January 5, 2009
Scott Criscuolo

Friday Night Smackdown!
January 2, 2009
East Rutherford, New Jersey
Jim Ross and Tazz

OPENING ANIMATION

JR welcomes us to the old Brendan Byrne Arena (now the IZOD Center) in the Jersey swamp, and he lets us know about the first main event of Smackdown’s 2009. Two former World Champions, Edge and the Big Show will take on WWE Champion Jeff Hardy and his brother, ECW Champion Matt Hardy. However Justin Roberts announces our general manager Vickie Guerrero, who’s walking out smiling and waving to the booing crowd. She yells Happy New Year and that 2008 was really great but 2009 will be really fine!!! She says the Road to Wrestlemania kicks off with the Royal Rumble, and the main event will be the WWE Champion Jeff Hardy will take on Edge, saying it with a big smile on her face. Vickie says we’re also looking forward to the 30-man Royal Rumble, and that the Smackdown participants in the Rumble will be announced later. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! As Vickie is about to leave the arena, when Motorhead hits, which means it’s TIME TO PLAY THE GAME. Triple H comes out to a big ovation and tells Vickie Happy New Year. Triple H says she knows its her favorite time of the year because it’s the Royal Rumble. He’s looking forward to hearing his name at the top of the list of Smackdown superstars that will be competing in the Rumble. Vickie says he will have to wait till later like everyone else. Triple H says well one of his bad traits is that he’s impatient as are these great fans. These fans can get a little unruly when they want to be, and they’d follow Vickie everywhere from the hotel to the Blimpies to the Baskin-Robbins. They’d start chanting TRIPLE H, TRIPLE H, TRIPLE H…and the crowd does just that. Triple H says that’s the nice chant, the other chant is two words: SUCK IT! Vickie tells Triple H if he keeps this up then he won’t be in the Rumble. Triple H says that’s a problem because if he’s not in the Rumble then a Smackdown guy won’t win and Vickie would be fired for being a failure and she’ll fall into obscurity and he says she’ll end up forgotten and that means her new Vickie Guerrero action figure will be forgotten. Triple H then holds the figure up, and says how realistic it is. He says it has the same vacant, confused look, the designer clothes bought at the big girl shop, and the child bearing hips. Vickie says she’s had enough and lets Triple H in the Rumble. Triple H says thank you and that’s all he wanted. Vickie tells him to leave the ring now. Triple H is about to, but he says there’s one more thing, and he goes into this whole stupid thing about playing with his Vickie doll and nude pictures on EBay, but I really stopped paying attention at that point. Vickie runs off and the promo thankfully ends. Wow that sucked.

-We return from break with an Umaga vignette promoting his return.

Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder vs. The Great Khali & Finlay

I like Khali’s happy entrance music now. The bell rings and Khali starts with Hawkins, who throw some shots and they do nothing. Khali throws him down, then pitches Ryder in. Double noggin knocker by Khali, then by Hornswoggle. Tag to Finlay and he throws some shots on Hawkins. He steps on Hawkins’ hand, then a body slam and a drop kick for 2. Uppercut by Finlay, then a clothesline. Hawkins recovers to slam Finlay’s head into the turnbuckle and Finlay slides outside. Hawkins goes for a baseball slide but Finlay does his catch with the apron and beat on his opponent move. Ryder tries a pearl harbor job and Finlay decks him but Hawkins does get a baseball slide in. Both back in the ring and Hawkins with some stomps then a tag to Ryder who hits an uppercut. Snap mare into a chin lock. Finlay’s whipped into the corner but he raises the knee. They fight back into the corner and they butt head. Finlay tags Khali and he cleans out both guys and eventually drills Ryder with the power bomb and its done. Afterwards it’s a Celtic Cross and a Tadpole Splash. WINNERS: Finlay & The Great Khali (Grade: 1.5)

-We return from break and Eve Torres is with Michelle McCool, and we look back to her Divas Title loss to Maryse and the beating she ended up giving Maria. Michelle does the usual heel stuff, about getting what Maria deserves and Maria’s jealous. She even throws digs and Eve and moves on. We then go backstage and Edge is with Vickie who’s embarrassed by Vickie’s nude pictures on Ebay. Big Show’s also sitting with them, and he says the pictures weren’t bad. Vickie runs off and Edge says that’s his wife they’re talking about. Big Show says you mean the wife who fights his battle for him and he hides behind? Edge says this is coming from the guy who lost to a flyweight at Wrestlemania. Edge tells Show to win the Rumble so they can face each other for the WWE Title at this year’s Wrestlemania after he beats Jeff Hardy at the Royal Rumble.

Jesse & Festus vs. The Brian Kendrick & Ezekiel Jackson

The bell rings and Festus cleans house, he beats Kendrick down with chops and slams. He tags Jesse and Festus slams him on Kendrick for 2. Jesse with some kicks and now and armbar. Kendrick into the ropes eats a chop for 2. Tag to Festus and Jesse whips him into a big Festus shot. Festus with that move that looks like Bastian Booger’s old “Trip to the Batcave” finisher. Festus whips Kendrick into the ropes and Kendrick with a survival kick to Festus’ knee. He works it over then tags Zeke who chop blocks Festus. Zeke works the leg over for a bit, then tags Kendrick who goes top and stomps on the leg. Kendrick works the leg over more and Festus tries to push him off then eventually throws him off and tags Jesse. Jesse with some moves including an inverted atomic drop and corner clotheslines. Jesse with a fisherman’s suplex for 2 when Zeke breaks the move. Tag to Festus who misses a big boot and Zeke pitches him out. Kendrick goes for THE KENDRICK but Jesse with a reverse suplex, however Zeke with a blind tag grabs Jesse and hits his “Rock Bottom” to get the 3 count. WINNERS: The Brian Kendrick & Ezekiel Jackson (Grade: 2)

Vladimir Kozlov vs. Hurricane Helms

Wow what did Helms do to deserve this? Or is Kozlov’s run over? Suspsense. Helms with a kick to the leg, then another. Helms with a waistlock but Kozlov throws off and gets a hammerlock. Helms fights it with punches but Kozlov throws him to the corner. Kozlov charges and Helms with a loud reverse elbow stuns the Russian. Helms punches but they do nothing and Kozlov works Helms over with shoulder blocks. Kozlov with a knee to the head, then back to the hammerlock. Tazz is whipping out all these Japanese names for Kozlov’s moves and its pretty cool. Helms with knee lifts loosens the move but Kozlov gets Helms up in a Samoan Drop setup but drapes Helms on the turnbuckle, then Kozlov with a kick to the gut and a fallaway slam. Kozlov goes for the low head butt but Helms with a kick then a drop kick to the leg. Helms charges but Kozlov hits the head butt to the chest, then a vicious spinebuster for the win. Kozlov’s looking better and better with his power moves. WINNER: Vladimir Kozlov (Grade: 2)

Before break we have another Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia piece.

-Back from break and JR is in the ring, about to announce some of the Smackdown participants in the Royal Rumble. We have graphics and JR’s descriptions, but I’ll just do the list:

Triple H
Big Show
Vladimir Kozlov
Shelton Benjamin

As JR is about to announce someone else, Shelton Benjamin comes out and chastises JR for calling him just a participant, instead of the odds-on-favorite to win the 2009 Royal Rumble. Shelton says if JR doesn’t want to be the first guy going over the top rope he better get to steppin’. Once alone in the ring Shelton says take a look at his US Title. He’s had it for six months and still going strong. In 2009 he will achieve his ultimate goal of being in and winning the WWE Title match at Wrestlemania. He says there is no one in the Rumble match that can compare to him. He says there is no comparison to him, until a voice says that Shelton forgot someone. The gong goes off, the lights go out, and when they come up the Undertaker is standing right next to him. He chokeslams Shelton and stands in the blue light as JR announces that Undertaker will also be in the Royal Rumble match.

-After the break the fresh black-clad heel Michelle McCool comes into the ring. She grabs the mike and says earlier tonight a friend brought something to her attention. She owes Maria an apology for what happened last week. She knows that Maria is not here tonight because of her. She’s says she doesn’t know where Maria is or if she’s even watching, but she wants Maria to accept her apology. She also wants to apologize to Eve for treating her like crap earlier. So she asks Eve to come to the ring and Eve does. Michelle says she hasn’t been acting right the last few weeks and what happened last week she took out on Eve earlier tonight. Michelle tells Eve that ain’t cool and she’s really sorry. She asks for Eve’s forgiveness, Eve accepts and they hug. Eve leaves the ring, but as she’s waving to some fans Michelle jumps her with the mike and beats the hell out of her near the barricade. Officials come out to break it up and Michelle gets that heel look in her face as she walks up the ramp.

-Backstage and Vickie is telling Chavo Guerrero that she likes his idea, but she’s still stunned those nude pics are out there. She asks Chavo if he’s seen the pictures and he says no. Triple H comes in and Vickie demands an apology. Triple H says he’s not the one with porn out on the internet. Vickie says next week then, Triple H will compete in 3 matches: a Tables match, a Handicap match, and a Last Man Standing match, and it will be called “Triple Jeopardy.” Chavo says it first, but Vickie tells him to shut up, then she repeats it. Funny moment there.

MVP vs. Kizarny

MVP stands in the ring despondent, bling-less and well, not like MVP. He takes the mike and just asks for his opponent to come down. Kizarny starts skulking around, then gets a backslide for 1. Kizarny with clotheslines and a bodyslam, then he baseball slides MVP out of the ring, and then a plancha. He rolls MVP in for a 2 count. Kizarny from the second rope and hits a cross body for 2. He stomps on MVP’s hand, but MVP with a low elbow then he throws Kizarny out of the ring. Both are outside and MVP drops Kizarny on the barricade. Both back in the ring and MVP gets a 2 count. MVP with an elbow drop into a waist lock. Kizarny breaks out of it but MVP with more knee lifts and a body drop, into a knee drop for 2. MVP with a waistlock, which Kizarny gets out of but eats a belly-to-belly suplex. MVP charges but Kizarny with a drop kick in the knee. Kizarny with a low sit down drop kick variant and now MVP is eating turnbuckle. He leans his weight on MVP’s chest using the ropes for 2. Decent little match here. MVP with a right hand and a knee drop. MVP goes for the Playmaker but Kizarny gets out of it and hits some weird sunset flip splash maneuver and gets the 3 count. WINNER: Kizarny (Grade: 2)

-And lately with the MVP losses comes a Kennedy appearance, who says he was “WHIZZUPED”. He says its ok, just relax and get “Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia”, coming out Tuesday.

-We return from break and JR and Tazz let us know about next week’s show with Triple H’s “Triple Jeopardy” as well as the Colon Brothers defending the WWE Tag Team Titles against The Brian Kendrick and Ezekiel Jackson.

Edge & Big Show vs. WWE Champion Jeff Hardy & ECW Champion Matt Hardy

Edge takes the mike and says first off, naked pics or not the fans will respect his wife. He says they will also respect him. He says they will because after the Royal Rumble he will be the WWE Champion for a seventh time. He says instead of respecting him they’ll just blame him like they blame him for everything else. He says last year the fans thought he took advantage of poor defenseless Vickie Guerrero, and a year later they’re still in love. He says they’re still married and he’s the love of her life. Edge says even more recently the fans wanted to blame him for taking Jeff Hardy out before Survivor Series, never mind the fact Jeff Hardy is a screw-up. Edge says when this immature, irrational era of the WWE ends, then blame him. Jeff with the red and black face paint. Matt starts with Edge, and they lock up. Matt with a take down. They lock up again and Matt snap mares Edge again. They lock up a third time and Matt with an armbar into a hammerlock. Edge reverses into a headlock. Matt with a suplex gets out of it and tags Jeff and a double team shop/elbow drop. They double drop kick Big Show off the apron, then they throw Edge over the top rope but Big Show catches him. They talks things over outside as we go to break. We return from break and Edge is working Jeff Hardy over as we see during the break Big Show took Jeff down from the apron. Edge tries to slam Jeff into the turnbuckle but Jeff stops it and hits Whisper in the Wind for 2. Tag to Matt who slams Edge to the canvas. Matt to the top rope misses a moonsault. Edge tags Big Show and he starts chopping Matt down with his meathook hands. Show with a suplex and elbow drop for 2. Tag to Edge who continues the beatdown. Edge off the rope splashes Matt on the second rope for 2. Edge with an armbar. Matt punches back but Edge with a low knee and a tag to Big Show. Show with elbows to Matt’s arm and more chops and body shots. Tag to Edge but not before a Show head butt for 2. Edge with a front face lock/body scissors. Matt trying to tag Jeff but instead Edge with a sunset flip for 2. Edge with a clothesline for 2. Edge back to the armbar/hammerlock. Matt with a right hand gets out of it but Edge with a boot to the face. Out of nowhere Big Show just walks up the ramp and leaves the match. Edge is clueless but Matt fights back but Edge drops a reverse DDT for 2. Edge is out of sorts after Show just leaves, but he now sets up for a Spear, but Matt punts him and hits the Side Effect, then finally tags Jeff who goes off on his Royal Rumble opponent with clotheslines and drop kicks for 2. Jeff tags Matt back for some reason, but its to hit their old school double team maneuver. Matt hits the Twist of Fate, tag to Jeff who hits the Swanton and its over. WINNERS: The Hardy Brothers (Grade: 2.5)

DRAMA’S TAKE: The show starts with a thud as Triple H’s promo was boring, stupid and downright bad for the company, particularly burying the rest of the roster and saying its him or nothing. Nice job. Decent tag match with Khali and Finlay, pretty much a comedy squash to get the crowd happy after that brutal opening promo. Looks like Brian Kendrick is slowly working back up the ladder with a win tonight. Another big winner tonight is Vladimir Kozlov who looked impressive in beating Hurricane Helms handily. I liked that Shelton Benjamin is getting some of his own time, even if he did eat an Undertaker chokeslam. Michelle McCool fortified her heel turn beating up poor little Eve, as her face time on camera has been better than Triple H’s. Speaking of HHH, more face time we didn’t need. Kizarny FINALLY makes his debut and its actually not that bad a match, but another loss for MVP. Kennedy needs to start wrestling again, as these stand up moments are getting old. The main event was solid, but I’m not sure where the whole Big Show aspect of this is going. Is he turning face, or a tweener? Who knows, but at least the Rumble card is starting to shape up a little. Matches weren’t bad, but Triple H’s promos were crap. FINAL GRADE: C+

MVP: Hardy Brothers
Runner Up: Michelle McCool
Non MVP: Triple H
Runner Up: Hurricane Helms

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