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COMMENT





Smackdown: Benoit focus of one last ECW push
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


With WWE Champion John Cena drafted to Monday Night RAW, I can't imaging the Smackdown! selection to even come close to filling the void. Now I know how Los Angeles Clippers fans feel.

General Manager Theodore Long kicks off the show in the ring from Kansas City. WWE rubs the fact we lost Cena in our face, before our pick is announced. Long says he isn't happy, especially since Smackdown! doesn't have a champion. JBL interrupts Long, and he is all smiles. JBL says he is also very upset that Cena has left, since their rivalry was very competitive. JBL wants to talk about what he has seen in the back. JBL says the people, Smackdown!, and even Teddy Long, all needs him. JBL wants the GM to name him the champion of Smackdown! Long tells JBL to shut up and listen; there will be no decision on the WWE championship until the end of the daft lottery. Long then announces Smackdown's lottery pick, Chris Benoit. The fans give him a standing ovation. (Isn't this the guy that jumped ship for Raw last year? Anyone remember that? As for a draft score card Raw 1, Smackdown! 0. Man, we got hosed.)

Benoit says he's psyched to be here. (I guess because HHH can't hold him down, anymore; JBL doesn't have that kind of stroke.) Benoit says JBL has does something that he never has -- quit. The Canadian Crippler says he's back to fight for the title, and things are going to start changing, now. JBL says he's a big fan, and kisses up to the Canadian Crippler. Until, JBL mentions ECW. Bradshaw rips into Benoit for being proud of being from ECW. JBL says the ECW antics on RAW were a black eye on the industry. JBL tells Benoit if he joins ECW he will make sure it's the worst decision of his life. Benoit says he regrets nothing from his career, and he would rather see a man carrying a steel chair, than begging and pleading for a title. Benoit challenges JBL to find out who the better man is and challenges him to a match. JBL wants Teddy Long to explain that this is his show. Long says it's the peoples' show, and tonight JBL will take on Benoit. JBL goes for a cheap shot, but Benoit counters into a Crippler Crossface. JBL breaks free, and heads to the back.

Match #1 - Carlito Caribbean Cool and Matt Morgan vs. Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly

Haas and Carlito start off with Carlito slapping on a side head lock. Haas powers out, and the two get in a shoving match. An arm drag sends CCC to the mat. Haas then hits a shoulder breaker, and gets a near pin. Carlito is bounced off the turnbuckle, but counters another shot, by pushing Haas into the turnbuckle. Carlito is shot off the ropes, but Haas telegraphs a back body drop. Carlito follows with a standing drop kick. Haas recovers, and hits a kick to the chin, and then a back body drop. Haas whips CCC into Morgan on the apron, and then nails him with a suicide dive over the top rope. Haas hits a sunset flip, but Carlito rolls it over, and grabs the tights to get the win. On the outside Holly goes after Morgan. The fight spills into the ring, and Morgan hits the F-5 on Haas.

Winner via pinfall: Carlito Caribbean Cool and Matt Morgan

The ECW incident on RAW is recapped. I covered it, and I reported it, and you can read it here.

Heidenreich is asking Benoit to be his best friend. Benoit isn't quite sure what to make of this guy, but luckily Eddie Guerrero intervenes. Latino Heat says he didn't expect to see him until Sunday. Eddie wants Chris to know that he will always be his close friend, even if they wrestle for the title. Benoit says he has seen how Eddie has treated his friends lately, and then brings up Rey Rey.

Steve Moreno is backstage with Kurt Angle, and asks Angle how he feels about people saying he took advantage of another man's wife. Angle says he's obsessed with Sharmell, and then gets pretty graphic. (What a great story line for one of the few remaining stars of this show.) Angle then accuses Sharmell of not letting Angle go after the bell rang. (Although, it's still not as bad as Edge and Lita.) Angle says after he beats Booker T, Sharmell will be coming home with him.

Smackdown! is coming to Hershey! I'll be in the fourth row! Although, they are advertising JBL and Orlando Jordan versus John Cena as the Main Event, me thinks that ain't gonna happen.

Match #2 - Paul London vs. Akio

London hits an arm drag, and locks in an arm bar. Akio whips London into the corner and .. hold on my cell is ringing. Actually, it's Eddie Guerrero's music, and Latino Heat heads down to the ring. Akio takes advantage, by beating the hell out of London. Eddie grabs a mike from Tony Chimmel, and heads into the ring. Eddie says he has something to get off his chest. Akio is kicked into Eddie, and Latino Heat takes him out, and then tosses London from the ring. London fights back, but Eddie tosses him again. London can't take a hint, and Guerrero has to toss him again. The fans rip into Guerrero, and Latino Heat says he's disrespected in the ring, and in the back, and by the fans. All because no one thinks he can beat Rey Mysterio. Eddie says Mysterio hasn't forgotten the beating he gave him. Eddie tells Rey not to forget the promise made to him, because Eddie never makes a promise he can't keep.

No Contest

Match #3 - Kurt Angle vs. Booker T

Angle grabs a mike and wants to know where Tazz stands on the ECW issue. Tazz doesn't say a word; Angle tells him he has until the end of the night. Tazz tells Michael Cole that he doesn't have to answer to Angle. Onto the match, which begs the question: If Booker is so angry with Angle, why doesn't he just jump him in the back, or go after him with a chair? Booker hits a hip toss to start, and locks in an arm bar. Angle reverses the hold, and works over the shoulder. Booker T shoulders Angle in the gut to break the hold, and then nails a clothesline. Book chops away at the Olympic champ on the corner, and then chokes him on the ropes. Booker T then drops Angle on the top rope, and follows with a scissors kick on the apron. Angle is tossed back in the ring, and responds with a kick to the mid-section, and then beats Booker in the corner. Book misses an elbow in the corner, and is beaten into the near corner. Booker responds with a reverse heel kick, and then mounts Angle and punches him in the jaw. Booker walks into a reverse German suplex, as Sharmell looks on. Angle works over Book with kicks to the ribs, and then a back breaker. Angle only gets a two count. A back suplex gets a near fall for Angle. The Olympic champ locks in a leg scissors. Booker gets to his feet, and breaks the hold with a reverse elbow. Book shoots off the ropes, but gets caught with a belly-to-belly. Angle stalks Booker, but the Bookman counters a charge with a back body drop over the ropes. We return from break, as Booker T escapes from a bear hug. Booker hits a high elbow off the ropes, follows with a suplex, but Angle blocks the scissors kick. Angle goes for the Angle Slam, but Booker counters, and hits the Book End. Angle kicks out, and recovers to hit rolling German suplexes. Booker blocks one, and rolls Angle up for two. Angle hits the Angle Slam, and Booker kicks out of the pin. The straps come down, and Angle locks in the ankle lock. Booker rolls through, and sends Angle flying into the middle turnbuckle. Book follows with a spine buster, and spin-a-rooni. Angle gets up, only to get hit with a scissors kick, but he still kicks out of the pin. Angle locks in the ankle lock, again. Booker crawls toward the ropes, and gets there on the second effort. Booker kicks Angle off his ankle, and Angle is knocked into the ref. Angle leaves the ring to get a chair. The Olympic champ nails Booker's ankle with the chair, and then goes for a chair shot. Booker ducks, and Angle hits himself as the chair rockets off the top rope. Booker pulls himself up on the turnbuckle and hits another scissors kick, and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Booker T

It's not often that a free TV match is nominated for Match of the Year, but we may have one here.

Angle is still in the ring after the break. The Olympic champ rolls out of the ring, and picks up a chair. He tells Tazz that he won't leave until he gets an answer. Tazz gets up, and just stares Angle down. Angle says Tazz will give him the answer he wants, and he will sit down next to him until he does. Angle says he won't play games, and walk away, only to turn around and nail Tazz with the mike, and then with a chair shot. Angle says he just made up Tazz's mind, and he will take out ECW. Tazz is busted open, and Cole calls for a trainer. Tazz is then helped to the back.

Match #4 - Heidenreich vs. Rory Butts

Heidenreich is still looking for friends. If he's still looking for friends next week, I'm not volunteering. Um, Heidenreich's friend this week is a lot older than the other kids, and she's a lot cuter. Rory hits cheap shot, but Heidenreich recovers. He hits a spinning side slam, and get the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Heidenreich

Heidenreich invites the young lady into the ring, and recites one of his poems. It ain't Shakespeare, but she seemed to enjoy it. I feel a disturbance in the Force, I sense a plant.

Tony Chimmel introduces Paul Heyman to the arena, and Heyman has his ECW crew in tow. Heyman takes Tazz's spot at the announce table, and says Teddy Long has invited him to ringside.

Match #5 - Chris Benoit vs. JBL w/ The Cabinet

Benoit fist bumps with his ECW boys. The Secretaries of Defense are late to the show. JBL hits a cheap shot after break in the corner, but Benoit responds with chops. Benoit is whipped into the corner, and he hits the mat hard. Benoit fights back with chops. The Crippler runs into a boot in the corner. Benoit blocks a suplex, and almost get a sharpshooter locked in. JBL grabs the ropes to break the hold. Benoit reverses a power bomb with a sharpshooter. Benoit clears the apron of the Bashams, and goes back to the hold. Benoit has to chase Jordan off the apron, and is then knocked from the ring, as Carlito and Morgan join the fun. We return from break, as Benoit is choked on the ropes. Benoit counters a power mover with a cross body. JBL then locks in a sleeper hold. Benoit drops to his knees, but doesn't fade. Benoit counters with a suplex, and both men go down. Benoit blocks a punch, and works over JBL. A high elbow sends JBL to the mat, and a snap suplex follows. Benoit scores a hat trick with rolling German suplexes. Benoit climbs the turnbuckle, as Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring. Benoit hits the diving head butt, and JBL kicks out. Benoit locks in the crossface, and Angle hits the ring. The ECW crew make the save. Tazz hits the ring with Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten, and locks in the Tazmission on a Basham. The show ends with the ECW crew in the ring.

No Contest


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  • Get prepped for the new PPV -- Order The Rise and Fall of ECW

    Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale will be rockin' the old school Phillies gear at Smackdown! next week. RAW reporter Nick Tylwalk will also be joining Dale at the event. Email Dale at DPLummer627@yahoo.com next week for a preview.