Smackdown: An unlucky day for Cruiserweights
JON WALDMAN-- SLAM! Wrestling
Welcome to Smackdown, emanating from N’Orleans. It’s another Friday night of hard-hitting action, so let’s see what WWE has cooked up tonight.
We kick off tonight’s edition with Edge on his phone, talking about a party. As Edge is on the phone though, we can see Kane in a door’s window in the background. When Edge turns to face the door, Kane disappears. When Edge looks away, Kane reappears. Okay…
After the opening, MVP comes out, dressed to the nines.
Match 1 – Matt Hardy vs. Chris Masters
As Hardy walks down to the ring, we find out that Hardy will face MVP for the US Title at the Bash. MVP makes the remark that Hardy has never held a significant singles title. Well, the Euro and Hardcore titles are dead, and the Cruiserweight Title is as good as gone, so yeah I’ll buy that.
MVP actually gets a few more good shots in. Listening to him and JBL on commentary together is definitely a treat; watching Masters in the ring, however, isn’t as much. Masters quickly calls for the Masterlock, just as we go to break. Great timing on a taped show. Oy.
Back to the action and Hardy is still down, as is my interest level. The sad thing is the match being announced before tonight’s bout means we know Matt is going over. If it was a number one contender’s match, there would be at least a seed of doubt. As one would expect, Hardy does get the win. Hardy’s great in the ring, but he’s far from the broomstick carrier.
Winner: Matt Hardy
Post-match, MVP distracts Hardy long enough for Masters to get the Masterlock on Hardy, and, in fact, Hardy looks like he will break the hold until MVP gets physically involved.
Back from the break, we get the “Don’t Try This at Home” PSA, which, interestingly, still has footage of Rob Van Dam in it.
Match 2 – Fit Finlay vs. Jimmy Wang Yang
And the burial of the Cruiserweight Division, somehow, gets another foot deeper.
The match is pretty strong as Finlay adapts surprisingly well to the high-flying Yang to absorb it into his own roughneck style. Finlay eventually gets the win, as expected with the Celtic Cross.
Winner: Fit Finlay
Post-match, Hornswoggle comes out and attacks Yang.
Match 3 – Chavo Guerrero/Jamie Noble vs. The Major Brothers
Well, it looks like the Cruisers go down yet another notch here. We’re three-for-three!
The commentary goes down a notch, as both Michael Cole and JBL try to sell the Cruisers as being a veteran tag team. Well, when two of your three teams are the Majors and a couple hillbillies who have not wrestled on WWE TV together yet, I guess they would be vets…
The match comes out as a traditional WWE tag bout, which is a good thing. All four men have a show of talent in the ring, including the Majors, which is a bit surprising. In the end, Brian Major gets a Missile Dropkick on Chavito to get the win. Like I said, the Cruisers get buried again.
Winners: The Major Brothers
Backstage, Vicki Guerrero is encountered by Khali’s interpreter, who tries to back out of the match at the Bash with Batista. Guerrero no-sells the effort though. Khali finds out the bad news and assaults a TV producer.
Back in, we see a video for Rey Mysterio’s 30th return to Smackdown. Edge is watching on a TV backstage, and when he turns away, Kane’s face appears on the screen. Nice, but it would’ve been more effective if the montage of Rey’s mask suddenly turned to Kane’s old one.
Out comes Theodore Long for the contract signing. Funniest moment of the week comes next as the camera shows a white guy in the crowd “dancing” to Long’s theme.
Quickly, Khali and Batista come out. Batista signs the contract. The translator gets on the stick then, and dear god is he terrible. He’s so bad, in fact, that he might as well be a Cruiserweight and get buried at some point during the Bash. Khali eventually signs. Batista eventually slaps Khali in the face before the translator gets thie big man out of the ring. Khali then throws the steps, a la No Mercy at Batista, and the former champ returns fire.
I’ve got to say this - I believe this is the first contract signing that a table hasn’t been broken at. Somewhere, in the Forest of Feelings, a tree is breathing a sigh of relief.
Match 4 - Chuck Palumbo vs. Luke Hawks
Palumbo finally makes his big-show re-debut after months. We don’t get the official announcement of Palumbo’s opponent, but later learn his name is Luke Hawks, WSX refugee, which I’ve probably spelt wrong. I guess Funaki has the night off tonight.
Palumbo, who’s being touted as a motorcycle builder, gets the win quickly with a Black Hole Slam variant. Better than the “Jungle Kick” he used to use.
Winner: Chuck Palumbo
To a vignette we go to of George and Lenny ... I mean Jesse and Festus. I’m just waiting for Festus to say how much he wants to pet the rabbits (and, to see how many people get the reference).
To the bathroom we go next and Edge is brushing his teeth. I guess his opponent tonight is the evil Gingivitis. As Edge looks down to wash out his mouth, Kane appears in the mirror, then disappears when Edge comes back up.
Wow, I must say I’m proud of myself. That spot was begging for an Isaac Yankem, DDS joke. Man, what will power I have.
Backstage, D&D are chatting it up until Eugene, still wearing a cape and pyjamas for some reason, comes in and asks for a ride in the convertible. They convince Eugene that they’ll give him a ride to the ring if he takes on Deuce’s opponent. Has Eugene lost a few pounds? He must’ve, because he’s all Cruiserweight tonight.
Match 5 – Eugene vs. Mark Henry
Yep, it’s Cruiser-gene. And is it just me, or is Eugene looking like Raffi these days?
If you need a description of the match to know who wins, then you haven’t watched WWE TV ever.
Winner: Mark Henry
Next, Michelle McCool is rollerblading. Congrats Michael Hayes, you’ve found a way to annoy me even more than by having Maryse appear on Smackdown.
From there, we go to footage of Victoria attacking Torrie Wilson last week.
Backstage, Long, Guerrero and Kristal Marshall meet, and Vicki will be Kristal’s maid of honour. Oh lord, this gets lamer by the week.
Match 6 – Torrie Wilson vs. Victoria
Well, technically, both women would be considered Cruiserweights.
Surprisingly, the match is watchable, which is the nicest thing I’ve ever been able to say about a Torrie Wilson match. She wins via countout.
Winner: Torrie Wilson
Backstage, the BK King is hanging out with other mascots and party people when Edge comes in and tells them it’s time for the Mardi Gras party. What, no beads?
Out comes Edge and the rest of the crew, and indeed, there are the beads. Mr. Copeland cuts a hell of a promo, affecting some Shane Douglas in his speech. After the promo, Edge gets his posse to toss out the beads, and as he approaches the BK King and a (dairy?) queen, he stops at the queen and spears her. He, unfortunately, attacked the wrong royalty, as Kane pops out of the BK head and attacks. As the other posse members attack, Kane puts them away.
Well, this was definitely down from the quality of Smackdown matches. Maybe if WWE would stop burying the Cruisers, as was fully demonstrated tonight, we’d have better shows.
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Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.