Lest We Forget: WWE No Way Out 2004 Review by Maxwell Baumbach
Must-Watch Pay-Per-View Matches of 2004 so far:
-Royal Rumble Match (Royal Rumble)
-Last Man Standing: Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (Royal Rumble)
No Way Out 2004
From the Cow Palace in Daly City, California
February 15, 2004
The show starts off with Sable and Torrie Wilson coming out to the ring. They had recently been on the cover of Playboy together. They say hello to the fans of “San Francisco,” which shares a border with Daly City. Sable welcomes the fans, and Torrie says that there is nothing the Smackdown superstars won’t do to entertain the fans. Sable says there is nothing her and Torrie wouldn’t do either. PROVE IT! Welcome to No Way Out!
Next, we get a hype video. Lesnar talks about how he has been here before, and this is just another title defense for him. We see Austin giving Goldberg a ticket to the event and telling him, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” which was awesome. The focus then shifts to Eddie, who talks about how his family turned on him, and that now he is fighting for himself. He says he’s been backed into a corner before, and this is just another obstacle to overcome. Lesnar says Eddie may have slayed his demons, but that Brock Lesnar is the biggest demon of them all. Brock has beaten legends, great ones, and phenoms. Eddie says that Brock is pre-occupied, alluding to the feud with Goldberg. This was amazing, and has me pumped for the main-event, even though I already know what happens.
Handicap WWE Tag Team Title Match: Too Cool (Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty) © vs. The Basham Brothers and Shaniqua
Doug and Scotty lock up to kick it off. Doug immediately takes control and goes to throw Scotty to the floor, but Scotty skins the cat and fires back and hits and ugly flying headscissors. Rikishi comes in and pounds away, shucking off a poke to the eyes. Doug tries to counter a hip-toss with one of his own, but Rikishi blocks and nails a clothesline. Danny comes in but is thrown to the floor. Rikishi then grabs Shaniqua by the hair and flings her into the ring! Rikishi teases the Stink Face, but Doug Basham runs into break it up only to be sent to the mat. Shaniqua gets the hell out of dodge. Doug Basham gets a poke to the eyes, but then makes the mistake of headbutting a Samoan. Scotty tags in but Doug Basham takes the advantage. Both men go for a shoulder tackle but clunk heads, sending each man down to the mat. Scotty nips up fresh and goes for the worm, but SHANIQUA KILLS HIM WITH A CLOTHESLINE! Danny tags in and The Bashams hit a double team slingshot suplex for two. Shaniqua asks for the tag and Danny obliges. Shaniqua hits a big scoop slam on Scotty and talks trash to Rikishi. Scotty fights back by trying to choke Shaniqua (not exactly a babyface move), but Shaniqua fights him off and tags in Danny. Scotty tries to get a tag but Danny grounds him and tags in Doug. Scotty fights off Doug but Shaniqua tags in to try and halt his momentum. Shaniqua goes for a powerbomb, but Scotty powers out with a back body drop! Hot tag to Rikishi! Both Bashams charge in, but Rikishi fights them off with strikes. Rikishi hits Doug with a crescent kick, and then plants Danny with a DDT. I use “plants” very loosely, as Danny’s head came nowhere near the mat. Shaniqua jumps on Rikishi’s back with a sleeper, but he grabs her by the hair and flips her onto the mat! Rikishi goes for the Bonzai Drop as Scotty tries to fight off the Bashams, but the referee stops him. The Bashams give Rikish a double powerbomb out of the corner! Shaniqua covers! 1-2-NO! Scotty jumps off of the apron and takes out both Bashams with a cross body to the floor! Shaniqua stalks Rikishi and goes for a clothesline, but he counters with a Samoan Drop! Rikishi drags her to the corner- BONZAI DROP! 1, 2, 3! Too Cool retain at 8:16
Winners: Too Cool
This was an odd little match. Scotty and Rikishi were supposed to be underdog babyfaces here, and the crowd did get really behind them, but it wasn’t very babyface to do things like pulling hair or choking a woman. That said, this was still entertaining. Shaniqua was in an odd place at this point, as she lacked skill in the ring, but had a great aura about her and was charismatic. She did really well here, and in all honesty, is the main reason this match clicked. We are 1 for 1.
Michael Cole mentions that the crowd is sold out, but one man has still not showed up, and that is Goldberg. Tazz says he doesn’t think Goldberg is coming.
He get a video package to hype the Blindfold Match between Jamie Noble and Nidia. Nidia was blinded by Tajiri, and then Noble began to use her as a defense mechanism during his matches. Noble was mad when she got her sight back and wanted her to give all of her stuff back, including her expensive mink coat. Nidia took the coat and put it through a wood chipper, much to his dismay.
Jamie Noble (Blindfolded) vs. Nidia
Noble charges but Nidia evades and he hits the buckles. Nidia then slaps him in the face. Noble tries to find Nidia, but she is on the outside. Nidia trips him, and then slides in and hits a dropkick to the face. Nidia stomps to mislead Noble, but then moves. Nidia de-pantses Noble. Nidia trips him up and covers but Noble kicks out. Noble grabs her leg, but Nidia goes into a headstand hand takes Noble down with a headscisssors that sends Noble to the floor. Noble tries to find Nidia as she mockingly walks behind him and then kicks him the ass. Noble tries to run at her but hits the ropes instead. Nidia then table-tops him. Noble is growing frustrated. Noble accidentally locks up with the referee, but Nidia fights him off. Noble gets a double-leg takedown and then grabs her by the hair, but has to let go. Nidia gets a drop toe-hold, sending Noble throat first onto the second rope. She goes to the apron and hits a kick to the side of the head! Nidia heads up top. The referee looks at Nidia, so Noble takes off his hood to find her. Noble throws her off of the top rope and locks in a seated guillotine choke for the submission at 4:26.
Winner: Jamie Noble
Both participants did their best here, but that wasn’t enough. It got boring quickly, and I can’t believe it was under five minutes long. This may be the best worked blindfold match I’ve ever seen, but that’s equivalent to saying, “That’s the best Honey Boo Boo’s mother has ever looked.” This is definitely something you want to skip. 1 for 2.
We see footage from three days ago on Smackdown, when Kurt Angle was laid out back stage. Angle responded by laying out both John Cena and Big Show, his opponents tonight.
We then join Josh Matthews with Kurt Angle, who says it must have been either Cena or Show. Angle says his shot at the WWE title at Wrestlemania is on the line, so he did what he had to do. John Cena interrupts and says he’s type of guy to knock Angle out, but that he would do it to Angle’s face. Both men come to blows and are separated by staff members.
Before our next contest, we see clips of Shelton Benjamin vs. Bradshaw from three days before, where Shelton injured Bradshaw’s arm but Bradshaw still hit the Clothesline from Hell for the win.
The Self-Proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) vs. The APA (Farooq and Bradshaw
Farooq and Benjamin start things off as we get some chants for the APA. Shelton uses his amateur wrestling prowess to get the early advantage. Farooq then uses his best weapon, his fists, to take over. Bradshaw tags in and the APA hit a double shoulder block. Bradshaw then hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Benjamin then goes after the arm and tags in Haas, but Bradshaw quickly regains control. Farooq tags in and hits a shoulder to the lower back of Haas for a two count. Farooq tries for a splash in the corner but misses, and Haas then targets his shoulder as well. Shelton tags in and flies over the top to stomp on Farooq’s arm. Haas quickly tags back in and remains zeroed-in on Farooq’s arm. Shelton tags in again and we get more of the same. Shelton locks in a shoulder hold, but Farooq fights out. Shelton then grabs his arm again and hits a divorce-court armbreaker for two. Haas tags in again and goes after the arm some more. Haas applies the same shoulder hold as Shelton. Haas and Benjamin look like well-oiled machines here with quick tags and no wasted motion. Haas talks trash and allows Farooq to recover, and Farooq hits a big spinebuster! Bradshaw and Shelton both tag in! Bradshaw hits a big boot on Benjamin and a back body drop onto Haas! Bradshaw hits a powerslam on Benjamin! Bradshaw then throws Haas to the floor and sticks Benjamin’s head between his legs- POWERBOMB! ONE, TWO, Haas makes the save with a legdrop! Farooq is in and he spills to the floor with Haas. Haas sends Farooq into the ring post shoulder-first! In the ring, Bradshaw charges Shelton Benjamin in the corner but eats an elbow. Shelton tries to go up to the top rope, but Bradshaw fights him to the second buckle. Bradshaw scales to the second rope, and hits a SUPER LAST CALL! Haas runs in and attacks Bradshaw before a cover can be made. Haas sends Bradshaw into the corner and charges but Bradshaw moves out of the way and hits the ropes- CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL! Bradshaw grabs at his shoulder and gets to his feet. Shelton hits Bradshaw with the SUPERKICK! Benjamin covers! ONE, TWO, THREE! That does it at 7:20!
Winners: The Self-Proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team
This was a thoroughly enjoyable sprint, as there was great psychology that played into the finish and the pace never slowed down. While these teams weren’t given a whole lot of time, they definitely made the most of it. 2 for 3.
Goldberg is here! Goldberg makes his way to his seat. Michael Cole and Tazz talk down about Goldberg, calling him a loose cannon and say that he shouldn’t be here. This was a nice touch, as at this point, it actually felt like Raw and Smackdown were competing against each other.
We get a video showing why Goldberg is here, going back to his interview from the Royal Rumble which was interrupted by Brock Lesnar. We see Lesnar playing a big hand in Goldberg’s elimination at the Rumble. Goldberg says that Lesnar is next, and we see the footage of Austin giving Goldberg his ticket to the show tonight again. We then see Goldberg spearing Heyman.
Now Goldberg is settled into his seat and Paul Heyman comes out to the ring. Heyman appears to be absolutely disgusted. Heyman askes Goldberg who in the hell he thinks he is. Heyman talks about this being the first Smackdown Pay-Per-View of his administration. Heyman says that Goldberg has good taste coming to watch a Smackdown show, but that all he will do is watch. Heyman says he will have Goldberg removed, arrested, and sent to jail if he tries to do anything other than just watch. Brock Lesnar comes out to the ring, and Heyman says, “Here comes the pain!” Lesnar asks Goldberg how he’s doing as Goldberg looks at him with disdain. Lesnar says he is not intimidated by Goldberg. Lesnar tells Goldberg to come get him, but Heyman tells Goldberg not to. Lesnar says that Goldberg is scared and encourages him to get in the ring while Heyman tells him not to once again. Lesnar references Austin giving him the ticket, and Lesnar says Austin wouldn’t come over the rail because he’s a bitch, just like Goldberg. Goldberg has had enough and crosses the barricade! Goldberg gets in the ring! Both men remove their shirts, and IT! IS! ON! Heyman distracts Goldberg and Lesnar jumps him! Lesnar goes for the F-5, but Goldberg slips out! JACKHAMMER ON LESNAR! Heyman calls for security! A group of police officers come to the ring and put Goldberg into handcuffs as the commentators say that Lesnar has been assaulted. Goldberg is walked to the back as the crowd chants for him. Even though we all know how things ended, this segment was still awesome, and is required viewing all these years later. It’s a shame things went the way they did at Wrestlemania XX, as the build leading up to it was amazing.
Hardcore Holly runs out to the ring to go after Lesnar! Lesnar manages to get to the floor before Holly can do anything.
Hardcore Holly vs. Rhyno
Rhyno charges out to the ring, and this one is underway. Both men start off brawling, but Holly gets a headlock takeover. Rhyno fights up and out, but Holly manages to get another headlock takeover. Rhyno fights out again but this time he takes a shoulder tackle. Holly goes off of the ropes and Rhyno tries for a hip-toss, but Holly reverses for one of his own, but he can’t get it either, so he fires away with chops. Holly manages to toss Rhyno the floor. Rhyno gains the advantage on the floor and sends Holly’s back into the ring apron a few times. Back inside, Rhyno sends Holly into the buckles and first away with shoulder to the gut. Rhyno then knees him in the stomach and covers for two. Rhyno applies a body-scissors to further wear down the midsection of Holly. Holly works his way to guard position and fires away with punches. Both men get up, but Rhyno catches Hardcore with a punch to the gut. Rhyno gets Holly up for a suplex, but instead opts to drop Holly ribs-first onto the top rope. Rhyno goes into a small control sequence, but Holly manages to hit a back suplex, and both men are down. Rhyno takes control once again and whips Holly chest-first into the turnbuckles. Rhyno stomps a mudhole into Holly in the corner before whipping him into the post again. Holly is sent into the buckles a third time, but Holly fires out of the corner and hits a clothesline! Both men get up at the count of eight and exchange punches. Holly hits two straight clotheslines and then nails a running dropkick off of the ropes for two. Holly goes up top but Rhyno catches him. Rhyno hits a superplex off of the second rope! One, two, NO! Rhyno sends Holly into the ropes, but Holly slips behind coming off and hits an inverted DDT for two. Holly charges Rhyno but takes a spinebuster! Rhyno gets to his feet and sets up for Gore. GORE CONNECTS, but Hardcore Holly rolls out to the floor! The referee starts to count out Holly. Holly slides back in the ring just before 10! Rhyno fires away with punches on Holly. Rhyno goes for an Irish Whip, but Holly reverses it RIGHT INTO AN ALABAMA SLAM! ONE, TWO, THREE! Holly wins at 9:57.
Winner: Hardcore Holly
This match was fun at some points, but was ultimately plodding and too slow for its own good. I also have to question the booking a little bit. Rhyno was pretty much a gate-keeper to the title at this point, and Holly was not going to get another run at the belt any time soon. With a babyface winning the midcard title at the next event, it might have made more sense to have Rhyno go over here and have a heel challenger ready for the future. Instead, Holly gets the win for no reason, and Rhyno’s role is diminished a little bit more. 2 for 4.
We get a commercial for the Monday Night War DVD, as well as a “Smack Your TV” ad.
Up next is Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero. This feud started when Eddie Guerrero was laid out backstage, and Mysterio attacked Chavo as a result. Chavo talks about how he doesn’t hide behind a mask like Rey. Mysterio says that Chavo and his dad are cowards, and that he’s bringing boxer Jorge Paez in his corner to be safe. Chavo says he will take the title, and Rey’s mask.
Michael Cole and Tazz talk about the upcoming match, but the lights go out! A video airs, with text showing that in 28 days, “The dead will rise…again.” Cole says that Wrestlemania XX is in 28 days. This was a cool way to re-introduce The Undertaker in his deadman persona. Then Chavo’s music hits, and Cole quickly shifts his demeanor, exclaiming, “IT’S CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE TIME!” That was priceless.
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Rey Mysterio © w/ Jorge Paez vs. Chavo Guerrero w/ Chavo Guerrero Sr.
Both men grapple to start off, and Mysterio gets the best of it with an armdrag. Chavo gets the best of the next exchange with a shoulder tackle. He then hits a snapmare and goes after Rey’s mask, but Rey kicks him in the head! Rey hits a big dropkick and Chavo goes to the floor as the intensity has picked up. Mysterio takes charge again when Chavo comes back in, hitting a headscissors takeover off of the second rope and then getting a rolling prawn hold for two. Mysterio hits the ropes, but this time Chavo throws him up into the air, sending Rey chest first into the mat! Chavo hits two scoop slams and covers for two. Chavo applies a top wrist lock, and the crowd is REALLY into this. Big heat on Chavo, and big pops for Rey. Mysterio fights out and goes for a springboard sunsent flip, but Chavo rolls right out. Chavo charges, but Rey drops him throat first onto the second rope! 6-1-9 CONNECTS! Rey goes to follow up, but Chavo Sr pulls him down face-first on the edge of the ring apron! Chavo Sr. taunts, but he turns around and EATS A LEFT HAND FROM JORGE PAEZ! The crowd pops big for it, but the referee sends Paez to the back! Chavo goes to the aid of his father on the floor, but REY MYSTERIO WIPES HIM OUT WITH A SPRINGBOARD CROSS BODY! Rey takes Chavo inside and goes to the apron. SPRINGBOARD LEG DROP BY MYSTERIO! ONE, TWO, NO! Mysterio stays on the offensive and gets a schoolboy for two. Mysterio goes up top with Chavo on the second rope. However, Chavo gets him up on his shoulders and hits a GUTBUSTER OFF OF THE SECOND ROPE! Chavo takes advantage by pinpointing the ribs with various strikes. Chavo chokes Rey on the ropes and then tries a small package for two. Chavo locks in an abdominal stretch, but Rey elbows him in the face. Chavo tries for back suplex, but Rey Mysterio counters into a body press for a pin! One, two, No! Mysterio goes for a DDT, but Chavo bridges the legs and applies what can only be described a single-legged Liontamer! Mysterio kicks free of the sick submission. Chavo stomps away on Rey’s midsection and taunts him to get up before trying two consecutive pins to no avail. Chavo goes for another cover, but Mysterio bridges, and then works up and around into a sunset flip! One, two, kickout! Mysterio ducks a clothesline, but takes a tilt-a-whirl gutbuster for two. Chavo then applies a seated abdominal stretch as the crowd rallies behind Rey. Rey fights out. Chavo tries for another single-legged crab, but Mysterio turns it into a wheelbarrow bulldog for two. Chavo gets a knee to the ribs to take back over. Chavo gets Rey up for a gutbuster, but Rey gets out and hits a spinning heel kick. A quick exchange leads to Rey giving Chavo a headsciossors into the ring post! Mysterio hits a variation of the Skull Crushing Finale for two. Chavo tries to roll to the ring apron, but Mysterio DDTs him on the edge of the ring! Rey covers but only gets two. Rey tries a springboard crossbody but misses, and Chavo follows up with a sitout gordbuster for two! Chavo sets Mysterio up top, but Mysterio sends him to the canvas. MOONSAULT BODY BLOCK BY REY! ONE, TWO-CHAVO GETS HIS FOOT ON THE BOTTOM ROPE! Chavo takes back over, and hits a GORY DRIVER! ONE, TWO, NO! Chavo picks up Rey, but Rey gives him a hurricanrana that drops him throat-first on the second rope! 6-1-9! Mysterio hits a SEATED SENTON, BUT CHAVO ROLLS THROUGH WITH THE SINGLE-LEGGED LIONTAMER! Mysterio gets to the ropes! Mysterio goes to the apron and fends off Chavo. Mysterio goes up top, but Chavo Sr. shoves him off, causing Rey to land stomach-first on the top rope! CHAVO ROLLS HIM UP AND HOLDS HIS TIGHTS! ONE, TWO, THREE! Chavo steals the title at 17:21!
Winner, and NEW WWE Crusierweight Champion: Chavo Guerrero
Wow! Chavo and Rey had the crowd in the palm of their hands the entire match. While the crowd was hot from the beginning, things kicked into another gear once Chavo hit the super gutbuster. While the match could have very well ended with the Single-Legged Liontamer spot, they wanted Chavo to pick up the cheap victory, which I liked. Both men looked like a million bucks here, and the Cruiserweight Title felt really important getting this much time on Pay-Per-View. You’ll definitely want to track this one down. 3 for 5.
A promo airs for Mick Foley’s Greatest Hits and Misses.
Josh Matthews is backstage with Chavo, he claims to have beaten all the odds. Chavo is outside Eddie’s locker room, and says that unlike the person that door, he is not a loser. Chavo says Eddie will always be a loser because he is an addict. Chavo says Eddie has a monkey on his back, that he will always be an addict, and that he will always fail.
We get a tail-of-the-tail for the Triple Threat Number One Contender’s Match between Kurt Angle, Big Show, and John Cena. Worth noting: John Cena’s only “Career Highlight” that they have listed is his “PH.D. IN THUGANOMICS.”
Number One Contender’s Match: Kurt Angle vs. Big Show vs. John Cena
Cena raps on his way to the ring, and the crowd is really behind him. Show and Angle lock up, but Show throws him like a small child. Show then follows up with a scoop slam. Cena talks trash to Angle, so Angle tells him to go after Show. Show then throws Cena around. Cena and Angle face off again, and they come to blows. Angle gets the best of it with an overhead belly-to-belly and covers, but Show interrupts immediately. Cena goes to the apron to cover, but Show chucks Angle into him, sending Cena to the floor and aggravating his knee, which was injured by Big Show when he was eliminated at the Royal Rumble. Show and Angle go at it in the ring and Big Show gets a sidewalk slam, but the cover is interrupted by Cena. Angle goes to the floor and Big show slams Cena twice before hitting a leg drop twice. Show goes for a third but Angle stops him. Big Show goozles Angle and steps out to the ring apron. Cena charges to break Show’s grip, and Angle teases a German Suplex to the floor. Cena charges again, but Big Show shoves him into the official. Angle drops to the floor and LOW BLOWS BIG SHOW! Back inside, Angle takes it to Cena. Cena builds momentum with a back elbow and modified Blue Thunder. Angle gets a series of rolling German Suplexes! He cover but the pin is disrupted by Big Show, and Angle gets thrown shoulder first into the ring post. Show then ragdolls Cena and steps on his knee. Show then walks across Cena’s back. Big Show lands a nice suplex for two. Show sends Cena into the buckles and charges, but Cena dropkicks him in the knee and sends him face first into the top turnbuckle. Cena then first off the ropes for another dropkick to the knee. Cena pumps up Reeboks and goes to the top rope- flying Dusty elbow! Angle up top now- missile drop kick! Cover by Angle! 1, 2, Cena breaks it up! Cena throws Angle to the floor. F-U TO BIG SHOW! Cena favors his knee as Angle slides in. Angle Slam attempt, but Cena slips out. DDT from Cena to Angle! Everyone is down. The crowd rallies behind Cena as he covers Big Show, but Show gets his foot on the second rope at two. Angle throws Cena to the floor and stalks Big Show. ANGLE SLAM! COVER! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Big Show kicks out! Angle pulls the straps down, but Cena gets back in the ring and kicks him in the gut. F-U attempt, but Angle slips out and finds an ANKLE LOCK! Big Show grabs Angle by the throat! CHOKESLAM! CENA WITH A SCHOOLBOY TO BIG SHOW! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! CENA TAKES A CHOKESLAM! ONE, TWO, ANGLE GRABS AN ANKLE LOCK TO BREAK IT UP! Show screams in agony, but rolls over and kicks free. Cena hits a spinebuster onto Angle and tacks on a Five-Knuckle Shuffle! Cena goes for the F-U on Angle, but Big Show clips Cena’s knee. Big Show grabs Cena in scoop slam position, and then throws him knee-first into the top turnbuckle! Big Show tries to Chokeslam Angle, but Angle fights out. Angle gets Big Show up, and HITS AN ANGLE SLAM THAT SENDS SHOW TO THE FLOOR! Holy Shit. Cena hobbles to his feet, but Kurt Angle picks his bad leg and applies the ANKLE LOCK! Cena taps out at 12:19
Winner: Kurt Angle
For whatever reason, my expectations weren’t too high for this match. Instead, I got a fun three-way where everyone was kept strong. Angle looked like an opportunist who would do anything to win heading into the biggest show of the year, and even used some underhanded tactics to foreshadow his full-fledged heel turn. Big Show looked like a monster that no one could hang with in the early goings. John Cena looked like a world beater with the heart of a champion (which was not a tired concept at this point). It may not be a match-of-the-year contender or anything, but this match did exactly what it needed to do. 4 for 6.
We then go to commercial for the WWE Originals CD. There’s a song where Stacy Keibler sounds like Brittney Spears but somehow worse, Rikishi’s chart-topper “Put a Little Ass On It,” and Rey Mysterio being really stereotypical.
Clips are shown to set up the main-event. They show Eddie Guerrero winning the Smackdown Rumble to get his title shot at No Way Out, Lesnar running him down, Eddie talking about overcoming all obstacles. They focus on Eddie beating his addictions and the shame he brought to his family and his people. Eddie says that he is addicted to the “do-or-die” feeling he will get at No Way Out.
WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar © vs. Eddie Guerrero
The commentators talk about the attack on Lesnar from Goldberg earlier on in the night. Cole hypes this as Eddie Guerrero’s chance to come full-circle after being fired for his addictions. Thunderous “Eddie!” chants before the bell sounds. Lesnar shoves Eddie to the mat a few times and tells him he’s nothing. Lesnar completely dominates the early goings. Eddie gets a few flurries in, but each time Lesnar cuts him off. Eddie goes for a headscissors off of the second, but Lesnar catches him with a powerbomb, and then throws him to the mat again. Lesnar then adds on a series of belly-to-belly overhead throws. Lesnar whips Eddie into the ropes, and hits a sick running knee in the corner. Lesnar stands over Eddie and berates him. Eddie takes another belly-to-belly overhead suplex, but this time he rolls out to the floor to recover. Eddie tries to get back to the ring, but Lesnar boots him right back to the floor. Eddie manages to catch Brock and pulls him down throat-first on the top rope. Guerrero then finds a big opening as he whips Lesnar’s leg into the ring post a few times. However, he goes to the well too many times, and Lesnar pulls him shoulder-first into the post. Back inside, Lesnar hits Ryback’s finisher, but he only gets two. Lesnar applies a rear-naked choke. If only he had found a few more of those in the UFC. Eddie fights up and hits a jawbreaker. Eddie gets another dropkick to the knee, but Lesnar catches him coming off of the ropes with a big clothesline! Lesnar hits a nasty german suplex. Lesnar has Eddie wounded in the corner and charges for another knee, but EDDIE MOVES, LESNAR HITS HIS BAD KNEE ON THE TURNBUCKLE AND FALLS TO THE FLOOR! Eddie Guerrero follows up with a plancha to the outside! Eddie hits another dropkick to Brock’s knee. Back suplex by Guerrero. Eddie charges Brock, but takes a hot-shot to the top rope. Lesnar covers but only gets two. Lesnar talks trash over Eddie’s body, but EDDIE FINDS A KNEEBAR OUT OF NOWHERE! EDDIE TURNS IT INTO AN STF! Brock pulls the facelock loose, but Eddie still has his knee, which he drives into the mat. Eddie then stomps on the knee repeatedly, having found his target. Eddie tries for a Figure Four, but Brock kicks him off. Lesnar manages to get up and hit a belly-to-belly. Both men are down. The crowd chants, “GOLD-BERG” but both men are up at seven. Eddie counters out of a suplex and gets a tilt-a-whirl headscissors before going back to the knee with a FIGURE FOUR! Lesnar pulls his way to the bottom rope. Eddie goes right back to the knee with a half-crab, and then goes back to the STF. Lesnar fights free. Lesnar nails a German Suplex! HUGE spinebuster by Lesnar! One, Two, No! Lesnar covers a second time to no avail. Lesnar applies a crossface chickenwing. Eddie fights up and drives Brock’s face into the buckles. Eddie goes up top- missile drop kick, but no one is home! Lesnar hits a suplex and then yells at Eddie to die as he applies a gutwrench hold. Lesnar pulls Eddie up and hits a dead-lift gutwrench suplex! Lesnar covers but only gets two. Lesnar applies a waistlock but Eddie gets up. Eddie fires away with dropkicks and a tilt-a-whirl headscissors! THREE AMIGOS BY GUERRERO! Eddie goes up top- FROG SPLASH, BUT LESNAR MOVES! Cole says that this may have been Eddie’s last chance. Lesnar gets Eddie up on his shoulders, F-5 BUT EDDIE’S LEGS TOOK OUT THE OFFICIAL! Lesnar covers, but the referee is out cold. Lesnar rolls to the floor and grabs his belt. Lesnar gets back in the ring with the belt, but GOLDBERG IS HERE! SPEAR TO BROCK LESNAR! LESNAR IS DOWN! Loud “EDDIE!” chants. Eddie covers! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! LESNAR KICKS OUT! The referee is still recovering as Eddie sees the belt. Eddie swings but Brock ducks and gets him up for the F-5, but Eddie counters it into a DDT on the belt! Eddie goes up top- FROG SPLASH! ONE, TWO, THREE! NEW CHAMPION! EDDIE WINS THE TITLE AT 30:05! Eddie runs into the crowd to celebrate!
Winner, and NEW WWE Champion: Eddie Guerrero
Wow. The crowd was so behind Eddie that it was almost unbelievable. This match has to be seen. Some people have disparaged the finish, saying that Eddie shouldn’t have needed the run-in from Goldberg or the use of the belt. However, the whole point of the Eddie Guerrero character is that he would lie, cheat, and steal to win matches, which is what he did here. The Cow Palace exploded when the referee counted three, and Eddie Guerrero’s star was made despite never main-eventing a Pay-Per-View prior to this. 5 for 7.
We get a really touching scene as Eddie hugs his crying mother with the title belt. We close the show with Eddie holding up the belt and Cole saying that he will no longer be known as an addict, but instead, as the WWE Champion.
The 411: While the undercard seemed to be thrown together, this was an entertaining show for the most part. Putting the belt on Eddie Guerrero almost seemed like a pipe-dream in the build to the event, but they made the right choice by pulling the trigger. The show is pretty lukewarm until the Mysterio/Chavo match, which is when it kicks into high gear. This one definitely warrants a recommendation.
|Final Score: 8.0 [ Very Good ] legend|