Smackdown – March 10, 2006

Date: March 10, 2006
Location: Mobile Civic Center, Mobile, Alabama
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re running out of time before Wrestlemania and this time around that means we need to start setting up some Money in the Bank participants. Other than that we are all but guaranteed to get some fallout from last week when Mark Henry attacked the Undertaker to cost him the World Title. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Undertaker vs. Angle, set to Deadly Game, at least on the Network. Then Henry crushed Undertaker to make it even worse.

Here are Mark Henry and Daivari to get things going. Fans have been calling it a classic, but how can you have a classic without Henry? He is the only man who deserves to be champion because he took out Batista and Undertaker and Angle is scared of him. Now he wants his title shot, so he is calling Kurt Angle out. So Kurt has options: he can hand it over, or get it took.

Cue Angle to say he’s ready right now and the fight is on. This brings out Randy Orton to jump Angle, which brings out Rey Mysterio for the failed save attempt. Henry crushes Rey but Angle makes the save with a chair. Teddy Long comes out to make the main event in obvious fashion.

Money in the Banks Qualifying Match: Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley

Or not as they start brawling in the aisle before the bell. The referee tries to break it up and gets shoved down, drawing out more referees to break it up. Lashley shrugs off a shillelagh shot to the head and gets in a spear until they brawl to the back. No match.

They fight into the parking lot and wind up on top of a car with Lashley ramming him head first into the roof over and over. With Finlay still on top of the car, Lashley (and some editing tricks) turn the car over, possibly onto Finlay.

Someone is coming, and his name is the Miz.

Here is JBL, fresh off hand surgery, for a chat. He has been blessed by the outpouring of support from the fans and he loves them too. However, since his injury, he has been cheapshotted and blindsided by none other than Steve Austin. Last week, Austin was interviewed by and mentioned the greatest Texas wrestlers and JBL was not mentioned!

JBL lists his resume, which includes holding the WWE Title longer than Austin. His last Wrestlemania was bigger than anything Austin ever did and JBL is better than Austin on Austin’s best day. All Austin has left is his ability to drink beer, so JBL wants to prove that he is better than that too. That’s why he wants Austin in a beer drinking contest at Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Then he’ll go to Wrestlemania and take care of Chris Benoit. We see a clip of Benoit injuring JBL’s hand, and JBL says he better go on last at Wrestlemania, because no one is following him. As usual, JBL is great at talking and possibly even better at taking a beating for what he said.

Gregory Helms, who broke his nose in Australia, comes in to see Teddy Long. Teddy doesn’t think it’s fair that Helms has to defend the Cruiserweight Title every week. Helms agrees, but gets to face Chris Benoit in a non-title match.

Video on the Australia/New Zealand tour.

William Regal vs. Paul Burchill

Burchill is making his pirate debut and Regal is shaking his head about having to do this. Before the match, Regal declares this a joke because Burchill is going to make a bloody fool out of himself. Burchill swings in on a rope and Regal finds it oh so funny. Then Burchill whips out a sword and Regal’s face is great. They fight over wrist control to start with Burchill taking him down into an armbar. Regal throws him away and hits a knee to the face, followed by even more knees to keep Burchill down.

We get an inverted full nelson (that’s a…well rare one at least) for a bit, followed by an exploder suplex for two on Burchill. An elbow gets Burchill out of trouble and it’s a jumping clothesline to take Regal down. A very badly hidden camera edit (Regal went from down on the mat to on his feet in a split second) takes us to Burchill getting two off an enziguri and grabbing a standing Spanish Fly for the pin.

Rating: C-. I’m a sucker for pirate movies but this isn’t going to be anything more than a short term gimmick and I think everyone knows it. The change is understandable as Regal and Burchill were only going to go so far as the evil British tag team, but the pirate gimmick going off of the success of Pirates of the Caribbean feels like something that belongs in Memphis, not WWE. At least Burchill is a talented guy though, as this could be a lot worse.

Here are a nervous Booker T. and Sharmell for a chat. Sharmell, with a bag wrapped around her shoulder, says they are tired of the treatment Booker has been receiving. This has been due to Teddy Long and the Boogeyman and they have LETTERS to prove it. First up is a letter from the head of the NAACP, who says Boogeyman is a bad role model for minority children and is rolling back all of the gains in the Civil Rights Movement.

Then someone from PETA says that Boogeyman is cruel to worms, who have feelings too. A third letter, from the editor of Worm Digest, says that Boogeyman should be stopped. Fourth up is a letter from the President’s Council on Health and Fitness, which says eating worms is unhealthy!

So Long needs to get out here right now and address the Boogeyman problem. Long pops up on screen instead and makes Boogeyman vs. Booker for Saturday Night’s Main Event. Booker isn’t happy and throws out the letters….but finds worms instead. Boogeyman appears in the aisle and chases Booker and Sharmell off. The letters thing was kind of funny actually.

Raw Rebound.

Sherri Martel Hall of Fame video.

Kristal Marshall vs. Jillian Hall

Bra and panties match, which is exactly how you follow up a video honoring a woman in wrestling. Jillian throws her down by the hair to start but Kristal is back with a crossbody. The catfight is on with Kristal losing her shirt but coming back with a sunset flip to get rid of Jillian’s skirt. Jillian can’t hit a slam and Kristal takes the shirt to win.

And yes Kristal follows tradition by stripping as well.

Batista was at the Arnold Classic and met Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Chris Benoit vs. Gregory Helms

Non-title. Helms hides in the ropes to start before going with the lockup. Benoit grabs the bad nose and chops away, followed by the snap suplex. The Sharpshooter is blocked and Helms gets in a drop toehold, setting up a legdrop to the back of the neck. We hit the chinlock for a bit until Benoit sweeps the leg but still can’t get the Sharpshooter.

The chinlock goes on for the second time but this time Benoit is up with the release German suplex. Benoit finally gets smart enough to go after the bad nose and NOW the Sharpshooter worse. Helms makes the rope and tries to leave but the rest of the cruiserweights are there to throw him inside. Another German suplex sets up the Swan Dive into the Crossface for the tap.

Rating: C. Benoit winning was expected, but Cole saying that Helms winning would be a huge upset doesn’t exactly do much for the title. It would be an upset, but a champion beating another champion shouldn’t be the biggest shock in the world. It shows you just how worthless the Cruiserweight Title is, even if that has been obvious for a long time now.

Video on Candice Michelle’s Playboy shoot.

We look back at Animal turning on Matt Hardy last week.

Animal talks about his years with Hawk as part of the Legion of Doom. They were the biggest tag team ever and then last week, Matt told him to go up for the Doomsday Device. Well now the tag team days are over and it’s time for Animal to look out for #1.

We look back at the Lashley vs. Finlay fight. Next week, they’re having a lumberjack match.

Mark Henry/Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio/Kurt Angle

Daivari is here with the villains. Angle and Orton start things off with Orton not seeming thrilled to go after him. Kurt drives him into the corner for a clean break before wrestling Orton down to the mat with ease. It’s off to Rey in a hurry and the EDDIE chants begin just as fast. It’s too early for a 619 though as Henry pulls Orton out of the way and we take a break.

Back with Mysterio hammering away at Orton and going up top, where Daivari distracts him for a second. Orton dropkicks him out of the air so Henry can come in to throw Mysterio around. It’s back to Orton for the forearms to the chest as Angle is getting anxious on the apron. The fast tags continue with Orton getting in a few shots before handing it back to Henry. Rey’s kicks to the face have no effect as Henry gorilla press drops him but misses the splash.

The diving tag brings in Angle to clean house and, after avoiding the RKO, he grabs the ankle lock. Henry makes the save so it’s Rey springboarding back in and hitting the 619 on Orton. Angle and Orton fight on the floor as Henry stands on Mysterio. The referee gets splashed on purpose and Daivari sends in a table. Henry loads Mysterio onto it and goes to the middle rope with Angle making the save. The RKO drops Angle and Orton puts him on the table instead. Henry’s splash crushes Angle so here are more referees to check on him as the match was thrown out somewhere in there.

Rating: C. Pretty run of the mill main event style tag match here and it worked well enough in that regard. The whole point was to keep Henry looking like a monster and having him destroy the World Champion is a good way to get there. In addition you have Angle banged up for Wrestlemania, but just get to the Undertaker stuff already.

Henry and Daivari are left alone in the ring and there go the lights. Undertaker’s voice comes up to challenge Henry for a Wrestlemania casket match. Henry rubs his face and nods to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This is a show that was about setting up things for Wrestlemania, with most of the matches already set or fairly obvious. That worked out well enough too, as the stuff that needed to get a focus got some attention, with a big match being made. Much like last week though, it is very obvious who has something going for Wrestlemania and who doesn’t, as the interest goes up and down throughout the night.

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