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Smackdown: Minis and monsters
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
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Tonight's very special episode of Smackdown is the go-home show before No Way Out this Sunday. Based on the spoilers circulating around the 'net, this should be a pretty good episode. Time will tell, however. Let's get to the action.

Match 1 - Boogeyman vs. Fit Finlay

The math starts abruptly as Finlay attacks Boogey during his entrance and dominates through much of the match. Boogey eventually takes over in a very cumbersome-to-watch bout. Finlay slowly gets covered in Boogey's facepaint, which doesn't quite have the same effect as Davey Boy Smith being coated in Bret Hart's blood at In Your House.

Eventually, the leprechaun gets involved and WWE sinks another step as a mini Boogeyman debuts. In the chaos, Boogeyman gets the duke. Let the Doink comparisons officially begin.

Winner: Boogeyman

Match 2 - Deuce vs. Brian Kendrick

Well, seems that a couple of you had some good suggestions for the D&D finisher. To refresh your memories, I had suggested "Goodnight, Sweetheart", but I must say, Trevor Balla's leaning to "Sh-Boom" and Jeff Pinsky's suggestion of "Soda Shop Drop" were both equal to my thought. Be sure to let Andy McNamara know your preferences before Smackdown next week.

The match looks pretty good, with Deuce showing some decent ring work. Eventually, the expected heel interference happens, with Domino getting involved, allowing Deuce to get the singles win with the Shining Wizard.

Winner: Deuce

Back from break, King Booker and the M.A.D.E. review See No Evil. Booker is truly on tonight and even inserts himself into the movie in an ultra-campy, uber-hilarious spot. Suddenly, the lights go wonky and Kane does a quick voice-over and rips through the set's backdrop, freaking the royal couple out. Very effective promo spot here.

Backstage, Shawn Michaels and John Cena have a chit-chat prior to their match.

Match 3 - John Cena/Shawn Michaels vs. Ken Kennedy/MVP

As sad as it is, HBK for me is barely watchable anymore as his matches have become formulaic. Cena's aren't much better, so you can imagine my anticipation for this contest. Thankfully, Kennedy makes the match interesting, even avoiding the Sweet Chin Music at one point and rolling out beside his partner. HBK actually pulls out a Hilo to the outside, changing things up a bit for the first time in months.

Kennedy and MVP get a decent heat run after a commercial break, and HBK, to his credit, works this match better than he has several Raw matches over the last few months. Unfortunately, he does have to tag in Cena, and the formulaic action resumes, the only variation being that Mr. Kennedy is prevented from using a chair by an HBK Superkick.

Winners: HBK/Cena

Backstage, Kristal and Jillian do another annoying segments with Teddy Long. The lameness ends with Kristal doing a striptease.

Back from break, we get the re-announcement that Dusty Rhodes is going in the WWE Hall of Fame because, after all, the inductees can only be announced on Raw.

Back to Long's office and Kristal is topless. Eventually she leaves and Bobby Lashley comes in before Mr. Kennedy comes into the office. The result is the ECW Title will be on the line this Sunday.

Next up, Ashley comes out to debut her Playboy cover, and surprisingly, there are no run-ins.

Match 4 - Scotty II Hottie vs. Gregory Helms

Talk about a disappearing act, Scotty hasn't been on SD! in months.

Anyways, the match is brief before Daivari, Funaki, Jamie Noble, Shannon Moore (apparently defecting from ECW) and Jimmy Wang Yang come in to set up a 7-way for the Cruiserweight Belt at No Way Out.

Winner: No Contest

Somewhere, Maryse is in a bathtub with Big Dick Johnson. Well, I guess WWE didn't take kindly to my comments about Maryse being the biggest waste of payroll on the roster. Yep, you guys sure proved me wrong.

Back to what matters, Rated RKO strategise before their match. Explain why, in two interpromotional segments, the homecourt boys don't get promo time?

Match 5 - Rated RKO vs. Batista/Undertaker

The match starts off with 'Taker in the ring, and let me say this about UT - unlike Michaels, Ric Flair or other long-running vets, 'Taker is still expanding his repertoire, making him the most watchable of any of the vets.

As one might expect, the 'Mania combatants dominate early, through the first commercial break. I'm still waiting, by the way, for Orton and Batista to have the blow-off to their mini-feud a couple years ago. The heels soon take over and are impressive In their domination of Batista. Eventually, 'Taker gets tagged in and shows off more energy than I have seen in some time, even pulling out the leaping clothesline which I haven't seen probably since '05. Eventually, there's the predictable ref bump. Batista is taken into the pole on the outside by Orton, 'Taker then takes out Orton, and Edge spears 'Taker. All this happens in about 10 seconds. Edge sets 'Taker up for the Conchairto, but is unable to get it thanks to a block by 'Taker. The rest of the match is a mishmash of pure action and intensity before Edge takes the Tombstone for the loss. This match was far better than anyone would've expected going in.

Winners: Undertaker/Batista

Immediately after the match, HBK and Cena run in to lay out their opponents to even things up from Raw. Nice bit of continuity to further the feud between the two and actually draw interest for the match.

Overall, the action, aside from the main event, was lackluster, but hey, go-home shots are rarely good for in-ring work. They did accomplish what they needed, which was build some excitement, so good on the Smackdown crew.


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  • Spectacular History of the AWA DVD Set

    Jon Waldman has been a SLAMmer since 2000.