Two IZW jobbers (who were also fake photographers last night on Raw) out to be summarily squashed by Big Show (who is still getting a face reaction). Show then promos something about an upcoming Mayweather / De La Hoya fight in the fall, saying he wants to "squash" those rumours. (This Mayweather guy showed up at the press conference in LA in Yankees cap & jacket ... & they're hoping to push him as a face?)
Jimmy Wang Yang & Shannon Moore d. Deuce & Domino: Good match, with Shannon working especially hard.
Edge backstage looking for cheap heat: "We need to get out of the southwestern US, back to god's country, Canada. Moose Jaw." Edge's boys wander in for a pep talk. Zack Ryder is just the man to get Edge's revenge on Undertaker. (Oh, yeah?)
Palumbo d. Jamie Noble w/ Michelle McCool: Jamie working Palumbo's left elbow effectively, & good chemistry between them made for a very entertaining match. Good solid work on both sides.
Teddy introduces some blondie-bimbette to Vicki G. (Same blondie who lured Teddy into Vicki's office last week.) Nauseating kiss-up by the blondie, with appropriate eye-rolling by Teddy. Batista in to announce that he wants to be the SmackDown representative to face Umaga at WM. (Really? Bummer.) Blondie thinks that's a good idea & Vicki makes that match.
Batista & Kane vs. Khali (sans manager) & MVP (sans his entrance tent): As pathetically bad as Khali is, I was delighted at what a fun, entertaining match this turned out to be! Kane particularly was carrying him through. Crowd was really hot, & the overall was damn good. (In spite of the world's most pathetic kicks & strikes.) Batista actually got a rollup on Khali for the win.
Jesse & Festus vs. Miz & Morrison: Festus actually has some following -- go figure. M&M have put together a taped piece called "the Dirt Sheet". They "interview" Jesse about being abducted by aliens, etc. Answers consist of out-of-contet quotes from prior interviews. Sorta cute, but not convinced it was TV-worthy. I do wish they'd split up Miz & Morrison, & give us a reason to care about Morrison besides generic heelishness. Festus pulls out the win, & M&M squabble.
Big Daddy V w/ Striker vs. Balls Mahoney: Whaaa? (Balls was pleased as could be to get his chant spontaneously, without prompting. :-) ) Mostly pointless, except to have Undertaker interrupt, without his usual intro, to dispose of V & then Balls. Promo from in-ring to Edge: "Bring me your minion ... bring him to my yard..." Thus calling out Zack Ryder, with Edge & the other minion in tow.
You'd think that Taker would just pretty much squash Zack, or that Edge would be doing a lot of cheating to keep his boy alive. Not so much. Taker was quite gracious & let the boy get quite a bit of offence & work in. Taker finished with the submission move he's been using. I've got to agree with Lance Storm (stormwrestling.com) about this -- it was a fine addition to his repertoire for one win over Daddy V. But this is not the right thing for the Undertaker to use to defeat an arbitrary minion! Also, it leaves him on the ground when Edge & minion #2 rush in after the tap-out for their beat-down on Taker. All that nothwithstanding, it was still a fun, entertaining main event.
I presume TV ends with Taker having run Edge back out of the ring. Edge heelishly backs to the top of the ramp while Taker claims his yard. As first Batista, & then Kane come out, & back him down the ramp to the ring. All 4 end up in the ring together. Edge is surrounded & knows he's about to meet an untimely end. Edge tries to broker a deal with Batista -- "you & me". Dave pretends to consider, then thumbs down. Edge takes everybody's finisher & is left lying. The Brothers exit together -- I just think that's cool. Dave works the crowd & plays around a bit. After he leaves, Edge *finally* rallies to tell us that at WM, Undertaker won't have Batista or Kane to bail him out. Fabulous fun aftershow!!
Overall this was the second week in a row that the SmackDown crowd kicked the Raw crowd's ass. And the SmackDown/ECW show was a wonderfully entertaining evening for the live crowd. I can't begin to sort out what it is, but they are just on a roll lately!
I'd personally say that the Rumble kicked my ass htis year.. a number of pretty damned good matches and the Rumble itself, while predictable, was fun.. and thats all I ask for out of a PPV.. as for it being negated at No Way Out..