WWE Smackdown- October 3, 2008
-This is Smackdown’s debut on MyNetworkTV! This, of course, means a new intro and theme song. They are airing from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Our hosts for the evening are Jim Ross and Tazz.
Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, Finlay (with Hornswoggle), and Batista vs. MVP, John Bradshaw Layfield, The Brian Kendrick (with Ezekiel Jackson), and Kane
During MVP’s entrance, Gregory Helms appears on the corner of the screen, remarking on MVP’s status as the highest paid superstar on the brand. Interesting…? Finlay starts the match against Kendrick, and they exchange holds and shots. Finlay takes control with an inverted atomic drop. Batista tags and dominates Kendrick. Cover by Batista gets 2. Finlay tags and smashes Kendrick repeatedly. Finlay traps Kendrick in the ring apron and tosses Hornswoggle on an interfering MVP. We head to a commercial.
After the break, Rey Mysterio tags and continues to beat the crap out of Kendrick. Hardy tags and keeps up the isolation on Kendrick. Cover by Hardy gets 2. Desperate shot by Kendrick, who then hits a drop-kick on the newly tagged in Finlay. Hornswoggle is wearing Kendrick’s jacket and leads him into a trap from Finlay. Ezekiel has had enough and clotheslines Finlay at ringside. JBL finally gets a tag and proceeds to beat the life out of Finlay. MVP tags and keeps up the methodical dismantling of Finlay. Kane cheap shots from the floor, and JBL tags to keep up the isolation. Batista and MVP both get tags, but it’s Batista who cleans house. Batista fights off a choke slam from Kane and nails the spine buster. Batista fights off Kendrick and tags Mysterio. Rey jumps off Batista’s shoulders to splash MVP. Rey sets up Kendrick for the 619, but MVP breaks it up. Kane prevents Rey from hitting the 619 on both Kendrick and MVP, as we head to another commercial.
After the break, Kane is in firm control of Rey Mysterio. Kendrick tags and continues to dish out punishment to poor Rey. JBL tags and bravely taunts Batista. Batista breaks up JBL’s cover attempt on Rey. MVP tags, but the referee didn’t see it. MVP gets another tag anyhow and helps double team Rey. Kendrick tags and stomps Rey’s arm off the second rope. Kendrick runs into Rey’s boot and gets planted. Hardy gets a hot tag and cleans house. All hell breaks loose, as the referee cannot contain the participants from brawling in the ring. Rey hit’s the 619 on MVP and senton’s Kane on the floor. Hardy hit’s the swanton bomb on MVP for the win at 13:33 (shown). Solid opener, but having not one, but two, commercial breaks hurt this. **¾.
Winners: Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, Finlay, and Batista
-Video package from Unforgiven, when Big Show aligned with Vickie Guerrero and beat down The Undertaker. Yes, it’s 2008 and Big Show and Undertaker are feuding AGAIN. Then on a recent Smackdown, Vickie insisted on Undertaker kissing her feet. As you can imagine, she received a tombstone piledriver instead.
-Big Show is walking around backstage. Very slowly.
-Teddy Long, Tiffany, and Mike Adamle are hanging out in Vickie’s office. Big Show enters and wants to know why they’re there. Show kicks them out of “his” office. In other words, Big Show is playing GM tonight. Chavo enters and tries to form a strategy, but Show cuts him off. Chavo thinks he should be in charge, but Big Show blames him for Vickie’s injury. Show puts Chavo in a match tonight, and you can bet it’ll be against somebody big, fat, and useless.
-Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix come to the ring. Helms again appears in the corner of the screen during Santino’s entrance. He says that Honky Tonk Man would roll over in his grave if he saw what Santino has been doing with the Intercontinental title. Get it, because he’s not really dead? Yeah, I know, it’s not funny. Santino cuts a promo, checking in on the Honk-A-Meter. He’s been IC champion for 6.71 weeks, so now he’s only 57 weeks away from breaking the record. Santino amusingly refers to Shelton Benjamin as “the goldilocks” and mocks him for only being the champion of one country. Santino, on the other hand, is the champion of planet Earth. That was amusing.
-After the break, Benjamin cuts a promo on the tron. He refers to Santino as “Beth Phoenix’s girlfriend.” Wow, a good little promo from Benjamin, did Santino write it for him?
Santino Marella (with Beth Phoenix) vs. Shelton Benjamin
This is a champion vs. champion match, as Santino holds the Intercontinental title, and Benjamin is the United States Champion. Santino locks the head, but Benjamin throws him off. Big boot by Benjamin. Benjamin turns aggressive, repeatedly smashing Santino. Benjamin is then thrown off when R-Truth appears in the crowd, cutting a rap. You know, Truth has always been a craptacular rapper, but he always seems to try and use it to get over anyhow. Santino uses the distraction to his benefit and pins Benjamin at 2:22. Benjamin is more angry that Truth showed up than he is about the loss. Match didn’t go anywhere, ¼*.
Winner: Santino Marella
-Big Show makes his way to the ring. He promises Vickie Guerrero, who is watching at home, a “very special match” for Chavo.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Mark Henry (with Tony Atlas) and The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh)
Oh joy, this will surely be a match for the ages. Chavo tries to negotiate his way out of it, and clearly isn’t happy with Big Show, who has stayed to watch at ringside. Henry starts the match, easily pounding away at Chavo. Khali tags and continues the effortless beating. Henry tags and hits the world’s strongest slam. Khali tags and applies his vice grip to the head. The referee calls for the bell at 1:39. Uninspiring squash, DUD.
Winners: Mark Henry and The Great Khali
-After the match, Show lays Chavo out with a right hand shot. Show takes a microphone and verbally taunts The Undertaker. As per usual, Show is interrupted by Undertaker’s music and lighting tricks. Show backs up the aisle as The Undertaker appears in the ring. I am so sick of Undertaker’s copy and paste feuds, but I can’t really argue since the crowd always eats it up.
Ted Dibiase, Cody Rhodes, and Manu vs. Carlito, Primo, and CM Punk
Earlier tonight, the second generation stable cut an arrogant promo, promising to do something priceless to the Colons. Carlito cuts a promo before the match, asking for a six man tag so that “Manu doesn’t look like an idiot.” Primo steals Carlito’s “Dat’s cool” catchphrase, which leads to some bickering. I think I like this team. Punk enters and storms the ring.
Big “CM Punk” chant as the match kicks off. Primo starts the match against Dibiase, but quickly finds himself stuck in the Priceless corner. Rhodes tags, but Primo fights off their double team. Carlito assists in the double drop-kick, but Manu helps Rhodes dump him to ringside. Manu tags and beats down Carlito with traditional Samoan offense. Dibiase tags and nails a double stomp! Cover by Dibiase gets 2. Chinlock by Dibiase. Carlito fights out and tags Primo. After a short burst, Primo finds himself isolated by Dibiase and Rhodes. Rhodes works an arm lock. Primo dodges a drop-kick and makes the tag to Punk. Springboard clothesline by Punk onto Dibiase, who cleans house. Bulldog by Punk gets a cover, but Manu and Rhodes make the save. The Colons dispatch of Manu and Rhodes with plancha. Punk nails Dibiase with the Go 2 Sleep and gets the win at 4:11. Decent stuff, **.
Winners: CM Punk, Carlito, and Primo
-Backstage, Jesse and Festus are feeling accomplished for helping to move Smackdown to MyNetworkTV.
-A flood of Divas head to the ring for a lumberjack match.
Beth Phoenix vs. Michelle McCool
This is another champion vs. champion match, as Phoenix holds the Women’s Championship and Michelle is the Divas Champion. Michelle works the head in the early going. Beth responds with a shoulder block. Michelle goes for the quick win, but Beth cuts her off with a front headlock. Michelle works the wrist, but Beth smashes her off. Innovative pinfall reversal by Beth gets 2. Suplex by Beth and an overhead backbreaker. Michelle kicks off the ropes to free herself and gets a bridging cover attempt. Beth walks into a big boot. The fight heads to ringside, which leads to a gigantic diva catfight amongst the lumberjacks. Maryse cheap shots Michelle, allowing Beth to regain control. Michelle needs to kick Maryse off again, preventing a top rope move. Beth hits the Glam Slam for the win at 3:47. Not bad at all, as Beth is a capable worker and Michelle tries really hard to be creative, *¼.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
-Video package highlighting the Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels feud. They will battle yet again at No Mercy, in a ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Champion of Champions match:
Triple H (WWE Champion) vs. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Champion) vs. Matt Hardy (ECW Champion)
Jericho and Triple H get into each other’s face in the early going, which seems to annoy Hardy. Hardy interrupts, and gets slapped by Jericho. HHH strikes, and assists Hardy in double teaming Jericho. Hardy drives Jericho into the ring post, but then walks into a DDT from Triple H. Triple H suplexes Jericho back into the ring and gets a cover for 2. Jericho rebounds and clotheslines The Game. Jericho slaps HHH around but runs into a knee lift. Hardy takes down Triple H and they brawl to ringside. Hardy aggressively slams HHH into the announce table. They brawl on the apron, and Jericho drop-kicks them both to the floor. We head to a commercial.
After the break, Hardy appears to be in control. That quickly changes as Jericho and HHH dump him to the floor. Jericho stomps a mud hole on Triple H. HHH reverses an Irish whip and hits his patented spine buster. Jericho blocks the pedigree, and inadvertently catapults HHH into Hardy on the turnbuckle. Jericho tosses HHH and refocuses on Hardy, who’s still stuck on the turnbuckle. Jericho attempts a superplex, but Triple H slams him off in the process. All three men are down. Sleeper on Jericho by Triple H. Jericho counters with a back suplex. Triple H dodges the lionsault, which appears to tweak Jericho’s knee. Hardy gets knocked to the floor, leaving Jericho to lock HHH into the Walls of Jericho. Jericho and Triple H are wrestling the way they should have at Wrestlemania 18. Hardy returns and breaks up the submission. Hardy drives Jericho into the turnbuckles and nails the bulldog. Cover by Hardy gets 2.5! Hardy counters the code breaker and gets another near fall. Side effect by Hardy, but HHH catches him with the pedigree. Triple H covers Hardy for the win at 8:50. All three men brought their working boots and worked a good television main event, ***¼.
Winner: Triple H
-After the match, Jericho cheap shots Triple H with the code breaker. Jericho hauls a ladder to the ring and nails Hardy in the head with it. Jericho sandwiches Hardy in the ladder, when Jeff runs in for the save. Jeff dispatches Jericho out of the ring and helps his brother. Triple H tries to cheap shot Jeff and receives a Twist of Fate for his trouble. Jeff sets up the ladder and prepares for a swanton. Unfortunately, Vladimir Kozlov breaks it up. Kozlov hits Triple H with the reverse DDT and stands dominant.
Final Thoughts: We were promised a big show, and instead we got a lot of Big Show. Get it? Yeah, I know, not funny. Anyhow, this was a typical episode of Smackdown, just with special guest stars. On any given week you can tune into Smackdown and see one or two good television matches, Undertaker freaking out someone with his spooky music, and a hapless jobber being forced to wrestle a much bigger guy as a “surprise.” This formula really needs some tweaking. However, the wrestling was pretty good for the most part, so it’s hard to give a negative review to that.
Thumbs in the middle.