WWE Jukebox: February 2005 (part 2)

JOHN CENA vs. THE BIG SHOW (for the WWE united states heavyweight title)
March 14, 2004

WWE Preview: John Cena kicked off arguably the biggest event in WWE history, WrestleMania XX. Cena battled Big Show for the United States Championship. With so much adrenaline going through his body, would Cena be able to lift Big Show up for the F-U? Watch and find out.

“Now is Wrestlemania here to represent? Then let me hear everybody make some noise!!!

You’ve got the franchise playa on the Superbowl stage
So get that gorilla Big Show out of his cage
Ain’t no way I’m gonna lose to that King Kong ripoff
That’s like Gary Coleman beating Patrick Ewing in a tipoff
Big Show’s really a ape with opposable thumbs
And he stuffs his singlet, looks like he’s smuggling plums
Yo, everyone knows that he can’t see me
I’m itching to beat him like a penis with an STD
I’m not even wrestling the Big Show, this whole thing’s a charade
My match is with the hippo float from the Macy’s parade
So it’s time to get a championship to match these customer knux
Madison Square, chant it loud baby, Big Show sucks!”

This was the match I was looking forward to the most last year, with Lesnar/Goldberg not far behind. No, I refuse to explain this Big Show thing to you – because you probably wouldn’t get it. A “CENA” chant breaks out as the two square off. Show shoves Cena back to the corner a couple of times, but misses a punch and Cena slugs away. Show dumps Cena to the outside, and when he tries to re-enter, Show drives his knee to Cena’s head. Cena comes back with a jawbreaker and goes up – but the crossbody is blocked by Show, and a slam gets 2. Show chokes Cena out in the ropes and clubs away. Cena tries to fire back, but it’s like punching a brick wall. One clothesline later, and Cena’s back on his ass. The fans erupt in a “BIG SHOW SUCKS” chant, but what the hell do New Yorkers know? Show stands on Cena’s throat, just cause he can, and he laughs it up when the referee tells him off. A vertical suplex gets 2. Show starts laying in the headbutts and giant chops. Cena again starts to throw some punches, but his momentum takes his face right into Show’s boot. A legdrop gets 2, and frustrates the champion. Cena tries to jump on Show’s back with a sleeper, but Show just falls back to the corner, crushing Cena like a bug. A clothesline takes Cena back down, and Show locks on a cobra clutch. Cena fades fast, but hangs on. Show tosses Cena to the mat, and puts the cobra clutch back on. Cena throws some haymakers to escape, and Show is staggering. Show charges blindly right into Cena’s feet, and then takes a drop toe hold into the buckle! The F-U follows…but Show kicks out at 2!!!! Cena has no idea what the f*ck to do now, but sees something that gives him an idea. Cena grabs his chain (errr…), and distracts the referee with it. He tosses it away, and when the ref goes to make sure that they leave the ringside area, Cena slips on his knucks. Show takes a mouthful, a second F-U, and we’ve got a new United States champion at 9:11! *** Fun match.

BOOKER T vs. JOHN CENA (winner of series gets the United States Title, match 5 of best of 5, series tied 2-2)
October 3, 2004

WWE Preview: John Cena and Booker T began a rivalry in the middle of 2004 that was so hot that it couldn’t be decided in just one match. SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long decided that the only way to settle things was with a Best of Five Series. The series did indeed go the distance, and now you can see how it all panned out in the fifth and deciding match.

This is from another show I’ve previously recapped…although in this case, I really wish I hadn’t. Painful memories! Here’s my recap of this match:

We start with a mid-ring slugfest, and Cena wins the exchange by throwing a shoulderblock and gets 2. Booker comes back with a drop toe hold, and applies a front facelock. Cena ducks a Harlem sidekick, and clotheslines Booker to the outside. Booker re-enters, and pounds Cena down with shots to the back. Cena throws a clothesline, but Booker retaliates with a spinebuster for 2. They head out to the floor where Booker lays in some chops, and whips Cena into the steps. A second attempt is reversed by Cena, and Booker hits them this time. Cena rolls Booker back in and gets 2. Booker blocks a charge, and hits Cena with a Stun Gun. That’s followed by a crescent kick, and gets a 2! Cena tries a crossbody block, and nearly gets Booker several times, but can’t score more than 2. Booker whips Cena to the corner, and gives him a vertical suplex for 2. Booker works a headlock on the mat, but Cena fights to his feet and hits a vertical suplex. Booker comes back with a flapjack for 2. Booker goes for the axekick, but Cena moves, and Booker crotches himself on the top rope. Cena hits a bulldog to gain control, and fires the crowd up with a five knuckle shuffle. It gets 2. Cena pumps his shoes, goes for the FU, but it’s blocked with the Book End, but Booker only scores 2. He’s furious, and grabs a chair. CHARLES ROBINSON tells him if he even thinks about bringing it into the ring, he’ll call the match right there! Booker drops it, goes for the axekick instead, but Cena sidesteps, and Booker hits canvas! Cena covers for 2. Booker tries a DDT, but Cena fights him off, nails the FU, and scores the pin to win the title at 10:22. *3/4 This whole series was bland, and Booker’s falling further and further into mediocrity as a performer. Naturally the WWE has now decided it’s time to push him into a World Title feud with JBL.

THE ROAD WARRIORS (with Paul Ellering) vs. THE SKYSCRAPERS (with Teddy Long)
February 6, 1990

WWE Preview: Mean Mark Callous and Dangerous Dan Spivey made up the massive tag team of the Skyscrapers. They were wildly successful, but this was their last match together. Could they go out on a winning note against the legendary Road Warriors?

JR calls this a donneybrook, which was his early way of using slobberknocker. Hawk starts with Spivey. Spivey dumps Hawk, but he lands on the apron. Back in, Hawk hits a clothesline and goes for a neckbreaker. Spivey blocks with the help from Callous. Hawk opts instead for a shoulderblock, sending Spivey to the floor. Animal and Callous tag in. It’s weird hearing Callous referred to as a “youngster”. Or even as a “red headed youngster”, since it’s certainly far more gray these days. Animal no-sells a series of shoulderblocks, and ducks a crossbody block. A clothesline is all Callous wants to face, and we’re back to Spivey and Hawk. Hawk chops away, but misses a blind charge – and falls to the floor! Spivey jerks at the arm of Hawk, and tags in Callous. He actually does his Old School move – and works an armbar. Callous goes for a second Old School, but Hawk catches him and press slams him off the top! Spivey and Animal both come in. Spivey and Callous both take dropkicks. Animal nails a powerslam and big elbow on Spivey for 2. Callous comes in for a double team, but Animal clotheslines both guys. LOD dumps Callous to the floor, hit the Doomsday Device on Spivey…but Callous has a chair now. Mark comes off the top with a chair to break up the pin, and all hell breaks loose with the managers fighting and Hawk pounding on Callous. Spivey hits a piledriver on Hawk, and beats him over the head with the chair. Ellering takes a clothesline – and Spivey continues to beat the hell out of LOD. The segment ends here, so we’ll call it a DQ at 6:18. **

RIC FLAIR, SID VICIOUS, BARRY WINDHAM, and LARRY ZBYSZKO vs. STING, BRIAN PILLMAN, and THE STEINER BROTHERS (in war games)
February 24, 1991

WWE Preview: One of the most hellacious matches in sports-entertainment history was War Games. This vicious match was so brutal that El Gigante ran in from the back to throw in the towel for Sting, Brian Pillman and The Steiner Brothers after Sid Vicious decimated Pillman. Watch and see what caused the stoppage.

Team Babyface talks things over before the match – but Pillman quickly breaks away from the group and dives in at Barry Windham who’s starting for the Horsemen. The faces aren’t happy since he wasn’t the designated starting man, but whatchagonnado? Pillman throws a clothesline at Windham. From there, he grabs onto the top of the cage, delivers a swinging dropkick, and follows with a rana! A missile dropkick levels Barry, and Pillman chops away. Barry tries to make a comeback, but Pillman goes low and whips Windham into the cage! Pillman starts ramming Windham’s face into the cage over and over, before grating it like a cabbage. A jawbreaker connects, and Pillman dives onto the fallen Windham and BITES at his face! Windham starts juicing like an orange in a blender, and Pillman continues this one sided asskicking. A flying clothesline off the top sees Barry stagger all around, and Pillman dumps him over the top into the second ring. A spinkick drops Windham back to the mat, and Pillman starts working over the knee. Windham kicks Pillman away, but that doesn’t phase him, and he starts throwing chops again. Windham goes for a powerbomb, but Pillman backdrops him, and delivers an axehandle! The time limit runs out for 1-on-1, and here comes Flair! They start trading chops, but Windham attacks from behind – and the duo toss Pillman into the cage. Windham starts using Pillman as a battering ram into the cage, before Flair tosses him into the other ring – and Pillman bumps like a ping-pong ball. Sting dances on the apron and the heels go running when he hits the ring. A double clothesline takes both guys down, and when Windham stands he winds up the recipient of a bulldog! Flair heads to the other ring, and gets the same treatment. Windham crotches Pillman on the top rope, while Sting continues to work over Flair. Sting no-sells Flair’s chops, and beats him down. Stinger Splash…and Larry’s in! Zbyszko goes after Sting, but gets decked. As he stands, he meets a tope from Sting!!! Flair sneaks in a cheap shot, and Larry stomps a mudhole in Sting. Flair stomps on Pillman. Sting tries to comeback, and chokes the life out of Larry, but Windham breaks it up, and gives Sting a faceplant. Rick Steiner heads in and gives everyone Steinerlines! Flair takes the 10-punch count-a-long before getting flattened with a belly to belly overhead!!! Rick rubs Flair’s head into the cage, and Pillman chops at Zbyszko in the other ring. Windham goes toe to toe with Rick, but loses that battle. More cheesegrater action for Flair! Time counts down, and Sid Vicious joins the action, and you can bet EVERYONE’S dead now! Rick Steiner goes face first into the cage! Flair goes low on Steiner! Sting is dropped with a clothesline! Steiner throws Zbyszko face first into the cage, and does the same with Flair! Flair is bleeding buckets. Flair goes low on Sting, and Scott Steiner’s in! Windham and Flair each get clotheslined! Zbyszko takes a tigerbomb! Sid takes a top rope Steinerline! Flair’s in the other cage, and is hit with another Stinger Splash!!! Sting turns Flair over, and locks on the Scorpion Deathlock. It’s broken up. Meanwhile, Sid goes after Pillman. Sid throws Pillman’s bad shoulder into the turnbuckle, and rips off the athletic tape. Rick Steiner saves, and next thing you know all the babyfaces have locked the Horsemen in figure four leglocks! ARN ANDERSON has to be restrained at ringside while watching this! All guys release, and Sting goes back to his favorite punching bag by giving Flair a gorilla press slam! Pillman tries to choke Larry into submission, but he won’t give. Flair pokes Sting in the eyes, while Sid grabs a hold of Pillman. Windham and Flair join the beatdown, but Pillman fights them off, and winds up alone with Flair in the corner. Scott Steiner gives Windham a DDT, but Sid is on him immediately with a running knee. Sid grabs a hold of Pillman, and pancakes him off the top of the cage. Sid tries a powerbomb, but Pillman won’t get all the way up due to the cage, and SID DROPS HIM ON HIS HEAD! Just because that’s not enough, Sid gives him another powerbomb, this one properly! Pillman’s out cold. EL GIGANTE comes running out of the locker room, and tears his way into the cage. He looks at Pillman, and tells the ref to stop the match at 20:01. ****1/4 The match ruled before the stupid ending, and the powerbomb on the head was NASTY! Gigante carries his fallen buddy to the back.

BRIAN PILLMAN, DUSTIN RHODES, and STING vs. STEVE AUSTIN, RICK RUDE, and PAUL ORNDORFF (with Colonel Robert Parker) (in a Thundercage match)
February 20, 1994

WWE Preview: When tensions between sides rise too high, sometimes it can only be settled in a cage. This match features several legends of the squared circle, but who would come out on top?

Heenan’s slurring his words here something fierce. The Thundercage, for those who aren’t aware, is WCW’s version of a Hell In A Cell. Rude and Sting continue their rivalry immediately, with Rude kicking away. Sting hits a backdrop, and runs him over with a series of clotheslines. Orndorff comes in, and applies a Fujiwara armbar. Austin heads in, but gets run over with a shoulderblock. Austin fakes a blown out knee, but Sting’s not buying, locking him in the Scorpion Deathlock. Orndorff distracts, and Austin rolls him up for 2. A clothesline sends Austin out, but he pulls Sting out with him, and whips Sting to the cage! Pillman attacks Austin with a chop, and Sting now sends HIM to the cage! Back in, Pillman gets the tag, and slams Austin’s face to the mat. Austin dumps Pillman outside, but Brian simply chops away out there. Austin runs away, Pillman charges after him…but Austin stops short and backdrops Pillman into the cage. Ouch. Austin grates Pillman’s face against the cage. Back in, Rude works over Pillman with elbows. Orndorff tags in and beats on Pillman. Pillman comes back with a high knee, but Orndroff nails a backdrop suplex. Rude comes in, and hits a flying kneedrop off the top for 2! Austin stomps on his former partner, and Pillman’s busted open now. Austin goes up, hits the axehandle, and gets 2! Austin goes for another, but Pillman blocks with a dropkick to the face this time!!! Sting desperately wants a tag, and gets one! Sting gets Orndorff, and hits him with a chop. Austin is dumped, and Orndorff is hit with a clothesline that sends him out! Sting follows, and slams Paul face first to the cage! Back in, Rhodes gets his first tag, and hits Flip Flop and Fly. Dustin hits an elbow drop, and pounds away. Orndorff tosses Dustin face first to the buckle, and turns things over to Rude. Rhodes goes for a bulldog, but Rude blocks by crotching him over the top turnbuckle!!! Great counter! Rude then hits a belly to back superplex, follows with a fistdrop, and puts on a bearhug! Rhodes starts to fight, so Rude hits a belly to belly and tags in Austin. The two of them fight, and Austin is knocked off the apron, and crotches through the cage!!!! Now THAT’S a bump! Austin slowly gets back in, and takes a flying elbow from Dustin! Pillman gets the tag, and backdrops Steve. He knocks the other heels off the apron, and Sting joins the fray to cut them off from a followup attack. Pillman and Sting double backdrop Austin, and then Sting gorilla presses Pillman onto Austin for the pin at 14:37! ***

JOHN CENA vs. CHRIS JERICHO
July 4, 2002

WWE Preview: This was only John Cena’s second match on SmackDown! After an impressive debut against Kurt Angle, Cena put forth an equally impressive showing against Chris Jericho. But was it enough to pick up his first win?

I’ve covered Cena’s debut match before, on the September Jukebox – and this is his second outing. Jericho was just a tad pissed at Cena here, due to a slap backstage to prove his ruthless aggression. Jericho attacks before the bell, and slaps Cena around. Cena comes back with a spear, and Jericho quickly bails. Cena’s hot on his heels, rolling him back in, and catapulting Jericho to the buckle. A spinebuster gets 2! Jericho heads out again, and this time is ready for Cena’s attack – clotheslining him. Back in, Jericho chokes Cena out in the ropes – and follows with a Bossman straddle. Cena tries to fight back, but takes a big boot for his troubles. Jericho leaps from the middle rope, however Cena’s ready with a dropkick to the midsection. A series of clotheslines level Jericho, and a powerslam gets 2! Stinger splash and bulldog get 2. Jericho tries to roll Cena up, but Cena quickly packages for 2. A DDT gets 2! Cena’s on fire here. Another Stinger splash attempt misses, and Jericho quickly bulldogs Cena. The Lionsault misses, and Cena uses his chance to hit a spinebuster for 2! A schoolboy gets 2! Jericho escapes a backdrop attempt, hits the Flashback, and uses the ropes for the pin at 5:08! ***1/2 Awesome 5 minute match, and a definite flash of brilliance from Cena. Post-match, Jericho asks for a handshake, but sucker punches him instead. Cena retorts with a doctor bomb that leaves Jericho lying.

JOHN CENA vs. CHRIS JERICHO
July 21, 2002

WWE Preview: The John Cena and Chris Jericho rivalry was tied at one win apiece. This was the rubber match. Did Y2J reign supreme or did the up and coming Cena take the next step to stardom?

Jericho was in a total rut here, having lost on every pay-per-view since dropping the title at Mania to Triple H. His situation would not improve here… Jericho grabs a chair before the match starts and attacks on the aisle – but his wild swing misses. Cena grabs the chair and cracks Jericho over the back. In the ring, Cena hammers away on Jericho. A clothesline takes Chris down, and the former champ takes a powder. Cena’s right behind him, and they wind up back in. Cena hits a back elbow, nails a hiptoss, and a spinebuster gets 2! Jericho avoids another charge with a hotshot, and starts to stomp away. Jericho chokes Cena out in the ropes and nails a Bossman straddle. He starts to undo the turnbuckle, but Cena rolls him up for 2. Jericho fires off a spinning heel kick, and talks shit. Jericho nails The Breakdown, and heads up. “I’M THE KING OF THE … OOOOOF!!!!” Cena catches him with a shot to the midsection, hits a superplex and gets 2!!! A tilt-a-whirl slam gets 2! Jericho comes back with a dropkick to Cena’s midsection from the second rope, and gets a 2! Cena tries to catapult Jericho, but he lands on the ropes…and walks right into a belly to belly from Cena! Jericho goes for a Lionsault, but misses! Cena tries an Oklahoma roll, but Jericho reverses and gets 2. Slop drop gets 2. Jericho goes to the bulldog, again tries a Lionsault, and actually hits one! I’d forgotten how it looked because it’s been so goddamn long since he actually nailed the move. He goes for the Walls, but Cena counters into a rollup and gets the pin at 6:17! **3/4 Good enough match – and continued to get Cena over as a plucky rookie who was just so darn happy to be here.

THE ROCK vs. GOLDBERG
April 27, 2003

WWE Preview: Talk about making a big splash. Goldberg’s first WWE match was against The Rock at Backlash. Goldberg unleashed two Spears and a Jackhammer to cap off one of the more impressive debut matches in WWE history.

If you want to see counter-productive booking, this is it! Basically, Goldberg had made his WWE debut about a month earlier, and immediately set his sights on The Rock. Rocky was a heel, but proceeded to put on one of the most one-sided entertaining verbal destructions of Goldberg leading up the match. No problem though, right? Just have Goldberg go out, kick some serious ass, and all is forgotten… Or at least you’d THINK that’s the way to go. First sign things aren’t right: the WWE changes Goldberg’s classic music. Rocky tries to stall – but the referee forces him into the ring. A “ROCKY” chant erupts among the fans, which Rock encourages…so the fans turn to “GOLDBERG”. Rock gets into Goldberg’s face, and I notice that Rock was considerably slim here. They lockup, and Goldberg whips Rocky across the ring to heel heat. Rock: “You are in trouble now!” Second lockup…same result, even more heat. Rocky falls to the floor, but slides back in, and slaps Goldberg to a massive pop. Goldberg kicks the crap out of Rocky, and takes him down with a shoulderblock. A clothesline sends Rock back to the outside again. Rocky goes back to stalling again, and threatens to leave. Booking mistake: Goldberg doesn’t chase him down, rather he stands around in the ring waiting for Rock to come back. And naturally, as soon as he comes, Rocky gives Goldberg a jawbreaker. Back in, Rock hits a clothesline, and celebrates like he’s just won the Superbowl. Goldberg doesn’t like it, and gives Rock and Rock Bottom! The spear is setup…and the fans are openly booing. We wait…and we wait…and we wait for Rocky to stand – and when he does, he sidesteps sending Goldberg into the ringpost. Rock’s face shows a childlike excitement, and he quickly rolls Goldberg back in. Rock puts on the Sharpshooter, and talks shit to the crowd while holding it in place. Goldberg slowly gets to the ropes, and forces a break. Another mistake: Goldberg should have powered out of that. Rock tosses the ref aside for a second, and goes low. He sets up for the Rock Bottom, but Goldberg hits a spear out of nowhere! Goldberg hits the move with his bad shoulder, and lies around wincing. It’s like they’d never watched a single Goldberg match PRIOR to signing him to a contract. Both guys stand, and Goldberg hits a shoulderblock with the good shoulder. Goldberg hits a press slam for 2. Rocky throws an elbow at Goldberg, and tries to clothesline him over. It fails, so Rock goes to the spinebuster and nips up! Rock calls for the Rock Bottom, hits it…but Goldberg kicks out at 2! Rocky isn’t quite sure what to make of this, so he just hammers away. Goldberg throws a clothesline, but sells the shoulder again, and the fans continue to boo. Rocky nails another spinebuster, and calls for the People’s Elbow. He actually hits it, when the only thing that could have saved this mess would have been Goldberg popping up and spearing him – and gets 2. Now Goldberg hits the spear, to some massive heat, including a “GOLDBERG SUCKS!” chant. A second spear does nothing to win the crowd over, and the Jackhammer finishes at 13:04. 3/4* Lawler: “A standing ovation for Goldberg!” Errr, yeah.

CHRIS BENOIT vs. BRET HART (in the finals of the 32-man tournament for the WCW world heavyweight title)
November 21, 1999

WWE Preview: Chris Benoit and Bret Hart both won matches earlier in the night, and now they faced each other for the vacated WCW Championship. In this match they showed why they’re widely considered as two of the best ring technicians in sports-entertainment history. Watch and see who came away with the gold.

I’ll always have a soft spot for this one since it was the main event of the first live show I’d ever gone to. You’d also be familiar with this from the opening of Malcolm In The Middle. We don’t get the entrances, we just jump right into this with Hart powering Benoit back to the corner. Bret works over Benoit’s arm with punches, and applies an armbar. Benoit had a bit of an easier road to the finals, starting with Madusa in the first round while Hart started with Goldberg. No, really. Benoit drives a knee to Bret’s midsection. He works a chinlock, but Bret rolls him back for a 1. Benoit goes for a sunset flip, but it’s too close to the ropes! Bret reverses into the Sharpshooter, but Benoit sidesteps, and goes for the Crossface!!!! Bret makes the ropes, and when he stands, they shake hands. Bret dumps Benoit to the outside, and suddenly THAT CANADIAN FAN who had been tossed from the building earlier for nailing Dean Malenko with a flag has returned! He nails Benoit over the back with the flag a bunch of times, and reveals himself to be Dean Malenko!!!! He spits on the flag, causing Bret to beat on him. SECURITY escorts Dean out of the building. Back in, Bret hits a sitdown piledriver for 2! Bret drops a leg, and starts choking Benoit out. That’s not friendly! Hart starts laying in a series of headbutts to Benoit’s back, but Chris has had enough and starts chopping Bret. A backbreaker gets 2! Benoit gives Bret a pair of backdrops, and gets another 2. Bret comes back with a DDT for 2. Bret goes for a tombstone, but Benoit reverses into one of his own!!! Thumb to the throat – and Benoit heads up! The headbutt connects, but here comes THE OUTSIDERS. Because what this match needed was more interference. Hall hits a fallaway slam on Benoit, but now the biggest heel in Canada, GOLDBERG is trotting down the aisle. However, since he’s no longer facing our hero Sid Vicious and instead is cleaning house, he turns face. Goldberg spears Nash, and Bret hits Hall with an atomic drop! Bret fights Hall partway up the aisle, which is where Goldberg takes over and chases the pair to the back. Thankfully, that’s the last of the interference tonight – but I can assure you the damage was done because EVERY eye was on the ramp to see who’d come out next. Benoit hits Bret with a dragon screw, and starts dropping down on the knee. Bret gets hit with a single leg atomic drop. Benoit chops Bret down, and applies the figure four. Bret refuses to give, and makes the ropes! Hart starts to work over Benoit’s back with punches, hits a backbreaker, and gets 2! The pair head up top, and Bret hits a superplex for 2! Tony gets excited as Bret hits a Russian legsweep, I guess thinking about all those matches Bret’s actually finished with that move? It gets 2. Bret goes for a slam, but his knee buckles, and Benoit falls on top for 2! Chris falls outside off the kickout, but is brought back in with an attempted vertical suplex. Benoit escapes, and lands in a perfect position to start in with the Germans!!! He hits 2, and goes for the Crossface! Bret escapes, puts on the Sharpshooter, and Benoit quickly submits to give Bret his first WCW title at 17:44!!!! **1/2 The ending was exciting, but the match was not – with too much stupid interference that lead nowhere. WCW was taught a lesson…and naturally learned nothing.

SHAWN MICHAELS vs. JEFF JARRETT (with the Roadie) (for the WWF intercontinental title)
July 23, 1995

WWE Preview: Shawn Michaels and Jeff Jarrett faced off for Jarrett’s Intercontinental Championship at the second In Your House event. These two put on a match for the ages that had a little bit of everything from high-flying manuevers to submissions. In the end, could HBK topple Double J for the title?

This is a fairly famous match among those who’ve seen it – but relatively unknown otherwise. Lawler starts reminiscing about the days where if someone showed up Memphis looking like Michaels, he’d have been run out of town immediately. Michaels admires himself in reflection of the IC title before locking up. He hammers down Jarrett, and takes a nap on the top rope. Jarrett isn’t impressed, and when Michaels steps down, he hiptossses him. A right fist sends Michaels to the outside, where he reconsiders his gameplan. Meanwhile, Jarrett decides to relax, hammock-style on the ropes, just like Shawn a minute ago. Back in, Jarrett puts on a headlock, and declares this too easy. Michaels blocks a hiptoss, and drives his thumb into Jarrett’s eye. Michaels does a half Cactus clothesline to send Jarrett out, but then skins the cat back in. Fargo strut from Michaels works Lawler into a frenzy. Jarrett figures he’s had enough of this shit, and starts heading to the back. Michaels rubs in the fact he’s about to lose, so Jarrett breaks the 10 count and immediately goes back to stalling some more. Michaels chases, and Jarrett lures him back into the ring, where he knocks Shawn down and hits a Bossman straddle. A dropkick misses, and Michaels tosses Jarrett back over the top – onto Roadie! Michaels then hits a plancha onto both guys and poses! Back in, Jarrett begs off, but winds up getting hit with a sunset flip. Jarrett blocks, and backdrops Michaels over the top, all the way to the floor!!! Jarrett doesn’t even give Shawn a chance to breathe, because he promptly whips him into the ringsteps. Back in, Jarrett delivers a front suplex and gets 2. We move into the abdominal stretch, and Roadie helps Jarrett with leverage. After cheating 3 times, the referee sees it – kicks them to break it, and Shawn hits a hiptoss! The momentum doesn’t last, because Jarrett immediately hits a jumping DDT and gets 2! Lawler suddenly grows excited because Vince’s microphone stops working – and tries to call the match like Vince to hilarious results. Jarrett and Roadie take turns choking Michaels in the ropes – but Michaels pulls Roadie into the way of Jarrett who comes flying with a Bossman straddle, and Michaels rolls him up for 2. Oh, and Vince returns to give us a “onetwohegotitnohedidn’t!” here, annoying the shit out of Lawler. Jarrett whips Michaels to the buckle, and Shawn does a Flair flip to the floor. The Roadie comes off the apron with a running clothesline, and dances around the ringside while the ref is busy with Jarrett. “I WIN BY COUNTOUT!” Jarrett does the Fargo strut around the ring, but Michaels gets back into the ring at 9. Jeff goes upstairs, hits a crossbody, but Michaels rolls through for 2! Jarrett tries to come back with a crucifix, but Michaels won’t go down, and sits down on Jarrett for 2! Jarrett moves to the sleeper, and Michaels nearly passes out – dropping to the mat with his shoulders down for 2. Shawn fights the hold…and backdrops his way out of it. Michaels gets up first, at 8. With what little strength he has, Shawn drapes an arm over Jarrett and gets 2! Both guys stand, Michaels hits the flying jalapeno – and he nips up! A second flying jalapeno connects, and Michaels heads up to the top rope. A double sledge hits the mark, and Shawn gets 2! Michaels goes for the flying elbow next, and again gets 2. Shawn slips away to the outside of the ring, trips up Jarrett, and crotches him over the ringpost! He goes up to finish…but Roadie shakes the ropes, and Michaels is crotched! Jarrett spies his opportunity, hits a superplex, and calls for the figure four! Michaels packages him on the attempt for 2. Jarrett quickly snaps off a single leg atomic drop, and goes for the figure four again…only this time Michaels shoves him off into the referee. He’s down and out! That opens the floodgates to an attack from Roadie, who clips Shawn just as he was going for Sweet Chin Music! Roadie wakes up the referee, Jarrett goes up, hits the crossbody…but it’s only 2!!!! Jarrett wonders what he’s got to do to finish, and instructs Roadie to trip Michaels up. However, Michaels reverses the whip, Roadie trips Jarrett, Shawn nails Sweet Chin Music and scores the pinfall and wins the belt at 20:02!! ****

Well, that certainly was a lot of John Cena. I’m really surprised by the exclusion of The Great Squash Of 2003 against The Undertaker, as well as that year’s No Mercy match against Kurt Angle. Only two of the matches here are really worth your time, and neither of which fit the John Cena theme. Pass on this one, but better is coming…specifically a wild and TOTALLY random March theme! I’ll have it soon.

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