Smackdown – August 12, 2004: A One Time Only Gimmick

Date: August 12, 2004
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

This is another request that was so long ago I don’t remember why someone wanted to see it. Smackdown in 2004 is an odd time as they’re clearly the B show but they have John Cena tearing up the midcard and chomping at the bit to become World Champion. Undertaker is also hunting for JBL so expect them to be a huge part of the show. This is however the go home show for Summerslam. Let’s get to it.

JBL comes out in his longhorn limo to get things going. Both he and Jordan high five fans on the way to the ring but stop to use some sanitizer once inside. I love little things like that. JBL mentions attacking an Undertaker midget last week and promises to exploit Undertaker’s weaknesses at Summerslam. Undertaker may have beaten men like Bret Hart and HHH, but that won’t be the case this year. The smile on JBL’s face is great. As for Orlando, he is now JBL’s Chief of Staff. Oh joy it’s Cabinet time. Jordan praises JBL like the suckup that he is but is told he has to face Undertaker tonight.

Spike Dudley vs. Paul London

Non-title. Spike is Cruiserweight Champion and turned heel last week, revealing that he was the Dudley Boys’ boss. London is half of the Smackdown Tag Team Champions so here are the Dudleys to stare down Paul’s partner Billy Kidman. London cranks on an armbar but gets sent over the top. A dropkick puts Paul on the floor where Kidman stands guard against Bubba and D-Von. Back in and London counters a Dudley Dog with a reverse DDT followed by a dropsault. Bubba gets in a cheap shot on Kidman and pulls Spike out of the way of a 450, giving Spike a rollup pin.

Rating: D+. This was a setup for Sunday’s six man tag where Rey Mysterio would join the small guys. Spike’s heel turn was different but didn’t really do much for me. At the end of the day, it’s hard to buy a guy that small bossing around the most successful tag team of all time. The match wasn’t terrible though.

The Dudleys lay out London and Kidman post match. Bubba goes over to the announcers table and yells even more about the Dudleys being dominant. Again, Spike doesn’t work in this role but it’s the danger of having a tag team have a boss out of nowhere.

After a break, Scotty 2 Hotty asks Spike what happened to him. Spike says he’s got the title and his brothers so he’s a happy man.

Kurt Angle yells at Teddy Long for letting Eddie sell his stuff for a charity auction. Teddy tells him to go explain this in the ring.

Nunzio vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Chavo gets caught in a quick waistlock before they trade arm holds. A headscissors puts Guerrero down and Nunzio is very pleased with himself. They hit the mat for more arm work from Chavo but he stops to slap Nunzio’s lackey Johnny Stamboli. A slugout goes nowhere until Nunzio takes him down with a hurricanrana. Nunzio escapes a Gory Bomb but gets rolled up with Chavo grabbing the ropes. Johnny knocks his hands away though and pulls Nunzio’s hands for a very quick pin. This was odd indeed.

We run down the Summerslam card.

Undertaker vs. Orlando Jordan

That’s not a bad way to start a second hour. The big man dominates to start with shoulders and a backdrop. Old School is countered with rights and lefts in the corner but Undertaker hammers away, knocking Jordan senseless. Undertaker avoids a charge in the corner and nails the chokeslam but JBL offers a distraction. That’s fine with Taker as Old School plants Jordan again.

A running DDT gets two on Orlando but he slips out of a tombstone attempt and hits Undertaker low. They head outside with Orlando managing to whip Undertaker into the steps. Back in and Jordan hammers away with more punches (actually fits because he used to be a boxer) but Undertaker nails him and loads up the tombstone, only to get nailed by the Clothesline From JBL for the DQ.

Rating: C+. Shockingly good match here with both guys working hard, even though the match was short. Jordan would of course never amount to anything while Undertaker was still getting his wheels back under him after becoming the Dead Man again. Not a great match or anything but it was a big surprise.

JBL and Jordan stomp on Undertaker until he sits up.

Here’s Teddy Long to hype up Angle vs. Guerrero on Sunday. He brings out Angle for a chat but Eddie interrupts. Whatever Angle has to say, Eddie wants him to say it to his face. Angle says he had a legitimate injury that kept him from wrestling. He asks if Eddie knows what that feels like, which sends Eddie into a rant about Angle costing him the WWE Championship.

Kurt is amused by Eddie being stolen from and says it was like Eddie stealing his stuff for the charity auction. Angle takes Eddie’s anger as a compliment because Guerrero knows he can’t beat Angle in a fair match. Eddie says he can beat Angle because Kurt has been hiding behind his spot as GM and an injury. It makes Eddie think Angle knows he can’t win and Eddie can’t wait to prove it. Teddy is all fired up and wants to see a handshake. They finally shake but also butt heads.

Team Cena vs. Team Booker T.

John Cena, Rob Van Dam, Charlie Haas
Booker T., Rene Dupree, Luther Reigns

This is a very interesting idea. It’s called a Summer Relay match. The match is one fall to a finish and it’s going to be Rob Van Dam vs. Booker T. to start. They’ll wrestle for five minutes (assuming there’s no fall) and then Booker’s team can send in a replacement (due to winning a coin toss) for another five minute period. After those five minutes (ten minutes total), Cena’s team can send in a replacement. After five more minutes (fifteen total), Booker’s team gets to send in a replacement. These five minute periods alternate until someone gets a fall. To my knowledge, this is the only time this gimmick was ever used.

Cena has a rap about his team before the match and hits on Jackie Gayda a bit. It’s Rob Van Dam vs. Booker to get things going and the clock begins. Booker takes over in the corner to start and chops away before hitting a bad looking hot shot. A hook kick to the face gets two on Rob and we hit the arm hold. Some chops in the corner have Rob in even more trouble but he comes back with a hard kick to the face. Rob nails some more kicks for two before kicking Booker in the jaw again. He heads up top and connects with the Five Star but stays down too long, allowing the clock to run out.

Luther Reigns comes in next as another five minute period begins. He hammers on the downed Van Dam and we take a break. Back with a minute left in the period and Rob coming back with some right hands. A springboard kick to the jaw sets up Rolling Thunder but the delayed cover only gets two. Reigns nails a spinebuster but misses a knee drop as the period ends and Charlie Haas comes in.

Charlie goes after the leg and puts on a kind of Indian Deathlock to take over. He cranks on the knee even more but Luther fights up and hits a release butterfly suplex. A big belly to back suplex gets two for Luther and we take a break. Back with Dupree getting two on Haas before chopping away in the corner. Rene goes up but gets armdragged down to put both guys on the mat. A good looking series of Rolling Germans get some two counts for Charlie as frustration is setting in.

Booker gets in a cheap shot from the floor and Dupree puts on an STF (Cena hadn’t started using it yet) until the period ends. It’s Cena coming in but he checks on Charlie before going after Dupree. Cena hammers away but gets caught by a neckbreaker for two. Off to a camel clutch on John for a minute or so before Cena comes back with a kind of cutter to escape. A big clothesline puts Dupree down but he plants Cena with a spinebuster. It’s time for the French Tickler (a stupid dance) but Cena avoids the punch and grabs a flapjack. There’s the Shuffle but Rene grabs the ropes to counter the FU.

Booker comes in for the showdown with Cena as they’re about to start a best of five series for Booker’s US Title. It’s Booker in early control and he does You Can’t See Me before dropping a knee for two. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Cena avoids a side kick, sending Booker out to the floor. Van Dam gets in a few shots (Tazz: “That’s not kosher!”) before Booker is sent back inside for a rollup and the pin by Cena.

Rating: C. Well that was…..something. It was basically a series of hot tag sequences which makes for an odd match. I can see why they didn’t go back to the idea as it’s pretty easy to understand but doesn’t work for a match concept. This wasn’t a disaster but it’s pretty clear why we never saw it again.

The winning team cleans house to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This was different but it really doesn’t make me want to see Summerslam. 2004 was such a hit and miss time for WWE as they needed someone new on top (ESPECIALLY on Raw) but at least they were trying something new here. JBL as champion would drag Smackdown through the floor for awhile but Cena’s star is clearly on the rise.

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