Smackdown – July 21, 2006

Smackdown
Date: July 21, 2006
Location: American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the go home show for the Great American Bash and that means it is time to put the finishing touches on everything. The show is looking pretty good on paper and if they do everything else well tonight, we could be in for a nice pay per view. That’s in theory of course, as you never know around here. Let’s get to it.

Teddy Long is in the ring to open things up and gets straight to the point: Mark Henry is injured and has undergone knee surgery. Therefore he is of course out the #1 contenders match at the Great American Bash, so we have a replacement. Before Long can make the announcement, here’s Mr. Kennedy to interrupt. Long won’t let him have the mic but Kennedy has his own and challenges Batista for the pay per view. Cue Batista to tell Teddy to book the match (Teddy nods) because he needs someone to take out his six months of anger on. Kennedy offers a handshake but pulls it again and leaves. Quick and easy here.

Brian Kendrick vs. Kid Kash

They run the ropes to start with neither being able to hit anything until Kendrick armdrags him into an armbar. Kash gets smart by going after the knee and a running clothesline gets two. It’s back to the leg with even more kicks, followed by something like a reverse figure four to send Kendrick bailing to the ropes.

A snapmare sends Kendrick’s legs into the ropes to stay on the legs but Kendrick is back up with right hands and a clothesline. Jamie Noble offers a distraction but gets knocked down by mistake, allowing Kendrick to grab a rollup for two. The referee goes to yell at Paul London, allowing Noble to come in to help set up the Dead Level for the pin.

Rating: C. The leg work was a wise way to go and it made sense to have the champ lose here, but at the same time there is only so much to be gotten out of the singles matches for the Tag Team Champions. I’m not exactly buying the idea of the Pit Bulls winning the titles on Sunday, but at least they’re trying something to set it up.

Chavo Guerrero is in Teddy Long’s office when King Booker and Queen Sharmell come in. They don’t like being disrespected by Rey Mysterio and demand satisfaction in the form of a match tonight. Chavo doesn’t think much of this and tells Teddy to ignore them, but he’ll take it under advisement. That’s too much for Chavo, who storms off.

Post break, Rey accepts the match with Booker for tonight. Chavo doesn’t like this.

Michelle McCool/Kristal vs. Jillian Hall/Ashley

Jillian slams Kristal down to start and hits a cartwheel elbow as JBL goes into a rant about Jillian not taking the easy path to wealth. Michelle comes in and beats on Ashley as a lot of screaming ensues. It’s back to Kristal for a rollup but Jillian makes the save, ripping Kristal’s top off in the process. Ashley rolls her up for the fast pin as the point was obvious again here.

Great American Bash press conference video.

Here are Great Khali and Daivari to say that Undertaker will be destroyed in the Punjabi Prison. It won’t be for the first time either, as we see a clip of Khali mauling Undertaker at Judgment Day.

After looking at a clip of Finlay stealing the US Title from him last week, Bobby Lashley says he is ready to fight tonight.

US Title: Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley

Lashley is challenging and they go straight to the brawling. Finlay gets powered down early on and claims an early elbow injury. Naturally he’s goldbricking and forearms Lashley down for two, causing the referee to chastise him a bit. One heck of an uppercut sends Lashley into the corner and a very hard clothesline puts him down. Finlay hammers away in the corner and a jumping seated senton sets up the chinlock.

Lashley fights up and they head outside with Finlay being sent head first into the apron. That earns Lashley a knee first whip into the steps though and it’s time to crank on the leg back inside (JBL: “It’s the Achilles Heel of a gigantic monster.”). Finlay cannonballs down onto the knee, ala Ric Flair, which Cole calls unorthodox for some reason. Lashley fights up again but here’s William Regal for a distraction.

The distraction lets Finlay pull out the Leprechaun, with Finlay tossing him at Lashley for some actual unique offense. The leglock goes on again but Lashley fights up with the variety of suplexes. That’s enough for the referee to check on Finlay, allowing Regal to get in some cheap shots. Regal throws Finlay a chair, which is kicked into his face, setting up the spear. Not that it matters though as Regal comes in for the DQ.

Rating: C+. This was about taking a couple of heavy hitters and letting them beat the heck out of each other for about fifteen minutes. It’s a good preview for Sunday’s triple threat title match also involving Regal, and I’m glad they didn’t do a surprise title change to give Lashley another two day reign. Finlay can get a lot out of being the champion and retaining here was the smart move.

Post match the beatdown is on with the Leprechaun getting in a shillelagh shot to keep Lashley down.

Here’s Miz to recap the Diva Search so far, all two weeks of the thing. Tonight’s contest is a Diva Dance Off so they all dance for thirty seconds. Some of them are a bit more skilled than others (Maryse just kind of walks around) and Milena wins. This was exactly as you would have expected.

Matt Hardy, Funaki and Tatanka are in the back when Sylvan comes in to pitch a Quebec vacation.

Super Crazy vs. Psicosis

Gregory Helms is on commentary as he will be defending the title at the Bash against an opponent to be determined. Psicosis takes over with an armdrag to start and stomps away but Crazy sends him into the corner for some stomping of his own. A reverse Boston crab has Crazy in trouble and Psicosis makes it even worse by turning it into a Rocking Horse. We go to a more conventional camel clutch but Crazy slips out and dropkicks him to the floor. Crazy hits a middle rope moonsault but walks into a spinwheel kick for two back inside. Not that it matters as Crazy grabs a crucifix for the fast pin.

Rating: C. Much like the Lashley vs. Finlay match, this was all about taking two people who are good at a certain style and allowing them to do their thing for a bit. I’m not sure how big of a surprise that Crazy winning was, but at least they got a few minutes to do their thing. Crazy vs. Helms at the Bash feels like a pre-show match, but it’s nice to see the title defended every now and then.

Post match Crazy and Helms shout at each other a lot.

Vito went shopping. Again.

Great American Bash rundown.

Rey Mysterio vs. King Booker

Non-title with Sharmell handling Booker’s entrance. Joined in progress with Booker taking him to the mat with a knuckle lock but Rey fights up and kicks at the leg (popular move tonight). A flying headscissors looks to set up the 619 but Rey knocks him outside instead, setting up the running seated senton off the apron.

Back in and Booker chops away, followed by an elbow to the face for two. A pair of clotheslines into a superkick gives Booker two and the armbar goes on. That doesn’t last long so Booker grabs a slingshot suplex for two more. The chinlock doesn’t stay on long either, meaning this time it’s a World’s Strongest Slam for another near fall on Rey.

Back up and Rey grabs the sitout bulldog and thanks to the referee checking on Sharmell, Rey baseball slides Booker for a low blow. Sharmell offers a distraction though and it’s a Book End for two as Rey puts his foot on the floor. Cue Chavo to trip Booker though and it’s the 619 into Dropping The Dime to put Booker away.

Rating: C. Kind of a boring match but you can tell that these are both people who can have a fine match almost in their sleep. I’m not wild on having the pay per view main event two days before the show, but it’s not like it is the focal point in the first place. Mysterio’s days are numbered and it seems obvious, especially with Guerrero running around on the floor like he was here. Fine main event, but still a weird way to go.

Overall Rating: C-. This show suffered from the same kind of problem that so many other go home shows face: the show is built up as well as it’s going to be, leaving this show as little more than a two hour filler episode. There was nothing of note added here, other than replacing the injured Henry, so while it was a perfectly watchable show, it was also a perfectly skippable show.

 

 

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