10 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT (3-6-09): Undertaker accepts Michaels’ WrestleMania challenge, Cena whispers to Vickie, Triple H vs. Usage, plus Hardy, Maryse, Edge, Miz

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


Maryse (art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch)

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The following article was originally published ten years ago this week on PWTorch.com…


KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
MARCH 6, 2009
UNCASVILLE, CONN. – MOHEGAN SUN CASINO
AIRED ON MY NETWORK

[Q1]

-The show opened with clips of the Edge vs. John Cena match and the show-closing angle with Big Show and Vickie Guerrero. These recaps of Smackdown wrestlers on Raw bring me back to the days before the roster split where each show always had the same top feuds and top stars. For WrestleMania season it’s fine, I suppose, but it really isn’t a good idea in the long-run.

-The Smackdown opening aired. Jim Ross and Tazz introduced the program as the camera panned the crowd. As someone who grew up watching the AWA, it blows my mind that in 2009 WWE fans are wearing AWA replica logos on their t-shirts. Ross hyped the contract signing for the Edge vs. Big Show World Title match. Tazz plugged Triple H vs. Umaga for later on the show.

-Undertaker’s ring entrance took place. A clip aired of the Taker-Shawn Michaels mutual gaze from Raw on Monday. Ross wondered if Michaels could do what no man has ever done before. It does take some of the shine off of Taker’s WM streak that he lost clean last week to Vladimir Kozlov on Smackdown – and nobody is making a big deal out of it. It’s as if it didn’t happen. If Taker losing doesn’t matter on SD, why does it matter so much on WrestleMania? I’m not a believer in ignoring things that happen as a way to diminish their impact; I think if you book something, you ought to believe in it enough to draw attention to it – or else don’t do it in the first place.

Taker said The Streak is something he never speaks of. He said WrestleMania has become the night he chooses to show his peers and the world what he represents. He said there seems to be a need and a desire to feed the egos and lust of endless souls who line up each year to make a name for themselves at his expense. He said he takes that as a personal insult. “Shawn Michaels,” he said, followed by a pause as the crowd booed. “I accept your challenge for WrestleMania.” They abruptly cut to a video package on Michaels and what WrestleMania means to him. He said he wants to put on a good performance at first, but then it became about making a statement about being the very best. WrestleMania highlights aired of Michaels matches.

Back to Taker, he said he knows what Michaels is trying to do and he has chosen the wrong person to play mind games with. He said it’ll only make things worse in the end. He said he is truly an icon among men. “But for sixteen WrestleManias they have come and for 16 WrestleManias they have fallen. You’re fate will be no different.” He said he claims to have made peace within, but the time for prayer has just begun. “Sometimes it is hell trying to get to heaven,” he closed.

[Commercial Break]

[Q2]

-A WrestleMania III vignette aired. The narration touted it as an event on par with a few classic movies and the best of Super Bowls. It showed a few shots of celebrities and undercard matches, but focused on Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan.

-Backstage Vickie said on her cell phone that she hasn’t heard from “him” all week despite reaching out to his family. Jeff Hardy walked up and asked if she wanted to see him. She said she can put him in a Money in the Bank qualifying match, but she’d rather he fight Matt. Jeff said he won’t do that. Jeff said he said he wants in on the MITB match so he can become champion again.

-Matt Hardy walked out to his music, making a cocky jaunt to the ring with one arm raised. He stood below a briefcase hanging over his head and complained that Jeff doesn’t want to fight him. He said it’s clear Jeff is running from his problems, but Jeff can’t run from him. He said if they both win their MITB qualifiers, then he can finally get his hands on Jeff at WrestleMania. He said he will destroy Jeff and the six other “competitors” to win the briefcase. He said when he chooses when the time is right he will cash it in and will become a World Champion. MVP’s ring intro then took place.

1 — MATT HARDY vs. MVP

Ross and Tazz talked about the rules of the MITB match. Hardy went for an early bulldog, but MVP avoided it and sent Hardy to the mat with a drop toe hold. MVP went for an early Playmaker, but Hardy avoided it. They cut to a break at 1:00.

[Commercial Break]

Hardy controlled the action as they returned from the break. MVP made a comeback a couple minutes later and scored a near fall after his kneedrop and elbowdrop. Hardy got what Tazz called “Crazy Eyes” when he set up the Twist of Fate. MVP, though, avoided it and surprised him with a bridge pin.

WINNER: MVP in 7:00.

STAR RATING: *1/4 — About what you’d expect from a Matt Hardy TV match. Nothing memorable, but the rudimentary execution was solid.
[Q3]

-Ross and Tazz plugged Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin (who’s always in that “player to be named later” slot – meaning he’s the opponent of the star, but never the main wrestler who’s hyped as wrestling later) and the contract signing.

[Commercial Break]

-WWE Fact: On the Sports DVD charts, WWE Home Video owns nine of the top ten spots led by “The Best of Saturday Night’s Main Event” at no. 1, according to Nielsen Videoscan First Alert.

-The WrestleMania 25 video aired with the AC/DC theme song.

-They showed Ross and Tazz at ringside. Ross said for the twelfth time last week Smackdown was the most watched show in MyNetwork history.

-“The Dirt Sheet” with Miz and John Morrison aired. They wore butt masks and wigs and imitated the Colons. They said next week they’ll become the undisputed tag team champions. Ross confirmed that next week the World Tag Team Titles will be defended by Miz & Morrison against The Colons.

-Michelle McCool joined Ross and Tazz at ringside. Maryse made her ring entrance.

[Commercial Break]

-A vignette aired on Umaga, showing highlights of his big moves. We still know nothing about him that makes him seem like a villain. He’s just super-intense and has intricately braided hair and face paint. Evil, I tell you!

[Q4]

2 — MARYSE vs. EVE TORRES

When Tazz asked McCool about Eve, she said there’s not much to say because there’s not much there. McCool dominated early. After McCool bragged herself up and said if she were another Diva, she’d be jealous of her skills, too, Ross asked if she had any friends in the locker room.

WINNER: Maryse in 3:00 after a DDT.

STAR RATING: 1/2*

-Afterward, WWE Women’s Champion Melina attacked Maryse. McCool entered the ring and kicked Melina, then threw her into the ringpost.

-Ross plugged the contract signing for Edge and Show again.

-A commercial aired for John Cena’s “12 Rounds” movie.

[Commercial Break]

-Vickie said it’s her extreme pleasure to preside over the contract signing for the World Title match at WrestleMania. Before Vickie could get through her introduction, Edge walked out looking anything but happy with her. Ross said Vickie hadn’t seen her husband Edge since Monday. Tazz said if he’s Edge, he’d be confused. Edge walked into the ring and looked at the title belt and the table set up mid-ring. Edge said he wouldn’t do this now because he needs to know the truth first. He asked to know what the deal is about her and Big Show.

Vickie whined that he hasn’t returned her messages or been in touch. She assured Edge that her relationship with Big Show is “strictly professional.” Edge said he got every one of her messages, but something doesn’t compute. He said while he was away for a few months, Big Show “took care of you.” He said when he retained the title against Cena on Raw, she and Show walked out and dropped a bombshell on him. He said he found out at the same time as “these people,” the fans, and he said he’s better than that. He said she wanted to make a fool out of him. Vickie assured Edge she wouldn’t want to embarrass him because “you’re special to me and you’re my husband.” Edge asked why The Big Show out of all contenders. Before Vickie could answer, Big Show’s music interrupted.

As Show walked to the ring, Tazz asked Ross if he believes Vickie. Ross said, “I have no comment on the matter.” Show said, “Vickie, I think it’s time Edge learn the truth.” Vickie frantically protested, but Show kept talking. He looked at Edge and said, “The truth is, you’re not a good champion.” Vickie seemed relieved at the approach Show was taking. Show said Edge takes shortcuts, whereas on the other hand he demolishes people as the biggest athlete in the world and he deserves to be World Heavyweight Champion. He said Vickie knows this. He said what’s going on between he and Vickie is strictly business. Vickie checked hopefully with Edge to see if he was buying that story. Show signed the contract and then vowed that he would beat Edge.

[Q5]

Edge asked if that was truly what this was all about. He said if that’s the case, he apologizes. He turned to Show and said he can use that dominating schtick on anyone but him because he’s an eight-time champion. He said he’s other people as stepping stones since he entered WWE. He said he’s more talented, faster, and smarter than Show. Edge said Vickie chose him because she knows that will assure Edge will beat hi. “How could I ever be so stupid as to think you’d steal my wife away from me,” he said. “I am more of a man than you will ever be.” Show told Edge to sign the contract so they can find out. As Edge was about to do that, John Cena’s music played. Cena charged to the ring and attacked Show and Edge. He hit Show with the title belt, knocking him out of the ring, then sidestepped Show and sent him shoulder-first into the ringpost. He turned to Vickie, who backed into the corner while averting eye contact with Cena.

Cena walked up to Vickie and whispered something in her ear. She seemed as shocked to hear what Cena whispered to her as Tom Cruise’s (Mitch McDeer) wife Jeanne Tripplehorn (Abby McDeer) was in “The Firm” when he turned up the stereo and told her the truth about their house being bugged and his employer being involved with the mob. As Vickie tried to keep her composure in the ring, Cena walked away with a smile as his music played.

[Commercial Break]

-They replayed Cena whispering something to Vickie. Ross said one can only imagine what was said. That’s true. They showed scenes of the Mohegan Sun Casino. Ross then threw to the latest announced inductee into the Class of 2009 Hall of Fame – Bill Watts.

-Backstage Edge and Vickie sat on a couch. Edge said he’s so sick and tired of Cena sticking his nose in his business. He told Vickie to exert some kind of authority to stop this. Edge told her to get the contract so he could sign it right now. Vickie said they’d do a contract signing next week on Raw. Vickie broke down and Edge asked what was going on. Edge began to console her, but she turned away from him. Does Cena have some naughty pictures of Vickie kissing Show? Or maybe intercepted emails?

-Ross plugged the Jeff-Shelton match.

[Commercial Break]

[Q6]

-A video aired on WrestleMania 21 including Edge winning the Money in the Bank. The narrator called WrestleMania 21 “The Rise of the Rated-R Superstar.”

3 — JEFF HARDY vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN – MITB Qualifier

Shelton took early control. At 1:00 Hardy dove at Shelton, but Shelton ducked and Hardy flew to the floor. Hardy leaped off the ringside steps and flew into Shelton, knocking him into the ringside barrier at 2:00. They cut to a break.

[Commercial Break]

Back in the ring Shelton was in control with a chinlock with a knee driven into Hardy’s back. Then he bent Hardy over his knee. At 8:00 Hardy made a full comeback with a basement dropkick and a near fall. Hardy hit a Whisper in the Wind. Matt walked to ringside. Jeff hit a Twist of Fate, but Matt entered the ring. He looked at Jeff, and then turned and punched Shelton. The ref called for the bell, DQ’ing Jeff due to interference benefiting him. Tazz said, “Once again Matt Hardy has shattered Jeff’s dreams.” Matt turned his back to Jeff, then walked away. Jeff stood with his arms on his hips.

WINNER: Shelton Benjamin via DQ in 10:00.

STAR RATING: **

[Q7]

-Ross and Tazz were shown on camera. Tazz said Jeff’s “dream of competing at WrestleMania – gone!” Ross threw to a video package on the Triple H-Randy Orton feud.

[Commercial Break]

-WWE Fact: Smackdown broke its own MyNetwork ratings record last week for the 12th time.

-Ross and Tazz were shown on camera and they threw to a “12 Rounds” video package.

-Triple H’s ring intro took place.

[Q8]

[Commercial Break]

4 — TRIPLE H vs. UMAGA

They did nothing to hype this other than mention it a couple times. It’s about as pointless and context-free a main event TV match as I’ve seen on WWE TV in a long time. It’s the problem with Umaga not having anyone to speak for him and establish what his point of being WWE is, what his goals are, why he might dislike someone. Did Vickie book this to wear down Triple H on behalf of Orton? Anything would have been better than zero backstory. Triple H got in a few early punches. Then Umaga countered with a minute of offense. At 3:00 Triple H made a comeback, but Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, and Cody Rhodes showed up at ringside. They surrounded Triple H and eventually jumped him. Triple H ended of two of them, but when Orton joined in, they overwhelmed him.

WINNER: No contest in 4:00.

STAR RATING: *

-DiBiase and Triple H tumbled to the floor. Triple H put up a good fight and actually tackled Orton onto the announce table. DiBiase and Rhodes beat up Triple H against the security railing. Orton threw Triple H back into the ring where the three-on-one attack really took hold. Triple H surprised Orton with a spear, but Orton and Cody stomped away at him. Ross said Triple H was nothing but wounded prey. The beatdown lasted over five minutes, ending with Orton kicking Triple H in the face as Rhodes and DiBiase held him in place. Orton smiled and kneeled toward Triple H, who had snot and foam hanging from his mouth as he struggled to gain his senses. He reached up toward Orton, but Orton slapped his hand away. The crowd chanted “Randy Sucks” and booed as the show ended without further comment from Ross and Tazz.

FINAL THOUGHTS (7.0): Some definite newsworthy happenings with Shelton and MVP qualifying for MITB. No shockers there. Matt did more to goad Jeff into agreeing to wrestle him. The main event of Triple H vs. Umaga was thinly hyped, but served as a conduit to the intense show-ending beat-down, which was paint-by-numbers booking, but well executed by all. The Edge-Show-Cena situation also moved forward with a cliffhanger regarding what Cena told Vickie and when Edge will figure out there’s more to the Vickie-Show relationship. The Divas also got some WM-build with Melina, McCool, and Maryse getting into it.


RECOMMENDED: 10 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (3-2-09): Jericho interviews Snuka on Piper’s Pit, Edge vs. Cena for WWE Title, Shawn Michaels vs. Kozlov for Undertaker match at WrestleMania, plus Triple H, Rey, Kane, more

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