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KELLER'S SMACKDOWN REPORT 11/25: Ongoing "virtual time" analysis of broadcast

Nov 25, 2005 - 9:01:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN
NOVEMBER 25, 2005
SHEFFIELD, U.K.


-A mind-numbingly overproduced, convoluted recap aired of recent occurrences related to Batista and the Smackdown crew headed into Survivor Series.

-After the Smackdown opening montage, Michael Cole and Tazz introduced the show. They plugged Batista vs. Randy Orton for the World Hvt. Title.

-They went outside where Teddy Long told security members to be prepared for anything from Raw wrestlers. Cole acknowledged "rumors" that Raw might invade Smackdown.

1 -- BOOKER T vs. CHRIS BENOIT -- U.S. Hvt. Title match

Sharmell pranced out first to her own music wearing a white gown and a crown. She thanked the booing crowd for their support. She then introduced her man, Booker T, weighing in at "256 fine pounds." Booker then came out, followed by challenger Chris Benoit. Lots of chops in the early minutes. Cole asked what it felt like. Tazz offered to demonstrate (Now that would draw ratings). Cole declined.

[Commercial Break]

They came back to Booker holding Benoit in a keylock. Benoit escaped and went for a Crossface. Booker blocked it and hit Benoit with a kick to the face. The ref went down at 14:30. Benoit applied the Sharpshooter. A second ref ran to the ring. Booker reached the bottom rope. Benoit went into a series of German suplexes. He signalled for the top rope headbutt, then climbed to the top rope. Sharmell distracted him long enough for Booker to get up and hit a superplex. On landing, both leveraged the other's shoulders to the mat. The first ref came to and counted one shoulder's down while the second ref counted the other's shoulders down. Controversy erupted.

WINNER: No contest at 17:04 (TV time).

STAR RATING: **

[Commercial Break]

-The chaos continued in the ring with two refs arguing and Teddy Long in the middle of it. Long said he wanted to watch the replay on the big screen even though normally that's not routine. Multiple angles didn't definitively reveal either man's shoulders being up before the other's. Sharmell then said that in the case of a tie, the champion keeps his title. Long said, "You're right, that's true." Long turned to Benoit and said he's not the U.S. Champion. "But as general manager of Smackdown, I am going to make an executive decision," he said. Then he announced that he was holding up the U.S. Title belt. He recalled their Best of Seven series in WCW and said he was going to hold another such series, beginning at Survivor Series, with the winner coming away with the U.S. Title. Sharmell wasn't happy. Booker and Benoit trash-talked each other.

-JBL went looking for Shawn Michaels backstage. Instead, he ran into Boogeyman. He sang a song about medicine going down in a delightful way. Nobody could possibly say, "I'm the Boogeyman" in a more entertaining way than he does. He began laughing maniacally. JBL looked like he just walked in on his parents having sex.

-Cole and Tazz plugged Batista vs. Orton as the TV main event.

[Commercial Break]

2 -- CHAD & JAMES DICK vs. LEGION OF DOOM (Animal & Heidenreich)

This was the TV debut of The Dicks. They came out rubbing their Chippendale bodies with oil and wearing blue suspenders, white pants, and white collared bow-ties. They did a little strip tease. Next to LOD, Chad & James might have been more accurately dubbed "Shrinkage." (Calling this team The Dicks is about as juvenile and hapless as The Who character that was created to make Vince McMahon giggle). The defining symbol of this Smackdown era will be the LOD 2005 overstaying their welcome so long (still around because Heidenreich is the last remnant of the early series of bad Laurenaitis call-ups and Animal is Laurenaitis's brother). Cole wisely said it felt as if Raw wrestlers might show up at any minute. Anything to keep fans tuned in to this. Somehow Animal has managed to wrestle several times a week, but end up more out shape than he was when he made his triumphant return to the regular roster. One of the Dicks squirted white baby lotion into Animal's face (I wonder if Val will let them borrow the name of his finisher). Animal was then pinned when one Dick shoved his boot into the other's butt for additional leverage.

WINNERS: The Dicks at 3:04.

STAR RATING: 1/2* -- The Dicks provided some stiff competition for LOD.

[Commercial Break]

3 -- MR. KEN KENNEDY vs. MATT HARDY

It might be more tasteful for Matt Hardy to not be referred to as "the man who will not die" for a month or so in light of Eddie Guerrero's death. Hardy missed a moonsault early and Kennedy took control. Hardy came back and hit some near falls, with Cole playing up Kennedy's unpinned status in WWE. Kennedy avoided a Twist of Fate and set up Hardy for his finisher. Hardy reversed it and gave Kennedy a bulldog off the top rope. Kennedy grabbed the bottom rope to avoid the pin. Hardy clotheslined Kennedy over the top rope to the floor. Hardy then leaped off the apron and gave Kennedy an axe handle. Kennedy reversed Hardy into the ringside steps, then grabbed a chair. The ref tried to get the chair away from him, but Kennedy shoved the chair into the ref. The ref DQ'd him. Kennedy threw a mini–fit over his DQ loss.

WINNER: Hardy via DQ at 6:15.

STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Okay short TV match. Lame, but predictable, finish.

-Bischoff tried to sweet talk security outside the arena. Long walked up and asked what he could do for him. Bischoff indicated the Raw invasion would be there sooner than he expected.

[Commercial Break]

4 -- CHRISTY HEMME vs. MELINA (w/Mercury, Nitro)

The ref ordered Mercury and Nitro to the back after a pre-match scuffle. Melina tied Christy into a pretzel. Hemme kicked Melina in the head to escape. After they exchanged blows, Melina clotheslined Hemme to the mat. Hemme took a nice bump. Melina then hit her finisher and scored a clean pin. Cole said Trish Stratus better not underestimate her at Survivor Series.

WINNER: Melina at 3:01.

STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Good intensity. Creative outfits.

-Backstage a doctor finished taping Batista's chest and shoulder. Orton then approached Batista and said he knows first-hand about injuries, noting that he once gave him one. He said he didn't want Batista to use his injury as an excuse after he beat him later. Batista laughed. Orton said he was the best member of Evolution and he'd prove it later. Batista said the way he remembered it, he lost the World Title to Triple H and he won the title from Triple H, and walked away from Evolution on his terms whereas he got kicked to the curb. Good history lesson. Batista threw the belt over his shoulder and walked away with a look of confidence. Cole wondered if his bandages would be a bull’s-eye.

[Commercial Break]

-Cole and Tazz narrated footage of Nunzio defeating Juventud to win the Cruiserweight Title in Rome, Italy. Then they were interrupted by Carlito and Chris Masters walking through the stands. They showed their tickets and sat in the front row.

5 -- NUNZIO (w/Vito) vs. JUVENTUD (w/Super Crazy, Psicosis) -- Cruiserweight Title

Nice pace, but too short to amount to much. Juventud won with the Juvi Driver. During the match, Vito and the Mexicools squared off at ringside.

WINNER: Juventud at 3:21 to regain the Cruiserweight Title.

STAR RATING: 3/4* -- There's no point to a cruiserweight division if their personalities aren't developed and they aren't given time to showcase what they do differently than the heavyweights.

[Commercial Break]

6 -- JBL & REY MYSTERIO vs. WILLIAM REGAL & PAUL BIRCHILL

Security closely guarded Carlito and Masters. JBL took Regal down with a Clothesline from Hell at 1:30. Shawn Michaels then interfered with a superkick as the ref was distracted. Carlito and Masters then attacked Rey. Heidenreich, Hardcore Holly, and Benoit made the save. Masters and Carlito retreated. Cole asked what else Raw had in store for Smackdown tonight.

WINNERS: No contest at 2:00.

STAR RATING: n/a

[Commercial Break]

7 -- BOBBY LASHLEY vs. ORLANDO JORDAN

WINNER: Lashley at 0:52.

STAR RATING: n/a

-Backstage Long ordered security to gather the rest of the Smackdown roster and send them to the ring to prevent interference in the main event. There were security members in the parking lot who had been attacked and left lying.

[Commercial Break]

8 -- BATISTA vs. RANDY ORTON -- World Hvt. Title match

Smackdown wrestlers surrounded the ring. They had their backs to the ring and stared into the stands to prevent interference. As Batista and Orton locked up, over a dozen Raw wrestlers ran to the ring. A huge brawl broke out with everyone. Orton gave Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade RKOs. Michaels superkicked Orton. Rey then gave Michaels the 619. Batista gave some spinebusters in mid-ring. He then fended off attacks from Kane and Big Show. As he set up a Batista Bomb on Kane, Show headbutted him from behind. Show and Kane removed the monitors from the announcing desk and chokeslammed Batista through the desk. Then they bent over and smiled in face. The ring then filled with more than two dozen wrestlers brawling.

WINNER: No contest.

STAR RATING: n/a -- Nice show-ending scene, but I'm still bothered by babyfaces attacking babyfaces and expecting fans who pay tickets to see both brands and watch both shows each month to somehow take sides. Since there's nothing tangible at stake in this Battle of the Brands, it's less effective and more or less just confusing.


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