Smackdown – September 8, 2006

Smackdown
Date: September 8, 2006
Location: Civic Center, Columbus, Georgia
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We have a major match this time around as Batista is challenging Booker T. for the World Title in a rematch from Summerslam. In other words, this is the big special edition episode since there is no Smackdown pay per view this month. These things have hit and miss results but hopefully they can live up to the hype. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

JBL and Cole are on their feet for their intro this week. I don’t remember the last time I saw that. Anyway they preview the main event.

Finlay vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey is a bit shaken up after what Chavo and Vickie Guerrero have been up to as of late. The Leprechaun is seen looking from underneath the ring skirt during Rey’s entrance. Eh fair enough as it’s not like he’s a surprise most of the time. Finlay powers him around to start so Rey kicks at the knee in a smart move. That earns him a hard atomic drop to cut him down again, allowing Finlay to wrestle him down without much effort. The headlock goes on for a bit, followed by a gutwrench suplex for two on Rey.

We take a break and come back with Rey still not all there and getting put into a nerve hold as a result. That lasts all of five seconds as Rey is back up with a headscissors for two, only to get caught in the Tree of Woe. A backbreaker out of the corner gets two and Finlay drives him back first into the corner again.

The some city in Ireland crab goes on but Rey gets a leg out and kicks Finlay in the face. That doesn’t work on someone as mean as Finlay, so he switches to a kneeling half crab. Rey fights up again and starts kicking at the leg for the real comeback, including the springboard seated senton for two. Another springboard doesn’t work though as Rey slips and it’s the Celtic Cross for the pin.

Rating: C+. This was an interesting way to go as Rey was messed up in the head and Finlay was good enough to take advantage of what happened. Rey vs. the Guerreros seems like it could be a long form story but it is also nice to see Finlay getting a boost out of it. He has had a nice run in WWE so far and I could go for seeing a lot more of it soon.

Post match JBL gets in the ring to ask Rey what’s wrong (or asking why the Guerreros think Rey is a piece of garbage) but Rey leaves without saying anything.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Danny Giamondo

Non-title and Kennedy says Giamondo is a former Olympic silver medalist in power lifting and a six time NCAA Champion. Cole can’t find any of that information anywhere, even as Kennedy takes him into the ropes and chokes on the rope. The neck crank doesn’t last long as Giamondo fights up and hammers away in the corner. That’s about it though as Kennedy blocks a superplex attempt and hits the Green Bay Plunge to win.

Post match Kennedy calls out Teddy Long to say he might go to Raw if John Cena comes to Smackdown. Long doesn’t like that, so Kennedy can face the Undertaker at No Mercy. It’s a meme for a reason.

Video on the Marine.

Michelle McCool/Teacher’s Pets vs. Brian Kendrick/Paul London/Ashley Massaro

Stevens and London start things off with neither being able to get very far off a headlock. James comes in and gets his arm cranked, with everyone getting a shot in on said arm. Stevens low bridges London to the floor though and it’s a chinlock back inside. London grabs a rollup for two and gets over for the hot tag to Kendrick. Everything breaks down with the women getting in a fight, with the focus being on the skirts flying up. Kendrick comes off the top with a sunset flip to James, with London adding a dropkick so Kendrick can get the pin.

Rating: C-. They didn’t have much time here but the women being there does keep the match feeling different enough. The tag team division is hardly deep at the moment but there are enough teams out there for London and Kendrick to face for the next few….ok maybe not months but they should be fine at least through No Mercy. If nothing else, London and Kendrick are fun to watch.

Video on King Booker.

Vito comes out to do commentary for William Regal’s match. Regal comes out to say this was supposed to be against Vito, but after last week, Regal was considering a sexual harassment lawsuit. As Vito shows off his legs, we have a replacement.

William Regal vs. Bobby Lashley

Vito is on commentary as Lashley powers Regal into the corner to start and then pulls him back inside. Regal is sent outside and Vito pulls up the dress to show off the thong. That’s enough to have Regal panicking again so he pulls Lashley face first into the steps instead. Back in and Regal slugs away in the corner, only to charge into a boot to the face. Lashley can’t hit the powerslam but he can hit the spear for the pin.

Rating: C-. This was more about Vito, so at least he’s doing something other than beating up jobbers. It’s still not exactly a story that has any kind of legs to the whole thing but I’ll take any kind of a change over the same stuff if it has to be around. I’m not sure how long this is going to go, but Regal and Vito could have some comedy possibilities.

Post match JBL runs away from Vito’s handshake. Lashley shakes his hand though and there’s your endorsement.

The Miz vs. Matt Hardy

Miz insults the crowd before the match, including the local Little League World Series Champions. JBL classes things up by making all kinds of gay jokes about Cole and Vito before switching to something a little better by saying it’s stupid to brag about Miz being undefeated when he’s 1-0.

Matt starts fast by pulling Miz out of the corner into a powerbomb but Miz knocks him down in a hurry. The chinlock doesn’t last long as Miz fights up and hammers away as JBL is ranting about reality TV. Matt’s middle rope elbow to the head gets two and he sends Miz outside for a slingshot dive. Back in and the referee gets bumped, allowing Gregory Helms to run down and shove Matt off the top. Miz grabs a rollup with tights for the pin.

Rating: C-. The action worked while it lasted and Miz getting to brag about being undefeated is going to be rather entertaining. I’ve been a fan of the guy for years and it’s fun to see one of the most improbably rises in the history of wrestling. Miz isn’t very good in the ring but he’s a great character and personality and that’s what matters here.

Jimmy Wang Yang is still coming and doesn’t like people think Asians are smart. He got straight B’s!

Chavo Guerrero vs. Tatanka

Vickie Guerrero handles Chavo’s intro and says he is dedicating this match to the Guerrero legacy. Tatanka works on the arm to start but Chavo dropkicks the knee out for a knockdown. Leg cranking ensues as JBL rants about everything Guerrero related he can think of. Tatanka fights back with the chops, including the top rope version. The Papoose To Go connects but Chavo gets his foot on the rope. That’s enough to make Tatanka yell at the referee, allowing Chavo to jump him from behind. The frog splash is enough to finish Tatanka.

Rating: D+. Does Tatanka have photos of Vince with a sheep or something? He’s far from the worst thing around but is there a reason he’s getting on TV week after week? Nothing match of course, but I’m not sure why you would expect anything else. Chavo and Vickie should be fine as a team and odds are they are going to be a focal point for a long time to come.

MVP runs into Teddy Long and says he wants John Cena money to come to Smackdown. Long is tired of dealing with MVP’s lawyers so MVP gets serious, meaning Long has to wipe the spit off of his face.

Video on Batista.

Smackdown World Title: King Booker vs. Batista

Booker is defending and Queen Sharmell handles the ALL HAIL KING BOOKER’s this week. Before the match, Booker gives Batista a chance to bow down or take this whipping. The bell rings after the break with Batista unloading in a hurry. Batista hammers away in the corner and grabs a keylock of all things.

The shoulders in the corner send Booker bailing to the floor but Batista rams him into a few things for two back inside. Booker gets in a kick to the face for two and is stunned on the kickout. We take a break and come back with Batista unloading on the floor and glaring at Sharmell for daring to get involved. An ax kick to a hanging Batista drops him to the floor and the side slam gets two back inside.

Batista fights back again and hits his own side slam for two more but Booker uses the trunks to send him outside. After decking William Regal in the crowd, Batista comes back in with the spinebuster. Sharmell grabs a chair so the referee deals with her, allowing Finlay to come in with the Shillelagh shot to the head to retain the title.

Rating: C. One of the good things about these major shows is they build things up well enough to make you believe that something could happen. I’m not sure they need to do Batista vs. Booker III at No Mercy but Batista vs. Finlay could be a heck of a power match. Booker will likely have to face Batista again but I’m not sure if that happens so soon.

Post match Finlay unloads with the Shillelagh to bust Batista open. A shot into the exposed turnbuckle and a chair to the head leave a pretty bloody Batista laying to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This was a weird one as there was nothing overly great on the show but they had enough stuff going on to keep my interest. In other words, it is a show that felt like it had a lot of good things to pick from but it didn’t wind up working out in the end. Smackdown continues to trot out some fresher, younger wrestlers though and that makes for a pretty quick two hours. Not a great show, but an easy one to watch.

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