June 15 2007
Show opens with a view discretion warning due to the graphic footage of Mr. McMahon's death that I'm already sick of having to watch over and over again. JBL and Michael Cole are using mourning voices to introduce footage of Vince opening Raw on Monday with a poorly recited speech. JBL and Cole commentate as the exploding limousine angle plays yet again (I say that because this ate up the first ten minutes of ECW on Tuesday). Paul London's big, goofy grin during this sequence still cracks me up. This angle is completely distasteful, but I cannot argue the intrigue. The footage ends before the limo blows up, and I feel outraged. Not really.
The entire Smackdown roster comes out for a ten bell salute. This is too much. It was funny when this happened on ECW, but having the wrestlers out here just makes this seem too much like a mockery, especially with Sherri Martel passed away today. The crowd rightfully boos the hell out of this, which JBL states is an "embarrassment to Philadelphia and an embarrassment to wrestling." We'll see how fans react when Vince dies for real before we pass judgment on them.
After a commercial, more time is dedicated to the dead Vince angle. A fake representative of the WWE holds a fake press conference regarding the investigation of the exploding limousine.
WWE Tag Team Champions Deuce and Domino (with Cherry)
vs. Paul London and Brian Kendrick
Domino kicks things off against Kendrick. They lock up and Kendrick is soon fighting both champions off. London breaks it up and they double team Domino. London soon tags in and hits an ax handle off the ropes. Kendrick tags in and drops an elbow off the top. London tags in and stomps Domino ?s arms from off the top yet again. Kendrick tags in and they hit a double hip toss. Kendrick goes for the early cover, to no luck. Kendrick hits some kicks , but falls over the ropes thank to Deuce. JBL is whining about the disrespectful fans again. What else do they expect from Philadelphia? Domino suplexes Kendrick back into the ring and gets a close two count. Deuce tags in and drops a fist for another cover. Deuce soon goes for the rest hold, cementing Kendrick's status as the face in peril. Kendrick kicks his way to freedom, but Domino tags in and cuts him off before he can tag London in. Kendrick escapes a suplex and hits an enziguri. Deuce and London tag in, with London cleaning house after a nice long nap at the apron. London gets a near fall, but Domino breaks it up. Kendrick dumps Domino out of the ring, but gets power slammed on the floor. London drop kicks Domino off the apron, but Deuce hits a nasty looking kick to the head and pins London around the six minute mark. This was a perfectly adequate television match, *1/2.
Winners: Deuce and Domino
Our advertised main event, Edge vs. Ric Flair, is pimped. Also, Batista vs. MVP.
William Regal reminisces about Vince McMahon. Okay, the ten bell salute and fake news conferences are one thing, but this is going too far. I know they are going for realism with this, but this just makes a mockery out of real tribute shows. Regal remembers Vince a little too fondly for someone who once dropped his pants and forced him to kiss his ass in the ring.
After a commercial, we get another Vince tribute segment with Theodore Long. He reminisces about the opportunities Vince gave him. I have to admit, at least these words from the stars seem to be from the heart.
Matt Hardy vs. William Regal
Just like real tribute shows, we're getting matches that have no storyline. That's okay, I'm always up for a Regal match. Lock up leads to a headlock takedown by Hardy. Regal reverses into a pinning situation, but Hardy rolls out while keeping the headlock. Regal pushes him off, but Hardy quickly gets the headlock back. Regal rolls Hardy into the pinfall position, but Hardy rolls out and finds himself cornered. Regal applies a headlock of his own, which Hardy counters. Regal bridges out and drop toe holds Hardy. Matt goes for the headlock again, but Regal corners him. They are forced to separate and the match restarts. Regal scores a cheap shot after being cornered, and the pace quickens. Hardy drops Regal with a scoop slam and hits an elbow off the second rope. Regal blocks the twist of fate and hits a closed fist to the face. Hardy hits a back body drop, and Regal retreats to ringside. Hardy follows, and Regal trips him on the apron. Regal kicks Hardy against the ring post and waits for Hardy to be counted out. Hardy crawls into the ring and Regal chokes with the knee. More knee strikes by Regal. This leads into a creative armlock by Regal. This hold turns into a surfboard stretch. Hardy finally fights out of it and sends Regal back first to the mat. More closed fist shots by Regal, but Hardy makes a brief comeback. Regal folds Hardy with a back suplex. Regal goes for the cover, but Hardy gets a foot on the ropes. Hardy fights back and blocks a tiger suplex with a back body drop slam. Regal fights back with a power bomb pinning situation, but Hardy kicks out! Hardy pops the twist of fate out of nowhere and pins Regal at 9:18! This was great little mat-based bout, with a sudden ending. I was digging this one, wish it had lasted longer, ***1/4.
Winner: Matt Hardy
In another Vince tribute segment, Jillian talks about Vince. I didn't really pay attention to this part.
At last, we get to see the limo explosion again! It took them 45 whole minutes to get to it this time!
After the break, we get Chavo Guerrero, of all people, doing a Vince tribute segment. The shit they've made this guy do since Eddie's death is nothing short of despicable.
Batista vs. United States Champion Montel Vontavious
MVP has a kick-ass tattoo of Malcolm X on his chest, it's a shame we never get to see it. Anyhow, MVP vs. Ric Flair for the U.S. title is announced for Vengeance. We also see Batista and Flair reuniting and preparing for a camping trip out back before Batista's entrance. Is it sad that I've already forgotten about Evolution? The match is slow to start due to MVP's weasel antics. Batista finally catches MVP with a front headlock, but MVP fights out. Batista drops MVP with his shoulder, sending the power ranger to ringside to regroup. MVP returns and goes for the waistlock. Batista grounds MVP and strikes. Wristlock thrusts by Batista. MVP retreats to ringside yet again. MVP returns to the ring, but stalls heavily. Batista turns slightly and gets hit by a cheap shot. MVP turns aggressive and pummels Batista into the corner. MVP pulls Batista into a clothesline and gets a two count. More punching by MVP. Batista gets some kicks, but MVP blocks the Batista Bomb and retreats to ringside AGAIN! We head to a commercial.
After the break, Batista has MVP on the chase again.
MVP reverses an Irish whip and sends Batista into the
steel steps. They brawl at ringside and MVP introduces
Batista's skull to the ring post. MVP hits the
"patented" kick to the head, and leaves Batista for
dead on the floor. MVP changes his mind and rolls
Batista into the ring for a cover, which obviously
wasn't enough. MVP locks in the always entertaining
chinlock. Batista counters with a snapmare. MVP drop
toe holds Batista and drops the elbow for another
cover attempt. More resting by MVP, which Batista
slugs his way out of. MVP runs into the clothesline.
They trade slugs. Back body drop by Batista and
running clothesline. MVP gets a boot to the face, but
runs into a side slam. Close two count by Batista. MVP
escapes from a power slam and hits a DDT. Close two
count by MVP. Turnbuckle punches by MVP is a bad idea
as Batista goes for the Batista bomb, but MVP blocks
with a drop kick. Spear by Batista takes MVP down
hard. Batista hits the Batista Bomb and pins MVP at
11:08 (shown). After a slow start, this really picked
up after the break. More perfectly acceptable
wrestling on the WWE's consistently best show, **1/4.
We get another Vince tribute from Sgt. Slaughter. He talks about how Vince would never retreat. Sarge will keep fighting Vince's wars, truths, WWE, and American way. Touching.
After a break, we get a look at the charred remains of Vince's limo. I bet God did this Himself, as revenge over last year's Backlash event. We are treated to another fake news conference from an FBI investigator.
The next testimonial is from World Champion, Edge. This is the real Vince appreciation night, after all.
After a break, we get a testimonial from Kristal. Insightful stuff, as you might imagine.
Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero comes out to the arena for commentary. There's going to be a fatal four way match to determine the #1 contender for his title for Vengeance.
Daivari vs. Jamie Noble vs. Shannon Moore vs. Jimmy
Moore has dropped the punk gimmick, mercifully. He was always too hick to pull it off right. Bell rings with Moore and Noble squaring off as Daivari and Yang fight in the other corner. Moore is dumped to ringside. Daivari and Yang tie up, with Noble breaking up a pinfall. Noble takes control of Yang before being whipped into the corner. Yang splashes himself into a skin the cat situation, but Daivari drop kicks him to the floor. Moore jumps Daivari and takes him down with a spinning heel kick. Noble directs Moore with some chops and a scoop slam for a cover. Moore reverses the Irish whip, and gets caught by Daivari. Noble fights off Moore, and sling shots over the ropes onto Daivari at ringside. Moore leaps over the ropes onto both men. Yang then goes top rope and flies onto his three opponents. Yang goes high risk again, but Moore climbs up for a superplex. Noble gets under Moore and power bombs him mid superplex! That was the coolest cruiserweight spot the WWE has seen in years. Daivari takes advantage with a cover on Moore, but it's broken up. Daivari tries his luck with Noble, but no luck there. Noble kicks Daivari out of the ring and plants Moore on the turnbuckles for a back superplex. Moore elbows Noble off and flips off onto Noble for a convincing false finish. Daivari and Yang rejoin the fray. Yang moonsaults onto a standing Daivari and covers him for the victory at 4:32. They got robbed for time, but squeezed a lot of action into this short spot-fest, **.
Winner: Jimmy Wang Yang
World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Ric Flair
Out of all the draft picks from Monday's Raw, only Flair gets to be on Smackdown this week. Trust me, I'm not complaining about the lack of Khali, Masters, and Torrie, but this is questionable booking. Flair sure looks happy to be on Smackdown and facing Edge yet again. They lock up and get a clean corner break. Edge gets a headlock takedown, and Flair rolls through and breaks free. Match restarts with another corner break, but this time Edge slaps Flair. Flair looks as if his feelings are hurt and knocks Edge off his feet with an elbow. Flair chops Edge around and stomps on him. Hip toss by Flair sends Edge to ringside for time out. Edge takes his sweet time getting back to the match, but aggressively slugs away on Flair, who answers with some chops. Flair dodges a drop kick and tackles Edge behind the knee. Edge blocks the figure four, but gets stomped on by the Nature Boy. Flair continues the attack on Edge's knee in between chops. Cover by Flair gets two. Flair applies a half Boston crab. Edge viciously fights out. More chops by Flair and an atomic drop on the injured knee. Flair goes for the figure four, but Edge retreats to ringside yet again. Flair pursues and gets smacked in the face by the champion. Edge back body drops Flair onto the floor! That's a sick spot for a 57 year old to go through. We head to a commercial. So far, so good.
After the break, Edge is still in control. He was
choking Flair in the corner and broke at the four
count. Flair fights back with some chops, but Edge
trades shot for shot and pummels him back to the mat.
Suplex by Edge gets a two count. Modified chinlock on
the apron by Edge is forced to break at the four
count. Edge foolishly uses his injured knee for a knee
drop. Flair fights back, but Edge isn't ready to
relinquish control just yet. Flair falls on his face
and kicks out of a cover. Flair tries to fight back
but gets caught with an enziguri. Edge goes high risk
and flies into a chop. Flair does his old man strut
and hits a back body drop. Knee drop by Flair and
more, you guessed it, chopping. Back suplex by Flair.
Flair finally manages to lock in the figure four, but
MVP runs in and attacks Flair, giving him the
disqualification victory at 11:50 (shown). More
perfectly acceptable wresting on a night filled with
Winner by DQ: Ric Flair
Flair fights MVP off, but Edge continues the assault. Batista runs in to save Flair from a double team. Edge spears Batista, and escapes while he can. It's a little sad how little heat this Edge/Batista rivalry seems to have. Edge poses with the World title to close the show.
Final thoughts: The ongoing Vince tributes added a distasteful touch to the show, which otherwise showcased some solid wrestling. This wasn't a very eventful edition of Smackdown, and probably will be forgotten about quickly.
Thumbs in the middle.