Smackdown – March 31, 2006

Date: March 31, 2006
Location: Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for Wrestlemania and that’s probably the best thing that can happen to Smackdown at the moment. The blue matches are already set and have been for a good while. That has left us with some rather weak shows on the way to Chicago but tonight is the last stop. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Randy Orton causing issues before Rey Mysterio and Kurt Angle.

Here is Mysterio to open things up. He wastes no time this week and calls out Orton right now but here’s Angle instead. Angle wants Orton tonight so he can beat him here and then do it again at Wrestlemania. No one beats him, including Rey on Sunday. Cue Orton to call both of them ladies, sending Rey and Angle into an argument over who gets to face Orton tonight. Orton suggests a handicap match and then changes his mind because he isn’t wrestling tonight. He’ll see you in Chicago but here’s Teddy Long to interrupt.

Teddy likes the idea of a handicap match but Orton says Teddy is giving Rey another favor like he did when he put Rey in the main event of Wrestlemania. Angle seems to agree so Rey thinks Angle doesn’t respect him. Orton cuts them off and suggests Rey vs. Angle tonight so Rey can prove himself. They’re both down and Teddy makes the match. As for now, security is going to escort Orton out.

A ranting Orton left during the break.

Chris Benoit vs. Road Warrior Animal

Non-title. Before the match, Animal rants about how he is a legend but doesn’t have a spot at Wrestlemania. Benoit gets shoved around to start but Benoit takes him to the floor without much trouble. Back in and Benoit rolls the German suplexes so Animal tries the brass knuckles. Benoit doesn’t mind and snaps on the Crossface for the easy tap.

Benoit goes to the back where an applauding JBL and Jillian Hall are waiting for him. JBL talks about taking the World Title from another technical wrestler in Eddie Guerrero so he knows he can do it to Benoit as well. Benoit is glad JBL’s hand is healed because he’ll need it to tap out.

This Week In Wrestling History: Wrestlemania II with the battle royal, where William Perry and Big John Studd eliminated each other.

Perry is going into the Hall of Fame this year.

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Daniel Cross

JBL has Daniel Cross with him and Cross is having his fifth career match. His fifth career loss comes after less than a minute and a pair of Clotheslines From JBL.

Hall of Fame rundown.

Miz is still coming, but first he needs to invade Titan Towers.

Booker T. vs. Paul Burchill

Sharmell is here too and they both look scared of the Boogeyman. Booker knocks him around to start but Burchill hits a quick crossbody….and it’s Boogeyman time. Sharmell freaks out and tries to leave but they’re scared of Boogeyman’s smoke. There is no Boogeyman so Booker checks underneath the ring, with Boogeyman coming out the other side and kidnapping Sharmell. Booker gets counted out somewhere in there as the angle disguised as a match wraps up.

Post break, Booker can’t find Sharmell. Just follow the screaming.

Bobby Lashley/Tatanka/Matt Hardy vs. MNM/Finlay

Hardy and Mercury start things off and it’s quickly off to Lashley to beat up MNM (again). A Finlay distraction cuts Lashley off but he shrugs them off all over again. Tatanka comes in for a dropkick to Nitro and a legdrop gets two. Finlay comes in and hammers on Tatanka so it’s off to Mercury, who gets punched in the face. Good grief MNM are presented as such helpless losers. Tatanka suplexes both champs down and hands it off to Matt to clean house. Everything breaks down and Lashley gets to clean house, leaving Matt to hit the Twist of Fate to finish Mercury.

Rating: D+. Sweet goodness MNM can’t buy some good luck at this point. Was anyone looking for a rehash of Hardy/Tatanka vs. MNM? Matt getting a win is fine, but was there no one else for him to beat? Nothing to see here, but at least Lashley got to clean some house. Just stop making it the champs’ house.

Here’s Mark Henry in a suit for a funeral for Undertaker. With a choir singing over the speakers, Henry goes over the victims of the Streak, giving us a rather rare Giant Gonzalez reference. The future is in Henry though brothers and sisters, amen. He is the man who took out Batista and he will end the Streak. This didn’t need the funeral theme but lining up the names was a nice idea.

Mexicools vs. Jamie Noble/Kid Kash

Jamie goes nuclear by messing with the lawnmower on the way to the ring, meaning the fight is on in a hurry. Kash takes Psicosis into the corner to start and Noble comes in to run him down with an elbow to the face. Super Crazy gets knocked off the apron so Noble can choke away behind the referee’s back. The camel clutch goes on with Noble pulling at the face before Psicosis dropkicks him out of the air. The hot tag brings in Crazy and house is cleaned with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Kash. Noble hits a neckbreaker and Kash goes up top but Crazy super Spanish Flys him down for the pin.

Rating: C. This was one of those matches you usually only see right before a major pay per view, with the cruiserweights getting to go in there and getting to do their stuff for a few minutes. The good thing is that these people are talented enough to make it work because they can do this kind of stuff in their sleep. Perfectly fine match and a completely acceptable use of TV time.

Booker looks for Sharmell by following a trail of worms.

Post break, Booker follows Sharmell’s screams (and the worms) and finds….Sharmell on a box and screaming a lot because she’s scared of the worms. Boogeyman is far down the hall and laughs a lot. Please get to the end of this already.

Wrestlemania rundown.

Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio

Non-title. Angle drives him into the corner to start and then takes him down by the arm. The headlock on the mat keeps Rey in trouble but he gets in a drop toehold into the ropes. Angle gets away from the 619 attempt though and things reset. A headscissors into the corner and another one to the floor have Angle in trouble and we take a break.

Back with Angle sending him hard into the corner to band up the ribs and we hit the waistlock. The bodyscissors goes on but Rey fights up, only to get snapped over in an overhead belly to belly for two. The reverse chinlock with a knee in Rey’s back goes on but Rey fights up again and hits a sitout bulldog. A basement dropkick gets two and a springboard seated senton gets the same. Rey misses a charge into the corner though and it’s a release German suplex to send him flying. There go the straps but the ankle lock is countered into a 619, which is countered into an ankle lock for the tap.

Rating: B. You have to give the fans some kind of an important match on the show and putting two of the best ever out there is a good way to go. They had a fair amount of rest holds and stuff where they could lay around here and that’s not a bad thing. The good side here is the fact that Angle and Mysterio are still very great, even when they’re not at full gear. Nice main event and easily the best thing on the show.

Post match here’s Orton for the RKO to Rey as Angle looks on. Orton says Angle is getting the same thing on Sunday so Angle charges back in. The RKO is countered into an Angle Slam and the ankle lock to make Orton tap to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This show is always a weird one as you can only get so much out of a Smackdown where they are trying to get to Wrestlemania safely. The main event is good as you would expect, but the rest is a bunch of quick appearances from people who are going to be at Wrestlemania. It isn’t much to see, but that is hardly a surprise this time around.

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