A near sell-out crowd, much like Charlotte the night before. Only scattered open seats from what I saw.
Dark Match: William Regal pinned David Flair with a running knee to the head
The Gymini (w/ Simon Dean) defeated Jason Jones & ? Moore when Moore was pinned; after the bout, the Gymini hit the Cross Trainer on Jones
Bobby Lashley pinned Brad Attitude with the Dominator
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kid Kash & Jamie Noble defeated Paul London & Brian Kendrick when Kendrick submitted to Noble’s dragon sleeper
– Good match with some nice high spots to the floor. Kash was very over as a heel.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Mark Henry (w/ Daivari)
– Rey started the show off with an in-ring promo in which he said he knew he was the underdog in this rematch and in the upcoming Royal Rumble. And while he admitted to being small in nature, he said he has a big heart. He dedicated his performance and win in the Royal Rumble to Eddie Guerrero. Rey wore Eddie’s shirt to the ring and there were a lot of Eddie chants during the promo. As far as the match, it was very fast paced with Rey dominating, using a hit-and-run offense which kept Henry off guard. Henry eventually caught Rey and hit the powerslam for the win. Daivari did guest commentary for the match. After the bout, two referees helped Rey from the ring.
Randy Orton, Booker T, and Sharmell were shown backstage in which Booker offered to pay Randy back his favor by interfering in his upcoming match with Chris Benoit. Orton declined the offer, saying he could beat Benoit on his own, but said he might cash in the favor at the Royal Rumble, especially if Booker and Orton are the last two in the ring. Orton walked off and Booker and Sharmell did not look pleased with that idea.
Footage from last weekend’s Smackdown tour of Mexico was shown, specifically of Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio Jr., and El Hijo del Santo in the ring paying tribute to Eddie Guerrero.
Super Crazy & Psychosis vs. James & Chad Dick vs. Nunzio & Vito (Royal Rumble Qualifying Match)
– Crazy pinned Nunzio after a wheelbarrow-facebuster double team.
The Rob Van Dam Royal Rumble vignette was shown.
A Royal Rumble Flashback recapped Chris Benoit’s victory in 2004, a perfect lead-in to …
Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton (No Holds Barred, Falls Count Anywhere)
– Great match, as is usual when these two are in the ring together. Started scientifically at first but eventually went to the floor with Orton using a trash can lid and dropping Benoit across the commentary table. The finish was fantastic. Benoit went for the diving headbutt but Orton blocked by raising the trash can lid. Orton got to his feet first and set Benoit up for the RKO but Benoit shoved him off into the ropes, quickly picked up the trash can lid, smashed it over Orton’s head as he ran back off the ropes, and applied the Crossface. After several seconds of frantically stretching for the ropes, Orton tapped. Big pop for Benoit’s win.
Several Royal Rumble promos were shown throughout the taping, including Road Warrior Animal, Matt Hardy, and Bobby Lashley.
Finlay vs. Sho Funaki
– Finlay won the match with a Musclebuster but the referee reversed the decision when Finley assaulted his opponent after the bout. Finlay then grabbed the mic, said he came to fight and cut a promo on the fans before hitting a second Musclebuster and leaving ringside.
JBL and Jillian Hall were shown backstage (mere moments after I saw them enter the limo; I sat behind the stage) with both talking about the Boogeyman. JBL assured Jillian she had nothing to worry about.
A trailer for Kane’s “See No Evil” was shown. Nothing too out of the ordinary as far as horror movies go.
John Bradshaw Layfield (w/ Jillian Hall) fought Scotty 2 Hotty to a no contest when the Boogeyman’s music hit and JBL had a bucket full of worms dropped on him. We’re talking “Carrie” … but with worms. They filled the ring. As JBL was becoming freaked out by that, the Boogeyman came out from under the ring and scared JBL to the point where he fell backwards onto the worms, freaking him out even more. He and Jillian eventually ran backstage as the Boogeyman had dinner.
A music video was shown to promote WWE 24/7 to the tune of Van Halen’s “Right Now”. Very well done piece capturing key moments in WWE, WCW, NWA, and ECW history. Celebrities like Mike Tyson, Arnold, and Muhammad Ali were featured as well.
Mark Henry & Daivari were interviewed backstage about Henry’s title match with Kurt Angle at the Royal Rumble.
Melina confronted Teddy Long backstage, showing him her taped up ankle, the result of Kurt Angle’s assault the previous week.
World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle vs. WWE Smackdown! Tag Team Champions Johnny Nitro & Joey Mercury (w/ Melina) (Handicap match)
– Angle forced Mercury to tap to the ankle lock after belly-to-belly suplexing Nitro over the top to the floor. After the bout, Mark Henry & Daivari came out, with Angle taking the fight to Henry and landing the Angle Slam. The champ applied the ankle lock but, to his shock, Henry powered out of it and kicked Angle to the floor. Henry, Daivari, and MNM stood in the ring and taunted Angle, with Henry signaling that the belt would soon be his, to close the TV broadcast.
After several moments, Angle grabbed the mic and said if Henry thought he was so tough, how would he like a title shot right then and there? Henry accepted and we have our dark match main event.
World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry (w/ Daivari & MNM)
– Not bad but very short. Angle reapplies the ankle lock and all the heels come in for the DQ. Moments later, Rey Mysterio Jr. runs out to make the save, eventually hitting a 619 on Daivari, Nitro, & Mercury at the same time. Moments later, Angle set Henry up so Rey could hit the same move on him. Angle and Rey then chanted “You Suck” in unison with the fans toward Henry, Daivari, and MNM. After the heels left, Angle and Rey posed, with Rey grabbing the belt and doing the Angle spinning pose bit. Angle and Rey then hugged and left the ring together.