WWE Smackdown- November 14, 2008
-Last week Jeff Hardy impressed Vickie Guerrero by getting himself disqualified in a tag team match and beating up Miz and Morrison with a chair. Later, he attacked Vladimir Kozlov in his match against the Undertaker, which inadvertently made Kozlov the #1 Contender. Hardy then asked for an extreme rules match with Undertaker.
-They are airing from Manchester, England. Jim Ross and Tazz are on commentary. The show opens with a casket set up in the ring. An Undertaker promo against Big Show airs over the house speakers. It sounds like Undertaker plans on not only putting Big Show in the casket, but actually burying it in the ground. Undertaker sits up in the casket. Jeff Hardy appears on the Titantron, covered in face paint. Hardy says while Taker lives in a world of black and white, he lives in a world of gray. Hardy has nothing to lose in his match against the Dead Man. Taker responds by saying that Hardy will rest in peace. Nice way to build interest in their match, this would have been a good fit on Survivor Series.
Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin
Neither Hardy’s ECW Championship nor Benjamin’s United States Championship are on the line. Benjamin gets a quick takedown and targets the head. Shoulder block by Benjamin gets a cover for 1. Side headlock takedown by Benjamin. Head scissors reversal by Hardy. Headlock by Hardy is reversed into some arm work by Benjamin. Elbow takedown by Hardy gets a cover for 2. Hammerlock by Hardy. Benjamin reverses with a snapmare, but Hardy holds on. Near fall by Hardy, power slam by Benjamin, but Hardy holds onto the arm. Benjamin springboards off the ropes to escape. We reach a stalemate and cue the commercial.
After the break, Hardy is in control. Hardy drops an elbow off the second rope, gets a cover for 2. Benjamin blocks a suplex and kicks the leg. Benjamin smells blood and works over the leg. Hardy eventually strikes back with the side effect and gets a near fall. Bulldog by Hardy gets a cover for 2. Missed elbow drop by Hardy and Benjamin connects with a super kick after an exchange. Cover by Benjamin gets 2. Benjamin corners Hardy and splashes him in the corner. Benjamin tries one too many times and Hardy counters with a side effect. Near fall by Hardy, who’s leg appears to be hurting him. Benjamin blocks the Twist of Fate with an inverted backbreaker. Benjamin plants Hardy on the top rope but Hardy fights him off. Moonsault by Hardy connects, gets a close near fall. They go through a countering sequence that results with Benjamin locking on a single leg Boston crab. Rope break by Hardy. Sudden Twist of Fate by Hardy gets the win at 11:38 (shown). Solid, yet slow, match, which ended before it could really pick up. **½.
Winner: Matt Hardy
The Brian Kendrick (with Ezekiel Jackson) vs. Carlito (with Primo Colon)
They jockey for position with waist locks. Side headlock takedown by Carlito, but Kendrick reverses with a head scissors. They break and the match restarts. Kendrick targets the leg with stiff kicks. Clothesline by Carlito and the referee has to back him out of the corner. Head butt to the midsection by Kendrick but Carlito springboards over him and nails a drop-kick. Deep armdrag into a near fall by Carlito. Armbar by Carlito is broken by the ropes. Stiff kicks to the chest by Kendrick. Kendrick works over the arm. Spinning Neckbreaker by Carlito sends Kendrick to the apron, dangling over the edge. Cover by Carlito gets 2.5. Kendrick stays on offense until missing a knee shot in the corner. Carlito strikes back with a knee lift and clothesline. Springboard back elbow by Carlito gets a cover for 2. Kendrick gets drop-kicked into the corner, and Ezekiel clotheslines Primo at ringside for a distraction. This allows The Kendrick and Carlito gets pinned at 5:49. By the numbers, but both men looked good, **¼.
Winner: The Brian Kendrick
-Kizarny never leaves the carnival. He’s hanging out with a buddy who hammers a nail into his own nose. That’s just special. On a side note, I found out the other day that Kizarny is Sinn from The New Church in TNA. I didn’t recognize him with the 1999 Jericho hair-do.
-The superstars openly admit that Cena wasn’t that good in 2005. But hey, he had heart. Cena’s own dad gets in on this action. Cena is put over for his dedication and passion for wrestling.
-Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero in the ring for the Triple H/Vladimir Kozlov contract signing! That’s right, the match no one wanted to see at Cyber Sunday is taking place at Survivor Series! Vickie is still gold with her “excuse me!” catch phrase. Vickie says that if Jeff Hardy takes out The Undertaker tonight, he might get added to the WWE title match. She introduces one of the most dangerous men in the WWE (yeah, dangerous to the ratings) Vladimir Kozlov and then WWE Champion Triple H. HHH makes some tired fat jokes directed towards Vickie. Kozlov is first to sign the contract and cuts a promo in Russian. Triple H makes fun of Kozlov for being difficult to understand. Kozlov tries again, this time in broken English, but gets cut off. Triple H says this isn’t his first barbeque, but this is Kozlov’s first shot at the WWE title on pay-per-view. Jeff Hardy then appears out of nowhere and drives Kozlov through the table. Hardy tears up the contract and tosses it at Triple H. Hardy leaves without any further incident, while Triple H absorbs what just happened. I like this new attitude from Jeff.
MVP vs. Kung Fu Naki
MVP still needs to win a match before his new high priced contract can kick in. MVP wants his money so he aggressively overwhelms Funaki in the early going. They are interrupted by the arrival of The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh. MVP is distracted and talks garbage, leaving himself vulnerable to a crane kick from Funaki, who picks up the win at 1:03. Not much of a match, but the burial of MVP continues to be hilarious, DUD.
Winner: Kung Fu Naki
-Khali knocks down MVP, and Ranjin Singh cues the Kiss Cam! Khali finds time to keep knocking down MVP as a middle aged red head is selected. Ranjin declares her a cougar and prepares her for the euphoria of a kiss from Khali. Khali is interrupted by MVP and drops him with a double chokeslam before embracing the cougar. He’s reluctant to go through with the kiss, but stops. Ranjin explains that Khali is generous and offers the cougar a kiss with MVP. She assaults MVP with a kiss and he tries to fight her off. MVP gets kissed and escapes to ringside. Khali celebrates his moral victory. As per usual, this was a funny segment.
Michelle McCool © vs. Maria
Hurricane Helms is happy that it’s diva time. Yes, he still appears periodically on the corner of the screen. I think it’s time to pull the trigger on where these clips are heading. Side headlock takedown by Michelle. Jesse and Festus come down to ringside. It looks as if Festus has a teddy bear for Maria. Back to the match, Michelle is in solid control. Maria elbows back and hits an enziguri for a near fall. Michelle connects with a sunset flip into a heel hook. Maria taps out at 1:38. Well, that was certainly epic, ¼*.
Winner and still Divas Champion: Michelle McCool
-Upon hearing the bell ring, Festus goes crazy and chases Michelle out of the ring. He then helps Maria to her feet and offers the teddy bear. Well, she didn’t win the Divas belt, but she got a new stuffed animal, that’s about as special.
Jeff Hardy vs. The Undertaker
Hardy ducks a clothesline and tries to knock Taker off his feet. Hardy runs into a big boot but doges an elbow drop. Taker gets clothesline to ringside and drop-kicked off his feet. Hardy dives off the barricade, driving Taker to the floor. Hardy tries again, but Taker catches him and drives him into the steel steps. Find out who’s more extreme after the break.
Back from commercial, Taker is pummeling Hardy into the corner. Taker tosses Hardy to ringside and connects with a hard Irish whip into the barricade. Taker rams Hardy into the announce table and sets him up on the apron. Taker sets a chair on Hardy’s chest and hits the big leg drop! Taker rams Hardy into the steps and turns his back. Hardy grabs a kendo stick and repeatedly nails Taker with it. Back to the ring, Taker drops him with a big boot. Taker wields the kendo stick and cracks it over Hardy’s back. The fight heads to ringside, where Taker connects with a series of head butts. Taker misses a head of steam and gets crotched on the barricade. Hardy snaps and aggressively fights back, though Undertaker knocks him off with one shot. Hardy avoids the ring post, and launches himself off the steps onto Taker. Hardy ends up landing on unprotected concrete outside the barricade. Both men struggle to their feet and trade shots. Undertaker takes control, directing Hardy to the ring for a near fall. Hardy counters “old school” and Taker gets straddled on the top rope. Hardy pulls a ladder from beneath the ring but Taker kicks it into his face. Undertaker sets up the ladder but Hardy surprises him with the Whisper in the Wind. The Big Show runs in and tosses Hardy out of the ring. Show chokeslams Taker. Hardy goes high risk against Big Show and gets caught in mid air. Hardy pulls Show into the ropes and Taker nails Show’s back with a chair. Hardy takes the chair and cracks it over Taker’s skull. Hardy nails a leg drop off the ladder and pins Undertaker at 11:21. Strong main event and a good way to put Hardy over, ***.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
-Hardy storms backstage and finds Vickie Guerrero. She makes a deal with Hardy, telling him that he will face Triple H. Hardy threatens to go “extreme” on Vickie if she doesn’t add him to the WWE title match at Survivor Series.
Final Thoughts: Well, Jeff Hardy just got put over big time, so I fully expect him to fail a drug test sometime in the next couple of weeks. This was yet another strong episode of Smackdown as far as the wrestling goes, as Benjamin/Matt and Undertaker/Jeff were both given plenty of time to tell their stories. It was a delight to see them getting serious about Jeff Hardy’s character and actually getting some unpredictable moments from him (interrupting Undertaker’s casket mind games, breaking up the contract signing).