TV REPORTS KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 9/15: Finlay vs. Lashley for No Mercy title shot, Rey vs. Kennedy
Sep 22, 2006 - 7:02:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
SEPTEMBER 15, 2006
-After the last airing of this particular Smackdown airing before the new opening for the "new fall season" and the premiere on The CW, Michael Cole and JBL introduced the show as the cameras panned the crowd.
-Fit Finlay walked out, with his little green friend under a tarp walking to the ring. JBL quipped: "He's either got Tazz or a leprechaun underneath that little sheet." Cole guessed maybe the leprechaun has a sensitivity to light and that's why he lives under the ring. Finlay introduced a clip of him beating Batista bloody last week and saying he is his worst nightmare. He said Batista is probably drinking his dinner through a straw at a hospital or licking his wounds in a dark hole. He said he proved Batista is not a superman, as fans may have believed. He said Batista is not even a man.
Bobby Lashley's (generic and bland) ring intro interrupted Finlay. "You say your name is Finlay and you love to fight. I say your name is Finlay and you're a bastard," said Lashley. He said Finlay attacking Batista with the shillelagh was cowardly.
Teddy Long walked out and said they are talking the talk, but now they can walk the walk. Long said because of what he did to Batista, he is looking for a new challenger for the World Title. He said Finlay would face Lashley and the winner would go to No Mercy as the challenger to King Booker for the World Title. Lashley told Finlay if his little friend gets in the way, he has no problem beating him up too. He shoved Lashley, knocking over the little guy. The little guy, still under a sheet, attacked Finlay by mistake. Finlay then kicked the guy in the head and threw him out of the ring.
-Backstage, William Regal approached Finlay. He asked him if he realizes that if Bobby Lashley beats him later, Lashley faces their King Booker at No Mercy, but if he wins, he faces "our king, the king that knighted us, the king that means the most precious thing to us that anyone could ever mean." Finlay just said, "Yeah" rather sarcastically and walked away.
1 -- GREGORY HELMS vs. MATT HARDY
Hardy attacked Helms from behind to jump-start the match. Helms tried to take a breather at ringside, but Hardy went right after him. JBL talked again about how familiar these two are with each other, having grown up together. Helms came back and worked over Hardy's back with a half boston crab. JBL talked about cruiserweights who can step up to the heavyweight division and complete, including various boxers. He mentioned Rey Mysterio as a good example from WWE. Hardy came back with a running bulldog on Helms for a two count at 5:00. Hardy, bleeding from his mouth, set up Helms for the Twist of Fate. Helms blocked it, then kicked Hardy between the legs after the ref was knocked out of the way, and scored the pin. Hardy flailed on the mat in pain as Helms celebrated.
WINNER: Helms in 6:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Solid, well-executed, basic match.
-Rey Mysterio walked backstage with his son Dominic. They crossed paths with Dean Malenko, who shook hands with both of them and asked Dominic if he was going to watch his dad wrestle. He said yes with a big smile.
-Cole plugged Rey vs. Kennedy.
-Another Jimmy Wang Yang vignette aired. He said: "You know those boat people? Them Orientals fresh off the boat. They get their Rs mixed up with their Ls. They say things I rove you... I'm not one of those Asians. I'm from Georgia. I'm 100 percent redneck... Giddy up. Yee haw!" JBL said he couldn't carry his cowboy hat.
2 -- THE MIZ vs. SCOTTY 2 HOTTY
The Miz is 2-0, and Cole said he's comparing it to some of the best winning streaks in sports history. At least they've got him cast correctly now. Every time I hear Scotty's intro music, it reminds me of being at WWE house shows and having that music piped into the sound system signalling the opening match of the night. Cole talked about all of Miz's reality show experience. JBL said, "You're citing those as good things?" He said Hulk Hogan's son Nick was on reality TV, so "would you want him out there (wrestling)?" JBL plugged his appearance on "Bulls and Bears" on Fox News over the weekend. He said that show has the highest per capita income of any show on television. Scotty went for The Worm. Miz rolled out of the ring to avoid it, then snapped Hotty's neck over the top rope. He followed up with The Mizard of Oz (a spinning neckbreaker). That name is as bad as his personality, which plays into his obnoxious heel persona just fine.
WINNER: The Miz in 4:00.
STAR RATING: 3/4* - Scotty got a lot of offense, which didn't make Miz seem like a force on the rise plowing his way through competition on his way to mid-card status.
-A trailer aired for "The Marine."
3 -- BRIAN KENDRICK (w/Paul London) vs. KID KASH (w/Jamie Noble) vs. IDOL STEVENS (w/Michelle McCool, K.C. James)
JBL talked about the rejuvenation and renaissance of the tag team division. He said Kendrick & London have held the tag titles for nearly a year and now teams are coming out of the woodwork to challenge for them. Cole plugged that King Booker had been invited by Paul Heyman to be on the next ECW TV show. JBL talked about Kendrick's Zero One Title win in Japan between WWE stints. Kendrick DDT'd Kash for a win pretty much out of nowhere.
WINNER: Kendrick in 4:00.
STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Nice action for a few minutes.
-Backstage, Booker T, Sharmell, and Regal talked about trying to talk to Finlay about strategy. Finlay walked up to them. Booker said he doesn't want a disruption in their faction. Finlay said he's just going to do what he does best, and that's fight.
-Rey showed Dominic a monitor in his locker room where he could sit along and watch his dad "tear down the house" in the ring. Nothing good can come from that.
4 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. MR. KENNEDY
After Rey arrived in the ring, the monitor showed Chavo and Vickie visiting Dominic in the locker room. That appeared to concern Rey. JBL said the Rey Mysterio in the ring is not the Rey Mysterio of old. JBL told Cole, "You're as unbiased at the New York Times." After a Kennedy forearm, JBL said, "That's clubberin' somebody as a fat old Texan used to say." (Just for my amusement, I hope if JBL ever does leave as Smackdown color commentator, they replace him with Dusty Rhodes; I've love to hear Dusty torment Cole each week with his gibberish.) I see the resemblance that Jim Ross noted in his blog at www.JRsBarBQ.com between Mr. Kennedy and Steve Austin, and Kennedy did work on the indy scene for years so he didn't come out of nowhere, but I have yet to see signs that Kennedy - outside of some head bobbing resemblances - has the upside that Austin did at the same point in his career.
[END FIRST HOUR]
At 9:00 Rey hit a 619 out of nowhere, and Kennedy bailed out to ringside. Rey then did a twisting corkscrew dive onto Kennedy at ringside. They cut to a break.
With Kennedy back in control after the break, JBL said we see glimpses of the old Rey sometimes, but otherwise he seems not himself. Kennedy wrapped Rey around the ringpost, bending back from ringside. Rey screamed in pain. Kennedy rammed Rey back-first into the ring apron. JBL said Kennedy reminds him of an old "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. I'm not sure whether Ross wrote it before JBL said it, but either way, I see the resemblance but not the upside at this point - although I agree with Ross that if he works hard, he can be a significant player on the roster. Kennedy stomped away at Rey in the ring at 15:00. JBL said, "Kennedy is as impressive a performer as I have ever seen." Wow, that's laying it on thick. I know they're desperate for an emerging top tier player on that brand, but forcing it like that might not be wise. The hype should never be more than one step ahead of reality, and this talk is three steps ahead. Rey came back and scored a near fall with a leverage bridge pin attempt. As Rey set up the Drop the Dime, Vickie and Chavo stepped onto the stage with Dominic. That stopped Rey in his tracks, and Kennedy seized the chance to rolled him up and yank on his tights to score the pin. Dominic ran to the ring to hug his dad. Rey hugged his son and leered at the Guerreros.
WINNER: Kennedy in 18:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Above-average long TV match. A notch or two short of being buzzworthy, though.
-Ads aired throughout the show hyping Smackdown's move to The CW on Sept. 22.
-A vignette aired "paid for by MVP's Worldwide Fanbase." Montel Vantavious Porter, with two blnd women flanking him, said he wants to a sign a contract with Smackdown, but the problem is with Teddy Long. He said his agent is going out of his way to try to strike a deal, but Long is dragging his feet. MVP better be good when he debuts or this will seem like a whole lot of hype for nothing.
5 -- VITO vs. WILLIAM REGAL
JBL said he's sick of MVP. He told him to deliver in the ring and then he can get paid. Then JBL went into ranting about men wearing dresses. Do Cole and JBL even add new commentary to Vito's matches, or do they just dub over the same exchanges each week to save time? JBL called Ted Kennedy a "drunk liberal." They continued to digitize and blur the crotch views of Vito. Said JBL: "This looks like some National Geographic, like when you see those ladies with their breasts hanging down to their knees and they call it art so it's okay. This isn't art. It's disgusting and I want to throw up." He added: "Why can't he keep his dress down. He's like half our divas." Vito pinned Regal when he sat on his face.
WINNER: Vito in 5:00.
STAR RATING: 3/4*
-King Booker barged into Long's office and asked what's going on. Booker said he's wise beyond his comprehension. He said his little plan will not work on the Smackdown Kingdom. He said at No Mercy, it doesn't matter whom he faces because he will defeat them all. Vito then walked into Long's office. He told Booker he is all man. Booker said a man wouldn't walk around his kingdom in a dress. Vito told him to try him sometime. Long said Booker claimed he could beat them all, so why not test that against Vito next week on the season premiere of Smackdown. Vito flashed Sharmell, so Sharmell shouted, "No he just didn't!"
6 -- SYLVESTER TERKAY (w/Elijah Burke) vs. TODD SMITH
Cole called Terkay "WWE's first hybrid wrestler." Does Ken Shamrock not count? Or Dan Severn?
WINNER: Terkay in 3:00 via tapout.
STAR RATING: 1/4* -- Not much to it. You can seem really tough, but if you're also pretty much boring to watch, WWE fans aren't going to want to watch you. A personality helps, too.
7 -- FINLAY vs. BOBBY LASHLEY -- No. 1 Contender's Match
King Booker, Sharmell, and Regal joined Cole and JBL at ringside. Booker said Finlay is a loyal subject and will do the right thing in the end. What is the right thing, though? Beating up Lashley and facing Booker for the title at No Mercy? Letting Lashley win so they don't have a member of their own faction facing Booker? Cole talked to Booker about being invited to ECW by Paul Heyman. He said he had accepted the invitation to see how the peasants of the world live. JBL told Booker not to do something to disgrace Smackdown when visiting ECW. They kept things in first gear for a few minutes before cutting to a break.
During the break, Finlay slidekicked Lashley off the apron and then threw him leg-first into the steps. Back in the ring, Finlay worked over Booker's legs. Cole accused Booker of "sweating Crisco." JBL, Booker, and Sharmell accused Cole of being racist. Cole said, "How is that racist? Crisco's white in a blue can!" JBL called him Mark Fuhrman and David Duke. I wonder if fellow Fox News employee Mark Fuhrman appreciates that comparison. Lashley came back with a kneelift (or a "high knee" as Cole called it). Lashley hit a clotheslines and a forearm leading to a two count. Lashley's comeback is still awkward. Lashley gave Finlay a torture rack dropdown which can't be good for the knees leading to a near fall. Finlay kicked Lashley in the face on a backdrop attempt. Regal slid a chair into the ring to distract the ref. Finlay grabbed his shillelagh, but Lashley kicked it away. Lashley pressed Finlay and dropped him over his knee. Regal then tripped Lashley from ringside. Booker claimed he saw nothing. The little guy handed Finlay a shillelagh. He hit Lashley with it. The ref DQ'd Finlay.
WINNER: Lashley in 14:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Not quite an average match. Lashley's comebacks aren't inspiring, and Finlay's offense isn't awe-inspiring.
-They showed Batista heading to the ring to save Lashley from a three-on-one beat down. He had a tire iron in hand. Lashley's shillelagh was no match for it. Batista hit referee Charles Robinson, which made him look like a complete jerk and hardly an admirable babyface who is trying to right a wrong. Booker and Regal beat on Lashley as Batista chased Finlay. Lashley came back to spear Booker as the show ended.
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