Smackdown – July 20, 2007

Date: July 20, 2007
Location: Entertainment Center, Laredo, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the go home show for the Great American Bash and the two big matches are set. We’ll be seeing Batista vs. Great Khali plus Edge defending the World Title against Kane. Before we get there though, Edge has some kind of a major announcement, which does not exactly bode well. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Teddy Long is in the ring with a big announcement: Edge is injured and has to vacate the World Title. Cue Edge, who asks for some appropriate lighting. Edge talks about how no one believed he could get here but he came back for the fans and to prove it to himself. Last week, Kane attacked him without provocation, because Kane knew he couldn’t win on his own at the Great American Bash.

Edge tore his pectoral muscle and is going to be out of action for four months. He has even prepared a tribute video for our enjoyment, which says he’s simply the best. Long thinks this is a bit too much drama but Edge can come back, win some matches, and get another title shot.

As for tonight though, we’ll be having a twenty man battle royal to crown a new World Champion. Edge can’t hand the title over because he can’t believe we’re moving on so quickly. Long doesn’t really want to hear it but Edge promises to get the title back. He hands the belt over and walks away, looking like he’s about to cry. That’s a pretty big shakeup but the battle royal to crown a new champion taking place so fast is a nice surprise.

Victoria vs. Torrie Wilson

Victoria powers her into the corner and hammers away to start but Torrie actually takes things to the floor. The brawl is on with Torrie unloading before taking it back inside for a small package. Victoria kicks her in the face and grabs a chinlock before sending Torrie head first into the mat. The swinging neckbreaker gives Torrie two but Victoria is right back with the Widow’s Peak for the pin.

Rating: C-. Torrie was working hard here and looked a lot more comfortable in the ring, but ultimately this match is a good example of what’s wrong with the women’s division without a title. There’s nothing to these matches other than personal issues, and almost all of those tend to be based on how one of the women looks. That’s not going to get you very far and it certainly hasn’t with this, making these matches little more than filler.

Rey Mysterio is coming back.

We look back at Edge vacating the title.

Smackdown World Title: Battle Royal

Mark Henry, Chris Masters, Eugene, Great Khali, Batista, Finlay, Deuce, Domino, MVP, Matt Hardy, Brian Major, Brett Major, Jamie Noble, Chavo Guerrero, Funaki, Jimmy Wang Yang, Dave Taylor, Shannon Moore, Kane, Kenny Dykstra

For the vacant title and only a handful get entrances. The bell rings to start said entrances, with Yang thinking the match was starting and kicking Taylor before realizing he jumped the gun. It’s a big brawl to start and Henry tosses one Major at another to get rid of both. Moore and Funaki are out as well and we take a break. Back with Khali and Henry knocking people down (not out) and the staredown is on…until everyone else jumps Henry to get rid of him.

A bunch of people hit other people with Khali shrugging off anyone who gets in a few shots. Batista tosses Deuce, Domino and Taylor but turns around to face off with Kane. Noble goes after both of them and is tossed with ease, followed by Eugene getting the same treatment to get us down to ten. We take another break and come back again with Dykstra being tossed out.

MVP misses his running boot in the corner and gets tossed by Hardy. The Masterlock has Yang in trouble but Chavo makes the save for no logical reason. Yang saves Chavo as well and the two of them get rid of Masters. Chavo goes after Yang and gets eliminated as a result, leaving us with Hardy, Yang, Kane, Batista, Khali and Finlay. Yang is sat on the apron, allowing Hornswoggle to pop up and get rid of him.

Khali kicks Hardy out and we’re down to four. Finlay is knocked outside (not eliminated), leaving Khali to beat on Kane and Batista. Now it’s Finlay coming back in with the shillelagh but Kane grabs him by the throat. Batista breaks that up with a spear and gets rid of Finlay, leaving us with three. Batista goes after Kane on the ropes but Khali tosses both of them for the win and the title.

Rating: C. It’s a very long battle royal but something with stakes like this should be getting the extra time. Khali winning the title is a good way to go as he is the ultimate monster to slay. You can pick someone to do that and get a good story out of it (ok it’s going to be Batista) so this is about as logical of a choice as they had given the circumstances.

Post match Khali is presented with the title, which he holds upside down.

Post break, Khali and Runjin Singh talks about the celebrations going on around the world. The days of Indians being labeled as quicky mart owners and cab drivers and doctors is over. Khali is everyone’s champion.

Vickie Guerrero and Teddy Long realize Great Khali needs a challenger at the Great American Bash. The solution: Kane vs. Batista in a #1 contenders match later tonight.

Raw Rebound.

Matt Hardy vs. Kenny Dykstra

Both of them are banged up from the battle royal. Hardy rolls him up for an early two as we see MVP watching. A headlock takeover keeps Dykstra in trouble and a sunset flip gives Hardy two as commentary goes at it over MVP’s bragging. Dykstra manages to snap the throat across the top rope, setting up a slingshot elbow back inside.

Back to back clotheslines get two but Hardy fights out of a sleeper in a hurry. Dykstra is right back up with a chinlock so Hardy has to escape again, this time scoring with a clothesline. The middle rope elbow to the back of the neck sets up the Twist of Fate to give Hardy the pin.

Rating: C. This wasn’t quite up to the levels that Hardy has been hitting as of late, but he’s going into his US Title match on a roll and that’s a great thing. It never ceases to amaze me how WWE knows how to do something like this but continues to screw it up so often. Hardy has won a lot of matches and is ready for a title match. Why is that so hard to do?

Chuck Palumbo really likes motorcycles.

Jesse and Festus want to be on magazine covers.

MVP goes on a rant about being better than anyone and everyone around here, including Matt Hardy.

Great American Bash rundown.

Kane vs. Batista

The winner gets the shot at Great Khali on Sunday. They start slowly until Batista shoulders him down for an early two. Kane takes him into the corner for the uppercut and a slam evens the near fall score. The chinlock doesn’t do much on Batista, who powers out without too much trouble. Batista’s bodyscissors is broken in a hurry as well so Kane hits a hard clothesline. A big boot puts Batista outside and we take a break.

Back with Kane hammering away in the corner and having to escape the Batista Bomb attempt. Kane’s top rope clothesline misses though and Batista is back with the spinebuster. The spear is cut off and it’s a chokeslam for two on Batista. They head outside again, with Batista sending him into the steps. Back in and Batista hits a top rope shoulder….and here is Khali to jump Batista, which will be called a double DQ/no contest, because rules don’t mean much in comparison to the power of the WWE script.

Rating: C+. Not a bad power match, but you could probably guess how the ending was going to go. They have three people for two matches so the triple threat is the only thing they can do, outside of moving someone else into the main event scene. It was starting to pick up near the end, but they needed to get to the ending so I can’t get that annoyed.

Teddy Long comes out to make the triple threat title match to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. They did what they could here as the Edge injury turned everything upside down. All things considered, this could have been far worse and it was nice to see them getting it as right as they did. The wrestling was the usual middle of the road stuff, but it was certainly historic with the new champion. Not a great show, but it put out some fires in efficient enough fashion.



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