Date: May 9, 2008
Location: Labatt Center, London, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, Mick Foley
The World Title scene was shaken up last week as Vickie Guerrero stripped the Undertaker of the World Title due to using his choke. That is going to have to be rectified and that could take a little while to make happen. Believe it or not, Undertaker is not happy about this and odds are we are going to see him do something about it here. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Vickie Guerrero stripping the Undertaker of the title, which earned Great Khali an extra beating as Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder stole the title belt.
Here are Vickie Guerrero (as wheeled by Teddy Long) and Edge to get things going. Vickie reads a prepared statement about how she didn’t want to strip Undertaker of the title but she had no choice. There will be a title match at Judgment Day, with Undertaker being one of the participants, though he still cannot use the choke.
As for his opponent, we will have a Championship Chase, featuring former champions from ECW and Smackdown. We hear the names of tonight’s participants, who will have qualifying matches, with an “over the top rope challenge” (battle royal for you normal people out there) later tonight for the title show. Edge and Great Khali both happen to be out due to injuries, which sounds eyebrow raise inducing.
Championship Chase: Matt Hardy vs. CM Punk
Non-title and Punk is seeming very excited about getting a chance to be champion (as he should be). Hardy works on a hammerlock to start and gets Punk to the mat, plus the ropes for the opposite effect. Back up and Punk tries to sit down on a sunset flip but the banged up arm won’t let him in something you don’t see very often. Hardy electric chairs him out of the corner and grabs a Side Effect for two. Punk’s running knee (against the ropes this time) sets up the bulldog for two of his own but the GTS is blocked. Instead Punk faceplants him and tries la majistral but Matt stacks him up for the pin.
Rating: B-. Punk got beat here but the fact that he is still in a spot like this is a good sign for his future. Matt getting the win to even the score (after Punk beat him last month in the King of the Ring) and a third match wouldn’t be the worst idea. For now though, Hardy can go into the battle royal tonight without taking a pin as champion and that’s a good thing.
Post match Punk gives Matt an “ok you got me” look.
Championship Chase: MVP vs. Finlay
This could be interesting and Hornswoggle is here with Finlay. Hold on though as Hornswoggle throws in some tennis balls for a distraction, allowing Finlay to hammer away to start. Finlay wins a grapple off until MVP makes the ropes, only to get kicked down again. MVP manages to send him shoulder first into the post for a breather and the Fujiwara armbar goes on.
We take a break and come back with MVP still working on the arm. Finlay fights up with a clothesline, albeit with the bad arm, allowing MVP to hit a boot to the face to put Finlay outside. The boot to the arm only hits steps instead but MVP goes right back to the arm to keep him in trouble.
Finlay reverses into a leglock and then slams him leg first into the ropes, allowing Foley to talk about how the ropes took his ear off one night. MVP goes back to the arm, which is reversed into another leglock to send MVP over to the rope. Back up and Finlay grabs a belly to back suplex and it’s the old double pin as neither gets a shoulder up in time.
Rating: B-. I was getting into this one with the battle of limb cranking and it was turning into a question of who was going to break first. At the same time though, the ending was quite deflating as that finish isn’t the most thrilling. Hornswoggle not interfering was a bonus too, but I was hoping for a better, or at least more one sided, finish.
Kelly Kelly vs. Natalya
Victoria is here with Natalya, who snaps off a suplex to start. Michelle McCool is watching in the back as Kelly gets in a kick to the head for a breather. The handspring elbow is cut off though and Natalya plants her with another belly to back suplex. Kelly is sat on top and pulled back down in a crash, setting up the Sharpshooter to give Natalya the win. This was little more than a squash.
We get some fan reactions to Vickie Guerrero stripping Undertaker of the World Title.
Vickie Guerrero says MVP and Finlay are both advancing.
Championship Chase: John Morrison vs. Batista
The chase is on to start with Morrison managing a quick dropkick through the ropes. Back in and Batista manages the shoulders in the corner but Morrison hits another dropkick to send Batista back outside. A ram into the steps keeps Batista in trouble and a missile dropkick gives Morrison two. The spinning legdrop gets the same but Batista fights up again. This time though the spear hits the corner, where Morrison fires off some right hands. The Batista Bomb out of said corner doesn’t work but Batista spears a springboard out of the air. Now the Bomb sends Batista to the battle royal.
Rating: C+. Morrison looked more like a star than he ever has before here as he was being aggressive with the kicks working well. There was no way he should have been beating Batista here, but giving him a run for his money was interesting. Pushing Morrison on his own wouldn’t be surprising, but for now, the Miz/Morrison team is working well enough that there is no reason to split them up just yet.
Long recap of Undertaker being stripped of the title last week.
Quick recap of the Championship Chase.
Championship Chase: Big Show vs. Tommy Dreamer
Dreamer is all banged up after an Extreme Rules match on ECW. Show headbutts him down a few times and finishes fast with the chokeslam. Total destruction.
Championship Chase: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Kane
Non-title, Bam Neely is with Chavo and even commentary points out how many times we’ve seen this match. Kane powers him into the corner to start and a gorilla press plants Chavo. A big boot misses though and Chavo slowly starts working on the leg. Neely gets in a shot of his own, allowing Chavo to rain down right hands in the corner.
Kane’s knee gives out as he tries to escape, meaning we’re off to a leglock. Make that a Muta Lock, which means it can’t stay on as long. Kane fights up and hits a big boot but the side slam is escaped, allowing Chavo to take him down by the leg again. Chavo loads up a sunset flip but Kane sits down on it for a surprise pin.
Rating: C-. I think we’ve made the point clear with these two but that has never stopped them so far. Thankfully Kane is moving on to a quick feud with Miz and John Morrison, as he certainly needs to get away from Guerrero for a bit. The match was nothing special, but that might be due to how many times I’ve seen it in recent months.
Deuce N Domino have fired Cherry and replaced her with Maryse. That earns Maryse a slap in retaliation.
Vladimir Kozlov vs. Phil Atlas
Kozlov knocks him around, hits a headbutt, a kick, and the reverse DDT for the fast pin. Same as we’ve seen from Kozlov and it’s still working.
Championship Chase Finals
Big Show, MVP, Finlay, Matt Hardy, Batista, Kane
The winner faces Undertaker at Judgment Day for the vacant World Title. It’s a brawl to start with MVP being sent outside (under the ropes) as people start taking their shots at Big Show. Kane and Show trade uppercuts until Batista breaks it up. Show shrugs them off but can’t get rid of Finlay. Everyone but Show is knocked down and we take a break. Back with all six still in it and MVP hitting and running.
MVP finally tosses Hardy to get us down to five before switching over to Finlay. Batista manages to spear Show down and Kane knocks Finlay out, leaving himself as the only one standing. Back up and MVP misses the running boot in the corner and eliminates himself so we’re down to Kane, Batista and Big Show. Make that two as Show dumps Kane and we get the big staredown.
Batista is knocked under the bottom rope and out to the apron, only to come back in where he gets dropped with a clothesline. A drop toehold of all things sends Show into the corner but the Batista Bomb attempt is pretty easily blocked. Show powers him up, only to get headscissored out to send Batista to…..never mind as here is Vicky Guerrero to introduce Edge as the final competitor. Batista is still on the apron (having gone over the top) so Edge comes in and hits a spear for the win.
Rating: C. I really can’t even get mad at the ending here as you knew Edge was going to get involved somewhere in there. Edge vs. Undertaker III isn’t the most appealing match in the world and it really does feel like they’re going back to the well too often. The problem is there really isn’t another name ready to come after the belt and Vicky being all evil works. It’s kind of the only option they have, but that doesn’t make it interesting.
Post match Edge goes up towards the title (on the stage) but the gong sounds and lightning sets the belt’s stand on fire. Edge panics to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. I can always appreciate a show where there is one major idea set up and getting to the end of it is the entire focal point. That’s what we had here and it went fairly well, with Edge vs. Undertaker III being set up by the end of the show. The wrestling was good enough and they stayed on focus for most of the night. Not a bad night at all, but now they need to get to the other stuff.
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