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   Sat, November 22, 2008



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Smackdown: Quoth the Hardy, Nevermore
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


It's just a couple days away from Survivor Series when WWE presented its latest broadcast of Smackdown, which was a decent show to build the pay-per-view, especially in the title match. Take a look inside and you'll see what I mean.

Match 1 - Matt Hardy/R-Truth vs. Shelton Benjamin/Mark Henry

The hope I have when I see tag matches like these is that it means we're going to see a feud flip. Based on the Matt Hardy/Shelton Benjamin bout we saw recently, I was even more hopeful this week. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens after the Survivor Series, but with Matt's knee being pooched, I'm guessing it'll be a quick return of the strap to Henry after the PPV.

Anyways, this was another example of a solid match on Friday night wrestling, with some added intrigue as R-Truth pinned Benjamin following the Corkcrew Scissor Kick. I guess this means no feud-flipping.

Winners: Matt Hardy/R-Truth

Backstage we go and Eve Torres is interviewing Triple H. Torres goes through the humiliatory rite of passage, as Hunter, ever the teenager, uses her chest and necklace for a sight gag. Eventually, he gets down to business and is then interrupted by Vladimir Kozlov, who promises that Trips' reign is over on Sunday. Standard, but Kozlov's delivery here was MUCH improved, even from two weeks ago.

Elsewhere, Maria is talking to Festus about last week's match when Miz and Morrison come in and rib on the comatose Festus and Maria. That, by the way, is three shows in one week for these two guys, love it! Maria, however, deserves better. I hate this new angle with passion.

Match 2 - Miz/Morrison vs. Jesse/Festus

As we'd expect, the match is putrid. Morrison rings the bell mid-match to send Festus back into his stand-still state, allowing Miz to hit the Reality Check for the W. This gimmick needs to end, stat!

Winners: Miz/Morrison

Match 3 - Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy

It's unreal that it took WWE this long to see that Triple H and Jeff have great chemistry in the ring (no, not THAT kind of chemistry. Ugh). This was another really good bout that, if you missed it, should be grabbed from YouTube as soon as you can.

After a lengthy match, Kozlov comes down to run amok, but really doesn't do anything but stand there. That's enough to cause Triple H to lose his concentration and let Jeff Hardy get the duke and get into the championship match on Sunday.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

Post-match, the mutual respect love-in is interrupted by Kozlov who beats both men down very effectively.

Back from a break, Brian Kendrick and Ezekiel are walking down the hall and run into a staging guy. Kendrick makes a nuisance of himself and Zeke looks intimidating. I guess this works...I guess.

Match 4 - The Brian Kendrick/Ezekiel Jackson vs. Los Colons

Predictably, to further the feud and establish doubt for the champs, the challengers win, mainly thanks to Jackson who is really improving in the ring.

Winners: The Brian Kendrick/Ezekiel Jackson

To the fair we go next, for the lizatest Kizarny vizideo. This is stupizid beyizond belief. If he is goizing to get gizover, you need to have the cariznival frizeaks come wizith him to the rizing, a la the Hizuman Oddizities.

Backstage, Jeff is given more facetime to put over his new gimmick, and again it's effective, even with the odd poetry at the end. The Charismatic Enigma is indeed upon us.

Match 5 - Los Bellas vs. Natalya/Victoria

The winners were never in doubt here. I have to say though, the Bellas are pretty decent in the ring and have obviously been spending a good amount of time with Los Colons to learn some effective tag team manuvers.

Winners: Los Bellas

Did I miss talking about MVP's match which took place before the Bellas' bout? Oh well.

To end the show, The Undertaker comes out to deliver last rites for The Big Show. Yes, it's Vince-is-panicking sign #103 -- when all else fails, offend a religion. Eventually, La Familia v.Dos comes out to interfere, and after some lights play, Vickie is put in a casket and Chavito is beaten down (after being sent into the ring by Show).

Overall, this was a dcent show with two good matches, one decent one, two throwaways and one that will never be spoken about again. There was some effective building for Sunday with some other feuds getting established. See you next week after the Series.

Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! Wrestling since 2000.