Ryan Mulligan's Smackdown TV report for December 12



WWE Friday Night SmackDown! Report 12/12/08
Taped 12/9/08 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

By Ryan Mulligan
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This week on "SmackDown," thanks to the evil ingenuity of ultimate
opportunist and WWE Champion Edge and his true love, the
ever-manipulative Vickie Guerrero, top contenders HHH and Jeff Hardy
wage war just 48 hours before their WWE Championship Triple Threat
Match at "Armageddon." Elsewhere, Hawkins and Ryder join MVP in the
competition to see who can get buried worse, DX try to sell teddy
bears, and Maryse tries not to sell anything.

We begin the show with HHH trying to make his way to the ring, but
getting blindsided in the aisle-way by Charismatic Enigma Jeff Hardy!
A huge brawl ensues between the two, with Vickie choosing to send
Chavo Guerrero to try and break it up. That attempt ends with HHH
punching Chavo in the face. Security and referees eventually restrain
the two combatants, but HHH escapes and "accidentally" knocks Vickie
down! Chavo responds to this with laughter. Vickie then gets up and
screams, "This is my show!" and demands that they save it for the main
event, which begs the question: why was HHH coming out now, dressed to
compete, if the match wasn't happening until the end of the show?
Regardless, this was a fun way to kick off the show and re-emphasize
the fact that these two would rather enjoy killing each other.

MVP vs. R. Truth
Truth tries to tell MVP "What's Up" with a huge hip-toss to start, but
then MVP informs him he's better than Truth by unleashing an even
bigger belly to belly throw. MVP fakes an Irish whip and instead
drop-toeholds Truth down. He applies a chinlock and forces Truth back
down when he tries to escape it. A belly to back suplex gets two for
the guy who's not winning. He cinches in the first of many Camel
Clutches this week. Truth tries his best to botch something, but MVP
manages to muscle him up and powerslam him down. He then muscles Truth
up again, but Truth slips over and picks up the victory with a sunset
flip. For the record, that means MVP can't even beat a guy who lost to
Dolph Ziggler.
Winner: R. Truth

MVP gets on the mic post-match and bemoans the fact that he's almost
got nothing left. Well, except for the fact that he's still better
than us. This is the cue for Mr. Kennedy to make his entrance. MVP
starts shouting at him, and rightfully so, which leads to his mic
being shut off. Either Kennedy's tight with the production crew, or
Taker's been teaching him how to manipulate electricity. Kennedy tells
him there aren't any grounds for frowns and then starts plugging his
movie: "Behind Enemy Lines III: Colombia," which is in the tradition
of "Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil." It's a good thing they
didn't plug "Rocky Balboa" by saying it was "In the tradition of Rocky
V." Kennedy seemed to be implying here that he was going to cheer MVP
and us up by showing us clips from the movie, but after he says his
name he walks away, and the segment ends, with JR saying how MVP's
been embarrassed yet again. How? Kennedy didn't even really say
anything bad about him. I'm so confused.

We get a quick look back at the Slammys, with particular emphasis on
Jericho being named "Superstar of the Year" and failing at
successfully interjecting himself in the Cena/Edge match, which
culminated in HHH, Jeff Hardy and Edge engaging in a three-way battle
that ended with only one of them left standing in the ring. Guess
which one.

An unnamed bald man starts cutting a promo at this point, which is
segued into thanks to some special effects that see the screen being
short-circuited. Taker really needs to put his foot down about this
stuff. He says that he's studied the darkness. I wish they offered
that Major at my college. He's been the witness to punishment made
flesh and proclaims himself the evil leader of some people or other.
The prophecy will be realized, and he shall be our vessel. Somebody's
been watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" DVDs. Freddie Prinze Jr., I'm
looking in your direction. Research (google.com) reveals that this
man's name is Hade Vansen and that he's got his roots in THE UNITED
KINGDOM~! He's got a good look and his delivery was impressive, but
we're gonna have to wait and see what this gimmick actually entails.
They seem to be teasing that DRUIDS might be involved, but that's
probably just wishful thinking on my part.

Backstage, THE Brian Kendrick sidles his way between the Bella Twins,
who give him the "Ew!" treatment usually reserved for guys like me.
Carlito and Primo (with ill-advised moustache) come to their rescue,
but Ezekiel Jackson puts the odds back in THE Brian Kendrick's favor.
We get a bit of a staredown before cooler heads prevail. It seems like
this was building towards a match.

It's time for more highlights from the Slammys, this time of The Miz
and John Morrison being named "Tag Team of the Year," and managing to
yet again embarrass comatose-Festus. I can't wait for the retribution
for what they've been doing to him. Eternal bear-paws anyone? Also of
note is The Miz's thanking of Baba Booey, who was assuredly
instrumental to the team's success.

THE Brian Kendrick (with Ezekiel Jackson) vs. Primo Colon (with Carlito)
I was totally right. The Tazz describes Zek as "The Vast One" before
the match begins, which should definitely be his nickname from now on.
"From Parts Unknown, He Is The Vast One Ezekiel Jackson!" Primo trips
up THE Brian Kendrick, which is no way to treat THE Brian Kendrick.
Primo and THE Brian Kendrick then trade arm-drags, before Primo SWEEPS
THE LEG~! of THE Brian Kendrick. Primo fires off a hip-toss, arm-drag
and dropkick on THE Brian Kendrick, and THE Brian Kendrick responds
with a slap and then wisely bails to the outside and hides behind the
back of big Zek. Back inside, THE Brian Kendrick connects with a leg
lariat and a dropkick that sends Primo back outside, where Carlito and
Zek stare at each other, but neglect to throw down. Back inside, THE
Brian Kendrick combines a half-nelson with a Camel Clutch, as only THE
Brian Kendrick can. Primo elbows his way out, but THE Brian Kendrick
grabs Primo's tights and hangs him up on the middle rope. THE Brian
Kendrick stands on Primo's back and starts dancing. Awesome. THE Brian
Kendrick then hooks in the same submission hold, but Primo makes the
ropes. THE Brian Kendrick misses with some semblance of a splash into
the corner, and Primo gets two with a suplex into a float-over. Primo
comes charging out of the corner with a clothesline on THE Brian
Kendrick. A cartwheel leads to a dropkick from Primo. A springboard
cross body off the middle rope earns Primo two more. THE Brian
Kendrick gets launched into the stratosphere with a monkey flip. At
this point, Ezekiel provides a distraction by shoving Carlito
backwards into the ring-steps. Primo gestures awkwardly from the apron
at Zek, which allows THE Brian Kendrick to kick him directly in the
face when Primo makes his way back through the ropes, and a cradle
from THE Brian Kendrick shortly thereafter picks up the victory for
THE Brian Kendrick. Good match. The Tazz and JR made a point of
continually mentioning how much THE Brian Kendrick relies on Zek,
which seems to be hinting at an eventual face-turn for The Vast One.
Until then, the storyline of THE Brian Kendrick continuing to emerge
victorious thanks to Zek's help is running along smoothly.
Winner: THE Brian Kendrick

It's time for DX to sell some hoodies for the winter season. HBK
informs us that it's all about the layers. He then mocks HHH by
showcasing his "Conan the Barbarian" esque teddy bear, but HHH
counters with Shawn's "Village People" esque teddy bear, which comes
complete with a button on the back that makes the bear lose his hair.
Oh, Triple Hach. As funny as this was, if one stops to think about the
fact that Shawn is currently getting disgraced in his storyline with
JBL, and that HHH is involved in a death-struggle with Jeff Hardy,
these lighthearted skits don't really fit in at all.

Non-Title Match: U.S. Heavyweight Champion Shelton Benjamin vs. Hurricane Helms
Helms gets no entrance this week. That's what he gets for mocking
MVP's lack of a tunnel. Shelton seems intent on winning tonight and so
he starts off with a fireman's carry takeover and some pummeling in
the corner. He runs into a back-elbow in the corner, however. They
really need to cut down on that as a form of transition. It seems like
every match features someone running into a back-elbow. Helms then
nails a blockbuster, which regains my interest in the match. He comes
off the top attempting something, but gets dropkicked in mid-air on
the way down. He winds up on the apron, and so Shelton has no choice
but to dropkick him to the floor. Shelton then gets medieval on
Hurricane's ass by applying a neck vice, while burying his knee in
Helms' back. That's a surgically repaired neck, by the way. Helms gets
out of it, but takes a swinging neckbreaker. Psychology! Shelton hooks
in a cross-armbreaker. Nevermind. Helms gets out of that and regains
the momentum following a, wait for it, back-elbow. He hits that nifty
variation of the Unprettier on Shelton. He then goes for a Shining
Wizard that would've ended Shelton's life, but Shelton luckily avoids
that. Shelton takes Helms up and down into his inverted backbreaker,
which earns him a two-count. Helms comes right back with a sunset flip
out of the corner, followed by a low dropkick He goes up, where
Shelton springs to meet him, but gets sent back down. Helms flies off
the top with a high cross body, which he almost misses completely
with, but which connects well enough to earn him the victory. That's
the second week in a row where a botched finish hurt his match a lot.
Otherwise, though, this was a much better performance from Helms.
After the match, he informs us that it might be time for a new U.S.
Champion. He's just sayin'! Hooray for referencing the gimmick!
Winner: Hurricane Helms

It's time for "The Cutting Edge!" I'd type the first five words of
Edge's song here, but we came back from the break with him already in
the ring. What a jip. The champ goes into the story of HHH actually
being the one who attacked Jeff to prevent him from competing at the
"Survivor Series." He introduces his guest: ECW Champion Matt Hardy,
who will be facing Vladimir Kozlov at the ppv Sunday, presumably in
non-title competition. Matt says it was Edge that attacked Jeff and
proclaims him the "scummiest person ever," perhaps referencing Edge's
thievery of Lita from him, but Edge counters by saying everyone wants
Jeff out of the WWE, referencing Randy Orton (what?), The Miz and John
Morrison (what?), The Undertaker (what?) and especially HHH (fair
enough) by name. Edge says that Matt's only involved in Jeff's
problems, because nobody cares about Matt! Oh no he didn't! He says
that if Matt got attacked and couldn't compete at a ppv nobody would
care! Matt responds to this by punching Edge off his stool. Here comes
Kozlov! Matt turns to meet him, which allows Edge to attack from
behind. Kozlov casually walks into the ring and lays Matt out with a
push-kick! He traps Hardy's arms and delivers headbutts to the chest,
before sending Hardy into the ropes and killing him dead with the
battering ram headbutt. He then delivers a chokeslam and screams at
Hardy's dead body in Russian. Vladimir Kozlov: saving segments on a
weekly basis.

It's back to the Slammys, where "The Khali Kiss Cam" reigned
victorious in the "'Damn!' Moment of the Year" Category, but was then
outshined by another "Damn!" moment when Khali began lip-locking
Mickie James, while Jillian sang "My Heart Will Go On" and Kung Fu
Naki and a bunch of n'er do wells danced. I wonder if this segment in
the script just had the word "Clusterfuck" written for it, and they
just came up with that on the spot.

Handicapped Match: The Great Khali (with Runjin Singh) vs. Curt
Hawkins and Zack Ryder
The former Edgeheads try to utilize the numbers' advantage at the
outset, but Khali disposes of Ryder and then kills Hawkins with a
back-elbow and a chest-chop in the corner. Hawkins chooses to run
directly into a clothesline, and Khali chooses to end the match by
Tree Slamming Ryder onto Hawkins' prone body. Former tag team
champions! Hopefully their last appearance in the company features
Kozlov literally push-kicking them out a door.
Winner: The Great Khali

Eve is standing by with HHH, who has reverted to serious form, having
nothing to sell besides ppv buys at the moment. He says that Hardy
believes it was HHH who attacked him in the hotel, but The Game tells
Hardy not to flatter himself, as HHH didn't even consider him a threat
to his title. Hardy didn't even warrant an attack! Besides, if Triple
H did attack him, Hardy wouldn't even be here right now! Tonight he's
going to run Hardy down and at the ppv he's going to once again sit
upon his throne as The King of Kings and new WWE Champion. Good stuff.

The Bella Twins vs. Maryse and Natalya
We thankfully get a lot of help from the partner in the corner to
inform us of which Bella Twin is in the ring at any moment. Maryse
begins the action by slapping Nikki in the face, but Nikki responds
with a Thesz press. Maryse responds by not selling that and gingerly
takes her time to tag in Natalya, who takes a drop toehold coming in.
I wonder if Maryse is that deliberate in everything she does. Take
that where you want. Brie flies into the ring with a sunset flip on
Natalya, but they're in the ropes, and you can't pin somebody there.
She unleashes the FLYING MARE~! but gets caught on a monkey flip
attempt and dropped unceremoniously by Natalya. Brie shoves Maryse off
the apron, but turns around into a discus clothesline from Natalya.
Brie is YOUR twin-in-peril. Maryse hits the spinning backbreaker
that's by far the most impressive move in her arsenal. At this point,
Natalya gets in the line of the night by screaming at Brie, "You're
not even a real twin!" I don't know what she's implying there, but
it's hilarious either way. Maryse hooks in the Camel Clutch like
everyone else tonight, before sending Brie back down and applying a
more standard-variety chinlock. Natalya tags in and misses with an
elbow drop, which allows Nikki to tag in and run wild with dropkicks
and a turnbuckles-assisted arm-drag. Natalya powers her into the
corner, but Nikki kicks Maryse off the apron and launches herself at
Natalya from the middle turnbuckle. Natalya catches her, but Brie
sneaks in and dropkicks Nikki in the back, sending her down on top of
Natalya to pick up the victory for the twins. The Bella Twins are
slowly getting better, but they'll probably benefit a lot more from
facing the soon-to-be-heel Michelle McCool. It's funny how they always
protect Maryse, like she's on the verge of setting the industry on
fire.
Winners: The Bella Twins

Eve is standing by again, this time with Kozlov, who yells in Russian
before supplying us with the English translation. He doesn't consider
Matt Hardy competition and after he defeats him he's coming for the
WWE Title. He concludes by saying, "I have lost my tolerance. Everyone
must fall." I'm still a fan.

HHH vs. Jeff Hardy
Hardy is wisely sans face-paint tonight. We begin with an appropriate
slugfest, picking right up where we left off, which Hardy gets the
better of. He baseball slides HHH into the barricade and then launches
himself off the apron with a flying body attack to The Game. He then
reverses an Irish whip and sends Triple H into the unforgiving steel
steps. Hardy hits Poetry in Motion off the steps onto HHH against the
barricade! They sell this forever, and I don't mind. Back inside,
Triple H takes Hardy down with a clothesline, and we go to a break.

We're back with HHH whipping Hardy twice into the corner. However, The
Game telegraphs a back body drop and gets kicked in the chest as a
result, before being clotheslined over the top to the floor. Hardy
comes flying over with a plancha. Back inside, Hardy misses with a
wild splash attempt in the corner. HHH sends a shout-out to the late
Davey Boy Smith with a LONG vertical suplex. Triple H has two words
for Hardy, which precede a knee-drop to the face. He cinches in a
headlock on the mat and soon after connects with a facebuster for two.
On the outside, HHH rams Hardy face-first into the announce table
twice. Back inside, the advantage shifts again, with Hardy catching
The Game with the hooking clothesline. Hardy then fires off with
forearms and a clothesline out of the corner, as the crowd starts
rallying behind him. A low dropkick earns him two. He hits the mule
kick, but HHH comes right back with a spinebuster, which earns HIM
two. The Twist of Fate and the Pedigree are avoided in quick
succession, but the Whisper in the Wind hits for a long two-count. HHH
comes off the middle turnbuckle, but gets kicked in the stomach. A
sit-out gourdbuster from Hardy follows. Hardy goes up top, but gets
caught and winds up on the apron. In an AWESOME spot, HHH manages to
somehow hook in the Pedigree while Hardy's still on the apron, before
pulling him into the center of the ring. Hardy counters it, however,
and goes up for the Swanton, which misses. Just as the match is
reaching the highest level of awesomeness, Edge shows up and spears
both men. He poses with his championship to massive boos. I'm pretty
sure if they kept wrestling like that it was going to be the best
match ever.
Result: No Contest

This was another good show this week, which focused heavily on
WRESTLING and had very little wackiness to mess it up. The main event
was excellent, despite the finish, and they've done a good job
building Hardy's credibility by having him keep pace with HHH, to the
point where I could easily see Hardy actually winning the title on
Sunday (although I'd wait on that till Mania). Some of the action was
less than stellar (the Khali match and the divas tag, namely), but the
show is in a comfortable niche right now with a healthy selection of
main eventers and interesting mid-card characters to keep the show
entertaining from week to week, not to mention the continuing presence
of newcomers. My only real complaint is that this show marks two
straight weeks without Festus. Unforgivable.

 

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