1/15 SD: Surprise!!

After a 3 week layoff for illnesses and a freak rib injury (thank you to my fellow writers for covering me), I returned to the world of Smackdown, which made its stop in cheesehead county- Greeeeen Baaaay, Wisconnnnnsin (my one and only Mr. Kennedy impersonation). The SD fans finally saw a #1 contender named for the World Title- again- plus surprise tag team contenders to the Unified Tag Team Titles. On with the show….

*“Broken Code”: Kane d. Dolph Ziggler. Mr. Ziggles pressed his luck one too many times against the Big Red machine by having a 3rd straight match with him. This time, Ziggler fell to Kane.

*C.M. Punk/Luke Gallows d. Cryme Tyme, The Hart Dynasty, and The Great Khali/Matt Hardy (Fatal 4-Way); Punk and Gallows vs. DX for the Unified Tag Team Titles at the Royal Rumble. This match was surprising in a few ways: Khali and Hardy a TAG TEAM?! (well, they aren’t really doing much with either of them, but still…) The Harts LOST (more on that in a second)? The blind tag gets Cryme Tyme again? With the Hart Dynasty, I figured this would be a perfect chance to turn up the feud with them and DX, possibly involving Vince and Brett down the road. But, with a blind tag and a nasty Gallows Pole on JTG, the Straight-Edged Savior and his disciple get to take on a team that has a rep for being the exact opposite of straight-edge: Degeneration-X. The interaction between these 2 teams is gonna be great in the weeks leading up to the Rumble.

Chris Jericho d. John Morrison. This was a heck of a match to open Smackdown with: two of the best athletes in the company- one a possible World Champion in the future, the other a multi-time Champion. A lot of action and entertainment value in this match. But, if you’re John Morrison, you know you’re having a bad night when you get codebreakered by a man whose lower face looked like a plum (thanks to Mike Tyson on Raw), get pinned, then the IC Champion Drew McIntyre steps into the ring and steps on *your* face…! Not a great night to be the “Friday Night Delight”.

Mickey James d. Beth Phoenix by disqualification. I really like this “triangle” feud between Phoenix, James, and Michelle McCool (sorry Layla, not even close to being in the other 3’s league). James and Phoenix both want McCool’s title, both hate McCool, but they absolutely don’t like each other… and this match showed it. A lot of hard-hitting on both sides. Beth Phoenix’s temper got the better of her when she hung Mickie upside-down in the turnbuckle and wouldn’t back off after repeated warnings from the ref. DQ win for James but it was of small consolation…. McCool and Layla showed up after the match; rather than run them off, Beth pretty much left Mickie “to the wolves”. It wasn’t pretty what McCool and Layla did to Mickie….

“Match of the Night”: Rey Mysterio d. Batista (Cage Match); Rey Mysterio vs. Undertaker for the World Title at the Royal Rumble; Mysterio is the Superstar of the Night. This was the Match of the Night because of the animosity between the 2 superstars, what was at stake in the match, and the overall atmosphere of the match. Before the match even happened, The Undertaker warned both of them that he would destroy the winner of this cage match. He then went on to say that, on the next Monday Night Raw, he would have an answer to Shawn Michaels’s challenge for a WrestleMania re-match. Once the match got started, it more of the same between these two: Batista showed off his brute strength, while Mysterio tried to counteract it with his speed and agility. However, it was Rey’s agility that again put an end to Batista’s title hopes: Rey countered a Batista Bomb with a kick to the head, climbed the cage, and kicked the steel door in The Animal’s face when he tried to escape. Rey wins and *hopefully* the SD fans won’t have to see Batista in another title feud for a while… unless he wins the Royal Rumble.

2 weeks are left until The Royal Rumble and Smackdown is doing a great job in setting things up for it.

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