By Lennie DiFino, WWE.com
March 23, 2007
Only nine days remain until WrestleMania 23 in Detroit, and the Superstars of SmackDown continue to build their own momentum heading into the biggest event of the year.
World Heavyweight Champion Batista told Kristal, “Undertaker and I can co-exist tonight during the match, but after the match it’s a different story,” he said. “I will walk out of WrestleMania still the World Heavyweight Champion.”
The Animal was scheduled to team with his WrestleMania opponent Undertaker to take on King Booker and Finlay, but was attacked from behind, leaving Undertaker to face the former United States Champion Finlay and former World Heavyweight Champion King Booker alone.
Undertaker seemed to be firmly in control, but Finlay used the shillelagh, causing the disqualification and allowing the Irishman and King Booker to double team the Phenom. The Animal rushed to the ring to aid Undertaker, and they looked to be working together to dismantle Finlay and Booker. However, moments later Batista launched King Booker into Undertaker, undoubtedly payback for last week when Undertaker tossed Finlay into the World Heavyweight Champion.
As Michael Cole noted when SmackDown went off the air, “the animosity between Undertaker and Batista is heating up.” He then questioned, “will the action be even hotter in the tag match this Monday on Raw and will it reach a boiling point next week on SmackDown?”
Next week, WrestleMania 23 will be just two days away, and WWE fans are in for a treat. General Manager Theodore Long has granted JBL his request to host the biggest interview in sports-entertainment history – Undertaker and Batista face-to-face.
Mr. McMahon began SmackDown gloating about the “vivid message” he sent to Donald Trump when he shaved Eugene’s head on Raw. Mr. McMahon then went on to guarantee a victory Monday night when he faces ECW World Champion Lashley.
The Chairman then made a match for SmackDown that pitted Lashley in a Handicap Tables Match against Mr. Kennedy and Randy Orton, the first Tables Match of any kind on WWE television in two years.
With the odds stacked highly against him, Lashley was able to overpower his opponents to get the victory by putting Kennedy and Orton through tables, much to the disgust of Mr. McMahon. Lashley is on a roll. Monday he became the first man to break the Masterlock, Tuesday he defeated Chris Masters on ECW on Sci Fi, and on SmackDown he prevailed in the Handicap Tables Match. What will happen Monday night when he faces the Chairman?
WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London & Brian Kendrick defeated MNM after Ashley prevented Melina from interfering. London & Kendrick have held the titles for 307 days, and they continued to show why they are champions.
Playboy cover girl Ashley and Women’s Champion Melina continued their personal rivalry, one that has included a brutal war of words on WWE.com. The two Divas are on a crash course for Melina’s Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 23, and each looks to establish themselves as the top Diva in WWE.
MVP was victorious in his match against the Lichtenstein Champion – Cedrick Von Haussen. The cocky and confident Superstar then claimed that United States Champion Chris Benoit would make history as the first man to lose a title to Montel Vontavious Porter. MVP may be looking to win the title, but if he overlooks the Rabid Wolverine, he might be left holding fool’s gold.
Kane told Kristal, “all the way,” is how far he is willing to go in his match versus Khali at WrestleMania. Can Ford Field contain these two behemoths?
Jimmy Wang Yang defeated Cruiserweight Champion of the World Chavo Guerrero in non-title action. Guerrero looked dominant for most of the match, but Yang was able to bounce back to get the hard-earned victory.
The trailer for The Condemned, starring “Stone Cold” Steve Austin debuted on SmackDown. Can Hollywood handle the Rattlesnake?
The Wild Samoans were announced as the next inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2007, joining an impressive list of former greats being honored at this years ceremony.
Finally, it looks as if General Manager Theodore Long is smitten with a certain Diva, even handing her a rose on this edition of SmackDown.