Polar opposites

Polar opposites

As SmackDown kicked off, General Manager Theodore Long announced that at Backlash in just over two weeks, Undertaker would defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Batista in a Last Man Standing Match. Moments later, Long put the Backlash opponents together as a team -- after the actions of Mr. Kennedy & Finlay. WWE Backlash will be a tri-brand pay-per-view including Raw, SmackDown and ECW Superstars.

The Irishman & Hornswoggle were scheduled to face off against Mr. Kennedy in a Handicap Match. Kennedy, however, entered the sold-out Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. and told Finlay, "at WrestleMania, we were in the biggest match of our careers, and things got out of hand." He continued, "I'm sorry. I apologize." Finlay accepted the apology and the Handicap Match was cancelled by the participants -- then the General Manager made the new match.

Undertaker and Batista were able to exist as a team, which allowed The Animal to deliver a Batista Bomb to Mr. Money in the Bank Kennedy to pick up the victory and send a clear message to The Phenom -- Batista is coming for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Montel Vontavious Porter had a WrestleMania rematch against United States Champion Chris Benoit in a non-title contest. Much like their match at WrestleMania, MVP continued to prove that he is more than just a cocky Superstar, surprising Benoit and WWE fans by stealing the victory, using the ropes for leverage.

After his stunning victory, MVP exclaimed to WWE fans, "I told you so," referring to his claims that he could defeat Chris Benoit in one-on-one action.

WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London & Brian Kendrick defended the titles against Deuce & Domino. London & Kendrick have held the titles for 327 days as of Friday Night SmackDown, the fourth longest reign in WWE tag team history.

Deuce & Domino looked to end that reign with their brute force, hoping to neutralize the speed and high-flying style of London & Kendrick. The challengers had control of the match, but not of their actions, and continually refused the orders from referee Mickie Henson to follow the rules. When Deuce ignored the order to leave the ring, instead delivering Crack ‘em in ‘da Mouth, Henson had no choice but to disqualify Deuce & Domino -- much to the disgust of the challengers.

The fact remains that once again London & Kendrick found a way to win when the titles were on the line, retaining their WWE Tag Team Championship and continuing their impressive run at the top.

Also on SmackDown, Kane dominated Daivari en route to victory, but was attacked after the match by William Regal & Dave Taylor.

Regal & Taylor were looking for payback after Kane defeated Taylor last week, despite constant interference from Regal. The Big Red Machine has caught the ire of this dangerous tag team, and the budding rivalry is building steam.

SmackDown Diva Ashley was attacked by Jillian, jealous over Ashley's involvement in mega-producer Timbaland's newest music video. Jillian shouted, "if I can't be in Timbaland's video, neither can you."  The brutal attack aggravated Ashley's leg injury suffered last year, and the beautiful Diva will need surgery to re-insert a screw into a metal plate in her leg.

General Manager Theodore Long discussed with his new love Kristal their plans for the upcoming European tour. SmackDown will have its first broadcast from Italy next week, and the romance between the Kristal and SmackDown's General Manager could be blossoming overseas.

Finally, it was announced that the World's Strongest Man Mark Henry will be making his return to Friday Night SmackDown.

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