January 20, 2007
Smackdown: The Animal loses control
By ANDY McNAMARA -- SLAM! Wrestling
The Smackdown Sprint is over, but the race to The Royal Rumble has just begun. A surprise is in store for Mr. Kennedy as his boasting could cost him his shot at championship gold. The final chapter in the Chris Benoit/Chavo Guerrero feud will also take place tonight in what is sure to be an epic No DQ United States title match. Little Rock, Arkansas is ready to roll so once again here comes Smackdown!
This evening’s program opens with Ken Kennedy bragging about his fastest Smackdown Sprint win, which allows GM Theodore Long to come out. The General Manager states that Kennedy will face off against The Undertaker tonight. If Taker is victorious he will join Kennedy vs. Batista at The Royal Rumble, making it a Triple Threat Match. Kennedy is furious at this result; however, the good news is that this battle will not affect his standing in the title bout at WrestleMania.
Match 1: Matt Hardy vs. Joey Mercury
Hardy initially sticks with body shots to stay away from the face of Joey Mercury that he helped mangle. Mercury backs off quickly when Matt begins to aim at the head. Eventually Hardy is able to roll him up for the pin. Shortly after, Johnny Nitro jumps Matt and this leads to a Snap Shot on the concrete floor.
WINNER: Matt Hardy
In the back The Miz is bragging to Layla and Ashley how he almost defeated The Undertaker last week. Unfortunately for the rookie the Dead Man’s brother Kane is standing behind him and overhears all of this.
A recap video package is shown of the Chris Benoit/Chavo Guerrero.
Match 2: William Regal, Dave Taylor & MVP vs. Vito, Paul London & Brian Kendrick w/ Ashley
Everyone is scrambling around in and out of the ring with London gaining brief control. Soon MVP works over Vito and Taylor follows that off with some crisp technical wrestling. After being isolated for quite awhile Vito finally makes the hot tag to Kendrick. Soon both London and Kendrick are flying all over the place, however, MVP catches Kendrick in mid air for a side driver and the win.
WINNERS: Regal, Taylor & MVP
Match 3: No DQ United States Championship Match- Chris Benoit (c) vs. Chavo Guerrero
This is allegedly the last match in this feud…until the next Eddie based feud begins. Chavo starts the contest with a low blow kick and tries to throw Benoit into corner, but the champion gains brief control with a German suplex. Guerrero squirms out of the Crippler Crossface and narrowly misses a hard chair shot against the outside steel post. This is turning out to be one of the best matches I have ever seen between these two. The Rabid Wolverine was suplexed first on the belt then on a chair. Guerrero goes for the kill with a frog splash on a steel chair but the champion rolls out of the way. The Crippler nails three Germans and misses the flying headbutt off the top. Benoit locks in the Sharpshooter and as Chavo grabs for a chair the pain is too much and he taps out.
WINNER: Chris Benoit
Match 4: Deuce & Domino w/ Cherry vs. Jobber 1 & Jobber 2
This 1950s-themed team is television poison and are bad Fonzie impersonators. Deuce and Domino cheap shot the jobbers and punch/kick there way around the ring. Deuce seems to be the more agile of the two. In any case the end comes with a running kick to the face for the pinfall.
WINNERS: Deuce & Domino
Ken Kennedy confronts GM Theodore Long about being in a 1 on 1 match against The Undertaker for the number one contender spot for the World Heavyweight championship at the Royal Rumble.
Match 5: Kane vs. The Miz
The Miz does not look too happy walking out to face Kane. Miz rushes Kane, however, The Big Red Machine quickly takes charge with a stiff uppercut. Kane is having his way with the youngster with a tree of woe and a series of slams. The end finally comes after a big chokeslam.
GM Long is barged in on once again, this time by King Booker and Queen Sharmell. Booker complains that he has not received his rematch against Batista yet. The King proclaims that he will win the Royal Rumble and take out The Animal on the grandest stage of them all…WrestleMania. A six-man over top mini-battle royal will wet the appetite next week as a Rumble preview.
Match 6: The Undertaker vs. Ken Kennedy
If The Undertaker wins then he will join the match for the world title with Batista vs. Kennedy at the Royal Rumble. The Animal is ringside and is very uninteresting in his commentary. After sizing one another up Taker begins working on the left arm and connects with Old School. The Dead Man is still dominating following the commercial break and throws Kennedy off the top turnbuckle with one hand. Kennedy catches a break by hurting Taker’s leg and like a vultures zones in on it. The loud math narrowly misses a Last Ride but does receive Snake Eyes and a boot to the chops. Kennedy cheap shots Batista, rolls back in the ring, Undertaker goes for a choke slam, however, The champ spears Mr. K causing Taker to be disqualified and costing him his co-number one contendership.
WINNER: By DQ Ken Kennedy
Andy McNamara is a freelance writer for SLAM Wrestling. Question: Should a 3-way match take place at The Royal Rumble between Kennedy/Batista/Undertaker? Andy is also the play-by-play radio voice for Duhahm College and will be in charge of the OCAA men’s/women’s basketball all-star game. Simply click www.theriotradio.com starting at 5pm on Saturday January 20 to be apart of the action.