Smackdown – June 16, 2005

Smackdown
Date: June 16, 2005
Location: Giant Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 2,500
Commentators: Tazz, Michael Cole

It’s both a fallout show and one of the last shows before the next pay per view as we are stuck between One Night Stand and Vengeance. Normally Vengeance would not mean anything, but the Draft has shaken things up to the point where some people on this show might be on Vengeance anyway. That makes for an interesting time, as does the lack of a World Champion. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Chris Benoit being announced as the first Draft pick last week.

Opening sequence.

JBL and the Cabinet are in the ring to get things going with JBL taking credit for One Night Stand being a success. The ECW “wrestlers” need to take their success and go back to delivering his groceries and parking his car. Where JBL goes, the money follows, which Benoit found out last week. Tonight, Benoit can face one of the members of the Cabinet…so here’s Benoit to cut off the catchphrase.

Chris Benoit vs. Doug Basham

Benoit starts with the chops and there’s a hard whip into the corner to make it worse. Basham knees him in the ribs and starts hammering away, including a suplex to set up some posing. The chinlock goes on, followed by a neckbreaker to keep Benoit down. Another neckbreaker is cut off and Benoit baseball slides the leg out. The rolling German suplexes rock Doug but he catches Benoit on top with a superplex. Basham tries a rollup but Benoit reverses into one of his own for the fast pin.

Rating: C-. As usual, the Bashams are fine enough in their role and that is all they should be doing. It isn’t supposed to be some big competitive match as Benoit is one of the best in the company and needs to be established on Smackdown. The match was fine enough, but it was something that came and went as it should have. This would actually be the last match we would see from either of the Bashams and they were fine for what they were, but they were so wasted during the whole Shaniqua deal that their careers were dead in the water for a long time. I’m not sure how much better they could have been, but that was awful.

Post match the Cabinet beats Benoit down but Undertaker makes the save. Theodore Long comes out to make JBL vs. Undertaker in a No DQ match tonight.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Paul London

Non-title. London charges to the ring and gets kicked in the face for his efforts. Some right hands get London out of trouble but a powerbomb puts him right back in. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker sets up the chinlock for a few moments. London fights up again and hits a leg lariat, only to get crotched on top. Eddie grabs a brainbuster (and nearly drops him) and puts on a Texas Cloverleaf (with a maniacal look) to make London tap.

Rating: D+. Just a squash here, because a champion is the kind of person you squash. They couldn’t have had this be against Akio or have put someone other than London in the same spot last week but that’s what the Cruiserweight Title is for anymore. I’m not sure why they keep it around if this is what it means but that has been the case for years.

Post match Rey Mysterio comes out for the save and uses a chair to get rid of Eddie.

Post break Eddie and Rey are fighting in the garage area, including into a trailer. They slug it out and the door closes with Eddie diving through the door to escape and trap Rey inside.

JBL won’t give Orlando Jordan any help in his US Title match tonight. Jordan points out that he is the only champion in the Cabinet but JBL makes it clear that they work for him. He can’t remember who is Danny and who is Doug though and the Bashams quit.

It’s time for Carlito’s Cabana with no Matt Morgan as he is getting ready for his match against Big Show. That’s for later though, so here are this week’s guests: Booker T. and Sharmell. Booker isn’t happy with Kurt Angle having been sent to Raw because they like beating him up. Carlito likes that idea but would rather talk about something romantic between Booker and Sharmell. Then he mentions Angle going after Sharmell and suggests that she could be sent to Raw without Booker. Sharmell doesn’t like the sound of that and Booker beats him up. They even throw apples at Carlito, which is rather wasteful.

Post break Carlito yells at Morgan, who has to go fight Big Show.

Matt Morgan vs. Big Show

Show wastes no time in taking him into the corner for the big overhand chops. An elbow gives Show two as Carlito comes out. The distraction lets Morgan get in a big boot to put Show on the floor and it’s off to the chinlock. That’s reversed into a suplex and some headbutts put Morgan outside. Show gets sent into the steps and Morgan loads up the announcers’ table but Show is back up. The chokeslam is loaded up but it’s a chair shot from Carlito to draw the DQ.

Rating: D. Carlito continues to be quite the nuisance but at least the match was better than dealing with the stutter again. It’s so sad to see Morgan wasted like that but maybe the partnership with Carlito is coming to an end. The wrestling was barely a thing here as it was all about setting up the ending.

Post match Show shrugs it off and hits the chokeslam to put Morgan through the table. Show stalks Carlito away.

We recap the Undertaker’s return from earlier.

US Title: Hardcore Holly vs. Orlando Jordan

Holly is challenging as I try to figure out the criteria for getting a title shot. Jordan gets stomped into the corner to start as Tazz talks about championship opportunities being few and far between. What is this, Holly’s fourth or so in about a month? Jordan gets in an elbow to the face and a suplex is good for two. A hurricanrana and some clotheslines drop Jordan and a top rope clothesline does it again. The Alabama Slam is broken up so Holly tries a sunset flip but Jordan grabs the rope to retain.

Rating: D. What in the world do they see in Jordan? I don’t remember the last time I saw him do anything memorable and the matches are getting less and less interesting. Holly isn’t exactly thrilling but he completely outshined Jordan here. That being said, it isn’t like it’s all that difficult to do.

Here’s Heidenreich, with a huge (and somewhat eaten) Hershey bar, to read a poem about Hershey chocolate. Cue the Divas to throw Hershey Kisses into the crowd. Jokes are made about how big the bar is but here is MNM to say M&Ms are better than Hersheys. Insults are thrown and the beatdown ensues with MNM standing tall.

Eddie vs. Rey next week.

Undertaker vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

No DQ. Jordan is here with JBL but cue Benoit to take care of him before the bell. Cue the gong and JBL is in trouble. JBL gets aggressive to start and pounds away in the corner….which goes as well as you would expect. An exchange of big boots goes to Undertaker and it’s time to pull on JBL’s arm. Old School connects and the Downward Spiral gets two.

They slug it out on the floor with Undertaker whipping him into the steps but getting reversed into them on a second attempt. Serves him right for being so mean. Undertaker gets crotched on the barricade and we take a break. Back with JBL hitting a flying shoulder (always looks good) for two and getting the same off a swinging neckbreaker. Undertaker gets in a shot to the face to start the slugout so JBL goes to the eyes.

That doesn’t seem to do much as Undertaker boots him in the face and hits the apron legdrop for a bonus. Back in and JBL gets crotched on top and superplexed for two more and they’re both down. Snake Eyes into another big boot gets another two, followed by the chokeslam for the latest near fall.

A low blow gets JBL out of the Tombstone attempt though and the Clothesline From JBL gives him his own two. JBL gets in some right hands in the corner and poses as an idiot. The Last Ride out of the corner is only good for two in a move you don’t see getting kicked out of too often. The Tombstone is loaded up but here’s Randy Orton, as the new Smackdown Draft pick, for the RKO to give JBL the pin.

Rating: C. I know he gets a lot of flack (though I’m not sure how much of it is earned) but JBL can do some perfectly competent brawling and that was the case here. There were a few too many near falls but they didn’t go nuts with the weapons and had a nice enough match. The stipulation was to allow the brawling and the ending so all in all, this wasn’t too bad and the time went by quickly.

Post match Orton says Undertaker got RKOed and he better get used to it because Orton is now on Smackdown. Orton does his pose for a great shot as the shadow goes over the metal set.

Overall Rating: D+. The Draft couldn’t come at a better time because this show has some real weak spots. Look at the middle part of the show: stuttering Matt Morgan (again: bad gimmick), Orlando Jordan vs. Hardcore Holly in a title match, and the Cruiserweight Champion jobbing clean (yes it was to Eddie but they could have put in any cruiserweight and told the same story). That’s quite a run of bad in a row, meaning that it took the Undertaker to get Match Of The Night off of a departing Doug Basham. The ending was good, but dang that midcard needs an overhaul.

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