I have been reviewing WWE PPVs from 2003 and 2004 over the last year. It’s been a while since I have done one of these reviews. I missed doing them, so it’s time to get back into it. You can check out my retro review archives on TJRWrestling as well as Rajah.com in case you want to find reviews of other shows from this era. Let’s get to it.
The last WWE pay-per-view event of 2004 was a Smackdown show called Armageddon. This is one of those shows with nothing memorable taking place. A lot of years, December PPVs were boring. That’s why WWE made it the TLC event some years to try making it more exciting. That came several years after this.
Going into the show, John Bradshaw Layfield was still the WWE Champion after winning it about six months earlier. He had to defend the title against three of Smackdown’s best wrestlers (The Undertaker, Eddie Guerrero and Booker T) that JBL cheated to beat in the past, so the story going in was whether he could escape with the title again.
The only thing I remembered going into the show is John Cena’s angle with Carlito and Jesus with the stupid nightclub stabbing storyline. I’ll get into it later. In looking at the lineup, this card doesn’t look good. This may not be a good use of three hours.
Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia
The opening video package focused on the four-way main event match and the uphill battle that JBL faced.
The graphics in the arena said Atlanta even though it was really Duluth, Georgia. Close enough, I guess.
The announce team of Michael Cole and Tazz welcomed us to the show. They also introduced the Spanish announce team at ringside.
Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio made their entrances separately. They won the WWE Tag Team Titles on the Smackdown before this.
The challengers are Kenzo Suzuki with wife Hiroko and Rene Dupree had the dog Fifi with him. Dupree was only 20 years old at the time of the match.
WWE Tag Team Championships: Rob Van Dam & Rey Mysterio vs. Renee Dupree & Kenzo Suzuki (w/Hiroko)
Pre-match notes: Mysterio and Van Dam were the face champions while Dupree and Suzuki were the heels.
Mysterio with a springboard cross body block on Suzuki for a two count. Suzuki whipped Mysterio hard into the turnbuckle. Dupree whipped Mysterio into the turnbuckle as the fans chanted “USA” at the French-Canadian Dupree. Mysterio avoided an attack, but Dupree hit a boot to the head. Mysterio with a headscissors on Dupree and Suzuki attacked Mysterio to prevent a 619. RVD with a jumping kick off the top leading to Mysterio slamming Suzuki onto the floor. Van Dam set up Dupree on the barricade and RVD hit the spinning leg drop off the apron onto the back of Dupree. That’s a signature RVD spot. RVD in with a monkey flip on Dupree into a Mysterio dropkick for a two count. Dupree came back with a standing dropkick on RVD. Suzuki was still on the floor. RVD with a slingshot on Dupree into Mysterio, who hit a seated senton off the top although it didn’t really connect well at all. Dupree whipped RVD into the ropes, Suzuki grabbed RVD’s feet and Dupree with a clothesline as the heels took control. Suzuki grabbed a headlock. RVD with a spin kick on Suzuki and Mysterio got the tag. Mysterio worked over Dupree with punches in the corner, Hiroko distracted the ref and there was a double team neckbreaker by Suzuki and Dupree to give the heels control again. Torrie Wilson ran down to the ring (hello Torrie!) to chase after Hiroko. They ran around the ring with Wilson chasing Hiroko to the back. Thanks for running, Torrie.
Suzuki grounded Mysterio with an armbar. When Mysterio broke free, Suzuki grabbed his leg to prevent a tag. Dupree with a dropkick to the back of Mysterio. Another rest hold as Dupree pulled back on Mysterio’s arms. Kick to the face from Mysterio, but Dupree caught him and hit an atomic drop. Suzuki hit a back suplex that looked sloppy. Dupree prevented a tag by punching Van Dam off the apron. Suzuki worked over Mysterio with some stomps followed by a clothesline. Dupree tagged in and did his French Tickler dance followed by a headbutt on Mysterio for two. Mysterio with a back elbow followed by a headscissors that sent Dupree into the steel ring post. RVD got the hot tag with kicks followed by a dropkick, body slam and a split legged moonsault for a two count. Van Dam with a body slam followed by the Rolling Thunder while Mysterio hit a leg drop at the same time as Suzuki made the save on the pin. Suzuki sent Mysterio to the floor. RVD kicked both heels and did some leaping tackle on Dupree for a two count. I don’t know what that was supposed to be, but it was messed up. Mysterio wit ha dropkick that sent Dupree into 619 position and RVD kicked Suzuki to put him beside Dupree. Double 619 by Mysterio although he really didn’t touch Suzuki, so RVD just threw Suzuki out of the ring. Van Dam went up top and hit a Five Star Frog Splash on Dupree while Mysterio took out Suzuki on the floor. RVD covered for the win at 17:12.
Winners by pinfall: Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam
Analysis: **3/4 The match was solid for the most part with the heels working over Mysterio for most of it, RVD was on fire and the last few minutes were great. Van Dam and Mysterio worked well together as a short-term team that had something in common as exciting wrestlers. Dupree was still green as a 20-year-old. You could tell he was out of place a bit for a few of the spots. Suzuki was just a bad worker that didn’t impress me much at all. The right team went over. It would have been nice to see Mysterio and RVD in a long term tag team feud against a better heel team.
There was a promo from Tough Enough competitor Daniel Puder about facing Mike Mizanin in a “Dixie Dog Fight” boxing match.
Analysis: I am not looking forward to watching that mess.
Kurt Angle entered for a promo. Angle was a heel during this point in his career. Angle had two security guys holding his Olympic Gold Medal. Angle called out his opponent for an open challenge: Santa Claus.
Santa Claus walked out with a bag of gifts and candy canes. When Santa got into the ring, Angle had a joke about how Santa can go back to working with Tazz and the other elves. Funny since Tazz is short. Angle said he liked Tazz, but he didn’t like Santa Claus. Angle said his daughter talks about Santa too much, so he wants to make fat, pathetic Santa tap out. The bell rang.
Kurt Angle vs. Santa Claus
Angle slammed Santa down. Angle Slam by Angle on Santa. Angle slapped on the Ankle Lock on Santa and Santa tapped out to lose the match. It went 25 seconds.
Winner by submission: Kurt Angle
Analysis: No point in rating it. This felt like a way to kill five minutes on a PPV that had trouble filling three hours.
Angle put his Olympic gold medal on to celebrate the win.
Mike Mizanin did a promo about his Dixie Dog Fight against Daniel Puder for the Tough Enough competition. I wonder what happened to this Mizanin guy? That’s a joke, people. Let me have my moment.
There was a video summary of the 2004 Tough Enough competition. I remember it well. The biggest names out of the tournament ended up being The Miz and Ryback. Nick Mitchell had a brief career as part of the Spirit Squad. I think Nick’s career highlight was dating Torrie Wilson for a few years. The final two ended up being Daniel Puder and Mike Mizanin.
Al Snow joined the commentary team for the Dixie Dog Fight. Snow was the trainer for Tough Enough.
Teddy Long, the Smackdown General Manager, entered the ring to a good pop. Long said this was the next chapter in the $1 Million Tough Enough. Long talked about how they had thousands of entrants, but they are now down to two finalists.
Analysis: More time filler.
Mike Mizanin entered first in boxing gear. Miz was 24 years old at the time.
Daniel Puder was up next. He was more of the face of the two guys. Puder was 23 years old with a legit fighting background.
Dixie Dog Fight: Daniel Puder vs. Mike Mizanin
There are three 1 minute rounds, no Standing 8 count, no 3 Knockdown rule, boxer cannot be saved by the bell in any round and there’s a mandatory eight count for a knockdown. Each guy had headgear on with boxing gloves.
Round 1: They exchanged punches early on with Puder getting some big shots in. Puder slipped at one point and the ref made them break it up. Miz threw more punches, but Puder hit some bigger shots. The one minute expired.
Round 2: Puder hit Miz with a cheap punch to the back of the head. There wasn’t much in this round at all. Miz threw way less punches. Puder got in a few punches. It was bad to watch. The fans were booing them.
Round 3: They were both wild with Mizanin throwing punches all over, but he wasn’t connecting with them. Tazz tried to talk this up saying he was doing very good. Mizanin hit a left to the head. Puder nailed him with a right hand. They locked up and that was it. The bell rang as the fans booed this.
Since there was no winner by knockout, Long went in the ring to say the decision of the winner was going to be left up to the fans.
Long asked for cheers for both guys. There were more cheers for Puder, so he got the win. Cole said it sounded like a tie. The winner was announced on the next Smackdown.
Analysis: No rating since it’s not a wrestling match. This was bad. The crowd was dead for most of it. I assume it was legit and not a work. Maybe if it was a work it would have been better to watch. You could tell that neither man had boxing experience since their footwork was bad.
Mizanin was interviewed by Snow after the fight. Mizanin said that Puder had a hard right hand, but he put up a fight. There was a replay of Puder punching Mizanin. Puder said he was there to be an ultimate fighter, not boxing and he was there to break arms. Way to put over the competition, Daniel. That was awkward.
Analysis: The prize for Tough Enough was $1 Million, but in reality it was $250,000 per year for four years with WWE having the option to cut the winner after one year. That’s what happened since Puder was released in September 2005 because he didn’t really enjoy being in wrestling and had heat with some of the talent because of that. The Miz, meanwhile, kept working at it and here we are 14 years later with him as one of WWE’s top guys. It’s amazing to see the progress he has made.
Eddie Guerrero and Booker T were shown talking in the locker room about the main event. Guerrero pointed out they don’t have to beat JBL to get back at him while pointing out that he could pin Booker. That led to Booker laughing. Booker said he could Eddie with the scissor kick so quick and beat him for the WWE Title. Guerrero said they had a bigger obstacle, The Undertaker. Booker said that he will take down The Undertaker too. Booker suggested they team up together. The Undertaker walked up behind them and they realized it, so they stopped talking. Undertaker just stared at them and walked right by them without saying a word. Booker and Eddie argued to end it.
Analysis: It was just a simple backstage segment to hype up the main event. Nice cameo
The Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny) vs. Charlie Haas & Hardcore Holly
Analysis: The Basham Brothers were heels. They were not really brothers, but they looked similar with bald heads. They were a heel team. They were the co-secretaries of defense in JBL’s “Cabinet” stable while Haas and Holly were faces. Cole noted this match was unscheduled, which means this was just added to the show to fill time.
Holly got a rollup on Doug early on. Danny tagged in and was met with a back suplex by Holly. Haas got in there for his team with deep arm drags on Doug. Danny tripped us Haas by the ropes, the ref saw it, did nothing about it and Doug too over with knee drops to Haas. Slam by Doug and Danny tagged in with elbow drops. The fans chanted “boring” for this, which was well deserved. Doug tagged back with an armbar, which won’t lead to the crowd caring about the match more. Doug with a stiff clothesline on Haas for a two count. Holly tagged in to no reaction with a back body drop and a dropkick. Holly up top with a clothesline to Doug. Holly sent Danny to the floor. Holly with a powerslam on Doug. Dawn Marie went to ringside to check on Charlie Haas, so Jackie Gayda ran down to the ring to get in her face. Everybody was distracted by that, so the Bashams switched who the legal man was. Danny with an inside cradle on Holly for the pinfall win at 6:50.
Winners by pinfall: The Basham Brothers
Analysis: * A boring match with no heat. Bad finish. The Bashams were the more regular team, so that’s why they got the win.
After the match, Holly got in Charlie’s face and told him to focus on the match, not the girls.
A video package aired to set up US Champion John Cena against Jesus, who was the bodyguard of Carlito. Two months earlier, Carlito beat Cena for the US Title. They did an angle saying that Cena was stabbed in a bar on October 7. Cena came back one month later and won the US Title back on the November 14 edition of Smackdown. After Cena won the title from Carlito, Jesus attacked Cena in the ribs (where he was “stabbed” in the storyline) with shoulder tackles and a punch with a steel chain.
Analysis: The real reason Cena missed time was because he filmed his first WWE movie, The Marine.
John Cena made his entrance wearing his “Ruck Fules” shirt along with his spinner US Title. This was when the spinner US Title was new as the announcers pointed out. Cena was 27 years old at this time. You could tell by this point he was going to be a top guy within the next year.
Jesus entered along with Carlito. It’s not THAT Jesus. It’s a wrestler who also wrestled under the name Aaron Aguilera, who was a big guy at around 6’6” so it was easy to see why WWE liked him. His career didn’t really pan out obviously. Jesus had the chain around his neck that belonged to Cena. Carlito had his left arm in a sling.
Street Fight for the United States Championship: John Cena vs. Jesus (w/Carlito)
Pre-match notes: Cena was the face US Champion while Jesus and Carlito were heels.
Carlito spit apple in Cena’s face, so Cena took it out on Jesus with punches. Jesus raked the eyes of Cena, which led to Carlito throwing Jesus a kendo stick, but Cena recovered quickly and nailed Jesus in the head with a kendo stick. Cena hit Jesus in the back with the kendo stick. Cena hit Jesus in the arm with the kendo stick, which broke it and fans chanted “Cena” for him. Cena chased Carlito away. Cena worked over Aguilar with punches to the head. Jesus was bleeding from the head after Cena’s punches. They brawled into the crowd with Cena taking a sip of beer from a fan. Cena threw a garbage can at Jesus. Carlito got back into it with a punch to Cena’s back, so Cena focused on Carlito. Cena sent Jesus back to the ringside area with Cena sending Jesus face first into the floor. The announcers pointed out that Jesus had barely had offense in the match other than using the kendo stick for an attack. Cena brought a trash can lid in had hit Jesus in the head with it. Cena hit Jesus in the head with a street sign. Cena picked Jesus up and hit the FU. Cena covered for the pinfall win at 7:50.
Winner by pinfall: John Cena
Analysis: 1/2* A boring ass kicking from Cena. It was an easy win for Cena against a guy that didn’t do much on the main roster. That was one of the most uneventful brawls into the crowd sequences you’re ever going to see. They didn’t do much at all.
After the match was over, Carlito went for Cena’s chain, but Cena stopped him. Cena put the chain on his fist and punched Carlito with it. The crowd loved that.
Jackie Gayda was in the locker room with Charlie Haas with Jackie complaining about Dawn Marie. They were engaged at this time. Jackie took off her engagement ring and Charlie put it in his pocket. They shared a pre-match kiss and he slapped her on the butt for good luck.
Dawn Marie entered first. Miss Jackie entered with Charlie Haas, who was wearing a Smackdown referee shirt.
Miss Jackie vs. Dawn Marie (Charlie Haas is the referee)
Pre-match notes: Jackie was the face and Dawn was the heel.
Hard slaps by each woman to start the match. Jackie sent Dawn down by the head a few times. They did a sloppy spot by the ropes. They exchanged right hands with some of them looking so bad. Dawn drove Jackie back first into the turnbuckle. Jackie with a weak takedown on Charlie. The women brawled and tripped up Charlie, so they rolled on top of him. Jackie rolled up Dawn, then Dawn rolled through and Dawn sat on top for the pinfall while holding the tights. It went 1:40.
Winner by pinfall: Dawn Marie
Analysis: -* This was awful. Negative one star is fitting for it. Crowd was dead for all of it except the rolling over the ref spot.
Post match, Haas did a promo saying he was tired of getting in the middle of both of you. Haas pointed out that everybody knows they are engaged, but he can’t help the rumor in the locker room is that Haas is having an affair with Dawn. Haas told Jackie that he was having an affair with Jackie and the engagement is off. Haas told Jackie he loves her, but he’s not in love with her. Haas said that making love to Jackie is like making love to dead wet fish. Haas said that Dawn Marie is as hot as Altana, Georgia on the Fourth of July. The crowd loved that. Haas grabbed Jackie’s engagement ring that was in his pocket, it looked like he would propose to Dawn and Charlie says: “Dawn, why are you such a slut!?!” The crowd reacted to that in a big way. Haas said he wouldn’t marry either one of them, he told them to kiss and make up and he was out of there. Haas left the two women in the ring. Some fans chanted “Charlie” for him while the women looked sad.
Analysis: I had forgotten about some of the aspects of this story, which was probably intentional on my part due to how bad it was.
Big Show was shown walking backstage. Joy Giovanni, a hot brunette in WWE at the time, said she wanted to wish Show good luck and she kissed him. Good for Show.
Kurt Angle entered with Luther (don’t call him Roman) Reigns and Mark Jindrak for a 3 on 1 match. A replay aired of the previous Smackdown with Angle throwing the steel steps into Big Show’s back.
Big Show entered to a good ovation since he was a face here. This was the feud that led to Show getting his head shaved by Angle out of humiliation and Show kept the bald look.
Kurt Angle, Mark Jindrak and Luther Reigns vs. Big Show
Pre-match notes: Angle, Jindrak and Reigns were the heels. Show was the face.
Show dominated Jindrak early on, so Jindrak tagged in Angle. Show shoved Angle down into the corner, so Angle tagged in Reigns. Jindrak got in the ring, so Show hit a double headbutt on Reigns and Jindrak. Angle with a knee to Show, then Angle sent Show’s head across the top rope and Reigns/Jindrak with a double team shoulder tackle. Angle worked over Show by working on his ribs. Jindrak tagged in with a dropkick on Show. Angle worked over Show with a front facelock. When Show got back to his feet, Reigns went in and kicked Show from behind to keep him down. The heels made quick tags with kicks to work over Show. Show slammed Jindrak down and a headbutt to Reigns. Show tossed Jindrak down with a fireman’s carry, Show with body slams on Reigns and Jindrak. Show with a double clothesline on Reigns and Jindrak. Show sent Jindrak down after teasing a Powerbomb. Show looked so tired. Show sent Reigns over the top rope. Angle with the Angle Slam on Show, but Show avoided the Ankle Lock. Show sent Jindrak over the top rope and Show with a boot to the face of Reigns. Show kicked the steel steps into Angle’s face. Show put Jindrak on his shoulders and Show hit the F5 like Brock Lesnar for the pinfall win at 9:55.
Winner by pinfall: Big Show
Analysis: * Bad match. It was so boring until the obvious comeback by Show to win the match. Show using the F5 as a finisher was something I had forgotten about. This was one of the worst Angle matches you’ll ever see, but it’s not his fault. Show looked exhausted after about five minutes. At least it put an end to this storyline. Jindrak taking the pin was done to protect Angle, which is fine.
There was a video package about the 2003 Tribute to the Troops and Cole noting that WWE was going the to Middle East for another Tribute to the Troops show.
Funaki, Smackdown’s #1 announcer, did an interview backstage with…Funaki. Spike Dudley, the Cruiserweight Champion, walked up to him to talk trash about their match. Funaki said he would win the title.
Cruiserweight Championship: Spike Dudley vs. Funaki
Pre-match notes: Spike was the heel champion. Funaki was the face. Funaki earned the title shot by winning a battle royal on the previous Smackdown.
Spike was in control early on with a forearm. Funaki sent Spike to the floor followed by a baseball slide dropkick on the floor. Back in the ring, Funaki remained in control with a low dropkick for a two count. The crowd was dead for this. They battled on the top rope with a suplex tease, but Spike ended up shoving Funaki off leading to Funaki landing face/chest first off the floor. That’s a big bump off the middle ropes. Back in the ring, Funaki kept countering slam attempt into nearfalls for two. Spike with a gutbuster for a two count. Funaki set up Spike against the turnbuckle in the Tree of Woe position. Funaki went up top and hit a double foot stomp to the chest, which is a move that became popular years later. Funaki with a back body drop, whip into the corner and a bulldog for a two count. Funaki with an enziguri for a two count. Funaki went up top with a cross body block for two. The crowd thought that was it, which means they woke up from their sleep to react to it. Funaki wanted a Tornado DDT, but Spike hit a headbutt to the gut. Spike went for a pinfall, Funaki flipped over, rolled through and covered Spike to win the match at 9:29. There was a mild pop for the finish.
Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Funaki
Analysis: *1/2 It was a decent match in front of a dead crowd. I give the guys credit for working hard, but there was no story going into the match and the fans didn’t care at all. Funaki winning the title was a nice moment for him after working for WWE for about seven years before this.
After the match, Funaki hugged the announcers because he’s the #1 Announcer. There was a celebration for Funaki although the crowd was dead for most of the match. Spike was shocked that he lost.
A video package aired to set up the WWE Title match: JBL vs. Undertaker vs. Eddie Guerrero vs. Booker T. The story was that Taker, Eddie and Booker (all faces) weren’t going to get singles matches against JBL, so it’s Teddy Long made it a 4-Way. JBL had feuds with all of them in 2004 and JBL didn’t beat any of them in a fair way, so now JBL had to face them at the same time. At least they set up the feud in a logical way. The other part of the story is if any of JBL’s “Cabinet” members interfere then he would lose the title.
There was a shot of JBL looking at the WWE Championship in the locker room. Doug Basham and Danny Basham told JBL he’ll leave with his title. Amy Weber showed up to say no matter, she will still be JBL’s image consultant. Orlando Jordan shook JBL’s hand with JBL telling him he’s been with him from the beginning. JBL nervously walked away. Jordan told JBL he’s got this one and they hugged. JBL walked on his own to begin the match.
John Bradshaw Layfield, the WWE Champion, made his entrance by walking to the ring. No limo entrance for him. This was six months into JBL’s reign as WWE Champion.
Booker T made his entrance to a good ovation. At this point, he had not yet won a World Title in WWE, but he was a five-time WCW Champion.
Eddie Guerrero was up next. Eddie entered in a low rider car with the crowd cheering him like usual. Eddie was a one-time WWE Champion that won the title earlier that year in February. JBL won the title from Eddie.
The Undertaker was up last to the biggest ovation of the night. The Undertaker made his slow walk to the ring. JBL was all frustrated about having to defend the title here. The Undertaker was a four-time WWE Champion going into this match. He had 7 WWE/World Titles in his career.
Analysis: I remember this match because for several months into JBL’s reign, I wanted him to lose the title. By this point, it was obvious that he was going to hold it until WrestleMania to set up John Cena winning the WWE Title from him. It made sense. I don’t recall if it was a rumor at this point, or it was simply the logical choice.
WWE Championship: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Booker T vs. Eddie Guerrero vs. The Undertaker
Pre-match notes: JBL was the heel champion. Booker T, Eddie Guerrero and The Undertaker were all faces.
It’s a standard Fatal 4-Way where there are no disqualifications, no countouts and the first fall wins the match.
The bell rang, JBL stood outside the ring, Taker knocked Booker down and JBL covered Booker for about five seconds, the ref never saw it and when the ref finally counted, Taker broke up the pin attempt. The three faces took turns punching JBL, Booker nailed a back kick and Taker sent JBL into the turnbuckle. Taker with a back elbow for two as Eddie and Booker broke up the pin. Booker and Guerrero worked over Undertaker with punches and kicks while JBL was on the floor avoiding the action. JBL went back in the ring with a suplex on Guerrero for two. Booker held JBL for Eddie leading to Eddie hitting a dropkick on JBL. Double elbow smash on JBL. Taker was on the apron, so Booker kicked him off. Booker with a side slam on JBL and Eddie with a senton splash got a two count as Booker broke up the pin. Taker cleaned house again leading to a sidewalk slam on JBL. Taker sent Guerrero out of the ring and Taker hit a DDT on Booker for two as JBL broke up the pin. The four men brawled on the floor and Taker sent Booker over the barricade into the crowd. JBL sent Taker into the ring post. JBL cleared off the announce table, but he took too long and Taker hit a back body drop. Back in the ring, Taker with a back body drop on Eddie for two. Taker with a running boot to Booker, but Booker moved and Taker hit the turnbuckle. JBL back in with a neckbreaker on Booker for a two count. Booker worked over Undertaker with punches. Booker ran the ropes and Undertaker dropped him with a spinebuster. Undertaker hit his Old School top rope punch on Booker. Taker with a flatliner like move for two on Booker as Eddie made the save. Undertaker grabbed Eddie by the throat and sent him over the top to the floor. Guerrero tried to run away, but Taker caught him and hit the leg drop on the apron. Bradshaw nailed Taker with a clothesline on the floor. Bradshaw sent Booker into the steel steps. Back in the ring, JBL with a boot to the face of Booker for a two count. JBL choked Booker with tape around the throat while slapping on a chinlock at the same time. Guerrero grabbed a ladder from under the ring, which drew a big ovation from the crowd. Guerrero hit Taker with the ladder to knock him down. JBL with a back elbow on Booker. JBL grabbed the WWE Title and went into the ring with it. Booker hit JBL with a jumping side kick. Booker with a jumping side kick for Eddie and a kick by Booker on Taker sent Taker out of the ring. Booker sent JBL out of the ring. Booker with the Scissors Kick on Eddie for a two count. Best nearfall of the match up to that point.
The fight continued outside the ring with Booker nailing Undertaker with a kick, JBL with thumbs to the eye of Booker and JBL sent Booker into the steel steps. JBL with a Powerbomb on Booker on the announce table, which didn’t break it because it was weak looking. JBL jumped off a chair with an elbow that drove Booker through the table. Taker cleared off the Spanish announce table and Taker hit the Last Ride Powerbomb on JBL through the table. That was done perfectly. Big bump that drew a loud reaction from the crowd. Eddie was in the ring laying on his back playing possum like he loved to do. Taker went back into the ring, he picked Eddie up and Eddie slipped out of it. Taker grabbed Eddie by the throat and hit a massive Chokeslam. Taker set up for a Chokeslam, Eddie grabbed the WWE Title (remember JBL brought it into the ring) and Eddie nailed Taker in the head with it. Eddie went up top and hit a Frog Splash on Taker. Eddie went up another turnbuckle and hit another Frog Splash on Undertaker. Eddie covered and Taker did a power kickout at two. Best nearfall of the match. Taker stared at Eddie, so Eddie with a low blow kick. Eddie grabbed a ladder, he hit Taker in the ribs and in the head with the ladder. Eddie set up a ladder in the corner of the ring and hit a Frog Splash off the ladder. Eddie was too hurt to cover because he was favoring his knee. Slow cover by Eddie, but JBL was there to pull ref Brian Hebner out of the ring to break out the pin. That was set up well.
Guerrero hit Undertaker in the head with the ladder to send him out of the ring. Guerrero hit JBL three rolling suplexes aka the Three Amigos sequence for a two count as Booker broke up the pin. Booker sent Eddie out of the ring and hit the Scissors Kick for two as Taker went back into the ring to break up the pin attempt. Taker sent Guerrero’s head into the turnbuckle, big boot and a leg drop got a two count. Taker with a Chokeslam on Booker. Taker with a Chokeslam on Booker. Taker smiled and hit a Chokeslam on JBL as well. Taker set up for Tombstone, but Heidenreich was in the ring and he hit a clothesline to knock them down. Heidenreich attacked Undertaker with punches with Cole saying that he just got out of the psych ward. Heidenreich hit a Bossman Slam on Undertaker. Heidenreich left. JBL covered Booker with one hand for a two count. JBL covered Eddie for a two count. Undertaker sat up, so Heidenreich pulled him out of the ring and slapped on the Cobra Clutch on Undertaker. JBL hit Booker with a Clothesline from Hell, which the camera completely missed and JBL covered to win the match because Eddie wasn’t there to break up the pin. The match went 25:37.
Winner by pinfall: John Bradshaw Layfield
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a long match that was pretty good with a cheap ending, which was typical for JBL’s title matches during this period because it was all about how JBL would find a way to win. They spent so long without using weapons, but in the second half of the match they picked up the intensity and used weapons like the table as well as the title. Eddie was the best performer in the match by a lot. I really liked the sequence with Eddie and Taker working together where Eddie hit the two Frog Splashes and they weren’t enough to win. The third Frog Splash may have done it, but JBL pulled the ref out of the ring at the last second. I just liked the way that was set up. The Undertaker was dominant for much of the match, but he got screwed over by Heidenreich and JBL took advantage as the cheap champion that got the win. No surprise that Booker took the pin because the others were bigger stars. It could have been a better match with some better nearfall spots and without the ending interference.
JBL was handed the WWE Title and he jumped the barricade to leave through the crowd instead of walking to the back. I guess that means he escaped with his title.
The show ended with Undertaker, Guerrero and Booker looking upset that they came up short.
This event has a run time of 2 hours, 38 minutes on WWE Network.
Show Rating (out of 10): 3
Best Match: JBL vs. Booker T vs. The Undertaker vs. Eddie Guerrero (***1/4 out of 5)
Worst Match: Miss Jackie vs. Dawn Marie (-*)
- Eddie Guerrero
- The Undertaker
- John Bradshaw Layfield
- Booker T
- RVD/Rey Mysterio
Awful show. It was very uneventful from start to finish. Only two matches got over ten minutes and neither was that memorable.
Next up: New Year’s Revolution 2005.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton – [email protected]
Check out my other retro WWE PPV reviews here as well.