Matt Hardy (Version One - Cameron, NC, 234 pounds) vs Shawn Evans (237 pounds, already in the ring) - Matt's favorite band is Pearl Jam - I think Mike got a new favorite wrestler. If he was watching this. He is assuredly not, for he is a wiser man than I. He was ALWAYS on the Honor Roll, as well, wow. Your announcers - oh no - your announcers are Ernest 'the Cat' Miller and Tough Enough 1's Josh Matthews - I don't know what I did, but I'd like to make a formal apology right now. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Anyway, I thought YOU told me he wasn't like and wasn't coming back? Way to get my hopes up. For fun, Josh's captioning is labels "Marc" - I'd ask if they fired him but I don't know who to believe anymore. Josh and Cat make me flash back to the salad days of Chris Leary in no time at all. Circle. Lockup. Armdrag by Matt. Cat still loves Matt's pants. V1! Josh: "Matt Hardy, oozing some Mattitude-" SHUT UP JOSH. He is not Razor Ramon. Lockup - Matt gets Evan in the corner and taunts - clean break. "We Want Jeff!" Does Cat know who Jeff is? Matt with a kick. Right. Headlock. Josh: "Crowd chanting we want Jeff. You know, that can't make Matt happy, Cat. [pause - waiting for Cat to get in] ...because Jeff's over on RAW." I didn't want to be right. Shawn trying to escape this headlock. I'm trying to escape my mind. Shawn is more successful - Matt shot in the ropes, back with a shoulderblock. Off the ropes, Shawn drops down, Matt goes for an elbow drop (hey, Mike would like that too) but Shawn rolls out of the way. Armbar, twist, Matt with rights. SHUT UP CAT. Whip, reversed into a Russian legsweep by Evans. Whip, reversed, Matt throws out Shawn. VERSION ONE. Matt out - right hand, apron smash. SHUT UP BOTH OF YOU. Back in the ring, Matt's doing elbow smashes. Right hands. Kicks. Korderas argues, but you can not argue with Version one. Choke around the ropes. Again, he's Version One. Choke on the middle rope. Version one - they want Jeff, so Matt taunts and does the running sit. "There's your Jeff!" Shawn with right hands, off the ropes, into aback elbow. Legdrop. Flapjack onto the top rope. They're mentioning Dawn on the Stern Show. Back suplex into an elbow driver one two NO. Right. Turnbuckle smash. Shawn loaded up on the top rope, facing out - back superplex? No, Shawn elbows him off. Shawn off the rope - cross body one two NO. Corner whip, reversed, Matt charges in but no one's home. Shawn with a kick - running Tornado DDT. Josh: "He calls that the Shockwave DDT, a version of the Tornado DDT!" Okay, I won't totally hate you if you're calling jobber finishers. One two NO. Whip, no reversed into the Side Effect. Called by Josh - wait, this gets better: "Now Matt, going to the second rope - going for the 'Downfall Raindrop'". hahahahahaahaha I'm sorry, I can't stop laughing. That's the second rope legdrop to us humans. Cat thinks it's over but Matt would like to do the double handsignal and wait for Shawn to get back up - kick yell Twist O' Fate one two three. (5:08) He's SO living for the moment.
Still to come (in 50 minutes or so) Billy Kidman vs Chavo Guerrero for the WWE Crusierweight Title in a rematch (unmentioned - well, they mention the tag team title match of Thursday so that's close.) Still to come, Angle looks for help.
SmackDown! Live Sunday - Ft. Lauderdale Monday - Sarasota Tuesday - Tampa Next Sunday - Tulsa, OK
Tough Enough clips (2:50)
Chuck Palumbo (268 pounds) vs Johnny Slaughter (220 pounds, already in the ring) - If you thought Josh would have something to say other than the normal script they have for Cole and Loyd, you'd be wrong. Josh hypes the Metroid "Win a dinner with a WWE Superstar" but sadly follows with "it could be Chuck Palumbo!" which kills all interest. Circle. Lockup, Johnny pushed into the corner. Johnny charges, and is pushed down. Chuck is strong, you know. Lockup - no, Johnny ducks under a forearm, off the ropes, into a back elbow. Cat wish DeMott was on TE1 so he could've beat the crap out of Josh. Suplex - ah, hanging suplex. "All the blood rushing to the head right now" - he's been watching Bulldog matches to prepare for this, I can tell. Chuck decides to show off by keeping Johnny up with only one arm - and now he's done. One two NO. Slam, no Johnny falls behind. Cat remembers he and Chuck were in WCW together! Right hand to the face by Johnny. He smirks about it and get knocked down. Johnny decides to go to the ropes to force a break. He won't keep going until he can get a cheap shot - kick is caught and Chuck hits a clothesline. Corner shoulders. Corner whip, and down goes Johnny. I'm pretty sure Johnny's not related. Corner whip, Johnny stays up even though Chuck did his selling of the full force corner whip - Chuck charges, Johnny moves and Chuck gets the corner post. Johnny whips him over, whip, reversed and Johnny hits a dropkick to the knee. Chuck is staying up because he's apparently some huge giant this match. Off the ropes, another dropkick to the knee. Right hand blocked, Chuck pushes him into the ropes, clothesline misses and Johnny clips him. Cover one two NO. Johnny tries a corner splash but he's caught - side belly to belly suplex by Chuck one two NO. Yelling at him to get up - enormously weak Johnny right is blocked - jab jab discus punch. Whip, big backdrop. Chuck waits for him to get to the corner, charges into a double boot. Johnny going to the top rope - 'rana try but Chuck kinda drops him into a powerbomb, gravity doing most of the work because Chuck didn't get a good hold of him, and Johnny's head bouncing hard off the canvas. Chuck tries to pull him up into a something - I guess just flips him to his feet to give him the overhead belly to belly suplex. Setting up - Jungle Kick one two three. (3:28) I guess he didn't get the memo? Maybe it's just the other show. Cat: "Chuck is the future of the WWE!" Oh no.
Still to come - hey, Josh remembered they fought two weeks ago now. Hey, maybe because Chavo pinned Kidman there, he's getting this title, that'd make sense. HMMM.
Up next, Angle and Big Show on SmackDown
Lugz Chokeslam of two weeks ago
Josh and Cat talk about the pending WWE Title match - Brock will be there, Cat: "He may be there with [Josh's] mom!" Anyway, here's the clips - this was good but Brock probably needed to get a word in more often even if Angle was the one carrying the whole segment. (9:37) Here's the title graphic - Cat really makes Josh seem good, I think I've figured.
SmackDown! #1 Announcer Funaki (Japan, 208 pounds) vs CG Afi (222 pounds, already in the ring) - hmm - I guess I should point out his green and red boots. Josh says Funaki is the ex-#1 announcer on SmackDown. Cat hypes Rock on Confidential - he does not blurt out "I'm reading this from a paper sitting in front of me, word for word" because it's already obvious. Circle, lockup, headlock by Afi. Off the ropes, shoulderblock and down goes Funaki. CG off the ropes, armdrag is blocked, CG tries his own, it's blocked, knee and cruiserweight flip out, Funaki misses a right hand, CG off the ropes and into an armdrag. That was along trip for nothing. Armdrag, drop toe hold [Josh: "Nice step over toe hold"], legdrop to the back of the head. Corner whip, reversed, Funaki jumps back into a dropkick. CG with a stomp to the head. Knee. Russian legsweep. Kneebreaker. Dragon screw leg whip - Japanese is good enough. Into a - Josh is stumped but I'd go with "half crab stretch muffler". At some point they switched over to "Josh" for his closed captioning, but the other guy is "Pat." Funaki trying to get to the ropes - he's in trouble. He's yelling, he's moving - he's got the ropes. Afi looks different with his hair pulled back into a ponytail like that but I haven't seen him in forever so maybe it's not a big deal to you. Afi pulls up one leg and gets a Funaki enziguri. This leads into a discussion about the Cat's red dancing shoes. Afi tires to charge Funaki in the corner - Funaki sidesteps, bulldog. They're run out of script for this match and it isn't pretty - whip, flapjack, clapping, dropkick to the head. Whip, Funaki misses a clothesline, bodyscissors - no, bodyscissors face first powerbomb. One two NO. Funaki isn't happy with that count. Corner whip, Afi goes to the second rope - Funaki runs into a boot - Afi pulls him up to by the hair but Funaki breaks free with a kinda jawbreaker (Afi says seated) - Iconclasm! one two three (3:31) this is where I point out I still don't like that move, though it looked better than other times. Of course Funaki uses a different finishing move each time. Funaki limps while celebrating because of the leg work, of course..
Still to come, Billy vs Chavo - hey, Josh, you're repeating yourself here. But up next, Torrie/Dawn
Armageddon: HBK/HHH x 3, Trish/Victoria/Miss Jackie, Edge/Albert, Jericho/Christian vs Regal/Storm vs Booker T/Goldust vs Dudleyz [the great part about the Cat doing this is that you can tell what Kevin Dunn or Jim Ross or whoever wrote out for them to say for these matches, because Cat reads the exact script (he'd be lost without it) and just play compare/contrast since they didn't bother to make a new one up for each show], Benoit/Guerrero [Josh is now just repeating Cole's lines for these matches, word for word, so maybe he wrote them out?], Kane/Batista, Angle/Show. And Dawn's home movie.
One more time: you say that everything's sounds the same/then you go buy them/there's no excuses my friend/let's push things forward. (3:06)
X-Box Tag Team Champions retain despite shotty refereeing of Thursday
WWE Tag Team Champion Chavo Guerrero (El Paso, TX, 213 pounds, 8) vs Thug Life Billy Kidman (Allentown, PA 215 pounds, 1) for the WWE Cruiserweight Title, 4th Title Defense - Kidman is wearing different tights - Chavo is not. Four title defenses in four weeks, he's a busy man. Josh mentions the Radicalz but not by name because half of 'em are important any more. Lockup, battle for leverage and it's Chavo forced in the corner, but a clean break. Cat: "You know, these two guys were friend too-" but Josh cuts him off before he has a chance to tell stories about WCW Tag Team Title tournaments of long ago. Or I'm assuming. Lockup, Chavo with a waistlock. Kidman with a waistlock, Chavo with an armbar takedown. Kidman bridges up, into a hammerlock. Chavo with a snap mare, off the ropes, into a hiptoss. Armdrag. Chavo out, Kidman out, Chavo in, Kidman up to the apron - Chavo's punch is blocked, Kidman's not. Slingshot headscissors. Chavo manages to leverage Kidman into a middle turnbuckle smash. Right no it's blocked and Kidman with punches and kick in the corner. Corner whip, reversed and Chavo drops him on the top rope. Chavo with a running - make that a walking dropkick to the head one two no. European uppercut. Back suplex. One two NO. Kidman kicking out at about 2.0 as opposed to 2.5 or 2.7. Stomping. Slam. Slapping his own chest. Is he going up? Nah, he'll just look at the fans. Chinlock, taking him down to the mat. Kidman drawing from the fans - elbow, elbow, right right off the ropes, into a knee lift. One two NO. Chavo pulls Kidman up to chop him. Kick to the midsection, kick, kick, kick. Chavo pushed out of the corner and Kidman back with kicks and right hands. Corner whip, Kidman charges into with a splash. but Chavo side steps. Chavo off the ropes but gets a dropkick. Kidman's transitions are annoying and non-existent at times. Kidman with a back elbow, backdrop. Corner whip, rebound clothesline one two no. Cat and Josh are talking about Cat's karate - Josh: "You've got your yellow belt by now, right?" Cat: "Hahaha - kid, I'm gonna kick your ass at ringside, you hear me." Rights. back suplex - Chavo lands behind, kick NO NO NO NO NO OH MY LORD THE POWERBOMB ACTUALLY WORKED one two NO! Chavo can't believe it and neither can I. Forearm to the back - slam Kidman reverses to a rollup one two no. Kidman kick is caught, enzugiri is not. Kidman dragging him into position, while Brian Hebner checks on Chavo - hey, it's Eddie Guerrero and he's pushing Kidman off the top rope. This is nearly the finish from the tag match - Chavo covers with the feet on the ropes - one two NO! That's backwards psychology there. Eddie was counting along and isn't sure why they didn't get to three. Forearms. Whip, Kidman slides into a dropkick on Eddie, ducks the Chavo clothesline - short powerbomb one two Eddie breaks it up (DQ 5:57) Eddie s goes to stomping - forearm upside the head and now Chavo's helping out. Boot choke. Kidman could use some help - yep, it's Chris Benoit - German Suplex for Eddie! Chavo gets in a forearm, waistlock, Benoit standing switch and a German for him! Guerreros make it out of the ring but Benoit's gonna stop them form doing anything else. "Are you LOCO?" Chavo and Eddie yell form the ramp while Benoit stares - that's all for tonight.
I think Josh is salvageable but is not near ready to carry the load at this point - with a (hopefully experienced) color commentator, his mistakes could be better covered. But the Cat...well, I guess the good sign is that during that first I thought about quitting this show if they came back for next week, but I'm not that sure about it anymore. I guess that's a really backhanded compliment but it's a compliment.
IWA Mid-South's first show of 2005 in Highland and of course I'll go. Not a big card tonight, none of the big-name indy fly-ins or anything, and the "draw" was New Jack. The rest of the show is just set up with solid matches.