- Royal Rumble Qualifying Match

Bradshaw is pretty much in a handicap match here, but he starts off well. He hits Akio with a fall away slam off the second turnbuckle. Sakado and Akio hit the Texan with dual drop kicks, but then fight over who will make the pin. Bradshaw recovers, and misses and clothesline from hell. Akio goes to the top rope, while Bradshaw lays Sakado out. He then hits the Clothesline from Hell as Akio jumps off the top turnbuckle. Bradshaw covers, and will be heading to the Rumble.

Winner via pinfall: Bradshaw

Now the time you've all been waiting for, the number one Billy Gunn moment of his career. It's his 'wedding' to Chuck Palumbo! No comment.

Backstage, Angle talks with his partner. He tells Eddie that he has to control his Latino Heat. That's his problem he's too emotional.

Match #6 -- Kurt Angle and Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Chavo Guerrero Sr.

Eddie is chomping at the bit to get in the ring, but Angle starts things off with little Chavo. Angle slows things down with mat wrestling. The action picks up after a tilt-a-whirl slam on Junior by Eddie. The Senior Chavo tags in, along with Angle. Angle suplexes both men, and slaps the ankle lock on Junior. His dad breaks the hold, only to get an Angle slam for his trouble. Eddie tags himself in, and nails his brother with a suplex. Angle follows with a suplex on Junior. Angle then catches a thumb in the eye and is blinded. Eddie checks on his partner, but gets Angled slammed by mistake. Angle slips out of the ring, and referee Nick Patrick calls for medical attention. Eddie is DDT'd by his brother in the ring, and then his nephew nails him with a frog splash to pick up the pin fall. Both men taunt Eddie as the show goes off the air.

Winner via pinfall: Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Chavo Guerrero Sr.


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    Dale Plummer is a rookie on the SLAM! Wrestling staff. Dale will be at the Royal Rumble in Philly on Sunday, with RAW reporter Nick Tylwalk and a digital camera in tow. Dale is hoping the digital zoom is powerful enough so the pictures don't look like they were taken from a blimp.