Judgment Day 2004: This Was A Bloodbath

Judgment Day 2004
Date: May 16, 2004
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,722
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

This is another part of the times before the dark ages with Eddie as champion on this Smackdown show. The main event is Eddie defending against this JBL guy as well as Booker vs. Undertaker. There isn’t much else on this show as we’re strong into the brand split era, which means a lot of the shows simply don’t have the card strength to hold up with this being a great example. I know I can’t wait for Mordecai vs. Scotty 2 Hotty! Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about how we’ll be judged after we die with various clips of people doing bad things, such as JBL yelling at Eddie’s mommy. Oh and Cena is fighting some French guy tonight. Yeah this was a bad time for the midcard. They’re really trying to push this as the third biggest match on the card. Wow indeed.

Kind of surprising that this show is the one they use Staples Center for.

The set has a bunch of crosses on it which is a weird visual to see in WWE.

Rob Van Dam/Rey Mysterio vs. Dudley Boys

Bubba in the shorts is always a disturbing sight. I think the Dudleys are heels here but I can’t keep track as they would change week to week. Bubba yells at Taz for no apparent reason. Apparently the Dudleys have been jumping RVD 2-1 recently so they’re definitely the heels. As Bubba insists Rey hold the tag rope, D-Von jumps Van Dam so apparently those two are starting.

Oh this is during the Paul Heyman managing the Dudleys period. He’s not here for some reason so I forgot about that. They make fast tags to hammer away on RVD. Van Dam speeds things up and takes down both guys with relative ease. Rey is apparently cool with letting this be 2-1 to start. D-Von goes to the floor so both faces dive on him to make the Dudleys take a break.

Cole lists off various places that they’re live tonight including Bermuda and the Bahamas. Tazz loses ten points for not saying “Come on pretty mama.” D-Von pulls the top rope down and a running RVD falls to the floor. The Dudleys are a weak 17 time tag champions here. Ah for the days when they were young.

We talk about Rey not being involved at all other than that one dive which is true. And of course as I say “true” Rey is tagged in. He speeds things way up and gets a springboard cross body on Bubba for two. 619 is broken up by D-Von and the delay lets a seated senton get countered into a hot shot to shift the momentum right back. Off to D-Von who gets a leg drop for two.

D-Von gets his jumping back elbow for two and it’s off to Bubba. We get some classic old school cheating as D-Von comes in with no tag while the referee is keeping RVD out. I love little things like that. Rey gets his sitout bulldog to break the momentum and both guys are down. That gets followed up by the always awesome false tag as RVD gets a tag but the referee doesn’t see it so Rey sticks around a bit longer.

Spinebuster by Bubba gets two. That was only a single A variety so there was no way it was getting three. Rey is in the Tree of Woe and Bubba slaps his chest a bit. Bubba shouts that Rey is a piñata. Now there’s one of the things I’ve never understood. “Hey kids! Do you love Spongebob? THEN BEAT HIM WITH A STICK UNTIL YOU BREAK HIM IN HALF!!! Then you can steal what’s inside him! Like his heart and his liver!” Never got that.

Rey gets a moonsault press to D-Von for two and we get the real tag to Van Dam. Things speed up again and it’s kicking time in Los Angeles! Rolling Thunder to D-Von gets two. Dang Bubba isn’t getting a lot of covers is he? Rey misses a charge at Bubba and hits the floor. What’s Up is broken up by Rey and it’s a Bronco Buster to the future Bully.

D-Von is sat on the top rope with RVD in front of him. Rey charges at Van Dam who launches him into the air into a rana for two. Cool move that arguably should have been the finish. Cole says this match has been pretty. That fits him for some reason. 3D is broken up and we get a double 619. Five Star from RVD finishes D-Von for three as this is suddenly an episode of Sesame Street.

Rating: B. Solid opener here which got a surprising 15 minutes. Good stuff as both teams were pretty evenly matched. That always makes for a better match as you have both teams that can go out there. Also it’s always cool to see a team vs. two singles guys as it can make for interesting matches. Nothing great here but a fine opener.

Josh goes to interview Booker who has been hearing noises in his locker room. He says he’s the biggest star on Smackdown which is booed loudly. Booker has some voodoo bag of whatever.

Here’s Kurt Angle who comes out of some big box. Well we all came out of our mom’s box so I guess that’s ok. Wait we all came out of there? I’ve heard of orgasmic births but this is ridiculous. Also what is with Kurt rising out of things? I mean you have a thing with a round top rising up…..yeah I’m shutting up now. One more: isn’t that supposed to go down into the box? Ok I’m good now.

Kurt talks about how much he hates LA. He runs down the Lakers and Kobe Bryan who was on trial around this point for rape charges. Kurt yells about Eddie and how he cheated and how he hates being in a wheelchair (I think Big Show broke his leg but he’s in a wheelchair now either way). He wants the fans to riot when JBL wins the title tonight and wishes an earthquake on the city of LA. Bit too far there but you get the idea.

Now it’s time to rant about Torrie Wilson causing her to be in the wheelchair. Kurt, the current GM of Smackdown, orders Torrie to come out right now. Ah apparently Torrie was laughing around Show and Show thought it was at him so he got mad and eventually threw Kurt off a balcony to break his leg. Makes sense in a WWE way. He’s going to end her career, so instead of firing her he says that if she loses her match she’s fired.

Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson

They lock up for a good while to start off and it’s pretty clear why the wrestling Divas were on Raw and the eye candy ones were on Smackdown. Torrie does her bare bones offense which looks like she’s thanking her lucky stars that she doesn’t maim someone with every move she does. Top rope cross body misses Dawn and now we get to see Torrie sell which is possibly even worse.

Now don’t get me wrong: Torrie and people of her talent levels aren’t really that bad, but when you have girls like Lita or Trish that you can put in the ring, this is pretty awful by comparison. Heck even Molly could do far better than this and she wasn’t that great. Torrie is sent to the floor

Torrie tries to get back in but takes a baseball slide to send her right back to the floor. I don’t know if it’s the tape or the referee but he looks like he’s counting very fast. Off to a chinlock/sleeper now and here comes the blonde (Torrie if you weren’t sure) with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Bad looking sunset flip gets two for Torrie. Torrie tries a rollup with tights and rips Dawn’s tights exposing a very nice g-string. Backslide ends this for Torrie a few seconds later.

Rating: D. Given the nice back shot I was thinking of an A+ here but considering this was relatively close to when Sable and Torrie were in Playboy together it’s kind of hard to be impressed here. The wrestling was pretty awful here but I’ve seen far worse. No mention of the whole Dawn is Torrie’s stepmother thing but I guess that was sucked into the black hole that collected Edge and Christian’s shared DNA.

JBL talks about how he doesn’t like LA and goes on a huge conservative rant against welfare and Mexicans and saying about how great his America would be. I’ll spare you all a really long political rant here.

Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Mordecai

Mordecai was this crazy religious character that had some awesome vignettes and a great look to him. However the matches were absolutely terrible and this is no exception. He would be losing to Bob Holly at the next Smackdown PPV. He’s more famous as Kevin Thorn from the early days of WWECW.

The second thing is the same thing that plagued Mesias in TNA: he’s not that big. He’s about the size of Edge which isn’t bad, but imagine if Undertaker was about 6’3. The character wouldn’t work at all and it really holds him back here. Cole points out the incredibly slow pace of Mordecai and the fans chant boring.

The character was already doomed here and it was incredibly obvious. He sends Scotty into the post a few times and chokes a lot. Scotty gets a superkick and his bulldog and that’s the end of his time on offense. A razor’s edge ends this just a few seconds later. Cole calls it the Razor’s Edge which is something that was kind of surprising. Total squash here.

There’s a DVD on the rapper Cena. Wow that’s amazing considering that this is being written the day after he and Rock shook hands to make the match at Mania 28 for next year.

The Guerreros are getting ready (it’s Chavo Senoir and Chavo Junior here) and Jacqueline comes in to offer Junior luck in their match tonight. Oh dear it’s another Jackie wrestles men match tonight. She offers him women’s underwear and Senior is intrigued.

Smackdown Tag Titles: Charlie Haas/Rico vs. Billy Gunn/Hardcore Holly

Charlie/Rico are the champions here and it’s another oddball team. Rico is fully embracing his gay side here and the only good thing is Jackie Gayda looking incredible. However, Billy Gunn and Hardcore Holly? Bart Gunn wasn’t available to reform the New Midnight Express? The challengers argue over who starts first so Rico slaps/grabs their rumps. Wouldn’t Billy be used to that?

Ok officially we start with Haas vs. Holly. After a brief feeling out process Holly grabs a headlock and it’s technician vs. power brawler to start us off. Off to Rico who slaps Haas’ chest to come in. Rico touches the redneck Holly and it’s off to the former groom as Rico does a cancan. Rico kisses his hand and puts it on Billy’s face to really mess with Gunn. We have butt slapping and some rodeo before Rico kicks Billy who falls onto his knees in front of Rico. Yep we’re in a comedy match.

Gunn finally gets ticked off and drills Rico, and by that I mean he punches him you sick freaks. Holly vs. Haas now with Holly getting a suplex for two. We hit the chinlock before Gunn comes in and hammers away. Rico: “Don’t you hurt my Charlie!” Holly’s kick between the legs (to the stomach) gets two. I missed a Rico likes hardcore joke in there somewhere.

Holly goes to the middle rope and does the jump into the boot of a guy in a move where the only reason I went to the top was to jump into the boot because a double clothesline is beyond my intelligence spot. Haas gets the tag (moderate temperature) and Rico cleans house (no French Maid outfit?) but gets caught in a Fameasser. There was a blind tag to Haas though so no cover. Alabama Slam is caught by a superkick from Rico lets Haas get a sunset flip on Holly to retain.

Rating: C-. Just a tag match based in comedy here. Nothing worth seeing at all as Jackie looking good was a regular occurrence. Not a bad match or anything mind you, but when the biggest star is Billy Gunn and he’s a glorified jobber who would be gone in six months, the same week as Rico actually. Nothing terrible, but just there for the most part.

Paul Bearer says Taker will win.

We recap Jackie (the annoying one, not the hot one with Rico and Haas) winning the Cruiserweight Title from Chavo and then beating up his papa. Jacqueline is the woman that insisted she could fight men and she could. She never said a word about the quality of said matches.

Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero vs. Jacqueline

Chavo is going to have an arm behind his back here. One armed backbreaker by Chavo to start as this is already boring beyond belief. Jackie gets a head scissors that had to be sent the completely wrong way to send Chavo’s shoulder into the post. Jackie hammers away and grabs a sleeper which gets her nowhere. Some kicks get two for her as this needs to end now. Baseball slide takes out Chavo’s papa and a low blow takes down junior. Senior unties the arm and distracts the referee so that the Gory Bomb can give Chavo the title.

Rating: F+. No one has ever cared about Jackie and no one but Jackie has ever been able to get that. They tried this in WCW and it bombed and it bombed again here. She’s annoying and not any good in the ring but hey she’s a woman so she’s an automatic draw right? And people wonder why wrestling companies have heads shaken at them.

The Guerreros are jerks to her post match.

Wrestlemania will be in LA next year. We know this already.

We recap Rene Dupree vs. Cena. In short, Dupree is French so he’s automatically evil since this is post 2003 when France wouldn’t help in the Iraq War so Vince has decided they’re completely evil. Vince never let anyone not know he was very conservative, I’ll give him that. Cena is the US Champion so he’s fighting for AMERICA of course.

US Title: John Cena vs. Rene Dupree

Surprisingly enough Cena comes out first here. It’s amazing to hear Cena almost universally cheered. Cena rhymes a bit before the match starts and makes fun of the Spurs who had lost to the Lakers in the playoffs recently. To be fair to Dupree, he’s 20 here and was a champion at 19 which is a WWE record. Cena hammers him down but a boot in the corner stops him for what must have been a good four seconds.

We hit the floor for a bit where Cena hits the post. Again Cena misses a charge and hits the floor which has become a running theme in this match. He can’t get anything going here and Dupree keeps up the offense. Bear hug goes on by Dupree just to reaffirm that he’s evil. I know they’ve happened but how often does a face not named Sammartino use a bear hug?

This eats up awhile until Cena gets a jawbreaker to escape. Cena cranks it up a bit and a sidewalk slam puts Dupree down. Five Knuckle Shuffle misses as Dupree casually rolls out of the way. That makes me chuckle for some reason. Spinebuster sets up the French Tickler (don’t ask) and after a brief comeback Cena walks into a DDT for still no cover. FU is countered into a neckbreaker for two. A few pinning combinations by Cena get two each but the FU out of nowhere ends this.

Rating: C. This was just ok. I don’t think anyone ever bought Dupree as a threat here which hurts things a bit but not horribly. Cena needed a win like this on PPV as he only won the title a month or so earlier. Not a horrible match but really just one of those where it came and went with not many people buying into the hype of it.

Cena goes into the crowd and gives someone his Lakers jersey.

Kenzo Suzuki is coming. And thankfully he went just as fast.

We recap Booker vs. Undertaker. In short, Booker came over from Raw and since he was a star there, he’s a mega star on the B show, even bigger than the champion Eddie or bigger than the Undertaker. Booker hired some voodoo woman to help him or something like that. That’s about it.

Booker T vs. Undertaker

Taker still has short hair here so this takes a bit of getting used to. Cole keeps pushing that this is a rare appearance. This is seven years ago almost and he’s still making rare appearances. Booker gets overpowered to start and hits the floor, rubbing something all over himself. Back in and Booker hammers away which doesn’t really get him anywhere. We hear about the Streak a bit which is only about 12-13 at this point.

Leg drop gets two for the Deadman and a clothesline puts Booker on the floor. Booker fights back and gets a missile dropkick for two. I think they’re going for a big showdown here but it doesn’t seem like it’s working for the most part here. Taker fights back and hammers away as this is dull indeed. Big clothesline from the dead dude gets no cover so it’s Old School time.

Taker gets a downward spiral of all things and tries a chokeout but Booker gets to the ropes. This was the beginning of Taker thinks he’s an MMA guy stage. Last Ride is broken up and there goes the referee. Booker throws the powder in the bag into Taker’s eyes but Taker shrugs it off. Running big boot in the corner misses so Booker works on the knee a bit.

This match is really all over the place as they don’t seem to have any kind of flow to it at all. The leg work is really the first kind of storytelling or psychology going on in the match. They slug it out on the floor a bit and head back in. The knee is fine now it seems. Side kick gets two. Front facelock goes on now and there’s there axe kick for two. Taker’s pants leg rides up a bit and we see his leg. That’s a new one. In an ending as abrupt as it sounds, Taker sits up and the chokeslam/Tombstone ends this. Wow indeed.

Rating: D-. Just a mess here with Taker doing nothing but signature spots. In other words, it’s any Taker match not at Wrestlemania post 2003. Booker was by far doing better out there but this wasn’t going to be anything worth watching no matter what they did. Boring as can be match as Taker being very dull.

We recap JBL vs. Eddie. Bradshaw just debuted with this new gimmick of being all rich and said that he wasn’t going to have fun in the ring anymore but rather be dominant. Angle came up with a thing called the Great American Award which JBL won for catching illegal immigrants coming across the border in Mexico. Gee Vince isn’t going on some big conservative soapbox at all is he? Oh and JBL went after Mama Guerrero also, causing her to have a heart attack.

Smackdown World Title: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Eddie Guerrero

JBL runs down the Mexicans in the crowd pre match. He’s in blue here which is weird looking for some reason. Eddie hammers away to start and we hit the floor almost immediately. JBL tries to run up the ramp but Eddie catches up to him. We’ve been in the ring about 12 seconds out of the two and a half minutes they’ve been fighting for. Back to the ring now and it’s been ALL Eddie.

Out to the floor again and JBL manages to send Eddie into the steps to break the momentum a bit. They tease the announce table a bit but instead we go back into the ring for more brawling. Eddie gets some punches but a big boot takes him right back down. Cole: JBL’s stock will go way up if he wins this match. That was so corny that it was almost not bad.

An overly long headlock goes on as JBL keeps control. After that finally gets broken up Eddie tries to speed things up, only to walk into a fallaway slam on the floor to get us back in JBL control. Backdrop puts Eddie onto the Spanish Announce Table and we go right back into the ring. This is going way too slowly here. Another slugout follows but Eddie walks into something like a hot shot for two.

Off to a bearhug now as this continues to go way too slow. I get that JBL is a slow guy but this is getting a lot of time and that makes for a boring match more often than not. Eddie escapes and tries to speed up a bit, hitting Three Amigos. Clothesline From JBL and a powerbomb both miss and there goes the referee. JBL is sent to the floor and we go to the table again.

JBL caves Eddie’s head in with a chair shot. FREAKING OW MAN! Oh sweet goodness Eddie is bleeding a freaking gusher. Steps to the head as Eddie is reeling. There is blood all over the ring. Clothesline From JBL kills Eddie dead but there’s no referee. Another referee slides into the lake of blood and gets a two count for JBL. The third attempt at the Clothesline drills the second referee. Dude, shouldn’t the referee that has been down for five minutes get some help?

Huge powerbomb by JBL gets only two as the fans are WAY into this now. The blood isn’t flowing off his head not but is only dripping. Sleeper by JBL which is rather smart here but a suplex gets Eddie out of it. Eddie does his dance thing and here he comes again. Crowd is losing it over this. Fallaway slam is countered into a DDT just like the F5 from Lesnar was at No Way Out.

Eddie tries to crawl to the corner for the Frog Splash as it’s amazing that he’s not dead at this point. Ok maybe that was a poor choice of words. The fans almost gasp at the idea of the Frog Splash but it misses anyway. Bradshaw grabs the title which he puts behind his back and a chair. The referee sees the chair but not the belt. Eddie kicks him low and drills him with the belt for the DQ and the fans aren’t happy at all.

Rating: B. This was a good match at times but you can cut off the first 8 minutes or so and no one would notice it at all. The blood is INSANE and if you have a weak stomach you should stay far away from this one. The ending hurts it a lot as they could have done either a fluke pin or simply stopping it for the blood. Either way, the ending hurts this one a lot and considering it wasn’t a classic in the first place, that’s not good.

Eddie massacres him post match and hits him with a big old chair shot to bust him open too. Oh wait he was bleeding off the belt shot. Another chair shot and Bradshaw is more or less dead. Eddie chases him down for some more as JBL is taken away.

Overall Rating: D. If there was a rating between D and D+ it would go here. The show isn’t very good at all but there was a certain energy to it which I think is due to a good ending to a questionable main event. It’s certainly not the worst show ever, but it’s pretty bad. Other than the blood, nothing here is memorable at all. Pretty weak show overall but there’s a weird feeling of good that you get out of it. Not enough to save it, but it’s there.


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