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KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 9/5: Khali vs. Triple H in lumberjack match, MVP vs. Shelton, Kendrick vs. Hardy, final PPV hype

Sep 7, 2008 - 12:48:46 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
SEPTEMBER 5, 2008
TAPED IN ST. LOUIS, MO.
AIRED ON THE CW NETWORK


[Q1]

-Clips aired of Undertaker's statements to Vickie Guerrero last week vowing to capture her soul and send her to hell.

-The show opened with Triple H's full ring entrance as Jim Ross and Tazz introduced the show. Ross said this Sunday will be the most up-for-grabs World Title defense in history. "Despite the fact it sounds like something you'd order at 3 a.m. at Denny's, it possibly could be the most difficult challenge I'll ever face," said Triple H. He said the challengers will be scratching and clawing to get a pinfall, then hoping to hold on long enough to finish the 20 minutes as the champion. He said "Joey Styles and his team of nerds" at WWE.com have said that means there's an 80 percent chance he loses the title on Sunday. He said he's never been good at math, but that gives him roughly 15 percent or so chance of winning. Sheltlon Benjamin interrupted from the stage before Triple H could finish his math joke.

Shelton said on Sunday, you'll need skill and luck, and he is the Gold Standard on skill. He told Triple H he dropped Jeff Hardy, MVP, and him last week. A clip aired from last week where Hardy pinned MVP, then Shelton "dropped" Hardy and MVP afterward with DDTs followed by jumping Triple H from behind. Triple H said it's cool how he left out the part where just before jumping him, he beat him. Triple H said he's a very good cheap shot artist. He challenged him to drop the mic and enter the ring and go face-to-face with him. Shelton took off his U.S. Title belt. Triple H dropped his WWE Title belt. MVP then stepped out onto the stage.

MVP said neither of them are leaving Unforgiven the champion. He said he's "better than the charismatic enigma, whatever that means." He said he's better than "fool's gold," too. MVP told Shelton that all he showed was a cheap shot at him. Shelton said it was payback for what MVP did to him earlier. MVP said that was collateral damage. Triple H asked them to stop arguing. "How long have the two of you been working for this company," he asked. "What part don't you get? Let me explain how it works." He said it's the week before the PPV. He said he, as champion, walks to the ring to talk about defending his title. "That's called a promo," he said, as the crowd cheered the insider terminology. "At that point, as I'm cutting my promo, you guys interrupt me. You start talking a whole bunch of trash you can't back up. I then take the microphone and begin to insult you and your families to the point that you get very upset. You then in a fit of range charge the ring where you attempt to beat me up, but I turn it around you, beat the crap out of both of you, knock you on your butts, you tuck your tail between your legs, you run to the dressing room, and we don't see you the rest of the night. It's a very simple formula. None of this is ringing a bell to you, huh?" He said, "I swear to you, I am going to be the champion for the next century. The Brian Kendrick charged at Triple H. Triple H knocked him down with one punch. Ezekiel Jackson entered the ring. Triple H turned to him. Kendrick gave Triple H a dropkick from behind. Shelton, MVP, and Kendrick triple-teamed Triple H. Jeff Hardy ran to the ring for the save as girls screamed. Hardy beat up everyone, then climbed to the top rope to give Shelton a Swanton. Ezekiel knocked Hardy off the top rope and to the mat. Triple H then hit Ezekiel with a chair. The other heels fled. Ezekiel was going to go back after Triple H, but Kendrick held him back. WWE needs to build into the Kendrick-Ezekiel relationship an explanation for why the guy who seems bigger and tougher than Kendrick isn't doing the fighting since they're portraying him as tougher and braver than Kendrick right now.

Entertaining segment that got everyone involved in a way that fits their character. There's not a great sense that Triple H is in any trouble, though. Would it not have made more sense to take these tier two heels and put them in a position to be plotting against Triple H together, with plans to fight it out after Triple H is knocked out? The way it's been set up, we're being asked to buy the PPV to see heels argue and then Triple H squash them.

[Q2]

[Commercial Break]

1 -- R-TRUTH vs. BAM NEELY

The new DDP of WWE, R-Truth, came to the ring through the crowd. He rapped to his song as he walked to the ring. When he entered the ring, he briefly danced and seemed less like Elaine Bennis this week. Bam took Truth down in the first minute, then mockingly shouted, "What's up?!" Truth corkscrewed in mid-air as he hit a forearm in a spot that popped the crowd. Truth hit a top rope dropkick followed by a scissors kick for the pin. Good showing for Truth this week. Some of the negatives are gone from last week. His big grin while he dances should be the next to go, though.

WINNER: R-Truth in 2:00.

-Ross and Tazz were shown on camera. They plugged the first-ever one-on-one match with Hardy vs. Kendrick plus MVP vs. Shelton.

[Commercial Break]

[Q3]

-Back from the break, the tail end of Undertaker's ring entrance music played as Taker stood center-ring with mic in hand. He said, "They said anticipation of death is worse than death itself." He went into detail about how he's going to chokeslam her and she and her soul will join her husband Edge in Hell. "I promise Vickie Guerrero endless agony and an eternity in Hell." The bell sounded, the lights went down, and then poof, Undertaker was gone when the lights came back on. Ross said, "Wait a minute, Undertaker was here and now he's gone." He said his powers are more amazing than ever. Where is Edge, anyway? Are we really to believe as viewers that Taker sent Edge actually to Hell? And if so, it doesn't merit some attention from the announcers? I know, I know, it's Undertaker and the rules are different for him, and perhaps appropriately so, but at some point shouldn't Edge be spoken of.

2 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. MVP

After MVP's ring intro, a soundbite aired with Shelton before the match. He said there is no substance more precious than gold and he is the Gold Standard. His ring entrance then took place. At 2:00 MVP caught Shelton with a boot to the face out of nowhere for a near fall. Shelton came right back with a DDT for the win. Boy has MVP's stock apparently fallen lately. He's been ice cold with a real shift away from him being a top tier heel.

WINNER: Shelton in 3:00.

-Backstage, Maryse walked up to Maria and told her to "watch where you're going." Maria said she bumped into her. Maryse made fun of her top, saying the material was cheap and the construction sloppy. She promised to take it easy on her because she didn't want a wadrobe malfunction. Maria said not to take it easy and there's nothing wrong with her clothes. She pointed at Maria's stomach and said it might be too big and
looked at her breasts and said they might be too small and laughed.

-Ross and Tazz hyped Triple H vs. The Great Khali in a lumberjack match. This is the first we've heard of this. Odd to treat it as a virtual afterthought when it was PPV match just last month.

[Commercial Break]

[Q4]

3 -- MARYSE vs. MARIA

Maryse pretty much dominated from the start. Maria missed a dive off the ropes and then Maryse finished her with a DDT for the win. Smart to give Maryse a TV win before her title mach on Sunday against Michelle McCool.

WINNER: Maryse in 3:00.

-Afterward, as Maryse posed on the stage, McCool walked out and stared her down. Maryse didn't seem intimidated, flicked her hair into the air, and walked away.

[Commercial Break]

[Q5]

4 -- JEFF HARDY vs. THE BRIAN KENDRICK (w/Ezekiel)

Ross said he'd like to know the true relationship between Kendrick and Ezekiel. He said the word associate is somewhat ambiguous in sports entertainment. What are they getting at? Hardy went for a reverse sidekick, but missed and landed on his ankle. Kendrick kicked Hardy and scored a near fall. Hardy controlled the action for a few minutes, with a few comeback teases by Kendrick. Hardy flipped Kendrick over his head face-first onto the mat for a two count. Tazz said he's never seen that move from Hardy before. When Hardy set up a Twist of Fate, Kendrick bailed out to ringside. Hardy kicked Kendrick and then dove over the top rope onto Kendrick on the floor. As Hardy tried to get back into the ring, Ezekiel yanked him back and into the ringside barrier. Kendrick then gave Hardy his finisher, The Kendrick, for the win.

WINNER: Kendrick in 4:00.

STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Good short TV match. Kendrick needed a win over someone of Hardy's level under any circumstance to give him some cred that he's at the level of a World Title match.

-Vickie got out of a limo in the parking garage. She yelled at a guy who had her wheelchair for her. She yelled that she didn't call for it because she doesn't need it. She marched toward the back entrance of the arena.

5 -- SUPER CRAZY vs. BRIAN BRADDOCK

Braddock carries himself well. Tazz said he's known Crazy for a long time and he is his name, he is super-crazy. Braddock nailed Crazy with a nasty clothesline from behind in the opening minute for a two count. Crazy caught Braddock charging with a boot to the face. He then hit a moonsault off the top rope for a quick win. What was that match for?

WINNER: Super Crazy in 2:00.

[Q6]

-Vladimir Kozlov is the answer to the previous question, as Kozlov came out afterward. Crazy stood his ground in the ring. Kozlov kicked him and Crazy took a backward flip bump. Kozlov said he is not something or other. He stood on the second rope and said, "No more games, I demand better challenge." Big Show responded by walking to the ring as his music played. He continues to be The Smiling Giant. "So you want a challenge?" he said. He suggested that since he's feeling a little competitive, too, perhaps they should just go at it right now. Kozlov didn't change his facial expression. He set the mic down and put up his fists. Tazz said, "I love it!" Vickie stepped out and an strode to the ring with confidence. She ordered Kozlov out of the ring. He didn't leave. She entered the ring. He stared at her. She screeched, "Get out!" He shot her a nasty look and left. Show laughed. She look at him and said, "As for you, Big Show, you have interfered with my show for the last time." She told him she won't put up with one more distraction. She said if he thinks she was unfair last time, he hasn't seen anything yet. She told him to get out of the ring and go home. Show looked like a scolded kid who left the ring under protest but realizing he was outranked. He huffed and puffed his way to the back. I'm just not getting Show's character right now.

Vickie remained mid-ring and said she has an announcement for The Undertaker. She said she reinstated Undertaker, poured her heart out to him, and even apologized for the sins she had committed, but he answered her by threatening her life. "May I remind you that I am the general manager of this show. I will not be intimidated. I will not be scared. I will no longer live my life in fear of you," she said. She said she's not bothered by his threats. "In my life I have been places that make Hell look like a vacation," she said. "I will no longer be a victim of your psychopathic bloodlust and your perverse fantasies of revenge. I am not scared of you." Good lines. She said at Unforgiven she will get what she wants - him apologizing to her. Tazz asked if she just demanded Taker apologize. They cut abruptly to a break.

[Commercial Break]

6 -- BRIE BELLA vs. VICTORIA

Victoria opened with a controlling side headlock. Bella armdragged out of it. Brie kicked Victoria backward out of the ring through the ropes. She hit her with a leaping clothesline off the apron. Victoria came back by ramming her back-first into the ring apron, then threw her back into the ring. Victoria lifted her into an inverted body vice briefly, then threw her to the floor again. Brie crawled under the ring. Victoria went to ringside ad was caught by surprise by Brie, who came out from a different side. Then in the ring, Brie schoolgirled Victoria for the win. Ross said it's almost as if Brie came out from under the ring invigorated. Brie has a twin, by the way, and that's where they're headed with this.

WINNER: Brie Bella in 3:00.

-Another segment aired from St. Paul, Minn. (even though the graphic on the screen said Minneapolis, Minn., which is a completely different city). Kennedy said he sometimes thinks politics if blah, but this has been an interesting week for him and everybody they've met have been passionate. "It just goes to show that no matter what age group you are you, your voice can be heard," he said. Josh pushed for everyone to register to vote on Nov. 4.

-Ross hyped the Triple H vs. Great Khali match up next.

[Q7]

[Commercial Break]

-The Raw Rebound aired focused on Shawn Michaels-Chris Jericho. Then Ross and Tazz hyped the entire Unforgiven line-up.

-Eve asked a memorized question to Triple H about what his greatest concern is. Triple H said global warming and the economy, as otherwise this is just another day at the office. He said when you're at the top, the line is long who want to knock you down. He said you don't look at the entire list, you look at who's staring you right in the face. Hardy showed up right in his face. Triple H asked if it's possible for someone to get a full thought out without being interrupted. Hardy said he's sorry he interrupted his "little promo," but he has a problem on Sunday - getting past him. Triple H said Hardy already has two strikes, but three strikes and he's out of The Game. Not sure what that meant, but there were some insider references and puns, so it must be great.

[Commercial Break]

[Q8]

7 -- THE GREAT KHALI vs. TRIPLE H - Non-Title Lumberjack Match

Tazz said the St. Louis Arch reminded him earlier in the day of The Great Khali. Ross said Khali thought he'd be champion by now, but he can make a statement in this non-title match. Ross said whoever walks out of the Scramble with the title will have him waiting. Tazz said Triple H may call this just another day at the office, but he's not sure about that if Khali is in your office. Lumberjacks were MVP, Hardy, Kendrick, Ezekiel, and Shelton. Khali knocked Triple H out of the ring first and the lumberjacks stomped on Triple H briefly, then threw him back into the ring. They cut to an early break.

[Commercial Break]

Khali had Triple H in a nerve hold after the break. They showed that during the break, Khali hit a legdrop for a two count. After the heel lumberjacks went after Triple H again, Hardy made the save. MVP and Shelton tossed Hardy into the security wall at ringside as Ezekiel threw Triple H back into the ring. Khali gave Triple H a big chokeslam. Hardy dove at the heels seconds later as Kendrick went after Triple H at ringside. Triple H reversed Kendrick into the steps, then back in the ring fended off Khali. He attempted to finish off Khali with a Pedigree, but Khali backdropped out of it and put Hunter in the vicegrip head squeeze at 9:00. Triple H dropped to both knees. As Triple H tried to fight out of it, Khali gave him a headbutt. Triple H came back with a sudden Pedigree for the pin.

WINNER: Triple H in 10:00.

STAR RATING: *1/2 -- It was what you'd expect and good enough at telling the story it needed to tell in hyping the PPV.

-Afterward, Hardy entered the ring and congratulated Triple H, but as Triple H turned around, Hardy gave him a Twist of Fate. Ross said Hardy may have just determined the fate of the WWE Champion. Hardy's music played and Tazz wondered if we're looking at the next WWE Champion. Good finish to the show to give Hardy fans a sense of hope and create a sense of jeopardy for the supremely confident Triple H.


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