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Matches From 2004

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JBL vs. Eddie Guerrero - Judgment Day 2004

 

I finally had a chance to watch this last night. After seeing all of the hoopla that went down when Tim Cooke dissected SK's shitty recap, I had to see the match Tim called the WWE MOTY even if there is absolutely nothing else on the DVD worth watching.

 

 

 

The Good

- They had a pretty good build-up for this feud even though JBL came out of nowhere to be a contender. More importantly, it set the stage for Eddie to hate JBL's guts and the early portion of the match shows that. With a "hoss" like JBL, you expect him to take control early while Eddie tries to escape. Not so with this match. Eddie attacks early and often and goes to work on the much bigger opponent, so much so that you would think Eddie was the hoss. This is certainly not the way I expected this match to start off but it was nice to see. Eddie gets the best of JBL when exchanging punches. He rams him into the ringpost and tosses him over the Spanish Announcing Table like he was 150 lbs.

 

-JBL gains controls after whipping Eddie into the stairs. When they get back inside, JBL controls with a headlock. Normally, people would criticize this but since Eddie was kicking his ass so much in the early going, this is a completely logical way to keep Eddie grounded and it also helped build a heat segment as the crowd chants for Eddie to make his comeback.

 

-Some nice highspots follow with Eddie attempting a dive to the outside on JBL only to be caught and dropped with a fallaway slam on the concrete. Eddie also takes a high high backdrop onto the Spanish Table. Even after all of this, Eddie keeps slugging it out with a "never say quit" attitude. After all of the crap JBL put him through leading up to the match (cheesy or not) Eddie makes the hate believable.

 

-Another heat segment follows when JBL uses the bearhug. Resthold or good logic? This was up for debate in the SK v. Tim Cooke thread, but after watching the match the move clearly made sense in the context of the match on two levels. First, Eddie had his back pounded throughout the match (Whipped into the stairs, fallaway slam on the concrete, backdrop onto the table, forearm smash to setup the bearhug). Also, at this point in the match, Eddie was still going at JBL full speed and needed grounding so a bearhug is the perfect way to work the back AND slow Eddie down. This builds a short heat segment with Eddie escaping the bearhug as the crowd chants his name loudly.

 

-At this point, some silliness comes into play. The ref gets bumped but it serves a purpose as it allows JBL to cheat and hit Eddie with a nasty chairshot. This is the blade job that sent Eddie into shock and the blood is just all over the place at this moment. In the past, I have always criticized Bradshaw's Clothesline from Hell but his shot here is just brutal. As good as a clothesline I have ever seen. It is also at this point, that JBL attacks Eddie's head injury and pounds on the wound and hits a sleeper. At this point, some notable things happen. He goes for a fallaway slam after the sleeper escape and Eddie counters with a beautiful DDT. This was a cool looking escape.

 

- The post-match beatdown on JBL by Eddie was great. Eddie lost by discqualification but sent the crowd home happy by busting JBL open and getting some sort of revenge. it also continued one of the better feuds of the year (even if the end result was less than desirable) and led to very good GAB match (I watched the GAB match before the JD match so it was out of context. I'll rewatch it and see how they build off this match).

 

 

 

The Bad

 

- There are a couple of moments in the match where I think it killed my suspension of disbelief. THe first was after Eddie took the backdrop onto the Spanish table. He was literally up in 2 seconds. The highspot looked great in execution and should have been sold more. Also, later in the match, JBL hit a devastating powerbomb that shuld have ended the match. There was no crawling ref or slow count and Eddie gets his shoulder up. Preferably, this would be one of those moments where a foot gets draped over the rope or is already under the rope.

 

-Two ref bumps. The first ref bump could be argued as necessary whereas the 2nd one was just overkill. I wish they would have had a NO DQ match but then the ending would have been quite different and the feud would have suffered. Still, there could have been another way around this. Thankfully, there was no outside interference since that drives me crazier than any ref bump.

 

- The DQ ending. I hate DQ endings even though it made perfect sense in the bigger picture. JBL gets a win over the champ. The champ keeps the belt. Eddie's post-match beatdown was priceless. this doesn't bother me as much as it normally would but it is still a flaw.

 

 

 

Overall

I have to admit, this was one of the most entertaining matches I have seen from WWE in years. I don't know if I like it better than Eddie-Brock since I haven't seen that match in months. I know it was better than the Eddie-JBL Bullrope match, the Orton-Foley hardcore match and the three-way main events of WM and BL, no doubt. Listen to the crowd the entire time during JBL-Eddie... they never let up. Those two kept them engaged in the entire match even before the bloodletting. Now, listen to the crowd of the Three-ways, Orton-Foley etc. Silence in key moments. You can hate JBL, and I won't argue with that, but he kept up in this huge title match and it def. deserves praise as one of the best brawls I think the Fed has ever put out.

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Thanks for posting this, GH. I can't wait to watch it. It looks like this match was overlooked by a lot of people simply because it was JBL challenging Eddy Guerrero and people didn't want to accept Bradshaw on that level, so they weren't going to give the matches a chance.

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No doubt. You and I talked about these JBL-Eddie matches in the summer and how we were intrigued and interested in seeing them . The Tim Cooke-SK showdown finally made me buy the DVDs and it isn't even close... Tim Cooke was right and SK reinforced my opinion of him.... Hack. He didn't even have the guts to back up his words. Seriously... read his rant and read Cooke's dissection of it or read my post. Were Tim and I watching a different match? No. SK prolly wrote his shitty recap before the match even started.

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Guest Some Guy

JBL vs. Eddy - Judgement Day 2003

 

I don't think I can do better than GH's post about this match in last months "What are you watching" thread so I try.

 

I really liked the match. I can see why people would have hated it just out of spite because of Brashaw being in it but the match was smartly worked and played to both guys strenghs.

 

The blade job was absolutely sickening, as was the chair shot that caused it.

 

A few notable spots and comments:

 

Early in the match JBL hit a fall awat slam on the floor. Later he went for one in the ring that Eddy counterd into a sweet DDT. The spot showed that Eddy learned from the first one. I hate when guys counter their opponents signature moves before they ever get hit with them.

 

Eddy takes a big back drop onto a table and just gets up and rolls in the ring. I can't figure out why he did it. It made no sense, Eddy should have laid there for at least 30 seconds off that spot.

 

I hated the finish, but loved how JBL set it up. He tossed a chair into the ring while holding the belt behind his back so the ref would turn his back to remove the chair, thus opening up a chance to hit Eddy with the belt, Eddy got the belt and hit him with it. The finish killed the crowd, but the post match beat down brought them back.

 

I really liked the ref bump. I had never seen one like that before. Eddy got Irish Whipped right into him. It looked totally believeable and like it was an accident. That's how ref bumps should look. Not some bullshit were the ref obviously walks in the way of a move because he has to get bumped.

 

The match overall is a very intense and well worked deal. I was thinking to myself while watching that the match is perfectly booked. Eddy came out strong to avenge JBL causing his mother to have a heart attack, JBL took over with power moves and Eddy feuled by hatred refused to stay down, even after he was gushing blood. If the match had a clean finish it would probably be the 2004 MotY for WWE.

 

I'll do the Bull Rope match next after I watch it again but on first viewing it was not as good or entertaining as the first match. Plus, I hate the gimmick, they should have done a strap match instead, at least in those you get the sound effect from the whipping.

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I really liked the match. I can see why people would have hated it just out of spite because of Brashaw being in it but the match was smartly worked and played to both guys strenghs.

Absolutely... and before this match, I never thought I would like a Bradshaw match.

 

Early in the match JBL hit a fall awat slam on the floor. Later he went for one in the ring that Eddy counterd into a sweet DDT. The spot showed that Eddy learned from the first one. I hate when guys counter their opponents signature moves before they ever get hit with them.

I hated the finish, but loved how JBL set it up. He tossed a chair into the ring while holding the belt behind his back so the ref would turn his back to remove the chair, thus opening up a chance to hit Eddy with the belt, Eddy got the belt and hit him with it.

I really liked the ref bump. I had never seen one like that before. Eddy got Irish Whipped right into him. It looked totally believeable and like it was an accident. That's how ref bumps should look. Not some bullshit were the ref obviously walks in the way of a move because he has to get bumped.

I glossed over most of this in my recap and they are all valid points. Good job.

 

If the match had a clean finish it would probably be the 2004 MotY for WWE.

Even without the finish (which I think the post-match beatdown makes up for), it still makes a strong case. I am looking through the match listings of the PPVs, and I have to rewatch Brock-Eddy again, but this is as good as it gets.

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Guest Some Guy

Even without the finish (which I think the post-match beatdown makes up for), it still makes a strong case. I am looking through the match listings of the PPVs, and I have to rewatch Brock-Eddy again, but this is as good as it gets.

The post match beatdown makes up for it but also makes little sense. Eddy was fighting after the match fresh as a daisy and it made JBL look weak. JBL should have done the beatdown, especially since they gave him the strap the next month and they had to explain his heel turn in the pre-match video package. He was too frashly turned to be in that match and wasn't made to look strong enough at the end to justify a rematch and the title the next month IMO. I didn't comment on the post match deal because I thought it tool away from what they did, rather than add to it.

 

Gotta go, UFC is on!

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Eddy Guerrero v John Bradshaw Layfield - WWE Judgment Day 2004

 

This match gets me hooked in right from the get-go. JBL, in front of a largely Hispanic crowd, advises them to save a spot on the boat so Eddy Guerrero can be shipped back to that third world country called Mexico. The announcers do a great job of explaining the backstory in quick concise fashion. JBL is basically a racist motherfucker who's way too big for his britches that has insulted Eddy's heritage and culture, and even caused his mom to have a mild heart attack. So, JBL's pre-match promo nicely sets the stage for what by all rights should be remembered as a classic match. Crowd is deafening throughout, although admittedly, I'm not sure how much of that is real heat and how much of it is post-production sweetening. Eddy takes it to Bradshaw very aggressively at the opening bell, which does a nice job in establishing roles and playing off the storyline already established. You might expect Eddy to come in and get dominated early on because of the size difference, only to come back at the end, but that would have been the wrong booking here. He reacts like just about anyone would who caused his mom a heart attack, short of using an illegal weapon, by beating the hell out of him, throwing him around the ring and at ringside like a ragdoll and beating him at his own game -- brawling. I love this for two reasons:

 

(1) Eddy is a new champ that is still being established as a top guy. Going toe-to-toe with someone so much bigger than him works nicely in that direction.

(2) Bradshaw is *not* a great wrestler. If he has a strength at all, it's his brawling ability, and Eddy is beating him at his own game.

 

If the goal was to make both look strong up until this point, it was accomplished in spades. Bradshaw does stooge and beg off from Eddy, but that's because he realized he underestimated him and he's surprised at his determination. I love the fact that the only way Bradshaw could get an opening was the way it should have happened -- it wasn't because Eddy made a mistake or missed a move, it was because JBL was thinking on his feet and created his own opening, performing a fallaway slam, one of his trademark moves, on the floor, which Eddy sold like death. It was a nice bump and a great transitional spot. Bradshaw would basically have to do three things to beat Eddy -- deplete his energy, slow the pace down and neutralize his ability to fly. In that sense, the side headlock is the perfect move to work in that direction. It sounds simple, but it works. This isn't a traditional side headlock spot where it's used as a resthold -- the positioning of Bradshaw's weight on Guerrero's neck and shoulders while Tazz explains the psychology on the move perfectly on commentary is what makes it work. It accomplishes what it set out to do quite nicely, and now Bradshaw is in control.

 

The crowd never stops chanting for Eddy, and Bradshaw never gives them a reason to no longer care. He stays on offense convincingly, without stalling, and is quick to play to the crowd as often as he can. I've seen too many matches that would be great if the wrestlers actually treated the audience like a third worker, and that's what they did here. Referee Brian Hebner, however, was the fourth worker of the match, taking a nice bump off of Eddy that was set up in interesting fashion. Just as Eddy was starting to make his comeback, he *realistically* and inadvertently bumped into Hebner and knocked him down. It was so much more creative than typical WWE ref bumps, and it was the right thing to do here, because it added drama to the match. We go outside the ring and Eddy makes the mistake of signaling that he's about to throw Bradshaw through the announce table. Yeah, he does it, and even silences the announcers for a few minutes, but JBL finds a way to turn the tide quite easily -- he pelts Guerrero with the Mother Of All Chairshots and to say Eddy juices is an understatement. It easily replaces Jericho at SMW's Night of Legends as the worst (read: best) bladejob I've ever seen. You can actually see the blood squirting out of his forehead Kill Bill-style. It's pretty sick, but adds another layer of drama to the match.

 

JBL gets Eddy back in the ring, the mat of which is now almost covered in red, and stiffs the hell out of him with perhaps the best lariat I've ever seen in an American ring. Bradshaw tries to revive the ref, but it doesn't work, and he starts pounding on his back out of frustration. Referee Charles Robinson comes down and Eddy kicks out at the last millisecond, which the audience totally bought as the finish, because of the combination of Eddy's bladejob and JBL's established finisher. They could not have made this more effective -- the match needed at least one major false finish (a few more would follow), and something extra needed to be done besides the Clothesline From Hell to make the audience think it could actually result in a title change. That's was the purpose of the bladejob, and at least for the context of this match, anyone who saw JBL as a beer-drinking APA member had that vision of him erased for the next few minutes. He follows up with a ferocious powerbomb and gets another nearfall. He goes for yet another lariat, but Eddy ducks and he ends up knocking down the second referee.

 

The first referee is now starting to revive, and even his selling rocks! Eddy Hulks up, but not really in the traditional sense, and not without writing off the damage done to him before that. How could he? It's not a Shawn Michaels kip up where he forgets about all the damage done to him in advance; it's a logical comeback at a logical point in time. The timing of everything, in fact, is probably what makes this match work above all else. Eddy misses his first frogsplash attempt, which would be important later, and it's a FLAWLESS transition to the finish, which sees JBL going outside to grab the championship belt and the chair. The announcers speculate why he has both, pointing out that if he gets himself DQ'd, he can't win the title, but his gameplan quickly becomes evident. He throws a chair to the side to distract the ref and intends to hit Eddy with the belt, but Eddy kicks him in the balls! To a huge pop! Markout city! He then picks up the belt JBL brought in the ring and hits him with it, drawing a DQ, which the audience doesn't like at all. The key to having the audience accept that decision is the post-match brawl, which I actually think should be considered when talking about this match, because it's loaded with payback spots. Eddy may be bleeding, but he sure as Hell isn't going to go down alone, and he gets in a great pair of chairshots on his own on JBL, and finally gets that frogsplash that he missed earlier. The referees are trying to restrain him, and he starts pushing them away, and it eventually takes the 81st Airborne to separate him from JBL.

 

The DQ totally worked. First, it created a nice parity and really cool contradiction for the rematch -- Eddy had beat JBL at his own game (brawling) while JBL had beaten Eddy at his own game (tactical cheating). They each had an unexpected advantage over the other. Second, it kept the door open for a rematch, and after that, a promoter would be a fool not to book one. The entire match built to a DQ finish; I actually think a clean finish here would have *hurt* the match more than it helped it, because it would have totally opposed the build before it. As a huge fan of old territory footage, this match was a must, and I'm saddened I didn't see it live when it happened, because I would have supported Smackdown with everything I had had I known the top feud was this good. The booking leading into the match was straight out of something you'd see in an old Jerry Lawler match in Memphis or out of Ted DiBiase in Mid South, kind of the next progressive step in the evolution of Southern brawls. It's modernized more than it is a throwback, but it still takes a template that was established in some of Lawler's bloodbaths in the 1970s and 1980s and makes it work in 2004. Going that route was pure genius, and it's something I never even would have considered. To explain the parallels, Lawler's matches were usually constructed around the idea of building to three things:

 

(1) Lawler's fiery comebacks

(2) A finish that doesn't leave the audience deflated, but will ensure that they're left wanting more

(3) Blood

 

In terms of #1, Lawler pulling the straps down equals Eddy shaking his fists and doing his dance to signify that it's time to make his comeback. The parallel with #2 is very apparent, because Memphis had a tendency to run DQ finishes to set up the big match the following week or month, which is exactly what this was. And boy, did this match deliver on #3.

 

This is what WWE should be. This is what American wrestling should be. I can't say enough for how much I loved this match.

 

****1/2 (yes, you read that right)

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great review Loss, thankfully people are finally giving that match the praise it deserves. It's a shame it was dismissed simply because everyone on the Net was pissed at Bradshaw and his Main Event push. I REALLY liked the JBL/Eddy feud. The angles/promos/matches were all good.

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I think it's on par with both Austin/Bret matches, and it's as good as anything Shawn Michaels or Randy Savage ever did. It's better than any of Benoit's matches in the company, and I'd rank it above Austin/Rock from WM X-7 even.

 

People need to see this match! I'm saddened that it got so little credit at the time, and I hope over time, that will change. Pushing JBL in that spot cold turkey wasn't really the wisest decision, but on his end, he did everything he possibly could to make the role work, especially in this match. I can't wait to watch the bullrope match from GAB. I'll probably give it a viewing tonight.

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I've heard enough. I'm seeking this match out!

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Watching this match makes me want to do a comp at some point tracing the evolution of those Southern Style brawls, showing how we got from Lawler/Dundee to Eddy/JBL over the course of 20+ years. Maybe in the future.

 

:)

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I'm just sad that my comments and Some Guy's weren't enough for you to pick it up.

Maybe he wanted a star rating at the end, just to show as a quick reference what you think of it overall. I'm curious, what would yours be on Eddy/JBL?

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It wasn't just Loss, it's an accumulation of what I've heard over the last few months. Loss put it over the top though.

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I'm curious, what would yours be on Eddy/JBL?

To be honest, I have never put a star rating to a match... ever (at least that I know of).

 

I think they are a valuable commodity when trying to quantify matches but I can't tell the difference between a **** match and a ****1/4 match. However, There is a certain breaking point at which I would put a **** match over a ***1/2 or even a ***3/4 match. Then again, I have also not seen all the matches I want to be able to undoubtedly say what is the pinnacle of wrestling. 6-9-95, to this day, is my favorite match of all-time. Plenty of people have called it ***** and I would agree. However, some say 12-6-96 is the best and I wouldn't argue that either. To me, 6-11-76 is a match that holds up remarkable well for being 30 fucking years old. Yet, when we get to all of the matches below the top handful, there are a ton of awesome matches that just aren't quite at that level. And to be honest, I don't fel like doling out the stars to something that isn't number one. With that said, I think there is a clear line between a great macth and a good match, a good match and a mediocre match, a mediocre match and a bad match etc.

 

It wasn't just Loss, it's an accumulation of what I've heard over the last few months. Loss put it over the top though.

Word. Now if you want this match, you can always PM me. I can tell you where to find it.

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I think it's on par with both Austin/Bret matches, and it's as good as anything Shawn Michaels or Randy Savage ever did. It's better than any of Benoit's matches in the company, and I'd rank it above Austin/Rock from WM X-7 even.

 

WOW. I thought the match was great, but...seriously? That's some high praise there.

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I think it's on par with both Austin/Bret matches, and it's as good as anything Shawn Michaels or Randy Savage ever did. It's better than any of Benoit's matches in the company, and I'd rank it above Austin/Rock from WM X-7 even.

 

WOW. I thought the match was great, but...seriously? That's some high praise there.
Absolutely. Austin/Rock and Rock/Jericho from 2001 are two matches that are close, but Eddy/JBL edges them out for me. Perhaps the reason for that is that I love Memphis wrestling so much, and whether it was the intent or not, this match is every bit as much a tribute to the old Lawler matches as Benoit/Sasuke from the '94 J Cup is to Tiger Mask/Dynamite Kid.

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Guest Bruiser Chong

Now I'm gonna have to check this out. I just can't wrap my head around this being nearly as good as everyone has said it was.

 

Just for reference, was the match this highly-praised when it happened? I don't keep tabs on the shows or reviews now, but it seems I didn't start hearing about this match until a few months ago.

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OK, as far as I know, it wasn't... but Loss was telling me that Phil Schneider and tomk from DVDVR were pimping it right after it happened. Incidentally, Loss and I were chatting and talking about how we wanted to see the match... mainly to see Eddie carry JBL.

 

Then, Tim Cooke posted a breakdown of SK's rant on the show (he gave the match **1/2) and dismantled SK's shitty review. The blog entry can be found here...

 

http://www.livejournal.com/users/rspwfaq/142690.html

 

 

After that, I hunted the match down and somehow the match ended up in Some Guy's and Loss's hands.

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I PM'd Tim Cooke and thanked him for pimping the match so much, and he again gave credit to Phil and Tom at DVDVR for talking about it first, because he respects their opinions so much. Either way, I'm glad people are coming around to this match and I think anyone who watches it with an open mind will be blown away.

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I think it's on par with both Austin/Bret matches, and it's as good as anything Shawn Michaels or Randy Savage ever did. It's better than any of Benoit's matches in the company, and I'd rank it above Austin/Rock from WM X-7 even.

I thought I was crazy when I said to myself that this might be the best WWF/E match I have ever seen. Glad I am not the only one...

 

I can't wait to watch the bullrope match from GAB. I'll probably give it a viewing tonight.

It's a good match but don't go in with Judgement Day expectations. It has a lot of the same great aspects as the first match but the opening where both are getting used to the bullrope and the horrible finish hurt. But there is some unbreakable Memphis table action and lots of good story.

 

BTW, watch Rey/Chavo too as it is a top 5 WWE 2004 match easily.

 

Now you and Goodhelmet need to get Eddy/Big Show from Smackdown to see the most overlooked match of the last 5 years!!

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Watching this match makes me want to do a comp at some point tracing the evolution of those Southern Style brawls, showing how we got from Lawler/Dundee to Eddy/JBL over the course of 20+ years. Maybe in the future.

Start a thread for that here. I have to go cut the grass in a few minutes but with my VCR's working, I would be happy to volunteer (that is, after I send Helmet the DVD's I promised :)

 

I have been wanting to do a southern brawl compilation for a long time. Well known matches plus lesser known, great matches.

 

Tim

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Eddy/JBL in a cake walk. Savage/Warrior is a match that's 90% based on sentiment and 10% based on work, while Eddy/JBL is about 95% based on work. They're both great for entirely different reasons, but yes, I do prefer Eddy/JBL.

 

Savage/Warrior is pro wrestling's answer to a Grimm's fairy tale.

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