Saturday, October 28, 2006

WWE SmackDown! (20.10.2006)

I don't usually watch SmackDown! but when my bona-fide 100% mark of an uncle comes into my room at half-past midnight and excitedly asks "Do you want to see an I Quit match?" I don't feel like I can pass up that opportunity. Rey vs. Chavo was actually a match I wanted to see but I tend to find that with most WWE-shows these days it's not really worth leaving my room to sit in a cold guest room for two hours to see it (no cable TV in my room makes Lee and sad boy). And if I tape it, I never get round to watching it anyway after the fact. But with my uncle off nightshift (it varies week to week and I can never keep up) and free to sit up until 2am watching sci-fi and wrestling and having nothing better to do myself I like to take the opportunity once in a while to sit and watch a professional wrestling television show the way I used to watch it as a kid - cheering for the babyface, believing what I'm seeing unfold is real, and having no clue about the inner-workings of the business or the terminoligy used within it.

The show it turns out began at midnight and here's what I missed:

MVP vs. Kane

Can't say I'm upset. MVP disqualified in 2:51. I have to wonder what kind of General Manager would spend all that money on MVP. What a sucky investment.

Elijah Burke vs. Vito

Just as an indication of how little SmackDown! I've seen recently, I've not actually seen an MVP match, nor have I seen Vito in his dress, Sylvester Terkay or K.C. James and I've only seen Mike Mizanin on Raw and Idol Stevens & Elijah Burke in OVW. Elijah won this one when Terkay jumped in a booted Vito in the face.

- Matt Hardy and Gregory Helms argue and Teddy Long makes a match with Helms vs. The Undertaker for tonight.

- William Regal is ready to kick some ass and has David Taylor with him.

OK, so this is where I saw the show from.

William Regal & David Taylor vs. Scotty II Hotty & Funaki

Good timing too I might add as I was really interested in seeing this one being a Brit and a fan of Regal and Taylor. I'm kind of surprised they haven't given them their old Blue Bloods gimmick actually and although JBL on commentary really puts Team World Of Sport over, the crowd just isn't into it. More ammunition for Power Slam I guess. Hotty & Funaki get nothing in here and are completely dominated by the sheer thuggery of Regal and Taylor and Taylor finishes Scotty with a floatover butterfly suplex at 4:50. My uncle was impressed at least although it's a shame Taylor screwed his leg up the very next week and needs surgery + six to eight months off to recover. I really agree with J.D. Dunn's assessment about how Nigel McGuinness would have probably been a better choice for the spot. 1/2*

I Quit Match - Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero

I knew these guys could have a great match but seeing two really small guys (one with a mask no less) trying to do an I Quit match just didn't look right. You'd expect two 6'6" monsters to be the ones brawling all over and the smaller guys to do the high flying as you're so accustomed to but their talent again outshined their stature and they put on a hell of a match. It was perfectly worked too, in the way an I Quit match should. To go off on a tangent, I help out at a small indy promotion and you've got a bunch of guys who try real hard but sometimes they just don't get it. Everyone always wants to get their big spots in, no matter how out-of-place they look, and honestly, I think a lot of them would benefit from watching this match because you've got two guys known for their high flying ability but the only flashy spots they busted out were Rey's 619 and Chavo's frogsplash, their finishers. The rest of the match was all psychology-based and built around Chavo's repeated steel-chair shots to Rey's crippled knee. They tossed in some submission holds like a Crippler Crossface from Rey and spent the entire match trying to make each other utter those two little words. As such, they were really able to convey the intensity and the emotion of the match and the result was the kind of epic fight an I Quit match is supposed to be. They eventually brawled up to the stage where they used equipment cases to bash each other with before Rey foolishly chose his heart over his head and wound up getting caught in the lighting scaffold, allowing Chavo to smash his knee to bits with a steel chair. Then smash it to bits some more. Finally Rey couldn't take any more and quit which goes against the usual nature of the babyface winning the final blowoff match but with him needing time off for knee surgery it was fine. Just a great fight and a great story that I really enjoyed. It's just a shame about most of the build-up. ***3/4

Gregory Helms (WWE Cruiserweight Champion) vs. The Undertaker

I'd say here that The Undertaker singlehandedly buried the Cruiserweight division with this needless squash of figurehead champion Helms but then there isn't really a Cruiserweight division to speak of anyway. The Tombstone finished at 2:12 but FUCK did Helms ever bust out some awesome bumps. He really made Undertaker look great and I hope Helms actually gets a chance to make something of himself in WWE because he's a hell of a piece of talent that is criminally under-used. Mid-bout, Mr. Kennedy ran-in and got obliterated too. Because you see, last week, The Undertaker cost Mr. Kennedy his United States title to Chris Benoit. So let's get this straight - the babyface costs the heel champion his title and then destroys him the following week despite having his mind on another opponent. Yep, going by WWE's logic that should set up the Undertaker/Kennedy program perfectly. Especially since Undertaker will win. Over on Raw they've done a similar thing with Triple H already pinning Randy Orton in the very first match of the brand new "establishment degenerates" DX vs. young upstarts Orton & Edge feud. Does nobody have a fucking clue anymore? Judging by TNA's Russo-inspired reverse battle royal tournament garbage the answer is "No. No they fucking don't".

- Speaking of not having a fucking clue, up next was the truly painful segment with The Miz, the Carters and some skanks Divas in a dancing competition. The only redeeming thing was JBL burying the Miz as an "annoying human being" on commentary but then it's nothing we didn't already know. Some shit happened, it went for aaages, then we moved on, all momentum killed. Never again do I want to see anything like this on my TV. I watch a wrestling show for wrestling not garbage like this.

World Heavyweight Title: King Booker (c) vs. Batista

I remember watching this and thinking "hmm, Booker/Batista's a pretty big deal to do on TV rather than pay-per-view" having completely forgotten about their stinker at SummerSlam some six weeks earlier. That's the problem with WWE now, there's nothing memorable. Everything's there or there abouts then you move on and you can't remember what happened two weeks ago because nothing means anything. Case in point - this weak effort which got all the hype and fanfare a World Title match should but then went to a DQ after six-minutes making you feel short-changed and ripped off for having sat through that Diva Dance-Off atrocity for such a meagre pay-off. Finlay did a run-in which builds an issue between him and Batista (one that'll likely be paid off on TV since SmackDown! doesn't have another pay-per-view until late December) and ECW champion The Big Show and WWE Champion John Cena get involved to move the Champion of Champions issue along going into Cyber Sunday and Teddy Long makes a match pitting Cena & Batista against King Booker & The Big Show for next week.


The thing I find about SmackDown! is that when you watch it after having not seen it for a while is that it tends to be quite enjoyable. I was certainly glad I watched the show although most reports online didn't seem to like it, and in actuality when I sat and thought about it, I didn't really like anything at all outside of the stellar Rey/Chavo match. I guess some time off from the product and a great match can really give you a different perspective on things. As it happens, I also came out of it kind of hyped for the tag match they set up at the end until I sat and thought about who was in it and realised it was going to be absolutely terrible. I think perhaps a little bit of my uncle rubbed off on me on that one. The fact it was Cena and Batista teaming seemed cool though (until I noticed they'd done just that some two weeks earlier along with Bobby Lashley in a much stronger on paper six-man with King Booker, Finlay and William Regal). As it happens, I didn't watch the follow-up show since my uncle was on nights and I didn't feel like going out of my way to see it or see it after the fact. Business as usual I suppose.


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