SmackDown 2007: Episode 5 (2nd February); THE ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA BEGINS!!!

FINALLY I’m at the good stuff, well, on the whole… the first edition of Friday Night SmackDown following the 2007 Royal Rumble PPV, where (and I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear if you’ve read these reviews so far) but The Undertaker won the Royal Rumble! I know, shocker right?… Alongside that Batista finally shut up Mr Kennedy by beating him and retaining his World Heavyweight Championship, but… something tells me we haven’t heard the last of him… so with all that in mind the only question now was WHO would The Undertaker chose to face at WrestleMania 23?… Well lets see if the 5th edition of SmackDown from 2007 tells us shall we…

We were shown a recap of Sunday’s Royal Rumble match in which The Undertaker won last eliminating Shawn Michaels, in one of the better rumble finishing sequences of all time. We were also shown a brief clip from Monday’s Raw where Shawn Michaels was about to superkick WWE Champion John Cena, just after he and Cena had become the new World Tag Team Champions… and then who should interrupt and make his presence known but The Undertaker himself! We also saw Taker make an appearance on that week’s ECW where he had a face off with ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley. I really liked how they did this and made you doubt and wonder who Taker would choose to face in the end.

The familiar sound that I had reached the end of another week played from Saliva during the awesome opening video to ‘Rise Up’… and the SmackDown on the day of my Mum’s birthday that year began with a graphic showing that world champion Batista wanted an answer from The Undertaker tonight.

Finlay was in a match for the United States Championship – he didn’t win it. The Boogeyman caused the distraction when he tried to kidnap Hornswoggle. 

Kristal was shown backstage earlier tonight where she interviewed Vickie Guerrero. She didn’t have the neck brace anymore, and then said about how the working conditions here on SmackDown were so unsafe and that Teddy Long was making them worse. But she said she plans on returning soon as an opportunity had caught her eye. She then thanked Kristal for all her support and wished her luck tonight, and the two embraced… hmm…

Deuce & Domino with Cherry defeated SmackDown Tag Team Champions Paul London & Brian Kendrick with Ashley 

Duece and Domino suddenly have gone from debuting just a couple of weeks ago, squashing a couple of jobber teams, to now immediately in a match against the tag champions… alright… anyway they did in fact get the win here in what was a decent match that Duece & Domino dominated the majority of, until the babyfaces got the hot tag towards the end. The brawling more aggressive style of the larger heel team meshed well with the high flying quick paced babyfaces. The finish came when Deuce sent London to the outside and then double teamed Kendrick with Domino. Be interesting to see what this does with regards to the SmackDown tag titles now in the upcoming weeks…

Batista spoke to SmackDown GM Teddy Long in his office and he asked him about The Undertaker.

King Booker and Queen Sharmell (in Booker’s hometown of Houston, Texas) came out for where he is apparently going to be given the key to the city. In the ring we had Booker on his throne, Sharmell, a couple of state flags behind them, and also three guys with one behind a pedestal, whom I believe were the guys supposedly representing the local government?… Anyway one of the guys said how big an honour it was tonight to celebrate (amongst other things) his all-round excellence, and with great honour so on behalf of the great order of Royal Houstonians he presented him with the key to the city… Booker had the king put onto him as it was placed around his neck like a medal… Sharmell told us all to hail King Booker a few times,  Booker took the mic and spoke from a statement he had prepared. He thanked his dear Queen, and to his home kingdom of Houston he said to all of them ‘IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME’! He asked what other Houstonian had accomplished what King Booker has? He then mentioned a couple of other people from Houston and put over his accomplishments compared to theirs, he said he had become the greatest icon in the city’s 169 year history, before he said all three of the dignitaries would bow down and kiss his royal ring… they all did and the crowd booed as Sharmell gleefully asked us all to hail King Booker again… Booker then said they had a great Houstonian in the arena tonight, and he pointed out ZZ Top were ringside. He went over to Billy Gibbons and asked him to bow and kiss the ring, he asked a second time saying ‘KISS IT YOU SON BITCH’… Gibbons declined, Booker then put his foot on the barricade and questioned if he wanted to kiss that? He didn’t… Booker was very unhappy as he went back into the ring and called everyone ungrateful and said they should all bow down to their king… before FINALLY Kane came out and saved us all. He beat up Booker, who had eliminated him from the rumble match on Sunday despite Kane eliminating him first… Kane and Booker brawled with Kane hitting a chokeslam to one of the order guys before Booker and Kane went at it, and Kane threw Booker over the top rope. This was fun, but it did go a little longer than it needed to.

Mr Kennedy defeated Vito 

Not exactly a match I was gagging to see… Kennedy only got an entrance on TV. He marched right into the ring before the match… Kennedy was very aggressive with his offence, and got the win in basically a squash. It went 2 minutes 39 seconds. I think this maybe it for Vito on WWE TV… hopefully… Kennedy choked Vito with his… dress, that he had tore off part-way into the match.

JBL was in the ring and he hosted a SmackDown Bikini contest. The participants were Kristal, Ashley and Jillian… urgh…  Jillian was last but was clothed. Ashley stripped her to her Bra and panties… urgh…

Maryse appeared in her weekly vignette, this time she was in a bath surrounded by candles, where she welcomes us back to SmackDown… because we’ve not had enough T&A already…

They showed the same Rumble video they did earlier. That line JBL said at the rumble ‘get ready WrestleMania, The Deaman’s coming’ is so epic. This video made Undertaker come across as the darkest, baddest guy ever so I had no problem seeing it again.

Teddy Long was in his office where he spoke to Mr Kennedy. He asked Kennedy what he was trying to prove with his post-match beatdown of Vito earlier? Kennedy said he had Batista beat at the Royal Rumble (Kennedy took advantage of the ref being down in the match and hit Batista with a low blow before covering him, but as the ref was down he couldn’t count the pin… so make of that what you will). Kennedy says he wants a rematch, and says if he’s not willing to give it to him he’ll go straight to the top. But Teddy made the world title match official for next week.

The ‘slam of the week’ recapped The Hardys beating MNM at Sunday’s Royal Rumble PPV.

The Miz defeated Matt Hardy

It went a few minutes. They mentioned how Miz lasted 7 seconds in his first Royal Rumble match before The Great Khali eliminated him, but that Hardy had a good Rumble outing. Miz got the win after Joey Mercury appeared ringside at hit Hardy with his facemask behind the refs back, allowing Miz to hit his finisher on Hardy after to help him get the pin. After Mercury went back into the crowd and looked on at a downed Hardy.

The World Heavyweight Champion Batista came out. He spoke about how Undertaker won the royal rumble match, and that he’d heard all week about him being undefeated at WrestleMania, and people telling him he can’t beat him. His response was he welcomes the challenge and he wants it. Batista said after what he had seen this week he didn’t know which title Undertaker was after. He said he deserves a decision man to man, and he wants it now… THEN WWE Champion John Cena came out instead to a huge pop! He asked Batista for the mic before adding that he was actually hear for the same reason Batista was, that he had a bit of a rough week with the last man standing match, and after winning the world tag team championship he turned around and was about to get his face kicked off by HBK… He said he realised he too wanted to go to WrestleMania and face him for the WWE Championship… he said just when it couldn’t get any worse he found himself on the end of the coldest stare he had ever seen, and then he realised The Undertaker could also chose to face him at WrestleMania 23 for the WWE title, he added he knew he was going to make a decision here tonight and just like Batista he wanted to find out who it is because if it’s him he got a lot of work to do to prepare for the biggest match of his life… Undertaker then came out… full entrance and everything to a pretty big pop… Taker went face to face with Cena… then Batista… but as he looked at Batista… SHAWN MICHAELS came out!!! probably the biggest pop of the four… HBK said pardon the interruption, but that those two were not the only ones who wanted an answer from The Undertaker. Michaels then spoke to Taker directly saying he knows he won the royal rumble but questioned if they really proved anything? … He said guys like you and me are cut form the same clothe and thrive on competition, and he asked him if they did that at the royal rumble ‘I don’t think so’… He said he was challenging Taker for this title shot on the line and they should give these fans what they really want… As Taker got closer to him Shawn said it was another day in paradise; and said ‘what do you say BIG MAN?’ … Before Taker could answer MR MCMAHON came out! He didn’t look happy as he walked down to the ring… As Vince got in the ring JBL said on commentary that there were 5 world champions in the ring which popped me… Vince said that it appears to me that you’ve (pointing at Taker) got a decision to make… adding ‘by the way Shawn Michaels, as great as a potential match is that you want to make I don’t give a damn what you want’… He said he doesn’t give a damn about what any of you people want (pointing at the fans)… He said you want what I want when I tell you to want it (boy oh boy ain’t that been the truth down the years…)… he said were not gonna see this match but he would go us one better… that he would give us a match you’d never dreamed of seeing… he then announced for the february 18th PPV No Way Out… JOHN CENA AND SHAWN MICHAELS VS BATISTA AND THE UNDERTAKER!!!



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