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The Backstory

Wrestlemania XX on March 14, 2004 was considered by many to be the greatest event in WWE history. It was stamped with the motto, “Where it All Begins Again”. It marked the climax of Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s 20 year saga of sports entertainment and couldn’t have taken place on a grander stage than Madison Square Garden. However, not all was well as it appeared to be. Wrestlemania marked the last time that Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar would ever wrestle in the WWE. They both left to pursue other interests and were soon followed by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The man who was the biggest moneymaker in the company. Three giant names were lost and it only got worse. Kurt Angle’s neck was deteriorating at a tremendous rate and he needed to stop wrestling immediately (for the time being). There was also The Rock who made a brief comeback before going on yet another extended leave of absence to be a star in Hollywood. And the Undertaker was back as the dead man but only in a part-time role due to his injuries. The date March 14, 2004 will be remembered as the biggest night in WWE history for it's share of good and bad reasons. With a hevily damaged roster Mr. McMahon found himself in a dilemma he had not faced before. So he decided to shuffle the rosters a bit and even things out on RAW and SmackDown!. Now he finds himself in an interesting situation. Will he go to his already established names like Triple H and The Undertaker or will he be making new stars out of his fresh young talent in order to save the company? WCW had the exact same problem and chose to go with their established stars. We all know how that worked out. Wrestlemania XX ended with a shot Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero celebrating as champions of their respective brands. So perhaps there will be a rebirth of the “new generation”? The talent is definitely there, it's just up to them to use it. We will just have to wait and see what happens with WWE in the coming time and if the statement, "Where it All Begins Again" holds true. This is The Never-Ending Story of World Wrestling Entertainment.

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General Manager – Eric Bischoff

Main Event

Chris Benoit – F

Shawn Michaels – F

The Rock – F (Leave of Absence)

Triple H – H

Upper Midcard

Chris Jericho – F

Christian – H

Kane - H

Mick Foley – F

Randy Orton – H

Ric Flair – H

Midcard

A-Train - H

Batista – H

Lita - F

Matt Hardy – F

Molly - H

Rhyno - F

Scott Steiner – H (Injured)

Shelton Benjamin – F

Tajiri – F

Test – H (Injured)

The Hurricane - F

Trish Stratus - H

Val Venis – F

Lower Midcard

Chuck Palumbo - H

Eugene – F

Gail Kim - H

Garrison Cade – H

Mark Henry – H (Injured)

Maven – F

Nidia - F

Rosey – F

Rob Conway – H

Rodney Mack – H (Injured)

Steven Richards - T

Sylvan Grenier – H

Victoria – F

Others

Al Snow - T

Johnny Nitro – H

Stacy Keibler - F

The Coach - H

William Regal - T

Title Holders

World Heavyweight Champion – Chris Benoit

Intercontinental Champion – Randy Orton

Women’s Champion – Victoria

World Tag Team Champions – Ric Flair & Batista

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General Manager – Kurt Angle

Main Event

Big Show - H

Eddie Guerrero – F

The Undertaker – F

Upper Midcard

Booker T – H

John Bradshaw Layfield – H

John Cena - F

Rob Van Dam – F

Midcard

Billy Gunn – F

Billy Kidman - F

Bubba Ray Dudley – F

Charlie Haas – H

Chavo Guerrero – H

D-Von Dudley – F

Hardcore Holly – F

Rene Dupree – H

Rey Mysterio – F

Rico – F

Rikishi – F

Ultimo Dragon – F (Leave of Absence)

Lower Midcard

Danny Basham – H

Doug Basham – H

Funaki – F

Jamie Noble - H

Johnny ‘The Bull’ Stamboli - H

Mark Jindrak – H

Nunzio – H

Orlando Jordan – F

Scotty 2 Hotty – F

Shannon Moore – F

Spike Dudley – F

Openers

Akio – H

Paul London – F

Sakoda – H

Others

Chavo Classic - H

Dawn Marie – H

Miss Jackie - F

Paul Bearer - F

Paul Heyman – H

Sable - T

Theodore Long - H

Torrie Wilson – F

Title Holders

WWE Heavyweight Champion – Eddie Guerrero

United States Champion – John Cena

Cruiserweight Champion – Chavo Guerrero

WWE Tag Team Champions – Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty

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SmackDown! Writer’s Meeting

March 30, 2004

2:00 pm

Stephanie McMahon, Dave Lagana, Bruce Prichard, & Paul Heyman, who was there as a consultant, were backstage at the SmackDown! taping to discuss future plans for the show.

StephanieWell to open things up lets talk about Eddie Guerrero. With Brock Lesnar gone and Kurt Angle not wrestling we have a gap that needs to be filled. Who makes the best contender for the WWE Championship.

Prichard - In my mind I truly believe that Bradshaw is the man most deserving of the push. With his new character he reminds me a lot of the Million Dollar Man. We can do vignettes on his success in Wall Street and really get him to draw a lot of heat.

LaganaHe isn’t ready for that large of a push yet. His character needs more time to develop. The choice has to be the Big Show. Show is the only true main event heel we have left.

HeymanDidn’t Big Show just recently ask for time off? And plus, he’s too hurt to put on decent title matches even with Eddie. I say that Booker T is the man for the job. We can use his “SmackDown is the minor leagues” attitude to create a super heel.

StephanieAll three of you have strong arguments. I think we’ll choose the right man. How about Kurt Angle? Do you guys like him as the GM?

LaganaThe way I see it is he’s not perfect for the role but with his neck in the shape it is this is the only way we can use him.

PrichardThere needs to be a twist in this. I think we should have some wrestler injure Angle and put him in a wheel chair. This will allow him to play the bitter GM who lashes out against the wrestlers.

HeymanI have to agree with Bruce. People are used to Kurt playing a comical character. This will be a good change and also an opportunity to bring in a talent from OVW as his bodyguard.

StephanieExcellent thinking Paul. Travis Tomko and Horshu have each progressed nicely and either could make the perfect bodyguard. Another debuting talent is Vince's creation, Mordecai. His character has great potential.

PrichardHe will be great. We just need run some promos hyping him up and the fans will be fascinated.

HeymanMordecai is perfect for a feud with the Undertaker.

LaganaTrue, but we shouldn’t rush that. It should be a slow methodical process much like the feud Taker just had with Kane.

StephanieOkay the last topic for today is Teddy Long. He needs to be managing someone and now.

HeymanWhy not have him manage Charlie Haas. Charlie is a great talent but he doesn’t have much character and Teddy could represent him excellently.

PrichardI don’t see the need to give Haas a manager. He could be pushed similarly to Shelton his ex-partner. We give him a few lucky wins and he’s over instantly. Long should be paired with Mark Jindrak. Mark has a great look and could get it done in the ring but I don’t see him getting over on his own.

StephanieActually Dave and I have found what we feel is the perfect gimmick for Mark Jindrak. Until we decide on who Teddy Long will manage I have a way to use him on TV. And speaking of managers, Paul, how would you like to be a manager again?

HeymanI would love to be a manager again Stephanie.

StephanieI’ll tell you what I have in mind later. Well boys we accomplished what we needed to but there is more business to attend to. Let’s make sure we bring SmackDown back to greatness.

That concluded the meeting. Although multiple topics were discussed there was still much the was needed to be done in order to rebuild the ailing SmackDown!

Edited by Franchise88
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I like the start so far Franchise. Hopefully, you continue with this as it has loads of potential and I'm hoping you continue the backstage segments. I'm looking forward to your next post.

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THE GREAT AMERICAN AWARD

April 1, 2004

General Manager Kurt Angle has already made some blockbuster moves since coming to SmackDown to improve the show. He has informed us that we will see his next move come into play this Thursday night when he plans to award one SmackDown superstar as the "Great American". We are unsure of the details but we know it will consist of a series of matches where the winners advance in a tournament-like fashion. The Great American Award shows that Angle truly does want to make his brand all that it can be.

The Dead Man is back and with Paul Bearer at his side he is greater than ever. However he is a "Special Attraction" of SmackDown! therefore it is not always known if he will be present. General Manager Kurt Angle has said he will not be afraid to exercise his authority into forcing The Undertaker to appear. Will Taker be in the house come Thursday night? Tune in and find out.

John Bradshaw Layfield is a man who has certainly had a change in his persona as of late. Ever since his former APA partner Ron Simmons was fired he has been bragging about how he's rich and better than everyone. There is no doubt that he is successful, as he is a regular correspondent for Fox News and also released his book, "Have More Money Now", which tells about his success and how you can achieve it. We hope to learn more about his change in demeanor.

Also, just last week Booker T made his debut on SmackDown! after being traded along with The Dudley Boyz for Triple H. However he was clearly very dissappointed about the news and proclaimed that, "Smackdown is the minor leagues." WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero took offense to that and got into a brawl with Booker. How will the other superstars respond to Bookers declaration? What will Rob Van Dam think of his former partner?

Speaking of Eddie Guerrero, the champ has been riding on the top of the mountain since No Way Out! He will definitely be in the house and is surely looking out for possible contenders to his title. He knows as the champion that he has a bulls-eye on his chest and with his nemesis Kurt Angle as GM the odds have to be stacked against him. What's next for the WWE Heavyweight Champion?

Find out the answer to all these questions and more this Thursday night at 8/7ct on UPN!

- smackdown.wwe.com

Edited by Franchise88
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WWE SmackDown!

April 1, 2004

Tuscon, Arizona

Hosts: Michael Cole & Tazz

Cole – Ladies and gentleman welcome to what is sure to be a memorable night! GM Kurt Angle has announced the “Great American Award”…

The GM’s music blasts over the speakers as he makes his way out to the ring with a microphone in hand.

What Makes a “Great American?”

Kurt Angle stepped in to the ring after a round of “You Suck” chants during his entrance and began to speak.

AngleTonight is going to be the night that the first ever “Kurt Angle Great American Award” Winner is decided. Now you’re all probably asking yourselves what is a Great American? It is a person who best exemplifies what a role model should be. It is a person who takes great pride in this land of opportunity. Someone who stands up for this country and would do anything for it. In other words, a person who is a lot like me. Hence the name, “Kurt Angle Great American Award”. The winner will be decided after a series of grueling matches tonight and will be named next week on SmackDown! There will be four matches tonight where I will evaluate the winners and then announce who I have selected as the winner. It is a great honor to win the award and I expect a 110% effort from all the superstars tonight. Let the games begin.

92%

"Great American Match" Billy Gunn vs. Charlie Haas

The very first match of the night featured Charlie Haas against Billy Gunn. Has has just recently started wrestling in singles competition due to his partner going to RAW where he has already experienced huge success. Can Haas also gain success on his own? Billy Gunn started off slowly as Haas took immediate control of the match. He unleashed a barrage of right hands on the man who had been with the WWE for over a decade now. Gunn wasn’t showing any signs of a comeback at all. Haas whipped Gunn into the ropes and then dropped him with a reverse elbow right to the jaw. It looked vicious! Charlie seized the opportunity and applied a Boston Crab to weaken Gunn. Billy was in a tremendous amount of pain and reaching for the ropes with all his strength. However it was just too far away. He didn’t tap out though. He was showing the 110% effort that Angle wanted to see. Haas finally released the hold but the damage appeared to have been done. Gunn got back to his feet and hunched over in the corner of the ring. Haas saw the opportunity and ran at Gunn with an attempted avalanche but Gunn dodged it. Charlie’s head bounced off of the turnbuckle and he stumbled around to the center of the ring. Billy Gunn came of the ropes with a Fameasser but Haas managed to get a low blow in and roll up Gunn with a handful of tights for the 1-2-3. *¼

Winner – Charlie Haas

70%

Cole - Charlie Haas just stole a win right there but the ref didn’t see a damn thing.

TazzWell, the ref can’t call what he doesn’t see Cole. Big ups to Charlie Haas as he is the 1st of the 4 finalists who may be named the “Kurt Angle Great American.”

:::ADVERTS:::

Cole – The action is not stopping tonight Tazz.

TazzThat’s right it’s time for another match in the Great American series.

“Great American Match” Hardcore Holly vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

Hardcore Holly made his way out to a surprisingly large pop from the crowd. Maybe the push against Lesnar wasn’t a mistake. The new and improved John Bradshaw Layfield made his way out with cowboy hat and a new theme song completing his character transformation. He towered over Holly as a stare down ensued after the opening bell. Both men were trading insults and Layfield pointed his finger at Holly which Hardcore took offense to and Holly threw the first few blows of the match. Bradshaw was reeling backwards and got whipped off of the ropes and was nailed with a picture perfect dropkick from Holly. A quick cover was made for a two count and JBL wisely rolled out of the ring to regain his composure. He got into with some fans at ringside and but took his focus back to the match and came back into the ring. Hardcore came at him but received a boot to the gut and elbow to the back of the head. In just one moment Bradshaw had completely changed the momentum of the match. He whipped Holly into a corner of the ring and followed it up with a big clothesline. Holly was still in the corner and received more punishment as JBL drove his knee into the guts of Hardcore. Holly didn’t appear to have much gas left in his tank as Layfield continued pummeling him. Suddenly though, a burst of energy was seen and Hardcore fought back with all he had. He then ran off the ropes but right into the Clothesline From Hell for the 1-2-3. *¾

Winner – John Bradshaw Layfield

70%

Tazz – An impressive win for John Bradshaw Layfield, a man who has been on a mission as of late.

The Dudleyz Make Demands

Cameras go backstage where The Dudley Boyz, and Rene Dupree are yelling at GM Kurt Angle for not being in the Great American Award Series tonight. Angle tells everyone to cool it and begins to speak.

AngleAlright, now everybody just hold on one damn minute! I’m the General Manager and you don’t question my authority! Now Rene, you want to win the Kurt Angle Great American Award and I respect that. But you’re French, so you are prohibited from entering. However I will make it up to you, I promise.

Dupree leaves the office dissappointed.

Bubba RayKurt, you’re not going to find any two guys who exemplify a Great American more than D-Von and me. You need to put us in the series tonight.

D-VonTestifyyyy!

AngleYou know something Bubba, I have to agree with you. And I will grant your wish. There happen to be two slots left in the series and they go to you and D-Von. Good luck tonight.

DudleyzThat’s all we wanted to hear. Thank you!

The Dudleyz go to exit the office but Angle starts to speak.

AngleOh, just so you know, your match is against each other. Good luck.

D-Von and Bubba looked at each other with confusion in their eyes as that was not what they had hoped for.

98%

Cole – Kurt Angle giving the Dudley Boyz more than they had bargained for.

TazzHaven’t they ever heard the saying, “be careful what you wish for?”

Billy Kidman vs. Sakoda w/Akio

Cruiserweight action was up next as Sakoda of Kyo Dai came out to the ring with his partner Akio accompanying him as he faced off against former Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman. Kidman was apprehensive early on because he knew that Akio was capable of interfering on his partner’s behalf at anytime during the match. So he started off slowly. Sakoda clearly held a greater strength advantage over the smaller Kidman and used his size intelligently. Kidman wasn’t allowed to wrestle his usual style of a cruiserweight match. Sakoda looked more angered than we had seen him. Possibly because he was out to prove that he and Akio didn’t need Tajiri to be successful. The match was plagued with constant interference from Akio on the outside. He would jump on the apron to cause a distraction or pull on Kidman’s leg any chance he could get. On one occasion he actually brought a steel chair into the ring! He was about to blast Kidman with it but the referee blocked it and ordered him to go back to the locker room. Akio took it upon himself to strike down the referee resulting in his partner’s disqualification. However the assault did not stop there. Kyo Dai began double teaming the helpless Kidman and looked as if they were trying to end his career. Paul London ran out from the back and rushed to help his friend fight off the Japanese cruiserweights. Kidman and London stared at Kyo Dai in the aisle as we went to a commercial break. ¾*

Winner – Billy Kidman via DQ

54%

:::ADVERTS:::

Thuggin’ & Buggin’ on SmackDown!

SmackDown! Came back with a shot of Theodore Long walking backstage. This was his first appearance since being sent to SmackDown! In the draft lottery. He walked into a locker room full of wrestlers where he made a speech.

LongLet me preach a li’l sumthin’ sumthin’ to ya'll fellas. I know you all saw how I brought a couple nobodies to success back on RAW with Thuggin’ and Buggin’ Enterprises, believe dat playas. But I have been sent here to SmackDown! and I don’t see nuthin’ but white boys. Don’t get me wrong though, cuz I love a challenge, believe dat. So let me holla at ya. I’m letting the message out right now that while the GM Kurt Angle may be doing his search for the next “Great American” I’m doing a li’l search of my own for another great. That’s right, I’m talkin’ bout the “Great White Hope”. So spread the word out to all the crackers here that the search for “Theodore Long’s Great White Hope” has officially begun. Now believe dat!

Notes - Theodore Long gained overness from this segment.

75%

TazzTeddy Long, is here on SmackDown! and he’s looking for the “Great White Hope”.

ColeWell right now the Bashams are set to take on the champs in a non-title match but if they win it could lead to a match for the belts.

“Non-Title Match” Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty vs. The Basham Brothers

The Bashams came out with smiles on their faces as they knew that a win tonight could lead to an opportunity to regain their titles. Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty made their way out with the title belts in hand and did their usual dancing on the way out. Rikishi started things off for the champs and Doug and Danny didn’t want any part of the 400-pound Samoan. The referee threatened that they would have to forfeit the match and that got the action underway between the two teams. Rikishi dominated Danny Basham who couldn’t get in any offense and forced a tag into Doug Basham. The scenario was the same as Rikishi continued to demolish the Bashams single-handedly. Doug and Danny asked for a time-out on the outside as they huddled together and seemed to come up with a plan. Rikishi went after them to break it up and he threw the wrong brother back into the ring. No one seemed to notice and the match went on. Rikishi dragged Danny into the corner and repeatedly squashed him. Scotty 2 Hotty was tagged in and that was when the champions made their mistake. Danny Basham was able to actually mount a comeback against the undersized Scotty and momentum was swinging the way of the Basham Brothers. Quick tags were being made and Scotty was constantly being double-teamed. A sign of hope came when Scotty nailed Doug with a dropkick that sent him to the outside. He stopped the ref’s count and that allowed the Bashams to pull the switch. Now Scotty made his way out and unknowingly rolled the wrong Basham, Danny, back in. As Scotty got back in the ring he went to pick up Danny and the fresh man rolled him up in a small package for the three count! *¼

Winners – The Basham Brothers

NotesThe Bashams debuted their new gimmicks (cheaters), they got a positive response.

67%

:::ADVERTS:::

The Minor Leagues?

Booker T was in the back with Josh Matthews for an interview and he had a big smile on his face.

MatthewsBooker T, last week you were very dissappointed to be here but, we just saw you leaving General Manager Kurt Angle’s office and you’re all smiles. Can you tell us what went on in there.

BookerMr. Angle and myself had a little business meeting and we have big plans. Haha big plans. If you know what I’m talkin’ bout.

MatthewsExactly what kind of plans do you mean?

BookerThese plans are so big that I cannot reveal them tonight. But, next week on SmackDown! you’re going to have to watch and find out. I will say this though, a certain someone better watch their back because the 5 time, 5 time, 5 time, 5 time, 5 time! WCW Champion is coming for ya. Now can you dig that, sucka!

89%

ColeBooker T saying that Kurt Angle and him have big plans. What is he talking about and who was he talking about?

TazzWe’ll have to wait until next Thursday but right now it’s time for Dudley vs. Dudley.

“Great American Match” Bubba Ray Dudley vs. D-Von Dudley

The Dudley Boyz came out separately for their one on one encounter. It would mark the first time they would face each other in the WWE. We had seen the brothers go at it before in ECW many times of course. Surely there had to be some heat between the two after all the little things that happened in the last 5 years but nonetheless they shaked hands before the match began which showed a lot of class between them. After a couple of minutes gone by in the match not a single punch had been thrown. The Dudleyz were keeping it to a good clean wrestling match that we rarely see these days. No clear advantage was shown at all. These two brothers new each other so well and were so evenly matched up that it was a complete stalemate between the two of them. It seemed as if the match would go on forever but D-Von nailed a DDT that almost knocked Bubba out cold! He covered and hooked the leg for the 1-2-NO! A very near fall. D-Von followed it up and was now putting more of an effort into the match. It was clear that he wanted to win more than we originally thought. Bubba got knocked down with a clothesline and D-Von went up to the top for the diving headbutt but Bubba Ray managed to roll out of the way in the nick of time. D-Von was groggy as he got back up to his feet and Bubba spun him around hooked the full nelson up and planted D-Von with the Bubba Bomb for the One-Two-Three. After the match Bubba helped his brother up to his feet and both men embraced each other. They left together like a team showing no hard feelings. **

Winner – Bubba Ray Dudley

NotesThe Dudley Boyz lost overness from this match.

65%

Cole – The Dudley Boyz not holding back against each other and showing a lot of class.

TazzNo doubt Cole, I’ve seen those two go at it before and I was a bit surprised that things didn’t get out of hand but a good clean match.

:::ADVERTS:::

Latino Heat Won’t Back Down

Eddie Guerrero appeared on the Titantron and he was appearing from his home in El Paso, Texas via satellite as it was time for an interview with the WWE Heavyweight Champion.

Cole - Eddie, I have just been informed that Kurt Angle has said he will be announcing a #1 contender to your title in two weeks. How do you feel about that?

GuerreroHola le vato! You know, Kurt Angle our General Manager is a guy who has it out for me. Ever since I beat him at WrestleMania XX and embarrassed him in front of all those New Yorkers. So I know that he’s going to really be trying hard to get the championship off of me. But it doesn’t matter who he picks holmes, cuz I’m on top of the world right now essa. I have achieved my dream of becoming WWE Champion by beating a guy twice my size. Nobody gave me a chance but I proved them wrong. I’ve overcome my demons to be together with my family and for once in my life, I’m happy holmes. I truly feel pleased with myself. Nothing can bring me down from the high I have as the champ. And Kurt Angle you better be plotting and scheming. You better pick your best contender because when I defend my title, I will lie, cheat, and steal like only Latino heat can do. Hola le!

NotesEddie Guerrero gained overness from this segment.

92%

:::ADVERTS:::

“Great American Match” John Cena vs. The Big Show

The main event of the evening was the fourth and final match in the Great American Series. It was also a rematch from WrestleMania XX where the Dr. of Thuganomics, John Cena, defeated the massive Big Show to capture the United States Championship and his first ever WWE title. The Big Show had a terrifying look on his face that struck fear into the announcers. He obviously wanted to get some revenge for his loss he suffered. Cena did his usual freestyle rap on the way out talking about the Big Show in a way which only angered the monster even more. As soon as Cena entered the ring wearing his Emmit Smith Arizona Cardinals jersey he was assaulted. Even before he could take off his belt the Big Show began pouncing on him. The huge hands of Show were clobbering the U.S. Champ. Cena finally got a thumb to the eyes of Show which allowed him a break to take off his jersey. Cena ran back at the monster but got dropped with a huge clothesline. Show then proceeded to drop an elbow onto the chest of Cena. He covered a got a near fall just like that. The champion was surely not looking good out there and things were going the Big Show’s way. This was really a one sided affair and completely opposite to the encounter between the Dudley Boyz earlier on. Show lifted up Cena with a gorilla press and just tossed him over the tope rope to the floor putting him at the feet of the announcers. Cena was nearly counted out but Show stopped the count by going to the outside and applying a bear hug. With Cena in his grasp the giant rushed into the ring post and could’ve broken the back of our United States Champion. Instead of accepting a count out victory the Big Show rolled his opponent back into the ring and went for the pin but Cena got his foot on the ropes. Show didn’t see it and he acted as if he had won. When the ref explained what happened Show turned around and was met with a series of right hands from the reenergized John Cena. Show was rocking and reeling but nailed a big boot out of nowhere. He went for Cena’s chain in the corner of the ring and was hiding it from the ref. Big Show went to nail the U.S Champ but missed! Cena hoisted the behemoth on his shoulders and planted him with the F-U! 1-2-3. And Cena picked up the win. After the match Cena went to get his U.S Title when he was attacked from behind. The Big Show rammed his head into the announcers table. The he removed the TV’s and other equipment leaving the table empty. Tazz and Michael Cole were backing up in fear. Show choked out Cena with his own chain! Then he grabbed Cena by the neck and hoisted him high in the air for a chokeslam right through the table! A shot of John Cena’s limp body was shown as SmackDown! went off the air. *¼

Winner – John Cena

76%

Overall – 75%

Nielsen – 6.2

Edited by Franchise
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Guest Sean O'Haire

Wait, your going back before Wrestlemania, but introducing storylines that they used after it, before it? I don't get it.

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RAW Writer’s Meeting

April 05, 2004

12:00 pm

The RAW writing crew of Brian Gewirtz, Michael Hayes, and Ed Koskey were present along with Creative Director Stephanie McMahon to discuss the future for the RAW brand.

StephanieAlright gentleman. The first topic on our agenda is the Eugene character. We have to be very careful with the way we portray his character on TV.

KoskeyI think that the vignette that we aired on him on Heat was good. He could debut this Monday night and we’ll introduce him as Eric Bischoff’s “special” nephew as planned.

GewirtzIn my opinion he should be more of a wrestling rainman than just a “special” person. We can’t let his character overshadow his in ring abilities.

StephanieExcellent point, if there’s one thing about him we want to exploit it’s that he can wrestle with the best of them.

HayesStephanie, we have a big problem with our tag team division. There are only two real tag teams, La Resistance and Hurricane/Rosey. Even though Batista/Flair are the champs their better as singles wrestlers. We need to do something about this.

KoskeyI know two guys who would make the perfect team. Their both on our roster and have been a successful team before.

GerwitzWe could also bring up some talent from OVW to make a new team. There are some guys who are just about ready to be called up.

HayesWe could team up Tajiri and Kenzo Suzuki. They would be like Kyo Dai but on RAW and that could also lead to a feud between them in the future.

StephanieAlright, we’ll work on strengthening the tag team scene. But Backlash and we haven’t announced any matches yet.

HayesFirst of all Chris Benoit needs a match for his world title. Who would make his best opponent?

GerwitzShawn Michaels and Triple H could have a triple threat rematch from WrestleMania with him. We could bill it as “The Final Encounter”.

KoskeyI doubt people would pay to see a triple threat rematch. We should choose HBK. With the show being in Canada his heat would be off the charts.

StephanieAt least we can narrow it down to one of those two. How about Edge? He just returned and needs a good feud to get him back in the fans minds.

GerwitzEdge vs. Christian might work unless the Jericho feud is still going to be continued.

KoskeyI think that Edge makes a great World Title contender.

HayesIt’s too early to have him main event. Especially after just returning after a year off. Kane is a guy who doesn’t have much going on right now. They could have a match.

StephanieI have spoken to Kane about an upcoming feud so he’s out. But let’s move onto Shelton Benjamin.

KoskeyShelton definitely needs to be on the card after pinning Triple H.

HayesA member of Evolution makes the best opponent for him.

GerwitzI’m not sure who his opponent should be but no matter who it is Shelton should get the win.

StephanieAlright, at least we have a few matches in mind and maybe one will even be announced tonight on RAW. Right now there are some unused talents who I have to speak with Johnny Ace about.

As was seen in the SmackDown! writing meeting Vince McMahon wasn’t present again which is showing that he is slowly letting control of the company go to his kids, or at least one of them.

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NUMBER 1 CONTENDER?

April 5, 2004

WWE.com has learned from Eric Bischoff’s “Apprentice”, Johnny Nitro, that Chris Benoit’s opponent for Backlash on the 25th of this month will be named tonight. Who will be chosen as the man to go for the World Heavyweight Title in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada? The top candidates would obviously have to be Triple H and Shawn Michaels who were a part of that grueling triple threat main event at WrestleMania last month. Which one of them deserves it more? Or does Bischoff have someone else in mind?

Just a few weeks ago Edge returned during the Draft Lottery by spearing the General Manager Eric Bischoff. That wasn't a very wise move because last Monday Bischoff has said Edge will have to pay the price for his actions. How does the GM plan on going about this? What price will Edge have to pay?

The war between Randy Orton and Mick Foley is not over yet. The Intercontinental Champion and self proclaimed, “Legend Killer” won the battle at WrestleMania with a sudden pin on Foley. This is a feud that has been raging on since June of 2003 and there is no end in sight. However just recently Mick requested a one on one match with Orton. We have yet to hear a response to the challenge but maybe we’ll learn more this Monday.

The World Tag Team Titles will be on the line. Ric Flair and Batista representing Evolution will be defending their title belts against the super-hero duo of Rosey and The Hurricane. The speech that The Rock gave to the challengers calling them, “Hamburgler and Grimace” may have lit a fire under them. There big chance comes on RAW when they face the legendary Ric Flair and monster Batista.

Also, the soap-opera like triangle of Chris Jericho, Christian, and Trish Status just gets more confusing every week. Christian and Stratus are apparently “in love” and are destined to end Jericho’s career. We have seen that they will stop at no means to accomplish their goals. However Y2J is not one to back down that easily. Much like the Randy Orton/Mick Foley war, this doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.

Find out the answer to all these questions and more this Monday night at 9/8ct on Spike TV!

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WWE RAW

April 5, 2004

Dayton, Ohio

Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler

The #1 Contender Is…

After the RAW intro General Manager Eric Bischoff’s music hits and he comes out even before the pyro could go off. His “Apprentice” Johnny Nitro is at his side. Nitro gets him a mic and the GM starts to speak.

BischoffAlright, tonight I have a very important announcement tonight to make and it’s regarding World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit. That’s right, I’m out here to announce who he’ll be defending his title against in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada at Backlash on April 18th. Now, after evaluating the top contenders and main event at WrestleMania, My choice has become clear. Therefore the #1 Contender to the title is none other than…

“Sexy Boy” hits the speakers as Shawn Michaels makes his way out to the ring dancing along the way. He grabs a mic.

HBKWoah, woah, woah, Eric…

Before HBK could get out another word Evolution made their way out on the stage much to the chagrin of Michaels.

Triple HHold on a second there Eric. You see that piece of garbage in the ring with you is only out there to play politics with you. But I know you’re a very intelligent man, hell you made WCW! Yeah, that’s right. And as an intelligent General Manager I know you won’t ignore the fact that as the last man to hold the title I have a rematch coming my way. So let’s get this over and have you make Chris Benoit vs. Triple H at Backlash for the World Heavyweight Title official because my boys here got a couple of jabronis to beat.

HBKHang on just a second. Now that was a very nice speech Hunter but you conveniently left out some very important information. You see at WrestleMania XX you lost the match, not me. You tapped out to Chris Benoit.

At this point a “You tapped out” chant starts up.

HBKChris Benoit has never beaten me and that is why I deserve to be named #1 contender. So what’s it gonna be Bisch?

BischoffAlright, enough already. And that’s ‘Mr. Bischoff’ to you. I was prepared to announce a #1 contender but since you two want to do things the hard, that’s what we’ll do. So tonight in this very ring, it will be Shawn Michaels versus Triple H and the winner goes on to face Chris Benoit at Backlash for the World Title. And another thing, just so there’s no confusion, Johnny here is going to be the special ref for this #1 contender’s match. Good luck gentleman.

The ring and entrance area were cleared as Batista and Ric Flair made their way out for their match.

81%

JR – What a start to RAW! A blockbuster announcement by Eric Bischoff.

KingThat’s right. It’s HBK vs. The Game with the winner going on to Backlash to face the Rabid Wolverine.

JRBut right now the tag team titles are on the line.

World Tag Team Titles Match - Flair & Batista © vs. Rosey & The Hurricane

The champions Ric Flair and Batista were already in the ring as Rosey and The Hurricane made their way out to challenge for the title belts. Ric Flair and The Hurricane started things off with Flair getting in a few woos after gaining the upper hand. We saw some of the classic chops from Flair to the chest of the super-hero but they were returned by the Hurricane. Flair would eventually regain control over the fellow North Carolinian and tag in the intimidating Batista. Hurricane was crawling towards his corner to tag in Rosey but Batista put a stop to that by putting the boots to the back of the super-hero. Evolution was in total domination of the tag team encounter. Batista and Flair were having fun with the cruiserweight. Flair was once again working on the Hurricane and beginning to grow frustrated that he couldn’t finish the match. He started to argue with the ref and even get into with a few audience members. The Nature Boy finally returned his focus to the match but was shocked to see that Rosey had been tagged in. The big man grabbed the 16 time world heavyweight champion and slammed him down. As Flair was getting back to his feet he connected with a low blow on the Super-Hero in training. This allowed Batista to come back in and he got in a stare-down with a man a little closer to his size. A slobberknocker ensued and pretty soon all four men were brawling in the ring. The match had erupted into a tornado tag. Flair and Rosey brawled in the ring while Batista and the Hurricane took it outside. Flair was being manhandled and the Hurricane was also in trouble. Batista backed Hurricane into the ring post and ran at him at full speed, but Hurricane ducked it! In the ring Rosey threw out Flair just as a groggy Batista was rolled back in the ring by Hurricane. Rosey tagged in the Hurricane and then, Rocket Launched him off the top rope onto Batista. Hurricane hooked the leg, ONE-TWO-THREE! The two super-heroes celebrated as the crowd went berserk. **

Winners & New Tag Team Champions – Rosey & The Hurricane

Notes - The World Tag Team titles have gained in image.

73%

:::ADVERTS:::

The Legend Killer

RAW returns in the locker room of Evolution where an enraged Ric Flair & Batista are trying to be calmed down by Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton.

OrtonDon’t worry about it guys. Everybody gets lucky. Shelton Benjamin got lucky when he beat Triple H last week and these guys are no different. Those titles will be back around your waists in no time.

Batista throws a lamp against the wall in a rage and walks out while Flair follows trying to calm him down. Triple H appears.

OrtonHey Hunter, big night tonight huh?

HunterYeah, and it better not go like that match they just had. What about you? Are you gonna kill off Foley once and for all so you can add another legend onto your hit list?

OrtonOh yeah. I’ve officially excepted Mick’s challenge for Backlash and that will be the last night of his career. I pinned him at WrestleMania and I’m not going to have any problems doing it again.

HunterTry and get Batista under control. I want all you guys to have my back tonight.

Orton left following Triple H’s orders as The Game got prepared for his match later.

86%

Talking to the Champ

We went to WWE eXperience host Todd Grisham who was with World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit.

Grisham – Chris Benoit later tonight the man who you will face in your hometown at Backlash will be decided. There is no doubt you will be watching closely.

BenoitWell you don’t know how right you are. Because later on tonight when Shawn Michaels and Triple H fight for the chance to face me I will be sitting with JR and the King to call the action and give my expertise on the match. I want to get a good look at who my opponent will be and also keep my eye on any outside interference because I know Johnny Nitro can’t handle that by himself.

85%

King – Benoit is going to be out here with us tonight JR!

JRWell folks if you’re just joining us we’ve already seen new tag team champions here tonight and that huge main event still to come.

KingWhat else is going to happen tonight?

Non-Title Match - Victoria vs. Molly Holly

Victoria made her way out for a WrestleMania XX rematch against Molly Holly. Molly was wearing a wig to cover up her Sinead O’Connor hairstyle she received at the hands of Victoria. The title was not on the line in this particular match however. Molly started off by giving Victoria and open hand slap right to the face. Victoria lunged at Molly and they were both on the ground in old ECW catfight fashion. The ref attempted to break it up but he got mixed in as well with the divas. Eventually order was restored and the match finally started. Molly was showing ruthless aggression. She obviously wanted revenge on the women who cost her to lose her hair. Even though the title wasn’t on the line Molly realized a future title match could come from this. Victoria ducked a clothesline and connected with a stiff kick to the face of Molly that knocked her wig off. Molly rolled out of the ring and tried to get the wig back on. While that was going on Gail Kim ran down to the ring and attacked the Women’s Champion. The referee called for the disqualification. Molly joined in the attack making it 2 on 1. They were trying to rip Victoria’s hair right out of her skull. Lita ran out to the ring to make it 2 on 2 and with Victoria successfully fought off Gail Kim and Molly Holly. **

Winner – Victoria via DQ

Notes - Molly Holly lost overness from this match.

75%

:::ADVERTS:::

Paying The Price

The Hurricane and Rosey were in the locker room being congratulated by fellow wrestlers such as Tommy Dreamer, Tajiri, Lance Storm, and Maven. Then Edge walked into the picture to give his congratulations as well. We hear Ric Flair calling and then Batista walked in to see the celebration. He went crazy!

BatistaWhat the hell is this!

Edge whispers into Tajiri’s ear…

EdgeLook at Donkey Kong over there.

Tajiri laughs and Batista turns his attention to him.

BatistaYou think its funny punk!

EdgeHey, lay off man.

BatistaYou’re right, I just need to relax.

Edge turns his back as Batista goes to leave but Batista returns and attacks Edge! A brawl ensues in the locker room. Ric Flair finally appears and the wrestlers are attempting to break up the fight. Edge and Batista are really going at it. The fight pours out of the locker room and road agents appear to aid in separating the two. They’re successful in doing so but Edge and Batista are screaming at each other as they’re being pulled apart.

71%

King – Did you see that JR. Edge should no better than to make jokes about Batista.

JRWell Batista is obviously disappointed after losing the tag titles earlier tonight and he’s taking it out on Edge. I’ll tell ya what, that Batista is a real hoss.

Chris Jericho vs. Matt Hardy

Matt Hardy made his way out to a decent pop. His two Matt Facts this week were, “Matt should have his own talk show” and “Matt loves Spring Break”. Chris Jericho came out with a bit of a modified theme song and a new entrance video with a look similar to his “Highlight Reel” set. The match began with Hardy getting out to an early advantage. He surprised Jericho with some hard right hands and kicks to the midsection. Matt scored a big dropkick for a near fall early on. Y2J appeared to be not completely focused on the match tonight and it was clear that Trish Stratus and Christian were affecting him. Hardy continued to go to work mainly focusing on the lower back region of Jericho. Y2J was at the mercy of the founder of Mattitude. But the momentum swung the other way when Jericho nailed an enziguri out of desperation. Both men were nearly counted down for 10 but Jericho got back to his feet with a second wind in him. Jericho was no hitting some of his signature moves and taking back the match. He planted Hardy with a bulldog for a near fall. He followed it up with the Lion Sault but Hardy moved out of the way and the referee took the shot to the face! Hardy hit the Side Effect on Jericho and covered but there was no ref. Hardy attempted to bring the ref back to a conscious state but had no success. Y2J took this opportunity to apply the Walls of Jericho! Hardy was tapping out immediately. But still the referee was out cold. At this point a man came in from the crowd and knocked Jericho in the back of the head with a kick. We then saw it was Christian! He picked up Jericho and planted him with the Unprettier. The ref was finally moving at this point. Christian dragged Matt over Y2J and the ref counted 1-2-3! Christian ran away through the crowd as Matt had pulled off the upset. ***

Winner – Matt Hardy

Notes - Chris Jericho lost overness from this match. Matt Hardy gained overness from this match.

88%

:::ADVERTS:::

Kane Warns Bischoff

As RAW returns we see Johnny Nitro leaving Eric Bischoff’s office to go get a referee’s shirt. Then Kane walks in and sends fear into the General Manager with a warning.

BischoffKane, hey. What can I do for you?

KaneWhy the hell didn’t you put me in the #1 contender’s match tonight? You don’t think that I’m good enough? I can beat Chris Benoit for the World title.

BischoffI believe you. But the match is already signed.

KaneIf things don't start going my way then the reign of terror on RAW will begin. Ha ha ha ha.

Kane walked out as Bischoff was left holding his chest and breathing heavily.

86%

JR – Well Kane, sending a message that a “reign of terror” is impending on RAW. What the hell does he mean by that King?

KingI have no idea and don’t really want to find out either.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Garrison Cade

Shelton Benjamin who has been on a hot streak as of late with a pinfall victory over Triple H made his way out to face Garrison Cade. Cade on the other hand had been struggling as of late and was looking for the win to end his losing streak. Both men were pretty evenly matched as far as size and age were concerned. Cade started off with a handshake offer but Shelton knew better and attacked with kicks to the gut of Garrison. Benjamin pushed Cade into the ropes and whipped him across. A back body drop by Shelton put down the cowboy. Shelton followed up with a leg drop to the back of Cade’s head. That was a devastating looking move. A near fall followed the move. Garrison was in dire trouble of losing yet another match. In fear of losing Cade went to the outside where he looked for a steel chair. This move lured out Shelton and Cade didn’t take the chair at all. Instead he clobbered Benjamin with a hard right hand and smashed his head into the guardrail. After a short series of events Garrison had wisely taken control of the match and brought it to his pace. Now Benjamin was in danger of having his winning streak terminated. After an Irish whip off the ropes Shelton got nailed with a big time DDT from Cade. That was almost as nicely executed as Arn Anderson. Cade motioned to the crowd that it was over and made a cover for the 1-2-2 count only! He was in shock. He got in the ref’s face and that rookie mistake allowed Shelton to roll him up for ONE-TWO-NO! Close but no cigar that time. Cade went for a clothesline but it was ducked and Shelton connected with the Super Kick. The cover was made for the 1-2-3 and the win streak continues. *¼

Winner – Shelton Benjamin

NotesGarrison Cade and Shelton Benjamin didn’t ‘click’ in this match-up. Maybe due to their mis-matched skills causing their styles not to gel.

68%

JR – King, what about Shelton Benjamin? Undefeated since coming to RAW.

KingHe’s on a lucky streak. That’s all. It will come to an end eventually.

Debuting Next Week…

A vignette for a man named “Eugene” airs saying that he will be making his debut on RAW live next week from Minneapolis, Minnesota. We do not see any images of “Eugene” however do here music that sounds like it’s from a Pee-Wee Herman show and the “G” in Eugene was spelled backwards. We also hear from a voice, presumably Eugenes.

Eugene - Hello! My name is Eugene.

70%

:::ADVERTS:::

King – Well this is it JR. It’s time for Triple H vs. HBK

JRWe’re about to find out who will go onto Backlash to fight for the ultimate prize.

#1 Contender’s Match – Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

HBK came out and was clearly the crowd favorite in the heartland of America, Dayton, Ohio. The Game came out by himself with his trademark water bottle and did his usual entrance routine. The crowd was all over him and a commercial break was taken just before the bout was started. As we returned from the adverts the match was already in progress. We were shown a clip of what happened during the break and saw that Triple H had clipped the knee of the Heart Break Kid. That was what the former champion was focusing on for the match. It was a wise gameplan because if he took away the leg of Michaels then he would also take away the sweet chin music. Triple H was wrenching away at Shawn’s leg every chance he got. We saw him take Shawn into the corner ring post and wrap his legs around. Hunter applied the figure four around it much like Bret “The Hitman” Hart used to do. The ref eventually threatened to disqualify Hunter and broke the hold using force. The Game was in total control. Chris Benoit was noting that even though he hates Triple H he admitted he was using a great gameplan. Triple H then went for a running knee drop but Michaels rolled out of the way. This gave HBK the chance he needed to get back in the match. However he was too slow in getting to his feet and Triple H put him down with a spinebuster. A cover for the 1-2-2 count followed. We were now at least 10 minutes into the match but somehow Michaels was hanging in there. The game locked in his good friend Ric Flair’s figure four in the dead center of the ring. Michaels was in a tremendous amount of pain. But the fans started to chant “HBK, HBK” and Shawn managed to flip the figure four over. It didn’t take long for Hunter to break the hold but the damage was done somewhat. Both men were crawling around and trying to get to their feet. Benoit came down at this point saying that he wanted a closer look. Johnny Nitro spotted him and they got into it in the aisle. Randy Orton came out of the crowd and had a steel chair in his hand he hopped the rail and was trying to give it to Triple H. But then Mick Foley made his way out of the crowd in Cactus Jack gear and attacked Orton. The steel chair was in the ring and Hunter grabbed it. Foley and Orton brawled into the crowd. Hunter turned to nail Shawn but he was met with Sweet Chin Music that sent the chair into his face! Benoit backed off and Nitro ran into the ring. Michaels draped his arm over Hunter and the ref counted ONE-TWO-THREE! Shawn Michaels had won the #1 contendership. RAW came to an end with Chris Benoit applauding Shawn Michaels who made a motion showing he wanted the belt. ***¾

Winner – Shawn Michaels

87%

JRShawn Michaels is going to Backlash against Chris Benoit. By gawd, what a night!

Overall – 79%

Nielsen - 5.6

Edited by Franchise88
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NOT OVER YET

April 8, 2004

WWE.com has found out that General Manager Kurt Angle has extended the “Great American Tournament” with two semi-finals matches taking place on Thursday. Last week we saw Charlie Haas, and John Cena both win their respective qualifying matches. They will face each other in one semi-final match. The other semi-final match will feature John Bradshaw Layfield taking on Bubba Ray Dudley. The winners will advance to the finals next week.

We can also confirm that the WWE Tag Team Titles will be on the line. The Basham Brothers were awarded the title shot after defeating the champions last week in a non-title match. Despite the fact that Doug and Danny used their old switcheroo method. We could be seeing new tag champions after Thursday night.

That’s not all that’s going on. Rene Dupree left SmackDown disappointed that he was prohibited from entering the Great American Tournament due to being French. But Kurt Angle made a promise to the “French Phenom” that he would make it up to him. Will the GM keep his word? If he does, how will he make it up to Dupree? We hope to find out on Thursday.

Also, Booker T said that he and Kurt Angle had a business meeting last week and that they had big plans. He also sent out a warning to an unnamed person. What person was he speaking about? And what big plans does Mr. Angle have for the new addition to SmackDown?

As always there is a possibility that the “Special Attraction” of SmackDown! The Undertaker may appear. Will he show up in Cleveland Ohio on Thursday night? There’s only one way to find out for sure.

Tune in to find out the answer to all these questions and more Thursday night 8/7ct on UPN!

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  • 2 weeks later...

WWE SmackDown!

April 8, 2004

Cleveland, Ohio

Michael Cole & Tazz

Change of Plans

This week’s edition of SmackDown from the Gund Arena in Cleveland opened up with General Manager Kurt Angle coming out to a chorus of boos from the crowd. He made his way into the ring where he began to speak.

AngleWell, well, well. Here we are in Cleveland, Ohio. Home of Lebron James and the Cavaliers. The biggest group of losers since the Cleveland Browns. But I’m out here tonight to make a few announcements. As you all know the winner of the “Kurt Angle Great American Award” was supposed to be named tonight. However there has been a change of plans. The way I see it, the award could have gone to any of last week’s winners of the qualification matches. That is why I have taken it upon myself to extend this tournament with the finals taking place next week. That means tonight we will see two semi-finals matches. In the first, Bubba Ray Dudley will take on John Bradshaw Layfield and then later tonight it will be Charlie Haas taking on John Cena. That’s not all though. You see Eddie Guerrero hasn’t defended his title since WrestleMania XX when he cheated to steal a win from me. Well he’s not going to get away with it any longer. The WWE rulebook dating back to 1963 states that the Heavyweight Champion must defend his title at least once every 30 days or I have the authority to strip him of the belt. But I’m a fair guy, and that is why I’m going to warn you right now, essa. In two weeks you will defend that title and if refuse than you have no other option but to vacate it.

98%

Tazz – Strong words from General Manager Kurt Angle, threatening to strip Eddie Guerrero of his title.

ColeEddie Guerrero on his way to the arena right now, I wonder what he’ll think when he finds out.

Semi-Final Match – Bubba Ray Dudley vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

John Bradshaw Layfield made his way out to the ring with his white cowboy hat and Texas bullrope as usual. Somewhat reminiscent of former AWA World Champion Stan “The Lariat” Hansen. Bubba Ray Dudley made his way out by himself, D-Von was nowhere to be seen. Remember that last week D-Von was defeated by Bubba Ray but it didn’t seem as if there were any problems between the two. JBL and Bubba Ray started off with a war of words as the two heavyweights stared each other down in the center of the ring. JBL turned around as if he was backing down however turned around with a right hand attempt. Bubba blocked the hook and fired back with some jabs of his own. He also threw in some bionic elbows a la “The Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Bradshaw was being pummeled by Bubba and showed no signs of a comeback. JBL got whipped into the ropes and then knocked down with a clothesline. A quick cover for a two count followed. The Dudley boy locked in a headlock to wear down the big Texan. It was having very little affect due to Bubba not applying it quite properly but still seemed to wear down Bradshaw at least somewhat. The hold was finally broken as Bubba was looking to move onto more high impact offense. He picked up the weakened JBL and whipped him off the ropes. Bubba ducked which allowed JBL to kick him right in the mouth. Then we saw the Clothesline From Hell take Dudley over the top rope and to the floor. He appeared to be out cold. D-Von Dudley came running down the aisle and the ref got into an argument with him. Bubba Ray was rolled back in the ring by Bradshaw who then made a cover. But the referee was still busy trying to get D-Von to leave. JBL called the ref who rushed back in to make the count. 1-2-2½! A very near fall that time. Layfield picked up Dudley and set him up for a second Clothesline From Hell. D-Von got on the apron and prepared to throw a blow at JBL. Bubba grabbed Bradshaw and went for an Irish whip but it was reversed and Bubba collided with D-Von. JBL capitalized on this and rolled up Bubba for the ONE-TWO-THREE! Afterwards Bubba walked past D-Von in disgust. ***¾

Winner – John Bradshaw Layfield

84%

:::ADVERTS:::

The Search Continues...

Cameras backstage found Theodore Long walking around, apparently still in his search for “The Great White Hope”. He entered a locker room where Funaki, Billy Gunn, Hardcore Holly, & Mark Jindrak were talking.

LongHolla! Holla! What’s crackalackin y’all?

HollyWhat the hell do you want?

LongOh, you didn’t know? Well peep this cracker. Kurt Angle may be doing his search for the so-called “Great American” so I’ve decide to do a search of my own.

GunnIs that so. What search is that?

LongCheck it. It’s Theodore Long’s search for the “Great White Hope”. Now belie dat homey. So you whiteboys better work harder to impress me because I’m narrowing down the list of candidates and you two guys looked like a couple of sucka’s Belie dat. But this whiteboy Jindrak over here is undefeated on Velocity. That is impressive.

Funaki - What about me Teddy?

LongYou? Do you even work here? I thought I saw you in the kitchen at the Panda Express. You better check yo self homey. Belie dat playa.

62%

Cole – Well apparently, Teddy Long is still looking for his “Great White Hope” here on SmackDown!

TazzHe seemed to be impressed with Mark Jindrak but what’s the matter with Funaki? He’s not eligible for that.

Akio w/Sakoda vs. Paul London

Last week these two men got involved in the match up between Billy Kidman and the other half of Kyo Dai, Sakoda. GM Kurt Angle made this match between these two to settle their score. Akio was accompanied by Sakoda which left London at a disadvantage because he knew in reality that it would be a two on one match. Early on London took some stiff looking kicks to the stomach and legs as well. Akio connected with a twisting elbow off the mat and almost scored the win early by surprising London. Akio got into an argument with the ref claiming a slow count had been made. This allowed Sakoda to choke London on the bottom rope. We saw that over and over throughout the match. Akio played around with his opponent a little. He slapped him to the face repeatedly disrespecting him. The ref got in Akio’s face about it and once again Sakoda choked Paul London. The ref turned around and nearly caught the interference that time. He went over and questioned Sakoda who denied it and this allowed London to regain his composure as Akio got involved with the ref. London rolled up Akio and got the 1-2-2 ONLY! He almost got it that time. London Irish whipped Akio and nailed him with a picture perfect dropkick. He hooked the leg and got another extremely close two count. Paul looked around as he was unsure what to do next and made his way to the top rope. He was perched up there and Akio grabbed the ref to protect himself. That allowed Sakoda to pull London’s leg and have him land in that awkward position. Akio made his way up and scored a frankensteiner from the top for the ONE-TWO-THREE. After the match Sakoda and Akio went to work on London but Billy Kidman ran down immediately and aided the man who saved him last week. ***¾

Winner – Akio

73%

:::ADVERTS:::

Keeping His Promise

Kurt Angle is sitting in his office and just hangs up the phone as Rene Dupree makes his way into the picture. Angle stands up and shakes hands with him.

Angle Ah, Rene Dupree, just the man that I wanted to see. Have a seat.

DupreeMr. Angle, you remember…

AngleHold it right there. I know what you’re going to say and the answer is yes. Yes, I will be keeping the promise I made to you last week. I have the perfect way to make it up to you. How would you like to have your very own talk show?

DupreeThat sounds like a magnificent idea.

AngleYou can bring a piece of France to SmackDown. It’ll be called “Café de Rene”. What do you think?

Dupree – I can’t wait for this. But who will my first guest be? It would have to be someone that would make it a very special and memorable show.

AngleYou want someone special well you got it. The “Special Attraction” of SmackDown, The Undertaker. Good luck!

When Angle announced the Undertaker Dupree’s heart sank to his feet. They shook hands and Dupree left looking nervous.

68%

Cole – Well last week Doug and Danny Basham stole a win from the tag team champions when they switched places.

TazzHey Cole, they didn’t steal a win. They used their brains and earned a shot at getting their belts back. Big ups to them.

WWE Tag Team Titles – Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty © vs. The Basham Brothers

Doug and Danny made their way out all psyched up for the tag team title match. As they were in the ring footage of them switching without tagging last week was shown on the titantron and that made them angry. Referee Charles Robinson approached them and the camera caught his voice giving them a warning that he wasn’t going to let them switch without a tag this time. The champions Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty came out with their belts and danced a little bit as well. Rikishi started the match with Doug Basham and took control very early. He pushed Doug back into the corner where Scotty was and proceeded to lay in some fierce chops. Doug’s chest was a lit up as a result. Scotty made his way in and took over with some chops of his own. He got the fans pumped up as Doug had to roll out of the ring to talk with Danny because they were in trouble early on. A commercial break was taken during the midst of the Bashams meeting. As we returned Scotty 2 Hotty was still in the ring but Danny Basham was now the legal man for his team and he was putting on the hurt on the cruiserweight. The Bashams may enjoy receiving pain but they apparently enjoy dishing it out just as well. Doug came back in and pounded away on Scotty’s back with double axe handles as Danny did simultaneously just like Demolition used to do years ago. The ref finally broke up the double team. Doug whipped Scotty off the ropes but missed a clothesline and Scotty unloaded a series of hard right hands. He ran off the ropes and got knocked in the back of the head by Danny Basham and Doug then planted Scotty with a stalling brainbuster! He hooked up the leg and the ref counted ONE-TWO-THR..TWO ONLY! Doug grabbed his head because he knew that he almost had it. He picked up a barely conscious Scotty and pulled him to the corner. It looked like he was going for a top rope superplex. He went for it but Scotty was hanging on Doug got pushed off the ropes and landed on his stomach. Scotty gave his wide-eyed stare at the crowd and flew off the top rope with a guillotine leg drop! He hooked the leg and got the 1-2-2 only as Danny broke up the pin. Rikishi made his way in and Danny ran at him only to take superkick to the chin. Then Rikishi grabbed Doug and hit a Samoan drop! Scotty got up and gave the crowd another wide-eyed look. He hopped around and did the W-O-R-M! “Hoo Hoo Hoo” elbow to the chest of Doug Basham! The cover and the 1-2-3! Rikishi and Scotty retained and danced in a celebration. **¼

Winners & Still Champions – Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty

Notes - The WWE Tag Team titles have gained in image.

73%

:::ADVERTS:::

Show Time!

We go backstage where Cruiserweight Champ Chavo Guerrero and Chavo Classic are seen walking. The Big Show approaches them towering over and gives them a warning.

Show – Hey, you two. You’re both Guerreros and I know that you guys care a lot about Eddie.

ClassicAs far as we’re concerned Eddie is no longer family. He thinks he’s better than us so we have no love for him.

ChavoYeah that’s right pops.

ShowLook I don’t care what you say. Just let Eddie know that he’s a marked man. And I’m coming for him and his title.

Show grabbed them by their necks.

ShowUnderstand?

ChavoYeah, homes. No problem man.

Show walked off leaving Chavo and Chavo Classic looking confused.

Notes - Big Show gained overness from this segment.

83%

Message For the Champ

We moved onto Booker T who was backstage for an interview with Josh Matthews of Velocity.

JoshWell Booker T, last week you said that you and Kurt Angle had big plans and that a certain someone needed to watch their back. Could you elaborate on that a little more this week?

BookerYou know something man, you real stupid. You know that? You should mind your own business. See I thought Kurt Angle had big plans for me but then tonight I’m in a match with RVD. R-V-D? Some stupid sucka who walks around high all the time. But that’s cool. Cuz if I got go through him to move onto the bigger picture then it’s all good you know what I’m sayin? And the bigger picture is the WWE Heavyweight Championship. So listen up, Eddie Guerrero, I’m sending the message loud and clear. I want your title man. And you can be damn sure that I’m gonna take it from you when I get my match. Maybe it’ll be in two weeks maybe not. But one things for sure dawg. Your days as champ are numbered. Now, can you dig that, sucka?

Notes - Booker T gained overness from this segment.

91%

Cole – Booker T making it known that he wants Eddie Guerrero.

TazzYeah, but he’s not the only guy, Big Show warning Chavo and Chavo Classic that he will hurt Eddie Guerrero.

ColeLatino heat has a bulls-eye on his chest.

:::ADVERTS:::

Semi-Final Match – John Cena vs. Charlie Haas

The second semi-final match in the “Great American” tournament approached. We saw the brackets of the tournament on the screen showing who had advanced and who had been eliminated thus far. The winner of this match of course will go onto face John Bradshaw Layfield next week in the finals to determine the winner of the first ever “Kurt Angle Great American Award”. Charlie Haas made his way out debuting some new attire. Instead of his usual blue and gold singlet he was wearing some blue trunks with his last name imprinted on the back of them. John Cena came out next to the biggest pop of the night by far. He dished out a few disses to the former tag team champion but before he finished Haas attacked him having apparently heard enough. We saw a rage in him that we had never seen before. He was kicking Cena with tremendous force in the bread basket. Haas picked up the United States Champion and out him in the corner where he rammed his shoulder into the gut of the champion. Charlie Haas was showing everyone how bad he wanted to become the winner of the Great American Tournament. Snap-mare to Cena and a chinlock was applied by Haas. Cena appeared to be tiring down in the move. The referee looked in closer to check if it was a choke hold. That’s how well that the technical wrestler Charlie Haas applied it. He broke the hold after about a minute and half and then came off the ropes with an excellent leg drop. A cover was made for a two count. Haas scooped up the “Dr. of Thuganomics” and planted him down with a slam. Another cover was made but only 1 count this time. Charlie got up in the refs face and demanded a faster count. That allowed Cena to sneak up behind Haas and spin him around for some right hand shots. Cena whipped Haas off of the ropes and sent him down with a clothesline. The fans were strongly behind John Cena and the momentum was all his. Cena picked up Haas and Irish whipped him again but Haas reversed it and the hit a big time spinebuster! He made the cover and got the ONE-TWO-TWO COUNT ONLY! Haas looked at the ref with a mean face but kept his focus on the match. He grabbed Cena and was looking for a suplex but it was blocked. Cena managed to shift the leverage and connect with a suplex of his own. He didn’t cover however and instead followed it up with the Five-Knuckle-Shuffle! Cena hooked Haas’s leg and got a ONE-TWO-TWO. Haas kicked out just in the nick of time. Now Cena got in the ref’s face and he was caught in a small package for a 1-2-2 again!. Both men got to their feet at the same time and Haas threw a right hand but Cena ducked and got Haas onto his shoulders. Cena looked around before hitting the F-U for the ONE-TWO-THREE! So Cena will face JBL next week in the finals. **½

Winner – John Cena

79%

2 Weeks From Tonight!

As we came back from commercials we saw a candy green low-rider pull up to the arena with loud music playing as the driver was hitting switches. Kurt Angle walked up and Eddie Guerrero started to open the door but Angle stopped it.

AngleWhat the hell do you think you’re doing Guerrero? You think being WWE Champion means you can show up whenever and wherever you want. Well if you think so than your wrong. The WWE Champion is supposed to be responsible and on time. Obviously you have no respect for that title and I should strip you right now.

EddieHola le homes. You need to chill out essa. The WWE Champion is hear in Cleveland, Ohio essa.

AngleWell I’ve got news for you, homes. If you would have been hear tonight like your supposed to then you would’ve known that two weeks from tonight your title will be on the line. If you don’t show up then the title is vacated.

EddieNo problem man, if you want me to defend I’m happy homes. Because I’m a fighting champion and I don’t back down from nobody. So who’s my opponent going to be because I’m going to beat them just like I beat you at WrestleMania essa.

AngleYou know something Guerrero, you disgust me. You have no respect for me or my authority so I’m not going to reveal your opponent. You’re just going to have to wait to find out. But I promise you this, you’re not going to like it.

Angle walked off and Guerrero looked on with anger.

94%

ColeWell Tazz we know that in two weeks on SmackDown Eddie Guerrero will be defending his WWE title but we don’t know who he will be defending against.

TazzYeah and no doubt it will be someone with a great chance of winning because as we saw Angle doesn’t want Guerrero as champion and he’s only gonna pick a challenger who can win.

:::ADVERTS:::

Booker T vs. Rob Van Dam

The main event arrived and Rob Van Dam appeared to a pop almost as loud as John Cena’s earlier. He was now being referred to as “Mr. Thursday Night” because of his recent move from RAW to SmackDown!. His opponent was a man who just last month he was tag team champions with and even defended the straps at WrestleMania successfully with, Booker T. This match had a good story behind it and it was apparent that there was indeed bad blood between the former world tag team champions. We the fans were treated to a good old fashioned staredown between the two before the bell rang. Both men were jawing back and forth but it was unclear what they were saying. Booker T offered a handshake but we all knew it was a trick and anyone could see that from a mile away. RVD went for the handshake but before the hands touched he pulled his hand back and ran it through his hair like just like the great Ric Flair used to do. That did nothing but infuriate the Bookerman who nailed a hard right hand to the jaw of RVD and followed up with some kicks to the gut. He was really letting it all out in this match. Booker whipped RVD off of the ropes and missed a big clothesline. RVD came off the other rope and hit a swinging heel kick that took Book off of his feet. A quick cover was made for a two count. Booker T was very angered and went into he corner between the ropes to force the ref to separate him and Van Dam. He came out of the corner with an attempt at another clothesline but missed. RVD took advantage and unleashed his educated feet onto the 5 Time WCW Champion. Booker rolled out of the ring and as he tried to walk collapsed from the pain he was in. RVD ran off the ropes and went flying with a senton splash but Booker moved out of the way and Rob hit the mat with a great impact. Booker T picked up his body and whipped him face first into the ring post. The referee ran at and was really yelling at Booker T. RVD was nearly counted out but Book stopped it and rolled him into the ring. Booker applied a blatant choke and didn’t brake it until well after the five count but the ref allowed the match to continue. RVD was looking terrible out there but he was staying alive somehow. Booker T could’ve finished it at anytime but he was having fun by inflicting punishment on his former friend. He hit his patented Scissor's Kick to the back of RVD’s head but didn’t go for a cover. He picked up RVD and used the Book End! But once again he didn’t cover. Announcer Michael Cole was saying get it over with. Booker looked at the crowd smiled and said he’s not done yet. He dragged Van Dam to the center of the ring and then did a very poor rip-off of the Rolling Thunder. Again there was no attempt at a pin. He picked up RVD and connect with a second Book End! He finally made the cover and got the ONE-TWO-THREE. After the match he got in position for his Spineroonie but didn’t go through with it saying that the crowd didn’t deserve it. Then as the show was ending he looked into the camera and said, “Can you dig that, Guerrero?”. ***¾

Winner – Booker T

86%

Cole – That was a sickening display by Booker T.

TazzEddie Guerrero is in serious trouble.

Overall – 79%

Nielsen – 6.1

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Guest Rubber Band Man

I must say you have gotten the Angle and Guerrero characters to a T. I have enjoyed all their segments. I'm liking Smakcdown more than Raw

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Your last Smackdown was head and shoulders above the previous one. The promos are solid but your it seems tha most of your matches are a bit too twisty-turny for my liking if ya catch my drift. The Guerrero vs Booker match was REALLY enjoyable though

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LAST STOP

April 13, 2004

Backlash emanating live from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is just six days away! And the main event of course is the World Heavyweight Championship bout pitting the "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels against the champ Chris Benoit. These two men will surely put on a classic but first they have to be partners. They will be in an eight man tag as they team up with Edge & Mick Foley to take on all four members of Evolution. All hell is going to break loose with these men in the ring.

Of course Randy Orton and Mick Foley will be facing off at Backlash in their long awaited one on one bout. We know that a special stipulation will be added but have yet to learn what that will be. Knowing Foley we could be seeing hell on earth this Sunday. Rumors are running rampant about the possibilities but the match has to be approved by General Manager Eric Bischoff first. That could be a struggle for the Hardcore Legend.

The Women's title will be on the line come next Sunday as Victoria defends against Gail Kim. But first Victoria will team up with Lita as they take on Gail Kim and Molly Holly. All four women have been involved in the title picture recently these past few weeks but it really comes down to Victoria and Gail Kim. These two women have developed a strong hate for each other and will go all out to win the title.

Also, Edge vs. Batista has been signed for next Sunday's Pay-Per-View. Of course Batista & Flair lost the tag titles last week and Batista took out his aggresion on Edge. A Donny Brook between the two took place and other wrestlers as well as security had to break it up. Will we see them lock it up in the eight-man tag or have to wait until Backlash to see it?

The drama between Chris Jericho, Trish Stratus, and Christian dates back all the way to the fall of last year. We saw Trish show her true colors at WrestleMania when she sided with Christian and attacked the man we thought she loved. Well at Backlash there will be a re-match between these two men but this time Trish will be barred from ringside. Will it prove to be the end to this blood feud or will we once again be left with more questions than answers?

Find out the answer to all these questions and more Monday night at 9/8c only on Spike TV.

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