November 11, 2005
Smackdown: The ups and the downs
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling

As most of us knew well in advance of the show, there was a pretty big injury on tonight's episode of Smackdown. How did it happen? Read on...

The show kicks off back stage with Teddy Long prepping the SD crew for tonight's action. The show will be built around creating the Survivor Series team, with qualifying matches to make the squad. Batista, who faces Edge, will get a few pass onto the five-man roster.

Match 1 – Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Randy Orton (Survivor Series qualifier)

When you have a manager, there's both an upside and a downside: upside – good heat machine; downside – matches tend to become formulaic.

Such has become the case with the Ortons. "Cowboy" Bob has interfered in virtually every Randy match since he showed up. This time, however, Orton is caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar, and Randy get's DQ'd.

Winner: Rey Mysterio Jr.

After the match, the nWo Beatdown © occurs until Matt Hardy interferes. I can definitely live with an Orton/Hardy feud. Heck, let's keep the theme going. Upside – decent feud on the way; downside – it's a Hardy feud, so it will be relegated to Velocity.

Next up was the new WWE Tag Team Champions, MNM. This was the predictable America’s Next Top Model spot. Eventually the Mexicools make the save and we get our next title feud. Upside – LOD seems to be completely out of the picture; downside – what’s that belt Juvi has again?

Match 2 - Orlando Jordan vs. Bobby Lashley (Survivor Series qualifier)

Do you even need to ask?

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Upside: The building of Brock Lesnar v.2 continues at a decent pace; downside – Orlando Jordan somehow finds his way onto my TV set again.

Backstage, Edge and Lita petition Teddy Long to call off the match with Batista tonight. Long says the bout can only be cancelled with Batista’s permission.

Match 3 – Mr. Kennedy vs. Eddie Guererro (Survivor Series qualifier)

A cheap-shot exchange starts off this bout, establishing both guys has having heeling tendencies. The crowd, however, loves Guererro, and after a ref bump encourages him to cheat his way to victory, pulling out his "hey ref, look what he did with the chair" routine to the delight of the crowd.

Winner: Eddie Guererro

After the match, Kennedy, not wanting to be a liar, actually does use the chair.

Upside - Finally, we get some direction for Kennedy; downside - the Smackdown team for Survivor Series will now have the overdone storyline between Eddie and Rey Rey to deal with.

Following the break, we find out Guererro may have a concussion. Maybe we don’t have to worry about the aforementioned downside.

Match 4- Pierrothito vs. Todd Stone

Useless trivia: Pierroth, the inspiration for the Junior wrestler, was one of the luchadores WWE used during their brief affiliation with AAA.

If there was ever a jobber name, it is Todd Stone, and sure enough, the mini luchador takes the W.

Winner: Pierrothito

Upside - Good to see these guys on the main show; downside - I think everyone and their cousin would rather see Juvi defend the Cruiserweight Title instead.

We head to the back and Lita is left alone while Edge looks for Big Dave. Unfortunately, Hardy doesn't come 'round. Instead, the Boogeyman scares the former Miss Congeniality.

A vignette then announces the Undertaker will return on November 27. Yay.

We stay out of the ring as Edge catches up with Batista. The Orangeville native tries to suck up to Big Dave, but to no avail.

Another backstage segment follows, this time with the Dicks (aka. the Tolands). Oh joy.

Match 5 – JBL vs. Chris Benoit (Survivor Series qualifier)

It doesn’t take too long for Booker T and Sharmell to meander out to ringside for some guest commentary. Benoit hits nearly 1,000 suplexes (including 500 Germans) on JBL and has the Sharpshooter locked in before Booker causes the distraction. You know what happens next.

Winner: JBL

Upside - JBL's transition to facedom continues pretty well; downside - Benoit's feud with Booker just won't die.

Match 6 – Batista vs. Edge (Street Fight)

Before the match begins, Eric Bischoff shows up, which of course confuses Long. Quickly, Teddy’s attacked by Chris Masters, and the end result is Team Smackdown (minus Eddie, plus Hardy) chasing the Raw stars out of the building in JBL's limo. Nothing says "follow that car" quite like a limo with horns on the hood.

Back to the ring, and the match quickly disintegrates into a well-planned Raw invasion involving Big Show and Kane.

Winner: None

Upside: Hot way to build the Raw vs. Smackdown match; downside: there goes your World Champion.

Well, this was a decent show with impressive storyline build. Can’t complain here at all.

Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.


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