And so – we find ourselves here, in a faint post-Wrestlemania glow. Come find out where the company will be headed storyline-wise for the next 3-6 months.
On color commentary in the Smackdown crew tonight – Mick Foley, ladies and gentlemen.
First Match: US Championship: Matt Hardy vs. MVP (c)
They go over Matt’s run in during the Money in the Bank match, as well as the fact that MVP is the longest-reigning US champ in WWE history. A respectable “Hard” chant starts up during the opening lockup. MVP focuses on Hardy’s knee, which seems like a pretty smart strategy. PUnches from Hardy, off the rope, MVP ducks out. Hardy chases, tosses him back in, hip toss for a quick 1-count. Couple of elbows, another 1 count. MVP back with soem heel antics, Hardy to the corner, MVP gets a boot to the face and a second-rope elbow to the fact of the head for 2. MVP with a back suplex for 2. MVP puts Hardy on the top turnbuckle, Hardy elbows out, moonsault hits the knees (which almost goes really badly). MVP with another 2 count, and then drops a knee to the midsection. A seated abdominal stretch, Hardy tries the comeback, but that’s cut off quickly by a hair pull.Knees to the midsection, abdominal stretch – rope-assisted, of course. Hardy out – another 2 count. Screwed-up belly-to-belly by MVP, 2 count. Multiple covers – all 2 counts. Bigger “HARDY” count starts up. MVP lifts Hardy up in a fireman’s carry, and tosses him off his shoulders. MVP off the ropes, Hardy pop ups with a clothesline. Punches, clothesline, bulldog, 2 count. Hardy sets up for the Side Effect, countered. Hardy charges – guillotined on the top rope. MVP sets up for the Playmaker – countered by the Side Effect – only 2. Hardy up top, MVP knocks him off. They fight up top – Hardy gets a Side Effect off the top, but is too injured to cover. Finally does – only 2. Hardy tries for the Twist of Fate – countered to a backslide, ref sees his feet on the ropes. MVP argues with the ref, Hardy gets a roll-up for 2. Twist of Fate again countered. MVP gets a running kick to the skull that knocks Hardy to the floor. Hardy rolls back in the ring at the count of 9.75. MVP is incredulous – another kick, Hardy staggers to his feet, yet *another* kick. MVP sets up for one final kick as Hardy pulls himself up in the corner. MVP charges, misses, Side Effect, 1-2-3!
Winner and new US Champ: Matt Hardy
Cole calls it “the first major singles victory of Matt Hardy’s career”. Gee, was that a compliment or an insult?
We switch to JR and the King, who congratulate Hardy, and then push an AT&T mobile poll on the Fatal Four Way. The King notes that Randy Orton had only gotten 8% of the votes in the poll at Wrestlemania.
Backstage, Eve interviews a dripping Matt Hardy. Hardy reminds us that he’s been the Hardcore and Cruiserweight champ – I guess those weren’t very significant in the eyes of Michael Cole. He also has just one thing to say to MVP: “……….” Is this a concussion angle? “I am BETTER.. than YOU!” (Oh, maybe not.)
The ECW announce crew is Mike Adamle and Tazz.
Second match: ECW Championship: Chavo Guerrero vs. Kane(c) Chavo is “flanked by Bam Neely”. I’m imagining this will last a bit longer than the WM match. Chavo goes after the left knee, which lasts for exactly one move, before Kane gets ahold of him. Chavo back with a kick to the knee, which affects Kane for about 3 seconds. Complete domination by Kane, including a gorilla press slam. Kane charges the corner, gets taken down by a droptoe hold in the turnbuckle. Chavo back to the knee, which finally seems to be having effect – until Kane tosses him over the top rope. Chavo back in – baseball slide knocks Kane back. Chavo off the ring, caught, slamed into the apron. Kane to the top – tossed to the floor, and grabs the knee. Chavo gets an ax-handle off the apron, and continues punishing the knee,including bouncing it off the ringpost. Bam gets into the fun too. Chavo to the second rope, Kane lifts him up on the shoulders – electric chair. Chavo’s up first, stalks Kane – goozle. Kane with the big boot, a couple of clotheslines and a side slam for 2. Kane sets up for the Tombstone, Chavo fights out but gets caught with a HUGE backdrop. Kane to the top again, off with a clothesline (that didn’t look very good). Chavo up top – caught coming off the turnbuckle, but turns it into a big DDT. 2 count. Chavo does the “Edde taunt”, sets up the brainbuster (yeah, right), Kane counters, Chavo counters and hits a shoulder-block into the knee. Chavo up top, Kane up, Chavo fights out with a headbutt – hits the frog splash. No – Kane grabs his neck, works up to his feet, chokeslam, and that’s all she wrote. 1-2-3
Post-match, Kane stares down Bam outside the ring.
Backstage with Todd and Randy Orton. Apparently, Randy has been through a lot of adversity.
Tale of the Tape between Khali and The Big Show. TBS wins, by virtue of his size 18EEEEEE shoes. That girly-man Khali only wears an 18.
Third Match: The Great Khali vs. The Big Show Well, it’s a big staredown. And… a long one. The crowd starts to boo, so they… go nose-to-nose again. Khali with a standing moonsault. Okay – I was just seeing if you were paying attention. They punch each other a bunch. Mick does what he can to make the match seem not horrible, by comparing it to a battle of mythological creatures. TBS with a slap to the chest, Khali with a chop and a clotheline. The crowd booes. TBS to the corner – Khali with a series of clotheslines, boots, and elbows (not, in a row or anything – seperated by 5-10 seconds each). TBS fights out, goes for a slam, countered, Khali clotheslines him to the floor. TBS shoved into the ringpost. Khali with an elbow, and then gets.. the Crossface? No, I’m not kidding this time. TBS fights up, tries for a slam, but falls back from the weight. Khali with a nerve pinch, which lasts approximately forever. TBS off the ropes, Khali with the big chop to the head – only 2. Khali grabs TBS’s arms in a surfboard-like hold, as the crowd begins a (loud) “BORING!” chant (good for them). TBS fights out in the corner, goes for the slam again – hits it this time. 2 count. Khali with a punch, kick – sets up for the Khali Bomb. TBS counters – and hits the Chokeslam! 1-2-3.
Winner: The Big Show
This will appear on some “Worst Match of the Year” lists. (And by some, I mean – all of them.)
John Cena is talking country music backstage with Jimmy Yang Wang, when Randy Orton decides to show up and talk dramatically. Cena promises that Orton will “go home tonight a broken man.”
A recap of the Flair/HBK/Batista/Jericho angle – which is, by far, my favorite of the year. Everyone has played their part perfectly in this, including Batista, who has a very difficult role here.
Our special guess referee, Chris Jericho, makes his entrance.
Fourth Match: Batista vs. HBK The crowd cheers all three entrances. Batista smirks a lot, and plays the aggressor during the “feeling out” process. HBk with a go-behind, Batista elbows out, HBK with some forearms, Batista pushes him off, HBK motions for the Superkick, Batista backs off quickly, HBK charges, Batista with a kick and sets up for the Batista Bomb, HBK quickly rolls out of the ring. (That was fun.) Back in, collar-and-elbow tie-up into the corner, and Jericho makes his presence known by pushing Batista back after a four count. HBK into the corner, Batista follows with a big clothesline. The crowd seems to mostly boo. Another charge to the corner hits knee, and HBK follows with a chopblock. HBK with a short-arm scissors, Batista rolls through, HBK drops a series of knees on the left arm, back to the short-arm scissors. Batista rolls through again – they fight over leverage. Batista lifts HBK up with one arm, and they both go over the top rope to the floor – HBK holding the scissors the whole way until just before they hit. HBK rams the left arm into the ring post. Back in the ring, HBK continues to relentlessly work on the arm – seriously, five minutes of non-stop damage. Batista fights up, tosses HBK to the corner (using the right arm, blind charge hits an elbow. HBK grabs Batista’s wrist with both hands, wraps his legs around Batista’s left arm, and throws himself backwards over the top turnbuckle – effecting using his whole bodyweight to stretch out the arm over the top rope. HBK up to the top, ax-handle to the shoulder. More damage to the arm. Batista with a Samoan Drop – the crowd boos again. HBK with a series of chops, which lefts the crowd do a couple of “WOOO!” calls. Batista with a clothesline and a violent toss to the corner. Batista lifts HBK up on his right shoulder and rams him into the corner. Shoulder block and powerslam (all using one arm) get 2. Set up for the Batista Bomb – HBK goes up and over, and counters to a Crossface (okay, this is getting to be a disturbing trend). Batista moves towards the rope – HBK floats over for a pin attempt, 2 count, rolls over back into the Crossface again – several feet farther away from the ropes. Nice. THis time, Batista makes the ropes (crowd boos), HBK is slow to break, and Jericho pulls him off. Another try for the Crossface, Batista counters with a side slam for 2. Crowd boos. Off the ropes, Batista misses a clothesline, HBK hits the Flying Jalapeno. Kip up – spear! Just 2. Batista puts him on top, they fight – HBK pushes him off. Flying elbow hits. HBK tunes up the band. Sweet Chin Music countered by a MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER. (Crowd boos noticably.) Set up for the Batista Bomb, HBK fights out, hits the mat – and collapses, holding his left knee. Batista pauses, HBK rolls to the ropes, Jericho pushes Batista back. Batista tries to pull HBK up (while still in the ropes), Jericho pushes him off again. HBK pulls himself up with the ropes… then hits Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere. And that’s enough – 3 count.
Winner: Shawn Michaels
HBK cotinues to play up the knee injury after the match – so it doesn’t appear to be a fake. Jericho helps him to the back. I honestly don’t know if this was a work or not.
Backstage, Orton confronts HHH – and gives his monologue while looking away from Trip, and instead into the camera. HHH: “Pride comes before the fall.”
Fifth Match: 12 Diva Tag Match: Beth, Melina, Victoria, Jilian, Matalya and Layla vs. Mickie, Maria, Michelle, Ashley, Cherry and Kelly I’m warning you all now – I’m really only going to pay attention when the women I actually care about are in the ring. Michelle and Beth start – Michelle gets a decent drop-kick, but her belly-to-belly is countered by a knee. Melina tags in, screams a lot. Micki tags in. hits a hurricanrana. Natalya tags in, throws some punches. Micki with a neckbreaker for 1. Natalya is “the daugher of Jim The Anvil Neidhart, and the niece of Bret Hart”. She gets a knee to Micki, then knocks Cherry off the apron. VIctoria tagged in, missed a standing moonsault. Micki with an Enzuiguri. Outside the ring, Cherry goes after Natalya, which causes all of the divas to start fighting. Back in the ring – Ashley hits a scary-looking rana on Jillian for 2. Beth tags in and thrashes Ashley a bit. Beth with a double-arm chickenwing, Layla rushes in, gets kicking in the face, and then gets run into by Beth. Beth knocks Micki off the apron, Micki runs in and gets the screaming DDT on Beth, Victoria gets the Widow’s Peak on Micki, McCool hits the big… uhh, shoe on Victoria, Melina hits that split leg drop, Kelly hits a dropkick, Jillian hits a face plant, Cherry hits a bulldog, Natalya hits a snap suplex, Maria hits a bulldog, Layla hits a spinning kick, Ashley hits a spear. Beth rolls back in, gets a delayed fisherman’s suplex. And that ends it.
Winners: The Heel Divas
Some of the Baltimore Ravens are in the crowd. But they suck, so I won’t even bother to name them.
Fifth Match: World Championship: Edge vs. The Undertaker (c) In case you were wondering – yes, the Undertaker’s entrance is still very cool. Edge starts out by trying to dodge a lot. Tie-up, Edge pushed out of the ring. Edge off the ropes – shoulderblock from UT. UT with punches, a headbutt, and kicks. Edge back with a kick out of the corner and clothesline. UT back with a beatdown in the corner. Short-arm shoulderblocks. Foley does an excellent job talking about “Undertaker through the years” – how UT used to dominate physically and through mind-games, and how he’s evolved into the current striker he is, with this Submission Move That Shall Not Be Named, which both announcers make a point of saying how no one has been able to break it. UT starts to concentrate on the left arm – guess he was watching HBK. Tries for Old School – Edge counters by raking the eyes. Edge clotheslines UT out of the ring – UT lands on his feet. Edge follows up with a baseball slide for good measure. Edge off the apron – caught and slammed back-first into the ringpost. UT tosses Edge into the ringside. UT rolls in and out of the ring several times to break the count, which I appreciate. Edge set up with his head hanging over the apron – kick the skull, followed by the legdrop off the apron. Back in – bodyslam, leg drop by UT for 2. Edge counters a bodyslam with a neckbreaker. Kicks and knees and punches, focusing on the back (which UT seems to have damaged during that legdrop on the apron). Spear to the back for 2. Edge with a body scissors. Foley continues his excellent job on color, noting how part of UT’s mystique was how nothing ever seemed to really hurt him. UT rolls over and starts pummeling Edge on the mat. (Hmm – a match between the current UT and the current Kurt Angle would be interesting right now.) Edge off the ropes, dropkick to the back. Baseball slide to the middle of the back. (On a replay, Cole: “Watch the look in the Undertaker’s eyes here!”, during a move when UT has his eyes closed.) Back in, Edge gets a Camel Clutch. After a couple of minutes, UT tries to power out, Edge rolls through into another body scissors. Back into the Camel Clutch. UT tries punching out, then lifts Edge up on his back (negating all of the previous damage) and slams his down backwards. Off the ropes, double-clothesline. Both men up, double big boot. Up again, punches (“YAY!” “BOO!”). UT with a corner clothesline – tries again, misses, Edge charges, Snake Eyes! Big Boot, elbowdrop – 2 count. Old School countered again. Edge puts him on the turnbuckle, they fight, Edge pushed up. UT climbs to the top (!), and misses a flying elbow. Edge rolls him up – 2 count. Edge rolls out, grabs the title belt, drops it while on the apron. UT pulls him in, goes for the Chokeslam, countered, Edgecutioner, countered, another Chokeslame, countered to a Russian leg sweep that actually hits. 2 count. Foley says “human game of chess”. Edge up top, UT tosses him down with a chokeslam, 1-2- Edge makes the ropes. Knife across the throat – UT lifts Edge up for the Tombstone, Edge grabs the ropes and the top turnbuckle, UT pulls him off – Edge takes the padding off the turnbuckle and slips out. Edge down, pushes UT into the exposed turnbuckle. UT back out with a clotheslines. Lil Naitch actually tries to tie the padding back on – never seen that before. UT sets up for the Last Ride – one of the Edge Boys jumps up on the apron and smack UT with the belt. 1-2-no! Edge with a Spear attempt, UT counters with a DDT – 2 count. Set up for the Chokeslam – the other Edge Boy runs down, UT tosses Edge into him on the apron. Set up for the Last Ride – Edge rolls through, 1-2… Edge gets “that submission hold”. Edge holds on for about 20-30 seconds, then taps out. The bell rings… and UT holds onto the Triangle Choke.
Winner: The Undertaker
Teddy Long rolls Vicki Guerrero down in a wheelchair. She jumps up on the apron, and UT finally lets go of his move. A bit later, we see blood pouring out of Edge’s mouth and/or nose, while Vicki frets over him. The medical team climbs in to take a look, and they wheel out the stretcher.
Orton knocks on JBL’s dressing room door – and hey, look who’s in the hallway at that exact moment: it’s MitB winner CM Punk (w/briefcase)! “Hey. [glance at briefcase] Good luck tonight.” Niiiiiice.
And let me just state for the record that I am shocked – SHOCKED – that they are doing this as an elimination match. I never thought I’d see the day when the World Title got the same level of commitment from its contenders that the ECW title got back in the heyday.
Sixth Match: WWE Championship: HHH vs. JBL vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton (c) Right after the bell, Orton grabs the belt and goes after JBL – who kicks it back into his face. Orton rolls out of the ring and stumbles about, while the other three just mostly watch him. JBL decides to start punching Cena, until HHH turns him around and starts punching him. HHH with an overhead suplex on JBL – Cena nails HHH with a clothesline (ingrate). Cena goes after HHH, and gets booed pretty loudly – HHH counters with an Irish whip, Cena rolls out. JBL after HHH. Cena charges Orton and tosses him back into the ring, HHH with a DDT on JBL. (TOO. MANY. ACRONYMS.) Orton tossed into Cena on the apron, Cena smacks into the Raw announce table. JBL holds HHH so Orton can hit him. Double-shoulder block on HHH for 2. HHH gets the clothesline on both, knocks JBL out of the ring, knocks Orton down with a punch. Orton misses a blind charge – shoulder to the ring post. HHH rolls out, tosses JBL into the steps. Set up for a Pedigree – JBL counters and drops HHH to the ramp, follows up with an elbow. Cena back in – punches from Orton. Orton misses in the corner – Cena with a kick, blockbuster off the ropes. Cena up top – Fameasser. Cena locks in the STFU – JBL into the ring, motions… then stops, and smiles at Orton. JBL down on his hands and knees, taunting Orton: “TAP! TAP! What you gonna do boy? TAP!” HHH suddenly appears in screen – and slaps the crossface on JBL (no, I’m not any happier about this move continually appearing). JBL rakes Cena’s eyes, breaking the STFU. JBL motions for Orton to help him, who declines in a vociforous manner. Cena knocks Orton into the other two, breaking the hold. Orton tosses Cena out of the ring. JBL with a kick and elbow on Orton – 2 count. JBL continues to beat down on Orton. Orton back with a kick and clothesline out of the corner. Orton goes up top (?), JBL knocks him off. JBL with a kick to Orton’s head. SUPERPLEX attempt – thwarted by Orton, HHH, and Cena. Tower of Doom! Cena covers JBL, HHH covers Orton, double two counts (2! 2!). Cena and HHH (stupidly) decide to punch it out (HHH punch “YAY” Cena punch “BOO”). Cena actually gets the better of it – fisherman’s suplex for 2. Cena with shoulderblock, shoulderblock, suplex – “You can’t see me” – HHH up with a spinebuster. Kick, set up for the Pedigree – Clothesline from Hell misses, Cena counters, STF countered. Cena HITS the STF on JBL. HHH tries for the Pedigree again – backdropped over the top rope. STFU on JBL – he taps. Orton in – kick to Cena’s head. 1-2…3? Wow.
So now it’s HHH and Orton. Back and forth punches, won by HHH – overhead suplex. Kneedrop for 2. Orton back, charges – thrown over the top. Orton’s head bounced off the Raw announce table. HHH countered – thrown into the steps. HHH monkey-flipped into the security wall. (“TRIP-PLE-H” chant starts up.) HHH suplexed to the floor. Orton poses. Back in the ring – 2 count. Orton with a knee to the back. Ax handle to the back. Orton beats down HHH in the corner. Orton with a knee to the midsection, and a knee to the back for 2. HHH fights back, Orton with his inverted backbreaker – 2 count. Orton with a rear naked choke. HHH wearing down.. down… fights back, punches to the gut, off the ropes – power slam from Orton. Orton sets up for the RKO – stalking, goes for it – HHH tosses him off in mid-move. They’re both down, and the ref starts counting (uhh – why? it’s no-DQ). Both men up at 9 – punches, Orton off the rope, HHH uses the knee(tm). 2 count. HHH clotheslines Orton to the floor. Outside the ring – Orton is tossed into and over the ECW table. Bounced into the Smackdown table. Orton grabs HHH’s tights and pulls him into the security wall. Orton sets up for a piledriver on the steel steps – HHH counters by pulling his ankles out and flipping him down to the steps. Back in the ring – Orton charges, HHH hits a spinebuster. Roar, grab the knee, KICK WHAM— no, back bodydrop. Orton tries the RKO – tossed into the corner — REF BUMP. HHH checks the ref – Orton his the RKO. Slow to cover.. crawls over, 1..2… NO! (HUGE “TRI-PLE-H!” chant kicks back up.) Orton up – standing over HHH, looking out over the crowd, backs off, stalks…. misses the kick to the head. HHH with a KICK.. WHAM… RKO-no! Countered… KICK.. WHAM… PEDIGREE! Need you ask?
Winner and new WWE Champ: Triple H
Tags: ECW, Raw, Smackdown, WWE