So this edition of Friday Night SmackDown sees us well on the road to WrestleMania 23 now… it comes after the previous Sunday’s No Way Out PPV where the results were as followed: The Hardys won a 6 man tag against MNM and MVP, Chavo Guerrero became the new Cruiserweight Champion after winning a multi-man open match, Finlay and Little Bastard (Hornswoggle) beat The Boogeyman and Little Boogeyman (Yes, that really happened), Kane beat King Booker, London and Kendrick retained the tag titles against Deuce and Domino which is somewhat surprising given the challengers’ two wins against the champs in previous weeks, Mr Kennedy caused Bobby Lashley to get so mad he got himself DQ’d in their ECW title match, Ashley Massaro won a divas invertational… and finally in the much hyped tag team main event of the show… it was Raw’s World Tag Team Champions (and future WrestleMania opponents) WWE Champion John Cena & Shawn Michaels who got the win against Royal Rumble winner The Undertaker and his partner and Mania opponent of choice in the World Heavyweight Champion Batista. The finish of that one occurring when Batista turned on Taker and left him alone for HBK to superkick and Cena to then hit with the FU for the pin. So it was quite the eventful show, and this SmackDown will have all the fallout from that, as we finally embark on the final leg of the road to WrestleMania 23!!!
We got a full recap of Taker’s story after winning the rumble; him choosing Batista and the eventual tag match at No Way Out. Batista said that payback was a bitch… and they cut to No Way Out where the turn eventually came.
Michael Cole then began the show with an interview in the ring with World Heavyweight Champion Batista. Interesting that he got a mixed reaction from the live crowd… after being the top babyface, even more so than The Undertaker, since I started watching these shows back again. Batista quickly took the mic and he did put over The Undertaker, saying he had nothing but respect for him, but that he cannot apologise for what he did at No Way Out. He said now they were even, and now they can go to WrestleMania and give people a match they will never forget. He said he was not intimidated by The Undertaker (he really was getting more negative crowd reaction than positive at this stage)… Batista says he plans on walking in and out of WrestleMania as your World Heavyweight Champion.
They looked back at Rey Mysterio’s career, this time him winning the tag titles with Eddie Guerrero.
Maryse welcomed us back to SmackDown…
Matt Hardy and WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London & Brian Kendrick with Ashley vs Joey Mercury and Duece & Domino with Cherry
Duece and Domino were fuming as they came to the ring and the match began, still smarting from their loss at No Way Out. This was good fun, everyone got their stuff in and it was a great choice for show opener. Kendrick and London in particular were unbelievable. What’s funny is that only two people in this match appear on the mania main show… and one of them is Ashley Massaro… Mercury and Hardy meshed really well with their tag partners… The heels were on top for most of it, as they have been in the tag matches of recent weeks, and this continued after an ad break with Kendrick being isolated for a long period and being subjected to a number of pin attempts too. Kendrick was cut off making a tag once by Mercury but at the second attempt tagged in Matt Hardy who went right on the attack on Mercury, getting a nearfall after a Side Effect. He then went up top and got another nearfall after a leg drop. London and Kendrick took out Duece and Domino with double dives, back in the ring Hardy hit the Twist of Fate on Mercury after Joey tried to use his noseguard as a weapon. The babyfaces win a fun opener.
Kristal interviewed Vickie Guerrero backstage. They never actually did explain why these two are friends or where all this helps them both… I recall where this ends up but if they explain Kristal and Vickie’s true motives I guess I’ll find out… Anyway… They were very friendly, apparently Vickie said she had something very important to take care of at No Way Out for tonight, and when asked she said it had already been taken care of.
They recapped a match from Raw where Edge beat RVD to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match, after interference from Randy Orton. CM Punk also qualified on that week’s ECW.
We had another Rey Mysterio moment, this time it was him winning the 2006 Royal Rumble match.
Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero vs Scotty 2 Hotty
I thought Chavo in 2007 was one of the most underrated guys on the whole roster, loved his charctaer work and in-ring he was excellent. Naturally in Rey Mysterio’s hometown Chavo got a negative crowd reaction. This was a fairly basic match but it was fun enough, and the crowd were into it. Chavo sent Scotty outside and waited right til near the end of the refs count until he went on the attack again, after Scotty got a few shots in but Chavo was largely on top for most. Chavo used a really unique submission where he wrapped Scotty’s legs and then pulled back on his neck and then arms, he kept Scotty in a hold for a while, and pretty much most of the rest of the match was Chavo with Scotty in holds and wearing him down. Scotty got a series of strikes in, then hit a big backbody drop, before he looked for the bulldog to set up the worm, but Chavo kicked Scotty in the chest, then looked for the three Eddie Guerrero vertical suplexes, but as he went for the 3rd Scotty hit a bulldog. He then went for the Worm… but Chavo rolled out the ring after he got hit with the move, Scotty dived off the apron to take Chavo down, then back in the ring they did a really cool-looking pinning sequence where they exchanged rolling pins and it ended with Chavo pinning Scotty with his feet on the ropes for the sneak win. As Chavo celebrated we saw a shot of Gregory Helms watching on backstage.
We had a look-back from Raw where Mr McMahon showed a series of imaginative pictures of Donald Trump with different hair. He also announced Umaga as his representative at WrestleMania, before the Samoan Bulldoser won the Intercontinental title from Jeff Hardy.
Our next Rey Mysterio clip was him winning the World title at WrestleMania 22.
King Booker with Queen Sharmell vs Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere Match where the winner would qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 23
Kane 2007 was THE SHIT. Just that theme song alone is so so great. Booker began on top and rained down strikes on Kane throughout the early going, with Kane coming back after with some really hard offence. They exchanged nearfalls early on and it was kind of just plodding along, crowd weren’t all that into it either… They brawled back to the top of the entrance ramp area, with Booker getting a neafall after a ddt… Booker later tried the Scissor Kick but Kane dodged it and got a big strike in… they brawled back to the ringside area, with Kane smashing Booker’s head off the steel steps and then sending him spine first into the steel post. After Sharmell tried to get at Kane it provided enough of a distraction to allow Booker to hit Kane with the ringbell. After an ad break Kane hit a sideslam and soon powered out of Booker arm hold with an arm drag… Booker hit a clothesline to take Kane down again, and then again with a kick to the head which got a nearfall. Booker then hit a number of strikes to Kane on the ground, getting another nearfall. Booker then got a steel chair on the outside but Kane kicked it into the King’s head and got a nearfall of his own. Kane went to the top rope and got the big clothesline for another nearfall, Kane later hit a sidewalk slam for another near pin attempt… Booker not long after came off the apron and Kane caught him by the throat looking for a Chokeslam when… urgh oh boy…
THE GREAT FUCKING KHALI CAME OUT… he clobbered Kane on the back and chopped Kane down, he later hit massive headbutt and launched him through the nearby barricade… apparently on Raw Khali said he wanted some competition… King Booker looked on shocked. And as Khali walked away Booker crawled over and got the pin. King Booker goes to WrestleMania!!!
Booker and Sharmell were backstage after… They were soon confronted by Khali… Booker tentatively put out his hand which Khali shook firmly then walked away…
They recapped Ashley revealing her playboy cover last week.
I think they showed another Rey clip, him beating JBL I think, but I skipped it as I didn’t need to see Ashley and her stuff again…
Finlay & Little Bastard vs The Boogeyman & Little Boogeyman
Because this was the No Way Out rematch we needed… Basically it was Boogeyman and Finlay wrestling after the break, with Little Boogeyman on the apron and Little Bastard hiding under the apron… Crowd were dead pretty much, I think they just wanted to see Mysterio at this point. Finlay grabbed the bag of worms, Little Boogey tried to stop him and Finlay pushed him away and then stood on the worms and launched them away… Little Boogey hit Finlay with a low blow and then attacked Finlay… Little Bastard then came in and tried to brawl too… the two little people had a brawl and Finlay kicked Little Boogey in the head (yep he really did)… then Boogeyman (the big one) attacked Finlay… and it was a bit mad and it ended with Little Bastard pinning The Boogeyman after a ddt… yeah it was interesting that’s for sure…
They recapped Dusty Rhodes being in the hall of fame. The announced Mr Perfect as the second inductee for the 2007 class. Arguably the best of all time never to be a world champion. An absolute legend.
Maryse Welcomed us back to SmackDown…
In his hometown of San Diego, Rey Mysterio made his return to SmackDown for the first time since taking time off due to injury. He got a huge pop of course, as he came out in a suit and walked with a cane. He cut a great babyface promo saying it was great to be back in a WWE ring, but even better to be back in his hometown. He said the progress in his recovery was ahead of schedule, he then cut a promo in Spanish…
then Mr McMahon came out… along with an insane amount of security personnel… whom all surrounded the ring… Vince put out his hand to shake Rey’s but took the mic instead… Vince said he just realised just how big he really is (compared to Rey), he also called Mysterio ‘cute’… he then spoke about WrestleMania and said it was too bad Rey wont be able to make it. He promoted the battle of the billionaires, and assured Trump he would be humiliated. He said Donald Trump would be a bald billionaire, and that he would make Trump ‘squeal’ before blabbing on some more about how he would yank Trump’s hair off (god I hope this segment has a good ending because it’s just….urgh…). Vince asked Rey for his opinion on who would win the match, and told him to think about it… he then got on one knee and asked Rey again (the crowd were booing this of course…)… Rey called Vince a loser and got a big pop. Vince was far from pleased, and eventually… Vince brought out UMAGA! Umaga took his time getting into the ring, as Rey was stuck in the corner of the ring… Vince said he had an idea and asked Rey if he had a change of opinion on who would win the match… Umaga looked ready to beat the shit out of poor Rey before Vince used Rey’s cane to hit Mysterio and then threw him to Umaga who hit him with a Samoan Drop. Crowd booed this like crazy… Vince went to leave the ring then instructed Umaga to get Rey into the corner and then do his running side-charge, of which Umaga obliged. This absolutely killed the crowd so I hope whatever dark match they got cheered them up. Umaga’s music played but then he went and dragged Rey out of the corner as Vince talked trash. Umaga then hit the big splash from the top right onto Mysterio’s injured knee. Vince led Umaga away as doctors and officials tended to Rey.
This was actually really effective and a great place to make Umaga look like a monster and to get some heel heat on him. A very effective way to close the show and promote Umaga ahead of what was the mainstream main event of the upcoming WrestleMania.