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LOOKING FOR ANSWERS  (June 24, 2004 )                                       




All John Cena wanted was a face-to-face, man-to-Deadman chat. What he got, thanks to General Manager Kurt Angle, was the most difficult match of his young career.

A more focused, dangerous Undertaker made a demonstration of loyalty out of Cena for the second straight week, systematically breaking down and tearing apart the upstart SmackDown! Superstar. When it was all over, Cena once again fell victim to a Tombstone Piledriver.

Cena left everything he had in the ring holding his own with the Phenom and battling back from near annihilation multiple times. Cena even hit the FU as part of a well-executed counter attack, but the finisher came during a chaotic sequence that left the referee the unconscious victim of a clothesline. Cenas cover proved fruitless, and the veteran Undertaker took full advantage of the lawless environment. First the Phenom landed a driving chokeslam. Then, he blasted Cena with a fistful of chained steel.

The hard-fought main event ended in a manner that must have felt like déjà vu for the United States Champion, and quite likely it weakened Cena only days before his Fatal Fourway Match at The Great American Bash.

Seeing the Deadman once again do Paul Heymans bidding was a chilling reminder of what awaits at Sundays pay-per-view in Norfolk, Va. Will the Undertaker save Paul Bearer from a Concrete Crypt by doing the right thing against the Dudley Boyz? Perhaps more importantly, will Heyman do the right thing by Bearer or will the Undertakers closest confident suffocate in a tomb of cement.

In other SmackDown! action, Luther Reigns hoped to teach WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero a little respect. And although Reigns displayed shocking power (including an effortless press slam), Guerrero proved too wily and strong-willed. After Eddies famous frog splash, John Bradshaw Layfield could take no more, opting to soften Guerrero himself with a bull rope. Both men showed they can creatively use that rope to their advantage when the two square off in a Texas Bull Rope Match at the Bash. But its hard to imagine how either intense competitor will succeed in dragging the other to all four corners of the ring in succession, as the special match stipulates.

SmackDown! had major implications for The Great American Bash card. Chavo Guerrero outlasted nine other cruiserweights to earn a pay-per-view title match against Rey Mysterio. Also, two Playboy cover girls will lock bunny ears at the Bash: Torrie Wilson will tangle with Sable! For the record, all the SmackDown! Divas including the two in-ring competitors will still host the extravaganza.

Match Results:
Chavo Guerrero wins the 10-man cruiserweight Battle Royal
Order of elimination: Spike Dudley, Nunzio, Paul London, Shannon Moore, Akio, Scotty 2 Hotty, Funaki, Jamie Noble, Billy Kidman
Billy Gunn defeats Kenzo Suzuki (DQ)
Rene Dupree def. Rob Van Dam
Eddie Guerrero def. Luther Reigns (DQ)
The Undertaker def. John Cena

Classic Taker

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