I attended Smackdown in Savannah last night. The following is what I remember. The Civic Center is a rather small arena. It’s great for wrestling as even the cheap seats are good seats. Even with that, the camera side was fairly empty last night.
I haven’t been watching a lot of Smackdown the last few weeks (since that last awful PPV that left me feeling ripped off), so I’m a little out of it on the story lines. There was one dark match featuring a tag team bout. Never heard of either team. One of the teams had a manager. Velocity was what it was. Save an hour of your time and find something entertaining to do this weekend. Highlight was a Charlie Haas match. Haas has all the moves in the ring. I’ve seen the guy wrestle several times and he always performs at a high level. We also saw Bob Holly on Velocity as well. I found the pop for Holly rather surprising.
On to Smackdown. Show opened with Kurt Angle in the ring cutting a promo on Shawn Michaels and telling Marty Jannetty that his tag match with Michaels on Monday was not going to help him prepare for a match with an Olympic Gold Medalist. Marty looks great. Last time I saw him, he looked like he was on the Ricky Morton diet. He’s gotten into shape and can still go in the ring. This was the longest match of the night. Angle obviously works a less physical match than I’ve seen him put on in the past, but he still puts it together as well as anyone in the business. Very good match that did not steal any heat from Marty if they plan to use him in the future. Ending saw Marty tapping out after escaping the ankle lock twice.
JBL and Theodore Long in the back. Long tells JBL that if Cena touches him before WrestleMania, he would lose his title shot. However, he was suspending the stipulation for one night in a tag match where Cena could have JBL from “bell to bell.” Of course, JBL was joined by the new US Champion–Orlando Jordan. Huh? I haven’t been watching, but this guy deserves a title run? And Cena deserves a title match after losing to this guy? If WWE puts the title on Cena, they could have easily had a tournament for the belt. The Smackdown PPVs can use all the help they can get. This reminds of David Arquette for World Champ.
Luther Reigns and Booker T are next. Heidenreich is at the announce table. He exchanges some words with Booker T before the match, but doesn’t interfere as The Book cleanly finishes Reigns with the Ax kick. Afterwards, Heidenreich cut one of those poetry promos that make absolutely no sense. Oh well, at least I could see myself on TV the whole time.
Between the matches, Torrie, Jackie, and Dawn Marie were in the audience taking pictures and posing with the crowd.
We’re back and it’s time to sign the contracts. Out comes Long followed by a surprise visit from Bischoff who takes the mic to introduce Raw’s Randy Orton. Crowd quickly to their feet and popping. Long introduces Smackdown’s phenom, the Undertaker. Crowd is going nuts now. Taker signs the contract. Orton picks up the pen then cuts a promo telling Taker that the difference between him and the other 12 guys Taker beat at WrestleMania is that he’s not scared of him. He signs the contract and slaps Taker. Long and Bischoff clear the ring quickly. Orton gets out the ring and slowly makes his way up the ramp looking back at Taker. The Taker raises his arms and boom explosions for Orton. Let’s face it, the Taker gimmick works. Biggest pop of the night and the guy never says a word.
Time for popcorn. Billy Kidman and Paul London are next. This was the only match of the night with no WrestleMania build. Billy Kidman is talented and I know there are a lot of people out there that like his work. My problem is the guy seems to sleep his way through matches. He knows all the moves and puts them together well, but he doesn’t put on “great” matches with anyone. Add that the guy has the personality of a pet rock and it’s bathroom time. Paul London gets the pin with a 450 splash.
Big Show comes out to cut a prom on Akemono for their Sumo match at WrestleMania. Sumo??? Give me a break. Big Show could even look mildly interested in this match. Hope they have a surprise planned.
Backstage, JBL and Jordon are still looking for Cena. JBL has come up with a plan to make Cena mad so that he’ll hit him and lose his title shot at Mania.
Chavo cuts a great promo on Eddie backstage. Chavo tells Eddie that last year he was World Champ, now he’s tag champs with Rey. He tells him that with all the times Rey has beat him, if you can’t beat em’, join em’. He tells Eddie that Rey’s holding him back. Chavo tells Eddie to do the family a favor and quit calling himself a Guerrero. Yeah, I can’t spell it.
During one of the photo ops, Dawn Marie gets fed up with the Smackdown Diva winner stealing her shots and a cat fight breaks out. Refs quickly break it up. Not sure if this one is on TV.
JBL finds Cena in the back and tries to make him hit him. Cena restrains himself then tells JBL, thanks for the pep talk, he’ll see him in the ring.
Tag match features JBL and Bashams vs. Eddie, Rey, and Cena. If you’ve never seen them live, the only thing you can try to do in a match like this is keep your eyes on Eddie and Rey. They’re quick and if you blink, you miss something. Cena gets his hands on JBL a couple of times, but nothing spectacular. Ending saw Eddie take down one of the Bashams and head to the top for the Frog Splash. Rey comes over the top rope for the Plancha and the pin as Eddie looks on disappointed. The faces leave the ring and we’re out. After Smackdown goes off the air, Long comes out and tells JBL that he will have to face Cena one more time. He reassures Cena that he has his back… Holla holla holla. Cena comes out and is quickly jumped by Jordan and the rest of the Cabinet. Out comes big show who takes down the entire Cabinett leaving JBL easy pickings for Cena. And we’re out.
Credit- Ernest Joyner & PWInsider.com