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June 26, 2010

WWE Smackdown Recap & Review: June 25th, 2010


Opening Segment:

Teddy Long and Vickie Guerrero open the show with a backstage announcement. Long advised the WWE Universe that the new World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio would defend his title at Money in the Bank pay-per-view.

Guerrero told the viewers that they would determine the eight participants in the Money in the Bank. The winner would obtain a briefcase for a shot at the World Heavyweight championship.

Guerrero said that Mr. McMahon was incapacitated due to the attack by the NXT rookies attack last Monday.

Drew McIntyre interrupted Guerrero and confronted Long about his demeanor concerning Mr. McMahon’s situation.

Long informed McIntyre that in light of McMahon’s condition he has obtained full power of the show. Long re-instated Matt Hardy and told McIntyre that he would be facing him tonight.


Review:

This was a fantastic way to kick off the show. I was glad to hear that Long and Guerrero would simply choose the eight MITB participants rather than the typical qualifying matches that are usually pointless squash matches.

The Matt Hardy/Drew McIntyre feud is terrible. Hardy is not a real threat to McIntyre these days. I suspect that when this feud ends, McIntyre will make a real run at the World Heavyweight championship.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see McIntyre win MITB match and ultimately defeat Rey Mysterio for the championship.


Jack Swagger vs. Big Show Match:

Swagger made his entrance without the World Heavyweight championship around his waist.

Swagger told the WWE Universe that he has filed a protest concerning his title loss at Fatal Four Way.

Big Show stalked Swagger and landed some huge shots. Big Show proceeded to sit on Swagger’s back when he was draped over the ropes for a four count. Big Show sent Swagger to the outside. Swagger attempted to mount a comeback but was met with a giant-superplex.

Big Show put Swagger’s left arm over the rope and held a hammerlock briefly. Big Show lifted Swagger with a wristlock and then dropped him. Big Show walked on Swagger who screamed in pain.

Swagger put Big Show in a guillotine choke but was quickly reversed by Big Show. Big Show threw Swagger from post to post and landed some splashes.

Big Show missed a clothesline and Swagger delivered a flying shoulder block on Big Show’s left knee. Swagger twisted Big Show’s left leg to inflict further damage on his knee. Swagger then dropped a huge leg drop. Swagger executed a Vader Bomb on a downed Big Show.

He went to the well one too many times when he attempted it again. Big Show caught him this time across his throat and signaled that he was going to choke slam him.

Swagger reversed it and rolled into an impressive ankle lock. Big Show got to the ropes but Swagger would not let go causing the disqualification.

Big Show looked like he was in immense pain as he struggled to his feet.


Review:


They finally start to book Swagger as a top heel after his championship run? They should have had Swagger’s mean streak come out during his original program with Big Show rather four weeks before his match with Rey Mysterio.

I liked Swagger’s ankle lock. It is a little copycat how they are booking him “Kurt Angle-like” but it works. Angle can’t claim the ankle lock either, since Ken Shamrock was using that on Bret Hart well before Angle came to the WWE.

Match Rating: 7/10


Dolph Ziggler, Curt Hawkins, and Vance Archer vs. Christian, MVP, and (IC) Kofi Kingston Match:

The entrances of the participants of the six-man tag team match took about five minutes itself.

MVP started the match with Hawkins. MVP used an exploder suplex to drop Hawkins and attempted to score an early pin fall.

MVP tagged in Christian who went right after Hawkins with several punches. Christian landed a leg drop and then tagged MVP back in.

Hawkins drug MVP to his corner and tagged in Ziggler. Ziggler attempted to sling Hawkins into MVP who was in the corner. MVP put up a leg that dropped Hawkins. MVP elbowed Archer by the corner and sent Ziggler to the outside.

MVP threw himself over the top rope onto Archer on the outside. Kingston delivered a suicide dive onto Ziggler on the ring apron. Christian finished the hat trick with a baseball slide on Hawkins that drove him to the floor.

Kingston attempted a pin fall with a botched sunset flip roll-up. Ziggler mounted some offense but it was quickly extinguished when Kingston hit a flying elbow. Kingston landed a drop kick followed by a Russian leg sweep.

Ziggler executed a classic Mr. Perfect neck whip. Ziggler tagged in Archer who worked to wear down Kingston.

Hawkins was tagged in and put Kingston on his back with a suplex followed by a pin attempt.

Hawkins tagged in Ziggler who stopped Kingston from tagging in a partner. He landed an elbow drop with a lot of height. Ziggler power slammed Kingston and taunted the crowd. Kingston was able to tag in Christian.
Christian dropped Ziggler with some shots to the face and a face drop. Christian choked Ziggler with his classic rope stretch.

Ziggler made a comeback and landed a famouser on Christian.

Christian landed a beautiful missile drop kick from the top rope.

Chaos broke out in the ring with both corners entering the fray.

Ziggler attempted to drop Christian with the Zig-Zag but Christian held onto the rope. Christian finished Ziggler with the Kill Switch. Christian got the victory for his team.


Review:

I was surprised that Christian got the pin fall. It appeared that they were going to heavily push Ziggler with his association with Vickie Guerrero, who wasn’t in his corner for this match.

The match was filled with back and forth action. One of the best matches the show has had in the last few weeks.

Ziggler, Christian, and Kingston are likely participants in the MITB match.

The other four will probably be McIntyre, Hardy, Kane, CM Punk, and Big Show.


Match Rating: 9/10


Kane Backstage Segment:

Kane screamed by an empty casket vowing to decapitate the head of The Straight Edge Society.


Matt Hardy vs. Drew McIntyre Match:

McIntyre made his way to the ring with one of the coolest entrance videos in the WWE.

Matt Hardy entered the ring garnering a huge pop.

The match started with McIntyre yelling at Hardy. Hardy and McIntyre traded punches until McIntyre fell and rolled to the outside. Hardy drove McIntyre’s head onto the announce table. Hardy charged at McIntyre sending both of them through the ropes. Hardy then threw McIntyre into the ring steps and eventually rolled him back into the ring.

McIntyre turned it around and drove Hardy’s back into the ring post. McIntyre landed a back drop on Hardy on the outside. McIntyre yelled at the referee to start counting Hardy out.

Hardy made his way back into the ring. McIntyre stomped Hardy followed by mounted punches.

Hardy put a foot up when McIntyre charged at him. Hardy went to the top rope but was met by McIntyre. McIntyre executed a super Michinoku Driver from the top rope. He went for the cover but Hardy kicked out.

McIntyre put Hardy on the top rope and followed it with a super back drop. McIntyre went for pin using a lazy cover but Hardy was able to put his foot on the rope.

McIntyre continued to drop Hardy with some desperate offense in an attempt to get the win.

Hardy sent McIntyre over the top rope onto the outside when McIntyre was attempting his Future Shock DDT.

Hardy locked McIntyre up for a DDT on the ring floor when McIntyre drove him into the ring steps.

McIntyre looked to foot stomp Hardy’s head on the ring steps. Hardy tripped him causing McIntyre to take a vicious bump on the ring steps.

Hardy went to the middle rope when McIntyre pulled his leg causing Hardy to fall hard.

Hardy got the victory when he executed the Twist of Fate.

McIntyre was informed by Teddy Long that his Visa has expired and he was escorted from the arena by security.


Review:

I still can’t figure out why the internet community loves Matt Hardy. He looks like he is out of shape these days.

The match was terrific. Hardy and McIntyre sold their hatred well during the match. There were no high spots, they simply told the story with their moves.

The angle sending McIntyre back to Scotland unfortunately means the Hardy feud isn’t over. This angle may change the outlook however for the MITB match.

Match Rating: 10/10


Cody Rhodes In-Ring Segment:

Cody Rhodes and Husky Harris made their way into the ring. Cody Rhodes pointed out that the Divas voted him the most handsome WWE superstar. Rhodes made fun of Husky’s physique and called him the average man. Rhodes even pointed out that he didn’t get his looks from his father and mentioned his brother. He proceeded to make fun of the crowd and ringside employees.
He told the WWE Universe that they will now refer to him as “Dashing” Cody Rhodes.


Guerrero & Ziggler Backstage Segment:


Ziggler told Guerrero that their relationship was supposed to be a two-way street. He told her that he feels that he gives and gives and doesn’t get anything back in return. Ziggler asked for a Intercontinental championship match.

Kelly Kelly vs. Rosa Mendez Match:

Rosa was in the ring jump roping when Kelly Kelly made her way to the ring.

LayCool made their synchronized entrance and walked over to the announce table.

Rosa continued to jump rope and Kelly delivered a Rocker dropper for the ultra quick win.

Kelly Kelly and Tiffany squared off with LayCool after Kelly Kelly threw the jumping rope at them.


Review:

It looks like Rosa is playing the Rosey’s super hero in training gimmick with LayCool.

LayCool’s entrance is absolutely annoying. Has anyone besides me noticed that Michelle McCool has saddle bag hips?

The match was pointless and the LayCool confrontation served little purpose to sell Layla and Kelly Kelly’s match.

Match Rating: 1/10


CM Punk vs. Kane No DQ Match:

CM Punk grabbed a microphone and told the WWE Universe as he pointed to his mask “this is the face of an innocent man”.

Punk tried to catch Kane as he entered the ring with a barrage of punches. Kane sent Punk to the outside.

Kane threw Punk on the padded guard rail twice. He then sent Punk on the into the ring side damaging his back. Luke Gallows attempted to interfere in the match but was sent to the guard rail by Kane. The masked SES member attacked Kane but he was sent to the guard rail as well.

The SES eventually got the upper hand on Kane. The SES threw Kane into the guard rail.
Kane mounted a comeback and neutralized the other SES members as he demolished Punk.
Kane cleared the announce table preparing to inflict pain on Punk. Kane choke slammed the Masked SES member onto the ring floor. As Kane was about to choke slam Punk, Gallows interfered. Kane choke slammed Gallows through the table.

Punk attempted to escape but was caught in the concession stand area. Kane threw Punk throw two wooden tables. When Kane threw Punk through the arena’s entrance doors, Punk ran off to evade Kane’s wrath.


Review:

Kane is looking like the monster he was a few years back. The match didn’t make SES look like a dominant group. Kane essentially beat down three men without any assistance.

This was the best episode of Smackdown since the Undertaker mystery angle started.

Match Rating: 7/10

June 25, 2010

Former WWE Star Dave Batista: Let's Fight For Real


David Bautista Jr. better known as the six-time WWE heavyweight champion, “The Animal” Batista, has expressed interest in mixed martial arts and acting since his contract expired. Since his departure from professional wrestling he has been everywhere.
He has openly told reporters that he left the WWE due to the new direction of the company. He has claimed that another professional wrestling company, TNA wrestling, has offered him a deal. However, he does not believe that they can deliver the same money that WWE gave him.
On June 16, 2010, he attended a Strikeforce MMA event. A week later, he told TMZ.com that he is signing with Strikeforce, but refused to mention who his first opponent would be. Strikeforce later advised that he has not been signed and that they are still in contractual talks with him. The major road blocks at this point has been money and schedule.
His wrestling persona made him a popular character during WWE tours over seas. He walked out to the ring along side fellow countryman, Manny Pacquiao, for his fight against Ricky Hatton. His international celebrity has been established and there is no question he could be a big draw in MMA.
Professional wrestlers competing in MMA isn’t something new. PRIDE, a defunct MMA company from Japan, showcased several professional wrestlers on their cards. Kazushi Sakuraba, Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock, Don Frye, Nobuhiko Takada, Kiyoshi Tamura and Kazuyuki Fujita are all professional wrestlers who made successful transitions into MMA.
Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley have been successful thus far with their transition from professional wrestling into mixed martial arts. Lesnar and Lashley have a fantastic amateur wrestling pedigree which is a huge asset in the world of MMA.
Batista does not come from a decorated college athletic background. He has only recently begun training in MMA at the Affliction gym. His lack of combat sports experience and age limits his potential on the big stage.
His career with the WWE between 2002 and 2010 was filled with injuries. Those injuries contributed to his lack of mobility in the ring which could affect his ability in the cage
Former WWE & TNA wrestler, Booker T told a celebrity gossip site that he doesn’t think Batista can “match up” with some of the big boys in Strikeforce. Booker says Batista wouldn’t last five minutes in the cage with Bobby Lashley or any of Stikeforce’s other heavyweight fighters.
Brock Lesnar commented on Batista’s aspirations. Lesnar said, "Get in line, everybody and their dog wants to get into fighting," he said. "Next question, we're talking about a heavyweight championship fight, not some wannabe."
The MMA bandwagon is on full steam. There are plenty of former NFL players, boxers, amateur wrestlers and professional wrestlers testing the waters.
UFC recently signed James Toney to a multi-fight deal. The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 showcased a couple of former NFL players and internet famous, Kimbo Slice.
MMA companies are not just signing fighters who have proven records on smaller shows. They are picking up already recognizable sports names. It’s about the pay-per-views buy rates. People have to be interested in the fighter to pay out their hard earned money.
If Batista signs with Strikeforce, look for a mega-battle with Bobby Lashley. It won’t be because they are both exceptional MMA fighters, but because of their professional wrestling background. It will sell tickets and garner a lot of exposure.
Batista being successful in MMA is doubtful. He has more promise with a supporting role in an action film.

WWE Smackdown Recap & Review: The Undertaker Mystery



Opening Segment
CM Punk went to the ring and told the audience that he was going to win his fourth straight edge world championship.
CM Punk said that he would have made The Undertaker tap again at Fatal Four Way pay-per-view.
The arena lights went out and a dark figure that appeared to be The Undertaker was standing in the center of the ring. CM Punk acted like he was scared initially. He then walked up to The Undertaker and shoved him. The Undertaker took off his hat and wig and revealed that it was Luke Gallows. Punk and Gallows laughed in the ring.
The arena lights went red with a blast of fire as Kane made his way to the ring. SES and Jack Swagger subsequently attacked him. It was apparently a set-up to get back at Kane for last week’s beat down.
Big Show and Rey Mysterio ran into the ring and broke up the beating. SES and Swagger took flight up to the stage.
Mysterio proceeded to hit the 619 on Kane. Then the Big Show delivered a choke slam. Big Show screamed at Kane and reminded him that he didn’t have anything to do with what happened to The Undertaker.

Review
CM Punk is one of the best heels in the WWE right now. If Swagger doesn’t walk away with the strap, I can see Punk being crowned the new champion. Regardless of the outcome, it’s apparent that Kane will feud with the winner.
The payback by the Fatal Four Way participants was a nice touch. Good segment all and all.

MVP & Christian Vs. Hawkins & Archer Match
Christian started the match with Curt Hawkins. Hawkins shoved Christian but paid for it when he received a slap and a drop toehold.
MVP was tagged in and aggressively went after Hawkins. MVP landed a big boot on Archer and sent Hawkins to the outside. MVP and Christian executed a double body press on the Gatekeepers to the ring floor.
Hawkins worked on MVP’s left arm before he tagged in Archer.
Archer placed MVP in a hammerlock as he was wrapped up in the rope. He then dropped MVP with an arm lock shoulder drop. Archer tagged in Hawkins, who then received a jawbreaker from MVP.
MVP tagged in Christian who rallied against Hawkins.
Christian attempted the Kill Switch while the referee was distracted. Archer intervened and laid Christian out with a reverse DDT. Hawkins got the win after landing an off-the-top rope elbow drop.
MVP continued to battle with Archer, who eventually hit him with the reverse DDT. Archer added insult to injury by dropping off-the-top rope elbow drop.

Review
I can’t believe that Christian has been reduced to jobbing to a new tag team. He would have been a better choice, in my opinion, for the Fatal Four Way than Rey Mysterio.
MVP has fallen quite a bit as well. The days of his United States Championship reign seem very long ago.
Archer and Hawkins are going by the lame name of The Gatekeepers. They were pretty impressive and entertaining.
Archer’s finisher isn’t something we haven’t seen before, but he does it more viciously than Sting has ever executed it.
Hawkins’ off-the-top rope elbow drop is a lame finisher. He does it well, but nowhere near the magnitude that Shawn Michaels used to drop it.
Match Rating: 7/10

Lay-Cool and Rosa Backstage Segment
Lay-Cool and Kaval were walking backstage when Rosa stops them.
Rosa suggested that she could be “Famous and Flawless.”
Lay-Cool responded by insulting Rosa and telling her that “the joker called he said he wants his make-up back.”
Lay-Cool then asked Rosa when the last time she won a match. Rosa ran off crying.

Review
Lay-Cool is doing the “Beautiful People” angle better than the Beautiful People. I liked the “Mean Girls” angle better when they were picking on Mickie James.
Their segments would be better if they took some acting lessons and didn’t come off so annoying. The BFF Women’s Championship angle is pretty (Lay) cool though.

Guerrero and Ziggler Backstage Segment
Chavo Guerrero tried to speak to Vicki Guerrero but Dolph Ziggler distracted her. Ziggler appears and is wearing daisy dukes and a tool belt. Vicki asked him to hang up a picture of herself and Ziggler.
Chris Masters walked in and told her that he had a match idea. He quickly realized that Vicki was distracted and left.

Review
I think we get the cougar angle already. It was nice to see Masters make an appearance on TV that wasn’t Superstars.

JTG Vs. Chavo Guerrero Match
Guerrero tricked JTG from the start by pointing to his laces and landed a kick to the gut.
JTG turned around the match when he put his knees up to defend himself from the slingshot senton bomb.
JTG hit a blockbuster neck breaker.
JTG hit the Mug Shot but Guerrero kicked out.
JTG executed his finisher for the win.

Review
JTG really needs to braid his hair or cut it short because he looks awful. The match was quick and to the point.
There was nothing spectacular about the match. At least he didn’t botch his finisher this week.
So they fired Shelton Benjamin and now we get matches like this. Good luck in the TNA Gold Standard.
Match Rating: 5/10

Drew McIntyre Vs. Teddy Long Match
McIntyre told Long that he intended to tear him from limb to limb. He said that he enlisted the help of private security to surround the ring so there isn’t any outside interference from Matt Hardy and Kofi Kingston.
McIntyre told Long that he would give him an opportunity to get out of the match. McIntyre asked Long to get on his knees. Long got on his knees reluctantly. McIntyre demanded that Long state that he is the Chosen One where Long complied.
McIntyre told Long to get down in the middle of the ring. McIntyre called Long “pathetic” and put his boot on Long’s chest for the three-count.
McIntyre grabbed Long and appeared that he was going to his double-arm DDT. Kofi Kingston attempted to intervene when he was held back by security. McIntyre landed some shots on Kingston as security held him.
Matt Hardy attacked McIntyre from the crowd and tackled him to the ground. Security held Hardy so that Kingston could head butt him. McIntyre rolled Hardy into the ring and delivered a double-arm DDT.
Security rolled Kingston into the ring. McIntyre dropped Kingston with a double-arm DDT.
McIntyre raises his hand in victory over both Hardy and Kingston.

Review
The whole show was full of highlights to sell this match. I didn’t think that the match would do anything for McIntyre when I heard the match announced last week. But the match followed with McIntyre beating down both Hardy and Kingston, which made him look like a vicious heel.
I have heard that McIntyre was in line for the world championship but they changed their minds and gave the strap to Swagger. The thought was that McIntyre wasn’t building enough heat as a heel. His momentum right now could take him to a championship very soon.
Kingston is the intercontinental champion but I think that most people believed that he would make a run at the WWE championship when he was feuding with Randy Orton.
Match Rating: 1/10 (the post-match gets a 7/10)

Layla El Vs. Kelly Kelly Match
Layla put Kelly in a headlock followed by a unique roll-up.
Kelly escaped an arm tie up utilizing the rope. She followed it with a press then bounced Layla’s head off the mat. Kelly dropkicked Layla onto the outside.
Kelly went for a springboard in the corner but missed. She still delivered a kick to send Layla on the mat.
McCool distracted Kelly but Tiffany dropped McCool on the outside. Layla kicked Tiffany to the ground.
Layla attempted to finish Kelly with the Lay Out but Kelly reversed it. Kelly got the victory with the K2 over the women’s champion.

Review
The TNA Knockouts are not in any way entertaining anymore.
Kelly Kelly’s victory wasn’t surprising since Layla needed a number one contender.
Kelly Kelly’s ring work has improved by leaps and bounds. Her clotheslines were terrible but other than that, her timing was excellent.
Tiffany is a future champion. She has the look and has decent mat skills.

Jack Swagger Back Stage Segment
Swagger told the story about how his dad told him not to settle for the silver medal. He said that he would dedicate his victory at Fatal Four Way to his dad.
Match Rating: 7/10

Dolph Ziggler Vs. Chris Masters Match
Vicki Guerrero introduced Dolph Ziggler for the match.
Ziggler hammered Masters and put him in an arm lock to wear him down.
Masters reversed the arm lock and used a sling shot to the corner on Ziggler. Masters dropped Ziggler with some shoulder blocks and landed a sidewalk slam.
Masters attempted a running power slam when Ziggler locked in the sleeper hold.
Masters used his power to get out of the sleeper hold. Masters locked in the Master Lock but Ziggler got the ropes to break it up.
Ziggler finished Masters with the Zig Zag to get the victory.

Review
It was surprisingly a very entertaining match. I expected it to be a squash match to promote Ziggler. Instead it was competitive and even showcased Masters breaking out of Ziggler’s sleeper hold.
I am a fan of Ziggler’s character and ring skills. It’s a shame that it will take the Cougar storyline to get him a singles championship.
Let’s hope that it pays off like it did for Edge.
Match Ratings: 8/10

(WC) Jack Swagger & CM Punk Vs. Rey Mysterio & Big Show Match
Swagger and Mysterio start the match. Swagger drove Mysterio to his corner where he tagged in CM Punk.
Punk drove his shoulder into Mysterio’s gut in the corner.
Mysterio executed a snap mare on Punk and followed it with a leg drop.
Punk attempted a sunset flip but Mysterio rolled out of it. Mysterio tried to remove Punk’s mask and followed Punk to the outside. He was the victim of a devastating clothesline from Luke Gallows.
Swagger tossed Mysterio across the ring. He used the Vader Bomb to further inflict pain on Mysterio.
Mysterio countered Swagger with an X-factor face plant. He tagged in Big Show.
Big Show ran over Swagger and went for a choke slam. Swagger would have none of it and delivered DDT.
Big Show tagged in Mysterio. Swagger went for the gut wrench power bomb but Mysterio reversed it into a neck breaker variation. Mysterio pinned the world champion for the win.
Kane attacked the participants once again. He last dropped Mysterio with the Tombstone pile driver.
The show ended with Kane paying respect to an empty coffin.

Review
Mysterio was in the match the majority of the time. Big Show was only in the match for a choke slam attempt.
Mysterio has now pinned Swagger twice since he has been champion.
I wonder when they are going to let the World Champion actually win a match.
Match Rating: 6/10

Final Thoughts
The show was more entertaining than last week. It was nowhere near the show from two weeks ago when Kane vowed vengeance.
Let’s hope the outcome of this Kane/Taker story line doesn’t disappoint us. Remember when it was revealed that Rikishi was responsible for running over Steve Austin?
Triple H could be responsible for the attack. He had motive since Undertaker is the reason why his best friend was forced to retire at Wrestlemania.
Kane himself could be responsible and is only seeking out the attacker as a way to push away suspicion.
It feels like a game of CLUE on Friday nights. Who is responsible for The Undertaker’s vegetative state?