Smackdown: Angle gets his licks in on Sharmell
NICK TYWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling
I feel like I may have been snookered. See, I agreed to cover tonight's show for regular SLAM! Wrestling Smackdown! reporter Dale Plummer while he's busy climbing the corporate ladder because we're good friends. But what kind of friend, I ask you, knowingly lets me cover a show with a main event featuring Kurt Angle facing noted grappler Sharmell? Ah well, Edmonton, here we come, live plus or minus two days on UPN.
After some video highlights of Angle's victory last Thursday and his, um, challenge to Sharmell, we head to the ring for Carlito's Cabana. Carlito dubs Edmonton the "least coolest city in North America" and rolls footage of Matt Morgan planting the Big Show through a table with an F-5 on the last Smackdown. Am amused CCC says Show won't be here tonight, and that Morgan owns Show the way he owns his guest tonight: WWE champion John Cena. Sporting a Wayne Gretzky throwback, the champ has some fun with stuttering Matt, pointing out the similarities between Morgan and Michael Cole. The Edmonton fans break out into a "Michael Cole" chant, much to the amusement of Tazz. Cena also thinks Carlito is not cool, but CCC thinks Cena might be silenced if Raw superstars like Triple H, Edge or Shawn Michaels end up on Smackdown. John says anyone who wants some can get some. That includes Carlito and Morgan, and since he's already talked to GM Teddy Long, Cena says he'll be facing the duo in a tag
team match tonight with a partner who will be here by the end of the show. If you said Big Show, give yourself 25 points.
Speaking of Long, his cell phone call is cut off by an angry Booker T. He makes it clear in no uncertain terms that he wants his wife out of tonight's match with Angle, but Long says Kurt could pick anyone on Smackdown to face. Still, Teddy doesn't like what Angle has been doing to Sharmell either, so he's going to do something about it by adding Booker to the match. I almost forgot this show has a face GM.
Match 1 -- MNM (champions) vs. Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas (challengers) -- WWE Tag Team Title, Most Falls in 15 Minutes Match
Tazz thinks the challengers are the favorites in this format, and Haas comes out firing by trying to score quick falls on Johnny Nitro. Holly continues the assault on Joey Mercury but can't quite keep him down for three. He finally looks for an Alabama Slam, but Melina has the ref distracted so Nitro can score with a superkick. Mercury covers to give the champs the first fall with about 11:30 left. Holly uses a series of arm drags and a small package to earn a near fall, and reverses a suplex into a roll-up for another two. We head for commercial at the 9:31 mark, and ... hey, how come we have to go to commercial on a show that's not live? In any case, MNM gets another fall during the break, so our heroes are down by two. With only 6:30 left, Haas is in trouble. He finally gets loose after dodging a charge in the corner and makes the hot tag to Holly, but there's less than two minutes remaining. Hardcore almost pins Mercury but Nitro bails him out. The champs crotch Holly on the top
rope and look to line him up for the Snapshot. But Haas comes to the rescue, tackling Nitro so hard that he flies out to the floor. That allows Holly to hit the Alabama Slam, but Melina crawls on top of Mercury long enough for time to expire, frustrating Holly's chance to tie it up. No title change here folks.
A long video package recaps the drama between Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero that just seems to keep rolling along. I don't need to say anything more about it because Dale has covered it all and I know he has loyal readers. Or yeah, I guess you could have watched all those episodes yourself.
Before the next match (the one I have been oh so eagerly anticipating), Angle wants some time to call out Tazz. He asks if Tazz declined to do commentary for the Kurt Angle Invitational last week because Angle disrespected ECW. Kurt reminds the announcer that he was the one who disrespected Angle during his one and only trip to ECW about nine years ago. The footage rolls, and sure enough, Taz (one 'z' back then) dismisses the American Hero by saying, "You're a great amateur, but I'm a great professional." Angle says he knows the devil made Tazz do it, and the devil's name is Paul Heyman. After all, it wasn't ECW that made Tazz a superstar -- it was WWE. Angle does the Darth Vader bit and asks Tazz to join him to help destroy ECW. I guess there's no stopping it now, so ...
Match 2 -- Kurt Angle vs. Sharmell and Booker T
Angle tears into Booker from the opening bell, tossing him to the floor and chasing Sharmell around the outside. Booker rises to meet him with a clothesline and throws him back in the ring, but gets hung up on the top rope trying a jumping sidekick. Out on the floor again, Angle menaces Sharmell, who doesn't help her cause when she trips over the stairs. Angle takes Sharmell back inside and puts her head in the power bomb position, but he gyrates his hips instead of performing the move. Booker recovers and attacks from behind, planting Angle with a Bookend. He tries to follow up by going up top, but Angle crotches him and throws him back to the canvas with a superplex. With both men down, Sharmell covers Angle for two and we go to commercial. Book is in trouble thanks to Angle's armbar, finally escaping only to run into three rolling German suplexes. He kicks out and Sharmell tries to lend a hand by jumping on Angle's back, but all that gets her is a strangely disturbing body
scissors. Sharmell's hubby rescues her again, though Angle earns another near fall with his Angle Slam. Backed into a corner, Sharmell lashes out with slaps and a bite to the face. An enraged Angle wants to put her in the Ankle Lock until Booker hits him with a jumping kick. Angle dodges the Scissor Kick and all three combatants collide in the corner. Booker hits a superkick and turns to tend to his wife. That gives Angle time to grab a chair, which he uses to land several shots on Booker. Kurt pins Sharmell for the win and lays down on top of her, licking his lips. Booker comes to the rescue one last time with a chair, forcing Angle to retreat up the ramp. I can't believe the Smackdown writers didn't make Sharmell turn on Booker since adultery is all the rage on Raw. Maybe they just think it's not juicy enough without real life cheating to back it up.
A video package shows Cena and his partner in rhyme Tha Trademarc promoting the album You Can't See Me in New York City. I'm probably the biggest hip hop fan among the SLAM! Wrestling staff and Cena is my boy, but I can sum up the album by saying the two best songs feature "real" rappers Bumpy Knuckles (a.k.a. Freddie Foxxx) and Esoteric. Take that for what you will.
Match 3 -- Heidenreich vs. Devon Nicholson
Sadly, some wrestlers are just destined to be lost behind one crappy gimmick after another, and Heidenreich certainly seems to be on that path. We've already gone through his ambiguous pervert phase on Raw, his straitjacket-wearing psycho phase on Smackdown and now we have his child-befriending poet phase. He's like a nightmarish mish-mash of "Leaping" Lanny Poffo, Goldberg and Junk Yard Dog. Heidenreich finds a little girl to be his friend for tonight and reads her a poem with a distinct draft flavor. Then he squashes Nicholson in about a minute.
Everybody's talking about the draft, even Mark Jindrak and the Smackdown Divas. Mark is hoping the show gets some "new hoes" that "put out." Needless to say this doesn't make him too popular with the female demographic, and they run him off. Smooth. Out in the arena, Nunzio waits for his match while JBL and the Cabinet speak their piece. Bradshaw whines about the recent injuries he's suffered, claiming there would be no barbed wire cage matches or I Quit matches if ECW hadn't made them popular. He spends a little time directing venom at Paul Heyman and says he's proud to join Angle and Eric Bischoff's crusade to make sure One Night Stand is the absolute end of ECW. But JBL is a giving man, so he offers to make the upcoming match an ECW Rules contest, and Nunzio agrees. Without further ado ...
Match 4 -- Nunzio vs. John "Bradshaw" Layfield -- ECW Rules Match
JBL ambushes Nunzio with a big boot to the face, but the former FBI member escapes under the ring, emerging from the other side with a kendo stick. He gets in a few whacks before a clothesline takes him down, and the entire Cabinet holds him so JBL can engage in some stick work of his own. Layfield gets the pin and sends a symbolic message by breaking the kendo stick over his knee a la Bo Jackson. I don't care if Greg Oliver calls me out on that reference again or not. Bo didn't need steroids to break a bat! I'm old school baby.
Predictably, Booker T is still steaming about Angle, and he's up in Long's face to do something about it. Teddy can't make any promises, but he assures Book that if both men are still on the Smackdown roster come next Tuesday ... er, Thursday, he'll make a match between the two of them. So don't despair, there's still time for Sharmell to turn on her husband. Originality is overrated.
Main Event -- John Cena and the Big Show vs. Carlito Caribbean Cool and Matt Morgan
No one wants any part of Show, but Cena gives Carlito no choice by throwing him into the ring. Big Show lifts CCC into a gorilla press and hurls him down onto the floor right on top of Morgan. Commercial time. Morgan tilts things back in favor of the heels, using a scoop slam and an elbow drop to put Cena down for two. His second elbow misses though, and the Doctor makes a leaping tag to his giant partner. Show tosses Carlito over the ropes and hits a sidewalk slam on Morgan, but he hurts his already ailing ribs in the process. I love when they play up injuries in wrestling, because they turn everyone into technical specialists, working over the injured part. That's certainly true for CCC and Morgan here, and Matt's bearhug seems to have Show in trouble. Show finally elbows and headbutts his way out only to have Morgan kick him and tag Carlito back in. That plan almost backfires when Carlito is raised up for a chokeslam, but Morgan kicks Show into the corner. Cena is able to tag
himself in, and the champ runs wild on both heels. Show recovers enough to take Morgan out to the floor, and a Five Knuckle Shuffle and an F-U finish off CCC. Call it a fairly straightforward ending to a mostly nondescript show. Talk to you in four.
Next week: regular readers rejoice as Dale probably makes his return. Angle and Booker may or may not face off again and there may or may not be some new faces joining from Raw. The only sure thing is that the ECW PPV will be promoted heavily.
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Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998 and usually covers Raw for the site. He'd like to show he's hipper than Dale by recommending Adult Swim's excellent new Japanese additions Samurai Champloo and Paranoia Agent. Discuss at email@example.com or have some fun chiding Dale at firstname.lastname@example.org.