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Smackdown: No Holds Barred for 'Taker and Khali
By RICHARD KAMCHEN - SLAM! Wrestling


Smackdown’s in Bakersfield, California tonight, and viewers tuning in know they’re not watching Raw because the show starts with ring action.

Match # 1 – Five Tag Team Battle Royal – For the right to a Tag Title match tonight

This is one big under card cluster… match. Everyone teams up to throw Festus out, which eliminates him and his partner Jesse. Jimmy Wang Yang is next, and off he goes with his partner, the former punk-poseur-turned-cowboy Shannon Moore. A Major Brother clotheslines Dave Taylor over the top, thereby taking out him and his partner Drew McIntyre.

That leaves The Major Brothers and Deuce and Domino to fight it out. The latter beat on the former and eventually land a double team vertical suplex. But overconfident, they both charge at a brother, who ducks. Deuce and Domino’s momentum send them sailing over the top rope.

Winners via not being hurled over the top rope: The Major Brothers

Match # 2 – Michelle McCool (w/ Chuck Palumbo) vs. Victoria (w/ Kenny Dykstra)

After a brief backstage scuffle, the girls decide to settle their differences in the ring.

And surprisingly, they have a good little match. For a Diva contest, it’s almost a classic what with the sound, fast-paced action. Too often the ring seems ridiculously oversized when the WWE babes do battle, but that’s not the case here.

Dykstra pulls Victoria out of the ring to spare her from McCool’s roundhouse kick, but Palumbo intervenes, nailing the former male cheerleader with a clothesline.

Michelle rolls Victoria back into the ring, but Victoria gets the upper hand, planting McCool with a DDT to score the duke.

Winner via pinfall: Victoria

Mysterio gives an interview in the back, asserting that his nemesis Finlay doesn’t know who he is. But I’m not so sure – I figure Mysterio’s signature area code move provides at least a clue. Anyway, Mysterio goes into something in Spanish before concluding: “I’m doing this for my people because my people are me. Ariba me Raza.” Yeah, okay. Whatever blows your hair back, Maskie.

Another one of those Jericho teasers before Jamie Noble interrupts Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero’s chat with ECW Champeen CM Punk. To make a long story short: some mild hilarity ensues, and a match is set for later tonight.

Match # 3 – Rey Mysterio vs. Finlay

Mysterio and Finlay give us a strong back-and-forth match in which Finlay continues to give Mysterio more than a run for his money.

Mysterio responds to Finlay’s taunts with punches but a heavy clothesline by Finlay cuts that offence short. Finlay then wears down his opponent with his usual stiff looking ground attack.

But Mysterio rallies by taking Finlay out of the ring with a hurricanrana, and follows up with a baseball slide and a moonsault.

Back from commercial break, and Mysterio remains on top, stomping Finlay in a corner. A weak looking kick, though, takes the wind out of Mysterio’s sails. European uppercuts and another big clothesline nets Finlay a two count.

Mysterio attempts to reverse the flow with another hurricanrana but Finlay counters by throwing Mysterio off his shoulders. Mysterio smashes the back of his head into the turnbuckle and looks dead. Finlay takes advantage, focussing on Mysterio’s back before putting him in a Boston crab. Mysterio refuses to tap, so Finlay releases him, knees him to the back and pins him again. Another two count only, though.

Finlay throws Mysterio back first into the outside ring barrier before rolling him back into the ring and re-applying the Boston crab. Mysterio this time manages to reach the ropes and Finlay responds with boots to the back.

Several attempted comebacks by Mysterio are cut short, and Finlay even manages to avoid the 619. Mysterio, however, refuses to quit and finally hits it. But while waiting on the top rope to Drop the Dime, Finlay charges at Mysterio and knocks him off. Finlay then picks him up and creams him with the Celtic Cross for the 1-2-3.

Winner via pinfall: Finlay

Apparently not satisfied with his victory, Finlay throws Mysterio out of the ring, smashes a laptop across Mysterio’s head and wraps him around a ring post. Gorgeous.

Match # 4 – CM Punk (c) vs. Jamie Noble – Non title match

It’ll be tough for these two to top the last match but they give it a go. Noble has the early advantage but Punk comes back with some nifty kicks before booting Noble out of the ring. He keeps him out there with a springboard dropkick and a dive through the middle ropes.

Punk rolls Noble back in, but Noble gets the upper hand following a swinging neck breaker. In a cool series of moves, Noble puts Punk in a cobra clutch and side Russian leg sweeps Punk while keeping the clutch locked in!

But Punk breaks out of it, kicks and knees Noble and gives him a bulldog too for good measure. As Punk sets up for the finish, The Miz enters the fray. Punk makes short work of him, kicking Miz in the jaw. John Morrison thereafter arrives, just in time to get a Go to Sleep. Noble, however, is revived and hits Punk with the Gut Buster. Total carnage – very good then.

No contest

Batista hits the ring to hype his Hell in the Cell title match versus the Undertaker at SummerSlam.

Match # 5 – MVP and Matt Hardy (c) vs. The Major Brothers – Tag Team Title Match

MVP has a ‘C’ sewn onto his costume to designate his captaincy. Funny, that. Hardy and Bret Major start things off. A Side Effect puts Hardy in the driver’s seat, but MVP decides this is the opportune time to tag himself in. He toys with Bret for a while, offers his hand to tag in Matt, but then withdraws it. Bret is trying to make a tag, so MVP kicks his brother Brian off the apron before ending the contest with his weird finisher. Hardy is annoyed and doesn’t want MVP to raise his arm for him.

The writers sure went to a lot of trouble to perpetuate the storyline that the tag champs don’t like each other. Okay, I get it now. I mean, hey, I do remember all those big time competitions (like pizza eating) between them.

Winners and still champions via pinfall: MVP and Matt Hardy

Viewers tonight weren’t inundated with a lot of backstage nonsense. But instead, we were shown many highlights (if you can call them that) of The Great Khali squashing past opponents, including The Undertaker. Sure, Khali’s built like a bus, but then again, he moves like a tree and the novelty of his size disorder soon wears off.

Match # 6 – The Great Khali vs. The Undertaker – No Holds Barred

Khali does his usual: weakly holding up his hands to fend off punches that he basically no-sells anyway. Undertaker goes Old School on him and sort of choke slams him. Well, Khali got about two or three inches of air on that one. That garnered ‘Taker a two count.

Back from break and Khali is booting Undertaker in a corner. Undertaker is reeling. Head butts galore still can’t get Khali a three count.

Khali’s Vulcan neck pinch gives him a little rest. Undertaker fights back with the ol’ soup bones. Not only did he fight off that move, but he didn’t even drop to Khali’s once devastating head chop. And ‘Taker even fights out of Khali’s head vice grip! Whoa, daddy.

Undertaker rallies, giving Khali another choke slam, this one looking worse than the first. Apparently, white men aren’t the only ones who can’t jump.

Anyway, Khali picks up Undertaker by the throat, holds him and then drops him. He looks pretty satisfied with himself until Undertaker sits up and locks in a triangle choke. No sell this, bub. So is this the barred hold we’ve been waiting for? The triangle? And are there any other shapes banned from competition? Before we can find out, Khali taps!

Winner via submission: The Undertaker

And so much for that, sports fans. Goodnight and goodbye.


Richard Kamchen writes to you from Winnipeg and can be e-mailed at richardkamchen@hotmail.com.