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   Fri, July 29, 2005



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Smackdown: Who's your papi?
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Welcome to Smackdown for July 28th. I'm Jon Waldman, filling in for Dale Plummer, who, I believe, is lost somewhere in Cleveland. Don't know why he'd go there, but who among us can judge?

Anyways, we're in for an interesting show this week, as WWE will do their damndest to erase any sort of memory of Muhammad Hassan. The boys on SD! are also far behind their Raw counterparts in setting up their part of SummerSlam, so we should get two or three matches set, hopefully.

We start off tonight's show in the ring (no, not in the good way) with Teddy Long recapping the Great American Bash. Long is ready to announce Batista vs. The Undertaker for the World Title until JBL comes out (sans limo). JBL clarifies that he won the title match on Smackdown, and notes that in his contract, he specified that should he win the match but not the title, he would get a rematch. Teddy fires back and announces a number one contender's match for tonight between JBL and 'Taker.

Match 1 -- Christian and Orlando Jordan vs. Booker T and Chris Benoit

Jordan has a shoulder injury from the Bash. I don't understand how Jordan is still on TV. These kind of matches tend to result in a feud swap, so we'll see what happens.

Strong back and forth action starts off, with Benoit and Christian getting us started, until Jordan uses some chicanery to get the advantage. Benoit gets the brunt of the beating from Jordan and Christian. In fact, the two Canucks get most of the action, which is always a good thing.

The match pretty much follows the standard Tag Team Formula ( Titan Sports), with Benoit finally getting the tag to Booker T. Booker gains control and dominates Christian, almost getting the duke after a Book-End. Just when I thought the match was over, however, we head to commercial.

Back from break, Booker is still in control and our heroes are dominating. There goes the TTF. Booker gets his turn behind the proverbial woodshed, primarily by Christian. Booker reverses with the highlight of the night, a jumping leg lariat nailing Christian off the top rope dive. Eventually, Benoit gets the duke with the Crossface, while Christian watches, having had the perfect opportunity to break the submission.

Winners: Booker T and Chris Benoit, aka The Best of Seven
Rating: 5 out of 10
Strong match, especially since they limited Jordan's involvement.

Backstage, Animal says Heidenreich is ready for the next step and the former Ti-Cat starts shaving his head.

Back from break, We get a second look at Eddy Guererro and Rey Mysterio from Bash.

Match Two -- L.O.D. 2005 vs. J.O.T.W. 7-28

This week's jobbers are Scott Sealy and ECW alumnus Chris Hamrick. The match starts with the L.O.D. Rush, and after a couple moves, Hamrick falls victim to the Doomsday Device.

Winners: L.O.D. 2005
Rating: 1 out of 10
Yeah, the point is these guys, like the original Road Warriors, can destroy anyone quickly, but come on -- aren't there some Velocity regulars you can sacrifice to make it look at least semi good?

Backstage, MNM are watching the match, and Melina introduces them to their new publicist, Jillian, aka. Jillian Hall from Ohio Valley Wrestling. The exchange here is really strong, and all four of these talents have a strong presence. It might just be me, but Johnny Nitro is looking a bit like Edge in his younger, kazoo-tooting days. The result is Melina vs. Torrie Wilson, and we see some sort of growth on Jillian's face. Oh my god; it's the doctor from South Park who had conjoined-twin myslexia!

Elsewhere backstage, Dominic is playing PSP when Rey Mysterio Jr. comes and chats with him. Dominic is seriously starting to look like the kid from Eminem's Stan video.

As we return from break, we get another Boogeyman promo. Let me say this; the character is cool, but is a good 15 years too late from being effective.

Back to the squared circle we go, with Mysterio and Dominic. Guererro quickly makes his presence known and we learn the worst-kept secret in WWE history -- Eddy is Dominic's father. Dominic leaves the ring and the arena area with Rey chasing him. Alone, Guererro tells "Eddy's bedtime story," which details how one of the women who Guererro slept with (while he was separated from his women) had a baby. Rey and his wife could not have a baby, so Eddy gave Dominic to the Mysterio family. Wait, what about Aaliyah??? Stay tuned...

Back from break, Tazz and Michael Cole are talking about what just happened.

Match Three -- Melina vs. Torrie Wilson

Torrie gets an extremely small pop coming out, lending more support to my theory that Mrs. Kidman is on her way out. Once the match starts, Melina further outclasses Wilson, hitting her with much more believable strikes than Torrie's horrible arm shivers. Tazz gets a few zingers in on Jillian as the match progresses. Wilson eventually gets a small comeback, but Melina gets a double-leg takedown into a double foot on rope pin combo for the duke.

Winner: Melina
Rating: 2 out of 10
Very little in terms of wrestling, but Melina was very believable in terms of sheer feisty hatred of Wilson.

Post-match, Candace Michelle gets on the apron and chews out Melina until Jillian takes care of her.

Backstage, the Mexicools are chilling out when they get mistaken for concession sellers. They decide to run with the confusion.

Match Four -- William Regal vs. Scottie II Hottie

The match goes for maybe five seconds before the Mexicools interrupt. Ref Jimmy Corderas tries to send the Mexicools to the back, but Super Cray goes low on him. It doesn't take long before Regal and Scottie get beat down as well.

Winner: none
Rating: 0 out of 10
Not that this match would've been good anyways.

Match Five -- Undertaker vs. JBL -- Number One Contender's Match

Oh joy. I get a commercial break between the entrances and the bout to build up anticipation for this Ministry alumni match. Thank god I'm watching this on tape, so I can fast forward through the "commercials."

We come back with the Undertaker in control. This is really slow and plodding, with 'Taker concentrating on the taped ribs of JBL. JBL fights back but again, 'Taker gets control. The back and forth borefest continues, with some interference from Jordan leading to a JBL Clothesline from Hell sending 'Taker to the outside as we hit another commercial break.

Back from break, there's some action on the outside, as JBL slams 'Taker through the top of the announce table. That's about as exciting as the match gets, however, as more back and forth action, outside shenanigans by Jordan and a couple ref bumps later, Undertaker appears to have the match won when Randy Orton runs in and hits the RKO. JBL is rolled on top of the Undertaker for the win.

Winner: JBL
Rating -- 3 out of 10
If you like brawls, you liked this match. I don't like brawls, so, you know, yeah.

Well, this was an okay episode of Smackdown, but there was a lot less build toward SummerSlam, which is four weeks away, than I expected. Hopefully we'll get a clearer picture come next week's episode.


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    Jon Waldman, SLAM Wrestling's Millennium Man, has been with the crew since 2000. Jon has sent Nick Tywalk out to Cleveland to look for Dale Plummer. Hopefully he'll be back in time for the Raw Report.