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All About Next Week
April 24, 2006

by Jeff J. Snider
Special for OnlineOnslaught.com


Okay, before we start today, let's go over a little bit of email I got last week. As you no doubt recall, I said this:

Burchill hits his flippy move (which the announcers are referring to as “Walking the Plank,” which makes no sense to me) and gets the pin. 

I guess I should have been more clear about WHY the name makes no sense to me. I got emails from three different readers explaining to me what “walking the plank” is. The impression they got from what I wrote was that “walking the plank” was a phrase I had never heard before, just as if Tazz had called the move “Billowing the

Nightingale” or “Defenestrating the Cinnamon Toast Crunch.”

In actuality, I do know what walking the plank is, and it is that knowledge that causes me to wonder why they came up with that name for the move. You see, Burchill's move bears no actual resemblance to someone walking the plank. In it's most basic sense -- a pirate makes someone he doesn't like walk the plank, Burchill does this move to his opponent -- I guess there are minor similarities, but it essentially feels to me like they were just grasping for any pirate term to call that move. And if that's the case, they could have called it the “Ahoy Matey” or the “Shiver Me Timbers.”

(All this pirate talk reminds me of my favorite pirate joke: A pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel on his crotch. The bartender says, “Hey, did you know you have a steering wheel on your crotch?” And the pirate responds, “Yarr, it's driving me nuts.”)

So anyway, thanks to everyone who wrote in with feedback, and sorry for the confusion on the plank walking.

Weird Cold Open: We start with Booker and Sharmell backstage, and Booker is talking to the camera, but he's REALLY talking to Matt Hardy, along the lines of “I'm totally gonna beat you tonight.” Then we flash to Hardy, who has his own camera, and he's totally like, “Nuh-uh, I'm gonna win, dooty head.”

Tazz and Cole then start hyping the match, which is a first-round match in the King of the Ring tournament, and it's TONIGHT! Oh, my mistake, it's RIGHT NOW!

Booker T vs. Matt Hardy

Tonight is one of those night where you can kind of forget what Booker has going for him besides his personality, because let's face it: both men seemed to be infected with a mild case of Orton-itis. The match is just a bit slower than you would expect from these two guys, but after about ten minutes, you find yourself wondering if you had just been deceiving yourself about their abilities all these years.

Not too long into the match, Hardy misses a moonsault, and Booker takes control. After a brief beatdown, Hardy takes control back for just a second, long enough to set up for the Twist of Fate, but Booker pushes him off, and Sharmell pulls the rope down, sending Hardy tumbling down to the floor.


When we get back, Booker is beating down Hardy, and Cole & Tazz inform us that it's been this was for the whole commercial break. Booker goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Hardy intercepts him and hits a superplex for a two count. It took a lot of out both men, and they get up at about the same time. Booker hangs Hardy on the top rope, then goes directly into his third extended headlock of the match. The crowd finally gets into the match, urging Hardy to do something exciting. Hardy starts to power out, but Booker pulls him by the hair to retain control. Booker goes for a suplex, which Hardy counters into a reverse DDT. Hardy's in control now, and a bulldog gets a two count. Booker hits a leg lariat out of nowhere, which he follows up with a Bookend and a Spinarooni. Hardy dodges the scissor kick and hits a Side Effect for a two count. Hardy sets Booker up for the Twist of Fate again, but Sharmell comes in to distract the ref while Booker nails Matt with a low blow. Scissor kick, 1-2-3.

Your winner: Booker T (18:23). Like I said, Orton may be gone, but his headlocks live on. This match was not exciting, and to be honest, I don't think anyone in the world actually thought Hardy had a chance to win. Smackdown often has criminally short matches, but this one was the opposite: it should have been quite a bit shorter.

After the match: Booker and Sharmell pose on the throne that is set up at the top of the ramp.


Tonight: JBL's “Great American Celebration.”

Video Package:JBL's victory over Eddie at the Great American Bash 2004.

Backstage: Burchill and his wench are bickering. Burchill tells Regal he has a few other costumes he would like him to try on.


Joey Mercury vs. Paul London

This is a follow-up to last week's match where Kendrick beat Nitro. There were some cool spots here, but quite a bit more sloppiness than you would expect from these two guys (and their respective partners).

Early in the match, London is heading up to the top turnbuckle, but when he's at the second rope, Mercury knocks him over the ropes and down to the floor. It was a pretty sweet-looking bump, really. This leads to an extended stretch where Mercury is in control, and the attempted help from Kendrick only leads to the ref being distracted, which allows M&N to hit some double-team offense. Melina gets in on the act with her head scissors, too. Finally, Mercury is going for a sleeper, and London hits a chinbreaker to get some momentum back. London goes up top, and Mercury follows him up, going for a superplex. London blocks it, and he eventually knocks Mercury to the mat and hits a flying cross-body. Nitro breaks up the two count and rolls out of the ring, and London goes right after him, flying onto him between the ropes. Kendrick comes into the ring to deal with Mercury, and this is where the aforementioned sloppiness starts. Mercury knocks Kendrick down with some cross between a clothesline and a forearm. He then sets up the slingshot and sends Kendrick over the top rope and onto London, except that Kendrick made too much contact with the top rope, so London had to run a few steps forward in order to get hit by Kendrick. Mercury rolls London back into the ring, but then he gets cocky. As he is in London 's face taunting him, London rolls him up out of nowhere and gets the pin.

Your winner: Paul London (8:43). Not a bad match, but not quite as exciting as you hope for every time London steps into the ring. His hit his dropsault, and he hit his mulekick, but the overall feel just wasn't there.

Backstage: Regal is dressed like a bear, with his tail “riding up my bloody crevice.”


Last Week: Angle beat Orton and broke his ankle.

Chris Benoit & Bobby Lashley vs. Finlay and Orlando Jordan

Benoit quickly becomes the face in peril, with both Finlay and OJ focusing on his left arm and shoulder. At one point, Tazz mentions that he tore his bicep once and how bad it hurt, and when that was met with silence from Cole, Tazz explained, “Your bicep is connected to your shoulder.” Benoit finally hits a desperation German and gets the tag to Lashley. Lashley is, predictably, a veritable house afire, and he hits his cool one-armed delayed vertical suplex on OJ. Finlay gets involved, but Benoit takes him out between the ropes. Lashley hits a pretty vicious spear on OJ. Dominator, 1-2-3.

Your winners: Bobby Lashley and Chris Benoit (6:03). I think they would have been well served to swap the time allotments between this match and the opening match, or at least split the difference. I think both matches would have been better with about 12 minutes. This match was too short at six, and the Hardy/Booker match was too long at 18.

Video Package: I guess JBL is getting the Rey treatment from a week or two ago. This time, we are reminded about that dreadful angle where JBL went down to the border and fought illegal immigration.


Backstage: Teddy Long announces that next week in London, Angle will face Rey for the title.

Elsewhere Backstage: Regal is now dressed as a chicken.

Elsewhere Elsewhere Backstage: Kristal is with Funaki, who faces The Great Khalil Greene tonight. Just as Funaki starts to express concern, Daivari and TGK show up, TGK mumbles and grunts, and we go to commercial.


Two Weeks Ago: TGK beat down the Undertaker.

Funaki vs. The Great Khali

The over under on this match is 30 seconds, and they exceed expectations. The match last 58 seconds, because it took that long for TGK to hit a head chop, a weak kick, and a semi-powerbomb.

Your winner: The Great Khali (0:58). You know the match wasn't very good when the replay afterwards shows -- literally -- every single offensive move of the match.

Backstage: Regal is now a gorilla. Burchill tells him he has one more for him to try on, and he better hurry, because they are up next.


Movie Trailer: See No Evil, May 19. Watch out Lillian!!!

Gymini vs. Regal and Burchill

Regal is dressed in some weird pirate outfit. I can't really describe it, except to say “not nearly as amusing as ‘buxom wench' or any of the outfits he tried on today.” Regal is the early face in peril, and when he goes to tag Burchill, Paul simply turns his back and walks up the ramp. Gymini then hit the “Cross Trainer” or Regal, and it's 1-2-3.

Your winners: The Gymini (2:27). Too short to be good or bad. I guess it serves the purpose of making Gymini look good again while upping the animosity between Regal and Burchill. Does Regal get to stop dressing up now? Because they said he had to do it until Burchill lost, and he was definitely on the losing team tonight. We shall see.

Video Package: JBL beat Benoit at Wrestlemania.


Outside the Savvis Center in St. Louis : The Miz is here to make his Smackdown debut by interrupting JBL's celebration. Note to The Miz: stop saying “hoo-rah.” You are a reality TV guy, not a military guy. Note to WWE: if you are going to make this guy so darn unlikable, stop trying to make him a face. Anyway, Miz is accosted by Palmer Cannon before he can get in the building, and Cannon informs him that “the network is cancelling The Miz.”

Raw Rebound: I don't recap recaps, and I don't like when they don't show even one second of the first 45 minutes that I missed on Monday.


The Great American Celebration: Jillian comes to the ring with some high school marching band and introduces JBL. JBL comes down in a Hummer limo, and when he gets to the ring, he expresses his disappointment that all he got was a high school band instead of the New York Philharmonic. He's disappointed in Jillian, and he says, “Never trust a woman to think.” As this wasn't her first mistake -- remember, she whacked his noggin last week -- JBL fires her.

JBL then goes off on his “true American hero” rant, and says that the people respect JBL, not Rey, as their champ. Next week in England, JBL will win his match, and then he will challenge the winner of the Rey/Angle match, and he will win his World Title back.

This brings Angle to the ring, and Angle first takes exception with JBL's definition of an American hero. Angle says that Rey is a better champ than JBL ever was or ever will be. Of course, he won't be champ for long, because Angle will win the title back next week.

Believe it or not, this bring Rey down to the ring. Rey tells Angle how much he respects him, but the title ain't going anywhere. JBL butts in and says the mutual respect makes him sick. He taunts Rey and yells in his face, and Rey finally goes off on him with a series of kicks to the legs. JBL stumbles into the waiting arms of Angle, who hits an Angle Slam. Rey follows that up with a 619, and while JBL is down in the ring, Champ and Challenger stare down in the ring. And we're out.


The Good:

-At least Rey showed up this week. Even if he is hurt and unable to wrestle, it is important to have your champion on TV every week.

No sign of Mark Henry or the Boogeyman. Each was mentioned one time, but neither made an appearance.

-Nothing actively bad.

The Bad:

-Nothing actively good, either. Even the matches with guys you normally expect good things from (London, Benoit, Lashley, etc.) either never got on track or never had time to shine.

-An overall case of Orton-itis. He may be gone, but his restholds live on forever.

Solid thumb in the middle from me this week.



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