Nick’s Smackdown! Review (5-16-08): “La Familia Muerta?”


What’s up wrestling fans? I’m back once again with a look at last night’s edition of Smackdown! This broadcast was host to some great in-ring wrestling, some wonderful commentary by “newcomer” Mick Foley, and the unfortunate continuation of a storyline that I’m sure most would hope to see go away. Overall, however, Smackdown showed me once again why it’s not so bad being the “B” show, because apparently the “B” consistently stands for better wrestling. That said, let’s review the action from Grand Rapids.

We begin the broadcast with what I’m hoping will be the final weeks of the La Familia storyline. I’d like to point out, however, that I’m not one of those people that dislikes the storyline because it’s somehow disrespectful to Eddie Guerrero. It’s a show, and the idea behind the storyline is actually very beneficial to Edge’s character, and makes perfect sense for him. I’ve always felt that the only reason Edge is so “in love” with Vickie is to better his place on Smackdown, and that just furthers him as a complete degenerate. The fact is, however, I don’t like the storyline because I think Vickie Guererro is just a bad performer. I don’t believe her promos, and I don’t believe that she’s comfortable at all behind the mic. Moreover, I think the progression of the storyline has been mostly illogical, and tonight was no different.

Teddy Long tells us that he was at a meeting with the board of directors at Stamford earlier in the day, and that he has a message to relay. Tonight, Vickie has to choose to either quit her job as GM, or she has to wrestle in order to keep her job. This makes no sense to me. The board of directors would never sanction a match to determine a non-wrestler’s job status. If they feel someone is not qualified to work, or is making poor decisions, they would take disciplinary action that wouldn’t hinge on the outcome of a wrestling match. In any case, Long tells Vickie that tonight her opponent is The Undertaker.

Back from break and Smackdown is underway with it’s first match, CM Punk vs Chuck Palumbo. This was a very good, hard hitting opening match. I really like Chuck Palumbo. This is a guy that, to me, has always lacked charisma. His ring-work has always been solid, but he just never found a personality that suited him, or stood out amongst the crowd. Well I think he’s finally found it. The biker gimmick works, and it works for him. This was a good back and forth match, with both guys throwing some good, stiff offense at each other. Out of a possible 9 stars, I give this match 7 stars.

We cut to the back where MVP, Big Show, and Finlay are all complaining to Vickie that they felt like mere pawns in the tournament from the week before. Vickie doesn’t feel like hearing their complaining so she sets up a tag match between the three for later in the night.

Next up we have a women’s bout featuring Michelle McCool taking on Layla. This was a decent match, with McCool trying her hardest to work with the mostly useless Layla. There are only a few talented Divas on Smackdown to begin with, so why choose to feature one of the weaker ones here? 4.5 Stars.

We now come to the tag match that was announced earlier in the evening by GM Vickie Guerrero. Big Show and Finlay vs MVP and his choice of partner Mark Henry. Great tag match. Both teams worked surprisingly well together considering neither is a seasoned tag team. Big Show and Henry worked much better together than Show and Khali, although that should come as no shock to anyone. There are rumors that we might be seeing a Big Show vs Henry singles match at Judgment day, and although it isn’t something I care to see, considering big man matches with Big Show tend to never work well, if booked right, this could actually be a fun match. Overall, however, I thought this was a great hour one main event, with Finlay and MVP really standing out. 8 Stars.

Next up we have a squash match in the form of Vladimir Kozlov vs Funaki. Kozlov is impressive. The lone spotlight following him to the ring without any entrance music is great. It just works for him. And he displayed an array of nice power moves in this brief match. Some solid throws and a few technical maneuvers made me look forward to see what this big man will do in the future. 5 Stars.

Vickie Guerrero then announced to the live crowd that the main event would now be a 6 on 1 handicap match against The Undertaker. Can she do this? Does it make any sense at all for the board to punish Vickie by allowing her to make the stipulations for her match? I’m confused.

We now take you back to the ring and back to…another women’s match. Cherry vs Maryse. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I don’t want to see more than one Divas match on any wrestling card. Period. There are too many talented wrestlers on the WWE roster to waste time showcasing four hardly talented Divas in two segments. At least allow the women that can actually wrestle to get in the ring, instead of giving us a few pretty faces. 3 Stars.

Thankfully, this match was followed with a great singles match in the form of Matt Hardy vs Shelton Benjamin. This was a hard fought match by both talents, and saw Matt Hardy pick up the win with the Twist of Fate. I like the fact that Shelton is being used on a much more consistent basis on both ECW and Smackdown, but he’s never going to establish himself as the Gold Standard if he continues to lose. This guy can’t buy himself a victory against a credible name. It seems like Shelton has been teetering on the brink of rising to the top in ECW/Smackdown, but officials just won’t let him take that next step. Mick Foley said it best tonight: Benjamin is tired of hearing that he’s the “best pure athlete in WWE.” Exactly. If he’s so damn talented, why not let him win a match or two? 7 Stars.

This brings us to our main event of the evening: The Undertaker vs Vickie Guerrero, Edge, Zach Ryder and Curt Hawkins. This match was as one would assume. Mediocre. Chavo and Bam bailed out of the match before it began, making it a 4 on 1 contest as opposed to 6 on 1. The match saw Taker fighting off Zach, Curt and Edge until he was nearly able to hit the chokeslam on Vickie. Unfortunately, Edge came to the rescue and the foursome retreated up the entrance ramp. Taker made a statement with a good outing, however, it had no effect on the future of the storyline as the match ended in a no-contest. So the board of directors punished Smackdown’s general manager by not punishing her at all. Who’s the chair of the board? Eugene? 5 Stars.

Overall, this was a fun show. Some really solid in-ring work by a talented Smackdown roster, unfortunately folded into a storyline that has run its course. Tonight’s show gets 6 stars from a wrestling standpoint, with half of a point deducted for the stalemate that is Vickie Guerrero. Tonight’s broadcast gets 5.5 out of 9 stars.

Nick’s Notes:

-I do love the name “La Familia.”

-Is anyone else tired of Michelle McCool “Loving Life?” Is that a gimmick?

-Punk is way over. Good stuff.

-Poor Funaki.

-I think we can safely get rid of Deuce and Domino. They never seem to go anywhere but sideways.

-Line of the night: Mick Foley: “Never trust a biker with no tattoos.” I love Foley.

Thanks for reading, and as always, please send any and all comments to See you right back here on Monday night after Raw!

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