Smackdown – September 7, 2007: Playing the Midcard Heel

Smackdown
Date: September 7, 2007
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

This is another request as I try (in vain) to clear out that overly large pile. We’re coming up on Unforgiven 2007 meaning Great Khali is Smackdown World Champion with Batista chasing him. Tonight’s main event is Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio in an I Quit match as those two were joined at the hip for years. Let’s get to it.

The opening recap shows Rey Mysterio winning a competition last week to become #1 contender, only to be destroyed by Khali.

Opening sequence, featuring some of the wrestlers turning into comic book style drawings. Couple that with the fist and is there any wonder why Smackdown was considered so much cooler than Raw?

We open with MVP’s VIP Lounge with MVP bragging about being the US Champion and half of the Tag Team Champions with Matt Hardy (which they won last week). He’s so awesome that he’s the host and the guest but he’s also having Matt out here as a bonus. After Matt has to check in with the bouncer, MVP takes credit for the win.

We see a clip of MVP coming in to get the pin after Matt wrestled the entire match, which MVP says makes him the captain. Matt smirks and shows us a clip of his own. After last week’s match, MVP was bragging to his agent when Matt came in and asked what that was. MVP calls it vision so Matt punches him in the jaw. Back live, Matt says he wants a US Title shot but MVP says they have a Tag Team Title defense at Unforgiven against former champions Deuce N Domino. As for tonight though, Matt has a match right now.

Matt Hardy vs. Deuce

Matt is in jeans and we’re joined in progress after a break. Deuce fires in some shoulders to the ribs but gets sent into the buckles a few times. A hot shot cuts Matt off as MVP keeps cheering him on. We hit the neck crank for a good while until Matt shrugs off a superplex attempt. The Side Effect gets two but a double clothesline puts both guys down. Back up and MVP deals with Domino, allowing Matt to grab the Side Effect for the pin.

Rating: D. Just a quick match here to keep the MVP/Matt story going because the INCREDIBLY long time spent on it just wasn’t enough. There was a good idea behind it but the constant health issues hurt it a lot. At least it gave Matt a spotlight near the top of his singles run, which was quite the welcome development.

Jamie Noble has an AKME (yes AKME) leprechaun trap, which means putting Lucky Charms underneath a box to catch Hornswoggle. Shannon Moore thinks this is the stupidest thing he’s ever seen because Shannon is, you know, smart. They wait on Hornswoggle to make sure the stupidity stretches out even longer.

We look at Rey Mysterio’s debut when he beat Chavo Guerrero, who he faces in an I Quit match tonight. This included Tazz calling it the Six Nineteen (fair enough, just odd to hear).

Kenny Dykstra vs. Chuck Palumbo

Kenny (from the Spirit Squad, now just a cocky prospect) has Victoria as a trainer while Palumbo is a biker with Michelle McCool (who is always better looking than I remember). Cole: “How can you not get into a Chuck Palumbo match???” Chuck starts fast with belly to back suplexes as the announcers try to get over “motorcycle mechanic” as a good gimmick. Dykstra starts in on the arm but gets caught in a powerslam for his efforts. Victoria goes after Chuck’s bike for some reason so Michelle takes care of her, leaving Chuck to hit the Full Throttle (spinning Big Ending) for the pin. This was what you would expect it to be.

Teddy Long is getting married to Krystal Marshall (not around long) in two weeks and gives her a Jagged Edge CD. They’ll be performing at the wedding. Krystal gets a phone call from her mom and leaves so Vickie Guerrero suggests he give the CD to Vince. It’s not funny.

Video on Chavo costing Mysterio the World Title.

Finlay/Great Khali vs. Kane/Batista

Rematch from Saturday Night’s Main Event to make sure you remember that the show exists. The World Title looking so small on Khali’s shoulder is always a cool visual. Finlay and Batista get things going with Big Dave actually using a leg trip to take Finlay down. It’s off to some arm cranking, followed by a headlock takeover of all things. A bit of an awkward sequence ends in Finlay taking an atomic drop, followed by a catapult to send him into Khali.

Back from a break with Finlay still in trouble and Kane coming in to what I hope was a canned pop. I’d hate to think that 2007 Kane was really that popular. A suplex gets two as the announcers talk about how mad Kane is. I wouldn’t think someone that angry would be suplexing people but Kane is an odd parakeet. Khali comes in for the big showdown but Finlay low bridges Kane to the floor to take over.

We hit the slow motion offense and, again, that doesn’t make Khali bad. He’s not someone who should be doing flashy stuff so having him do the basics but doing them well is exactly what how he should be going about his matches. Khali kicks Kane in the face and we hit the nerve hold, with Khali’s back to the camera. That looks so foreign today and, contrary to what WWE thinks, it’s really not a big deal as a camera goes over to film it from the other side so we can see the all important face.

Khali breaks out of a chokeslam attempt but takes an enziguri to the elbow (Cole’s words, as enziguri means HEAD kick, therefore meaning it can’t hit the elbow by definition). Finlay pulls Batista to the floor though and the beating continues. The shoulder goes into the post and Runjin Singh gets on the apron so Finlay can use the club. Unfortunately it also allows Batista to spear Finlay down. A double clothesline puts Khali on the floor and a chokeslam ends Finlay.

Rating: C+. Fairly good tag match here with the ending being a bit surprising as Batista didn’t get the hot tag. Kane looked good here and acted like the veteran that he is, much like Finlay. Khali was used in spurts here, which is what should be done with a giant like him. I liked this more than I thought I would, though to be fair that’s not the highest level of accomplishment.

After a good match, it’s back to the Hornswoggle hunt. He gets the cereal and breaks the rope, annoying Moore and Noble. Naturally Hornswoggle has left the belt where the cereal was and tied his own rope, meaning Jamie gets caught in his own trap. Sweet chipmunks on popsicle sticks that made my head hurt.

We look at Rey beating Chavo up at No Mercy 2006 as revenge for costing him the World Title.

Jesse and Festus have arrived and find Noble still in the box. Jesse: “THEY HAVE TALKING BOXES HERE!” Noble is stuck in the box because a professional athlete is incapable of lifting a box off the ground and getting his foot under it or something.

Cruiserweight Title: Hornswoggle vs. Jamie Noble

Hornswoggle is defending but there’s no Jamie, meaning he loses by countout.

Noble comes out after the match and chases Hornswoggle, who leaves marbles behind to trip Jamie. I know the line is that Hornswoggle killed the cruiserweights but (if the title wasn’t dead by the time Hornswoggle got it), this is the kind of stuff that ended it for good. This is unfunny nonsense that would amuse a three year old and it’s over a title.

We go back to Raw as Vince is trying to find out the identity of his illegitimate son. Linda threatened to sue him over all of his alleged affairs and the rest of the family wants him to get help. Vince got on his knee and vowed to be a better person but Mr. Kennedy interrupted, flat out saying he’s the son. That would have been on August 27. Three days later, Kennedy was popped for a Wellness Policy violation (along with ten others) and the whole storyline was scrapped, basically ending Kennedy’s time as anything important in the company.

Undertaker is coming back at Unforgiven. I’m assuming he died again recently. Or there were a bunch of people popped for steroids and we needed some star power to divert attention.

A druid is in the ring when Mark Henry, the man who injured Undertaker, comes out. The lights go out and the druid disappears as the gong sounds.

We look at Chavo beating Rey Mysterio into knee surgery in their first I Quit match.

Unforgiven rundown.

Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

I Quit. Chavo has a chair that he calls part of both Mysterio’s past and future. Knee injuries are promised again. The referee takes the chair outside before the bell (no need for that) and Rey comes out slugging (there’s a rare sight). Rey gets choked on the ropes and limps to the floor, only to come back in with the first of likely many hurricanranas. They head outside with a chair duel going to Chavo, who cracks Rey in the ribs.

It’s too early to have an effect though as Mysterio kicks him in the head and scores with some chair shots of his own. Back in and Chavo muscles him over with a German suplex before starting in on the knee with the chair. That just earns him a sitout bulldog onto the chair and a 619 into the chair makes things even worse. A chair to the knee cuts Rey off though and we take a break.

Back with Chavo holding a half crab but not being able to hit a powerbomb onto a pair of chairs. Instead Chavo chairs him in the knee again and puts the chair around his neck for a ram into the post. Rey isn’t done yet (because crushing your neck isn’t enough to end a match) and hits a top rope seated senton to drive Chavo through the chair in a cool visual. The Gory Bomb onto a chair puts Rey down again though but he breaks up the frog splash. A chair to the head ties Chavo in the Tree of Woe and Rey unloads on Chavo’s knee to make Chavo quit.

Rating: B. Rey popping up from a lot of shots to the knee aside, this was all the match needed to be. I don’t think anyone believed Chavo was going to beat Mysterio in a second major match and having Mysterio get the win back, even in the same way Chavo beat him the first time, is the way to go here. Chavo did better than I was expecting here and the match was entertaining, as it needed to be.

Post match here’s Khali to hook Mysterio in the Vice, causing blood to flow from Rey’s mouth. Batista makes the save and Teddy Long adds him to Sunday’s match for the sake of making the title match interesting.

Overall Rating: C+. The first half wasn’t great but after we got around the Hornswoggle nonsense, this was actually a pretty nice show. The big gimmick main event helped and the tag match was a nice way to bridge things along. Smackdown in 2007 was one of those years where they were ignored so much that they were able to put on an entertaining show while the focus was all on Raw. That’s often a good thing and it worked well here.

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