Smackdown – May 16, 2008
By Thomas Hall on 11th June 2023
Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Mick Foley, Michael Cole
It’s the go home show for Judgment Day and, for the third pay per view in a row, the Smackdown main event is going to be Edge vs. Undertaker for the World Title. That doesn’t make for the most exciting result, but that is about all they can do in their current situation. I’m not sure how interesting the final push is going to be but let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s Championship Chase, with Vickie Guerrero adding Edge in at the last minute to steal the title shot.
Here is La Familia to get things going. Edge brags about earning the title shot last week and can’t wait to beat Undertaker, who can’t win without the illegal choke. Cue Teddy Long, who is sorry he’s late. Vickie Guerrero can’t believe he’s here and says that as her assistant, he needs to be the first one to arrive and the last one to leave (Uh, how can he help her then?).
Actually Teddy says he was meeting with the Board Of Directors today, because Vickie blew off her meeting with them. He has a letter from the board for her: she can either have her first ever match or be fired from her job, with Long suggesting he would take her place. Vickie threatens to fire him but he quits and leaves instead. Oh and one more thing: her opponent is the UNDERTAKER. They had to do something like this at some point, though Vickie getting in the ring sounds more like comedy than anything else.
CM Punk vs. Chuck Palumbo
Palumbo pounds him down into the corner to start before grabbing a headlock takeover. Punk fights up and low bridges him to the floor, setting up the almost required suicide dive. Palumbo gets in another shot though and we hit the chinlock back inside. The elbow misses Punk and he fires off some kicks to put Palumbo in trouble.
There’s the running knee in the corner into the bulldog for two, followed by a springboard clothesline for the same. One heck of a standing clothesline gives Palumbo two and there’s a fall away slam for another near fall. Full Throttle is broken up though and Punk sends him into the post. The GTS finishes Palumbo off.
Rating: C. That should end this mini feud, as well as Punk’s kind of weird losing streak over his last few matches. I know Punk has the briefcase but that doesn’t mean he needs to lose so often. I’m still not sure why Palumbo got to beat him in the first place but at least they seem to have gotten back on track.
MVP comes in to see La Familia and complains about last week’s Championship Chase. Finlay and then Big Show follow him in but Vickie Guerrero doesn’t like the complaining. MVP can find a partner and face Finlay and Show. With the three of them gone, Chavo Guerrero wants to know why he wasn’t in on last week’s plan. Vickie tells him to shut up because they have planning to do.
Michelle McCool vs. Layla
Layla kicks her way out of the corner to start and slugs away, only to have Michelle come back with a leg crank. Commentary talks about how much better Michelle would have been as their science teacher as she gets a heel hook for the rather fast tap.
Here is Batista for a chat. He was watching Raw this week and saw Shawn Michaels admit that he was faking his knee injury at Backlash. Batista is glad Shawn is better….but wait, it was never hurt in the first place. Shawn is going to be at Judgment day, and maybe Batista will be there too. As usual, Batista keeps it simple and to the point, which often goes best or him.
Video on John Cena vs. John Bradshaw Layfield.
Big Show/Finlay vs. MVP/Mark Henry
Henry is the surprise partner and Hornswoggle is here too, as Show is suddenly a nice guy again. MVP and Finlay go to the mat to start with Finlay grabbing a snap suplex for one. Finlay chokes away a bit before handing it off to Show and Henry. Show knocks him down with a shoulder so MVP comes in to be powered straight into the corner. It’s back to Finlay, who has to deal with an invading Henry, allowing MVP to kick him to the floor.
Back in and MVP fires off some forearms to the head. Henry adds a few shots of his own before handing it back to MVP. This time Finlay avoids a charge and brings Show back in as everything breaks down. Finlay low bridges Henry to the floor, leaving MVP to get chokeslammed for the pin.
Rating: C. Not too bad here, with MVP vs. Finlay being a nice feud and Show vs. Henry being there for the monster showdown appeal. I do appreciate it when they throw something new out there, as MVP and Finlay makes for a fresh match. You never know when you might find something that works and I could go for the two of them having a longer match.
Vickie Guerrero does not like being treated like this, so she’s making it La Familia vs. Undertaker tonight.
Vladimir Kozlov vs. Funaki
The fans chant USA as Kozlov takes him down by the arm and cranks away. More cranking ensues as Funaki is on his feet, where some kicks to the ribs don’t do much. Kozlov knocks him down again and hits the reverse DDT for the win. More dominance, but at least it was against a bigger name.
Cherry vs. Maryse
Deuce N Domino are here with Maryse, who shoves Cherry in the face to start. A neckbreaker gives Cherry a quick two and a rollup is good for the same. Maryse grabs a cravate but Cherry forearms her in the face. A bulldog gives Cherry the upset (I think?) pin.
Video on HHH vs. Randy Orton.
Judgment Day rundown.
Kofi Kingston (with Eve Torres for some reason) shows respect to Matt Hardy when Shelton Benjamin comes in. Benjamin isn’t impressed but Matt brings up that the Gold Standard doesn’t have any gold. And no the bad hair doesn’t count.
Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin
Non-title. A running shoulder gives Shelton two and he grabs the quickly broken armbar. As Foley talks about Pennsylvania amusement parks, Benjamin takes him into the corner and backdrops him out. Benjamin gets two off a backbreaker and we hit the seated abdominal stretch. Matt fights up but a double leg and headbutt to the ribs cuts him back down. The bodyscissors goes on but Matt fights up for a Side Effect. Benjamin’s Dragon Whip connects but Matt is right back with a Twist of Fate for the pin.
Rating: C. Another perfectly watchable match here that had a bit of time. Matt continues to rack up victories, which make him feel like that much stronger of a champion. At the same time, that whole Gold Standard idea continues to feel like one of the worst possible moves, as Shelton’s downward spiral continues.
We recap the opening segment.
Undertaker vs. La Familia
Actually hold on as Chavo Guerrero and Bam Neely walk out (apparently over not being in on last week’s scheme). Vickie is so terrified that even Mick Foley thinks this might be going too far. Edge and the Edgeheads swarm Undertaker at once but Undertaker fires the heads into the corner. The two of them come back to save Edge, who is playing defense in front of Vickie. The triple teaming puts Undertaker down, where his attempt at the choke is broken up. Undertaker fights up and sends the three of them to the floor before grabbing Vickie by the throat. Edge makes the save with the spear and the villains take the countout.
Rating: C-. This was more of an angle than a match and not exactly a great one at that. They’re teasing the idea of Undertaker getting his revenge on Vickie but we’re probably a good ways off from that actually happening. For now, we’ll have to settle for Edge doing more hitting and running, as the (third) big showdown awaits on Sunday.
Overall Rating: C-. Much like this week’s Raw, most of the build towards Sunday was already done but in this case, there wasn’t much to see here. We’re getting a rematch in the main event plus Batista likely interfering in the Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho match. That isn’t much to go on, and it didn’t make for a good go home Smackdown on the way there.
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