September 9, 2006
Smackdown: The title is on the line!
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling

Smackdown! is back on the air for two hours of wrestling fun, featuring a bout for the World Heavyweight Title. All the regulars are here as well, so let's get to the action.

We start off with JBL and Michael Cole in a stand-up, similar to what Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler used to do on Raw. It's small, but hey, it worked for me. I hope they do this from now on, which means less annoyance from *ugh* The Miz.

Match 1 - Rey Mysterio vs. Fit Finlay

We know Rey's not his usual self tonight since he doesn't have the white contacts in.

To the best of my knowledge, these two never fought in WCW (and please, if anyone can confirm that they did, please let me know where I can find it on YouTube), which is a shame because they wouldn't have had these lame storylines surrounding each competitor. The match itself is fantastic and would have been a lot better if Mysterio wasn't having to play the sad sack gimmick. Finlay, at one point, uses a succession of four submission moves (Lion Tamer, Boston Crab, Single Crab, Canadian Maple Leaf), but Mysterio is able to somehow break out and recover. The comback doesn't last long, as the damage to Mysterio's legs cause him to land awkwardly on the ropes when attempting a springboard move, allowing Finlay to use his finisher (which I'll dub the Shamrock Slam) for the duke. Awesome match!

Post-match, JBL tries to interview Mysterio, but Rey Rey's too sad. End this garbage already, please!

Match 2 - Ken Kennedy vs. Kenny Giamundo

Well, considering Giamundo is about as well known in the wrestling world as Ron Mexico, we know how this one goes. Kennedy wins with the Second Rop Log Roll.

Winner - Ken Kennedy

Post-match, calls out Teddy Long. The gyst of the interaction is this - Kennedy wants to go to Raw (should Jon Cena come to Smackdown), because there's no competition left. Long points out there's one man he hasn't beat yet, and that is the man he'll face at No Mercy - The Undertaker. It might just be me, but I don't think Kennedy's beat Scotty II Hotty either.

Match 3 - Paul London/Brian Kendrick/Ashley Massarro vs. KC James/Idol Stevens/Michelle McCool

Intergender matches are good on occasion, but two in the same week? That's a bit much.

KLM (yes, I went there) works extremely well together. If Ashley stays with these guys for a while, she'll get some good experience. Naturally, James, Stevens and McCool work well together as well, translating into yet another good match involving these tandems. KLM pick up the victory after a nice double team effort from the tag champs. Bring on the ladder!

Winners: Kendrick/London/Massarro

Match 4 - Sir William Regal vs. Bobby Lashley

Vito comes out for commentary. For some reason, he's being advertised for a title match against King Booker for the Montreal supershow, and I don't think that's a dark match (the other bout advertised, by the way, is Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio in a steel cage). Regal announces before the match that he demanded not to fight Vito, threatening a lawsuit.

Lashley certainly needs more of these matches with great workers, but he has no direction right now. Lashley wins with a spear after a match that went way too long.

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Match 5 - The Miz vs. Matt Hardy

Is Miz supposed to be a heel or a face? Cole's supporting him, but he's squaring off against the good guys. I don't get this character and the "hoo-rah" is probably the most annoying saying since "Hoo-dee-hoo".

In any case, Miz has a couple decent moves, but he's completely outclassed by Hardy. Hardy had the match in-hand until Gregory Helms interferes, handing Miz the win. The highlight of the match, however, is JBL ripping Miz apart. Preach on, brother John.

Winner - The Miz

Next up is a promo for Jimmy Wang Yang. God, what has Akio become? This is rediculous.

Match 6 - Chavo Guerrero vs. Tatanka

Vicki handles the intro for Chavito here. Chavo uses some great ringwork. JBL again works some magic on the mic, saying what we've all been saying about the Rey and Chavo. Seriously, JBL is getting up to Bobby Heenan levels of entertainment. Tatanka nearly gets the W after the Pemmican Drop, but Chavito was holding the rope. Tatanka spirals further into an angle I don't want to see, allowing Chavo to attack and get the win after the Frog Splash.

Winner: Chavo Guerrero

Backstage, MVP and Long chat. MVP demands Cena dollars. Long no-sells MVP's demands. Let's see MVP approach Raw now to build up the atmosphere of competition.

Match 7 - King Booker vs. Batista (World Heavyweight Title Match)

Naturally, the M.A.D.E. is her usual self prior to the match.

As odd as it sounds, all the action on the show has me somewhat worn out for the main event; I guess that's what happens when you have two wicked matches. The bout though is very strong. Batista probably hashis best match here since returning from injury, pulling out some wicked moves, including a Jackhammer. Evetually, Batista gets the spinebuster and looks to have the W until the M.A.D.E. and the King's Court get involved. Booker gets the duke after a shot from Finlay's shilla...shileigh...shilay...stick.

Winner: King Booker

Post-match, Finlay continues the attack with his stick, bloodying the Animal.

Honestly, this was the best episode of Smackdown I've seen since the heyday of the Smackdown Six. Great work tonight by all involved, well, except for Yang and The Miz.


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    Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000. He still awaits Vince's response to an invitation for a one-on-one interview with the Canadian scribe.


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