Smackdown Results - 8/22/08 - Moline, IL ('Championship Scramble')

Reported by Mike Tedesco of
On Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 2:48 PM EST

WWE Smackdown
August 22, 2008
Moline, IL
Report by: Mike Tedesco of

“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.

We open up Smackdown with a recap of the Smackdown side of the Pay Per View. It starts off with Triple H defending his kingdom against The Great Khali in a surprisingly good match. I was definitely impressed with that but I knew deep down Triple H could yank a good match out of Khali. We now get a little recap of the MVP vs. Jeff Hardy match which the announcer dubs a “Grand Theft Victory”. Good one… Then it shows some quick highlights of the terrific Hell in a Cell match which featured Edge being sent to Hell and burnt up to a crisp! Awesome ending!

The Smackdown video now plays and I notice that they put Alicia Fox into the introduction even though she really hasn’t been seen on TV much since the wedding reception. There’s no pyrotechnics display when we see the arena in Moline, IL, just Justin Roberts in the ring introducing Smackdown’s General Manager Vickie Guerrero.

Vickie Guerrero doesn’t come out – she’s filmed in a pre-taped segment from her wheelchair and looking emotionally beat. The audience doesn’t like her even after what she’s gone through. Vickie greets us and says she recognizes that some of the decisions she’s made over the past few months haven’t really been all that popular. She says she wants us all to know that the person we’ve been seeing over the past few months wasn’t the real her. Everything she’s done was because of Edge, the real problem. She says the real Vickie Guerrero is benevolent and compassionate but she was a victim to Edge’s love. Edge corrupted who she was as a person. He forced her to shorten men’s careers, cheat them out of victories and in essence cheat us. He forced her to fall in love only to betray that trust. The worst however was that he changed the Vickie Guerrero that we all know and love (yeah?) and transformed her into a woman of his own creation but now she’s free! She’s free to be her own self and not held back by Edge. She says that Edge put her through a living Hell by cheating on her but now Edge is residing there and she laughs evilly! Women…

Vickie says she’s ready to feel good again about whom she is as a person and how she does her job. One of the things she feels best about is reinstating the Undertaker. Vickie says when he arrives she wants us all to join her in giving him a standing ovation.

Another thing Vickie is excited about is Smackdown’s Championship Scramble at Unforgiven. She says for those of us that are unfamiliar with the Championship Scramble, it is a new concept (not really!) in which five superstars, including the WWE Champion, will compete in a twenty minute match. Two men will be picked at random to start and then at regularly allotted intervals another three competitors will join the match. Once the bell rings anyone can score a pinfall or submission on anyone and they’ll become the interim champion. They can remain that way until another pinfall or submission occurs. Whoever the interim champion is at the end of the match will be recognized officially as the WWE Champion. By the end of the night we’ll find out who will be involved in the inaugural Championship Scramble.

Jim Ross and Tazz welcome us to Smackdown and discuss that Vickie Guerrero was very candid about her comments about Edge, the Undertaker will be back tonight and the Smackdown version of the Championship Scramble.

Maria’s music hits and she makes her way to the ring and JR says that when we return we will have Diva’s in action! I’m assuming this won’t be a Championship Scramble match…

:::Commercial Break:::

Advertised for tonight is Jeff Hardy vs. The Great Khali in a qualifying match for the Scramble as well as MVP vs. Festus in a qualifier as well.

Maria is still jumping around the ring trying to keep the audience excited over the commercial break. Her opponent is Natalya!

Maria vs. Natalya

The bell rings and we’re set to begin this contest. They lock up and Natalya immediately grounds Maria with a fireman’s carry takeover followed up by an arm lock. Maria counters with a head scissors and Natalya gets out of that. Both ladies are quickly back up to a vertical base and Maria hits a headlock takeover on the third generation superstar and keeps the headlock locked in. Maria looks scrumptious on HD! Natalya tries to pull Maria’s hair when the referee can’t see but Maria doesn’t break the hold so Natalya gets Maria in a head scissors which Maria kicks up out of! Maria now wrenches the arm of Natalya and holds it in. Natalya counters this by stomping on Maria’s foot and wrenches Maria’s arm as payback, which is a you know what I might add. Maria now grabs the top rope and holds it while she back flips, reversing the pressure, and locks in an arm wrench and then she floats over and arm drags her with her right arm! Nicely done, Maria…

Natalya gets up and Maria ducks a huge punch from her and goes into the ropes and hits a head scissors takeover on the Anvil’s daughter! Maria waits for her to get up and kicks her in both her quads and goes for another kick but Natalya takes her down with a dragon screw leg whip! Maria slowly gets up and Natalya clubs her back, sending her down again. Natalya picks her up and gives a nice forearm to the face and delivers a huge body slam with her legs going into the ropes to keep up on the injured knee! Nice! Natalya now takes Maria’s leg and drops an elbow on the inner thigh and wrenches.

Maria gets the crowd into it and knees Natalya in the back twice and brings her leg over her face and brings her down. Maria follows it up by picking up her leg and bringing it down hard over Natalya’s face, just like Steve Austin used to do! Natalya goes to deliver an elbow drop but only hits canvas as Maria rolls out of the way. Maria is holding her neck and Natalya grabs her by the hair but Maria hits a jawbreaker! Maria backs into the corner and Natalya charges but catches two boots in the face. Maria then explodes out of the corner with a clothesline! Natalya is quickly back up and is quickly back down from another clothesline! Natalya is in the corner and Maria hits a Bronco Buster!! Natalya rolls out to the apron and Maria shoulder blocks her off and Natalya crashes to the outside!!

Maria rolls out of the ring when Maryse’s music hits and she walks down to the ring and while she does that Natalya clubs Maria’s back! Maryse now attacks Maria and the referee calls for the bell!

Winner by Disqualification: Maria
Match Rating: * ½

Maryse and Natalya throw the Playboy Cover Girl in the ring. Maryse gets on top of Maria and starts punching. Tazz says this is payback for Maria breaking Maryse’s nose two weeks ago. Michelle McCool runs down to the ring slowly (in heels) and clears the ring of the two bad girls! Maria is down with her torn pantyhose and Michelle checks on her as the two heels go up the ramp.

Backstage Chavo is wheeling Vickie around with Bam Neely and they run into the Big Show! Big Show says he’s excited about this Championship Scramble. He loves the concept and says it’s a perfect match for someone like him. Show says he’s excited he has a qualifying match and wants to know who his opponent is. Vickie says that Show doesn’t have a match tonight and apologizes, saying it was an oversight. That’s a pretty big oversight! Show says OK and walks off!

Next up is a Ten Man Battle Royal to determine one of the participants of the WWE Championship Scramble!

The Big Show’s music now hits and he makes his way out to the arena! Big Show high fives some fans and takes a folding chair and pops a squat next to the ring to watch the Battle Royal, next!

:::Commercial Break:::

The Power of the WWE Universe (gag): More people watched Smackdown last Friday than the NFL on FOX. I’m all for people watching my favorite show on television but announcing happily that it beat an NFL game when it’s only preseason is a little stupid.

This is a Champion Scrabble Qualifying Battle Royal. So far in the ring its Armando Estrada (why should he be allowed to have an opportunity at the big gold??), Scotty Goldman (I like Colt Cabana but he’s been on the show once…), Funaki (my pick), Super Crazy, and I guess that’s Kevin Thorn! The Brian Kendrick’s music hits and he comes out with his advisor Ezekiel Jackson! The WWE Tag Team Champions Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder come out to the ring now. Jimmy Wang Yang will also be in this. Jim Ross just said that it’s Ryan Braddock, the guy who got squashed by Big Show last week, not Kevin Thorn. Wouldn’t Vickie realize Big Show wasn’t in this match if she puts in the guy he killed last week? The last participant in this match is Vladimir Kozlov!

Ten Man Championship Scramble Qualifying Battle Royal
Armando Estrada vs. Scotty Goldman vs. Funaki vs. Super Crazy vs. Ryan Braddock vs. The Brian Kendrick vs. Curt Hawkins vs. Zach Ryder vs. Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Vladimir Kozlov

This is going to be a nightmare to call! The Big Show is watching on. The bell rings and everyone pretty much starts attacking one another. Two men attack Vladimir Kozlov but he gets them off. Zach Ryder gets Ryan Braddock in the corner and looks to see Kozlov demolishing his tag team partner. Goldman is working on Jimmy Wang Yang in the corner, a fellow former ROH wrestler. He tries to get Yang over the top rope but Yang kicks him in the head. This is getting chaotic already and the WWE Tag Team Champions are now both concentrating on big Vladimir Kozlov! They both try to get him over the top rope to no avail. They try again and this time Jimmy Wang Yang, Armando Estrada and Ryan Braddock team up to push the Moscow Mauler over the top rope!!

Vladimir Kozlov has been eliminated

Kozlov bangs the apron as the referees tell him to leave. Scotty Goldman is now concentrating all his efforts on Zach Ryder as Armando Estrada goes for Curt Hawkins, as does Super Crazy. Braddock and Yang are also punching off while Kendrick rests in the corner. The WWE Tag Team Champions team up and deliver a double clothesline to Scotty Goldman over the top rope!

Scotty Goldman has been eliminated

Oh for two pal, sorry. Get some new tights! Big Show is now standing on the outside! Maybe he doesn’t like Scotty’s tights either. Hawkins is in the corner punching Super Crazy and Estrada and Ryder is working on Braddock and Yang. Funaki is after The Brian Kendrick. Hawkins is trying to get Super Crazy over the top rope but he’s holding on for dear life! Now the Big Show climbs up the apron and gets in this match!! Show immediately grabs Ryan Braddock and tosses him out of the ring!

Ryan Braddock has been eliminated

Big Show now grabs the legs of Hawkins, Ryder and Super Crazy and pushes them over the top rope!!

Curt Hawkins, Zach Ryder and Super Crazy have been eliminated

Big Show now does his Cobra Clutch toss to The Brian Kendrick! Show now tosses out Armando Estrada who lands awkwardly on his ankles.

Armando Estrada has been eliminated

Jimmy Wang Yang is trying to get Funaki over the top rope and Big Show rips him away by his shirt, ripping his shirt to shreds as well. Show now does a huge chop to Funaki’s chest, sending him over the top rope!

Funaki has been eliminated

Big Show puts his hand around The Brian Kendrick’s throat and pushes him over the top rope but Ezekiel catches him with one hand on his shoulder!! Show now military presses Jimmy Wang Yang over the top rope and he lands on his chest!!!

Jimmy Wang Yang has been eliminated

Big Show’s music now plays and he goes over the top rope and goes up the ramp angrily! Ezekiel now puts The Brian Kendrick back in the ring and the referees say that his feet never touched so The Brian Kendrick runs around the ring with his hands up because he has qualified for the WWE Championship Scramble!!!

Winner: The Brian Kendrick!
Match Rating: * ¼

The Kendrick dances in the ring celebrating as we see replays of the match.

Advertised for tonight: The return of the legendary phenom The Undertaker!

:::Commercial Break:::

Back from the break we see replays of the Battle Royal with Big Show eliminating everyone and the controversy of The Brian Kendrick being caught by Ezekiel! Gutsy move by WWE but I support it. For more see Mike’s Thoughts. JR and Tazz discuss The Brian Kendrick’s win and upside and we are led into a vignette of R-Truth, who debuts next week!

MVP’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. We see a promo he cut with Eve Torres after his match at Summerslam. MVP says that he said time and time again that Jeff Hardy would defeat Jeff Hardy. He says Jeff Hardy is a loser and he’s a winner and that’s why Jeff won’t be going to the places he’s going which is straight to the top! Jeff Hardy has gone down and the WWE Champion is next! MVP says when he becomes WWE Champion that will be straight up ballin’!

WWE Championship Scramble Qualifying Match
MVP vs. Festus w/ Jesse

The bell rings and Festus loses all control of his body and goes nuts! Festus goes for a wild swing and MVP ducks and lays in the rights and lefts to Festus, putting him in the corner and the referee backs him away. MVP is coming back and Festus hits a huge uppercut, knocking MVP down! Festus picks him up and runs him to the corner to bounce his head off the top turnbuckle, knocking MVP down again! Festus hits a big suplex on MVP and covers him for a one count. When Festus goes to pick MVP up MVP starts delivering some right hands to the face but Festus again hits a huge uppercut and sends MVP down to a knee! Festus then kicks him in the head to get him down. What a guy! Another huge uppercut sends MVP down into the ropes! Festus sends MVP into the ropes and nearly turns him inside out with a HUGE clothesline which gets Festus a two count! Festus picks MVP up again and executes a fall away slam, sending MVP across the ring! MVP back into the corner with his hand out begging Festus not to come near! The referee stops Festus. MVP was playing possum because he kicks Festus hard in the midsection.

MVP now gains some sort of control over the Corn Fed Colossus by sending him through the top and middle turnbuckle and into the ring post! MVP now hammerlocks the arm and drives the shoulder into the top turnbuckle! MVP bends the joint of the elbow around the top rope and holds it there for a count of three and kicks the rope with the arm still around it! MVP then punches the shoulder blade and then delivers a big kick to it. Festus tries a comeback by punching twice but MVP stops it by kicking him in the shoulder blade. MVP grounds him with an arm lock. Jesse is willing Festus on, as is the crowd. Festus is responding by getting up to his knees and then to a vertical base and tries breaking the hold but MVP takes him down by his head and stomps on the shoulder! MVP covers him for a one! MVP now has Festus in a sitting arm lock – I forget the technical name at the moment. It’s a reverse key lock. Festus is trying to will the crowd back in and succeeds, getting up to a vertical base! Festus head-butts the arm of MVP and then head-butts his head, knocking him down and to the apron! MVP grabs his arm and pulls it down on the top rope!

MVP comes back in and starts punching the shoulder and hits an arm bar takedown! MVP gets a one count! While MVP is getting up Festus hits a huge uppercut and another punch! MVP is down and Festus is standing over him punching until the referee pulls him off. Festus picks him up and gives him a right hand, sending him into the corner. Festus charges but MVP moves and Festus hits the corner bad shoulder first! MVP hits a snapmare and then drops a knee across the injured left shoulder and gets a two count! MVP locks in that reverse key lock again. MVP is really wrenching it in! Festus eventually gets to a knee and gets MVP on his shoulders and hits a nice Samoan Drop!!

Festus waits for MVP to get up and slaps him down three times! He whips MVP into the corner and hits a running butt bump and immediately comes off the ropes and hits a twisting shoulder block! Festus signals for the Flying Biscuit and hits it! Festus now picks MVP up and MVP again hits an arm bar takedown! MVP comes off the ropes and runs into a big boot from Festus! MVP rolls out of the ring and Festus exits as well. Festus comes around the corner and clotheslines MVP down! While Festus picks MVP up he gets a shoulder to the gut and some right hands at the five count. MVP goes to piledrive Festus on the outside but Festus back body drops him! The referee is up to nine now and MVP gets up and delivers a Player Kick to Jesse’s face and Festus runs to check on him as MVP jumps back in the ring and is awarded this match by Count Out!

Winner by Count Out: MVP
Match Rating: * ¾

The bell rings and Festus goes back to his docile state of mind. MVP joins The Brian Kendrick in the Championship Scramble. Festus is back in the ring and MVP waves his hands in front of Festus’s face and gets no response so MVP does the only thing a gentleman should do – come off the ropes and Player Kick him over the top rope! Nice!

Up next is our third qualifying match: Shelton Benjamin vs. Finlay!

:::Commercial Break:::

WWE 24/7 On Demand Classics presents to us a flashback from May 16, 2002. Stacy Kiebler faced Torrie Wilson in a Bikini Contest and Tajiri comes out to stop it. Stacy thought she won but the Women’s Champion Trish Stratus (sorely missed) came out in lingerie to win it and over the next few years become one of the best woman wrestlers ever. I have 24/7 so I already enjoyed that one. Didn’t Edge face Kurt Angle in a cage match that night? Or was it the next week? Who cares, I know it was in that month. That was an awesome cage match.

Shelton Benjamin comes out and says before we get started he has something to get off his chest. To be a Gold Standard you have to be obsessed with winning and gold. That sounds about right… That being said if we turn on any news channel, newspaper, etcetera we’ll hear about Michael Phelps (hell yeah) and proclaiming he’s the new Gold Standard. Benjamin says we should make no mistake – there is only one Gold Standard and holds up his US Title. That Gold Standard’s name is Shelton Benjamin. Too bad he didn’t do that awkward Ain’t No Stoppin’ Me Now thing.

WWE Championship Scramble Qualifying Match
Shelton Benjamin vs. Finlay w/ Hornswoggle

Finlay comes out again with the blow up shillelaghs. I hate that! Hornswoggle gave some kid a hat at ringside. The bell rings and they circle the ring before locking up. Benjamin drives Finlay into the corner and the referee breaks them up. It’s a clean break. They go to lock up again but Finlay gets around Benjamin and grabs his shoulder for a nerve hold, sending Benjamin down to a knee. Finlay then grabs his face and elbows him right in the nose! That’s the Finlay I love! Finlay goes for a cover but only gets a one count. Finlay gets Benjamin in the corner and the referee struggles but he finally gets Finlay out of the corner. Another clean break. Finlay puts his right hand out to do the ol’ test of strength maneuver and Benjamin obliges. Finlay then slaps Benjamin’s hand off and gets him in a headlock! Finlay has this one locked in nicely and hits a headlock takeover and goes for a pin but gets a one. He keeps the headlock locked on. Benjamin gets to his knees and Finlay grabs his left arm to stop him from punching, then gets up and wrenches it and hits a nice takedown and goes for a cover but gets nothing as Benjamin retreats to the corner. Charles Robinson keeps Finlay away as Benjamin gets his upper body between the ropes.

Finlay goes for another test of strength move but Benjamin forcibly puts Finlay into the corner and the referee goes to separate him and Benjamin pretends he’s going for a clean break and then punches Finlay in the face! Dastardly! Benjamin punches and kicks Finlay hard in the corner until the referee finally forcibly breaks him off of the Irishman. Finlay charges out of the corner and goes over the referee and Finlay and Benjamin roll around the ring trying to get on up on each other. They eventually roll out of the ring and eventually just stand off and stare at each other angrily. The referee is counting them out and they don’t take their eyes off each other as they get back in the ring together.

Benjamin goes for a test of strength and Finlay shoulders him in the gut and takes him down by the leg and wrenches the left leg as Benjamin grabs Finlay’s head. Finlay wrenches the knee as Benjamin tries to get Finlay in a chin lock. Finlay eventually wrenches the leg hard and Benjamin stops his attempt and goes back in pain. Benjamin now clubs the back and goes right back to trying to hook Finlay’s head to break the leg lock. Finlay wrenches the leg and Benjamin goes back in pain. Finlay holds the leg and drops a knee on the ankle area and pulls up on Benjamin’s foot. Benjamin screams in pain and Finlay doesn’t care. Finlay now starts an ankle lock while wrenching the leg as Benjamin grabs at Finlay’s head. Benjamin finally gets Finlay’s face and elbows it but Finlay doesn’t budge so Benjamin does it a few more times and Finlay gets to his knees but still has the ankle twisted. Benjamin finally kicks Finlay in the head but misses and Finlay wraps Benjamin’s legs in a bow and arrow and pulls back! Benjamin is in pain and grabs the ropes. Finlay holds it in illegally for a four count!

Benjamin retreats to the corner and Finlay delivers a forearm. Finlay backs up and charges for a shoulder thrust but Benjamin moves and Finlay goes through the turnbuckles and hits the post! Benjamin bounces back and kicks Finlay and punches him in the shoulder until Finlay falls. Benjamin continues to kick Finlay in the shoulder while Finlay is in the ropes. Benjamin drops a big knee to the shoulder and back away by referee’s order. Benjamin runs up and kicks Finlay hard in the shoulder. Finlay is now half out of the ring and Benjamin goes out and steps on Finlay’s throat! The rouge! Benjamin now drives his forearm into Finlay’s chest while jumping off the apron.

Finlay is in the ring in pain and Benjamin comes in locks in a rear naked chin lock! Hornswoggle is on the outside trying to will his father back into it. Benjamin gets off and starts dropping knees on the chest. He picks Finlay up and delivers a snapmare and comes off the ropes and delivers a HUGE kick to the back of the head of Finlay! Finlay is in the corner and Benjamin kicks him real quick and Charles Robinson backs him away. Charles Robinson is asking Finlay if he wants to continue. My gut says he will go on. Benjamin starts kicking Finlay before he can make up his mind. Finlay gets out of the ring holding his head. Benjamin comes off the ropes for a baseball slide but Finlay gets the apron up and starts pounding Benjamin’s back! Finlay gets Benjamin back in the ring at three.

Benjamin quickly picks Finlay up and gets him in the corner and they stay there for a second as the referee tries to separate them and then Benjamin puts Finlay on the top turnbuckle. Benjamin delivers a nice right hand as he climbs up to the second rope but Finlay pushes him off. Benjamin quickly pops up and pushes Finlay off the top rope and he tumbles to the outside hitting his back hard on the ring apron as he does!! Qualifier for Bump of the Night!! Ouch!!

:::Commercial Break:::

Back from the break we see that Benjamin has Finlay in a neck wrench submission. We get a replay of what happened right before the commercial break with Benjamin pushing Finlay off the top rope, bending his back against the apron. Sick. In live action Benjamin is really wrenching it into Finlay but Finlay finally breaks the hold by kicking Benjamin in the head a few times from a seated position. As Finlay tries to capitalize Benjamin kicks him twice in the head hard! He does it two more times and Benjamin gets on top and starts punching Finlay in the face. The referee eventually pulls him off! Benjamin goes back and tries to get a chin lock on Finlay but Finlay counters with a nice jawbreaker!! Finlay covers and gets a two count! Finlay tries again but only gets a one this time around.

Finlay gets up selling the shoulder and Benjamin pops up and hits a nice clothesline, going down with Finlay. Benjamin goes for the cover but only gets two for the attempt! Finlay gets up to his knees still holding the shoulder and Benjamin comes from behind and locks in a double nerve hold (!!) on the fighting Irishman. Finlay is in pain and Hornswoggle looks sad and Finlay drives Benjamin throat first into the second rope! I love this match!

Finlay goes to get Benjamin up and Benjamin kicks him in the shoulder/head. Benjamin kicks him in the shoulder officially this time and punches Finlay a few times trying to win this match. This is a physical battle now. Adam, I’m jealous you saw this in person! Benjamin now bends Finlay’s neck over his shoulder in a submission hold. Finlay nearly slips out and Benjamin quickly gets him in a chin lock. Finlay gets out of that and Benjamin has on a form of a waist lock. Finlay reaches for the ropes now and almost gets it but Benjamin gets him away and back to his feet. They struggle a bit and Finlay gets him in a nice backslide pin for a two count! Benjamin goes for a kick but Finlay blocks it and turns him but Benjamin comes back with a Dragon Kick, sending Finlay back down!! I love this!!

Benjamin goes for a pinfall and gets a close two count! Finlay is up in the corner and Benjamin charges and Finlay gets the boot up! Finlay comes out of the corner and Benjamin hits an Exploder Suplex (T-Bone Suplex)! This only gets a one count! Benjamin lines up for Pay Dirt but Finlay pushes him off and clotheslines him down hard three times, comes off the ropes and delivers a jumping seated senton to the abdomen! This gets him an ultra close two count!

Finlay gets a nice shoulder block in the corner and lifts Benjamin up for rolling fireman’s carry and hits it but the camera sees the ever so debonair Mike Knox on the outside manhandling Hornswoggle and Finlay goes to deal with this. Knox begins dragging Horny away but quickly finds himself just holding the jacket as he goes under the ring. Finlay is now standing and looking at Knox as he turns into a HUGE Pay Dirt from Benjamin, giving him the win!!

Winner by Pinfall: Shelton Benjamin
Match Rating: ***

Benjamin is happy as he has his hand raised in the air by the referee and Mike Knox has never looked better in HD… Yeah, ok. Finlay is still down in the ring holding his head. Knox now gets in and levels Finlay with a Big Boot! Mike Knox delivers a huge knee to Finlay’s chest and pounds his face a bit. Knox now backs off.

I’m plugging my buddy Dave Stephens’ show – Tuesday night on ECW on Sci Fi its Finlay vs. Mike Knox!

Still to come – Undertaker live (dead) tonight!

:::Commercial Break:::

Back from the break it’s advertised that it will be Jeff Hardy vs. The Great Khali later in a Championship Scramble Qualifying Match.

Jim Ross and Tazz are shown and JR says that it was a great night Sunday at Summerslam but the big damper was the situation involving Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, and his wife Rebecca Hickenbottom. We now get a rundown of those events.

HBK says that he’s got to retire because the doctors say so and because he’s whipped he’s listening to his wife and the doctors. I love the arbitrary WWE Plants that they put in the audience crying. I remember they did the same thing the last time Shawn Michaels lost his smile!! HBK says he knows this is the right decision and is interrupted by Chris Jericho, who will not allow HBK to retire without saying that it was Jericho who put him out! Michaels admits it and says he’ll go home and sit his wife and kids down and tell them the reason he can’t wrestle anymore is because of the actions of a worthless human being. He tells Jericho to sit his wife and kids down and tell them that he will never ever be Shawn Michaels. Money right there! Jericho then goes to waffle Shawn Michaels but he ducks and lays out Mrs. HBK! What a hit she took! Her lip swelled up and everything. What a wife! This was a terrific segment and I read somewhere that this is a money angle and is an old school program. I 100% agree!

Backstage Chavo, Bam Neely and Vickie are talking in her office. Chavo says it would have been really cool if he was part of a qualifying match. Bam agrees and Vickie looks a little awkward. Guess she overlooked them too? Chavo then asks if it’s just him and wonders if the Undertaker has shown up yet. Vickie says she’s wondering the same thing. Chavo asks if they think the Undertaker would hold a grudge and wonders if he’s vindictive. Vickie says she reinstated him but Chavo asks if Taker knows that. Vickie says they should apologize and Chavo agrees.

Triple H’s music hits and the WWE Champion is making his way out to the ring! Triple H will be watching the final qualifying match, which is next!!

:::Commercial Break:::

Babylon A.D. presents the WWE Rewind which is still photos of the WWE Championship match at Summerslam with Triple H defeating The Great Khali via pedigree.

Triple H joins JR and Tazz at the table and says that big trees fall hard! Triple H now asks if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around does it make a sound? Yes. He then says when Khali falls 15,000 pop.

WWE Championship Scramble Qualifying Match
The Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh vs. Jeff Hardy

The bell rings and this match is set to start. Hardy and Khali have a stand off and the height difference is amazing and I’m not talking about Hardy’s. Khali pushes him away with one hand and Hardy bounces back with some forearms to the chest. Khali pushes him off again and Hardy looks at him. Hardy now bounces off the ropes, goes to the right and bounces off those ropes and goes to the right again and bounces off those ropes and goes through the confused Khali’s legs and when Khali turns he’s met with a slap so hard you see the sweat fly off and Hardy quickly exits the ring!

Hardy gets back in the ring and is in the corner. Khali goes for him and Hardy goes under his arm and starts kicking the back of his leg. Hardy comes off the ropes and into a HUGE Khali clothesline. Khali picks Hardy up by the head and quickly sends him back down to the canvas with a head-butt. Hardy goes to the corner and Khali stomps him a few times before the referee backs him up. Khali goes back and does the same thing and stops at the referee’s three count. Khali now stands on the throat of Jeff Hardy, surprisingly not killing him.

Jim Ross informs us that Vickie Guerrero is writing a letter of apology to the Undertaker once he arrives here. Why are all the Main Eventers allowed to be late?

Khali has Hardy standing in the corner and delivers the dreaded back elbows that miss by a mile if the camera caught them from a good angle. Another big elbow and Hardy crumples out of the corner. Khali picks Hardy up and pulls him in by the arm for a short arm clothesline. Triple H is offering some advice to Jeff Hardy from commentary, which Jeff Hardy can’t hear. What a great help!

Khali now locks in the most boring hold in professional wrestling – the nerve hold. Luckily it’s not in for long as Hardy fights out of it but Khali clubs Hardy down, stopping his momentum. Khali body slams Hardy and gets in his finisher – raising his arms defiantly in the air. Oh yeah, domination. The crowd is not happy about this.

Khali is now signaling for the Khali Vice Grip but fooled me as he went for the Khali Bomb but Hardy gets out of it by raking the eyes and going up to the second rope. Hardy signals for something and Khali runs and chops him off the top rope and to the outside!

Khali grabs Hardy by the hair from the outside and pulls him back to the ring apron. Hardy grabs Khali’s head and jumps off the apron, bringing Khali’s throat down on the top rope, stunning the behemoth. Hardy gets Khali in position for the Twist of Fate and hits it and Khali takes the worst Twist of Fate ever! Hardy is going to the top rope now and Ranjin Singh gets on the apron to cause the distraction and Khali grabs Hardy by the head in the Khali Vice Grip and pulls him off the top rope!

Triple H is off commentary now and pulls Singh off the apron and levels him with a right hand! Triple H grabs a chair and pretends he’s going to hit Singh. Khali sees this and breaks the Vice Grip and the referee is checking on Hardy as Triple H nails Khali in the head with the chair! Hardy immediately runs up to the top and delivers Whisper in the Wind, knocking Khali down!! Hardy is up to the top rope and delivers a Swanton Bomb for the win!!!

Winner by Pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Match Rating: * ¾

Hardy gets out of the ring and celebrates up the ramp as Triple H looks a little concerned.

WWE Championship Scramble: Triple H (c) vs. The Brian Kendrick vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy

:::Commercial Break:::

We now see a graphic of the WWE Championship Scramble and Triple H is now in the ring on the microphone. The WWE Champion tries to get it straight – it’s going to be the Championship Scramble (sounded like he said Scrabble) where five men are going to get in the ring to capture the WWE Championship. It’ll be him, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Brian Kendrick (and then corrects himself – THE Brian Kendrick) and the enigma Jeff Hardy. Triple H says this is the trick – they don’t have to beat him to become champion… they can beat any one of them. Triple H says these odds don’t favor him and guarantees this will cause title changes. Triple H warns them that before they celebrate and buy Rolex watches for becoming WWE Champion, the fifth guy in that ring is a Twelve Time Champion! The fifth guy in that ring has been in every match the WWE has to offer and has come out on top. That’s true. The fifth guy is known for a very good reason as The Game and the King of Kings and trust him there’s only one!

Kenny Dykstra’s music now hits and he makes his way to the ring!! Kenny says he wasn’t even considered to be in the Championship Scramble (neither was the Big Show, bub) and says he’s tired of people not taking him seriously! His name is Kenny Dykstra and before he can finish his thoughts Triple H hits a Pedigree and Triple H says “Good to see ya, Kenny” and exits the ring! Nice!

Vickie is in the back with Chavo and Bam and she’s reading over her apology. Hawkins and Ryder burst in and say Undertaker is there. Vickie says it’s time they go as a family to apologize to the Undertaker in the ring! That’s next!!

:::Commercial Break:::

A video recap of Summerslam is shown to tell everyone to order the replay. If I hear Cole say that Batista was three seconds better than Cena one more time I’m going to go nuts. It’s obvious it was longer than three seconds – he’s a match better. Whatever – I’m glad Cole’s off my show. Then the Hell in a Cell highlights are shown. Awesome stuff.

Vickie Guerrero is in the ring with The Family. She introduces herself as the General Manager of Smackdown and says she is a great woman and not too big to apologize for her actions. She is a great woman who admits making mistakes and stands on her own two feet (not really) and faces adversity in the face. She says a great woman who eventually always does the right thing and that’s why she’s here tonight – to apologize to the Undertaker. She asks us to join her in a standing ovation and slowly gets out of her chair to do so! Vickie now introduces The Undertaker!!!

The Undertaker, hands down, has the greatest entrance in WWE history. The closest thing to actually being there is HD and it gives me chills even now. I remember being there when he returned as the Deadman at Wrestlemania 20. I had chills as well. There’s no one like The Undertaker.

Undertaker turns the lights on and gets in the ring as Vickie looks a little nervous and probably questioning why she couldn’t just mail the apology to Death Valley. Vickie says she delivered her husband Edge to him at Hell in a Cell and gave him the means in which to extract his revenge. Vickie says that all she asks is for the opportunity to ask for forgiveness. Vickie says if he needs more time they can talk next week! Vickie then sheepishly asks if Undertaker will accept her apology. Undertaker just stares and Vickie says she means it with all her heart! Vickie now gets on her knees and asks him to accept her apology!

Undertaker steps up and takes the microphone!! I’m quoting Undertaker here – “Look at me, woman!” That’s how I talk to my girlfriend, just ask her! He is the man! Vickie looks! Undertaker says he didn’t come out here for an apology – he comes for her SOUL!! Chilling stuff!!

The family circles him in the ring and they all look nervous! Undertaker levels Bam Neely with a right hand and big boots Chavo down! Another right hand to Ryder and one to Hawkins, taking them down as well! Taker now big boots Bam Neely out of the ring and goes to Double Chokeslam the WWE Tag Team Champions but Chavo Guerrero jumps on his back and stops him! Undertaker pulls him off and Bam Neely is in and shoulder blocks the Undertaker down!

The family is now on top of Taker attacking. Hawkins, Ryder and Bam Neely pick Undertaker up and hold him and Chavo goes for a chair! Chavo goes to hit him but Taker big boots him down, head-butts Bam Neely in the face and brings Hawkins and Ryder into each other!! Taker now throws Chavo into Bam Neely and they both tumble out of the ring. Taker hits a right hand to Ryder and one to Hawkins and Chokeslams Ryder and then Chokeslams Ryder!! Vickie looks like she’s in fear for her life as Undertaker brings his thumb across his throat and his music hits as Smackdown goes off the air!!

Quick Match Results

Maria defeated Natalya via DQ
The Brian Kendrick won a Battle Royal to qualify for the Scramble
MVP defeated Festus via Count Out to qualify for the Scramble
Shelton Benjamin defeated Finlay to qualify for the Scramble
Jeff Hardy defeated The Great Khali to qualify for the Scramble

Bump of the Night: Finlay hitting the apron with his lower back awkwardly!
Match of the Night: Shelton Benjamin vs. Finlay ***

Mike’s Thoughts

Congratulations to Rick Jackson for winning my Summerslam challenge from last week! I got a lot of responses and I’d like to thank everyone who responded! A lot of people called the matches correctly but Rick was the only one who saw Matt Hardy defeating Mark Henry, even if it was only by DQ. Congrats Rick!

Summerslam 2008 was awesome in my opinion and much better than the Summerslam I attended last year (unfortunately for me!). Every match, with the exception of the ECW Title Match (that brand just keeps getting screwed), was well booked and well placed on the show. My personal favorite, as I’m sure almost everyone’s, was the Hell in a Cell match. That was just terrific and easily the best Hell in a Cell since Lesnar and The Undertaker in 2002. It couldn’t touch Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker or Foley vs. Undertaker but it did its job and I really enjoyed it and respect both men, especially Edge, a lot more for putting their bodies through that. I was very happy with the WWE Championship match as well. Triple H is one of today’s greats so everyone quit your whining! Even if he wasn’t in Stephanie McMahon he would still get to where he is.

Having Undertaker back made the end of Smackdown great. I missed Edge and his insanity but I understand why he couldn’t be here tonight since he’s getting a tan down in Hell. I love how this feud will continue and it’s been so good lately it deserves to be the main focus of the show, even if none of them are going for the title. The same can be said on the RAW side with Jericho and HBK.

My God has Shelton Benjamin stepped up his game or what? I may be a little late in saying this as he’s been great over the past few weeks, but to be able to stay up there with Finlay and his toughness he’s definitely earned my respect. Shelton can definitely hang with the big boys (he’s proved it before) but my only question is can he keep the momentum or is he doomed to repeat the aftermath of his 2004 push, which was tremendous until they tried everything to get him to talk and he couldn’t meet the challenge?

Random Fact: Watching Khali’s match tonight and hearing all his finishers start with Khali reminded me of when me and my friends used to wrestle in the backyard years ago and my friend Nick has a character named Tank, who had literally every single move start with Tank. Tank DDT, Tank Slam, Tank punch, Tank Valley Driver. It made me smile in reminiscence, one of the few times I’ve smiled during a Khali match.

I do like The Brian Kendrick but I’m worried that his character hasn’t been around that long so hasn’t had a long time to really get over so in my opinion he’s not really ready for a shot at the title but it’s WWE’s call and I’m sure he’ll look fine in it. I just wish he had more time before they throw him to the wolves. At least put Kozlov who’s a little more established! Double-Double-E!

I just noticed that every match tonight ended cheaply and mostly with cheating. Oh well…

Maria had a great performance tonight against Natalya which was a pleasant surprise for me. Oh they joys of editing. No, I’m just kidding, she was great tonight.

I’m going to recommend a movie for everyone to see if they get the chance. I know this should be strictly wrestling but it’s my recap and I can do what I want! I saw this movie this week and I really enjoyed it and I recommend it to you all – No Reservations. It’s kind of a chick movie I guess but I caught it on HBO and I wound up watching the whole thing (by myself) and really enjoyed it! Maybe you will too! I also saw Weekend at Bernie’s. That ones just a classic!

Overall, Smackdown was a good show with some direction for the Pay Per View, which is really less than three weeks away. What’s the undercard going to look like? All the big guys already are in the Championship Scrambles? Anyway, I’m delivering my rating for Smackdown and given that it was a good show I’m rating it this:

Final Smackdown Rating: ** ½

As always I’d like to thank those of you again who e-mailed me last week and I’d love to hear from everyone this week as well. What did you think of the recap? Did you like it or not? Let me know – I respond to all e-mails.

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Thanks for reading!