A nice little video recap of last week’s episode and reminds us that Finlay, Matt Hardy, MVP, and UnderTaker are all set to compete in tonight’s matches before we go to the usual SmackDown opening video, which I think has yet again been edited a little – if you want to know whenever it gets updated or something like that.
Opening Contest: Sprint Match: Finlay vs. Matt Hardy
Finlay attacks right away and knocks Hardy outside, sending him into the apron before he takes it back into the ring for a quick pinfall attempt. Clothesline and elbow drop gets Finlay a pinfall attempt. Finlay with a school boy for another failed pinfall. Hardy gets a small package for a failed pinfall. Hardy with right hands to Finlay before getting the clothesline bulldog combo for a two count. Hardy with a school boy for two. Finlay with a nice arm bar into crucifix pinfall, but Hardy escapes. Hardy whips Finlay into the corner but the two bump into each other, both back up and Hardy gets a backslide pinfall for a two count. Side effect on Finlay for another two count. Another side effect for another two count. Hardy goes for a third side effect but Finlay knocks him off, Hardy gets sent into the corner but Hardy kicks Finlay down and gets distracted by The Little Bastard! Hardy turns into a shillelagh shot by Finlay to the leg for a two count! Finlay gets in an Indian deathlock and tries to make Hardy submit, but the bell rings!
Winner: Draw at 5:07
Post match, Finlay keeps the lock applied and Joey Mercury comes down and begins beating down on Hardy and goes at him with a steel chair, with referees and such stopping him from crushing Hardy’s face. A nice match that should be given a longer rematch at No Way Out. Three out of Ten.
Still to come: Chris Benoit vs. Mr. Kennedy
Backstage, Marshall asks Joey Mercury what happened in the ring, and Mercury says he won’t stop until Hardy’s face looks worse than his.
Second Contest: Jimmy Wang Tang vs. Tatanka
It’s the rematch the world needed to see, take that TNA. Yang with a spear and mounted punches right off the bat. Yang with dropkicks before he kicks Tatanka outside. Lock up and Tatanka forces Yang into the corner and misses a punch, allowing Yang to get some kicks in. Yang whips Tatanka into the opposing corner but Tatanka slams Yang into the middle turnbuckle. Mounted punches by Tatanka. Tatanka with a side suplex for a two. Yang irish whips Tatanka into the corner but Tatanka comes back with a kick to the chest before he chops Yang down. Tatanka positions Yang in the tree of woe and gets a running spear before he takes Yang into the middle of the ring and locks on a sleeper hold, but Yang turns it into a jawbreaker. Yang kicks away at Tatanka’s knee and trips him down before putting on a leg lock. Tatanka reapplies a sleeper hold but Yang gets another jawbreaker. The two exchange punches, with Yang getting the upper hand and coming off the ropes with an elbow. Swinging neckbreaker by Yang and standing moonsault for a pinfall attempt. Tatanka runs into a spinning heel kick by Yang for a two count. Yang goes for a crossbody but Tatanka catches him and slams him down for the victory.
Not a bad match really, but not anything to write home about either of course. Four out of Ten.
Still to come: Tag Team Championship! Paul London and Brian Kendrick defend against William Regal and Dave Taylor!
Maryse welcomes us back to SmackDown. Or something.
Recap of the Armageddon Ladder Match. Good times, good times.
Backstage, London and Kendrick are backstage before Regal and Taylor come and remind them that tonight’s match isn’t a ladder match, it’s a wrestling match, before wishing them good luck. Oh, how rude of him.
Chris Benoit makes his way towards the ring…
Third Contest: Mr. Kennedy vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit starts by taking Kennedy to the corner for knees before taking him to the other corners for turnbuckle shots. Benoit with a shoulder body toss before taking him back to the corner and following up with a snap suplex for a one count. Kennedy punches Benoit off of him and irish whips him, Benoit comes back into an elbow. Benoit gets a German suplex on Kennedy, before Kennedy rolls outside but is sent back in quickly by Benoit. Benoit with a scoop slam and elbow drop for a two count. Kennedy drags Benoit outside, Kennedy follows him outside and slams him face first into the apron before taking the match back into the ring for a pinfall attempt. Kennedy with a scoop slam, elbow drop misses. Benoit with a northern lights suplex for a two count. Benoit gets the Triple Germans and signals for the diving headbutt, but Chavo Guerrero makes his way out to the entrance way as we head to a commercial break.
We’re back and Kennedy has Benoit’s arms hooked, but Benoit escapes and gets in chops and forearms to Kennedy. Benoit suplexs the both of them over the top rope to the mats surrounding the ring. Back in the ring, Kennedy gets a pinfall attempt. Kennedy knees Benoit in the gut and locks in an abdominal stretch, pulling on the top rope for an advantage. Kennedy with an elbow drop for a two. Kennedy with a back drop on Benoit for a two count. Kennedy knees away at Benoit and picks him back up for a front facelock before getting in a fall forward suplex, with Benoit being dropped on the top rope. Kennedy goes to send Benoit into the steel post but Benoit punches him off and slams him face first into the top turnbuckle, Benoit goes up top but gets tripped by Kennedy and Kennedy gets in a superplex for a two count. Kennedy goes for another suplex but Benoit goes for the Crossface, Kennedy escapes and rolls outside of the ring. Kennedy back into the ring only to get tripped over right away and Benoit goes for the Sharpshooter but eventually gets kicked off by Kennedy, Kennedy gets a two count. Kennedy with a back breaker for a two count. Kennedy with another back breaker, before he pushes Benoit down onto his knee but Benoit knees Kennedy in the face and goes to lock on the Crossface again but Kennedy rolls out of the ring again.
Kennedy misses a clothesline and Benoit gets in another Triple Germans! Benoit goes up top and goes for the Swandive Headbutt and connects! Benoit gets a two count, close to a three. Kennedy reverses an irish whip and drops Benoit throat first on the top rope for a two count. Benoit gets a small package for a two count. Kennedy with a leg drop for another two count. Kennedy goes up top but Benoit attacks and chops away at Kennedy, but Kennedy pushes him off! Kennedy gets a missile dropkick to Benoit for a two count; Benoit gets his foot on the rope! Kennedy again goes up top and goes for the Kenton Bomb, but Benoit rolls out of the way! Benoit with forearms to Kennedy before he gets in five Germans! Benoit locks Kennedy in the sharpshooter, but Guerrero distracts Benoit! Benoit throws Guerrero into the ring and goes for the sharpshooter but Kennedy gets a school boy, pulling on the tights, for the three count!
Winner: Mr. Kennedy
Good match. Seven out of Ten. Benoit attacks Guerrero afterwards, but Guerrero escapes through the crow while Benoit gets a round of applause.
Up next we get a video package on Batista.
Video montage for Batista, including Mark Henry taking him out a year ago and him regaining the title at Survivor Series.
Hooliganz and the Brits make their entrance, which leads us to…
Fourth Contest: William Regal and Dave Taylor vs. Paul London and Brian Kendrick (Champions) w/ Ashley Massaro
Taylor and Kendrick start off, with Taylor getting a headlock on Kendrick. Taylor with a headlock takedown for a pinfall attempt, back to their feet Taylor goes off the ropes and ends up getting a monkey flip from Kendrick. London tagged in, and right in with a headlock. Taylor punches away at London and uppercuts him down before tagging out to Regal. Regal irish whips London and gets a shoulder body toss but London lands on his feet and gets a hurricanrana. Kendrick in and a double team suplex on Regal. Kendrick gets a headlock and gets sent into the ropes and gets a monkey flip on Regal before returning to the headlock. London tagged in with a top rope elbow to the body of Regal; Kendrick tagged in and does the same, and then London is tagged back in with a top rope stomp for a two count. London with a headlock, blind tag made to Taylor; London gets a shot at Taylor but turns into a clothesline from Regal. Scoop slam on London by Taylor, suplex follows and gets Taylor a two count. Regal tagged in with elbows and knees to London in the corner. Snapmare by Regal before he locks in a headlock variation but Regal kicks London down before he looks like he can escape. Taylor in with a snapmare for a two count. Taylor hooks the arm and pulls on the jaw of London, Taylor keeps the hold on and Regal is tagged in. Regal also hooks the arm and pulls on the jaw, but London gets in a small package. Regal kicks out and gets in a knee to the head of London.
Taylor tagged back in and he works the head of London, clubbing away at his chest. London gets a few shots in but Taylor gets in a sleeper hold and tags out to Regal. Regal gets in a full nelson on London before clubbing London down. Regal picks London up and looks to go for a powerbomb like move, but London falls forward and tags out to Kendrick! Kendrick comes in with the usual attacks, getting in a nice superkick on Regal. Kendrick with elbows to Regal and a big boot, pinfall attempt broken by Taylor. Kendrick gets a crossbody on Regal but Regal rolls through with a pinfall but the pinfall gets stopped just before the three count by London. Kendrick gets a backslide on Regal for the victory … huh?
Winners and Still Champions: Paul London and Brian Kendrick
Here I was thinking they’d give them some more time. Good match but the ending just seemed to come out of nowhere to me, and I’m hoping for a longer rematch as this was criminally short. Six out of Ten.
Recap of MVP getting burnt at Armageddon.
Maryse says stuff.
Fifth Contest: Sprint Match: MVP vs. Vito
Vito’s dress is horrible too, by the way. Lock up and the two exchange elbows, with MVP getting an eye rake on Vito before he gets a headlock takedown into a pinfall attempt. Scoop slam by MVP. Vito gets a shot to the burns before he clotheslines MVP down for a pinfall attempt. Vito gets some chops to MVP in the corner but MVP kicks him off and gets a snapmare on Vito, kicks the back for a two count. MVP gets another pinfall attempt. Vito trips MVP and punches away at MVP, following up with a few pinfall attempts. Vito with a scoop slam and second rope splash on MVP for a two count. MVP gets tripped again by Vito, before Vito gets in some shots to the burns. Vito with a school boy for another failed pinfall. Vito goes for an armbar and gets it, but MVP knocks Vito off with his spare arm. MVP with a running big boot in the corner for a two count. MVP with a side suplex for a two count. Vito off the ropes into a flapjack by MVP, and MVP gets yet another failed pinfall attempt. And another. Vito gets a pinning bridge but MVP kicks out, and the clocks goes off.
Winner: Draw at 5:07
Post match, MVP attacks Vito but Vito sends him back first into the steel post. I’d like to see these two work together again in a few week’s time because they seem like they might be able to click really well, but this wasn’t one of those times. One out of Ten.
Recap of Benoit vs. Kennedy from earlier in the evening; next week it’s Chris Benoit defending his United States Championship against Chavo Guerrero in a No DQ Match.
Kristal Marshall interviews Batista; re: facing Kennedy at the Rumble, he says that he won’t look past or under estimate Kennedy, but re: facing Taker at the Rumble, that’d be a first.
Main Event: Sprint Match: The Undertaker vs. Mike Mizanin
Mizanin ducks a big boot attempt but Taker catches him and gets him with some shots to the head. Taker irish whips Mizanin into the opposing corner and back into a clothesline for a two count. Taker with elbows in the corner before he hooks the arm and hits Mizanin with the Old School for a two count. Taker gets a big scoop slam on Mizanin, leg drop follows for a two count. Taker signals for the chokeslam already but Kennedy runs out and distracts the referee, but Taker scares him off. Taker turns into a kick to the gut by Mizanin, Mizanin gets some offence in and dropkicks away at Taker only to run into a big boot. Taker covers but gets a two count. Taker clotheslines Mizanin outside, before he positions Mizanin on the apron and gets the leg drop to Mizanin. Taker covers Mizanin but Mizanin gets his foot on the rope. Taker whips Mizanin into the corner and gets the snake eyes, big boot follows but Mizanin knocks down the referee as well! Taker punches Kennedy off of the apron, Chokeslam to Mizanin but the referee is down. Kennedy drags Mizanin outside and Taker brings him back into the ring, Tombstone, but the bell rings JUST before the three count!
Winner: Draw at 5:07
Few things about this match; for starters it wasn’t just Taker beating up whoever interferes into his match and rather he has to hold himself back which is an interesting setting, secondly it’s the biggest match Mizanin can expect to be a part of which isn’t a Rumble or Survivor Series Match and despite being his biggest match ever, the entire event consisted of him getting destroyed. It’s almost satisfying to a degree; with the only thing keeping this from being actually satisfying is the fact that it fills the Main Event slot. Despite being a bit satisfying, the match was totally passable. Two out of Ten. That’s one point for each of the previous points, if you’re counting.
So, looks like it will be Mr. Kennedy and Batista at the Rumble. On the upside, their matches in July weren’t that bad, and I think their third and final one was quite good if I remember correctly. Here’s tonight’s results;
Finlay vs. Hardy: 3/10
Wang Yang vs. Tatanka: 4/10
Kennedy vs. Benoit: 7/10
Regal / Taylor vs. London / Kendrick: 6/10
MVP vs. Vito: 1/10
Taker vs. Mizanin: 2/10
SmackDown 12/01/07: 23/60
The Inside Pulse
I really like the idea of the SmackDown Sprint but I hope that next time they have it set out better; with the majority of matches last week, it was horribly set up this week. Every Sprint match in this episode was someone getting a push defeating someone who was getting a push but is now getting a negative push. Anyways, hands down this was the best two hour long wrestling program this week … take that compliment for whatever you will.