TV REPORTS 8/15 WWE Smackdown: Valdez's "alt perspective" report of final SummerSlam hype (debut)
Aug 15, 2008 - 10:37:30 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By Vince Valdez, PWTorch.com contributor
WWE Smackdown Report
August 15, 2008
Taped 8/12/08 in Norfolk, Va.
Aired on the CW
Hi everyone, my name is Vince Valdez and I will be your new Smackdown contributor starting this week. I look forward to working with the rest of the PWTorch crew; this team is truely the cream of the crop when it comes to reporting and breaking news in the world of sports entertainment. That said, a little about myself. I am 27 years old and have been a fan of the business for 22 years. I grew up in Albuquerque, NM, and currently reside there along with my wife and my one year old son. So, if there are any usual characters or mispellings in my report, it's probably due to my son pressing random keys on my computer... yeah, that's the ticket.
On with the show!
A recap aired of last week's angle with Edge turning on Vicki Guerrero and "La Familia." Great production values to add to the insanity and intensity of Edge who continues to get better and better each and every week.
J.R. did a quick intro to the show, hyping the final 48 hours until Summerslam.
(1) WWE U.S. Championship match - Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin.
Ross compared Benjamin to Michael Phelps, which is a bit of a stretch, but a good (and current) analogy, nonetheless. They cut to a recap of the interference of MVP against Hardy last week. Both men went back and forth early with several nearfalls and great intensity between the two. Benjamin settled into some sort of choke/submission hold, touted by Ross as a "dangerous, dangerous maneuver." Sounds like McMahon is calling the shots backstage. If they're going to introduce a new move by a wrestler, they should at least give it some backstory. Leg on the ropes by Benjamin to stop the pin attempt.
We pick back up with Hardy dominating. Impressive move with Shelton shooting Hardy's leg and lifting Hardy up over his head for a 2 count. They continued to trade moves and nearfalls over the next few minutes. There was an awkward bump into the corner, but both men quickly got back on track. Hardy went up to the top for the Swanton, but was pushed off by MVP who appeared out of nowhere.
Winner - Jeff Hardy by DQ. in 15:35.
Post match, MVP attempted a kick to Hardy's head, but wound up hitting Benjamin insted. Hardy capitalized by hitting a swanton on both men.
Review: Good, energetic opener to kick off the final Summerslam push. MVP's interference was inevitable, but when are they going to let Benjamin actually win a match, however tainted the victory may be?
Backstage, Vicki sat in her office looking like she was cold. Victoria knocked a couple of times, then just entered. Why bother knocking? She asked Vicki how her summer was, but Vicki was distracted by the whereabouts of Edge and The Undertaker, saying that they were both here tonight. Isn't she the general manager? You know, the person responsible for having her workers show up where they work? This is just lazy writing on the creative teams part. Victoria offered to look for them, but Vicki freaked out, saying she did not want to be by herself. Technicaly isn't the camera man with her?
A promo hyping Triple H in action tonight aired.
Tonight: Festus versus Kozlov.
(2) WWE Divas tag match - Michelle McCool and Maria vs. Maryse (who came out to ZERO reaction) and Natalya. Tazz noted McCool as the best female athlete hes seen in WWE... oh how quiclky people no longer in the company are forgotten. Ross reminded viewers that McCool won the Divas championship at the Great American Bash.
Maria and Maryse start things off with a couple of basic moves until Natalya is tagged in. Maria hot tags Michelle shortly thereafter, who unleashes a small flurry of offense, ending in a face buster to Natalya, who is pulled out of the ring by Maryse. McCool loses her cool (yeah yeah, bad joke), and throws Natalya back into the ring, only to be distracted by Maryse while Natalya scores the quick 3.
Winners - Natalya and Maryse in 3:05.
Review: Basic TV match. If there's one thing TNA has over WWE right now, it's the skill of their female workers. No disrespect to the women in WWE, but they really need to step it up a notch to become something more than just a bathroom break match for viewers.
(3) "The" Brian Kendrick (W/Ezekiel Jackson) vs Scotty Goldman (F.K.A. Colt Cabana). Pre Match, Kendrick cut a decent promo saying that "every week I come out here and do whatever I want to do" and that he "opens up oppurtunities for others." He touts himself as the greatest commodity in the WWE and hands the mic to Ezekiel who agrees, simply stating, "not a one, not a single one" Zeke speaks and this is the best they can come up with? Goldman came out next, and was given a old school WWE Superstars introduction, with a split screen promo talking up his first match. He comes off as a goof, which pretty much falls right in line with his character in Ring of Honor. Basic, but effective. Let's see if WWE lets Goldman play off of his oppomnents and use the gobs of charisma he had in ROH during his stay here. Kendrick dominates early, showing speed over Goldman's size. Kendrick settles into a camel clutch, countered by a couple of quick returns by goldman, including his "butt block" he used in ROH. Kendrick ends it when he hits "The Kendrick" for the win.
Winner Kendrick in 2:40
Rating - *1/2 - Pretty basic squash, which is normal for newcomers into the WWE, and it gives Kendrick another win to establish his character as a cocky heel. Kendrick and Cabana had some pretty good matches in ROH, and I would like to see a fued form between the two of them.
Post match Kendrick held up Goldman while Ezekiel shoulder-tackled him into the ground.
Triple H is interviewed by Eve, and they went to last week where Khali decimated Triple H during their indian arm wrestling match. Eve asked Triple H if he is ready for Sunday. Triple H stated that he is going to make a statement.
Kenny Dykstra (remember him?) walked into the picture and told Triple H needs to pay attention to him tonight, and that he's going to take full advantage of the situation. Triple H made a quick Sprit Squad joke and noted that Dykstra picked the wrong guy.
Tazz and J.R. announced that Smackdown was the most watched show last friday night on any network. Apparently the Olympics don't count.
Onstage The Great Khali and Runjin Singh awlked to the ring for a promo. Khali did his usual gibberish promo, with the "what" chants from the audience inbetween. It's amazing how much influence Steve Austin has over a crowd.
Runjin Singh took the mic and told the audience that there is no one greater than The Great Khali, and that Kahli has only one focus - the WWE championship. Singh said that Triple H is just a small obstacle in the Kahlis path and advised him to get out while he had his health pride and championship. Decent promo from Singh; managers need to be utilized in instances such as this to add additional heel heat to a competitor, and this was executed perfectly.
Triple H's music hit and he came out to his full ring intro. Singh and Kahli took a seat at ringside next to J.R. and Tazz.
(4) Triple H vs Kenny Dykstra.
Dykstra started off quickly against Triple H, throwing him from corner to corner, until he was pulled away by the ref. Triple H took over on offence, hitting Dykstra with a clotheline and a slam into the turnbuckle. Dykstra attempted to counter, but was stopped by a spinebuster. Triple H posed towards Kahli for a moment, then his the Pedigree for the win.
Winner Triple H in 1:30.
Post match, Singh stood up to Triple H and asked him if he was out of his mind. Triple H grabbed Singh and threw him into the ring and begged for Kahli to enter while holding Singh hostage. Kahli stood his ground for a minute but eventually gave in. He was stopped by a flurry pf punches by Triple H and was set up for the pedigree, which was again blocked. However Triple H was able to throw Kahli out of the ring as a receipt for last week's interaction. I like the fact that Triple H can't hit the Pedigree on The Great Kahli, as it adds a sense of intrigue to their Summerslam match, but would it be too much to have the odds stacked against the champ headed in?
Up next - The Big show.
(5) The Big Show vs Ryan Braddock
Braddock came to the ring with basic entrance music. Braddock was quickly thrown over the ropes by Show, who continued to dominate once both men were back in the ring. Show no-sold a couple of blows by Braddock, then locked him into a choke, then tossed Braddock to the mat. Show followed up with a closed right fist, took the pin.
Winner - The Big Show in 1:30
Backstage Eve approached MVP and attempted an interview. He grabbed the ic away from her and cut a promo saying that all of the pain and sorrow hardy has felt this year is nothing compared to what he is going to receive at Summerslam. He finished up with his "I am better than you" catchphrase. Good, quick promo.
Victoria and Vicki are still in her office. Vicki said that even though Edge cheated on her, there was still a little part of her that loved him. That is, until last week, and now, she never wants to see him again. SHe asked Victoria to take her out of the arena.
A promo for R-Truth aired. Honestly, these promos are some of the best I've seen to re-brand a character in a long time. Let's hope the writing team can follow up once he debuts.
Festus vs. Kozlov is up next!
Vicki was being wheeled back to her limo by Victoria when the window rolled down and edge was sitting there smiling at her. Victoria ran off instantly. Funny stuff. Edge told a sobbing Vicki that they were going to have some fun tonight and placed her back into her chair. He said they were going "on a ride to hell."
(6) Festus (w/ Jesse) vs Vladimir Kozlov
Festus came out to Biscuits and Gravy and stood docile in the ring waiting for the bell. Kozlov's undefeated record was talked up as he marched to the ring. The bell rang and Festus did his usual freak-out. He hit some stiff looking hits towards Kozlov which actually knocked Kozlov out of the ring. Kozlov took over on the offensive, and threw Festus into the steel steps. Back inside, Kozlov's domination continued, going from a sit down attack to the back of Festus into a bearhug. He followed up with a decent belly to belly suplex. It looks like Kozlov's moveset is getting better every week. Festus eventually hit a few return hits and a fallaway slam into a pin attempt for a 2 count. Kozlov into the turnbuckle, which was countered with a kick by Kozlov, which was returned by an even stiffer kick by Festus. Out of nowhere, Kozlov hit his headbutt for the win.
Winner - Kozlov in 3:25. Good effort by both men, given their size. Kozlov continues to dominate, and having him go against an opponent like Festus is a good move, in that it shows that he can win more than just squash matches. They're doing this buildup right, so far.
A Summerslam promo aired hyping Cena vs Batista.
J.R. and Tazz ran down the final Summerslam card, which - honestly - looks promising.
Edge was shown backstage wheeling Vicki around recklessly. They stopped, and Edge told her that the ride was over when they went to the ring. He then sped off, Vicki screaming for help.
Shawn Michaels on the Raw Recap stating he would address the audience at Summerslam as to what his future holds.
Edge was introduced with music pushing Vicki to the ring. He stopped short of the ring causing Vicki to tumble out onto the floor. He took a seat next to her on the floor, reminding her of their vows - for better or for worse. He told her that they've had some good times and threw the camera to a video of Edge declaring his love for Vicki over footage of their courtship. It continued on to Vicki's announcement reinstating The Undertaker and placing him in a Hell in a Cell match at Summerslam against Edge. It then went to Edge's attack on Mick Foley, intercut with footage of Undertaker throwing Foley off of the cell, and highlights of Edge's career (Including my favorite - the spear to Jeff Hardy at WM17). The video ended on Edge's attack on La Familia last week.
Back at ringside, Edge told Vicki to relax, and told her to apologize to The Undertaker for all she has done against him. She Eked out an "I'm sorry" a couple of times, then screamed it when Edge started yelling at her. He blamed her for all of the pain and suffering in the family, and that he's burning in hell. He then promised that The Undertaker would burn in hell with him. He insisted that Undertaker come out now, and not wait for Summerslam. He promised The Undertaker that he would show The Undertaker "The purest form of hell (he's) ever been in." He reminded Vicki of their vows once again, and how it applied to the Match against the Undertaker at Summerslam - 'till death do us part. The show closed with Edge staring up into the sky, Vicki crying incessantly. This was a great close to the show and highlighted the insanity of Edge heading into the PPV. I also like how The Undertaker never showed up, despite "being there," according to Vicki. It fits well with his character, and had it been anyone else, it would not have worked as well as it did.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**