Hola! Yes, bow
in reverence, for this week WWE proves it has
learned the difference between anniversaries and
birthdays, as SmackDown is 10! Aaand I was expecting
a three-hour show, but it's a regular-sized one. We
open with extensive blue-hued ballyhoo as you'd
expect, with a lengthy vid package. The first guy we
see is Eddie Guerrero. The second is Arnold
Schwarzenegger. The sight of him hoisting the world
title aloft still tickles me. We also see him
'terminating' Triple H. Extensive clips from here of
The Rock; Austin; Rey's ridiculous cage crossbody;
Vanilla Cena; Bischoff kissing Stephanie which I
really didn't need to remember; a brief glimpse of
HEIDENRAPE; "EXCUSE ME"; Hogan; Austin singing
'Kumbaya'; Austin vs Booker in the supermarket;
Hardy winning the world title which didn't happen on
SD; Lesnar and Show breaking the ring;
And we have a brand new title sequence, with new
music and everything! It's a nice change from the
sub-Aerosmith dirge we're all used to. There is a
disturbingly prominent shot of Drew McIntyre. One
day we'll see the guy in an actual wrestling match.
We are in Boston, as JR breathlessly announces, and
tonight's main event is an eight-man tag which
features.... SIX guys from RAW. Great. It is Taker,
Cena, Michaels and Triple H against CM Punk, Orton,
Rhodes and DiBiase. Guhhh. Really tremendously
SmackDown-centric, that one. How better to
celebrate! We will also, however be recieving a
'special message' from The Rock. That will be pretty
cool at least.
JR and Tard are in the ring
talking it up. Apparently every single superstar on
all three brands is here tonight. We get a brief
glimpse of a backstage shindig, with Mark Henry
apparently holding some sort of bong. Well, I guess
it's time for some wrestling. The crowd is
commendably loud and... HEEERE'S DAVE! START STRONG!
Who's carrying him tonight? Oh god.
Batista vs Kane
we're getting these two lummoxes out of the way
eaerly. The crowd has gone from deafening to...
considerably less than deafening. And as I'm sure
you can picture, this is "a very physical matchup",
ie we get lots of punches, kicks, stomps and
clotheslines. Tard reminds us of Batista's ankle
lock from last week - "a shocking addition to his
arsenal". Yes, he learned a wrestling move. Kane
dominates as a "Batista" chant comes and goes. Teest
is backed into the corner for various shots, with
Kane targeting his recently-repaired arm. A
decent-looking 'arm-DDT' thing gets two. An armbar
lasts for several months. Batista muscles out,
shoves Kane over the top and here's our first slab
BACK and, shock of shocks,
DAVE is in an armbar. During the break, Batista got
kicked in the face. Good. Kicks and punches lead to
a double-big-boot spot. They get up and Teest does
some punches and a shoulderblock. He's blown up
already. Sidewalk slam from Kane gets two. Kane
climbs to the top and hits a clothesline before
signalling the chokeslam. Batista staggers to his
feet and hits a spinebuster. Kane dodges the Batista
Bomb but eats a clothesline. DAVE then hilariously
climbs to the top rope and gingerly steps off into a
chokeslam attempt, which he escapes with a forearm
to the back. Kane shoves him into the corner and
climbs up for some punching. This is not interesting
at all. DAVE lifts Kane from here into a pathetic
Batista Bomb for the win.
"What a way to kick off the decade of SmackDown
celebration here tonight!" Yeah, JR... you missed
the word 'shitty' out of that sentence. TO THE BACK
where Teddy Long is greeting people at the party and
thanking them for coming. Brooklyn Brawler is there.
Hornswoggle slaps Maria's ass, prompting Michael
goddamn Cole to say "vintage Hornswoggle!" God, Cole
is an asshole. Finlay gives Teddy and Cole whiskey,
leading a toast - which CM Punk stops. Ha. He says
as long as he's champion, there'll be no more
alcohol on SmackDown. Yes, leave the drinking to the
viewers. EXCUSE ME... Vickie is here. Good god she's
uglier than ever. New boy Eric Escobar is here as
her boyfriend. Apparently McMahon signed Escobar
"today" and Vickie is his manager. Shoot me. Santino
is dressed as the Undertaker. Teddy finally drinks
his whiskey. I envy him. Eddie Guerrero tribute is
coming up following ADVERTISING.
Cole is eating shrimp and drinking with Finlay,
being a total prick. Hornswoggle deservedly kicks
him in the shins for a stupid 'shrimp' joke. Mark
Henry and MVP have a 'VIP lounge' in the corner, and
welcome everybody in apart from Zack Ryder. Ha ha.
Sgt. Slaughter is there. IRON SHEIK! Yikes... Eddie
Guerrero tribute vid package next, with a horribly
cheesy MOR song over the top. Nothing really funny
to say here, Eddie was genuinely fantastic. It's
kind of painful to see where Chavo is nowadays.
BACK with a little package for
the WWE title match at Hell In A Cell. I did not
watch RAW this week. I've given up, it's dreadful.
We're reminded of The Rock's presence later, and
we've gone all interpromotional - Jack Swagger is
guesting on commentary for some reason, for what
could be the best match tonight.
Intercontinental Champion John Morrison & US
Champion Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler & The Miz
Kofi's now being billed as being from Ghana rather
than Jamaica - because he actually is from Ghana.
Hmm. Wonder how that came about. Right, Miz and
Morrison are starting out. Cool. Miz actually takes
charge, laying into Morrison convincingly before
eating a dropkick and getting clotheslined out. Kofi
and Ziggler run in as we go to ADVERTISING and jesus
christ why can't they space things out so the
matches aren't butchered to shit. Plus there's
always a resthold when the show comes back on.
BACK and I was wrong! Ziggler and Kofi are going at
it at high speed. Ziggler gets thrown high in the
air, coming down hard for two. These two actually
have great chemistry. Both look good. Ziggler tags
in Miz, who hits his corner clothesline before going
up top for an axehandle for one. Chinlock. Miz tags
in Ziggler as they attempt the old Miz/Morrison
slingshot move, but Kofi just clocks Dolph in the
face. Swagger, by the way, ditched his headset as
soon as Kofi came out and has said absolutely
nothing. Maketh no thenthe at all! Kofi doesn't
quite get the tag, and Ziggler drags him across the
ring for an elbowdrop which gets one. Some crazy
headlockery from here, and the crowd is twice as hot
for this as they were for Batista/Kane. Kofi
apparently "spent a lot of time in Jamaica"
according to Tard. Enough time to be billed as being
'from Jamaica' I guess. Kofi's the face in peril
until Miz misses a corner charge, eating ring post.
Both Kofi and Miz tag out, and seconds later Ziggler
eats a leg lariat and a fantastic standing SSP. Miz
tries to interfere but gets clocked by Kofi at
ringside. Morrison goes for the Chuck but Ziggler
shoves him and he crotches himself on the ropes.
Ziggler leaps and hits a vicious-looking Zig Zag for
Ziggler & The Miz
That wasn't at all bad. A
little bit short, but then I am huge fans of three
of these guys. Miz is OK I guess. Things go into
insane-land from here, as we go back to the party to
see Yoshi Tatsu and KUNG FU NAKI (remember him?!
That's right, he's still employed!) "singing" HBK's
theme tune.... wow. This is moderately funny until
Jillian Hall ruins it. Then we see Sgt. Slaughter
and Iron Sheik saying "USA"; "Iran!"; "USA"; "Iran!"
at each other for no reason whatsoever. Sheik then
eats a shrimp but starts 'choking' and The Hurricane
pops up to perform the hurri-heimlich. Sheik spits
the shrimp across the room and a "drunken" Cole eats
it. Jericho and his Big Amish Lawyer walk in, and
the music stops. Cole keeps drinking as Jericho
waffles on. Then Cole vomits on Jericho's shoes.
Tony Atlas laughs like a retard, Show staggers off
to vomit and Joey Styles says "oh my god". Yes, that
was about as good as it sounded. I cannot think of
anybody I'd want to drink with less than Michael
fucking Cole. Poor Finlay. ADVERTISING.
and here's The Rock. It's a video message of course,
and Rock looks remarkably thin. He does a few
amusing 'actorly' false takes before removing his
shirt and doing the whole 'FINALLY...' bit to kick
off a totally improv'd, fucking good piece of talk
which takes you right back. I won't transcribe it,
it's The Rock, of course he can still talk. He talks
up CM Punk vs Undertaker for a while before
threatening to guest host RAW. I guess I could deal
with that. ADVERTISING.
BACK and it's a
lumberjack match for the Women's title. Didn't this
used to be a 'lumberjill' match?
Melina vs (c) Michelle McCool, Women's Championship
comprise every diva on all three brands (excepting
Maryse). JR wonders aloud about the 'lumberjill'
terminology. McCool is walking like she's peed
herself. I'm sure this'll be a classic. McCool
starts with a leg takedown and some basic shots
before Melina ensnares her in a head scissors for
some nice back and forth on the ropes which leaves
Melina outside. McCool immediately forgets it's a
lumberjack match and retrieves Melina herself.
Idiot. Forearms. Clotheslines. Screaming. A nice
flapjack on McCool gets two. Jillian Hall and Katie
Lea grab Melina's leg so she jumps on them. Then all
the lumberjacks start brawling for no reason. JR
says "I think we are witnessing a pier six brawl" in
an amusingly clipped manner. Melina goes up top only
to be shoved off by Beth Phoenix. McCool catches
Melina and hits the Faithbreaker for the win. That
wasn't as bad as I expected.
It's an Undertaker video
promo! He says stuff like "dominion", "eternal
suffering", "black horse of self-righteousness" (is
that a Vickie reference?), says Punk will soon crave
the drugs and alcohol he despises, and it's short
and effective. ADVERTISING.
BACK to the
party. Drew McIntyre is on the mic. He toasts
himself, before getting attacked by R-Truth. Cool,
they broke the cake! Main event time already?! God,
there's like half an hour to go. Oh yeah,
The Undertaker, Triple H, Shawn Michaels & WWE
Champion John Cena vs Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted
DiBiase & World Heavyweight Chanmpion CM Punk
The faces' entrances alone eat up nearly eight
BACK and RAW is being
hosted by some guy I've never heard of. I'll skip
that. Time for more... entrances! At least Randy and
his naked friends come out together. The faces
occupy the ring while the heels prowl around
outside. JR promises that this match will be
"mind-bending". Suits me. Cena and Rhodes start off
by exchanging armlocks. Cena then goes nuts and
dominates for all of 20 seconds. Abrupt tags to
Triple H and DiBiase. Trips of course pounds the
shit out of DiBiase with punches, a clothesline, a
neckbreaker etc. Two-count. This is oddly
uninspiring so far. Tag to Michaels who delivers a
chop before Ted turns it around briefly. Michaels
soon regains control with a boot. Triple H wants the
tag, but Michaels pauses and offers the tag to
Taker. Nice. DiBiase attacks before this can happen
and sends Michaels into the ropes. Taker gets the
blind tag, and we get a brief Taker/Michaels
staredown. Cody Rhodes tags in and starts to get
obliterated as we get more ADVERTISING.
and Taker's just about done with Rhodes, tagging in
Triple H for more one-sided stuff. Trips delivers a
very good delayed vertical suplex (i'll be sure to
try that, next time I'm in a fight). Michaels is
back in, and this somehow energises Rhodes, who lays
into Michaels and tags in DiBiase, who almost
immediately tags in Orton. Orton distracts the ref
as his teammates work over Michaels in the corner.
Orton tags in Punk, who stomps the hell out of
Michaels for a moment, the ref turning his back to
warn Punk off and we get more shenanigans in the
heel corner. Punk hits a nice back suplex on
Michaels for two. I would love to see Michaels vs
Punk. Orton tags in for some slow-motion stomping
and an inevitable neverending chinlock. Michaels
escapes with a German suplex and struggles to his
feet, but Rhodes tags back in and grabs Michaels'
leg - to eat an enzuigiri. Nobody does slow-motion
crawling-across-the-ring like Shawn Michaels. Tag to
Cena. Cena does his usual crap to Rhodes, going for
the FU (I refuse to call it what it's called) on
Rhodes before being clocked by DiBiase. Cena then
lifts both Rhodes and DiBiase up for another FU
attempt, but they escape and crack him with a nice
chop block/clothesline combo as we get even more
BACK and Punk is working over
Cena, getting a two count from something or other.
Punk tags in Orton for more boring shit. Forearms.
Lots and lots of oddly rhythmic forearms to Cena's
chest. Stalking and stomping from here, usual stuff.
Cena suddenly scoops up Orton for an FU, but Orton
slithers out and hits a nice DDT for two. Tag to
DiBiase. "Undertaker" chant builds. Stomps.
Two-count. Headlock lasts a long time. Cena powers
out and hits the ropes, but DiBiase takes his head
off with a clothesline. Some nice Million Dollar Man
fistdrops. He misses the last one and Cena lays him
out with a belly-to-belly suplex. Both men tag out,
and CM Punk and Triple H are in. Triple H absolutely
destroys CM Punk (natch) before Trips tags in Taker.
Punk flees, tagging in Orton who wants no part of
it, but Taker just biels him into the ring, and hits
a few stiff strikes, Snake Eyes and a big boot at
lightning speed. Cool. DiBiase comes in and gets
clocked. Orton hits his reverse neckbreaker thing
but almost gets snared in Hell's Gate, which Rhodes
breaks up. Trips goes after Rhodes, dumping him out.
DiBiase goes for Dream Street on Triple H but eats
Sweet Chin Music from Michaels before being
Pedigree'd. Rhodes and DiBiase retreat to the
outside. The ref has just given up. Punk runs in and
hits a flying kick on Michaels, but Cena scoops Punk
up and FU's him over and out onto Rhodes & DiBiase.
Now the four faces are in the ring surrounding a
hilariously 'terrified' Orton. Taker, being the
legal man, scoops Orton up and Tombstones him for
Undertaker, John Cena, DX
announced as the sole winner. Wrong!
confetti rains down, we hear all three of the faces'
theme tunes, before closing on Undertaker posing in
the blue light.
YES: Pretty fun show overall. The
inter-brand tag match was good fun, the main event
was surprisingly solid, The Rock proved he's still
got it, and the crowd were pumped up all night.
NO: There were only four
matches. Quite a lot of filler. I guess a
'celebration' show like this can get away with that
kind of thing, but it was still noticeable.
Batista/Kane was a total shitfest but at least it
was on first.
WHAT?: The Hurricane
performs the Heimlich manoeuvre on Iron Sheik, who
coughs up a shrimp, which a drunk Michael Cole eats
before vomiting on Chris Jericho's shoes as Tony
Atlas laughs. Uh-huh.
That's all, from me.
I'm Ian Sparke, and I'm gonna do a Finlay and have a
fucking nice drink. Toodle pip!