WWE Smackdown Report KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 6/5: Undertaker found in vegetative state, Kane vows and seeks revenge, Kofi vs. Drew for IC Title, Swagger vs. MVP
Jun 6, 2010 - 1:38:29 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JUNE 5, 2010
TAPED TUESDAY IN DALLAS, TEX.
AIRED ON MY NETWORK
-Teddy Long stood backstage and announced that days ago Undertaker was found in a vegetative state by his brother, Kane.
-The Smackdown opening aired, then pyro blasted, and then Todd Grisham introduced the show.
-Kane walked out with the druids as the solemn organ music played. A casket at ringside opened and it was empty. Kane read a eulogy for Undertaker. He said he will likely never walk among mortals again. He went on for a few minutes about all of the things that are "no more" now that Taker is gone. He concluded, "Gone is the Undertaker, but soon enough those responsible for this atrocity will, too, be gone." He said they will be committed to the depths of hell to a torturous existence that they cannot fathom. "I will personally prosecute and persecute anyone who had anything to do with this tragedy. There will be vengeance, cold, cunning, cruel, there will be vengeance never before seen of felt, never before imagined, swift, decisive, and terrible. Yes, there will be vengeance!" He knocked over the mic stand, then dropped to one knee and broke down crying. Kane was very committed to this in its execution, and it was a mix of creepy discomfort and compelling intrigue. He leaned over the empty casket and said, "I should have been there." It seemed a little heavy for a show aimed in great part as young teens. [c]
-Grisham said "it's a somber and disturbing tone tonight on Smackdown."
1 -- JACK SWAGGER vs. MVP
Tony Chimmel introduced Jack Swagger first, who came out to his full ring intro. Striker said he's taken aback by what he just saw in the previous segment. "The Undertaker is apparently no more," he said. Grisham wondered aloud what Undertaker's situation means to Swagger's title defense at the next PPV. Swagger outwrestled MVP early, riding him with a waistlock early. Swagger gloated, so MVP slapped him. Swagger bailed out to ringside. MVP applied a side headlock when Swagger returned to the ring. MVP slapped him in the back of his head a minute later. Swagger used a double-leg takedown to flatten MVP, but MVP flipped him over and mounted him and threw a series of punches. MVP then knocked Swagger out of the ring with a boot to the side of his head. They cut to a break at 3:00. [c] MVP had Swagger covered and scored a two count right after the break. MVP then applied an armbar-chinlock combo. Swagger came back and stomped away at MVP at 8:00, then choked him with his knee, then applied a keylock. Grisham said there wasn't a better wrestler in the country when Swagger was competing in college and now he's the best in WWE.
Swagger powerslammed MVP for a near fall at 11:00. He landed his swing splash in the corner for another near fall. MVP came back and hit a big boot in the corner to stop Swagger's offense. Both were slow to get up. MVP took Swagger down with two clotheslines and then a jaw-jacker. He signaled for his finishing sequence, which popped the crowd. He dropped his elbow and went for a pin, but Swagger grabbed the bottom rope to stop the ref's count. He gave Swagger a fisherman's buster for a near fall at 14:00. Swagger side-stepped a running MVP boot in the corner, then schoolboyed him for the win.
WINNER: Swagger in 15:00.
STAR RATING: *** -- Very good TV match. Good work ethic and pacing.
-Afterward Vance Archer and Curt Hawkings attacked MVP. Striker said they don't have much time left to make an impression and earn their keep.
-Vickie Guerrero told G.M. Teddy Long he has to take charge. She asked if he has a replacement for Undertaker in mind. She suggested Dolph Ziggler. Long interrupted and said every man on the roster will have an opportunity. He said there will be a Smackdown battle royal tonight and the winner gets the spot. Vickie sneered and stormed away. [c]
-A video package aired showing the revealing of Wade Barrett being revealed as the NXT winner, beating no. 2 David Otunga.
-Backstage C.M. Punk was strapping on his mask. Kane walked in and grabbed him and said he "stinks of guilt." Punk begged off. Kane said they didn't do it, but he'd be happy to help "a fallen brother" find the guilty party. Kane huffed and puffed.
-A video clip aired of Drew McIntrye gloating to Matt Hardy last week that he is the reason he was suspended.
2 -- KOFI KINGSTON vs. DREW MCINTYRE -- IC Title Match
Striker called Kofi "the spring-loaded Superstar." He later added, "So many great minds are misunderstood; trust me, I know." Matt Hardy was shown walking down the aisle to sit in the front row, showing off a ticket. The crowd chanted "Hardy! Hardy!" Striker said this show has been sold out for months, yet he somehow got a ticket! Drew looked flustered. [c] Drew was on offense after the break, but he kept looking at Hardy at ringside between moves.
At 8:00 Kingston made a comeback and scored a near fall with a crucifix. He scored another two count after a top rope crossbody block. At 9:00 Kofi clotheslined Drew from behind and then went into his finishing sequence. He slapped his hands and signaled for his finishing Trouble in Paradise kick, but Drew ducked and retreated to ringside. Kofi dove after him, but Drew moved. Drew then back-hand slapped Hardy at ringside. Security had to hold Hardy back from jumping the rail. Kofi then gave a distracted Drew the S.O.S. for the win.
WINNER: Kingston in 12:00 to capture the IC Title.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- The second half of the match incorporated Hardy's presence effectively, while a good match continued to take place with good near falls and good pacing.
-Afterward, Hardy broke past security and gave Drew the Twist of Fate, then retreated quickly through the crowd again. Striker accused Hardy of assault because Hardy is a spectator. Drew did a great job selling his neck being hurt more than a minute later.
-Rey Mysterio expressed his sympathies to Kane, saying, "I'm sorry for your loss." Kane took an accusatory tone and said maybe Rey is just covering his tracks. He said Taker beat him last week and stopped his dream of entering the Four-Way Match for the World Title. Rey insisted he was innocent. Kane said he will not blindly assume anyone's innocence. [c]
-As they showed the Dallas skyline at night, Striker talked about the rich history of grappling in Dallas. He reminisced about the Sportatorium "where history was made." He didn't mention the Hall of Fame Von Erich family or Freebirds (including Smackdown writer Michael Hayes) by name.
-Swagger stood backstage and touted the University of Oklahoma's record over the University of Texas, which maybe is interesting to people in Texas and Oklahoma. He asked the fans to stand up as he sings the University of Oklahoma fight song. I expected Jim Ross to walk out at that point. He then did his Jillian Hall impersontion. Kane walked up behind him, huffing and puffing. Swagger hung his head and tried to look small.
3 -- ROSA MENDEZ vs. KELLY KELLY
Grisham said LayCool calls her Smelly Kelly, but "Kelly never lets me close enough to find out." LayCool walked out onto the stage and waved. "Not to sound sexist, but women are far more emotional than us men," he said. At 2:00 Kelly gave Rosa a Thesz Press and punched awa at her. She then hit a top rope bodyblock, which Grisham called "a big splash" for some reason, for a two count. She finished Rosa with K2 for the win. LayCool weren't happy.
WINNER: Kelly in 3:00. [c]
-Kane interrupted a friendly card game backstage between Big Show and Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle ran. Kane told Show that Taker has always had his number. Show told Kane he had nothing to do with what happened to Taker and accusing him otherwise would be a giant mistake. Kane kicked over the card table.
-They went to Grisham and Striker at ringside. They hyped the Fatal 4-Way PPV line-up, then threw to a video package on Kane's quest to find the Taker assailant. Striker repeated that ridiculous stat that Cena only has a 25 percent chance of retaining his title, as if each wrestler has a totally equal chance of winning. By his logic every sports team has a 50 percent chance to win ever game they play, even if it's the Nets vs. the Lakers this season in the NBA. He was a school teacher?
-Ring intros began for the main event, starting with Rey Mysterio and Dolph Ziggler. [c]
4 -- BATTLE ROYAL TO ENTER FATAL 4-WAY
Drew walked out next holding his neck in pain from the Twist of Fate. That's quite the disadvantage to even be in a match earlier in the show, especially a title match. Kingston came out next. A recap of the finish of their match aired. With everyone in the ring, Kane's music blasted. The match began with 21 minutes left in the show. Striker said even The Dude Busters have a chance in this one. Striker observed everyone was going after Ziggler, the least popular guy in the SD locker room. Rey tried to yank off Punk's mask and almost succeeded before Luke Gallows made the save. [c]
Striker said Undertaker "was found in a vegetative state in a, quote, vegetative state, over the Memorial Day Weekend unable to compete and perhaps never to return to Smackdown again." The Dude Busters, Chris Masters, and J.T.G. were eliminated in rapid-fire fashion at 8:00. Grisham predicted a Kane win, which assured all viewers Kane wasn't winning. Christian eliminated Ziggler as they cut to a second break at 10:00. [c] Striker, the school teacher, said: "While we were away both Finlay, Chavo Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio were all inches away from being eliminated." Both Finlay, Chavo, and Rey? At 16:00 MVP and Finlay eliminated Vance Archer. Finlay eliminated MVP. Kane immediately clotheslined Finlay over the top rope. Rey then took out Hawkins. The final three (both of them!) were Kane, Gallows, and Rey. Kane gave Rey a big boot. Gallwed went after Kane. The hooded mystery man jumped onto the ring apron and kicked at Kane from behind. That distraction led to Gallows tossing Kane over the top. Kane held onto the top rope. Kane knocked the masked man off the ring apron, then eliminated Gallows with a stiff shove by the throat over the top rope. Then it came down to Rey vs. Kane. Rey looked concerned as he leaned into the corner and devised his strategy. Rey quickly set up a 619, but he took time to pander to the fans, giving Kane an extra second to recover and clothesline him. They battled back and forth for another two minutes. Rey hit the 619 at 19:00. Kane caught Rey by the throat as he dove at him. Grisham said it was over, which meant it wasn't. Rey twisted Kane into a head scissors and sent him over the top rope and to the floor for the win.
WINNER: Rey in 20:00 to earn a slot in the Fatal 4-Way World Title match.
FINAL THOUGHTS (7.5): I know the Undertaker storyline is not going to be everyone's favorite, and it's not mine, either, but there has always been a separate set of rules for Taker, and he's enough of a legend and it's handled with enough consistency that I can accept it. Kane seeking out the culprit does create a mystery storyline that can start conversation and intrigue viewers. The rest of the show was strong, with two good opening matches of good length and a solid battle royal finale. I can do without the announcers giving away that Kane wouldn't win by predicting he would win, both mid-match by Grisham and at the very end when he declared it over for Rey right before Rey countered Kane and eliminated them. I get the "reverse psychology" aspect of this, but not every viewer is a gullible 10 year old who hasn't caught onto the pattern, and I suspect I'm not alone in realizing every announcer prediction is made with full knowledge of it being wrong and simply an attempt to throw viewers off track, when the actual result for many is needlessly confirming what's going to happen ahead of time. Smackdown has a decent roster of workers and personalities, and I'll take a hungry, younger crew who can work and who have promise over an older crew overstaying their welcome or a different type of young crew who are along the lines of Kenzo Suzuki and Heidenreich, who represented the worst Smackdown era.
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