Smackdown – June 22, 2007

Smackdown
Date: June 22, 2007
Location: Bobcats Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the go home show for Vengeance: Night Of Champions and the card is set. It isn’t a show that needs a lot of setup, so it’s a good thing that we have one of the biggest storylines in years to help pad things out. Other than that, we likely have Batista/Ric Flair vs. MVP/Edge. Let’s get to it.

We open fast with the Cutting Edge, with Edge saying he had Vince McMahon’s final interview on this very show. There will be a special tribute to Vince on Raw, even if Vince made him face Batista in a Last Chance match at Vengeance. For now though, let’s bring out someone brand new to the show, and someone you wouldn’t expect as a suspect: Torrie Wilson.

Torrie isn’t sure what Edge is talking about, but Edge accuses her of being scored by Vince and put into a match with Carlito. Edge sees one liar in the ring but here is MVP to cut them off. MVP doesn’t think Torrie should have to go through this…because she should be going through a lie detector test! Cue Ric Flair to go after both of them but the beatdown is on. Batista runs in for the save, setting up a likely tag team main event.

Post break, Teddy Long and Vickie Guerrero have made the tag match.

Jimmy Wang Yang/Shannon Moore vs. Chavo Guerrero/Jamie Noble

Not this tag match. Noble headscissors Moore down to start and grabs a rather early chinlock. That’s broken up so Noble hits a running shoulder before it’s off to Chavo. A dropkick gives Moore two and it’s off to Yang, who gets a bit of a response (which may be canned but it’s better than nothing). Noble comes back in and gets caught in a jumping hurricanrana, only to stomp Yang down without much trouble.

Chavo comes in and stomps away before it’s right back to Noble to work on the arm. Yang fights up but Chavo avoids a charge to send Yang’s shoulder into the post. That doesn’t stop Yang from hitting a dropkick though and the hot tag brings in Moore. House is cleaned in a hurry and Chavo is dropped face first onto the buckle. Yang hits a big dive onto Noble but Chavo Gory Bombs Moore for the pin.

Rating: C. It’s the least valuable title this side of the Texas Hardcore Title but there is something about putting four high fliers out there and letting them go for a few minutes. Chavo needed the win to get him back on track before the title match so at least there is a bit more set up for Sunday. Now just do something with the title already.

Maryse welcomes us back to the show.

Mark Henry vs. Funaki

Henry throws him around a few times to start as commentary raves over the power. The bearhug goes on and Funaki is out in a hurry.

We see more of the same clips of Vince’s explosion and people talking about it that we’ve seen for a week and a half now.

Vickie Guerrero comes in to see Teddy Long because she has set up all of the travel for everyone to go to Raw next week. Long is happy but seems to have some special plans for himself and Kristal. Cue Kristal, and Long seems nervous about something he has planned in public tonight, with Kristal joining him in the ring.

Finlay vs. Matt Hardy

They take turns powering the other into the corner to start until Finlay hits him in the face. Matt sweeps the leg and grabs a headlock on the mat so Finlay rips at his face. A belly to back suplex has some more success at getting Finlay out of trouble and we hit the chinlock. That’s eventually broken up and Matt sends him face first into the corner over and over.

They head outside where Finlay is sent into the barricade, which draws out Hornswoggle from under the ring. The distraction lets Finlay run Matt over and we take a break. Back with Finlay pulling him down by the hair and going back to the chinlock. With that broken up, Finlay’s Vader Bomb hits raised boot but Finlay goes after the knee. Some kicks to the knee set up a leglock, followed by a kneeling half crab.

Hardy makes the rope so Finlay takes him outside and drops him knee first onto the steps. Back in and Finlay rips the knee brace off and sits on the leg again. Finlay grabs the leg but gets caught with an enziguri to start the comeback. The Side Effect gives Matt two and he manages the middle rope elbow to the back. Hornswoggle offers a distraction but Matt shrugs off the Shillelagh shot and hits the Twist of Fate for the pin.

Rating: B-. This got some serious time and it’s a good sign to see Matt pick up this kind of a win. Matt fought through an injury and interference to win clean. That’s the kind of a win that can help build someone up and it came over someone with enough credibility. It helps to have people like this who can eat up a lot of time and have a rather effective match and they did so here.

We look at Stephanie McMahon’s appearance on Raw, where she remembered her dad and swore vengeance for whoever blew him up.

Here are Teddy Long and Kristal for a chat in the ring. Long says he didn’t know what it meant to be happy before he met her. He has a question for her and proposes, but she starts crying and walks away without saying anything.

Chris Masters vs. Danny Shanley

We get a Masterlock highlight reel before the match, which is pretty much all of Masters’ career. Shanley can’t Irish whip him to start so Masters hits a hard clothesline. Masters snaps him throat first across the top and starts pulling on Shanley’s head. A slam plants Shanley again and we hit the neck crank. Masters switches up to the Masterlock for the easy win.

Rating: D. Yeah it was a squash and yeah it played to Masters’ strengths, but it was the same Masters that we have seen since he debuted. That’s why his career stalled: he looked great and had a good full nelson, but what else did he have? There was little more than a physique and eventually you need something more than that to have a successful career.

In Memory of Sherri Martel. How nice of them to get to this almost three fourths of the way through the show.

Teddy Long finds Kristal in the back and she’s still in tears. He apologizes and she puts the ring on to accept. Well that was anti-climatic.

We run down the Vengeance card.

We get a press conference from the lead investigator in the Vince McMahon case. They have found DNA from Vince, the limo driver and one more well known (and unnamed) personality. This apparently warranted a full press conference (minus press).

Michelle McCool…plays tennis? She gets to take her aggression out on tennis balls and wear these cute outfits (her words). Not their most subtle work here.

Ric Flair/Batista vs. MVP/Edge

Flair gets the big hometown entrance, which is rather well received, and Little Naitch gets to hold the ropes for him. Edge’s pyro leaves the arena a bit smoky to start so Flair chops him in the corner for lowering the air quality. JBL says you don’t want to wrestle someone in their hometown, showing that JBL has no idea how WWE works. Flair cranks on the arm so it’s off to Batista, who gets to run over MVP.

With MVP down, Flair comes in to drop the elbow for two and it’s right back to Batista. MVP kicks Batista in the face and gets plowed over for his efforts as we take a break. Back with Edge stomping on Batista and grabbing a waistlock. MVP’s crossface forearms get two but Batista catches him in the swinging Boss Man Slam. The tag brings in Flair (POP) and house is cleaned, only to have Edge come in with a quick spear to cut him down. Batista makes the save and it’s Flair getting stomped this time.

MVP grabs a seated abdominal stretch but Flair fights up and hits a chop. JBL: “That’s like getting hit with a frying pan.” How many times has he been hit with a frying pan? MVP kicks Flair in the head to cut him off and Edge comes back in to talk a lot of trash. A backdrop gets two as Batista is pacing on the apron. MVP misses a big running boot in the corner though and Flair goes for the leg, allowing the hot tag to Batista. Everything breaks down and Batista counters Edge’s spear into a spinebuster. The Batista Bomb finishes Edge off.

Rating: B. This was good and egads it was nice to not see the hometown star get crushed to end a show. Flair didn’t need to get the fall here because having him get to celebrate to end the show was more than enough. Batista gets some momentum before the title match and Flair gets to pose. That’s how this should have gone and it was a good match too.

Overall Rating: B. Rather strong show here, with the only thing close to bad being a Chris Masters squash. Other than that, it was a pair of good, long matches and a way to make me want to see both Vengeance and Monday’s big show. I liked this one a lot and it’s one of the better TV shows WWE has had in a long time. Nice job.

 

 

 

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