Sunday, May 12, 2013

Retro Reviews: WWE No Way Out 2004 (Bob Holly, Blindfold Matches & Some Guy Won A Title)

So, I am back after a long absence from typing ramblings onto this webpage for all of you to see. I can't really give any excuse other than I just haven't made time for it. But, I just got done with my school semester, so here's hoping some free time allows me to post more stuff on here. And I decided, what better way to come back then to start some "Retro Reviews", where I look back at wrestling events of yesteryear. To start it off, I watched WWE's No Way Out 2004, hailing from the famous Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. So, let's get into it, why don't we!

We start off this show with, of all things, recent Playboy cover girls Torrie Wilson and Sable entering the ring to do an introduction for the PPV. We will obviously get into it a bit later in this show, but WWE really must have had a problem with figuring out how to buy time for their Raw and Smackdown exclusive PPV’s. Not to mention, Sable, while pretty and all, has an ungodly shrill voice. It’s a wonder anyone found it a good idea to actually give her a microphone. This was ungodly bad, but it moved into a very awesome video package that recapped the feud going into the main event between Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar. One of my favorite things about looking back at old shows is seeing these retro hype videos that they would do for PPV’s. They were always my favorite part about the lead-up to a show and WWE really hasn’t matched the ones from this era, in my personal opinion. But besides that, explosions happen, it’s Hugo Savinovich’s birthday, Michael Cole’s tan is weird and we are on with the show.

Match #1: Intergender Handicap Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships: Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty vs. The Basham Brothers & Shaniqua

This match, as well as the match that precedes it, really made me miss the products of the earlier seasons of Tough Enough. Not many people remember it, but Shaniqua was awesome guys. She was Chyna done right. Shaniqua was someone who seemed to be actually strong and talented, not just a muscly female who does nothing but low blow dudes. She was the MVP in this match, whether it was taking Scotty 2 Hotty’s head off with a clothesline out of nowhere, or whenever she was on the apron talking mad trash to her opponents. I would take Shaniqua and Nidia over MMA nobody Daniel Puder and good old “Silent Rage” Andy Leavine any day.

However, as awesome as Shaniqua was, The Basham Brothers were the exact opposite. They were just all over the place and never looked like they were comfortable with what they were doing. At on point, Scotty dropped Danny on his head with a cringe worthy head scissors, leaving me almost worried for him. Then I realized “Oh wait, its Danny fricking Basham”. The dude used to be Damaja for god sakes. Rikishi finishes Shaniqua off with a Banzai Drop to win the match, which was awesome for the fact that Nick Patrick made sure to be in position after the move in order to see the shoulders. It’s the little things that count. The first of two intergender matches of the night was a success, up until Michael Cole ranted after the match about how Shaniqua “got what she deserved” because she was trying to manhandle Scotty 2 Hotty during the match. Hey Michael, last time I checked she is a legal participant in the match and as long as she didn’t break any rules doing it, she can put her hands on another person participating in the match. Stop being douchey and weird.

Match #2: Blindfold Match: Jamie Noble vs. Nidia

I will admit it right here and right now. My first ever professional wrestling crush was Nidia. She was absolutely one of my favorites and I was always upset that she never got a chance to be one of the upper level stars in the women’s division. I personally hate how anytime they put her in a segment with someone like Torrie Wilson or Dawn Marie, they always made it seem like she was just this clumsy, unattractive goof mixed in with these supermodels. I never cared for any of them, but I always thought Nidia was gorgeous and stood out, not to mention she was a pretty good wrestler at that. And being a huge fan of Nidia’s, I remember the time she was misted by Tajiri, causing her to go blind, and that moment was almost traumatizing to me. That would then lead to this feud involving her and her redneck, abusive boyfriend Jamie Noble, capping off with Jamie Noble having to wrestle Nidia while blindfolded.

This may be controversial opinion, but this is definitely the best blindfold match I have seen, and possibly the best one in history. Yeah, I said it. There was an amazing amount of blindfold psychology in this one and it was surprisingly entertaining. Not to mention, Nidia was hilarious all throughout this match, making fun of her former boyfriend. I did sort of hate how they made Nidia seem like she would get utterly destroyed if Jamie Noble got a hold on her. I mean, it’s Jamie Noble. The dude weighs like 150. Those two had a straight wrestling match when they were dating and Nidia held her own and beat the crap out of Noble. How is this any different? I also didn’t like how quick Nidia tapped out as soon as Noble applied the dragon sleeper. He didn’t even have it on long enough to do any damage to her and she got laid out by it. But other than those gripes, I loved this match and it was an amazing gem of a contest you should check out.

Also, let’s take into account that about a year from this point in time, Jamie Noble would beat CM Punk to win the Ring Of Honor World Championship. Let that settle into your brain. Is the “Best In The World” really the one Jung Dragon that wasn’t Asian?

Segment: Kurt Angle Interview

Ladies and gentlemen, let's send it backstage to frosted tips, turtleneck wearing, boy-band member Josh Matthews standing with Kurt Angle. Oh, Josh Matthews, you make me feel so good about myself. Angle gets confronted by the "Doctor Of Thuganomics" himself, John Cena and a brawl ensues. Hi, John Cena. This is Eamon. Let me just say that I have found a huge appreciation for what you are doing now a days for the most part after watching this, because rapping John Cena is pretty god awful. It's not even awful in a funny, ironic way. It's just bad. So John, maybe cut down on the whole dumping poop on people thing, but other than that, please never go back to this. Thank you.

Match #3: The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The APA

Yep, you saw that right. This match went on after the match for the Tag Team Championships. I still don't understand it. I was actually fairly excited going into this because I enjoy at least three of the four people in this match (Sorry, Charlie Haas). The story in this match was the injured and taped arm of Bradshaw, which he played up at times, but not necessarily all the time. That took away from the match, but overall this was a very entertaining match. It also made me upset that JBL is stuck at the commentary booth and climbing mountains every once and a while, because his clothesline makes me so happy, I can't even describe it.

Segment: Goldberg is here

To be perfectly honest, I cannot remember a whole lot of Goldberg's short run in WWE. I know he did that thing with The Rock, and he did that really horrible thing with Brock Lesnar that made me hate both of them forever. He was champion once, but other than that, I don't remember much else. I think he wrestled Chris Jericho once. That must have been cool, I guess. On a previous episode of Raw, Steve Austin gave Goldberg a front-row ticket to the No Way Out event, so he could sit and watch Brock Lesnar and totally not interfere after Lesnar cost him the Royal Rumble last month. Goldberg gets shown entering the building after the tag team match and takes his seat in the No Way Out commemorative chair with Eddie Guerrero's face on it. A metaphor if you will. They recap the animosity between Goldberg and Lesnar and we come back to one of the cutest things possible.

Yeah, Goldberg totally hugs that random kid and gives him a high-five. How amazing is that? Goldberg why can't you just hug people and not do anything else? I would probably enjoy you so much more. Paul Heyman then comes out to remind Goldberg that he cannot step over the guardrail or he will take action. That is when we see this.

I had no idea what "Santa's Slay" was, and then I found out it was a comedy horror movie from 2005, where Bill Goldberg played a murdering Santa Claus. Yes, that is a thing that exists. I really wished it didn't though. Brock Lesnar taunts Goldberg enough to get him in the ring, who then destroys Lesnar with a Jackhammer. He then gets arrested at the demand of Paul Heyman, as he gets played off with his entrance music. I absolutely do not understand that. Someone being carried off in handcuffs doesn't deserve exit music.

Match #4: Hardcore Holly vs. Rhyno

I give you in this photo, Hardcore Holly giving his interpretation of how I felt watching this match. I would say it is pretty accurate with possibly a bit more crying. Guys, I don't even know what to say about this match. Remember in the beginning when I talked about these brand exclusive PPV's forcing the shows to be stretched extremely thin? I don't know how more you can stretch it than with a Bob Holly match. Holly entered the ring chasing off a down Brock Lesnar, trying to continue this feud with Lesnar over Holly's broken neck, a feud which was already long in the tooth the minute it started. It was excruciating watching them try to build sympathy for Holly with the crowd having absolutely none of it. Here's hoping I never have the pleasure of witnessing a Bob Holly match again. It would be much appreciated.

Match #5: WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Rey Mysterio w/ Jorge Paez vs. Chavo Guerrero w/ Chavo Guerrero Sr.

I am really sorry, but I have no idea who Jorge Paez is. All I know is that he has a weird haircut and a bright orange suit. Minus not knowing about Rey's boxing buddy, I really loved this match. It is quite possibly the best Chavo Guerrero match that I have ever seen. I really enjoy the aggressive, serious and focused heel Chavo Guerrero as opposed to the pandering babyface character he is doing in TNA, and has been doing for years. Also, it is insane how awesome Rey Mysterio used to be. This match went a good 18 minutes, which is probably one of the pluses to these brand exclusive shows. It allots the performers the time to develop a great match and gives some opportunities to people who wouldn't normally get them. I also found it amazing that the third to main event match was a Cruiserweight Title match that had a great storyline in place with a sense of importance on the main event of the show. There was a phenomenal moment in this match where Chavo transitions from Rey's signature seated senton into a half boston crab. I would absolutely encourage anyone to seek this match out, no matter what you may think of those two in the modern day.

Match #6: #1 Contenders Match for the WWE Championship: Kurt Angle vs. The Big Show vs. John Cena

I remember Big Show mentioning in his documentary, "A Giant's World", about how he would have periods of time in his wrestling career where he would become complacent and unmotivated, and how it would start to show in his work. I think this was one of those times, because he very much seemed like he was just going through the motions in this match. However, I did enjoy Kurt Angle in this match, which is truly surprising to me. I never really understood the love for Kurt Angle, because while he put on some great matches, I can see the formula of a Kurt Angle match from a mile away. This wasn't the case, as he busted out a lot of things I haven't seen from him before, including a missile dropkick of all things. But at the same time, the basic formula in this match wasn't a bad thing, and they didn't have to overcomplicate it. I also think giving the win and #1 contendership to Angle left a great deal of suspense for the main event.

There was one frustrating thing I found in this match though. Did you know John Cena was already able to hit the FU/Attitude Adjustment on Big Show this early in his career? This is even before he won his first singles title from Show. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are still trying to act like these feats of strength by John Cena are by some act of god, when he's been doing it for 9 years. 9 full years! Good lord.

Match #7: WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Eddie Guerrero

There was tons of great memories swirling through my brain while watching this contest. One of the biggest of those memories was that of Eddie Guerrero's eccentric personality. The build to this feud dealt with how Guerrero couldn't reach his goal of being a champion because he was an addict, with Eddie retorting that professional wrestling is what he is addicted to now. Therefore, he started the match with Lesnar by exclaiming, "Let's get high homes". Oh Eddie, your humor is so very missed. I was actually very happy with this match as a whole, because they actually gave a good amount of offense to Eddie, not having him just get destroyed throughout and get a fluke victory. The crowd also was appropriately riled up, with a giant reaction when Guerrero was able to lock in an STF that may have ended the match. But, there is one shocking find in this matchup that I absolutely did not expect whatsoever.

Credit To Philip Rosenbaum @GreatAndDevious

Yes, you are seeing that right. That is Brock Lesnar busting out the ShellShock, 8 years before The Ryback was even close to an idea. He is even doing the walking in place motion and everything. I have a feeling Skip Sheffield did nothing but study old Brock Lesnar matches and needed to figure out a finisher that wasn't a downward spiral, he found this match and went, "Ok, I'll do this.". Back to the match, the ref gets taken out in a well done ref bump, which allows Goldberg to enter and spear Brock out of his boots. My issue was that they made no effort to explain how Goldberg was able to get out of jail, and in enough time to get back to the arena and crash the main event. I don't even think they tried to explain it weeks after. But after that, Lesnar kicks out of a Guerrero pin attempt, and as Guerrero tries to go for a shot with the belt, he gets swept up for an F5. Guerrero transitions into a DDT mid-move, spiking Lesnar onto of the title, and Guerrero hits a perfect frog splash to pick up the victory, as the crowd comes unglued. This was a spectacular moment to look back on and was a great end to a hit and miss PPV.

So, what old events would you like me to review next for my "Retro Reviews". Let me know in the comments below.

Until then,



  1. I want to see WCW Hog Wild. Any of them....

    Or one of the original JCW/Stranglemania tapes.

  2. I can't even begin to tell you how happy finding out about "Santa's Slay" made me.