November 15, 2008
Smackdown: Hardy goes to the extreme
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
We’re drawing closer and closer to Survivor Series, and with a slim card going in we should know a bit more about what to expect next Sunday after Smackdown. Let’s see if, indeed, anything was set for the PPV card.
We start out this week with a (pun not intended) cold opening, with a casket in the centre of the ring and a voice-over by The Undertaker talking about the Casket Match with Big Show. Eventually, the casket opens, revealing ‘Taker, who then gets cut off by Jeff AHrdy on the big screen, looking very much the tortured soul with his facepaint in the blue-glow lighting. Hardy talks about having nothing to lose tonight in their Extreme Rules match, to which ‘Taker replies with the standard line that Jeff will, “rest in peace.” I’m really digging this new Raven-esque gimmick for Hardy. Well done!
Match 1 – Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin
No titles on the line tonight, but we get another Hurrapop; and let me say that these are starting to annoy me. If this is all Helms is going to do from here on in, then I’m officially giving his return a thumbs down.
What I won’t be so negative about though is this match, which is as good as anything either man has done in the last few months. It’s amazing what happens when you put two strong workers together eh? After a series of near falls, Hardy gets the duke after a surprise Twist of Fate. Great bout!
Winner: Matt Hardy
Back from the break, J.R. pushes the action in Smackdown vs. Raw ’09. I just got my copy of Wii and the rest of the boys have their review discs as well, so stay tuned for our reviews.
Match 2 - The Brian Kendrick vs. Carlito
I didn’t really note this before, but Kendrick has put on a lot of muscle mass since he was with Paul London on Raw. I hope to God it’s all legit building.
Again, we get two good workers and the result is a pretty decent match, albeit not to the level of our first bout. This time, the storyline takes precedence as we get Ezekiel’s beating of Primo Colon on the outside distracting Carlito long enough for Kendrick to hit SB#2 to get the pin.
Winner: The Brian Kendrick
Next up are two videos that have been done too much for me to care about – one is Kizarny, the other is John Cena.
Back to the ring and we’re ready for the World Title contract signing. Vickie Guerrero, now back in the wheel chair, gives a hint that Jeff Hardy may still find his way into the match if all goes well with ‘Taker. Vladimir Kozlov and Triple H then come out. As the back-and-forth boredom and signing goes on, one Jeff Hardy comes out, puts Kozlov through the signing table and rips up the contract. Okay, this was different I’ll give you that.
Match 3 – Kung Fu Naki vs. MVP
As stated a couple weeks ago, I’m not going to review MVP matches until this BS ends. Instead, I’ll share with you my fantasy booking for what Santino Marella’s promo should be on Monday night.
"Yes, it's true, I, the great Santino Marella, lost the Intercontinental Title last week to that Briton Williem Regaal. However, It will not be long before I, Santino Marella, restart my quest to become the greatest Intercontinental Champion for all the times.
Until then, I give to you The Port-a-Meter!"
"You see, the MVP has lost matches for 10 straight-a weeks."
"While I, Santino Marella, have lost only one straight-a week."
"Tonight, I will change all that and not end up like that over-hyped Power-a Ranger, the MVP, on Smack-a-down. Bring out my opponent!"
Winner: Kung Fu Naki
Post-match, things get worse for MVP as Khali comes out for the cam and makes our hero kiss… you know the rest.
Match 4 – Maria vs. Michelle McCool (Diva’s Title match)
This match, which has had good build, is over before it stars, with Michelle winning in under two minutes. What the bloody hell? Honestly, was the whole point of this demi-heel turn for McCool to make Maria look like an underqualified and unworthy opponent? God I hate the booking team sometimes.
Winner: Michelle McCool
Oh yeah, and just to top off the crap cake that this bout was, Festus, who had been ringside before with the dumb infatuation angle, goes after Michelle when the bell rings to end this match. Joke’s over, this is horrible.
Match 5 – Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy
I’d like to say that this is a surprisingly good match, but at this point a match between these two being a decent bout is not a surprise.
We get the usual assortment of plunder here, but Hardy isn’t able to put ‘Taker away until Big Show interferes. Then, Hardy belts 'Taker with a chair and gets the pin after a legdrop from the top over a ladder.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Backstage we then go with Jeff who confronts Vickie, who tells him that if he wins next week against Triple H, he’s in the title bout at the Series. Hardy agrees, but threatens Vickie to close the show.
Overall, this was a great show for building Jeff. Three great matches also helped me momentarily forget about the horridness of the two others. Well done WWE. Cheerio.
Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.