MITCHELL'S TAKE KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 8/14: Results, thoughts, observations, nitpicks, star ratings, quotebook
Aug 15, 2009 - 1:11:57 AM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
AUGUST 14, 2009
AIRED ON MY NETWORK TV
-The Smackdown opening kicked off this week's broadcast. Todd Grisham and Jim Ross introduced the show, then they hyped the advertised main matches. Then they threw to a recap of last week's angle with Matt Hardy returning and getting into it with C.M. Punk in his match against Jeff Hardy.
-Punk's ring intro then took place. Grisham said the question after last week is what kind of shape Hardy will be in come SummerSlam. He said it's doubtful Hardy would be on Smackdown because of the injuries he suffered last week. (Click, click, click.) Punk said Teddy Long says Hardy's specialty is TLC style matches. He said he Long been wrong before. He said he's great in ladder matches, citing his back-to-back Money in the Bank ladder match victories. He said he showed last week how good he is with a chair. He said her could waste the time of the fans talking about honesty and integrity and explaining the difference between right and wrong, but they've all slaves to Hardy and his hip "in the moment" propaganda. He said whatever he says will make them love Hardy all the more.
He said to get them to contribute to society instead of contributing to statistics of alcoholism and drug abuse. He said all he'd have to do was end Jeff Hardy. He said he wants to do it the same way he lives his life - the right way. "Straight up, one-on-one, me and Jeff, no outside ring enforcers with family ties so he's conflicted on what to do." He said Jeff's going to screw this up, though, because he heard he won't even make it to SummerSlam. Long then interrupted Punk.
Long told Punk what he did last week was deplorable because his actions could have ended Jeff's career. He said Jeff will be on Smackdown later. He said while he's in no condition to compete (that's WWE's euphemism for the taboo word - "wrestling"). Long told Punk, who reacted with sarcasm to Long's comments, that he'd have to wrestle John Morrison instead, a man he's never defeated. Long said he's sick of Long and he'll beat Morrison later and then at SummerSlam, he'll beat his poster boy and hero. At that point Jeff's music played and he walked out onto the stage.
Ross observed that Jeff was walking gingerly to the ring, almost like a ghost of himself. Jeff had no make-up and was dressed in jeans, a jacket, and a cap. Okay, maybe he had make-up to make nis eyes look ghost-like. Tough to tell. "I am hurt, but I am here - in your face!" Jeff said as he moved toward Punk. He said he will endure the pain and defend his title at SummerSlam. Somehow the music director knew Hardy was done at that point as his music somewhat presumptuously began instantly after he said that. He walked out of the ring as Punk stood his ground.
-They showed Ross and Grisham at ringside. They talked about the Great Khali-Kane feud and narrated clips. They showed Kane attacking Ranjin Singh and dragging him to the back. Ross said to make the matter even more bizarre, they've heard Kane has brought Singh to the arena and they're somewhere in the bowels of the arena. [c]
-Long took a phone call from Vince McMahon. He cowered at the start at McMahon's authority. McMahon told him he was still on probation and he wanted Hardy to face both members of the Hart Dynasty.
(1) Dolph Ziggler pinned Dolph Ziggler in 8:00. Grisham said Rey is not at Smackdown because he's on a promotional tour for WWE (click, click, click). Ross said Rey does a lot of great things for the WWE Universe. Finlay trapped a sliding Ziggler between the ring and the apron. Ziggler came back quickly, though, and took Finlay down hard with a running boot to the face, knocking him into the ringpost and to the floor. A minute in Mike Knox strolled to the ring. [c] Back from the break, Ziggler and Finlay began to have a really good sequence, with Finlay more realistic, aggressive, and urgent in his approach than usual, but giving Ziggler enough to make him seem his equal. Finlay caught Ziggler coming off the second rope with an extended boot and then a Celtic Cross for a believable near fall. Finlay followed up with three clotheslines and a cannon ball. When Knox moved toward Finlay, Finlay kicked him. Ziggler tried to take advantage of a distracted Finlay, but Finlay fended him off. Knox, though, hit Finlay from behind with his own shillelagh leading to Ziggler striking with his finisher, a jumping reverse bulldog for the win. Although only five minutes aired, this was one of the better TV matches of its length in a long time on TV. Finlay really stepped up his aggression and sense of urgency and Ziggler looked every bit as legit tough as Finlay, and overall they paced themselves believably as if it were a fight, not a performance. Impressive in the true sense of the word. It was still just an eight minute match with a commercial in the middle, so not a match of the year by any means, but noteworthy still. (**1/4)
-Afterward, Knox attacked Finlay. He then took the mic and talked like a crazy professor about all the bones in the human body and how uncomfortable it is to have them broken.
-Kane made Singh say his name and that he's been punished due to his association with Khali. He then did the capture line about being treated well. Kane then entered the view of the camera and said he wants Khali to come have a look at his handiwork.
-WWE Fact: More than seven times as many people watched Smackdown on MyNetwork last week as ESPN.
-A music video aired on R-Truth.
-Maria talked to Melina about her date with Dolph. Layla walked in and told Maria that Dolph can do better than her and he'll dump her when he realizes he has better options. Melina said she has a message for her to deliver to Michelle McCool and she'll give it to her in the ring.
-Morrison's ring entrance took place. [c]
(2) C.M. Punk pinned John Morrison in 12:00. Good pace and intensity early with Punk dominating early including a guillotine double kneedrop off the top rope onto Morrison on the ring apron. They cut to a break at 2:00. [c] Morrison made a comeback and scored some near falls. Punk came back at 9:00 and called for the Go To Sleep, calling out "Nap time!" Morrison elbowed out of it, so Punk just rammed him head-first into the top turnbuckle instead. Punk then hit a running knee and a bulldog for a two count.
The crowd chanted "Morrison, Morrison" at 10:00. Morrison countered a Punk move and scored a two count. Punk avoided Starship Pain seconds later. Morrison went for a roll-up for a believable near fall. Morrison nailed Punk from behind with a running knee to the back of his head. Then he went for Starship Pain, but Punk popped up and shoved him into the corner turnbuckle where he hung upside down. Punk threw a barrage of knees into his body, then lifted him for the Go To Sleep. He nailed it and scored the pin to finally beat Morrison. (***) [c]
-Melina's ring entrance took place.
-They went backstage to Kane and Singh, which has been such an embarrassment to try to fit into the rest of the show that the announcers aren't even talking about it. Kane asked Singh to tell him why Khali is such a freak. Kane said if Khali is goign to help him, he better make it quick because he's running out of patience. [c]
(3) Melina pinned Layla in 3:00. Ross said he hopes Khali finds Singh "before it's too late." Then they moved on to calling the match in the ring. Grisham congratulated Gail Kim for her win on Raw. [c]
-Cryme Tyme walked out and cut a promo about their chance at Chris Jericho & Big Show at SummerSlam. Basic short promo that fits their characters. Solid stuff. [c]
(4) The Big Show vs. J.T.G. (w/Shad). Jericho joined Ross and Grisham on commentary. He said last week he lost to Shad because he had a sore throat and "do you know what kind of a toll that takes on a man?" He said JTG "isn't a small man or a bad performer." Performer? Another annoying example of the awkwardness of the ban on the word "wrestler" on "World Wrestling Entertainment" shows. When Show knocked JTG to the floor, Jericho made a move toward him. Shad immediately intervened and cut him off. Jericho shoved Shad into the ringpost and then promptly sat back at ringside. Show then easily finished JTG with a chokeslam and a camel clutch center-ring. Pretty dominant from start to finish by Show. Afterward, to save a little face, Shad knocked Show to the floor as Show was climbing out of the ring. Show gave him the bug-eyed intense death stare. Shad yelled right back, looking all fired up himself. (3/4*)
-Back to the hokey kidnapping angle. Khali showed up looking for Sing, but he got attacked with a metal pipe by Kane from behind. They fought in a storage cage, then Kane told him he's never been afraid of him, but now he should be afraid of him. [c]
-At ringside Grisham said among all teams, DX is the most "controversial and entertaining." Ross threw to video highlights of the zany cafeteria angle that should have been burned.
-Ross and Grisham hyped the SummerSlam line-up.
-Jeff Hardy's ring intro took place. [c]
(5) David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd (w/Natalya) pinned Jeff Hardy in 5:00. Ross talked about the Hart family history in Edmonton. Kidd began against Hardy. Ross reminded viewers that McMahon insisted on this match. Smith tagged in early and settled into a chinlock for some reason, then went back to it seconds later. Yawn. Hardy showed signs of life with a Whisper in the Wind set-up, but Smith blocked it and tagged Kidd in. Grisham said the longer the match goes, the harder it is to watch. Smith launched Kidd off the top rope toward Hardy, but Hardy moved. Smith tagged back in at 4:00, but Hardy made several comeback attempts. Smith tagged Kidd back in who hit a springboard Hart Attack clothesline for the win. Smith is still disappointing in there, but Kidd shows real signs of being a potential star despite his size. (*)
Afterward Punk attacked Hardy. Morrison ran out and made the save, going after Smith and Kidd first. Punk hit Morrison with a chair from behind. Punk wrapped a chair over Hardy's head and neck and was about to shove him into the ringpost when Matt Hardy showed up again and attacked punk, saving his brother. Morrison then dove onto Smith at ringside as Matt beat up and tossed Kidd over the top rope. Hardy then accepted the cheers of the fans as he stood alone mid-ring. "What a shocker!" said Ross as Hardy stared are Jeff cowered in the corner. The fans chanted "Hardy, Hardy." Grisham wondered what Hardy's agenda is tonight. Jeff eventually stood and stared at Matt.
-They went backstage to Long watching on the monitor. Vince walked up to Teddy and asked what he has slated for next week. He said he's teaming Morrison & The Hardys vs. Punk & Hart Dynasty. Vince let a smile leak out, then told Long he's still on probation.
THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS, NITPICKS
KANE-SINGH: Singh is not a sympathetic figure, so it's tough to get fans too worked up over Kane holding him captive all week. It's also one of those silly storylines where we're supposed to believe a G.M. would just go about his business and treat Kane like a regular wrestler on the roster after he attacked, kidnapped, held Singh captive for a week... I hate kidnapping angles, especially when they last a whole week as opposed to an hour within the show and viewers are supposed to buy the idea that he's been tied up for a week, but despite that the show goes on with a business-as-usual feeling otherwise. A monster heel kidnapping and holding someone for a week against his will is just a credibility-breaking unless you completely focus the entire show on it, but usually it's not a main event angle worth that much attention - and even then it's tough to pull it off and not have it be corny amateur stunt angle hour...
OTHER THOUGHTS: Although I'd take someone legitimately proven tough first, such as Anderson Silva or Brock Lesnar, Mike Knox would be high on my list of pro wrestlers I'd feel safest walking down a dark dangerous alley with. He's just imposing and fearless looking. He looks like someone who would knock out a mugger, throw them into a dumpster, and then go right back to what he was doing or talking about without skipping a beat. His voice, though, is surprising, not as a deep or gruff as you'd expect (kind of like Jeff Blatnick), but in a way that makes him seem even more off-kilter and scarier. He's got such a different look that I think he's worth protecting and nurturing with potential upward mobility... Overall, some good action throughout the show, with Finlay vs. Ziggler the surprise of the show. The Matt Hardy apparent babyface turn is unexpected and somewhat surprising if he stays that way since he was a good heel. If Jeff leaves WWE after SummerSlam, though, Matt becomes more valuable as a babyface even with Edge out of action through the end of the year in all liklihood... Punk and Morrison are having what feels like chapter one in a mulit-year classic series of matches in WWE if things continue to progress as they seem to be... Cryme Tyme are really getting elevated by their feud with Show & Jericho, as are the tag belts themselves. I've been waiting years for WWE to team two singles main eventers who are out of the top tier singles picture at the moment and give them the tag belts and have them elevate a regular tag team like this. It's such an effective use of talent and beneficial for all involved if booked well, and this has been so far...
Mike Knox to Finlay: "You know, Finlay, it's common knowledge there are 206 bones in the human body. What fascinates me is the slightest trauma on the cervical vertebrae leaves one in quite a lot of excruciating discomfort."
Jim Ross in response: "Oh my. Mike Knox sounds like an evil doctor of kinesiology."
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