Mind games

As the road to Armageddon rolled through Columbia, South Carolina this week, several SmackDown Superstars continued to pick up momentum on the march to Providence.

Last week, JBL walked out on Rey Mysterio during their tag team match after JBL was poked in the eye. As Friday Night SmackDown came on the air this week, JBL came out for his match with Mysterio with his eye heavily bandaged. He said that doctors had advised him to retire due to a serious eye injury, but he would not deprive the fans of a "Wrestling God." JBL also said he was most upset that people believed he abandoned Rey, and said that the reason they lost was because Rey didn't do his part.

As Rey entered the ring, JBL attacked immediately, but a well-timed poke in the eye gave Mysterio the advantage. He eventually got JBL in position for the 619, but Orlando Jordan ran out to attack Mysterio, drawing the disqualification. After Batista came out to save Rey from the attack, Theodore Long announced that he wasn't going to let JBL off the hook, and told JBL & Jordan that they would face Mysterio & Batista later in the night.

Early in the match, Batista & Mysterio maintained control, and JBL & Jordan ended up having to regroup on the arena floor. Once Jordan was able to gain control of Mysterio, the former Cabinet-mates took advantage of Rey's weakness, his already injured ribs. Rey would make a comeback, but JBL used Jillian as a shield when Rey tried to attack on the floor. Later in the match, as legal men Batista and Jordan fought on the floor, Rey hit the West Coast Pop on JBL. Jillian then came into the ring and looked to hit Mysterio with her clipboard, but Rey caught her before she could. Rey then dropkicked JBL into Jillian, setting them up for the 619. JBL managed to avoid it, but Jillian was not so lucky. As JBL then tried to avoid the advancing Mysterio, he tripped over the still prone Jillian, and made it seem as if he had suffered a knee injury. Much as he did to Mysterio, JBL walked away from Orlando after the "injury", leaving the former United States Champion easy prey for their opponents. Jordan fought valiantly, but fell victim to the 619 and a Batista Bomb, allowing Mysterio & Batista to pick up a huge victory as they prepare to face Kane & Big Show at Armageddon.

After last week's mind games from Undertaker, Randy Orton admitted that he was close to his boiling point, and called out the Deadman to finish what they started. Instead, Undertaker continued the mind games. A video played showing some of Undertaker's highlights from past Hell in a Cell Matches, and the Deadman informed Orton that he was on the fast lane on the highway to Hell. A visibly flustered Orton fled the ring, but this was only the beginning of his torment.

Throughout the night, the Legend Killer had visions that warped his mindset even more. At one point, as Orton prepared to wash his face, he saw Undertaker's reflection in the mirror, but the Deadman was really nowhere to be found. Later on, as Randy talked to his father, he saw Cowboy Bob's head begin to bleed for no reason. A shaken Orton decided to leave, but as he went to get into his car, the vehicle started on its own and drove away! Josh Mathews caught up with the Ortons to get their reaction, but the spirit of Undertaker appeared to possess Josh, and the Deadman told the Legend Killer that this was only the beginning. As Josh came back to reality, a visibly disturbed Orton ran away.

Also, Booker T took a commanding 3-0 lead over Chris Benoit in their Best-of-7 Series for the United States Championship. After a grueling contest, Booker accidentally wiped out the referee with an errant kick. As Booker assessed the situation, Benoit came from behind and gave Booker his patented rolling German suplexes. As Booker attempted to block the final one, Benoit instead dropped his adversary down and locked in the Crippler Crossface! Booker tapped out, but with no referee, his submission went unnoticed. Sharmell grabbed a chair and came in to help her man, but Benoit stopped her. As he yelled at Sharmell, Benoit was ambushed from behind, and Booker nailed him with the chair. Booker hit a Scissors Kick as the referee came back around, and got the pin for the 3-0 lead. It was later announced that Match No. 4 would take place at Armageddon, with Booker looking for the sweep.

As the Mexicools prepared to face MNM at Armageddon, Super Crazy and Joey Mercury went one on one this week. Despite interference attempts by Melina and Nitro, Super Crazy was able to hit a moonsault on Mercury to pick up the victory. As the Mexicools celebrated, Kid Kash ran in to attack Juventud, laying out the Cruiserweight Champion with a vicious brainbuster. MNM then attacked Super Crazy & Psicosis, and after Mercury hit Super Crazy with the Tag Team Championship belt, the WWE Tag Team Champions delivered the Snapshot to Psicosis. MNM and Kash then celebrated as the Mexicools were left beaten in the ring.

The Boogeyman also made another appearance this week. As Ray Gordy stood in the ring awaiting his match with Mr. Kennedy, Palmer Canon came out and said that due to Kennedy's injury, he would not be competing. Instead, he introduced the network's suitable replacement, The Boogeyman. A visibly disgusted Gordy was no match for the bizarre Superstar, and Boogeyman spooked his opponent even more by eating a handful of worms during the match. With the psychological advantage firmly in hand, a quick pumphandle powerslam was enough for The Boogeyman to easily defeat his terrified opponent.

In additional action, Lashley continued his impressive undefeated streak by defeating William Regal.

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