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Smackdown: New blood soaks in the spotlight
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


We're just a couple weeks away from Summerslam, and save for the wwe.com-announced Batista vs. King Booker World Heavyweight Title bout, no Smackdown matches have been announced for the second most-important PPV in WWE. Not exactly an encouraging sign, but hey, such is life. Let's see if anything is announced this week.

We kick off the show with The Great Khali and Daivari refusing to battle Undertaker in the proposed Last Man Standing match at Summerslam; or, more accurately, WWE refusing the proposed Last Man Standing match at Summerslam, if the rumours are to be believed. In any case, 'Taker doesn't take kindly to the news and goes off on Khali and Daivari.

Backstage we go and Chavo Guerrero and Vicki Guerrero are talking. Chavito tries to convince Vicki that Rey Mysterio is trying to profit off the Guerrero name, which is wrong. Well, since part of the Guerrero credo is that stealing is okay, Chavito seems like quite the hypocrite; that and he's making a career now off of Eddie's name as well.

Match 1 - Gregory Helms vs. Tatanka

JBL and Michael Cole play up how long Helms has held the Cruiserweight Title, which is extremely easy when you only defend it a dozen times, if that, during a seven-month period.

The match itself is a standard WWE bout with little to no excitement. Helms eventually gets the Shining Wizard and the pin, despite Tatanka's foot being outside the ring.

Winner - Tatanka

Afer the match, Tatanka erupts on referee Charles Robinson. If this is going where I think it's going, it can't be good.

Backstage, Daivari is going off on Teddy Long, yelling about 'Taker's actions earlier. Long, in response, moves the Last Man Standing match to next week.

Match 2 - Casey James/Idol Stevens vs. Brian Kendrick/Paul London

Well, this was kind of just there. It was solid wrestling again by Kendrick and London, but for all the hype I've heard about Stevens, he really didn't impress me, and James seems like a better fit as a partner for Lance Cade (Blackjacks 2000?). In any case, London and Kendrick lose the non-title bout. WWE should really just put the tags on one of the shows at this point, becase separately the belts are just not doing anything useful.

Winners: Casey James/Idol Stevens

Backstage, Ashley is talking to Luke Perry when Kristal buts her nose in to their conversation about the Diva Search. Ashley deserves better than this, and Kristal really needs to just stick to the interviews.

Back from break, it's time for the Diva Search. Can we vote off Mike Mizanin instead of the girls? Damn, we can't. Anyways, the segment gets killed by the crowd who couldn't give two cares about the girls, and even Luke Perry's pop isn't that big. Oh well, at least it wasn't Rob Schneider.

Backstage we go and Vicki is having a heart-to-heart with Mysterio. Look Vicki; if you're going to go through with this whole family being torn apart angle, study tapes of Diana Hart prior to the Bulldog/Bret match a few years ago.

Match 3 - Ken Kennedy vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

Kennedy continues to show the best mike skills in the Fed this side of Carlito

This was a pretty solid bout between these two, who were given plenty of time in the ring, with some good hope for a future feud between these two. Great back-and-forth action, which included Rey pulling out the Code Red, which Cole called "inventive", despite it being Amazing Red's finisher, and also being in Rey's movelist on Smackdown vs. Raw 2006, meaning he's more than likely used it at one point or another. Soon after, Chavito comes out and brawls with Mysterio on the outside, who makes contact with Vicki who followed Chavo out to ringside. The two continue to fight around Vicki, who is hysterical. Somewhere inthe mess, the match, which was looking superb, gets forgotten.

Winner: No contest

Backstage we go next for King Boker and the M.A.D.E. Nothing of real note here.

Match 4 - Sylvan Grenier vs. Vito

Why has WWE not re-formed La Resistance yet? Seriously.

I could really do without the upskirt shots of Vito, which, thankfully, are blurred out. Finally, the CRTC censors do some good for Canadian wrestling. The match itself was nothing to write home about. Vito wins with Armani Lock.

Winner - Vito

Match 5 - Sylvester Turkay vs. Jobber #1

Honestly, I'd like to see Umaga move to Smackdown, just to see Elijah Burke and Armando Alejandro Estrrrada square off in a mike battle.

Turkay, naturally, wins this one quite easily with the Eastern Stretch/Neck Bender combo submission hold.

Winner: Sylvester Turkay

After the match, Burke gets his shot in.

Backstage, Long is chatting with M.V.P. about signing his contract. If WWE plays this right, M.V.P. could be a big thing.

Elsewhere backstage, William Regal and Fit Finlay have some words before their main event tag match.

Before we head to the main event, we get a promo for The Boogeyman. Looks like Smackdown may actually be back to full strength soon.

Match 6 - William Regal/Fit Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley/Dave Batista

King Booker and the M.A.D.E. sat in on commentary here, and Booker was fantastic. Between him and Edge, we're getting some of the best announcing WWE has seen in quite sometime.

This was a decent match that left a very scary possibility of Lashley and Batista as a tag team. The two gelled together quite well and really have that imposing look. Naturally, Batista gets the pin after a Spinebuster on Regal.

Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.