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   Fri, January 20, 2006



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Smackdown: Surprises and celebration
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Last week's jam-packed Smackdown will be a tough act to follow, but there is plenty of action on the plate for tonight's show in Florence, SC. With the Royal Rumble only nine days away this is going to be an important show, so here we go!

First off we will find out whom Kurt Angle will face at the Royal Rumble for the World Heavyweight Championship in the #1 Contender's match between Mark Henry and Rey Mysterio. It's also time for Booker T to gloat as he will have an official U.S. Championship celebration to kick off his title reign. Also, Davairi has a big surprise for Kurt Angle tonight when the two former friends square off in a grudge match.

Match 1: JBL w/Jillian Hall vs. Bobby Lashley

As at many previous Smackdowns, JBL rides out in his limo to start the program. Jillian Hall timidly climbs out of the vehicle with a bandage on her face where The Boogey Man bit off the growth. Lashley is still undefeated on Smackdown and this is his real first test in competition. The two big bulls pound away on each other with Lashley scoring some overhead belly to belly suplexes. After Bobby L misses a turnbuckle attack, JBL nails a vicious Clothesline from Hell, but before he can go for the cover The Boogey Man's music hits. Boogey climbs out from under the ring, distracting Bradshaw long enough for Lashley to recover and deliver The Dominator for the victory. Boogey Man chases JBL and Jillian from the ring area by eating worms and dancing around.

WINNER: Bobby Lashley

Backstage Kurt Angle is shaking hands and being congratulated on becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion. Eventually Angle runs into Mark Henry who says that Kurt cannot beat him. Angle runs down The World's Strongest Man and the two part.

We then go to Booker T and Sharmell walking through the back talking about their upcoming celebration tonight. Hopefully it won't be the same type of celebrating that Edge and Lita did last week!

After the commercial break Jillian and JBL are in GM Teddy Long's office complaining about The Boogey Man scarring Jillian and interfering in Bradshaw's matches. Long announces that it will be JBL vs. The Boogey Man at the Royal Rumble. JBL and Jillian look very uncomfortable with this announcement.

Sharmell and Booker T make their way down to the ring for the United States Championship celebration. Booker announces that he defeated Benoit all by himself and he and Sharmell run down The Crippler. Orlando Jordan interrupts the speech and demands a match right now with Book. The new champion laughs at Orlando and Jordan responds by pushing over Booker T who is still using a crutch. Teddy Long's music hits and he announces that since Booker is not cleared to fight it will be Randy Orton vs. O.J. for the U.S. title.

Match 2: Fit Finlay vs. Matt Hardy

This is the debut on Smackdown for Finlay. Still not quite sure why the aging vet is returning to in ring -- let's see how he holds up. Finlay looks to be in fantastic shape. I read in William Regal's book that Finlay was one of his heroes when Regal was an up-and-comer in England. Hardy gains an early advantage with a dive to the outside on the Irishman. Finlay methodically pounds away with his unique European style. Hardy is actually holding his own in this matchup as this bout has been back and forth. In an innovative spot, when Hardy went for a baseball slide to the outside, Finlay pulled out the ring apron curtain and trapped Hardy in between the curtain and the ring. The finish comes when Finlay is disqualified for punching Hardy on the ropes past the referee's five count. Finlay then grabs the mic and tells the official he'll show him what a DQ is. The Irishman hauls Hardy out to the steel steps and stomps on his head.

WINNER: By DQ Matt Hardy

Davairi is in GM Long's office complaining about Kurt Angle's treatment of him. Long makes the match between Angle and Davairi to take place tonight.

Match 3: #1 Contender's Match- Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Henry w/Milena

The winner of this match will face Kurt Angle at the Royal Rumble for the World's Heavyweight Championship. Some typical David vs. Goliath action to start things off as Rey is scurrying around and Henry trying to catch him. Following a commercial, Mysterio is punishing Henry. The World's Strongest Man recovers by splashing Rey Rey into the corner and then standing on his stomach. After Mysterio tries to weaken Henry's leg with kicks, the big man gorilla presses Rey for a good 30 seconds before Mysterio slips away. Mysterio is able to capitalize with dropkicks and two 619's and a frog splash. In a very impressive spots Henry sits up with Rey on his chest, does a back roll while holding Mysterio, then stands up and delivers a monster slam for the pinfall.

WINNER: #1 Contender Mark Henry

After the break Mr. Ken Kennedy makes his way down and announces himself to the crowd. Kennedy teases the crowd by saying he will give away some of his new t-shirts but then states that if the fans want his shirts they can buy them. Kennedy joins Tazz and Cole at the broadcast booth.

Match 4: The Gymini w/Simon Dean vs. Brian Kendrik and Paul London

London and Kendrik rush the ring and get the early jump on The Gymini and Simon Dean. London and Kendrick are both flying all over the place, attacking from all angles. Soon the power of The Gymini takes over. These guys really look like pumped up versions of The Basham Brothers. After some more fast double teaming by London and Kendrik The Gymini get the 1-2-3 over London with a big slam.

WINNER: The Gymini

Match 5: U.S. Championship- Randy Orton vs. Orlando Jordan

Randy Orton is once again acting as a substitution for the injured Booker T against Orlando, who challenged Book earlier in the night. It's nice to see so much of the show designated to the United States title, it adds some importance to the championship. The two men exchange control with some fast back and forth action. Nothing overly notable in this matchup, but Orton is wearing down Jordan with a number of submission moves. As O.J. regains the advantage Sharmell and Booker T come down to ringside and distract the challenger. As Sharmell talks with the referee, Booker nails Orlando with his crutch knocking Jordan off of the top rope. From there Randy is able to hit the RKO and pick up the win. As the bell rings, Benoit storms down and clears the ring with attacks on Booker and Orton.

WINNER: Randy Orton

Davairi is interviewed backstage complaining that he has to wrestle Kurt Angle next and he does not know what to do.

Match 6: Kurt Angle vs. Davairi

A No Holds Barred match between Chris Benoit and Randy Orton is announced for next week. Angle now claims that when the fans chant "You Suck" they are referring to his opponent, so Kurt points and yells the phrase at Davairi on his way down the aisle. This is a non-title match and begins with Davairi scampering out of the ring. Before the former manager can get back in, Mark Henry and Melina march down to ringside to get an up close view of their Royal Rumble opponent. Davairi is able to sneak in a low blow when the referee's back is turned, however, Angle quickly gains control with a release German suplex. After throwing Davairi into Henry on the outside Angle delivers the Angle Slam followed by the Ankle Lock. Before Davairi can tap out Melina jumps on his back. The referee calls for the bell giving Angle the win by disqualification. The Olympic Gold Medalist throws the Diva off with ease and goes an Ankle Lock when Henry strikes from behind. The World's Strongest Man pulls the steel steps into the ring and nails Angle in the back. With Kurt on the floor Davairi announces that he is the new manager of Mark Henry. Smackdown ends for another week with Henry and Davairi celebrating and posing in the ring.

WINNER: By DQ Kurt Angle


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  • Order the book Eddie Guerrero: Cheating Death, Stealing Life

    Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer and is also the play-by-play radio voice for Durham College sports on www.thefreq.ca. Andy will also try announcing his last name twice and in an announcer voice like Ken Kennedy in day to day situations ... we'll see what happens.