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Friday Night SmackDown! from JHawk's Beak (9/9/2005)
Posted by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins on Sep 11, 2005, 11:44
Friday Night SmackDown from JHawk's Beak (9/9/2005)
by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins
This Friday night thing is going to throw these recaps off for at least a month. I don't intend to wait until Sunday to get these up most of the time, but considering I normally work Friday nights and all day Saturday it might be unavoidable for a little while.
Anyway, another part of the reason this recap is up late is the weirdness of the week, where the first hour was on wwe.com only for those of us in the U.S. And I'm on dial-up, so that was fun. So for those of you who might have missed it, here tonight we have a recap of the entire two hours. Join us for the bumpy ride, won't you?
Tonight: You might as well call this the Night of Champions, as three championships are on the line. Can Orlando Jordan last more than 23.4 seconds against Chris Benoit this week as he gets one more shot at regaining the United States Title? Can MNM regain the tag team championship they never should have lost when they face Animal and Heidenreich? Can JBL get the strength to drag Batista to all four corners and win their bullrope match to regai the World Heavyweight Championship? Plus, Eddy Guerrero has one last shot to beat Rey Misterio Jr., this time within the confines of a steel cage. And Randy Orton says he'll be delivering the Undertaker Retirement Fund to The Undertaker himself. That is one stacked lineup there.
So let's go to wwe.com and see how things shape up tonight.
Theodore Long welcomes us to the first hour of SmackDown, reminding us how hour two is on UPN. Tonight, Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan. Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Misterio Jr. Batista vs. JBL.
And we are taped 9/6/2005 from Atlanta, Georgia, ready for title match #1.
One fall for the WWE Tag Team Championship: MNM (w/Melina) vs. The Legion of Doom 2K5©
Heidenreich immediately goes after Nitro with a series of punches. Clothesline. Backdrop, and Nitro clutches at the knee. God, let that be a gimmick injury. Nitro goes for the tag, but Mercury doesn't want it. Tag to Animal, and Nitro immediately heads to the floor. Animal follows, and he allows Melina to distract him but somehow keep control. Back in the ring, and Animal clotheslines Nitro and levels him with a boot. Tag to Heidenreich, and they double team Nitro. The challengers finally get a brief shot in on Heidenreich, but Heidenreich is quickly regaining control and working over Mercury. Quick tag to Animal, who rams Mercury's arm into the ringpost. Tag to Heidenreich, and the left arm is clearly the focus of the champions. Heidenreich brings Nitro into the ring, Melina distracts Heidenreich, and finally Nitro gets a modified Hotshot on Heidenreich to begin our face-in-peril segment. Mercury with a tremendous standing dropkick for 2. The challengers begin to isolate Heidenreich in their corner, tagging in and out to keep themselves fresh. Each man slows Heidenreich down with headlocks, and Tazz even mentions they're weakening the neck. Nice touch. Mercury with a knee to the shoulder for 2. Back to the headlock, and Heidenreich tries to work over for the tag, but Mercury knocks Animal off the apron to prevent it. Mercury up top, but Heidenreich takes him off of it. There's the hot tag, and Animal keeps both of his challengers at bay. Heidenreich clotheslines Nitro to send both over the top, and Animal catches Mercury in mid-air and drives him into the corner...taking Jimmy Korderas down with him. Melina tries to use the title belt as a weapon, but Animal grabs it and uses it on Mercury for the pin at 9:02. You've got to be kidding me!
Later tonight, Randy Orton will present The Undertaker with the Undertaker retirement fund. Here's a video package to set the segment up.
Linda McMahon hypes Hurricane Katrina relief.
Why? Seriously, why are they continuing to force-feed the Animal/Heidenreich team on us? OK, the finish does put MNM over to a certain extent since Animal needed to use the title belts to win, but why not give the belts to a team that's young, relatively over, and can actually have good matches with the rest of the makeshift tag team roster?
One fall "With a 20-minute time limit": Ken Kennedy (w/kickass ring introductions) vs. Paul London
Wow, London makes it to SmackDown and yet still doesn't make it to SmackDown. Makes no sense to me either. Kennedy begins to pound away on London in the early going. Huge corner whip for 2. A series of boots to the head for 2. Bodyslam. Up top, London tries to counter with the boot, but Kennedy avoids it and manages to level London with an elbowdrop for a near fall. Waistlock. London with a series of forearms to break it, but Kennedy goes for a backdrop. London lands on his feet, hits the dropsault, then gets a spinning heel kick. Another spin kick catches Kennedy in the face. London up top, but Kennedy is up to stop him and finish Kennedy off with the rolling top-rope Samoan drop for the pin at 3:30. From barely-acknowledged Cruiserweight Champion to jobber in almost no time flat. Hell, they mentioned he was a former champion and didn't even mention who beat him for the title.
Teddy Long and Palmer Cannon watch from a skybox.
Pathetic. Not the match, which was serviceable given what they had to work with. I'm talking about the use of Paul London. London might be the best pure athlete on the SmackDown roster right now. Good high-flyer, capable of telling a pretty good story in the ring if given the opportunity...and yet he went from being cruiserweight champion to glorified jobber without his title loss so much as being mentioned on the A show. I thought this type of thing was why they kept guys like Scotty 2 Hotty around.
One fall: Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Paul Burchill (w/William Regal)
OK, maybe these kinds of matches are why they keep Scotty 2 Hotty around. Regal joins Tazz and Michael Cole on commentary. Burchill gets mic time to call himself the most dangerous import since Regal. Regal promised him people to maim and hurt...and he hasn't been disappointed. He used to do it for pleasure, now he does it for money, and he enjoys the job. Burchill promises to finish the job he started on Scotty last week, so Scotty attacks. And he actually does fairly well for himself until Burchill drops his left arm over the top rope. Burchill focuses exclusively on left arm for the rest of the contest. Scotty punches his way out of an armbar and gets a sunset flip for 2. Superkick by Scotty for 2. Scotty goes for the bulldog, but Burchill avoids it. Scotty counters a slam into a rolling cradle, but the kickout sends Scotty's shoulder into the ringpost. Burchill sends it into the post intentionally a couple more times, then hits a shoulderbreaker into the Fujiwara armbar for the submission in 3:36.
Chris Benoit defends the United States Title against Orlando Jordan later tonight.
Backstage, Ken Kennedy introduces himself to Sharmell. Sharmell tries to walk away, but he decides to convince her that Booker should get some US Title shots since Booker and Benoit are such good friends and all.
And up next, the Ortons are presenting a check to The Undertaker.
For everything good I've heard about Burchill, I've yet to see him as more than a basic power guy so far, although from the brief glimpses we've seen, he does seem to have a pretty decent grip on psychology. The arm work was absolutely fantastic, and Scotty's selling made it mean that much more.
So how many feuds will Booker T be in after that segment? Christian, Kennedy, Benoit...hell, Sharmell will probably force him into a three-on-one handicap match the way she's going.
Cue The Undertaker's music, cue The Undertaker's token monthly appearance, and this is apparently going to be the main event of the web only hour. OK, they had their fun at SummerSlam, but now they're going to die or something. Here come Randy Orton and Bob Orton Jr., but they're wisely staying away from the ring. They're surprised Taker even showed up. But he's a man of his word, so he needs some help from the back to give The Undertaker his giant novelty check. Orton matched the amount of an auction for an Orton-autographed Undertaker DVD, and he signs the check for $1,416 to make it official. "You want it? Come get it." Cue the gong, and cue the lightning bolt that sets the check on fire. OK, that was a fucking cool effect right there.
Tune into UPN now, because the US Title is on the line next, in addition to the cage match and the World Heavyweight Title.
END OF HOUR ONE
Not much of a segment, although the lightning bolt visual was very cool. Face it, Taker's not going anywhere just yet, and I smell Orton and Orton vs. Undertaker in a handicap match at No Mercy.
The steel cage is already set up here at the Arena at Gwinnett Center! And we still have two championship matches to come here tonight!
Steel Cage Match that can be won by pinfall, submission, or escaping the cage: Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Misterio Jr.
Eddy goes after Rey almost as soon as the bell rings. Rey fights back, but Eddy wastes no time using the cage as a weapon. Up in a power bomb position, but throwing Rey backwards repeatedly, Rey's head hitting the cage. Good spot there. Rey goes for a springboard moonsault, Eddy catches him, and Rey turns it into an armdrag takedown. Rey sends Eddy into 6-1-9 position, but he can't do it in a cage. Eddy taunts him over it, so Rey just dropkicks him and covers for 2. Rey climbs, Eddy catches up to him, but Rey spins around until he power bombs Eddy dwon to the mat. Rey's going up again, but Eddy pulls him down by the ankle and drops him groin first onto the top rope.
We've had a couple of pretty innovative spots already, and we're not four minutes into it yet. Add that to the hot crowd...I can't wait to see how this one plays out. This one could go down as one of the best cage matches ever if they keep this pace up.
Eddy is climbing the cage, and Rey grabs the ankle. Eddy kicks him off and makes a move, so Rey follows him up. Rey takes Eddy down with a Russian legsweep off the top rope. Wow. During the break, Eddy got a series of near falls, then started ripping Rey's mask off. Rey jumps up over Eddy's attempted move and makes his move up the cage. Eddy follows, and both men are sitting at the top of the cage. Rey makes a move, but Eddy hangs on, essentially choking Rey with top of the cage before dragging him back up top. Rey with headbutts before dragging him back inside the cage. Both men on the top rope, and Rey dropkicks Eddy in the gut, falls to the canvas, and Eddy collapses to the mat after him. Both men get to their knees and begin to trade punches. Eddy with a DDT, and he asks Charles Robinson to open the door. Rey pulls Eddy back in by the trunks, kicking him repeatedly in the chest. Eddy makes another lunge, and Rey again grabs the tights to bring him back in. Rey with the bulldog...
Wow! Just...wow! And there's at least one more segment of this one left! Wow!
Mysterio again tries to climb out of the cage, and Eddy forearms him in the back to slow him down. Eddy tries to power bomb him down, but Rey punches out of it and makes another move. Eddy catches him and again sets up for the power bomb, but Rey takes him down with a top of the cage rana instead. Rey clutches the knee as Eddy collapses in a heap. rey makes another move out the cage, knocking Eddy down as Eddy tries to make the save. Then Rey makes the first major mistake of the match, as he goes for a flying bodypress, only for Eddy to move out of the way. Eddy makes a move for the door...but he stops at the bottom step. Eddy then climbs to the top rope, hits the frog splash, and gets the pin at 17:18.
Still to come tonight, Batista defends against JBL in a bullrope match, and the US Title is on the line next.
Excellent match. I've seen cage matches that had better psychology, but that one might have had more emotion than any cage match in at least ten years. And I love the finish. Eddy didn't just have to win the match. He had to pin Rey. And since he had nothing else to lose after losing seven matches to Rey already, why not? One of the best cage matches in years, bar none.
Atlanta's gotten a pretty hot show thus far, hasn't it?
More from Linda McMahon about Hurricane Katrina relief.
One fall for the WWE United States Championship: Chris Benoit© vs. Orlando Jordan©
OK, how many times can they show the complete SummerSlam match between these two? We also see last week's match in its entirety. Earlier tonight, Jordan claims both of those matches will be flukes, and he guarantees a knockout victory tonight. He gets the punch just at the bell and covers for 2. Jordan tries it again, but Benoit locks in the Crippler Crossface...and gets the submission victory in 22.5 seconds. Jesus Christ!
We get a hype video for Batista, as the bullrope match is next.
John Bradshaw Layfield is making his way to the ring. The main event is next.
Who in the hell did Orlando Jordan piss off? Seriously, can somebody with an Observer subscription tell me who he pissed off? Three matches for a major title, and they don't combine for a minute and a half? That's an absolute burial at its finest. Hell, at this rate, the only way Benoit can beat him in less time is to have Jordan submit during prematch instructions!
Theodore Long announces Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker for next week, and Palmer Cannon approves.
Bullrope Match for the WWE Championship: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Batista©
Remember the rules. Both men have a bullrope tied to their wrists to keep them attached to each other, and the first one who drags their opponent to all four corners consecutively without having their momentum stopped wins the championship. JBL hits the first corner before contact is even made. Nice touch. JBL kicks and punches Batista, but Batista pulls him by the bullrope and clotheslines him. Batista chokes JBL with the bullrope, then he begins to drag JBL around but can only get to one corner. Batista with a series of knees and a hard forearm, and he goes for the corners, only gettig one. Batista goes for the corners, ramming JBL's head into the turnbuckles...shouldn't JBL's light technically come on too? JBL stops Batista after the third corner. JBL mkaes his move, getting two turnbuckles before getting clotheslined by Batista. Batista with an uppercut, JBL with a thumb to the eye. Turnbuckle smash and a series of right hands. JBL levels Batista with the cowbell and makes his way to the corners. He gets three, and Batista yanks at the bullrope to keep JBL away from it, just barely keeping the match alive. Batista returns the shot with the cowbell. He's got one corner. Two. Three. And JBL rolls out of the ring to keep Batista from reaching the corner. Brilliant. Batista goes after JBL, who catches him with a low blow.
I haven't been really into this match, in all honesty, but I do like the psychology just before they cut to the break there where JBL rolled out of the ring to keep Batista from having enough leverage to reach the fourth corner. This really isn't clicking in the least though.
Batista has JBL in a fireman's carry and walks around the ring, but JBL levels the champion with the cowbell to keep his title chanes alive. During the break, Batista pulled JBL in the ringpost to gain the advantage. Of course, the advantage is back with the challenger...until Batista clotheslines JBL as JBL goes for the Clothesline from Hell. Batista continues to use the bell an rope as a weapo, then takes him down the Batista Bomb. A replay shows JBL accidentally getting bloodied by an errant cowbell to the nose. Batista does the hangman and begins to drag JBL around the ring...and each man touches the first three corners as they go down. Of course, JBL mkaes the lunge for the fourth corner...and Batista hits JBL with the spinebuster before diving for the fourth corner at 12:37.
END OF SHOW
And again, I didn't really feel this one. A neat spot or two, a good finish...and twelve minutes of boring brawling. Luckily they did the smart thing for business and had Batista retain here. Now he can go onto a feud with somebody that people actually care about.
Overall, a pretty solid show from top-to-bottom. That's what happens when you keep it wrestling heavy and cut the BS to a minimum. I still question the idea of having Heidenreich and Animal retain, but other than that it's hard to say "I'd have done it this way to improve the show". Can they keep the momentum going next week?
But drop me a line if you have any opinions at all.