The 1/22/04 Swift Smackdown Report

This is where I usually say something witty and hilarious by way of an introductory paragraph. For this week's Smackdown, said paragraph will consist of nothing but filler text, cause I got nothin' this time around. Yup. Filler filler filler filler filler text. EDDY~!


-- The guy in the front row on the off-camera side wearing the Curry Man shirt. "I'm hot, I'm spicy, I taste great...Curry Man is ICHIBAN!!!"

-- The hat that Chavo Sr. is wearing in the chyron for his match later tonight. Is that guy a fucking pimp or what?

-- Rey Rey vs. Chuck Palumbo was surprisingly all kinds of fun. The brain-dead jackass that wrote the spoilers for 411 said Palumbo won, so I was kinda pissy about this match since reading that. However, this was a perfectly fine speed vs. power matchup, and I'm all about the FBI as hired guns. Anyway, both guys go for big moves too early, and pay for it (I'm a mark for those spots...it's what SHOULD happen when you go for a powerbomb 20 seconds in). Chuck hits a wicked backdrop suplex, and I'm digging this match. It kinda gets a little hesitant after that, but then they come up with the springboard moonsault caught, then countered into a reverse DDT spot, and that would get it up here even if the rest was a Jackie Gayda match. Rey gets the win, but then the FBI beats him down in a fashion right after my rudo-loving heart. I'm fine with all of this. (Rey Mysterio Jr. beat Chuck Palumbo, sunset flip, 5:14)

-- Kurt/Chavo/Chavo backstage was entertaining and neat.

-- I actually remember that Jake the Snake/Honky Tonk Man match from 1987. Ahhh, memories. These retro segments they do are awesome, and I wish they'd do them before Summerslam and Survivor Series too.

-- Cena returned WAY back into form with his rap tonight.

-- The 3-on-2 match was a good time. Now, I normally hate the forklift routine, but making it 3-on-2 (and considering one is only Matt Morgan, more like 2 1/2 vs. 2), AND taking the Big Slow out of the match works on every possible level. What I like about this match is that the first 4 minutes or so are almost completely even, with both sides getting the offensive momentum every now and then. The usual tag formula is what works best, but I hate it when they go right into the heat segment after about 30 seconds. This way just makes more sense to me...anyway, Cena is the first face-in-peril, and both Lesnar and Rhino are fun during the beatdown segments. Matt Morgan...well...I don't mind him when it's Chris Benoit kicking the shit out of him. Put him on offense, though, and the results aren't ever good. Rhino busts out the Goku-Raku-Gatame again, and I rejoice that it's become part of his regular moveset. Cena gets the hot tag at around 8:00, and it's KILLER BENOIT~!. He destroys Brock, then lets Rhino do the dirty work by sidestepping a Gore. Then, Morgan comes in, and he's completely clueless on how to feed a babyface a'fire. Yes friends, a guy who hasn't quite mastered the most basic of skills for a heel tag team, and HE IS ON THE A-SHOW WHILE ULTIMO DRAGON ISN'T. I hate this fucking promotion. Then, he looks back and calls out something, where it may as well be yellling out: "OK, Chris, you can German Suplex me now." This guy is in the same match with Benoit and Lesnar...I'm going to keep repeating it until I can somehow work that out in my head. Ten minutes in, Brock is saved from the Crippler Crossface, and he decides he's had enough. Hardcore Holly makes an apperance, and the expected pull-apart brawl occurs. However, the bestest spot of that whole thing was Fit Finlay's perfect amateur takedown on Holly to keep the two separated. Damn, I wish that guy could still wrestle. Then again, I wish half their road agents could still wrestle. Anyway, we go to commercial, and come back to Benoit as face-in-peril. It's just Rhino and Morgan on the other side, but luckily, they keep that useless stiff on the apron for most of it. Rhino hits the Gore, but Cena saves. Good, they've overused him missing it as a transition anyway. Morgan comes in, and misses two elbowdrops. He actually remembers to react the second time, so it's nice to see he's making some progress. Benoit gets the hot tag after the WORLD'S GREATEST ENZIGUIRI, and now it's Killer Cena. Not quite as cool as Killer Benoit, but I do like the Throwback and that downward elbow from the top. Rhino misses a Gore (well, of course he does), and Cena gets the F-U right after. Considering that this originally threatened to have Big Slow AND Matt Morgan, this was way better than anyone could have expected. My only complaint is that with Morgan right there, Rhino has no business being the one to lose the match. It amazes me how little talent goes when the other guy is two or three inches taller. (John Cena(win)/Chris Benoit beat Rhino(loss)/Matt Morgan, F-U, 15:36 aired). The rest of this is DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN THERE.

-- Kurt Angle can get any possible story over, I think. Adding him to the Guerrero vs. Guerrero feud was SUCH a stroke of genius...not only do I think he's transferred some of his heat onto the whole thing, his promo greatness helps get the story over, too. Add in Chavo Sr., and this whole thing is 100% gold.

-- I was skeptical about the 3-on-2 not being the main, but good goddamn was I ever wrong. The main was so good and so fun and so awesome. The rudos rule, and Kurt has no problems hanging with the lucha flavor of the match. You can tell this angle is a winner, as the fans are going NUTS during the opening matwork, and only get more into proceedings from there. Chavo Sr. comes in to trade holds with Kurt Angle, and I MARK THE FUCK OUT. Eddie comes in, and just like Kurt said, his temper costs his team. As I watch this, it occurs to me that possibly the best thing about all of this is it is just catapulting Chavo towards overness...before, he was just "that other Guerrero". Now, he's getting "Chavo sucks" chants. If they give these two a decent amount of time to do their thing, the Philly fans are gonna go apeshit for that match. Anyway, this is rolling along nicely, then something happens with Kurt's eye, apparently. I guess it's supposed to be how they're going to transition this to Eddy vs. Kurt sometime after the Rumble, but it kinda hurt the flow of this match. After that, Eddy is left 2-on-1 with the baddest rudos around, and quickly gets Frog Splashed and pinned. While it lasted, this was rocketing towards "Best Smackdown Match in Forever" territory. (Chavo Guerrero Sr./Chavo Guerrero Jr.(win) beat Eddy Guerrero(loss)/Kurt Angle, Frog Splash, 9:02). Give this 20 more minutes! Get Chavo Sr. on the active roster already!


-- I'm not putting this in the bad, because I'm used to it by now, but Vince's megalomania is really something to behold. And, he sure isn't afraid to utilize revisionist history to cater to said mental affliction. He was the one to take wrestling into arenas, eh? I guess all those shows his father ran in Madison Square Garden didn't count. Or, is it just that MSG doesn't count as an arena? Hmmm...I honestly didn't know that those Harley Race and Ric Flair guys made all those title defenses in bingo halls. That's news to me. If I really wanted to be a jerk, I could point out that attendances to their shows are at a point where they don't need arenas most of the time. Semi-locally for me, I could swear that the WWF wouldn't even THINK of running the Mid-Hudson Civic Center back during the boom period of the late '90s. Now, they struggle to fill it. Just thought I'd point that out.

-- When I saw in the spoilers that Bradshaw was going to beat both Akio and Sakoda, I was already crafting the profanity-laden diatribe that I was going to grace this report with. However, outside of the opening sequence, this wasn't a case of Bradshaw completely squashing both guys (which is what I originally feared). Kyo Dai got some offense, and it was their turning on each other than allowed Bradshaw to win, so I can take this, I suppose. I won't exactly save the tape for posterity, but whatever. I'd love it if someone explained to me what the attraction was with Bradshaw, though...to me, he's simply Uninteresting Power Wrestler # 192,821...or the 1-calorie version of Stan Hansen. I miss Stan Hansen. (Bradshaw beat Akio(loss)/Sakoda, Clothesline from Hell, 2:46). My only beef is, why is it Akio that has to lose? He's the actual interesting one of the two...I've never seen Sakoda before this, but he just strikes me as Uninteresting Pseudo-Cruiserweight # 3,034.

-- As for the # 1 Billy Gunn moment, I don't know. I know nothing about the gay lifestyle, so I can't even begin to say whether that whole Billy and Chuck thing was handled in an semi-mature fashion or not. I'd lean towards not, but as I said, what the hell do I know?


-- Holy SHIT did UNC ever blow it against Florida State tonight. I am not amused.

-- I really dislike the song that plays as Smackdown starts..."The Beautiful People" was exponentially better.

-- Maybe I'm oversensitive, but the fact that a commercial featuring those stupid, vapid, model retards on a harness having the word "tragedy" in there while a wrestling show is on...Owen Hart is a tragedy. One of those idiots falling two feet because the thing is meant for someone above 45 pounds...that just mocks Owen's memory.

-- I hate to say it, but Tajiri vs. Kidman was disappointing and not all that good. Kidman himself looked terrible...I don't know what's caused this amazing downgrade from his WCW days, but the proof is right there for all to see. In particular, that part where Tajiri hit a roundhouse kick to the head, and Kidman just stood there, as if nothing had happened at all? Or, as if he was supposed to have ducked it or something? Awful, awful, awful. And, though I know it's got to be tough to get up for executing a missed Shooting Star Press, but there's about 150 guys in the indies who can make it look better at this point.I usually complain when the Cruiser matches get shortchanged for time, but I was kinda happy that they just took this home as soon as they could. (Yoshihiro Tajiri beat Billy Kidman, Kick of Death, 2:36)

-- By the way, I HATE it when they announce a Japanese guy as coming from "Japan". Is Yokohama THAT hard to say? Yo-ko-ha-ma.

-- Big Slow! Brock! Backstage promo! This is terrible! I love watching Brock wrestle, but his promo delivery leaves much to be desired (though I did laugh at the "I've gained 15 pounds" thing).

-- Remember when you'd play a Nintendo game, and there were, say, four characters to choose from? You'd pick one, but I always wondered...what were the other three doing during all this? Say it was like Teenage Mutant Ninjua Turtles...while you're whooping ass with Donatello, are the other three just eating pizza and flirting with April O'Neill? The point is, why is it that the only cruiserweights who get to have stories going are the ones actively involved in the next title defense? They go through all that trouble positioning Shannon Moore as a guy who isn't afraid to face down bigger guys, and that leads into...getting squashed by A-Train again. I even like A-Train, I think he's vastly improved from when he first started in the WWF, but ENOUGH WITH THIS SHIT ALREADY.On top of that, why is it that in every one of these matches, the first thing the smaller guy tries to do is trade punches with the big roid-addled behemoth? That kinda fucking insults my intelligence, actually. I swear, some 5'6" guy must have beaten up little Vincey and stolen his lunch money every day in 4th grade or something. (A-Train beat Shannon Moore, Derailer, 2:41). Shannon is such a great bumper and seller, I can see why they put him in this position. SOMEONE has to be enhancement talent. But, I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE matches where one guy doesn't get more than a move or two in. It's unrealistic, stupid, and insulting.

-- Err, guys? You are aware that you're making your half of the Rumble's main event a match with HARDCORE HOLLY in it, right? I mean, I like the guy, I was rooting for him to get an Intercontinental reign around 2000 or '01 or so, but come on, guys. Nobody is buying him as a threat to Lesnar. Having a foregone conclusion match to headline Smackdown is one thing, but this is a major PPV! I guess they don't want to run anything major while HBK-HHH is going on, as Vince prefers Raw to Smackdown. I hate Vince's entire outlook on wrestling.

-- Hey look! The Big Slow waddles down and gets to destroy two of the top faces on Smackdown! What an amazing effort, TOTALLY worthy of his paycheck! LOOK! HE'S FAT! Sign him for 10 more years!

-- Could the entrance theme for Kyo Dai be any more generic and boring?


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