No Way Out 2004: When All Else Fails, Give Them More Eddie

No Way Out 2004
Date: February 15, 2004
Location: Cow Palace, San Francisco, California
Attendance: 11,000
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re into the brand only shows now and this is Smackdown. It’s also a very famous one as the main event is Brock vs. Eddie for the title and I think you know how that goes. Other than that this is a card looks pretty awful as there is the obvious problem of developing a PPV out of one roster’s worth of talent: you get a few matches that aren’t interesting at all and couldn’t be more clearly filler if they walked up to you with a big sign that said HEY I’M FILLER and shouted “HEY I’M FILLER!” Let’s get to it.

With no intro video or anything like that here are Torrie and Sable who were doing something close to a lesbian thing soon. They’re both in Playboy this month. Apparently there’s nothing they won’t do and then they leave. Wow this was pointless.

Now we get the intro video as Brock is all evil but leaving in a month anyway so he doesn’t care. Goldberg is on the horizon for him so who do you think has a front row seat tonight? Eddie says he’s been here before after his familia turned on him. This was built up almost as a glorified squash with Eddie having next to no chance against the unstoppable machine who has one quick match left before his showdown with Goldberg.

Who thought Cow Palace was a good name for an arena anyway?

Smackdown Tag Titles: Basham Brothers/Shaniqua vs. Rikishi/Scotty 2 Hotty

The non Bashams have the titles here. The challengers have Shaniqua, the Tough Enough 2 winner Linda Miles, as their future dominatrix manager. Oh apparently this is a 3 on 2 handicap match for the belts. Using the Mania 5 formula apparently. Scotty and a Basham start. They’re almost identical and it was hard to tell them apart in OVW too. Ok that’s Doug. Never mind as Cole is confused so it’s Danny.

My uncles are named Doug and Danny so I always liked this team. Scotty botches a headscissors and half kills Danny and the fat man comes in. Rikishi was supposed to be like this big powerful veteran or something at this point. I guess he was REALLY sorry for the whole vehicular homicide attempt thing a few years ago. Fat man vs. Doug at this point.

Rikishi brings in Shaniqua and she almost gets a Stinkface. Basically Rikishi is destroying everything in sight but Scotty can’t do much of anything. Classic formula but I’m not a fan of anyone in this other than the name of the Bashams so I’m not really into it. NICE nip up as Scotty was very crisp there. Shaniqua bashes (see what I did there?) Scotty as he’s going for the Worm and he’s in trouble again.

She comes in and beats up Scotty a bit as she was an Amazon kind of chick. It’s kind of amusing to see a guy like Scotty getting beaten up rather easily like that. Double teaming prevents the tag to Rikishi which makes sense. A backdrop gets Scotty the tag and the thong wearing Samoan cleans house. The Bashams save Shaniqua from a Banzai Drop with a powerbomb for two. Scotty clears out the Bashams, allowing a Samoan Drop and Banzai to end the girl.

Rating: D+. This was fine. No one cared and the ending was rarely in doubt, but it was fine. This is your standard TV match or PPV tag title defense. It says a lot when those are almost interchangeable. This wasn’t horrible and the fans were into the faces so that’s about all you could ask for I guess.

Goldberg isn’t here yet. How do you know he’s not getting some aardvark at the concession stand?

We recap Nidia vs. Noble. Noble got some inheritance so the trailer park couple start spending a ton of it. Nidia spent more of it but was blinded by black mist from Tajiri, which somehow led us to a blindfold match tonight. Oh ok she can see now but Nidia gets to see.

Jamie Noble vs. Nidia

See what I mean about a lack of PPV level matches? Nidia hits the floor early on and Jamie pulls the hood off. I smell a bad comedy match. She pulls his jean shorts down and gets a bulldog for two. The vast majority of this match is Nidia kicking him in the rump and dancing behind him. She goes up, he lifts the hood, slams her off the top and throws on a dragon sleeper to end this.

Rating: F. Total comedy match here that was dull beyond belief. Again you can see how bad the whole individual brand PPVs were with stuff like this on PPV. Nothing match here.

We recap Angle’s attack by someone, either Show or Cena who he has a triple threat with tonight. Angle talks a bit about wanting to go to Mania. Cena the rapper comes up and rhymes a bit, naturally starting a brawl.

Only a four week build between No Way Out and Mania? Really?

World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. APA

Bradshaw has a bad arm. Both of these teams would split up in less than six weeks. It’s weird hearing about Heat being on Spike TV. Shelton immediately takes Farrooq down to the mat as it’s technical vs. power here. Wow it’s hard to believe Bradshaw was six months from being world champion and would hold it for the better part of a year.

The heels work over Farrooq’s arm as I guess they want the APA to match. Hot tag finally gets Bradshaw in as I wonder how many of these tags are actually hot. BIG powerbomb from Bradshaw gets two. Farrooq eats post outside as Bradshaw hits a fall away slam off the top on Shelton for two. Clothesline From JBL with the bad arm and Shelton hits a big superkick to end it.

Rating: D+. Another TV level match here that was just ok. Basic power vs. speed match here which wasn’t anything that bad but it wasn’t worth paying to see I wouldn’t think. With both teams splitting so soon after this, the winners due to the Draft and Farrooq retiring, this wasn’t really of any importance at all. Not bad though, but I could see this same match on a house show probably.

Goldberg is here. I can’t blame him for missing those first two matches.

We recap Lesnar vs. Goldberg. Goldberg was #30 in the Rumble and Lesnar thought he was more important than Goldberg and was mad that Bill was being interviewed so he ran in and eliminated Goldberg who was dominating the match. Austin gave Goldberg a ticket to the show and said don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Heyman, who Goldberg speared which got him suspended I believe, is here now. If you’re keeping track, the two wrestlers this segment is about and the two teams in the previous match would mean nothing just after Mania. Heyman says if Goldberg does anything he’s going to jail. Here’s Brock who is reminded that he tapped out which I think was to Benoit.

He’s not scared of Goldberg and says let’s do it right now. Goldberg jumps the rail and there go the shirts. Lesnar dominates early but the F5 is blocked and Goldberg gets the Jackhammer as Heyman screams for security. Handcuffs go on and Goldberg has no issue leaving. Hardcore Holly, who HATES Lesnar comes down to try to get a piece but to no avail.

Hardcore Holly vs. Rhyno

Nice timing if nothing else. This was set up three days ago so there’s no real story other than it’s a rematch after Rhyno couldn’t beat him. Holly sends Rhyno to the floor. Can Rhyno get back in it? Find out when we ret…..this isn’t a TV show is it? I almost forgot. Body scissors by Rhyno as this is a very boring match so far.

Rhyno works the ribs to set up for the Gore later on. Why not just hit it now as it’s going to do more damage to the ribs than whatever else you have. We throw it to the Spanish announce team for no adequately explored reason which is WWE’s custom. After hearing the commentary in Spanish for a bit, it occurs to me that it was the most interesting part of this match.

Perfect as always dropkick by Holly gets two. Middle rope suplex by Rhyno gets the same. The fans seem to be booing a bit here and I can’t say I blame them. Reverse DDT gets two for Holly as we have to be getting close to the ending here. BIG Gore hits but Hardcore hits the floor. That gave me a very disturbing image of him dancing badly. Again it’s more interesting than this match though. And then he gets back in and hits the Alabama Slam to end it. As abrupt as it sounds.

Rating: D. Technically this was ok but it was a ten minute Hardcore Holly vs. Rhyno on pay per view. After this it’s more or less all good from here but the first hour of this was pretty brutal. Not a horrible in ring match but just couldn’t be less interesting if they were trying to be.

Ad for the Monday Night Wars DVD which is definitely recommended. Brisco saying “It was our jobs, it was our lives, it was our families” might be the most overblown line in WWE DVD history.

We recap Chavo vs. Rey. Chavo turned heel out of jealousy of Eddie and since Eddie and Rey are the same person, Rey defended Chavo after Eddie went on to a bigger feud. Rey has some unknown boxer with him and Chavo has his father, Chavo Guerrero Senior who would soon win the Cruiserweight Title.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero

Rey has the title here. The lights go out before the introductions and a gong strikes. A Taker video airs and says that in 28 days, the dead will rise. Kane had helped to bury Taker at Survivor Series and he would become the Dead Man again at Mania. This is back when Rey was just the best Cruiserweight of all time rather than the biggest underdog ever. There’s something about Rey not respecting his culture too so Chavo wants the mask, which is a big symbol of Hispanic wrestling culture. Go figure.

He goes for the mask almost immediately which of course fails. We hit the mat for awhile where Chavo dominates for the most part as you would expect. Rey gets up and gets a springboard off the bottom rope which the commentators point out how odd it is. Chavo Senior stops another springboard and gets knocked out by Paez who is promptly thrown out.

HUGE dive by Rey to take out Junior as he checks on his father. Well deserved holy schiess chant as the dime is dropped for two. Tornado DDT is blocked and we head to the corner. Chavo blocks a rana into Malenko’s middle rope gutbuster and Rey is in big trouble. Chavo shows some intelligence by going for the ribs now. He wastes a lot of time though but it doesn’t seem to matter that much.

Rey gets a counter for two as the fans are right back into this now. Another gutbuster has Rey in trouble again though so scratch the whole momentum thing. This match is going on for a LONG time. I’ll give them this though: they’re treating it like a big match which is exactly what they needed to do more often. Rey gets something similar to the Stroke for two.

He gets a DDT onto the apron which always looks awesome. Sitout Gordbuster by Chavo gets two though and it’s Rey in trouble again. Chavo goes for the mask for the second time in about 15 minutes but of course it doesn’t work. Rey TOTALLY misses a moonsault press to the point that Chavo has to run forward to get any contact for Rey. 619 hits but the seated senton is countered into a SICK looking half crab but Rey gets the rope.

It’s not often that a Cruiserweight Title match gets almost seventeen minutes. Rey goes for a springboard move of some sort but Chavo Senior comes out again and shoves Rey off so that Chavo Junior can get a rollup for the pin. Good thing he came out just as the referee wasn’t looking eh?

Rating: B. Solid match here but at times it dragged a bit. This was still very solid with two legit cruiserweights getting to show what they could do. More or less though this was the last gasp of awesomeness of the title though as it would just get stupid after this with Jacqueline and Chavo Senior winning the belt at various times. Very solid match though and it worked.

Ad for Foley’s Greatest Hits and Misses.

Chavo talks about how awesome he is and says Eddie isn’t a champion. Eddie is an addict apparently.

We see a tale of the tape for the #1 contenders’ match with Cena’s career highlight being a PH.D in Thuganomics. That’s rather funny. He’s never won anything yet he could get a world title shot at Mania.

Kurt Angle vs. Big Show vs. John Cena

Show is US Champion at this point. He also has hair at this point which is just hard to get used to. Cena gets the biggest reaction as he’s full on into the rapper gimmick at this point. Cena cuts a short rap which would get him suspended today as it’s mainly gay jokes with masturbation reference thrown in. Cena has the black shorts on so you know he means business here.

Cena chills in the corner while the other guys fight it out. Show is of course the ultra dominant guy here as he was at the best part of his worthless period here. Everyone stands off in a corner at one point here. Angle gets a belly to belly but Show makes the save. Cena gets knocked to the floor and has a bad knee apparently.

This is a slow paced match but it’s not that bad. Granted we’re not even five minutes into it so it’s a bit difficult to say if it’s good or not so far. Angle tries to German show off the apron but settles for a low blow instead. More or less it’s Cena vs. Angle now which is probably the best possible option for this set of guys. Rolling Germans have Cena in big trouble as he hits about three of them.

Show gets back to break up the pin which works better as instead of sitting around on the floor for like 5 minutes off a single move he was back in a reasonable amount of time. Cena has a big old brace on his knee. Angle is the guy on the floor this time and we see some of Cena’s tenacity here. And so much for that as Show gets a huge suplex for two. Cena gets a dropkick to the knee (move #6 for those of you counting) as Angle adds a missile dropkick to get the big man down.

FU hits Show with relative ease. Love Cena or hate him, he is SCARY strong. Angle takes Cena down though so all three are on the mat. Angle Slam gets two on Show as he kicks out of the FU and Angle Slam in less than a minute. FU to Angle is blocked into the ankle lock but Show chokeslams the heck out of him. No cover though as Cena rolls him up for two.

Chokeslam to Cena as all this is happening in like three minutes. Ankle Lock to Show and he’s in trouble now. Cena takes Angle down and hits the 5 Knuckle Shuffle which is just a punch after hitting the ropes without the You Can’t See Me aspect, making it far less annoying. Show sends him into the post but Angle gets the Slam on Show over the top and actually makes Cena TAP OUT to the ankle lock. Didn’t see that coming.

Rating: B. This was a rather solid triple threat with very few down spots and Show actually moving out there. Cena would get the US Title shot at Mania and win in the opener. This was good stuff though and one of the better triple threats that I can remember seeing. Angle’s power was scary here with him just throwing people all over the place and Cena not being far behind. The tap out surprises me very much though as I don’t remember Cena ever tapping. Good match if not very good.

Ad for WWE Originals which was the wrestlers singing their own songs. Guess how well that went.

Mania ad which was a rather good show if I remember correctly.

Tale of the Tape for the WWE Title match says Eddie is going to get massacred.

Eddie won a Royal Rumble on Smackdown to get the shot which was a legit surprise as Angle was the other finalist and Eddie won completely clean. They played up the addiction stuff here and said that Eddie was overcoming his demons which was cool I thought. It really was a feel good story but his world title level stuff kind of came from nowhere but it was nowhere near as bad as JBL a few months later. Eddie’s line of he’ll get his high from winning the WWE Title was simple but perfect for this.

Smackdown World Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar

Brock comes out first here for some reason. Soon after this the music would change from We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal to I Lie, I Cheat, I Steal which was good I though. Fans are TOTALLY behind Eddie here which is no surprise. We have about 40 minutes left in the tape so this is getting A LOT of time. Eddie can’t do anything to start so like an idiot he keeps charging.

All Brock to start here. A rana is blocked into a powerbomb and then Brock just tosses him away as Eddie’s selling is awesome. Brock gets a big running high knee in the corner. If he had done that to Velasquez he might have the belt still. Eddie gets knocked to the floor and has had NOTHING so far. He finally gets something going as he gets Lesnar’s leg around the post and gets him down, opening a door for him.

So much for that as Brock gets a modified Fisherman’s suplex into a kind of slam for two. Jawbreaker gets him out of a rear naked choke. So I guess Eddie is better than Shane Carwin as he can escape a Lesnar choke. Eddie gets a dropkick and then gets his head taken off by a clothesline. Semi-botched German has Eddie on the brink here. Not really but I like how that sounds.

Brock goes for another knee in the corner but crashes to the floor. Eddie adds a plancha and both guys are a bit weakened now. Brock hits a hot shot to take over AGAIN. It’s been about 95% Brock so far but Eddie is hanging in there. Eddie gets a knee lock out of nowhere. Brock gets caught in a leg hold. I’m shocked too. He shifts into an STF and the fans ERUPT.

Figure four doesn’t work as Brock kicks him away. Eddie keeps him down but can’t do much as Brock just keeps firing him off. BIG belly to belly by Brock has Eddie in trouble again. A headscissors has Brock in trouble and now back to the knee. There’s the figure four and it’s not bad. After nearly a minute in the hold Brock realizes he’s next to the ropes and gets free.

More leg work as Cole speculates that Eddie could actually do this. STF again as Brock is in trouble but not for long as he just rolls out. Brock gets a big old spinebuster to take over again and locks on a bad looking crossface chicken wing. Off to a sleeper/chinlock kind of thing but here comes Eddie again, driving Brock’s face into the buckle to break it up. Missile dropkick misses though as Eddie is in trouble again. Great story being told here.

Brock SELLS THE KNEE by lifting his leg up when he gets a vertical suplex. Little things like that are what I mean by selling. Brock shouting at Eddie to die is rather creepy. He gets a gutwrench hold on the mat and Eddie is in trouble again. The perk of a guy like Brock is that even a basic hold like that looks devastating when he does it. Eddie gets back and hits Three Amigos. Frog Splash misses though as this is an excellent match.

The most ridiculous looking ref bump I can remember in a long time happens as Eddie kicks the referee while taking an F5. It was just bad looking with how obvious it was. Either that or the referee is really, really stupid. Brock hits the floor and grabs the belt but GOLDBERG is back and spears the tar out of Lesnar.

Eddie covers for two and misses a belt shot. I love the way Brock throws boots to the ribs. Eddie counters an F5 into a DDT “onto the belt” which misses by about 6 inches and hits the Frog Splash to blow the roof off the place and win the title and do the unthinkable which I was typing before Taz said it. I’m no Eddie fan, but that is a cool moment.

Rating: A. This was an excellent match that got over thirty minutes. The ending was solid as Eddie cheated a bit but that was what he did. Also it was his Frog Splash that ended it rather than anything else. Eddie isn’t someone I can get into as much as his fans do but this was easily his crowning glory and the match worked very well. Probably Brock’s best non-Angle match and one of Eddie’s best ever which is saying a lot as he’s a great wrestler in his own right.

Overall Rating: B. This was a hard one. The last hour and a half of this is quite good but the first hour and fifteen minutes or so is just brutal. If you had just the last three matches, this is borderline A+. The other matches though are just inexcusably weak. It’s not so much that they’re bad but why would I want to pay to see them? It was a sign of the times I guess. Check out the last three matches and the main event for sure. Other than that you’re not missing anything at all.

 

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