From this 2007 episode of Friday Night SmackDown we continue the road to WrestleMania 23. And with the card for the showcase of the immortals taking shape it looks to be another episode of tri-branded representation…
After the ‘Rise Up’ opening video makes its welcomed return, World Heavyweight Champion Batista begins the show to again talk about his WrestleMania match with The Undertaker… and yes once again he’s sporting the… iconic… All-White ensemble with the Turtle-necked jumper as well… A mixed reaction of sorts again for the world champion… he said after explaining last week about what he did at No Way Out, he said he was honoured when The Undertaker chose him, and that it will be a privilege to share the ring with the deadman. He really did put over Undertaker, but he did take issue with him Chokeslamming him and said now we know where both stand, and at WrestleMania it will get ugly. He says without a doubt it’ll be the match of his career.
Taker then cut somewhat of a weird promo video from the graveyard… Taken then dug a grave for Batista… a cut his weird promo… he ended saying his reign as champion will rest in peace. We then saw a shot of the grave that had been dug with smoke coming from it. We cut back to the arena where a visibly annoyed Batista looked on.
A graphic after the ad break showed that 5 men had qualified for the Money In The Bank ladder match; Edge, CM Punk, King Booker, Jeff Hardy and Mr Kennedy. Two more will be added tonight.
King Booker then came to ringside to join commentary ahead of the next match.
Matt Hardy defeated Joey Mercury in a Money In The Bank qualifying Match
Why do I feel like I’ve seen this match about 101 times recently??? Because it certainly feels like I have… At least this one had something properly on the line… King Booker was very excitable on commentary which was very entertaining. Hardy had the fans on side and the action wasn’t bad, but I’m so over this feud by now and the moves weren’t anything I hadn’t seen from both in the weeks before as well. King Booker and the commentary were honestly the most entertaining thing during this match, Booker putting himself over, and also at times drifting in to shoot territory talking about WrestleMania and at times actually calling the match… a sign of things to come maybe… Mercury took most of the match to get the heat, but the crowd were into Hardy’s comeback… Hardy got a close nearfall with a bulldog that the crowd were really into, then again with a Side Effect not long after. Hardy then took off Mercury’s face mask, then after Mercury was on the top rope hit a Twist of Fate to get the win. Matt joins his brother in the ladder match at WrestleMania. Crowd were very into Hardy particularly towards the finish.
Kristal interviewed MVP backstage. He is in a triple threat later tonight to qualify for the Money In The Bank match. MVP said he would punch his ticket to WrestleMania.
Maryse welcomed us back to SmackDown.
Jimmy Wang Yang, Scotty 2 Hotty & Shannon Moore defeated Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero, Daivari & Gregory Helms
It was all action, but very much not the sort of 205 live action you’d expect from Cruiserweights. Crowd seemed into it enough though, but I can’t say I was… I’d say these were all solid in ring guys though, and the match was fine, I was juts kind of bored during it… Crowd seemed most into Scotty 2 Hotty and also the hot tag and following offence by Jimmy Wang Yang, who was positioned as the top contender here. Crowd booed loudly when Scotty was stopped doing the Worm by the referee… the finish came when the other four guys were in the outside leaving Yang and Daivari as the legal guys, and Yang got the win after a moonsault.
They recapped the Rey Mysterio segment from last week… and the interruption by Mr McMahon that led to Umaga coming out and destroying Mysterio.
Mr McMahon came out for a promo. He was booed heavily, as he put over Umaga’s attack of Mysterio last week. He said WrestleMania was the single most important match of his career. And he cut a promo on Trump saying it was about embarrassment (‘Trump will be a baldie’) and ego (‘Trump defeated by McMahon’) as Vince proclaimed his case for winning. They then recapped the segment from that week’s Raw where Donald Trump revealed that Bobby Lashley was his representative at WrestleMania, and the ensuing brawl after. They then recapped the match from ECW that week where Lashley retained his ECW in a cage match… and then jumped against the cage wall to knock it down onto Umaga who was at ringside. Vince said the referee will be named on Monday by the board of directors… Out then came the ECW Champion himself Bobby Lashley. They stood facing one another in the ring, Vince was appalled Lashley dared come out to interrupt him, and thought he must be out here to make a deal and offered him twice as much to turn against Trump. Lashley said it was an honour to be chosen by Trump, but it will be his pleasure to beat Umaga. He then emphatically said No to Vince’s proposal, who then slapped Lashley and screamed at him that nobody says no to him. Lashley turned back looking furious so Vince quickly made his exit.
Backstage Mr Kennedy approached Mr McMahon with an idea… he said he wanted Lashley tonight. And he begged. Vince said he didn’t have to beg and he had the match, and said lets make it a title match tonight and No Holds Barred, but it was only for Kennedy, and Lashley must abide by the rules and if he is disqualified or counted out he will lose the ECW title to Kennedy.
Ashley Massaro defeated Jillian Hall
Ashley was announced as Playboy cover girl and they had her cover shown in large at the top of the entrance way. They then showed a mini video of Ashley preparing for her photoshoot. Jillian tried to sing before the match… but Ashley turned her around and hit her. A really clunky hurricanrana and a nearfall after, then Jillian got a nearfall and went on the attack… Jillian tried to sing into her headset mid match but Ashley got a school girl nearfall. Jillian tried a pinfall but clearly had the ropes, Ashley then hit some form of reverse neckbreaker then hit a second rope elbow drop for the win. It was quick at least…
Finlay won a triple threat match involving MVP to qualify for the Money In The Bank ladder match at WrestleMania
Before the match the Little Bastard attacked the commentators before the match, before Finlay shoved him back under the ring. He then emphatically told Cole that his name was ‘Hornswoggle’. Match was solid in-ring wise. I just can’t bring myself to talk about any matches of the other in this match. Finlay got the win using his weapon (I cba to type it out again) when Hornswoggle distracted the referee. Finlay is going to WrestleMania.
They announced the third member of the 2007 Hall of Fame class as Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler. People will forever have their views on him the person as some of the things he may or may not have done, but he’s had an amazing career and more than worthy of his spot.
We were told that next week Undertaker and Batista will be in the same building since No Way Out. Undertaker will take on Finlay, and Batista will take on The Undertaker’s brother Kane.
Bobby Lashley (C) defeated Mr Kennedy to retain the ECW World Championship in a match where it was No Holds Barred but for Mr Kennedy only and if Lashley was DQ’d or counted out he would lose the title
I think this is an odd match to make given where both end up and that neither should be losing right now for me… but whatever… Kennedy undid the turnbuckle pads as soon as he got into the ring. Then did his usual self-announcing gimmick. Solid enough match but little heat from the crowd sadly. Kennedy tried a few times to get Lashley counted out, and went out after him launching him into the steel steps. Again after he waited in ring as Lashley got in in time. Kennedy back in ring hit Lashley a few times then used his wrist tape to try and choke Lashley out… Lashley powered to his feet and backed Kennedy into the corner, he tried to pick him up after but Kennedy raked his eyes and then chop blocked Lashley. Kennedy then smashed Lashley with a chair to the head, but only got a nearfall. Kennedy then drove Lashley into the chair for a nearfall, then hit him multiple times with the chair, until Lashley then caught the chair, and went to go and use it but had to stop himself or risk DQ. Lashley then powered up on Lashley with strikes, later jumping over a attempted chop block. He would soon after pick Lashley up and hit the running powerslam for the win. Lashley retains clean. Crowd did cheer for the finish, but I think most expected that result so it suffered heat wise.
Kind of a ‘meh’ episode of SmackDown to be honest… but Taker and Batista in action next week so should be better then.