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Before we get to the recap, I'd like to give my two cents on the Rumble. Um, when did we decide to kill all the young talent? And mostly at the hands of CM Punk, no less. It was like watching the New Breed die all over again when Ziggler, Bourne, JTG, and Ryder were all tossed in short order by Mr. Punk. OK, minus the vampires and school teachers, but still, the pain is still there! In all seriousness, did anyone under the age of 30 last more than 5 minutes? Or for that matter, eliminate anyone? There's a good reason they're not releasing individual times for the Rumble and that's because almost everyone would hover around the half a minute mark. Hell, even Jericho got about three and a half minutes! LAME. Sure, there was some good stuff (Beth Phoenix taking out Khali was awesome) and plenty more bad stuff (all the singles matches, MVP's kinda-sorta-maybe heel turn at the end of his match with Miz, Miz getting another terrible Rumble performance courtesy of one Montel Vontavious Porter), but the young talent getting murdered sealed it for me. At least Edge is back. Yay Edge. BUT KOFI ONLY GOT LIKE, WHAT, 4 MINUTES DESPITE BEING BUILT UP FOR-Okay, I'm done now. On to the show.
Tonight, the return Edge will bring back the Cutting Edge and interview The Undertaker, one of his potential opponents for WrestleMania. Until, of course, Elimination Chamber (God, that name is stupid), where that title will be properly placed around the waist (see what I did there?) of Chris Jericho. Speaking of the Elimination Chamber, we'll have the qualifying matches for that match tonight as well. And some EXCLUSIVE footage from RAW featuring John Cena and Batista that you totally couldn't see on WWE.com for the past 3 days or something. Nope. This stuff is Smackdown only, baby.
Speaking of Jericho (which is what I was doing some three sentences ago), he makes is way out to the ring to kick off the show, bemoaning his Royal Rumble loss and Edge's return, which he claims takes away from his spotlight. Jericho demands Teddy Long make things right, as he is now apparently in charge of the entire WWE and can just strip people of cleanly won Royal Rumble victories and hand them out to other people. Yes. Alas, Teddy does not thug and bug his way to the ring, so Jericho just decides to go find him in the back. He picks on some stagehands, yells at The Hart Dynasty for being there, and finds the office, which is located right next to the catering table and appears to be a broom closet. Strike that earlier comment about Teddy being head of the WWE. Surprise! Edge is there and Jericho wastes no time in promising to make Edge regret coming back. Edge promises to make Jericho pay and we have some very intereting build.
Before our first qualifying match, we get a nice little trailer on the horrors of the Elimination Chamber, complete with some music that sounds better suited to one of those informational videos that plays at the chimp exhibit at the zoo. Sadly, there is no footage of Mike Knox's surprise entry last year, but Finlay makes it in despite doing absolutely nothing this year.
Drew McIntyre vs. John Morrison vs. Kane (Triple Threat Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match)
"Two of these things belong together, but one of these things does not belong....". Anywhoo, the match is underway, with each men getting in a fair share of punches and kicks before Morrison finally interjects an honest-to-God wrestling move by rolling up McIntyre for 2. Kane tries to get in some offense, but Morrison and McIntyre put aside their differences and hit a double DDT. However, the pairing is put to a quick end when Morrison crossbody's McIntyre out of the ring as we go to COMMERCIALS.
COMMERCIAL THOUGHT: My newspaper actually praised Pauly Shore. I wonder how much he paid them to do that.
We return to find McIntyre and Kane exchanging blows, with Kane hitting an uppercut for 2. Morrison manages to get back in on the action, but eats a backbreaker from McIntyre for 2. Kane big boots McIntyre and looks to hit the clothesline of good intentions, but Morrison hits a pele kick to strand Kane on the top rope. McIntyre clotheslines Morrison out of the ring and looks to superplex Kane, but that is quickly ended when Kane grabs his throat and climbs down to try and chokeslam him. Morrison bounces back into the ring with a Flying Chuck on Kane and DDT's McIntyre for 2. Kane comes back with the usual dull hossiness, hitting a sidewalk slam on Morrison for 2. The clothesline of good intentions connects on Morrison, but McIntyre hits Kane in the gut with the Intercontinental title and nails a Future Shot DDT. Because this match is suddenly No DQ. That makes sense. However, Morrison knees McIntyre in the face as he goes for a cover and hits Starship Pain on Kane (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) to win it.
WINNER: John Morrison. Oh, and SUCK IT, KANE! No Elimination Chamber for you!
COMMERCIAL THOUGHT: You, Kevin Butler, are annoying.
R-Truth vs. Mike Knox (Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match)
Oh my God, two years of Mike Knox Elimination Chamber matches in a row. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
It starts off good for my favorite beardy face, as he hits a nice running crossbody for 2. A body slam followed by a knee drop also manages to get 2. However, Truth clotheslines Knox out of the ring, hits a plancha, rolls him back in the ring, hits a missile dropkick, and seals it with a corkscrew elbow. Dammit.
WINNER: R-Truth. Alas, the Mike Knox repeat is not to be. Still, nice to see Truth getting a push, even if it is straight into the waiting arms of The Undertaker.
We now get that "exclusive" footage I mentioned earlier. The Bret Hart-Vince McMahon feud: now complete with pointless interjections from John Cena and Batista and censorship of the word "ass". I guess this is supposed to lead to another Cena-Batista match at 'Mania, but didn't we learn from the last debacle these two had at SummerSlam two years ago? On second thought, let it happen. If both these guys get put on the shelf, I will be a very happy man.
The Straightedge Society is in the back, discussing Punk's Elimination Chamber qualifying match with Batista. Punk wants the full, undying support of his disciples and they pledge it to him, with Gallows going as far as saying he'll stick his head in fire for Punk. Roast Festus, anyone? That match comes following COMMERCIALS.
COMMERCIAL THOUGHT: Sometimes, hair dye is important enough to leap on to a moving bus for.
CM Punk W/ Luke Gallows and Serena vs. Batista (Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match)
Batista stays in the corner...scratches his nose...and leaves, getting counted out as Punk and Company joyously hop around. Bar none, the best Batista match I have ever seeen.
WINNER BY COUNT-OUT: CM Punk. I was so awestruck by greatness of this match that I almost didn't notice what appear to be nipple piercings on Punk's hairy chest, but now that I'm over that brief bit of miracle, EW! NIPPLE PIERCINGS! If there's an award for grossest chest, please give it to Punk, stat.
The completely worthless Matt Hardy walks by the completely worthless (and undeserving. Yeah, I didn't forget that Slammy you got, bitch) Maria and strikes up a conversation. If this leads to a Maria-Matt Hardy-Great Khali-Ranjin Singh quartet, I will be a very happy man. But that is not for tonight, as Matt Hardy faces Chris Jericho after the break.
COMMERCIAL THOUGHT: I miss the good ol' days of Marvel vs. Capcom. Who's Tetsa...Testo...Tanna...Tenta...funny Japanese T-word company anyway?
Matt Hardy vs. Chris Jericho (Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match)
Jericho slaps on a headlock following the lock-up, but Matt escapes with punches and just keeps doing that. Jericho tries to come back with a kick to the sizeable gut, but Matt just tosses him from the ring and hits a diving clothesline off the apron. Jericho regains control by tossing Matt into the steel steps and tries to get a count-out victory, but Matt makes it back into the ring at 9. Jericho applies a submission (armbar?), but Matt reverses it into a roll-up for 2. Jericho responds with a running enziguri for 2. Matt manages to dodge a corner charge and hits a reverse DDT for 2. The old clothesline-bulldog combo also gets 2. Matt hits the second rope elbow drop and signals for the Twist of Fate, but Jericho blocks it and ACTUALLY MANAGES TO HIT THE LIONSAULT. OK, I think we better get ready for the Apocalypse right about now. After that brief bit of awesomeness, Matt hits a Side Effect and signals for another Twist of Fate, but Jericho just rolls him up for 2. Jericho tries to apply the Walls, but Matt kicks out. This time, Matt tries for the ever-annoying Twist of Fate Outta Nowhere, but since Jeff isn't around to necessitate a push for him, he just falls over when Jericho grabs the ropes to block it and eats Codebreaker.
WINNER: Chris Jericho.
COMMERCIAL THOUGHT: Those are some sick fingers.
Tony Chimel and his hideous tie announce the arrival of Mickie James, who appears to be wearing the same outfit she had on Sunday night.  The washing machine must have put in some extra hours. Mickie gives us the usual spiel about following your dreams and being true to yourself and such when Beth Phoenix interrupts. Beth comments on her rather successful appearance in the Royal Rumble (she eliminated someone, with most of the young talent failed to do) and claims she can take the Women's title from Mickie at will. This brings out Vickie Guerrero for some reason. I guess Teddy wanted tonight off. Holla. Vickie fails to make a Women's championship match like I was hoping, but instead makes a tag match pitting Mickie and Beth against Layla and Michelle McCool. Way to capitalize on a great opportunity there, Vickie.
Beth Phoenix and Mickie James vs. Layla and Michelle McCool
 Beth starts off annihilating Michelle until Michelle hits a dropkick and starts to target the leg. Beth blocks a heel hook attempt, punches out Layla, and tags to Mickie. Beth then floors Mickie with a punch, does the same to Michelle, and leaves. Layla tags in, hoping to capitalize, but is instead rolled up by Mickie James.
WINNNERS: Beth Phoenix and Mickie James. Oh, and ineptitude. Did anyone besides Beth actually do anything of note?
Just when I thought it was dead, Word Up pops back up, apparently trying to pimp the new Cryme Tyme shirt, which hilarious features a street named "Beast Blvd". That's where I wanna live some day. Today's word is "king", which according to Shad means the same as "supreme". For some reason, Shad sings and Jerry Lawler pops up to say "puppies" for the first time in what seems like years. Then they go off, leaving me to feel slightly more black.
COMMERCIAL THOUGHT: About time Zombieland came out on DVD.
Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler (Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match)
Ziggler kicks things off with some amateur wrestling, then hits a clothesline for 2. Rey scores a lucha roll-up for 2 and sends Dolph out of the ring with a hurricarana, following that up with a springboard crossbody. Ziggler comes back with a dropkick for 2, but Rey manages to set up the 619, only to see Ziggler roll out of the ring as we go to the break.
COMMERCIAL THOUGHT: At least my door will be safe.
We return in time to see Ziggler hit a superplex for 2. Ziggler applies a surfboard and slingshots Rey into the turnbuckle. Rey, however, catches himself and hits a seated senton, followed by a kick to the head for 2. A bulldog also gets 2. Rey tries for another springboard crossbody, but Ziggler turns it into a sweet powerslam for 2. Dolph goes for a suplex, but Rey reverses it into a roll-up for the win.
WINNER: Rey Mysterio. Ziggler tries to attack Rey after the match, but gets a 619 for his trouble. Can I make a wish on a falling star? If so, I just might start wishing to win the lotto every time I see Dolph. The Cutting Edge is next.
COMMERCIAL THOUGHT: It's good to see people being nice to the guy with tiny hands.
Edge makes his way to the ring with some well-deserved cheers. We get the usual "yay, it's great to be back" and "I worked so hard to rehab!" stuff any injured wrestler would give us, but because it's Edge, it's awesome. Edge also includes a video of his encounter with Sheamus on Monday night, in which a microphone may or may not have bounced off the head of the speared Irishman. Jericho decides to head out to the ring and demands Edge give the guranteed WrestleMania spot to him. This sends Edge on a tirade against Jericho very similar to the one he had about Cena come WrestleMania time last year. For some strange reason, The Straightedge Society also appears, with Punk proclaiming he's better than both men because he's had better success against The Undertaker. Punk promises to win the Elimination Chamber, but before Jericho can make the same claim, the gong sounds, the lights go out, and you know the drill. Undertaker cleans house of the straightedgers while Edge disposes of Jericho. Edge teases a spear on 'Taker, but elects just to stare at him as we close show.
Well, that was nice. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go find a bomb shelter. The best Batista match EVAH and a Lionsault are definitely signs that the end is nigh...near..whatever. See ya next week. Unless, of course, the world does end. Then I'll have called it.

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).