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Re: WWE: The Platinum Era

February 3rd, 2006 | Amway Arena; Orlando, Florida
'Size Matters ... Matters'

Our broadcast begins with a recap video of the events of the Royal Rumble, which took place just twenty-four hours ago as the Royal Rumble theme song ‘Stricken’ plays in the background. Results from SmackDown! include Kid Kash retaining his Cruiserweight Championship in a Cruiserweight Open, as well as Batista defeating Mark Henry by DQ when Henry snaps, eventually splashing Batista through the Spanish announce table. On the RAW side of things, we see Trish Stratus retain her Women’s Championship against Victoria, despite an inadvertent distraction from Mickie James, who Stratus accidentally Chick Kicked, as well as Edge retaining his WWE Championship in a hard fought battle with John Cena. It then finishes with highlights of the Royal Rumble Match, such as Bobby Lashley running rampant, Rob Van Dam making his return, Kurt Angle being shown beaten and bloodied backstage, yet still fighting through to compete in the Royal Rumble Match, only to be eliminated last by Randy Orton, who poses in front of the WrestleMania logo as pyro shoots of behind him.

We now see the usual SmackDown! opening video, accompanied by the SmackDown! theme song, ‘Rise Up’. As soon as that finishes up we cut into the Amway Arena to a buzzing crowd, who are further fired up by pyro exploding in any which way on the stage. We now pan around to see those excited fans, before finally settling down at ringside to see our broadcast team of Michael Cole & Tazz.

Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Friday Night SmackDown!, live here from the Amway Arena, in Orlando, Florida. I’m Michael Cole joined here by my partner, Tazz, and partner, it has been just five days from an epic Royal Rumble event, which in my mind, SmackDown! dominated thanks to one man.

Tazz: That’s right, Cole. Like him or hate him, last Sunday night, Randy Orton proved his talent to all on the grand stage, baby.

Michael Cole: It truly was a battle of attrition, as Randy Orton managed to outlast RAW’s Kurt Angle and claim himself a main event spot at WrestleMania. However, that’s not all we saw on the SmackDown! side of things at No Way Out, as we also saw Mark Henry get himself disqualified against Batista, before brutally assaulting the World Heavyweight Champion in a sick, twisted post-match attack.

Tazz: As I said Sunday night, Cole, Henry made a statement, and if Batista wasn’t worried about him like he claimed, well he had better be thinkin’ ‘bout Henry now.

Michael Cole: Kid Kash also retained his Cruiserweight Championship in a Cruiserweight Open, however, he will defend his title again tonight by order of SmackDown! General Manager, Theodore Long, as he goes one-on-one with Super Crazy.

Tazz: Not only that, Cole, but ‘The Deadman’, ‘The Phenom’, The Undertaker makes his return to Friday Night SmackDown! tonight, as he goes one-on-one with the tough Irish bastard, Finlay. What a brawl that’s gonna’ be!


The crowd becomes unglued as they react with a massive pop for the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista. Big Dave looks none too happy as he walks out onto the stage; in fact, he looks almost as if he is trying to hold back an expression of tremendous pain. Unshaved and untamed, ‘The Animal’ wears blue jeans and a white singlet instead of his usual attire of a custom made suit, with the World Heavyweight Championship not even in its usual position slung over Batista’s shoulder; instead he holds it in his hand down beside him.

Michael Cole: Here is the man who last Sunday night was absolutely brutalised by Mark Henry, and Tazz, he doesn’t look like he’s got much sleep since then.

Tazz: Mission accomplished by ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ right there, Cole.

Batista now climbs up into the ring and demands a microphone, which he receives, before striding around the ring.

Batista: Alright ... you got me.

Batista pauses as the crowd stay silent, not sure of what Batista is talking about.

Batista: I’m gonna’ be honest here ... I didn’t think you could do it. I thought you’d just be like everyone else ... but I was wrong. I ... was wrong.

Batista again pauses, while the crowd stays silent.

Batista: We need to end this ... we need ... to settle this. This ... this isn’t just a rivalry anymore ... this isn’t just about the gold ... this ... this is personal.

Another pause.

Batista: Mark Henry ...

The crowd initially pops, finally understanding what Batista has been talking about, before booing Henry.

Batista: Get your ass out here right now.

The crowd buzzes with excitement at the possibility of the face-off, while Batista paces back and forth in the ring, waiting for ...


The crowd explodes into a reaction of pure heat, as none other than the winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble, Randy Orton walks out onto the stage. Orton looks the polar opposite of Batista, as, like always, Orton is well groomed; his face cleanly shaven and his hair perfectly styled. With a black coat jacket to cover his Affliction brand t-shirt (along with Affliction brand jeans), Orton looks on top of the world. Smirking, ‘The Legend Killer’ wastes no time in making his way down to the ring, ignoring the fans at ringside who hurl abuse at him, before climbing up into the ring and receiving a microphone. Orton isn’t quick to make a comment, as he instead looks at Batista with a quizzical look on his face, while Batista just stares right back at Orton.

Randy Orton: What’s the matter, Dave? You alright there, man? You’re looking a little bit ... frazzled.

Orton starts to walk around Batista, continuing to analyse him, as Batista just stares a hole right back through Orton.

Randy Orton: Is it ... is it that you weren’t expecting me? Were you expecting somebody else? Dave, I understand that you and Mark Henry, you have your little ... ‘problem’, shall we say, but rest assured nobody, and I mean NOBODY is stealing the spotlight ... from me.

Orton smirks, as Batista stays motionless.

Randy Orton: What you ... you don’t follow? You look a little confused there big man, which really, you shouldn’t be. You think that what you did this Sunday matters? Your little ass-whooping that you suffered at the hands of Mark Henry? That means nothing – NOTHING compared to what I accomplished this past Sunday.


Randy Orton: For weeks, upon weeks, upon weeks, I told you, Dave, I told all of these people that come the Royal Rumble, I was going to do what I was born to do, that I was going to fulfil my God-given right, that I – I was going to win the Royal ... Rumble. When I was telling you this, I wasn’t just saying it. I wasn’t just giving you my word. I wasn’t just promising you. What I was giving you, Dave, and all of these people was GOSPEL.

Heat, as Orton pauses.

Randy Orton: This past Sunday, I didn’t just deliver. I didn’t just come through on my word. I didn’t just fulfil my gospel ... oh no, this past Sunday, I achieved my DESTINY.

Orton again smirks as the crowd again boos.

Randy Orton: All of this, ALL OF THIS, it was ... born in me. My good looks, my strength, my power, my speed, my mind, my talent ... I was born ... with it all. My grandfather, the great Bob Orton Sr., was a legend, was an icon of this business at his time. He was a renegade, a pioneer, a revolutionary leader in this industry that we know and that we love today. My father ...

Orton laughs to himself.

Randy Orton: My father was the greatest wrestling star on the 1980s. Forget about Roddy Piper, forget about The Iron Sheik, forget about Andre The Giant, hell, forget about Hulk ... Hogan ... the one name – the one name of that 1980s that had all of the talent in the world ... was Bob, Orton, Jr. A Hall of Famer, my dad was greater ... than them all.

Heat for the obvious fabrication from Orton.

Randy Orton: And then ... then there’s me.

Massive heat instantly.

Randy Orton: I could talk about the fact that I was the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion for the past five years. I could talk about how I am the youngest World Heavyweight Champion of all time. I could talk about how not only am I the present, but also the future of this business. I could even talk about how Evolution was the group that was carried by me.

Heat, as Orton smiles at a still unmoving ‘Animal’.

Randy Orton: Or, I could sum myself up with just a few simple words and say that I – I am a true ... wrestling ... prodigy.


Randy Orton: My win on Sunday was a mere formality, for, quite simply put, I was BORN ... to win. Call it my coming out party, call it my true arrival as the leader of Friday Night SmackDown!, call it whatever you want, because what I call it is destiny. So tonight ... tonight shouldn’t be about Dave Batista ... nor should it be about Mark Henry ... oh no. Tonight should be about one man, and one man only ... Randy ... Orton!

The obligatory heat of course comes.

Randy Orton: These people, Dave, they didn’t come here tonight in hope of seeing you get your ass kicked my Mark Henry. No, they came here instead to get a glimpse of the greatness that is Randy Orton, so I suggest you step aside and give these people what they want to see.

Orton looks at Batista, who STILL, continues to stare at Orton.

Randy Orton: Good.

Orton pauses for a moment, content with the fact that Batista is still yet to say anything to him, let alone move.

Randy Orton: Now, I have some good news, and I have some bad news, some of which applies to these people, and some of which applies to you, Dave. As we all know, just like my father did twenty-one years ago at the very first WrestleMania, we know that I will be headlining the show, that I will be involved in the main event of the evening. Now, the good news is that I will indeed be staying on my home of Friday Night SmackDown!.

The crowd gives a mixed reaction, unsure of what to make of this ‘good news’.

Randy Orton: The bad news – and this is the bit that applies to you, Dave – the bad news is that come WrestleMania 22, should you still have that World Heavyweight Championship that you hold in your very hands right now ... you won’t be holding it any longer once I get through with you, Dave. Should you somehow fluke your way past Mark Henry again, provided you’re not too scared to wrestle him again, Dave, at WrestleMania 22 ... that title’s as good as mine.

Orton smirks and looks down at the title which Batista continues to hold down beside him, putting himself in some kind of a trance when ...

Batista: Are you done?

The crowd pops as Orton looks up, coming out of his trance, shocked that Batista finally opening his mouth.

Batista: Really, Randy, are you finished, because if you are I’ll just doze back off to sleep and let you continue.

Another pop as Orton simply smirks at Batista.

Batista: Now, while normally, I couldn’t give a damn which brand it is that you called home, I can’t help but say I’m happy that you decided to remain here on Friday Night SmackDown!. “Why is that,” you ask? It’s simple. I look forward ... to kickin’, your, ass!

Another pop from the crowd as Orton’s smirk starts to disappear, though ‘The Legend Killer’ continues to look cool.

Batista: But – but before I kick your ass, I’ve got a matter that still needs attending to.

The crowd begins to buzz with anticipation once again.

Batista: Mark Henry ... I’m right here, so come on out and just try to get a piece of me!

With the sound of the crowd popping reverberating in the background, Batista, alongside Orton who seems to have taken up the role on an interested onlooker, waits to see if ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ will take up his challenge. We wait and we wait, allowing the tension to build to a fever pitch before we suddenly hear ...


It is indeed a letdown, as SmackDown! General Manager, Theodore Long walks out to the top of the ramp in his suit, already holding a microphone. Seemingly not wanting to waste time, Long stops at the top of the ramp and raises his microphone as his music cuts out.

Theodore Long: Now hold up just a minute there, playas’.

We see Batista in the ring sighing to himself, obviously very disappointed.

Theodore Long: First off, on behalf of everyone on Friday Night SmackDown!, I would like to congratulate Randy Orton on his victory this past Sunday night at the Royal Rumble, takin’ Friday Night SmackDown! off to new heights in the main event of WrestleMania!

The crowd gives a mixed reaction as Orton nods in the ring.

Theodore Long: Secondly, to Batista, I would also like to congratulate you on retaining your World Heavyweight Championship this past Sunday night.

Another mixed reaction.

Theodore Long: Now I know that things didn’t exactly go as planned for you, Batista, and I can appreciate that, which is actually, the main reason that I’m out here right now.

A small pop as Long pauses.

Theodore Long: Now Batista, I know that after this past Sunday, you’re angry ... you’re mad. You are chompin’ at the bit to get to Mark Henry, and face him one on one, in that very ring. And since I also know that all of these people wanna’ see that match too, here’s what I’m gonna’ do. In a rematch from this past Sunday night, it is gonna’ be ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Mark Henry, challengin’ the World Heavyweight Champion, ‘The Animal’ Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship ...

HUGE pop.

Theodore Long: ... Next week, on Friday Night SmackDown!.

Owned~ Despite Long being a face, the crowd still shit all over this.

Theodore Long: Now, I know what y’all thinkin’: “Why can’t this big title match, why it happen tonight?” And y’know, I have an answer for all o’ you, which Batista himself, should already know.

Long reaches inside his coat from a moment, before pulling out a piece of paper and holding it up.

Theodore Long: This ... this right here is a letter that I received earlier today from WWE’s own Dr. Lloyd Youngblood, and it reads that due to the injuries sustained last Sunday night at the Royal Rumble, the World Heavyweight Champion, Dave Batista, is unable to compete in singles action here tonight, on Friday Night SmackDown!.


Theodore Long: Now I too, was quite disappointed when I received this letter as I wanted to see that match tonight myself ... but that doesn’t mean that you people here in Orlando, Florida can’t see a preview!

Big pop.

Theodore Long: Because while Batista may be barred from competing in singles action, he certainly is not barred from competing altogether, so here’s what I’m gonna’ do.

Long pauses.

Theodore Long: Tonight, in our main event, we are gonna’ see tag team action, as it is gonna’ be the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista, teaming up with his friend Rey Mysterio ...

Massive pop.

Theodore Long: ... To take on the team of ‘The World’s Strongest Man’, Mark Henry ...

Big time heat.

Theodore Long: ... ... And the winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble, Randy Orton!

Huge mixed reaction as some people boo Orton, while others pop for the match. Orton, meanwhile smiles in the ring, while Batista just continues to look up the ramp at Long.

Theodore Long: And if you can feel that, gimme’ a holla holla!


The crowd gives a very big pop as Long acknowledges them by raising his hand and walking off backstage. We then see Orton smirking in the ring, while Batista stares at the mat, before going to a commercial break.

*Commercial Break*

We return to SmackDown! to hear ...


The crowd gives a respectable pop as Shannon Moore makes his way out onto the stage energetically, calling out to the crowd as he does so. Looking more confident by the week, ‘The Prince of Punk’ excitedly walks down the ramp, slapping the hands of the fans at ringside, before climbing up into the ring and posing for the fans.

Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to an action packed Friday Night SmackDown!, where already tonight we have seen not just a blockbuster main event match made for next week, where Batista will once again defend his World Heavyweight Championship against his rival, ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Mark Henry, but also a mega tag team main event tonight!

Tazz: And I can’t wait for that! Batista, teamin’ with Rey Mysterio, to take on the team of Mark Henry and the 2006 Royal Rumble winner, Randy Orton. Man, that one’s gonna’ be off the charts!

Tony Chimel: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Raleigh, North Carolina, weighing 202 lbs, Shannon Moore!


The crowd now gives some very nice heat as the red carpet is rolled out and the paparazzi prepare themselves, waiting, before the WWE Tag Team Champions, MNM confidently stride their way out onto the stage. Stopping, Mercury and Nitro flash the gold that hangs from their pants, while Melina rubs the belts. The trio then begin their march down to the ring, flicking their hair back and raising their arms, garnering heat from the natives of Orlando. As is normally the case, MNM stop at the foot of the ramp as we then get the amazing entrance to the ring from Melina, before Mercury readies himself for action.

Michael Cole: Ever since Shannon Moore caused an upset victory over Johnny Nitro a few weeks ago on Friday Night SmackDown!, Moore has been rolling, leaving MNM embarrassed. Melina arranged this match for tonight, hoping to save some face for her boys.

Tazz: Hey, MNM don’t need to save no face, Cole. What they’re tryin’ ta’ do is teach Shannon Moore a lesson in respect, and while I think Moore’s got a big upside, that is what I think they’re gonna’ do.

Tony Chimel: His opponent, being accompanied to the ring by Johnny Nitro & Melina, from Los Angeles, California, weighing 215 lbs, he is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, Joey Mercury!

Match One ~ Tag Team Match:
Shannon Moore
vs. WWE Tag Team Champion Joey Mercury w/ Johnny Nitro & Melina

The crowd are fairly fired up for this one, as we see two young men, who quite frankly, own fairly hard. Despite Mercury wanting to make an impression and teach Shannon Moore a lesson, Moore is able to frustrate Mercury in the beginning moments of the match, using his superior speed and agility to his advantage as he dashes around the ring, keeping the aggressive Mercury off guard. However, this proves to be Moore’s undoing, as he jumps up to the second rope in the corner, then looks for a crossbody block, only for Mercury to wisely drop down out of the way, leaving Moore to crash down to earth with a splat. Mercury’s offence from here isn’t very exciting as he slows the match down, deciding to grind away at Moore with a mainly ground and pound assault, rather than doing anything flashy. Melina, feeling the need to interject herself, also gets a go at Moore, slapping him as Mercury distracts the referee. Despite MNM’s constant attempts to humiliate Moore, the cruiserweight will not be kept down, as he suddenly fires back when Mercury slaps him across the head insultingly. Panicking, Mercury quickly knees Moore in the midsection, then backs off into the ropes, though he is taken down with a big leg lariat from Moore, sending both men down.

Slowly, both men make the ascent back to their feet, with Mercury swinging wildly for a right hand immediately, only for Moore to duck under it, run off to the ropes, then come back with a headscissors takedown, much to the crowd’s delight. Moore is now fired up as he gets back to his feet and fires off with a series of right hand to a rising Moore, backing him off into the ropes, before attempting to send him off for an Irish whip which Mercury is able to reverse. Springing back, Moore just ducks under a clothesline from Mercury ... then hits a spinning heel kick right on the button! Knowing he has Mercury reeling, Moore makes a cover, alas, he can only gain a two count, leaving him to go high risk as he now heads to the top rope. A dazed Mercury gets to his feet a little slowly, perhaps not knowing where he is as he gives his back to Moore, before turning ... and being taken down with a flying crossbody block ... for a two count! Despite the kick out, Moore gets back to his feet looking fired up as he runs off to the ropes, looking to run back at Mercury ... BUT MELINA GRABS HIS LEG! Despite not quite tripping Moore, Melina provides a distraction, allowing Mercury to recover ... although she pays for it as the referee yells at both her and Nitro to leave from ringside!

Neither Melina nor Nitro are happy, though they slowly start to back up the ramp once they see Mercury stalking Moore, knowing that they could have done the required damage anyway as Moore now turns and gets a boot to the midsection ... AND MERCURY SETS UP FOR THE DOUBLE ARM DDT ... BUT MOORE TAKES HIS LEGS OUT FROM UNDERNEATH HIM AND MAKES A JACKKNIFE COVER ... AND GETS THE THREE!

Winner: Shannon Moore via pinfall @ 6:25


Tony Chimel: Here is your winner, Shannon Moore!

And Moore picks up another victory in singles action against the WWE Tag Team Champions! Getting back to his feet, Moore has his hand raised by the referee ... THEN GETS SENT TUMBLING DOWN AS JOHNNY NITRO JUMPS HIM FROM BEHIND! Nitro then rolls Moore over and gets in a mount position, before RAINING down on him with fists ... when suddenly the crowd cheer ... BECAUSE MATT HARDY IS SEEN SPRINTING DOWN THE RAMP! Hardy slides into the ring and Nitro instantly runs for the hills, rolling away with his partner Mercury and manager Melina joining him on the outside, leaving Hardy to help Moore back up to his feet.


Hardy & Moore now lean over the ropes and yell out to MNM, who continue to back up the ramp, telling them that they haven’t seen the last of them.

Michael Cole: Shannon Moore pulling off another win there partner, but what interests me is Matt Hardy, who has also been having problems with the WWE Tag Team Champions, getting involved and coming to help his old buddy Moore. Could a reunion between these two old friends be on the cards?

Tazz: I dunno’, Cole, but I do know that if MNM has anything to do with it, whatever reunion they have, it ain’t gonna’ be a happy one.

We see Moore & Hardy one last time before cutting away backstage to see Josh Matthews standing by backstage.

Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time, he is ‘The Fighting Irishman’, Finlay!

The crowd boos as Finlay walks into view, holding his signature shillelagh.

Josh Mathews: Finlay, as we all know, later tonight you’re going to be going one on one with The Undertaker in his return to Friday Night SmackDown!, but firstly, I’d like to ask you about this past Sunday, when after inviting Bobby Lashley to try to get the best of you, he did just that by ...

Finlay thrusts his shillelagh up under the jaw of Matthews, telling him to shut up.

Finlay: Did you just say what I think you said? Lashley ... gettin’ the best ... of me? Lad, you must be stupider than you look, because last time I checked, Lashley was the one lyin’ flat on his back when I took this shillelagh and smashed it over the top of that big, bald, ugly head of his. An’ yeah, after that, he may have lifted me up an’ thrown me up over the top rope to eliminate me from the Royal Rumble, but as far as I’m concerned ... I won the battle. But, if ya’ think that me an’ Lashley, if ya’ think our business is done, then ya’ve’ got another thing comin’ to ya’, because that was just one battle ... the war ... the fight ... it’s far from over.

Finlay flashes the gap-toothed smile for a moment, before continuing.

Finlay: Now, as far as The Undertaker goes, I understand that his return, it’s meant to be a big deal, but ‘Deadman’, know this ... tonight, ya’ not steppin’ into the ring with some rookie who’s beaten before ya’ even step foot in the ring. Ya’ not facin’ someone who’s gonna’ back down, an’ ya’ certainly not facin’ someone who’s scared of ya’. In fact, ‘Taker, ya’ may even say that ya’ facin’ a phenom yourself tonight.


Finlay: So, ‘Taker, lemme’ make myself personally clear ... tonight, you bring all ya’ magic, you bring all ya’ tricks, you bring all ya’ games ... and I’ll bring the fight.

Again, Finlay smiles, before walking off as we now head off to a commercial break.

*Commercial Break*

We return from the break to see Brent Albright & Jillian Hall both seated in a locker-room ... before the camera pans back to show John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield pacing back and forth, looking awfully stressed out.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: I can’t believe this! Mark Henry? Mark freakin’ Henry? That BABBOON is getting’ another shot at the vailla gorilla? What in the hell is this? Planet of the Apes?

Layfield stares at Jillian and Albright. Jillian, intimidated by her boss, looks down at her shoes, while Albright looks up at him, perhaps with a bright idea.

Brent Albright: Well what do ya’ plan on doin’ about it?

Apparently not.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: What do I plan on doin’ about it? What do ya’ think, Brent? If I knew what I was gonna’ do about it, I wouldn’t be standin’ here right now, would I? God.

JBL stops for a moment to think.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: I’m not done. There is not a chance, NOT A SINGLE CHANCE, that I am lettin’ either Mark Henry or Batista go to WrestleMania when it should be me! Ya’ think they’re headliners? My name is money! Batista and Mark Henry are nothin’, NOTHIN’ compared to J – B – L!

JBL breathes in heavily, seething away to himself.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: That’s it ... I’m goin’ to Teddy Long.

Layfield turns to head for the door, but is soon stopped by the sound of Jillian.

Jillian Hall: Are you sure that’s a good idea? I mean, usually we just end up in more trouble than we begin with when you go to Mr. Long.

Awkward silence.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: There’s no ’we’ about this, Jillian ... you can help Brent prepare for his match ... I’m goin’ to see Teddy.

JBL walks out of view, and we hear the door slamming shut, leaving Jillian & Albright to sigh to themselves.

We then cut away from that and head off to ringside to hear ...


The crowd gives a very nice pop as a man, who last Sunday in particular, has been shooting up the ranks of the SmackDown! roster in Bobby Lashley walks out onto the stage and poses, setting off the pyro that shoots out from behind him. As always, Lashley walks down the ramp with a quiet confidence about him, before jumping up onto the apron and climbing into the ring to salute his fans while waiting for his opponent.

Michael Cole: Last night this man Bobby Lashley proved why he is a future star of the WWE when he made six eliminations, the most in the Royal Rumble, including the mammoth World Tag Team Champions, Kane & Big Show.

Tazz: I’ve been sayin’ it for awhile, Cole. Lashley is a beast, and he has all the tools, in my opinion, to go all the way.

Tony Chimel: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, weighing 275 lbs, Bobby Lashley!


The crowd lets off some decent heat as The Bluebloods make their way down to the ring, Paul Burchill dressed to compete, while William Regal looks rather snappy in a suit. The duo don’t waste their time pandering to the fans as they instead just climb up into the ring, prepared for the battle Burchill is about to engage in.

Michael Cole: Paul Burchill was another man who was rather impressive in the Royal Rumble this past Sunday, but the up and coming Lashley is definitely going to be a test for him tonight.

Tazz: I’m a big rap for this man. In my opinion, he has all the potential in the world because he’s big enough, he’s agile, he can brawl and he can wrestle. Lashley may be a big test, but don’t ever count out Paul Burchill.

Tony Chimel: His opponent, being accompanied to the ring by William Regal, from Chelsea, England, weighing 245 lbs, Paul Burchill!

Match Two ~ Singles Match:
Bobby Lashley vs. Paul Burchill w/ William Regal

Another match with two over enough guys here, the crowd are once again into this one. Burchill tries to prove he’s a tough guy in the early going by going toe to toe with Lashley, although Lashley is of course able to overpower the smaller Brit, who soon realises he’ll have to use his brains, rather than his brawn to get back into the match. Perhaps channelling his mentor in Regal, Burchill uses some smarts when he grabs Lashley by the tights and uses leverage to slam him down face first into the second turnbuckle, bringing an immediate halt to the dominance of Lashley. Burchill then smothers Lashley to the best of his ability, mixing his brawling and submission skills to restrain the bigger man. Oddly enough, William Regal doesn’t interfere at any point, or even say anything, perhaps instead studying his pupil’s progress. The big comeback from Lashley comes when, having endured a camel clutch from Burchill, the big man fights back to his feet with Burchill clinging onto Lashley’s back for dear life ... and Lashley rams him back into the corner! Lashley comes forward and squashes Burchill a second time, before backing out of the corner and leaving the prone Brit hanging from the ropes. Despite this comeback from Lashley, Regal at ringside is still silent, watching on as Lashley now charges in at his protégé ... but Burchill gets his foot up and meets the jaw of Lashley, before charging out at Bobby and going for a clothesline ... but Lashley ducks, then drops Burchill with a back suplex!

Both men are down for awhile following this move, before getting up and trading fist in an exchange which Lashley wins, mainly due to his larger size. ‘The Dominator’ then attempts to whip his foe off to the ropes, although Burchill reverses and sends Lashley off to the ropes ... only for Lashley to explode through Burchill on the rebound with a clothesline! Lashley hits a few more clotheslines, Burchill rising to get met with them time and time again, before finally Lashley changes things up, kicking The Blueblood in the midsection and nailing a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Lashley looks to follow up, bending over to pick Burchill up, though Burchill, in an act of desperation, rakes the eyes of Lashley, sending him staggering off, before the Brit charges off after him ... and gets thrown overhead with a belly to belly suplex! Lashley is on fire as he grabs a rising Burchill, then quickly gets him in position and pops the hips ... LAYING HIM OUT WITH AN EXPLODER SUPLEX! The crowd comes alive as Lashley motions for the end, before waiting on Burchill to get up ... AND THEN HOISTING HIM UP FOR THE DOMINATOR WHEN HE DOES ... BUT BURCHILL SLIPS OFF AND RUNS OFF TO THE ROPES, THEN GOES FOR A CLOTHESLINE ON THE REBOUND ... BUT LASHLEY DUCKS ... SPEAR! Lashley cuts Burchill in half with the Spear, then immediately makes the cover and gets the three.

Winner: Bobby Lashley via pinfall @ 5:46


Tony Chimel: Here is your winner, Bobby Lashley!

The crowd pops as Lashley gets back to his feet and has his hand raised by the referee, while Burchill rolls to the outside to join Regal.

Michael Cole: Lashley, impressive as ever with another win here tonight, keeping his undefeated streak going.

Tazz: And it’s gonna’ take a lot to snap that streak, Cole. Ever since debut this man has looked damn near unstoppable.

We got one last view of Lashley, before cutting backstage where we see Kristal Marshall standing by.

Kristal Marshall: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time, Chris Benoit!

The crowd pops as the camera pans around to reveal Chris Benoit standing beside Kristal.

Kristal Marshall: Chris, this past month hasn’t been good to you. After losing the best of seven series for the United States Title to Booker T’s substitute, Randy Orton, thanks in part to Booker’s protégé, Orlando Jordan, you last Sunday night, didn’t gain a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship that you longed for by falling short in the Royal Rumble. My question to you, Chris, is where to from here?

Chris Benoit: Y’know, I’m not gonna’ dodge the truth, I’m not gonna’ lie. Yeah, this past month, it’s been rough. I’ve missed some golden opportunities. The United States Championship ... it was almost mine. I could almost taste the gold ... but then ... then it was taken from me, right when I was ready to grab it. The Royal Rumble Match? Yeah, it’s not easy to win. You go out there and there are twenty-nine other superstars all thinking the same thing, all wanting to do what you want to do and go on to main event WrestleMania. The difference between me and them though is that I know I could have won it ... I know, that I was a legitimate chance. Two years ago ... two years ago I did it ... but this time ... I just couldn’t cut it.

Benoit gives a wry smile, pausing for a moment.

Chris Benoit: So, where to from here? What next for Chris Benoit? Should I just pack it in, knowing that I would be listening to all the doubters, that I would be proving them wrong? Or, do I do what I have learned from competing in this sport from twenty long years? Do I put my head down, work harder, and strive for the success, for the gold, that I know I can achieve?

Another slight pause.

Chris Benoit: In twenty years in this industry, I’ve learned one thing, and that is to NEVER give in. Booker T, you think that I’m done with you? You think that after you took our friendship of ten plus years and threw it away, screwing me just for your own personal gain ... you think I’m done with you? Booker, you never beat me. In fact, the last time I checked, the only reason you hold that title is because of the fact that you’re inured and that you had not just one, but two other people do the work for you. I’m not done ... I’m not done. That United States Title, I don’t just want it ... I need it. So Booker, when you’re fit, when you’re healthy, you’re gonna’ find out what you should have known long ago ... Chris Benoit? He’s for real.

We now see Benoit walk out as we go to a commercial break.

*Commercial Break*

We return from the break to see the United States Champion, Booker T standing in his lavish locker-room, looking rather upset, flanked by his beautiful wife Sharmell and his protégé, Orlando Jordan. The trio all look classy, OJ wearing an expensive looking suit, Sharmell in a beautiful dress, and Booker wearing a suit with the United States Title slung over his shoulder, and clutches holding his legs up.

Booker T: Can you believe ‘dat? ‘Dat sucka’ ... ‘dat sucka’ Chris Benoit ... he wants another shot at me? Ain’t he learnt yet that this United States Title ... it ain’t his. ‘Dis here United States Title is my title. Next week, Chris Benoit ... we gonna’ make him pay.

Booker, along with Jordan & Sharmell, now smile evilly ...

... As we cut away to now see SmackDown! General Manager, Theodore Long on the phone, apparently midway through a discussion with whoever is on the other end of the line.

Theodore Long: Listen playa’, I know he would be happy to see you back ... ... ... I think that could work for sure ... ... ... Yeah playa’, we can talk about that contract right now if ya’ ...

Teddy is suddenly cut off as we hear some sort of a commotion in the background, before what appears to be a suit stands behind the shoulder of Teddy ... with both the camera and Teddy looking up ... to show John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield.

Theodore Long: Listen playa’, somethin’ just came up, so I’ll have to speak to ya’ later ... ... ... Alright, holla’ holla’.

Long sighs and closes his phone with a look of pure frustration, before turning his attention to JBL.

Theodore Long: What do you want, JBL?

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: I want you to make things right.

Theodore Long: What in the hell are you talkin’ about?

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: The world title match next week.

Theodore Long: Yeah, what about it?

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Insert me into it.

Theodore Long: And just why would I wanna’ do somethin’ like that?

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: The question you should be askin’ is why wouldn’t you wanna’ do somethin’ like that.

Theodore Long: But I already know the answer to that.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Oh yeah? And what would that be?

Theodore Long: People actually wanna’ see Batista defend his World Heavyweight Title against Mark Henry.

Owned. JBL looks shocked at first, before changing from shock to rage.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: How dare you? Do you know who you’re talkin’ to? In case ya’ forgot, I am the cornerstone of this show, of my show. I am ‘Mr. SmackDown!’, I am the reason, that anyone, ANYONE tunes in to see this show in the first place? Ya’ think they wanna’ see Batista vs. Henry? These people don’t give a damn about Mark Henry, nor do they give a damn about Batista! The person that they all paid to see is me ... J – B – L!


John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: In fact, Teddy, the only reason you made it past the first year in this job is because you were lucky enough to come along when the longest reigning WWE Champion in SmackDown! history, ‘The Wrestling Gawd’, was not only bringin’ in the ratings, but was also bringin’ in the people by the barrelful. You wanna’ talk about ratings? Teddy, I am ratings, and that’s why, if ya’ know what’s good for you ... you’ll find a way to get me the World Heavyweight Title by WrestleMania 22.

More heat.

Theodore Long: JBL, the only thing I need to get you, is outta’ my office!

Big pop.

Theodore Long: But I’ll tell ya’ what. If you are so annoyed that you will not be competin’ in the main event of WrestleMania 22, I say you take it up with the man, who last Sunday, eliminated you from the Royal Rumble.

JBL gulps, clearly knowing who Long is talking about.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Ya’ know what? Maybe I will.

And with that, JBL eyeballs Teddy one more time, before storming out of his office, leaving Long to sulk back into his seat in peace.

Meanwhile, we now cut back to ringside to hear ...


The crowd gives decent heat as Brent Albright makes his way out, being accompanied to the ring by Jillian Hall. Albright wastes little time in making his way down the ramp after doing a gun motion at the top of it, deciding to instead briskly walk down to the ring, chewing some gum obnoxiously.

Michael Cole: JBL, obviously not getting what he wanted from SmackDown! General Manager, Teddy Long, and I have to give credit to Teddy for standing up to JBL and not giving in to what JBL’s demands.

Tazz: Hey, usually I like the decisions Teddy Long makes, but he has to understand that JBL does equal ratings. The guy is ‘Mr. SmackDown!’ after all.

Tony Chimel: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, weighing 223 lbs, ‘The Hired Gun’ Brent Albright!


The crowd now gives a reasonable pop as Funaki bounces his way out onto the stage, full of energy. Funaki slaps hands with the fans on the way down to the ring, before sliding in and peering across the ring at his foe.

Michael Cole: Well this right here is JBL’s ‘Hired Gun’, Brent Albright’s first match here on Friday Night SmackDown!, and from what we’ve seen, Tazz, tonight’s not going to be an easy night for Funaki.

Tazz: This Brent Albright, he’s a big guy, and if JBL sought him out and found him, you just know he’s gonna’ be loaded with talent. I’m lookin’ forward to seein’ what he can do.

Tony Chimel: His opponent, from Japan, weighing 192 lbs, Funaki!

Match Three ~ Singles Match:
Brent Albright w/ Jillian Hall vs. Funaki

This match is obviously a squash, used to promote the amazingly epic skills that Brent Albright possesses. Running through Funaki in just about no time, Albright shows us some of his suplex variations as he manhandles a hapless Funaki, before finishing him off with a Half Nelson Suplex into a Crowbar (armbar for those of you who haven’t seen much Albright) for an easy submission victory.

Winner: Brent Albright via submission @ 2:02


Tony Chimel: Here is your winner, Brent Albright!

Albright gets back to his feet and smirks, having his hand raised by the referee, while Jillian climbs up into the ring to join him.

Michael Cole: Wow. Brent Albright just decimated Funaki in a matter of moments and ...


Michael Cole: Oh my! It isn’t ...

The arena fills with a putrid red smoke, filtering from the top of the stage, with a figure slowly emerging from that smoke ... The Boogeyman. The crowd cheers as The Boogeyman slowly walks down to the ring, with Albright waiting on him, daring him to climb into the ring, much like last week. Boogeyman gladly accepts, sliding into the ring ... AND MUCH LIKE LAST WEEK ALBRIGHT RETREATS! Albright slides out of the ring and joins Jillian, quickly backing his way up the ramp.

Michael Cole: In almost a repeat of last week, Brent Albright again runs away from The Boogeyman. Albright said last week that he wasn’t scared of The Boogeyman, but partner, this suggests otherwise.

Tazz: Hey, Cole, Brent Albright just competed in a gruelling match, and obviously isn’t ready for a fight against a fresh Boogeyman. Cut him a little slack will ya’?

Michael Cole: Oh yes, real gruelling. After two minutes Albright must be real tired.

We see The Boogeyman one more time before we cut backstage to see Randy Orton & Mark Henry seated in a locker-room together. Orton looks set for action, wearing his ring gear, along with the Affliction top he was wearing earlier, while Henry cracks his knuckles and stretches his neck.

Randy Orton: Right, so let’s go through this one more time ... tonight we punish Batista, and show Dave that he shouldn’t mess with either of us. Is that right?

Mark Henry: Right ... tonight ... tonight’s all about makin’ a statement ...

Randy Orton: Exactly, so I was thinkin’ ...

Mark Henry: ... Which is exactly what I’m gonna’ do when I pin his shoulders down to the mat for the one ... two ... three.

Randy Orton: Whoa, whoa ... when you pin him? We hadn’t discussed that at all.

Mark Henry: Well you agreed that tonight’s about makin’ a statement, and that’s exactly what I’m gonna’ do since I’ve got my title shot next week.

Both men now get up and get in one another’s faces.

Randy Orton: I know you’ve for your title match next week, but let’s not forget I’m the one who’s got the WrestleMania title match, and I’m the one who’s going to be World Heavyweight Champion after WrestleMania, regardless of who’s World Heavyweight Champion before then.

Mark Henry: Are you sayin’ you think you can beat me?

Randy Orton: I’m saying I know I can beat anyone.

Henry continues to look pissed for a moment, before cracking a smile.

Mark Henry: You’re lucky I don’t crush you like a bug right now.

Orton continues to look into the eye of Henry, before backing down and sitting back where he was, leaving Henry to smile as we head off to a commercial break.

*Commercial Break*

We return from the break to now see Batista sitting in his locker-room in his wrestling gear, World Heavyweight Title by his side on the bench. Batista looks to be struggling with his bootlaces, slowly tying them up, when suddenly we see a pair of shiny blue tights move in next to Batista. Batista looks up (and the camera pans back) to see Rey Mysterio! The crowd pops big as a smile comes across the face of Batista, possibly fir the first time since last Sunday.

Batista: Rey! How are you, man?

Rey Mysterio: How am I? How are you, Dave? You looked a little shaken up out there earlier tonight.

Batista: Maybe a little, but I’m past all that, because next week, I’ve got what I wanted. And I know what you’re thinkin’, Rey. You’re thinkin’ that I’ve gotta’ get myself focussed on tonight, but believe me, I am. I am more focussed than ever, because tonight, I get to give Mark Henry a taste of the pain that he’s gonna’ suffer next week.

Rey Mysterio: I’m glad to hear it, man ... but, about tonight. Now, I know you’re not gonna’ want to admit it, but Dave, you’re hurtin’ ...

Batista: Nah, I’m fine ...

Rey Mysterio: Dave, these people know you’re hurtin’, Teddy Long knows you’re hurtin’, I know you’re hurtin’, and most important, Mark Henry knows you’re hurtin’.

Batista: Hang on ... what’s Mark Henry gotta’ do with this?

Rey Mysterio: I’m jus’ sayin’, that odds are man, Orton, an’ especially, they’re gonna’ go out there are target you, they’re gonna’ try to soften you up, so if you want me to take the brunt of the work ...

Batista: Rey, trust me, I got this. Tonight, when we go out there, it’s not gonna’ be about me, and it’s not gonna’ be about you ... it’s gonna’ be about us, okay man? We’re in this together.

The two look at each other, then engage in a manhug, sharing a bit of bromance.

Rey Mysterio: A’right, man. I’ll see out there later tonight.

Batista: You know it.

Mysterio now leaves the locker-room, leaving Batista to smile and continue to tie his laces as we cut away to ringside to hear the sound of the bell ringing.

Tony Chimel: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is for the Cruiserweight Championship of the world!


The crowd gives a reasonably lukewarm reaction as Jamie Noble walks out onto the stage and down the ramp, looking all business with a big opportunity in front of him. ‘The Pitbull’ pays no attention to the fans still as he climbs up into the ring, not even bothering to pose to them, rather deciding to bounce up and down on the spot.

Michael Cole: Last Sunday night at the Royal Rumble, Kid Kash somehow managed to survive facing all of the cruiserweights in one match and retain his Cruiserweight Championship. SmackDown! General Manager Teddy Long was seemingly not satisfied with that result following Kash’s repulsive attack on Juventud a few weeks before the Rumble, so here we have yet another title match before us tonight.

Tazz: And what a match it’s gonna’ be too. Jamie Noble, this kid’s one tough son of a gun, and if anyone gonna’ match aggression with Kid Kash, it’s gonna’ be Jamie Noble.

Tony Chimel: Introducing first the challenger, from Hanover, West Virginia, weighing 202 lbs, Jamie Noble!


The crowd give some very respectable heat as the current king of the cruiserweight division, the Cruiserweight Champion, Kid Kash makes his way out, arrogantly holding his hands up, title slung over his shoulder. Despite having his second title defence in just five days, Kash looks as arrogant and casual as ever as he makes his way down the ramp and climbs up into the ring, parading around with his title.

Michael Cole: You would think that having to defend his title yet again, Kid Kash would be taking things a little more serious, but Kash looks cockier than ever right now.

Tazz: And he may come to regret that. He ain’t in there with an easybeat. That’s Jamie Noble on the other side of the ring.

Tony Chimel: And his opponent, from Johnson City, Tennessee, weighing 202 lbs, he is the Cruiserweight Champion, Kid Kash!

Match Four ~ Cruiserweight Championship ~ Singles Match:
Jamie Noble
vs. Cruiserweight Champion Kid Kash

Despite this obviously being a very important match, Kid Kash continues to show his signature arrogance at the very beginning of this match, chewing his gum obnoxiously in Jamie Noble’s face ... BUT NOBLE SLAPS HIM, SENDING THE GUM FLYING! Kash looks shocked, only for Noble to reaffirm his seriousness by suddenly hammering away on Kash with a series of rights. Noble is able to keep this aggression up for a short time, before Kash wisely takes advantage by playing possum in the corner, allowing Noble to charge in at him aggressively, only for Kash to stick his boot right up into the jaw of Noble. Kash then quickly follows up by heading up to the top rope and coming off with a missile dropkick that hits Noble on the button, sending him down. From here it looks like smooth sailing for the Cruiserweight Champion, who, despite a mini resurgence from Noble after Kash played it up to the crowd, is able to keep control of the match. This leads Kash to believe he has Noble finished, as he goes for the Dead Level ... but Noble slips out and lands behind Kash, then pushes him off to the ropes and nails him with a single leg dropkick, sending both men down.

Both men rise back to their feet, and it’s Noble who wins the fist exchange, throwing some heavy right hands, before whipping him off to the ropes, then meeting him with a hard reverse elbow on the rebound. Kash gets back to his feet holding his jaw, though he’s soon taken back down as Noble hits a clothesline. Kash again rushes back to his feet, with Noble able to push him back against the ropes, then try to send him off to the opposite ropes, only for Kash to reverse ... and Noble comes back and sends Kash flipping over with a headscissors takedown for a two count. Showing his tenacity, Noble immediately nails a headbutt on the rising Kash, dazing him, before scoring with a few big rights and Irish whipping the champ off into the corner. Not looking to give Kash any time to recover, Noble charges in after him ... and hits a corner clothesline! Noble backs away, leaving Kash to fall into a seated position ... BEFORE CHARGING IN AND HITTING A KICK RIGHT TO THE FACE OF KASH! The crowd are popping big as Noble pulls Kash out of the corner, thinking he has it done ... BUT KASH KICKS OUT AT TWO! Noble looks slightly frustrated, glancing at the referee for a moment, before getting back up and signalling that the match is as good as done.

Slowly, Kash gets back to his feet ... AND NOBLE SCOOPS KASH UP ONTO HIS SHOULDER IN A FIREMAN’S CARRY ... BUT KASH SLIPS OUT AND HITS A BIG NECKBREAKER! Getting back up, Kash looks at Noble down, before charging across to the corner ... DOUBLE JUMP MOONSAULT! The crowd boo as Kash smiles, not yet covering Noble, instead waiting on him to start to get up ... KICK TO THE TEMPLE ... DEAD LEVEL! Kash makes the cover on the lifeless Noble and gains the three count, retaining his title.

Winner (and still Cruiserweight Champion): Kid Kash via pinfall @ 5:35


Tony Chimel: Here is your winner, and still Cruiserweight Champion, Kid Kash!

The crowd boos as Kid Kash gets back to his feet and is handed his Cruiserweight Title, which he raises in the air in jubilation.

Michael Cole: Jamie Noble put up a good folk, but partner, Kid Kash proved just why he is the top cruiserweight here on Friday nights, at least with Juventud still out of commission.

Tazz: That’s right. Like him or hate him, you can’t deny that Kash is one of the greatest cruiserweights we’ve ever seen here on Friday nights.

We see Kash looking up into a camera (which is up on the apron) and holding his Cruiserweight Title up, yelling “Is that all ya’ve got, Teddy?” before smiling. From that, we now cut away backstage to see Brent Albright & Jillian Hall quickly packing their bags in the locker-room of The Cabinet, possibly looking to escape from the arena and as such, the clutches of The Boogeyman. The two grab their stuff and look set to leave, heading for the door ... where they see John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield standing.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: What in the hell do you think the two of you are doin’?

Brent Albright: We were just leavin’.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Leaving? Leaving? What do ya’ mean you’re leaving? Are you tryin’ to make me look bad? Huh? Is that what you’re tryin’ to do?

Brent Albright: No, but ...

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: There ain’t no buts about it. You listen to me, son, because everything you do, everything you say, as your leader ... as your boss it affects me. You do somethin’ good, then great, I look good. However, if you do somethin’ bad, like runnin’ from The Boogeyman, then I look bad, and I don’t like lookin’ bad. Did you ever see me runnin’ from The Boogeyman?

Brent Albright: Didn’t you hire me ‘cause you didn’t wanna’ deal with The Boogeyman?

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: What did you just say? Are you sayin’ I ran away from The Boogeyman? Are you sayin’ that I’m scared of The Boogeyman? I am scared of NO MAN, freak or not.

JBL breathes heavily, obviously pissed.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Just you watch ... I’m about to show you how to make an impact.

JBL smiles sadistically, then turns on his heal and leaves the room, leaving us to head off to a break.

*Commercial Break*

We return from the break to see a vignette, which is accompanied by the sound of ‘This Fire Burns’ by Killswitch Engage. We see images of a mystery man performing some of his in-ring moves (running knee/bulldog combo, urange/anaconda vise combo and the GTS, along with some big kicks).

???: It’s time for a new breed of wrestler.

The moves continue.

???: A breed of competitors. A breed that realises that things like luck, are for losers.

We now cut away to see a close-up of the man’s arms, which are covered by tattoos.

???: A breed of competitor which understands just what wrestling is all about.

The left bicep is featured.

???: I don’t drink.

The right bicep.

???: I don’t smoke.

The man is now shown holding up his knuckles, which spell out the words ‘DRUG FREE’.

???: And I don’t do drugs.

His stomach is now shown.

???: I’m straight edge, and my only addiction ... is competition.

The man’s face is now shown, where we now get a close-up on his long, black hair, and a confident smile, with a snakebite piercing his lip.

???: My name is CM Punk ... and I am coming to Friday Night SmackDown!.

We then see the words ‘CM Punk’ above what looks to be an animated Pepsi logo, before the video ends.

We’re now at ringside, where we hear ...


The crowd gives decent heat as Finlay walks out, ready for his battle with ‘The Deadman’, shillelagh in hand. The all business Irishman swiftly makes his way down to the ring, before waiting in it for his foe, still holding his shillelagh up.

Michael Cole: An exciting young superstar coming to Friday Night SmackDown! in CM Punk, but ladies and gentlemen, what we’re about to witness isn’t about youth. It is about the return of ‘The Deadman’, as The Undertaker makes his first appearance in a SmackDown! ring for the year 2006.

Tazz: And Finlay looks ready. We heard him earlier when he told ‘Taker he’d bring the fight, and I’m inclined to believe Finlay. He’s one tough S.O.B, so if anyone’s gonna’ bring the fight to ‘Taker, it’s Finlay.

Tony Chimel: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, weighing 225 lbs, Finlay!




The crowd reacts with a pop that can only be described as massive from the moment the music begins. Soon enough the cheers only grow louder as The Undertaker walks out onto the stage in his classic attire, surrounded by smoke. ‘The Deadman’ slowly makes his way down to the ring, looking right at Finlay as he does so, before climbing up the steps and into the ring, removing his hat and jacket he does so.

Michael Cole: This man, this ‘Deadman’ The Undertaker last Sunday night made it to the final four of the Royal Rumble, and tonight he makes his bone-chilling return to the SmackDown! ring, competing for the first time on Friday nights since 2005.

Tazz: And from the moment that gong is heard, you can just feel the presence of ‘The Deadman’. There’s nothin’ like it man ... freaky.

Tony Chimel: His opponent, from Death Valley, weighing 295 lbs, The Undertaker!

Match Five ~ Singles Match:
vs. The Undertaker

The crowd is right into this match as they rally behind their hero, The Undertaker right from the get-go. ‘Taker doesn’t let them down in the early moments as Finlay at first tries to evade ‘Taker, before instead going at him with a big right when cornered, showing he’s ready to fight, only for ‘Taker to overwhelm Finlay with a flurry of rights, much to the excitement of Michael Cole at ringside. ‘Taker keeps the control going for a brief period, even hitting one of his bigger moves in old school, before Finlay finally gets back by ducking under a big boot attempt when against the ropes, leaving ‘Taker to be hung up on the top rope. Finlay climbs out to the apron and nails ‘Taker with a headbutt, before pulling the cover of the apron out and dragging ‘The Phenom’ down into it, leaving him in a defenceless position. From there, ‘The Fighting Irishman’ just out and out assaults ‘The Deadman’, throwing fists, kicks and knees his way until the referee finally intervenes. Finlay isn’t done using the outside environment to his advantage though, as he then pulls ‘Taker out and whips him into the steel steps with a thud, asserting his ascendency.

Finlay continues to stay on top of The Undertaker for a short while longer, showing that he’s not scared of The Undertaker by hammering away in classic Finlay fashion. A scare for the Irishman comes when ‘Taker starts to get up through the kicks to the midsection and grabs Finlay by the throat, only for Finlay to hammer away at the head of ‘Taker with some rights, stunning him, prompting Finlay to think he’s weathered the storm as he runs off to the ropes ... then gets taken down with a big boot! Despite sending Finlay down, ‘Taker is unable to capitalise, as he instead staggers over to the ropes and leans on them to try to regather himself. Slowly but surely, ‘Taker is able to recuperate, meeting a recovered and charging Finlay with a quick series of right hands, sending the Irishman reeling. ‘Taker then hits a big uppercut, sending Finlay all of the way back against the ropes, before trying to send him off with an Irish whip, only for the Irishman to reverse. ‘Taker springs back, ducking a clothesline from Finlay, before bouncing off the opposite ropes and nailing his foe with a flying clothesline! Finlay gets back up, immediately receiving a kick to the midsection, before whipping into the corner and then squashed with a corner clothesline! ‘Taker is far from done as he whips Finlay across the ring, then repeats the dose, squashing Finlay again and scooping him up and nailing the snake eyes/running big boot combo for a two count. Immediately looking to follow up, ‘The Phenom’ gets back to his feet and raises his hand into the air, signalling for the Chokeslam. Finlay, unaware of his possible impending doom, takes his time in getting up, giving his back to ‘Taker, before turning ... AND BEING GRABBED BY THE THROAT ... BUT FINLAY QUICKLY FIGHTS BACK WITH A BARRAGE OF KICKS ... THEN NAILS AN INERTED SAMOAN DROP FOR A TWO COUNT!

Finlay gets up and shakes the cobwebs clear, before refocussing back on ‘Taker, and kicking away at him as he gets up, sending him back into the ropes. Finlay then looks to follow up by charging off to the opposite ropes and sprinting back across the ring ... BUT ‘TAKER TURNS AND CATCHES FINLAY BY THE THROAT ... CHOKESLAM! ‘Taker has Finlay down, as he now calls for the end ... BAM! ‘TAKER IS SUDDENLY WALLOPED FROM BEHIND BY JOHN ‘BRADSHAW’ LAYFIELD, CAUSING THE DQ!

Winner: The Undertaker by disqualification @ 7:59

JBL, despite being in a suit for the most part, obviously isn’t done, immediately beginning to stomp away on ‘Taker for impact. While Finlay is gone from the ring, the referee isn’t as he begs JBL to leave, but JBL will have none of it, instead lambasting the referee with threats, causing him to leave JBL alone as he now pulls ‘Taker up ... short arm clothesline! JBL has The Undertaker down at his peril, taking the opportunity to undo his cuffs and then mount ‘Taker, laying into him with a vicious sequence of right hands, taking almost all of his rage out on ‘The Deadman’, before getting back up and rolling his sleeves up. JBL clearly isn’t done as he waits on ‘Taker, telling him, daring him to get up, which ‘Taker ever so slowly does ... WALKING STRAIGHT INTO A BRUTAL CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL! The crowd serenades ‘The Wrestling God’ with heat as he looks down at the fallen ‘Deadman’, before rolling out of the ring, seemingly content with the damage he has caused ...

... But then we hear the sound of steel clashing together ... JBL ROLLS BACK INTO THE RING ... AND HE’S HOLDING A STEEL CHAIR! The crowd continues to rain heat down upon JBL as he again waits for The Undertaker to get up, which he slowly does ... CRACK! JBL SMASHES THE SKULL OF THE UNDERTAKER IN WITH THE STEEL CHAIR! JBL now throws the steel chair down and smiles a sinister smile ... as both JBL and us, the viewers, see blood gushing from the forehead of The Undertaker. The smile remains on JBL’s face as he drops to his knees and grabs ‘Taker by the head, rubbing his hand on the forehead of The Undertaker literally putting the blood of The Undertaker on his hands, as well as his expensive blue shirt which he wipes it on!

Michael Cole: Sick ... absolutely ... sick.

We see JBL for awhile longer, still smiling away, before cutting to see a graphic hyping our main event and heading off to a commercial break.

*Commercial Break*

We return from the break to hear ...


The crowd lets off a lot of heat as Mark Henry walks out onto the stage, looking as intense and aggressive as always. ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ doesn’t waste time pandering to the fans, instead walking down the ramp quickly (for him) and climbing up into the ring, where he beats his chest and lets out a primal scream.

Michael Cole: Next week on SmackDown!, this man, ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Mark Henry will face Batista in a rematch from their Royal Rumble encounter just five nights ago. With Batista already hurting, is this an opportunity, partner, for Henry to further weaken Batista down before their big match next week?

Tazz: That’s exactly what it is, and you better believe Henry knows it. Mark Henry may be a beast, but he’s also a smart wrestler, and you better believe that he’s thinking about weakening Batista for next week.

Tony Chimel: The following contest is a tag team match, and it is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Silsbee, Texas, weighing 400 lbs, ‘The World’s Strongest Man’, Mark Henry!


The heat continues as the narcissistic ‘Legend Killer’ Randy Orton walks out onto the top of the ramp and poses in his classic pose as pyro falls from the top of the SmackDown! dome. Once the pyro stops Orton then arrogantly walks down the ramp, raising his arm into the air and pointing to the heavens as he does so before climbing into the ring and posing on the turnbuckle.

Michael Cole: Randy Orton is another man who now has a guaranteed title shot, following his victory in the Royal Rumble Match last Sunday night. While Orton & Henry will look to work together tonight, who knows, they could possibly be clashing at WrestleMania 22.

Tazz: Orton & Henry may have a had a lil’ disagreement earlier, but these two are two of the top stars here on Friday Night SmackDown!. So what if they could be enemies later? They know they have to work together tonight, and that’s exactly what they’re gonna’ do.

Tony Chimel: His partner, from St Louis, Missouri, weighing 245 lbs, ‘The Legend Killer’ Randy Orton!


The crowd pops big time as Rey Mysterio jumps up from the stage with pyro shooting from under him. Rey enthusiastically walks down the ramp, slapping hands with the fans and embracing the kids who bought his merchandise, before waiting at the foot of the ramp for his partner, knowing better than to get in the ring alone with Orton & Henry.

Michael Cole: This man Rey Mysterio doesn’t have as much riding on this match as the other men involved, but you’d be a fool to think that Mysterio doesn’t want to prove he can go at this level, especially after what he heard from Mr. Kennedy last Friday night.

Tazz: That’s right, Cole. Mysterio’s full of heart, and he’s always gonna’ try to perform at the best level he can, which means he’s gonna’ wanna’ mix it up with the big boys.

Tony Chimel: Their opponents, first, from San Diego, California, weighing 175 lbs, Rey Mysterio!


The crowd explodes with a very nice pop as the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista makes his way out to the top of the stage. Batista looks in higher spirits now, playing it up to the crowd, although he can’t hide that he’s injured, as shown by his ribs being taped up. After yelling out to the fans for a short time ‘The Animal’ sets off his pyro and advances down the ramp, joining his friend and partner, Rey Mysterio, before sliding into the ring and posing with him.

Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake about it; what you are looking at right there is a wounded animal. Batista is as tough as they come, but for him to have his ribs taped up just shows how much damage Henry has down on his physically. Earlier we saw signs that he may just have done damage mentally too, so can Batista overcome this huge obstacle that is Henry not just next week, but first, tonight?

Tazz: If I were Batista, the last place I’d wanna’ be here tonight was in a match with Mark Henry. I mean, look at him, Cole. He’s obviously hurtin’, so to answer your question, I don’t know whether Batista can get through Henry tonight, but if he does, he’s just gonna’ have to meet him again next week, and that’s bad news for the champ.

Tony Chimel: His partner, from Washington D.C, weighing 295 lbs, he is the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista!

Main Event ~ Tag Team Match:
Mark Henry
& Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio & World Heavyweight Champion Batista

As Batista told Rey in their conversation earlier, he wasn’t ducking anyone, which is exactly what we saw when he elected to star the match against Randy Orton. Despite the injury that Orton instantly targets, starting the match with a kick to the midsection, Batista is able to fight back and take control of Orton, tagging in and out a few times with Mysterio to keep fresh. However, Orton is able to make a tag when Batista scoops him out, with ‘The Legend Killer’ raking the eyes of ‘The Animal’ and sliding away to tag in Mark Henry, which actually gains a pop from the crowd who wish to see the two rivals face off. Batista is able to initially keep up with Henry, although ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ takes control back as he forces Batista into the corner and starts to hit some big shoulder thrusts, driving his massive shoulders into the injured ribs of the champ. Henry, however, gets greedy, walking back before charging in for a corner spear, only for Batista to sidestep him, leaving Henry to crash into the ringpost, thus allowing Batista to go make a tag. With Henry pulling himself out of the corner, Mysterio charges, nailing ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ with some kicks to the hamstring, trying to chop the bigger man down to size. With Henry then doubled over, Mysterio backs off the ropes and nails a dropkick to the side of the head, sending Henry staggering to the ropes, where Randy Orton tags himself in.

Orton and Mysterio actually have a nice exchange for awhile, with Mysterio getting the upper hand, before tagging in Batista, who despite being injured, demands to be allowed to compete. Although Batista hangs for Orton with a moment, the ploy to get involved in the match backfires, as Orton kicks him in the ribs, then starts to lay the shots into his rib section in the corner, doing enough damage to the injured Batista to take a clear ascendancy. Henry & Orton are then able to dominate the World Heavyweight Champion, exploiting the injured ribs of ‘The Animal’ to keep him sedated, with a comeback looking nigh impossible. However, Batista is finally able to make a comeback when Orton reverts to his usual sleeper hold (although with a bodyscissors to apply pressure to the ribs), with ‘The Animal’ fighting through the pain and getting back to his feet, before hammering away with Orton on rights, only for Orton to score with a knee lift to the ribs of ‘Tista, halting any and all momentum he had right then and there. Orton & Henry then tag in and out a few more times, before Batista once again begins to make a comeback, this time against the man who will be challenging him for his gold next week in Mark Henry, as, after Henry taunts the crowd, Batista starts to fire off some rights, proving the crowd with some hope, only for Henry to, much like Orton previously did, lift his knee. Henry, however, looks to follow up, backing into the ropes and coming forth at the doubled over ‘Animal’ ... ONLY FOR BATISTA TO EXPLODE OUT OF THE BLOCKS WITH A SPEAR!

Both men slowly but surely make their ways to their respective corners, looking to make the tag to their partners ... and both do it! Henry is the first to make the tag, allowing Orton to charge across the ring as Mysterio is tagged in ... though Mysterio springboards up into the ring, landing behind Orton! Mysterio then dashes into the ropes and bounces off them, ducking under a wild elbow on the rebound to then bounce back off the ropes he springboarded in from in the first place ... before nailing Orton with a headscissors takedown! Mysterio is full of energy as he gets right back up and runs off to the ropes, before jumping up to the second rope ... and coming back with a crossbody block for a two count! Both men get right back to their feet, with Mysterio immediately kicking Orton in the hamstring, causing him to double over, before running off to the ropes and going for a sunset flip ... but both men roll through ... AND MYSTERIO KICKS ORTON SQUARE IN THE SIDE OF THE HEAD! The crowd explodes as Mysterio falls across Orton and hooks his leg ... but Mark Henry breaks the count up at two! With Batista still out of commission, Henry gets back to his feet and picks Mysterio up, hitting him with some clubbing rights as he does so, before sending Mysterio off with an Irish whip, only for Rey to hold onto the ropes instead of bounce back.

Henry, being the amazingly aggressive superstar that he is, decides then to charge at Mysterio ... but Mysterio low bridges the top rope and sends Henry falling out to the floor! Henry hits the floor with a splat, but he doesn’t look to stay down long, rushing back to his feet ... ONLY FOR REY MYSTERIO TO RUN UP THE APRON AND JUMP DOWN ONTO HENRY WITH A SEATED SENTON, TAKING HIM DOWN ON THE FLOOR! Mysterio is full of energy as he climbs back onto the apron, waiting for Orton to get up, before springboarding in over the top of Orton once again and bouncing off the ropes, looking for the wheelbarrow bulldog on the rebound ... BUT ORTON SENDS MYSTERIO BACK DOWN TO HIS FEET AND GRABS HIM AROUND THE NECK ... INVERTED BACKBREAKER! Orton slowly gets back to his feet, clearly still reeling following the onslaught from Mysterio, before dropping back down behind Mysterio, waiting for him ... stalking him. Mysterio, unaware of Orton’s presence behind him, slowly starts to fight back up to his feet, before turning ... ORTON HITS THE ... NO, MYSTERIO PUSHES ORTON AWAY ... RIGHT INTO A CLOTHESLINE FROM BATISTA! Batista roars as he gets back to his feet, going towards the ropes to play to the crowd ... only for his leg to be grabbed as Mark Henry trips him up and pulls him from the ring!

The two enemies begin to fight at ringside, leaving Mysterio and Orton in the ring, with the roles now reversed as Mysterio stalks a rising Orton ... before dropkicking him in the back and sending him down throat first across the second rope! The crowd pops big for this, with Mysterio instantly reacting, running off to the ropes ... 619 ... CONNECTS! MYSTERIO SENDS ORTON TUMBLING BACK INTO THE CENTRE OF THE RING! Mysterio now waits for Orton to rise ... but at ringside we hear a thud ... AS MARK HENRY HAS IRISH WHIPPED BATISTA RIB FIRST INTO THE STEEL STEPS! The referee is distracted by this, telling Henry to cut it out at ringside ... BUT MYSTERIO STILL SPRINGBOARDS UP ONTO THE SECOND ROPE ... ONLY TO BE SENT TUMBLING OFF IT ... BY MR. MR KENNEDY! KENNEDY CLIMBS UP ONTO THE APRON, SEEMINGLY ARRIVING THROUGH THE CROWD, AND PUSHES MYSTERIO, LEAVING HIM TO CRASH AND BURN! The referee has no idea what has happened, turning to see two pained men getting back to their feet in the ring ... AND ORTON INSTANTLY STRIKES WITH THE RKO OUT OF NOWHERE! The crowd give heat as Orton hooks the leg ... and gets the three.

Winners: Mark Henry & Randy Orton via pinfall @ 12:34


Tony Chimel: Here are your winners, Mark Henry & Randy Orton!

Orton gets back to his feet, still holding his jaw from the effects of the 619, before having his hand raised by the referee. Mark Henry meanwhile remains at ringside, laughing at the pain of Batista, while Mr. Kennedy backs up the ramp, smiling to himself.

Michael Cole: We just saw a top quality main event ruined by Ken Kennedy, and for what? Because Rey Mysterio showed him up last week after Kennedy insulted Rey? This is unbelievable.

Tazz: First of all, Cole, it’s Mr. Kennedy, and secondly, yeah, Mr. Kennedy did cost Mysterio this match, but just like Mark Henry did last Sunday night, Kennedy has made an impact. He has made a name for himself here tonight.

Michael Cole: And he has to use Mysterio to do that? Kennedy needs to make a name for himself, not at the expense of Rey Mysterio. Regardless, ladies and gentlemen, next week, we get the rematch, Mark Henry vs. Batista for the second time, World Heavyweight Championship on the line! We saw a preview tonight, so what will we see next week? Good night from Orlando, Florida.

We see Kennedy smiling at the top of the ramp, as we now fade to black ...



February 19th, 2006 | 1st Mariner Arena; Baltimore, Maryland


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