Smackdown – December 8, 2006

Date: December 8, 2006
Location: Florence Civic Center, Florence, South Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re on the way to Armageddon and the big story is that Raw World Champion John Cena will be joining forces with Smackdown World Champion Batista to face King Booker vs. Finlay. That could make for a big house show match, though they are going to need something a little bigger to make the card work. Would an Inferno match and a Last Ride match be enough? Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here is Mr. Kennedy to get things going, though he is a little shaken up by the hearse entrance. Kennedy says that Undertaker is not going to get inside his head by having a hearse in the arena. That isn’t going to take his mind off the Last Ride match because he already beat Undertaker at No Mercy and at Survivor Series. He is already inside Undertaker’s head and now he is going to beat Undertaker at Survivor Series. The gong strikes and the hearse starts moving backwards despite no one driving. Undertaker pops out from the back and chases Kennedy off in a hurry.

Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. William Regal/Dave Taylor

Non-title and Ashley is here with London/Kendrick. Speaking of London and Kendrick, they dropkick the villains off the apron before the bell to start fast. Everyone gets inside so Kendrick can crank on Regal’s arm and London adds a jumping elbow to the jaw. Taylor comes in and gets kicked down by Kendrick as commentary starts talking about Ashley in Playboy.

Regal takes London down and drops a knee on the head but the chinlock doesn’t last long. Instead he snaps off a half nelson suplex for two and Dave comes in for the full version, though minus the suplex. It’s already back to Regal for the chinlock but London fights up and dropkicks his way to freedom. Taylor isn’t about to allow a hot tag though and dives onto London for the save.

Regal comes back in and headlocks London in front of Kendrick, because Regal is great at tormenting people. That takes a bit too long though and London backdrops his way to freedom. The hot tag brings in Kendrick to clean house but Regal goes outside to stalk Regal. London breaks that up and gets a hug, but Regal trips Kendrick down, allowing Taylor to hit the bridging butterfly suplex for the pin.

Rating: C. These guys worked rather well together and it should set up a heck of a title match when they get there. The London/Ashley stuff feels a bit like the Hardys and Lita, which is not the worst place to go, and it isn’t like London and Kendrick have much else to do as champions in the first place. Now just do the rematch and see where it goes from there.

John Cena is ready for Armageddon because he doesn’t like King Booker or Finlay either.

Batista says we’ll never see something like this again and is ready for Finlay tonight.

King Booker wants his title shot but Finlay tells him to wait in line. Booker wants to make sure they are on the same page, but Finlay says Booker talks too much.

Batista vs. Finlay

Non-title. Batista backs him into the corner and smirks a lot on the break. Some right hands and a knee to the face in the corner have Finlay in more trouble and the BATISTA chants start up again. Finlay gets tired of getting hit in the face so he takes Batista down and cranks on a chinlock. That’s broken up in a hurry and Batista hits a clothesline, followed by pulling Finlay away from the ropes for a crash. Finlay gets dropped onto and kicked over the barricade as we take a break.

Back with Batista hitting an elbow to the face but getting sent face first into the middle turnbuckle. There’s a rake to the eyes to keep Batista down but he manages to get in a quick shot to the face of his own. A Jackhammer plants Finlay for two and it’s time to work on a hammerlock.

Batista boots him in the face to send us to the floor again, though this time Finlay sends him shoulder first into the post. Back in and Finlay works on the arm with an armbar and then sends it into the buckle. A Fujiwara armbar goes on but Batista powers up into a Samoan drop. Cue the Leprechaun, who is tossed onto Finlay. Now cue King Booker, who is tossed onto the floor but Finlay comes back with the shillelagh for the DQ.

Rating: C+. This was pretty good while it lasted and the pretty long match time flew by. Batista is getting better at the power game and Finlay can do something like this with anyone. They beat each other up well enough and in this case, the run in made sense as Finlay and Booker are going to need as much momentum as they can to keep the match from looking like the one sided main event that it will be.

Post match the beatdown is on with the villains focusing on Batista’s arm.

Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Jamie Noble

The winner gets a Cruiserweight Title shot against Gregory Helms, on commentary, at Armageddon. Noble starts fast and hammers away at Yang, including a suplex for two. We’re already on the chinlock as Helms does not seem thrilled with the fact that Yang is “half Asian, half stupid.” Yang comes back with a middle rope kick to the face but runs into a powerslam for two. They slug it out until Yang gets in a hard shot to the face, setting up a moonsault press for the pin and the title shot.

Rating: C-. No time here and the win lets Yang have the chance to challenge for the least valuable title in all of WWE. There is no reason to get excited about the title, though at least Helms is finally defending the thing. WWE has done a terrible job of making the title seem like it matters at all so maybe this can help get it back on its feet. Of course it won’t, but I’ll take it for one night.

Chris Benoit denies that he is a woman beater but Vickie Guerrero comes in to slap him. Chavo Guerrero helps her away.

MVP asks Teddy Long how many times he has to beat Kane. Now it’s an inferno match and that is not cool with him. He tries to talk to him, “brother to brother”, but Long says that MVP doesn’t have some kind of contract clause to get out of this but if he doesn’t get in the ring, he’s fired. MVP can call his agent or the Ghostbusters, because next week it’s MVP/Mr. Kennedy vs. Undertaker/Kane.

Sylvan vs. Chris Benoit

Non-title and Benoit chops away, rolls the German suplex, and wins with the Crossface in less than a minute.

Fans are looking forward to things on the See No Evil DVD. I’m expecting a movie to be one of them.

Miz vs. Scotty 2 Hotty

Cole and JBL bicker over Miz to start, with JBL seeming to get the better of things as Miz falls outside. Back in and Miz hits a slingshot shoulder for two, which has JBL more behind Scotty. A missed shot in the corner lets Scotty come back with the faceplant. The Worm takes too long though and Miz rolls him up with tights for the pin.

Post match Miz beats on Scotty even more and even tries his own Worm. That’s enough to bring out the suspended Boogeyman to lay Miz out and load up the worms….but Miz bails before he gets messy.

In the spirit of the holiday season, Kane roasts some chestnuts….in his bare hand.

Armageddon run down.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Kane

Before the match, Kennedy promises to beat Undertaker again. Kennedy jumps Kane before the bell but gets knocked down and elbow dropped. Kane hammers away in the corner, setting up a legdrop for two. More shots to the face send Kennedy outside so Kane heads outside to keep up the beating. Kennedy manages to get part of the barricade padding off but Kane hits him in the face again. They head outside again and this time Kennedy manages to dropkick him into the exposed barricade.

That’s good for an eight count so Kennedy plants him with a DDT for two more. The chinlock goes on for a bit until Kennedy sends him into the corner, only to have a running boot to the face countered with a grab of the throat. Some running clotheslines in the corner set up the side slam to plant Kennedy but he’s right back with the swinging neckbreaker. Kane pops back up and knocks Kennedy out of the air, setting up the top rope clothesline. The chokeslam is loaded up but MVP runs in for the DQ.

Rating: C. I’m not sure what else there was to expect here as much like Batista vs. Finlay earlier, the run in finish made the most sense. Kennedy continues to get to hang with a big name and he wasn’t completely beaten before the DQ. That’s about as good as this was going to be and it worked out fairly well as a main event.

Undertaker, gong, lights out, Kane and Kennedy disappear, fire scares MVP to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. They are doing everything they can to set up the pay per view but there is no way around the fact that the main event is little more than a guest star. The two gimmick matches can help the show a bit, but they are going to need more than that to make it work. I don’t think Benoit vs. Chavo (again) and Yang vs. Helms is going to do that, though I’m not sure what else they have to throw on there to make it much better.

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