April 5, 2009
Scott Criscuolo

Friday Night Smackdown!
April 3, 2009
Dallas, Texas
Jim Ross and Tazz (Tazz’s final broadcast)

OPENING ANIMATION

We get right down to business on our go-home Smackdown before Wrestlemania XXV.

Divas Champion Maryse & Michelle McCool vs. Gail Kim & Maria
Might as well get rid of Maryse & Maria and have the two best on this show now go at it. Sorry, everyone can love Maryse’s look and how hot she is, but she is a poor wrestler. Maria tries, but she’s not very good either. Michelle and Maria lock up, then Michelle takes her down. Michelle with a forearm shot takes Maria down. More forearms, then a cheap shot to Gail Kim. Maria with a kick for 2. Maria with forearms and knees, then when Maria comes off the ropes Maryse cheap shots her, so Maria knocks her off the apron. Then when Maria turns around Michelle boots her to the ground. Tag to Maryse who starts smacking Maria around. Maria continues getting worked over in the corner, then Maryse hangs her on the Tree of Woe. Michelle with a drop kick to the gut. Michelle continues to beat her down, then tags Maryse, who goes for her new chinlock weardown maneuver. Maria stands up and slams her. She tags Kim, who takes Maryse down with clotheslines and a splash in the corner. Maryse reverses a whip in the corner, but Kim with a cross body for 2. Kim drop kicks a menacing Michelle out of the ring, then neckbreaks Maryse for the 3 count. Nice finishing move, as Gail Kim has instantly made the Divas division a little better. WINNER: Gail Kim & Maria (Grade: 1.5)

-Backstage and Eve Torres chats with US Champion MVP, who faces Shelton Benjamin tonight in a US Title rematch. MVP says this is a 3-step process. He’ll beat the former champ tonight, then get the Money in the Bank briefcase at Wrestlemania, then become a World Champion. Suddenly Shelton Benjamin comes in to say that MVP thinks its all easy. Well tonight MVP will face and angrier, hungrier and more pissed off Shelton Benjamin. MVP concedes Shelton is an awesome athlete, but MVP is on a roll and he will complete his 3-step process.

-Back from break and we go live to Jerry Lawler and Todd Grisham who are at Wrestlemania Axcess in Houston. They talk about the Extreme Rules match between the Hardys, and we recap the saga dating back to the Royal Rumble.

-We return from break with a Wrestlemania moment, and its March 31, 1985. The night it was born. The legacy that is Wrestlemania. We then go back to Axcess where we see kids getting tattoos and seeing kids jumping on an inflatable ring. Todd and Jerry talk about the Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Title between Edge, John Cena, and Big Show, including the video package.

-Back from break and we go to Monday night’s Raw and the match between Cena and Big Show. Then we go to our World Heavyweight Champion sitting in a chair holding his belt. Edge says he had a moment. Monday night he says when he punched John Cena repeatedly he had a moment. A moment of enlightenment. Edge calls it an epiphany. Edge says for the last 6 weeks his focus was clouded by the selfish desires of his wife. Edge says its turned everything upside down. Monday night when he was pummeling Cena’s head it came back to him. Edge remembered that he is the best in the world at what he does. Edge says they’re not hollow words. Edge points to the belt and says this backs him up. This title is his life and he will never let it go. Edge says Big Show is bigger than him but he is better. He says Cena is stronger than him, but he is better. At Wrestlemania he’s going to prove it. Excellent old school promo leading up to the big show.

We return to Todd and Lawler at Axcess, then we go back to Raw for the big tag team Divas match, and Santino’s…um….whatever it was.

-We return from break with another Wrestlemania moment, back to 1995 and Wrestlemania XI in my home state of Connecticut. I love Bam Bam Bigelow being referred as the “scheming behemoth”.

US Championship: MVP © vs. Shelton Benjamin
We see clips of MVP’s win from 2 weeks ago. Shelton starts fast with punches and kicks. Shelton misses a clothesline and MVP returns it. MVP punches but is separated, which gives Shelton a chance to kick the knee. Shelton powerbombs MVP on the turnbuckles for 2. Shelton throws MVP out of the ring and follows. Outside MVP is thrown into the stairs. Shelton breaks the count and pitches MVP back in. Shelton drops MVP on the second turnbuckle. Shelton with a chinlock as he’s dominated so far. MVP tries to fight back with elbows to the gut but Shelton comes off the ropes with a T-Bone for 2. Shelton goes back to the chinlock. MVP gets to his feet and hits the Electric Chair to break the hold. MVP approaches and gets caught with a jawjacker. Shelton goes for a splash in the corner and misses, but hits a reverse elbow, then walks into a belly-to-belly suplex for 2. MVP with right hands, and some clotheslines. MVP with a powerslam, but some thrusts by both and MVP with a low knee, then MVP goes for and hits his Ballin’ elbow for 2. Shelton ducks a clothesline and hits a spin kick for 2. Shelton goes outside and hits a crazy neckbreaker from the top rope for 2 and a half. Shelton is frustrated but got caught with a boot to the head. MVP hits the playmaker and retains his title. WINNER: MVP (Grade: 2.5)

-We’re back to Axxess with Todd and Jerry, talking about the Create your Entrance there. All the title belts ever were in glass cases, which is right up my alley. Todd and the King go over our card, Wrestlemania XXV.

World Heavyweight Championship: Edge © vs. Big Show vs. John Cena
WWE Championship: Triple H © vs. Randy Orton
Intercontinental Championship: JBL © vs. Rey Mysterio
Tag Team Unification Championship: The Colon Brothers vs. The Miz & John Morrison
25-Diva “Miss Wrestlemania” battle royal
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Extreme Rules: Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
Money in the Bank Ladder match: CM Punk vs. MVP vs. Kane vs. Finlay vs. Christian vs. Mark Henry vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kofi Kingston
Elimination match: Chris Jericho vs. Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka & Ricky Steamboat

-We return from break with Todd and the King recapping the Orton/HHH saga. We go to break with a pimping of the WWE Encyclopedia.

-We return from break with another Wrestlemania moment: The birth of the Attitude Era, Wrestlemania XIV in Boston.

-Back to Axcess and we pan through all the great artwork on the walls, as this axcess is pretty cool as you can also stand in a ring surrounded by….HELL IN A CELL…Todd and the King talk about the Hall of Fame ceremony, and a montage of our feature inductee: The man who invented Attitude, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

-We return from break and recap the saga between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, the true main event of this Wrestlemania. After Monday, Shawn has slipped into 1997 mode.

Jeff Hardy vs. Ezekiel Jackson
I get the feeling this is Zeke’s chance to show his stuff in case they decide to cut Kendrick loose. Zeke has tighter tights than Vladimir Kozlov. Jeff starts with forearms but Zeke with a body slam. Zeke misses an elbow but gets a low knee. Zeke whips Jeff into the corner but a drop toe hold slams him into the corner. Jeff with his corner mule kick, then goes for the Twist of Fate but Zeke pushes off and hits a big shoulder block. Zeke with some clubbing blows, then some knees and forearms in the corner. Jeff off the ropes and Zeke with a bear hug. Jeff tries to fight out of it, but he’s on the ground. The Brian Kendrick is taunting Jeff from outside, and Zeke with a big elbow. He tries to slam Jeff’s head into a turnbuckle, but Jeff with a reverse elbow and then Whisper in the Wind. Jeff clotheslines Zeke to the floor, then planchas over the rope on Zeke and Kendrick. Jeff throws Kendrick into the barricade but Zeke blindsides him with a clothesline. Zeke tosses Jeff in the ring which gives him a chance to hit Zeke with a low drop kick. Jeff with a DDT, then the Twist of Fate. Zeke’s down, and Jeff goes to the top rope, hits the Swanton Bomb, and gets the 3 count. WINNER: Jeff Hardy (Grade: 2)

-Jeff celebrates and we’re off the air.

FINAL GRADE: A- (More for the old school mode of the show setting the stage for feuds more than the wrestling.)

NO MVP’s/NON MVP’s since there were only 3 live matches.

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