1. Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Shelton Benjamin - 4
2. Jesse and Festus vs. Deuce 'N Domino - 5
3. Big Daddy V vs. Shannon Moore - 2
4. MVP vs. Batista - 6
5. Great Khali vs. Kane - 3
6. Chuck Palumbo vs. Matt Jackson - 3
7. Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero - 4
Opener was a MItB qualifier so I go into it knowing Benjamin goes over. Shelton does some decent amateur stuff to start. Killer powerrbomb in the corner by Benjamin! Benjamin does that spot where he hops up on the top turnbuckle and overhead belly-to-belly suplexes his opponent--Wang flies across the entire ring in a sick spot. It looked great. Nice teases on some finishes, surprisingly, actually got the crowd to buy into a possible Jimmy victory. Good opener. The following tag was physical as hell, now, I'm not ready to write off early-'08 SmackDown! as a golden era, but, this show has been pretty damn good so far. Festus is just wild and reckless, lays in solid stuff, etc. Festus slams Jesse right onto Sim Snuka's fucking face--ouch! Holy shit, on the floor, Sim rips Jesse's fucking face off with a flying heel kick. I was right, as back in the ring, Jesse's nose is gushing blood--probably broken. Great match.
I forgot how shitty Coachman was on announcing, he should stick to giving Phillies boxscores. I really miss both the next guys, but especially Big Daddy V. V's chops in the corner, where he makes the "V" with his hand? Just abnormally awesome. Moore finally gets some stuff in, a dropkick, etc. but this is Daddy's prom night and Moore is just the dude handing out fruit punch. Man, Batista looks so much better here than he has since his recent return--but, I wouldn't look real stoked working Ted DiBiase weekly either. I'd heard a lot about these two's series during this era and how tits it was. MVP is selling the back from the PPV the week before where he did the ill somersault bump off one of the Elimination Chamber pods. This match is scarily good, especially in contrast to recent TV output, as they get time and just go, even Batista's selling is uniformly good throughout. Batista wins by capitalizing on Porter's back, and MVP sells each subsequent spinerbuster like more and more excruciating death. I really dug this.
I thought the next match was going to be as stinky as the pulled pork fart I just dealt, but, while it's not Triple H vs. Khali from Summerslam '08, it's near it, and I'd say easily Top #5 Khali (for those keeping lists at home). Khali starts with that shoddy way he eats punches where he puts his hands up like the sun is in his eyes. They start laying it in like they care and suddenly this is getting quite watchable. Say what you will about Kane, he doesn't have a lot of physical tools, but he sticks to character (during matches) about as good as anybody else nowadays. Neat finish where Khali is using the infamous KONA CRUSH but Kane kicks off the buckles which leads to Khali inadvertently pinning himself while squeezing Kane's skull.
My boy Chuck Palumbo against... Matt Jackson? Of PWG, Dragon Gate (saw the his last tour--good stuff), and Chikara fame? Seriously cool. Jackson takes a toss out of the ring by somersaulting right to the fucking ground for your enjoyment. All of Palumbo's stuff comes off beautifully as Jackson sells it all huge, he spasms about like the women in Ward 3 that were raped in Fernando Meirelles' Blindness. Rey comes out and does a promo about his injured bicep and how he can't work WrestleMania--I guess working Chavo in his hometown of San Diego is the next best thing. Well, that's a stretch. Rey clearly brings out the best in Chavo, always, but with his legitimate injury they were limited. Chavo's frog splash looks more like a tweener falling down on the skateboard Mommy bought him--just because you saw it on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater doesn't mean you have the innate coordination to pull tricks off. Big Show comes out afterword and kills Rey and the crowd.
An episode of TV where I like seven out of seven matches? Holy shit. Are you kidding me? I can't remember the last time a show has had such a large rate of success with me. Not everything is worth seeking out, such as the main event, but by and by this was a ton of fun and a really enjoyable watch. Much thanks to Adam as this came from the cornucopia of discs he burnt for me last year--they're going to good use!