Judgment Day was presented as a Smackdown exclusive pay-per-view in 2005. While the brands were still separate, at this point the quality of each show was great.
Judgment Day is well known for its main event, but it was a solid show from start to finish. If I had to grade the show, I would give the Blue Brand a C+.
What were the highlights? Let's find out!
Orlando Jordan was United States Champion. Heidenreich was the challenger here, as a newly-turned face character.
As expected, nobody cared.
Jordan retained in a ten-minute match, and both men are currently out of WWE (and TNA).
Paul London battled Chavo Guerrero in the Cruiserweight Championship match.
These two could "go" in the ring, but this division was not doing much in 2005. The matches would be fine, but the stories were rarely exciting enough to care about.
London won the match, but he never did do much in WWE. Paul had all the right tools, but he seemed too focused on his outside "adventures" rather than actually caring about succeeding in this business.
Oh well...just another potential star with very little passion.
MNM defended their WWE Tag Team titles against Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas.
What a great division, huh?
For those that don't know, MNM was Melina, John Morrison and Joey Mercury. Just like my "it" girl today, the girl was the real star of the team.
Nowadays, their careers speak for themselves.
On this night. MNM retained. They dominated Smackdown for most of 2005.
Kurt Angle spent much of the show stalking Sharmell. She was Booker T's wife, and was involved in Smackdown for awhile in 2005.
The promo video tells the entire story.
I still can't believe this actually happened. Angle is a great performer, but this was the worst way possible to portray him on Smackdown.
Booker T vs. Kurt Angle was actually a decent match.
It was not amazing or anything like that, but it was entertaining. Of course, Sharmell ran down the ring after the match concluded to gain revenge on Angle.
My main memory from this match was the weak ending. The two rolled each other up into a pin fall, and the referee gave Booker the victory.
Angle looked like he kicked out. Booker looked surprised, while the crowd didn't even react. Planned or not, it just didn't come off well.
Carlito had Matt Morgan in his corner.
The Big Show was battling him on his own.
Things were not going to end well.
The match was fine for a few minutes, but the finishing sequence was very memorable. With the referee knocked down, Morgan gave Show an F-5.
With the show being in Minnesota, a lot of fans were stunned by this move.
First, it was a huge show of strength by Matt Morgan. Secondly, this was the home state of Brock Lesnar. With him out of the company, that was a curious move to use.
In the end, Carlito won the match in an upset.
This was John Cena's final Smackdown pay-per-view. The WWE Draft was held weeks later, and tons of talent switched shows. Back in 2005, the brands still mattered.
Also, this show is remembered for the spectacular stage. WWE does not do this very much anymore, but the stage and entrance ramp for Judgment Day was excellent.
Finally, this was the last pay-per-view that used the former WWE Title belt. The spinner belt was introduced weeks earlier, but JBL still carried the old title around for awhile.
Not after this night...
What an excellent video promo!
Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio were involved for almost the entire duration of 2005.
At the Royal Rumble in January, they were both in the Rumble match. A month later, they were in a tag team match. At Mania, they battled each other as friends.
At Judgment Day, they fought again. At Great American Bash, they wrestled in a grudge match. At Summerslam, they had a ladder match.
On a big Smackdown show, they finally ended their feud in a cage match. A month or so later, Eddie passed away, and Rey began his journey to the World Title.
Call it irony. Call in justice. Call it what you will, but these two always delivered the goods.
At Judgment Day, Eddie's heel turn was just under way. With Rey as the lovable face, the two were perfect to face one another.
Eddie and Rey had a great 15-minute match.
The ending was a disqualification. A chair was brought into the ring, and Eddie used it on Rey to end the match. It was a disappointing finale for some, but I loved this.
In nearly every single instance, a disqualification in a major match on pay-per-view is not acceptable in my mind. However, a few very rare cases work perfectly.
Just like in most of their matches, Rey picked up the victory.
However, I always remember this match as being one of the best scenarios were a disqualification ending is fine in a "main event level" feud on pay-per-view.
With that being said, I leave it up to you!
What was the best major match to end in a disqualification on pay-per-view? Is it ever acceptable to give paying customer such an ending?
John Cena beat JBL in a WWE Championship match at Wrestle Mania XXI. The match was short and could be called disappointing.
At Judgment Day, the two were given the main event spotlight. Both men came through with an excellent I Quit match that will be remembered forever.
With the WWE Title on the line, somebody had to quit. You couldn't see Cena doing so. On the flip side, JBL had done so much in 2004. It was hard to see him give up as well.
In the end, we were given a blood filled grudge match that deserves as much praise as possible. They brawled everywhere, with John Cena winning in the end.
JBL quit and made Cena look like a million bucks. You can say whatever you want about his long title reign in 2004, but he did his job perfectly in 2005.
He "put over" Cena as the next big star and did so in every way imaginable. Love him or hate him, Judgment Day solidified Cena as being "the man" going forward.
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