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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; Undertaker....

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

Glad 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 of ADVERTISING.

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.
Winner: Batista

"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.

BACK and 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 the win!
Winners: Dolph 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.

BACK 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 lumberjack match

The lumber"jacks" 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.
Winner: Michelle McCool

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, entrances...

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 minutes. ADVERTISING.

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.

BACK 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 ADVERTISING.

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 the win.
Winners: Undertaker, John Cena, DX

Undertaker was announced as the sole winner. Wrong!

Blue 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!

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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.).