Irish eyes smile on Hornswoggle again
FRESNO, Calif. -- Well, that didn't quite work out like Jamie Noble expected.
Earlier this week, Noble told WWE.com that he planned to get revenge on Hornswoggle for pinning him and "stealing" the Cruiserweight Championship at The Great American Bash. Come Friday night, Noble was deemed the No. 1 contender for the gold and got his chance; but when SmackDown invaded the Save Mart Center, Noble was once again on the short end of the stick, losing via count-out to the pint-size pugilist.
The mind games began before the match even started, as Hornswoggle didn't come to the ring when announced. Growing frustrated, Noble stormed out of the ring, searching high and (very, very) low for the new champion. After a few minutes of futility, Noble turned to see the leprechaun and his band of gold standing…err, tall in the squared circle.
What ensued from there was the most mismatched game of cat and mouse our fans could ever dream of. Hornswoggle channeled Forrest Gump and just kept running and running — even making a brief stop at home, under the ring — before actually gaining a small upper hand over Noble with a flurry of punches and a Little Boot to the face.
The mini-onslaught was short-lived, though, as Noble's size advantage finally helped him get control of the leprechaun. Unfortunately, he made a huge mistake, as he once again tossed Hornswoggle to the outside floor. After another chase that would make Tom & Jerry proud, Noble caught the champion as he tried to scamper up the steps.
Just then, the Luck of the Irish smiled upon the little warrior. As Hornswoggle kicked at Noble, his shoe came off in the challenger's grasp, sending him crashing into the barricade. The champion slithered back into the ring as referee Charles Robinson counted to 10; Robinson called for the bell and Hornswoggle was declared the winner by count-out, making his first title defense a successful one.
The looks on the faces of both champion and challenger told the story; Noble couldn't believe he lost to the leprechaun again, while the vertically-challenged champion seemed surprised that he still held the gold. Regardless, a celebration erupted, and a visibly enraged challenger chucked Hornswoggle's shoe back at the giddy champion.
It remains to be seen whether Noble will get another chance at revenge, but until then, the pointing and whispering that has been directed at him since The Bash may continue. One thing is for sure, though: Hornswoggle's win all but ensured him that his reign as Cruiserweight Champion won't be the shortest on record.