April 28, 2007
Smackdown: Kennedy and Finlay falter
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling
With Backlash this Sunday, violence is in the air. The focus of tonight's show will be on the massive main event featuring Batista and Undertaker vs. Kennedy and Finlay. With their Last Man Standing Match looming, can The Animal and The Dead Man co-exist one more time? As well, MVP has a long evening courtesy of Chris Benoit, and there is also some tag team action in the works. Sit back with a tea and crumpet because Smackdown is coming at you from jolly old London, England.
The show begins right away with Batista and Ken Kennedy battling one another backstage already in progress and The Animal is clearly in control. The camera cuts out and then Batista and Finlay break through the curtain onto the ramp. Kennedy is quick to follow and the numbers game add up against the big man with the double team. All of a sudden the lights dim, the gong sounds and The Undertaker stands alone in the ring. Finlay and Taker back off when the lights go off again and when they come up The Dead Man is gone.
Match 1: Kane & The Boogey Man vs. William Regal & Dave Taylor
For once Regal and Taylor have the fans' support as they are in their home country. This match starts out the same as the previous week's handicap contests with Kane in full control of both heels. Following several minutes of beatdowns Kane is finally isolated with various submission holds and double teams. The Big Red Machine is able to make the hot tag to Boogey Man, and the worm eater gets a near fall on Regal. The end comes once Taylor is cleared from the ring and Boogey slams Regal for the pin.
WINNERS: Kane & The Boogey Man
Match 2: Brian Kendrick w/ Paul London vs. Deuce w/ Domino & Cherry
London has his ribs taped so his partner will compete in one on one action against half of the new tag team champions, Deuce. A surprisingly slow start with headlocks and submissions setting the pace. The momentum switches back and forth with Kendrick finally getting back on top following a skin-the-cat head scissors. Cherry distracts the official and Deuce capitalizes with a running kick for the three count.
Krystal interviews Deuce, Domino & Cherry on how it feels to be the new tag champs ... a terrible segment.
MVP comes out to ringside pumping himself up for his United States championship match against Chris Benoit at Backlash. MVP says he will face another international title holder, this one from Scotland: Hamlet Macbeth.
Match 3: MVP vs. Hamlet Macbeth
Macbeth tries a few reversals, however, MVP is just too strong for his counterpart. The Scotsman's wig gets knocked off and he responds with a quick flurry and roll up for a two count. It doesn't take long for MVP to regain his composure and hit The Play Maker for the win. MVP is about to announce his next competitor when the U.S. champion Chris Benoit's music comes on. The Crippler challenges MVP to take on a real champion.
Match 4: Non-title- Chris Benoit vs.MVP
Benoit is in full attack mode and takes advantage of the fatigued MVP. Coming back from commercials The Crippler was just elbowing his way out of a sleeperhold. Things go back and forth with Benoit being seconds away from a tap out victory courtesy of the Crossface and then The Sharpshooter. The U.S. champ nails five German suplexes and is about to deliver his flying headbutt when MVP simply scrambles out, walks away, and is counted out.
WINNER: via Countout- Chris Benoit
In GM Theodore Long's office Krystal tells the GM she loves him and that they should spend more time together.
Match 5: Michelle McCool vs. Jillam Hall
Jillian Hall comes out and sings a song specifically for the recently single Prince William. Michelle McCool interrupts, but is attacked just as the bell rings when she is climbing through the ropes. McCool bounces back only to have her drive cut short with Jillian's X-Factor face plant into the mat. McCool jumps Hall from behind once the singer wannabe begin belting out tunes once more.
WINNER; Jillian Hall
Match 6: No DQ- Ken Kennedy & Finlay vs. The Undertaker & Batista
Batista looks to be refocused and is extra ferocious with his knee smashes into Finlay's chest. It is Kennedy and The Undertaker who battle next and Mr. Money in the Bank tries to attack Taker's hamstring. Both teams are making quick tags and before you know it The Animal hits a top rope suplex on the Irishman. Following the commercial break it is Undertaker back in with Kennedy and he is honing in on the left shoulder. The Dead Man gets tossed off the top with his first attempt at Old School, but is able to hold on to Kennedy's wrist. Taker is then able to connect with two consecutive Old Schools from two different turnbuckles. Finlay has been busted wide open when he was thrown into the announce table, and both partners are pounding away on Kennedy. Just as quickly, Finlay is able to smash Batista's injured left leg with the shillelagh twice and obviously that becomes the focus of the heel tandem. The Animal crawls his away over for the hot tag and Undertaker chokeslams both Finlay and Kennedy, followed by a spinebuster on Finlay by Batista. After the bell Batista grabs the mic and tells Taker that no one keeps him down for a ten count and that he will take back his World Heavyweight championship at Backlash in their Last Man Standing Match. Undertaker ends the program by saying to Batista that he plans on taking his soul this Sunday.
WINNERS: Kennedy & Finlay
Andy McNamara is a freelance writer for SLAM! Wrestling and play-by-play radio broadcaster for Durham College sports. Contact Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org.