Minneapolis, Minnesota
January 22, 2004


Out to destroy his cousin and brother, Eddie Guerrero entered the final SmackDown! before the Royal Rumble as a man on a mission. Teaming with Kurt Angle against the elder and younger Chavo Guerrero, Eddie sought retribution for their vicious assault last week and the opportunity to gain the advantage heading into Sunday’s match with his former tag team partner. However, by evening’s end, Eddie’s life would be filled with more questions than answers, and he now must wonder what else can go wrong just hours before what could be the biggest match of his career.

The Guerrero/Angle team had anything but a smooth start as Eddie attempted to start the match, only to be held back by Angle, who started the match in order to allow Eddie to calm down. That theme would reoccur throughout the match as Eddie tried to enter the mix on several occasions, only to be thwarted by Angle. When the time finally came and Eddie seemed to be in control, Angle himself would spoil the evening, albeit by accident. Angle fell victim to a thumb to his eye that was so vicious that he was temporarily blinded. When his partner came over to check on his status, Angle gave Eddie an Angleslam, apparently mistaking him for one of the opponents. As Angle was escorted from the ring by doctors, a felled Eddie was on his own, and Chavo hit the Frogsplash for the win.

In three days, the former Los Guerreros team will engage each other one-on-one in what could be one of the most intense matches in Royal Rumble history. Can Eddie get it together before the match or will his misfortune continue?

Also on SmackDown!, while Eddie Guerrero’s fortunes were heading south, those of John Cena and Chris Benoit have never been better, as the duo once again survived an attempt by Paul Heyman to thwart their efforts to win the Royal Rumble. One week after getting a taste of his own medicine at the hands of Cena via a bar of soap, Heyman vowed to begin a new era for SmackDown! and “clean up” the recent vulgar activities he thought were taking place, courtesy of Cena and Benoit. By putting Cena and Benoit in a match against Rhyno, Matt Morgan, the Big Show and Brock Lesnar, he thought he could take care of Cena and Benoit once and for all.

However, as seems to be the usual case in recent weeks, Cena and Benoit scored the victory after a Big Show no-show and early departure by Lesnar evened the odds. There may be no WWE Superstars on a tear more than Cena and Benoit heading into the Royal Rumble and Sunday could see Heyman’s worst nightmares come true if either Superstar gains the win. However, in what could be another sign of things to come, Big Show did appear later on to attack both Benoit and Cena, and left both lying in the ring. Is there any Superstar out there who can throw the largest professional athlete on earth over the top rope? Watch the Royal Rumble to find out!

Speaking of the Rumble, for the second straight week on SmackDown!, Heyman allowed different SmackDown! Superstars the opportunity to earn spots in the Rumble via Qualifying Matches, where it was revealed that Tajiri, A-Train, and Bradshaw will enter the Rumble, as will Ernest “The Cat” Miller. Will a SmackDown! Superstar win the Rumble and go to WrestleMania? Find out this Sunday during the Royal Rumble.

SmackDown! comes to you live next week from our Nation’s Capital and will have all of the fallout from Royal Rumble. Who will win the Rumble and go to WrestleMania? Will Eddie Guerrero gain revenge on his cousin and brother? Will Rey Mysterio be successful against a ruthless Jamie Noble? Watch the Royal Rumble on Sunday to find out, and see all of the fallout next week on SmackDown!

Match Results:
Rey Mysterio defeated Chuck Palumbo

Tajiri defeated Billy Kidman in a Royal Rumble Qualifying Match

A-Train defeated Shannon Moore in a Royal Rumble Qualifying Match

Chris Benoit & John Cena defeated Rhyno, Matt Morgan, Big Show & Brock Lesnar

Bradshaw defeated Akio & Sakoda in a Triple Threat Royal Rumble Qualifying Match

Chavo Guerrero, Jr. & Chavo Guerrero defeated Eddie Guerrero & Kurt Angle