I was at the Velocity/Smackdown taping tonight in Jacksonville, Florida. Thought I’d write in and see if you guys can use my thoughts. I didn’t catch every wrestler’s name on Velocity, but the rest should be good.
There was a dark match before Velocity. Two Jacksonville wrestlers I’d never heard of took on two other wrestlers I’d never heard of. Needless to say, crowd was hot for the locals, who actually looked half decent from what I saw. They looked like identical twins, and the crowd at one point started a Goldberg chant cause they looked like him. That was pretty funny. Needless to say, locals won.
Nunzio and Big Vito come out to Nunzio’s entrance music (can’t Big V get his own?), Vito faces Stephen Richards. Big V gets the win when Nunzio interferes. Lots of ECW chants from the crowd.
Hardcore Holly vs. Steve Menecit(sp). Hardcore Holly was great and the crowd was totally into him. Definitely a squash match, but Holly was very entertaining. Holly gets the pin.
Paul London vs. Brian Kendrick (formerly known as Spanky, I believe) For some reason I forgot to jot down the winner her. Pretty sure Paul London won in a pretty entertaining match up.
Doug “The Bashman” Basham (I’m not making that up, that’s what it said on screen) vs. Michael Patrick (who came on while London was still making his exit. Oops!). Total squash match. Basham wins easily.
Super Crazy of the Mexicools vs. Nunzio (haven’t we seen that entrance video already?). Non-title match, which I’m pretty sure Super Crazy won. Crowd was into the Mexicools.
Did we really just have five matches on Velocity? How’d that happen?
Smackdown, from Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Heidenreich of LOD vs. Joey Mercury of MNM. Good match, crowd goes wild when LOD comes out, lots of LOD chants during the match. Heidenreich wins.
Dumb backstage scene with Teddy Long and one of the UPN Network guys. They bs for a bit and Network guy books Diva match for later in the show with Christy Hemme vs. Stacy Keibler. Stupid segment.
Cowboy Bob Orton comes out to introduce none other than Randy Orton. Randy comes out to decent applause to promote the Undertaker Retirement Fund. Randy says he’ll fight Rey Mysterio later in the show. Both Ortons leave.
Interesting segment with Benoit being interviewed backstage. Interviewer says how impressive Benoit’s 25.5 second win over Orlando Jordan was at SummerSlam. Benoit says he can do more than just wrestle in 25.5 seconds. Start the clock, Benoit pees and comes back out before the 25.5 are up. Then says he’ll beat O.J. again tonight.
Orlando Jordan vs. Chris Benoit. O. J. taps out at 23.4 secs. Perhaps the Chief of Staff needs a new job, what with JBL on Raw.
Ok, really weird angle. Stacy Keibler and Christy Hemme come out for Diva match. Bell rings, they move to start, when Sylvan Grenier’s music comes on. Sylvan comes out and says he’s a handsome dude. Hardcore Holly comes out, tells Sylvan that he, like all other guys in the arena, just wants to watch two hot chicks, and that Sylvan should exit the premises. Holly smacks Grenier, Grenier leaves. Then, Hardcore, Christy, and Stacey pose in the ring, and all three leave. Huh? Hardcore makes a save to ensure a match that doesn’t happen even though the network guy promised it would? What? I hope they cut this from Smackdown. Holly gets a nice pop, but the scene was just dumb. Take a pee break during this one, folks.
Christian’s entrance music on, he starts to come down to ring. This interrupted by us going backstage to more of Teddy Long and network guy, who are making matches for next week’s first Smackdown on Friday. JBL vs. Batista in a Bullrope match. Benoit vs. OJ again, LOD vs. MNM, and Eddie vs. Rey in a Steel cage match. (Is it me, but can’t they come up with anything else than bringing JBL back to a Smackdown show? Thought we’d gotten rid of him.) Long peeved when the network guy books matches without consulting him.
Back to Christian’s entrance as he walks down to join the announcers. One of the refs pretends to do a Flair strut, announcer tells him not to, crowd gives a few whoos just for the heck of it. This happens throughout the night.
Booker T. vs. Ken Kennedy. In a funny move, Kennedy takes the mic from the announcer and announces himself for the match. Not bad if I do say so myself, but then he says to Booker, Can You Dig THAT, sucka? Booker not too pleased. Audience was HOT for Booker T who had Sharmell by his side. Kennedy gets the win, when Christian distracts Booker.
Simon Dean comes out, hypes The Simon System sports drink. Says Batista himself uses The Simon System, that’s why he won the World Title. Enter Batista to thundering ovation. Batista says he honestly can’t remember whether he’s tried it, asks to try some. Simon gives him a drink. Batista pumps up a bit, tells Simon it works, he (Batista) feels stronger and more powerful. Also feels more aggressive, bell rings and Batista wipes the floor with Simon Dean. Towards the end Batista has a few more of The Simon System sports drink, which gives him the extra boost necessary to finish Simon off. This match and scene were absolutely hysterical, one of the funniest WWE scenes I’ve ever seen. This match alone was worth the price of admission! (After Batista leaves ring announcer asks for round of applause for Simon Dean – er?).
Paul Birchall and William Regal vs. Funaki and Scotty Too Hotty. Birchall and Regal win a pathetic match. This was painful to watch. Crowd into Scotty, could’ve cared less about the other three. This was total filler, and bad filler at that. Make this a definite bathroom break. Loudmouth guy in stands behind me yells out Boo this Brit! That got the biggest pop of the match!
Sadistic Eddie Guerrero promo. Eddie filmed behind a steel cage. Eddie talks about his wife betraying him, losing Dominic, in short Eddie’s lost everything. And it’s his own fault cause he gave Rey a chance to win. Next week in steel cage he won’t make that mistake again. Ends with asking Rey how you beat someone who has already lost everything?
Randy and Bob Orton come out. Randy vs. Rey in a long match. Orton pokes fun of Rey’s height. Couple of funny moments during the match, including Orton chasing Rey around the ring (unsuccessfully) and Rey doing Orton’s pose from the top rope. Cowboy Bob interferes a few times, Orton with the win.
Post-match (and presumably rest not shown on Smackdown) RKO takes mike and says Where’s Taker. Taker doesn’t show (unless I’m mistaken, wasn’t the main event for tonight advertised at Taker and Rey vs. Orton and Eddie? Or did I make that up? Taker a no show and Eddie gets a backstage scene. Interesting). Batista comes out to yet another thunderous ovation, and Batista and Orton get it on! Crowd solidly behind Batista, who wins to end the night in Jacksonville. Great match, several funny moments including Cowboy Bob falling backwards off the ring apron and Batista doing the chicken dance in the ring when RKO stepped out for a bit to get a hug from his daddy. Again, great match. Orton is fabulous in the ring, plays really well off the crowd and has great mic work. Batista poses for a bit to end the night.
Great crowd, decent booking, with the exception of the over-hyped yet non-existent Diva match and the boring Bertram/Regal vs. Funaki/Scotty match. Batista vs. Dean was unreal, as was Batista vs. RKO. All in all a good night of rasslin’ from Jacksonville.
Interesting note – I bought an official souvenir program, which has not been updated with the draft changes. That was how long ago?