Date: February 9, 2007
Location: Qwest Center, Omaha, Nebraska
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
We are less than two weeks away from No Way Out and that means it is time to try and make that show mean something. The main event will be a battle of the Wrestlemania main events, which means we get to see the big angle to set up at least one of the Wrestlemania title matches. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Undertaker winning the Royal Rumble and ultimately choosing to face Batista. I know they’re talking about this a lot but it’s kind of a special situation.
Undertaker vs. Miz
That’s a big way to start. Undertaker grabs the arm to start and hits a quick Old School. Miz bails to the floor and the chase is on, with Miz getting in some forearms on the way back inside. That earns him a running big boot and a beating in the corner, followed by the chokeslam. The Tombstone finishes Miz in a hury.
Rating: D+. Total and complete squash here as Miz only got in a few forearms. That’s all it should have been too as Miz is the kind of guy who can get back to whatever level he needs to be at with a few promos. Undertaker is primed up for a Wrestlemania World Title match and it makes sense to show that he is on a roll heading into the show. Not much of a match, but it did what it was supposed to.
Post match, Undertaker gives him the Last Ride through the announcers’ table. That should prove the point.
Rey Mysterio is back in two weeks.
Deuce and Domino vs. Paul London/Brian Kendrick
Non-title again and Cherry is here with Deuce and Domino. Kendrick gets knocked into the corner to start and it’s time to forearm him in the back for an early two. We hit a slightly less early chinlock before Domino knees him in the face for two. Deuce comes in and knocks London off the apron, setting up a chinlock of his own.
A jumping kick to the face gets two on Kendrick as this is totally one sided so far. Kendrick kicks him away and brings in London to pick up the pace a bit. Everything breaks down and Kendrick misses a slingshot dive tot he floor. That leaves London to get slammed off the top, setting up a cutter/top rope ax handle combination (that’s a new one) to pin London.
Rating: C-. London and Kendrick have been champions for a long time now and it is time to move on to someone else. Sometimes you need to bring in another team and have them beat everyone, which is what we’re seeing here. This was another nearly one sided match and again, that is what it needed to be.
Maryse, with champagne, welcomes us back from a break.
Commentary talks about Kane vs. King Booker, including a clip of Kane and Booker fighting at the Royal Rumble. Now last week makes a lot more sense.
King Booker and Queen Sharmell want Kane suspended after last week. Long gives him a match at No Way Out instead, which has the two of them hopping mad minus the hopping.
Matt Hardy vs. Joey Mercury
Yes again. Matt knocks him into the corner to start as we hear about a tag team ladder match for the titles at No Way Out, because we haven’t had one of those in a long time. It’s time to go after Mercury’s busted face and we take a break. Back with Matt doing more of the same until he is knocked into the corner. A middle rope faceplant bangs up Matt’s knee and Mercury has a target of his own.
The leg is draped over the rope for a kick to the knee and Mercury starts cranking away. Mercury gets creative by taking the boot off and hits a Robinsdale Crunch on the ankle. Matt catches him on top with a superplex but Mercury is right back on the leg. The bulldog out of the corner gives Matt two more and the middle rope legdrop, with the unbooted foot, gets two. The Side Effect is loaded up but the leg gives out, allowing Matt to grab a rollup for the pin.
Rating: C. Normally I would say they’re done, but we already heard that there is going to be another match involving these two at No Way Out. The Armageddon spot with Mercury’s nose exploding was an incredible visual, but it isn’t like it needs to go on forever like this. Matt had to do this with Gregory Helms and now he is having to do it again with Mercury. Come up with something new.
Here is Mr. Kennedy for a chat. Kennedy has been hearing about how Wrestlemania is going to be Batista’s World Title against the Undertaker’s Streak. That is a match with a lot of buzz but he is the buzzkill. He has beaten both of them on multiple occasions but now he is being overlooked for Wrestlemania. How dare these people overlook him? How dare Undertaker overlook him?
Undertaker may have chosen to face Batista but after tonight, Kennedy is going to Wrestlemania. Batista is overlooking Kennedy because he has a million dollar body but nothing in his head. Tomorrow, Batista’s bags are going to be a lot lighter…and here is Batista for the fight. Security breaks it up and Kennedy uses the distraction to post Batista. This was Kennedy doing what he did best and he was good here.
Finlay vs. Boogeyman
Fallout from Boogeyman trying to kidnap the Leprechaun last week. The gyrations are on to start with Finlay hitting a headbutt….and hurting his own head in the process. They head outside with Finlay being sent head first into the apron but Finlay takes over back inside. Finlay drops some elbows for two but Boogeyman gyrates up.
That earns him a clothesline to put him right back down but Boogeyman knocks him out of the air. Boogeyman hits a powerslam into a splash, followed by a running elbow in the corner. A big boot drops Finlay but here is the Leprechaun to go after the bag of worms. Boogeyman cuts him off and loads up the worms, allowing Finlay to get in a shillelagh shot to the leg for the pin.
Rating: D. This is a good example of why Boogeyman didn’t need to be in the ring very often. The match was awkward and sloppy as they did not exactly seem to be on the same page. The ending means we are likely in for more of this goofy stuff, but it is pretty much the only ridiculous thing on the show at the moment so it could be a lot worse.
We look back at Undertaker massacring Miz earlier.
Gregory Helms vs. Daivari
Non-title and Daivari’s return to Smackdown after a pretty long absence. Helms starts fast and sends him outside as JBL compares Helms to Evander Holyfield. This takes us into a rant about how there are no cruiserweights in boxing, ignoring that Holyfield himself was the undisputed Cruiserweight Champion. Back in and Daivari hammers Helms in the back and we hit the chinlock with a knee between the shoulders.
Helms fights up and is promptly backbreakered down. Daivari misses a guillotine legdrop though and they’re both down for a bit. Helms hits a clothesline and hammers away as JBL points out how quiet the fans are. Another backbreaker gives Helms two but the Nightmare on Helm Street is broken up. A rollup with a grab of the rope gives Daivari the pin.
Rating: C. Just get the title off of Helms already. Much like London and Kendrick, there is nothing left to be done with the title reign, but in this case, there is very little to care about with Helms in the first place. He has held the title so long and barely ever done anything with it, which should tell you almost everything you need to know about the title.
Maryse, from a bed, tells us to keep watching.
Wrestlemania Recall: Pete Rose meets Kane.
Kristal is in Teddy Long’s office and asks how she looks. After taking off a bit of clothing, she asks again (edited off of Peacock), but here is Jillian Hall to interrupt. She wants to sing on American Idol, but Long has a better idea. At No Way Out, we can have a Diva Talent Invitational featuring women from all of the shows. Oh dear.
No Way Out rundown.
Smackdown World Title: Mr. Kennedy vs. Batista
Batista is defending and we get the Big Match Intros. Kennedy gets shoved down to start and it’s time to hide in the ropes. A hard whip into the corner puts Kennedy down again and Batista seems rather calm. This time it’s Kennedy taking over in the corner but Batista isn’t having any of that and slams him down again. Batista takes him back into the corner and hammers away, including the shoulders to the ribs. Kennedy takes him down by the arm though and we take a break.
Back with Kennedy stomping away and they head outside with Batista being sent into the steps. Kennedy takes too long going up top though and gets caught (as heels do), only to snap Batista’s arm across the top. The Kenton Bomb connects for two and we hit the armbar again.
That’s broken up and a collision puts Kennedy on the floor, where a belt shot knocks Batista silly for two. Batista is fine enough to hit more shoulders in the corner, followed by the spinebuster. That’s good for a very delayed two so Batista hits a running clothesline into a powerslam. There’s another spinebuster and now the Batista Bomb connects to retain the title.
Rating: C+. There was absolutely no drama here but at some point you have to give Kennedy his one on one title shot to get it out of the way. Kennedy has been fluttering around the World Title scene for a long time now and this clears the path to Wrestlemania. Let them do their thing here so the real stuff can take place at Wrestlemania, as it should.
Post match here is Undertaker for the staredown to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This was the housekeeping show more than anything else as they had a few things to take care of before we could move on to No Way Out and then Wrestlemania. The two champions losing didn’t help things but it should set up some stuff for No Way Out, which needed the help. Unfortunately there wasn’t much on this show other than a bunch of rematches, but hopefully things can pick up in the next few weeks.
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