Answer to the challenge?
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Before a capacity crowd at the Chevrolet Centre, fury and aggression dominated SmackDown Friday night, building momentum to the Biggest Party of the Summer. A fired-up Batista started things off by taking his rage out on co-WWE Tag Team Champion Domino in one-on-one action, hitting Batista Bombs to score the pinfall and to punish his opponent's interfering accomplice, Deuce. A video message from World Heavyweight Champion The Great Khali then appeared, warning The Animal that he would fall victim to the Claw at SummerSlam, just like Ric Flair did on SmackDown a week before. Later that night, the "Nature Boy" had his mind set on revenge for that previous vicious attack attack by Khali; however, despite a valiant effort, even the 16-time World Champion couldn't stop the newest weapon in the Punjabi giant's awesome arsenal. After The Great Khali's enormous hand forcefully clutched onto Flair's skull and forced him to the canvas, The Animal sprinted to his mentor's aid. Amazingly, though, even The Animal seemed unable to halt the champion's powerful vice-like grip, and ended up lying beside his fallen friend. Read the whole story…
Inflicting pain on Matt Hardy, meanwhile, had been part of Finlay's agenda Friday night, which also saw Hornswoggle offering a little ringside support for the Fighting Irishman. But then the miniature Cruiserweight Champion of the World's fun was nearly cut short by Jamie Noble, who chased him back to the locker room area. Following right behind them -- and thereby giving Hardy a count-out win in the ring -- Finlay threatened Noble to stay away from his condensed-sized comrade. Unfortunately, in the process he accidentally knocked scalding hot coffee onto a red-hot Kane, who in return tossed Finlay onto a table, knocking him to the ground. Minutes later, Kane doled out more pain inside the ring with a vehement chokeslam on Sylvan for the victory. But then the Fighting Irishman got his payback, surprising the Big Red Monster from behind and laying him out with his shillelagh. More on this story…
Our fans in Youngstown originally believed Matt Hardy might face United States Champion MVP in another challenge to prove who the better man is. But the Ballin' Superstar, speaking from WWE's studios in Stamford, Conn., informed everyone of a medical condition that resulted in him losing not only last week's Arm Wrestling Contest to Matt, but nearly his life. The Franchise Playa said he had notified SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long of his Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a potentially lethal condition that causes his heart speed up to over 250 beats per minute, yet he was still forced to compete in last week's challenge. As a result, following the competition, he required life-threatening heart surgery that would have put normal men on the shelf for at least a year. Yet as the Ballin' Superstar himself reminded our fans, he is "half a man, half a-mazing," and he has been cleared by doctors to return to ring action next week, where he will challenge Hardy to a competition of his own design.
In other SmackDown ring action, Mark Henry showed no sympathy for Sterling Keenan, obliterating his opponent with ease before finishing him off in a crushing bear hug. Continuing to show our fans why no one on the SmackDown roster wants to challenge him, the self-proclaimed Silverback proudly showed more footage of his vicious assault on Undertaker last May. But the World's Strongest Man seemed taken aback as Druid music suddenly filled the arena, and a dark figure slowly walked away from the ring area, leaving only a trail of sand and footprints behind him.
Another surprise that had our fans erupting into cheers was the apparent return of Rey Mysterio -- that is, until everyone realized that it was only an unfunny prank by Chavo Guerrero. In his tasteless attempt to literally mask his contempt for his former friend, the Mysterio-clad Chavo begged himself to take it easy on him when they meet at the Biggest Party of the Summer. But there was no mercy from Guerrero during his match with Eugene, especially after his embarrassingly bad attempt at a 619 through the ropes. A frustrated Chavo pulled off the mask and took his aggravations out on his opponent Eugene, finishing him off with a Frog Splash for the three-count.
Back in the GM's office, Assistant GM Vickie Guerrero gave Long an early wedding present for himself and his fiancée, Kristal: a tiny blue pill to help the GM rise to the occasion and spice up their love life. Meanwhile, Chris Masters decided to spice up his evening with an Open Master Lock Challenge to "anyone with the guts" to try and break it. One intense fan claiming to be a three-time All-State football player, captain of his high school wrestling team and someone who just got out of prison for manslaughter, seemed a little too willing for The Masterpiece's liking. So Masters found another member of the Chevrolet Centre crowd, then clamped on the Master Lock and shook the fan like a rag doll.
Back in the locker room area, Michelle McCool let Victoria and Kenny Dykstra know that she wasn't enjoying their excessive smooching session. Trading barbs with Michelle would only set the already unstable Diva off further when she later squared off in a match against Torrie Wilson; even after a Widow's Peak and a three-count, Victoria continued pummeling away at the blonde beauty, right before our fans and Torrie's ringside partner, Jimmy Wang Yang. Suddenly, Michelle raced down to the ring and came to Torrie's aid, launching an attack that made Victoria retreat back up the SmackDown ramp. Needless to say, SmackDown's All-American Girl didn't love Victoria's behavior that night… but she is loving life.