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PostSubject: 2004 Discussion   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:40 pm

Discuss 2004 in Smackdown
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:42 am

Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Misterio Jr. (WWE Smackdown 3/18/04)
-One of my favorite matches of the decade. It's babyface vs. babyface, but Eddy, being as great as he is, has the crowd 100% behind Rey by the end. He spends most of the match working Rey's arm with some crazy lucha submissions that are just indescribably great and painful looking. Since Eddy spends most of the time on the mat, Rey's comebacks and highspots look even more fantastic because of the contrast. Totally different to any other match they had. It'll be somewhere in the middle of my list. ****
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:43 am

Eddy Guerrero vs. Big Show (Smackdown 4/15/04)
-Eddy was arguably better than ever in 2004, and this is convincing evidence. Probably Show's best singles match. It's a masterpiece in terms of a small babyface working with a giant.. A lot of the sequences they ran through were genius, and some being a little complicated. Eddy hiding a wrench in Show's boot is just great pro wrestling. Show hung with him all the way, but this was clearly Eddy's match. There's no way this is falling off my list. ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:02 am

Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio - SD March 18
Haven't seen this one since it aired, which is a shame for me because its rather awesome. Rey's offence is superb in this one, and Eddie's arm work is terrific. Nice to see that the arm work came into play for the finish too, which is always nice. I hate when the majority of a match is limb work, only for it to play no part in the finish if the guy working the limb wins. Mysterio may have only really been in the CW division at the time, but after this one he looked like a main eventer. He took Eddie to the limit, and some of the near falls were very convincing. I need to re-watch the majority of their 05 series again, but so far, based on their WCW matches I have seen and their WM21 match, this is their second best match IMO. ****
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:34 am

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero- Smackdown 19/02/04
Great gem of a match here, its primarily thrown together to begin the progression of the Eddie/Angle fued for Wrestlemania, but there are enough elements here to give the match meaning. Chavo had turned on Eddie a few months earlier, both had achieved title wins, and were out to prove who was the better man once and for all. Right off the bat Eddie attacks Chavo, even utilising a few heel tactics such as choking him with the rope. Some nice psychology employed by both guys, from Eddie's work on Chavo's back coupled with his veteren instincts over his slightly less experienced nephew. But Chavo also proves himself of being an equal by focusing on Eddie's legs using technical some nice submission holds. Along with this there are some great counter moves that are employed proving how versatile both wrestlers ever. Eddie was on fire in 2004 and this is one of the many reasons why. There is also some involvement by Chavo Sr and Rey Mysterio. The climax involved Angle turning on Eddie leading to their match at Mania. Overall really good stuff here. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:38 am

Smackdown 2004 - Eddie Guerrero vs Booker T
Surprisingly good match, especially for Booker T. Gets 12 minutes, accomplishes a decent amount and gives us a nice TV Title match. Eddie made Booker look like gold, Booker brought out his vicious side and it was more fun than I expected. There's some slow parts, but they make sense with Booker wearing down and slowing down his smaller opponent. Doesn't go anywhere near the list, but I liked this and it's a nice little alternative match that's never been spoken of so it's fun to sit through in between looking at all the well known, highly praised stuff.

**3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:40 am

Smackdown 2004 (19/02) - Eddie Guerrero vs Chavo Guerrero (WWE Championship Match)
From the first 30 seconds, I can already tell this is going to shit all over their Rumble encounter earlier in the year. Eddie's full of hate and he rips Chavo apart at the start. He's got that look in his eye and he wants to punish his nephew for being a jealous dick. Chavo's trying to prove himself and he steps up to the plate big time. Chavo trying to use Eddie's own offence against him while taunting the crowd is a neat little touch. He then goes to work the kneee of Eddie as the match transitions to the middle section. He torques the knee with some great submissions and uses it as a focal point at all times to regain the advantage. Then Eddie makes his comeback and has it won, when Kurt, who is the special ref for this match - smiles and decides not to make the count. Then he delivers a beatdown, which is rather awesome. The match is thrown out and Eddie's left in a puddle of his own blood. Overall, a good 12 minute match and a good beatdown afterwards. It was a little flat at times, but was better than their Rumble match and was delivered well.

***
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:42 am

Smackdown 2004 – JBL vs Kurt Angle (WWE Championship Match)
I’m a sucker for stuff like this. As in, stuff I’ve never seen before. Like, I’ve never seen this match before. Never even seen these two wrestle a singles match before. And haven’t seen much of either guy from late 2004. So this is really fresh and interesting for me. I’ll probably enjoy this more than I have any right to, It’s a breath of fresh air compared to getting burnt out on matches you’ve watched 5 or 10 times and end up getting sick of. At the start, both guys’ stables get chucked out to create an even playing field. There are no cop-outs for either guy now. Angle comes out trying to wrestle, so JBL punches him in the face. Man, great moment and great psychology. He knows he has to make this a brawl because he can’t wrestle for shit. This is a heel vs heel match but JBL’s such a hateable asshole that the crowd are forced to go pro Angle. It’s a good ol’ back and forth fight most of the time and I like it. It’s methodical and nothing extraordinary, but it feels sort of different so it’s enjoyable. JBL uses sound strategy throughout the match. It's a combination of making the match a brawl, slowing Kurt down and working over the shoulder of Angle. He even remembers to go right back to the shoulder when he's in trouble during the finishing stretch. Nice. This match is nothing special at all. But I liked it. 10 minutes of hard fought action for the title, with a unique set of styles mixing together. The rating is probably over generous but if I enjoyed it - why not?

**3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:13 am

Eddie Guerrero vs JBL - Steel Cage Match - WWE Championship - Smackdown 15.07.2004
Jesus christ I never imagined I would enjoy this as much as I did. Mainly because it's a WWE Cage match and it's got JBL in. You're forgetting the other aspect of the match though. Eddie fucking Guerrero. Some wrestlers have these matches that just prove why they are some of the best workers ever and Eddie tbh has quite a few of these, this being one of them. JBL is actually pretty good and I did enjoy his title run in 04 but he was never really a main event quality wrestler. Eddie however is literally one of the best ever and he proves it here. I don't think as many people really realised just how great Eddie was until he passed away. He was just so diverse in his styles and he could pretty much work literally any match and pull it off. WWE Cage matches I don't normally care for but when they actually play to the gimmick and dont just have a normal wrestling match inside a cage I enjoy it much more. Eddie being Eddie of course is great at playing to the gimmick he's in. It's got so many aspects of his cage match with Rey in but they then add a little extra to it and it's undoubtedly better. I know the cage match with Rey on Smackdown actually happened a year later than this one but STFU cunt. Both men do their best to escape the cage and get an easy victory and then realise they need to hit some more impact moves before they can escape and there's some really neat wrestling in amongst the escape attempts. Eddie's frog splash off the top of the cage is an awesome spot and it goes awesomelly with the Eddie's too bothered trying to kill JBL and it gets in the way of him winning the title. Then the finish with Angle screwing Eddie dressed as Eddie's lucha friend which I just loved too. It's great for JBL's character and stealing the win again anyway possible and it sets up a future Angle/Eddie match and the end of Angle's brilliant run as GM. I adored how they turned around Angle screwing Eddie out of the title into Eddie actually screwing Angle out of his GM role and ultimately his long term deception of the fans on Smackdown. Definitely on the best cage matches ever in WWE. Loved the shit out of this.

****1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:26 am

JBL Vs Eddie - Smackdown 2004 - Cage Match.
JBL enters first and is just awesome, shaking the hands of all the fans at ringside one by one trying to be a nice guy. JBl gets into the cage and looks terrified, and somehow it's believable, even though his opponent is like half a foot shorter than him and the cage SHOULD benefit Jibbles, but through his facials and actions (more on tha later) he jsut gives this idea of being terrified. So the match starts and JBl is just trying to get out, he doesn't want to be in there with Eddie and knows that if he gets out he won't have to face Eddie again, but Eddie is havign none of that. What happens for the next 25 minutes is just brilliance, with JBL playing a great chickenshit heel whilst also still beign able to dominate the match. I even love the ending, and I'm never a fa of screwjobs. The only really bad thing about this match was the commentary, Taz and Cole just CAN'T do a big match. For instance JBL hits Eddie with the Clothesline, Eddie KIcks out at 2.9, Cole juts continues talking, JBL Powerbombs Eddye gets a count of 2.999999 Cole just says "Eddie kicks out", Eddie does his best Jimmy Snuka impression and goes for the pin, Jibbles kicks out, Cole doesn't see anything amazing. Bar that this match is fairly great and one of very few cage matches that acctually uses the stipulation well.

****
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:34 am

Los Guerreros v Doug & Danny Basham (Smackdown!, 1/8/04)
- Hell of a match. Chavo had slapped Eddie the previous week after they lost the titles to Haas and Benjamin, and this was their "reuniting" after Kurt Angle had decided to play peacemaker. Southern tag formula all the way here, and Eddie's a terrific FIP. The Bashams are fine at working him over too, busting out some pretty nifty shit along the way. Crowd are read hot as well, especially for Chavo, which I loved since Chavo had snapped the week before because he was sick of everybody chanting Eddie's name all the time. The entire arena going apeshit for Chavo, even while he's on the apron, only for him to turn on Eddie and leave him a bloody mess after the match is fucking great. This is pretty much the best thing Chavo's been involved in this decade and people are eating ALL of it up. Cole and Tazz are fucking excellent at calling it as well. The segments in the following weeks really give you a glimpse at how awesome Eddie could be at playing a twisted lunatic, which he took a step further the next year with Rey. I'm not gonna bother nominating this despite it being reeeeally good, because I've watched so many tags with Eddie in them over the last few months that are either as good or better that I just can't see any reason to vote for it. People should see this, though. I'd be interested in hearing whether people think Chavo's charismatic or not, because I can't decide. ***1/2

Eddie Guerrero & Kurt Angle v Chavo Guerrero Sr. & Chavo Guerrero Jr. (Smackdown!, 1/22/04)
- This was looking like it might be worth a nomination for a little while, but things kinda cooled off and got silly at the end. They do this injury angle where Kurt supposedly gets thumbed in the eye or something after hitting a German on Chavo Jr., and when Eddie goes to check on him he can't see and ends up hitting him with an Angle slam. Some EMTs hit the scene and walk Angle out of there while the Chavos go ahead and lay a beatdown on Eddie, culminating in Chavo pinning Eddie with the frog splash. The thumb in the eye thing was a nice idea, but they never sold it well at all. Chavo Classic still looked ace in 2004. The general story of Angle coming out wrestling by taking the Chavos down with headlocks and armdrags while Eddie was chomping at the bit to just tear them apart was good, but that aspect of the match never really got explored as much as one would like. Fun, but nothing I could see anybody voting for.
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:35 am

Smackdown! Rumble (Smackdown!, 1/29/04)
- I'll probably vote for this. It'll be low, but it ticked most of the boxes in terms of what I look for in rumble matches. Eddie/Angle at the end was great. There were a couple moments where I was having flashbacks to when I saw it live and thinking Eddie was out. There's one in particular where he tries to reverse the ankle lock by tossing Kurt over the top and winds up almost throwing himself out, barely hanging on and milking it for all it's worth. ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:04 am

Eddie Guerrero v Chavo Guerrero (Smackdown!, 2/19/04)
- One of the better Chavo matches I've seen, and at some point I'd like to go back and watch it again because I was trying to watch the match and carry on a useless text conversation with my retarded buddy at the same time, so I'm sure I missed something cool. Angle's the special guest ref' for this, and his heel turn at the end, while pretty obvious, is really well done. Some shenanigans here and there with Chavo Sr. and stuff going on outside, but the majority of it is real solid -- Chavo working Eddie's leg with Eddie's subsequent selling of it being highlights. Their Royal Rumble match is wildly disappointing given the build up, but this hit the spot. ***1/2

Eddie Guerrero v Rey Mysterio (Smackdown!, 3/18/04)
- Awesome match. I could probably watch these two just wrestle all day. Eddie's fucking KING at working the body part in this, twisting and ripping and yanking Rey's arm every which way. Some of the holds look REAL nasty, and Mysterio, I'm guessing whether he wanted to or not, was screaming like a man that's having his fucking arm ripped off to get it over. They're both able to hit a whole host of spots and work a bunch of sequences together as well, and everything aside from a slightly botched backflip DDT - the one they did at Havoc '97 - looks great. Some swank nearfalls down the stretch too. Definitely placing this bad boy. ****
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:32 am

Eddie Guerrero v JBL (Smackdown!, 7/15/04)
- Exceptional feud, exceptional match. Like the bull rope match, I want to watch this again, but unless the whiskey completely fucked up my powers of perception, there's no way this isn't going on my list. The screwjob finish is what it is, but it's at least performed really well. I prefer this to Eddie/Rey from 3/18 as the TV MOTY, and really, it's not *that* far off being my overall WWE MOTY, either. Won't talk much about specifics until I see it again, or, y'know, Crossface watches it and does it for me, but everybody should watch this. ****
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:34 am

SD! 01/01/04 - Los Guerreros vs WGTT
Only 5 and a half minutes, but good for that time. It's just a storyline development match to set up further for the Chavo/Eddie feud. Just thought I'd point out that this is the last time a tag team break up meant something and was executed well. Great promo/segment afterwards with some Eddie magic in the acting department. The crowd loved him here too. This is a shout out of some Eddie love as an overall match/segment package here rather than actually breaking it down match quality wise. Link to Guerreros/Bashams the week after please.


SD! 01/15/04 - Angle & Eddie vs Chavo's
Didn't get enough time or development to be overly good but it was still a decent little 9 minute feud progressing contest. Like Andy said, Angle coming out wrestling when Eddie wants in to kill the Chavo's was neat but not expanded on enough. The heels were both good at being slimy pricks, especially Jr. Their beatdown on Eddie was solid and overall outside of the stupid finish there was nothing wrong with this. It's more of a storyline tool than a wrestlers' match, so it was solid at accomplishing what it needed to.
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:35 am

SD! 01/29/04 - Rey Mysterio vs Jamie Noble
Solid 8 minute match with some neat sequences but some sluggish moments when they were on the transition. About what you'd expect but it's a shame they never had a great match together.


SD! 26/02/04 - Cena & Mysterio vs Chavo & Big Show
Decent tag, with the highlight being Big Show's awesome performance. Excellent methodical ragdolling of Rey and acting like an asshole. They worked over Cena's injured leg and Chavo constantly picking up the scraps right after Show decimated one of the faces was good stuff. Formula tag match that nobody needs to see but was better than either of these guy's matches at Wrestlemania that year.

**1/2 - **3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:36 am

SD! 03/11/04 - Eddie vs Shelton

Only 6 minutes, but it was non stop action with a hot crowd between two guys who could've had a great match together if they were allowed to work a proper match. This is before WM so Eddie reaches breaking point during the match and goes ballistic. Big payoffs to the constant Haas interference for the finale and Eddie goes into WM like a steam train. Really fun Eddie show with some high impact suplexes from Shelton - like a little WM preview in a way. It's one of those little matches you watch for enjoyment, not to rate because that's not the type of match they intended to make.
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:36 am

2004 Smackdown (04/15) - Big Show vs Eddie Guerrero
Uh oh, Andy. Get your kitchen knife out because it's time to serve me up a huge slice of humble pie. I had a scary love for this on a second watch. Putting into context helps. Eddie had been treated like a second rate citizen all year. Chavo Jr. and Sr. had betrayed him out of jealousy. Nobody including Lesnar himself thought he had a chance at winning the title. He defied the odds only to have Angle turn on him and treat him like a dog. Still, he once again proved everybody wrong at WM. Since then, Angle's tried his hardest to make Eddie suffer and the racist JBL has decided to join in. He's been bullied, outnumbered, mocked and had his heritage spat on. So he wants to serve up revenge to that bastard JBL but the two cowards have arranged for Eddie to take on the most devastating athlete on the planet. Show is so pissed off at being used and not receiving his dues that he declares if he loses he will leave the company. Eddie's trying to survive until JD so that he can murder JBL and JBL wants to see Eddie decimated into a helpless state before their match. Meanwhile Show's majorly pissed off, fighting for his pride and his career. Plus they have major history together and hate each other. Now that's an epic set of intangibles and history to make this seem like one of the most important matches of either mans career.

This is the best performance of Show's career, as he delivers his most focused effort inside a wrestling ring ever. Kayfabe wise he brings more intensity and thought into what he's doing than ever before, so you feel that desperation and as a consequence he comes across as a truly LIFE THREATENING MACHINE (something they never managed to do well at presenting him as IMO). He's relentless early. he jumps Eddie, throws him half a mile across the ring, headbutts him, knees him and slams him into the turnbuckle. The name of the game here is rage. That merciless, animalistic expression on his face makes this 10x better and puts over his character big time. Eddie's selling is absolutely magic in this, one of his best selling performances ever. His body writhes and tremors after each slam and his facial expressions show that he's being tortured out there. In short, he makes Show look the most dominant and relevant he ever has, but with that slight sense of vulnerability so that it's not just a cliche. That's a problem with a lot of Show matches, that they have a predictable formula, a cheap comeback and come across as contrived/meaningless. Here there's none of that so it stands out like dog balls and comes across as such a smart match.

Big Show swatting the persistent Guerrero like a fly during his plucky comeback attempts is great to watch. Eddie tries to chip away at the armour but just as he's about to make a big breakthrough Show desperately cuts him off with his sheer force. The timing and layout of this simple idea is exemplary, which is why it excels more than what I can describe on paper. Guerrero's desperation is also neat - raking the eyes, stomping the toes, taking out the knees - he comes across as smart and determined while facing huge odds. That's perfect babyface characterisation right there, with more depth than what you usually see in regards to big guy/small guy role playing. Everything here makes sense and a lot of these subtle touches are basically never implemented so well in this type of dynamic. They show that one big attack from Show can cancel out a big Eddie flurry, so the adversity factor is as clear as daylight. There's a nice combination of Eddie reversing show attacks through speed/evasiveness and Show reversing Eddie's high flying attempts with strength.

In between some brutal slaps and Big Show standing on Eddie like a door mat, there's an awesome sequence where he wrenches up Eddie by his arm and holds him above his head, then slamming him down to the mat in one action. From this point on Show targets Eddie's injured arm like an expert. A big man using strategy because he knows he has to due to the stakes and his opponent's resilience. That's called er, psychology, a buzz word that actually fits the bill tremendously here. Eddie then doing the cat and mouse thing to frustrate him and then waving goodbye in a showing of mindgames was just as brilliant. There's some details that by Big show standards are unique in a very good way, such as throwing Eddie with one arm right across the ring or melting Eddie's shoulder to goo with his colossal hand.

The whole match they had emphasised that Eddie's craftiness and intelligence was his only chance. In the end that was true with the clever wrench in the boot spot. He'd survived an epic onslaught and had his arm ripped apart, but from heart and grit alone he had survived one of his toughest matches ever. Excellent structure, fabulous role playing, a heap of intangibles, two superb performances and a match dynamic being worked as flawlessly possible means this was an INCREDIBLE match. Deep, comprehensive and masterful. This has shot up to being one of my favourite modern matches ever and will be in my top 50. It's the kinda match that makes me wanna shoot a heap of my other ***3/4 or **** matches down because it's so good.

****
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:38 am

SD! 06/24/04 - John Cena vs The Undertaker
Good, lengthy main event match to make Cena look like a clear cut future main eventer. It went above and beyond the usual Taker formula while still keeping some familiarity. The length and evenness really put Cena over though. The story becomes Cena stepping toe to toe with Taker early and telling him to bring it on. Taker's pissed with Heyman and the Dudleyz so occassionally his frustration costs him. The rest of the time it helps him dish out an ass kicking and test what the rising star is made of. Good action, the odd slow spot and a TV match where they worked harder than usual. Taker could still look his opponent great if he was working with the right guy here. It's probably his best gimmickless singles match for the year and is a great flashback for Cena considering where he is now.

*** - ***1/4


2004 Smackdown (10/18) - Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio
Man, this was great! Andy always says Rey may be Angle's best opponent, but the reverse is almost true too. Eddie is the clear cut number one, but Angle has to be right up there for number 2. Here he cranks his character playing up a heap, completely disrespecting Rey and toying with him. Action wise it's less advanced or complicated than SS 02, but has more focus on development and story/characterisation, so feels more like a "proper match" than a flat out sprint. Thanks to Angle being a dick it means there's always a sense of detestment between both men. Rey wants to prove to this asshole that he's worthy and teach him a lesson, while Angle as usual flaunts his advantages over Rey but is always frustrated at how hard it is for him to get the job done. Facial expressions convey this story really well.

There's plenty of neat "wait, Angle caught him, oh actually Rey ended up somehow coming out the winner" moments so it feels like both men are really tested and having to go the extra mile compared to what they usually do. Angle rakes the eyes, focuses ALL of his offence on the abdomen, slows him down with submissions, chokes him and gets owned when his frustration takes over. He always seems to tailor make a performance that is perfect to go with Rey and here they make every high spot he hits a big deal. Rey taking nasty landings and colossal bumps for Angle's suplexes make them stand out and sell them as deadly. Plus with the theme of these matches being Angle trying to catch the unpredictable and agile smaller man, the suplexes act as great momentum changers and survival tactics if that makes any sense. It's like the only way he can slow Rey down so they have more relevance and less randomness than usual. Oh and Angle eats up Rey's offence, which is always lifted up to another level in crispness when he faces a guy like Angle. They go all out sprint mode for the finish, with callbacks to their previous encounters (I always love guys busting out signature exchanges that they used together in past encounters, it adds that sense of history and distinctiveness to it). It also stands out more because the stuff that preceded it wasn't as frantic, thus giving us a great escalating tempo type climax. The hot finale has Angle relying on his chums interference to get on top, then some payoffs as Eddie and RVD make sure this bastard is gonna get what's coming to him and there's a feel good win that hypes up the Series match nicely. Great match, a perfect combination of chemistry, story telling and exciting action.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:40 am

Smackdown 2004 – JBL vs Eddie Guerrero
The Steel Cage gimmick fitted this situation perfectly. Eddie had come out on top after a war at JD, while JBL had a contentious victory at GAB to snatch an unlikely title win. What better way to settle the score, especially in such a heated rivalry, than a Steel Cage? This one had a sense of finality and epicness written all over it from the get go. Little touches such as JBL holding the cage in fear before the match started were great. It showed his mentality, as the cowardly heel was simply to survive the onslaught and escape. This was intense and violent from the start, just as you’d expect. Eddie came out like a house on fire, while JBL just tried to get the hell out of there.

They emphasised how desperate JBL was to stay away from the steel - as he screamed out “NO!” when Eddie attempted to mangle his face into a million pieces. Little things like this put over the story so impressively. Eddie wanted to fight like a man and settle the score, but JBL wanted nothing to do with it. Every time JBL tried to escape, Eddie would claw him back in frantically. This kept occurring until JBL basically knew it was going to take much more to beat Eddie than a sneaky escape. Eddie pretty much forced him to man up. So then we progressed into a pretty well fought and even section of the match. Both men scouted each other’s finishers, some signatures were hit and often both men would just stand there and flat out strike each other.

This was no nonsense brawling with a spark that their GAB match mostly lacked. The action was definitely more crisp and the flow more smooth, too. Eddie was cranking up the tempo with Latino Heat, while JBL hit a massive spinebuster and a beautiful superplex. This is probably the most exciting his offence ever was throughout his whole career. Soon after Eddie delivered a Russian Leg Sweep from the top rope! Man, these guys were utilising the environment faultlessly and meshing brilliantly together. In the last 6 minutes there were some great Steel Cage moves, drama and big time moments. A few of these included Eddie kicking out of a Clothesline from Hell and JBL Powerbomb, then delivering a Frog Splash from the top of the Cage!

These added to the big match feel that this was all about and put the icing on top of the cake of this superb rivalry. Both men sold particularly well in the latter half of the match to reinstate what a war they’d been through. Then it finished with a classic screwjob cop out victory to JBL, thanks to interference from Angle. Another instance of building up JBL’s status as a flukey champ and a sufficient way to screw the much loved fan favourite out of a chance to win back what was rightfully his. This was 20 minutes of gold in an environment that let them go all out. A fantastic way to finish things off and establish JBL for the rest of the year to come.


***3/4 - ****
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:45 am

Smackdown 2004 – Royal Rumble
I’m kinda in between Cal and Mike for this one. I really, really like it but not to the extent of the latter. Heaps of cool things going on that have already been covered: Angle in first as the machine, Eddie going through hell prior to this, Cena’s leg injury, WGTT getting their hands on their former mentor, Big Show sending everybody into a frantic state and Holly wanting a rematch. Like all Rumble’s there’s a lot of lying around and repetitive time killing tactics. Those are impossible to avoid but it doesn’t mean it’s always excellent viewing. Things start off really well with some actual wrestling and back and forth action rather than sluggish elimination attempts. Once the ring filled up it got slow for a while but the sub stories kept it exciting.

The Cena/Show period built their feud up nicely and the whole ‘crap, we all need to work together to take out the giant’ is always cool to see. Eddie has some very good near falls in this too which add to the drama. The Eddie/Angle finish was great in that it felt unique and fresh for a Rumble. It was just like a wrestling match and it was lengthy so it made for an epic climax. There’s cool touches and sequences throughout it that I won’t bother detailing. Needless to say it was an excellent conclusion to a match that felt important. There were hardly any dull moments in this – they obviously tried to make it as action packed as possible. I’m not into rating Rumbles but this one’s around that ***1/2 - ***3/4 area
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:57 am

Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio v Kurt Angle & Luther Reigns (Smackdown!, 8/19/04)
- Really good match, and there's nothing weird about this one. Reigns kinda sucks, but there's a couple really good spots with him and Mysterio, like him catching Rey off a springboard and giving him a nasty backbreaker. He's green as shit too, and I don't think he knows how to throws punches very well because at one point Eddie gets visibly pissed and takes a swing at him after eating 3 STIFFFFFFF forearms to the side of the head. Eddie plays FIP here, which makes sense after the damage done to him at Summerslam. The ankle's the main focus of Angle and Reigns again, and Angle's still smoking whatever he was at Summerslam because he's really focused. Eddie's selling is on point again. Awesome spot in this post-hot tag as Rey goes for the 619 on Reigns only for Angle to come out of nowhere and smack his legs with a chair as he's swinging through the ropes. Eddie spots this and goes for a chair of his own so Kurt bails and leaves Reigns on his own, which results in him eating a low blow, a 619 and a frog splash. Post-match Angle returns with a couple tubs of paint and covers Eddie's lowrider in white. There's still two Eddie/Angle singles match to go in this feud, and I don't really know what to expect. ***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:58 am

Eddie Guerrero v Kurt Angle (Smackdown!, 9/2/04)
- This is 2/3 falls and it's really good. Wouldn't put it ahead of Wrestlemania, but it's better than Summerslam. First fall's the best part about this, because it's pretty much an entire game of one-upmanship. The opening minutes are similar to Summerslam in that they're just GRITTY and it really makes me wish Angle would work the mat like that more often. Even with Benoit he never seemed to capture the kind of realism and fight in the exchanging of holds like does with Eddie. You're probably rolling your eyes right about now thinking "oh, here he goes again with the Eddie Guerrero man crush", but it's true; Angle worked the mat really well in those matches with Eddie. They soon move away from the mat work when Angle keeps pulling Eddie's hair to gain advantages, at which point Eddie decides they're gonna play a game of 'who's better at cheating'. Eddie, of course, has more tricks than Harry Houdini, and that frustrates Angle to no end. He'll pull Angle's straps when he tries to shoot him out of a headlock, he'll rub Angle's bald head to show that he can't pull the hair, he'll mockingly tell Bryan Hebnar to slap him on the wrist when Angle storms away, and when Angle tries to combat the strap pulling by taking them down, Eddie decides to pull his singlet instead, which gives us the ol' full moon comedy spot. Crowd eat it all up too, and it's almost reminiscent of something you'd see in Memphis with Bill Dundee and Dutch Mantell. Eventually Angle manages to get the ref' out of position long enough to sneak a low blow. Eddie returns the favour a minute later, but he does it in full view of the referee, which they play up as Eddie's latin temper getting the best of him, and that costs him the first fall. Second fall has a lot of Angle in control, and while none of it is bad, there's nothing amazing going on either. Most of it is spent with him locking in a grounded bearhug, but there is a major story point brought up at the end of the fall -- can Kurt hit the Angle Slam? The first time he tries it Eddie reverses it into a cradle (which looked awesome, btw) to tie the second fall. Third fall is similar to the second fall with Angle controlling a large chunk of it, but they keep playing off the question of whether Kurt can hit the Angle Slam or not. It takes him FOUR attempts before he can hit it, and Eddie's reversals to the other three are all really choice. Finishing run has some of what you'd expect with Kurt in there, and while they don't go overboard with the nearfalls and the counter-counter shtick, I can't say I'm a fan of the Angle Slam being a set up move for the ankle lock. It's like Davey Richards setting up the Kimura with a tombstone. How does that make sense? Anyways, we also get some Eddie shenanigans after a ref' bump when he pelts both Angle and Luther Reigns with a chair before spotting the ref' stirring and trying to frame Kurt by placing the chair in his hands and playing dead. That comes back to bite him in the ass, though, as Reigns takes a swing at him from the outside while the ref's arguing with Kurt, hitting him in the ankle with another chair. Kurt jumps on him, hooks the ankle lock and the grapevine, and Eddie taps. Thought that was a cool finish, although the heel picking up the win with a comeuppance spot is kinda ass backwards booking. I really liked this. Like I said, the first fall was great, and while the second and third falls were a step down, nothing annoyed me too much. I get that what I look for in Kurt Angle matches is probably gonna be different from what most look for in Kurt Angle matches, though, so I might like this more than everybody else since it didn't have the usual Angle staples... or at least too many of them. It's a low end nomination, because I'm not gonna vote for this, but it's something I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts on. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:04 am

Eddie Guerrero & Booker T v Rey Mysterio & Rob Van Dam (Smackdown!, 12/30/04)
- Great match that gets plenty of time and hits all the right notes. Not gonna ramble too much about it, but Rey plays a nice short FIP before Van Dam plays a longer one, and both are really good in the roles (obv). Booker and Van Dam's kicks look as good in this as I can recall seeing, too. Finish has some awesome Eddie hijinks and kinda sets the ball rolling on Eddie and his obsession with beating Rey. Next up is Eddie's 2005 run, which I'm suitably for. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2004 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:04 am

Eddie Guerrero v Kurt Angle (Smackdown!, 9/2/04)
Oh man, the first fall of this is awesome. Some great wrestling at the start, mixed with some classic laugh out loud Eddie comedy spots that had me smiling all the way through. Angle starting to cheat, which caused Eddie to actually tell us all that he is going to play that game too was great too, and when Eddie started cheating, he did everything he could to piss Angle off and make everyone laugh. Then Angle hits the low blow and Eddie gets so pissed off he doesn't realise what he is doing, and one low blow in front of the ref later, Angle wins the fist fall by DQ. Damn, if only this fall had gone longer lol.

Second fall isn't as "fun", but bugger me, Angle actually comes across as a SMART wrestler lol. I don't "hate" Angle anywhere near Andy, but I do think the guy is nothing more than a suplex crazy spot guy for the most part these days, and while he wasn't as bad in 04, he still wasn't exactly perfect. However, everything done in this fall is done for a reason. When Angle hits a suplex, he goes for a cover. He doesn't throw Eddie around, pick him up, suplex him, pick him up, suplex him, go for Ankle Lock etc like he normally would. Instead, the suplex is used as a way to wear down the back which is his main focus, and also to try and WIN the match. Plus, most of the suplexes he hits in this fall (which there aren't many of either, btw) are reversals to something Eddie is trying to do. Eddie has been talked about a LOT on this forum, and one thing that usually comes up is his ability to control a spot reliant opponent such as RVD, and even Angle, and this match so far is proof of that. Finish for this fall comes out of nowhere, but I guess that was the point.

The finish for the second fall actually makes more sense during the third fall, as Eddie countered the Angle Slam into a pin, and during the third fall, Eddie continues to counter the Angle Slam, putting doubt in our minds that Angle can actually hit it. They go back and forth, with Angle hitting some big moves and not being able to put Eddie away, and Eddie reversing the Angle Slam numerous times. He FINALLY hits it, but its STILL not enough to put down Latino Heat. So now its Eddie's turn to try and put Angle away with his finisher, but just when he is about to hit it, Luther whatshisname shows up and distracts Eddie long enough for Angle to move out of the way. So we know that Eddie can kick out of the Angle Slam, but can Angle kick out of the Frog Splash? More importantly, can Eddie HIT the Frog Splash? We get a ref bump towards the end, and some classic Eddie cheating again, but his gets "out cheated" by Luther who nails Eddie's Ankle with a chair while Kurt is explaining to the referee that the chair in the ring wasn't his. Angle capitalises and locks in the Ankle Lock, and Eddie has no choice but to tap out.

Well, I can safely say that this is the BEST match these two ever had together (still need to rewatch their Lumberjack match a few weeks later, and then their highly acclaimed 05 match, both of which I have on DVD I think). First fall is fun as fuck, then the second fall really set up to the third fall, but did it in a pretty damn good way. The third fall was literally the conclusion to the story that started to build during the second fall, and everything came together nicely imo. I'll probably vote for this tbh.

Rating: ***3/4
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