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J-Day for Guerrero
By "BLOODTHIRSTY" BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling

On paper, WWE's Judgment Day was definitely one of the weaker pay-per-view events in the company's recent history - certainly the worst of 2004. On screen, it was slightly better than expected, culminating in a main event so bloody that somewhere Mass Transit is shaking his head saying...Damn!

Earlier in the night, John Bradshaw Layfield guaranteed the Staples Centre crowd that he would be victorious against WWE champion Eddie Guerrero. And, though he didn't say it on the show, no doubt he also wanted to back up his strong comments on WWE.com to all the "fat, out-of-shape Internet wannabes who have never done anything more athletic than play checkers" and put on the match of his life. For the record, Mr. Layfield, I tried checkers once, but sprained my wrist, and have never gone back.

The match itself was fairly uneventful for the first half. Eddie starts things off quickly, taking JBL to the floor and smashing the big Texan's head off of the announce table. Layfield tries to cool down the Latino Heat by running away, but Eddie will have none of it, attacking the former Acolyte with vengeful fury. JBL eventually manages to slow things down, and clamps on a headlock in the middle of the ring. The action spills outside again where Layfield gets the upper hand, first by dumping Eddie with a fall-away slam, and then by backdropping the champion onto the Spanish announce table. The table no-sells (ie: didn't break), and Eddie does too, sprinting back into the ring after mere seconds, where he gets trapped in JBL's huge bear hug. Eddie fights his way out of that predicament, knocking out the referee in the process, and the match goes outside yet again. Cue Joey Styles: OH MY GOD! as Layfield clocks Eddie in the head with the hardest chair shot ever. Eddie literally spills puddles of blood for the rest of the match. But despite his weakened state, he will not succumb to any of JBL's offense, including a Clothesline from Hell and a powerbomb. Finally, Eddie gets a second burst of energy, prompting JBL to go for some more weaponry. Eddie turns the tables on him, and delivers a belt shot to JBL's head. The referee calls shenanigans, and Eddie, wearing a crimson mask, cowl, cape and shirt, by this time, is DQ'd.

After the match, several referees and backstage officials have to save JBL from an angry Guerrero, who opens up JBL with some more belt shots and a chairshot of his own. The show ends with JBL running like a scalded dog - with another opportunity for the gold likely to come sometime down the road.

Match 1: Rey Misterio & RVD vs. Dudley Boyz

Just in case you didn't know the Dudleyz were heels, Bubba drives home the point by pointedly yelling at Tazz that they don't like him anymore. Where's the love, Bubba? Don't you remember the old ECW days? You've changed, man.

Misterio and RVD hit some big spots early, as they dive-bomb the Dud'z from the top to the floor. RVD and Rey take turns getting beaten down, until RVD finally gets a hot tag. In a cool spot, RVD launches Rey onto the shoulders of Bubba Ray who's sitting on the top rope, and Misterio hits a beautiful hurancarana. Rey hits both Dudleyz with a 619, RVD lands the five-star, and the match is over.

Rating: 6/10 - good opener, got the crowd into it, went pretty long, but didn't get boring. Would have got an 8 if Heyman had been there.

Backstage, Josh Matthews is in front of Booker T's dressing room. Mysterious noises had been coming from behind that door all night, we're told. Booker T comes out and tells us that he's bigger than all of the other superstars on Smackdown! He holds the key to beating the Undertaker - the dirt from the grave of a man with no name (and how cool would it be if they brought back that popular Brutus Beefcake character?). As the door closes, we see Booker's made a circle of candles and all sorts of voodoo paraphernalia sits in the corner.

Angle's music comes out, and Luther comes out pushing something covered by a black cover. It's a big platform that Angle comes out of the top of in his wheelchair. He rips on Eddie for a while, and then on the city of Los Angeles. And then he calls out Torrie Wilson, who he blames for his injury. Angle lays down the stipulation that if Torrie loses against Dawn Marie in the next match, she will be fired.

Match 2: Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie

What a train wreck. I'll give them credit, they try real hard, but this is just really bad. Hello, what's this? Awesome! Dawn Marie experiences a wardrobe malfunction, and there's a full moon in Los Angeles tonight. Pat Kenney, you truly do have the luck of the Irish. Torrie eventually wins with a backslide.

Rating: 2/10 for the match. 8/10 for the commentary team of Michael Cole and Tazz, for not pulling a Lawler (i.e. "Puppies!"), but rather focusing on selling the match and the stipulation - even when circumstances made it easy to go to the cheap stuff.

Backstage, Bradshaw's talking about how he should be the conscience of the nation. He says Eddie's America is one where people lie, cheat, and steal (which gets a huge pop). In JBL's America, everybody speaks English, and there are no welfare families. You know, this guy's the best yokel-turned-millionaire character since Jed Clampett. Now there's a guy we could all root for.

Match 3: Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Mordecai

After several weeks of cool promos, Mordecai makes his big debut. His entrance is pretty cool, with Undertaker-esque music and some cool pyro. Off comes the robe, and - what the heck? He's wearing one of Jeff Jarrett's old outfits. Pizza showed up at this point, so I missed some of this matchup. Got back to see Mordecai thwart a W-O-R-M attempt, and win with a Razor's Edge.

Rating: 3/10 - they really should've debuted this guy on Smackdown! Good entrance, but the rest was pretty meh.

Backstage, Jacqueline walks in to Chavo's dressing room, to the chagrin of the changing Chavo Classic. Jacqueline gives Chavo a pair of pink panties and a bra, because that way, she says, he'll feel like a woman when she beats him. Hopefully this won't end with Chavo Classic being stripped again, wearing this underneath his suit.

Match 4: Rico & Charlie Haas vs. Billy Gunn & Bob Holly
For the Tag Team Championship

Haas really plays up his part well, as the reluctant partner of the flamboyant Rico. Neither Holly nor Gunn want to get in the ring against Rico, and their fears seem to be well-founded, as he immediately accosts Bob Holly. Billy seems really scared of Rico's antics - hold the phone, weren't you once nearly married to Chuck? Anyway, the match ends when Rico superkicks Holly before he can deliver an Alabama Slam on Charlie.

Rating: 5/10

Backstage, there's a quick, old-school promo with Paul Bearer and the Undertaker threatening Booker T.

Match 5: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Jacqueline
For the Cruiserweight Championship

Chavo has his arm tied behind his back as is the stipulation to this match. Jacqueline gets a quick advantage, and Chavo scurries to the floor. As Chavo Classic distracts the ref, Junior frees his arm. Re-entering the ring, he holds his arm behind him to hide this chicanery from the ref. Classic distracts the ref, and Chavo takes advantage, using both arms to hit a Gory-bomb on his opponent. A three-count, and we have a new Cruiserweight championship.

Rating: 5/10

Match 6: Rene Dupree vs. John Cena
For the United States Championship

Cena cuts a rap against Dupree while wearing a Lakers jersey to get a cheap local crowd pop. Speaking of the NBA, I say "Go Pistons!" The match starts off pretty fast and high impact. Dupree gets the advantage by playing possum and ducking while Cena goes sailing over the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring, Dupree clamps on a lengthy bearhug. Dupree escapes an F-U and hits a neckbreaker for a close two-count. The match speeds up, and there's a series of roll-ups and near falls. Cena eventually hits the F-U and gets the pinfall victory to retain the US Title.

Rating: 7/10 - they lose points for Cena's time-wasting post-match climb into the crowd to give someone his jersey.

Vignette for Kenzo Suzuki. He seems angry, but I can't tell, because he's yelling in Japanese.

Match 7: Booker T vs. Undertaker

Booker still has the best pyro in the business, but Taker's entrance still takes the cake. Vintage Taker match - ie: slow and high impact. Booker mounts some offense and gains control with a missile dropkick, occasionally going back to his bag of dirt in the corner for strength. Taker hits the old-school rope-walking move, and then pulls a page out of Kanyon's book with a Flatliner. Sweet. Booker escapes the Last Ride and the ref goes down as a result. Booker grabs a handful of dirt and back to the dirt, and throws it into the Taker's eyes, but it doesn't have any effect. Taker misses a big boot in the corner, and Booker takes control for some time, even hitting a scissors kick for two. Taker gets his second wind, hits the Chokeslam and a Tombstone for the three-count.

Rating: 6/10

Match 8: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Eddie Guerrero (For the WWE Championship)

Rating: 7/10

 

Overall show: 6.5/10


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  • Blood, blood and more blood:
    Pre-order WWE Bad Blood 2004 DVD

     

    "Bloodthirsty" Bob Kapur, like Chavo Classic, has never worn pink panties and a bra...or, if he did, he was really drunk at the time, and that shouldn't count.