June 22 2007
Our hosts for the evening are John Bradshaw Layfield and Michael Cole. This was taped in Charlotte, North Carolina, so look for Flair to be embarrassed later tonight.
-The show immediately starts with World Heavyweight Champion Edge coming to the ring for "The Cutting Edge." Edge puts himself over for conducting the last interview with Mr. McMahon before his "death" and speculates over who could have killed a powerful billionaire. Edge then brings out his guest, Torrie Wilson, who was drafted to Raw last week. Edge makes a case for Torrie being a suspect in the case. He accuses Torrie of being a LIAR! We are then joined by United States Champion MVP, who is wearing a suit for some reason. MVP thinks Edge needs proof before he makes such outlandish claims. MVP proposes that Torrie should take a lie detector test, because he also considers her to be a LIAR! Ric Flair then interrupts on behalf of his buddy, Torrie. JBL rightfully scoffs at Cole's announcement that Flair will be the "voice of reason." Flair doesn't say anything and just attacks the two champions, which leads to him being double teamed. Cue Batista to make the save, and it looks like we have a main event for later tonight.
-After a break, we hear that Theodore Long and Vicki Guerrero made the main event that everyone and their cat had predicted.
Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore vs. Cruiserweight
Champion Chavo Guerrero and Jamie Noble
They let Moore and Noble on Smackdown for TWO weeks in a row? Is this a cruiserweight division before my very eyes? Moore and Noble start things off, with Moore taking Noble down with a headlock to kick off some chain wrestling. Moore looks baked. Noble takes control with a chinlock, but Moore reverses into a hammerlock. Noble runs into an hip toss, and makes the needed tag. Chavo walks into a hip toss as well and a drop kick. Moore goes for the cover, but it's not worth it. Yang tags in and chases Chavo from the ring. Noble gets the tag and eats a hurricanrana. Chavo distracts, and Noble hits the STO. Now Chavo wants in and hits a back suplex for a cover. When that doesn't work, it's only logical that Chavo applies an armlock for Yang to fight out of. Noble tags in and works the arm. Chavo tags in and slingshots onto Yang and works a wristlock. Yang Irish whips Chavo to the corner but misses a spear, colliding with the ring post. Yang fights back with some drop kicks, but can't make the tag to Moore. Noble and Chavo make another tag, and Moore finally gets in. Moore cleans house on the bad guys with some pretty moves. Moore hits a corkscrew moonsault on Chavo, but Noble breaks the cover. Yang dispatches Noble at ringside with a senton off the apron, meanwhile Chavo hits the Gory bomb on Moore for the win at 6:12. Match was by the numbers, but was fun at times, *1/2.
Winners: Chavo Guerrero and Jamie Noble
-Maryse welcomes us back to Smackdown. These "welcome back" vignettes appear to be all the creative team has in store for her. Hey, it's important work making my girlfriend think that I'm watching soft-core porn.
Mark Henry vs. Funaki
When Funaki shows up in the ring, you know his opponent is going to be Masters, Henry, or Khali. We get the lesser of the three evils in Henry. Funaki tries to use his quickness, but Henry just swats him off. Funaki gets some shots, but Henry lifts him up for the press slam. Henry stalls too long and Funaki escapes. Henry knocks Funaki down and chokes him in the ropes. Henry looks disgusted with the quality of his opponent and slams him again. Cole thinks Funaki is a normal sized man. Well, not in wrestling terms he is. Henry hits another slam and takes his sweet time finishing the job. In fact, Henry stalls for time by locking in the bear hug. However, Funaki passes out at 2:15. Wait, did I just see a bear hug finish a match? Holy crap! 1/4*.
Winner: Mark Henry
-Cole and JBL take the time to recap the exploding limousine saga yet again. Good, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to see this again. Well, the footage this time is mostly the federal investigator holding fake press conferences, which is slightly different.
-After a break, we see Theodore Long and Vickie Guerrero hanging out. Vicki was arranging all the Smackdown guys' travel arrangements for Raw on Monday. How nice. Long is leaving Guerrero in charge for the rest of the night so he can go out for a night on the town with Kristal, but before that, he wants Kristal to join him in the ring. This can't possibly be heading towards anything resembling entertainment.
Matt Hardy vs. Finlay
Lock up results with a clean break in the corner by Hardy. Another lock up results with a slightly less clean corner break by Hardy. Third lock up results in some action as Hardy works Finlay's arm. Finlay hits an elbow shot and applies the headlock. Hardy pushes Finlay into the ropes, but eats a shoulder block. Finlay goes for the cover and reapplies the headlock. Finlay hits some shoulder thrusts, but Hardy tackles him for another headlock. Hardy takes Finlay down and keeps the headlock. Finlay escapes with a back suplex and goes for the cover. Chinlock by Finlay. Hardy elbows to freedom but runs into a clothesline. Elbow drop to the jaw by Finlay. Aggressive chinlock by Finlay. Hardy pushes Finlay into the turnbuckle and hits a bulldog. Cover by Hardy doesn't quite get two. Armlock by Hardy until Finlay gets into the ropes. Finlay challenges a test of strength, but Finlay gets a cheap kick. Hardy recovers and repeatedly rams Finlay's head into the turnbuckles. Hardy dumps Finlay to ringside, but misses a baseball slide. Hardy is distracted by Hornswoggle long enough for Finlay to hit a forearm. And with that, we head to a commercial.
After the break, Finlay has Hardy trapped in a
chinlock. On Monday I vowed to deduct half a star if I
saw this again, which makes me sad because I actually
like this match. Hardy fights out and sends Finlay
running into his elbow. Another elbow shot by Hardy
gets a cover, but not enough for three. Finlay
reverses the momentum and reapplies a chinlock. Hardy
fights out, but Finlay hits an uppercut. Finlay goes
for a splash, but Hardy gets his knees up! Hardy goes
high risk, but Finlay pulls him off, with Hardy
hitting the mat in a sickening fashion. Hardy appears
to have messed up his knee as a result, so Finlay
targets it with some stomps. Finlay locks himself to
the injured leg, with a modified half Boston crab.
Hardy finally gets the ropes, and tries to build
momentum. Finlay locks himself back onto Hardy's leg,
but Hardy kicks him in the face with his other foot.
Finlay quickly goes back to the knee, this time with a
variation of the sharp shooter. Finlay voluntarily
breaks the hold to throw Hardy through the ropes to
ringside. Finlay pushes Hardy knee-first into the
steel steps. Hardy limps back to the ring, and hits a
desperate clothesline! Finlay maintains control
anyway, and removes Hardy's knee brace. Now that's
just mean, he even tosses it into the entrance aisle!
More leg work by Finlay, which is working on behalf of
some wonderful selling by Hardy. Finlay incorporates
the Indian death lock, which means I'll add back the
half a star I deducted for the commercial chinlock.
Hardy kicks to freedom, but he still can't build any
momentum. That is until Hardy hits the enziguri after
an insightful comment by Cole that "Hardy hasn't
wrestled without a knee brace in close to two years."
Out of no where, Hardy hits the twist of fate, but
Finlay kicks out of the cover. Finlay continues to be
aggressive, but Hardy drops an elbow off the second
rope. Hornswoggle sneaks in and distracts the referee
while Finlay hits Hardy with the shillelagh. Hardy
recovers and hits another Twist of Fate and pins
Finlay at 15:51 (shown)! Matt Hardy continues his hot
streak with this bout, as he was the convincing
underdog to the very end, ***3/4!
Winner: Matt Hardy
-They tarnish the beautiful match by recapping the hideous Stephanie McMahon interview from Raw. Cole and JBL feel bad for her, but of course they would.
-Recent draftees from ECW, Brian and Bret Majors, get their very own hype video! Considering they are only one of two real tag teams left on Smackdown, I would hope a push is on the way for them.
-Theodore Long and Kristal follow up on Long's threat to have an in-ring interview. Long is in love with Kristal, she has changed his life. How nice. This seems to be leading to a marriage proposal. And it is! Don't do it, Kristal, he's going to be elderly by the time you hit middle age! Kristal starts sobbing uncontrollably, at the risk of making Stephanie McMahon jealous simply by being a more adequate actress. However, Kristal leaves without an answer. Dammit, Teddy, don't stand for this, make her face Khali!
-Eww, Chris Masters makes his way to the ring. Smackdown was not treated well at all in the recent draft. "Here you go, Smackdown, take this guy we buried and make him a star again so we can draft him back to Raw next year!" They play a hype package of Masters using the Masterlock to take out several Raw stars.
Chris Masters vs. Danny Shandling
Masters aggressively attacks the jobber with clubbing blows. Clothesline by Masters and an elbow drop. Elbow to the back of the head by Masters and choking on the ropes. Elbow shots on the apron by the Masterpiece. More clubbing blows in the ring and a face rake. Masters slingshots the jobber throat-first into the ropes. Delayed power slam by Masters. Come on, just end this already. Masters toys with the jobber, dropping the elbow and twisting the neck. Yes, a squash match needs rest holds. The jobber frees himself, but Masters slams him. Masters signals the Masterlock and applies it to finally end the match at about three and a half minutes. This dragged, DUD.
Winner: Chris Masters
-We take a moment to remember Sensational Sherri with a still graphic. I'm still not satisfied by this lack of tribute.
-Backstage, Theodore Long is desperately knocking on Kristal's door, who can be heard crying inside. She opens the door and takes a seat. Long informs her that for this insult, she'll have to face KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANE!~ Okay, I made that part up. Kristal tries the ring on and agrees to marry Long after all! Aww, isn't that nice! This ranks up there with Eddie Guerrero getting Chyna a puppy.
-Coming up soon, another fake press conference with the investigator, who apparently has a big announcement to make. But first, let's run down the weird Vengeance card, which includes John Cena defending the WWE title against Mick Foley, Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley, and King Booker. Now back to the important conference. Daniel Beck is the investigator's name, which sounds purposefully generic. Beck's big announcement is that they found DNA in the limousine from the driver, Mr. McMahon, and ONE OTHER well known personality. THAT'S IT? I demand answers, a man has died! Damn you all!
-Cute video package for Michelle McCool, focusing on her playing tennis. This is probably the response to the new philosophy in the office that the divas need to be less slutty.
Batista and Ric Flair vs. World Heavyweight Champion
Edge and United States Champion Montel Vontavious
I really hate the "blind mark" pops that Batista gets. If they were waiting in a line to get his autograph, they wouldn't feel so positive about him afterwards. Flair gets the usual "Flair country" pop from the NC fans. JBL brings up that Batista and Flair are two time former tag team champions together, which is something I'd actually forgotten about that. Cool beans.
Flair and Edge kick things off. Edge goes for a cheap shot, but gets destroyed by Flair's chops. More chops by Flair. Batista tags in, but Edge quickly tags MVP. MVP's power ranger outfit looks brighter than usual. Batista arm drags MVP a couple of times in between punching and kicking. Flair tags in and drops a knee. More chopping by Flair. Batista tags and does his usual offense. Suplex by Batista and a cover doesn't quite even get two. Flair tags in and he drops a trademark elbow drop for a cover. Tag is made to Batista, but MVP blocks a body drop attempt. Edge makes a distraction, and MVP hits a big boot. And cue the commercial.
During the break, it appears that Edge has been in
control of Batista. There is no rest hold to welcome
us back, so I don't have to throw a fit. Batista cheap
shots MVP on the apron, but Edge knocks him down for
more stomping. Waistlock by Edge takes a few seconds
for Batista to escape. Edge drop toe holds Batista and
tags in MVP. MVP hits a series of knee strikes to the
face. Batista catches MVP with the rock bottom and
tags in Flair, who cleans house on the U.S. champ. Big
back body drop and inverted atomic drop by Flair.
Flair goes for the figure four, but Edge breaks it up.
MVP gets a cover, but Batista makes the save. Edge
gets the tag and now it's Flair's turn to be the face
in peril. MVP tags in and continues the good work Edge
had going. Abdominal stretch by MVP. Flair breaks out
of it and hits a series of chops. MVP prevents a tag
and beats on Ric some more. MVP hits the running kick
to the face and gets a close cover. Edge tags in and
aggressively punches Flair. Flair answers with chops,
but takes a big back body drop. Cover by Edge is no
good. MVP tags in and targets Flair's gut. MVP misses
a running boot to the corner, and Flair tackles the
back of his leg. Batista FINALLY tags in and cleans
house. Batista hits the running clothesline and
jacknife power bomb on Edge, and drags MVP into the
ring for Flair to unload. Edge jumps over a charging
Batista, and runs into the spinebuster. Batista hits
the Batista Bomb and pins Edge at 13:34! Good
television main event, especially considering some of
the participants, **1/2.
Winners: Batista and Ric Flair
Final Thoughts: Another solid episode of Smackdown. This week delivered with a great Hardy/Finlay match, and a nice main event that added some much needed build to the Vengeance pay-per-view. Batista has a victory over Edge, which seems to suggest that Edge retains on Sunday, which is fine by me. The Smackdown brand isn't wasting any time rebuilding after being ravaged by the draft, and I'm glad to see this.