No turning back
LONDON -- On the final stop of a successful European tour, World Heavyweight Champion Undertaker and Backlash opponent Batista were both dominant in a No Disqualification Tag Team Match, just days before their Last Man Standing Match this Sunday on pay-per-view. After disposing of Mr. Kennedy & Finlay, The Animal told The Phenom that as far as the title is concerned, "I'm taking it back." The champion had a message of his own for Batista, telling him, "Sunday, I will take your soul." (WATCH)
Earlier in the night, Mr. Kennedy & Finlay tried to once again dismantle The Animal, attacking him in the aisle as SmackDown began. Batista held his own until the two focused their assault on The Animal's wounded and taped right leg. Suddenly, the arena went black and Undertaker appeared in the center of the ring sending the dangerous duo of Mr. Money in the Bank and the Irishman back to the locker room.
Moments later, Kennedy & Finlay implored General Manager Theodore Long to put The Deadman and Batista in action against each other. Long showed his GM power by putting the Backlash opponents in action -- but against Finlay & Kennedy.
In a brutally physical No DQ match, Finlay & Kennedy concentrated on the heavily bandaged right leg of The Animal -- a leg beaten badly by the shillelagh last week. However, The Phenom delivered Chokeslams to both Mr. Kennedy & Finlay, and looked poised to get the win for his team, but Batista decided to make a statement of his own. He came into the ring, sent Finlay to the mat with a devastating Spinebuster, and then pinned him to get the victory.
After pushing the World Heavyweight Champion to the limits at WrestleMania 23, wounded or not, Batista will once more test the power of The Deadman this Sunday.
Another SmackDown Superstar in pursuit of gold at Backlash will be Montel Vontavious Porter, who faces Chris Benoit for the United States Championship, as first announced by WWE Mobile Alerts. In preparation for his match, the cocky Superstar had an open invitational to face some of the United Kingdom's great champions.
First up was the Scottish Champion Hamlet Macbeth, a man who MVP claimed, "can shoot lightning bolts out of his arse." Macbeth made his way out and was promptly flattened by MVP. When the second champion in the invitational was revealed as the Rabid Wolverine, the two competitors had an impromptu non-title match just 48 hours before their Backlash encounter.
MVP showed Benoit he was ready, countering the offensive arsenal of the Wolverine, finding his way out of the Crossface and the Sharpshooter. Porter then found his way out of the sold-out Earls Court, causing the count-out. Sunday at Backlash, MVP will have nowhere to run and will have to step up his game if he wants to walk away with the U.S. gold.
Englishmen William Regal & Dave Taylor returned to their home country in a tag team encounter with the most unlikely tag team in WWE history -- Kane & Boogeyman. Alongside his worm-eating partner, the Big Red Monster settled the score with Regal & Taylor on SmackDown, perhaps birthing what could be a formidable - yet bizarre -- duo on Friday nights. (WATCH)
Former WWE Tag Team Champion Brian Kendrick was in singles action against one-half of the new WWE Tag Team Champions -- Deuce. Kendrick's partner Paul London was unable to compete due to the injury he sustained last week, but Michael Cole pointed out that, "when London is 100 percent, he and Kendrick will certainly seek out the titles." When Deuce's girlfriend Cherry tried to distract the referee, London was attacked and incapacitated by Domino. Deuce took full advantage of the distractions to deliver a powerful kick to Kendrick's face to get the victory.
The SmackDown Divas were also on hand in the United Kingdom Friday night. Jillian arrived in London intent to entertain WWE fans with her singing, and once again, the tone-deaf Diva was way off key. When her opponent Michelle McCool interrupted the serenade and came to the ring, Jillian sang a different tune, defeating McCool. Jillian then attempted to display her talent again, but McCool interrupted again, slamming Jillian into the steel steps and causing this rivalry to hit a crescendo.
Another Diva heating up Friday nights is Kristal, who shared her true feelings with General Manager Theodore Long. It's clear that Long and the SmackDown beauty are in love and are a very happy couple. (WATCH)
Finally, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's new movie The Condemned opened in theaters everywhere today!