But finding a Headliner for this week’s edition was still a tough job. So, by default, the distinction must go to the match with the most at stake and its lead-up.
Five tag teams started the night with the opportunity to earn their way into a title match against WWE Tag Team Champions Matt Hardy and MVP as they took to the ring for a Battle Royal. In the match were Jesse and Festus, who I felt would be the favorites, the Major Brothers, Dave Taylor and Drew McIntyre, Deuce and Domino and Shannon Moore and Jimmy Wang Yang.
For the most part, the overall match was unimpressive. It found some saving graces however as Moore and Yang showed that a crowded ring doesn’t mean the aerials are out, and watching Festus go off as soon as the bell ring and begin destroying the competition.
Unfortunately for the team I picked to win, the competitors got smart and soon everyone was teamed up to eliminate Festus. The team I was most impressed with, Moore and Yang, were next out as Jimmy went up to the top turnbuckle and was caught with a hard blow by Dave Taylor, sending him toppling to the floor below and looking perhaps a bit bloodied.
After a break, McIntyre was holding on for dear life as Deuce and Domino, along with one of the Majors, worked to get him over the top. But it was actually Taylor who would be put out by the other Major Brother, leaving just two teams remaining.
Deuce and Domino were in the drivers’ seats as they stomped and clubbed the Majors. Deuce was nearly taken down by one brother when he locked in a leg scissors over the top to try and pull Deuce out, but it wasn’t long before D&D were back at it. Just as it looked as though they had the title shot within their grasp, however, things would turn on a dime.
Domino called for the Crack ‘Em in the Mouth, but the intended victim held on to the ropes as they were whipped, then dropped and pulled the top rope as D&D charged, sending them toppling out for the win.
Unfortunately, after earning the shot at the champs, the actual bout for the belts left much to be desired.
Matt Hardy started off against Brian Major, and Hardy looked as though he was going to make it a quick match after he hit an elbow from the turnbuckle and the Side Effect. MVP tagged himself in with a stinging slap to Hardy’s back wanting to make sure he got into the match for some credit.
MVP hit a snap suplex and looked as though he would tag Hardy in but siked his partner out. Brett Major finally looked to turn things around when he hit an elbow to a charging MVP followed by a boot and a Senton, but a quick-to-recover MVP booted Brian Major before he could get into the match and soon hit the Playmaker on Brett for the win.
The one thing that did come out of the match was, after much talk about working as a team, the rival champions looked as though animosity was building tonight and made sure not to turn their backs on one another. How much longer will they last? Well, I wouldn’t buy any Hardy/MVP Team T-shirts if I were you.
Well, the writers were hard up at times this week, coming up with a short and sorry backstage moment to lead up to a match between Michelle McCool and Victoria. Victoria made fun of McCool for riding down to the ring with Chuck Palumbo, McCool pushed Victoria, oh it’s on now.
McCool lost the match after Victoria hit a DDT, but not before we got to see Palumbo take Kenny Dykstra down for dragging Victoria from the ring during a compromising moment.
And, as much as I hate to put The Dead Man in The Downsiders, the No Holds Barred match between Undertaker and Khali left much to be desired – but let’s be honest, look what Taker had to work with here.
Khali doesn’t have any moves, and can no
On another note, what good is a No Holds Barred match if the guys don’t do anything that would normally be considered illegal?
If you watched this week’s episode of Smackdown!, the match to earn this distinction is a no-brainer.
If you missed this week’s episode, then you missed one hell of a match.
Rivals Finlay and Rey Mysterio put on not only the best show of the night, but their best match yet to shine through in a night of mediocrity.
Finlay was the first to get the upper hand in the match, putting Rey down and locking in a hard grip to the trap. He nailed an elbow to the head, but Mysterio would soon recover and explode on Finlay, putting him in the corner with right and lefts. Finlay hit a big clothesline to get back into things, then locked in on the trapezius again.
Finlay had Rey in the corner and hit some forearms to the chest, but then a hard whip to the opposite corner was countered by a boot from Mysterio. Rey mounted Finlay for what appeared to be a Hurricanrana, but Finlay had a good grip on the little big man and looked ready to dump him over the top to the floor below. Rey didn’t give up on the move, however, and ended up taking Finlay out to the floor followed by a huge moonsault on the outside to send Finlay reeling.
Back from a break and an aggressive Mysterio is on the attack stomping Finlay down into a corner followed by a baseball slide to the mid-section. Rey then went to the outside and punched Finlay, but the Irishman hit a kick and put Rey back into the ring. An uppercut dropped 619 for a one-count, and Finlay quickly followed up with another uppercut and clothesline for a near fall.
Rey tried to battle back, but found himself going face first into the second turnbuckle. Outside the ring, Rey was driven into the ring and felt a couple of kicks to the head soon after. Finlay began focusing on the back of Mysterio, slamming him much as he did recently with Rey’s legs landing on the rope followed by a Boston crab.
Mysterio began crawling for the ropes, but Finlay drug him back to the middle of the ring and sat in hard on the hold. After not getting a submission, Finlay broke the hold and drove his knee into Rey’s back for a near fall.
Finlay then pushed Rey out of the ring and hurled him into the barricade. Mysterio tried to buy some time with a kick to Finlay, but Finlay dished out one of his own and again locked in the Boston crab. Far from the ropes, Mysterio had the wherewithal to turn for the ropes closest to Finlay and get a break from the hold.
Finlay stomped away at his opponent, but Rey battled back and rolled Finlay up for a near fall after leaping him during a charge to the corner. Mysterio began hitting kicks to Finlay’s legs, but soon found himself meeting an exposed turnbuckle face first – but I can’t claim to know how and when the turnbuckle became exposed.
A flash into the real world says that from this moment on – you’re probably seeing some real mettle from Mysterio. We’ll cover why later.
Finlay went for his shillelagh as the ref tried to repair the turnbuckle, but Rey hit a drop kick to avoid that fate, followed by a cross body and drop kick to the head of Finlay for a near fall. Rey then hit a Senton and a knee to the head of Finlay, but the Irishman bounced back with a hard clothesline for a near fall of his own.
Soon, however, Finlay found himself dropped to the second rope – you know the position – but managed to dodge the attempt at a 619 from Mysterio. It wasn’t all good for Finlay, however, as Rey quickly nailed a kick to the head and another Senton for a near fall. A drop kick to the back set Finlay up again, and this time the 619 found its mark.
Rey went to the top rope looking to possibly hit the West Coast Pop, but Finlay had recovered quickly enough to hit the top rope and drop Rey to the mat. One Celtic Cross later, and Finlay had won the match clean.
Finlay dished out some more punishment afterward, however, including using a laptop computer to lay Mysterio out on the outside.
After the match, Mysterio was shown on the floor with his mask removed and a towel wrapped around his head. At first take, it appears that he had endured the rest of the match quite well after perhaps catching that exposed turnbuckle a bit hard. But that’s a judgment call from me, take it for what it’s worth.
– Jamie Noble ended up in a match against ECW Champion CM Punk after another segment with Vicky Guerrero gone wrong. In fact, after being put into the ring with the likes of Batista, Khali and Undertaker, Noble said that beating Punk would be “easy as pie.” It was a decent back-and-forth match until Miz ran in to attack Punk. He met with a kick to the jaw, but Punk wasn’t out of the woods yet as John Morrison charged in as well. He was soon dealt a GTS for his trouble, but it was Noble who was the last man standing as he picked Punk up and dropped his mid-section hard across the knees.
– JBL suddenly had an important business call and had to leave when Batista came out for an in-ring promo. I think Batista might be getting better at this, as he did a decent mic job tonight. He told Undertaker that they weren’t friends, they’d gone to war many times and don’t like each other. But he was pulling for him tonight in his match against Great Khali, wanting him to come through “healthy and happy” because he didn’t want Taker weakened for their Hell in a Cell match next Sunday.
– The tribute to Fabulous Moolah aired.
– On a note more related to Raw, the match between Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton at Survivor Series may have evened up a bit. With the stipulation that Michaels can’t use the Superkick is now a rule that if Orton gets disqualified, he will lose the belt.
Don’t like my take? Let’s hear yours! Send me your e-mails to email@example.com … the best and worst of the bunch may be featured in the weekly editions of Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s Pullinâ<80><99> No Punches (found in the editorial section). Remember, short ones are good, long ones may be cut, and keep the name of the column in mind when you come looking for answers!