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December 11, 2009
– Adam Russell

The last WWE show before the TLC pay-per-view was hyped around a street-fight between Batista and Rey Mysterio, as the Animal
prepares for his World Heavyweight Championship Chair Match against The Undertaker. We were also promised a “face-off�
between Intercontinental Championship rivals, John Morrison and Drew McIntyre. What we got was one of the worst episodes of
Smackdown in a long time.

It was Batista who got us underway, telling us that he had a couple of things to get off his chest. The first was that he didn’t ask for
this match against Mysterio, and that he Rey doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring as him. The second thing was that he has
noticed that the fans have started booing him, but he explained that he doesn’t care, as it’s all about him, and his quest to
become champion again. He went on that he never heard the fans when they were cheering for him, and that he doesn’t hear them
now. He then turned his attention to the Undertaker, saying that he isn’t the dominant force that he used to be, and for the last two
weeks he has beaten him down and seen fear in his eyes. He closed by saying that The Undertaker has already lost, and that their
match at TLC is just a formality. This was a pretty bland opening promo, which may have served simply to remind the fans that Batista is
a bad guy now.

--- CM Punk and Luke Gallows Vs Matt Hardy and R-Truth

CM Punk, characteristically, had some things to say before this match got started. He held up a copy of the new Jeff Hardy DVD, saying
that it has been flying off the shelves, and while he is not shocked by that, he is disturbed that parents are buying it for their kids for
Christmas. He asserted that they may as well be stuffing stockings with magic mushrooms, and that watching the DVD makes you a
washed up, good for nothing, unemployed junkie. He then dropped the DVD to the floor and stamped on it, prompting Hardy and Truth to
come out, with Hardy handing out copies of the DVD to kids in the crowd. Punk tried to tell them that they may as well be peddling drugs,
for which he received a microphone shot to the head from Truth, which got the action underway. Gallows started with Truth as legal man,
in his first televised match in the gimmick, and he backed Truth into the corner before tagging in Punk. Punk was met by clotheslines
from Truth, one of which sent him over the top rope as we hit the break 39 seconds in. We returned at 3’22, and Hardy and Truth
were hitting a double hiptoss and elbowdrop on Punk. Punk got into the match by front suplexing Truth onto the ropes, and then Gallows
came in, hitting a gut-buster. Punk tagged back in and took Truth down with a snap powerslam for a two count, and then proceeded to
wear Truth down with a seated abdominal stretch. Gallows took over with a bear hug, and then levelled Truth with a big boot. Punk came
back in and hit a back suplex, but his springboard attempt was met by a dropkick, allowing Truth to make the hot tag to Matt. Matt hit
clotheslines, and a reverse side effect on Punk, and then a second rope legdrop. Gallows broke the pinfall attempt, Truth took Gallows
out with a leg lariat, and then Punk threw Truth over the top rope. Matt then went for a Twist of Fate, but Punk countered into a Go To
Sleep. Hardy reversed one more time, this time nailing the Twist of Fate, but he didn’t notice Gallows tag himself in. Gallows hit a big
boot and then the Gallows Bomb to pick up the win at 8’50.

This wasn’t a bad match, with the main purpose seeming to have been to put over Gallows. I wonder where Punk and Gallows go
from here though, as it seems Punk’s talents would be put to better use further up the card. It’s also worth noting again how far
Matt Hardy seems to have fallen from grace ever since he injured his hand in a match with Jeff Hardy. I don’t see R-Truth ever being
anything more than an entertaining midcarder.

Vickie Guerrero and Eric Escobar were seen arguing in the back next, with Teddy Long looking on. Eric insulted Vickie’s looks, quel
surprise, so Vickie ordered him to wrestle Chris Jericho.

Next we saw Kane cruising down the corridor, only to be interrupted by Mike Knox, who said that the two of them are very alike, being
monsters that nobody understands. He told him that he enjoyed fighting him last week, and would like to do it again. Kane shot back that
they are nothing alike, and that he’s the only monster, although agreed that he enjoyed their fight last week, as he enjoyed beating
him. Knox threatened to put Kane in an ambulance, inciting the Big Red Monster to grab him by the throat. Knox then started talking about
asphyxiation causing extreme euphoria, causing Kane to, understandably, let go.

--- Eric Escobar Vs Chris Jericho

Escobar came out doing a full babyface act, slapping the hands of fans, and had the better of Jericho in the early stages, hitting a leg
lariat, clothesline, and sit-out power bomb for a two count. He then clotheslined Jericho over the top rope, which resulted in Vickie
Guerrero coming out and making the match a handicap match, adding The Big Show as Jericho’s partner.

--- Eric Escobar Vs Chris Jericho and The Big Show

Escobar tried to pick up the win before Show could make it to the ring, throwing Jericho back into the ring and covering for a two count, but
it was to no avail, as Jericho hit back with a knee and tagged in Show, who hit a shoulder tackle and legdrop to Escobar. Jericho then
tagged back in and finished the match with the Walls of Jericho at 3’00. Jericho got on the mic after the match and guaranteed victory
for he and Show over DX at TLC, adding that they will end DX for good.

Escobar looked the best here he has ever looked, showing some real fire in the brief time allowed him. The fans still didn’t care
though, and you can’t help wondering if trying to get him over as a babyface is a fool’s pursuit.

Drew McIntyre came out next, for the ’face-off’ with Intercontinental Champion, John Morrison. He had with him a copy of the
latest issue of WWE magazine, which featured a cover story focusing on future champions, with Morrison, but not him, being one of them.
Morrison decried this, and asked why the people believe in Morrison and not him. A brief USA chant started up, which seemed a little odd,
and McIntyre said that the idea of him losing to Morrison at TLC is as fictitious as the Lock Ness Monster and the portrayal of William
Wallace in Braveheart. John Morrison then came out, dressed as William Wallace, and a horrible back and forth promo ensued. The idea
of course was that the material was funny (it wasn’t), and that Morrison would come off as cool for mocking McIntyre (he didn’t).
In fact, Morrison’s performance was awful (though he was given nothing to work with), and he came off incredibly dorky. McIntyre
himself looked like a complete idiot for becoming so riled up over something so ridiculous. It ended with a brief brawl, resulting in
McIntyre escaping through the crowd.

--- Kane Vs Mike Knox

Kane hit a big boot in the early going of the match, but Knox avoided the low dropkick, hit a hot shot and a big boot of his own. He hit a
splash in the corner and a clothesline, but then Kane got his knees up to block a splash, hit the low dropkick, and then a side suplex. He
went up top, but Knox dodged the flying clothesline and hit his cross body block for a two count. Kane then hit a chokeslam out of
nowhere to get the win at 2’55. Knox’s losing streak continues unabashed.

After the same crappy DX skit that we got on Monday’s Raw, it was diva time.

--- Maria and Mickie James Vs Michelle McCool and Layla

Michelle and Maria started off, with Maria armdragging her opponent. McCool came back with a backbreaker and then cheapshotted
Mickie, with Maria hitting a flying headscissors. Mickie and Layla were tagged in, and Mickie hit clotheslines, a Thesz press, and then
sent Layla into Michelle, rolling her up for the win at 1’55.

Todd Grisham and Matt Striker were in the ring next to run down the card for TLC, and then it was time for the main event.

--- Streetfight- Batista Vs Rey Mysterio

Rey tried to stick and move early on, but ran into a big clothesline, and then ate a boot to the face, an elbow, and a powerslam. Mysterio
then floated out of another powerslam attempt and dropkicked Batista into position for the 619, but Batista ducked out of the ring. Rey hit
a baseball slide, and then got Batista on the run, before hitting another baseball slide which took us to commercial at 2’51. We came
back at 6’08 with Batista firmly in control, having sent Rey into the steel steps during the break. He whipped him with a television
cable, sent his head to the table, and then  gorilla slammed him head first onto the table, before sending him back into the ring. There he
hit a clothesline and went to get a chair, but Rey drop toe holded him onto the chair, hit a seated senton, the 619 and a springboard
splash to pick up a tantalising two count. He then hit him in the gut with the chair, and then in the back, but a third shot was stopped by a
spear from the Animal, who followed up with a spinebuster and then a chairshot to the head, giving him the victory at 11’10. Batista
then tried to Pillman-ise Rey’s head in the chair, but the lights went out and when they came back on, The Undertaker was in the ring.
’Taker knocked Batista down with punches and kicks but, when he grabbed the chair, Batista ran.

This main event was pretty indicative of the whole show really- it didn’t seem to work. There was nothing inherently wrong with the
work, but it just felt strangely meaningless. And that really is a problem running rife throughout Smackdown just recently.

MVP of the night- CM Punk. A really good promo before his match was the highlight of the night.

Line of the night- Punk comparing the new Jeff Hardy DVD to magic.