The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #32 – 03.18.06 This was pretty near my lowpoint for wrestling fandom so I had little interest in watching this when it aired on NBC. This was building up to Wrestlemania 22, another show I had little interest in and didn’t see until much later. The cast of characters gives their introductory blurbs to start, in the style of the original shows. Taped from Detroit, MI Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tazz & Jerry Lawler HHH & John Cena v. Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio & Kurt Angle Not surprising they’d get Cena on TV right off the bat. I don’t even remember Rey’s theme from this time, the one between the original and “Booyaka 619”. Orton with hair, body fat and no tattoos is so weird now. So of course the gag here is that the RAW half of the Wrestlemania main event is facing the Smackdown half, and clearly the one side is the bigger deal. Angle throws suplexes on Cena to start, but walks into a spinebuster that gets two. HHH comes in and stomps him down in the corner, but Angle fires off the german suplexes and Rey springboards in with a cradle for two. Backslide gets two. Cena comes in, but HHH saves him from a 619 and lays out Rey with a lariat and we take a break. Back with HHH tossing Rey around on the floor and there’s TENSION between HHH and Cena. If they can’t co-exist here, how can they ever compete for the title in the main event of Wrestlemania? Yeah, I don’t get the motivations here, either. HHH with a spinebuster for two, and it’s time for the MAIN EVENT SLEEPER. Amazingly, Rey escapes this devastating hold and hits a moonsault press, setting up the hot tag to Orton. Cena with the backdrop suplex and FU for two, but HHH takes him out with a Pedigree and puts Orton on top for two. Rey makes the save there for some reason and Orton takes out Angle with an RKO, but Cena rolls him up for the pin at 13:49. Decent enough, but the ending made no sense. ** And who could actually look at Orton v. Angle v. Rey as a serious Wrestlemania main event after they got turned into a bunch of goofs here? What a mess this was. Meanwhile, Booker T is in tremendous pain and is unable to wrestle Boogeyman tonight. His knee is so bad his career might be over, in fact. Edge and Lita’s spectacular rack are out to interview Mick Foley. Oh man, 2006 Lita. Edge runs him down and lights a table on fire, so Mick responds by beating him down and dumping thumbtacks all over the ring. Edge goes into them and takes a conchairto to boot. You see, they didn’t like each other. We get a video recap of the Vince v. Shawn feud, which didn’t particularly make any sense and went on for months, leading to the first DX reunion of many. Meanwhile, Booker and Sharmell celebrate pulling one off on the doctor, by dancing on national TV where everyone can see them. Sadly, the Boogeyman interrupts their revelry to continue the stupidest feud of the year. Kudos to Booker and wife for doing whatever it takes to get it over, though. Beer Drinking Contest: JBL v. Steve Austin So we’re at the one hour mark with one match so far. JBL gets heat by literally saying “Your sports teams are all pathetic.” Come on, he’s had better material than that. Austin runs through his usual material and JBL just goes for every cheap heat line about American beer being terrible and Detroit’s hockey team being terrible, which is part of his charm, and then the beer drinking is ON. Of course, JBL cheats and just pours them down his shirt, and that’s the most offensive thing you can do around Austin. JBL tries to run, but Chris Benoit throws him back in and JBL takes a dozen beers to the head and KICK WHAM STUNNER. And then JBL went on to win the US title from Benoit anyway. This was fine, exactly what you’d expect from it. Victoria & Candice Michelle v. Mickie James & Trish Stratus This was in the thick of the awesome “lesbian stalker” storyline that ended up getting abruptly dropped. I don’t even remember Michelle, to be honest. She does appear to have impressive boobies, which would probably explain her Playboy shoot and thus employment in general. Trish gets choked out in the heel corner and Victoria slingshots in for two, but Trish quickly fights back and reverses a double suplex. Hot tag to Mickie is cut off as Trish is selling like it’s 20:00 in, but then she just hits the bulldog anyway and pins Michelle at 2:40. DUD Mickie offers a handshake and goes in for the kiss, but Trish turns away from it, so Mickie lays her out with the high kick. Psycho Mickie was pretty great. Mark Henry is out with Daivari (was that really a thing that happened?) to cast aspersions on Undertaker’s chances of winning at Wrestlemania, so Undertaker responds by tombstoning Daivari on the casket and chasing Henry off like a geek. Yeah, that sure makes me want to see the match now. No wonder no one remembers this Wrestlemania. Street Fight: Shawn Michaels v. Shane McMahon Shawn attacks during the Shane Dance and they brawl in the aisle, with Shawn hitting him with a chair and then setting up a table. Shane reverses him into the post and retrieves a ladder before sending Shawn into the post again. Vince puts Shawn on the table, but he fights up and they slug it out on the ladder. That results in Shane getting superplexed through the table, although Shawn gets most of that one as well. And we take a break. Back with Shawn slugging away in the ring, and he slams Shane and goes up the ladder, only to have Vince break it up with a kendo stick. Shane pounds him with the ladder for two, then runs the ladder into his face for two. Shane goes to a surfboard, which lasts a lot longer than you’d like for a street fight, and a hurricane DDT gets two. Chairshot sets up the Shane Terminator, but Vince gets too close and takes it instead. Shawn comes back with the flying elbow and superkick, but Vince pulls the ref out now as they stretch this out with every shortcut possible. Shawn goes after Vince, which allows Shane to go low and hook Shawn in the Sharpshooter, and of course Vince is there to ring the bell at 13:50. Seriously? They went with THAT finish? Shane just kind of does the same match over and over. *** The Pulse This show was a pretty big flop at the time, although today the rating would be considered spectacular given some of the ratings for their NBC specials since then. A total nothing show with only two real matches that did a pretty good job of making you want to see Austin v. JBL and not much else. And it would only continue going downhill from there. Recommendation to avoid.