Smackdown: Hitting the big 5-0-0
JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
Welcome to the 500th episode of Smackdown. Of course, if this was Raw celebrating
such a big milestone, it would be a three-hour, legend-filled extravaganza.
Such is life on the b-show.
So how do we kick off this oh so special episode? With a Triple H interview, naturally.
Trips talks about his marriage to Stephanie McMahon and promos the WrestleMania
bout, leading into our first match of the evening, which should be a main event-caliber
bout for the 500th episode of Smackdown, right?
Match 1 - Triple H vs. Vladimir Kozlov
Yep, it's a Friday night bungfest to start. Thankfully, Triple H wins before
we get the threat of another Kozlov push.
Winner: Triple H
Match 2 - Shelton Benjamin vs. MVP (US Title Match)
Okay, this is more like it. Two of SD!'s best pure wrestlers fighting over
a title belt... for this short amount of time? I'm usually not one to complain
about match lengths, but Jimmy Fallon's career in late night TV is lasting longer
than this bout did.
Thankfully, MVP wins the match following the Driveby/Shining Wizard. Unfortunately,
though, there go his chances of winning MITB.
Backstage, Edge and Vickie are having a lovers' quarrel about what happened
on Raw. Oh what fun!
Match 3 - Kane vs. Shawn Michaels
Okay this I can dig, because of the tie between Kane and The Undertaker. Both
guys seemed to have fun in there, even if their routines are more predictable
than the plot of a Margaret Atwood novel. Not surprisingly, Kane lays down after
Winner: Shawn Michaels
Back from commercials, we find out that the Hardyz will fight in an Extreme
Rules (or Rulz, as it would be in Hardy-eze) bout at 'Mania. I'm okay with that
since it will essentially be a TLC bout this way without mucking the MITB match.
Match 4 - Jeff Hardy vs. The Brian Kendrick (Extreme Rules/Rulz Match)
You know, at one point some of us thought Kendrick was destined to be the next
Jeff Hardy. Right now though, Kendrick's looking more like the next Barry Hardy.
Jeff polishes off Kendrick in a matter of moments.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Next up, we get the formal, televised announcement that the Von Erichs will
be going in the Hall. Very classy for WWE to show a pretty lengthy video here.
I'm guessing the Hart tribe is inducted next year.
Following this, Undertaker comes out to cut a promo on HBK, and for a guy that
hasn't exactly had massive amounts of stick time in the last couple years, 'Taker's
still very effective on the mic.
Match 5 - JBL vs. Undertaker (non-title)
I guess the Intercontinental Title is beneath Undertaker, even though, when
you think about it, it's a belt he's never held.
The former Ministry brothers put on a decent show before the inevitable happens.
I'd rather have seen 'Taker face Marty Jannetty to parallel HBK beating Kane
earlier, but sometimes all a boy can do is dream.
Back to the ring we go for more fun with Edge and Vickie, but Big Show's along
for the ride this time. The two make nicey and state that the winner of the
'Mania bout also gets the hand of the lovely Vickie. John Cena doesn't take
kindly to this and interjects himself again and causes the two to fight
again. Vickie's the one who comes out worse for wear this time, taking
a spear and then an inadvertent Big Show fling. Show then chokeslams Edge and
carries his lady love off to end the show.
Wow. As an anniversary show, that wasn't good at all. As a build for 'Mania,
well, we know there are three matches; but there was no Diva hype, no true MITB
push and absolutely bupkis about the tag team title unification match. Not a
good effort, unfortunately, by WWE tonight.
Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! Wrestling since 2000.