December 30, 2008
Scott Criscuolo

Friday Night Smackdown!
December 26, 2008
Toronto, Ontario
Jim Ross and Tazz

We skip the animation tonight and get ready…TO PLAY THE GAME. Motorhead starts up and out comes Triple H carrying his pal, the sledgehammer. As he comes to the ring JR tells us that the WWE Champion Jeff Hardy will take on the Big Show tonight. Triple H says there are certain things in life that you just don’t do. He says you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the Lone Ranger, and you don’t do this. He points to the screen and we go back to Armageddon when Vladimir Koslov cost Triple H the WWE Title against Edge. Back live and Triple H says to Vladimir Kozlov that he did indeed cost him the WWE Title. For that Triple H says there is a price to pay, and he lifts up the sledgehammer and says this is how he’ll collect. Triple H says last week it almost happened, and we go back to last week when Triple H Pedigreed Edge and went after Vladimir Kozlov. Back live and Triple H says to Kozlov that almost doesn’t work for him. He calls down the ramp and wants Kozlov right now. All of a sudden Chavo’s music starts up and out comes the Mexican Warrior and former ECW Champion. Chavo says everyone is sorry about what happened last week to him, but he’s been brought out by his aunt Vickie, who just happens to be the GM of this show. She’s not happy that Triple H interfered in last week’s match between Jeff Hardy and Kozlov, and Chavo says to Triple H if he lays another hand on Vladimir Kozlov, not only will he not be in the Royal Rumble match, he will never compete for the WWE Title again. Chavo tells Triple H this isn’t Raw anymore, and Triple H doesn’t call the shots around here, Vickie does. Triple H says that’s great Chavo, but I’m sure Vickie wanted to tell him herself but she couldn’t get through the big door. Chavo says she’s on a diet and she could fit. Triple H says its not that big of a door. Triple H says to Chavo that he’s a multiple-time champion. Your poncho says Warrior, and unlike Vickie, you’re a real Guerrero. Now what Chavo’s saying is that he’s nothing but Vickie’s errand boy, getting coffee, donuts and the like? Triple H says you gotta do what you gotta do. He says the old school Guerreros would have come to the ring and tell him to his face. Chavo starts down the aisle, but stops and Vickie comes down. Vickie does her “EXCUSE ME!”, then Triple H tells the crowd to quiet down, as Vickie didn’t waddle out here for nothing. Vickie tells Chavo to stay where he is, then tells Triple H that she and Chavo are Guerreros, and won’t stand by and let him disrespect the family. She says Chavo has learned from the very best, and he’s going to prove it right now. A referee is coming down, and let’s go.

Triple H vs. Chavo Guerrero

Chavo starts with boots and punches but Triple H fights back and clotheslines him out of the ring. Triple H comes out and slams Chavo into the barricade. He pitches Chavo into the ring, then he glares at Vickie before eating a Chavo baseball slide. Chavo pitches Triple H back in and gets some uppercuts in. Off the ropes and Triple H with the knee drop, but then he hits a somersault kick. Chavo starts undoing a turnbuckle pad, but the referee catches him. Chavo then goes outside and grabs a chair, then while the referee is re-tying the pad he tries the old trick of his great Uncle Eddie by giving Triple H the chair and falling to the ground. Only the ref was still tying the pad, so Triple H calmly throws the chair out of the ring. Chavo gets up, sees the trick didn’t work and charges, and Triple H spinebusts him. Pedigree time and the Game takes it. WINNER: Triple H (Grade: 1.5)

-Triple H goes outside and grabs his sledgehammer. He gets back in the ring, as Vickie is screaming for Chavo to get out. Chavo walks right into a sledge shot to the chest. As we go to break JR lets us know about two title matches tonight: Michelle McCool vs. Maryse for the Divas Title, and our next match after the break.

-Awesome, another crappy Kizarny vignette. At least he’s finally wrestling next week.

United States Championship: Shelton Benjamin © vs. Hurricane Helms

Shelton Benjamin grabs the mike to remind us that he’s been US Champ since the Bash. They lock up and Shelton with a waist lock takedown. Helms gets to the ropes and Shelton breaks. Helms with an armdrag. They lock again and Shelton with a low knee and some elbow shots to the repaired neck. Helms fights back with rights, then when Shelton whips him into the ropes, Helms stops, does the old Hurricane stance and says “What’s up with that?” Crowd goes nuts, but Shelton doesn’t. He charges and Shelton goes over the rope, but the champ skins the cat and Helms knocks him to the floor. Helms goes to the top and hits a big high cross body to the floor. He rolls Shelton into the ring and gets 2, then Helms goes for a series of 2 counts. Helms goes to the top but Shelton crawls to the other side of the ring. Shelton catches him in mid-airs and power bombs him on the turnbuckles for 2. We go to break, and when we return Shelton has Helms in a headlock/half nelson combo. Shelton with elbows into the neck/collarbone area. Shelton’s wearing black tonight, differing from his usual gold tights. Helms fights back with elbows but he tries a suplex and Shelton reverses it into a neckbreaker for 2. Shelton goes back to the neck area. Helms rolls over and breaks it with punches, then Shelton kicks him in the face. Shelton whips Helms into the ropes but misses a clothesline and Helms takes him down and boots him in the breadbasket. Helms with right hands, but Shelton whips Helms into the corner and eats a forearm. Helms with a clothesline, but the Shining Wizard is blocked by Shelton, so Helms rolls him up for a close 2 count. Helms with another roll-up for 2. Shelton with a punch, then goes for a power slam but Helms flips it into a clothesline-type move for 2. Helms goes for the Wizard again, but Shelton blocks it so Helms hits a Hurricanrana for 2. Shelton with a reverse elbow, then he goes to the top and tries for a sunset flip but Helms ducks it and finally hits the Shining Wizard…for 2! Shelton kicks out and the crowd and myself are stunned. Helms and Shelton fight over a backslide, but Shelton lets go, then hits his own Shining Wizard-type kick. Helms is out on his feet, and Shelton easily hits Paydirt to retain his title. Great match. WINNER: Shelton Benjamin (Grade: 3)

-We go back to Armageddon, and recap Jeff Hardy’s crowning moment. We are live and Jeff is in this weird red light effect. Jeff Hardy says he’s just like everyone else. He laughs, cries and feels pain. He asks why Vickie thinks he’s such a screw up. Why he’s so bad for the company. Jeff says they’re covering someone else up. Vickie can do whatever she wants, send an army or a single big man. The screw-up has found his following, and the screams of Jeff Hardy won’t be silenced.

The Brian Kendrick vs. WWE Tag Team Champion Carlito

The Tag Champs come out with the Bella twins. Primo needs to shave the stache, he looks like he’s 14. We start, and they lock up and Kendrick takes control with punches, but Carlito with a reverse elbow. Then he straddles the turnbuckles for some punches, but Kendrick slips out the back door and kicks Carlito off the ropes. He stomps and chokes. Kendrick with a kick to the back, and now the headlock. Carlito backs him into the corner and break it. He whips Kendrick into the corner and hits a high knee and clothesline. Off the ropes and Carlito with a reverse elbow. Kendrick bails and goes after him but Ezekiel Jackson gets in front of him. Primo goes after Zeke and Zeke drops him. Carlito gets to the apron and Kendrick cheap shots him. Kendrick goes for The Kendrick but Carlito slips out and hits the Backstabber for the win. Good little match for a short time. WINNER: Carlito (Grade: 2)

-We look back to last Saturday night and the “Tribute to the Troops” special.

-We return from break and Edge is backstage with Vickie. Edge says he’s in his hometown and he says everyone is telling him that Jeff Hardy is a disgraceful champion and they want him to take the title back and give the WWE a champion with class and morals. Edge can’t stand it anymore, then the door bangs and the Big Show comes in. He says to Edge that this is awkward. Big Show says his relationship with Vickie when Edge was gone was strictly business. Edge says fine, but tonight against Jeff Hardy, he must take care of business. Show says that tonight he will wrap Jeff Hardy up in a package. However, Show says if he wins, he wants a WWE Title shot. Vickie says yes and Edge is pissed. From there we head over to Maria and Michelle McCool. Maria’s the special referee for the title match tonight, and Michelle says that’s great. Michelle says we’re tight, and everything we’ve gone through lately is in the past. Maria concurs, and Michelle says that’s good because no one wants to see Maryse as the Divas Champion. Maria says that’s true, but she’s going to call it down the middle. Michelle says she understands that. After a pause, Michelle says that Maria been screwing stuff up lately, and not to screw this up. Michelle “highly advises against it.” Maria says that’s fine, with a quizzical look on her face.

Divas Championship: Michelle McCool © vs. Maryse

Ok, now Michelle is wearing tights that are blue with a cross on them. Can we not make it that obvious she’s boning the Deadman? They lock up and Michelle with a headlock. Off the ropes and McCool with a shoulder block for 1. Michelle with an armbar but Maryse steps out of it and cranks her own. McCool flips off the top rope to get out of it then flips Maryse over. Maryse jumps and McCool catches her with a Samoan type cradle but drops her and hits a Russian Leg Sweep. McCool with a boot to the gut, then Maryse tries a sunset flip but McCool ducks out and hits a low drop kick. McCool moves in but Maryse grabs her tights and pulls McCool into the turnbuckles. Maryse with some boots and forearm shots, then a front face drop for 2. Maryse with a reverse chinlock. McCool gets to her feet and elbows out of it, then flips Maryse. McCool with a boot to the face for 2. Michelle with an elbow but then Maryse with a clothesline, but she misses a elbow drop. The two exchange forearm shots, then McCool with three straight drop kicks and a neckbreaker for 2. McCool didn’t quite like that, but she goes for a piledriver and Maryse shifts her weight and gets a rollup for 2. McCool starts complaining to Maria, then walks into a kick to the back of the head. Maryse gets the 3 count and we have a new Divas champion. WINNER (and new Divas Champion): Maryse (Grade: 2)

-Maria helps Michelle to her feet, explains what happened and Michelle “appears” to be ok. Maria starts walking away, and Michelle officially completes the heel turn by jumping Maria from behind and beating the crap of her. She beats her down in the ring, then pitches her out of the ring and beats her down outside, including throwing her into the steel post.

-Back from break and we get an Umaga vignette returning him to Smackdown soon.

MVP vs. The Great Khali

Khali comes out with his new happy babyface music. MVP tries talking to Khali but that doesn’t work and Khali works him over with chops and elbows. Khali tries to boot MVP in the head but MVP ducks and Khali is hooked in the ropes. MVP starts kicking Khali’s legs and working him over. MVP with punches, but Khali with a chop to the head stops Montel cold. MVP crawls under the ropes and Khali grabs him but MVP ducks down and throats Khali on the top rope. MVP goes back to the punches and the Drive-By kick stuns Khali, but MVP comes off the ropes and Khali with another chop to the head. Khali drops the power bomb and its over. WINNER: The Great Khali (Grade: 1)

-MVP is in the ring when Mr. Kennedy comes out and tells Justin Roberts to pass MVP a mike. MVP is out, so Kennedy mocks him then dedicates MVP’s match to MISTAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…KENNEDYYYYYYY…………………….KENNEDYYYYYYYYY. This may be Kennedy’s best role in a while.

-Vladimir Kozlov walks backstage, and he’s next.

-ANOTHER Kizarny vignette! I hate this guy already, and he hasn’t even wrestled yet.

Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Vladimir Kozlov

We go back to Armageddon when Kozlov attacked Triple H during the title match. Kozlov takes Wang down with a front facelock, some knee lifts and a suplex takedown. Kozlov goes for a big boot and Yang ducks it then kicks Kozlov in the leg. Yang with a boot to the head then a clothesline. Yang to the top but Kozlov drills him with a head butt in mid air. Kozlov with a T-Bone Suplex and its good night Asian Redneck. WINNER: Vladimir Kozlov (Grade: 0)

-Kozlov grabs the mike, babbles in Russian then tells everyone that what happened tonight to Yang will happen at the Royal Rumble and he’ll go to Wrestlemania and become champion.

-Backstage Big Show is lacing his boots when Edge comes in and wishes Show luck in his match. Show says Edge is full of Canadian crap. He’s going to take care of Jeff Hardy, something Edge couldn’t do. As Show walks out he stops and asks Edge how his marriage to Vickie is going.

-We go to the Raw Rebound, and the Race to the Rumble matches, which leads us to Raw’s Fatal Four-way this week between Shawn Michaels, JBL, Randy Orton, and Chris Jericho. The winner will get a World Heavyweight Title match with John Cena at the Royal Rumble.

WWE Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Big Show

Backstage Vickie tells Edge that if Big Show wins this match, he’ll face Edge next week. The winner of that match faces Jeff Hardy for the WWE Title. Jeff keeps his distance from Show in the beginning, then grabs Show’s leg, but Show starts whacking away. More killer blows to the champ but Jeff punches back, tries for a Twist of Fate but Show blocks it and throws Jeff across the ring and he slides outside to the floor. Jeff on the ground as we go to break. Back from break and Show has Jeff in an armbar. Jeff tries to punch out of it but Show with a head butt. Then he steps on Jeff’s gut. In the corner Show with a big chop. Show wraps Jeff’s arm around the rope and punches the shoulder. Show with shots to the gut, but Jeff tries to get a comeback going but a Big Show clothesline stops him. Show gets a 2 count out of that clothesline, and now a nerve pinch. Hardy keeps kicking out of pin predicaments. Show with a hammerlock slam, but he misses an elbow drop. Jeff tries yet another comeback but Show catches him in mid-air and cinches a bear hug. Jeff punches out of it and when Show whips him into the corner Jeff hits back-to-back Whispers in the Wind. Jeff to the top rope, and he hits the Swanton Bomb, but Big Show kicks out to the point that Jeff gets thrown through the ring. Jeff goes to the top again, but Show grabs him by the throat. He goes for a chokeslam but Jeff switches the weight and hits a DDT. Jeff baseball slides Show out of the ring, then double mule kicks him into the broadcast table. Jeff’s momentum puts him into Show and both men are down. The ref counts to 8, and Jeff gets in the ring, but Show can’t get back in, and the champ takes the match. WINNER: Jeff Hardy by countout (Grade: 2)

-As Jeff goes up the ramp ECW Champion Matt Hardy comes out to help celebrate with his brother. Meanwhile we go backstage and Edge is feeling good that he doesn’t have to face Big Show next week. Vickie then tells Edge that it seems the Hardys are together, and they need some competition. So next week it will be the Hardys versus Big Show and Edge. We head out with Edge looking quite puzzled.

DRAMA’S TAKE: Pretty decent opening segment as Triple H will be taking the “face getting screwed by heel GM” role for a while. Very solid Helms/Shelton match and the ending shocked me. I like Jeff Hardy’s promos, very different and consise. Carlito looked good tonight in his quick match with Kendrick. Maryse is your new Divas Champion, but it’s really only to complete the Michelle McCool heel turn as she beat the hell out of Maria in her Undertaker-clad tights. Who flips on the heel side to re-balance? Natalya perhaps? MVP’s losing streak continues, and Kennedy continues to tweak him. I like Vladimir Kozlov, and this feud with Triple H can only help him. Jeff Hardy with a very impressive victory over Big Show as his roll continues, but what is the relationship between Vickie and Edge? Very strange, but good to keep things going until we get a Royal Rumble card put together. A pretty solid show to finish off 2008. FINAL GRADE: B-

MVP: Maryse
Runner Up: Carlito
Non MVP: Hurricane Helms
Runner Up: Maria

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