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The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

My Weekly Smackdown Notebook

The Kingfish Arnie Katz presents his analytical report on matters raised on the 9/19 installment of Smackdown

After the opening video reviewed the Fatal Fourway on the last episode, Jim Ross and Tazz welcomed the Smackdown audience to Nashville, TN.

Michelle McCool d. Maryse

At one point, after McCool had knocked Maryse to the canvas, she imitated the exaggerated hair-flipping that has now become Maryse’s trademark.

Michelle McCool took the decision by setting up the cover with her version of the Implant Buster (an Inverted Sit-out Powerbomb).

Grade: C

The Kingfish Comments: What? This wasn’t bad enough at the pay per view? Maryse should not be wrestling on television for WWE. She was much more suited to those videos that looked like clips of telephone sex-line commercials.

If Smackdown wants to have a women’s division, the first order of business is to involve Michelle McCool in a feud with another woman who can wrestle. That might mean they’ll have to turn McCool heel if the only rival for her they have is Maria.

Big Show, sitting beside Vickie Guerrero in her office, referred to them as a “power couple.”

Asked if she was worried about the Undertaker coming to the arena, the Smackdown GM laughed.

Big Show introduced the video in which he attacked the Undertaker after Vickie got him off his guard.

The Kingfish Comments: They’re a power couple? It doesn’t seem possible that WWE fans will swallow this ridiculous angle. You can’t just plug Big Show into the spot formerly held by Edge and think it’s going to be credible, believable drama.

A cute bit on this episode of Smackdown is that they kept showing the video clip over and over to cover for the fact that it seemed as if Undertaker wasn’t actually at the show.

Brian Braddock d. Festus (with Jessie) via DQ

Festus and Jessie came to the ring dressed as “My Moving Company,” carrying bubble wrap and packing stuff.

Braddock won the match by DQ when Festus and Jessie swathed him in bubblewrap.

Grade: B-

The Kingfish Comments: The moving company idea is kind of clever, really. It’s a way to push the move to My TV, which occurs on October 3, without causing problems with the CW Network.

Vickie Guerrero told Big Show that if Taker showed up at the arena, she would make her apologize to her.

“You humble him and I’ll break him,” Big Show vowed.

They watched the attack video again.

The Kingfish Comments: This one seemed like space-filler. It didn’t do anything to advance the story, mostly duplicating thereabouts interview segment.

R. Truth d. Shelton Benjamin
Non-Title Match

Before R-Truth came out for his match against Shelton Benjamin, the US Champion referred to the bad decisions that had landed Truth in jail.

Shelton Benjamin applied a Sleeperhold. Truth came out of it with a Jawbreaker, When Benjamin picked him up, possibly to attempt a Suplex, R. Truth rolled through and pinned him with a Small Package.

Grade: B

The Kingfish Comments: Despite my dislike for what seems to be the WWE policy of matching African-American competitors against each other much more than again Caucasian or Latin workers, this could be a very exciting pairing. The match wasn’t long, but it showed off both men to advantage and cried out for a title match, perhaps at the next pay per view.

Jeff Hardy came to center-ring to address the fans. He characterized himself as a risk-taker and referred to himself as the “Charismatic Enigma.”

He said that when Triple H berated him on last week’s Smackdown, he was trying to motivate him. Hardy declared the effort a complete success and left no doubt in fans’ minds that he is revved up and ready to challenge for the WWE Championship.

Jeff accused Vladimir Koslov for jumping him from behind instead of facing him like a man.

That brought out Koslov to glare at Hardy.

The Brian Kendrick, accompanied by Ezekiel, came out to tell Jeff Hardy that the match against him was what should occupy his attention.

Kendrick made a reference to Hardy’s “extra-curricular activities” before he got into the ring for the match.

Jeff Hardy d. The Brian Kendrick

Kendrick worked on Hardy’s legs in an effort to ground him. He employed a Half-Boston Crab and then a full one to negate Hardy’s flying maneuvers.

Jeff Hardy countered an attempted Bulldog and emerged with a successful Roll-up cover.

Grade: B

The Kingfish Comments: This was a good match with a weak ending. It didn’t help that the match before it ended more or less the same way.

After the match, Vladimir Koslov attacked Jeff Hardy. He jumped him as Hardy left the ring and stood over him arrogantly.

Big Show ran into Vickie Guerrero’s office in a semi-panic to tell her that Undertaker was in the building!

They did a point of view scene in which Vickie worked to the camera, claiming that it was Undertaker. She got him to apologize and kiss her feet.

It turned out to be Charlie Haas dressed as the Undertaker.

The video ran again.

The Kingfish Comments: It isn’t clear why Big Show is afraid of Undertaker. MYBE WWE thinks this is so silly that no one will look at it logically.

I thought Haas was going to be a babyface with this gimmick, but now they have shoved him into the heel column.

Carlito’s guest in “Carlito’s Cabana” was his brother Primo.

Primo said that last week’s tag team win was unexpectedly easy and he ridiculed the level of competition on Smackdown.

Kurt Hawkins and Zach Ryder, the current WWE Tag Team Champions, came to the ring, where the brothers pretended not to know who they were.

After some more goading, the champs said they would fight the Colon Brothers next week.

The Kingfish Comments: The problem here is that the fans can’t tell where their rooting interest should lie. The Colon Brothers are very engaging, but they talk like heels. Hawkins and Ryder don’t act especially like heels, but they keep talking about La Familia and Edge.

Hawkins and Ryder started in WWE as a babyface teal (Major Brothers) and have never really excelled in the heel role. On the other hand, Carlito and Primo have a chance to capture the Latino fans like no team has in recent memory if they go babyface.

On the whole, I believe that turning the colons into fan favorites would be the wisest strategy. They appear to have a high up-side than the erstwhile Edgeheads.

When Hawkins and Ryder finally attacked the Colon Brothers, Primo alertly rang the bell. That sent Festus into action as their ally and he Clotheslined both of the champs.

Bree and Maria talked backstage. The newcomer praised Maria’s clothes-designing skills.

When the heels invaded the scene, they criticized Maria’s fashion sense. There’ll be a match next week.

The Kingfish Comments: For just a minute, I thought I was back watching GLOW.

Great Khali d. Scotty Goldman

Khali ended it with a Two-Handed Chokeslam.

Grade: F

The Kingfish Comments: This type of match is completely unnecessary in today’s professional wrestling business. It doesn’t enhance Khali one bit – and it certainly doesn’t do much to entertain the fans. Everyone knows that Great Khali can destroy most men and the fans also know that Goldman is a bottom-of-the-card scrubbinie.

This proved nothing, advanced no plots and entertained no fans. There was some nonsense with Goldman that preceded the match, which essentially alerted fans to the fact that this guy is a loser who counts for nothing in terms of the show.

Chavo Guerrero, surrounded by members of La Familia, expressed a desire to see the video again.

He stayed behind when they left and watched the scene. At the end, the face of the Undertaker appeared on the screen!

An arm shot out from a body we couldn’t see and grabbed Chavo by the throat.

The Kingfish Comments: This was nicely done, though maybe just a little paranormal for my taste. The arm had the Taker’s tattoos, but those can be duplicated with non-permanent tattoos.

Triple H d. MBP
Non-Title Match

After the two combatants seesawed during the early portion of the match, MVP ran full-tilt into Triple H’s fist. The Game took over from that point until MVP regained control during a commercial break.

MVP concentrated on Triple H’s left arm, which soon hung limply at his side.

MVP thought he had HHH lined up for the Drive By Kick, but the Cerebral assassin caught him in mid-stride with a Double Knee to the chest! Triple H hit a Neckbreaker, followed by a Reverse Atomic Drop and a Clothesline! The cover only lasted until the count of ‘two.”

Triple H scored with a Spinebuster. MVP went to the outside. Triple H followed him outside, but it turned out that the rulebreaker was only playing possum. He attacked the champion, who fled back to the ring.

MVP tried to go airborne, but The Game caught him as he came off the top turnbuckle! Triple H applied the Pedigree, which ended the match with authority!

Grade: B

The Kingfish Comments: At the risk of reading too much into things, I think this match justifies the prediction that Jeff Hardy will take the title at the pay per view. If Triple H were going to retain, it makes no sense to have MVP lose to him like this, and in a non-title match at that.

But if Triple H is going to lose the belt, then there won’t be a program versus MVP during this title reign. In addition, if Triple H is going to drop the gold, this gives him a very nice win. It also sets up the possibility that MVP will take the title from Hardy and, eventually, lose it to Triple H.

After the match, Vladimir Koslov came out to glare at Triple H. Koslov got into the ring, MVP distracted the champion and the Russian attacked him.

Triple H connected with a Reverse Atomic Drop, but Koslov wiped out the Game with a Headbutt to the sternum.

The Kingfish Comments: Koslov needs to fight someone with some stature and look good beating him. Intense facials are not, in and of themselves, all that entertaining.

Overall Grade for this show: B-

I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I hope you’ll join me and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]