TEN YEARS AFTER: WWE Friday Night Smackdown (06.15.07)

WWE: Friday Night Smackdown
June 15, 2007
Philadelphia, PA
Wachovia Center

The current Smackdown champions are as follows:
World Heavyweight Champion: Edge (5/11/2007)
WWE United States Champion: MVP (5/20/2007)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Deuce N Domino (4/20/2007)
WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Chavo Guerrero (2/18/2007)

Read along if you have the WWE Network!

Warning: Tonight’s special edition of Smackdown contains content depicting Mr. McMahon’s fatality, and may be considered in appropriate. Parental discretion is advised.

Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

Much like on ECW on Sci-Fi, they replay the final moments of the Mr. McMahon character on RAW. Cole and JBL talk softly and add some comments over the footage.

Without showing the actual explosion, we go straight into the arena as all the Smackdown wrestlers stand on the stage for a ten-bell salute for Mr. McMahon. For the Philly crowd, this is the second time they have to stand for the salute tonight. Through this whole ordeal, the crowd boos and cuts up. Just like Tazz on ECW, JBL chastises the crowd for their reaction.

Next up, we go to a press conference with the EVP and General Counsel for WWE Edward Kaufman. He mentions that federal authorities are investigating the events that took place leading to Mr. McMahon’s death. He says that the McMahon family expect to carry on with the WWE with business as usual. Kaufman trusts the press and the public will continue to respect the McMahon family’s privacy.

  • Deuce N Domino (w/Cherry) vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick

London and Kendrick shine early until Deuce pulls the top rope down to send Kendrick crashing to the floor. JBL is still mad about the crowd and their reaction, which makes no sense to me. There’s a short heat segment on Kendrick leading to a hot tag to London. The match breaks down. After Domino slams Kendrick on the floor, he takes a Chris Jericho springboard dropkick on the apron from London. As London turns around, there’s the CRACK ‘EM IN THE MOUTH from Deuce for the win. (4:55) What do you say about some WWE tag team champs that aren’t interesting or very good at what they do? Nothing. *

William Regal and Teddy Long get a few minutes to share some of their memories of Mr. McMahon. It’s real wink-wink, nod-nod. What bothers me though about this is the fact they do this exact same thing when actual deaths happen within WWE – making everything feel insincere even when it shouldn’t be.

  • Matt Hardy vs. William Regal

They trade headlocks to start. Hardy tries the Twist of Fate too soon though and eats a forearm smash for his troubles. Regal baits Hardy out to the floor and positions him on the steps for a kick to the ribs up against the ringpost. In the ring, Regal does all he can to bruise and contort the mid-section. Hardy comes back with a Side Effect for two. The running bulldog gets blocked with a Regal-Plex. Cover, 1-2-NO! While arguing over the count, Regal puts his shin on Hardy’s wind pipe for some awesome old school heel work. Hardy avoids the Regal Bomb and flips Regal over for two. Still got the arms hooked, Regal rolls over and executes the REGAL BOMB anyways for 1-2-NO! Regal then charges into a knee in the corner and gets pulled into a TWIST OF FATE from out of nowhere for the win. (9:18) Not a bad little match there. MATT HARDY WILL NOT DIE! ***

Funny hearing Michael Cole referring to Ric Flair as Smackdown’s newest superstar. The word “new” to describe Ric Flair just sounds strange.

Jillian doesn’t know what to say right now about Mr. McMahon, but keeps talking anyways.

In order to get over the impact of what happened, they show several minutes of the fireman putting out the fire with his water hose. Cole said an expert told them that the gas tank blowing up could have created such an explosion, and it could have been ignited by something as simple as a cell phone or a radio, from as far as a mile away. WHAT.

Chavo Guerrero calls Mr. McMahon a jerk regardless of his success in the business, but hopes WWE continues despite that Vince is dead.

  • MVP vs. Batista

Before Batista comes through the curtain, he runs into Ric Flair who is in RIC FLAIR WOO mode. AWESOME. Flair – “WOO! WOO! I LIKE SMACKDOWN! WOO!” That might have just been the fuel to get Bats to beat the crap out of MVP tonight. Cole announces MVP will defend his US title against Ric Flair at Vengeance: Night of Champions. MVP wants to wrestle and Batista wants to fight. As MVP stalls, it’s interesting that he’s using Ric Flair psychology against Batista. When Bats isn’t looking, MVP slugs him and puts the boots to him. MVP telegraphs a backdrop and Batista calls for the Demon Bomb, but MVP slips out to the floor as we go to commercial. AND WE’RE BACK! MVP comes back on Batista and goes for the Helluva Kick, but Bats moves and pulls MVP to the floor. MVP shoves Bats into the ringpost and Helluva Kicks him over the barricade! Batista looks like he’s on another planet after that kick. Back in, MVP gets two. He keeps Batista down on the mat for a while in a chinlock and various holds. Batista then makes his comeback, but MVP cuts him off with a DDT. He tries the ten-count corner punch triggering another shot at the Demon Bomb, but MVP hammers his way out and dropkicks Batista back into the corner. He wants the Helluva Kick inside the ring, but Bats comes charging at him with the spear to finally set up the DEMON BOMB for the win. (11:09 shown) This was PPV quality stuff from MVP. While you don’t normally want to see your US champ lose on TV, he wasn’t made to look like a tool. He stayed with Batista the whole way and looked like a world title contender IMO. And afterwards, Batista sold the match like he had really been through a battle with this guy, so I’m fine with the loss here. ***¼

Sgt. Slaughter is given some time to discuss his feelings on Mr. McMahon. If he didn’t have smiling eyes the whole time he’s speaking, you may believe what he says.

They show clips of the “Lead Investigator” and his press conference earlier in the week. He said the investigation was still ongoing and thus he wouldn’t be able to answer any questions. Well, that was pointless.

Edge speaks on Mr. McMahon. He takes a long time to say he has no idea where WWE goes from here.

And now Kristal. She is so pretty.

  • Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Jamie Noble vs. Shannon Moore vs. Daivari

The winner of this match gets a WWE cruiserweight title shot at Vengeance. I think we all know where this is heading with Yang recently pinning Chavo. The CW champ joins Cole and JBL at the table, but they don’t bother to give him a headset. All four men are in the ring at the same time where everyone has their moment to shine. Next up, everyone gets a chance to dive. Next spot is the TOWER OF DOOM. Moore catches Noble with a Corkscrew Moonsault for 1-2-NO! Daivari dumps out Moore, but Yang nails Daivari with his MOONSAULT PRESS for the win and the title shot. (4:32) The crowd actually pops pretty big for that. Yang and Guerrero exchange some words after the bell. Real spotty, but fine. *½

  • Edge vs. Ric Flair

Still plenty of time left for this baby. WOOOOOOOOOO! It starts out like most every Ric Flair match. They hook up and Flair backs him into the corner for a WOO. Flair escapes a headlock with a hair pull. WOO! JBL is really on this kick that he thinks Edge will be the greatest wrestler ever. Edge slaps Flair in the corner, but pays for it with some massive chops. NOBODY MOCKS FLAIR! He delivers a hiptoss and Edge is on the floor collecting his thoughts. Back in, he beats Flair down into a corner only for Flair to come back with more chops. Flair chopblocks and goes for the Figure-Four, but Edge goes to the ropes. He takes Edge to school and rips at his knee. Another attempt at the Figure-Four doesn’t pay off as Edge hits the deck again. Flair follows after him this time and takes a HUGE backdrop on the floor. Nasty! Commercials. When we return, Edge beats Flair down into the corner again and brings him out with a suplex for two. Edge delivers a jumping knee drop with his bad knee and can’t really capitalize. He gives Flair a Stinger Splash for two. Flair goes for the knee, but Edge manages an enziguri kick to set up the Flair Flop. Edge comes off the top down into a chop by Flair. WOO! More chops. Flair gives him a backdrop and follows up with the Rolling Knee Drop. NOWWW! Flair delivers a back suplex and applies the FIGURE-FOUR! Looks like MVP is late on his cue, but nevertheless he hits the ring to break up the hold for the DQ. (11:51 shown) Maybe it just takes Flair a little longer to let go of the hold and stand up than it used to. Even so, this was tons of fun. After the bell, Flair chops down MVP, but then Edge SPEARS Flair. Batista runs down and saves Flair from MVP, but takes a SPEAR from Edge as well. I believe our main event has now been set up. ***

GREAT show from the Smackdown side of things this week despite the McMahon silliness. I just don’t understand what they are wanting us to feel. It doesn’t make any sense. He was an evil dictator, but he was also benevolent at times who gave us all years of happiness. I feel like the crowd boos the “ten bell salute” because it insults their intelligence. I know the angle was killed (no pun intended) before it really got off the ground, but I do wonder where they were heading with this. Were we going to find out that the whole thing was faked for some reason? I’m sure it will just take some extra reading to find out. Certainly you can’t have a murder just lead to a match on a PPV, so what is the point? I also understand wanting to take the Mr. McMahon character off TV, but a murder just doesn’t really make any sense unless I’m missing something.

Anyways. Until next time, so long for now.

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