Day, the latest pay-per-view from the SmackDown! brand, is unique since close to
half of the roster featured has either been traded to Raw or been fired. Taking
place on May 22nd, 2005 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, this disc is yet another shining
example of why I think SD! is the lesser of the two brands.
Here's the card:
WWE Tag Team Championship [Hardcore
Holly & Charlie Haas vs. MNM] - Continuing the WWE tradition of
throwing together two random wrestlers for no particular reason to wrestle a
slightly established tag team, Haas & Holly team up against the
relatively new team of MNM. I have to admit that I was truly surprised by
this match. I'm not that big a fan of MNM, but they weren't too bad.
However, Charlie Haas owned this match from beginning to end and i'm
genuinely surprised that the WWE chose to fire him.
Big Show vs. Carlito - On paper,
this might not look like a fair fight. However, Carlito brings the recently
fired Matt Morgan (stutter and all) to the ring as his bodyguard. This match
is relatively shot and painless.
Kurt Angle & Booker T Story, Booker T In His Locker Room With
Sharmell, Booker T Looking For Kurt & Kurt Angle With Sharmell In Her
Locker Room - Though these "chapters" aren't shown in this
sequence, they all feature Kurt & Booker. Let me just say this...Kurt
& Booker are great wrestlers. They deserve MUCH BETTER than this
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Of the
World Match [Paul London vs. Chavo Guerrero] - This
match marks the final SmackDown! PPV appearance of Chavo. Technically, it's
the final PPV appearance of Chavo Guerrero, period. After being traded to
Raw, he realized that "White was right" and changed his name to
Kerwin White. Don't ask. Paul still hasn't done
anything to impress me or keep me awake during a match that he's in.
Needless to say, this was one of those matches that screams "Skip
Booker T vs. Kurt Angle - It's
possible that i've yet to see an Angle match that I really didn't like. His
intensity, technicality and skill at putting people over could make Christy
Hemme look like the next heavyweight champion contender. However, the road
to this match [see the chapters above] was really painful. Truly.
John Cena vs. JBL: Keys To Victory -
They gave "Tazz's Keys To Victory" a chapter stop? Well, save you
some time and pass on nugget of information number 3 - "Never
Quit". Yeah, you read that right.
United States Championship Match [Heidenreich
vs. Orlando Jordan] - How Orlando Jordan became the US Champ, i'll never understand. It's not that
he can't wrestle; he can. He just has absolutely no personality whatsoever
on his own. I do appreciate him more as a member of JBL's
"cabinet". Heidenreich, on the other hand, is painful to watch. To
add insult to injury, he wastes the first ten minutes or so of the match
looking for a "friend" and then reading her a poem. Terrible,
Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero -
Rey & Eddie are embroiled in a storyline that rivals Kurt & Booker's
in stupidity. For weeks, Eddie was taunting Rey with a "secret"
regarding Rey's son Dominick. As of this review, the payoff has been
revealed, and they're about to take it to SummerSlam. This match, however,
lived up to Rey & Eddie's standards and was pretty damn brutal. I'm not
sure how I feel about Eddie as a heel, but I can't deny that I enjoyed this
match more if I ignored the storyline.
"I Quit" Match For the WWE
Championship [John Cena vs. JBL] - I re-entered the lovely world of the
WWE right around the time that Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio and John Cena made
their debuts. I admit to being excited/impressed by the trio's initial
appearance on SmackDown! Since that time, Rey's still a favorite, Randy's
been sidelined with injuries and I could really care less about Cena. See,
Cena has turned out to be more of a brawler than a wrestler. There really
aren't that many technical wrestling moves in his repertoire and he has a
tendency to become annoying on the mic. JBL, on the other hand, is only a
slight step above Cena as far as pure wrestling moves are concerned.
However, once he cut the mullet, shaved his face and became a Wall Street
tycoon, he has truly embraced his role as heel. Both fighters put on a
brutal, bloody brawl that had a less than satisfactory conclusion.
In addition to the matches above, the following extras
are also included:
- John Cena vs. JBL "I Quit" Match
- Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio
- Bad, Bad Man Music Video - Cena's music video
in its entirety. For those of us that haven't seen it the 1,273 times
they've shown it on Raw or SmackDown!
- the Making Of the Bad, Bad Man Music Video - A
four minute behind the scenes look at the making of the video.
- Judgment Day Press Conference - Don't blink or
you'll miss this minute-long snippet from the press conference.
- JBL "Anti-Cena" PSA - Gotta admit,
this one minute forty second PSA (the A would stand for "attack")
was pretty damn funny.
- Sunday Night Heat
- Chavo Guerrero Interview
- Kurt Angle Talks With Mark Jindrak
- Nunzio vs. Akio
- DVD Exclusive
- Carlito And Matt Morgan Interview
- Lame attempt at comedy that drags on for FAR too long.
Compared to past WWE releases, this disc surprisingly had more compression
issues. Being forced to sit through some of these matches, i'm not sure that's such a
bad thing. That aside, it's presented in a full frame 1.33:1 ratio.
Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound was crystal clear and enveloped my
living room while I was watching it. There's also an option of watching
the disc in Spanish.
Conclusion: Yet another sub-par SmackDown! pay-per-view that did
nothing to change my impression of the brand. Other than the blading in the
JBL/Cena match, there really wasn't anything featured here that couldn't (or
wouldn't) be shown on the the weekly show. Unless you're a fan of Cena's (and
judging by the push he's getting, i'm sure there are a lot of them) or you
want to see what Vince threw away by firing Charlie Haas, i'd recommend a
rental for this. Otherwise, this disc gets a Skip It.