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Smackdown: Fighting back the Raw invasion
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling


Bloody hell, is Survivor Series this weekend? Where did the year go! So Smackdown is in Sheffield, eh? Any chance of "The Full Monty"? But instead of Gaz and Lomper doffing their kits, the audience is no doubt pulling for Melina or Christy. So with apologies for the innumerable Britishisms, and for being a day ahead of those American blokes, off we go!

Match 1 - U.S. Title - Booker T (champion) vs Chris Benoit

A cracking good show by both men. It's a veritable chopfest that drops into submission holds every so often. Booker throws Benoit into the ringpost, and works over his shoulder. A short time later, referee Jimmy Korderas is nailed in the corner. Benoit gets Booker into the Sharpshooter, and referee Charles Robinson sprints out. Booker, though, manages to get to the ropes. Benoit lands three German suplexes, and goes to the top to end the bout. Sharmell provides enough of a distraction for Booker to get to Benoit in the corner. T superplexes B and both referees count the 1-2-3; the ending is in dispute, as both referees allege they counted their man down. Teddy Long holds the title up, and orders a best-of-seven series between Booker and Benoit, starting Sunday at Survivor Series. The crowd was hot and ping-ponging back and forth during the swerve at the end. The highlight, though, was Tazz pontificating about travelling all the time with his wife. "It's kind of a different relationship if your wife is always with you." Cheeky bugger. He'll be in trouble when he gets home.

Winner: No contest. Title held up.

A top-notch security team escorts JBL outside the arena, where he is looking for invaders from Raw. Instead, he is stunned into silence by the Boogy Man.

Match 2 - The Dicks vs Road Warrior Animal & Heidenreich

What's next? A team called "The Goolies?" Suffice it to say the team name was created for lines like "The Dicks butt heads outside the ring" (Michael Cole) and the "referee is trying to get the one Dick out of there" (Tazz). Some clever writer, somewhere, is snickering at the clever team name. The chippendale dancers double-team well, and manage to get the upperhand on Heidenreich. Eventually, the hot tag is made to Animal. He cleans house until he's sprayed in the eyes by "baby oil" and pinned by both Dicks.

Winner: The Dicks

Match 3 - Mr. Kennedy vs Matt Hardy

A mate of mine swears that Mr. Kennedy is the bee's knees, and I'm beginning to agree. Sure he's barmy, but that's a plus in this business. Hardy makes this a very competitive match and they are well matched to boot. Kennedy sends Hardy into the ring post, wraps him around, and begins working over Matt's ribs with a submission hold. A Russian leg sweep surprises Kennedy, and Hardy gets a two count. Kennedy stops Hardy's attempt of a Twist of Fate, but is caught in a bulldog from the second rope. Kennedy grabs the ropes before the three count. They battle outside the ring, and Hardy is sent into the stairs. Kennedy grabs a chair, takes it into the ring and is stopped by the referee and disqualified.

Winner: Matt Hardy by DQ

Raw GM Eric Bischoff arrives to warn his Smackdown counterpart Teddy Long that his crew is closer than Long thinks. Bet you a quid the Raw guys show up by the end of the show. Whaddya mean William Hill isn't taking action on it?

Match 4 - Melina vs Christy Hemme

Okay, let's get it out of the way ... my, isn't Melina a cheeky little dish? I'd fancy meeting her for a spot of tea, and discuss the status of John Thomas. Christy interrupts Melina's entrance (boo!). MNM interferes and is sent to the dressing room by the ref. Christy is on fire and hits a crossbody and a crazy splits leg drop. (Men, don't try that at home!) Melina is fired up in anger after her hair is pulled, and gets back into it with a backbreaker, bodyslam and another crazy submission move that shows off Christy's freaky flexibility. More punches, kicks, a sunset flip, and Melina bulldogs Christy for the win, as she heads into her women's title bout with Trish Stratus at Survivor Series.

Winner: Melina

Batista is shown being taped up. I think he's a little daft to be working with such a dodgy arm. Randy Orton doesn't think so, though. The Legend Killer just wants to make sure that Big Dave won't use the injury as an excuse when he beats him for the World title.

Match 5 - Cruiserweight Championship - Nunzio (champion) vs Juventud

Nunzio claimed the title while abroad on the continent (Rome, Italy actually), and they actually showed a clip with Nunzio celebrating with the crowd. Tonight's rematch, however, is coloured by the arrival of Carilto and Chris Masters to their ringside seats. Whatever could they want with cruiserweights? Or maybe they are just waiting. It's a typically fast-paced cruiserweight battle, with lots of two counts. Big Vito saves Nunzio at one point. Juvi hits a couple of cool moves for two two counts. Nunzio misses a Sicilian Slice and Juvi hits his Driver for the win.

Winner: ... and new Cruiserweight Champion ... Juventud

Match 6 - William Regal & Paul Burchill vs JBL & Rey Mysterio

The crowd seems to be torn between considering their local boys prats or praise-worthy. Regardless, they aren't given much time to shine. Rey takes on Regal until JBL makes the save. Burchill comes in to face Rey, and Mysterio gets the upperhand and hits the 619. Regal breaks up a pin attempt, bringing in JBL for a Clothesline From Hell. Shawn Michaels appears out of nowhere and hits his Sweet Chin Music on JBL, and Carlito and Masters hop the rail and get involved as well. The Smackdown locker room empties.

Winner: No contest.

Match 7 - Bobby Lashley vs Orlando Jordan

Might as well be Chelsea against Sunderland on the pitch. Lashley decimates O.J.

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Outside the arena, security guards lay strewn like day-old Guardian newspapers. It could only be those bad boys from Raw!

Match 8 - World Championship - No Holds Barred - Batista (champion) vs Randy Orton

The match itself only goes a couple of minutes, with Batista selling his injuries. Then the Raw locker room pours out! It's all sixes and sevens! The action outside the ring is too crazy to call, but the camera heads to the ring, and shows two RKOs by Orton, Sweet Chin Music by HBK, a 619 by Mysterio, a neckbreaker by Carlito, the Masterlock by Masters before Batista arrives to deliver two spinebusters. The Animal is left alone in the ring with Kane and The Big Show. Raw's tag team champs double team Batista, and eventually send him through the announcer's table. The final image Batista sees is worse than the Boogy Man -- Kane and Big Show laughing sadistically as he writhes in pain.

Winner: No contest


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  • Full Case of Tales with Harley Race & Terry Funk DVD-R

    Greg Oliver recently got back from a trip to the United Kingdom (as if you couldn't tell!) that took him from Manchester (go F.C. United!) ... to Liverpool (where the dream is to do nothing, all the days of our lives) ... to Cardiff (unbelievable pantloads of British tarts) ... to Glasgow (umm... it was a long bus ride) ... to Edinburgh (the must-see city of the trip, if only to see what inspired J.K. Rowling) ... to York (where the missus and I had Indian food so hot we were sweating from the top of our heads) ... and back to Manchester (Stockport actually). Email him at goliver845@gmail.com. Calls to the mobile will not be returned. Cheerio!