The 1/29/04 Swift Smackdown Report

This was a good Smackdown, but I would have traded this for a chance to watch the Montreal - Minnesota game tonight. I listened on the radio from about 5:00 left in the third period on, and it was just one shot of adrenaline after another for the entire time. To put it into wrestling terms, it felt like I had fast-forwarded to the last segment of a classic mid-90s All-Japan encounter. Montreal, playing the part of Mitsuharu Misawa, battered away at Dwayne Roloson's net with the ice-bound equivalent of big forearm smashes and Tiger Drivers, all the way until the whistle for overtime (playing the part of the "I no-sell your move, you no-sell mine, then we both go to the double-KO" spot). In OT, Minnesota (playing the part of a spunky Jun Akiyama or Yoshinari Ogawa) fought back with everything they had, trying to put the superior opponent away. Finally, with just seconds left until the time limit expires, Montreal came up with the Tiger Driver '91(or the Emerald Frosion, take yer pick) from the stick of Richard Zednik. Awesome, awesome, awesome.


-- Chavo's promo was incredible. I mean, I liked him before, but I think having his father around just may have energized him to a new level. Really.

-- Rey Rey and Jamie Noble have the match that they should have been given the time to have on the PPV. The new slowed-down style is RIGHT in Noble's wheelhouse, as he can play to his strengths more than he even could as Jamie-San in WCW (how stupid was that, by the way? I mean, Jimmy Yang is American too, so what's the difference?). Anyway, Noble busts out the sophisticated matwork, and Rey Rey counters with the tricked-out lucha mat game. Noble wins that battle, though, taking a tilt-a-whirl into a Torture Rack variation. That is right about the time I MARKED THE FUCK OUT. Rey Rey counters with the lucha armdrag, and the speed vs. technique battle is on. Noble works the ribs a bit, taking a backbreaker into an awesome grounded abdominal stretch variation. For his part, Rey Rey does a fantastic job selling the back/ribs damage for the entire rest of the match. Rey gets the neat lucha-style cradle for 2, but Noble does a bow-and-arrow around the ringpost. Any submission move becomes 20 times cooler if you do it around the ringpost...it's true. Noble hits one of the sweetest superplexes I've seen in a while, but Rey comes back with his second-rope bulldog. Its weird seeing him do that move with his mask on, as he didn't really come up with that until he lost it. He's done it before, but I mark out every time Mysterio does the Code Red (one of The Amazing Red's signature moves, the really fast sunset flip powerbomb). Rey finally takes it when he springboards off the top rope into La Sillia for the win. That was an excellent TV match, AND, as an extra added bonus, the inane Nidia angle came to its' long-awaited conclusion. You bet your ass this is all good. (Rey Mysterio Jr. beat Jamie Noble, springboard La Sillia, 7:46)

-- Again, Chavo Jr. is cooler than most of the known world, as he pulls the "my hand wasn't just in the cookie jar" routine perfectly as they're carting Eddy away. Also, Rey Rey getting all spunky and kicking his ass was a nice touch, too.


-- Paul London tried, and Kidman wasn't so terrible this time around, but good lord...the Amnesia Twins just suck every match they're in right down to Mediocreville. London shows a Shannon Moore-esque willingness to die for our pleasure with the sick bump to the outside. He's also a good enough seller to add a little flavor to the Bashams' 100% bland offense. Kidman gets the hot tag, and he even showed a shade or two of his old WCW self. However, this "everyone does a spinebuster in the WWF" thing is getting ridiculous...I'd rather see Kidman go back to the Rydien Bomb as the setup to the Shooting Star (by the way, that's London's finish too. And, if they ever let him use it, Kidman's version is D.O.A. for the rest of time after that). But, take a wild guess how the Bashams win. No, really. It's how they've won every single match since they won the Tag Titles. I mean, I bought it when I was 8, and it was the Killer Bees pulling the ol' switcheroo. But, at least they had masks...this is just silly. Someone PLEASE get the belts off these guys, or get them a moveset, or SOMETHING. (Doug Basham/Danny Basham(win) beat Billy Kidman(loss)/Paul London, 3:44).

-- They weren't the worst ever or anything, but goddamn the backstage segments where people picked their numbers was as by-the-numbers as you can get. Ogle Dawn Marie? Check. Make stupid "balls" joke? Check. Something else happens with someone they're feuding with? Check. Actually, that last one is why they're up here...with so much of the show going to the Smackdown Rumble, they had to do something to keep all the various feuds going.

-- So, who's the boxing guy who obviously liked the haircut Ronaldo had during the World Cup?

-- I'm very curious to see if Owen Wilson can hang with the vastly-superior talent around him in that new caper movie coming out (you know, the one whose title completely eludes me at the second).

-- Rue DeBona is hot, but she talks like a robot.

-- You know, that show about the video game characters is an intriguing concept, to say the least. However, even despite seeing half the pilot in that LONG-ASS commercial, I still don't know if they're going to pull off the actual execution of said intriguing concept.

-- There was a lot of good individual work in the Smackdown Rumble, but it goes down here for the same reason that the Smackdown Iron Man match would have if I had been doing my reports during that time -- it just isn't suited for the normal television medium. You're just getting into the match, and all of a sudden, here's another long commercial break. To me, it kills the momentum, and it's frustrating. (Eddy Guerrero wins a 15-man Royal Rumble, 35:16 [minus commercials] aired).

Since the match as a whole is down here, a special section for this week:


-- Kurt Angle. Although I worry about his general health, it was an absolute stroke of genius to have him come in at # 1. He busts his ass every time out, and he really made this whole thing tick.

-- That Gore from Rhino on Angle early. Great stuff.

-- While it was kinda contrived that Haas was # 3 and Benjamin was # 4, I really liked the interplay between the former Team Angle and Angle himself. Also, I think I'm even more impressed that the history was at least touched upon by the announce team. They've been doing a great job on the continuity front lately.

-- Angle sneaking up on people with German Suplexes reminded me a lot of No Mercy strategy for the Nintendo 64.

-- I'm not a Bradshaw fan, but goddamn, the fucking guy can throw one hell of a Lariat.

-- Tajiri kicking Lamont's head off is one of the best Rudo moments in a long, long time.

-- Speaking of that, The Cat's offense is so comically bad, it's entertaining...after a fashion.

-- Billy Gunn eliminated nobody, if I remember correctly. Works for me...I don't want to be subjected to Futile Billy Gunn Mega-Push # 87.

-- This Rumble is the second match in a row where the Big Show has really played to his strengths, and worked very hard in doing so. If he can somehow translate this to his singles matches, and if they ever have him defend the US Title (why yes, it does still exist!), I can envision myself tolerating him a lot more.

-- I'm glad they didn't have Cena stick around too long...it'd be horrible if he injured himself to the point where he'd need time off, right when he's more popular than he's ever been. Smackdown NEEDS a healthy-as-possible Cena to continue its' recent improvement, I think.

-- Let the Hopefully Not Futile Eddy Guerrero Mega-Push # 1 begin.

-- Rikishi worked his (considerable) ass off this time around. If he never discovered the Stinkface, and went back to the Fire Thunder Driver as his finisher, he'd be one of my favorite big men ever (coming from someone who usually prefers the cruiserweight style of wrestling).

-- Hardcore Holly didn't stick around too long, which is fine with me. If they wanted him to get a fluke win over the Big Show for the US Title, that's one thing. But, this "Hardcore Holly: Main Event Threat" thing has to go.

-- The Eddy vs. Angle final segment was gold from start to finish. Great wrestling, great near-falls (or, more accurately, near-eliminations), and an exciting finish made this almost as cool as the end of the real Royal Rumble this past weekend.

-- Eddy getting pushed to the top + Chris Benoit getting pushed to the top = The WWF's stock HURTLING upwards in my estimation.


-- Vince McMahon comes out. Fast-forward saves me 7 minutes of my life. Look, I know it's not professional for a recapper to refuse to watch something, but if you've seen a million McMahon promos and they've all sucked, the chances are pretty astronomical that the million-and-first is going to be watchable, right?

-- Of all the dumb premises for a movie, "The Perfect Score" just may be up there among the dumbest. Fuck's sake, the SATs were NOT THAT HARD. Erika Christensen is quickly becoming the "hottest actress who refuses to show something" out there, now that Katie Holmes did "The Gift". So, wake me when she does, will ya?

-- I had blocked Chyna's Playboy spread out of my mind...thanks a lot, Smackdown. I needed to be reminded of that I like need my throat slit.

-- Great. I suppose my life wasn't complete until I saw Rey Mysterio Jr.'s music video. Since they own the WCW archives, why not dig out Konnan's video, and the Disco Inferno's, too? Then, to truly convince me that maybe someone HAS slit my throat, and I'm in the worst ring of hell, they can have Carson Daly guest-star and make a whole "Wrestling TRL" segment out of it. Fucking hell, I'd rather have this cold for the next five years. Really.

-- Brock Lesnar tries, but even he can't do a single thing with the vortex of suck known as Orlando Jordan. Yeah, keep Kanyon on Velocity, and have this chode up on the A-show. Brilliant. (Brock Lesnar beat Orlando Jordan, Brock Lock, 4:21). Interestingly, Taz can't call it properly when Brock uses the Tazmission for, well, most of the middle of the match. So, let me get my Joey Styles out of the way: "OH MY GOD! The Kata-Hajime! The Tazmission!". OK, I feel better.

-- I think it's great that the WWF has their guys visiting military hospitals and stuff. But, putting it on TV smacks of patting yourself on the back a TAD too hard, I think.


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