Smackdown – March 30, 2007

Smackdown
Date: March 30, 2007
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Attendance: 5,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the final (of three) go home shows for Wrestlemania and I wouldn’t bet on seeing much in the way of important action here. That is perfectly fine in this case and they would be insane to try anything too complicated. We’re sure to get a lot of talking about Wrestlemania though and that should work out well. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here is Edge for a match with Matt Hardy, but first he wants to talk about Money in the Bank. Edge knows what it means to be in a match like this and what it can mean. He has cashed the briefcase in before and has won more ladder matches than everyone else in the match combined, so he’ll be winning again.

Edge vs. Matt Hardy

Actually hang on as Edge isn’t wrestling tonight, but he has a replacement.

Great Khali vs. Matt Hardy

Edge is at ringside as Matt hammers away to no avail to start. Khali kicks him down in the corner and the chokeslam is loaded up….but here is Kane. Well at least his pyro, so Khali goes up the ramp and Kane appears on screen. Kane holds up the hook and says two more days….and I guess the match just ends.

Teddy Long is making some dinner reservations when Krystal comes in. He has made dinner reservations for them, plus some dancing. Krystal shows off her ring gear and kisses him on the cheek before leaving. Long is rather pleased.

Finlay vs. Mr. Kennedy

There is a ladder at ringside and Kennedy points out the briefcase above the ring. They go with the hard lockup to start and fall out to the floor with neither being able to get an advantage. Back in and Finlay works on the hammerlock so Kennedy elbows his way to freedom. Kennedy nails a running boot in the corner for two but Finlay catches him trying to take off the turnbuckle pad. It’s too early to send Kennedy into the buckle though, as he reverses into a whip into said buckle.

The Regal Roll gives Kennedy two so it’s time for a ladder, which goes rather badly. Finlay goes shoulder first into the post and Kennedy rolls him up for two. Since pulling out a ladder didn’t work, Kennedy goes with the big ladder already set up at ringside. For some reason Kennedy throws it at Finlay, who ducks and hits a clothesline. Cue Hornswoggle with a two foot stepladder to Kenton Bomb Kennedy. Finlay grabs the Celtic Cross for the pin.

Rating: C-. This was a bit of a messy match as they didn’t exactly have chemistry. Heel vs. heel is always a bit weird and I wasn’t exactly getting into it. The match certainly wasn’t bad or anything, but I was more waiting on it to finish up than getting into it, which is never a good sign.

We look at Vince McMahon pinning Bobby Lashley, albeit with some help, on Raw.

Maryse welcomes us back from commercial. Her robe opening up is just an accident of course.

MVP vs. Vito Batomango

Batomango’s Ethiopian Heavyweight Title isn’t on the line. You might remember him from the earlier days of TNA as D-Ray 3000. MVP stomps him down and hits the running big boot in the corner. Some knees to the ribs set up some Chris Benoit style rolling German suplexes. The Playmaker finishes for MVP in a total squash. The gimmick is kind of funny actually.

Post match MVP says he has made 5 pay per view appearances. At Wrestlemania, he is facing the man who is “4 real” and the referee will count 3. In 2 days, there is 1 United States Champion. That wasn’t bad.

We look at Batista and Undertaker erupting last week.

Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy

They fight over a lockup to start until Jeff grabs a hammerlock. Orton fights up but gets caught in an armbar to mix up the cranking a bit. A rollup gives Jeff two and a sitout gordbuster drops Orton onto his head for the same. Jeff tries to jump over him in the corner but gets blasted with a clothesline to the floor. We take a break and come back with Orton grinding away on a chinlock.

Hardy fights up but walks into the backbreaker for two. The Garvin Stomp keeps Hardy in trouble and the dropkick sets up the choking on the ropes. Another chinlock has Hardy in trouble but he fights up again, this time with a Sling Blade. The slingshot dropkick in the corner gets two but Orton rolls away before the Swanton can launch. Cue Edge to go after Hardy so Orton yells at him, allowing Hardy to hook a sunset flip for the pin.

Rating: C+. This got some time and Hardy getting the pin on Orton isn’t the biggest upset in the world. The good thing here was keeping up Edge vs. Orton, which has potential to be a heck of an upper midcard feud if that is the way they go. It’s nice to have something other than building momentum for the ladder match and it has helped a lot over the last few weeks.

We look back at Undertaker and Batista fighting last week.

We look at Shawn Michaels superkicking John Cena on Raw.

Wrestlemania rundown.

Melina/Victoria/Jillian Hall/Michelle McCool/Krystal vs. Ashley/Torrie Wilson/Candice Michelle/Maria/Mickie James

Mickie snapmares Victoria down into a basement dropkick to start but a regular dropkick misses. Michelle comes in and starts kicking away, followed by the same from Melina. Jillian gets in the hair toss and a slam, meaning it’s time to pose. Victoria’s elbow misses though and it’s off to Candice for a slam of her own, plus the Go Daddy dance. Maria gets in the Bronco Buster on Victoria and Torrie throws in a Stink Face. It’s off to Ashley for the real work though and house is cleaned in a hurry. Melina runs away from a fight and Ashley reverses Jillian’s powerbomb into a hurricanrana for the pin.

Rating: D. I think you got the idea here and they weren’t exactly being subtle about everything they were doing. The match wasn’t any good because most of them aren’t really wrestlers, but Ashley looked a bit more competent so maybe there has been some coaching between her recent mess and this one.

King Booker vs. CM Punk

Booker has Queen Sharmell with him and backs Punk into the corner. Some right hands rock Punk but he snapmares Booker into a basement dropkick to the back of the head. Back up and Booker kicks him in the face, setting up the knees to the face to make it even worse. A pull of the hair cuts Punk off again and Booker elbows him in the face for two. The seated armbar doesn’t last long as Punk is back up with even more kicks to the head. An enziguri gets two but Booker takes him right back down for another chinlock. That’s too far for Punk, who pops up into a bridging rollup for the pin.

Rating: C-. Pretty dull match here, but it isn’t a surprise that they would want to keep things slow with two days to go before Wrestlemania. Just going six and a half minutes was surprising enough, but you can only get so far with a bunch of chinlocks and armbars. It’s nice to see Punk get a bigger win for once though.

We look at Shawn Michaels finally turning on John Cena on Raw.

Shawn Michaels is All Grown Up.

Video of the Wrestlemania press conference, where Donald Trump slapped Vince McMahon.

JBL gets in the ring for the big interview between Batista and Undertaker….but gets Steve Austin instead. Austin doesn’t waste time and Stuns JBL, allowing beer to be consumed.

Post break, Teddy Long brings out Batista and Undertaker for the real interview. Security keeps them apart, with Teddy saying this is Smackdown and not Wrestlemania. Batista says he doesn’t have as much respect for Undertaker, who has no response. Teddy asks what it is going to take to beat Undertaker. Batista: “48 hours.” The fight is on with security getting taken out. The spinebuster plants Undertaker, who sits up as Batista leaves. More staring and shouting ends the show.

Overall Rating: C+. They didn’t screw up, the ending was good, and we even got a long match. This was a fine go home show and that’s all it needed to be as they are on a roll heading into Detroit. I want to see the show as they have set everything up as well as possible. Good stuff here, which doesn’t surprise me at all after what they have done over the last month and a half or so.

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