Smackdown – September 15, 2005

Date: September 16, 2005
Location: Alltel Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Attendance: 4,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

With Raw’s Unforgiven coming up on two days after this show, it’s time to start setting up the next Smackdown pay per view. Last week seemed to be an ending point for some big stories and that means we are coming up on some new stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have in store but you never know what that might be. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Chris Benoit vs. Christian

Non-title. Hold on though as here’s Orlando Jordan who says he wants another shot. Christian and Jordan beat Benoit down but Jordan gets caught in the Crossface. Christian breaks that up so here’s Booker T. to make it a tag match. The REFEREE makes it a tag match though as he must have sights on Teddy’s job.

Christian/Orlando Jordan vs. Booker T./Chris Benoit

Sharmell comes out to watch as Booker hiptosses Christian to start. The spinebuster gives Booker two but Jordan gets in a cheap shot from the apron. Christian knocks him to the floor and gets two off a neckbreaker back inside. The chinlock doesn’t last long but Christian keeps Booker down and brings Jordan in. Now why would you do something stupid like that?

Jordan grabs his own chinlock and, of course, Booker fights up and hits the Book End because Jordan is really, really bad at wrestling. Benoit comes in and suplexes Christian but Jordan breaks up the Crossface. Jordan and Booker head outside with the former grabbing a chair so Booker shoves him away, right into Sharmell. That’s not cool with Booker but in the melee, Christian hits the Unprettier to finish Benoit.

Rating: C-. It’s almost amazing how bad Jordan is and yet WWE keeps him at this level for whatever reason. He can’t do anything above the most basic stuff and can’t even do that right. That’s what makes it such a relief to have Christian being moved into Jordan’s slot against Benoit. It’s an instant (mega) upgrade and a huge relief.

Video on Randy Orton being the Legend Killer and Undertaker being the Undertaker.

Batista flirts with Christy Hemme and Stacy Keibler, has a sip of a Simon System milkshake, and heads to the ring.

Palmer Cannon and Teddy Long bring out Batista for a chat. Batista says he needs a new #1 contender, so Teddy, “Network guy”, who’s it going to be? Long is ready to announce someone who sounds a lot like Rey Mysterio as #1 contender but Cannon takes the mic away and picks Eddie Guerrero. Eddie talks about his addictions with the biggest being his addiction to manipulation. Last week, he finally beat Rey and now he has a new addiction: respect.

Now he is all about honor and love and Batista is greatness. There won’t be any hate at No Mercy and they can have the greatest match of all time. Batista says they can be friends and Eddie is very pleased. Everyone knows what kind of man Eddie is and imagine what kind of champion he can be. Eddie offers a handshake and wants to be friends but Batista wants a hug. This was a bit weird, but the mind games are going to be a lot of fun to watch, mainly because Batista is smart.

Tag Team Titles: Heidenreich/Animal vs. MNM

MNM is challenging because these teams are the tag division these days. Heidenreich runs Mercury over to start so it’s already time for a conference. Mercury gets in a few cheap shots before running to the floor, where Animal nails him with a clothesline. Animal comes in and gets choked on the ropes, setting up a double Russian legsweep for two. A neckbreaker gets the same and we hit the quickly broken sleeper. Animal kicks that away and brings Heidenreich back in to clean house. Melina’s interference fails as everything breaks down, including Mercury hitting Heidenreich with the belt for the DQ.

Rating: D. So yes the feud can continue so WWE can sell more DVDs. They would be a lot better off by having Heidenreich and Animal destroying jobbers because these matches are just showing how nothing Animal and Heidenreich have in matches that last more than a minute. The nostalgia run is fine, but don’t treat it like it’s anything more than nostalgia/cashing in on the original team’s legacy.

Long and Cannon argue over Eddie being named #1 contender but the network has its wishes.

The Ortons have a surprise for Undertaker in the back of a U-Haul truck.

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey kicks at the leg to start so JBL punches him in the face to cut that off in a hurry. An armdrag looks to set up the 619 so JBL hits a hard shoulder to drop him again. A hard whip sends Rey into the corner and it’s off to the bearhug. Rey slips out and grabs a DDT to put them both down for a double breather. A basement dropkick gives Rey…well nothing actually as JBL is under the rope. Rey dropkicks the knee into the 619 but the springboard seated senton is blocked. That’s fine with Rey who hits a springboard moonsault press for the quick pin.

Rating: C-. This would seem to set up a rematch at No Mercy as JBL isn’t going to be happy with a loss to someone like Mysterio. The good thing about Rey is something like this could be considered a fluke win and allows for a variety of rematches, even though seeing JBL over and over doesn’t exactly bode well. He’s still one of the top heels on Smackdown though and putting the two of them together is a fine way to go.

Nunzio and Vito are in Teddy’s office with the former wanting to know why he’s isn’t wrestling even though he’s Cruiserweight Champion. Eddie, who is still here, suggests a match with Batista and Cannon makes the match.

JBL won’t answer questions and walks away so here’s Mr. Kennedy to ask why he isn’t getting some attention. Oh and Josh Matthews smells so bad he smells like Arkansas. Kennedy introduces himself and as luck would have it, he’s up next.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Jacus Plisken

Right hands and the super Regal Roll finish Jock in about a minute.

Batista vs. Nunzio

Non-title, Vito is here with Nunzio and Eddie is watching from the stage. The announcers make it clear that Nunzio has been stuck on Velocity in recent weeks, further killing anything the title could still offer. Batista pulls both of them inside and throws Nunzio at Vito. Vito’s distraction lets Nunzio get in a dropkick and that’s enough to set off the destruction. The Batista Bomb finishes in a hurry. I’d love an explanation for why they do this to the Cruiserweight Title. It’s been the case for a long time now and there has to be a reason.

Randy Orton tells Cowboy Bob to wait for the right moment.

JBL has a secret meeting with Jillian Hall because he needs her assistance.

Undertaker vs. Randy Orton

Joined in progress with Undertaker shoving him away and grabbing a rather harsh headlock. A big boot gives Undertaker two and it’s off to a keylock. Orton fights up but gets pulled into a Fujiwara armbar as it’s weird to see scientific Undertaker. Old School is broken up with a crotching and Orton headbutts him so hard that he staggers himself. The superplex plants Undertaker and Orton calls for his dad to bring the truck.

Since we’re about five minutes into the match, Undertaker sits up, only to get DDTed back down. The truck comes in and is opened to reveal….a casket. Back from a break with Undertaker fighting out of a chinlock and elbowing away in the corner. That just earns him a dropkick and we hit the chinlock again. Orton goes up top but dives into a raised boot to leave them both staggered. The over the back backbreaker drops Undertaker, but he slugs Orton down from his knees.

The jumping clothesline connects and Undertaker scores with the big boot into Snake Eyes. Orton kicks him in the face and Undertaker glares him down before heading outside. Undertaker teases sending him into the casket but there’s an Undertaker mannequin inside, allowing Orton to send him into the steps. Back in and Orton has to slip out of a Last Ride attempt, only to have the referee get bumped. The RKO gets two from a second referee and a chokeslam connects for the same, with Bob pulling the referee out. Another RKO is countered and the Tombstone finishes Orton.

Rating: C. The match was a good bit overbooked but that’s the kind of thing that you have to expect from a main event level match like this. I’m sure we’ll get a casket match eventually and while that might not be thrilling, it does make sense given the story. Hopefully the wrestling is a bit better, but there is a special feeling when Undertaker is in the ring.

Overall Rating: C. The wrestling wasn’t great here but what matters is that we are seeing some new stuff. Eddie vs. Batista, JBL vs. Mysterio and Christian vs. Benoit, plus the continued rise of Kennedy all give me some hope for the next month. Smackdown had some good stuff over the summer but they have been long overdue for some fresh blood. Hopefully we can get something good in the coming weeks and this show made me think that’s a possibility.

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