A look at another strong Smackdown show - TV report for 6/5
By James Shannon
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SmackDown! opens with a thousand and one ladders lining the ramp and ring, including two ladders set up beneath the hanging World Championship title. They’re set up for a very special edition of the Cutting Edge (including Edge’s flannel shirt), with Jeff Hardy as the guest.
Jeff refuses the interview, unless it is on top of the ladders. This is money. Money money money. Edge cuts a promo while slowly making his way to the top of his ladder which is just glorious. Edge is still getting better every week, and Hardy has never been this good. Edge eventually pushes Hardy’s ladder over (after two weak slaps from the hanging title), and Hardy lands really, really, truly, very hard accross the top rope. Edge pulls the belt off the hook and walks up the ramp.
Best opening segment in a while- a great visual on top of the ladders, a great promo by Edge and best of all, it wasn’t too long.
Benjamin comes out (no Haas) for a singles with Morrison.
Match Number One: Shelton Benjamin Vs. John Morrison.
Benjamin works over Morrison’s leg with some pretty entertaining offence; he actually has some fire in his belly tonight. An awesome kippup type thing by Morrison turns the tide. Morrison is still selling the leg, even during his own offence.
Morrison wins a great short match with the Star Ship Pain. Couldn’t have asked for anything more than that from the opening match. Both these guys are on quite the roll.
Winner: John Morrison, Pinfall.
Jericho is out next. Every time I hear an Edge promo I think that he’s the best talker in the WWE. Ditto for Jericho. The promo Edge cut while climbing the ladder earlier may just edge out Jericho here tonight, but it is close.
His message isn’t much more complicated than “I’m going to win,” but his delivery is superb. He’s eventually cut off by Truth’s entrance. Sadly no Khali. He does his usual rap, without actually going into the crowd. It’s better this way as he is less out of breath. He asks Jericho “what’s up?!” then sticks the microphone in his face for an echo. Jericho berates Truth for interrupting him. Truth actually cuts an alright promo and if the fans didn’t try the stupid ‘what?’ thing, it would have been better than good.
Match Number Two: Chris Jericho Vs. R-Truth.
Good little match. Not as good as the first, but in no way bad. Jericho wins it when Truth jumps of the middle rope, doing a 180 to try to hit a cross body, but Jericho meets him with the Code Breaker.
Winner: Chris Jericho.
Mysterio attacks Jericho from behind when he was celebrating on the ramp. Rey hits a good kick, then a hurricane of fists from the mount. He only stops when referees pull him off. He then jumps from the top of the stage on to Jericho who’s now on the floor to the side of the ramp, hitting a seated senton to the concrete floor. It looked good, though the drop wasn’t as big as you’d expect, so it was safe enough.
CM Punk, briefcase in hand, comes on out for his match… against Umaga. Umaga’s hair isn’t braided tonight. It looks much better this way, less ‘pretty’ – more wild.
Match Number Three: CM Punk Vs. Umaga.
Punk opens up with a bunch of kicks, including dropping down to the Inoki position (form the Ali fight) to connect safely. Umaga finally catches one, only to be enziugiried. Momentum turns when Punk goes for a plancha over the top rope to the floor, only to be struck in the throat on his way down.
Umaga works Punk’s abdomen with a dull nerve hold or two. Crowd chants CM Punk, too bad they started a bear hug halfway through the chant, which killed it quickly.
Punk kicks out of the swinging side slam, and dodges the big but splash in the corner. Umaga has lost his patience, so he grabs his strap from the corner. The ref warns him, which allows Punk to pick up Umaga and nail the Go2Sleep for the pinfall.
Winner: Punk, pinfall.
I wasn’t expecting a real match here at all. I thought it would be a two minute dance before a DQ or the like. Well this was far greater than I expected. It was a real back and forth match, with a clean enough finish, that showed Punk can actually hang with Umaga in the ring. I doubted the logic of putting these two in a singles match a day before the PPV. But I’ll admit I was wrong, I want to see that match more now than before this match started. And they stayed with Punk and Umaga for long enough after the finish to show that it meant something.
Match Number Four: Melina (c), Eve & Gail Kim Vs. Michelle McCool, Alicia Fox & Layla, Special Guest Referee: Maria.
Fox’s hair is bigger than ever tonight… *sigh*. There was a ridiculous amount of screaming here. More grunting than an entire female’s tennis tournament.
Layla gets the pinfall over Melina in a match that wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Fox grabbed Melina’s hair when she was running the ropes, so Eve and Kim ran to the other corner on the outside to take her out. As Maria’s back was turned, McCool hit a high kick from the apron to Melina’s head in the ring. Layla quickly hit a neckbreaker, and then very slowly covered Melina for the victory.
Winners: Layla, Michelle McCool & Alicia Fox, Pinfall.
Khali is standing in the ring. his dancing days are sadly over.
Match Number Five: The Great Khali Vs. Dolph Ziggler.
I’ve enjoyed their little feud so far, mostly because it has contained very little wrestling. Fingers crossed that doesn’t change tonight.
Khali was pretty good on offence. He should never, ever sell. Ziggler threw himself around, both when on attack and defence, like a ragdoll. Khali gets the pin with the Tree Slam.
Winner: The Great Khali, Pinfall.
This was actually fine, way above average for Khali. I’m going to say it every week: I love Ziggler.
Koko B. Ware is in the front row, and does a little dancin’ with the fans around him.
Mysterio comes out for the main event, IC title in hand. Brilliant, he is very cautious and sizes up every fan before doing the head to head hug with them after Jericho’s attack last week.
Match Number Six: Edge (c) Vs. Rey Mysterio (c). Non-title.
Some really fun spots here based on Mysterio’s agility saving him, including doing a roll to not be hurt when Edge threw him out of the ring, and a flip over the steels stairs when Edge whipped him into them. Then, as Edge ran after Mysterio, Rey dropkicked the stairs into Edge’s legs. Wouldn’t have hurt at all, but really fun.
Crowd were really into it, chanting ‘619’ when Rey was in trouble, and getting into most of his offence.
Rey Hurricanrana’d Edge out of the ring, the dove through the middle and top rope with quite a lot of speed onto Edge. Edge eventually caught Rey as he went for a springboard, turning it into a powerbomb, then applied the sharpshooter. Edge caught Rey’s legs during the 619, turning it into a backbreaker.
Rey finally hit the 619, but Edge recovered very quickly and speared Rey for the Pin.
Winner: Edge, pinfall.
Really good SmackDown! main event. Rey was moving much more freely than I have seen in quite a long time.
Edge pulls out a ladder from under the ring, and looks to nail Rey. But Edge sees Jeff coming, so diverts his attention. Hardy, chair in hand, hits the ladder into Edge. He then hits the Twist of Fate on Edge onto the ladder. Hardy sets the ladder up just in front of the corner, climbs the turnbuckles, leapfrogs the ladder into a legdrop on Edge. Hardy grabs the title and celebrates in the corner. The show ends with Hardy on top of the ladder with Edge’s title.
This was a fantastic show, full of wrestling and finishes and logic. Watch this show.