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WWE Judgment Day 2005 5/22/2005

May 22, 2005
Target Center
Minneapolis, MN
Attendance: 9,500
Buy Rate: .66
Announcers: Michael Cole & Tazz

Dark Match

1) Nunzio (James Maritato) defeats Akio (James Yun)

Pay Per View

1) MNM defeats Charlie Haas & Hardcore Holly (Robert Howard) to retain WWE Tag Team Titles when Joey Mercury (Adam Birch) pins Haas with the Snapshot at 8:04

Fun Fact: MNM is comprised of former Tough Enough winner John Hennigan, Indy stalwart Joey Mercury and former Tough Enough entrant Melina Perez. Melina was a model from Southern California that began her wrestling career in 2000. She tried out for Tough Enough in 2002 but missed the cut. Trainer Al Snow told Melina not to give up on her dream and she listened, signing a deal with OVW in 2004. Joey Mercury made his wrestling debut back in 1996 under the name Joey Matthews. He would be a regular on the Indy scene from his debut through 2003, including a stop in ECW during their final days. In 2003, he pulled of an interesting feat of competing in WWE, TNA and Ring of Honor within the span of a few months. By 2004, he was inked to a WWE developmental deal and assigned to OVW. Hennigan decided to try wrestling in 2002 and applied for Tough Enough III, eventually winning the competition. After a brief run as Eric Bischoff’s assistant in early 2004, he went back to OVW to work on his gimmick as Johnny Nitro. The three were put together in late 2004 and their gimmick was that they were Hollywood celebrities, which was elaborated by their entrance which saw them surrounded by paparazzi and included a seductive split on the ring apron by Melina. After feuding with Matt Cappotelli, they were called up to the main roster in April.

Fun Fact II:
On 4/14, Carlito debuted his own talk show segment as a shot at Roddy Piper. His first guest was Rey Mysterio, who had lost a tough match the week before. During the interview, MNM made their way to the ring for the first time. Melina introduced them to the world and hinted that they were aiming for Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero’s tag titles. Mysterio insulted Melina, leading to a beatdown by Mercury and Nitro. The next week, MNM requested a title match and then spray painted MNM on Eddie’s low rider. The champs obliged and MNM defeated them to take home the titles in their first televised match. On 5/19, Mercury lost a singles match to Bob Holly to set up this title bout.

Fun Fact III:
This is Charlie Haas’ final PPV appearance as he was released in the mass purge on July 8. We will hold off on his record for now, as Haas will return in early 2006.

Scott: Our opener pits a couple of guys who happen to be a team vs. the new, sexy thing on Smackdown. This MNM team brought instant tag team credibility and excitement to the show. It was pretty clear that this new team was going to win, and I still wonder why Holly even has a job. Haas and his partner Shelton Benjamin were the hot tag team on Smackdown two years earlier and now he’s saddled with this bag of bones and no ability. Was there anybody else on the roster that could have coupled with Haas to make a credible team? No, he’s stuck with this buffoon who should have gone out with the rest of the Attitude Era has-beens. The match is average and the Minneapolis crowd, hosting a PPV for the first time in almost six years and they’re pretty energetic for this one. The pace isn’t bad, mostly because Mercury and Nitro are fresh, athletic newcomers with great chemistry. Haas with a nice plancha to the outside taking the champs out matches is opponents’ intensity. The crowd really was into this one, with no help from the slothy Holly, who’s so many steps behind the other three guys you can’t count. After some heel chicanery, the Snapshot is hit and the champs retain. Grade: 3

Justin:
MNM makes their debut here as tag team champions. They had a unique gimmick and look and could go in the ring as well. Melina was the eye candy and their Hollywood gimmick was an interesting one. Their entrance was also great stuff, with the red carpet, paparazzi and sexy split from Melina. Holly and Haas are still hanging in there but their time as a team is just about up. The match gets off to a fast and fluid start and I disagree a bit with Scott, as I thought Holly showed some good energy while hanging in with the younger guys. Despite not having been a team for too long, MNM already had smooth teamwork and great chemistry. The crowd was pretty jacked here and to their credit, they stay that way for the whole night. Haas was a ball of energy and looked great, even busting out a plancha onto MNM on the floor. The champs would fight back and sneak out a win with the Snapshot. This was a hot opener and a nice PPV win for the debuting champions. I liked that Melina was helpful throughout as well, really showing that they were a cohesive unit. MNM was a breath of fresh air on Smackdown as they were an actual tag team and not two singles stars stuck together. They had a unique look and style and that was good to see. Grade: 2.5

2) Carlito (Carly Colon) defeats Big Show (Paul Wight) after interference by Matt Morgan at 4:41

Fun Fact: This is Matt Morgan’s final PPV appearance. Morgan had returned to the Smackdown roster on 4/21, using a stuttering gimmick that was defensive and violent over his speech disorder. He hooked up with Carlito on 5/19, assuming the role as his bodyguard. He would be released on July 5. Upon his release, he spent some time in Japan and Europe before hooking up with TNA.

Fun Fact II:
On 5/12, Carlito had Big Show on his Cabana and offered him a role as his muscle. Show was insulted and turned him down. Carlito took out his apple, but Show snagged it and bit it first. As he started chewing, Show started to slow up and then collapsed and it was implied that the apple had been poisoned. A week later, Carlito introduced Matt Morgan as his new bodyguard and the two assaulted Big Show and left him lying.

Scott:
We have a typical big man/little man match as Carlito spent the early part of the match getting tattooed by the big guy. Some chicanery and Carlito took over but he couldn’t do much against Show. Some simple back story here as Carlito asked Show to be his bodyguard and Show ate a bad apple. It was straightforward, and a reason to make a match for the show. While the referee was down though, Matt Morgan actually hit an F5 on Show and Carlito got the upset win. Impressive move by Morgan and the heels are undefeated so far. It’s been over a year since Brock Lesnar has left and they’re still calling the move an F5. Overall the match wasn’t much but the F5 was impressive. Grade: 2

Justin: Carlito comes out and cuts a good pre-match promo on Show, setting up the story of the match. I was glad to see Carlito back on PPV in a match, as it feels like he has been overlooked since his feud with John Cena. Carlito stalls a bit early, but Show would catch him and overpower him, which was expected. Morgan helped where he could, but Show pretty much dominated the bout. Finally, the ref gets knocked out, allowing Morgan to come in and drop Show with an awesome F5. Carlito steals the match, but Morgan came across as the star here. It is too bad he was dumped in July, because he had the look and ability to be a big time player. The match was blah here, but Morgan stole the show and bumped the grade. Grade: 1.5

3) Paul London defeats Chavo Guerrero to retain WWE Cruiserweight Title with the 450 Splash at 10:54

Fun Fact: On 3/29, Paul London took Chavo Guerrero’s Cruiserweight title in a battle royal. On 5/12, Chavo got revenge and pinned London in a six-man tag match, setting up the bout here.

Scott:
Our second title match of the night is a battle between a veteran cruiserweight and a singles newcomer. London, in my opinion, is a cleaner, less bizarre Jeff Hardy. His moveset and energy is similar to the Enigma, but not as strange. Chavo was looking pretty buff here, but then again 2005 was the year the needle was going around backstage at a big time rate. Everybody was jacked up and Chavo was one of them. Good chemistry here as even a bigger Chavo can go move for move with anybody, even someone smaller and quicker. I thought when Chavo got the roll-up and holding the rope that he was going to swipe the title but London kicked out. Move of the match was London doing a somersault splash off the top rope to the floor. He hit Chavo a little, but hit the floor flush. Chavo goes what looks like a piledriver off the top rope, but London backdrops him to the mat, hits the 450 and retains his title. This was a great match as the less-bizarre Jeff Hardy beat Uncle Eddie’s nephew. Grade: 3.5

Justin: After being largely ignored for the first part of the year, the Cruiserweight title gets some play here between two guys that deliver a style befitting the title. London was high energy here and I agree with Scott regarding his persona. He really had the talent to be the major star of the division if they so desired. Chavo got off to a strong start as he looked to regain his gold. London took some nasty bumps, with the stiffest coming when he ate Chavo’s knees on a 450 splash attempt. This was some pretty basic cruiser stuff with Chavo controlling most of the match and London delivering the high spots, including a crazy somersault plancha off the top to the floor. The match was hard fought and both men really busted it to please the crowd. London picks up the big win with a picture perfect 450 and he retains his gold. This felt like a slugfest and London was the last man standing but it really didn’t get cooking until midway through. I was happy that he got the win and was able to continue his title reign. Grade: 2.5

*** Backstage, Booker angrily searches for Angle, who had sent his wife a pair of handcuffs earlier in the night. Booker was unable to locate him because he was actually in Booker’s locker room torturing Sharmell. Angle forced her to the couch and pressed a kiss on her before taking off. ***

4) Booker T. (Booker Huffman) defeats Kurt Angle with an inside cradle at 13:59

Fun Fact: On 5/5, Kurt Angle found Booker’s wife Sharmell backstage and complained that her husband had cost him a title shot at Judgment Day and told her that he would be challenging Booker for a match at the PPV. Booker would accept and the two would have a brawl that ended with Kurt trying to trap Sharmell in an Anklelock. A week later, things turned bizarre as Angle informed Booker that he wanted to have perverted sex with his wife. Later that night, the two men fought, but Angle took off during the match and snuck into Sharmell’s locker room. Booker followed and when he entered to check on his screaming wife, Angle assaulted him and took him out. On 5/19, Teddy Long informed Booker that Kurt was banned from the arena and that he would be suspended if he didn’t apologize to Sharmell via satellite. Sharmell then ran into Mark Jindrak, who told her not to take Kurt seriously, but that Angle did have a fetish for gutter sluts. An incensed Booker destroyed Jindrak and beat him in a match. Later that night, Kurt joined us via satellite and apologized, saying he was on fire after Wrestlemania and couldn’t handle not earning the PPV title match, which he blamed on Booker. He then slowly changed his tune, saying Sharmell molested him last week and that she was indeed a gutter slut that enjoyed kissing him. After some more perversion, the segment came to a close with an angry Booker destroying a TV.

Scott:
The match with the most unusual back-story of the night has the Olympic Gold Medalist going up against a guy who was an afterthought at Wrestlemania. Booker won the Heat Battle Royal and wasn’t even on the big show. Angle won his classic match against Shawn Michaels, and then settled back into Smackdown and his love of…gutter sluts. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that term before this storyline. Good psychology as the out-of-his-head Booker T, furious over the treatment of his wife Sharmell, just pummels Angle until Kurt gets an opening and takes over the pace. This match simply featured two professionals putting on a solid, no-frills match. This is a complete 180 from our last match with two cruiserweights. Booker fights back and they go back and forth. Booker wins by a fluke and gets the victory, but Angle goes after Booker post-bell and beats him down as Sharmell is looking on from outside. Eventually Booker overpowers him, hooks him to the ropes with handcuffs that Angle delivered to Sharmell earlier in the night and let Sharmell beat the snot out of him in the corner. This was a pretty solid match and a long, but satisfying post-match. Grade: 3

Justin: This was an odd storyline, but Angle was so great at being creepy and insane that it actually worked on some perverse level. He was maniacal in stalking Sharmell, his prized gutter slut. I also loved his smug entrance here, as he looked so proud of his recent actions. Booker was on fire right from the bell, looking to destroy Angle. Angle would try to ground Booker and quell his emotion, but he couldn’t slow him down. Booker’s offense was stiff and believable and he showed good emotion and hatred. Angle would finally take advantage of Booker’s aggressiveness to gain control and begin his usual dissecting offense, slowing the pace way down. Booker would come back and hit a good Book End for a great near fall. We got a hot flurry towards the end, but the finish was weird as it looked like Angle actually kicked out, so it felt anticlimactic. Angle would wipe out Booker and abuse Sharmell before Booker made the save. Booker would cuff Angle to the ropes and assault him, getting out all his aggression. Sharmell capped it off with a low blow to bring a satisfying end to a weird storyline. The match was solid stuff between two wily veterans with some great emotion shown by both men. Grade: 2.5

5) Orlando Jordan defeats Heidenreich to retain WWE United States Title with a DDT at 5:01

Fun Fact: Shortly after his feud with Booker, Heidenreich began to have a change of heart. His poems became a bit happier and he also began making friends with young fans, inviting them into the ring and then having them sit ringside during his matches. On 5/19, Heidenreich defeated Orlando Jordan in a non-title match to earn the bout here. On 4/7,

Scott: So now Heidenreich goes from heel crazy lunatic to babyface idiot savant. Please. Jordan can’t carry this big goof and the match is a slow, plodding mess. Heidenreich tries to do his own Hulking Up but the crowd could really care less. Jordan hits the DDT and retains the title. Yawn. Grade: 1

Justin: Our next match is an intriguing contrast in styles with the US title on the line. After stealing the belt from John Cena in March, OJ has been holding his own in the ring and keeping the gold wrapped around his waist. The freshly minted face Heidenreich beat him on Smackdown and gets a crack at the title in this rematch. As has been his wont in recent weeks, Heidenreich brings an excited young fan into the ring, reads a poem and has her sit at ringside. OJ was aggressive early, bringing the fight to the challenger and bringing some laughs with his serious trash talking to the young fan. He also busted out a cool back suplex that folded Heidenreich in half. This match really wasn’t that bad as both guys have improved quite a bit since they debuted. Heidenreich was also well suited as a face because his selling was decent enough and his power offense worked well in short spurts during comebacks. OJ would get his win back and retain his title in this simple and effective match that saw both guys work hard and keep the crowd into it. Grade: 1.5

6) Rey Mysterio (Oscar Gutierrez) defeats Eddie Guerrero by disqualification when Guerrero uses a chair at 18:31

Fun Fact: This feud has taken a lot of twists and turns since the two men met at Wrestlemania. On 4/7, Rey Mysterio was wrestling JBL in the first round of the championship challenge. Eddie was in his corner and he lost his cool and ended up getting his partner disqualified and eliminated from the tournament. The next week saw Mysterio get beaten down by MNM and lose his cool with Guerrero, who claimed he had car trouble that prevented him from making the save. Later that night, Rey accidentally cost Eddie his tournament match against Kurt Angle. The next week, they would hash out their issues but would lose their titles to MNM and things boiled over as they shoved each other around after the match. A week later, they would make up again despite Chavo Guerrero doing his best to get between the two friends. They shook off Chavo’s intrusion and went to the ring for a rematch against MNM. Eddie would show his true colors during the match, though, as he stood on the apron and refused to get involved, letting Rey get abused and pinned. After the bell, MNM brutalized Mysterio as Eddie slowly left ringside. On 5/5, Mysterio confronted Eddie in the ring, smacked him in the face and asked for a match, but Guerrero refused. Rey accused him of being scared to lose but Eddie would not cave. Chavo got involved again as well, blaming Rey for the deterioration of the relationship. Later that night, Mysterio defeated Chavo in a street fight. After the match, MNM and Chavo beat Rey down once again but Eddie made the save. After the assailants left, Eddie clotheslined Rey, ripped his mask in half and then dropped him with a vicious suplex on the ring steps. The next week, Eddie cut a great promo with a Mysterio mask in his hand and a bright spotlight on him. He told Rey that he would take his life if he showed up at Judgment Day. He would hammer home his point by destroying jobber, and Indy star, Jimmy Jacobs later in the night. Eddie would deliver one more great promo the following week to put the bow on this tremendous build for this match.

Scott:
This match harkens back to their 1997 war during their days in WCW. Unlike their nicey-nice match at Wrestlemania, this is a vicious fight that sees Eddie go to many lengths to inflict pain on his former tag team partner. It was smart to put these two together in a feud based solely on their history and knowing they can put on great matches together. This match was just like this, back and forth big time moves to one another, looking for the three count. Those sick suplexes on the steps that Eddie did to Rey during his official heel turn were definitive. Even during Eddie’s heel run in 02-03 he wasn’t that vicious. In fact at one point during the match Eddie tried to do it again but Rey blocked it. The pace never stopped, as both men went move for move. Eddie uses his size advantage to toss Rey all over the ring but per the way their storyline goes, Rey won’t be defeated. Chavo comes out to distract the ref, and Rey hits the 619 on Eddie. Rey comes off the top rope but Eddie pastes him with a steel chair, forcing the DQ. I understand the ending, as it keeps things going but DQs do ruin great matches. Eddie, still sadistic and crazy takes the chair and beats the snot out of Eddie with one shot to the back after another. This was a phenomenal match between two professionals that ends with a necessary but buzz-killing disqualification. Grade: 3.5

Justin: After delivering a hot opener at Wrestlemania, these two former friends meet again here with a different light shining on their relationship. Since early April, Eddie had snapped and violently assaulted his best friend. Now he enters here a red-hot heel, looking to finally defeat Rey Mysterio in a WWE ring. Eddie would overpower Rey early and viciously attacked Rey’s injured ribs with pinpoint precision. In an innovative spot, Eddie snapped Rey into the announce table with a series of stiff spinebusters. Rey’s selling and comeback attempts were spot on as the heat for Eddie continued to build. Eddie would tease another suplex on the steps, but Rey slipped loose to avoid the move. Instead, Eddie would snap Rey over with a nasty superplex. The crowd was rocking as the match wound down and Chavo got involved in the action. He would distract the ref, allowing his uncle to grab a chair, but Rey was able to block it and take Rey down. Rey went to the apron and tried a springboard back in, but Rey grabbed the chair and smacked Rey like he was walloping a home run. It was a great and nasty looking spot that drew a DQ for Rey. I normally am not a fan of a DQ on a PPV, but it worked here as the story was that Eddie was perpetually frustrated by Rey and just wanted to punish him at this point. Eddie would assault Rey again after the bell, really building some more heat as this hate-fueled feud would rage on. Grade: 4

7) John Cena defeats John Bradshaw Layfield in an I Quit match at 22:40

Fun Fact: This is the first time the “I Quit” stipulation was used in a WWE Title match since the infamous chair shot buffet between Mankind and Rock at the 1999 Royal Rumble.

Fun Fact II:
On the 4/7 Smackdown, JBL came out depressed that he was no longer champion and that a “common thug” is champion now. He needs to be champion because he says his fans want it. JBL gets interrupted by Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Booker T, Big Show and Kurt Angle all saying they want the first crack at John Cena’s WWE Title. JBL says get in line because his rematch is first. Out comes GM Teddy Long, who said to JBL that he was so confident he was going to defeat John Cena at Wrestlemania, he waived his right to an automatic rematch. So Long says if JBL wants a rematch, he has to earn it. Long said there would be a series of matches to determine a #1 contender. There would be three singles matches that would be whittled down to three wrestlers who would battle in a triple threat to determine a #1 contender. Later in the night JBL defeated Rey Mysterio by DQ. The following week Kurt Angle defeated Eddie Guerrero, and on 4/21 Booker T and Big Show wrestled to a double DQ to round out the Triple Threat, now a Fatal Four Way. On the 4/28 Smackdown, JBL won the four-way to become #1 contender. The following week JBL came out wearing the WWE Title, the belt he carried, as Cena had another belt, more on that in the next Fun Fact. He said most people would just quit when the chips were down and wouldn’t try to grab their dreams. Out comes Cena, who says he doesn’t quit either, and at Judgment Day their WWE Title match will be an “I Quit” match. On the 5/12 Smackdown JBL comes out to rip Cena for having a parental advisory on his CD, whereas JBL’s book is the most popular book since the Bible. He says he will bust Cena open at Judgment Day and make him bleed. JBL says when you make your opponent say I Quit you own their soul. Cena runs down to the ring and they brawl until the entire roster comes to break them up. On the 5/19 show JBL aired an awesome “Anti-John Cena” ad saying that he has talked to Cena’s fans on the street and that he is a more profitable role model. After the PSA JBL came out to the ring and faced Scotty 2 Hotty in a match. JBL is disqualified but he doesn’t care, and he gets Scotty to say I Quit. Later in the night Cena defeated the Bashams in a handicap match, and he and JBL jaw with each other to end the night.

Fun Fact III:
On the 4/14 Smackdown, John Cena was given a new, updated WWE Title belt, complete with a spinning WWE logo in the center. It’s similar to his custom made US Title belt he had in 2004. That’s why JBL was able to carry around the old WWE Belt, because Cena didn’t use it anymore. That spinner belt is still the recognized WWE Title as of August 2010, however the logo in the middle no longer spins.

Fun Fact IV:
On the heels of his WWE Title win, Cena recorded a CD of rap cuts called “You Can’t See Me”, and a video for the song “Bad, Bad Man” premiered on the 5/12 Smackdown. It was an A-Team spoof featuring Gary Coleman. It also featured his new theme song.

Scott:
Coming off their blasé’, forced title change at Wrestlemania, we have a rematch that will pale in comparison. Cena comes out with the beat box on a Mack truck…hmm…Mack Truck…that would be a pretty cool wrestling name. If they were going to have Cena win the title at Wrestlemania, this is the match they were supposed to have. However, they were set on having Triple H/Batista end the show, so you couldn’t upstage them with a big, nasty brawl. However they wanted Cena to win, so throw a neutered mess in there just so Cena could win. I still think Cena wins by DQ there and then have him win the title here, but enough dwelling on that. Cena gets busted open on a chair shot after he backdrops JBL onto the Spanish table. In one of the best blade jobs in recent memory, Cena bled all over his face and down his torso. JBL bludgeons him with back-to-back-to-back Clotheslines from Hell while blood is splattered and pouring out of his head. After calling Cena a “punk ass bitch” Cena snaps and makes a furious comeback. They battle out to the stage where JBL’s limo and Cena’s truck are parked. JBL does a sweet swinging neckbreaker on the hood of the limo. They continue to bludgeon each other and JBL at one point gets thrown head first into a TV monitor, and then thrown into a limo window. Cena, at his most popular, has the crowd entranced as he continues the carnage. Blood pouring everywhere, big moves on all the vehicles and equipment, this match pales the very bland Wrestlemania title change. The undercard of this show was not that bad, but if it was horrible, this match would have carried the show to a C. Finally, as Cena was about to crush JBL with the truck’s exhaust pipe, JBL quits. This effectively ends the JBL character I finally fell for at the end of 2004. Sure he continues on, but it’s not the same. Cena wins the biggest match of his career, to be bigger than Wrestlemania. He wins a bloody war that solidifies him as a big time player. Kurt Angle/Shawn Michaels from Wrestlemania was MOTY to this point, but these guys tried pretty hard to match it. They almost did. Grade: 4.5

Justin: As I talked about at Wrestlemania, I felt that John Cena’s big title win deserved a hotter, wilder match. Well, we didn’t get that match there, but they do deliver it now. Cena gets a cool entrance as a flatbed truck with a DJ spinning ones and twos drives him out to the ring. Cena gets a huge pop here and really seemed like they had struck gold with the next big superstar. The match had a basic start, but it quickly evolved into a wild brawl around ringside. JBL would crush Cena with a nasty and dangerous unprotected chair shot and Cena would tap a vein with a heavy flowing blade job. JBL was great on the mic as he kept forcefully asking Cena to quit throughout the match. The two would end up in the aisle where they had a great battle on the hood of JBL’s limo that included some stiff power moves by both men. They would end up in a tech area and in one of the best spots of the match, Cena would yank JBL into a TV monitor and JBL would fly head first through the screen, busting him open as well. They would continue to war on the limo and flatbed truck, busting out some fresh spots that really kept the crowd rocking. I also enjoyed some of the shots where they would bang each other off the head with the mic. They sounded good and looked good and weren’t that dangerous. Cena would grab pipe off the truck and stalk JBL, who grabbed a mic and quit, giving Cena the win before he could punish him further. This was a great wild brawl that saw JBL put Cena over big time. The crowd was red hot throughout and it was just a lot of fun to watch. Cena was now a legit star and champion and this really should have been the type of match where he won the belt, but better late than never. Cena’s popularity was at its all time high here but he and WWE in general were in for some big time changes over the next month. Grade: 4.5

Final Analysis

Scott:
Definitely the best overall Smackdown PPV in quite a while. The undercard was balanced with good matches, solid psychology and a pretty hot Twin Cities crowd. Except for that US Title debacle, all three title matches were fun battles and the well-booked Eddie/Rey battle showed that for once, WWE actually used WCW history to help make a show better. The main event was a perfectly booked bloody brawl as JBL helped solidify Cena as a player, and Cena helped himself with a hot crowd and a top notch performance. Maybe Brock Lesnar should have taken advice from JBL on how to pay back from being given a lengthy title reign and plenty of wins over big time players. I wish both brands could have stayed this way all year. Unfortunately we’re due for a roster shake-up, which to me botches both brands and ruins some characters, but we’ll get there. For now, I want to say that maybe for the first time since Vengeance 2003, Smackdown had a great overall PPV effort. Final Grade: B+

Justin:
Well, I must say that this show completely caught me off guard. I always remember the main event being great, but I didn’t realize how solid the rest of the show was. I clocked in a bit lower than Scott on most grades here, but it was still a highly entertaining show that was full of energy and had a rocking crowd. The heel turn of Eddie Guerrero and the ascension of John Cena have given Smackdown a renewed energy and things were looking up for the blue brand headed into the draft. JBL puts Cena over big, and WWE now had a big time star on their hands and it seemed inevitable that he would be moved to the flagship show in June. For now, Smackdown is enjoying the boost in popularity and it shows with an invigorated roster delivering a really fun PPV outing. Final Grade: B-

MVP: John Cena & JBL
Runner Up: Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio
Non MVP: Heidenreich
Runner Up: Big Show

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