SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following report was originally published ten years ago on PWTorch.com…
KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
SEPTEMBER 19, 2008
AIRED ON THE CW
-The show opened with a highlight package on the Jeff Hardy-Triple H build-up including Hardy winning the no. 1 contender’s match last week and Vladimir Kozlov attacking Hardy afterward.
-The Smackdown opening montage aired followed by Jim Ross and Tazz introducing the show as the camera panned the crowd. Ross hyped Triple H vs. MVP as the main event.
1 — MICHELLE MCCOOL vs. MARYSE — WWE Diva’s Title match
When Ross said referee Scott Armstrong was the “third man” in this match, Tazz astutely corrected him by saying “third person,” since he’s actually technically the “first man” in the match. McCool finished Maryse with her “Wings of Love” double underhook sitout faceplant.
WINNER: McCool in 5:00.
STAR RATING: * — Good facial expressions and body language throughout by both and a nice intensity level.
-Backstage, Big Show chatted with Vickie. He told her he’s going to help her get Smackdown exactly where she wants it to be. Vickie smiled. Eve walked into the office. She asked her if she thinks Undertaker is there tonight and if so if he’s looking for retribution. Vickie said, “Next question.” Eve said she’s been training really hard to get into the ring. Big Show laughed. Vickie laughed. Show asked Eve to sit. Show then showed her a highlight video of him beating up Undertaker, and he said this video shows why her first question to Vickie is “totally irrelevant.”
-A clip aired from inside a Nashville bar with country music being performed. Ten the camera walked out of the bar and showed the Nashville Arena just over the line of buildings across the street. Nice scene-setter.
2 — FESTUS (w/Jesse) vs. RYAN BRADDOCK
Festus and Jesse came out wearing the MyMovingCo. garbage suits, an oddball way to emphasize that Smackdown is moving from The CW to MyNetwork. A clip aired of Jesse and Festus packing Kenny Dykstra with duct tape and “moving him” to the back on a two-wheeler last week. Braddock jumped onto Festus’s back, but Festus dropped backward and then took over at 2:00. He did some jumping jacks in celebration of his comeback, then slop dropped Braddock. Rather than go for the pin, Jesse tossed him some duct tape. They wrapped Braddock in tape and the ref DQ’d Festus.
WINNER: Braddock in 3:00 via DQ.
-After the break, Festus and Jesse rolled Braddock to the back on a two-wheeler.
-Ross plugged the return of Carlito’s Cabana later on the show.
-Show and Vickie fantasized about what they’ll do to Undertaker if he dares to show up tonight. Vickie said she wants to see the same thing happen at No Mercy that happened at Unforgiven. More clips aired of Show beating up Taker. Once was enough in the first 30 minutes of the show.
-Ross told Tazz he doesn’t think Show and Vickie quite understand what they’re getting themselves into tonight
-A promo aired with Shelton Benjamin saying the decisions he’s made have led to him being the Gold Standard and the “greatest commodity” on Smackdown, whereas the decisions of his opponent landed him 13 months in Polk County Prison. He said someone who makes those kinds of decisions can never be in the same league as the Gold Standard.
3 — SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. R-TRUTH
Truth walked out through the crowd rapping to his intro song. His singing matches the beat of the music this week pretty well. The look o Shelton’s face during the rap and Truth’s dancing bit was priceless and alone made this show worth watching. Think Festus before the bell rings combined with contempt. Shelton backed Truth into the corner, then backed away as if he wasn’t taking Truth seriously. They did some mat wrestling where Truth’s metal jingled like the front door of a Thai restaurant or a WCW Ding Dong. At 3:00 Shelton bent Truth backwards over his knee and held him in place by his jaw. Truth punched out of it. Shelton put Truth in an upper body chinlock and Truth had the look of someone getting an unexpected prostate exam. Truth made a comeback at 2:00. He missed an axe kick, but immediately victory rolled Shelton on a reverse of a German suplex. Ross and Tazz touted it as an upset.
WINNER: Truth in 3:00.
-As Truth’s music played, Hurricane Helms appeared in an inset circle in the upper right corner of the screen. He said he’s back on Smakdown and added, “Apparently the price of gold just went down. I’m just saying.”
-Hardy said before the match he’s been in WWE “on and off” for about ten years. He talked about being known as a crazy risk taker. He said he doesn’t care what people say because he’s comfortable in his own skin and he hopes fans respect that. He said Triple H has said he’s never won the big one. He said at first he was upset, but now he realizes Triple H was trying to make him better. He said Triple H has successfully motivated him and he’s going to be reaching for his championship at No Mercy. He addressed Kozlov next. He said last week he struck him from behind rather than face-to-face. The Brian Kendrick and Ezekiel interrupted. Kendrick said he’s forgetting somebody. He said he’s got bigger fish to fry than Kozlov since he has to worry about him right now. Hardy said he already beat him to become the no. 1 contender. Kendrick said that was last week, some sort of chaotic free for all. He said tonight it’s one on one and it’ll be a different story. He asked Hardy if he’s ready to fight or if he has one of those “extracurricular activities Triple H is talking about” to do instead.
4 — JEFF HARDY vs. THE BRIAN KENDRICK (w/Ezekiel)
Hardy jump-started the match. Ross noted Hardy was only a teenager when he entered WWE. Kendrick came back quickly and clotheslined Hardy over the top rope to the floor, then danced as they cut to a break.
Back from the break, Kendrick had Hardy in a half Boston crab. Hardy kicked himself free and then swing kicked Kendrick in the corner at 6:00. Ross said these days people look at Kendrick entirely differently. A minute later Hardy won with a surprise backslide.
WINNER: Hardy in 7:00.
STAR RATING: *1/4 — What aired was good, but half the match took place during the commercial break.
-As Hardy celebrated on the stage, Kozlov gave him a big boot to the face. He knocked out Hardy cold.
-Big Show walked into Vickie’s office in a bit of a panic and said Undertaker was here. Vickie got worried and said, “Help me. Save me.” Big Show told her to breath. Someone walked in apparently wearing a helmet cam as they filmed it from the perspective of someone walking into the room. Vickie looked at the camera and ordered this person onto their knees and to apologize. An Undertaker-sounding voice did just that. They started laughing and then it was revealed that Chavo Guerrero was behind the camera dressed up like Undertaker. Vickie, Show, and Chavo shared a laugh.
-A video package aired again on the Big Show-Undertaker beatdown.
-WWE Fact: WWE has produced 20 books that made the New York Times Best-Sellers list.
-Carlito’s Cabana: Carlito was joined by his brother, Primo. You know, the guy who declared a few weeks ago to Mike Adamle he wanted to escape Carlito’s shadow, and now without explanation he’s hanging around with him on Smackdown. Carlito interviewed Primo about scoring his first victory on Smakdown last week. Primo said he was surprised at how easy it was. He said he thought the competition on Smackdown was going to be a lot tougher. He said it’s only a matter of time before they become tag team champions. Carlito told Primo not to walk on his lines. Carlito said he’s a guest, not co-host. Zach Ryder and Curt Hawkins then walked out. Helms appeared inset in the corner and said: “WWE Tag Team Champions, Curt and Zach. How about Curt and Jerk? I’m just sayin’.” Ryder asked the Colons if they believe they deserve to be champions. He said last week they got lucky. Carlito asked why they’re interrupting their show. Ryder said because they’re tag team champions. Carlito squeaked in mockery in response. Carlito asked if they’d give them a tag title shot. Hawkins said they’re not getting a title shot because they’re too new. They went back and forth with more insults. Finally Hawkins and Ryder agreed to a tag team title match next week. Hawkins said when they win, that will be “cool.” Carlito told them not to steal his lines. Carlito concluded the Cabana. He asked for someone to pack up their set. “Biscuits and Gravy” played and out came Jesse and Festus with packing materials. Hawkins & Ryder jumped the Colons. Primo rang the bell at ringside to set up off Festus, who cleared the ring of Ryder and Hawkins. He chased them to the back with the big palm tree that was part of the Cabana set. The Colon Brothers hugged in mid-ring. That was a segment as much aimed at 10-12 year olds as anything you’ll see on WWE TV.
-Ross plugged Triple H vs. MVP as the main event again.
-They showed the exterior of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Tazz asked if Ross part of it.
-Maia was drawing backstage. She showed Brie one of her sketches. Brie said she heard she’s designed her outfits for her Playboy photos. She asked her if she’d design something for her. She asked for a duplicate outfit just in case one snags. Maria asked if she’d rather have a different color. Brie said no. Victoria and Natalya walked in and said they’ve figured out what happens when she goes under the ring and then comes out with a glow and energized. They said she’s having an affair with Hornswoggle. Natalya suggested she and Victoria face Maria & Brie next week. Then they ripped up her sketches and said she couldn’t even design for a thrift store. Victoria shouted, “Face!” Then they left.
5 — SCOTTY GOLDMAN vs. THE GREAT KHALI
An inset interview aired with Goldman talking to a Great Khali puppet made of a paperbag. He sounded like Andy Samberg of SNL. Tazz wanted to know why Scotty would enrage Khali. Tazz wondered if Scotty is one of those guys who loves pain. Khali won with his chokeslam. Ross said he never left his feet and was completely dominant.
WINNER: Khali in 2:00.
-Tazz hyped Khali vs. Kozlov next week. They shouldn’t be giving that away on free TV unless they’re going to have Kozlov beat Khali as part of a push to a main event heel title challenger position.
-Tazz noted that Smackdown’s audience almost doubled the audience for college football on ESPN. They threw to the Raw Rebound focused on Chris Jericho.
-Backstage, Chavo told Ryder, Hawkins, and Bam Neely he doesn’t get much pleasure out of life these days, but he’s looking forward to watching Show beat up Taker. He asked for the room to be clear, which didn’t make much sense. He clicked a remote control and for the fourth time, they showed Show beating up Taker. When they returned from the break, Chavo was grabbed by the throat by Undertaker’s arm. They did the ridiculous first-person camera angle again. For so many reasons, that is a lame production technique, but par for the course for WWE.
-Ross and Tazz plugged the MyNetwork kickoff week for Smackdown with the WrestleMania special the night before. They didn’t mention MyNetwork, instead telling viewers to “check local listings.”
6 — TRIPLE H vs. MVP
Triple H came out first to his full ring intro. They showed some troops in the crowd chanting, “Triple H, Triple H.” Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Oh well. Ross billed this as a match where MVP had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Ross said Triple H reminds him of a modern day Harley Race, making few mistakes and never repeating them. A minute Triple H knocked MVP to the mat, mocked him, then gave him a crotch chop. At 3:00 Triple H settled into a headlock on the mat. They cut to a break. That was refreshing. They cut to a break without one of the cliches of a wrestler falling to the floor or taking a breather.
Back from the break, they showed MVP taking control after whipping Triple H into a Flair flip in the corner. He scored a two count at 7:00, then concentrated his attack on Triple H’s left arm. And concentrated on it. And concentrated on it. And concentrated on it. MVP charged at Triple H, but paused too long waiting for Triple H to turn around, so Triple H met him with a high knee. A minute later Triple H hit a one-armed spinebuster as he was still selling five minutes of MVP armbars. When the match spilled to the floor, MVP rammed Hunter into the announce table, or as Ross called it, “The announce position area.” When MVP leaped off the top rope, Triple H kicked him and then gave im a sudden Pedigree for the win.
WINNER: Triple H in 15:00.
STAR RATING: ** — Eh. Nothing memorable or all that exciting.
-Afterward Kozlov walked out onto the stage and stared down Triple H. Triple H took a breath or two, then called him to the ring. He complied. When MVP attempted to take a cheap shot at Triple H, that opened up Kozlov to attack him. Triple H made an immediately comeback, but Kozlov ended it after a few seconds and took Hunter down in the corner with shoulder drives, elbows, and punches. Triple H, though, surprised him with a knee lift. Kozlov came back with the head ram to the chest as Triple H bounced off the ropes. Triple H went down in a heap, gasping for breath. They’re really giving Kozlov a killer heel push. It’s a good move. He’s got the right body language and facial expressions, not to mention a timely gimmick, to be a heel draw.
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