Smackdown 2006 Project: No Way Out 2006
Cruserweight Open - No Way Out 2006
This was a nine man match for Gregory Helms' Cruserweight Championship. This match basically consisted of a bunch of flips and Gregory Helms eating almost everyone's finisher. I'm not going to write too much about this match because so much happened that I can hardly remember it all, much less put it all into words. This match was basically your typical WWE Cruserweight match where some entertaining stuff happened but at the end of the day, it was just "fine." I wouldn't say that this match is anything worth going out of your way to see but for an opener, this was perfectly fine.
JBL vs. Bobby Lashley - No Way Out 2006
There was no real formal ring introductions for this match, as Lashley made his way to the ring to save Krystal from Finlay, while JBL made his entrance while Lashley was fighting with Finlay. Sadly for JBL, Lashley had already given Finlay a belly-to-belly suplex and was ready for JBL by the time he entered the ring. Lashley dominated the opening portion of the match until JBL tossed Lashley out of the ring, which allowed JBL to go on the attack for a control segment that seemed to last forever. Lashley made his comeback and during this comeback, JBL suffered a nasty cut near his eye which was probably caused by one of Lashley's punches. Finlay would make his return to ringside and tossed TONY CHIMEL in the ring, which caused a long enough distraction for Finlay to hit Lashley with his shaleighleigh to give JBL the victory. This match was fine outside of the long JBL control segment. It's not something that I would ever watch again though.
Matt Hardy and Tatanka vs. MNM - No Way Out 2006
I didn't want to watch this match at first but I decided that I might as well since it was the only match (outside of Booker/Benoit) that I didn't plan to watch on this show. Much like the Cruserweight match, I don't have much to say about this match outside of saying that I didn't enjoy it that much. It was fine when Matt Hardy was in but it dragged when Tatanka was in. Tatanka put Mercury away with a Samoan Drop and thankfully ended this match. On the bright side, I'm only one match away from being able to watch Orton/Mysterio and Angle/Undertaker.
Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - No Way Out 2006
This match ended up going about five minutes too long. The match itself was fine and I enjoyed some of the action, such as Booker playing possum in an attempt to kill Benoit's momentum, Booker bringing back the Houston Hangover, and the finish. Outside of those moments though, the match ended up being pretty dull, especially the middle portions. Had they cut this match by about five minutes, it could have ended up being pretty decent which also would have forced them to cut out the dull portions of the match. Considering who was involved, I expected a bit better.
Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio - No Way Out 2006
Randy Orton was a complete prick to start the match, as he out-wrestled Mysterio to start and then slapped Mysterio in the back of the head, which was basically Orton telling Mysterio: "you're my bitch." Mysterio doesn't take too kindly to this, as Mysterio comes back and makes Orton his bitch by taking him down with his quick and hard-hitting offense. This quick spurt by Mysterio didn't stop Orton from acting like a cocky prick, as he quickly went back to being his arrogant self after he got back on the advantage. Perhaps the pinnacle of Orton's "prickness" in this match was after Mysterio tried to jump onto Orton on the outside of the ring, but Orton grabbed Mysterio and swung Mysterio into the steel ring post in a cool spot. Afterwards, Orton rolled into the ring and did his Legend Killer pose, which got a good amount of heat from the crowd and Tazz calling him a "son of a bitch."
Orton would then work on Mysterio's left arm, which was one of Mysterio's body parts that hit the ring post. During this period of the match, Mysterio would get in a few shots on Orton but outside of that, Orton would stay on the attack. At one point, Orton put Mysterio's injured arm on the steel ring steps and stomped on it. After the did that, a concerned fan said: "Come on Randy, he's a midget~!" I howled with laughter at that comment. Mysterio would make his comeback a few minutes later, which is always an entertaining portion of Mysterio matches. I really liked the spot when Orton was about to launch for the RKO but Mysterio caught him with a dropkick instead. The finish was great as well, as Orton won in a prickish way (just like how he had been acting the entire match) and it kept Mysterio looking strong despite the loss. Tazz uttering "son of a bitch" after Orton won made me snicker, as did most of the slander Tazz and Michael Cole directed towards Randy Orton on commentary. In conclusion, THIS MATCH WAS AWESOME~!
The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle - No Way Out 2006
Currently, the previous Orton/Mysterio match is my 2006 MOTY but that may not last long, as I've heard GREAT things about this match. Hell, I've even seen ***** ratings for it. Let's see if this match lives up to the hype.
The opening ten minutes or so was spent on both men working on specific body parts of their opponent, with Undertaker focusing on Angle's arm while Angle (rightfully) focused on Undertaker's leg. Angle gets a lot of shit for his psychology but in this match he was just fantastic. His leg work on Undertaker is brutal (in a good way) and he shockingly works on the same leg the entire match. At one point in the match, Angle put the ankle lock on the Undertaker on the outside of the ring not once, but twice in an attempt to destroy Taker's ankle.
The climax in this match was also top notch. It all started with Angle giving Undertaker the Angle Slam through the Spanish announce table. Referee Nick Patrick was about to count Undertaker out when Angle stopped him at a count of nine by telling him "I'm going to beat this motherfucker in the ring. This is bullshit." He then let out a giant roar and that was when you knew it was on~! They then kept reversing each other's moves, which was awesome as hell watching and probably would have been even more awesome (if it is possible) had I been watching this live and not known the outcome. Both Angle and Taker kicked out of each other's signature moves, with Taker kicking out of an Angle Slam and Angle kicking out of a choke slam. Hell, I was marking out and I knew exactly who was going to win!
This match was nearly reaching GOAT-status (at least when it comes to WWE matches) until the end came, which I wasn't a fan of. I understand that they needed to keep both men strong going into Wrestlemania but if they were going to have this sort of finish to such a great match, they needed to have a rematch where we end up having a clear winner. It's a small complaint though, as this match was just nearly thirty minutes of pure greatness. They should have had Taker/Angle II at Wrestlemania instead of the Taker/Henry casket match and Angle/Mysterio/Orton triple threat.
Nothing is going to top this match when it comes to deciding what will be on the top of my list when I finish this Smackdown 2006 project. THIS will be #1 and I don't think it will even be close. Kudos to both of these men.
: This was a two match show basically, with both Orton/Mysterio and Taker/Angle both being awesome. The rest of the card, however, never got past the "average" stage in terms of quality. On a six match card though, that is fine since two of the matches were **** or higher. Benoit/Booker, while boring in parts, was fine and didn't really harm anything. Lashley/JBL could have been worse and the Cruserweight Open was fine. The only real stinker on the card was the tag match but it was somewhat short and it was only one blemish on an otherwise pretty good show.
EDIT- I haven't watched much Old School Pro Graps, but from what I've seen it's pretty good. I love me some Old School RIC FLAIR~!
But yeah, I find it hard to watch something that happened before 1984 mostly. When you factor in the poor quality the match is probably in and the fact you probably have no idea why the two are fighting, it's hard to get into it. I'd love to be able to enjoy BACKLUND in his prime but it'll be pretty hard for to do so.