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Smackdown in Philadelphia







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COMMENT





Smackdown: Climbing to TLC
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Smackdown is back with a Thanksgiving hangover. We're set for quick buildup time to TLC now, with the Survivor Series still fresh in our memories.

And what better way to kick off this ep. than with Chris Jericho, who discusses the only actual TLC match set for the PPV (that being Jeri-Show vs. DX). Jericho's slick as always and works in that he wants to be part of the number one contender's bout later tonight for Undertaker's World title.

This doesn't sit well with Teddy Long, who comes out and says instead that we will get 'Taker-Jericho II tonight, non-title. Seriously? Why do they keep giving this PPV carrier match away for free? Oy.

Match 1 - Hart Dynasty vs. Cryme Tyme

Oh lord. Harts win match # 764 between these two, evening up the series.

Winners: Hart Dynasty

We head backstage next and John Morrison is chatting with Teddy Long, insisting on facing one of the surviving members of Team Miz. Instead, thanks to Vickie Guerrero's own insistance, he's facing Eric Escobar tonight. Long notes that this will be Escobar's only title shot. You know what that means...

We next get CM Punk out with a guy who doesn't look familiar at first, but is soon revealed to be the former Festus, rechristened Luke Gallows (not the worst name WWE's come up with, but not the best either). We learn that Punk has been helping Gallows move away from his drug addled lifestyle, and that he can do the same for us. I smell a stable coming...

After this, Punk reveals a harmful drug coming out soon -- the new Jeff Hardy DVD. After some ridicule, Matt Hardy comes out for...

Match 2 - Matt Hardy vs. CM Punk

Back-and-forth match here that ends when Gallow interferes.

Winner: Hardy (DQ)

Punk and Gallows then beatdown Hardy, with Gallows finishing things off with a front full nelson slam. Cool move.

Next up we get an interview with Mickie James, who says she will be the Women's champ and stay on Smackdown, regardless of what Michelle McCool does.

Match 3 - Kane vs. Batista (Number 1 Contender match)

Long match from these guys, which I don't mind since it's rare that either has lengthy bouts these days, but since there was never doubt as to who was going to win, I'd rather have seen Batista totally destroy Kane, rather than get the countout win after a single chair shot.

Winner: Batista

Match 4 - John Morrison vs. Eric Escobar (IC title match)

As if this one was ever in doubt...

Winner: John Morrison

After the match, Vickie tore into Eric and said they're done. Back to Florida for Mr. Escobar, no doubt.

Later on, Escobar chases Vickie down in the hallway and rips her back. Saving face a bit? Meh, it's over with, thank god.

Batista then comes out to join our announce team for...

Match 5 - Chris Jericho vs. Undertaker

Solid match again between these two, and again I want my full PPV match. Batista interferes just as 'Taker is about to finish off Jericho.

Winner: Undertaker (DQ)

Batista then destroys Undertaker with a chair. Tune up the band folks, because Dave's gonna kill you!

This wasn't a great show by any stretch of the imagination. I'm guessing Morrison and Drew McIntyre will feud now, which should be an awesome match at the PPV. Otherwise, the build to TLC was okay but not great. See you in 7.