Smackdown – April 28, 2006

Date: April 28, 2006
Location: Wembley Arena, London, England
Attendance: 7,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s time for a huge main event in 2/3 of a Wrestlemania rematch. This time around we have Rey Mysterio defending the World Title against Kurt Angle, with JBL waiting on the winner. Other than that it’s time to continue the King of the Ring as we continue the lull before the next Smackdown only pay per view. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about Mysterio vs. Angle. Does it need to be anything else?

Opening sequence.

Here’s JBL, in a Rolls Royce, for a US Title defense and a chat. And yes he has an American flag in hand and an American flag jacket. Before the match, JBL brags about America and how much England needs them. If British Prime Minister Tony Blair is George W. Bush’s poodle, then every British person is America’s stepchild.

Therefore, tonight JBL is throwing them a bone by giving an Englishman a US Title shot. How tough can the challenger be though? After all, the British follow a queen, which has JBL on his knees in laughter. The fans chant for ENGLAND but JBL says an American is talking. He wants everyone to salute his jacket but his opponent cuts him off.

US Title: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. William Regal

Regal, in regular gear this week, is challenging and promises to show JBL what British people think of Americans. The beating is on in a hurry with Regal choking JBL with the jacket and firing off some shots to the face. The fans are all behind Regal and an uppercut puts JBL on the floor as we take a break.

Back with Regal kneeing away but getting punched in the face to cut things off. Regal is bleeding from the ear so JBL goes after it, followed by a sleeper. A belly to back gets Regal out of trouble but JBL kicks him in the face. JBL’s swinging neckbreaker and DDT combine for two but Regal is back with an exploder suplex for a heck of a reaction. Regal grabs the Regal Stretch but JBL gets two fingers on the rope. JBL goes more villain with a thumb to the eye and the Clothesline From JBL retains the title.

Rating: C+. This was a nice match as they didn’t bother with anything tricky and just had two guys hit each other for ten minutes. Regal fighting for his country and getting the huge face pops made for some weird visuals (not in a bad way) and it wouldn’t have been completely insane to see a fluke title change. You could tell Regal was fired up here and it helped a lot.

JBL’s goofy grin while he hugs the title makes it that much better.

Booker T. and Sharmell are ready for Booker’s match with Kurt Angle in the King of the Ring but he doesn’t like being asked about Angle vs. Mysterio. Gunner Scott comes in to remind Booker of the upset win a few weeks ago. Booker agrees to face Scott again….but not tonight because Booker has a chest cold and a sinus infection. He’ll find Scott an opponent who can sop him up like a biscuit.

Kurt Angle’s Winner’s Circle: Kurt beats Rock to win his first WWF Title at No Mercy 2000.

Video on Tatanka’s path to become the new warrior of his Native American tribe. I can appreciate trying to make something out of someone, but Tatanka in 2006 wasn’t going to be the answer, especially with something like this.

MNM/Gregory Helms vs. Paul London/Brian Kendrick/Super Crazy

It’s a brawl to start with the villains being sent outside for the big triple dive. Kendrick gets shoved off the top back inside though and Mercury takes over with some quick near falls. A backbreaker/slingshot elbow combination gets two and Nitro adds his breakdancing legdrop for the same. Helms grabs the quickly broken abdominal stretch and Kendrick gets over for the hot tag to London. Everything breaks down and London rolls Helms up for the pin. Melina is stunned, though that might be due to Tony Chimmel using the high pitched SUPER for Super Crazy.

Rating: C. They got a lot of stuff into a sub four minute match and that’s perfectly fine. I’m not sure if Crazy is supposed to be the next challenger for Helms or if he was just someone put out there to fill in a spot, but this was all about MNM vs. London and Kendrick anyway. They kept this short and got to the point, which is all they needed to do.

Kurt Angle’s Winner’s Circle: Angle beats Austin at Unforgiven 2001.

Melina yells at MNM for losing and insults Jillian Hall for getting fired last week. She offers Hall a job doing her makeup and throws said makeup on her. The catfight is on with makeup being used in various ways.

Bobby Lashley wants to be King of the Ring because of what it has meant for everyone else. He really doesn’t need to be talking.

Kurt Angle’s Winner’s Circle: Kurt beats Big Show at Armageddon 2004.

King of the Ring First Round: Mark Henry vs. Bobby Lashley

Henry shoves him around a few times to start and Lashley isn’t sure about this one. A headbutt puts Lashley down again and there’s a hard whip into the corner. Henry cuts off the comeback with a rather hard clothesline, with Cole telling us to go outside and run into our house to see what that feels like. Hopefully no one with a house boat follows that advice.

A backbreaker plants Lashley again but Henry misses a charge allowing the comeback to start. Lashley hits the clotheslines and the impressive slam but Henry powers out of the Dominator. Henry misses a charge and gets low bridged over the ropes to the floor, giving Lashley the countout win.

Rating: C-. That’s about as smart of a way to do this as they could have had, even if it looked like Henry slipped on a banana peel to end things. Henry is still a monster who shouldn’t be losing very often, so aside from not having him in the tournament, the only way to go was a countout or DQ. Lashley was thrown around a bit, but that slam felt like a pretty impressive moment.

Post match Henry beats Lashley up some more, including a splash against the post to bang up his ribs.

Rey Mysterio is asked about always being seen as an underdog. Tonight he is the underdog again but he knows he has to stay away from the ankle lock. He’ll give it his best but if he loses, it was well worth it. This has been the latest moment of WWE making sure you know Rey is in way over his head.

Kurt Angle’s Winner’s Circle: Kurt beats Brock Lesnar and the Big Show to win the title at Vengeance 2003.

Booker T., complete with chest cold, is here with Sharmell to announce Gunner Scott’s opponent. After using some medicine, here we go.

Finlay vs. Gunner Scott

Booker and Sharmell sit in on commentary. Finlay headlocks him down to start and pulls on the arms with his boot on Gunner’s head. Back up and Gunner hits a dropkick tot he floor but the baseball slide gets caught in the ring skirt so the beating can be on. Scott fights back and hits an elbow to the face, followed by a belly to belly for two. They fight outside where Booker gets in a cheap shot, allowing Finlay to hit the Air Raid Crash for the pin.

Rating: D+. Scott feels like their latest attempt to make someone out of nothing and it’s too early to know if that is going to be a success. Booker having another injury/condition to keep him out of the ring is a bit of a stretch after he was just injured for so long, but his talking is making up for it. On top of that, it’s nice to see Finlay being featured again as he’s doing well in his role as the tough villain.

Post match the beatdown is on until Chris Benoit runs in for the save.

Here are Great Khali and Daivari for a chat. Daivari says that is it true: Great Khali has dominated the Undertaker and destroyed his spirit. Undertaker is afraid of Khali, who yells a lot to emphasize his point. Krystal runs away to wrap things up.

Kurt Angle’s Winner’s Circle: Kurt wins a battle royal to become champion again.

Smackdown World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio

Mysterio is defending and commentary makes it clear that he is the underdog. Again. Angle drops to a knee as Rey circles him, meaning it’s an early takedown to put the champ down. An uppercut cuts Rey down again but he’s back up with right hands in the corner. That just earns Rey a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a regular version gets two. Rey charges into a belly to belly to the floor and we take an early break.

Back with Rey caught in a chinlock with a bodyscissors. That’s broken up so Rey has to escape the Angle Slam and kick Angle in the head for a double knockdown. The 619 is blocked so Rey is right back with a sitout bulldog for two, allowing Cole to call Rey the underdog again. Another Angle Slam is countered into a DDT for two more but Angle runs the corner for a superplex.

Back up and Angle misses a charge hard into the post and falls out to the floor. That means Rey can hit a top rope Fameasser on the way back in for another near fall, but Angle flips him over with a release German suplex. The Angle Slam is countered for a third time and the 619 connects this time. Angle counters the West Coast Pop into the ankle lock but here’s Mark Henry to jump Angle for the DQ.

Rating: B-. They were having a good match and I can live with the DQ ending, but man alive this “Rey is such an underdog” is getting old in a hurry. What makes it even worse is that it comes after the last three months being about Eddie Guerrero, making Rey feel like a high school student who is in over his head in a bad 90s action comedy. Rey is an underdog, but there’s a difference between someone Barry Horowitz’s 1995 winning streak and one of the best cruiserweights of all time. As usual, WWE needs to lighten up on beating us over the head and I don’t think they’ll get that.

Post match Henry crushes Angle against the post and puts him on a table. The running splash from the apron destroys Kurt to end the show as Rey, again, is forgotten.

Overall Rating: C. As usual, the British shows are always a little off but there was only so much they could do without having anything to build towards at the moment. The next pay per view will start to come into focus soon and Angle vs. Mysterio did feel big, but they didn’t help themselves with making Rey seem like a loser who has gotten lucky. The show did go by very quickly though and nothing was bad, so it was hardly a difficult sit. Just get them something to focus on and we can move on to something a little better.



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