Changing Friday nights
If the inaugural Friday Night SmackDown is any indication of what's in store for WWE fans on this new night, then look out.
The historic night was capped by an amazing performance by Batista, who retained the World Heavyweight Championship in an exhausting and bloody Bull Rope Match against JBL.
Early in the match, Batista had the advantage, sending JBL into two of the four corners necessary to collect the win. But JBL responded with a vicious clothesline to steal the momentum.
JBL actually managed to light up three corners, but was dragged from the fourth, just inches away from tapping the turnbuckle and winning the World Heavyweight Championship.
Both desperate men even used the legal cow bell to deliver punishing shots to the head.
Eventually, Batista put JBL in a choke hold and dragged him to the first three corners. But as Batista tapped each turnbuckle, a crafty JBL followed with a tap of his own, although Batista didn't realize.
Finally, as both men approached the final corner, a reeling JBL stunned Batista with an elbow and went for the victory, only to be dragged away by an alert Batista.
Batista followed with a Batista Bomb and then tapped the final corner for the impressive victory.
Eddie Guerrero was desperate for revenge when the former friends and tag team partners settled their differences in a steel cage.
Guerrero had never beaten Mysterio, but that was before Friday night as Latino Heat outlasted a game Mysterio to finally collect a victory over the man that has caused him so much pain.
Eddie and Rey traded one painful maneuver after another. At one point, both men were straddling the top of the cage, with both nearly falling off.
Mysterio, who was nursing a sore knee late in the match, even attempted a flying cross body from the top of the cage.
But Eddie rolled out of the way, which literally opened the door for a Guerrero win. With Mysterio writhing in pain, Eddie easily could have walked out of the cage, but he came back for one last Frog Splash and the pin.
United States Champion Chris Benoit had another quick night of work, defeating Orlando Jordan in an ultra-quick 22.5 seconds. Jordan actually started the match with a strong right hand that sent Benoit to the mat.
But Benoit recovered, and a few seconds later, Jordan was tapping out to the Crippler Crossface once again.
Benoit, who won the United States Championship from Jordan in 25.5 seconds at SummerSlam, needed only 23.4 seconds last week on SmackDown to defend the championship.
The action-packed first-half of the show, which can be seen exclusively on WWE.com, included Heidenreich and Road Warrior Animal defending the WWE Tag Team Championship against MNM.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FIRST HOUR
Animal was nearly smashed in the head with his own belt in this match, but he was able to recover and turn the tables on MNM, using the belt while the referee was down.
Meanwhile, Undertaker didn't think too fondly of the Ortons' generosity, as he ominously set the large "Retirement Fund" check on fire, stunning Randy and Cowboy Bob. General Manager Theodore Long later made a match between Randy Orton and Undertaker for next week.
Also, Ken Kennedy remained red-hot as he defeated Paul London with his Green Bay Plunge.
Meanwhile, newcomer Paul Burchill defeated Scotty 2 Hotty with a painful shoulder submission move. Before the match, he declared he was the most dangerous import since fellow Brit William Regal arrived on the scene.