From AOL IM, Thursday, March 31st, 2005: (screen names have been changed to protect our sanity…)
CJ: Hey boss, sorry for the late notice, but I just got in. Column will be late; I have a business trip in the morning, but I taped the show, so it looks like I’ll have it ready by tomorrow night.
CJ: Um, hello?
Widro: Widro is idle.
That can’t be good…
THE ANTI-SPYWARE SECTION
As previously helmed by one Eric Szulczewski, I’ve taken the liberty of taking the text and links from his Anti-Spyware section, and put it up on a page of it’s own, here. After spending three hours killing the “Desktop Search” crap from my singer’s computer, I feel that information like this is too good to be left out. So there ya go. UPDATE: Firefox has released version 1.0.2. Get it here.
Well, it’s WrestleMania XXI weekend here at IP, so here is all the coverage you’ll need. You can thank me later.
SMACK this! (or, what’s with all the freaking hugging?)
One world, two brands, three days until WrestleMania!
We are TAPED (mostly) from the Reliant Arena in Houston, TX; it’s WWE SmackDown! I’ve been SUPER busy the last few days, but I’ve got a late deadline to meet, so here we are. I also missed the first ten minutes of the show, so here’s what happened, courtesy of Raven’s SmackDown! live coverage:
Hosts are Michael Cole and…Jerry Lawler. Tazz had a death in the family.
WWE Tag Team Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Danny Basham
Eddie grabs a side headlock, and Lawler works back in the “Latino Heeeeaaaat.” Eddie gets an eye poke, but Danny gets a powerslam for 2. Some elbows for 2. Danny gets some right hands for 2. Danny missses a splash, and Eddie brings the clotheslines. Eddie gets the triple verticals, but Doug yanks Eddie out for some beatings. Rey comes out to help, but inadvertently hits Eddie, causing Danny to get a roll up win.
My tape picked it up during the recap of the Debate from last week.
JBL is with SD GM TL, and he’s telling us that he saved WM by not going after Cena. And he’s not going away anytime soon.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Battle Royal Rules: Akio, Funaki, Spike Dudley, Nunzio, Scotty 2 Hotty, Billy Kidman, and Paul London are already in the ring; here comes Chavo Guerrero (c). Chavo’s talking smack all the way down and into the ring, so when the bell hits, the other guys attack and dump him over to start. Hey, maybe we WILL see that Los Guerreros Reunion people have been mumbling aboot. Anyway, Chavo makes a stink about it, but the refs say “go home!” In the meantime, Funaki hits Spike with an Enzuguri, but Scotty butts in an works over Funaki as Nunzio comes over to help. In the other corner, Akio and Kidman are trying to put London out, but he hangs on. I should note that it’s very strange hearing the King call a match with Cole; I know it was that way for a LONG time, but we didn’t SD! here until Tazz started taking over. I’m really just filling time here, since it’s all just punchy-kicky stuff that just annoys me to no end. Funaki goes for a rollup on Nunzio, but Nunzio drops low and Funaki’s own momentum sends over and out. Akio is paired off with Nunzio now; Spike with London, and Kidman is trying to dump Scotty (who is getting a HUGE chant), but Scotty saves himself and rolls under the rope. Now we switch and it’s Scotty/Akio, Kidman/Nunzio and London tries to Spike, but he rolls in too. Kidman has Nunzio’s legs on his shoulders (eww) while Nunzio is holding the top rope, so Kidman just dumps him up and over. Spike ducks a London Irish Whip Clothesline attempt, but hits London with his battering ram-like move in the gut, as Cole pimps London. Scotty ducks an Akio clothesline, and it’s SWEET CHIN MUSIC! SWEET CHIN MUSIC BY GOD! Wait, wrong show. Here’s Scotty with a BAAAAAAAAACK body drop on Kidman, and he’s HULKING UP! Actually, it looks more like the Warrior-Hulk up, only dorkier. Scotty takes a boot from Spike, as King notes “it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Scotty’s worm.” I can’t even come up with anything for that. STAY ON RAW! Geez, he switches brands AND sides? Scotty reverses a whip the corner, and while Spike is dazed, Scotty hits the bulldog. King offers to take this one, having experience with this. I guess. Spike eats WORM… er, you know what I mean, and superkicks Spike out of the match, but Kidman catches him napping, and nails Scotty with a clothesline. So your final four is Kidman, Scotty, Akio and London. Anyone who thinks London is NOT going to win this, well, you probably already work for WWE. Another HUGE Scotty chant breaks out as Akio reverses a whip to the other corner, but eats an elbow in the gut on a splash attempt. London does his silly little mule kick from the second buckle here. Scotty reverse a whip by Kidman into the corner, but Scotty lands on the apron after Kidman tries to backdrop the WUSHING WORM over the top. Scotty clotheslines Kidman down, but Akio, who had been waiting on London from the tope rope, hits Scotty off the apron with a thrust kick, and Scotty is out of the match. You can feel the crowd deflate on that one. Akio eats a moonsault from London, but Kidman comes and hammers away on London. Akio and Kidman double team London for a bit, until they miss a double clothesline, and London catches him with a “dropsault.” See, even the King called it a dropkick. But I see what everyone means, as London went all the way over and landed on his front. It’s still a silly move, but at least I GET it now. London tries to make the comeback, but two on one is still two on one. Kidman motions for Akio to send London into his waiting elbow, but London reverses, so Kidman backdrops the new target over the top, but Akio lands on the apron. Akio shoves Kidman, London dropkicks Kidman into Akio, who flies off the apron, and we’re down to two. London goes after Kidman, but gets sent over the top, and hangs on as he skins the cat back up. He holds halfway, and headscissors Kidman over. Well, with Kidman’s help, as London never got it locked, so Kidman gave him a little leap to go over. That Kidman is a real company guy. London wins, and the crowd goes for popcorn. I can’t really rate this; probably for the same reason Papa Smark doesn’t – there’s no flow, and that botched move at the end really hurt what was an already silly idea. Way to utilize the Cruiserweights, guys. I don’t have anything against London athletically, but he’s got the personality of a piece of pocket lint.
And by the way, I don’t dislike battle royals, but I DO dislike when they use them as “Championship Matches.” Whatawaste. Meanwhile…
Backstage, Akebono ARRIVES! He looks like a mustard colored Patrick.
Cole and King promo the WM Trailer awards, and King tells Cole that he voted for him.
King. Voted for Cole.
That’s it, I’m outta here. Meanwhile…
Carlito drops by the office our SD GM, TL! Carlito says he like the assignments, but he needs to be in the ring! Teddy says Carlito doesn’t have medical clearance, so Carlito mumbles something about an e-mail. Cute. Teddy says he can have a match, and since Carlito said he didn’t care who it was against, tonight, Carlito makes his return against: John Cena! HOLLA! The long-term continuity continues to baffle me. Meanwhile…
Backstage, Eddy is FUMING. Or is that smoldering? Anyway, he confronts Rey (in a nice way) about his slip up during his match. Rey insists it was a mistake, and he swears it wasn’t intentional. But Eddy is still upset, and mentions to Rey that he could have taken Danny, and Rey could probably take Doug. Rey gets a flash of inspiration and says he COULD take Doug, and tells Eddy that he’ll go to Teddy Long and get a match with him. Eddy seems mollified, but you can see the wheels turning. Eddy: “Just like you had my back, I’ll have yours.” Why, why, WHY do they have to try to turn him? Quote the Sim, “Argh.”
WM XXI in three days! See what I mean? Last week it was ten days, the week before it was seventeen…
Luther Reigns is in the ring for the next match, but first, we go backstage to see Booker T. getting fired up for a match in his hometown. His wife Charmel (?) is with him, and DEMANDS to see a win. Three weeks, and she’s all like “MAKE ME SOME MONEY, SUCKA!
Hometown Heroes in Houston Match: Luther Reigns vs Booker T. I don’t think Reigns is from Houston though, thereby screwing up my witty HHH match title. Ok, how about this:
Big Lugs Gauntlet: Booker T. vs Luther Reigns. Much better. BIG Booker T. chant to start us out. Booker mugs to the crowd, and they lock up, grappling into the corner. Reigns breaks clean, so we go for another, but Reigns boots Booker as Cole tells us Doug Basham vs Rey Mysterio has been signed for tonight. Reigns hits Booker with some punches and boots, but is reversed on a whip in, and eats an eyeble. Booker comes back with his rights/chops combo, and then armwringers Reigns three times before hitting him with the reverse back kick thingy. I’m a re-capper, not a journalist; remember that and we’ll be fine. Harlem Side Slam gets two, but Luther ducks a standing leg lariat and Booker hangs himself up on the ropes. Reigns kicks him down to the floor, and rams his back into the apron before sending Booker back into the ring. A forearm to the back and a short clothesline gets two for Reigns. There’s the resthold we’ve been waiting for, a reverse chinlock, as King starts to drop the awful Booker T. inmate jokes he buried at WM XIX. Booker gets back to his feet, and hits two elbows to the gut, but Reigns throws Booker back to the mat. Reigns sets up for his reverse swinging neckbreaker (think Test’s old “Roll The Dice”), but he takes too long, and Booker switches around, hits a pair of knees, and suplexes Reigns. The ten count is ON! Booker with the ever-classic Iblockyourounchbutyoudon’tblockmine (only called as such when TWO or more punches are blocked) then does the rights/chops combo again, but Reigns gets in a knee. Reigns’ whip in is returned with a Flying Harlem Forearm (TM) and a walking clothesline. A chop, and then Booker sends Reigns for the ride. Superkick! Spine on the pine! SPINNEROONI! Booker misses the leg lariat, Reigns misses a clothesline, but Booker kicks the gut, hits the axe kick, and raises the roof after getting the three. *. Bleh. Not quite a squash, not quite competitive, not quite anything. Meanwhile…
Backstage, our SM GM TL tells a net tech to get the Cena/Carlito match up on the net. Now, playa! As he gets back to his office, he’s shocked, and so am I: it’s Cowboy Bob Orton! The exchange a hug and hellos, and Bob says he wants to talk to the Undertaker. He’s tried talking Randy out if their WM match, but like all kids these days, he won’t listen. Teddy doesn’t reccomed it, but tonight, “this ring is yours, and it’s next!” Bob thanks him, and they embrace again as we go to…
Cole & King promo Piper’s Pit with Steve Austin this Sunday at WM.
Cowboy Bob Orton comes out to plead with the Undertaker. He is proud of his career, proud of his entrance into the WWE Hall of Fame, and most of all, proud of molding young Randy into the best in the WWE today. But he has mixed emotions tonight, and he’s asking the Undertaker to come out. So he does, with full entrance. Bob pleads his case, but Taker says Randy will REST IN PEACE. Bob gets on bended knee (?) and continues to plead, but Taker is all no way Oldie Wan. As Taker turns away, Bob grabs him by the arm, and Taker is all say what? As he stares down Bob and looks to be ready to chokeslam him, Randy comes from out of nowhere and RKO’s Taker. Randy and Bob hightail it out of there, laughing and gloating while Taker makes more of his trademark Scary Faces (TM). BRILLIANT! I was afraid they were going to make Bob “Just Another Sacrifice (TM),” but this was well done, and put some much needed heat on Randy. Awesome segment. Although the match will probably suck balls, it IS a decent build.
Moments ago, stuff you saw before those pesky commercials.
Cole and Ta-er, King wax about what you just saw twice.
Midcard Follies: Doug Basham vs Rey Mysterio. Footage from before I got my tape in shows how Rey cost Eddy the match, running in and doing a handstand kick on the apon, nailing Eddy for Danny to roll up in a pin. Danny distracts Rey from outside, and Doug nails Rey down to the mat. Doug with a whip to the corner, front first, and Rey hits HARD. Doug with a bunch of kicks, but Rey tries to fight out. Doug stops that and goes for a suplex, but decides to just drop Rey across the top rope instead. Doug goes for a cover, but only gets one. Rey tries to block an abdominable stretch, but Doug pounds on his back and gets it anyway. Rey bangs the knee to get out, and flips up to headscissor Doug down to the mat. Doug misses a clothesline and Rey capitalizes with a few kicks. But Doug shuts him down again and sends Rey for the ride. Rey ducks another clothesline on the way back and hits a BEE-U-TEE-FUL springboard moonsault from the second rope for two. Doug reverses a whip into the corner, but eats an eyeble and then a double boot on a second charge. Rey bounds over the rope to the apron, hops up and hits the seated senton, all in one super smooth motion, for two. Rey knocks Danny off the apron, so Doug nails Rey from behind and sets up for a back suplex. But Rey flips over and dropkicks Doug into the 619 position, and he hits it! Rey goes the top in the corner, but Danny is back up on the apron, so Eddy rushes the ropes lunging for Danny, knocking Rey off balance as he crotches the top rope. Eddy looks mildly shocked, but Danny pulls him out of the ring as Doug covers and gets the three on Rey. Short, but a good match. **1/2. Once again, Rey and a Basham WORK. Some really neat spots in there, and it was all believable. The bit with Rey going to the corner seemed a tad contrived, but I’m sure it was MUCH safer to do a spot like that in the corner, where Rey can control his fall better.
Post match, Eddy says accidents happen, and Rey buys it, and they embrace in the ring. But Eddy has a funny look in his eye…
John Cena vs King Caribbean! TONIGHT!
Backstage, Josh Matthews asks Kurt Angle if he has any strategy changes in store for Shawn Michaels at WM, since he failed to get the job done this past Monday on RAW. Angle asks him to repeat that last part, and then offers to show him what his strategy will be. Angle throws Josh around backstage, and then drags him out to beat on him in fromt of the crowd.
Josh gets tossed to the SD entrance and Cole has got to be thanking his lucky stars that it isn’t him. Then again, Cole isn’t “Tough Enough.” Angle just throws Josh around like a rag doll. They make it into the ring, and Angle keeps it going. Angle’s ready for an Angle Slam, but Josh throws a glancing clothesline. Kurt barely moves, and decides to inflict more punishment on Josh. Angle then hits an Angle Slam and latches on the Ankle lock, before finally letting up. He grabs a mic and tells Shawn if he needs any more information about what’s going to happen this Sunday, he should watch the Kurt Angle video that’s now playing. Not bad, but the segment itself was kind of “Eh.”
King plugs the Hall of Fame ceremony.
Cole is in the ring for the weigh in. King shows us the “jeep tipping incident” from last week. I gotta admit; it’s pretty awesome to see someone the size (if not bigger) than Show. Show mugs for the crowd, then weighs in at 493 lbs. Akebono does his sumo stomp, and weighs in at 504 lbs. Show is even shocked. Cole asks Show what he thinks about Akebono outweighing him. Show says he’s shocked (duh). But he’s the bigger man, and this is the WWE, so he’ll win. At least, I think that’s what he was trying to say. Akebono responds by saying “we will see.”
Oh yeah, he said out of respect for Show, he’ll have his first WWE style match, right here, right now. Well, right after these…
Commercials. The new Burger King commercials: disturbing.
WWE Style Match: Akebono vs Some Guy. This should be a mat classic. Guy tries to punch and such, but Akebono just shoves him out of the ring. YEAH, SUMO STYLE! Er, ok. Akebono is looking at Show, who is looking back from ringside. Guy is on the top rope, and dives into the waiting arms of Mr. Former Grand Champion. Aww, how sweet. Akebono nearly breaks Some’s back by throwing him into the corner. Akebono drags Guy to the center of the ring, then does his Sumo stomp and pose over Guy for the three. That there, friends, is a match of the year candidate. In the Mirror Universe, maybe. DUD. Show applauds, and Akebono gets all misty eyed.
Cole and King run down the final WM card:
Randy Orton vs The Undertaker
Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle
HHH vs Batista
WWE Women’s Championship
Trish Stratus vs Christy Hemme w/Lita
Akebono vs The Big Show
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Chris Benoit vs Edge vs Kane vs Shelton Benjamin vs Chris Jericho vs Christian
WWE Tag Team Champions Collide
Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero
Piper’s Pit with Stone Cold Steve Austin
Main Event: WWE Championship
JBL vs John Cena
Next, Cena vs Carlito!
Main Event: Carlito vs John Cena. Carlito tries to hide behind the ref as he rings the bell in a cute start. Big CENA chant from the crowd as they lockup, with Cena driving Carlito into the corner. He breaks clean. Lockup again, and Carlito catches a side headlock. Cena sends him for the ride, but Carlito catches himself, and bails to the outside for a breather. Cena heads out after him, and the chase is on! The 3/4 of the way around the ring, then Carlito gets Cena with some boots when Cena tries to get back in. Carlito with some rights, but Cena is in full bore Stone Cold mode, and shrugs it off with rights of his own. He bangs Carlito’s head on one turnbuckle, then takes him across the ring and does it again. Cena goes after him, but Carlito puts a thumb in his eye (which is NOTHING at all like a torch in your eye) and pounds Cena down in the corner. But Stone Cold Cena punches out, hits a headbutt (?!?) and does the posing clothesline. Cena plays the “Ten Count Boogie” with Carlito’s head and the turnbuckle. Cena bounces off the far ropes, and hits Carlito with a flying shoulder block. YEAH, ROAD WARRIOR STYLE! Cena’s pumping up the shoes, getting ready for the Stunne- er, FU, when a disembodied voice cries out from the PA: “There he is!” JBL comes out with a slew of cops, saying that they have a warrant for his arrest, for vandalizing JBL’s ride week. The cops subdue and handcuff Cena. What, no finish? DUD. As Cena is getting dragged out by the cops, JBL says that WM will be even MORE humiliating for Cena, when he has to BOW AT THE FEET OF A WRESTLING GOD. You know, I think that qualifies as a “catchphrase.” JBL pokes Cena, so Cena rushes him. JBL talks some more and kicks Cena below that belt. That would be “in the testicular region.” Just in case, you know. JBL mocks with “YOU CAN’T SEE ME!” as we go off the air.
Well, without the first match, it’d be hard for me to judge this show. On it’s own, it was pretty much fill-n-fluff, with the Rey/Doug match only standing out. But things will finally come to a head in 72 hours, and it’s RESET BUTTONMANIA! See ya on Sunday for the Roundtable, and next week for more SD! goodness!