October 4, 2008
Smackdown: I want my MNTV
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
Welcome to the first-ever Smackdown on MyNetworkTV review.
Okay, so being Canadian I watched the show on The Score, as I do most Fridays, but still, if it's exciting enough for WWE, doggone it, it's exciting enough for me. So let's kick off this all-star debut review.
And we formally usher in the new era with a new theme song, which isn't bad, but not up to the gold standard of I Want it All.
Match 1: Jeff Hardy/Rey Mysterio/Batista/Finlay vs. MVP/Brian Kendrick/Kane/JBL
Okay, I get why the Raw and ECW superstars are here, but I don't agree with WWE on this one. I don't see any point in showcasing superstars from another brand when you should be devoting time to those that are permanently on the Friday night roster.Oh well, I guess that's why I'm not a WWE writer.
The match is as good as these mixed-bag matches usually are, but would have been so much better if this was a Survivor Series match. In terms of building to No Mercy, they do show off two of the matches here and other SD! roster members, but Finlay sticks out like a sore thumb and could've been replaced by another face that is on SD! MVP eats the loss after a Hardy Swanton.
Backstage we then go and Teddy Long, Tiffany and Mike Adamle are here to help while Vickie Guerrero recovers from the Undertaker X-Men attack from last week. It's like their the Super Friends or something. I get it now - WWE is trying to recreate DC vs. Marvel! So that's why Big Show's involved - he's Juggernaut (man, I like that nickname. I think I'll use it from now on)! Turns out, Juggernaut is able to shoo away the Super Friends and book Chavo in a special match tonight. Joy!
Next up, Santino Marella comes out, accompanied by Beth Phoenix and Hurricane in a bubble. I really like Helms in this role, especially since he can remain injury-free. Marella, of course, is dynamite on the mic, bringing up the Honk-a-Meter. I'll admit it now - I've got the Meter on my Facebook profile. It's up to 6.71 as of tonight, by the way.
Match 2: Santino Marella vs. Shelton Benjamin
Typical Marella match, with him squeaking out a victory after R-Truth comes down to distract Benjamin.
Winner: Santino Marella
Next up, Juggernaut comes down to the ring to introduce Chavito's special match
Match 3: Chavo Guerrero vs. Great Khali/Mark Henry
Remind me, which brand is Khali on? Not that it really matters, but I'm just curious because it seems like he's on every WWE show these days.
Naturally, Chavo gets the tar beaten out of him.
Post-match, Show punches Chavo out then starts on the mic when the lights flicker. They then go completely out and before you know it, 'Taker's in the run. Hmm. So I guess forgot that Undertaker has also borrowed powers from the Sinister Six (Electro's, to be specific). If he shows up at the pay-per-view with his Spidey senses tingling, I'm never watching Smackdown again.
Match 4: Los Colons/CM Punk vs. Priceless
I dig the Colons vs. Priceless, but Punk's issue is with Randy Orton, not the other second-generation stars who Randy's distanced himself from. God, WWE booking tonight is harder to decipher than a crypt-a-quote.
Perhaps as expected, the faces go over again, but, for more ineffectual booking, it's Punk who delivers the final blow to DiBiase, rather than putting over Carlito or Primo on their home turf. Feh.
Jesse and Festus are then seen in their MyMovingCo. gear. No Dire Straits music video effects though.
Match 5: Beth Phoenix vs. Michelle McCool (Lumberjill Match)
This is one case where WWE does the right booking and puts Phoenix over following the Implant Buster. She's the dominant one, not Ms. "I Love Life".
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Match 6: Triple H vs. Chris Jericho vs. Matt Hardy
Now if you need me to tell you what happens here, you haven't seen WWE TV in the last decade or so. This time, however, it's justified, since Triple H is the champ on SD! He pins Matt after the Pedigree.
Winner: Triple H
After the match, we get the anticipated post-bout shenanigans, as Triple H is Code Broken by Jericho, who then gets a table out and appears ready to put Matt through it until Jeff Hardy comes out to save his brother. After a scuffle with Triple H, Jeff hits him with a Twist of Fate and gets a ladder (which really should've been introduced by Jericho). Hardy climbs only to get a run-in from Vladimir Kozlov, who headbutts him on the way down. Kozlov then takes out Triple H for good measure to stand tall at the end of the night.
Well, WWE actually did a good job of simultaneously building up Smackdown on the new network while also getting some heat for the PPV, so a job well done.
Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.