We finally get to see the new SmackDown opening video, but itâ€™s nothing to call home about.
Batista opens the show via an interview with Michael Cole. I donâ€™t pay much attention until Montel Vontavious Porter interrupts whatever he was saying. Porter says heâ€™s half man, half amazing, and Batista goes all intense and stuff, until Big Daddy V comes out with Matt Striker. Striker says the usual stuff, that V will destroy everyone in the chamber – Batista slammed into 10 tonnes of steel, MVPâ€™s face dragged across 2 miles of chain. Striker does a good deal of hyping the chamber itself, but not exactly the match. Khali interrupts and yells at V, apparently saying that all of their talk is futile – and Finlay quickly interrupts, bringing Hornswoggle down with him for some reason. Finlay says he figured heâ€™s just join the party and fight. Cue Undertaker. Undertaker appears in the middle of the ring and the heels bail while Finlay and Batista remain in the ring. Undertakerâ€™s got a bit of a funny expression on his face for most of the time â€¦ Segment wasnâ€™t much, but it got the point across well.
The WrestleMania hype clip is nowhere near as exciting as it should be. For shame, WWE. But, then again, Iâ€™m not a big fan of Red Hot Chilli Peppers outside of a few songs.
Tonight: Undertaker, Batista and Finlay vs. Big Daddy V, Montel Vontavious Porter and The Great Khali â€¦ Iâ€™m actually expecting something good from that match.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane
Benjamin tries to control the match to start, but Kane gets the advantage and chokes Benjamin in the corner. Kane with a low dropkick to a seated Benjamin. Kane sends Benjamin into the corner, but Benjamin jumps to the top rope and gets a cross body. Kane grabs Benjamin by the throat but Benjamin grabs the ropes. Benjamin runs into a big boot by Kane. Benjamin drop toe holds Kane into the turnbuckles. Benjamin with a nice Blockbuster to Kane for a one count. Benjamin DDTs Kane for a brief pinfall attempt. Benjamin jumps off the second turnbuckle into a right hand by Kane. Kane sends Benjamin into the corner and nails a heap of punches, a pair of running clotheslines followed by a sidewalk slam. Kane with the flying clothesline. Benjamin rolls to the outside and Kane follows, attacking Benjamin in the meanwhile. Benjamin sends Kane into the steel post. Benjamin goes to the top rope, Kane knocks him into the ring and gets counted out?
Winner: Shelton Benjamin
Isnâ€™t that the exact same ending we saw on Batista / MVP not too long ago? Like, one month at most? Otherwise, the match was a good. Four out of Ten.
The Cutting Edge is on tonight, and Vickie Guerrero is the special guest!
Chuck Palumbo vs. Jamie Noble w/ Michelle McCool
Palumbo forces Noble into the corner to start. Noble with kicks but Palumbo shoves him away. Noble with rights to Palumbo, but Noble comes off the ropes into a big boot. Palumbo with mounted punches to Noble. Palumbo misses a second rope elbow to Noble. Noble gets some offence in, and even evades a spear by Palumbo – which sends Palumbo into the steel post. Noble with rights and a head butt to Palumbo before he cross bodies the pair over the top rope to the outside. Noble gets to the top rope and jumps to the outside, but Palumbo avoids and sends Noble into the motorbike! Palumbo intimidates McCool, before taking Noble back into the ring for a Full Throttle. Palumbo covers Noble and gets the three count to finally defeat Noble.
Winner: Chuck Palumbo
Palumbo attacks Noble post match. Palumbo sends Noble back first into the steel post before slamming him onto the mats outside. Palumbo yells at McCool a lot. Where are the referees and security to break this up? Where is the blood? This isnâ€™t as good of a beat down as it should be, and it drags on too long. But, you know, I still like this storyline none the less. I enjoyed their match as well, but Iâ€™d like to see them in a different situation next time. A Cage match would be interesting, I think. Four out of Ten.
Jesse and Festus vs. Deuce and Domino w/ Cherry
Festus has a paper bag over his head during their entrance? Jesse presents the new and improved Festus: exactly the same. The bell rings, and Festus goes ape shit Festus as per usual. Jesse and Deuce begin. Jesse with a school boy very early in the match for a brief pinfall attempt. Jesse with a nice hip toss, followed by a drop toe hold and low dropkick for a two count over Deuce. Jesse with a senton to Deuce for a two count, broken by Domino. Deuce sends Jesse face first into the ring apron. Deuce suplexs Jesse gut first onto the apron, and Domino comes in. Jesse with a nice Fishermanâ€™s Suplex to Domino. Jesse tags out to Festus, who sends Domino into the top turnbuckle. Festus with a nice bicycle kick to Domino, follows up with a splash on Domino. Festus with the flapjack to Domino for the three count.
Winners: Jesse and Festus
Jesse actually looks shocked after the match. This is a cute gimmick, and itâ€™s good to see these two back. Two out of Ten.
Up next: Vickie Guerrero is the guest on the Cutting Edge.
Commercials. Kahmalâ€™s newest WWE commercial is about â€¦ King Booker?
The Cutting Edge time! Edge hypes up Vickie Guerrero as a risk taker because she put her body on the line for his title reign. Edge demands cheers for Vickie Guerrero as she gets wheeled out by Theodore Long. Eddie Chant. Edge talks about Valentineâ€™s Day, and that next week on SmackDown he has a very special question he wants to ask her â€¦ a life altering question â€¦ one that a man asks a woman when theyâ€™re in love â€¦ Hm. I wonder who can make the best smart ass response as to what the question could be? Edge demands an apology from Rey Mysterio. Mysterio makes his way on out and Vickie then also demands an apology. Rey begins speaking, but Vickie slaps him. Rey begins speaking back, but Vickie slaps him again. Slap the bitch back already! Vickie goes to slap him again, Rey grabs her hand and Edge attacks him. Mysterio sets Edge up for a 619 but Edge escapes and goes for a spear, but Rey avoids it and Edge almost collides with Vickie. Edge boots Rey down and grabs a pair of chairs from ringside, but Rey kicks one into Edge! 619 to Edge. Edge rolls to the outside, and Rey nails a seated senton on Edge and onto the table. Rey gets on the microphone afterwards and half heartedly apologizes to Vickie.
Coach and Cole run down the No Way Out Card.
Recap of the Kiss My Ass segment from RAW.
Eva Torres questions Edge about the question he wants to ask Vickie Guerrero. Eva asks if Edge is going to propose – but Edge gets all defensive. Edge tells her to just watch next Friday if she wants to know so badly.
Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder vs. Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore
Do Moore and Yang ever have costume changes? Yang and Ryder begin. Yang with a nice dropkick to Ryder for a two count. Ryder tags out to Hawkins, who runs in and gets hit with a hip toss. Yang with chops to Hawkins. Ryder provides a distraction and Hawkins knocks Yang to the outside. Hawkins hooks Yangâ€™s arm into the rope and Ryder tags in. Ryder with a hammerlock incorporated into a slam for a two count over Yang. Hawkins tagged in, and he connects with elbows to the arm of Yang. Hawkins runs into a boot from yang. Ryder tagged in, as is Moore. Moore with a clothesline, a dropkick, an inverted atomic drop and leg drop for a pinfall attempt over Ryder. Ryder with the big reverse DDT for â€¦ the three count? Huh?!
Winners: Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder
I was enjoying this match until the abrupt ending, which really left a sour taste. Two out of Ten.
Entrances for the main event.
The Great Khali, Big Daddy V and Montel Vontavious Porter w/ Ranjin Singh and Matt Striker vs. Batista, Finlay and The Undertaker w/ Hornswoggle
Weâ€™re back and Khali and Finlay are the legal men. Khali is dominating over Finlay with the usual lacklustre offence, until Porter tags in. Porter with a snap mare on Finlay for a one count. Finlay with a drop toe hold to Porter. Finlay with a short arm clothesline and scoop slam, butt drop follows and gets Finlay a one count. Batista tagged in. Odd to see Batista and Finlay on the same team. V tags in. V with a chop to Batista, but the splash misses. Batista with spears to V in the corner. Batista goes for a snap mare but settles for a knee. Undertaker tagged in. Taker in with head butts to V, which miss by a mile. Taker hooks the arm and goes for Old School but V stops him. V with elbows to Taker. V charges at Taker in the corner, but Taker escapes and V connects with the steel post. Taker hits V with Old School. Porter comes into the ring but Taker hits him with Old School as well. Taker turns into a clothesline from V, and Khali tags in as we head to a commercial.
Porter and Taker are the legal men when we return. Porter covers Taker for a two count. Porter with punches to Taker. Taker tags out to Batista. Batista knocks Khali and V off the apron before hitting Porter with a suplex for a two count. Batista takes Porter into the corner for spears, and Finlay is tagged in. Finlay with a low dropkick to Porter for a two count. Finlay attacks V and Khali, daring them on. Porter runs into a big boot from Finlay, and Finlay goes to the second rope but Porter knocks Finlay outside. V and Khali attack Finlay, but Taker makes the save. Porter takes Finlay back into the ring for a pinfall attempt, but Finlay kicks out. Khali tags in. Khali whips Finlay into the ropes and Finlay comes back into a clothesline. Khali with stomps to Finlay in the corner. V tags in. V hitâ€™s the chest of Finlay before elbowing Finlay down. V with a big scoop slam to Finlay. Porter back in with an armbar to Finlay. Finlay escapes and comes off the ropes into a drop toe hold by Porter. Finlay begins getting to his feet but Porter knocks Finlay down with a big boot. Porter reapplies the armbar but Finlay turns it into an arm drag. Porter clotheslines Finlay back down. Finlay gets to his feet in the corner and avoids the boot by Porter, and tags out to Taker! Taker with running clotheslines to Porter in the corner. Taker hits Porter with the snake eyes and big boot combo, adding a leg drop afterwards. Taker covers for a two count. Taker signals for the Chokeslam but V comes in and hits Taker with a samoan drop. Batista hits V with a spear! Khali chops Batista down! Finlay hits Khali with the Shillelagh! Porter nails Finlay with a Facebuster! Taker with a choke slam to Porter, and Coachman says the match has been thrown out?!
Finlay, Taker and Batista tease a fight â€¦ as SmackDown fades out?! Cruddy ending aside, they were doing rather well. I enjoyed that match until the ending, which was another far too sudden ending. Five out of Ten. On a side note, I think the SmackDown Elimination Chamber has the possibility to be quite entertaining.
The Inside Pulse
Shelton Benjamin defeats Kane: 4/10
Chuck Palumbo defeats Jamie Noble: 4/10
Jesse and Festus defeat Deuce and Domino: 2/10
Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder defeat Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore: 2/10
Finlay, Batista and The Undertaker draw Big Daddy V, The Great Khali and Montel Vontavious Porter: 5/10
SmackDown 08/02/08: 17/50
An acceptable night from a wrestling standpoint, but the entire episode was brought down by the endings. The only endings I didnâ€™t have an issue with was Palumbo / Noble and Jesse and Festus / Deuce and Domino. Oh well. Until next week, have a good one!