Date: May 4, 2007
Location: BJCC, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
We’re done with Backlash but it does not seem like we are done with Batista vs. Undertaker. The two of them went to a draw in a Last Man Standing match at the pay per view and that probably means we get another match between the two of them, which is not a bad thing. I’m not sure what that is going to mean, but hopefully WWE can keep up their roll. Let’s get to it.
William Regal vs. Boogeyman
This isn’t quite the normal start, but Little Boogeyman is back. Dave Taylor is here too but he doesn’t have quite the merchandising potential. Grappling doesn’t quite work for Regal so Boogeyman gyrates a bit. Regal gets a bit more violent by sending him shoulder first into the post and kicking the arm. Some forearms have Boogeyman in trouble as Cole calls him a “must see character”. The chinlock doesn’t last long as the fans bring Boogeyman back to life. The chokebomb connects but Taylor comes in for the DQ.
Rating: C-. This was short and to the point, likely for the sake of setting up another match of some kind. They went a bit more technical than I was expecting here but Regal got better once he turned into the brawler. Keeping this short was probably better for Boogeyman, as he isn’t exactly the best thing to see in the ring most of the time.
Post match the beatdown is on, with Little Boogeyman taking a beating of his own. Kane runs in for the save, chasing the Brits into the crowd.
We look at Vince McMahon becoming ECW World Champion.
Dusty Rhodes is in Teddy Long’s office but Teddy doesn’t think he would be a good choice for an assistant’s role. Rhodes thought it was for the GM’s job and leaves (Dusty: “See ya playa!”). MVP comes in (MVP: “Was that the American Dream?”) and isn’t happy with what happened to him at Backlash. If he doesn’t get another US Title shot, he’s sitting out the rest of his contract. Long says he can have the title shot if he wins tonight….against Kane. Yelling ensues so MVP leaves, running into Sgt. Slaughter, the Brooklyn Brawler and the Miz, all of whom want to be Long’s assistant. Miz even throws in a HOO RAH.
Brian Kendrick vs. Domino
It really would be nice to think that WWE knows another way to present a tag team feud but that seems to be false hope. Deuce, Cherry and the injured Paul London are here too as Domino grabs an early headlock. Kendrick sends him outside and hits a heck of a suicide dive, only to have Domino come back with a knee to the face.
Back in and another knee, this time in the form of a drop, gives Domino two and we hit the chinlock. Kendrick raises a boot to cut off a middle rope unidentified flying….thing and hits a running forearm in the corner. Deuce takes out London but Kendrick kicks Deuce off the apron as he hits Sliced Bread for the pin.
Rating: C. Kendrick was flying all over the place here and it made for a good enough match, even if this feud has gone so far beyond stale that it’s barely worth caring about. The tag division really is that weak at the moment, or at least the face side of it is, because there has been nothing suggesting even one other team coming after the titles.
Here is Mr. Kennedy, complete with a graphic counting down to his Wrestlemania XXIV countdown. It’s 331 days until there is a new champion and his name is…..a catchphrase.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Matt Hardy
JBL thinks that Hardy could be in the main event of Wrestlemania as well, because JBL isn’t a great analyst. Hardy headlocks Kennedy down to start as JBL thinks next year’s Wrestlemania is in Tampa. Back up and Kennedy works on a headlock of his own to little avail. Cole uses this opportunity to hype up an upcoming clip of the end of Batista and Undertaker for approximately the 193rd time tonight.
Kennedy starts working on the arm before elbowing Hardy in the face. A backdrop sends Kennedy over the top though and we take a break, with Kennedy possibly having a busted nose. Back with Hardy hitting a middle rope elbow to the back of the head, only to have Kennedy take him down by the arm. The chinlock goes on again, meaning Cole can get in his 194th reference to the Batista/Undertaker clip.
Back up and they collide coming out of the corner until Kennedy is sent outside. He comes up favoring his shoulder but is still fine enough to kick Hardy hard into the steps. They head back inside with Kennedy grabbing a cravate to keep Hardy down. A clothesline gives Kennedy two and let’s hit that chinlock again. That’s broken up but Hardy’s bulldog out of the corner is broken up.
The second attempt connects to give Hardy two but Kennedy pulls him throat first across the top. The Side Effect drops Kennedy for two more and a double clothesline gives them two each. Kennedy counters the Twist of Fate into a Regal Roll for two but the Kenton Bomb only hits raised knees. Hardy’s middle rope legdrop gets yet another near fall so Kennedy shoves him at the referee. That doesn’t seem to bother Hardy, who comes back with the Twist of Fate for the pin.
Rating: B. This got some time and really picked up the pace in the last few minutes as they were trading a lot of near falls. That is not something you get to see very often in a free TV match and they made it work for the better part of twenty minutes. Nice stuff here, though Mr. Money in the Bank losing again holds it back a bit.
Video on Batista and Undertaker in the Last Man Standing match at Backlash. It was rather good, but not quite the epic showdown Cole made it out to be.
Teddy Long announces that next week, it’s Batista vs. Undertaker in a cage match to finish everything once and for all.
Maryse welcomes us back to the show.
Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Gregory Helms
Yang shoulders him down for a headlock to start, setting up an armdrag into an armbar. Back up and Helms blocks another armdrag and sends him outside. Helms tosses Yang back inside and grabs most of a half crab (minus stepping over), followed by a waistlock. Yang fights up again and hits a dropkick into a hurricanrana for a breather. Helms slams him out of the corner for two but a superplex is broken up. The top rope moonsault press finishes for Yang.
Rating: C. This was two people having a match for a few minutes with some nice moves thrown in. It had nothing as far as interest goes, as it’s not like the Cruiserweight Title means much of anything at the moment. The fact that it took me a little while to remember who the champion was should tell you all you need to know about the division right now, and that isn’t likely to get any better anytime soon.
Here is a serious Batista for a chat. He talks about what he and Undertaker put each other through at Backlash before going over the limit. After they crashed through everything, Batista was laying there asking himself it this was all worth it. Of course it was and he wanted to step out of his body and slap himself for asking such a stupid question. He’s ready to do it all over again because he has promised himself to win the title back, even if it means getting inside a cage next week.
Mark Henry is still coming back.
Finlay vs. Miz
Feeling out process to start until Miz actually manages to knock him outside. Even JBL is impressed, though Finlay nailing Miz in the head cuts that off in a hurry. Hornswoggle pops out for a cheap shot, sending JBL into a rant about how we have Little Boogeyman, Hornswoggle and Tazz around here. They head back in and Finlay takes off the turnbuckle pad, allowing him to throw Hornswoggle at Miz behind the referee’s back. Miz sends him shoulder first into the post for two though and the running corner clothesline hits Finlay again.
Cue Hornswoggle again (three times in a four minute match is a bit much), this time with a Shillelagh shot to Miz. The distraction lets Finlay run Miz over but Miz sends him into the apron. Hornswoggle pulls Miz underneath the ring this time but he’s right back out….wearing Hornswoggle’s hat. That’s too much for Miz, who takes the countout.
Rating: D+. This was basically Miz vs. Hornswoggle and that got a little tiring in a hurry. That being said, Miz is also starting to get a lot more comfortable in the ring and you can see a star starting to emerge. He has always been able to talk but if he can survive in the ring, he becomes even more valuable. Now someone get me Hornswoggle’s hat.
Undertaker promises to make Batista rest in peace next week. Short and to the point here.
We look at Vince McMahon winning the ECW World Title (they’re REALLY high on this story, as they should be).
Kane vs. MVP
The winner challenges Chris Benoit for the US Title at Judgment Day. Kane powers him into the corner to start and then throws him back out, setting up an early bearhug. A powerslam out of the corner gives Kane two and it’s off to a chinlock with a knee in MVP’s back. Kane knocks him down again and we take a break. Back with MVP sending him shoulder first into the post and hammering away to get a breather. The armbar makes it worse for Kane and a forearm to the shoulder gets two.
The referee breaks up something in the ropes so Kane is back with a clothesline. MVP is sent into the corner for the running clothesline but another shot to the arm gets him out of trouble. Kane uses the good arm to hit a side slam for two but MVP’s swinging neckbreaker is good for the same. A slam puts MVP down though and Kane hits the top rope clothesline. Cue William Regal and Dave Taylor though, with the latter distracting the referee so Regal can get in a brass knuckles shot. The Playmaker gives MVP the pin and the title shot.
Rating: C+. I’m not sure how much drama there was to this but it was nice to see things tied back into the opening segment to wrap this up. MVP continues to look like he could be a big deal on the show, but egads he has to win that title at the pay per view. It was a pretty nice match though, and Regal’s knuckles shot looked painful to make it better.
Overall Rating: C+. Overall, this was a solid enough week with Hardy vs. Kennedy being the highlight, but I think you can tell that something is a little off. Undertaker appearing in a pre-tape and a sudden World Title match being booked for TV isn’t the most encouraging sign, as it would suggest that something was wrong (which it turns out there was). Still though, good show, despite what felt like some stuff being thrown together at the last minute.
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