The videos play, the pyro goes off, and the millions of fans wonder just why there is a SmackDown! special to begin with. Could it be that WWE is threatened by all the TNA Primetime specials? Probably not, but I bet all the TNA marks are playing that for all it is worth. The announcers hype up the main event which is Big Show versus Rey Mysterio and say that Rey Mysterio has even dedicated the match to the late, great Eddie Guerrero. Sharmell then comes out and I rush to find something shiny to attach my interest too while she talks. Luckily, I find something and we go right into the match.
WWE United States Championship
Best Of Seven Series: Match Two
Booker T Vs. Chris Benoit
No doubt in my mind that this match was better than the past two matches the two have had and that’s a great thing. I was getting very worried that each match these two would have in this series would get triter and more predictable until it finally ended with no one caring. With this match here, they definitely picked up some of my expectations and made me almost completely optimistic about the rest of the series. The beginning didn’t start off too well as the exchanges were just bland here and there. The only really noteworthy thing about the beginning was how Benoit kept going for the cover over and over again to emphasize the desire Benoit has to win the match and even out the series. Right before the first commercial break (which reminds me that commercial break times one equals a bland opening with a great commercial lead-in), Benoit sent Booker T out of the ring and went for the Suicide Dive, but Booker T moved out of the way and Benoit missed clearly hurting himself.
Coming back from the break, the match picked up miles with Booker working over Benoit and Benoit making his comeback. From this point, I could tell that Benoit was trying to make the Suplexes the focal point of the whole match. He had already done a few regular ones as well as the Northern Lights pinning version before the break, but as we came back, he went into hyper-mode with the Germans and Belly-to-Bellies. Some may call that a Suplex-fest, but I call it persistence and a great comeback that just showed resilience in the best way imaginable. Each one came out of nowhere, each one got the crowd pumped, and each one led to the next stage of the match. What more could you ask for? From there, Benoit and Booker fought on the apron which is always a good thing. People need to learn that apron fighting really should not be delegated to just Battle Royals; it needs to be used in all imaginable situations like this one. Benoit tried to go for a German Suplex off the apron but on his last tug, he lost his grip and hit the ground on the outside hard on his neck. Booker capitalized and rolled Benoit into the ring as Benoit sold like a used car salesmen. He got a cover which got a very small and surprising kick-out. Truly a great false finish that I haven’t seen in WWE since 2002 almost. From there, Benoit got out one final German in desperation before being set-up for the Scissors Kick in another good way. Normally, the move’s set-up is so horrid, it makes me wonder how it gets over; but here, it was great which should be the selling point for the match. The move itself is not that bad, but like the Stratusfaction, when your opponent has to sit there for a minute and wait for you to do something, you’re only begging for people to turn off the TV. Anyway, Booker then nailed the Scissors Kick and picked up the win.
Winner: Booker T
Star Wrestler: Chris Benoit
Booker T was better than he normally is in this match, but still not one to beat out Benoit. Benoit was just on fire tonight and really brought the match into the fan’s heart with the desperate suplexes, frantic covers, and horrible bumps. Did Booker have the great desperation comeback? No. Did Booker convey the image of frenzy by covering every five seconds? No. Did Booker T take the sweet looking bumps (though not as sweet as Benoit’s Summerslam 2004 bumps)? No. Then why would he be star wrestler? The answer is he wouldn’t. Benoit was fantastic here and I dare you to tell me otherwise. Fantastic match and fantastic work by both, but in the end, Benoit was the star much like I know he will be this whole series.
WWE then shows an Eddie Guerrero highlight video. God, I miss Eddie. It still seems like he’s still here and just on the injured shelf. It’s so surreal. God, at least I know he’s up there looking down on us.
Commercial break times two equals a truly good match and definite tear-jerker.
Back from break, they show Rey Mysterio preparing for the match by praying for Eddie to be his guardian angel. He then says that this match will be for him. Ok, this is getting ridiculous. I’m all for the Eddie love, but right now; WWE is just milking the tragedy for all it’s worth. It’s not even like Rey Mysterio is that bad of face to need the extra push. This is just tasteless on WWE’s part and I’m getting a bad taste in my mouth which my gut tells me will only get worse. A nice little video package is then shown pumping up Rey Mysterio which I think took some clips from the 619 DVD. From there, they play to the David versus Goliath gimmick and start pumping up Big Show as a gigantic monster. They end it with the footage of Big Show slamming Rey Mysterio into the steel post in 2003. God, that is one of my all-time favorite WWE moments right there. Totally classic, totally unpredictable, and totally brought a sense of reality to the match. Big Show’s music hits and the monster makes his way out to the ring as we head to another break.
Commercial break times three equals some tasteless heart pulling by WWE and nice video package.
Coming back, Rey Mysterio comes out to Eddie’s music as well as a low-rider. Come on, WWE. You’re going way overboard and being completely tasteless. I’m confident Eddie Guerrero wouldn’t have a problem with it, but it doesn’t mean it’s not tasteless. Jeez, this is heading towards trouble.