SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   Sat, April 12, 2008



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

SHIMMER taping


The Ultimate Warrior


Raw in New Orleans


WrestleMania XXX Main Events


WrestleMania XXX Opening Half


WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony
WWE Hall of Fame Red Carpet


Make-A-Wish party







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT




RECENT PHOTO GALLERIES: SHIMMER taping
Ultimate Warrior | Raw in New Orleans | ROH Supercard of Honor VIII
WRESTLEMANIA XXX: Section | Photos

THE SCOOP: Visit our News & Rumours page.


Smackdown: Undertaker chokes out Festus
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


An entertaining blend of quality matches and stellar promos greets Smackdown fans this week. The Great Khali comes out in a surprising new light, and the Batista vs. Shawn Michaels feud continues to heat up. The former champ, Edge, takes time to relax, while the current world title holder, The Undertaker, has his hands full with the always unpredictable Festus. From Boston, Massachusetts it is go time!

An odd start to the program as a "Punjabi Peace Offering" is going to take place in the ring featuring The Great Khali. Indian music is playing and a translator supposedly quotes Ghandi stating that he said, "an eye for an eye." Big Show is called out and he is given several gifts including: ceremonial water; Indian scotch; a chicken; and a goat (for everlasting milk). No cheap shots yet from Khali, and Show seems a tad confused on how to take these acts of generosity. Eventually Big Show rears back and pops India’s giant, sending him to the canvas and then leaves the squared circle. Is Khali actually being made a babyface here??? The feud goes on.

Match 1: John Morrison & The Miz vs. Shannon Moore & Jimmy Wang Yang

Morrison and Moore square off first, with pretty boy John taking charge. Nothing overly special or exciting going on, except for the phenomenal athleticism of Yang’s dropkicks and heel kicks. Moore becomes isolated for a few minutes before making the hot tag to Yang who scores a couple of near falls. Out of nowhere Miz hits the Reality Check to pick up the 1-2-3.

WINNERS: Morrison & Miz

We are taken to a couples spa where soothing music is playing and the Edge/Vickie Guerrero pair are receiving a dual massage. Theodore Long is standing guard behind the bed holding towels and looking miserable. This humorous segment has Edge’s hair up in a pony tail and has Vickie telling her man that he deserves some down time after what he went through last week. Once again Edge is able to mix together comedy with his serious heel persona, which continues to make him one of the top dogs in the company.

Match 2: Finlay w/ Hornswaggle vs. Matt Striker

Finlay starts with a shoulder tackle, and Hornswaggle resorts back to his classic role of hiding under the ring. The Irishman’s son distracts Striker by sneaking out and squirting him in the face with a water gun. Finlay still doesn’t quite feel right as a babyface, since his hard ring style suits a heel persona way better. The focus remains on Hornswaggle as he surprises Striker by throwing a bucket of confetti on him, and follows that up with a hit from a rubber hammer, which distracts the official. Finlay takes this time to smack his opponent with a shillelagh to score the victory. Hornswaggle connects with a tadpole splash after the bell as well.

WINNER: Finlay

Match 3: Victoria w/ Natalya Neidhart vs. Michelle McCool

Not quite sure why the WWE just doesn’t stick with Neidhart’s real name Nattie or Natalie. A clip of her father Jim "The Anvil" is shown with Victoria where the former Hart Foundation member confirms that ‘Natalya’ is indeed his daughter. The female Neidhart tells Victoria that it is about her, not her dad and that "if you mess with the best, you go down with the rest." (This Smackdown reporter remembers meeting Nattie at a couple of Ontario indy shows back in '05 and '06 -- photo proof below! -- and hopes that she will get a chance to show off her impressive in-ring ability. Oh Natalya, you will always be Nattie to me!) Anyway, Michelle bursts out of the gate with a clothesline and some hard right hands to her foe. Victoria is able to bounce back by nailing a superplex for a near fall. Neidhart is able to avert McCool’s attention for a moment allowing her gal pal to roll her up with a handful of tights. Hopefully one day D.H. Smith and Neidhart will be put on the same show and start the build for a much-anticipated new Hart Foundation.

WINNER: Victoria

Dave Batista and Shawn Michaels make their way to the ring separately to continue the feud’s verbal jousting. Big Dave says that HBK may have the fans fooled, but not him and that he’s the same backstabbing Michaels who stepped on others to get to the top. Shawn states that he did take the odd shortcut, but at 6’0, 200 pounds, he didn’t have the same luxuries as the much larger Batista. Maybe HBK has lit a fire under The Animal because this is the best promo and the most aggressive Batista has been in quite some time. As the segment ends both Superstars escape from the others finisher. This is shaping up to be an excellent battle at Backlash.

Match 4: Vladimir Kozlov vs. Matt Logan

Squash alert! Kozlov rips through Logan and polishes him off with a tall frosty glass of DDT.

WINNER: Kozlov

Back at the spa, Vickie and Edge are seen relaxing with limes in their eyes and matching nail polish.

Match 5: Matt Hardy vs. Chuck Palumbo

There have been a lot of ‘Matt’s’ on this episode. MVP is down for guest commentary to get a bird’s eye view of his arch nemesis’ match. The U.S. champ is terrific on the mic. This is a true back and forth affair as several near falls occur from a Palumbo belly-to-back suplex, a Hardy Side Effect and second rope leg drop, and a Palumbo fall away slam. Surprisingly MVP does not interfere during the contest allowing Hardy to connect with a Twist of Fate for the win. Following the bell MVP teases getting in the ring, but ends up settling for yelling at his foe and walking up the ramp.

WINNER: Hardy

Backstage Eves Torres interviews Jesse and Festus ... specifically Jesse on Festus’ main event battle with The Undertaker tonight. Jesse says that he hopes Festus is focused.

A final clip at the spa is shown where Edge and Vickie are shown in bed with whipped cream. Theodore Long states that "this is beyond the call of duty" and leaves.

Match 5 – Main Event – Non-title: The Undertaker (c) vs. Festus w/ Jesse

The bell sounds and Festus goes berserk, however, The Undertaker does not back down and takes control, eventually connecting with Old School. Festus hits a powerslam, but soon Taker is back in charge with a running leg drop off the apron. This is actually a decent match, and Festus is kept to look strong by getting his foot on the bottom rope following a chokeslam. Festus inadvertently knocks out the ref, and is then slapped in The Dead Man’s modified triangle choke. The champion’s opponent looks to be unconscious, but with no official the hold continues. Finally a referee runs down and signals to end the fight. Undertaker does not immediately break the hold so Jesse rushes in to rip him off and then covers his friend up. Taker allows Jesse’s actions to pass, and blood is shown from Festus’ mouth courtesy of the submission manoeuvre.

WINNER: The Undertaker


Nattie, er, Natalya Neidhart and Andy, er, Andrea McNamara.
Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer, a play-by-play broadcaster for both Rogers Television in Toronto, and on the radio for Durham College sports. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com