WWE Smackdown- August 15, 2008
Jim Ross and Tazz
We recap last week’s covert plan by Edge to successfully take out all of La Familia.
JR welcomes us to Norfolk, and we get right down to business with our first match.
US Championship match: Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy
I like the fact that Shelton wears all gold now, to go along with his “Gold Standard” gimmick. These two had a great match last week, and I’m sure that’s why we have a re-match here. They lock up and hit the corner. They lock up again and Shelton with a headlock. Jeff rolls him for 2 2 counts. Jeff with a sunset flip for 2, then a sweet counter after Shelton kicks out for 2. Jeff goes for the Twist of Fate and Shelton bails out. Shelton takes over with some strikes with his knees. Snap mare by Shelton and a kick to the back, then back to the headlock. Shelton takes him down with the hair for 2. He lets go of the headlock and pushes Jeff into the corner. Shelton with a forearm shot and Jeff fights back with some strikes of his own. Jeff goes for that double corner kick but Shelton blocks it and goes for a power slam, but Jeff slips out the back door and kicks Shelton in the gut. Shelton hits the corner, and then Jeff hits his double corner kick for 2 with Shelton putting his foot on the ropes. Jeff is frustrated as we go to break. Back from break and Jeff has the champ in a head scissors. Shelton does a nice flip to get a pin attempt for 2. Shelton with a knee to the gut but off the ropes Jeff with a forearm shot. Jeff goes for a kick but Shelton lifts him up and power bombs him into the corner. Nice move, as Shelton gets a 2 count. Shelton with some type of one-legged crab submission. Shelton goes for a couple of covers for 2 as Jeff broke the move by grabbing the ropes. Shelton stalks Jeff and hits a Samoan Drop for 2. Shelton has gone from high-flyer to deliberate striker and I like it. Some kicks to the head by the champ but Jeff fights back with right hands but as he blocks a Shelton kick, the Gold Standard spins and whacks Jeff in the face with his boot for 2. Jeff is thrown into the corner but ducks a splash attempt. Shelton goes for something but Jeff with a jawjacker. Both men are down as Mickey Henson is counting. Both men are up and Jeff with a clothesline and some kicks. Shelton whips Jeff into the ropes but he recovers and hit the Whisper in the Wind for 2. Jeff goes for the Twist of Fate but Shelton with a sweet neckbreaker reversal for 2. A slower paced match than last week but very well wrestled regardless. Both men go off the ropes and cross body each other. In a great sequence, Jeff is on the apron and Shelton goes for a sunset flip to the floor, but Jeff blocks it and hits a hurricanrana on the floor. Shelton’s pitched into the ring but gets a cheap kick in. They both go into the corner and butt heads, but Jeff has enough to go to the top rope and is about to hit the Swanton, but MVP comes out of the crowd and push Jeff off the corner, causing the DQ. Crappy ending to a great match for the second straight week. WINNER: Jeff Hardy by disqualification (Grade: 3.5)
-MVP goes for the “Drive-By Kick” but Jeff ducks and MVP cracks Shelton Benjamin instead. Jeff then hits the Twist of Fate on MVPand the Swanton on MVP and Shelton.
-Backstage and Vickie Guerrero is upset in her office until Victoria comes in. Vickie asks Victoria if she’s seen Undertaker or Edge. Victoria, who’s looking kind of hot tonight hasn’t seen them. Vickie is upset and petrified.
-Triple H is in action tonight, as well as Festus vs. Vladimir Kozlov
Divas Champion Michelle McCool & Maria vs. Maryse & Natalya
I love Maria, but it was her arrival that probably got D-Ray’s and my Cherry Bomb released. **Tear rolling down Drama’s cheek.** Maria starts with Maryse and Maryse with a waistlock which Maria breaks. Maryse with a takedown and she celebrates it. Maria gets up and Maryse tags Natalya. Maria with a nice headlock takedown and a knee to the gut. Natalya reverses a whip into the corner but Maria climbs the ropes and tries a head scissors. Natalya grabs Maria and impressively drills her with a sidewalk slam. Natalya with a snap suplex for 2. Maria with an inside cradle for 2, but Natalya hits a clothesline for 2. Maria’s pushed into the heel’s corner but Maria comes out swinging, escapes the corner and gets the tag to McCool. Some drop kicks follow and a neckbreaker to Natalya for 2. Maryse pulls Natalya out of the ring and McCool follows. Natalya and McCool get back into the ring and as McCool goes for a move in the corner Maryse interrupts and Michelle pastes her, but that gives Natalya a chance to hook the Divas Champs’ legs and roll her up for a cradle and the 3 count and the win. Probably setting up a Natalya-McCool title rematch. WINNERS: Natalya & Maryse (Grade: 2)
The Brian Kendrick vs. Scotty Goldman
The modern-day Brian Pillman says every week he does exactly what he says he’ll do. He knows what everyone’s thinking: He has Ezekiel, but he also creates opportunity for everyone else. No one else in the WWE can do that, and Zeke speaks for the first time and he concurs. He says he doesn’t care about the fans, and that’s why he’s successful, because he wrestles for himself. We finally see the long awaited debut of Colt Cabana with this other name, who gets some interview time by talking about the interview box surrounding him. Kendrick with a hammerlock but Goldman with a nice takedown for a 1 count. Kendrick with a spin kick and a drop kick. Kendrick with a kick in the gut for 2. Kendrick with a running forearm smash and the crowd is kind of dead. Kendrick with the Camel Clutch as once again JR calls him “The Future Loose Cannon”. Goldman with some punches but Kendrick keeps control and goes for a splash but Goldman lifts the legs. Both men are staggering and Goldman with some right hands. Kendrick goes off the ropes and Goldman with a butt block for 2. Goldman goes into the ropes and Kendrick ducks out of the way, hits “The Kendrick” and gets the win. WINNER: The Brian Kendrick (Grade: 1.5)
-Zeke comes in and hits Goldman with a big shoulder block.
-Eve Torres is with WWE Champion Triple H, and we then go back to last week when the champ was roughed up by The Great Khali. Triple H says Khali made a statement, but this Sunday at Summerslam he will make the statement. He is then interrupted by his opponent tonight, Kenny Dykstra. Where the hell has he been? Well with all the other guys getting booted someone needs to look at the lights tonight. Dykstra says Triple H is facing Khali on Sunday but tonight he has to face Kenny Dykstra. Triple H says while he admires Kenny’s “spirit” (haha) today is the wrong day and the wrong guy.
WWE Champion Triple H vs. Kenny Dykstra
The Great Khali comes into the ring and mumbles something about Triple H and Summerslam but that’s all I can decipher. Runjin Singh grabs the mike and says Triple H is great, but there’s no one greater than The Great Khali, and at Summerslam, he’s just another obstacle that will be stepped over. Singh says Triple H has proven everything in the WWE Universe, and he should get out while the getting is good. But now, it’s TIME TO PLAY THE GAME. The champ comes out to a good ovation. He gets to the corner and locks eyes with Khali as Runjin Singh joins JR and Tazz at the table. Dykstra starts fast with punches and kicks in the corner followed by a clothesline. More punches in the corner and a hard whip into the corner, but the Game comes out with a clothesline. Off the ropes with a knee drop and a clothesline. Into the corner turnbuckle, but he puts his head down and Dykstra with a kick. He comes off the ropes and Triple H with the Double-A spinebuster. Pedigree and its good night Kenny. The H and Khali lock eyes after the match. WINNER: Triple H (Grade: 1)
-Triple H goes outside but Runjin Singh gets between them. Triple H grabs Singh by the throat and throws him into the ring. He tries to bait Khali into the ring, and Khali obiliges. Triple H tries but can’t get the big guy down, and even tries to ratchet the Pedigree but that fails. Eventually Triple H clotheslines Khali over the top rope.
The Big Show vs. Ryan Braddock
This Braddock guy looks familiar, but I can’t peg it. Show looks like he’s putting on weight again. Braddock with a kick and some right hands but Show throws him over the ropes. Show heads outside and pitches the rookie back in. Braddock off the ropes and Show with a shoulder block. Show with a big chop, then locks up the Million Dollar Dream? Interesting. Then a devastating right hand knocks Braddock out, and that’s that. WINNER: Big Show (Grade: 0)
-MVP’s at his locker when Eve Torres comes over. MVP grabs the mike and says he tried to uplift Jeff Hardy but now he’ll make him pay. MVP says Jeff Hardy thinks he’s had a bad year so far? After Sunday it will be much worse.
-Vickie Guerrero and Victoria are in Vickie’s office and Vickie says even though Edge strayed, there’s a part of her that still loved him. But after last week she never wants to see Edge again. Yet she’s very paranoid about seeing Edge or Undertaker and says coming to the arena was a bad idea. She asks Victoria to take her to her limo.
-We have another vignette for R-Truth. It really seems like so long from the K-Kwik days as Ron Killings really feels like a superstar.
-Victoria takes Vickie to her limo, but Edge was waiting in the back seat. He says you think I’m going to have fun at Summerslam? She puts her back in the chair and they roll away.
Festus vs. Vladimir Kozlov
This is one that in a sickening way I’ve been looking forward to. The bell rings and Festus starts swinging. One big punch staggers Kozlov and he falls outside. Festus tries to go through the ropes and Kozlov punches him in the ribs. Both men are outside and Festus keeps swinging. Kozlov with a knee lift and he whips Festus into the stairs. Kozlov with a head butt for 2. Kozlov with knees to the skull and now Kozlov rides Festus with some forearms for 2. Kozlov with a bear hug on the Cornfed Collossus. He lifts Festus up and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for 2. Kozlov with a waistlock, but Festus slowly breaks it and butts him in the gut. Festus with some right hands and a fallaway slam. Festus with a big clothesline and a modified Thesz Press for 2. Festus with a boot to the jaw and a butt drop in the corner. Kozlov is staggering again, but Festus goes for something in the air and Kozlov hits the head butt to the chest for the win. Sloppy but entertaining in a car wreck way. WINNER: Vladimir Kozlov (Grade: 1.5)
-We have an extended vignette of how events over the past few years have led Batista and John Cena got together for their match at Summerslam. The segment is a decent culmination of the build that is being wasted on this show instead of next April in Houston.
-JR and Tazz go over some matches from Sunday’s Summerslam card:
John Cena vs Batista
ECW Championship: Mark Henry © vs. Matt Hardy
Shawn Michaels’ future decision
WWE Championship: Triple H © vs. The Great Khali
World Heavyweight Championship: CM Punk © vs. JBL
Hell in the Cell: Undertaker vs. Edge
-Edge continues torturing Vickie by wheeling her very fast backstage and crashing the wheelchair into things. Edge says the last part of this ride ends in the ring.
-We have a recap of the build to Shawn Michaels’ announcement on Sunday.
YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME? Edge comes out with the hysterical Vickie to the ring. He throws Vickie out of the chair and she’s laying on the floor crying. He gets the mike and says every marriage goes through a bump in the road. Edge says we said vows that included “For better or for worse”. He says he knows what Vickie will say: There were lines crossed, but he says are there any unforgivable sins? There have been good times. Edge says its time to go down memory lane. He recaps the night that Vickie set up the HIAC match and the reinstatement of the Undertaker, the beatdown of Mick Foley, and last week’s decimation of La Familia. Back live and Edge and Vickie lie back on the floor near the ring. He wants Vickie to apologize to the Undertaker for what Edge did the past two weeks. She quietly says sorry, then Edge tells her to say it louder. She screams it and he calls her pathetic. It’s her fault for everything that’s happened. He says Vickie wanted him to burn in hell? She has succeeded, as he says his brain feels like its burning from the inside out. But the Undertaker will burn in hell with him. He tells Undertaker why wait till Sunday? He’s begging Undertaker to come out now, he and Vickie are ready. Edge says he will show Undertaker what the purest form of Hell is. This segment is awesome and Edge is hitting a grand slam right now. He says he and Vickie will be together…till death do us part. He then drops the mike, closes his eyes and spreads his arms out as we fade out.
DRAMA’S TAKE: A pretty good show to take us home to Summerslam. Edge is continuing to get back his heel mojo and has really carried this final chapter of the Undertaker feud since Taker hasn’t been on. Triple H with an effective squash and got the upper hand on Khali before the PPV. Does that mean he loses on Sunday? We’ll see. The mid-card continues to flourish with wins by Brian Kendrick and Vladimir Kozlov. The Divas roster has been streamlined, although it still breaks my heart to see the Cherry Bomb be released. I continue to enjoy seeing Jeff Hardy and MVP feed off each other to really maturate this feud, leading to what should be a good match Sunday. As much as many (including me) feel this Summerslam card is one of the weakest in recent memory, WWE is trying its hardest to build these matches into something we as fans care about. Sure the HIAC match is an automatic main event, but that hasn’t stopped Edge from really putting the match over and himself as someone who has lost all sense of reality. Triple H has done a good job of making Khali look like a true #1 contender, and the fact that Khali’s a former World Heavyweight Champion doesn’t hurt either. Regardless of how Sunday’s show comes off, the Smackdown matches have been admirably built. FINAL GRADE: B
Runner Up: Triple H/Khali
Non MVP: Festus
Runner Up: Kenny Dykstra