WWE Friday Night Smackdown
September 16th, 2005

Last week, we had two great main-event matches on tv (and one US Title dud), and several matches on the Internet. This week, everything's on the tube, so let's get through the two-hour show.

- Match #1: We started with Christian getting a non-title shot against US Champ Chris Benoit, but Orlando Jordan quickly interrupted and said that he refused to go down as the man who tapped out in 22.5 seconds. Cole rightly points out that this has already happened. OJ attacks Benoit, but soon gets put in the Crossface again. This time, though, he has Christian to break it up, leading to a 2-on-1 beatdown until Booker T made the save. This quickly led to...

- Match #2: Orlando Jordan & Christian won a tag match over Chris Benoit & Booker T. Just the fact that Booker T didn't immediately take out Jordan makes him look weak, IMO, after everything that Benoit has done to OJ. At any rate, near the end of the match, Booker T stopped OJ from using a chair, but then sent OJ, off-balance, into Sharmell, knocking her down. As Booker T checked on his wife, OJ knocked him into the steps. In the ring, Benoit took out Christian with multiple German suplexes, then went for the Diving Headbutt, only to have OJ drape him across the ropes from the outside. Christian then got the Unprettier and pinned the US Champ, hopefully leading to Christian getting his deserved US Title shot next week.

- Batista sprayed water on the 'divas' in the back (what woman would be happy to get sprayed, btw?), then scared Simon Dean and drank a little more Simon System, before throwing it away.

- With Batista in the ring, Teddy Long and Palmer Cannon announced the new #1 Contender. Long described the contender as a Latino with strong family ties, but before he can announce the man, Cannon grabs the mic and yells out "Eddie Guerrero!" Long is understandably perturbed at the lack of respect, as Guerrero comes to the ring and talks about being a new man. He and Batista talk about being friends, leading to a hug. I kid you not.

- Randy & Cowboy Bob Orton talk about the match later that night with the Undertaker, and a surprise they've got in a U-Haul. I immediately assumed Kane. I was wrong.

- Match #3: LoD 2005 retained the Smackdown Tag Titles, winning, via DQ, over M-N-M. Heidenreich had on some scary skull-like makeup for this one, giving him his own identity instead of making him a complete Hawk clone. I approve. It wasn't a bad match, with the ref catching M-N-M trying to repeat Animal's use of the title from last week, hitting Heidenreich with it. The champs retain, as M-N-M pitches a fit.

- In the back, Teddy Long complains to Cannon about how he was going to announce Rey Mysterio as the #1 Contender instead, while Cannon says that Guerrero makes a great match for No Mercy. I agree on both counts. Guerrero also comes in and personally thanks both men for the chance to achieve his dream.

- Match #4: Rey Mysterio defeated JBL with a Moonsault Press off the ropes. Mysterio had new music; I missed the old tune myself. The match was actually pretty good, considering the difference of styles. The last move was slightly scary, though, as it appeared Mysterio was short on the moonsault. JBL quickly stepped forward into it, catching Mysterio with about an inch or two before he hit the mat, then falling backwards to make the move look right. Way to go, JBL. After the match, JBL sat in stunned silence due to the upset.

- In the back, Nunzio (with Big Vito) complains about not getting time on Smackdown, despite being the Cruiserweight Champion. With Guerrero making the suggestion, Cannon makes a Champ vs. Champ match between Nunzio and Batista. Poor Nunzio. You may be a champ, but you're just jobber-fodder in Vince's eyes.

- Josh Mathews tries to interview JBL, who just walks away from him. Ken Kennedy then appears and uses the time to talk about how he's the one single-handedly changing Friday nights (as well as comparing Josh's smell to poop and Arkansas).

- Match #5: Ken Kennedy easily defeated Jacques Plinskin (sp?) with the Kenton Bomb. Really, after beating wrestlers like Booker T and Paul London, why did Kennedy have to face a jobber this week? Just didn't make much sense to me, especially since the Mexicools, Hardcore Holly, Scotty Too Hotty, and other "name" wrestlers were available.

- Match #6: The World Champ, Batista, quickly stomped Cruiserweight Champ Nunzio into next week, despite interference from Vito. In the end, Batista spinebustered both men, then landed a vicious Batista Bomb on Nunzio for the win. Poor Nunzio's neck looked like it snapped like a twig. Cruiserweight Title = Dead. X Division Title = Where Nunzio/London/etc should head.

- Randy & Bob Orton again talk about the U-Haul. Same segment, different words.

- JBL gets Jillian Hall and her mole to come work for him. Well, I was wondering how they were going to turn JBL around after so long at the top. This could work.

- Match #7: The Undertaker defeated Randy Orton in a very entertaining match, by my point of view. It had some strong wrestling, some close calls, a little bit of entertainment in Cowboy Bob bringing down the U-Haul, and a definite sense of not knowing who would win. Inside the U-Haul was a coffin. When the Undertaker, in control, went to put Orton in the coffin, he found a version of himself inside (very life-like, too; either a world-class dummy or an edited shot of the Undertaker laying in there at another time). This allowed Orton to get the advantage again.

The ending had several close pinfalls. First, Orton got the RKO, but the ref was out (due to a missed Clothesline from the Undertaker). The second ref ran down and only counted 2. The Dead Man then got a Chokeslam, but Cowboy Bob dragged out ref #2 and took him out. The Undertaker nailed Bob, then shrugged off another RKO attempt, before getting the Tombstone Piledriver on Orton to get the victory (as the 1st ref made a slow count).

Summary: Not the greatest show I've ever seen, but not the worst either. At the very least, every champion was in action, so who can complain? I personally think that Orton deserved the victory, to keep his heat up, but that's just me. I'm excited about the future of Mysterio, Guerrero, Batista, and JBL, as these characters can keep Smackdown fresh if done right. At the same time, though, I'm still saddened by the lack of respect for cruiserweights. The belt is basically worthless now, and it's been worthless since London was badly hamstrung by the writers. The only way to save it is to give it to Rey.

I'm hoping that next week, we'll get an even better show, preferably with Batista facing someone better than Nunzio (no knock on Nunzio, but this one wasn't even close). Why, you ask? Because I have tickets. Yep, if you happen to see a wild, blond-haired guy holding up an "Ace" sign, it's not a proclamation of respect towards Johnny Ace, it's moi. That is, if I ever get off my lazy butt and make a sign, which is probably doubtful.

The Accelerator