Friday Night SmackDown! from JHawk's Beak (9/16/2005)
Taped 9/12/2005 from the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas, with Taker vs. Orton as that huge main event. Plus, Animal and Heidenreich meet MNM in a tag team title rematch. And Rey Misterio Jr. meets JBL in singles action!
Non-title Match scheduled for one fall: Chris Benoit (WWE United States Champion) vs. Christian
Highlights of Benoit's three victories over Orlando Jordan. Of course, Orlando Jordan immediately comes out to dispute this despite having his credibility completely ruined over the last few weeks. He tells Christian to leave, Benoit turns to look at Christian for some reason, and Jordan attacks Benoit. Benoit gets the Crippler Crossface in, and here comes Christian to attack. Booker T runs in to make the save, and Brian Hebner asks for this to be a tag team match...didn't I just see that on Raw?
Chris Benoit (WWE United States Champion) and Booker T vs. Christian and Orlando Jordan
Sharmell comes to ringside as Booker gets a heel kick on Jordan for a near fall, and this match has already lasted longer than 22.5 seconds. Christian is tagged in, and he avoids a Scissor Kick, but a Booker T spinebuster earns a count of 2. Corner whip, reversal, Booker with a sunset flip for 2. Jordan goes for a cheap shot, but Booker avoids it, only to be distracted long enough for Christian to attack from behind. Neckbreaker for 2. Reverse chinlock. Booker fights out of it but runs into an elbow. Jordan tries to enter without a tag, but Hebner has no part of it. There's the tag, and Jordan takes Booker down with an elbow and covers for 1. Reverse chinlock. Booker fights out of it, and he takes Jordan down with the Book End. Tags on each end, and Benoit works over Christian with chops. Knee to the gut. Snap suplex, then one to Jordan. Benoit drop toeholds Christian into Jordan's groin, then goes for the sharpshooter. Christian gets to the ropes, then goes to the eyes. Benoit counters the Unprettier into the Crippler Crossface, and Jordan makes the save. In comes Booker with kicks to both opponents. Jordan grabs a chair on the outside, Booker grabs it, and in so doing swings Jordan into Sharmell. Inside, Benoit goes into the rolling German suplexes on Christian. Jordan is able to clothesline Benoit on the top rope, and Christian gets the Unprettier for the pin in 7:26.
Still to come, Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker, and we recap their ongoing feud.
Batista arrives, gets water onto Christy Hemme, then gets Simon Dean to spit chocolate milk onto some overweight guy.
Actually a pretty decent match with a hot crowd. Of course, Sharmell costs Booker T yet again, as he spends more time making sure she's OK than he does paying attention to the match. That's likely to take top billing over Benoit being pinned by Christian, which I would use to build to a PPV title match between the two instead of continuing the same feuds we've already been seeing.
Theodore Long and Palmer Cannon are in the ring, and long introduces Batista. Last week, Batista successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship, and tonight, we announce a new number one contender. And he's a high flyer. A Latino underdog whose story is like David and Goliath. A family man. Rey Mi--no, it's Eddy Guerrero, according to Cannon, and Long is PISSED that Cannon grabbed the mic away from him. Um... Anyway, everybody knows about Eddy's addiction, and the worse one was the addiction to manipulation. After he finally beat Rey last week, Eddy found a new addiction: respect. Honor. He is the new and improved Eddy. Eddy thanks Batista for the title shot, and he has mucho respect for the champion. And he wants to prove they can give the best match in wrestling history. Eddy, I like Batista, but he ain't Ric Flair or Ricky Steamboat. Batista thinks they can be like the Two Amigos. The lovefest leads to a hug, and Eddy, despite saying there's no hate left in him, doesn't seem very happy.
Up next, MNM get one more shot at the WWE Tag Team Title, and a recap of last week's wwe.com exclusive sets it up.
If the rumors as to why Jeff Jarrett regained the NWA World Title are true (which I highly doubt, for the record), WWE seems to be parodying Viacom better than they realize. Seriously, what right, in a wrestling context, does a TV executive have to choose a number one contender? Hey, I like Eddy, and had he had a more even feud with Rey I'd probably be stoked for this title shot, but if the character is supposed to be a TV executive, the most he should be saying is "This match was too violent for our demographic" or something ... after the segment has taken place. I never saw Dick Ebersol come out onto the 50-yard-line and determine the starting quarterback for the 49ers, and that's basically what this equates to.
One fall for the WWE Tag Team Championship: LOD 2K5© vs. MNM (w/Melina)
Heidenreich and Mercury start. Heidenreich bowls Mercury over with a shoulderblock, and Mercury quickly backs up into the corner. Mercury wisely avoids a big boot and slides to the floor, but Animal clotheslines him and rolls him back into the ring. Animal tags in, and he goes for a superplex, but Nitro attacks Animal from behind to knock him off the corner, and Mercury hits a flying elbowdrop. Tag to Nitro, double legsweep, Nitro covers for 2. Tag to Mercury, who gets a reverse neckbreaker for 2. Reverse chinlock. Animal takes Mercury down with a powerslam, but he's too hurt to cover. Nitro tags in, Animal makes the hot tag to Animal, and Heidenreich uses his power to take control. Big boots to both challengers. Melina into the ring, and Heidenreich uses her to prevent a double team before driving both opponent's faces into the mat. Melina still distracts the referee as Mercury brings the title belt in, but Charles Robinson turns just in time to see it and call for the DQ at 4:16.
Orton vs. Taker tonight. Rey Rey vs. JBL tonight. Stay tuned!
OK, I tried to be nice about it last week, but I'm just going to be blunt and mean about it this week. Nostalgia-based tag team runs are good...short term. But champions based off of nostalgia need to put new blood over, and fast. Animal's return should have led to Animal doing the job at the Great American Bash and leaving again. Instead, we're nearing two months into this title reign and ruining the credibility of the only credible tag team on the entire SmackDown roster in the process. The experiment's over, and now nobody's going to buy MNM regaining the titles even if they finally do.
Long tries to bitch out Cannon about choosing the number one contender on his own, but Eddy interrupts before Teddy can bitch him out. Cannon tries to claim Eddy's the kind of guy the network wants on top...HE JUST TRIED TO WARP A CHILD'S FRAGILE MIND!
Randy Orton and Bob Orton Jr. have a surprise in a U-Haul that will end The Undertaker's legacy for good.
One fall: John Bradshaw Layfield vs.
Did they even listen to their own logic there? Eddy's a family man? He just tried to claim somebody else's child as his own, for chrissakes! Give me something that isn't...you know...what's the word...retarded.
vs. Rey Misterio Jr. (w/new shitty theme music that's available for download at wwe.com)
Misterio tries to use his speed to avoid JBL, but JBL levels him with a right hand. Rey goes for a sunset flip, but he can't take the bigger man down. Rey comes back, getting a dropkick into the middle rope, but instead of Rey hitting the 6-1-9, JBL takes him down with a shoulderblock. JBL takes control with a methodical attack, using his knee a lot. Hard corner whip. Ouch. Swinging neckbreaker for 2. Right hands, but Rey fights back with rights of his own until JBL catches Rey in a bearhug. Rey uses headbutts and right hands to break the hold, but JBL catches Rey when he goes for a high cross body...but Rey counters the fireman's carry slam into a DDT. Rey is first to his feet, and a spinning headscissors and a dropkick leads to a cover, but JBL's underneath the ropes. Another dropkick leads to the bronco buster. Rey tries a monkey flip, but JBL simply dumps him to the mat. JBL goes for a Clothesline from Hell, but Rey dropkicks him in the knees, then goes right into the 6-1-9. JBL catches Rey with the springboard and shoots a power bomb, but Rey avoids it and gets a springboard moonsault bodyblock for 2...NO! Three! Rey wins via pin at 5:48.
Nunzio wants to know why he hasn't been on SmackDown since he won the Cruiserweight Champion. Eddy wants to see Nunzio, the network wants to see Nunzio in action, so Eddy and Palmer suggest champion vs. champion: Nunzio vs. Batista. Even Teddy Long gets a smile out of that.
I like the use of the big man vs. little man aspect during this one, and Rey always does it absolutely brilliantly. It did appear that JBL got the shoulder up just as the referee finished the three count, but I don't know if JBL kicked out late or if that's what they were going for there.
It appears on the replay that JBL did get the shoulder up before the count. Now Josh Mathews tries to interview him, but JBL walks off. Ken Kennedy...Kennedy says the media is too negative and that's why JBL's not answering, then he implies that Josh shit his pants. I gotta admit, that bit's working.
One fall with a 20-minute time limit: Ken Kennedy.........Kennedy vs. Bio-Hazard
Kennedy refuses to let Tony Chimmel do the intros tonight. No intro for Bio-Hazard, who is billed as Jacques Blinzkin or something. A squash, and Bio-Hazard gets one shot in before Kennedy hits the rolling top-rope Samoan drop in 1:05.
Taker vs. Orton is your main event. Nunzio vs. Batista is next.
The gimmick's drawing some pretty good heel heat, and as much as a lot of people will probably hate to admit it, the squash is a good idea to showcase Kennedy's...or any newcomer's...skills. Inoffensive as a whole.
Non-Title Champion vs. Champion Match scheduled for one fall: Batista (World Heavyweight Champion) vs. Nunzio (WWE Cruiserweight Champion w/Vito)
Eddy Guerrero comes to ringside to support Batista as the bell rings. Nunzio runs into a shoulderblock. Nunzio tries to run, Vito tries to pull Nunzio to the floor, but Batista drags them both into the ring. Batista sends Nunzio into Vito, and we're back to one-on-one. Vito to the apron and getting knocked off, and that leads to Nunzio getting a dropkick off the middle turnbuckle. Nunzio cheats to keep control, Vito interferes liberally, and Nunzio even gets a near fall. Just one though, as Batista cleans house on Nunzio and Vito before hitting the Batista Bomb on Nunzio for the pin at 3:00.
The U-Haul is locked and loaded to surprise The Undertaker. The main event is next.
*yawn* Absolutely no surprises in this one, and you have to wonder what the hell the entire cruiserweight division did to deserve this. Somebody within WWE is sure to say "nobody ever paid to see the cruiserweights", but there's a reason Spike TV has been hyping the X Division hard, and there was a reason WCW used to push the cruiserweights when nothing else was going right: the action is faster-paced and more breathtaking for casual fans who don't understand the nuances of professional wrestling.
Jillian Hall is brought into JBL's locker room. He reluctantly asks for her help to fix things, and she accepts. Not like she's done anything with MNM lately.
One fall: Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker
A crossroads in JBL's career, as he went from having a powerful cabinet to losing matches to a cruiserweight, so he hires the help of MNM's fixer. It makes sense, but why hasn't she been seen with MNM the last couple of weeks just to all of a sudden be seen with JBL?
The match started during the commercial break. (what was the point of that?), and Taker is in control. Shoulderblock, but Orton gets a hiptoss for 2. A hard series of right hands in the corner. Taker with a big boot for 2. Keylock. Arm wringer. Elbow to the shoulder. Taker rams Orton's arm into the top turnbuckle, then over the top rope. Orton with an elbow and charging in with a clothesline, but orton locks a Fujiwara armbar. Orton reaches the ropes for the break. Taker begins punching the shoulder. Taker heads up top for Old School, but Orton gets Taker to lose his balance and fall groin-first onto the top rope. Orton goes for a superplex, but Taker punches out of it. Orton fights back with Taker still sitting on the turnbuckle, and he does take Taker down with a superplex. Orton immediately yells, "Dad, bring the truck," and sure enough, Cowboy Bob walks behind it as it backs into the arena. Taker sits up, but Orton takes him right down with a DDT. They open up the U-Haul...and they bring out a casket. Paul Bearer makes his return?
Taker working he arm is apparently to take the RKO out of Orton's arsenal, according to Tazz and Cole. I'm not sure I buy that, and I don't like the feeling I got when they brought the the casket out about any potential finish to this match.
Orton has Taker caught in a reverse chinlock as we return from the break. Taker backs Orton in the corner, and Orton tries to turn it into a sleeper before Taker throws elbows to break the hold. Orton gets a beautiful dropkick in for a near fall, then goes back to the reverse chinlock. Orton uses his foot to push the bottom rope and gain additional leverage. The arm drops twice, but Taker grabs Brian Hebner by the shirt to make sure the match doesn't end. Orton slams Taker, then climbs to the middle rope, but Randy misses the patented Orton elbow. Taker begins fighting back with a series of right hands. Orton counters a potential Tombstone with his side inverted backbreaker that earn a 2 count. Orton begins choking away at Taker, but Taker begins punching his way back into the match. They begin trading punches and forearms, and Taker's obviously getting the best of this situation. Taker with a flying clothesline. Corner whip, snake eyes, big boot, legdrop, 2 count. Orton kicks Taker to avoid a choke slam, but a kick has no effect, and Taker clotheslines Orton straight to the floor. Taker tries to slam Orton into the casket...but when he opens it, he sees himself. If you were watching in 1996, you're probably getting the same chuckle I am out of this one. The distraction gives Orton the advantage, and Orton brings the match back into the ring and simply unloads on Taker. Into the corner for the mounted punch countalong, but Taker brings him out for the Last Ride. Orton counters and hits the RKO, but knocks the referee down to the mat, so by the time a second ref comes out, Taker is able to kick out at 2. Taker gets the choke slam...and Bob Orton Jr. pulls the alternate referee out to the floor. Bob takes a beating for that, and Orton tries to hit another RKO, but Taker throws him off and hits the Tombstone. The first referee wakes up and counts the pin at 19:16.
END OF SHOW
See, here's why I was actually xhckling a little bit when Taker opened the casket. Back when Taker was feuding with Diesel, he pulled the same stunt. He had Diesel's likeness inside the casket to play with Diesel's mind and win the mental battle. The difference? Taker won the WrestleMania match a few weeks later. Here, it worked for Orton...but only long enough to get some punches in. He loses the match when the casket spot should have completely finished Taker off.
Overall, kind of a bleh show. OK but unspectacular wrestling, and OK but unspectacular storyline buildup. The Batista-Eddy "friendship" has some potential for some entertaining TV, but outside of that, I can't imagine the buldup for No Mercy being anything worthwhile.
But if you drop me some feedback if you have issues with that.
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