The SmackDown Report

I am sick, and because this is a best of episode I won’t be doing much in terms of recap. Chances are you’ll have seen a lot of these matches already anyways. It’ll mostly be me giving my thoughts on the matches themselves. So this is gonna be a bit more ranting than usual … Not like I’m even that good at ranting anyways. Anyways.

We get a nice little bit of recapping opening pyro over the past year’s worth of events. We’ve got five matches to show – the top five voted for this year and number one is …

WrestleMania 23: 1 / 4 / 2007
Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Finlay vs. CM Punk vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Mr Kennedy vs. King Booker w/ Queen Sharmell

I remember staying home from class just to hit the record button for WrestleMania. I stayed to watch Aretha Franklin, I stayed to watch the always awesome opening montage, and then I found out that this match was the opening match. It took me about another two hours to get into class. True story, I should write a book about it. The fact that this was opening match was perfect, since it was really right up there with the other three main events (I would say it was above Billionares and Batista / Taker in terms of build up) and helped start WrestleMania with a lot of excitement.

The Jeff Hardy drop through Edge and the Ladder continues to be awesome. Watching Mr. Kennedy win the match is kind of weird, considering it was his first of two missed opportunities of the year. I think that they should have kept the Money In The Bank on him, though, since the idea of the WrestleMania count down was fantastic. They could’ve always had him cash it in on the ECW Championship anyways.

And our top fourth match …

No Mercy: 7 / 10 / 2007
WWE Championship: Last Man Standing: Triple H (Champion) vs. Randy Orton

WWE was suspiciously good with their Last Man Standing matches this year, even if they did over play the gimmick more than they have Ladder in recent years … okay, I haven’t seen the Batista / Kane Last Man Standing Match, but Paul rated it quite highly for a SmackDown match if I remember properly.

But think about it for a minute. John Cena versus Umaga turned into one of the more surprisingly good matches, and was the first of many reasons as to why John Cena won a lot of the IWC over this year. Then we had Batista against The Undertaker – their second match which was far better than it had any right to be even with the draw ending. Both of those matches are certainly match of the year candidates, or at least honourable mentions.

I don’t think this match was that good. Sure, it was interesting, but unlike either of the previous matches it didn’t stick out in my mind for anything else than being H’s first good match since his return. At least the other two matches had the appeal of Cena and Umaga being in a great match, and Batista and Undertaker proving their Mania chemistry wasn’t just a fluke. I think this match often gets it’s rating pushed up a little bit because most of No Mercy sucked, it’s H’s first good match since his return and for the fact that it seemed like a legitimate bonus match from WWE. One thing is for sure, though: watching a match in grey tone certainly doesn’t make it any more appealing.

This match makes me wonder just what the hell is going to happen for WrestleMania. We’re currently almost guaranteed that the main event will [I]at least[/b] contain both Orton and HHH, but for months I thought that WrestleMania would play home to Flair vs. HHH. And then all these rumours that it may be HHH vs. Batista? I can’t help but think that they’ll go with the rumoured WrestleMania 21 Main Event of an Evolution four way.

Hype video for Ric Flair vs. Triple H next week on RAW. I wouldn’t be shocked to see HHH win and Flair be brought back as a special entrant in either the Royal Rumble or Money In The Bank – just to follow close with that rumoured Ric Flair retirement storyline. You know that storyline? The one which included Terry Funk, Mick Foley, a Four Horsemen Survivor Series match … that would’ve been fantastic.

Next week on SmackDown: the awesomeness that is the Beat the Clock Challenge returns! I hope they leave the Edge and Batista rematch for No Way Out (where it would be much bigger) and instead of a surprise challenger for Edge come from the midcard. Finlay, maybe?

Number three …

RAW: 23 / 4 / 2007
John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels

… Number three. For real? Number three?! This is practically neck and neck for match of the year with Danielson vs. Guiness on most of the IWC votes I’ve seen .. Okay then. I wonder how much the actual votes were taken into consideration.

I don’t think I really need to say much to add to this match. This was, along with vs. Umaga, another match which made the IWC hate Cena less than they did last year. This was another “Shawn’s still got it even after the broken back!” match, a tradition which started with HHH vs. Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam 2002.

Tribute to the Troops video.

Greatest moments of 2007: Y2J returns, Hornswoggle McMahon, Steveweiser 2007, Eve Torres wins Diva Search, Edge cashes in again and Bald Vince McMahon. I’m not making that list up, they are what they consider to be the greatest moments of 2007.

Survivor Series: 18 / 11 / 2007
Traditional Survivor Series Match: Triple H, Kane, Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio vs. Umaga, Big Daddy V, Mr. Kennedy, Montel Vontavious Porter and Finlay

Actually, I still haven’t seen Survivor Series. But this question lets me raise one question: how long until Umaga is brought over to SmackDown? I think that Umaga could become awesome after a few feuds against Rey Mysterio, Batista, Finlay and Matt Hardy. He’d also be fantastic muscle in Porter or Edge’s corner, and could eventually have feuds with them as well.

This match has me wondering how next year’s draft will play out (it’s either talk about that or pretend I’m paying attention to the match when I’m really listening to music from South Park). I’m thinking Finlay leaves SmackDown, Mr. Kennedy should go to ECW and MVP heads to RAW … Sigh, I need a life.

And our number one match is …

WrestleMania 23: 1 / 4 / 2007
World Heavy Weight Championship: The Undertaker vs. Batista

Interesting. It’s not exactly much of a surprise that this is in the top five, but it’s certainly a surprise to be the top match of the year. Can’t really say too much outside of it being an acceptable number one.

Recap of Edge’s return saga.

Don’t forget about the Beat the Clock Challenge next week.

The Inside Pulse
Not really much of a show to recap this week, which was great news for me. I don’t think there’s any need to go out of your way to watch this show, since if you haven’t seen these matches before then you’ll certainly know how to get your hands on them. Until next week, have a happy new year’s eve.