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Glory be, here I am again with a (belated) SmackDown report. So, yes, Hell In A Cell was the worst PPV for some time in my humble opinion. Nothing more need be said. RAW resides happily in the toilet at the moment, I've given up watching it entirely (try it, it's easy). My hopes aren't high for this Bragging Rights rubbish either (by its very nature it is demoting ECW further, and an Iron Man match between Cena and Orton is something you'd have to pay me handsomely to sit through). So with my expectations mired somewhere distinctly 'middling', let's take a deep breath and dive into SmackDown, shall we.

Right off the bat we're recapping the fuck-you that was Taker/Punk at HIAC. God that pissed me off. So Punk said something bitchy backstage, how does that justify pissing away the match as an eight-minute, horribly predictable curtain-jerker? One of the most retarded booking ideas this year. Anyway, our shiny new titles roll and we're live in Trenton, NJ. Sexy. Taker will be here to show off his belt. Also, Rey Mysterio will take on Chris Jericho for really no reason whatsoever. And Batista will be taking on CM Punk for no reason at all too. Here comes Teddy Long to justify these stupid matches. He'd like to congratulate Taker, saying that his 'performance' at HIAC proves that SmackDown is the dominant brand. He then shills Bragging Rights, to a mixture of piped-in cheers and total silence. Of course, if Cena loses the Iron Man match, he's leaving RAW. What I would give to see Cena on ECW. Ha. Here comes Punk, interrupting Long by limping slowly towards the ring. Punk is pissed off that Teddy's talking about a RAW superstar, and says (correctly) that SmackDown doesn't need Cena, and that Teddy needs to focus on him. He says his match at HIAC was "the worst, most horrible match of my career" which is hard to argue against. Punk's not happy with having to face DAVE, he wants his rematch against Taker, he wants it to be a submission match and he wants Scott Armstrong as referee. And heeeeere's Vince!

McMahon and his very chunky neck waddle out to a big pop. Long is still on probation, of course. McMahon says that the World Heavyweight championship will be decided in a four-way with Taker, Punk, Rey Mysterio and DAVE, whose infinite title shots cheat code is still fucking working, it would seem. By the way, if you have the time, take a look at how many PPV world title shots Batista has had. It's ridiculous. McMahon introduces Rey and after ADVERTISING...

...we have our first match.

Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho

Ooh, John Morrison is facing Dolph Ziggler tonight, for the IC title. Okay. So, yeah, Rey vs Chris again. There's nothing these guys can do that we haven't already seen 100 times this year. They still have good chemistry, and the match is watchable, but dull to recap because I've seen it so many times already. Jericho dominates for the first few minutes. He throws Rey to the outside as we go to more ADVERTISING.

BACK and Rey's in a headlock, shock horror. Nice spot sees Jericho knee a running Rey in the midsection, only to have Rey roll through and roll Jericho up for two. Weird enzuigiri takes Rey down for two. Then Jericho hangs Rey on the top rope and shoves him to the outside. This is good for Jericho, as he's been made to look like a total bitch on RAW recently. Though, we've just learned that Rey's in a World Title four-way, so a loss here will make him look stupid. Jericho stupidly tries to get Rey's mask, gets shoved off and eats a senton and a crossbody. Rey rolls through a sunset flip and lands a low dropkick for two. Rey goes for a 619 but Jericho catches his legs and goes for the Walls but gets cradled for two. Torture rack backbreaker from Jericho gets two. Rey escapes a bulldog and rana's Jericho into the 619 position, but Jericho's up quickly and some sort of exchange gets screwed up. Rey quickly springboards and Jericho snares him in the Walls. Rey crawls out, Jericho lifts him up, Rey kicks Jericho in the head and hits the 619 and a splash for the win.
Winner: Rey Mysterio

That was okay. Nice and quick. Rey looked a little sloppy and there were a handful of mistakes in there from both guys. Not their best match by a long shot, but still very watchable.

Apparently tonight is going to be one of the greatest SmackDowns of all time, according to Tard. I'll make a note of that. But RAW is "not a bad programme" either. So here's a recap of Ben Roethlisberger's show, whoever the fuck he is. Apparently he plays for the 'Sixburgh Steelers' according to JR. This recap covers all the stupid unfunny segments and totally ignores The Miz winning the US Title.

A truncated 'Word Up' serves only to announce that Eve is taking on Michelle McCool after ADVERTISING.

BACK and I hope Punk completely floors DAVE in the main event, but that ain't gonna happen. Not looking forward to that at all. Oh yeah, Divas.

Eve Torres vs Women's Champion Michelle McCool

There's a sign in the crowd saying WE WANT CHERRY. Yeah, I kinda liked Cherry too. Fuck it, bring back Deuce & Domino! So McCool hits Eve for a few moments, then Eve returns the favour. Lots of rolling around and yelling. Brief chase around the outside. Eve goes for a cover for no reason and gets a zero count. Eve gets fired into the buckles and McCool follows up with a "running knee" which was actually just a running ass. A few kneedrops and a legdrop follow. I swore I just heard a 'TNA' chant. Screaming resthold from here. Eve goes for a throw but McCool cartwheels out. Eve hits two nice dropkicks and a shitty forward flip thing for two. Handspring elbow doesn't work either, as McCool craply kicks her in the back. Eve turns a suplex into an inside cradle for two. McCool ducks a clothesline then just boots Eve in the face to end it.
Winner: Michelle McCool

Shitty match. No question, no surprise. ADVERTISING.

BACK and oooooh god, it's Vickie and her new protege, Eric Escobar. Her haircut is horrible. Eric Escobar doesn't have a match tonight. Oh well. Vickie whines for a while about the World Title four-way. Escobar talks Spanish. I don't care. Thankfully, here's a match! Well, both guys get to the ring and then there's more goddamn ADVERTISING.

(c) John Morrison vs Dolph Ziggler, Intercontinental title match

BACK, here we go, this'll be good. Solid mat and chain wrestling to start out. Flippy armbar reversals. Morrison ducks a clothesline and hits one of his beautiful dropkicks for one. Tard and JR are just waffling on, I've basically tuned them out now, I find it very hard to take in anything they say. Awesome backbreaker, leg sweep, breakdancing legdrop combo from Morrison gets two. Abruptly, Maria scurries out, seemingly remembering that she's supposed to be Dolph's girlfriend/valet/whatever. She gets no reaction at all and takes a chair at ringside. I guess she's turning heel tonight. Everything these two guys do looks good, they're as fluid as it's possible to be. Cool stuff galore; Ziggler blocks a kick but Morrison just wheels round and delivers another in the same movement. Belly-to-back from Ziggler gets two. Leaping screaming elbowdrop gets two. Chinlock. Maria isn't really doing anything yet. Morrison fights out of the chinlock but is kinda groggy, and Ziggler beats him down with slaps and kicks. Fighting to his feet, Morrison quickly eats a lightning-quick powerslam. More mat-based Hennig-esque stuff from Ziggler, who looks pretty good here. Sort-of camel clutch from Ziggler, Morrison turns it into an electric chair drop and takes Ziggler down with some strikes, a forearm, leg lariat and standing SSP for two. Man, both these guys are quick. Big boot from Morrison, then Morrison bodypresses both he and Ziggler over and out. Ziggler hits Morrison in the gut and rolls him back inside. Ziggler picks up Maria's chair and sets it just outside the ring, going back on the offensive as Maria just picks up the chair and sits down on it. Stupid woman, he wanted it to cheat with! Ziggler reaches for empty space, does a "where's the chair?!" face - and walks right into a Chuck kick for the loss. Huh.
Winner: John Morrison

That was kind of a mess at the end there - is Maria really that stupid? For a second I thought she was gonna turn on Ziggler but she just tends to him in the ring and that's that. Very decent match up until the chair nonsense though.

So Taker has now won seven World titles. Here's a nice little video package covering all seven victories (over Hogan, Sid, Austin, Hogan again, Batista, Edge, CM Punk) and here's more ADVERTISING.

BACK with a brief recap of the stupidity with Maria and the chair from just now. Blah. Backstage, Maria is whining at Dolph, wondering why he's pissed off. In short, he ditches Maria. She whimpers. Good. And it's the DAVE and Rey show in the locker room, muttering about Bragging Rights and having each other's backs and shit. Another match? Alrighty! R-Truth and Matt Hardy are facing... somebody. After the break. Apparently "you're never gonna believe" who they're facing. Whenever JR says shit like this I panic. I smell Kane. ADVERTISING.

BACK. And the illustrious opponents are... WHY. WHY.

R-Truth & Matt Hardy vs Drew McIntyre & Kane

So, yes, in the rent-a-heel spot is of course Kane, who got an audible 'oh, for fuck's sake' kind of reaction. McIntyre is a pretty big guy, actually. He starts out with Hardy, and makes him look small, and pudgy. Generic to-and-fro with headlocks and armlocks and stuff. Hardy takes control early, tagging in Truth quickly for some very stiff-looking strikes. Kane gets the blind tag, and Truth kicks McIntyre in the gut before walking into Kane's boot. Kane manhandles truth in his usual boring way. A decent low dropkick gets two. McIntyre tags back in for a quick snap suplex and a two count. Kane tags himself back in, goes for a sidewalk slam but Truth (rather awkwardly) flips out of it and trips Kane into the corner. This is better than I thought it'd be. Still not great. Both McIntyre and Hardy tag in, and Hardy takes over. McIntyre's a good seller. (amusing call from Tard: "Hardy goes to the place he finds comfort... the second rope!"). Side Effect gets nought as Kane breaks up the count. Truth dropkicks Kane out, McIntyre clocks Truth, Hardy goes for a Twist of Fate on McIntyre, who shoves him into a stiff right hand from Kane. McIntyre then hits his slightly crappy double-arm DDT on Hardy for the win.
Winners: Drew McIntyre & Kane

We are AGAIN reminded that yes, Undertaker is JOINING US tonight - after, of course, ADVERTISING.

BACK. Tony Chimel is announcing tonight and I kinda like him. He introduces Taker, who strides out wearing the belt (and new tights?) Two full minutes later, Taker is actually in the ring. He talks about wayward souls, and all that stuff. He calls the World title the 'Holy Grail'. He talks about a road that ends in his yard, or something. He talks about Bragging Rights (which takes place on "October twenty-five" apparently) and the four-way and taking souls and yada yada. Gotta say, Taker/Mysterio sounds like an interesting matchup. Decent promo, usual fare. Our main event follows ADVERTISING.

BACK and here's big ol' DAVE to ruin my evening. I recall he faced Punk last at the Great American Bash last summer, in one of his twenty billion FAILED world title shots (Kane interfered). So, yes. I hate thrown-together title matches like this fucking four-way - what happened to the notion of '#1 contenders'? What have DAVE and Mysterio done to earn a shot, other than fail to win the tag titles last week? Guh.

Batista vs CM Punk

Punk lands a single kick then takes a powder. JR puts over Punk quite extensively, and Tard follows up by saying that since he returned, Batista has beaten Big Show, Jericho, Randy Orton and Kane ("a murderer's row!"). Batista manhandles Punk for a little moment before Punk escapes to the outside again. Punk gets back in the ring very slowly. There is a small but noticeable 'CM Punk' chant. Wow, only about seven minutes of show left. Gotta hand it to DAVE, he can go the distance! A brief to-and-fro leads to Punk escaping AGAIN. DAVE shouts "come on!" as we go to ADVERTISING.

BACK, yawn, and Batista gets a two-count following a suplex. He shoves Punk in the corner for some shots, and Punk tries to schoolboy him but fails. Shortly after, Punk goes for a kick but Batista catches him in his ANKLE LOCK which we're supposed to care about but nobody does. Punk slips out. Nice kick and a flying Knee from Punk get a zero-count because Teest is under the ropes. Another flying knee from Punk gets two. Headlock time. Punk is basically slowly working on Teest's big fat head. Teest is doing nothing. JR just said that Batista and CM Punk are the same size. Uh, no. Punk puts Teest in a figure four headlock. Batista powers out and hits a really crappy sidewalk slam. The crowd is very, very quiet. Teest shoves Punk into the corner for his usual stuff. Powerslam from Batista gets two. Punk trips Batista into the buckles and hits his corner knee. Batista escapes the bulldog but runs into a kick. Punk goes for another knee but Batista catches him in a spinebuster. Punk rolls out and tries to escape under the ring. Teest pulls him out and goes to Batista Bomb Punk outside the ring. Punk grabs onto the top rope and kicks DAVE to the ground, and DAVE gets counted out. HAHAHA.
Winner: CM Punk

After the bell, CM Punk gets a Batista Bomb in the ring, which activates Teest's theme music, and that's your show. God, that was a crappy main event. So goddamn slow. I get that Punk is supposed to be beaten up after HIAC, but what was Batista's excuse? I liked the finish though. Anything that makes DAVE look stupid is fine by me.

YES: Not much YES this week sadly. Morrison/Ziggler was decent, but had a weird finish (no Starship Pain?) And I guess Taker's promo was pretty good. And Jericho/Mysterio was okay but we've seen that a billion times already.

NO: The main event was awful, as was the Divas match. The whole show was pretty bereft of ideas this week, the only notable storyline-progressing thing that happened was Dolph ditching Maria.

WHAT?: JR is talking an increasing amount of drivel. CM Punk and Batista are nowhere near "the same size", you idiot. And where is 'Sixburgh'? Also, Tard said tonight was going to be one of the greatest SmackDowns of all time, which was an abject fucking lie.

That is all. God that was a rough show. Let's hope THE ROAD TO BRAGGING RIGHTS is paved with wonderfulness. I'm Ian Sparke, asking you politely to FUCK RAW.

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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.).