Mike Reviews WWE Smackdown #489 (2nd January 2009)
By Michael Fitzgerald on 12th July 2023
Happy Wednesday Everyone!
It’s another random review this week, as I saw the card for Smackdown #489 and decided to give it a review because it has a Main Event of Edge and Big Show against The Hardyz, as well as a match on the undercard that I’m intrigued to see. I can only vaguely remember the storylines that were going on at the time, but a couple of these matches might be interesting, so let’s see if that’s how things shake out.
You can view the card for the event by clicking below;
The event is emanating from East Rutherford, New Jersey on the 30th of December 2008, before airing on the 2nd of January 2009
Calling the action are Jim Ross and Tazz
Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero joins us to a chorus of boos, leading to her usual butchering of a promo where she announces that WWE Champ Jeff Hardy will be defending his Title at the Royal Rumble against Edge. Before she can leave though, Triple H joins us, as I guess he was a Smackdown guy at the time (I struggle to keep track of this stuff sometimes). Triple H would like to know whether he’s in the Rumble match or not, with the fake heat machine working on overtime for it. This all leads to Triple H making fun of Vickie’s action figure until she finally announces that he’ll be in the match. Triple H then mentions that there are naked pictures of Vickie on eBay, and that Chavo Guerrero Jr is bidding on them. This was a pretty flat segment in all honesty, as Triple H was trying to be funny and not really succeeding.
Umaga (or “Umanga” if you’re William Regal) will be returning soon. I think they ended up teasing that one for quite a while. Umaga was pretty great and this was a well-made video package.
Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder Vs Finlay and The Great Khali (w/ Hornswoggle and Ranjin Singh)
I have no memory of Finlay and Khali being a team, although I do remember their wacky gimmicks from this time period, as Finlay was an excitable Irishman with a leprechaun for a son, whilst Khali was a gigantic ladies man who was managed by a guy on the writing team. Hawkins and Ryder had originally debuted as a generic babyface team on ECW before jumping to Smackdown to become lackeys for Edge.
Lumbering babyface Khali was always an odd character direction for him, but it meant they could move him into the mid-card and have him work matches like this, which he probably appreciated because he was in a lot of pain physically at the time. Being a giant does a real number on your body, especially when you’re taking bumps and travelling all over the world. Khali flings around the Heels to start, with them both taking some nice bumps for him and Hornswoggle getting a noggin knocker in at one stage when the ref isn’t looking.
Finlay is his usual snug self when he gets in there, drilling both of his hapless opponents with some hard hitting strikes. Finlay is eventually distracted by giving Ryder a clothesline out on the floor, and that allows Hawkins to deliver a baseball slide for the cut off, leading to some heat on the Northern Irishman. Finlay sells all of that well and the crowd looks to be into it, although you can never be entirely sure with taped shows like this as WWE loves doing the sound sweetening.
I bet they were low key thrilled during the Thunderdome Era when they could just pipe in any noise they wanted and didn’t have to rely on crowds actually reacting to things how they wanted them to. Khali eventually gets the hot tag and runs wild, although he mostly stands around whilst the Heels bump around him. Ryder ends up taking the Tree Slam and that’s enough for three, and a decent pop from the crowd. It got over in the arena then at least.
WINNERS: FINLAY & KHALI
Thoughts: There was nothing actively wrong with this, they just didn’t get much time to work with, and they could have probably gone a bit longer seeing as Finlay could carry his team’s end of things until it was time for Khali to come in and clobber the Heels for the win. This was entertaining for what it was, but not much more than that
Hornswoggle and Finlay beat the Heels up some more following the match, which just seems mean if I’m honest, unless there was some kind of ongoing feud at the time that necessitated such behaviour.
Eve Torres is backstage with Michelle McCool, who was beginning her Heel turn at the time. Maryse had defeated McCool for the Divas belt the previous week, which led to McCool beating up guest referee Maria Kanellis, even though Maria didn’t really do anything to deserve it. Mrs. Undertaker does the whole Raven “What About Me?” shtick whilst delivering a wooden promo.
Edge is annoyed backstage that there are naked pictures of his wife Vickie Guerrero online. Big Show says that he’s seen the pictures online and that he liked them, teasing the eventual romance angle between Big Show and Vickie. Vickie runs off and that leads to Big Show and Edge squabbling.
The Brian Kendrick and Ezekiel Jackson Vs Jesse and Festus
Kendrick was a smaller Heel with a big bodyguard at the time, as they were kind of trying for the whole Shawn Michaels and Diesel dynamic between the two. Jesse is Terry Gordy’s son whilst Festus would go on to become Luke Gallows. The gimmick with Festus is that he’s a catatonic guy who can barely get around most of the time, but whenever he hears the ring bell he snaps and becomes a monstrous scary big guy, leading to much amusement.
Angry Festus batters both of the Heels to start, with Kendrick taking some nice bumps for it, leading to Jesse and Kendrick doing a bit as well. Strangely the Heels actually get the heat on Festus of all people, as he hurts his left knee and that leads to Jackson taking him out with a chop block. Festus actually sells it pretty well, although the heat segment doesn’t go on for that long until Jesse gets the tag and runs wild, with Kendrick continuing to take some nice bumps.
Things breakdown following Jesse’s hot tag, with Festus getting his bad leg tied up in the ropes to take him out of proceedings. Jesse still manages to get Kendrick on the back foot, but Jackson gets a blind tag and finishes Jesse off soon after with a Uranage Slam.
WINNERS: KENDRICK & JACKSON
Thoughts: This was another match that could have probably benefitted from more time, but as a short TV match it was mostly inoffensive and Kendrick looked really good. Festus selling for the heat was an interesting choice, but he wasn’t terrible at it
The Moscow Mauler Vladimir Kozlov Vs Hurricane Helms
Kozlov was doing the big scary foreign monster gimmick at the time, as they were planning on having him feud with both Triple H and The Undertaker, but then he didn’t really improve as a worker or get over enough to justify that kind of push, ultimately leading to him settling into a comedy mid-card role that he was better suited to. Helms was kind of doing an amalgamation of his Gregory Helms and Hurricane gimmick here, which doesn’t really work and I think he was eventually back to being just Hurricane again as the year progressed.
Kozlov works Helms over with his usual array of strikes and poorly executed sambo inspired holds and takedowns. Helms does his best to sell it all and actually looks good whenever he’s allowed to get a shred of offence in, but this one is mostly a dull Kozlov squash. Tazz actually compares Kozlov to Alexander Karelin on commentary, which strikes me as a big insult to Karelin more than it is a compliment towards Kozlov. Kozlov eventually flattens Helms with the Liquid Snake head butt and gets a lame Spine Buster for three.
Thoughts: This was pretty boring due to Kozlov not being ready for prime time, although Helms did the best he could to try and make it watchable. Helms actually got a reasonable pop for his entrance as well, so they probably could have been doing a more effective job of utilising him instead of just having him be cannon fodder to Kozlov like this
Jim Ross is in the ring and lists some of the Smackdown competitors in the Royal Rumble match. We’ve got Triple H, Big Show, Kozlov and US Champ Shelton Benjamin. Shelty B. Ware and his wacky bleached hair heads down to the ring following that, as he accosts Ross for not stating that Benjamin will be the favourite in the match. This leads to Benjamin cutting a pretty stilted promo where he lists all of the people he’s better than, which doesn’t sit too well with Undertaker, who appears in the ring via magic and gives Benjamin a Choke Slam.
We get a Kizarny video package, where he talks in carny and shows us clips of folks at the carnival. He’ll be wrestling later on.
Michelle McCool joins us for a promo. Oh my goodness, TWO Michelle McCool promos in the same show?! Doesn’t that break the Geneva Convention? McCool apologises for attacking Maria Kanellis last week and then asks that Eve Torres to join her in the ring so that McCool can apologise to Torres as well. Torres accepts the apology and they hug. I felt for sure that McCool was going to attack Torres there actually, and indeed as I type that, McCool jumps Torres from behind outside of the ring and beats her up. I’ll give both of these two credit though, they perform their respective roles well once the beat down starts, as McCool looks good on offence and Torres does an effective job of selling it all.
Chavo Guerrero Jr and Vickie Guerrero are talking backstage, which leads to Triple H storming into the office. Vickie books Triple H in three matches for next week’s show. That’s a lot of Triple H in a 2 hour show.
Montel Vontavious Porter Vs Kizarny
MVP was on a losing streak at the time as he made a mistake of gobbing off to one of the people brought in to take urine samples for the wellness policy and WWE was NOT pleased about it, so they punished him with this storyline. MVP is totally demoralised in his pre-match promo and just asks for his opponent to head to the ring. Kizarny is playing the role of a carny, but he wasn’t around for long and was soon back on the indie scene, working in places like CHIKARA. I’m not sure if he was an actual carny in real life or not. Well, its wrestling and most people in the business are a carny to one degree or another, but you get what I mean.
Kizarny gets the better of MVP in the early going and actually busts out a TOPE SUICIDA at one stage, although the crowd doesn’t seem to care and MVP actually gets a few scattered chants at points. I think the plan was to make MVP into a sympathetic character, so I guess the gimmick was sort of starting to work, although there were probably better ways of trying to make MVP into a babyface than having him lose all of the time. MVP eventually fights back and works some heat after dropping Kizarny onto the barricades at ringside. Kizarny sells that well, but the crowd continues to not really care about him.
MVP works a bear hug during the heat, which doesn’t really increase the potential excitement levels of this one, and Kizarny tries stomping the mat to get the crowd to clap for him with little success. Kizarny eventually makes the comeback, with the commentary trying to get across the idea that Kizarny is a bit of a masochist who likes being in pain, which kind of makes me think that they should have tried making him into a creepy Heel rather than a wacky babyface, especially as some of the crowd are actively turning on him here. Kizarny eventually slips out of the Play of the Day and follows up with a wacky DDT for three.
Thoughts: After weeks of video packages, the reaction to Kizarny here was super disappointing and I can understand them panicking about it a bit and thinking the gimmick wasn’t going to work. That being said, they probably should have tried to stick with it a bit longer, as from viewing CageMatch it looks like he had one more match on TV following this before he was cut. The match itself just didn’t work, even though most of the wrestling was fine. The fans were more into MVP and not the new guy, which didn’t help things
Mr. Kennedy……..Kennedy joins us following the match, complete with Ron Waterman styled blond goatee, to hype his upcoming movie appearance in Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia, although the crowd doesn’t seem to care too much about that.
Next week Triple H has three matches, whilst Kendrick and Jackson are getting a Tag Title shot at Carlito and Primo.
Edge and The Big Show Vs WWE Champion Jeff Hardy and ECW Champion Matt Hardy
Jeff had recently won the WWE Title at the Armageddon pay per view, but he was due to rematch Edge at the Royal Rumble, which led to Matt doing an ill-advised Heel turn and costing Jeff the match. Christian was actually originally planned in to be the one to cost Jeff the belt, but WWE felt too many people expected that to happen (probably because it was the outcome that made the most sense) so they did the SWERVE with Matt instead.
Before the entrances start we’ve got roughly 20 minutes left on the broadcast here, which should mean that they’ll have some time to work with once the bell rings. Considering that all four of these wrestlers were experienced campaigners by this stage in their careers, which should hopefully bode well for the quality of the match once it gets going. Edge cuts a promo before the match starts, demanding that the fans respect both him and his wife.
The Hardyz shine on Edge to start, with Edge doing a good job of bumping and feeding for it all, although The Hardyz can’t push Big Show around as easily, which becomes clear whenever Big Show manages to get his hands on one of them. Matt eventually misses a Moonsault from the top rope onto Edge, and that allows Big Show to casually tag in and start brutalising Matt with power stuff. Matt sells well whilst getting worked over by both of the Heels.
They do a good job of teasing the hot tag, with Matt coming close a few times but the Heels always managing to stop him. Eventually Big Show decides to walk out, annoyed that Edge is working too much of the match and not including him, which I believe could happen to you on the WrestleMania 2000 game for the N64 in career mode if you didn’t tag your partner in enough. Jeff eventually manages to get the hot tag and runs wild on the now outnumbered Edge, leading to The Hardyz putting Edge away with the Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb.
WINNERS: THE HARDYZ
Thoughts: This was good wrestling and a solid way to close the show, with Edge being given an out for losing due to his partner walking out on him, whilst the babyfaces got a clean win to pop the crowd. I just wish they’d stuck with the payoff of Christian coming in to help Edge, as it would have actually made sense following a match like this
You don’t really need to go out of your way to watch any of this, as there weren’t any amazing blow away matches or angles here. Some of the promo segments were pretty rough, but the wrestling in general was fine and I didn’t hate watching it. Still, it’s very much a thumbs in the middle show and I’d struggle to suggest you go out of your way to view it.
Not a Recommended Show