All the King's men
It was chaos on Friday night as SmackDown made its way through Columbus. King Booker's Kingdom remained safe after a pissed off Finlay interfered on his behalf and took out a week's worth of frustration on a vulnerable Animal. Also, Mr. Kennedy's major announcement turned into a major backfire when he talked himself into a match with Undertaker at No Mercy, and week one of the Chavo and Vickie Guerrero business relationship was an overwhelming success.
There was a big fight feel Friday night when King Booker put his World Heavyweight Championship and his SmackDown Kingdom on the line against former champion Batista. At SummerSlam, the Animal was seconds away from re-capturing the gold he never lost before Queen Sharmell caused a disqualification when she interfered on the King's behalf. This week, Batista got his chance at redemption, but once again, the King's court cost the Animal the gold.
Prior to the match, the ever-benevolent King Booker made Batista a special offer. "Batista, you can bow down now and kiss my foot…or you can take a royal ass whooping." The Animal was not interested in the offer. Instead, he opted to give the King a royal beating of his own.
The Animal relied on his strength, playing the power game early to gain the advantage on the champion. An early spear put the championship at risk, but the resilient King kicked out and re-gained control of the match. It became clear that both men did their homework prior to the match, with each man playing on their opponents weaknesses in an attempt to win the battle.
As usual, the King's court was present throughout the contest. First, Sir William Regal attempted to come through the crowd to lend a hand, but the Animal was one step ahead of him and took Regal out before he could become a factor. While he was successfully able to avoid one member of the court, another member's interference cost him the match, and much more after the final bell.
With Batista in control, Queen Sharmell once again felt her Kingdom was at risk. For the 2nd straight match, the Queen interjected herself in the contest. This time, the referee was prepared and stopped Sharmell in her tracks. The distraction however provided the opportunity for the last of the King's loyal soldiers to make his mark. Finlay appeared out of nowhere and took Batista out with the shillelagh. A relieved King Booker rolled over and made the pin. Once again, the Kingdom survived its greatest threat. (Watch)
Finlay, who a week ago lost his United States Championship without being pinned, proceeded to take out his frustrations on a disabled Batista. The angry Irishman bloodied the Animal with both a steel chair, and the trademark shillelagh, all while repeating a message to the fallen former champ. "You don't know what you're in for Batista," said Finlay. "I'm your worst nightmare."
Earlier in the evening, Finlay took on a distraught Rey Mysterio in one-on-one action. Mysterio, who earlier in the week told WWE.com that he was ready to put the past behind him, was game for the challenge, but in the end, it appeared as though the former World Champion had too much on his mind. Rey missed on several of his trademark maneuvers that he usually completes seamlessly. The end came when Mysterio slipped on the rope during an attempted springboard, setting him up for the Celtic Cross which Finlay used to put the discouraged Superstar away for good. (Watch)
After the match, JBL tried to interview the downtrodden Mysterio. His insensitive comments however only served to send Mysterio deeper into depression. "Is it because the Guerrero family has deemed you to be nothing but a piece of crap the reason that you aren't yourself?" asked JBL. Mysterio had no answer, and quickly retreated towards the locker room.
Part of Rey's tailspin can be attributed to the unbelievable actions of his former friends, Chavo and Vickie Guerrero. Last week, Vickie told Rey he was nothing but an "insignificant part of her past", before slapping her former friend. After, Vickie announced that effective immediately, she was Chavo's new business manager. This week on SmackDown, the new alliance was put to the test.
Chavo, with Vickie in his corner took on the Native American Tatanka in SmackDown competition. Before the match, Vickie told the Columbus crowd that Chavo was dedicating his match to the Guerrero legacy. Once again, Tatanka spent more time arguing with the referee, which gave Chavo the opening he needed to score a hard-fought victory. A Frog Splash finished Tatanka off, and after week one, the Guerrero alliance was undefeated. (Watch)
Last week on SmackDown, Mr. Kennedy capped off an incredible rookie campaign by winning the United States Championship. This week, Mr. Kennedy came to SmackDown to celebrate by making a "major announcement". Little did Kennedy know that while making his announcement, he would talk himself into a situation that no Superstar ever wants to find themselves in.
Before the announcement however, Mr. Kennedy faced "multiple time amateur wrestling champion" Danny Giamondo in non-title action. It took all of a few minutes for the new United States Champion to finish off Giamondo with the Green Bay Plunge, before he finally took the microphone and made his major announcement. The champ called out General Manager Theodore Long and addressed the Columbus audience.
"It's obvious that I have been the brightest and the best that SmackDown has to offer," said the smug champion. "There are no more mountains for Mr. Kennedy to climb. I figured I'd maybe take a page out of the playbook of a certain RAW Superstar who is close to being the same level of perfection as me: John Cena. What I'm getting at, is that if John Cena can potentially come to SmackDown, then I say that Mr. Kennedy can potentially go to RAW."
Mr. Kennedy's mouth has gotten him into trouble before, but this time, he may have finally bitten off more than he can chew. Theodore Long gave Kennedy an assignment that he will dread for weeks to come.
An enthusiastic Long told Kennedy, "There's still one Superstar you haven't beaten yet. So, at No Mercy, it will be Mr. Kennedy vs. Undertaker!" A stunned Kennedy looked on as Long ‘thugged and bugged' his way back to his office. (Watch)
Backstage, Theodore Long bumped into sports-entertainments hottest free-agent, Montel Vontavious Porter. For the 3rd week in a row, MVP was at the arena with a few of the areas most attractive young ladies. Long stopped the unsigned Superstar for a quick update on their contract negotiations.
MVP told Long, "Whatever money you give John Cena, I want that kind of money plus one dollar." Long wasn't impressed and reminded MVP that on SmackDown, it's "no contract, no contact", so Porter would have to buy himself a seat if he hoped to remain in the building.
Fresh off his impressive debut of a week ago, The Miz was back in action this week, taking on Matt Hardy. Before the match, Mizanin addressed the Columbus fans.
"We're in the home of the Little League World Series Champions," said the Miz. "But forget about all that because the big news in sports right now, is that the Miz won in his SmackDown debut…Hoo-rah!"
In his second match, Miz kept the momentum going when he pinned fan-favorite Matt Hardy. For a while however, it looked like the Miz' short undefeated streak would come to an abrupt end. In the closing minutes, Hardy went to the top rope in an attempt to deliver the finishing blow, but for the 2nd time in three weeks, the man who Hardy beat on last weeks show: Gregory Helms, interfered, costing the North Carolina native the match. For the Miz, the win pushed his spotless, albeit short career record to 2-0. (Watch)
Last week, Sir William Regal walked out on his match with the dress wearing Vito, citing an unwillingness to get anywhere near his "ghastly undercarriage". Sir Regal was slated to face Vito again this week, but threatened SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long with a sexual harassment lawsuit to get out of the match. Instead, Sir Regal had the pleasure of facing the hard-hitting Bobby Lashley.
With Vito at ringside for commentary, Lashley made quick work of the newly anointed Knight, putting Regal away with a devastating spear.
Finally, in 6-man mixed tag-team action, WWE Tag-Team Champions London & Kendrick teamed up with Diva Ashley to defeat Michelle McCool and her teacher's pets, K.C. James and Idol Stevens.