Family tradition

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June 23, 2006

A helping hand never hurts, and for Rey Mysterio, a little help from Chavo Guerrero and his family playbook helped Rey retain the World Championship on SmackDown.

In the main event, Mysterio put his gold on the line against a man he has never beaten: the World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry. The last time they were in the ring together, the massive Henry destroyed Rey in a match he was goaded into by JBL. It seemed fitting that JBL was at ringside filling his new duty as color commentator, but in the end, it wasn’t quite the ending he wanted to see.

Earlier in the night, Chavo told Michael Cole that he knew Rey had his work cut out for him but that he had confidence that Rey would win…and that he wasn’t the only Guerrero who thought so. Throughout the match though, it looked like Chavo would have to eat his words. Henry dominated the World Champion, tossing him around almost at will and methodically pounding him down.

Late in the match, Henry pulled a turnbuckle pad off the corner. When referee Nick Patrick attempted to fix it, the World’s Strongest Man threw Mysterio into him to knock him unconscious. But as Henry then scooped Rey up to finish him of with the World’s Strongest Slam, Chavo ran to the ring with a chair to back up his words.

Henry shrugged off Chavo’s blow with the chair, but the distraction allowed Rey to nail Henry with a chair-assisted 619. Somehow, Henry was still able to catch Rey’s Seated Senton attempt, but Chavo clipped his knee out from under him. Seeing the referee recovering, Chavo bashed the chair against the ringpost and tossed it onto Henry, telling Rey to act as if he was hit. Chavo stole an old trick out of his late uncle Eddie Guerrero’s playbook, and it worked well for Eddie’s nephew and best friend on this occasion.

When Patrick stood up, he saw Henry with the chair and Rey on the mat; putting two and two together, Patrick disqualified the World’s Strongest Man. Chavo and Rey celebrated in the entrance aisle as an irate Henry bent the chair and stared them down; unfortunately, the show of strength was too little, too late for him as the champion had already lied, cheated and stolen his way to his first-ever victory over Henry.

It was another bad night for King Booker as well. Once again matched up against United States Champion Bobby Lashley, the King focused his attack on the still-injured left knee of the champion. Somehow, the hard-hitting Lashley kept finding the strength to come back from Booker’s methodical attack; in the end, however, the odds caused Lashley to snap.

First, William Regal got involved by nailing Lashley with a cheap shot. Finlay then also made his presence known, but the champion was able to fight off his attack. As Regal distracted the referee, Queen Sharmell gave her King a chair; Lashley was able to avoid his swing, grabbing the chair in the process. Regal then ran into the ring, but was met by a hard shot from Lashley. The champion then nailed King Booker as well to draw a disqualification, but he seemingly had no choice. Against what was basically a 4-on-1 attack, Lashley did what he had to do to protect himself.

He won’t have to worry about that next week, thanks to General Manager Theodore Long. While King Booker complained that he never wanted to step foot in the ring with “that peasant Lashley” again, Long gave an edict that the King disapproved of. Next week, the King and the United States Champion will meet one more time…inside a Steel Cage.

Earlier on SmackDown, Finlay was in a match of his own, coming out victorious over Gunner Scott. Prior to the match, Little Bastard made his presence known by throwing beer cans out from under the ring during Finlay’s entrance. And after a hard-hitting match, it was the little man who helped Finlay to victory as well.

The fighting Irishman went to look for the Little Bastard late in the match, but he ran into the ring from the other side carrying a large shillelagh instead. Not wanting to get disqualified, Finlay tackled him to prevent him from hitting Scott. As the referee dispatched of Little Bastard and the large shillelagh, Finlay grabbed a shillelagh of his own; just like he had the previous week, Finlay clocked Scott in the head with it and scored the pinfall.

SmackDown also saw the apparent implosion of the Mexicools. The duo had a chance to face Paul London & Brian Kendrick for the WWE Tag Team Championship, but they couldn’t seem to get on the same page at any point in the bout. The champions kept Psicosis isolated for most of the match, but when he was finally able to tag Super Crazy it looked like the challengers would take the gold home.

Instead, it was the beginning of the end. As Crazy climbed the ropes to attempt a moonsault on Kendrick, Psicosis made a blind tag. He then climbed the opposite corner, but when he missed a somersault legdrop Kendrick was able to cover him for the winning pinfall. Psicosis and Super Crazy then argued, with Crazy attacking his partner. For the past two weeks, Psicosis had abandoned Crazy as The Great Khali manhandled him, and after his actions on SmackDown it appears that Crazy has finally had enough. Have we seen the end of their partnership?

Speaking of The Great Khali, he made his presence felt as well. During a match pitting Tatanka against Simon Dean, it looked like the Native American Warrior was about to claim victory when Khali and Daivari made their entrance. The massive Khali quickly dispatched of Tatanka before dropping Simon with a devastating choke throw. With Dean down, Khali did the unthinkable; mocking Undertaker’s signature pinfall, Khali crossed the fitness guru’s arms across his chest and stuck out his tongue. The crowd firmly disapproved of the act, and wherever he may be I’m sure the Deadman did as well…but will he ever show his face again to do something about it?

Also on SmackDown, Mr. Kennedy…Kennedy also continued the roll he’s been on since returning to SmackDown by defeating Funaki. Thanks to the move Kennedy calls the Ken-ton Bomb, SmackDown’s No. 1 Announcer became just the latest victim of the man who is single-handedly changing Friday nights.

Vito also tried to invite SmackDown Diva Ashley to dinner, but it seemed as if Ashley thought the Sicilian may live another kind of alternative lifestyle. After denying that, the toughest man to ever wear a dress instead asked the drop-dead gorgeous Diva for some fashion and beauty tips.

In addition, Ambassador Sylvan once again tried to convince the great SmackDown fans to visit his home province of Quebec. As much as Sylvan may have been disliked in the past, I have to agree with his message, because in my opinion Montreal is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Where else can you blow your paycheck at numerous gentlemen’s clubs and blackjack tables and then drown your sorrows in a delicious plate of French fries and gravy? Oh yeah, Las Vegas. Sorry Sylvan, I’m staying in the States. 

And of course, we’re now less than two weeks away from the return of Batista, as the Animal will comes back to SmackDown on July 7 in Philadelphia. I’m glad I’ll be there, because after six months on the shelf you know the Animal will be amped up and ready to go in Philly.

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