Welcome to the Talking Smack column where I offer up a quick rundown of WWE's Friday broadcast, Smackdown. The Smackdown portion of this column is going to be very brief because there's also a TLC preview at the end of this. I'm only giving myself about an hour to write it all because that's about as much free time as I'm going to have on this Saturday. First, though, the plugs.<!--more-->The WWE has their Slammy Awards on Monday. However, earlier in the day I have the Johnny Awards. Voting has been going on up at my blog all week. You can't vote on every single category, but you can vote on 14 of them. Here are the polls that you have been able to vote on:Monday: Best & Worst Wrestler (Now closed.)Tuesday: Best & Worst Match (Now closed.)Wednesday: Best & Worst FeudThursday: Best Talker & Best FemaleFriday: Best Raw Guest Host, Best & Worst PPVSaturday: Most Underused, Funniest Performer & The KNOCK THE FUCK OUT Award (Will be posted tonight.)It's all up at my blog or you can go to the direct link for the awards archive right here.I'll definitely be done the awards on Monday and will be posting it Monday well before Raw.-------------Taped from Houston, TX let's talk some smack…Batista started the show off in ring. He basically said Rey's overmatched later in the night in their street fight and that it's about him, not the fans. To show us just what he means, he asked for a spotlight on him so we couldn't see the fans. That's his way of owning the fans, I guess. Basically the whole point of this was to put over how obsessed he is about being the World Champion again. I thought it worked well. They gave him about eight minutes, the crowd seemed like they were legitimately booing him without the canned noise and his delivery seemed pretty natural. I'm pleased with heel Batista so far.CM Punk & Luke Gallows d. Matt Hardy & R-Truth (**)The Punk/Gallows duo came out plugging the Jeff Hardy DVD and then they beat it up. That'll show you, DVD! I really like the Punk/Gallows duo. It's perfect to give Punk a bodyguard while Gallows looks like the happiest guy out there because he's been rid of that terrible Festus gimmick. The match was fine as expected. Gallows go the blind tag and did his reverse full nelson slam thing for the finish, which they're calling "The Gallows Pole" or "The 12th Step." I wonder what Matt Hardy's record is on Smackdown this year? He's probably lost 70% of his matches this year, right? It might be more than that. I think it's a waste. I wish he was used better. They never seem to care to push him on Raw or Smackdown, though. By the way, CM Punk not being on a PPV is a crime. He was one of the two best wrestlers in the company this year (I'm not saying if he's first or second until Monday!) and he should be on every PPV. Maybe he should have worn a suit instead of questioning the dress code, I guess.Backstage, Eric Escobar insulted Vickie Guerrero some more to continue that storyline. I thought he'd be sent back to the minors. Guess not. She's going to make him pay by putting him against Jericho later.Backstage, Kane bumped into Mike Knox. They did some staring as if they wanted to make out. Remember when Mike was dating Kelly x2? That felt like ages ago. Anyway, they're fighting again this week because they want to see if it can be as boring as last week.Big Show & Chris Jericho d. Eric Escobar (1/2*)Escobar came out. Nobody cared. No reaction whatsoever. The match started against Jericho and then Vickie came out to make it a handicap match against Jerishow. Show came in, beat up Escobar a bit (no KTFO punch) and Jericho made him tap to the Walls. I guess we're supposed to feel sympathetic to Escobar, but I don't think it's working. Post match, Jericho cut a promo for TLC putting over Big Show being the biggest weapon in the match.Drew McIntyre came out angrily because he's always angry. He talked about how John Morrison is on the cover of WWE magazine in an issue talking about future stars. Well, I guess that's better than feuding over a shampoo commercial. He mentioned William Wallace in Braveheart (fantastic movie in my top 20 all time - I need to write a list sometime) and that ended up bringing out Morrison. He was dressed like William Wallace. I've actually got a friend with that name. Everybody calls him Braveheart. Maybe he should wrestle in the sandals. It's a hell of a look. He spoke in a Scottish accent, and then threatened McIntyre with his sword, which looked like a $3 one I might buy for my nephew at Wal-Mart. They ended up brawling a bit with McIntyre bailing to the floor before Morrison could hit him with a Flying Sandals Kick. I liked this. It showed Morrison's personality, which is what they need to do, and I'm looking forward to Sunday's match.Kane d. Mike Knox (1/2*)It was so average last week that we got it again this week. And Kane won with a chokeslam in under just three minutes. Will this continue? Does anybody care? No. By the way, it's been a few weeks. Better turn Kane heel now.Mickie James & Maria d. Michelle McCool & Layla (1/4*)The video package from the week before and the intros were longer than this match. Basically, Mickie couldn't get her hands on Michelle because Michelle kept running away. After about 90 seconds, Mickie won by pinning Layla with a rollup. I love how Layla is surprised when she loses. She's won maybe two matches all year. It was fine, but way too short. I need more Mickie.They ran down the PPV lineup. My preview is coming up in this column right after the SD review.Batista d. Rey Mysterio in a Street Fight (**)It was a street fight that was contained in the ring for like 95% of it. What a fight. I guess it was booked this way to emphasize how dangerous Batista is once he gets his hand on a chair. After about ten minutes of mostly Batista on offense (with a brief comeback by Rey), he got the chair and finished Rey off with a shot to the head, which Rey smartly blocked with his hand. Taking unprotected chair shots isn't worth the health risk. Predictable booking, but also the right booking.Post match, Batista was going to injure Rey some more until the lights went out and Undertaker showed up to throw some punches at him. He went for the chair, which allowed Batista to bail out to the floor before Undertaker to get him again. Good way to end the show because it makes you want to see the PPV to see what will happen when Undertaker does hit him with that chair.Three Stars of the Show1. CM Punk - Another strong promo/match from him. He's really thriving in his role and I really liked when he said "Straight Edge" after R-Truth asked "What's Up?"2. Batista - The heel turn is working.3. John Morrison - Good promo. The look? Not so much.5 out of 10Last week: 6.5It was an average show, typical of what we usually get on the week before a PPV.I'll end with this. It's disappointing that WWE doesn't pay any kind of tribute to Umaga on Raw or Smackdown this week. Not even a graphic for the guy? I understand Linda McMahon's in some campaign and her opponents will use anything they can to go against her, but is this how you thank somebody that busted their ass for your company? Throw in the fact that he's part of a big family that has contributed a lot to WWE over the years and it stuns me that they would ignore it. They have no problem spending $50 million or more on a campaign that isn't going to lead to an election, though.Here's the poll to vote for the Smackdown star of the night:[polldaddy poll=2377164]---------A Very Brief Preview of the Tables, Ladders & Chairs PPVI'm running short on time as I write this. I wrote a couple of them earlier, but the rest will have to be brief. You'll be able to tell by the length of the writeups. As I've said all week, I'm looking forward to this PPV. It has a good lineup with fresh matches across the board. Hopefully my predictions are as good this month as they were for Survivor Series when I only got one match wrong.ECW Title Ladder Match: Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin Two of my favorites as well as two guys who have been underused this decade. Christian's had a nice run with the belt, but I think it's time to move it over to Benjamin. Hopefully they get at least 15 minutes to have a ****+ match that we know they are capable of. Should be fun. The Pick: Shelton BenjaminWomen's Title: Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James I like this match in comparison to some of the divas matches we got this year. Is it because I got twitter messages from Michelle (who echoed my sentiments that this match needs to get at least 10 minutes) and my beloved Mickie (who owned me)? Partly, but I am really looking forward to it. It feels fresh unlike most diva matches we get in WWE. For the record, I don't think they'll get 10 minutes because divas matches never do. I think they get about 7 minutes with Michelle winning probably by holding onto tights or grabbing rope. Mickie James-Canton will get the belt maybe at the Rumble. Not yet, though. The Pick: Michelle McCoolIntercontinental Title: John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyreI think McIntyre's getting the belt soon. Since I want Morrison to win the Rumble, they should get this belt off of him before that. It could always happen on an episode of Smackdown, though. I'm going with Morrison retaining here while McIntyre captures the title before the Rumble. The Pick: John MorrisonRandy Orton vs. Kofi KingstonThe feud is still in the early stages, I hope. That means Orton's going to win. They shouldn't give Kofi a win in a regular match when you can keep building this thing for a few months and have Kofi go over in a more meaningful gimmick match down the road. Orton wins through nefarious means. That's a fun word to say. Nefarious. Say it out loud. Good for you. The Pick: Randy OrtonTag Titles TLC: Jerishow vs. DXMy thought was DX was winning this as soon as it was booked. The "beat up on TV, win on PPV" supports my intuition after they got beat up on Monday's Raw. DX wins their first tag titles in a match that I would say is my lock of the night. There should be a great hometown reaction to Shawn Michaels in San Antonio too. The Pick: DXWorld Title Chairs Match: The Undertaker vs. BatistaWhat's a chairs match? It means that chairs are legal as far as we know. Does that mean you could use other weapons? I have no idea. Doesn't matter. All signs are pointing to Batista winning because he's had the upper hand the entire time, but this is WWE. They like to mess with your mind. I can see it ending almost with a double KO type of spot where Undertaker covers him by draping an arm over his chest, or simply a mammoth chair shot. I don't see it being a decisive win. They'll probably move the belt over to Batista, but this is likely a feud that's going to carry over to the Rumble, so they need to have a questionable finish here that necessitates a rematch. I'll go with Undertaker to retain although if Batista wins I wouldn't be surprised either. This is my least confident pick, for the record. The Pick: UndertakerWWE Title Tables Match: John Cena vs. SheamusThey should get Santino to do the ring announcing for this match. It's been built up well and I think they've done a good job in making Sheamus a monster. Does that mean he's going to win the belt? I don't think so. Yes, WWE likes to book title changes rather quickly, but I don't think Sheamus is the guy to take the belt off Cena. The Champ retains. The Pick: John CenaThat's all for TLC. Good card. I think we'll see at least four matches hit the ***+ range with the potential for five and while we may not get a match of the year contender, we'll get a lot of very good matches. It's a good wrestling card, I'd say. I'm not sure if I will write a recap on Sunday night. I'll try my best, but I can't promise anything because Sunday nights are usually busy for me.-----------Thanks for reading. I'll see you again on Monday for the Johnny Awards as well as Tuesday for The Raw Deal's Slammy Award edition. The week after that I'll mostly be taking off, but I'll explain more on Tuesday.Enjoy the PPV on Sunday.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.