Ryan Mulligan's Smackdown TV report for August 15



WWE Friday Night SmackDown! Report 8/15/08
Taped 8/12/08 in Norfolk, Virginia.

By Ryan Mulligan
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Line of the night, courtesy of Edge: "You know I'm a big cuddler."

Last week on "SmackDown," Edge inched closer to insanity by physically
and mentally attacking the members of his own family, culminating in a
moment of divine self-realization in which he severed the bond between
himself and Vickie Guerrero by promising to take her straight to hell
with him. This week on "SmackDown," Edge makes final preparations for
Hell in a Cell which include taking Vickie on the world's most
treacherous wheelchair-ride, Ezekiel says more with less and the world
is redefined when Vladimir Kozlov and Festus engage in a battle for
the ages.

U.S. Heavyweight Champion Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy
These two had quite the match last week, but the dastardly MVP
derailed Hardy's chances of obtaining the pin-fall victory by
delivering a timely Driveby kick to his dome. This week, the ante's
been upped, as Shelton's title, in addition to pride, is on the line.
Hardy opens up with consecutive pinning-combinations, which ends when
Shelton goes for a fluke Pay Dirt that misses, and Hardy goes for a
premature Twist of Fate, which finds Shelton retreating to the safety
of the ringside area. Back inside, Shelton takes control with fists of
fury and applies a headlock of moderate intensity. Many a dispute
could be settled if the best pure athlete in sports entertainment met
the best pure striker in sports entertainment. In a clever nod to last
week's match, Hardy goes for the descending dropkick in the corner,
but Shelton catches him in powerslam-position just like he did last
week. However, this time Hardy slides out of that and hits a mule kick
followed by the descending dropkick for two. At this point, we get
commercials.

We're back, and Hardy's applying a headscissors of doubtful finality.
Once back on their feet, Shelton catches Hardy's leg on a
kick-attempt, powers him up and powerbombs him into the turnbuckles!
Shelton then unleashes a Samoan Drop, followed by a momentum-fueled
spinning heel kick, but Hardy won't stay down. Hardy goes back on the
offensive following a jawjacker. He trips going up for the Whisper in
the Wind, but still manages to deliver it from the second turnbuckle.
He goes for the Twist of Fate again, but this time Shelton counters it
into a nasty backbreaker for two. A mid air-collision leads to a
double-knockout spot. Hardy winds up on the apron, so Shelton dives
over the top to the floor attempting a sunset-flip powerbomb (!), but
Hardy hurrancanranas Shelton on the floor. They botch something in the
corner, and Hardy goes up for the Swanton. Alas, the cowardly MVP ONCE
AGAIN attacks Hardy from behind, shoving him off the top and drawing
the DQ. He goes for the Driveby again, but this time Hardy moves, and
MVP's boot is introduced to Shelton's skull. Hardy then goes nuts with
a Twist of Fate/Swanton combination on MVP, followed by a Swanton on
Shelton, all while the crowd goes crazy. This match was every bit as
awesome as last week's, and I demand a third match in the near-future.
One with a clean-finish too.
Winner: Jeff Hardy

In her office, Vickie is getting her freakout-on when she's
interrupted by Victoria of all people. Victoria, perhaps
misunderstanding the gravity of the situation, tries to bond with
Vickie by asking, "How's your summer?" Vickie responds by nervously
asking if she's seen Edge or the Undertaker around. Victoria says she
has not, but Vickie won't let her leave, as she feels they're both in
the arena tonight.

Divas Champion Michelle McCool and Maria vs. Natalya and Maryse
Maria and Maryse start us off. Maryse trips her up and goes up top to
celebrate, but when she comes back down and Maria threatens her with
bodily harm, she tags out to Natalya. Maria takes her down with a
bulldog-takeover, but Natalya is able to take control following a
side-slam. A snap suplex and clothesline from Natalya follow, but
Maria fights out of the corner and tags in the champ. Michelle takes
over with a clothesline, dropkick and a flying neckbreaker on Natalya.
She hits the Wings of Love, but Maryse pulls her out of the ring on
the cover. Michelle responds to that by owning Maryse's face outside
the ring. Back inside, she goes for a monkey flip, but again has to
contend with pesky Maryse. However, this time it costs her, as she
stops to clothesline her off the apron and is surprised by a
pinning-combination from Natalya that somehow ends the match. I
understand the need to elevate Natalya, but that finish was a failure.
Michelle's persona dictates that you should have to beat her
decisively and convincingly.
Winners: Natalya and Maryse

THE Brian Kendrick (with Ezekiel Jackson) vs. Scotty Goldman
Before the match, THE Brian Kendrick asks Ezekiel if there's anyone
who brings more to the table than THE Brian Kendrick, to which Ezekiel
responds, "Not a one." THE Brian Kendrick then informs us that's 100%
Ziek. Scotty Goldman is Colt Cabana with an inferior name. Shades of
Evan Bourne. He cuts a whacky pre-taped promo prior to his WWE
television debut that solidifies the notion that good times and great
memories are on the horizon. Unfortunately, those won't start tonight
for Goldman. THE Brian Kendrick hits a nasty leg lariat, followed by a
kick to the face and a Camel Clutch in the early-going. Goldman is
eventually able to fight back following a butt-butt. It's too bad
Festus has implemented the Flying Asshole into his arsenal. He goes to
powerbomb THE Brian Kendrick, but you can't powerbomb THE Brian
Kendrick, and THE Brian Kendrick slips out of it and connects with the
Kendrick, which scores him the victory. After the ordeal, Ezekiel
further harms Goldman with a variation of the POUNCE~! THE Brian
Kendrick's star continues to rise.
Winner: THE Brian Kendrick

Eve catches up with Triple H, and we get footage of last week's
heinous assault from the Great Khali that ended with the Game's brains
emanating from his orifices as a result of the Vice Grip. Eve asks him
if he's re-applied his brains. Triple Hach says that last week Khali
made a statement, but that at "SummerSlam" he's going to make his own
statement. At this point, he's interrupted by Kenny Dykstra (?), who
tells him that he has to go through him first. For some reason, I
don't see that being a problem.

Non-Title Match: WWE Champion Triple H vs. Kenny Dykstra
Khali wanders out with Runjin Singh before the bout and cuts a promo
in Khalese, which even in translated form is far less thrilling than
the promo he cut on the phone that one time. I can't wait for comedic,
babyface-Khali. Imagine a segment where he hits on Maryse. In my head
he's in a tuxedo and holding flowers too. Singh joins us for
commentary, but since the match isn't going very long, he doesn't get
to say too much. Meanwhile, Khali stands. Kenny boldly starts out
strong with a short-arm clothesline, but HHH retorts with a
facebuster, a spinebuster and a Pedigree to win the grueling contest.
HHH rolls outside, grabs Singh and tosses him back inside. He gestures
menacingly that he's about to assault Singh, and Khali
ever-so-gradually enters the ring. After a dreadful back and forth
exchange, Triple H clotheslines Khali over the top to the floor.
Winner: Triple H

The Big Show vs. Ryan Braddock
For those keeping score at home, this makes three squashes in a row.
Spoilers. Show tosses Braddock over the top and then runs through him
back inside. A Cobra Clutch throw is followed by the punch of
outstanding brutality, which is somehow enough to end the match. I
thought Show was feuding with Umaga. Don't tell me we're not getting
closure on that one either. The Deuce 'n Domino debacle was bad
enough, but I draw the line here.
Winner: The Big Show

Eve walks in on MVP in his dressing room, but MVP asks and answers the
questions around here, so he sends her away. He's going to knock Hardy
out with the Driveby and prove once and for all that he's better than
him. They could've brought up at least once by now that MVP and Matt
Hardy had an epic feud last year.

Victoria, in the role of protector, agrees to take Vickie away from
danger and wheels her out of her office. I could think of some better
people to use as protection from Edge. As a hint: push-kick.

We get another in a series chronicling the tumultuous life of R.
Truth. The video takes an inspirational tone, as Truth informs us
that, "You gotta dream your future before you live your future." When
he re-emerges this time, he'll be stronger. These videos are great and
all, but how about one where he just goes up to people on the street
and asks, "What's up???" to which they respond "What's up???" for ten
minutes.

Victoria wheels Vickie to her limo, but crazy-haired Edge is waiting
inside! Victoria runs away like any sensible being would. Edge
literally screams Vickie out of her wheelchair. He threatens to take
her to hell tonight, which apparently includes spinning her in her
wheelchair and clicking his heels together. It would've been better if
she got into the limo, and Taker was in the driver's seat and asked,
"Where to, Vickie???" and then she ran away and straight into the arms
of crazy-haired Edge.

Vladimir Kozlov vs. Festus (with Jesse)
BISCUITS AND GRAVY!!! I've come to grips with the fact that whoever I
was before this match is not the man I'll be when it's over. I should
note that they've plugged this match three times throughout the night,
so they clearly understand the people need to see it. Festus freaks at
the bell and absolutely brutalizes Kozlov, sending him backwards into
the corner, where he connects with the world's most dangerous
bear-paw. Kozlov bails, but Festus follows him right out. The two then
engage in an epic slugfest on the floor, which ends when Kozlov rams
Festus into the steel-steps. Back inside, Kozlov applies a bear-hug,
which he turns into a belly-to-belly throw. Festus is back in the grip
of Kozlov on the mat, but the audience and the world at large rally
him back to his feet. Festus decks him in the face with another
monstrous bear-paw. Kozlov hits the ropes and leaps at Festus, but
gets caught and thrown with a fall away-slam! Clothesline by Festus!
Punches from the mount! Flying Biscuit! It only gets one! Festus runs
into a boot in the corner, and Kozlov kicks him in the face. Festus
fights right back with a Flying Asshole! Festus hits the ropes, but
makes the mistake of leaving his feet. As a result, Kozlov headbutts
him out of mid-air and PINS FESTUS~! That was the most intense match
I've seen in ages. I demand a re-match that goes ten minutes longer.
This can't be the end. Humanity demands more.
Winner: Vladimir Kozlov

We get a rather good video building the Batista vs. Cena match for
"SummerSlam." So good, in fact, that I'd imagine it airs again before
their match on the ppv. This is followed by JR and The Tazz running
down the card for said ppv.

Elsewhere, the traumatic wheelchair ride of dramatic uncertainty and
constant shrieking continues, with Edge informing Vickie that he's
taking her to the ring!

We get an HBK-retirement tease video. We'll miss you, Shawn.

Edge wheels out crying-Vickie, who's a far cry from "EXCUSE
ME~!"-Vickie, let me tell you. Edge callously dumps Vickie out of her
wheelchair in the aisle-way. Edge sits down next to her and says it
hasn't all been bad between them. He invites her and us to take a trip
down memory lane, in the form of a video recapping ALL of the events
since the trapezoid incident in the hotel. It's yet another video
that's so good I'd assume it'll air on the ppv. Edge lies down next to
Vickie, as the segment gets even more bizarre. He says he wants Vickie
to apologize to Taker. I guess because Edge is going to kill him. It's
hard to understand crazy people. He forces her to say she's sorry and
she eventually does, in quite hysterical fashion. Edge promises that
Taker will burn in hell with him. He calls out Taker, but no dice.
He's going to show him the purest form of hell he's ever been in. How
many hell dimensions has Taker visited? The show concludes with Edge's
pronouncement, "'Edge vs. Undertaker: Till Death Do Us Part.'"

This week's show worked well in building all three "SmackDown" matches
for "SummerSlam," but was not as strong as recent editions. Besides
Shelton/Hardy and Festus/Kozlov, which were both awesome, there were a
lot of squash matches and not much else to be excited about.
Furthermore, as amazing as Edge continues to be in his role, the final
segment this week felt pretty flat. I wouldn't mind seeing a match
main event the show. Thanks for reading.

{plug} 

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