10 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT (10-4-08): Triple H vs. Jericho vs. Hardy, plus Cody, Punk, Santino, Rey Jr. Hardy, Batista, Kane, Phoenix, McCool

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Mark Henry (art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch)

The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com ten years ago this week…

OCTOBER 4, 2008


-The show opened with the new opening montage. It focused close-ups of the top wrestlers on the roster with a semblance of order of star-power, stature, clout, current push, and sex appeal: Triple H, Edge, Undertaker, and Maria in the rapid-fire opening glimpses, followed by full-color slo-mo close-ups in this order: Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Maryse, The Big Show, Undertaker, MVP, Michelle McCool, Umaga, The Brian Kendrick, Ezekiel, The Colon Brothers, Vladimir Kozlov, Edge, Ron Killings, The Great Khali, Natalya, Shelton Benjamin, and then Triple H, Edge, and Undertaker again. So, what this indicates is either Triple H was in the production room suggesting how this was produced or those in it feared his wrath, as he got the most featured slots, with a consolation going to Undertaker who got the close-up at the very end, such as how Eric La Salle was always the last person in the credits of E.R. even after the newbies were listed, but he was never the first or second person listed.

Politically, this indicates this is Triple H’s brand, not Edge’s and not even Undertaker’s. Shelton was pretty low on the listing, below Killings, who was was highest among the newest wrestlers. Most noteable by their absence of any close-up was Mr. Kennedy (no surprise if you read the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter’s “Page 2 Buzz with Jason Powell” a month back), plus Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Hurricane Helms, Jesse, Festus, Kenny Dykstra, Jimmy Wang Yang, Super Crazy, and even Vickie Guerrero.

-Jim Ross and Tazz introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd. They hyped all of the stars from various brands appearing on the show as their pics floated across the screen. Tazz said, “There is nothing but egos in the house, baby.” He said all champions in WWE are in the house along with all the divas. Ross noted in particular the champions vs. champions vs. champions match for the first time ever on national television.


Jeff Hardy came out first, followed by Rey Mysterio, Finlay, and Batista. Hurricane appeared in an inset bubble at the start of MVP’s intro, but the music pretty much drowned out what he said. Then JBL, and The Brian Kendrick. Nine minutes into the show, and eight ring intros and one Hurricane soundbite later, the first match began. Batista overpowered Kendrick early and got a quick two count. Finlay tagged in and did the old ring apron trap on Kendrick. When MVP attempted to interject himself, Hornswoggle dove onto him. As Hornswoggle celebrated, they cut to a break at 2:00.

[Commercial Break]


Rey was on offense against Kendrick after the break. Then Hardy tagged in, drawing some squeals from the high-pitch-voiced fans. At ringside Ezekiel eventually turned the tables by clotheslining Finlay at ringside. Kendrick tagged in JBL who seized the chance to take over on Finlay. At 11:00 Rey leaped off of Batista’s shoulders onto MVP with a splash. Ross called Rey “overachieving.” Rey set up Kendrick for a 619. MVP interfered, but Rey ended up quickly setting him up for a 619, too. But before Rey could execute it, Kane yanked Rey out of the ring by his legs. They cut to another break at 12:00.

[Commercial Break]

The beating on Rey continued after the break with frequent tags by the heels. Hardy got a hot-tag at 18:00. Chaos broke out shortly thereafter with everyone taking turnsw knocking each other out of the ring until it came down to Rey giving MVP a 619. Rey then dove onto Kane on the floor. Hardy gave MVP a Swanton for the pin.

WINNERS: Hardy & Batista & Rey & Finlay in 20:00.

STAR RATING: ***1/4 — Very good eight-man tag match. The right person won – the WWE Title challenger – and they also got in some spots between Rey and Kane to build up that match.

-Ross and Tazz boasted about the quality of that match, then Tazz bragged that last week more men watched Smackdown than any sporting event in the country.


-A video package aired on Undertaker-Big Show/Vickie Guerrero saga. Then they showed Big Show heading toward the entrance tunnel backstage.

[Commercial Break]

-Backstage Teddy Long, with Tiffany, complimented Mike Adamle on how well the All-Star Kickoff is going on MyNetwork. Big Show walked up and asked them what they were doing in Vickie’s office. They said they were representing their brands. Tiffany asked how Vickie was doing. Show told them to get out of his office. They did rather quickly. Chavo Guerrero walked up to Show and said he’s sure Undertaker is around and they need a plan to protect him. Show said Vickie isn’t there and he’s in charge. Chavo and Show argued over who was more to blame for what happened to Vickie. Show said it’s his fault and he’s booking him in a match. Chavo asked who he is to decide he has a match. Show got in his face and said he’s going to compete or he’ll have to deal with him. A clearly intimidated Chavo said that’s cool, so he left to prepare for his match.

-Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix walked to the ring. Hurricane said on a thought bubble during Santino’s ring intro that Honkytonk Man would roll over in his grave if he saw him. He then looked off camera and reacted with surprise to being told HTM is still alive. He added, “I’m just sayin’.” Santino said he’s glad to be part of Smackdown’s All-Star Kickoff. He introduced himself to the Smackdown audience. He said he is the Intercontinental Champion and “most feared man in WWE.” He said if anyone doubts him, he has some statistics to prove it. He showed the Honk-a-Meter displaying that he has been champion for 6.71 weeks compared to HTM’s 64. He then calculated how long it’ll be until he’s the greatest ever. Santino said he’s facing “Goldilocks” Shelton Benjamin. He said Shelton is just the champion of the United States, whereas he is the champion “of all the land masses that protrude above sea level, also known as the contenents, which means Santino Marella is champion of planet Earth.”

[Commercial Break]


2 — SANTINO MARELLA (w/Beth Phoenix) vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN – IC Champion vs. U.S. Champion

Before his ring intro, Shelton called Santino “Beth Phoenix’s girlfrend.” He vowed that the Gold Standard will be tomorrow’s headline. A minute into the match, with Shelton in control, Ron “The Truth” Killings interrupted by rapping to his music in the crowd. Shelton paused, then stomped on Santino while trying to figure out what Killings was doing. Santino ended up surprising Shelton with a schoolboy from behind for a quick three count.

WINNER: Santino in 3:00.

-Killings made his way to the stage with that big bright white grin on his face. He asked Shelton, “What’s up?” Shelton snarled his way.

[Commercial Break]

-The Big Show walked to the ring in his wrestling singlet. Ross said Show is running the show. Tazz said, “Who’s going to stop him?” Show told Vickie resting at home that he’s got things under control. He said he’s arranged for a special match for Chavo to make her feel better. Chavo’s ring entrance then took place. His surprise opponent was then announced as Big Show smiled. Then it was announced that Henry would have a tag partner. Show smiled even wider as Chavo looked around in panic.


Big Show watched the match at ringside. Chavo yelled at him. Chavo began against Henry. He was headbutted to his knees in the opening seconds. Khali tagged in and applied the Khali head vice. Show applauded. The ref stopped the match. Khali tossed Chavo to Show’s feet. Show punched him.

WINNERS: Henry & Khali in 2:00.


-Show entered the ring with mic in hand. He said he hoped Undertaker was watching. He said he wants to do the same to him at No Mercy. “It’s time for you to be afraid, Dead Man,” he said. Then the bell sounded and the lights flickered. Show left the ring while looking in all directions. The lights went out and Undertaker appeared in center-ring staring down Show as he stood near the stage. Ross said Show heard the gong and intelligently moved away from the ring. Taker did the throat slice gesture.

[Commercial Break]

-WWE Fact: Five times as many people watched Smackdown last Friday night than UFC 75: Champion vs. Champion on Spike. Good fact to point out to fight the image that WWE is “yesterday’s news” and MMA is far and away bigger now in every category.


After the heel trio entered the ring, Carlito and Primo came out. Carlito said he knows this was supposed to be a two-on-two tag match, but they ddin’t want to see Manu standing at ringside looking foolish and useless, so he offered to make it a six-man. Punk then came out as a surprise partner. Ross and Tazz made a big deal out of a Raw “Superstar” teaming with two Smackdown “Superstars.” Ross talked up Primo’s athleticism. He also said Cody & Ted have a good future if they don’t break their arms patting themselves on their own backs. Ross wondered if Dusty Rhodes was proud of his son. Tazz said of course because they’re tag champions. Ross agreed by saying, “Good point, if you wlll.” Ross said a funny! Ross and Tazz oddly didn’t refer to Punk as a former World Champion when hyping his resume. Did that reign exist? Are they intentionally downplaying it? Or was it just an oversight? At 3:00 Punk went on an offensive flurry. After a bulldog on DiBiase, Cody and Manu interfered. Chaos broke out with Carlito flip diving onto Manu at ringside. Punk meanwhile gave DiBiase the Go 2 Sleep for the win.

WINNERS: Punk & Carlito & Primo in 4:00.

-They showed Jesse and a comatose Festus backstage in their moving overalls surrounded by moving boxes. Ross thanked them for helping them move to My Network. What did they have to move that they wouldn’t usually have to move when they tape in a different city and arena every week?

-The lumberjills made their way to ringside.



Ross hyped that tonight over 50 WWE “Superstars” and every champion in WWE will compete tonight or has competed. So far, counting this match, 21 have competed in an actual match. If the lumberjills count, add another dozen for 33. The women at ringside got involved early. Maryse distracted Michelle as she tried to escape Phoenix’s grip. Seconds later Phoenix face planted McCool, called the Glam Slam, for the clean three count. Candice confronted Maryse at ringside for her distraction as Victoria congratulated Maryse.

WINNER: Phoenix in 3:00.

-Ross and Tazz plugged Triple H vs. Matt Hardy vs. Chris Jericho. This helps Matt to be put on the same level as Jericho and Triple H in this context.

[Commercial Break]

-A video package aired on the Jericho-Shawn Michaels feud. Then Tazz and Ross hyped the entire No Mercy line-up.

-Ring intros took place for Matt Hardy and Triple H.

[Commercial Break]


Ross said Michaels is surely watching this match to prepare for No Mercy on Sunday. Triple H and Jericho went nose-to-nose after the bell range. Hardy walked up and pushed them both. Jericho told him to wait a second. Jericho slapped Hardy. Hardy punched Jericho to the mat. Triple H and Hardy stomped away at Jericho and took turns beating on him with various moves. Triple H then surprised Hardy with a DDT mid-ring.


Jericho came back with a clothesline on Triple H. When Triple H made a comeback, Hardy jumped him and threw him into the announce table at ringside. As Hardy and Triple H fought on the ring apron, Jericho springboard dropkicked them to the floor. As Jericho smiled, they cut to a break at 4:00.

[Commercial Break]

Hardy set up Jericho for a Twist of Fate, but Jericho shoved Hardy toward the ropes. Hunter pulled the top rope down and Hardy spilled to the floor. Jericho then pounced on Triple H with punches and stomps in the corner. During the break, they showed Jericho whipping Hunter into the ringside steps. Back live, Jericho headbutted Triple H twice, but Triple H came back with a spinebuster. He set up a Pedigree, but Jericho countered and catapulted Triple H into Hardy who was standing on the top rope behind him. That looked a bit too contrived. Jericho threw Hunter out of the ring, then walked over to Hardy on the top rope. Jericho called a spot as he climbed to the middle rope, then set up a superplex. Hunter entered the ring and powerbombed the other two to the mat in what Ross called a Triple Stack at 9:00. All three were slow to get up. Hunter stood first and put Jericho in a sleeper. Jericho back suplexed out of it. Jericho went for a Lionsault but he missed and landed awkwardly on his knee. Triple H went for a figure-four, but Jericho kicked him off, right into Hardy, knocking him of the ring apron. Jericho applied a Walls of Jericho on Hunter in center-ring. Tazz encouraged Triple H to hang on. Hunter did a push-up and then powered his way toward the bottom rope. He came up just short, but then gave it another effort. Jericho dragged him back to center-ring. Hardy re-entered the ring, so Jericho released the hold. Hardy surprised Jericho with an inside cradle for a near fall. Jericho went for a bulldog, but Hardy countered and hit a bulldog for a near fall. Jericho went for his Code Breaker, but Hardy avoided it and went for a jackknife cover for a two count. He followed with a Side Effect. Triple H re-entered the ring and surprised Hardy with a Pedigree for the pin.

WINNER: Triple H in 14:00.

STAR RATING: ***1/4 – Very good TV match. Disappointing, but predictable, win for Triple H. Hardy was considered the “designated jobber” going in and that assumption was confirmed. It could have really elevated Hardy and given ECW some momentum in general as a brand had Hardy scored a slightly tainted win over Triple H. Triple H is strong enough to recover, especially in a three-way situation. Hardy would have benefited a lot more than Hunter would have been hurt.

-Afterward, Jericho brought a ladder into the ring and bashed Hunter and Hardy with it. He dragged Hardy onto the ladder. Jeff Hardy made the save. He clotheslined Jericho over the top rope to the floor. He checked on Matt. Triple H came up behind Jeff, seemingly innocently. Jeff reacted suddenly and decisively with a Twist of Fate. He then climbed a ladder and sat on top of it. As he set up a dive, Vladimir Kozlov entered. He swatted Jeff to the mat, then gave Triple H a slopdrop in mid-ring. Ross said he has yet to lose in WWE. Hunter lay knocked out. Ross wondered what effect this would have on Sunday in the WWE Title match.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT FLASHBACK: 10 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT (9-19-08): Maryse vs. McCool, Triple H vs. MVP, plus Shelton, Hardy, Festus (Karl Anderson), R-Truth, Carlito, Scotty Goldman (Colt Cabana)

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