Date: December 1, 2006
Location: HSBC Arena, Buffalo, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
It is the first show after Survivor Series and the big Smackdown story is Batista taking the World Title back from King Booker. That means it is time to start getting ready for Armageddon in a few weeks, so we need to set up some stuff. With so little time left before the show, we might be getting ready for the show this week. Let’s get to it.
Here is Teddy Long in the ring to hype up Armageddon on December 17. That sounds like a good place to announce some matches, so we’ll have Kane vs. MVP in an Inferno match and Mr. Kennedy vs. the Undertaker in a Last Ride match. That is in a few weeks though, so for now let’s bring out Batista. The new champ is rather happy to have his title back, though JBL goes on a rant about how Batista didn’t climb some mountain to become champion again. It took Batista eleven months to get the title back and now all is right with the world.
Cue King Booker and Queen Sharmell, whose ALL HAIL’s have lost some steam. Booker says it takes some nerve to stand in the ring with his title, because Batista stole it. Teddy Long helped him steal the title by changing the stipulations right before the match began. Then Batista had to cheat to win to win the title (yeah) so tonight, the rematch clause is being invoked. Batista is ready to fight now but here is Finlay to interrupt. Finlay says Booker doesn’t deserve a rematch because he hasn’t beaten him yet, so it should be Finlay vs. Batista. Teddy thinks they both have a point so let’s have a triple threat match for the title.
MNM vs. Paul London/Brian Kendrick
Non-title and Melina/Ashley are here as the seconds. As a bonus, we’re told that Ashley is next year’s Wrestlemania Playboy girl. London and Kendrick take turns knocking Nitro down to start with Kendrick coming in off the top to elbow the arm. The double dives hit MNM but Kendrick misses a high crossbody back inside. London has to make an early save so Nitro slaps on the chinlock with a bodyscissors. That’s broken up so Kendrick gets over to London for a double high crossbody. Everything breaks down and here are Dave Taylor and William Regal to jump London. That’s enough to set up the Snapshot to put London away.
Rating: C. This is a match I could go for on the bigger stage. I know London and Kendrick took the titles from MNM in the first place but they have come so far in the time since the title change that it could be a classic if they did it again. It’s kind of shame that MNM is only back for a short run, because they could give the division a much needed boost. Nitro has come a long way on his own though and I think WWE figured out his potential a long time ago.
We look at Mr. Kennedy beating Undertaker in the First Blood match at Survivor Series.
Kennedy comes up to MVP in the back and yells at him for swinging the chair. They argue over their matches at Armageddon and Kennedy calls him an idiot. Things are not quite cool here.
Smackdown World Title: King Booker vs. Finlay vs. Batista
Batista is defending and Queen Sharmell is here with Booker. Batista punches them both down to start and takes over, including a Regal Roll to Finlay. The ring is cleared of challengers and we take a break. Back with Finlay working over Batista, including the elbow to the chest. JBL: “These guys would smack their mama right now to win a World Title.” Booker gets knocked outside again and Finlay plants Batista for a close two.
The chinlock goes on for a bit, followed by some boots to Batista’s head. Finlay grabs the chinlock again but Batista fights up and hits a MuscleBuster for two. Booker comes back in to kick Batista in the back for two of his own, followed by the catapult into the bottom rope for the same. Finlay makes a save this time and it’s time for the villainous staredown. Booker gets the better of the brawl and Sharmell rakes the eyes to put Batista on the floor.
Back in and Booker gets two on Batista, meaning it’s time for the double teaming. Finlay throws Booker off for daring to cover before slapping on a chinlock. With that broken up, Finlay grabs the Shillelagh but the referee makes him put it down, as this triple threat has DQ’s. Cue the Leprechaun….but Batista stares him to the floor. Now the Shillelagh shot to the knee can get two on Batista and Finlay grabs the half crab. That’s broken up by Booker’s superkick but Finlay knocks Batista down. The spear into the Batista Bomb finishes Finlay to retain the title.
Rating: C+. Not a classic or anything but it got time and felt like a match that meant something. Giving Batista a title defense right out of the gate makes up for some of the belt shot title win and keeps open the door for Batista vs. Booker II. If nothing else, it is always cool to see the title on the line in a match with some weight so this was a nice surprise.
Post break, Booker and Finlay yell at Teddy Long, who doesn’t want to hear it. Therefore, at Armageddon, it’s Booker/Finlay vs. Batista/a partner of his choosing.
We look back at Chris Benoit retaining the US Title over Chavo Guerrero after accidentally knocking Vickie Guerrero off the apron.
Vickie and Chavo call Benoit a woman beater and swear revenge.
Chris Benoit vs. Chavo Guerrero
Non-title and Vickie Guerrero, in a neck brace, is here. Benoit knocks him down to start but gets elbowed in the face for an early two. The rolling German suplexes send Chavo outside, where he hides behind Vickie as we take a break. Back with Chavo sending him face first into the middle buckle and slapping on an abdominal stretch. That’s broken up and Benoit starts the comeback with a backdrop into a chop for two.
Chavo tries to get up top but gets superplexed right back down in a nasty landing. The Sharpshooter attempt is broken up so the Crossface sends Chavo crawling to the ropes. Back up and Benoit tries an O’Connor roll but gets kicked almost into Vickie. This time Benoit puts the brakes on and Chavo rolls him up with tights for the pin.
Rating: C. There’s your setup for the rematch and that’s all it needed to be. They even played off of Sunday’s ending here for a nice bonus. It isn’t a great match or anything but it served its purpose and the pay per view rematch should be better. Now just stop talking about Benoit being such a monster and the next match will be easier to watch.
Batista seems to have picked a partner.
Layla vs. Kristal Marshall
Layla grabs a headlock to start but an attempted hammerlock doesn’t go very far. Kristal gets sent outside but comes back in for a slam as commentary talks about Playboy. A Hennig necksnap gives Kristal two so she grabs Layla by the hair and slams her head first into the mat for the pin. This was one of the worst matches I can remember in a long time.
Batista picks John Cena.
MVP vs. Undertaker
MVP immediately starts begging off but gets taken into the corner to start the beating. A running clothesline lets Undertaker hammer away in the corner and Old School connects (JBL: “That is completely unnatural.”). MVP kicks him in the face and the glare is on in a hurry. There’s the jumping clothesline to drop MVP again and the turnbuckle pad is ripped off.
A few rights and lefts slow Undertaker down for a bit but he is right back with a clothesline. Snake Eyes into the big boot lets Undertaker grab a chair. MVP goes to run but here is Mr. Kennedy to throw him back in….but MVP reverses and sends Kennedy inside instead. Cue Kane as I think the match has been thrown out.
Rating: C-. This was a total squash until the no contest, though it is at least a match that felt fresh. They very well could do another match between them down the line and it would be a fine way to headline one of the next two Smackdowns. What we got here was fine enough for the short form, though it does feel like it’s a match that was there to fill in time and little more.
Kane and Undertaker clean house but the threat of a double chokeslam sends the villains running to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. I don’t remember the last time that they set up three major matches for the pay per view, plus a few other matches that you can see coming from here, for a pay per view in a single night. They did what they should have done with their time here and the World Title match was pretty good in its own right. Good, effective show here and it was nice to see something efficient like this one.
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