Smackdown: MVP puts out Kane's fire
ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling
A major announcement is scheduled for tonight in regards to the World Heavyweight championship, that will lead to one of the biggest matches in Smackdown's history. Wrestling purists are in for a treat as Matt Hardy and Ken Kennedy steal the show with some fantastic storytelling and work ethic. If that wasn't enough a number one contender battle will take place between MVP and Kane to see who gets a shot at Chris Benoit's U.S. title. From Birmingham, Alabama it is go time!
Match 1: Boogeyman w/ Little Boogeyman vs. William Regal w/ Dave Taylor
The Boogeyman is in control for the most part with Taylor interfering to save his partner from certain defeat. Regal and Taylor begin to go after Little Boogeyman and just as things appear to be going in their favour Kane plods down to make the save. Not too much to this one.
WINNER: The Boogeyman by DQ
MVP complains to GM Theodore Long that he was sick last week against Chris Benoit and wanted yet another rematch. Long says that's fine, however, he will have to get through The Big Red Machine Kane tonight to get that U.S. title shot.
Match 2: Brian Kendrick w/ Paul London vs. Domino w/ Deuce & Cherry
The still injured Paul London is in his partner's corner, but he is still slow moving so will be there for moral support only. Deuce defeated Kendrick last week, so let's see what the former tag champ can do this time around versus Domino. The much smaller Brian grabs a solid advantage with a clothesline over the top rope and a suicide dive. Deuce distracts the high flyer and this momentary lapse allows his co-title holder to get back on track. In an amazing spot Kendrick kicks Deuce off the apron while simultaneously hitting a flipping reverse DDT on Domino for the surprise three count.
WINNER: Brian Kendrick
Match 3: Ken Kennedy vs. Matt Hardy
Ken Kennedy announces that he will cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase in 331 days ... at WrestleMania 24. I love how JBL keeps trying to put Matt over as a Superstar on the cusp of main event status -- if only the creative staff felt the same way. Some ground work and reversals are exchanged at the start until Hardy busts open Mr. Kennedy's nose on the outside. Following the commercials Matt is in control, however, his opponent quickly isolates his left shoulder and recaptures the momentum. These two guys have some great in-ring chemistry going on here. While both men are down Kennedy reaches for his briefcase only to have it kicked away by Hardy who nails a Side Effect for a near fall. Mr. Money in the Bank reverses out of a Twist of Fate to hit his rolling senton for a two, and then goes for broke missing a Senton Bomb off the top turnbuckle. A second rope legdrop and several counters leads to Hardy finally connecting the Twist of Fate for three. This was one of the best Smackdown matches of the year thus far.
WINNER: Matt Hardy
GM Long makes a blockbuster announcement that next week there will be a steel cage World Heavyweight championship rematch between The Undertaker and Batista. Insiders know this will be Taker's farewell match for a while as he needs to take time off to heal his injured bicep, though Long certainly didn't mention it.
Match 4: Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Gregory Helms
Jimmy two steps his way in the ring to a mixed crowd reaction from the deep south Alabama fans. Some usual cruiserweight manoeuvres to begin including quick arm drag reversals. The cruiserweight division is very much on the backburner right now, and it's easy to forget that Chavo Guerrero is the champion. Helms tries to slow the speedy Yang down with a side half crab, and follows that up with a suplex to further wear down his opponent's back. A superplex backfires on Helms and as he is tossed down Jimmy connects with a picture perfect top rope moonsault for the upset victory.
WINNER: Jimmy Wang Yang
Batista is in the ring discussing his Last Man Standing match with Undertaker at the last PPV and how every drop of blood is worth getting the title back. The Animal actually showed emotion and charisma for the first time in quite awhile and says he's ready for next week's cage battle.
Match 5: Finlay vs. The Miz
I saw a great match with The Miz from Deep South Wrestling this past week where he looked phenomenal in an underdog role against Mike Knox. Finlay gets knocked out of the ring by a slap and a kick, which caught the Irishman off guard. Hornswaggle poked his head out and jabbed two fingers in Miz's face on the outside. With the referee distracted with a loose turnbuckle pad Finlay throws his little friend into the gut of Miz. The Tough Enough star briefly regains control, however, as he looked under the ring for Hornswaggle, the midget smashed Miz's leg with the shillelagh. Next thing you know the leprechaun pulls Miz underneath the ring and then emerges wearing the little bastard's hat! The Miz has had enough, walking away furious and allows himself to be counted out.
WINNER: Finlay by countout
A video of The Undertaker is shown briefly where he states Batista will be stepping into "the demon's playground" next week in what will surely be a steel cage war.
Match 6: #1 Contender's U.S. Championship Match- Kane vs. MVP
MVP has some scarring memories from his encounters with Kane as at one point he was burned by the big man in an inferno match last fall. Kane comes out of the gate on fire as he whips MVP all over the squared circle. MVP attempts to focus on The Big Red Machine's left arm that was injured last week and has some success until Kane stops him cold with a clothesline. Following a failed chokeslam, Kane nails the top rope clothesline. Regal and Taylor rush out and clock the big man with brass knucks allowing MVP to hit The Playmaker. Your new #1 contender for the United States championship is once again MVP.
Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!
WWE Backlash 2007 DVD
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.