Spoilers according to Jason Hess and WrestlingObserver.com:
Smackdown/Velocity tapings: Houston, Texas Reliant Arena
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Pre-Event News: As we pulled up to the Reliant Arena, there were many signs stating that Smackdown was sold out. That’s good news. The bad news is that the Reliant Arena can maybe hold 6,500 fans for a Smackdown, as compared to Toyota Center, which can hold well over 13,000.
Our seats were located third row from the ring, diagonally right from the announce table.
The crowd was excited from the opening bell of the first match, and stayed that way pretty much all night long.
There were various and numerous Ric Flair “whoo” chants, not brought on by seemingly anything. I guess the “whoo” was enough. The WrestleMania “Lonely Road of Faith” video played, with Austin and Rock getting the biggest reactions.
We didn’t see Josh Matthews coming out. In fact, we didn’t see any announcers for Velocity all night long.
All match times are from bell to bell.
1. Allbright and Martin (no first names given) v Mike Foxx and Eddy Craven
Foxx and Craven were billed as from Houston to get the hometown pop. Both teams did a good job of keeping the crowd into the match since they didn’t know the personalities involved. There was nice action in the match, but that was interrupted by a WWE official confiscating our sign, that read innocently enough “Buy Terry Funk’s Book.”
Allbright and Martin played heel, and got a “you suck” chant from the Houston fans. Fans also clapped to get behind Foxx and Craven. Craven got the hot tag and showed good fire and the fans responded. Craven got a near fall with a Dibiase-like powerslam, but succumbed to a double team move from Allbright and Martin.
Winners: Allbright and Martin in 5:25
NOTE: During this time, one of our crew went to get something to drink, and came back with a TNA Impact flyer, which was noted by our friend to be all over the building.
2. Nunzio v Akio
Akio had the advantage early, but Nunzio got two near falls with a sunset flip and La Magistral cradle. Akio came back with a dropkick to the stomach and worked over Nunzio’s left knee.
Nunzio made a comeback and scored with a belly to back suplex and a crossbody blook. He hit a modified rocker dropper on Akio for another near fall. Finally, Akio rolls through a Nunzio pin attempt to get the fall with a roll up and a hand full of tights.
Winner: Akio in 4:18
3. Billy Kidman v Mark Jindrak
Kidman, despite being a heel, actually got a decent face reaction, while Jindrak, unfortunately, got little to nothing. Jindrak scored early with power moves but missed a corner turnbuckle splash and flew out of the ring. Kidman oddly worked over Jindrak’s abs, and tried to get him to submit with a modified sugar.
Jindrak would make a comeback punctuated with two nice dropkicks and some power moves. After a corner throw, Jindrak scores with his left hook for the pin.
Winner: Mark Jindrak in 4:17
4. Luther Reigns v John Blitzken
Reigns dominated this entire match, starting out with multiple backbreakers a la Nikolai Volkoff back in the day. Reigns connected with punches, kicks, elbows, and a nice double underhook suplex. Reigns has good facials with the crowd. There’s a nice “you suck” chant going for Luther.
Luther finally gets the duke with his finisher, whose name escapes me, but looks like a modified “roll of the dice.”
Winner: Luther Reigns in 2:39
5. Bob Holly-Charlie Haas v Jared Steele-Russell Simpson
Simpson and Steele are both local guys from Houston, and Steele normally wrestles as a face on southeast Houston independent cards.
Holly and Haas got great reactions coming out, especially Holly. Haas started out with Simpson and outwrestled him. Simpson slapped Haas, who returned the favor. Haas tagged in Holly, who got a “hardcore” chant, and traded chops with Steele, eventually getting the upper-chop hand.
Steele and Simpson got a brief takeover on Haas due to using a choke from the tag rope. Haas would eventually belly to belly suplex Simpson, and both men tagged out. After some action that saw Simpson clotheslined over the ropes by Haas, Steele was caught by Holly for the Alabama Slam (huge pop for this) and the pin.
Winners: Bob Holly and Charlie Haas in 5:00
As they switched the ring over to the Smackdown label, they played a “My Time” video by John Cena that got a huge reaction from the crowd. Michael Cole comes out, and his substitute announce partner in place of Taz is………Jerry “The King” Lawler…who the crowd took to vociferously!!
Right before we got going with Smackdown, a large Cena chant started. (More on pops and heat later on)
1. Cruiserweight Battle Royal for the Cruiserweight title with:
-Paul London/Nunzio/ Funaki/ Scotty 2 Hotty/ Akio/ Kidman/ Spike Dudley/ Chavo Jr.
Out of these guys, Funaki and Scotty got good pops from the Houston crowd. In between Spike’s entrance and Chavo’s entrance, they played a backstage segment between JBL and Teddy Long. JBL promises that Long would have lost his main event if he were to have touched Cena, because after all, he was a wrestling god. JBL guarantees that he will walk out of WrestleMania as champion.
Back to the match. All seven challengers attack Chavo, sending him out within 30 seconds!! Next out was Funaki. Fans were rooting at this point for Scotty to win the match. Nunzio was next out thanks to Billy Kidman. Meanwhile, Scotty gains momentum by giving Spike the worm to the feverish delight of the Houston crowds. Spike soon goes out thanks to Scotty. Scotty then gets eliminated via Akio, leaving Kidman, Akio, and Paul London.
After getting double teamed, London comes back with a dropkick to Kidman who runs into Akio who was nearly eliminated by Kidman’s blunder a second earlier, and due to London’s dropkick, was now eliminated. We’re down to London vs. Kidman. After some back and forth action, Kidman “throws” London over the top. London skins the cat and captures Kidman in a head scissors over the ropes to win the match and the title.
Winner: Paul London, New Cruiserweight Champion in 6:48.
Backstage: Akebono is seen walking into the arena.
In the Dark: (I guess where commercial spots will run) HHH-Batista video to promote their match at Mania. I was stunned to notice that the crowd didn’t really react to either man much at all.
They then showed the Fatal Attraction trailer with Jericho, Christian, Benoit, Stacey and Moolah and Mae. This got a loud response from the crowd.
2. Eddy Guerrero v Danny Basham.
As usual, Eddy was way over, garnering one of the biggest pops of the night, and multiple “Eddy” chants at various points in the match. Basham scored a two count with a nice powerslam. He worked over Eddy’s back until Eddy’s comeback with a ten punch turnbuckle spot. Eddy hit the 3 Amigos on Danny, and was getting ready to frogsplash his way to victory when Doug Basham interferes, dragging Eddy to the outside to punch him down. He then rolled Eddy into the ring, while Rey Mysterio charged the ring to help his partner. Rey tried to flipkick Doug, but ended up hitting Eddy, leading to a Danny Basham roll up for the upset.
Winner: Danny Basham in 4:27
Postmatch: Eddy and Rey tease dissention, but eventually shake hands and hug.
In The Dark: A Cena-JBL recap from last Thursday night played. More Cena chants followed.
They then showed the Undertaker Dirty Harry trailer.
Backstage: Teddy Long is talking with Carlito. Carlito claims that he is ready to go, even though Teddy hasn’t received a doctor’s release. After being “convinced” that Carlito is ready, Long states that his first match back will be tonight………..against John Cena.
Backstage: Eddy and Rey are talking about what happened during the previous match. Eddy asked Rey “you wouldn’t have done that on purpose would you?” Rey assured him that he wouldn’t, and told Eddy that he could talk to Long to get Doug Basham in the ring. Eddy thought that would be a great idea, and slyly looked at Rey as Rey went to Long’s office.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2005 video played to a good reaction.
Backstage: Booker T is with his wife Sharmell, who is giving him a pep talk stating that Luther Reigns had some bad plans for him. Booker told her “Tell me you didn’t just say that.” Booker stated that he was home…and he was ready.
3. Luther Reigns v Booker T
Booker was insanely over in his hometown, with multiple “Booker T” chants. Luther takes over after Booker missed an axe kick and straddled the ropes. Reigns uses some power moves and a reverse chinlock to control the action. Reigns goes for his finisher but Booker reverses it into a suplex. Booker comes back with a super kick, spine buster, and much to the glee of his hometown………the spinaroonie. Booker takes the match with the scissors kick.
Winner: Booker T in 5:48
Backstage: Teddy Long meets, greets and hugs Bob Orton. Orton is concerned that Randy took his advice to make his mark too far, is now in over his head, and wants to talk and explain this to the Undertaker. At first Long refuses, but then relents, and tells him that he is next.
4. Bob Orton-Undertaker angle
Orton comes out to a respectful ovation, and runs down how although he is proud of his 20 year career and how he molded Randy into one of the best wrestlers in the world, he wants to talk to the Undertaker for his son’s sake. After a few seconds of stalling, in which the crowd used to start a loud “Randy sucks” chant, Undertaker makes his way down to a thunderous ovation.
Orton states that he doesn’t want any trouble, and asks Undertaker to “hear him out.” He apologizes for Randy’s slap. Undertaker states that it took one slap to seal Orton’s fate. At WrestleMania, Randy Orton will “Rest in peace.” Orton gets on his knees to beg for mercy for his son, and Undertaker is preparing to leave, when Orton grabs him. Undertaker turns to look at Orton, who won’t let go…..until Undertaker turns around right into an RKO from Randy Orton!!
Father and son leave the ring in triumph while Undertaker tries at first unsuccessfully to stand up. Undertaker would leave on his own power.
5. Rey Mysterio v Doug Basham
Doug is with Danny, and Rey comes out with Eddy. Doug has the early advantage with an abdominal stretch. A loud “619” chant breaks out. After some back and forth action, Rey hits a top rope bodypress on Doug, and the 619. Right after the 619, Danny tries to interfere, prompting Eddy to go after him. While Rey is climbing the top rope, Eddy runs into that same rope causing Mysterio to crotch himself, leading to a pin by Doug Basham.
Winner: Doug Basham in 3:04
In the Dark: The HHH-Flair trailer plays to some laughs.
Backstage: Josh Matthews interviews Kurt Angle and asks him if his strategy had changed since his mission to put Michaels out failed.
Kurt asks Josh if he would like to see the strategy….and proceeds to pound Josh Matthews from backstage to the ring. After an Angle Slam and more, Angle puts Josh in the ankle lock for what seemed like for ever. No HBK here tonight, although the crowd was rabid for him.
Angle showed a video showing why he is a bigger and better man than HBK and leaves the ring to a chorus of boos and “you suck” chants.
In the Dark: They play the Divas South of the Border video while they set up the ring for Akebono-Big Show’s weigh in.
Hulk Hogan Video: The famous Hogan-Orndorff cage match.
6. Big Show-Akebono weigh in
Michael Cole called both men to the ring. Show is quite over, while Akebono is not well known yet. Show weighed in at 493, while Akebono topped out at 504. Both men, while friendly towards one another, promised victory. Akebono stated that it was an honor for Show to give him his first sumo match in WWE, so he was going to show the world his first wrestling match…..tonight.
7. Akebono v Eddie Vegas. Vegas is a local Houston talent who didn’t last long against him. After a turnbuckle avalanche, Vegas was down for the count, and was pinned by the sumo giant when Akebono performed the traditional sumo leg movement and squatted down, sitting on Vegas’ upper body winning in just :58.
Winner: Akebono in :58
Then we had the WrestleMania rundown.
8. Carlito v John Cena
Cena has the superstar pop of the night. His pop was Rock-like in intensity, and for the brief time the two were in the ring, his offense looked good. After recovering from Carlito’s offense, Cena begins to pump his shows up for the FU.
At this point, JBL comes with four “officers” asking them to arrest Cena for what he did to JBL’s car. The four guys take Cena down and handcuff him to JBL’s taunts. Cena tries to go after JBL but can’t get to him. JBL gets in a cheap shot as Smackdown ends.
Winner: No one after 2:30
AFTER SMACKDOWN: Teddy Long agrees that Cena is unfairly prisoned, and will allow him to be un-handcuffed, and would give him JBL in a match. There’s a large “Let him go” chant.
Teddy Long gets the officers to release Cena, and tells the popular star that the security team are allowing him to give “his people in Houston” a taste of WrestleMania 21. At that point another loud Cena chant enveloped the building.
Cena thanks Teddy and the Chain Gang, and challenges JBL to go after him.
Dark Match: John Cena v JBL
These two went nearly 15 minutes, and the crowd was consistently hot all match long. After reversing a foot into a chair, Cena recovers enough for an FU and a pin in the process. While the match wasn’t a Malenko-Guerrero classic, the crowd heat made up for it in spades.
After JBL tells us how happy he was to have moved to New York, Tony Chimel thanks us for coming.
Credit: Jason Hess and WrestlingObserver.com