Date: January 12, 2007
Location: Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, Illinois
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
This is a bit of a weird show as it is part two of the Beat The Clock Challenge. Last week we had a bunch of people trying to set the fastest time with the winner getting to challenge Batista for the Smackdown World Title at the Royal Rumble. Tonight we have even more people trying to do the same so let’s get to it.
Mr. Kennedy likes his chances with a time of 5:07. That’s a pretty long time actually.
Beat The Clock: Finlay vs. Matt Hardy
The clock is set at 5:07. They start brawling on the floor with Finlay getting the better of things and taking it back inside for one. Hardy grabs a rollup for two and hits the running corner clothesline into the bulldog for the same. Finlay’s backslide gives him two of his own but they collide for a double knockdown. It’s Hardy back up first with a pair of Side Effects for two each but Finlay breaks up the third. Instead Hardy takes him down and goes up, only to be distracted by the Leprechaun. Finlay uses said distraction to hit him in the knee with the shillelagh. An Indian Deathlock goes on but time expires at 5:07.
Rating: C. They were beating on each other rather well here and it felt like they were both trying to win the match. That’s how the match should go and it made sense, though there is only so much quality you can get in such little time. On top of that, it doesn’t make Finlay look great when he can’t win a match in five minutes with interference and a weapon shot.
Post match here is Joey Mercury to blast Hardy with a chair over and over like a bit of a mad man.
Post break, Mercury says he is going to go after Hardy until their faces look alike. That’s quite the threat.
Tatanka vs. Jimmy Wang Yang
Rematch from last week’s surprisingly good match. Yang hammers away at the bell to send Tatanka outside for a breather. Back in and Yang jumps him again but this time it’s a whip into the corner so Tatanka can pound him down for a change. A few kicks to the back set up a chinlock to keep Yang in trouble, followed by a suplex for two. Tatanka hits a shoulder in the corner and grabs another chinlock but Yang jawbreaks his way to freedom. Some kicks to the face stagger Tatanka and it’s a crossbody into a neckbreaker for two. A spinwheel kick lets Yang go up but Tatanka pulls him down into the End of the Trail for the pin.
Rating: C-. Not as good as last week but at least Tatanka got a pin. Granted this was his last match in WWE so it isn’t like it matters that much. Tatanka asked to be released the following week and was let go, which makes a bit of sense. There wasn’t much of a role for him, but he wasn’t a total disaster or anything close to it. Just not the right time for him, so this was probably the best idea.
Maryse, in the shower, welcomes us back to the show.
Clips of the four team ladder match from December, with Joey Mercury’s nose exploding.
Chris Benoit vs. Mr. Kennedy
Non-title rematch from last week where Kennedy won. Benoit wastes no time in taking Kennedy around the ring to start and sending him into the buckle. A backdrop sets up a snap suplex for two on Kennedy but an elbow to the face cuts him down. Benoit is right back with the German suplex to send Kennedy outside, but Benoit throws him back inside. That earns him a toss to the floor with a pull of the trunks, setting up a few slams on the floor.
Back in and Kennedy drops an elbow for two but Benoit snaps off the northern lights suplex for two of his own. The rolling German suplexes connect but here is Chavo Guerrero for a distraction as we take a break. Back with Chavo on commentary and Benoit having to go to the ropes to get out of an armbar. That means a suplex over the top to put both of them on the floor for the big crash. They get back in with Kennedy whipping him into the corner for two, setting up the abdominal stretch.
The referee does his job for once and catches Kennedy grabbing the rope so Kennedy drops Benoit ribs first onto the top rope for two. Back in and Benoit manages to send him into the corner for a breather. Benoit heads up top but gets superplexed right back down for another near fall. Kennedy picks him up but Benoit snaps him down into the Crossface attempt, sending Kennedy bailing out to the floor.
Back in and Kennedy has to punch his way out of the Sharpshooter attempt, followed by a backbreaker to put Benoit down for a change. Another Crossface attempt is broken up in a hurry so Benoit rolls the German suplexes for two instead. The Swan Dive connects for a delayed two but Kennedy flapjacks him onto the top rope. There’s the Regal Roll and Kennedy goes up top, where he has to shove Benoit back down.
A missile dropkick gives Kennedy two but the Kenton Bomb misses. That means Benoit can hit five straight German suplexes and the Sharpshooter goes on this time. Cue Chavo for a distraction so Benoit tries the Sharpshooter on him as well, only to have Kennedy roll Benoit up with the tights for the pin.
Rating: B. This was a heck of a match despite the fairly eye roll inducing ending. Benoit vs. Chavo is done already and I’m not sure why they are keeping it going. Kennedy continues his rise to the top and it would not surprise me to see him hold on after how they have set him up here. Good match too, and one of the better ones in recent memory on Smackdown.
Post match Benoit beats up Chavo, who bails to the floor.
We see another part of the career history of Batista, including his comeback to become World Champion again. As usual, WWE is really good at this stuff.
Tag Team Titles: William Regal/Dave Taylor vs. Brian Kendrick/Paul London
London and Kendrick, with Ashley, are defending. Joined in progress after a break with Taylor headlock takeovering Kendrick to grind away a bit. A monkey flip into a dropkick gets Kendrick out of trouble and it’s off to London as we start plugging Ashley’s Playboy. Regal comes in and gets double suplexed, followed by a top rope double stomp to Regal’s back.
Cole actually gets in a smart question by asking how the APA would have dealt with London and Kendrick. See how easy that can be? Taylor comes back in to slam London down and a suplex gets two. We hit the chinlock for a bit, followed by a tag back to Taylor for a chinlock of his own. Make that another chinlock from Regal and then a quickly broken dragon sleeper from Taylor.
London charges at Regal and manages to drive him into the corner for the hot tag off to Kendrick. The pace is picked up and a middle rope crossbody hits Regal but he rolls through for two. London and Taylor go outside, leaving Kendrick to backslide Regal and retain. Regal’s scream of anger makes it that much better.
Rating: C+. Good match here, as you kind of knew would be the case. Regal and Taylor are fine challengers for the pretty awesome champs, though the problem is becoming obvious: there is no one to give London and Kendrick a real challenge, which is making things a little less interesting. Maybe a new team can come in, but for now, it is fun to watch these guys hang onto the titles in entertaining matches.
Remember when Kane burned MVP in the Inferno match?
Beat The Clock: MVP vs. Vito
The clock is set at 5:07 and MVP is taped up after the Inferno match. MVP rakes the eyes to take over to start and stomps away to put Vito down. Vito pulls him down to the mat for two as Kennedy watches anxiously in the back. A kick to the back gets two on Vito as JBL is freaking out over Vito’s dress.
Back up and Vito hits a slam into a Vader Bomb for two, followed by some rollups for two each. Vito goes for the arm but MVP kicks him down again. A running boot in the corner gets two on Vito and there’s a faceplant for the same. Vito sweeps the legs into a jackknife rollup for two but time expires at 5:07.
Rating: C-. This went by fast but it never really felt like they were going for the win as hard as they could. What matters is keeping the overall story moving while also building something up with each match. This showed you just how banged up MVP’s ribs really are, which could give us something new in the whole Teddy Long Is A Horrible Boss deal. It was an energetic enough match, though the Vito deal is totally over already.
Post match MVP kicks him to the floor but gets dropped on his ribs for good measure.
Next week: Chavo Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit for the US Title in a No DQ match.
Batista is ready for anyone and he won’t sleep on Mr. Kennedy. Facing Undertaker would be cool though.
Beat The Clock: Miz vs. Undertaker
The clock is set at 5:07 and JBL is VERY happy when Miz is announced as the opponent. Miz dodges around to start but gets thrown into the corner to start the right hands. Old School gets two and the chokeslam is loaded up with 3:00 left. Cue Mr. Kennedy for a distraction so Undertaker drops him, allowing Miz to score with some dropkicks.
Undertaker knocks Miz outside and there’s the apron legdrop. Snake Eyes sets up the big boot but the referee gets bumped. Undertaker has to deal with Kennedy but comes back in for a chokeslam. Kennedy pulls Miz to the floor so Undertaker throws him back in for the Tombstone and the cover as time expires at 5:07.
Rating: D+. The match wasn’t the point here, as this was about Kennedy being an annoyance to keep Undertaker from beating Miz. There is something to be said about Kennedy managing to hang in there long enough to win in the end, as it is not the kind of thing you would have expected to happen. Kennedy is fine in the Royal Rumble title shot too, so this worked out well for a story, though not so much for a match.
Kennedy is happy to win end the show.
Overall Rating: C. Just like last week, this was mainly about one idea and that worked well enough. What mattered here was setting up the Royal Rumble title match and Kennedy is a good choice for the shot. The rest of the show set up a few more things, but the Rumble itself continues to be a thing that happens to be happening. The match does not need a lot of build, but a little build might help things out.
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