Right off the bat, massive thanks to Paul for covering SmackDown last week. I, unfortunately, had to work both Friday and Saturday so wasnâ€™t able to even watch SmackDown. Even worse, I have to work Saturday, Sunday and Monday this weekend. I appreciate the work, but itâ€™s my first Christmas shifts so I am not looking forward to them. Theyâ€™re closes, by the way, which sucks.
While Teddy Long wheels Vickie Guerrero down to the ring, we get a recap of the triple threat at Armageddon. I love how Edge is now the Champion, and I love that the Majors now have something fresh and different about them apart from their twinkism â€¦ Vickie Guerrero welcomes the warm welcome of boos. Vickie then welcomes the love of her life, and the NEW World Heavy Weight Champion, Edge! Edge makes his way out – shitty pyros and all. Layfield even compares them to Bill and Hilary, which Iâ€™m not sure is a good thing or not.
Theodore Long presents Edge with the championship. Edge really doesnâ€™t have to do much to get a reaction from the great crowd tonight. Edge says that Longâ€™s new job on SmackDown suits him well, Edge thanks the Edgehead fans – but most specifically the Edgeheads who have emulated him, the Major Brothers! Hey, theyâ€™ve even got cute little tattoos now. Edge says that they wanted to get noticed as the Major Brothers and wanted to make an impact, and Edge requests that they reveal who they actually are. One of them is Kurt Hawkins and the other is Zack Brider or something like that, and they run down a brief profile of themselves. Edge than thanks Vickie Guerrero, and then Edge presents a cute little montage of him preparing for his return and Vickie Guerrero there helping him. Itâ€™s so gut wrenchingly adorable and corny! I love it. Edge thanks Batista for his great job as filling in as Champion in his absence (itâ€™s funny because itâ€™s true), and tonight Batista challenges Edge for the World Heavy Weight Champion.
Also tonight: CM Punk, Kane,and Rey Mysterio vs. MVP, Big Daddy V and Mark Henry, as well as Hornswoggle and Finlay vs. Khali and â€¦ Runjin Singh. Okay?
Michael Cole is upset because itâ€™s John Bradshaw Layfieldâ€™s final night on SmackDown, and he is going to give a Farewell Address tonight. Weak, dude, uber weak.
The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh vs. Finlay and Hornswoggle
Wait – Ranjin;s spelt with an A?! The hell?! Since when?! Singh and Khali do the same entrance, kind of. Finlay and Khali begin. Khali dominates with kicks to Finlay in the corner. Finlay off the ropes into a big boot by Finlay. Khali with a delayed scoop slam on Finlay. Singh gets tagged in – and Hornswoggle pulls his pants down before he can get into the ring! Khali comes after Hornswoggle but Finlay saves him by sending Khali outside. Finlay chases Singh, and Singh runs into Hornswoggle – confetti thrown at Singh by Hornswoggle, before Finlay throws water? Back in the ring, Finlay gets a very extended big swing – Hornswoggle in for the Tadpole Splash! One! Two! Three!
Winners: Finlay and Hornswoggle
Now that was fun, just mindless nonsense and a good way to start the in-ring action. Four out of Ten. Again, one point for Finlay dancing afterwards.
Weâ€™ve got Ric Flair on SmackDown!! He first of all wishes us a Merry Christmas. He thanks the other wrestlers backstage for respecting him ever since they met him. Flair reminds us that the next time he loses a match, his career will be over. Flair begins talking about his upcoming match against Triple H, who he calls the best wrestler today. Flair says heâ€™s always wanted to wrestle his final match against Triple H. Flair remembers a time when HHH gave him a motivational speech, but what makes Triple H the best is that he will bring everything that he has to bring in order to beat Flair. Flair says that thereâ€™s no place for sympathy in wrestling, and doesnâ€™t want Triple H laying down so Flair can keep his career. Flair says that if itâ€™s final match, then itâ€™s okay and heâ€™ll have no regrets – because heâ€™ll have lost to the very best. Like I even need to tell you that this was a good Flair promo, but it didnâ€™t seem like his heart was in it. Iâ€™d have preferred for him to do one of those intense promos where he stomps on his jacket, thereâ€™s always great to see.
Still to come: CM Punk, Kane and Rey Mysterio vs. MVP, Mark Henry and Big Daddy V
Rey Mysterio, Kane and CM Punk vs. Big Daddy V, Mark Henry and Montel Vontavious Porter
Kane and Henry begin. Lock up and Henry forces Kane into the corner for right hands. Kane fights back and gets a throat thrust to Henry. Punk tagged in. Punk with a snap mare attempt on Henry, but obviously it doesnâ€™t happen. Porter tags himself in. Porter with a headlock to Punk, Punk sends Porter into the ropes and Porter back with a pair of shoulders. Porter off the ropes again into a high foot by Punk. Punk with the running high knee in the corner, Punk goes for the bulldog but Porter shoves Punk off. Porter goes for his corner big boot but Punk avoids it. Punk with a pinning bridge for a two count. All six men get in the ring for a showdown as we head to a commercial break.
Weâ€™re back and Punk quickly tags out to Mysterio, who comes in with a seated senton to Porter. Running leg drop gets Mysterio a failed pinfall attempt over Porter. Porter runs into a big boot by Mysterio before Mysterio takes him down with a head scissors. Punk back in with a kick for a two count. Porter tags out to V. Punk off the ropes with elbows and forearms, but V catches Punk with a swinging sideslam. V steps across Punkâ€™s stomach. V with the chest slap before he tags out to Henry who kicks Punk before tagging back out to Porter. Porter with rights to Punk for a two count. V in with a military press to Punk! V steps across Punk again before tagging out to Porter. Porter in with an arm bar to Punk. Punk tries to tag out, but Porter with a drop toe hold to Punk before he drags Punk back into his corner. Henry in with a head butt to Punk for a pinfall attempt.
Porter back in. Porter with a snap mare to Punk before he locks in a sleeper hold. Punk with an enziguri to Porter! Punk tags out to Kane! Kane in and gets a pair of running clotheslines to Porter! Kane with a sideslam! Kane goes up top and connects with the running clothesline! Kane signals for the Chokeslam but V comes in. Kane tags out to Mysterio while V and Kane fight to the outside. Mysterio with a moonsault on Porter for a two count. Mysterio goes for the 619 on Porter but Henry tags himself in and boots Mysterio! Mysterio avoids a splash in the corner and Punk nails Henry with the running boot! Punk sends Porter outside! Mysterio with the 619 to Henry! Chokeslam to Henry by Kane! Mysterio with a springboard frog splash for the three count!
Winner: Kane, CM Punk and Rey Mysterio
Wow – THAT is a very hot finish. A lot better than I could have ever expected from these guys, even before the finish. Although there were moments of it being your usual Henry and V match. If you can sit through those moments then youâ€™ll be rewarded with the ending. Seven out of Ten.
Another recap of the triple threat at Armageddon.
Still to come: World Heavy Weight Championship, Edge defends against Batista
Footage of the McCool and Noble date. Noble is a cheap skate and canâ€™t announce Merlot. Apparently, Nobleâ€™s grandma picked McCoolâ€™s dress out, and grandma already wants to meet McCool â€¦ Noble orders a lot of stuff which has French in the title, but the donâ€™t serve it at the restaurant. Noble gets all pissy and says that the French would be speaking German if they hadnâ€™t been bailed out of Operation Desert Storm by the Americans. Ha. Turns out itâ€™s just an Italian restaurant, so Noble reminds the waiter that he beat the Italian Chuck Palumbo three times. In a cute moment, McCool even adds â€œThatâ€™s why Iâ€™m hereâ€ â€¦ Nobleâ€™s bought her a Christmas present, Old Spice – Nobleâ€™s favourite cologne. Apparently Noble loves magic. Noble does the whole table cloth without anything moving bit, and of course everything moves â€¦ Wouldâ€™ve been a nice surprise if nothing moved, to be honest. Went about two / three minutes too long, but oh well, gets these two on camera I guess.
Santa Match: Santa Deuce w/ Cherry and Domino vs. Santa Festus w/ Jesse
Santa Festus gets angry, and thatâ€™s just sure to make the little kids sleep tight this Monday night. Deuce clubs away at Festus, but Festus with a scoop slam to Deuce. Festus misses a clothesline and Deuce attacks the knee of Festus. Deuce with a loud kick to the back of Festusâ€™ head for a two count. Deuce with a facelock to Festus, and Deuce controls the match for the next while. Deuce gets a one count over Festus. Festus and Deuce exchange shots, with Festus winning. Festus with a running avalanche in the corner and a splash in the middle of the corner for a two count. Festus with a groin drop to Deuce. Deuce goes to hit Festus with the sack, but Festus nails the flapjack for the three count.
Meh but acceptable for what it could have been. One out of Ten.
John Bradshaw Layfield prepares for his Final Speech on SmackDown – get me the tissues.
Layfield is in the ring and reminds us that it is the last time he will be on SmackDown, but will be going to RAW simply because of what happened at Armageddon. Layfield rants against Jericho – and is bitter about being called an afterthought by someone who got fired and went to reality TV. Layfield says he isnâ€™t going to RAW to be part of the roster, in the opening match, a swang song, or to make friends – but going to RAW to headline pay per views and headline championships. Layfield demands that his name be put on the WWE Championship belt already. Layfield says that he is coming for Jericho first â€¦ And, possibly for the final time, JBL walks out of the SmackDown Arena. If they donâ€™t do a yearâ€™s worth of JBL vs. Michaels, Jericho, Hardy and HH then I will be pissed over this.
Tazz joins Michael Cole at ringside. I hope this isnâ€™t permanent.
Entrances for the World Heavy Weight Championship. Edge comes out with the former Majors, Vickie, and Theodore Long. Vickie gets on the microphone beforehand and announces that itâ€™s a handicap match!
World Heavy Weight Championship: Batista vs. Edge and the former Majors, Zach and Kurt
Former Major 1 begins against Batista. Lock up and Batista throws him down right away. Itâ€™s apparently Kurt. Kurt gets dominated by Batista right away until, while doing the ten count punch in the corner, Edge attacks Batista. Zach is tagged in. Zach chokes Batista in his teamâ€™s corner but Batista gets the upper hand and begins attack all three. Batista goes for the Batista Bomb on Zach but Edge attacks from behind as we head to a commercial break.
Weâ€™re back and Edge is the legal man, and is stomping on Batista. Batista fights off Edge temporarily until Edge gets a drop toe hold. Edge covers Batista after an elbow drop for a two count. Edge avoids a running spear, and Batista collides with the turnbuckles. Edge comes off the ropes into a big swinging sideslam by Batista, and Edge kicks out at the two count! Zach tagged in but gets dominated by Batista. Batista with a power slam to Zach. Kurt in for a shoulder body toss before he gets tossed outside. Batista spears Edge off the apron. Zach jumps off the second turnbuckle but gets caught by a Batista spine buster and covers for the three count!
Vickie stops the celebrations when she announces that Batista has to defeat Edge for the championship! Vickie starts the match over again. Batista brings Edge back into the ring. Batista jumps off the top rope with a shoulder toss. Edge goes for the Spear but batista hitâ€™s the Spinebuster! Batista goes for the Batista Bomb on Edge, but the Edge Hands attack Batista with a steel chair! Edge Hands double DDT Batista onto a steel chair!
Winner by DQ: Batista and Still World Heavy Weight Champion: Edge
Edge hits Batista with a conchairto! The Edge heads celebrate in the ring. Meh, as glad as I am to see the former Majors get somewhere, this wasnâ€˜t good or anything beyond passable. Two out of Ten. Edge gets on the microphone and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas as SmackDown fades out. Is another Edge and Batista match really necessary? Honestly. If they want someone to give Edge a big victory at Royal Rumble, isnâ€™t that what Kane was for at Great American Bash? Rey Mysterio even?
The Inside Pulse
Finlay and Hornswoggle defeat The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh: 4/10
Kane, Rey Mysterio and CM Punk defeat Montel Vontavious Porter, Mark Henry and Big Daddy V: 7/10
Festus defeats Deuce: 1/10
Edge and the Edge Heads defeat Batista: 2/10
SmackDown 21/12/07: 14/40
First of all, the good news: the good defiantly outweighed the bad this week. We got a fair bit of cutesy humour in the Vickie/Edge montages, the Santa match, the opening tag match as well as the Noble/McCool date segment (which is funny if only because of how badly set up the so called restaurant is). The six man tag was very good, even if it did suffer from itâ€™s moments of boredom – which was totally made up for by the hot ending â€¦
However. The final two matches left a lot to be desired. Festus works a lot better while Jesse is playing the face in trouble, and while his match against Deuce wasnâ€™t bad it certainly did take a bit of enjoyment out of his gimmick. Note to WWE: keep Festus in tag matches, please. And then thereâ€™s the main event. Again; itâ€™s great to see the former Majors getting somewhere, and Edge being at the head of his own little faction is a great idea I believe. Hereâ€™s one major problem with the Edge stable; they all look far too alike, and while I like bringing back the matching tights and look, itâ€™s just too confusing. Like I said earlier, the main event was passable – but on the milder side of acceptable.
Thereâ€™s two segments I want to talk about in ending the summary. The Ric Flair and JBL promos. I know that the Ric Flair promo wasnâ€™t even necessary and was much more a luxury there to hype the New Years Eve RAW, and I get that, but Iâ€™d have expected more. Whereâ€™s the intense Ric Flair promo, where he rips off his jacket, stomps on it, drops an elbow and points at his red face? Why did we get this almost sombre and passive Ric Flair promo? Either way, it did itâ€™s job and promoted the match vs. HHH, but I felt a little under whelmed by the promo. Donâ€™t forget, this is the man whose rant against Carlito earlier on in the year is on some peopleâ€™s â€˜best of 2007â€™ columns â€¦ I was also under whelmed by John Bradshaw Layfieldâ€™s Farewell Address. He got the microphone, got arrogant and then basically reminded us that heâ€™ll be on RAW now. Maybe I just had high expectations, considering this was his departure from SmackDown and all, but to me it just felt his he was going through the motions â€¦ Oh well. I suggest you watch SmackDown this week, but itâ€™s most certainly nothing to cancel any plans for. Until next week, have a great one – as well as a safe and Merry Christmas!