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Smackdown: It all falls apart for HHH and Hardy


Smackdown comes to us for the second week in a row from Albany, New York. The show opens with a video package, containing highlights of last weekís "beat the clock" themed episode and the controversy that ended the show.

JR and Tazz welcome us to Smackdown and hype up the triple threat match at Armageddon between Edge, Triple H and Jeff Hardy for Edgeís WWE title.

Match #1: Edge vs. Kung Fu Naki

Edge and Vickie walk out together and hug at the top of the entrance ramp. They then walk arm in arm down to the ring. I really hate Funakiís new theme song and I hate his gimmick even more. Funaki surprises Edge in the early going with some quick chops and kicks in the corner. He whips Edge to the buckles, but Edge reverses, only to charge in and run into Funakiís boot. Funaki perches himself on the middle rope and connects with a stiff uppercut to the jaw of Edge, followed by a tornado DDT, which was invented by the late, great Eddie Guerrero, but only got Funaki a two count. Funaki tries a schoolboy, but it also gets him two. He then goes for an inside cradle for another two. Edge cuts off the momentum with a knee to the midsection. He tries a slam, but Funaki manoeuvres his way over Edgeís back and delivers a running faceplant/bulldog. Funaki then delivers the crane kick, shades of the karate kid, but instead of going for a pin, he wastes time posing. Edge capitalizes with a running boot to the face, followed by a spear for the win.

Winner: Edge by pinfall

After the match, JR says that Edge is married to the WWE title (either heís having another affair, or heís a bigamist). Vickie takes the microphone and congratulates Edge on his win. She says it was a masterful performance and then she tells the crowd to give another round of applause for Edge. Vickie tells Edge that sheís proud of him and says itís so great to have him back on Smackdown. She adds that since he had to compete tonight, itís only fair that his Armageddon opponents should be involved in a match too. She says tonight itís going to be Triple H teaming with Jeff Hardy and they would have to run a tag team gauntlet. Before she could finish her thought, the fans start chanting "shut up Vickie!" to which she letís out her infamous "EXCUSE ME!" Vickie continues that Hardy and Triple H will face one tag team after another and the match will continue until they eventually lose (lucky for them, thereís only about two or three teams on Smackdown).

The announcers then hype up the cage match tonight between Big Show and Undertaker

The WWE rewind this week highlights the miscue in the divas match last week, where Michelle lost her McCool

Match #2: Michelle McCool vs. Maria

JR notes that going to commercial, they talked about the beasts and now coming back, they get to talk about the beauties. Michelle has a cocky smirk this week, knowing that she has to face Maria. A collar and elbow tie-up starts the action and Michelle takes advantage with a back heel trip and then some mounted punches. The ladies start rolling around and the referee tells them that this is a wrestling match and not a fight (maybe he should ref the Undertaker vs. Big Show match later). Maria utilizes a go-behind, but Michelle switches into a side headlock takedown. Maria rolls into a pinning combination for a two-count. She then sends Michelle towards the ropes, but the champ responds with a shoulderblock and then another one from the other side, followed by a legdrop for a near fall. Michelle connects with a European uppercut and then whips Maria into the buckles, following in with a running clothesline and then some shoulderblocks to the midsection, shades of Brock Lesnar. Michelle goes for another shoulderblock, but Maria elevates herself and sneaks in a sunset flip, but only gets two. Michelle takes her into the buckles and begins to kick away. She misses a haymaker and Maria starts choking the champion with her boot across the throat. Michelle grabs Mariaís foot and pulls it towards her, so Maria lands in a splits position on the canvas. Maria surprises Michelle with an inside cradle for two and Michelle retaliates with a low dropkick, but also get two. Michelle takes Maria down with a hairmare and follows up with a rear naked choke/sleeper (I called it a rear naked choke, because she had her legs wrapped around Mariaís torso). Nevertheless, Maria counters with a jawbreaker and charges at Michelle in the corner, but the champ moves out of the way. Michelle charges at Maria, but runs into an elbow. Maria then delivers a mule kick, followed by a clothesline and a side headlock. Michelle whips Maria to the ropes and Maria comes back with a clothesline, but misses. Michelle tries the chick kick, shades of Trish Stratus, but Maria ducks and surprises the champ with a schoolgirl for the non-title victory. After the match, Michelle shows signs of disappointment and frustration with her facial expressions.

Winner: Maria by pinfall

Up next is a preview of Behind Enemy Lines 3, starring MRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. KENNNNNNNNEEEEEEEDDYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!! (This actually looks pretty good. Iím not a fan of movies starring wrestlers, but I think Kennedy is a strong exception. Is it just me, or doesnít he look like Kiefer Sutherland?)

Big Show is in an undisclosed location for a promo. He says two weeks ago, the Undertaker locked him inside a casket and left him gasping for air. He continues that it was the Undertakerís environment at Survivor Series, but with the cage match tonight, itís his environment (thatís funny. I canít remember Big Show being in too many cage matches in his career and the ones I do remember him being in, he lost). Show then replays the footage of him knocking out Taker on multiple occasions, as an example of what heís capable of. He adds that tonight, there will be no scare tactics, no black magic (heís not talking about Norman Smiley, who was called Black Magic in Mexico) and no casket. He says itís just him and the Undertaker in the cage and tonight, theyíll both be going to hell, but Big Show will be the only one coming back.

Match #3: MVP vs. Hurricane Helms (heís baaaack! Just sayiní)

MVP takes the microphone and says that he wasnít able to score his victory before Survivor Series and therefore lost his incentive bonus. He says he was going to use that bonus to buy his loved ones early Christmas presents. MVP continues that he no longer has his all-star entrance tunnel, nor does he even have any pyro. He says the one thing that they canít take away from him is the fact that he is still the MVP of this show. He adds that tonight heís going to take care of some business with a little, lame joke that wants to pop up and then pop off. He says tonight, Helms is going to get popped in the mouth (why is it that a guy who speaks so well is still being buried every week?). Helms has apparently grown a mullet for the occasion. MVP looks like heís focused tonight. Tazz makes a remark that if it wasnít for bad luck, MVP wouldnít have any luck at all (great line). MVP starts with a go-behind and turns it into a slam. He then connects with an elbow and applies a side headlock. Helms sends him to the ropes and MVP comes back with a shoulderblock. He then runs the ropes again, but is stopped in his track as Helms does the old Hurricane pose and says "whatís up with that?" He then takes MVP down with an armdrag, followed by a legdrop and an arm ringer. MVP gets out of it and misses a clothesline, so Helms takes him down with another arm drag and applies a modified cross armbreaker. MVP counters, by using his boot to rake Helms across the eyes. He then whips Helms to the buckle and Helms attempts a leapfrog, but MVP catches him and send him to the apron and then delivers a high kick, knocking Helms to the outside. MVP rolls him back in the ring for a near fall. MVP connects with punches and executes a snapmare. He then applies a seated abdominal stretch. Helms fights out with punches, but MVP cuts him off with a knee. Helms responds with a high clothesline. He then whips MVP to the buckles, but itís reversed. MVP follows in, but catches an elbow. Helms scores with a high crossbody. He then goes for the shining wizard, but MVP catches him with a clothesline instead. MVP goes for the playmaker, but Helms counters and drops MVP with an inverted unprettier. Helms tries the shining wizard again, but MVP ducks and Helms rebounds with the shining wizard for the win.

Winner: Hurricane Helms by pinfall

Jeff Hardy is walking backstage (he looks like a member of Demolition this week), when heís stopped by Triple H. The Game says it wasnít his idea for them to team tonight and warns Jeff to stay out of his way. He adds that if Jeff doesnít stay out of his way, he might not even make it to Armageddon. Jeff says heís sick of Triple H. Hunter says if Jeffís thinking that he wants to hit him with a chair again, he can just try it.

Smack of the night highlights last weekís controversial ending to Smackdown

Match #4: Triple H and Jeff Hardy vs. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder

The first team out of the gate is the returning Hawkins and Ryder, who havenít been seen since they lost the tag titles, I believe. Hardy and Triple H are already having problems. Hardy starts with Hawkins, as they trade punches and kicks back and forth. Jeff whips Hawkins to the buckles, but itís reversed and Hardy comes back with the whisper in the wind for a two count. Hardy then gets in the gameís face and starts taunting him. Triple H tags himself in and is immediately met by a right hand from Ryder. Ryder whips the game to the ropes, but Triple H reverses it and delivers a spine buster, followed by the pedigree. As The Game goes for a pin, Jeff Hardy climbs the turnbuckles and delivers the swanton and he was obviously aiming for the game, but Triple H moved and Ryder took the finisher instead. Jeff then nailed Hawkins with a forearm, as Triple H got the pin on Ryder. The Game and Jeff Hardy started shoving each other after the match and Triple H got some of Hardyís face paint on him. It looked like he just came back from church on Ash Wednesday.

Winners: Triple H and Jeff Hardy by pinfall

Match #5: Triple H and Jeff Hardy vs. John Morrison and the Miz

Itís technically the same match, but with different opponents. M and M take advantage of Hardy and Triple Hís bickering with a left hand by the Miz. Miz whips Hunter to the buckles, but catches an elbow coming in and Triple H then delivers a suplex, as he gives a dirty look to Hardy on the apron. The Game delivers a kneedrop, but only gets two. He applies an arm ringer and makes an aggressive tag to Hardy, who delivers a shot to the open ribs of the Miz. Hardy sends Miz into the buckles and delivers a kick. He then whips Miz to the opposite turnbuckles and connects with a running clothesline for a near fall. Hardy tags Triple H in and Miz lands a kick and goes for a neckbreaker, which is countered into a backslide for a near fall. Miz tags Morrison, who immediately gets knocked down with a right hand by Triple H. The Game applies an arm ringer and starts wrenching Morrisonís arm almost out of its socket about three times. Triple H then settles with a top wrist lock and tags Hardy, who comes in kicking. Hardy delivers a scoop slam, followed by a legdrop for a near fall. Hardy uses an arm ringer and aggressively tags Triple H on the chest. The Game comes in with a punch to Morrison. He then whips Morrison to the ropes, but itís reversed and Miz lands a cheapshot to the Gameís back. Morrison tries to take advantage, but it doesnít last long. He whips the Game to the ropes, but Triple H comes back with a facebuster. Triple H whips Morrison to the ropes, but Morrison is able to duck a clothesline and come back with a springboard front kick. The Miz comes in off the tag and starts punching away at the Game. He also lands some kicks and heavy clubs to the back, followed by his patented running clothesline in the corner, where his feet always dangle outside the ropes for two. Miz applies a front facelock and tags Morrison. M and M deliver a double gut buster for a near fall. Morrison then applies a reverse chinlock and Hardy inexplicably tries to rally fans behind Triple H. Morrison lands a club to the chest and tags the Miz, who delivers a kick to the ribs, followed by elbows and then applies a reverse chinlock. The Game counters with a belly-to-back suplex and finally tags Hardy. Jeff explodes into the match with clotheslines and then takes both Miz and Morrison down with gordbusters, followed by a clothesline on Miz in the corner and then the seated corner dropkick to the sternum. He tries for a pin, but Morrison breaks it up, which prompts the Game to come in and take out Morrison with punches. Jeff nails Miz with the reverse mule kick, which sends him to the outside and the momentum knocks down both Morrison and Triple H. Jeff then delivers a plancha, which takes out everybody, including Triple H. Jeff tries to climb back in the ring, but the Game pulls him out and starts punching him and then bounces his head off the ring steps. Triple H and Hardy continue fighting on the outside and Jeff whips the Game into the steps, as the referee counts them out. A whole bunch of referees and security then emerge from the locker room to break it up. Triple H clotheslines Hardy over the security wall and the security is finally able to separate them as we go to commercial.

Winners: John Morrison and the Miz by count-out

After the break, they replay the footage of the brawl that just took place

Edge and Vickie Guerrero are talking about how brilliant they each are in the GMís office. Vickie says itís perfect that Hardy and Triple H donít see eye to eye, which is why she is making them go one-on-one with each other next week. Edge says they can tear each other apart. He then tells Vickie that heís missed her and she says she missed him too and theyíre about to kiss, when Hardy barges in and says "you wanted to see me?!?" Edge tells Jeff that he shouldnít be blaming them for taking him out of the Survivor Series. He says Hardy should be blaming the man who had the most to gain and the least to lose (I believe he was referring to Triple H, but that description seems to fit Edge much better). Triple H then barges into the office and says "you wanted to see me?!?" Without saying anything, Hardy just punches the Game in the face and they continue their brawl. Edge orders security to get them out of here. He then turns to Vickie and says "now where were we?" They then lock lips for the next few seconds and then hug to end the segment.

Match #6: Matt Hardy vs. Chavo Guerrero

As Hardy makes his way to the ring, they replay the footage of his match with Vladimir Kozlov from last week and how Hardy saved us all by removing Kozlov from the title picture. The match begins with Hardy attempting to lock up, but Chavo has other plans and applies a hammerlock and then switches into a side headlock. He then utilizes an arm ringer and goes back to the side headlock. Hardy sends him to the ropes and Chavo comes back with a shoulderblock. Finally, we get a collar and elbow tie-up and Matt takes advantage with an arm ringer, but Chavo pulls a page from the late Owen Hartís play book and executes a roll, followed by a handstand kip-up to alleviate the pressure and applies an arm ringer of his own, but Matt takes him down with a clothesline. Hardy then delivers an elbow, followed by an elbow drop. He whips Chavo to the buckles and connects with a running clothesline, followed by a bulldog for near fall. Chavo executes a side suplex and delivers some kicks and punches, but Matt punches back. He whips Chavo to the buckles, but itís reversed and Hardy catches Chavo with an elbow coming in, followed by a scoop slam and an elbow off the middle rope to the back of Chavoís neck for a near fall. Matt goes for the side effect, but Chavo counters with elbows and connects with a dropkick for two. Chavo lands some European uppercuts and forearms and then whips Hardy to the ropes and delivers a back body drop. Suddenly, Kozlov comes in and delivers a big boot to Hardy, calling for the disqualification. He then tosses Chavo to the outside and delivers the battering ram headbutt to Matt. Kozlov ties Hardy in the ropes and delivers some body shots, kicks and headbutts. He then tells Matt "you cost me title!" The trainers and referees then come out to check on Hardyís condition, as he is breathing very heavily.

Winner: No Contest

In a weird, yet kind of funny segment, the Great Khali is fixing his hair in front of a mirror. Apparently, heís clean shaven tonight as well. He then gargles some mouthwash, as Ranjin Singh walks in and tells Khali they have to go do the kiss cam. Singh then pats Khali on the back and Khali swallows the mouthwash by accident. He then burps and I think he asks Singh how his breath is and Singh tells him itís minty fresh.

Up next is a replay of the lame DX segment from Raw this week, where they advertise the elimination chamber toy set.

The Great Khali comes out with Santa hat on and Singh is wearing a hat, designed for an elf. Singh grabs the microphone and says this is a special holiday edition of the Khali kiss cam. He says itís an American tradition that during the holidays, people kiss under the mistletoe. He says he now has one holiday gift to give and asks who wants to kiss the Great Khali. They do the usual search, but this time, Singh says to stop the music. He says this is the season of giving and tonight, he has a special gift for the Great Khali. Singh tells us all to give a warm welcome to Santaís little helper (not a Simpsons reference Iím sure). Suddenly Eve comes out wearing a skimpy Mrs. Claus outfit (OMG!). JR refers to her as Christmas Eve. Khali puckers up and Singh tells him he has to use the mistletoe (forget Khali. Give me the mistletoe!). Singh leads everybody in a chant of Khali! Khali! Even the announcers join in, except JR was chanting Golly! Golly! Khali finally delivers the kiss and takes Eveís breath away. Singh tells us that Khali says "make love, not war." JR then says that he might be moving to the North Pole (I believe Khaliís pole was headed north, during that kiss).

Match #7: The Big Show vs. the Undertaker in a steel cage match

Big Show starts the match aggressively with body shots and headbutts. He then whips Taker to the ropes and delivers a sidewalk slam, followed by more headbutts and then a suplex. Big Show then misses a Vader bomb, but his knees still kind of connected with Takerís head. Show is positioned between the ropes and the cage and Taker delivers a running avalanche, followed by a running big boot. Back from commercial, Big Show is in control. He throws Taker into the cage twice and delivers a clothesline. He then whips Taker into the cage again and this time, misses a clothesline and Taker explodes with the soup bones. He delivers both head shots and body shots and then whips Show to the ropes, but itís reversed and Show catches him with a boot. Show misses a clothesline and Taker connects with a running high clothesline, followed by a legdrop for a two-count. Taker delivers a running clothesline in the corner and tries old school, but Big Show stops the attempt with body shots. Big Show tries a superplex, but Taker fights out. Show nails him with a headbutt and finally delivers the superplex, which the announcers refer to as a super-sized superplex (Iíd call it a super duperplex). Nevertheless, it only get Show a two count. Taker slowly sits up and gets kicked right back down by Show. Show starts climbing the cage, but Taker sits up and joins Show on the top turnbuckles. They start trading punches and Taker gets the better of the situation with several shots to Big Showís cranium. Big Show falls and lands on the canvas and Taker is about to climb over, but he stops. He looks down at Big Show and gives us the signal of death. He then tries delivering an elbowdrop off the top rope, but he misses. Show rolls over for a pin, but only gets two. Show tries the chokeslam, but Undertaker counters into a DDT for a near fall. Taker then throttles Big Show, but Show over-powers him and delivers the chokeslam for two. Taker comes back with punches, but Big Show delivers a knockout shot. Taker then sits up and Big Show shows no intimidation, by grabbing Taker around the throat again, however Taker counters brilliantly into the hellís gate (gogoplata) and Show taps out.

Winner: The Undertaker by submission

Smackdown ends with Taker saluting to the heavens

Final thoughts: I thought this was a very good edition of Smackdown. It wasnít as good as last week, but it was a decent show in terms of booking. I like where there going with Jeff Hardyís character and how Edge is playing the puppet master in the situation. Eve looked hotter than sheís ever looked tonight and thatís saying a lot. MVP keeps losing, but you canít win them all. At least he certainly canít. Itís great to see Helms back. The womenís match was pretty decent this week, as was the cage match. I also like how theyíre pushing Morrison and Miz all of a sudden. I actually expected to see the return of Umaga tonight, but I guess they might be saving that as a surprise for the Royal Rumble. It was a decent show Iíd say. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Blaine van der Griend is a graduate of the three-year journalism program at Centennial College. He currently volunteers at The Fight Network, writing TV reports for thefightnetwork.com. He also writes interview recaps for both thefightnetwork.com and wrestlingobserver.com. He recently made his radio debut for an online podcast, which can be heard at canadianprowrestlingradio.com. Email him at vinderblainage@hotmail.com.