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WWF Saturday Night's Main Event episode 33: John Cena vs. Edge, Sabu, Rey Mysterio, Batista, Undertaker

Ashley Massaro

By Josh Nason, WrestlingObserver.com

As much as I enjoyed the return episode of WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event following a 14-year break, this week’s follow-up effort gave me the exact opposite feeling: a shade of DX green.

The 33rd episode in our near year-long journey was the second of two SNME in 2006, the latest step toward the grave which I can see in the distance. By today’s standards, this show would be have received fairly well but it also felt like an episode of RAW or Smackdown you could see at any point over the last 10 years.

And maybe that’s the problem with today’s WWE and why fans like myself have eroded like sand on a beach. There’s nothing distinct about 2006 like there was in 1986 or 1987 or even 1990. Even in 2006, the product feels the same as it does in 2015: overthought and over-processed.

How’s that for an intro to get you to keep reading, huh?

If you’re new to these reviews, it’s a weekly journey through every episode of WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event on the WWE Network. You’ve missed a lot, so dig back through our archives to catch up on what you’ve missed.

  • Airdate (live): July 15 ,2006
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 24 minutes
  • Location: Dallas, TX | American Airlines Arena

We go straight to the high intensity video open and pyro-laden show open. Jim Ross and Michael Cole runs down the lineup which includes the infamous DX vs. Spirit Squad 2-on-5 match. Jerry Lawler is also in the booth, but I don’t believe is ever introduced

“Real American” hits and for the first time since 1992, Hulk Hogan is back on Saturday Night’s Main Event. After some posing on the stage, Brooke Hogan comes out and I immediately have Vietnam era flashbacks of TNA.

Hulk and Brooke Hogan

As Hogan tries to act like the cool dad, Brooke keeps giving off this awkward, “What am I supposed to do here” look. Hogan grabs the mic and hands it to Brooke who gets a few boos. She says she’s always dreamed about this moment, and hopes her career can be as successful as his. Well, we saw how that turned out. Hogan says he’s a doting father and is glad that she got his wife Linda’s looks and not his.

He gets interrupted by a PANTS WEARING Randy Orton!

Randy Orton

Orton has a rose for Brooke and says he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stand next to a legend and to give Brooke a rose. Brooke is flattered and smiling, but Hogan isn’t having it. He “respectfully” challenges the legend to a match at SummerSlam. Hogan “respectfully” accepts and the two shake hands. Just like that, we’re done.

We get a video package for Batista’s return after seven months of recovery from injury, punctuated by Mark Henry putting him out of action. It’s quite something how much video quality and graphics have changed in the last decade.

WWE World Champion Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley, and Batista vs. WWE U.S. Champion Finlay, King Booker & Mark Henry

We’re back from break and William Regal is in the ring, repeating “All hail King Booker”. JBL is with Cole because we’re still in the brand split era with two different announce teams. I remember hating this King Booker thing at the time, but now, I don’t mind it as much. He’s joined by Finlay (who likes to fight) and Henry who is now without Daivari.

Cole tells us Henry is focused on Batista at the upcoming Great American Bash as they’ll battle in a No. 1 contender’s match for the World title. The massive Lashley, Batista (sporting that Orton lettuce) and “the greatest underdog champion of all time” Mysterio follow up. Lashley will face Finlay at the GAB while Booker was a week away from beating Mysterio for his first WWE World title.

As action spills to the outside, Finlay pulls up the ring apron and Hornswoggle emerges with a shillelagh, walloping Mysterio and then scurrying back under the ring. Can you imagine this happening to Cena or HHH? Cole kept harping on how much of an underdog Mysterio was, enhanced by the fact he was tagged up with two monsters.

Rey Mysterio Hornswoggle

Batista finally got tagged in, but his offense felt like it was in slow motion. The end came when everyone was standing around waiting for someone to do something while Booker was in the ropes. Mysterio finally 619’d him, leading to a Batista bomb and pin for the win. Mysterio was a prop as this was meant to push Batista. However. he and Henry didn’t tangle once in the match nor was there a staredown at the close. Very odd.

Backstage, Vince McMahon is with the Spirit Squad, psyching them up for their match with DX. He says there are holding cells that will house DX once they’re eliminated. Hey, it’s young Dolph Ziggler!

Dolph Ziggler Spirit Squad 

The screen splits and HBK and HHH appear, asking if we ever wonder what he’s really thinking. HHH does a voice over for McMahon while HBK handles the Squad voice over. This is every late-era DX skit you’ve ever seen, but was actually funny in spots if you’re 12. The focus: the Squad spanking McMahon later on in his room. It ends with McMahon saying, “We’ll never get embarrassed by D-Generation X again!” after he got embarrassed. You know, just in case you didn’t get it.

Back from break, we get the opening round of the Diva Bull Riding competition which is exactly as you might think: scantily clad women riding a bull. The finals are set for later: Victoria vs. Michelle McCool.

WWE Intercontinental Champion Johnny Nitro & Melina vs. Carlito & Trish Stratus

The current Johnny Mundo was the I-C title holder and looked to be a star in the making. I’m still surprised he’s never come back for a run, even after all this time. Then, there’s Carlito who was a face here for some reason. The fans didn’t get the memo on that.

While she was in there with Stratus, Melina sucked her thumb and then drove it into Stratus’s eye. That was...interesting. The match ended quickly when Carlito hit the Backcracker on Nitro for the win. This was essentially a one segment RAW match.

Back from break, we go to earlier tonight and Kevin Von Erich being introduced to the Dallas crowd. It was surprising they aired this as they haven't been too friendly to non-WWE historic figures over time.

Kevin Von Erich

D-Generation X (HHH & Shawn Michaels) vs. The Spirit Squad (Kenny, Mikey, Mitch, Johnny, Nicky)

I never have known how to feel about these non-Attitude era editions of DX. They come off as cheap attempts to keep a very successful act alive years past its expiration date. Yet, people were into it, so I guess there was some value to it. Middle America always wins.

If you’re too young to remember the Squad, they were male cheerleaders. Yes, you read that correctly. Kenny (Ken Doane) and Nicky (Dolph Ziggler) were WWE Tag Team Champions at the time and out of all of his crew, only Ziggler remains.

Lots of, ahem, comedy early on as Michaels used the Squad’s plastic megaphone to hit everyone in the head and later, HHH used an airhorn to blow out everyone’s ears. Then, there was this, because nothing is more humorous than male cheerleaders placed in sexually awkward positions while in a wrestling ring:

Spirit Squad

HBK pinned Mitch after Sweet Chin Music and HHH pinned Johnny after the Pedigree, putting two Squad members in the holding cell at ringside. For some reason, there was two cages which turned out to be a waste of money. Michaels gave chase to Kenny up the ramp and McMahon emerged to hit Michaels in the back with a chair. The Squad got the advantage shortly, but it didn’t last too long.

Nicky was pinned after a Pedigree, ensuring Ziggler would always remain buried. HBK hit Sweet Chin Music on Mitch, leading to a HHH pin. Then, HBK hit a top rope elbow and Sweet Chin Music, leading to another HHH pedigree on Kenny for the pin. Earlier, I mentioned that this match is kind of infamous because two guys were easily able to dispatch five, the ultimate burial if there ever was one. I get they were DX, but c’mon: 2-on-5?

Post-match, McMahon grabbed the padlock key and nailed the referee. He wanted the Squad to attack, but they’re cowardly and wanted no part of it. McMahon got superkicked for his trouble into the cell. Crotch chops ensued.

Spirit Squad

How much of this show is left? 40 minutes? Oh, great.

We get a RAW promo asking “Will chaos and mayhem continue to rule RAW?” over DX vs. McMahon highlights, a tease of who the new champion will be after SNME, and who rules the Divas competition. Sounds...good?

Then, we see this face.

Sabu

From Sabu to The Great Khali flanked by “Hey, there he is” Daivari. Davari is pushing a Punjabi Prison match between Khali and the Undertaker at GAB. As he talks, the Big Show’s music hits and out comes the...ECW champion with Paul Heyman. That phrase just doesn’t seem right, does it?

Big Show ECW 

Instead of Heyman talking, we get Show. He says he’s the only guy to hold the WWE, WCW, and ECW title and that one day, he and Khali are going to battle. However, tonight, he wants “to put Khali over” for beating up the Taker like he has. As he blathers on, the gong hits and Taker emerges. Cole and JBL go over the same Taker schtick they always do.

Taker attacks Khali first and clotheslines him over the top. Show attacks from behind and the two battle before Taker teases the chokeslam on Show and Khali. The two then do their own double chokeslam on Taker because they’re big guys and that’s just physics.

Undertaker Double Chokeslam

JBL says that we are seeing Smackdown vs. ECW for the first time on SNME because that’s a thing. The two then walk away and there’s zero explanation for why Big Show was involved in those whole thing to begin with.

Back from break and Todd Grisham catches up with Show and Heyman backstage. I think his resume to ESPN was in his jacket pocket, but I can’t be sure. Show reiterates that Khali has Taker’s number but that he’s not “an extreme giant”. Again, Heyman doesn’t talk which is ridiculous. Show challenges Taker for the ECW title this Tuesday night, a match I’m guessing ended in a non-finish.

Then, we get SABU on Saturday Night’s Main Event! Where’s Terry Funk and that table spot, dammit?!?

Extreme Rules: Sabu vs. Stevie Richards

Joey Styles and Tazz are on the call because only brand specific announcers can call matches. There were SIX guys at the broadcast booth at this point. WTF? Sabu throws a chair at Richards and uses it for his usual aerial arsenal. A table makes its way into the ring and breaks as Sabu puts Richards on it and attempts to move it. It doesn’t matter as Sabu hits an Arabian facebuster on Richards on the angle table for the pin and win. Post-match, he attacks Richards again and pulls out a random spike out of his boot for good measure.

Sabu vs. Stevie Richards

To the parking lot and Orton is flirting with Brooke. Hogan slaps Orton on the back, says he’ll see him at SummerSlam, and as Hogan is walking around to the driver’s seat, Orton RKOs him on the trunk. Brooke gets out of the car and has no idea what happened even though her dad got attacked about three feet from where she was in the car as well as the fact that Orton was sitting, crouching next to his prone body.

Randy Orton RKO Hulk Hogan

Back from break and Ross is fired up at what’s just happened. Lawler tells him to relax and kicks it to Grisham as it’s time for our Divas Bull Riding Competition finale. The lean McCool is out and lasts 12 seconds before falling off, getting knocked in the head by the bull afterward for good measure. Decked in Native American garb, Victoria is out and managed just six seconds before falling off. She’s pissed and that’s it. What the hell was the point of all that?

Victoria 

WWE Champion Edge (w/Lita) vs. John Cena

We get a video package making John Cena look like the biggest star in the world. We then get the background of his issues with Edge and the three way with RVD where Edge won the strap. If I’m remembering right, Edge vs. Cena was a great feud back in the day. We’re told that tonight’s title match is the first time the title has been defended on network TV in over a decade.

Justin Roberts gives us the true main event intros and we’re underway. Ross tells us attendance is 17,000+ in Dallas. Normal Cena/Edge stuff until Edge goes for a superplex, slips, and both guys fall awkwardly to the mat. Like on the last SNME, Lita is wearing a fantastic top.

Cena hits the F.U. and just as Mike Chioda is about to hit three, Lita pulls him out to prevent it. Cena locks on the STFU and again, Lita prevents Chioda from getting in the ring and slaps him. Chioda gets back in and calls for the bell. Some of the people think Cena’s won the belt, but wrestling fans know better: it’s a DQ win for Cena so no title change. Lame finish to a blah match.

Post-match, Edge spears Cena but as Edge is walking around the outside of the ring afterward, Cena comes to and attacks. Edge gets a monitor to the face and gets F.U.’d through the table off the ring steps. Again, this felt like the ending of any random RAW or Smackdown in the past 10 years.

John Cena vs. Edge

So, that was that. This would be the last two hour SNME in show history, bowing to shorter episodes throughout the duration. The show would return 11 months later with plenty of familiar faces and a main event that may have you running for the liquor cabinet.

See you next Saturday!