And one of the few really good brand split shows.

Judgment Day 2005
Date: May 22, 2005
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 9,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

I’m still trying to finish this seemingly unending series. We’re in 2005 now and Cena and Batista have taken over the company. The main event of this Smackdown PPV is Cena vs. JBL in an I Quit match which is good if I remember right. Also headlining this classic we have Orlando Jordan vs. Heidenreich and Carlito vs. Big Show. Uh….let’s get to it.

The opening video is about Eddie vs. Rey and Angle vs. Booker. The stories for these are awesome. Oh and JBL vs. Cena. The video is more about saying I Quit rather than Judgment or anything like that. Nice for a change of pace.

Smackdown Tag Team Titles: MNM vs. Hardcore Holly/Charlie Haas

MNM have the belts here of course. Melina runs her mouth and yet says nothing at all. Amazing how so many of the Divas do that. Why in the world are Holly and Haas teaming together? Oh that’s right: the tag division was atrocious at this point. As in worse than it is today. Nitro (Morrison) vs. Haas to start us off. Key lock by Nitro and Haas is like “boy are you trying to wrestle me” and sends him to the floor.

Arm work by Haas including a HARD arm drag. Off to Holly vs. Mercury now. Oh dear this is going to be bad. Holly gets his one move, the dropkick, for two. Allegedly low blow pops the crowd a bit but Mercury gets a hard chop to take over. Scratch the taking over part as they’re going to chop it out a bit. Alabama Slam is set up but Haas distracts the referee for some reason, allowing Nitro to kick Holly and shift momentum.

Nitro hammers away on Holly and I wonder how Holly feels that his student is 10x the star that Holly ever was. Mercury back in and this is more or less shouting WE SHOULD BE ON SMACKDOWN! Chinlock goes on to waste some time. Holly manages to get a full nelson slam and…..and….my goodness it’s a HOLLY chant! Jesse Ventura must have poisoned this crowd and taken over their heads. That has to be on the next season of Conspiracy Theory.

Haas comes in and clears house, sending both guys to the floor and hitting a big dive to take both of them out. Melina tries to trip up Haas but she gets sent to the floor. Haas cleans house but can’t get an exploder suplex. Haas has the pin but the referee is distracted. Holly apparently stepped out for doughnuts or something as MNM hits the Snapshot (flapjack/DDT combo) for the pin to retain.

Rating: B-. Considering who was in there, this was a miracle. The crowd was INTO this, despite it being more or less an extended TV match. Haas and Holly would of course never team again but hey I can let that slide. At one point Tatanka and Matt Hardy were a team. Are you starting to see how bad this division was? Anyway, shockingly good match here and a hot crowd on top of that.

We recap Big Show vs. Carlito. Carlito wanted Show to be his bodyguard and Show got all ticked off. Show grabbed him by the throat and ate part of the apple to spit at him. The apple was spiked though, making Show sick. Carlito hired Matt Morgan instead to be the new bodyguard. Morgan beat up Show the previous week on Smackdown, setting up this. Oh and Morgan stutters for no apparent reason.

Big Show vs. Carlito

After a quick Carlito promo running down Minnesota we’re ready to go. Carlito runs a lot until Show finally gets his hands on him. Show chops away as Cole says that’s like hitting yourself in the chest with a frying pan. One, why would you know what that feels like? Two, why would you hit yourself with a frying pan? Three, wouldn’t it be like someone hitting you with a frying pan? Four, why am I paying attention to Michael Cole?

Anyway, Show dominates because Carlito has nothing to fight him with. Morgan interferes and gets in some offense on the floor but Show kicks out of the covers from Carlito with ease. Cole says Show’s head is like a typewriter. How in the world does his head remind you of a typewriter? Show keeps hammering away but accidently elbows the referee. Low blow puts Show down and Morgan pops in for a big boot and an F5 (bad execution, awesome setup) for Carlito to get the pin.

Rating: D. This probably should have been on Smackdown to set up Morgan vs. Show which is a more interesting match. No one was really interested in Show vs. Carlito as Carlito had no real threat to Show at all as you saw here. Pretty boring match but Morgan looked very impressive.

One Night Stand is coming. That was an awesome show.

We recap Booker T vs. Angle for their match later in the show. Angle was on a roll and was in a fatal fourway elimination match for the #1 contender spot at the title. He eliminated Booker so Booker came back and eliminated him via a chair shot. Angle said he wanted Booker at Judgment Day and the match was made. Then Angle called Sharmell a gutter slut and put her in the ankle lock.

Then Angle said he wanted to have bestiality (I hope he meant beastly), perverted sex with Sharmell. One night Booker went to fight Angle and got beaten down. Angle ran to the back and locked himself in Sharmell’s room where screams were heard. Angle said she enjoyed it and after the match he’s going to dominate her.

In the back live, someone sends Sharmell slutty lingerie.

Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero vs. Paul London

London is champion. This has the usual Cruiserweight Title history for this time: Chavo beat him twice and now gets a title shot. Cole says Chavo lost the Cruiserweight Title in a battle royal where Chavo won. Then he says that Chavo gets a knee to the knee. He means knee to the back but this whole anatomy thing isn’t his strong suit. Chavo works on the arm, and by that I mean the arm.

London gets a rana to take Chavo down for two. That’s about all of his offense though as Chavo takes over immediately thereafter. Mule kick and a dropsault out of nowhere by London and he tries the 450 but gets caught in the ribs by some backs. Uh make that knees. Belly to back gets two for Chavo and he keeps hammering on the ribs. Yes Virginia, there is psychology.

Dropkick to the ribs gets two. See, this is what I love in a wrestling match. It’s logical for Chavo to go after the bad ribs as Paul’s are hurt after that missed splash. It makes perfect sense to go after them and it’s working very well. Abdominal stretch goes on but London rolls out with a pinning combination for two. London manages a spinwheel kick for two and an enziguri for the same.

Chavo can’t get the Gory Bomb so London kicks his head off with a spinwheel kick. London goes up so Chavo heads to the floor. Big flipping dive mostly misses and London crashes to the floor. That can’t help those ribs. There was a thud when he landed too. Chavo rolls back in and hits a suicide dive to take London down again. Back in and Chavo tries a Gory Bomb from the top. Obviously this doesn’t work so London backdrops him off the ropes and the 450 ends this clean.

Rating: B. Good match here which is what Cruiserweights were capable of. London never was out of it enough that the way he won was ridiculous. This was a well done match with both guys knowing exactly how to get things going here. I liked this a lot more than I expected to which is a nice surprise.

Booker is looking for Kurt and finds Funaki. Booker is so scary that he scares the accent out of him. Kidman hasn’t seen Kurt either. A bunch of guys haven’t seen him.

Due to the laws of dramatic irony, Kurt pops up behind Sharmell in her dressing room and throws her on a couch and covers her mouth, saying he can find her anywhere. Is she like Waldo or something? Gee, do you think it was a bad idea for Booker to leave his wife alone when a crazy would-be rapist is on the loose?

Kurt Angle vs. Booker T

Cole says he’s usually impartial but he hopes Booker wins here. That’s very funny considering the way Cole is now. Booker hits the ring and drills Angle as you would expect. Kurt tries a front facelock but Booker rams shoulders into the ribs. Angle finally takes over and hammers away on Booker. Not much of a beatdown given how mad Booker was.

Off to the chinlock already which is rather early here. Ah good they’re already out of it. Booker stomps away in the corner as this is working for the most part. Seated dropkick puts Kurt down and he’s bleeding from the mouth. Angle tries the ankle but can’t get it on yet. Booker drapes him over the rope and hits the axe kick to send them to the floor and Kurt is reeling. The fans chant what sounds like Obi-Wan for some reason.

Kurt manage to send Booker into the post and we go back to him in control. Back in the ring now as Angle gets some knee lifts. Suplex gets two and Kurt locks in a side choke. Booker escapes the hold but misses a side kick so Kurt can get another suplex. Good stuff so far here so I apologize for the lack of jokes. The American hero fires off some European uppercuts. Kurt sold out!!!

More mat work by Angle as he tends to do a lot of. The idea of Booker going on pure adrenaline at first and Kurt getting through that and letting Booker make a mistake is a nice story for the match. Booker fights up and gets a spin kick, making Kurt hold his face. Comeback commences with Booker using his odd set of offense. Angle Slam doesn’t work but the Book End gets two.

Spinarooni by Booker but this is the SERIOUS Spinarooni I guess. Booker tries the axe kick but Kurt gets a clothesline and some Germans. Belly to belly gets two. Kurt tries the Angle Slam but Booker rolls through into a kind of small package for the pin. The reactions from Cole, Booker and Angle makes me think that really wasn’t the planned finish but at least Booker won.

Rating: B. Good stuff here but the ending hurts it a bit. The story being told in there was a solid one and the whole thing worked rather well. I’d have liked the actual ending but things happen at times and at least the ending, Booker winning by pin, happened one way or another. Good match again here, which is a running theme tonight.

Sharmell comes out and Kurt jumps Booker. Kurt pulls out handcuffs for Sharmell and of course gets handcuffed himself. Big beatdown follows with Kurt stuck to the rope. Sharmell goes off on him too, which you know he liked.

After a Mania 21 DVD commercial the referees are getting Kurt unlocked. That would be hilarious to have him there for the rest of the night. Make every match a triple threat.

Roberto Duran is here.

Taz has keys to victory in the I Quit match. Hokey smoke.

US Title: Orlando Jordan vs. Heidenreich

Jordan got the US Title in JBL’s Cabinet from Cena and just kind of kept it. He was never anything special at all but he kept it for like 6 months. For those of you that haven’t seen Heidenreich, he’s uh…..different. And remember who he’s in there against when I say that. First up though, he needs to find a friend.

This was his thing at the time: he would pick a kid out of the audience to be his friend and would read them a poem. He chants WHERE’S MY FRIEND as he looks around for one. The girl is named Alex and she’s like 10. She can’t say the word Minneapolis. She’s REALLY excited about being sat in a chair and having a big tattooed man read her a poem. Think she’s in porn yet? Also, chant and champ do not rhyme. This is one of those characters we would describe as out there.

Oh hey we have a match now. Cole talks about the Preakness winner being named Alex like the girl. That’s a very stupid man. Heidenreich beat Jordan on Smackdown to set this up. Belly to belly suplex gets two for Heidenreich. Out to the floor and they slug it out a bit. When Heidenreich hits him you can hear him say POW. I’m not sure if I should make fun of this or not. He might ask me to go get an espresso.

The fans chant Buckwheat Sucks which is rather appropriate for Jordan. You figure out what I mean by that. Heidenreich does his walk (don’t ask) and hammers away. Big boot gets two. Jordan gets a swinging neckbreaker for two as Alex is panicking. Jordan gets his WEAK DDT to end this abruptly.

Rating: D-. No idea why they thought Jordan should be champion but somehow he’s the best option here. Jordan was really bad at what he did and yet he kept winning for no apparent reason. Benoit beat him in like 30 seconds at Summerslam which was a breath of fresh air to everyone.

The kid helps Heidenreich up and they march around the ring.

Josh, in some really stupid looking glasses, talks to JBL who makes fun of Josh and says that Cena is a nobody. He’s calling his shot here, saying he’ll make Cena bleed. JBL has the original (as in the Undisputed belt, not the spinner) belt despite not being champion here. He rants about Jesse Ventura for some reason and says Cena will quit.

We recap Eddie vs. Rey. They were tag champions and best friends but then Chavo started meddling. He implied that Eddie was keeping Rey close because he saw Rey as a threat. MNM beat down Rey and Eddie wasn’t there, claiming car trouble. Eddie beat JBL down during a match with Rey and cost Rey a world title shot. Eddie apologized but then in a tag match, Eddie wouldn’t tag in and turned on Rey. He stole the mask later and suplexed him on the steps before threatening Rey’s family.

Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero

Scary to think that Eddie wouldn’t be around in about six months. The stare each other down and slap it out. Total war to start which is helped a lot by Eddie being all evil and aggressive rather than a coward. Out to the floor and Rey goes into the steps. A post shot has Mysterio in big trouble. We add something like a spinebuster onto the table for good measure. The ribs of Rey are taped coming in so the target is obvious.

There’s a second spinebuster as Eddie smiles evily. Naturally he’s cheered because fans will cheer for any heel that isn’t treated like a joke. Now they think Eddie sucks. Fickle fans here. More rib work via a BIG belly to back gets two. Off to the abdominal stretch which Rey gets out of after a few seconds. He tries to speed things up but Eddie gets a hot shot minus the top rope. That looked good and it only gets two.

Modified half crab by Eddie as he keeps mixing up his offense on the ribs and back. Enziguri out of nowhere gets Eddie down but I think he’s playing possum. And apparently I know nothing about the imitation of rodents. Rey speeds things up and gets a top rope headbutt for two. Eddie fights back with ease and throws on a genuine Liontamer. Cole of course says that Eddie used to call it the Lasso. First of all it was the Lasso from El Paso and second of all that was a different hold.

Off to a regular Boston Crab and then off to an STF. A rope is finally grabbed but Eddie HAS TILL FIVE! Eddie sends him to the floor and sets up the steps for another suplex. Rey fights out of it and gets a 619 around the post to kick Eddie in the back of the head. Back in and they slug it out. Yes, Rey is slugging it out. Eddie does his dance to a lot of booing and drills Rey who responds with……A BIG BOOT???

Ok, wait a second. If this is the case, why in the world would big men be inclined to use big boots? Rey is short, has a normal sized foot, and IS FREAKING SHORT!!! Why in the world would he use a big boot when he’s that small? The whole point is having either the size of the boot (hence the term BIG boot) or the height being close to the person’s face. This is what I mean by moves that make NO FREAKING SENSE. Or maybe I just overthink this stuff. Anyway moving on.

Solid spinwheel kick by Rey sets up a seated senton for two. A running charge hits the post though and the momentum shifts back to Eddie. Superplex gets a series of two counts which still don’t add up to more than three. Only in wrestling does that make sense. Eddie works on the back some more as he’s more and more frustrated. Rey counters him into the 619 position but here’s Chavo. Eddie grabs a chair but Rey nails him and puts Chavo on the floor. 619 hits but on an attempt at West Coast Pop Eddie blasts him with the chair for the DQ.

Rating: B+. Now this was a fun match. They figured out what they were doing in there with the whole Eddie can’t beat Rey which is the running story between these two and the point of Eddie’s heel turn. The chair shot let them keep this going because if Rey wins by pin there’s little point to keep it going without it being forced. Very good match too with these two working incredibly well together as always.

Eddie beats him down with the chair and leaves him laying. Great beatdown.

We recap Cena vs. JBL. This is the Mania rematch after Cena ended the very long JBL reign in a glorified throwaway match at Mania. This is Cena’s second major title defense, the first being in a cage vs. JBL. We get a clip of Cena’s time as champion set to his song Bad Bad Man and how he’s been in some mainstream stuff. Also we get to see him with the old world title belt before the spinner one and good grief it looks better.

Enter JBL who says that Cena is a bad champion and he doesn’t know how to carry the title. JBL wants the belt back because he needs to be champion. Cena makes it I Quit because it’ll be about surrendering your soul to someone else. Both guys talk about how they’ve never quit and about this being a culture war which is rather interesting and could have been explored a lot further. I’d like to see more of that.

Smackdown World Title: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. John Cena

This is I Quit. Cena comes out on the back of a flatbed truck and with a DJ playing his theme song with turntables. Cena walks on top of JBL’s limo to tick Bradshaw off even more. Loud Cena chant to start us off which you rarely hear anymore. JBL makes the referee hold up both belts and now we’re ready to go.

We start with some technical stuff but there’s a ton of time to go so this is going to have time to get brutal. Arm drag by Cena and he works on the arm. JBL hits the floor which is enough to give him the advantage. Back in some clubbing forearms and a DDT put Cena down. JBL covers for no count because there are no pins in this. Cena fights back and gets a clothesline to send him to the floor.

Out to the floor and Cena rams his head into the steps. JBL manages to send him into the railing and we go out into the crowd. DDT on the floor and Cena is down. I keep thinking this is last man standing for some reason. Back into the ringside area and JBL sets up the announce table. Cena fights back so JBL returns the favor and sends him into the steps.

Bradshaw steals the belt, as in what you hold your pants up with and not the championship version, from the timekeeper. Cena is choked around the post by the belt, which I think is exactly what would happen in the match at Breaking Point with Orton. Bradshaw takes him onto the table and yells at him to quit. The powerbomb doesn’t work as Cena backdrops him through the other table.

Monitor to the head of JBL has him in trouble. It’s so weird to hear Cena cheered this loudly and universally. And then the fans are silenced by a huge chair to the head. Steps to the side of the head and Cena needs to be asked already. Brutal stuff so far. OH MAN Cena is busted wide open. JBL has a mic and they head back into the ring. Three extra special super finisher clotheslines from JBL and Cena is reeling.

Cena still won’t quit so JBL grabs Cena’s chain. The champ tries to fight up but a low blow puts him down again. Bradshaw asks him some more but the champ fights back and stands up with the blood dripping down his face. Five Knuckle Shuffle to JBL is followed by the FU. Bradshaw gets up and tries to leave. They head towards the limo and Cena gets a Protoplex onto the hood.

They both head on top of the car and JBL gets a weak swinging neckbreaker on the hood also. They head over to the production area but Cena won’t give up. He manages to send JBL into a TV head first. I have never seen Cena bleed like this in his career. Now JBL goes into the window of the limo. To the top of the car and Cena gets a suplex before ramming him into the door of the car.

Now he breaks the door of the car off and lifts it over his head. JBL is just trying to run now. They head over to the flatbed truck and Bradshaw gets rammed into an air canister or something like that. DDT on the truck by JBL out of nowhere but he still won’t quit. They go over to a speaker and JBL tries to choke him again. Cena finds a microphone somewhere and drills JBL in the head with it to save himself and put JBL through a table.

The champ goes over to the flatbed and rips the smokestack off and comes at JBL with it with a look that scares me to death in his eyes. JBL sees him coming and gives up out of fear. Cena hits him with it anyway, which I would have gone with as the ending but the other one worked too. Cena poses in the ring with the title to end the show, still covered in blood.

Rating: A. THIS is what you call a star making performance. This was an absolute war with Cena standing there covered in blood for the majority of the match and having it cover his upper body. He looked like a warrior out there that wouldn’t give in no matter what. The look of fear on JBL’s face was excellent as well and Cena was absolutely terrifying at the end of the match coming at JBL with that big pipe. If you want to see Cena go nuts and have his version of the street fight at the 2000 Rumble, find this match. Find it anyway as it’s pretty easily JBL’s best ever and probably in Cena’s top 10 if not higher.

Overall Rating: B+. This was a very solid show and pretty easily the best in the series other than the year 2000 which was awesome. There’s a must see match on here and a few other quite good ones. The bad stuff here is really short with the longest bad match being maybe five minutes long. When you have a lot of in ring stuff, good matches for the most part and a great main event, that’s all you can ask for out of a B level PPV. I really liked this and it’s worth checking out, which is the first time in six years for this show.

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