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WWE News: Complete WWE Smackdown 11/22 tapings report - Spoilers on title change, Jeff Hardy in main event

Dec 23, 2008 - 11:18:15 AM
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WWE Smackdown taping
December 22, 2008
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Report by Mike Beauvais, PWTorch.com reader


I attended the Supershow in Toronto, so I watched the Smackdown tapings prior to Raw. It was a decent show, I guess. At the very least, nobody was underwhelmed.

DARK MATCH: Kizarny beat Curt Hawkins (w/Zach Ryder). We missed the intros, but wow, Zach Ryder looks like Rhett Titus. I got to my seat (and we had pretty decent seats) and I immediately (and excitedly) thought Ryder was Titus because of the sunglasses he was wearing and the hair. To my dismay, the seven-year-old in front of me informed me that we were watching "the Edgeheads." A lot of rest holds in this match, but the crowd was behind Kizarny (I'm assuming people knew he was from Toronto), and he eventually got the pin with the Tallulah Belle.

SMACKDOWN TAPINGS

(1) "The Gold Standard" Shelton Benjamin beat Shane "Hurricane" Helms to retain the U.S. Title. Really decent match, with a ton of nearfalls. Shelton did some pre-match mic work drawing the anti-Canada heat that you'd expect, but for the most part (and to his credit), the crowd was all over him anyway. Helms got a respectful pop and the crowd was behind him for the entire match. Actually, the crowd was really hot for this one. Both Benjamin and Helms hit all of their signature spots (Hurricane hit all of the Overcast, the Eye of the Hurricane, and the Shining Wizard for near falls), until Shelton hit Paydirt for three. Very enjoyable match with a hot crowd.

-- Jeff Hardy (w/terrible make-up) pre-taped promo: Jeff, looking at a 90-degree angle away from the camera, cut a promo on Vickie Guerrero, telling her that he's not the screw-up she thinks he is and that he'll prove it tonight against the Big Show (your main event).

-- Triple H promo: Big pop for Trips coming to the ring (w/sledgehammer). Hunter decried the behavior of Vladimir Kozlov at Unforgiven and demanded that he met him in the ring. Instead, Chavo Guerrero appeared to call Hunter on his disrespect of Vickie. Hunter wondered how a multiple-time champion like Chavo had become nothing but an errand boy (big "Gofer" chant here). After making a couple of weight-related jokes about Vickie, Hunter tells Chavo that he's a true Guerrero (unlike Vickie) and that Guerreros do business face-to-face (huge "Eddie" chant breaks out). Vickie enters to insane heat and announces a Hunter-Chavo match. Vickie stays on the ramp for the duration of the match.

(2) Triple H beat Chavo Guerrero, Jr. A glorified squash here, but there was one really funny spot. With ref Charles Robinson distracted, Chavo went out of the ring and grabbed a chair. He tossed it to Hunter and played dead like the classic Eddie spot. Hunter, realizing that Robinson still wasn't looking, looked at Chavo in bemusement and calmly threw the chair out of the ring. Chavo got up to explain to Lil' Naitch about how Trips had nailed supposedly him, but he quickly realized that there was no evidence. In a flash, Hunter hit Chavo with the Pedigree for the 1-2-3. He then grabbed ol' Sledgey and nailed Chavo, as Vickie looked on in disgust.

(3) Carlito Colon (w/Primo Colon and the Bella Twins) beat The Brian Kendrick (w/Big Zeke). Much shorter than I would like, but the story here was the outside interaction. The finish came when Jackson shoved Primo (really hard, actually), distracting both guys in the ring. TBK had his Sliced Bread #2/The Kendrick attempt blocked into a Backstabber for the three-count.

-- Edge, Vickie, and Big Show promo: I'm assuming that it was the desire to keep Edge entirely heel without fear of a face pop that they decided to not put him out live in front of a Toronto crowd. In retrospect, probably a good idea, considering how loudly the crowd popped for him when he was simply on screen. Here, Show explained to Edge that, while he was gone, he took care of Vickie in only a professional and business-related manner and he got Vickie to consent to a WWE Title shot for him, once Edge regains the title. Edge was incredulous at this development. At this point, it was hard to tell if the point was to fully cement Show as a heel in Toronto, or to plant the seeds for an eventual Show face turn.

(4) Maryse Oullet beat Michelle McCool to become the new Divas Champion, with Maria Kanellis as referee. Prior to the match, there was a quick vignette in which Michelle approached special guest referee, Maria, and insinuated that she wanted an unfair advantage due to their relationship. I won't lie, but this was my bathroom break match of the night. When I got back, I saw that Maria reluctantly counted the pinfall on Michelle to a fairly loud pop. I don't know if it was because Maryse is Canadian or simply if Michelle is truly that unlikeable that the crowd reacted, but people liked the title switch. After the match, McCool cemented her heel turn by beating the hell out of Maria. This went on for way too long (probably a good five-to-six minutes) and played the angle to overkill. Really, nobody cared, even though several agents and Tazz attempted to help Maria to the back.

(5) The Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh and out-of-control sideburns) beat MVP (Montel Vontavious Porter). Porter comes out first without any kind of pyro or the tunnel. It must be noted, though, that there was a large section of the Toronto crowd that was into MVP and a very audible "MVP" chant could be heard. Khali has new music and, oh, he's insanely over. Monster pop for Khali as he comes out to a Bollywood-style song that sounds a lot like Panjabi MC and Jay-Z's song, "Beware of the Boys," from a few years ago. Immediately, there's a big "Khali" chant. Another glorified squash with Porter getting some offense in (including nailing a Drive-By, which Khali sold surprisingly well), but with Khali dominating for the most part, and eventually hitting the Punjabi Plunge for the win.

-- Ken Kennedy promo: Kennedy comes out to a big pop and proceeds to cut a promo on behalf on the half-conscious MVP laying in the ring. His promo is essentially GOB Bluth as Franklin, the hand puppet, with MVP speaking in Ebonics and plugging Kennedy's "Behind Enemy Lines 3" DVD. I like the idea of keeping Kennedy on TV while he recuperates, but these kind of promos have already worn thin.

-- Kizarny vignette: Evidently, our local boy debuts next week. I pray to God that he's a heel, as there's no other way that this gimmick can work even remotely effectively.

(6) Vladimir Kozlov beat Jimmy Wang Yang. Kozlov's music sounds remarkably like Rammstein's "Du Hast." This was a squash of Dragoesque proportions that probably made Carl Weathers shiver, no matter where he was. The former Oleg Prudius gets the win with a sort of sit-out chokeslam.

(7) WWE Champion Jeff Hardy beat The Big Show by count-out to retain the WWE Title. Superstar pop for Jeff. While you could hear a smattering of boos during any videos with him and his promo earlier in the evening, Hardy got maybe the pop of the night outside of Trish Stratus. The story here was Show working the size advantage and Jeff using his speed to escape. Show was kept really strong here, even kicking out on two of a Swanton. The match ended in a count-out when Hardy hit a plancha near the announcer's table and he was able to get back to the ring and Show couldn't. As Show seethed in the ring, Jeff walked back to the top of the stage to celebrate with Matt Hardy as the taping ended. By no means anything special, but a decent TV match.


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