411’s WWE Smackdown Report 01.23.09
Posted by JP Truss on 01.23.2009
It's the last Smackdown before this Sunday's Royal Rumble! Triple H will face Vladimir Kozlov. The WWE and World Tag Team Champions will be in action. Plus, will Jeff Hardy defend the WWE Championship this Sunday after his brutal "accident"? All answers are inside!
Welcome to 411's Weekly Smackdown Report. I'm your host JP Truss and if you don't know who I am then you're not familiar with 411's Worst Wrestler of the Week available every Tuesday right on this fine website. Alexander Miezin wasn't able to recap this week, so I shall do my best to fill his shoes.
We are only a few days away from the Royal Rumble! The start of the Road to Wrestlemania! But before all of that Smackdown! has a few loose ends to tie up. We start things off with a recap of Jeff Hardy nearly getting blown apart by his pyro on last week's show. Quick note: a lot of writers are skeptics of ‘accidents' angles the WWE seems to like these days. But crowd reactions don't lie. The people were eating it up and made it feel very real, so at the very least the WWE has that going for them.
Tazz and Jim Ross come to us from. J.R. has had an interview with Jeff Hardy that will are later tonight and Tazz points out that yes, as you've probably figured out, foul play was involved. They both question whether or not Jeff Hardy should defend the WWE Championship this Sunday, until Edge makes his entrance.
Edge proclaims his innocence, although the crowd is not buying it at all. Edge tells Jeff that although he respects him, he has also made the biggest mistake of his life. Edge tells the crowd that being a true champion is about making sacrifices and not having an excuse and that he is a true champion. He doesn't have to use ‘accidents' to beat Jeff and again the crowd is not buying it. Neither is Matt Hardy who runs into the ring and chases Edge through the crowd as we go to a commercial. Interesting way to start off the show, mostly due to Edge's natural ability to piss people off.
If you didn't know, "size matters". So get a Bowflex; which somehow has something to do with it.
We're back and we get a recap of MVP vs. Big Show. J.R. and Tazz pimp Triple H vs. Kozlov that will happen later tonight.
U.S Champion Shelton Benjamin vs. The Undertaker (Non-Title)
There will never be a ring entrance like The Undertaker's. Ever.
Both men measure each other up to start this one off. Undertaker strikes first and works Shelton over with hard strikes. Shelton puts a stop to Undertaker's moment with an elbow and manages to get the upper hand before Undertaker cuts him down with a big boot. J.R. questions what would happen if Shelton manages to beat Undertaker, which doesn't seem likely right now. Undertaker sets Shelton up for Old School but Shelton blocks it. Shelton tries to get the upper hand again but Undertaker tosses him into the corner. Undertaker sets him up in the corner and goes for a big boot but Shelton moves out of the way! Undertaker crashes to the outside! Shelton goes to the apron and nails Undertaker with a flying forearm.
Shelton Benjamin seems in control now and slides Undertaker back into the ring. Shelton tries to get him up for a vertical suplex, fails the first time, but nails it the second time. Good enough for a two count. Shelton keeps the Undertaker on his knees. J.R. and Tazz points out Shelton's aggressiveness and the need to wear Undertaker down as Shelton locks in the sleeper hold. Shelton works the hold until Undertaker gets to his feet and back suplex his way out of the hold. Undertaker sits up and the two begin trading punches, which of course Undertaker wins out of. Undertaker crushes Shelton Benjamin in the corner with two clotheslines, Snake Eyes, a big boot, and a leg drop BUT it doesn't put Shelton away. Undertaker sets up again for Old School, but Shelton blocks it again. Tazz gives Shelton his due before Shelton hits the superplex. Shelton goes for the pin, Shelton gets a two count.
The Undertaker is slow to get up and Shelton measures him, but Undertaker pushes him off. Undertaker goes for a chokeslam, which Shelton counters into a DDT. Two and a half! The Undertaker chants start up as Shelton measures the Undertaker. Shelton goes for Pay Dirt, but Undertaker blocks. Shelton counters into a Spinning Heel Kick! VINTAGE BENJAMIN! Shelton tries to work over the Undertaker, but Undertaker counters with the Gogoplata! Or is it the Devil's Gate? Regardless, Shelton taps out! This one is over!
Winner: Undertaker (via Submission) ***1/2. This was a damn good match. I only wish the pace was a little slower. But the back and forth action was tremendous. Shelton Benjamin continues to prove he can hang with the top guys and the Undertaker looks strong heading into the pay-per-view.
Undertaker poses for the crowd. The Great Khali will be in action later tonight and we still have Jeff Hardy's interview as well.
We get a video highlighting the HBK/JBL storyline, as well as promoting the World Heavyweight Championship match at the Royal Rumble. This storyline has been one of the reasons I've been watching Raw in the past month and I hope it continues after the Royal Rumble.
UUUUUUMAGA! is coming back. Honestly; I can't wait.
We're back and Chavo Guerrero is in the ring. Triple H has been making fun of him and Guerrero wants to remind us that he is night a Go-For. He is a WARRIOR! He loves and appreciates his Aunt Vickie and will not stand the Great Khali trying to embarrass their family. This sets up;
The Great Khali w/ Runjin Singh vs.Chavo Guerrero
I like the new music for Great Khali. Maybe it's just the fact that it doesn't seem to fit him, I don't know. But it works.
The bell rings and Chavo goes for Khali's legs. Chavo goes for a punch, but Khali catches him and powers him down. Khali sets up Chavo in the corner and goes for a boot, but Chavo gets out of the way. Chavo tries to take advantage with Khali tied up, but it's not enough. Khali nails the Brain Chop and the Punjabi Plunge for the 3 count!
Winner: The Great Khali (via Pinfall) *1/2. We all knew this would be a squash, but it gets a little extra for the ‘one more time' chant near the end. Listen next time Khali!
Edge is in Vicki Guerrero's office complaining about Matt Hardy. Instead of getting him more security, Vickie makes a match between Edge and Matt: no DQ. Vickie tells Edge to man up and Edge looks shocked. J.R. teases the footage of Orton beating the crap out of McMahon before we cut to break.
WWE the Music Vol. 9 is out. Get it already!
I think MyNetwork TV has the same problem CW has. Every program they have except for Smackdown just looks like trash. Really, who's Tivoing ‘Vice Squad'?
Kevin Rudolf ‘Let it Rock' is the official Royal Rumble theme song.
Brie and Nikki Belle vs. Michelle McCool and Nattie Neidhart
Red is definitely Maryse's color. The Diva's Champion goes to assist with the commentary as the Belle Twins hit the ring. J.R. and Tazz compliments Maryse on her hair as Michelle McCool and Nattie enters. Yeah, I know her official name is ‘Natalya', but I'm running this show this week so she's Nattie.
One of the twins and Michelle start it off. They trade off headlock takedowns until Michelle gets the upper hand. Maria comes out of nowhere and attacks Michelle! Are you kidding me?!
Winners: Michelle and Nattie (via DQ) DUD Well, at the very least they didn't waste anyone's time with a poor match. Nothing to see here folks; move along.
Maria and Michelle continue fighting on the outside, with Maria getting the advantage until Nattie attacks from behind. Maryse comments that she can't wait to get back in the ring with Michelle, which I guess means there's a Diva's Championship re-match in the future. Fantastic.
Jeff Hardy's interview is next!
(On another train of thought, I wish now that I had thought of timing these matches before this all started. I don't know why I didn't think of it until now. If I get another shot at play-by-play, I'll have to remember it.)
Jeff Hardy Interview
We come back to the Jeff Hardy interview, taped early today. J.R. replays the incident last week. Jeff Hardy points out that last week's wasn't an accident, it was intentional. J.R. agrees and points out the ‘investigation', and Jeff Hardy interrupts to point at the hit and run and other attacks on him wasn't an accident either. Jeff Hardy points to the finger at Edge and says he pity's him. Jeff Hardy's says mistakes are his sanctuary and that he represents all of the misfits and screw-ups in the world. That he enjoys being an outcast and has no fear. Do you Edge?
Overall, this was a very strong segment for Jeff Hardy. No matter how long his run is with the WWE Championship, he's making it a memorable one.
Edge enters the ring just as we go to the commercial break.
We got a montage of Kozlov's training regime. Now, if only he could look that fluid and seamless in the ring, he could be a decent performer.
Edge vs. Matt Hardy (No-Disqualification match)
Edge tries to escape Matt Hardy, but Matt catches up to him on the outside. The bell sounds and Matt throws Edge into everything he can. Matt rolls Edge in and hits a couple of clothesline before Edge counters, but Matt comes back with a Side Effect. Edge finally gets Matt off him and hurls him to the outside. Edge goes for a Baseball slide, but Matt moves out of the way. Matt pulls up the padding on the outside and goes for a Twist of Fate, but Edge shoves him off...probably saving his neck.
Matt gets back in control quickly though and goes under the ring, sliding in a trash can. We get an ‘ECW' chant but Edge manages to trip Matt up. Edge gets the trash can and smashes it into Matt's skull. Matt gets back up and eats the trash can lid. Edge is now in control and nails a few punches before going for a pin and getting a two count. Edge knocks Matt down and gets a Kendo Stick from the outside. He goes for a swing, but Matt counters and Kendo sticks Edge out of the ring. Matt tries to follow up with a clothesline but Edge moves and he hits the post.
Edge tries to follow up with a chair, but Matt moves and Edge hits the steel. Matt slides Edge into the ring and Mark Henry comes out of nowhere! Matt moves out of the way and slides into the ring, ducking under a chair shot from Edge and hits the Twist of Fate. Matt goes for the pin, but Jack SWAGGA breaks it up. Swagger hits the Gutwrench Powerbomb on Hardy. But since Matt WON'T DIE, Mark Henry enters the ring and nails the World's Strongest Slam. Swagger and Henry pull Matt up and holds him for Edge to hit the Spear. It's academic at this point.
Winner: Edge (via Pinfall) **3/4 This match was what it was. Both men showed good intensity and kept it moving. The interference made complete sense and worked well into the match. It also pushed both the ECW and WWE Championship matches this Sunday. I wish there was a little more substance, but what we got wasn't that bad at all.
The trio celebrate as Matt wallows in his pain.
We get a commercial for The Wrestler, which every true wrestling fan should check out. It's an incredible movie.
Apparently, WWE Studios' own Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia is doing well. I'm not the business guy around here, so I'll let more interested men look into that at their convenience. (I'm looking at you Prag)
To steal a line from Lansdell; Jason kills bitches dead. That's all you need to know. Friday the 13th does look decent though. We'll have to see if can take the series back to its roots.
WWE Tag Team Champions Carlito and Primo Colon vs. World Tag Team Champions and two-time Slammy Winners John Morrison and the Miz
Carlito and Miz start this one up with a tie-up. The Miz gets an early advantage but Carlito turns it around. Carlito tags in Primo and they double team the Miz for a two count. Primo tries to work Miz over, but Miz breaks out and tags in Morrison, who goes on the offense. Primo gets the upper hand in the corner with a head scissors takedown and tags in Carlito, and both men take Morrison down with a leapfrog/dropkick combo. Very nicely done. A lot of ‘if you blink, you'll miss it' action in the early going.
Carlito goes on the offensive, but Morrison gets out of the way and tags in Miz. Miz grounds and pounds Carlito until Carlito manages to get away and tag in Primo. Primo comes in and he's a house of fire. He hits a springboard dropkick on the Miz, knocks Morrison off the apron, cartwheels and hits a clothesline on Miz (yes he actually cartwheels). Primo works over the Miz until Miz bulldogs him into the turnbuckle. A very nice move by someone who is improving greatly under the radar. Miz puts the boots to Primo as we go to a commercial break.
Finally! I can rest my eyes!
We come back from the break just as Primo reverse a back suplex into a crossbody onto John Morrison. Good enough for a two count. Morrison kicks Primo into his corner and tags in the Miz, who also kicks Primo around. Miz hits a quick suplex, which is good enough for a two count. Miz is quick to put Primo in a side headlock and keeps him in the center of the ring, to Carlito's concern. Primo gets to his knees and fights his way out, trying to reach his brother but Miz holds on. Primo goes for a punch but Miz counters with a Half-Nelson Facebuster and gets a two and a half count.
Miz drags Morrison into the corner and sets him up for the double knee/springboard elbow drop from Morrison. Morrison goes for the pin, Morrison gets a two count. Miz gets a tag and the two hit a double gut buster, again good enough for a two. This is excellent tag team wrestling, which I've come to expect from Miz and Morrison.
Miz whips Primo into the corner and they take each other out with a clothesline. Both men make the tag and Carlito comes in and cuts Morrison off with a punch, a knee to the gut and a neckbreaker. Primo takes Miz out on the outside with a suicide dive as Morrison gets to his feet and Carlito crushes him with a springboard elbow to the chest! VINTAGE CARLITO!
Morrison gets back into the game and hits the springboard kick on Carlito. Morrison goes for the pin, but Primo makes the save! Miz comes in a takes out Primo! Carlito tosses out the Miz! Morrison goes for the roll-up but Carlito reverses into a roll-up of his own but Morrison gets out. Carlito whips Morrison into the corner and hits the Back Stabber, but Miz gets the blind tag. Carlito goes for a pin, but the ref doesn't make the count. Miz comes in and rolls Carlito up just long enough for the pin.
Winners: John Morrison and The Miz. *** An excellent tag team match between these two with strong pacing and fundamental tag team tactics. Even with the commercial break, the match maintained itself. Dare I say that TNA should be concerned?
Did You Know WWE had 14 top ten DVD titles in 2008? Yeah, me neither. Thanks Did You Know!
We return with footage from Vince McMahon's return. Chris Jericho on his knees apologizing is flat-out epic. I can't wait for the next Raw, just to see how Orton's attack on McMahon plays out.
Did You Know Kevin Rudolf ‘Let it Rock' is the official Royal Rumble theme song? You did? Let's move on then. J.R. and King run down the card for this Sunday.
Vladamir Kozlov vs. Triple H
Personally, I liked it better when Kozlov came out with a single spotlight and no music.
The match start with both men trading punches. Triple H goes for an early Pedigree but Kozlov fights out of it and rams Triple H into the corner. Kozlov whips HHH to the ropes, but HHH counters with a kick which has no effect. HHH manages to tosses Kozlov out of the ring and goes for a running elbow off the apron, but Kozlov catches him and rams him into the apron. Kozlov picks HHH up and tries to throw him into the post, but HHH reverses.
EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME! Vickie Guerrero has something to say. Vickie apologizes and changes the rules to a Handicap match and involves the Big Show. Big Show enters and Kovloz smiles on his face as we got to a commercial break. That folks was a smile only a mother could love.
Vladamir Kozlov and the Big Show vs. Triple H
We come back and Big Show and HHH are in the ring. HHH tries to out punch the Big Show, but gets knocked down for his efforts. HHH counters an attempted clothesline with a kick to the face and gets the Show off his feet. Triple H charges, but Big Show nails him with a Spear! More like a Torpedo really. Show tags in Kozlov and HHH gets a quick advantage until Kozlov nails a powerslam. Kozlov forces HHH into the corner tags in Show, who works HHH over with a few body shots before crushing him with a headbutt. HHH tries to fight he way out of the Big Show's grip, but he's not having that. Show gets HHH back into the corner and chops the hell out of him. Show seems like he's having a good time tonight.
Show knocks HHH around the ring and nails him with another chop, putting the Game on spaghetti legs. Show hits another chop and it takes him down. Show goes for a leg drop and gets a two count. Show continues working HHH over with shots to the body until he tags in Kozlov. HHH starts fighting back but Kozlov catches him with a Last Call. Nice switch-over by Kozlov. Kozlov goes for the pin and gets a two count.
Kozlov tags in the Big Show and he sets him up for an elbow from the middle rope, but HHH rolls out of the way. The HHH chant starts as HH gets to the middle rope and goes for an axe smash, but Show catches him with a Chokeslam. One! Two! Triple H kicks out! Show can't believe it!
Show tags in Kozlov, who sets HH up for a Running Powerslam but HHH counters with a DDT. HHH gets to his feet and nits Kozlov with a Facebuster. HHH punches the Big Show and hits a Spinebuster on Kozlov! HHH is feeling the momentum! HHH ducks under Show and sets up Kozlov for the Pedigree, but Show hits him from behind. Kozlov nails a huge Ura-Nage for the three count and that's it.
Winners: Vladamir Kozlov The Big Show (via Pinfall) **3/4 Like the match early with Matt Hardy and Edge, this match was what it was. What saved this match was the addition of the Big Show, which worked out very well and helped Kozlov move at his pace (slow) and keep the match respectable.
Show and Kozlov stare at HHH as Vickie applauds from the stage as Smackdown closes.
Overall Thoughts: This was an excellent ‘Go Home' show for the Royal Rumble and a good edition of Smackdown overall. Any and all nonsense was kept to a bare minimum and instead they focused on pushing the main storylines going into the Pay-Per-View. Not only that, Smackdown delivered with quality wrestling matches. I am definitely looking forward to the Royal Rumble. Hopefully, Smackdown will also keep this standard going after the Pay-Per-View.