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Smackdown!: Angle returns, Mysterio claims Cruiserweight gold
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight, in East Rutherford, News Jersey, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim will try to steal† a win on the road and capture at 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. Which net minder will crack first in this duel between the pipes? What, Smackdown! is on. Somebody get the remote. It\'s a good thing I changed the channel when I did. I would\'ve missed a great video tribute to Kurt Angle as he makes his return from neck surgery tonight. But, still, even if the hockey game ends in a 1-0 Devil\'s win, it\'ll still be better then what the WWE has been offering up on Smackdown. Prove me wrong Vince, for the love of God, prove me wrong!

Micheal Cole and Tazz join us from sunny Anaheim, California, home of said Mighty Ducks. Coincidence? I think not.

The show starts off with Piper\'s Pit, tonight. With Sean O\'Haire in tow, Piper informs us tonight\'s guest is very \"special\". That \"special\" guest is Zach Gowan. Instead of the courageous kid, we first get Vince McMahon. That\'s just what I wanted, too, more Vinnie Mac. Must fight urge to switch over to Stanley Cup Finals! Vince informs us that things are going to change starting now. Vince says he was wrong about Zach Gowan, in fact, Mr. Gowan is an American success story, just like himself. Gowan can even earn himself a WWE contract, if he likes. Gowan then comes out to the ring, with Mr. America, much to the chagrin of the boss. Vince tells Gowan he admires him, but not his choice in heros, i.e. Mr. America and Hulk Hogan. Vince goes on to tell Gowan he can give him what he wants, a WWE contract. Next week he will get his chance, in an arm wrestling contest. Vince will be the opponent, versus, no not Mr. America, but Zach Gowan himself. I mean that actually seems fair and makes sense. The kid should earn his contract and not have someone else do it for him. I hate taking Vince side, but this actually makes sense. Vince and Piper then school boy Gowan, a move I haven\'t seen since the third grade playground. Vince wraps it up with some very un-PC comments.

Match #1 - Undertaker vs. Chuck Palumbo w/ the FBI

Dead man walking or should I say riding. And look at this we finally get our first match only 20 minutes into the show. Palumbo disrespects the dead man early in match by throwing his cigar butt at him. The Undertaker then shows he still has some jump in those old legs, by leapfrogging Palumbo. Once again the numbers game gets to Undertaker, as Stamboli and Nunzio jump him outside the ring.† Undertaker persevers and wins the match after a chokeslam takes out Palumbo. Nunzio tries to get his shots in after the match, and almost takes the last ride for his trouble. Palumbo makes the save, but Undertaker cleans house before Nunzio can hit him with a chair. Undertaker then sits in the middle of the ring, proving that it\'s still his yard.

Winner: Undertaker via pinfall

Rey Misterio\'s family is in the house to night to support Rey as he goes for the cruiserweight title.

Finally a tribute to \"Classy\" Freddy Blassie. It\'s only 30 minutes into the show, but it was well worth the wait. The WWE really hit a home run with this one. I hope they shoe it again next week on RAW.†

Match #2 - Los Guerreros vs. The Basham Brothers

When will the ring announcer realize that Tajiri had been adopted by the Guerreros, he doesn\'t have to introduce them separately anymore! Anyway, Los Guerreros roll up to the ring in a tricked out Caddy! This is a non-title match, but it\'s a great opportunity for the recently signed Bashams. Doug Basham start the match out by getting the sot beat out of him. Doug manages to tag in his brother Danny, but he doesn\'t fair well, either. Eddie hits the rolling vertical suplexes on Danny. The Bashams mount a little offense, but it is short lived. Tajiri slaps the tarantula on Danny, while Doug gets a taste of the frogsplash. Tajiri lets Danny go and pins Doug for the win.

Winner: Los Guerreros via pinfall.

He\'s back! Kurt Angle makes a triumphant return to the WWE, tonight. Much to my surprise there are very few \"YOU SUCK!\" chants during Angle\'s entrance. In fact Angle receives a standing ovation.† Once in the ring Angle tells the crowd it is so good to hear those words again. In fact, Angle calls for his music and leads the crowd in a \"YOU SUCK!\" chant. The America Hero says he came back because he is a champion, and he wants to win the championship, again. Angle also wants to thank the one person that helped him through his surgery, but before we can find out who it is The Big Show interrupts the comeback.††

Big Show said something, but I really didn\'t hear it. All I heard was, žBlah, blah, blah. I\'m not happy you\'re back. Blah, blah, blah. I\'ll win the title next week. Blah, blah, blah. If you face me I\'ll hospitalize you permanently.Ó Angle responds by offering Show a breath strip, but Show isn\'t a joking mood tonight. Angle then climbs the turnbuckles to get in Show\'s face. Angle tells show he won a gold medal and defended the WWE Championship with a žbroken-freaking-neckÓ, so he isn\'t afraid of Show. The giant doesn\'t take kindly to those words and threatens to snap Angle in half, until Brock Lesnar makes his way to the ring. Big Show decides now is not the time for a fight and heads back to the locker room, leaving the champ in the ring with the Olympic hero. Angle tells Brock he didn\'t need his help tonight. Lesnar then offers Angle a shot at the title after he takes care of the Big Show. Angle then thanks Lesnar for his support through his surgery and his new friendship. Aaaawwwwww ! That\'s so sweet.

If you didn\'t know Ultimo Dragon is coming to Smackdown!

Match #3 - Chris Benoit vs John Cena

John Cena sports a Lebron† James jersey tonight, as he cuts a mean rap on the cruiserweights and Chris Beniot. What college offers Thug-a-nomics 101? I want to enroll. Benoit wastes little time taking it to Cena right away. Benoit hits the flying head-butt after a mean-looking DDT. Cena recovers and kicks out. Benoit then tries to go for the rolling German suplexes, but can only hit the first one. During the reversal the ref takes a bump, and goes down. Cena grabs his trusty chain, but Rhyno is there to stop him. The Man-beast tries to hit Cean with it, but clock Benoit instead. Cena covers the laid-out wolverine and picks up the win. After the match Rhyno checks on the damage he accidentally caused.

Winner: John Cena via pin fall

Match #4 - Mixed Tag Match† Torrie Wilson and Rikishi vs. Nidia and Jaime Noble

I\'ll be switching to the hockey game now. Let\'s go Ducks! I\'ve returned just in time to see Nidia get the stinkface from Rikishi followed by a swinging neckbreaker from Torrie. Torrie pins Nidia for the three count

Winner: Torrie Wilson and Rikishi via pin fall

Backstage Josh Matthews asks Rey Misterio about his injured groin. Injury or no injury, I don\'t want a guy asking about my groin. Rey answers just by saying that he;s ready to bring the cruiserweight title to the west coast. Eddie Guerrero then drops in the give Misterio some advice. I really wish I hadn\'t slept through Spanish class right now; I can\'t understand a word Eddie is saying.

We see Vince leaving Steph\'s office, when his daughter confronts him. She is none too happy how Vince is treating Zach Gowen. Steph tells her father that she will sign him if she wants. Vince tells her if she does she is fired. In fact, Vince thinks Steph needs an assistant, and he has hired one for her. It\'s Sable. Steph reminds dear old dad that this is the woman that sued the company for millions. And what did she sue for, kids? That\'s right sexual harassment. Vince just tells Steph that she is jealous that her new assistant is better looking then she is.

Match #5 - Rey Misterio vs. Matt Hardy (v1.0) w/ Shannon Moore and Crash Cruiser weight Title match

Misterio stops and gives his son some love before the match. Once the match starts Shannon Moore looks like he is up to no good, but referee Brian Hebner puts a quick stop to that. Hebner then flexes more ref muscle as he banished Moore and Crash to the locker room, after then double team Misterio outside the ring. Once again, WWE feels the need to take a commercial break in the middle of a match. The real frustrating thing is that this is a taped show! Misterio sells the groin injury, as he cannot run across the ring to hit the 619. Misterio does manage to use Hardy\'s Twist of Fate against him, and then is able to hit a 619 by hopping on one leg. The West Coast Pop is successful, as Misterio is caught in mid-air. In the struggle both men fall out of the ring. Misterio makes it back in the ring, but Hardy goes for his title belt instead. Instead of counting Hardy out, Hebner exits the rings to force the leader of Mattitude to continue. This gives Moore and Crash enough time to hit the ring and lay out Misterio. Hardy drops the leg from the top rope, and retains the title. But, wait! Misterio kicks outs! Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate, but Misterio reverses it into a roll-up and a pin fall. Rey Misterio wins the cruiserweight title. His young son jumps the security wall and celebrates in the ring with his dad.

Winner and new cruiserweight champion: Rey Misterio via pinfall

Next week Brock Lesnar defends his title against† The Big Show. Also, Zach Gowen will try to win a WWE contract by beating Vince McMahon in an arm wrestling contest.

Dale Plummer is a rookie on the Slam! Wrestling staff.† Dale actually won his position on Slam! Wrestling by beating Raw reporter Nick Tylwalk in an arm wrestling contest.