Written by: Drama from The Place To Be
Friday Night Smackdown!
January 4, 2008
Michael Cole and Coach
-We begin with a recap of the night after Armageddon, with Edge as the new World Heavyweight Champ and the introduction to the Edgeheads, with the beatdown given to Batista.
-Michael Cole welcomes us to Richmond and the first Smackdown of 2008. GM Vickie Guerrero is wheeled out by Teddy Long to start, and she says Happy New Year and welcomes us to the first Smackdown of 2008. She also states if Batista and Undertaker touch Edge, they won’t get a title shot. She has conferred with the love of her life, and she decided on a Beat the Clock competition tonight, with the winner facing Edge at the Royal Rumble for the World Heavyweight Championship. She says Finlay, Taker, Batista and Rey Mysterio will be part of this competition. She made sure to say that if Batista or Taker lay a hand on Edge, they will be shut out of future title opportunities as long as Edge is champion. She then introduces Smackdown’s newest color commentator, a top orator, Jonathan Coachman. Cole explains about JBL on Raw, and Coach settles into the seat.
Beat the Clock Challenge match: Finlay vs. MVP
Cole shows us a recap of last week’s Raw, when GM William Regal wouldn’t hit Hornswoggle with the brass knucks and Mr. McMahon smacked him for it. Finlay comes to the ring with his little friend in tow. This match will determine the time to beat first. Each man takes the other down in a grappling fashion, and they’re back up. We open with some chain wrestling, then they slap each other. Finlay with a front facelock, but MVP reverses with a boot to the face. MVP walks over and Finlay yanks his tights and pulls him out of the ring. MVP chases Hornswoggle under the ring as we go to break. Back from the 2 minute break and the timer went from 1:30 to 5:09, which tells you this is taped. Not that we don’t know that, just making a point. Finlay has MVP in a legbar, then a body scissors, but MVP rolls him over for 2. A very unusual grappling style from both that makes the flow a little choppy. Finlay still has the body scissors locked while MVP tries to punch out of it. MVP finally breaks free and gets a chinlock on the Irishman. The clock reaches 7:15 as Coach states this has gone on too long for either of them. Finlay to his feet and shoves MVP into the corner, but MVP with another kick to the head for 2. MVP goes back to the chinlock, then starts clubbing with elbows for a 2 count. Finlay reverses with an armbar and a knee to the face. Clock hit 8:45, as the match has too many restholds to make any sense. Finlay lets the armbar go and drops a knee. Finlay whips MVP into the corner but misses the charge. MVP with a boot to the face and Finlay is down. MVP with a 2 count as Finlay foot is on the ropes. Hornswoggle tosses a shillelagh into the ring and MVP grabbed it. He jaws with referee Jimmy Korderas, meanwhile Hornswoggle throws another shillelagh into the ring and Finlay grabs it. MVP turns around, the ref doesn’t and Finlay clocks the US Champ with it for the 3 count and the victory. Choppy match but served its purpose: To set the pace. WINNER: Finlay (Grade: 2, Time: 9:46).
-NO CHANCE….as Hornswoggle’s daddy Mr. McMahon comes into the ring, hugs his son and congratulates Finlay on his win.
-Rey Mysterio, Undetaker and Batista will get all their chances to beat the clock tonight, and we go to break with a Royal Rumble promo from the subway.
-The Autozone Smack of the Night takes us back 3 weeks to Jamie Noble and Michelle McCool’s date.
Chuck Palumbo & Michelle McCool vs. Kenny Dykstra & Victoria
Chuck’s in a slump of late, losing 3 matches in a row to Jamie Noble. We’ll see if he snaps out of it here. Victoria comes out with Kenny wearing a wrestling shirt she looks like she made herself. Chuck and Kenny start, and Chuck with a headlock takedown. Chuck with a charge into the corner, and he tries to break clean but Kenny with a cheap forearm. He tosses Chuck into the corner and starts clubbing. Whip into the ropes and Chuck with a reverse elbow. Kenny tags into Victoria, and Chuck tags Michelle, who gets a sitdown drop kick for 2. Michelle with an armbar into a body slam attempt, but Victoria reverses and drives Michelle’s head into the turnbuckle for a 2 count. Armbar takedown by Victoria into a legdrop. Victoria with an armbar, but Michelle snapmares out of it. Both women are down and both men are tagged in. Kenny with a kick to the head stuns Chuck. Kenny goes to the top rope, but Chuck catches him and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Whip into the ropes and Chuck with a spinebuster for 2. Whip into the corner and Chuck misses a boot to the head, which Kenny turns around and hits a splash. Kenny with some right hands into a neckbreaker for 2. Chuck looks frustrated as Kenny goes to the top rope. Chuck catches him and hits a superplex. Both men are down and Kenny tags Victoria which automatically gets Michelle in. Michelle with a cross body for 2. Kenny jaws with Michelle and she kicks him in the face, but its enough of a distraction for Victoria to hit the Widow’s Peak for the 3 count and the victory, Palumbo’s 4th straight loss. WINNER: Kenny & Victoria (Grade: 2)
-Chuck is pissed, starts yelling at Michelle about blowing the match, that he’s sick of her and she screws everything up. He rides home alone, and the heel turn I expected actually came from him, not her.
-Backstage and Vickie sends Teddy to fix her coffee. Chavo Guerrero comes in and says her relationship with Edge is ruining the Guerrero family. He says he wants to turn back the clock, and then he leaves. Didn’t understand that. We go to break.
Beat the Clock Challenge match: Chavo Guerrero vs. Funaki (Time to beat: 9:46)
So Vickie makes it right and gives Chavo Smackdown’s #1 announcer. Now I understand. They lock up and Funaki with a headlock. Chavo breaks it with an uppercut for 2. Chavo goes for quick 2 counts, and now he stomps on Funaki. Another 2 count and Chavo whips Funaki into the corner, into a small package for 2. Another 2 count by Chavo but Funaki with a shot for a 2 count. Funaki with a cross body for 2. Chavo with a tilt-a-whirl slam for 2. Chavo forearm for 2. Funaki with a small package for 2. The psychology of a Beat the Clock match is so unique. Chavo with a suplex for 2. Chavo with a kick to the back for 2, then another 2. Funaki with 2 right hands but a misses a drop kick. Jackknife for 2 by Chavo. Chavo with a boot, then a roll-up for 2. Funaki with a roll-up but a foot on the rope. Chavo with Funaki’s head into the turnbuckle. Chavo stalls and Funaki with a backslide for 2. Funaki with an enziguiri for 2. Funaki with a charge in the corner but Chavo catches him. Funaki blocks the right hand and then a high cross body for 2. Clock down to 4:30. Chavo whips Funaki into the ropes, but Funaki goes for a roll-up. Chavo holds onto the rope and avoids the pin. Chavo then out of nowhere hits the Gory Bomb for the win and 3:44 on the clock. Solid match with good pace and Chavo takes the lead. WINNER: Chavo Guerrero (Grade: 2.5, Time: 6:02)
-Back from break and we get an outside shot of Richmond.
Beat the Clock Challenge match: Batista vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder (Time to beat: 6:02)
Well, excuse me. I spelled Curt’s name with a K last week. Vickie gets on the big screen and announces that this is a handicap match, as originally it was just Hawkins that Batista was facing. As much as Vickie is getting way too much camera time, she’s being as good a heel as she can. This is tough because both Edgeheads look alike. Batista comes out swinging on both of them. The Animal beats on Ryder and goes for a quick Demon Bomb, but Hawkins charges and Batista back drops him. Hawkins with a knee to the gut and the Edgeheads take over. Double charge and Batista clotheslines Ryder. Hawkins off the top rope and Batista catches him by the legs then slingshots him into the post. Batista goes for another Demon Bomb on Ryder but Hawkins catches him from behind. Edgeheads with what looks like Total Elimination for a couple of 2 counts. The Edgeheads stomp on Batista. The psychology here is good because the Edgeheads aren’t going for a win, they’re just stopping Batista from winning. Similar to Andre stopping Hogan from winning in the Wrestlemania IV tournament rather than going for the win himself. Ryder with a 2 count. They toss Batista out of the ring. The Edgeheads go outside but Batista fights back and throws both men into the barrier. Batista tries to get in but Hawkins holds his leg and Ryder hits a leg drop off the top rope onto the Animal for a 2 count. Hawkins with a 2 count. Double takedown and double snapmares for 2. Both men choking Batista down as the clock is at 1:45. Double splash for 2. The Edgeheads continue to beat Batista down. Edgeheads with a double Downward Spiral for 2. Batista fights back with a double charge. Clock at :30. Batista with a double clothesline. He takes both men down for the count with spinebusters. He goes for a Demon Bomb on Ryder but Hawkins is holding Ryder’s leg down. Batista kicks him but before he can go for it again the clock runs out. Batista is dejected and exasperated in the ring as his chance is done for a Rumble title shot. WINNER: Time runs out (Grade: 2, Chavo Guerrero still leads at 6:02)
-We have the Raw Rebound, as we go back to the awesome Ric Flair/Triple H match, with William Regal screwing Trips out of a spot in the Royal Rumble match.
-Backstage and MVP is on his cell phone, talking to a mysterious person. He says he’s better than Finlay and he’s better than everybody on either show. He says its time to break the glass ceiling, so he’s going to do what Triple H couldn’t do: Retire Ric Flair.
-From there we go back to the interview table and Michael and Coach chat with Rey Mysterio, who also has a Beat the Clock match tonight. The former World Heavyweight Champ says beating the clock is the toughest challenge around here. He says its tough to prepare when you don’t know who your opponent is. But wrestling fast is what he does best. We go to break with Rey’s and Undertaker’s matches coming up.
Deuce & Domino vs. Jimmy Wang Yang & Shannon Moore
A case of two teams going in opposite directions. Yang starts with Deuce and Yang gets an armlock but Deuce with a reverse elbow. Couple of right hands for 2 by Deuce. Yang whipped into the ropes but he reverses a snap mare and hits a drop kicks. Deuce whipped into the ropes and gets Yang to commit to a cross body and he falls through the ropes. Cherry falls backwards on her roller skates and Yang helps her up, which gives Domino a chance to crush him from behind. Deuce goes outside and drops Yang on the apron. Deuce with a 2 count, then to a front face lock. Deuce lifts Yang up and drops him over the top rope. Tag to Domino and he hits a forearm on a prone Yang still sitting on the apron. Domino starts stomping for a 2 count. Domino locks in a reverse chin lock. Nice time killer, but Yang gets to his feet and hits a jawbreaker. Domino gets up and hits Moore as Yang is down. Domino grabs Yang’s leg but Yang flips Domino over and gets the tag to Moore. Moore with clotheslines and a reverse elbow for 2. Another elbow into a lateral press for 2. Deuce comes in and tosses Yang over the top rope. Meanwhile in the ring D & D go for some sort of top rope finisher but Moore breaks free, pushes Domino into Deuce on the top rope, and rolls Domino up for the 3 count. Another nice win for the Redneck Rejects. WINNERS: Yang & Moore (Grade: 2)
-After the break, Beat the Clock challenge continues as Undertaker is up next.
Beat the Clock Challenge match: Undertaker vs. Mark Henry (Time to beat: 6:02)
The ring announcer announced Matt Striker as his opponent, but Striker comes out in a referee’s shirt and says Vickie Guerrero changed things up. We also go back to 3 weeks ago when Striker’s beef took out the Deadman. Taker starts with a headlock as the clock moves. Henry pushes off, but Taker goes back to the right hands. Taker with Henry’s head into the turnbuckle. Henry comes back with an elbow and some right hands himself. Taker whipped into the opposite corner but comes back with a boot to the face, which Henry comes back from and hits a shoulder block for 2. Henry with a head butt, followed by a boot to the throat. Taker pitched through the ropes but lands on his feet. Henry goes outside and Taker with some right hands, then Henry with some right hands. Taker whips the Silverback into the metal stairs. Henry puts Taker on the apron and hits an elbow to the chest, followed by the patented leg drop. Both men back in the ring as we hit 3:05 left on the clock. Taker with some head butts, and Cole finally says Taker is the best pure striker in the game, making the consecutive show streak that he says that at least once about 400. Taker goes after Henry’s arm. Taker tries to go old school but Henry pulls him off. Henry with an Irish whip into a shoulder block for a 2 count. Henry with some right hands as we’re under 2 minutes. Taker comes back with some head butts. Henry with a whip but Taker reverses into a DDT. Both men are down and the clock says 1:20. Both get to their feet and Taker goes Old School again and attempts the clothesline but Henry catches him into a bear hug. Taker clubs Henry with :30 left, Henry with a clothesline attempt but Taker catches him with a chokeslam, and Taker goes for the cover. Striker however pulls a Shane McMahon from the 1998 Survivor Series and doesn’t finish the 3 count as the clock runs out. More heel tactics by Vickie Guerrero and Taker gets no title shot. WINNER: Time runs out (Grade: 2, Chavo Guerrero still leads at 6:02).
-Back from break and we recap Matt Striker screwing Undertaker over in the last match. Lena Yada, new interviewer is with Matt Striker, who says Taker just failed, period. Taker wants a piece of him, come after Big Daddy V too.
-Michael and Coach give us a rundown of the Royal Rumble card:
-Royal Rumble match
-WWE Championship match: Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy
-JBL vs. Chris Jericho
-World Heavyweight Title match: Edge vs the Beat the Clock winner
-We go back to Chavo’s win over Funaki that has put him in the lead for the title shot. One more man goes for it: Rey Mysterio is next.
Beat the Clock Challenge match: Rey Mysterio vs. World Heavyweight Champion Edge (Time to beat: 6:02)
Edge and his Edgeheads come out, as Coach simply says Edge wants to take the Rumble off. Simple enough. Bell rings and we start. Already Edge is stalling by staying close to the ropes. Rey goes after Edge and Edge is ducking around and playing keep-away. Edge goes back in the ring and then leaves the ring. Rey slingshots Edge back in the ring and gets a hurricanrana and a drop kick. Rey whips Edge into the corner and goes for another Hurricanrana but Edge blocks it and hits the deck. Edge off the top rope into the West Coast Pop for 2. Rey gets up and Edge with a boot to the face. Clock at 4:15 as Edge pitches Rey out. While Edge distracts the ref the Edgeheads stand there and taunt Rey as the clock is ticking. Rey gets back and Edge whips him into the ropes. All of a sudden Batista comes down the aisle and beats the hell out of the Edgeheads. Rey from behind goes for the 619 but misses, then gets a roll-up for 2. Rey with a cross body for 2. Rey with a kick to the head. Rey goes for some move but Edge catches his legs in the air and drops Rey on the top turnbuckle. Edge stomps on Rey and the clock says 2:15. Suddenly the Undertaker is on the ramp and the gong goes off, as well as the lights. We’re in darkness for a few seconds. The lights come back, Taker is gone and Edge is hanging off the second rope. Rey hits the 619 and the splash for the 3 count. The crowd is insane as Rey heads to Madison Square Garden and a date with Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship. Rey celebrates in the ring as we go off the air. WINNER: Rey Mysterio
Drama’s Take: Nice show to open the New Year. Beat the Clock always give us good matchups and quick workrate. Rey is back in the title chase as it’s nice to see someone other than Taker and Batista in the title match. They’ll likely be in the Rumble. Other highlights include Finlay’s win, another win for Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore, as well as the veiled heel turn of Chuck Palumbo. No Jessie and Festus, and Deuce & Domino have become Jobbers to the Stars. We now have 2 of the 3 big titles being defended at the Royal Rumble. A nice show to start the year as all the big players were on and the matches were exciting. FINAL GRADE: B+
MVP: Rey Mysterio
Runner Up: Shannon Moore & Jimmy Wang Yang
Non MVP: All Beat the Clock losers
Runner Up: Deuce & Domino