To start off the show, WWE didn’t feel like shaking up the same old formula and just gave us normal videos as well as a recap of the recent Randy Orton saga. Well, at least they gave us a recap of a feud we all know and love right? Anyway, we start the show up with some Michael Cole mike work which again, everyone loves, right? He mentions that we will have another match in the series between Benoit-Booker which could or could not be good. This is the match that’s really going to cinch the deal as to how the series is going to play out. If it’s good, we will probably have a good other four matches. If it’s bad, it just means that the last match was a clear fluke and I will be a sad panda again!
Anyway, JBL is in the ring to start it off with a mike and an eye bandage to sell the “damages” the ref must have given him last week. JBL thanks the fans for their support through his injury and says that Sugar Ray Leonard actually ended his career because of an injury less severe than JBL’s. Well, I might believe that simply because “real” athletes go out of the game with a sprained pinky finger while wrestlers work with broken necks sometimes. He says his doctor told him to end his “hall of fame” career and he again thanks the crowd again before ranting that he is bothered that people think he actually deserted Rey Mysterio. He says he stood by Rey through a terrible injury against the Big Show & Kane. I really hate it when heels try to alter reality. I mean, if he had said he was with Rey in spirit or couldn’t compete because of the injury, it would have been miles better. Obviously you got “injured” and left three seconds later so don’t try and change it. JBL says next that they lost because Mysterio didn’t do his part. He then says that maybe he should retire to his life of money and wealth that only they can dream of, but he understands that people with more have to give to people with less. He knows they saved up they’re hard-earned money to see him so he won’t retire. He then takes off his bandage and squints a bit here and there and says he will give these people reason to live to see Mr. SmackDown! and that there is a wrestling god. Typical JBL promo, but still better than most others. Mysterio’s lackluster music then his and we are going to get a match thankfully. Why did they have to replace the 619 music? It worked wonders and I almost had it memorized.
Rey Mysterio Vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
The match wasn’t long and to be blunt, it wasn’t that good either. I’ve seen some squashes better than this. They did some typical offense here and there highlighted by only good thing: some eye poking. Mysterio mocked JBL’s eyesight and then followed it up by poking him in the eye twice. It’s one of those face/heel move teases that you just have to love like Eddie cheating to win. From there, it just kind of got worse until it ended. JBL went on the outside and Rey hit a plancha to him. Not bad, but JBL was up in under thirty seconds and I thought we were back in TNA. I was just waiting for a run-in at this point to confirm my belief. JBL got in the ring and Mysterio went for a springboard move that he missed and hurt his ribs. Did JBL follow this up by working over Rey’s ribs? No! What the hell is wrong with this guy? A wrestler gives you an opening, you take it. How hard is that to comprehend? Anyway, JBL hit a little more offense before Rey came back and set JBL up for the 619. As he went for it though, my suspicion of TNA was confirmed as Orlando Jordan ran out to end the match. What the hell is going on?
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Star Wrestler: Rey Mysterio
This was pretty bland and you can’t really blame it on the time because they didn’t use their time well at all. Yes, you only have like five minutes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work over the ribs of Mysterio or sell the damn plancha. Mysterio gets this completely on default (although his eye poking was great) and JBL gets shamed by me. Shamed, I say!
As the two heels beat down Mysterio, Rey’s partner at Armageddon ran down to save him from the onslaught. They run off of course and Batista stands tall. Teddy Long then comes out and says that it seems that JBL is getting cabinet back together so it will be JBL & Jordan against Batista and Rey Mysterio. The crowd pops a lot louder than the crowd did for the Elimination Chamber announcement on Raw, which is sad, and we go to another backstage segment.
We see Orton walking with a mission as his father tries and stops him. Orton says he’s going to call out Undertaker and his father just hopes he knows what he’s doing. I’m still virtually torn on the storyline Taker and Orton are doing now. They are having good matches, but this might be an unneeded twist like the Dominic angle in the summer. This is the show that will make me take a stance though. For some reason, I think it might push me into the realm of dislike too.
Commercial break times one equals a twelve minute stretch of television that saw a match and two segments. Is WWE sick or am I hallucinating? It may have sucked, but was better than a ten hour segment to start off the show. Well, maybe that’s coming up next.
Coming back, we see an advertisement for the Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon which should be good even if you don’t like the build-up. Orton then comes out to try and make up for his promo the week before hopefully. He does do a good job of acting scared and pissed at the same time, which is better then the arrogance he can normally only do. He calls out Taker and says he’s tired of the mind games that aren’t fair. Fair? What the hell? Anyway, Orton says he’s messing with his head and it’s working as he’s almost close to snapping. So you’re going to bitch about mind games not being fair and then give credit to him? What kind of heel tactic is this, boy? He goes on to say how he’s sick with the mind games and is being driven nuts. As he says that, his music starts to hit with his titan tron, but it starts to garble, then speed up, then garble, then rewind, et cetera. Kind of like when someone messes up your tape. Do you guys remember tape cassettes or is this review geared toward a very young audience? Anyway, it stops and Orton says that’s what he’s talking about and starts to scream at Taker saying he doesn’t want to fight, but wants him in the ring not at Hell in a Cell. He wants to resolve this man-to-man; he’s begging him! He says it’s time for them to finish what they started and tells him to come out and resolve it. Hmm, a cowardly Orton. Now, I know we’ve kind of seen that at Survivor Series and at other times this year, but really, not to this degree. I don’t know if I’ll be able to buy an arrogant Orton after this promo which isn’t making up for last week’s.
Orton waits for an answer in the ring, but nothing happens so he continues about how he knows Taker’s here and he can feel his presence. He wants to finish it tonight and then begs Taker to come to the ring some more. God, whiny Orton sucks. Some heels work well whining, but definitely not Orton and this is really starting to drag. Orton then tells Taker not to do it this way and apologizes for how he’s done things. He says he’s done playing games and Taker’s done so just come out. Enough already; end the damn segment! Orton gets a little more desperate with the “pleases” before the lights start to flicker with Taker’s music and the crowd erupts. Sadly, they should know by now that Taker rarely appears on SmackDown! Seriously, the guy appears on one show a month which blows complete and utter goats. I’m a huge Taker mark and the guy is really in his prime right now if you ask me. He’s just wasting it by never showing up and I know it must be his body, but if you can’t do it full-time, you shouldn’t do it at all or not be given such a big feud. Anyway, Taker’s voice is on the Titantron reading some lines from Virgil about Hell as well as some other poets about some other things and then a highlight package of Taker’s HIAC escapades is shown. Good satanic package, but really, by this point, I’m just long gone because of the drawn out whining by Orton. After the package, Taker’s voice comes on and he cuts another promo that reminds me of his in 1997/8 except only worse as it was just cliché as ever. He tells Taker he’s on the fast lane on the highway to hell and the music hits to bring the segment to an end as Orton looks like he needs a new change of tights.
We then go backstage to Kristal, the newest “addition,” who tries to get an interview with Booker T. She knocks and of course, Sharmell answers. The best part is that Booker T does this stereotypical plot where he simply screams “who dat, baby?” and once he gets his answer, he goes into the ghetto talk and gives Kristal “the scoop” on Booker T and Benoit. Booker T then has a dry erase board and gives her the scoop that Benoit has zero and he has two, but three after tonight. God, this is so dense it’s hilarious! Just one of those things that they probably want to be serious but just makes all the smarks laugh their ass off about. Plus, who knew Booker T could write? Booker T then goes on with the angry black man stereotype with Sharmell playing the re-assuring moll to him. Yeah, I just mixed races there, but who cares? He talks about how Benoit attacked him last week and somebody should have called the po-lice, but this week there will be no sneak attack and it will be three-zero. He then tells them to get the broom out for the sweep and tells Kristal to “get ta steppin’ and bounce” and a bunch of other fun stereotypical words. Sharmell then embraces her husband and I’m wondering just how far WWE will take these stereotypes. We already have a general manager who can’t pronounce the letter “r,” what’s next?
Commercial break times two equals a couple of very lackluster segments, but one a lot funnier than it probably should have been.