With Booker T up 2-0 in his best-of-seven U.S. championship series with Chris Benoit will the Crippler be able to claw his way back tonight? Sharmell's influence cannot be overlooked in that matchup. And what twisted tricks will The Undertaker have in store for Randy Orton? Only one way to find out, on to the report! (Spoiler alert!)
JBL starts out tonight's program from the University of South Carolina by coming to the ring with Jillian Hall and essentially talking about how great he is and what a competitor he is from fighting with an injured, bandaged eye. After a few minutes Rey Mysterio's music hits and it's onto match number one.
Match 1: JBL w/Jillian Hall vs. Rey Mysterio
Mysterio is as quick as ever with JBL chasing around his smaller counterpart and the "Wrestling god" is able to nail some hard power moves of his own. When it looks like Mysterio is about to finish off Bradshaw, Orlando Jordan runs down to try and interfere. Soon after, the World Champion Batista comes down to even the odds. The two heels scramble out of the ring, but GM Teddy Long struts out and stops them, setting up a tag team main event tonight between JBL and O.J. vs. Batista and Mysterio.
Following a break Randy Orton and Daddy Orton are in the ring calling out The Undertaker. Orton says he's about ready to snap from all of Taker's tricks and wants him tonight to resolve things once and for all. Suddenly the lights go dim and a cool video montage is shown with epic shots of Taker's previous Hell in a Cell matches. The Legend Killer seems shaken as The Dead Man says that Randy is on the highway to hell.
We then move to Booker T's locker room with Sharmell as reporter Crystal interviews the two about the upcoming match 3 of the U.S. title best-of-seven series with Chris Benoit that is coming up later tonight. Booker writes 2-0 on a board and says that after tonight he'll be ready to pull out the brooms for a sweep of Chris Benoit.
Match 2: Joey Mercury w/MNM vs. Super Crazy w/The Mexicools
It is announced that MNM will face The Mexicools for the tag titles at Armageddon. In the early going Super Crazy slaps around Mercury until the MNM member slips to the outside. Crazy misses a perfect Asai moonsault, which allows Mercury to gain the advantage. Later on Super Crazy hits an awesome bounce off the second rope tornado DDT for a near fall. The finish comes when Nitro cannot knock off Super Crazy from the top and the Mexican all-star delivers the moonsault for the 1-2-3. Following the bout, Kid Kash rushes down and jumps Juventud, delivering a brain buster and motioning that he wants Juvi's Cruiserweight championship.
WINNER: Super Crazy
Randy Orton is shown washing his face in the locker room and sees the image of The Undertaker in the mirror; but when he turns around The Dead Man is gone!
Match 3: Boogey Man vs. Ray Gordy (son of Terry Gordy)
The Boogey Man keeps worms in his mouth the entire match and has a great overall look. Boogey disposes of Gordy with ease, winning with the Pump Handle Slam. The Boogey Man drops the live worms onto his hapless opponent and slithers out of the ring.
WINNER: The Boogey Man
Randy Orton is now by his locker when his father startles him. Randy starts hallucinating, seeing blood pouring down his dad's face. The camera shows that Bob Orton has nothing wrong with him and Randy runs out of the room, obviously losing his mind. This Orton going mad angle tonight is very entertaining and well put together.
Match 4: Match 3 of the Best of 7 U.S. Title series – Booker T w/Sharmell vs. Chris Benoit
A solid start as always from these two with lots of physicality. Back and forth action continues as this contest is being given a lot of time. Booker accidentally knocks out the referee with a jumping calf kick as Benoit is able to duck out of the way. Sharmell tries to sneak attack The Crippler with a steel chair, however, Benoit grabs the chair away and s screaming at Sharmell when Booker attacks. After pelting Benoit several times with the foreign object, Booker nails the Scissors Kick and goes up 3 matches to 0.
WINNER: Booker T
Bobby Lashley vs. William Regal
Lashley attacks Regal right off the bat and receives some big suplexes by the All-American. Regal is able to counter briefly with some suplexes of his own, but inside of five minutes Lashley delivers The Dominator and picks up the win.
After the commercial Randy and Bob Orton are shown trying to get into their car. Randy tries to get into the vehicle, however, it drives away on its own! Then the segment gets crazier as Josh Mathews is possessed by Taker and begins talking in The Dead Man's voice. Both Ortons take off and look completely freaked out.
Match 6: JBL and Orlando Jordan w/Jillian Hall vs. Batista and Rey Mysterio
Batista and Jordan begin this main event with the World Champion overpowering O.J. and then tagging in Mysterio. Some nice double team manoeuvres are done by Batista and Mysterio as they clear the ring, getting the crowd all riled up. The champ takes care of Jordan on the outside, but is smashed into the steel pole by the Chief of Staff. While the big man is down Jillian Hall tries to attack Mysterio with her clipboard. JBL runs in to strike Rey and almost hits Jillian. Mysterio knocks both into the ropes for a double 619 attempt. JBL moves then pretends to injure his leg after purposely falling over the fallen Jillian. Bradshaw starts walking to the back because of his "injury" leaving Jordan to be finished off by the Batista Bomb.
WINNER: Batista and Rey Mysterio
Some half decent matchups tonight, most noteably the Benoit/Booker T series. I'm wondering how long WWE can wait for Batista to heal from his injury, because it seems like quite awhile since he's actually defended the world title.
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Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer from Pickering, ON. He also writes reports for The LAW and does the play-by-play broadcasts for Durham College sports. He asks: Do you think Benoit can come back from a 3-0 deficit and capture the U.S. title? Andy can be reached at email@example.com.