Report by Cameron Davidson
We start tonight’s episode from Reno, NV with highlights of the continuing saga of Chris Benoit and Booker T. Rather just Sharmell. While Tazz and Cole break down some of the action we’re going to see, a graphic of Matt Hardy is shown as his seemingly titanium-plated butt is shown flying off the top of a cage.
Booker T and Benoit are introduced respectively. As the United States champion enters the ring, we hear Cole sell the 30-year history and the importance of the U.S. belt, and the rivalries between the two competitors dating as far back as the Best of 7 series in WCW. This while Sharmell wears a scowl for Benoit. Did you know that Sharmell was a former Miss Black America? You must, because they keep mentioning it.
Collar-and-elbow from post to post to start off the match and after a breather, Booker T wins the exchange with a takedown. Lots of good mat wrestling here. Sometimes you forget that Booker T is a solid wrestler, but this contest is a good reminder. Chops back and forth, which is kind of silly to think you should be doing this against Benoit. This is looking very good as the two exchange moves and holds, neither gaining the upper hand.
Things get good about 3 1/2 minutes in. An errant high kick from Booker T sends him flying over the top rope and he lands hard on the floor. Not to be outdone, Benoit waits on him. As Booker gets up, Chris tries a suicide dive, missing in what must be the sickest bump I’ve seen in a long time. Booker ducked out of the way and Benoit was forced to adjust mid-way through the move to keep from decapitating himself on the announce table. The result was Benoit landing upside down, with the small of his back taking the brunt of the impact as the top of the announce table goes flying.
Audience members are in awe, Sharmell breaks character and Charles Robinson is on top of the scene “quicker than a hiccup”. Benoit will continue. after the break.
Taboo Tuesday commercial airs.
We’re back, and Chris Benoit is on the mat while Booker has him in a chinlock, slowing the pace down. Cole sells the dive, commenting about the neck surgery Benoit suffered through, and how it must be affecting him right now. But wait! Chris Benoit battles back, with elbows, chops and a. failed shoulder block. Two count, and Booker’s back on the offensive, pulling Benoit back up by his hair (which is no mean feat, especially with inch-long hair and a pair of gloves worn). More chops, and a hard whip to the turnbuckle sends Benoit back down to the mat so fast Bret Hart would be wincing. Another 2 count. Ravishing Rick neckbreaker by Booker T gives him yet another near pinfall. We’re back to the chinlock and Michael Cole mentions for the third time that Benoit needs to get back to a “vertical base”. He does, and rallies back with a series of elbows, forearms, and wow this is getting good! German suplex hat trick and Chris goes up top for the diving headbutt. 2 count. Booker gets a high kick in and goes into the high-rent district himself a la Ric Flair. Benoit chops him a couple of times, and joins him up top for a very sloppy Superplex.
Sharmell’s had enough, and grabs a chair. While she rushes back to the ring, Benoit’s kneeling; watching her every move. She sneers. She jeers. She fails to look like anything other than a failed-B movie actress. Benoit walks over to her and gives her a warning while Robinson tends to Booker on the other side of the ring. Is it just me or is Little Chaz looking younger every day? Back to brief action until Booker has Chris against the ropes. Robinson breaks it up and turns his back just in time for Sharmell to get a low blow in.
Scissors kick and the win at the 15:55 mark. Booker’s elated. Sharmell’s orgasmic. Chris Benoit is even more rabid than ever.
Winner and NEW United States Champion: Booker T
Montage of the Undertaker, starting with Orton’s actions at No Mercy. R.I.P.
After a commercial we’re treated to Todd Grisham’s WWE Update, Sponsored by X-Men Legends 2: Rise of Apocalypse News of Survivor Series, more video games, and Raw Unlimited. Hey, at least he tries.
Booker’s champagne shower celebration (say that ten times fast) in the back is interrupted by Benoit screaming “What was that?” Booker has no idea what he’s talking about, but agrees with Sharmell’s assessment that he’s a sore loser. Respect is lost, and the saga continues.
Cut to Theodore R. Long and four security guards looking for Raw invaders. Teddy gives them their marching orders, and meets Cowboy Bob and Randy in the infirmary. Cowboy Bob’s got a trick back, and it’s gone out on him. He can’t wrestle tonight. Long won’t have it, and gives Randy an ultimatum – find another partner or go solo, but the match against Batista and Guerrero still happens. I’m feelin’ the RKO shirt, Playah.
JBL and Jillian Hall are interviewed in the back by Josh Matthews and after some blah blah blah Iamawrestlinggod yakkety schmackety, I’m wondering if we’re going to see any more wrestling tonight. They take us back to Monday night for the Edge vs. Big Show match. JBL says he doesn’t do charity, won’t appear for “The B Team”, and promises to make good on his word to destroy Rey Mysterio tonight. And if Edge wants to step in, Bradshaw has an open door policy. He is Mr. Smackdown. He is changing Friday Nights, and this is his show.
Matt Hardy after the break. Or maybe not.
WWE Smack of the Night is brought to you by L.A. Rush, the video game. Edge and Hardy’s ladder match that evicted Matt from the Raw roster is shown.
Matt Hardy heads down to the ring to a hot crowd, and then we’re treated to the spectacular entrance of Simon Dean on his Segway scooter. Props to Hardy for not laughing. As Simon sets his gym bag in the corner of the ring, the bell sounds to start the match. Dean’s barely even grabbed his mic. “If you were in a little bit better shape, maybe Lita wouldn’t have left you for another guy.” That was enough. This would have been a squash if it weren’t for Simon’s cast. We’re reminded of “The Alpha Male” Bobby Lashley’s beating leading to Simon Dean’s broken thumb. Botched foot to the face, but Dean manages to hold onto the lead for a bit with a modified grounded bow-and-arrow and triangle choke that almost looks like an abdominal stretch. Innovative. Hardy gains control again and gives Simon Dean a. tornado punch? Dumb. More offence by Dean and he goes up top, looking to use his cast again, only to be met by the Side Effect.
Twist of Fate, and we have a winner in Matt Hardy. Shouldn’t he be on version 3 or 4 by now?
Cut to Steve Romero outside as security blankets the building.
No Mercy rubber match Between Rey Rey and JBL is up next as we head to commercial.
WWE Canada spot, and we find out that the Smackdown superstars will be coming to. Salt Lake City, UT? Oh well. It’s Saturday night at 7:30. I imagine tickets are still available. Sunday at 5:30, they’re going to be in Redding, CA. It’s Frisco on Tuesday, and Los Angeles next Sunday, the 30th. On Nov 5th, they’ll be in St. Louis, MO for a 7:30 start.
George A Romero’s Land Of The Dead is coming out on Video and XBox video game, and you can enter to win at WWE.com for your chance to win Survivor Series tickets, plus an XBox system with the game included.
Raw Magazine presents the Raw Rebound, and Stone Cold is in the house. We’re reminded of his go around with Mrs. Levesque and Coach, and that he’ll be stepping into the squared circle with yet another non-wrestler.
It’s 619 time! One of the things that have always bothered me about Tazz is that, like The King, he goes from Heel to Babyface depending on who’s in the ring. Right now Rey Mysterio and JBL are in the ring, and JBL is missing one boot to Rey. Missing two boots to Rey. Rey is not missing. One in the behind. Two in the butt. And they exchange blows.
It’s here that I have to mention that I have a lot of respect for Rey. Because of his size, he can do a lot of things that most wrestlers can’t do inside that ring. He does a lot of things that JBL can’t do. Why JBL tries to do these things at this point is beyond me. It’s all he can do to keep up. Well, actually he can’t. Every time he tries to land a shot, Rey’s mobility just shows the obvious fact that Bradshaw is a brawler, and he’s sloppy at any other time.
Still, back to the match, and he’s manhandling Rey until he gets him on the turnbuckle. He tries for a suplex, and it looks like Rey’s going to counter with a DDT, but no. JBL puts him down gingerly on the other side of the top rope where Rey promptly hangs him with it. With Rey still on the outside, Jillian whacks him on the back of the knee with her clipboard as if he’s Nancy Kerrigan. The clipboard shatters, and Nick Patrick disposes of the debris with his blind-man’s walking stick. Just kidding. Or Am I? Layfield seizes the moment and drives Rey flying into the barricade.
We’re brawling on the outside now. Well, JBL is, at least. Rey’s taking it. JBL rolls him back in and covers for a two count. More abuse, and Layfield picks him up. With the size difference, Rey looks like a baby in JBL’s arms – until the fallaway slam. Rey finds himself in a Torture Rack for a while, but he battles out with some kicks to the face, and a bulldog changes the face of the match. Speaking of faces, Jillian’s is being talked about. Rey with a flurry leading into a tilt-a-whirl head scissors. A low kick and a sunset flip later, JBL has to slow the pace with a Greco-Roman Thumb-to-the-Eye. A little flexing of muscle and Bradshaw’s back on the defensive again. Here’s where the work goes way downhill as JBL oversells far too much for my liking. Out of nowhere, Rey’s upstairs with JBL on the turnbuckles. Layfield carries him to the centre of the ring, teasing a powerbomb, when Rey starts in on a hurricanrana, pumping up some fists of fury first. JBL ends up landing in the perfect spot for the 619, and it happens.
“YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME.”
Mysterio turns around toward the Titantron to look for Edge, but he comes from the other side, out of the crowd and spears Rey. GORE! GORE!! GORE!!! Oops. Coach flashback. Bradshaw’s up by this time, and sees what’s happened. Livid, he goes after Edge as he heads back out into the crowd. At this point, it’s a no contest.
Meanwhile, as the replay is being shown, Chris Masters is manhandling Rey Mysterio with the Master Lock. The word ragdoll doesn’t even come close. In comes Smackdown’s #1 announcer, Funaki. Out goes Smackdown’s #1 announcer, Funaki. More come out. More get tossed. Somehow Bob Holly gets Masters’ attention, and he hightails it out. Or maybe it was Heidenreich. Gotta love the Papa Shango facepaint.
They all come back in to check on Rey as we fade to commercial.
We come back to hear Todd Grisham remind us about Taboo Tuesday again while he hawks another video game.
Another replay of what just went down. In the back, heel and face alike are sympathetic. Rey doesn’t need it. He’s stoked, and he wants Theodore Long to “work his magic” and get Rey a shot at Edge. Good. We’re finally seeing something of this Invasion angle.
Lashley heads out to decimate Big Vito. Nunzio is at ringside selling a rib injury from last week. A powerslam later, and they’re outside, where Nunzio stupidly tries some offence. Lashley carries him on his back up the steel steps into the ring and destroys him just in time for Vito to come to. Bobby tries to make Tazz proud with every suplex in the book, and it’s Vito’s turn for the ambulance.
Break. I need a WWE Raw Energy Fuel Cell.
Another “Land of the Dead” Survivor Series ad. Oh, and here’s another one. Three DVDs available at HMV. The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, The Great American Bash, and WWE Summerslam.
The Rock stars in “Doom”.
The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80’s is available all October as part of the WWE Fanatic Series. Wrestlemania 22 sold out. People camped. $500 for a plane ticket. Yawn.
Ooh! Hey, I almost forgot Smackdown was on!
We’re back for more wrestling! Oh wait. No we’re not. Palmer Cannon and Teddy are in the back talking. Long wants to discuss Raw. Palmer wants to talk about midgets. Sorry, Juniors. While introducing four of the new guys, one of them pokes his head out long enough for me to notice that looks a lot like Spike Dudley. but smaller. Indy scene fans will recognize him. Theodore has had enough, and he opens up the door to find the Boogey Man. Ranting ensues. I don’t know what Teddy’s upset about. He’s taller than almost everyone in the room. I can smell the ratings boost here. Wait, maybe it’s the burning plastic of everyone in the nation hitting their remote buttons at once.
We head back out to ringside where Cole & Tazz laugh at the new division (rightfully so), and throw to Steve Romero who has the daunting task of interviewing Sylvan about the Raw superstars. He cares about three people. “Me, Myself, and I.” He also cares about his hardcore match. He’s joined by Hardcore Holly who seems to have a problem with Sylvan’s nonchalant attitude about things. So he has two surprises for him: A ref, and a bell. The match is on. Romero gets out of Dodge as Sylvan takes the bell in the breadbasket. Head, meet wall. Head, meet other wall.
Through the curtains they go and they’re brawling in the middle of the arena hallways, taking a break for a second-and-a-half in the ladies’ locker room before continuing. We head into a commercial as the doors close on the two competitors in an elevator.
We’re back, and they’re in the Mezzanine now, brawling in the hallway as people who thought they could get away with not seeing this match were rushing around the concession stands. Sylvan gets doused with ketchup. At least he doesn’t have to blade and carve up those good looks of his.
They’re on the arena floor now, and heading for the ring. They only have one more floor of stairs to go. Sylvan goes over the edge the hard way, and gets pummelled in the small of the back by a plastic garbage can. Somehow he sells it. This reminds me of the time someone sold getting hit in the face by popcorn.
Miraculously Sylvan manages to gain an upper hand for a two count outside the ring, and gives Holly a suplex on the floor for another near fall. It’s time to break out the weapons. Broomsticks get broken over backs, steel garbage cans and lids become dinner. Sylvan executes a single-leg powerbomb onto the garbage can, and Holly’s in a world of hurt but kicks out after a two count. Holly’s getting pops! Can you believe this?
Out comes a table, and Sylvan sets it up, leaving Bob just enough time to get ready to give him an Alabama Slam through it.
Winner: Hardcore Holly
Batista and his “amigo” are getting ready for the match in the back. Eddie laments about all that he’s done to Rey as he watches the TV. He thanks Batista for giving him that second chance. Is this the last step down Babyface Road?
We’ll find out, after this break.
R.I.P. Taker. Again.
Hey, a WWE video board game? Cool! You can play a General Manager!
Speaking of, you can meet Eric Bischoff November 12th at 2:00 pm at the Marborough Mall in Calgary, AB.
Backstage antics on the set of “Doom” with The Rock.
Fatal 4-way next week for the tag straps. L.O.D. 2k5 (Hemme Powered) vs. MNM (with Melina) vs. Mexicools (with Juvi) vs. William Regal and Paul Birchill (with big egos).
RKO steps out from behind the Titantron alone. Did he find a tag partner?
Who’s Your Papi? Eddie comes out next to a nice pop. He seems to be more into it lately. I like this better than his psychotic character. Still, the thing about Eddie is he’s great in any role. He’s just great. I never thought I would see this from him the way he was mishandled in WCW, but wow.
What’s that noise? I can’t think! Oh, it’s Batista. Man, he’s still over.
The handicap announcement is interrupted by word that Orton has a partner. And he is. Misterrrrr Kennedyyyyy. Kennedyyyyy. As his hand reaches to the heavens, Nick Patrick calls for the bell. No time for this mess. The lights are still lowered as Eddie attacks Mr. Kennedy from behind. These two put on a good show. Kennedy went for the top rope Inverted Samoan Drop early, and it cost him. He smartly leaves the ring as we go to commercial.
More video games. More Taboo Tuesday.
We’re back to find Batista overpowering Orton from a collar-and-elbow. Talk of Evolution ensues. Orton gets in some offence with European uppercuts. These two are going back and forth, trying to show each other who the man is. A tag sees Eddie come in. Is it just me or is Orton getting just a little better? It’s sad though that he’s still being eclipsed by Kennedy. Some nice exchanges until Patrick allows himself to get stupidly drawn over to the opposite side of the ring than where the action is and Orton (from the outside) gives a backbreaker-like maneuver to Guerrero between the ropes. Kennedy steps out and hollers “What are you doing out here!?” Man, he’s a hoot. I like this guy. A lot.
Quick tags by Orton/Kennedy and some near falls are making this a good main event. Ken’s tights almost make his hair look green. I think I need a new TV. Eventually, Orton grounds Guerrero and slows things down. Eddie’s thrown into a turnbuckle. He was going to stop it with his foot, but it slips off the bottom pad, and he staggers back out as Orton rushes in. This is a nasty headbutt, folks. Another blown spot. How many does this make now tonight? For once, Nick Patrick wasn’t blind. You can see Eddie mouthing “ow”. Hot tag to Batista, and he’s spearing and slamming his way into the fans’ hearts. Outside, Kennedy grabs a chair to attack a sprawled out Eddie, who just took a ringpost to the back. What’s this? Cowboy Bob running to ringside? But his back! What about his back? Man, what a little Robaxacet won’t do!
Batista’s pushing away an RKO while all this is going on and no-sells a clothesline to give one of his own to Randy. Kennedy comes into the ring with the chair and goes to the second turnbuckle. Eddie rushes in to cover Big Dave as Ken comes down. Kennedy stops. He Shrugs. He nails Eddie with the chair for the DQ. He tries for Batista, but it’s blocked and it’s a three-on-one free-for-all once Bob Jr. takes off his boot and stops Kennedy from getting laid out in a Batista-Bomb.
If I were Batista, I’d rather have a cast than Bob Orton Jr’s boot after it’s been taken off his foot.
Ken and Bob hold Dave up for Randy, who gives him an RKO.
“Hold on a minute playah!” Theodore R. Long heads out to make the announcement that there’s going to be a six-man tag match next week. Ken Kennedy, Randy Orton, and Cowboy Bob. Kennedy likes this. Against Batista and Eddie Guerrero. Kennedy’s nodding appreciatively. And WWE Hall-of-Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Kennedy loses it as we fade to black. Dumb reasoning, but the face is priceless.
So with this tag match, and the 8-man tag for the Championship held by L.O.D. 2k5 (Hemme powered), it’s going to be a long show next week. Be careful what you ask for. You may get it.
Thanks for reading.