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WWE SmackDown! for 05/22/2003
(Taped 05/20/2003 in Greensboro NC at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex)

Results: Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri def. Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas by DQ, John Cena def. Spanky via pinfall, Chris Benoit def. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy via submission (non-title), Rey Mysterio def. Shannon Moore by pinfall and def. Crash by pinfall, Brock Lesnar and Johnny Stamboli wrestle to a DQ, Sean O'Haire def. Mr. America (!!) via count-out.

Memorable: The finish in the (very good) Eddie & Tajiri vs. Team Angle match. They finally arrested one of those stupid barricade-jumpers.

The Good: With the exception of the (cough) "main event," this was another night of good wrestling, when there was wrestling. Eddie & Tajiri vs. Team Angle delivered huge. Rey's intensity seems to have come to the forefront. Heck, there's even going to be a Rey Mysterio *video!* Mr. America has his most entertaining match yet...

The Bad: ... but Mr. America is still the top angle, and the crowd seems to be tiring when he's before them. Thank goodness the people making the new intro video only put Mr. America in for a split-second - you can credit them for having foresight! The new SmackDown! (or is it SmackDown - they can't seem to decide) graphics aren't too bad, but the new opening song lacks 'oomph.' You can't sing along to it while you're walking home from the bus stop like you could with "Beautiful People." It's like having The Moffats singing "O Canada" instead of Lyndon Slewidge. Too bad Marilyn Manson is passé.

The Ugly (besides Sable): Tazz getting mad and NOT putting his antagonist in the Tazzmission. It's also okay to jump in the ring to defend Mr. America - you could become a WWE wrestler!


SmackDown / SmackDown! (Is there an exclamation point or not? If there's not, I'll be happy - then Word won't keep picking out sentence fragments where there aren't any) comes to air with 'highlights' from the Piper vs. Mr. America encounter at Judgement Day where nothing was resolved, meaning we have to suffer through TWO MORE MONTHS of this to lead up to yet another Mr. America match at Vengeance. (I once liked the Mr. America story, but I feel like it's run its course - I mean, how much can you really do with Hogan?) Once again the least interesting angle gets top billing on SmackDown! but at least O'Haire and Gowen are involved in it. Vince "I Like Owning A Wrestling Federation Because It Means I Get To Be On TV Whenever I Want" McMahon arrives in a limo. Some fatboy techs say "Hi," to him, but he ignores them. He walks past Team Angle, then demands a mic from the production monkeys. He walk out on stage and announces, "I'm in a foul mood tonight... I'm not going to take any crap! ... I haven't been happy since all these mistakes have been made on SmackDown!" (yeah, like Paul Heyman being out of the booking team) He blames the Mr. America signing on Stephanie. "Everyone knows that Mr. America is Hulk Hogan..." but they haven't been able to prove it yet. Yeah, we know this. "I was personally embarrassed when some handicapped kid in a Mr. America t-shirt physically assaulted me." The mistakes are going to change - he says that although his daughter is still GM, as far as tonight is concerned, he's taking over. "You're going to see my fingerprints all over this show!" (You just want to cry, don't you?) Vince says that although he's not happy now, we'll see a smile on his face at the end of the show.

Cue a NEW SMACKDOWN! VIDEO! Should we say, 'Wow!' or 'Huh?' The music seems a little low-key. It's good music, but not the kind you can sing along to, which I feel is essential. There are new graphics, too, which aren't too bad - I found them easier to get used to than the new RAW graphics.

People in the new video, in order of appearance:

Brock Lesnar
Kurt Angle
Eddie Guerrero
The Undertaker
Torrie Wilson
(Brock and Kurt again)
Chris Benoit
(Brock again)
The Rock
(Edge again)
The Big Show
(Chris and Taker and Show again)
John Cena
(Torrie again)
Sean O'Haire
(Show again)
Rey Mysterio
(Cena and Taker again)
Charlie Haas
Mr. America
Shelton Benjamin
Chavo Guerrero
(Eddie again)
Jamie Noble
Johnny Stamboli, Nunzio, and Chuck Palumbo
(Torrie and Brock again)
Stephanie McMahon
(Brock again)
Nathan Jones
(Cena again)
Matt Hardy
(Kurt again)

Team Angle comes out to fight for the tag titles. This should be good. The ladder match at Judgement Day was good - sure, there were some sloppy spots and some bits that didn't make sense, but those things didn't really matter. I also felt that Tajiri was an inspired choice for Chavo's replacement - possibly a better choice than Benoit (who ought to be in singles more often). Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri come out - they should really make a video and give them a name, I mean both shows have temporary tag teams as champs! *Good* temporary tag teams, but temporary nonetheless. Eddie is now wearing grey tights.

Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri vs. Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas: Tajiri and Shelton start off. They hook up for some mat wrestling. There are a lot of near falls in the early moments. Tazz and Cole tell us that Kurt Angle's coming back in two weeks, in Anaheim. (Wow, they could have the Stanley Cup by then, and they're getting SmackDown! to boot!) (Oh! You know what's going to happen? Team Angle will try to have the tag titles back before he gets back, but they'll fail, so they'll steal the belts from Eddie and Tajiri and successfully convince Kurt that they're the champs. Actually, WWE can think of something better.) Haas tags in and controls Tajiri. Tajiri gets Haas coming out from the corner with a good high hip toss. Then there's this really weird squealing noise. Tajiri gets off a knee to the side of Haas' head. Cover and Haas kicks out. Haas grabs hold of Tajiri and takes him to the corner to tag in Shelton. They double-team Tajiri up for a suplex, but Eddie, now standing behind them, guides Tajiri down onto his feet. Team Angle turns around for dual drop kicks to the face, and they end up on the outside where they take a few seconds to recover. Shelton gets back in the ring to face Tajiri. Tajiri turns around and tags in Eddie. Team Angle switch as well. Eddie and Haas hook up in the middle. There's some generic fighting, then Eddie takes Haas for a slick arm drag off the second rope. Eddie knocks Haas off his feet again and covers but barely gets a one-count. Eddie tosses Haas with the leg scissors. Eddie takes Haas to the corner and tags in Tajiri. Tajiri kicks Haas in the back of the head twice. There's some good generic fighting, with chops from Tajiri and a mild shoulder to the gut from Haas. Haas puts Tajiri in the air for a suplex but Tajiri lands on his feet. Haas turns around and gets a flying boot to the side of his face. Tajiri takes the opportunity to tag in Eddie. Haas crawls to his corner in time to tag in Shelton. Eddie gives Shelton a clothesline, then he gives Haas a clothesline. Eddie slams Shelton, then gives Haas a back suplex. Shelton shuts down Eddie before he can do anything else. They fight, and switch around in the middle tying to get one another into a grip for a suplex. Eddie drops down at the ropes to fling Shelton to the outside. Haas happens to be in the area too, and so Tajiri gets them both with a Somersault Plunge and we go to break.

We come back just in time to see Eddie get off a high-flying drop-kick to the side of Shelton's face, then two vertical suplexes. He's about to try for three, but Shelton manoeuvres them into the corner and tags in Haas, who climbs the ropes and leaps over the both of them to land on his back, and he tries to roll up Eddie. This doesn't work, but Shelton goes up and gets off the Sunset Flip. Haas has Eddie down for the count, but Tajiri makes the save with a flying drop-kick to Haas' face. Haas and Eddie roll around, Haas gets off a neckbreaker and goes for the pin, but Eddie kicks out. Shelton tags in, and puts Eddie in a head vice. Crowd goes "Eddie! Eddie!" Eddie fights back. Shelton takes Eddie with a duck-under drop throw. Cover, and Eddie kicks out. Shelton tags in Haas. Haas gives Eddie some shots, focusing on Eddie's back. Eddie fights back and makes a desperate lunge for Tajiri, but Haas shoves him sideways into the ropes before he can reach his partner. Haas has Eddie in a front headlock. He takes Eddie up as if for a vertical suplex but places him on the top rope. Haas climbs up for the superplex, but Eddie fends him off with his fists. He knocks Haas back down, then he knocks Shelton down (who tries to interfere), then he does it again. Haas finally makes it upstairs, but Eddie shoves him back down. Eddie does the Frog Splash, but finds Haas' knees. Haas covers, but Eddie kicks out. Haas gives Eddie a backbreaker, then puts him in the Haas of Pain. Benjamin runs in and fends off Tajiri from breaking up the submission manoeuvre. Shelton tosses Tajiri outside, but when he steps out as well, Tajiri runs back in and saves Eddie with a kick to Haas' head. Tajiri and Shelton get back to their corners, and Haas tags in Shelton. Shelton puts Eddie in an abdominal stretch. Crowd goes nuts for Eddie. Tajiri tries to interrupt, but the ref stops him, and while the ref is paying attention to Tajiri, Haas comes in to switch places with Shelton and resumes the hold where Shelton left off. The ref turns around again and looks a little confused. He seems to assume they made a tag, and the match keeps going. Eddie slips out of the hold and gives Haas a low toss. Eddie charges for his corner, but Haas lifts him up and gives Eddie a big double-leg takedown. Cover, and Eddie barely kicks out. Haas takes Eddie back to the corner and tags in Shelton. They pick him up for the spot where Haas holds Eddie horizontally on the top rope and Shelton leapfrogs over Haas and brings down Eddie who is suspended between Haas and said top rope (this spot needs a name). Shelton gives Eddie a suplex and forms a Bridge, but Tajiri stops the count again with a swift kick to Shelton. Eddie tries to make it to his corner, but Shelton has him by the ankle. He yanks himself and Eddie back to his corner, where he pounds on him for a bit. Eddie starts to fight back, and he gets fired up a bit. He climbs to the top rope, holding Shelton's right arm. He gets off a *simultaneous* arm drag (Shelton) and leg scissors (Haas). Talk about a slick spot! Haas rolls out of the ring and Shelton is down. Eddie *finally* tags in Tajiri, who gives Haas a well-deserved Handspring kick off the apron, and Shelton a few kicks to the head and back. Tajiri takes Shelton apart, then gives him a Handspring elbow. Tajiri takes some more shots at Shelton, then he climbs to the second rope and plants Shelton with a Tornado DDT. He hooks the leg, but Haas stops a three-count. Eddie climbs in and Haas hip tosses Eddie over the top rope, but Eddie takes Haas out with him. Tajiri prepares for one of his trademark kicks, as Shelton has that glazed look in his eyes. However, Shelton ducks the kick and head-butts Tajiri in the gut. Tajiri climbs the ropes in the corner to get out of the way of another head-butt, and Tajiri puts Shelton in the Tarantula. Haas punches Tajiri in the back of the head to break it up. Eddie attacks Haas on the outside. In the ring, Shelton goes for a kick to Tajiri, but Tajiri grabs his leg. The second attempt by Shelton (a Dragon Whip) works. Tajiri is down. On the outside, Eddie picks up a chair and heads into the ring as the ref is performing the count. Eddie hits the ref in the back with the steel chair, then he throws the chair to Haas and scrambles to the other side of the ring. Haas has the chair as the ref gets up and accuses him of striking him with it. Haas points at Eddie, but Eddie's pointing at Haas. DQ! The winners as a result of a disqualification and still Tag Team Champions - Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri! Good match! A long sucker, it clocks in at about 14:54. Haas is funny to watch boil over. This match didn't have the stunts that the Judgement Day match did, but it made up for that with psychology.

We get a replay of the first Zach Gowen encounter. Stephanie asks her dad if he's okay. She appreciates that he's the boss, but she thinks he's obsessed and out of control concerning Mr. America. Vince says that he's obsessed with MISTAKES. He says that he's in control now, but before this night is over, he'll be out of control. We go to break.

We come back with an advertisement for Brock Lesnar vs. one of the FBI (it's not yet determined which one). Vince comes out and says that he was disappointed with Judgement Day (join the club - it was an almost okay show, but a lot of people expected (or just wanted) more), which was supposed to be a day of judgement and execution for Mr. America. Rowdy Roddy Piper was supposed to beat him up and Vince was supposed to reach out and pull off his mask and show us what we all already know (then what's the point of showing us??). Vince is disappointed. He turns a popular phrase to say that the Piper is going to pay him. He introduces Piper for the purpose of publicly apologizing to him. Piper and O'Haire come out hesitantly and ashamedly and slowly, so they only came out a little faster than Kevin Nash. Piper and O'Haire tentatively get in the ring. Tazz, concerning Vince: "He's a hothead - I love him, I think he's a tremendous man." Vince demands the apology. Piper: "As difficult as this is for a man like me, I apologize." Vince smiles, then slaps him in the cheek. Vince: "Whoa whoa whoa! Wait a minute - that's the look I wanted to see!" After 20 years of hatred Piper wanted to beat Mr. America as badly as Vince did, but all Vince gets is a snivelling apology. "You SOB!" and Vince goes for another slap, but Piper stops him and says, "I cannot argue with a word you said, but you touch me again and I'll rip your throat out!" Vince: "Is that right? ... If that's the way you want it..." O'Haire gets between them before any damage done. O'Haire: "Nobody is going to gain anything from doing this. ... If anyone's to blame, it's me... I dropped the ball, I cost Hot Rod the match, but I know you want revenge (points to Vince) and I know that you want revenge (points to Piper) and I know damn well I want revenge, so what I propose is that I face Mr. America right here, tonight, in this ring!" Piper: "Yes! Vincent, this man is 280 pounds of twisted steel, afraid of nothing! ... He will not only rip the mask off, he will expose Hogan for the fraud he really is!" Vince: "The fraud. You've just given me an idea, Hot Rod." Vince says that the match is on, but if O'Haire does not defeat Mr. America, "read my lips, Roddy Piper... you're fired!" (I hope they don't treat Jericho's character this frivolously.) Vince leaves and we go to break. Yawn.

The ad for the SmackDown! taping at the Air Canada Centre still uses the old music and marquees. Oh well, it's Canada. We come back with a new Kurt Angle video, this one with Kurt doing a voice-over. Cena comes out in a Cardinals ball cap and jersey. Sign: "I majored in basic thugenomics."

Tonight's Cena rap: "Hey yo, Spanky. Dude, you're just a copycat of me. I've been watchin' your progression. Kid's got an obsession with tryin' to steal my ruthless aggression. In his first match against Kurt Angle, he took him to the limit. The next minute, he's rocking (verlores?) claiming that that's his gimmick? Dude, he's exactly like me. Oh, no, no, no, I'm ten times bigger. You wanna beat me so bad, dude, just swallow my action figure. But you'll never be untouchable; I don't care how hard you try to. Dude, I serve you quicker than a Burger King drive-thru. And with a name like Spanky, dude, he never gets a date. He's always arguing in groups because all he does is mass debate. So, I'm past you, you little rascal - you and your kiddie tricks. You wanna spank somethin'? Dude, go home, spank on your-" Actually that was kind of tired by Cena's standards. Spanky comes out very quickly - if Nash were a single-speed CD-ROM, Spanky would be a 32x.

Spanky (it's not that I like the name, it's just that it's easier to type than "Kendrick") vs. John Cena: We start out with some fast generic fighting. Spanky gets off a boot to Cena's face as Cena approaches him in a corner. Spanky gets off another good kick and some more offence. Cole mentions that Spanky still has a black eye and a slight concussion from the "if you blinked, you missed it" match at Judgement Day. Cena throws Spanky away from him twice. Cena gets off a big clothesline, and then some chops. Cena takes Spanky for a snap suplex and goes for the pin, but Spanky kicks out. Cena trash-talks, then kicks Spanky around a bit. He puts Spanky face-first into the bottom turnbuckle. He plants Spanky in the middle again and goes for the pin, but Spanky kicks out. He takes Spanky up, up, up for a vertical suplex which he fiiiinaly executes, but Spanky kicks out of the ensuing cover. Cena trash-talks some more. Spanky comes back with some rights and a swift kick. Spanky goes for the pin, but Cena kicks out. Spanky mounts more offence, but Cena gets off a shoulder knock-down to turn him horizontal. Cena takes Spanky into a Fireman's Carry and takes Spanky for a 'lite' F-U. That's it. Cena dominated this match through most of the 3:20.

They talk about the stretcher match at Judgement Day and show some stills. Why not just show video - they do in the "smack/burn/boot/slam of the night/week" promotional bits. We see Stamboli and Palumbo looking at themselves in the WWE magazine. Nunzio is exercising with cables. Stamboli asks Nunzio to check out how good he looks, but Nunzio says they need to think about their match with Lesnar tonight. He reminisces about the stretcher match and says that he's sure Lesnar won't be at 100%. Who should fight Lesnar? Palumbo: "Don't forget; one punch, I knock him out - I've got the best right hand in the business." Stamboli: "What about me? I'm strong as a bull. I'm gonna knock that people's eyebrow right off his freaking head." Palumbo: "We're wrestling Brock, not Rock!" (I'm surprised the WWE waited this long to allude to the similar-sounding names on television!) Stamboli says that it doesn't matter, he's going to put a dent in his head. Nunzio says that Brock's never faced someone like him, and adds that if you mess with one FBI member, you mess with all three of them. They confidently leave. We go to break, where they advertise a new Rey Mysterio video, "Rey Mysterio: 619." That's cool!

We come back and Tazz and Cole put over the arena. Rey Mysterio pops up. Sign: "Wine me, dine me, 619 me." Rey does some pass-by hand slaps with the ringside audience and sits at the announce table. He's here to scout Matt Hardy, the Cruiserweight Champion. Matt Hardy and his followers come out. Today's Matt Facts: "Matt likes his steak medium well." "Matt has more teeth than Benoit." Rey mentions how the other two guys do all the dirty work. Benoit out.

Matt Hardy vs. Chris Benoit: Matt stalls a bit, when he and Benoit finally extend their reach to each other, Matt slaps Benoit's wrist with his free hand then screams like a girl. Matt posed for a bit. They finally hook up, and Chris puts him in a primordial arm bar hold, but Matt makes it to the ropes. He give Matt a chokehold for a few counts, then drags him back to the middle by his left ankle. Matt spins his way out of Benoit's grasp, but Benoit flips him over again. Matt crawls to the ropes and pretends to nurse his left shoulder. The ref doesn't have any sympathy for him, and motions him to get back to the match. Matt and Chris hook up again, and Chris sweeps him down and goes to work on Matt's left arm. They both flip around a bit, but Chris manages to keep the hold. It becomes a Hammerlock, which Matt elbows his way out of. Matt does some trash talking and approaches Benoit, but then Benoit comes back with some severe chops, and then a German Suplex. While he's going for the second one, Shannon reaches in and grabs his leg, and Matt gives Benoit the low blow. Matt gets up and goes for the pin, but Benoit kicks out. Matt gives him a slam, but Benoit kicks out again. Matt applies a head vice. Benoit struggles to his feet and punches his way out of the hold. Benoit goes to the ropes and back, but Matt puts Benoit into a sleeper hold on the ricochet. There's a switch, but Matt gives Benoit a suplex. Matt hooks the leg, but Benoit kicks out. Matt puts some pressure on Benoit's neck at the ropes. Matt jumps onto the back of his neck and then goes for the pin with his feet on the ropes for assistance, but Benoit still kicks out. Matt gives Benoit a neckbreaker, but Benoit gets his shoulder up. Matt applies a front facelock with an arm trap. Benoit makes it to his feet and drives Matt into the corner. Benoit approaches, but Matt gives him the elbow. Matt puts Benoit into position and goes up and down with the leg drop. Benoit just kicks out of the ensuing cover. Matt sets up Benoit for the Twist of Fate, but Benoit counters. A double shoulder block puts both men down for an eight-count. They exchange rights when they get up. Benoit gives Matt a snap suplex, then a running back elbow. He gives Matt a backbreaker and goes for the pin, but Matt kicks out. Matt fends off a German Suplex but Benoit gives him the double leg and slingshots him into the corner. Benoit gives Matt a back suplex. Benoit hits a flying head-butt with lots of distance. Rey gets up from his seat and knocks Shannon off the apron, then he 619s Crash at the corner. Matt goes for the Twist of Fate but ends up in the Crossface and taps.

Matt: "Is that funny? Well, I'll tell you what - it'll be funny when you get your ass beat tonight. ... You can have a title shot anytime you want, if you beat my m'fers in a match right now." Rey: "I'm not backing out of this, it's my opportunity." We go to break.

Rey Mysterio vs. Crash and Shannon Moore: We come back to the handicap match in progress. Shannon lunges for Mysterio but finds the steel post. Rey gives Crash a good leg scissors, a kick to head, and he goes for the 619, but Shannon grabs his legs on the other side. Rey turns around and gives him a sliding kick, and then ducks a clothesline from Crash. Crash flips Rey out of the ring. Shannon runs Rey into the post before putting him back in the ring. Crash goes for the pin, but Rey grabs the bottom rope. Crash tags in Shannon and they double team slam him, but Rey kicks out of Shannon's cover. Shannon tags Crash in again, and they knee him and bring him up for a double suplex, but Rey brings it back to land on his feet where he started. They take him up again, and Rey hangs in the air but brings them both back with a double DDT. Everyone's down for a seven-count. Rey fends off Crash and Shannon and gives Shannon a leg lariat. Rey and Crash fight it out, and Rey does an aerial stunt or two. Rey gets off a springboard cross-body lateral, and goes for the pin, but Crash kicks out. Crash is down in the corner, and Rey goes for a sliding kick, but he finds Crash's boot and gets hurt in the groin. Shannon comes in with some kicks, but Rey puts him down at the ropes and gets the 619, all the while nursing his groin. Rey gives Shannon a West Coast Pop on the other side and gets the pin, but he still has to defeat Crash. Crash goes for a power bomb, but Rey reverses it and pins him. Rey has earned a shot at the Cruiserweight Championship.

Matt comes out and gets in the ring as Rey exits with the ref, still in pain with the groin. Matt beats up Crash while Shannon joins in with the trash talk, but then Matt beats up Shannon and gives him the Twist of Fate. (Shannon acts like he's in on it but he gets it too. People with siblings probably know that feeling.) Stephanie is going to interview Zach Gowen when we return.

They advertise the Bad Blood PPV with Goldberg running down HHH. They're not explicitly calling this a RAW-only PPV... marketing, I guess.

We come back. I'm kind of yawning in anticipation - I'm kind of tired of the Mr. America angle now. It was funny for the first two weeks, but now it's tired and lame, especially since it can't lead to any good matches. Stephanie: "I'm going to introduce you to one of the most incredible people you will ever meet: Zach Gowen." She apologizes on behalf of SmackDown! for what happened last week. (Huh? He was the one in the wrong by jumping over the barricade, wasn't he?) She asks him about his prosthetic leg. He says that when he was a kid, he had a type of bone cancer on his femur. To prevent it from spreading, they had to amputate. This was in 1991, when he was eight years old. Stephanie asks how his family handled it. He says his mom was there for him, but that he hasn't seen his dad since he was four. He mentions his little brother. Stephanie asks about Make-a-Wish, and Zach says they came to him and offered him a wish because his cancer was of a deadly sort. Zach says that he wanted to meet Hulk Hogan, but he passed on the wish because he knew that he was going to live. Stephanie asks him what's next. Zach says he wants to be a professional wrestler, and someday, if he's lucky, he wants to wrestle for SmackDown! Vince is watching this elsewhere. Well, I've never liked these shoot/work interviews, but I suppose putting truths in with the angles makes the angles easier to swallow. Zach Gowen is an inspirational story that's worth sharing with the world. Unfortunately, they'll now never be able to acknowledge that he worked as an indie, and worse, the message given by this angle is, if you jump in the ring, you could work for WWE!

Mr. America is being photographed backstage. Vince comes up to speak to him. He proposes that Mr. America accept a provision that if he loses against O'Haire tonight, he'll be subjected to a lie detector test next week on SmackDown! (How many people here think Mr. America can pass a worked lie detector test? Thank you.) Mr. America says that, firstly, he's not going to lose, and secondly, "I'm not taking any stinking lie detector test, dude!" Vince says he should accept the stipulations because if he doesn't, he'll make sure Zach Gowen will never work for WWE or anyone else, ever. Mr. America accepts the stips and calls Vince a "son of a (beep)." Vince: "Well, I may be a S.O.B. Hogan, but next week, when you fail, you'll be proven to be a fraud." After next week, there'll be no more Mr. America and no more Hulk Hogan. Yheup.

Brock comes out. It's still not known which member of the FBI he'll face. Anyway, all of the FBI comes out. They show some stuff from last week. The FBI huddle at ringside. Tazz: "Today, guys." They all get in the ring. Will Brock fight all three of them? They triple team Brock, and then the ref boots them all but the Bull, so it'll be the Bull vs. Brock in the non-title matchup.

Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli vs. Brock Lesnar: Brock takes Bull for a piledriving into the corner, and then again into the opposite corner, then for a clothesline. Lesnar picks up the Bull and tosses him backwards. He throws Nunzio in the ring, and then Palumbo drags Lesnar out of the ring by his feet. Palumbo assaults Lesnar (pretty seriously), then puts him back in.  The Bull mounts offence on Brock at his leisure. He covers Lesnar, but Lesnar gets his shoulder up. He puts Lesnar into the steel post, echoing Palumbo. He gives Lesnar a shoulder-breaker (it's like a backbreaker, but the guy comes down vertically on the knee instead of horizontally). He covers twice, and Brock kicks out twice. The Bull starts working on Lesnar's left arm with holds. They roll around a bit. The Bull applies a cross-arm-breaker. Tazz says that it's a mistake for The Bull to try and outwrestle Brock (since only a few people can do that) - he should stick to the power moves and rely on his help on the outside. (You rule, Tazz!) Brock slowly turns the tables on this submission manoeuvre - The Bull has both shoulders down a few times - and lifts him up up up for a biiig slam. Both men are down. Stamboli comes to Brock's corner but only finds the turnbuckle. Back to the opposite corner. Stamboli gives Brock an elbow, but Brock gives him a very long vertical suplex. Brock fends off Palumbo and goes back to the Bull. Brock ducks under a punch from the Bull and goes for the F-5, but Palumbo comes in from behind and knocks both men down for the DQ finish.

The FBI triple teams Brock again; Nunzio holds him from behind by the neck, and Palumbo comes in with the boot for the mini-WHACK! The beating continues. The Bull and Palumbo hold Lesnar while Nunzio slaps him in the face, and then goes out to pick up the steel chair. He's about to WHACK Lesnar, but - uh-oh! here comes Taker! (Uh-oh! that means Jones!) Taker levels Nunzio with a high boot. Taker takes care of the other two. Nunzio gets on Taker's back, but Taker flips him out over the top rope. Taker and Palumbo fight while Brock and Bull fight. Brock tosses out The Bull. Taker kicks Palumbo over the ropes and out. Taker takes up a chair... Heel turn, perhaps? Okay, no. The FBI leaves. Taker picks up the belt and gives it to Brock, and we go to break.

There's an advertisement for Bad Blood featuring Trips and Nash: Hell in a Cell XVII (I don't know how many, but probably too many). This advertisement says "Stone cold presents" in the voice-over, but the graphics of who presents are for RAW and Maxim Haircolor. Non-smarks may be scratching their heads, especially since the SmackDown! people haven't yet let on that they're actually setting up for a July PPV.

They show the clips from what we just saw. Sable comes out, "fresh off a controversial decision." Tazz defends his ruling. Great, Tazz - way to get that Jim Ross 2003 credibility! Sable shows us that she is on the cover of RAW. Well, whoop-de-doo, everyone's been on the cover of RAW. There are four things wrong with this: 1) No one cares. 2) Why isn't there a SmackDown! magazine? 3) You can see her NAKED in two back issues of Playboy, and Torrie in last month's issue, so why should anyone care how 'hot' the pictures are in RAW magazine? 4) Trish Stratus is on the cover of Flare, which is ten times more significant than being on the cover of some lame in-house rag. Sable tells us that the pictures are, "Oh, so Sablelicious!" (the most hateful three words in wrestling today) Boo-ring! Sable goes down to the announce table and stand on top, in front of Tazz. "Torrie's a pretty girl if you like the tom-boy look, but I am the Diva... and you also made a decision... without asking the audience if they think I should've won, and I don't think that's fair." Tazz mutters: "Gimme a break..." Sable gets closer in front of him: "Don't you think that I'm sexy?" She plays with his tie. "Don't you think that I'm hot? ... Well, I'm hot right now." She drinks his water and splashes a little down her front. "You know, Tazz, I think the decision you made on Judgement Day was a bit premature, but then again, premature comes naturally to you..." (Tazz turns to Cole and says, "Somebody just end this char-"), and she pours the water on his head. Tazz looks hot (the angry kind of hot). Sable does a few more show-off moves. Tazzmission! Come on, Tazz! Tazzmission! Please? Sable leaves. What was the point of that if we couldn't get a Tazzmission out of it?

We see Vince and O'Haire and Piper backstage. Vince tells Piper not to go for the mask, since that got them in trouble last time and they have the lie detector test next week to fall back on. "However, if you *don't* beat Hogan tonight..." Vince says that he has confidence in them, though. Vince says that he's going to make sure that the first question asked by the administrator, the first words out of his mouth, will be, "Tell me, Mr. America, are you really Hulk Hogan?" ("No, I'm really Terry Bollea.") This just goes to show how little they know about lie detectors - if I'm not mistaken, they have to be calibrated by having the subject make a series of truthful statements. Piper promises Vince a happy night. Vince says that he thinks Piper will be right, one way or the other. (Ooooh!) We go to break.

Tazz and Cole thank us for joining them for Judgement Day. Yeah, you'd better thank us! (j/k) The show wasn't terrible, though, and I think it was worth watching. They just had too much unnecessary junk in it. It's now time for our (cough) main event. Here comes Mr. America, along with Zach Gowen. Gowen sits in the corner with the flag. Mr. America hugs him and gets in the ring to pose and whatnot. The crowds are starting to normalize for Mr. America by the sounds of things - nobody will ever go "Hogan Sucks," but it's still kind of sad. Here come Rowdy Roddy Piper and Sean O'Haire.

Sean O'Haire vs. Mr. America: This match doesn't go on long enough to be bad, in fact, it's kind of watchable. O'Haire and Mr. America hook up and O'Haire shoves him down. They hook up again with the same result. They hook up again, and the crowd gets excited, chanting "U-S-A!" Mr. America knocks O'Haire back into the corner. Mr. America flexes the Patriots, and O'Haire lunges for him, but finds the opposite corner. He turns back into some rights from Mr. America. O'Haire goes for a run, but gets clotheslined on the ricochet. Mr. America mounts some offence on O'Haire. Mr. America punches O'Haire a few times in the middle of the ring. He heads back to the ropes for a ricochet, but Piper grabs him by the leg. O'Haire gives Mr. America a blow to the back of the head while he's dealing with Piper. O'Haire gives Mr. America a full body slam. O'Haire kicks Mr. America around a bit, and hooks the leg, but Mr. America kicks out. O'Haire boots Mr. America in the face covers again, but Mr. America kicks out. O'Haire applies a rear chin lock. Crowd goes "U-S-A" for a bit. This is a loooooong hold. Zach Gowen looks on expectantly. Piper: "Ring the bell; he's gone!" The ref raises Mr. America's hand. It falls. He raises it. It falls. He raises it. It stays up. Mr. America battles out and applies elbows to O'Haire's gut. Mr. America goes to the ropes, but O'Haire boots him in the face on the ricochet. Mr. America kicks out of the cover. Mr. America prepares to American up. O'Haire strikes Mr. America a few times, but it doesn't work at all and sure enough we get "Yoouu!" and the haymakers. Entertaining so far. It's the backstage stuff that gets really tiresome. O’Haire’s in trouble. Boot to the face. Mr. America fends off Piper and goes for the leg drop. Crowd seems to be in this. I remember something Marek said about how Vince was adamant that Hogan couldn't go over any young talent during this new contract period - the only little bit of insurance we have that O'Haire won't get buried. Leg drop and ONE... TWO... and Piper pulls Mr. America off the cover. (I guess a clean victory by O'Haire is too much to ask for - it would have been interesting if O'Haire took Mr. America out with that rear chin lock. I was hoping, anyway.) Vince's music hits, and he comes out with some police officers. Vince says that he's not there to interrupt the match - he's there with the police to arrest someone who's broken the law. They arrest Zach Gowen for criminal trespassing and assault.  "You don't have a backstage pass, pal! You got no business out here! (Tell it, Vince!) You're not under contract to the WWE! You're trespassing on my personal property! And you personally assaulted me at Judgement Day! You put your hands on me! Now, arrest that man - wait a minute! Wait a minute! He's got a weapon!" Vince takes away his cane. The cops arrest him. Mr. America steps out of the ring, but the officers keep him from reaching Zach or Vince. Meanwhile, he's getting counted out. He makes a last-second attempt to get back in the ring, but he's too late - O'Haire wins by count-out.

Mr. America walks up the ramp after Vince, but Piper gets Mr. America from behind with a chair shot. Vince: "Goodbye, Mr. America." Vince and O'Haire and Piper stand and smile with their hands raised as the copyright and signature are shown.

Grade: (A-) Eddie and Tajiri rule - otherwise, there'd be no way this show'd be getting an A-. The other major success was O'Haire having an interesting match with Mr. America - why didn't they put *him* with Mr. America at Judgement Day?

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