Sunday, June 28, 2015
Unfortunately, this show must be viewed with a bit of a heavy heart as this would turn out to be the last Pay-Per-View that the late Eddie Guerrero would ever compete in. After viewing Backlash ’99 (Owen Hart’s last PPV) and One Night Stand ’07 (Chris Benoit’s), hopefully I don’t have to do many more like this. Enough of that though, this is a show that I don’t believe I ordered live so it should be a first time viewing for me and those excite me. Let’s dive in!
The opening video talks about Eddie Guerrero’s heel turn where he said he’s no longer addicted to pills but he’s addicted to being the World Heavyweight Champion. I do feel that Eddie did good work during this heel run, but the fans wanted to cheer him badly. It also promotes the Undertaker vs. Randy Orton feud. Michael Cole and Tazz introduce the show as this is a Smackdown exclusive PPV. Spanish commentary is there too, so expect a table spot.
I never really found Melina to be that hot but the split was great with her short skirt. It pains me to write Legion of Doom for an old, out of shape Animal and Heidenreich. Oh my god, they were the WWE Tag Team Champions. Heidenreich is a dirty fighter because he brings Johnny Nitro in while MNM is talking strategy. His face paint is strange for sure and he nails a huge clothesline. Animal gets the tag and he somehow kicks out of the Snapshot. To be fair, it did take a bit to pin him. Animal is sporting some shoulder tape, so MNM starts to target it. Melina even gets in some cheap shots from the apron on Animal. Didn’t Tatanka come back around the same time as Animal? What was Smackdown thinking? Mercury tries a cross body but is caught with a powerslam for two. Heidenreich is tired of waiting for the hot tag and comes in before going outside with Nitro. Melina tags herself in as Mercury is down and leaps into Animal like a moron. She gets caught and Christy gets the tag. They steal the Hart Attack clothesline and I die a little inside. Christy botches a hurricanrana and they signal for the Doomsday Device. Christy goes to the top and they actually hit it. Christy covers and that’s all.
The crowd was surprisingly hot for this. MNM worked the shoulder, which made sense and it was kept relatively short. Basically, it was inoffensive and that’s more than I expected.
Batista is shown warming up in the back when Eddie Guerrero walks in. He stares him down and wishes him good luck through gritted teeth before Batista says it back and that’s it.
Before the match, Simon Dean cuts a promo about the city of Houston being the fattest city in America. He also brought out twenty double cheeseburgers and says that if he loses, he will eat all twenty. Dean is wrestling with a cast because Lashley broke his hand a few weeks ago. Lashley tosses him around and when Dean goes to use the cast, gets caught and suplexed hard. He does dodge a move and Lashley hits the turnbuckle. He then throws a cheeseburger in what has to be one of the best referee distraction techniques ever. He hits Lashley in the head with the tray but it has zero effect. What is he, Samoan? Lashley throws him into the corner and slams him before planting him with the Dominator to win his PPV debut.
Exactly what I expected this to be. A squash but I will admit that it was more entertaining than I expected.
Post-match, Lashley shoves a cheeseburger in Simon Dean’s mouth. I guess he’ll eat the other 19 in the back. Some backstage announcer that I don’t recognize, interviews JBL about the possibility of Raw Superstars invading. Jillian Hall and her stupid face growth is with him. JBL calls his opponent for the night, Rey Mysterio a tortilla or something. Rey shows up, speaks Spanish and then says that JBL may want to hide his face in shame behind a Mysterio mask. JBL declines so Rey says that Jillian needs it more. He’s not wrong.
One of these things just doesn’t belong here. I’m looking at you Orlando Jordan. Man, the WWE missed the boat with Christian in 2005. Chris Benoit gets knocked outside so Christian and OJ double up on Booker. Booker has the crowd firmly behind him, being from Houston and he goes for the Scissors Kick but Christian trips him up and throws him into the steel steps. Benoit gets the Crossface on OJ, which is what won him the belt at SummerSlam in like 20 seconds. Christian breaks it up and eats a snap suplex for his troubles. Benoit suplexes OJ on Christian as well before a drop toe hold drives Christian into OJ’s crotch. After seeing his TNA gimmick, he might have liked that. It’s like its 1999 as Booker connects with a missile dropkick. Benoit and Booker end up as the only guys in the ring and commentary mentions that they are friends. They bring up the classic Best of Seven from WCW and the WWE would redo it shortly after this. Their stuff gets interrupted by the heels. Benoit and Christian fight on the top when Booker is sent in and knocks them both off and to the outside. OJ charges into a rollup but Booker only gets two. Booker hits a Double A like spinebuster but Christian messes with the pin. Booker stays hot by hitting Christian and then kicking Benoit. HOUSTON SPINAROONIE! Scissors Kick connects on OJ but that Creepy Little Bastard breaks it again. He goes for the Unprettier on Benoit but it’s reversed into Germans. It’s broken up before the third but he eventually hits it anyway. He decides to say fuck it, I’ll do another three Germans. He goes up top but misses the diving headbutt. Crossface ends up locked in on Christian anyway until OJ breaks it. He is thrown out, so Benoit locks Christian in the Sharpshooter and Captain Charisma is forced to tap.
That was nothing if not fun. It went at a breakneck pace and never slowed down. Everybody played their roles well and the Sharpshooter finish was unexpected, which I like.
Booker T is crushed that he couldn’t win in his hometown and Sharmell, ever the vindictive woman, blames Chris Benoit. She says that he is not Booker’s friend, leading to their feud. We cut to see Lashley making Simon Dean eat the cheeseburgers.
Mr. Kennedy makes sure to introduce himself before the bell, which he was so damn captivating at. Hardcore Holly is actually introduced by Tony Chimel as the “Alabama Slamma”. I can’t make this up. Kennedy is tentative but is brought in the hard way. At this point, Kennedy was undefeated and had beaten two former World Champions in Rey Mysterio and Booker T. Hardcore snaps off his dropkick, which was for a long time, the best in the business. Holly dominates the start until Kennedy pulls him outside. He drives his shoulder into the ring post for a one count. Kennedy works the shoulder for a bit, using one of my favorite moves, the single arm DDT. Despite that, this is pretty dull stuff. Holly rallies but the crowd doesn’t care and he hits a big full nelson slam for two. Kennedy oddly goes for a high kick and ends up trying Trouble in Paradise. Holly looks confused and blocks it, which was funny. Holly goes up top, so Kennedy meets him with the Green Bay Plunge to stay undefeated.
I liked the arm work as Kennedy worked it well and Holly sold it better, but the crowd knew the outcome and didn’t care for Holly’s rally. They did pop for the finish, but it was too little too late.
Officials come out to check on Holly’s arm but because he’s Hardcore, he wants no help. Sylvan, Smackdown’s fashion consultant, comes out and attacks Hardcore Holly. I didn’t care and nobody else did either.
More of Simon Dean having to eat burgers and he finds a hair in the food. That’s awful. Sharmell is shown yelling at Booker T because Chris Benoit is a winner and Booker isn’t. Mr. Kennedy interrupts and is his usual brash self. Booker wants to hit him but Sharmell says that Kennedy and Benoit aren’t the problem. He is! Booker should’ve given her the Scissors Kick.
Tazz spends the first few seconds just talking about Mil Mascaras but he butchers his last name, even though he says it about fifteen times. JBL tries to bully Rey but the underdog responds with kicks. JBL grounds him with a headlock for a while. Rey gets free and begins to play cat and mouse with JBL. It’s funny to see JBL chase him and get tired. Rey uses a dropkick to the knee for a near fall and is wisely uses his speed and going after the leg. Rey goes for the 619 but misses. He goes to springboard out but JBL pulls Jillian in the way. For some reason, he turns his back and allows Rey to bulldog him. JBL changes the pace by driving Rey’s face into the steel steps. The next big spots comes from a second rope fallaway slam by JBL but instead of going for a pin, he does another fallaway slam. JBL goes outside and hits a third out there. Rey shows that heart and desire by kicking out, which frustrates JBL. He applies a bearhug but Rey counters with a tornado DDT. He hits a springboard cross body and a hurricanrana before busting out the bronco buster. Jillian gets on the apron, giving up an upskirt view. JBL almost runs into her by mistake but stops and is grossed out by her face. Rey hits a moonsault for two. Clothesline from Hell is stopped by a dropkick and Rey nails the 619. He goes for the West Coast Pop, but JBL dodges and strikes with the Clothesline from Hell to end it.
You know what? That was much better than I expected it to be. Rey Mysterio always plays the underdog amongst the best to ever do it and JBL was great as the ruthless bully. Good big man/little man match.
The Ortons attempt to corner Undertaker but it fails and he ends up laying into both of them in the corner. Randy hits a low blow that takes Undertaker down. Good to know; even if you’re dead, a shot to the nuts still hurts. Taker survives some shots and goes to throw Randy in the casket but Randy dodges the box. Bob is selling every shot like it’s killing him but when he goes in the casket, he moves faster than I’ve ever seen him move. I’m talking even back in the 80’s. Undertaker is wisely focusing on Randy, hitting him with Old School before punching Bob. He hits a Downward Spiral, which I don’t remember him having in his arsenal. He goes for Old School on Bob but Orton crotches him. The Ortons do a double second rope suplex that Cole calls a “duperplex”. Someone fire him right now. They try to do another one into the casket, which makes no sense, so Taker counters into a double DDT. Bob goes in but Orton survives with a neckbreaker. Bob gets a fire extinguisher and is walking like he’s in quicksand. Undertaker stops him obviously and gets a chair. He hits Randy in the back which puts him in the casket. He struggles to get Bob’s fat ass in, so he uses a triangle choke to do so. A “rest in peace” chants starts, which I’ve never liked. Both Ortons are in but Randy stops it from closing. He nails a powerslam inside and tries to end it, but Undertaker hits a low blow. They trade blows in the ring and Randy goes for his Last Ride. As he goes to place Randy in the casket, Bob comes out from it and sprays him with the extinguisher, leading to an RKO. Bob goes to roll him in but a choke stops that, so Randy lays him out with the extinguisher. Undertaker pulls Randy in with him and both are locked in the casket. BOB ORTON WINS! They open it and Randy hits him with a steel chair before closing it.
Knowing that I enjoyed their WrestleMania 21 match, I had higher hopes for this. It was a handicap casket match though, so it wasn’t very great. They did their best but that’s not much.
The Ortons drags the casket up to the entrance and Bob gets an axe. Randy starts chopping it up like he’s a lumberjack. Bob brings out gasoline and they set the casket on fire. They celebrate but guess what guys? DID YOU NOT WATCH THE 1998 ROYAL RUMBLE? THIS DOES NOTHING BUT GIVE THE UNDERTAKER A VACATION!
Poor cruiserweights are supposed to go on after the crowd thinks The Undertaker died. So Juvi earned this shot by winning a battle royal on Velocity, leading to the FBI and Mexicools clashing in a battle of which group stereotypes their race more. We get like seven near falls in the first minute. Looking at the waist on Juvi, I wouldn’t consider him a cruiserweight. He goes up top but Nunzio pulls him down and earns a near fall. They botch a victory roll spot for two and Nunzio retaliates with an Italian leg sweep. See what I did there? Both guys go up top and do like a double facebuster or something. After dueling near falls, a spin kick from Juvi is followed by a dropkick for guess what? Two. Flying head scissors is reversed into a bomb for two again. Juvi uses a craft move to take out Vito on the outside and hits a cross body, but Nunzio rolls through for two. Juvi hits a northern lights suplex right into the Juvi Driver and captures the gold.
I’ll give them credit for trying. The fifteen or so near falls was a neat concept but the problem was that the crowd didn’t care, so they didn’t bite on them.
Of course they get Spanish commentator Hugo to interview Juvi. He rambles in Spanish, as does Super Crazy but Psicosis claims that “your ass is grass and we’re the lawnmowers.” Yup. We get another stupid Lashley and Simon Dean segment.
From what I see in the video package, the Eddie Guerrero/Batista angle was interesting and pretty well done. Things begin with a feeling out process and Batista uses his power to make Eddie regroup outside. Inside, they trade some holds and Batista scores the first near fall with a body slam. Eddie steps outside and grabs a steel chair, causing Cole to shout “I KNEW IT! THE OLD EDDIE GUERRERO!” Eddie decides against it and Batista is pissed, so he grabs him around the throat. Eddie snaps him on the tope rope and connects with the Frog Splash on Batista’s back, but only gets two! Is a Frog Splash to the back not as effective as one on the chest? Regardless, Eddie targets the back with a dropkick and a half Boston crab. He removes the tag rope but again goes against cheating. STORYTELLING! Eddie applies a rear naked choke of sorts but Batista manages to power out. He goes with a bearhug but Eddie breaks it by clapping behind his head. Batista gets fired up and charges, but Eddie dropkicks him in the knee and tries the Lasso from El Paso. Batista counters with a small package for two. Eddie knocks out the referee by accident. He realizes that both the official and the Champion are down, so he grins and grabs the steel chair. He struggles with himself and again goes against it, so Batista is able to take control. He beats him from pillar to post and a back body drop is followed by a Spear. He goes all Ultimate Warrior with the rope and attempts the Batista Bomb but Eddie rolls forward because Batista’s back is out. He still hits a spinebuster but is too hurt to cover on time and only gets two. Eddie blocks an elbow and hits the Three Amigos. The signals for the Frog Splash and the crowd pops. He misses and runs into a spinebuster, which is surprisingly enough to end it.
The story of Eddie Guerrero trying to stay reformed and fighting with his instincts was great. Batista sold the back well throughout, Eddie looked great and things made sense. Even the spinebuster finish made sense since Batista couldn’t do the Batista Bomb.
Batista picks up Eddie Guerrero after the match and raises his arm. He backs away and extends his hand for Batista, who reciprocates. Eddie gives an intriguing grin as Batista turns around and it seemed like this was going to get much more interesting if it wasn’t for Eddie’s untimely passing.
Overall: Going in, I didn’t have high expectations as I knew that brand exclusive PPVs could sometimes drag. This was a bit better than I thought it would be. The main event told a great story, the US Title match was a lot of fun and JBL/Rey was big man vs. little man done right. The main issue is that everything else is subpar at best. Next time on , I take a long look at the very first ever