Smackdown - on the road to SNME
JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
Welcome once again to Smackdown. We’re just hours away from Saturday Night’s Main Event, so let’s see what the blue and silver has to offer leading up to the NBC return.
Match 1 – Bobby Lashley vs. Fit Finlay (Money in the bank qualifying match; Lumberjack match)
This is a rematch from their bout last week that ended as a no contest. The match itself is pretty decent, with some good power stuff from Lashley and Finley being his usual tough self. There is the usual schmoz with the lumberjacks, which eventually leads to Finlay using his schilaley to get the W. Looks like this Irishman definitely did not need any luck.
Winner: Fit Finlay
Next up we flashback to the Gimmick Battle Royal for some odd reason. Backstage, Melina catches up with the rest of MNM looking at the Candice Michelle copy of Playboy. She then has a brief encounter with Kristal Marshall before Paul Burchill makes his presence felt. Honestly, everyone in MNM has future star written all over them.
Match 2 – William Regal/Jillian Hall vs. Kristal Marshall/Paul Burchill
You know, Burchill’s entrance would be more spectacular if he swung in from the set’s fist. Marshall and Hall look decent enough in the ring to be effective in the Women’s Division as fodder for Trish Stratus, Mickie James and Victoria, but they’re effectively on an island on Friday nights. Burchill and Regal, of course, spend the most time in the match, with the pirate coming out on top with what can best be described as a 360 Downward Spiral.
Backstage, the most annoying Diva ever, Sharmell, is tying to get Booker T to stay with her. Okay, fastforwarding through her, sorry fans.
Next up we find out, again, that Verne Gagne is being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Honestly, I’m not sure which is going to be more odd a sight to see – Gagne or Bret Hart in this one. A part of me votes for Gagne, a big part.
Next, the M.A.D.E. Sharmell comes out to intro Booker T.
Match 3 – Booker T vs. Jeremy Young
Like I even need to tell you who wins.
Winner: Booker T
Before the happy couple can leave the ring, the Boogeyman’s music hits. Booker and M.A.D.E. try to hide under the ring but Boogeyman chases them out from under the ring.
Next up is a three-way interview with Rey Mysterio Jr., Kurt Angle and Randy Orton. This was one of the better studio segments WWE has done as all there were genuine and worked well to put over both the WrestleMania bout and the SNME match.
Back from break, we learn The Miz is coming to Smackdown, in what appears to be a talk segment.
Match 4 – Animal vs. Matt Hardy
I miss the Matt Facts. Animal concentrates on Hardy’s left knee, keeping continuity going from a couple weeks ago. The match is pretty lame overall, with Animal getting the pin after using brass knuckles, but after the bout referee Charles Robinson finds the knux and reverses the decision.
Winner: Matt Hardy (reversal of decision)
Back from break, JBL comes out to join the announce crew for the next match.
Match 5 – Orlando Jordan vs. Chris Benoit
Well, as if we need to cover this match. The match is made great by JBL’s very heated work on the mic. Jordan taps after much beating to the Sharpshooter.
Winner: Chris Benoit
After the bout, JBL attacks Benoit with the cooler.
Match 6 – Randy Orton/Rey Mysterio Jr./Kurt Angle vs. MNM/Mark Henry
Angle starts off the match for the ‘Mania team but it quickly disintegrates into the traditional “beat Rey to a bloody pulp until he comes back someway somehow” bout. Melina and Khosrow Daivari get involved at various junctures in the bout. Angle gets the hot tag and Mysterio later gets back in for the 619. After this, Orton blindly tags in and gets the cover.
Winners – Orton/Mysterio Jr./Angle
Well, a lot less build to SNME than I expected. There was plenty of build to ‘Mania, however, which I guess is a good thing. The hope now, however, lies in SNME to be a strong enough show to promote Smackdown to a new audience.