Judgment Day 2005 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was the seventh annual event of the same name and took place on May 22, 2005, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was presented by Clearasil. The event featured wrestlers and other talent that performed on the SmackDown! program.
The main event was an "I Quit" match featuring two wrestlers fighting until one stated "I Quit." WWE Champion John Cena defeated John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) to retain his championship. Two featured bouts were scheduled on the undercard. In respective standard wrestling matches, Rey Mysterio defeated Eddie Guerrero and Booker T defeated Kurt Angle.
Judgment Day grossed over $500,000 in ticket sales from an attendance of 9,500, and received 220,000 pay-per-view buys. This event helped WWE increase its pay-per-view revenue by $4.7 compared to the previous year.
The event featured seven professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines. Wrestlers portrayed either a villainous or fan favorite gimmick as they followed a series of events which generally built tension, leading to a wrestling match. The name of a wrestler's character was not always the person's birth name, as wrestlers often use a stage name to portray their character. All wrestlers were from the SmackDown! brand – a storyline division in which WWE assigned its employees to a different program, the other being Raw.
The main event at Judgment Day was between John Cena and John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) over the WWE Championship in an "I Quit" match. The previous month at WrestleMania 21, Cena defeated JBL to win the WWE Championship. On the April 7 episode of SmackDown!, authority figure Theodore Long, a portrayed match maker and rules enforcer, scheduled a series of number one contenders matches, after JBL, Eddie Guerrero, (Rey Mysterio), The Big Show, Booker T, and Kurt Angle all demanded a WWE Championship match. The first match that Long announced was between JBL and Rey Mysterio. Mysterio was disqualified, after Eddie Guerrero interfered and attacked JBL, which resulting in JBL winning the match. The following week on SmackDown!, Guerrero and Kurt Angle were scheduled for the second contender's match. Angle advanced to the finals, as he went on to defeat Guerrero. Later during the program, Cena unveiled a spinner version of the WWE championship. Before the unveiling, however, JBL came out wearing the original WWE championship. On the April 21 episode of SmackDown!, Booker T and Big Show were booked in another contenders match. After the match ended in a double disqualification, Long booked JBL, Angle, Booker T, and Big Show in a standard wrestling match involving four wrestlers, dubbed as a Fatal Four-Way match, for the following week. JBL won the match, after he pinned Angle and having the right to face Cena at Judgment Day with the championship on the line. On the May 5 episode of SmackDown!, Cena proposed that he would defend the championship against JBL in an "I Quit" match. Two weeks later, on the May 19 episode of SmackDown!, JBL faced Scotty 2 Hotty, which Scotty 2 Hotty won after JBL was disqualified. After the match, however, JBL attacked Scotty and demanded that he say "I quit." JBL further the assault, choking him with a leather belt, Scotty said "I quit." That same night, Cena defeated The Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny) in a handicap match, a match consisting of one wrestler or team of wrestlers facing off against a team of wrestlers with numerical superiority such as two against one, or three against two. During the duration of the match, JBL, who was at ringside, yelled at Cena, telling him to say "I quit."
One of the featured preliminary matches was Rey Mysterio versus Eddie Guerrero in a singles match. Two months prior to Judgment Day, at WrestleMania 21, Rey Mysterio defeated Eddie Guerrero. In the weeks that followed, Guerrero and Mysterio were challenged by MNM (Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro, and Melina) to defend the WWE Tag Team Championship, which Guerrero and Mysterio accepted. MNM defeated Guerrero and Mysterio to win the WWE Tag Team title after Guerrero walked out in the middle of the match. On the April 28 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero and Mysterio were given a rematch for the Tag Team championship. During the match, however, Mysterio accidentally performed a flying body press on Guerrero which led to Guerrero abandoning Mysterio, but returned as the fans urged Guerrero to come back. MNM retained the belt after pinning Mysterio for the win. The following week, Teddy Long booked a Street Fight match, a match without disqualifications and where scoring conditions can occur anywhere, between Mysterio and Guerrero's nephew, Chavo Guerrero. Mysterio came out as the winner of the match. After the match, Mercury and Nitro attacked Mysterio, which prompted Guerrero to come out and clear the ring. Guerrero, however, attacked Mysterio. The assault led to Guerrero lifting Mysterio off the ground and driving Mysterio's back on the ring steps. This angle saw Guerrero turn into a villain. As a result, the following week, Long promoted a match between Guerrero and Mysterio at Judgment Day.
The other featured preliminary match was Kurt Angle versus Booker T in a singles match. On the April 28th episode of SmackDown!, Angle, Booker T, Big Show and JBL took part in a Fatal four-way match to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship, which JBL won. During the match, Angle hit Booker T with a steel chair to eliminate him. Booker came back and hit Angle with a chair to cause him to be eliminated. The following week, Angle challenged Booker T to a match at Judgment Day, which Booker accepted. Prior to that, Angle had insulted Booker T's wife, Sharmell, which led to Booker T attacking and accepting Angle's challenge. On the May 12 episode of SmackDown!, Angle admitted he would like to have "perverted sex" with Sharmell. That same night, Angle and Booker T were scheduled in a match, which led to Angle leaving the ring and going backstage to Sharmell. Booker T went backstage and found Sharmell on the floor crying. This led to Angle attacking Booker T from behind and pushing him towards a pair of steel lockers. The following week, SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long was scripted to suspend Angle and demanded that Angle apologize for his actions. Angle apologized, but admitted that he actually kissed Sharmell and let her fondle his "private parts" before Booker T made his way to the locker room. Booker after watching the interview kicked a TV monitor and breaked it.
After Sunday Night Heat, the pay-per-view began with a tag team match where MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro) (with Melina) defended the WWE Tag Team Championship against the team of Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas. The match started off with Nitro and Haas in the ring. Haas took the advantage in the match and was able to tag in Holly. There was back and forth action between the two teams, as all of the superstars were able to participate in the match. Mercury threw Haas upwards in the air, as he fell, Nitro placed him in a facelock and all three fell but Haas' face hit the mat, a move MNM called the Snapshot. Mercury pinned Haas, which resulted in MNM retaining the WWE Tag Team title.
The second wrestling match on the pay-per-view was The Big Show versus Carlito, who was accompanied by Matt Morgan. For the duration of the match, Big Show used his body size to his advantage as he squashed, or easily and quickly performed moves on Carlito. The momentum changed, when Carlito gained control part way through the match. This saw Carlito hit a low blow on Big Show's groin area. Carlito won the match and gained the successful pinfall after Morgan lifted Big Show on his shoulders and threw him in a spinning motion.
The next match was a standard match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, in which Paul London defended the title against Chavo Guerrero. After back and forth action between the two, London was able to perform a 450° splash, a move in which involves flipping forward to 450 degree from a raised platform and landing on the opponent in the splash position. London then pinned Guerrero to retain the WWE Cruiserweight title.
The final preliminary match was Kurt Angle versus Booker T. After Booker T backed Angle into the ring ropes and executed a shoulder charge, Angle began to bleed from the mouth. The match saw exchange offense from both Angle and Booker T. The match came to an end when Angle tried to lift and twist Booker T 90 degrees to slam him down, but Booker T grabbed Angle's leg and rolled him into a pinfall victory.
Main event matches
The first featured match was for the WWE United States Championship, where Orlando Jordan defended the title against Heidenreich. As the match began, Jordan was able to perform a dropkick sending Heidenreich through the ropes to the outside. Heidenreich, however, would gain the advantage after countering Jordan's attack from the top rope into a suplex. Afterwards, Jordan drove Heidenreich's head into the mat and pinned Heidenreich to retain the United States title.
The next match was Eddie Guerrero versus Rey Mysterio in a standard match. In the match, Mysterio tried to counter Guerrero's offense, but Guerrero blocked all of Mysterio's attempts. Mysterio gained the advantage when he was able to execute a flying headbutt to Guerrero. One part of the match saw Mysterio perform a 619. Mysterio won the match after Guerrero was disqualified for hitting him with a steel chair.
The main event was the "I Quit" match for the WWE Championship, in which John Cena defended his title against John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL). Cena came out on the flatbed of a semi truck with a DJ on a turntable mixing his theme song. During the match, both Cena and JBL were able to get in offense. One part of the match saw Cena backdrop JBL through the announce table after telling him to "kiss my ass." Shortly after, JBL hit Cena with a steel chair which caused Cena to bleed from his forehead. JBL also went as far as to demand "Give me my championship back!" Later in the match, up the ramp area, Cena threw JBL face first through a television monitor. The match ended when JBL said "I quit", as Cena prepared to hit him with an exhaust pipe, which came from the semi truck that was at the ramp area. As a result, Cena retained the WWE Championship. Despite the match being over, Cena then hit JBL with the exhaust pipe.
On the June 6 episode of Raw, one of WWE's primary television programs, John Cena's SmackDown! tenure came to an end when he became the first wrestler selected by Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff in the draft lottery, a mock sports draft lottery in which wrestlers switched programs. Cena immediately entered a staged rivalry with Eric Bischoff after when he refused to participate in Bischoff's "war" against the upcoming Extreme Championship Wrestling reunion show. Cena went onto resume his feud with Christian, as they had an encounter at the Royal Rumble in January. During the feud, Chris Jericho was involved as well, as he protested Bischoff's actions of scheduling a WWE championship match between Cena and Christian at Vengeance. After defeating Christian and Tyson Tomko in a tag team match, Jericho betrayed Cena. Convinced with the outcome of the events, Bischoff changed the original match between Christian and Cena to a standard wrestling match involving three wrestlers, involving Jericho for the WWE Championship at Vengeance. At the event, Cena retained the WWE Championship.
On the June 30 episode of SmackDown!, a match between six wrestlers for a new top-tier SmackDown! championship was held. JBL, one of the participants, was victorious in the match, but Theodore Long announced that he was still not the champion. Instead he had won the right to a match against the World Heavyweight champion, Batista, who was SmackDown!'s final 2005 draft pick, making the World Heavyweight Championship exclusive to SmackDown!. The following week, it was announced Batista would meet JBL at The Great American Bash with the World Heavyweight championship on the line. At the Great American Bash, Batista was disqualified for attacking JBL with a chair and JBL was declared the winner. In WWE, a title cannot be won by disqualification, but only by pinfall or submission (the normal scoring conditions in professional wrestling matches). As a result, Batista retained the title.
On the June 13 episode of Raw, Kurt Angle's tenure with SmackDown! came to an end, as he was also drafted to the Raw brand. There, he immediately continued his feud with Shawn Michaels. At the start of the year, Angle and Michaels both participated in the Royal Rumble match at the January pay-per-view event. During the match, Michaels eliminated Angle. In retaliation, Angle returned to the match and eliminated Michaels and then attacked him outside the ring. The two engaged in a feud, which led to an Interpromotional match at WrestleMania 21, as Angle was part of the SmackDown! roster and Michaels belonged to the Raw roster. At WrestleMania 21, Angle got the win over Michaels by forcing him to submit to an ankle lock submission hold. The same evening Angle was drafted, Michaels challenged Angle to a WrestleMania 21 rematch at Vengeance, in which Angle accepted. At Vengeance, the rematch saw Michaels defeat Angle.
The angle between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio continued. On an episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero threatened to reveal a secret concerning Mysterio's son Dominick. This led the families of both Guerrero and Mysterio pleading with Guerrero not to reveal the secret. At the Great American Bash, Mysterio defeated Guerrero in a match where if Guerrero lost, he could not reveal the secret. On the July 28 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero, however, revealed the secret, claiming he was Dominick's scripted biological father. The storyline also went on that Guerrero knew Mysterio was having trouble starting his own family, so Guerrero left Dominick to be raised by Mysterio's family. In subsequent weeks, Guerrero threatened to take custody of Dominick, drawing up custody papers and having his lawyer present them to Mysterio. This led to a Ladder match, a match where the objective was to climb a ladder and reach an object hanging above the ring, between the two for the custody of Dominick at SummerSlam, which Mysterio won.
The Target Center had a maximum capacity of 20,000, which was reduced for the event. This event grossed over $500,000 from an approximate attendance of 9,500, the maximum allowed. It also received 220,000 pay-per-view buys. Judgment Day helped WWE earn $21.6 million in revenue from pay-per-view events versus $16.9 million the previous year, which was later confirmed by Linda McMahon on September 7, 2005 in a quarterly result. Canadian Online Explorers professional wrestling section rated the event a 5 out of 10 stars. The rating was lower than the Judgment Day event in 2006, which was said to be an entertaining pay-per-view to watch. The "I Quit" match between John Cena and JBL was rated an eight out of 10 stars. Additionally, the match between Orlando Jordan and Heidenreich was rated a 4 out of 10 stars.
The event was released on DVD on June 21, 2005 by Sony Music Entertainment.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sunday Night Heat: Nunzio defeated Akio (03:29)
- MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro) (c) (w/ Melina) defeated Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas to retain WWE Tag Team Championship (08:04)
- Carlito (w/ Matt Morgan) defeated The Big Show (04:41)
- Paul London (c) defeated Chavo Guerrero to retain WWE Cruiserweight Championship (10:41)
- Booker T defeated Kurt Angle (14:09)
- Orlando Jordan (c) defeated Heidenreich to retain WWE United States Championship (04:54)
- Rey Mysterio defeated Eddie Guerrero by disqualification (18:31)
- John Cena (c) defeated John "Bradshaw" Layfield in a "I Quit" match to retain the WWE Championship (22:40)
Other on-screen talent
- Judgment Day 2005 Official site
- Judgment Day 2005 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Judgment Day 2005 at Online World of Wrestling
- Judgment Day 2005 on WWE Network
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