May 7, 2010
– Adam Russell
This week’s episode of Smackdown began with a somewhat controversial angle, involving the Intercontinental Champion, Drew McIntyre.
It all started with Matt Hardy, who has been the victim of a series of attacks at the hands of the Scot, making his way to the ring. After
showing a video highlighting said attacks, Matt told Drew that he is here to stay, and that Drew will never make him go away. That brought
out the champion, who told Matt that 9 months ago he was told by Vince McMahon that he was the future of the company, and that makes
him the chosen one, and untouchable. Matt told him to come to the ring, and they’ll see just how untouchable he is, and Drew obliged.
The two exchanged punches, with Matt coming out on top, and then mounting McIntyre and beating down on him with his fists. A bevy of
referees pulled Matt off, and that was Drew’s opportunity to attack from behind. Once he had Hardy down, he stomped on the back of his
head- his point of attack in recent weeks- and then continued the assault on the outside, as referees tried to intervene. With McIntyre
refusing to relent, general manager Teddy Long came out, and demanded that he stop. When Drew again refused, Long suspended him,
then stripped him of his championship, and finally, when McIntyre continued pounding on Hardy, fired him. McIntyre was finally forced off
Matt and escorted out of the arena, where he told referees that Vince McMahon will hear about this.
The controversy here comes from the fact that reports have been circulating on the internet that this isn’t merely a work, and that McIntyre
has legitimately been suspended, or even let go. That brings up the question of what McIntyre could have done to deserve this, and if that
were the case, why they would go about it in such a way as to have Drew gain so much heat. Reports vary from a possible wellness
violation, to McIntyre committing the immortal sin of getting married without informing anyone (to WWE diva, Tiffany), the latter of which
would surely be a new low in the business ethics of the company. It appeared to me to simply be a pretty well-done angle, and I would
venture either that Drew is carrying an injury, and thus they needed a way to get the belt off him, while still keeping him strong, or that this
is just a means to an end of getting McIntyre further over, and further up the card, possibly with Mr McMahon securing for him a spot on the
Raw roster as a future challenger to John Cena’s WWE championship. Either way, as I said, this was well executed, and McIntyre has
really been picking up steam in recent weeks. He’s still not the finished article, and his ring-work needs some polishing, but he always
looks effective when working angles like this.
Roving reporter Josh Matthews caught up with Long in the back, and asked about the status of Matt Hardy, and the Intercontinental
championship. Long couldn’t shed any light on the situation.
MVP Vs Luke Gallows (w/ CM Punk and Serena)
The first match of the night pitted recent draftee MVP against the man he pinned in a tag match last week, Gallows. MVP jumped out of the
blocks, taking Gallows down with a big forearm, but then missing a boot in the corner and being sent to the floor via a big right hand.
Gallows then laid the knees into MVP’s midsection, and took him down with a butterfly suplex, picking up a two count. He continued to
work the midsection with a waistlock, and then hit a corner clothesline and a splash for another nearfall, before missing a splash in the
corner and allowing MVP to begin his comeback. MVP hit a jumping clothesline, facebuster and the Ballin’ Elbow, and was set to deliver a
Playmaker, when Serena climbed onto the apron to cause a distraction. Luke hit a clothesline for a two count, but then Rey Mysterio came
out of the crowd and attacked CM Punk with a DDT on the floor, causing a distraction of his own. This gave MVP a window to hit the 305
(or the Play of the Day, as Matt Striker insisted it was called), and pick up the win at 3’50.
After a commercial break, we found the Straight-Edge Society in the ring, and Punk called Mysterio a coward for his attack, and demanded
he come out. Rey obliged, and brought up the masked man who has been attacking him recently, on behalf of Punk, saying that tonight’s
attack was giving the Straight-Edge Savior a taste of his own medicine. Punk responded that Rey must be seeing things, saying that
maybe he has been painting the inside of his mask with hallucinogenic drugs. He told him that he is blaming others for his problems,
and that the only reason he came out is because he wants to join the SES. Rey hit back that it’s Punk who is hallucinated, and the only
reason he came out is to shave him bald. Rey then suggested that, since they have one pay-per-view win each during this feud, they have
one more match at Over The Limit, with the stipulation that Rey will join the SES if he loses, but if Punk loses, Rey gets to shave him bald.
Punk said that Rey is having what addicts refer to as a moment of clarity, and that he knows that he needs help, and Rey responded that
the message of the SES is good, but the messenger is bad. He went on that if Punk were serious about helping people, the two of them
could do a lot of good together, but then asked him to show he’s serious by shaving his head. Punk refused, so Rey questioned what
makes him better than Gallows and Serena, and why they had to shave their heads, despite the fact that they do all the work in the SES.
He accused Punk of only caring about himself, and said that nothing would be able to save him from the 619.
This was a really strong promo segment, with both men on good form (this may have been Rey’s best ever work on the mic). They really
went over all the major points of the feud; why they are fighting each other, and what they stand for. They also introduced new elements,
like Punk’s treatment of Serena and Gallows, and sold the match at Over the Limit. Pretty much everything you would want from a promo
Kelly Kelly and Tiffany Vs Layla and Michelle McCool (w/ Vickie Guerrero)
Before this match, we saw highlights of Michelle, Layla and Vickie spraying Kelly with deodorant on Superstars, and they came out here
parading in jackets saying ‘Smelly Kelly’ on them. Striker thought this was funny. Tiffany and Michelle got us underway; Tiff hit a drop toe
hold and a monkey flip, but then got distracted on the outside and caught a baseball slide. She made the hot tag to Kelly after getting her
knees up on a Layla splash, and Kelly went to work with a clothesline, and the worst dropkicks in the world ever. She followed that up with
a botched handspring elbow, which Layla countered with a forearm. Kelly hit a neckbreaker, and Tiffany tagged back in, hitting a cross
body block off the second rope. McCool broke up the pin attempt and caught Tiffany with a kick to the head, allowing Layla to hit a
neckbreaker for the win at 2’55. As an aside, Beth Phoenix seemed to pick up an injury in a match with the horribly under-trained Rosa on
Superstars- I hope it was nothing serious, as I don’t think I can handle McCool as champion again.
Josh caught back up with Long in the back, and the GM announced that he has selected four worthy men to compete in a tournament for
the vacant Intercontinental championship, and the semi-finals would be tonight. I miss when tournaments had at least eight people in
Intercontinental Championship Tournament Semi Final- Kofi Kingston Vs Dolph Ziggler
The match began at a fast pace, with kofi picking up a two count with a flying elbow, then hitting a dropkick, and clotheslining Dolph to the
outside. He followed that up with a suicide dive, but was caught with a legdrop as he climbed back into the ring. After a short break we
found Dolph in control, picking up nearfalls with an inverted powerslam, a dropkick, an elbowdrop, and a kick to the leg. Kofi hit an SOS
out of nowhere for a nearfall of his own, but then ran into a big boot. Ziggler hit an X-Factor, but then missed a splash in the corner. Kofi
began his comeback, hitting a dropkick, a jumping clothesline, and the boom drop. He signaled for Trouble in Paradise, but Dolph
backed up. Instead, Kofi hit a springboard cross body block, only for Dolph to roll through and gain a two. Ziggler then locked on the
sleeper, but Kofi still had some fight left in him, and he reached the ropes, sending Ziggler’s jaw ito the top rope in the process, and then
hit Trouble in Paradise for the victory at 11’57. This was a pretty good match, mainly due to Ziggler, who improves with every week. I really
wish they’d have given Ziggler the win here actually, as he would benefit from winning this tournament far more than Kingston.
Intercontinental Championship Tournament Semi Final- Christian (w/ Heath Slater) Vs Cody Rhodes
This second semi-final match began with Rhodes taking Christian down with a shoulderblock, and Christian responding with a forearm.
He then threw Rhodes to the outside and leveled him with a baseball slide. Rhodes hit back by pushing Christian into the steel steps, but
back in the ring, Christian picked up a nearfall with a sunset flip from the 2nd rope. Cody regained control with a dropkick to the back as
we went to break, and we came back to find Rhodes hitting a front suplex and a kneedrop for a two count. Cody then hit a nice top rope
superplex, but Christian caught him with a small package for a count of two. A clothesline from Christian then sent both men over the top
rope and, on the outside, Rhodes hit a kick from the steel steps, getting a two count back in the ring. Christian came back again with a
pendulum kick, and then a missile dropkick from the 2nd rope for a two, followed by his standing choke on the ropes into a slap to the
face. He missed a high cross body block, but recovered to hit a reverse DDT, only to get pulled down from the second rope. Cody hit a top
rope moonsault for a close two count, but then Christian reversed Rhodes shoulder-first into the ringpost and hit the Killswitch for the win
in a very good match at 13’42. Rhodes looked strong here, and it’s good to see Christian getting match time again after his short stint on
Raw. This sets up a Christian/Kingston final next week, which should be entertaining.
World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger came out next for a match against Kane, but first he had some more fun facts to give us. His
promo was interrupted by a commercial break (a small mercy, if last week was anything to go by), and when we returned, the champ told
us that at Over the Limit, he would take his number one contender, the Big Show to school.
Jack Swagger Vs Kane
Swagger was surprised to find himself outwrestled on the mat at the offset of the match, and his frustration was compounded by the Big
Show’s appearance, and addition to the commentary team. Swagger tried to turn the tide by attacking Kane with punches, but he ate a
thrust to the throat and a low dropkick. Swagger finally got a foothold in the match by clipping the knee of Kane, but then jumped off the top
rope into a big boot. At this point, Swagger, unseen by Kane or the ref, pulled the cover off one of the turnbuckles, but was caught by a
series of clotheslines, a side suplex and then a flying clothesline. Kane then went for the chokeslam, but Swagger managed to leverage
him into the exposed turnbuckle, and then slammed him repeatedly into it, getting himself disqualified after 5’11. he then hit a big boot on
Kane, and decided to parade his belt into the face of the Big Show at ringside. This gave Kane time to recover, and he caught the champ
with a big boot of his own, before clearing off the announce table. Swagger caught him with a kneelift and sent him into the ringpost, but
he turned around into Show, who chokeslammed him through the announce table before holding up the championship belt he hopes to
win at Over the Limit.
All in all, this was a pretty strong episode of Smackdown, with some good wrestling, and a couple of good angles.
MVP of the night- Christian. Had the match of the night with Rhodes, and it’s really good to see him being able to do what he does best