The Three Count

T3C: WWE Judgment Day 2004 – doesn’t look good to me!

PPV time again and this one doesn’t look at all promising. Can Smackdown deliver the goods or will I be found by my landlord fast asleep on the sofa? Click the link above to read my preview in full…

Can you imagine just how much food I’m going to have to eat in order to stay awake during this PPV? So much I imagine it’ll bring me ever closer to my own Judgement Day. Before I start on this preview, I have to say a few things about Smackdown at present. Because face it, the problems this brand have explains totally why this is destined to get one of the lowest buy-rates in recent WWE memory.

Tony Cottam looks at this subject in more depth (and a great article it is too), all I can say really is that the recent draft roster simply hasn’t worked. There simply isn’t enough big names on Smackdown, take a look at the matches on Raw this week and imagine that as this weekend’s PPV: Batista v Tajiri, Orton v Edge, HHH v Benjamin, Jericho v Christian, throw in a Benoit v Michaels match and some women’s and tag action and that’d be pretty good. A heck of a lot better than what we have in store for us this Sunday. Vince needs to somehow get one or two more big names onto Smackdown to cover for the injuries to Angle and the Big Show. He needs to resurrect the tag division, get some women wrestlers in and treat the cruiserweight division with respect. Anyway more about that soon, on with the preview.

WWE Title: Eddie Guerrero v John Bradshaw Layfield

Oh boy, what the hell is Bradshaw doing in a main event? Then again what was going on with Hardcore Holly in the Royal Rumble main event? Wrestlers like RVD must be wondering what they have to do to get out of mid-card. Bradshaw is nothing more than a watered-down Million Dollar Man. a ‘hey look at me I’ve got money, what do you do with your sad lives?’ character. But although he’s been pretty impressive on the mic, this is at the end of the day about a wrestling match and he is never going to be main event quality. Take a look at his record on PPV, he’s barely ever won a singles match, this guy is a tag wrestler not a potential WWE Champion. Why else has he barely been seen in the ring lately? He’s beaten Paul London (under a mask as the Mexican Heavyweight Champ) and Rey Mysterio so why not let him fight for the cruiserweight title, or is he the wrong sex for that? Having said all that I have a terrible feeling Bradshaw might actually win the belt this weekend, I pray he doesn’t but after all this push and Vince apparently loving the guy, I fear a title reign might just be on the horizon.

Eddie is doing ok as champion, his in-ring ability won’t let him down and against the right opponent, he’ll always be in matches that could win awards. This isn’t one of them though. There’s plenty of heat in the match with the sick story about Eddie’s mother (Never touch an old woman on the shoulder, it could give her a heart attack) but that isn ‘t enough. Guerrero really needs to carry his opponent in this match.

So what’s going to happen? Not too sure to be honest. But like I’ve already written, there’s been a lot of work put into this Bradshaw push and a one-off title attempt isn’t the plan in my opinion. Angle hates Eddie so look for some outside interference (Luther?) to cost Eddie his title for a short while, after all we have to endure another Smackdown only PPV next month.

US Title: John Cena v Rene Dupree

Just what qualifications are there to be able to mount a challenge for the US TItle? Canadians fight for it, Mexicans have a crack at it, and now we have a phoney Frenchman. The build-up for this hasn’t been too bad, but the problem is I’m starting to get bored with Cena. It’s the same old routine time after time and pretty soon it won’t just be me who gets bored with him. His in-ring action hasn’t been too impressive recently as well.

Dupree must really have pleased someone to get this far in WWE so early. He’s ok but not that great, and how long can this anti-French story carry on? Typical WWE Xenophobia. But he has been good in the build-up and this could be a decent match on a bad card. Who’s going to win? Again it’s a bit of a toss-up, I go for a Cena victory to maintain his push towards an inevitable WWE Title match sometime this year. But I reckon sooner or later Dupree could get this title.

Cruiserweight Title: Jacqueline v Chavo

Oh my God! A minutes silence please for the death of the cruiserweight division on Smackdown. I’ve covered this subject on last weeks newsletter so you’ll know how disgusted I am at this storyline. All the talent they have, all the talent they could sign, and we end up with a woman as champion! Apparently Chavo has to have one arm tied behind his back in this match, hopefully though he’ll find a way of winning back his title and some of his credibility. This better be short believe me!

Tag Titles; Rico and Haas v Hardcore Holly and Billy Gunn

Can we have a minutes silence for the tag division as well? Ok half a minute, there is some light at the end of the tunnel with the Dudleys on the march but this title match is probably going to be played for laughs. How else can it not be with Rico on board? The guys a joke and it won’t last long believe me. As for Gunn (who must be having nightmares of his days as Billy) and Holly, this is the best they can hope for in WWE these days. It’ll be ok I suppose as Haas is talented and the challengers have become a reasonable team. I go for Rico and Haas to keep their belts.

The Underbikertaker v Booker T

Oh poor old Booker T. He turns heel which is ok, he did that in WCW so he’s got experience at that kind of thing. Then all of a sudden he’s up against Eddie for the WWE Title which lasts about a week, then it’s a quick feud with RVD and now the Underbikertaker. Three feuds in a few weeks, the poor guy can’t know if he’s coming or going. Rumours are he’s about to turn into a Papa Shango type character, I’d retire now if I were Booker. With a feud against Undi, he’s not going to get far is he? I believe he might just get a win this Sunday, that’s how Undi feuds tend to go. Hopefully it won’t be a case of him having his urn nicked again. Undi’s ring entrance is ok of course, his in-ring action is a strange mix of Phenom and biker days which is a bit confusing. I fear a silly ending here, could be a reasonable match, though of course Undi won’t sell
much will he?

Mordecai v Mystery Opponent

Big push time for someone who might be able to rescue Smackdown? I don’t know too much about this guy so this could be one of the more interesting moments of this PPV, With a religious angle I reckon he’s doomed to be stuck in a feud with Undi so perhaps his future isn’t assured. Then again people said that about Mick Foley when he came in as Mankind. Who will he be up against? I have a horrible feeling it might be Spike Dudley in order to ensure an impressive squash. Modecai to win and he better be impressive.

RVD/Mysterio v The Dudleys

What has RVD done to upset Vince? This guy should be in a major singles match, not that there’s too many opponents for him on Smackdown to be honest. Instead he’s had his feud with Haas, then a quick one with Booker, which really should have been seen on a PPV and now he’s back in the tag division. As for Mysterio, what must he think of Jacqueline as Cruiserweight Champ? I’m not sure what the future holds for him, he’s done too much too soon in a division that hasn’t got that many wrestlers, and the old David v Goliath matches he’s been involved in have been done to death as well.

The Dudleys seem to have been given a new lease of life with the heel change and the switch to Smackdown. They have to win this match if that’s to continue and I believe they will. A title match at the Great American Bash must be the next step.

Torrie Wilson v Dawn Marie

Just why are these two meeting each other? We’ve seen it all before (actually we’ve seen it all in the case of Torrie) but at least they had a storyline back then. This is just a card filler with a bit of T&A on show. I go for Torrie to win but I really couldn’t care less.

So there we are, this card has probably two that could be decent (Undi and Cena) and a few that could stink the house out. I’ll review the show next week and stand by for a big announcement very soon.

Stephen Ashfield