Friday’s episode of Smackdown was filled with some great moments this week. Unfortunately, it was also a show chocked full of, well, filler.
In a television environment where breaks typically come in 15-minute intervals, is it really necessary to have two commercial breaks in the middle of the main event? I know, I know. That’s the big draw and thus a prime spot for advertising – but that doesn’t mean I can’t gripe about it.
And the whole build-up toward the World Heavyweight Championship match – nice to do, but let’s not overdo. Sure, guys, show some clips from the past. But I don’t need to see them twice.
Ok, enough complaining. I must admit, I’m in a foul mood lately so perhaps you’ll just have to bear with me. To be fair, there were some pretty good matches tonight that were well worth the rest of the hassles.
On with the show!
The storyline between the recently returned Edge and the feuding Untertaker and World Heavyweight Champion Batista evolved to a new level tonight, leading us toward a triple-threat match at Armageddon for the strap.
Edge started the night off with a long speech (perhaps carried a bit too long) about recent events. He said he was hurt by the fact that he didn’t receive a single phone call, e-mail or text message of support when he was injured four months ago and that, because of that, he had actually considered retiring. “Why should I go through months of rehab to come back to a company and people that don’t appreciate me,” he asked.
But then, according to Edge, Vickie Guerrero called and during her showing of support things evolved into the “love” they now share. He said it was her idea for him to hide out and ultimately interfere in the recent Hell in a Cell match between Batista and Taker and, as good as that felt, it didn’t feel as good as declaring his love for her publicly.
Edge then vowed to destroy the Undertaker for attacking Guerrero last week, and also promised her that tonight he would win the championship from Batista and be her “knight in shining armor.”
Fast forward and we have a rare World Title match on Smackdown between Batista and the Rated R Superstar.
The pair did some of the usual lock-up to start the match, which Batista used to show his raw power by shoving Edge down in the first, then planting Edge face-first into the mat on the second.
Edge ducked a blow from Batista to begin dishing out a few of his own – but this served only to enrage the Animal who picked Edge up, drove him into the corner and then planted his shoulder into the challenger’s midsection a few times. Edge then had an up-close introduction to a turnbuckle.
A shoulder block from Batista put Edge down for a one-count. He then felt the turnbuckle twice more and a right hand from the champ. Edge telegraphed wanting to elevate Batista, giving the champ the opportunity to try and set up for the Batista Bomb, but Edge managed to escape and slither out of the ring.
Following the first break, Batista hit a scoop slam and scored a near fall. Batista then charged at Edge who promptly ducked, pulling the top rope and sending the champ tumbling out to the floor below. Batista tasted Edge’s knee on the way back into the ring, but quickly recovered and hit a side slam for a near fall.
The Animal locked in an arm bar and clubbed away at the shoulder of Edge, then took him over with a snap mare followed by a hard kick to the face for another near fall. Batista then mounted Edge and dished out some blows. Edge rolled to the apron where Batista hit some forearm blows to the chest and a kick to the head.
Edge finally managed to pick himself up, only to be sent flying from the apron and into the barricade. Batista pursued, putting Edge’s head into the ring apron and tossing him back into the ring. Edge had the wherewithal to kick Batista on the way back in and hit a neckbreaker, finally putting at least a pause in the domination by the champ.
Following another break, we’re shown that Edge had hit another neckbreaker on Batista for a near fall, and now has the champ in a lock on the mat. Dueling chants could be heard from the crowd by now, with “Let’s go Batista” and “Let’s go Edge.”
Batista powered up from the hold but had his clothesline attempt countered by Edge for a near fall. Edge climbed up top, but Batista nailed him with a right hand and sent him down to the apron. The champ then suplexed Edge back into the ring and went up top himself, hitting a flying shoulder tackle for a near fall.
Batista then nailed a clothesline in the corner, but missed a second on. Edge went for a clothesline of his own, but Batista turned it into a side slam for another near fall. The champ then had his own telegraphed moment and felt a kick from the challenger, but was unphased and hit Edge with a spinebuster.
The Animal started to set up for the Batista Bomb, but Edge managed to escape and hit a DDT for a near fall. Edge then began measuring Batista up for a spear, but missed the attempt. Batista then hit a running power slam, then began measuring Edge for a spear of his own.
The lights went out and when they return – the Dead Man is standing in the ring with his hand already on Edge’s throat for a choke slam. Batista thwarted the move by hitting the spear he was planning, much to the shagrin of Taker who then chokeslammed Batista as Edge escaped the ring.
Then, who should stroll out but Teddy Long, apparently recovered from his “heart attack.” He said he knew Edge was thinking he deserved a rematch, and even told him he was right. Then Long pulled out a piece of paper and used Guerrero’s words from last week to scold the Undertaker for interfering in tonight’s match.
To punish him, Long put him in the triple threat match at the next pay-per-view, leaving Edge quite distraught.
You know, as matches go, this episode wasn’t bad at all. So I’m happy to report that none of them have found themselves in the “bleh” category this week.
I’ve already griped about the filler time in this week’s episode, so no need to go there again.
The only other thing I could possibly throw in here is the whole bit with Vince and Ranjin Singh, which really was quite stupid.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but this week I’m actually going to give this distinction to a match that involved Big Daddy V. He and MVP teamed up in a tag match with Kane and Rey Mysterio this week and pulled off a decent match.
Rey and MVP started things off, with Mysterio getting kicks to the hamstring of the U.S. Champ. Rey then climbed a cornered MVP to dish out some blows, and another hammy kick took MVP down.
Kane tagged in and staggered MVP with a hard right hand, then nailed him with another. Kane whipped MVP and put up the big boot, but Porter held the rope to avoid the hit. He left the ring in frustration, only to feel a Senton from Mysterio on the outside.
Following a break, Kane is flipping MVP back into the ring. Porter then felt the top turnbuckle and a hard uppercut from the Big Red Machine. MVP started to fight back and even got some shoulder blows in the corner on Kane, but felt another uppercut while going for a big right hand.
MVP then fell victim to two hard clotheslines in the corner, and for good measure Kane dished out a blow to the waiting V as well. MVP managed to push Kane to the corner and get the tag from V, holding Kane while the ECW monster dished out a clubbing blow.
Big Daddy dealt out a few more blows before hitting a belly-to-belly suplex and tagging MVP back into the match. The U.S. Champion managed to stay on offense for a while, but it wasn’t long before Kane nailed him with a clothesline and tagged in Mr. 619.
Rey immediately hit a Senton followed by a Hurricanrana. Then a snap mare takeover was followed by a drop kick to the head of MVP. Mysterio then hit a cross body, then drop kicked MVP to the second rope. His attempt at a 619 was thwarted however when Mysterio was tripped up by Matt Striker.
MVP took advantage, mounting Rey and dishing out blows before hitting a scoop slam and tagging in Big Daddy V. V simply stepped on Rey’s chest, then picked him up and held him high above his head for the world to see his power. Like a cat, however, Rey came down on his feet and began hitting the big man with kicks. V quickly recovered and hit a tilt-a-whirl slam.
MVP was then tagged back in and dropped a knee on Mysterio. Kane saved his partner from the pinfall attempt, however. MVP hit a kick and locked in a submission hold, but Rey managed to get up and escape with knees to the legs and blows. MVP put him right back down with a blow of his own, however.
V got back into the match and hit a hard chest slap, but Rey managed to dodge an avalanche. MVP was right back in it, though, and grabbed Rey’s foot to keep him from a much-needed tag. Mysterio managed to get up and hit a kick to the head, however, and get that tag.
Kane dished out clotheslines to MVP and a scoop slam before attacking V. He then whipped MVP to the corner and hit a side slam before tagging Rey.
Both competitors went to top turnbuckles, with Kane hitting his flying clothesline and Rey hitting a Hurricanrana followed by a 619. Rey then vaulted the ropes for a splash and the victory.
Hmm. The Big Red Machine and the Biggest Little Man. Not a bad combination. They certainly put on an entertaining match.
– Finlay and Hornswoggle defeated Duece and Domino in tag-team action. Finlay’s exploits in helping the little guy defeat the odds is certainly earning him some pop from the crowds, especially when the two dance in the ring after a win.
– C.M. Punk won over Kenny Dykstra with the GTS. I was pleasantly surprised, actually. Dykstra showed some decent athleticism and the pair pulled off a good match.
– Jamie Noble for the second week in a row picked up a win over the larger, more powerful Chuck Palumbo. This time, the smaller competitor rolled Palumbo up after the big guy missed a big boot in the corner. Noble did have a nice handful of Palumbo’s jeans during the pin, however.
Don’t like my take? Let’s hear yours! Send me your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org … the best and worst of the bunch may be featured in the weekly editions of Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s Pullinâ<80><99> No Punches (found in the editorial section). Remember, short ones are good, long ones may be cut, and keep the name of the column in mind when you come looking for answers!