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
Match 1 - Rey Mysterio vs. Fit Finlay
We know Rey's not his usual self tonight since he doesn't have the white contacts
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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.
Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!
Rey Mysterio WWE Pro Mask
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.