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December 12, 2004

JBL vs. Undertaker vs. Booker T vs. Eddie Gurrero in a Fatal Four Way for the WWE Championship

All three challengers believed they deserved singles re-matches against the champion; however, SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long thought otherwise. In a surprise move, Long declared the match at Armageddon would be a Fatal Four Way.

That wasn't good news for JBL, as the match removes any type of advantage. It allows anyone to pin anyone for the victory and the championship. Prior to the match, he could only stare at the title with a somber look. It was as though he believed it would be the last time he'd be walking to the ring with the gold strapped around his waist.

Just before making his way to the ring, JBL's Cabinet consoled him in the locker room. The Cabinet -- Orlando Jordan, Amy Weber and the Basham brothers -- were barred from ringside by Long. Usually a Fatal Four Way can only be decided by pinfall or submission, but the GM ordered that if any of The Cabinet were at ringside, JBL would be stripped of the championship. 

But his gloomy foreshadowing didn't come to fruition. He was miraculously able to capitalize on interference by Heidenreich to blast Booker T with a Clothesline From Hell for the pinfall victory. 

As the match began, it looked as if Eddie and Booker T were working as a cohesive unit. The lust to become the champion didn't keep them on the same page for very long. Undertaker was able to gain control and began focusing on Eddie and Booker. JBL watched patiently from outside the ring, waiting for the best possible time to take advantage in the match. Staying out of the flames may have been the champion's smartest move and quite possibly -- along with Heidenreich's interference -- what helped him walk out of Philips Arena with the title.

As the champion waited, the remaining three Superstars were engaged in an all out brawl. When JBL finally decided to get back into the ring, the Deadman was ready for him. As Undertaker was about to deliver his signature Tombstone on JBL, Heidenreich charged down the ramp and ruined the Phenom's chances at a win. 

With Undertaker distracted by Heidenreich, JBL strategically set up Booker T for the Clothesline From Hell. Exhausted from the free for all, Booker was unable to kick out, and JBL was awarded the victory.

Against stacked odds three Superstars who wanted nothing more than to punish the champion, JBL escaped with his gold intact -- proving yet again why he was the WWE Champion.

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