Tragic Homecoming

In front of his friends, family and a hometown crowd in San Diego, Rey Mysterio proved he was a man of his word…but all he got to show for it was a beating.

After sending Mark Henry after the World Champion last week, JBL lined up The Great Khali as Rey's opponent. As the night began, the United States Champion came to the ring, ripping on the southern California fans. He laughed at Rey's loss to Henry last week, and said the underdog champion had more heart than brains. JBL's comments then took a disgusting turn, as he began to insult Mysterio's family. He said that after he defeated the "third amigo" at Judgment Day, he would let Rey's son Dominick shine his shoes, and allow Rey's wife to work in his kitchen in a short dress and high heels. To stay gainfully employed, however, JBL said that Rey would have to sell drugs or do drive-by shootings like his homies. The World Champion finally had enough at that point, storming out of the back to attack JBL. Referees were able to separate the two, but that would end up being the highlight of Rey's night.

JBL came out to do commentary for the main event, and Mysterio attacked him once again. However, when The Great Khali finally made his way out for the match, everything changed. Khali toyed with Rey, tossing the much smaller champion to the floor several times. Rey tried to hit a springboard dropkick to fell the giant, but simply bounced off of Khali's massive frame. Khali then picked Rey up in a two-handed choke, and after holding the champion in the air for several seconds, he dropped him viciously to the mat. Khali then placed one foot on Rey's head, getting the decisive pinfall over the World Champion. After the match, JBL came into the ring, asking the groggy champion if he was still a man of his word; he then mockingly told Rey to wait and see who he has lined up next week before slapping the champion as SmackDown went off the air. After already throwing Mark Henry and The Great Khali at Mysterio, who could JBL have in store for him next week?

Throughout the night, the Judgment Day card continued to take shape, as two new matches were made and one was finalized. Kurt Angle made a surprising appearance, demanding that Theodore Long give him a match with Mark Henry on SmackDown. Long told him that he couldn't make the match, because Kurt wasn't cleared to wrestle, but said that he could face the World's Strongest Man at a time when he would be cleared: Judgment Day. Angle was happy, and after getting what he wanted, was escorted out of the arena by security. Later in the night, Henry "responded" by destroying Paul Burchill in a one-sided match. Before finishing off the buccaneer, the World's Strongest Man grabbed the microphone and told everyone that Angle would suffer the same fate on May 21 that Burchill was suffering; he then dropped Burchill with the World's Strongest Slam to punctuate his statement.

The King of the Ring final match was filled out, as Bobby Lashley got his first-ever victory over Finlay in the semi-finals. Prior to their match, Booker T came to the ring to give Kurt Angle one last chance to face him, but with Angle having been escorted from the building, the "opportunity" was wasted. As a result, Booker "officially" advances to the finals of the King of the Ring tournament. I, for one, am surprised that he made it through this one without injuring himself. Congratulations, Booker!

After Finlay vs. Lashley began, Booker & Sharmell returned to watch the match, with Booker taking a seat on the King of the Ring throne positioned in the entrance aisle. The hard-hitting Lashley and the tough Irishman Finlay pounded each other throughout the bout, with Finlay grounding Lashley to keep him at bay.  Lashley eventually used his power to overcome Finlay's ground-and-pound tactics, but ran into a knee when he tried to finish Finlay with a spear.

At that point, Finlay grabbed a chair and tossed it into the ring. Much like last week, it was a decoy, as when referee Nick Patrick went to dispose of the chair, Finlay grabbed his shillelagh. This time, Patrick saw through the plan, and grabbed Finlay's weapon away. Always thinking, Finlay waited until Patrick turned his back to dispose of the shillelagh, which gave him the opportunity to once again grab the chair. He nailed Lashley with it, but the blow only seemed to pump Lashley up. Finlay tossed the chair and turned around, right into the path of a speeding Lashley, who nailed the Irishman with a vicious spear. That spear got Lashley the three count, giving him his first-ever victory over Lashley and punching his ticket to the finals. When the match was over, the normally soft-spoken Lashley grabbed a microphone and addressed Booker, telling the 5-time WCW Champion that he was sitting in his seat.

A Cruiserweight Championship match was also made for Judgment Day, as Super Crazy of the Mexicools won a Triple Threat No. 1 Contender's Match. Just one week after their match was interrupted by The Great Khali, the cruiserweights showed great resolve in trying again, and Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms sat in on commentary as Crazy, Nunzio and Kid Kash did battle. As the match went on, Helms told Michael Cole & Tazz that he didn't care who he faced, and would take on all of them if he had to. As the match neared conclusion, Nunzio had Crazy on his shoulders, and Kash came flying off the top rope. Crazy somehow ducked Kash's flying attempt while perched on Nunzio's shoulders, rolling up the former Cruiserweight Champion to get the pinfall and the match with Helms on May 21.

Later in the night, Nunzio was backstage with Vito, and the Sicilian enforcer told his paisan that he would take him out on the town to forget about the loss. When Vito left, however, Orlando Jordan approached Nunzio; Jordan told him that when SmackDown was overseas, he saw a guy who looked like Vito at a club, but the guy was dressed in drag. Nunzio took offense and told Jordan to watch his mouth.

Earlier in the week, a WWE Tag Team Championship match was announced for Judgment Day, and champions MNM came out on SmackDown to talk about it. They gloated about laying out Paul London & Brian Kendrick with a series of Snapshots, but as Melina said that MNM would humiliate them again at Judgment Day, she was interrupted by her own opponent on May 21, Jillian. After Melina and Jillian traded insults, MNM's former fixer said they didn't have to wait until Judgment Day and stormed to the ring. It was seemingly all a set-up, however, as London & Kendrick emerged from behind MNM. Taking a page from the champions' playbook, the challengers at Judgment Day attacked MNM from behind and ripped off their pants. As Melina scurried around horrified, Jillian then came in and pulled off her skirt, leaving MNM in their underwear. Jillian, London & Kendrick then gloated in the entrance aisle as MNM was left embarrassed in the ring. MNM has no choice but to face London & Kendrick on May 21, and in my opinion, the champions are in a lot of trouble. 

Also on SmackDown, Tatanka's initiation into the Lakota Tribe continued. He took part in sacred Hunka ceremony, a ritual that welcomes a new member into the tribe. Next week, the Native American Superstar will take part in the Lakota warrior ceremony.

The Gymini also scored another impressive victory, destroying Mike Wellington & Joey Ryan in quick fashion.

Click here to get all of merchandise you saw on SmackDown this week.

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