Smackdown 8/22/08 Recap or Showing Us Why Smackdown Is The Brand With Wrestlers

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IAugust 24, 2008

So we encounter another edition of Friday night Smackdown and it's time to figure out what worked and what didn't.

The opening segment had the same problem that every opening segment seems to have; talking.  You can't open a show with talking and expect to have the audience be interested.  Always open with action.  With that said, Vickie Guerrero should not talk.  I know she's the general manager of Smackdown but she really should have a speech coach.  Her attempt to turn face was interesting.  Time will tell whether or not the fans can get behind her as a face.  The story did take a very interesting turn.  Vickie announces qualifying matches for the Smackdown Championship Scramble at Unforgiven.  This is a great idea.  RAW announced people for the match which shows the audience who are the main players in the brand.  Smackdown takes a more sporting aspect and makes people fight for the right.  This was a good idea.

Maria takes on Natalya in our opening contest.  It is not believable at all that Maria can hold her own against Natalya.  Natalya is too dominating in the ring and Maria still needs a lot of work.  For this match not to be a squash match makes Natalya look bad.  It's lowering her to Maria's level of competition, which is pretty low.  I'll give Maria credit, she is trying but she's still not good.  Natalya needs to move to RAW to get some real competition.  Watching this match made me realize how useless of a move the bronco buster is.  Why is this still in anyones move set?  It does nothing.  The match ends with Maryse running down and beating on Maria.  Natalya doesn't need help beating Maria.  Natalya should have pinned her clean then Maryse should have come down to beat on Maria.  Again, this only makes Natalya look bad.  It doesn't even help Maria because she has to be saved by McCool.  And why would a healthy Natalya and a healthy Maryse run away from McCool?  They have the numbers advantage.  This whole match was designed in a way that only made one of the four people involved look good, which is not good for the storytelling.

The backstage segment with Big Show and Vickie was well done.  The story of Vickie forgetting about the Big Show could lead to great things.  Hopefully, a WWE title run.

The battle royal is up next and it always bothers me that they don't give everyone the TV time to be introduced.  It shows the TV audience that these people don't matter.  Vladimir Kozlov shouldn't be involved in a match like this.  He should be the only person automatically placed in the Championship match.  He's been undefeated for months and it doesn't make sense for him not to get a title match.  He's eliminated from the match in the most predictable way when everyone teams up against him to throw him out.  They should have had one of the guys throw him out and start a feud between the two.  It was a great idea to have Big Show come in and throw everyone out to make his point.  but how do any of the eliminations count if it's made by an outside person?  It was good to see Kendrick win this match but it feels way too soon for him to be considered a contender for the title.  Hopefully, they'll follow through with this because if they pull him from the match now, no one will take him serious for awhile.  It did bother me to hear J.R. say the ending was controversial.  If they're allowing Big Show to eliminate people, than there was nothing controversial with Kendrick winning.  His feet never touched the ground and that's all you need to happen to be eliminated from this type of match.

The R Truth promo was well done.  It's always interesting to see the WWE involve legitimate arrests and jail time with someones character.  I think it shows a positive message for the kids.  They see how they will get caught if they try something illegal and how much farther in life they can go if they apply themselves and work hard.

MVP versus Festus was a different kind of match.  The story was well done, but it didn't feel right because the two have such different styles.  They're both good at what they do, it just didn't mesh well.  MVP is one of the best workers they have in the company.  He was able to keep the match interesting with Festus' dominating match style.  The end could have been handled better.  MVP is too good to win by count out.  He should have been able to find a way to beat Festus.  With that said, it was done very well.  MVP looks like a monster heel by attacking Festus after the match.  MVP moving on to the Scramble was a very good decision.

Shelton versus Finlay could have been much better than what they did.  These two are great athletes and should have been allowed to showcase that.  What started out as a decent technical match quickly became a  typical good versus evil match and had Shelton dominate for too long.  It made the match feel long.  They both looked good in the match, but it quickly became boring.  Finlay kicking out of the T-Bone Suplex at one was a very bad idea.  This was Shelton's finishing move for years and it should still be treated with respect.  The interference from Mike Knox was well done.  This gave credibility to both Finlay and Shelton.  The match said that Shelton was on top the entire time and it took one good move to put away Finlay because he was distracted.  Knox attacking Finaly after the match is a good way of progressing their feud.  It makes the audience want to see what Finaly is going to do on Tuesday night.

They took TV time again to run the Shawn Micheals and Chris Jericho feud.  There is no reason to run this on a show that doesn't have either one of them on.  Why take valuable TV time for a storyline that will bring your show no ratings? 

Vickie and Chavo backstage was interesting.  It shows that Vickie isn't playing favorites by not putting Chavo in a Scramble qualifying match and it shows that Chavo wants to be involved in the title picture.

Khali versus Jeff Hardy is up next.  Again, a typical Khali match asking whether or not his opponent can take him off his feet.  Triple H doing the commentating was good.  He showed that he doesn't fear anyone in the match or is angry that he is involved in this match.  It nice to see both champions from two of the brands not complain about this concept match.  The match ended very well with Triple H getting involved.  Khali taking a chair shot, followed by the Whisper in the Wind, and Swanton Bomb made him look very strong.  It also showed how quick Hardy can think on his feet and it showed that Triple H might fear Khali.

The promo that Triple H does after the match was good timing.  He was already out there and it only made sense that he address all of his contenders.  It's funny that the WWE needs to keep reminding the fans how the Scramble Match will work.  They know it's a complicated format.  Kenny Dykstra coming out to interrupt Triple H may be a good idea.  Triple H gave him the pedigree and if Dykstra successfully retaliates next week, this could be an interesting feud with the up and comer trying to make a name for himself.

The last segment is La Familia coming out to make an apology to the Undertaker.  Just like the opening to the show, they should never end the show with talking.  Why would anyone want to tune in next week if the last thing they see is talking.  Also, if Undertaker was scheduled to appear but Vickie makes a last minute decision to have a public apology for him, what was Taker going to do?  He didn't have a match scheduled so why would they have advertised him coming out?  It didn't make sense.  They did a good job showing that La Familia is terrified of Taker but still won't back down from him.  The fight that they had showed that Taker is vulnerable but still very resourceful.

Overall, a decent show.  Nothing that sticks out and probably a forgettable show in the long run.  Many strange decisions storyline wise but everything is salvageable.  My rating: C+