Smackdown – May 23, 2008
By Thomas Hall on 24th July 2023
Date: May 23, 2008
Location: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
Commentators: Michael Cole, Mick Foley
We’re on the way to One Night Stand but first of all, we have to deal with the fallout from Judgment Day. That shouldn’t be too hard, as there the show didn’t have much in the way of major developments. There is still no World Champion and that means we’ll probably need to set up another title match. Let’s get to it.
Here are Vickie Guerrero and Edge to start things off. Vickie says none of the people here know what it’s like to have to run Smackdown. Everyone knows that a title can only change hands on a pinfall or a disqualification, so Undertaker couldn’t win the World Title on a countout. Therefore, at One Night Stand, it’s Undertaker vs. Edge for the title in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. Oh and if Undertaker loses: he’s gone from WWE FOREVER.
Jesse & Festus/Cherry vs. Deuce N Domino/Maryse
Festus powers Domino around to start and then slams Jesse down onto him for two. Deuce comes in and gets taken down so Jesse can hammer away as we hear about Deuce N Domino not winning a match since August. A springboard clothesline gets Deuce out of trouble as we hear about Mick Foley enjoying Maryse as the Daily Diva on WWE.com. We’ll move away from that rather quickly as Deuce N Domino take turns beating on Jesse, including a jumping fist drop for two.
This not so interesting match lets Cole point out that Vickie Guerrero said the World Title can only change hands on a pinfall or submission and then made the next title match Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. Jesse clotheslines his way to freedom, allowing the hot tag off to Cherry. This means Foley can recite a poem about her, which sounds quite Bruce Springsteenish. Everything breaks down and Festus kicks Domino into Cherry, allowing Maryse to get in a big kick for the pin.
Rating: C-. This was a rough sit, partially because Foley was transforming into something closer to Jerry Lawler with the women involved. That sounds like a Vince In His Ear transformation more than anything else, but it wasn’t going to help such a dull match anyway. It kept going and felt a lot longer than it was, which is one of the worst things that can happen in a match. Granted it doesn’t help when both teams feel like losers, with commentary pointing out how true that is for Deuce N Domino.
Chavo Guerrero comes in to see Edge and Vickie Guerrero, who he hopes aren’t mad at him. Vickie isn’t, but Chavo does happen to have a match with the Undertaker tonight. Don’t worry though as the rest of La Familia will be out there with him.
It’s time for the VIP Lounge, with MVP bringing out Teddy Long for a chat. MVP brings up their history, which doesn’t matter as much now that Teddy isn’t his boss. Teddy is JEALOUS of his money, looks, clothes and HAIR. Teddy is about to leave but cue Batista to interrupt. MVP doesn’t want Batista out here as the big hero, but Batista just wants to thank Teddy for everything and say goodbye. Oh and if MVP threatens Teddy again, Batista will put a fist through his face. MVP doesn’t like the disrespect, but Batista says he’ll show MVP disrespect. The set is promptly destroyed as MVP leaves.
Post break MVP goes in to see Vickie Guerrero and Edge to complain about Batista. Vickie makes MVP vs. Batista instead, which isn’t much of a heel decision.
Finlay vs. Chuck Palumbo
Hornswoggle is here too. Finlay gets in a quick elbow and takes him down by the leg for some cranking. Back up and Palumbo hits him in the face before hitting a hard clothesline for two. The chinlock goes on as it already feels like they’re filling in time. Hold on though as Hornswoggle whips out a water gun to spray Palumbo, allowing Finlay to run him over. The face/heel dynamics have been a bit off on this show. Back in and a side slam puts Finlay down but he pulls Palumbo into a Fujiwara armbar of all things.
Palumbo fights up and comes out of the corner with a heck of a clothesline for two, followed by the chinlock. A big boot gives Palumbo two and we’re already back in the chinlock. Finlay gets up this time and hits a crossbody for two of his own but Palumbo drops him again. This time Palumbo goes after Hornswoggle though, allowing Hornswoggle to bust out the Irish mist (which is apparently a thing). The shillelagh to the head gives Finlay the pin.
Rating: C-. Well I can certainly check the “Finlay vs. Chuck Palumbo for about ten minutes” match off my wish list. I’m not sure why this match needed this much time but the Irish mist certainly, uh, existed. Palumbo continues to be the relatively nothing midcard villain but there are worse choices out there. Not a good match here, and it felt like they were just killing time.
MVP vs. Batista
Feeling out process to start with Batista powering him into the corner without much effort. A headlock has MVP in trouble and Batista knocks him outside to make it worse. Back in and Batista leapfrogs (!) him before hitting a big boot to put MVP down again. MVP manages to send him into the corner though and a running boot to the face puts Batista on the floor for a change.
We take a break and come back with MVP grabbing a front facelock to keep him down. MVP hammers on the arm until Batista powers into the corner, meaning MVP needs to hammer him down even more. The armbar goes on for a bit until an armdrag gets Batista out of trouble. Another running boot is cut off by a spear but Batista can’t cover. A one armed spinebuster plants MVP and the Batista Bomb finishes him off.
Rating: C. This started off well but once it got to the arm work, the interest fell straight down. These two are capable of having a much better match and I’m not sure what happened here. As has been the case all night, the match just wasn’t very fun or exciting and that is disappointing given who was involved here.
Nunzio vs. Vladimir Kozlov
Kozlov starts in on the arm and gets two off a northern lights suplex. A headbutt to the chest sets up a kick to the ribs and the reverse DDT finishes for Kozlov in a hurry.
Matt Hardy/Kofi Kingston vs. Shelton Benjamin/Elijah Burke
Kingston and Burke start things off with Kofi taking him to the mat without much trouble. Matt comes in and starts cranking on the arm before punching the heck out of Burke. Another right hand knocks Benjamin off the apron but the distraction lets Burke knock Matt down for a change. Benjamin comes back in to work on a chinlock, only to dive into the Side Effect for a knockdown. It’s back to Kofi with the high crossbody for two as everything breaks down. Kofi’s spinning kick to the head finishes Benjamin.
Rating: C. This was pretty quick and to the point, but it’s interesting to see the ECW stars around here more often. Kingston has done well enough on ECW and use some better competition. Granted this was the same competition in a different place, but it does at least feel like an upgrade. Now just get Matt a nice challenger for the title and we could be getting somewhere.
One Night Stand rundown.
Undertaker vs. Chavo Guerrero
The rest of La Familia is here too. Undertaker wastes no time in striking him into the corner for an elbow to the face. Old School connects but Undertaker misses a boot in the ropes. The beating is on outside….and La Familia (save for Bam Neely) is ejected. Chavo kicks away and a shot to the knee puts Undertaker down a bit. A hanging DDT puts Undertaker down but he sits up to scare Chavo away. Neely’s distraction breaks up a chokeslam so Undertaker punches him down. Chavo gets in a low blow but dives right into the Tombstone for the pin.
Rating: C. Yeah what were you expecting here? Undertaker beating Chavo even with the big advantage wasn’t out of the question and then the numbers game was mostly neutralized anyway. This gives Undertaker a bit of a boost going into the next title match with Edge and that’s all it was ever supposed to be.
Overall Rating: C-. This whole show just wasn’t very interesting, though that is probably due to the quick turnaround for One Night Stand. It’s a sequel to a show that was already a sequel so how much work do they need to do? This show didn’t make me want to watch One Night Stand though, as it was quite the chore to get through at times. Put in some effort next week and things should be better, but Smackdown needs something new and they need it soon.
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