» On Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 10:48 PM EST WWE Smackdown
March 31, 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Announcers: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler (substituting for Tazz)
The biggest event of them all for 2005 thus far is only 72 hours away and a few anticipated events happened on tonight’s show, the final stop before Wrestlemania 21. Here is tonight’s episode in review:
Match #1: Eddie Guerrero vs. Danny Basham
Danny started things off by drawing a little crowd heat, followed by Eddie getting in a head lock on Danny. Danny gave Eddie a shove, with a poke in the eye to Danny by Eddie. Lots of counters back and forth until Danny scored a two count with a power slam. He worked over Eddie’s back until Eddie came back with a ten punch turnbuckle spot. Eddie successfully put the Three Amigos on Danny, and prepared to go for the frog splash when Doug interfered, dragging Eddie to the outside of the ring. Doug then rolled Eddie back into the ring, while Rey came to the ring in an attempt to save Eddie. Rey tried to put a flip kick on Doug, but ended up hitting Eddie instead, leading to Danny rolling up Eddie.
Winner: Danny Basham
Eddie and Rey looked like they were having words but Rey was heard saying he’d never hurt Eddie and they hugged. Rey was still reassuring Eddie as they made their way to the back.
Highlights from last week’s debate between JBL and Cena were shown.
JBL and Teddy Long were backstage. JBL informed Teddy Long that he would have lost his main event if JBL touched Cena last week, being that JBL himself was a wrestling god, and there would have been nothing to stop him from keeping Cena from Wrestlemania, and how Long almost robbed him of the chance to have Cena worship him at his feet, and JBL guaranteed that he would walk out of WM the WWE Champion.
Match #2: Cruiserweight Battle Royal for the Cruiserweight Championship-CW Champion Chavo Guerrero-Paul London-Nunzio-Funaki-Scotty 2 Hotty-Akio-Billy Kidman-Spike Dudley
Things started off with the other seven challengers going after Chavo, eliminating him almost immediately. Chavito couldn’t believe it, yelling at Cole and King that the other contenders had “cheated.“ Funaki was next to be eliminated, Scotty and Spike were almost out, but saved themselves at this point. Nunzio was next eliminated. Scotty gave a kick to the jaw of Akio and then the worm to Spike, who he eliminated shortly after. London landed feet first on the back of Akio off the rope. Scotty was then eliminated by Akio with a kick from the top rope, leaving Billy Kidman, Akio, and Paul London remaining as the final three.
After getting some wicked kicks from and then double teamed by Kidman and Akio, more work was made by both to eliminate him, but with no success. London then plowed a drop kick onto Kidman, making him bump into Akio. Also as a result of London’s dropkick that bounced him off Kidman, Akio was then eliminated. London and Kidman then remained. After some back and forth action, Kidman went to throw London over the top, but London skinned the cat and locked his former partner with a head scissors over the ropes to win the match. When the match was over, Kidman grabbed the legs of London, but London kicked him off and Kidman bounced off the barricades, then London enjoyed his victory inside the ring.
Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Paul London
Akebono was seen getting out of a limo outside of the arena. Quite the huge one he was!
The “Dirty Harry” spoof trailer for WM21 with Undertaker was shown.
Backstage, Carlito was buttering up Teddy Long before dropping the bomb that he is ready to go back in the ring, even though Long hadn’t received a doctor’s release. Teddy said he had a better assignment, but Carlito stopped him, saying the fans wanted to see Carlito back in the ring. After being convinced by Chia Pet that he is indeed ready, Long then told Carlito that his first match back will be tonight--against John Cena. Long then suggested that Carlito hurry and get ready for his match. Looks like Carlito had gotten more than he bargained for this time.
Also backstage, Eddie and Rey were discussing about what happened during Eddie’s match, with Eddie wondering if Rey really would have let that happen on purpose. Rey assured him that he wouldn’t, it had indeed been an accident. Eddie said he was frustrated and he was sorry that he had doubted Rey. Rey told Eddie that he could talk to Long to get Doug Basham in the ring. Eddie thought that would be a great idea, and like Rey had his back, Eddie would have his.
Backstage, Booker T was on the way to the ring, saying that he was home and he was ready for Luther. Booker was talking with his wife Sharmell, who said that Luther Reigns was going to give him a beat down Booker responded with his “Tell me you didn’t just say that.” Sharmell said she did indeed say that, but that Booker was a strong man and a big man, and he could do this.
Match #3: Luther Reigns vs. Booker T
Booker and Luther started off with a lockup, some punches, right hands and chops were exchanged, with Booker getting in a high kick to the sternum of Luther. Booker missed an axe kick, getting caught on the top rope and then knocked off of the apron, which Luther took advantage of the opportunity and domination of the match. Luther used some various moves and a reverse chin lock to control the better part of the match before going for his finisher but Booker reversed it into a suplex. Booker then built momentum with some right hands to Luther and then came back strong with a kick to the jaw of Luther, a spine buster, and the Spinaroonie. Booker then sealed the victory with a scissors kick.
Winner: Booker T
Backstage, Teddy Long was telling an assistant to put Carlito on the card for later tonight and was psyched about Wrestlemania and the new CW Champion. Long then greeted Hall of Fame inductee Cowboy Bob Orton. Orton is concerned that Randy took his advice to make his mark too far, is now in over his head, and wants to talk and explain this to the Undertaker. Teddy hesitated to let the elder Orton go through with it, but Orton appealed that Teddy was a father and how parents weren’t listened to, before Long finally relented and said the ring was Orton’s right now.
Stone Cold Stunner Moment:
1998 highlights of Vince being stunned by Austin.
Cowboy Bob Orton came out and talked about how although he is proud of his 20 year career and how he molded Randy into one of the best wrestlers in the world, he wants to talk to the Undertaker for his son’s sake. Undertaker then came to the ring in the usual long entrance and (very loud) crowd reaction.
The elder Orton told Taker that he didn’t want any trouble and to “hear him out.” “Taker” chants were heard in between. Bob said that Randy thought that Taker was the biggest and toughest guy in the back, and that Randy showed Taker respect by calling him out for their match and disrespect when Randy slapped Taker He apologized to Taker for Randy’s slap. Bob asked Taker to “put the beast back to sleep” and have a man-on-man match after voicing concern of what Taker did to Dupree last week.
Undertaker responded to Orton the elder that it took one slap to seal the younger Orton’s fate. At Wrestlemania, Randy Orton will “rest in peace,” Taker warned. Orton said he never knelt down to any man but he would not and then pleaded for mercy on his son‘s behalf, but Taker was hearing none of it. Taker then turned back right into an RKO from Randy Orton.
Father and son left the ring together, more than satisfied with their mission as Taker struggled to get up.
Match #4: Rey Mysterio vs. Doug Basham
Danny distracted early, and Doug had the early advantage with a suplex on Rey off the top rope and then an abdominal stretch on Rey and appeared to dominate the early part of the match before Rey got out of it with the head scissors. After some back and forth action, Rey hit a top rope body press on Doug, setting him up for and successfully connecting with the 619. Danny then attempted to interfere, prompting Eddie to go after him. While Rey was climbing the top rope, Eddie also went into that same rope, causing Rey to lose his balance, leading to a pin by Doug.
Winner: Doug Basham
Rey and Eddie went back and forth again, only it was Eddie’s turn to apologize for his accident during the match. They once again hugged in the ring.
The “Braveheart” WM21 trailer with HHH and Flair was shown.
Backstage, Josh Matthews interviewed Kurt Angle and asked his strategy had changed at all since his mission to put Michaels out failed. Kurt responded by asking Josh to repeat the question, then said that Josh said that he failed. Kurt went on to say he didn’t know the word failure and asked if Josh would like to see that strategy, before beating down and dragging Josh all the way to the ring. After assaulting Josh some more, followed by an Angle Slam, Angle put Josh in the ankle lock. Angle then cut a promo toward HBK, telling him that was what he could expect at Wrestlemania and if he needed a better idea of what was going to happen, Angle had a video played to prove he was the better man than Michaels.
Hulk Rules Moment:
1987: Hogan-Orndorff cage match.
Big Show-Akebono Weigh In:
Michael Cole was in the ring, touting the sumo match at Wrestlemania, then introducing both Show and Akebono respectively. A clip from last week’s Smackdown of Show tipping over the Jeep was replayed. Akebono came out in Japanese regalia, bowing to the fans before making his way to the ring. Cole said that traditional sumo rules would apply, and a circle will be placed in the ring. To win the match, one must knock their opponent off their feet or out of the circle.
At the official weigh in, Show tipped the scales at 493, while Akebono did a sumo ritual before getting on the scale, which he topped out at 504. Show was shocked that Akebono outweighed him, and though he weighed more than Show, Show was bigger than he, referring to tipping over the Jeep last week. Though he respected Akebono, this was Show’s world. Akebono stated that he found it impressive that Show tipped over a Jeep and it was an honor for Show to give him his first sumo match in WWE, and he, in honor of Show, was going have his first match tonight, leading to….
Match #5: Akebono vs. Eddie Vegas
A very short match with Show watching from the announce desk. The Houston local was taken down by Akebono after a turnbuckle avalanche and Vegas was pinned with a the traditional sumo leg movement and Akebono squatted down, also sumo style, sitting on Vegas. Quite a guy for Vegas to have to job to.
Wrestlemania’s final card was shown.
Match #6: Carlito vs. John Cena
Chia Pet booked it outside the ring when Cena made his entrance, and then cowed behind the ref once he did come back in. Cena backed Carlito into the corner almost immediately, but Carlito managed to escape and got to work. Carlito then got outside the ring, being chased by Cena before both went back into the ring
After recovering from Carlito’s offense, Cena got in a nasty clothesline and a sholder block before he pumped up for the next move on Carlito.
But before he could go through with the attack on Carlito, JBL came down with four police officers and ordered them to arrest Cena for what he did to JBL’s limo last week. Cena was then taken down and handcuffed as JBL let loose on him with various insults and telling him he was going to jail. Cena attempted to get JBL but was unable to, getting a cheap shot from JBL, with JBL citing self-defense and telling Cena “in a language you can understand---you can’t see me,” then Cena was led away from the officers and JBL made his way to the back as Smackdown left the air.
Winner: No ContestPOST-SHOW NOTES:
As a reminder to those who view Velocity, it will not air on Spike this Saturday due to the Hall of Fame induction being aired in its place in the US viewing areas. Velocity will also not air on Saturday, April 9, due to the season finale of Ultimate Fighter being broadcast live.
Congrats to London finally getting his hard-earned CW Championship. The match itself was pretty haphazard. But he’s finally got his belt, so it’s all good! Let’s hope WWE doesn’t drop the ball on this one like they did on the London/Kidman feud. I see many story possibilities here.
Nice to see a few more matches even if the majority of them were short ones; but I really don’t expect much emphasis on the regular shows right before a PPV, especially as one as big as Wrestlemania.
Condolences go out to Tazz and his family in the death of his father this past weekend.
Wait a minute….We've seen Taker get beatings over the years like no other, and he keeps popping up. But one single RKO and all of the sudden he can‘t get up?
REMEMBER: Daylight Savings Time in the U.S. begins at 2:00AM on Sunday. Make sure you turn your clocks one hour FORWARD Saturday night before going to bed!
Next week, Smackdown airs from San Diego--will we see a new WWE Champion? Until next time, enjoy wrestling!