Re: WWE: A Strong Response
Friday Night Smackdown Preview
Friday 19th September 2008
Live from the Donald L. Tucker Center
>Odds Against the Champ Again!<
Last week we learnt, as did CM Punk who he would be defending his World Heavyweight Championship against at No Mercy in just over two weeks. The superstars of Smackdown battled the clock in the Beat the Clock Challenge, and with Chris Jericho having set the time to beat going in to the main event, it looked as if Jericho was on his way to No Mercy and a shot at the world title. However he made a mistake in attempting to ensure Christian or Alberto Del Rio-Ramirez wouldn’t beat his time.
Just as it looked like Christian was going to defeat CM Punk’s rookie, Jericho distracted him with the help of Punk who was distracting the referee to aid his Mexican rookie. The clock ran out on them both, but Tazz wasn’t about to let Jericho have things all his own way and announced that because of his role in Christian’s failure to eclipse the set time, the world title match at No Mercy will be a triple threat with both Jericho & Christian challenging Punk. Just how is The Straight-Edge World Champion feeling about having to defend his title against both men? Is Jericho regretting his actions, and how does Captain Charisma feel at getting to fight for the world title?
‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels came back firing at Jack Swagger last week, causing The All-American American a great deal of embarrassment in the process. Fresh from jumping Michaels and accepting his challenge to a match at No Mercy the week before, Swagger was all set for action against Santino Marella last Friday night when The Heartbreak Kid made his presence felt. Swagger switched off and appeared to be unaware of the bell, giving Santino the chance to sneak up behind him and roll him up for a shock victory.
The embarrassment was enough revenge for Michaels, and he headed to the ring to confront his No Mercy opponent, and after a brief confrontation, Swagger fell victim to some sweet chin music. If he hopes to defeat The Showstopper when they meet in just over two week’s time, he’ll have to avoid the same fate. As will Shelton Benjamin this coming week when he takes on Michaels live on Smackdown from Tallahassee, Florida.
The Gold Standard was all set to demand Matt Sydal be stripped of the United States Championship last week, and boy was he in for a shock. We all thought that Benjamin had broken Sydal’s arm in the attack by Shelton five days after he lost the title to Sydal at SummerSlam. However we discovered last week that Sydal was playing his bitter rival with the belief that Benjamin was desperate to avoid having a rematch with the man he’s never beaten.
Sydal let him know that he will be ready for his rematch that we now know will be a ladder match at No Mercy. Sydal will also be in action this week when he takes on a former rival, the Cruiserweight Champion, Johnny Jeter with neither title on the line. There’s going to be some great action this week, that’s for sure!
Two men who were competing against each other in the Beat the Clock Challenge were the former tag team partners, Chris Masters & Charlie Haas. They’ve been desperate to get their hands on each other for nearly two months, and when they got their chance last Friday night, the shot at the world title was purely a bonus. It looked as if Haas was about to set the best time of the night when he had The Masterpiece locked in the Haas of Pain. Masters was screaming in pain, on the verge of tapping out. However he managed to hold on until the clock forced Haas to forget his chances of meeting CM Punk at No Mercy.
It didn’t mean he let the hold go, but Master’s rookie, Ryan Sheffield did by entering the ring and stamping on the back of his head. It was Haas’s turn to suffer as both mentor & rookie roughed him up. That was until Bobby Lashley came to the rescue, confusing everyone. It ticked The Masterpiece off, and minutes later he was told by Tazz that he would be action against Lashley this coming week. Will Masters, or the rest of us for that matter find out why Lashley came to Haas’s aid? More importantly though, will he be able to overcome him in the ring?
Chavo Guerrero’s early frustrations with his rookie, J-Red got a whole lot worse last week when he decided it was a good idea to put him in his place by facing him in a match. Their battle was also part of the Beat the Clock Challenge. In fact it kicked it off, and Red caused an upset and a whole lot of upset for Chavo by defeating his mentor to set the time to beat. His mentor reacted badly and laid him out with a brainbuster.
It looks like these two may just struggle to build a relationship. Chavo does however have the chance to make up for his disappointment last week when he takes on Santino Marella this week. Both men had contrasting nights last week. There’s no doubt the Mexican will be looking for an altogether different kind of week in Tallahassee this Friday night.
Another rookie who tasted success last week was TJ Wilson, when he defeated Johnny Devine, one of the men his mentor, Harry Smith will face at No Mercy when he & Paul Burchill defend the WWE Tag Team titles against Devine & Petey Williams. Wilson impressed many including his mentor, who both he and his girlfriend, Natalya Neidhart have known for a long time. It looks like the tag team champions have strength in numbers heading in to their title defence at No Mercy.
The divas are also struggling to get along, and last week we saw Michelle McCool defeat Beth Phoenix’s rookie, Nikki Roxx. The action didn’t stop there as McCool and her rookies, Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes went after both the DIva’s Champion and her rookie. Thankfully Mickie James rushed to see off McCool & Co, not pleasing McCool at all. She & Mickie have been at loggerheads for a while, and both divas haven’t been shy in declaring their intentions of challenging The Glamazon for the Diva’s title. Will the divas be able to get along for a change this week? Doubtful!
Dolph Ziggler’s pursuit of Layla could pay off when he meets Elijah Burke at No Mercy, and this week he will step up his preparations for that match when he enters the squared circle. Also in action will be The Empire, and last week Drew McIntyre & Stu Sanders (Wade Barrett) were left even angrier after M.V.P. & Ron Killings once again came out on top in their impromptu brawl. They will collide in a flag match at No Mercy, and after last week, you have to imagine Sanders & McIntyre will be eager to send their American rivals a message.
>Confirmed for This Week on Smackdown<
Matt Sydal vs. Johnny Jeter
Shawn Michaels vs. Shelton Benjamin
Bobby Lashley vs. Chris Masters
Santino Marella vs. Chavo Guerrero
Dolph Ziggler & The Empire in action!