March 18, 2006
Smackdown - on the road to SNME
By 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)
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
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
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
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
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
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.