TV REPORTS KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 7/25: Vickie listens to Edge apology, Battle Royal for Summerslam Title Shot
Jul 28, 2008 - 12:07:35 AM
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KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JULY 25, 2008
AIRED ON THE CW
-A video package aired on the big wedding and post-wedding angle with Triple H spoiling the Edge-Vickie wedding with voyeuristic damning video of Edge flirting with the wedding planner backstage and making fun of Vickie.
-Jim Ross and Mick Foley introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd. Then they went to Ross and Foley on camera at ringside where they recapped the major happenings at the Great American Bash. Foley wondered what kind of mental state Vickie would be in today. The Vickie character in general and her reaction to Edge is one of the more effective attempts at soap opera drama WWE has had in years.
-MVP introduced "The MVP Lounge" from mid-ring. He threw out some rhyming lines that drew from Ali, Flair, and Dusty, a comparison MVP would like. He introduced his guest, Jeff Hardy. He made a full ring entrance. Ross plugged the Hardy interview in WWE Magazine. MVP welcomed Hardy to the "big leagues" because, he said, "I know they don't do it like this over at Raw." He talked about the big TV main event where he'd have a chance to earn a title shot against Triple H at Summerslam. When MVP predicted victory for himself, Hardy said he hasn't seen him win since he lost the U.S. Title to his brother. MVP held up the WWE Magazine featuring the Hardy interview. MVP said Hardy is known for risks, but sometimes those risks cost him. Hardy said, "Look, dude, I made a mistake, I paid for it with a 60 day suspension, I missed WrestleMania, but I think the fans respect that I was open and honest about what I did."
MVP then brought up how Hardy lost his house and all of his belongings to fire. Hardy said it was horrible. He then looked at MVP and asked what he was trying to do by bringing all of this up. MVP told him to cool down because they need to talk about his risk-taking behavior. He said he can tell internally he's wrestling with some serious issues of guilt over the fact that he lost his dog in the fire. He said his reckless and irresponsible behavior killed his dog. MVP said he knows when somebody looks and feels guilty. He said he is ruining his career with his behavior. MVP asked Hardy about declaring he will never be suspended again. Hardy said that's true because "I'll be released." MVP told Hardy if he throws his career away, it'll be all his fault. He told him to start acting like a professional and act like a grown up and take responsibility for his actions.
Hardy said he is thankful for second chances, and if anyone should know about second chances, it's MVP. Hardy said he's right that the price he's paid has eaten him up inside. Hardy then shoved MVP out of the ring. Ross said Hardy heard enough of his advice. Hardy shouted down at him that he makes him sick. MVP walked away as Hardy's music began to play. Ross said those two will face off in the huge main event later in the show. That was some pretty heavy stuff to bring up as part of a wrestling storyline or angle, but it worked, especially Hardy's line about how MVP should appreciate second chances as much as anyone. There's risk a mixed sense of exploitation and admiration for not burying Hardy's issues and instead incorporating them into his character. His character, though, always lacked something to really talk about, so this does give his character some depth and play up that the same personality traits that make him so popular - his risk-taking - has cost him outside of the ring.
-Ross and Foley said the were still awaiting the arrival of Vickie. Foley said if she actually shows up, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned or a woman with a broken heart. Ross again plugged the big no. 1 contender's main event.
-Shelton Benjamin walked out with his newly won U.S. Title belt said on Sunday he did exactly what he said he was going to do - he liberated the U.S. Title from Matt Hardy. He said now not only is he the Gold Standard of WWE, but he is the new United States Champion. He added, "There ain't no stoppin' me now." Every time he sings that phrase, I realize how much I do not want to hear him attempt karaoke.
1 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. JIMMY WANG YANG
Ross again touted Benjamin as the most talented pure athlete in WWE. Foley said Wang is so fast, he's sudden. They had an exchange where they both went for big spin kicks and each ducked. At that moment I thought how much I was looking forward to seeing more of these two in action. Before that thought finished running through my mind, Shelton DDT'd Wang Yang and scored the three count. "Wrestling Shelton Benjamin is as dangerous as going hunting with vice president Dick Cheney," said Ross. "You're liable to be taken down hard and fast." That was a nice current events reference... for February 2006.
WINNER: Shelton Benjamin in 2:00.
-Edge was surprised by the backstage arrival of Zach Ryder and Curt Hawkins. He said he was hoping to talk to them. He congratulated them for their tag team title victory. He apologized to them for how things went down last week. Ryder aid, "That's your business." As Edge began to talk, Hawkins said maybe Vickie needs an explanation, but the have a match to prepare for. Edge seemed to be feeling a bit ostracized as the camera stayed on him for about 15 seconds as he paced alone in his locker room.
2 -- CURT HAWKINS (w/Zach Ryder) vs. FESTUS (w/Jesse)
Ross said: "A very unrefined catch-as-catch-can competitor is Festus, but he makes up for that with his power and strength." Did Ross just avoid saying "wrestler" and insert "competitor" in it's place? Perhaps, given the McMahon's aversion to using the word "wrestler" on the air except when absolutely necessary. Festus won quickly with his flap jack finisher. Afterward, Ryder jumped Jesse after the match, throwing him into the ringpost. Festus went docile since the bell rang. Ryder and Hawkins gave him a double-DDT, then left the ring. The bell-ringing gimmick could have been one of the dumbest things in WWE this year, but he plays it so well and they've turned into a strategy that heels wisely take advantage of, that it's turned into a fun gimmick. Not crazy about the new tag champ losing a singles match this quickly. It really undermines any credibility that they were barely clinging to in the first place as the new champs.
WINNER: Festus in 2:00.
-A video package aired with the celebrities at an autism event put on by Jenny McCarthy. Ross then plugged SNME next Saturday. Then he plugged the big main event again.
-Edge was shown backstage talking to the wedding planner about how he's wanted to talk to her about everything that's happened. He told her to blend into the woodwork. She said she is. He said they should talk later, but Vickie could be arriving any minute. Bam Neely was shown listening in the background.
3 -- VLADIMIR KOZLOV vs. STEVIE RICHARDS
Kozlov dominated with power and then a Fujiwara armbar in the opening minute. Richards tried a comeback with a dropkick, but Kozlov was unfazed and finished Stevie with the classic Sambo move, a headbutt to the chest battering-ram-style. I'm just waiting for Ross or Foley to say, with a straight face, that Kozlov is the Fedor of WWE.
WINNER: Kozlov in 3:00.
-A video package aired on the Edge-Vickie-Triple H angle from Smackdown last week - again. Twice in the first hour was a little much.
-Ring introductions took place for the Title Shot at Summerslam match. Mr. Kennedy came out first. Ross said if he wins, he can give Green Bay something to talk about other than Brett Favre. Now there's a current reference. Kennedy did his mic work. Then out came Great Khali. Ross said he liked the MVP Lounge until MVP brought up Hardy's late dog, Jack. It might be the first time a real death of a dog has been used in a wrestling promo. Well, probably not, but I can't remember another instance.
After MVP's ring entrance, then came Umaga (who still has no new personality depth since arriving on Smackdown; he's still the guy with immaculate dreads who's supposedly a savage who doesn't speak English who likes to stick his tongue out - and that's about all we know). Then came Hardy. Then came Big Show.
4 -- BATTLE ROYAL for SummerSlam Title Shot
Show gave Umaga a sidewalk slam early. Ross said he's never seen Umaga taken up and down like that. As Show battled Khali, Ross said "there's some big meat on the hook." Now that's a line you hear from Ross and no one else in wrestling. They headbutted each other. Umaga kicked Show and Khali both to the mat, then yelled as they cut to a break at 1:00.
All six were still in the match after the break. Hardy eventually got some retribution when he clotheslined MVP over the top rope to the floor at 6:00. Umaga tossed Hardy over the top rope, but Hardy held onto the top rope and pulled himself back into the ring. Show and Umaga slapped each other on the chest hard. Show won that battle with a clothesline sending Umaga over the top to the floor. Kennedy and Hardy went after Show together. Show fended them off. He put Hardy in a cobra clutch, then tossed him hard to the mat. Kennedy punched away at Show. Show blocked him and then powered him over the top rope to the floor. That left Khali vs. Show vs. Hardy. Khali knocked Show to the mat with a big chop to the head. Hardy crawled his way back into the ring. Foley said he should just hang on and watch Show and Khali destroy each other. Show gave Khali a chokeslam. Umaga returned to the ring and gave Show an illegal Samoan Spike, thus setting up their match a Summerslam. Hardy surprised Show with a dive off the top rope. Show caught Hardy in powerbomb position and attempted to toss Hardy over the top rope, but Hardy turned and head scissored Show over the top rope to the floor. Great call by Ross of that single spot. Hardy went for a Swanton on Khali next, and he landed on Khali's far hip bone. Hardy sold it like he landed on, well, a giant's hip bone. Hardy pulled off his shirt and went after Khali. Khali squeezed Hardy's head. Hardy low kicked out of it, then chopped Hardy in the head and tossed him over the top rope.
WINNER: Khali in 10:00.
STAR RATING: ** -- Not a bad battle royal. Can we stop handing out title shots to "competitors" who win battle royals, though? It's hardly a prestigious way to earn a title shot.
-Triple H stepped out onto the stage with his belt in hand, then headed to the ring as his music played. He walked up to Khali and stood protruding chin to protruding brow to establish the side difference between them and accentuate their odd facial features.
-An introductory video aired on former TNA wrestler Ron "The Truth" Killings. He walked through his old neighborhood. He said he chose the easy way to shine by living the fast life, and he paid for it (cue prison door slamming shot). He said he's paid a price and he's in control of his life now. "And that's the truth!" he said.
5 -- MICHELLE MCCOOL vs. MARYSE -- Non-Title Match
Maryse had a near wardrobe malfunction early. They briefly took it to the floor at 1:00. Foley said Maryse reminds him of every dirty, nasty girl who did him wrong in high school. Out of nowhere McCool made Maryse tapout to her heel hook.
WINNER: McCool in 2:00.
-They showed the exterior of the arena again and Ross wondered if Vickie would arrive, and if so, what her mental condition would be.
-Did You Know? "The new WWE set is comprised of 1.2 million LED lights, takes eight hours to assemble, and is transported y 14 tractor trailers." They should have added info about the gas expenses and carbon footprint.
-The Raw Rebound aired.
-Ross and Foley said when Batista and Cena hooked up, it was something to behold. He wondered if that would be a match at Summerslam. Then they plugged Triple H vs. Great Khali. They cut outside to Vickie being wheeled into the arena by Chavo. Neely walked up to them. Neely asked if Chavo told her what Edge said earlier. Chavo told Vickie they'd talk in her office. She was eager to hear details.
-A video hyped Maria debuting next week. Hasn't she been coming "next week" for around four weeks?
-They showed Edge backstage still pacing nervously. Neely walked up to him and told him Vickie arrived and is in her office. Edge said he wants to apologize to her, but he wants to do it in public. Neely said he'd go tell her. Ross added, "You know the old saying: Telephone, telegraph, tella wrestler."
6 -- BRIAN KENDRICK (w/Ezekiel) vs. SHANNON MOORE
Ross said the wrestler Kendrick reminds him off from the past that last week he couldn't put his finger on was the late Brian Pillman, the Loose Cannon. Kendrick said he doesn't know if the fans realize how privileged they are. He said they are witnessing the fastest, most well-trained, fastest wrestler in WWE. He said years from now they'll be able to tell their kids and grandkids that they got to see "Thee Brian Kendrick way back when." He said if any fans are forward enough to "tough greatness," they'll have to take it up with his man, Zeke. Okay promo work from Kendrick, but it has a ways to go. Moore is a good opponent for Kendrick to make Kendrick's size less of an issue. Same with Charles Robinson being the ref. Kendrick stopped any Moore attempts at offense. A distraction from Ezekiel cost Moore his best chance at momentum. Kendrick then finished Moore with his finisher, The Kendrick. Ross said he's expecting great things from Kendrick and Zeke.
WINNER: Kendrick in 2:00.
-Backstage Neely told Vickie that Edge wants to see her in the ring. He wasn't sure if he was planning to apologize or he wanted her to apologize to him. He said whatever it is, he wants it done in public. The camera zoomed in on an emotional Vickie's face; she was fighting back tears.
-Edge walked to the ring and invited Vickie to the ring. He seemed conciliatory. She gingerly entered the ring and then sat back in her wheelchair. Foley said Edge is showing us a side of his vulnerability we hardly ever see. After a long silence, Edge got down on one knee in front of her. The crowd booed. He told her to hear him out. He said he knows that what he did was horrible. He said it was "really, really horrible." He said he understands if she can't forgive him. He said what the video showed is how many times he tried to say no, but she wouldn't take no for an answer. He said "no means no, but she wouldn't listen." He said he knows the question running through her head is why didn't he just leave. He said he wanted to "hammer out... [Freudian slip] iron out the wedding plans. I wanted to be sure everything went perfect." He said having a perfect wedding was important to her and nothing means more to him but her happiness. She scowled skeptically at him. He said he "won't live" without her love. "I can't live without your love," he added. Vickie broke into a smile and said, "Honey, I understand. I do understand." They hugged. The crowd booed. Edge moved in for a kiss. She turned away as if he had garlic breath. She added, "But you need to understand that hell hath no fury over a woman scorned." Edge looked worried. Very worried, suddenly. She said when she was really, really, really mad at him, she did something he might not like. He asked what she did. She answered, "I reinstated the Undertaker." The crowd cheered big. They showed kids jumping up and down in the crowd in excitement. Edge grabbed his hair nervously as the crowd chanted, "Un-der-taker, clap clap clap clap." Edge said, "Okay, okay, you're a businesswoman, this is a business; that's good business. Oh boy... Besides, we can go on our honeymoon and the Undertaker and Triple H can destroy each other. We'll comeback from the honeymoon, I'll pick the bones, and whoever wins, I'll take back my WWE Championship." Vickie said that sounds great and all, but she's already scheduled a different opponent to face Undertaker at Summerslam. Edge nervously asked who that was. She said: "You!" The crowd popped again. Edge stood up and hit his forehead with the microphone a few times. He said, "Baby, you can't mean that. You can't mean that, right?" She said she means it and it will be Hell in a Cell. She broke into laughter. Edge fell back onto the mat and got bug-eyed. Another "Un-der-taker, clap clap clap clap" chant broke out to the end the show.
Very well done follow up to the last week's wedding day video angle. Edge and Vickie have a good chemistry. Edge walked that line really well of not being too slapstick or campy with his responses, matching the tone of his responses to the circumstances.
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