Date: August 31, 2007
Location: Times Union Center, Albany, New York
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
We’re done with Summerslam and that means it is time to start getting ready for Unforgiven. While a series of vignettes has already said that Undertaker will be back, likely to face Mark Henry, we are also likely getting another Batista vs. Great Khali match for the World Title. It wasn’t pretty the first time, but Khali got himself disqualified to set up a likely rematch. Happy day to us. Let’s get to it.
Rey Mysterio is back tonight.
Teddy Long is in the ring with the Great Khali and Runjin Singh. Long gets straight to the point: tonight it’s a Championship Competition to crown a new #1 contender. First up, it’s Finlay vs. Kane, with the winner facing the winner of the winner of Rey Mysterio vs. Batista for the Unforgiven title shot. Back in my day we called that a tournament but that doesn’t have alliteration.
Championship Competition First Round: Kane vs. Finlay
Kane doesn’t have his ribs taped this time. Finlay puts the Shillelagh down in the corner so Kane picks it up to change things a bit. The referee makes him drop it, allowing Hornswoggle to pop up and take it away. Kane knocks Finlay down and hits a basement dropkick, which has JBL talking about a pot of neckbone.
They head outside with Kane being sent into the steps to bang up the ribs again. Back in and Finlay hits his own basement dropkick but Kane kicks him away for a breather. Kane goes with a simple strategy of hit Finlay in the face, setting up the side slam. The chokeslam connects but Kane loads up the Tombstone (which he hasn’t used in a long time). Finlay slips out and it’s a Hornswoggle distraction so the Shillelagh can knock Kane cold for the pin.
Rating: C. These two know how to have a hard hitting fight and that ‘s what they did here, albeit with a few shenanigans thrown in. Finlay getting the win is a bit of a surprise, but it isn’t a big enough upset that it is unbelievable. Kane even gets protected thanks to the Shillelagh. They kept to the point here and while it wasn’t as good as the Summerslam match, it was nice to see them do it again.
We look at Deuce N Domino breaking up Matt Hardy and MVP’s game of basketball to help set up this week’s Tag Team Title match.
Jesse and Festus talk about going back to school. Festus did all of the advance learning and learned Latin and advanced trigonometry.
Tag Team Titles: MVP/Matt Hardy vs. Deuce N Domino
Deuce N Domino are challenging and have Cherry in their corner. Matt isn’t wasting time and jumps the champs before the bell. That lets MVP grab some early rollups for two each on Domino but Matt tags himself in, much to MVP’s annoyance. The bulldog out of the corner gets two on Domino and a double clothesline takes the champs down. Now it’s MVP tagging himself in, allowing Matt to take his shirt off.
Matt is right back in, as MVP doesn’t seem like he is allowed to do much yet. Domino uses one of the distractions to get in a shot of his own to take over as we take a break. Back with Matt still in trouble in the corner, including Deuce dropping a leg for two. The chinlock goes on and then goes on again after Matt’s comeback is cut off.
Some knees to the face get two on Matt but he fights his way out of the corner for a breather. Domino is sent into Deuce and gets taken down by the Side Effect, allowing the tag off to MVP. Granted it’s in the form of a slap to the face, but Matt hits the Twist of Fate on Domino so MVP can steal the pin and the titles.
Rating: C. They didn’t have many options here as MVP was limited to rollups and covers due to his health issues. There is some good opportunity for some trash talk between the two of them though and the story does have some legs. As for Deuce N Domino, they held the titles for a long time, but there is only so much that can be done when you have no teams to face and have nothing to do most weeks. Maybe Matt and MVP can do better, but there isn’t much of a division to speak of at the moment.
MVP posts with all three titles and Matt is stunned.
Batista comes in to see Vince McMahon, who is rather impressed by Batista’s physique. Vince talks about their various similarities and thinks Batista might be his son. Batista does think there are some similarities, but talks about how he was raised by a single mother who could barely keep food on the table. If Vince was his father and didn’t contribute a dime to anything, violence would ensue. Come to think of it, Vince doesn’t believe they look that much alike.
Teddy Long and Kristal are getting married in three weeks.
Eugene is here with a t-shirt gun but Mark Henry comes out to…well I think you get the idea. Henry says that the Undertaker is coming back at Unforgiven (the Undertaker videos saying UNFORGIVEN might have given it away) so here’s another Undertaker video, with Undertaker’s hand popping out of the ground.
Championship Competition First Round: Batista vs. Rey Mysterio
They shake hands and hug to start before Batista powers him into the corner. After a clean break, Batista does it again to prove his point. Rey gets smart by trying the speed and spins around Batista, who blasts him with a clothesline. Batista doesn’t seem happy as he sends Rey outside and then runs him over for two back inside.
The chinlock with a bodyscissors goes on for a fairly good while until Rey fights up. A dropkick cuts off Batista’s knee but he hits Rey in the face again. That still doesn’t sit well with Batista, allowing Rey to hit a springboard seated senton for two. Batista plants him with the spinebuster but here is Finlay with a chair. That’s cut off and Batista grabs the chair but shoves the referee does for the DQ by mistake.
Rating: C-. This wasn’t exactly a great match but at least they gave Batista a reason not to crush Rey. It was nice to have something other than destruction and it ties into their history together for a change. The setup of Rey vs. Finlay for the title match is interesting, but it doesn’t leave much for Batista to do.
We take a long look at Vince McMahon on Carlito’s Cabana on Raw, resulting in HHH bringing out a bunch of women from Vince’s past. Hilarity did not ensue.
Ashley is going to be on the next season of Survivor.
Here are Vince McMahon and Coach for a chat. Vince talks about HHH bringing out a bunch of “freaks” on Monday, but he only has relations with beautiful women. Vince: “They have all felt my rock hard…..body.” Coach wants to prove that Vince has great taste in women by bringing out some women that Vince has, ahem, known over the years. First up is a woman from New York in 1983, who still remembers the unbridled passion.
Next up is New Year’s Eve 1977, which apparently is the first time he met Howard Finkel. Vince doesn’t like that memory so Coach brings out the three women from the same night. That means some details from Vince, with Coach having to cut him off. They’re all happy to remember ringing in the new year with a bang, with Vince seeming pleased.
Finally, we have Mary Katherine…who is now a nun. This has Vince freaked out but she talks about how that one night in 1981 at the Cape Cod Coliseum made her realize that only God could be better than him. Coach: “She was second to none.” Coach laughs at the pun and Vince wants new memories with them together. The women leave so Vince talks about his family showing up this week. Vince can’t stand the attorneys they’re bringing in, but he wants his son to see what family is really like. I don’t see that going well, but it almost has to be better than this stupid thing.
It’s time for Chuck Palumbo to take the Masterlock Challenge. Masters jumps him instead of putting the hold on but gets cleared out.
Jamie Noble is obsessed with taking out Hornswoggle next week. Shannon Moore wishes him luck by putting an “I Heart Leprechauns” sign on his back.
Rey Mysterio vs. Finlay
The winner gets a title shot at Great Khali at Unforgiven. Finlay goes after Rey’s bad back to start but gets low bridged to the floor. That means a Hornswoggle distraction so Finlay can sit on Rey’s back as we take a break. Back with Finlay running Rey over and hitting a slam to keep the target simple. The half crab goes on until Rey fights up and hits an enziguri. The 619 to the back of the head sets up a springboard sunset flip to give Rey the pin and the title shot.
Rating: C. This was short and another not great match as they were moving pretty fast. The whole thing couldn’t have been nine minutes, which isn’t that long when you have a commercial in the middle. It doesn’t help that we have seen Rey vs. Khali before and it was pretty terrible all things considered. Maybe they can come up with something better this time, but this could bode badly.
Post match Great Khali comes out and goes after Rey but Batista makes the save. Cole and JBL talk about how this is like David vs. Goliath, meaning Rey is going to need a slingshot and God to survive.
Overall Rating: C-. The show had a point and a focus, but that doesn’t mean it was all that interesting. The one night mini tournament was a good way to go, though it would have been nice to have a match that I actually liked watching. They did what they needed to do here, but they did it in about as boring of a way possible. On the bright side, MVP and Matt Hardy as champions could be good, so at least there is something here.
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