February 9, 2009
Scott Criscuolo

Friday Night Smackdown!
February 6, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana
Jim Ross and Tazz

OPENING ANIMATION

JR and Tazz welcome us to St. Louis, and there’s 2 more slots to fill in the Elimination Chamber for the WWE Title at No Way Out. Tonight our main event is a tag team match involving the 4 guys already in the Chamber: The Undertaker and Triple H vs. WWE Champion Edge and Big Show.

Elimination Chamber qualifying battle royal: Vladimir Kozlov vs. US Champion Shelton Benjamin vs. Kung Fu-naki vs. Jesse vs. Kizarny vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Carlito & Primo vs. R-Truth vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder vs. The Great Khali vs. Scotty Goldman vs. MVP vs. The Brian Kendrick vs. Chavo Guerrero

Before we start General Manager Vickie Guerrero comes out, cranks a couple of EXCUSE ME, then says that Jeff Hardy will use his re-match clause in the Elimination Chamber match, so this is effectively for the last spot. Goldman is eliminated first, big shock. Kendrick eliminates Kizarny. Some action, then Shelton suplexes Jesse into elimination, but MVP eliminates Shelton, then Chavo eliminates MVP. Shelton outside cracks MVP with a thrust kick as we go to break. We return and the action continues. Khali eliminates Chavo, Funaki, and Kendrick, who’s lifted over Khali’s head and thrown on the other two. Khali then eliminates Hawkins & Ryder, then Kozlov comes from behind and eliminates Kozlov. It’s Kozlov, the Colons, and R-Truth. The Colons try to eliminate Kozlov and he ends up tossing them. Kozlov knocks R-Truth around and Kozlov tosses him. WINNER: Vladimir Kozlov (Grade: N/A)

-Kozlov grabs the mike and talks like Ivan Drago.

-We return from break with a Wrestlemania moment. We go back to April 7, 1986 and Wrestlemania II, a show I watched live on closed circuit from the New Haven Coliseum. Todd Grisham is joined by Hurricane Helms. Todd asks about the issues with the Hardys, and we go back to the Royal Rumble and the shocking betrayal of Matt Hardy on his brother. Helms says he was surprised about this, but then he wasn’t. He says Matt had a bit of an ego, and they all had the dream. He says Jeff is living the dream, and now Matt stole it from him. Helms says Matt has revealed himself to be what he always was: a self-centered egotistical jerk. He says Jeff isn’t here, but he is, and Helms says he’s going to look for him. We then continue the backstage action and the locker room of WWE Champion Edge and Vickie Guerrero. Vickie wants to know what’s wrong. Edge says nothing’s wrong, except he has to defend his title in an Elimination Chamber against 5 guys who hate his guts. Vickie says his baby has defied the odds before, and he will again. Big Show comes in and asks Edge in a sarcastic tone if its time for a pep talk. Edge doesn’t like that tone and says the last time they were a team Show walked out on him. Edge says cut the crap and if Show walks out again Vickie will take him out of the Chamber. Vickie says no one’s walking out on anyone and they will work as a unit to defeat Triple H and Undertaker.

-Back from break and the sleazy hated Matt Hardy is in the ring. The crowd is chanting WE WANT JEFF. Matt tells Hurricane Helms he right here in the ring, and if Helms has a problem to come do something about it. Helms comes down and they start brawling. They head outside and Matt throws Helms into the steps, then pitches him back in the ring. Matt starts slamming elbows into Helms’ chest. He beats Helms into unconsciousness. Matt needs to finally cut his hair and really start to look like a heel.

-58 days away to Wrestlemania, and I hope AC/DC’s “Shoot to Thrill” is the official song.

US Champion Shelton Benjamin vs. MVP

Shelton gets the mike and says some people can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality. He says the reality is he’s the longest running champion on either brand now. His opponent got a couple of lucky wins after 20 straight weeks of losing. He says MVP change his initials to VPM, meaning “Very Peyton Manning.” Typical sports dig to the locals. They exchange blows and MVP with a clothesline. MVP with forearm blows for a 1 count. Shelton tries to beg off but MVP with a boot. Shelton reverses into a T-Bone Suplex. Shelton tries Paydirt but MVP with an elbow. MVP with some right hands, but Shelton blocks a suplex attempt and drops MVP over the top rope. MVP rolls outside and Shelton follows with some kicks on the floor. Shelton lifts MVP up and drops him on the security wall. Both men are back in the ring and Shelton with the clubbing blows for 2. Shelton with some form of a sit-down abdominal stretch. Shelton with knees to the leg, then a gutbuster for 2. Shelton ratchets another abdominal stretch. MVP with a hip toss to get out of it, then Shelton charges and gets an overthrow courtesy of Montel for 2. Shelton reverses a suplex with a German Suplex for 2. Shelton gets a boot blocked, misses the Enziguiri and gets booted in the head for 2. MVP with right hands but he misses one and Shelton with an inverted backbreaker for 2. A frustrated Shelton whips MVP into the corner and hits a splash. He goes for another but MVP slides out. MVP goes for his kick but Shelton ducks. MVP turns around and they butt heads. They’re wobbling, but MVP hits the Drive-By Kick out of nowhere and gets the win. The crowd is digging Montel right now, and he’s a good switch to counter Matt Hardy the heel. WINNER: MVP (Grade: 2.5)

-The Colons are backstage making nice-nice with the Bella Sisters, until R-Truth comes in all sly and smooth and grabs his tag partners for our next match.

The Brian Kendrick, The Miz and John Morrison vs. R-Truth & WWE Tag Team Champions The Colon Brothers

I hope R-Truth is used extensively in 2009, he deserves it. Miz and Primo lock up and they exchange waist locks. Primo with a leg sweep for 1 and a turnbuckle smack. Tag to Carlito and they work on Miz’s arm. Tag To Truth who drops an elbow on the arm. Truth ducks a clothesline and hits a reverse kick. Miz whips Truth in the corner and eats a kick. Morrison with a cheap forearm and Miz takes advantage with a knee lift. Tag to Morrison and a double gutbuster. Nice reference by Tazz to Demolition for the double gut-buster. Tag to Kendrick and some kicks. Kendrick with a boot to the gut and an elbow to the neck. Tag to Morrison and he stomps on Truth. Morrison goes for a neckbreaker and Truth with a backslide for 2. Tag to Kendrick more stomping. Kendrick with a drop kick for 2. Kendrick with a Camel Clutch, as JR with the Iron Sheik reference. 2 for 2 with our announce team and awesome historical references. Kendrick cheap shots Primo but it gives Truth a chance to tag Carlito for the face comeback. Carlito with a nice reverse splash on Kendrick, but Miz & Morrison break the two count. Primo with a springboard drop kick. R-Truth hits the corkscrew elbow on Morrison, but Kendrick tosses him out of the ring. This gives Kendrick a chance to hit Carlito with The Kendrick off the ropes for the win. Pretty good match with a lot of energy and action. WINNER: The Brian Kendrick, the Miz, and John Morrison. (Grade: 2.5)

-We go back a month to when Michelle McCool attacked Eve Torres. They face each other next.

-We return from break with a Maryse vignette, the current Divas Champion.

Eve Torres vs. Michelle McCool

They lock up and Michelle tries to intimidate. They lock up again and Michelle with an armbar and knees to the back. More strikes from Michelle, but she charges the corner and Eve with an elbow. Eve with a hip toss and a waistlock takedown. Michelle with a school-girl roll for 2. Michelle bails to regroup. She gets back in, feigns losing a contact lens, which drops Eve’s guard and Michelle attacks. Love the heel psychology from Michelle. Michelle with some punches and posturing. Michelle with a forearm to the back but Eve fights back with a punch. Michelle clotheslines Eve, then a low drop kick to the back. Michelle with some short knees to the back. JR and Tazz comment on how everyone’s using their knees tonight. Michelle with a one-legged Boston Crab while stepping on the hair. Eve kicks out of it and gets an inside cradle for 2. Eve with knee lifts and a reverse elbow, then a clothesline and drop kick for 2. Eve on the top rope kicks Michelle down, but on the second kick Michelle catches her leg and whips her down. Michelle locks on that heel hook finisher and Eve has to tap out. WINNER: Michelle McCool (Grade: 2.5)

-Michelle doesn’t unlock the hold and Maria comes in to chase her off. We then go to Matt Hardy backstage as JR announces that Matt’s brother Jeff Hardy will return to Smackdown next week. Matt says in case no one heard him last week, he doesn’t have a brother anymore. Matt says it would be unfortunate if Jeff had another “accident” before next Friday. If Jeff does make it to Smackdown next week, Matt says he will welcome him back…with open arms. He means that from the bottom of his heart.

-We have another Wrestlemania moment, and we go to March 20, 1994. Wrestlemania X at Madison Square Garden, featuring two of the greatest matches in WWF history: Owen Hart defeating his brother Bret, and Razor Ramon defeating Shawn Michaels in the historic ladder match for the Intercontinental Title. The only Wrestlemania to date with 2 5-star matches.

Umaga vs. Kung Fu-Naki

Funaki is thrown in the corner, but he gets a kick off. Funaki charges, and Umaga drills him with a foot to the throat. The limp Kung Fu master is getting beat down in the corner. Umaga hits the butt-splash with big time intensity. Samoan Spike time, and goodnight Funaki. WINNER: Umaga (Grade: 1)

-We have the Raw Rebound, talking about the announcing of Randy Orton and Shane O’Mac in a ‘No Holds Barred’ match at No Way Out. This Monday Night on Raw, we get two treats: Randy Orton will go one on one with the Undertaker, and the return of THE MAN, Ric Flair. Back to JR and Tazz who go over the card for No Way Out, February 15 at Key Arena in Seattle:

World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber: John Cena © vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Mike Knox vs. Kofi Kingston
WWE Championship Elimination Chamber: Edge © vs. Triple H vs. Undertaker vs. Big Show vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Vladimir Kozlov
No Holds Barred match: Randy Orton vs. Shane McMahon
All or Nothing match: Shawn Michaels vs. JBL

WWE Champion Edge & Big Show vs. Triple H & Undertaker

When did Triple H & Undertaker last tag team together? I don’t remember. Taker and Big Show start and Taker starts tossing the soupbones. Taker with the punches to the ribs and gut but Big Show pushes out of it and hits a clothesline. Tag to Edge, who throws a punch that does nothing. Edge is thrown in the corner and he strikes with reckless abandon. Taker puts Edge in his corner and tags Triple H and he hits some right hands. Triple H whips Edge into the corner but Edge lifts the leg. He goes for a spear but Triple H hops and almost locks the Pedigree but Edge bails out. Edge is sitting on the floor as Big Show mocks him saying he was “this close”. Edge is freaking out as we go to break. Back from break and Triple H with a high knee on Edge for 2. HHH with a suplex, held British Bulldog-style. Triple H drops the knee to the head for a 2 count. Triple H with a right hand, but he bends down on an Irish Whip and gets a boot. Edge off the ropes walks into a Double-A spinebuster. On the whip Big Show blind tagged Edge, and the unknowing Triple H is clotheslined. Big Show works him over with right hands. Triple H with right hands with Big Show with a boot and elbow drops for 2. Tag to Edge and he works HHH over. Edge with a reverse DDT for 2. A stunning stat: At the Royal Rumble, Edge won his 43rd championship. Unbelievable. Edge with a front facelock, but Triple H gets to his feet and tries to get a tag to Taker but Edge won’t let him. Edge with a sunset flip for 2. Edge with a boot to the head, and a tag to Big Show, who drops a splash for 2. Big Show taunts Taker but Triple H with right hands but he walks into a sidewalk slam for 2. Edge whips The H into the corner and hits a spear. Edge tries for a second spear but Triple H bails. Both are down and Triple H is trying to crawl to the corner . Edge tagged Show and he stops the momentum. Show with head butts, then he straddles the second rope ala Yokozuna, but he misses the splash. Big Show charges and Triple H with a boot. Show gets Triple H to the second turnbuckle but Triple H with a big DDT. Show tags Edge, but Triple H finally gets to Taker and the Deadman beats Edge down. Taker grabs the arm and goes Old School. Big Show snaps Taker’s neck on the top rope, and Edge goes for a spear but Taker catches him and locks the Gogoplata Choke. Before Edge can tap out Big Show drops a leg. Exciting finish to this match, as the crowd is really into it. Both Taker and Edge are down. Taker tags Triple H and hits the low knee. He goes for a Pedigree but Big Show comes in and chokeslams Triple H. Edge gives Big Show shit for really no reason and Show drops him with a right hand. Edge is out cold and Triple H tags Taker who hits the Tombstone and its good night Edge. WINNERS: Triple H & Undertaker (Grade: 3)

-Big Show just leaves the ring as Triple H and Undertaker stand tall and Edge is flat on his back. Taker walks down the aisle, Triple H points to him and Taker turns around. Copyright and we’re out.

DRAMA’S TAKE: The Battle Royal was pretty standard and at least the Chamber is finally filled. The predictable 5 guys to face Edge, so at least it will be moderately entertaining. Plenty of backstage fluff to kill time, nothing great there. The Helms/Hardy brawl wasn’t much, but it will likely lead to an actual match next week. Really good match for MVP/Shelton, and MVP is gaining a lot of steam from the fans. The six-man tag was top notch as all 6 guys brought it. The women’s match was surprisingly good, in particular the new Michelle McCool. Annoying and talentless as a babyface, and suddenly as a heel she does a 180 and can dictate a match on psychology alone. I’m enjoying the re-pushing of Umaga as a beast, as I always enjoy a good jobber squashfest ala Sid in 1992. The main event was a lot of fun as all 4 men played their roles to the top and the crowd was really into it. Overall a good show and the return of Jeff Hardy next week will spike the drama further. Maybe one more match on the Smackdown side would be nice for No Way Out, but we’ll see. The matches were pretty good tonight, and the show all around was very energetic. FINAL GRADE: A-

MVP: Triple H/Undertaker
Runner Up: Michelle McCool/Vladimir Kozlov
Non MVP: Edge
Runner Up: Hurricane Helms

wordpress stats plugin