The Smackdown Ramble: July 13th, 2007

-Before the credits, Edge is on the phone talking about the party he’s planned for tonight. Kane appears behind him in the window of a door, but when Edge turns around, he’s gone. Kane then magically reappears when the champ walks the other way. Scary.

-With Michael Cole and JBL, TAPED! from New Orleans, Louisiana.

-Tonight, it’s Edge’s Rated-R Mardi Gras Celebration (which has no real relevance or meaning to me, being English) and the Batista/Khali contract signing. Good to see they’re hyping those wrestling matches on tonight’s show oh, wait.

-Matt Hardy vs. Chris Masters

MVP does commentary for this one, and berates the media beforehand by saying they always focus on the negatives, like his defeat to Matt last week. Can’t disagree with that, actually. They run through some basics to start, and Matt gets the advantage with a headlock. Twist of Fate is blocked though, and Hardy gets knocked down with a reverse elbow. Matt works over the arm, but gets scoop slammed. Military press slam by Masters and he tries the Masterlock, but we head out to a break. We come back and Masters has a chinlock. Matt gets a jawbreaker and an enziguri, but the yodelling leg drop misses, and a sidewalk slam gets two for Masters. He works over Matt’s back for a bit, and a corner clothesline gets two. Another clothesline gets two and a half as MVP runs through his list of achievements and gets into several arguments with Cole. Yodelling elbow and the Side Effect get two for Matt. Twist of Fate is blocked, but another attempt connects to give Matt the pin at just over 10:00, televised. Pretty much by the numbers stuff as it was Masters working Matt over for most of it before the finish, but nothing to complain about. MVP was good on commentary, although I hate it when they cut to the announce table when there’s action going on in the ring. **1/4

-Afterwards, MVP distracts Hardy and Masters puts him in the Masterlock, which is followed by the Playmaker.

-Finlay vs. Jimmy Wang Yang

A clash of styles if ever I saw one. Finlay gets the advantage with a lockup and a waistlock to start. Vertical suplex by Finlay is followed by a right hand, and another. They exchange kicks, but Yang gets a headscissors and a dropkick that sends Finlay to the floor. Yang tries a baseball slide, but Finlay pulls up the ring apron in a moment of GENIUS, and Yang doesn’t connect. Back in, Finlay works him over with elbows, and a headscissors is countered into a backbreaker for two. Another cover gets two. Finlay wrenches the arm and clotheslines Yang down. Fujiwara armbar continues the arm related offense, followed by a backbreaker. Yang counters with an enziguri for two, and the heel kick in the corner. Crossbody gets two for Yang, but his momentum ends there as he gets backdropped (nastily), and the Celtic Cross wins it at 6:43. Thoroughly enjoyable match. **

-Afterwards, Finlay slams Hornswoggle onto Yang. Cole: “He’s like a rabid leprechaun!” Erm, I’d say he IS a rabid leprechaun, actually.

-Chavo Guerrero and Jamie Noble vs. The Major Brothers

Ya know, if they keep referring to Noble as a pit bull, they’re gonna HAVE to reform him and Yang at some point. Noble starts off with some forearms on Brian Major, but gets armdragged down to the mat. Tag to Brett, but he gets kneed in the gut for his troubles. His troubles being he is thoroughly bland and boring, if I’m honest. Chavo gets tagged in, and smartly avoids a double team. Out of NOWHERE, Cole uses discombobulate in a sentence. It really was quite random. Double hiptoss gets two on Noble. Neckbreaker by Noble, and Chavo and Noble work Brian over for a bit as Cole and JBL bicker about ‘those media types’. Couple of nearfalls for the heels, before Brett gets a double enziguri and Brian gets the lukewarm tag. He dropkicks Chavo down and gets a spinebuster for two. Brett suplexes Noble to the floor, and a missile dropkick gets the clean pin for him on Chavo at 7:14. Chavo shouldn’t be jobbing like that, and the Majors are just so generic it’s untrue. *1/2

-If you’re reading this review and watching the show simultaneously, I now recommend you save yourself the boredom of watching the rest and do something more productive for the next hour or so. Alternatively, if you’re after an insomnia cure, leave it on.

-Backstage, Khali’s translator wants everything cancelled – the contract signing, the match, everything. No objections here. Vickie doesn’t want that though, so the match goes ahead. Khali then beats up a stage hand for simply saying that they’ve got a chair specially accommodated for Khali’s size. That kinda made me laugh, like Khali can’t sit on regular chairs or something.

-Rey Mysterio is back soon.

-Edge is in his locker room watching the Rey video (what channel’s that on then? Wouldn’t he be watching himself now, if he just watched that video?), and Kane mysteriously appears/disappears again.

-Moments ago, Khali beat up that stage hand.

-So, like the wedding and the award ceremony, it’s time for another of the simplest of tasks that never goes as planned in pro-wrestling – the dreaded contract signing. Teddy Long comes out and does the introductions. At least Batista’s dressed a little more respectably this week. Batista signs first, but Khali is less willing and doesn’t want the match. Long calls this match ‘epic’. According to the translator, Khali isn’t scared, he just wants to fight a sportsman. He signs anyway, and the match is official. Batista slaps Khali to try and get him to fight, but the translator pulls Khali out of the ring. Khali throws the steps in the ring, so Dave throws them back down the ramp at him, along with the table and the chairs. Damn, and they went to all that trouble to make that chair especially for Khali, too.

-Chuck Palumbo vs. Luke Hawkes

Palumbo dominates and finishes with the Full Throttle at 1:41. Next. DUD

-Jesse and Festus talk about the divas. Haven’t we got enough people with this kind of gimmick?

-Backstage, Edge is brushing his teeth when Kane appears in the mirror, and then disappears. Someone should get Edge a restraining order – stalking is NOT cool.

-Backstage, Eugene wants to ride in Deuce ‘n’ Domino’s car, and indeed his request is granted. They’ll even drive him back if Eugene wins his match.

-Eugene vs. Mark Henry

Oh, great, another squash. Henry dominates and finishes with the Bearhug at 1:38. Next. DUD

-Michelle McCool is loving life etc etc. Can somebody tell me what on earth these videos with her in are achieving? I mean really, what is the point of them? Anything?

-Last week, Torrie and Victoria had themselves a bit of a brawl, leading to a match tonight.

-Backstage, Teddy is proud of Vickie for standing up to the Great Khali. Krystal wants Vickie to be the maid of honor at their wedding. Just wait until I have to review that well, unless they do something stupid like do it at SummerSlam, in which case I won’t have to. But surely they’re not that silly, are they?

-Based on the past thirty minutes or so of programming, no, that isn’t a rhetorical question.

-Torrie Wilson vs. Victoria

And this, boys and girls, is your main event. Victoria starts off with a slap in the corner and a hairtoss, before Torrie fights back with a clothesline. They fight with each other’s hair, before Victoria gets a kick and pulls away at the hair. Choking and slapping ensues, and Victoria gets a two count and another hairpull. And now there’s MORE choking by Victoria. She misses a standing moonsault though, and Torrie fights back with a clothesline, and a swinging neckbreaker gets two. Snap suplex gets two as well. Widow’s Peak is blocked and they fight to the floor, but Torrie gets back in at 4:32 for the countout win. *

-Backstage, Edge is preparing for the party with various characters. Geez, I wonder which one of them is Kane?

-Edge comes out for the Mardi Gras party with the King, Queen, etc., complete with confetti. The characters surround the ring as Edge takes the mic. He promises the biggest party in the history of the city, but this won’t be anywhere near as big as the one he throws after he beats Kane. The party starts and they throw beads into the crowd (I do actually know the meaning behind the beads, by the way). Edge susses that something’s up though, and spears the Queen. Guess he suspects Kane of being a crossdresser as well as a rapist and a murderer, but hey, what Kane gets up to is his business. Anyway, it turns out that Kane was actually dressed as the King (I know, I’m shocked too), and he beats up Edge and tosses him into the ring. Chokeslam on Edge is prevented by the jester running in, and Edge bails. Kane chokeslams the jester, and then does his pyro to end the show.

The Inside Pulse
The best way to explain this show: it was like going to the cinema, but you’re too impatient to wait in that long queue for the good film, so you take your chances on the film with four or five people waiting outside instead. You’ve got no expectations going in, but you watch the opening few scenes and think to yourself, “this isn’t too bad.” However, you realise as you watch more and more of the film that it’s actually really poor, but you think, “well, I’ve paid my money, might as well stay for the end.” The only problem is, when it seems that the film might be reaching a conclusion, something else happens and it pushes the ending back a bit. By the time you’ve finished watching it, you’re so disillusioned that you don’t care what happens at all.

Highly complicated analogies aside, the second hour of this show in particular was just abysmal. There’s no positive spin I can put on it. Two squash matches, a very average match between Torrie and Victoria and a main event segment that ended exactly the same way as last week. There must be a reason Edge isn’t wrestling and I think I read Flair was away due to an ear problem, but even so, they didn’t produce a show that was anywhere approaching even what I’d call satisfactory.

I guess what I’m really saying is, don’t go out of your way to watch this show.

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