March 2, 2005
William Helmick

JBL vs. Eddie Guerrero - Judgment Day 2004
May 16, 2004
Los Angeles, CA
Staples Center

I finally had a chance to watch this last night. After seeing all of the hoopla that went down when Tim Cooke dissected SK's shitty recap, I had to see the match Tim called the WWE MOTY even if there is absolutely nothing else on the DVD worth watching.

The Good
- They had a pretty good build-up for this feud even though JBL came out of nowhere to be a contender. More importantly, it set the stage for Eddie to hate JBL's guts and the early portion of the match shows that. With a "hoss" like JBL, you expect him to take control early while Eddie tries to escape. Not so with this match. Eddie attacks early and often and goes to work on the much bigger opponent, so much so that you would think Eddie was the hoss. This is certainly not the way I expected this match to start off but it was nice to see. Eddie gets the best of JBL when exchanging punches. He rams him into the ringpost and tosses him over the Spanish Announcing Table like he was 150 lbs.

-JBL gains controls after whipping Eddie into the stairs. When they get back inside, JBL controls with a headlock. Normally, people would criticize this but since Eddie was kicking his ass so much in the early going, this is a completely logical way to keep Eddie grounded and it also helped build a heat segment as the crowd chants for Eddie to make his comeback.

-Some nice highspots follow with Eddie attempting a dive to the outside on JBL only to be caught and dropped with a fallaway slam on the concrete. Eddie also takes a high high backdrop onto the Spanish Table. Even after all of this, Eddie keeps slugging it out with a "never say quit" attitude. After all of the crap JBL put him through leading up to the match (cheesy or not) Eddie makes the hate believable.

-Another heat segment follows when JBL uses the bearhug. Resthold or good logic? This was up for debate in the SK v. Tim Cooke thread, but after watching the match the move clearly made sense in the context of the match on two levels. First, Eddie had his back pounded throughout the match (Whipped into the stairs, fallaway slam on the concrete, backdrop onto the table, forearm smash to setup the bearhug). Also, at this point in the match, Eddie was still going at JBL full speed and needed grounding so a bearhug is the perfect way to work the back AND slow Eddie down. This builds a short heat segment with Eddie escaping the bearhug as the crowd chants his name loudly.

-At this point, some silliness comes into play. The ref gets bumped but it serves a purpose as it allows JBL to cheat and hit Eddie with a nasty chairshot. This is the blade job that sent Eddie into shock and the blood is just all over the place at this moment. In the past, I have always criticized Bradshaw's Clothesline from Hell but his shot here is just brutal. As good as a clothesline I have ever seen. It is also at this point, that JBL attacks Eddie's head injury and pounds on the wound and hits a sleeper. At this point, some notable things happen. He goes for a fallaway slam after the sleeper escape and Eddie counters with a beautiful DDT. This was a cool looking escape.

- The post-match beatdown on JBL by Eddie was great. Eddie lost by discqualification but sent the crowd home happy by busting JBL open and getting some sort of revenge. it also continued one of the better feuds of the year (even if the end result was less than desirable) and led to very good GAB match (I watched the GAB match before the JD match so it was out of context. I'll rewatch it and see how they build off this match).

The Bad
- There are a couple of moments in the match where I think it killed my suspension of disbelief. THe first was after Eddie took the backdrop onto the Spanish table. He was literally up in 2 seconds. The highspot looked great in execution and should have been sold more. Also, later in the match, JBL hit a devastating powerbomb that shuld have ended the match. There was no crawling ref or slow count and Eddie gets his shoulder up. Preferably, this would be one of those moments where a foot gets draped over the rope or is already under the rope.

-Two ref bumps. The first ref bump could be argued as necessary whereas the 2nd one was just overkill. I wish they would have had a NO DQ match but then the ending would have been quite different and the feud would have suffered. Still, there could have been another way around this. Thankfully, there was no outside interference since that drives me crazier than any ref bump.

- The DQ ending. I hate DQ endings even though it made perfect sense in the bigger picture. JBL gets a win over the champ. The champ keeps the belt. Eddie's post-match beatdown was priceless. this doesn't bother me as much as it normally would but it is still a flaw.

Overall
I have to admit, this was one of the most entertaining matches I have seen from WWE in years. I don't know if I like it better than Eddie-Brock since I haven't seen that match in months. I know it was better than the Eddie-JBL Bullrope match, the Orton-Foley hardcore match and the three-way main events of WM and BL, no doubt. Listen to the crowd the entire time during JBL-Eddie... they never let up. Those two kept them engaged in the entire match even before the bloodletting. Now, listen to the crowd of the Three-ways, Orton-Foley etc. Silence in key moments. You can hate JBL, and I won't argue with that, but he kept up in this huge title match and it def. deserves praise as one of the best brawls I think the Fed has ever put out.

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