March 24, 2007
Smackdown: Lashley dominates Kennedy and Orton
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling
Well once again NCAA March Madness has forced me to watch Smackdown in the wee hours of the morning. Despite that, tonight's Smackdown is absolutely massive. A handicap tables match, and a big main event where the WrestleMania title bout competitors are forced to partner off, as are two Money in the Bank entrants. Can they all co-exist during their match this evening from Cleveland, Ohio? Only one way to find out ... onto the report!
Vincent Kennedy McMahon struts his way down to the ring and brags about his shaving of Eugene's head on Raw. The chairman also guaranteed victory against Bobby Lashley in their match this Monday. To make this happen he made a handicap tables bout consisting of Lashley versus Randy Orton and Ken Kennedy.
Match 1: Tag Team Championship - Paul London & Brian Kendrick (c) w/ Ashley Vs MNM
These two teams gel so well together in the ring and it's a real shame that the tag division does not have any solid programs. The quickness and overall effort keep the fans into this one as the momentum shifts from moment to moment. The real story of this match was to continue the hype of Ashley and Melina's WrestleMania Women's championship battle. Melina goes to interfere, however, Ashley is there to make the save on her diva counterpart. This goes on just long enough for London and to Kendrick to sneak out the victory.
WINNERS: Paul London & Brian Kendrick
Match 2: Non-title - Chavo Guerrerro vs. Jimmy Wang Yang
Oh Cruiserweight division, how much promise you once showed. Similar to the tag titles, the Cruiserweight championship means very little these days. Time and time again it's been discussed how much talent these individuals have and how much more they could add to WWE programming. In any case, Chavo is in control for the large part of this fast-paced contest, although his moves don't look quite as crisp as usual. Yang finally catches a break and is able to upset the champ in this non-title match with a moonsault from the top.
WINNER: Jimmy Wang Yang
Match 3: MVP vs. Cedric Von Haussen
Not sure where Von Haussen came from but apparently he is the Lichtenstein Champion. Essentially a squash as MVP has his way with Von Haussen, putting him away with the Playmaker. Following the victory MVP runs down Benoit and puts over their United States Championship match at WrestleMania 23.
Match 4: Tables Match - Bobby Lashley vs. Randy Orton & Ken Kennedy
The ECW champion is going to have his hands full in this one as Mr. McMahon tries to weaken Donald Trump's boy before Mania. We are also told that this is the first tables match on WWE television in over two years. As would be expected Orton and Kennedy teamed up early and took it to Lashley, but only after the ECW star came out of the gate strong. However, the big man has been made to look like Superman lately and it seemed no matter what the two heels threw at him, Bobby would always come back. Eventually a pair of tables are set up and Lashley is able to overpower his opponents, slamming both Orton and Kennedy through tables. Lashley is really over with the crowd right now and is going into WrestleMania on a huge roll.
WINNER: Bobby Lashley
Match 5: Non-title - Chris Benoit (c) vs. Gregory Helms
Coming off of a tapout loss to John Cena on Raw, The Crippler looks to be in an extra foul mood. Helms' early momentum is stopped dead in its tracks by Benoit chops, a back drop, and a suplex. Following a nice looking cross body over the top, Helms keeps The Rabid Wolverine grounded with some mat work and chokes. The U.S. title-holder eventually bounces back with three German suplexes, a flying headbutt, and then locks on the Crossface for the tap out.
WINNER: Chris Benoit
In the back GM Teddy Long is hitting on Krystal by giving her a rose when JBL walks in and makes fun of him. JBL then suggests that he conduct an exclusive Batista and Undertaker interview next week.
Match 6: Main Event - Batista & Undertaker vs. King Booker & Finlay
Backstage before the match, Batista was attacked by Booker and Finlay, meaning that The Undertaker was left alone to fight the heel duo. Taker hit his usual spots (Old School and Snake Eyes), and despite a few double team cornerings and quick tags he was in control for most of the match. That all changed when a frustrated Finlay smacked The Dead Man with his shillelagh in order to get out of a chokeslam. This obviously caused the disqualification and the two jackals took no time, pouncing on their now wounded prey. All of a sudden Batista rushed down to save his Mania opponent and both men were not only co-existing, but actually working together for a time. As revenge for last week The Animal whipped King Booker into Taker (Undertaker had thrown Finlay into Batista the previoius Smackdown), while Undertaker had Finlay up for The Last Ride. This caused a staredown and some high intensity as both Batista and The Phenom look about ready to tear one another's head off.
WINNER: Undertaker by DQ
Andy McNamara is a freelance writer for SLAM! Wrestling and the play-by-play radio sportscaster for Durham College Sports. Andy is the recipient for the 2nd straight year of the OCAA Broadcasting Excellence Award, and is looking forward to the free food at the banquet. Andy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.