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Friday Night's Midcard Event~! 
July 14, 2006

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com


I officially hate all of OO Nation. I try to run a nice, fun, competitive contest to determine a new SD! recapper, and for some reason, I am unable to distinguish between the well-meaning kids and the flakes. 
Last week a Canuck (it's still my secret wish to get a Canadian to recap this show so I can have fewer online weekend responsibilities) dicked me over, and this week, a bona fide American didn't bother telling me until an e-mail time-stamped at 9pm earlier this evening (which I didn't receive till more like 4am) that *he* would also be unable to complete his duties. Last week, I 

just let the whole mess slide: this week, however, we got a title change to deal with and fer chrissakes, I need to treat SD! at least as well as I treat TNA, right? 

So anyway: that the story of why I'm doing this fucking thing myself tonight.

For the record: this will probably suck. I think "SD!" in tonight's case will probably stand for "StinkingDrunk!" instead of "SmackDown!" as it is currently 5am, and I know if I don't do this now, I sure as fuck won't do it tomorrow (Jason still hasn't finished the TNA Preview, so my Saturday Afternoon Energy will have to be spent formatting that once I wake up).... 

I shall now try to fake my way through a SD! recap for all y'all. SD!'s on the DVR, and this'll be a rare situation where I try to do a relatively up-front "play-by-play" deal where I'll watch a segment, type about it, and then go back and watch the next segment (instead of watching the show carefully, letting various analysis and observations bounce around in my brain, and then doing the recap mostly the next day, from memory, like I usually do). But whatever.... it's a job what's gotta be done, and I'll try to do it even if it means not hitting the sack before the sun peeks its head up.....

Video Package: Last week, something happened, but since it involved Mark Henry, no thinking person is required to give a shit.

Opening Theme/Pyro/Etc. and we're live from Minneapolis, MN, where I do believe OO Living Legend Matt Hocking was in attendance. All I can say to Matt about that is: if you know that cute girl who was caught on-screen during ECW on Tuesday laughing and having a ball after Big Show ate the thumbtacks (while all the other attempted "reaction shots" were of people who looked horrified and grossed out), you are obligated to hook me up: if she can laugh that heartily at the misfortune of others, then I'm positive that chick and I would hit it off famously. If I was listening to JBL and Cole, this would also be the part of the show where I heard about all the awesome things coming up tonight, but sadly: in my state, this is the part of the show where I say "Don't tell me, fuckwads, just show me." Hype gets FF'ed~! Content gets watched.

All Hail Bizarro Edge and Lita~!

As we cut to the ring, King Booker T is already installed upon his throne, Queen Sharmell is already at his side, and Squire Regal is already standing around braying like a jackass (and I mean that as a compliment!). After an adequate number of "All Hail King Booker's" and a bit of ass-kissing towards Sharmell, Regal finally turns the mic over to Booker to let him speak for himself....

For those who haven't been paying attention: (a) I can't blame you, and (b) Booker won a #1 Contender's Battle Royale last week and will be facing Rey Mysterio at the the Great American Bash for the World (Heavyweight?) Title. Toss in the fact that Batista returned last week, and you have a hearty goulash of things for Booker to rant about.

Cuz as it turns out, Batista and Mark Henry (ugh) will now be competing in ANOTHER #1 contender's match at the GAB, and the winner of Booker/Rey will face that man at SummerSlam. So Booker sees it this way: Batista can go ahead and do his manly bidness, but Booker will beat Rey, and they it'll be Booker vs. Batista at SummerSlam. Huh: what a shocker.... it's almost as if that "shoot fight" on the set of the SummerSlam commercial was oddly prescient, isn't it?

Then again, the self-same SummerSlam commercial features Chris Benoit, Goldust, Chris Masters, Kurt Angle, and the Boogeyman in prominent spots, so what the fuck significance should we really be placing on anything related to that ad?

Booker's "fantasy booking" results in Rey finally coming down to defend his good name. For the first time in eight months, he actually gets the better of a brawl, and sets both Booker and Regal on their asses, and leaves victorious. For now. Because I forgot to mention the part about how Regal had challenged Rey to a one-on-one tune-up match later on tonight! So these folks'll be seeing each other agayn, I do suspect.

I'll call that a solid opening promo, and I think anybody out there who's not watching SD! oughta give it a try, even if only for Booker and Sharmell. They are TOTALLY the Edge and Lita of Friday night... the gimmick may be totally different (Booker and Sharmell are distinguished and regal, and Sharmell has the very unique ability to rock the over-done Prom Date Look; while Edge and Lita are classless ingrates with no respect for anyone, and Lita's hotness is derived from her obvious thirst for quarts-worth of man-sauce in a sitting), but the effect is remarkably similar. SD! could do worse things than to make Booker their #1 heel.


Matt Hardy vs. Ken Kennedy

Kennedy is just getting warmed up on his patented Ring Introductions when Matt Hardy attacks him from behind and cuts him off. The fuck? Matt Hardy? Really? I figured you'd save that honor for somebody still vaguely relevant....

But because the part of Kennedy's promo that got out involved referencing his Green Bay heritage, the Viking-lovers in Minneapolis thought Matt's temper tantrum was the greatest thing ever, and gave him much love and chanting as he controlled the opening minute or so. [Provided you pretend that "Green Bay Sucks" is the equivalent of "Hardy, Hardy, Hardy," anyway.....]

I think Kennedy gains command with a hangman or stun-gun type move, and this is where I'm reminded to mention that I really am digging JBL's work as a commentary guy. He's selling out to the job, and leaving most of his own baggage behind to tell the stories that'll help the guys in the ring. It's obvious in this segment because he's overdoing the "Matt Hardy is a internet loving wuss" angle (in an OBVIOUS attempt to make sure Matt's fanbase among the internet dorks is maintained, the same way that all of Jerry Lawler's pretend anti-ECW ranting is clearly done too well to be done out of anything but love). But he couches it all very well, including pointing out that Matt's biggest deficiency is "having a heart and caring what people think about him" and almost BEGGING for a Matt Hardy heel turn. Hey, you know what: I think JBL might be on to something there. Unless Matt Hardy wants to spend the rest of his contract being a punchline, instead of a contributor....

Standard heel beatdown sequence leads to a spot where Kennedy gets too big for his britches and goes up to the top rope. Matt catches him with a superplex, and both men are down, so we enter End Game. Punchy-Kicky-Reverse-y, and although it's mostly Matt in control, the biggest pops are for when Kennedy mimics Matt's moves (like the Twist of Fate) for cheap near falls. Neither guy can land the big move, and then after Kennedy tries for the Twist of Fate a second time, Matt grabs the ropes and weasels out and hits a quick school-boy roll-up on Kennedy. And that's that? Yup yup.

Your Winner: Matt Hardy, via pinfall, in about 6-8 minutes. So you protect Kennedy and he connects with fans for the past 10 months and his first (pinfall) loss is to Matt Hardy in a match that comes out of nowhere? That really is baffling, but I guess it lends credence to the rumors that Kennedy had become unpopular backstage in recent weeks. But whatever: that's wrestling and its braindead frat-house/military/seniority-based mentality, and if Kennedy's half-as-entertaining as I tell you he is, he'll bounce back from this and be just fine. 


Backstage: Michelle McCool and Kristal are gabbing about how they're both super-tasty and that's why the Rick endorsed them early on in past Diva Search Competitions even though both ended up losing. And also about Diva Search Ashley, whose crime is that she managed to WIN one of these stupid things. And GOD FUCKING DAMMIT: whose OTHER (and more serious) crime, as far as The Rick is concerned, is being portrayed by Torrie Wilson, this week. Is it too much to fucking ask that when a pretty girl gets on TV she spends at least one calendar year looking like HERSELF instead of whoring herself up to look like whatever is passing for the flavor of the month. I mean, if I took a poll of the room, who among you wasn't already perfectly willing to bone the bejesus out of Ashley? That's what I thought: and yet, here's a total lame-ass girly-girl/quasi-porno make-over for her that really renders her a dead ringer for Torrie, which flies directly in the face of the proven scientific notion that when it comes to babes, the fun is in all the differentyness, not in the sameness. Anyway: Ashley is joined by whatever-her-name-is, and they have a brawl with McCool and Kristal over various shallow-bitch-related issues. My money's on McCool and Kristal, just cuz they both accessorize with glasses, and everybody knows that makes you smarter, and potentially slightly more diabolical. Not to mention hotter. I guess all this catfighting is some sort of prelude to the silly company-wide bikini contest on SNME? I dunno, that's probably what it was, though.

No Sale

The Great Khali comes out and for the first time in 2 months, the Undertaker arrives to answer his challenge to a "Punjab Prison Match." The answer is, duh, "Yes."

But I'm sad to report that if you give a shit about any of this, then unfortunately, I cannot respect you as a person. And I *like* the Undertaker. But I'm not going to report on or endorse any of this happy crappy. 

This is 5 minutes of my life I'll never get back, and at the PPV, it'll probably be more like 15 minutes. But if my plan works out, I won't have to fucking watch the PPV. Let's all cross our fingers. 


Paul London vs. Jamie Noble

So the deal is that Noble/Kid Kash are the #1 Contenders to London and Spanky's Tag Titles, which is all well and good, and should result in a killer show-stealing match at the otherwise craptacular Bash PPV.

In fact, JBL continued his "wow, this guy is a surprisingly on-target announcer" streak by commenting along those exact lines during the early part of this match. Of course, then he had to go and earn himself an eyeball punch by commenting that co-tag-champ Spanky looked like a homosexual. Ummmm: leaving Spanky's  cosmetic choices out of this, let's us just agree to say that the guy whose #1 Leisure Activity is cramming objects up other men's anuses is not qualified to lob those accusations, JBL. Leave the assholish and expert commentary on sexuality to trusted names like The Rick, and you and your Repressed Tendencies need to sit back and shut up unless you want to induce crippling levels of Ironic Chuckling.

Other than that: match is surprisingly uneventful, given the talent in the ring.... the "Pitbulls" (as Noble and Kid Kash are called, now) have apparently replaced about 40% of their kinetic energy with dubious S&M gear, so the story of the match is Noble using ground based moves to keep London from doing anything cool. This builds up for probably 5-6 minutes, then London finally fires up out of a chinlock, and things speed up a bit.

Very nice final 2-3 minutes, but the final spot is Noble going for his man-chain, but Spanky stops him, but while the ref is distracted by that, Kid Kash gets the better of London. Then Noble finishes London off with a double knee gut-buster, and that's the end of that story.

Your Winner: Jamie Noble, via pinfall, in about 5-6 minutes. Nice match, I guess, but I think I was spoiled by the level of velocity and intensity that MNM's Random Weekly Matches brought to the table. Since it's not like these four guys are any less talented than M or N, maybe the Difference Maker in terms of creating that little bit of extra drama and sizzle was Melina? Do I lose points with the Workrate Police if I make that my Official Theory for why I didn't think Noble/London was as good as it could be? Do I lose further points if I suggest that the solution could be as simple as calling up Nidia and packaging her with Noble and Kash (who really need to lose the chains and dog collars and re-redneck a bit, if you ask me)?

Backstage: The Miz is fawning over the Diva Search contestants. Which would be way more compelling if I thought he actually liked girls, but sadly, he's still a vaguely effete douchebag straight out of an Ambercrombie and Fitch catalog. And frankly, those are a dime a dozen out there, and if they bore me to tears and aren't worth my time in real life, they sure as hell aren't gonna be worth my time on TV. Unless I'm watching them being loaded into giant spaceships to be jettisoned directly into the sun, anyway.

Elsewhere Backstage: we first note that Sylvain Grenier attends the same hairstylist as Miz. Then, secondly, we note that Sylvain is talking shit about the Diva Search girls, because none of them can match the Natural Beauty of Quebec. God-fucking-dammit: I hate it when I can't decide which god-awful assface to cheer for.... Miz and the Diva Bimbos or Frenchy LeFemme and his Home Province Full Of Wads? Way to be WWE: inspiring me to just want to drop a nuclear bomb on the entire show, and be done with it once and for all.....


Paint by Number Theatre

So this is the part of the show where Batista and Mark Henry have an Official Contract Signing for a #1 Contender's Match at the Great American Bash. These things are usually pretty stupid, and this one has no aspirations to exceed that level of expectation....

GM Teddy Long kicks things off with an over-long tirade that amounts to "nothing interesting will happen tonight" (OK: so it ACTUALLY involved Teddy ordering both Batista and Mark Henry to not engage in any physicality during tonight's proceedings, lest the aggressor lose his eligibility for the #1 Contender spot, but I think my way summed it up nicer).

Then Batista enters. Blah, blah, blah, and all I got to say is: Hey, big fella, either oil up and come to the ring in your tights so the bodybuilding queers can ogle you, or dress nicely like Hunter and Naitch taught you to. Cuz this straddling the line shit? It looks bad. Real men do not wear pastels and halter tops underneath suit coats, OK? Not even if they are 6'3" and 270 pounds.

Then Henry enters. Blah, blah, blah, and I just assume that since nothing he's done in the preceding 9 years and 10 months of his ludicrously over-valued WWF/E contract was interesting, this wouldn't be either. So I FF'ed and didn't feel an ounce of guilt. 

Both contracts got signed, then Henry flung the clipboard at Batista's face to be a jerk, and Batista (limited by Teddy Long's edict) couldn't retaliate against Henry, so Batista retaliated against the contract-signing-table instead. As Batista raged against the interior decorating, Henry left with a smirk on his face.  Whee?

It's right around here when I noticed that the announcers were going out of their way to NOT mention Saturday Night's Main Event (to the point of it sounding like there were audio edits that referenced "Saturday Night" but axed out the "main event" part).... it's one thing for UPN to not want to mention NBC by name, but c'mon, isn't this a bit ludicrous? UPN isn't even on the air on Saturday nights, for fuck's sake! And I don't know what's on CBS or the other key Viacom channels, but since it's summer I'm guessing it's "reruns," so what the hell is going on here? Pure jerkishness? I guess now I have to relax my "brand-priority" bitching about SNME, if SD! wasn't even allowed to mention the show, much less preview it or show a single chyron for it...


Bobby Lashley vs. Fit Finlay (US Title Match)

Given how recently Lashley debuted and how recently Finlay returned to action, this is actually a fairly long-standing feud... they crossed paths early in their SD! careers, and though the context has changed, they're still going at it. And I don't mind. They suit each other.

To wit: the opening minutes were slow and basic, which benefits both men, as Lashley is still green, and Finlay is renowned as a mentor/teacher-type who brings the young lads (and lasses) along in their development by teaching them the basics of credible-looking early-match mat wrestling. And that's what this was: perhaps not thrilling, but certainly crisp and credible in a way that certain other unnamed young stars are incapable of performing. Ended when Lashley made a big strongman comeback and just manfully tossed Finlay out of the ring to lead us to some....


Back, and Finlay's still working the fairly simplistic offense, and Lashley's still working a few simplistic hope spots, and it's actually clicking relatively well, even if in an unspectacular way.

Finlay's edge ends when he gets cocky and tries a second-rope move, and Lashley catches him. Big rally for Black Lesnar at that point.... and after taking the brunt of the punishment for a few minutes, Finlay decides to powder out, and hits ringside, where he starts throwing chairs into the ring at Lashley.

Needless to say, this distracts both Lashley AND the ref, so Finlay eventually decides to get back in the ring to continue the match, and to grab his Irish Nightstick (sorry, my PC still doesn't have "shuh-lay-lay" in its spellchecker).... but with the ref distracted, Lashley counters that and grabs the Nightstick, sending it flying about 20 rows deep into the audience. Robbed of his weapon, Finlay must improvise.... so he goes back to the chairs he tossed into the ring.

While the ref gets busy dealing with a few of the chairs, Finlay starts brawling with Lashley.... which is when the Leprechaun (or "Little Bastard") popped up from under the ring to toss a back-up Irish Nightstick into the ring. Finlay grabbed it, whacked Lashley, and the ref turned around just in time to crown a new champ.

Your Winner, and NEW US Champion: Fit Finlay, via pinfall, in about 10-12 minutes. Not a bad match at all given where Lashley's at in his progression. And a very nice showcase for why Finlay is sort of undervalued, if you ask me. Remember: 10 months ago, I said (before he even re-debuted) that he'd be a guy who you'd get a bit of secondary-title value out of.... I never thought he'd necessarily WIN the secondary title but I consider all those obnoxious e-mails I got last October questioning my endorsement of Finaly's return to be fully and well farted upon at this point. They were probably from the same tards who spent the better part of a year telling me I was being massively unfair to Chris F. Masters and wasn't respecting his clear Star Potential. You know: I never get tired of being right all the time..... 


No Sale

Nine vapid bimbos enter, nine vapid bimbos leave. Hey, is it possible to vote Miz off the island? No? Why not?!??!!?

The eight non-Miz girls all run a little obstacle course thing, and much to my amusement, the least-wang-i-fying one and the one who doesn't speak English are the two who display the most athletic ability. Oh, the ironing.

And can somebody explain to me why the fuck one of them wasn't eliminated already? If we're running this stupid thing on BOTH shows, then the eliminations should happen twice as quickly so as to reduce my agony..... two useless whores eliminated per week equals Diva Search Completed by Early August! 

[Then again: I tried watching the first week of "Rock Star" earlier this month -- remember from last year, it's the show *I INVENTED* so I'm allowed to be semi-intrigued by it! -- and wanted to just vote four-fifths of the cast off on the first night because it was retarded to try to convince America (or the band) that most of those tools and toolettes could credibly front a band that's gonna look/sound like what I assume a Metallica/GnR/Crue supergroup is gonna look/sound like. Maybe I just don't "get" Reality Programming and how it manages to prey on the uncertainties of the certifiably retarded by stretching things out and convincing them that clearly-impossible outcomes might actually be possible by only eliminating one obviously-unqualified candidate per week?]

Anyway, since so far all 8 of these chicks seemed equally unqualified to contribute to my Wrestling TV Shows, that's all the recapping I'm doing of this shit. Except: for the second recap in a row, I think what I just did about the Diva Search probably can't, technically, be counted as "recapping" at all. 


PPV Hype: they run the line-up for the Bash, but again, nary a mention of SNME.... I'm here, damned well at dawn and with a fifth of whiskey in me, to bet you that if SNME does another sub-4 rating, you'll see lame-ass rumors in lesser wrestling "periodicals" about how Vince is blaming Viacom/UPN for not letting him hype the show on SD!.... because that's just how Vince rolls. Like an insecure, clueless fuckwit.

William Regal vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Guest Commentating

Regal and Mysterio both make their entrances for the main event, and then Booker T and Sharmell hit the ringside area to join Mitchell and JBL for guest commentary.... and then since this has clearly been too much entertainment for us since we were last befouled by commercial advertising, this is deemed the appropriate spot for our final....


Rey Mysterio vs. William Regal

Back, and the match has begun, and replays show that Booker-related chicanery has given Regal the early edge. Or the Late Edge if you're paying attention to your DVR clock, and have realized there's less than 5 minutes to go in the broadcast at this point..... would I lose all credibility with you if I jested that it's interesting that for the second week in a row, the Big Show will be involved in the best and longest match of the week?

Anyway, time-compression aside, Regal's relatively basic offensive ends when he tries to toss Rey out of the ring, but Rey skins the cat, and gets back on the apron and fires back with shoulders-to-the abdomen and a sunset flip.... from here, the brief rally is on. Biggest spots included near falls after a split legged moonsault (yay!) and a bronco buster (ewwwww).

Of course, with Rey rallying, Booker decided it was time to get involved. After one of Rey two best near-falls, Booker started towards the ring apron, but Rey picked him off with a baseball slide. Regal tried to capitalize on the distraction, but failed, as Rey immediately countered into a (619) and then hit a springboard splash for the pinfall.

Your Winner: Rey Mysterio, via pinfall, in about 8 minutes (counting the part that took place during the ad break; but we really only got about 5 minutes of action after that). A little bit short and underwhelming as a main event, but it's nice to see Rey being booked as a crafty and capable champion for once. And I say that as a fan of William Regal (a BIG fan), but at some point, the good of the company has to come ahead of the good of your personal favorites, so I think this is the right play. I just can't believe that putting Rey over Regal comes after months worth of putting worthless choades like Khali and Henry over Rey..... this is still "too little, too late" for Rey, but I think that with a couple more months of at least trying to make Rey look non-sucky, they can stretch him out to drop the title directly to Batista (if they go with that potentially-cool storyline), while still leaving the option open for them to use Booker as the transitional champion to Batista (if they opt for the more lazy-man approach).

Not an awful show, but certainly loaded with a few awful moments, and plenty of odd quirks, so as to render it far from a Complete Two Hour Broadcast. More thoughts and analysis, if they be required, on Monday from The Me. But now: me wanty bed!


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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