Ahmed Johnson vs. Vader & Triple-H vs. Jake (and other KOTR Qualifying Matches!)

Austin 3:16- The Most Iconic Promo Ever Happened 25 Years Ago Today

Beating a bunch of midcarders and you change the business forever. Wrestling is weird.

WWF KING OF THE RING QUALIFYING MATCHES (1996):
* You might have heard of this tournament before. So by this point, the tourney was kind of up in the air after Mabel’s failed Main Event push. It could have even poisoned the “King” title, in fact. Hopefully THIS year’s winner makes more of a go of it.

So the backstory here was that the crown was meant to go to the “Next Big Midcarder”, more or less- mid-tier heel Hunter Hearts-Helmsley was expected to win it. But instead, he was one of the few guys the WWF could punish for doing the infamous “Curtain Call” (the Kliq members all coming out for a group hug in the ring, “exposing the business” by confusing fans at an MSG house show). And so he had his big push taken away and they threw it on some other guy. Thus giving HHH a lifelong persecution complex and an obsessive need to look smarter and better than everyone else, covering his own ass at every opportunity. But who knows what effect THAT had on the business?

This review is comparatively massive, because I decided to put the trio of Quarterfinals in the same review instead of splitting them up. Easier to look at the tourney as a whole that way! Hopefully it’s not too long, haha.

HENRY O. GODWINN (w/ Hillbilly Jim) vs. JUSTIN “HAWK” BRADHSAW (w/ Uncle Zebekiah):
(WWF Superstars)
* Weirdness abounds as tag wrestler Godwinn is out there with absolutely ZERO chance, taking on rising midcard guy Bradshaw, then a super-green Stan Hansen wannabe in red trunks and a ponytail managed by Zebekiah. At this point, the future JBL was nowhere near as protected as he would be even as part of the Acolytes, but he was protected enough.

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Smackdown – March 30, 2007

Smackdown
Date: March 30, 2007
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Attendance: 5,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the final (of three) go home shows for Wrestlemania and I wouldn’t bet on seeing much in the way of important action here. That is perfectly fine in this case and they would be insane to try anything too complicated. We’re sure to get a lot of talking about Wrestlemania though and that should work out well. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 23, 2007

Smackdown
Date: March 23, 2007
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

Much like Raw, things have been going well around here as of late as we head into Wrestlemania. That does lead to a bit of a problem though, as the show runs the risk of running out of things to do with Wrestlemania so soon. It feels like Smackdown can do no wrong at the moment though so let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – March 19, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 19, 2007
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We are less than two weeks away from Wrestlemania and that means it is time to really hammer things home. This time though it means that WWE is in a bit of a weird place as they have actually nailed the setup. Raw and Smackdown have both been feeling it as of late and they need to be careful not to screw up with four shows left. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – February 2, 2007

Smackdown
Date: February 2, 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Attendance: 15,156
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re done with the Royal Rumble and Undertaker is the only person on his way to Wrestlemania. He doesn’t have an opponent for the show yet though and Batista is the only World Champion he hasn’t stared at yet. Ignoring the fact that there are three World Champions to pick from, it is time for the blue champion to have his turn. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – January 5, 2007

Smackdown
Date: January 5, 2007
Location: Lakeland Center, Lakeland, Florida
Attendance: 4,800
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

It’s the first Smackdown of the new year and we are just a few weeks away from the Royal Rumble. That means we need to get some things ready and in this case that includes a theme show, as Teddy Long has announced the Beat The Clock Sprint. In other words, we are getting a Beat The Clock Challenge to determine Batista’s challenger for the pay per view. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – December 22, 2006

Smackdown
Date: December 22, 2006
Location: Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, Virginia
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We are done with Armageddon and pretty much a grand total of nothing happened. The main event saw John Cena joining forces with Batista to beat King Booker and Finlay. Other than that, Kane and Undertaker beat up MVP and Mr. Kennedy to presumably end both of those feuds. That means we have about a month to get to the Royal Rumble so let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – May 26, 2006

Smackdown
Date: May 26, 2006
Location: Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re past Judgment Day and Rey Mysterio is still World Champion. I’m not sure why that is going to be seen as a good thing as Mysterio was destroyed for weeks on end before surviving against JBL on Sunday. Next up is the Great American Bash but we have about two months before then. Let’s get to it.

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Judgment Day 2006

Judgment Day 2006
Date: May 21, 2006
Location: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Attendance: 14,000
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s time for what feels like the most B level pay per view in a good while. The main event is the loser of a World Champion in Rey Mysterio defending against perennial challenger JBL, who has been racist against Mysterio while accurately pointing out how terrible of a champion he is. Other than that, it’s time for Great Khali to destroy the Undertaker again. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – May 19, 2006

Smackdown
Date: May 19, 2006
Location: Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Attendance: 5,757
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for Judgment Day and my goodness it’s a pretty sad world around here. World Champion Rey Mysterio is on a losing streak to various monsters and tonight he gets to face a mystery monster. Given that it’s MAY 19 and we’ve spent months on Kane talking about MAY 19 and his new movie comes out on MAY 19, I’m thinking the Great and Powerful Oz. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – May 12, 2006

Smackdown
Date: May 12, 2006
Location: ipayoneCenter, San Diego, California
Attendance: 11,700
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re on the way to Judgment Day and that means it’s going to be a bad night for Rey Mysterio. Last week he got destroyed by Mark Henry and tonight it’s probably going to be the Great Khali. But hey, at least he can beat JBL at the pay per view and that makes up for everything, right? Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – May 5, 2006

Smackdown
Date: May 5, 2006
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s time to start building towards the next Smackdown pay pr view as Backlash has come and gone. Therefore, it’s time for Rey Mysterio to continue looking like the weakest World Champion in history, which kind of defeats the purpose of making him the World Champion in the first place. It’s rather sad to see but that’s what you get around here sometimes. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – April 28, 2006

Smackdown
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.

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Smackdown – April 21, 2006

Smackdown
Date: April 21, 2006
Location: Savvis Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Attendance: 16,108
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

The King of the Ring is still rolling after last week’s opener, meaning we could be in for some good stuff going forward. Smackdown seems to be throwing out a bunch of more gimmicky stuff at the moment and I’m curious to see what else they have. There is something fun about seeing these characters that you might remember from years gone by making their debuts and we should be in for some bigger names and moments. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – April 14, 2006

Smackdown
Date: April 14, 2006
Location: Resch Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s tournament time as we have the first match in the King of the Ring. That could mean a few different things going forward, but this time around it means Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton in a first round match. Then there is some new giant around to go after Undertaker so it’s kind of like old days. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 31, 2006

Smackdown
Date: March 31, 2006
Location: Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for Wrestlemania and that’s probably the best thing that can happen to Smackdown at the moment. The blue matches are already set and have been for a good while. That has left us with some rather weak shows on the way to Chicago but tonight is the last stop. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 24, 2006

Smackdown
Date: March 24, 2006
Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We are less than ten days away from Wrestlemania and Smackdown is in a tough spot. The problem is their side of things is completely set up but we have two more shows before we get to the big show in Chicago. In other words, there is more time for Mark Henry to remind us he isn’t afraid and for Rey Mysterio to talk about Eddie Guerrero. Let’s get to it.

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Saturday Night’s Main Event #32

Saturday Night’s Main Event #32
Date: March 18, 2006
Location: Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Attendance: 7,000
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Tazz

And then there’s this, as we need a two hour commercial for Wrestlemania. The main event is a handicap match between the John Cena/HHH (the Raw main event) and Rey Mysterio/Kurt Angle/Randy Orton (the Smackdown main event), though it could wind up at any part of the show. There’s also Shawn Michaels vs. Shane McMahon in a street fight, which could have some strong potential. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 17, 2006

Smackdown
Date: March 17, 2006
Location: CenturyTelCenter, Bossier City, Louisiana
Commentators: Tazz, Michael Cole

It’s the go home show for Saturday Night’s Main Event, which is the last real stop on the Road to Wrestlemania. Things have been a little strange as of late as we have been building towards both shows at once, but Saturday Night is just a commercial for Wrestlemania anyway. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 10, 2006

Smackdown
Date: March 10, 2006
Location: Mobile Civic Center, Mobile, Alabama
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re running out of time before Wrestlemania and this time around that means we need to start setting up some Money in the Bank participants. Other than that we are all but guaranteed to get some fallout from last week when Mark Henry attacked the Undertaker to cost him the World Title. Let’s get to it.

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