Judgment Day 2005
Date: May 22, 2005
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commentators: Michael Cole and Taz
We are in the middle of the first brand split era with Smackdown hosting Judgment Day. John Cena, who was a fresh main eventer at the time, is defending his WWE Championship against JBL in an “I Quit” match, which will be sure to be violent. The other top matches include Booker T going up against Kurt Angle, who is a part of a forgotten storyline, where Angle lusts over Booker’s wife and Rey Mysterio fighting his former best friend Eddie Guerrero. This show looks like a mixed bag on paper, but I’ve been surprised plenty of times before.
WWE Tag Team Title Match: MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro) (c) w/Melina Vs. Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly
MNM were one of the few acceptable tag teams from this era, and Haas and Holly are the definition of a thrown-together tag team. Melina welcomes us to the show and tells us that the audience are about to be brushed by greatness, while photographers surround them like vultures. Michael Cole talks about Holly beating Mercury a few nights ago on Smackdown.
Morrison starts with a key lock and Haas counters by slinging Morrison out of the ring and tosses him back in with a key lock slam of his own. Both partners tag out and Holly hits his nice dropkick, followed by a kick to the gut. Mercury gives a loud chop but Holly answers with five louder chops, while the crowd applauds in appreciation. Holly goes for the Alabama Slam but Morrison breaks it up while the referee gets distracted by Haas. The crowd must be excited to be in attendance because they chant for Hardcore freaking Holly.
Holly gets worked over, but he hits a full nelson slam to give Haas the hot tag. Haas hits a nice dropkick of his own, followed by a spear and dive to the outside. The crowd pops for Haas as I start to believe that I warped into an alternate universe. Melina swipes at Hass’ leg so Hass does the only honorable, babyface action that he can think of: pull her up to the ring apron by her hair. This leads to Mercury nearly hitting Melina by mistake. Hass nearly gets the three count with a small package. Holly comes in and slams his shoulder onto the post, trying to spear Morrison.
Haas hits an exploder suplex and goes for the pin but the referee gets distracted once again. Haas complains to the referee with as much emotional range as a tablespoon. He hits the ropes but Morrison knees him in the back. This leads to MNM hitting the Snapshot (an elevated DDT) for the pin.
Rating: C+. Maybe it was because Minneapolis hosted their first pay per view in seven years, but this crowd was unexpectedly hyped for a Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas match. The match itself was fine with Holly and Haas showing some fire and MNM cheating to win.
Carlito w/Matt Morgan Vs. The Big Show
Two weeks ago, Carlito offered Big Show a job as his personal bodyguard, but Big Show took offense. Carlito was known for spitting an apple in the faces of his adversaries, but this time Big Show took the apple to give Carlito a taste of his own medicine. The apple turned out to be poisoned, making Big Show fall to one knee in agony. How Carlito had the foresight that Big Show would steal his apple, I’ll never know. The next week Carlito recruited the rookie, Matt Morgan, who is seven feet tall, to be his bodyguard instead in order to protect him from the Big Show. Because the WWE likes to screw with people, they gave the monster, Matt Morgan, a stuttering gimmick, which went over as well as you would expect.
Carlito tells the crowd that he was talking to Randy Moss, who warned him about Minnesota. Moss says the people at Minnesota are not cool because they don’t appreciate talent like Matt Morgan because he is stronger than anybody in the building. Morgan will sit back and watch Carlito destroy The Big Show.
Carlito starts the match by leaving the ring twice, obviously afraid of The Big Show. It’s a game of cat and mouse until Big Show catches and hits a loud chop in the corner. Morgan distracts Carlito, who tries to take advantage but receives another chop and gets tossed across the ring for his troubles. After another loud chop, which I’m surprised did not stop Carlito’s heart, Big Show slams Carlito. Big Show hits the ropes but Morgan lowers the top rope and Big Show spills to the floor. Morgan attacks Big Show and throws him back in the ring. Carlito tries repeatedly to keep Big Show on the ground but is unsuccessful.
Big Show throws Carlito to the corner but the referee is stupidly in the way and gets knocked out. Carlito hits a low blow when Big Show goes for his chokeslam. Big Show shakes it off and goes for the chokeslam again. Morgan runs in and hits the Big Show with an F5 of all things. (Brock Lesnar had left the company a year prior to try and play in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings.) Carlito looks around in shock and pins The Big Show.
Rating: D. This feels like this match could have been on any given episode of Smackdown and further devalues Big Show as an attraction. Big Show dominated the whole match and ended up getting pinned after one power move. I understand that they wanted to build up Carlito as a future star, but they should not have done this at the expense of The Big Show’s credibility.
Michael Cole and Taz takes us to a video package that hypes up the match between Booker T and Kurt Angle, and oh boy, this storyline does not age well. Booker T had cost Kurt Angle a shot at the WWE Championship when he retaliated against Angle by hitting him with a steel chair after Angle had done the same thing to him. This led to Angle lusting over Booker’s wife, Sharmell. Angle also repeatedly called Sharmell a “gutters**t” on Smackdown and chased her into a room. Booker went into the room to save his wife. Angle then “apologized” for his actions but proceeded to talk about his fantasies about Sharmell, saying that after he dominates Booker, he will dominate her.
Back into the live broadcast and Booker T is in the backstage area with Sharmell, who says that she needs him to take Angle out. Booker agrees and some backstage worker gives Sharmell a bag full of private bedroom objects, including sexy lingerie and handcuffs. Sharmell thinks it’s a gift from Booker, but Booker says that he didn’t buy her a gift. Booker leaves the room angrily and says that this is the last strawberry. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
Cruiserweight Title Match: Chavo Guerrero Vs. Paul London (c)
Chavo starts with some kicks and keeps London down. He then throws him into the ropes and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on the way back. London fights back from an arm scissor and hits two quick clotheslines and a hurricanrana for a two count. London hits a mule kick and attempts a big 450 splash but Chavo put his knees up for a nasty crash and burn. Chavo hits a belly to back suplex for a two count and works over the ribs by kicking him. Chavo then continues to hurt the ribs by draping London onto the top rope and kicks him in the ribs again. London gets out of an Abdominal Stretch by splashing onto Chavo but hurts his ribs in the process. London then catches Chavo with a belly to belly suplex but Chavo gets up first after the move.
London fights back though by throwing some dropkicks and goes for the pinfall but Chavo saves energy to break up the count by grabbing the bottom rope. Chavo then tries to steal a win by holding onto the ropes with going for a victory roll, but London kicks out. Chavo goes for the Gory Bomb but London counters by hitting a heel kick. London goes up to the top rope, and Chavo leaves the ring but gets hit by senton flip on the outside. Chavo gets back in the ring and swats London out the ring and hits a suicide dive. Chavo goes back up to the top rope but London throws him off and hits the 450 splash for the pin.
Rating: C-. So Chavo works on the ribs for the majority of the match, and afterwards, London decided to dive to the outside and use the 450 splash, causing his own ribs to crash and burn. That isn’t the smartest thing to do. What was the point of all of that rib work? If you can get past this note, then the match is acceptable with London getting beat up and having to fight back to retain his title.
Booker is in the back looking for Angle, yelling at fellow wrestlers to find him. We then cut to Sharmell, and Angle rubs her shoulders. Sharmell screams and Angle jumps on top of her as they fall onto the couch. Angle puts his hands over her mouth. His music plays, signaling the beginning of his match, and says that after he beats Booker, he will come after her. Wow, WWE can be tasteless.
Kurt Angle Vs. Booker T.
Sharmell stays in the backstage area. Booker brings the handcuffs to the ring and immediately starts beating on Angle. After a kick from Booker, Angle grabs a front-face lock. Booker then hits some shoulder blocks and chops, while Angle is already starting to bleed from the mouth. Angle comes back with some uppercuts in the corner and snapmare into a headlock. Booker fights out of it and kicks Angle down onto the corner. Angle goes for the Ankle Lock, but Booker counters and gives a high kick to Angle’s face. Angle gets draped onto the top rope, and Booker hits his scissor kick, while Angle crashes onto the floor.
Angle throws Booker onto the ring post on the outside and throws him back inside the ring. Angle hits a suplex in the ring for a two count and locks a body scissors/headlock combination. The announcers cover up Angle talking to Booker by saying that he is trash talking. Booker fights back but gets caught up in the top rope so Angle hits a belly to back suplex for a two count. This match has been slower and more plodding than you would expect given the storyline going into the match.
Angle grabs Booker from behind as blood trickles down his bald head. Booker fights back with some elbows and a kick to Angle’s face. Booker fires up with rapid offense combinations, including some chops, suplex, and another kick to the face. Booker plays to the crowd and misses the scissors kick. Angle then misses the Angle Slam, but Booker hits the Book End for a close two count. Booker does the spinarooni but Angle answers with a simple clothesline. When all else fails, just hit someone’s face.
Angle hits two consecutive German Suplexes and then a Belly to Belly Suplex for a two count. Angle goes for the Angle Slam but Booker counters with Oklahoma Roll for the three count, which shocks Angle.
Rating: D+. Seriously, that’s it? The match was fine from a technical perspective, but in this case, that is the least important component to this match. Booker should have wanted to kill Angle, and he did not show enough of that fire. He decided to break dance in the middle of the match? Are you kidding me! I can’t think of a worse match that involves Booker T or Kurt Angle, as Angle’s performance seemed phoned in as well.
Post-Match Sharmell stupidly comes to celebrate with Booker T, while Angle is still standing in the ring. Angle attacks Booker from behind and hits the Angle Slam. Sharmell checks on Booker and Angle grabs her by the hair and throws her in the ring. Angle picks up the handcuffs and scares the referee out of the ring. He attempts to handcuff her to the ropes but Booker stops him and puts the handcuffs on Angle instead. He then attacks Angle in the corner. Sharmell clobbers him down by slapping him. She then finishes by kicking him down low. Booker and Sharmell embrace. This was too little, too late.
United States Title Match: Heidenreich Vs. Orlando Jordan (c)
Heidenreich beat Jordan on the previous episode of Smackdown to earn this title shot. Heidenreich looks out to the crowd to find a new friend, as I go looking for a drink. He picks out a member of the audience and recites a poem about wanting to fight and calls Jordan, Buckwheat.
As Heidenreich gets back in the ring, Jordan jumps him and attacks him in the corner. Heidenreich then catches Jordan with a belly to belly suplex for a two count. Jordan talks trash to the fan at ringside as he gives a belly to back suplex for another two count. Jordan pounds on Heidenreich but he absorbs the punishment. Heidenreich gives a series of clotheslines and a back body drop to Jordan for a close two count. Jordan answers with a swinging neckbreaker for yet another two count. Jordan plays to the crowd and Heidenreich catches him with a schoolboy for a two. Jordan then hits a DDT for the three count and retain the title as the fan at ringside jeers.
Rating: D-. This felt like a series of moves that had no rhyme or reason in the grand scheme of things. Jordan would do a move, and then Heidenreich would do a move of his own, and they would rinse and repeat.
Post-Match the fan cheers up Heidenreich by doing his dance around the ring.
Backstage JBL, holding his old WWE Championship belt, says that John Cena should stick to his rap career or run for Governor of Minnesota because these idiots would obviously vote for anybody, referencing Jesse Ventura. Cena cannot beat him because he is a wrestling god, and he will not quit tonight.
Eddie Guerrero Vs. Rey Mysterio
A few weeks ago Eddie turned on Rey, who he considered family. They were former tag team champions together, but Eddie felt like he was losing his edge (Latino Heat), and Rey was holding him back. They had a friendly opening match a Wrestlemania 21 one month prior to this event, and Mysterio won, which also seems to be bothering Eddie.
Mysterio prays in the corner and whips around to see Eddie coming towards him. They slap each other hard as these two are already showing more fire than Booker and Angle as they slug at each other. Mysterio beats down on Guerrero as he leaves the ring for a breather. Mysterio hits the steps as Eddie holds onto his right ear. Guerrero then gives a spinebuster onto Mysterio twice, slamming him on the announcer’s table. Back into the ring, Guerrero toys with Mysterio and dropkicks him in the face, while he was still down. Guerrero works on Myterio’s injured ribs by repeatedly slamming him on the mat, followed by an abdominal stretch. Mysterio fights back but Eddie cuts him off and applies a single leg Boston Crab, while he places his knee onto Mysterio’s back, applying pressure to the injured ribs. Mysterio gets back up and hits a loud Enziguri.
Eddie runs at Mysterio but monkey flips him over and busts out a springboard dive for a two count. Mysterio slugs at Guerrero, but Guerrero counters with a dropkick to the knees. He then gives another Boston Crab and transitions into a STF (Take notes John Cena). Guerrero then throws Mysterio onto the outside and tosses the steel steps aside. Guerrero goes for the Brainbuster onto the steel steps but Mysterio fights out of it and hits the 619 by using the ring post in a cool looking spot.
Back into the ring and they take turns punching each other in the face, until Mysterio gets the better of the exchange. Mysterio hits a springboard senton for a close two count. They fight in the corner and Mysterio hits his shoulders onto the post. With Guerrero being in control again, he hits a big superplex for a two count, with Eddie attempting three pinfalls. Mysterio counters the Three Amigos after two suplexes, and Chavo Guerrero, Eddie’s nephew, comes out to distract the referee. Eddie grabs a steel chair, but Mysterio knocks it out of his hands and takes out Chavo. Mysterio goes for a springboard move, but on the way down, Eddie waffles him with the steel chair for the disqualification loss.
Rating: C+. The match was going well until the abrupt the ending. This was about angle advancement as the two would feud for four more months, where Eddie would reveal that Mysterio’s son, Dominic, was actually his own biological son. The two would fight for the custody of Dominic in a ladder match at Summerslam, which is as wrestling as wrestling can get.
Post-Match Eddie hits Mysterio across the back four times and does not seem concerned about losing the match. He leaves the ring while backstage personnel attend to Mysterio.
“I Quit Match” for the WWE Title: JBL Vs. John Cena (c)
John Cena had won his first world title against JBL at Wrestlemania a month prior to this event. This is the beginning of the extended rise of John Cena as he is still a main event player as of this writing in 2017. JBL comes out with his old WWE Championship belt, while John Cena comes out with his newly designed title belt, which spins at the center like fancy rims as wrestling purists around the world puke. John Cena comes out to an elaborate entrance complete with a semi-truck, a live DJ playing his theme song, and pyro. This entrance shows that the WWE was hell-bent on making John Cena their next top star, which to his credit, he made the very most of the opportunity. Before the match starts, the crowd chants for Cena with no jeers heard, which is a rare sight to see in the present day. The first man to quit loses the match.
The match starts with a shoulder block and a headlock takeover. JBL counters with a headlock of his own, while the referee holds the microphone, waiting for someone to quit. They continue to brawl until JBL goes for the DDT and pin but realizes there are no pinfalls in this match. Cena hits a back body drop and clothesline, knocking JBL onto the outside of the ring. Cena gets thrown into the crowd with JBL following him and gives a swinging neckbreaker to Cena onto the hard concrete floor. JBL tells Cena to quit but Cena knocks him down with a hard fist to the face. JBL answers that with a throw to the steel steps. JBL takes the timekeepers personal belt and chokes Cena with it, using the ring post. Cena gets out of it with JBL hitting the post.
They both get up onto the announcer’s table, and JBL demands that Cena quits. Cena tells JBL to kiss him on the backside and tosses him onto the other announcer’s table, which breaks. Cena then hits JBL with the announcer’s monitor and throws him. JBL then gives Cena a HARD chair shot onto his head, which causes Cena’s head to gush out with blood, as it trickles down his chest. JBL picks up the steel steps and hits him with it. The blood seems out of control with it dirtying up the floor on the outside. JBL doesn’t seem to care though with three hard clotheslines in the center of the ring.
JBL begins to choke out Cena with his own chain. JBL demands to quit, but Cena fights back, only for JBL to hit him between the legs. JBL calls Cena some bad names on the microphone so Cena finally starts to fight back by hitting the five knuckle shuffle and also hits the FU. JBL bails to the floor and walks towards the entranceway. Cena slams JBL onto his limo but JBL answers with another swinging neckbreaker onto the Limo. Some electrical cords are picked up by JBL and are used to choke out Cena as the crowd continues to cheer on Cena to fight back. Cena refuses to quit and fights out of the choke hold, causing JBL’s head to go through the glass of a television monitor. Cena liked that so much that he breaks a window of JBL’s limo, using JBL’s body. Cole: “Cena is abusing JBL!” Cena and JBL then go to the top of the limo and hits a suplex. JBL tries to escape by entering the backseat of the limo so Cena throws JBL onto the door until it breaks.
They both go up the semi-truck that was used for Cena’s entrance. JBL gets thrown into a gas canister and hits a DDT onto Cena and beats on him, still imploring that he should quit. JBL continues to choke Cena with a cord, but Cena fights out by hitting JBL with a microphone, causing JBL to fall onto a table below. Cena grabs a giant metal pipe. JBL sees his demise coming so he quits.
Rating: B. This was everything the match needed to be: violent. Cena’s nasty blade job is interesting to look back on today. Cena would get better as time went on, and JBL quitting at the end was good, proving that he was all talk.
Post-Match Cena hits him anyway with the pipe. He goes into the ring looking like Carrie from Stephen King’s novel of the same name and celebrates as pyro takes us off the air.
Overall Rating: D+. The only required viewing I would suggest watching is the main event. If you really want to check something else out from this show, try out the tag team title match or Mysterio/Guerrero, even though they have had much better matches together. The rest of the show is hot garbage, with a disturbing angle that does not pay off well between Angle and Booker T, Big Show being irrelevant, and London refusing to sell the ribs. There are plenty of good shows to check out from 2005 but this isn’t one of them. Stay clear away.