-Highlights from last week’s cage match and the happenings that ensued afterward..
-We are (taped) from Baltimore, Maryland, just two days away from Judgment Day. Tonight, Edge’s inaugural address and Ozzy Osbourne performs live.
1- MATT HARDY VS. M.V.P. Couple headlock take-overs by M.V.P. to start, and an arm-drag from Matt. Porter has the advantage, but not for long. Back and forth momentum shifts in the opening minute or two. M.V.P. takes over with a headlock variation. Matt breaks out and hits a bodyslam, followed by an elbow from the middle rope to the back of Porter’s head. Lot of hype from Cole and J.B.L. for the Judgment Day U.S. Title Match. “Hardy” chants for about the fifth time already. Back into a headlock by Porter, but Hardy counters with a drop-toe hold. Porter with a drop-toe hold of his own, then a boot to the head sending Matt to the outside.
M.V.P. has controlled through the break. Again with a running boot, this time in the corner, and it gets a two-count. Hardy looks out on his feet, but he keeps kicking out of pin attempts. Matt dodges a boot and hits the side-effect for two. Clothesline in the corner followed by a bulldog. Hardy tries to go to the top but slips, allowing M.V.P. to get to him. He gets shoved off though and Matt hits an elbow for a two-count. Twist of Fate is reversed and Porter throws Hardy into the turnbuckle, with his head hitting the post. Playmaker ends.
WINNER: M.V.P. at 14:57.
-Michael Cole interviews him in mid-ring and, of course, he exudes confidence heading into Sunday.
-Edge’s inaugural address is coming up, as is highlights of what happened when the show went off the air last week, regarding Undertaker.
-We see footage of “The spirit of the Undertaker leaving Smackdown” after the show went off the air last week, complete with druids.
2- DEUCE & DOMINO & CHAVO GUERRERO VS. JIMMY WANG YANG & BRIAN KENDRICK & PAUL LONDON London and Chavo start. Head-scissor take-over by London and a double hip-toss with Kendrick. London back in by somersaulting over the top rope and rolling up Chavo in a Magistra cradle all in one motion. Very cool. Yang tags in and gets propelled off the top, hitting a flying bodypress onto Deuce . Kendrick in now, taking on each member of the heel squad, allowing Deuce to re-group. Big European uppercut by Chavo. Distractions allow Deuce to choke Kendrick on the rope. Kendrick tags Yang after a flurry of offense. Spinning heel kick for an awkward one-count. Side-suplex by Chavo stops Yang. But Yang sets up on the top for the moonsault and hits for the pin.
WINNERS: Kendrick & London & Yang at 4:07. Full of non-stop energy.
-Mark Henry vignette, talking about taking out Taker last week.
3- MARK HENRY VS. FUNAKI Henry has new music AGAIN. Funak, fresh out of the witness protection program apparently, is the opponent. Henry shrugs off a flying forearm, then steps on and over Funaki. Headbutt, but an elbow from Henry misses. Funaki to the top, but Henry catches him and hits the World’s Strongest Slam for the win.
WINNER: Henry at 1:05.
-Raw Rebound, focusing on Lashley/McMahons.
-Chris Benoit is walking backstage, heading to the ring to face Finlay, next!
4- CHRIS BENOIT VS. FINLAY Clean break in the corner by Finlay. Finlay jaws with Benoit after the Canadian’s clean break, then he slaps the Irishman. Bodyslam by Benoit, followed by a running elbow-drop. Finlay goes for the leg, though. Benoit counters by grabbing at headlock, and both men are back to their feet. Uppercut by Finlay, then a knee-drop. Reverse chin-lock is applied by Fit. Benoit dropkicks Finlay, who slides to the outside. Missed baseball slide by Benoit, and Finlay pushes him into the steps, then back in the ring. Finlay back to work on the left leg. Benoit gets to the ropes, but Finlay goes back to the knee. After landing a chop, Benoit goes to the mat after a single-leg take-down by Finlay. He misses a charge, though and Benoit hits a German suplex. Just one though, and he comes back to hit the Three Amigos. He tries to go to the top, but Finlay pushes him off the apron.
Finlay still has the advantage out of break. Benoit chops back, but Finlay applies the half-crab. Enziguiri by Benoit, then he hits three Germans. Hornswaggle comes in, and Benoit attempts to put him in the Sharpshooter. While the ref’s back is turned, Finlay grabs the shillaleigh, but misses hitting Benoit. Instead, he gets put in the Crossface. Before Fit can tap, M.V.P. interferes for the DQ, then goes to work on Benoit.
WINNER: Benoit by DQ at 13:49.
-Ozzy Osbourne and band members, security are walking backstage as Jillian tries to catch up with him. He performs NEXT.
[Break- Alan Thicke is enough to convince ME to visit Vegas!]
-Ashley comes to the ring to introduce the Oz man. He performs the Judgment Day theme, “I don’t wanna stop.” He’s more coherent singing than he is talking, that’s for sure. Good round of applause after his performance, and even some “Ozzy” chants.
-Edge’s inaugural address is coming up!
5- THE MIZ VS. CHRISTIAN YORK Joey Matthews’ former tag partner making an appearance on Smackdown. Miz gets a clothesline, then some right hands/forearms. Neckbreaker follows that. Elbowdrop misses, though and York attempts a comeback. Miz stops that with a knee to the gut. Clothesline in the corner by Miz and he goes for the cover, but picks York up at two. Swinging neck-breaker finishes it.
WINNER: The Miz at 1:49.
-Timbaland’s new video makes its network premiere next week on Smackdown. The preview for the video is shown.
-Kristal and Teddy are backstage. Kristal thanks Teddy for letting Vickie Guerrero interview for the assistant spot. Vickie comes in and thanks Teddy for the opportunity. Long has reservations, but Vickie wants to change the Guerrero perception (lying, cheating, etc.). Vickie sucks up by telling Teddy how much Kristal talks about him, then the interview begins.
-Edge’s inauguration speech is coming up!
6- KANE VS. WILLIAM REGAL Regal has Taylor with him. Before the match starts, Boogeyman and Little Boogey come out. No clean break in the corner from Kane, then he chokes Regal. Regal uses some boots to get the advantage. Off the ropes goes Regal, and he gets caught with a back-body drop. Regal gets a drop-toe hold, then goes for an abdominal stretch. Left hands and forearms by Regal, but Kane hits right back. Suplex by Regal and Kane fights back again. Big boot from Kane, then a sidewalk slam. To the top, flying clothesline. Taylor is on the apron, which allows Regal to go to the outside. Kane comes out to meet him, but Regal slams him back-first into the apron. Taylor takes out Boogeyman and throws Little Boogey into the ring. Before Regal can get to him, Kane comes back in for the chokeslam and pin.
WINNER: Kane at 4:02
-Cole and Layfield run down the Judgment Day card.
-Edge’s inaugural address is next!
-Teddy Long introduces Edge. He’s got the “Rated R Superstar” carpet in the ring. Sounds like he’s going to give his life’s story. He says he had to go to other countries to get respect. He didn’t get respect on Raw, either. Edge says he’ll take on all comers, so Teddy interrupts and reminds him of his title defense Sunday. Edge says he’s ready anytime so Batista comes out, certainly not dressed to fight. Batista says he’s taking the title back Sunday. The show ends with the two, face-to-face.
Is it just me, or does it seem like lately they tend to put Matt Hardy in the longest match of the show? And that he always seems to have a damned good match week after week? And yet on other boards, all I ever hear about is how everyone wishes he was fired ASAP.
Am I crazy for thinking he's one of Smackdown's top in-ring workers right now?
You're not alone. Hardy is a great worker and has been since his return to WWE. And the crowd is ALWAYS behind him. He gives the bookers several options as well. He can be in a singles match or a tag match and look great. He reminds me of Chris Jericho in the way he makes his opponents look good in a match no matter what but also hits his own spots.
I know JBL pumps him a lot but it's not without warrant. Matt is a great guy to have on the roster and I'd love to see his push continue.
He's here, kids. And while he's not the most upstanding guy this business has seen... you CAN'T tell me you didn't mark out when that familiar beat started playing. He's had good matches in the past...