Thursday, 9 June 2005

WWE Smackdown June 9th 2005 - TV Review

Another first for yours truly - a review of Smackdown, but given that it’s ECW nostalgia week, it’s just something I had to do.

The show begins with General Manager Teddy Long jigging to his entrance music in the middle of the ring. After briefly discussing Cena’s defection to Raw, JBL comes out and demands he be made the new champion. We then get introduced to Smackdown’s number one draft pick - none other than the Rabid Wolverine. Yep, Chris Benoit has come “home”. Benoit doesn’t get the sort of pop Cena did last Monday, but it’s a good pop nonetheless. Usual back-and-forth stuff between Benoit and Bradshaw follows, before Benoit reminds us all that old John quit in his last major match. Teddy Long then makes the main event for the evening.

Recap of the latest chapter of the Angle/Booker situation, with Angle groping Mrs. T during the bout last week.

Carlito then takes on Charlie Haas. Carlito brings along Jesus II, while Charlie has Sparky in his corner. Not much to write home about here, except for the fact that Haas almost kills himself, landing on his head following a suicide dive to the outside. Carlito picks up the win after Jesus II F-5’s Haas.

Backstage, Hideyourbike tries to make friends with Benoit, before the Crippler runs into his old running buddy, Eddie Guerrero. A good bit of banter between the old friends here, with Benoit reminding Eddie of his inability to defeat Rey Mysterio.

We’re then promised a match between Akio and Paul London, but during proceedings Eddie Guerrero arrives, disrupts the match, and badmouths Rey Rey. Am I the only one who wanted to see the cruiserweight match here?

We then get the latest chapter of Angle v Booker T. Before the match begins, Angle reminds Tazz at the commentary table that he wants a decision about his allegiances this coming Sunday. We then get a hell of a match, probably the best of their series, which sees Angle accidentally clobbering himself in the head with a steel chair, allowing Booker to finish him off with his patented axe kick for the win.

Afterwards, Angle sits depressed in the corner, before once again confronting Tazz, wanting his decision. Tazz doesn’t reply, and ends up getting clobbered with a microphone and a steel chair, busting him open. Guess Angle made the decision for him. Tazz is then helped backstage, leaving Michael Cole alone at the commentator’s desk.

Then, Hideyourbike makes an attractive new friend, before beating a jobber. Hideyourbike then speaks of his championship aspirations. May I just point out that the three men who are now laying claim to the championship have all lost high-profile matches recently? Anyway, the best bit about this match was seeing Hideyourbike’s new friend jumping up and down in the ring.

Raw re-cap, then time for our main event. Teddy Long proves more ECW-friendly than his Raw counterpart, as Paul Heyman is announced as the guest commentator for the match, and the former Mr. Dangerously brings along a few friends. With Benoit getting some back-up, JBL brings out his entire cabinet, and during the bout, Carlito, Jesus II, and Angle also arrive on the scene. Another good bout here, with Bradshaw and Benoit gelling well together. It looks as if JBL is going down as Benoit locks in the cross-face, but Angle comes in and breaks things up. A mass brawl between the ECW and Smackdown crews follows, with the addition of Tazz, sporting a bloodied bandage, Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten. I can’t actually remember if Benoit was declared the winner here.

In conclusion - it’s no secret that I haven’t exactly been impressed with Smackdown in the past few months, perhaps the past year or so, but this was probably the best show they’ve put on in ages. But then again, this is probably because of the draft lottery and the ECW influence here. Things are looking nicely as we head into the One Night Stand show.