The SmackDown Report

We’re already sixteen nights away from WrestleMania, and the card looks like a bit of a schomozzle. That’s like a kerfuffle.

Tonight’s main event is: Ric Flair AND Shawn Michaels vs. Edge and the Edge Heads in the Steel Cage!

Maria the Playboy Bunny makes his way out. You know something? I’m actually thinking that match could be kinda decent; certainly looks like it should be the best of the Playboy Bunny matches … though, that’s like saying there’s a good STD. Might not be so bad as the others, but it still sucks. Anyways. Maria is here to host the SmackDown Diva Competition. Surprisingly, Maryse is the first elimination. I pegged Cherry for the first one.

Maria says that the four remaining gals will do an obstacle course, pretty much exactly the same as that old Diva Search Bikini Boot Camp without the fastest time getting immunity. The whole purpose of the contest is that the winner will apparently get some fancy bike? Okay then. Michelle McCool has the best time at 20 seconds.

Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels talk about tonight’s main event …

Commercials.

Tonight: No Holds Barred, United States Championship, Batista challenges Montel Vontavious Porter!

RAW Recap: Big Show and Floyd Mayweather weigh in and subsequent brawl.

Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore vs. The Big Show
The Big Show uses “the accomplished tag team”, as Michael Cole puts it, as his own personal rag dolls for a few minutes before winning.
Winner: The Big Show

Show military presses Yang outside, but leaves Moore alone. -Five out of Ten.

Up next: the “Final” Money In The Bank Qualifying Match, Mike Mizanin vs. John Morrison. So, wait, seven guys this year? That’s odd.

Commercials.

Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: John Morrison vs. The Miz
I’d have suggested to throw both of them and either Tommy Dreamer or Steven Richards in there. Hand shake into school boy by Morrison for a quick one count. Morrison continuously goes for a pinfall over Miz, before sending him into the corner but Miz comes back with a second rope clothesline for a two count over Morrison. Nice opening there. Lock up and lock up released. Dramatic headlock takedown by Miz, even getting a brief pinfall over Morrison. Morrison turns the headlock into a backdrop, but Morrison gets caught in the headlock again. Morrison turns the headlock into a backbreaker, and follows up with a single legged boston crab but Miz gets to the rope. Morrison attacks the lower back of Miz, but Miz elbows Morrison. Morrison with rights, Miz with elbows, Morrison with a very nice bridging pinfall for a failed pinfall. Miz connects with the big time clothesline in the corner for a two count. Miz goes for the Reality Check but Morrison rolls outside. Miz chases Morrison back into the ring and Morrison goes to take advantage, but Miz faceplants Morrison for a two count! Morrison with the awesome flipping kick to the head of Miz. Swinging neck breaker gets Morrison the three count!
Winner and Money In The Bank Qualifier: John Morrison

Good midcard match there. Quite enjoyable. Five out of Ten.

Commercials.

Cole and Coach introduce a video for Finlay vs. John Bradshaw Layfield, recapping Finlay going ape shit Finlay all over Kennedy. You’ve gotta love ape shit Finlay.

Finlay is backstage at SmackDown, and Cole asks him to verbalize what he’s feeling. Finlay says he can’t, there’s no way to explain the sight of seeing his son in a hospital bed for something he didn’t do. Finlay promises to give JBL a beating at WrestleMania.

MVP makes his entrance …

Commercials.

United States Championship: No Holds Barred: Batista vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
Porter trips Batista to begin. Batista goes for a clothesline but Porter ducks and rolls out of the ring. Porter with a headlock on Batista, but Batista sends Porter off of him via roll through. Batista takes Porter into the corner, slamming his head into the top turnbuckle. Batista with a snap mare followed by a boot to the face for a two count over Porter. Batista with a few rights to Porter. Porter with a drop toe hold, misses a boot to Batista and gets a forearm to the back of the head by Batista. Porter ducks another clothesline and Batista comes back off the ropes into an overhead belly to belly. Batista begins getting to his feet but Porter boots Batista out of the ring.

Porter jumps off the ring apron but Batista catches him and spinebusters Porter into the security rail. Back in the ring, Porter has subtly wrapped a chain around his wrist and he clocks Batista with it. Porter chokes Batista out with the chain, but Batista gets a snap mare. Batista clotheslines Porter down. Batista sends Porter into the corner, but Porter drop toe holds Porter into the second turnbuckle. Porter removes the turnbuckle padding, adding in a nice touch by clubbing Batista a few times before he finishes pulling the padding off. Batista blocks a turnbuckle shot and punches Porter away. Batista with a power slam for a two count over Porter. Porter cheap shots the throat of Batista, but Porter runs into a Spinebuster by Batista. Batista goes for a Batista Bomb but Porter escapes and rolls out of the ring.

Batista follows, but Porter goes at him with a chair! Batista ducks a nice chair swing, which collides with the steel post. Batista slams Porter into the ring apron and then face first into the announcer’s table. Porter sends Batista into the steel post face first, but Batista then sends Porter face first into the announcer’s table again. Porter low blows Batista and then big boots Batista down! Batista is down as we head to commercials.

Commercials.

Still on the outside, Porter goes for a steel chair shot but Batista nails a spear! Batista sends Porter back into the ring and gets only a two count! Cole says that this match is not Falls Count Anywhere. Porter runs into a big boot by Batista! Porter rolls out of the ring and Batista goes to follow, but Porter nails Batista’s knee with a steel chair shot and then sends Batista into the steel steps! Porter removes the ringside padding and signals for a DDT on Batista, but Batista flips Porter over onto the cement! Batista clobbers Porter with the steel chair and sends both into the middle of the ring, where Batista covers Porter for a two count.

Batista with spears to Porter in the corner, but Porter stops them and sends Batista face first into the exposed turnbuckle! Porter with steel chair shots to the middle of Batista’s shoulders. Porter climbs the rope and goes to hit Batista with the steel chair, but Batista blocks it and throws Porter across the ring! Umaga is in the ring! Umaga nails Batista with the Samoan Spike, and Porter covers for the three count and successful title defence!
Winner and Still United States Champion: Montel Vontavious Porter

Loved it! I’ve grown really fond of Batista and Porter’s matches, these two didn’t go overboard with the weapons or anything which is great to see. Another strong SmackDown Match. Seven out of Ten. P.S. Umaga’s interference happened right before Batista looked like he was about to go on a signature move momentum, which is great timing if it was on purpose.

Commercials.

Video for Mayweather vs. Big Show

Kane makes his entrance …

Commercials.

Kane and Jamie Noble vs. The Great Khali and Chuck Palumbo
This should be interesting. Noble has the HHH writing on his tights today. Odd. All four guys in this match are in the WrestleMania Battle Royal, by the way. Palumbo and Kane start. Palumbo is right on Kane with offence, but that doesn’t stop Kane from hitting a sideslam. Noble keeps yelling for Kane to tag out, and he does after some time. Noble with a flying cross body to Palumbo, but Palumbo knees Noble’s weakened gut. Khali gets tagged in. Noble hits Khali’s gut but Khali pretty much just pushes him down. Noble with some other irrelevant offence to Khali, which ends with Khali putting Noble down. Vice Grip on Noble, but Kane stops it by attacking Khali from behind. Kane and Palumbo go fighting on the outside, Khali nails Noble with ‘The Khali Bomb’ for the three count.
Winners: Chuck Palumbo and The Great Khali

This set up had a charm to it which kept me interested in the match, at least. I mean, come on, how could you NOT be interested in Noble being in there with the other three guys? Match wasn’t really much, but it’s still a charming idea. Three out of Ten.

Still to come: Flair and Michaels vs. Edge and the Edge Heads

Commercials.

The steel cage lowers!

Cole runs down the Hall Of Fame entrants.

The main event makes their entry, and Vickie Guerrero adds even more to the match – ECW Champion, Chavo Guerrero. It’s now four on two in a steel cage … Overkill much?

Steel Cage Match: Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels vs. Edge, Chavo Guerrero, Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder
Guerrero has trouble getting into the steel cage while Michaels and Flair fight the heels as we cut to a commercial.

Commercials.

Guerrero is climbing into the ring as we return. Guerrero goes right after Michaels, while Flair chops Edge on the top rope. Flair sends Edge back to the canvas, but Guerrero drags Flair back to the ground. Flair takes Guerrero down and then takes it right to Edge again. Michaels fights off Ryder and Hawkins, but Edge takes Michaels down. Edge whips Michaels into Guerrero, who flips Michaels into the steel cage. Spear from Edge to Flair! Michaels becomes trapped in the ropes, while Ryder and Hawkins take it to Flair. Edge with a spear to Michaels, before turning his attention back to Flair. Edge holds Flair for Ryder and Hawkins to attack him. Flair makes a brief comeback, but not much really comes from it. The quartet send Flair into the steel cage head first.

Michaels tries kicking the heels away, but they keep him in place and make Edge cover Flair before lifting his head off the canvas. Michaels is let loose from the ropes as Flair is raked across the steel cage. Flair temporarily fights off Ryder and Hawkins, but Edge brings that to a stop. Edge goes for a spear on Michaels, but Michaels gets a boot to the face of Edge! Michaels with a momentary comeback, but is quickly overtaken again. Flair chops Ryder and Hawkins down. Guerrero has Michaels in the tree of woe position, and holds Michaels in place for a spear from Edge.

Michaels finally escapes the tree of woe, and fights with Guerrero on the top turnbuckle. Michaels tumbles to the canvas, Guerrero goes for a cross body but Michaels dropkicks Guerrero in the gut! Ryder and Hawkins go up top, Flair low blows Edge and whips him into the ropes – taking out all three! Michaels with the leaping forearm to Edge! Michaels with inverted atomic drops all around. Michaels takes it to the quartet, and even nails the Elbow Drop to Ryder or Hawkins. Like it matters which one. Michaels begins tuning up the band, stops to let Edge spear Guerrero! Flair with a low blow to Ryder or Hawkins and Edge – both get locked up Figure Fours from Michaels and Flair! Guerrero off the top rope with a Frog Splash to Michaels and Flair! The door is open, and as Edge begins crawling towards it – the lights go out and the bells gong! The lights come back on, and Undertaker is right behind Edge! Undertaker goes for a choke slam on Edge, but Ryder and Hawkins make the save. Double Chokeslam to Ryder and Hawkins – Edge is at the top of the cage. Undertaker tries pulling Edge down, but Guerrero attacks Undertaker. Tombstone to Guerrero! Undertaker goes after Edge, but Edge falls down to the mats surrounding the ring and wins the match.
Winners: Edge, Chavo Guerrero, Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder

Edge celebrates his win, but Undertaker’s music begins playing which changes his mood considerably. Undertaker points towards the WrestleMania 24 sign as we fade out. Match was tragic until about the last four minutes, which was quite cool. But the rest was just bad, far too drawn out, and not fun to watch. Two out of Ten. The entire two points are all for the ending.

The Big Show squashes Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore: -5/10
John Morrison defeats The Miz: 5/10
Montel Vontavious Porter defeats Batista: 7/10
The Great Khali and Chuck Palumbo defeat Kane and Jamie Noble: 3/10
Edge, Chavo Guerrero, Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder defeat Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels: 2/10
SmackDown 14/03/07: 12/50

Okay, this is going to be a long one, so where to begin? It’s great to see that there now seems to be an idea on where to head into WrestleMania, and I think that the Battle Royal / ECW Championship may have been a big part of that. I think it gives reliable but not necessary guys a chance to head in towards WrestleMania with some publicity and, while I’m thinking it may be a dark match, it might even provide a good ECW Championship match. Perhaps even a shock title change – Jamie Noble, ECW Champion perhaps? The Battle Royal allows all the wrestlers without a place on the important part of the WrestleMania card to seem like they’re integral. This could provide some interesting midcardedness over the next few weeks, which is great.

The Maria appearance was acceptable, just there for promotion so I can handle it, but I don’t particularly get the whole SmackDown Diva Competition thing. The only valid reasons I can see for it to be there is to add another small segment to WrestleMania, to see which Diva should be moved over to RAW during the Draft, or to fill up the time. Otherwise, I think it’s just a whole bunch of pointlessness wrapped in another layer of pointlessness.

Porter and Batista put on their usual goodness with a little bit more tonight. The Umaga interference was great timing. The Big Show squashing Yang and Moore I could barely care about, but served it‘s purpose. And the main event served practically no purpose other than to remind everyone of the feuds going on. No one came out of that match looking any better, I’d go so far as to say they came out looking worse. What was once a great idea for a feud, has since been spoiled and completely ruined. All they needed to do was keep is simple and make Edge look like he could take out the Undertaker; we didn’t need to be reminded of how he’s a heel with cronies along the way. It’s frustrating to see them take something which could have been great, and run it into the ground. But that’s life, I suppose. Until next week, have a good one!

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