Yes, itâ€™s late. Work and social commitments. Iâ€™m sure those of you with lives will understand. For those of you without lives, you have that Ashley Massaro Escort story to keep you occupied. And if that’s not enough, you’ve got that FHM list. (link)
Theodore Long opens up the show and announces that all three SmackDown Championships will be defended! This close to Night of Champions? Okay.
Michael Cole is in the ring and he introduces new SmackDown Colour Commentator; Mick Foley. Theyâ€™ve really improved the introductions lately, especially with important stuff like championship matches. I like.
WWE Tag Team Championship: Shannon Moore and Jimmy Wang Yang vs. The Miz and John Morrison (Champions)
Mmmm, Morrison. Yang and Miz begin. Miz dominates until Yang ducks a clothesline and gets in those kicks of his. Moore in with a vaulting senton to Miz for a brief pinfall. Legdrop gets Moore a one count. Morrison in. Moore gets a flipping springboard cross body for another brief pinfall. Yang in with a dropkick to Morrison for a one count. Yang puts Morrison on the top rope and tries for a superplex, but Morrison blocks and goes for a sunset flip but Yang prevents it – Yang looks to go for a moonsault but Morrison drops him face first on the canvas. Miz in and the pair nail Yang with a dual rib breaker. Miz whips Yang into the corner chest first and covers, but nothing comes of that. Miz with an arm lock to Yang, Yang tries fighting it off but Miz spears yang into the corner. Yang gets some offence to Morrison and Miz but Miz nails the clothesline to regain control. Miz catapults Yang into a right hand by Morrison, elbow drop follows. Morrison in. Yang flips over a knee attempt from Morrison and gets a school boy for a two count, almost a three. Miz in with an arm lock, Yang with a jawbreaker so Morrison gets back in. Yang with an enziguri to Morrison and Moore is tagged in! Moore with a NICE head scissors to Morrison. Moore with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Morrison gets the springboard heel kick for almost a three count, broken by Yang. Miz and Yang fight on the outside, Moore gets a backslide on Morrison for a two count. Morrison with the Moonlight Drive for the three count and successful title defence.
Winners and Still Champions: The Miz and John Morrison
I think the timing was right for the championships to change hands, but obviously WWE Creative disagrees. Good opening match, as per usual from these guys. Five out of Ten.
Armando Estrada is the special guest ring announcers for the following match.
Colin Delaney vs. Vladimir Koslov
See, now, with Delaney vs. Estrada on next weekâ€™s ECW this is the sort of match I like for Koslov. Koslov with an aggressive leg sweep to Delaney: jobber extraordinaire. Koslov with a big time boot to the chest. Delaney tries kicking Koslov away, but Koslov picks Delaney up and military presses him onto the top rope. Koslov kicks Delaney into his grasp and nails a big fall away slam. Reverse DDT gets Koslov the victory.
Winner: Vladimir Koslov
Delaney made Koslov look awesome. -Two out of Ten.
Nunzio is backstage, and so is Mark Henry. Henry reminds Nunzio who is he and then wishes him good luck.
Victoria and Natalya vs. Michelle McCool and Cherry
What Natalyaâ€™s wearing is nothing short of horrible. Mc and Neidhart start. Neidhart with a headlock takedown to Mc. Mc goes for a hip toss but Neidhart blocks it. Victoria tags in. Mc spears Victoria into the corner and kicks away at her. Mc with a pinning bridge for a two count. Victoria reverses a wrist lock, so Mc turns it into a nice athletic arm drag. Mc with a monkey flip to Victoria. Cherry tagged in, and she surprisingly nails a top rope cross body to Victoria. Cherry with a headlock into springboard sunset flip! Cherry shoves Neidhart off the apron and slaps Victoria down. Neidhart trips Cherry. Neidhart back in with elbows to Cherry. Neidhart puts Cherry in a sleeper hold, Cherry turns it into a jawbreaker but doesnâ€™t get to get the advantage from it as Neidhart continues the assault. Cherry, in the opposition corner, temporarily fights off Neidhart and Victoria before tagging in Mc. Mc spears Victoria off of the apron. Mc with dropkicks to Neidhart, corner clothesline and NICE swinging neck breaker from Mc. Mc goes up top, but Victoria shoves her off and Neidhart covers – using the tights – and gets the three count.
Winners: Victoria and Natalya
Next week, let Neidhart and McCool go for a solid seven minutes. Match wasnâ€™t bad, and Cherryâ€™s not embarrassing in there, but still nothing fantastic. Four out of Ten.
Recap of Undertaker defeating Edge at Backlash. Awesome ending.
Tonight: Undertaker defends against The Great Khali.
Mark Henry vs. Nunzio w/ The Big Show
Nunzio gets in some kicks to Henry, but Henry shoves Nunzio down. Henry head butts Nunzio down. Henry tosses Nunzio into the corner before nailing him with the Worldâ€™s Strongest Slam.
Winner: Mark Henry
Weaker than tonightâ€™s Koslov squash. -Four out of Ten. The Big Show intimidates Henry afterwards, who exitâ€™s the ring. Show gets on the microphone and tells Henry to pick on someone his own size. Has Henry gained weight? Hm.
Next: Matt Hardy defends against Montel Vontavious Porter!
United States Championship: Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Matt Hardy (Champion)
So odd to see Porter without the championship. And so odd to see Hardy with the championship. Porter takes Hardy into the corner for very aggressive offence until he is pulled off by the referee. Hardy with a headlock takedown to Porter; Porter turns it into a one count pinfall but Hardy keeps the headlock tight. Porter breaks the headlock by getting to the ropes. Lock up and Porter gets behind Hardy, clubbing Hardy on the back of the neck before taking him into the corner. Hardy slams Porter face first on the top rope and runs off the ropes with a clothesline, Porter breaks a cover by having his feet on the rope. Porter breaks a headlock by turning it into a back toss; Hardy back up but runs into a clothesline from Porter. Porter targets the head of Hardy. Hardy with a jawbreaker to Porter, bulldog follows for a one count. Hardy with a neck breaker for a no count, with Porterâ€™s foot on the rope. Hardy with a headlock takedown, Porter escapes the headlock and kicks away at Hardy.
Hardy with right elbows to Porter before choking him using the second rope. Porter tackles Hardy into the corner, Porter with right hands directly to the face before sending Hardy back into the corner. Hardy avoids the big boot by Porter, but Porter clotheslines him down shortly after. Hardy gets to his feet on the apron but Porter elbows him off and sends him into the security rail.
Weâ€™re back and Porter is still targeting the head of Hardy. Porter criss-crosses Hardyâ€™s arms around his throat, but Hardy backs Porter into the corner and reverses it into a arm drag. Side Effect gets Hardy a two count. Hardy with elbows – Porter boots him away and knocks him down with a punch. Porter pushes his foot against the face of Hardy. Porter puts Hardy on the top rope, but Hardy nails a Tornado DDT for the two count. Hardy with the second rope elbow for a two count. Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate but Porter tackles him into the corner, and Porter connects with the big boot! Porter covers but Hardy grabs the bottom rope. Porter rolls outside and nails another nice charging big boot. Porter pushes Hardy away from the rope and gets a pair of two counts!
Porter with a cobra meets camel clutch submission hold, but that doesnâ€™t last long as Porter goes right back to fists to the head of Hardy. Hardy fights off Porter but runs off the ropes into a forearm from Porter for a two count pinfall. Hardy with the Twist of Fate out of nowhere for the â€¦ three count?
Winner and Still United States Champion: Matt Hardy
For a SmackDown match, this was pretty good – very solid and evenly matched up until the ending moments. The ending was legitimately the worst part of this entire thing. Cole and Foleyâ€™s commentary also left a bit to be desireable – Porter was going after the head the entire time and I canâ€™t recall them ever mentioning the possibility of a concussion, isnâ€™t that mandatory when someone is targeting the head? They are the only problems, as right up until the end you had a pretty damned good SmackDown match that I would definitely rank up there with Punk / Morrison and Punk / Edge as SmackDownâ€˜s best matches of the year. Usually, the commentary shouldn’t affact a match rating – but that coupled with the ending knocked it down a notch. Seven out of Ten.
Still to come: Undertaker defends against The Great Khali!
Mick Foley is in the ring and he introduces Batista. Foley calls Michaels vs. Batista a fantastic match and reminds us of how it came about. Batista says he still feels the exact same about Shawn, and Foley introduces us to footage of this weekâ€™s Highlight Reel. That Heidrenreich / Cole bit was just awkwardly erotic, and not in the good way. Foley asks Batista if he thinks Michaels feigned the knee injury, and Batista says itâ€™d make him sick to his stomach to think Shawn Michaels would fake an injury. Wow, this is the total karma storyline isnâ€™t it? Batista says heâ€™ll injure Michaels if it was a fake injury. Can we turn Batista heel already?
Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder vs. Jesse and Festus
Jesse and Festus have no introductions. The bell rings and Festus goes all Festus; Hawkins and Festus begin. Festus with head butts, Jesse tagged in and scoop slammed onto Hawkins for a two count. Jesse with a snap mare for a two count. Ryder in. Jesse stops a hip toss attempt with a nice monkey flip. Ryder runs into a Lou Thesz press by Jesse. Ryder clubs Jesse down from behind, and Hawkins is tagged back in. Ryder tagged back in after Hawkins doesnâ€™t do anything noteworthy. Ryder hooks the head of Jesse and slams him down back of the neck first. Hawkins back in with clubs to Jesse, Russian Leg Sweep gets him a two count. Ryder back in and Jesse temporarily fights him off, nailing a backdrop and both tag out. Festus takes Hawkins down and pushes Ryder off of the apron. Festus with body splash in the corner. Butt drop gets Festus a one count, with Festus stopping the attempt when Ryder enters the ring. Hawkins gets a throat thrust and Festus tags out to Jesse, who misses a cross body. Hawkins with a swinging face buster for the three count.
Winners: Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder
The story is that Festusâ€™ throat is still hurt from the Gogoplata. Good enough match. Three out of Ten.
Still to come: World Heavy Weight Championship.
Finlay vs. Julio Dinero
Finlay with a takedown, follows with a suplex for a two count. Finlay takes Dinero into the corner for a spear. Finlay with clubs to Dinero. Dinero slaps Finlay but runs into a clothesline. Finlay throws Dinero outside and forces him into the ring apron, but Hornswoggle begins dragging Dinero outside. Back in the ring, Finlay gets a short arm clothesline and a shoulder body toss. Flipping Firemanâ€™s before the Celtic Cross ends this.
Hornswoggle hits the Tadpole Splash afterwards. It was a squash, what else can I say? -Five out of Ten.
The Undertaker makes his way out to face The Great Khali. Vickie Guerrero and Edge make their way out afterwards, and Guerrero says there wonâ€™t be a title match tonight. Guerrero says Undertaker has injured several superstars with the illegal choke hold of his, and she cannot let that continue. She says it is her responsibility to look after the well being of the SmackDown superstars and that this matter has nothing to do with Edge: the Gogoplata is now banned and should he ever use it in a match again, he will have hell to pay. Due to the fact that Undertaker has shown no remorse for the injuries that Gogoplata has caused, Guerrero announces that Undertaker is now stripped of the World Heavy Weight Championship. Guerrero advises him to hand the title to her, but he doesnâ€™t – so the Great Khali comes out to retrieve the championship off of him.
A nice little stare down between Khali and The Undertaker. Khali goes to grab the championship, but Taker attacks and locks Khali in the Gogoplata! While Khali is in the Gogoplata, Hawkins and Ryder grab the championship and give it to Guerrero. Edge and Guerrero slowly return backstage as SmackDown fades to black … Iâ€™m kind of getting over Edge as a heel (it HAS been over three years), can we have him go back to being a face for a few weeks or something? He can be a great heel, but if he doesnâ€™t move onto a feud with someone who isnâ€™t Batista or Undertaker then Iâ€™m going to have to work hard to care.
Miz and Morrison defeat Yang and Moore: 5/10
Vladimir Koslov defeats Colin Delaney: -2/10
Victoria and Natalya defeat McCool and Cherry: 4/10
Mark Henry defeat Nunzio: -4/10
Matt Hardy defeats Montel Vontavious Porter: 7/10
Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder defeat Jesse and Festus: 3/10
Finlay defeats Julio Dinero: -5/10
SmackDown 02/05/08: 8/70
It was a busy episode of SmackDown. Nothing particularly dragged, which was good. However, the last two matches were just there to remind us of who was still employed. The championship theme really didnâ€™t bring anything to the show sadly. On the upside, it wasnâ€™t strong enough to weaken the Vengeance gimmick. Until next time, have a good one!