SmackDown 2007: Episode 4 (26th January); Royal Rumble go-home show!

On the final SmackDown before the 2007 Royal Rumble PPV, where Batista will defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Mr Kennedy… Kennedy… and a host of SmackDown superstars will enter the Royal Rumble match itself, this edition of Friday Night SmackDown should be a good one. So please enjoy week 4 (ALREADY!?) of my retro SmackDown reviews from 2007!

We opened with a recap of Mr Kennedy bragging about winning the beat the clock sprint from last week, and then his main event match with The Undertaker, which ended when Kennedy gauded Batista into spearing him. The stipulation was that if Taker had won, the rumble title match would be a three way, so again Kennedy screwed Taker. A large focus was on Taker and his look towards Batista… hmm…

The show itself this week opened (after the legendary ‘rise up’ opening video which I will compliment every single week)… with our World Heavyweight Champion!

World Heavyweight Champion Batista defeated Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms in a non-title match 

Helms cut a promo before the match began. Batista dominated early on, of course, knocking him down with a kick to the face and then clotheslining Helms to the outside. Helms then raking Batista in the eye to stop him and raining down strikes on him back in the ring. Batista tried to overpower Batista but Helms got back in control with a knee and then a leg drop, and more strikes, before three nearfalls. Batista soon hit a big spinebuster, and then a spear before setting up for the Batista Bomb, hitting it despite Helms hitting him in the face, for the win. A fairly easy win, and just what is needed to put over the world champion before his title defence.

They advertised the main event for tonight as the over the top rope challenge, a mini-preview of the Royal Rumble match; Miz vs CB vs Kane vs King Booker vs MVP vs Finlay. We were also told that Teddy Long has ordered the six men in that match to compete against one another in singles action tonight as well.

The US Champion CB beat Miz

Duece & Domino (after their debut win last week), and Cherry of course, were seen backstage… it was very… them… at one point Domino said they were “the biggest attraction sports entertainment has ever seen”…

Maryse made her weekly vignette appearance.

Duece & Domino with Cherry defeated a pair of jobbers 

Basically another squash win for the new tag team. All that is needed to be fair at this stage… They were very physical and very aggressive. The crowd don’t seem too bothered yet by them, hopefully that changes…

MVP was in Teddy Long’s office and said it was unsafe for him to compete… that went about as well as you can expect… as Teddy said he wont be in the 6 man challenge and also in the royal rumble match if he doesn’t compete tonight… so that was that then…

King Booker with Queen Sharmell vs Finlay 

We saw the ‘Little Bastard’ under the ring during Booker’s entrance. Yes they used to call Hornswoggle … yeah… Queen Sharmell joined commentary. I hope this gets time because it could be really good…

I don’t really know what happened at the start here, they locked up and suddenly Finlay went down clutching his face. Booker looked on confused, and then Finlay, still somewhat dazed and trying to blink just locked up again and they wrestled to the floor. Maybe Booker caught Finlay in the eyes accidentally legit I don’t know but it was odd… anyway… Booker hit some chops and strikes to Finlay, but was hit back with a thump to the eye and strikes back, with Finlay then hitting a snapmere and a backside splash to Booker’s chest for a nearfall. Booker got back into it with a kick to the jaw for a nearfall, before Finlay went to work on Booker’s leg with a hold, he then used the ropes to help further the damage before kicking at him in the corner, before a single leg lock… Finlay kept the pressure on for an extended period before Booker hit back with right hands and then the big kick again after an irish whip. Booker hit a scoop slam and a standing elbow, but was soon after thrown into the corner so both men were down… and then ‘that little bastard’ came out and went after Sharmell at commentary… he then went under the ring and tried to drag her under… Booker saving her and then tried to attack him but Finlay made the save, but pushed away the ref to get to Booker, the two then brawled as the ref called for the bell. They were eventually separated by officials.

MNM (Joey Mercury, Melina and Johnny Nitro) defeated SmackDown Tag Team Champions Paul London & Brian Kendrick & Ashley 

So it was MNM that London and Kendrick won the titles from. Melina did… THAT entrance… They recapped before the match last week when they attacked Matt Hardy… it was announced that at the Royal Rumble their will be a tag match between Nitro and Mercury and The Hardys. They again plugged Ashley being on the cover of an upcoming Playboy… Nitro started but was second fiddle to London and Kendrick who frequently tagged to stay in control, with Nitro having to kick out of various nearfalls. Melina kicked down London off the ropes with the refs back turned to give Nitro a chance to regain control, Ashley was not pleased. Now Mercury tagged in and got a nearfall on London… he combined with Nitro to launch London into the corner post for a nearfall. How many times do they want to say ‘sexiest women in the world’ by the way??? Kendrick tagged in and ran wild with various fast paced kicks to Nitro and Mercury, with a kick to Mercury getting a nearfall. They tried to double team Kendrick but eventually with Mercury and Nitro outside, Kendrick went for possible a tope, but Melina got in the ring to get in his way, this led Ashley to come flying out with, actually, a pretty decent spear takedown and then she laid in some strikes to Melina (this was probably the loudest pop of the night, second to Batista coming out)… Kendrick then took out Mercury and Nitro with a dive… everyone brawled outside until London and Kendrick comebined to try and pin Mercury, only for Melina to come and rake the face of Kendrick to stop the pin, the ref then confronted Melina about this and the distraction allowed Nitro to sneak in and they hit the SnapShot to Kendrick. Mercury then got the pin. Probably the right result given MNM have a PPV match coming up, so presume they’ll also get a title shot soon then?

Mr Kennedy came out and cut a promo on Batista. He had his usual microphone from above and the spotlight on him too. He saying how last week he beat The Undertaker… again and how this Sunday he’ll walk out having beat Batista… again… he really put himself over… the crowd chanted that he sucked and Kennedy told them that was were they were wrong because he actually doesn’t suck, that he doesn’t have to prove himself to anyone because he’s already proven himself, and this Sunday will be his crowning achievement. Batista eventually came out to confront him, he did not look happy as he marched to the ring… he challenged Kennedy to slap him again… suddenly the lights went out and the gong sounded… Undertaker was in the ring after they came back behind Kennedy… he went to boot Kennedy but he moved so Taker hit Batista instead… Kennedy than ran away as Taker glared at him… this time the camera focused on Batista looking down at Undertaker… hmm…

We had another Maryse vignette. She told us not to go anywhere… ok…

Michael Cole interviewed… VLADIMIR KOZLOV in what I’m almost sure was his debut apperance on WWE TV. He was asked by Cole ‘when in god’s name are you going to make your choice on what brand you compete on, is it gonna be Raw, ECW or SmackDown?’ Kozlov said he was still in negotiations with all three brands still, and he can compete in the royal rumble this sunday because he can compete all 29 men but… (I could’t honestly for the life of me make out what he said next his accent was such I do apologise)…

Just like last week we saw Kristal Marshall in Teddy Long’s office… this time she flirted with him again and said she’ll talk to him later… then Vickie came in his office and said she’ll come back later because he had been busy…

Kane vs MVP ended when MVP used a steel chair for the DQ 

They recapped Kane eliminating 11 men in the 2001 Rumble match before he came out after the break. MVP looked terrified as he came out and Kane laughed. MVP took his time getting in the ring… he then tried to dodge and reason with Kane before Kane targeted MVP’s burnt back… MVP hit strikes back but Kane soon went to his back again rubbing his elbow on it as MVP screamed… Kane then striked at MVP in the corner, and then hit a knee drop to his back before driving his knee into his back… MVP tried to get offence in but then Kane lifted him up and drove him back first into the corner before tearing off MVP’s gear and going more at his back, with kicks and then launching him back first into the turnbuckle and his bandaged back… Kane hit a powerslam and MVP tried to escape up the ramp but Kane went after him to continue the attack and put him back in the ring. MVP asked for mercy but Kane kicked him in the face, then launched him to the corner, lifted him up but MVP raked his eyes, hit a boot in the corner than attacked Kane with strikes, MVP then tried to choke Kane and hit him some more, MVP hit stomps and kicks to a downed Kane before dropkicking Kane to the outside. Kane hit a huge right hand to MVP and then was driven into the steps. MVP then hit more strikes to Kane, Kane though fought back and hit strikes back before then going at the back again, a backbody drop then a clothesline in the corner twice followed by a sideslam on the injured back. Kane went to the top rope a hit a big clothesline before signalling for the Chokeslam, Kane though dropkicked MVP off the apron. He went out after MVP a tried to Chokeslam him through the announce table but MVP smashed Kane’s head on the table and then used a steel chair to hit him in the guts, this caused the ref to ring the bell for the DQ. MVP the used the chair more to attack Kane, he then went under the ring and got a canister of gasoline… suddenly though Kane sat up and kicked MVP, then went to use the gasoline as MVP ran away… MVP went to the back as Kane stood in the ring as his music played.

Before the match began they said they had huge news about the WWE title match at the Royal Rumble. They showed footage from Raw where John Cena was to have a match with Jonathan Coachman, until he was jumped from behind by Umaga… they then placed Cena on the table as Umaga hit a big splash from the top and put him through the table. They said Cena would be fit despite his injuries. They plugged that last man standing match as well as Lashley vs Test for the ECW title and Kennedy vs Batista, as well as of course the rumble match itself. New additions to the rumble match graphic that I could see from last week were Undertaker, Khali, Super Crazy, CM Punk and Kevin Thorn among others.

Kane vs MVP vs King Booker vs Finlay vs Miz vs the US Champion

All 6 guys started the match in the ring already. Although MVP was stalked into the ring by Kane… it was chaos basically just one big brawl… eventually… commentary mentioned at one stage how odd it was that nobody had ever won from the number 30 spot… hmm… Finlay eliminated Kane after he was given his weapon by Hornswoggle and he hit Kane with it before putting him over the ropes, MVP and Miz double teamed Finlay… eventually Finlay eliminated Miz… eventually the gong went and Taker showed up and cleared house on everyone. After he’d taken everyone out with clotheslines and chokeslams and finally a Tombstone to Finlay and then another chokeslam to The Miz. Taker sent Finlay and then MVP and then a Last Ride to Miz. He was finally left alone in the ring to close the show and stand tall ahead of Sunday’s Rumble. He then did his signature pose as the lights went out and the show went off air…

So think it’s safe to say that Undertaker has been set up as somewhat of a favourite to win the rumble match? Lets see how that works out…


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