TV REPORTS 11/24 WWE Smackdown Review: Fitzpatrick's detailed report on show as aired in Australia
Nov 25, 2006 - 1:56:00 PM
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By Joe Fitzpatrick, Torch contributor
WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 24, 2006
TAPED IN LONG ISLAND, NY.
AIRED IN AUSTRALIA ON FOX8
- Usual intro airs, but the pyro is cut short as Kane strides to the ring and into the cage. Nice way to start the show - they do seem to be trying hard to be much less predictable these days, which is good. We see a video recap of the phone booth spots from last week's encounter between Kane and MVP, which ended in Mr Kennedy helping MVP to the upset (before throwing him to the wolves). Wow, MVP now has his own entrance SET, a golden version of the kind of temporary protective archways they use (I think) in the NFL. He moseys to the ring oozing confidence, before gulping at the sight of the cage.
1 -- KANE vs. MVP - Cage match
Kane opens up by throwing MVP into the corner, but MVP gets some early blows in and tries to climb out at the first opportunity. Kane throws him back down into the ring and begins to dominate. It's very, very slow. Big boot choke, followed by a scoop slam and a leg drop. MVP is selling like a champ and crawling around between spots. Back body drop from Kane actually put MVP close enough to the door to escape, but Kane has him back in. I suspect the pattern for the night is set.
MVP squirms out of an attempt by Kane to throw him like a spear into the cage, and kicks Kane down to the ground. MVP tries to climb out again, but Kane's up. MVP is suddenly on Kane's shoulders and they tease something horrible, before MVP escapes and kicks away again, and hits a neckbreaker. He tries to climb. Zombie situp from Kane... but is he too late?
MVP is nearly over the top, but Kane pulls him back and they slug away on the top rope. Kane wins that but decides not to try to escape. JBL: "Not even trying to win. Kane has no desire but to punish MVP... This is disgusting that MVP was thrown into this situation."
Kane dominates with clotheslines, and then tosses MVP into the cage. Boot to the jaw has him almost out. Another throw to the cage, and MVP is just staggering around and selling. A few more blows to the mid section lead to a side slam from Kane. MVP staggers to his feet just in time to eat a clothesline from the top rope from Kane. 6 minutes in and it feels like it's been going twice as long.
Kane picks him up, grabs him by the neck and pulls him up to the top rope. Somehow MVP manages to battle back, and they slug away. Kane tries a clothesline, but MVP slams Kane's head into the cage, and Kane ends up crotching himself on the top rope. MVP climbs up, over and... OUT? Well, that was unexpected.
WINNER: MVP by escape in 7:00, and he crawls and staggers to the back as Kane stares in disbelief. I don't know where they're going with this at the moment; possibly nowhere.
- Soon, we'll have Mr Kennedy's Thanksgiving Address. Couldn't he just squash some jobber and then do a short promo? What's wrong with building up heels by actually letting them wrestle?
- Jimmy Wang Yang and Amy make their way to the ring, accompanied by pretty obvious post-produced cheers. Gregory Helms gets some nice taped boos, too. A quick graphic reminds us that Team RKO will meet Team DX soon at Survivor Series.
2 - JIMMY WANG YANG vs. GREGORY HELMS
You may have seen this match before. Some nice little mat stuff to start as Helms reverses a side headlock into a leg scissors, which is in turn reversed by Yang, who hits a jumping sidekick and pursues his man outside, before climbing the ropes to hit a moonsault. He drags Helms into the ring but only gets two, then misses another leap from the second rope and Helms throws him with massive power into the corner. 3 minutes in and Helms hits the rear chinlock. Yang gets to his feet, trying to elbow his way out of it, before Helms reasserts control with a facebreaker knee smash. Nice. Reverse side headlock from Helms, but Yang wriggles out and clotheslines Helms down.
Yang tries a cross body from the ropes but is caught and almost pinned. Yang stays on offenses, hitting an unconvincing enzuigiri on Helms who staggers away but then turns around in time to catch Yang as he charges towards him, lifting him up and letting him fall into the ring post behind him. Yang rebounds off the corner and straight into an inverted facelock and leg drop (i.e. an inverted Fameasser). Looks like the "expand your moveset" trend started by Benoit is catching on.
WINNER: HELMS in 6:00. Solid action in the usual hyperactive style, but I don't know why they keep putting Yang out there to lose, especially to Helms. Why not feed him to a psychopathic, Amy-bashing, Kennedy tonight and at least build up some sympathy for the hapless redneck?
- Backstage, and we're up for some amazing acting now. Vicky runs up to Chris Benoit and screams, very annoyingly, "Why the hell are you ringing my attorney?" Yeah, why is he ringing her attorney? "Because I know something's up..." says Chris. "Stay away from my attorney! I've done nothing wrong! I am the executor of the estate! Stay the hell OUT OF MY LIFE!" screeches Vicky, who then almost slaps Chris but he catches her wrist and walks off. Vicky snorts and stares dementedly into the middle distance, apparently not noticing the camera right in front of her... painful, painful stuff.
- MVP is applying ice to the back of his neck. Mr Kennedy turns up to apologise to MVP for feeding him to the sharks last week. And he also wants to thank him - though I'm not quite sure what for. Tonight is all about giving thanks, and he's going to go out there and give thanks to the Undertaker. I do like the fact that MVP and Kennedy remain paired backstage. Kennedy's face turn may involve beating MVP some day.
- Teddy, Sharmell and Booker are together somewhere else. Booker reminds Teddy that he is the "Champion of Chumpions", sounding more like a New Zealander than Englishman. He has a royal scroll with him, and wants Teddy to sign off on it. The provision - that he never has to face Batista again. Teddy tells him he does have a case. How? "You have my word," he says. But that's not enough for Sharmell, so Teddy agrees to look at the contract. Booker T wants more. He wants it signed in the ring. He wants Batista in the ring there too, to sign it.
- Meanwhile, Kendrick and London and Ashley are walking to the ring, but not exactly looking unified. I think those who smell a heel turn coming are probably right.
- Cole suggests to JBL that maybe Kendrick and London, whilst both being exciting, are not of the same caliber as singles wrestlers. Hmm.
3 - BRIAN KENDRICK (w/ Paul London & Ashley) vs. WILLIAM REGAL (w/ Dave Taylor)
Regal and Kendrick start out fighting over a hammerlock, with Regal selling noisily. He wriggles down and escapes via a backdrop, which nearly backfires on him as Kendrick grabs his legs and tries to grab a sitout pin. Kendrick tries another hammerlock, but Regal back up into the corner and, on the break, just unloads with some not-so-technical but oh-so-stiff knees and forearms. Irish whip, running elbow and a brutal lateral facepress gets two for the Great One. Kneedrop to follow up gets two also. Kendrick attempts to fight back from the ground with blows to the abdomen.
Into the third minute and it's time to mark out for Regal again, as he hits a modified Tazmission-plex (modified, because it's a belly-to-side with a release), nearly killing Kendrick. Michael Cole calls it "Look at that!" for a second week and, seconds later on the replay, a "maneuver" just for old time's sake. If Regal keeps this up, I'll have to find a name for it. Perhaps "the L.A.T." in honor of Cole.
Kendrick mounts a short-lived comeback including a sharpish kick to the face that looked like it seriously connected. Regal ducks out of a side-kick straight after, adding to my sense that he didn't appreciate that last one and isn't going to take any more hits just for the moment.
Regal just can't get that third count and as he has a half-nelson locked in, which is really nice psychology because most of his offense has been based around that move. Kendrick eventually gets out of it with his free arm connecting blows to Regal's mid-section, but walks straight into double underhook powerbomb attempt from Regal, which he nearly messed up and ends up being a slam. Stiff, stiff spot. I've got a feeling Regal's in a bad mood.
Regal has a nasty, nasty cut on his left eye (from that kick I think) and the crowd reckons he sucks. Kendrick makes the fight back now, with a hotshot into the ropes and a flying clothesline, then a crossbody for the near pin
Regal begs off, playing possum as Kendrick advances and gets poked in the eye. Dave Taylor tries some interference too and it's a car wreck. London and Ashley try to deal with him. Kendrick tries to even the odds by jumping outside onto Taylor. Bad move. Same finish as last week as Kendrick returns to the ring to run straight into a Regal knee and a lateral facepress and that's all she wrote.
WINNER: WILLIAM REGAL in 7:00. Good, good, short match. Worth watching twice, and building towards a tag feud down the line.
- We recap Booker and Batista's rivalry.
- "KENNEDY!" Let's see what he has to say. First, he wants everyone to shutup and listen, including the Undertaker, of course. He'd like everyone to bow their heads and give thanks... "TO ME! For beating the Undertaker at No Mercy" He he, predictable but funny. Footage from No Mercy airs. "You suck" chants. "I would like to also give thanks... to myself, for being able to get inside the heads of not one, but both of the brothers of destruction." Kennedy does a funny running commentary of his interference last week as it is replayed for our edification.
So, are we getting a run-in here or something? "I would like to give thanks... TO ME, for having the guts to tell the world the truth." Footage now of his promo from last week. Six minutes into the interview, and surely he's going to be interrupted. He tells the Undertaker who he is dealing with. The video package of the microphone attack from a week ago airs now.
GONG. Look out Mr Kennedy, he's BEHIND YOU! Kennedy bails and scrambles out of the ring. "Mind games" yells Cole. The crowd is as silent as a funeral, appropriately. Not much heat here. Oh look, Taker is talking without a microphone: "Survivor Series. First blooooood!" Drops of blood rain from the ceiling onto Kennedy, who stands there rather than moving out of the way. I thought Russo was booking TNA? That was 8 minutes of nothing. So many better ways to build heat for their match than this.
- Finlay and Benoit make their way to the ring for a match which will surely involve Chavo in some way. Cole sells the previous segment as the Undertaker playing mind games with "symbolic blood". He's lucky Kennedy stood in the right place. Who'd have thought the explanation that Undertaker had magical powers would ever make more sense?
4 - FINLAY vs. CHRIS BENOIT
There's a chance this could be really fun if they're given some time. Collar and elbow is fought over with both men driving the other into the corner in turn. Finlay wins and knees to the gut, then onto a side headlock. Benoit uses the free arm to lift him into a side suplex, then scoop slam. Finlay begs off and then thumbs Benoit in the eye when the Crippler tries to get aggressive. Rear three quarter facelock dominated the next minutes, before Benoit hits a release suplex. Finlay bails, and Benoit runs goes after him, diving through the ropes.
Finlay can't get the ankle-lock to stick, and gets caught by an enzuigiri. Baseball slide from Benoit fails, and Finlay grabs him and pushes him into the steps. Back in the ring, and Benoit is selling the left knee big time. He's also bleeding hardway from a gash on his left hip, which hopefully isn't too badly hurt. Finlay works over the knee but can't succeed with a single-leg crab. Benoit scrambles out and almost gets the sharpshooter, but Finally punches and brawls his way free.
Thirteenth minute and it's pretty basic but brutal stuff. Benoit's knee meets steel step and steel ringpost. Finally poses for the crowd, and stomps the knee, before wrapping the leg around the ropes.
A number of aborted comebacks from Benoit go nowhere until fatal mistake time arrives as Finlay tries to jump of the second rope and get booted in the face. Three snap suplexes from Benoit. Three German suplexes from Benoit. Flying headbutt.
And heeeeeere's Chavo and Vicky to provide a distraction. Little Bastard appears and hands the shillelagh to Finlay, who uses it to good advantage, and finishes things wish a Celtic Cross.
WINNER: FINLAY in 17:00. A decent match, but a bit too long for Finlay these days.
- And this is the point where the show ceases to be worth watching...
- Chavo attacks from the top rope with two frog splashes. He yells, "This is my business. You want to make it your business. You can make it your business. But I told you: You're not a Guerrero. You're not a Guerrero!" Hmm.
- RAW REBOUND: All hell broke loose in the opening segment, and in the closing segment too.
- Boogeyman time, though he seems to have missed his cue a little bit. Cole and JBL run through the main event card of Survivor Series as Boogey makes his way out. Five bucks says his match lasts three minutes max.
- "Hoo-ra!" it's Miz.
5 - BOOGEYMAN vs. MIZ
Don't tell me they're actually a non-squash match here? Miz gets the early advantage with knees to the gut and clubbing blows to the back. Boogey no sells being rammed into the turnbuckle, not that the crowd really cares that much. Miz does a standing drop kick but can't get three.
Jawbreaker and clothesline and crossbody from Miz! Dominance! A two-count. Miz mounts his man as I lose five bucks and beats him down Then he minces around a bit yelling Hoo-Ra, giving Boogey the chance to dribble some worms. Miz bails. Not a count out, surely?
No, not a count out, because before the ref has the chance to call it, Boogey dribbles worms on him. Is that a DQ? Then gives a two-handed chokeslam to him. This makes no sense. He eats worms, he dribbles worms on the ref and get his music played while Miz staggers away.
WINNER: No result. 4:00. Boogeyman is stale already.
- Cole and JBL in particular are disgusted. But the contract signing is coming up.
- Red carpet in the ring. Booker is in full regalia and has two fake trumpeters next to him. Booker does his usual attempt to get some heat and explains why we're all here. Teddy comes out, upset at all this extravagance, but duly signs. Hit Batista's music. He's in black today (e.g. Eric Bischoff 1997), and nearly trips over the camera cable on his way out. He stalks the ring and enters. There's a chair opposite Booker's throne on the other side of the table for him.
- Booker T reminds Batista that he feels a lot of doubt, that he must be second-guessing himself now. Batista is ready to sign, and does. Okay. Now what? Booker: "At Survivor Series, may the... best... man... win." And with that he flips the table up and into Batista's face. Batista fights back. The royal trumpeters (!) try to defend Booker but don't last long. Scepter to the throat from King Booker. Big Batista chant. He staggers up, only to be kicked in the face by Booker again. Scepter to the skull, which Batista sells like he's been paralysed.
And we're done.
OVERALL: I can't complain. The last segment was cookie-cutter stuff and the one before it was the usual terrible Boogeyman stuff. Before that, all good stuff in the ring, and the usual horrible stuff out of it. Three in a row decent shows for Smackdown. And three weeks where the show has featured at least one new signature move from a wrestler. In tonight's case, two. They may not have made me a fan of the PPV, but I'm a fan of the show for now.
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