WWE Friday Night Smackdown
December 2nd, 2005

As we enter the last month of 2005, Friday Night Smackdown gets back to business, after a wild Tuesday Night Special that earned my disdain for the disgraceful treatment of Eddie's tribute lowrider. I was debating whether to even watch the show this week, or to take the week off in 'tribute' to Eddie.

This soon proved to be a problem for two reasons: 1) Nobody stepped up, willing to write a review (dang it, 10,000 hits a day and still no other columnists!); and 2) Chavo Guerrero endorsed the angle. Some have said that they thought Chavo could have been forced to make his statement by Vince. I don't think so. This isn't about employment, this is about family. If Chavo didn't like what had happened, I don't think he'd endorse it. I also have to keep in mind that Rey Mysterio was ok in doing the angle as well, one of Eddie's closest friends. If anyone was going to get Powerbombed onto the hood, it was Rey.

So, with that thought in my head, I opted to give Smackdown another chance this Friday. Because I'm sure Chavo, Rey, and the rest would say that Eddie would want things to go on, and so they shall. Besides, I want to see Randy Orton get pounded on. Let's get to it.

- The show started with a shot of the smashed-up entryway, with yellow "Warning" tape strewn across the gap. The announcers sold it as that it had not been fixed all week, when, of course, it was still damaged from the same night's activities. Probably 70% of the people who watch this show know that it's taped on Tuesdays, guys. That's why a "Live" edition on Tuesday was so special, right? Oh well.

- Randy & Cowboy Bob Orton made their way out, with a dead crowd watching them. Seriously, I think the crowd was still burned out from the earlier car crash. They slowly got into Randy's speech, though, as he talked about how he wasn't an arrogant person. He bragged about killing the Undertaker a 2nd time (he's died hundreds of times, Randy, but he always comes back), and then laid out a demand to Batista for a Heavyweight Title shot at Armageddon. The crowd was obviously hoping for that match to be tonight, but Randy apparently wants to give Batista some time to heal up after the PPV.

- Match #1: The Mexicools (Psicosis & Super Crazy) won a "#1 Contenders' Tag-Team Battle Royal" Match. The other participants were LoD '05, the Full-Blooded Italians (Big Vito & Nunzio), the Dicks, Scotty Too Hotty & Funaki, and Paul London & Brian Kendrick. Interestingly, William Regal & Paul Birchall get screwed out of the match, one week after battling Mysterio & JBL. All of the tag-teams ganged up on LoD '05 to begin, beating down Animal while Heidenreich was busy jawing with M-N-M, who were at ringside to see who won. During the match, the power suddenly flickered, a sign of the Undertaker, mayhap? The eliminations went like this:

1) Animal eliminated Nunzio, sending the FBI packing.
2) Animal, in throwing a wrestler towards a crowd, accidentally eliminated Heidenreich, ending LoD's chances.
3) Scotty Too Hotty was eliminated during the commercial break, sending out him & Funaki.
4) A Dick (can't tell them apart) eliminated Paul London when London hopped up to the top rope, with the Dick pushing him off.

This left the Dicks & the Mexicools. The two groups did some double-teaming, with the Dicks almost tossing Psicosis over. But Psicosis held on, then used the ropes to kick out at both Dicks, catching both and flipping backwards to send both out of the ring, winning the match (and the Armageddon title shot) for the Mexicools. The two celebrated along with Juventud Guerrera, as M-N-M began plotting strategy at ringside. No complaints here, as I've been hoping for a Mexicool/M-N-M title match. Dreams do come true.

- John Bradshaw Layfield was interviewed, talking about how he would have kept Mysterio from being Double-Chokeslammed if he'd been there on Tuesday (but it's STILL TUES... oh never mind). JBL then started to walk off, but was stunned at the sight of the Smackdown tv screen leaking blood. Ok, the arena is haunted by the Undertaker. Actually, it's kind of cool. Can't wait to see what happens next.

- Match #2: Chris Benoit defeated William Regal. Ok, this made up for Regal/Birchall not being in the Tag-Team Match; gotta love Benoit vs. Regal. Booker T & Sharmell were at the announcer's table, both in a good mood. Benoit and Regal fought to a bloody end in this one, with Benoit's headbutts breaking both men open. A horrible-looking shot happened in one corner, with Benoit unleashed one of his usual chops. Big deal, you say? It is when it hits off of Regal's forehead. Yeouch! Regal got Benoit as well, attacking him in the head by landing several kicks there. Benoit's apparently ok from Tuesday's Special, btw. He's a selling GOD! Anywho, Benoit eventually got the German Suplexes, then the Crossface, with Regal tapping almost before the hold's locked in. Great match, although they did a longer one on Velocity.

- After the match, as Booker T was talking about how he was still up 2-0 in the series, the bloody Benoit rolled out of the ring, walked towards the table, then leaped right across it, nailing Booker T! The crowd (and me) popped huge as the brawl erupted, with Benoit, despite having just been in a match, being in complete control! He put Booker T in the Crossface on the outside, with Booker T tapping as Sharmell scratched and pulled on Benoit. Sharmell then went for a chair, but Benoit saw her coming, turning towards her. Sharmell quickly dropped the chair and ran around the ring before doubling back to Booker T, as Benoit made his way up the ramp. Toothless Aggression. Gotta love it.

- Randy & Cowboy Bob Orton are shown in the back, with Randy saying that if Batista doesn't answer his challenge soon, Randy was going to go to his locker room after taking out Matt Hardy (where is Batista, anyhow? He's not normally shy about answering challenges). As the two walk off, the camera shows the nearby wall clock, running quickly backwards. Ooooo, spooooky.

- Match #3: Randy Orton defeated Matt Hardy with the RKO. I hated seeing the relatively clean finish here. Sure, Cowboy Bob interfered some in the match, but in the end, it was Hardy missing a Moonsault that allowed Randy to capitalize and get the RKO for the win. This hurts Hardy's momentum. A lot. Then again, can I really complain that much about a clean ending on Smackdown? At least it was a pretty balanced match.

- After the match, the gong rings out, to the cheers of the crowd, as both Ortons look freaked out. The Undertaker starts speaking, talking about Randy trying to kill him, with no success. Randy & Cowboy Bob opt out, heading for the back, but a lightning bolt at the entryway sends them backwards, with Cowboy Bob disappearing (and never reappearing) under the ring. Randy, meanwhile, attempts escape in several different directions, with a casket blocking one doorway, and an explosion erupting from another. I wonder how the crowd went to the restroom. Never mind, I don't want to know. Anyhow, everytime Randy comes back to the ring, the Undertaker talked some more about how scared he was, eventually stating that he was the one who killed people. The Undertaker then said that he was taking Randy to hell... Hell In A Cell! Randy looked near tears as we went to break.

- In the back, a near-hysterical Randy (I guess Cowboy Bob still hadn't come out from the ring) tried to talk to Teddy Long, still wanting the World Title Match against Batista. But Long, who seemed scared himself of the Undertaker, said that the Hell In A Cell was on. At least it'll be a good pay-off match.

- New interviewer Krystal (I think she was in the Diva Search, but I never paid attention to that) talked to Simon Dean, who said he wasn't afraid of the Boogeyman. He went to show his newest Simon System equipment, but found the Boogeyman's head under the tray instead! The Boogeyman gave another sing-song speech, then ate some worms that were crawling over him. Yes, live worms. Either that, or some of the best animatronics I've seen.

- Match #4: The Boogeyman defeated Simon Dean with a Reverse Chest Slam (just making up a name for it). That was the extent of the actual wrestling in the match. That one move. Dean had to be carried to the ring by security, he was that freaked out. He tried to escape the ring numerous times, but security kept him in, as the Boogeyman made his spooky, smoky entrance (ok, so I liked it). Dean thought about attacking the Boogeyman from behind, but when he turned, Dean dived away, then tried throwing a protein bar at him. Hey, a shoe works for Konnan, so why not a bar? The Boogeyman kicked it away, then ate some more live worms instead. Ugh. Finally, the Boogeyman performed his one move, utterly squashing Dean for the win. I still withhold judgment on Marty Wright until I see some actual wrestling.

- We saw some more European Tour highlights, from Nunzio's short reign as Cruiserweight Champ to the fans mourning Eddie Guerrero's passing. Nice segment.

- Before the next match starts, we get a video again on Bobby Lashley being a monster. Keep it up, WWE, this guy's got potential.

- Match #5: Bobby Lashley defeated Sylvan Grenier. Sylvan came out talking about how he was so pretty, and how the women were there to see him. Lashley replies that they're really there to see this, and then attacks Sylvan. It was actually a slightly competitive match, with Sylvan getting in some shots. But Lashley came back with some great moves, including lifting Sylvan into a vertical suplex, holding him there, then releasing one of his arms! Ok, that's some power there; I mean, Sylvan ain't exactly a cruiserweight. Lashley eventually won it with the Dominator, getting the crowd pumped before it with his signals. He's definitely getting over; I just hope he's able to make it into the upper-levels.

- Match #6: The Big Show & Kane(Raw) defeated Rey Mysterio & John Bradshaw Layfield(SD). JBL took a lot of the assault and punishment early on, keeping Mysterio on the apron (Mysterio's ribs were taped from the Tuesday assault). In fact, JBL was in there for a good while against both men, until Mysterio tagged himself in, going for the 619 on Kane. But Mysterio got distracted by the Big Show, then got clotheslined by Kane, with JBL breaking up the pin. As the ref tried to back JBL off, he apparently got JBL in the eye, which was seemingly a serious enough injury for JBL & Jillian Hall to simply turn and leave, with Rey calling for Bradshaw to come back.

Not surprisingly, Kane & the Big Show continued to double-team Rey, even with JBL not there. You've got to think of the Big Show as the ultimate 'tweener right now: a heel on Smackdown, a face on Raw. Wild. Mysterio fought back, getting 619's on both men, but he then gets caught in mid-air by the Big Show's hand, which is closely followed by Kane's. A Double Chokeslam later, and Rey's no more. After the match, Kane & the Big Show weren't done, preparing to Chokeslam Rey onto a chair (I guess taking him to the announce table was too far). Batista (miraculously healed from Survivor Series) made the save, taking out both men with chair shots, then celebrating with Mysterio, setting up the tag-team feud.

Summary: Well, the first hour was definitely hot, with the Tag Battle Royal, Benoit vs. Regal, and Orton vs. Hardy, plus the Undertaker antics. The second hour had Dean vs. The Boogeyman, Lashley vs. Sylvan, and the main-event match. Really, the second hour wasn't terrible by any means. It just didn't compare well against the first.

I'm curious what they're going to do with JBL now that he's not going to turn face (and the fans were starting to buy it, too... oh well). With Mysterio/Batista busy with Kane/Big Show, and Orton/Undertaker, Benoit/Booker T, and Mexicools/M-N-M already set up, there aren't too many left for JBL to feud with, other than, perhaps, Matt Hardy. I just wonder if anyone would buy that, after Hardy added another loss to his record. Of course, I don't believe Lashley has an opponent yet. Hmmmmmmm.

Also, I have to mention one major drawback of tonight's show: no Ken Kennedy. Sniff. That just ain't right, man, I need my Kennedy! Kennedy!

That being said, Armageddon's actually shaping up to be an ok PPV to end the year on. Despite my biased feelings about the Lowrider Incident, I managed to enjoy this show. Maybe even, in a few months, I'll go back, watch the incident, and even enjoy its shock value. Who knows? Anything can happen.

The Accelerator