We open with the obvious dramatic recap of last week’s event. Tonight features Edge’s Inaugural Address, and Ozzy Osbourne performs. And we’ve got some old school stage action! I love it whenever SmackDown has a stage. And some new lights for it, too, probably for Osbourne’s performance.
Opening Contest: Matt Hardy vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
MVP gets a headlock takedown which Hardy escapes. MVP with another headlock, gets sent into the ropes and back with a shoulder block. Predictable. And MVP comes off the ropes again into a hip toss. MVP gets a two count. MVP with a snapmare, kick to the back follows, and MVP gets a headlock variation. Scoop slam by Hardy is followed by a Yodel Elbow for a two. MVP with forearms to the lower back. Scoop slam and elbow drop gets MVP a two count. Hardy gets an elbow to the jaw of MVP, elbow drop for a two count. MVP with a drop toe hold, off the ropes with a boot sending Hardy outside. Nice.
MVP runs into an elbow by Hardy, but MVP follows with a shot to the eyes by Hardy which allows MVP to get the running big boot in the corner for a two count. Hardy sells the injury and gets knocked down by MVP for a two count. MVP with an uppercut and punch directly to the face for another two count over Hardy. Nice short arm into firearm flapjack by MVP, very nice surprise by MVP. MVP misses the running boot and gets hit with the Side Effect by Hardy for a two count. Clothesline bulldog combo by Hardy results in another two count. Hardy goes up top and gets an elbow drop for a two count. MVP reverses the Twist Of Fate attempt by dropping Hardy on the top turnbuckle, and the Playmaker ends this.
Winner: Montel Vontavious Porter
Nice way to open SmackDown. Four out of Ten. Cole gets in the ring afterwards and asks MVP about the match vs. Benoit at Judgment Day; MVP says that everyone’s so glad the deck is stacked against him at Judgment Day, but when he defeats Benoit it will solidify his greatness. How is the deck stacked against him?
Michael Cole and JBL recap the end of last week’s episode; after the show went off air, the Druids went down to the ring and carried Undertaker backstage. Um .. k. That was important and needed to be shown. Apparently.
Second Contest: Chavo Guerrero, Deuce and Domino with Cherry vs. Jimmy Wang Yang, Paul London and Brian Kendrick
London and Guerrero start. Guerrero with clubs to start, London gets a headscissors takedown and tags in Kendrick for a double hiptoss. Kendrick sends Guerrero into the corner for a running elbow and blind tag by London, who comes in with a nice sunset flip. Guerrero tags out to Deuce. Deuce misses a kick and gets hit with an atomic drop; Yang tagged in with a flying crossbody for a two, broken by Domino. Kendrick in with a top rope elbow to Deuce. Kendrick knocks the heels off the apron but turns into a shot by Deuce for a two count. Domino tagged in .. no, Guerrero tagged in after Domino does a single kick (see, THAT is the sort of quick tags I cannot stand! Even if he is tagging in the better wrestler). Guerrero with an uppercut to Kendrick before he chokes Kendrick on the bottom rope, distracts the referee so Deuce may do the same to Kendrick. Kendrick gets some shots in on Deuce and Domino and gets an enziguri to Guerrero, and tags out to Yang! Yang with a nice exchange with Guerrero; spinning heel kick for a two count, I think? Deuce gets sent outside. Guerrero with the back suplex, runs into a high elbow in the corner. Yang with a martial arts kick, Moonsault to Guerrero ends this.
Winners: Jimmy Wang Yang, Paul London, and Brian Kendrick
I don’t know who cares about this, but without the car and with the stage, Deuce and Domino’s entrance is heaps better. Especially considering that they both catch Cherry on her way down the ramp. Fuck the car; keep the damned stage! Anyways, nothing to write home about but your usual cruiser weight alrightness. Four out of Ten.
Mark Henry promo: Henry says that he has no known predators, not even the deadly mongoose. He’s next!
Third Contest: Mark Henry vs. Funaki
Wait, Funaki actually gets his own entrance? Funaki is still employed?! I suppose someone needs to be the full time fodder. Henry dominates Funaki, and World’s Strongest Slam finishes.
Winner: Mark Henry
-Five out of Ten. Mark Henry goodness is back at its worst. Nice to see some things just don’t change.
Recap of Lashley / McMahon / Umaga stuff from RAW.
Chris Benoit is walking backstage! I wish Benoit would turn heel.
Fourth Contest: Chris Benoit vs. Finlay
Lock up and Finlay forces Benoit into the corner, being forced off by the ref. Another lock up and Finlay gets put into the corner this time around. Benoit with knees in the corner, and irish whips Finlay into an elbow for a one count. Scoop slam and running elbow drop gets Benoit a no count. Finlay hooks the leg of Benoit but Benoit turns it into a headlock. On the outside, Finlay sends Benoit side first into the steel steps and equips the shillelagh – the referee argues with Finlay, who puts it down. Finlay with an ankle lock on Benoit, before eventually working up towards the knee. Finlay positions the leg of Benoit on the rope and kicks away at it. Finlay with elbows to the knee, Benoit gets a chop and Finlay trips Benoit and continues to work against the leg. Finlay goes into the steel post shoulder first, Benoit gets a German and goes for the Triple but Finlay escapes. Three Amigos on Finlay by Benoit, Benoit goes to climb the turnbuckles but Finlay sends him outside. Back in the ring, Finlay works the leg of Benoit – telling him to tap, which is of course a signal for …
We’re back and Finlay continues to work the leg; slamming it against the apron. Benoit with the chops but a shot to the throat by Finlay stops them, and Finlay locks in a single legged Boston crab. Benoit hits an enziguri and then gets the Triple Germans. Hornswoggle goes to attack Benoit, but Benoit goes for the Sharpshooter on him! Benoit can’t hook it and Finlay goes for a shillelagh shot, but Benoit locks him in the Crippler Crossface! Benoit lets it go and begins fighting with MVP!
Winner by DQ: Chris Benoit
Benoit gets the better of MVP, but a shillelagh shot by Finlay allows MVP to beat down Benoit. Not their best match, but still good by any means. Seven out of Ten. I’d like to see them take MVP and Finlay and have them work together more, couldn’t hurt.
Jillian Hall tries to talk to Ozzy Osbourne, but doesn’t.
Ashley Massaro introduces Ozzy Osbourne, performing “I Don’t Wanna Stop”. I’ve heard better, but it looked like he had fun up there anyways.
Fifth Contest: Mike Mizanin vs. Christian York
Jobber fodder time! Lock up and Mizanin forces York into the corner. York runs into a clothesline by Mizanin. Neckbreaker by Mizanin. Mizanin misses an elbow drop, York gets in some offence but Mizanin gets the clothesline in the corner for a two count, Mizanin picking York’s head up. Neckbreaker by Mizanin ends it.
Winner: Mike Mizanin
Bleh. -Five out of Ten. Looks like they’re going to make us try and take Mizanin as a serious threat.
I’ll give you a moment or two to let that sink in …
Wait, Mizanin a serious threat? To what title holder?!
Timbaland / Divas hype stuff. Network Broadcast Premiere of “Throw It On Me” next week, on SmackDown. Didn’t he only just release a song? Seems like he’s been releasing a song every week for the last few months in between all those Furtado, Timberlake, and Pussycat Doll stuff.
Kristal Marshall thanks Theodore Long for giving Vickie Guerrero a chance to be Ass. GM. Vickie comes in, exchanges small talk with Kristal, and thanks Long for the chance, and says that she’s trying to do a lot of positive things in her life. Long says he has a lot of reservations about this situation, and she says she could change the perception about it. Guerrero sweet talks Long about Marshall, and Long begins to interview her. Wouldn’t it have been nice if there was some more build to the Assistant General Manager role outside of Rhodes and Guerrero? Hell; bring J.R. or Ric Flair over for a week or two and book the matches based on actual wrestling skill or younger wrestlers vs. the veterans, someone completely random like Kevin Thorne or Ariel who could pick the matches based on their tarot cards (and even have them subtly predict the winners by use of riddles), and have them book a few shows as a test run or something fun like that, while Guerrero uses her shows to try and prove that she has changed and makes sure to reverse all matches which involved cheating. Or would that just be stupid? Personally, I like the idea.
Sixth Contest: Kane w/ The Boogeys vs. William Regal w/ Dave Taylor
Lock up and Kane forces Regal into the corner. Kane with the offence and needs to be counted off of a choke hold, he backs off only to run into boots by Regal. Regal with slaps in the corner, takes Kane into the centre of the ring for a kick to the chest. Regal with stomps to Kane. Kane with a shoulder body toss, but Regal shortly gets a drop toe hold and an uppercut. Regal with a half nelson. Regal with elbows and punches in the corner, and gets a powerslam to Kane shortly after. Two count for Regal. Kane with a big boot to Regal. Kane with the flying clothesline. Regal rolls outside, Kane follows and Regal spears Kane into the apron. Taylor attacks Boogeyman from behind and sends Little Boogeyman into the ring, Regal goes to attack him but Kane hits a Chokeslam for the end.
The Boogeyman looks to be about to worm Regal, but Regal and Taylor escape. Yawn. -Two out of Ten. There was a sign of something possibly good in there somewhere, but they left it as quickly as they got there. Does that make sense?
Judgment Day card rundown and there ain’t anything new.
Up next: Edge’s Inaugural Address. Awesome.
Theodore Long introduces the World Heavy Weight Champion, Edge, oddly dressed in his ring gear. Must’ve had a dark match afterwards. I despise his new pyro, and entrance ramp mat; I hope it’s just a one night only thing. Edge says he didn’t get the respect he deserved on Monday Night Raw, and he’s willing to give the SmackDown fans the benefit of the doubt because we’re more sophisticated. Yay. He’ll be a champion to be proud of, and Long interrupts him. Long says he will hold him to the fact that he says he will take on all comers, and reminds him that he will defend against Batista at Judgment Day. Edge says that he’ll be ready for Batista in any match, anytime, anywhere. Batista comes on out and welcomes Edge to SmackDown (…), and says that the title belongs to Batista, and he’ll be taking it back at Judgment Day … That’s the best hype they can do?
THAT is the best Judgment Day hype that they could luster?!
Few notes. 1: I cannot buy Edge as someone who is threatened this easily, especially by Batista (even though this was a kayfabe situation). 2: If they’re going to make Batista seem threatening, then they should have him at least destroy some people. How has he spent the last few months? Being unable to out do The Undertaker, selling an injury, and being lame. He’s not at all threatening right now. 3: What they should have done, I believe, is had Batista say despite he and Undertaker fighting so often, Batista was the one who would beat him for the title and remind us that he was close to it three times (Mania, Backlash, last week), and Edge stole that privilege from him within two minutes. Yes, that idea makes it all about an injured wrestler, but it would set up a good little return feud with this pair for Undertaker, and until then the feud could evolve into being about the title itself Ã¢â‚¬â€œ until then, let Cole make it seem to be all about the title. Then let Edge do his thing and remind us all just why he’s who SmackDown will be depending on for the next few months. And then, all they had to do, was have Mark Henry come and attack Batista, Edge join in on the attack, and the two forge some sort of alliance (it keeps the planned Henry / Batista feud there during this sidebar Edge / Batista feud, which will probably last until, ugh, August or more. And an Edge / Henry partnership could lead to some interesting moments too; gives Edge more ammo for his ego, with Henry destroying everyone who steps up to the plate). Long makes their Judgment Day title match No Disqualification, or if they really wanted to make things interesting, make it a TLC Match and have Edge do a prematch promo reminding us that that’s his trademark match. Neither option could be any worse than the match that’ll happen anyways. There. That is exactly what I think should have happened. For a build up to a title match consisting of entirely one segment (no, last week’s ending segment does not count), you could certainly do a lot worse than what I’ve suggested … Also, I love the irony; a former RAW Champion welcoming another former RAW Champion and SmackDown original to SmackDown … End rant here.
The Inside Pulse
Montel Vontavious Porter defeat Matt Hardy via pinfall: 4/10
Wang Yang, London and Kendrick defeat Guerrero, Deuce and Domino (Yang pins Guerrero): 4/10
Mark Henry defeats Funaki via pinfall: -5/10
Chris Benoit defeats Finlay via DQ (MVP Interference leads to DQ): 7/10
Mike Mizanin defeats Christian York via pinfall: -5/10
Kane defeats William Regal via pinfall: -2/10
SmackDown 18/05/07: 3/60
Again: I’ve always preferred shows that have a stage, so this episode ‘feels’ better to me. I know, shitty explanation, but you get the point. In ring wise the good out weighs the bad thanks to the bad being quick, for the most part. But I absolutely hated the way the show ended … There goes the hopes I had of Edge making this show better. When I get more excited about the entrance way rather than the show itself, then there is seriously something bad going on with the sh