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LOWDOWN ON SMACKDOWN
(10/30/09)
BY IAN SPARKE

Good evening. So, Bragging Rights actually wasn't all that bad, right? Cena vs Orton WASN'T an hour ofchinlocks (though it was far from perfect) and, the big news I guess is that SMACKDOWN IS THE BEST YAAAYWOO. And, someone somewhere was listening to me, as Batista is a heel again! He still sucks, but he was so fucking stale as a face. I applaud this decision.

We open with a recap of Batista beating the fuck out of Rey - Rey is DEMANDING AN EXPLANATION tonight which I'm sure will be very cordial and democratic. And wow - MATT STRIKER is with Tard on commentary tonight. Cool. I always liked Striker, even if he gets a bit obscure-reference heavy (especially when talking about Yoshi Tatsu). Definitely a marked improvement from King and Cole. Things are off to a good start.

Teddy Long is out. Teddy congratulates Team SmackDown to a mixed reaction. He talks about Batista (to quiet boos). Batista and Rey Mysterio will be having a "heart to heart conversation" to settle their differences. Well, it's a more unique differences-settler than, say, a cage match, I guess. Teddy talks about the number one contendership for the World Heavyweight Title and the mention of Big Show brings out Jericho, still in hisSmackDown shirt from Bragging Rights, carrying his tag titles and the Bragging Rights trophy - which Long immediately takes, playa, because it's the "property of SmackDown". Jericho of course says it's HIS BECAUSE HE'S A GENIUS etc. He continues with the ME ME ME ME stuff before being interrupted by KAAAAAANE, who disputes the term 'single-handed' which Jericho used. "In case you forgot, Chris, I was the co-captain". Yes, I'm pretty sure everybody forgot, thanks for the reminder. Anyway, Kane winds up threatening to chokeslamJericho (to cheers) as Long begs him off, inevitably leading to a match being made between Chris Jericho and Kane for tonight, with the winner getting a spot in the World Heavyweight Title match with Show and Taker. So I can see another half-hearted face turn for Kane here. I can't, however, see him in the World Title picture, so It'll be Taker defending against Jericho and Big Show, me thinks. ADVERTISING.

BACK. A match! With guys I like!

Intercontinental Champion John Morrison vs Dolph Ziggler

Apparently the Intercontinental title is only meant to be defended only in North or South America, or something, according to Striker. Uhhh, what? Ziggler and Morrison both have mics, Ziggler pointing out that Morrison was the only SmackDown guy who lost at Bragging Rights. Morrison responds by basically sayingZiggler suffers from premature ejaculation. Alrighty. They start with a couple of lockups, and Ziggler takes charge very briefly with a headlock and a shoulderblock but soon eats a flapjack and a standing SSP for two. Ziggler gets tripped up but shoots Morrison into the post for a one-count. A flurry of punches and a nice powerslam lead into a screaming elbow and a two-count. Striker just said Ziggler has "nice abs". There are oohs and aahscoming from the crowd which I think may be sadly piped in. Headlock by Ziggler, who pitches Morrison into the corner before hitting a nice inverted powerslam for two. ADVERTISING.

BACK and Ziggler has some sort of crazy headlock on Morrison. Hey, man... what happened to sleeper holds? Not only were they commonplace but they could get a pop. I think the last person I saw use a sleeper hold was fucking Santino. Huh. Anyway, a rolling neck snap gets two for Ziggler, so he resorts to slamming Morrison's head into the mat and slapping him around a little. Headlockery. Ziggler has a band-aid stuck to his back. Where did that come from. Morrison backdrops Ziggler to escape the headlock and the two exchange strikes. Morrison hits a clothesline, a forearm and a very good leg lariat which gets two. Ziggler goes for a neckbreaker but gets hooked in a backslide for two. Nice scoop slam gets Ziggler another two. Tard said this could be the biggest victory for Dolph since 'getting Maria to go out with him'. Ziggler leaps, going for a Zig Zag, but Morrison catches his legs and catapults Dolph into the corner, but he lands on the ropes and leaps off over Morrison - turning right into a Chuck kick. Morrison goes for the cover but Ziggler's foot is on the rope. Morrison dragsZiggler over for Starship Pain but Ziggler rolls to the outside, sweeping Morrison's leg when he goes to follow. Striker said 'that ring apron is made of STEEL'. Outside the ring, Ziggler delivers a sort of wheelbarrow flapjack thing (dunno the name, but I know more than Tard, who called it a "slam") onto the announce table, which is enough to get Morrison counted out.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Rating: ***

That wasn't too bad. Nine minutes, pretty well paced. They were really trying out there but this crowd is fucking DEAD. Ziggler looked like a contender.

It is now time for a VERY VERY DRAMATIC slow-motion replay of Batista ripping Rey's head off. Well, he didn't literally do that. It was a clothesline. Still. TO THE BACK for some muttering with Vince and Teddy and the trophy. Vince congratulates Teddy and says he MIGHT BE OFF PROBATION if he keeps it up. CM Punk interrupts, complaining about the World Title match as usual. He wants to be in it. Somehow, we enterBizarro World from here - later on, CM Punk is facing Scott Armstrong. Oh man. Gimme a match, now.

Beth Phoenix vs Jenny Brooks

Ha. Tony Chimel accidentally said "weighing in at" when introducing Jobbertastic Jenny Brooks, who looks to weigh about as much as a photograph of herself. So I think he improvised and said 110 pounds. We all know Divas are WEIGHTLESS. Apparently they have a storied past, Brooks is some old adversary from Beth's amateur days.  Uhh, okay. Phoenix of course pounds the tar out of Brooks, kicking her to the outside after seconds. After a five-count, Phoenix drags her back in and delivers a (very) delayed vertical suplex and a choke/backbreaker thing. Brooks flails pathetically to escape the choke, but eats a clothesline. Glam Slam follows, and Beth pauses to fix her hair before getting the pin.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Rating: **

Functional squash match. Served to "reintroduce" Beth, but she's been around a while, people know what she can do.

Oh, whee, yay, whoopdy-do and wow, there's a Divas Halloween costume shitfest hosted by Cryme Tyme after another slow-mo Batista/Rey replay and ADVERTISING.

The smug douchetards who did the new SmackDown theme are in the front row. Fuck you. And speaking of fuck you, here's "Princess Vickie Guerrero" in some horrible medieval dress. She introduces her "Prince Charming" Eric Escobar, who sadly is not in costume like his pig woman. The crowd is completely silent for Escobar, but pop like motherfuckers for his opponent, a notably slimmer Matt Hardy.

Matt Hardy vs Eric Escobar w/ Vickie Guerrero

Hardy! Hardy! Hardy! Yeah, you can tell where this is going. Escobar, Latino No Heat, got a win over Hardy a couple of weeks ago using his amazing finisher the ring post shot! That's right, he's right out of 1986. Much like this match, actually, which only peps up when Hardy hits a goddamn moonsault. Which gets two. Hardy sells a knee injury after this, and Escobar heels all over it for a very long time. Escobar hesitates after hitting abodyslam, and Hardy just hits an anticlimactic Twist Of Fate for the win. Wow that was shitty.
Winner: Matt Hardy
Rating: *

Escobar looked completely useless out there. And I think the finish was botched, and Hardy rushed the TOF to end it early. Or something. Either way it was a shitty match.

Another Slo-mo ultradramatic recap of Batista/Rey, and we see Rey looking very moody in a leather jacket as we go to ADVERTISING.

BACK and we get a super-long super-dramatic vid package of the whole finish of the World Heavyweight Title match from Bragging Rights with piano music and everything. Batista's acting was rather poor but I actually really liked the way he said "I'm gonna rip your head off." Rey's out and I coulda swore I heard a few boos. I actually think this crowd is just dead as shit, and all the reactions are being piped in.

Rey gets a mic and completely fails to connect with the crowd. "Batista beat me down" *silence* "he beat me down real bad" *silence* "he's my best friend in the world *silence*. He says he's giving Batista the benefit of the doubt and calls him out to get an explanation. Out comes DAVE - to something of a pop. These aren't boos I'm hearing. Oh, there's some I guess... Good god this crowd is totally fucking DEAD. They all just seem to be staring nonchalantly at the ring, taking pictures now and again. Batista gives Rey a chance to just take his ball and get the fuck out, but Rey says no. He's willing to let bygones be bygones. He calls him 'dog' a few times, as well as 'homie' which makes me crack up. Crowd = dead. Batista smirks. They manfully try to engage the crowd with a bit of drama. Rey says accepting the spot in the 4-way was his biggest mistake ever. Batista gives him one last chance to get the fuck out of the ring. Rey brings up Eddie. Batista says "Eddie's dead" which FINALLY elicits some proper booing. He says he's only thinking of himself before throwing the mic down and very slowly exiting the ring, with one eye on Rey, who looks rather sheepish. ADVERTISING.

BACK. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are hosting Raw. That's a potential car crash right there, but fuck it, I'm in for that. It's Ozzy. Coming after those fucking NASCAR dweebs, he'll be a master orator. DAVE is walking moodily around backstage. Matt Hardy confronts him, hoping to 'reach out', saying 'don't make the same mistakes I did'. DAVE just chuckles and walks off - but as Matt turns his back, Batista comes back and shoves him rather crappily into the wall. Ooh, another match.

Drew McIntyre vs Finlay

McIntyre (19 stone is 266 pounds by the way, which is a little fucking generous) looks nonchalant and pretty cool until he gets in the ring and tries out an entrance pose which is hilariously gay. He gets on the mic and says he never wanted to be on Team SmackDown in the first place. McIntyre doesn't wait for Finlay to get in the ring, simply booting him on the way in before beating the fuck out of him outside the ring. McIntyre, apparently pleased with the non-match, walks off.
Winner: nobody
Rating: -

What was the point of that? He did this with R-Truth and their feud never went anywhere. What's the point of putting him with Finlay? Guh. ADVERTISING.

BACK and it's time to cry/masturbate/both, it's the DIVAS HALLOWEEN COSTUME SHITFEST! Hosted by CrymeTyme, because who the fuck else would do it? Undertaker? That I'd like. Uhhh so we have the gigantic sum of FOUR divas here (Beth Phoenix is absent and way too good for this, Maria obviously got lost on her way to the arena) - and Cryme Tyme go to each one in turn and they sort of dance around and make fools of themselves. We have Natalya (a matador), Michelle McCool (a devil), Layla (Michael Jackson...) and Mickie James (Elektra). It's a bunch of annoying horseshit, of course. I use it as an excellent opportunity to have a cigarette outside. Lovely evening. Anyway, Mickie wins, because she's the only face there, despite Layla getting a surprising pop for her MJ impersonation. Clusterfuck with all four follows, McCool (who looks fugly as fuck) beats Mickie down and the whole thing is mercifully over. Oh fuck, CM Punk vs Scott Armstrong is the main event?!
 
ADVERTISING, take your damn time!

BACK. Shilling WrestleMania 26 by showing clips of WrestleMania 25 is a little self-defeating. It was horseshit apart from HBK/Taker. Okay, nobody says "CM Punk" as good as Tony Chimel. Punk's looking confident. I wonder why! Will Scott Armstrong have a TitanTron? This could be funny.

CM Punk vs Scott Armstrong

Armstrong gets no Tron, sadly. Just a spotlight and a sole, hilarious wolf whistle. The crowd is near enough silent. Punk pounces on Armstrong and starts shouting and complaining and shit. An 'Undertaker' chant slowly builds - as Armstrong busts out a couple of decent punches! (Yeah, I know he used to be a wrestler but come on, he looks like a zombie). Punk kicks him a bunch of times and slaps him around a little before mercifully hitting the GTS for the win.
Winner: CM Punk
Rating: -

MATCH OF THE DECADE. No, there's no real point in rating that, I don't think. So I completely forgot about Kane vs Chris Jericho being the main event. Here I am thinking that CM Punk vs Scott The Referee Armstrong is gonna go 15 minutes. Damn!

Chris Jericho vs Kane, winner enters the World Heavyweight Championship match at Survivor Series

Jericho is evasive to start with, before making the executive decision of slapping Kane in the face. He actually looks to take charge after this for a few moments, but he comes off the ropes for a crossbody which Kane catches and he gets slammed the fuck down. Things go back and forth in a slow, slightly boring manner. I think they've noticed the crowd is completely lifeless and they're just gonna half-ass it. I don't blame them. Striker is excellent on commentary tonight, actually. Nothing at all interesting happens in the first half of the match, Jericho shoves Kane outside as we go to ADVERTISING.

BACK and Jericho is quite comfortably controlling the match. Kane, you're a bitch. The trouble here is that Jericho has the ability to improvise, he's very good at calling matches in the ring, and Kane is, largely due to his size, very much a by-the-numbers wrestler, and there's only so much he can do. As such, here, Kane looks outclassed and Jericho looks bored. Kane's first bit of major offense is a big boot which gets two. Kane goes for a sidewalk slam but Jericho flips out and hits a Codebreaker - for two. Jericho hits a Lionsault but Kane immediately hits a big chokeslam because one of Kane's special skills is no-selling. Jericho rolls out of the ring, limp. Kane gives chase, because he's an idiot. He rolls Jericho back in to pin him, and only gets two. Duuuhh, I'm Kane. I'm stupid. Duuuh. Jericho escapes a powerslam attempt and hits a chop block before slapping on the Walls. Kane wails for a little bit before crawling over to the ropes. Jericho gleefully runs over to Kane, straight into a stiff right hand. Kane then climbs to the top rope, like you do if you're seven feet fucking tall. "When Kane ascends the top rope, it's never good!" - Striker. Jericho just crotches Kane, going for a superplex (ha!) but Kane headbutts him down. Kane gently hops off the top rope into a mid-air Codebreaker (which must've looked like shit, there was a clumsy edit in there) - for the win.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Rating: **

Sloppy, predictable match which sorta did its job I guess. There is no place for Kane in the World Title scene anymore. Jericho tried his best but Kane is only good at squash matches. He's dreadful at selling and psychology. The only thing he does that looks good every time is a fucking punch. So yeah, Jericho's facing Show and Taker for the World Title at Survivor Series. Hmm. Jericho and Show are the Unified Tag Team Champions already. So surely they'll get into a fight and Undertaker will just fucking re
tain, right? Too predictable? Time for some kerrraaaazzzzy booking, WWE! Surprise me!

YES: Morrison/Ziggler was the highlight by some distance, but Beth looked good in her squash match, for what that was worth. Matt Striker is a great borderline-heel commentator, very smart. I'd pair him up with JR and dump Tard. But that won't happen. And Batista is a heel, which is not mind-blowing but it's progress. His promo stuff with Rey was alright.

NO: Another Drew McIntyre non-match, a pointless match pitting CM Punk against a referee, a Diva costume contest and an Eric Escobar 'match' all in one night, in front of a completely silent crowd? The shit-detector's gone haywire, cap'n!

WHAT?: Halloween show, with no Undertaker at all. Logic! I guess he tried out some new hair care product which left him bald. Or something funny like that. Layla getting a pop for her MJ impersonation was quite funny. I bet the idea was for the crowd to hate it, because she's a heel. Oh, and Natalya - who the hell dresses as a matador for Halloween? I also didn't need to see Shad running around acting like a bull.

THE A-SHOW, THE BEST SHOW WWE HAS TO OFFER... wasn't all that great tonight. A messy show, no doubt. Oh well. It's not often SmackDown has two bad shows back to back, so I'm expecting better next week. I'm Ian Sparke, and I can't talk no more, I got mouths to feed. Both of which are mine.
 
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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

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.).