LOWDOWN ON SMACKDOWN
BY IAN SPARKE
To kick off here's Rey Mysterio for some reason. A wrestling match I guess. JR says 'Smackdown can't start out any better than this' so I guess I'll go with it. Ooh, it's a six-man tag. Two six-man tags in one night? Okay. Rey is of course going to lose his Intercontinental title to Dolph Ziggler this Sunday if there's any justice in the world. I have no trouble with Rey but he's always screamed 'transitional champ' to me. He's teaming with Cryme Tyme. I predict the opponents will be JeriShow and Ziggler. Intuition, see. Yup, I'm right. What a true horror JeriShow's theme tune is. Really. Ziggler is out last, sans Maria. What happened to her? Still don't like how the announcer says Dolph. It sounds like he's saying 'dope'.
Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio & Cryme Tyme vs Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & Big Show & Dolph Ziggler
Rey and Jericho start out. Rey is in black and yellow, making him closely resemble a bee. Cool stuff from these two, natural chemistry is still there. Jericho dominates most of it with clotheslines and kicks which look real good because, well, it's Rey. Soon enough Jericho is in the 619 position but turns round before Rey can hit it; Rey knees him in the gut instead, and tags in JTG. JTG and Rey hit a double kick on Jericho which gets two. Jericho soon tags in Ziggler. We're quickly in headlock land but Ziggler is still one of the few guys who can make rest holds interesting. He takes control of JTG for a little while before JTG leaps over a corner charge from Ziggler and dropkicks him in the back (sorry, 'spine', not back. Just as 'skull' means 'head'. Or 'skoll', as Orton says it). Anyway, JTG hits a reverse bulldog out of the corner and taunts as we go to ADVERTISING.
BACK and surprise, Ziggler's got JTG in a headlock. Interesting how we almost always get headlocks when we come out of an ad break on SmackDown. Cosmic forces are at work. Ziggler tags in Jericho, who is soon hit by a JTG crossbody which gets two. JTG tags in Shad, and they do a double team thing before Shad bodyslams Jericho, immediately tagging JTG back in (logic!) for a sort of catapult splash thing which gets two. Jericho escapes and forearms JTG before tagging in Big Show, who gets a slight pop. Hmm. Somewhat inevitably JR babbles 'business has just picked up!', same way he does whenever a big guy enters the Royal Rumble. He also gives us Show's vital statistics again, in case anybody wants to buy him a suit. Show amusingly attempts a submission thing which just looks like he's trying to have his massive way with JTG. Jericho shouts "he's handling him like a rag doll!" to JR and Tard. Tard repeats what Jericho said for maximum effect. Anyway, Show hosses around on JTG, standing on his back while Rey complains to the ref, allowing Jericho a cheap shot. Ha ha. JTG is thoroughly beaten down and Jericho tags in. Seemingly remembering that he beat Jericho two weeks ago, JTG fires off a few punches, but Jericho prevents him from tagging by simply lifting him up like a child. JTG falls on top of Jericho however and gets two. Jericho hits an enzuigiri and an elbowdrop for two, before putting a sleeper/headlock thing on, which JTG escapes from, slapping Jericho and tagging in Shad to clean house old school, even hitting a big boot on Big Show, who tumbles off the big apron like a big lummox, the big cameraman doing some amusing big zooms. Shad blocks a Jericho body press off the ropes with his knee before tagging in Rey (not 'Reg', as I just typed) who stands on Shad's shoulders and splashes Jericho but Dolph breaks up the pin. Shad fires Ziggler out of the ring before Show lummoxes over and clotheslines himself and Shad over and out. JTG has vanished. Mysterio hits a wheelbarrow bulldog for two. Everybody has a nice lie down outside the ring. Jericho eats a 619 but Show clocks Rey with his RIGHT HAND (formerly known as the Falcon Punch, hee hee). Ziggler tags in and covers Rey for three.
Winners: Chris Jericho, Big Show and Dolph Ziggler
That was uninspiring, really. A bit of a clusterfuck. Why not have JTG and Rey vs Jericho and Ziggler, with the big guys outside? Damn, I should book SmackDown. ADVERTISING.
BACK and why the hell is WrestleMania 25 on regular TV? We've all fucking seen it months ago, it was deeply underwhelming. Fuck that. JR introduces a recap of 'what happened last week' with Jeff etc, which starts off with a caption saying '2 WEEKS AGO'. Nice work. Anyway, Matt Hardy is back, that's the big news. He's here for an interview with crazy-eyed Josh Mathews, backstage. 'So, Matt, please explain your sudden face turn'. Matt goes on about being 'honest' and 'open' and 'looking after Jeff' blah blah. He says turning on Jeff was the biggest mistake he's ever made. He says tonight, the Hardys ride again. O-kay then...
Oh great, it's Kane. Jim Beam over ice, please. Recap of all the bullshit with Kane and Singh and Khali and oh, great, Kane vs Khali is on for SummerSlam. I'm sure that'll steal the show. NOT! Kane has a mic. Kane says he's proved that there is only one dominant giant on SmackDown and yaaaaawn. Kane is just plain old boring now. He says 'Khali cares, where I detest'. Khali cuts his stupid promo off and strides toward the ring, sans Ranjin. Kane grabs a chair but Khali swats it right out of his hands and begins pounding on Kane in his own unique way. Khali grabs the chair and Kane runs away. What a fucking wuss. END. THIS. STORYLINE. DEAR. GOD.
Ah good, it's Mike Knox, who is really growing on me. 'Deep in thought is Mike Knox' says Tard as we cut to a very odd promo in which Knox is wearing glasses, and using lots of medical terminology, in a very soft voice. He's facing Finlay of course.
Mike Knox vs Finlay
Well this should be stiffer than a really stiff thing. And whaddya know, it is. It's a brawl from the off, neither guy getting the advantage until Knox throws Finlay off the second rope and starts laying into him with some knees. JR says Knox has 'studied pain'. Knox has Finlay bent backwards over his knee. I guess it's a decent idea, playing on Knox's soft voice, giving him more of a soft-spoken psycho vibe. Fair enough. Knox works on Finlay's back with various stretches and stuff. A stiff clothesline and a big splash off the ropes gets two. A single voice in the crowd is quietly chanting 'Finlay'. Finlay comes back with two stiff clotheslines and a cannonball for two. On the second try, Finlay gets the Rolling Fields on Knox which gets two. Knox dodges a corner charge, sending Finlay into the post. A rollup from this gets two. Knox pounds on Finlay past the count of five, getting disqualified. LAME. I hate this finish.
Winner by DQ: Finlay
Of course Knox keeps pounding on Finlay after the bell, and dismantles the steps while a girl in a CM Punk shirt stares in horror. Finlay cracks Knox in the stomach with the shillelagh but Knox responds with a 'bicycle kick'. Knox picks up the stairs and cracks Finlay's SKOLL with them before strolling away with a smile. He actually gets some nice heat for this. Morrison and the Hardys are backstage as we go to ADVERTISING.
BACK and the ring is set up for a TLC match with the World Title hung up there... Jeff's out for a promo. I'm sure this will go perfectly smoothly... There is very odd music in the background, like you'd hear during the 'tense' bit of a gameshow. Out comes Jeff, anyway. What's the point of having the belt hanging up there? He looks like a bit of a goon walking out there as champion, with no belt. Some retard in the crowd has a banner which is a mockup of Jeff on the cover of Life magazine - what?! - I much prefer the hugely imaginative CM PUNK SUCKS sign next to it. Decent pop for Jeff but I've heard better. Another banner says 'Jeff Hardy is the King'. Okay... After high-fiving the crowd for approximately twenty years, Jeff enters the ring with a mic. Solid 'Hardy' chant. He says he and Matt are at peace, reminds us that the Hardys made the TLC match famous, and that his doctor has advised him to retire - 'but I've never been one to follow doctor's orders' (SNAP!). Jeff climbs the ladder and continues his promo, which is pretty good actually. "'Steel chairs clashing with humanity' is a song I wrote a long time ago and it still rings a bell"... okay, he's being a little surreal but this Kaynzus crowd is eating it up. He says it'll take a lot more than a steel chair to stop him from beating Punk at SummerSlam. Inevitably, Punk comes out in response, walking slowly towards the ring. He grabs a mic of his own, asking Jeff, who is still sat on top of the ladder, "are you nervous, being up there so... high?" He also says Jeff is probably drunk right now, "just like all these people here tonight" which actually draws a few cheers from some of the barleycorn-chewers in the crowd. Punk is cutting another decent promo but the crowd is moronically cutting him off with a 'Hardy!' chant. Punk says this will be Hardy's last match, and I believe him. He's so good on the mic, he should've been heel from the word go. He says he has to get rid of Jeff so that people can start living in his reality. This is great stuff. Jeff says Kansas City isn't gonna listen to Punk. True. Jeff begins his descent as I come to the conclusion that this is the best two-man promo they've ever done. Eventually Punk goes to shove Hardy off the ladder, but Hardy lands on his feet and delivers a quick twist of fate to Punk, and they narrowly avoid a serious botch as the ladder falls over them. Yikes. ADVERTISING.
BACK and it's yet another SummerSlam promo with that fucking piece of dog shit Aerosmith song. Fuck Aerosmith. Oh fantastic, Michelle McCool is out to do some 'commentary'. I can't stand this woman. It is of course Diva tag team time. Apparently Maria and Dolph Ziggler are having a 'romantic weekend' before SummerSlam. So why hasn't she been coming out for his matches? She's only done that once. God, I hope this doesn't lead to 'vignettes' of any kind. She's teaming with Melina, against Natalya and Layla, who get no reaction at all.
Melina & Maria vs Natalya & Layla
Layla and Maria start out. START STRONG! They flail around for about 20 seconds before Melina tags in and almost immediately goes outside and shoves Michelle McCool for no reason whatsoever. Layla blindsides her as McCool says "she'll pay for that" with all the emotion of a broken hairdryer. Layla soon tags out to Natalya who inevitably surfboards Melina, leading to some gimmicky bendy stuff. Tard suggests that Melina's body is "entirely made out of cartilege!" No, you stupid bastard. McCool's character is meant to be kind of irritating, but I'm convinced she genuinely has absolutely no personality whatsoever. Oh, Melina just did a sunset-flip-powerbomb off the turnbuckle onto Natalya, which got three. Way to boost the workrate, Maria! You managed a whole 20 seconds in the ring there!
Winners: Melina & Maria
Word Up! is here, Jesse gives Cryme Tyme and Eve the most annoying pep talk of all time, and I make some toast. When I return, Josh Matthews is interviewing Rey Mysterio who is talking Spanish or somethin' and I don't understand. Then JR and Tard are in the ring going over DX vs Legacy which is on Raw for fuck's sake. I HATE RECAPS OF STUFF ON OTHER BRANDS. At last, it's main event time. Punk and the Harts are out first as we go to ADVERTISING.
BACK and apparently WWE Superstars have visited the fucking Pentagon. Resisting a stale Mohammad Hassan reference, I decide that I have nothing to add.
CM Punk & The Hart Dynasty vs World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy and John Morrison
Matt and Jeff actually come out together to their old music (and are introduced as 'The Hardys' despite the caption saying THE HARDY BOYZ - always fucking bugs me) which is pretty cool I guess. Boy howdy, this is gonna be action packed. We begin with Tyson Kidd and John Morrison, and immediately we have headlocks and screaming, but Morrison mounts a quick comeback and does some of his own personal flippy shit before tagging in Matt. Matt has new violet tights and not a little ring rust - he fucking fell over whipping Kidd into the corner. Oh dear god. Kidd escapes and tags in Smith, who stiffs Matt around briefly before tagging in Punk (who has colour-coordinated with the Harts). Punk misses a knee and is snared in a headlock by Matt, who tags in Jeff. The Hardys team up for Poetry in Motion on Punk. Jeff then clotheslines Punk over and out and the Hardys and Morrison abruptly enter the ring and start posing. I wonder if this means it's ad break time. Yup. ADVERTISING.
BACK and Kidd is screaming and failing to dropkick Jeff, who tags in Matt. They do a crazy double-team-lifing-up-and-slamming thing on Kidd, and Morrison tags in to be awesome for about ten seconds before tagging in Jeff, who hits his testicle legdrop and a low dropkick which gets two (shock horror). Matt tags back in and gets a one-count from a pathetic elbow. He then misses an elbowdrop and Kidd tags in Smith, who fudges a backbreaker. Smith is stiff and green, much like raw asparagus. Matt escapes Asparagus Man and tags in Morrison, who hits a nice leg sweep and a flawless standing SSP - which JR correctly calls! CM Punk breaks up the cover and soon Morrison is the face in peril, with Punk tagging in and taking over. Morrison goes for the Chuck but Punk shoves him over and out, where Smith hits a big boot. MORE ADVERTISING. FUCK.
BACK and deja vu, Kidd has Morrison in a headlock. Telepathically realising that the ad break is over, Morrison springs into life, escaping and hitting a roundhouse kick. Morrison doesn't have the energy to escape though, as Smith tags in, hitting a very nice suplex for two. He wails on Morrison for a minute or so before Morrison hits the Chuck. Smith tags in Kidd, who tries to prevent Morrison from tagging out. He fails, and Jeff tags in, hitting a backdrop, a couple of clotheslines, his weird suplex-slam and another thing I don't know the name of before going up for a Swanton. Smith pulls Kidd out of the way and Jeff hits the dirt. Punk tags in and hits about thirty legdrops. Funny. Soon it's chinlock time as a 'Hardy!' chant builds. Hardy escapes and fudges Whisper In The Wind, going too high and rolling over Punk's shoulder. Matt tags in and hits some elbows and a bulldog, as Tard points out that he's a former ECW and US Champion. Uh, surely now is the time to point out the Hardys' tag team accomplishments. I guess not; neither JR or Tard have mentioned "The Hardys" once. Matt cleans house, knocking Smith and Kidd off the apron and hitting a Side Effect. That shit don't get three no more, as Smith breaks up the cover and soon it's clusterfuckery, with Morrison taking out both Harts (back-bodydropping Kidd over the top onto Smith followed by a slingshot corscrew thing onto both guys, very nice). Jeff delivers a hangman on Punk, who walks straight into a Twist of Fate from Matt for the loss.
Winners: The Hardys & John Morrison
That was a slightly botchy, but fun match. Having two ad breaks in there screwed up the flow quite badly. Jeff and Matt embrace and shake hands and stuff after the bell while Punk collapses at ringside and that's that.
YES: The Jeff/Punk promo was excellent, and the main event was fun. Morrison continues to be amazing - he's the best in-ring performer on SmackDown by a mile.
NO: Word Up is still pointless, Jesse bugs the hell out of me, the opening six-man was a bit of a clusterfuck, Knox/Finlay had a lame finish, and my patience is wearing very thin on Kane/Khali.
WHAT?: Apparently Ranjin Singh is now invisible. And, Matt Hardy falls flat on his face delivering a fucking Irish whip. Tee hee. And, once again, where was Teddy Long?
Overall, a reasonably good show with some slightly crappy bits. There have been worse SmackDowns recently for sure. I'll see you after SummerFest for more jollity and japes. I'm Ian Sparke, and I can't find my lighter. Fuck.
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
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.).