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
Coronations and carnage
On the heels of a controversial Great American Bash, SmackDown was home to the first-ever "Opulent Coronation" in honor of the new World Heavyweight Champion, King Booker. Though Rey Mysterio was able to disrupt King Booker's extravaganza of vanity, later in the night, Chavo Guerrero cost Mysterio the World Championship for the second time in five days.
Whereas the World Championship was the only thing on Mysterio's mind, the prideful King and World Champion, King Booker, planned for his Opulent Coronation as well. The celebration itself commenced, and King Booker and Queen Sharmell made their way to the ring seated in a carriage drawn by their imperial guards, amidst a torrent of red and gold balloons.
The King proudly addressed his "loyal subjects," but King Booker's Opulent Coronation would soon turn into a royal disaster as former World Champion Rey Mysterio disrupted the festivities. Hitting the King with a surge of punches, Mysterio plopped his enemy in his throne and blasted him with a seated senton. Rey then crowned the King with the 619, leaving King Booker down just minutes before their World Championship match.
Earlier, Rey Mysterio spoke with The Miz who hoped to hear Rey's feelings on Chavo's actions at the Bash. Following one of the most emotional weeks of his career, Rey ignored Miz's question about Chavo, and instead offered a comment about his return match with World Heavyweight Champion King Booker later on. It seemed as if there was still plenty of fight in the former champion, possibly enough to recapture the gold from King Booker.
"The only thing that's on my mind right now is winning back the World title," said a focused Mysterio.
SmackDown fans also heard from the individual who betrayed Rey Mysterio at The Great American Bash, Chavo Guerrero who claimed to not be present in Detroit due to "personal reasons."
"I don't feel I owe you an explanation," Chavo told Michael Cole. "I don't feel I owe anyone an explanation. Not even Rey Mysterio," he said.
Chavo refused to offer any details surrounding his actions at the Bash. Chavo then informed Michael Cole that he'd be at SmackDown next week to "educate Rey [Mysterio] on the true meaning of the name, Guerrero."
After hearing from Chavo, no one could have expected to see the embittered Guerrero appear during the World Heavyweight Championship return match, costing Rey his chance to relive his dream as champion. Employing an attack similar to the one he used at The Bash, Mysterio used fast-paced, hit-and-run tactics to weaken the veteran champion. With the championship in the balance, Mysterio went to the apron for an attack from the outside. Suddenly, Chavo Guerrero came to ringside, grabbed Mysterio and hurled him from off the apron into the barrier. After Chavo threw his former friend back into the ring, King Booker dropped the challenger with a scissor kick for the three-count, making SmackDown a bittersweet evening for his majesty. (See the video)
After being physically obliterated by Batista at The Great American Bash, Mr. Kennedy came to SmackDown to gloat about defeating The Animal by disqualification. Before the audacious Kennedy could say much, Batista made his way to the ring for a Bash rematch between the two. Similarly to their first confrontation, Batista was intent on destroying Kennedy. The two battled to the outside and Kennedy got back into the ring to beat the referee's count and slip past Batista with a victory for the second time. (Watch the video)
SmackDown took a turn for the extreme on Friday night as ECW's Paul Heyman confronted General Manager Theodore Long about putting ECW World Champion Big Show in the Punjabi Prison Match at The Great American Bash. Heyman said that Long "abused" the ECW World Champion on Sunday and then extended an invitation to Long to make a visit to Heyman's jurisdiction at ECW.
Heyman told Teddy to bring someone extreme enough to face the Big Show Tuesday at ECW on Sci Fi. Much to the dismay of the Extremist, Long informed Heyman that he knew just the man for the challenge: Batista. What will happen when The Animal collides with the ECW World Champion? We'll find out on Tuesday.
Before his match with Finlay, Regal confronted the United States Champion backstage and explained that at the Bash, Finlay and "his little troll" embarrassed Regal. Regal told Finlay that he would come to their championship match prepared: "treacherous and full of vile and venom."
Finlay and Regal have battled many times in the past to bruises and stitches, but their collision on SmackDown quickly started to look like a violent bar room brawl. With the United States Championship at stake, the two grapplers exchanged a round of rough stomps and rigid punches. Just as he did at The Great American Bash, Finlay's Little Bastard crept from underneath the ring and hit Regal with shillelagh shot between the legs. The opportunistic Finlay rolled up Regal and embarrassed him yet again, just five days after the Bash.
Plus, SmackDown witnessed the arrival of newcomer Sylvester Terkay and his corner man, Elijah Burke. Wrestling from Big Bear, Calif., the 320-pound Terkay mauled his opponent, Matt Hardy, with a grueling onslaught of submission holds and palm strikes. A tremendous amateur wrestler, Terkay was victorious in his first appearance on SmackDown, making Hardy tap out. (Watch Terkay in action)
After weeks of hearing Sylvan talk about Quebec, the Montreal star faced Tatanka in his first match on SmackDown since becoming Ambassador-at-Large to "the island of tranquility in a truculent world." In a highly physical contest, Sylvan went to use Tatanka's own tomahawk on the Native American Superstar. Referee Nick Patrick stepped in to confiscate the weapon and as he turned his back to the action, Sylvan hit Tatanka with a low blow and followed with a spinning fireman's carry neckbreaker for the win. After the match, Sylvan insulted Tatanka and his Lakota heritage by removing Tatanka's headdress from the ringpost and disgustfully dropping it to the floor. (Watch the video)
With both Ashley and Kristal at ringside, Jillian Hall took on Michelle McCool in Diva singles action. After an aggressive display from both Divas, Michelle stole a win from the Jillian, using the middle rope for leverage as she rolled up the former image consultant.
In other hot Diva action, this week's SmackDown hosted Diva Search Musical Chairs competition in the $250,000 Diva Search. Diva hopeful J.T. shined brightly and outlasted her competition this. For full coverage of the Divas battling for musical chair supremacy, click here.
Also on Friday, the toughest man to wear a dress, Vito, squared off with fitness fanatic Simon Dean. From the announce table, JBL said that he spoke with Simon earlier in the day and SmackDown's fitness guru said he thinks Vito "uses the dress to gain a psychological advantage over his opponents." Psychological advantage or not, Vito earned a win over Simon, leaving Vito still undefeated since donning a dress on Friday Night SmackDown.