Date: March 3, 2006
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
It’s a big one tonight as we have the No Way Out rematch between Undertaker and Kurt Angle for the Smackdown World Title. That alone should be enough to carry this show as it feels like one of those main events where they are going to give it some extra attention. Certainly works for me. Let’s get to it.
We open with a video about Angle vs. Undertaker. If you insist.
Booker T. vs. Tatanka
What a clash of generations. Sharmell is on commentary. Tatanka works on the arm to start and Booker bails to the rope as Sharmell is already done listening to Cole. Booker loses a chop off so he goes to the eye and elbows him in the face. The hooking kick to the head misses though and Tatanka chops away even more. There’s a suplex but Booker pops up and strikes away in the corner.
A hot shot puts Tatanka down again and it’s a superkick for two. The chinlock goes on and naturally fuels the comeback, allowing Tatanka to chop him down again. Tatanka’s belly to back suplex sets up the top rope chop but Booker kicks him out of the air. The ax kick gives Booker….nothing as here’s the Boogeyman behind Sharmell. That’s enough for Tatanka to grab a rollup for the big upset.
Rating: D+. So to recap, you have all of the people available to WWE (from developmental alone) and you pick Tatanka? He isn’t the worst in the world or anything, but who looks back at Tatanka and thinks that’s the big idea? The match was nothing but a way to set up the angle at the end, as we continue towards Booker vs. Boogeyman because reasons.
Post match Boogeyman, with the worms, chases Booker off.
We recap Rey Mysterio being all depressed over losing his Wrestlemania title shot. Don’t worry though because Teddy Long made a tag match between Rey Mysterio and feeling happy by making a triple threat match at Wrestlemania.
Randy Orton vs. Super Crazy
Orton now has This Fire Burns by Killswitch Engage for theme music. Crazy gets stomped down in the corner to start and we’re in the chinlock in a hurry. Some forearms to the chest give Orton two and the chinlock goes on again. Crazy crawls over to the ropes and gets his feet to safety but Orton pulls him back for more chinlocking anyway.
Back up and Crazy throws him over for the break and hits a triangle dropkick to put Orton outside. The dive off the top hits Orton and they head back inside for two. A tornado DDT sends Orton throat first across the top but the moonsault only hits mat. Orton tries to go up but gets kicked in the head, only to shove Crazy back down. The RKO is good for the fast pin.
Rating: C-. This is the kind of match that can almost always work: take a talented guy who doesn’t get to do much against bigger names and let him have a five minute match. Orton was never in danger but they got to do a little something out there and it isn’t like Crazy loses anything in defeat. Do more stuff like this and save some of the bigger matches for important spots.
Video on Chris Benoit. I’m surprised that made the Network.
We look back at JBL’s hand being crushed last week, forcing him to undergo hand surgery this week.
At Wrestlemania: Benoit vs. JBL for the US Title.
MNM vs. Matt Hardy/Animal
Non-title. Matt rolls Mercury up for two to start and is quickly forearmed in the face for his efforts. Mercury misses a dropkick and gets rolled up for two, meaning it’s off to Animal for a hard whip into the corner. They head outside with Mercury being sent into the apron, allowing Melina to dive off the apron for a distraction. This one actually works as Nitro scores with a superkick to take over. Back in and a double legdrop gets two on Animal. The referees try to break things up so Melina adds a headscissor choke over the rope, with the fans not exactly complaining.
Animal fights up without much trouble and brings in Matt for the house cleaning. The middle rope elbow to the back of Mercury’s neck looks to set up the Twist of Fate but Matt has to go with a double DDT instead. Now the Twist of Fate gets two on Mercury with Nitro making the save. Everything breaks down and Animal goes up for the Doomsday Device, only to have Nitro chop block Hardy. Animal crashes, leaving Matt to take the Snapshot for the pin.
Rating: D+. Pretty formula based stuff but I don’t really need to see Animal again. It worked with Hawk but that isn’t going to happen again. The act was pretty tired in 1999 and we are a long way off from that. MNM needs a good team to face and I don’t know if I can imagine that happening anytime soon.
Post match Animal snaps on Hardy and rams Hardy’s injured knee in the post.
Big Time Wrestlemania Moment: Undertaker b. Sid at Wrestlemania XIII. You have that whole show and you pick that match? In a year where Bret Hart is going into the Hall of Fame?
Gene Okerlund Hall of Fame video.
Bobby Lashley vs. Finlay
Fallout from last week’s tag match. Lashley powers him up against the ropes to start and hits an atomic drop. Finlay gets run over with straight power but comes back with a clothesline and a knee to the back of the head. A suplex gives Lashley two and they head outside where Finlay throws in a bunch of chairs. The chair duel is good for the quick DQ.
Post match the brawl stays on with referees having to come down and break it up. This worked pretty well and I could go for another one.
We see Kristal attempting to disrobe last week when Jillian Hall interrupted. Clothes were removed and they fight next week. Can they please not?
William Regal comes up to Paul Burchill again and says Paul is embarrassing him again. Just come be a tag team again. Burchill says no because he has his first match next week and can’t wait to dress like this. Regal: “ARE YOU BLOODY MAD???”
Video on Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker.
Smackdown World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker
Angle is defending in a rematch from No Way Out. Angle slugs away in the corner to start and has to dodge Undertaker’s big shots. Undertaker gets taken down into a Fujiwara armbar but reverses into one of his own. A flying armbar has Angle in more trouble and Undertaker cranks on the arm in the corner. Old School is broken up though and Angle stomps him down some more. That just earns him another armbar but Angle breaks up Old School again.
The ten right hands in the corner are countered into a Last Ride but Undertaker has to drop him onto the ropes instead. A boot puts Angle on the floor and we take a break. Back with Angle sending him face first into the steps but Undertaker pops back up with a heck of a clothesline. Undertaker hits the apron legdrop to the back of the bad neck as he has another target.
Back in and Undertaker bends the neck around the rope but Angle snaps off a belly to belly for a delayed two. Now it’s Angle pounding him down for two and we hit the bodyscissors. That’s broken up as well but Undertaker’s running big boot misses in the corner. For some reason Undertaker goes up top, earning himself a top rope superplex for two.
We take another break and come back again with Angle holding a chinlock with a knee in the back. A clothesline puts Undertaker on the floor and Angle whips him knees first into the steps. Back in and Undertaker wins a slugout but misses another big boot. The release German suplex sends Undertaker flying but NOW the big boot connects for two. The chokeslam is countered into the ankle lock until Undertaker kicks him off. Neither can hit a Tombstone so Angle grabs the Angle Slam for two more.
Another ankle lock is countered into the chokeslam but the cover takes too long, allowing Angle to pull him into the ankle lock. That’s countered into the triangle choke, which is good for two arm drops. Angle grabs the rope for the break and counters a legdrop into the ankle lock. This time Undertaker reverses and hits a DDT for two but it’s Angle up first. The moonsault misses and there’s the sit up. Undertaker hits the Tombstone but here’s Mark Henry for the DQ.
Rating: A-. Yeah that worked and I don’t know why you would have expected anything else. This was a pair of great wrestlers going back and forth while trying to have a classic and they pretty much did. I’m not wild on the ending but we have already seen a clean finish between the two so it isn’t that big of a problem. There was no way this wasn’t going to work and it worked very well, as you had to expect.
Post match Henry beats Undertaker up even more, setting up a splash through the announcers’ table to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This was like the In Your House of Smackdowns as the main event carried the show as far as it needed to go but the rest left you wondering why this was taking place. There are a lot of people who pretty clearly are just going through the motions with little to nothing to do for Wrestlemania and that can make for some rough time. Then you have Undertaker vs. Angle for about half an hour though and those problems don’t mean as much.
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