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   Fri, October 28, 2005



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Smackdown: A gimmick-filled night
By ANDY MCNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Who will be the man in San Fran? Two legends get back into the ring, and what will the fallout between Benoit and Booker T from the U.S. title match last week be? With the standard spoiler alert to our day-behind U.S. readers, on to the report!

Christian is in the ring in San Francisco's famed Cow Palace, as The Peep Show starts off Smackdown this week. Gradually each of the five possible options for the tag team match against Chris Masters and Edge interrupt Christian and plead their case as to why they should be chosen for the Taboo Tuesday pay-per-view. With JBL, Hardcore Holly, Matt Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and Christian arguing in the ring, Teddy Long struts out and makes a Five Man Free For All match that starts ... right now!

Match 1: Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio vs. JBL vs. Bob Holly vs. Christian

A jumble of bodies pound away inside the ring as everyone is able to ignite a bit of offense. An insane five-man double superplex/powerbomb, with Christian on the top rope occurs, the crowd erupts with "Holy S**t" chants. In a fast paced exciting finish, all five men deliver their finishers as Mysterio pins Christian with the West Coast Pop. What an awesome last half of the match.

WINNER: Rey Mysterio

Booker T and Sharmell are in Teddy Long's GM office where Long shows Book footage of Sharmell low blowing Chris Benoit, giving her husband the U.S. title victory. Booker is disgusted with his wife's actions last week and is giving Benoit a rematch tonight ... and Sharmell has to personally apologize to Benoit.

Cameras cut to Rowdy Roddy Piper walking backstage and he bumps into his old partner Bob Orton. The two old timers bicker about who was better than who (I would hate to be a new wrestling fan trying to piece together a rivalry stemming from 1985). Randy pops in and exchanges insults with the Hot Rod.

We switch to Simon Dean in the parking area as one of the new juniors tries to give him a ticket for riding his motorized stand-up vehicle. Dean insults the midget with typical short jokes, however, the little person keeps Dean occupied long enough to have some of his friends tie a rope around the vehicle, causing Dean to fly off when he rode away.

Match 2: WWE Juniors -- Pitbull Patterson vs. Short Sleeve Sampson

I enjoy a comedic midget match as much as the next guy, but when you have a locker room filled with talented cruiserweights, why not try to resurrect the dead cruiserweight division? The entire match was nothing special and had a few comedic spots. Sampson gets the win with a splash off of the referee's back. After the bell Simon Dean storms to the ring trying to beat up Sampson for embarrassing him earlier. Patterson ends up tripping Dean and the two Juniors put a mini sized beat down on Dean.

WINNER: Short Sleeve Sampson

Booker T and Sharmell are out in the squared circle asking Benoit to come down and receive a public apology. Booker apologizes as to how he won the title last week and forces a hesitant Sharmell to say sorry. Sharmell insults Book for being a loser and teases leaving him, getting out of the ring and walking up the ramp. Benoit is yelling at Sharmell and the heel turn happens when Booker smashes the Crippler with the U.S. belt. This angle really freshens up Booker T's character and now a great feud between Benoit and Booker can develop. Could we see a second best-of-seven series for the title?

Match 3: Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championship:

Road Warriors vs. Psicosis and Super Crazy vs. Regal and Burchill vs. MNM

There are a lot of gimmick matches tonight, possibly desperation by WWE for the generally poor Smackdown product. However, I will agree with Tazz in that Melina does have the best ring entrance in history! The rules for this match up are that anyone can tag any wrestler in. Super Crazy hits a lightening quick top rope moonsault on Mercury early on. With the excitement of Psicosis and Super Crazy it is a shame that they have no program or purpose on Smackdown. The new tag team of James and Chad rush down and knock Heidenreich off the top rope, allowing MNM to nail the Snapshot on Heidenreich for the victory.

WINNER: New tag team champions ... MNM

Teddy Long has Nunzio and Vito in his office making a handicap match for the two Italians against Bobby Lashley for next week. Teddy goes to leave the room but is greeted by The Boogey Man! Boogey boy sings and talks creepily to Teddy as the show goes to break.

Batista and Eddie Guerrero are in the back lot where Batista surprises Eddie with a new low rider. The best buddies hop into the sweet ride as we all get ready for the main event.

Match 4: MAIN EVENT -- Eddie, Batista and Piper vs. Ken Kennedy and The Ortons

Roddy Piper receives a monster ovation from the Cow Palace fans ... unfortunately the Hot Rod hasn't realized that he doesn't have the physique to pull off the small tights anymore, YIKES! Piper is moving around well for a guy with an artificial hip as he briefly mounts some offence on Randy Orton. The Ortons and Kennedy tag back and forth wearing down Piper for the majority of the match. Batista and Eddie get tired of their opponents cheating and rush in to clean house. Piper locks on the sleeper on Bob Orton and his ex-buddy passes out, winning the match for Piper's team.

WINNER: Batista, Eddie, Roddy Piper

A gimmick-filled show had its moments tonight, especially with the opening Five-Man Free For All match. It is also great to see some importance FINALLY put behind the U.S. title. Hopefully Benoit and Booker can live up to their classic matchups of the past.

MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Matt Hardy vs. Christian vs. JBL vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Hardcore Holly


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    Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling Writer from Pickering, Ontario. Andy asks: does anyone think that the current Benoit vs. Booker T feud will come anywhere close to their battles in WCW? Share your thoughts at andymcnamara@hotmail.com.