A RAW invasion
This week on RAW, a Taboo Tuesday main event qualifying match was interrupted when JBL's entrance music blared throughout the Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA. Edge became distracted by the unfamiliar music, allowing Big Show to hit his chokeslam and pick up the win. Edge was enraged by the turn of events and vowed to get revenge, telling RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff that he should tune in to Friday Night SmackDown to find out what his next move would be.
SmackDown's General Manager Theodore Long thought Edge's promise would be an empty one, but just in case, he had beefed up security at the Lawlor Event Center in Reno, NV. So, when JBL and Rey Mysterio squared off in their rubber match (both Superstars held a victory over the other), the last thing the competitors expected to hear was Edge's music. But that's exactly what happened. After hitting the 619 on JBL, Mysterio turned his attention to the ramp as the music hit, but Edge snuck up behind him, coming through the crowd and entering the opposite side of the ring. As soon as Mysterio turned back around, Edge pounced and nailed his trademark spear. Edge got up with a maniacal look on his face and then retreated through the crowd as JBL chased after him. Mysterio picked up the win via disqualification, but this was about more than wins and losses. This was about RAW invading SmackDown.
RAW's invasion ended up being a two-pronged attack as "The Masterpiece" Chris Masters attacked Mysterio next, capturing him in the dreaded Master Lock. No one on RAW has ever escaped the Master Lock, and Mysterio was no exception. Several Superstars tried to fight Masters off, but his strength was too much for them. It wasn't until Hardcore Holly and the WWE Tag Team Champions, L.O.D., came to the rescue, that The Masterpiece retreated. After the attack, Mysterio demanded to Long that he get a piece of Edge for what he had done. Only time will tell if Mysterio gets his wish.
Long had scheduled a tag team main event for later in the evening between the teams Cowboy Bob Orton, Jr. & Randy Orton and World Heavyweight Champion Batista & Eddie Guerrero. The elder Orton was suffering from back problems, however, so Randy had to find another partner or face Batista and Guerrero in a Handicap Match. Randy came to the ring by himself, but just as the match was about to begin, Mr. Kennedy made his way to the ring to even the sides.
Kennedy and Orton seemed to have Guerrero reeling, but Eddie made the tag to Batista who was a house of fire. Batista seemed to have everything going his way, but then Cowboy Bob, whose back seemed to have miraculously recovered, came to the ring and distracted the Champ. With Batista distracted, Randy went for the RKO, but the Champion blocked it. Ken Kennedy then scaled the ropes with a steel chair, ready to attack Batista. Guerrero saw this and covered up his good friend Batista, saving him from Kennedy's attack. Kennedy didn't seem to mind as he nailed Eddie square in the back with the chair instead.
Batista then looked to have Kennedy locked in for the Batista Bomb, but Cowboy Bob blasted him with one of his boots, leveling the Animal. With Guerrero already out of commission, Kennedy and the Ortons triple-teamed Batista and Randy hit the RKO leaving the Champion laying in the middle of the ring. Kennedy and the Ortons left with smiles on their faces, but it was short-lived, as Theodore Long announced that next week the three would face Batista, Guerrero & WWE Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
The United States Championship was also on the line on Friday Night SmackDown as Booker T took on his long-time friend Chris Benoit. Booker T won a Fatal Fourway the previous week, thanks to some help from Sharmell, in order to earn the opportunity at the Championship. Benoit attempted a suicide dive to the outside early on, but Booker sidestepped him and Benoit crashed into the SmackDown announce table back-first. Benoit persevered with a sore back and eventually regained the advantage hitting the Swan Dive Headbutt.
Sharmell grabbed a chair on the outside, looking to give Booker T an advantage. But Benoit saw her, prompting Sharmell to drop the chair. Moments later, with the referee distracted, Sharmell delivered a low-blow to the Rabid Wolverine. Benoit was hunched over, giving Booker T, who hadn't seen what Sharmell had done, the perfect opportunity to hit the Scissors Kick for the win and the United States Championship.
Booker T and Sharmell celebrated backstage with a bottle of champagne, but Benoit crashed the party. Sharmell called Benoit a sore loser, and Booker T, still not aware that Sharmell's cheating led to his win, agreed and said that he had lost respect for Benoit.
Friday night was also the big return of Matt Hardy. SmackDown was the birthplace of Hardy's successful singles career, so it was a homecoming of sorts for the man who will not die. Hardy's first match back on SmackDown was against Simon Dean. Dean tried utilizing his cast from his broken hand on several occasions, but Hardy hit a Side Effect and a Twist of Fate for the win.
Hardcore Holly lived up to his name by beating Sylvan in a Hardcore Match. This one started in the back, went into the Women s Locker room, into the elevator, by the concession stands, through the crowd, and finally into the ring. Holly eventually ended things when he hit Sylvan with the Alabama Slam through a table.
In other action, Lashley continued his impressive winning streak by dominating Vito. Lashley utilized a series of powerful suplexes followed by his version of the Dominator for the win.
Plus, not only did Theodore Long have to deal with a RAW invasion and an "injured" Cowboy Bob, but found out that Network Executive Palmer Canon had been continuing his NTI's New Talent Initiative. Canon said that's what led to the debut of the Tolands last week and this week's arrival of Matt Hardy. Canon then introduced Long to four members of SmackDown's Juniors Division, which is comprised of competitors five feet tall or shorter.
The group of Juniors was highlighted by a rather portly competitor named Super Porky who was eating a whole ham. An exasperated Long was ready to leave the room, but as he opened the door he was greeted by The Boogeyman who frightened the Juniors with another cryptic nursery rhyme.