Running the Ropes: Smackdown 06.08.07

A (rare) running diary for the June 8, 2007, edition of Friday Night Smackdown, cross-posted at TheWrestlingBlog.com

8:03 – Edge is out there for an interview segment, and mentions that Vickie Guerrero’s making matches now. Well, I guess she’s the Assistant GM (assistant to the GM?), but I’m not so sure she’s got the experience for this.

8:05 – Speaking of being old experience, Vince McMahon — former WWF and ECW World Heavyweight Champion — comes out as the guest on The Cutting Edge. It might just be me, but he kind’ve looks like someone battling post-concussion syndrome. Vince quotes the Bible and does his best impression of Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, while Edge kisses up, says Smackdown needs a shake-up, and lets Vince hold his… Big Gold Belt (the one he’s never had, actually). “In the squared circle of life, Mr. McMahon, you — you are a World Champion,” says Edge. Big mistake. “Life is not fair,” says the newly-southern Mr. McMahon. Apparently Vengeance will be his, and AT the Vengeance PPV, Edge’s title will be on the line against Dave Batista: “Do or die” style, whatever that means.

8:11 – I agree with Cole: this is disturbing. But I think I just realized what they’re doing… All of the rumors have said the next PPV will be a “night of champions,” and here’s the perfect kayfabe justification for it. Vince is pissed off that he lost his championship; so now he’s going to make all of the other champions defend theirs. As long as he doesn’t put all of the belts on himself, this could be interesting.

–commercials–

8:16 – Random Finlay promo recapping the feud with the Boogeymen — all with Irish drinking music in the background! I don’t know about you, but ever since Finlay started the random dancing, I’ve been a huge fan. Speaking of dancing. Boogie-man is out, with his little friend, and his opponent is… Mark Henry? “You’ve got the king of the jungle against the guy who belongs in the jungle, The Boogeyman,” says JBL as I decide not to fast-forward through the match in hopes that Bradshaw’s commentary will make it worthwhile.

8:20 – Michael Cole just called Henry’s arms “tree limb-like” I think, and then JBL compared those arms to his college pet snake. Oh, and Henry wins via pinfall after the World’s Strongest Slam.

8:21 – Ouch, I think Mizark just killed Little Boogeyman. Benoit, Batista, Mysterio’s names are invoked by Cole, who wonders if he’s injured someone else tonight. King Kong Bundy’s name is then invoked by JBL, who said Henry’s beating LB to within inches of his life reminded him of what Bundy did to a midget years ago, “but Bundy didn’t go this far.” Heh.

8:23 – Vickie (with Teddy looking on) announces Edge vs. Benoit and Batista vs. Porter for later tonight.

–commercials–

8:28 – Kristal is proud of Vickie, and even if he is being played, I’m proud of Mr. Long. Dang Kristal looks goooooood. Vince comes into Teddy’s office, and has transformed into the perfect Bob Backlund/Boss Hogg hybrid. He’s also proud of Vickie (in particular, her anunciation). Plus, as he told Flair on RAW, Teddy shouldn’t be dating someone half his age. The Smackdown GM feels insulted.

8:30 – Holy shit it’s Jamie Noble & Daivari!

8:31 – We’ve got a six-man cruiserweight tag, with everyone wearing blue pants/trunks — Noble, Daivari and Chavo vs. London, Kendrick and Yang — and I guess Vickie’s booked her nephew into a match of the night candidate. Now I’M proud of her!

8:34 – Cole makes a good point, suggesting London will get drafted to RAW and Spanky to ECW(!)… then asks one of the dumbest questions of all time, wondering to JBL “what happened to your and Faarooq’s friendship” after they were drafted apart. Okay, maybe it’s not THE dumbest question. The answer? Bradshaw went to RAW and was briefly in the main event vs. the nWo around the time Nash’s leg exploded, and at one point held the Hardcore Championship (I think he beat Johnny The Bull Stamboli for it backstage? Maybe not…) — a belt which he redesigned by adding longhorns to the front. He then got hurt and eventually re-teamed with Faarooq, who didn’t really do anything on Smackdown. When Bradshaw made the transition to JBL, he put the nail in APA’s coffin and Ron Simmons ended up fired (both in real life and on television). Anyway…

8:36 – One thing I love about Bradshaw’s commentary is how he puts over wrestlers that don’t often get such treatment when he’s not announcing (or more specifically by the creative team). On Jamie Noble: “We haven’t seen Jamie Noble in a long time, one of the most entertaining cruiserweights we ever had, is simply tough as you can possibly get… he is a phenominal talent, why he’s never made it to the next level is beyond me, but he has everything you need to do so.” Meanwhile there’s some great mat wrestling between Noble and his former tag partner Yang until Chavo tags in to continue the “keeps losing to Yang in non-title situations” storyline. The crowd, by the way, is actually chanting “let’s go Jimmy!” And it’s deserving, as we get some BONZO GONZO that leads to Yang vaulting off of London’s back out of the ring on top of Noble and Daivari… and then a tower of DOOM spot with London powerbombing Chavo from the corner while Kendrick hits Sliced Bread #2. Whoa! Kendrick pins Chavo for the win.

–commercials–

8:45 – If you’re wondering who’s in the RAW/Draft commercial, I just watched in slo-mo just for you: (in order) Cena, Edge, Lashley, Batista, Melina, MVP, Umaga, Deuce/Domino/Cherry, CM Punk, Santino, Benoit, Cade & Murdoch, Finlay, Orton, (they start flashing by faster with) Kristal, Snitsky, Mark Henry, Thorn, Cryme Tyme, Kelly, Chavo, Carlito, Cor Von, Candice, Hornswaggle, Nitro, Flair, Shelton, Burke, Striker, Boogeyman, Kane, Maria and Khali.

8:46 – Cole announces that Edge vs. Batista will take place at Vengeance regardless of what happens at the draft. JBL says that the “Do or Die” stipulation means that if Batista doesn’t win the belt back at Vengeance, he’s done getting title shots. But right now, it’s time for Benoit vs. Edge (JBL: “One of the greatest of all time vs. THE greatest of all time”), and since I don’t do play-by-play, just know I’ll be enjoying this match while you wait and wonder…

8:53 – Ya know, while JBL and Cole are of course spending a lot of time talking about the Vengeance match between Edge and Batista, I give them credit for treating Benoit as a legit threat.

–commercials–

9:08 – Highlights: Benoit was in control for most of the match — and man, even Benoit’s headlocks are awesome — but Edge took over at about the 14-minute mark until a series of head-butts again turned the tables. Of course, he missed the top-rope butt, and the man who JBL calls the “greatest tag wrestler of all time” (12 reigns), and now a three-time World Champion, took over for good. But NO! Benoit hit an impressive combination of suplexes (suplii?) — Northern Lights, Three Amigos & German — and then the flying headbutt, but Edge somehow kicked out. Edge tried a spear, but Benoit reversed it into a crossface and held on until Edge grabbed the rope. Edge worked the shoulder for most of the match, and after Benoit charged and hit his shoulder into the steel post, Edge took advantage of Benoit’s injury to hit the spear out of nowhere and get the pin.

–commercials–

9:13 – Jan’s brushing Ashley’s hair backstage, when Jillian comes up to her. She shouldn’t have done that! I mean, Ashley throws the BARBS at her rival: “Your voice sounds like Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem on opening day” … “You better HOPE you get drafted to RAW!” … “I’m gonna end your career!” Ugh, yet the acting here was much better than the Vickie & Kristal stuff.

9:14 – Vince, drinking coffee, comes up to Matt Hardy. They have a little chat about how Vince made Matt and Jeff put their titles on the line on RAW when they weren’t 100%, and then Ashley — chasing after Jillian — bumps into Vince and SPILLS HIS COFFEE ON HIM!! OH NO!! Anyway, Matt has a handicapped match and Ashley apologizes. When Matt walks away, Vince accuses Ashley of spilling the coffee intentionally and suspends her until she cries.

–commercials–

9:23 – Deuce & Domino come to the ring with Cherry, who looks the best she has since being brought up to the main roster. I guess this is Matt’s handicapped match. “Ooh yeah!” Matt fact: Matt Hardy’s ribs are taped, and it’s 2-on-1, but he still will not die. Interesting fact from Cole: Jeff Hardy’s in Portugal with RAW, so he won’t be there to help even the odds.

9:26 – Deuce is definitely the better of the two (isn’t he Snuka’s son or step-son?), and Matt’s making him look even better. The little touches in Hardy’s performance are great, too: Deuce kicking out of a pinfall attempt at 1 since Matt can’t hold the pin, due to his injuries… the great facial expression when doing his pre-second-rope-legdrop “yodel” … etc.

–commercials–

9:31 – So this is one of those handicapped matches where the team of two has to tag in and out… yet Mickie Henson’s letting things run amok. That reminds me — as great as Edge and Benoit are, Jimmy Corderas did an EXCELLENT job as ref in the first-hour main event. He stayed out of the way, but showed great body language for every pinfall or rope-break, and he looked like he was actually officiating a match.

9:33 – Twist of Fate on Domino, but Matt takes too long to recover from the impact, and gets kicked in the face by a surprisingly-quick Deuce for the pin.

9:34 – Max Bretos interviews MVP backstage. Porter is handsome, rich, world-class, and a champion… all things that Max, the fans in Orlando and Batista are not. Also, he’s straight-up ballin’ (in case you know what that means).

–commercials–

9:41 – Ya know… I love MVP’s entrance. I hate the bright-colored wardrobe, though. You know what he needs?

9:43 – Cole and JBL clarify the stipulation for Vengeance: if Batista loses, he will never get another shot at the World Heavyweight Championship as long as Edge is champion. That means one of three things: (1) Batista’s winning (I wouldn’t bet on it), (2) Batista’s being drafted to a show with another champion or (3) WWE doesn’t care about stipulations and Batista will find a loophole somewhere to get another shot at Edge in the near future. My money’s on #2, actually. DAVE vs. Cena at Summerslam, anyone?

9:45 – Porter and Batista, after some stalling, finally get into it, and the crowd really hates the United States Champion. Oh, I’m pretty sure this match is non-title, by the way.

9:47 – MVP tries to work the leg, but Batista decides HE’S going to be Flair-like and target Porter’s left leg… but don’t worry, he’s still DAVE. Yep, MVP’s RIGHT leg is much more taped up.

–commercials–

9:51 – We’re back and Batista’s in control. JBL mentions the way Batista looked at the Big Gold Belt after losing the cage match at One Night Stand, and I think I’ve changed my mind. Maybe you don’t draft him away from “his belt,” and instead have him chase Edge for awhile. No, I don’t want to see Edge vs. DAVE every month, but if he is forced to work his way back up the card and earn a title shot (perhaps even by winning the Rumble, which means it doesn’t matter what brand he’s on), maybe they can make people want to buy the show “Batista finally wins back what he feels is rightfully his.” But I digress…

9:55 – While I was typing that last thought, MVP took over the match and Batista’s giving up way more offense than I would have expected. Oh, and that’s a GOOD thing.

9:58 – Batista hits the spinebuster and the crowd goes nuts. This match should be over any secon– OH it’s EDGE, running in from the back and trying for the spear. Batista wins by DQ, and from my perspective, MVP held his own. Not a clinic or anything, and definitely not on the level of Edge/Benoit, but this was a perfectly acceptible TV main event until the ending…

10:00 – …and goodnight!

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