Erik fires up the WWE Network for a flashback review of WWE’s Judgement Day Pay Per View from May of 2004. This PPV was suggested to us by former Piledriver Podcast host Brendan Bailey via Twitter.
This Pay Per View was during the era of the brand split where Raw and SmackDown would have exclusive brand specific events. Judgement Day 2004 was a SmackDown specific event held on May 16th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Rey Mysterio and RVD vs. The Dudley Boyz
The match starts off between RVD and Bubba Ray Dudley. Proving once again they deserve the recognition of being one of the best tag teams in wrestling history, Bubba distracts the referee in the opposing corner and D-Von blindsides RVD. D-Von starts the match for his team instead. Frequent tags from The Dudleys. RVD finally gets some offense in with many of the same moves he utilizes today. With both Dudleys outside of the ring RVD takes flight hitting both men with a flip over the top rope. Mysterio follows up with a cross body from top rope to the outside. Match resumes in the ring between RVD and D-Von. RVD really in a tough spot but finally gets the tag to Mysterio who moves around faster than a rabbit fed Mountain Dew through IV. Bubba finally cuts Rey off catching him in a seated springboard attempt and launching him causing his neck to whiplash off the top rope. D-Von gets the tag and gets some shots in of his own. Pay attention to the expertise of Bubba Ray playing a great heel by talking trash and aggravating RVD in the opposite corner. Mysterio finally gets the tag to RVD but the referee doesn’t see it so he doesn’t allow it. While RVD argues with the ref The Dudleys beat Mysterio to a pulp. Bubba traps Rey in the corner using Tree of Woe (hanging your opponent upside down in the corner and securing his foot under the turnbuckle making an escape impossible) and continues to talk trash. Bubba goes to get a couple more shots in but Rey wisely wraps his arms around Bubba’s neck and lays in a few shots of his own. He does something I’ve never seen before, he hits Bubba with a modified cutter (ie an RKO) while still trapped in the corner! He escapes and hits an absolute beauty of a moonsault then gets the much needed tag to RVD. Van Dam comes in hot and cleans house then hits Rolling Thunder on D-Von. Bubba stops a pin attempt at two and Mysterio comes in to even the odds briefly. Bubba Ray sends Mysterio crashing to the outside with a back body drop. Dudleys set up RVD for WAAAAAAAASSSSSSUUUUUP! (LOL) but Mysterio clips the leg of D-von causing him to straddle the steel corner post. Ouch. Mysterio hits Bubba with a Bronco Buster then gets launched by RVD with D-Von on the top rope onto the shoulders of D-Von and executes a perfect hurricanrana! He goes for the pin but Bubba breaks it up at 2 and the crowd gasps. Mysterio is left alone in the ring with The Dudleys who look to hit 3-D. RVD hits Bubba with an enziguri while Mystero sends D-Von the middle rope next to Bubba. Rey hits a double 619 while RVD comes crashing down on D-Von with the 5 Star Frog Splash for the win. Amazing match to kick off the event. Pay special attention to the psychology of the match using hot tags, the expertise of The Dudleys, and the brilliance of a heel Bubba Ray.
Backstage with a very young Josh Matthews who looks to speak with Booker T before his match tonight. Booker answers the door but looks very paranoid and uneasy to answer any of Josh’s questions. Booker T says he’s bigger than RVD and Mysterio, even bigger than The Undertaker. Booker says he has a power of his own as the camera shows him holding some sort of pouch. He says after he beats The Undertaker everyone will know he is the one true star on SmackDown.
Back ringside and the music of the GM Kurt Angle hits with Luther Reigns pushing a giant black cart to ringside. He parks the cart and elevating to the top is Angle in a wheelchair. Angle insults the LA crowd calling them lazy, incompetent dreamers just waiting for their big break that will never come. After a Kobe insult he insults the crowd for supporting Eddie Guerrero. The crowd reacts with a massive Eddie chant while Angle says he’s still mad because if Eddie didn’t cheat during their match at WrestleMania, he would be the one defending the WWE Championship tonight. He says when JBL beats Guerrero for the title tonight he expects LA to riot. He’s going to leave town hoping LA suffers the biggest earthquake in history. Angle says he’s not out there because of Guerrero but rather to confront the person who put him in the chair Torrie Wilson. Angle was injured by the Big Show after show tossed him 25 feet and breaking his leg. Wilson actually has no fault other than sending Big Show on a rampage. Angle says that if she loses her match against Dawn Marie she will be fired. Dawn Marie makes her way down to the ring.
Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie – If Torrie loses she is fired
This wasn’t a bad match as there were actually moves executed and really no botches just the pacing of the match coupled with pretty bad foot work from both ladies really threw my interest off. Dawn Marie is definitely the brawler type and Torrie can handle her own on a good day. Ton of false finishes keeps the crowd interested and if they weren’t then they definitely were during Dawn’s wardrobe malfunction, God bless the WWE Network. Dawn Marie ever the trooper continues the match. Torrie uses a quick backslide to win the match and at least tonight, will not be fired.
Backstage in the dressing room of John Bradshaw Layfield he insults fans of Eddie Guerrero, fans who believe in the mantra “Lie, Cheat, and Steal”. He insults welfare users and struggling Hispanics looking to live life in the US and by this point I forget what he says because even in 2004, I didn’t care for angles that exploited the struggles of others.
Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Mordecai
Scotty 2 Hotty makes his way to the ring for his match against the debuting Mordecai. Strange isn’t the word when describing Mordecai who comes out dawning an all white robe carrying some sort of crucifix. The bell rings and it’s an all out beat down for Scotty. After more pummeling Scotty somehow is able to get some offense in on Mordecai. He goes to set up The Worm but the idea was short lived. Mordecai hits a Crucifix Powerbomb for the win.
Backstage in the locker room of Chavo Guerrero Jr. who’s having a conversation with his father who is getting dressed. The men are interrupted by Chavo’s opponent tonight Jacqueline who comes with a gift for Chavo. Chavo says he doesn’t need any gifts to make him feel comfortable so in turn he’s going to go out of his way to make Jacqueline feel uncomfortable. Chavo opens the gift and finds a set of women’s underwear. Jacqueline says if he’s gonna get beat by a girl he might as well dress like one. Chavo definitely didn’t enjoy the joke and says he’s gonna make her hurt worse than she’s ever felt and he’s going to win back the Cruiserweight Championship.
Charlie Haas and Rico vs. Hardcore Holly and Billy Gunn for the Tag Team Championship
Holly and Gunn argue over who should start the match against Rico who comes in and gives him a nice pat on the backside. Holly and Gunn argue some more but Haas decides he’ll start the contest which causes Holly and Gunn to now argue over who will start. Finally we get underway with Hardcore Holly locking up with Charlie Haas. Rico tags in and immediately gets in the heads of his opponents by gyrating and blowing kisses. Hardcore Holly is having none of that and tags in Billy Gunn. Billy goes to lock up and once again Rico starts up his antics. Gunn goes to tag his partner but Hardcore Holly wants no part of this match. This is just weird. Rico tags in his partner Haas much to the thanks of Billy Gunn and both he and Holly start beating down Haas. Frequent tags from Holly and Gunn also isolating him from his partner. Haas tries to mount some offense but gets a dropkick right to the mush. Gunn tags in giving Haas a quick breather and a chance to mount some offense. Gunn derails the attempt with a kick to the face. Haas desperately needs to get to his partner Rico for a tag. Holly comes off the top but Haas gets his boot up causing Holly’s head to snap back. Holly gets the tag to Gunn before Haas could get the tag to Rico. Billy stops Charlie by grabbing his foot but Haas reaches and his able to make the tag to Rico. Coming in hot Rico hits a super atomic drop on Billy while Haas gets a blind tag in. Off the blind tag Gunn doesn’t see he hits the Fame-Asser on Rico but Haas steps in and hits Gunn with a beautiful release German suplex. Holly comes in off the tag and looks to hit Haas with the Alabama Slam. He turns with Haas on his shoulders and Rico catches him with a super kick. Haas uses the momentum to roll into a sunset flip for the victory. Haas and Rico retain the Tag Team Championship.
We go backstage to a smokey filled room with The Undertaker. The late Paul Bearer says tonight is Booker T’s judgement day. The camera cuts to Taker as he utters the words, rest in peace.
Jacqueline vs. Chavo Guerrero for the Cruiserweight Championship
Chavo comes down to the ring with his father now fully dressed, Chavo Classic. Special stipulation at the request of Chavo, he will wrestle the match with one arm tied behind his back. One arm really doesn’t seem to affect Chavo as he is just man-handling Jacqueline. She’s able to hit a leg scissors that sends Chavo into the turnbuckle. She hops on his back and locks in a sleeper hold but Chavo stops her by crashing into the corner. Chavo Classic tries to intervene in the match but Jacqueline ducks under Chavo Jr. to send Chavo Sr. down to the floor. With the ref distracted Jacqueline hits a low blow but only gets a 2 count on the pin. Chavo rolls to the outside and while the ref is checking on Jacqueline Chavo Classic unties his son’s arm from behind his back. Chavo rolls back in pretending to still have his arm tied as his father jumps up on the ring apron to again distract the referee. Chavo takes advantage and hits Jacqueline with a stiff clothesline. Classic continues to distract the ref as Chavo hits a Gory Bomb to get the win and become the new Cruiserweight Champion. After the match Chavo cuts a promo and his father lays in a shot on a fallen Jacqueline.
John Cena vs. Renee Dupree for the United States Championship
I have to say it is very very strange to see Cena come out to a 100% positive reaction. He cuts a classic freestyle promo against Renee Dupree. The Frenchman interrupts Cena and the match is underway. Dupree is a rather impressive specimen not to mention he was only 20 at the time. After an awkward bump to the outside both men brawl. Back inside the ring Dupree slows the pace down and gains the upper hand. Cena tries to get back in the match sending Dupree into the corner. It looked like he was trying to pull off the classic HBK bump and flip in the corner but it wasn’t happening. Cena goes for the attack put Dupree pulls the ropes down sending Cena flying to the outside. Dupree beats Cena down before rolling back to the inside of the ring. The crowd comes alive with Cena chants but Dupree remains in control. Renee slows the pace down but placing Cena in the middle of the ring with a bear hug. He gets out of the hold by hitting a jawbreaker. Cena picks up the pace and lands a sidewalk slam. He pumps up his kicks and sets up for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Dupree wisely moves out of the way and hits Cena with a standing spinebuster. Dupree took a little too much time showboating which causes him to exert further energy. Dupree counters the F-U into a neckbreaker that almost got a 3 count. A couple more near falls Dupree sends Cena to the corner. Cena reverses the whip but Dupree looks to escape with a leap over. Cena catches Dupree mid leap and Cena hits Dupree with the FU to retain the US Title.
After the match Cena goes into the crowd and gives away his vintage James Worthy Lakers jersey.
Booker T. vs. The Undertaker
Booker T comes down to the ring holding the pouch he had earlier apparently containing what he needs to defeat The Undertaker. Both men lock up in the corner and after Booker shoves Taker back into the corner, Taker shows off his power and Booker rolls out of the ring in fear. Every time Booker T. looks to mount some sort offense Taker cuts him off. Undertaker sends Booker to the outside with a clothesline. He goes to pull him back in but Booker hangs him over the top rope. With time to regroup Booker T heads to the top rope and hits The Deadman with a missile dropkick. Booker now with the offensive advantage gets some shots in the corner. Booker loses focus by going back to the pouch. This allows Taker a breather and he hits Booker T with Old School. Undertaker locks in a submission but he was too close to the ropes and is forced to relinquish the hold. Undertaker attempts the Last Ride powerbomb but Booker escapes out. The momentum of the escape sends Booker crashing into the official. With the official incapacitated Booker grabs the pouch and sends its contents flying in the face of Undertaker. This only affects Taker for a short while as he zeros in to demolish Booker. He goes to hit Booker with a Yakuza Kick in the corner but Booker ducks leaving Taker hung up in the corner. Adding further damage to the knee Booker wraps the knee around the post from the outside. He then sends Taker’s knee crashing into the steel steps. Back in the ring Booker slows the pace down with a chin lock in the middle of the ring. Taker fights his way out but Booker hits him with a scissors kick. Taker sits up unaffected by the kick and instantly goes into beast mode. After a chokeslam Undertaker hits the Tombstone Piledriver for the victory.
JBL vs. Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Championship
This match had a ton of personal build up more specifically JBL interrupted a victory celebration between Eddie and his family in the ring. As Eddie was trying to remove his family from harm’s way JBL hits him with the Clothesline From Hell. Eddie’s mother, 76 years old at the time, refused to get out of the ring. JBL looking to cause further harm grabs the woman by the shoulder. She then collapses in agony in an apparent heart attack. Safe to say the match that came about would be known as one of the bloodiest in WWE history.
The challenger JBL comes to the ring first. He cuts a promo stating that the crowd in attendance is about to view history as tonight begins the John Bradshaw Layfield era. He says Mexico can take back Eddie Guerrero and he’ll take his mother and she can live out the rest of her days as his maid in New York City. He guarantees a victory tonight. Guerrero comes out in a custom made grey low-rider with the entire crowd behind him. I have never seen Guerrero so focused in my life. The bell rings and Eddie goes on the attack like a hyena on his prey. JBL tries to escape but Eddie is hot on his tracks. Eddie breaks the count and continues his beat down. He rolls JBL back in the ring. JBL looks to have had enough and goes to leave. Eddie cuts him off before he exits and destruction of JBL continues. Eddie is using not only the ring but also the surrounding area outside to beat down JBL. Eddie went to whip JBL into the steel steps but JBL reverses. Finally with his chance on offense he rolls the champion in the ring. JBL showboats after a boot to Eddie’s face. JBL slows the pace down with a side headlock takedown as the crowd chants for Eddie. Eddie escapes but JBL hits him with a shoulder takedown and immediately goes back to the side headlock. Guerrero escapes again and sends JBL to the outside with a couple of armdrags. Eddie attempts a springboard crossbody but JBL catches Eddie and dumps him with a fallaway slam to the outside. Both men get to their feet with Guerrero first to get shots in. He looks for a big haymaker but JBL counters with a back body drop onto the SmackDown announce table. Both men get back into the ring and JBL hits a swinging neckbreaker for a two count pin attempt. Back and forth punches results into an awkward backdrop for a two count pin attempt. JBL locks in a side bear hug in the middle in of the ring to slow down the champion Guerrero. Eddie fights out with a poke of the eye and picks up the pace. After a dropkick Eddie looks to land the Three Amigos suplexes but JBL cuts him off after two. JBL attempts the Clothesline From Hell but Eddie ducks out of the way. JBL kicks him in the gut and attempts a powerbomb but Eddie fights out. Eddie goes to pick up steam but runs right into the official. Eddie deposits the JBL to the outside and checks on the referee. He goes back outside and sends JBL bouncing off the announce table. After a quick check on the ref Eddie turns right into an absolutely wicked chair shot from JBL. Camera pans from JBL to Eddie Guerrero bleeding like a stuffed pig.
Blood is literally gushing from Guerrero’s forehead like it was a faucet. Even the crowd gasped in horror at the sight. JBL makes things worse by attacking the wound with straight punches then a shot with the steel steps. He warms up for the Clothesline From Hell and absolutely decapitates Eddie. A second official comes in the ring just in time for JBL go for the cover. After a two count JBL looks for another clothesline. Eddie ducks and JBL goes right into the second ref. JBL hits a powerbomb this time with the first official only in place for a two count. JBL locks in a sleeper hold in the middle of the ring but Eddie counters with a back body drop. The ring is covered in Eddie’s blood. The crowd starts a “Lets go Eddie lets go!” chant firing the champ up. He counters a fall away slam into a DDT leaving both men down in the ring.
Eddie gets to the top rope and attempts a Frog Splash but JBL moves out of the way and rolls to the outside. JBL grabs both the title and chair. The referee spots the chair but not the title. As the referee gets rid of the chair JBL looks to clock Eddie with the title. Eddie low blows JBL and he drops the title. Eddie, in plain view of the official, hits JBL with the title and gets disqualified. Eddie absolutely loses it and beats JBL into a bloody pulp using the title and two unprotected chair shots. Eddie hits the frog splash and after a while officials are able to drag JBL out of the ring. The fans chant Eddie’s name and he once again attacks JBL on the stage area. Officials separate them and Eddie celebrates in the ring to his music to close the show.
Overall I thought this way a pretty good PPV with a couple solid contests. Have to say my favorite bout had to be the opener. Excellent tag team wrestling with edge of your seat action. If you have a suggestion for a PPV review, leave a comment below, post it on our Facebook, or send us a tweet on Twitter!