Airdate: April 1st, 2004
The new GM of Smackdown, Kurt Angle, heads to the ring to start the show off. He talks about how he’s planning on building a bigger and better SD for all of the fans, but there is still one thing missing. Someone needs to step up to the plate and become the new hero for Smackdown, and that’s why Kurt has decided to give out the first ever “Great American” Award. Tonight, there will be a series of matches tonight to determine the nominees for the “Great American” Award, and the winner will not only receive the trophy that Angle has in the ring (it’s the same trophy that Stephanie McMahon presented to Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit after they won the WWE Tag Team Championship, but with a bald eagle attached to the top of it), but they will become the # 1 contender for the WWE Championship. You know, I’m all for tournaments to decide the # 1 contender and all, but when the WWE will stick Bradshaw in that spot no matter what happens, it kinda makes the entire thing suck.
Match 1: Great American Award Nominee Match: The Big Show vs. Rikishi
Rikishi throws the first few punches at the Big Show to start the match off, but he’s quickly overpowered. Show chokes out Rikishi in the corner with his foot and follows that up with a few kicks and stomps. Big Show knocks Rikishi down and chokes him until the count of four. Big Show goes for a headbutt, but he obviously didn’t remember that Rikishi was once one-half of the Headshrinkers and headbutts don’t work on him. Rikishi mounts a comeback, nailing Show with a superkick which sends Big Show crashing down into the corner. Rikishi goes for the stinkface, but Show is able to shove the big man off and connects with the chokeslam. Show covers and gets the three count to become a nominee for the Great American Award.
Winner: The Big Show
Meanwhile, Bradshaw arrives in a huge stretch limo with bull horns on it. After getting out of the car, he runs down his limo driver for speaking Spanish, telling him that he should learn to speak English since he’s in America and not Mexico.
Match 2: Rey Mysterio & Spike Dudley vs. Chavo Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero Sr.
Chavo Jr. has some new funky theme music going for him tonight. Rey & Chavo start the match off, trading some mat wrestling moves before Rey attempts a springboard press. Chavo catches him on his shoulder, but Rey turns it into a flying headscissors. Rey ducks a charge from Chavo and gets a hiptoss on Chavo Sr. Spike comes in, and with both Chavos down in the corner, Rey hits the bronco buster on Chavo Jr. while Spike does his running in place all over Chavo Sr’s chest. Rey heads up top but gets crotched there when Chavo Sr. shoves him off balance. Chavo Sr. tags in, and stomps away at Mysterio while Rey is hanging in the Tree of Woe position. Chavo Sr. hits a butterfly suplex and tags in his son, who hits a double ax handle on Rey’s arm for a two count. Chavo locks in a camel clutch, but Rey escapes and slugs it out with Chavo before connecting with a seated dropkick. Rey makes the hot tag to Spike, who cleans house on both Chavos, getting a two count off an atomic drop on Chavo. Chavo Sr. gets hit right into position for the 619, but Chavo Jr. breaks it up. With Mysterio on the outside, Spike gets Chavo in position and delivers the Acid Drop after running up Chavo Sr’s chest to pick up the win. After the match, Bradshaw appears and destroys the two cruiserweights by hitting a Clothesline from Hell on Spike and a powerbomb on Mysterio.
Winners: Rey Mysterio & Spike Dudley
Match 3: Great American Award Nominee Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Charlie Haas
I want to know who suggested to Haas that he wear those ugly lime green tights to the ring, because I want to slap them upside the head. Rob does a bit of pointing to himself to start the match off, but Haas takes RVD down to the mat with some nice mat wrestling. RVD comes back with a kick for two, but Haas tries to go for the leg of Van Dam. RVD dumps Charlie over the top rope, and celebrates again while Haas gets upset on the outside. Back in the ring, Haas goes after RVD’s leg again, stomping away at it and then wrapping it around the steel ring post. Charlie follows that up with a leglock that turns into a half-Boston Crab. RVD manages to get to the ropes to break the hold, but Haas continues to lay on the punishment with a backdrop suplex. RVD comes back with a few kicks, and then Rolling Thunder for two. RVD pounds away at Charlie in the corner, but misses a charge after a backflip. RVD connects with a spinkick and then heads up top for the five-star frog splash, but Haas moves out of the way and RVD eats nothing but mat. Haas tries a charge at RVD, but Van Dam dumps him over the top rope. RVD hits Haas with a baseball slide to send him back to the ground, and then goes for a pescado, but Haas had his hands on a steel chair that he left around ringside, and both Van Dam & Haas were knocked out by it when RVD landed. The referee made the count, but both men were unable to make it back into the ring before ten so the match was ruled a draw……..or was it? Kurt Angle comes out and says that there has to be a winner, so he awards the match to Charlie Haas based on who Angle thinks was ahead on points. Haas moves forward as a nominee for the Great American Award.
Winner: Charlie Haas
Meanwhile, Booker T is back in Angle’s locker room and is complaining about the reception that he got last week from the SD fans. Kurt tries to please Booker by setting him up in a match against Hardcore Holly for a Great American Award nomination.
Match 4: Great American Award Nominee Match: Booker T vs. Hardcore Holly
Booker gains control of the match to start things off, pounding Holly down but Hardcore chops his way back and connects with a clothesline on Booker which sends him to the outside. Back in the ring, Booker gets a quick cheapshot and then follows it up with a back kick for two. Holly fires back with a few punches and then gets two off a vertical suplex. Holly continues to pound away at Booker in the corner, getting another two count off a legdrop. Holly gets an armbar in, but Booker escapes before any major damage was done. Booker tries to fire back on Holly, but Hardcore hiptosses him back to the mat and reapplies the armbar. Booker gets out of it again and slugs Holly down to the mat. Booker gets a two count off a side slam, and then connects with a knee drop that sends Hardcore into the corner. Booker gets an illegal choke, and hits an elbow to the face when Holly tries a charge. Holly gets an elbow of his own for two, and then goes back to work with the armbar. Booker gets out of it by hitting a hotshot on Hardcore, and then sends him to the outside with a clothesline. After the break, Holly is trying yet another armbar but Booker kicks Hardcore out of the ring. Back in, Booker connects with an ax kick, but Holly fires back with a couple of clotheslines and gets two off a powerslam. Booker uses the old thumb to the eye trick, but it doesn’t help him much because Holly manages to hit is “Best Dropkick in the Business” for two. Booker connects with the Book End, but is a bit slow in covering and Hardcore is able to kick out. Holly gets a boot in the corner and a two count off a inverted bulldog, but Booker comes right back with a quick rollup for the win after using a handful of tights. Booker T has secured a nomination for the Great American Award. Decent match, but I could have done without all the armbars. Also, I love how the WWE still is trying to get Hardcore Holly over as one of the top faces on Smackdown,
Winner: Booker T
Match 5: The Dudley Boyz vs. Akio & Sakoda
Bubba starts the match off with Sakoda, fighting over a lockup. Bubba manages to overpower Sakoda, but a quick cheapshot from Akio allows the heels to double team Bubba. Akio chokes Bubba, and Sakoda comes back in with a back elbow for two. Sakoda gets two off the cravate, and Akio tags back in only to walk right into a nasty spear from Bubba. Bubba finally makes the hot tag to D-Von, who cleans house with a few clothesline and gets two off a spinning elbow. Sakoda tries to hold D-Von for a double-team move, but D-Von moves and Akio nails Sakoda with a spinning heel kick. As Akio turned around to focus on D-Von once again, he walked right into the 3D which allowed the Dudleys to pick up the win. Pretty standard Dudleys match here, and I’m still wondering where Akio & Sakoda are in the grand scheme of things now that Tajiri has been moved to Raw.
Winners: The Dudley Boyz
After the break, The Dudleys go check on Spike but get interrupted by Teddy Long who stops by to hand them their players cards and tells them that he could make them a lot of DOLLA DOLLA BILLS.
Meanwhile, Eddie Guerrero arrives and has a quick discussion with Bradshaw’s limo driver.
Match 6: Great American Award Nominee Handicap Match: John Cena vs. Nunzio & Johnny “The Bull” Stamboli
Rene Dupree joins Cole & Tazz on commentary with Fifi the dog. Cena slugs it out with Johnny to start things off, but “The Bull” quickly tries for a press slam. Cena fights his way out and connects with a backdrop. Cena stomps Stamboli before going over and knocking Nunzio off the ring apron. “The Bull” catches Cena from behind and takes control, but as Nunzio climbs up to the top rope for a double-team move, Cena reverses things by slingshotting Stamboli into Nunzio. Nunzio flies off the top rope to the floor, leaving Stamboli in the ring with Cena, who connects with the “Throwback” and the “Five-Knuckle Shuffle”. Cena stops to pump it up, and then lands the F-U on “The Bull” to pick up the win. Cena is now a nominee for the Great American Award. I can’t really say much about this match, since it didn’t go long enough for me to really get into it. I still say that the WWE did a dumb thing by sending Palumbo to Raw, since Chuck & “The Bull” were a decent tag team.
Winner: John Cena
After the break, Kurt Angle heads to the ring and tells everyone that the winner of the Great American Award will be announced next week on Smackdown after the fans decide who will win via an online poll. Kurt then starts to talk about Eddie Guerrero, causing the WWE Champion to interrupt the GM of SD. Angle quickly informs Eddie that he’s putting Bradshaw’s name into the nomination pool despite the fact that he didn’t wrestle a match. Ohhh man, I’m guessing that the WWE will rig up the online voting so that Bradshaw somehow comes out with the most votes, thus saying to WWE management (in their minds) that giving Bradshaw a main event push is what the fans want to see. Speaking of the former APA member, Bradshaw comes out in his limo to talk about all his financial success again, and goes on to say that he’ll be the next WWE Champion. Eddie chases Bradshaw back into the limo, and manages to steal his cowboy hat. The show ends as Eddie gets the fans around ringside to throw all kinds of junk into the hat to mess it up.