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Smackdown: Taker takes down Orton
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling


Last week, SmackDown! made it's turn to Friday Night's, offering fans with a pleothra of headline matches. However, their card on paper was too good to be true. While the action wasn't terrible, SmackDown! needs to make an even bigger push if they want to succeed in a Friday Night spot. Undertaker vs Randy Orton has already been announced, but lets see what else they have to offer us this week, from Little Rock, AR.

Match One - "The Rabid Wolverine" Chris Benoit vs Christian

Starting off the show with a match is always a plus, and at the rate Christian is going, having him on the show is another plus. Prior to the match getting underway, Orlando Jordan made his entrance, claiming that Christian would have to wait because he wasn't going down in the books as being the man who tapped out in 22.5 seconds. While Christian distracted Benoit, Jordan jumped him from behind, leading to a two on one beatdown. Booker T then hit the ring to make the save which leads us to...

Match One (Really) - "The Rabid Wolverine" Chris Benoit and Booker T w/ Sharmell vs Christian and Orlando Jordan

Back and forth match that had alot of action, and cheating in it. Hot opener that got the crowd interested, Booker inadvertanly sent OJ into Sharmell, who was standing on the apron, sending her to the floor. Booker went to check on his love, but as he was doing that, OJ sent Booker into the steel steps. Some more distractions and a few double teams later, and Benoit found himself on the recieving end of an Unprettier.

Winners Via Pinfall - Christian and Orlando Jordan

We are treated to video packages hyping "The Legend Killer" Randy Orton and The Undertaker. None of their matches have been anything special, let's hope things turn around for this one.

Batista was shown in the back with Christy Hemme and Stacy Keibler. He noticed that Simon Dean was indulging himself in a protein drink while chatting with a random person. Batista then walked on over, slapping Dean on the back, which lead to Dean spitting the drink in the guys face. Batista then took a sip and threw it out.

This week's Tag of the Night is Batista's successful title defense over JBL from last week.

Teddy Long and "Network Executive" Palmer Canon stood in the ring to introduce the World Heavyweight Champion Batista. Batista made his way out to gloat about defeating JBL yet again, but he wanted to know who the new number one contender was going to be. Long hypes the Number One Contender up, before Canon grabs the mic and says it's...Eddie Guerrero. Guerrero made his way to the ring and talked about his addictions and his demons. Guerrero talks about being new and improved since beating Rey Mysterio. Batista then told him that they could be best friends, they didn't have to fight. Guerrero offered to shake hands with Batista, but Batista declined, telling Guerrero that friends don't shake hands, they hug. It's Batista, it's Guerrero, it's for the World Heavyweight Championship, it's at No Mercy and it's going to be horrible!

Next up is a recap of the MNM vs LOD from last week, courtesy of wwe.com. It was a pretty solid match if you consider how bad their Great American Bash one was.

Match Two - WWE Tag Team Championship - The Road Warriors (C) vs MNM w/ Melina

Similar to the opening tag bout in that there was a whole lot of distractions and interference. MNM use various cheating tactics to maintain some control over The Wannabee Warriors. Things came crashing down as Animal went for a double axe handle to the floor, but instead he ate guardrail. Heindenreich wallopped Nitro with a boot, but was eventually knocked out by Mercury, via one half of the tag team belts. By the way, where have all the tag teams gone?!

Winners Via DQ and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions - The Road Warriors

Backstage, Teddy Long and Palmer Canon were shown having a lovers spat. Canon apologized to Long for jumping the gun on the announcement and stepping on his toes. As those two were settling their differences, Eddie Guerrero walked in to thank Long and Canon for naming him the Number One Contender. Long then told Canon that he was about to announce Rey Mysterio as the Number One Contender, Canon said that he thought it was Guerrero that Long was describing. Nevertheless, Guerrero will meet Batista for the Championship at No Mercy.

"Cowboy" Bob Orton is shown standing by a U-Haul, Randy passed by as Bob told him that the surprise was ready. Randy pumped his ego a little bit by saying that tonight The Undertaker's Legacy would die and he would bury it. Strong words from "The Legend Killer", but let's see if the match itself can top it's hype.

Match Three- John "Bradshaw" Layfield vs Rey Mysterio

Great fast paced match right here, both men have alot of talent, that can make up for the obvious size differential. Rey used his quickness and agility to take down the former champ via the Tilt-a-Whirl headscissors. After missed attempts, Mysterio took down JBL with a 6-1-9. He attempted to connect with a seated senton, but instead he was caught. He fought his way out, landed a huge Springboard Moonsault and pinned JBL to the mat one-two-three.

Winner Via Pinfall - Rey Mysterio

Nunzio stormed into Long and Canon's office, complaining about the fact that he has not been on SmackDown! since defeating Paul London for the Cruiserweight Championship. Guerrero, who is in the office as well, tells Canon that Nunzio has a point, and that he should be in action tonight. Guerrero then took it one step further, saying he would also like to see Batista in action, which leads to Canon announcing that Nunzio will face Batista tonight on SmackDown! Guerrero says how thats a great idea, and how he wishes he thought of that himself.

They replay Mysterio's win over JBL. Afterwards, Josh Matthews attempts to get a word with JBL, but he just walked away. Ken Kennedy then jumped into the picture, running down the media for always focusing on the negatives. Kennedy talked about how he was going to single handedly change Friday Nights. He tells Matthews to change himself because he, "Smells like Arkansas". He did his little "Kennedy, Kennedy" deal before leaving. He is really starting to showcase some real charisma.

Match Four - "Mr. Kennedy" Ken Kennedy vs Jacques Plisken

Kennedy introduced himself, squashed Plisken and finished him off with that second rope, flipping Samoan Drop. Amazing.

Winner Via Pinfall - "Mr. Kennedy" Ken Kennedy

Match Five - Batista vs Nunzio w/ Vito

Eddie Guerrero came out to watch this match or shall I say, squash of sorts, go down. Batista demolished Nunzio and even got some shots in on Vito. Vito got on the ring apron one time too many, and found himself tossed into the ring. Batista clotheslined and Spinebuster Vito, before planting Nunzio on top of him with another Spinebuster. Batista shook the ropes then hit Nunzio with a Sit Out Powerbomb. After the match Guerrero gave Batista the thumbs up. Expect the whole thumbs down routine from Guerrero when he "Turns" on him.

Winner Via Pinfall Batista

Randy and Bob Orton are still standing by the U-Haul truck. Randy asked Bob if he remembered the plan, to which Bob said "Yes." Randy then walked away as his match was next!

The Smack of the Night is The Undertaker setting The Orton's check on fire from last week's SmackDown!

Backstage Jillian Hall walked in on John "Bradshaw" Layfield who asked if she was "The Fixer". Hall said "Yes", claiming she was the one who got MNM their Tag Title rematches against The Road Warriors. JBL said for the first time in his life that he needed help. Jillian replied that they could, "Work something out."

Match Six - "The Legend Killer" Randy Orton w/ "Cowboy" Bob Orton vs The Undertaker

We come back from commercials to a match in progress. This was a pretty exciting match, not bad for a Main Event. Bob Orton stood next to a casket which is what the U-Haul truck had brought to the arena. The fight spilled to the floor, The Undertaker opened the casket only to find an Undertaker Replica inside. Orton captialized on the situation, sending 'Taker into the steel steps and guardrails. The fight returned to the ring with Orton in firm control. 'Taker went to clothesline Orton, but instead he knocked out the referee. He went for the Last Ride, but it was countered into an RKO. "Cowboy" Bob got an new referee, but it was too late as only a two count could be rung up. The Undertaker sat up and planted Orton with a monsterous Chokeslam, and as he was about to score the win, "Cowboy" Bob pulled the referee out of the ring. "Cowboy" Bob decided to get into the ring, but was taken out with a closed fist. Randy attempted to hit another RKO, but was Tombstoned for his troubles.

Winner Via Pinfall - The Undertaker

Decent SmackDown! Some good matches thrown into the mix. Undertaker/Orton proved to be a much more solid Main Event then JBL/Batista's Bullrope match from last week. WWE needs to realize that while Batista is a "Big Guy", he is not very ring savy. SmackDown! is developing a good roster by incorporating some good new talent, still, some alterations have to be made, but with a little extra push, they could really get the ball rolling.

Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and enjoys Ken Kennedy...Kennedy!