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Smackdown: New tag champs crowned
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Hard to believe that another Pay-Per-View is right around the corner. Will tonight's Smackdown! convince enough people to plop down another $30 after recently shelling out for a mediocre Royal Rumble? We shall see as Smackdown! comes to us from the "Mistake on the Lake", also known as Cleveland, Ohio. (Seriously, though, I have nothing against the city of Cleveland. The Indians are my favorite A.L. team, and I always root for the Browns to beat the Steelers.)

Paul Heyman joins us in the ring at the Gund Arena to kick off tonight's show. The GM pats himself on the back for last week's success, turning the defection of Chris Benoit to RAW into an opportunity. Even though the main event is set ten days from now at No Way Out, Heyman says he won't rest. Later tonight, he will announce who will be the number one contender for the WWE Title at Wrestlemania XX. Heyman then announces the next match, which happens to be for the WWE Tag Team Titles.

Match #1 - Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty vs. The Basham Brothers w/ Shaniqua -- WWE Tag Team Title match

The champs are attacked from behind as they pose on the ropes. Scotty dropkicks Doug from the ring, but Danny is able to recover after Shaniqua gets in a cheap shot. Scotty is double-teamed and isolated from his corner by the Bashams. Rikishi breaks up a pin fall to save the match. After a spinning back suplex, Scotty is able to recover and tag his partner in. Rikishi cleans house. The dazed brothers head to the corner, Rikishi hits a splash on both men. Doug is tossed from the ring, and Danny is laid out. Scotty illegally jumps in, and goes for the worm. Shaniqua grabs his leg and pulls him to the mat. Rikishi pulls her into the ring, but is attacked by the champs. Doug nails the big man with a leg drop off the top rope, but only gets a two count. Rikishi recovers quickly and nails Doug with a Samoan drop. The power move does in Doug, and Rikishi scores the pinfall, and the Tag Team belts.

Winner via pin fall ... and new WWE Tag Team Champs: Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty

Dawn Marie is getting cozy with John Cena in the locker room. Paul Heyman barges is and is none too happy. He informs Cena that he is benched tonight. With the FCC cracking down on indecent behavior on television, he doesn't want to send John out there with a live mike; running the risk of something naughty being uttered. (Note: And yet, Billy 'Mr. Ass' Gunn still gets to wrestle, the hypocrisy of it all is mind-boggling.) Heyman does request that Cena stick around for his announcement later tonight, though.

Match #2 -- Billy Gunn vs. The Big Show -- US Title Match

Speak of the devil! It's Billy Gunn. I wonder if the FCC is paying close attention to the lyrics of the entrance music? Pay close attention sometime, they are quite disturbing. The more amazing thing is another title match only a week and a half before a PPV. Could this be the start of a push for Billy Gunn, that RAW reporter Nick Tylwalk thinks is coming? Sadly, no. Big Show overpowers Gunn throughout the match, and uses a rest hold to grind it to a halt. Gunn makes things interesting hitting a dropkick out of a choke slam, and then nailing the famouser. Big Show won't be fooled twice, though, catching Gunn in the second attempt, and slamming him to the mat for the pin.

Winner via pinfall ... and still US Champ: The Big Show

Paul Heyman is everywhere tonight. He's a real hands-on GM as he talks with the Chavos. Junior is upset the Rey Mysterio accused him of knocking his uncle Eddie out in the back last week, and that Rey is on the cover of Smackdown! Magazine. So Heyman books a match for No Way Out, Chavo Jr. versus Rey Mysterio for the cruiserweight title. And Chavo will have to take on Rey tonight, make the Chavo Senior will have to take on Rey tonight.

Michael Cole is in the ring to introduce Eddie Guerrero, who will face Brock Lesnar for the title at Now Way Out. Cole barely asks his first question when the champ makes his way to the ring. Lesnar congratulates Eddie on his win in the Smackdown! Rumble. But the adds that he wasn't entered. Brock also lists the names off those that he has beaten in his career. The champ gets a little off topic with a rant about Goldberg, almost forgetting that Eddie is in the ring. Eddie tells Brock that he's impressed, but he's spent his life overcoming obstacles, his size and personal demons for example. So, that's all Lesnar is to Eddie, then, one more obstacle to over come. And come No Way Out Lesnar will face the full force of Latino Heat.

So much for a brand split, as we are shown footage of the 'paranormal' happenings on Raw from this past week. I wonder if the Undertaker is behind this?

Match #3 -- Jamie Noble vs. Billy Kidman

I wonder if Kidman is getting more TV time because his wife is going to be naked in a national men's magazine? Ah, man, I just ruined part of the big surprise coming later in this report. Halfway through the match Nidia walked down the ramp with Noble's wallet. She starts tossing his money into the crowd. Kidman takes advantage, by slamming the distracted Noble, and covering for an easy pin.

Winner via pinfall: Billy Kidman

After his loss, Noble tracks down Paul Heyman backstage. Noble whines about Nidia costing him some serious money, and he wants her in the ring. Heyman agrees, and books a match at No Way Out. Jamie Noble versus Nidia. That's the deal breaker -- I can't wait for No Way Out!

It's time for the world premier of Rey Mysterio's music video, and it's time for me to grab a drink!

It's even more footage from RAW. Steve Austin gives Goldberg a front row ticket for No Way Out. Read about here in Nick Tylwalk's Monday Night Raw report. (I can't believe I'm giving this guy a plug, after he took a swipe at my Royal Rumble column.)

Now for the big news. Why this wasn't teased earlier in the show is beyond me. The two WWE Divas that will appear in Playboy are Sable and Torrie Wilson. The magazine covers are revealed and we get to see some behind the scene footage from the pictorial shoot. Remember guys -- you just bought it to read the articles.

Match #4 -- Chavo Guerrero Sr. w/ Jr. vs. Rey Mysterio

Mysterio is jumped by Chavo as Junior distracts him. Mysterio lands a seated senton and then trips Chavo into the ropes. Junior jumps onto the apron and moves his dad out of the way of the 619. Mysterio drop kicks Junior off the apron, and connects with the second 619. Mysterio quickly covers Chavo and picks up the win.

Winner via pin fall: Rey Mysterio

After the bell, the Guerreros put the boots to Mysterio until the refs clear the ring.

Backstage, Paul Heyman is getting his temples massaged by Dawn Marie. She asks him who the number one contender will be. Heyman says she should be more worried about a 'costume malfuction' and he will announce the contender after the next match.

Match #5 -- Kurt Angle vs. Hardcore Holly

Angle starts the match off with a series of mat wrestling moves. Holly eventually has enough and starts the brawl with the Olympic champion. After an arm-drag on Holly, Angle charges Holly in the corner. Hardcore sidesteps him, sending Angle flying shoulder first into the ring post. Angle sells the injury the rest of the match. After a sleeper hold, Angle is set up for a powerbomb. The Olympian fights his way out, and responds with a series of clotheslines. Angle then hits two German suplexes, but Holly counters with a small package. After Angle kicks out, Holly sets up for the Alambama Slam. Angle grabs the ropes, and frees himself from the move. After an inverted DDT, Holly goes to the top rope. Angle gets to his feet, only to be clocked with a clothesline from the top turnbuckle. Holly connects with the Alabama Slam, but Angle is able to break the pin fall by getting a foot on the ropes. Angle is caught in a full nelson, but is able to counter with the Angle Slam. Angle then slaps on the ankle lock, but Holly rolls through and kicks away. Holly tries for another Alabama Slam, but Angle counters with a sunset flip and locks in the ankle lock, again. Holly tries to kick free, but is unsuccessful and eventually taps.

Winner via submission: Kurt Angle

Paul Heyman hits the ring immediately after the match. Before Paul can say one word, Big Show lumbers to the ring. Show pleads his case to Paul Heyman to be the number one contender. Angle responds by challenging Show to any athletic competition, which doesn't included pie eating. And I think the WWE writing staff has been watching too much Happy Gilmore; just read this classic exchange:

Big Show: "I eat pieces of crap like you for breakfast!"

Kurt Angle: "You eat crap for breakfast?"

It's funny, but just plain lazy from a creative standpoint. Heyman interrupts before they start quoting Caddyshack, and is about to book the two in a match at No Way Out, when John Cena interrupts. Cena takes verbal shots at Big Show and Kurt Angle, who then beg Heyman to add Cena to the match. Heyman won't do it at first, until Cena keeps rapping. Heyman then adds Cena to the match, just to shut him up.


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    Dale Plummer is a rookie on the SLAM! Wrestling staff. Dale is petitioning the FCC to investigate Smackdown! for other copyright infringements and other indecent acts committed against classic comedies. You can email him hereto add your name to the list or discuss any other issues, Dplummer627@yahoo.com.