SmackDown: The Best of 2005
It was another banner year for the SmackDown brand. During the year, SmackDown became the force that is changing television on Friday nights. SmackDown went from bodyslamming the competition on Thursday nights to bringing in some of UPN's highest Friday night ratings ever after the big move. Then again, when looking back at what an action-packed year 2005 was, it's no wonder it was such a successful year for the SmackDown brand.
Batista has dominated SmackDown ever since coming over to SmackDown in the Draft Lottery in June. This week's SmackDown took a look back at the World Heavyweight Champion's rise to dominance. Batista reached the top of the mountain at WrestleMania 21 when he defeated Triple H for the gold, and SmackDown took a special look back at this epic clash.
It was also a huge year for JBL. The self-proclaimed Wrestling God started to become a dominant force on SmackDown in 2004, and he just continued full-steam ahead in 2005. He became the longest running champion in more than 10 years, and he declared himself to be Mr. SmackDown. He was even the focal point of a "Celebration of Excellence." SmackDown took a look back at this unprecedented event.
Away from the ring, SmackDown and the entire WWE family was devastated by the untimely passing of Eddie Guerrero. Eddie was well-liked and respected by all of his peers, and the tragic news hit hard. Before Eddie's passing, he was one of the top performers on SmackDown. His friendship-turned-rivalry with Rey Mysterio captivated audiences almost all year long. Eddie and Rey started out as the best of friends and even won the WWE Tag Team Championship. But after suffering a few losses to Mysterio in friendly matches, Guerrero became obsessed with beating him. This led to a heated rivalry that produced some of the greatest matches of the year.
Chris Benoit and Booker T also had a great rivalry in 2005. In fact, it's one that still burns strong today. Benoit and Booker used to be considered close friends. But Benoit lost respect for Booker when he found out that Booker knew his wife, Sharmell, was cheating to help her man win matches. While it may not have been ethical, it led to Booker defeating Benoit for the U.S. Championship. The belt was soon held up, though, after a controversial finish to one of their matches. GM Theodore Long ordered a Best of Seven Series to determine an undisputed Champion, reminiscent of their WCW rivalry. Booker T is currently up 3-1, but you can never count out the Rabid Wolverine.
The Best of 2005 edition of SmackDown covered all of these huge moments and more including the huge rivalry between Randy Orton and Undertaker, SmackDown's dominance at Survivor Series and the debut of the bizarre Boogeyman.