September 10, 2005
Smackdown: Stacked for a Friday night
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling
The time has come: SmackDown! has moved to Friday nights. While this is a major detriment to WWE as they move into a seemingly dead time slot, this could be the beginning of something good for the fans. Evidence of that is shown tonight as, from top to bottom, the card is stacked.
The show kicked off with an announcement from Theodore Long, telling the fans that the first hour of the show would be on WWE.com, but the second hour would be on the debut for UPN with three major matches, Chris Benoit vs Orlando Jordan for the U.S. Title, Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio in a Steel Cage and Batista vs JBL in a Texas Bullrope World Heavyweight Championship. Holla, holla, holla indeed.
Match One - WWE Tag Team Championship Match - MNM w/ Melina vs Legion of Doom (C)
That's right WWE has lost their everloving minds and have began promoting Heidenreich and Animal as Legion of Doom. Heidenreich and Animal are Heidenreich and Animal, nothing more. During the early stages of the match Heidenreich took firm control, sending Nitro for a Backbody Drop that landed him on his kneecap. As the match panned out, MNM fired back, flooring the once dominant Heidenreich with a series of takedowns. Once Animal got the hot tag, it was all over, the referee was knocked down when Animal ran Mercury into him, Melina tried taking advantage of the situation by bringing in one of the Tag straps, but to no avail as it was stripped of her and tattooed on the head of Mercury leaving him helpless to the one-two-three.
Winners Via Pinfall and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions - Legion of Doom
Next up a video package hyping the presentation of the "Undertaker Retirement Fund Check" is shown. Somebody bid a whopping $708.00 to own that signed DVD.
Match Two - "Mr. Kennedy" Ken Kennedy vs Paul London
Prior to the match Kennedy did his own ring intro, from there he demolished the former Cruiserweight Champion of Velocity, Paul London, ending things with his top rope flipping Samoan Drop that I absolutely love. Post match he once again grabbed the mic and did his own announcements as Theodore Long and "Network Executive" Palmer Canon look on.
Winner Via Pinfall - "Mr. Kennedy" Ken Kennedy
This week's "Tag of the Week" is Paul Burchill's debut and assault of Scotty Too Hotty from two weeks ago on Velocity. I guess vignettes and hyping a debut is a bit too... old school.
Match Three - Scotty 2 Hotty vs Paul Burchill w/ William Regal
Burchill cut a horrible promo talking about how he is here to watch Regal's back and destroy people...great. Burchill had most of the match going his way as William Regal provided commentary with Michael Cole and Tazz. Burchill obliterated Scotty's shoulder, sending him into the ringpost three times, hitting him with a massive shoulder breaker, then locked on the armbar for a submission victory. During this match, Michael Cole won the award for Quote of the Night, "He (Paul Burchill), tore Funaki's bicep, putting him out of action." My question is, was he ever really in action to the extent where putting him out of action would be significant?
Winner Via Submission - Paul Burchill
Backstage Ken Kennedy bumped into Sharmell, Kennedy stirred the pot a bit when he asked Sharmell how many title shots Booker T had gotten from his "good friend" Chris Benoit. Kennedy then said, "I know friends don't let friends drive drunk, but I believe they should give each other title shots." Very clever there Mr. Kennedy. He mentioned his name again, walked away, came back and said "Kennedy" once more.
Next up was the presentation of The Undertaker Retirement Fund. The Undertaker came out and ran down Orton, calling him out. Both Ortons made their way to the stage and had a check for the amount of $1,416.00 carried out by some stagehands. Orton had placed a signed copy of Tombstone:The History of The Undertaker DVD on WWE.com and the winning bid was matched dollar for dollar by "The Legend Killer". Orton signed the check and told Undertaker that if he wanted it, he had to go get it. The lights and screens began to flicker and a bolt of lightning struck the check setting it on fire and sending the Ortons running.
Match Four - Steel Cage Match - Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio
Hopefully we can put a definite end to this rivalry right here. This started off as a feud with a whole lot of potential, but with the introduction of Dominick, the feud quickly dwindled into an XFL-size catastrophe. This match was similar to the rest, only difference was that it was fought within the confines of a steel cage. Both men got their shots in, ascending the cage and even exchanging fists on top. Mysterio had an open opportunity to leave the cage, but opted rather to attempt and hit a flying crossbody on his arch rival, but to no avail, Guerrero moved out of the way and headed towards the door, he went to leave, but instead returned and hit Mysterio with a Frog Splash for the pinfall. After the match Guerrero cut a promo on Rey before walking off. Finally, Eddie gets a win.
Winner Via Pinfall - Eddie Guerrero
Match Five - WWE United States Championship Match - Orlando Jordan vs "The Rabid Wolverine" Chris Benoit (C)
Prior to things kicking off, we got a chance to watch the past two Benoit title defenses, or should I say, "How to bury a wrestler in less than a week." Jordan guaranteed that he would knock out Benoit and regain his championship. The clock was up as Jordan threw two punches, attempted a third that was blocked, was locked in the Crossface and tapped out in 22.5 seconds. It's no secret that Orlando Jordan does nothing that appeals to any wrestling fans, but give the guy a break. Benoit walked away with the gold once again as Jordan threw a huge fit.
Winner Via Submission and STILL WWE United States Champion - "The Rabid Wolverine" Chris Benoit
"Network Executive" Palmer Conor and General Manager Theodore Long were shown "Holla Holla Holling" in their Press Box as Stacy Keibler and Christy Hemme watch on.
A video package was shown hyping the Main Event, a Texas Bullrope Match for the World Heavyweight Championship, Batista vs JBL.
Back to Conor and Long, apparently Long is still very amped up about SmackDown!'s move to Friday Nights...not sure why, but anyhow, he announces that next week, "The Legend Killer" Randy Orton would be facing The Undertaker one-on-one.
Match Six - Texas Bullrope World Heavyweight Championship Match - John "Bradshaw" Layfield vs "The Animal" Batista (C)
This is a match that this show could have done without, Batista has no wrestling ability whatsoever. Granted he is a muscular guy and looks like he can do some damage, that doesn't give him the stuff he needs to get over as a good champion. This monstrosity came to end when Layfield went for the Clothesline from Hell, but was met with a cowbell to the head, followed by a Batista Bomb. The now bloody JBL followed Batista as he touched three of the four corners...very original. With both men close to the four turnbuckle, Batista flipped JBL over his back and laid him out with a Spinebuster, Batista then touched the fourth turnbuckle and retained his championship. Damn.
Winner Via Touching The Four Corners and STILL World Heavyweight Champion - "The Animal" Batista
SmackDown! made the big step, but their card in reality did not reflect their card on paper. I don't know about a lot of other people's feelings, but I am sure tired of JBL/Batista's horrible debacles, Eddie/Rey's soap opera storyline and believe it or not, I am tired of Orlando Jordan tapping out in under thirty seconds, just release the guy already! Hopefully Friday Night SmackDown! can find some way to entertain us by the time No Mercy comes around, but at the rate things are going, that seems highly unlikely. Oh yeah, and where was Christian?
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Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and wants to send his well wishes to Funaki, his injury has really put a damper on the current WWE product.