May 12, 2007
Smackdown: The title's on the line...
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
Well, this is quite possibly the most talked about edition of Smackdown in quite some time, thanks to spoilers that not only ran across the 'net, but on WWE's website itself. If you avoided all of the talk, then your time is now. Find out what happened on Smackdown in the SLAM! Wrestling report.
Match 1 - MVP/Fit Finlay vs. Chris Benoit/Matt Hardy
You have to feel for Matt here; like Edge, he beat Mr. Kennedy, but he didn't put the Money in the Bank stip in their bout. Bad move.
The match starts off really hot with the faces in control, going into our first commercial break of the evening, and out of it we get a solid amount of back-and-forth action. It's interesting to note that the first "show moves" are broken out by Matt instead of one of the heels. It's that strategy that appears to injure Hardy, as he hurts his knee coming down from a Moonsault. As a result, we see MVP bust out a Rolling Koppo Kick, which is the first time I've seen someone other than Jushin "Thunder" Liger execute the move. Awesome!
After much abuse, Benoit is tagged in as we send the match home. Once MVP is tagged in, Benoit picks up the W, getting the victory after grabbing MVP's leg off a kick and doing a Jacknife Roll. Somewhat anticlimactic ending, but it's effective in advancing the storyline between the two. Great match overall, especially for free TV.
Winners: Chris Benoit/Matt Hardy
Out of the break, we learn that Ozzy Osbourne will perform live, then we see Jillian Hall performing. Let's be generous and call that a contrast in styles.
Match 2 - Michelle McCool vs. Jillian Hall
And the non-sensical feud apparently continues. Just send Jillian to Raw already, please!
Seriously, McCool is showing some great work here, including a B2B Suplex and then finishes off Hall with a spinning backbreaker. Not bad, not great here.
Winner: Michelle McCool
Backstage, the stupid angle with Kristal and Teddy Long continues until we get the return of hillbillies to WWE. Well, that didn't take long. Apparantly they'll debut next week. Kristal then talks up Vicki Guerrero coming in to be the co-GM, and Long agrees to interview her. And yes, they do exploit Eddy's death once again.
Then, we head to a satellite interview with Ashley Massaro. Nothing of note happens.
Match 3 - Paul London vs. Domino
Short match, which had some solid action. London gets the win when he hits a dropsault on Deuce, who was on the apron, while simultaneously landing on Domino. Impressive move by the former RoH'er.
Winner: Paul London
Match 4 - Kane vs. Dave Taylor
In stark contrast to the tag team vs. tag team singles match we just saw, this one was absolutely terrible. I'd say Regal and Taylor deserve better, but in the tag team division there's no one else like them. Kane wins with the chokeslam.
Match 5 - Batista vs. Undertaker - Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Title
The match starts with the proper psychology - don't go directly to the cage, or you essentially kill the big, expected spots. We get our first move from Batista, going for the door, which again is good psychology, both as being a heel and being a big man who one would think couldn't climb.
And back from the break, UT tries to climb out but is stopped. Back-and-forth action then continues as the two battle for escapes. We head then into the next break with a trainwreck spot. Back from the break, we inexplicably get two minutes of action, including our first cage spot, before we head to yet another break.
Back from what was hopefully out last break, 'Taker is bloodied up but still fighting like a mad man, and, in fact has the advantage. The two then use the cage again to fight on the top rope, a battle that Batista wins, and then it's a race to the finish. Both men drop down, and from the camera angle, it looks like 'Taker hit first, but the refs argue and the match is ruled a draw, meaning 'Taker retains. This was a very decent cage match given the competitors.
As a result, 'Taker keeps his belt.
Immediately afterward, Mark Henry pounces on Undertaker and mauls him.
Then, comes the moment all of Canada had been waiting for. Edge comes in and catshes in the Money in the Bank.
Match 6 - Undertaker vs. Edge - World Heavyweight Championship Match
Edge goes for the quick pin on his former leader but can't put 'Taker down. UT starts to sit up, but falls back down. A spear later, the title comes back north of the border.
After edge celebrates, 'Taker starts to get up but Edge plants him with the MITB briefcase.
Well, we knew this was coming, and I'm glad to see Edge hold a belt that actually
looks like a championship. Hopefully WWE will let Edge run with the belt for
a while. Great show overall, once again from Smackdown.
Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! Wrestling