Smackdown – June 23, 2006

Smackdown
Date: June 23, 2006
Location: Pepsi Arena, Albany, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the go home show for Vengeance and that means we can finally start looking forward to Great American Bash next month. Last week’s main event saw Bobby Lashley beat King Booker in what could be seen as either an upset or the expected result, which isn’t something you get to see every day. Other than that, it’s probably going to be a bad night for Rey Mysterio. I don’t know what he’s doing, but I figure it’s the safe bet. Let’s get to it.

We recap Lashley beating King Booker last week.

Opening sequence.

Miz welcomes us again and runs down the card, including Mysterio defending against Mark Henry.

Tag Team Titles: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Mexicools

The Mexicools are challenging and we see Psicosis walking out on Super Crazy last week during their match against Great Khali. They have another quick argument over who gets to start with London, with Psicosis coming in and getting his arm cranked a bit. London hits a springboard armdrag and a crossbody gets two. Crazy comes in and loads up his half of a rolling flip that the team usually does but Psicosis drops an elbow instead.

Kendrick comes in and flips out of a few armdrag attempts (JBL: “Now that’s like the APA vs. the Road Warriors!”) before grabbing an Octopus Hold. That doesn’t sit well with Psicosis, who yells at Crazy and then comes in, only to allow the tag off to London without much effort. London manages a top rope double stomp to the back of a standing Psicosis (cool) and the champs start working on the arm.

London gets two off a suplex but Psicosis gets up and staggers over to the corner for the hot tag to Crazy. House is cleaned in a hurry and London dropkicks Kendrick by mistake. Crazy goes up for the moonsault but Psicosis tags himself in, only to miss a Swanton (top rope spinning legdrop according to Cole), allowing Kendrick to steal the pin to retain.

Rating: C. This was much more about telling the story about the Mexicools imploding and given the video that aired before the match, that isn’t exactly surprising. I’m not sure if they really needed to be split up, but that has never stopped WWE before. It’s not like the Mexicools were going to get the titles in the first place, so maybe there is something else for them to do on their own. That isn’t likely going to happen, but it’s an idea at least.

Post match Crazy jumps Psicosis and beats him down before leaving on his own.

We look at Mark Henry beating Rey Mysterio last month.

Batista is back in 14 days.

Tatanka vs. Simon Dean

Before the match, Dean rants about how Tatanka’s people ripped him off at a casino last week for $150, so tonight, just like when the Pilgrims landed at Mount Rushmore, those people sold Manhattan for $24 worth of beads and wigwams. All the Indians got was Indiana and….Tatanka slugs away before we can hear about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor. Tatanka starts fast with the chips and the Papoose To Go but here’s Great Khali to wreck them both as the referee bails for the no contest.

Khali destroys both of them and even throws in the arm folding pin ala Undertaker.

We look at Mark Henry breaking into a cage to destroy Batista.

Finlay vs. Gunner Scott

Before the match, Finlay kicks some beer cans under the ring, which seems to be some foreshadowing. Gunner goes straight at him to start but gets knocked down in a hurry. Finlay hammers away and drops an elbow, followed by the chinlock. Back up and Finlay dives into a raised boot, meaning the comeback can be on.

Scott elbows him in the face but Finlay gets in a neck snap across the top rope. It’s leprechaun time but Finlay grabs the shillelagh before he can swing it. That makes the leprechaun bite Finlay’s hand so Finlay shoves him back underneath the ring. Finlay uses the distraction to get in a shillelagh shot for the win.

Rating: D+. I’m not sure what to make of Scott, who is still going up and down almost every week. I can appreciate trying something with someone new though and if it works out in the end, good for them. That being said, Scott isn’t exactly jumping off the page most weeks and he still doesn’t have that big win or even a moment to get him to the next level. It isn’t too late for him to save him, but he needs to do something already.

Vito, still in the dress, hits on Ashley, who leaves with him but doesn’t seem thrilled.

Sylvan wants you to come to Quebec. It sounds better than watching him every week.

Chavo Guerrero talks about how worried he is over Rey Mysterio facing Mark Henry. We see Henry destroying Chavo last week but, despite being in pain, Chavo still picks Rey to retain.

Henry doesn’t care how many Guerreros are in Mysterio’s corner. He talks about all of the bones and tendons he has broken. Batista, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle and Chavo Guerrero know how that feels and tonight, Mysterio will too.

JBL is thrilled with the idea of Mysterio being in such pain.

King Booker vs. Bobby Lashley

Non-title again and William Regal is here to All Hail King Booker. He doesn’t All Hail Queen Sharmell but she’s here too. Lashley’s taped up knee doesn’t get any hailing either. They circle each other to start and the fans are rather behind Lashley here. Lashley powers him out to the apron but Booker is right back in with some chops. Some shoulders to the ribs in the corner have Booker in trouble and it’s time to start in on Booker’s arm.

Booker isn’t going to stand for that and chops away in the corner but a big collision puts them both down. Back up and a hot shot puts Lashley down again, but more importantly it allows the light bulb to go off as Booker FINALLY starts in on the heavily bandaged knee. Booker cranks on the leg a bit, only to have the spinning toehold countered into a small package for two.

That earns Lashley an armbar as Booker isn’t exactly being so smart in this one. Lashley fights up but gets poked in the eye to slow him right back down again. The intelligence comes in again with a half crab so Lashley grabs the rope in a hurry. Regal gets in a cheap shot from the floor though and Booker’s kick to the face gets two. Cue Finlay to ringside and we take a break.

Back with Lashley knocking him down for two and then he does it again for the same. Booker sends him outside though and it’s Finlay getting in a Shillelagh shot to the bad leg. Back in and the knee is fine enough to snap off a belly to belly and Booker is sent into the corner. Lashley unloads with elbows and ax handles, only to get sent face first into the buckle.

There’s a shinbreaker to stay on the leg again and we hit the Figure Four. That’s turned over for a reversal though and Booker has to let go. Lashley snaps off a belly to belly into a powerslam so Regal gets on the apron for a distraction. Sharmell slips in a chair but Lashley takes it away and cleans house, only to get caught for the DQ.

Rating: C+. The lack of thinking from Booker got annoying at times but at least they did what they were supposed to do by keeping Lashley looking strong. Lashley fighting against the odds of the King’s Court is a good idea and they’re turning Lashley into a bigger star every week at this rate. The match worked well enough, but they probably could have clipped a few minutes out of the nearly 21 that they had.

Miz talks about how awesome this show has been but an entrance cuts him off.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Funaki

Kennedy praises Funaki’s announcing skills and now the fight is on in a hurry. Funaki’s arm is wrapped around the post and then stomps away on it back inside. The armbar doesn’t last long so Kennedy ax handles him in the chest a few times instead. The Regal Roll sets up the Kenton Bomb for the fast pin as Kennedy’s inability to pick a finisher continues.

We look at Mark Henry destroying Chris Benoit in May.

Raw Rebound.

Queen Sharmell and King Booker declare that Booker will NEVER face Lashley again. Teddy Long isn’t buying that though and makes a cage match for next week.

We cut to commentary after the announcement and JBL looked stunned in a funny shot.

Batista is still back in 14 days.

Smackdown World Title: Mark Henry vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey is defending and strikes away to start but Henry takes him into the corner without much effort. Henry unloads in another corner and hits a splash, only to miss a second attempt. That’s enough to send Henry outside and Rey hits a big dive from the top as we take a break. Back with Rey down and Henry slowly kicking away as JBL describes this as the nightmare scenario of T-Rex having a brain.

The big shoulders in the corner hit Rey’s ribs (and drive him up to other buckles to make the visual even better). Rey gets in a kick to the leg but a heck of a clothesline gives Henry two. The bearhug (duh) goes on until Henry drops him and gives us the way too cocky smile. Rey gets his feet up in the corner to stagger Henry, who misses the sitdown splash.

There’s a baseball slide in the corner and a split legged moonsault gets two. Henry sends him to the apron but a springboard clothesline gives Henry two more. The springboard crossbody is knocked out of the air though and Henry pulls the turnbuckle pad off. The referee goes to fix it but Henry throws Mysterio into him for the crash.

Cue Chavo with a chair to Henry’s back, earning himself a shot to the face. Henry grabs the chair but Rey knocks him into the ropes for the 619. Chavo chop blocks Henry down to make the springboard seated senton work. With the referee getting up, Chavo throws the chair to Henry as Rey drops down, which is good enough for the DQ to retain the title.

Rating: C. This could have been way worse and it certainly was the last time they met. Rey was sticking and moving here and I was starting to believe it, but then it was Guerrero time again, which has been a problem since Mysterio won the title. Henry is getting ready for Batista so thankfully he didn’t get pinned, but at the same time, Rey didn’t pin him so it’s kind of a wash with Rey escaping as champion again.

Overall Rating: C+. Maybe it’s building Lashley up or Batista being back soon but things are starting to look up a bit around here. Mysterio having a bit of life to him for a change helped too as this show gave you some hope for the future. It’s not a classic or anything, but after watching this show and getting more and more frustrated for a long time, I’ll take a decent show with a good bit of enthusiasm.

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