Smackdown: Backstage we go...
JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
With just over a week remaining until the Royal Rumble, WWE carried forward
Friday night with Smackdown, it's last-ever wrestling broadcast before the switch
to HD (at least assuming that they don't go back to what we can now call the
We start off this week with a look back to last year's Royal Rumble and Undertaker's
victory over Shawn Michaels to claim the 'Mania spot, which leads into a promo
from the Phenom. As 'Taker makes his promise to be the last man standing, Big
Daddy V and Matt Striker come out. By tussle's end, V is scurrying off with
his handler. The result - 'Taker looks strong, and I get disappointed that we
aren't building up to a casket match so we can finally be rid of Big Balogna
Bosoms for ever. Man, I've been talking to Matt Mackinder too much lately.
After a couple more filler spo... i mean videos, we get to our first match.
Match 1 - Great Khali vs. Finlay
Okay, seriously - who did Khali piss off backstage so bad that he's been relegated
to feud with Hornsoggle? Look - we know they're not going to do the King Kong
Bundy spot (well, maybe with Big Show), so let's move on before Finlay's career
Unlike previous encounters between the two, the international object doesn't
get Finlay the win, as Khali gets to use the Kona Krunch for the first time
in what seems like ages for a W.
Winner: Great Khali
Backstage we go...again... and it's Edge comforting the love of his life v2.0.
Both Teddy Long and Chavo Guerrero Jr. insert themselves in the picture, with
Chavito making amends after last week...just in time for our main event no less.
Match 2 - Deuce/Domino vs. Jimmy Yang/Shannon Moore
Okay, the latter duo needs a name. Hmm... how about Dragon Count? There we
Match 2 - Deuce/Domino vs. Dragon Count
Okay, two points to anyone who knows the reference. Now that that's over, we
can get to this match, which was fairly decent, or as good as you'll get out
of the Greasy Boys. Seriously, it's time to break up this duo and give them
respectable material to work with. Yang gets the duke for his team with the
Winners: Dragon Count
Backstage we go...yet again... and Vince McMahon fills his quota by making
a second appearance on Smackdown this year. Next week we'll see the two fight...yet
again...though this time it will be a Belfast Brawl. I wonder how this differs
from a Chicago Street Fight. Anyone who can tell me gets two points.
Match 3 - Batista vs. Mark Henry
Oh joy, two more hulking bodies taking up space that I don't care about. Where's
that fast forward button...there we go. End result - win for Batista, with the
Spinebuster he uses when he can't fully lift his opponent. Can't say I blame
After some more filler, we head to the VIP Lounge with MVP and Ric Flair. Pretty
good exchange here, the result being Flair chopping MVP to stand tall at the
end of the segment.
Match 4 - Michelle McCool vs. Layla
I'll say it again - why should there be women fighting on Smackdown when there's
nothing to fight for? It's not like the cream of the crop here will get a shot
at Beth Phoenix.
The two Diva Search alumni do battle in a shorter match, with McCool getting
Winner: Michelle McCool
Again we go backstage with McCool and Jamie Noble.Suddenly, flowers arrive,
courtesy of Chuck Palumbo, who wants to make nicey with his friend. Right here
is where the gimmick is lame - if Chuckles was really just Michelle's friend,
why would he care who she dates so much? McCool wants everyone to just Love
Life and be friends. Oh lord, please let this not be yet another wacky tag
team that doesn't get along. TNA killed that many times over.
Match 5 - CM Punk/Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero/Edge
Man, what I wouldn't give to see Rey and Punk mix it up in WWE. If you search
around YouTube, there's a three-way from the indies involving these two and
Eddie. Great bout.
As one would expect with these four workers, the match is very strong, and
carries back memories of the Smackdown Six (trivia note - if Chavo wins on Tuesday,
then all of them will have won world titles. What does that say about the quality
of work on SD! some five years ago?). Unfortunately, the match is kept too short
with Edge using a chair to take out his Rumble opponent.
Winners: CM Punk/Rey Mysterio
Post match, the Edgeheads come down to the ring to help in the beatdown, as
Chavito and Edge celebrate. Methinks mesmells a double cross coming at the Rumble.
Overall, this was a decent show, but a little to much backstage stuff for my
liking. Still, the build for next Sunday was strong, so mission accomplished.
Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.