Smackdown: Angle crowned new champ
ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling
An absolutely huge Smackdown tonight from Philadelphia. Unless you've been living under a rock since Tuesday you already know that Batista is injured and a new World Heavyweight Champion has already been crowned. This is truly a night of champions as the U.S. title best-of-seven series will be decided between Chris Benoit and Booker T/Randy Orton. As well, Piper's Pit returns with special guest The Boogey Man. This is sure to be a wild night so hold on to your seats and let's get this report underway!
To kick things off, World Heavyweight Champion Batista marches down to the ring with GM Theodore Long. A teary-eyed Batista addresses the Philadelphia audience stating that he was injured in a match Sunday against Mark Henry. He states that the injury (which is to the triceps) will require surgery and put him out indefinitely. The Animal continues in saying that he must relinquish the world title that he gained at WrestleMania last year. The now ex-champion tells Long that he will be back and will reclaim his championship.
After the break, footage is shown of Batista shaking hands with everyone backstage like Ricky Steamboat, Animal, Arn Anderson, and Rey Mysterio.
Teddy Long is back in the ring announcing that in the main event there will be a Battle Royal, which will crown a new World Heavyweight Champion.
Match 1: Match 7 of 7 of the U.S. Championship Series - Randy Orton (in place of Booker T) vs. Chris Benoit
This is apparently the first time in WWE history that a substitute can win a title for someone else. Also, Teddy Long informed Orton that he and Benoit cannot compete in the world title Battle Royal because they already have a scheduled match. The Wolverine and the Legend Killer measure each other up and lock up in different battles of strength. Chris Benoit pulls an Eddie by faking that that Booker T and Sharmell, who are at ringside, hit him with the crutch when the referee's back was turned. The official throws Booker and Sharmell out and sends them to the back, much to the chagrin of the husband and wife duo. Quite a bit of mat wrestling going on here and it looks like both men are really working hard. The Crippler is spending a large portion of the match trying to apply the Crossface, wearing down the shoulder, with Orton barely squeaking away each time. Some great back and forth action and Benoit is chopping Orton's chest raw. Randy's chest actually looks like it could start bleeding as it is welting terribly. After the Legend Killer is able to grab the rope from the Sharpshooter, The Crippler delivers three german suplexes, however, he misses the diving headbutt. After an accidental elbow from Benoit referee Nick Patrick is knocked out. Orlando Jordan runs in to try and attack Randy but the third generation star knocks him down. Then Booker T comes in and tries to nail Benoit with his crutch but gets thrown out of the ring. Right after Benoit makes Orton tap out in the Crossface but the official is still out cold! The Wolverine has the Crossface locked in but Booker runs back in and smacks Benoit with the U.S. title. As the referee comes to, Orton falls on Benoit and gets the win. The new United States Champion is Booker T.
WINNER: Randy Orton with Booker T as the new U.S. Champion
Backstage Roddy Piper bumps into Jillian Hall and JBL with Bradshaw saying he should be interviewed by The Hot Rod and not The Boogey Man. After some bickering Piper agrees that JBL will be his guest in The Pit.
Rowdy Roddy Piper comes out and tells us that 22 years ago the first Piper's Pit was held right here in Philadelphia. JBL's music interrupts the Hall of Famer and he with Jillian Hall make their way down to the ring. Bradshaw essentially tells the crowd once again how great he is and that he will win the World Heavyweight Championship tonight in the Battle Royal. After JBL stops babbling, Piper insults Jillian's face growth and calls out The Boogey Man. Bradshaw throws Jillian into The Boogey Man and scrambles out of the ring. Boogey grabs Jillian and licks the growth! He then bites off the growth and eats it! Piper is praying the corner for Boogey not to hurt him, as the freak makes his exit.
In the locker room Mark Henry and MNM are discussing how one of them will come out of the Battle Royal as the new champion.
Match 2: Battle Royal for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship
The Superstars file into the ring with the final of the 20 entrants being... Kurt Angle! Being accompanied by Davari, the Olympic Hero looks intense and rushes the ring, taking on all comers, eliminating JBL right off the bat. About six or seven wrestlers try to throw over Angle but he is able to hang on. Animal is triple teamed by MNM and Henry, being clotheslined over the top. The next man chucked is Nunzio courtesy of MNM, then Orlando Jordan by Angle. Angle follows that by eliminating Regal and Burchill back to back. Next out is Paul London via Bobby Lashley. On the outside Angle tries to German suplex Mark Henry through the announce table. Henry reverses it and gorilla presses Angle down onto the table. Henry and Lashley square off in a battle of strength with Henry able to toss Lashley onto the other side of the ropes, then kick him off the apron for elimination. Right after this, Mercury tosses away Kendrick. With only six men left Hardy takes out Grenier, and then Henry eliminates Hardy. Mysterio is quick to take out both MNM members and we are down to Angle (who is still unconscious outside), Mysterio, and Mark Henry. Mysterio is trying everything to knock The World's Strongest Man down, finally hitting two 619's. Rey Rey is desperately pulling on Henry to toss him out, but Henry catches Mysterio and throws him to the floor. It is down to Angle and Henry. The gold medalist has recovered and jumps back in the ring, attacking Henry. Angle is actually able to nail the Angle Slam as both men gradually climb to their feet afterwards. Following two running splashes from Henry, Angle has the big man in a head scissors lock. Henry is able to reverse this into a nasty powerbomb. Angle is incredible as he hangs upside down outside the ring with Henry in a head scissors. After a lot of struggling Angle eventually pulls Henry out and The World's Strongest Man hits the floor seconds before Angle. Confetti flies down from the rooftop as the new World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle celebrates.
WINNER: New World Heavyweight Champion- Kurt Angle
Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer from Pickering, ON. He also does the play-by-play broadcasts for Durham College sports on www.thefreq.ca. Andy asks: What will be the state of the World Heavyweight Championship on Smackdown now that a Raw superstar has it? Contact Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org.