Uncasville, Connecticut
January 15, 2004


Paul Heyman thought he picked the perfect night to gamble. After all, his SmackDown! show took place at the Mohegan Sun Arena – home to one of the most popular casinos on the East Coast. So Heyman entered SmackDown! thinking that there was no better night to gamble … especially when the GM could stack the odds completely in his favor.

After a confrontation with John Cena to open SmackDown! in which Heyman was saved by an opportunistic Rhyno, Heyman set up what he thought was a sure thing when he arranged the first-ever Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap Match between Rhyno and Cena. Had Cena lost, he would have had a bar of soap put in his mouth, courtesy of Heyman. However, a Cena victory would leave Heyman with the soapy taste in his mouth. And to get the inside track, Heyman created another stipulation where Rhyno would compete under ECW rules (i.e. no rules) whereas Cena would be given zero tolerance for any rules infractions.

Unfortunately for Heyman, his bet went bust and the result left him with a bitter pill to swallow, literally. Rhyno did not come through, and Cena scored the win, leading to a Heyman escape attempt. Heyman apparently had rolled the dice once too often and crapped out -- courtesy of Chris Benoit -- who dragged Heyman back to the ring. With Benoit holding Heyman down in a Sharpshooter, Cena gave Heyman a taste of his own medicine and proceeded to wash the GM’s mouth out with soap. He then repeated, just to make sure Heyman was thoroughly cleansed.

Heyman has started 2004 with three straight weeks of disappointment. During the next 10 days, he will have SmackDown! and then Royal Rumble to turn things around. Does he have a plan in mind? Tune in to find out!

Heyman’s misery paled in comparison to that of Eddie Guerrero. One week after suffering an assault at the hands of his nephew, Chavo, Guerrero entered the arena to learn from Kurt Angle that the elder Chavo Guerrero – Eddie’s brother and Chavo’s father – would be there to discuss the situation. The meeting held some promise at the beginning as the elder Chavo apologized for his son’s actions. However, soon after Chavo, Jr. entered the mix, the situation changed, and both father and son attacked Eddie, leaving him lying in the ring for the second week in a row. As a result of the incident, Eddie and Chavo Guerrero will meet at the Royal Rumble, and based on the last two weeks, this match could get ugly. Eddie later appeared to want to attack Kurt Angle, but he instead thanked Angle for showing him the light and he claimed he will now turn his attention on gaining revenge on his nephew at the Rumble. Click here for Royal Rumble.

Speaking of Royal Rumble, thanks to Heyman’s plans, several more participants in the 30-man Battle Royal were revealed on SmackDown! via the results of Qualification Matches. However, it seemed as if the matches Heyman set up led to some dissention among two SmackDown! teams. First, the much anticipated WWE Tag Team Championship Match between the Basham Brothers and Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty was cancelled in lieu of a one on one match between the two challengers. Rikishi scored the win and will enter the Royal Rumble, but the match appeared to lead to a rift between the Rikishi/Scotty 2 Hotty team. The same thing happened when all three members of the FBI had a Battle Royal to determine the lone Rumble participant from the three. Nunzio gained the win, but neither Chuck Palumbo nor Johnny Stamboli seemed happy. The Big Show and both members of the Self-Proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team also earned spots in the Royal Rumble and a potential shot at the WWE Championship. Show beat Funaki despite wearing a neck brace, courtesy of Hardcore Holly as a result of their match a week ago. There was actually a restraining order for Holly to stay 50-feet away from Show, a restraining order which Brock Lesnar took full advantage of and stayed by Show's side the entire evening.

With one SmackDown! to go before Royal Rumble, is there dissention within the ranks of the FBI and Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty? Will Hardcore Holly take a final crack at Brock Lesnar before their Royal Rumble match? Who will be the final SmackDown! participants in the Royal Rumble? Only one way to find out, watch SmackDown! next week at 8/7 CT on UPN!


Match Results:

Jamie Noble defeated Tajiri in a No. 1 Contender’s Match – Noble will face Rey Mysterio at Royal Rumble

Rikishi defeated Scotty 2 Hotty to earn a spot in the Royal Rumble

The Self-Proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team defeated the Basham Brothers to earn spots in the Royal Rumble

Nunzio defeated Chuck Palumbo and Johnny Stamboli in a Battle Royal to earn a spot in the Royal Rumble

The Big Show defeated Funaki to earn a spot in the Royal Rumble

John Cena defeated Rhyno in a Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap Match