Source: Wade Keller of the Pro Wrestling Torch
-The show opened with a graphic: In Memory of Leah Maivia 1927-2008.
-The Smackdown opening aired, followed by Jim Ross and Tazz introducing the show. Ross hyped Triple H vs. Undertaker, calling them Smakdown’s “two biggest icons.”
-Triple H’s music played. He stepped into the ring and asked the crowd: “Is it just me or is everybody here as sick of Vickie Guerrero as I am? Because I’m pretty sick of her.” He said it’s not just the grating voice, the “stupid wheelchair,” or “the fact that she’s an annoying hag.” He said it’s because she thinks she can tell everyone what to do. She said he’s mostly bothered when she tells him what to do. He said fans might expect her to wheel herself out, but right before he walked out, a Twinkie truck drove up and she’ll be grazing forever. Why does everything Triple H says for laughs seems so mean-spirited, shallow, and prickish? He said he’s been booked against Undertaker
tonight because it benefits Vickie Guerrero. He did some comedy bit about she knows that he knows that she knows that he knows to moderate scattered laughter. He said he is at risk that Undertaker may stop him from making it to Cyber Sunday. He said if that happens, all of their votes would be for nothing. He said he can’t let that happen. Jeff Hardy‘s music played.
Hardy danced onto the stage. His belt and arm wraps looked like they’d glow in black light. Dude! Hardy said if this is a popularity contest, he’s confident he’ll be voted in by the WWE Universe. He said there’s a phenomenal chance he’ll walk out of Cyber Sunday as WWE Champion. Vladimir Kozlov’s music interrupted and he stepped onto the stage.
From the stage he said the fans will not pick him because they know he will beat Triple H. He said they can only delay his inevitable title win for a short time. Triple H got a good laugh out of telling Vlad that he had no idea what he just said. Triple H said he doesn’t care what the voting is because “either way, this will happen.” He the gave Hardy a Pedigree. Tazz said, “I didn’t see that coming.” Really?! Triple H flexed in the ring as his music played. Paint by numbers basic segment, but good for it was trying to accomplish – setting the stage for the PPV title match.
-Ross hyped the text voting for the Triple H match.â€¨
-Backstage Undertaker crossed paths with Triple H backstage. They went nose-to-big-nose for several seconds before the break.
1 — MICHELLE MCCOOL & MARIA vs. MARYSE & NATALYA
During ring intros, Ross plugged another Great Khali “Kiss Cam” segment later. Tazz plugged the Divas Halloween Costume Contest at Cyber Sunday. Hurricane popped onto the screen and made some gurgling noises aimed at the Divas. A minute into the match, music I only hear at Mexican restaurants began playing. Jesse led Festus to the ring in a Mariachi outfit. He serenaded Maria in the last scene I expected to see on Smackdown. Because Maria was mesmerized, she didn’t see Michelle trying to tag her. Maryse schoolgirled Michelle for the win.
WINNERS: Maryse & Natalya in 2:00.
-When the bell rang, Festus went nuts and chased the Mariacho band to the back. Jesse tried to slow down Festus as he chased them to the back. One of those “Only in WWE” minutes of television.
-WWE Fact: WWE Magazine sells more copies at newsstands than Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine combined.
-Ross plugged “perhaps the most iconic main event ever featured on Friday Night Smackdown.” Tazz said he couldn’t wait.
2 — CHAVO GUERRERO & BAM NEELY vs. CARLITO & PRIMO COLON
Tazz said to be a successful team, you have to care about your partner a little. Ross, touchingly, asked Tazz if that means he cares about him. Tazz said, “Yes, brothuh!” So sweet. Tazz said he’s not sure what the relationship is between Chavo and Bam, and whether Bam is still Chavo’s bodyguard. Ross praised Bam’s enthusiasm and passion. Carlito powerbombed Primo onto Bam’s stomach at 2:00. Bam powered Primo to the corner and tagged in Chavo. Bam knocked Chavo to the floor after Promo moved. Carlito tagged in and went to work on Bam, hitting a running kneelift and a neckbreaker. Chavo began arguing with Bam. Bam yelled back. Chavo slapped him and jumped off the ring apron. Carlito then gave Bam a back stabber for the win. Chavo told Bam, “I pay you!” Hurrican popped up on the screen and said, “Chavo, Bam, if you two guys broke up, I just don’t think I could bear it. I’m just sayin’.”
WINNERS: Primo & Carlito in 4:00.
STAR RATING: *
-A vignette aired on Kizarny. He spoke in carny at an amusement park. Does anybody watching have any idea what his character is about? Do they care?
-A John Cena is The Greatest Guy video aired.
-Maria told Michelle she was worried about Festus’s feelings. Michelle said she didn’t care about him. She told Maria she has to learn to focus. Maria said, “I have to find my friend.” She walked away. Michelle’s getting heelish.
-Primo flirted with Eve backstage. Carlito barged in and stole his thunder, kissing her hand. They argued and Eve excused herself with a smile. Primo shook his head at his brother’s actions. Carlito shoved Primo out of the path of the Mariachi band being chased by Festus, with Maria trailing behind.
-They replayed R-Truth’s embarrassingly bad segment with Funaki from last week.
3 — R-TRUTH & FUNAKI vs. MVP & SHELTON BENJAMIN
R-Truth rapped his way to the ring. He was almost on beat this week throughout until he got to the ring and lost his place a bit. He recovered in the ring. He’s still one of the dorkiest acts masquerading with complete obliviousness as cool. Teaming him Funaki may indicate what WWE Creative now thinks of R-Truth. During MVP’s ring intro, Hurricane popped up and took a dig at his losing streak. Ross compared an early backfist by Funaki to “Ricky Steamboat back in the day.” Ross wondered if a win in a tag match by MVP would work toward his incentive bonus. The whole incentive bonus thing is lame because there’s no reason for Smackdown management to offer MVP incentives to win. It’s not he’s helping Smackdown by beating other Smackdown wrestlers, whereas a player on a sports team is helping that team by achieving incentives against opponents. It was moot as MVP got caught by surprise by Funaki with the Karate Kid style kick to the face after he had dumped R-Truth over the top rope to the floor.
WINNERS: Funaki & R-Truth in 3:00.
-Primo asked Carlito to let him try for Eve. Carlito pulled rank. Primo begged. Carlito gave in. Primo then moved in on Eve and grabbed her from behind. She asked him who he thought he was. He said he was just saying hello. “Do you tell everyone hello like that? I don’t think so,” she said. Carlito walked up and consoled him. The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh walked up. Singh said Khali says he has no game. Primo said those two were cool. Carlito said, “Don’t even start with me, man.” He stomped away.
-Ross and Tazz were shown on camera. Tazz plugged the latest WWE Magazine.
-Khali and Singh headed to the ring for another Kiss Cam. Khali spoke for a minute. Singh said Khali says he’s received thousands of love letters from women wanting to know what it’d be like to receive a kiss from Khali. To prove it, he read two letters he claimed he selected randomly. Singh read a letter where a fan said she had a crush on Cena, but now he has a new crush – The Great Khali. It was signed Helga from Berlin, Germany. The stunted humor of WWE is just astounding sometimes. Nobody in the crowd laughed. There is hope. Another person said in their letter they’d like alone time with Khali, complimenting his pecs, biceps, and “little tush.” It was signed Bruce from San Francisco. Wow, cutting edge humor there. Predictable, but still groan-worthy. Khali got upset and crumpled the paper and threw it away. They did the Kiss Cam next, looking for a “volunteer.”
Singh brought one volunteer into the ring, then said they were going for two this week. He picked a plus-sized women to be the second volunteer. Singh said anyone could kiss the first lady, but it takes a giant to kiss the bigger one. He kissed her. They actually ate up nine minutes of Smackdown start to finish with this segment. Just way too long.
-Ross transitioned by saying it was back to serious business with Triple H vs. Undertaker coming up. Is anyone still watching, though?
-A Kizarney vignette aired.
-Ross and Tazz hyped text voting options for Cyber Sunday.
-A promo aired with Undertaker hyping his match against Big Show. He said Vickie and Chavo think they have sealed his fate, but he has sealed theirs. He said they walk into the darkness with him on Sunday, but they may not walk out of it.
-Ross plugged Taker vs. Triple H again.
-A WrestleMania 25 vignette aired.
-The WrestleMania sponsorship fact aired.
-Ross said his first WrestleMania was number nine, and they’re headed to no. 25.
4 — THE BRIAN KENDRICK (w/Ezekiel) vs. SUPER CRAZY
Tazz said Kendrick is like that kid in high school who is undersized, but is friends with the guy on the football team. Kendrick won with The Kendrick. Sad to see how short this was. Crazy deserves better, and these two could have really delivered a dose of athleticism and simulated in-ring competition, which this show could use at this point. Afterward, Ezekiel one-arm slammed Crazy. Kendrick then danced.
WINNER: Kendrick in 1:00.
-Ross plugged the Triple H vs. Taker match.
-A video aired on WWE’s tour of Mexico. Chao said that’s where the Guerreros are originally from. Chavo has a adult-male voice in this clip, whereas usually he sounds 11.
-Ross said during Triple H’s ring intro that there was a big match feel in the air. Ross then talked about getting chills every time Undertaker makes his way to the ring. Tazz said this is when Taker often wins his matches, by getting in people’s head even before the bell rings. Ross said this is a historic night on MyNetwork TV. He called it a monumental main event and said it’d start after the break.
5 — TRIPLE H vs. UNDERTAKER
Undertaker overpowered Triple H early and got in sustained offense for a few minutes. Ross said Taker was establishing his dominance. When Taker missed a running boot in the corner, it gave Triple H an opening. Triple H worked over Taker’s leg at 4:00. Taker came back after a mid-ring collision at 6:00. Taker and Hunter engaged in a battle of swinging fists, which Taker won, dropping Hunter into the corner. Taker dropped Hunter face-first over the top turnbuckle. Hunter came back with a high knee and a near fall out of nowhere at 7:00. He set up a Pedigree, but Taker resisted and then escaped and catapulted Triple H into the corner. The Pedigree has single-handedly brought the catapult back into wrestling’s lexicon. Taker followed with a running boot mid-ring and a legdrop for a near fall. Triple H knocked Taker off balance on the top rope and then superplexed Taker leading to a two count. Triple H clotheslined Taker over the top rope to the floor. Taker yanked Triple H to the floor. Taker whipped Triple H into the ringside steps. “When provoked, Undertaker can become as evil as a serpent.”
Taker set Triple H up for the guillotine legdrop on the ring apron. That led to a two count at 10:00. Triple H countered a Last Ride attempt with a neckbreaker for a two count. Taker came back with a flying clothesline for a near fall, then signaled for a chokeslam. Hunter kicked out of it and hit a spinebuster for a two count. Taker sat up and grabbed Triple H’s throat for a chokeslam. Hunter escaped. Taker went for a Tombstone. Hunter escaped. At 13:00 Hunter mounted Taker in the corner and threw a barrage of punches. Taker powered out of the corner with a Last Ride. He was too exhausted to make a cover. Big Show walked toward the ring. The crowd booed. Show went right after Taker. The ref called for the bell. Triple H tried to make a save with a chairshot to Show’s back, but Show no-sold it and chokeslammed Hunter.
WINNER: No contest in 14:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 — Really good start to a match that deserved a better setting than a Smackdown main event. These two haven’t had a singles match in years and Vince McMahon, in undiscplined fashion, gave it away with very little hype just to try to pop a better Smackdown rating and set up an angle with Big Show. This match was bigger than that. It was nice to have a match of this length go uninterrupted. It’d be nice if that was a new trend.
-Show hit Taker with a chair jab to the gut and a flush shot to Taker’s back. He waied for Taker to stand. When he did, Show hit him over the head. Taker lifted his hands to (wisely) absorb some of the impact, with the impact with his fist making the majority of the noise. It still looked good and accomplished everything an unprotected concussion-causing shot would have caused, but was relatively safe in the most literal sense. The show ended with Taker on his back KO’d and Triple H on his back still selling the chokeslam.
-They returned to deal with the ramifications of what just happened, really breaking up the stale format of almost always ending the show within seconds of the main event ending. I’d do this all the time. Present the main event uninterrupted and then come back and have the announcers deal with the ramifications. Perhaps have post-match comments from the main event competitors. And then set the stage for next week’s advertised matches to plant seeds of anticipation. Here, they showed a replay of Triple H hitting Show with a chair on the back, but Show no-selling it and chokeslamming Triple H. After showing Ross and Tazz at ringside talking about the ramifications on Sunday’s big PPV match, they went back in the ring where Hunter struggled to get to his feet. Taker had already returned to the back, apparently. Kozlov walked out at that point. Ross said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Ross said he’s been destroying people since elementary school in Russia. He stepped up to Hunter and battered him with headbutts to the chest, taking him down hard. That’s a great offensive move, totally different from what anyone else is doing these days. It sets him apart. He stood over Triple H who tried to use Kozlov’s legs to pull himself to his feet. Kozlov gave Hunter his slop drop finisher, then stood over him. Ross wondered if Kozlov could be WWE Champion at the end of Cyber Sunday. Good final half hour to an otherwise mediocre to lousy show.
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Source: Wade Keller of the Pro Wrestling Torch