The final SmackDown before the PPV took to the airwaves on Friday night, and I thought for the most part it was your standard “go-home” show before a PPV, with a few small surprises which included the ending with Jeff Hardy laying out HHH after he beat The Great Khali. Now for the Good, the Bad and Our grade for the show.
Shelton Benjamin was asked a few weeks ago to step up his game, and again this week I felt like he did that. He’s a high stakes player that will take risks, and I expect him to have a big impact on the Scramble match during Unforgiven. Look for Benjamin to keep on this recent streak, and for him to continue to get chances to raise his game. I’d love to see a program between he and HHH, not just one match on a SmackDown.
I spoke last week about Maryse and her ability and how she’s improved as of late, and she showed that again this week in her win over Maria. I think it’s too early to give her the Divas belt, but I think long term she is going to develop into a good female heel. Remember when she was simply welcoming people back to SmackDown sitting on a bed or in a bathtub? No more of that, and that’s a good thing.
The lumberjack match was good for what it was worth. Khali is showing more and more as time goes by his limited skills, which we all knew, and he seems now to be the monster whipping boy on the roster. As for HHH, it was a good warm up for the scramble title match, and as stated above, I liked the back and forth and ending between he and Hardy, which should make things more interesting at the PPV.
Smackdown is trying to become the feature WWE show, and that’s why they have the two biggest healthy stars on the roster- HHH and Undertaker. So why is it there is such a drop off after the main event guys? I realize they are trying to establish guys like R-Truth and Vlad Kozlov and Super Crazy, but does anyone think long term these guys will be even decent second-tier wrestlers. Bottom line, they have to pick up some better mid-card guys.
Back on the R-Truth trip, Vince McMahon didn’t like his debut, so I can’t believe that he was much more happy with his match with Bam Neely this week. Truth has skills, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time, he seems like he’s going to get lost in the shuffle quickly, which means he may not last on the roster very long.
Final Grade for the Show: C