Smackdown Crackdown 2-8-08

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to something new here on Inside Pulse. My name is R. Phillip Provencio and I am the new reviewer for WWE Smackdown. This is the first episode of Smackdown post the “leaving CW” announcement, but since it was filmed before that announcement was made, I doubt it’s going to matter much tonight. Let’s get to the action!

The intro airs. Nothing we haven’t seen before. I’m still wondering what match that is that takes place in the very beginning and where I can see it. It’s probably better than all the squashes we’ve seen lately.

No introductory video package this week before the Smackdown intro. Unusual, but I sort of prefer it.

No opening pyro this week as we enter the arena at the exact same time Batista’s music hits. Batista enters the building to a strong reaction, even causing some young male fans to jump for joy. Hm. JBL’s voice introduces Batista to the crowd, which is odd since JBL is no longer on the show. Smackdown is not live from Corpus Christi, Texas this week. Batista does not do his silly pyro dance and therefore gets no pyro this week. I wonder if WWE is saving it for later. WWE Sign Guy is in the crowd and I just have to ask myself if this guy has a job. He must’ve inherited a boatload of cash or something. Batista picks up a mic as he gets into the ring. Uh oh. The announcers haven’t said a word yet, which is unusual. WWE doesn’t let the crowd reaction set up the entire scene often. Some dork in the crowd has a sign that proclaims: “Batista My #1 Chulo.” How does that work? Michael Cole is in the ring for an interview, which in my opinion has always been Cole’s strong suit. He asks the muscleman about how in 9 days time, he has a chance to earn his way to Wrestlemania by surviving the Elimination Chamber. Batista has a few thoughts of his own, the first of which is his experience in that type of match. None of the other wrestlers in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber have competed in it before. While true, Undertaker’s been in plenty of Hell in a Cell matches, so one has to figure that would play a role as well. The second thing Batista notes is that there are a lot of big men in this match. Batista predicts victory, however, and also predicts he shall win the title at Wrestlemania. Immediately after he says this, MVP cues his music and heads to the ring. Coach, at ringside, predicts MVP to win the Elimination Chamber match because he’s beaten the hell out of Ric Flair. Hmm, I don’t quite follow that logic. MVP grabs a mic of his own as Cole exits the ring and tells Batista, whose gaze has been wandering to look his way. MVP says Batista talks a lot of garbage about being ERRRR ME ANIMAL and being in an Elimination Chamber before, but he’s never been in an Elimination Chamber with MVP. MVP calls himself “half man, half amazing” but Batista interrupts by saying he’ll whip MVP‘s ass again. Big Titty V…sorry, Big Daddy V cues his music and enters with God of Microphones Matt Striker. Cole calls BDV a mastodon. Somewhere Big Vader cries a little. Cole also suggests Big Daddy V is too fat to fit in a Chamber pod. Wow. Matt Striker, calling BDV the most dominant force in WWE, says that he disagrees who will headline Wrestlemania. BDV will crush everyone in the Chamber, YOUR TEACHER informs you. Striker tells Batista to imagine his flesh being slammed into ten tons of…steel. Yeah, I have to admit, I didn’t expect him to say steel either. Batista smiles at the thought. What a weird man. Striker turns his attention to MVP, telling him to imagine his face being dragged across two miles of steel chain. They show a shot of MVP’s reaction which is humorous for some reason due to MVP’s breathe right strip. Matt Striker promises that carnage will be inflicted by his 500 pound mastodon. Vader dies again. BDV’s angry face is a sight to behold. Great Khali cues his music while BDV pounds his chest and it takes Striker a few seconds to figure out that his turn to speak is over. Boo. Coach and Cole run down the list of wrestling cage match clichés as Khali grabs a mic. Oh please, dear whatever deity you may believe in, no! Khali roars at Big Daddy V while the crowd chants “WHAT” at him. Hilarity! Ranjin Singh translates Khali, saying their talk is futile. Singh proclaims that the Punjabi Nightmare is going to Wrestlemania. Well, he‘s right about one thing. That fight-loving Finlay cues his music. Finlay (and Hornswoggle, who amusingly isn’t recognized on the graphic) heads for the ring. Sign Guy’s sign isn’t only stupid, but he misspells Hornswoggle’s name. In case you’re curious, it says “Hornswaggle Dolls Are Half Price.” What a maroon. Finlay says he wants to join the party because he has new boots, his shillelagh, and points out a “giant leprechaun” in the crowd. He has come here to fight. Undertaker cues his music as the arena fades to black. One of these days I hope to see Sabu come out to Taker’s gong and lighting instead of the Undertaker. When the lights return, Taker is standing mid ring as MVP, Khali and Big Titty exit. Cole puts over the Elimination Chamber one more time.

Wrestlemania 24 is 51 days away and the Royal Rumble winner isn’t challenging for the title at it. Stupid.

Tonight, a six man tag match between the Elimination Chamber combatants will take place. Egads. Coach calls it the biggest six man tag in Smackdown’s history. Physically, that’s probably accurate.

Shelton Benjamin is already in the ring to the tail end of his music. All the telltale signs that he’s losing tonight. Shelton promises that tonight the “Gold Standard” will show why “there ain’t no stopping me nooooooooooooooow!” Some gimmicks only work once…Kennedy. Kane’s pyro hits and we have our first match of the night.

Match #1: Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane 2

This is a rematch from last week’s episode of ECW, where Kane won by count out. In fact, they even show highlights from that match. Shelton starts with some punches and kicks on Kane in the corner. Kane reverses an Irish whip and clotheslines Benjamin. Coach says: “I just said something stupid. I know that’s hard to believe.” Nope, not really. Kane gets his own offense in the corner and chokes Shelton with his boot. Cole reiterates again Kane’s performance at the Royal Rumble, where he made it to the last four and was eliminated by Triple H and Batista. Kane hits a running dropkick on Shelton. Wow, move of the year! Cole calls it a big dropkick, which is good enough for everyone except Coach, who questions Cole. Cole says, “Well, how would you describe Kane? Small?” Coach backs off and changes the subject. Bizarre. Shelton jumps onto the top rope off Kane’s Irish whip and hits a sort of back elbow. Shelton parades around the ring too long and gets caught in Kane’s choke. Shelton breaks the hold but runs straight into a boot by the monster. Coach: “Well, that tactic didn’t work, obviously.” Oh Smackdown and your ground breaking, intelligent commentary. Shelton’s drop toe hold sends Kane into the top turnbuckle. Shelton snaps Kane over the top rope, heads up top and hits a nice neck breaker for one. Shelton hits some shots as Coach talks about how Shelton’s never been beaten. Cole tries to save him by saying that’s only on ECW, but the man LOST by count out on ECW just two weeks ago! A loss is a loss, wrestling companies need to realize this at some point. Coach digs himself deeper by saying Shelton’s undefeated on Smackdown too, apparently forgetting the whole Team Angle thing. However, Cole somehow finds a way to dig even deeper than Coach by saying Shelton’s never wrestled on Smackdown. I hate these men. Shelton hits a DDT for two. Shelton nails a few more shots as Coach predicts victory for him tonight. Kane hits a few punches of his own but runs into another back elbow. Shelton leaps off the second rope but is met by a uppercut. Coach says Benjamin made “one step forward, two steps back.” Sort of like this announce team. Kane hits some big clotheslines and choke-tosses Benjamin into the corner where some more punches and clotheslines are in order. Kane hits a side slam and a top rope clothesline as well. The wrestlers venture outside the ring where Kane’s shoulder is introduced to the metal post. Both men venture onto the ring apron and Shelton is met with a punch and falls back into the ring as the referee reaches ten.

Your winner, by count out, Shelton Benjamin! Again, a decent match between these two men, but I enjoyed the ECW match more because Joey Styles and Tazz are light-years better at what they do than Michael Cole and the Coach. The ending was a little goofy, but if it means that this little feud continues, then I can let it slide. Six minutes, three seconds.

Kane reenters the ring as both Shelton and the ref slide out of it. Kane protests as they show a replay. Kane makes some angry faces as Benjamin switches between smiling in victory and selling his jaw.
Tonight, Vickie Guerrero will be on the Cutting Edge show. Well, this will be uncomfortable.

Back from break, Chuck Palumbo and his motorcycle come out to the ring. In a nice touch, ring announcer Justin Roberts announces Palumbo as “riding to the ring.” Jaime Noble cues his music and enters. Cole says Jaime Noble is 4-0 against Palumbo as Noble brings Palumbo’s “friend” Michelle out. Reaction shot of Palumbo makes it look like he’s a little bit apathetic to this though. Nice storytelling, Chucky.

Match #2: Chuck Palumbo vs. Jaime Noble 5

Jaime Noble starts things off taking it to the larger Palumbo with lots of punches and kicks and even a chop before running into a sort of sidekick before mounting Noble and hitting lots of punches. Palumbo hits a modified Samoan drop before heading up to the second rope and missing a Brother Ray senton. Noble retakes control with a facial dropkick and the two wrestle some more until Palumbo sends himself shoulder first into the steel post. Noble with some more light offense before hitting a cross body that takes Chuck out of the ring. As he tries to reenter it, Noble takes him out again with a dropkick. Noble heads up top but lands on Chuck’s motorcycle. I just made it sound better than it looked though. Palumbo throws Noble back into the ring and hits a gut wrench neckbreaker sort of move for the win.

Your winner, by pinfall, Chuck Palumbo! OK little match I guess. Palumbo finally gets a win on Jaime Noble so the story has to continue. Three minutes, fifty-seven seconds.

Chuck celebrates the win as Michelle can’t seem to decide whether to get in the ring or not. She eventually decides not to, so Chuck throws Noble into the ring post as well. The cameras nearly miss a clothesline on the outside. Palumbo slams Noble back first into the pole twice before slamming him to the floor. A few punches and another slam later, and we hear some heel fan yell at Noble “that’s what you get for getting his girl!” Heel fans are funny people. They even yell to Chuck when Michelle finally tries to help Noble recover. This segment goes far too long. Chuck eventually gets back on his bike and threatens to run over Noble. During this, the ref tries to restrain Michelle, which makes ZERO sense.

Back from break, Jesse and Festus are headed to the ring. For some reason, Festus has a bag over his head. They’re going to face Deuce and Domino, who get the jobber entrance. Apparently Festus’ case of madness has been cured. Why the bag? Who knows. Maybe they confused Festus for Snitsky. Jesse takes a mic to say Festus has had psychological evaluations to cure his mental disorder. Festus is unbagged, looking exactly the same. A sign in the crowd sums this up nicely. It simply says “Yikes.” The bell rang, and it didn’t work. Festus is the same.

Match #3 Jesse/Festus vs. Deuce/Domino

Festus runs at the greasers, who get out of the ring. Jesse gets a quick rollup for two. Deuce hits some blows but Jesse comes back with a Japanese arm drag, a drop toe hold and a dropkick for two. Deuce whips Jesse into the corner but is met with boots. Jesse hits the Brother Ray senton but Domino makes the save only to be met with some right hands. Deuce gets a two count, tags in Domino and hangs Jesse out to dry. Domino hits a top rope elbow and throws his shirt at Festus. Domino gets a chinlock but Jesse escapes as Festus fails to get the crowd behind Jesse. Jesse comes back with a Perfect-plex neck breaker. Deuce tries to interfere but Festus catches him. Jesse tags in Festus who throws Deuce out of the ring. Festus hits some clotheslines and a jumping shoulderblock. He follows up with an Albert axe kick and a Mike Awesome splash. Jesse took out Deuce on the outside as Festus is distracted by Cherry. Domino briefly gets the advantage, but Festus catches him in a fallaway slam for the win.

Your winners, by pinfall, Jesse and Festus! I’m not a fan of either of these teams, but Festus showed good fire. Four minutes, three seconds.

It’s time for the Cutting Edge segment of the show. The World Champ Edge comes to the ring. Some goofs in the crowd try to unfurl a sign but can’t get it properly. Edge stands and looks at the sign, which says “Edg Sti Suc” up and down until it’s unfurled correctly and reads “Edge Still Sucks.” Odd moment. Edge welcomes us to a special edition of his show. His guest tonight is brave, selfless, and the love of his life. Edge rolls the footage of Vickie taking the 619 at the Royal Rumble for some reason. Edge says, with all respect to Huey Lewis, THAT was the power of love. Cheese! Edge wants the people to give Vickie Guerrero the respect she deserves. The GM of Smackdown is wheeled out to the ring by Teddy Long. For some reason a “you suck” chant breaks out. For some reason, she gets in the ring by her own power and Coach likes her hair. What? Teddy Long is nice enough to bring Vickie’s wheelchair in the ring. The crowd starts another chant but I’m unable to tell if it’s “TEDDY” or “EDDIE.” Edge asks Teddy to take the other stool to the back so he can have some privacy. What? There’s 10,000 people in the building and millions at home, Edge. Privacy is not possible. Edge calls Vickie his “snuggle muffin” and barks softly at her. Really. Next week is Valentine’s Day, says the champ, but every day is like Valentine’s Day with her. Next week, Edge has a very special question to ask. Life-altering, in fact. We all know it’s coming. Edge says he loves Vickie, and he repeats it in Spanish. A Canadian speaking Spanish in an American town, my mind is blown. This story goofs me up. Edge DEMANDS that Rey Mysterio come out and apologize to Vickie. Rey cues his music and heads to the ring, where Vickie demands an apology as well. Rey tries to say something but Vickie slaps him good. She says she’s tired of his excuses. Rey tries to speak again, but Vickie slaps him again. Rey tries to explain himself but again Vickie tries to slap him. This time though, Rey blocks it, but Edge attacks before he can do anything. Edge avoids the 619, Mysterio avoids a spear and Edge avoids spearing Vickie. Rey gets some punches but is met with a boot. Edge gets some punches and leaves the ring to get two chairs. Rey gives Edge a Van Daminator however and follows with a 619. Rey looks at Vickie for a second before hitting Edge with a seated senton onto the announce table. Rey celebrates as Vickie yells at him. After a replay, Rey apologizes to Vickie. After a commercial, they show recap of this segment. Cole and Coach run down the No Way Out card and the six man tag team match.

Now they show a recap of the Hornswoggle Kiss My Ass club segment from RAW. Less said, the better?

Backstage Edge is interviewed by some chick. Don’t know her name. She asks about the special question Edge intends to ask Vickie next week. Edge basically tells her to stay out of his business and tune in next week to find out. Edge, buddy, this chick works there.

The Edgeheads make their way to the ring for a match. Their opponents are Jimmy Yang and Shannon Moore. Apparently Moore’s evolved from that goofy punk character on ECW into a cowboy as well.

Match 4: The Edgeheads vs. Moore Wang 2

This is a rematch from last week’s Smackdown. Edgehead 1 and Akio start the match with the normal, headlock, reverse, shoulder block set of moves. Yang hits an arm drag and keeps on with an armbar. Yang reverses the whip into a dropkick for two as Cole tells us that Yang calls his dance the rhino shuffle. Somewhere, Rhino cries. Cole continues telling us pointless information like the fact that Yang’s brother is a break-dancer. So does he have a real job too, Michael? Edgehead 1 makes a tag but Yang catches Edgehead 2 with another arm drag. Edgehead 2 and Yang trade some chops before EH2 sends Yang onto the apron but gets caught with a punch. EH1 distracts Yang and EH2 smacks Yang off to the floor. Cole calls it a play right out of Edge’s book, to which Coach asks “and what book would that be?” Coach, did you forget Edge has written an autobiography? Even if you did, it’s a freakin’ cliché, dude. EH2 sends Yang back into the ring and stomps him multiple times. EH1 blind tags himself in and continues to work on Yang’s arm. EH1 hits Yang with a hammerlock slam for two. EH2 tags back in and hits more arm-based offense. Yang tries to counter out with kicks but gets sent into the corner. He meets EH2 there with boots. EH1 and Shannon Moore both tag into the match and Moore hits some clotheslines, a dropkick, an atomic drop and another move for two. EH2 makes the save and knocks Wang to the ground. Moore dropkicks EH2 out of the ring but is met by EH1 with a reverse DDT type slam for the win.

Your winners, by pinfall, the Edgeheads! Nice to see that the Smackdown tag team division is starting to get strong again after what seems like years of being ignored. The Edgeheads have made leaps and bounds already in improvement over their time as the Major Brothers. Moore Wang, meanwhile, are sliding down the ranks after a decent feud with Morrison and Miz on ECW. Three minutes, thirty two seconds.

Back from break, it’s main event time as Khali cues his music. Michael Cole asks how “the ring can hold this massive men.” Got his tenses confused there. That’s an English major joke, sorry. Khali heads to the ring at over seven feet tall, over four hundred pounds, and overrated. Cole thinks Khali won’t fit in an Elimination Chamber pod either. Big Titty V heads out to no reaction from the announce team. What the heck is going on with those two? MVP comes out next. Batista is first out for his team. This time he does do the silly pyro dance. I’ve been to Smackdown live, friends, and if your seats are crappy enough, and you sit next to the pyro like I did, that mess will damage your ears. For some reason, Finlay comes out to Hornswoggle’s music. That’s disturbing. Out comes the Undertaker. This time he even has flames in his entrance. Cole and Coach do the right thing this time, and shut up for Taker’s entrance.

Match #5: Great Khali/Big Daddy V/MVP vs. Finlay/Batista/Undertaker

Back from break, we join the match in progress. Khali head butts and punches Finlay before tagging MVP. The US champ goes to work on Finlay and almost runs over the ref in doing so. MVP snapmares the Irish wrestler for one. Finlay catches MVP in a drop toe hold and a choke before standing up and switching to an armlock, clothesline and scoop slam for two. Finlay tags in Batista who applies an armlock of his own. Wow. MVP gets out with some light offense and tags in the former Viscera. BDV hits some punches and a Big Show chop. Batista gets out of the way of an Avalanche and hits some shoulder blocks. Batista hits plenty of right hands and tags in Undertaker who does the same, and head butts BDV as well. Taker works the arm for awhile but BDV doesn’t let him attempt the Old School. V takes over with forearms but Taker avoids another Avalanche splash. This time, Taker is able to hit Old School, and MVP meets the same fate when he tries to interfere. V cuts Taker off with a clothesline though. He tags in Khali who hits a head butt before WWE wisely goes to commercial.

Back from break again, MVP is wailing on Undertaker in the corner. He gets a two count and goes for more punches. Taker regains the momentum with some punches of his own. Taker tags in Batista. Batista punches MVP, snapmares him and gives him a running boot to the face. Batista takes shots at both Khali and BDV before re-concentrating on MVP with an overhead suplex for two. Batista hits some shoulder blocks before tagging Finlay. Finlay hit a strange looking head butt/shoulder block type move as Hornswoggle watched, then hit MVP with an Irish uppercut. Finlay stomped MVP low, then delivered a running dropkick for two. Finlay took shots at BDV and Khali as well. After some more wrestling, MVP pushed Finlay from the top rope to the floor. Things broke down on the outside for awhile as MVP rolled Finlay back into the ring. MVP tagged in Khali who kicked Finlay in the hamstring and hit a big clothesline. BDV tagged himself back in with some Big Show chops and a back elbow. BDV scoop slammed Finlay and tagged MVP. Finlay worked his way out of a hold with some knees but MVP caught him in a drop toe hold. MVP hit his running kick for a two. Finlay escapes another hold with an arm drag. MVP hits a clothesline but can’t hit the high kick in the corner. Finlay tags in Undertaker who goes to work on the US champ. Taker hits the Snake Eyes and follows up with a boot. Undertaker hits a leg drop but MVP kicked out. Taker wanted the Chokeslam but Big Daddy V interfered with a Samoan drop. Batista entered the ring and speared BDV. Khali entered the ring and took out Batista with a chop. Finlay entered the ring and nailed Khali with the shillelagh. MVP entered the ring and took Finlay out with a bulldog to the knee. The referee just gave up and threw out the match as Taker choke slammed MVP.

No contest, a final bell never rang. Decent six man tag to help promote the Elimination Chamber at No Way Out.

After the match, they teased Finlay and Batista trying to take out the Undertaker. There was a three way stare down as the show went off the air.

Favorite Match: Shelton vs. Kane. Despite the countout finish, these two work well together and I’m interested in seeing where this angle is going next.

Least favorite match: Jesse/Festus vs. Deuce/Domino. Anytime you know who’ll win before a match starts that’s a bad thing.

Folks, there it is, the first ever Smackdown Crackdown. Hope you enjoy and until next time, keep your teeth clean!

The Inside Pulse
Shelton Benjamin beat Kane by CO
Chuck Palumbo beat Jaime Noble
Jesse/Festus beat Deuce/Domino
The Edgeheads beat Shannon Moore/Jimmy Wang Yang
Batista/Finlay/The Undertaker vs Big Daddy V/The Great Khali/MVP was a no contest.

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