The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #34 – 06.02.07
(OK, one last pair of reposts to wrap up the SNME retrospectives for good, with the 2 episodes from 2007, which both died in the ratings.)
Welcome to the 2007 SNME, now cut down to a 90 minute show and abandoned to die by NBC. Which it did. This would be the very definition of “by contractual obligation”, as neither side had any real interest in continuing with the relationship. In kind of a throwback to the 80s, there’s a weird theme of “biggest, strongest, strangest, smallest, etc” like it’s a circus act or something.
Taped from Toronto, ON
Your hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
John Cena v. The Great Khali
Oh, also, that chick Ashley from the Diva Search who got hired because she agreed to pose nude for Playboy, is the ring announcer and she’s pretty much the worst one ever. So this is building up to a match between them at One Night Stand the next night, and I’m like…what? Give away the match on free TV to build up the same thing on PPV? Also, I guess Cena wasn’t the champion at this point? I’m guessing it was Randy Orton, but I wasn’t even checking results at this point and I feel like I woke up in The Cube with no idea what I’m watching or how I got here. Like seriously, I couldn’t even tell you 2 or 3 things that happened in the entirety of 2007 as far as WWE goes, including anything outside of the main event of Wrestlemania. And of course one other thing. Khali throws Cena around and boots him down like he’s Brock Lesnar or something and we get OVERSELLING CENA. Khali chokes him down and pounds away, but Cena gets him up for the FU and Khali elbows out and puts him down with the JUDY CHOP OF DOOM. Thanks, Caleb! Tree slam finishes with one foot at 6:00. Post-match commentary reveals that Cena was in fact the champion and the next night is a title match. So yeah, Khali squashed the shit out of Cena here and apparently this was supposed to make us want to see the rematch. ½*
Arm Wrestling Match: Bobby Lashley v. Vince McMahon
Apparently Vince McMahon was ECW World champion at this point. I ranted on the show where that happened, too, and totally blocked it out of my mind. So Vince doesn’t want to actually face Lashley and calls in a ringer, Mark Henry, and then it quickly turns into a brawl between Henry and Lashley. I don’t feel like I’m properly communicating all the stalling and boredom that this entailed.
Batista & Chris Benoit v. Edge & MVP
This one is more than a little uncomfortable to watch knowing what would happen less than a month afterwards. We pick it up after a break with Benoit throwing chops on MVP and hooking the crossface, but MVP makes the ropes. Over to Edge, who is crazy over as a babyface here, but Benoit chops him down and drops an elbow for two. Batista comes in and pounds away on MVP and follows with a suplex for two, then boots him down for two. Benoit with the rolling germans, but the diving headbutt misses and MVP takes over. They get the heat on Benoit, but he fights off MVP and makes the hot tag to Batista. Big Dave runs wild and a powerslam gets two, which is enough for Edge. He grabs the belt and abandons MVP, and the diving headbutt finishes him at 8:13. It was a match. **
Finlay & Hornswoggle v. The Boogeyman & Little Boogey
So…yeah. This is a thing that happened on national TV. Yes, there was a midget version of the Boogeyman. Boogey had a neat look and weird charisma, but COME ON. As if wrestling wasn’t embarrassing enough as it is. Boogey with a spinebuster on Finlay and the midget Boogey comes in for a buttdrop that gets nothing. Finlay then has to tag out to his own midget because he’s getting too beat up by the first midget, and then just kicks Little Boogey in the face anyway. And then Finlay gets to do midget spots, but just boots Little Boogey for the pin at 3:51 anyway. Also, Candace Michelle was ring announcer for this one, which just ups the embarrassment one more notch. DUD
Extreme Expose dances for us, and I totally forgot about Tessmacher being in WWE. Layla with the curly hair looks totally different and not in a good way. Sadly, they cut to the back for the midget fight and it spills into the ring. For some reason the midget brawl compels the girls to take sides and fight as well. IS THIS SHOW OVER YET?
Kane, Eugene & Doink the Clown v. Kevin Thorn, Umaga, & Viscera
I have no idea who would have been playing the clown, since Dinsmore was usually the guy they used in the role around this time, and he’s pretty small. So there’s like still 12 minutes left in this show, which means this match isn’t gonna be quick. The babyfaces work over Kevin Thorn (the vampire, by the way) and Umaga bulldozes Eugene, who bails to escape Viscera as we take a break. Back with Thorn hitting a flapjack on Eugene for two and Umaga goes to the nerve pinch. Thorn comes in with a chinlock and Umaga tries a pump splash and hits knee. Hot tag Kane. Yay. Kane with the flying clothesline on Thorn for two, and he dodges Viscera and chokeslams him for the pin at 12:40. *
Can we declare this one the worst SNME of all time or do we need to check out the August show first?
The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #35 – 08.18.07
Taped from Madison Square Garden.
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jim Ross & JBL
Meanwhile, Vince confers with the Coach about who his illegitimate child might be, and Coach promises to investigate. This leads to an awkward reveal that Vince might actually be his father. Oh, we’re getting off to a grand start already, I see.
Batista & Kane v. Finlay & The Great Khali
Oh yay, the World champion Khali era. Kane pounds on Finlay to start and hits him with a sideslam for two, and Batista comes in with an elbow for two. Batista with a suplex to send Finlay to the floor and we take a break. Back with Khali working on Kane’s ribs, but he gets the hot tag to Batista. Bossman slam gets two on Finlay and Khali gets tied into the ropes. The midget gets abused as a result, and Batista spears and powerbombs Finlay to finish at 7:42. Not much to this one. **
Meanwhile, Vince is tripping out and sees his 80s self in a mirror. Yeah.
Meanwhile, MVP hangs out with Holyfield.
Vince McMahon and Coach join us to continue their hard-hitting investigation of Vince’s child. Eugene and Melina are eliminated as suspects after some goofy innuendo, and finally Steve Austin is unveiled as the final choice. Hey, he WAS adopted. Austin reminisces a bit about the times he could have been spending with Vince as a child, but then decides to just hit Vince in the nuts and stun Coach instead. Austin feels bad for abusing his potential long lost father and offers him a beer, but then gives him a stunner anyway. The whole storyline was a complete dead end (original plan Kennedy, eventual payoff Hornswoggle) but Vince getting repeatedly smashed in the junk is always entertaining TV and Austin can get any stupid shit over by sheer force of willpower.
John Cena v. Carlito
Man, they just kept trying to reheat Carlito even when Carlito himself had no interest in it. Cena chases him out of the ring and we quickly take a break. Back with Carlito in control, but Cena hits the Throwback and goes up with the guillotine legdrop before finishing quick with the STF at 4:19. Literally only 2:00 of this was actually shown. * Randy Orton lays him out with an RKO on a chair afterwards to build up the most boring Summerslam main event ever.
Boxing match: Evander Holyfield v. Matt Hardy
This was supposed to be Hardy v. MVP, but MVP backed out due to his legit heart problems (which were discovered as an indirect result of the Benoit investigation) and we get this freakshow instead. Michael Buffer as the ring announcer, declaring that MVP is “STRAIGHT UP BALLLLLLLIN” is worth your $9.99 right there. So Holyfield unsurprisingly destroys Matt in every way. I suspect that this boxing match might not be on the up-and-up. Matt makes it through the first round and MVP offers some unwanted coaching to Evander (I’m reminded of “You, Strawberry, hit a home run!”) until Holyfield has finally had enough and just knocks MVP out instead. This was goofy comedy right out of the 80s, but it was fun.
The Boogeyman & CM Punk v. Big Daddy V & John Morrison
So this was a real match. Morrison was ECW champion and looking to hold onto it long-term, but in another weird side-effect of Benoit’s death John got popped for steroids during the ensuing fallout and Punk ended up with the belt instead, kickstarting his career for good. Punk with a backslide on Morrison for two and a leg lariat for two. And we take a break. Back with Boogeyman consuming some worms for energy, but Big Daddy lays him out and pounds away in the corner. Blind charge misses and Punk gets the hot tag, hitting a springboard clothesline for two. Morrison blocks the bulldog for two, but Punk cradles for the pin at 6:15. *1/2
This show was decidedly light on wrestling to say the least, kind of a throwback to what Vince wanted the show to be in the 80s, and while it wasn’t terrible there’s nothing here you can’t skip in a heartbeat. No good matches and some stupid comedy is not exactly classic material.