Sunday, April 16, 2017
Sap Center (AKA HP Pavilion), San Jose, California
YEAHHHH! I WALK ALONE! Batista walks out in the whitest turtle neck imaginable to a crazy pop from the crowd. He speaks more about how he will not be intimidated by The Undertaker. But then... GONG! Undertaker is in a graveyard, seemingly digging a grave for Batista. He says Batista's title reign will REST. IN. PEACE.
Matt Hardy vs. Joey Mercury
This is a Money in the Bank qualifying match, and with their current rivalry, it has a lot of potential. King Booker is also on guest commentary. The match starts going back and forth, but nothing notable. All of the attention is on King Booker's amazing commentary. Joey Mercury did start getting the momentum by working on the left arm throughout the match. We come back from commercial and Mercury is using the ring post to wrench the arm, while King Booker is still saying some gold about how he will win at Wrestlemania. Mercury goes to the top rope, but Hardy catches him and starts mounting some offense. He hits a combination of signature moves, then rips off the protective mask and hits a Twist of Fate from the second rope for the 3.
Winner: Matt Hardy in 13:50
This was an ok opener, made better by King Booker's commentary. I would've preferred it if the match was a bit shorter. **
Backstage with MVP, he makes a statement saying he will be the man qualifying for Money in the Bank.
Scotty 2 Hotty, Shannon Moore, and Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Gregory Helms, Daivari, and Chavo Guerrero
A cluster of a match starting with Shannon Moore and Gregory Helms facing off. They both soon tag out though, and Daivari begins choking out Scotty 2 Hotty. The face team tries to get the crowd to will on Scotty, but the crowd is pretty dead for this match. Chavo, Daivari, and Helms keep Scotty away from his corner, but the crowd remained quiet. Jimmy Wang Yang comes in and flies all over the place and cleans house, but Gregory Helms silents him. Then everything breaks down and bodies go flying, and before you know it Wang Yang hits a moonsault and pins Daivari for the 3.
Winners: Scotty 2 Hotty, Shannon Moore, and Jimmy Wang Yang in 7:18
I'm sure this match was here just because they have no idea what to do with the cruiserweights, which is very unfortunate. If they were going to do this match, the entire thing should've been booked as a car crash, and not trying to start it out as a technical bout. *½
A video is shown, displaying the actions of Vince and Umaga towards Rey Mysterio from last week.
Vince McMahon comes out promoting the Wrestlemania match yet again. We see videos from this past Raw and ECW showing Umaga and Bobby Lashley feuding. Just as I was about to fall asleep from this promo, Lashley's music hits and things get interesting. Vince tells him he'll pay him double whatever Trump is paying him. Lashley of course rejects this offer, but he gets slapped by Vince. Lashley then looks like he is about to murder Vince, and that's the end of the segment. This match has 0 to do with Smackdown, so I question why they have these segments.
After commercial, Mr. Kennedy is backstage with Vince and he says he wants Lashley in a match. So the match that was booked is for the ECW title, and is no holds barred, for Kennedy only.
Ashley vs. Jillian Hall
Jillian Hall starts to sing, but Ashley cuts her off and starts punching her. Ashley starts getting the crowd on her side, and that gives Jillian a chance to get the advantage. Jillian grabs the mic and starts trying to sing, but Ashley cuts her off yet again. Ashley counters a powerslam, and hits an elbow for the win.
Winner: Ashley in 2:26
This was a fairly short match and was just to promote Ashley's Playboy appearance, so I'll leave it unrated.
Finlay vs. MVP vs. Chris Benoit
It is worth to note that Finlay clarifies with the Michael Cole and JBL that Little Bastard's name is Hornswoggle. I've been calling him Hornswoggle from the start so I apologize. The match starts off with all 3 keeping a close eye on each other, with the big stakes of Money in the Bank at risk. MVP and Finlay begin double teaming Benoit, and as they go for pins, the other would pull the other off of Benoit. MVP tosses Finlay outside of the ring, and Benoit hits a nice suicide dive on MVP. Then we get a commercial. We come back and Finlay has control over Benoit back inside of the ring. MVP comes back in the ring and begins working on Benoit. The double teaming continues for a while, until MVP gets a bit too cocky and Finlay takes him down. Chris Benoit gets back into control with a Sharpshooter on MVP which stays locked in until he switches to a Crossface on Finlay, but MVP breaks it up with a huge dropkick. Benoit takes Finlay out of the match afterwards with a nasty german suplex outside of the ring. He then misses a Flying Headbutt onto MVP. This seems to be MVP's match, but with the help of a certain leprechaun, Finlay is able to hit both superstars with a shillelagh for the win.
Winner: Finlay in 11:09
Another good match coming from the combination of Finlay/Benoit. All 3 come out of the match looking strong, and the set up for mania was great. Although it gets the same rating as the top match, this doesn't quite beat out Finlay/Benoit for best Smackdown TV match. ***
Jerry Lawler is announced for the Hall of Fame.
Two major announcements for matches next week. Undertaker takes on Finlay, and Batista takes on Kane.
ECW Championship No Holds Barred Match For Mr. Kennedy Only: Bobbly Lashley (c) vs. Mr. Kennedy
The match starts off with Lashley dominating, but when he goes to use an exposed turnbuckle, he gets warned by the ref. Kennedy takes advantage of the distraction, and throws Lashley up against it. Back from commercial we see Kennedy still in control, and he goes for a count out win, to no avail. After failing to choke out Lashley, Kennedy grabs a chair and cracks it over Lashley's skull, but it still doesn't put him away. So the chair shots continue, until Kennedy misses a swing and the momentum shifts. Lashley gets Kennedy up and hits him with a running powerslam for the 3.
Winner: Bobby Lashley in 10:35
A shorter match than their No Way Out match, which is much appreciated. This did kind of make Kennedy look weak, but I guess it's alright in order to boost Lashley up for the Wrestlemania match against Umaga. **¾
Overall: 6/10. This was a great week for Smackdown. I did give it the benefit of the doubt when averaging scores because of the opening promo, and learning from past mistakes with the main event. Next week seems to be another good episode as we are getting two huge matches, thanks to the Holla Holla Hall of Famer Teddy Long.