|WWE in Phoenix
|Guest columnist: Shane Spear
America West Arena
Well, I made it to my first show in a long time. It was a really good show, and fans of Smackdown will have another feather in their proverbial cap after Thursday. There was no one single match that was as good as Edge/Eddie or Edge/Angle last night, but the show was very balanced and the angle even seemed to be well thought out and planned more than one week in advance. Perish the thought! Here's the rundown...
On Velocity (or Dark Match,) Shannon Moore defeats some guy with a big green "V" on his shorts. Mr. V-locity dominates most of the match, but eventually Shannon hits a roll-up with his feet on the ropes. I guess he's a heel now. Does this mean he can team with Matt Hardy (version 1) again?
Next up is the tag team combo of Bull Buchanan and Shelton Benjiman. They end up losing to Val Venis and Bill Dupont (or Delmonte or Delbert or whatever...HUGH MORRIS) after a top rope flying elbow from Bill. Bill's new Titantron features loads of Tough Enough III clips and even has his name in the TE cinder block. Also interesting to note that his music was played instead of Val's.
"Click Click Boom" plays for Michael Cole & Mark Lllloyd. We then get our pyro and Velocity is offically underway.
Chuck Palumbo is out next to fight Ron Simmons. Both of them have brand new titantrons and muzac. Billy & Chuck's music message is "We're really not gay...listen to our heavy metal and look as us hang out with Torrie." In the end, Chuck misses a Jungle Kick and eats a spinebuster to be pinned.
Next out is Chavo and his excellent WCW/LWO music to face Crash. He got the best reaction of everybody in my section. Chavo chants were frequent and loud. He didn't need to cheat to beat Crash. Brainbuster was the finish.
Next out is Albert, who is the first wrestler we get to actually hear from. He proclaims himself the number one Velocity prisoner. He says he wants to beats up an announcer and starts to threaten Michael Cole, but out comes FUNAKI! SMACKDOWN #1 ANNOUNCER! Funaki has a hard hitting question. Why don't you shave your back? This naturally set off all the "Shave Your Back" chants we needed. Albert pretty much squashed poor Funaki, although Funaki did sneak in the newest submission...the back hair hold. Eventually however it was Balbo Bomb city and Funaki saw the lights.
Velocity signs change to Smackdown(!)
!!Phoenix X-Clusive!! Matt Hardy talks to us on screen to trash our local teams and remind us that if the D-Backs had some Mattitude they wouldn't have been swept. He helpfully holds up a broom in case we didn't get it. After telling us to get a Mattitude adjustment, the interview is over. I'm sure this was just to make sure that Matt gets enough boos to drown out the squeeeeels.
Last week on Smackdown - Brock F-5's Taker onto the BRUTAL POPCORN and follows up with the vicious slam onto the cotton candy! Then we get the horror of a clothesline on a solid Sealy Mattress. Oh, I guess he broke his hand too...(By the way, Stephanie still does the repeat-repeat-repeat Max Headroom thing)
Taker is in some parking lot waiting for Brock Lesnar to show up.
We open Smackdown with Matt Hardy (version 1 - in person) who goes to the footage to show us his pinfall win over Taker last week. After bragging with his back to the screen for a few minutes, we're shown Undertaker walking to the ring backstage. Matt finally notices and begs Taker not to comes out, otherwise he'd have to kick his ass again. He still comes out. Matt knocks him with the mike about four good times before Undertaker takes charge. Into the stairs outside and into the ring bell. Refs try to separate the two but Taker scares them off. While distracted, Matt pulls out a chair and slams Taker in the back with him. Taker (left hand) soupbones the chair back into Matt's face. Still fighting on the outside, Taker swings for Matt's head with his cast hand but hits steel post instead. Matt takes his leave at this point while refs comes out to help Taker but are chased away.
SD Match #1: Eddie Guerrero (w/Chavo) d. Rikishi (submission)
Eddie sadly gets many "Eddie sucks" chants throughout the match. SIGN: "I picked up Eddie and Chavo at Circle K." The ending comes after Eddie falls in stinkface mode. Rikishi goes for it, but is distracted by Chavo. He drags Chavo in and squashed both Guerreros into the corner. Double stinkface! Afterwards, Eddie grabs a chair but is caught by Rikishi. While the ref gets rid of Eddie's chair, Chavo runs in with a chair. Again he's caught by Rikishi. Rikishi goes after Chavo but Eddie has picked up Chavo's chair and hits Rikishi in the leg with it. Then he puts in something that looks like a step-over toehold, but I could be wrong. Whatever it was, Rikishi tapped.
Backstage, Torrie was suckered into another lingerie match tonight with Dawn Marie. She trades formalities with her father and he go to commercial.
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Also backstage, Benoit and Angle stare at each other until Stephanie starts yelling at them and remind the two about how if they come to blows they will be suspended for one year. She lays down that she wants the best tag team division becuase Smackdown deserves it. Angle throws out a zinger about Benoit missing teeth and brain cells. Benoit counter with his fake laugh and tells Angle to just shut up and follow his lead tonight.
Still backstage (3), Rey gets a word with Funaki. Misterio only gets a chance to do the hometown city cheap pop before Nidia comes up and starts hitting on him in Spanish. So they're talking in Spanish for the next two minutes while the crowd yells "WHAT?" most of the time. I'm informed by a Mexican seatmate that the gist of it was that Misterio would rather fuck a walking dog in the middle of the street than Nidia.
So Nidia leaves all dejected and stuff when Jamie Noble runs into her and they start screaming at each other for whatever reason. They finally start screaming loud enough to get thrown out of the building by security.
STILL Backstage (4), Eddie and Chavo congratulate themselves and talk about next week's tag team tourney match. Benoit comes out of the GM room and Eddie asks if he got in trouble with the principal. Benoit reminds the Guerreros about the one year stipulation on his head. Eddie recalls hearing a rumor that Angle was thinking about taking a year off to train for the olympics in 2004. He tells Benoit to watch out, because if Angle is going down, he'll probably take Benoit with him. Angle then walks out of the GM room. Angle: "What's up Homeslice?"
SD! Match #2: Benoit & Angle d. Cena & Kidman (Submission)
There were two moments where Benoit and Angle "accidently" hit each other while trying to hit someone else. There were also a few blind tags, but it's all to be expected. Benoit kicks out of both the Shooting Star Press and whatever Kidman calls the X-Factor. Eventually Kidman eats an Angle slam. Angle pulls the straps down and gets the Ankle Lock in. Meanwhile a cluster of Cena and Benoit spill over into Angle, knocking him out of the ring. Benoit is left with Kidman, puts the Crossface in, and gets the win.
Next, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman brock out some lady who accuses Undertaker of sleeping with her for the past few months and never telling her he was married. She wasn't a wrestling fan, but thought that Undertaker was a good person. Taker comes out to avenge his honor (I guess.) The woman goes on and on until she calls him the forbidden name of Mark. Then Taker grabs the mike and says that he has no idea who she is. Unknown lady slaps him one and leaves with Brock and Paul.
After commercials, Brock is told by Steph that he can't leaves because he has a match. Heyman goes nuts over this news, but eventually is promised that is Undertaker interferes, he loses his title shot. Jamie Noble has been ejected, so Brock with be subbing for him in a tag tourney match with Tajiri against Rey Rey and Edge.
SD! Match #3: Billy (w/Chuck & New Manly Music) d. D-Von (w/Ron) (pinfall)
Not much to say here. The crowd was pretty much spent by this point. The ending came after a fameasser was blocked by Ron on the outside. Chuck hits Ron with the jungle kick on the outside. On inside, D-Von goes for the Saving Grace, but it's reversed and Billy hits the fameasser for the three count.
Backstage, Undertaker argues with his wife on his cell phone. Sara eventually hangs up on him.
Tazz takes time out to greet everybody in the ring. He mentions how Phoenix is hot, so we get some hot tomatoes in the lingerie match later. Then he yells at some guy with a "Shut Up Tazz" sign, telling him to hit the bricks. The cameraman asks him who's going to win the Giants-Cardinals series. That may have gotten the biggest heat of the night.
Back to backstage. Chavo run-limps over to Benoit telling him that Angle attacked Eddie for talking behind his back. Benoit follows Chavo to the locker room. Benoit goes in, and we don't see any action, but rather are treated to Chavo's comic stylings as he listens to the carnage inside. After all the noises have died, Chavo peeks in to see if anybody is still there. Eddie comes out of the room with a bent chair. Alone. We don't see Benoit or Angle the rest of the night.
Backstage. Torrie and her Dad get one final segment before the showdown tonight. Torrie pretty much just asks her father to leave. He's about to when Dawn Marie shows up to display herself for him again. SHe makes a bad Twin Peaks jokes. Be warned.
SD! Match(?) #4: Torrie d Dawn Marie (dumbass audience decision)
As Tazz points out, at least she got a few cheers in Phoenix, after being booed out last week. Dawn goes for the Hand of Friendship but Torrie does the old "last second hand in the air fake out".
Backstage, Brock gives Sara a call. Brock says that he's sorry about what Undertaker did. Sara has no idea this is Brock so he tells her. She hangs up. Brock and Paul yuk it up.
SD! Match #5: Edge & Rey Misterio d Brock Lesnar & Tajiri (pinfall)
Edge defends himself well against Brock, earning him the cheers of the night. Brock goes outside to throw a temper tantrum. Rey Rey comes in and they try comes move where Rey goes under Brock and tries to flip him over. It doesn't work and looks like crap so they try again. Again, something goes worng and it doesn't work so Brock just slams him down. There we go, that's working. Tajiri comes in and cinches in a sleeper. Rey works his way out but get into the ropes in a taranchula. Tajiri misses the kick of death and hits a dropkick in Rey's face. Tajiri goes on for a while until Rey is outside and hits a sunset flip into a headscissors on the inside. Hot tag to Edge, and he disposes of Tajiri easy enough with a face plant. Edge duck another kick of death try and hits the Edge-o-Matic. Onto Brock. Crossbody once. No budge. Again? Nope. Brock tries a punch. Edge ducks, goes off the ropes and finally hits the crossbody. Tajiri is up and tries ONCE MORE for the kick of death, but hits Brock instead by accident. Brock stumbles around and is doubled dropkicked out by Rey and Edge. Tajiri rushes blindly into the droptoehold from Edge. Tajiri's head is hanging on the ropes. 6. 1. 9. Tajir is dazed, so here's a spear. 3 count. Rey and Edge move on in his bracket-less tourney.
After the match, Rey tries to springboard himself over onto Brock, but is caught. Double back breaking and Rey is tossed back into the ring. Brock goes into the ring and F-5's Tajiri. Then he does the same to Rey. (I don't know what Edge was doing...)
The Undertaker comes out and wails on Brock for a while. Finally he hits him with the cast hand, hurting himself enought for Brock to run away.
In the end, Tajiri runs away and Rey Rey walks away, but Edge and Taker hang out to point out different signs and pose for the crowd. Eventually Edge gets a mike and asks Taker about the Taker-rooni. Taker rolls his eyes and leaves while trying not to laugh too much.
Edge calls Arizona Diamondback Luis Gonzalez into the ring, arm sling and all. Edge dusts off the old "Five Second Pose" for one night only. Whichever side of the arena was the loudest would get the pose. Naturally, all the sides won and we all got a pose of Edge swinging a bat and Gonzo flexing with his good arm while the crowd chanted "Gonzo Gonzo!"
All in all, like I said, it was a good night. One word of note, there was no Smackdown pyro, so pay attention to see if there's any on the show, becuase if there is, it wasn't from Phoenix tonight.