Smackdown – July 7, 2006

Date: July 7, 2006
Location: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 15,993
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We are coming up on the Great American Bash and that means we need to actually start building up the show. Last week’s show featured what felt like the end of Bobby Lashley vs. King Booker, which should free Booker up to challenge Rey Mysterio for the World Title. It’s not like there is anyone else in the main event scene at the moment. Oh and Batista is back after six months off. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is all about Mark Henry injuring Batista, who is finally back tonight for revenge. Or maybe the Eggs Benedict.

Opening sequence.

Battle Royal

Finlay, Simon Dean, William Regal, King Booker, Brian Kendrick, Paul London, Mr. Kennedy, Psicosis, Matt Hardy, Jamie Noble, Kid Kash, Scotty 2 Hotty, Funaki, Super Crazy

The winner gets a shot at Rey Mysterio at the Great American Bash. Booker and Regal come out last so JBL is on his feet with the hat over his heart. It’s a big brawl to start with everyone going to the brawling, including a rather heated fight between Crazy and Psicosis. JBL: “It looks like a border war. That’s why we need to build a wall.” Finlay dumps Crazy (JBL: “There went my hot dog vendor.”) with Psicosis following and the brawl starting again. Kash is tossed as we take a break.

Back with Kennedy breaking up the Worm with a clothesline. Noble, Dean, Funaki and Scotty are tossed out in a hurry with London and Kendrick going after Kennedy. Hardy gets in on it as well and Kennedy is out. We’re down to London, Kendrick, Finlay, Regal, Hardy and Booker so everyone pairs off.

London saves himself from Booker’s elimination attempt but Finlay gets rid of both London and Kendrick. Regal hits the Twist of Fate to Regal and dumps Finlay but Booker kicks him down. We’re down to Hardy, Regal and Booker so Hardy clotheslines both of them, only to have the double teaming put Hardy in trouble. Regal goes to eliminate Matt but Booker dumps both of them for the title shot.

Rating: D+. They got the winner right and that’s what matters the most here, but the rest of the match was pretty lame. You can only get so far with something like this, though Crazy and Psicosis deserve some praise for making the most out of their shot. They aren’t going to get many angles or even television time of their own so good for them for putting in that much effort.

Post match, Regal says ALL HAIL KING BOOKER and doesn’t even seem that annoyed.

Rey Mysterio doesn’t like what Mark Henry did to himself and Chavo Guerrero last week. He and Henry have unfinished business, but not he has to face King Booker at the Great American Bash. Every day he gets to bring home this title home is a great day, so at the Great American Bash, Booker is just one more away from a 619.

Here’s Sylvan, sending JBL into a rant about how much he can’t stand France. Sylvan invites us all to come to Quebec and maybe we can spend the summer there. JBL: “I’d rather spend it in h***.” Sylvan speaks some French and we see some shots of Montreal. JBL: “I’d rather have a root canal. This guy sucks.”

Miz pops up in the crowd and asks for a cheese steak before hyping up the rest of the show. He also confirms Batista vs. Mark Henry for the pay per view.

We look at some of Mark Henry’s path of rage, including injuring Chris Benoit.

We also look at some of Batista’s greatest triumphs, including beating JBL.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Super Crazy

Kennedy handles his own intro as usual but Crazy’s music cuts him off. That’s really not cool with Kennedy, who takes Crazy down as JBL calls Crazy a hot dog vendor again. After a trip to the floor with Crazy being sent into various things, Crazy is back in with some right hands. Kennedy drops him again though and hits a chinlock as JBL loses it over being named Jerk Of The Month in Smackdown Magazine.

The neck crank goes on and Kennedy gets annoyed at Crazy for daring to try a small package. Kennedy sends him face first into the mat and goes back to the neck cranking. The comeback is on again with some shots to the face and Crazy hits a slingshot dive. The Russian legsweep looks to set up the moonsault but here’s Psicosis for a distraction. Kennedy hits a Kenton Bomb for the pin.

Rating: C-. The amount of neck cranking makes me think this was a little longer than it needed to be but JBL’s rants were the best part. That tends to be the case, but at some point he is going to start taking away too much focus. The good thing is there isn’t much to be seen out of a Super Crazy vs. Mr. Kennedy match, as it isn’t like Kennedy can do much of note in the ring in the first place..

Kristal is yelling about Ashley but has to stop to interview Tatanka. He isn’t worried about facing Great Khali because he is facing his fears like a warrior. Tatanka looks to be about 71 years old here.

Video on the Caribbean tour.

Great Khali vs. Tatanka

Daivari is here with Khali and has brought a casket to ringside. Before the match, Daivari calls out Undertaker to answer Khali’s challenge for the Punjabi Prison match. Tatanka comes out…and is destroyed before the bell, meaning no match.

The destruction ensues (with JBL making Indian vs. Indian jokes) so Daivari opens the casket, which is filled with white smoke. The screen goes wonky (of course) and Undertaker’s voice accepts the challenge.

Divas Search finalists video. Maryse being as fluent in English as she is after only speaking English for six months is very impressive.

Vito vs. Psicosis

We get a quick clip of Vito shopping for a purse in the Caribbean. Vito dances around to start and JBL (again) goes into a rant about Vito, including gay jokes about Cole. Psicosis tries to take him down to start so Vito strikes a pose, complete with the blurred out image. A suplex keeps the blurring up but Vito fights out of the corner as Cole explains that this is not about sexual orientation.

Hold on though as Vito stops for the Macarena (JBL: “THE MAN NEEDS A CHROMOSOME CHECK!” Psicosis is back with a reverse chinlock and another suplex but here’s Crazy for a distraction, setting up the dress over the head armbar to give Vito the win. JBL loses it again as only he can.

Rating: D. Again, ignoring all of the shenanigans, the match wasn’t very good in the first place. They were having a boring match which was only there for the sake of having Crazy come in at the end and that doesn’t make for the most thrilling use of five minutes. It also doesn’t help that Vito’s “he’s just having fun” deal is getting old in a hurry, but you had to know that was coming.

Booker promises to become World Champion and Regal toasts him with champagne.

Batista won the World Title at Wrestlemania.

Mark Henry injured Kurt Angle.

Pitbulls vs. Funaki/Scotty 2 Hotty

Noble jumps Funaki to start and a double clothesline gives Kash two. It’s back to Noble for some shots to the neck and choking on the apron. Kash plants Funaki for two and hammers away again as the aggression is working so far. Funaki avoids a charge though and the hot tag brings in Scotty to clean house. Everything breaks down and Noble hits a fireman’s carry gutbuster to drop Funaki. A spear/Russian legsweep combination gives Kash the pin.

Rating: C. The Pitbulls are a good example of a team of two guys who had nothing else going on and just needed a fresh repackaging. They aren’t doing anything that reinvents the wheel but you have two people who can work and get a new gimmick. Maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t, but at least they’re getting a chance and are making the most of it. That is something that could be used again and it could do a lot of good.

ECW Rebound.

Great American Bash rundown, with Bobby Lashley defending the US Title against Finlay and William Regal being announced.

Finlay and Regal agree that the title match is every man for himself but Finlay has to chase the Leprechaun away from Regal’s leg.

Gregory Helms vs. Bobby Lashley

Non-title. During his entrance, Helms says Lashley is a Superman but Helms is the Kryptonite. Joined in progress after a break as commentary talks about how long Helms has held the Cruiserweight Title. Lashley hits a rather delayed vertical suplex for two, which JBL says he hasn’t seen since Rick Rude. Ok then. Helms gets in a few shots of his own and grabs a chinlock but Lashley powers up to his feet without much effort. Back up and Lashley charges into a boot in the corner but comes back with a powerslam for the pin. It’s as sudden as it sounds.

Rating: C-. Another match that didn’t have the time to build into anything and doesn’t exactly do much for Helms. No he shouldn’t be beating the US Champion, but maybe they shouldn’t be having Helms in this spot if he’s going to be beaten so decisively. Lashley winning is fine, but don’t have him beat another champion like that.

Mark Henry promises to make Batista’s comeback the shortest in history.

Miz is still very fired up about what we have been seeing, and introduces the returning Batista.

Here is Batista for his big return, with commentary staying silent so the moment can sink in. Batista doesn’t waste time in calling out Henry, threatening to come get him if Henry doesn’t come out. Cue Henry for the staredown in the aisle but he turns to go back, only to have Rey Mysterio jump him. Batista comes out and gets to Henry, who is sent hard into the steps. The steps go off of Henry’s head as JBL sounds scared of what we’re seeing. Referees come down but Batista is too busy beating on Henry with a chair to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This one really didn’t work out for the most part as the entire thing was built around Batista returning and King Booker becoming the new #1 contender. The good thing is that they have more of a direction now, but you should be able to see where things are going for the next few months. At the same time though, the wrestling was pretty worthless tonight, as we need to drag the worthless Mysterio Era to the end of its run and that could make the next few weeks a bit rough. That was the case here, and it wasn’t very good.



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