The (Early) SmackDown Report

Before I begin: sucks to hear about Henry. Whatever you think about him, and chances are the majority of you think of him in a bad way, you can’t help but deny that for him to finally get a serious big break in the WWE after, what is it, around ten years of working only to get injured, is bad news for Henry and WWE. Well let’s look at the big positives that can come through this: plenty of time for Henry to work on his microphone work, plenty of time for Henry to study wrestling matches, and once Henry is back in OVW he might learn a few moves. So long as his contract gets renewed, and I for one hope it does.

Our usual WWE opening video and Theodore Long is already in the ring. Long announces that Henry is injured (to a surprising amount of boos), and that Henry has undergone surgery already. He is about to name Batista something, presumably the Number One Contender, before Mr Kennedy interrupts! In a nice touch Long won’t give Kennedy his microphone, so Kennedy gets his usual microphone. He says that everyone has been talking about Mr Kennedy, not Batista, which is why he’s challenging Batista to a match at the Great American Bash and when it’s over the announcer will cry out that Mr Kennedy has won. Batista makes his way out and doesn’t look like a happy chappy.

Batista tells Long that he wants that match booked, because he’s got six months of built up tension and now he has no one to take it out on, thus Mr Kennedy will do just fine. Kennedy extends a hand and retrieves it just as Batista is about to shake it .. There, that’s it. Segment over. Short, simple, and believable. Anyone else remember when Mr Kennedy was Mr Anderson? I do.

Still to come: Lashley gets his United States Championship rematch against Finlay!

Commercials.

Opening Contest: Brian Kendrick with Paul London vs Kid Kash with Jamie Noble
As always, expect me to be bias towards this match. But, hey, it’s good matches anyways. London has a chair but doesn’t get to use it, and Kash attacks Kendrick from behind. We get some quick speedy fun before Kendrick gets a drop toe hold and hip toss before Kash gets some headbutts, a trip and we then move onto some more speedy fun which ends in Kendrick getting an arm bar. Kash gets a knee to the gut of Kendrick and sends him into the corner, but Kendrick flips over Kash but Kash dropkicks Kendrick’s knee. Kash slams Kendrick’s knee into the apron, and gets a double axe handle onto the knee as well – which was kind of neat. Kash gets in an inverted Boston Crab, otherwise known as the really hurting stretch or something like that, on Kendrick who punches Kash off of him.

Kash gets a two count after a clothesline. Kash kicks Kendrick’s upper thigh a few times, before he uses the ropes and wrap Kendrick’s leg around it. Nice idea. Kendrick gets some punches in before Kash gets an eye rake in. Kash locks in a Figure Four, having Noble pull on Kash’s arms to apply extra force but Kendrick gets to the ropes. Kendrick gets some rights in but Kash nails a snapmare – Kendrick landing almost on his head and his feet hitting the ropes, a move that deservedly gets a replay. Kash runs right into the turnbuckles before Kendrick gets a neckbreaker and London tries to rally the fans. Kendrick with some rights, Kash with a low kick, but Kendrick gets a clothesline, an elbow, and a right hand.

Kendrick with some nice kicks before Noble begins to intervene from the apron, Kash runs right into Noble (who saw THAT coming?!) and Kendrick gets a school boy for a two, almost a three. Noble goes to attack but London comes in and fights him off, the referee begins yelling at him as Kendrick goes for Sliced Bread No. 2, but with Noble’s help turns it into the Dead Level for the victory!
Winner: Kid Kash

A good match no doubt (never mind Kendrick and London), and as high as I want to rate it – it was still a squash. One of the better squashes I’ve seen at least so; Five out of Ten. See, I can almost keep my hormones out of Kendrick and London’s matches .. almost.

Backstage Long is trying to bring Chavo back out of retirement, when King Booker barges into his office. Booker complains about Mysterio before Chavo tells Booker he’s tired of people complain about Mysterio, Booker tells him to mind his own business before Long has to tell them to calm down. I smell a Chavo turn! Oh and Booker issued a challenge, I think.

Jillian and Ashley are backstage being all diva esque and all, before they make their way to the ring.

Commercials. Ironically enough, one of the commercials is for the Great American Bash, and is all about Batista vs Mark Henry. Heh.

Again in his office, Long informs Mysterio of Booker’s challenge for tonight, Chavo tries to talk him out of it before Mysterio tells Long that it’s on.

Second Contest: Michelle McCool and Kristal Marshall vs Ashley Massaro and Jillian Hall
Cole says that Kristal is jealous, but I always thought that Ashley was supposed to be the bitchy one here. Hm. Hall and McCool start .. but I’ll be calling her Mc from now on, I HATE the name McCool. Mc gets the better of a lock up, and Hall shoves Mc. Scoop slam by Hall is followed with a cartwheel elbow drop for a one count. Mc with a kick to the gut and acceptable uppercut before she shoves Hall into the corner. Hall reverses the irish whip, sending Mc into the opposing corner, and follows up with the Handspring Elbow before she messes Mc around a bit and tags in Massaro who comes in with a .. headlock. Mc tries to get Massaro off of her, and succeeds when she pushes Massaro into her team’s corner. Marshall pulls at Massaro’s hair, but Massaro gets an elbow (not a right hand, Cole) to Marshall before she walks into a Mc clothesline. Tag in by Marshall. Marshall pulls Massaro up, keeping her hair down with her feet, and Massaro gets some elbows – kick to the gut by Marshall who then hits a suplex (!!). Marshall goes for the pinfall but Hall comes in and tears her top! Massaro with a school girl for the victory.
Winners: Ashley Massaro and Jillian Hall

Wow, Marshall’s improved. Massaro’s improved. McCool always did have that shining chance to be a wrestler (for those that remember her matches with Dawn Marie). What do you know, SmackDown’s Diva’s Division might become watchable. Nothing spectacular but I’ll because these girls have improved as much as they have I’ll be nice; Three out of Ten.

During the match, Cole announced a Fatal Four Way Bra And Panties Match for the Great American Bash. Between these four, obviously.

Still to come: Mysterio and King Booker, in a set up trap!

Commercials.

And we’re back to Daivari and The Great Khali in the ring! Daivari hypes up the Punjabi Prison Match. Apparently escape is the only way to win. We get a recap of the Khali and Undertaker feud. The video does the best job of getting Khali over so far.

Backstage, Finlay makes his way to the ring!

Commercials.

Mike Mizanin is backstage with Bobby Lashley. Mizanin has calmed down heaps .. it’s scary. Mizanin asks Lashley his game plan, and Lashley replies simply with “Finlay’s not the only one who loves to fight”.

Third Contest: United States Championship: Bobby Lashley vs Finlay (Champion)
Lock up and Lashley forces Finlay into the corner before he is told off by the referee. Lashley takes Finlay down for a one count, headlock, before Finlay gets to the ropes. Finlay takes a moment to complain about a pain in his elbow, only to get a (shock horror) cheap shot on Lashley by use of an elbow. Snapmare into one count by Finlay. Lashley chokes Finlay in the corner before he gets some strong spears in, snapmare and elbow drop follows before a suplex gets a two count. Finlay gets a cheap kick to the gut and sends Lashley into the corner with some uppercuts, short arm clothesline for a pinfall but both shoulders aren’t pinned down, and Finlay gets in a shoulder claw.

Finlay gets an elbow to the shoulder on Lashley for a two. Lashley gets sent head first into the turnbuckle by Finlay before Finlay gets some rights in, headlock and Lashley sends Finlay into the ropes and Finlay comes back into a shoulder block. Finlay tries for an eye poke, right in front of the referee, but Lashley backs off just in time, before Lashley looks to go for a few of his own. Finlay with some upper cuts, snapmare, and butt thump before he gets in a sleeper hold. Finlay slides Lashley out of the ring, but Lashley sends Finlay face first into the apron! Spear by Lashley into the apron! Lashley begins walking the steel steps but Finlay drags his leg out from underneath him, and Lashley falls on the mats below.

Back in the ring Finlay works the knee of Lashley and gets a single legged boston crab before he tightens the hold, before he straightens the leg of Lashley and forces before letting go of the hold. Finlay with a knee drop to the knee, and grabs Lashley’s knee – but Lashley jumps and gets a kick to the gut of Finlay! KIck to the head but Lashley gets taken back to the canvas by Finlay! In the corner Finlay picks up the injured leg yet again, but Lashlye kicks him off and comes back with a clothesline! scoop slam for a one! Lashley with the military press onto the knee, Regal is on the apron but is quickly sent into the ring by Lashley! Finlay gets a cheap clothesline as Lashley turns around .. and the Leprechaun is out!

The Little Bastard attacks Lashley before he retreats back under the ring, the damage done, and Finlay takes Lashley’s knee and slams it onto the apron and then into the steel pole. Lashley begins to get back up but Finlay kicks the leg out from under him, he gets in an ankle lock but Lashley begins to kick him off, and he does! Lashley with some right hands only to get a drop toe hold, before Finlay forces on the knee! Lashley gets back up and takes it to Finlay with elbows! Clotheslines! Overhead belly to belly! Delayed vertical suplex! Lashley gets ready for the spear but Regal trips him and punches away, the referee turns just as Regal stops punching and Regal has the best smile EVER. Finlay removes the turnbuckle padding, the referee goes to put it back on and Regal gives him a chair. Lashley kicks the chair back into Finlay! Regal in with a chair, but Lashley gets the spear! Lashley turns around .. and gets hit by a chair by Finlay!
Winner by DQ: Bobby Lashley and Still Champion: Fit Finlay

Post match, Lashley destroys Regal and is about to destroy Finlay before the Little Bastard gets in a low blow, and Finlay takes Lashley out with the shaleleigh! Every time these two work together they produce an even better match than the last. Not a technical classic but rather a match where you actually believe the story that they’re trying to tell. Eight out of Ten. SmackDown standards, I should remind you. Also I think it’s worth mentioning that this is the first time in a long while that a big match has been shown without any commercial breaks. That always deserves a thumb up.

Up next, Diva Search fun .. cough.

Commercials.

Mike Mizanin makes his way out and looks to have had seventeen coffees since we saw him last. I never noticed this but Mizanin looks really young, almost younger than me, even if he is seven years older. Before the dance off starts, we have an important message from our sponsors;

Commercials.

And the divas are still in the ring, each a bit cheap. The way some of them dance doesn’t help matters either. This thing is like a Strip Club without the striping and the money bills. Man, dance off’s suck. Milena wins for those that care.

Backstage Hardy, Funaki, and Tatanka are talking when Sylvan interrupts and talks about Quebec.

Still to come: Mysterio and King Booker clash, in a set up trap – still.

Gregory Helms is at ringside wearing a terrible top .. even though I really like it.

Fourth Contest: Super Crazy vs Psicosis
Psicosis has new music and his hair back, for those playing the home game. Psicosis attacks to start and takes it into the corner, where Crazy stumbles back from the turnbuckles into a clothesline by Psicosis. Psicosis whips Crazy off the ropes, but Crazy comes back with his body scissors arm drag and kicks Psicosis into the corner, but Psicosis drags him face first into the second turnbuckle. Psicosis hangs Crazy up in the ropes and kicks away before he poses. Psicosis gets a nice hair toss on Crazy (there’s a sentance I thought I’d never type) before he does another hair toss. Psicosis locks in a mexican surfboard, Crazy is dropped to the canvas and turns around, going for a few punches, but is quickly taken back down by Pscisosis. Camel clutch applied by Psicosis. Cazy gets the upper hand with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, followed by a springboard dropkick and moonsault to the outside on Psicosis! Back in the ring Crazy gets a two count. Off the ropes Crazy runs into a spinning heel kick by Psicosis for a two count. Fall forward suplex by Psicosis for a two count, almost a three. Crazy gets an arm drag on Psicosis and turns it into a crucifix pin for the victory!
Winner: Super Crazy

Not bad, but not quite the match that I was hoping for. Hey, there’s always enough room to incorporate disappointment. Four out of Ten.

It’s speculated during the match that the winner of this match will challenge Helms at the Great American Bash, but it’s never made official since all Helms says is that he will defend his title at the Great American Bash.

Still to come: Mysterio vs King Booker.

Commercials.

Vito shopped for dresses. Denim short skirts suit him actually.

Great American Bash;
World Heavy Weight Championship:Rey Mysterio (Champion) vs King Booker
Batista vs Mr Kennedy
Tag Team Championship:The Hooliganz (Champions) vs The Pitbulls
United States Championship:Finlay (Champion) vs Bobby Lashley vs William Regal
Fatal Four Way Bra And Panties Match:Ashley Massaro vs Jillian Hall vs Michelle McCool vs Kristal Marshall
Punjabi Prison Match: The Great Khali vs The Undertaker
Cruiser Weight Championship:Gregory helms (Champion) vs Mystery Opponent

Queen Sharmell comes out and introduces King Booker. Mysterio then makes his entrance which takes us to;

Commercials.

Main Event: King Booker with Queen Sharmell vs Rey Mysterio
We’re back and Booker is winning a test of strength. Mysterio gets some kicks in and takes it to the corner for a ten count punch against Booker. Mysterio off the ropes and reverses a tilt-a-whirl attempt with a headscissors, which sets up or the 619! Of course it misses as Booker rolls out of the ring, but Mysterio gets a seated senton off the apron onto Booker! Back in the ring Booker gets the upper hand and kicks away – ugh, Eddie chants – at Mysterio before he picks him up for some chops. Irish whip into the opposing corner and Mysterio goes for another headscissors but Booker throws him onto the canvas for a two count. Short arm clotheslines by Booker is followed by the superkick for a two count.

Booker gets a hammerlock on Mysterio, but Mysterio escapes with punches only to run right into an elbow by Booker. Booker with a suplex for a two count. Booker gets in a sleeper hold, to which Mysterio escapes and goes for a crossbody – but Booker catches him and slams him down for the two count! In the corner Booker yells at Mysterio about Eddie before he chops and punches him down to the canvas. Mysterio gets sent off the ropes and comes back with the bodyscissors bulldog! Mysterio gets some kicks and rights in, before he dropkicks Booker’s knee! Seated senton! One! Two! No! Mysterio gets a baseball slide to the groin of Booker in the corner. Snapmare by Mysterio, who follows with a crucifix pinfall for a two.

Booker catches Mysterio on his shoulders, but Mysterio sends Booker to the second rope! Mysterio starts the run up but Sharmell trips him! Book End! One! Two! Mysterio gets the foot on the rope! Booker gets Mysterio up with the mask, and kicks him in the gut. Booker goes off the ropes but gets tripped over by Chavo! Dropkick by Mysterio, 619! Top rope leg drop! One! Two! Three!
Winner: Rey Mysterio

I still smell a turn for the Great American Bash. I just hope this match isn’t a sign of the rematch, as it was kind of slow .. and not in a good way. Well apart from that there was nothing terrible with it, I just question the idea to have the match now. Five out of Ten. To think if it was the same match only three minutes quicker. So this week stands at;

Kid Kash vs Brian Kendrick: 5/10
Hall / Massaro vs McCool / Marshall: 3/10
Bobby Lashley vs Finlay: 8/10
Super Crazy vs Psicosis: 4/10
King Booker vs Rey Mysterio: 5/10
SmackDown 21/07/06: 25/50

Not a bad episode, actually. The only thing that really dragged was the Diva Search segment, and even that was kept to a “as quick as possible” situation. Finlay and Lashley would have dragged for you if you’re not a fan of those sort of matches. It also only just dawned on me, how surreal it was to see a SmackDown without Chris Benoit, Mark Henry, and a Khali segment that was as quick as possible. Freaky. Until next week, ciao y’all!

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