Date: June 9, 2019
Location: Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
Things have gotten interesting all over again here in the form of the Draft, which saw Smackdown World Champion John Cena head over to Raw this week. That means things are going to be shaken up in a hurry and we’re going to need some new talent coming in here. That will be the case tonight and that could be a very good thing given how some stuff has gone around this place. Let’s get to it.
Theodore Long is in the ring to get things going. He recaps the Draft and we see Cena going over to Raw to start the process of becoming the biggest star in the world. This means Smackdown doesn’t have a champion so here’s a very happy JBL, giving us a great deadpan glare from Long. JBL is willing to make Long’s job that much easier because he knows the locker room is nervous. Of course he doesn’t spend time with them, but he knows that’s what’s going on.
Long tells him to shut up because there will be no decision on the title until after the Draft at the end of June. With that out of the way, here’s the first Draft pick to Smackdown: Chris Benoit. There wasn’t much left for him to do on Raw and he fits in anywhere so this is a good move.
Benoit is glad to be here because unlike JBL, he has never quit. JBL backs off at what sounds like a threat and talks about some of Benoit’s biggest victories before ranting about Kansas City and ECW. Benoit says he regrets nothing about his career and is glad to be here because he didn’t quit. Anyway they’ll fight tonight so JBL swings at him but has to escape a Crossface attempt.
Carlito vs. Charlie Haas
Matt Morgan and Hardcore Holly are both here. Haas shoulders him down to start and goes after the arm as a wrestler tends to do. Carlito gets in a shot of his own and we see Morgan stuttering his approval. The front facelock goes on to keep Haas slowed down until he fights up with the dropkick. Morgan gets on the apron so Haas sends Carlito into him and dives onto Morgan for a bonus. The distraction lets Carlito grab a rollup with trunks to pin Haas.
Rating: D+. Well that was a little overbooked for what they were going for here. The match wasn’t anything of note but they’ve done a nice job of setting up Haas and Holly as lower level jobbers. They can both have a good enough match under the right circumstances, such as not doing this much in a match that barely broke three minutes.
Long recap of the ECW invasion of Raw, which was really good stuff.
Heidenreich wants Benoit to be his best friend but Benoit thinks he’s a bit much. After Heidenreich leaves, Eddie Guerrero comes up to say he didn’t expect to see Benoit until One Night Stand. They reminisce about Wrestlemania XX where they were both World Champions, so maybe they’ll fight for the new Smackdown title. They’ll still be friends though of course. Benoit isn’t so convinced because he’s seen how Eddie has treated his friends. Besides, Benoit’s title match would be against Rey Mysterio since Eddie can’t beat him. See you Sunday amigo.
Kurt Angle says he is obsessed with Sharmell and couldn’t stop staring at her last week. When he pinned her last week, it felt so good to look down at her. Then Sharmell wouldn’t let him go he looked into her eyes and felt the chemistry between the two of them. Tonight, the games with Booker T. end because to the victor go the spoils. After Booker taps, Sharmell is coming home to daddy.
Paul London vs. Akio
Non-title. London’s headlock doesn’t work so he jumps over Akio in the corner. Hang on though as here’s Eddie for a distraction, with Akio showing some intelligence by beating London up as Eddie walks to the ring. Eddie grabs the mic and gets in the ring while the match is going on. London dropkicks Akio into London so the beatdown is on for the no contest which should be a DQ but wrestling doesn’t do DQ’s in situations like these for some reason.
Post match, and after tossing London (just kill the Cruiserweight Title already), Eddie complains about the lack of respect he receives around here. No one thinks he can beat Rey, even though he has left Rey laying. Rey remembers being laid out and taken away by the EMTs as the fans screamed about him. After talking about the ways he has hurt Rey, Eddie talks about never breaking a promise he made to Rey. More on this later.
Kurt Angle vs. Booker T.
Before the match, Angle calls out Tazz again, saying he wants an answer by the end of the night. Tazz doesn’t answer but says on commentary that he doesn’t answer to anyone and is going to call the match. The bell rings and they circle each other because that’s what Booker should be doing right now. A hiptoss and armdrag into an armbar continue the completely unrealistic responses.
Booker reverses into an armbar of his own, showing how worthless Booker is as a protector when it comes to defending valet wives. Booker fights up and drapes him over the top for the ax kick to finally get somewhere. Back in and they slug it out with Booker getting the better of it off a kick to the face. Angle snaps off a release German suplex, followed by more suplexes to keep Booker in trouble. A very telegraphed charge lets Booker backdrop him to the floor though and we take a break.
Back with Booker fighting out of a waistlock and hitting a Stunner. The Angle Slam is reversed and it’s a Book End for two. Angle is right back up with the rolling German suplexes for two and the Angle Slam is good for the same. A missed charge sends Angle into the buckle and Booker hits a quick spinebuster.
Now the ax kick gets two more but Angle is right back with the ankle lock. Booker eventually kicks it off but the referee gets bumped, meaning it’s time for Angle to glare at Sharmell. Angle grabs a chair and hits Booker’s ankle but the second chair shot hits the top rope so the chair hits Angle in the head by mistake. The scissors kick gives Booker the pin.
Rating: C-. This felt like it belonged on a pay per view but wasn’t all that good. Angle has beaten Booker up in almost every match but keeps losing, as he should, but it isn’t exactly something that warrants more rematches. Then there is the story stuff which is just disturbing in a lot of ways. I’m hoping this wraps things up because there are very few good ways to keep it going.
Post break and post recap, Angle grabs a chair and a mic because he wants his answer from Tazz. The sunglasses and headset come off with Angle threatening violence if he doesn’t get the answer he wants. Angle…then sits down next to Tazz, who just stares at him. After a few moments of nothing, Angle snaps and hits him with the chair. Tazz is bleeding from the head as the trainers come down to check on him. He tries to walk away but collapses and has to be helped out.
Heidenreich vs. Rory Fox
Heidenreich finds a friend before the match, though this time she is a woman in her twenties. The Boss Man Slam finishes Fox in about thirty seconds.
Post match Heidenreich reads his new friend a poem.
Chris Benoit vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
Paul Heyman replaces Tazz on commentary and has ECW with him. JBL has the Cabinet with him to even things up a little bit. Benoit takes him into the corner to start and the fans already want tables. A hard whip into the corner puts Benoit down but he chops his way out of trouble. The first suplex looks to set up the Sharpshooter but JBL gets out twice in a row. Back up and JBL hits a big boot as Heyman rants about Eric Bischoff, as he is known to do.
A powerbomb is countered into the Sharpshooter but Benoit has to deal with the Bashams and Orlando Jordan as they earn their pay. Cue Carlito and Matt Morgan and we take a break. Back with JBL choking underneath the ropes and hammering away as the pace has slowed. A sleeper has Benoit in trouble until he belly to back suplexes his way to freedom. There’s the snap suplex and it’s time to roll the German suplexes. The Crossface goes on and Kurt Angle comes in for the DQ.
Rating: C. They weren’t exactly hiding where this was going until the ending and there is nothing wrong with that. JBL is still a big deal at this point and putting him in there against the #1 Draft pick makes a lot of sense. It also helps to advance One Night Stand, which really is coming off like a big deal for a change. Benoit should have won under normal circumstances, but the build to One Night Stand isn’t all that normal.
The big brawl is on and here’s Tazz to choke out a Basham as the ECW guys clear the ring with finishers. ECW stands tall and Michael Cole is their biggest fan to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. It’s a pretty weak show but getting Benoit helps, as does setting up the tease of a new World Champion, finishing Booker vs. Angle (we can only hope) and making me want to watch One Night Stand again. They’ve done a good job here and Sunday’s show is looking strong, so hopefully we’re in for WWE treating ECW right. Not a good show on its own, but it gives me some hope for the future.
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