After a lengthy video recap of the Mysterio/Batista/Taker matches from the last couple of weeks, Todd and Matt fill us in on how the scheduled â€œBeat the Clockâ€ matches will lead to a new number one contender for the World Championship. Fittingly CM Punk then truly begins the first Smackdown of 2010 in a noble effort to help the WWE Universe keep their new yearâ€™s resolutions. After trying in vain to get the crowd to take his straight edge pledge, he promises to save someone next week, to win tonightâ€™s â€œbeat the clockâ€ challenge and then reclaim the World Title at the Royal Rumble.
CM Punk def Matt Hardy: Both men are weary of locking up to start and Matt quickly tries two unsuccessful pinfall attempts in the very early going. Hardy tries to follow by working the midsection and arm of Punk and hits a forward vertical suplex for a quick two count. After surviving another pinning attempt, Punk is able to dodge an attack in the corner and finally get some offense in and also goes for a quick pinning attempt. Punk takes a much slower offensive pace than Hardy and tires to wear down his foe. Hardy tries to rebound with a bulldog in the corner but Punk shoves him off and gets more aggressive with attempting pins. Matt escapes a chinlock with a suplex and that springboards him to a comeback and he gets a long two count after hitting the Side Effect. Punk escapes a Twist of Fate attempt by latching onto the ropes and nails Hardy with a kick to the head as the ref breaks the hold. Punk then nails Matt with the GTS and sets the Beat the Clock pace at 7:20. After the match Luke and Punk celebrate his victory by roughing up Hardy a bit more.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane: We get some amateur mat work to start the contest until Dolph has enough and resorts to fisticuffs to take the early advantage. Ziggler tries to keep Kane off his feet and work the leg, but it does not last long as Kane is up with a clothesline. Kane hits a delayed vertical suplex and his dropkick off the ropes going for a cover after each move. Dolph rebounds off the ropes with a ddt and also goes for a quick but unsuccessful cover. Kane muscles out of a unique headlock attempt with a slam but after he misses an elbow drop Ziggler scores with a Fame-Asser and that gets a nearfall. Ziggler hits his signature elbow spot but it is not enough for a pin so he locks on another headlock. Kane muscles his way to his feet and hits a big boot for another nearfall. The Big Red machine has some momentum going scoring a series of power moves but none is enough to garner him a three count. He goes up for his flying clothesline, and after a battle on the turnbuckle hits it for yet another nearfall. As the clock begins to run out, Kane goes for the chokeslam but Ziggler hotshots him against the ropes before locking on a sleeper hold. Kane does not tap or pass out but is also unable to fight out of the hold as the clock expires at 7:21. After the match is called, Dolph hits Kane with the Zig-Zag in frustration.
The Great Khali def The â€œCarolina Pantherâ€: I assume the jobber is wearing a Panthers jersey and going by the name for some cheap heat but the pre-match introductions last longer than the match. After staring his opponent down, Khali hits him with the Punjabi Plunge and put his foot on him for a three count. Sadly for the Great Khali and his legion of fans, this match was not part of the Beat the Clock Challenge.
Drew McIntyre def John Morrison: This is for the IC title and not part of the BTCC and I believe it to be McIntyreâ€™s first defense since beating Morrison for the title at TLC. John begins very aggressively and takes the early advantage even hitting a moonsault off the ringside barricade when the action leaves the ring. As both men try to return to the squared circle, Morrisonâ€™s foot gets hung up in the ropes and McIntyre takes advantage for a bit while the ref tries to free him. Once both are back in the ring, Drew starts to work John over as he is selling an injured leg from the spot. Drew goes for his finisher but Morrison shoves him off into the corner and hits him with the â€œFlying Chuckâ€ for a nearfall. McIntyre removes the top turnbuckle from one of the corners but Morrison is all over him before he can use it to his advantage. As John pounds on Drew in that corner, the ref tries to separate them so he can repair the turnbuckle but Morrison refuses his orders to break a few times. When John finally relents, Drew shoves him into the ref who thinks heâ€™s just been attacked and ends the match by disqualifying Morrison. Afterwards, John continues to show poor sportsmanship by attacking McIntyre as he tries to leave resulting in most of the backstage staff having to come out to break up their scuffle.
Mickie James def Beth Phoenix: To punish us all, Michelle McCool and Layla are at the announce table wearing pro-Glamazon and anti-Mickie t-shirts. This match does not last very long as Layla soon jumps on the apron to distract the ref while McCool tries to attack Mickie. But their antics backfire with Michelle hitting Beth instead and James quickly rolls her up in the confusion for the pin. After the match, Layla and Michelle start to attack Mickie but Beth makes the save and the heels are quickly dispatched. James then tries to offer her a handshake, but Phoenix refuses it and nails her with the Glam Slam.
Rey Mysterio def Chris Jericho: Before the match, Jericho cuts a promo promising to beat DX to reclaim the unified tag team titles Monday on Raw, and then promises to win every title in the WWE in 2010 and become the omnipotent center of the WWE Universe. Jericho is quickly in control of the action and shoots Rey outside of the ring under the bottom rope hoping to win by count-out. Mysterio is back up too quickly for any real drama in that regard and hits a springboard splash back into the ring for a quick two count. Chris is quickly back on the attack but is hit with an enziguri and looks to be set up for the 619, but he was playing possum and hits Rey with a back body drop when he tries to take advantage. Chris locks in a version of the Cobra Clutch on the downed Mysterio but Rey fights back up and gets a series of nearfalls with a series of springboard attacks. Jericho hits an around the world backbreaker as a reversal of another attack for a long two count and the clock is now under two minutes. Rey thinks he has Chris set up for the 619 again, but Jericho was waiting on it and reverses to the Walls of Jericho. Mysterio escapes and finally connects with a 619 but as he tries to Drop The Dime, Jericho nails him with the Codebreaker for a 2.9 count. Rey then rolls him up on his follow up attempt and is able to hold him down for the three count with only 1 second left on the clock. So Rey is your new clubhouse leader for the title shot.
Batista vs. R-Truth: Rey stays at ringside for the next match which is the final opportunity for someone to beat his time. Dave looks pretty smug or perhaps just overconfident during his entrance. As the match begins he quickly backs Truth into one corner and then the corresponding corner before saying something to Mysterio. Truth uses this brief distraction to roll him up for a quick two count and then nails a leg drop but his advantage is short lived. Batista is quickly back on the attack and in my favorite spot of the night, kicks Truth right in the face after he does one of his dancing reversals. Dave goes for the Batista Bomb, but again stops to glance at Mysterio and truth escapes. Truth sends him out over the top rope and follows him out with a crossbody but both men are able to climb back into the ring before being counted out. As Truth tries to climb back in Batista sends him into the turnbuckle and starts to work on his now injured shoulder as the clock goes under 3 minutes. Batista hits a Bossman Slam and covers for a nearfall. He tries to stalk him for a possible spear attempt but truth is waiting and hits him with a ddt for a nearfall of his own. Dave misses a strike in the corner but then side steps Truthâ€™s follow up attack from the top rope. However Batista does not rush to follow up instead deciding to taunt Mysterio instead. As the clock goes under 30 seconds, Batista hits Truth with a spear, spinebuster and finally the Batista Bomb before going for the pin with about 6 seconds left. However before the ref can count three, Rey pulls him out of the ring and clock expires.
After the match, Rey is announced as the winner of the challenge and he celebrates at the top of the ramp while Batista fumes in the ring. Eventually Vickie Guerrero comes out and says that next week Rey will have to face Batista for the title shot at the Royal Rumble.
Tags: batista, chris jericho, cm punk, Drew McIntyre, John Morrison, rey mysterio, Smackdown