Days after defeating King Booker by disqualification at SummerSlam, Batista beat the World Heavyweight Champion for the second time in one week by pinning his majesty in the center of the ring on SmackDown. After Friday night, it's clear that The Animal's quest to reclaim the gold he relinquished eight months ago will not be suppressed.
To open up SmackDown, King Booker stood in the ring beside Queen Sharmell and his most loyal subjects, United States Champion Finlay and William Regal. Earlier in the week on WWE.com, the King had requested that all peasants in his SmackDown kingdom be present for the knighting of his trusted protectors. On the 34th day of King Booker's reign as "king of the world," Finlay and Regal bowed to the majestic champion as he drew his medieval sword from its sheath to officially ordain them his "royal knights extraordinaire."
Dubbed Sir William Regal and Sir Finlay (the first Irishman to be knighted since Sir William Grampe in 1468), the royal paladins began to leave the ring with their King until a fearless Lashley stormed the ring filled with his enemies. Spearing Finlay and fighting off the royal court, Lashley eventually succumbed to a triple-team attack that drew Batista to the ring to even up the odds (Watch).
To restore order, General Manager Theodore Long came out to address the five combatants, saying that he spoke with all of them earlier and as they all agreed, the main event of the night would be a two-on-three match between the King's Court and the powerhouse team of Lashley and Batista.
The tag team encounter gave the newly knighted Finlay and Regal the opportunity to defend the honor of their King. A very rough and fierce contest, the match soon became a three-and-a-half-on-two match when Little Bastard appeared. Finlay fetched Little Bastard who scaled the steel steps and ran off the ring apron on top of Lashley as he recovered on the arena floor.
The resilient Lashley somehow overcame his opponents and made his way to his corner to tag in The Animal. The former champion tossed around the knights extraordinaire and sought to get his hands on King Booker. Scepter in hand, the King swung at Batista, missed and walked right into a massive spinebuster. Batista then pinned the World Heavyweight Champion, just days after defeating his majesty at SummerSlam. Similar to the aftermath of the championship match last Sunday, Batista released his frustration on King Booker and defeated the World Heavyweight Champion yet again. (Watch the knighthood celebration and the main event tag match)
In Friday night's most appalling event, Vickie Guerrero ended her SmackDown address by leveling Rey Mysterio with a steel chair and hugging Chavo. Vickie and Chavo left Wilkes-Barre, Penn. with cold, expressionless faces as Mysterio lay helpless in the ring, emotionally and physically anguished. Click here to read more details about Vickie's attack.
In other Friday night action, Matt Hardy collided with Mr. Kennedy as the longest current reigning champion in sports-entertainment, Gregory Helms, sat at the SmackDown announce table. Claiming that Hardy was one-half of "one of the most revolutionary tag teams in WWE history," Helms provided ample color commentary throughout the match.
With victories over two former World Champions, Rey Mysterio and Batista in the past month, Kennedy continued his hot streak on SmackDown. The highly competitive match unfortunately ended with controversy as the Cruiserweight Champion got off commentary to drop Hardy's neck over the top rope. Kennedy capitalized with a neckbreaker of his own and scored the pinfall, as a smiling Helms looked on at the fallen Hardy.
Following the return of his brother, Jeff, on RAW, Matt Hardy suffered a disappointing loss to Kennedy, but his tremendous effort reflected what was certainly a great week for both Hardy Boyz.
Also on Friday night, Paul London faced K.C. James one-on-one, as both men's respective tag team partners watched on at ringside. The quick-paced match came to an abrupt close when London scaled the turnbuckle for a high-risk move and the Pitbulls made a sudden appearance. The ferocious Noble and Kash assaulted London until the other half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, Brian Kendrick, got involved. K.C. James and Idol Stevens then entered the melee and the three teams fought until officials came to break it all up.
Based on the events of Friday night, the SmackDown tag team division has certainly heated up. From the Pitbulls to Michelle McCool's "teacher's pets," everyone is hungry for the WWE Tag Team Championship. More than ever before in their three-month championship reign, London and Kendrick are feeling the pressure that comes with the gold and it seems they had better keep a keen eye over their shoulders.
On SmackDown, Tatanka squared off with the undefeated hybrid wrestler, Sylvester Terkay. With Elijah Burke in his corner, Terkay faced perhaps his toughest challenge to date in Tatanka -- who was once undefeated himself for two years in WWE.
Tatanka laid into Terkay with hard chops and clotheslines, and struggled to take Terkay off his feet. The Native American Warrior ultimately landed a tomahawk chop from the top rope to become the first man to take Terkay off his feet, into a pinning predicament. Tatanka went for the pin, but Terkay got his leg over the bottom rope before the count of three.
After two straight weeks of missed calls by WWE referees that led to losses, Tatanka believed he was getting screwed yet again and got in the official's face to complain. The Lakota tribesman turned his attention away from Terkay and walked into a massive roundhouse kick to the head. Taking advantage of the situation, Terkay's kick proved to be enough for the man from Big Bear, Ca. to get the win.
Sports-entertainment's most eligible free agent, Montel Vontavious Porter, had a close view of SmackDown action on Friday, as he sat at ringside with two gorgeous females. M.V.P. was most amused by the unorthodox attire of Vito, who faced Sylvan in a SmackDown rematch from two weeks ago.
Vito continued his impressive winning streak against Quebec's Ambassador-at-Large, but after picking up the win, Vito took exception to Porter's reaction to the dress-clad Italian. Vito grabbed a microphone and invited M.V.P. into the ring for a fight. M.V.P. removed his gold jewelry and sunglasses, hopped the barricade and made his way over to the ring steps. Just before things heated up between the two, Porter stopped at the top step to answer his vibrating cell phone. After speaking to his agent via cell phone, Porter backed away from the fight, citing that he was not yet a contracted SmackDown Superstar (See the video).
"No contract, no contact," said the brash M.V.P., moments before he and his ladies left the Wachovia Arena.
Another new face on SmackDown, Layla El, made her first appearance on SmackDown since winning the $250,000 2006 Diva Search. Interviewed by The Miz, WWE's newest Diva began to talk about the recent excitement in her life until Miz interrupted her to talk about someone else's debut…his own. A confident Miz declared that his first match will take place next week and will be what he called "the biggest debut in SmackDown history." (Watch the interview)
Though Miz seemingly stole the spotlight from Layla, the Diva Search winner still seemed to be genuinely elated to be in front of the Wilkes-Barre crowd on SmackDown. However enthused, one Diva that Layla should keep her distance from is the attitudinal Kristal, who earned a victory over Jillian Hall on SmackDown. Just as she was victorious on Friday night, Kristal pinned last year's Diva Search winner, Ashley a few weeks ago. As the new Diva on the block, Layla should be wary of the catty Kristal and WWE's other less welcoming Divas.
In addition to all the in-ring action, SmackDown fans saw a video that again showcased Boogeyman's most horrid exploits (Watch the video). Boogeyman will be in action soon on SmackDown, and so will another Superstar that we were introduced to on Friday: a most unusual redneck, Jimmy Wayne Yang. (See Yang's video)
Finally, it was announced on Friday night that the next SmackDown brand-exclusive event, No Mercy, will take place on Sunday, Oct. 8. Tickets for this huge pay-per-view event will go on sale in Raleigh, N.C. on Saturday, Sept. 26. Click here for more information.