Smackdown Narrative Structure

The episode of WWE Smackdown that I am writing about is the February 3rd, 2006 episode. The way that Smackdowns storylines are organized is that there is the “Main Event” storyline, which is the main storyline of the show that leads up to the main event of the show, and undercard storylines, which are a little less important than the main event. However, this episode of Smackdown has two Main Event storylines.

This episode of Smackdown is the first episode following the 2006 Royal Rumble, where we saw Rey Mysterio pull off an emotional victory in the Royal Rumble match after coming in at the number 2 spot and lasting a recored one hour and two minuets and winning a main event match at Wrestlemania. Rey’s victory was even more emotional because Rey dedicated his performance to his late friend Eddie Guerrero. Also at the Royal Rumble, The Undertaker made his shocking return and challenging the World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle.

The show starts with the announcement of the main event being a tag team match where Rey Mysterio will team with Kurt Angle to take on the team of Randy Orton and Mark Henrey. Then Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long is in the ring and introduces the Royal Rumble winner Rey Mysterio and Rey celebrates his Royal Rumble victory and talks about his fallen friend. Then Randy Orton interrupts Rey and is mincing words with Rey. Orton then challenges Rey to a match at the upcoming pay-per-view No Way Out. Orton also adds the stipulation that Rey will put his Wrestlemania main event spot on the line. Rey is hesitant at first, Randy then insults Reys late friend Eddie Guerrero, which Rey then attacks Randy. The narrative of this story relates to Propp’s narrative theory of “Lack” or villainy. In this case Randy Orton is the villain and interrupts Rey’s equilibrium. You could also argue that the “Lack'” also refers to Randy Orton because he is lacking the championship match which he feels he deserves.

The other “Main Event” storyline involves The Undertaker challenging Kurt Angle for the World Heavyweight Championship. This moment is personally very special because this is the first thing of pro wrestling I have ever seen and is the reason why I got hooked. In wrestling terms this is just a short term storyline. This storyline is just to set up a match between the Undertaker and Kurt Angle for No Way Out. The Undertaker make his iconic entrance to ring and makes some chilling statements to Kurt Angle. The Undertaker says that Kurt Angle has the one thing that he desires, The World Heavyweight Championship. Kurt Angle comes to the ring and stands face to face with the Undertaker and says that he isn’t afraid of The Undertaker. After Kurt Angle claims that he will make the Undertaker “Tap”, and the Undertaker says that Kurt Angle will “Rest In Peace”, The lights go out and the Undertaker vanishes from the ring.  This narrative is another good example of Propp’s narrative theory. The Undertaker is lacking the World Heavyweight Championship. But this narrative is something unique to professional wrestling storylines in that there is no villain. Both The Undertaker and Kurt Angle are “heroes” and the storyline is hero taking on another hero in an epic battle.

The other major storyline on the show is the rivalry between Chris Benoit and Booker T over the United States Championship. The narrative of this story relates to Barthe’s narrative theory, more specifically the enigma stage of the hermeneutic code. For weeks Booker T has avoided facing Benoit one on one claiming that he is injured and finding substitutes to wrestle in his place. The enigma of the narrative is how will Booker T avoid facing Benoit this week, and will Benoit finally get his hands of Booker T. After weeks of avoiding him and avoiding defending his US Championship, Booker T is scheduled to wrestle Benoit. However, Booker T claims to have a groin injury and he cant compete. So, Teddy Long allows Booker T to pick a replacement but his US Championship will be on the line. Booker T then picks Finlay to replace him. The match ended with Booker T distracting the referee and Sharmel (Booker T’s wife and manager) hitting Benoit with a crutch but is caught red handed by the referee and Finlay is disqualified. However, Booker T remains the US Champion because a title cannot change hands via disqualification. And the feud between Benoit and Booker T continues. 

Next is the main event of the show. After an epic tag team match, Randy Orton pins Rey Mysterio for the victory. Randy Orton then made it clear that he is a sore winner and started hurling more insults about Rey’s friend Eddie Guerrero. Rey cannot take anymore of Randy’s disrespect and accepts his challenge for No Way Out and the show ends. Now because I know you are dying to know what happens ill let you know what happens At No Way Out, Randy cheats and beats Rey for his Main Event match at Wrestlemania. However, on the next Smackdown, Teddy Long adds Rey to the Main Event at Wrestlemania making it a triple threat match. Also at No Way Out, Kurt Angle defeated The Undertaker to retain his title and the Main Event of Wrestlemania was going to be Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio in a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Rey goes on to Wrestlemania and wins the World Heavyweight Championship.