WWE Friday Night Smackdown
September 9th, 2005

It was definitely an eventful night for Smackdown, as it made its first Friday night appearance (being kicked off of Thursday nights thanks to "Everybody Hates Chris"). Also, thanks to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Concert, the first hour was shown on WWE.com, while the second hour marked the debut on Friday night on UPN. All-in-all, a pretty wild series of events to lead to this 'first' show. Let's get to it.

(From WWE.com)

- Match #1: LoD '05 retained the SD Tag-Team Titles, beating M-N-M. In the end, Animal used another heel tactic, as he intercepted Melina, who had 1 of the tag belts, and used it himself on Nitro, allowing him to get the pin. Not sure where they're going with all of Animal's heelish behavior, but heck, if they're working, then why not? As an aside, I'm thankful that Heidenreich finally got in touch with his family, and I'm very impressed that he was able to work the match with so much on his mind after Katrina. My respect for the big H just went up.

- Match #2: Mr. Ken Kennedy defeated Paul London with his Kenton Bomb. Not a bad match, and although I hate to see London job, at least it was on Smackdown to a worthy foe. Kennedy's bucking for "Rookie of the Year", although, of course, it may be too late in the year for a win.

- Match #3: Paul Birchall forced Scotty Too Hotty to submit. Birchall's got potential, but this wasn't a great test of his abilities.

- The Undertaker refused the Ortons' offer towards his "retirement fund", setting the check on fire with his 'mystical powers'. I hope they send that money to the Katrina Relief Fund now, rather than just keeping it themselves.

(From UPN)

- Match #4: Eddie Guerrero won the "Steel Cage" Match over Rey Mysterio with the Frogsplash. Honestly, I kind of expected more in this one, as the 2 guys, IMO, seemed kind of off their game. Several moves looked hesitant and planned, especially the last Cross-Body by Mysterio from the cage, as Guerrero ducked way early. BTW, I want to mention that my wife, a semi-wrestling fan, quickly pointed out, before the announcers, that Mysterio was ham-strung by not having his 619 maneuver. She got it before me, so she gets the credit.

- Match #5: Chris Benoit retained the US Title, again beating Orlando Jordan in around 20 seconds. Jordan's career is dead, or at least in a coma, and he needs to return to OVW. Benoit is heating up, and with Mr. Kennedy and Booker T in the wings (Kennedy told Sharmell that Benoit should give Booker a title shot), he's got some serious competition. I'm glad at least 1 secondary title is on the way up.

- Teddy Long told Palmer Cannon about next week's main event, a rematch between Randy Orton & the Undertaker. Not bad, but I was hoping for another title match. Oh well. BTW, Long & Cannon sat in a private box the whole night, with Christy Hemme & Stacy Keibler nearby. So THAT'S how the rich live. Hmmm.

- Match #6: Batista retained the SD Heavyweight Title, winning a "Bullrope" Match over JBL. I wasn't impressed with the match at first, but they won me over with some of the close calls, including JBL's bloody face. I'm honestly not sure if the bell to JBL's face at one point was an accident or not, but he looked seriously hurt from the hit, so it got my attention. Near the end, Batista got the Batista Bomb, then started dragging JBL to the corners, with JBL tagging them after Batista does. On the 4th corner, JBL tried hard to tag it, only inches away, but Batista pulled him back and got a Spinebuster, then made the final tag for the victory. Good match, good way to end things.

Summary: It's hard to summarize the show this week, as so many things affected it. I liked the "less is more" on backstage events, as they crammed everything into the 1 hour of tv that they could. I also pretty much liked every match except for Benoit/OJ (which barely qualifies as a match). So it was a good start for Friday nights. I just hope they can keep it up. Peace
The Accelerator