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Smackdown: Hey babe, you wanna boogey?
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Smackdown will have to be a really strong show this week if WWE wants people to forget about the atrocious "Special" on Tuesday night. The card tonight looked promising enough, so let's see how WWE did.

The show started with Randy Orton in the ring demanding a title shot after "killing" the Undertaker. Yeah, like that actually happened.

Match 1 Tag Team Battle Royal
Since WWE doesn't care about tag teams, we'll quickly go through this. First gone is the FBI, followed soon by L.O.D. 2005. Soon after, the lights go out, signalling some wackiness that continues through the night. Back from break, the Velocity Job Squad is eliminated, and then Rockers v.2 are tossed when Paul London goes to the top. This leaves the Dicks and the Mexicools in the ring, and as expected, the faces win to give us a tag team title between the luchadores and MNM. When? We're not sure, but probably at the next PPV.

Winners: The Mexicools

Backstage we go next, and JBL says he will be teaming with Rey Mysterio tonight against Big Show and Kane to defend Smackdown's honour. Once he leaves, blood starts dripping from a screen. Weird...

Match 2 - Chris Benoit vs. Steven Regal
Yes, we've seen these two combat thousands of times, but if you're a true wrestling fan, you can never get sick of these two squaring off.

Bonus here as Booker is in on commentary, and does an absolutely wicked job on the stick. Seriously, when he retires, Booker T should head straight to the broadcast booth.

The match, surprisingly, is clean despite the presence of Booker and Sharmell at ringside. An even bout, both men get a strong push while busting open after Benoit's rapid headbutts. Near the end of the match, which Benoit wins with the Crippler Crossface, he pulls out a Release Dragon Suplex, something you rarely, if ever see in WWE. Why? Because very few guys can take the move. This was a very strong match that, under higher-profile circumstances and a longer runtime, would have been considered for match of the year.

Winner: Chris Benoit

After the bout, Benoit attacks Booker and gets him to tap to the Crossface. Sharmell's attempts to get the Crippler off her husband are laughably horrible.

Backstage we go and the Ortons are talking strategy for young Randy's match with Matt Hardy. Meanwhile, the weirdness continues, as a clock spins backward.

Match 3 - Randy Orton vs. Matt Hardy
Oh, like the finish was even in doubt here. Good to see Hardy's really getting that push, eh?

Winner: Randy Orton

Post-match, Orton gets a voice-over visit from Undertaker, since he already made his one appearance for the week on Tuesday. The end result of the psycho-thriller work by Calloway is the announcement of a Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon.

Back from break, young Orton is trying to convince Teddy Long to cancel the match but Long is not backing down; moreso out of fear than anything else.

Elsewhere, we're introduced to the latest NFD, Kristal, who's now an interviewer on Smackdown. Just as I said during the Diva Search, she's absolutely terrible and does not belong in WWE. At least Maria has some charisma. Anyways, she's interviewing Simon Dean, who claims not to be scared of the Boogeyman. He then gets ready to unveil his new product, which I guess is the head of the Boogeyman, who sings My Darlin' Clementine and eats worms. You know what, WWE is embracing the campiness of the character enough that it just might get over. Let's just hope they don't pull a Eugene and push it too hard too fast.

Match 4 - Simon Dean vs. The Boogeyman
In the past, wicked gimmicks like Mordecai have died because of poor in-ring skills. We didn't quite get the chance to judge that tonight.

Dean has to be pushed out to the ring by security, and he tries to escape before Boogeyman can come out. TBM's entrance is really wicked, but I do have to point out that WWE looks really stupid saying he's from "The Bottomless Pit", just after they rag on Warrior from being from "parts unknown".

After eating a few worms, TBM gets a nice inverted standing powerslam for the one-move victory.

Winner: The Boogeyman

Match 5 - Bobby Lashley vs. Sylvan Grenier
A couple weeks ago, I talked about how Brock Lesnar v.2 needs to have more credible opposition if he's going to get over. Grenier hardly qualifies. The French Canadian does get some good offence in, but it's only slightly more than token. Lashley takes the match with his version of the Dominator.

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Match 6 - Rey Mysterio/JBL vs. Big Show/Kane
Well, one again we see Show in a heel role. Why should we buy him as a face on Raw again?

Mysterio comes out with his ribs taped and wearing Eddie Guerrero memorial armbands.

The match starts off with some hot action, including JBL getting some high-flying moves. Layfield actually looked pretty impressive here. Eventually, Mysterio tags himself in. During a melee, JBL gets poked in the eye by the referee, Jimmy Korderas, and leaves the ring.

As we return from the break, the Raw team is decimating Rey Rey. Eventually, however, Mysterio possums his way to the advantage. After scoring 619s on both men, however, the Raw team finish off the luchador with a double chokeslam.

Winners: Big Show/Kane

After the match, Kane gets a chair and the two prepare to double chokeslam Mysterio on it, until Batista comes out for the save. Quickly and authoritatively, he decimates the Raw team.

Well, this show was pretty good overall. We got a plethora of matches, even though a couple were elegant squashes. There really isn't much bad that you can say in the end, because it was a decent building show after a major PPV. Thumbs up here.


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  • Go figure: WWE Classic Superstars Series 9 Figures: Complete Set of 9 (includes Akeem, Road Warrior Animal, Road Warrior Hawk, Paul Bearer, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ric Flair, The Godfather, Kamala and Papa Shango)

    Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.