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[2004-05-16-WWE-Judgment Day] Eddy Guerrero vs JBL

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The prematch video made this feud look insanely heated with JBL causing Eddie's mother to have a heart attack and Eddie being pissed off and vengeful.

 

JBL cut a very racist promo against Mexicans before the match. This was so old school I can't believe it's 2004. Crowd is crazy for Eddie here chanting his name even before his music hits. I forgot how ho he was at the time.

 

The match starts hot with Eddie going nuts on Bradshaw. Throwing him into tables and punching away and choking. Just a great shine sequence by Eddie. It gets to the point where JBL tries to leave the match, but Eddie chases him down and keeps the assault up. Eddie keeps chucking JBL out of the ring and into things and breaking the count, but finally JBL reverses a whip and tosses Eddie into the steps. The moment JBL goes on offense the crowd goes into Eddie chants.

 

This is just a wild out of control brawl with great heat. JBL finally slows it down with a side headlock and the crowd is going crazy for Eddie. Really good stuff, as Eddie escapes gets in a hope spot, but JBL puts him back in the side headlock.

 

Eddie makes a hot comeback with a series of armdrags, but his plancha is caught and he gets a fallaway slam on the floor. Eddie gets back dropped onto the table here too. After a few hot sequences JBL goes to the bearhug. After some big bumps on the back it makes a lot of sense.

 

Great comeback by Eddie which ends when Eddie and while the referee is down JBL nails Eddie with a super vicious chair shot that BUSTS EDDIE OPEN HUGE!!! What a huge gusher. There is blood everywhere and JBL goes right to work on the cut. Even hits him with the steps. JBL with a huge lariat, but the referee is still down. Crowd is going nuts for Eddie still. A second referee runs down, but Eddie kicks out to a huge pop. Eddie ducks the second lariat and this referee gets wiped out. HUGE POWER BOMB by JBL for two! JBL smartly goes for the sleeper, but Eddie back suplexes him. The whole ring area is a bloody mess.

 

Eddie Hulks up, but gets caught and JBL goes for a fallaway slam only to get DDT'ed. Eddie slowly gets to the corner and goes to the top but misses the Frog Splash. JBL throws a chair in the ring and while the referee removes it he goes at Eddie with the belt, but Eddie blocks it. He then nails JBL with the belt for the DQ.

 

Fans boo that finish, but it's completely awesome. Eddie then unloads on JBL with punches while blood is everywhere. A gaggle of referees pull Eddie off, but even that's not enough as he nails him with the belt again and again. I think JBL is busted open too, but it may be Eddie's blood. Eddie now has a chair and just nails JBL to return the favour from earlier.

 

Finally JBL is in the ring begging and bleeding as the blood Eddie nails another chair shot on JBL and follows it up with a Frog Splash. The referees pull JBL away to safety.

 

JBL is most the way down the ramp, but Eddie goes after him again. Now Finlay, Arn etc. pull Eddie away as JBL crawls away. Eddie stands tall as he celebrates in the ring to huge cheers.

 

What an epic war this was and a great way to get this feud to continue. Just an amazing **** 1/2 type affair.. If you don't remember this or just think of it for the blade job, watch again. Great stuff.

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This is my pick for best match in WWE history. I agree that it would be wrong to characterize this as only being good for the blade job as I've seen plenty of death matches that had tons of blood while still being shit. Eddie going after JBL early on and then selling JBL's back work is really good stuff but it's his unreal performancr after the blade job that really puts this over top. The epic crimson mask frog splash on JBL in the post-match is such an awesome exclamation point. The closest comparison would be Stan Hansen/Terry Funk in AJPW, but even those matches don't reach the heights of Eddie pounding his chest while standing on the turnbuckle of a ring soaked in his own blood. As you mentioned, the video package and promo was some also great old school storytelling to set up for this sort of match, and I'll add that JBL has claimed he needed to be escorted by security guards during this period for how hot this feud was.

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Rewatched this for the first time in years and I loved the way this opened with Eddie rightfully beating JBL's ass after everything that had taken place. The trash talk, the throwing him into the crowd and the announcer's desk, all great. Then it maintains it's mean streak when JBL doing back body drops onto outside and fallaway slams. I think that's almost what stands out to me even before the chairshot and the bladejob: this was already building to something great, and it just gets taken to another level when you get bloody Eddie trying to survive. I'm counting the post-match stuff in this because fuck it and because the chest beating + frog splash spot is still iconic. Great match, and I think if not for Kawada vs. Hashimoto this would be my MOTY for 2004.

 

Also, is it fair to say that Eddie was at his best ever in '04 and '05? I agreed with elliott's posts about Bryan and just missing possibly his "true" peak and I agree but I feel that same way about what Eddie was doing here and especially in the Rey feud and I even liked the chemistry he and Batista had.

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WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero vs John Bradshaw Layfield - Judgment Day 2004

Well that's gotta be an 11 on the Muta Scale, it is one bloodier. It is a murder scene. If you think this match is just about buckets of blood, you would be dead wrong. A great throwback match to the hate-filled brawls that were the norm in 1980s US Wrestling. For me, this match represents where the divisions in wrestling fandom started. Scott Keith posted a lukewarm at best review of this match and was rightfully spit-roasted. Scott Keith had spent years espousing the virtues of 90s workrate and believed in those idols. He saw someone like JBL and dismissed him out of hand. I believe he went in with a star rating before he saw the match. Another example was an insane low ball rating of Brock vs Taker 2002 Hell In A Cell, three stars. It would be years again before I found those wrestling fans that saw great wrestling comes in all shapes and colors here at Pro Wrestling Only. Yes, workrate fans continue to dominate the internet, but I am so glad to found a place where brawling, traditional championship wrestling and shoot style are still revered. 

Eddie is red hot at Bradshaw after Bradshaw cuts a Donald Trump promo to huge heel heat. Can we go back to that America? Also according to the announcers, Bradshaw caused Eddie's mom to have a heart attack, but it is ok because Bradshaw is going to have her employed as his maid. What I love about this match is that is not a glorified weapons match that stands in for brawling. Today so many "brawls" is just an excuse to hit each other with weapons. Here Eddie just wants to keep punching JBL right in the face with a good 'ol fashion closed fist, throw him into some hard, metal objects and choke him with a cord. It is an asskicking that is personal. I love that JBL tries to leave it really puts over how major this asskicking is. Typically, you see a heel champion do that not a heel challenger. He rather foresake the championship than get beat up more now that's an asskicking. I thought the transitions were great. Eddie is concerned about the count and it breaks his focus and he ends up eating the steel steps. I thought Bradshaw was great in control of the match. He used his size advantage to control and dominate Eddie. Anyone who says JBL was slow or some other bullshit watch him run the ropes or feed those armdrag bumps. He was bumping huge for anyone but especially for his size. Eddie gets a plancha, but eats JBL's fallaway slam on the outside. The playing field is leveled. You feel that who over wins the next slugfest will be poised to win the match. Eddie is rocking JBL with chops, but JBL executes a desperation back body drop on Eddie who lands on the table. I like that move as a transition as JBL uses Eddie's own momentum to garner control of the match. It feels more like the babyface lost control of the match than the heel won control. You want an aggressive babyface and a reactionary heel. Bradshaw applies a bearhug to chagrin of workrate fans. Eddie begins his big comeback. He is just so damn charismatic. He runs over the ref by accident and here we go...Eddie throws JBL over the announce table and he approaches JBL to meter out more punishment...JBL CRACKS him with a steel chair. Blood is quite literally squirting out of Eddie's head. The blood was flowing for the next ten minutes. In my estimation, the most grizzly bladejob I have seen. He was wearing the literal crimson mask. The finish run is spectacular. One of the best of all time. JBL CRUSHES EDDIE WITH A CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL! THEN HE THROWS HIM DOWN WITH A POWERBOMB! Both moves looked killer. Eddie's shimmy shaking with all that blood was so electric. I love how Eddie gets all his receipts in and then some. Yes he loses by DQ, but he draws blood from the championship belt, he cracks JBL in the head with the steel chair and then the cherry on top is the chest beating, blood-soaked Frogsplash. Thats how you put a babyface over. Eddie looked like a world-beating asskicker. How the hell would you not want to root for him? JBL did a great job selling all this cowering and crawling while Eddie was relentless in seeking revenge. A classic hate-filled brawl with great babyface/heel dynamics that is taken to the next level by insane, copious amounts of blood that make it instantly memorable. ****3/4

 

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I’ve heard stories, seen pictures and gifs but I never expected this. THIS. This is a classic. A bloody fight with fantastic brawling, great storytelling by JBL, fiery, passionate comebacks from Eddie. That chair shot by JBL was sickening. I’m not sure if Eddie’s selling was just that damn good or his concussion face was legit. Either way, it added so much. The match was a great brawl that felt like a damn fight. A true WWE CLASSIC. *****.

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JBL might not be the best wrestler in the world, but his character work sure is brilliant. He's not playing a heel for cool points, he's just a right bastard. Sadly he's not all that interesting when he's working down Eddie, slapping on long headlocks and bearhugs. I found myself wishing for the referee to get taken out so that they could move on to the infamous spot where JBL splits open Eddie's head with a disgustingly loud chairshot. I don't think I have seen a more sickening bladejob in all of wrestling. He paints the ring like a canvas with his crimson mask. Eddie's eventual comeback is a good example of why he was so well loved. JBL brings in Eddie's championship belt to use, but Eddie gets hold of it and nails JBL causing a disqualification. I thought finish was weak, but the post match brawling more than made up for it.

Man, you could never see a match like this these days.

★★★★½

 

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The elitist JBL made this challenge for the beloved champion’s world title extremely personal by tormenting Eddie’s family and spewing racist rhetoric. Eddie was absolutely seething at the onset and began to aggressively rough up his larger opponent. A desperate JBL made use of his strength and employed smothering holds to extinguish Eddie’s momentum and power moves to damage Eddie’s back. Eddie ended up absorbing a chair-shot that busted him open extremely badly as a smug JBL sensed the opportunity and went in for the kill. Eddie displayed his immense resilience though and launched a fiery comeback, forcing JBL to cowardly resort to cheating tactics. This backfired as Eddie’s vengeful, animalistic side took over when he cracked JBL with the title belt (getting disqualified in the process) and utterly destroyed him in the post-match. One of the best WWE matches of the 2000s. ****3/8

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