WWE Friday Night Smackdown
September 23rd, 2005

This one's definitely going to be fun to review. Why? Because I was there. Yep, after all these years of being a fan of pro wrestling, I finally got to attend a live TV taping, instead of just watching it back at home. Tuesday night, Lubbock here was rocking, with an almost sell-out crowd of die-hard fans.

Now, I know the question is coming: Why, then, haven't you posted anything about the event until now, after Friday's show? Well, the answer is simple; I hate spoilers. I hate spoilers with a passion, really. Y'see, I believe that, to consider yourself a true wrestling fan, you don't look up the results of the show before you see it. That colors your perspective. Say I posted spoilers from Friday's show and said that I had something against one of the matches. You would then watch it and have that thought in the back of your mind. I prefer that the viewer gets the chance to make up his or her own mind about what went down.

But, of course, if you missed Friday Night Smackdown, or, maybe, you're interested in my personal opinion on the matter, then you're in the right place. Let's get to it.

- Match #1: Booker T defeated Christian via a roll-up. The whole focus of the match was on Sharmell, in my opinion, as she pointed out Christian's cheating ways several times, and eventually cost Christian the match by tripping him from the outside, allowing Booker T to get the roll-up. The match itself was solid, with a lot of great action, and was a great way to kick off Smackdown. Live Note: Chimmel either made a mistake or was reading from an old script for this one; he announced after the match that Booker T was the new #1 Contender (supposedly to the US Title). This, of course, did not make it on air.

- Eddie Guerrero was shown in the back with Palmer Cannon and Teddy Long, acting as if he was too sick to compete in his tag match with Batista against MNM in the main event. Eddie ran off to the bathroom and made some bad noises, with even Cannon saying that the Network didn't want to hear that (with a sickly expression on both leaders' faces).

- "The Fixer" Jillian Hall introduced a horse-riding JBL to the ring, where JBL talked about how he had had an epiphany. JBL called himself Texas' favorite son, while we in the crowd feverently chanted "You Suck!" and "A**hole". JBL also talked about how he would be a patriot against the immigration problem (aka his grudge with Rey Mysterio for beating him last week). JBL's using the same exact argument he used against Eddie Guerrero last year. At least he's consistent.

- Match #2: LoD 2005, with the Tag Titles, stomped all over Jared Steele & Anthony Colleti. This wasn't even a match, it was an execution. LoD 2005 is really seeming to be TOO strong now; I hope another strong team emerges to really challenge them, to get the division hyped up.

- Sylvain Grenier critiqued the wardrobes of Stacey Keibler and Christy Hemme, saying that they were making him look bad. He was then confronted by Hardcore "Bobby" Holly, who said that, since Grenier was wearing a lot of black, he'd add to his ensemble with a black eye. Nice bit.

- Match #3: Hardcore Holly won after Sylvain walked away, getting counted out. It wasn't a bad match from Sylvain, who's trying to get over a gimmick that hasn't worked in years. I did like his intro video, showing the various shapshots of his modeling career. It gave his character a little more depth. Near the end, Sylvain, who was in control, got distracted by, well, himself, as well as the Divas, which allowed Holly to clobber him in the face with a big fist. Sylvain, fearing damage to his modeling career, fled the ring and walked to the back. Live Note: I was surprised at the amount of support from the crowd for Hardcore. He's really got an underground following going.

- Teddy Long, in the back, informed Batista about Eddie's sickness. Batista said that he had already contacted "the best doctor around". Ooooo, foreshadowing.

- "Cowboy" Bob Orton, standing in the ring next to the coffin from last week, brought out his son, Randy, who talked about how his mannequin in the coffin had gotten into the Undertaker's head. At one point, while on the figure in the coffin, the figure opened his eyes, showing it to be the actual Dead Man. Orton, clueless, kept talking about how the Undertaker, until he finally realized that something was wrong. He took a closer look at the coffin, and got grabbed around the throat, as the Undertaker reared up and got out of the casket. The Dead Man then rolled his eyes back, before chunking poor Randy into the air, sending him crashing into the side of the casket, tipping it to the ground. The Ortons fled, as the Undertaker stood tall. Live Note: Mark-out moment of the night for me, as the anticipation of what the Dead Man was going to do made it even more worthwhile. Besides, I'm an Undertaker mark for life.

- Before the next match, Tony Chimmel announced Mr. Ken Kennedy. Kennedy came to the ring and actually said that Chimmel had done alright, apologizing for his "being a bad boy". The two hugged, then Kennedy told Chimmel to take a bow, striking him below the belt. Yeouch. Then, in a surreal moment, Kennedy moved to the center of the ring, where a spotlight suddenly focused, and a mic came down from the ceiling. Kennedy did another awesome job of introducing himself, including joking about how he weighed 244 - "Yep, I gained another pound. The Simon System actually works!"

- Match #4: Ken Kennedy defeated Rey Mysterio with his Kenton Bomb. In another fast-action match, both men had some good maneuvers, including Kennedy holding Mysterio in the air for a few seconds before delivering a painful-looking backbreaker, and Mysterio spinning off a hold into a DDT. Near the end, as Mysterio looked to close it out from the top rope, JBL came back out as a distraction. It worked, as Kennedy caught Mysterio on the turnbuckle and got his Kenton Bomb (or Super Samoan Roll, or, as Michael Cole called it, an Inverted Samoan Drop) for the victory. Kennedy stays undefeated, as Mysterio's feud with JBL grows.

- After a Raw on USA ad, Palmer Cannon talked to Teddy Long about what they were going to do to capitalize on the big Homecoming show. Cannon mentioned advertising on the show, but Long seemed to insinuate that he had something better in mind. My guess: he'll be there to sign whoever loses the Hardy/Edge match.

- Booker T and Sharmell talked in the back, with Booker T clearly not happy about winning due to Sharmell's interference. Sharmell mentions that, after talking with Ken Kennedy (I believe Booker T called him a "Frutie Bootie", although I'm not sure on that one), Sharmell wanted to know why Chris Benoit wouldn't give Booker T a US Title shot, since he deserved it. Booker T vs. Benoit is almost always a good match-up (much better than Benoit vs. OJ; more on that later).

- In his locker room, Eddie gets looked over by the trainer, who can't find anything wrong with him. A sexy nurse walks in, then, taking the trainer's place and looking for the spot where Eddie was having problems. Eddie told her "you see where is says 'Papi'? Lower." (Guerrero's t-shirt says "I am your Papi!") Live Note: This actually was an edited clip from the live show. The one I saw had Eddie lean back with his eyes rolled back in his head, shivering from the touch and saying happy phrases in Spanish. I guess the alluded-to sexual act was too much for the Network.

- Match #5: Bobby "Blaster" Lashley made his Raw debut, destroying Simon Dean. Dean came out first, talking about how he had taken so much Simon System that he was willing to face anyone. The facial expression on Dean's face as Chimmel reads off all of Lashley's accomplishments in the wrestling world is priceless. Lashley mostly had the upper hand on Dean, from doing push-ups while Dean was trying to hold onto a chinlock to making Dean do his own push-ups. A Gutwrench Facebuster ended things for poor ol' Dean, who keeps getting jobbed out. Live Note: The crowd popped huge for the massive Lashley. A guy in front of me in the crowd immediately dubbed him the new Brock Lesnar. We shall see.

- Match #6: Chris Benoit stayed the US Champ, beating Orlando Jordan in around 49 seconds. Jordan played defensively at first, trying to stay away from Benoit. When the clock got past 30 seconds, Jordan started celebrating like he had won. Benoit then put on the Crippler Crossface and forced OJ to tap out, winning again. Funny moment with OJ, but his career is still in the crapper.

- In the back, Eddie is still with the nurse, but gets surprised by Batista, who came in talking about the doctor he had brought, Dr. Barnett, who is apparently a gay doctor. He puts on his gloves, as Eddie claims that now he's fine. Batista won't hear of it, though, as he shoves Eddie onto the table, even as the doctor moves in. Eddie looks around in terror, then lets out some more Spanish, as the crowd groans, feeling his pain.

- Match #7: Batista & Eddie Guerrero defeated M-N-M. Guerrero walked around the ring for most of the match, holding his rear a lot of the time & grimacing, while Batista did all the work. At the end, Batista got the Batista Bomb on Nitro (I think), but then got tagged on the back by Guerrero, who quickly climbed up and hit the Frog Splash for the victory. Guerrero held up the obviously-annoyed Batista's hand after the match, while wincing in pain. As much as I hated M-N-M basically jobbing out in a 'handicap' match to Batista, they did get in some good moves, so I guess I give this match a thumbs up.

- Post-Show Match: Batista, Rey Mysterio, & the Undertaker defeated Randy Orton & JBL in a "Handicap" Match. Eddie Guerrero was supposed to be with Orton & JBL, but he announced on the mic that if he didn't leave, then there'd be some bad things in the ring. Hilarious. Orton & JBL double-teamed Mysterio for a while, but, since this was the match for the fans, they had no chance, with Batista, Mysterio, & the Undertaker all hitting their signature moves for the win. Feel-good way to end a live night.

Summary: It was an exciting night of wrestling, really, & I'm glad they put on a good show while I was there. A lot of feuds are now into play, which could make No Mercy at least the equivalent of Unforgiven. Keep hope alive; SD isn't dead yet!

The Accelerator