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Smackdown: Orlando claims U.S. belt
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Albany, New York. It's the capital of New York, the home of the River Rats of the AHL (who needs the NHL), and the next stop on the road to Wrestlemania.

One big question, will John Cena be the U.S. champion when he faces JBL next month? Michael Cole and Tazz answer that question and others.

Speaking of Cena, the good doctor starts the show off with a bang, getting the Albany crowd fired up, sporting a Lawrence Taylor throwback jersey. Cena says he busted up the champ's party because he is sick of JBL. Cena then cements his status with the crowd by playing the "I'm one of you" card. Cena tells JBL he wants a fight, and since the champ ducked him last week, he'll face Orlando Jordan.

Match #1 - Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero vs. Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak

Guerrero and Reigns exchange holds to start the match, bet Reigns powers Eddie into the corner. Guerrero makes a quick tag to Rey, who hit Reigns with a double axe handle. Reigns responds by choking Rey on the second rope. Jindrak tags in, and gets dropkicked in the face. Mysterio gets double teamed, as the ref is outside the ring dealing with Guerrero. Reigns tosses Mysterio face first into the turnbuckle, and tags in Jindrak. Mysterio fights out of the heels corner, and knock Reigns into the ropes. A knee to the back from Jindrak shuts down the 619. Mysterio makes a desperation tag. Guerrero dropkicks Jindrak off the apron, and then dropkicks Reigns. Guerrero hits two of the three amigos, and Eddie ducks, so Mysterio can hit a seated senton. Guerrero then hits the third suplex. Eddie climbs the ropes and hits the frog splash, and the champs retain their belts.

Winner via pin fall: Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero

After the match, Jindrak and Reigns argue, and get into a shoving match. And shoving leads to slapping that leads to punching, and Jindrak knocks out Reigns with a left hook.

Three of the random Divas are in the back, when Dawn Marie walks in. Dawn says she has had enough of these girls. Dawn starts in on Joy, but Michelle McCool comes to her aid. Dawn wants to get in the ring, and challenges Michelle to a mixed tag match.

Teddy Long is on the phone discussing Wrestlemania, when Carlito reports for duty. Teddy has an assignment for Carlito. Shovel the front walk.

In case you missed it, there were a few announcements concerning Wrestlemania. First Piper's Pit is returning, and his guest is Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Match #2 - Booker T vs. Heidenreich

Booker T jumps Heidenreich as he enters the ring, and pummels him in the corner. Booker follows with a suplex, and then slams his head into the top turnbuckle. Heidenreich responds by hammering away on Booker's back. A kick to the belly slows Heidenreich, and the big man rolls outside the ring. Booker follows, slamming Heidenreich into the security barrier. Heidenreich reverses and Irish whip, sending Booker T into the ring post. Booker is then tossed into the ring, and tossed shoulder first into the ring post. Heidenreich slaps on a key lock, and Booker T fights out with a chin buster. Booker starts to build momentum, and knocks Heidenreich to the ground with a kick to the sternum. He follows with a spin kick. Heidenreich explodes out of the corner, and catches Booker with a clothesline. Heidenreich grabs a chair, but Booker kicks it back in his face. Booker then DDTs Heidenreich on the chair, and gets himself DQ'ed.

Winner via DQ: Heidenreich

After the bell, Booker hits an axe kick and then follows with a spin-a-rooni.

I don't know how they do it, but WWE tops itself every week with the Wrestlemania promos. John Cena and JBL recreate the courtroom scene in A Few Good Men, with JBL in Jack Nicholson's role. If only the wrestling storylines were this creative. The best line, "While Big Show's loss maybe tragic, it probably saved this company." That's good stuff. If the Wretlemania 21 DVD has all these promos on it, I'm buying it, no questions asked.

Match #3 - Kurt Angle vs. ??? - Kurt Angle Invitational

Angle gloats about his actions on RAW Monday, and then shows the footage, in black and white. The Olympic champ wants to prove that he's the best, not Shawn Michaels. Angle's opponent comes to the ring covered by a hood. Angle assumes that it's HBK under the hood. It's not; it's just a local wrestler from Albany, and he looks pissed. Angle says he knew he wasn't HBK, because HBK wouldn't show up on Smackdown. The cameraman behind Angle lays down his camera, and takes off his hat. It's HBK. Michaels jumps Angle, and beats on him until security can separate the two men.

No contest

Teddy Long stops security to talk to HBK. Long says he's not hatin' on him, but he has to have him escorted from the building.

Match #4 - Dawn Marie and Renee Dupree vs. Michelle McCool and The Big Show - Mixed Tag Team Match

The only purpose this match serves is to set up some Diva nonsense at Wrestlemania, which is there so everyone in the arena can make a nacho run. Hopefully, McCool will get some wrestling lessons between now and then. Dupree wants nothing to do with this match, when Big Show makes his way to the ring. Michelle and Dawn start things off, and in this match only girl can fight girls, and men fight men. Dawn beats up Michelle, and then Michelle wastes valuable airtime trying to 'wrestle'. Dupree tags in and mocks McCool, only to get kicked in the groin. Big Show tags in, and choke slams Dupree. Show covers for the win.

Winner via pin fall: Michelle McCool and The Big Show

Carlito is having some trouble shoveling the snow. He throws down the shovel, but slips on the ice.

JBL heads to the ring, by himself, and he doesn't look happy. The champ wants answers. He wants to know why he doesn't deserve a celebration. JBL also wants to know why people cheered when his party was ruined. JBL tells the crowd, and John Cena, that they must respect him. JBL says Cena has made a mockery of the U.S. title, and he hates what he stands for. It makes him sick that he has to face Cena at WM 21. JBL goes on and on and on and on, just running down the crowd, trying to whip them into an angry froth, but not quite getting there. Until, he threaten to walk out because of the boos. Then the crowd gets into it, and the champ walks out.

JBL gathers up his cabinet to leave, but orders Jordan to stay and win the U.S. title. And if he doesn't JBL will send Jordan "Back to the hood, with those people." (Before you jump all over this for being racist, I know what JBL meant; it ties in directly with the promo he just cut.)

Chavo Guerrero stops by to see his uncle. He talks to Rey, and says Eddie is only tagging with him so Rey can't beat him. You know, keeping his friends close and enemies closer. Chavo says Eddie will strike, you can never trust a Guerrero.

Joy and Big Show are talking about the win, when Funaki interrupts. Funaki pitches Show on facing legendary Sumo wrestler Aki Bono. Show says it will be his honor to face him.

Match #5 - John Cena vs. Orlando Jordan - U.S. Title Match

Cena and Jordan lock up, and Cena pulls off a quick schoolboy, but Jordan kicks out. Cena hits a suplex, and almost scores the pin. Jordan gets a boot up in the corner, but then walks into a side slam. He follows with the five-knuckle shuffle. Jordan rolls out of the ring to regroup. After the commercial break, Jordan is hip tossed by Cena. Jordan fights out of a rear naked choke, and the ducks a clothesline, but missed on the cross body. Cena hits a leg drop, and then tosses Jordan into the corner. Cena drop the chief of staff with a series of punches. A thumb to the eye slows down Cena. Jordan climbs the turnbuckle, and hits a flying cross body, but Cena rolls through the lateral press, and almost gets the pin. Cena mounts Jordan in the corner, and hits the 10 punches, but Jordan power bombs Cena off the turnbuckle, and almost gets the pin. Jordan hits a high elbow, to knock Cena to the mat. Jordan dropkicks Cena, and follows with a body slam, and leg drop. Cena kicks out at two. Jordan locks in a rear naked choke. Cena fights out, and counters with a back suplex. Cena nails a shoulder block, and both men go down. Jordan gets to his feet in the corner, and Cena nails him with a clothesline. The champ follows with an inverted atomic drop. Cena nails a spinning slam, and then pumps up the shoes. Cena hits the F-U, as the Bashams hit the ring. Cena takes care of the Bashams, but doesn't see JBL outside the ring. Cena is clocked with the WWE title, and Orlando Jordan pins Cena to win the U.S. title.

Winner and new United States Champion: Orlando Jordan

JBL and Jordan mock Cena as they head to the back.


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    Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale is preparing to counter the $3.5 billion buyout offer made to the NHL. You can send your donations to Dplummer627@yahoo.com, and Dale promises to move franchises back to Canada.