The WWE Judgment Day 2005 pay-per-view was the first Smackdown brand PPV following WrestleMania 21. That WrestleMania was an event that saw John Cena win the first of his 16 WWE/World Title when he ended John Bradshaw Layfield’s dominant run as champion.
This event was headlined by Cena and JBL in a rematch of their WrestleMania match with “I Quit” rules for this match.
The Undertaker missed Judgment Day because he took two months off after WrestleMania 21 due to his wife at the time, Sara, giving birth to the couple’s second daughter. He returned to action in mid-June.
In terms of PPV buyrates, this show did 260,000 buys, which was lower than the biggest PPVs for this time period, but it’s actually the highest number Judgment Day did from 2004 to 2009, so I guess it could be considered a success. For comparison’s sake, when WWE was at its best in 2000, Judgment Day that year did 420,000 PPV buys.
Here’s the synopsis on WWE Network:
“John Cena defends the WWE Championship against John “Bradshaw” Layfield in a brutal “I Quit” Match. Rey Mysterio faces Eddie Guerrero. Orlando Jordan defends the United States Championship against Heidenreich. Chavo Guerrero challenges Paul London for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. The Big Show battles Carlito. Plus, MNM and more in action. [18+ (D,L,S,V)]”
This was a Smackdown brand show. I remember the Cena/JBL and Guerrero/Mysterio matches/feuds well and those were what was carrying the brand at the time. This was originally written in 2018.
WWE Judgment Day
Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 22, 2005
This show got a TV-MA rating with a warning for Language, Sexual Content and Violence. I can understand the violence part of that.
The opening video package showed clips of Eddie Guerrero’s heel turn on Rey Mysterio. It also focused on Kurt Angle’s very personal feud with Booker T with Angle saying he wanted Booker’s wife Sharmell. They also showed clips of John Cena and JBL for the WWE Title. Those three feuds all had a personal feel to them.
There was no pyro to start the show for some reason. Maybe it was edited out? I don’t know. In this era, there was almost always pyro to start the broadcast.
The show began with the WWE Tag Team Champions Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury with Melina. Melina welcomed us to the show and said that her boys are tougher than anyone on Smackdown. Melina told us to get our cameras ready because we’ll have a brush with greatness. Melina’s entrance was always great to watch.
The announce team of Michael Cole and Tazz were at ringside to welcome us to the show. The Spanish announce team is at ringside as well.
Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly were up as the challengers in the match.
WWE Tag Team Champions: MNM – Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro (w/Melina) vs. Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas
Pre-match notes: MNM were the heel Tag Team Champions that were new on the main roster. Nitro changed his name to John Morrison a few years later, so I may accidentally write “Morrison” a few times out of habit. Holly and Haas were faces.
Haas was in control of Nitro early with a hip toss into the ropes and a sweet arm drag for a two count. Holly tagged in against Mercury. Shoulder tackle by Holly on Mercury and after a nice exchange, Holly nailed the dropkick. He always delivered a great dropkick. Kick to the gut by Holly on Mercury. Hard chops to the chest by the Holly with the crowd chanting “woo” for all of them. Holly tried an Alabama Slam, but the ref had to keep Haas in the corner and Nitro hit a superkick to save his partner. The champs took over with Nitro tagging in with a knee to the gut of Holly. Neckbreaker by Mercury on Holly. Mercury got a boot up followed by a clothesline that got a two count. Nitro tagged in with a chinlock. Holly nailed a Full Nelson slam to break free. Fans chanted “Holly” to encourage Hardcore to make the tag and Haas got the hot tag against Mercury. Haas unloaded with a back body drop, a dropkick on Mercury, a Spear on Nitro and a clothesline sent Mercury out of the ring. Haas sent Nitro out of the ring too. Haas nailed a dive over the top onto MNM on the floor. That’s a rare move for Haas and he did it well. When Haas ran the ropes, Melina grabbed his leg and Haas managed a rollup on Mercury for two. Inside cradle by Haas on Mercury for two. Haas with an Exploder Suplex on Mercury. Holly missed an attack on Morrison and went into the ring post. Morrison with a knee to the back of Haas (ref never saw it), then he went back in and MNM hit the Snapshot double team move for the pinfall win after 8:06 of action.
Winners by pinfall: MNM – Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro
Analysis: **3/4 Good match full of action with the crowd supporting the faces and the heels won due to some craftiness with the cheap shot towards the end of the match. I liked MNM a lot. This was early in their run, so they were very fresh. I don’t think anybody thought Holly and Haas were going to win because they were mostly a temporary team, but they were good veterans that made MNM look great.
Carlito vs. Big Show is up next. They feuded because Big Show ate an apple that was poisoned by Carlito two weeks before this. On the previous Smackdown, Carlito had Matt Morgan as a bodyguard and Morgan hit Show in the back with a steel chair.
Carlito had his bodyguard Matt Morgan, a 7-footer, with him. Carlito said he was talking to his good friend Randy Moss, who warned him about Minnesota because the people are not cool. Carlito said Minnesota isn’t cool because they’re unable to appreciate Morgan because he’s different since he’s bigger, stronger and tougher. Carlito said that Morgan has something in common with the people because he’ll watch Carlito beat Big Show.
Big Show was up next with a lot of cheers for him. This has been a good crowd so far.
Carlito (w/Matt Morgan) vs. Big Show
Pre-match notes: Carlito was a cowardly heel while Show was in the face role at this point in his long career.
Carlito left the ring as soon as the bell rang. After about one minute of stalling, Carlito went back in the ring. Show tossed Carlito into the turnbuckle leading to chop to the chest followed by a headbutt. Morgan grabbed Show’s leg, Carlito got in a cheap shot, but Show shoved Carlito across the ring. Show tossed Carlito across the ring. Show with a huge chop to the chest of Carlito followed by a body slam. Show ran the ropes, Morgan pulled down the top rope and Show bumped to the floor. Morgan rolled Show back in and Carlito covered for a two count. Show came back with a clothesline. Show whipped Carlito into both turnbuckles. Show whipped Carlito again, but the ref was in the way and ref Brian Hebner bumped to the floor. Carlito with a low blow kick on Show staggered him a bit. Show back up with a Chokeslam attempt, but Morgan got back in the ring. Morgan hit a F5 on Show. Morgan put the ref back in the ring, Carlito covered and pinned Show to win the match. It went 4:41.
Winner by pinfall: Carlito
Analysis: * A quick match that didn’t need to go much longer because it was such a cheap win for the heel Carlito. The F5 by Morgan on Show was impressive. With no Brock Lesnar in WWE, Morgan got to use the F5 as a move sometimes. It was done to put over Morgan as a possible threat to Show. It really didn’t lead to anything significant for Morgan, who had a much better career in TNA than WWE.
A video package aired to set up Kurt Angle and Booker T. Angle crossed a line in the feud when he called Sharmell (Booker’s wife) a gutterslut. Angle also talked about wanting to have sex with Sharmell and specified he wanted bestiality sex. When Angle was in a match with Booker, he left the ring and went into the locker room with Sharmell. Angle apologized for his actions and then claimed that Sharmell fondled his privates. Angle said he would beat Booker and then dominate Sharmell.
Analysis: It was a very over the top angle that got a lot of heat for WWE at the time because of the things that Angle said about what he wanted to do to Sharmell. It was WWE wanting to be edgy. I thought it went too far and was unnecessary in a lot of ways. Gutterslut? It wasn’t needed to tell the story.
Booker and Sharmell were in the locker room. Sharmell was giving Booker a massage. Somebody delivered a package for Sharmell. It was lingerie along with handcuffs and Booker freaked out because it was from Kurt Angle. She was angry too and told Booker to “handle that sucka.” Booker left to go after Angle.
Chavo Guerrero entered as the challenger to the Cruiserweight Title. Paul London got a nice pop as the Cruiserweight Champion.
Cruiserweight Championship: Paul London vs. Chavo Guerrero
Pre-match notes: London was the face champion and Chavo was the heel challenger.
Guerrero was in control early with a backbreaker. Guerrero worked on London’s ribs with punches followed by an armbar. London came back with clotheslines followed by a hurricanrana. London hit the dropsault. London up top for the 450 Splash, but Guerrero got the knees up and nailed London in the ribs with them. Guerrero nailed a belly to back suplex for a two count as he continued going after the ribs. Guerrero continued on offense with a suplex that put London onto the top rope and Guerrero followed up with a dropkick. Guerrero slapped on the abdominal stretch to continue to work on the ribs. London managed to get a two-count counter, but Guerrero was back in control with a forearm to the back. London hit an overhead suplex and he was too hurt to capitalize. Guerrero with a back body drop, London landed on his feet and hit a jumping side kick for a two count. London with a forearm smash in the corner followed by an enziguri kick to the head for two. Guerrero got a nearfall when he sat on top for a two count while grabbing the ropes. London managed to kick out of it. London went for a move off the ropes, Guerrero avoided it, Guerrero went for a Gory Bomb and London connected with a spin kick. London went up top, but Guerrero rolled to the floor. London jumped off the top with a somersault dive onto Guerrero on the floor. That was a painful looking bump for London landing hard on the floor. Back in the ring, Guerrero punched London to the floor. Guerrero hit a suicide dive to take out London again. Back in the ring, they battled on the top rope with London hitting a back body drop off the top. London went up top and hit the 450 Splash for the pinfall win after 10:41 of action.
Winner by pinfall: Paul London
Analysis: *** Solid match to put over London as a credible Cruiserweight Champion by beating a veteran former champion like Guerrero. They told a good story with Guerrero working on the ribs for most of it, London came back and managed to get the win with his finisher. I thought they set up the finish well after the spot on the turnbuckle. What hurt London is that he wasn’t given a chance to show a personality. He had good matches, though.
There was a shot of Booker T walking around backstage looking for Kurt Angle. He found Funaki in the trainer’s room. There was even a guy taking a piss back there. Booker walked up to other wrestlers in the locker room asking where Angle was.
Sharmell was shown in the dressing room. Angle approached her from behind and touched her shoulders. She screamed. Angle put her on the couch, covered her mouth and held her down against her will. Angle’s music played, so he left.
Analysis: That’s something that would never air on WWE television today, which is a good thing. It was very over the top to the point that it was uncomfortable to watch. I know it was done to make Angle a heel, but it went too far. A lot of people complained about this angle when it aired in 2005.
Angle’s music played with Angle making his entrance. The announcers were justifiably hard on Angle with Cole calling him a sick pervert with no class and no morals while Tazz said he agreed with the crowd because Angle sucks. Cole said he hopes Booker kicks Angle’s ass.
Booker walked out with handcuffs in his hand and Angle smirked at him. Good reaction for Booker.
Kurt Angle vs. Booker T
Pre-match notes: Angle was the heel while Booker was the face.
Booker was aggressive with punches and kicks. Booker nailed a back kick to the face. Angle slapped on a front facelock, but Booker fought out of it with shoulder tackles to the gut. Booker worked over Angle with chops to the chest and Angle finally created some space with an uppercut. Angle slapped on a headlock, Booker broke free with a hip toss and Booker drove Angle throat first into the top rope followed by a low dropkick by Booker. Angle was bleeding from the mouth. Angle tried an Ankle Lock, Booker avoided it and hit a kick. Booker hung up Angle on the top rope followed by a scissors kick that sent Angle all the way to the floor. That drew a good pop. Angle recovered by whipping Booker face first into the steel ring post. Back in the ring, Angle was in control with knee lifts followed by uppercuts to the face and a suplex into a pin for two. Angle grounded Booker with a headlock. Booker got back up, went for a jumping side kick, Angle avoided it and Angle hit a belly to back suplex for two. Angle stomped away on Booker in the corner with kicks. Angle hit a backbreaker for a two count. Angle grounded Booker again with a reverse gutwrench hold. Booker got back with a spin kick to the face. Both guys were down.
Booker got the momentum going with a flying forearm followed by a suplex for two. Standing side kick by Booker took down Angle, who had more blood coming from the month. The crowd was fired up for Booker, but Booker missed the Scissors Kick when Angle moved. Booker managed to hit a Book End slam for a two count. That was a nice nearfall. Booker did the Spinarooni. Booker went for the Scissors Kick again, but Angle nailed a lefty clothesline to take him down. Angle hit two German Suplexes, Booker broke free and Angle hit a belly to belly release suplex for a two count. Angle went for the Angle Slam, Booker rolled through into a small package pinning predicament, the ref counted and that was enough for Booker to win. It was a very close win where it looked like Angle kicked out, but I watched it again and Angle was down for the three count. It went 14:10.
Winner by pinfall: Booker T
Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good match with a nice effort from both men. I liked how Booker started it out with a lot of aggressiveness as he should have based on the storyline they had. If the match started with Booker not in control early, it would have been a mistake. The right man went over since Angle tormented Booker so much that it was the right call to have Booker get the big win. The finish looked like it may have been a mistake, but I’m not sure if that was planned or what happened. Perhaps it was planned that way to make it look close and the loss didn’t hurt Angle very much. Angle was such an incredible performer that if you gave him more than 13 minutes in a PPV match he’s going to have a three-star match if not better, no matter who the opponent was. Booker was around 40 years old at the time and wasn’t the worker that he was about five years earlier, but he was still solid enough to have a good match like this.
Post match, Angle was in shock about the loss. Sharmell went down to the ring to celebrate with Booker. Angle attacked Booker with punches and an Angle Slam connected. Angle tossed Booker out of the ring. Sharmell checked on Booker, so Angle rolled Sharmell in the ring. Angle brought handcuffs into the ring. Angle tried handcuffing Sharmell to the ropes, but Booker got back in the ring with a punch to the back and a kick to the face. Booker cuffed Angle to the top rope. The crowd cheered. Booker destroyed Angle with punches. Sharmell got her revenge by slapping Angle in the face repeatedly. Sharmell also kicked Angle in the balls, which drew a huge pop from the crowd. Angle was writhing in pain. Booker’s music played to end it. Booker hugged his wife.
Analysis: It was a good post match angle that saw the face Booker and his wife Sharmell get revenge on Angle for the evil acts that Angle did.
Angle was shown getting helped by referees, who had the key to free him from the handcuffs. It took a few referees to free Angle. The fans booed Angle as he limped away.
Analysis: Angle was moved to Raw in the draft lottery shortly after this to restart his feud with Shawn Michaels. Angle didn’t last that long on Raw because he was back on Smackdown in early 2006.
There was a shot of boxer Roberto Duran in the crowd.
They did a “Tazz’s Key to Victory” talking about the Cena vs. JBL main event match.
Orlando Jordan made his entrance as the United States Champion. There wasn’t much of a reaction for him. A clip aired of Heidenreich pinning Jordan non-title on the Smackdown prior to this, so that’s how Heidenreich earned the title shot.
Heidenreich entered to a mild pop because he was in a face role as a guy that read poems and had kids that were his friends.
Heidenreich said he needed to find himself a new friend, which drew cheers. Heidenreich: “Who wants to be my new friend?” Not me. Heidenreich left the ring and he pointed out a kid named Alex that had a Judgment Day shirt on. Imagine that. Alex said she was from Minneapolis. Heidenreich put Alex in a chair at ringside. Heidenreich read one of his poems. I am not summarizing that, but the crowd cheered.
Analysis: It’s very weird watching this show thinking about how a kid was at ringside for this while ten minutes earlier in the Angle/Booker match you had Angle threatening to rape Sharmell in that storyline. Bizarre booking.
United States Championship: Orlando Jordan vs. Heidenreich
Pre-match notes: Jordan was the heel champion while Heidenreich was the face.
Jordan whipped Heidenreich into the turnbuckle two times. Kick to the head by Jordan knocked Heidenreich down, but Heidenreich came back with a power slam for two. Jordan dumped Heidenreich out of the ring. Punches by Heidenreich and then he rolled Jordan back into the ring. Jordan nailed a clothesline to knock the big man down followed by a high angle belly to back suplex. Jordan stomped away on Heidenreich to keep him down. Heidenreich did a no selling routine where he fought back with punches followed by two clotheslines and back body drop sent Jordan across the ring. Boot to the face by Heidenreich got a two count. Jordan with a boot to the face followed by a swinging neckbreaker for two. Heidenreich with a rollup for two. Jordan tripped him up against the ropes and a DDT by Jordan was enough to win the match after 4:54 of action.
Winner by pinfall: Orlando Jordan
Analysis: -* Awful match. Negative one star for that mess. Heidenreich’s selling was bad and the finish sucked. That five minutes of action felt longer because of how bad it was. Heidenreich had an incredible streak of terrible matches. I don’t know how he was employed for as long as he was. My favorite part of any Heidenreich match is when it is over.
Post match, Alex the kid went into the ring and encouraged the Heidenreich walk with the fans chanting “Heidenreich” for him.
Analysis: This was one of the worst gimmicks of the 2000s. It was painfully bad.
John Bradshaw Layfield was interviewed backstage by Josh Mathews. JBL had his version of the WWE Title in his hands. JBL said lives are changed in a fight and when somebody says “I Quit” they are no longer a man. JBL ripped on Cena saying he should focus on his rap career or movie career or even go for the Governor of Minnesota because these people are idiots or something to that effect. Fans cheered that Jesse Ventura reference. JBL ended it saying he’s a Wrestling God.
Analysis: I don’t think anybody believed he would take the WWE Title from Cena, but it was a good promo from him like usual.
The video package aired for Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio. They became the Tag WWE Team Champions at the Royal Rumble and everybody was happy. Following that moment, things fell apart between them with Eddie doing questionable actions. Rey felt like he could trust Eddie, but then they lost the Tag Team Titles to MNM. Eddie didn’t make a tag when he could have, so Rey was destroyed. Chavo Guerrero played a part as an instigator as well. Eddie saved Rey from an attack, but after that happened, Eddie destroyed Rey again. A memorable moment took place as Eddie hit a brainbuster on the bottom half of the steel steps. Eddie told Rey to think of his family.
Analysis: This video did an excellent job of telling the story of this feud. What they omitted from the video was that Mysterio beat Guerrero clean at WrestleMania when they were both faces, which played a part in Guerrero going heel because he was mad that he couldn’t beat Mysterio.
Eddie Guerrero walked out to boos with a serious look on his face.
Rey Mysterio walked out looking very serious. Mysterio had white tape around his ribs to sell the injury from Eddie’s attack on the steel steps.
Analysis: I remember being excited about this match because Eddie’s heel turn was well done. I loved Eddie vs. Rey matches. The best match they had was at WCW Halloween Havoc 1997, which was a five star match won by Mysterio.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio
Pre-match notes: Eddie was the vicious heel while Rey was the face that was out for a few weeks due to injury and making his return for this match. This was the second of their four PPV singles matches in 2005.
There was a long staredown to start followed by slaps and Mysterio taking over with punches. Mysterio with kicks to the ribs of Guerrero. When Guerrero bailed to the floor, Mysterio went after him and Guerrero sent Mysterio into the steel steps at ringside. Guerrero sent Mysterio shoulder first into the ring post. Guerrero with a spinebuster onto the announce table, but it wasn’t hard enough to break it. Guerrero slammed Mysterio onto the table again. The referee Brian Hebner made Eddie bring Rey back in the ring. Guerrero remained in control with a belly to back suplex on Mysterio and Eddie slapped on the abdominal stretch submission. Mysterio tried to get some offense going, but Guerrero countered him with an inverted Powerbomb for a two count. Guerrero tried a half crab and Mysterio kicked him away. Mysterio with an enziguri kick stunned Guerrero and both guys were down for a nine count. Guerrero charged in and Mysterio hit a monkey flip, which was a bump that Eddie loved to do. Mysterio followed up with a springboard headbutt for a two count. Guerrero hit a dropkick to the knee. Guerrero slapped on a Boston Crab submission move to work on the ribs of Mysterio. When Mysterio got close to the ropes, Guerrero slapped on a STF on Mysterio and Mysterio managed to get to the ropes. Guerrero tossed Mysterio out of the ring by sending him under the bottom rope, which was a bump Mysterio did often. Guerrero took off the top half of the steel steps to expose the bottom half of the steps. Guerrero broke the ref’s count and went back out. Mysterio shoved Guerrero into the steel ring post three times to break free. Mysterio hit a 619 around the post to the back of Guerrero. That was clever and looked better than a regular 619 by Mysterio. They went back in the ring.
Guerrero and Mysterio exchanged punches with Mysterio getting the advantage thanks to a kick to the face followed by two clotheslines and a springboard cross body block for two. Spinning heel kick by Mysterio. The crowd was fired up as Mysterio hit a seated senton off the top rope for a two count. Mysterio worked over Guerrero with punches. When Mysterio charged at Guerrero against the turnbuckle, Guerrero moved and Mysterio hit the ring post with his shoulder. They went up top with Guerrero hitting a superplex off the top rope for a two count with Cole making the point that Guerrero can’t seem to beat Mysterio. Guerrero hit his Three Amigos triple suplexes, but Mysterio avoided the third suplex and sent Guerrero onto the middle rope. Chavo Guerrero ran out there to distract a referee, so Eddie grabbed a steel chair and brought it into the ring. Mysterio dropkicked Eddie into 619 position and a dropkick knocked Chavo down too. Mysterio connected with the 619 on Eddie. Mysterio went for a springboard attack, he jumped off the top and Eddie nailed Rey in the face with a steel chair. Ouch. The ref saw it, so that’s the disqualification at 18:30.
Winner by disqualification: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: **** A great match like usual from two of the best wrestlers of this era. It was a personal feud that made it easy for the crowd to get into it. I liked the psychology of the match with Guerrero controlling about 75% of it by working over the ribs of Mysterio. When Mysterio made his comebacks, the crowd was strongly behind him as usual. The disqualification ending was frustrating to watch from the perspective of wanting to see a clean ending, but they had two more PPV matches after this, which made the finish seem okay to me. The reason Eddie attacked with the chair is because he knew he couldn’t beat Rey. That fit the storyline perfectly since that’s the reason Eddie turned heel in the first place. It’s okay to book a DQ finish occasionally. This was one of those times where it made sense.
After the match, Guerrero teased leaving with the chair until he changed his mind. Cole did a good job of ripping Guerrero for not being able to beat Mysterio. Guerrero beat on Mysterio with four chair shots to the back. Referees and agents (hi Finlay, what’s up Skinner) checked on Mysterio in the ring. Guerrero left to boos from the crowd. Mysterio was shown holding his ribs while doctors checked on him.
A replay aired of the end of the match showing the chair shot by Eddie on Rey looked brutal. Mysterio limped to the back with help from the guys that checked on him in the ring.
Analysis: The feud continued leading to a match at Great American Bash and also SummerSlam. It took a different turn with Guerrero claiming that Rey’s son Dominick was really his, so the rivalry continued in a way like we had never seen before.
The video package aired for John Cena defending the WWE Champion against JBL. Cena won the WWE Title from JBL at WrestleMania 21. This was JBL’s rematch. They set up the “I Quit” match with Cena telling JBL it’s going to be an “I Quit” match. Cena also introduced a new WWE Title known as the “spinner” version because the WWE logo spun on it.
John Bradshaw Layfield in his limo on his own. He was booed like usual. JBL was carrying the old WWE Title in his hands.
John Cena made a spectacular entrance by entering on a huge truck. The ovation for Cena was huge as he stood on the truck with pyro going off for the champ. Cena had the WWE Championship in his hands and this was when he had a t-shirt that said “The Champ Is Here” with the WWE Title on the shirt as well.
WWE Championship “I Quit” Match: John Cena vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
Pre-match notes: Cena was the face WWE Champion that was as popular as ever. JBL was the heel in the match that was the former WWE Champion.
The only way to win the match was to force your opponent to say “I Quit” into the microphone. There are no pinfalls, no submissions, no countouts and no disqualifications. Cole said it was six years since the last “I Quit” match, which was Mankind vs. The Rock at the 1999 Royal Rumble. They did some mat wrestling early with Cena slapping on an arm drag. JBL grabbed the bottom rope to break free, but Cena didn’t have to let go. Cena suplexed JBL back into the ring from the apron. JBL came back with a DDT and he covered, but the ref told him there are no covers. I don’t think that’s a botch by JBL. I think it’s a case of trying to remind the fans the rules just like the no rope break there. Cena with a back body drop followed by a clothesline that sent JBL over the top to the floor. Cena sent JBL into the steel steps two times. They battled on the floor with JBL whipping Cena over the barricade. There was a neckbreaker on the floor. The camera missed it, but the replay showed it. JBL tossed Cena back over the barricade, so they were ringside again. JBL told Cena to say “I Quit” and Cena fought back with a punch. Cena worked over JBL with punches to the back, but JBL came back with a hard whip into the top of the steel steps. JBL got the belt off the timekeeper and he choked Cena around the ring post with the belt. Cena countered by sending JBL’s face/shoulder to hit the ring post. The guys went on the announce table with JBL telling the ref to ask Cena to quit, so Cena said “kiss my ass” and Cena gave JBL a back body drop from the English table through the Spanish table. That was a big bump for JBL and it looked like a bad landing for his lower back. Cena nailed JBL with a monitor to the head. Cena tossed JBL over the announce table, JBL grabbed a steel chair and when Cena walked over, JBL crushed him with a stiff chair shot to the head. Ouch. That was nasty. Cena turned around to reveal that he was busted open. Huge blade job by Cena cutting himself open. JBL picked up the steel steps and nailed Cena in the face with it. JBL wanted Cena to quit and he hit Cena in the head with the microphone.
JBL stomped away on the bloody Cena with the fans chanting “Cena” in support of the champ. JBL hit the Clothesline from Hell on Cena, he picked him up again and JBL hit another stiff clothesline. JBL picked Cena back up and nailed another Clothesline from Hell. JBL grabbed Cena’s chain and choked him with it. Fans chanted “Cena” again. Cena fought back with punches, but JBL came back with a low blow punch to the groin. JBL told Cena he was going to bleed and said that he doesn’t lie. Heels lie! JBL told Cena to quit and called him a “punk ass bitch” leading to Cena coming back with punches. Cena with a headbutt, two clotheslines, a hip toss and the spinning suplex. Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle first drop. JBL got back up and Cena hit the FU (now known as the Attitude Adjustment). JBL managed to crawl out of the ring and gave him a middle finger.
They went over to the limo where Cena hit a spinning slam on JBL. There was a neckbreaker by JBL on Cena on the limo, but it looked like JBL took more of the bump than Cena did. JBL grabbed a cable and choked Cena with it leading to Cena saying “hell no” into the microphone. Cena sent JBL face first through a television set that was there. Cena was a bloody mess. JBL was also bleeding from the forehead. Cena smashed JBL into one of the windows in the limo. They went on top of the limo, JBL with a thumb to the eye and Cena hit a suplex on the limo. The fans cheered that a lot. JBL opened a door in the limo, Cena pulled him out and whipped JBL into the door, which nearly broke the door hinges. Cena whipped JBL into the side of the door again. They went over to the truck that Cena arrived in. JBL managed to get some momentum back with a DDT. JBL told Cena to quit, but Cena wouldn’t do it. JBL stood on a speaker that was on the truck and he choked Cena with a cable. Cena got out of it by hitting JBL in the head with a microphone and JBL went crashing through a table that happened to be there. Cena pulled off a huge steel exhaust pipe that was on the truck. JBL was seated in front of some glass where the Judgment Day set was. JBL grabbed the microphone: “I quit, I quit, I quit.” The bell rang to end the match. The match went 22:45.
Winner: John Cena
After the match was over, JBL pointed to his head saying he was smart. Cena ran at him with the exhaust pipe and hit JBL int the ribs with it, which caused JBL to bump through the glass that was there.
Analysis: ****1/4 Awesome match. That was a very physical, violent and bloody brawl that was really exciting to watch. You don’t see matches like that anymore where two guys get busted open to try to tell the story of how physical the match is. The match could be broken down into three parts with JBL in full control leading to Cena getting busted open, then Cena’s monstrous comeback and the final part was when they fought in the aisle utilizing more of the weapons. This was Cena’s first great match as WWE Champion and one of JBL’s best matches as well. In terms the star ratings that I give to his matches, I think this would be the best singles match that JBL had. It’s also one of the bloodiest matches in WWE history. The finish could have been booked in another way where Cena did a big move on JBL to force the quit, but I don’t mind the way it was done because it was JBL quitting before Cena could hit him with a huge pipe. Cena still did it anyway, of course.
Cena went back into the ring to pose with his version of the WWE Title and the WWE Title that JBL had. Fireworks went off behind Cena. The show ended like that.
Analysis: Cena ended up moving to Raw in the 2005 Draft Lottery. That was no surprise because it was clear he was going to “The Guy” for WWE moving forward and Raw was the “A” show, so Cena being the face of Raw made a lot of sense. Batista moved to Smackdown to counter that move.
This event had a run time of 2:32:39 on WWE Network. I’m not sure if they ended ten minutes earlier on purpose or something was left out, but that’s what the run time was on WWE Network.
Show Rating (out of 10): 8
This was an excellent show. The last two matches are awesome with Mysterio beating Guerrero again even though it was a disqualification and the bloody brawl by Cena and Layfield was very entertaining. In my opinion, the Cena-JBL main event on this show is better than Eddie-JBL from the year before (in part because it had a clean finish), but both matches are excellent bloodbath-style matches.
Most of the other matches are pretty good too like Booker T getting payback on Kurt Angle in what was a solid match. Carlito-Big Show was kept short, which is fine and I liked MNM winning in the opener. The cruiserweight match was exciting at times also. The only thing that I hated was Orlando Jordan vs. Heidenreich because it was an awful match, but at least that was kept under five minutes. There was also a lot less filler than most PPVs during this period.
Judgment Day was one of the best WWE PPVs of 2005. I rated WrestleMania 21 higher, but this was definitely one of the best PPVs of that year.
Best Match: John Cena vs. JBL (****1/4 out of 5)
Worst Match: Orlando Jordan vs. Heidenreich (-*) – Another Heidenreich match that was the worst on a card. He was very consistent.
- John Cena
- Eddie Guerrero
- Rey Mysterio
- Kurt Angle
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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