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December 4, 2009
– Adam Russell

--- CM Punk (w/Luke Gallows) Vs R-Truth

We went straight to the action this week, as Punk and Truth squared off in the latest instalment of their rivalry. Punk got the early
advantage, beating Truth down in the corner with punches and kicks, before Truth hit back with the corner jazz leg lariat for a two count.
Punk then retook control with more brawling offence, sending his opponent to the outside with a back elbow, and then forcing him into
the ring post as we cut to our first commercial at 2’33. We came back at 5’49 to find R-Truth in an armbar, and Punk continued
the attack on the arm with a hammerlock suplex, an over the shoulder arm breaker, and a legdrop to the injured limb. Truth got his
comeback on by floating over a suplex and hitting a couple of clotheslines and a hiptoss, and was primed to deliver the axe kick when
Gallows intervened, tripping Truth as he hit the ropes and getting Punk disqualified for the second week running, at 9’59. Gallows
pulled Truth out of the ring and sent him into the security wall, and then sent him back inside, where he held him in place for Punk to
deliver his corner kneelift to the injured arm. Gallows then hit the Gallows Bomb to leave Truth lying (excuse the oxymoron). Last week I
raised an issue with the Punk/Gallows beatdown on Matt Hardy, that being why Truth didn’t intervene. I guess Hardy himself
harboured bad feelings about that, because he was also conspicuous by his absence here. The match itself was decent, but nothing
special. I enjoyed the period of offence by Punk, focusing on Truth’s arm, as he busted out one or two interesting moves, showing
his wide repertoire. Obviously, the ending was rather abrupt, but it served its function. My guess is that this is leading to a Hardy/Truth Vs
Punk/Gallows match, possibly at the upcoming TLC pay-per-view.

--- Kane Vs Mike Knox

The action continued next, in this battle of the big men. Kane took Knox down with a shoulderblock, then hit a snap mare and a low
dropkick to the face. Knox came back with punches, but Kane levelled him with a thrust to the throat, before missing a charge into the
corner, allowing Knox to hit a cross body block. He then sent Kane into the corner and dug a shoulder into his gut, before hitting a splash
and applying a waistlock. Kane fought his way out of the hold and took Knox down with a big boot. He followed up with a couple of
clotheslines in the corner, a side suplex, and the flying clothesline. Knox fought his way free from a chokeslam attempt, but Kane blocked
the pump kick and then nailed the chokeslam to pick up the win at 3’36. Nothing really to this one, although it does make me wonder
if I’m ever going to get to see Knox get another televised win.

We cut to the back next, where Josh Matthews was interviewing the tag team champions, Chris Jericho and the Big Show. Jericho cut an
excellent promo, putting over the damage that they can do to D-X in their TLC match at the pay-per-view. He broke down the effects of the
three different weapons that will be on show in that match, finishing by saying that Big Show is the most brutal weapon of all.  

Michelle McCool and Layla were out to watch the next match, a triple threat to decide the next challenger to McCool’s divas
championship. They were both wearing t-shirts with “Piggie James� on the front.

--- Mickie James Vs Beth Phoenix Vs Natalya

James hit an early hurricanrana on Natalya, before Beth back body dropped her to the outside, and then the two power divas squared up
to one another. After a couple of shoulderblocks with neither lady giving an inch, they knocked each other down with simultaneous
clotheslines. This took us to the break at 1’40, and when we returned at 4’47 we found Natalya holding Mickie in an arm
surfboard. Beth intervened, beating down Natalya, and Mickie then hit a neckbreaker on the daughter of the Anvil. She went for a cover, but
Beth broke the count. She went for a slam on Mickie, and Natalya dropkicked James on top of the Glamazon. Natalya then hit Mickie with
a discus clothesline and went for the sharpshooter, but Beth hit the Glam Slam on her. She went for a cover, but Mickie dropkicked Beth
to the outside, pinning Natalya for the win at 7’01. Matthews made his way out to interview the victor, and she announced that her
sights were now set on McCool. She said that McCool had taken things too far between them, but now she was going to shut her up,
getting in the face of the champion and pushing her over her chair before attacking Layla. The numbers game caught up with Mickie
though, and McCool and Layla started double-teaming her, until Maria made her comeback after a few weeks’ absence to make the
save. This match was as much of a mess as most triple threats are, but it was refreshing to see three girls in the ring who could
obviously go, and didn’t look awkward. It got me particularly interested in seeing a Beth/Natalya match-up. What was really amazing
is that James cut a really good promo after the match.

In the back, Batista was protesting to Teddy Long about possibly having to face Rey Mysterio again. Long made a match for next week
pitting Batista against Rey in a streetfight. Batista said that he has no problem with that, but does have a problem with the Undertaker
supposedly calling him out later in the night. I think it’s really stupid when call-outs are advertised earlier in the show, as though the
Undertaker had told WWE officials what his plans for the evening are.

Next we cut to Matt Hardy playing Smackdown Vs Raw. He was playing as John Morrison against Drew McIntyre. Not even Matt Hardy
wants to be Matt Hardy, I guess. Morrison came in and said that he’s going to beat McIntyre for real, setting up the next match.

--- John Morrison Vs Drew McIntyre

Before the match, in which the Intercontinental championship would not be on the line, McIntyre started to run Morrison down on the mic,
before Morrison gave him a slap to the face. The bell rang and Morrison delivered a side Russian legsweep to his opponent, and then a
standing shooting star press. He followed that up with a bicycle kick, before Drew caught him with a knee, and sent his head into the
steel corner post. We went to the break with McIntyre in command, at 4’13, and came back at 7’30 to see Drew hitting a big
clothesline for a two count. Morrison made a comeback with a flying shoulderblock, a leg lariat and a running knee to the head, and then
went for the Flying Chuck, only for McIntyre to take his legs out. Drew then hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but Morrison caught him with an
elbow and a dropkick. He went for the Starship Pain, but Drew rolled to the apron, from where he hit a hot shot. Morrison came straight
back by hitting a Flying Chuck, knocking Drew to the outside. McIntyre started to go under the ring, but when Morrison tried to stop him, the
Scotsman pulled him into the steel support bars, sent him back into the ring and hit the double arm DDT to pick up the win at 13’13.
This wasn’t a bad match, with McIntyre getting more of a chance to showcase his skills. This will set up a meeting between the two
with the championship on the line, and I wonder if WWE goes ahead and makes the switch, possibly moving Morrison up into the world
championship picture.

Last week saw the end of the short-lived Vickie Guerrero/Eric Escobar relationship. Vickie came out next, and said that she was
humiliated by Escobar, as he had the audacity to question her personal hygiene, but now he will face the consequences. She called him
out, demanding an apology, and he duly appeared, saying that he was sorry that they ever met, and sorry that he had to see her in a
negligee. She screamed at him, and said that she could fire him, but that would be too easy. Ah, the old ‘firing you would be too easyâ
€™ reasoning that worked so well for Vince McMahon amongst others. Vickie then made a match pitting Escobar against the Hart
Dynasty.

--- Eric Escobar Vs The Hart Dynasty

Tyson Kidd started off for the Harts, but Escobar took it to him, hitting a clothesline in the corner, a hiptoss, and a dropkick. Kidd hit back
with a low dropkick, and tagged in David Hart Smith. Smith kept the advantage for his team with some stiff forearm uppercuts, and then
Kidd came back in. Escobar made a comeback, hitting a sit-out powerbomb, and then a clothesline on Smith. But Smith caught him with
a knee and then hit a back suplex, before the Dynasty finished him off with the Hart Attack at 2’26. After the match Smith held Escobar
while Vickie slapped him, and then Smith gave him a hard kick to the ribs.

I’m a little surprised that Escobar is still a part of the main roster, as last week’s storyline breaking up with Vickie looked like a
way to send him back to developmental, or even worse. This was obviously an attempt to get Escobar over as a babyface. At this point, itâ
€™s too early to tell if that will be any more successful than the attempt to get him over as a heel. He did get to show a little more fire,
both in the ring and on the mic, and hopefully that’s something that he can build on.

We went to the back next, where Matthews was interviewing Punk and Gallows. He asked Gallows about the change he has made from
Festus to straight-edge, and Gallows explained that he was made to look like a moron because of a prescription pill addiction, and the
family and friends who enabled him. He went on to say that CM Punk saved him, and he prays that al the other lost souls can adopt a
straight-edge lifestyle and see Punk as their saviour.

--- Chris Jericho and the Big Show Vs Cryme Tyme

Jericho and JTG got us underway, exchanging blows before Jericho bailed from the ring and ate a baseball slide. Back in the ring, JTG
hit a leg lariat off the second rope for a two count, before Jericho replied with a clip to the leg and a back suplex. A wraparound clothesline
from JTG led to a pair of tags, and Shad was particularly pumped to get into the ring, until he ran into a big right hand from Show, and that
was all she wrote at 3’19. An abrupt and unique end to the match, which played into Jericho’s promo earlier in the night.

It was now time for the final segment of the night, and the Undertaker made his way out to ‘call out’ Batista. He didn’t get far
before Batista attacked him from behind with a chair, continued to pound on him with the object, sent him twice into the steel steps, hit a
spinebuster on the chair, and then finally laid him out with a belt shot. The show came to a close with Batista standing over the
Undertaker, posing with the championship that he hopes to win at TLC in a chair match.

This turn of events made sense- why wouldn’t Batista attack the Dead Man, after he announced he was going to call him out- and
was a big improvement on the expected face-to-face confrontation, ending with one man hitting his finisher on the other. Batista, on this
evidence, is indeed an Animal.

A decent show overall, with some good storyline development, but only a few flashes of really good wrestling. Smackdown just lately has
felt like it’s just coasting along, lacking the focus and excitement of the shows which were built around the CM Punk/Jeff Hardy feud.
Nothing now feels as must-see as that, though it remains an enjoyable watch.

MVP of the night- Chris Jericho. He really did a great job with his promo, putting over the match and his tag team partner.

Line of the night- Jericho literally cracked me up when he compared the Big Show to ‘an average hypocrite on the street’. I love the
idea of Jericho referring to everybody as hypocrites.