WWE Friday Night Smackdown review
November 4, 2005
Aired on UPN
Report from Mike Roe, Torch OVW/Smackdown Specialist
Hello, boys and girls, would you like to be my Smackdown neighbor? I think you would! We'll get to the show that makes me scream with girlish delight, but first, it's time for my man Seth to drop knowledge on you like it was a hot potato!
Raw Is Trivial with the "Supreme" Seth Berger!
Oh, I'm sure I was the only one in downtown Chicago celebrating amongst the well-mannered throngs of people who welcomed the 2005 World Champion White Sox back home. Only 1.75 million people along the parade route...
But, I wasn't one of them. I already had representation so I figured they can do the rooting for me.
So, with all the Sox excitement, I've been away and not watching a lot of wrestling. Luckily for you, it's not whether I watch wrestling now, it's about what I can dig up from the past, and are you in for a treat tonight.
Vince wants to dig into the past and bring back 1996 with Vader & Goldust? He's stealing my gimmick, man! I'll go one further and bring back the one and only "2 Cold! Scorpio!" (Damn WCW theme song will forever be stuck in my head. Thanks guys.) And, since it's "November", we'll flash back to an event "to Remember". 1996's N2R featured Scorpio's last big event before he "flashed" off to the WWF as Mr. Funk. He wrestled in at least one "loser leaves town" match. The question this week: How many "loser leaves town" matches did he wrestle that night. The only hint is the one I already gave you - it was more than one.
"The power is back?" Where was it hiding? This show was taped before Taboo Tuesday, so should be interesting to see if they added some double T stuff in post-production.
*** The show opened in one of the most unique ways I've seen. Josh Mathews was standing outside the Staples Center, earlier tonight, hyping that Smackdown was in Los Angeles, California, which Mathews also called Hollywood. Eh, close enough. Apparently, he was there because the new tag team champions MNM were arriving in their limo! Joey and Johnny were looking sharp as always, but forget them, because Melina was in a gold dress! With tiara! God, that's a beautiful woman. Johnny Nitro is one lucky son of a gun. Melina signed an autograph for some goof with a Melina poster who was an obvious plant. It was a poster of her wearing nothing but the tag team titles, and that's an image that warms the mind. However, we cut to a little later when who would interrupt the party but that no good Smackdown General Manager, Theodore R. Long! He asked to take a picture with the new tag team champeens, and he wanted to congratulate them so much that tonight they would have their first title defense. It won't be against the tag teams they wrestled last week, it will be against a whole different team, Edide Guerrero and World Champion Batista! How dare you make Melina unhappy, Teddy!
Christian's still in the intro, for one last time! The pyro went off, and we were welcomed to Los Angeles, California! Cole and Tazz talked about how happy they were to be in Hollywood, and hey, I'm happy for them.
(1) Rey Mysterio & Matt Hardy defeated JBL (with Jillian) & Christian when Matt Hardy pinned Christian.
Pre-match analysis: Out first, it's very special referee Hardcore Holly! Raw Specialist Dusty Giebink was telling me the other day how much he loves Hardcore, and I would disagree, but I don't want Hardcore to beat the crap out of me, so, uh, yay Hardcore! Michael Cole said that he was the toughest referee in the history of sports entertainment, but with all those low blows, I think I'll have to go with Earl Hebner.
Rey Mysterio and Rey Mysterio's Awful Music were out next. This is the worst tag team in wrestling. I think that song should be banned from my ears. In some commentary obviously dubbed in later, Cole talked about how Rey Mysterio teamed with Matt Hardy to defeat Raw at Taboo Tuesday, and Tazz said it should have been called Smackdown Tuesday. Hey-oh!
Speaking of tag partners, out next, it was V One-uhhhh, Matt hardy! He actually was the number one vote getter of everyone at Taboo Tuesday. I guess Edge was wrong about Matt's goofy Internet fans.
JBL was next on the roll call in the long white longhorn limo. His limo driver this week looked like Moe from the Three Stooges. JBL stepped out, and even did a little dance, which I loved. He was accompanied by the drop dead gorgeous Jillian Hall, wearing what is apparently her favorite color, cream. And yes, I realize how metrosexual it is that I know the color cream.
Christian was out next, and we got to hear that glorious Christian music for one last time before he says buh-bye to WWE. Let's review that glorious song one last time:
Deceived by my eyes,
and all I was told I should see,
Opinion's not mine,
the person they taught me to be,
one night in the dark,
a vision of someone I knew,
and in the darkness I saw,
a voice say I'm you.
Inside me a light was turned on and I was alive;
If you close your eyes, your life will make the truth reveal.
Should you never lived and scars never heal.
In the darkness, life will take you to the other side.
I'm finally waiting where you'll see if you just close your eyes.
Eyes in the sky,
trapped inside somebody's dream,
too close to the fire,
yet cold and so numb without me,
the fever has broken, the river has run to the sea,
washed in the ocean, and saved by a voice inside me.
Inside me a light was turned on and I was alive;
If you close your eyes, your life will make the truth reveal.
Should you never lived and scars never heal.
In the darkness, life will take you to the other side.
I'm finally waiting where you'll see if you just close your eyes.
Never thought I would be so here, so high in the air.
This is my unanswered prayer.
Defined by another. So much wasted time.
Out of the darkness each breath that I take will be mine.
If you close your eyes, your life will make the truth reveal.
Should you never lived and scars never heal.
In the darkness, life will take you to the other side.
I'm finally waiting where you'll see if you just close your eyes.
Brings a tear to the eye, don't it? Christian was wearing a hooded ring jacket, which is great, but he also had one of his outfits with the C with the cut out hole for the stomach, which makes him more metrosexual than I am! The announcers talked about how Vince McMahon scolded Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff for losing at Taboo Tuesday. Cole informed us that 6,351,188 votes were cast on WWE.com. Nice! That's up fifty percent from last year as well, and for v oting that meant even less! Nice!
Match analysis: Christian and Matt Hardy started things out. TLC memories! Matt got the early advantage with a shoulder block and a short arm clothesline. Christian came back by slamming Matt's head into the turnbuckle. Cole talked about Matt's Internet fan following and his deal with Lita and Edge. I don't know if painting Matt Hardy as an Internet geek is the best way to get him over, but so be it. Matt threw elbows at JBL and Christian. He knocked Christian down then gave JBL a neckbreaker over the top rope, sending JBL to the floor. Cole and Tazz took a few worked shoot shots at Raw calling themselves the dominant brand. Matt backdropped Christian to the outside and then inexplicably stuck his arm up and started waving just by moving his wrist like a small child would before leaping over the top rope with a crossbody on Christian and JBL. However, they caught him. Rey Mysterio leapt next and took out everyone. Hardy was up first as Mysterio went back to his corner. Hardy got back in the ring with JBL and tagged in Mysterio.
Mysterio kicked JBL in the gut as the announcers talked about the history between these two wrestlers. Cole said that Edge didn't wrestle at Taboo Tuesday and had Gene Snitsky wrestle because he doesn't care about Raw and its fans. This is such an odd feud, since it seems like you should be cheering Smackdown, but then the Smackdown guys will put over the Raw fans and make you feel like maybe you should like Raw, too. JBL was beating the crap out of Mysterio in the corner when referee Hardcore called for the break and pulled JBL off when he wouldn't make a clean break. JBL shoved Hardcore, then Hardcore shoved JBL, allowing Mysterio to roll him up for a brief cover. JBL came back with a forearm to knock Mysterio down and tagged in Christian.
JBL held Mysterio for Christian to kick him in the gut. Christian hit a sitdown inverted suplex. Christian shoved Hardy off the apron and slapped his chest, causing Hardy to run into the ring and accidentally clothesline Hardcore. Hardcore wasn't happy and they got in another shoving match and were in each other's faces. Gee, Hardcore doesn't like anyone, does he?
Christian was going for a suplex after the break, but Mysterio reversed into a rollup. Christian kicked out and tagged in JBL. JBL kicked Mysterio in the gut before kicking him in the gut and shoving him around the ring with his foot, mocking Mysterio. Cole and Tazz talked about how Smackdown was the dominant brand and, as Cole said, the dominant announcers. Take that, Coach! Tazz asked what the Hell was going on with the announcing situation on Raw, and I know more than a few fans were saying "Amen!" Mysterio came back by ducking a clothesline and hitting a low dropkick to the knees, followed by a front dropkick to the face. JBL grabbed the second rope for the break. Mysterio went to the apron and springboarded into the ring. JBL caught him, but Mysterio turned it into a hurracanrana. Mysterio leg dropped JBL and covered, but JBL kicked out. JBL hit a shoulder block and stared down Hardy. JBL slammed Mysterio's head into the turnbuckle and went for a clothesline and a back clothesline, but Mysterio ducked both and hit a tilt-a-whirl leg scissors to set JBL up for the 619! Mysterio ran for the 619, but Christian pulled JBL out of the way. JBL pulled Mysterio to the outside hard as Christian distracted the ref. JBL slammed Christian's head into the steel ring steps and got a talking to by Hardcore. JBL rolled Mysterio in and covered, but Mysterio kicked out at two. JBL complained to Hardcore and insisted that he call things down the line before tagging in Christian.
Christian delivered right hands to the gut of Mysterio as JBL held him and insisted to Hardcore that he was still within his five seconds in the ring. Christian locked in an abdominal stretch on Mysterio as Jillian cheered from ringside. Mysterio started elbowing out. Tazz talked more about the Raw announcing situation, with Batista beating up Coach and ECW announcer Joey Styles showing up. Mysterio countered an attempted backdrop into a hurracanrana on Christian. Mysterio was trying to go for the hot tag to Hardy, but Christian grabbed his ankle and held him back before tagging in JBL.
JBL stomped Mysterio in the back and glared at Hardy. JBL went to work on Mysterio in the corner. JBL set Mysterio up on the top rope, but Mysterio fought back and knocked JBL down and signaled for going up top. Before he could do anything, JBL climbed up to the second rope and hit a fallaway slam. JBL hooked the leg, but Hardy made the save. Mysterio countered another fallaway slam attempt into a DDT. Both men were trying to make it to their respective corners. Christian tagged in first, followed by Hardy.
Hardy took Christian down with a high elbow and a pair of clotheslines. Hardy knocked JBL off the corner and delivered the side effect to Christian, but he rolled the shoulder out. Hardy signaled for the finish and was going for the Twist of Fate, but Christian drove him into the corner to escape. Hardy used the ropes to deliver a double boot to the face of Christian, followed by his signature legdrop for two, but JBL broke up the pin. Mysterio came in and got caught by JBL, but Hardy dropkicked JBL to save Mysterio. Hardy set up Mysterio to deliver Poetry In Motion to Christian first, then another on JBL! JBL hit a big boot to Hardy before going outside after Mysterio. Mysterio delivered a drop toehold, sending JBL face first into the steel steps. Christian came into the ring with a steel chair, but Hardcore grabbed the chair and explained to Christian that it was illegal. Christian said that he understood, but while Hardcore was disposing of the chair, Christian shoved him down from behind and did his chest slap. Christian missed with the steel chair and Hardy shoved him into Hardcore, who delivered the Alabama Slam to Christian! Fair refereeing? I don't think so! Mysterio hit the 619 and Hardy delivered the Twist of Fate as JBL and Jillian Hall walked out on Christian and exited to the back! Hardy covered and picked up the win.
Post-match analysis: Hardy and Mysterio celebrated after the match and we saw a replay of Hardcore taking away Christian's chair, Christian shoving down Hardcore, and Christian missing with the chair before getting an Alabama Slam for his efforts. We saw a replay of Mysterio hitting the 619 into a Hardy Twist of Fate on Christian.
Christian leaves looking up the lights, like a pro!
Match grade: B+. The tainted finish was a bummer, but the match was good overall. Christian showed that he's a professional, putting on a heck of a match and putting over everyone else on his way out of the company. I strongly hope that he shows up in TNA, as his talent, charisma, and professionalism could add a lot to the TNA product. Hardy and Mysterio are a solid tag team, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them challenge for the tag titles soon. It was interesting to have JBL turn tail on Christian and leave, and we didn't get any more of what was feeling in previous weeks like a JBL face turn this week.
Tonight: Roddy Piper versus Cowboy Bob Orton! I was expecting this as a pay-per-view match down the line with the way they set things up, but I guess we're getting it early! Also tonight, Batista and Eddie Guerrero challenge MNM for the tag team titles!
*** Teddy Long was backstage, looking around. Josh Mathews came up to him and asked him why he was waiting in the receiving area. Long said it was someone you probably wouldn't expect to be here on Smackdown, Raw's General Manager, Eric Bischoff! Cole was shocked, and Tazz said "I hate that guy." Somewhere, Steve Austin let out an "Oh Hell yeah!"
(Commercial break: I love that the new WWE Real Sounds Arena still has good ol' JR's voice with it. I don't know that I'd want to own a toy that required me to constantly listen to Coach.)
They came back to a shot of Rodeo Drive in Hollywood. Tazz made a joke when he saw a woman walking the street that it was Coach. Oh! They read down the sponsorship bits, and in a funny bit, Tazz finished the Sprint sponsorship copy early, so after a long pause, he said their slogan "You can" again, Mr. Kennedy style!
*** Sharmell came out to her very own music. SHe was wearing one heck of a dress tonight, black with what looked like chain mail over it. Someone held up a sign saying "Booker & Sharmell sucks." That's not even grammatically correct! Sharmell got on the mic and introduced "my man," your new United States Champion, Booker T!
Cole, like he is with all heels, was disgusted by Booker T. Sharmell demanded that the crowd applaud Booker and show him respect, and told her man to "walk that champion walk." So, will Booker give us a reason to think that he wasn't just afraid of Chris Benoit? Sharmell held up her hand for the "five times" bit. Booker and Sharmell hugged as she gave him the microphone.
Booker said that, as he looked around, all he saw was a bunch of suckas. The first thing that comes to his mind is how gullible each and every one of the fans is, and that they are a bunch of fools. Booker asked if they thought for one second that he didn't know what Sharmell was doing. The fans broke into a loud "You suck!" chant.
Booker introduced a video clip, saying he should have gotten an Emmy for his performance. We saw a clip from last month of Sharmell pulling Orlando Jordan's leg out from under him to give Booker the win. Booker said it wasn't over yet. Then, three weeks ago, Sharmell pulled Mysterio's legs out from under him. Booker said "he just got booked." Booker covered and got that win. Booker said it still wasn't over, and he had a sweet one here. Sharmell low blowed Chris Benoit, allowing Booker to pick up the win with an axe kick for the U.S. Championship! Sharmell said that his opponents have to be more careful, and Booker said to look at his face in the clip, looking like he didn't know anything. Booker said, instead of an Emmy, for that, he should have gotten a Golden Globe. Uh... would that be better? Anyway, Booker said that, last week, Long came "bumping his gums" saying he had something to show Booker, like he didn't already know. Sharmell talked about how he went in looking all guilty and made Sharmell apologize. Booker said that Benoit got the biggest and best apology of all time. They showed the clip of Sharmell even slapping Booker before the Booker turn. Sharmell said that she fooled everyone, even Benoit. She distracted Benoit, and Sharmell on commentary talked about how it was money. Booker and Sharmell were a riot commentating on their misdeeds. Booker blindsided Benoit with a title belt shot.
Booker said that Benoit was the biggest fool of them all. He thinks that Booker cares about his friendship and respect. Booker was about to say what the only thing he cared about was. Long came out on the stage, and Booker and Sharmell mocked his little strut and danced to his music. Long got on the mic and said that he had us all fooled, and thought that Booker was a good and decent man, but knows better now, and so does Chris Benoit. Long said that the people probably want to know why Benoit isn't out there beating the crap out of Booker. Booker said it was probably because he was in the hospital, but Long said it was because he stopped Benoit. The reason he stopped him is because Booker is going to defend the United States Championship right here, right now! Booker wanted to know who he had and said to send whoever it was out there. It's Booker versus Chris Beniot, and it's next! Once Long said it was Benoit, Booker and Sharmell certainly didn't dig that. Long did his little dance on the ramp. I wish I had mad crazy moves like that.
(2) Chris Benoit defeated United States Champion Booker T in a United States Championship match via disqualification.
Pre-match analysis: Booker and Sharmell were arguing with referee Nick Patrick. Cue Chris Benoit! He had his stomach/lower back/ribs taped up, selling the injury.
Match analysis: Michael Cole said that the reason Benoit's ribs were wrapped were from when Benoit went crashing into the announce table two weeks ago, and that he reinjured himself last week when Booker sent him into the table once more. Booker and Benoit engaged in a chop battle early, with Benoit getting the better of it and sending Booker to the outside. Sharmell shrieked in horror. Benoit chopped Booker on the outside and sent him back in the ring, but as he got in, Booker took advantage of his position to regain control. Benoit came back, sending Booker to the mat with a chop. Cole talked about how Benoit was rolling (Cole sure loves that word, doesn't he?) and how Smackdown was rolling as well, with ratings soaring for Friday Night Smackdown, as they are the number one show for teens and adults on Friday nights. Uh, doesn't that cover just about everyone over the age of twelve if that's accurate? If so, good for them! Benoit kneed Booker T in the corner (The Ultimate Fighter says: "Knees!"), followed by chops. Cole and Tazz talked about how the Raw superstars were probably watching the show, picking up some pointers. Benoit hit a snap suplex and dropped a knee on Booker, then kicked him. He was picking Booker up with Booker on the apron, but Booker hit a guillotine on Benoit over the top rope. Booker went for a crescent kick, but Benoit ducked and chopped Booker even more. Benoit followed up with his version of the forearm to take Booker down and covered, but Booker kicked out. Benoit hit a scoop slam and dropped a running elbow to the head. Benoit covered and hooked the leg, but only a two count. Tazz said that Sharmell was hanging onto the title belt like it was "the second coming of you-know-what." Jesus? Is it Jesus? Me, I'm hoping Santa, because daddy needs a new video game system! (Kidding, JC! Don't smite me!) Benoit picked Booker back up and delivered the five zillionth chop of the match, slammed Booker's head into the turnbuckle, and chopped more. Sharmell caught Benoit's foot from the outside for the distraction, but as Tazz pointed out, Benoit's smart to it now, so he didn't get taken down.
Booker tried to clothesline Benoit and seize on the distraction, but Benoit ducked and kneed him in the gut, then hit a knee lift. Booker awkwardly dropped Benoit and bounced him off the top rope. Tazz line of the night: "I've wrestled a lot of great guys, and some sucky guys too..." Oh! Tazz then, of course, put over Benoit, and so no one gets angry, said that Booker was close, but not as good. Booker hit a high back kick on Benoit and covered, but Benoit kicked out. Booker locked on a front facelock. Benoit escaped with knees to the guts and threw a chop. Booker came back with a knee to the midsection and whipped Benoit into the turnbuckle, sending Benoit down to the mat. Booker went for a suplex, but Benoit reversed it and got in position to deliver the triple Germans! Tazz made a great wise ass comment about ref Nick Patrick breaking a sweat. Benoit delivered the suplexes and made his way to his feet, signaling for the top rope headbutt. Sharmell got up on the apron, distracting Benoit, and by the time he went for the headbutt, Booker rolled out of the way. Booker went for the scissors kick, but Benoit ducked and hit two more German suplexes. Booker escaped, and instead of going for another German suplex, Benoit locked in the Crippler Crossface! Booker grabbed the bottom rope for the break and walked to the back. Bastard! Sharmell followed with the title belt. Patrick counted out Booker.
Post-match analysis: Nick Patrick tried raising Benoit's hand, but he wasn't having it. Too bad this isn't TNA, or we'd have a new champion! The whole countout thing for champions has always bugged me, and while I understand the whole title prestige thing, I do think that titles should be allowed to change hands at the referee's discretion in situations where someone intentionally tries to get counted out.
Match grade: B-. Chris Benoit always delivers, but the tired walk out finish and Booker's rather boring new heel character brought this one down.
Up next: "Rowdy" Roddy Piper versus "Cowboy" Bob Orton! Orton says that he's going to finally settle the score, and it's up nizzext!
Taboo Tuesday recap: We saw a recap of Teddy Long saying that Smackdown was going to embarrass Raw on their own show, and in the "Which 2 Smackdown superstars will Edge & Masters face?" poll, the winners were Matt Hardy with 31 percent of the vote and Rey Mysterio with 29 percent. JBL was third with 17, Christian pulled 13, and Hardcore Holly came in dead last with 10. Christian only got 13 percent of the vote?! Scandalous! I know he wasn't pushed going into the show, but come on, it's Captain Charisma, bay-bay! Lita of course made wise ass comments to Matt Hardy. However, Edge decided not to wrestle (allegedly because he didn't feel it was worth his time, actually due to injury). It's surreal to hear Joey Styles calling WWE commentary. They showed highlights of the match, including a great spot with stereo dives from Hardy and Mysterio from the top rope to the outside, and a finish thanks to a Mysterio springboard splash. The other Smackdown match was Batista versus Coach with Vader and Goldust. Street Fight obviously won with 91 percent of the vote, with verbal debate (my choice!) getting six percent, and arm wrestling match getting three percent. I swear, you're all sheep! Sheep, I say! Batista, despite the help and weapons, still beat the crap out of him. I also love Coach's new t-shirt: "I'm the COACH, the voice of the people." Oh it's true! Joey Styles had the line of the night, saying that Batista did to Coach what Coach did to commentary every Monday night! HA! After Batista got the win, they replayed Long's quote about Smackdown embarrassing Raw on their own turf.
Tonight: We've still got Batista and Eddie Guerrero going up against MNM!
(3) "Rowdy" Roddy Piper defeated "Cowboy" Bob Orton via disqualification.
Pre-match analysis: It's Cowboy Bob Orton! Old school! He threw up the Texas longhorns as he ambled his way out. I love that he tried jogging a little bit, but then thought better of it and realized he's an old, old man. We saw a recap of last week of Batista, Eddie and Piper taking out JBL, Ken Kennedy, and Piper.
Orton got in the ring and said that, last week, Piper put him to sleep, but he didn't do it by himself. God, I love that gravelly Cowboy Bob voice. Cowboy Bob said that Piper never did anything by himself, always did, and can't stand on his own two feet. Cowboy Bob was excited to have him one on one, and said he wouldn't have anyone to hide behind or protect Piper like Orton did when he was Piper's bodyguard. For years, Cowboy Bob did all the dirty work while Piper got all the glory. He had more to say, but Piper's music interrupted him!
I like Piper's most recent haircut. I had the chance to meet Piper a few months back at his attempt to do a comedy show, and it was a real hoot, so I recommend that if Piper is in your town doing his comedy thing, go see it! His haircut might look good, but he really shouldn't wrestle without his shirt on. Cole hyped Piper's interview on Byte This. Tazz had a great line about how his relationship with Cole was like Orton and Piper, with Tazz doing all the dirty work and Cole getting all the glory. Cole totally no sold it, and Tazz kept bringing it back up, acting hurt. Love that! Tazz complained about Cole having his panties all twisted. Oh my! The most disgusting thing was when Piper took off his skirt but still had his t-shirt on, and it was long enough to make it look like Piper wasn't wearing anything else. Yikes. Cowboy Bob started things while the ref was distracted by blindsiding Piper with his leather belt wrapped around his fist before disposing of the evidence.
Match analysis: Piper tried punching back, but Orton raked the eyes. Orton hit an atomic drop. (How is that move legal? Was it grandfathered in?) Orton and Piper exchanged some solid old school offense. Orton tried choking out Piper in the corner, but had to break twice for five counts. Orton dazed Piper and taunted the fans with the Texas longhorn hand signs. Orton hit a punch combination, but Piper countered and went for a bearhug. Orton hit a knee lift to get out of the hold. He choked Piper on the mat and covered, but Piper kicked out. Orton was cut open and was bleeding on the cheek. Orton locked in a rear chinlock. Piper forced a break and Orton delivered a sloppy backbreaker. Orton went for a suplex, but Piper countered and locked in a sleeperhold. Orton was fading, but as soon as Cole said "Orton's done," you knew he wasn't. The fans got excited as they saw Randy Orton come from the back. Randy ran in and attacked Piper from behind for the disqualification.
Post-match analysis: Randy beat on Piper and fish hooked Piper's mouth with both hands. Randy hit a big uppercut as Cowboy Bob kept the referee back. Randy beat Piper down to the ground and glared at the crowd. Randy got on the mic and yelled at Piper. He asked Piper if Piper knew who he was. Randy said that, if it wasn't for his father, Piper would have been nothing, and asked if Piper heard him. When Randy was young, he used to look up to Piper, but now, he's ashamed. Randy called Piper pathetic and kneed him in the head, saying that Piper makes him sick. Piper mumbled "Go to Hell!" Randy beat him around the head, and said that Piper may be a legend, but Randy's the Legend Killer, just ask Undertaker! Piper struggled to fight back, but Randy continued beating on him. Randy said that it was over, another legend dead. He delivered the RKO, taking Piper out, though Piper didn't do such a great job taking the move. It at least looked better than Linda McMahon taking the Stunner. Cowboy Bob held up Randy's arm as Randy's music played.
Match grade: D. As good as you can expect from two men with as much wear and tear and in the shape that Piper and Cowboy Bob are in. It looks like we've got a Piper versus Randy Orton match, likely at Survivor Series, to look forward to. Hopefully they'll overbook it to the point that it's actually entertaining. I also wouldn't be surprised to see an Undertaker return in said match, but Orton desperately needs to get away from the Undertaker if he wants to ever be over again. Be sure to check out my OVW Specialist column about why Ken Kennedy is better than Randy Orton right now.
Moments ago: We saw a recap of Piper with the sleeper on Cowboy Bob, when Randy Orton ran in to beat the crap out of Piper. Piper kept trying to fight back, but Randy finally finished him off with the RKO.
(4) Bobby Lashley defeated Nunzio & Vito in a tornado tag handicap match.
Pre-match analysis: Bobby Lashley is back from Velocity exile! Cole said that this is the guy he likes to call "the real deal." You can say that again. Lashley put over his size, speed, youth, intensity, aggressiveness, and credibility. He's taking on Nunzio and Vito! Guess who's going to win? Vito really needs to get rid of his gear he comes out with that makes him look like he just walked out of a gay biker club. Errrr, not that I would, uh, know what one wears to such an establishment. Uh, hey, how about that football game? Girls rule! I love the ladies! Straight!
Match analysis: Nunzio and Vito surrounded the ring. Well, as much as two guys can surround a ring. Tazz explained that they were "paizans," which is Italian for "friends." Nunzio teased getting into the ring, but ducked back down to the floor as Vito ran in from the other side, right into a high back elbow. Nunzio leaped in onto Lashley's back for a choke, but Lashley rammed him back into the turnbuckle and hit shoulder blocks to Nunzio in the corner. Vito attacked from behind with clubbing forearms. Lashley hit a back elbow, but Nunzio came off the ropes with a front dropkick to Lashley. Vito hit a superkick, followed by a front dropkick to the face from Nunzio. Vito hit a running elbow drop and signaled for a double cover, and both men covered Lashley, but Lashley easily disposed of them. They both beat on Lashley, but Lashley kept fighting back, shoving both men away. Lashley hit a big kick and double whipped Lashley into the corner. Vito tried whipping Nunzio into Lashley, but Lashley caught him and rammed Nunzio into Vito in the corner. Lashley hit a belly to belly overhead suplex on Nunzio, followed by a double underhook overhead suplex on Vito, followed by clotheslines to both men, and a double clothesline on both men. Lashley sent Vito to the outside, then lifted Nunzio high into the air, letting him fall to the mat. Lashley signaled for the finish and, carrying Nunzio, knocked Vito off the apron and hit his dominator-like finisher.
Post-match analysis: Tazz suggested that Nunzio and Vito find someone new to go after. Yeah, that might be an idea.
Match grade: D. One of Lashley's more boring squashes. He needs to work on keeping his tough guy aura while he's selling, but still selling believably. He needs to start showing more personality, as while he looks great initially, he doesn't seem to have that Goldberg style charisma that lets him win matches in a silent but deadly style. Hopefully he's been working on his mic skills and can deliver some money promos in the near future. I also think that he's had enough squashes and they should start putting him in the mix with some of the midcard guys, maybe giving him the U.S. Title at Wrestlemania.
*** Backstage, Eric Bischoff arrived via limousine. He talked with the security team on his way in, saying that he wanted them to get him out of there as quick as he could. The security team and Bischoff stopped short when they saw something, and Eric Bischoff said "Who in the Hell are you?" I was hoping for one of the juniors, but no, it's the Boogeyman! With salive dripping from his mouth! Yikes. He did his "I'm... the Boogeyman! And I'm... comin'... to get ya!" catchphrase. Eric and his security team tried to get away without saying another word. Tazz said welcome to Smackdown. I don't know if this is the best representation of the Smackdown product, but sure. Cole said "Trick or treat!" Hey Cole, Halloween was a week ago! Or, depending on your perspective, a day later! Get with the times!
Promo time: Smackdown's coming to a town near you! Not me. But you. Bastard.
"Lights Out" by P.O.D. is the Survivor Series theme song. Oh boy. I love P.O.D., but with the recent choices in wrestling theme songs and what sounds like a mediocre track, I think their cool factor just went down, especially with Cole's fan. Wait, their cool factor just went back up, as they apparently went to high school with Rey Mysterio! Cole said that Mysterio introduced him to P.O.D. Uh, yeah, right.
*** Smackdown General Manager Theodore R. Long was in the ring. He said that he wanted everyone to give Raw's General Manager Eric Bischoff an appropriate welcome. Six security guards stood on either side as Eric Bischoff walked out. Cole and Tazz talked about what an awful week Bischoff had, with his side losing both interpromotional matches at Taboo Tuesday, getting chewed out by Vince McMahon, and running into the Boogeyman! The best part of this was Tazz doing his Boogeyman impression. Long extended his hand for a handshake, but Eric Bischoff wasn't down. Long said that they should get to business, and wanted to know why Bischoff was here tonight.
Bischoff said that the whole Raw versus Smackdown thing was out of control. Long asked what he meant. Bischoff said that, over the last couple weeks, Long took the fight right to Raw, just like he used to take the fight right to WWE when he was running WCW! Bischoff said that enough was enough, and Taboo Tuesday aside, they need to finish it. Long wanted him to get to the point. Bischoff said that they could keep invading each other's shows, but they're both smarter than that, and they should put an end to it at Survivor Series. Bischoff said that he would take five of his Raw superstars and put them in the ring against five of Long's Smackdown superstars in a traditional ten man Survivor Series match! Bischoff said he was flattered that Long was trying to raise the level of his game to Bischoff's. Long asked why he would want to do that. (Yeah, why would you want to raise your game to the level of a guy who helped drive his own company out of business?) Bischoff said that Long can't do that, and that's the point, because he's the B show. Oh! You bastard! Bischoff said he runs a second rate show, because he has second rate talent, and second rate leadership, and most of all, this audience is a second rate audience. Zing! Long asked if he was talking about these Smackdown people here. Bischoff said, yeah. Long said that, with this "B" show stuff, "You be talkin' out of your mind!" Love that! His challenge has been accepted! Long said that it's going to be just like the Monday night wars, and Bisch is going to lose this one, too! Eric Bischoff said not to go there. Long said that they shouldn't stop at the five on five match, they should give the people a one on one Raw versus Smackdown bonus match! Bischoff said that sounded good. Bischoff said he'd choose a Raw superstar, Teddy could choose a Smackdown superstar, and they'd get it on! (No, not like that, pervs!) Long laughed and said that he's glad to know that, because the match he has in mind is Smackdown's Theodore Long ("That's me, playa!") going one on one with Raw's Eric Bischoff! Sweet! Long asked if he was feelin' that. Bischoff said "Yeah, I'm feelin' that, playa!" Nice. Long asked the security to remove "this cracka" from his show. Long then mocked Bischoff's karate prowess with a Karate Kid crane pose! Awesome. Long shadowboxed and danced in the ring as Bischoff went to the back.
Promo time: "The Undertaker: Dead? 15 years ago... the Undertaker debuted." They showed clips of Undertaker's career, and voiced it over with this quote:
"And when they heard of the dead,
Some mocked... and others said,
We will hear thee again of this matter." -Acts 17:32
Religious references! As the Torch's resident Christian goof, I love it! They followed that quote with text saying "Some souls never rest" and put the quote from Acts on the screen. A spooky promo, and it should make for a fun surprise when Undertaker comes back, likely at Survivor Series.
We got another outside shot of Los Angeles, showing the Capitol Records building. Cole and Tazz put over L.A.
(5) Ken Kennedy defeated Scotty Too Hotty.
Pre-match analysis: Forget all that, because it's time for Mr. Kennedy! (Long pause.) Kennedy! Chimel once again tried doing the intro, but Kennedy pointed him to the outside and an exasperated Chimel went to the outside. Kennedy reached up and called for his classic old school microphone. Tazz said he should get one of those classic mic flags that says "Mr. Kennedy" on it, and I couldn't agree more.
Kennedy said that, now that he has everyone's attention, he would like to remind the fans that the man who is single handedly changing Friday nights weighs in tonight at 245 pounds! He hails from Green Bay, Wisconsin! Misterrrrrrrr Kennedy! ... Kennedy! Tazz said he was the greatest thing to come out of Green Bay since Green Bay Packers player Bart Starr. Kennedy had an even longer than usual dramatic pause tonight, making when he finally said it full of that much more ecstasy! Who's he facing?
Turn it up! Oh, you've got to be kidding me. Yes, it's the guy who wonders every day how he's survived roster cut after roster cut, Scotty Too Hotty! Cole said that he was the greatest thing to come out of Maine since lobster. Cole, you're not Tazz. Don't try. Tazz totally mocked his line, though, so that's all good.
Match analysis: Tazz said that "the master of the worm" should be Cole's monicker. I don't even want to know the implication of that. Kennedy hit a big knee to kick things off. Kennedy kicked the crap out of Scotty repeatedly, before a running kick sending Scotty to the outside. Kennedy yelled at members of the front row to get out of the way, teasing that he was going to throw Scotty into the fans, and started running Scotty toward the fans before spinning him around and rolling him back into the ring, then turning to the fans and yelling "Sucker!" That was awesome, as is pretty much everything Mr. Kennedy does. Kennedy covered, but Scotty kicked out. Kennedy dismissively shoved Scotty's head from side to side. Scotty started coming back with forearms, but Kennedy took him down with a knee lift. Cole said that more people watched Friday Night Smackdown this past week than ever before. Nice! Kennedy locked a bearhug on Scotty Too Hotty. Scotty apparently bit Kennedy in the forehead to get out of the move, then followed up with chops. Kennedy went for a back suplex, but Scotty countered and hit a superkick, followed by a jumping forearm. Scotty signaled for the Worm. Cole said he was getting excited, so Tazz mocked the crap out of him for getting excited for the Worm. Scotty was going for the bulldog to set up the Worm, but Kennedy scouted him. However, Scotty ducked Kennedy's clothesline and hit a chop. Scotty tried going up and over in the corner, but Kennedy caught Scotty's legs and crotched him over the top rope. Kennedy climbed the ropes and hit his rolling inverted samoan drop-like move. Kennedy covered and picked up the pin, continuing his undefeated streak.
Post-match analysis: Kennedy was bleeding from the forehead. Cole said, with the year the Packers are having, they should recruit him. Ain't that the truth. Kennedy called for the microphone from the rafters once more and announced his win. As Tazz put it, what is there not to like about Ken Kennedy? Cole responded that he's arrogant, he's cocky, he's egotistical, he's a loudmouth, he has no respect for anybody, and more! I was thinking that sounds a lot like the Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, but Tazz killed my moment by saying that was just like Cole, except Kennedy's a winner, and Cole's, well, not.
Match grade: D+. A fun squash from Kennedy, but like Lashley, he doesn't need these squashes to build his character anymore. He's already been shot to a television main event, albeit in a tag team situation, but he's ready to mix it up in the midcard. I'd like to see him pick up the U.S. Title at the Royal Rumble and defend it against Lashley at WrestleMania.
*** Backstage, MNM made their way through the hallway to the ring. Melina was beside herself with horror at MNM having to defend the tag team titles tonight. While Cole was talking, the best part was that you could hear Nitro complaining in the background "It's like discrimination. Reverse discrimination!"
(6) MNM (Joey Mercury & Johnny Nitro with Melina) defeated Eddie Guerrero & Batista.
Pre-match analysis: MNM, baby! MNM had some great gray fur coats on tonight, along with Melina in that amazing gold dress. In what may have been the gayest thing he's ever said, after Tazz said how Melina's entrance was the best in the history of the business, Cole said that he liked Doink's entrance. Tazz got things back to what matters, though, talking about how much he loved Princess Melina's tiara. Melina pulled the top of her dress up, and fans across America objected.
Viva la raza! It's good ol' face Eddie in a sweet low rider, with Batista in the passenger seat! Batista is apparently laid back, as he even threw up a hang loose symbol. Nice. Batista signaled for Eddie to make the low rider bounce before they got out of the car. With how low the roof was, I'm thinking Batista had to have bounced his head off that ceiling at least a few times. Someone had a "Bautista 4 Governor" sign, and in California, I wouldn't be surprised if they voted for him. Seriously guys, Arnold? Really? Cole talked about how Batista had been number one two weeks in a row on WWE.com's Power 25 listing. I really like the rankings idea, and it's nice to see them actually mention it on television, even if only minimally. It'd be nice if they put up a graphic of at least the top five or ten every week. Cole pointed out that Batista beat out every Raw superstar. Nice! Tazz asked Cole if he was on the listing, and Cole said he was 24 and a half, while Tazz said he was, and I quote, "26 niner." Cole talked about how Batista bought Eddie the same low rider he had when Eddie won the WWE Championship and presented it to him last week.
Match analysis: The L.A. fans enthusiastically chanted for Eddie. Eddie pointed to Batista and got the fans to start a Batista chant. Nice way of giving Batista a rub with the hometown fans. Batista started off against Joey Mercury. Melina got on the apron for a distraction as MNM double teamed Batista. Eddie went after Melina. Batista double clotheslined MNM to the outside. Batista climbed the ropes and Eddie got in the ring, taunting MNM as we went to break.
Batista tossed Mercury into the corner coming back from break, and shoved his foot in Mercury's face in the corner. They showed a recap of what happened before the commercial. Batista delivered back elbows in the corner. While Batista distracted the ref, Eddie choked Mercury with the tag rope in the corner. Eddie came in with no tag. Batista flexed his pecs when referee Nick Patrick questioned whether he actually made a legal tag, I guess to intimidate him or something. Tazz asked Cole if he could do that, and in an unsettling mental image, Cole said that he had tried. Eddie hit a high elbow to Mercury and taunted Nitro. Eddie scoop slammed Mercury and delivered his hilo to the sternum of Mercury. Eddie tagged in Batista, who delivered a punch to Mercury's chest. They hit a double elbow to Mercury's chest. Batista hit a double backbreaker on Mercury and covered, but Nitro ran in to break it up. Batista tagged Eddie back in. Mercury slammed Eddie's head into the turnbuckle and tagged in Nitro.
Eddie fired up and hit a series of forearms to Nitro, as well as hitting a back elbow to send Mercury to the floor. Eddie went to ringside and grabbed ring announcer Tony Chimel's chair, as well as the timekeeper's bell hammer. Eddie slipped the hammer in the back of his tights and brought the chair into the ring, and he obviously was going to use the hammer, but Melina grabbed it out of the back of his tights, allowing Nitro to take control. It was brief, though, as Eddie hit a big back bodydrop. Eddie followed up with the Three Amigos. Mercury tried to break it up, and while Batista stopped him, Eddie only hit two of the three suplexes. Batista disposed of Mercury and Melina got up on the apron. Eddie signaled that they should spank Melina. Eddie went after Melina on the outside while Batista talked to the ref. Eddie taunted Nitro in the ring as Melina ran around the ring, and Nitro leaped to the outside, taking Eddie out.
Nitro threw Eddie back in and punched away at Eddie on the mat. Nitro tagged Mercury back in. Mercury hit a snap suplex, tagged in Nitro and, before he left, delivered a running snap suplex. Nitro came in with an elbow over the ropes and kipped up before covering, but Eddie kicked out at two. Cole miscalled Nitro's elbow as a foot, and Tazz asked him if his foot was near his elbow. Cole said, sometimes, due to how flexible he is. Ewwwwww! Nitro drove his shoulder into Eddie in the corner. Mercury tried choking out Eddie with the tag rope as the ref was distracted. Nitro scoop slammed Eddie and followed up with a break dance move into a leg drop. Nice! He covered, but Eddie kicked out. Nitro locked in a headlock, but Eddie hit a jawbreaker to break it up. Nitro tagged in Mercury, who hit a neckbreaker and covered, but Eddie kicked out at two. Mercury applied a front facelock as Batista tried to signal for a tag. Batista stomped on the steps to get the fans into it. Eddie finally fought out with a backbreaker and somersaulted to his corner to tag in Batista!
Batista came in with the supertag, clotheslining Mercury, then tossing Nitro into the ring. Batista hit a back body drop on Mercury, followed by shoulders to the gut on Nitro in the corner. Batista threw Nitro into Mercury in the corner and splashed both men, then delivered the spinebuster to Nitro. Batista followed up with a running powerslam to Mercury. Batista tagged in Eddie. Batista lifted up Mercury and applied a torture rack, then Eddie went for the three amigos on Nitro. Melina pulled out brass knucks from her top! Whoo! Eddie was going up for the frog splash as Melina went to give Mercury then knucks. Eddie looked coyly at the crowd and delivered the frog splash to Melina! As the ref dealt with Melina, Mercury hit Eddie with a straight punch to the skull with the brass knucks! He small packaged Eddie and picked up the victory!
Post-match analysis: Batista couldn't believe it as he checked on Eddie. MNM tried stumbling to the back, weakly celebrating. We saw a replay of the finish. The frog splash to what looked like Melina's ass was a great spot, and it was nice to see some old school action with the brass knucks. On the stage, MNM celebrated but also looked ready to burst into tears at their painful match.
Match grade: B. A solid main event match. Eddie was the star tonight, as he often is, and it seemed like Batista gained by tagging with Eddie tonight, particularly for the L.A. fans. It's wonderful to have MNM as tag champions again, as they are the perfect heel tag team act. I'm also glad that Smackdown didn't choose to hotshot their tag belts to Batista and Eddie in a similar style to Big Show and Kane winning the tag belts on Raw.
Show rating: 7.0. Smackdown's streak of consistently good shows continues, and with Raw putting out shows like they've been putting out lately, it's nice to have somewhere you can come for good wrestling TV. It always seems that, ever since the "brand extension," you can't have both brands putting on good shows at the same time. The main event was smartly booked, allowing Eddie to shine in his hometown while also capitalizing on MNM's Hollywood gimmick. The Raw versus Smackdown rivalry continues to provide captivating television, and they nicely advanced it tonight despite the show being taped before Taboo Tuesday.
Booker T's first heel promo was a big letdown. He seemed evil but didn't seem to be bringing anything original to the table and didn't give the fans reason to see him as anything special. Christian went out like a champ and I hope he succeeds both with his wrestling and his outside interests now that he's left WWE. I don't know that I want to see Randy Orton versus Roddy Piper, especially if it involves the Undertaker squashing Randy.
1) Survivor Series Raw versus Smackdown five on five match announced.
2) Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long versus Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff Survivor Series match announced.
3) Christian wrestled his last WWE match and did the job for Rey Mysterio and Matt Hardy.
4) Booker T cut his first heel promo and fails to deliver.
5) MNM defended their tag team titles for the first time since regaining them in their hometown of Hollywood, California.
Raw Is Trivial: Answer Time! with the "Supreme" Seth Berger!
We're back. Did you answer our question? What? You didn't even see it? Well, how many matches did 2 Cold Scorpio wrestle on the 1996 November To Remember?
The answer is 4. He beat "Dangerous" Devon Storm where the loser had to leave for 15 days. He then took on and defeated "Ol' Brown Eyes, the Chairman of the Board" JT Smith where the loser had to leave for 30 days. Next in line was "The Shah" Hack Meyers. Hack, you lose, gone for 60 days. But, cult hero Louie Spicolli comes along. Scorp insists that Louie was the special "mystery partner" in the WWF Survivor Series the next evening and wanted them to roll off to the Fed together. Louie said no and beat him in 2 minutes. Bye bye Flash. That loser leaves town for a year.
That's this week's version of Raw Is Trivial. Nothing about Raw, and really really Trivial. That's the way we roll.
Thanks for listening to me talk Smackdown this week. Be sure to check out my recent OVW Specialist column on why Ken Kennedy is better than Randy Orton, and tune in for my next OVW column on Monday. Drop me a line with your thoughts on Express and my columns at email@example.com. Until next time, stay strong and remember to smile!
Mike Roe reviews Friday Night Smackdown every week for PWTorch.com. Mike always wants to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, comments, questions, critiques, or whatever else you want to share. He also writes an OVW Specialist column for PWTorch.com every Monday.
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