Date: June 30, 2005
Location: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
It’s a big night for Smackdown with the first ever Smackdown Champion being crowned in a huge elimination match. That could change things up a good bit around here, but so could the final two Draft picks, who will be making their debuts tonight. I’m sure those stories won’t intertwine at all. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the setup of the elimination match, featuring JBL, Undertaker, Booker T., Chris Benoit and Muhammad Hassan. Big Show was originally in the match but got sent to Raw so the match has been downsized a bit.
Here are Hassan and Daivari to open things up. Hassan hates how he is treated in America because they don’t feel free. Everyone judges them everywhere they go but it ends tonight as he becomes Smackdown Champion. Hassan brags about beating Big Show last week and promises to win again tonight. He declares the day of the Dead Man over and there’s the gong. Hassan starts backpedaling by talking about how legendary Undertaker is. Undertaker may have beaten a lot of people but he has never beaten Hassan. Daivari’s chair shot completely fails and it’s a chokeslam for the lackey as Hassan bails.
Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero vs. Paul London
London is defending in what feels like the 197th match between these two. Chavo gets taken over with a headlock to start and it’s time to bail into the ropes. The chase is on until Chavo gets in a cheap shot to take over. The stomping and choking are on and a clothesline gets two. London dropkicks him out of the air…and here are the Mexicools. They surround the ring and charge in for the double DQ because this feud MUST CONTINUE.
Rating: D+. It was nice enough while it lasted and then turned into the same thing they did last week. The cruiserweights feel as unimportant as they have ever been and these matches without a finish are not helping anything. Normally I would say change the title, but it’s not like anyone is going to be able to do any better.
Post match the beatdown is on, including Psychosis knocking out timekeeper Mark Yeaton. Juvy talks about hoe gringos don’t like Mexicans and wants them to rise against said gringos. We get the formal introduction of the team and Juvy wants us to join a revolution. Yeah it’s bad and someone will be upset at the racial aspect, but it’s still way more interesting than anything else in the division for a long time.
We get some graphics from Wrestlemania 21 with a preview for tonight’s main event. Hassan is absent, with Cole saying he wasn’t at Wrestlemania 21. It was less than three months ago. No one could check that line?
Video on last week’s great Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio match.
Eddie says he was smiling last week because he knows the truth. Tonight, Rey is going to beg him to tell the truth.
Melina is stretching and Nitro/Mercury are admiring the view. She name drops a lot of celebrities coming to watch her in-ring debut tonight. She’s got this one on her own too.
Video on the European tour.
Melina vs. Michelle McCool
Melina is putting her makeup on during Michelle’s entrance. Michelle spears her down to start and throws a running Melina back inside. A basement dropkick gets two as Tazz brings up the rather small size of Michelle’s gear. Melina gets in a cheap shot and powerbombs Michelle out of the corner for the pin, albeit with a grab of the rope. It was short, but they were both trying and it was nowhere near as bad as some similar matches have been.
Post match Nitro and Mercury come in to give Michelle the Snapshot. Heidenreich makes the far too late save.
Here’s Eddie for a chat. Last week people thought he was a loser, but the only loser was Rey Mysterio. Eddie is a winner in life because he has overcome obstacles people can only dream about. He has gone on a journey and just for fun, he filmed the whole thing. The journey involves one of Rey’s family members so here’s the footage.
We see Eddie at a playground, which happens to be at Rey’s son Dominick’s daycare. Eddie wonders if Dominick likes secrets and bedtime stories. He gives Dominick some candy and promises him a bedtime story he’ll never forget. The creepy smiling continues but Eddie makes it work very well.
Back in the arena, Eddie asks Rey if he should tell everyone their little secret. Cue a serious Rey with no music to ask Eddie not to go there. Eddie shoves him down and asks what happened to the fire in Rey’s eyes. Eddie demands that Rey get on his knees and beg him not to tell the truth. Rey does drop to a knee so Eddie pulls out….licorice, asking if Rey want some candy. It gets shoved into Rey’s face and Eddie says chew on that. More good stuff from these two with awesome delivery, but I’m scared of where this could go.
We recap the setup of the elimination match.
Smackdown Title: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Booker T. vs. Undertaker vs. Muhammad Hassan vs. Chris Benoit
For the inaugural title under elimination rules and you have to tag. It is made clear that ANY form of contact counts as a tag. Also, you can be eliminated by countout or DQ. Hang on though because here’s Theodore Long to make this a six man match again, thanks to the newest Draft pick.
Smackdown Title: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Booker T. vs. Undertaker vs. Muhammad Hassan vs. Chris Benoit vs. Christian
No Tomko in sight. For the sake of time, Undertaker just appears in the ring without doing the full entrance and stares Christian down as everyone else bails. Undertaker throws him into the corner and we settle down to Undertaker beating Christian up with ease. Hassan gets tagged in and fear ensues as we take a break.
Back with Undertaker beating up Hassan some more and there’s Old School for a bonus. JBL tags himself in and gets punched off the apron, meaning there’s a delay before he can come in and get chopped by Benoit. A flying shoulder knocks JBL down and it’s a German suplex for two, sending JBL over for a tag to Hassan. An exchange of suplexes goes to Benoit (duh) so Hassan forearms him in the back instead. That just earns him another suplex and Hassan lands in front of Undertaker.
For some reasons Hassan punches him in the face, which counts as a tag, so Undertaker unloads on him. This includes a chair to the back….and that’s a DQ to get rid of Undertaker. We take a break and come back with Hassan having been eliminated due to getting massacred, leaving us with Booker vs. Benoit at the moment. Booker kicks him in the face for two but Benoit grabs a German suplex for his own near fall. The abdominal stretch goes on, albeit with Benoit down on a knee.
Some forearms to the back have Booker down until he suplexes his way to a breather. An enziguri puts Booker down but he fights off the Sharpshooter. The second attempt works just fine though with Booker having to roll away. Benoit tries to switch to the Crossface but JBL tags himself in for some neckbreakers. Benoit tags himself right back in and hits a superplex on Booker, but JBL tags himself and DDTs Benoit for the elimination. JBL smiles down at the banged up Booker and we take a break.
Back with Booker kicking JBL in the face so Christian tags himself back in to hammer on Booker. The chinlock goes on, followed by the neck crank to mix it up a bit. It’s back to the chinlock for some rather blatant spot calling. Christian walks into the flapjack and the comeback is on with some right hands. JBL tags himself back in to kick Booker in the face for two but it’s Christian with another blind tag.
A top rope clothesline gets two on JBL and a tornado DDT is good for the same as the fans are into Christian. Another JBL neckbreaker gets two on Christian and we hit the chinlock. That’s broken up as well and it’s back to Booker for the chops in the corner. A sidekick (more like a knee) to the jaw sets up the missile dropkick for two more as these near falls are getting strong reactions.
The Book End gets a very close two and we take another break. Back again with JBL getting powerslammed out of the air for two but Christian tags himself back in and rolls Booker up for the elimination. It’s Christian vs. JBL for the title and the Clothesline From JBL is good for the pin and the title a few seconds later.
Rating: C. This was more long than good with all of the blind tags seeming like they would have made more sense in a one fall match. That being said, they were smart to not have Hassan take another fall and no one came out of it looking weak. It was a well booked match and going over half an hour prevented it from a bunch of lame exits, but it still wasn’t all that great and dragged multiple times.
Post match here’s Long to say that JBL won the match….but he’s only going to be #1 contender because the Smackdown title isn’t needed. See, we have one more Draft pick: the World Heavyweight Champion Batista. That was the logical switch and it gets Batista away from HHH so it’s a bunch of positives in one.
Overall Rating: C-. This whole show was built around one match and that’s a good thing, as there wasn’t exactly much else going on. Eddie and Rey had their usual good segment but Melina vs. Michelle was pretty bad and the Mexicools aren’t exactly looking like the next big thing. Next week is going to be the big start of the real new era and it should be interesting to see how the fans take to all of the new stars and stories that come with them.
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