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Yes, it's SmackDown time again, but how about Raw this week? God, I didn't think they could top the ZZ Top episode for sheer shittiness but yes, they did. They're forgetting that Raw airs outside of the US - I had absolutely no idea who Bob Barker was, and zoned out frequently during the show. Raw's heading down the pan again. Fuck Raw - we got Downs to Smack! (also, Jeff Hardy got busted for possession. What a surprise)

So I guess (based on CM Punk's subtle hint last week) that they're gonna put over his Anaconda Vice as a deadly submission hold - it's a cool move and I'm surprised they've held him off using it for so long - but can you honestly see Taker tapping out? Me either. I wish the writers the best of luck with making this feud at least somewhat believable. Speak of the devil, BONNNG, here's the Deadman to open the show - in his Wrestlemania 24 leather smock no less - to a COLOSSAL pop. Just one minute into the show and we see our first 'RIP CM PUNK' sign. Sigh. Taker's held off on the hair care - serious ginger roots here. Wow, that's funny. Taker has a mic. He says he will cast his shadow of darkness over SmackDown once more. He's using basically a normal voice, as opposed to his old growl. His face is Hardy Orange, too. Matches his hair. He puts over Hell's Gate and says when Punk submits ("...and you WILL submit...") that Punk will not only relinquish the title, but his soul too, and 'the symphony of lies will end'. Pretty cool little promo I guess. Surprisingly, Taker's about to get a comeback. Punk is here, chuckling to himself with a very good 'is this guy serious?' air about him. He says that while Jeff Hardy was the people's 'charismatic enabler', Taker's far worse, having preyed on people's appetite for hallucinogens. Ha. He mocks the people for believing all the smoke and magic and things. Punk wants to make Taker tap out - "could you just imagine their reaction?!" - Punk continues, summoning the magic "you suck!" chant, and reveals that he's facing Matt Hardy again tonight, and he's gonna make him tap out to the Anaconda Vice. He once again calls himself the choice of a new generation, puts himself over, raises the belt and that's that. Undertaker has stood stoic in the ring so far but responds rather limply by saying that the crowd won't be saying 'just say no', they'll be saying 'rest in
 peace'... Yeah. Snappy.

Up next, Finlay and Mike Knox in a Belfast brawl! Okay, cool. This match promises more potatoes than you could ever dream of. And believe me, I dream of potatoes all the damn time. ADVERTISING.

BACK and incidentally, on Superstars this week, about four or five people got new entrance music. Which they didn't need. Just sayin'.

Finlay vs Mike Knox, Belfast Brawl

Before the match Knox gets one of his little box-in-the-corner-of-the-screen promos, talking about lizard's tails or some shit. Okay. Despite this being basically a street fight, Finlay puts the shillelagh in the corner and they start wrestling normally. Well, lots of punches anyway - as you can guess this isn't a subtle affair at all. Finlay stiffs Knox for a few minutes before getting thoroughly planted by a powerslam and a few elbows, soon both guys are outside and Finlay's face is being introduced to the announce table. Knox grabs a chair which Finlay quickly steals, cracking Knox in the stomach (which JR incorrectly calls as a shot to the kneecap. Wrong!). Back in the ring, Finlay goes for Knox again but Knox brutally kicks the chair into his face. Cool. I like a good street fight when it's evenly matched. By the way, ADVERTISING.

BACK and Knox sidewalk slams Finlay onto the chair for two. We get a recap of the chair-kick spot which we are told occurred during the break, which it didn't. And JR calls the sidewalk slam a backbreaker. C'mon, JR, what's going on with you this week? Knox is in control, flinging Finlay to the outside, before taking a page from Donkey Kong's book, throwing three trashcans in a row at Finlay. Funny. Finlay gets kicked into the crowd, and Knox pursues with some potatoes, before Finlay lunges at Knox, clotheslining him back over the barrier. Gotta hand it to Knox, he looks good in this kind of match. Definitely an air of Stan Hansen crossed with Bruiser Brody. A few stiff trashcan shots in the ring, and Knox goes under the ring for a table, getting a pop (and the crowd, AFTER seeing the table, chants 'we want tables!'. Is this National Stupid day?) Knox props the table in the corner before walking straight into a trashcan. Knox then fires Finlay into the table but he glances off it into the ropes. Ooops. Two-count. Knox makes up for the table not breaking by basically whipping Finlay with a trashcan lid. Then Knox goes for his awesome body press - but Finlay cracks him in mid-air with the shillelagh. Ouch. Both men are down. Knox is apparently unconscious, and Finlay simply rolls him over for the three. Waaah, the table didn't even break. That was sorta fun, I guess.
Winner: Finlay

TO THE BACK and it's soap opera time, with Dolph Ziggler and Michelle McCool. McCool is trying to hit on Dolph in the most awkward way ever, stumbling and grabbing his ass. Layla sneakily took a picture. Those pesky women! Maria's gonna be so mad! I don't care! So, tonight CM Punk is indeed facing Matt Hardy in a submission match. I'm sure Matt has this in the bag, what with his devastating array of submission holds... ADVERTISING.

BACK. Recap of RAW. Here's my quick recap: It was dog shit. Fuck RAW. Hey, it's the Hart Dynasty. David Hart Smith to be precise. I wonder who he's facing. The Harts need a decent feud. Oh, great...

David Hart Smith w/ Tyson Kidd & Natalya vs The Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh

Well, props for booking something we've never seen before, even if Kane is inevitably going to turn up and whoa, he's already fucking here, pounding on Khali before the bell. Oh, fuck this. Kane gets a cane. Then he gets chopped and Punjabi Plunged. BLAAAAAAH! I hate non-matches. What a waste of time.
Winner: Khali I guess. Who cares.

TO THE BACK and JeriShow are wandering around backstage with their belts. I guess they've got a wrestling match against somebody or something. ADVERTISING.

BACK and yes, I was right. It's a wrestling match! Show looks hilariously pissed off. Still hurtin' from being slammed. That's never happened before, has it. Or maybe he's pissed off at losing a fight against a bag. Tee hee.

Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & Big Show vs Cryme Tyme

Jericho and JTG start off with some fast, fairly impressive to-and fro. Jericho is soon pitched outside. This of course is a non-title match, but Tard reliably informs us that "a lot of money goes to the winner". Uh, no. Jericho loses his shit ringside as we go to even more ADVERTISING.

BACK and JTG's got Jericho in an armbar. Jericho escapes because the ad break is over. JTG hits an awkward second rope legdrop for two, then tags in Shad for a double-team slingshot and an elbow, for two. Sorry, why do guys go for a pin after an elbow, two minutes into a match? How is that remotely plausible? Jericho's been the heel-in-peril for a few minutes, getting worked over by Cryme Tyme in their usual way. This abruptly ends when Jericho simply punches JTG in the face and tags in Show, who thumps JTG for a minute or two. Show goes for a backdrop on JTG (of course!) but JTG simply flips right over him and tags in Shad, who tries to clean house but comes off the second rope straight into a harsh chop ("like getting hit in the face by a microwave!" - JR). Jericho tags in and the heel s take over. This is a rather ordinary match. Shad lands a huge big boot on Jericho and both guys are down. Jericho tags in Show who hits a legdrop and a headlock. Man, this is boring. Quick tags from JeriShow makes them look momentarily cohesive. Nice gutwrench powerslam thing from Shad on Jericho, and JTG is in ("JTG says he likes to bring the flava!" - Tard). The match speeds up now. The big guys are on the outside, Shad hitting a shoulderblock off the apron. Jericho rolls JTG up using the ropes, but only gets two. He then goes for the Walls, but JTG swivels round and does a crazy rollup of his own, also for two. Clumsy sequence comes when Jericho slowly throws JTG into the ropes, JTG calmly goes over, skins the cat, kicks Jericho on the way back in before being FALCON PUNCHED by Show. JR comically oversells it as usual. Jericho simply rolls the unconscious JTG over for the three. Very messy match.
Winners: Chris Jericho and Big Show

TO THE BACK with Teddy Long (he's still on probation!) and Vince McMahon, for more muttering. Vince says "SmackDown's good, but I didn't build my empire on 'good'." Apparently there'll be a huge surprise next week which will change the face of SmackDown. Vince also demands a surprise for Breaking Point. Long says he's working on it. Vince walks off, leaving long with a look on his face like he's been drugged. That was dumb. ADVERTISING.

BACK and what the fuck... Charlie motherfucking Haas is in the ring with a new jacket, looking like something out of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, or a crappy member of Demolition. Christ. He's about to lose to... beaaaaaaawwwwwwwnnnn! (that's how you spell the noise at the start of John Morrison's theme). Yo.

Intercontinental Champion John Morrison vs Charlie Haas

JR correctly points out that Morrison's match against Mysterio last week was one of the greatest matches in the history of SmackDown. Tard is super-tard tonight, yammering on about getting girls' numbers or something. He goons off about Morrison, but JR snaps "easy, cliche boy". Ha. Anyway, the match. I was expecting a squash, but Haas is surprisingly getting some offense in, including a nice suplex and some power moves. Lots of grunting. Haas is dominating, and Morrison has gotten in no offense at all. What the hell? Morrison thankfully fights back, starting with a perfect dropkick, a clothesline, a leg lariat and a standing SSP for two. Haas soon takes over again, sending Morrison into the post before a nice armbar DDT for two. Haas then drags Morrison into the corner, climbing the ropes for some shit before Morrison leaps up and kicks him off. Morrison then hits a rough-looking Starship Pain for the win.
Winner: John Morrison

That was short, but functional I guess. Morrison has a mic. Good. He puts over Rey Mysterio, before introducing a replay of him celebrating with Mysterio after their match. O-kay... he thanks Rey again, saying anytime Rey wants a rematch for the title, he just has to ask. But dun-dun-duuuunn. It's Dolph! They have an amusing bit of banter about Dolph wanting a title shot (incidentally Ziggler/Morrison was on for Breaking Point, but apparently it's off - I guess to build more of a feud). Morrison says he's ready for a title match right here and now. Ziggler says no. "Zigmeister, El Zigarino... or do you prefer... Mr. Ziggles?" Morrison is funny when he wants to be. He gets a 'Mr Ziggles' chant going. Wow. This is really childish, but funny. Dolph gets really pissed off and leaves. Like a bitch. Morrison throws the mic down, breaking it, and poses like a sex master.

And here's Josh Matthews, talking to Matt Hardy. Does the fact that this match against CM Punk is a submission match affect his approach? Matt burbles and babbles orangely for a minute, finishing by saying "when I lock in... a submission hold, I will not let it go!" Oooh, scary. What's he got up his sleeve? An armbar? A body scissors? ADVERTISING!

BACK and after a short, not-very-good promo for Breaking Point (which could be really good actually), it's Diva time. At least it's a singles bout. There is nothing shittier on WWE TV than a Diva tag match, with the possible exception of Chavo's best of infinity series against Hornswoggle. Guuuhhhhh.

Melina vs Layla w/ Michelle McCool

McCool literally looks like a mannequin, hobbling to ringside with a crutch. Apparently Layla has improved greatly, so says Tard. I think she's been consistently mediocre myself. Lots of running around and screaming, Layla getting the upper hand. This crowd is literally silent. Melina regains the advantage by laying Layla across the ropes in the corner and hitting an okay kneedrop. Then some sort of screaming bulldog thing for two. With stultifying predictability, Melina ends up on the outside, McCool delivers a pathetic shot to her ribs with her crutch, and Layla steals the win. Yawn. Also, McCool looks like a horse.
Winner: Layla

It's back to Matthews, talking to R-Truth! It's a response to Drew McIntyre's dastardly deeds which everybody forgot about. "Where I'm from, If you kick my dog, I'm gon' kick yo' cat." That's not fair at all, Truth. Wow. Truth doesn't talk a whole lot of sense, never mind the truth. "Put me in a match with him that actually takes place, and I'll be all over Drew McIntyre like a monkey on a cupcake." I guess R-Truth knows more about animals than the rest of us. I look forward to his academic career. Anyway, McIntyre interrupts Truth AGAIN, beating the hell out of him whilst wearing only suit pants, loafers and no socks, looking like an extremely pissed off Chippendale.

WWE television programming is translated into 30 languages worldwide? Maybe there are a handful of countries out there who understood what R-Truth was yammering about just then. JR and Tard do an in-ring rundown of the Breaking Point card. So, every main event match must end in submission. Is the ECW title match a submission match? No. I guess that makes it official, the ECW title is for midcarders only. Ah well. Main event time!

World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk vs Matt Hardy, Submission match

Matt is quite obviously not 100% yet, and here he is in a SmackDown main event. I have absolutely no expectations as to the quality of this match. Punk starts off with some kicks and sneers, and the two quickly exchange rudimentary holds. Matt steps it up with a couple of neckbreakers - Punk was selling the chokeslam from last week, which didn't seem to be bothering him during his promo. Hardy then slaps on his notorious Submission Hold, a weird reverse-piggyback sleeper thing I don't know the name of. It fails, and Punk throws him off. Punk goes for a springboard but Hardy shoves him off and Punk sells the leg. Hardy works on the leg with kneedrops and chopblocks etc, eventually going for a figure four but getting kicked off. Twist of Fate attempt fails, and Hardy gets shoved into the ring post twice, winding up on the outside as we go to ADVERTISING.

BACK and Batista has a 'potentially career-altering announcement' on Raw? Oh god. Why can't he just fucking retire? I can't stand the jacked-up bastard. Honestly, I prefer Goldberg. Anyway, we're back with Punk and Hardy, with Punk hitting a cool top-rop riding kneedrop thing, a takedown and a low dropkick to the head. Chinlock time. Punk is making Hardy look like a bitch, and the crowd is pretty dead moment to moment, only pepping up when Hardy gets some offense in, which isn't often. So Punk's selling the knee (rather than his neck) and Hardy's selling his neck (rather than, I dunno, his stomach). Psychology. Punk hobbles across the ring, hitting his corner knee in slo-mo. Punk goes for the bulldog but Matt escapes and slaps on a figure-four, for a pop. "Shades of Ric Flair!". Thanks Tard. Punk sells like a motherfucker, trying and succeeding in rolling over and grabbing the ropes. I guess we've seen Matt's entire submission arsenal now. Matt's pumped up though, hitting a clothesline, a bulldog, a stiff punch and a Side Effect, going for a Twist of Fate which Punk reverses into a GTS attempt which Matt blocks by grabbing Punk's knee and applying a half boston crab. That was pretty cool actually. Punk grabs the ropes and escapes, both get to their feet and Punk clocks Hardy with a stiff kick before slapping on the Anaconda Vice (which JR points out enthusiastically). Matt taps right the fuck out, of course. That was kind of alright. Better towards the end.
Winner: CM Punk

Punk grins and hoists his belt before BONG! The lights go out, then come back on and the belt has disappeared from Punk's hands - Taker's holding it at the top of the ramp. Ha. End show.

YES: I'm gonna say the Belfast Brawl was the best match tonight, actually. Good fun, and I officially like Mike Knox. Morrison and Ziggler were entertaining also. Theirs should be a good feud, they're both very solid in the ring. And I guess the submission match was better than I expected. It was pretty short, though.

NO: Mediocre show all in all, Khali-Kane rumbles onward like a giant sack of horse shit tumbling down a hill, the Divas match was pathetic, McCool annoys the hell out of me, and JeriShow/Cryme Tyme was pretty sloppy and went nowhere.

WHAT?: Haas' ring jacket. JR thinking the patella is in the stomach. Taker's hilarious ginger roots.

Patchy show overall, but a patchy SmackDown is better than a full-pelt episode of Raw any day of the week. Breaking Point awaits. I'm Ian Sparke, and like a monkey on a cupcake, I'm... I dunno, making a mess probably.

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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.).