Smackdown – December 30, 2005

Date: December 30, 2005
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re finally finishing up the year with this one, as the road to the Royal Rumble begins. There are a few things to wrap up first and hopefully we go out with some of them being finished off. I’m not sure what we’ll be covering tonight, but maybe things can work out better than usual for a change. Let’s get to it.

We open with Chris Benoit and Booker T.’, on crutches, in Teddy Long’s office. Booker has a knee injury and can’t wrestle in match number five of the best of seven tonight. He’s already up 3-1 though so just make him champion. Long thinks it should be a forfeit, but Booker wants to find a substitute. That’s fine with Benoit, so the series is still on.

Opening sequence.

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Matt Hardy

Rematch from the pay per view, with JBL saying he doesn’t have matches anymore but rather only sends messages. Jillian Hall is here with JBL as well. Matt jumps him to start so JBL nails a big boot to cut that off in a hurry. A neckbreaker sets up the elbow drops as it’s almost one sided so far. Another shot to the face sets up a choke on the ropes and a belly to belly suplex to keep Matt down.

There’s a running shoulder as well, allowing Jillian to distract the referee so JBL can take off the buckle pad. Matt uses the delay to send JBL into the buckle for two but JBL puts him on top. Cue the Boogeyman but JBL hits the super fall away slam and the Clothesline From JBL anyway. JBL heads outside to hide behind Jillian though, allowing Boogeyman to throw the worms at her. Instead of fighting, JBL runs into the crowd for the countout.

Rating: D+. JBL was squashing him until the screwy ending because Matt is still in big trouble after Survivor Series. That might be a little harsh, but it’s not like Matt had any major momentum when he came over from Raw. Nothing to the match of course, but at least someone new is getting a push. That has been the case as of late and some of them have been better than others. I’m not exactly thrilled with Boogeyman getting a chance, but maybe it can work.

Orlando Jordan wants to be Booker’s substitute but Sharmell shuts that down by asking how many times Benoit made Jordan tap. Booker tells him to get his heels to clicking. He wants Jordan to dance?

Mexicools vs. The Dicks

Psicosis works on Chad’s arm to start so it’s quickly off to James. That goes badly as well but Chad gets in a cheap shot to take over. Chad’s clothesline gives James two on Psicosis and we hit the chinlock. That’s broken up in a hurry and Psicosis gets over to Super Crazy to pick up the pace. Chad is knocked off the apron and into the lawnmower, so it’s a missile dropkick to James. The moonsault finishes James.

Rating: C-. Speaking of new wrestlers who are worse than others, you have the Dicks. The Mexicools may have a stupid gimmick, but at least they can back it up in the ring. The Dicks….egads man. They’re not a horrible team but what in the world are they supposed to do when their entire existence is built around a joke?

Booker talks Randy Orton into replacing him in the series by asking if taking a whipping from Undertaker is how he wants to end 2005. Orton is in.

We recap Melina’s failed attempts to talk Batista out of the Tag Team Title match and the ensuing title change.

Here’s Melina, flanked by what looks to be a lawyer, for a press conference, with reporters and photographers around one whole side of the ring. Melina can barely say anything here over the Batista chants. She calls herself a role model and says she was recently the victim of a sexual predator.

Yes she flirted with Batista but then it turned into something horrible. Batista used his power as World Champions (Does that include heat vision?) to coerce her into sexual relations and now she knows the truth about him. Melina’s body is her temple, not his for the taking. That is why she is suing him for sexual harassment. Fair enough and while I doubt this goes anywhere major, it fits well for someone like Melina.

Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit

Match #5 in the best of seven series with Booker T. up 3-1, meaning he wins the title if Orton wins here. Booker and Sharmell are on commentary, with Booker insisting that his injury is absolutely real. The early Crossface attempt is blocked and Orton rolls outside for an early break.

Back with Orton headlocking Benoit on the mat before sending him shoulder first into the buckle. Booker continues the longest sentence ever until Orton gets two off a suplex. Benoit is right back with an armbar as Sharmell rants about Booker deserving the title already. A headlock has Orton in trouble so the announcers compare the series to a football comeback.

Orton powers up and sends Benoit over the top for a crash and the brawl heads to the floor. Benoit gets belly to back suplexed onto the barricade so we can hit the chinlock back inside. That’s broken up after a decent while but Benoit still can’t get the Crossface. We take another break and come back with Benoit going shoulder first into the post so the armbar can go on.

Benoit hits an enziguri for the double knockdown and then grabs Three Amigos for the extended knockdown. The Swan Dive misses and you can hear Booker’s relief. Benoit loads up the Sharpshooter so here’s Sharmell with the crutch for the DQ. Booker: “A fan just ran into the ring!”

Rating: B-. This was picking up a lot near the end but it needed to lose about five minutes in the middle. It doesn’t help that the ending doesn’t make a ton of sense. Why would you have Sharmell come in for the DQ if there was even the slightest chance that Orton could have survived? If he taps or if Sharmell comes in, the result is the same, so why not take your chances for the title?

Post match Benoit chases off Booker and Sharmell but walks into the RKO.

Funaki brings Cruiserweight Champion Kid Kash out to the platform (which still exists) for a chat. Kash brags about being a great champion but the fans don’t like him because he beat a nothing champion. Funaki: “WHAT IS A JUVENTUD???” Apparently he looked it up and it’s a Mexican salamander. Kash wants to know why everyone around here is foreign, including sushi boy. Funaki doesn’t know what to say so Kash brainbusters him on the platform. For some reason I remember seeing this one as it aired, even though it’s nothing all that impressive.

Finlay is coming soon. Cool.

The trailer for Kane’s new movie See No Evil is out next week!

Sylvan doesn’t like being in this ugly city for the new year so he has a resolution for the people here: they need to appreciate him, because he’s handsome.

Bobby Lashley vs. Sylvan

Sylvan jumps him to start and is quickly knocked outside. Back in and Sylvan slugs away, only to get suplexed right back down. A right hand sends Sylvan to the floor and he’s done because you don’t touch his face.

Batista isn’t worried about Melina because it’s about retaining the Tag Team Titles.

We look at Melina’s announcement again.

Tag Team Titles: MNM vs. Batista/Rey Mysterio

MNM is challenging and the distressed Melina is with them. Mercury and Mysterio start things off and a Nitro distraction completely fails, allowing Rey to hit a dropkick for two. Batista comes in to double clothesline the two of them in the corner and it’s back to Rey for two off the springboard splash.

We take a break and come back with Mercury being sent face first into the corner but managing to drag Rey into the corner. That’s fine with Rey, who spins around into a headscissors on Nitro. Rey loads up a springboard but gets superkicked outside, where Mercury works on the knee.

Back in and Nitro cranks on the knee as well, setting up a double legdrop for two. We go old schoolish with the Brock Lock for all of five seconds before Mercury goes to more of a standard leglock. The knee gets wrapped around the ropes and Nitro takes some imaginary pictures. There’s another stomp to the knee but Rey manages to jump over Mercury. A DDT plants Nitro and the diving tag brings Batista back in.

House is cleaned in a hurry but Mercury breaks up the Batista Bomb. Rey hurricanranas Mercury into the corner but the referee is bumped. Cue the returning Mark Henry (out since February 2004) for the gorilla press into the yet to be named World’s Strongest Slam. Mercury comes back in to steal the pin and the titles.

Rating: C. There’s a lot to unpack here and I wouldn’t have bet on that coming in. First of all, at least the titles are back where they belong after Rey and Batista got done borrowing them for their champions vs. champions match. It wasn’t hard to see that coming and that’s not a bad thing. On the opposite end, it was very hard to see Henry coming in as Batista just stood up and then got jumped. They did that well and I like it better than watching Henry come down the aisle. Finally, it’s about time someone came after Batista alone, as he hasn’t defended the title on TV since No Mercy on October 9. Pick up the pace champ.

Overall Rating: C-. The ending helped a bit but this was a pretty lackluster match outside of that angle and Benoit vs. Orton. Then again it’s the end of the year and they don’t have anything going on until they need to get ready for the Rumble so I’ll take the one angle at the end over nothing. Not terrible, but a rather skippable show.

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