After overcoming the odds to get himself medically cleared to compete in a WWE ring, an emotional Daniel Bryan reflects on the importance of going after a dream, the support of his wife Brie Bella and how the journey far outweighs the destination.03/21/2018 - 13:30
WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's SmackDown LIVE to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.03/21/2018 - 00:30
All hail the king
SmackDown proved to be a truly historic night for more reason than one. On
his first SmackDown since being coronated as the King, Booker T and his
associates brutally attacked the United States Champion Lashley, and made
him bow to the feet of the new king. But well before all that, the Portland
fans were treated to Kurt Angle’s SmackDown farewell.
Earlier this week, ECW boss Paul Heyman used his one and only SmackDown draft pick to bring Kurt Angle to the new ECW. Knowing he would be appearing on his final SmackDown, the Wrestling Machine issued a challenge to World Champion Rey Mysterio, setting the stage for one final battle. The fans got everything they expected and more as the world class competitors engaged in an all time classic.
Angle controlled the action early on, bringing Mysterio to the ground with a variety of mat-based attacks. Eventually, Rey was able to work free from Angle’s grasp and make it back to his feet and launch an offensive attack.
A series of high risk maneuvers from Rey only served to anger the new ECW star. Angle turned up the intensity, using a belly-to-belly and german suplex to set up Mysterio for the normally fatal Angle Slam. However, an extremely alert World Champion was able to get his foot on the rope and break the count. Mysterio reversed a second Angle Slam attempt into a 619. Still winded, Rey was unable to follow up with a pinning combination. Instead, Rey tried the move for a second time, but it would end up leading to his biggest and most crucial mistake of the entire match. Angle caught the champ and executed a perfect belly-to-belly overhead suplex over the top rope to the outside, leaving Mysterio incapacitated on the arena floor. Perhaps suffering from an ankle or leg injury, Rey was unable to return to the ring by the count of 10, resulting in a final SmackDown victory for Angle.
Following the match, Kurt and Mysterio exchanged one last embrace. The departing SmackDown legend welcomed Rey back into the ring, and handed him his Championship, providing a lasting image that will be forever remembered as Kurt Angle’s last night on SmackDown.
In the main event, the newly crowned “King Booker” took on the new U.S. Champion Lashley in a Judgment Day rematch. Prior to the match, Booker sat on his throne and was introduced to the crowd by William Regal. Following the impromptu ceremony, a match actually took place. The match went back and forth with Booker using a series of vicious strikes in an attempt to slow Lashley. Eventually, Lashley overpowered Booker, using a pair of suplexes and a running powerslam to score the pinfall. What happened after the match however made Lashley’s victory seem like a distant memory.
Lashley was attacked by Regal and Finlay, who appear to be two of King Booker’s new associates. With Lashley disarmed, Booker delivered a Bookend and a Scissor Kick to the fallen U.S. Champion. Sitting on his throne, Booker ordered Regal and Finlay to make Lashley “Bow Down to King Booker” and kiss his royal feet. As SmackDown went off the air, Lashley was left face down at Booker’s feet as Queen Sharmell proclaimed, “All hail King Booker”.
SmackDown also provided fans with a trio of breaking news updates. First, it was learned that a dream match had been signed for ECW’s One Night Stand. For the first time ever, Rey Mysterio will meet the suicidal, homicidal, genocidal death defying Sabu. To make things even more interesting, the two will meet over the World Championship.
In other news concerning a pair of returning SmackDown Superstars, it was revealed that the one and only Mr. Kennedy will return to SmackDown next week. Also, it was announced that former World Heavyweight Champion Batista will return in just five weeks.
The Portland fans gave a huge Rose City welcome to the hometown hero Rowdy Roddy Piper, who hosted a special edition of Piper’s Pit. His guest, The Great Khali, was not as generous to Piper as the hometown fans. The WWE Hall of Famer ended up embroiled in an intense argument with Khali’s manager Daivari, and eventually, things got physical. Piper leveled Daivari with a sharp right hand, but the scuffle was short lived as Khali intervened and brutally assaulted the WWE legend. When it was all over, a triumphant Khali stood over a motionless Piper, raising his arms to the crowd, further suggesting that the newcomer may be the most dominating force in WWE history.
If it wasn’t already made clear in previous weeks, the SmackDown roster was further put on notice that when Mark Henry comes to the ring, “Some bodies gonna get their ass kicked.” Added to the list of stars injured at the hands of the World’s Strongest Man was Paul Burchill, whom Henry seemed to enjoy dismantling both during and after their match. Henry used two World’s Strongest Slams, and a brutal spear to the ring post to take the Burchill out. Afterwards, Burchill had to be carted away from ringside on a stretcher.
SmackDown also featured a pair of bizarre incidents. First, following his loss to Matt Hardy, Nunzio’s tag team partner Big Vito came to ringside wearing a dress, stunning nearly everyone in attendance. Later, the creature resembling a leprechaun appeared for the second straight week after Finlay’s match with Caden Matthews.
Prior to the main event, SmackDown announcer and former ECW standout Tazz made a big time challenge to RAW commentator Jerry Lawler. Sick of the constant jabs from Lawler at both himself and the ECW legacy, the Brooklyn native challenged the King to a match at ECW’s One Night Stand. “I got one left in me Lawler. With God as my witness, I guarantee that I will choke your ass out at One Night Stand. Because I am Tazz, beat me if you can old man, survive if I let you.”
SmackDown also saw the introduction of the show’s new host, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. The brand’s newest name spent most of his evening mingling with the raucous Rose Garden crowd, serving as a guide to the night’s proceedings.
Besides The Miz, another new face made their SmackDown debut. Following Jillian Hall’s victory over Kristal, Michelle McCool made her way to the ring. Dressed in a provocative short skirt, McCool told the exhausted Divas that things were about to get a whole lot hotter on SmackDown. McCool’s speech also appeared to be directed towards returning Diva Ashley, who made her return from injury to sit in on commentary.