March 26, 2004
Smackdown: New roster, new main eventers
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling
As I watched Monday Night RAW earlier this week, I feared the worst. After seeing HHH drafted to Smackdown! and then Paul Heyman quitting, I was certain that this was paving the way for the return of Stephanie McMahon. If you missed RAW read about it here in Nick Tylwalk's report. Will I be proven wrong as Smackdown! comes to us from Grand Rapids, Michigan? Read on and find out.
HHH wastes no time introducing himself to the Smackdown! crowd as his music hits, but Hunter is nowhere in sight. Instead, Kurt Angle in a sport coat, makes his way to the ring. Angle tells us that he knows who the new GM is. That person is someone with class, and someone we are all familiar with. The new GM is none other than Kurt Angle himself! There is a God! Angle has even more news, HHH will not be on Smackdown!, ever! Angle orchestrated a trade with Eric Bischoff, sending Trips back to RAW in exchange for the Dudley Boyz and Booker T. I think RAW got hosed on that deal. Booker T makes his way to the ring, and is not happy that he is now on Smackdown! He tells Angle that he is better then anyone on the show, and Smackdown! is the minor leagues. Booker, shouldn't you be happy that you are reunited with your tag team partner RVD?
Smackdown! was on tour in the UK last week. Eddie Guerrero was getting friendly with some of the English lasses from the looks of things.
Match #1 - Rob Van Dam vs. Charlie Haas
Unlike his former partner, RVD is happy to be on Smackdown! In fact, you can call him Mr. Thursday Night now. Haas isn't impressed with the crowd support behind RVD, and starts off with a fireman's carry. RVD responds with a spinning heel kick. RVD dodges an attack from Haas by jumping onto the turnbuckle, only to be shoved off into the security barrier on the outside. Haas tosses RVD back into the ring, and RVD sells a knee injury. Haas capitalizes, locking in a half crab. RVD fights out, and tries an enzugiri. He misses his mark, but immediately recovers with a boot to Haas' chin. After another spinning heel kick, RVD nails rolling thunder. After a two count, Haas counters a monkey flip in the corner, and has the pin, until the ref sees the Haas is using the ropes for leverage. A frustrated Haas unties the turnbuckle padding, but is rolled up in a small package by RVD, who gets the three count.
Winner via pinfall: RVD
We see more footage from RAW. Paul Heyman selects Rene Dupree.
Match #2 - Billy Kidman vs. Rene Dupree
Kidman starts off with a head scissors to the Frenchman. Dupree fights back with a back body drop. Kidman is then power slammed after being bounced off the ropes. After a two count, Dupree runs into a drop kick, and Kidman goes up top for a shooting star press. Dupree recovers and kicks Kidman down. Dupree picks Kidman off the turnbuckle and finishes him off with a sit down power bomb.
Winner via pinfall: Rene Dupree
John Cena interrupts the celebration and welcomes Dupree to Smackdown! in only a way that Cena can.
Josh Matthews gets a word with tag team champs Rikishi and Scotty II Hotty. Teddy Long interrupts to peddle his services. He leaves his card with the champs.
Eddie Guerrero welcomes Spike Dudley in the locker room. The champ is cordial with all the guys in the locker room, but Booker T wants nothing to with him. The two exchanged words, and Eddie jumps him. The other guys in the locker room pull the two apart.
Match #3 - The Dudley Boyz vs. The Basham Brothers
It's been a long time since I threw up the 3-D and boy, does it feel good. The Dudleys go after the Bashams right before the bell even rings. Danny is double teamed early, but is able to switch with his brother with the refs back turned. D-von is then double teamed, when Danny tags back in. A shoulder block buys D-von enough time to tag in Bubba, who hits a back body drop. Bubba follows with a sidewalk slam on Doug and a cover. Danny breaks the pin, but cannot save Doug from the Whassup! Head butt. Danny tries to help his brother, but gets 3-D-ed for his effort, and the Dudleys pick up the win.
Winner via pinfall: The Dudley Boyz
Kurt Angle is setting up his office, when Booker T pays him a visit. Booker says he hates Smackdown! and wants some retribution because Eddie jumped him. Angle tells Booker he'll get Eddie tonight, along with a shot at the WWE championship.
Match #4 - Spike Dudley vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. - Cruiserweight Title Match
Spike's brothers decide to stick around at ringside to watch his match, much to the dismay of Chavo Sr. Spike takes it to the champ early, but gets a little too aggressive by going for the Dudley Dog. Chavo tosses Spike over the ropes. Bubba and D-von are there to ward off Chavo Sr. Spike rolls back into the ring, and is able to hit an inverted atomic drop. Spike goes to the top turnbuckle, but is cut off by Chavo. Spike fights him off, and then jumps onto Chavo's chest. Spike goes high risk once again, and misses a missile drop kick. Chavo takes advantage, hitting Spike with a backbreaker and picks up the win.
Winner via pin fall: Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Recap of Faarooq getting fired last week and Bradshaw turning his back on his friend.
Bradshaw walks out to the ring with new entrance music and video. He is also going by his full name, now, John 'Bradshaw' Layfield. Dressed in a business suit, Bradshaw explains why he did what he did. He says he can't give up everything he has. He also says that he has never failed at anything, except wrestling, and that's going to change. He's going to make a big impact.
Booker T continues to make friends backstage. Hardcore Holly threatens to rip Booker apart after his match with Eddie Guerrero. Apparently, the 'minor league' comment hit some of these guys pretty hard.
Match #5 - Booker T vs. Eddie Guerrero - WWE Championship Match
Both men start the match by feeling each other out. Booker T lays Guerrero out with a clothesline. Booker knees Eddie into the corner and then whips him into the ropes. Booker then nails the champ with a reverse heel kick. Guerrero fights back with a drop kick, but Booker counters by hanging Eddie on the ropes. Then he knocks him to the outside. During the break, Guerrero is dropped on the security barrier. Back in the ring, Eddie hits a desperation belly-to-back suplex, and follows with a one-man (obviously) flapjack. Guerrero goes to the top turnbuckle, but is cut off, and Booker drops him with a suplex off the second rope. Eddie is able to kick out of the pin. Booker hits a sidewalk slam and covers. The champ kicks out. Latino Heat fires back with a head scissors, but Booker T counters a vertical suplex with the Book End. Booker can only get a two count. Guerrero is then laid out with a super kick, and is covered. Guerrero barely gets a shoulder up before the three. Booker T sets up the champ for the axe kick, but Guerrero dodges it, and hits the hat trick with the triple vertical suplex. Guerrero scrambles to the top turnbuckle and nails Booker with the Frog splash. Eddie has the match won, until Bradshaw breaks the pin. Booker is DQed, but rolls from the ring as Bradshaw puts the boots to Guerrero. Eddie should have stayed down, as Bradshaw finishes the champ off with a clothesline from Hell. The show ends as Bradshaw poses on the turnbuckle.
Winner via DQ: Eddie Guerrero
WWE John Cena: Word Life DVD
Dale Plummer is still a rookie on the SLAM!
Wrestling staff. Dale has even been known to file a
weekly Smackdown! report from time to time.