Date: September 22, 2006
Location: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
We’re now officially on the way to No Mercy and we even have a main event for the show. Last week Bobby Lashley became the new #1 contender to King Booker, but tonight Booker has to face Vito. That’s what we’re getting on a Season Premiere as the show moves to a new network with the CW. Let’s get to it.
King Booker and Queen Sharmell come in to see Teddy Long. They don’t like that Booker’s hands are going to be sullied by a match with Vito because everything they have is the finest. After a look at Sharmell’s gown, Teddy has good news for them: Vito has stepped aside and Undertaker will face him instead. The accents are dropped in a hurry and panic sets in. So why advertise Vito when you could advertise Undertaker?
New opening sequence, featuring the wrestlers turning into comic book style caricatures.
William Regal/Finlay vs. Batista/Bobby Lashley
Batista wants to start with Finlay but gets jumped by Regal instead. That goes as well as you would expect for Regal, who gets sent into the corner for the shoulders to the ribs. Finlay runs away from Batista on the floor so Batista settles for a spinebuster to Regal instead. Lashley comes in for a double delayed vertical suplex (not bad) and a snap suplex gets two on Regal. It’s off to Finlay, who gets caught in a torture rack dropped into a backbreaker but a low bridge puts Lashley on the floor.
Regal nails a clothesline and the villains (you know they’re villains because Regal’s trunks say “villain”) take over with Finlay dropping some elbows. It’s back to Finlay, who mocks Lashley for not being able to make the tag and kicks him in the ribs like an evil one would do. Regal’s t-bone suplex gets two as JBL talks about how much he can’t stand the French, Canadians or French Canadians. Regal jumps Batista on the apron so Batista comes in sans tag and cleans house. The Shillelagh is taken away from Regal so Lashley can nail the spear for the pin.
Rating: C. Nicely done here as they give Lashley a bit of a boost and let Batista vs. Finlay stay on the burner, likely for a showdown at No Mercy. They didn’t have much time here but the formula can work out well in short bursts too so this worked out fine. Good choice for an opener on the new network too, with a star like Batista and a hard hitting fight to give Lashley some nice exposure.
Here’s Layla, who promises to make Smackdown hot and dances a lot. Cue Krystal to say not so fast because she’s the hot one, meaning the brawl is on. Jillian Hall runs in for the save and rips off Krystal’s top. Then she rips off Layla’s top, followed by her own. And we move on.
Long video on Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero being friends/family and then splitting up over Chavo and Vickie Guerrero not liking Rey cashing in on the Guerrero name. Still a totally fair point.
Matt Hardy vs. Gregory Helms
Non-title. They go straight at it with Helms being backdropped out to the floor. Back in and Helms slips out of something off the top and snaps Hardy throat first across the top. A swinging neckbreaker gives Helms two and an elbow drop gets the same. The chinlock doesn’t last long so Helms hits what would eventually become the Codebreaker for two more.
Hardy jawbreaks his way out of another chinlock and grabs the Side Effect for two. A moonsault press gets two on more on Helms, who is right back with the Shining Wizard for the same. Helms goes for the turnbuckle pad so the referee puts it back on, allowing Hardy to hit a low blow into the rollup pin (ala Helms last week).
Rating: C. Hardy doing the same thing to Helms as the previous week was a nice touch, but I’m still not sure what the point of this feud is if Hardy can’t (and doesn’t seem interested in) win the Cruiserweight Title. The wrestling was fine enough, but it feels like we’re going in circles here. I know the title doesn’t mean anything, so why is it even a thing at this point?
Miz promises to win his next match.
Jimmy Wang Yang thought about debuting tonight but doesn’t feel very comfortable in Montreal. Not too many rednecks you see, so we’ll do it in Oklahoma next week.
Miz vs. Funaki
They fight over wrist control to start with Miz wristdragging him down. Another takedown sets up a suplex, followed by the Mizard of Oz (which lands in a reverse DDT this time instead of a neckbreaker) to keep Miz undefeated. Keeping Miz short is the right idea at the moment.
Rey Mysterio has had it with the Guerreros and today is the first day of the rest of his life.
Video on the Marine.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero
Vickie Guerrero is here with Chavo. They start fast again with Rey hammering away to take it to the floor. The fight goes into the crowd with Rey still getting the better of things until his hurricanrana is sent into the barricade. Things go back into the crowd and Rey sends him into the barricade over and over. Rey doesn’t seem to notice that the referee is telling him it’s over and they get back to ringside with Chavo getting kicked in the ribs. Vickie throws Chavo a chair, which Rey dropkicks off his face. Vickie’s interference doesn’t work as Rey hammers away again and referees come in to break it up. I’m not sure this was a match.
Rating: C. It wasn’t much of a match as it was much more of a brawl than anything else, but I want to see these two fight again, which is a lot more than I could say coming in. You could feel the anger and hatred here and that’s the best thing that could happen in a segment like this. Good stuff and I’m sure No Mercy waits for them.
Maryse welcomes us back to the show. I think you can get why she has a job.
Tag Team Titles: Brian Kendrick/Paul London vs. Pit Bulls vs. KC James/Idol Stevens
London and Kendrick are defending and Michelle McCool is here with James and Stevens. It’s a brawl to start with James, Kendrick and Noble getting things going. The Pitbulls beat on Stevens and Kash pounds him down for two. Stevens breaks that up and Kash gets knocked down into the corner, including a snapmare for two more.
Kendrick comes back and hammers away, allowing the hot tag off to London to pick the pace way up. A dropkick gets two on Stevens with the Pit Bulls making the save. Michelle gets on the apron for no apparent reason as Kash brainbusters London. Sliced Bread takes Kash down but Stevens hits a heck of a spinebuster on Kendrick. Noble sends him outside and rolls London up, only to get reversed into another rollup for the pin.
Rating: C+. As the champs tend to do, they got in and out without wasting time and had a high energy match. They really have become one of the most consistently entertaining things on Smackdown and this should be the blowoff to the three way feud. I’m sure it won’t be because there aren’t any other teams to come after them, but at least they had a nice match here.
Elijah Burke introduces Sylvester Terkay. Sylvester: “I’m Sylvester Terkay.” End of segment.
Video on Batista visiting the Philippines.
Here’s Sylvan to a crazy hero’s welcome and he seems fired up to be here. After saying something in French, we’re ready to go.
Sylvan vs. Tatanka
Sylvan chops away to start but Tatanka comes back with some right hands and is booed out of the building. A backbreaker sets up a chinlock but Sylvan is back with a spinebuster. There’s a dropkick to put Tatanka down again and a spinning belly to back slam gets two more. Tatanka tries a sunset flip but Sylvan sits down and grabs the rope for the pin.
Rating: D+. The wrestling was nothing to see here but WOW that crowd was behind Sylvan. That is the kind of thing that has never happened before and will probably never happen again, but thankfully WWE was smart enough to capitalize on it once. Let the fans have something to cheer and let a scrub like Tatanka take another loss. This was nice to see and I don’t get to say that very often.
John Cena visits Teddy Long and thanks him for the contract offer that was ready had Cena lost at Unforgiven. Long has an idea: Cena visits Smackdown next week and teams with Batista and Bobby Lashley against William Regal/Finlay/King Booker. Cena is in and leaves so Long dances in celebration.
No Mercy rundown with Batista vs. Finlay and Mysterio vs. Guerrero announced.
King Booker vs. Undertaker
Non-title, Sharmell is here with Booker and Mr. Kennedy is on commentary. Kennedy gets freaked out by Undertaker’s entrance and JBL isn’t much better. Undertaker strikes away to start and knocks Booker to the floor early on. We take a break and come back with Undertaker hammering away even more, setting up the knuckle lock lift to have Booker in more trouble. The arm is wrapped around the top rope but Old School is broken up.
A Sharmell distraction lets Booker grab a superplex and it’s time to choke on the ropes. Booker knocks him outside for a ram into the steps, followed by a DDT for two. The side kick misses though and Undertaker hits a jumping clothesline. Snake Eyes into the big boot gets two but Booker is back with the jumping kick to the face. Undertaker is right back to load up the Tombstone but Booker slips out and hits a low blow for the DQ.
Rating: C. As has been the case almost all night, this was all about making an appearance rather than the match itself. Undertaker being in the ring is still a treat and it was a good idea to have him on a special show. These two haven’t always had the best chemistry but they weren’t out there very long and it’s not like the bad finish came after a pay per view title match.
Post match here’s Bobby Lashley to throw Booker back inside, meaning it’s a chokeslam and Tombstone. Undertaker stares down at Kennedy to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This was a show where the wrestling did not really matter but the presentation was very good. For a season premiere on a new network, they did a great job of keeping things moving and having all of the big names come in and out throughout the show. They set up things both for the pay per view and next week so some fans might want to come back again. I don’t get impressed by WWE very often but they did a rather nice job here and that’s great to see.
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