Smackdown – January 26, 2007
By Thomas Hall on 26th June 2021
Date: January 26, 2007
Location: Mobile Civic Center, Mobile, Alabama
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
It’s the final show before the Royal Rumble and I’m really not sure what they are going to be able to do to fill in two hours this week. Last time felt like a show that didn’t need to exist and I have a bad feeling that we are going to be seeing even more than that this time. Hopefully we get a little something good in there but there is only so much Deuce and Domino can do. Let’s get to it.
We open with a look at how Mr. Kennedy became #1 contender and then fighting Undertaker in a rematch. Kennedy attacked World Heavyweight Champion Batista on commentary, drawing him in for the DQ in a very smart move.
Batista vs. Gregory Helms
Non-title. Batista starts fast by driving Helms into the corner and boots him out to the floor. Some choking ensues on the outside but Helms goes to the eyes to escape. Back in and Batista shoves him out of the corner but a few shots to the head put Batista down. The eye is still messed up as Helms drops a leg. Some right hands to the eye set up three straight near falls but Batista is back up with the spinebuster. The spear into the Batista Bomb finishes Helms.
Rating: D+. This was much more frustrating than bad, as there was no reason for Helms to lose here. With all of the talented wrestlers WWE has, there was NO ONE ELSE to take this loss other than the heavily damaged Cruiserweight Champion? There wasn’t a second option for this one? This has been done far too long now and it is beyond old at this point. If nothing else, it makes JBL sound stupid for praising him over and over with Helms losing so often.
Miz vs. Chris Benoit
Non-title and we see some clips of Benoit winning the 2004 Royal Rumble. Benoit takes him into the corner to start and Miz hits the hide button. With that broken up, Benoit hits a running elbow for two and kicks away in the corner. A headbutt into a backbreaker gets two but Miz is back with a neckbreaker. The neck crank goes on to slow Benoit down and a slam gives Miz two. We’re right back to the neck crank but Benoit drives him into the corner for the chops. Benoit isn’t having this and headbutts away, setting up the Swan Dive for two as Miz gets a foot on the rope. The Crossface is good for the tap a few seconds later.
Rating: D+. Well at least the champ didn’t lose. It wasn’t much of a match though as Benoit beat Miz up, took a few shots and then won with his signature stuff. Granted that’s about exactly what should happen here as there is no reason whatsoever for Miz to be a threat to Benoit. I’ll take that over another champion losing at least.
Deuce and Domino and Cherry make sure their car is ready. These three are gems, with Deuce being rather annoyed at the possibility that the backstage guy is looking at Cherry.
Maryse, with champagne, welcomes us back from a commercial in French.
Deuce And Domino vs. Adam Evans/John Robinson
Cherry is here too and takes her sweet time taking off the guys’ jackets. Robinson and Deuce start things off and it’s a shot to the mouth to put Robinson down. Domino comes in to talk a bunch of trash as Cole talks about being bullied in high school. It’s off to Evans, who gets kneed in the head and sent outside. Deuce isn’t pleased with Evans being near Cherry so it’s back inside to Domino to keep up the beating. The assisted running boot to the face knocks Evans silly for the pin.
Rating: C-. Again, probably the most entertaining people on the show at the moment. They got to have another complete squash here and it worked out fine, with the focus being on just getting the idea over instead of doing anything important. The division needs someone new and this worked well for what it was supposed to be.
MVP tells Teddy Long that his match with Kane tonight is unsafe and the burns on his back are all Long’s fault. Long: “First of all, I want you to quit breathing on me.” If MVP doesn’t wrestle tonight, he isn’t in the Rumble on Sunday. MVP seems to change his mind.
King Booker vs. Finlay
The Leprechaun pokes his head out during the entrances and Queen Sharmell joins commentary. Booker seems to get in an accidental poke to Finlay’s eye to start so we pause for a bit just a few seconds after the bell. With the eye seemingly ok, Booker takes him down by the arm and starts hitting Finlay in the face. Finlay comes back with his own thumb to the eye and some shots to the throat to put Booker down. There’s the jumping seated senton for two, setting up the chinlock.
Back up and Booker hits his hook kick to the face for two. Finlay isn’t having that and takes him down by the leg to crank away. Some cannonballs onto the leg keep Booker in trouble so Finlay wraps it around the rope. The leglock goes on and you can get the feeling that Finlay likes to hurt people like this. Booker fights up with right hands and a kick to the face to drop Finlay, setting up an elbow drop. They ram heads in the corner though….and the Leprechaun goes after Sharmell. The Leprechaun tries to drag her underneath the ring but Booker makes the save. The brawl is on in the aisle and that’s a double countout/DQ.
Rating: C. There is something about the way Finlay beats people up that makes it so much fun. He just looks mean and it is fun to watch him pull on a limb. I can also go for the idea of not having Finlay lose, as Booker is on a downward trend since he lost the title. Let Finlay get a bit of a boost instead of bringing Finlay down to boost Booker up again for a week or two.
Paul London/Brian Kendrick/Ashley vs. MNM
London takes Nitro down to start as I love how frequently the Brand Extension rules are just forgotten. Nitro can’t do much with London other than sending him to the apron, where Melina breaks up a springboard to put London in trouble. Mercury comes in to take over on London but it’s right back to Nitro for a faceplant.
London can’t quite fight out of the chinlock but he can flip out of a double suplex and bring in Kendrick to pick the pace way up. Kendrick clears the ring but Melina breaks up a dive. That’s fine with Ashley, who spears her down (with a heck of a spear), leaving Kendrick to dropkick Mercury for two. In the melee, the Snapshot is enough to finish Kendrick.
Rating: C. I like both teams so this worked out well. It would be nice to have MNM want to go after the titles not, but I can’t believe that is actually going to happen. This was a fine use of a few minutes though, with talented wrestlers getting the chance to showcase themselves a bit. Commentary even stopped talking about Ashley’s Playboy for a bit to take the match seriously!
Here’s Mr. Kennedy, but first we see the opening video again. Kennedy talks about beating the Undertaker again last week and now it is time to beat Batista again to become World Champion. Kennedy brags about how great he is and how no one can stop him but here is Batista to interrupt. Batista offers him a chance for another slap….and then the gong goes off. Undertaker appears in the ring but his big boot hits Batista by mistake. Undertaker doesn’t seem to mind though, which certainly fits for him.
Maryse tells us to keep watching.
Vladimir Kozlov is in negotiations with all three brands. He would win the Royal Rumble if he had the chance to compete though. Also, he loves WWE.
Kristal comes in to see Teddy Long and hits on him. Long thinks she looks good and she leaves, with Vickie Guerrero replacing her. Vickie needs to talk to him about something but he must be busy with Kristal. Long isn’t sure what to do.
Video of Kane eliminating eleven people from the 2001 Royal Rumble.
Kane vs. MVP
MVP tries to circle him but Kane gets in a shot to the back to cut him down. Some shots to the bad back have MVP in a lot of agony and Kane elbows him in the corner. There’s a knee to the back complete with leg cranking to make things even worse. Kane rips the gear open to get at the bad back a bit more and MVP needs a breather on the floor. Back in and MVP gets in a shot to the face to choke away on the ropes.
Right hands on the mat keep Kane in some trouble and a bit shot puts Kane on the floor. That’s fine with Kane, who hits an uppercut but gets sent into the steps. Back in and Kane unloads in the corner, setting up the side slam to bang up the injuries even more. There’s the top rope clothesline to put MVP on the apron, setting up a dropkick to his back. With nothing else working, MVP grabs a chair for the DQ.
Rating: C-. Mainly a squash here but that isn’t the biggest surprise. The problem is we have established that Kane can dominate MVP and I’m not sure how many more times we need to see it. They did keep it a little bit shorter here though and that is a good idea given what they have done so far.
Post match MVP chairs him down again and grabs a can of gasoline. Kane sits up and kicks him in the face to take it away though, sending MVP running.
Royal Rumble rundown.
Kane, MVP, Chris Benoit, Miz, King Booker, Finlay
Kane goes straight for MVP for the whole attempted burning alive thing. The brawling continues around the ring with Booker down near the ropes. The Leprechaun slips Finlay the shillelagh to hit Kane in the back and that’s good for the first elimination. Benoit and Booker brawl to the floor without being eliminated, leaving MVP and Miz to not be able to get rid of Finlay.
Everyone gets back in so Miz hits MVP in the back to slow him down. We get some teases of people going through the middle rope before MVP wises up and tries to put Finlay over the top. MVP kicks Finlay out tot he apron as we hear about Shawn Michaels winning the WWF Title at the 1997 Royal Rumble. Finlay backdrops Miz out….and there’s the gong again. Undertaker appears and starts wrecking people….and keeps doing it for several minutes as this kind of keeps going. I’m assuming the match was thrown out somewhere in there.
Rating: D. This was a bunch of sitting around waiting until Undertaker got here and that made for a pretty big waste of time. I’m not sure what they were going for with this, but they could have cut off a few minutes to make it that much better. It just seems like they were out of time and it was a bunch of filler until the end….which went on for a long time too.
A bunch of finishers from Undertaker allow him to stand tall to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. They had an idea for the show but it really wasn’t working throughout. The big deal was setting up the Royal Rumble and that was fine, as long as you have something that is a little bit more interesting. The show wasn’t very good, but the Royal Rumble is on Sunday and none of this matters as soon as that show starts. Not a good show, and that really doesn’t make a difference.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: