Smackdown – May 11, 2007

Smackdown
Date: May 11, 2007
Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s a big show this time around with the Undertaker defending the World Title against Batista inside a cage. That alone should be enough to carry the show and….well that’s about what it’s going to do as that’s the only major thing set for the show. Unless you could spoilers that is, as WWE has already said what happens this time. Let’s get to it.

The opening video looks at Undertaker vs. Batista and how we got to the cage match. I have a feeling we’re getting a bunch of history tonight.

Opening sequence.

The cage is already around the ring.

Chris Benoit/Matt Hardy vs. Finlay/MVP

They either edited the heck out of something or the cage had a rocket attached to it, as there is no way they raised that thing up so fast. Benoit and Finlay lock up to push each other around the ring to start. It’s already off to MVP to shoulder Benoit down but he has to escape an early Crossface attempt. Matt comes in to drop an elbow and it’s already back to Benoit to stomp away in the corner. Finlay has to break up the cover off a suplex so Matt comes back in for a neckbreaker. Benoit misses a baseball slide to Finlay but clotheslines him down instead. Cue Hornswoggle to….do nothing as we take a break.

Back with Hardy bulldogging Finlay for two and cranking on a headlock. It’s back to MVP to stomp away but Hardy suplexes him for two, with Finlay having to make another save. Matt elbows MVP off the top and actually hits a moonsault, only to bang up his knee in the process. MVP is smart enough to go right after the knee before handing it off to Finlay for a half crab.

That’s broken up but MVP is right there to cut him off again. That lasts all of two seconds though before it’s the hot tag to bring in Benoit to clean house. The rolling German suplexes get two but the Swan Dive misses. MVP comes in, walks into a dragon screw legwhip, and gets jackknife covered to give Benoit the fast pin.

Rating: C+. This was good enough, though MVP losing AGAIN is getting old. It’s ok to let him steal a pin in a tag match but he has to lose there too. It’s one thing to get pinned by Chris Benoit but losing to him over and over takes away a lot from MVP. Not a bad tag match though, which is one thing you can almost always depend on: throwing talented wrestlers out there and giving them time to do something.

Here’s another video on Batista vs. Undertaker.

Next week: Ozzy Osbourne performs the Judgment Day theme song.

Jillian Hall vs. Michelle McCool

Jillian sings a slowed down version of her theme song until Michelle’s entrance cuts her off. Michelle hammers away to start and it’s a catfight with more punching than usual. The reverse chinlock sends Jillian over to the ropes but she is right back with a cartwheel into an elbow. The chinlock has McCool in trouble but she’s back up with an elbow to the face. A jackknife rollup gives McCool two and a belly to belly gets the same. Jillian gets in some elbows in the corner but charges into a backbreaker to give Michelle the pin.

Rating: D+. No it wasn’t good, but you can tell that they are trying to have a good match. There is a world of difference than this and some of the nonsense that you would see out of the Divas division. They need a lot more time and polish, but you can see the effort and some of the basics in there. In other words, Finlay continues to be a wizard with this stuff.

Krystal is rubbing Teddy Long’s shoulders and asks if he has found an assistant yet. He hasn’t found anyone appropriate yet but she has an idea. We’ll have to hear about that later though as two hillbillies from West Virginia come in. They’re here to fight but Teddy says if they can get to Baltimore next week, they can have a match. Long mentions their name as the Dalton Boys as they leave. Krystal goes back to shoulder rubbing and suggests Vickie Guerrero as the assistant. Teddy is skeptical about hiring a Guerrero but Krystal talks him into letting her have an interview next week. That’s good enough for Krystal.

More on Undertaker vs. Batista.

Raw Rebound.

Ashley joins us from Stamford and wants to get back to Smackdown. If nothing else, she wants to get her hands on Jillian and to see Paul London and Brian Kendrick get their Tag Team Titles back.

Domino vs. Paul London

I know I make fun of these teams having a bunch of singles matches but COME ON ALREADY. Deuce, Cherry and Brian Kendrick are at ringside too. London dodges a double leg dive to start but gets shoved away. The referee breaks that up so Domino kicks him in the ribs, only to get dropkicked down.

London scores with a moonsault to the floor (which he missed to cost his team the titles a few weeks ago), only to get snapmared back inside. Domino grabs a cobra clutch but London is back up with a cradle for two. A headscissors into a basement dropkick connects and a snap spinwheel kick drops Domino again. Deuce tries to offer a distraction so London hits the dropsault onto Domino for the pin.

Rating: C. Not too bad here, but e pluribus gads I’m sick of seeing this match. It’s been done to death at this point and I don’t see any reason to want to watch it again. Hopefully we get to the title rematch so Deuce N Domino can retain and move on to ANYTHING else. These teams have fine matches, but the interest has been depleted after seeing some combination of it so many times.

Another Undertaker vs. Batista video.

Snitsky video.

Kane vs. Dave Taylor

Boogeyman, Little Boogeyman and William Regal are here too. Kane appears to be a mixture of happy and confused by the Boogeymen. They start fast with Kane hitting a hard slam as commentary is busy freaking out about the people at ringside. Taylor gets a boot up in the corner and hammers away until Kane kicks him down. Regal trips Kane and feigns innocence in a way that feels so appropriate for him. Kane is back up with the sidewalk slam and the top rope clothesline as Boogeyman and Regal get in a fight on the floor. The chokeslam finishes Taylor.

Rating: C-. About what you would expect here and that was fine enough. Kane and Boogeyman are growing on me as the freaky tag team as it’s a bit of a different direction for both of them. If nothing else, seeing Regal and Taylor being disturbed by what they’re looking at every week has been great. Not a good match, but another part of an entertaining story.

Undertaker beat Batista at Wrestlemania.

The Condemned.

Undertaker and Batista went to a draw in a Last Man Standing match at Backlash.

Smackdown World Title: Batista vs. Undertaker

Undertaker is defending in a cage with pinfall, submission or escape to win. Batista has a bad leg and Undertaker has a bad arm to slow both of them down a bit. They go to the slugout to start until Undertaker kicks him in the face. A clothesline gives Batista two but a shot to the bad leg breaks up the Batista Bomb. Undertaker gets knocked down and it’s a top rope shoulder to give Batista two.

We take a break and come back with Batista breaking up an escape attempt but getting hit in the face for his efforts. Batista takes him down and hammers away before a low blow drops Undertaker again. The shoulders and clothesline in the corner let Batista climb but Undertaker hits him in the leg for a crotching. The running big boot knocks Batista into the cage but Batista kicks him down as well as we take a break.

Back again with Batista blasting him with a clothesline for two. Undertaker hits some clotheslines of his own and it’s Snake Eyes into the big boot. There’s the chokeslam for a close two but Batista sends him into the cage. We take another break and come back with the busted open Undertaker walking into a spinebuster for two.

Batista, apparently having never watched an Undertaker match, hammers away in the corner and gets Last Rided for two. Undertaker can’t quite get out of the door so they both go up top for a slugout. Batista knocks him down and climbs up but Undertaker is right there to meet him. They both climb down and drop to the floor….at the same time.

Rating: B. This was a heck of a fight and as usual between these two, it felt like a war with the question being who could survive, let alone win. These two have some great chemistry together and it was on display again here. They feel like each others’ equals and given that they have had more draws than decisive wins in their rivalry, it feels that way in the ring too.

The referees go over to the monitors to look and the feet hit the ground at the same time so the match is officially a draw, with the Undertaker retaining the title. The cage is raised…and here is Mark Henry to jump Undertaker. Henry sends him into the post and crushes him with the splash inside. That’s quite the bad situation for Undertaker and now it’s about to get worse.

Smackdown World Title: Edge vs. Undertaker

Edge is challenging via Money in the Bank cash in. The bell rings and Edge covers for two but Undertaker can’t sit up. He pulls himself up on the ropes and it’s the spear to give Edge the pin and the title.

Post match Edge hits him with the briefcase and poses to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. The cage match alone is worth the watch and the rest of the show continues its hot streak. That’s going to be it for the Undertaker for a long time though as the arm injury was a torn bicep, putting him out of action for several months. That leaves Batista to carry the show again, and now he’ll be able to feud with Edge for the time being. Solid show here, but it feels like the start of a new era, which might not be so great.

 

 

 

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