Date: January 20, 2006
Location: Civic Center, Florence, South Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
Things changed in a big way last week and now we get to start moving towards the new norm around here. That includes Kurt Angle as the Smackdown World Champion and seemingly gearing up to feud with Mark Henry, probably at the Royal Rumble. Speaking of the Rumble, the show is in ten days and it could use some build. Let’s get to it.
The opening recap looks at Angle winning the title in a battle royal, last eliminating Henry.
John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Bobby Lashley
JBL has Jillian Hall with him, now with a bandage on her face after Boogeyman bit off her growth. An exchange of shoulders hurts JBL’s arm but his right hand is good enough to hammer Lashley down in the corner. A thumb to the eye cuts Lashley off but he’s right back with a belly to bell. The charge misses in the corner and JBL runs him over….so here’s Boogeyman from underneath the ring. The distraction lets Lashley hit the Dominator for the pin.
Rating: D+. This didn’t have time to go anywhere and was just a backdrop for the Boogeyman interference. The good thing about JBL is it’s not like a loss hurts him so just have him go out there and take a beating, which isn’t going to cause him any real damage. Lashley gets a win and we move forward towards JBL vs. Boogeyman. I’m not sure why, but it’s at least something and JBL can play scared with the best of them.
Post match, JBL bails from the threat of the worms.
Rey Mysterio congratulates Angle on winning the title and promises to become #1 contender. Angle likes the idea of the challenge and walks on to accept more congratulations. He runs into Henry though, who promises to beat Rey and take the title from Angle at the Royal Rumble. Angle wishes him luck and says stay out of his face. The YOU SUCK chants are about his opponents, so don’t be his opponent, because you’ll SUCK.
Post break a scared Jillian is in Teddy Long’s office when JBL storms in. Long doesn’t want to hear the yelling and makes JBL vs. Boogeyman at the Rumble.
Here are Sharmell and Booker T. for the big US Title celebration, including the balloon drop. Booker thanks everyone for believing in him and Sharmell calls Chris Benoit a loser. After a congratulatory kiss, Booker says this is how a real winner celebrates. Cue Orlando Jordan to say Booker disrespected him when Jordan offered to help him in the series. Jordan wants a match right now and punches Booker down for saying no. Cue Teddy to make Jordan vs. Randy Orton for later tonight. So there you go Orlando Jordan enthusiasts. We get to suffer while you enjoy yourselves.
Matt Hardy vs. Finlay
This is Finlay’s debut and he hammers away to start, including taking Hardy down in a hurry. Matt kicks away and hits an atomic drop before catapulting Finlay over the top. Back in and Finlay kicks him in the head before hitting a hard slam for two. The neck crank goes on and you can feel the mean coming off of Finlay. Matt fights up for a backdrop and the Side Effect gets two. The screaming…uh, backsplash actually here, gets two more so Finlay goes outside. Matt gets tied up in the ring skirt and Finlay hammers away before taking him back inside. More forearms in the ropes are enough for the DQ.
Rating: C. This was a physical match and that’s the kind of thing that Finlay is known for. Wanting to brawl and beat on Hardy for the DQ was a logical way for him to debut, as a lot of fans aren’t going to be familiar with him after so many years away from mainstream wrestling. Not so much a good match, but an effective debut.
Post match, Finlay can’t believe that was a DQ and stomps Hardy’s head on the steps.
We look back at Daivari costing Angle a match against Shawn Michaels on Raw. Angle fired Daivari as a result.
Daivari is in Teddy’s office to rant about Angle firing him. He wants Teddy to fix it, so Long makes Daivari vs. Angle for tonight.
Batista had triceps surgery for the second time.
Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Henry
The winner gets the title shot at Angle at the Rumble. Melina is here with Henry. Mysterio starts sticking and moving to start but gets knocked down in a hurry. The pace picks up a bit and Rey sends him outside for a dropkick through the ropes. A quick dive knocks Henry up against the barricade and we take a break. Back with Henry running him over and shoving Mysterio down by the head.
Henry steps on his chest but misses a splash. Mysterio can’t do much with the delay though as he gets knocked outside, with Henry throwing him back inside with no trouble. Back in and Henry misses a charge in the corner so Rey kicks at the leg, slips out of a gorilla press, and kicks at the leg again. Some 619s to the back and ribs set up the regular version and Rey hits a heck of a frog splash. Henry rolls through like it’s nothing though and plants him with the World’s Strongest Slam for the pin and the title shot.
Rating: C. Pure formula stuff here and that’s the right way to go. Show that Henry can absorb the offense and then pop up for the win. Beating Mysterio so decisively sets up Henry for the World Title shot that he was all but guaranteed to get. Not a great match, but it did things rather well.
Mr. Kennedy comes out with some of his new shirts but if you want them, go buy them.
Gymini vs. Paul London/Brian Kendrick
Simon Dean is here with the Gymini and Kennedy is on commentary. Cole and Tazz throw on the Kennedy shirts, with Kennedy complimenting Cole’s head. London and Kendrick hit the ring in a hurry and clothesline Dean to the floor at the bell. London starts fast with a missile dropkick but a Dean distraction lets the monsters run him over. A double shoulder takes him down again as Dean starts blowing the whistle. Some missed elbows allow the hot tag to Kendrick to clean house as everything breaks down. Kendrick gets spinebustered onto London though and a double Regal Cutter finishes Kendrick in a hurry.
Rob Van Dam is back at the Royal Rumble.
Orlando Jordan vs. Randy Orton
Orton takes him over with a headlock to start and the trash talk is on. Some armdrags send Orton outside though and it’s time for a breather. Back in and another armdrag lets Jordan clothesline him to the floor but Orton avoids the slingshot dive. We come back from a break with Orton grabbing a chinlock with a bodyscissors, followed by the dropkick for two. Jordan couldn’t get his foot to the rope, so the referee says it was under the rope for the break anyway.
Jordan’s comeback is cut off in a hurry and we hit the chinlock again. The comeback works this time as Jordan starts in on the arm, including a standing armbar. That’s reversed into the backbreaker for two and Jordan’s dropkick gets the same. A swinging neckbreaker drops Orton but here is Sharmell for a distraction so Booker can come down for a crutch shot to Jordan. The RKO is good for the pin.
Rating: D+. For the love of all things good and made of poultry can we PLEASE cut it out with Jordan already? He has never been interesting, he has never been anything resembling good and he has never been anything more than a name on the roster. Let him go to Velocity and stay there already because he is as much of a groan inducing name as there is these days.
Post match Chris Benoit runs in for the save and rips up Booker’s shirt.
Video on Mark Henry.
We run down the Rumble card.
Daivari is scared about the main event and know it’s going to be screwed up.
Kurt Angle vs. Daivari
Non-title and here are Mark Henry and Melina to watch. Angle snaps off the belly to belly suplex to send Daivari outside, where Daivari is terrified of Henry. Back in and Daivari’s low blow doesn’t do much damage so Angle throws him at Henry. With Henry holding Daivari in the air, Angle hammers on Daivari’s back before throwing him back inside. The Angle Slam sets up the ankle lock but Melina comes in for the DQ.
Post match Angle puts Melina in the ankle lock but Henry comes in for the World’s Strongest Slam. Henry crushes Angle with the steps for a bonus. With Angle down on the floor, Daivari announces himself as Henry’s new manager to end the show. Was Daivari that great of a manager that we need to have him added like this?
Overall Rating: C-. This show was more logical than anything else and that’s fine. It might not have been exactly thrilling, but it did a good job of setting up the non-Rumble matches. The perk about the Rumble is that it doesn’t need much of a build in the first place so hopefully we get a little push next week, but it’s not like the match really needs it. Angle vs. Henry actually sounds decent though, which I never would have guessed on coming in.
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