On Friday, March 9, 2007 at 10:17 PM EST Dominant expressions
By Lennie DiFino
March 9, 2007
Results courtesy of WWE.com
With just 23 days left until WrestleMania, SmackDown’s Superstars have all begun to assert themselves, looking to gain any advantage heading toward the biggest event of the year.
The World Heavyweight Champion Batista is at the top of his game as he heads into a showdown with Undertaker. Last week, Undertaker began his mind games, and Batista responded on SmackDown when he claimed, “I am walking into WrestleMania 23 the World Heavyweight Champion, and I am walking out the World Heavyweight Champion,” he continued. “I will end the streak.”
The Animal then said, “tonight I will face Kane – Undertaker’s sick, twisted, demented brother.” When Batista and the Big Red Monster collided, the two forces in the ring looked to feel each other out, and in the end, The Animal was able to Batista Bomb Kane to pick up a hard fought victory. With the win, the World Heavyweight Champion may have learned what he needs to do when he is face-to-face with the title on the line against Undertaker on April 1.
After his defeat, as Kristal was interviewing him, Kane was attacked by Great Khali. Raw’s Khali has been stalking Kane for weeks now, and this was a clear message to the Big Red Monster.
The Phenom was also in action as he took on Finlay. The Irishman earlier had said, “there is no fear in Irish eyes,” and he showed how much he loved to fight as he went straight for Undertaker. Not to be outdone, Undertaker fought back and took control, until Hornswoggle found his way into the match. With the referee distracted, Finlay nailed Undertaker with the shillelagh, but the Phenom kicked out of the pinfall.
As Michael Cole pointed out, “Undertaker is in great shape,” which helped as the Deadman delivered a Tombstone to defeat Finlay. After the match, Batista stood in the ramp and the two Superstars had a stare down. When Batista gave the familiar signal of thumbs-down, Undertaker responded with his legendary throat slash. In 23 days, who will walk out of WrestleMania the World Heavyweight Champion?
Four of the eight Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifiers were in action against each other as Matt Hardy faced King Booker while Mr. Kennedy took on ECW’s CM Punk.
In the first match-up, King Booker defeated Matt Hardy when Queen Sharmell, (who had been on commentary), interfered, allowing Booker to hit the Scissors Kick for the win.
When Kennedy took on Punk, the “future of sports-entertainment” was highly impressive as he pinned and defeated the Straightedge Superstar.
As the Road to WrestleMania narrows, all four of these Superstars are jockeying for position as they each look to establish any dominance heading into the innovative Money in the Bank Ladder Match. With the winner of that match getting the opportunity to challenge for a World Title when they see fit, the stakes could not be any higher for the participants.
Miz TV debuted, and Miz’s first guest was SmackDown Diva Ashley, who will grace the cover of Playboy this Monday! The SmackDown beauty thought she was on Miz TV to talk about her experience posing for the magazine, but Miz revealed he had another guest, WWE Women’s Champion Melina.
Melina has been insanely jealous of the attention Ashley has been getting as of late, and she was at the sold-out Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Ariz. Melina complained, “I should be getting the attention, people would kill to see me in Playboy, but they have to settle for you.” As the Women’s Champion Melina looks to earn the respect of WWE fans, Ashley is receiving nothing but love.
Finally, Montel Vontavious Porter disrupted General Manager Theodore Long while he was on his computer, and demanded that he receive a United States Championship opportunity versus the champion Chris Benoit at WrestleMania. MVP angrily spoke to Long, saying, “stop looking at the Daily Diva on WWE.com Teddy.”
Long responded, telling MVP, “I’m still the General Manager of SmackDown, and I will take your request under consideration.”
What will Long’s response be to MVP? What will happen next week between Undertaker and Batista?
Tune in each and every Friday at 8/7 CT to The CW Network for Friday Night SmackDown, and be sure to tune in to Monday Night Raw at 9/8 CT on The USA Network as the contract signing for The Battle of the Billionaires will take place and the Money in the Bank Ladder Match will name the eighth and final participant.
* World Heavyweight Champion Batista def. Kane
* Undertaker def. Finlay
* King Booker def. Matt Hardy
* Mr. Kennedy def. CM Punk