Smackdown Results – 1/23/09 – Omaha, NE

WWE Smackdown
January 23, 2009
Omaha, NE
Report by: Mike Tedesco of

?Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event?? The WWE video leads us into the show.

We open up Smackdown with a recap of the end of last week’s Smackdown. Jeff Hardy was to be a special guest on The Cutting Edge to discuss the hit and run situation the week before. However tragedy struck while Jeff Hardy was making his entrance and his pyro malfunctioned, exploding on him in a tremendous display. It was pretty cool and I suggest you check it out on if you missed it.

Jim Ross and Tazz welcome us to Smackdown and discuss the previous week’s events concerning the WWE Champion being blown up by his own pyro. JR can tell us after speaking with Jeff Hardy earlier this week (more on that in a moment) that he is battered, bruised, and burned. JR says it’s miraculous that he survived the situation last week. Tazz says he was shocked to hear that there was foul play involved and someone tampered with the pyrotechnics!

JR had an interview with Jeff Hardy earlier this week and he vowed he will be at the Royal Rumble this Sunday to defend the title. They talked about the black cloud over his head as well as if it’s wise for him to defend the championship with the condition that he’s in. JR says it’s a provocative interview which includes some rumors as to who did it. We?ll see the interview later tonight and I?ll provide for you a full transcription as I hear it’s a good one.

Edge’s music hits and he makes his way out to the ring to a chorus of boos. His pyrotechnics go off without a hitch.

Edge has a microphone and says even though everyone is pointing their fingers at him let him be the first to say that he had nothing to do with what happened to Jeff Hardy. He says if these incidents turn out to be something more than he definitely had nothing to do with them! Edge says that he admires Jeff and how he?ll still defend the title at the Rumble but says that Jeff made the biggest mistake of his life and he?ll pay for that mistake with the WWE Championship!

Edge says everyone pays for their mistakes and when the Royal Rumble happens he doesn?t want Jeff to have any excuses and doesn?t want to hear him whine and moan because a true champion doesn?t make excuses! Edge says a true champion like him overcomes all obstacles! Being a true champion is about sacrifice! Edge says he wasn?t behind any of these incidents because he doesn?t need to do those things to beat Jeff Hardy!

All of a sudden while Edge is still talking Matt Hardy runs down to the ring and attacks him! Edge gets out of the ring, goes over the barricade, and runs away through the crowd! Matt Hardy chases him as we go to commercial!

:::Commercial Break:::

We come back from the break to see a replay of MVP getting his first win since August over the Big Show. MVP had to win this match or Triple H would be out of the Rumble match! Triple H wound up helping MVP get the win in the Last Man Standing Match by smashing Big Show with the sledgehammer!

Tonight it will be Triple H vs. the undefeated Vladimir Kozlov! Can Triple H beat the Moscow Mauler two days before the Royal Rumble?

Shelton Benjamin is in the ring ready for a match against THE UNDERTAKER!

Shelton Benjamin vs. Undertaker

This will be a non-title match by the way.

The bell rings and this contest is under way! Both men are in fighting stances. Benjamin stalks the Undertaker a bit. Undertaker approaches Benjamin near the corner, goes for a punch but Benjamin ducks it and goes for a punch of his own but that’s blocked by Undertaker who hits him with some big right hands! Undertaker then bounces Benjamin’s head off the top turnbuckle. Undertaker wraps Benjamin’s left arm around the top rope, punches him in the face, then head-butts and kicks Benjamin’s left shoulder.

Undertaker whips Benjamin hard into the opposite corner and charges but is hit by a back elbow! Benjamin punches Undertaker into the corner and then begins kicking him. Benjamin continues assaulting the Undertaker with punches out of the corner. Benjamin then has an Irish whip reversed on him and he eats a big boot from the Undertaker! Undertaker covers for a two count.

Undertaker has Benjamin’s left arm and twists it. He then thrusts his shoulder into Benjamin’s shoulder a few times, damaging it some more. Undertaker gets a hammerlock on Benjamin and drives his shoulder into the turnbuckle! Undertaker now hits some shots in the corner and brings him out, twisting his arm again. Undertaker goes for Old School but Benjamin is able to punch him off and get back on the offensive!

Benjamin hits a back elbow on Undertaker in the corner, backs away for a moment, and Undertaker amps up, grabbing Benjamin with both hands by the neck and throwing him into the corner! Undertaker mauls Benjamin with some big right hands, dropping him like yesterday’s garbage! Undertaker gets Benjamin in the corner and hits a hard whip to the opposite corner. Undertaker charges for a big boot but Benjamin is able to get out of the way and Undertaker hits the ropes hard and goes over to the outside!!

Benjamin gets on the apron as Undertaker struggles to get up and jumps off with a double axe handle to the back! Benjamin hits some punches and knees to Undertaker’s face! Benjamin gets in the ring to break the referee’s count and then goes outside to continue his assault. He drives Undertaker’s back into the apron and then rolls him in the ring.

Benjamin hits some more right hands to Taker’s face and then chokes him using the second rope. Benjamin approaches Undertaker in the corner and Taker gets a kick in Benjamin’s midsection! Undertaker goes for a right hand but Benjamin ducks and hits some punches and kicks! Benjamin then brings Undertaker to the middle of the ring and goes for a suplex! He struggles at first but then impressively completes the suplex! Benjamin covers and Undertaker kicks out at two!

Undertaker hits an uppercut while lying down but it doesn?t faze Benjamin as he punches Undertaker a few times in the back of the head and gets him in a chin lock. Benjamin really has it cinched in but eventually Undertaker is able to get to his feet and hit a powerful back suplex on Benjamin!

Both men are down but Undertaker is able to sit up at the referee’s one count! Benjamin gets up soon after and both men begin trading blows! They go back and forth for a bit with Undertaker coming out on top after leveling Benjamin with three punches in a row! Undertaker picks him up and sends him into the corner. Undertaker is then able to hit a pair of corner clotheslines, hits Snake Eyes in the corner, a big boot, a leg drop, and covers for a CLOSE two and a half count!

Undertaker looks like he’s ready to end it as he twists Benjamin’s arm again and goes to the top rope for Old School! Undertaker goes to walk the ropes but Benjamin kicks the top rope, crotching the Undertaker! Benjamin punches Undertaker, climbs to the second rope, and hits a superplex for a two and a half count!!

Benjamin now waits for Undertaker to get up and when he does he hits him with some punches! Benjamin has an Irish whip reversed on him and Undertaker grabs him by the throat! Undertaker lifts him for a Chokeslam but Benjamin counters it into a HUGE DDT!! Benjamin covers and Undertaker kicks out at two and a half!!

Benjamin waits for Undertaker to get up now and goes for Pay Dirt but Undertaker pushes him off, blocks a kick and spins him but Benjamin hits him with a Dragon Kick for another two and a half count!! Benjamin now grounds and pounds Undertaker but while Benjamin starts yelling at the referee Undertaker is able to lock him in the Devil’s Gate and pick up the submission victory!!

Winner by Submission: Undertaker
Match Rating: ***

Another man who is in the Royal Rumble is The Great Khali and he will be in action next! Also still to come is Jim Ross’s interview with WWE Champion Jeff Hardy. We see a little sneak peak of it where he says it seems like someone is trying to prevent him from living his dream but he has news for that someone: he has crossed the line from which there is no return!

:::Commercial Break:::

Another Umaga return video airs. He?ll be coming back to Smackdown soon. If he doesn?t return at the Rumble I?ll be surprised.

Chavo Guerrero is in the ring. He says he hears what Triple H has said about him thinking he’s a gopher. He says everyone has been calling a gopher but he is out to say he is NOT a gopher! He is NOT a nugget! Shut up Double J. Au contraire, friends, he is a go-getter! He is a Guerrero ? a Mexican Warrior! When his Aunt Vickie has a problem she comes to him because he can handle it and handle it well! He has nothing but love, appreciation, and admiration for her and there is nothing, and he means nothing, he wouldn?t do for his Aunt Vickie. He says there’s The Great Khali who’s trying to embarrass his aunt and his family and he doesn?t think so! The Great Khali’s music hits and he?ll be facing Chavo right now!

Chavo Guerrero vs. The Great Khali

Referee Charles Robinson (the best in the company) rings the bell. Chavo circles around Khali looking for an opening but doesn?t find one. Chavo finally just goes for it and kicks Khali a bunch of times in the legs. Khali fakes being hurt so Chavo goes for a punch but Khali grabs him by the hand and twists his arm! Khali picks him up by his arm and face plants Chavo! Khali hits a short arm clothesline on Chavo as Ranjin Singh cheers on the outside.

Khali puts Chavo in the corner and raises his arms. Khali goes for a big boot in the corner but Chavo moves out of the way and Khali gets hung up on the top rope! Chavo clubs Khali but gets pushed away with one hand! Chavo then approaches Khali and gets taken down with a Brain Chop! Khali then picks him up by his neck and hits a Punjabi Plunge!! Khali puts his foot on Chavo’s chest as the fans chant ?One more time!? Too bad for you Khali doesn?t speak English. Khali picks up the win.

Winner by Pinfall: The Great Khali
Match Rating: ? *

Backstage Edge is saying to Vickie that Matt Hardy is out of control but Vickie cuts him off saying she has him under control. She says that tonight Edge will go one on one against Matt Hardy in a No Disqualification Match! Edge can?t believe it and asks if she really thinks he had something to do with Jeff Hardy’s accident. Vickie says all she knows is that he better MAN UP!

Also tonight we?ll see the shocking footage from the end of Raw in case you missed it.

:::Commercial Break:::

Tazz thanks Kevin Rudolf for the use of his song ?Let It Rock,? the official theme song of the 2009 Royal Rumble!

Diva’s Champion Maryse is making her return to the ring looking very busty! She?ll be on commentating on this match tonight. Tazz says that belt is phenomenal (liar) and she says it’s just like her!

The Bella Twins vs. Michelle McCool & Natalya

The bell rings and Nikki Bella will start it out against Michelle McCool. They lock up and Nikki quickly gets McCool in a waist lock. McCool goes to break the hold but Nikki goes under her legs and drops her with a snapmare. This gets the Bella Twin a one count. Nikki hits the modified snapmare on McCool and hits her with two forearms. Nikki then has her whip into the corner reversed on her. McCool charges her in the corner but eats Nikki’s boot. Nikki then gets on the second rope but McCool pulls her off by her ankle and she lands in the ring with a thud. That was a good bump for a Diva.

McCool is now looking confident in the ring prancing around until Maria makes her surprise return to Smackdown by attacking her from behind, ending this match in disqualification! Maryse says, ?Oh, that’s interesting.?

Winners by Disqualification: Michelle McCool & Natalya
Match Rating: ? *

Maria and McCool fight around ringside! The shots look lame but it’s still a good moment. Maria pins McCool on the announcer’s table and is wailing her with shots! Natalya gets a quick shot on Maria and this distraction gives McCool enough time to recuperate and send Maria into the barricade! McCool then hits the old Mick Foley running knee in the face to Maria! Maryse on commentary says she can?t wait to give McCool a rematch to show her just who the Queen of the Ring is! McCool goes to the back looking nutty.

The Jeff Hardy interview is up next!

:::Commercial Break:::

The Jim Ross interview with WWE Champion Jeff Hardy is up now. JR’s interviews in the past made stars such as Mankind (Mick Foley) and Goldust superstars so this one should be good. I?ll provide a word for word transcript of it so you can get the full effect.

JR: First of all, Jeff, I?d like to thank you for allowing me to be a part of this conversation. But before we start I think it would be appropriate to go back to last Friday night on Smackdown. You were scheduled to be Edge’s guest on the Cutting Edge. Let’s take a look.

(We see the replay of Jeff Hardy making his entrance and his pyro explodes on him!)

JR: Certainly one of the most memorable moments in Smackdown history and, I?m sure, a moment you?ll never forget. I?ve got to be honest with you, Jeff, I?m a little surprised that you had requested this interview because, essentially, you?ve said nothing since being released from the medical facility over the weekend after last Friday night’s pyrotechnics accident.

Hardy: Well, JR, I respect you a lot and that’s why I requested you to sit down with me and actually have this interview. Um, let’s get two things straight. You know, uh, there are a lot of things that took place in my life as of late that I need to express; I need to get off my chest. And number two ? last Friday night it was no accident ? it was intentional and I know exactly who’s responsible.

JR: Well you bring up two very interesting points. First of all, through an investigation, we have found out that the pyrotechnics last Friday had been tampered with which really gives one cause to think that three weeks ago, during that hit and run accident?

Hardy: Whoa, whoa, whoa, let me stop you right there, JR. That hit and run, it was no accident. That was straight up vehicular assault! And you think all the way back to the night before Survivor Series when I was attacked in the stair well. That was no accident ? it was assault! It’s obvious that someone is trying to stop me from living my dream and you know what? I?ve got news for that someone ? he has crossed a line from which there is no return!

(Hardy looks directly at the camera.)

Hardy: Edge ? I pity you! I know that you?re behind all of this ? it’s too coincidental! And you know what? ? You failed trying to take me out just like you?re going to fail this Sunday! Edge, you can?t stop what’s inside of me, and you will never stop what all the people who relate to me ? all the other misfits and the screw-ups of the world feel! There is no set of established rules for the way I live my life! I just do, no regrets, no looking back, I just go! Mistakes aren?t my downfall ? mistakes, they?re my sanctuary! Mistakes are where I learn and grow! Listen to me, man. It’s YOU who made the ultimate mistake! Because of your lack of success making me fail has put you in unfamiliar surroundings but for me ? I?m right at home! Edge, all my life, I?ve gone out the in door and up the down stairs. I?ve been an outcast ? I?ve been forgot about and given up on except for the one person that knew better ? ME! Edge, you?ll never stop what drives me. It?ll live on forever even long after I?m gone! Have you ever heard the saying, ?there is nothing to fear but fear itself?? Edge, I?m not afraid. Are you?

Back in the arena, Edge’s music hits and he’s ready for his No DQ Match against Jeff Hardy’s brother Matt Hardy!

:::Commercial Break:::

Another Vladimir Kozlov video plays. It shows him hilariously throwing around some jobber and putting him in all these MMA submissions. It’s great. He even head-butts through a piece of wood! He says he’s undefeated and he demands better competition!

No Disqualification Match
Edge vs. Matt Hardy

Edge nervously watches as Matt Hardy makes his way to the ring. He runs out and Matt follows him out. Edge tries to get back in the ring and Matt grabs him by the ankle. Edge kicks him off and scurries around the ring.

The bell now sounds and this match is official. They?re fighting on the outside right now, throwing right hands at one another. Hardy gets the upper hand and bounces Edge’s head off the barricade. Hardy then brings Edge around and bounces his head off the announcer’s table! Hardy clubs Edge’s back and bounces his head off the barricade again. Hardy now throws him in the ring.

Hardy clotheslines Edge in the corner and then repeats the move. He goes for a third but Edge gets a boot in his face! Edge charges out of the corner and Hardy hits him with the Side Effect! Hardy now punches Edge and approaches him but Edge throws him out of the ring by his pants!

Edge goes for a baseball slide but Hardy moves out of the way and drives Edge’s back into the barricade! Hardy now pulls back on the padding and exposes the concrete floor! Hardy punches Edge to the concrete and goes for a Twist of Fate but Edge pushes him off into the apron! Edge then clubs Hardy’s back. Edge goes to bounce Hardy’s head off the apron but Hardy blocks it and bounces Edge’s head off it! Hardy throws Edge in the ring and looks under the ring for some toys! Hardy pulls out a garbage can and some kendo sticks but only the garbage can makes it in the ring! We even have an ECW chant! No doubt for the old ECW and not today’s watered down version but I don?t want to step on any toes here!

Hardy goes to hit Edge with the can but counters with a droptoe hold. Edge clubs Hardy’s back, picks up the garbage can, and levels him with a shot, denting the can good! Hardy slowly gets up and goes right back down from a shot with the garbage lid! Edge mounts Hardy for the ground and pound then pins him for a near fall! Edge goes against the ropes, waits for Hardy to sit up, and hits a low big boot to his face! Hardy is crawling around now until Edge picks him up and levels him with a right hand.

Edge now goes to the outside and goes under the ring, pulling out a kendo stick! He enters the ring with it and goes for Hardy but gets a boot in the midsection instead! Hardy now gains control of the kendo stick and drives its tip into Edge’s midsection! He then cracks it on Edge’s back and he rolls to the outside in pain!

Hardy follows Edge out and goes to clothesline him against the ring post but Edge gets out of the way and Hardy hits the steel post hard! Edge now gets a chair and goes to swing for Hardy’s face against the post but Hardy moves and Edge hits a chair shot on the post! It should be noted that Edge has a big welt from the stick on his back. Somewhere my friend Lisa is crying. Hardy now bounces Edge’s head off the steel steps and then Irish whips him into the other set of steel steps! Hardy now places Edge back in the ring.

All of a sudden Mark Henry runs down to the ring to attack Hardy but Hardy droptoe holds him face first into the ring apron! Hardy now gets into the ring, ducks a chair shot from Edge, and hits the Twist of Fate!! Hardy pins Edge but it’s broken up at two and a half by Jack Swagger!! Swagger pounds Hardy with some right hands and then hits his Gutwrench Powerbomb!! Henry now comes in the ring and hits the World’s Strongest Slam!! They then both hold Hardy up for Edge to Spear him and pin him for the win!!

Winner by Pinfall: Edge
Match Rating: ** ?

JR then leads us into a video segment of the movie The Wrestler!! I thought Vince hated this movie?? It’s pretty interesting to see all the Ring of Honor logos in the background.

Still to come tonight ? can Triple H defeat Vladimir Kozlov?

:::Commercial Break:::

JR and Tazz welcome us back to Smackdown and they give us the rules of the Royal Rumble match in case you?ve missed the past 21 editions of it. So, for the new fans, two superstars start in the ring. Every 90 seconds (or so) another superstar enters the ring. Elimination occurs when you are thrown over the top rope and BOTH feet touch the ground. We old school fans call that the Shawn Michaels rule. Look it up. 1995. The last remaining superstar wins a title match at WrestleMania 25!

Miz & Morrison vs. Carlito & Primo

The World Tag Team Champions vs. the WWE Tag Team Champions! This is a non-title, special attraction match.

The bell rings and it?ll be Miz starting the match against Carlito. They lock up and Miz gets a knee in Carlito’s midsection and hits a club to the back. He smiles to the crowd as he approaches Carlito in the corner where he pulls him out to bounce his head off the top turnbuckle but Carlito gets his foot up and bounces Miz’s head of instead! Carlito hits a left hand and tags in his brother Primo!

Carlito whips Miz into the ropes and he hits Miz with an STO and sits Miz up as Primo goes into the ropes and hits him with a low dropkick in the face! Nice double team move there. Primo covers for a one count. Primo hits a left hand but has an Irish whip reversed on him and gets taken down by the kitchen sink maneuver from Miz! Miz bounces Primo’s head off the top turnbuckle and tags in John Morrison!

Morrison comes in and hits Primo with a European Uppercut which sends him staggering back into the corner. Morrison hits a forearm and goes to whip Primo into the opposite corner but it’s reversed. Primo charges and Morrison back body drops him over the top rope but Primo lands on the apron and bounces Morrison’s head off the top turnbuckle! He then springs over the top rope and hits a leg scissors take down on Morrison! Primo now has Morrison in a front face lock and tags in Carlito.

Primo whips Morrison into the ropes, leap frogs him, and Carlito dropkicks him! Carlito covers for a one. What’s the deal with double team moves only getting one counts? Carlito whips Morrison into the ropes and hits a back body drop! Carlito then whips Morrison into the corner and goes for a bronco buster type move but Morrison moves out of the way and Carlito crotches himself on the second turnbuckle. Carlito doesn?t suck ? X-Pac SUCKS! I miss those chants but not that much because to hear them you?d actually have to watch X-Pac wrestle.

Morrison tags Miz in who goes to work on Carlito with stomps. Miz hits a snapmare and locks him in a chin lock. Carlito eventually gets to his feet and elbows out. He had an Irish whip reversed but Carlito is able to springboard off the second rope with a back flip which Miz avoids but Carlito is able to land on his feet! Carlito then leaps for Primo and makes the tag!

Primo springboards off the top rope with a dropkick then punches Morrison off the apron! Primo hits Miz with a clothesline, does a cartwheel (why?), and hits him with another clothesline! Primo jumps and touches both his feet, punches Miz a few times, has an Irish whip reversed on him, he ducks Miz’s clothesline, and hits a sunset flip for a no count! Miz hits a kick to the midsection and then hits a new move ? a bulldog into the top turnbuckle! That was nice! Miz hits him with some stomps as we go to commercial.

:::Commercial Break:::

Back from the break we see Primo reverse a back suplex into a splash for a one count on Morrison! Morrison goes for a pin but Primo rolls out so Morrison pounds him with punches. Morrison kicks him in the ribs a few times before tagging the Miz in!

Miz hits Primo with some stomps before the referee makes him back away. Miz pulls him to the center of the ring and kicks him in the chest. Miz then suplexes Primo and floats over for a two count! Miz locks Primo in the neck wrench submission. Primo is able to elbow and punch out of it and hits a jawbreaker! Primo goes for Carlito but Miz holds him back! Primo hits a left hand and goes for another but Miz counters it into a leg sweep STO for a two and a half count! Miz now drags Primo by his legs over to Morrison who tags in off Miz’s back.

Miz catapults Primo into Morrison’s forearm causing Primo to fall back on Miz’s knees and Morrison springboards in with an elbow drop! Love that move! Morrison covers for a two and a half count! Morrison grounds and pounds Primo a bit. Morrison gets a front face lock on him and tags in Miz.

Miz comes in and they hit a double team gut buster! Miz then kicks him in the face down. Miz taunts the crowd and punches Primo into the corner until the referee makes him back away. Miz then charges and Primo comes out and they double clothesline one another!! Both are down and tag in their respective partners!

Carlito springboards over the top rope and hits Morrison with a ton of left hands! Carlito kicks him in the midsection, goes into the ropes, hits a Million Dollar Knee Lift, goes back into the ropes and clotheslines him down! Carlito has an Irish whip reversed but he is able to springboard off the second rope and hit a back elbow! Carlito hits a monkey flip on Morrison in the corner and he does a complete 360!! Wow!! Carlito covers for a two count which is broken up by the Miz!

Primo runs in and punches Miz out of the ring! He then takes out Miz with a suicide dive!! In the ring Carlito is hitting Morrison with some left hands! He whips him into the ropes and Morrison holds on. Carlito rushes towards him but he gets a back elbow for his trouble! Morrison then hits his springboard roundhouse kick to the face! Morrison covers for a two count which is broken up by Primo!!

Miz comes back in and throws Primo through the ropes into the ring post and he hits the stairs as he crashes to the outside!! Nice bump!! Carlito clotheslines the Miz to the outside but gets rolled up by Morrison who holds the tights but Carlito is able to roll through and pin Morrison for a two count!! Carlito has an Irish whip reversed but he counters with a sunset flip but Morrison rolls through and kicks Carlito in the face! Morrison goes for the Moonlight Drive but Carlito twists out and sends Morrison chest first into the turnbuckle where Miz makes the blind tag!

Morrison stumbles back into the Back Stabber and goes for the pin but Morrison isn?t the legal man! Miz then rolls Carlito up and gets the victory!!

Winners by Pinfall: Miz & Morrison
Match Rating: ** ?

We?ll see all these men in the Royal Rumble this Sunday!

Coming up next we?ll see the shocking footage from Monday night Raw. In case you haven?t heard Randy Orton kicked Mr. McMahon in the head. Why the McMahons still make themselves the central point of Raw is beyond me?

:::Commercial Break:::

Did you know that WWE was number one in the most popular sports DVDs list of 2008? They had fourteen titles whereas NFL had only two, and MLB, UFC, NCAA, and NBA all had only one. Yippee.

The Raw Rebound plays. The segment was great but it’s ridiculous that after nearly twelve years the McMahons still shove themselves down our throats. Is anybody else as sick of watching Stephanie slap people as I am? The same old formula is just that ? old. No more McMahons on TV! Enough is enough!!

JR and Tazz now run down the Royal Rumble card. It looks ok except for JBL vs. Cena Part 1,000,000.

Vladimir Kozlov is now making his way to the ring. He?ll be facing Triple H next!

:::Commercial Break:::

The Smackdown Rewind shows Triple H helping MVP defeat Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match!

Vladimir Kozlov vs. Triple H

The bell rings and this contest is on. Triple H ducks a punch and hits Kozlov with a right hand! They trade blows with Triple H coming out on top! Triple H goes for a whip but Kozlov doesn?t budge and sends Triple H into the corner. Kozlov charges and eats a boot from Triple H! Triple H goes for a Pedigree but Kozlov drives him into the corner where Kozlov hits some shoulder thrusts and a forearm! Kozlov whips Triple H into the ropes but lowers his head allowing Triple H to kick him in the face! Kozlov goes for a clothesline but Triple H ducks it and clotheslines him over the top rope!

Triple H gets on the apron and dives off but Kozlov catches him and drives him into the apron! Kozlov hits some shoulder thrusts and a forearm. Kozlov gets Triple H on his shoulder and throws Triple H shoulder first into the ring post! Strangely he doesn?t sell it so JR comes in with the save saying he got off and Kozlov took the brunt but the video evidence shows that Triple H did hit the post. Interesting, very interesting.

Triple H rolls in the ring and Vickie Guerrero comes out excusing herself! The crowd is booing hard! She says she’s sorry to interrupt but this match isn?t just a one on one match with Vladimir Kozlov ? there’s someone missing and it’s someone who Triple H knows very well! He knocked him out two weeks ago ? the Big Show!!

Big Show comes out as Kozlov smiles evilly.

:::Commercial Break:::

Match Restarted As:
Vladimir Kozlov & Big Show vs. Triple H

We come back from the break to see Big Show shove Triple H into the corner. Big Show goes for a slap but Triple H gets out of the way and clubs Big Show in the back which is still sore from the sledgehammer shot last week! Big Show makes his hilarious mad face and goes for a clothesline but Triple H ducks it and hits some right hands but Big Show hits a body shot and head-butt and the momentum is back on his side! Big Show whips Triple into the corner and Show charges but Triple H gets a boot in his face and Big Show spits all over the place! Triple H then hits Big Show in his back and he goes down! Triple H continues to hit the wounded area, then goes into the ropes, and is taken down by a SPEAR from Big Show!! Big Show throws Triple H into the corner and tags in Kozlov!

Kozlov comes in and hits some shoulder thrusts and a forearm. Kozlov has an Irish whip reversed on him, ducks Triple H’s clothesline, and gets taken down with a high knee! Triple H clotheslines Kozlov in the corner, goes into the ropes, and is taken down by a powerslam from the Moscow Mauler! Kozlov pins for a two count! Kozlov mounts Triple H and pounds him a bit. Kozlov drives Triple H into the corner, hits a shoulder thrust, and tags in Big Show.

Show comes in and hits some body shots. Big Show then takes him down with a head-butt. That would be gimmick infringement since Kozlov is standing right there. Triple H tries to come back with some hooks to the ribs but Big Show just digs a knee into him. Show clubs his back, sending him into the corner, where Big Show hits some more body shots. Big Show hits a head-butt and a big chop. Show now hits some more body shots until the referee makes him back away! Big Show brings Triple H out of the corner and head-butts him. Show now stands on his throat and gets off at the referee’s three count! Big Show puts Triple H in the corner and slaps his chest! Triple H staggers to another corner where Big Show chops him again! Big Show hits a nice suplex and a leg dr0p for a two count! Big Show elbows his shoulder and tags in Kozlov.

Kozlov hits a shot to the ribs and some forearms. Triple H and Kozlov now trade blows but Kozlov capitalizes with a fallaway slam! Kozlov covers for a two count! Kozlov tags Big Show in.

Show comes in and punches Triple H in the ribs. Big Show picks him up and head-butts him down. Big Show now goes for a Vader Bomb but Triple H gets out of the way!! The crowd is getting behind Triple H who goes to the second rope and jumps off into a Showstopper from Big Show for a CLOSE two and a half count!! Big Show tags in Kozlov.

Kozlov comes in and goes for a running powerslam but Triple H counters into a NICE DDT! Kozlov gets up and walks into some right hands from Triple H! Triple H has an Irish whip reversed on him but Kozlov lowers his head and gets a face buster! Big Show tries to hit him from the apron but Triple H punches him! Kozlov runs out to him and gets hit with the Double A Spinebuster!! Triple H is still going!!

Big Show now comes in and tries to stop him but Triple H avoids whatever he was doing and goes for a Pedigree on Kozlov but Big Show punches him in the back of the head!! Kozlov now hits Triple H with his Chokeslam Variation and pins Triple H for the victory!!

Winners by Pinfall: Vladimir Kozlov & Big Show
Match Rating: ** ?

Vladimir Kozlov stands triumphant over Triple H as JR questions whether Triple H’s fate has been sealed for the Royal Rumble.

Quick Match Results

Undertaker def. Shelton Benjamin via Submission (non-title)
The Great Khali def. Chavo Guerrero
Michelle McCool & Natalya def. The Bella Twins via DQ
No DQ: Edge def. Matt Hardy
Miz* & Morrison def. Carlito* & Primo (non-title)
Vladimir Kozlov* & Big Show def. Triple H

Bump of the Night: Primo being sent through the ropes into the ring post and hitting the stairs on the way to the ground!
Match of the Night: Undertaker def. Shelton Benjamin ***

Mike’s Thoughts

I?d be remiss if I didn?t first say that I love’s new layout design and am proud that Smackdown is the first recap to show up under this new design! Of course I?d suggest reading it in the black color scheme. I guess you know which theme I voted for!

Excellent edition of Smackdown tonight! We had some excellent matches and some excellent segments! Great go home show for the Royal Rumble!

Jeff Hardy had as good an interview as I?ve ever heard him have. He really showed a lot of raw emotion and seems to really be getting more comfortable talking. JR brings the best out of everyone. I remember back in the day when JR would have an interview with someone and they?d show it in segments over the course of four weeks. After those few weeks that person would be a star. Mick Foley really benefited from his interview with JR. He was a great wrestler but that interview took him over the hump to superstardom! Goldust had a good one as well. Probably my favorite one was in 2002 when he interviewed Vince McMahon where he famously said, ?I enjoy destroying lives ? it turns me on!? Coincidentally he was building up for his confrontation against Ric Flair at the 2002 Royal Rumble. All in all, good work by Jeff Hardy, who’s really been on his game for a while now!

I?m really looking forward to the Royal Rumble this Sunday. It’s my second favorite Pay Per View of the year. My favorite? Cyber Sunday! Just kidding. Anyway this year’s edition looks to be good. The undercard is ok but the Rumble itself is going to be great. AGAIN I have no clue who is going to win it. I?d like to say Undertaker or Shawn Michaels because I?d like to see them in the Main Event in Texas but I can?t be certain. We?ll know by Monday morning who it will be!

It was nice to see Maryse back. She’s been developing well and I?m looking forward to seeing what she does as Diva’s Champion. She’s really been improving.

Edge once again had a great match with Matt Hardy. Those two bring out the best in one another even though I?m sure there are still some awkward feelings after all these years. Matt Hardy still looks strong in defeat but we?ll see how he looks when he’s beaten on Sunday by the over-pushed Jack Swagger.

I?d just like to clear something up now. I know it said in the spoilers and early in the day when the Smackdown Preview was put up on the site saying that Triple H would have to enter the Royal Rumble at #1 if he lost but there was absolutely no mention of that tonight on Smackdown or on That could mean anything. Maybe they want to keep it a secret or maybe he?ll just enter the Rumble at a random time. Who knows? So for the record Triple H isn?t guaranteed to come in at #1. That is a storyline that was cut from tonight’s broadcast.

Poor Chavo Guerrero. That’s all I have to say.

All in all a tremendous episode of Smackdown! I can?t wait to cover the fall out of the Royal Rumble next week! Here’s hoping for a Smackdown guy!

Final Smackdown Rating: *** ?

As always I?d love to hear from those of you who liked the recap and those of you who didn?t. How can it be improved? Let me know! Also if you send me an e-mail giving your pick on who will win the Royal Rumble and it turns out to be correct, you?ll get a shout out in the column!

E-Mail ?

Enjoy the 22nd edition of the Royal Rumble!

Thanks for reading!