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Greetings. Whilst certain previous SmackDown recaps have been produced whilst I was fuelled by certain amounts of booze, this week I'm trying CAFFEINE! LOTS AND LOTS OF CAFFEINE! HAHAHAHA!

Anyway. Dramatic opening going over tonight's Taker/Punk submission screwjob rematch, and we're underway from South Carolina. And it is of course Bragging Rights on Sunday. Yay. And Jim Ross had a Bell's Palsy attack so he isn't here, and neither is Tard, who is on his fucking honeymoon, so we have the mic skillz of Jerry fucking Lawler (seriously, he used to be fucking cool when he was a full-on heel announcer. Nice guy Jerry Lawler is just annoying and creepy) - and Michael fucking Cole. AND - Taker/Punk isn't actually the main event. The 'main event' title goes to the super-nonsensical matchup of Batista & Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho and... Kane. WHY?! Uggghhhh, this could be a rough one.

Jericho's out, in trunks and with belts and wasn't this meant to be the main event? I guess he's not wrestling yet. Maybe Big Show ate his suit. Recap of the bullshit on RAW with the SmackDown team getting completely buried by DX. Jericho stands in silence for a few moments. "Every time I step into the ring I win" - hilariously incorrect statement of the year, Mr Jericho. He says he needs to 'tune up' his team a little more. Uh, no shit. He's soon interrupted by JTG, flying solo. Where's Shad, wonders everybody. Apparently he has flu. And EXCUSE ME, the horrifically grating voice of Vickie interrupts them both, and introduces Eric Escobar (who wasn't all that bad on Superstars last night, though McIntyre easily outshone him). Escobar gets on the mic and reminds us that DX didn't know who he was. A "who are you?" chant starts. His face is slightly pockmarked. He looks like a failed clone of JBL circa 2001. Out comes DOLPH now. It's a generic 'I'm the best man on the team' multi-man promo. Drew McIntyre is out now with his rather cool new jacket, and Kane interrupts him after about two seconds - getting a pop. Kane takes Vickie's mic and says NONE of them are worthy of fighting alongside him and Jericho. Jericho and Kane have organised a match. JTG, Ziggler, McIntyre and Escobar are taking on five guys who will replace them on Team SmackDown if they lose. I can see where this is going. "Wait a second, Team SmackDown looks like total shit. Let's completely re
-book the whole thing." Maybe SmackDown will win! ADVERTISING!

BACK and we've skipped over some introductions... let's take a look here... oh.

JTG, Drew McIntyre, Eric Escobar & Dolph Ziggler vs Matt Hardy, Finlay, R-Truth & The Hart Dynasty; handicap tag match, winners take the spots on Team SmackDown

It's only just occurred to me that this big tag match at Bragging Rights stands about as much chance of being the main event as the fucking Divas match. The Hart Dynasty potentially going on LAST at a PPV? Erm, not in this lifetime. It'll be the Randy & John Power Hour, lulling us to sleep. Anyway, yes, there's a match going on. JTG started off with Kidd. Kidd gets owned briefly before tagging in Finlay. Finlay schools JTG, hitting an extremely stiff clothesline. JTG tags in Ziggler who immediately overpowers Finlay. Not much psychology here. Vickie is sat at ringside, clapping like a moron. Finlay goes for Rolling Fields but Ziggler slips out and charges at Finlay in the corner, who dodges, and Ziggler hits the post in an impressive manner, flying over and out as we go to ADVERTISING.

BACK and, with my eyes closed, I predict that Finlay is going to be in a headlock. Whaddyaknow, he is. Essssssscobar has the headlock on. Time slows to a crawl. Kane and Jericho watch, shirtless, from the back. The heels take turns working over Finlay for about seven years until Finlay manages to tag in Matt Hardy, who attacks Ziggler in his chunky manner, getting a couple of nearfalls. Matt's second-rope elbowdrop is the most anticlimactic move to have its own signal taunt ever. Clusterfuck time! Side Effect gets two, Escobar breaks up the count, Finlay clothesinesEscobar over and out. Ziggler tags in JTG who hits his finisher (is that called the Shoutout? I forgot) on Hardy but David Hart Smith breaks it up and gets tossed by McIntyre. Then Tyson Kidd runs in and goes for McIntyre but gets backdropped out. Then Truth clotheslines himself and McIntyre over and out. Finlay runs in with his fucking shillelagh, cracks JTG, and Hardy hits a Twist of Fate
 for the win.
Winners: Finlay, R-Truth, Matt Hardy & The Hart Dynasty
Rating: **1/2

While they probably should've had these guys (but kept Ziggler over Finlay) as Team SmackDown to start off with, that was a fucking lame finish to a superficially enjoyable match. EITHER TURN FINLAY HEEL OR LOSE THE SHILLELAGH. Fucking lazy booking.

Our winners celebrate, our losers slink away arguing as we go TO THE BACK where CM Punk is talking to Scott Armstrong and Teddy Long. Teddy's now been on probation for six thousand years. Armstrong refuses to ref the match and leaves, bumping into Vince, who says "we need to talk". John Morrison has a match after ADVERTISING.

BACK. "Somehow he controls the wind!" Lawler, it's a fan, and you're an idiot. Miz of course defeated Marty motherfuckin' Jannetty on RAW (ha ha ha). This should be a decent match right here.

Intercontinental Champion John Morrison vs Mike Knox

Knox has one of his creepy little soft-spoken biology lessons before we start. I wish he'd incorporate more of this persona into his wrestling. The way he wrestles, you expect him to speak like an ogre or something. Apparently Cole saw Knox backstage "sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth, muttering to himself". Oh great, are they re-doing him as Mankind II? Guh. Knox uses his crossbody early for two. Weird gutbuster gets another two. Knox is a big dude. Morrison makes him look even bigger. Abdominal stretch on Morrison wakes the crowd up a little bit. Sneaky rollup by Morrison gets two. Punches, chopblock, punches, leg lariat, running knee (more like a running crotch), two count. Cole has a moment of clarity, saying "I can't believe we have to root for The Miz on Sunday". Knox hits a harsh big boot on Morrison, going for another crossbody which Morrison ducks, and Knox slams awkwardly into the ropes ("at about a hundred miles an hour!" - Lawler). Apparently this is enough to knock Knox out cold, as Morrison rather calmly gets up and hit a REALLY crappy Starship Pain for the win.
Winner: John Morrison
Rating: **1/2

Not much chemistry between these two, sadly. Clumsy finish, too - Knox ('out cold' after hitting those deadly ropes) was way too close to the corner for Starship Pain, and Morrison totally overshot it, gently headbutting Knox's thigh. No camera angle could hide it. A shame.

Morrison gets on the mic and puts himself over briefly and we're reminded of the Taker/Punk match before more ADVERTISING.

BACK and the NEW Team SmackDown are hullaballooing backstage. Jericho and Kane congratulate them, yadayada OH MY GOD MAE YOUNG. Mickie James is talking to Mae backstage before Michelle McCool and then Beth Phoenix come in to gab ineffectually. May says 'she told you', McCool says 'shut up' and Mae slaps her in the face. Rey Mysterio and Batista are backstage to shill DAVE's DVD set (good god, I feel old) and all of a sudden we have our "main event" which is right in the middle of the show and is therefore n
ot the main event at all!

Rey Mysterio & Batista vs Chris Jericho & Kane

Wow, Batista actually hit his pyro cue right. That's a rarity. Talking about SmackDown vs RAW 2010, Cole says "I don't know if I'd even want to create a superstar, I'd just want to be Batista!" and I throw up a little bit. Jericho starts off with Batista and simply slaps him in the face. Nice plan. Batista completely creams him, getting a nearfall before tagging in Rey and slingshotting him directly into Jericho's nards. Micro-legdrop from Rey gets two somehow. Jericho is tripped into the 619 spot suddenly, but Kane pulls Rey out of the ring as we go to abrupt ADVERTISING.

BACK and Kane is thoroughly stretching little Rey, who fights out briefly but Kane drops him with a right hand, hits a backbreaker, and Jericho comes back in to call Rey 'little man' and slap him around. Sudden wheelbarrow bulldog from Rey and both guys are down. Jericho manages to tag in Kane, who runs right across the ring and cheap-shots the hapless Batista, distracting the ref whilst Jericho sneaks one on Rey. Low dropkick from Kane gets two. Jericho tags back in for a nice delayed vertical suplex. Rey is so light, Jericho had time to pose with his right arm. A brief sleeperhold, and seconds later Rey has rana'd Jericho over and out. Rey and Jericho both tag out at the same time and Batista swiftly takes control of Kane. Batista hits a shoulder tackle and a spinebuster, and goes for the Batista Bomb, but Jericho breaks it up with an enzuigiri so Batista just spinebusters Jericho instead, before walking into a big boot from Kane, who then rams him into the post. Kane signals for the chokeslam but Rey runs in to stop it and just gets fucking chokeslammed himself. Kane then lumbers into a spear from DAVE for the loss.
Winners: Rey Mysterio & Batista
Rating: ***

Hate to say it, but that wasn't all that bad. All four guys were on good form and were used pretty much equally.

TO THE BACK with CM Punk, Vince, Long, Armstrong, same stuff we've seen before. Vince awards Long a 'gold star' for making the match. Vince somehow turns this into a shill for WrestleMania which is fucking months away. Vince implies that if Armstrong helps them throw the match, then his father 'Bullet' Bob Armstrong will go into the Hall of Fame. Ugh, keep the HOF out of storylines please. ADVERTISING.

BACK. Diva time.

Mickie James vs Layla

Layla came out to TOTAL SILENCE. Seriously the most vacuous non-reaction I've ever heard. Usual Diva fare from here. Mickie takes control for the first few minutes. Cole and Lawler slowly turn my brain into mud with their inanity. First big pop of the match comes when Mickie slaps Layla in the face. Layla manages to get in no offense at all before walking into a shitty Mick Kick for the loss. Good god.
Winner: Mickie James
Rating: *1/2

Dreadful, but I've seen far worse. Layla did nothing, and the crowd didn't give a fuck.

Rerun of the same tribute to Lou Albano that has played on RAW, ECW and Superstars. Lou was great. Anyone insane enough to try to out-drink Andre The Giant deserves the most heartfelt recognition. Stupid Cena/Orton vid package, then it's main event time. First CM Punk is out with a mic, flanked by Armstrong and Long. He says he can dissect anyone in the arena, and reduce anybody at home to tears. He puts himself over in an ultra-ultra-confident manner and looks smug as we get more ADVERTISING.

BACK. Bonnnnnng.

(c) The Undertaker vs CM Punk; World Heavyweight Championship submission match

Taker's in his leather smock, so he must mean business. He's also really gone to town with the ol' hair dye. Dude's got a full-on black beard. And is a little bit thin on top. Taker hesitates before handing the belt to Armstrong. Punk is grinning. Taker immediately knocks Punk flat with a right hand. He lays into Punk with rights and a headbutt, working on Punk's arm, hitting a bodyslam but missing a legdrop. Punk goes for the Anaconda Vice but Taker slips out. More fucking ADVERTISING.

BACK and Taker beals Punk over the top then over the barrier. He slams Punk into the announce table. Long looks very stern. For some reason there is a brief 'we want tables' chant. Taker rolls back in the ring, Punk is on the apron and Taker goes for some sort of dropkick or something but Punk dodges and Taker hits the dirt. Back outside, Punk rams Taker into the steps a few times. Punk rolls Taker back in and goes for a springboard somethingorother but gets caught for a chokeslam, which he escapes. Punch/kick exchange. Taker hits Snake Eyes, a big boot and a legdrop, but Punk rolls out of a Hell's Gate attempt. Taker goes for Old School but Teddy Long distracts him by, uh, standing up, and Punk throws Taker down. Punk hits the corner knee and bulldog before calling to Teddy, "give me the chair". Long slowly gets up and hands his chair to... Armstrong. Punk snatches the chair from Armstrong and goes charging at Taker, who kicks the chair right into his face. Taker then chokeslams Armstrong. Hah. Long gets his scared face on as Taker mimes slashing his throat and looks very pissed off. Punk then lays Taker out with the chair and slaps on the Anaconda Vice. Long calls out a second ref but Taker escapes the Vice and slaps on Hell's Gate. Punk taps right the fuck out.
Winner: The Undertaker
Rating: ***

That wasn't too bad. Some lapses of logic, but it's wrestling, what do you want. Punk looks like he's about to cry and we close on Taker's scowling blue face.

YES: Main event was pretty good. Genuinely felt like maybe Punk was gonna get away with it for a moment. And, shockingly, the Ray/Batista vs Jericho/Kane affair wasn't offensive either. And Drew McIntyre is starting to look kind of badass.

NO: The whole fucking messy affair with Team SmackDown is a little irritating. I really like John Morrison and Mike Knox but they had an off night. Slightly bored of Morrison fucking up Starship Pain too. Also sick of stupid shillelagh finishes. Escobar should've stayed in FCW. The Divas match was shit. And Cole & Lawler can just go right the fuck back to RAW, pronto. God they're awful. And uh, Mae Young is still alive?

WHAT?: Undertaker is the most evil Just For Men user I've ever seen.

Averageish OK-ish show, main event was the highlight (though it irks me when a match announced as the 'main event' actually occurs midway through a show), nothing fantastic. I'm Ian Sparke and CAFFIENE CAFFEINE CAFFEINE! NEED MORE!

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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.).