Ryan Mulligan's Smackdown TV report for November 14th



WWE Friday Night SmackDown! Report 11/14/08
Taped 11/11/08 in THE UNITED KINGDOM~!

By Ryan Mulligan
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Last week on "SmackDown," Jeff Hardy reverted to his old EXTREME self,
ruining two perfectly enjoyable matches in the process and earning
himself a new enemy in The Undertaker. This week they'll do battle in
an EXTREME Rules Match, made even more EXTREME thanks to Hardy's
EXTREME face-paint. Elsewhere, MVP takes being buried to a whole new
level, freaked-out Festus offers Maria a teddy bear, and THE Brian
Kendrick blows us kisses.

We start off the show with druid-music, which is unforgivably
misleading, as no druids are in sight. Instead, there's a casket in
the middle of the ring. Suddenly, The Undertaker's voice comes booming
over the sound-system, proclaiming himself a "punisher borne of
darkness." He says that in their Casket Match at "Survivor Series,"
the only sounds The Big Show will hear will be his own muffled
screams. He concludes by warning Show that he's going to drag his soul
down to the depths of hell. Taker pops out of the casket at this
point, but his posing gets interrupted by YOUR charismatic enigma,
Jeff Hardy, who appears on the Titantron amid a glowing backdrop and
donning newly EXTREME face-paint. He informs us that he lives in a
world of grey and that now he's going to thrive on pure emotion.
Tonight, recklessness and insanity will beat Taker. Don't forget the
Swanton. "Tonight, it's EXTREME!" Taker responds with his catchphrase.
These two promos were the most overwritten things this side of these
reports. The face-paint rules, though.

Non-Title Match: ECW Champion Matt Hardy vs. U.S. Heavyweight Champion
Shelton Benjamin
OH YEAH!!! Hurricane pops up at the beginning of the match and says
that Shelton looks like a cross between Gary Coleman and Hacksaw Butch
Reed, which is a failure because The Natural Butch Reed was the
gimmick where he had his hair dyed blonde. We get a whole lot of
mat-wrestling to get things under way, with Shelton riding Hardy down
and cinching in a headlock, prior to Hardy countering into a
headscissors on the mat, previous to Shelton countering into an
arm-bar, before Hardy counters into a hammerlock. Shelton tries to
snapmare his way out of that, but Hardy comes along for the ride and
keeps it hooked in. Shelton uses the top rope to flip his way out of
it and hit an arm-drag, but Hardy responds with one of his own, as we
get the standoff-prior-to-commercials.

We come back with Hardy attempting a suplex and Shelton landing on his
feet and trying a neckbreaker, but ultimately deciding he'd rather
just kick Hardy in the back of the leg. He hooks in a leglock, while
the crowd keeps chanting, "Hardy!" Matter of fact, they'd keep doing
this almost the entire match. Shelton continues working the injured
leg, even applying a Spinning Toehold at one point. That used to be a
finish. Hardy fights out and hits a Side Effect out of nowhere for
two. The corner clothesline/bulldog combo earns him two more. After
Hardy misses an elbow-drop, Shelton misses his repetition roundhouse,
but doesn't miss with a NASTY boot to Hardy's face. He hits two
Stinger Splashes in a row, but winds up eating a running Side Effect
on a third attempt. Shelton goes for a fluke Pay Dirt, but Hardy
avoids it and goes for the Twist of Fate, which Shelton counters into
an inverted backbreaker. Shelton places Hardy in the high-risk
district, but Hardy back-elbows him down and hits a moonsault for a
long two-count. Another Twist of Fate attempt is countered and after a
quick succession of pin-attempts Shelton winds up hooking in a
single-leg crab. Hardy makes the ropes to break, but Shelton
chopblocks him to maintain the advantage. Shelton runs at him
attempting something, but gets caught out of nowhere with the Twist of
Fate. This one is over. The match started off rather slowly, but the
hot crowd kept it interesting until things picked up big-time in the
second half of the match, and it wound up being quite good. I'm not
sure why you need to have Hardy win matches over champions on this
show, though. It certainly makes Shelton's big win over Truth last
week seem less decisive.
Winner: Matt Hardy

THE Brian Kendrick (with Ezekiel Jackson) vs. Carlito (with Primo)
After some counters on the mat, THE Brian Kendrick decides to unleash
with some stiff kicks to Carlito. THE Brian Kendrick follows by
blowing kisses. Carlito responds to that by hitting a harsh
clothesline coming out of the corner on THE Brian Kendrick. He
springboard-backflips over THE Brian Kendrick and hits a dropkick. THE
Brian Kendrick is able to turn the tide by hitting an arm-drag and
hooking in an arm-bar. Carlito makes the ropes, so THE Brian Kendrick
kicks him in his arm. THE Brian Kendrick eventually telegraphs a back
body-drop attempt, and Carlito Rolls the Dice. THE Brian Kendrick
sells this by dangling off the apron. After a two-count, THE Brian
Kendrick takes back over by pulling Carlito by the trunks into the
turnbuckles. THE Brian Kendrick misses with a high knee into the
corner, and Carlito does not miss with a Million Dollar Kneelift. The
springboard back-elbow follows. Carlito then dropkicks THE Brian
Kendrick into the corner. At this point, Ezekiel decides to run
through Primo's body with a running shoulder-tackle on the floor. This
distracts Carlito just long enough to allow THE Brian Kendrick to
score the victory following THE Kendrick. This was another good match.
The right guy won and he won in the right way. See how easy it is?
Winner: THE Brian Kendrick

Kizarny

EXCUSE ME~! Vickie Guerrero is in the ring with Chavo, and it's time
to sign the contract for the WWE Championship Match between HHH and
Vladimir Kozlov for "Survivor Series!" However, should there be any
physicality during the signing between the two combatants, the match
will be off. Physicality? At a contract signing? Never. The crowd
gives her the "WHAT???" treatment, which is appreciated here, because
it leads only to more "EXCUSE ME~!". Vickie sort of says that if Hardy
beats Taker tonight he might wind up in the title match, making it a
three-way. Kozlov comes out sporting jeans and a sport jacket with a
t-shirt underneath. Give this man the title. HHH notes the
international flavor in the ring tonight and jokes that Vickie is from
Fatlavia. Or maybe it's Bulgegaria. Or perhaps Chunkyslovakia. Oh,
Triple Hach. Kozlov gets booed for signing his name. Awesome.
Although, he'd look a bit more intimidating if he didn't get
chokeslammed after the match last week. He cuts a promo on The Game in
Russian and when HHH jokes that nobody understands him he tells him to
"Shut up!" in English. HHH starts talking about how inexperienced
Kozlov is, when all of a sudden EXTREME Jeff Hardy appears on the top
turnbuckle! Kozlov doesn't see him at first and winds up turning
around right into a flying clothesline from Hardy from the top that
sends him crashing through the table. Hardy tears up the contract and
throws the pieces at HHH. The crowd boos that. I sure hope they're
going in the Triple Threat direction after seeing Kozlov look like a
geek yet again here. My feelings about the poor treatment of Kozlov
are somewhat mitigated by the undeniable awesomeness of EXTREME Jeff
Hardy, though.

MVP vs. Kung Fu Naki
No way. MVP is once more without a tunnel. For those not in the loop,
MVP's newest storyline twist is that now if he doesn't win a match by
"Survivor Series" he'll have to give up his million dollar sign
up-bonus. Hopefully this means his days of being buried will be ending
soon. First, though, we've got to deal with this crapfest. MVP begins
by forcing Kung back into the corner, controlling the match and
stopping briefly to stomp on Kung's arm. He mocks the Crane Kick,
which cues The Great Khali (with "The Sultan of Sideburns" Runjin
Singh) to waltz down to the ring. MVP is distracted by this, of
course, which leads to him turning around into the Crane Kick and
being pinned by Kung Fu Naki. We're not even close to being done with
this burial, though. Khali then enters the ring and lays out MVP again
with the HEAD CHOP OF IMMENSE PERIL AND CERTAIN DOOM~! It's time for
The Khali Kiss Cam. This segment is somehow managing to combine
everything that sucks about this company into one intolerable package.
This is briefly interrupted by MVP standing up twice, first to get
head chopped again and once more to get Tree Slammed. Completely
buried. A rather unattractive, overweight woman is picked, but Khali
decides MVP should get the honor of kissing her. This woman, clearly
not skilled in the art of the make-out, then "kisses" MVP by rolling
around with him for a few seconds, before MVP bails. Maybe next week
they can have an actual grave with MVP's name on it and spend the
entire show having guys piss on it.
Winner: Kung Fu Naki

Divas Champion Michelle McCool vs. Maria
You want to see a match with no heat? Check this one out. There were
points here where ALL you heard was people whistling. This made the
reaction to last week's Bella Twins-reveal seem like Joe/Kobashi. We
begin with a handshake of mutual respect. Michelle applies a headlock
takeover, but, more importantly, here come Jesse and Festus (with a
teddy bear!). Maria attempts a crucifix, which Michelle counters, but
Maria re-counters by hitting an arm-drag. However, she gets suckered
in with a drop-toehold into the buckles. She regains the advantage
catching Michelle coming in with a back-elbow in the corner. An
enziguri by Maria gets two twice. She hits a sunset-flip, but Michelle
turns that into the Heel Hook, and Maria is forced to tap out. THAT'S
what they were building up to? Once the bell rings Festus freaks out
as only Festus can. He runs into the ring and chases Michelle away.
While he's still freaked out he manages to offer the teddy bear to the
injured Maria. Okay, that might've saved the segment for me. The thing
I don't understand, though, is the nature of the difference between
the mindsets of calm-Festus and freaked-Festus. Does the only
difference relate to his demeanor? The Tazz got in a hilarious line
here, calmly saying in the middle of Festus' freak-out that, "someone
should ring the bell again." Hi-larious.
Winner: Michelle McCool

This week's "Raw Rebound" focuses on the Last Man Standing Match
between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels, in which the latter got
screwed by JBL and a chairshot to the skull. This is followed by JR
and The Tazz running down the card for the ppv, which now includes two
traditional "Survivor Series" elimination matches. Maybe they'll find
a way to eliminate MVP five times.

Extreme Rules Match: The Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy
Taker begins the match by booting Hardy directly in the face. Got his
attention. He misses with an elbow-drop, however, and Hardy
clotheslines him over the top. You know how Taker takes that bump,
though, so he's on his feet. Hardy dropkicks him through the ropes.
Outside, Hardy throws his body at Taker from the barricade. He tries
it again, and they botch an attempted catch by Taker to such an extent
that we get the "Crazy zoom-in camera angle to hide the fact that
something fucked up just happened." Anyway, Taker winds up carrying
Hardy's body and ramming it into the steps.

After a break, Taker is in control, as during the break he rammed
Hardy into the post on the floor. He takes Hardy outside, and Hardy
does the Sandman's old upside down into the barricade spot. Taker
drapes a chair over Hardy's body on the apron and drops the leg. Hardy
scoots under the ring, but unfortunately he doesn't emerge brandishing
a Bella Twin as a weapon. That would've been EXTREME. Instead, it's
Kendo Stick-shots galore on Taker. Back inside, however, Taker
counters by booting Hardy in the face again and hitting him with a
harsh Kendo Stick-shot to the back, which sends Hardy back out to the
floor. Taker runs at him on the barricade, but winds up crotching
himself. It's weird to have a move in your arsenal that you almost
always miss. And I don't mean moves that wind up hitting later on in
the match. I'm thinking along the lines of Flair ascending to the top
rope only to get slammed off. What's another good example of one?
E-mail away. Back to the match, Hardy is now on fire, unleashing with
audacious strikes to "The Best Pure Striker in Sports Entertainment."
Sure enough, he gets BEST PURE STRIKERED~! and laid out with a punch
to the face. Taker goes for Snake Eyes onto the steel steps, but Hardy
slips out and rams Taker into them. Hardy runs at Taker and hits
Poetry in Motion off the steps on Taker on the barricade, but
overshoots his target and goes flying into the front row in a crazy
spot. Back inside, Old School ends with Taker getting crotched again.
Hardy goes under the ring and comes out with a ladder. EXTREME! Hardy
foolishly walks toward Taker while carrying it, so Taker has no choice
but to kick it into him. Hardy responds by throwing the ladder at
Taker in the corner. Whisper in the Wind! WELL, IT'S THE BIG SHOW!!!
Show throws Hardy to the outside. Chokeslam on Taker! Hardy comes off
the top and gets caught in mid-air, but manages to hang onto Show and
drape him over the top rope. Taker comes up from behind and nails Show
in the back with a chairshot that sends him to the floor. Hardy sneaks
back into the ring and kills Taker with a chairshot to the head. He
sets up the ladder and hits a legdrop over it onto Taker below. Hardy
wins! Backstage, Vickie informs Hardy that if he can beat HHH next
week, then the title match at the ppv will be changed to a Triple
Threat Match. Hardy says he'll win and vows to go EXTREME on Vickie if
she doesn't hold up her end of the deal! This show is over. The match
itself wasn't as great as you'd expect, but the story they told with
Hardy continuing to fight back and never staying down (shades of the
infamous "Raw" ladder match from 2002), not to mention the heat and
swaying of favoritism from the crowd, managed to make it rather
exciting. It certainly felt like a huge deal to see Jeff Hardy pin The
Undertaker.
Winner: Jeff Hardy

Aside from the catastrophe of the now-infamous MVP-segment and the
remarkably heatless and rushed-through women's match, this show once
again delivered the goods. The progression of Hardy's newly EXTREME
character and the insertion of him back into the main event picture
has been riveting thus far. I just hope Kozlov doesn't continue to
take a backseat. They've done a good job building up the Triple Threat
(spoilers) and the Casket Match thus far for the ppv. Let's just hope
they continue to cut back on the wackiness on this show. I just
thought of another one. Remember how Ted Dibiase (Sr.) would always go
for something off the middle rope, but wind up getting punched in the
breadbasket and doing a flip-sell?