Making statements

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January 06, 2006

On the final Friday Night SmackDown of 2005, Mark Henry made his shocking return to cost Batista & Rey Mysterio the WWE Tag Team Championship; on the first episode of 2006, Henry once again made a statement, this time helping MNM retain the gold.

Earlier in the night, after Henry destroyed three men, Melina announced that he was there for her protection, and nothing else. As Batista later addressed the media to claim innocence regarding about Melina's allegations of sexual harassment, Henry interrupted his press conference. Henry told the Animal that he was a sick man to be taking advantage of a helpless woman, and asked how he would feel if he was the victim. Batista told Henry that it was not the time or place for them to discuss it, but Henry would later make it his place to get face to face with the World Heavyweight Champion.

In the main event, Batista and Rey Mysterio met MNM inside a Steel Cage with the WWE Tag Team Championship on the line. Early in the match, the challengers dominated, but the sneaky champions managed to take advantage of the smaller Mysterio. The Animal made a comeback, and it seemed as if the challengers were poised to regain the gold…until The World's Strongest Man made his appearance.

After searching for a way into the cage, Henry proceeded to show his strength, breaking the chain that padlocked the cage door shut. He then ripped the door off of its hinges, and entered the ring to square off with the Animal. After subduing Batista while the Animal attempted to give Mercury a spinebuster, Henry used the cage door as a weapon. Batista ended up sandwiched between the cage door and the cage wall, and after nailing Rey with the door as well, Henry rolled Nitro on top of Rey for the pinfall, handing MNM the victory.

Orlando Jordan and Chris Benoit also made statements on Friday Night SmackDown, both at the expense of Booker T. Booker fired up Orton for Match No. 6 of the Best-of-7 Series, and Orton promised Booker that he would hand him the United States Championship on a silver platter. When later discussing this backstage with Kristal, Orlando Jordan approached Booker, making fun of Orton for losing last week. When Booker refused Jordan's offer to be his substitute, Orlando told Booker he must respect him because he was United States Champion longer than Booker. Booker told Orlando that he had to earn respect, and Jordan told him to remember that saying.

Early in the match, Sharmell once again tried to interfere with Booker's crutch, leading to Orton having her removed from ringside. The Legend Killer then took the advantage, but the Rabid Wolverine came back with his signature rolling suplexes and flying headbutt. Orton was able to escape both the Sharpshooter and Crippler Crossface, and took control once again. At this point, Orlando Jordan jumped out of the crowd, knocking down Booker and stealing his other crutch. He then entered the ring and nailed Benoit with it, drawing a disqualification on Orton. As Booker and Orton looked on horrified, a satisfied Jordan smirked as Benoit was announced the winner to tie the series at 3 matches apiece.

On a night of statements, perhaps the most bizarre was made by the Boogeyman. As JBL met Matt Hardy in a Falls Count Anywhere Match, the thought of another appearance by the Boogeyman loomed. Hardy and JBL brawled throughout the crowd and into the ring, and ended up in the entrance aisle near JBL's limo. After assaulting him with a ladder, Hardy laid JBL on the hood of his limo and proceeded to set up the ladder. Before he could jump onto JBL, Jillian interfered and held Hardy's leg. This allowed JBL to recover, and after grabbing a trash can, JBL nailed Hardy with the weapon and dropped him back first onto the limo. JBL was able to get the easy pinfall, but his horror was just beginning.

As JBL and Jillian celebrated, smoke poured from JBL's limo and the Boogeyman appeared through the moon roof. He chased a horrified JBL & Jillian around the ring, but this time they weren't able to escape. As Jillian tried to climb over the security barrier, the Boogeyman caught her by the leg. He then produced a handful of worms and stuffed them down Jillian's skirt as a horrified JBL looked on. JBL & Jillian were then able to run away, but the bizarre Boogeyman laughed as they did so.

Never one to stay quiet, Mr. Kennedy made his first appearance since his injury, joining Michael Cole and Tazz on commentary for the Cruiserweight Championship Match between Kid Kash and Juventud. As Kennedy crowed about being the reason for the network's ratings increase, Kash and Juventud battled fiercely for the gold. In the end, Kash was able to exploit an injury to help him to victory. Earlier in the match, Juventud hit a somersault hilo onto Kash as he stood on the floor, but the former champion injured his knee on the way down. As the match drew to a conclusion, Juventud's leg buckled as he tried a Juvy Driver. Forced to find a new method to victory, Juventud attempted a 450 Splash, but Kash rolled out of the way. The champion then nailed the challenger with the Dead Level to pick up the victory and retain the gold.

Friday Night SmackDown also saw the debut of a new tag team, the Gymini. Simon Dean came to the ring, asking any two men in the back to come out for some competition. When Paul London and Brian Kendrick answered his call, Simon said the competition wouldn't come from him, but from the new tag team he's sponsoring. He then produced the Gymini, and the muscular twins proceeded to destroy London & Kendrick as Simon looked on with glee.

Plus, Bobby Lashley announced that he was the first man entered into the 2006 Royal Rumble, saying he intended to win the match and go on to face Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22.

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