Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown
From: Uncasville, CT
Smackdown General Manager, Stephanie McMahon makes her way down to the ring to start the program with a promo. Stephanie welcomes everyone to Smackdown and mentions that Lesnar is exclusive to Smackdown now. The number one contender match on RAW means nothing as a result. Stephanie notes that the question remains who will be the number one contender and we will find out tonight. She has asked everyone to be ready for a match. There will be a single elimination match to determine who becomes the number one contender and it starts right now.
Opening Contest: Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero: Edge arm drags Guerrero several times, but Guerrero delivers a back suplex and stomps on Edge. Guerrero elbow strikes Edge, but Edge breaks free of a suplex and hits a flapjack. Edge hits a face buster for a two count and Guerrero wants to shake hands. Edge responds with a clothesline. Guerrero hides behind the referee before getting a few strikes in to gain control of the match. Guerrero stomps on Edge in the corner followed by a strike to drop Edge. Guerrero uppercuts Edge and maintains the advantage with strikes. Guerrero uppercuts Edge in the corner followed by a brainbuster for a two count. Guerrero digs his arm into Edge’s shoulder to keep an arm bar locked in. Guerrero dropkicks Edge on the knee and delivers a few stomps on the mat. Guerrero tries to lay Edge over the top rope, but Edge counters with a suplex over the top to the floor. Edge climbs to the top rope leaping off to hit a crossbody to the floor. Guerrero stops Edge on the top rope looking for a superplex and hits it. Guerrero makes the cover, but Edge kicks out at two. Guerrero delivers several elbow strikes, but Edge drops Guerrero to the mat gut first. Edge powerbombs Guerrero and both men are laid out.
They struggle to their feet and Edge hammers away on Guerrero. Edge backdrops Guerrero followed by a clothesline. Edge yanks Guerrero down from behind for a two count. Guerrero avoids a back suplex, but Edge hits it on a second attempt. Edge heads to the top rope hitting a missile dropkick. Edge spears Guerrero in the corner. Guerrero drops Edge over the top rope. Guerrero has grabbed two chairs. Edge has a chair and the referee stops Edge from using it. Guerrero has the other chair and counters a spear by putting the chair in the way. Edge has been laid out. Guerrero hits the frog splash off the top for the win. (**1/2. A solid match to start the show and it felt like a building block to their overall feud. I liked the finish as Guerrero outsmarts Edge to win in the tournament. Edge might have been seen as a favorite to win the tournament considering his push, so I like a little upset here.) After the match, Guerrero taunts a laid out Edge.
Backstage, Matt Hardy stops Stephanie McMahon and says the fans love him. Matt thinks he’s next to wrestle Eddie Guerrero, but that’s not the case. Stephanie reveals that Rikishi is next to fight Eddie Guerrero. Matt is ready for a match and does some jumping jacks.
Second Contest: John Cena vs. Rev. D-Von: D-Von tosses his jacket at Cena, but Cena comes back with a hip toss and a bulldog. Cena misses a splash in the corner and D-Von hits a neckbreaker. D-Von beats on Cena with strikes and a kick to the midsection. D-Von rams Cena face first into the corner. D-Von throat thrusts Cena and hits a snap suplex. D-Von comes off the ropes to deliver an elbow drop for a two count. Cena fires back with strikes to stagger D-Von. D-Von plants Cena with a powerslam for a near fall. D-Von stops Cena with a jawbreaker and continues with strikes to the back. D-Von tries for a slam, but Cena counters hitting a fisherman suplex neckbreaker. Cena forearms D-Von for a two count. Cena atomic drops D-Von but is met with a spinning elbow strike. D-Von misses a diving headbutt off the top and Cena nearly wins with a rollup. Cena is met with an atomic drop out of the corner. D-Von plants Cena with a lifting reverse DDT to win the match cleanly. (*1/4. Well, Cena losing this cleanly is not a good sign for him. Cena worked rather sloppy and Tazz noted Cena doing a rollup incorrectly. It’s probably the right decision to have Cena lose since he’s doing nothing and his character is really bland.) After the match, Batista arrives and clotheslines D-Von. Batista hits a sit down powerbomb to leave D-Von laying.
Third Contest: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Rico: Rico tries to slam Mysterio, but Mysterio lands on his feet. Mysterio backdrops Rico to the floor and Rico is rolled into the ring. Mysterio leaps off of Rico’s back to take Billy and Chuck out with a dive on the floor. The referee has thrown them out from ringside. Rico drives Mysterio down with a back suplex. Mysterio kicks Rico and hits a spinning head scissors. Rico tries for a backbreaker, but Mysterio avoids it. Rico kicks Mysterio in the back and connects with a slam. Rico sends Mysterio hard into the corner and takes Mysterio over with a snap suplex. Rico continues with suplexs and a delayed sit out vertical suplex for a two count. Rico continues with strikes, but Mysterio fights back. Rico drops Mysterio with a mule kick. Rico misses a clothesline and hits a nice powerslam. Rico misses a top rope moonsault. Mysterio dropkicks Rico followed by a wheelbarrow bulldog. Rey head scissors Rico into the ring post shoulder first. Rey hits a springboard moonsault for a two count. Rico plants Rey with a backbreaker. Rico misses a spin kick and Rey dropkicks Rico over the middle rope. Rey hits the 619! Rey goes to the apron to hit the West Coast Pop for the win. (***. That was a lot better than I was expecting. Rico did a really good job in there and showcased some great offense against Rey. He’s got to be the best wrestling stylist in WWE history. A fun match.)
Backstage, Hardcore Holly is telling Stephanie McMahon that he should be in the title tournament series. Dawn Marie tells Stephanie that her phone call is ready. Stephanie walks into her room. Holly asks Marie what phone call is more important than him and doesn’t think there’s any phone call more important than him before walking off.
Backstage, Stephanie assures the person on the phone that she would never treat them how they were treated on RAW. Stephanie says that Dawn can bring the contract to the wrestler and sign them. Matt Hardy entered the room and hung up the phone because he wants a shot in the title tournament. Stephanie is livid and gives Matt Hardy a non-title match against Brock Lesnar. Hardy loves it.
Backstage, Marc Lloyd is with Rikishi for a promo. Rikishi has some unfinished business with Brock Lesnar and has been thinking about pinning Lesnar. Eddie Guerrero enters the scene and laughs at Rikishi. Guerrero thinks that Rikishi’s diaper is too tight cutting blood circulation. Guerrero suggests Rikishi pull his head out of his ass. Rikishi asks Guerrero to say “back that ass up” in Spanish before walking off.
Fourth Contest: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rikishi: Rikishi shoves Guerrero away to start the match. Rikishi shoulder blocks Guerrero followed by a clothesline in the corner. Rikishi tries for the stink face, but Guerrero avoids it. Guerrero dropkicks Rikishi on the knee and delivers a few stomps to the knee. Guerrero slingshots over the top to splash Rikishi’s knee over the apron. Guerrero sends Rikishi into the ring steps knee first. Guerrero twists Rikishi’s leg for a moment, but doesn’t get a submission. Rikishi kicks Guerrero away, but Guerrero keeps control. Guerrero kicks Rikishi on the knee several times followed by right hands in the corner. Guerrero tries for a sunset flip and barely avoids a sit down splash. Guerrero tries for a cover, but Rikishi kicks out at two. Guerrero continues to work over the left knee of Rikishi. Rikishi chops free but struggles to get up. Guerrero misses a splash and Rikishi hits a spinebuster. Rikishi waits in the corner to hit a running back splash in the corner. Rikishi savant kicks Guerrero and wins the match cleanly. After the match, Chris Benoit attacks Rikishi hitting a German suplex. Guerrero gets up and helps double team Rikishi. Guerrero goes to the top rope and hits a frog splash on Rikishi’s back. Benoit locks in the Crossface while Guerrero stomps on Rikishi. Edge slides into the ring to make the save causing the heels to bail. (*1/2. I’m shocked by the clean finish for Rikishi. I’, baffled by the push for Rikishi on Smackdown. The match was boring with the focus on Rikishi’s knee. I would not have had Guerrero lose clean here to Rikishi.)
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon confronts Chris Benoit. Stephanie gives Benoit a match tonight against Rikishi. Benoit will have a chance to avenge his loss at SummerSlam and take his anger out.
Fifth Contest: Tajiri vs. Shannon Moore: Tajiri starts off with a kick to the midsection, but Moore takes Tajiri over with a snapmare and an arm drag. Moore hits a spinning heel kick for a two count. Tajiri drops Moore chest first over the top rope and delivers a clothesline. Tajiri stomps on Moore and delivers a kick to the back. Tajiri controls Moore on the mat with a sleeper hold. Moore elbows free and is met with a superkick to the face. Tajiri crotches Moore on the top rope and delivers a few stomps to the head. Tajiri dropkicks Moore and gets a two count. Tajiri continues to beat on Moore with a kick to the chest. Tajiri works over Moore with strikes to the neck. Tajiri locks in a cobra clutch, but Moore doesn’t give in. Tajiri chokes Moore over the middle rope. Tajiri slams Moore followed by a knee drop for a two count. Tajiri keeps Moore on the mat with a sleeper. Moore chops Tajiri a few times. Moore avoids a reverse DDT and hits a back elbow. Moore comes off the ropes to hit a flipping neckbreaker for a two count. Moore is dumped to the apron and yanks Tajiri down. Moore hits a head scissors off the top, but it was sloppy. Moore gets a two count on a cover attempt. Tajiri tries for a handspring back elbow, but Moore counters. Tajiri plants Moore with a bridging German suplex for a near fall. Moore is tripped by Noble on the floor and Hurricane clotheslines Noble. Tajiri dropkicks Hurricane off the apron. Moore ducks a kick and counters a German suplex with a rollup for the win. (*1/2. It wasn’t as strong of a performance as Moore has had in recent weeks. Moore was a little sloppy and the finish is just repetitive from the other week against Noble. Moore has to be the number one contender to the Cruiserweight Championship at this point.)
Sixth Contest: Rikishi vs. Chris Benoit: Rikishi starts off with right hands, but Benoit stops Rikishi with an elbow strike. Benoit works over Rikishi in the corner with strikes. Rikishi plants Benoit with a Samoan Drop. Rikishi is selling his left shoulder. Benoit locks in the Crossface, but Rikishi manages to reach the ropes. Benoit locks in the Crossface again in the middle of the ring and Rikishi has to tap out. (1/2*. I like the ruthless aggression shown by Benoit. Rikishi only lost because it’s an injury angle, which still protects Rikishi. I need to figure out the obsession with Rikishi’s push.)
Backstage, Marc Lloyd is with Kurt Angle asking if Angle is concerned about not being involved in the tournament. Angle apologizes to Snowhite and the Seven Dwarfs for beating Rey Mysterio. Lloyd mentions that Angle almost lost to Rey several times, but is told to shut up. Angle reveals that he’s wrestling Benoit tonight to determine who wrestles Lesnar for the Smackdown Heavyweight Championship. Angle says that Lesnar may be the youngest champion, but he’s not the best.
Backstage, Funaki is outside Brock Lesnar’s locker room and stops Paul Heyman. Funaki wants to get an interview with Lesnar. Heyman asks Funaki that he wants to bother Lesnar. Funaki thinks twice about it and decides against interviewing Lesnar. Matt Hardy enters the scene and tells Heyman that tonight is a new era in WWE. Hardy says it’s the era of Matt Hardy. Hardy says its Mattattiude and walks off. Heyman says that Matt Hardy has a death wish tonight.
Seventh Contest: WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Matt Hardy in a non-title match: Lesnar knocks Hardy off the middle rope and stomps Hardy on the floor. Lesnar rams Hardy back first into the ring post. Lesnar rams Hardy hard back first into the corner. Hardy knee lifts Lesnar in the corner and delivers a few strikes. Lesnar blocks a clothesline and leg sweeps Hardy to the mat. Lesnar decks Hardy with a short arm clothesline. Lesnar delivers another short arm clothesline and slaps Hardy on the mat a few times. Hardy takes Lesnar down with a rollup for a two count. Lesnar tosses Hardy with an overhead suplex. Hardy refuses to give in. Lesnar powerslams Hardy and casually pushes his boot into Hardy’s face. Hardy dumps Lesnar over the top to the floor and leaps off the top looking for a crossbody, but Lesnar catches Hardy. Hardy sends Lesnar into the post and dropkicks Lesnar in the corner. Hardy tries for the Twist of Fate, but Lesnar counters with the F5 for the win. (**. I enjoyed this, but it made Lesnar look like a babyface. Hardy has been annoying as hell and the storyline on the episode would make people cheer Lesnar for taking out Hardy. Hardy bumped around well for Lesnar and I enjoyed the segment overall.) After the match, Lesnar returns to the ring and powerbombs Hardy a couple of times.
Backstage, Dawn Marie gives Stephanie McMahon a signed contract. Stephanie reveals the main event tonight is now a triple threat match. Stephanie wants Eric Bischoff to watch one of his RAW wrestlers compete in the main event. Dawn gets on the phone to make sure Bischoff is watching.
Stephanie McMahon announces the third man as being… the Undertaker!
Main Event: Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker vs. Chris Benoit in a number one contenders match: Angle and Benoit double team Taker in the corner with strikes. Taker boots Benoit and clotheslines Angle. Taker splashes Angle and Benoit in opposite corners. Taker backdrops Angle and side slams Benoit. Angle avoids a big boot and Taker crotches himself over the top rope. Benoit continues with boots and strikes along with Angle in the corner. Taker is driven down with a double back suplex and is clotheslined to the floor. Angle takes Benoit down looking for the ankle lock, but Benoit wiggles free. Angle tosses Benoit with a few German suplexs. Benoit takes Angle over with a few German suplexs. Angle elbows free and delivers a few German suplexs of his own. Angle tries for the ankle lock, but Benoit reaches the ropes. Angle hammers away on Benoit to maintain control of the contest. Benoit tosses Angle over head and Angle landed dangerously. Taker breaks up the cover attempt. Taker works over Benoit with strikes in the corner and drops Benoit over the top turnbuckle. Taker big boots Benoit and knocks Angle off the apron. Taker tries for the Last Ride, but Angle chop blocks Taker. Angle grabs a chair from the outside and distracts the referee.
Benoit has gotten a chair and whacks Taker over the head with it. Benoit knocks Angle off the apron and almost wins, but Angle pulls Benoit out. Angle tosses Benoit with an overhead belly to belly. Taker tosses Angle to the floor. Benoit hits a German suplex, but Taker elbows free and plants Benoit with a chokeslam! Taker tries for the cover, but Angle locks in the ankle lock. Taker rolls free and clotheslines Angle to the floor. Benoit locks in the Crossface on Taker. Angle puts the ankle lock on Taker, but Taker doesn’t submit to either hold. Angle lets go and beats on Benoit. Angle tries for the Angle Slam, but Benoit counters with the Crossface. Angle rolls through and locks in the ankle lock. Benoit thought about tapping out and almost reached the ropes. Taker almost pins Angle with a rollup. Angle plants Taker with the Angle Slam. Benoit tosses Angle over the top to the floor. Taker kicks Benoit hitting the Last Ride! Taker covers Benoit and wins the match clean to become the number one contender. (***. Honestly, Taker is probably the least of the three that I want to see wrestle Lesnar. Benoit and Angle would likely have incredible matches against Lesnar. Taker is probably the better draw, though. The action here was good and I can see a match between Benoit and Angle taking place coming out of this since they essentially cost each other the victory. Taker on SD is a major addition for the brand. Taker should have some great matches with the loaded talent.)
I don’t normally enjoy tournament themed shows, but there was enough stuff here that wasn’t focused on the tournament that helped the show quite a bit. There was some quality action here and they held off on focusing too much promo. Smackdown is a good show if you prefer in-ring stuff. I’ll say a thumbs up this week for Smackdown.
Thanks for reading.