The Smackdown Ramble: June 8th, 2007

-With Michael Cole and JBL, TAPED! from Orlando, Florida.

-The Cutting Edge (with Mr. McMahon)

Edge starts off by letting us know that Vickie Guerrero has a double main event announcement later on, and we should hope he’s involved. Indeed we should hope he’s involved, but we ARE talking about a woman who suggested Kane vs. Mark Henry for ONS, so I won’t get my hopes up. Edge introduces Vinny Mac, and he’s still crazy and proves so by talking in riddles. Edge reminds us about the draft on Monday and the fact that it’s Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night, and lets Vince hold his belt as a sign of him being a champion in the squared circle of life. Or something. Vince says Edge is no better than Cena or Lashley, and makes Edge vs. Batista for Vengeance. What, AGAIN? Edge protests (rightfully so), but Vince says that life isn’t fair. What about the interest of fairness. At Vengeance, It’s do for Edge, and die for Batista. I still don’t understand where this thing with Vince is going, and I’m so tired of seeing him on TV that I have no desire to find out.

-Mark Henry vs. Boogeyman w/Little Boogeyman

This is a match I could have done without seeing. In fact, I could just do without seeing Mark Henry period. Boogey starts off with right hands and a headbutt, but to no effect as Henry works him over punches. Henry goes to the bearhug almost immediately, and Little Boogey gets kicked down on the apron. The World’s Strongest Slam finishes at 1:25. DUD Yeah, because every other attempt to shove Mark Henry down our throats has worked.

Afterwards, Little Boogey gets hit with a bearhug, World’s Strongest Slam and big splash for his troubles. A woman in the crowd looks on in shock. “What, we paid all this money to watch Mark Henry beat up a midget?”

-Backstage, Vickie Guerrero is pleased to announce Edge vs. Benoit and MVP vs. Batista.

-After a commercial, Krystal tells Vickie how poised and professional she was. I’m sure the sarcasm was lost in the script somewhere. Teddy is less enamoured with Vickie’s efforts. Vinny Mac walks in, and Teddy wants a word in private because there’s a problem. Vince says the problem is Krystal. Teddy should keep his eyes off Krystal, because Vince has got his eyes on Teddy. Erm, okay then. Basically – Vince is still crazy.

-Chavo Guerrero, Jamie Noble and Daivari vs. Paul London, Brian Kendrick and Jimmy Wang Yang

A shock before this match even starts, as Daivari gets to actually WRESTLE. Yang and Noble start it out with some nice chain wrestling, before London tags in and gets a headscissors out of the corner, and Kendrick tags in with a grounded dropkick. Yang gets a crossbody on Noble for two, followed by an Oklahoma Roll on Daivari that also gets two. Daivari takes over with stomps however and tags in Noble. Scoop slam and a leg drop by Noble get two. Chavo tags in and gets a nearfall off a side suplex, with Kendrick breaking it up. The heels work Yang over for a bit, before Yang makes the hot tag to Kendrick. He takes over on Chavo with forearms, dropkicks and a back body drop, and catches Daivari with a dropkick for good measure. Noble trips him up though, and Chavo gets a sitout brainbuster. That gets two, but London breaks it up. Noble and Daivari get tossed, and Yang hits a brilliant crossbody to the outside, using London as a springboard (very similar to the Hardyz Poetry in Motion). Chavo and Kendrick fight it out on the top rope, but London gets a sitout powerbomb as Kendrick gets the Sliced Bread #2. and that gets the three on Chavo at 7:34. ** Entertaining cruiserweight action, as you’d expect. Chavo’s been pinned a fair bit lately, considering he’s the Cruiserweight champ.

-Edge vs. Chris Benoit

This is non-title. Lock up to start, but Edge doesn’t want any of it. They trade wristlocks, but Edge makes it to the ropes. Edge takes Benoit into the corner, but gets knocked down with chops. Edge is brilliant at just about everything at the moment, but one thing I’ve noticed – his selling is immense. Snapmare takeover by Benoit into a chinlock, and that goes into a pinning predicament for a two count. Benoit applies an armbar, before Edge goes flying back first into the turnbuckle. Benoit tries to lock in the crossface, but Edge makes the ropes. Benoit tries the German off the apron to the floor, but I’ve never seen that spot done, and this time is no different. Instead, Edge gets back body dropped to the floor as we head for a break. We’re back, and Benoit has a headlock. Edge rakes the eyes to stop that, but gets caught with chops and punches that knock him to the floor, followed by a baseball slide. Back inside the ring, Benoit gets a snap suplex for two. Edge reverses an Irish whip and Benoit flies shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Edge then tries a superplex, but gets headbutted off by Benoit – the diving version proves to be one time too many though, and Benoit eats canvas. Cover by Edge gets two. I must make the point that Cole and JBL are really trying to drive home the point of Edge being one of all the all time greats throughout the match. Edge works on the shoulder for a while, but Benoit stops the momentum with an enziguri. Benoit quickens the pace with a couple of knockdowns, and a Northern Lights suplex gets two. Three rolling verticals are followed by three Germans, and Benoit hits the diving headbutt. He makes the cover, and Edge just gets out before the three count. Edge goes for the spear, but Benoit drop-toes him into the crossface. Brilliant counter, I was expecting the usual straight fujiwara armbar. Edge does make the ropes, and then takes the opportunity to throw Benoit shoulder first into the ringpost. Benoit gets up, and turns around straight into a spear for the three count at around 16:00 televised. ***1/2 This was a good TV match (unsurprising given the participants), and the win continues building Edge’s momentum on this run as champion. Benoit could do with a change of scenery, and if you believe what you read, he’s off to Raw on Monday.

-Backstage, Ashley and Jillian get into an altercation regarding looks and talent. A slap by Jillian results in a chase situation. Well it’s not Little Boogeyman chasing Hornswoggle, that’s for sure.

-Elsewhere backstage, Matt Hardy is autographing. Vinny Mac walks by with a coffee, and gets an earful about how he cost the Hardys the tag titles on Monday. The chase from the previous segment manifests itself, and Vince’s coffee ends up on his shirt. The end result: Matt has a handicap match, and Ashley is suspended. INDEFINITELY. What more can you expect if you spill coffee over your boss? And it’s no use shedding tears; that’ll teach you to run around the backstage area causing havoc to unsuspecting bystanders.

-Handicap match: Deuce ‘n Domino w/Cherry vs. Matt Hardy

The tag champs start off double teaming Matt, but Domino gets hung up on the top rope and knocked off the apron. Deuce takes over with right hands and a knee to the injured ribs. Crossbody by Matt gets two, but Deuce gets a kick to the ribs, and that gets two as. Matt hits Deuce with a scoop slam and a leg drop for two. Domino comes back in and clotheslines Matt down, and takes the taping off the ribs. Deuce and Domino work Matt over as we go to a break. We’re back, and Domino goes up, but gets crotched by Matt and a neckbreaker on Deuce gets two. Side Effect gets two. Corner clothesline and bulldog gets two, but Domino breaks up the three count. Matt hits them both with rights, and gets the Twist of Fate on Domino, but Deuce lays him out with a kick to finish at around 6:00 (televised). *1/4 I’m not a fan of handicap matches, but this was didn’t seem to flow at all.

-Backstage, random announcer dude is joined by MVP. MVP is something that almost everyone else is not – he’s a champion, because he’s better in every way conceivable. MVP always keeps it simple on the mic, but it works.

-MVP vs. Batista

This is non-title. Batista overpowers MVP to start, but MVP catches with him a few punches. Batista spears him into the corner, but MVP bails and hangs Batista up on the top rope. Shinbreaker (!) by Batista and he works the leg in the corner. Rake to the eyes by MVP gets him the advantage, and he stomps away in the corner, but Batista charges out with a clothesline as we head to commercials. Back from the break, and Batista gets a nearfall. Vertical suplex by Batista gets two. MVP (shoddily) throws Batista into the middle turnbuckle, and a big boot sends Batista over the top rope. MVP throws Batista back in and gets a two count. Punches by MVP are followed by a chinlock, and he gets a DDT for two, but Batista grabs the ropes. A running boot knocks Batista to the outside, and Charles Robinson starts the count, but Batista gets back in at five and hits MVP with shoulders to the ribs. MVP grabs the advantage, but bounces off the ropes and Batista gets a back body drop and a running clothesline. Boss Man Slam gets two for Batista. Spinebuster by Batista, and a Batista Bomb seems imminent, but as he turns around, Edge is there, and runs straight into a spear by Batista. The ref meanwhile calls for the disqualification at 10:30 worth of televised action. Batista wants a Batista Bomb on Edge, but he gets out of dodge. *3/4 Most of it was MVP beating up Batista, really.

-Afterwards, Edge scrambles up the ramp and it’s DO OR DIE at Vengeance.

The Inside Pulse
A solid if unspectacular show, with Batista inexplicably (well, in the terms of the storyline you could say it’s because Vince is going crazy) getting another title shot at Vengeance. I’m intrigued by how they go about booking that match – Edge is bringing the goods as the champ and they’re building him up really well, but another defeat for Batista would just about kill him, especially after the first two were relatively clean finishes.

It’ll be interesting to see how Smackdown looks this time next week, when we’ve had the draft. I don’t expect things to be drastically different, but on my prediction sheet I’ve got Benoit going to Raw and possibly ECW getting Batista (if they’re still serious about the brand) and Boogeyman. I could see Smackdown getting someone like Umaga – he needs something to freshen him up and Smackdown need a third heel to support MVP and Edge.

All in all, a decent show and worth watching for the Benoit/Edge match.

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