Was at the taping tonight for the December 23 show. They're taping nearly a week ahead due to the holidays and wanting to give everyone a couple of weeks off.
For those of you who do get to watch it, I'll add some spoiler space here:
Chet the Jett was given a chance to have another match with Champ Jacob Duncan on the show tonight and finally pulled off a victory against Duncan to get back the belt. On the December 9th show, however, Paul Burchall won a battle royale that allowed him to be granted a title match whenever he wanted. Burchall ran into the ring tonight and flattened Chet with a chair; demanding a match for the title. OVW Troubleshooter Danny Basham granted his request and Burchall hit a neckbreaker on Chet for the pin, making him the new OVW Heavyweight Champion.
Rather good show overall tonight - Beth Phoenix and Katie Lea had the first Women Ladder match with both versions of the Women's Title chained up above the ring. They went all out for that one and did an excellent job I thought, with both taking a couple of falls from the top of the ladder at different times in the match. There was even a moment where Beth was pinned under the ladder and then pushed the whole thing over while Lea was near the top.
The final match of the night was a street fight between The Untouchables and Cody Runnels and Shawn Spears for the Southern Tag Team Belts. That thing went all over the place with a lot of weapons and even a chair that nearly went flying into the crowd at one point. Runnels and Spears regained the title at the very end after putting Deuce Shade through a table.
The show was a nice way to send out the year. I know I've read things here and there from people complaining about OVW since Heyman left, but I'm perfectly satisfied with the shows I've been seeing these past few months. They're not perfect, and it's obvious that they're having to rebuild with a lot of fresh faces and students once WWE pulled a few up for television, but I think that's part of the charm of OVW, really.
The contract signing was advertised as HHH/Benoit, with no mention of HBK, so I don't think HBK played a big part in the ratings for that segment. 1) Well, the crowds still aren't responding to Orton, so he has to take some of the blame.