We started off with the best in the world, Chris Jericho. Never a bad way to start the show. He cut a vintage (yeah I said it) Jericho promo talking about how he should be the number one contender to the World title and also that TLC matches are the most dangerous in WWE. I guess we should forget that a month ago they told us Hell in a Cell matches were the most dangerous. And we'll forget it again February when they tell us Elimination Chamber matches are the most dangerous. He mentioned being in two of the eight TLC matches saying that he won one (with Benoit in 2001, but they can't say his name of course). He was also in the TLC match with Christian on Raw in 2002 that Kane and Hurricane won even though Hurricane was "injured" in the match. Man, I went off on a tangent. Like usual, this was an excellent promo. He's the best talker in the company with CM Punk in a close second. Anyway, Teddy Long came out to say Jericho will wrestle the Undertaker later in the night in a non-title match.<!--more-->The Hart Dynasty d. Cryme Tyme (*1/2)This again? I love the Hart Dynasty and I think Cryme Tyme's fine for what they do, but this match has been done too much this year. If they were revolutionizing the tag division like E&C vs. Matt & Jeff then by all means put it on every week. They're not, though. It's just another tag match for a company that lacks real tag teams. The Hart Dynasty is one of the most underutilized commodities in all of WWE right now. They could be doing so much more.They went to Teddy's office for some bad acting with John Morrison. They have absolutely no chemistry. At least they didn't sing Michael Jackson songs this time. Vickie came in with Eric Escobar. Morrison said he needs a better catchphrase than calling himself Essssscobar. Is it a catchphrase when you just exaggerate one letter? I don't think so. She wants Eric to get a title shot. Teddy says no, then she threatens to call Vince and Teddy gives Eric a title shot against Morrison.CM Punk came out next with an unidentified big guy. He explained that sometimes people overdo drugs and need help, just like the guy he was with. It was Festus, now known as Luke Gallows. I'm not sure about the new name, but I'm glad they dumped the terrible "ring the bell" gimmick. This storyline had been rumored to happen for a while now. Is it the best way to forget about the stupid gimmick? Maybe not, but I'm at the point where I'm happy it happened because I think Luke/Festus actually has good potential as a big man heel. Punk went on this rant saying that on Tuesday something would be released that was dangerous, the Jeff Hardy DVD. What a creative way to plug a DVD for somebody that doesn't work for WWE anymore. He said to watch the last chapter, which was the cage match that saw Punk force Jeff to leave WWE. The Summerslam match is better, for the record. This brought out a jobber. Oh wait, it's Matt Hardy. Same thing. Matt defends his brother and said if Punk stopped worrying about everybody else he wouldn't be a former World Champion. Kids, that's how you talk trash if you're a ten year WWE employee that loses more than he wins. This set up a match.Matt Hardy d. CM Punk via DQ (*3/4)This was a predictable match that saw Hardy hit the Twist of Fate leading to the DQ finish after Gallows attacked him. They got about five minutes or so before the finish. I was thinking that R-Truth would come out here to save Matt since he was feuding with Punk, but no sign of him. They beat up Matt after the match with Gallows hitting some power moves. I think this pairing will work well because Punk can be that type of heel that talks a lot of stuff, but relies on his bodyguard to protect him. Hopefully they don't break them up too soon like WWE tends to do.My beloved Mickie James-Canton did an interview backstage saying she's not leaving Smackdown despite the tactics of Michelle McTaker and Layla. I should point out too that I find Mickie to be even more attractive with the dark brown hair. Being on TV for only 30 seconds isn't enough for me, though. I need my Mickie fix.Batista d. Kane via countout (*1/2)On the list of matches that I don't need to see ever again, Batista vs. Kane is up there. This was pretty sloppy. They tried hard and they gave them 15 minutes, but this is one of those matches that needed to be under ten minutes. The finish they did saw Batista beat Kane by DQ after attacking his knee on the floor. That seems to be his new patented move. The Ric Flair like chopping of the back of the leg. I'm surprised that they would protect Kane like this. He lost to Jericho in a number one contender's match a few weeks ago, yet Batista (a supposed heel monster) can't even pin a guy he has pinned plenty of times before? That's weak. Batista needed to have a dominant win here. Why the soft finish when there's probably nothing in Kane's future like always?John Morrison d. Eric Escobar (1/2*)This was a three minute squash basically. They called up Escobar two months ago, they put him in a few matches and they apparently soured on him quickly. Didn't they know what they were getting into with this guy based on his work in Florida Championship Wrestling? I mean, that's why you have that developmental territory. Why call a guy up if he's not ready? Weird. Post match, Vickie yelled at Escobar and walked off in a huff as if she had walked up to the buffet table and nothing was left. See, I can make fat jokes too.Backstage, Escobar caught up to Vickie and said he was sick of her. He basically said she was disgusting and it's not worth it anymore, so they're done. I don't expect to see Escobar on Smackdown next week or anytime soon. It's probably back to the minors for him, which is why they put Vickie in there as a consultant to Teddy Long. It keeps her around without keeping Escobar on Smackdown.We get a video package replaying Monday. I'm dreading the next Raw with all the midgets. At least I get to watch a great Saints/Pats game that night.They brought Batista out again to do guest commentary. He said nothing the entire time. He's a better announcer than Michael Cole already and he's only done this two times. He might win a Johnny Award if he keeps up this amazing consistency.The Undertaker d. Chris Jericho via DQ (**1/4)Two weeks ago they did their first ever match. Now they've wrestled in two tag matches (one on Raw, one on SD), a triple threat (Survivor Series) and on this show in another singles match. Way to kill a fresh match in about three weeks. I'm not complaining about seeing this match. I like seeing them wrestle. However, there's something to be said about saving matches and finding a way to present good matches on PPV that people actually want to see. It's foolish to lose sight of that. The match two weeks ago was better. It got a bit more time and due to the freshness factor, it had me marking out for stuff more. This time it was a replay of that in a lot of ways although neither guy really went for the big finishers. They did a spot where Batista got up out of the chair, stared at Undertaker, did absolutely nothing and that allowed Jericho to get the advantage. They did some counters with Undertaker hitting a big boot, then a legdrop and a two count. Jericho came back with the bulldog and the Lionsault. He was about to cover when Undertaker chokeslammed him. He set him up for the Tombstone, which was the cue for Batista to come in to clip him in the back of the leg for the DQ.Post match, Jericho hit a Codebreaker while Batista got a chair. He beat Undertaker in the back with it although he didn't do that great of a job of making it look real because it was obvious he was hitting the top of the chair on the mat. A couple of the shots looked okay. They ended it with a shot to the head with the chair, which was more of a grazing shot. It's safer than a direct shot, so that's fine. I was thinking Batista would beat on his lower leg with the chair and then put him in the ankle lock, which he has been using. He stuck to hitting him in the back before that killshot to the head. Oh well. I like creative beatings, what can I say?I have no problems with Batista vs. Undertaker. I really liked their feud in 2007 although to be fair I didn't pay that close attention to all of it because some of the matches happened after the Benoit murders and I wasn't really watching every week. I've seen all the PPV matches, though. They have a bunch of very good matches in their history. I expect another good one with Batista now in the heel role. The question is what exactly is a chair match? A ladder match involves the winner climbing a ladder to retrieve something to win the match. A tables match ends when somebody gets put through a table. What's a chair match? Does it mean a chair is the only weapon that can be used in the match? Can it be multiple chairs or just one? Will it be hanging, on a pole or be under the ring? We don't know. We've got two more episodes of Smackdown to find out.Three Stars of the Show1. Chris Jericho – Strong opening promo like usual and solid in the ring as usual.2. CM Punk – Fun promo again. Like his pairing with Luke/Festus so far.3. Batista – I enjoy heel Batista a lot more than I ever enjoyed face Batista.4.5 out of 10Last week: 6Smackdown was just average this week. For the first time since the draft lottery, Raw has been better than Smackdown for consecutive weeks. To me, the biggest problem on Smackdown are the lack of babyfaces in the midcard. They should really move Christian over soon because I'm tired of seeing guys like Hardy and Kane in the same type of midcard matches week after week. They booked Kane to lose to Jericho in a number one contender's match a few weeks back. Why does he get another opportunity? Because there's nobody else? That shouldn't be a reason.On the plus side, the top three heels on this show are excellent. I love Jericho and Punk while Batista has looked fresher than he has in the last five years.Where was Drew McIntyre? They booked him to be one of the final three guys in his Survivor Series match and then completely left him off this show? He should be feuding with John Morrison for the IC title.---------That's all I got this week. See you on Tuesday for the Raw Deal and keep on checking the blog for other random posts on a variety of topics. On Monday morning I'll let you know what column is going to be posted on Thursday. One of them has a lead right now, so I'm starting to write it already. It will be fun.Thanks for reading.John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.orgVisit the blog: johnreport.wordpress.comAdd me on Facebook at Facebook.com/thejohnreport and Twitter at Twitter.com/johnreportAOLIM: OratorJC MSN: email@example.comVisit My Archives to view ten years of The John Report columns.