Early look at Smackdown tonight

WWE Friday Night Smackdown Recap
by: Michael C. Grimaldi from carltonprescott.com
This week, WWE Smackdown comes to us from the legendary Norfolk Scope
Arena in Norfolk, VA.  The Scope has been home to many great wrestling
events over the years, including Starrcade 1988 as well as the DX
Invasion of WCW back in 1998.  Let's get to the show and my thoughts
Segment 1:
The show starts with a recap of the Edge/La Familia angle last week.  
Edge is truly the best the WWE has to offer right now, and that includes
Chris Jericho.  Both Canadians have been awesome, especially on the mic
over the past few months, but Edge has been just a little bit better.
Taz and JR are doing the announcing again this week.  If Foley does
leave as expected, with Striker doing a pretty good job on ECW, the
announcing tandems this week will probably be the "permanent" announcing
team ups for the near future.
Jeff Hardy vs. WWE United States Champion Shelton Benjamin-  I've never
been a huge fan of either of these guys, but at the same time I think
they both are talented enough to have very good matches.  The first half
of this match is very very good.  Hardy is as crisp as I've seen him in
a long time and Shelton has the right tone with his aggressiveness to
raise his game.  There were a few spots here that normally, are hit or
miss with these two guys but were pulled off flawlessly.  Best spot here
was Hardy going for his tip up dropkick in the corner and Shelton
catching him in the air, but Hardy spun around with a mule kick sending
Benjamin into the other corner, then hitting the fore mentioned tip up
dropkick (that needs a name).
Segment 2:
Hardy vs. Benjamin continued- This match just kept getting better.  I'd
like to point out something that often goes unnoticed right now.  Two
times in this match Shelton applied, what used to be termed "a rest
hold."  Once it was a rear chin lock and the other time a variation of a
Boston Crab, but he did them with so much intensity and torque, that
during both moves you never felt the desire to turn away or fast
forward.  Things like this are what really help guys have good matches,
especially on TV, where these holds are usually done to give the
announcers time to put other things over.  Another amazing spot was when
Hardy standing was on the apron and Benjamin jumped over the top rope
and over Hardy to the floor and was attempting a sunset powerbomb on the
floor, but Hardy reversed it into a rana.  Very sweet move.  Hardy also
hit the "Whisper in the Wind" but actually did it off the middle rope.  
Again, maybe Hardy really is getting it now and sometimes, when he feels
that he's not going to have the balance, he goes the safer route.  There
was a slight botch at the end when Benjamin went for a tip up in the
corner to evade the Charging Hardy, but on his way over (and I have no
idea what the plan here could have been), they collided.  Benjamin sold
it well though and they went right into the finish as Hardy went to the
top for the Swanton Bomb, but MVP ran out and pushed Hardy off for the
DQ.  Result:  Jeff Hardy defeats Shelton Benjamin by DQ.  After the
match, MVP came in and tried to hit his Shining Yakuza kick (they call
it "The Drive-By Kick") but Hardy ducked and MVP caught Shelton with
it.  Hardy then pounced to his feet and hit the Twist of Fate on MVP,
followed by a Sawnton for MVP and Shelton.  Really good match.  
Hopefully Hardy and MVP bring their A games to SummerSlam, if so, that
could be a really good opener.
Backstage Vickie was looking all paranoid, like a coke head at 2am
looking out their window when Victoria came in.  Nice to see Victoria
doing something, she really has been used terribly.  She can work and do
comedy, but she's not a cookie cutter diva so she doesn't get anywhere
the push she should.  Anyways, Vickie says that both Edge and Undertaker
are "here" and asks Victoria to stay with her.
Segment 3:
WWE Divas Champion Michelle McCool and Maria vs. Natalya and Maryse-  
Well, this wasn't too bad, but it was kept real short.  Maryse looks
amazing, but I have no idea if she can work, and we've yet to really see
her in a one on one match.  For some reason, I want Maryse to come out
in a beret and smoking a cigarette.  Yes, I know, this is kids
programming and that will never happen, but hey, I can dream.  Unlike
Mark Henry, I think they've actually made the Divas "championship"
(can't say "belt") smaller, because McCool must have a size -1 waist.  
Nothing much to the match, Natalya won with a double leg take down and
then positioned her body weight over McCool for the cradle like pin.
Segment 4:
THE Brian Kendrick w/ Eziekel Jackson vs. Scott Goldman (Colt Cabana)-  
THE Brian Kenrick comes out (his strut is awesome and I really like the
music) and got on the mic. He did his impression of a black comedian's
impression of a white guy.  He said he comes out every week and does
exactly what he says he's going to.  He posed the question, does any WWE
superstar bring more to the table than he does, and Eziekel chimed in,
"Not a one."  Cabana...er...Goldman was next out.  Yes, he had music and
a generic titan-tron video with his new name.  JR said they caught up
with Goldman for his thoughts on his WWE debut tonight, and here's what
he had to say: (they cut to the old school picture-in-picture with
Goldman's promo in the upper felt of the screen)
"Hey it's Scotty Goldman and I'm making my WWE debut right here, on
Friday Night Smackdown.  And right now I...am in a box (referring to the
box in the corner the promo is being shown)...I'm trapped in a bo...HEY
(points to the lower right part of the screen where the "live" footage
is shown)...there I am!  Wait...wait...two Scotty Goldman's in two
different places, at the same time...weird."
Very funny.  They are billing him from Deerfield, IL (his actual
hometown) and between using his real home town (a very Jewish suburb of
Chicago) and the last name "Goldman," I was half surprised his music was
Barry Horowitz old music (the "Hava Nagila" instrumental).  To the
match, it was way too short.  Scotty used a version of the "artful
dodger" early on, but was met with a really stiff leg lariat from THE
Brian.  Goldman's only other real offense was a big time butt-butt as
Kendrick came off the ropes.  Goldman when for a powerbomb by Kendrick
flipped out and tossed him face first into the middle turnbuckle.  From
there, he grabbed Goldman and hit The Kenrick (Sliced Bread #2) for the
win.  Afterwards, Big Zeke got in the ring to present The Brian with his
jacket and then ran over Goldman with a running shoulder tackle.  JR
continued to speculate what the relationship between The Kendrick and
Big Zeke really is.
Backstage Eve brought in WWE Champion Triple H for an interview.  After
showing the footage of Khali destroy HHH with the head vice from last
week, HHH said that last week Khali made at statement, but at
SummerSlam, he (HHH) is going to make a statement.  At this point, Kenny
Dykstra came in and said that HHH needs to worry about him tonight and
that he had a great opportunity.  HHH said he admires Kenny's "spirit"
(get it, Spirit Squad), but that Kenny picked the "Wrong day and the
wrong guy."
Segment 5:
Ross and Tazz welcomed us back and told us that OTHER than the Olympics,
that Smackdown was the most watched network show last Friday.  Sure, why
The Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh (or as I call him, Indian Dave Prazak)
came out and talked some jibberish.  Ranjin then translated for us and
said that HHH is great, but all his accomplishments mean nothing to
Khali.  He said HHH should get out with his accomplishments and his
health now, before Khali takes them from him at SummerSlam.  HHH music
hits and Khali goes to the outside and Singh joins JR and the Tazz for
WWE Champion Triple H vs. Kenny Dykstra-  HHH tears right through
Dykstra...even Goldman got more offense.  Just a statement match to lead
to a stare down between Khali and HHH.  HHH wins with the pedigree.  
Triple H then went outside to confront Khali but Indian DP got in his
way.  HHH threw IDP into the ring and held him, threatening to beat on
him till Khali got onto the apron.  HHH fired away at Khali with right
hands as Khali stepped into the ring.  He went for the pedigree but
Khali blocked.  Khali went for the head chop but HHH ducked and
clotheslined Khali back into the ropes and the over them.
Segment 6:
Big Show vs. Ryan Braddock (Brad "Jay" Bradley)-  Braddock had similar
generic music and generic Titan Tron video that his former Steel Domain
training partner, Goldman did.  Braddock had a vest and a backwards
baseball cap on.  I've always liked his look and as long as he's not
falling asleep on the ring apron, I think he's got talent.  Apparently
Scott Armstrong is now a Smackdown referee.  Braddock got a few right
hands in, but the Show tossed him out of the ring.  After throwing him
back in, Show hit his cobra clutch spinning slam thingie and then
debuted what I guess is his new finisher...a Right handed punch, for the
victory.  Refs came out to tend to Braddock has he sold it like he was
In recap, the Steel Domain boys didn't have very long showings, but they
were sold as more than just local guys doing jobs.  I hope they get a
chance to succeed, because they both deserve a shot, especially Mr.
Scotty Goldman.
MVP is shown in front of a locker packing up his things..  Eve came in
to interview him but MVP grabbed the mic way and she vanished.  Very
solid promo here.  MVP claimed that Jeff Hardy has had a bad year but it
will be nothing like when he beats him at SummerSlam and shows that he
is "Better than you (Hardy)."  Good promo, but Punk needs to sue MVP for
gimmick infringement.
Segment 7:
Victoria is leafing through the latest WWE magazine while Vickie
continues to freak out.  Vickie asks Victoria to help her get to her limo.
Another "R-Truth" vignette.  He's still making a difference.  Focused on
Killings working out making himself "stronger on the inside and out."
Victoria wheels Vickie to her limo, but Edge rolls down down the window
and says "Hi Vickie" and she screams as Victoria runs away (has anyone
ever come up with a term to replace the term "roll down" a window?  
There needs to be).  Edge says tonight they're going to have fun and he
makes Vickie get back into the wheelchair and wheels her off.  As he
wheels her off, he skips up into the air and clicks his heels.  I dunno
about that one...that just says, "I'm Goofy" not insane.
Segment 8:
Vladimir Kozlov vs. Festus w/ Jesse-  I gotta say, I'm not a big fan of
the Kozlov.  Some have been impressed, but be it in OVW or so far in
WWE, I am not one of them, with that said, this was a pretty good "big
man" match.  Festus actually dominated but never got more than a 1 count
on Kozlov.  Finish saw Festus hitting the ropes looking to tackle
Kozlov, but he got caught with the headbutt to the midsection and Kozlov
got the win.
Recap of RAW and the JR and Tazz ran down the SummerSlam card.
Edge continues to reckless wheel Vickie around backstage while Vickie
screams very annoyingly.  Edge has been great, but Vickie, is just
terrible.  Hopefully this ends Sunday. Edge says the "ride" end in the ring.
Segment 9:
Video of Shawn Michaels teasing his "announcement" at SummerSlam about
his career.
Edge is out wheeling Vickie to the ring.  When they get to ringside, he
dumps the chair and Vickie, over.  He then proceeds to grab the mic and
lay down on the floor next to Vickie, who is trying to squirt a few, but
doing a lousy job of it.  Edge writhes on the floor in anguish, going
from maniacal to really pissed off.  He's says they took a vow of "for
better and for worse" and shows a recap of the past month.  He makes
Vickie appologise to the Undertaker for what she's done to him (?) and
then as he straddles Vickie he says that they also took another vow, and
it's fitting for Hell in a Cell, "Edge vs. The Undertaker...to
death...do us part."
All in all a weird show.  With only 3 Smackdown matches at SummerSlam,
they actually seemed to focus more on newer talent that the established
ones.  Not a major complaint, as they also did hype the 3 matches.  
Shelton vs. Hardy was a real nice match, though every other match was
very one sided.  It will be interesting to see where the Edge/Vickie
story line goes after SummerSlam, but personally, as good as Edge has
been, I hope it ends completely, because I can't stand Vickie's terrible


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