December 13, 2008
Smackdown: Armageddon on the horizon
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
It's the go-home edition of Smackdown as we head into Armageddon, and tensions are high with our two WWE Championship contenders in the main event. There are a few other goodies emanating from the broadcast, so let's take a look at what went down.
We start the show admittedly oddly, with Triple H seemingly headed to the ring for a promo, when Jeff Hardy attacks him. Efforts first by Chavo Guerrero are unsuccessful, then referees. Vickie, ever the banshee, screams about the whole schmozz for a while.
Match 1 - R-Truth vs. MVP
And the strike continues.
Post-match, MVP starts to cut a promo when Mr. Kennedy interrupts to chat about his movie. As sad as it is, these two guys, who were once my favourites on Smackdown, are now shadows of their former selves and are making me eye my fast-forward button. Sigh.
To the back we go next and Los Bellas are chattering when The Brian Kendrick comes in for some flirting, along with Zeke. Los Colons put a stop to this in short order.
Match 2 - The Brian Kendrick vs. Primo Colon
Speaking of the FF button, Kendrick has quickly slid down the ladder from entertaining heel to X-Pac heel. Again, not a good thing.
The match isn't bad, but at this point I'm hoping that the Colons keep the belt and move on from this feud. Let Zeke destroy Kendrick like we all know he will (a la Sid Vicious and Shawn Michaels) and go elsewhere.
Winner: The Brian Kendrick
Next up, we get another DX X-mas video, which again is pretty funny. Of course, it's now blatantly obvious that these were all done in one fell swoop, as HBK's eye has long since healed.
Match 4 - Hurricane Helms vs. Shelton Benjamin
Kinda disappointing that Helms has already been relegated to "currently in the ring" status on Smackdown when we rejoin the "live" show -- that's a 7.5 on the jobber scale.
That said, you can imagine my surprise with the result of this match when Helms pins Benjamin after a very, very entertaining match. You wouldn't necessarily think that these guys mesh well in the ring, but they do -- they really, really do. I'm looking forward to their series; but please Vince, let Helms continue to use the Shining Wizard as his finisher, not the top-rope cross body.
Winner: Hurricane Helms
Post-match, Helms cuts a quick promo during a post-match interview with Tazz.
Next up is The Cutting Edge, with Matt Hardy as the guest. The heat between the two as they discuss Jeff Hardy, the attack before Survivor Series and how Matt is the Marty Jannetty of the former team is good, but not as angry as it could be. I was waiting for Edge to mention Lita; sadly he did not. Instead, Vladimir Kozlov comes down and, with Edge's help, beats down the ECW champ.
Now let me stop here for a moment. We had Edge in the ring with Matt Hardy. We have Edge in a feud with Jeff Hardy. We have a potential return by the fourth member of this band of brothers. Anyone else smell what's coming? Edge and Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz at WrestleMania -- TLC.
Match 5 - The Edgeheads vs. The Great Khali
So somewhere down the line, Ryder and Hawkins were formally kicked out of La Familia...I guess...
Khali, naturally, wins here.
Winner: The Great Khali
Backstage, Eve Torres chats with HHH, who naturally denies having anything to do with the attack.
Match 6 - Los Bellas vs. Northern Exposure
I'm not convinced that the Bellas are primetime players yet, and this match confirms it for me. Sadly, Natalya takes the loss here for her team.
Winners: Los Bellas
And now, we get the official burial of the ECW Championship, as Kozlov is interviewed by Torres. He says he will defeat Matt Hardy on the weekend and then pursue the championship. Ohh SNAP!
Match 7 - Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy
The usual solid match from these guys is halted by Edge, who spears both to close the show, as one would expect on a go-home broadcast.
Winner: None (no-contest)
This was another decent show with some good action, but I'm undecided as to
how effective it was at selling a few more PPV buys. Hopefully there are a few
more fans whose interest has been piqued going into the last major event of