Smackdown Results - 8/29/08 - Pittsburgh, PA - (HHH vs. Benjamin)

Reported by Mike Tedesco of
On Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 9:49 AM EST

WWE Smackdown
August 29, 2007
Pittsburgh, PA
Report by: Mike Tedesco of

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

No pyrotechnics tonight as we just come in right on the arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We’re in the famous “Igloo”, the very arena where Undertaker and Mick Foley had their epic Hell in a Cell confrontation that night. It’s also the place where one of the greatest events in WWE history took place – Ken Shamrock became King of the Ring! Yeah, Hell in a Cell saved that PPV.

Jim Ross and Tazz welcome us to the show and not long after we hear the familiar gong we’ve been hearing for the past eighteen years followed by a blackout which can only mean one thing – its Undertaker time. Undertaker makes his way out to the ring to great applause and backstage we see Vickie Guerrero along with the rest of the “family” watching nervously.

I love how the Undertaker’s entrance is so long that Jim Ross can cover the ENTIRE feud between Undertaker, Edge and Vickie Guerrero from Wrestlemania until now and Undertaker is only getting to the ring steps.

The music stops and the purple lights stay on so no rolling of the eyes while taking his hat off tonight. He also has a microphone in his hand. Undertaker speaks into the mic and first says only “Vickie Guerrero” and he even rolled the R in her name to make it more authentic. Undertaker asks her if she wants him to forgive her of all her sins. Taker says he has something he needs to tell her – he’s not the forgiving kind! Undertaker says he will be coming for her and he WILL becoming for her soul! Taker says once he takes it she will burn… BURN IN HELL! Undertaker gets into his kneeling pose and the ring posts explode!

Backstage, Vickie looks terrified as the rest of the family sneak out leaving her alone. She turns and didn’t even hear them leave and gets nervous and goes to leave but the door is locked! She pounds but she can’t get out.

At ringside, Undertaker is slowly making his way to the back and the ring posts are still on fire. Someone put that out already! Nice, short segment.

Advertised for tonight: Jeff Hardy vs. MVP in a Summerslam Rematch! Also tonight it’s Champion vs. Champion as WWE Champion Triple H takes on Shelton Benjamin in a non-title match!

:::Commercial Break:::

Back from the break we immediately go to an R-Truth video. R-Truth is debuting tonight, by the way. It’s basically the same video we’ve been seeing for weeks now – “Yeah, I’m from the streets” blah, blah, blah, “You find out a lot about yourself in prison” blah, blah, blah. I think they should have done video packages like they did for Nathan Jones. “Yeah, I was in prison for killing someone and now I’m going to kill you!” Just gives his character a little more edge.

The bell rings and Justin Roberts announces this match is scheduled for one fall and this guy is making his Smackdown debut – R-Truth! I hate to knock a talent, especially a great one like Ron “The Truth” Killings, but I’m already seeing K-Kwik here. I’m just waiting for him to do some kicks and follow it up by some dance moves and fall on his face. My girlfriend is not impressed with the dancing so far. I’ll just sit back and see where this goes.

Kenny Dykstra comes out with a microphone and says he’s done everything he can to get the company to care about him. He questions if it worked and answers his own question by stating it hasn’t. Spot on, Kenny. Way to state the obvious! He says he’s a young, twenty-two year old hot prospect yet on the other hand R-Truth is a convict to which R-Truth reacts with the good old Booker T bug eyes. Kenny says he’s had no vignettes or big interview time. I’m quoting him here: “Oh, you’re Kenny Dykstra; you can barely get on Smackdown!” I love how they scripted a promo where he just destroys himself. I’m seriously near tears laughing so hard! Kenny says he’s never been to jail but maybe he should have! Kenny then says the problem with WWE is they need to focus building around him, not people like R-Truth and that’s the TRUTH! Kenny smiles like he cut a promo that didn’t just bury him.

R-Truth vs. Kenny Dykstra

The bell rings and this match is on. Kenny mouths off immediately and R-Truth hits him with an uppercut and takes him over to the turnbuckle and bounces his head off it! R-Truth brings him to the other turnbuckle and bounces his head off that one as well. Truth punches Dykstra in the head and whips him into the ropes and goes for an arm drag but Dykstra reverses it and goes for one and R-Truth counters that by jumping through the legs of Kenny in a variation of the sunset flip pin and gets a one count but it was still an impressive move.

While getting up Kenny explodes and floors R-Truth with a clothesline and lays the boots in on the former convicted drug dealer. Kenny whips him hard into the corner and R-Truth collapses in pain. Kenny hits a nice jumping stomp onto the back and covers him for a two count. Dykstra sits him up and lays two hard knees into the back followed by a big forearm and then digs the knee in and pulls the arms back, applying the Surfboard Stretch. R-Truth is quick to his feet and elbows out. Truth goes for a suplex but his back hurts too much and Dykstra clubs him down with some stomps and has him back in the Surfboard. The referee with really bad hair is asking him if he wants to quit.

R-Truth gets up again and backs Kenny into the corner hard, taking the pressure off the hold. R-Truth walks away a bit and Kenny jumps on his back for something but R-Truth pulls him over. That looked awkward. Kenny quickly gets up and goes for a kick but R-Truth blocks it, spins him and clotheslines him down. Dykstra quickly gets back up and R-Truth clotheslines him down again. Truth comes off the ropes and ducks Kenny’s wild punch and comes off the other side with a nice corkscrew flying elbow. R-Truth gets him up and kicks him in the gut and comes off the ropes for a Scissors Kick and pins Kenny to win his debut match.

Winner by Pinfall: R-Truth
Match Rating: * ¼

Backstage, WWE Diva’s Champion Michelle McCool is doing a photo shoot when Maryse walks in and interrupts a perfectly good shot. Maryse tells her to enjoy her photo shoot as Diva’s Champion while she can because that design would look much better on her. I say that title would look better completely redesigned. McCool asks her if she really believes that and Maryse says of course. McCool says she won’t be Diva’s Champion because it takes something that Maryse doesn’t have – talent! I don’t think being Undertaker’s girlfriend is a talent… Maryse says jealousy is ugly just because she doesn’t have a body like hers. Maryse says that design (title) will be hers and says Au Revoir! McCool actually waves goodbye.

:::Commercial Break:::

The WWE Rewind is brought to us by AutoZone. It’s a recap of Maria vs. Natalya from last week that ended with Maria getting the win by DQ following interference from Maryse and the save by Michelle McCool.

Michelle McCool & Maria vs. Maryse & Natalya

It should be noted that McCool came out jumping and that horrible looking, loose fitting belt flailed around her midsection.

The bell rings and its Natalya starting it out against Michelle McCool. They lock up and Natalya goes to back McCool into the corner but it looks like she trips and the fall into the ropes but to their credit they stay locked up. They get up, still locked up, and Michelle drops low and tosses Natalya. Natalya quickly gets up and they lock up by Natalya immediately gets in a headlock followed by headlock takeover and she has the Diva’s Champion grounded. McCool tries to reverse it and get the pin but only gets one and Natalya sits up quickly and still has it locked in. McCool gets up to her feed eventually and elbows out and whips Natalya into the ropes, drops down so Natalya jumps over, and tries for a hip toss when Natalya comes off the ropes again but can’t get it so she gives her a Russian Leg Sweep and floats over into the pin for barely a one count. McCool wrenches Natalya’s arm and gets her in the corner and tags in Maria who comes in a stomps Natalya in the corner.

Maria wrenches the left arm but Natalya uses her right arm to crush her face with a forearm, sending Maria stumbling. Natalya goes for a snap suplex but Maria counters with an inside cradle for barely a one count. Natalya responds with a forearm to the face followed by a hard body slam. Natalya goes for a leg drop but Maria rolls out of the way and Natalya lands on her Anvil. Sorry, I tried. In any event, Maria goes for some kind of move but Natalya backs her into her corner and forearms her chest and tags in Maryse.

Maryse comes in and kicks her in the corner and backs away at the referee’s orders and Maria fires back with some forearms to the face and kicks her in the gut. Maria goes to whip her into the ropes but Maryse counters and brings Maria into her knee and whips her down to the mat by her hair. Maryse now whips Maria into the ropes and Maria ducks a wild swing from the French beauty and Natalya gets her knee in Maria’s back while she’s coming off the ropes. Maria retaliates and knocks Natalya off the apron and walks into a nasty DDT from Maryse. It was a lot more awkward than I made it sound because you had to see the replay to see Natalya even got involved. No fake heat here – the crowd didn’t seem happy with this one.

Winners by Pinfall: Maryse & Natalya
Match Rating: ¾ *

After the match Maryse attacks Michelle McCool and they do the old cat fight routine for a bit and then sloppily tumble out of the ring while still fighting. That’s a sight to behold – two women awkwardly fighting to roll out of the ring. Natalya gets involved and holds McCool up and Maryse levels the Diva’s Champion with a big shot to the face.

Jim Ross and Tazz now bring us into a video package highlighting the terrific feud between MVP and Jeff Hardy. Naturally it’s a great video package. I doubt they’d ever do this with a feud between Mike Knox and Finlay. Leave the video packages for the big leagues!

Eve Torres now is going to interview Jeff Hardy. Hardy says MVP has tried to make his life a living hell by criticizing everything about his life including the way he wrestles but the way Jeff looks at his is as another obstacle between him and the WWE Championship. Hardy says that come Unforgiven nothing will prevent him from becoming the WWE Champion and as for tonight MVP is going to be lying on his back with his ego and attitude and that’s it!

:::Commercial Break:::

JR and Tazz try to make the rules of the Championship Scramble sink in for us again. Is it just me or does the new Motorhead’s new theme song sound like “Ace of Spades”? I can almost hear the legendary chorus going on.

Backstage, General Manager Vickie Guerrero if flipping out locked in her office. She picks up the phone to call someone but it doesn’t work so she just throws it against the wall. She just thought to try the phone now?

Jeff Hardy vs. MVP

This is a Summerslam rematch. The bell rings and they stare at each other as MVP talks trash. This is going to be great. MVP is mouthing off and pushes Jeff. Jeff pushes back and MVP charges and gets a drop toe hold for his efforts! Hardy quickly gets him in a headlock and they’re up on their feet now. MVP tries to whip him off by the ropes but Jeff is clinging on hard. MVP tries to give him a back suplex to break the hold but Hardy comes forward and does a headlock takeover! MVP now tries pulling the hair and rolls him over for a one count. They get up to their feet and MVP finally whips Jeff off the ropes but Hardy comes up and floors him with a shoulder block. Hardy comes off the ropes again and again takes MVP down with a shoulder block. Hardy goes for a third time but MVP drops down and Hardy jumps over him and MVP uses the momentum to throw Hardy out of the ring but he lands on his feet!

MVP puts his head through the ropes and Hardy punches him. He does it again for the same result and now Hardy is on the apron and comes in the ring, ducking a punch from MVP and punches MVP down. MVP now rolls out of the ring! He’s frustrated as he bangs on the announcer’s table. MVP gets back in at five.

They stand off and Hardy immediately catches MVP in a headlock. MVP winds up breaking the hold by pulling Hardy down by his hair! MVP mouths off to Hardy on the canvas for too long as Hardy quickly chops the knee of MVP and hits a nice leg drop! Hardy gets MVP up and wrenches the left arm. MVP gets out of this by kneeing him in the gut but Hardy quickly responds with a deep arm drag, shades of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat there. Hardy hits two more arm drags and keeps the arm in a lock after the third. Hardy gets him up to his feet and hits the arm. Hardy wrenches the arm again and MVP backs right into the corner to break the hold. MVP hasn’t been in control once.

MVP stalls a little bit and Hardy charges and hits him with some forearms. Hardy brings him out of the corner and whips him into the other one and charges but hits the elbow of MVP this time. MVP quickly capitalizes by pulling Hardy’s leg out from under him and wrenching it. MVP goes for what could be the old Terry Funk finisher of the Spinning Toe Hold but we’ll never know as Hardy kicks him off and MVP goes through the top two turnbuckles and into the metal ring post! Hardy goes to the apron and takes MVP’s left arm and whips it against the post and does it again! Hardy is on the apron and catapults himself over the top rope and into MVP’s battered left arm. Hardy covers him for a one count.

Hardy picks MVP up and whips him into the ropes but MVP hangs onto the ropes and desperately gets out of the ring again to take a breather! Hardy goes for a Plancha but MVP runs out of the way and Hardy positions himself on the apron. MVP thinks Hardy landed on the floor and turns around to see Jeff Hardy running off the apron and does a flipping senton into MVP! Nicely done and now it’s time for a commercial.

:::Commercial Break:::

We come back from the break to see that Hardy has MVP in a standing arm bar. MVP is trying to fight out of it but he can’t get out! They show a replay of the senton from before the commercial break. MVP just hasn’t been able to really get a series of moves in this match up. Hardy releases the arm bar and starts hitting him with some forearms and MVP falls backwards and grabs Hardy’s pants, driving Hardy forward head first into the second turnbuckle. Now I think MVP should start it up.

MVP lays in some boots to Hardy who is on the canvas in pain. MVP picks Hardy up and hits an Inverted Suplex into the ropes! Hardy lands gut first on the ropes and that doesn’t look like fun. Hardy is hanging there and MVP kicks Hardy right in the face and he falls to the outside!

MVP goes to the outside now and drops him face first on the barricade. MVP kicks him in the chest and rolls him in the ring. MVP covers and gets a close two count! MVP is upset and lays in some forearms and a jumping knee and gets another near fall! MVP is frustrated now and locks Hardy in sitting abdominal stretch. I love this move. Hardy of course is selling it perfectly with the facial expressions as MVP pounds on his rib cage. Hardy gets to his feet but MVP keeps it locked in. Hardy grabs the legs of MVP and has him against his back and hits what looks like a horizontal Emerald Fusion or a mid body Samoan Drop. Tazz said it’s a side slam – I’d hate to disagree with him.

Both men get up at the count of four. Hardy goes to kick MVP and he catches the kick but falls victim to the flipping mule kick from Hardy. MVP falls back into the turnbuckle, sitting. Hardy hits his jumping slingshot dropkick to the chest in the corner and that always looks painful. Hardy picks MVP up, kicks him in the gut and hits a nice Inverted Falcon Arrow. Jeff Hardy now signals for the Swanton. He gets up to the top rope and flies off into the knees of MVP! Hardy rolls over to the other corner and MVP hits a baseball slide, sending Jeff Hardy spine first under the bottom turnbuckle and into the metal ring post, pretty much cutting him in half! Ouch!

MVP goes to the outside and grabs the arm and the leg of Jeff Hardy and pulls back, bending Hardy even more against that ring post! The referee gives him the count and MVP releases at four and Hardy falls to the outside. MVP gets in the ring to break the ten count and goes right back out and rolls Hardy in and covers for a close two count! MVP picks Hardy up and lays him out on the top turnbuckle and punches him in the face a few times. MVP backs away and then charges and kicks Hardy hard in the back and he falls off the top turnbuckle! That sounded stiff. MVP pulls Hardy up to a seated position by the hair and kicks him in the spine again! MVP covers again and gets a VERY close two count!

MVP now puts his boot on Hardy’s face and rubs it in for a few as an insult as if it could be misconstrued as something other than one. What’s the variable? MVP bends over and mouths off to Hardy who punches even though he’s down! MVP responds with some vicious forearms and covers for another close two count! MVP now locks Hardy in a textbook Camel Clutch. Iron Sheik would be proud! MVP now hits some crossfaces and locks it in again! MVP really cranks it back but Hardy makes one last ditch effort and grabs the ropes.

MVP drops an elbow into Hardy’s injured back and picks him up for a body slam. MVP mouths off and drops a knee and gets another two count! MVP knees Hardy in the back and locks in another Surfboard Stretch! This isn’t locked in for long as Hardy gets up and elbows and punches out of it. MVP ducks one swing and hits a picture perfect back suplex! This leads to MVP covering again for another CLOSE two count! MVP picks him up now and Hardy punches out and comes off the ropes into an overhead belly to belly suplex from MVP! MVP covers for ANOTHER TWO COUNT!

Hardy now pulls himself up on the ropes and the fans are chanting his name. MVP hits and Hardy hits back. Hardy finally gets the better of MVP and punches a whole bunch. Hardy goes to whip MVP into the corner but MVP reverses and whips Hardy. Hardy climbs the ropes for Whisper in the Wind but MVP runs up and chops the leg and Hardy falls back and LANDS ON HIS HEAD!! WOW!! Charles Robinson is down by Hardy in like one one-hundredth of a second to check on Hardy. MVP covers and the referee goes outside to count the pin (technically that wouldn’t count as a pinfall count) and Hardy miraculously kicks out at TWO AND NINE TENTHS!!

MVP now has Hardy on the top rope looking for a back suplex off the top rope! He climbs up and hits some forearms to Hardy’s spine. MVP falls back with Hardy but he turns in midair and that’s just a collision to the canvas! If that last bump with Hardy landing on his head wasn’t so impressive than this would have been Bump of the Night! Hardy turns MVP for a cover and gets two and a half!

MVP is crawling and puts his head through the ropes so Hardy goes to the outside and forearms him in the face and gets right back in. Hardy picks MVP up and he kicks him in the gut and comes off the ropes but Hardy hits that spinning clothesline (I think it’s a neckbreaker) on MVP! Hardy comes off the ropes and hits a running forearm and runs again and takes MVP down again with a falling clothesline! Hardy bounces MVP’s head off the top turnbuckle. Hardy goes to whip MVP off the ropes but MVP reverses it and whips Hardy into the ropes who comes off and kicks MVP in the face. Hardy now sees the opening and runs up the ropes and hits a beautiful Whisper in the Wind. Hardy now sees another opening and gets up to the top rope and hits a beautiful Swanton Bomb for the win in this terrific match!

Winner by Pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Match Rating: *** ¼

No sooner does this match end when United States Champion Shelton Benjamin runs in and hits Pay Dirt on Jeff Hardy! MVP gets up and smiles with Benjamin and pats him on the shoulder for what he did to Hardy and Benjamin responds by hitting Pay Dirt on MVP!

Tonight’s Main Event is Champion vs. Champion: Triple H vs. Shelton Benjamin!

:::Commercial Break:::

Sitting front row are some members of the Pittsburgh Steelers and they’re having fun play wrestling in the front row!

We now go to footage of the Democratic National Convention with Josh Matthews and Candice Michelle. What a Convention that was! If you’re not an Obama supporter now then what’s the hold up? McCain is way out of touch with the real problems facing America and putting a woman on the ticket, an extremely limited and inexperienced one at that isn’t going to pick up your votes! What an insult to women around the world. Hey, Hillary couldn’t do it but I know you liked her so I’ll placate to you to get your votes! Get with the times, McCain. Obama is going to pass you by, especially after that acceptance speech. Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off on a political tirade because this isn’t the forum. Anyway, Josh Matthews and the always wonderful Candice Michelle remind you to register to vote so you can Smackdown Your Vote November 4th!

Jesse & Festus vs. Hawkins & Ryder

This is a non-title match. The bell rings and Festus goes insane! He immediately levels Curt Hawkins with an uppercut and takes down Zach Ryder with a one man flapjack! Jesse takes Ryder and throws him out of the ring. Festus hits Hawkins in the corner with a running butt bump! Festus comes off the ropes and hits a spinning shoulder tackle! Hawkins and Ryder are both on the outside regrouping as Jesse & Festus wait in the ring with Jesse, being the only one who can speak, yelling for them to come back inside!

Now the Big Show’s music hits and he comes out to pyrotechnics, the works… like they were expecting him to come out! In the ring Hawkins sneaks up behind Festus and he charges and Hawkins pulls down the top rope and Festus goes flying. Ryder attacks Jesse and sends him out of the ring as Big Show gets in. Big Show absolutely kills Hawkins with a kick to the midsection and this is probably ruled a No Contest because Hawkins & Ryder were illegally attacking Jesse & Festus and Big Show was illegally attacking Hawkins & Ryder.

Winner: No Contest
Match Rating: No stars

Big Show picks up Ryder and destroys him with a body slam. Big Show backs Hawkins into the corner and crushes his chest with a giant slap! Ryder tries to punch Show but he just gets lifted up and annihilated with a spinebuster! Yes, I am trying to use all the big words to describe this. Big Show now dominates Curt Hawkins with a Show Stopper! Jesse gets in the ring and gets knocked out by that Big Right Hand, which is a finisher I suppose. Festus just stands on the outside watching this all catatonically.

Big Show gets on the microphone and greets the audience by saying “Hi” and smiling! A true man, ladies and gentlemen. Big Show says there seems to be a little confusion on Smackdown. It seems like the General Manager is under so much stress that she’s overlooking certain superstars. Big Show tells her to listen to him very carefully – he will never be overlooked again! Big Show says as far as what happened just now he just says “My bad! Opps!” Big Show says we should just call this an “oversight”. Big Show thanks the fans and makes his way to the back. If you don’t like Big Show then that’s all on you.

:::Commercial Break:::

Back from the break we’re in Vickie Guerrero’s office and she’s just looking up at the ceiling all nervous. At least she has the cameraman in there to keep her company and protect her!

Victoria is out and it looks like she’ll be facing another newcomer from FCW. It’s a pretty good looking girl named Brie Bella making her way to the ring. She better enjoy having a last name while it lasts. Almost all the women lose them. I remember when Maria used to be Maria Kanellis. How about Natalya Neidhart? They always talk about her father but they dropped the last name from the billing. Michelle McCool is the only one who survives. I’m surprised Trish Stratus kept her last name after all her years in WWE.

Victoria vs. Brie Bella

The bell rings and the two ladies lock up and Victoria immediately gets Brie Bella into a headlock. Victoria hits a headlock take over and just keeps shouting at her! Victoria gets up to a knee and is trying to show Brie Bella what it’s like to be dominated when Miss Bella does a strange little handstand and pushes out of the headlock and Victoria falls forward. Victoria misses a wild swing and Brie Bella hits a careful looking Monkey Flip on the former Women’s Champion. Bella goes to wrench the arm but Victoria kicks her in the gut. Victoria puts her in the corner and charges but Bella gets over Victoria and rolls her up for a two count. The crowd couldn’t careless (they’re not even putting in canned heat!!) but I’m trying to give it my all and be interested… but I’m fading too.

Brie Bella hits two flying snapmares that aren’t as impressive as they sound and comes off the ropes for a crossbody block but Victoria catches her and devastates her with a backbreaker. Victoria gets a two count. Victoria now picks her up and slams her back first into the corner and then hits some shoulders to the abdomen. Victoria hits a snap suplex and a nice standing suplex and does a taunting cover for a two count. Victoria whips Bella into the ropes and lowers her head leaving it open for Brie Bella to kick her in the face. Bella tenses up for a second too long and then comes off the ropes and into a nice kick to the stomach from Victoria and Brie Bella rolls out of the ring. Victoria follows and Bella tries going under the ring. Victoria grabs the leg but Bella kicks her off. Victoria grabs her out from under the ring and puts her back in.

Victoria lifts her up by the hair and Brie Bella (a much thicker looking Brie Bella) gets a small package for the win!

Winner by Pinfall: Brie Bella(s)
Match Rating: ½ *

JR and Tazz question where she got this sudden energy from. I guess they’ll go and play stupid for a while before they realize she’s a twin. It’s got to suck for the twin under the ring.

We now get the RAW Rebound and it’s mainly focused around John Cena being out with an injury. I got to say I was not impressed with RAW. Maybe because I wanted to catch the eleven o’clock showing on USA but that damn tennis match went until 12:30 and I was more than irritated and then I was even more irritated when it turned out to be a really bad RAW. I usually really enjoy RAW but this was bad. The ending was especially bad. Oh, and if Kane mutilated Mysterio so badly how is he able to make a recovery and participate in the Scramble so soon? Why blow his return in a five man match where he’ll get lost. Hey, it’s not my show but I read somewhere that this is a desperation tactic and I couldn’t agree more.

Still to come tonight is our Main Event – Triple H vs. Shelton Benjamin!

:::Commercial Break:::

Backstage, The Brian Kendrick is reading a book with Ezekiel Jackson in the back reading one as well. The Kendrick said last week he won the biggest match of his career… so far! He says tonight, his opponents are preparing for war by fighting each other. They feel they need to prove some sort of dominance while at the same time risking injury. He says he, The Brian Kendrick, feels no need to stoop to their level. The Kendrick said he’s already secured his spot in the match! The Kendrick says he’s chosen to study the masters. He says he’s taking their knowledge and combining it. The Kendrick gives us a history lesson by saying that over 2000 years ago, Sun Tzu defined warfare in “The Art of War.” The Kendrick asks Zeke when that was again and Zeke looks over and calmly says “6th Century, BC”. That was hilarious! The Kendrick says in nine days he’s going to redefine warfare. He says it’s not about who wins the little battles – it’s about who wins the war! He says in the scramble it doesn’t matter who gets the first pin or the first couple of pins – it’s about who gets the last pin and The Kendrick says he will be that man! The Kendrick says there’s a fine line between genius and insanity but if you know how to walk that line no one can stand in your way. That was a TERRIFIC promo!

JR and Tazz discuss how Smackdown has become the place to be on Friday nights for entertainment. Tazz says last week the WWE Universe (gag) tuned in with over double the audience of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race, making Smackdown the Number One Show on Fridays for entertainment.

They now run down the card for Unforgiven with “Ace of Spades” playing in the background or whatever that song is called. I’m more than a little nervous about the Championship Scramble matches but at least I watch the events for free. I’m 100% looking forward to Jericho vs. HBK in an unsanctioned match. Other than that what /* is there really? A World Tag Team Championship match? Cryme Tyme won that opportunity back at New Year’s Revolution 2007 and never got their title shot until now!

Now Triple H’s music hits and we’ve got a half hour left of show so this is probably going to be a long match and I’m looking forward to it!

:::Commercial Break:::

Just For Men Hair Gel presents another WWE Rewind and this one is Jeff Hardy vs. The Great Khali from last week with The Game interfering and Jeff Hardy getting the win. That was a nice moment.

We’re back from the break and about six minutes have passed and Triple H is still doing his entrance. Yeah, that’s about average for how long it takes.

We now have some pre-taped comments from Shelton Benjamin who says the most precious commodity is gold which makes him the most precious commodity in WWE. He says his name is Shelton Benjamin and he is the Gold Standard!

Champion vs. Champion
Triple H vs. Shelton Benjamin

I hope they tear the house down like they used to do back in 2004. This is a non-title match, by the way.

The bell rings and they stare at each other from across the ring. They now circle and lock up but Benjamin immediately takes The Game down with an arm drag. Triple H looks at Benjamin as if to say “Nicely done, sir.” Triple H gets up and adjusts his knee pads.

They circle the ring again and lock up and the WWE Champion gets Benjamin in a headlock. Triple H tries to grapevine around Benjamin’s back but there’s a little struggle and he finally gets it and slowly brings the left arm back into a hammerlock. Triple H now locks in the headlock again and really cinches it in. Benjamin backs Triple H into the ropes and whips him off and gets floored by a shoulder block when Helmsley returns. Triple H comes off the ropes and jumps over Benjamin and comes off the ropes into another deep arm drag! Triple H gets up quickly and Benjamin gets another arm drag and now has an arm bar locked in. Triple H gets up to his knees and is fighting this and gets up and arm drags Benjamin off. Triple H charges and gets another arm drag followed by an arm bar again. Triple H is quickly up to his feet and Benjamin wrenches the arm again and Triple H screams in pain and then instantly floors Benjamin with a right hand! Benjamin backs into the corner and the referee holds Triple H off.

They stand off again and look at each other more intensely this time. Triple H is thinking lock up but Benjamin was thinking pick him up and slam him into the corner. The referee goes to get Benjamin off and it looks to be a clean break until Benjamin kicks Triple H in the gut! He goes for a right hand but The Game blocks him and delivers some rights of his own and then tosses Benjamin into the corner and lays in some rights there as well. Triple H brings Benjamin out of the corner and wrenches the left arm and wrenches it hard, sending Benjamin to his knees. Triple H twists the arm again and Benjamin backs him into the corner and Benjamin gets a knee to the abdomen and some rights and kicks until the referee gets him off!

Benjamin whips Triple H into the corner and he explodes out with a clothesline! Benjamin pops up and gets his arm wrenched real hard and Triple H has the arm bar and is almost sitting on his head keeping it on. Triple H hit the triceps and locks in a Fujiwara Arm Bar. Triple H drops two more knees on the triceps and picks Benjamin up by the arm. Triple H goes to wrench the arm again but Benjamin counters with a punch and whips Triple H into the ropes who comes off them and drops Benjamin with an arm breaker!

Triple H has Benjamin in the corner and puts his left arm around the top rope and pulls down! Triple H takes him out of the corner and maintains control by going right back to the arm. Benjamin backs him into the corner and the referee gives the count to break the hold and when Triple H breaks it Benjamin hits a knee to the quadriceps that has been the bane of Triple H’s wrestling existence and really goes to town on it before the referee forcibly removes him! Benjamin attacks again in the corner and brings him out and whips him into the ropes and takes the WWE Champ down with a back elbow! This only gets a one count.

Triple H gets up and into the corner and Benjamin goes to whip him but Triple H reverses and sends Benjamin into the corner who instinctively thought Triple H was running behind him so he jumped onto the second rope and wanted to hit him with a move but he was instead caught with a kick to the midsection and a Pedigree is attempted and Benjamin rolls out of the ring, looking threatened!

:::Commercial Break:::

We’re back from the break and Triple H is crawling around the ringside area, apparently in pain. During the commercial break Benjamin whipped The Game into the turnbuckle and the velocity took him over the turnbuckle and to the outside. I always liked that little surprise, even if it is physically impossible to actually happen in real life. Slowly getting back in the ring Triple H is kneed in the face and brought in with a spinning neckbreaker! Benjamin gets a two count on the champion.

Benjamin is laying the boots in and puts Triple H’s head and throat under the bottom rope and goes on the apron and drops some knees and an elbow on that very important area of the body. Benjamin holds the hair of Triple H and knees him in the head numerous times. Benjamin now has Triple H in an inverted neck vice. Very nicely performed here. Triple H does a great job selling this one as he slowly crumples to the canvas. Benjamin has all his weight coming down on Triple H, whose face is beet red. Benjamin releases the hold and drops some knees to the back of the head. Benjamin now locks in a Figure Four neck lock which is impressive looking. Benjamin really has this locked in long but Triple H ends up turning Benjamin into a pin for a near fall, causing the release of the hold!

Benjamin now charges at Triple H and gets floored by a back elbow to the face! Benjamin rolls onto the apron and Triple H goes to bring him back in by Benjamin hits some rights and goes to suplex Triple H from the inside to the outside of the ring but to no avail as Triple H gets the suplex attempted by Benjamin lands on his feet and hits a nice neckbreaker for a near fall!!

Benjamin is now on top of The Game and hitting forearms to the back of the neck and then gets Triple H in a chin lock. Benjamin further locks it in by putting on the body scissors and hitting some crossfaces as well. Triple H fights just to sit up and then fights harder to get to his feet and Triple H begins to punch out of it but Benjamin hits a knee to the midsection and he’s right back in control. The Game is in the corner and Benjamin is hitting knees and right hands until the referee gets him out of there. Benjamin charges and Triple H gets his feet up in Benjamin’s face, sending him down!

Triple H now approaches Benjamin and Benjamin pulls him in face first into the top turnbuckle! Benjamin now goes to the opposite corner and charges and hits a Stinger Splash (not called that in WWE) on Triple H with his back turned! Benjamin goes for another but Triple H moves and Benjamin splashes the turnbuckles. Triple H now takes him down with a clothesline to the back of the head!

Both men are down now and the referee starts the count and they both get to their feet at nine! Benjamin strikes first with a right hand that stuns Triple H. Triple H responds with a right hand of his own. Triple H goes for another one but it’s blocked and Benjamin hits some right hands and whips Triple H but he reverses and whips him into the ropes. Benjamin ducks a clothesline but comes off the ropes into a flying knee from Triple H, a la Harley Race. Triple H whips Benjamin into the corner and Benjamin tries to spring himself over Triple H but lands on The Game’s shoulders who hits a nice powerslam on Benjamin for a nice two count. I’ve never seen Triple H do that move before and if I have it’s been so long I forgot!

Benjamin goes for a kick but Triple H catches it and spins him around and ducks under the Dragon Kick and DDTs Benjamin when he turns around again! That got the WWE Champion a near fall. Triple H whips Benjamin into the ropes and lowers his head so Benjamin kicks him in the face. Triple H ducks a Benjamin clothesline but turns into a huge kick to the face that floors him! That gets Shelton Benjamin a very close two count! Shelton knees and punches Triple H in the face and whips him into the corner and Triple H walks out of it dazed and Benjamin comes off the ropes into a Double A Spinebuster! Triple H taunts the crowd and goes for a Pedigree but Benjamin counters into a backbreaker by pulling Triple H’s hair down and he bounces off his knee! The gets Benjamin another very close two count!

Benjamin knees Triple H in the midsection and whips him into the ropes, lowers his head and gets a face buster from Triple H. Now The Great Khali’s music hits. Why?? Triple H is distracted and turns into a Pay Dirt attempt but Triple H pushes him off and gets Benjamin in a Pedigree for the win!

Winner by Pinfall: Triple H
Match Rating: ** ½

Too bad it had to end like that. Just watching Triple H win makes Khali’s Punjabi blood boil. You can see it in his eyes. Khali is crunching his fists and then all of a sudden Triple H goes down from a US Title shot to the back of the head from Benjamin! Benjamin raises his belt over his head and smiles.

The Great Khali gets into the ring and picks up the carcass of Triple H and hits a Khali Bomb! Khali now stands over Triple H and raises his arms defiantly in the air.

Backstage we see Vickie Guerrero pacing nervously in her office. I can’t believe she’s still locked in there. The lights go off and Vickie starts screaming her head off and that’s how Smackdown ends. What happens to the camera guy? Kind of an innocent bystander in all this!

Quick Match Results

R-Truth defeated Kenny Dykstra
Maryse* & Natalya defeated Michelle McCool & Maria*
Jeff Hardy defeated MVP
Jesse & Festus vs. Hawkins & Ryder (non-title) *No Contest*
Brie Bella defeated Victoria
Triple H defeated Shelton Benjamin (non-title)

Bump of the Night: Jeff Hardy landing on his head following a failed Whisper in the Wind
Match of the Night: Jeff Hardy vs. MVP *** ¼

Mike’s Thoughts

Tonight was focused more on the Championship Scramble than the Hunt for Vickie’s Soul which is definitely a good thing because I’m in the majority of people who are not sold at all on the Championship Scramble, let alone three of them now! I don’t understand how they can even try to compare this to being just as good as the Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber and Hell in a Cell. They have one more week to sell me on it or risk Unforgiven being the first lackluster Pay Per View of 2008.

The Undertaker segment to start the show off was really good and strong. It was short and to the point and featured the ring posts being set on fire which, in my opinion, is never a bad thing. However, the rest of the stuff with Vickie being locked in her office was really dumb. I just didn’t like it and there wasn’t a great payoff tonight. You’re telling me that “The Family” could open that door fine but as soon as they leave that door knob doesn’t work? Come on, now. I wasn’t a fan of that tonight.

How great were our two co-Main Events? Tremendous! Jeff Hardy has been consistently putting on excellent, and I do mean excellent, matches since his return and tonight was no different. MVP was phenomenal as well in that match and they told a great story. It was one of rage and one of wanting to show whose dominant leading into Unforgiven. The story and the execution were great and I was really feeling it the whole time. Too bad the Pittsburgh crowd was uncharacteristically quiet. This match got one of the highest ratings I’ve given since coming on board.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Triple H was great as well. It wasn’t at all like 2004 because Benjamin has matured a lot more and become really comfortable with his style and that really worked here. The match was tremendous all the way through until the end with The Great Khali coming out making the ending kind of sudden and leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Oh the effects of Khali.

I’ve already taken it back but I want to take it back again. I’m taking back every doubt I’ve had about The Brian Kendrick. He cut a tremendous promo tonight and the one line that Ezekiel gave was absolutely hilarious. He may still not be ready for the big time yet (I still would have gone with Kozlov) but I think he’ll fare well in this match! I’m happy for the guy.

Speaking of Kozlov… where the hell did he go? I was just getting into him and he had a tremendous match against Festus and now he’s no where to be seen this week? I never thought I’d say this but please bring Kozlov back!

Man, in the ECW Recap I got a little beat up. I didn’t lay too many zingers in this recap because I feel I have just one thing to say: 1.3. Yup, that was ECW’s rating. One point away from getting 1.2 twice in a span of, what, three weeks? 1.2 I understand was the lowest rating for ECW in quite sometime. I have a message for you, Dave Stephens! Smackdown beat the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race last Friday making Smackdown officially the number one show in terms of entertainment on Friday nights so chew on that! Ha!

I’m a big fan of Ron Killings and his work but his look and the moves are almost a carbon copy of Booker T, right down to the facial expressions and finisher. Literally, the Scissors Kick is an exact replica of King Booker’s. If R-Truth is going to succeed they need to at least let him get a better finisher and drop the crap with him being in prison and telling truths about life. Here’s a hint: People don’t watch wrestling to get insights into their lives! If you want that watch Dr. Phil – I want better characters!

Michelle McCool has been Diva’s Champion for well over a month now. It’s a new title and she’s the first champion and she has yet to defend it and the first title defense looks to be against Maryse? Not Natalya, who is far more qualified for the challenge?? I guess that shows us what creative thinks of the Divas and their new Championship. Natalya really should have been the first champion anyway. Let the Harts get their hands on another title in WWE!

I saw a sign in the stands tonight that said “Big Show has puffy eyes” accompanied by a drawing of said eyes. I laughed a little bit.

It was a pretty solid edition of Smackdown minus the Vickie Guerrero segments which weren’t that many and didn’t really break the flow of the show. Also the Undertaker segment was good. We had two tremendously physical and entertaining matches so Smackdown is getting a high rating this week!

Final Smackdown Rating: ***

I’d like to thank everyone who e-mailed me last week with questions and comments on the recap. I’m always happy to answer everyone’s e-mails. I’d love to hear from everyone this week. Did you like the recap? Did you hate it? Want to talk about Smackdown or WWE in general? I’m you’re man! Shoot me an e-mail and you’ll hear back from me!

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Smackdown is preempted in my area next week so the Smackdown Recap will be up Saturday night/Sunday morning. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Thanks for reading!