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Smackdown: Survivor Series takes shape
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


It's Friday night, it's November and it's a few weeks from Survivor Series. Hopefully, that means we'll get some matches announced. Only one way to find out - let's get to the action.

We start off the night with the Champion of Champions, King Booker. Unfortunately, the Annoying Diva of Annoying Divas, Sharmell is still with him. Fortunately, she's mikeless. That simple fact makes this the best Smackdown ever!

Booker celebrates his Cyber Sunday victory, and soon after, Teddy Long joins him for what is a boring promo, the gist of which is Batista gets a title shot at Survivor Series, and that before Booker gets to put his title up against The Animal in a couple weeks, he has to beat Bobby Lashley tonight.

Match 1 - Bobby Lashley vs. King Booker

Though a long match, this really couldn't hold my attention, which is surprising since Booker has been one of my favourites for years. Heck, he even used Move #131 (Buffalo Armbar) and still couldn't maintain my interest. Perhaps, even if you disregarded the spoilers, we knew Booker would win because Michael Cole announced that Lashley would be in a traditional Survivor Series match at the PPV.

As has now become the WWE standard, Booker gets the cheap win by hooking the tights. I'm really getting sick of heels only winning by one of three methods:
a> holding the tights/ropes
b> interference
c> belt shot/lowblow behind the ref's back.

Score one for Option A after this match.

Winner: King Booker

Back from break, MVP is backstage with Long, plugging See No Evil on DVD. The end result is a Street Fight between MVP and Kane next week.

Elsewhere, Chris Benoit confronts Vicki and Chavo Guerrero. From this, we learn the two will square off at Survivor Series for the U.S. Title. So that's three matches announced on TV for the first time on this episode. Well done WWE.

Match 2 - Matt Hardy/Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Gregory Helms/Sylvan Grenier

Before the match, we learn that Yang has a new accomplice named Amy. Not exactly the Molly Holly introduction, but sure, why not.

Yang continues to exhibit sweet moves and the thought of him battling Helms in a long program has me stoked. Hopefully WWE pulls the trigger on it. Meanwhile, Cole talks about the Team DX vs. Team Rated RKO Survivor Series bout, so that's four matches announced tonight.

In the ring, we get some great action from all four competitors, with Grenier continuing to impress me with his rapid improvement. Yang, naturally, takes the majority of the punishment. Hardy finishes with a Twist of Fate with Helms on the top rope. Awesome match; a 6 out of 10 encounter.

Winners: Matt Hardy/Jimmy Wang Yang

Next up, Mr. Kennedy comes out, delivering yet another wicked promo, calling out The Undertaker. Eventually, Taker comes out and gets an absolute beatdown from Kennedy with his microphone. Absolutely awesome segment.

Match 3 - Chris Benoit vs. KC James

James looked very green in the ring against Benoit, who easily got the W in a glorified squash.

Winner: Chris Benoit

Backstage, we get a quick look at the Boogeyman quickly before we go to break

Match 4 - Boogeyman vs. TJ Dalton

Another squash, as Boogeyman gets the duke with the two-handed chokeslam

Winner: The Boogeyman

Post-match, Dalton gets a worm milkshake, courtesy of The Boogeyman.

Backstage, Miz and Kristal have a powwow, the end result being he challenges Boogey to a match next week.

Match 5 - Fit Finlay vs. Batista

Batista dominates the first large portion of the match, getting a slew of offence including a nice slingshot backcracker. In fact, Finlay gets next to no offence until the leprechaun gets involved, using Finlay's international object. Then, Finlay goes to work, putting on a technical clinic, destroying Batista's leg.

Eventually, Batista makes his comeback, setting up Finlay on top rope, carrying him off like he was going to deliver a Muscle Buster, but turns it instead into a Fisherman Buster (works for me). After that, the two go back and forth for a bit before King Booker makes his way to ringside. Miscommunication from the heels leads to Finlay's demise, courtesy of a spinebuster.

Winner: Batista

Another solid Smackdown show, highlighted by the announcement of four Survivor Series matches and some decent action. We'll see you next week.

Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.