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By PWINSIDER.COM STAFF on 2004-02-08 20:00:00
by Buck Woodward 

Does Latino Heat Have A Chance?

After breaking the news earlier this week that Eddie Guerrero would be wrestling Brock Lesnar at No Way Out for the WWE Heavyweight Championship, I wondered (and so did many readers) whether 'Latino Heat' would actually have a snowball's chance in hell of actually taking the gold.   The instant reaction is "Eddie Guerrero is too small, and No Way Out is just a PPV to hold the spot between the important ones, the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania".  However, after discussing it with Dave Scherer on the No Name show (available to Elite subscribers), I am beginning to think that Guerrero actually has a very good chance of winning the championship.   In fact, I can easily envision a scenario that would see Eddie walking into Madison Square Garden with the title around his waist.

In order for my idea to work, we have to assume that WWE is planning on the following three matches at Wrestlemania:
- Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg.
- Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle.
- Triple H vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels.

Without going too far into the world of "fantasy booking", let's pretend that at No Way Out, Goldberg appears and costs Lesnar to title, making Guerrero the champion.  This sets up Brock-Goldberg at Mania, with no title on the line.  Angle completes his heel turn that week on Smackdown, revealing that he was behind the attack on Guerrero this week, and also didn't want Guerrero in the 30 man Rumble (which is why he pushed for Eddie vs. Chavo).   The reasoning would be that Angle saw Guerrero as the only roadblock to him getting back the WWE Championship.  This sets up Guerrero vs. Angle at Mania, with the WWE title on the line.

So, how does Triple H vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels fit into this?  Well, if Goldberg vs. Lesnar has no title on the line, it certainly can't be the main event at Wrestlemania.  Eddie Guerrero, even though he is the champion, could be seen as "too small" to main event the biggest show of the year.   Besides, the WWE title got the main event slot last year.  So, the World Heavyweight Title match should be the main event of Wrestlemania, with Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. ... the newest McMahon, Triple H.  If Lesnar still has the strap at Wrestlemania, his match with Goldberg would be seen as the most likely main event.   With Eddie Guerrero holding the gold, Triple H could move his match right into that prestigious spot.

Will it happen?  I don't know, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Smackdown Thoughts

WWE completed a trifecta of good shows this week with last night's Smackdown. There was a lot to like this week with Chris Benoit's victory in an excellent Royal Rumble, Mick Foley's off-the-charts promo on Raw, and last night's "bonus" Royal Rumble with Eddie Guerrero working his way into the WWE Title picture.  For all the flack WWE gets when they do things wrong, they also deserve credit for doing things right.  Last night's Smackdown was a great show, and hopefully gave us a taste of what should eventually be a great feud with Kurt Angle and Eddie Guerrero. 

I thought the opening segment was fine, although seeing as Vince McMahon owns both Raw and Smackdown, I don't see why he would care about talent jumping between the two.  Paul Heyman did a great job in his role of "kissing up to Vince to save my job", and the end result was another Rumble, which for Rumble marks like myself, is always welcome. The downside to this segment was that it confirmed that Chris Benoit is no longer a Smackdown performer, which means we won't be seeing any Benoit-Angle classics again soon.  It also means we won't get to see the Benoit-Lesnar match that almost headlined Wrestlemania last year. 

While they could easily be seen as "throwaway" matches, I liked the Kidman & London vs. Bashams and Jordan vs. Lesnar bouts.  It was nice to see Velocity regulars get moved up to the "big show", even if it is only for one week.  Variety is always welcome on my television when it comes to wrestling.  Not to say that there is anything wrong with the mainstay talent, but sometimes it is nice to see different faces. 

The innuendo theme with Dawn Marie and the balls in the tumbler was silly, but it didn't interfere with the storylines, characters or matches.  I have no problem with crude humor, as long as it is in small doses, and doesn't take away from the show.  Also, playing on words is a lot funnier to me than blatant flatulence jokes, so I hope WWE stays on this course when it comes to humor.

There is a definite irony to paying for a show and getting four minutes of Rey Mysterio and Jamie Noble, then watching it on free TV the same week and getting almost double the amount of time.  To be honest, I would have liked them to go even longer.  Mysterio is on top of his game, and Noble is still underrated by many.  I would have no problem with Nidia joining Mysterio so we could get a few more matches out of this feud.

If Vince McMahon, who it seems is never in a good mood, said he liked your smile and put his arm around you, as he said and did to Josh Matthews this week, wouldn't you be scared? 

I'm a sucker for a Royal Rumble, and WWE gave me two this week, so you won't hear any complaints out of me.  I thought the match was good, and other than the Rhyno mistake, they worked around the fact that there had to be commercial breaks rather well.  They continued to build the Big Show-John Cena rivalry, and all signs point to a singles match between the two at No Way Out or Wrestlemania.  The finish, with Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle going at it for several minutes and teasing the crowd with a bunch of false finishes, was every bit as good (and in some ways better) than the Benoit-Show finish of the Rumble on Sunday.

Between the Foley promo on Raw and the Rumble on Smackdown, WWE definitely took advantage of their post-Royal Rumble momentum.  Here's hoping they keep it up.

You can reach me at


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