TV REPORTS KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 11/2: Batista & Undertaker vs. Henry & Khali, Noble vs. Rey
Nov 3, 2007 - 4:15:07 AM
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KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
TAPED OCT. 31 IN UNIONDALE, N.Y.
WHAT HAPPENED: 1ST HOUR
-They opened with the Cyber Sunday recap, hyping the fan influence on the matches and stips along with highlight clips.
-Michael Cole and JBL introduced the show cold afterward with hype for the tag team main event - Undertaker & Batista vs. Great Khali & Mark Henry. Then they went to the ring for Batista's ring intro. No pyro this week. Not even the Smackdown open.
-JBL said at Cyber Sunday, Undertaker and Batista had an "epic match." (Hey, that's my signature phrase.) JBL said the match surpassed the hype and expectations. He said Batista pinning Taker was a career-defining moment. Batista talked about growing up poor in Washington D.C. as a kid and getting into fights. He said he's fought out of a lot of tough situations, but this Sunday he did something he wasn't sure he'd ever do - he beat Undertaker. He said the rivalry between them has been a war. He said they each have one win plus two draws in his book, so they're even. He said they haven't settled their differences, but tonight he's got his back in the tag match. He said, "Thing is, I'm wondering if you've got my back, because if you don't..." Taker's bell sounded and he magically appeared in the ring. Taker slowly brought the wireless mic up to his mouth. He told him he can rest assured he has his back "because you still have the one thing that I want." Batista asked if he was saying he wanted a rematch. "Done, you've got it," said Batista. Batista then began to leave the ring. Taker called him back and said, "Hell in a Cell!"
-Vickie Guerrero walked up to Jamie Noble reading WWE Magazine backstage. Noble got panicky that she'd put him in another match against a monster. She told him to relax. When she brought up the Taker-Batista match, he thought she was making it a three-way with him. She said she had a gift for him. She handed him a Rey Mysterio DVD box. He said he didn't need that. She said he should perhaps study it because she's booked him against Rey. Noble took that as a sign that he had won her over. He said, "I knew you were sweet on me." He took the DVD box, then told her he had some DVDs they could watch together later.
1 -- DOMINO (w/Deuce, Cherry) vs. FESTUS (w/Jesse)
We got the full "Biscuits and Gravy" ring intro this week. The bell rang and Festus's whole demeanor changed. He tossed Domino around the ring. JBL said, "He goes from Rainman to Bruiser Brody." Cole said Vickie has confirmed that the Batista-Taker HIAC match will take place two weeks from Sunday at Suurvivor Series. At 2:00 Jesse dove off the ring steps onto Jesse, who was hinting at interference, after which Festus finished of Domino in the ring.
WINNER: Festus in 2:00.
STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Festus is a fun character in WWE's mid-card land. It's not a main event character by any means, but it's pretty harmless to fill some TV time and house show slots.
-Cole and JBL plugged the tag main event again.
-A segment aired on the 2007 Diva Search winner being announced. She said she was filled with feelings of gratitude afterward.
Rey Mysterio [artist Grant Gould (c) PWTorch]
2 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. JAMIE NOBLE
In a better Smackdown world, this could have been built up and presented as a money-match in a serious Cruiserweight division with the belt on the line. Instead, it's a bit of a throwaway TV match as they try to figure out which ill-fitting heavyweight Rey will feud with now or after the Finlay feud is put out of its misery. Finlay walked out after Rey's ring intro. Cole asked what he was doing there. JBL told him to go ask him. Cole guessed he was there to scout his opponent for next week, Rey. Noble then made his ring intro, maybe the most generic entrance music in WWE history. He did the Road Warrior Hawk stretch on the second rope in the corner before entering the ring. JBL observed right away that Rey was actually smaller than Noble. He said he's barely bigger than "the nugget" Hornswoggle. Noble vs. Rey could have been an ROH Dream Match a couple of years ago if Rey was able to make a guest shot there. After a good opening minute, they went to ringside briefly. Noble dropped Rey over the top rope to reverse momentum in the match, then went after Rey after he fell to ringside. JBL was giving Cole an especially hard time. Cole asked if he was upset that he got only five percent of fan votes to be special ref. JBL blamed it on D.C. fans who voted for Marion Barry. Cole informed JBL it was actually a worldwide vote. Finlay hit Cole at ringside with his shillelagh. Cole said he needed ice. JBL said, "Okay, DDP." You gotta love all of JBL's references. At 9:00 Rey hit a 619, but Noble blocked a subsequent West Coast Pop. Rey, though, victory rolled into a leverage three count.
WINNER: Rey in 10:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Nice TV match. Good to see both Rey and Jamie get to enter their comfort zone and show off a more serious match.
-After the match, Finlay cut a promo hyping their match next week. He said he can smell fear on Rey. He said Rey's a quitter, weak, soft, fearful, and next week he'll be a loser.
-Cole plugged, for the first time, that Mick Foley would be wrestling Coach on the show. It's just amazing that Foley's post-retirement role has been reduced to an unannounced throwaway match against a non-wrestler on Smackdown.
-The Raw Rebound aired.
-MVP walked up to Matt Hardy, who was petting a dog backstage. Seriously. Hardy was chomping on gum and agreed with MVP that they make a great tag team. MVP said he liked the idea of putting the match-making in the hands of the fans. He said he would have done well against any of the three potential opponents. MVP said he's better than everyone, including Hardy. Hardy wished MVP good luck in his match. MVP didn't know he was scheduled to wrestle. Hardy said his match was up next, against Kane. The Kane ring intro fired up in the background. Cole laughed and asked, "Can you believe this?"
3 -- MVP vs. KANE
JBL argued with Cole over whether MVP intentionally got counted out at Cyber Sunday. JBL said MVP showed how brave he was to try to get back into the ring when he didn't have to. When Kane applied a leg scissors, JBL compared it to Kevin Von Erich. MVP controlled most of the match, with Kane making a couple of brief comebacks. MVP applied a leg scissors of his own at 6:00. MVP continued to apply a variety of mat holds to keep Kane down and wear him down. He kept it interesting. At 8:00 Kane punched MVP, but MVP shot right back with a boot and knocked Kane to the floor. They cut to a break.
WHAT HAPPENED: 2ND HOUR
MVP continued to beat on Kane in the ring after the break. At 13:00 Kane made a full comeback. Kane hit MVP with a clothesline off the top rope to MVP's chest. Big Daddy V then walked to ringside. He distracted Kane, but when MVP leaped at Kane, Kane caught him and chokeslammed him for a clean win. Kane's music played only briefly, as BDV attacked Kane after the match. Cole said he's a mean, bad man. Kane struggled to get up.
WINNER: Kane in 14:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Not particularly exciting, but good variety and intensity throughout.
-A highlight package aired on Cyber Sunday.
4 -- MICK FOLEY vs. COACH
As the match was about to begin and things looked grim for Coach, the ring announcer revealed that Mr. McMahon was the special referee. Vince's music didn't play, though. Coach was happy and clapping, anticipating Vince. Instead, Hornswoggle (get it, "Mr. H. McMahon") came out from under the ring and entered the ring. He bent over behind Coach. Foley shoved him to the mat. Foley beat on Coach to almost zero response from Foley's hometown crowd. Hornswoggle then punched Coach several times and the crowd did pop. Foley rubbed Coach's eyes across the top rope. I was waiting for JBL to reference Mad Dog Vachon there. When Hornswoggle said it was just a two count, he poked Coach in the eyes "by mistake" with those two fingers. Foley clotheslined Coach. Hornswoggle dropped an elbow. JBL said, "You never saw Bronco Lubich do that! Referees don't do that." Hornswoggle told Foley to pull out Mr. Socko. Foley did, and it was green, so Cole declared it "an Irish socko." Either that, or Foley has some really nasty genital condition. Foley gave Coach the Socko Mandible Claw. Ten he called for Hornswoggle to hit a top rope splash. Hornswoggle did, and then Foley made the cover and got a three count.
WINNER: Foley in 5:00.
STAR RATING: n/a -- This just seemed odd, like a house show or post-TV taping hometown Long Island special attraction. It wasn't bad for what it was trying to accomplish with silly slapstick and a way for Foley and Hornswoggle to play off of Coach at Coach's expense, but it just felt out of nowhere and out of place.
-Cole said the fun and games are over in minutes, plugging the big main event tag.
-A commercial aired hyping DX and Steve Austin on Raw next week.
-Cole promoted that C.M. Punk would make his Smackdown debut next week. Then they showed Twisted Sister's Dee Snyder and Jay Jay French in the front row playing to the crowd. Doesn't Snyder age? He looked the same as he did 20 years ago.
5 -- CHUCK PALUMBO (w/Michelle McCool) vs. KENNY DYKSTRA (w/Victoria)
Palumbo dominated until Victoria distracted Palumbo. Dykstra caught Palumbo on the top rope, but Palumbo blocked him and threw him to the mat, then finished him with his Full Throttle.
WINNER: Palumbo in 3:00.
STAR RATING: 3/4* -- It's still hard to figure where Palumbo goes from here. I'd guess a feud with Finlay.
-They showed a video on Rey Mysterio at Best Buy DVD signing.
-Backstage, Mark Henry told The Great Khali he better be ready. He said they've made a pact to be together and work together tonight. Khali said something and then grunted.
-A plug aired for the WrestleMania ticket sales launch. Cole and JBL talked about WM coming to Florida. JBL said there is no experience like it.
6 -- MARK HENRY & THE GREAT KHALI vs. UNDERTAKER & BATISTA
JBL said this might be the biggest tag team ever, or at least the strongest. After what seemed like at least ten minutes of ring intros, the match began at 45 minutes into the second hour. Undertaker began against Henry. A minute in, Taker threw Henry over the top rope to the floor, then they cut to a break.
Henry and Khali took control of Taker. Taker hot-tagged Batista at 7:00. Cole praised Batista for offering Taker a rematch so quickly. Cole asked JBL if he knew how big a size 25 boot is. JBL said he does, it's what Khali has on right in front of them. Good answer. Khali took over on Batista with a nerve hold and eventually his head vice. Taker paced on the ring apron. He couldn't take it after about 30 seconds and charged into the ring and clotheslined Khali. Batista hit a desperation spear, then tagged Taker officially in. Khali also tagged Henry in at 11:00. Taker threw a barrage of punches at Henry. Taker set up both Khali and Henry for a double chokeslam. Cole said there was no human way possible to do that. Batista said Taker's not human. The heels escaped Taker's grip. Four-way action broke out. Taker took Khali down with a big boot as batsista set up a Batista Bomb on Henry. JBL ran into the ring and attacked Batista with a Clothesline from Hell. He kicked Taker between the legs, then left the ring. Cole yelled, "What the hell was that all about?" JBL told Cole he is still the Wrestling God and longest reigning champion in Smackdown history. He said those two guys disrespeted him. Khali did the head squeeze on Taker as Henry squeezed Batista in a bear hug. Cole told JBL, "Look what you allowed! It's all your fault." The heels left Taker and Batista lying lifeless in the ring. JBL took credit. "I have kicked more ass than you can carry off in wheelbarrows," he declared.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Okay show. The Rey-Noble match was good. The tag main event was a little monotonous given the cast involved, but watchable. The JBL run-in and post-attack rant were intense and it leaves viewers wondering where they're headed. JBL's commentary throughout the night was probably the highlight of most of the show, as is often the case. The Foley-Coach thing was just strange. It's also odd how little they're doing to update the Teddy Long situation; it's time to officially write Krystal out of it, too.
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