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Two Debuts, and Preparing for 
Orton's Exit
April 10, 2006

by Jeff J. Snider
Special for OnlineOnslaught.com


Okay, so let's talk about those new Taco Bell commercials, the ones for the Grilled Stuft Chicken Caesar Burrito Thing. Worst commercials ever? Well, maybe not even all of them, but the original one, where the girl gets in the guy's car, and she asks where his Caesar salad is, and he says (in the most affected, ridiculous, annoying fake accent ever): “I'm eating one right now.” She says, “That's a burrito,” and he says, “AND a chicken Caesar salad. One must look under its little toga.” Let me list all the things that are wrong with this commercial: 

1) The guy. I want to kick him under his little toga. So annoying.

2) The premise. These college-aged kids are going to, what, a chicken Caesar salad party? “Hey guys, this weekend, let's get dressed up in sheets, talk in some accent that we apparently thing is ancient Roman, and eat chicken Caesar salads!” I was in 

college for ten years, and while I admit that BYU is not much of a party school, I think if any school was going to pick up on a stupid idea like that, it would have been us. And I never heard of such a thing.

3) The girl's last line. “I think your chariot is on fire.” Okay, they were just looking for an excuse to refer to his car as a chariot, right? And maybe the word “chariot” led them to think ofChariots of Fire, the 1981 movie about a Jew and a Christian in the 1924 Olympics. But since when is the fact that one thing reminds you of another thing a good enough reason to put it in a commercial? Since never, that's when. There is not explainable reason WHY this guy's car is on fire. Car's don't really light on fire often enough that we can be expected to suspend that much disbelief just for the joke about calling his car a chariot.

Worst commercial ever.

If only that were true.

So anyway, with Rick's self-imposed weekend away from the Internet, I am finishing up this recap on Monday morning, so I can get it to him in time for his Monday afternoon update. Let's get started:

Smackdown theme, pyro, etc., and we are quasi-live from Peoria, Illinois. Rick the WWE Sign Guy is at ringside (he's got an interesting backstory, which you can read in the comments of this blog entry). Tonight, we have Mark Henry vs. the Undertaker in a Wrestlemania rematch that Henry demanded, and Rey Mysterio's first title defense against Randy Orton.

MNM vs. Brian Kendrick and Paul London (non-title match)

K&L interrupt Melina's entrance (and Tazz and Cole's drooling), and they get off to a hot start. Then Spanky plays our face in peril for a full five minutes, while M&N do what they do best: double team. After one tag that the ref didn't see, Kendrick finally gets a tag that is acknowledged by the ref, and London comes in like the proverbial house afire.

London enjoys a brief offensive, including his beautiful “dropsault,” where he does a double-leg dropkick on one guy and uses that force to propel himself into a moonsault on the other guy. [Moves like that are the reason people like Paul London. It is cool and amazingly athletic, and it ALSO looks like it would hurt both guys he is doing it to. There are a lot of cruiserweight moves that are fun to watch, but you wonder how we are supposed to believe it hurt anyone. For that matter, Paul Burchill's flippy move is the same way -- yeah, it looks way cool when he does it right, but deep down inside, we all know that it wouldn't actually hurt his opponent. Now, if he does it off the top rope like Super Crazy did last week, that's another story.]

So anyway, MNM eventually get the advantage back, and they go for the Snapshot several times, but Kendrick breaks it up every time. Finally, after Spanky dropkicks Nitro out of the ring on one of the Snapshot attempts, London rolls Mercury up for the 1-2-3.

Your winners: Kendrick and London (9:40)

After the match: MNM look mad, K&L look pretty jazzed, and MNM point out that they still have the titles.

Backstage: Booker is being all sweet with Teddy Long, and Teddy calls him on it. Booker says he's in a good mood because he got a restraining order against the Boogeyman, so Boogey can't come within 100 feet of him. Man, I wish I could get one of those that included on television. For some reason, Booker's restraining order indicates that if Boogey violates it, Teddy is in trouble. That seems odd.

Video Package: Part One of “Rey Mysterio's Road to the Championship.”


Booker T vs. Gunner Scott

This has all the makings of a squash, with maybe a little more offense that you might expect from a jobber like Gunner Scott, until 2-1/2 minutes in, when Boogeyman's music hits. Booker is distracted, Gunner rolls him up, 1-2-3.

Your winner: Gunner Scott (2:52)

After the match: Teddy comes to the top of the ramp and taunts Booker. Something about how we all just felt the presence of the Boogeyman.

[Interesting storyline here. I remember when Gene Snitsky was just a jobber, but his jobbiness led to a full-time job. This Gunner guy looks like he can at least wrestle, and they take the time in a couple minutes to have Benoit congratulate him backstage, so it makes me wonder.

I also wonder who manufactured Michael Cole's tape measure. “Boogeyman can't come within a hundred feet of Booker? That means he's not even allowed in the arena!” Um, Mikey, I hate to tell you this, but a basketball court -- which is what you will find underneath almost ever wrestling ring -- is 92 feet long. I would guess that your average basketball arena is roughly 300 feet from one end to the other. I don't understand why they picked a number like 100 feet if Cole was going to make a comment like that. Go with 500 feet if you really don't want Boogey allowed in the arena, or go with 50 feet if you don't want to confuse tools like Michael Cole.]

Video Package: More of Rey's road.


Backstage: As I mentioned before, Chris Benoit gets all intense and congratulatory with Gunner Scott.

Simon Dean vs. Chris Benoit

We may not be able to count on Gunner Scott losing to Booker T, but here's one jobber we can always count on -- Simon Dean~! Dean tries to run Benoit over with his Segway, but Benoit knocks him off, and the match is on. Benoit is obviously pissed about losing the U.S. Title to JBL, and he is even more intense than usual. Dean actually gets a good 45 seconds of offense in, but Benoit comes back with two Germans and, when Dean tries to counter the third, a crossface. Tappy tap.

Your winner: Chris Benoit (3:07)

After the match: We get a pro-America and pro-JBL video package, inviting us all to JBL's celebration next Friday night. Benoit does not look happy.

Backstage: Randy Orton is getting ready for his title match.


Video Package: The final installment of Rey's Road to the Championship: his win at Wrestlemania.

Backstage: Orton is still getting ready, and Angle confronts him. Orton taunts Angle for losing the title, and Angle slaps him, then grunts like a gorilla.

Randy Orton vs. Advertisers

Orton makes his entrance, and we get...


Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio (World Title Match)

Rey gets the hero's welcome he so richly deserves, and the crowd gives him a big Eddie chant. Then the match starts, and I have a simple formula for you to understand how this match was:

When Rey was in control or on the offensive, the match was excellent -- crisp, exciting, fast-paced. When it was in Orton's hands, it was excruciatingly dull -- slow, repetitive, boring, repetitive, boring, and repetitive.

Here's another formula, which covers the entire first five minutes of the match: Orton preens, then postures, then hits a resthold, then hits something high impact like a clothesline or a shoulderblock, then gets a near-fall, then starts the process over again. After one of Orton's high-impact moves, a dropkick that knocks Rey off the apron to the floor, we go to...


When we get back, Orton has Rey in -- believe it or not -- a headlock. They go back and forth eight or ten times, which is when I fully noticed the dichotomy I mentioned in Formula #1 above, until Rey hits a cool 619 around the ringpost. He then hits a regular 619 and drops the dime, and we have a 1-2-3.

Your winner: Rey Mysterio (21:38)

[Again, it wasn't a BAD match. I don't know that Rey Mysterio is capable of having a bad match. But when Orton was asked to do anything other than be Mysterio's whipping boy, the match slowed down tremendously. Orton is known for his slow matches, but this seemed worse than usual. Maybe his heart wasn't in it after learning of his suspension.]


Moments ago: You know what happened. Rey won.

Backstage: Kristal (with a new haircut) is interviewing Rey, who wants to thank all his supporters, especially his family. He calls out his wife and kids, and they have a group hug.

Elsewhere backstage: Regal is still trying to convince Burchill to stop acting like a darn fool, but Burchill is having none of it. Burchill offers a deal: if Regal beats Burchill tonight, then Burchill will dress however Regal wants him to. But if Burchill wins, then he gets to choose Regal's attire. Regal agrees, and Burchill says he plans to have Regal dress like a “buxom wench.”


William Regal vs. Paul Burchill (wardrobe match)

This match had all the intensity of a Lashley/Finlay match, but absolutely none of the realism. Where Lashley and Finlay are crisp and look like the are realistically beating the crap out of each other, Regal and Burchill are awkward and fake-looking. They have all the right facial expressions, but none of the realistic moves to back it up.

Not too far in, Burchill hits his flippy move out of nowhere and gets the 1-2-3.

Your winner: Paul Burchill (3:22)

[Again, not a terrible match, but I am starting to think these two don't have what it takes to feud each other. I can handle Regal's weird-looking forearm punches, but when they are met by identical forearm punches from Burchill, you start to feel like it went from unique to weak.]


Backstage: Teddy Long has six superstars standing around him: Angle, Hardy, Lashley, Finlay, Benoit, and Booker. Teddy announces the return of the King of the Ring Tournament, and says they will all be in it. The first match will be next week, with Kurt Angle taking on ... Randy Orton, who is sitting in a chair behind the rest of the guys, and has heretofore been hidden. Angle seems excited, and Orton seems upset.

Mark Henry vs. the Microphone

Henry talks about how big he is, and how he hates small spaces, and how he almost died in the casket at Wrestlemania. He says he will never be the same, but he promises that after tonight, neither will the Undertaker.


Mark Henry vs. the Undertaker

Taker was in control from the beginning, decimating Henry. About 3-1/2 minutes in, just after Taker hits the apron legdrop that I love so much, Daivari comes down to the ring with a monster. The guy is easily 7'2”, and he is ridiculously wide. VERY impressive looking dude. Taker is not intimidated -- he gets in the ring and starts throwing punches, but Huge Guy takes him down with one chop to the head. Huge Guy isn't quite as impressive with his chop, as his moveset resembles that of Giant Gonzalez more than the Big Show, but you just can't get past how big he is. I imagine it's what the TNA viewers thought when they saw Billy Gunn.

No Contest, I guess? (There was 7:22 left on my DVR recording when this match started, and just under a minute left when Smackdown went off the air, so you do the math)

[If I hadn't read Rick's column on Monday, I probably would have enjoyed this show more. Let me quote our fearless webmaster:

Speaking of SD! tapings, it sounds like a very interesting show... I hinted -- in the RAW Recap -- at how there are usually news-worthy twists and debuts right after WM every year, but that "Umaga" didn't exactly live up to those expectations.

Well, it seems maybe WWE recognized SD!'s lingering "b-show" taint, and saved the good stuff for them. Two debuts (one VERY good, the other not-so-good-but-will-serve-a-purpose) and an intriguing announcement: the return of the King of the Ring as a SD!-only prize.

After I got done watching the show, I went back and re-read Rick's column, because I was SURE he had mentioned two debuts, but for the life of me, all I could remember was Huge Guy. I went into the last match expecting two people to show up. Maybe one guy beating down Taker and another guy doing the save? I wasn't sure, but I was pretty sure there would be two new guys.

Then we only got Huge Guy, and I was confused. So I looked back over my recap, and I figured that Rick must have been talking about Gunner Scott as the other debut. Despite being impressed by him and feeling like there might be more to him than just one night, he never crossed my mind as a “debut.” Just a “jobber.”

So anyway, the show was enjoyable, if a mixed bag. Not a single sign of the Boogeyman: plus. Mark Henry in the main event: minus. Mark Henry getting destroyed in the main event and then overshadowed by a new guy: plus. Mark Henry still breathing and possessing a WWE contract at the end of the night: minus. Rey Mysterio's part of his match: plus. Orton's part of the same match: minus. MNM vs. London Kendrick: plus. The fact that it was a non-title match and therefore meaningless: minus. The whole show went that way, but the fact that there is something fresh for Taker to do, along with the return of the King of the Ring and the promise that after next week, we get two months without any Randy Orton chinlocks, makes this a good show in my mind.]



SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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