InsidePulse Report for the WWE SmackDown SPECIAL

InsidePulse Report for WWE’s Smackdown Special – 11.29.05

Michael Cole and Tazz are your TV hosts, with Matthew Michaels here on the PULSE, and a graphic is shown for the “Tale of the Tape” of tonight’s SPECIAL main event: a rare RAW vs. SD match-up pitting Rey Mysterio up against The Big Show in a “David vs. Goliath Match.” Rey is about 300 lbs smaller than Show, and has dedicated the match to his late friend Eddie Guerrero.

Sharmell, the former Miss Black America, comes out to introduce her husband Booker T for a very SPECIAL second match in the best-of-seven series with Chris Benoit for the United States Heavyweight Championship.

(This is my first TV Report since the 03.17.05 Smackdown, so if you don’t know, please note that you’re not going to get much play-by-play here; instead, just look for me to hit on the key points of each match, recap out-of-the-ring segments, and toss in an overall ranking of the show at its conclusion. Stay tuned…)

Match 1: Booker T vs. Chris Benoit – Match 2 in Best of 7
– Booker T is up 1-0 in the series to determine the new US Champ after the title was held up by General Manager Teddy Long following a “double-pin” on Friday Night Smackdown
– The match starts off quickly with lots of back and forth, and Tazz and Cole updating viewers on the back-story
– Midway through the match, Booker gets tossed out of the ring, but gets out of the way as Benoit does a running dive through the ropes, landing hard on the floor
– We head to commercial, and then come back with both men having recovered and the action brought back into the ring
– It’s a CHOPFEST and Benoit’s got the advantage about 10 minutes into the match, which he emphasizes with THREE strong BELLY-TO-BELLY suplexes. Nice.
– Booker gets a Bookend out of nowhere, but Benoit kicks out at 2
– Benoit with the flying headbutt, but Benoit takes too long to cover and Booker’s able to kick out
– In a scary series of spots, Benoit almost gets tossed out of the ring by Booker, but catches his balance, and then tries to suplex Booker out of the ring from the apron, yet loses his grip and takes a nasty spill on the floor. Benoit does a great job selling the neck injury, yet still hitting a German suplex on Booker, but that aggravates his neck again, Booker hits the axe kick and gets the pin, 1-2-3, to go up 2-0.
Winner: Booker T

They show a video package of Eddie Guerrero highlights (the funnier “Lie. Cheat. Steal” one followed by the sad “Here Without You” one), and mention again that Rey Mysterio has dedicated his match to his friend.

>>commercial break<< Back from commercial, and Rey is in the lockerroom praying about his match, asking God to send Eddie as his guardian angel, and thanking God for blessing his family. Really touching moment that I initially thought might be too intimate to watch, but afterwards seemed like a really honest, heartfelt moment. That segues into back-to-back video packages running down both Rey’s and Show’s histories. Interesting to note were lots of video clips of Big Show kicking Brock’s ass, putting the Dudleyz through tables, and of course, the underrated feud Rey and Show had back when both were on Smackdown (specifically the match from Backlash 2003) and Show was a monster heel (including the spot where Rey, bound to a stretcher, was slammed up against the ringpost by Show). Big Show is introduced and the ref – Charles Robinson – checks his gear to make sure there are no foreign objects hidden in his knee pads (?) as we head to commercial. >>commercial break<< A graphic is shown hyping a Tag Team Battle Royale for Friday Night Smackdown, with the winner becoming #1 Contender for MNM’s WWE Tag Team Championship. Participants include: Scotty 2 Hotty & Funaki (who haven’t teamed in months)
Paul London & Brian Kendrick
The Dicks
Heidenreich & Road Warrior Animal
Nunzio & Big Vito
The Mexicools

Eddie’s music plays, and Rey comes out in a lowrider! Fuck, this is sad.

Match 2: Rey Mysterio vs. Big Show
– This match is a “David vs. Goliath” little man vs. big man match-up, dedicated to Eddie Guerrero by Rey Mysterio, who has history with Big Show going back to 2003 (although he hasn’t had any recent issues with the giant, with them both on separate brands)
– Big Show dominates early and Rey is on the floor, but Mysterio utilizes his quickness to get back into the match as we head to commercial…
– Back from commercial, and Big Show does the “Shhhh! CHOP” (Tazz compares this to being slapped in the chest with a frying pan) as they talk about Show’s past accomplishments, including being a two-time WWE Champion and current World Tag Champion with Kane
– Show continues to dominate, in and out of the ring, including a cool spot where he grabs Rey by the head, thumb in his MOUTH, and pressures the back of his neck up against the second rope
– Eddie chants start up, and Rey distracts Show with a thumb to the eye and punches to the head, but Show kicks him back down to the mat with his size 22 to the face
– Show heels it up (I guess he’s a face on RAW and heel on SD, although I subscribe to the theory that “faces” and “heels” are silly ideas anyway, and it’s the character that is most important) and drops an elbow on Rey, goes for the pin, and then pulls Rey up before 3
– Rey turns the tables momentarily, and has Show on the outside, going to the top rope, but Show catches him and powerbombs him onto the hood of the lowrider, as we go to commercial…
– Back from commercial, and Cole and Tazz are OUTRAGED that the ref is letting the match go on, but Rey makes a brief comeback (including a SPECIAL bitetothehead), and after a ref bump, Show introduces a chair into the match, which Mysterio uses to his advantage and then some!
– The crowd’s in a frenzy after a series of chairshots to the legs and head, and it’s 6-1-9 time!
– Show is on his back, Rey gives him another chairshot — this time to the chest — for good measure, and then goes up top, points to the sky, and hits the frogsplash! But the ref is still out, and KANE’S here (uh oh)…
– Double-chokeslam with Show’s hand on Rey’s neck and Kane’s in Rey’s mouth, but LIGHTS OUT, the bell tones twice, and … TAKER IS IN THE RING…
– Kane of course does the smart thing and leaves (ha!), as Big Show and Taker go at it! Crowd is huge into this, and Kane comes back, but Taker disposes of his brother with a chokeslam, only to turn around and get hit with an RKO from Randy Orton, with all hell breaking loose…
Winner: No Contest

Show, Kane and Rey disappear, as the attention turns to what is for all intents and purposes the top storyline on Smackdown: Randy and The Undertaker. Seemingly out from the RKO, Undertaker lays on the mat as Randy is greeted by his father on the ramp, next to the lowrider. Randy pauses and gives an odd look to the car, then opens the trunk and pulls out a tire iron, as Undertaker sits up and the crowd goes nuts. Taker comes out to attack Randy, but Cowboy Bob distracts him long enough for Randy to start beating on Taker with the metal rod, Taker eventually laying motionless on the trunk of the car. After hesitating and having a pretty bizarre look on his face, Randy gets in the car, starts it, and speeds in reverse back through the stage! The show ends with Bob looking upset, Randy looking delusional, and pyro and explosions leading to the car blazing in an unsettling visual, given the fact that the car was only on the set as tribute to Eddie, and the show closed with the car in flames as part of an unrelated wrestling angle.

Show Rankings

Storylines: B+
This was a very solid show, storyline-wise, particularly with only having an hour to get two long matches in AND give fans the desire to “tune in on Friday” to see how things play out. Orton looked really strong, and added a new, quasi-psychotic element to his legend killer character; the attention to detail re: Booker and Benoit as well as Rey and Show (particularly showing clips going back to 2003) was strong; and even Taker showing up to make the save vs. Show and Kane had more storyline continuity than many other recent segments on WWE television.

Wrestling: C+
In-ring work was definitely above average, but it’s hard to get excited about a match that has no immediate consequences, and one that ends in a shmozz. I understand why they couldn’t afford to give Rey or Show a loss here, as Rey losing on his “home brand’s” show would be a really weak ending, and Show losing as he enters into a program with HHH would cut his legs out from under him, especially losing to someone he outweighs by over 300 pounds. That being said, the ring work was solid and both matches were given time, but it wasn’t anything in the A or B range.

Entertainment: B-
Overall, this was a really quick-paced, solid, entertaining hour of pro wrestling. The “minus” is for the uneasy feeling in my chest watching Eddie’s car burn to close the show, as I wonder what Vince & Co. hoped that segment would lead to. Was it their way of paying homage to Eddie’s memory? Was it tasteless? I guess all of that’s in the eye of the beholder, and in a pro wrestling context, so much worse has been done, that this doesn’t seem that bad the more I think about it. That being said, they could have just as easily gotten the point across by having Randy, say, drag Taker to the back and do the same thing with a totally unrelated car, so the rating stands.

I hope you enjoyed our coverage of the Smackdown SPECIAL — stay tuned to IP Wrestling for more news on the fallout from tonight’s show, a report of Friday’s episode of Smackdown, and coverage of WWE’s Friday Night show as it builds towards December’s Armageddon pay per view.