TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 12/19: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Jeff Hardy celebration edition
Dec 19, 2008 - 9:00:22 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
WWE Smackdown Report
December 19, 2008
Taped Dec. 16 in Baltimore, Md.
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
Intro video: "It Finally Happened." They showed Jeff Hardy winning the WWE Title at Armageddon with some dramatic music to set the stage for tonight.
Backstage: Ultimate Hardy Warrior was shown standing behind the WWE Title, which the camera was focused on. He then lowered the belt and stared into the camera. "Here I come!" he declared.
In-ring: After the Smackdown intro video aired, announcer Justin Roberts introduced Jeff Hardy to a huge reaction. Confetti fell from the ceiling and Hardy slapped hands with fans ringside before entering the ring. Hardy went to all four corners of the ring to celebrate as a huge pyro display went off in the arena.
Five minutes into the show, everyone settled down and Hardy took the mic with the lights dimmed to address the fans. He said he's sorry it took this long to finally get to this point. Hardy said, "WWE - oh, it's about to change!" Hardy said the belt doesn't just represent him, but all the rejects and screw-ups he fought for. He said he represents a good kind of crazy. Hardy told everyone in the arena and sitting at home to get a little crazy. Get up off your couch and scream!
Suddenly, Edge interrupted with no music. He stormed down to ringside to a chorus of boos and screamed that nothing has changed. Nothing! Edge said Hardy got lucky, then he chucked his headgear into the stands. He said one lucky day in 365 days doesn't make you a champion. Edge said it takes a lifetime of dedication. Repping this company is not about fate or destiny. It's about sacrifice!
Edge said fate is what spoiled kids use whenever spoiled kids don't get what they want. Then again, Jeff, you know all about that. Edge said he was the WWE champion for one reason and one reason only... hard work. Period. Hardy has a word for him. Liar. Liar. Liar. Fans caught on, which upset Edge, then Edge said he had nothing to do with what happened to Hardy at Survivor Series. He said he didn't need to do that because he's better than him.
Edge said he's always out-performed him and tonight, their GM Vickie Guerrero (pause for boos) has - independent of their relationship! - booked two matches tonight. ECW champion Matt Hardy vs. Edge is one of 'em. But, Jeff wants to make change, right? Edge said the other match is the...pause for throwing up a 'lil in his mouth...WWE champion Jeff Hardy against the undefeated Vladimir Koslov. Edge said no matter what, Jeff will always be the screw-up.
Jeff asked if he's done, then Jeff kicked him in the gut and gave him the Twist of Fate in center ring. Jeff then held up his WWE Title belt and stormed out of the ring. Jim Ross declared the Hardy Party is just getting underway, much to the embarrassment of Edge, who slowly recovered as Hardy stood tall on the ramp to end the opening segment.
In-ring: They returned from break and several men were already in the ring. U.S. champ Shelton Benjamin and MVP were on one side while Hurricane Helms was on the other side. Helms has a U.S. Title match against Shelton next week. R-Truth then emerged from the concourse and walked through the crowd rapping his way to the ring. Two dudes in Baltimore Ravens jerseys and t-shirts proceeded to completely embarrass themselves trying to dance behind Truth. Meanwhile, I don't think Helms was ready to get with this. Or with that. In the irng, Truth asked Baltimore what's up.
1 -- U.S. champion SHELTON BENJAMIN & MVP vs. R-TRUTH & HURRICANE HELMS
Jim Ross went a little low calling MVP the Detroit Lions of the WWE based on his inability to win a match in well-documented fashion. Of note: the Lions were the only undefeated team in the NFL pre-season. Practice? We're talking about practice? MVP was in there first, but Shelton blind-tagged himself when he was unsatisfied with MVP's work on Helms. Truth then worked himself into the ring and suplexed Benjamin for a one count. MVP demanded a tag, but Shelton refused to let him back in. MVP was beside himself looking for a tag at 4:00, then Shelton eye-balled him and turned his attention toward Helms, who looks like Tyler Black now.
Helms went up top for a big move, and he connected with a cross body block, but MVP broke up the pin. Truth then entered the ring and knocked MVP to the floor. Shelton dumped Truth to the floor, then Helms and Shelton battled in backslide position until MVP accidentally smashed Shelton with the Chono Boot. Truth then finished off MVP with a corkscrew elbow and Helms grappled Shelton for a turn-out neckbreakerish for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Truth & Helms in 6:00. Finish was a little off with them trying to co-ordinate the choreography, but it looked a little forced. Good hype for Helms vs. Benjamin for the belt next week, though. Purpose served. (*)
Backstage: Vickie Guerrero was not pleased with Chavo's delivery of the coffee. It's not! Chavo said it's hot, then Vickie threw coffee at Chavo and screamed. Hubby Edge then stormed in and demanded to know what the heck is going on. He wants to hurt Jeff and he wants to hurt him tonight! Vickie calmly told him step by step, then she put her hands on his shoulders and said tonight they deal with big brother. Vickie walked off, and Edge tried to breathe again.
In-ring: Jesse led out Festus for a singles match. Three weeks ago, the new World tag champs Miz & Morrison had some fun with Festus by ringing the bell over and over until Miz accidentally dropped the hammer on the ringbell and Festus smashed 'em around. Cue up Morrison's music and John Morrison came out with The Miz. Miz tried to steal the ring bell before the opening bell, but Jesse smashed him and rang the bell himself.
2 -- FESTUS (w/Jesse) vs. JOHN MORRISON (w/The Miz)
Festus knee'd Morrison in the head early on, then Festus smashed him with a shoulderblock. Festus vs. Koslov in a headbutt or shoulderblock contest will happen one day, I'm sure of it. Miz tried to interfere at 2:00, but Festus avoided him. Jesse then tried to smash Miz with the bell, but Miz ducked and Jesse hit the ringbell into the ringpost on accident. Festus stopped dead in his tracks and went dumb, so Morrison easily took advantage with the Moonlight Drive corkscrew neckbreaker for the pin and the win. Afterward, Morrison hopped on Festus and surfed him while Jesse remained KO'ed on the floor.
WINNER: Morrison in 3:00. Fine singles win for Morrison while Jesse & Festus continue to take up space on Smackdown. (*)
DX merch promo: Video of the Triple H and Shawn Michaels merchandise promos aired. This time, the bball jersey, Smackdown vs. Raw video game, and DX t-shirt. Plus, the Elimination Chamber play set. Triple H said when all the gift-giving is done, you're going to have to spend time with your family... especially your in-laws. Ouch. Michaels Tip: sit down in front of the TV in a quiet room and watch the History of the IC Title. You can enjoy my three reigns. Triple H: or my five reigns. Michaels then held up the Complete Anthology of Summerslam box set. They traded playful slaps, then Hunter corrected him on the timeline. Michaels said he remembers 2002 Summerslam where after four years of experiencing nothing but crippling back surgery, he beat him. Suddenly, they broke into a fight like two brothers fighting over the last cookie, then a "Technical Difficulties" message popped up. They returned to show Hunter smiling as he choked Michaels on the merch table. ... Jim Ross said those were taped a few weeks ago, and now Michaels is broke and under JBL's employement.
Backstage: Eve brought in ECW champion Matt Hardy to discuss Jeff's title victory. He said Jeff has been through everything to silence all of his critics about winning the WWE Title. Hardy then said he even went through an attack from Edge at Survivor Series. My brother checked in: Is it going to be Matt that attacked him? Hardy said he's now going to silence Edge tonight. He smiled and walked off.
3 -- ECW champion MATT HARDY vs. EDGE -- non-title match
Ross and Tazz continued to talk about the pre-Survivor Series beating on Jeff Hardy in the hotel and Matt believing it was Edge, while Edge maintains he had nothing to do with it despite the sheer coincidence of Edge returning at SS. Early going had Hardy dominating things, which frustrated Edge. Ross referenced their personal issues back in the day that he thinks neither one will ever get over. Edge then was hung up to dry on the top rope and Hardy dumped him to the floor. Hardy laughed at Edge, who was frustrated as they cut to break.
Back from break, Edge missed with a corner smash to continue the frustration against Hardy. Hardy then settled into an arm bar before sitting down on the shoulder to wrench it. Edge finally found sustained offense at 8:00 and started working on Hardy's left arm, which was bleeding a touch after the initial work.
[Q5 -- second hour]
The match continued at 10:00 with Edge continuing to work on Hardy's left arm. Hardy then made his comeback and nailed the side effect, but Edge stretched his leg out to touch the bottom rope to break up a pin. Hardy then missed with a sledge from the second rope and Edge tried to roll him up with a handful of tights, but Hardy rolled through into a two count. Both men popped up, then double clothesline and both men went into recovery mode.
At 15:00, Hardy nailed a drop toe hold to block the spear, the Edge blocked Twist of Fate and shoved him into the ringpost. Edge waited for Hardy to turn around, then Edge nailed a "slobberknocking" spear for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Edge in 16:00. Nice match. Good story from start to finish, and a surprising (in a good way) clean finish with Edge needing the victory more than Matt to set up a probable Jeff vs. Edge re-match for the title at the Rumble. Unless they go triple threat for the umpteenth time. (**1/2)
In-ring: Carlito was in the ring with Primo, then The Brian Kendrick and Ezekiel "don't call me Ahmed in my red trunks" Jackson came to the ring for a singles match.
4 -- EZEKIEL JACKSON (w/The Brian Kendrick) vs. WWE tag team champion CARLITO (w/Primo)
Carlito avoided Jackson's power offense early on, then Carlito slapped him. Jackson knocked Carlito the floor and TBK wanted Sliced Bread on the floor, but Carlito easily avoided the move. Back in the ring, Carlito wanted a springboard move on Jackson, but Jackson smashed him in the back with a forearm. He followed with a modified chokeslam for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Jackson in 3:00. There was a time when Carlito had a certain edge to him. It's not there with him on Smackdown. Jackson just needs time to connect with the audience before he can do anything of substance on the show. (3/4*)
In-ring: Divas champion Michelle McCool was in the ring flashing the title belt for an unenthusiastic crowd, unfortunately. Michelle then slipped to the floor to watch the following match ringside next to the announcers. Maria came out first for a #1 contender match. Michelle feigned a smile for Maria, then Maria did the belt-around-the-waist signal to McCool. Maryse came out as the opposition in a very bright white outfit to match her very blonde hair.
5 -- MARIA vs. MARYSE -- #1 Contender match to Divas Title
Maryse arrogantly brushed against the top rope before wanting to lock up, so Maria slapped her across the face and pounced on her with right hand blows. Maryse then slipped to the outside to take a breather. Maria tried to give chase on the floor, but Maryse dropped her with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Maryse went to work on Maria and took control of the action. She landed a hair-whipping DDT at 4:00 and scored the pin for the win. So, it's McCool vs. Maryse in a future title match. Afterward, Maryse slowly made her way to the floor to pose in front of McCool, who was not impressed. Maryse showed herself off to McCool, who eventually stood up and slapped Maryse's hand away. The security guards got a kick out of that.
WINNER: Maryse in 4:00. Basic divas match. McCool continues to develop her character with subtle mannerisms and a calculating demeanor. Maryse was a bit awkward approaching McCool, but that's her thing. (*)
Backstage: MVP threw his stuff down in disgust, then Mr. Kennedy sat down next to him looking to cheer him up. Kennedy said he knows times are tough and he feels for him. MVP wasn't sure if he was serious. Kennedy told him to keep his chin up, smile, and think about the new year. January...MVP snapped about figuring Kennedy was going to sell him his movie coming out on DVD. Kennedy said he wasn't even going to mention that, but thanks for the plug! Kennedy said even when MVP is flat broke, there's still giving inside him. Good trait. And keep your chin up. Kennedy walked off, leaving MVP to think. Oh wait. Merry Christmas from Mister Keneeeeedy.
Raw Rebound: Randy Orton, after testing Batista's patience all night, punted Batista in the head after the main event handicap match involving John Cena and Legacy. ... Ross and Tazz said after The Punt, Batista is out indefinitely. He probably won't be involved in the top eight #1 contender deal on Raw next Monday.
Backstage: Eve brought in Great Khali and Singh to discuss Khali's recent run-in with Mae Young during the Khali Kiss Cam at Armageddon. After footage aired, Singh provided Khali's thoughts that the kiss made him tingle inside. Yippee.
In-ring: Vladimir Koslov came out for the main event match against Jeffrey Hardy.
In-ring: Jeff Hardy came out for the main event to a second strong reaction on the show. Ross gave a brief recap of how Hardy became involved in WWE over a decade ago, to the point of being WWE champion.
6 -- WWE champion JEFF HARDY vs. VLADIMIR KOSLOV -- non-title match
Koslov walked into the match with a little cut below his right eye and Hardy quickly opened it up with a backhand slap that didn't faze Koslov. Koslov, over-aggressive, tried to hit Hardy near the ropes, but he fell to the floor and Hardy stood tall in the ring as they cut to break.
Back from break, Koslov went to work on Hardy with some mat work. Crowd tried to rally for the champ, but Koslov cut off Hardy's comeback. Back to the left arm. Throw in some grunts to really sell the arm bar. Koslov then missed with a corner shoulder thrust and Hardy came off the top out of nowhere with the Whisper in the Wind.
Suddenly at 10:00, Edge stormed the ring and attacked Hardy to earn a DQ on Koslov. Edge and Koslov then doubled up on Jeff and beat him up a little. Suddenly, Triple H was shown walking backstage with a scowl on his face. Did Matt already leave the building? Sure gives evidence to Matt being the Survivor Series hotel beat-down-er. Edge saw Hunter on the screen, so he grabbed a chair and readied himself for Hunter, who stormed the ring in street clothes.
Hunter ducked the chair shot and kicked Edge in the gut before delivering a Pedigree. He then tackled Koslov and beat on him before rolling to the floor and tackling Koslov onto the padding. Hunter then sent Koslov into the ringpost as Tazz pointed out Hunter had the WWE Title won at Armageddon until Koslov's interference. Hunter pulled out a sledgehammer, then Koslov went running for high ground. Hunter slowly stalked him on the floor. Back in the ring, Hardy put an exclamation point on things with a Swanton Bomb on Edge. Hardy then grabbed his WWE Title belt as Hunter stared back into the ring from the stage area. Hardy celebrated as they closed the show.
WINNER: Hardy via DQ in 10:00. There goes Koslov's undefeated streak, but now it will be a never-been-pinned type deal. Always a loophole to find. Hopefully the Hunter vs. Koslov feud simply strings itself out to the Royal Rumble PPV where they can pick it up inside the Rumble match and not force us to watch another one-on-one encounter. Hardy with a nice cap to a show that is desperately struggling to fill the mid-card. (*1/2)
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