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World Wrestling Entertainment: 2004


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So much for the WCW diary. I thought I had something, but I couldn't get into it, so we go to WWE 2004, post-WrestleMania XX and post-draft lottery. I enjoyed this era on RAW, Smackdown sucked, but I thought of ideas throughout the year that would have made both shows even better, so here's my chance to use them while some of the events are still fresh in my memory. The only differences here are that the RAW-to-Smackdown trade of Rico/Miss Jackie for Chuck Palumbo/A-Train did not take place, and rather than naming Kurt Angle as new SD GM on 3/23, Mr. McMahon awarded the job to Theodore Long, who pledged to earn the fans' trust by not playing favorites, black or white. I'm not going to post the business side since it doesn't really factor into the diary, nor am I going to post my roster changes. I think they will be obvious when my shows start rolling. Also, say goodbye to the Women's Division. I've never been into it and I'm not going to waste time with it. Here are the current WWE titleholders...

World Heavyweight Championship (Image: 88)

  • Chris Benoit (March 14, 2004 - present)

WWE Intercontinental Championship (Image: 80)

  • Randy Orton (December 14, 2003 - present)

World Tag Team Championship (Image: 70)

  • Batista & Ric Flair (March 22, 2004 - present)

WWE Heavyweight Championship (Image: 90)

  • Eddie Guerrero (February 15, 2004 - present)

WWE United States Championship (Image: 75)

  • John Cena (March 14, 2004 - present)

WWE Tag Team Championship (Image: 75)

  • Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty (February 3, 2004 - present)

WWE Cruiserweight Championship (Image: 70)

  • Chavo Guerrero (February 15, 2004 - present)

One pretty major staff change hit the sheets at the end of March: unhappy with the fake emotions of Michael Cole, WWE hired former ECW announcer Joey Styles to replace him on SmackDown. Cole will be demoted to backstage interviewer on SD and co-host of Velocity with Josh Matthews.

More to come. Thanks for sticking with me.

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If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times...if you don't have a killer backstory, you'd better have a good show right out of the chute!

Plus, getting rid of a WWE stalwart like Mikey Cole, and simply just dropping the Womens title off TV would be demorolising to the divas and to Cole - plus, Cole does a lot of backstage stuff on Smackdown and isn't JUST a commentator!

I shall hold out for your first show, but best of luck with it!

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I have Styles in game doing Velocity right now. I soon to put him on Smackdown! soon with Tazz. I think it would be more interesting. Michael Cole is horrible in my opinion. Anyway, I'm looking forward to this because of the time era. I think it was some of the best, Brock Lesnar, Jeff Hardy was still there. Anyway can't wait for the show.

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The UPN broadcast opened with a video package hyping tonight's WWE Championship main event pitting Eddie Guerrero against his nephew, Chavo Guerrero. The video ran through their history all the way back to their feud in WCW, to their WWE Tag Team Championship run last year as Los Guerreros, to their violent break-up earlier this year. Great way to build up the history of the match. (81%)

After the opening, Tazz introduced his new broadcast partner, Joey Styles, mentioning their past in ECW before running through tonight's lineup: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero challenging Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Championship in the main event, Rey Mysterio meeting A-Train, Billy Gunn facing Rene Dupree, the Dudley Boyz squaring off against Kyo Dai, and more.

Kurt Angle made his way down to the ring to a chorus of boos and took the microphone, complaining about how he was screwed out of the WWE Title at WrestleMania XX. The Olympic Champion stated that Eddie Guerrero was a disgrace as WWE Champion and pledged his support for Chavo Guerrero tonight so that the belt would no longer be tarnished by Latino Heat. Nonetheless, Angle protested that he would not leave the squared circle until new SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long came out and granted him another shot at the WWE Championship in the near-future, claiming that he was the best choice to represent SmackDown as the WWE Champion. Angle continued to rant until suddenly the arena lights went out, and when they came back on moments later, the Undertaker was standing in the ring with his hand gripped tightly around Angle's throat. As Paul Bearer held the urn and wailed at ringside, the Phenom buried the Olympian with a vicious chokeslam. Angle rolled out to the floor and crawled up the ramp as Styles referred to the Grim Reaper as the "conscience of the WWE" while the fans cheered him. (89%)

Rene Dupree vs. "Mr. Ass" Billy Gunn

Billy Gunn pranced out to his "Ass Man" theme song and was referred to sparingly as "Mr. Ass" throughout this battle of the pretty boys, as Tazz put it. Pretty lifeless back-and-forth contest that finally ended when Dupree planted Gunn with the Paris (Michinoku) Driver. (64%)

Michael Cole was backstage to interview Akio & Sakoda, who were joined by their new manager Gail Kim, a recent castoff of RAW's defunct Women's Division. Gail explained that she came to SmackDown to make sure that Kyo Dai got a fair shake and wouldn't be overlooked as she had been on RAW, complaining that WWE had a bias against Asian competitors. For evidence, she pointed out the treatment of Funaki and Ultimo Dragon, wondering why they rarely appeared on Thursday nights. Gail extended an offer to the Dragon and Funaki to join forces with Kyo Dai, and promised that Sakoda & Akio would prove that they were worthy of a title shot tonight against the Dudley Boyz. (68%)

Kyo Dai (Akio & Sakoda) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley)

Gail Kim was dressed in a business skirt and jacket when she escorted Kyo Dai as Styles and Tazz discussed her SmackDown debut and comments, while the Dudley Boyz were greeted by a nice pop from the fans. This was a surprisingly long and competitive match-up, showing the determination of Akio & Sakoda, who scored several near-falls and executed some sweet double-teams, such as a double STO and "Total Elimination" (called by Styles) on D-Von. They also bumped well for the Dudleyz, who eventually ended it when Bubba Ray covered Akio following the 3D. Afterwards, the commentators put Kyo Dai over heavily for their impressive performance against the former multi-time WWE, ECW, and WCW Tag Team Champions. (66%)

In the backstage office of the SmackDown General Manager, Theodore Long was remarking to WWE official Dave "Fit" Finlay that Kyo Dai looked strong tonight, when there was a knock at the door. Fit opened the door for the GM, revealing none other than a grinning Paul Heyman, who walked in while Long protested that Heyman had quit WWE after being drafted to RAW and had no business on SmackDown or RAW. Heyman advised Long to hold his tongue because he had an earth-shattering offer for SmackDown that he could just as easily offer to RAW if Long wanted to snub him. When Long expressed doubt, Heyman responded that he had two words for the SmackDown GM: "Brock Lesnar." Long raised his eyebrows and replied that he was listening, and Heyman claimed that Lesnar had several million-dollar deals on the table from NFL teams over the last couple of weeks but was considering returning to WWE instead since that was where he made his name. Long asked how he could be sure that Heyman wasn't just "playing" him, but Heyman replied that it all depended on how Long treated him, since he was Brock's agent and could make or break the deal. Long was still skeptical, so Heyman promised to bring him proof next week. Heyman grinned and shook a reluctant Long's hand before leaving the room. Speechless, Long and Finlay just looked at each other as the camera faded out. (72%)

A-Train vs. Rey Mysterio

This was an entertaining "David vs. Goliath" match-up featuring Rey Mysterio taking some impressive bumps for the massive A-Train, while the commentators discussed the potential of Paul Heyman bringing Brock Lesnar back to SmackDown. Styles apologized for not paying full attention to the bout at hand, clearly sounding conflicted over the WWE announcing style as opposed to the ECW protocol of calling the action in the ring. Late in the match, Rey slipped out of the Train Wreck and rolled up the former WWF Intercontinental Champion with a sunset flip for the 1-2-3. (73%)

Following the bell, as Rey Mysterio celebrated his victory in the ring, he was blindsided by John Bradshaw Layfield, who was dressed in a suit and tie as he took Mysterio off the turnbuckles and spiked him with a brutal powerbomb in mid-ring. Tazz recalled how JBL had shocked the world and brutalized WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero last week, as Layfield took off his belt and began mercilessly whipping Rey across the chest and back. Bradshaw dragged Rey to his feet, only to knock him back down with a stiff Clothesline From Hell and retrieve the microphone. JBL ranted about how he had laid out Latino Heat last week and destroyed Mysterio tonight to send a message to "your people" that they weren't welcome in "JBL's WWE". Layfield continued to verbally and physically assault Mysterio until Eddie Guerrero ran down to the ring, bootless since he was getting ready for his title defense tonight, and chased Bradshaw off by swinging a metal folding chair at him. JBL ducked the chair and retreated up the ramp, raising his arms and smiling to a loud round of boos while Guerrero attended to Mysterio. (78%)

A video package aired advertising next week's SmackDown main event, a WrestleMania XX rematch featuring John Cena defending the WWE United States Championship against the Big Show. The video showed clips from their bout at WrestleMania of Cena hauling Show up for the F-U, and followed with brief soundbites from both superstars regarding their rematch next week. (86%)

Backstage at the arena, cameras showed WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero warming up for his main event shot at WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero while his father, Chavo "Classic" Guerrero Sr., patted him on the back and provided words of encouragement. Chavo Classic told his son that he was "the original Latino Heat" and knew Eddie better than Eddie knew himself, which would result in Chavo Jr. becoming the first superstar ever to hold the WWE Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Titles. (73%)

WWE Championship Match: Chavo Guerrero vs. Eddie Guerrero [champion]

Chavo Classic accompanied the WWE Cruiserweight Champion to the ring, while Tazz suggested that Eddie Guerrero saving Rey Mysterio from John Bradshaw Layfield would have a psychological effect on the WWE Champion since it threw off his concentration. This was a tremendous athletic main event featuring heated back-and-forth action and numerous close near-falls as Chavo took the fight right to Uncle Eddie, who did seem a bit distracted in the early going but got his head back in the game and exchanged fast-paced maneuvers and holds with his nephew. Late in the championship contest, Chavo Classic grabbed the WWE Cruiserweight Title belt and hopped up in the apron, but was stopped by referee Nick Patrick, causing him to drop the belt in the ring. Chavo Jr. managed to pick up the strap and swung it at Eddie, but Latino Heat ducked and kicked Chavo in the gut, forcing him to drop the gold. Eddie then drilled Chavo with a DDT on the belt, discarded the gold, and knocked Classic off the apron en route to climbing to the top turnbuckle and diving off with the Frog Splash to earn the three-count and retain the WWE Championship. Afterwards, Eddie fended off a poorly-executed sneak attack by Chavo Classic and put him down with the "Three Amigos" rolling vertical suplexes before squashing him with the Frog Splash. After disposing of Los Chavos, Latino Heat celebrated with his WWE Title belt until Booker T, in street clothes, charged into the squared circle and attacked Eddie from behind. Booker pounded Guerrero and planted him with the Book End, then trash-talked him as the commentators recalled how Booker went to a no-contest with the WWE Champion last week. The Book stood over Latino Heat and claimed that he was the most talented superstar on SmackDown as the crowd booed and Styles and Tazz signed off. (89%)

Overall: 77%

Rating: 6.23

Attendance: 7,529

Ticket Sales: $301,160



* Hosts: Michael Cole and Josh Matthews.

* The Shooting Star Express (Billy Kidman & Paul London) vs. Oman Turtoga & Diablo Santiago: Competitive squash here for the newly-christened Shooting Star Express, ending when London covered Turtoga following the jaw-dropping Double SSP, in which both London & Kidman soared off opposite turnbuckles with simultaneous Shooting Star Presses. (51%)

* At ringside, Marissa Mazzola interviewed the Shooting Star Express, who talked about taking on all comers and earning their way to the top of the SmackDown tag team rankings. (65%)

* A Full Blooded Italians vignette aired, featuring Nunzio, Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli, and Chuck Palumbo in a dark smoky room, surrounded by men in suits and ties. In the style of "George Steinbrenner's" appearances on Seinfeld, a man with greying hair in a finely tailored suit was sitting behind a desk, his back to the camera, with the FBI in front of him. The man mumbled some unintelligible words, Godfather-style, which Nunzio apparently understood and responded that the FBI wouldn't let him down, promising to add SmackDown to the empire. (55%)

* Ultimo Dragon vs. Pablo Marquez: The commentators discussed Gail Kim's appearance on SmackDown and her offer to Ultimo Dragon and Funaki during this competitive squash. In the end, Ultimo forced Pablo to tap out to the Dragon Sleeper. (53%)

* In the dressing room, Marissa Mazzola interviewed Dawn Marie, who was dressed in tight leather as she stated that she enjoyed "doubling her pleasure", revealing that she was the new manager of the Basham Brothers. Doug & Danny appeared on either side of her with perverted grins on their faces as Dawn explained that she was taking them to the WWE Tag Team Championship, starting tonight with Doug's one-on-one match-up against Scotty 2 Hotty. (66%)

* Doug Basham vs. Scotty 2 Hotty: Dawn Marie and Danny Basham escorted Doug, while Scotty 2 Hotty brought his co-WWE Tag Team Championship partner Rikishi to ringside with him. Solid, if uninspired, Velocity main event that went back-and-forth until the end, when Scotty built momentum and dropped the Worm on Doug. However, referee Brian Hebner was distracted when Dawn got up on the apron and flirted with Scotty & Rikishi, allowing Danny to switch places with Doug. When the official returned to the action, Danny wrapped up Scotty in a small package for the 1-2-3. (63%)

Overall: 55%

Rating: 4.05

Attendance: 7,529

Ticket Sales: $301,160



* Hosts: Todd Grisham (sitting in for Jonathan Coachman, still suffering the effects of Tajiri's mist on RAW) and Jim Cornette, replacing Al Snow who chose to leave WWE when the majority of his Tough Enough "graduates" were cut.

* Maven vs. Chris Bosh: Ironic. Semi-competitive squash to open up Heat, ending when Maven hit a beautiful Ricky Steamboat-style flying bodypress off the top turnbuckle. (62%)

* Jeff Johnson, a new addition to the WWE broadcast team, interviewed Maven at ringside. The first Tough Enough winner cut a good babyface promo saying that he had a bright future ahead of him. (79%)

* A pre-recorded promo aired featuring Christian and Trish Stratus laughing about double-crossing Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XX. Trish insulted Y2J's manhood and claimed that she was with a real man now. Christian added that they would show Jericho how well they worked together in their Handicap Match at WWE Backlash, then made out with Trish as the camera faded out. (84%)

* In the ring, Steven Richards had the microphone and claimed that, as General Manager of "Stevie Night Heat", he had collaborated with RAW GM Eric Bischoff on a new project: the introduction of the World Television Championship! Richards announced that the tournament, which would feature underrated superstars that had been overlooked on RAW with the semi-finals on next week's pre-PPV Heat and final at WWE Backlash, would begin tonight as a graphic displayed the brackets: Maven vs. Matt Hardy, Lance Storm vs. Chris Harvard, Tommy Dreamer vs. Rico, and Val Venis vs. Steven Richards. Stevie ordered Val to come out and "take his beating like a man" so that he could move on and be crowned the brand-new World Television Champion next week. (69%)

* World Television Title Tournament - First Round: Steven Richards vs. Val Venis: Val Venis came out like a house-on-fire and dominated the early going, but Steven Richards fought back with his wily ways. Late in the match-up, Venis slammed Richards and went to the top turnbuckle for the Money Shot, but suddenly Victoria appeared at ringside and turned heel by pulling Val's feet out from under him, crotching the former Intercontinental Champion on the turnbuckles. Richards quickly joined Venis up on top and took him down with a sweet "FrankenStevie" for the three-count to advance to the semi-finals. Afterwards, Stevie and Victoria shared a deranged embrace and celebrated the victory. (78%)

* A video aired to hype the main event of tomorrow night's RAW, a rematch from last week pitting Shelton Benjamin against Triple H. In the brief soundbites that followed, HHH vowed to get even for last week's upset, while Shelton confidently promised to make it two in a row. (75%)

* Backstage at the arena, Jeff Johnson interviewed the La Resistance combination of Sylvain Grenier & Rob Conway, who insisted on being called "Robert", pronounced "Ro-bair". La Resistance planned on beating Rosey & Hurricane tonight to earn a shot at the World Tag Team Championship tomorrow night on RAW. (59%)

* La Resistance (Robert Conway & Sylvain Grenier) vs. The Hurricane & Rosey: Perfectly acceptable tag team action in the evening's main event, as the commentators reiterated that the winners would challenge World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair & Batista tomorrow night on RAW. In the end, while Rosey and Conway brawled at ringside, the Hurricane covered Grenier following the Overcast from the top turnbuckle. (71%)

Overall: 69%

Rating: 4.96

Attendance: 7,534

Ticket Sales: $301,360


Since for some reason in RXEWR25 (the update I used for this scenario) Backlash 2004 is scheduled for April 11, rather than April 18 when it actually happened, and I didn't notice until it was too late to change it, I'm going to have to use the card that actually happened with some changes. Here's the lineup so far...

World Heavyweight Title/Triple Threat Match: Chris Benoit [champion] vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

WWE Intercontinental Title/Hardcore Match: Randy Orton [champion] vs. Mick Foley

Intergender Handicap Match: Chris Jericho vs. Christian & Trish Stratus

Edge vs. Kane

World Television Title Tournament - Final

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Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler introduced the show from their usual position near the entrance area, hyping this Sunday's WWE Backlash and running down this evening's program: Ric Flair & Batista defending the World Tag Team Championship against Rosey & Hurricane, the remainder of the opening-round bouts in the World Television Championship tournament, Edge on Chris Jericho's "Highlight Reel", Tajiri facing Garrison Cade, and in the main event, a rematch from last week between Triple H and Shelton Benjamin.

WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton kicked things off by striding out in a suit and tie, carrying his title belt, to a loud round of boos and took the microphone. The cocky third-generation superstar insulted the crowd and bragged about scoring the winning pinfall at WrestleMania XX, stating that the next stop on the "2004 Legend Killer Tour" would be this Sunday in Edmonton at WWE Backlash, where he promised to once and for all end the legend of Mick Foley in his own kind of warfare: a Hardcore Match. The Legend Killer continued to rip on Foley until the Hardcore Legend's disembodied voice echoed throughout the arena, surprising Orton. The former WWF Champion claimed that he wouldn't be facing Orton at Backlash, confusing the Intercontinental Champion, who demanded that Foley show himself. Foley reiterated he wouldn't be wrestling Orton on Sunday, then stepped through the curtain in his Cactus Jack gear and stated the obvious: that Orton would be meeting Cactus Jack in the Hardcore Match at Backlash! Cactus quickly charged into the ring and began brawling with Orton, ripping off his expensive jacket and tossing him over the top rope by the tie. The two gladiators slugged it out around ringside, busting Orton open in the process, before they spilled into the crowd as the Legend Killer tried to escape, but Jack brought the fight right to him and they disappeared through a doorway. (83%)

World Television Title Tournament - First Round: Tommy Dreamer vs. Rico

The bizarre Rico was escorted by Miss Jackie for this solid opener that was an interesting contrast in styles between Tommy Dreamer's no-nonsense hardcore mindset and the antics of Rico. Ross mentioned that the winner would meet Steven Richards in the semi-finals on the pre-PPV Sunday Night Heat, as Rico was able to score the three-count on Dreamer following a roundhouse kick to the head. (70%)

Between the commercial break, cameras in the concession stands showed Cactus Jack and Randy Orton, his bloodstained shirt in tatters and missing his tie, still battling as security and WWE agents tried in vain to separate them.

World Television Title Tournament - First Round: Rhyno vs. Lance Storm

No mention was made of Christopher Nowinski, who was originally supposed to wrestle Lance Storm but was released from WWE over the weekend due to his history of concussions and injuries. Good back-and-forth action here as Rhyno used his power while Storm countered with his mastery of scientific grappling and put the Man Beast away with a nicely-executed springboard clothesline to advance to the semi-finals. (74%)

Cameras showed the Randy Orton/Cactus Jack brawl had spilled out into the parking lot, with the WWE Intercontinental Champion now shirtless.

World Television Title Tournament - First Round: Matt Hardy vs. Maven

Basic but solid match-up here as Ross pointed out that the winner would face Lance Storm in the semi-finals on Sunday. The commentators also mentioned that RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff was away on business this week, trying to figure out how to negotiate with Paul Heyman regarding Brock Lesnar returning to SmackDown. Maven scored a few near-falls but Matt Hardy took the victory with the Twist Of Fate to move on to the next round. (72%)

In the parking lot, cameras showed that Cactus Jack and Randy Orton had finally been separated, as the Intercontinental Champion collapsed on the hood of a car and the Hardcore Legend shouted out his trademark "Bang Bang!"

World Tag Team Title Match: The Hurricane & Rosey vs. Evolution (Batista & Ric Flair) [champions]

Lawler bemoaned the fact that Randy Orton had been massacred by Cactus Jack without any back-up because the other members of Evolution were preparing for their own matches tonight. Ross recalled that Rosey & Hurricane earned this title shot with their impressive victory over La Resistance last night on Heat, as the Super Heroes looked good and engaged in an entertaining, competitive bout against the World Tag Team Champions, scoring a handful of near-falls on the Nature Boy. In the end, Evolution isolated Rosey and worked him over before Batista displayed his immense strength and planted the 350-pounder with the Demon Bomb for the 1-2-3. (78%)

After a commercial break, the "Highlight Reel" set was set-up in the ring with Chris Jericho in the center, talking about what a huge event this Sunday's Backlash would be. Y2J briefly discussed his Intergender Handicap Match against Christian & Trish Stratus, but added that it would also be a big night for his guest since it would be his return from a serious neck injury, introducing Edge, who was greeted by a nice pop from the fans. Edge claimed that he was tired of seeing Kane bully people smaller than himself, which was why he made the save for Tajiri last week, and looked forward to dealing out some justice this Sunday at Backlash. Jericho and Edge exchanged insults about their respective Backlash opponents until Trish & Christian appeared on the stage with a microphone and accused Y2J of jealousy because Trish chose Christian. While Edge and Jericho were distracted, Kane emerged from the audience and assaulted Edge from behind. When Jericho attempted to help his guest, Christian ran in and blindsided Y2J. With Trish cheerleading from ringside, Christian spiked Jericho with the Unprettier while Kane buried Edge with the Chokeslam To Hell. They both left, although not together, as the fans booed. (88%)

Tajiri vs. Garrison Cade

Ross and Lawler shared a laugh over Jonathan Coachman being sprayed with green mist last week as the Coach seconded Garrison Cade, apparently his choice to exact revenge on the Japanese Buzzsaw. A solid, if slightly heatless, match-up that saw Tajiri unleash his nasty kicks, while Coachman interfered to help give Cade the advantage at one point. After some back-and-forth action, Tajiri blasted Cade with the Buzzsaw Kick for the 1-2-3. (70%)

Immediately following the bell, Jonathan Coachman began waving his arms and signaling to the back, bringing Mark Henry barreling out and sliding into the ring. The World's Strongest Man attacked Tajiri and hammered him, then scooped him up and flattened him with the World's Strongest Slam while the Coach entered the squared circle, laughing and applauding. Garrison Cade joined in, as he and Henry peeled the Japanese Buzzsaw off the mat and held him up, allowing the Coach to land a kick to the groin. Tajiri crumpled to the canvas as Coachman, Cade, and Henry exited the ring, very pleased with their work. (66%)

Backstage, Shelton Benjamin was shown walking as he headed out for his match against Triple H, but was stopped by Ric Flair. The Nature Boy advised Shelton that he could still have a healthy career if he stopped messing with Evolution, but the former two-time co-WWE Tag Team Champion replied that he wasn't too worried, because he "played the Game and won" last week, and would do so again tonight. Benjamin went to keep walking, but Slick Ric grabbed him by the arm and asked him if he knew who he was talking to. Benjamin shoved Flair away and responded defiantly, "Yeah, I know", before continuing on his way. Suddenly, Batista came out of nowhere and decapitated Shelton with a stiff lariat, then stomped him on the floor. Flair joined in the attack as the World Tag Team Champions put the boots to the RAW newcomer until Shawn Michaels and World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit arrived on the scene to make the save and chase off Batista & Flair. The Canadian Crippler and the Heartbreak Kid attended to the fallen Shelton as RAW went to commercial. (81%)

Triple H vs. Shelton Benjamin

When RAW came back from commercial, Triple H was standing in the ring with his music playing as Ross wondered if Shelton Benjamin would be able to make it out for the evening's main event. Lawler responded that the former SmackDown superstar got exactly what he deserved for being so flippant with Evolution, while Ross was agitated at the "lawlessness" of RAW tonight and announced that Tajiri vs. Mark Henry had been added to the Backlash card this Sunday, with the stipulation that if the Japanese Buzzsaw wins, he would get 5 minutes alone with Jonathan Coachman. They discussed the lineup for Backlash as the Game smiled in the squared circle and pretended to check his watch, telling referee Earl Hebner to give the decision to him via forfeit. However, Shelton Benjamin finally appeared and staggered down the ramp, flanked by Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels, to a great pop from the fans. Although Shelton enjoyed a brief spurt of offense at the outset, HHH took control due to his opponent's weakened condition and dominated the majority of the match, but Shelton refused to give up and kept kicking out of each pinfall attempt, while the Heartbreak Kid and the World Heavyweight Champion watched from the ramp. The fans rallied behind Benjamin as he mounted a comeback and scored several near-falls of his own, building momentum. Batista & Ric Flair attempted to come out to interfere but were stopped by Benoit and Michaels, getting into a scuffle on the ramp that spilled down to ringside. This distracted HHH and allowed Benjamin to slam him with the T-Bone Exploder to earn the three-count and remain undefeated against the Cerebral Assassin. (80%)

After the match, the slugfest between Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, and Batista flooded into the ring as it turned into a six-man brawl featuring Shelton Benjamin and an embarrassed Triple H. Amidst the chaos, the Heartbreak Kid aimed his Sweet Chin Music at HHH but the Game had the presence of mind to duck, so Shawn inadvertently nailed the World Heavyweight Champion with the Superkick. Michaels immediately regretted his error and stopped to check on the Crippler, giving HHH the opportunity to blindside HBK and plant him with the Pedigree. Meanwhile, with the help of the Nature Boy, Batista laid Benjamin out with a spike Demon Bomb. The three Evolution members stood over their fallen enemies and the crowd booed loudly as Ross and Lawler closed the show by hyping this Sunday's WWE Backlash. (81%)

Overall: 77%

Rating: 5.80

Attendance: 7,538

Ticket Sales: $301,520



Joey Styles and Tazz opened the UPN broadcast, wondering if Paul Heyman would really be able to bring Brock Lesnar back to SmackDown, before going through the rest of tonight's events: the WrestleMania XX rematch featuring the Big Show challenging John Cena for the WWE United States Championship, Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi defending the WWE Tag Team Championship against the Basham Brothers, Rob Van Dam facing Jamie Noble, and much more.

Michael Cole interviewed the flirtatious Dawn Marie backstage while the Basham Brothers got ready for their title shot tonight against WWE Tag Team Champions Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty. Dawn reminded Cole that Doug had pinned Scotty on Velocity over the weekend to earn the title shot, but Cole pointed out that they pulled "the old switcheroo" to win that match, angering the Bashams. Dawn advised Cole to watch his mouth and claimed it didn't matter because their "pre-match ritual" ensured that the three of them functioned as one. When Cole asked for details on this "ritual", Dawn smiled and responded that "a girl never tells", then giggled and headed out with Danny & Doug. (76%)

WWE Tag Team Title Match: The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny Basham) vs. Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty [champions]

Dawn Marie escorted the Basham Brothers as Tazz cracked jokes about the challengers' "pre-match ritual" with Dawn. This was a solid championship contest as the Bashams got in quite a bit of offense against the WWE Tag Team Champions, bending the rules, using Dawn as a distraction, and switching places a couple of times. However, near the end, referee Charles Robinson caught the Brothers trying to switch places and ordered Doug back to the apron, leaving Danny to fall victim to the Worm from Scotty 2 Hotty, followed by the Rump Shaker from Rikishi for the 1-2-3 to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. Afterwards, Dawn Marie protested the decision and threw a tantrum. (73%)

Paul Heyman was shown arriving outside the door of the backstage office of the SmackDown General Manager, but before he could knock, Theodore Long opened the door and impatiently asked if Heyman had the proof that Brock Lesnar was really considering returning to SmackDown. Heyman began to explain himself, but Long cut him off and again asked for the proof, "not ya' life story, playa." Nervously, Heyman reached into his jacket and pulled out a non-personalized autographed "Here Comes The Pain" Brock Lesnar t-shirt, handing it over to the SmackDown GM. After inspecting the evidence, Long made a classic "whatchyou talkin' 'bout, Willis?" face at Heyman and threw the shirt back at him, stating that an autographed t-shirt only proved that Brock knew how to spell his name. Long informed Heyman that he had until the end of SmackDown tonight to produce some solid evidence that Lesnar wanted to come back to SmackDown or else he would go to the WWE Board of Directors and have Heyman barred from every WWE arena across the globe indefinitely. Long said that Lesnar would be a vital addition to his brand, but he wasn't going to let Heyman play him like a fool, adding that Heyman would not be welcome in the arena tonight until he had the proof. Security guards emerged from the GM's office and dragged Heyman down the hallway kicking and screaming while Long just shook his head with disappointment. (75%)

Elsewhere backstage, Michael Cole interviewed Gail Kim and Kyo Dai, who were preparing to take on Billy Gunn & Hardcore Holly. Gail repeated her claims from last week that Asian superstars needed to band together to fight the oppressive WWE brass, and promised that Sakoda & Akio would be difficult to ignore if they took out every tag team that SmackDown had to offer. (77%)

Kyo Dai (Akio & Sakoda) vs. Hardcore Holly & "Mr. Ass" Billy Gunn

Gail Kim accompanied Kyo Dai to the ring for this match-up, which showcased the awesome tag team skills of Sakoda & Akio as they are really gelling as a duo. Billy Gunn & Hardcore Holly combated their lightning-quick speed and agility with power and good old-fashioned American brawling, but in the end, Sakoda covered Holly following the Double STO by he and Akio. (66%)

Cameras showed a red-faced Paul Heyman on a cellphone in the parking garage. The former Paul E. Dangerously looked very frustrated as he left a message, asking an unknown person on the other end where his proof was.

In the arena, John Bradshaw Layfield was making his way down the ramp dressed in a suit and tie with a cowboy hat on his head, smiling wide as he soaked in the hatred of the fans. Once in the ring, JBL took the microphone and bragged about destroying Rey Mysterio last week and WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero the week before, mentioning that he took Paul Heyman's advice from a couple of weeks ago to heart and was determined to make an impact on SmackDown. The former APA member compared himself to the average American worker in that both were overlooked in favor of cheap labor from illegal immigrants, claiming that it was people like Guerrero and Mysterio who held Bradshaw back from realizing his full potential. JBL added that he differed from the average American worker in that, unlike the fans in attendance and watching on UPN, he was smart enough to invest his money to make something out of himself. The crowd booed as Layfield continued to put himself over until the WWE Champion appeared on the stage with a mic of his own, responding that people such as himself and Rey Rey worked hard and earned what they had, unlike people like JBL and Booker T. Latino Heat brought up the sneak attack by the Book last week and accused both of them of taking shortcuts by assaulting people from behind like cowards. Eddie pulled off his t-shirt and started to walk down the ramp, but Booker ran out behind him and floored him with a clothesline to the back of the head. JBL joined Booker in stomping Guerrero on the ramp until Rey Mysterio charged out and ran the heels off by swinging a metal folding chair around. (85%)

Michael Cole interviewed WWE United States Champion John Cena as he was warming up for his main event title defense later. Rather than rapping, the Doctor Of Thuganomics cut a great promo about the strength it took to lift the 500-pound Big Show into the F-U, not just once but twice, at WrestleMania XX to win his first championship in WWE. The U.S. Champion promised to do it again tonight in their rematch and stated that, with his "Chain Gang" behind him, he would mow through every challenger that SmackDown GM Theodore Long could put in front of him. (88%)

Jamie Noble vs. Rob Van Dam

Styles and Tazz put Rob Van Dam over heavily as the new "Mr. Thursday Night" and mentioned his impressive SmackDown debut victory over Charlie Haas two weeks ago, while also giving Jamie Noble his due as a tremendous athlete and former WWE Cruiserweight Champion. These two worked great together and put on an exciting, fast-paced match-up, with RVD utilizing his trademark agility while Noble worked over his knee and managed to lock in the Trailer Hitch leglock. However, Van Dam escaped the submission and mounted a comeback that culminated in the Five Star Frog Splash for the 1-2-3. (81%)

The Big Show was shown lumbering down a backstage hallway, on his way out for the main event WWE U.S. Championship rematch from WrestleMania XX...NEXT! (88%)

WWE United States Title Match: The Big Show vs. John Cena [champion]

Durng the introductions, Styles announced that next week's main event would be a tag team affair pitting Booker T & John Bradshaw Layfield against Rey Mysterio & WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero. John Cena received a massive pop from the fans upon his entrance and showed no fear as he stepped right up to the 7-foot, 500-pound Big Show in the middle of the ring and trash-talked him. While not a Flair/Steamboat classic by any means, this was a well-worked and heated championship contest similar to their WrestleMania XX match that saw Show try to slow the pace and wear down the new WWE United States Champion with headbutts, chokeholds, and bearhugs. Eventually, the former two-time WWE Champion went for the Show Stopper chokeslam, but the Doctor Of Thuganomics broke it with a swift kick to the lower extremities and, in a scene reminiscent of Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant at WrestleMania III, scooped up the massive giant and bodyslammed him to the canvas. When the Show pulled himself back up, Cena hoisted him up for a few seconds and dropped him throat-first with a hotshot across the top rope, then hauled the behemoth across his shoulders and carried him around the ring before driving him to the mat with the F-U. Cena hooked the Show's huge leg for the three-count to retain the WWE U.S. Title. Afterwards, Cena clotheslined Show over the top rope and celebrated with his championship belt. (79%)

Backstage, flanked by the security guards, Paul Heyman knocked on the door of the SmackDown General Manager. Theodore Long answered the door and asked Heyman if he had the proof, or if he should just have him escorted right back out of the building. Heyman responded that he had the evidence and would show it to the GM if he let him in the office, so Long stepped back and excused the security guards. Heyman entered the room and when Long impatiently requested the evidence, Heyman smiled devilishly and motioned to the monitor, which showed John Cena still celebrating in the ring with the WWE United States Championship belt. Suddenly, Brock Lesnar in street clothes emerged from the crowd and stormed the squared circle, assaulting Cena from behind as Heyman laughed gleefully in Long's office and told him there was his proof right there. The former three-time WWE Champion effortlessly lifted the Doctor Of Thuganomics across his shoulders and slammed him face-first on the U.S. Title belt with the F-5 as Styles screamed his first WWE "OH MY GOD!" Brock stood triumphantly over Cena and hollered like a wild beast as Styles and Tazz signed off. (84%)

Overall: 79%

Rating: 5.73

Attendance: 7,541

Ticket Sales: $301,640



* Hosts: Michael Cole and Josh Matthews.

* Hardcore Holly & "Mr. Ass" Billy Gunn vs. Marco Jaggi & Claudio Castagnoli: Competitive squash here that ended when Hardcore covered Castagnoli following the double-team Sidewinder, the old finisher of the Smoking Gunns. (66%)

* In the locker room, Marissa Mazzola interviewed the Full Blooded Italians. Nunzio was getting ready for his match, and said tonight would be a clean sweep for the FBI when Chuck Palumbo & Johnny The Bull "knocked off" Ultimo Dragon & Funaki later. (61%)

* Nunzio vs. Petey Williams: Johnny Stamboli & Chuck Palumbo accompanied Nunzio for this surprisingly competitive match-up, as Petey showed some potential before Nunzio put him away with the Sicilian Slice. (58%)

* A video package aired to hype the tag team main event of next week's SmackDown, featuring WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio battling Booker T & John Bradshaw Layfield. (82%)

* Backstage, Funaki & Ultimo Dragon were preparing for their bout against the FBI when Gail Kim entered the room, dressed in a provocative schoolgirl uniform with her hair in pigtails. Funaki stopped cold and his jaw dropped as Gail asked sweetly if they had heard her recent offer. Funaki nodded and Gail informed him that she wasn't always as angry as she appeared on TV, then handed Funaki a piece of paper with a phone number on it and told him to call her once they made up their minds. After Gail exited, Funaki was still in shock until the Dragon patted him on the back and spoke in Japanese, leading him out for their match. (59%)

* Funaki & Ultimo Dragon vs. The Full Blooded Italians (Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli & Chuck Palumbo): Nunzio escorted his fellow FBI members for this entertaining, back-and-forth tag team main event. Funaki seemed distracted, which the commentators attributed to Gail Kim's surprise appearance. This was the Japanese tandem's downfall, as the Bull pinned Funaki following the Whack from Chuckie P. Afterwards, Dragon shook his head with disappointment as he helped Funaki to his feet. (73%)

Overall: 63%

Rating: 4.27

Attendance: 7,546

Ticket Sales: $301,840


Comments, suggestions, complaints? Bring it on. Here's the lineup for WWE Backlash this Sunday...

World Heavyweight Title/Triple Threat Match: Chris Benoit [champion] vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

WWE Intercontinental Title/Hardcore Match: Randy Orton [champion] vs. Cactus Jack

Intergender Handicap Match: Chris Jericho vs. Christian & Trish Stratus

Edge vs. Kane

Shelton Benjamin vs. Ric Flair

Tajiri vs. Mark Henry

World Television Title Tournament - Final: Steven Richards OR Rico vs. Lance Storm OR Matt Hardy

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Hey Chrono.

Gotta say the first time i read this i didn't really enjoy it, but after re-reading the first show post, followed by the new one i've gotta say that i might have been wrong. While i don't agree with some of the decisions, such as scrapping the Womans devision, and the fact that on smackdown it looks like your building to either JBL against Rey Mysterio or JBL against Eddie. But this is your diary, and it is your decision on what you do, we can't tell you what to write.

Things i have enjoyed so far have been the pairing of Dawn Marie and the Basham Brothers, as well as the Shooting Star Express, but it would be nice to see them on Smackdown soon. RAWwise everything is all good, looking forward to Backlash, but with RAW i did have one question. Tajiri verses Mark Henry on Pay Per View? WHY???????

Keep it up man

Edited by Azrael
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Thanks for the honest comments. It's a definite possiblity that I'll bring back the Women's Title in the future, but I'd rather concentrate on the underutilized male talent that RAW has for now. As for JBL, I'll be using him because I have grown to like him as a character (and I have been a Bradshaw mark since his Justin Hawk Bradshaw days) but it's highly unlikely you'll see him with the WWE Title in my universe, so don't worry. Thanks for reading.


The pre-PPV Sunday Night Heat was hosted by Todd Grisham and Jim Cornette, and featured the semi-finals of the World TV Championship tournament...

* World Television Title Tournament - Semi-Final: Steven Richards vs. Rico: Victoria escorted Steven Richards, while Miss Jackie strutted out with Rico, as Cornette celebrated the reunion of Steven and Victoria by stating that they were "made for each other". This was a solid match that saw Rico keep Richards off-balance with his bizarre behavior, and when Victoria tried to interfere, Jackie tackled her and engaged in a catfight at ringside. Meanwhile, Rico ducked the Stevenkick, slapped Stevie on the ass from behind, and rolled him up for the 1-2-3 to advance to the finals. (71%)

* World Television Title Tournament - Semi-Final: Matt Hardy vs. Lance Storm: Definitely one of the greatest matches in the history of Heat, as Lance Storm and Matt Hardy traded fast-paced maneuvers and chain-wrestling holds, both competitors scoring several near-falls before Hardy dropped Storm with the Twist Of Fate for the three-count, advancing to the finals to meet Rico. (84%)

Following Heat, Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler welcomed viewers to WWE Backlash LIVE from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and hyped the exciting lineup for this evening's pay-per-view before sending it up to ring announcer Howard "The Fink" Finkel in the squared circle.

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair vs. Shelton Benjamin

Ric Flair came out alone, flashing his World Tag Team Championship belt, while Shelton Benjamin was also solo as the commentators discussed his condition for his match against Triple H last week on RAW due to the pre-match assault by the Nature Boy & Batista, and the effect it would have on him tonight. The former 16-time World's Champion took advantage of this and spent a good part of the match-up working over the RAW newcomer's leg to wear him down for the Figure Four Leglock, which Shelton struggled to reverse and mounted a comeback as the fans rallied behind him. Slick Ric went through his usual routines to get Shelton over as the bout turned into a great re-enactment of a Flair/Sting classic from 1988, with Benjamin even using the Stinger Splash in the corner before whacking Flair with the Dragon Whip kick to earn the three-count. Afterwards, Benjamin celebrated while Batista marched down to ringside and dragged his World Tag Team Championship partner out to the floor and shouted threats at the former SmackDown superstar. (83%)

Tajri vs. Mark Henry

Tajiri entered first by himself, while Jonathan Coachman seconded Mark Henry as Ross and Lawler looked forward to the Japanese Buzzsaw winning so that he would get five minutes with the Coach, but wondered how he could overcome the 350-pounder. The World's Strongest Man dominated the early going with his obvious size and strength advantage, but Tajiri rallied back and they engaged in some back-and-forth action. The former three-time WWE Cruiserweight Champion began to build momentum and wore out the massive Henry, finally whalloping him with the Buzzsaw Kick to the back of the head before covering him for the pin. However, the Coach distracted referee Jack Doan until Doan finally shoved Coachman off the apron and returned to register the pinfall for Tajiri. Immediately after the bell, Coachman slid into the ring and began stomping Tajiri, which Lawler praised since it counted as part of their five minutes. When Tajiri fought back, Garrison Cade hit the ring and jumped the Japanese Buzzsaw from behind, helping the Coach beat him back down to the mat until Rhyno made an apparent face turn by charging down to the squared circle and clotheslining Cade, then tossing Coach over the top rope. When Henry finally rose, Rhyno knocked him through the ropes and out to the floor with a wicked Gore. The Man Beast checked on Tajiri as Ross claimed that they had a mutual respect datng back to their days in ECW and was glad to see Rhyno "be a stand-up guy" and make the save. (76%)

Kane vs. Edge

Ross reminded viewers that this was Edge's wrestling return to RAW from a serious neck injury after being drafted from SmackDown, while Lawler predicted it could also be his last match against a sadistic monster like Kane. The Big Red Machine focused his attack on Edge's neck after an early spurt of offense from the former four-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, trying to extract a submission with an agonizing hangman's neckbreaker, but Edge battled back and caught Kane with the Spear before drilling him with the Edgecution DDT for the 1-2-3. Afterwards, Kane yelled at himself at ringside and tossed the ring steps, expressing his unhappiness at his recent losing streak, while Edge soaked in the cheers of his fellow Canadians. (82%)

World Television Title Tournament - Final: Matt Hardy vs. Rico

Miss Jackie escorted Rico to ringside as Ross recalled the roads both men took to get to the tournament final: Rico had beaten Tommy Dreamer and Steven Richards, while Matt Hardy handled Maven and Lance Storm. This turned out to be a pretty good match-up as Rico abadoned his mannerisms after Hardy dominated the early moments, and they put on a fast-paced wrestling clinic, exchanging holds and scoring near-falls on each other until Rico accidentally bumped referee Chad Patton with a roundhouse kick when Matt ducked. The former WWE Cruiserweight Champion went out to the floor and snatched the revived World Television Championship belt from the timekeeper's table, but Jackie came over and tried to stop him. In the ensuing tug-of-war, Matt shoved Jackie into the ringside barrier and took the strap into the ring, preparing to hit Rico with it. However, Lita raced out to a great pop and slid in behind Matt, yanking the belt out of her former boyfriend's hands. Matt turned around and couldn't believe his eyes as Lita swore that she wouldn't let Matt use the belt. Suddenly, Lita turned and smashed Rico with the gold, drawing a huge negative reaction, before retreating to ringside while Hardy smiled and covered Rico for the slow three-count from the groggy official to become the brand-new World Television Champion, the first-ever in WWE. Afterwards, Matt and Lita embraced and shared a kiss over the TV belt, which was interrupted by Miss Jackie. An angry Lita bashed Jackie in the face with the belt and grinned, then returned to kissing Matt as the fans booed loudly. (90%)

WWE Intercontinental Title/Hardcore Match: Randy Orton [champion] vs. Cactus Jack

Randy Orton drew some good heel heat when he walked out first pushing a shopping cart with a garbage can and a few weapons inside, looking very cocky and prepared, until Cactus Jack wheeled out a steel dumpster full of weapons, scaring the crap out of the Legend Killer and getting a loud pop from the fans. Great start to a great Hardcore Match that saw both gladiators bleed and brawl all over the arena, through the crowd, near the commentators' desk, and up to the stage where the dumpster was situated. Cactus scored a close near-fall after climbing on top of the dumpster and dropping the Suicide Elbow onto the WWE Intercontinental Champion. Orton scored a few near-falls of his own and set up a table beside the dumpster, then laid Cactus on the table and got up on the dumpster. However, before Orton could leap off, Cactus got up and joined the third-generation superstar on top of the dumpster, where they slugged it out and Jack kicked out of a DDT. The finish came when the Legend Killer grabbed Cactus by the head and leapt off the dumpster, bringing Foley crashing down through the table with the RKO in a "holy shit" spot. Orton threw his arm across Jack's chest and referee Mike Chioda administered the 1-2-3, retaining the WWE Intercontinental Championship for the Evolution member. Afterwards, Orton had to be helped to the back by a bevy of WWE officials, while Mick was assisted only by long-time friend and mentor Terry Funk, who Ross explained was recently visiting members of the Hart family in Calgary and was visiting backstage. (83%)

Intergender Handicap Match: Christian & Trish Stratus vs. Chris Jericho

The commentators discussed the history between these three, including Trish Stratus double-crossing Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XX which allowed Christian to pin the former Undisputed Champion. This was a well-worked match-up with plenty of crowd heat as Y2J alternated between serious, when taking the fight to Christian, and playfully sadistic, such as when he repeatedly spanked Trish hard after tying Christian in the ropes. Trish & Christian even pulled off a couple of nice double-teams, but when they went for the Poetry In Motion on Jericho in the corner, Y2J caught Trish and dumped her over the top rope to the floor, leaving the two former World Tag Team Championship partners to duke it out. They exchanged rapid-fre moves and countermoves before Y2J managed to apply the Walls Of Jericho on Christian, but before the former three-time WWE Intercontinental Champion could tap out, Trish returned to the ring and broke it up. Jericho immediately grabbed Trish in the Walls, but Christian got to his feet and locked up Jericho, drilling him with the Unprettier. Christian then rolled Trish on top of Jericho to give her the deciding pinfall to win the Intergender Handicap Match. Afterwards, Christian held Jericho on his knees with his arms out to his sides so that Trish could slap him across the face, then they stomped Y2J and left to a heavy negatve reaction. (84%)

World Heavyweight Title/Triple Threat Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H vs. Chris Benoit [champion]

Ric Flair seconded Triple H, while Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels entered solo, as Ross praised their classic Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania XX in which the Rabid Wolverine captured the World Heavyweight Championship, and explained that tonight's contest would be held under elimination rules. While not quite at the level of their WrestleMania three-way, this was a tremendous main event that had the crowd excited from start to finish as they were 100% behind hometown hero Benoit, who looked strong as he chopped away at both challengers. The Nature Boy tried to interfere, but Shelton Benjamin rushed out and dragged Flair up the aisle, distracting the Game, who then fell victim to Sweet Chin Music and was pinned by the Heartbreak Kid for the first elimination to a loud pop. Meanwhile, Batista charged out and attacked Benjamin on the ramp before several WWE officials intervened. HBK and the Canadian Crippler stood face-to-face and engaged in a hard-hitting match-up of their own with numerous near-falls and awesome chain-wrestling sequences, as Benoit targeted the arm that HHH had worked on earlier. Shawn refused to stay down, kicking out of the Swandive Headbutt and even escaping from the Crippler Crossface on two occasions, but after unloading eight Rolling Germans in a row, Benoit locked in the Crossface one more time and forced Michaels to tap out to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. Afterwards, Benoit celebrated with his big gold belt and soaked in the adulation of his hometown crowd as Ross and Lawler signed off. (86%)

Overall: 83%

Buyrate: 1.54

Paid Attendance: 16,137

PPV Revenue: $3,850,000

Ticket Sales: $968,220


Hope you enjoyed it...feedback as always is welcome.

Edited by Chrononaut
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Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler introduced the show LIVE from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, raving about last night's WWE Backlash before the music of Shawn Michaels interrupted them as the Heartbreak Kid made his way to the ring and picked up the microphone. The former four-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion talked about the grueling Triple Threat Match at Backlash last night, mentioning that he had pinned former champ Triple H, and requested that Chris Benoit come down to the ring. The World Heavyweight Champion marched out to a deafening pop and played to the crowd before HBK asked for the Crippler's attention, because he had something to say. When Benoit walked over to him, Michaels praised him for his world-class skills and claimed that the Rabid Wolverine had the potential to become the greatest World Champion of all time, even better than HBK himself, pointing out that Benoit was the better man last night. Benoit called their one-on-one exchange last night after HHH was eliminated one of the toughest fights he'd ever had in his career and extended his hand in a sign of respect. When Shawn went to accept the handshake, they were interrupted by 3/4 of Evolution, as Triple H and World Tag Team Champions Batista & Ric Flair appeared on the stage with a mic in HHH's hand. The Game apologized for interrupting their "lovefest" but reminded them that he held his own until Shelton Benjamin came out and "distracted" him, demanding another rematch for the championship. The Wolverine recalled that he made HHH tap out at WrestleMania XX, HHH was pinned by Shelton two weeks in a row on RAW, and Shawn pinned him last night, so he would have to get back in line for another title shot, enraging the Cerebral Assassin, who declared that RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff would give him another match anyway. HBK interrupted and made an offer: he and Benoit would team up to challenge Flair & Batista for the World Tag Team Championship tonight, but if the champs could beat them, HHH would get his title shot at Benoit. The Crippler looked incredulously at Shawn as if to say, "What the hell?", but before he could voice his opinion, HHH accepted the challenge, surprising his fellow Evolution members. The fans cheered as Michaels tried to reassure Benoit while the Game did the same on the stage with the Nature Boy & Batista, setting up our RAW main event. (85%)

La Resistance (Robert Conway & Sylvain Grenier) vs. The Hurricane & Rosey

Ross mentioned that this was a rematch from Sunday Night Heat a week ago and proceeded to hype tonight's World Tag Team Title main event throughout this solid bout that saw the advantage go back-and-forth several times. The end came when Robert Conway covered Rosey after he and Sylvain Grenier lifted the 350-pounder and dropped him with the Au Revoir double-team. (72%)

RAW GM Eric Bischoff was shown in his backstage office having a very heated telephone conversation, ordering the person on the other end to "see if we can still steal him away from SmackDown, damn it!", obviously refering to Brock Lesnar. After slamming the phone down, there was a knock on the door, so Bischoff yelled to come in. The door opened to reveal William Regal in a suit and tie, making his return to WWE from a lengthy sabbatical. The former WWE Intercontinental and two-time co-World Tag Team Champion stated that he was in the best shape of his life and wanted to get back to work, even if it meant starting at the bottom of the ladder again. Bischoff informed him that he would need a "30-day medical clearance" form to place Regal back on the active roster, but the RAW GM assured him they could work something out in the meantime. In fact, Bischoff claimed to have the perfect job for Regal and patted him on the back as the camera faded out. (77%)

Maven vs. Christian

Trish Stratus escorted Christian to the ring as Lawler crowed about Trish's pinfall on Chris Jericho in the Intergender Handicap Match last night at Backlash, which Ross correctly attributed to the Unprettier from Christian. Maven took advantage of Christian's overconfidence in the early going and scored a couple of near-falls, but Christian turned things around and put the Tough Enough winner away with the Unprettier. (77%)

After the match, Christian made out with Trish Stratus in the ring and celebrated his victory until Chris Jericho appeared on the stage with a microphone and a metal folding chair, explaining that he was trying to control his temper, so rather than running down and "beating the everloving hell" out of his former World Tag Team Championship partner, he was issuing a challenge to a one-on-one rematch. Chrstian responded that he had to think about it for a minute, then made out with Trish again to some loud boos. He repeated this routine a couple of times, until Y2J had finally had enough and charged down to the squared circle. Christian & Trish ducked out just in time as Jericho grazed Christian with the chair and screamed that he wanted him one-on-one. As he retreated up the ramp, Christian informed Jericho that if he wanted a piece of him, it would be on his terms only, and offered a tag team match next week with a partner of his choice, sarcastically adding that he hoped Y2J could find a partner that wouldn't turn on him. This was the last straw, as a pissed-off Jericho raced up the aisle with the chair and chased Trish & Christian behind the curtain. (92%)

Garrison Cade vs. Rhyno

Mark Henry seconded Garrison Cade, while Rhyno had Tajiri by his side as the commentators discussed Rhyno's face turn last night at Backlash when he saved Tajiri from Henry & Cade. This was a solid, if unremarkable, contest that saw Rhyno dominate most of the action, although Garrison got some offense in after the World's Strongest Man tripped up the Man Beast from ringside. Nonetheless, Rhyno rebounded with the Gore on Cade to earn the victory. Afterwards, a four-man brawl erupted with Tajiri, Rhyno, Henry, and Cade in the ring until Tajiri & Rhyno managed to clear the heels out. (68%)

Following a commercial break, WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton strode down to the ring in his wrestling gear and took the microphone, bragging about his successful championship defense against Cactus Jack in the Hardcore Match last night at Backlash. The Legend Killer explained that he had wanted to continue the "2004 Legend Killer Tour" with the "Legend Killer Challenge", offering a title shot to a different legend every week starting tonight, but admitted that he wasn't 100% tonight due to the punishment he absorbed last night, so it would have to wait until next week. The third-generation superstar claimed that Calgary didn't have any real legends anyway so it was no big loss, but when he went to leave the ring, Terry Funk emerged from the entrance curtain to a big pop carrying a mic and called Orton a "cowardly, egg-suckin' dog". The Funker told the Evolution member that he was accepting the "Legend Killer Challenge" if he had the "balls" and dedicated the match to Mick Foley and the legendary Hart Family, leaving Orton no choice but to wrestle the former NWA World Heavyweight Champion. (83%)

WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Randy Orton [champion] vs. Terry Funk

Terry Funk caught Randy Orton by surprise to kick things off, opening up on the WWE Intercontinental Champion with lefts and rights as Ross informed viewers that the veteran Funker was visiting backstage last night at Backlash and today at RAW. Funk looked strong and registered a few near-falls, which Lawler attributed to the Legend Killer's weakened condition, as Orton sold like a champ until taking the advantage and dishing out some punishment. Following some good back-and-forth action late in the championship contest, Orton drilled Funk with the RKO for the 1-2-3. Afterwards, the WWE Intercontinental Champion kicked the former ECW and NWA World Heavyweight Champion out of the ring and celebrated his successful title defense. (77%)

Backstage, RAW GM Eric Bischoff led William Regal to a room and told him this was the important task he had, opening the door to reveal a bearded man in a ring jacket and wrestling trunks, looking very excited. Bischoff introduced Regal to his nephew Eugene, his sister's "special" son who had been a wrestling fan his entire life. Eugene hugged his "Uncle Eric" and enthusiastically shook Regal's hand, recalling in true "Rain Man" fashion the British superstar's four WCW Television Championships, four WWE European Championships, one WWE Intercontinental Championship, and two World Tag Team Championships with Lance Storm. Bischoff rolled his eyes and asked Eugene to give he and Regal a few minutes alone, so Eugene happily bounded off elsewhere while the RAW GM explained to William that he had promised his sister that he would give Eugene an opportunity to become a wrestler. Bischoff wondered if Regal, due to his background, could "train" Eugene and show him just how difficult it was to be a wrestler, adding that if Eugene should happen to get discouraged and just give up and go home, there might be an opening on the active RAW roster for Regal. Bischoff winked and told Regal to think about it and give him an answer next week, leaving Regal to ponder his decision. (75%)

Elsewhere in a locker room, Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit were getting ready for their main event shot at the World Tag Team Championship. The World Heavyweight Champion kept staring silently at the Heartbreak Kid until finally asking him how and why he came up with the idea to face Ric Flair & Batista tonight, with the opportunity for Triple H to get another title shot in the balance. HBK responded that he knew RAW GM Eric Bischoff would grant HHH another rematch sooner or later anyway, so he thought they could "nip it in the bud" right away, and in the process take the World Tag Team Title from Evolution. The Rabid Wolverine nodded as Shawn added that if it all worked out tonight, maybe Benoit could give him a one-on-one shot at the big gold belt in the future. Michaels slapped Benoit on the back and told him he would see him out there before exiting the room as the Canadian Crippler still looked suspicious. (80%)

World Tag Team Title Match: Evolution (Batista & "Nature Boy" Ric Flair) [champions] vs. Chris Benoit & Shawn Michaels

During the introductions, Ross announced that next week's RAW main event had just been signed, pitting Christian & Kane against Chris Jericho & Edge. As expected, Chris Benoit received a massive pop from the Calgary crowd, while Shawn Michaels was booed loudly, leading to a very heated main event with some great back-and-forth tag team action. The World Tag Team Champions used their superior experience as a unit to their advantage, as they made frequent tags to wear down the World Heavyweight Champion, putting the Canadian fans in the unusual position of rooting for the Heartbreak Kid to get the tag. Mid-way through the championship contest, just when the Wolverine was mounting a comeback, Triple H appeared on the ramp to watch the match, distracting Benoit long enough for Evolution to regain the advantage. The Canadian Crippler took a hellacious beating but refused to be pinned as the fans rallied behind him and he made the hot tag to HBK, who rushed in and cleaned house. In the ensuing chaos, HHH tried to get involved but was once again foiled by Shelton Benjamin, who raced out and jumped on the Game at ringside, brawling with him up the ramp. Meanwhile, Benoit tumbled out to the floor with Batista as HBK nailed Ric Flair with the Sweet Chin Music and pinned the Nature Boy to capture the World Tag Team Championship. Afterwards, Michaels & Benoit celebrated with their new title belts and Flair & Batista fumed at ringside while Ross and Lawler signed off. (84%)

Overall: 79%

Rating: 5.74

Attendance: 8,004

Ticket Sales: $320,160



Joey Styles and Tazz opened the UPN broadcast and announced the evening's lineup: Rey Mysterio & WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero battling John Bradshaw Layfield & Booker T in the main event, Ultimo Dragon taking on Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam facing A-Train, and much more.

Cameras outside the arena showed a white limousine with bull horns on the hood pulling up. The door opened and John Bradshaw Layfield emerged in a suit and tie along with Booker T, who told JBL that he was glad to find somebody else on SmackDown who knew how to "ride in style". The duo were met by Michael Cole, who asked when Bradshaw started riding in a limo. JBL replied that if he wanted to be a "main event player", he had to look and act like one, just like his partner tonight, the "5-time, 5-time, 5-time, 5-time, 5-time" WCW Champion. The Book stated that he only wanted to associate with the top talent SmackDown had to offer since he was a superior RAW superstar and promised to prove it by pinning the WWE Champion tonight. (82%)

The Shooting Star Express (Billy Kidman & Paul London) vs. Hardcore Holly & "Mr. Ass" Billy Gunn

Styles and Tazz put the Shooting Star Express over as SmackDown's premiere up-and-coming young tag team as Paul London & Billy Kidman were greeted by a respectable pop from the crowd, including a large female contingent. This was a solid opening contest that went back-and-forth, pitting strength against speed, until London covered Mr. Ass following the 450 Splash from the top turnbuckle while Kidman slammed Hardcore Holly with the BK Bomb. (74%)

Backstage, Michael Cole announced that a 10-man Cruiserweight Battle Royal would take place next week with the winner receiving a WWE Cruiserweight Championship shot against Chavo Guerrero on Sunday, May 16, at WWE Judgment Day, featuring Rey Mysterio, Akio, Ultimo Dragon, Spike Dudley, Funaki, Billy Kidman, Paul London, Jamie Noble, co-WWE Tag Team Champion Scotty 2 Hotty, and his guest, Nunzio, who was flanked by Chuck Palumbo & Johnny The Bull. Nunzio was preparing to meet Funaki one-on-one tonight and claimed that he would do to Funaki what he would do to the other competitors in next week's battle royal. (74%)

Funaki vs. Nunzio

Funaki came out alone, while Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli & Chuck Palumbo walked out alongside Nunzio as Styles recalled that Palumbo & Stamboli defeated Funaki & Ultimo Dragon over the weekend on Velocity. The crowd was drawn into this well-worked bout as they exchanged matholds and near-falls while the commentators hyped next week's 10-man Cruiserweight Battle Royal. During the match-up, Gail Kim appeared on the stage, flanked by Sakoda & Akio, and took notes on a clipboard. Her presence seemed to distract Funaki, who fell victim to the Sicilian Slice to give Nunzio the pinfall. Afterwards, Kyo Dai raced down the ramp and began brawling with the Full Blooded Italians as Funaki's partner, Ultimo Dragon, ran out to join the fray. Before long, Spike Dudley, the Shooting Star Express, and Jamie Noble filled the ring to get involved in the donnybrook, which had to be broken up by numerous WWE officials. (71%)

In the backstage office of the SmackDown General Manager, Theodore Long was meeting with Paul Heyman, who asked if last week's appearance of Brock Lesnar was enough proof that the former three-time WWE Champion was considering a return to SmackDown. The SmackDown GM was bothered by the "evidence" and informed Heyman that WWE United States Champion John Cena was irate over the assault and had urged Long to do whatever it took to re-sign Brock, putting Long in a tough spot. Heyman grinned like the Cheshire Cat and stated that they had better discuss terms of the deal, so Long inquired what he wanted. Heyman responded that since Cena was so angry, he shouldn't mind putting his WWE U.S. Championship on the line against Lesnar at WWE Judgment Day. Long told Heyman he would get in touch with the Doctor Of Thugonomics, but Heyman added that he also wanted a WWE Tag Team Title shot on May 16 for a tandem of his choice, an "executive position" for Brock's fiancee Sable, and to regain his Manager's License to negotiate with SmackDown superstars. Long shook his head and replied that he wasn't sure, but Heyman mentioned that he had received hundreds of messages from RAW GM Eric Bischoff and could start to negotiate with him at any time. The SmackDown GM gave in and said that he would have the contract drawn up and ready to be signed next week if Heyman brought Lesnar to SmackDown. The two men shook hands as Heyman smiled and claimed that it was nice doing business with Long. (79%)

A-Train vs. "Mr. Thursday Night" Rob Van Dam

The commentators hyped next week's Brock Lesnar contract signing during this surprisingly good match-up that saw Rob Van Dam take some nice bumps for the monstrous A-Train, while also getting in some of his unique offense. Tazz pointed out that RVD was undefeated on SmackDown since being drafted from RAW, as Mr. Thursday Night managed to fell the Train and land the Five Star Frog Splash for the three-count. (77%)

Following a commercial break, Kurt Angle was stepping through the ropes, dressed to wrestle, and took the microphone, bringing up the personal chokeslam he received from the Undertaker two weeks ago. The 1996 Olympic Champion recited his achievements, including his gold medal and four WWE Championship reigns, declaring that he deserved a WWE Title shot more than anybody else on the SmackDown roster. Angle added that he would be more than happy to prove it to the Undertaker, face-to-face without any "cheap parlor tricks" if the Phenom was up for the challenge, and advised the Dead Man to watch his match tonight before making his decision, calling out Ultimo Dragon. (95%)

Kurt Angle vs. Ultimo Dragon

Ultimo Dragon made his entrance to polite applause and proceeded to engage in a great match-up with Kurt Angle, who gave the former two-time WCW Cruiserweight Champion quite a bit of offense and sold for him like he was a heavyweight as Tazz complained about the Undertaker attacking Angle "in the dark" a couple of weeks ago. The Dragon scored a handful of near-falls but the Olympian regained the advantage and planted Ultimo with the Angle Slam followed by the Angle Lock, forcing Dragon to tap out. Afterwards, the former four-time WWE Champion celebrated his submission victory until the arena lights began to flicker, sending the Olympic Champion retreating up the ramp in classic Angle fashion. (80%)

Backstage, Rey Mysterio & WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero were shown warming up for their main event tag team encounter with John Layfield & Booker T. Rey Rey was looking forward to getting revenge on Bradshaw for sneak-attacking him two weeks ago, while Latino Heat had a score to settle with both of their opponents and could hardly wait to get his hands on them. (92%)

Booker T & John Bradshaw Layfield vs. "Latino Heat" Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio

John Bradshaw Layfield and Booker T had separate entrances, while WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero gave Rey Mysterio a ride in his lowrider together to a great pop from the fans as the commentators explained that Rey & Eddie had been friends throughout their careers and described how they recently started to watch each other's backs after sneak-attacks from the Book & JBL. A heated tag team main event here, as Latino Heat & Rey Rey used their superior skills as a team to combat the size, strength, and skullduggery of Booker & Bradshaw, who actually worked well in tandem as Styles recalled that both heels had extensive tag team experience with different partners. Both squads traded near-falls throughout the back-and-forth action until Booker T waylayed Mysterio at ringside with a metal folding chair behind referee Brian Hebner's back, then helped Layfield to double-team the WWE Champion relentlessly. Latino Heat fought valiantly but eventually succumbed to the numbers game as JBL covered Guerrero following the Axe Kick from Booker. (83%)

After the bell, Booker T & John Layfield celebrated their victory by continuing to punish Eddie Guerrero, as Bradshaw hammered the WWE Champion with the Clothesline From Hell, followed by the Book End from the former five-time WCW Champion. When Rey Mysterio crawled back into the ring to help his partner, Booker clobbered him with the Axe Kick across the back of the head. The Book stood over Rey Rey & Latino Heat and proclaimed his dominance over the SmackDown roster as JBL smiled and raised his arms victoriously, while Styles and Tazz closed the show. (88%)

Overall: 81%

Rating: 5.73

Attendance: 8,022

Ticket Sales: $320,880



* Hosts: Michael Cole and Josh Matthews.

* Spike Dudley vs. Angel Dust: Competitive little match-up here that gave the commentators an opportunity to hype the 10-man Cruiserweight Battle Royal for this Thursday's SmackDown before Spike finished off Angel Dust with the Dudley Dog. (55%)

* Marissa Mazzola interviewed Chavo Classic and Chavo Guerrero, who was preparing to defend the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Shannon Moore later tonight. Chavo Sr. stated that this would be his son's final title defense until WWE Judgment Day on Sunday, May 16, and claimed that Chavo Jr. could beat all ten battle royal participants at the same time, but the champ interrupted and warned his father not to give SmackDown GM Theodore Long any ideas. (66%)

* Elsewhere backstage, the Big Show was shown lumbering down the hallway, looking meaner and nastier than ever as he headed out for his Handicap Match. (75%)

* Handicap Match: The Big Show vs. Petey Williams & Jerrelle Clark: Total squash, as the Big Show brushed off an attempted double dropkick and proceeded to demolish his opponents, ending the match by standing on both Clark & Williams after planting them with a simultaneous double Show Stopper. (60%)

* Shannon Moore was shown in the locker room warming up for his shot at the WWE Cruiserweight Championship before heading out for the Velocity main event. (50%)

* WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Shannon Moore vs. Chavo Guerrero [champion]: Chavo Classic accompanied the WWE Cruiserweight Champion for this entertaining championship contest, which featured some nice highspots from Shannon Moore while Chavo Guerrero tried to slow the pace with matholds and chain-wrestling. Although Shannon scored a couple of close near-falls, Chavo slammed him with the Gory Bomb for the 1-2-3 to retain his belt. (73%)

Overall: 61%

Rating: 4.36

Attendance: 8,046

Ticket Sales: $321,840



* Hosts: Jonathan Coachman and Jim Cornette.

* After running through the evening's lineup, Jonathan Coachman introduced the tag team of Mark Henry & Garrison Cade from the announcers' position, referring to them as "Ebony & Ivory" and predicting that they would set the world on fire, starting with Tajiri & Rhyno soon enough. (67%)

* Ebony & Ivory (Mark Henry & Garrison Cade) vs. Chris Swan & Mark Wolf: Squash city to get Ebony & Ivory over as a tag team while Coachman praised them and insulted Rhyno & Tajiri. The World's Strongest Man covered Swan following a double-team maneuver in which Henry held Swan up in a bearhug as Cade came off the top turnbuckle with a missile dropkick. (58%)

* Tommy Dreamer vs. Diablo Santiago: Semi-competitive squash that saw the former ECW Champion put Santiago away with the "Dreamtime" DDT. (53%)

* Jeff Johnson interviewed Chris Jericho in the dressing room and asked him about tomorrow night's RAW main event pitting Y2J & Edge against Kane & Christian. The former Undisputed Champion was fired up as he stated that he was foaming at the mouth to lay a beating on Christian after last Sunday's WWE Backlash and planned on taking some of his anger out on his opponent tonight. (100%)

* Chris Jericho vs. Pablo Marquez: Total squash as Jericho thrashed Marquez from bell-to-bell, unleashing his pent-up frustration, before locking in the Walls Of Jericho and forcing Pablo to tap out. (70%)

* Following a commercial break, brand-new World Television Champion Matt Hardy made his way to the ring arm-in-arm with Lita and took the microphone, bragging about winning the tournament and having Lita back by his side. The Mattitude founder claimed that fans had always wanted to see Matt & Lita back together and added that he was happy to give them what they wanted...by giving Lita what she needed. The happy couple made out until being interrupted by Rico, who stormed the ring looking very unhappy and informed them that Miss Jackie needed stitches after being whacked with the TV belt at Backlash. Rico went after Hardy and started to unload on him, but Lita snuck in from behind and lowblowed the bizarre superstar. Matt pounded Rico to the canvas as Lita retrieved a chair from ringside and brought it into the squared circle, where they wrapped it around Rico's arm. Hardy then climbed to the top turnbuckle and leapt off, stomping on the chair and snapping Rico's arm in the process. Lita & Matt stomped and kicked Rico, reminding him that Hardy was now "officially the best wrestler on television", before exiting to a loud chorus of boos as several medical attendants rushed out to help Rico. (78%)

* Backstage, Val Venis & Lance Storm were talking to each other as they headed out for the Heat main event, but they accidentally bumped into their opponents, Test & Scott Steiner, who were coming out of their locker room. The four superstars exchanged words and almost came to blows until a group of WWE agents and officials intervened. (77%)

* Lance Storm & Val Venis vs. Scott Steiner & Test: This was a solid, hard-hitting match-up that went back-and-forth, with Test & Big Poppa Pump utilizing their power advantage to offset the technique and agility of Val Venis & Lance Storm. During the bout, Cornette announced that preliminary medical reports said Rico had suffered a torn bicep and could be out of action for several months. Good finishing sequence as Steiner clotheslined Storm over the top rope while Test blasted Venis with the Final Exam (running boot to the head) and covered him for the three-count. (76%)

Overall: 70%

Rating: 5.62

Attendance: 8,014

Ticket Sales: $320,560


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Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler introduced the show LIVE from Chicago, Illinois, and went through tonight's huge lineup: La Resistance challenging Shawn Michaels & World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit for their newly-won World Tag Team Championship, Randy Orton defending the WWE Intercontinental Championship in the "Legend Killer Challenge", World Television Champion Matt Hardy putting his TV Title on the line against Tommy Dreamer, and Edge & Chris Jericho battling Kane & Christian in the main event.

World Television Title Match: Tommy Dreamer vs. Matt Hardy [champion]

Lita walked out arm-in-arm with Matt Hardy as Ross informed viewers that Rico could be out of action for six months due to a ripped bicep suffered at the hands of the World Television Champion on Sunday Night Heat. This was a solid but basic by-the-numbers championship contest that saw Tommy Dreamer get in some offense and a couple of near-falls, but Hardy rebounded and dropped Dreamer with the Side Effect to retain the TV Championship. (66%)

Backstage, Christian and Trish Stratus were shown arriving at the building, paying attention only to each other and oblivious to everyone else around them as they sipped cappuccinos and entered the doors. Along the way, Trish bumped into Stacy Keibler, who was standing talking to a female worker, and spilled her drink all over herself. Trish freaked out and started hollering at Stacy, accusing her of purposely knocking her drink over in an attempt to burn and disfigure her, but Stacy responded that Trish should have been watching where she was going. The former four-time WWE Women's Champion warned Stacy not to question her judgment, prompting Stacy to crack a joke about Trish choosing a "creepy little bastard" like Christian over a "rock god" like Chris Jericho. Trish tried to lunge at Stacy but Christian caught her and held her back, advising Stratus that Keibler wasn't even worth the effort. Stacy replied, "Don't you wish you knew", getting unanimous laughs from the backstage crew as a red-faced Christian dragged the screaming Trish away. (85%)

Mark Henry vs. Rhyno

Garrison Cade seconded his "Ebony & Ivory" tag team partner Mark Henry while Tajiri walked out alongside Rhyno, a pairing that Ross dubbed the "Extreme Animals", due to their animalistic nature and history in ECW. A plodding power match here as the World's Strongest Man used his massive size to wear down the Man Beast, almost squeezing out a submission with a bearhug, but Rhyno broke free and mounted a comeback, culminating in the Gore on Henry. However, when Rhyno covered the former Olympian, Cade entered the ring and caused a disqualification for Henry by pouncing on Rhyno. After the bell, Cade punched and kicked Rhyno until Tajiri slid in and chased him off, giving Henry the opportunity to get back to his feet and scoop up the Japanese Buzzsaw, planting him with the World's Strongest Slam before bailing out to ringside. (63%)

WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton made his way to the ring amidst a sea of boos and took the microphone, bringing up his impressive record so far in 2004. The Evolution member referred to himself as the MVP of RAW and claimed that he would retire as champ if he so desired, calling out another legend as part of his "Legend Killer Challenge". After a few moments, a familiar riff blared throughout the arena and the Chicago fans exploded as Road Warrior Animal marched down the ramp in leather and spikes, with the traditional facepaint, while Ross recalled that the Legion Of Doom were the only tag team in history to hold World Tag Team Championships in the AWA, WCW, and "WWE". Animal snatched the mic from the Legend Killer and looked to the ceiling as he dedicated this match to his late partner Hawk, then proceeded to unload on Orton. (81%)

WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Randy Orton [champion] vs. Road Warrior Animal

The Chicago fans were hot for this championship contest and made up for the sloppiness of Animal, who unloaded several stiff shots on Randy Orton to kick things off and utilized his impressive power to hurl the WWE Intercontinental Champion around the ring with press slams and suplexes. The Legend Killer snuck in some offense before Animal regained the advantage and scored a few near-falls, popping the crowd. After countering the electric chair, Orton surprised the Road Warrior with the RKO and picked up the 1-2-3 to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Afterwards, Orton retreated to ringside with his belt, leaving Animal to soak in the cheers of his fictitious hometown fans while Ross put the Road Warriors over as "arguably" the greatest tag team of all time and future WWE Hall Of Famers. (70%)

RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff was shown in his backstage office trying to talk on the phone while getting frustrated with his nephew Eugene, who was running in a circle around his Uncle Eric's desk and yapping about the wrestlers he wanted to face. There was a knock on the door and William Regal entered the room, informing Bischoff that he had decided to accept the position. Eugene ran to Regal, shaking his hand excitedly and trying to hug him, while Bischoff promised Regal that if all went according to plan, there could be an opening on the active RAW roster within the next 30 days. William smiled and patted Eugene on the back, leading him out of the office as he stated that Eugene had a lot to learn. (71%)

World Tag Team Title Match: La Resistance (Robert Conway & Sylvain Grenier) vs. Chris Benoit & Shawn Michaels [champions]

La Resistance carried the Quebec flag with them as Lawler reminded Ross of their impressive victory over Rosey & Hurricane last week, while Ross mentioned that this was the first title defense for new World Tag Team Champions Chris Benoit & Shawn Michaels since winning the belts last week from Ric Flair & Batista. Not a spectacular championship contest but perfectly acceptable wrestling as Sylvain Grenier & Robert Conway cut the ring in half and worked over the Heartbreak Kid with quick tags and double-teams, scoring several near-falls until Shawn finally escaped and made the hot tag to Benoit. The World Heavyweight Champion rushed in and cleaned house, unleashing vicious chops and snap suplexes as Michaels regained his feet and joined in the fray. HBK nailed Conway with the Sweet Chin Music amidst the chaos while the Rabid Wolverine took Grenier down in the Crippler Crossface and forced him to tap out, retaining the World Tag Team Championship. (69%)

Afterwards, Shawn Michaels & Chris Benoit celebrated with their World Tag Team Championship belts to loud applause as the World Heavyweight Champion still looked somewhat distrustful of his partner, but shook hands with him. As they were shaking hands, Batista, Ric Flair, & Randy Orton stormed the ring and overwhelmed Benoit & Michaels with their superior numbers as Ross pointed out that they had just completed a grueling title defense and were helpless against the three Evolution members. The WWE Intercontinental Champion floored the Heartbreak Kid with the RKO while Batista planted the Canadian Crippler with the Demon Bomb, as the Nature Boy stomped and kicked both faces. Evolution then dumped Benoit & Michaels out to the floor as Triple H's theme cranked up and the fans booed. (78%)

Triple H looked very angry as he marched down to the ring and picked up the microphone, warning Chris Benoit & Shawn Michaels that this was the result of messing with Evolution. The Game demanded that Ric Flair & Batista receive their rematch for the World Tag Team Championship next week and mentioned that he would regain the World Heavyweight Championship soon enough, but stated that he had another score to settle tonight, bringing up Shelton Benjamin's two pinfall victories over him and his interference in Evolution business last week. HHH ranted about Shelton not knowing "his place" as a RAW newcomer and claimed that he needed to beat some respect into the former SmackDown superstar, asking the Nature Boy, the Legend Killer, and the Beast to leave the ring before calling Benjamin out. Shelton strode out and cautiously stepped into the squared circle, going toe-to-toe with the Cerebral Assassin and getting the better of him until Batista, Orton, & Flair returned to the ring, at which point Benjamin jumped out to ringside, barely avoiding the ambush. By this time, Michaels & Benoit had gotten back to their feet on the floor and left with Benjamin as Ross put Shelton over as one step ahead of Evolution, who fumed and shouted threats from the ring. (89%)

Edge & Chris Jericho were shown getting ready in the locker room for their tag team main event against Christian & Kane. Y2J thanked Edge for agreeing to be his partner and put him over as the perfect partner not only due to his talent, but also because of his extensive experience as Christian's childhood friend and seven-time World Tag Team Championship partner (guess Edge and Christian aren't brothers anymore). Edge acknowledged that he knew more about Christian than "any rational person would ever want to", but reassured Jericho that he had his back and wouldn't double-cross him. (95%)

Christian & Kane vs. Chris Jericho & Edge

Both teams entered together, as Christian had Trish Stratus by his side and was frightened by Kane's pyro when it went off, while Edge & Chris Jericho were greeted by a huge pop from the crowd upon their arrival. This was an entertaining and heated main event that broke down into a four-way brawl several times when tempers boiled over, as Y2J tried desperately to get his hands on Christian, who kept running away and at one point led Jericho into an attack by Kane after a Chick Kick from Trish at ringside. This led to an extended heat segment on Jericho as Kane punished him, occasionally tagging Christian in for a few cheapshots before he tagged the Big Red Monster back in. On one occasion, Jericho finally prevented Chrstian from tagging out and Irish-whipped him off to the ropes, colliding head-to-head on the rebound and flooring both men. They both managed to crawl to their respective corners and made the tag, bringing Edge in to fire away on Kane with lefts and rights as Christian and Trish elected to retreat up the ramp, just out of the grasp of Y2J. Meanwhile, Edge tagged Jericho back in and took Kane down with the Spear, followed by the Lionsault from the former Undisputed Champion to earn the three-count. The program ended with Jericho yelling up the ramp at Christian, stating that tonight's tag team victory should net him a one-on-one showdown with his former World Tag Team Championship partner. (76%)

Overall: 76%

Rating: 6.11

Attendance: 8,031

Ticket Sales: $321,240



Joey Styles and Tazz opened the UPN broadcast by discussing tonight's events, including the Brock Lesnar contract signing, the Undertaker meeting Charlie Haas, a 10-man Cruiserweight Battle Royal, the Big Show in action against Hardcore Holly, and the Full Blooded Italians squaring off with the Dudley Boyz.

The commentators were interrupted by confetti falling from the ceiling as John Bradshaw Layfield made his way to the ring to a chorus of boos. JBL took the microphone and bragged that he had pinned WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero in their tag team match last week, which was the reason for the celebration. The former Acolyte ranted about all of his detractors that had said he would never amount to anything after so many years of mediocrity in WWE, referring to his critics as "un-American" because most of them preferred Mexican luchadors over good old-fashioned American brawling, and claimed that his pinfall on Latino Heat should earn him a shot at the WWE Championship. Eddie Guerrero appeared on the stage with a mic and pointed out that it was Booker T's Axe Kick that set up the pinfall, but Layfield responded that it didn't matter because he would do the same thing one-on-one to win the WWE Title if Guerrero had the "cajones" to put the belt on the line. Eddie stated that he had no problem defending his gold anytime, anyplace, against anybody, suggesting Sunday, May 16, at WWE Judgment Day. JBL challenged Eddie to "get it on" right now tonight, and Eddie was more than happy to oblige as he raced down to the squared circle and started swinging his WWE Title belt around, chasing Bradshaw out of the ring. Layfield retreated up the ramp and accepted his title shot for Judgment Day while Guerrero was cheered by the fans. (79%)

Hardcore Holly vs. The Big Show

Styles and Tazz expressed shock at Eddie Guerrero granting a WWE Title shot to John Bradshaw Layfield at Judgment Day during the introductions. They also pointed out the Big Show's recent losses as Hardcore Holly tried to take the fight to the 500-pounder and fired off a couple of dropkicks, getting in some offense. However, the former two-time WWE Champion shook it off and easily overpowered Hardcore, finishing him off with the Show Stopper. (64%)

Afterwards, when the Big Show returned to the backstage area, he was approached by Kurt Angle, who observed that Show had suffered from some bad luck dating back to their three-way Number One Contenders match, won by Angle, at February's WWE No Way Out. The Show growled and asked if the Olympic Champion was trying to rub it in, but Angle assured him that he just wanted to help out a fellow former WWE Champion. The 500-pounder responded that he was willing to listen, so Angle walked along with him down a hallway as they continued to talk. (99%)

The Full Blooded Italians (Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli & Chuck Palumbo) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley)

Tazz questioned what kind of deal Kurt Angle was working with the Big Show as the Full Blooded Italians came out without Nunzio, who was preparing for the 10-man Cruiserweight Battle Royal up next. This was a solid and entertaining tag team encounter that saw Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli give the Dudley Boyz a run for their money with their improving teamwork, functioning as a well-oiled machine and scoring several near-falls. Late in the match-up, Chuckie P's Whack kick misfired and inadvertently Whacked the Bull, knocking Stamboli out to the floor as the Dudleyz executed the 3D on Palumbo, giving D-Von the pinfall. (71%)

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero and Chavo Classic were shown in the locker room, sitting down in front of a TV monitor to watch the 10-man Cruiserweight Battle Royal. Chavo Jr. assured his father that it didn't matter who earned the title shot at Judgment Day because he was going to prove that he was the greatest Cruiserweight Champion of all time, which Classic agreed with and added some more encouraging words for his son. (62%)

10-Man Cruiserweight Battle Royal: Ultimo Dragon, Funaki, Akio, Jamie Noble, Spike Dudley, Nunzio, Billy Kidman, Paul London, Scotty 2 Hotty, Rey Mysterio

Gail Kim escorted Akio and stayed at ringside for this battle royal as Styles listed off the credentials of some of the participants: Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman were both seven-time WCW/WWE Cruiserweight Champions, Ultimo Dragon was a former two-time WCW Cruiserweight Champion, Jamie Noble held the WWE Cruiserweight Title once, and current co-WWE Tag Team Champion Scotty 2 Hotty was a former WWE Light Heavyweight Champion. While these facts may have helped viewers at home, they didn't do much for the live crowd, which mostly popped for the eliminations, as battle royals don't really fit the cruiserweight style. Other than the non-existent crowd heat, this was a pretty good battle royal that started off fast and furious, as the Shooting Star Express competed as a unit, while Akio seemed to be protecting Funaki throughout the match-up. Nunzio and Noble teamed up to eliminate Scotty 2 Hotty for the first elimination, before Nunzio turned on his "cousin" and tossed Noble over the top rope for the second elimination. As one of the most experienced competitors, Mysterio took his shots where he could and engaged in a brilliant sequence with Ultimo Dragon until Akio got involved and knocked the Dragon over the top rope, marking the third elimination. This angered Funaki, who clotheslined Akio over the top for the fourth elimination, with the fifth coming when Akio reached up and grabbed Funaki by the hair, pulling him out as Spike Dudley pushed him from behind. Meanwhile, London & Kidman sent Nunzio flyng over the top as the sixth elimination with a high double dropkick, leaving the Express, Rey, and Spike as the final four. It broke down into tag team action, as Spike and Rey worked together against the Express, with Mysterio tossing Kidman over the top via spinning headscissors for the seventh elimination. Tazz recalled that it was Mysterio who Chavo Guerrero beat at No Way Out to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, as London wrapped himself around the ropes and refused to be eliminated. Finally, Rey & Spike managed to dump London out to the floor before squaring off as the final two, trading punches and dropkicks until Booker T appeared at ringside. When Mysterio was on the verge of winning and went to run off the ropes, the Book pulled down the top rope, causing Rey Rey to tumble out to the floor for the final elimination, giving the beaten Spike Dudley the shot at the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at Judgment Day. Meanwhile, a split-screen showed Chavo Guerrero and Chavo Classic celebrating in the dressing room as they watched the monitor, relieved that it would "only" be Dudley challenging him for the belt. (57%)

Afterwards, Booker T entered the ring and hurled Spike Dudley over the top rope before grabbing the microphone, laughing about how he had just cost Rey Mysterio a shot at the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. The Book claimed that it was payback for last week, accusing Rey Rey of trying to "embarrass" him and blamed him for John Bradshaw Layfield scoring the pinfall on WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero rather than Booker himself. The former five-time WCW Champion stated that if JBL was going to receive a WWE Title shot at Judgment Day, Booker would take out Latino Heat's "amigo" Mysterio to prove that he was the rightful Number One Contender. Booker continued to rant until Mysterio climbed up on the apron behind Booker and springboarded in with a dropkick to the back of the Book's head, sending him sailing through the ropes and out to the floor. The crowd cheered as a disappointed Rey taunted Booker from the squared circle and swore revenge. (83%)

Michael Cole interviewed Paul Bearer and the Undertaker in a dimly-lit dressing room as the Dead Man was getting ready to battle Charlie Haas. Cole admitted that Haas was an underrated superstar and would present a unique challenge tonight, but he wanted to know if the Phenom had heard Kurt Angle's challenge from last week. The Undertaker replied that he had heard the challenge and would accept it, declaring that as the top veteran on SmackDown, he deserved a WWE Title shot and would take the Olympic Champion's soul to prove his point. As Bearer raised the urn, Undertaker added that on Judgment Day, Angle would "rest...in...peace." (76%)

Charlie Haas vs. The Undertaker

Styles pointed out that Charlie Haas looked a bit scared as Paul Bearer led his Undertaker down the ramp for this interesting clash of styles. Tazz recalled that Haas was a former member of Team Angle and would be a good warm-up for the Phenom in preparation for a match against Kurt Angle due to the similar styles, as Haas tried to use his pure wrestling skill to unbalance the former four-time WWE Champion. Although the Dead Man used his size and strength advantage early on, tossing the former two-time co-WWE Tag Team Champion around like a ragdoll, Haas was eventually able to take him down and work over the leg with a spinning toehold and a leg lace before applying his Haas Of Pain leg submission. The Grim Reaper was silent and refused to submit, finally breaking the hold and kicking Haas off. The Undertaker mounted a comeback with a flying clothesline, big boot, and chokeslam before burying Haas with the Tombstone for the three-count. (69%)

Following the bell, as the Undertaker got down on one knee and saluted the urn held aloft by Paul Bearer, Kurt Angle marched down to the ring and shoved Bearer aside, getting right in the Phenom's face. After exchanging a few words, the Dead Man gripped the Olympian by the throat and lifted him up for a chokeslam, but the Big Show hit the ring and assaulted the Undertaker from behind. Angle landed on his feet and joined in the attack, punching and kicking the Undertaker before Show wrapped his massive hand around the Grim Reaper's throat and hoisted him up, planting him with the Show Stopper. The crowd booed as the 1996 Olympic Champion stomped the Undertaker and applied the Angle Lock while the Show rebounded off the ropes and dropped a huge legdrop across the back of Undertaker's head. Paul Bearer wailed and moaned but couldn't do much to help until a horde of WWE officials flooded out to stop the assault. (92%)

After a commercial break, a table was set up in the ring as SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long strutted out and shook hands with the various lawyers surrounding the table. Long announced that tonight was a big night for SmackDown as it represented another victory over RAW and introduced Brock Lesnar, who was dressed in warm-ups and a Minnesota Vikings jersey and accompanied by his fiancee Sable and agent Paul Heyman. Heyman grilled Long over the contract details they had discussed last week, including an executive position for Sable, a WWE Tag Team Title shot at Judgment Day for a duo "to be named later", the reinstatement of Heyman as an active manager, and a shot for Lesnar at John Cena's WWE United States Championship, with a guarantee that Lesnar would be granted a WWE Title bout in the near-future. Heyman grinned and read over the contract just to make sure before handing it over to Brock, who consulted with Sable. When she winked and nodded, Brock signed the contract as the fans gave him a mixed reaction. After passing the signed contract to Long, the GM announced that Brock Lesnar was officially a member of the SmackDown roster once again. As Lesnar raised his arms and celebrated with Sable and Heyman, the music of John Cena interrupted the festivities as the WWE United States Champion walked out to a great pop and took the mcrophone, bringing up Brock's sneak attack on him two weeks ago. The Doctor Of Thugonomics claimed that he didn't want to bring the party down, but he planned on ruining Brock's "homecoming" at Judgment Day by successfully defending the U.S. Title and kicking his ass right back to Minnesota. Lesnar knocked the mic out of Cena's hand and got right in his face, exchanging very heated words before they began trading punches. During the slugfest, Cena ducked a roundhouse right and clotheslined Lesnar over the top rope, then chased Heyman, Sable, Long, and the remaining lawyers out of the squared circle. While Lesnar and Heyman hollered from ringside, Cena tossed the table out at them and played to the crowd as Styles and Tazz signed off. (69%)

Overall: 74%

Rating: 5.73

Attendance: 8,018

Ticket Sales: $320,720



* Hosts: Michael Cole and Josh Matthews.

* Jamie Noble vs. Scorpio Sky: This was a competitive match-up that showcased Jamie Noble's skills as the commentators discussed the surprising result of the 10-man Cruiserweight Battle Royal on SmackDown. Noble put Sky away with the tiger driver into the Trailer Hitch, forcing the masked youngster to tap out. (54%)

* Marissa Mazzola interviewed the Basham Brothers and Dawn Marie, who put them over as a well-oiled machine and future WWE Tag Team Champions. When Marissa asked for details on the "pre-match ritual" mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Dawn wouldn't tell, but invited Marissa to come and find out for herself sometime. (79%)

* The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny Basham) vs. Petey Williams & Jerrelle Clark: Dawn Marie escorted the Basham Brothers for this semi-competitive squash that ended when Doug covered Clark following the Ball & Gag from he and Danny. (60%)

* A video package aired to hype the Shooting Star Express, highlighting the death-defying high-risk maneuvers that Paul London & Billy Kidman have utilized over the past few weeks to get them over as fearless daredevils. (66%)

* Marissa Mazzola interviewed Gail Kim, who was flanked by Sakoda & Akio as she discussed her offer for Funaki & Ultimo Dragon to join Kyo Dai and take over SmackDown. Gail stated that they would be watching Dragon & Funaki's match tonight against Rene Dupree & A-Train very closely. (64%)

* A-Train & Rene Dupree vs. Funaki & Ultimo Dragon: A solid, if somewhat heatless, main event that saw Dupree & A-Train overpower their much smaller opponents throughout the contest, with Dragon & Funaki occasionally making a comeback. Late in the bout, Gail Kim came to ringside and distracted referee Charles Robinson while Akio & Sakoda raced out and dragged A-Train off the apron, keeping him occupied. Meanwhile, Funaki dove off the top turnbuckle with a flying sunset flip on Dupree for the 1-2-3. Afterwards, Dragon & Funaki seemed to disagree over the appearance of Gail and Kyo Dai, but celebrated their victory together while Kim, Sakoda, & Akio exited up the ramp, smiling and nodding. (63%)

Overall: 60%

Rating: 4.45

Attendance: 8,009

Ticket Sales: $320,360



* Hosts: Jonathan Coachman and Jim Cornette.

* Maven vs. Joey Matthews: Competitive little match-up here that Maven won with the flying bodypress off the top turnbuckle. (68%)

* After the match, Maven took the microphone and stated that he had signed an open contract for Heat or RAW and would be happy to face any opponent, any time, in an effort to not only move up the ladder, but also to improve his own skills. (74%)

* Backstage, Jeff Johnson interviewed Steven Richards and Victoria, who revealed that she was distraught over WWE retiring the Women's Championship and had gone back to the only person who had ever truly "understood" her for consolation. Steven added that they were both disgruntled and would take their frustrations out on everyone who got in their path. (77%)

* Steven Richards vs. Matt Stryker: Victoria escorted Steven for this competitive contest that saw Stryker score a couple of near-falls before Richards finally snapped and put him away with the Stevie-T double-underhook DDT. (67%)

* Jim Cornette introduced a video "shot this week" that showed William Regal taking Eugene to WWE's development territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, where they met up with Cornette. It appeared to be just before a show, since the ring was set up in an empty arena, as educated fans recognized Mark Magnus working out with Orlando Jordan. Regal and Cornette tried to explain to Eugene how dangerous wrestling really was and that it wasn't all glitz and glamor like on TV, as Jordan and Magnus tossed each other around and groaned in pain, but Eugene enjoyed the close-up look and insisted that he could do it. Regal rolled his eyes and thanked Cornette, asking if they could use the OVW training facilities later on, which Cornette agreed to and wished Eugene luck. (66%)

* Jeff Johnson was in the locker room to interview Shelton Benjamin, who announced that he would be in the corner of World Tag Team Champions Shawn Michaels & World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit tomorrow night on RAW when they defend the belts against Ric Flair & Batista. The RAW newcomer invited Triple H to accompany his fellow Evolution members because he wasn't in awe of the Game and would take care of him once again if he interfered. (82%)

* Shelton Benjamin vs. Tony DeVito: Semi-competitive squash here that allowed the commentators to hype the World Tag Team Title rematch for tomorrow night's RAW while Shelton finished off DeVito with the T-Bone Exploder. (70%)

* Backstage, Tajiri & Rhyno were shown screaming like maniacs at each other as they got ready for the Heat main event against Rosey & Hurricane. After screaming, they laughed and butted heads before heading out. (74%)

* The Hurricane & Rosey vs. The Extreme Animals (Rhyno & Tajiri): This was a very good tag team main event, as both face squads threw everything they had at each other. The newly-formed Extreme Animals had an unorthodox chemistry and worked well as a team, while the Super Heroes pulled off some nice double-teams as well. In the end, Tajiri covered Rosey following a cool-looking simultaneous Gore/Buzzsaw Kick from he and Rhyno. (79%)

Overall: 71%

Rating: 5.98

Attendance: 8,005

Ticket Sales: $320,200


As always, I welcome comments, suggestions, complaints, and questions. Thanks for reading. Here is the lineup so far for WWE Judgment Day on Sunday, May 16...

WWE Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero [champion] vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

WWE United States Title Match: John Cena [champion] vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Chavo Guerrero [champion] vs. Spike Dudley

WWE Tag Team Title Match: Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty [champions] vs. "To Be Announced"

The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle

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I haven't caught up yet, As I'm only on the THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2004 Smackdown, But so far you've done a great job. There are a few things I don't like, Like Joey Styles taking Cole's place (I don't mind it, But I doubt it would ever happen), Lesnar being back due to him being unhappy at the end of his run, Henry being back since he was injured at the time, But there's way more pluses than negatives. I like Victoria turning heel, Though her Trish, Lita all as heels kinda takes away from the women's division. The stuff with HBK/Benoit/Shelton vs evolution is going well, As well as Eddie/Rey Vs. Booker T/Bradshaw, Gail Kim is an interesting manager, As well as Dawn Marie with the Bashams. When I get done catching up, I'll leave more feedback, Keep it up man :thumbsup:

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Guest Azrael

Liked Backlash, and the pairing of Rhyno and Tajiri, wish they had kept them going in reality, given the chance they could have gotten over.

I'm curious as to which team Heyman is bringing in to face Scotty and Rikishi, hopefully it's a decent team that will take the Titles off them, can't say i'm a big fan of the Champs. Still don't like the idea of JBL getting a WWE Championshio shot, but at least his Character is more interesting this time around.

I'm guessing that Booker T vs Rey Mysterio Jr will be added to Judgment Day, which should provide a good match, and hopefully be the step up for Booker to Main Event goodness.

Keep it up mate, it's getting better each week

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Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler introduced the show LIVE from Topeka, Kansas, and announced some of tonight's events: the main event rematch for the World Tag Team Championship featuring Batista & Ric Flair challenging Shawn Michaels & World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit for the gold, Matt Hardy defending the World Television Championship against the Hurricane, Edge meeting Steven Richards, and much more.

Christian & Trish Stratus were already in the ring, which was set up very similarly to Chris Jericho's "Highlight Reel", as Trish welcomed fans to "The Peep Show" and introduced the host, her "honey bunny" Christian. The former nine-time co-World Tag Team Champion thanked RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff for giving him his own interview segment and called out his guest, Chris Jericho, who walked out to a nice pop and went face-to-face with his former friend, criticizing Christian's hosting abilities and demanding a one-on-one rematch due to the tag team victory last week. Christian responded that Y2J didn't pin him and blamed the loss on "that big oaf" Kane, who shortly thereafter made his presence known as his pyro went off and he marched down to the ring. The Big Red Monster looked very menacing and angry as he towered over Christian, who changed his tune and developed a slight limp, accusing Jericho & Edge of taking advantage of a two-on-one situation against Kane after Christian had "injured" himself and stepped off the apron for a moment. While Christian begged off from Kane, Jericho jumped on Christian and pummeled him with lefts and rights before rebounding off the ropes with a flying forearm. However, Trish pulled Christian out of the way and Jericho cracked Kane, who fired back with punches of his own as a slugfest developed. Meanwhile, Trish & Christian ducked out to ringside and retreated up the ramp, leaving Y2J and the Big Red Monster trading fists in the squared circle until a horde of WWE officials and agents had to intervene and pull them apart. Jericho got hold of the microphone and issued a challenge for a match against the brother of the Undertaker, which Kane accepted, as Ross announced that Y2J vs. Kane would take place tonight. (88%)

Ebony & Ivory (Mark Henry & Garrison Cade) vs. Val Venis & Lance Storm

A solid opener due to the increased work ethic of Lance Storm & Val Venis and the gradual improvements of Garrison Cade & Mark Henry, as all four worked harder than usual lately to put on a watchable match-up. The action went back-and-forth as Ross announced that Ebony & Ivory would square off with the Extreme Animals next week, ending when the World's Strongest Man covered Val following the bearhug/missile dropkick double-team from he and Garrison, which Lawler dubbed the "Perfect Harmony". (74%)

There was a commotion with all four members of Evolution in the backstage office of the RAW GM as Triple H claimed that Ric Flair, who was on crutches, had injured himself at a "live event" over the weekend and would be unable to compete in the main event this evening. Eric Bischoff furrowed his brow and pretended to be strict, offering Randy Orton the opportunity to replace the Nature Boy and team with Batista, but the WWE Intercontinental Champion protested that he had to fulfill his "Legend Killer Challenge" obligations. Bischoff responded that the "Legend Killer Challenge" would have to wait until next week, insulting Topeka for not even knowing what a legend was anyway, and ordered Orton to team with Batista against World Tag Team Champions Chris Benoit & Shawn Michaels later tonight. The Legend Killer agreed, while Bischoff granted HHH permission to accompany his fellow Evolution members to ringside since Shelton Benjamin would be seconding their opponents. Evolution smiled and laughed as they left the room. (90%)

Elsewhere backstage, Jonathan Coachman interviewed Victoria & Steven Richards, who was all worked up over the fact that he was back on RAW for the first time in months. Richards claimed that he and Victoria represented "Stevie Night Heat" and had three words for Edge: "WE'RE... TAKING... OVER!" Steven & Victoria cackled maniacally and stated that they were invading RAW as they headed out. (76%)

Steven Richards vs. Edge

Victoria escorted Steven Richards to the ring as the commentators joked about a Heat/RAW rivalry and the chances of "Stevie Night Heat" taking over RAW. Ross pointed out that Edge was undefeated on RAW since returning from a neck injury, as Richards held his own and scored a few near-falls, looking more determined than ever. Victoria also got involved, clotheslining Edge at ringside, but Edge rebounded with the Spear and the Edgecutioner to put Steven away. Afterwards, Steven had a fit over his loss and freaked out until Victoria slapped him across the face and dragged him out by the hair. (81%)

Lita was shown backstage running down a hallway with the Hurricane's cape and pretending to duck into a custodians' room, but instead of going in the room, she hid around the corner and slammed the door as Rosey ran down the hallway in pursuit. Hearing the door slam, the Super Hero In Training went into the room. However, as soon as he entered, Lita pulled the door closed from the outside and quickly locked it up with a chain. Rosey pounded on the door from the inside as a smirking Lita joined World Television Champion Matt Hardy on his way out for his TV Title defense. (74%)

World Television Title Match: Matt Hardy [champion] vs. The Hurricane

Lawler laughed about Lita & Matt Hardy outsmarting Rosey to prevent him from interfering, as Lita strutted out arm-in-arm with the World Television Champion, who was wearing the Hurricane's cape, as well as Tommy Dreamer's ECW t-shirt from last week, which Ross described as "trophies". The Hurricane came out fast and furious on the offensive in retaliation, scoring a number of near-falls as they put on a great championship contest, with some occasional interference from the troublemaking Lita. Ross urged somebody backstage to release Rosey (or, as Lawler put it, "Free Willy") while Hardy battled back and planted Hurricane with the Side Effect to retain the TV Championship. (83%)

The video that appeared on Heat last night of William Regal and Eugene visiting Jim Cornette at Ohio Valley Wrestling was replayed with some additional footage of Eugene interacting with various OVW prospects such as Tank Toland, Orlando Jordan, Mark Magnus, Chris Masters, and Johnny Jeter. At the end, Eugene exuberantly proclaimed that his lifelong goal was to be a RAW superstar, so William reluctantly agreed to teach him the basics next week. (77%)

Kane vs. Chris Jericho

During the ring introductions of these two veteran superstars, Ross announced that Rosey had been released from the custodians' room and requested a shot at Matt Hardy's World Television Championship next week. This was a very heated, well-worked encounter as both Chris Jericho and Kane showed a lot of fire, slugging it out and trading the advantage back-and-forth several times. The Big Red Monster used his size and strength, earning a number of near-falls, to combat the speed, agility, and tenacity of Y2J, as Ross mentioned that they had wrestled each other numerous times over the years. Late in the bout, Jericho escaped from a backbreaker submission and mounted a comeback that kept Kane reeling, while Trish Stratus strode down the ramp and distracted referee Mike Chioda. Meanwhile, Jericho went for a springboard moonsault in the corner, but Christian appeared at ringside and grabbed Y2J by the head, snapping his neck down across the top rope. Jericho staggered back into the waiting arms of Kane, who buried the former Undisputed Champion with the Chokeslam To Hell for the three-count. Afterwards, when Kane exited to the floor, Christian congratulated the Big Red Monster and offered a high-five, but the former WWF Champion just glared at him before leaving. (86%)

Backstage, Evolution was on the move as Batista & WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton were headed out for the main event, flanked by Triple H and Ric Flair on crutches. When the Nature Boy was stopped by RAW GM Eric Bischoff, Slick Ric reminded him that he had a valid manager's license and had the right to be at ringside with Orton & Batista, even with HHH already in their corner. After thinking about it for a few moments, Bischoff agreed and allowed Evolution to continue on their way, wishing them luck. (80%)

World Tag Team Title Match: Evolution (Randy Orton & Batista) vs. Chris Benoit & Shawn Michaels [champions]

Triple H and Ric Flair, on crutches, accompanied Batista & Randy Orton to the ring, while World Tag Team Champions Shawn Michaels & Chris Benoit entered separately, which backfired when the World Heavyweight Champion came out first alongside cornerman Shelton Benjamin and was double-teamed by the two legal Evolution members, as the Game attacked Shelton at ringside and rammed him head-first against the ringpost. The Heartbreak Kid soon charged out to even the odds and assist the Canadian Crippler, fighting off the Beast and the WWE Intercontinental Champion to kick off the main event proper. Good, hot championship contest with plenty of fast-paced action, save for an extended bearhug by Batista on the Rabid Wolverine to wear him down, as both squads displayed great teamwork and traded near-falls throughout the match-up. Late in the bout, the crowd rallied behind Benoit as he mounted a comeback, when the Nature Boy suddenly made a miraculous recovery and tried to use his crutch to whack the Crippler, but Shelton popped up from behind and grabbed the crutch away, distracting referee Earl Hebner. Behind the official's back, HHH entered the ring and aimed a high knee at Benoit, but the Wolverine dodged the attack and the Cerebral Assassin smashed into the Legend Killer. This gave Benoit the chance to make the tag to HBK, who ran in and knocked Batista off the apron with the Sweet Chin Music, then climbed to the top turnbuckle and dove off with the flying elbowdrop on Orton. The World Champion took HHH out through the ropes as Michaels hooked the leg and pinned the WWE Intercontinental Champion to retain the World Tag Team Championship. Afterwards, Evolution retreated and swore revenge as Benoit, Michaels, & Benjamin stood tall in the squared circle while Ross and Lawler signed off. (82%)

Overall: 81%

Rating: 6.11

Attendance: 9,007

Ticket Sales: $360,280



The UPN broadcast opened with Paul Heyman and his team of lawyers stepping out of a limousine in the parking garage, grinning as he stated his intention to scout through the SmackDown locker room and sign another superstar to his Agency. The former ECW owner looked very confident as he straightened his tie and headed into the building with his legal team. (94%)

Joey Styles and Tazz introduced the show from ringside, running through this evening's lineup: WWE United States Champion John Cena battling A-Train in a non-title bout, Spike Dudley taking on Booker T, Ultimo Dragon & Funaki challenging Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi for the WWE Tag Team Championship, the Shooting Star Express meeting Jamie Noble & Nunzio, and John Bradshaw Layfield facing Rob Van Dam in the main event.

Nunzio & Jamie Noble vs. The Shooting Star Express (Billy Kidman & Paul London)

Styles recalled that Nunzio, flanked here by Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli, eliminated Jamie Noble from last week's 10-man Cruiserweight Battle Royal, while Paul London & Billy Kidman later eliminated Nunzio. This was a very hot opener that drew the crowd's interest as the Shooting Star Express displayed their awesome daredevil maneuvers against the more mat-based attack of Noble & Nunzio, who Tazz pointed out were "distant cousins" and had teamed together regularly last year. The advantage shifted back-and-forth until Kidman put Noble away with the Shooting Star Press. Afterwards, the Bull & Chucky P attacked the Express as they were celebrating, while Nunzio and Noble argued at ringside. (80%)

Ultimo Dragon & Funaki were shown walking down a backstage hallway, headed out for their crack at WWE Tag Team Champions Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi, when they were stopped by Gail Kim in a provocative schoolgirl uniform. Gail inquired whether or not the Japanese duo had decided to join Kyo Dai, but Funaki was once again speechless at the sight of her. The Dragon waved his hand and replied in Japanese, which the Korean Kim apparently understood and responded not to make her wait much longer. Ultimo shook his head and led Funaki away as she smiled sweetly and waved goodbye to the former Kaientai member. (54%)

WWE Tag Team Title Match: Funaki & Ultimo Dragon vs. Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty [champions]

This was a solid championship contest that went back-and-forth as Ultimo Dragon & Funaki isolated Scotty 2 Hotty from his 360-pound partner and worked him over with quick tags and double-teams. The commentators questioned Paul Heyman's mystery tag team for the WWE Tag Team Title shot at Judgment Day as Scotty mounted a comeback and made the tag to Rikishi, who came in and cleaned house. The former WWE Intercontinental Champion tossed the Dragon out to the floor and set Funaki up for the Rump Shaker, but before he could land the banzai drop, Sakoda & Akio invaded the ring and attacked Rikishi, drawing a disqualification for Funaki & Dragon. Gail Kim appeared at ringside and smiled at Funaki as Rikishi fought off Kyo Dai with Scotty's help. Ultimo tried to snap Funaki out of it while Gail left with Akio & Sakoda, having saved Funaki from the Rump Shaker. (74%)

Afterwards, WWE Tag Team Champions Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty were shown returning backstage when they bumped into Paul Heyman, who was trolling the locker room for superstars to sign to his Agency. Scotty asked if Heyman had been watching their match, declaring that they would have sealed the title defense with a pinfall if Kyo Dai hadn't interfered and would do the same at Judgment Day against whichever "two stooges" Heyman had in mind. Rikishi questioned the identity of Heyman's mystery team and appealed to SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long as he was walking by, but Heyman stated that that wasn't stipulated in the contract. However, being a "fair man", Heyman offered a deal: next week, if Rikishi could beat Brock Lesnar one-on-one, Heyman would reveal the identities of his Judgment Day challengers. Rikishi thought about it briefly and accepted the challenge for next week. (68%)

Elsewhere backstage, Booker T was arguing with John Bradshaw Layfield, stating that he was supposed to pin WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero during their tag team main event a couple of weeks ago, not JBL. Bradshaw responded that he did what had to be done and would capture the WWE Championship at Judgment Day, but the Book complained that it should be him challenging Latino Heat on May 16 since JBL had interrupted his last WWE Title shot in his SmackDown debut. JBL apologized for causing the no-contest and explained that he just wanted to make an impact, but promised Booker that he would get the first title shot after he won it from Eddie. The Book added that after he "ganked" Spike Dudley tonight, he was going to defeat Rey Mysterio at Judgment Day so that SmackDown GM Theodore Long wouldn't be able to deny T another title shot. (82%)

Spike Dudley vs. Booker T

Styles explained that Spike Dudley had requested this match after Booker T's interference led to Spike winning the 10-man Cruiserweight Battle Royal last week, as they put on a solid contest that saw the Book dominate most of the action, with some hope spots and comebacks from Dudley. Spike scored a couple of near-falls as Tazz stated that WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero and Chavo Classic were on vacation this week, demonstrating how concerned they were about Dudley's challenge at Judgment Day. Late in the bout, Spike went for the Dudley Dog but Booker threw him off and clobbered him with the Axe Kick for the 1-2-3. Afterwards, Rey Mysterio stormed the ring and jumped Booker, knocking him out to the floor with a spinning heel kick as the crowd cheered. (73%)

Non-Title Match: A-Train vs. John Cena

The WWE United States Champion received a tremendous pop upon his entrance and lived up to the hype as he went at it tooth-and-nail with A-Train, taking the fight right to his larger opponent. Tazz claimed that A-Train was a great stand-in for Brock Lesnar as John Cena prepared for his U.S. Title defense at Judgment Day, withstanding the Train's punishment and battling back to lift the 6'7" 350-pounder across his shoulders and slam him with the F-U for the 1-2-3. (74%)

Following the bell, John Cena took the microphone and cut a great promo hyping his WWE United States Championship defense against Brock Lesnar at Judgment Day. The Doctor Of Thugonomics recalled that Brock had successfully defended the WWE Championship against him at last year's Backlash and claimed that this year, it was his turn to send the Next Big Thing home empty-handed. (84%)

Michael Cole interviewed Rob Van Dam in the dressing room as Mr. Thursday Night was warming up to face John Bradshaw Layfield in the evening's main event. The Whole Damn Show began to talk about feeling right at home on SmackDown and continuing his winning streak tonight against JBL, but he was interrupted by Paul Heyman, who showed up and told Van Dam he had a contract already written up with his name on it. RVD tried to reply but Heyman continued his pitch, praising RVD as the "greatest pure athlete" in ECW history and lamenting that he had been unable to achieve his full potential in WWE. Heyman claimed that with his guidance, the sky was the limit for Van Dam, who responded that he wasn't really interested at the time but he would definitely keep Paul's offer in mind. The former ECW owner tried to convince RVD to sign with his Agency right away, taking credit for turning him into "Mr. Monday Night" and "The Whole Damn Show" in ECW and suggesting that he could do so much more for him on the "grand stage" of WWE, but RVD retorted that it was his own skill and talent that earned him those nicknames and that he was doing fine on his own on SmackDown, bringing up his undefeated streak. Heyman kept up the sales pitch, but Van Dam cut him off and admitted that he was trying to be polite since Paul did so much for his career in the past, but flat-out turned him down and stated that he didn't need a manager or an agent. RVD added that he needed to concentrate on JBL tonight and wished Paul luck, then headed out for his match, leaving Heyman red-faced and unhappy. (83%)

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Rob Van Dam

The commentators put over Rob Van Dam's SmackDown winning streak as he walked out to a great pop from the fans, while John Bradshaw Layfield was met by a loudly negative reaction. Tazz mentioned that a JBL victory over Mr. Thursday Night would help legitimize him as this month's top challenger to Eddie Guerrero's WWE Championship, admitting that he wasn't the most qualified contender. This was actually a very entertaining main event, as RVD bumped well for JBL's power arsenal, while Van Dam utilized his trademark style to keep Bradshaw off-balance, with both competitors scoring near-falls and trading the advantage back-and-forth. At one point, RVD had JBL covered following the Five Star Frog Splash, but Paul Heyman appeared at ringside and distracted referee Brian Hebner. Meanwhile, Charlie Haas emerged from the crowd in a warm-up suit and hooded sweatshirt and slid into the squared circle, where he pulled Van Dam off of Layfield and laid him out with a nasty head-and-arm suplex. Haas ducked out of the ring as JBL rolled over on top of RVD and the official returned to register the three-count, ending the Whole Damn Show's month-long undefeated SmackDown record. Afterwards, Heyman climbed in and held the ref back as Haas and Layfield double-teamed Van Dam, kicking and stomping him into the canvas until Eddie Guerrero hit the ring and nailed Heyman, Haas, and Layfield with punches and dropkicks to clear them out. The heels retreated up the ramp and the WWE Champion checked on RVD as Styles and Tazz closed the broadcast. (79%)

Overall: 77%

Rating: 5.91

Attendance: 9,016

Ticket Sales: $360,640



* Hosts: Michael Cole and Josh Matthews.

* The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) vs. Marco Jaggi & Claudio Castagnoli: Total squash here, although Castagnoli & Jaggi did get in a bit of offense, as the commentators put the Dudley Boyz over as the most dominant tag team in WWE history. The Dudleyz finished off their Swiss opponents when D-Von covered Jaggi following the 3D from he and Bubba. (73%)

* Marissa Mazzola interviewed the Full Blooded Italians. Nunzio claimed that in addition to setting their sights on SmackDown gold, the FBI were offering their services to take care of any business that might be needed. (64%)

* The Full Blooded Italians (Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli & Chuck Palumbo) vs. Petey Williams & Jerrelle Clark: Nunzio accompanied his fellow FBI members to the ring for this semi-competitive squash, which ended when the Bull covered Petey after the Kiss Of Death double-team from he and Chucky P. (66%)

* A video package aired hyping this week's SmackDown main event pitting the Undertaker against the Big Show. The video featured footage of the double-team ambush by Show and Kurt Angle on the Dead Man last week on SmackDown, along with comments from the Show that the Phenom wouldn't make it to Judgment Day, while Paul Bearer stated on behalf of his Reaper that he would make an example out of Big Show. (79%)

* Backstage at the arena, Rene Dupree was shown heading down a hallway with his poodle, Fifi, on his way out for the Velocity main event. Along the way, he came across his opponent, Hardcore Holly, who warned Dupree not to bring his "gay little dog" to the ring or he would punt it into the crowd. (63%)

* Rene Dupree vs. Hardcore Holly: Ignoring Hardcore Holly's advice, Rene Dupree brought Fifi to ringside for this solid Velocity main event that saw both competitors trade the advantage several times. Late in the contest, Holly brought Fifi into the squared circle, distracting Dupree, who was more concerned with getting his beloved poodle out of harm's way. This gave Hardcore the opportunity to plant the French Phenom with the Alabama Slam for the three-count. (74%)

Overall: 66%

Rating: 4.14

Attendance: 9,008

Ticket Sales: $360,320



* Hosts: Jonathan Coachman and Jim Cornette.

* Rosey vs. Colt Cabana: Singles squash for the Super Hero In Training as the commentators hyped his World Television Title shot against Matt Hardy tomorrow night on RAW. Rosey put Colt away with a spinning Samoan Drop. (67%)

* Test & Scott Steiner were shown walking backstage, flexing and arguing over who had the most impressive physique as they headed out for their match. (79%)

* Scott Steiner & Test vs. Chris Swan & Mark Wolf: Squash city, as Test & Scott Steiner improve their tag team skills and absolutely destroyed their opponents, ending the bout when Big Poppa Pump forced Swan to submit to the Steiner Recliner. (59%)

* Jeff Johnson interviewed the Extreme Animals, who were pumped up about getting their claws on Ebony & Ivory tomorrow night on RAW. Tajiri shrieked in Japanese as Rhyno vowed to Gore both Garrison Cade & Mark Henry into oblivion. (65%)

* The Extreme Animals (Rhyno & Tajiri) vs. The Backseat Boyz (Johnny Kashmere & Trent Acid): Cornette mentioned that the Backseat Boyz were one of the top up-and-coming tag teams on the independent circuit and could provide an underrated challenge for the Extreme Animals tonight, but Coachman just kept making jokes about their team name and was looking forward to Ebony & Ivory taking the Animals apart on RAW. This was a competitive little match-up that the Animals won when Rhyno covered Acid following the Gore/Buzzsaw Kick combo from he and Tajiri. (79%)

* A video aired showing William Regal, in his wrestling gear, standing in a ring with Eugene in the Ohio Valley Wrestling training facilities. Regal was trying to explain how dangerous wrestling was and how easily one could be injured, but Eugene was very excited and insisted that he could do it, naming off all the maneuvers he wanted to use: Hulk Hogan's Legdrop, the Ultimate Warrior's Gorilla Press, the Stone Cold Stunner, the Rock Bottom, and even the Regal Stretch. William sighed and promised Eugene he would teach him a lesson he wouldn't forget, teasing the continuation of the video tomorrow night on RAW. (70%)

* Backstage at the arena, a very determined Tommy Dreamer marched down a hallway en route to the Heat main event against Christian. (69%)

* Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian: Trish Stratus escorted Christian to the ring for this solid Heat main event, as Tommy Dreamer proved his toughness by repeatedly kicking out of pinfalls and mounted a comeback, but eventually fell victim to the Unprettier by Christian, who scored the 1-2-3. (74%)

Overall: 69%

Rating: 6.11

Attendance: 9,043

Ticket Sales: $361,720


Thanks for the feedback, guys. Glad you're still reading. Here is the lineup so far for WWE Judgment Day on Sunday, May 16...

WWE Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero [champion] vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

WWE United States Title Match: John Cena [champion] vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Chavo Guerrero [champion] vs. Spike Dudley

WWE Tag Team Title Match: Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty [champions] vs. "To Be Announced"

The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle

Rey Mysterio vs. Booker T

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Just caught up, Things are still going well. Glad to see JBL getting his push, As most people would probably just give it to Booker. Though, I hope it is Booker who beats Eddie for the title, Unless you do a really good job of hyping up JBL. The mystery team imo is Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger, Don't know, But I got a feeling it's them. Or the Dudley's who could turn heel. Judgment Day looks good, Looking forward to the next update :D

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Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler introduced the show LIVE from Phoenix, Arizona, and discussed some of tonight's match-ups: Randy Orton defending the WWE Intercontinental Championship in the "Legend Killer Challenge", Rosey challenging Matt Hardy for the World Television Championship, the Extreme Animals squaring off against Ebony & Ivory, and much more.

The Evolution theme cranked up and the fans booed loudly as WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton strolled down to the squared circle and took the microphone, bragging that he was undefeated in his "Legend Killer Challenge" title defenses. The third-generation superstar proclaimed that 2004 was the "Year of the Legend Killer" and he was ready to continue his winning ways, calling out any legend in the building. The Phoenix crowd popped when the "Jesus Christ Superstar" theme began playing and "Superstar" Billy Graham shuffled down to the ring, as Orton smirked and warned the former WWWF Champion that he was an "equal-opportunity Legend Killer" and wouldn't go easy on him. The Superstar responded that he wasn't there to accept the Challenge himself, he was out there to introduce tonight's legend: Shawn Michaels, who appeared on the stage with a mic as the crowd cheered and Orton's cocky expression changed to one of surprise and dismay. The Heartbreak Kid slowly walked down the ramp as he reminded the Legend Killer that he pinned him in last week's World Tag Team Title main event and planned on doing so again this evening, only this time it would be for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Orton backed off as HBK got closer, when suddenly the Evolution member dropped Graham with the RKO before bailing out to ringside just as Shawn hit the ring. The Intercontinental Champion retreated up the ramp with a smile on his face as Michaels checked on the Superstar and promised to exact revenge later tonight. (84%)

The Extreme Animals (Rhyno & Tajiri) vs. Ebony & Ivory (Mark Henry & Garrison Cade)

Ross announced that we would indeed see Shawn Michaels challenging Randy Orton for the WWE Intercontinental Championship in the evening's main event, as the Extreme Animals were met by a respectable pop. This was a solid and heated opener, as Tajiri & Rhyno functioned great as a unit and looked strong, while Ebony & Ivory held up their end as well. At one point, Tajiri covered Mark Henry following the impressive Gore/Buzzsaw Kick combo, but Garrison Cade came in to stop the count and distracted referee Jack Doan. Meanwhile, Steven Richards slid into the ring and whacked Tajiri with the Stevenkick, then tumbled out through the ropes with Rhyno as the World's Strongest Man stood up and splashed the Japanese Buzzsaw, covering him for the deciding pinfall. (75%)

Afterwards, Ebony & Ivory attacked Rhyno and laid him out with the Perfect Harmony while Victoria came to the ring to join Steven Richards, who grabbed the microphone and announced that Garrison Cade & Mark Henry were the newest members of "Stevie Night Heat", on the recommendation of Heat co-host Jonathan Coachman. Richards again declared that they were taking over RAW and continued to rant until he was interrupted by Shelton Benjamin, who admitted that he hadn't been a RAW superstar for very long, but if Steven wanted a RAW superstar, he'd gladly accept the challenge. Steven tried to send his goons after him but Shelton took out Cade with a picture-perfect dropkick and dodged Henry, flipping him over the top rope. Victoria charged at Shelton next but he scooped her up in a fireman's carry and dumped her out to the floor, leavng Richards alone with Benjamin as the Extreme Animals brawled up the ramp with Ebony & Ivory. (69%)

Steven Richards vs. Shelton Benjamin

Victoria stayed at ringside as Steven Richards attacked Shelton Benjamin to kick off the match-up, which turned out to be a very entertaining back-and-forth contest. The "Stevie Night Heat" General Manager put on a great performance and scored several near-falls, with some interference from Victoria, but Shelton withstood the punishment and put Steven away with the Dragon Whip. Afterwards, Richards threw a temper tantrum at ringside. (75%)

Jonathan Coachman interviewed La Resistance in the locker room as Robert Conway was getting for his one-on-one encounter with Maven. Sylvain Grenier ranted in French, while Conway promised to prove their superiority in singles action, just as they had done in tag team competition. (74%)

Robert Conway vs. Maven

Sylvain Grenier seconded Robert Conway for this well-worked bout that displayed Maven's improving skills, as the original Tough Enough Champion engaged in some excellent chain-wrestling and traded the advantage back-and-forth. In the end, Maven was mounting a comeback but Grenier tripped him up from ringside, allowing Conway to snare him in a Perfectplex for the three-count. Afterwards, La Resistance executed the Au Revoir on Maven and stomped him into the canvas before draping the Quebec flag over him and declared him another conquest. (76%)

The video from last night's Heat aired again, featuring William Regal and Eugene discussing his training in a ring at the Ohio Valley Wrestling facilities. After Eugene listed the different maneuvers he wanted to use, Regal shook his head and began the training, taking Eugene down with a Ricky Steamboat armdrag into an armbar. When it was Eugene's turn, he was very crisp and took William by surprise as Eugene cranked on the armbar. A montage followed, showing Eugene wearing Regal out with hiptosses, bodyslams, suplexes, and various other moves and holds. At the end, Regal was sore and admitted that Eugene learned fast, even going so far as to suggest that he might have potential and would have to report back to RAW GM Eric Bischoff next week. (71%)

World Television Title Match: Rosey vs. Matt Hardy [champion]

Rosey came out alone and Lita escorted Matt Hardy as Ross recollected the events of last week when Lita locked Rosey in a broom closet while Matt successfully defended the World Television Championship against the Hurricane. The Super Hero In Training was dominant at the outset as he used his weight advantage to overpower the TV Champion and score a handful of near-falls, but Lita distracted the 350-pounder, allowing Hardy to gain an advantage. Following some back-and-forth action, Matt dropped Rosey with the Twist Of Fate to pick up the 1-2-3. Afterwards, Matt celebrated with his TV Title belt while Lita took Rosey's eyemask as a trophy. (74%)

In the backstage office of the RAW General Manager, Christian & Trish Stratus were alongside Kane as they tried to convince Eric Bischoff to grant the Big Red Machine a shot at Chris Benoit's World Heavyweight Championship. Christian brought up Kane's victory over Chris Jericho last week and claimed that such a decisive win over the first-ever Undisputed Champion was worthy of a title shot, especially for a dominant former WWE Champion like Kane. Kane growled and demanded his crack at the gold next week, reminding Bischoff that he had basically been his "monster for hire" since Eric became RAW GM and he wanted his reward. When Bischoff questioned why Christian was campaigning so hard, the former three-time WWE Intercontinental Champion pulled the GM aside and informed him that Kane had been a bit angry at him the last couple of weeks, so giving him the title shot would really help him out. After thinking about it, Bischoff agreed and announced that Kane would be challenging the Rabid Wolverine for the World Title next week on RAW. Trish cheered the decision and Christian offered a high-five to the Big Red Machine, but Kane grunted and declared that he would be the next Heavyweight Champion of the World. (85%)

Elsewhere backstage, Chris Benoit was talking with Shelton Benjamin, congratulating him on his impressive win over Steven Richards earlier and his undefeated RAW record, as he reacted to the news that he would be defending the World Heavyweight Championship next week against Kane. Shelton whistled and stated that it would be a tall order to retain the belt against the Big Red Machine, but the Canadian Crippler replied that he had worked for 20 years to win the gold and he wasn't backing down from any challenge, when suddenly Triple H, Batista, & Ric Flair burst into the room and jumped both of them. The three Evolution members beat Benoit and Benjamin down and continued the assault until a bevy of WWE agents and officials flooded into the room to intervene. The Game smiled as he exited with the Nature Boy & Batista. (79%)

WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton [champion]

Shawn Michaels was greeted by a nice crowd pop upon his entrance, while the fans booed lustily when Randy Orton strutted out, accompanied by Ric Flair, as Ross put over the Heartbreak Kid's qualifications for acceptance in the "Legend Killer Challenge" and the fact that he pinned the WWE Intercontinental Champion to win last week's World Tag Team Championship main event. This was a tremendous PPV-quality main event as both competitors laid it all on the line and went at it fast and furious, trading the advantage numerous times throughout the heated championship contest. The Nature Boy got involved a couple of times to give the Legend Killer a boost, but HBK rallied back and took control as Batista and then Triple H made their way down to ringside separately to root for their fellow Evolution member. Michaels tried to remain focused as he scored several near-falls on Orton, who showed his intestinal fortitude again by holding his own against the former four-time WWF/World Heavyweight Champion. Late in the bout, HBK was building momentum as he squashed the third-generation superstar with the flying elbowdrop from the top turnbuckle and covered him, but Flair hopped up on the apron, distracting both Michaels and referee Charles Robinson. HHH and Batista both got up on the apron as HBK argued with Slick Ric and knocked him back to the floor with a right hand, then went after Batista with a flying forearm and clocked the Game with the Sweet Chin Music, clearing off the ring apron. However, when Shawn turned back to his opponent, the Legend Killer was waiting and surprised him with the RKO for the 1-2-3 to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Afterwards, Orton and Flair continued the attack, pounding and stomping Michaels as Batista and HHH joined in the assault. Evolution destroyed the Heartbreak Kid and stood triumphantly in the squared circle as the crowd booed and Ross and Lawler signed off. (89%)

Overall: 78%

Rating: 5.74

Attendance: 10,004

Ticket Sales: $400,160



Joey Styles and Tazz opened the UPN broadcast in Tucson, Arizona, and went through the lineup for this evening: co-WWE Tag Team Champion Rikishi locking horns with Brock Lesnar in one-on-one competition, Billy Gunn taking on Charlie Haas, the Shooting Star Express meeting the Full Blooded Italians, and in the main event, the Undertaker battling the Big Show.

The crowd booed as Paul Heyman made his way down to the ring and took the microphone. The former ECW owner reminded that in just 10 days at Judgment Day, his Agency would control the WWE United States Championship and the WWE Tag Team Championship, boasting that SmackDown had a new dynasty on its hands. Paul explained that he was very choosy when selecting potential clients and had gone after only the best of the best, mentioning his disappointment with one potential client in particular: Rob Van Dam. Heyman stated that he did not like to be embarrassed, especially on prime-time network television, and that he gave Mr. Thursday Night the opportunity of a lifetime, but had it thrown right back in his face. The former Paul E. Dangerously claimed that he "made" RVD in ECW and now he would destroy his creation, suggesting that the Whole Damn Show had gotten a big head and needed a reality check. Heyman proclaimed that he had signed one grateful superstar to take care of that reality check, introducing "Ice Man" Charlie Haas, who had a cold calculating glare in his eyes as he walked out in warm-ups and a hooded sweatshirt to an assortment of boos. The newly-dubbed Ice Man shook hands with Heyman and removed his warm-ups to reveal a new black-and-blue wrestling singlet as Heyman recalled that he had originally brought Haas into WWE as part of Team Angle, adding that unlike Van Dam, Haas never forgot who made him a star. Heyman described Haas as a ruthlessly-efficient submission expert who had no conscience and would rip RVD limb-from-limb, and continued to praise his newest client until the "Ass Man" music cranked up, signaling the arrival of the Ice Man's opponent. (87%)

"Ice Man" Charlie Haas vs. "Mr. Ass" Billy Gunn

Paul Heyman remained at ringside for this solid opener, as the commentators recalled that Charlie Haas helped end Rob Van Dam's SmackDown winning streak last week by interfering in RVD's match against John Bradshaw Layfield. Billy Gunn got in some offense in the beginning, but the Ice Man eventually took over and dominated the contest with his vicious suplexes and mat-based attack, giving off a strong "ECW Taz" vibe that even Tazz himself picked up on. After a brutal "head-and-arm Haasplex", the former two-time co-WWE Tag Team Champion locked in the Haas Of Pain and forced Mr. Ass to tap out. (73%)

Afterwards, Charlie Haas refused to release the Haas Of Pain, wrenching on the painful submission as Billy Gunn screamed in agony and Paul Heyman laughed and applauded. The Ice Man finally let go of the leglock when Rob Van Dam came charging down to the ring and chased off Haas and Heyman, who retreated up the ramp while Mr. Thursday Night retrieved the microphone. RVD admitted that he was usually a laid-back kind of guy, but he was "mad as hell" about what happened last week and wanted revenge, challenging Haas to meet him face-to-face at Judgment Day. The Whole Damn Show added that if the Ice Man accepted the challenge, he would show him exactly why they called him "Mr. Pay-Per-View". (79%)

Cameras backstage showed the Full Blooded Italians walking down a hallway like they owned the place, in typical "Goodfellas" style. Nunzio was trash-talking the Shooting Star Express as he tried to get his fellow FBI members worked up for their match. (61%)

The Full Blooded Italians (Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli & Chuck Palumbo) vs. The Shooting Star Express (Billy Kidman & Paul London)

Nunzio seconded Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli as footage was shown from last week of the Bull & Chuckie P attacking the Shooting Star Express after their victory over Nunzio & Jamie Noble. This was a well-worked "strength and power vs. speed and agility" tag team match-up that went back-and-forth as both squads displayed great teamwork. Nunzio tried to get involved, but his interference backfired and Paul London pinned Palumbo with a backslide while Billy Kidman kept Stamboli occupied. Afterwards, the FBI brawled with Kidman & London up the ramp. (75%)

In the backstage office of the SmackDown General Manager, John Bradshaw Layfield was bragging about ending Rob Van Dam's winning streak last week while Booker T demanded a guarantee that "when, not if" he beats Rey Mysterio at Judgment Day, he would be granted a shot at the WWE Championship. Theodore Long considered the request and decided that since both the Book and Rey Rey were deserving athletes, he would make their bout a "Number One Contender" match. Booker was pleased and declared that while he and JBL had a lot of differences on the outside, they had one thing in common: they were both superior to the rest of the SmackDown roster. The two heels continued to put themselves over, so Long challenged them to prove their claims by booking them in a tag team bout next week against the Dudley Boyz. JBL protested that it was unfair to put them in such a match just three days before Judgment Day and kept complaining until Rey Mysterio and WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero stormed into the room and started brawling with their rivals. The four superstars slugged it out all over the room, trashing the office, until an army of WWE agents and officials rushed in to break it up. The SmackDown GM ordered all four men ejected and barred from the building tonight due to fighting in his office, and angrily informed Eddie & Rey that they would also be in tag team action next week against the Basham Brothers as security dragged both squads away. (76%)

Elsewhere backstage, Rikishi was getting ready to go one-on-one with Brock Lesnar. His WWE Tag Team Championship partner Scotty 2 Hotty wished him luck and slapped him on the shoulder, assuring Rikishi that he had his back. (74%)

Rikishi vs. Brock Lesnar

Paul Heyman accompanied Brock Lesnar to the ring as Styles mentioned the stipulation applied to this match-up last week that if Rikishi was victorious, Heyman would identify his mystery tag team for the WWE Tag Team Championship bout at Judgment Day. The crowd was totally into this bout, billed as Lesnar's in-ring return to SmackDown, as Rikishi looked strong and took control early on, which Tazz attributed to ring rust since Lesnar had been out of action for two months. After a trip-up from Heyman at ringside, Brock asserted himself and got back into his old form, showcasing his superhuman strength by slamming and suplexing the co-WWE Tag Team Champion. Rikishi tried to mount a comeback, but Brock stifled him and hauled the 360-pound Samoan across his shoulders, planting him with the F5 for the 1-2-3. (79%)

Following the bell, Brock Lesnar continued to assault Rikishi with stomps and kicks as Paul Heyman held referee Brian Hebner at bay. Scotty 2 Hotty quickly raced out to make the save and had Lesnar reeling until Brock dodged another right hand and scooped Scotty up, laying him out with the F5 right beside his massive partner. The former three-time WWE Champion stood triumphantly over the WWE Tag Team Champions until John Cena charged out to a huge crowd pop and sent Lesnar and Heyman running for the hills. The WWE United States Champion mocked and taunted Brock from the squared circle as Lesnar shouted threats from the ramp, vowing to F5 Cena's ass at Judgment Day. (92%)

Backstage, Kurt Angle was giving a pep talk to the Big Show as he was preparing for the main event against the Undertaker. The Olympic Champion reminded the 7-foot 500-pounder that he was a former two-time WWE Champion and hyped him up to become the superstar that would end the career of the Dead Man. The Show seemed to grow more confident with each word and growled that he would annihilate the Phenom...NEXT! (89%)

The Big Show vs. The Undertaker

Paul Bearer led his Undertaker down the ramp as footage was shown from two weeks ago of Kurt Angle and the Big Show double-teaming the Dead Man, which Styles pointed out was all to weaken the Undertaker for the match against Angle at Judgment Day. The Big Show looked very impressive here, going toe-to-toe with the Phenom and trading the advantage a few times. The 7-foot 500-pounder applied a bearhug and worked over the Undertaker's ankle, which Tazz recalled was the focus of the double-team assault two weeks ago, stepping on it and dropping elbows and legdrops across the ankle. The Dead Man rallied back as Bearer held up the urn and the fans cheered, opening up with lefts, rights, and big boots on the Show. The Phenom was on a roll until Kurt Angle ran into the ring from behind and clipped his leg, drawing a disqualification. The Olympic Champion tossed referee Jim Cordaris aside and continued to attack the Undertaker's ankle as Big Show got up and joined in the assault, lifting 'Taker and planting him with the Show Stopper. Angle cranked on the Angle Lock for several moments until several WWE officials came out to stop the attack, at which point Angle and Show headed up the ramp and celebrated to a round of boos. However, their smiles disappeared when Paul Bearer raised the urn and the Undertaker slowly sat up, still selling the effects of the beating but also showing that he might be unstoppable, while Styles and Tazz closed the broadcast. (73%)

Overall: 77%

Rating: 6.10

Attendance: 10,022

Ticket Sales: $400,880



* Hosts: Michael Cole and Josh Matthews.

* John Bradshaw Layfield kicked things off by coming out, dressed to wrestle, and took the microphone, talking about how he used to be a "Velocity regular", but now he was an elite superstar and was too good for Velocity. Nonetheless, JBL claimed that he was feeling generous tonight and was ready for some Saturday night action to show WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero what he had in store for him at Judgment Day. (77%)

* John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Scorpio Sky: Total squash for JBL as he toyed with Scorpio Sky before putting the masked luchador away with the Clothesline From Hell. (60%)

* Backstage, Jamie Noble was talking to Dawn Marie, explaining how lonely he had been since breaking up with Nidia and that he realized his mistakes too late. Dawn flirted with him and claimed that her motto was "the more, the merrier" when the Basham Brothers appeared with perverted grins on their faces. Noble backed off and shook his head, stating that he'd "been there before" (a cute reference to the Noble/Nidia/Billy Gunn/Torrie Wilson angle from last year), while Dawn shrugged and walked off with Danny & Doug. (72%)

* The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny Basham) vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Alex Shelley: Dawn Marie escorted the Bashams out for this semi-competitive squash that ended when Danny covered Shelley following the Ball & Gag from he and Doug. (70%)

* Marissa Mazzola interviewed Rey Mysterio, who was excited about the opportunity to defeat Booker T in their Number One Contender match at Judgment Day and promised to get revenge for losing the Cruiserweight Battle Royal. (82%)

* Rey Mysterio vs. Angel Dust: Competitive little squash here as the combatants traded aerial maneuvers until Rey Rey finished off Angel Dust with the West Coast Pop. (61%)

* Backstage, WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero was joking with Chavo Classic about defending his title against Spike Dudley at Judgment Day. Chavo Jr. claimed that he was more worried about tonight's non-title main event against Scotty 2 Hotty, then Los Chavos laughed as they headed out. (72%)

* Marissa Mazzola interviewed Scotty 2 Hotty, who stated that he was focused on being one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions but that a non-title victory over the WWE Cruiserweight Champion could help him to add another belt to his resume. (75%)

* Non-Title Match: Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Chavo Guerrero: Chavo Classic accompanied the WWE Cruiserweight Champion for this solid non-title bout that went back-and-forth, as Matthews recalled that Scotty was a former WWE Light Heavyweight Champion. After some good action, Chavo Jr. scored the pin on Scotty using his feet on the ropes for leverage, then fled the ring to celebrate his win. (74%)

Overall: 69%

Rating: 6.04

Attendance: 10,020

Ticket Sales: $400,800



* Hosts: Jonathan Coachman and Jim Cornette.

* La Resistance (Robert Conway & Sylvain Grenier) vs. John Walters & Jack Evans: Semi-competitive squash to kick off Heat, ending when Grenier covered Evans following the Au Revoir from he and Conway. (58%)

* La Resistance were shown returning to the locker room after their match when they came across Maven and started to tease him about losing the singles match to Robert Conway on RAW. Maven pointed out that they talked tough in 2-on-1 situations, but wondered how they would react if he brought a partner to RAW tomorrow night. Grenier claimed they had a message for his partner, then proceeded to double-team Maven and beat him down. (68%)

* Jeff Johnson interviewed Ric Flair & Batista, who stated that they were making a rare Heat appearance to spread the message of Evolution and demonstrate how dominant they were. "WHOOOOO!" (79%)

* Evolution (Batista & "Nature Boy" Ric Flair) vs. Chris Swan & Mark Wolf: Squash city that showcased Evolution's flawless teamwork and the frightening power of Batista, who planted Swan with the Demon Bomb before the Nature Boy applied the Figure Four Leglock to earn the submission. (65%)

* The video from RAW featuring Eugene displaying his surprising wrestling prowess against William Regal in a training ring was replayed. Good stuff. (76%)

* Backstage, Chris Jericho was shown heading out for his match when he came across a confrontation between Stacy Keibler and Trish Stratus, who called Stacy a "scarecrow" and accused her of being jealous of Trish's relationship with Christian because she didn't have anybody. Stacy denied the charge and warned Trish to back off and go "suck face" with her honey bunny, but Trish threatened to kick Stacy's head off. Y2J watched from a few feet away, smirking, so Trish turned her attention to him and asked him what was so funny. Jericho made fun of Stratus' height compared to Keibler and insulted his former flame until Christian arrived on the scene and started arguing with Y2J, who again demanded a singles rematch. The situation had to be diffused by some WWE road agents. (79%)

* Chris Jericho vs. Joey Matthews: The commentators discussed Jericho's repeated challenges to Christian throughout this semi-competitive contest, which ended when Y2J locked in the Walls Of Jericho and forced Matthews to tap out. (74%)

* A video aired of Lita and World Television Champion Matt Hardy displaying their trophies from his successful title defenses: a feathery earring from Rico, Tommy Dreamer's ECW t-shirt, the Hurricane's cape, and the eyemask stolen from Rosey on RAW. The conniving couple seemed very happy with their collection and predicted that it would continue to grow. (84%)

* Jeff Johnson interviewed Kane, who planned on making an example out of the Hurricane tonight and vowed to begin his "reign of terror" by capturing the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Benoit tomorrow night on RAW. (78%)

* The Hurricane vs. Kane: Cornette reminded viewers that Kane and Hurricane had held the World Tag Team Championship together in happier times, but a new fan would never guess from the way that the Big Red Machine abused the Super Hero from bell-to-bell. The Hurricane did get some brief offense in, but Kane eventually stopped the punishment and buried his former partner with the Chokeslam To Hell. (79%)

Overall: 72%

Rating: 5.74

Attendance: 10,024

Ticket Sales: $400,960


As always, feedback in any form is welcomed and encouraged. Here is the updated lineup for WWE Judgment Day on Sunday, May 16...

WWE Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero [champion] vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

WWE United States Title Match: John Cena [champion] vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Chavo Guerrero [champion] vs. Spike Dudley

WWE Tag Team Title Match: Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty [champions] vs. "To Be Announced"

Number One Contender Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Booker T

The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle

Rob Van Dam vs. Charlie Haas

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Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler introduced the show LIVE from San Jose, California, and announced tonight's events: Val Venis taking on Triple H, Randy Orton's "Legend Killer Challenge", the Extreme Animals & Edge battling Stevie Night Heat in six-man action, and Chris Benoit defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Kane in the main event.

Christian & Trish Stratus were already in the ring as Trish welcomed viewers to "The Peep Show" and handed the microphone over to Christian, who talked about how he was a superior host to Chris Jericho and how the quarter-hour ratings were so much better for "The Peep Show" than "The Highlight Reel". The former three-time WWE Intercontinental Champion then brought up this evening's main event and introduced his guest as "RAW's next World Heavyweight Champion", Kane, who lumbered out as his pyro went off. The Big Red Machine announced that he was about to do something he had never done in his life: he thanked Christian & Trish for their efforts in convincing RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff to grant him the title shot tonight. Christian happily accepted the gratitude and promised Kane that he and Trish would be at ringside to provide "moral support" and to get a front-row seat when Kane captured the World Championship. Christian once again offered a high-five, but when Kane finally went to accept it, they were interrupted by Chris Jericho's music, as Y2J walked out to a huge pop and fearlessly stepped into the squared circle. The first-ever Undisputed Champion argued that Kane didn't beat him cleanly two weeks ago to earn the title shot, but added that he wasn't going to cry over spilled milk. Trish responded that she thought that crying was Jericho's specialty ever since WrestleMania XX and laughed, enraging Jericho, who tried to maintain his composure as Trish & Christian continued to heap insults on him. Finally, Jericho had enough and lunged at the cruel couple, but Kane caught him by the throat and squeezed, threatening a Chokeslam To Hell. Before Kane could follow through on his threat, Chris Benoit charged out and attacked the Big Red Machine with forearms and chops across the back. However, Christian & Trish blindsided the Heavyweight Champion of the World and Kane planted Jericho with the Chokeslam. After a Chick Kick from Trish, Benoit was scooped up by Kane, who buried the Rabid Wolverine with the devastating Tombstone. The crowd booed loudly as Kane exited with Christian & Trish, grinning sadistically while Lawler predicted that the Big Red Machine would be leaving San Jose with the gold. (84%)

Following a commercial break, La Resistance were in the ring and Sylvain Grenier was butchering the Canadian national anthem in French as Robert Conway waved the Quebec flag. They were interrupted by Maven, who came out onto the stage with a microphone and advised Sylvain not to quit his "day job", adding that after seeing him wrestle, maybe he wasn't much better at his "day job" either. Conway tried to calm Grenier as Maven mentioned La Resistance's 2-on-1 attacks against him on RAW and Heat, and promised that things would be different with the sides even, introducing his partner and mentor...Al Snow! Making his return to WWE after a dispute with management last month, Al Snow got a nice pop when he emerged and stated that he and Maven were "Tough Enough" to beat the French out of La Resistance. (69%)

La Resistance (Robert Conway & Sylvain Grenier) vs. Tough Enough (Al Snow & Maven)

The Tough Enough squad stormed the ring and cleaned house on La Resistance to kick things off in this opening tag team contest, which was a solid back-and-forth old-school match-up with several double-teams and quick tags on each side. The Frenchmen used underhanded tactics to gain the advantage, but in the end, Sylvain Grenier fell victim to the Snow Plow and was pinned by Al Snow. Afterwards, Maven knocked Robert Conway over the top rope with a beautiful standing dropkick and celebrated with his Tough Enough mentor. (74%)

Backstage, Steven Richards, with Victoria by his side, was psyching up his Stevie Night Heat teammates Garrison Cade & Mark Henry for their six-man match-up. Ebony & Ivory vowed that they wouldn't let their "General Manager" down and would do as much damage as possible to Tajiri, Rhyno, & Edge...NEXT! (72%)

Six-Man Tag Team Match: Steven Richards & Ebony & Ivory (Mark Henry & Garrison Cade) vs. Edge & The Extreme Animals (Rhyno & Tajiri)

Victoria escorted the Stevie Night Heat contingent to the ring for this entertaining six-man affair as Lawler pointed out that Steven Richards' threats to "take over" RAW were a bit more serious now with Mark Henry backing him up. Good action throughout the contest, as Ebony & Ivory did most of the dirty work, isolating Tajiri and working him over with double-and-triple-teams, but the Japanese Buzzsaw eventually escaped and made the hot tag to Rhyno. With all six men brawling in the ring at once, the Man Beast ripped into Steven with the Gore and covered him for the victory. Afterwards, Stevie Night Heat retreated while Rhyno retrieved the microphone and demanded a rematch against the World's Strongest Man & Garrison Cade next week on RAW in a Hardcore Match with one stipulation: if the Extreme Animals lost, they would leave RAW; however, if Ebony & Ivory lost, they would only be able to wrestle on Heat for one year. Richards accepted the challenge on behalf of Cade & Henry and vowed to make them eat their words. (76%)

In the backstage office of the RAW GM, Eric Bischoff was sitting at his desk when William Regal walked in with Eugene and explained that his nephew was actually a very quick study and a natural, mentioning how fast he picked up the basics during their training. Eugene enthusiastically ran behind the desk and tried to hug his Uncle Eric, repeating Regal's claims that he "did good" and was ready to wrestle for the World Heavyweight Championship. Looking disgusted, Bischoff briefly humored his "special" nephew and asked Eugene to give he and William a few minutes alone, but Eugene was dancing and cheering and wouldn't leave until Regal finally convinced him to go get a soda. After he left, Regal praised Eugene's instincts and advised Bischoff that he had a wealth of untapped potential, but Bischoff wouldn't hear of it and reminded Regal that his mission was to make sure that Eugene gave up and went home, or else there might not be a spot on the RAW roster for William if he let him down. Regal shook his head and tried to advocate for Eugene, but Bischoff cut him off and stated that he had made himself clear, calling Eugene back into the room. Eugene bounded in the door and Uncle Eric announced that he had decided to give Eugene his very first exhibition match next week against William, with the winner receiving a spot on the active RAW roster. Regal's facial expressions depicting his inner turmoil were awesome as the oblivious Eugene hopped around, hugging both William and Eric and thanking them. (74%)

Val Venis vs. Triple H

Ric Flair & Batista flanked Triple H as he marched out for this match-up, which was a solid encounter dominated mostly by the Game, although Val Venis did get some offense in. Lawler suggested that HHH was taking out his recent frustration and embarrassment on Val as the Cerebral Assassin planted him with the Pedigree for the three-count. (73%)

After the match, Batista tossed Val Venis over the top rope as Ric Flair retrieved the microphone for Triple H, who explained that he had been trying to focus on mowing through the competition and regaining the World Heavyweight Championship, but something had been eating away at him that he couldn't ignore anymore: the "arrogance" of Shelton Benjamin. The Game ranted about Shelton's 2-0 record against him, blaming it on "fluke wins", and claimed that the RAW newcomer needed to be taught some respect. Benjamin emerged on the ramp and headed down to the ring as the Nature Boy charged out and tried to attack him at ringside, but Shelton back-bodydropped him on the floor and continued into the squared circle. HHH subtly moved behind Batista, who slugged it out with Benjamin until the Cerebral Assassin blindsided the former two-time co-WWE Tag Team Champion and helped the Beast obliterate Shelton with a spike Demon Bomb. The three Evolution members left Benjamin laid out in the ring as the fans booed. (84%)

Following the commercial break, WWE Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton sauntered down to the ring alone, where he picked up the microphone and congratulated his fellow Evolution members "on a job well done" before bringing up his undefeated record in his "Legend Killer Challenge" matches, naming off Cactus Jack, Terry Funk, Road Warrior Animal, "Superstar" Billy Graham, and Shawn Michaels as victims of the "2004 Legend Killer Tour". The third-generation superstar expressed doubt that anyone, legend or otherwise, could ever defeat him and wondered if anybody was up to the challenge this week. After a few moments of silence, a familiar theme played as none other than Dude Love appeared on the TitanTron and claimed that he was in San Jose on behalf of Mick Foley and would be on his way out to win the Intercontinental Championship. The Legend Killer looked surprised but welcomed the challenge and vowed to knock Dude Love right back to 1997 where he belonged. When the Dude did not come out, Orton headed backstage to look for him, again showing a very aggressive side of his cocky personality that even Ross mentioned. As Orton was roaming the hallways, the boiler room door flew open and Mick Foley, in full 1996 old-school Mankind gear, burst out and assaulted the WWE Intercontinental Champion, battering him in the hall before hurling him into the boiler room. Mankind continued to punish Orton, who tried to fight back, but the sheer ferocity of the screeching Mankind was too overwhelming and beat him down until several WWE officials along with Ric Flair & Batista intervened. Mankind sat and rocked in the shadows as the officials and Evolution attended to Orton, but suddenly Mankind leapt up and applied the Mandible Claw on the Nature Boy, triggering another riot as Batista and the suits dragged Mankind off of the partially-paralyzed Flair. (77%)

Elsewhere backstage, World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit was having his neck worked on by a medic in preparation for his main event title defense against Kane when Shawn Michaels arrived late, carrying his bags. The Heartbreak Kid explained that he had vehicle trouble on the way to the arena, but the Canadian Crippler asked where he was when Evolution assaulted he and Shelton Benjamin in the locker room last week, and wondered why he hadn't been able to get a hold of him throughout the week. HBK replied that last week he was warming up for his match against Randy Orton, questioning the Rabid Wolverine's whereabouts during that bout when Evolution had the ring surrounded. Benoit answered that he was receiving medical attention from the previous Evolution attack at the time, but Michaels told his World Tag Team Championship partner that if he had something to say, he should just say it. The World Champion got nose-to-nose with HBK and warned him that if he was planning on stabbing him in the back, he would regret it for the rest of his life, then grabbed his belts and walked out. Shawn looked dismayed and picked up his bags, muttering that he didn't need this crap and exited the room on his way back out of the building. (88%)

World Heavyweight Title Match: Kane vs. Chris Benoit [champion]

As promised, Christian & Trish Stratus seconded Kane as footage was shown from earlier of the Big Red Machine burying Chris Benoit with the Tombstone, which Ross and Lawler agreed had to still be affecting the World Heavyweight Champion's surgically-repaired neck. The opening minutes of this very good championship main event were back-and-forth, as J.R. announced that two more matches had been signed for next week: Shelton Benjamin facing Batista, and Mankind taking on Ric Flair. After some interference from Christian, Kane took the advantage and worked over the Rabid Wolverine's neck with a neckvice and a hangman neckbreaker that Benoit eventually escaped from and mounted his comeback. The Canadian Crippler unleashed vicious chops to the massive chest of Kane and focused his attack on the arm to soften up his challenger for the Crippler Crossface, but with Trish distracting referee Earl Hebner, Christian snuck into the ring and drilled Benoit with the Unprettier. Chris Jericho raced out, clutching his head and neck from the Chokeslam To Hell earlier, and went right after Christian, driving his former tag team partner out of the squared circle as they brawled up the ramp. Meanwhile, Kane covered Benoit for a very close near-fall, but the Crippler kicked-out and rallied back to slam the Big Red Machine with the Rolling Germans before locking in the Crossface, forcing Kane to finally tap out. Afterwards, the Wolverine celebrated his successful World Heavyweight Championship defense while Ross and Lawler signed off. (77%)

Overall: 77%

Rating: 5.68

Attendance: 10,032

Ticket Sales: $401,280



Joey Styles and Tazz opened the UPN broadcast in Reno, Nevada, by hyping this Sunday's Judgment Day and going through the lineup for this evening: Charlie Haas & Brock Lesnar facing WWE Tag Team Champions Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi in a non-title bout, the Basham Brothers taking on Rey Mysterio & WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero, John Bradshaw Layfield & Booker T meeting the Dudley Boyz, and much more.

"Latino Heat" Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio vs. The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny Basham)

Dawn Marie escorted the Basham Brothers as footage was shown from last week of Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Booker T, and John Layfield brawling in the office of SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, who booked this match as punishment. This was a hot opener, as Latino Heat & Rey Rey functioned well as a unit against the precision teamwork and skullduggery of the Bashams, who held their own against the veterans. During the bout, JBL & Booker T appeared on the stage to scout their Judgment Day opponents, distracting Eddie long enough for the Bashams to take the advantage. However, the WWE Champion eventually battled back and squashed Doug with the Frog Splash from the top turnbuckle following the 619 from Rey. Afterwards, Rey & Eddie motioned for the Book & Bradshaw to come down and fight, but the heels just walked away as Guerrero & Mysterio gave chase up the ramp. (82%)

Backstage, Billy Kidman was preparing for his one-on-one encounter with Johnny The Bull as Paul London encouraged him and promised that he would accompany him to even the odds somewhat against the Full Blooded Italians. Nunzio entered the room and put down the Shooting Star Express as "generic pretty boys", continuing to insult them until the Express chased him out into the hallway, where London & Kidman were ambushed by Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli. The FBI beat down the SSE, focusing on London, before heading out for the match. (64%)

Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli vs. Billy Kidman

Nunzio & Chuck Palumbo seconded Johnny Stamboli while Billy Kidman limped out all by himself, as Styles wondered why the Full Blooded Italians had to resort to such underhanded tactics even though they were world-class athletes. Solid singles bout as the Bull took advantage of Kidman's weakened condition early on, with some hope spots that popped the crowd for the Shooting Star Express member. Kidman managed to score a couple of near-falls, but the pre-match ambush took its toll and the Bull covered Kidman following an Arn Anderson spinebuster. Afterwards, the FBI stomped Kidman until Paul London staggered out to make the save, only to be beaten down as well. (72%)

Michael Cole interviewed Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi in the dressing room, asking the WWE Tag Team Champions how they felt about taking on a dangerous combination like Brock Lesnar & Charlie Haas only three days before defending their gold against a mystery team at Judgment Day. Scotty admitted they had butterflies but they would prove their worth as the titlists, while Rikishi stated that it didn't matter who Paul Heyman put in front of them on Sunday because they would "put a little ass on it" and leave with the belts. (69%)

Non-Title Match: Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Brock Lesnar & Charlie Haas

Paul Heyman accompanied Charlie Haas & Brock Lesnar to the ring as the commentators discussed the various match-ups involving each party at Judgment Day this Sunday. Good non-title bout here, as the Agency members displayed some good teamwork and isolated Scotty 2 Hotty after a back-and-forth opening few minutes, cutting the ring in half and utilizing quick tags and double-teams. Scotty eventually broke free and made the hot tag to Rikishi, who cleaned house until Brock hauled him up across his shoulders and let loose with the F5. With the 375-pound Samoan laid out, Haas cinched in the Haas Of Pain on his massive legs and forced the co-WWE Tag Team Champion to submit. (80%)

Afterwards, on the orders of Paul Heyman, Charlie Haas refused to release the Haas Of Pain on Rikishi while Brock Lesnar slammed Scotty 2 Hotty with the F5 before applying the Brock Lock. Heyman directed traffic as the WWE Tag Team Champions were tortured until Rob Van Dam and John Cena rushed out to make the save, chasing off Heyman and his Agency. As they retreated up the ramp, Haas threatened Mr. Thursday Night and Lesnar motioned to his waist, vowing to capture the WWE United States Championship from the Doctor Of Thuganomics this Sunday at Judgment Day. (84%)

Following a commercial break, Kurt Angle made his way down to the ring to a loud heel pop and took the microphone, hyping his match against the Undertaker at Judgment Day this Sunday by declaring that he and the Dead Man were the two most recognizable and well-known superstars on SmackDown. The Olympic Champion explained that they were the "top dogs" scrapping over ownership of "the yard" and that there was room for only one of them at the top, promising to throw everything he could muster at the Phenom to end his era of dominance in WWE. The former four-time WWE Champion brought up the assault by he and the Big Show on the Reaper last week and claimed that that was only a small sampling of the lengths he was willing to go to destroy the legend of the Undertaker, adding that next time, he would make sure that there was no way that 'Taker would be able to sit up afterwards. Angle continued to cut his promo until the arena lights went out and the TitanTron lit up with an image of Paul Bearer. (93%)

On the big screen, Paul Bearer was shrouded in darkness and smoke as he wailed about Kurt Angle and the Big Show trying to shatter his Undertaker's ankle last week, stating that their efforts were futile because the Dead Man was no ordinary man. Bearer claimed that the Phenom was an unstoppable supernatural force and that any physical injuries he suffered were only temporary, while the power of his soul was eternal. The Undertaker appeared behind Paul and reiterated his statements, declaring that what didn't destroy him only made him stronger. The Dead Man finished by warning Angle that this Sunday would truly be the Olympic Champion's Judgment Day and that he would "rest... in... peace." The TitanTron shut off as smoke began to billow out from underneath the ring, sending Angle running up the ramp. (96%)

Jamie Noble vs. Spike Dudley

The commentators discussed Spike Dudley's shot at WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero this Sunday, as well as some of the other Judgment Day match-ups, throughout this solid back-and-forth contest that featured some good action. In the end, Spike blocked the Tiger Driver and countered with a catapult into the turnbuckles before putting Jamie Noble away with the Dudley Dog. (69%)

Backstage, the Dudley Boyz were getting ready for their main event match-up against John Layfield & Booker T when Spike Dudley returned to the locker room after his victory. D-Von & Bubba Ray congratulated their half-brother on his impressive performance against Jamie Noble and winning the Cruiserweight Battle Royal, but Spike replied that he didn't deserve the WWE Cruiserweight Championship shot at Judgment Day because his battle royal victory was tainted. Bubba told Spike that it wasn't his fault and to focus on bringing the belt home to the family, while D-Von added that if there was anything they could do for him, to let them know. Before the Dudleyz headed out, Spike stopped them and said that they could do something for him tonight: make Booker T pay for interfering in the Cruiserweight Battle Royal and costing him a clean victory. The Dudleyz smiled and assured Spike they would take care of it. (82%)

The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) vs. Booker T & John Bradshaw Layfield

This was a surprisingly good main event as the heated action went back-and-forth until the Dudley Boyz lived up to their promise to Spike Dudley, isolating Booker T from his corner and working him over with frequent tags and double-teams. The Book eventually returned fire and made the tag to John Bradshaw Layfield as all hell broke loose with all four men slugging it out at once. Amidst the chaos, JBL caught D-Von with a stiff Clothesline From Hell and covered him for the 1-2-3 while Booker managed to dump Bubba Ray out to ringside. Afterwards, JBL & Booker celebrated their victory until the fans' boos turned to cheers as WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio raced down to the squared circle and went toe-to-toe with the two heels, driving them out of the ring. Latino Heat & Rey Rey stood tall and the crowd cheered as Styles and Tazz closed the broadcast with some final hype for this Sunday's Judgment Day. (82%)

Overall: 79%

Rating: 6.10

Attendance: 10,008

Ticket Sales: $400,320



* Hosts: Jonathan Coachman and Jim Cornette, who explained that SmackDown would be hosting a live edition of Velocity tomorrow night in Sunday Night Heat's timeslot due to the Judgment Day PPV, so RAW's Heat got the Velocity timeslot this week. Apparently this will be the new practice for months that have a SmackDown PPV.

* The Hurricane & Rosey vs. The Backseat Boys (Johnny Kashmere & Trent Acid): This was a very competitive opener as the Backseat Boys showed potential, scoring a handful of near-falls before the Super Heroes regained control and put the Boys away when Hurricane covered Johnny Kashmere following the Eye Of The Hurricane. (78%)

* Jeff Johnson came to ringside to interview Rosey & Hurricane, who mentioned the Matt Hardy video that aired last week on Heat. The Super Heroes were unhappy with the World Television Champion stealing their belongings as trophies and pledged to retrieve them somehow. (69%)

* A video aired showing an exasperated William Regal shepherding Eugene through an airport as they discussed their upcoming "exhibition" match this Monday night on RAW. Regal was trying to explain how important their bout would be, since the winner would receive an active spot on the RAW roster, and that since wrestling was his livelihood, he wouldn't be able to go easy on Eugene. Eugene wasn't fazed and happily replied how excited he was about getting to wrestle William, naively promising to do his best. William looked conflicted as he advised Eugene that it still wasn't too late to board a plane to Louisville and go home rather than catching their flight to San Diego for RAW, but Eugene firmly answered that he didn't want to go home and told Regal that he had always wanted to be not just a wrestler, but a WWE superstar. Regal sighed and shrugged, almost showing compassion as he patted Eugene on the back and they headed off to catch their plane to California. (79%)

* Non-Title Match: Matt Hardy vs. Jack Evans: Lita escorted the World Television Champion for this competitive little squash that ended when Matt Hardy slammed Jack Evans with the Side Effect. (66%)

* Afterwards, Lita retrieved the microphone for Matt Hardy, who stated that he had heard the Hurricane & Rosey earlier and offered them a chance to win back their possessions. With Lita by his side, the World Television Champion claimed that he had his "partner" and would meet the Super Heroes in tag team action this Monday on RAW. (82%)

* Jeff Johnson interviewed Test & Scott Steiner, who were comparing physiques and flexing for the camera. They should call this pair's new gimmick "Vince McMahon's Wet Dream". Big Poppa Pump claimed that they were sick of being ignored and were ready to make some noise. (77%)

* Scott Steiner & Test vs. Matt Stryker & Chad Collyer: Semi-competitive squash as Test & Scott Steiner were physically aggressive and dominant, manhandling Collyer & Stryker throughout the match-up. In the end, Test finished Collyer off with the Final Exam. (75%)

* A pre-recorded interview aired with Mankind sitting on the floor of a boiler room, rocking back and forth. Mankind discussed his brutal assault on Randy Orton on RAW and admitted that the WWE Intercontinental Champion had defeated Cactus Jack in a Hardcore Match at Backlash, but invited the Legend Killer to join Mankind in his world: a Boiler Room Brawl. The Deranged One expressed jealousy that Orton was everything he wasn't; namely young, handsome, muscular, and confident, adding that his sickest desire was to make Orton just as twisted and deformed as he was. The most psychologically-disturbing personality of Mick Foley also stated that Ric Flair would feel the brunt of his agony on RAW while Orton made his decision. (92%)

* At the arena, Jeff Johnson interviewed Shelton Benjamin, who was looking forward to trading holds with Lance Storm in the Heat main event tonight. The former SmackDown superstar also addressed his upcoming bout against Batista on RAW and explained that after growing up where he did, nothing scared him and he wouldn't back down from any challenge. (82%)

* Lance Storm vs. Shelton Benjamin: Great pure-wrestling Heat main event that began with a rare handshake between Shelton Benjamin and Lance Storm, who put on a nice clean contest with plenty of chain-wrestling and counterholds while the commentators again mentioned SmackDown's Judgment Day tomorrow night in passing. After a series of back-and-forth maneuvers, Benjamin planted Storm with the T-Bone Exploder for the three-count. (74%)

Overall: 75%

Rating: 5.74

Attendance: 10,037

Ticket Sales: $401,480


Here is the lineup for WWE Judgment Day this Sunday...feel free to post predictions.

WWE Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero [champion] vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

WWE United States Title Match: John Cena [champion] vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Chavo Guerrero [champion] vs. Spike Dudley

WWE Tag Team Title Match: Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty [champions] vs. "To Be Announced"

Number One Contender Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Booker T

The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle

Rob Van Dam vs. Charlie Haas

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Guest Azrael

Ok predictions first, comments second

WWE Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero [champion] vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

Winner: Eddie Guerrero - It's too early to take the Title off Guerrero, and Layfield just isn't the guy to do it. Hopefully

WWE United States Title Match: John Cena [champion] vs. Brock Lesnar

Winner: Had to flip a coin for this one, it came up Heads, that means Lesner dominates in his first Title shot back on the roster, possibley with assistance from Paul Heyman

WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Chavo Guerrero [champion] vs. Spike Dudley

Winner: Part of me wnats to go with the underdog, but somehow i have the belief Chavo will pull out the victory, no doubt Cheating To Win

WWE Tag Team Title Match: Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty [champions] vs. "To Be Announced"

Winners: To Be Announced. No clue on who they might be, but hopefully they will take the Titles off the gruesome twosome

Number One Contender Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Booker T

Winner: Booker's being primed to go for the Title when :ayfield fails, a loss her would do nothing for him. Gotta go with the Booker man

The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle

Winner: Hopefully Angle

Rob Van Dam vs. Charlie Haas

Winner: A clean sweep for Heyman's lads, but again i doubt that Hass will win cleanly.

Overall this diary keeps getting better, i'm liking the pairing of Paul London & Billy Kidman, hopefully a WWETag Team Championship reign is in the future, as well as the tension between Benoit and Michale building each week. Keep it up

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WWE Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero

WWE United States Title Match: Brock Lesnar

WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Chavo Guerrero

WWE Tag Team Title Match: "To Be Announced" - Don't really have a clue who they'll be, but Rikishi and Scotty haven't looked that impressive. As a guess, I'll say the Shooting Star Express who have joined the Agency.

Number One Contender Match: Booker T

Kurt Angle

Rob Van Dam

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The pre-PPV Sunday Night Heat was hosted by Michael Cole and Josh Matthews, and previewed the lineup for tonight's PPV. John Bradshaw Layfield was also shown arriving at the arena in his white limousine with longhorns on the hood. When he stepped out of the limo in a suit, tie, and cowboy hat, JBL proclaimed that this would indeed be his Judgment Day and that he would add Eddie Guerrero's WWE Championship to his assets. (69%)

Following Heat, Joey Styles and Tazz welcomed viewers to WWE Judgment Day LIVE from Los Angeles, California, and hyped the exciting lineup for this evening's pay-per-view before sending it up to ring announcer Tony Chimel in the squared circle.

Rob Van Dam vs. Charlie Haas

Rob Van Dam was introduced as "Mr. Pay-Per-View" and received a great pop from the fans, while Charlie Haas was booed as he was accompanied by Paul Heyman. Styles pointed out that this could be the biggest night in Heyman's career since he could walk out of Los Angeles managing the WWE United States Champion and the WWE Tag Team Champions, while Tazz recalled that RVD pinned Haas in his SmackDown debut after the draft lottery. Great choice for an opener, as Van Dam kept the action fast-paced for the first few minutes, taking the fight right to the Ice Man until Haas managed to take control with a nasty half-nelson release suplex that flipped RVD onto his face. Haas applied some of his lethal submissions, including a painful-looking STF, to wear down the Whole Damn Show, but the fans rallied behind RVD as he eventually mounted a comeback and landed the Rolling Thunder. However, when RVD went to the top turnbuckle for the Five Star Frog Splash, Heyman grabbed his leg and crotched him on the turnbuckles, allowing Haas to climb up and bring Van Dam crashing to the canvas with a head-and-arm superHaasplex. The former two-time co-WWE Tag Team Champion quickly cinched in the Haas Of Pain and RVD tried to hold on, but was forced to tap out at 16:33. After the bell, Haas refused to release the Haas Of Pain, cranking it even harder as Van Dam appeared to pass out from the extreme pain. Referee Brian Hebner tried to physically break the hold but the Ice Man held on tight with a sadistic scowl on his face, until SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long came down the ramp and grabbed the microphone, giving Haas to the count of five to release RVD. The crowd counted along with Long and once they reached five, the GM announced that the decision had been reversed, awarding the victory to Mr. Pay-Per-View. Upon hearing this, Haas let go of Van Dam and protested the decision, but Long refused to change his mind and warned Heyman that if any of his other clients tried anything like this tonight, his entire Agency would be suspended without pay indefinitely. The crowd cheered the SmackDown GM as he returned to the dressing room while Haas and Heyman fumed at ringside. (80%)

WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Spike Dudley vs. Chavo Guerrero [champion]

Chavo Classic seconded his son, Chavo Guerrero, as footage was shown of Spike Dudley winning the 10-man Cruiserweight Battle Royal last month on SmackDown with some unwanted help from Booker T to eliminate Rey Mysterio. Tazz admitted that Spike was "pound-for-pound" one of the toughest superstars in WWE but laughed at his chances of winning the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, as Dudley started off strong until some interference from Chavo Classic turned the tide. Chavo Jr. dominated the rest of the championship contest with his excellent mat skills and strength advantage, bending the rules to stifle Spike's comeback attempts as he demonstrated his "Cheat To Win" philosophy. Classic got his cheapshots in too, and tried to wrap things up by tossing a blackjack in the ring and distracting referee Chad Patton. However, Spike scrambled between Chavo's legs and got to the weapon first, clubbing Guerrero over the head with it before tossing it to the floor and climbing to the top turnbuckle. When the official turned around, Dudley dove from the top with the double-stomp to the gut and pinned Guerrero at 12:07 to win his first WWE Cruiserweight Championship in a huge upset. Afterwards, Classic dragged his unconscious son out to ringside and attended to him while D-Von & Bubba Ray Dudley came out and carried Spike on their shoulders as he celebrated with his new belt to the cheers of the crowd. (74%)

Number One Contender Match: Booker T vs. Rey Mysterio

Styles announced that the winner of this encounter would be named the Number One Contender and would receive a WWE Title shot on Sunday, July 4, at the Great American Bash. This was a well-worked athletic contest that the crowd totally got into, fully supporting Rey Mysterio as he once again proved that he belongs with the "big boys", not giving an inch to Booker T in this back-and-forth struggle. Both superstars worked hard and scored plenty of near-falls as the Book used his obvious size and strength advantage to overpower Rey Rey, who responded with his fast-paced aerial tactics to keep the former five-time WCW Champion off his feet. Late in the match-up, Mysterio nailed Booker with the 619 and was standing on the apron preparing for the West Coast Pop when John Bradshaw Layfield made his way to ringside and dragged Rey to the floor, smacking his head on the apron on the way down, while the Book had referee Jim Cordaris distracted. JBL took Rey's head off with the Clothesline From Hell before tossing him back into the ring as Booker went to the top turnbuckle and landed the Houston Hangover on the former seven-time Cruiserweight Champion to earn the three-count at 19:50. Afterwards, Booker was all smiles when he met up with Bradshaw on the ramp and celebrated his victory as JBL declared, "one down, one to go", which Styles understood to mean that the two heels had made some sort of shady deal for tonight. (81%)

Following a promo that aired for RAW's Bad Blood on Sunday, June 13, WWE Tag Team Champions Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi made their entrance, limping slightly from the assault by Brock Lesnar & Charlie Haas on SmackDown, as Tazz and Styles tried to guess who their mystery opponents would be; Tazz wondered if it could be the Dudley Boyz, while Styles suggested the Eliminators from the old ECW days. Paul Heyman appeared on the stage with a microphone and explained that he had scoured the world for the perfect tag team to sign to his Agency, listing his criteria: young, hungry for success, and willing to do whatever it took to achieve that success. Heyman announced that his mystery squad were former two-time WCW Tag Team Champions and introduced a combination that he dubbed "The Thrill Kill": Sean O'Haire & Mark Jindrak, who joined Heyman on the stage and stood on either side of him. Jindrak & O'Haire looked to be in peak physical condition as they growled and stuck out their tongues to a heel pop, accompanying the smiling Heyman to ringside. (77%)

WWE Tag Team Title Match: Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty [champions] vs. The Thrill Kill (Sean O'Haire & Mark Jindrak)

Tazz was impressed by Paul Heyman's mystery team as Styles recalled their WCW history as the Natural Born Thrillers, one of the hot young new tag teams of the 21st century, and pointed out that they looked angrier and hungrier than ever. The WWE Tag Team Champions went right after Mark Jindrak & Sean O'Haire as soon as they stepped into the squared circle, slugging it out with their mystery challengers to kick off this solid championship contest. Rikishi had a bandaged leg as a result of the Haas Of Pain on SmackDown but looked strong in the early going, unloading with bodyslams and belly-to-belly suplexes and exchanging frequent tags with the limping Scotty 2 Hotty. However, it didn't take long for the Thrill Kill to isolate Scotty and aggressively work him over with quick tags and powerful double-teams while Heyman shouted orders from ringside. In the end, Jindrak slammed Scotty with the Mark Of Excellence and tagged O'Haire, who ascended to the top turnbuckle and dove off with the Seanton Bomb. While Jindrak knocked Rikishi off the apron with a hard right hand, O'Haire covered Scotty to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship at 10:03. Afterwards, Heyman retrieved the belts and presented them to his Thrill Kill as the crowd booed the new champs. (76%)

Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker

Footage was shown of Kurt Angle's recent attacks on the Undertaker as Paul Bearer led his Dead Man down the aisle for this vintage 'Taker bout, which saw the Phenom manhandle Angle from the outset until the Olympian managed to escape and run away. The Undertaker chased Angle around ringside until Angle used Bearer as a shield, shoving him toward 'Taker and attacking the Dead Man's ankle while he was briefly distracted. Angle focused on the Undertaker's ankle, dropping the steel ringsteps on the ankle on the floor before rolling him back into the squared circle, where he used every maneuver and submission hold in his arsenal to weaken the Phenom's leg and ankle in preparation for the Angle Lock. This continued for several minutes until the fans rallied behind Undertaker, who battled back and ended up clotheslining Angle over the top rope and went out with him. The two veterans brawled around ringside as the Phenom fought very aggressively and started to dominate the Olympic Champion, culminating in a vicious chokeslam through the Spanish commentators' table. As Angle lay semi-conscious in the wreckage, referee Chad Patton tried to stop the Undertaker, who grabbed the official and tossed him away, warranting Patton to call for the bell and award a disqualification victory to Angle at 16:57. This didn't faze 'Taker, as he retrieved a metal folding chair and proceeded to bombard Angle's prone head and torso with a barrage of vile chairshots while snarling like a vengeful demon. Even Bearer seemed shocked at the violence his Dead Man was unleashing, as the Big Show lumbered down to ringside to make the save and fell victim to a series of nasty chairshots that felled and busted open the 7-foot 500-pound redwood. The blood seemed to intensify Undertaker's brutality as he drove the chair down into the Show's forehead until Bearer used the urn to attract the Phenom, who snapped out of his psychotic rage and limped towards his long-time manager. Paul led 'Taker up the ramp while a horde of medical attendants flooded out to take care of Kurt and Show. The commentators were speechless. (92%)

WWE United States Title Match: John Cena [champion] vs. Brock Lesnar

John Cena performed a hardcore rap on his way out about Brock Lesnar, who was accompanied by Paul Heyman and Sable as Tazz explained that Brock & Sable were engaged and Brock wanted his fiancee at ringside when he won the WWE U.S. Championship. This was a great championship contest that kept the fans captivated from bell-to-bell as Lesnar used his power-oriented style to stay on his feet and combat Cena's "ground and pound" technique, which was a brilliant strategy for this heated back-and-forth struggle. When the slugfest spilled out to ringside and the United States Champion began to gain the advantage, Heyman distracted referee Brian Hebner while Sable snuck up from behind and lowblowed Cena. The Next Big Thing assumed control and tortured Cena in the ring with an assortment of suplexes and throws before applying the Brock Lock, almost gaining the submission. With the fans rallying behind him, Cena mounted a comeback and unloaded on the former three-time WWE Champion with punches, clotheslines, and bodyslams, even knocking Heyman off the apron with a haymaker when he tried to get involved. However, when the Doctor Of Thuganomics lifted Brock up for the F-U, his back gave out and Lesnar slipped off his shoulders onto his feet, spinning Cena around and scooping him up for the F-5 and the 1-2-3 at 21:12, giving Lesnar his first WWE United States Championship. Afterwards, Brock clutched the U.S. belt as he embraced Sable and Heyman at ringside and celebrated his victory, which Styles noted gave the Agency control of the WWE U.S. and Tag Team Titles after tonight's events. (84%)

WWE Championship Match: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Eddie Guerrero [champion]

During John Bradshaw Layfield's extended entrance, footage was shown from the April 15 SmackDown of JBL pinning Eddie Guerrero in a tag team match following a Booker T Axe Kick, which Bradshaw bragged about. This ignited the WWE Champion's "Latino Heat" and he took the fight to his larger challenger, kicking off a surprisingly good back-and-forth championship main event as Bradshaw worked hard to put on a hard-hitting brawl with the excellent Eddie that spilled out to the floor a few times. Both superstars traded near-falls throughout the contest as Layfield threw everything he had at Guerrero, but Latino Heat refused to be pinned and began to mount a comeback when Booker T strolled down to ringside in his street clothes. This distracted Eddie and allowed JBL to regain the advantage, but when the WWE Champion kicked out after the Clothesline From Hell, Booker sprang into action, grabbing the WWE Title belt and dropping it in the ring. The Book distracted referee Nick Patrick while JBL picked up the belt and prepared to use it as a weapon, but Rey Mysterio raced out from behind and grabbed the gold out of his hands. Rey Rey returned the belt to the timekeeper and Patrick ejected Booker from ringside as Guerrero took JBL down with the Three Amigos and flew off the top turnbuckle with the Frog Splash to earn the three-count and retain the WWE Championship at 23:44. Afterwards, JBL rolled out to the floor and Eddie celebrated his successful title defense with Rey while Styles and Tazz signed off. (81%)

Overall: 82%

Buyrate: 1.86

Paid Attendance: 20,236

PPV Revenue: $4,650,000

Ticket Sales: $1,214,160


Thanks for reading...good guesses, by the way :)

Edited by Chrononaut
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Didn't take me too long to catch up, Good stuff as usual man. Mankind being back is good, Though, I'm hoping Foley doesn't stay around for too long as you can push some younger guys to take Orton's title. I like the stuff with Christian/Kane as well, Too bad we didn't get to see Kane high fiving Christian. Judgment Day was quite well and I would have gotten smoked on my predictions, As I thought for sure Cena would have retained as well as Chavo, Glad to see the deadman showing a mean side to himself, But I hope it doesn't lead to a heel turn just yet. Not enough strong faces on Smackdown, Especially with Heyman's group and Booker/JBL. Booker being #1 contender is great and I'm hoping he beats Eddie.

Keep up the good work man, Looking forward to the next updates :D

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