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   Fri, August 19, 2005



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COMMENT





Smackdown: Set for SummerSlam
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


It's time for Smackdown, the show that's giving a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Who's your daddy?" That's right, we don't need no stinking judge here, just put poor Dominick's custody papers above the ring and we'll have his two would-be fathers fight it out in a ladder match. We're in Toronto for the latest, just three days out from SummerSlam. Latino Heat is approaching the ring, so we're off and running.

Eddie Guerrero steps into the ring and glances skyward, where a briefcase has been suspended above a ladder to foreshadow the aforementioned ladder match. Shrugging off the fans' "Eddie sucks" chant, Guerrero discusses his unhappiness with Rey Mysterio's challenge for the pay-per-view and the name-calling that went with it. He reiterates that the only way to settle the dispute is with the ladder match, which he's going to win because he loves his son. Eddie says the truth will prevail over Rey's lie, and that he'll win the match not for revenge, but for his father, his brothers and Dominick, who Eddie says will become the greatest Guerrero of them all, just as the prophecies foretold. Okay, I made that last part up. In any case, Eddie tells Dominick to smile, because Sunday he'll be going home with papi. I'm still trying to figure out how David Ortiz is involved with all of this.

Jillian Hall and the thing on her face join forces to introduce MNM, since two-thirds of the jetsetters are scheduled to face Booker T and his wife in a mixed-tag match. Here's a hint: Melina is one of the two.

Match 1 - Mercury and Melina vs. Booker T and Sharmell

Booker gets the party started with some chops, a body slam and a kneedrop to Mercury, then drops the MNM'er with a kick to the head. The women tag in and prove to be even more vicious attacking each other. The men return so Booker can score a near fall with his step-through kick, but Mercury rallies with a neckbreaker and locks on a chokehold. Booker counters another neckbreaker with a flapjack and keeps the pressure on until he hits his scissor kick. The Spinaroonie could signal the beginning of the end, but Booker forces Mercury to tag in Melina so his wife can have some more fun. Melina's offense ends with Sharmell in a body scissors in the ropes, though Sharmell escapes and hits two shots to the stomach that force Mercury to make a save. Booker enters the fray only to get distracted by Nitro on the apron, and all of the men spill out to the floor. With Booker held in check by Mercury, "The Fixer" Hall trips Sharmell so Melina can use the ropes to get the pinfall.

Upset about the events that just transpired, Sharmell lays into her husband for not being there to protect her when she was getting her butt kicked. SLAM! Wrestling's Jon Waldman has predicted a Sharmell turn, but the way this is going down, I wouldn't blame Book if he's the one who turns. Elsewhere, Orlando Jordan interrupts Chris Benoit's preparation (he's facing Randy Orton tonight in a rematch of last year's SummerSlam main event) to try to intimidate the Crippler for their own upcoming bout on Sunday. An unimpressed Benoit promises to make Jordan tap out, which leaves the U.S. champ standing silent with a dumb look on his face for a long awkward moment. Looks like someone forgot to cut to the next scene. When we finally leave O.J., it's to see Animal reward Heidenreich with his very own set of spiked shoulder pads. Yeah, now those jobbers will be even more frightened.

Former GoDaddy.com girl Candice Michelle comes down to the ring to be the special guest ring announcer for the next match. At least I hope it's only for the next match, because she's horrible.

Match 2 - The Legion of Doom vs. two jobbers

I can't understand what Michelle is saying, so hopefully the SLAM! Wrestling intern can go in and fill in the names of these poor saps after I submit this report. Whoever they are, they do a good job taking a merciless beating until L.O.D. sees fit to end their misery with the Doomsday Device. Not really much of a rush if you ask me.

Number one Smackdown announcer Funaki shows footage of JBL's chair-wielding assault on Batista last Monday. Bradshaw says that was only a small example of what he'll do at SummerSlam when it's no holds barred, and laughs at Batista for allowing him to pick the stipulation, surmising that the million dollar body must be guided by a nickel brain. The wrestling god guarantees a win and says he'll be offering another preview tonight when he gets to pick his opponent. Maybe someone from Japan? Uh-oh... In a completely separate interview Orton wonders why he has to face Benoit tonight since he beat him in Toronto last summer and claims that his destiny is to defeat the Undertaker.

Match 3 - John "Bradshaw" Layfield vs. Funaki - No Holds Barred

Only in the show before a pay-per-view would you get a "match" like this one. JBL has his way with Funaki, whipping him with the timekeeper's belt and using a cable from the announce table to choke him. He rolls Funaki back in the ring and waffles him with a chair shot, but the match comes to an abrupt end when Batista arrives and plants JBL with a spinebuster. As the big Texan retreats, Batista promises that his million dollar body and five cent brain are going to kick his butt at SummerSlam.

Match 4 - Rey Mysterio vs. Simon Dean

Dean's wisecracks before the bell cut a little too close to home in regards to the Dominick situation, earning him the wrath of an angry Rey. Dean eventually turns the tables by dropping Mysterio face-first on the top turnbuckle, then takes advantage with a backbreaker for two and a Torture Rack. Rey rallies with a springboard cross body for his own two, following up with an armdrag and a 619. Mysterio Drops the Dime to get the duke.

The Raw Rebound takes us three days back to Shawn's big promo, Hogan versus Angle and a Sharpshooter to end it all. Heck, just read about all of it right here. Back in the ring, Christian promises a big superstar for tonight's Peep Show: Christian. The self-interview never gets off the ground though, thanks to the untimely arrival of the Mexicools. After destroying some of Christian's inflatable furniture, the Mexicools start a brawl that eventually wears down Captain Charisma due to sheer numbers. Super Crazy hits a low dropkick that leaves Christian helpless for a moonsault and a legdrop off opposite corners and Juvie's big elbow off the couch. The 'Cools perform a mock three-count, ending the segment and leaving me wondering just what the point of all this was. We already know they're cool!

Josh Matthews asks Mysterio if he was seeing Eddie when he fought Simon Dean, but Rey says he feels Guerrero all around. He gets serious and tells Dominick that his real father will win on Sunday. Finally, there's the obligatory rundown of the SummerSlam card, possibly the first to serve up pseudo-real life drama (Matt Hardy vs. Edge) and pseudo-pseudo real life drama (Eddie and Rey, of course) on the same card. It just might make my head explode.

Main Event - Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit

It's a match so epic, we have to go to a commercial before the action even begins. A feeling out period ends when Orton hits a fireman's carry to get a one count, then spends a minute avoiding a Sharpshooter. The action goes back and forth with Orton continually applying a side headlock and Benoit searching for a way to apply Bret Hart's favorite hold. Even the third time doesn't prove the charm, as Orton crawls out to the floor and ushers in our last commercial break. Benoit finally locks in the Sharpshooter after the ads, but Orton manages to crawl to the ropes, then send the Wolverine into the post shoulder first. Randy's DDT finds its mark but Benoit gets a foot on the ropes just in time. Orton earns another trio of near falls but can't seem to figure out how to put Benoit away. He whips Benoit hard into the corner, but the Crippler lands on him coming out and both men are down. Benoit rises first and hits a knee lift and an elbowdrop for two, then counters an RKO attempt with three rolling German suplexes. The diving headbutt is next, but no pin is forthcoming as Benoit has to take a second to deal with the arrival of Jordan. Orton takes advantage with an RKO and that's all she wrote. Randy's celebration is cut short when the lights dim and the gong sounds, and Undertaker is revealed standing in the middle of the ring. The Dead Man leaves Orton prone with a chokeslam, signaling that it's just three days until Orton rests in peace at SummerSlam. A.W.O.L. Smackdown reporter Dale Plummer and I will bring you the recap if you don't feel like shelling out the dough to watch it. Or even if you do. Good night!


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    Nick Tylwalk (note spelling) has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998, but laments that the last few times his byline has appeared, the Mexicools ran off with the first 'l' in his last name. Send all leads to ntylwalk7@yahoo.com.