WWE No Way Out '07
February 18th, 2007


Since I knew I'd have some time this week, I decided to go out to the local video store and rent me a DVD. I actually was looking for this year's Wrestlemania, but unfortunately, it was rented out. Hopefully, it will return to the store in one piece (so many Wrestlemanias don't make it back). That left me with making a choice: do I go old-school, or do I hit a PPV from this year that I hadn't reviewed? As you can tell by what you're reading, I made my decision to rent No Way Out '07. Will it turn out to be a good move? I guess we'll see. Let's get to it.


WWE No Way Out '07
Posted by the Accelerator, June 10th, 2007

- First off, I have to clarify that I'm going into this one with a little trepidation. Out of all the PPVs that good ol' Larry Csonka of 411Wrestling has reviewed this year, he gave No Way Out the lowest rating. That's against both WWE and TNA PPVs, which can't be a good sign. But I'll tough it out, nonetheless. My cheap ass won't sit with me renting a DVD and not watching it.

- The No Way Out '07 box shows Batista and the Undertaker on one side, with John Cena and Shawn Michaels on the other. I guess there's some kind of cage door behind them, which will release the Rancor if the action isn't good enough to satisfy Jabba. Ok, yeah, I know, I'm a Star Wars junkie, deal with it.

- I also have to mention the Extras on this DVD. While not near as bad as some DVDs (the Rosie/Donald match still haunts me), it's somewhat sparse, as the only extra match is an 8-man bout from Raw featuring Batista, the Undertaker, Cena, & Michaels against Rated RKO, Mr. Kennedy, & MVP. However, if you're interested in Chavo Guerrero's post-match comments or Ashley's run at the Playboy photo shoot, you're in luck. Who needs wrestling, anyway?

- Not a bad opening, as it covers Vince McMahon creating the main event match, pitting each brand's respective champion and the #1 contender against the other brand.

Vince McMahon: "I'm going to give you a match you never dreamed of seeing! In all likely, will never be seen again!"

I quoted this just because the match took place a little over a month later on Raw. You've gotta love the hype, though. Basically, the intro lets you know that 1) this is just the Road to Wrestlemania, instead of a stand-alone PPV; and 2) the only match that really means anything is the main event. I'm tempted to fast-forward, then, but I guess, as a reviewer, I need to watch everything. Moving on...

- Michael Cole and JBL are the announcers, and Cole's voice sounds terrible. Carlos Cabrera & Hugo Savinovich are the Spanish announcers, and JBL really lets them have it. I have no idea what their response is, but I hope they're throwing a few insults JBL's way (that he can't get, either, heh). Viva la Raza, right, Eddie?

Chris Benoit & the Hardy Boyz (Jeff & Matt Hardy) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter & M-N-M (Joey Mercury & Johnny Nitro) w/ Melina:

Have I mentioned before that I'm a fan of MVP's intro? Of course, it doesn't compare to Melina's, but that's not too surprising. Mercury's still wearing his nose guard, due to injuries sustained back at Armageddon in that Ladder match against the Hardyz. Jeff's currently the WWE Intercontinental Champion, while Benoit's the WWE United States Champion. Matt's got nothing, so of course he starts off the match against Mercury, with Mercury winning the first lock-up to get Matt in the corner. The two exchange some shots, with Mercury in control. JBL's already talking about how cruel the Hardyz were in injuring Mercury (it was a complete accident). Matt comes back against Mercury and tags in Jeff, who leaps over the ropes and dropkicks Mercury for the first pinfall attempt. Matt gets tagged back in quickly, and he almost immediately gets yanked down by the hair, allowing Nitro to come in. He gets hip-tossed, though, and there isn't much flow yet in this one.

Despite the hip toss, Nitro is able to use Matt's hair against him again, getting him in the corner and tagging in MVP. MVP's in control for a few seconds, but Matt dodges an elbow drop, then drags MVP over, tagging in Benoit. No one can stay in control for more than a few seconds right now. As if to emphasize this, Benoit chops away at MVP, but then gets the thumb to the eye, slowing him down. MVP gets a few good shots, including a kick to the back, but Benoit comes back with more chops. MVP goes for the tag, but MNM tries to run away. It looks like MVP tags Mercury, but I guess since Mercury doesn't have the tag rope, it doesn't count. MVP comes back into the ring and gets pounded by Benoit for a while, and finally we've got a little momentum here. Jeff gets tagged in and takes MVP to the corner, kicking away at him. But MVP rakes the eyes and gets away, tagging in Nitro. So much for momentum. Nitro takes Jeff to the mat, then waits for him to get up for some reason. He then makes the critical mistake of grabbing Jeff's leg, allowing for the Enziguiri kick. Jeff stays in the ring, getting a leaping clothesline and a leg drop between the legs on Nitro.

Surprisingly, Nitro no-sells the shots, coming back up and shoving Jeff, followed by a slap. Jeff chases Nitro out of the ring, then gets caught by Mercury on the outside, who throws Jeff into the barricade. Nitro gets in control of Jeff inside the ring, getting a hold of Jeff's head and squeezing. Jeff, of course, breaks free with elbows, only to run to the wrong ropes and get kicked by Mercury. Nitro tags in Mercury, who gets a near 2 on Jeff after an elbow drop. The crowd is really dead here, I've gotta say. Mercury goes back to the chinlock, trying to wear the IC Champ out. Jeff tries to get up again, but simply gets knocked back into the heel corner, allowing MVP to tag in and punch away at Jeff. M-N-M, of course, get in a few shots as well. MVP gets another close 2 count after a suplex, and Jeff's in a lot of trouble. Nitro comes back in to get a few moves of his own, but Jeff fights off a top-rope move, then gets a variation of the Whisper in the Wind! Jeff crawls and makes the tag to Matt, who, fired up, takes on both members of M-N-M, while MVP just sits in his corner, doing nothing. Then again, if MVP comes in, Benoit comes in as well, so I can see why he's hesitating.

Matt does well against both members of M-N-M for a while, even getting a Side Effect on Nitro for a close pinfall. This prompts Mercury to go randomly hit Benoit. Benoit immediately comes in to attack Mercury, but the ref (L'il Natch) gets distracted in trying to stop Benoit. BTW, the ref hasn't tried once to get either member of M-N-M out of the ring. They're all biased, I's tells ya! While the ref is messing with Benoit, MVP finally comes in and hits Matt from behind and suplexes him, allowing the heels to get back in control. MVP tags in and dominates Matt for a while with yet another chinlock. There have been a lot of those today. Matt fights free, but MVP answers with punches to the ribs and a gutwrench suplex. MVP adds in his cocky elbow drop, with Benoit breaking up the pin attempt. MVP takes Matt back to the wrong side of town, allowing Mercury to work Matt over. Mercury gets violent, jabbing at Matt's eye with his thumb. Melina seems to enjoy it, and even acts like she's going to hit Matt, but the ref is too close. Mercury hurts his own hand with a clothesline, but gets a close pinfall afterwards. Nitro back in, getting a neckbreaker for another try at taking him out. Then Nitro opts to reverse things a bit, getting a front face lock. They're sure using a lot of time for this one.

Matt finally gets some offense with a quick clothesline on Nitro, but Mercury takes out Jeff Hardy, then goes after Matt again. But Matt reverses a suplex, then tags in the only man left, Benoit, who immediately starts destroying all the heels. He suplexes Mercury onto MVP, then does a Double German Suplex to both members of M-N-M! Now the crowd's waking up! The Hardyz come in and clear out Nitro and MVP, allowing for Poetry In Motion on Mercury. Matt follows up with a Side Effect on Mercury, and Jeff adds the Swanton Bomb! That's not enough, though, as Benoit throws in the Flying Headbutt, before finally going for the pin. But they took too long, as MVP and Nitro return to break it up. Matt goes after MVP, while Nitro avoids a Sunset Flip Powerbomb and takes out Jeff. MVP comes back into the ring with the US Title, but Benoit dodges and gets the Crossface! Before MVP can tap out, Nitro breaks up the submission, punching away at Benoit, until Matt comes back in. But Matt gets tossed from the ring, soon followed by Jeff & MVP. That leaves M-N-M vs. Benoit, and they go for the Snapshot. But Matt returns to take out Nitro, causing Benoit to roll through the hold and put the Crossface on Mercury! As soon as it's locked on, Mercury taps out, giving the win to the faces. Benoit & the Hardyz celebrate, as the heels depart.

Ace Thoughts: I have to say, although parts of it were slow, I was actually pretty pleased with the opening bout here. The Double German Suplex was pretty cool, as was all the ariel maneuvers at the end. It sure made Mercury look weak, though, tapping out so quickly. Mercury definitely took a lot of the pinfall & submission losses for a while during this time, before being fired in March '07 (supposedly for Wellness issues). It's too bad, because he and Nitro really had great chemistry, and it sure was cool to see the two men working together again. MVP was pretty limited in this match, as you would expect from the rookie, and Benoit looked truly dominant. All-in-all, a nice opening. We'll have to see if it's all downhill from here or not.

- Backstage, Kristal interviews Vickie Guerrero. Vickie reminds Kristal about their 'conversation' from the week before, and thanks Kristal for everything. This was just the start of a long-running angle that, by June '07, still hasn't finished up (although Vickie looks to be a shoo-in now as Teddy Long's assistant). I still have to say that, although I respect the Guerrero family, I never have gotten behind Vickie Guerrero.

- Little Bastard (not yet known as Hornswoggle) tells Finlay that he doesn't want to go out for their match, since he's scared. Not of the Boogeyman, but of the Little Boogeyman.

Little Bastard: "Little people are scary!"

Finlay isn't very sympathetic, as he turns a hug into a drop into a dumpster. Unfortunately for Little Bastard, Little Boogeyman's inside the dumpster, so he's sent running away again. I do need to mention now, though, that I'm not as sure about the "Hornswoggle" reference, as I believe Finlay does call him Hornswoggle at one point. The No Way Out box shows it as Little Bastard, though, so I'll stay open for now.

Gregory Helms(c) vs. Daivari vs. Funaki vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Scotty Too Hotty vs. Shannon Moore vs. Jamie Noble vs. Jimmy Wang Yang, WWE World Cruiserweight Title Cruiserweight Open Match:

Basically, we've got a Gauntlet Match, where the survivor at the end of the match gets the Cruiserweight Title. Scotty Too Hotty and Daivari start out things, as the announcers talk about Helms' very-long reign as Cruiserweight Champion. Daivari starts off with kicks on Scotty, quickly followed by multiple pin attempts. Smart by Daivari there. He punches away on Scotty, then yells to the crowd. Not so smart by Daivari, as Scotty comes back with punches. He dodges a charge in the corner by Daivari, then gets his Bulldog! This, of course, is enough to keep Daivari down long enough for Scotty to hit the WORM, and, amazingly, Daivari gets pinned right afterwards. I must admit, I don't remember the last time the WORM beat someone. Funny thing is, the announcers were talking all about how Daivari got a clean Non-Title win on Helms earlier in the month. Yet Scotty beat him with just two moves.

Entrant #3 is the current champion, Gregory Helms, who clearly got a bad draw. He runs to the ring (instead of saving energy) and punches away at Scotty. taking him down quickly. Helms chokes Scotty on the ropes, then gets a nice slingshot into the middle rope for a 2 count. Helms then gets a nice-looking submission hold that allows him to both twist both arms of Scotty and land some knee shots to the face as well. Scotty fights free and gets in a few punches, as well as a reversal for a suplex. But a suplex isn't the same as a bulldog, so Helms blocks the WORM with a nice drop into the ropes, then gets a falling knee to the face to eliminate Scotty.

Entrant #4 is Funaki, and the crowd... does basically nothing. Helms meets Funaki in, but the fresh man gets control, then goes for a Crossbody off the turnbuckle. Helms reverses it, then holds the tights, and Funaki is gone already. Yep, Funaki got to play the role of a Bushwhacker in this one. Amazing that Scotty's gone now, and yet Funaki still has a job. What kind of photographs does this guy have on McMahon, anyway?

Entrant #5 is Shannon Moore, he of the huge mohawk. Moore and Helms start battling on the outside, and nobody thinks of mentioning their WCW past together. C'mon, guys, they held belts together over there! Moore comes out with a bounce off the ropes to get a Hurricanrana. Not a bad move there, as they're back in the ring for a close pinfall. Moore gets caught, though, on a crossbody, allowing Helms to land a backbreaker variation for his own near pin. Moore almosts gets his own quick pin, and yet the fans aren't that interested. I blame McMahon. Moore adds in a neckbreaker from the turnbuckle, and the crowd cheers a little bit. Moore then goes up top again, but he takes too much time and gets caught, allowing Helms to get a Super Belly-To-Belly Suplex, followed by his dropping knee to the jaw of Moore, and Moore is gone. Helms is dominating again.

Entrant #6 is Jimmy Wang Yang, who takes it to Helms immediately, soon getting his Standing Moonsault for a near fall. He gets caught on the ropes, but cheats, poking Helms in the eye, then legsweeping the champ for another close one. He applies a nifty submission hold that rolls into a pin attempt, and I still wonder how WWE is not capitalizing on the cruiserweights it has. In the corner, Yang pounds Helms' head, then goes for another Moonsault, but Helms dodges, then punches Yang down. Helms then charges in on Yang, apparently going for another finisher, but Yang blocks it, then gets a Headscissors into a pin to eliminate Helms!! The crowd actually pops for that. Helms, angry, takes out a celebrating Yang with a fierce move, then stalks off, no longer the champion.

Entrant #7 is Jamie Noble, who can't pin Yang quickly, despite numerous attempts. Noble dominates Yang for a while, but can't put him away. He can't make Yang tap, either, despite a tight submission hold. I miss Noble in RoH. Anyway, Yang fights free for the submission hold, then punches away at Noble. He goes full-tilt into the corner, though, and when Noble dodges, Yang crashes into the post. You know how some guys barely even touch the post in spots like this? Yang looked like he could have injured his arm legit. He's really a wasted talent in WWE. Noble, rather than concentrating on the injured arm, opts for a Sleeper, which allows Yang to get free, getting the momentum, and the crowd is getting excited! I like it! Yang gets a close pinfall after a sharp spinning kick, but Noble's still alive. Noble comes back with a high knee for another pinfall attempt, as JBL continues to call Helms' elimination an injustice. Noble gets Yang on the top rope and chops away at him, before going for a Superplex. Yang fights it off, though, throwing Noble down, then getting the Standing Moonsault to pin Noble and become the new Cruiserweight.... but wait...

We have a surprise entrant in the Cruiserweight Open, as Chavo Guerrero comes down to the ring. Yang can't believe it, as he's holding his head in shock. Not surprisingly, Chavo dominates early on, pounding on the redneck. Guerrero takes Yang into the corner and stomps on him, then pulls Yang up for a clothesline. Yang dodges, though, and answers with a spin kick, still alive in this one. Yang sends Chavo to the outside, then opts to climb the turnbuckle, hitting a MONSTER flying dive onto Chavo! Seriously, he got huge air on that one! Back in the ring, Yang takes flight again, going for a Missile Dropkick. Chavo 'counters' by dropkicking himself, and, well, it's not the best-looking spot. Maybe a little miscommunication, there? Chavo lands the Three Amigos, then goes up top. But Yang catches him on the turnbuckle with a kick, then sets up Chavo for a Hurricanrana! Yang crawls for the pin, but Chavo kicks out at 2. Yang then apparently is setting up for another Moonsault, but Chavo catches him and crotches him on the ropes. He climbs up after Yang, as the two fight on the ropes. Chavo gets knocked off the ropes, and Yang goes for the Spinning Moonsault! But Chavo dodges, then goes up himself and lands the Frog Splash, easily getting the pinfall to become the WWE Cruiserweight Champion for the 6th time.

Ace Thoughts: So far, I have to admit, I actually like this PPV. I've seen far worse Cruiserweight Opens in WWE's history, and although there were a few quick exits (coughfunakicough), they did give the guys some time to wrestle in there, which I have to respect. Gregory Helms, Jimmy Wang Yang, and Chavo Guerrero all looked great after this match, and you could say that Jamie Noble and Scotty Too Hotty didn't look that bad, either. Heck, even Shannon Moore got to get in some moves! The sad thing is, as good as this match was, WWE, of course, didn't capitalize on it. Chavo has yet to defend the Cruiserweight Title at a PPV as of this writing, and, in fact, the only mention I could find of a title match was the week after winning the belt, when he beat Scotty Too Hotty. Helms is out injured for possibly a year, Yang's barely even challenged for the gold, Scotty's been released, and Daivari/Funaki/Moore/Noble are rare appearances on tv. Sadly, this match was probably the death-knell of the cruiserweight division. At least they went out on an enjoyable note.

- We have a commercial for Wrestlemania 23. Yep.

- Kristal interviews the WWE Champion, John Cena. Kristal can't even get out her first sentence, stuttering over Cena "teaming up against Shawn Michaels". Cena says he's not concerned about Michaels betraying him, then talks about why he can trust Michaels not to turn on him. Cena gives a pretty good interview, eventually saying "I will fight as hard tonight with Shawn Michaels, as I will fight against him." Cool.

Finlay & Little Bastard vs. the Boogeyman & Little Bastard:

The announcer calls him Little Bastard, so I'll stick with that. On a similar subject, JBL is his excellent self tonight.

Cole: "Little Bastard is scared to death, John..."

JBL: "He's not a little bastard! He's a leprecaun, ok? He's got parents! His parents are not Mr. & Mrs. Bastard! Therefore, you cannot call him Little Bastard!"

Little Bastard hides under the ring almost immediately, leaving Finlay standing inside by himself. Finlay and the Boogeyman start off, with Finlay getting a boot to the gut and an arm wrencher. The Boogeyman gets free with a fireman's carry, then pounds away on Finlay. Outside the ring, the Boogeyman bounces Finlay off the railing, then sends him into the ring. When Finlay tries to drop an elbow, the Boogeyman quickly retreats out of the way, in a very contrived spot. Back in the ring, the Boogeyman continues to dominate Finlay, as the announcers keep arguing about Little Bastard's name. The Boogeyman is in full control, and the crowd could care less, at least until the Little Boogeyman is called into the ring. Little Boogey takes a seat on Finlay's chest a couple of times, then does his little dance. He gets some worms from the Boogeyman and starts to eat them, as Little Bastard's hand suddenly appears from underneath the apron and apparently asks for the tag!

Although no tag takes place, Little Bastard comes out anyway, entering the ring and taking off his hat and coat, fired up! The crowd is cheering, as Little Bastard prepares to fight. But Finlay then suddenly gets up and boots Little Boogeyman to the mat! Finlay then puts the jacket back onto Little Bastard and sends him back under the ring. Finlay now has Little Boogeyman, but nearly gets small-packaged by him! Finlay gets back up and back in control, dropping huge elbows on Little Boogeyman as JBL references King Kong Bundy. I love wrestling history in matches. Finlay puts a 'little' armbar on Little Boogey, as the Boogeyman, for some reason, is gone. Little Boogeyman is tossed to the outside, where Little Bastard immediately grabs him and drags him under the ring! As Finlay comes to check on what's happening, the real Boogeyman comes out! Finlay doesn't flinch, though, as he attacks, taking control of the big Boogeyman before getting him back into the ring.

Finlay lands some sharp punches that nearly send the Boogeyman out of the ring, but the Boogeyman uses the ropes to pull himself back in and get momentum straight into Finlay, getting a little cheer from the crowd. The Boogeyman then starts landing all of his moves (mostly chops and a weak-looking Atomic Drop), taking complete control. The Boogeyman clotheslines Finlay down, then goes and gets the reemerging Little Boogeyman, body-slamming Little Boogey onto Finlay for a near pin. Little Bastard breaks it up with his right arm, while dropping the shillelagh in front of Finlay. The big Boogeyman goes after Little Bastard with his worms, chasing Little Bastard into the crowd. Meanwhile, with the ref distracted, Finlay takes out Little Boogeyman with the shillelagh, then gets the pin, getting his team the win.

Ace Thoughts: Not much to say here. It could have been much worse, I'm sure. I guess I was pretty similar to the crowd, in that I popped for a few moments, but, for the most part, could really care less. I suppose I could classify this one as harmless. After the first two matches, we needed something toned down to get us back on track.

- Kristal interviews "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels. Michaels says that he can't trust Cena, as he only trusts Triple H. Michaels did say, though, that he's given his word to watch Cena's back, so he's going to make sure nothing happens to him. Short interview.

King Booker w/ Queen Sharmell vs. Kane:

Cole's voice is getting worse and worse. It's actually hard to listen to, now, because you know he's struggling to keep going. We get a review of the feud, as Kane tossed King Booker out of the Rumble, costing him his chance at a Wrestlemania match. Booker then came back into the ring to eliminate Kane, getting revenge. Later on in the month, King Booker got the key to the city in Houston on Smackdown, with the ceremony being interrupted by Kane.

Queen Sharmell: "All hail King Book-a!! All hail King Book-a!!"

Indeed. Booker's got his Queen, Kane's got his pyro. The pyro wins, with Booker heading outside the ring at first. We start off with Booker dancing around the ring, not locking up with the Big Red Machine. Kane finally corners him and punches away at him, keeping in the corner for a while. Finally, Booker gets free, then comes back with kicks and chops of his own, but Kane answers with a choke-throw back into the corner. We go to the outside, with Kane planting an elbow into the King's chest while hanging him on the apron. He gets Booker back in, whipping him to the ropes and landing another elbow. He then twists the King's head on the canvas. Ouch. Booker comes back with a thumb to the eye. It stuns Kane for a second, at least. Booker gets reversed into the corner, but gets an elbow on the approaching Kane, then tries to run out of the corner. He ends up getting a Side Backbreaker, and Kane is absolutely dominating here.

Booker tries to roll out of the ring, and finally manages to get to the apron after a few knees to the back. When Kane tries to reach over the ropes to grab him, Booker drops him on the ropes throat-first. Well, ok, arm & throat first. When Booker reenters the ring to take advantage, Kane grabs him by the throat for a potential chokeslam, but Booker manages to get free. Booker tries to whip Kane to the ropes, but gets a boot to his face instead. Then, despite Queen Sharmell yelling "Look out!!", Booker gets clotheslined over the ropes to the outside. I'm starting to feel really badly for the King. Outside, Kane punches Booker, then gets distraced by Li'l Natch (aka the ref), allowing Booker to come back with two consecutive slams of Kane's head onto the steel steps. Finally! Back in the ring, Booker pulls his Missile Dropkick out of his repetoire, taking Kane down and allowing for the first pin of the match, a 2 count. Booker stomps away at Kane, trying to keep him down. He also applies an armlock on the mat. Cole actually says that taking away Kane's left arm stops his power game. Yeah.

Kane fights his way to his feet, then whips Booker over with the 'damaged' arm. He takes bck control, punching away on the King, as Cole continues to try to sell Kane's apparently injured arm. He whips Booker into the ropes with it easily enough, booting him down. Kane then goes to the turnbuckle, coming off with (maybe) a clothesline attempt, only to get caught by a heel kick from the King. Booker next gets his twisting kick for a 2 count, but Kane won't stay down. Booker punches Kane into the corner, but Kane blocks a shot and comes back out with punches. Booker just can't get anything going right now. However, when Kane misses a running clothesline, Booker gets a Flying Forearm, so there's something. It's only good enough for a 1 count, though. Booker loses it, punching away at Kane on the mat, then yelling to the crowd, finally getting a reaction from them. Booker chops and punches away at Kane in the corner, then walks away to breathe, while Kane very gradually falls to the mat.

Booker then loses his mind, wanting to suplex Kane. Not surprisingly, Kane reverses it. Kane gets up first, but Booker explodes with another kick, taking both men down. Booker goes for the pin after a few seconds, but Kane kicks out again. The two men get to their feet and exchange punches, with Kane (again, not surprisingly) winning the battle. Kane almost goes for the Chokeslam, but Booker gets a 'low' kick to the guts to get free. Booker then tries for his Axe Kick, only to miss and get clotheslined out of his shoes by the Big Red Machine. Both are down, with Booker struggling to get up. Kane, meanwhile, sits up, then beats on Booker, hammering him way past the 10 count in the corner. JBL wants a DQ. Kane, not worrying about that, clotheslines Booker repeatedly in the corner, then delivers the Side Slam. Kane still hasn't gone for a pinfall yet. Kane climbs the 'buckle again and lands his flying clothesline, and Booker's in serious trouble. Kane raises the arm, then gets distracted by the Queen, allowing Booker to get a leaping kick. It doesn't help much, as Kane catches Booker coming off the ropes and Chokeslams him, getting his first & only pin attempt to end the match. Kane beats the King.

Ace Thoughts: Hmmm. I can't really qualify this match as "bad", but I sure wouldn't call it "good", either. I guess I'm a little biased, as I'm a big-time Booker fan, and seeing him get dominated pretty much the whole match was hard to watch. I think Kane was protected in this one a little too much, considering that I don't think anyone sees Kane having another World Title run. King Booker, though, still has a shot. All-in-all, I'd say the wrong man lost here.

- Kristal (seen a lot of her tonight, haven't we?) interviewed the World Champion, Batista, who says that Smackdown is going to beat up on Raw. Kristal then stirs the pot, showing the replay of the Undertaker using his Royal Rumble win to choose to face Batista at Wrestlemania, then Chokeslamming the champ. Back to the interview, Kristal asks if Batista's intimidated, but Batista says he's not. Ok then.

Brian Kendrick & Paul London(c) vs. Deuce & Domino w/ Cherry, WWE Smackdown Tag-Team Titles Match:

The heels drive out in their usual ride, and the crowd really doesn't care. They like Kendrick & London, though. This feud came out like most tag-team feuds do recently in WWE, with Deuce & Domino beating Kendrick & London in different non-title & singles matches. It still doesn't mean the crowd believes they have a shot, but oh well. I notice London doesn't have his 'evil' goatee at this point. JBL mentions about Cole losing his voice. London and Domino start out, exchanging shoves. Domino pushes London back into the corner, then mouths off to him. London, not afraid, comes forward. The two slap each other, showing some animosity, and the crowd is sounding more alive now. London gets a headlock, then whips Domino to the ropes. After a series of leapfrogs, London takes down Domino, then tags in Kendrick, with the two double-teaming Domino with a double-hip toss. Kendrick loses the strength battle to Domino, getting sent into the corner, but he jumps over Domino when he charges in, then whips him over, concentrating on Domino's arm.

London gets tagged back in, and he leaps over the ropes and drops his feet on Domino's arm (while Kendrick holds it). Boy, this match is going fast! (trying to type faster). Deuce tries to come in, but Kendrick & London throw him out of the ring, then double-dropkick Domino out of the ring as well. The heels recoup on the outside, with Domino coming back in and immediately getting a drop-toe-hold from London. But Domino manages to push London over, despite a side headlock, and gets the tag to Deuce. Domino then catches London from behind to give the heels their first advantage. Deuce gets a backbreaker for a cover, which only gets a 1 count. He clotheslines London down, then tries again, this time getting 2. Deuce then puts on a, ummm, I guess it's a submission hold, although it really just looks like Deuce is holding London's arms behind him. London 'fights' free, but gets tossed back into the corner, with Domino tagging back in. Deuce throws London into the corner again, as Domino uses the turnbuckle to get his knees up, slamming them into London's back. I'll give it them, nice move.

Domino taunts London, pushing his head down repeatedly, then chopping London down when London tries to fight back. Domino then goes Wrestling Moves 101 by getting a bodyslam, followed by a back submission hold, using his knee on London's spine. London struggles out of it again, but doesn't go for the tag when he has a chance, allowing Domino to get a double-arm suplex for a near pinfall, with Kendrick breaking it up. Deuce is tagged back in, with London trying to punch free, only to get caught in the corner and slammed backfirst into the top 'buckle! Cherry gets up to celebrate, as Deuce taunts Kendrick. The focus continues on London's back, as Deuce tags Domino back in, who drops a knee. Back to the corner, with Deuce tagging back in. The quick tags are smart for the heels. They give London a huge Double Backdrop, with Deuce again nearly pinning London. They really want the belts. Deuce then opts for the chinlock, while also putting his knee into London's back. London gets free, but Deuce takes out Kendrick before London can tag him, then brings London back to their corner.

Deuce next whips London into the ropes and goes for a possible Side Slam, but London flips out of it, then nearly gets to Kendrick, with Deuce barely tripping him up. Deuce drags London back, but gets booted in the face. Domino comes in and dives for London, but misses. Deuce misses as well, and London flips past Domino and tags in Kendrick! Nice sequence, although the crowd was quiet until the tag. Kendrick is a house of fire, dropkicking Domino out of the ring, then nearly rolling up Deuce with a nice maneuver for a 2 count. Deuce manages to plant Kendrick, though, with a right hand, killing the momentum for a moment.

JBL: "That's what I'm talking about! That's how you shut down the pretty boys! That's how you shut down high flyers! Just knock the living hell out of them!"

In the corner, Kendrick boots Deuce, then goes for a turnbuckle maneuver, only to have Domino stop him. Deuce lifts Kendrick up on his shoulders, as Domino starts to climb the turnbuckle. London runs over to intercept, only to get booted off the apron by Domino. Domino then goes for a clothesline, but Kendrick dodges by rolling up Deuce! With Domino down, there's no one to make the save, so Kendrick gets the pinfall victory, retaining the titles for his team!

Ace Thoughts: Not a bad match, if a bit formulaic. Then again, what's the problem with that? Nice little match, with more of my favorites winning, so I'm happy.

- JBL & Cole talk about the growing feud between Lashley and McMahon, due to Lashley choosing to be Donald Trump's pick for Wrestlemania. Cole's voice is just about done. We get a video touting Bobby Lashley's wrestling past, including his time in the armed forces. Strange to have this kind of promoting of a wrestler now, but ok, whatever.

- Kristal (again) interviews Mr. Kennedy, who calls both Lashley and the fans in Los Angeles as "phoney wannabes". It's cheap heat, but it can be valuable at times. Kennedy goes off on a tangent, bashing the fans. Honestly, I've heard better interviews from Kennedy. He pauses a lot here, for some reason. Just as Kennedy's talking about being the new ECW World Heavyweight Champion, Lashley appears, staring him down. Lashley has one word for him: halitosis. Ok then. A confused Kennedy opts to swing at Lashley, only to get punched down himself. Lashley then walks away, to get to the ring for the match.

Bobby Lashley(c) vs. Mr. Kennedy, ECW World Heavyweight Title Match:

It doesn't shock anyone when Kennedy attacks Lashley from behind on the rampway. Well, other than Lashley, who was a little stupid for punching someone and then turning his back. Moron. He makes up for it, though, by immediately pummeling Kennedy up the ramp and ripping off his shirt. JBL, meanwhile, is complaining about Kennedy not getting a vignette of his own. Lashley, after beating on Kennedy for a while, takes him to the ring to get the match really going. Cole's voice, by the way, really sucks right now. You have to feel for him, as it's an announcer's worst nightmare to lose your voice during a broadcast. Lashley continues to be in charge early on, throwing Kennedy around. Kennedy tries to crawl away, and manages to get to the outside thanks in part to the ref. On the outside, Kennedy gets control, punching away on Lashley, but it only lasts for a few seconds before Lashley gets back in charge.

Back in the ring, Kennedy rakes the eyes, then continues to hit away on Lashley. He whips Lashley, no, reversal, Lashley backdrops Kennedy. He adds in a shoulder block, then bodyslams Kennedy, and the crowd's barely even behind Lashley right now. Kennedy gets whipped into the corner, but dodges a Lashley charge. Lashley stops, though, then clotheslines Kennedy down. He follows it up with a long delayed-vertical suplex, which gets Lashley a 2 count, and poor ol' Kennedy is barely getting any offense in. Kennedy struggles to get back into it with punches and kicks in the corner, as JBL mentions Kennedy's wins over "7 World Champions" probably for the 7th time. It doesn't last very long, as Lashley shrugs off a kick, then clotheslines Kennedy down. Lashley applies a Torture Rack, with Kennedy getting free with another eye rake, followed by a dropkick to Lashley's knee, then a running knee to the face.

JBL: "That'll knock a bicuspid(sp) out!"

Kennedy, finally looking good, applies a leg submission hold, trying to wear down Lashley's power. After a while, Kennedy breaks the hold, then goes back to work on the legs, hammering him with repeated elbow drops. Smart. The leg punishment lasts for a while, with Kennedy trying a few pinfalls during the damage. Kennedy tries a half-Boston crab, but Lashley manages to reach the ropes. Lashley comes back with punches, then tries a bodyslam, but, at least according to the announcers, the leg gave out. Really, Lashley just put Kennedy back down. Kennedy smashes Lashley's leg with a hard right hand, then nearly pins him again, as JBL compares Lashley to a racing horse. Kennedy takes Lashley into the corner and gets a serious dropkick to the leg, while Lashley had it stuck in the ropes. It leads to a 2 count. Kennedy is really in charge now, tossing Lashley into the corner, then landing more punches to the head. Kennedy tries to choke Lashley with his boot in the corner, but Lashley pushes him back, then gets up and fights back, only to have Kennedy go back to the leg and take Lashley down for yet another pin attempt. Cole has no voice now, so JBL's doing almost all the talking.

Kennedy reapplies the half-Boston Crab, as Lashley feels the pain. When Lashley fights free, Kennedy stops him again, then gets his front rolling senton. Kennedy then goes for the Kenton Bomb off the turnbuckle, but Lashley gets his knees up, breaking Kennedy's back in half! Of course, Lashley had to use his injured leg for the counter, so both men are down and in pain. lashley struggles to his feet, then exchanges punches with Kennedy, knocking Kennedy down. Lashley then suddenly starts ignoring the injured leg, throwing Kennedy around and nearly pinning him. Lashley applies the Torture Rack again. Hey, umm, the leg, people? Lashley isn't listening to me, as he turns the Rack (which was easily countered earlier by Kennedy, btw) into a Backbreaker for another close pin. Lashley throws Kennedy into the ropes, but gets caught on a backdrop attempt, allowing Kennedy to get a neckbreaker for a pin attempt. Kennedy tries to get up afterwards, but mysteriously falls into the ref, bumping him. Geez, ref, he barely touched you! Actually, I suspect that Kennedy was supposed to bump the ref on the toss off the pin, but Kennedy missed, leading to the compromise.

With the ref dazed, Kennedy manages to reverse a bodyslam attempt into a legshot, then leaves the ring, going for a steel chair. The ref, who was looking in their direction a minute ago, leans against the ropes, allowing Lashley to get hit in the back with the chair. Lashley gets the chair away from Kennedy (as the ref comes back), then catches Kennedy with his second swing, causing the DQ win for Kennedy. Lashley doesn't care, as he follows Kennedy down the ramp and beats him up with the chair repeatedly. He bends the chair on the downed Kennedy, as refs run out to try and break it up. They don't do a very good job. Kennedy has been murdered.

Ace Thoughts: Not a great match. The ending was certainly pretty weak, but the rest of the match wasn't that great, either. Actually, the best parts were when Kennedy was in charge, which wasn't very often, as Lashley was being built up as a monster to go against Umaga at Wrestlemania. Poor Kennedy was just sacrificed here, destroying a lot of his momentum. After all, a month before at the Rumble, Kennedy nearly won the World Title from Batista. Now he gets destroyed by Lashley. Sad. Just sad.

- We get a preview for the Condemned starring "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. I still haven't seen that movie, but I plan to rent it when it comes out. A hoarse Michael Cole interviews Condemned co-star Vinnie Jones, who calls himself the star of the movie and says he kicked Stone Cold's ass. The fans really don't give a crap, and neither do I.

Diva Talent Invitational:

Man, I'm not looking forward to this. The Miz is doing the hosting for this 'event'. Hoo Rah. We start with Brooke, Layla, & Kelly Kelly of the Extreme Expose, doing their normal dancing. I'm sorry, guys & gals, but I watch this every ECW show, so I opted to fast-forward a little bit. They look just as good at high speed, but don't waste as much time. Next is Jillian Hall, who is still doing the "Hogan Daughter Impersonation". As in, singing badly. She warms up, then sings a 'Jillian original'. It hurts, oh god, it hurts. The Miz actually earns some points with me by calling Jillian the chick version of William Hung. Jillian loses it and insults all the divas, bringing out Candice Michelle, Maria, and Ariel. Candice shows her talent by spearing Jillian to the mat, starting a wild catfight, with everyone going at it. The refs run in to break it up, with the fans booing their appearance. Some of those refs are taking some liberties, methinks. Ashley then comes out to fireworks, showing off her Playboy cover, and then showing off a few other assets, as she takes off her shirt to revealed her bunny-painted breasts. Not bad. The Miz immediately awards Ashley the victory in the Diva Talent Competition.

Ace Thoughts: So it was basically just an ad campaign for Ashley's Playboy appearance. Not worth even talking about this one, so I'll just move on...

- The Wrestlemania "All Grown Up" vignette runs, and I still don't care for it.

- We get a review of why the main event is taking place. The Undertaker throws out Shawn Michaels at the end of the Rumble to get the victory, his first Rumble win. The Dead Man then picks Batista as his opponent, with a slash of his throat and a chokeslam. Shawn Michaels then jumps in and gets the #1 Contendership for Cena's WWE Title by beating Randy Orton and Edge in a Triple Threat Match. Vince McMahon then names the No Way Out match as Cena & Michaels vs. Batista & the Undertaker. Oh, and Cena & Michaels are currently holding the WWE Raw Tag Titles at this point as well (which means that every other tag-team on the brand has been sacrificed to them).

John Cena & Shawn Michaels vs. Batista & the Undertaker:

Just to run down the titles one more time, Cena's the WWE Champ, Cena & Michaels hold the WWE Raw Tag Titles, and Batista is the World Champion. The Undertaker is, well, the Undertaker. What other title is needed? We use up a lot of time for each man's individual intros, especially the Dead Man's. I will say this, though: it's cool when he sets the entry-area on fire. Batista and Cena start things off with a lock-up, with Cena getting a headlock. Batista pushes him into the ropes, then gets a shoulder block, taking Cena into the corner with punches and shoulders to the gut. Batista pulls Cena up and whips him into the corner, but Cena gets his legs up, then fights back with rights. He can't whip Batista, though, as Batista gets a front senton roll on Cena! Batista follows up with a standing suplex into a powerslam, getting a 2 count. Batista gets Cena into the corner again and whips him to the other side, but Cena dodges Batista's charge, as Batista weakly hits the post in the corner. Cena then gets Batista over to the corner and tags in Michaels.

HBK beats on Batista in the corner with "Wooo" chops. But Batista's strength on a whip attempt sends Michaels up into the corner sideways, allowing Batista to kick him in the ribs. Michaels fights back with a kick on a backdrop attempt, but Batista just plants Michaels with a clothesline for a 2 count. He then drags HBK to his corner and tags in the Dead Man, to the roar of the crowd. The Undertaker dominates Michaels, hanging onto his arm and delivering some damage. I'd think you'd want to focus on Michaels' leg, but who am I to doubt the Dead Man? The Undertaker goes old school, landing it on Michaels' already-hurting arm. He beats on Michaels in the corner, then scares off the ref (once again, L'il Natch. Are there not other refs to work these matches tonight?). Michaels comes back, getting 5 punches in the corner on the Undertaker. The Dead Man throws him off, but Michaels comes right back for more punches. A second toss-off, and the Undertaker's ready for Michaels to return this time, giving him the Big Boot and nearly pinning him.

Batista's back in, and he concentrates on Michaels' arm as well, putting a shoulder to it. Michaels fights back with chops, but Batista shrugs them off, then Scoop Slams HBK. Batista then strangely tries an elbow drop and misses, allowing Michaels to tag in Cena. The crowd somewhat cheers, somewhat boos. I love it. Cena gets in some punches, but Batista reverses a whip and plants Cena with an elbow, before tagging back in the Dead Man. The Undertaker takes Cena to the corner and gets a running knee, and Cena's looking like the weak link in this one. He's sure taking a lot of abuse. The Undertaker goes for the Old School again, but Cena stops it with right hands, keeping the Undertaker on the turnbuckle. Cena then climbs up and goes for the Superplex, but can't manage it, as the Undertaker fights him off with a headbutt. No, wait, Cena back up and attacking, and this time he gets the Superplex! Both men are down, as Michaels and Batista both look to make the tag.

In the ring, Cena gets himself up, as the Undertaker sits up! Cena gets floored by the Undertaker, but the Dead Man goes for his own elbow drop and misses, allowing Cena to tag in Michaels. HBK gets his famous Flying Forearm, then kips up. But the Undertaker grabs Michaels by the throat! Michaels fights free, but then gets caught by the Dead Man and gets Press Slammed to the outside! Batista adds in a shot to the steel steps, leaving Michaels laid out on the outside. The Undertaker comes out to get him, punching HBK right back into the ring. He rolls him to the center and goes for a cover, but Cena's right there to break it up. Batista tags in, adding to the punishment of Michaels with a running boot to the head for a 2 count. Batista then bodily brings Michaels back to his corner and beats on him, before tagging the Undertaker back in. Michaels tries to fight his way out, but with Batista there, he can't get free. We go to a neutral corner, with the Undertaker still pouring on the offense. But when he tries a charge at Michaels, HBK moves, and the Undertaker slams legs-first into the top 'buckle! The Undertaker's still up first, though, grabbing HBK, but Michaels fights free with punches, not bothering to go for the tag. The Undertaker makes him pay for that, reversing a whip, then getting a Side Slam for a 2 count.

Batista's back in, clotheslining Michaels down repeatedly before covering for another 2 count. Batista then applies chinlock with his legs around Michaels' waist, trying to wear out the Heart Break Kid. Michaels gets free, chopping and punching away, then fights free of a potential Batista move by getting a DDT on the World Champ. Michaels slowly crawls to his corner, tagging in Cena! Cena goes wild, beating on Batista and getting his usual assortment of moves. He goes to the turnbuckle and gets a nice Flying Legdrop on a standing Batista, which might have put it away had not the Undertaker come in for the save. Cena takes down the Dead Man with a shoulderblock, then clotheslines him out of the ring! Cena next gets the Proto Bomb on Batista and, amidst cheers and boos, gets the 5-Knuckle Shuffle! Cena then goes for the FU, but the Undertaker's back to boot Cena down. Michaels runs in and takes the Undertaker out of the ring, with Michaels diving off the apron, only to get caught and slammed against the ringpost by the Dead Man.

In the ring, Batista catches Cena and delivers a slam, then sets up Cena and goes for the Batista Bomb. Michaels returns suddenly to break it up, clipping Batista's leg. Cena punches away on Batista and brings him to the corner, with Michaels tagging in. He lands his own punches and kicks, bringing Batista to the mat. Cena adds in a few kicks while the ref's back is turned. Michaels then clotheslines Batista down and stomps on his face, before tagging Cena back in. Right now, JBL's doing all the commentating. Cole's just gone. And yet, it's barely noticable, a testament to JBL's abilities as a commentator. Cena drops an elbow and gets a 2 count, but Batista's still alive. Cena brings him up and gets him in the corner, whipping Batista across the ring. Batista gets his boot up, but Cena comes back with a short clothesline for another pin attempt. Cena then drags Batista to his corner to tag in Michaels.

Michaels lands a few more chops on Batista, then throws in an Enziguiri, for yet another close pin. Michaels applies a front face lock, as Batista tries to fight to his corner for a tag. Batista manages to throw off Michaels, but JBK tags in Cena, who keeps Batista from the tag. Batista, who's now bleeding from the face, fights back, but Cena applies his own chinlock, trying to wear him out. Batista backdrops out, but he's in the wrong place and tries to tag Michaels. Cena is there waiting when Batista figures it out, and he gets Batista in the STFU!! Batista's fighting, as the Undertaker isn't breaking it up. At least, for a while. He finally comes in and stops it, after Batista suffered for a while. Cena bodyslams Batista, then tags back in Michaels, who goes up top for his elbow. He lands it, then gets up and gives the Undertaker a crotch chop before tuning up the band! But Batista dodges the Sweet Chin Music, then slams down Michaels, before crawling and tagging in the Dead Man!!

The Undertaker is a house of fire, clotheslining down both Cena and Michaels! He gives Michaels the Snake Eyes, followed by a running boot. Cena's back, but he misses a clothesline, leaving him open to the Undertaker's diving shoulderblock! The Undertaker is decimating both men! He grabs both Cena and Michaels by the throat, preparing for a double chokeslam! He gives up Michaels, though, throwing him to Batista, who gives HBK the Spinebuster! Cena then gets the Chokeslam, and the Undertaker turns to Batista, cutting his finger across his throat! Of course, this reminds Batista of the Chokeslam he took, so he grabs the Dead Man and gives him a Spinebuster!! JBL is shocked. Cole is still silent. Batista leaves the ring and watches on, as everyone else is down. Cena and Michaels get themselves up, with Michaels giving the Dead Man some Sweet Chin Music! This knocks him back into Cena, who delivers the FU and gets the 3 count!! Batista watches the downed Undertaker from the outside, as Cena & Michaels celebrate up the aisle. Batista then enters the ring with his World Title, to the boos of the crowd, and shows the Dead Man his gold, before leaving. The Dead Man then sits up in the ring and stares over at Batista, who looks back from the entryway. End of night.

Ace Thoughts: Worthwhile match, with a bit of a surprise turn at the end. While Batista didn't actually go heel here, he did get some revenge on the Dead Man. It was one of those matches where you couldn't really be sure who was going to win, since all four men were major players in WWE. I enjoyed it, I have to admit, and I like the logic of having Batista only betray the Undertaker after getting the throat slash shown to him again. After all, that had to bring back bad memories to the World Champion, so it's no wonder that he responded to it. Fun match, and it did set up some for Wrestlemania, so it worked for me.

As for the overall card? Well, maybe time is a bit of a factor, as this one did come between the Rumble and Wrestlemania, but I seem to have enjoyed it more than Larry did. If you throw out the horrible Diva Competition, then I think you've got a solid card. While I didn't care for some of the matches (Kane/Booker and Lashley/Kennedy for sure), I did appreciate the main event and the Cruiserweight Open, as well as several other matches. While I won't recommend it highly, if you're in the mood for a little wrestling action that's not that meaningful in the long run, feel free to pick this one up for rent. After all, it'll only cost you $5 or so, compared to the $40 Larry probably paid. That also surely makes a difference, especially to a cheapskate like me.

Peace,
The Accelerator