No WWE introduction video this week as we open up with the Smackdown video. We then go into the arena and CM Punk’s music hits! He’s making his way to the ring while JR and Tazz welcome us to Smackdown, announcing that Punk is on his way down to the ring for an Eight Man Tag Team Match involving all the participants of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. They?re all in the ring ? Punk is the only one who gets a TV entrance. The Money in the Bank briefcase is high above the ring.
Kane, Christian, Finlay & Shelton Benjamin vs. Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, MVP & CM Punk
These teams are really bizarre. The bell rings and it?ll be Raw’s Kofi Kingston starting the match against ECW’s Christian. They lock up and the veteran Christian quickly gets behind him and gets a waist lock on. Kingston breaks the grip and gets behind with a waist lock of his own. Christian soon breaks free and twists Kingston’s left arm. Christian plants him on his back and Kingston quickly kips up only for Christian to plant him back down? and then he quickly kips up again! Christian goes for a short arm clothesline, which Kingston ducks, and Kingston hits him with a nice kick to the thigh and gets a headlock on. Christian pushes him into the ropes and whips him off. Christian lowers his head and Kingston leap frogs over and runs into a back elbow! Christian goes into the ropes, jumps over Kingston, goes back into the ropes, goes under Kingston who leap frogs him, goes back into the ropes, runs under Kingston who leap frogs over him backwards, goes back into the ropes AGAIN, and gets hit with a jumping back elbow from Kingston! Wow ? that was a nice sequence of moves! Kingston gets a lateral press for a two count. Kingston picks Christian up and gets stunned with a stiff uppercut! Christian has a whip into the corner reversed on him and Kingston charges but Christian slides out through the ropes! Christian then uses the ropes to swing his shin bones into Kingston’s face! Christian then grabs Kingston by the hair and hits a reverse Hot Shot, snapping the back of his neck off the top rope! Christian gets back in the ring, hits a reverse DDT, and covers for a two count! Christian goes to pick Kingston up but Kingston surprises him with a right hand and a European Uppercut! Kingston gets Christian in a front face lock and tags in CM Punk!
Kingston hits Christian with a suplex and Punk hits a slingshot summersault senton on him! Punk then taunts Kingston, his partner, if you will, by pointing to the Money in the Bank briefcase. Punk then turns his attention back to Christian, hitting him with a few rights, a left, then goes for the Kerry Von Erich finisher, the spinning right hook, which Christian ducks, hitting Punk with some serious right hands, sending him staggering to the corner. Christian whips him into the opposite corner and runs after him. Punk slingshots over Christian, wrapping his legs around him in the process, and goes for a variation of Tajiri’s Tarantula, causing Christian to scream in agony! Since the move is illegal, Punk only keeps it locked on a few seconds. Punk ascends to the top rope and hits a high cross-body block and covers for a two and a half count! Christian stuns Punk with a right hand and a club to the back before tagging in the Irishman Finlay!
Finlay comes in, picks Punk up, and hits a stiff European Uppercut! Finlay picks him up again and hits a nasty short arm clothesline! Finlay covers for a quick one count and gets right back on Punk, controlling him with a front face lock before hitting him with a European Uppercut! Punk is in the corner and he is able to hit Finlay with a kick to the midsection but isn?t able to do much after as Finlay gains control with a stiff forearm to the head. Finlay has a whip into the opposite corner reversed and he hits the turnbuckle hard. Punk charges into Finlay’s boot and Finlay charges out into a back body! Punk gets Finlay in position for the GTS but turns around and eats a big boot from Kane! Finlay gets up and Kane grabs him by the throat for a Chokeslam ? and Kane is Finlay’s partner! Kane then pushes him back into the corner as we go to commercial!
We come back from the break to see Shelton Benjamin grabbing Punk’s ankles, trying his hardest to prevent him from tagging to his partners. JR announces that Benjamin has been keeping Punk controlled during the break. Punk gets on his back, kicks Benjamin off, and tags in the World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry!
Mark Henry enters the ring and Benjamin looks scared! Benjamin then turns around, casually hits Kane’s hand, tagging him in, and gets on the apron. Kane just shrugs his shoulders and gets in the ring!
They both stare each other down and then look to the briefcase. Kane goes into the ropes and hits Henry with a shoulder block, which doesn?t budge the big man! Kane goes back into the ropes and hits the shoulder block for the same result! Tony Atlas is taunting Kane on the outside so Kane simply hits Henry with an uppercut, staggering him! Kane hits some right hands and goes for a whip into the corner but Henry doesn?t budge and instead whips Kane into the corner! Henry charges and hits an avalanche! Henry gets Kane into a Full Nelson and tags in the new United States Champion MVP!
MVP comes in, hitting Kane with some right hands. MVP actually doesn?t hit him with some right hands ? he hits him with a lot of them! MVP goes for a whip into the corner but Kane doesn?t budge and whips him into the corner! Kane charges and runs into MVP’s boot! MVP then charges out and runs into Kane’s uppercut, sending him down! Shelton Benjamin now makes a blind tag in!
Benjamin slingshots over the top rope and hits a running kick into MVP’s ribs! Benjamin mounts MVP and pounds his face with punches! On the bottom of the screen it’s announced that next Friday will be Shelton Benjamin’s rematch for the United States Championship! MVP has his first title defense next week! In the ring, Benjamin hits a hard whip into the corner, sending MVP down in a heap! Benjamin goes into the ropes and hits another running kick to the ribs of MVP! Benjamin pulls MVP up by his arm and hits a fireman’s carry takedown! Benjamin cranks a knee on the ribs and locks on a variation of the abdominal stretch, one which really puts pressure on the ribs. MVP’s partners and the fans try to get him back into this and they succeed as he gets fired up, gets to his feet, and hits Benjamin with some right hands! MVP then goes into the ropes and gets a back body! Benjamin drags MVP to his corner and tags in Kane!
Kane easily steps over the top rope and kicks MVP in the head! Kane drives the point of his elbow onto the bridge of MVP’s nose and puts him in the corner! Kane hits a right hand, a back elbow, and an uppercut in the corner before bringing MVP out of the corner, whipping him into the ropes, lowering his head, and eating a boot in the face from MVP! MVP hits his face buster and makes the tag to CM Punk!
Punk comes in and hits a clothesline which only staggers Kane but quickly gets right back on, hitting him with some forearms, a spinning kick to the abdomen, a straight kick in the face, and a high knee to the face in the corner! Punk goes for a bulldog but Kane counters with a back suplex attempt but Punk back-flips and lands on his feet, then hits a roundhouse kick to the temple, staggering Kane big time! Punk has a whip into the corner reversed on him but is able to kick Kane in the face when he charges! Punk gets on the apron and springboards into Kane’s hand, which grabs him by the throat! Kane hits the Chokeslam and just like that this match is over!!
Winners by Pinfall: Kane, Christian, Finlay & Shelton Benjamin
Match Rating: ** ?
After the bell sounds, Shelton Benjamin gets in the ring and attacks MVP, causing everyone to fight except for CM Punk! Soon Kofi Kingston is being thrown over the top rope, soon followed by Finlay! Christian follows Finlay out and gets a kick in the midsection! Christian blocks Finlay’s attempt to smash his face on the announcer’s table and instead does it to Finlay! In the ring Mark Henry is working Kane over in the corner before throwing him out of the ring as well! Outside Benjamin sends MVP ribs first into the barricade ? then we see Christian bring a giant ladder into the ring! He sets it up in the middle and climbs up for that Money in the Bank briefcase, even though he wouldn?t actually own it until he competes at WrestleMania! Hornswoggle quickly gets in the ring, climbs the ladder, and taps on Christian’s foot, distracting him! Finlay then pulls Hornswoggle off the ladder and pushes the ladder over with Christian on it, sending Christian over the top rope and onto the other six competitors on the floor, knocking them all out!! Finlay and Hornswoggle both climb the ladder now and pose on top of the ladder!! Finlay points to the Money in the Bank briefcase, which is what this is all about!!
We now get a showing of some of Orton’s Law from Raw which we?ll see more of later tonight ? and Vince McMahon calls what TNA does reprehensible?! Still, this was a much better segment than what they?ve been feeding us for the past few weeks!
Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Whores ? I mean Dolls ? announces she will be at WrestleMania. I?m assuming she?ll be singing the National Anthem.
Jesse and Festus are back and are in the ring ready for a match! When’s the last time we?ve seen them? I think at the Smackdown I was at. Their opponent is Big Show! As Big Show comes out we see Big Show knocking Edge out on Raw!
Jesse & Festus vs. Big Show
The bell rings and Festus transforms into a lunatic! Festus charges Big Show, who stops him with a kick to the midsection, a club to the back, and a head-butt which quickly sends him down! Jesse starts hitting forearms from behind which have no effect on Show. Big Show throws Jesse down and kicks him in the ribs! Big Show sets him up in the corner and slaps his chest hard! Jesse rolls out of the ring and Big Show turns into a kick and some punches from Festus. Big Show cuts him off with a knee to the midsection and a club to the back, sending him to his knees! Big Show leans Festus against the ropes and chops his chest! Ouch! Big Show sends Festus into the ropes and takes him down with a side kick! Big Show kicks him in the ribs and steps on his throat, using the ropes to hold him up, preventing him from murdering Festus on national television. Big Show picks him up, leans him against the ropes, and again chops his chest HARD! Festus hits a kick which does nothing but anger Big Show as he pounds him to the mat with punches and knees! One final knee sends Festus through the ropes and Big Show stands alone in the ring, hardly even breaking a sweat!
Festus slowly gets in the ring and Big Show charges, running into Festus? boots! Jesse now goes to the top rope and hits a diving shoulder which has little effect on the Seven Foot Giant! Festus now hits a Bicycle Kick and Big Show goes down! Festus covers but doesn?t even get a count as Big Show presses him off him! Big Show is angry and has his fist clenched up! Festus then walks right into a Knockout Punch ? and Big Show really connected!! Jesse then gets hit with a massive Chokeslam!! Big Show stands over him, lifts his head up, and connects big time with a Knockout Punch!! Big Show puts his foot on Jesse’s face and picks up the decisive win!!
Winner by Pinfall: Big Show
Match Rating: *
No question about this one. We see some replays of what just happened ? totally brutal. Big Show needed this match.
We now get a look at John Cena’s role as Danny Fisher in 12 Rounds, which opened tonight!
Later tonight we?ll get an interview with the Extreme Enigma Jeff Hardy on facing his brother in an Extreme Rules Match at WrestleMania XXV!
We get a commercial for WrestleMania Axxess, some of which will be shown live from Houston on next week’s Smackdown! At Axxess you can step into the authentic Hell in a Cell, call a match, explore Hornswoggle’s house, visit Undertaker’s graveyard, watch some live matches, and, of course, meet the superstars!
We now get a recap of the events that will lead us to Hardy vs. Hardy at WrestleMania. I?ve really enjoyed this angle and I was one of few who correctly called Matt Hardy and not Christian! Matt Hardy has been playing the heel really well ? and Jeff Hardy has done a terrific job as the face pushed over the edge!
Backstage Matt Hardy is petting a little dog that looks much like Jeff Hardy’s deceased dog Jack, as we saw in the video package. Matt says that a black cloud has always hung over Jeff’s head his entire life and he’s always known this and not everyone has. The black cloud became public knowledge when Jeff’s house burned down and he lost everything he worked for in his entire life ? his artwork, recordings, and most importantly his Jack Russell Terrier, much like the dog he’s holding! Matt then kisses the dog psychotically! WrestleMania XXV is a day he’s been looking forward to his entire life ? he then asks the dog if that’s right and kisses it again! Matt says he hopes Jeff is watching because at WrestleMania XXV, he’s going to take Jeff to the EXTREME! Matt says he knows Jeff is real emotional right now and has a raging fire burning inside but at WrestleMania he’s going to extinguish that fire! When he does, the black cloud will dissipate from over Jeff’s head, and he will come to realize what he truly is ? nothing more than an underachieving selfish, heartless child! Matt Hardy ends the segment by kissing the dog crazily and rubbing it on his face before coldly looking at the camera.
Rey Mysterio’s music hits and he’s making his way to the ring for a match! At WrestleMania XXV he?ll face JBL for the Intercontinental Championship!
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero
Jack Doane calls for the bell and the competitors circle the ring. They lock up and Guerrero immediately hammerlocks Mysterio and forces him down to the mat. Guerrero cranks it in but Mysterio is able to get to his feet and elbow out. Mysterio jumps up in the air and hits a nice snapmare! Guerrero charged and Mysterio leap frogs him only to turn into a kick in the midsection and a club to the back! Guerrero goes for an Irish whip and goes to grab Mysterio when he comes back but Mysterio’s momentum is such that Guerrero hangs on too long and flies through the ropes!
Mysterio goes into the ropes and slides under the bottom rope, getting his feet on Guerrero’s neck, and hits a nice head-scissors takeover on the outside! Mysterio taunts to the crowd as we see a replay. Mysterio kicks Guerrero in the chest and puts him back in the ring at the count of four.
Mysterio gets on the apron and goes for the top rope but gets cut off by Guerrero with punches! Guerrero hits a European Uppercut before climbing the ropes with Mysterio perched on the top rope. Guerrero hits a beautiful hurricanrana off the top rope and covers Mysterio for a two and a half count! Guerrero stomps Mysterio’s back and kicks him in the ribs. Guerrero picks him up and hits a nice European Uppercut! Guerrero now locks on a gut wrench before changing it to a version of the Crossface Chickenwing ? Bob Backlund’s old move! Guerrero now settles on a chin lock but the crowd is willing Mysterio on so he goes to his back and kicks Guerrero in the head!
Both men slowly get up by Mysterio is up first and kicks Guerrero in the knee. Mysterio kicks Guerrero in the hamstring, hoping to knot it up. He has a whip into the ropes reversed on him but Guerrero lowers his head and pays for it with a kick in the mush! Mysterio springboards off the second rope with a moonsault block but Guerrero catches him on his shoulder and slams Mysterio upside down in the corner, locking him in the Tree of Woe! Guerrero steps down on Mysterio’s chin for three illegal seconds. Guerrero goes across the ring, sizes up Mysterio, then charges for a shoulder thrust but Mysterio pulls himself up and Guerrero goes through the ropes shoulder first into the ring post!
Mysterio springboards off the top rope with a seated senton! Mysterio goes into the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and springboards off the second rope with a twisting cross-body block, covering Guerrero for a two count! Guerrero quickly stuns Mysterio with a punch to the midsection, goes into the ropes, and hits a sunset flip but Mysterio rolls through and hits a low dropkick to the face! Mysterio hooks a leg for a two and a half count!!
Mysterio has an Irish whip reversed on him and he attempts to summersault up Guerrero’s body but Guerrero catches him on his shoulder and hits the Gory Bomb for a two and a half count!! Guerrero now waits for Mysterio to get up and when he does he goes for a kick which Mysterio blocks. Mysterio hits Guerrero with a hurricanrana, putting him on the second rope! Mysterio goes into the ropes but Guerrero ducks the 619 at the last second and goes for the Three Amigos!! Mysterio counters the third one and has a waist lock on but Guerrero turns it and gets a waist lock on before hitting a back suplex!
Guerrero now goes to the top rope and comes off with a Frog Splash but Mysterio moves out of the way at the last second! Mysterio hits a head-scissors takeover into the second rope and hits the 619!! Mysterio goes to the top rope and comes off with a beautiful splash to pick up the win!!
Winner by Pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Match Rating: **
Rey Mysterio gets his arm raised and then out of no where Intercontinental Champion JBL big boots him down viciously! JBL walks to the back to a chorus of boos!
We now get a replay of John Cena’s get well card segment from Raw. It was really childish ? I miss the old Cena raps from 2003-04. Oh well ? we?ll have to choke down on this crappy scripting for a few more years I guess. WWE is the only show in town.
John Cena is backstage and making his way towards the ring. We?ll hear from him next.
John Cena’s music hits and the arena becomes unglued! He quickly gets in the ring and grabs a microphone. Why isn?t he at the premiere of 12 Rounds?
Cena says for weeks we?ve heard from every marquee star in the business about the importance of WrestleMania and he promises every word of it is true. If we don?t believe him, in a few days we can watch 75 tractor trailer trucks with the WWE Superstars faces on it roll up the highway as World Wrestling Entertainment begins its transformation of Houston, Texas. Twenty-Five years ago, what started out as a magical night at Madison Square Garden, has transformed into a weeklong festival for the WWE Universe. At WrestleMania, WWE fans will be surrounded by legends, celebrities, lights, show business, and tons of pyrotechnics. What the WWE Universe understands is when you strip WrestleMania down to its beating heart, they know that it is the grandest stage of them all, and the one day in which the biggest issues in the business are solved ? some of them are professional and some are very, very personal. In a rare circumstance, like the one he finds himself in, sometimes they are both.
Cena feels as if he is on the outside of a love triangle looking in at the once coveted World Heavyweight Championship. Edge, Big Show, and Vickie Guerrero have done every dirty, underhanded, backstabbing tactic to try to keep him away from the Championship and WrestleMania. Time after time, week after week, he proves his worth to the business, but desperate times call for desperate measures and even he had to resort to blackmail to make it to WrestleMania. He apologizes for that but says he?d do it all again because there is no way he’s staying out of WrestleMania! Cena says Edge, Vickie, and Big Show and their sadistic, Jerry Springer lives have taken the World Heavyweight Championship hostage, and at WrestleMania he’s taking it back!
Edge and Big Show are going to WrestleMania to fight for Vickie’s affection. Cena says he wanted to come out to say something serious to us ? he’s going to WrestleMania to fight, he is going to WrestleMania to win, and he is going to WrestleMania to be the World Heavyweight Champion!!
Big Show’s music now hits and he makes his way to the ring! Big Show has a microphone and says Cena can come out and belittle the love that he and Vickie have but what Cena doesn?t understand is that love makes him stronger. Big Show says Edge found out how strong it makes him and he encourages Cena to come to Raw and find out how strong he really is ? that he can shut that mouth of Cena’s for good!
Cena asks to let him get this straight ? Big Show is asking him days before WrestleMania to accept the challenge of a seven foot, 440 pound giant. Cena says that’s insane and doesn?t make any sense, but we know him and HE?S ON! Big Show smiles and goes to leave the ring but Cena grabs him by the leg and pushes him out of the ring!! Big Show is enraged, screaming that he shouldn?t have done that, and Cena points to the WrestleMania sign!!
Still to come tonight is Orton’s Law from Monday Night Raw.
Did you know that WWE is available in more television households in China than the NFL and MLB combined? What do the Chinese care about American football and American baseball? Not a big deal!
R-Truth is making his way through the crowd for a match. His opponent will be the demented Matt Hardy, strangely wearing a different shirt from the one he wore in the interview. We see a replay of Jeff Hardy’s quick squash match against Dolph Ziggler. That’s seriously one of the worst names of all time, right behind the Taskmaster and the Shockmaster.
R-Truth vs. Matt Hardy
The bell rings and they quickly lock up. They struggle and Hardy pushes R-Truth to the corner but at the last second R-Truth spins and gets Hardy in the corner. The referee orders the clean break but Hardy won?t have that as he delivers some right hands quickly. They trade some shots with Hardy coming out on top and he sends R-Truth into the ropes only for R-Truth to slingshot over him and do a cartwheel! Hardy charges for a clothesline but R-Truth splits out! R-Truth goes for a wheelbarrow bulldog but Hardy counters into a nice German suplex!
Hardy punches R-Truth on the neck a few times before the referee makes him stop. Hardy bounces R-Truth’s head off the top turnbuckle and hits a few back elbows before bringing him out of the corner and delivering a back elbow to the neck! Hardy goes to the second rope and viciously delivers another elbow to the back of the neck! Hardy covers for a two count. Hardy picks R-Truth up, who tries to fight back with some punches, but Hardy just hits one to the neck and he stops. Hardy whips him hard into the corner and delivers a corner clothesline, then plants him down on his face!
Hardy yells at him, saying this is what he’s going to do to Jeff, and then goes for a bulldog which R-Truth counters by throwing Hardy into the second turnbuckle! R-Truth staggers Hardy with some punches before flooring him with a clothesline! R-Truth covers for a one count. R-Truth sends Hardy into the corner and charges but runs into a back elbow! Hardy goes to the second rope and jumps off into a dropkick! R-Truth covers for a two and a half count!
R-Truth hits a punch and has an Irish whip reversed on him but he tries to come back with his Corkscrew 360? Elbow Smash but Hardy ducks it! Hardy now signals for the Twist of Fate and goes for it but R-Truth pushes him off and hits him with a jumping calf kick! R-Truth covers for a two and a half count! R-Truth whips Hardy into the ropes and hits a punch to the midsection. He goes into the ropes for the Scissors Kick but Hardy moves and hits R-Truth with the Twist of Fate and pins him!
Winner by Pinfall: Matt Hardy
Match Rating: * ?
Tazz now talks about Shawn Michaels conduct and JR says it was irreverent but very confrontational.
We now get a replay from Raw when Undertaker cut the promo saying Shawn Michaels unlocked the gates to Hell! We then get that incredibly hokey but pretty effective video package of Shawn Michaels in the cemetery, superkicking Undertaker’s undefeated streak into the grave.
Tonight we?ll see Shawn Michaels? tribute to the Undertaker!
The music of the WWE Tag Team Champions hits and Carlito and Primo make their way to the ring with Brie Bella! They?re set for a Six Person Inter-gender Tag Team Match with ?WrestleMania implications? next!
AutoZone brings us the Smack of the Week which is from two weeks ago, strangely, with Carlito and Primo challenging John Morrison and The Miz to a match at WrestleMania to unify the Tag Titles! Too bad it’s now a Lumberjack Match. Oh, and who called the Bella Twins split?! Me!
Carlito, Primo & Brie Bella vs. Miz, Morrison & Nikki Bella
The Bella Twins go nose to nose before the match starts. They?re separated and the match is set to begin with Miz against Primo. Miz charges and they lock up with Primo quickly wrenching the left arm of the Miz and putting it into a hammerlock. Miz can?t find a way out so he grabs the ropes! Miz gets a cheap back elbow into Primo’s face and as the referee admonishes him, John Morrison clotheslines Primo down from the apron! Miz mounts Primo and punches him a whole bunch of times before the referee makes him get off! Miz stomps him and sets him up for a catapult. Morrison tags in!
Miz catapults Primo into Morrison’s forearm, causing Primo to fall back onto Miz’s knees, and Morrison slingshots in with an elbow on Primo! Morrison drags him to the middle of the ring and stomps his midsection hard, causing him to sit up, and then he hits a big sweeping kick to the face! Morrison covers for a two count! Morrison gets a front face lock on but Primo counters out with a sit-out jawbreaker! Morrison staggers into a kick and Primo makes the timely tag to his older brother Carlito!
Carlito slingshots in and levels Morrison with a left hand. He hits a few more lefts before kicking him in the midsection, going into the ropes and hitting a Million Dollar Knee Lift, going back into the ropes, and hitting a clothesline! Carlito has an Irish whip reversed on him and he goes to counter with a second rope springboard back elbow but Morrison moves. Carlito lands on his feet, ducks a clothesline, and counters into a twisting neckbreaker! That’s actually called the Test Drive, Test’s old move ? Rest in Peace. Carlito covers but it’s broken up at two and a half by Miz!
Miz and Morrison double whip him into the ropes but they lower their heads and Carlito kicks Miz in the face and dropkicks Morrison down! Primo springboards off the top rope with a missile dropkick and baseball slides Miz out of the ring! All of a sudden Brie Bella hits her sister Nikki Bella with a Lou Thesz Press and they roll out of the ring! Carlito is distracted and gets rolled up by Morrison for a two and a half count! Morrison cuts Carlito off with a kick to the midsection and goes for a suplex. He gets him over but Carlito twists into an AMAZING Back Stabber and covers Morrison for the win!! Wow, what a move!! A really quick but really good match ? it’s such a shame it’s a Lumberjack Match at WrestleMania.
Winners by Pinfall: Carlito, Primo & Brie Bella
Match Rating: **
Still to come tonight is Shawn Michaels? tribute to the Undertaker. However up next we?ll see Orton’s Law.
Kid Rock will be performing at WrestleMania XXV, which is nine days away! He contributed the song ?So Hott? to WrestleMania.
We see a shot of Jeff Hardy with his hair covering his face. He says, ?You arrived on this Earth before me. Years later you witnessed my birth. Time would pass and a journey began. Years later this dream became a reality. It was hard at first until I realized you were SICK. It now becomes harder for YOU as I become your healer!? Jeff raises his head and he looks intense. He says, ?Matt, you took everything away from me so now I take something away from you! You?re right, Matt. We?re not brothers ? not on this stage, not anymore!? Very good stuff here!
We get a rundown of the WrestleMania card, which includes Brother vs. Brother, Chris Jericho allowing some legends to relive their moments in the sun, Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, the Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship, a 25 Diva Battle Royal to determine Miss WrestleMania, and Triple H vs. Randy Orton.
JR says that last week on the 500th episode of Smackdown Triple H said Orton should have known better. We then get a look at Orton’s Law from WrestleMania. Great segment even with the cheesy facial expressions ? mostly from Triple H.
Diva’s Champion Maryse is making her way to the ring for a match! She?ll be defending her championship tonight ? against Michelle McCool!
WWE Diva’s Championship
Maryse (c) vs. Michelle McCool
Jack Doane calls for the bell and this Diva’s Championship match is officially started. They lock up and Maryse quickly throws McCool off her! They lock up, pushing each other against the ropes a few times until they tumble out of the ring! They?re still locked up and McCool pushes Maryse against the apron and Maryse pushes her into the barricade! They?re STILL locked up until they just break it off. They get back in the ring slowly before Doane counts them out.
They don?t take their eyes off one another as they slide into the ring. They lock up and Maryse pushes McCool into the corner. They have a clean break and McCool explodes out of the corner with a tackle, struggling to pin Maryse’s shoulders down but can?t. Maryse hits a kick to the temple and they get up. McCool hits a running knee to the midsection and locks on an abdominal stretch before executing a nice takedown! Maryse appears to have tweaked her knee! McCool covers for a two count.
McCool kicks Maryse in the back of the knee. She then sets the injured leg up on the bottom rope and drives her body down on it! McCool goes to do it again but Maryse uses her good leg to kick her over the top rope to the outside! Maryse grabs McCool by the hair from inside the ring and McCool slaps her in the face! McCool gets on the apron and Maryse sweeps her legs out from under her! She then pushes McCool off the apron.
Maryse follows her to the outside and hits a few forearms before bouncing McCool’s face off the barricade! She does it again and then slams her face off the apron! She bounces her head off the apron again before putting her back in the ring. Maryse gets in and kicks McCool in the back of the head! She covers for a two and a half count! Maryse hits some punches and a knee to the midsection before sending McCool into the ropes. Maryse lowers her head and McCool kicks her in the face! McCool then hits a low dropkick to that injured knee!
All of a sudden McCool turns around and Gail Kim is on the top rope!! She comes off and dropkicks Michelle McCool, causing Jack Doane to throw the match out!!
Winner: No Contest
Match Rating: * ?
Gail Kim now takes hold of the Diva’s Champion and hits the Happy Ending Neckbreaker ? but I doubt WWE will call it that! Gail Kim now grabs the Diva’s Championship and holds it up before pointing at the WrestleMania sign! Gail Kim is back ? and she’s on Smackdown!
We get another preview of 12 Rounds ? which opened today.
Coming up next is Shawn Michaels? tribute to the Undertaker!
Druid music hits and druids come out all dressed in white! There is a giant dove on the LED stage screen. The white druids surround the ring.
Dramatic music hits and Shawn Michaels is at the top of the ramp dressed completely in white, with attire very similar to the Undertaker’s! He slowly makes his way to the ring, much like the Undertaker would. On the ring steps he makes the arena brighter by raising his arms! He gets in the ring and takes his hat off like the Undertaker would, except he doesn?t roll his eyes back! He then raises his head, smiling! The ringside area is surrounded in smoke.
HBK says that in the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and the Earth was without form and void and darkness moved across the face of the deep and the sprit of God moved across the face of the waters, and God said, ?Let there be light,? and there was light. God saw the light and said it was good and divided it from the darkness. He called the light ?day? and the darkness ?night.? That’s from Genesis, Chapter One.
His WrestleMania opponent and he both represent darkness and light. Even though they?ve coexisted in the WWE for nearly twenty years, they?ve taken very different paths, but have many similarities. They both find themselves at the top of their game; they?ve been criticized and praised, not only by their peers, but by the fans. However, that’s where the similarities end! Undertaker represents the purest form of evil ? he walks amongst the shadows while he thrives in the spotlight! Undertaker strikes fear in the hearts of all his opponents yet here he stands before us unafraid! He says, ?Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me!? He has victory over death, Hell in the grave ? Undertaker, he has eternal life!
The same, however, cannot be said for Undertaker’s WrestleMania Undefeated Streak! When he faces the Showstopper, the Headliner, Mr. WrestleMania, the man he’s never beaten, Undertaker’s WrestleMania Undefeated Streak will come to a very grizzly end. At WrestleMania XXV, in front of 70,000 people, the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels ? Mr. WrestleMania ? will take Undertaker to the fiery depths of Hell where only he will ascend victorious!
Shawn Michaels lowers his head and that dramatic music plays again. HBK’s music hits and he now dances around, stripping off the white gloves and white overcoat! All of a sudden Undertaker rises from under the ring mat and grabs Shawn Michaels!! HBK wriggles around but Undertaker grabs him by the throat!! He lifts him up for a Chokeslam but HBK escapes over the top rope!! Undertaker rolls his eyes back and signals the end to HBK as he dances at the top of the stage, taunting Undertaker!! Who will wind up victorious here ? we?ll find out one week from Sunday!!
Quick Match Results
Kane,* Christian, Finlay & Shelton Benjamin def. Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, MVP & CM Punk*
Handicap Match: Big Show def. Jesse* & Festus
Rey Mysterio def. Chavo Guerrero
Matt Hardy def. R-Truth
Carlito,* Primo & Brie Bella def. Miz, Morrison,* & Nikki Bella
Diva’s Championship: Maryse NC Michelle McCool
Bump of the Night: Christian falling from the top of the ladder to the outside on top of the other six competitors!
Match of the Night: The Eight Man Tag ** ?
Wow ? Episode 501 was actually better than Episode 500! The build for WrestleMania was terrific, even though we were missing the World Heavyweight Champion and our General Manager. The HBK and Undertaker segment really made the show but the wrestling was spot on tonight!
The World Heavyweight Championship build was good tonight. John Cena came out and cut a really great promo, putting over the significance of the match and WrestleMania, and had some good interaction with Big Show. Also, even though Handicap Matches don?t really do anything for me, I must say Big Show really needed that destructive victory to look strong going into WrestleMania. I think with all the silly promos going on between him, Edge and Vickie, we?ve forgotten how strong and dominating he is, even though he has been knocking people out with right hooks. The Handicap Match actually worked well tonight.
The Shawn Michaels segment was really good. I felt it was much better than the hokey video package on Monday. It was good but you have to admit it was hokey as hell, and I?m not just saying that because I?m very pro-Smackdown. This segment was great and I really like them reusing that old spot from 1996 when Undertaker came up from under the ring to drag Diesel under it! Shawn Michaels plays the part of the overconfident wise-ass well and I can?t wait to see him go head to head with the Undertaker in just a few days! I?m hoping the streak stays alive!
The eight man tag tonight was booked much better than the one on Raw. The one on Raw was just a spot fest but this one on Smackdown actually had some good stuff in it! Also, why would they book a match like that on Raw when they knew they already had it taped for Smackdown? That just seemed a little silly. Whatever ? I?m still really excited for Money in the Bank and for the first time I have no clue who’s going to win. None of them are huge stars so it’s tough to see one of them walking around with a guaranteed shot at a World Championship. I hope it’s MVP!
Another great night for the Hardy brothers! Matt cut a really creepy promo with a Jack Russell Terrier and Jeff fired back with a tremendous and intense promo of his own! I simply can?t wait for this match at WrestleMania. I?m hoping it’s one of those matches that make this WrestleMania that much more memorable ? they both deserve that.
I?m really upset that the Tag Title Unification Match is going to be a Lumberjack Match. That’s so stupid. Why water it down with a cluster-you-know-what on the outside? It makes no sense to let other Superstars take away from an otherwise amazing match. Even though they had about five or six minutes tonight, the tag match was amazing! They can do so much and I hope the superstars on the outside don?t ruin the match.
Gail Kim made a great return tonight. I?m excited to see more of what she can do. I?m hoping she gives the Diva’s division on Smackdown the shot in the arm it needs. Too bad we lost Natalya. Speaking of Gail Kim, who is thought to be the female equivalent to Rey Mysterio, it was nice to see Rey Mysterio on Smackdown tonight.
All in all a tremendous Smackdown and I can?t wait for next week which is the go home show for one of my favorite times of the year WrestleMania! We?ll see MVP defend his US Title against Shelton Benjamin as well as see live footage from Fan Axxess!
Final Smackdown Rating: *** ?
As always I?d love to hear some feedback on the recap ? any thoughts or suggestions? Do you agree with what I?ve said? Let me know!
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Thanks for reading!