Howdy, here's another
beautiful SmackDown rant for one and all, and we
kick off with a simple single-frame tribute to Lou
Albano, who was pretty cool. RIP, Cap.
decided to start rating the matches on SmackDown.
Nothing fancy, just a stars-out-of-five deal. I'm no
Meltzer of course - I have normal-looking ears for
starters; ever seen the dude's ears? They're weird.
Tonight's main event is Batista vs Rey Mysterio,
which... could be good, I guess. Rey will be doing
the work, no doubt. And Jim Ross is absent tonight,
so filling in is.... Michael fucking Cole. Oh fuck.
Thank the lord that I have a nice bottle of red.
Yes, I drink wine. It's the best drink to drink.
Teddy Long is out, to boos, even though he never
really turned heel. That's what happens when you
fuck with the Undertaker. He talks up the
seven-on-seven RAW vs SmackDown tag match, which I
kinda wish was an elimination match. I'm a Survivor
Series nerd, deal with it. He introduces SmackDown's
team captain, Chris Jericho, in a nice suit. Jericho
snatches Long's mic, leaving him on the ramp like a
bitch. In the ring, Jericho puts himself over as the
face of SmackDown, yada yada, and he's here to
'address the possibility of John Cena returning'
which is worrying me a little, I won't lie - Cena
CAN be very, very good; but it's entirely dependent
on who he's facing. Cena is the #1 should-turn-heel
candidate in the whole company for me, just ahead of
Triple H. I just hope to god they have some
inventive booking planned for him if they wheel him
in here on SmackDown. Cena vs Undertaker? That would
be good. Cena vs Punk? Cena vs Jericho? Also good.
Actually I guess I'd kinda like Cena on SmackDown.
Jericho of course says things have changed, because
he's THE MAN now. Impressive sea of boos for
Jericho. He's not as whiny as usual. He's wearing a
very bartender-esque stripy shirt, too. He talks
about leading his team to the promised land...
o-kay. He lays into DX, amusingly saying that their
book is "FILLED WITH LIES!" He tears up their book
in a brilliantly petty way. "What I did to this book
is the same thing I will do to DX at Bragging
Rights!" Then all of a sudden Kane interrupts, and
gets a pop... oh dear. Is he gonna talk? Yup, he's
got a mic. Apparently Kane is now the co-captain of
the SmackDown team. Kane, for all his uselessness in
the ring, actually isn't all that bad on the stick.
Kane attempts to get some of his heat back by saying
DX will go up in flames. Jericho smiles but looks a
little uncomfortable. I guess that's that.
BACK and I admit that I sorta
watched RAW this week, and yeah, it was largely
shit. I don't know who Nancy O'Dell is. I will most
definitely be watching the Snoop Dogg episode
though. Not into his music but he's a funny guy.
Here's a triple threat Bragging Rights qualifying
Finlay vs Mike Knox vs Dolph Ziggler; Triple Threat
Bragging Rights qualifier
Jericho booked these qualifying matches himself. A
very funny one-man "Mr. Ziggles" chant comes and
goes. Ziggler attempts to get Knox on his side but
Knox just fucks him right off with a vicious
clothesline. Then Finlay launches Knox over and out
before laying into Ziggler with his usual austere
Irishness. Ziggler clotheslines Finlay over and out
and goes to the apron, where Knox shoves him off.
Knox goes for an elbow off the apron but Finlay
snares him in the apron and Knox bites the dust.
Finlay rams Knox's head into the apron before eating
a beautiful Ziggler dropkick. Ziggler rolls Knox
inside and gets a two. Zig continues with some
punches and an elbow but Finlay breaks up the count.
Finlay then starts serving potatoes to both guys.
The crowd is DEAD. Nice bodyslam from Finlay on
Ziggler gets two. Finlay lifts Ziggler onto the top
buckle and hits some punches, before Knox barges in
and scoops Finlay up in an electric chair drop. Knox
is apparently half dead from the Finlay/apron stuff.
Ziggler hits a nice top rope splash on Finlay but
Knox breaks the count. Very little happens from here
except fro punches and attempted covers. I tell ya,
Ziggler throws one hell of a dropkick. Finlay hits
Rolling Fields on both Ziggler and, impressively,
Knox. Knox squashes both guys in the corner. Big
boot from Knox to Ziggler. Knox goes for his
bodypress on Finlay but there was a shillelagh in
there somewhere and Knox is out cold. Ah! Ziggler
s Finlay off and covers Knox himself
for the win.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Kinda slow, totally silent
crowd, Finlay seemed to be on autopilot, Knox was
underused. Sick of shillelagh-related finishes. Not
bad, not great. ADVERTISING.
another Bragging Rights qualifier. This is a
tag-team match, both members of the winning team go
onto team SmackDown. Tony Chimel is our announcer
now, by the way - best one in the company for my
money. It's Cryme Tyme. WILL THEY BE FACING THE HART
DYNASTY I WONDER. Durrrr, booking is fun.
Cryme Tyme vs The Hart Dynasty; Bragging Rights
Okay, this is getting
ridiculous. I'm being punished. These two teams
started feuding right when I started recapping
SmackDown. Maybe if I quit, they'll quit too. Hell
no. Never say die. After mere microseconds, Shad is
being completely creamed by the Harts. IN THE BACK
Jericho and Teddy are watching approvingly. The
Harts work on Shad's leg for what feels like days.
May I point out that the combination of Cole and
Tard on commentary is really, really, massively,
black-hole-formingly boring. JTG is in to leap
around with Kidd. I'm half-assing this recap because
I've seen this shit 5953 times in the last three
months. Are they re-booking this match over and over
because they're the only two tag teams on SmackDown?
No, not even. Finish comes when Kidd misses a
springboard and JTG plants him with an impressive
reverse leaping bulldog thing for the win. Cole
calls them 'the bling bling brothers' and I die a
Winners: Cryme Tyme
Serviceable, but absolutely
nothing new at all. Please can we do something
interesting with these guys? ADVERTISING.
BACK and Jericho is trying to hit on Michelle
McCool. She looks like she's been lobotomised.
Jericho says he wants 'gypsies, tramps, thieves' on
his team. Uhhh... is he asking McCool to be on team
SmackDown? Oh, here's Mickie James. Yeah, there was
a 'Diva trade', and SmackDown has gained Mickie -
and Beth Phoenix, who is here too. AND HERE'S VINCE!
ON THE PHONE! CM Punk is here too, to complain about
the World Heavyweight Title four-way. He wants a
one-on-one rematch. Punk has "BJ" on his wrist tape.
Punk lobbies for his submission-screwjob rematch
against Taker. Vince agrees and it's happening next
week on SmackDown. Okay.
Here's yet another
Bragging Rights qualifier and it's Vickie Guerrero.
Shoot me. I hate this woman. She's introducing her
'new boyfriend', Eric Escobar. Cole knows Vickie
'quite well' and calls her 'quite the cougar'...
just shut up, Cole. You're hurting my brain. So,
Escobar has boring black trunks, shades and a black
waistcoat, and some generic Latino entrance music.
His TitanTron, hilariously, comprises the two
backstage appearances he's had, slowed to a crawl.
ACTION! He's also rather chunky. His oppone
is... very apt!
Eric Escobar vs Matt Hardy; Bragging Rights
It's a paunchfest! Actually,
it's a headlockfest to start with. Hardy actually
takes advantage to start with, and makes Escobar
look pretty fucking useless. Some crappy brawling
gets Escobar two. A clothesline gets another two.
Chinlock time. Wow, I guess Escobar was teleported
right out of 1992. Only in 1992 he'd be called 'El
Bartender' or something. He is also the least
Latino-looking Latino I've ever seen. Side Effect
gets Hardy two. Hardy hits a second rope elbow and
Vickie starts screaming and pointing to her foot,
distracting Hardy and the ref. Escobar rams Hardy
into the ring post and rolls him up for the win.
That was horseshit.
Winner: Eric Escobar
Escobar's hair was slicked back
when the match started, it has now sort of inflated,
and I realise he looks rather like a chunkier, less
rugged Paul Burchill. Or maybe I'm just drunk. The
return of the Dirt Sheet follows ADVERTISING.
BACK and wow, how are we only halfway through the
show? I guess they front-loaded the shitty stuff.
Anyway, DIRT SHEET TIME!
Miz is of course US
Champion now, and he is of course facing John
Morrison (who is of course Intercontinental
Champion) at Bragging Rights. And of course they are
former partners. They're both snappily dressed. A
tiny kid in weird glasses has the crappiest JOHN
MORRISON sign ever. So... this should be
interesting. The ring is split into red and blue
halves. Nice. I've always liked these guys. They
start out quite formally. Miz says he was the star
of their team, and presents a list of teams where
one half has gone on to be far more succesful. His
first example is... Mork & Mindy. Nice! Ahhh Mindy.
My first love. Er, anyway. Nobody seems to remember
Mork & Mindy. A little more audience whoop is
reserved for Morrison suggesting Bill & Ted. Miz
goes on to mention Wayne & Garth, Regis & Kathie Lee
and of course the Rockers. Miz says he's the Shawn
Michaels and Morrison's the Marty Jannetty. Morrison
says he can't be the Jannetty because Jannetty never
got sweet merchandise like his t-shirt. Miz's feeble
comeback is that there can't be two Jannettys.
Morrison says "actually there are two Marty
Jannettys. There's Marty Jannetty, and there's you."
He calls him Mizzy Jannetty. RAPIER-LIKE. I kind of
wish Marty Jannetty would run in right now and
missile dropkick both guys. But this is still fun.
They start with the low blows, Morrison saying Miz
has no girlfriend, then makes fun of Miz's ring
gear, saying at least with the hat and the capris,
he was being himself. He says now, Miz is a cross
between Michael Phelps, Mr. Ed, Pink and Big Dick
Johnson, accompanied by a visual aid which doesn't
really make sense. Morrison says Miz is 'husky',
meaning fat. This goes on for a while, back and
forth. Morrison awesomely lays into RAW, comparing
it to Saturday Night Live (which has never aired
here in England, thankfully). They exchange more
harsh words before Morrison gets up and shoves Miz,
daring him to take a
shot. The crowd is chanting
'husky', which is one of the odder chants I've
heard. Miz of course just leaves. Morrison says "see
you at Bragging Rights, Jannetty". Man, poor old
Marty Jannetty. We're briefly reminded of the
R-Truth/Drew McIntyre business; they have a Bragging
Rights qualifier after ADVERTISING.
tonight we have a message from the Undertaker. He's
very formal, isn't he?
R-Truth vs Drew McIntyre, Bragging Rights qualifier
So far we have Jericho (heel), Kane (heel), Eric
Escobar (heel), Dolph Ziggler (heel), and Cryme Tyme
(faces) on team SmackDown. So logic dictates that
R-Truth should win this just to even things out -
but more heels means more DX-fodder, so... anyway,
crowd's pretty dead (though they do respond to the
'what's up' stuff), and we start with some punches,
Truth getting the upper hand, and this blossoms into
some impressive flippy shit, with Truth dropkicking
McIntyre out and launching himself over and out as
we go to abrupt ADVERTISING.
BACK and during
the break, McIntyre shoved R-Truth into the steps,
and Truth's in a chinlock. He soon escapes, and soon
McIntyre is slung over the top. Truth follows him
and rolls him back in. McIntyre runs Truth along the
apron and rams him into the post. I guess using the
post and the steps is pretty much legal now.
McIntyre goes crazy with punches and another
chinlock. Long and Jericho are still watching in the
back. Bodyslam from McIntyre. McIntyre climbs up to
the top but leaps off into a pair of boots Truth
takes over, with his
leapfrog/cartwheel/splits/roundhouse kick combo,
which gets two. Truth misses a bicycle kick and
McIntyre goes for the double-arm DDT, but Truth
shoves him into the corner and clotheslines him
outside. Truth follows him out and grabs McIntyre by
the hair, but McIntyre trips him up and Truth lands
on his back on the steps. I guess this is a
countout. Yup. Boo.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
That was almost a three-star
match right up until the finish. I hate pointless
countouts. So Cryme Tyme are the only faces on their
team. I guess RAW is winning this farce. Bull. Shit.
TO THE BACK and Rey and Batista are having a
'brotherly' chat. I love it when people call Batista
'Dave'. They say nothing of note as we go to
BACK. RAW recap. Iron Man match.
Blahhhhhh. I'm going to predict that Taker's
'message' tonight will last longer than the main
event. I would LOVE to see Batista in an Iron Man
match. That'd be fucking classic. Let's find out.
After a lengthy vid package covering all the
Punk/Taker stuff, Taker's onscreen swathed in smoke
and moody lighting. He refers to the World
Heavyweight title as the Holy Grail. Usual Taker
vid-promo, CM Punk will recieve the last rites etc
etc etc etc ADVERTISING.
BACK and with less
than eight minutes of show left by my count, it's
time for our super-epic main event!
Rey Mysterio vs Batista
I have no
idea what to expect here, to be honest. Have these
guys ever fought before? Cursory research says yes,
three times. I have seen these matches, yet I have
erased them from my memory. One was a triple threat
with Khali, so... Hmm. Anyway, both guys are out
wearing broad smiles. DAVE even almost hits his pyro
right. Rey goes for a bearhug early, which gets a
big laugh, as does a bodypress which Batista easily
catches. Rey wrenches Batista's arm, causing him to
chuckle openly. It's a friendly match! It's
BACK and apparently during the
break, things deteriorated, as Batista is now
shoving Rey like a big bully. Rey retaliates with a
flurry of kicks, and soon Batista is ducking a 619.
Rey comes off the ropes into a pretty harsh-looking
spear. Batista's starting to get booed. Which is
nice. Aw, leave the tiny luchador alone. He means
you no harm! Rey takes a powder and comes back on
the nine-count. Batista covers him twice for two.
DAVE does his shoulderbarge routine in the corner. A
knee off the ropes gets Batista two, and then he
puts Rey in a bearhug, taking Rey to the mat. Tard
just awkwardly called Cole his little brother, and
JR his father... Cole covers with a fake laugh. Rey
goes for a sunset flip which just doesn't fucking
work. Rey escapes a powerslam, hits a chopblock, a
kick and a 619 - which DAVE pretty much no-sells,
staying on his feet and catching Rey from a
springboard senton attempt. Batista goes for the
Batista Bomb from here but Rey's so fucking tiny he
rolls through and turns it into a hurricanrana - for
Winner: Rey Mysterio
That wasn't half bad, for what it
was. Around six minutes is all I can take of big
stupid DAVE. DAVE, by the way, is complaining that
he had his shoulder up, but goes over to shake Rey's
hand in victory anyway. Things seem slightly frosty
for a second but apparently Rey and Batista are
still bro's. Batista applauds Rey from the ramp -
BUT HERE'S CM PUNK! Punk comes out of the crowd and
nails Rey with the GTS. DAVE lumbers over to give
chase, but Punk hightails it right the fuck out of
there. Batista and Rey hug, we're reminded of the
Taker/Punk submission match for next week, and
YES: Better show overall than last week, I
guess. A fair amount of wrestling. The highlight was
probably the Dirt Sheet, even if it was a little
long. And Batista/Mysterio wasn't all that bad,
really. Punk's hit-and-run was a nice touch.
NO: None of the matches really stood out;
the crowd were half-dead most of the night; I'm
officially sick of Cryme Tyme/Hart Dynasty matches;
the R-Truth/McIntyre match was kinda ruined by that
countout; the number of heels on team SmackDown
means that team RAW will almost certainly win; I
hate Vickie Guerrero, and Eric Escobar had the
lamest debut ever. Fucker was in developmental for
FOUR YEARS. Pathetic.
WHAT?: According to Tard Grisham, Michael
Cole is his little brother, and Jim Ross is his
father. What the hell is going on at Titan Towers?!
That is all, join me next week for more wine-fuelled
nonsense. I'm Ian Sparke, and I can assure you that
South African wine is ALWAYS good.