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COMMENT





Smackdown: Gold up for grabs
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Smackdown hit the airwaves this past week with a night of champions. Two titles were on the line while another belt-holder was in action. Let's take a look at went down.

To kick things off, The Miz runs down a bit of the line-up. You know, WCW had a host for Nitro for a few months, who also got his start on MTV. I'm just saying...

Match 1 - The Mexicools vs. Paul London/Brian Kendrik (WWE Tag Team Title Match)

You know, it's a shame that WWE is in the process of breaking the Mexicools up, because these two teams have a great amount of chemistry going. JBL, by the way, gets an immediate thumbs-up in my books for drawing the comparison of Kendrick and London to The Rockers. He's actually a really good colour guy in the Jesse Venutra style of heel commentators.

The match primarily focuses on the on-going dissension among the Mexican ranks, especially for Psichosis. Interestingly, it's the 'Cools who get the hot tag segment, a rarity for any heal team. The crowd, however, buys into it and explodes for Super Crazy. As predictable as it is, Psichosis tags in blindly when the match appears to be in hand and ends up losing the match for his crew. Had I used the star system still, this would be an easy 5/10.

Winners: London/Kendrik

Post match, Super Crazy is understandably upset and kicks Psichosis's keester all around the ring. Is this the official break-up? Only one way to find out - tune in next week!

Throughout the night, we get videos and mentions of the number of wrestlers Mark Henry has put out of action. You know, it might just be me, but if I had someone on my staff who was causing financial trouble to my company by negatively affecting the performance of my top workers, I'd fire him on the spot.

Also, we get bumpers, at various times, for Batista's return. I'll be very curious to see how he's brought in.

Match 2 - Simon Dean vs. Tatanka

Velocity mainstays on Smackdown? This can only mean one thing - yup, it's time for The Great Khali.

Winner: Draw (no contest)

After Khali disposes of our heroes, he pins Dean in a similar fashion to what 'Taker does with the arms crossed over the chest, adding the tounge wagging for extra effect. Man, I know if I was an undead biker, I'd be pissed. I wonder how Calloway is feeling after watching this...

Match 3 - Gunner Scott vs. Fit Finlay

Finlay dominates this match over the former Brent Albright. Scott gets an abbreviated heat segment, including what looked like an almost-blown German Suplex. Naturally, Little Bastard makes an appearance and in a backhanded way, helps Finlay after a comedy spot. In the end, Finlay uses this shille..shilai...shyleigh...stick to get the cheap win over Mr. Scott. Roast me if you must, but there was something about LB and Finlay's interaction that worked. Hey. As long as we get some grat ass kicking by Finlay week in and week out, I'll be happy.

Winner: Fit Finlay

Backstage we go (surprisingly for the first time tonight) and Vito is trying to ask Ashley out. The segment really goes nowhere.

Next up is Sylvan Grenier with a tourism video for Quebec. Anyone who is from La Belle Province, please e-mail me and let me know if those shots were actually of Quebec's skyline. I just can't wait to see the vignette with Grenier promoting the local cuisine, including Montreal smoked meat and poutine.

We stay out of the ring for an interview with Chavito. Guererro Jr. talks about how Rey Misterio Jr. has the support of more than one Guererro. Man, this would've been the perfect opportunity to bring back Chavo Classic, or at least bring in Ultimo Guererro. Oh well.

Match 4 - King Booker vs. Bobby Lashley

Well, this match was pretty predictable, until the end when interference by the M.A.D.E., William Regal and Finlay weny awry and Lashley was able to use the chair to his advantage. I really don't see the point, by the way, in building up a future star by having him take out half of your depleted roster at one time.

Winner: King Booker (DQ)

Match 5 - Ken Kennedy vs. Funaki

Man, I missed Mr. Kennedy a lot! Glad to see him back. Kennedy dominates this bout, finishing with a standing Steam Roller (much safer than the second-rope version he'd used previously) and the Swanton Bomb, re-dubbed the Kenton Bomb.

Winner: Ken Kennedy

Backstage, King Booker and the M.A.D.E. confront Teddy Long. The result is a cage match next week between Booker and Lashley.

Match 6 - Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Mark Henry (World Title Match)

Well, the match was long, it was boring and the ending was fairly predictable - Chavito interferes during a ref-out spot and uses an old Eddie Guerrero spot of getting Henry caught with the chair to get DQ'd.

Okay. This has gone on long enough. Every time these two "pay tribute" to Latino Heat's memory, their careers take another step down the ladder into a pool of living off of someone else's name. Seriously. If Eddie were still alive, they would just be seen as lackeys at this point, akin to nWo members or rip-off artists like anyone who stole the Superkick from Shawn Michaels. End it before Misterio's career is completely killed; please!

Winner: Rey Misterio Jr. (DQ)

Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.