Early Smackdown TV report for August 29

Update: 4:15pm EDT

WWE Friday Night Smackdown- The Early Report by: Michael C. Grimaldi http://www.carltonprescott.co


-The show opens with a wide shot of the arena as Jim Ross welcomes us, followed by the bell tolling and the Undertaker's music. Vickie, Chavo, Bam, Hawkins and Ryder are shown watching from backstage. Taker makes his way slowly to the ring. He has a mic with him and I guess because it would look awkward to carry a mic in your sleeve with a mic flag on it, his doesn't have one. He is out to address Vickie's attempt to get him to forgive her, but he says "'I'm not the forgiving type (I guess murdering your own parents will do that to ya)." He says he is coming for Vickie and he's coming for her soul and when he does, she will "burn...burn in hell." Taker takes his leave and while they show him walking to the back the cut to first Chavo and Bam sneaking out of Vickie's office and then Hawkins and Ryder do the same. When Vickie turns around and realises she's been left alone, she bolts for the door, but it's been locked...BREAK

-The same R-Truth Video from last week airs and Truth then makes his way to the ring while dancing for his Smackdown "debut." Kenny Dykstra is introduced as his opponent, and he has himself an official WWE issued mic. Kenny says he's done everything he can to get the company to care about him, but it hasn't worked. He says he's a young hot prospect and Truth is nothing but a convict. He says he's never been to jail, but maybe he should have and the company needs to focus on building the company around him, "Not people like you (R-Truth)...now that's the Truth."

-R-Truth vs Kenny Dykstra- Truth gets and early near fall after reversing a hip toss into a cradle. JR points out that Kenny is wearing some old school short boots (like the one's Roderick Strong wears). Kenny takes control for a minute or two but Truth quickly comes back with a series of clotheslines followed by a flying burrito with a few spins after he connects. He then sets up for the axe kick and hits it to get the victory. Not an extremely exciting debut. Killings could have shown a lot more but I guess this is the way WWE does debuts, fearing that if they make them go too long, they might get Braden Walker'd again (I think that needs to be added to the lexicon of wrestling. When a guy debuts and just totally shits the bed...He Braden Walker'd it).

-Michelle McCool is shown posing for some pictures backstage when Maryse comes in and tells her to enjoy the shoot as Divas Champion while she can. Michelle says that Maryse is definitely a Diva but not a Diva's Champion because she has what Maryse doesn't...talent. Woah there pretty waif thin lady. Did I miss the "Best of Michelle McCool" DVD? BREAK

-Michelle McCool and Maria vs. Natalya and Maryse- Natalya and Michelle start off as Natalya controls early on with a head lock. Michelle gets out and hit a decent Russian leg sweep (Natalya didn't run in and say "Hey, that's one of my uncle's five moves of doom"). Michelle tags in Maria, who Tazz tells us has an impressive right handed punch. Since when? Well, she shows it off punching Natalya off the apron (Maryse had tagged in) but when she turned around she was met with a DDT from Maryse and gets pinned by the French Canadian. After the match, Maryse jumps Michelle, but Michelle comes back and spears her. The cat fight brawl under the ropes to the outside where Natalya comes to aid Maryse and holds McCool while Maryse delivers a forearm shiver to KO the champion.

-We get a recap of the Jeff Hardy/MVP feud and then Eve brings in Jeff Hardy backstage for an interview. Hardy says that MVP is nothing more than an obstacle on his way to the WWE Championship and tonight MVP will be left laying on his back with only his ego. Okay. BREAK

-The rules for the Scramble match are shown on the screen and then we see Vickie in his office crying...or trying to cry...poorly. She then realises (after about 25 minutes of just standing there?) that she should try the phone to call for help, but the phone is dead. She chucks the phone at the poster of the WWE magazine with Taker on it.

-Jeff Hardy vs. MVP- They start the match by taking turns shoving each other. MVP then pitches Hardy through the ropes to the outside, but Hardy lands on his feet and makes his way back in the ring. MVP then bails. When he gets back in Hardy takes control with a few arm drags and then into an arm bar., The story of the first half of this match was, MVP was waiting for Hardy to make a mistake or to rush in, but Hardy kept his composure and played it safe. A few minutes later, MVP, on the outside again, moved out of the way as Hardy attempted a pescado, but Jeff saw him move and landed on the apron and then hit a somersault senton to the floor. BREAK

Back from commercial, Hardy is in control of MVP and has an arm bar applied. MVP gets to his feet and uses Hardy's pants for leverage and pulls Hardy face first into the middle turnbuckle. MVP picks hardy up and drops him gut first of the top rope and then lines Hardy up for a kick to the chest, sending Hardy to the floor. MVP then does some damage to Jeff on the outside before getting him back in the ring and applying a seated abdominal stretch. Hardy gets to his feet and reverse the abby-dommial stretch into almost an Emerald Frosion type move. Hardy then hits the tip-up drop kick in the corner and a sit-out gord buster. Hardy goes for the Swanton but MVP gets his knees up. Hardy, selling his ack then gets dropkicked as he's on the mat into the ring post back first. A real ugly spot came when Hardy went for Whisper in the Wind, but MVP cut Hardy leg out and Hardy came crashing from the top right on his neck, but Hardy kicked out at two. MVP placed Hardy on the top rope and set up for a belly-to-back superplex, but Hardy reversed himself coming down on top of MVP, but MVP kicked out at two this time. Hardy then hit a series of clotheslines and went for the Whisper in the Wind again, but hit it (sort of) this time. Hardy the hit the Swanton for the pin. Shelton Benjamin snuck in and as Hardy was celebrating hit Pay Dirt on him. MVP then acted like he and Shelton were cool, but got Pay Dirt himself. Ross reminds us that a few weeks ago MVP had accidentally hit Shelton with the Drive-By kick. Good match that told a few solid stories. BREAK

-Some Pittsburgh Steelers are shown fake fighting in the front row. Why do pro athletes do this? Ross mentions that the WWE is represented at the DNC Convention in Denver, and I assume in the US broadcast of this, they'll show footage.

-Jesse and Festus vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder- They never explained if this was for the tag titles, but it didn't matter because after Festus cleared house, Big Show's music hit and he made his way to the ring and destroyed everyone, culminating with a chokeslam on Hawkins. Show got the mic and said, "Hi." Seriously. He then said that Vickie is too distracted and is over looking certain superstars and that he will "never ever be over looked again" and as far as what he just did, "My bad...ooops. Let's just call it an oversight." Show left with a big smile. BREAK

-Vickie is still locked in her office, now apparently having a panic attack (maybe she's watched her acting w/o Edge there to help her and realises that she's terrible).

-Victoria vs. Brie Bella- Bella is from FCW, one half of the Bella Twins with her twin sister Nicole. Brie showed some good athletic moves, but I can't really say for sure if she is any good. I'll keep saying it, athletic women who can do spots does't guarantee good "wrestlers." She did a nice handstand to get out of a head lock and then hit a few flying mares. Victoria kicked Brie in the gut and sent her to the floor. Victoria went to get her, but Brie crawled under the ring. Victoria pulled a leg of Bella and dragged her from under the ring and tossed her inside. Not knowing that the Bella's were big Killer B's fans growing up, Victoria slowly made her way back in to finish the job, but Bella surprised her with a quick small package to get the pin. Obviously they are going to wait on the "twins" reveal...and I actually kind of like this little angle. Again, I don't know if they have talent, but I too was a mark for the Killer B's. BREAK

-Recap of the Cena injury with footage added from the surgery and post surgery interview with Dr. Maroon.

-The Brian Kenrick is sitting backstage reading a book while Ezekiel read the paper. Kendrick says he doesn't need to show how tough he is tonight having a match like the other guys in the scramble are tonight, instead, he's studying "the masters (no, he's not watching Chris Masters tapes)." He says that over 2,000 years ago Sun Tzu defined warfare in "The Art of War" (the book Kenrick is reading) and in 9 days he's going to redefine it, because the scramble isn't about winning the little battles, it's about winning the war and getting the last pin, not the first or the most. He says there is a "fine line between genius and insanity; but if you know how to walk that line, no one can stand in your way." Much better than his pre match promos. If they are going to use the "genius/insanity" line, shouldn't he have shown some craziness already?

-Tazz and JR breakdown the Unforgiven card

-Triple H makes his way to the ring. BREAK

-Triple H vs. Shelton Benjamin- Before Shelton came out, they showed a promo "on the titan tron" of Shelton telling us how Gold is the most precious commodity in the world and in the WWE, his is the Gold Standard. They showed it like it was on the tron, but clearly it was added in post, much like the Vickie promo at the start of last weeks show was. Shelton started off quickly with a few arm drags into an arm bar (hmmm...I wonder if Ricky Steamboat is the agent...er...producer tonight?). Triple H gains separation with a big right hand. He later finalizes the separation taking Benjamin down with a divorce court. HHH goes to work on Shelton's arm with an armbar of his own. Shelton gets back into the match kicking HHH in the quad. HHH goes for the pedigree but slides out and then all the way out of the ring. BREAK.

Back from break, HHH is crawling on his knees outside the ring. We see that during the break he got whipped into the corner and took the back bump over the top. Shelton catches HHH getting back in the ring with a neckbreaker. He then applies a hangman's neckbreaker on HHH but turns it into a submission. Shelton than switches up into a figure-four head scissors. HHH gets back to his feet and catches Shelton coming in with an elbow. Shelton hits a stinger splash but when he goes for a second one, HHH moves. Triple H whips Shelton into the corner, but Shelton tips up and is caught and HHH turns it into a running powerslam. HHH then hits some of his signature moves and after hitting the face buster, The Great Khali's music plays and Khali and Ranjin Singh make their way to the ring. With HHH distracted, Shelton tried to catch him, but HHH isn't surprised and hits the pedigree on Benjamin for the pin. After the match, HHH and Khali has a staredown but Shelton hits HHH in the back of the head with the US Title. Khali comes into the ring and hits the Tree Slam on HHH and leaves him laying as the show ends.

Final Thoughts- Ehhh...the two longer matches (Hardy/MVP and HHH//Shelton) were pretty good. Shelton got some good offense in against "The Game" and looked good in a losing effort, but there still is just too much missing on this show without Edge. There is no real lead heel. My only hope is, that Taker gets his revenge on Vickie and we can get rid of her. I know some people feel the breakup with her and Edge was rushed, but seeing her on her own really illustrates how bad she is, and it would be a step ack for Edge's character to go back to manipulating her. {plug}

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?