January 6, 2007
Smackdown: Racing to the Rumble
By ANDY McNAMARA -- SLAM! Wrestling
The first Smackdown of 2007 is looking to make a major impact. This is the beginning week of the “Smackdown Sprint” where the fastest match victory will determine who faces Batista for the world title at the Royal Rumble. Six stellar contests are on the card tonight, so settle back and join Lakeland, Florida for another edition of Smackdown!
GM Theodore Long starts the show off by announcing that the “Smackdown Sprint” matches tonight will be picked totally at random. The quickest victory will earn a shot at Batista’s World Heavyweight Championship. The Animal himself comes down and says he loves the challenge of the 16 man tournament. Kane is announced as the first man in the Smackdown Sprint.
Match 1: Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero
This doesn’t look good for Chavo and I smell a quick win for the Big Red Machine. Kane takes it right to Guerrero with the underdog getting limited offence in the first 1:30 minutes. Chavo avoids the chokeslam and rolls out of the ring. The big man quickly throws his opponent back in the ring, then after receiving some kicks, tosses Guerrero back out. Kane is knocked into the steel steps and scrambles back into the ring at the count of nine to escape a countount. Chavo is surprisingly in charge with some near falls and a DDT. In a cool spot, Kane catches Guerrero by the throat as he is hit by the Frog Splash. This sets up the chokeslam and gives Kane the victory at 7:53.
Match 2: Paul London vs. Brian Kendrick
The tag champs are facing each other here and this will definitely be the continuation of the tease breakup of this amazing team. Some quick back and forth reversals and grounding wrestling holds are happening for the first couple of minutes. Kendrick demonstrates some fantastic variations of backslide pin attempts, but no one can keep the advantage. As the last five seconds wind down on Kane’s win time, the clock expires and there is no winner. Ashley then runs down and brings Brian into the ring to see London. No imminent damage done to either superstar
WINNER: none (time expired)
JBL is now in the squared circle speaking with the audience and once again states how Long is causing problems. He says it was inappropriate and inhumane to have an Inferno Match made between Kane and MVP. Still photos are shown of MVP’s back burns from the contest and is then called out by JBL himself. MVP thanks Bradshaw for his support and decides that he will win the Smackdown Sprint no matter what.
Match 3: King Booker w/ Queen Sharmell vs. Gregory Helms
This battle of the heels begins with each man sizing the other up. Booker is demonstrating his power advantage, while Helms is able to nail some acrobatic moves. The King gains a near fall after a nasty spinebuster; however, the Cruiserweight champ is able to get a few near falls as the clock ticks away. Helms is distracted by Sharmell after a top rope forearm, allowing Booker to connect with the Scissors Kick for the win. This match beats Kane’s time with 1:43 to spare. The Boogeyman then crawls out from under the ring, neck hang slams Helms, and of course smothers him in worms.
WINNER: King Booker
A montage of Batista’s career is shown.
Match 4: Ashley vs. Jillian Hall
Jillian has a brief video promo shown, stating that she will bust up Ashley’s Playboy face. Jillian is having her way with her opponent and is focusing on Ashley’s nose, starting with a knee lift. During an attempted body slam, Ashley is able to roll up Jillian for the victory.
Match 5: Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Tatanka
This is the battle of Asian cowboy vs. the Native American. Tatanka’s power is temporarily neutralized with Yang’s speed, resulting in three Wang Yang high flying attacks. This doesn’t last for long, as Tatanka delivers a gorilla press and a chin lock . With just over a minute remaining, Yang pulls off a top rope moonsault, and Tatanka counters that with some slams. Yang was moments away from a possible pinfall rollup win, when the buzzer goes and time expires. The Native American loses it after the match and decimates poor Yang.
WINNER: Time Expired
Vickie Guerrero is shown wearing her neck brace backstage and highlights are shown from Chavo freaking out on her and poking her in the neck. Vickie claims she that Benoit, the fans and now Chavo has turned their back on her. This is some terrible acting by the way, as she states that she doesn’t know who she has left.
Match 6: Ken Kennedy vs. Chris Benoit
This is the final beat the clock contest of the night and should be a good one. Kennedy lands a cheap shot on a corner break and tries to pound away on the U.S. Champion early. A front falling suplex isn’t enough to keep Benoit down, and The Crippler tries various fast pinning combinations to end this contest. Kennedy goes for a swanton bomb, but lands hard on Benoit’s knees. The Rabid Wolverine smells blood and is able to hit six consecutive German suplexes. Benoit comes up short on the flying headbutt, but recovers quickly slapping on the Crossface. Kennedy grabs the rope, and then whips Benoit chest first into the turnbuckle. Surprisingly this is enough to finish off the U.S. title holder and beat the clock. The new fastest time is 5:07.
WINNER: Ken Kennedy
While Kennedy celebrates, Long struts out telling Kennedy not to celebrate, as four more Smackdown Sprint matches will take place next week, including The Undertaker.
Andy McNamara is a freelance writer for SLAM! Wrestling. He is also the play-by-play radio-voice for Durham College Lords sports. Andy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.