Date: January 11, 2008
Location: Wachovia Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Michael Cole
We are well on the way to the Royal Rumble and Edge is set to defend the Smackdown World Title against Rey Mysterio after last week’s Beat The Clock Challenge. Other than that, we have an angry Undertaker and Batista, which should make for some rather violent problems around here. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s Beat The Clock Challenge with Rey Mysterio pinning Edge to earn the title shot.
Vickie Guerrero and Teddy Long are in the ring to get things going. Vickie gets right to the point by bringing out Rey Mysterio for a chat. After an exchange of pleasantries, Rey says it’s weird to have Vickie on his opponent’s side. Rey still cares about the Guerreros though, even with Vickie having a relationship with Edge. Vickie doesn’t like her private life being talked about, but Rey doesn’t quite see national TV as private. Rey dates to ask what about Eddie, sending Vickie into an explanation of how she could still have another kid with Edge. That has Rey almost cringing before he says Edge doesn’t love her.
Cue Edge to say Rey knows nothing about their relationship and to promise that he’ll still love Vickie after the Royal Rumble. That’s cool with Rey, but Edge won’t be champion. Cue Chavo Guerrero to say Rey will never be a Guerrero. As for Vickie, the entire family is disgusted with her, which is enough to send Vickie over the edge. The two of them are wrestlers, so they can fight tonight. Just in case you hadn’t seen that match enough over the years.
Chuck Palumbo vs. Jamie Noble
Yes, again, and Michelle McCool is here with Palumbo again, though apparently he has apologized to her. Palumbo forearms him down to start and hits a slam for a fast two. Noble gets sent hard into the corner but comes back with something like a neckbreaker. A crucifix gives Noble the fast pin as the Palumbo frustration continues.
Rating: D+. Anytime they want to GET ON WITH THIS STORY and move on to something else for everyone involved, I would certainly appreciate it. We got the point weeks ago and now we’re back where we were instead of going somewhere with Noble and McCool. The matches aren’t good and the story isn’t going anywhere, but odds are it is going to continue for whatever reason.
Edge consoles Vickie Guerrero over what Chavo Guerrero said to her. A massage ensues.
Batista vs. MVP
Non-title. Before the match, MVP promises to retire Ric Flair at the Royal Rumble. Batista shoves him down to start but MVP is back up with some quick left jabs. A headlock takeover actually works on Batista but he’s right back up with a leapfrog (ok then) into a hard shoulder. The shoulders to the ribs in the corner keep MVP in trouble as we hear about Batista and Undertaker being added to the Royal Rumble.
Batista misses a charge in the corner and gets kicked out to the floor. Something like a hanging Nightmare On Helm Street gives MVP two and a drop toehold cuts off a comeback attempt. Another running boot to the head gives MVP another near fall and we hit a double underhook crank. The cravate stays on the neck and even hangs on when Batista slams him.
Batista breaks it up with straight power and hits the swinging Boss Man Slam for two. The spinebuster connects but MVP bails to the floor before the Batista Bomb. MVP kicks him in the head again before avoiding a clothesline to send Batista into the post. They both get to the apron, where Batista knocks him off the apron and beats the count back in for the win.
Rating: C. At least MVP didn’t get pinned for the second week in a row so this could have been a lot worse. Losing to Batista via countout isn’t the worst idea but it would be nice to have someone go after the title. Batista gets some momentum on the way to the Rumble and he’s enough of a threat to win the thing so this was a good enough idea.
Post match MVP grabs a chair but gets speared down.
Undertaker vs. Mark Henry/Matt Striker
Fallout from last week when Undertaker had Henry beat in the Beat The Clock Challenge but guest referee Striker cheated him out of the win. Striker bails to the floor to start so Undertaker starts working on the arm. Said arm is wrapped around the top rope but Old School is broken up. Undertaker is right back with a chokeslam attempt but has to boot down an invading Striker. Snake Eyes into the big boot drops Striker and there’s Old School to Henry. That’s enough to throw Henry over the top and the Tombstone finishes Striker in short order.
Post match Big Daddy V comes out to start the double teaming but Undertaker beats up both monsters without much effort.
Vince McMahon gives Hornswoggle a pep talk before his arm wrestling match with Runjin Singh. Hornswoggle leaves and Finlay comes in, saying Vince isn’t holding up his end of their deal. Vince warns him to NEVER mention that deal but Finlay doesn’t like being talked to like that. Somehow this earns Finlay a spot in the Royal Rumble.
It’s time for arm wrestling between Runjin Singh and Hornswoggle, with Great Khali and Finlay here too. Before the match, Singh promises to win because of Great Khali’s workout regimen. They tease getting started, then Hornswoggle stands on a chair to make it even….then Finlay uses a remote control to electrocute Singh so Hornswoggle can win. Violence from Great Khali is teased but Finlay uses a chair to make the save. That was certainly a different way to go.
Kane vs. Domino
Cherry and Deuce are here with Domino. The uppercut and assorted right hands set up a corner clothesline and Domino is in trouble. A sideslam into the top rope clothesline into the chokeslam finishes for Kane in a hurry. Total dominance.
Video on Eve Torres.
Royal Rumble rundown.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero
Hold on though as here is Edge to join commentary. Chavo takes him into the corner to start and it’s an early standoff. A running headscissors drops Chavo but he’s back with some quick uppercuts. Rey ties him in the ropes though and a kick sends Chavo outside. That’s reversed without much effort though and Rey gets dropped hard on the floor as we take a break.
Back with Rey fighting out of a chinlock but getting faceplanted for two. Chavo stomps away in the corner and a belly to back suplex gets two more. A hammerlock, with Chavo flipping over, has Rey’s arm in trouble as Edge is losing his patience with Cole and Coach. Rey fights up again and snaps off another headscissors before sending him outside. A slingshot springboard Arabian press gives Rey two back inside but he has to break up the Three Amigos. The 619 sets up a top rope splash to give Rey the pin.
Rating: C+. They do well together but there is a firm limit on the interest level from anything involving Chavo and it isn’t that high in the first place. Rey does get another win and the action was fine, but trying to put this over as some big match didn’t exactly work. At the same time, it doesn’t make Chavo look great as he goes after the ECW World Title.
Post match Edge comes in but gets beaten down, only to have the Edgeheads come in and help Edge with the big beating to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. We’re in a weird period here as the main Smackdown match is set for the Royal Rumble and the show’s main event is going to sell itself without much effort. That leaves you with stuff like Noble/Palumbo, squashes and Chavo Guerrero. We could be in for some long shows before the Rumble, but hopefully they can be upgrades over this one.
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