How do, compadres,
it's SmackDown time and we're in the jolly old
quaint tea-drinking rainy la-de-da England, where I
live! Yay. Tonight should be BITCHEN, as we have
Chris Jericho vs the Undertaker (for the first time,
apparently) and also Dolph Ziggler is challenging
John Morrison for the Intercontinental strap. Oh,
and there's a contract signing between Batista and
Rey. Blah. We're underway with a match pretty soon.
CM Punk vs R-Truth
Punk of course
got "punked" (hahahahaha kill me) by Scott Armstrong
last week. Punk gets on the mic before Truth appears
for some cheap foreigner-insulting heel heat. This
actually turns into a decent promo even if he's
basically just saying British people are reprobates.
Which we are. Punk and Truth are on opposite teams
at Survivor Series, part of what is actually a very
interesting inter-brand match (Kofi, MVP, Mark
Henry, R-Truth and Christian vs Orton, DiBiase,
Rhodes, CM Punk and William Regal). I likes the
sound of that. Truth gets on the mic and rips on
Punk and his manly unshaven chest. He says he's here
to shut Punk up. Truth's great on the stick when he
wants to be. Anyway, the match!
with a shove, but Truth just decks him with punches,
kicks and stuff like that. Truth looks to do his
corner-jump/cartwheel thing but Punk catches him and
looks for the GTS, but Truth escapes and hits a
seriously nice corkscrew leg lariat for one. Punk
then swiftly gets backdropped over and out as we hit
an ad break. When we come back, Truth has Punk in an
armbar. Punk has apparently filed a complaint
against Scott Armstrong, so he isn't the ref here.
Punk fights his way out but gets clocked with a
forearm. Truth climbs to the top but is roughly
kicked in the leg and brought down. Punk brings many
stomps and leg holds as Striker once again compares
him to Johnny Cash (?!). Chop block gets two. The
crowd is rather quiet, only really getting into it
when Truth is rallying, which he isn't doing yet.
Punk works over Truth's leg for quite a while,
slapping on a nice grapevine/bridged chinlock thing
I don't know the name of. Punk goes for
a springboard somethingorother but Truth dropkicks
him in the gut. Truth rallies briefly, getting two
from a clothesline. Back suplex gets two also. Truth
misses a scissor kick by a mile and gets kicked in
the leg again. Punk signals the GTS and hoists Truth
up, Truth wriggles out and goes for a sunset flip
but Punk sits on him, grabbing the ropes and getting
Winner: CM Punk
Rather sluggish match which seemed 20 minutes longer
than it was. Crowd are very here-and-there, too. The
promos were better than the actual bout.
Mickie James has a match next. Backstage, Layla
attempts to 'bully' her into "leaving" in a very
annoying way and basically spells out that she's
gonna interfere in the match. Backstage stuff with
Divas = always, always dreadful. Here's the match.
Mickie James vs Natalya
the jobber entrance. She starts off by slapping
Mickie around a little, and doing a little 'yeah
baby' Jim Neidhart thing. Mickie cartwheels out of a
wristlock and mounts a rally, hitting a nice low
dropkick as Natalya bails. Mickie follows to the
outside and Natalya shoves her into the steps. Back
in the ring she covers Mickie for two. Natalya puts
Mickie in a surfboard but almost pins herself doing
it. I have to say, both of these gals look good
here, they're really trying hard. It's predictable
Diva fare to be sure, but good. The match proceeds
in an evenly matched, quiet, workmanlike manner
until... Michelle McCool and Layla stride down the
ramp holding some of Mickie's clothes. What. Mickie
hits a top rope plancha for two. McCool and Layla
cut up the clothes. Bitches. Natalya clocks Mickie
in the back of the neck with a clothesline then
slaps on a Sharpshooter, and Mickie taps.
Sort of alright
considering it's Diva stuff. Crowd didn't care.
Ho-hum. So, Raw has not only a new theme tune (by
Nickelback, hahahaahaaahaaaaa fuck you) but their
best guest host so far, in Roddy Piper. And a
potentially confusing triple threat tag team match.
Okay. Josh Matthews talks to John Morrison who does
a rather flat promo putting himself over. The crowd
goes 'yay' anyway. Here's another match!
Drew McIntyre vs Finlay
McIntyre actually gets a decent wave of boos. These
two are also on opposing inter-brand teams at
Survivor Series (Morrison, Shelton Benjamin, Finlay,
Evan Bourne and Matt Hardy vs Miz, Ziggler, Jack
Swagger, Sheamus and McIntyre), again, looks
promising. McIntyre says Finlay's not worthy, but
he's had a change of heart and he'll actually let
Finlay into the ring this week. There's an ad break
before Finlay even comes out. Wow, McIntyre is
undefeated? I guess so. He's had six 'brawls' and
only three proper matches since he (re)debuted.
Finlay comes out to a nice pop, and when the bell
rings Finlay takes charge immediately with a lot of
stiff strikes and a nice kick, but McIntyre responds
with a boot of his own which takes Finlay outside.
McIntyre follows and goes on the attack with general
stompery, and a wristlock. Finlay fights back with
more potatoes and clobbers McIntyre out again. They
brawl outside for a moment before returning again to
the ring. They exchange stiff shots and the bell
rings, with this apparently being a double DQ. Lame.
After the bell, Finlay goes for the shillelagh but
gets booted in the face. McIntyre takes the stick
and clobbers Finlay with it to sign off.
Why couldn't they have a
proper match? That looked good for a moment before
it devolved into a brawl. They're capable of so much
more than that. Oh, McIntyre has returned to the
ring and stands over the downed Finlay for a moment
before cracking him again with the shillelagh. I
guess that's that. A few minutes later, Finlay is
STILL down and out, being 'tended to' by about six
referees. They sell the beatdown he took but we're
thankfully spared the stretcher treatment, and
Finlay leaves on his feet. An ad b
Ah, excitement! Contract signing time! A slightly
hoarse Matt Striker is our emcee, as it were, and he
does a decent job of shilling the match. Mysterio is
out first, to a good pop. He's in street clothes,
which makes him look slightly less tiny than normal.
Batista gets some nice boos. We get the inevitable
replay from Bragging Rights, and eventually Teest is
in the ring too. It's your classic contract signing
setup, folks! Rey looks hysterically small sat in
that leather chair. I've never quite understood why
some contracts have to be signed in the ring, and
some don't. And has a contract signing ever gone
smoothly? Ever? It's kind of hackneyed, isn't it.
Batista signs the contract. Then Rey signs it too.
Wow. But DAVE brought something else. He presents
Rey with a second contract saying that he can't
legally be held responsible for what he does to Rey
at Survivor Series. Rey refuses to sign it. Batista
threatens him. Rey picks up the pen. Then Rey signs
it. He says Batista will be the one who gets
embarrassed at Survivor Series, then he flips the
table over onto DAVE, and strolls out. Dave stands
in the ring like a lummox, summoning the uniquely
British "who are ya!" chant (roughly translated as
"ha ha, you suck"). JoMo takes on DolZig which will
be (hopefully) more interesting than Rey Mysterio
holding a pen.
John Morrison vs Dolph Ziggler, Intercontinental
Dolph's got a nice
new silver waistcoat with zebra-print lining. He
certainly looks ready. Morrison gets a very
impressive pop indeed, and is decked out all in
gold. This is PPV-quality stuff right here, and the
match hasn't even begun. Yeah, I'm pumped. Hope this
gets some decent time. They start at a high pace,
exchanging quick holds, with Ziggler taking an early
powder, but darting back in with a forearm and some
stomps. Morrison quickly takes over with a
breakdancinglegdrop for two. This is a very
fast-paced match. Morrison goes up top but Ziggler
crotches him, kicks him and covers him for two.
Gutbuster gets Ziggler two as we go to an abrupt ad
break. Oh great. When we return, Morrison is
fighting out of a bearhug with some punches. He
whips ziggler into the corner and goes for some sort
of flying thing but Ziggler ducks and Morrison eats
the dirt, getting covered for two. Rolling neck snap
gets Ziggler another two. Stomps. Ziggler hasn't
been screaming all that much recently. He delivers a
bunch of elbows but only screams for one of them.
Body scissors. Bodyslam gets Ziggler yet another
two. This has been a Ziggler showcase so far.
Ziggler taunts but gets slapped in the face, and the
two exchange 'boo' and 'yay' punches.Morrison flips
out of a German suplex attempt and hits a forearm, a
clothesline and a leg lariat, for two. Morrison goes
for a move I don't know the name of but Ziggler just
rams his face into the mat for two, before pounding
on Morrison's head. Ziggler catches a kick but
Morrison rolls through with a 'Pele kick', leaving
Ziggler in position for Starship Pain. He rolls out
of the way though, and Morrison lands on his feet.
Ziggler trips him into a rollup but the ref spots
his feet on the ropes. Ziggler complains to to the
ref and eats a magnificent Chuck kick, getting
covered for a long two. They fight on the apron and
end up ascending the ropes, exchanging punches until
guys lose their balance and fall off to the
outside. They both get counted out. Wonderful.
A double countout?!
What the fuck kind of idea is that?! It was a good
match until that abrupt, stupid finish. Ziggler
looked like he was gonna take it. Frustrating
booking. And now, because twice is never enough,
here's a Beth Phoenix squash match.
Beth Phoenix vs Lisa Taylor
Yeah. Same old same old, but this time with a
sort-of-interesting tree of woe/neckbreaker combo.
Glam Slam finishes it.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Boring, really. I hope that's the
last of these silly squashes. The crowd doesn't care
and we already know Beth's a badass. What purpose
this serves is lost on me. Josh Matthews talks to
Chris Jericho in the dressing room for the usual
hypocrites/plebians/parasites stuff. Aha! Next week,
in an attempt to gloss over that frustrating
half-match, John Morrison will face Dolph Ziggler in
a two-out-of-three falls match for the IC title.
That should at least get more than seven goddamn
minutes. Main event time al
Chris Jericho vs The Undertaker
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!. This is actually true.
They have faced each other before, years back, as
part of tag matches, and they've actually teamed
together a couple of times too. But one-on-one? This
is the first one, folks. Jericho's out first,
naturally. It takes two and a half minutes from the
first 'bong' to the point where Taker's music fades
out. Not as slow as you think. I guess he used to be
slower. Anyway, they start off in speedy mode, with
lots of punches from Jericho doing not much, and
lots of punches from Taker causing Jericho to beg
him off. I should mention Taker's hair. He looks
pretty normal this week, though his eyebrows seem to
have disappeared. His hair is very greasy. Striker
says "the cranial creepiness of the Undertaker!",
probably not referring to his hair. Taker
clotheslines Jericho over and out, before doing his
apron routine (punches, legdrop). Taker then works
on Jericho's arm for some reason, getting a quick
one-count in the middle of a series of moves
stemming largely from a wristlock. Taker goes for
Old School (when was the last time he hit that?),
but Jericho springs up and flips Taker off the top
to the mat as we hit an ad break. When we return,
they're both on the mat and Jericho is screaming
"c'mon Undertaker" a lot and punching him in the
face. Jericho hits a dropkick off the second rope
for two. Undertaker finds himself in a sleeper which
he fights out of, but he gets kneed in the stomach
and booted to the outside. Jericho whips Taker in to
the barricade and rolls him back in. I have to say,
Taker's selling has really improved. Unless he's
really genuinely fucked. Jericho dominates for a few
minutes. They trade 'boo'-'yay' punches, and Taker
mounts his comeback, hitting a corner charge and
Snake Eyes but getting planted with a quick dropkick
for two. More punches from Jericho. Taker goes for a
chokeslam, but Jericho fights out. Jericho comes off
straight into a big boot. Taker misses
a corner charge and Jericho dominates some more,
punching taker whilst stood on the second rope. Man,
Taker looks kind of like a bitch here. Ah, but Taker
lifts Jericho up for the Last Ride - which Jericho
again escapes before hitting a Codebreaker - for
two. Jericho mimics Taker's throat-slashing move,
before lifting Taker up for a Tombstone. Okaaay.
Taker reverses it, but Jericho escapes AGAIN, and
scores with a chop block before actually HITTING the
fuckin' Lionsault, but before he can go for a cover,
Taker sits up, making a noise like a gorilla (I'm
not kidding, it was very funny). He goes for a
chokeslam but Jericho rolls out and manages to snare
Taker in the Walls. Taker manages to twist round and
turn it into Hell's Gate and Jericho taps
Winner: The Undertaker
Interesting, nicely paced match. It
didn't present Undertaker as a superhuman - he
actually looked pretty weak out there at certain
moments. Jericho escaped nearly all of Taker's big
moves, which was sort of surprising. Big Show
lumbers out after the bell, and he and Jericho
assault Taker. Show hits a chokeslam and a legdrop,
and they do the Walls/Colossal Clutch combo - before
KANE comes to the rescue! Half-hearted face turn
ahoy! Show bails, and Kane boots Jericho in the
face. We then for some reason cut to Vince,
"backstage", on the phone to Teddy Long. He makes
Kane & Undertaker vs Jericho & Show for next week.
The Brothers of Destruction stand in a red-lit ring,
JeriShow look a bit scared, end show.
YES: Decent show I guess. Main event was
good. No bullshit segments to speak of. Watchable.
Ziggler/Morrison was potentially fantastic but
frustratingly short. I guess they have to get one
more match out of the feud before Survivor Series
but still... Also, getting a little bored of Beth
Phoenix squash matches and I really wish Drew
McIntyre could have a proper actual match with an
actual finish. Punk and R-Truth were
uncharacteristically slow, too.
Taker's gorilla noise, by gawd.
that, next week's show is very promising
indeedydoodah. I'm Ian Sparke, and red wine does not
go with vanilla ice cream one tiny goddamn bit. Ugh.