February 2, 2009
Scott Criscuolo

Friday Night Smackdown!
January 30, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana
Jim Ross and Tazz

-We recap the saga Jeff Hardy has gone through since winning the WWE Title, which was capped off with his Royal Rumble loss to Edge, thanks to his brother Matt. It includes a sweet slide show of all their history together. We then go right to Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and said Matt Hardy comes out without his theme, and is dressed with a shirt and jacket holding a steel chair. Why do all heels have to wear suit jackets? He opens the chair and sits down. Matt says finally, he no longer has to share the spotlight with his brother. Tonight is his night, and his time. Matt says for all those awaiting Jeff Hardy to emerge from the shadows, its not happening. He’s home, and he’s staying home. Matt says he’s always Jeff’s big brother, personally and professionally. Matt says its rather ironic that when he became WWE Champion all these accidents happen. Matt says no one can prove that he had anything to do with the stairwell attack before Survivor Series, the hit and run accident, or the pyro accident. What can be proven, is what he did with this chair to Jeff last Sunday at the Royal Rumble. Matt says all the pain and suffering that Jeff put him through was transferred into that chair shot, and it feels good. Matt says no one knows how hard it is to take care of a brother who’s nothing more than a constant mistake. They keep intertwining old clips of the two of them. Matt says there were so many times he would get phone calls from people asking where’s Jeff, what’s wrong with Jeff. Matt says there were so many times he had to cover for Jeff, how many nights Matt had to worry about Jeff. Matt says Jeff is a psychological wreck, but he feels great. Matt says if Matt’s survival means Jeff’s destruction, then so be it. But that’s not all, all the WWE fans are to blame for this. He says for 10 years he wanted the fans to like him. He signed autographs and won titles and tried to be the role model for all fans. It never worked, and all the fans wanted was to cheer Jeff, the screw-up. Matt says from now on, the only person he cares about, is him. Matt says to Jeff he has one thing to say to you, because he knows your watching this. Matt says from this day forward, there will no longer be The Hardy Boys. Matt no longer considers Jeff either his partner or his brother. I love this sinister music playing in the background with all the old clips interspersed in between. The crowd starts chanting WE WANT JEFF, WE WANT JEFF as we fade to black.

R-Truth vs.The Brian Kendrick

JR just told us that tonight in an Elimination Chamber qualifying match for No Way Out it will be the Undertaker vs. Mark Henry, plus a triple threat qualifying match between Triple H, the Great Khali, and Vladimir Kozlov. The referee tells Kendrick that Ezekiel Jackson has to leave ringside. Kendrick with a cheap shot after bell and he lays some forearms but Truth retaliates. Kendrick with a high boot and a low drop kick for 1. Kendrick with some body scissors maveuver that he turns over into a slam. Kendrick with a stomp, and some kicks. Kendrick with an unusual hammerlock maneuver. Truth gets to his feet and snap mares Kendrick. Truth with a clothesline and power slam for 2. Truth misses a head butt as Kendrick slips out the back door but Truth with a spinning forearm. Truth hits the axe kick and its good night Kendrick. WINNER: R-Truth (Grade: 2)

-Heading to break, we have our first Smackdown airing of this year’s Wrestlemania moments. Tonight, its March 31, 1985. The night we all (at least old guys like me) officially became wrestling fans. Looks like this year’s song is “Shoot to Thrill” by AC/DC. I got no complaints.

Chavo Guerrero vs. MVP

So it looks like the official MVP face turn is beginning, as for the first time he’s facing a full-blown heel. They lock up and some grappling on the canvas. MVP kicks out of a hammerlock and they keep grappling. MVP with some right hands but Chavo with uppercuts. MVP with right hands and a back drop. The crowd seems to be getting into MVP as he locks up an armbar. Chavo reverses the armbar and hits the rolling heel kick for 2. Chavo with the armbar again. Chavo taunts MVP with kicks and now a hammerlock. MVP with right hands but Chavo cuts the leg for 2. Both men exchange right hands and kicks but MVP throws Chavo face down. MVP with reverse elbows but Chavo with right hands, then MVP with an overhead throw for 2. MVP sets up what looks like a Samoan Drop but Chavo knees out of it, attempts to hit the Three Amigos, but gets only two before MVP counters. Chavo with a clothesline, then he goes to the top rope but MVP gets up there and they battle before MVP falls to the canvas. Chavo misses the Frog Splash, which sets MVP up for the Drive-By Kick and MVP has won his second straight, and the crowd loves it. WINNER: MVP (Grade: 2)

-Afterwards Tazz gets in the ring and he talks to MVP who says he’s back and wants his US Title back. We go to break with a vignette on Umaga, who makes his return tonight.

-We get a vignette on the Elimination Chamber, which will be making two appearances at No Way Out. One for Raw’s World Heavyweight Championship, and one for Smackdown’s WWE Championship.

Umaga vs. Jimmy Wang Yang

Oh this won’t be pretty. Umaga throws him down, then Yang gets up and lays some futile kicks. Umaga with a sidewalk slam. He rips Yang’s tank top, then kicks him in the gut and throws him across the ring. He gets Yang in the corner and beats him down. Umaga with his running butt splash. One Samoan Spike and its over. WINNER: Umaga (Grade: .5)

-The vignettes continue as this one’s for Vladimir Kozlov, who we’ll see later.

Elimination Chamber qualifying match: Undertaker vs. Mark Henry

I like Tony Atlas, always talking and pumping Henry up. They lock up and Taker with a headlock, but Henry pushes off and shoulder blocks Taker to the ground. Another lock up and Henry pushes Taker to the corner. Taker with right hands and kicks, then slams Henry’s head into the turnbuckle, then again. Henry reverses an irish whip and then a clothesline. Henry with a kick and some right hands. Henry with some head butts but Taker fights back with right hands. Taker with an armbar and some head butts of his own. Taker has the arm and attempts to go Old School but Henry catches him and throws him in the corner. Henry boots him to the ground, and the ref backs Henry off with gives Atlas a chance to throw a cheap shot. Both men outside and Henry slams Taker’s head into the post. Both back in the ring and Henry still on the attack. Henry with a slam and big elbow drop for 2. Henry with a headlock but Taker gets to his feet and punches out of it. Henry with a right hand and now they exchange. Taker’s punches win out but Henry with a quick one and Taker whipped into the corner. Henry goes for a splash but Taker lifts the boot, then gets a flying clothesline. Taker tries a chokeslam but Atlas goes to the apron to distract and he allows Henry to clothesline Taker over the ropes. Taker drills Atlas with a right hand, then slingshots Henry off the top rope. Taker back in the ring and he chokeslams Henry. He locks up the Gogoplata Choke and its over. WINNER: Undertaker (Grade: 2.5)

-We see the beginning battle between Mickey Rourke and Chris Jericho, ending with Jericho saying on Larry King Live he doesn’t respect Rourke. We then head back to the ring, and GM Vickie Guerrero who announces her husband, soul mate and the new WWE Champion, Edge! He comes down, gets the mike and immediately says he usually could care less about the fans. He ignores autographs and conversations. Tonight he wants to change that. He says the fans accused him of those brutal attacks against Jeff Hardy: The stairwell attack at Survivor Series, the hit and run accident in North Carolina, and the pyro accident. Edge says he denied involvement in all of that, and the fans called him a liar. Often times the fans would call him a liar in front of his wife. Edge says a lot of fans walked up to him and said point blank he wouldn’t walk out of the Royal Rumble as WWE Champion. Well each and every one of the fans are wrong, wrong, wrong. Edge says because of that, he wants to open the lines of communications with each other. Edge says he wants the fans to tell everyone that they communicated with the 7-time WWE Champion. He wants all the fans to stand up, and he wants them to say “Edge, I’m sorry.” They all boo. Edge says thank you, and he accepts their apologies. Edge says he celebrated his title win by watching his new DVD, which has been #1 for the past 3 weeks. Watching his past accomplishments he wants to do something he hasn’t done in a while, but he’s feeling frisky. So, for the benefit of those with flash photography, he wants to break out a new 5-second pose. So the pose is him holding his belt up while making out with Vickie. But we’re breaking this pose up, because…well…WELLLLLLLLLLLL IT’S THE BIG SHOW!! Big Show comes into the ring with a big smile on his face. He freaks Edge out and Edge leaves the ring, as Show is ready for his Elimination Chamber qualifying match.

-Back from break and we have another Wrestlemania moment, and we go to April 3, 2005 and Wrestlemania XXI, which shows John Cena and Batista’s first title wins, and Edge’s Money in the Bank win.

Elimination Chamber qualifying match: Big Show vs. Festus

God could these matches get any more predictable? The bell rings, Festus snaps and gets Show up in the air with a bear hug but Show recovers and DDT’s him. Show with some clubbing blows. Show with some chops, and right hands and Show is clubbing the Cornfed Colossus down. Festus is trying get some shots off, then Festus with a modified DDT off the second turnbuckle for 2. Festus with some more blows, but Show with a big chop retakes control. Show gets Festus up for a power bomb but throws him over his head to the ground. Show sets up and uncorks a big right hand in the mush, and Show gets the win. WINNER: BIG SHOW (Grade: 2)

-Big Show chokeslams Jesse for good measure.

-Back from break and we get the Smackdown debut of John Cena’s new film, “12 Rounds”. Eve Torres is about to comment on the trailer when Michelle McCool cuts her off. Michelle says she’s surprised Eve is still here, since the last time Eve and Michelle were together, Eve was begging for mercy and Eve is to blame for provoking her. Eve responds by smacking Michelle across the face.

-Back from break and we have the Raw Rebound, which highlights Randy Orton and his battle with the McMahons, including the return of Shane, who attacks Orton at the end of the show.

Elimination Chamber qualifying Triple Threat match: Triple H vs. The Great Khali vs. Vladimir Kozlov

Triple H goes after Kozlov, then Khali throws Kozlov off and goes after Triple H. Kozlov and Khali goes one on one, and Kozlov gets a shot in, but Khali with a chop to the head and then pitches Kozlov out. Khali and Triple H glare at each other as we go to break. We return and Triple H is outside working over Khali’s leg on the steps. During the break Khali missed a splash and Triple H worked the leg over. Back in the ring Kozlov and Trips go at it and Kozlov gets a power slam for 2. Kozlov keeps beating down Triple H with stomps and forearms. Kozlov with a backbreaker for 2. Triple H gets out of a powerslam and hits a DDT. Both men are down, and Khali is still outside. Kozlov with a fall-away slam for 2. Kozlov with shoulder blocks in the corner but on the last Triple H with a knee lift. HHH with right hands and a knee drop. Kozlov charges and the Double-A spinebuster. Triple H is pumped, then walks into a Khali head chop. Khali then hooks the Head Vice on Triple H but Kozlov breaks it up with a battering ram to the head. Kozlov charges Khali and gets tossed out of the ring. Khali is excited, but then walks into a Pedigree and the Game heads to Seattle. WINNER: Triple H (Grade: 2)

-Triple H celebrates as we go off the air.

DRAMA’S TAKE: An excellent opening promo by Matt Hardy, who’s definitely turned the corner and maybe can become just like Edge in late 2004-2005. A nice tight win for R-Truth, who should be in line for a push. With Matt Hardy the new heel on the block, MVP looks like he’s becoming a fan favorite with his win over Chavo. Taker as expected makes the Chamber, but I think it would be nice to NOT have him in the Chamber and have Big Show cost him that spot. It seems too predictable to put Taker in all these matches every time. The Edge segment was ok but the return of the 5 second pose was cool. Big Show wins a predictable qualifier and I’m sure Taker and Show will cancel each other out in the Chamber. Michelle McCool and Eve Torres continue their little feud with a short but sweet segment. Decent Triple Threat match to end the show, but again pretty predictable that Triple H was coming out of that with the W. No surprise either that Khali eats the pin, still protecting Kozlov. So the Smackdown Chamber slots as of now are: Edge, Triple H, Undertaker, and Big Show. I’m sure Jeff Hardy will get one, and who knows about the last slot. Overall this show was ok, as the qualifiers, although predictable, set up the PPV fine. FINAL GRADE: B-

MVP: Matt Hardy
Runner Up: Triple H
Non MVP: Great Khali
Runner Up: Chavo Guerrero

wordpress stats plugin