January 26, 2008
Smackdown: Edge punks out CM
By ANDY MCNAMARA -- SLAM! Wrestling
The road to The Royal Rumble goes through Smackdown as tonight's show is the last stop before the big pay-per-view. Rey Mysterio has his hands full against The Rated R Superstar's minions, The Edge Heads, in a handicap match. The main event is a wrestling fan's dream as CM Punk squares off with Edge in what could be an instant classic. The Smackdown report is now ... let's go!
Match 1: Handicap Match -- Rey Mysterio vs. The Edgeheads
The Edgeheads play the numbers game to their favour early as they isolate Mysterio. Rey is able to focus in on Zach Ryder, and scores a near fall with a top rope splash. Just as Mysterio sets up Ryder for the 619, when Hawkins runs in with a chair causing the DQ. Rey Rey delivers a jumping dropkick off of the second rope to smack the chair back into Hawkins.
WINNER: Rey Mysterio by DQ
Match 2: Domino w/ Deuce & Cherry vs. Jimmy Wang Yang w/ Shannon Moore
Yang is such an incredible performer, if only the cruiserweight division meant something. Yang bounces back after being grounded early by Domino, by delivering a standing hurricarana. Domino hits a couple of power moves, and sinks on a variety of submissions to wear down the redneck, until Yang starts to speed things up. Shannon Moore neutralizes Deuce after he interfered, and this allows Yang to hit the perfect moonsault of the top for a 1-2-3.
WINNER: Jimmy Wang Yang
Match 3: 6 Person Tag -- Chuck Palumbo & Jamie Noble & Michelle McCool vs. Miz & John Morrison & Layla
This turned out to be a relatively dry uninteresting match, and the crowd seemed very flat. We should all count ourselves lucky that at least it is not another Palumbo vs. Kenny Dykstra encounter. Palumbo and Morrison start off with Chuck overpowering him into his corner and making the quick tag to Noble. Nothing overly interesting until Palumbo yanks Noble off of a cover on Miz and the two go nose to nose. Chuck pushes Jamie into Michelle on the apron, which sends her to the floor and Noble to her side. An EMT is called down and while McCool is being attended to Chuck starts laying a beatdown on Noble and even drives a referee into the steel steps. Michelle gets up off the stretcher and tries to stop Palumbo who swings around and mistakenly sends his "friend" flying to the ground.
WINNER: No Contest
Ric Flair and MVP have another in-ring competition, and up to now this has been the strongest part of the show. The two generally go over how the other will beat eachother at The Royal Rumble, however, the charisma and personality shown by both men is definitely worth checking out.
Match 4: Belfast Brawl -- The Great Khali w/ Ranjan vs. Finlay w/ Hornswaggle
It's a shame Finlay is not battling with some wrestlers he can really elevate and work with. Khali keeps the pace slow by issuing several hard kicks to Finlay in the corner, and generally manhandles his opponent. Khali grabs Hornswaggle and goes to chokeslam him through the announce table, but Finlay is able to grab his shillelagh and beat the holy hell out him. Steel chair shots follow, and then Hornswaggle's music plays as Khali lays in agony on the floor. Backstage following the match Vince McMahon reiterates to Hornswaggle that at the Rumble it is every man for themselves.
WINNER: No Contest
Batista comes out to the ring and cuts a short promo going over how he will win the Rumble.
Match 5: The Undertaker vs. Big Daddy V w/ Matt Striker
Once again poor Undertaker is saddled with the chore of trying to carry large, slow men in a match. Taker hits some jabs early, but V uses his weight to take control and squash The Dead Man in the corner. Taker scores a near fall with more of a push down, then a chokeslam as V's feet did not leave the ground. Big Daddy is on top of The Undertaker, when Taker sinks in a modified triangle choke, however, instead of that he slipped his own leg under V's chin to make him tap out. Blood is shown coming out of Big Daddy V's mouth. Mark Henry comes down to assist Striker in helping V to the back.
WINNER: The Undertaker
Match 6: Main Event -- Edge w/ The Edge Heads vs. CM Punk
Rey Mysterio accompanies Punk to the ring and then joins the broadcast team. The former ECW champ takes it to Edge with a variety of martial arts kicks and knees. Coming out of the break Punk temporarily breaks out of a head lock, and regains the momentum with a spinning abdominal kick once Edge takes off from the top rope. The Rated R Superstar has his spear attempt thwarted with a high knee and roles Edge up for a two. Punk hops over Edge while on the top rope and is greeted by a spear when he turns around. The world champion wins clean and raises the belt with his Edge Heads as the program comes to a close. Next stop ... The Royal Rumble.
Andy McNamara is a writer for SLAM! Wrestling and play-by-play broadcaster for Rogers Television: Toronto Maple Leafs baseball, and Toronto university and high school basketball and volleyball. As well, Andy does the play-by-play for Durham College basketball and volleyball. Contact Andy at email@example.com.