Smackdown: Counting down the Thursdays
NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling
SummerSlam has come and gone, but not too much was settled on the Smackdown side of things. Think we've seen the last of Batista and JBL? Feel like things are over between Randy Orton and the Undertaker? At least Rey Mysterio doesn't have any more kids that night really belong to Eddie Guerrero... at least I don't think he does. The beat goes on, tonight from Greensboro, North Carolina.
Speaking of Orton, he is introduced by one proud papa, Cowboy Bob Orton. In case you missed it, Bob's sneaky interference helped his son dispose of the Dead Man on Sunday night. Of course, you already know that from reading SLAM! Wrestling's report. Randy gets to lead off tonight's in-ring action with dad at ringside.
Match 1 - Randy Orton vs. Hardcore Holly
Young Orton seems pretty impressed with his own ability to stay away from Holly's big chops in the early going. He's also able to flip back and avoid an Alabama Slamma before the pace slows and both men exchange holds. Hardcore gets the first near fall when he suplexes Orton in from the apron, but the Legend Killer responds with a dropkick and a kneedrop. Holly's attempt to come off the middle rope is met with a boot to the face, though he soon shakes off the cobwebs and turns the tide with a full nelson driver and a top rope clothesline for a pair of two counts. The loud chops finally find Orton's chest, and dad had to jump up on the apron to keep his son from the Alabama Slamma. Holly escapes an RKO and hits a big dropkick, forcing Cowboy Bob to play a more active role, grabbing Hardcore's leg. Randy recovers and catches his foe with an RKO to get the pinfall.
General Manager Teddy Long enters his office and finds a surprise waiting for him: The Network has sent a guy named Palmer Canon to represent their interests on the show. After all, The Network has a vested interest in keeping Smackdown's ratings high as it prepares to move to Friday nights. To help with the move, Canon has an idea for a main event for the first show. It's a rematch between Batista and JBL for the world heavyweight title, and a skeptical Long admits that is a big match. Perhaps, but I feel like we've already seen it twice. Oh yes, that's because we have.
Undaunted by his attack at the hands of the Mexicools last week, Christian has the Peep Show up and running again. He introduces his guests tonight, Sharmell and Booker T, as the First Couple of Smackdown. But Christian asks the tough questions, and he wants to know if the duo is still on speaking terms after last week's debacle saw Sharmell pinned by Melina, an event that Christian tells Booker should get him nominated for the Ike Turner/Tommy Lee Husband of the Year Award. Ouch. The host also taunts Booker by asking what he's done after his five WCW championships, a.k.a. the whole time he's been in the WWE. Even Sharmell says Christian has a good point, telling her hubby that he's forgotten how to act like the champion he is. Book doesn't have much time to respond to the criticism before he's interrupted by the arrival of the Mexicools. Christian is ready for them this time, leaving the ring to meet them on the floor. Juvi takes a shortcut through the ring and knocks down
Sharmell in the process, earning all the Mexicools the wrath of Booker T. An uneasy truce is formed as Booker and Captain Charisma clear the ring - an "enemy of my enemy is my friend" vibe is in the air.
Match 2 - Johnny Nitro vs. Heidenreich
The whole gang is ringside: Mercury, Melina, Jillian Hall and Animal. Nitro gets a taste of Heidenreich's power and flees the ring to regroup, hiding behind Melina at one point. Thrown back into the ring, Nitro hits a superkick but that's about it before Heidenreich starts no-selling his moves. A shoulderblock, a clothesline and a sidewalk slam have Nitro scrambling to kick out, and before long, all the bystanders are up on the apron. Mercury uses the chaos to land a chair shot, but referee Charles Robinson sees it and calls for the bell. Nitro drops Animal with a missile dropkick, just for show.
The Raw Rebound (also nicely summarized here) shows Eric Bischoff and Chris Jericho's latest plan to get the WWE title off of John Cena, which costs Jericho his job when it fails. And there's an angry new number one contender you may have heard of by the name of Kurt Angle. Backstage, Josh Matthews and Chris Benoit relive his 25-second title victory over Orlando Jordan at SummerSlam, with the Crippler one-upping himself by making a cup of coffee in an even shorter time. Elsewhere, JBL tells Jordan he needs to be good for more than 25 seconds tonight when they go into their six-man tag match. What's that? I didn't mention that Benoit, Batista and Mysterio are taking on JBL, Jordan and Guerrero? See, those feuds just won't die.
Match 3 - Booker T and Christian vs. The Mexicools (Super Crazy and Psicosis)
Christian kicks things off with a powerslam and an overhead throw that have Super Crazy in trouble, and Booker tags himself in to continue the assault. He hits his step-through kick on Psicosis, but the Mexicools finally get some momentum when Super Crazy hurls Christian shoulder first into the post. Crazy hits a dropkick and Psicosis follows with a move off the top rope. Captain Charisma has to kick out of a couple of pin attempts before he's able to roll away from a Super Crazy moonsault and make the hot tag to his partner. The Juice interferes to distract the ref, and Christian is also distracted by an argument with Sharmell. Booker hits a double clothesline as Christian, like most of us, gets sick of Sharmell and heads up the ramp. The Mexicools nail Booker with a double back suplex and roll the poor guy up for the three count.
Matthews chats with the Ortons about the win against the Undertaker, and Randy thinks it's pretty funny that a guy known for using "smoke and mirrors" was beaten by an illusion. Randy says he's not heartless, so he has a copy of 'Taker's new DVD that both he and his dad have autographed and he's putting it up for auction on WWE.com. The Legend Killer says the proceeds will go to a worthy cause: Undertaker's retirement fund, because his career is dead. In the back, Canon likes what he sees and tells Long Smackdown needs more Orton on TV once the show moves to Fridays. Long thinks we shouldn't count out the Dead Man because he's full of surprises, unlike these storylines. Alright, I added that last part. But speaking of surprises, Long says he has a major announcement, and he's making his new business partner wait to hear it along with the rest of us.
Long has the ring set up with some pillows and a bed, and all of a sudden I'm feeling a little uneasy about his announcement. Fortunately he's just setting things up for a Lingerie Pillow Fight between Smackdown's two newest members, Stacy Kiebler and Christy Hemme. The ladies come out ready for, ahem, battle, but before they can get going, Canon comes down the ramp. It seems The Network doesn't think the target demographic they're trying to reach wants to see stuff like this, and they are canceling the match. I hope Cyrus doesn't read this report, because he might get the worst case of deja vu ever.
Match 4 - Ken Kennedy vs. Funaki
The announcers say Kennedy has been successful on Velocity, leading me to this thought: Velocity is still on the air? Kennedy dismisses Tony Chimel and introduces us to his gimmick, which is to do his own ring announcements. Tazz likes it; I don't. The match only lasts a couple of minutes, ending with Kennedy's finisher, a forward rolling slam out of the Samoan drop position off the middle rope. Giving credit where credit is due, it's pretty cool. Oh, and he prefers to be called Mr. Kennedy if you please.
Main Event - JBL, Orlando Jordan and Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio and Batista
Jordan wants some early revenge but fares no better than Sunday and has to roll out to the floor after Benoit hits him with a German suplex. The action continues after a commercial break with Eddie and Rey facing off. Guerrero scores with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but Batista soon restores order for the faces. Benoit tags in to work against JBL, who batters him after a Jordan low bridge. JBL and Guerrero both score near falls, then Guerrero and Jordan take turns locking on the abdominal stretch. Benoit hip tosses his way out only to be hauled back into the heel corner for more punishment. Guerrero gets a couple more two counts and JBL clamps the rabid Wolverine in a bearhug. Benoit finally breaks free with a desperation enzuigiri and makes the hot tag to Batista, and you just know the end is moments away. Indeed, all three faces hit their signature moves to set up a Batista Bomb to Jordan to end the match. Only one Thursday night left...
Next week: No matches announced because we're getting ready for the big Friday night in two weeks. You know, that really big TV night where shows go to die ratings deaths? Yeah, that one.
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Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998, and he's hoping that when his buddy and regular Smackdown reporter Dale Plummer gets his well-deserved promotion to manager he won't be too important to come back and do these reports again. Send love or hate mail for Dale to Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll make sure Dale gets it.