August 25, 2005
John Johnson

WWE Smackdown
February 3, 2005
HP Pavilion
San Jose, Ca
Commentators: Michael Cole & Tazz

Sidenote: We are just 4 days removed from the Royal Rumble, where Dave Batista eliminated John Cena to be not only the winner of the Rumble but the opportunity to compete for a title match at Wrestlemania. But the question remains: will he do what Chris Benoit has done last year and switch brands to face WWE titleholder, John “Bradshaw” Layfield or will he remain on Raw to face fellow Evolution member & World Champion, Triple H? Speaking of JBL, what’s on the champ’s mind concerning defending the WWE title against the 7' 2 , 500 lb mastodon, the Big Show in the first ever barbwire steel cage match at No Way Out on Feb. 20? All this and a whole lot more to be answered on this edition of Smackdown

No opening video package or pyros this week, due to this episode of Smackdown being taped the same day as Raw rather than on the usual Tuesdays. Nonetheless, the US heavyweight champ John Cena kicks off the program by cutting a promo on the Royal Rumble match & how controversial it was, which prompts SD General Manager Teddy Long to come out & announce an 8 man tournament in which the finals will take place at No Way Out & the winner will face either JBL or the Big Show for the WWE title at Wrestlemania 21 & if Batista decided to go to Smackdown, the main event at Wrestlemania will be a triple threat match. After hearing this, JBL, along with that jobber he calls his “chief of staff”, Orlando Jordan & the beautiful Amy Weber, storms into the ring, & protests the tournament, saying he has enough problems facing the Big Show on 2-20.When Long told JBL that Cena would face Orlando Jordan in a first round match, JBL was somewhat relieved. Then when the loudmouth Texan makes the mistake of bad mouthing the doctor of thuganomics, Cena lays out the champ & his chief of staff with an FU to give them a sample of what they’ll be dealing with in the tournament.

Commercial Break

Match 1: Kurt Angle vs. Nunzio
This is the Kurt Angle Invitational in which some local scrub can win Angle’s gold medals (wonder how much it’s worth in the pawn shop) Before the match, Angle cuts a promo on how he beat up Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble. When he calls for the hometown hero to come out, Nunzio, of all people, shows up & puts himself in a match against Angle for stealing his spot at the Royal Rumble. Nunzio held his own for a while but Angle made short work of him & finished him off with the ankle lock to add another W in his record.
Winner by submission: Kurt Angle 2:29

This was pretty much a squash match for Angle, but at least it lasted longer than the previous Invitationals 1 star

Commercial Break

We see clips of a WWE press conference in Japan, where its announced that Raw & Smackdown will produce their shows for the first time in Japan. We then go backstage with Kurt Angle & his cohorts, Luther Reigns & Mark Jindrak. They discuss Angle’s upcoming first round tournament match next week with Rey Mysterio (who faces Mark Jindrak later on tonight) & Angle instructs Jindrak to soften up Rey-Rey so Angle can make easy pickings out of him. Angle then asks Luther who his next opponent could be in the semi-finals. When he told him it could be Rene Dupree, Angle just laughed it off, but when told that the Undertaker could be his opponent, Kurt’s smile turned into a scared look, as if he didn’t want to mess with the Deadman. Angle then talks strategy with Luther. We then go to Carlito barging in on Teddy Long & informing him that Long has been subpoenaed to WWE headquarters next week to defend his recent actions on Smackdown, thanks to Carlito’s petition to fire Long as GM of SD Boy, he must really hate the man if came up with a petition like that

Match 2: Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Jindrak
Kurt Angle has sent Mark Jindrak to do his dirty work by going against Rey-Rey. It’s the bigger, stronger Mark Jindrak against the lighter, quicker Rey Mysterio. Jindrak almost makes short work of Mysterio with a botched left hand but Rey-Rey kicks out ( Someone needs to get Ron Garvin to teach him how to properly throw a left hand). Rey-Rey eventually comes to & rolls up Jindrak for the win after swinging him into the turnbuckle pad with a flying headscissors.
Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio 5:06

This was a pretty decent match, despite Jindrak botching a left hook. I’m surprised Luther wasn’t in Jindrak’s corner for the match. Well, Angle, it’s like the old saying goes; if you want something done right, do it yourself. 2 stars

Backstage, Amy Weber (JBL’s image consultant) barges in on Joy Giovanni ( Big Show’s main squeeze. My, my, the plot thickens) & demands that she pay for the dress she ruined last week but Joy would have none of it. Amy then vows that the Basham Bros. will destroy the Big Show. Speaking of which, that match is up next.

Commercial Break

Match 3: The Big Show vs. The Basham Bros.
Here’s another case of the bossman sending their henchmen to do their dirty. This time, the reigning Tag Team Champions the Basham Bros. must deal with the Amazon known as the Big Show. The Basham are treated almost like jobbers as the Big Show just totally annihilates them. The Big Show polishes off one of the Basham (I can’t even tell which one is which) with the chokeslam for an easy victory
Winner by pinfall: Big Show 3:59

It wasn’t the best match of the card but at least the Big Show sent a message to JBL through his secretaries of defense that he’s coming for him at No Way Out. JBL should really consider getting rid of the Bashams & getting some new SODs. 1 ˝ stars

After the match, the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Paul Orndorff, Jimmy Hart, & Bob Orton Jr. were announced as inductees to the WWE Hall of Fame

Commercial Break

Match 4: #1 contender first round tournament match
The Undertaker vs. Rene Dupree

On paper, this would seem like a squash match for the Undertaker, considering Dupree’s jobber status at the time. Nonetheless, it looked as if victory was in the bag of the Undertaker until 2 very uninvited guests, in the form of Mark Jindrak & Luther Reigns, happened to show up to do Angle’s dirty work ( he must really be frightened by the Undertaker if he ain’t bother to do it himself) During the closing moments of the match, Taker threw Dupree into the ring steps, seeming to damn near knock him out during the process. As Taker attempts to re-enter the ring to avoid being counted out, Reigns grabs his leg to prevent him form doing so, thus resulting in a double count out.
DCO (No winner) 12:37

Normally, I would give a double count out an automatic ˝ star but since it was revealed later in the broadcast that the winner of the Angle-Mysterio match will head straight to the finals, I’ll give this match 1 Star. After the match the Undertaker, in a fit of rage, piledrives Dupree to hell.

Commercial Break

We now go to Josh Matthews who’s with the Big Show & Joy Giovanni who discuss the upcoming barbed wire steel cage WWE title match with JBL & Show states that once he’s in the cage with JBL, JBL will be trapped like a rat, due to the barb wire that will surround the cage. When asked about possibly facing Batista for the title at Mania, Big Show says he’ll eventually find out what Smackdown is all about. Next, we go to Booker T’s looker room, who’s later barged in on by his opponent in the first round tournament match, Eddie Guerrero. T tells Eddie that he’s still bitter about him being eliminated in the rumble by Guerrero & states that he will redeem himself by beating Guerrero & headlining Wrestlemania once again.

Commercial Break

Match 5: #1 contender first round tournament match
Booker T vs. Eddie Guerrero

Keep in mind that these 2 were not only frequent tag team partners but also good friends until that friendship dissolved at the Royal Rumble when Booker was eliminated by Guerrero. Now they must finally settle the score to see who will be in the semi finals. They kick the match off with a little bit of chain wrestling then start to exchange a few chops. Guerrero starts to get the better of the former 5-time WCW champ & goes for the frog splash but T wisely rolls out the ring, which takes us to our final commercial break

Commercial break

We’re back with Guerrero & T getting it on to determine who will make it to the semi finals. The momentum keeps shirting back & forth between the two who put on a wrestling clinic. During the closing moments of the match, Eddie plays possum & nearly had T fooled into believing that he was injured. But T knows his buddy all too well to fall for something like that & reverses a scoop slam into a rollup (pulling up the tights for leverage) for the 1-2-3.
Winner by pinfall: Booker T 19:55

This was a great match between these competitors. Booker T showed Guerrero that he too can lie, cheat, & steal 3 stars

Next week on Smackdown: Smackdown will emanate from Japan as first round tournament action continues as John Cena faces Orlando Jordan while Rey Mysterio tangles with Kurt Angle ( winner automatic receives a bye & advances to the finals) Plus, will the Undertaker seek revenge on Luther Reigns & Mark Jindrak for costing a chance to become #1 contender for the WWE title at Wrestlemania 21?

Pretty decent show this week. Although most of the matches were almost squash matches, it still continued to promote itself toward excellence & gave everyone a sample of what to expected at No Way Out

Rating: B

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