Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown
From: Lafayette, LA
A video package by Stephanie McMahon telling us that we’re watching Smackdown and announces that Smackdown will have Tag Team Championships with a tournament beginning tonight. She also highlights three singles matches, Angel vs. Edge, Taker vs. Hardy and Benoit vs. Mysterio. The champions will be crowned at No Mercy.
Opening Contest: Eddie & Chavo Guerrero vs. Rikishi & Mark Henry in the first round of the Smackdown Tag Team Championship Tournament: Chavo works over Henry in the corner while Eddie beat on Rikishi, but they get splashed in opposite corners. Henry press slams Chavo into Eddie and Rikishi delivers a double clothesline. Eddie begs off in the corner, but hammers away on Rikishi after avoiding a strike. Chavo decks Rikishi from the apron and Rikishi delivers a dropkick to send Rikishi into the ropes. Rikishi misses a clothesline, but Eddie gets afraid of Rikishi’s ass. Rikishi fakes out a sit down splash causing Eddie to tag out to Chavo quickly. Rikishi hits a Samoan Drop on Chavo and superkicks Eddie to the floor. Henry is tagged in and stops Chavo from leaving the ring. Chavo elbows Henry followed by right hands. Henry tosses Chavo over the top to the floor and press slams Eddie, but Chavo chop blocks Henry from behind. Chavo stomps on Henry’s knee. Chavo splashes down onto Henry’s leg. Eddie continues to work on the knee behind the referee’s back. Eddie stomps on Henry’s knee to maintain control of the contest. Henry gets to his feet and powerslams Eddie. Eddie dropkicks Henry on the knee and tags in Chavo, who delivers a dropkick to the ribs of Henry to maintain the advantage. Rikishi enters the match to clean house, but didn’t get tagged in legally. Henry punches Eddie, but Chavo whacks Henry on the injured knee with a chair! Eddie locks in the El Paso Lasso to earn the submission victory. (*1/2. I’m glad that the Guerrero’s won as I would have been pissed if Rikishi were to get a tag team push for no reason. The finish was done well as Chavo came out of nowhere with a chair shot. The match wasn’t all that entertaining since the Guerrero’s were limited in what they could do, but it wasn’t a very long to begin with.)
Backstage, Torrie Wilson is walking with her father Al. They meet Billy and Chuck. Al is here on business. Dawn Marie enters the scene and introduces herself to Al. Dawn says she’s competing against Wilson in a bikini contest. Dawn wishes Torrie luck in the competition tonight.
Backstage, Brock Lesnar is watching his attack on Undertaker on a monitor. Paul Heyman says that Lesnar is going to have to give Taker a rematch at No Mercy. Heyman says that Stephanie is going to give the match a stipulation, but won’t tell Heyman. Matt Hardy enters the scene and says it’s not going to be a falls count anywhere match. Hardy says what he’s going to do to Taker will be more than Lesnar’s attack.
Second Contest: The Undertaker vs. Matt Hardy in a falls count anywhere match: Taker hammers away on Hardy in the corner followed by stomps and a leg drop on the apron. Taker sends Hardy into the barricade followed by more strikes. Taker has Hardy on the announcers table looking for a chokeslam. Hardy low blows Taker and tries for the Twist of Fate, but Taker shoves Hardy into the barricade chest first. Taker clotheslines Hardy over the barricade into the crowd. They brawl towards the backstage area through the crowd. Hardy tosses a drink at Taker and runs away. Taker chases after Hardy and Hardy jumps out from the side, but is sent into the wall by Taker several times. Taker pummels Hardy with several strikes and Hardy continues to runaway. Hardy tries to escape the arena, but the door won’t open. Hardy tries to climb up a fence and reaches the top. Lesnar comes out of nowhere and tries to attack Taker, but Taker sends Lesnar into the cage. Hardy is sent into the cage as well. Lesnar hits the F5 on Taker landing on bags of popcorn. Hardy runs over and pins Taker! (**. I enjoyed the angle progression and Hardy continues to thrive in his role.) After the match, Lesnar doesn’t want to leave, but Heyman wants to. Lesnar grabs a propane tank and smashes Taker’s right arm with it against the fence. Taker is screaming in agony.
Backstage, Undertaker is being looked at by the doctor and walks away. Marc Lloyd asks the doctor what’s going on and the doctor says the hand looks like it’s broken. He’s going to try and get Taker to get an x-ray.
Third Contest: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Jamie Noble vs. Crash Holly: Noble gets wrist control on Holly, but Holly counters quickly. Noble sends Holly into the corner and delivers a few strikes. Holly elbows Noble, but gets distracted by Nidia. Noble knee lifts Holly from behind and continues with stomps on the mat. Noble sends Holly back first into the corner and taunts Crash. Noble rams Crash into the corner and chokes Crash over the middle rope. Noble elbow drops Crash several times on the back. Noble controls Crash with a camel clutch. Crash rams Noble into the corner back first, but can’t follow up quickly. Crash elbows Noble and delivers a clothesline. Noble misses a clothesline and Crash clotheslines Noble several times. Crash drives Noble down to the mat gut first. Nidia gets on the apron to distract Crash. Nidia is knocked off the apron and they trade a couple of rollups. Crash tries for the Crash Landing, but Noble holds onto the leg. Noble counters a sunset flip and sits down holding the ropes for the win. (*1/2. A quick encounter, but Crash looked to hold his own fairly well in there and I liked the ending sequence. Noble is a lot fun and I’ve enjoyed his title run thus far.)
Backstage, Marc Lloyd asks Kurt Angle if he has any regrets about last week. Angle says he’s the best and never apologizes. Angle notes that Benoit lost to Mysterio and not him. Angle thinks that Benoit is going to lose again because he’s a regular person. Angle says he’s as close to pure perfection that you can get. Angle is a work of art, but stops talking when Edge enters the scene. Edge tells Angle that he doesn’t suck, but he’s not perfect. Angle tells Edge that the gold medals say that he is, but Edge reminds Angle of his bald head saying he’s not perfect. Angle has been waiting for this moment for a long time since he got his head shaved. Angle cheap shots Edge before walking off.
Fourth Contest: Kurt Angle vs. Edge: Edge cleanly backs away in the corner in the early moments of the contest. Edge takes Angle down to the mat, but Angle counters with a hammerlock. Edge is kicked away by Angle, but keeps arm control on the mat. Angle shoulder block Edge and is met with a hip toss and dropkick. Edge keeps Angle on the mat with an arm bar. Edge leg drops Angle on the arm and locks in a key lock. Angle doesn’t give in. Angle knee lifts Edge followed by right hands against the ropes. Edge elbows Angle coming off the ropes and goes back to arm control. Angle hammers away on Edge in the corner several times. Edge chops Angle in the corner followed by stomps. Angle misses a clothesline and Edge connects with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Edge sends Angle into the corner, but lands on the apron and yanks down on Angle’s arm over the top rope. Edge follows Angle to the floor and delivers a strike from behind. Edge sends Angle shoulder first into the ring post. Edge keeps an arm lock on Angle, but doesn’t get a submission as Angle counters with an Angle Slam over the top to the floor! Angle drops Edge chest first over the barricade.
Angle stomps on Edge before rolling Angle back into the ring. Angle punts Edge in the ribs to keep control of the bout. Angle takes Edge over with a snap suplex for a two count. Angle stomps on Edge in the corner several times. Edge battles back with strikes in the corner and boots Angle, but Angle tosses Edge overhead for a two count. Angle puts a headlock with a body scissors on Edge. Edge elbows free, but is met with a knee strike coming off the ropes. Angle kicks Edge several times and gets a two count. Angle locks in an abdominal stretch in the middle of the ring. Edge hip tosses out of the hold and nearly wins with a rollup. Angle plants Edge with a back suplex for a two count. Angle goes back to a bearhug on the mat, but Edge doesn’t give in. Edge misses a clothesline but hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. They both get to their feet before the count of ten and trade strikes. Edge nails Angle with a flying forearm and clotheslines. Edge backdrops Angle and face plants Angle for a two count. Angle knee lifts Edge, but misses a suplex. Edge kicks Angle on the jaw and signals for the spear. Angle counters with an overhead suplex tossing Edge into the referee. Edge avoids the Angle Slam to plant Angle with a jumping DDT, but there’s no referee. Angle hits the Angle Slam, but there’s no referee. A second referee comes out and Edge kicks out at two.
Angle locks in the ankle lock, but Edge quickly reaches the ropes. Edge drops Angle throat first over the top rope from the apron. Edge heads to the top rope, but Angle runs the ropes only to be shoved off. Angle hooks Edge hitting a superplex. It looks like both men have their shoulders down and Angle is given the pin. However, the original referee says Edge won despite having been knocked down. The original referee knocks out the second referee as we go to commercial. The match has been restarted during the commercial break. During the break, Angle hit an overhead suplex on the floor.
Edge is tied up in the ropes and Angle feels confident. Angle spears Edge in the ropes! Angle delivers another spear. Edge sidesteps a third spear sending Angle to the floor. Edge spears Angle off the apron to the floor. Edge leaps off the top to take Angle out with a crossbody on the floor. Edge missile dropkicks Angle for a near fall. Edge pulls Angle down from behind for a near fall. Angle hits a German suplex and both men are down. Angle holds onto Edge to hit a series of German suplexs, but Chris Benoit makes his way down to distract Angle. Angle continues to hit German suplexs, but Edge counters with a rollup for a two count. Angle nails Edge with a clothesline and turns his attention to Benoit. Edge boots Angle in the corner and gets a rollup, but Angle counters with the ankle lock. Edge rolls through to send Angle through the ropes to the floor. Angle grabs a steel chair, but Benoit grabs the chair. Angle tries to hit Benoit with the chair, but hits the ropes and hits himself with the chair. Edge spears Angle and wins the match! (***1/4. They got plenty of time and while the early moments of the match were slow, I thought it turned into a good overall match and segment. Edge gets a big singles win and they continue to advance the Benoit/Angle rivalry. I’m thinking that Benoit and Angle are due for another singles match on PPV to settle their issues.)
Backstage, Kurt Angle confronts Chris Benoit, but they are held back by wrestlers. Stephanie McMahon enters the room and says that she is teaming them together for the tag title tournament. If they don’t get along then they will be suspended without pay for a year. Angle agrees to no contact, but decks Benoit and says “starting now” and Stephanie enforces that.
Backstage, Paul Heyman puts over Brock Lesnar as being the best and lists all the people Lesnar has taken out. Matt Hardy enters the scene and brags about beating Undertaker again. Hardy thinks he beat Taker all by himself. Hardy thinks that Taker wouldn’t be able to compete at No Mercy. Hardy thinks that he’s the number one contender and thinks Lesnar would face him at the PPV. Hardy is going to talk to Stephanie about that idea. Heyman jokes that Hardy would kill Lesnar.
Prior to the next match, it was suppose to be Rev. D-Von and Batista, but Faarooq is teaming with D-Von instead. Billy asks Faarooq to tell him he’s not associated with D-Von. Faarooq decks Billy.
Fifth Contest: Faarooq & Rev. D-Von vs. Billy & Chuck in the first round of the Smackdown Tag Team Championship Tournament: D-Von sends Billy to the floor while Faarooq beats on Chuck and hits a snap suplex for a one count. D-Von tags in and keeps control with right hands on Chuck. Chuck tosses D-Von with a double under hook suplex. Faarooq tags in and punches Billy on the apron. Chuck tries to fight back, but Faarooq stops Chuck with a drop toe hold. D-Von tags into the match and beats on Chuck with strikes. Billy distracts the referee allowing Chuck to be double teamed. D-Von slams Chuck and tags in Faarooq to keep control of the contest. Faarooq holds Chuck for a diving headbutt, but Chuck counters and Billy shoves D-Von off the top to headbutt Faarooq instead! Billy tags in and cleans house with clotheslines. Billy backdrops D-Von and forearms Faarooq. Faarooq and D-Von hit a back suplex/neckbreaker combo for a two count. D-Von misses a reverse DDT, but Faarooq plants Billy with a spinebuster and D-Von pins Billy to win the match. (*1/4. What in the world? This is a shocking win for D-Von and Faarooq especially since Billy and Chuck seemed to be getting some extra attention. I was not expecting that result at all. I could get behind Faarooq and D-Von as a powerhouse team on Smackdown.)
Backstage, Dawn Marie meets up with Al Wilson. Marie wants Al to give her an opinion on her bikini. Al says she looks great and Dawn walks off.
Sixth Contest: Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie in a bikini contest: Once again, Torrie Wilson wins the bikini contest. Dawn wants to shake hands, but instead slaps Torrie and tosses Wilson to the floor.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon meets with Heyman and Lesnar to say that Taker’s hand is broken, but Taker insists on the rematch. Stephanie has the stipulation picked and they joke about a thumb wrestling contest or one arm behind your back. Stephanie announces Hell In A Cell, which shuts them up. Heyman looks stressed to end the segment.
Main Event: Chris Benoit vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.: Benoit works over Mysterio with strikes and a backbreaker. Benoit sends Mysterio hard into the corner back first. Mysterio kicks Benoit in the corner, but Benoit chops Mysterio a few times. Benoit clubs Mysterio in the corner and tries for a powerbomb, but Mysterio held on. Mysterio counters a powerbomb with a hurricanrana and gets a rollup for a two count. Mysterio plants Benoit with a wheelbarrow bulldog for a near fall. Mysterio head scissors Benoit over the top to the floor. Mysterio takes Benoit out with a somersault dive to the floor. Mysterio tries for a cover, but Benoit kicks out at two. Mysterio forearms Benoit, but Benoit stops Mysterio with a gut buster. Benoit kicks Mysterio and hits a back suplex for a two count. Benoit backdrops Mysterio coming off the ropes. Benoit sends Mysterio into the corner chest first followed by strikes. Benoit keeps Mysterio on the mat with a chin lock. Mysterio counters into one of his own chin locks. Mysterio gets a rollup on Benoit, but Benoit decks Mysterio with a clothesline. Benoit rams Mysterio into the corner face first several times. Benoit chops Mysterio against the ropes and rams Mysterio into the corner a few times.
Benoit drives his knee into Mysterio’s back, but doesn’t get submission. Benoit counters a wheelbarrow with a German suplex for a near fall. Benoit decks Mysterio with a short arm clothesline and gets a two count. Mysterio dropkicks Benoit after being lifted into the air. Mysterio blocks a strike and hammers away on Benoit. Benoit catches Mysterio on a springboard, but Mysterio breaks free to nail Benoit with a spinning heel kick and a dropkick in the corner. Mysterio hits a springboard moonsault for a two count. Mysterio elbows Benoit and kicks Benoit over the middle rope. Mysterio tries for the 619, but Benoit hits a backbreaker. Benoit dives off the top to hit a diving headbutt for a two count! Benoit locks in the Crossface, but Mysterio reaches the ropes quickly. Benoit sends Mysterio into the corner chest first. Mysterio dropkicks Benoit followed by a springboard leg drop. Mysterio hits the 619. Angle drops Benoit over the middle rope allowing Mysterio to hit a hurricanrana and pins Benoit! After the match, Angle gets in Benoit’s face and they trade strikes. Angle hits a German suplex, but Benoit counters the ankle lock with the Crossface. Officials get in the ring to keep them apart. Angle and Benoit continue to try and get to each other as the show comes to an end. (***1/4. A good main event and I think I’m reaching a point with the Angle/Benoit feud where it’s getting a bit repetitive with the interference and costing each other matches. I want this to be a big win for Mysterio, but it’s flawed with Angle’s involvement taking away from the victory. It’s an enjoyable bout, but I wish they’d steer away from the crutch of interference.)
With RAW being a chore to watch, Smackdown continues to be an absolute breeze and I look forward to each episode. Lesnar vs. Taker in a Cell is going to be fantastic and it fits the feud perfectly. Smackdown is the best show of the two and it’s not even close.
Thanks for reading.