Credit: PWTorch & James Caldwell
ECW champion C.M. Punk came out to start the show. They’re doing a tag match to start things off. Kane came out as his partner, then the Greasers came out as the opposition. They’re doing Punk & Kane vs. Big Daddy V & Mark Henry at the PPV on Sunday.
1 — ECW champion C.M. PUNK & KANE vs. DEUCE & DOMINO (w/Cherry)
Punk started things off with Domino, who shoved him across the chest. Punk answered with kicks to the gut before tagging out to Kane. Domino accepted an uppercut and back elbow from Kane for a nearfall. Punk came back in and the Greasers took control. Domino missed with a splash when Punk pulled the ropes down, then Punk made a tag to Kane. Kane cleaned house, then he landed a top rope clothesline on Domino in center ring. The action broke down and the babyfaces executed their finishers – Go 2 Sleep and chokeslam – a few seconds off. Kane covered Domino for the win.
WINNERS: Kane & Punk in 4:00. Standard TV tag match. Punk continues to just make appearances, but not really do much other than sell for lesser opponents. (3/4*)
They showed Batista warming up backstage in his locker room. Miz and Morrison are up next. A video package aired on the World Class DVD leading to break.
Backstage, Shelton Benjamin stood by in a sharp suit. Shelton said he wanted to talk about gold today. He gave us a bit of a history on gold digging – the old-school way. He said old west diggers came up with fool’s gold. Shelton said he’s real gold, as evidenced by his multiple title reigns. He said there is gold in the hills, so he’s grabbing his pick and shovel to begin digging until he pulls up the mother load. Shelton said he is the new gold standard in ECW, and for those that doubt him, there ain’t no stopping him now. Not spectacular, just darn good effective.
John Morrison walked out first for a tag match, followed by The Miz. Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore came out next as the opposition.
2 — WWE tag champions JOHN MORRISON & THE MIZ vs. JIMMY WANG YANG & SHANNON MOORE — non-title match
Another product of the ECW and Smackdown talent exchange. Which reminds me, where’s Armando? In any event, Shannon slapped Miz in the face early on, then landed successive arm drag takeovers. Jimmy and Morrison took tags, then Jimmy landed a leg sweep and standing moonsault for a nearfall. Shannon came back in and helped Jimmy with a double suplex on Morrison. Jimmy and Shannon landed simultaneous moonsaults on the floor to take control going into a break.
To no one’s surprise, they returned with the heels in control. Shannon made a hot tag at 9:00 and went for a top rope splash, but Miz yanked him down to the mat. The heels then worked over Shannon in their corner. Jimmy took a second hot tag at 12:00 and cleaned house with a round of hee-yahs for each move. Jimmy then flipped Morrison like three times in mid-air with a crazy monkey flip. He landed a spinning heel kick for a nearfall. Shannon took Miz out on the floor, then Morrison and Yang battled up top. Jimmy went for a moonsault, but Morrison moved and rolled up Yang, but Shannon broke up the pin. After an exchange of nearfalls and mass confusion, Morrison put the match to bed with a corkscrew neck breaker on Jimmy for the win.
WINNERS: Miz & Morrison in 14:00. Pretty good at times, especially when Jimmy was in the ring. Unfortunately, Jimmy is underutilized on Smackdown, so we don’t get to see too much of him on TV. (**)
Up next is Kelly Kelly in a handicap match.
A Kofi Kingston promo aired. Same promo as last week with the two random dudes arguing over kicking sand on the beach. The must only have one vignette in the can.
Layla and Victoria came out on stage and Layla did some aerobics with Victoria to warm up. Remember, Miz still owns Kelly’s contract, so he booked her in the handicap match. Kelly came out in a Boston Red Sox half t-shirt. That is so two months ago. How about a Celtics or Patriots jersey?
3 — KELLY KELLY vs. LAYLA & VICTORIA
Kelly fought hard early on, including a multiple revolution spinning head scissors on Victoria. She pounded on Victoria in the corner, but Victoria cut her off with a hard clothesline. Layla tagged in and smashed Kelly with a leg drop for a nearfall. The heel divas continued to work on Kelly until Kelly ducked a double clothesline and made her comeback. Kelly tossed Layla down to the mat, then she executed a snap suplex for a nearfall when Victoria broke up the pin. Victoria and Layla went back to exchanging tags to work over Kelly. Layla landed a spinning kick to the head for the decisive win.
Afterward, the divas stomped on Kelly until Michelle McCool made the save. The connection is Michelle feuding with Victoria on Smackdown. Victoria and Layla took off from the ring with victory in hand, as Michelle – with a big shiner over her right eye – consoled Kelly. No sign of Balls Mahoney to save his woman.
WINNERS: Victoria & Layla in 4:00. Kelly lost decisively, but she showed fight at times, which is what they wanted. It wasn’t great, but everyone worked hard here. (1/2*)
Styles and Tazz introduced a video package on last night’s Raw. They used the old Raw intro themes as the background music for various clips. They focused on the opening segment, RVD’s return, Evolution, Hulk Hogan, Trish and Lita beating up Jillian, Holly winning the tag titles, Bischoff and Jericho, Mr. McMahon as the greatest Raw superstar in Raw history, then the parade of Foley, Taker, Austin, and the rest of the locker room.
Backstage, Matt Striker stood comically behind Mark Henry and Big Daddy V’s chest muscles. He built up the ECW tag match at the PPV. Daddy spoke and said Kane’s decade of destruction ends at Armageddon. Henry said Punk has one option: run. Striker referenced the Bible about not worrying about tomorrow because today brings its own grief. That would be Matthew 6:34 from Striker. Henry and Daddy glared menacingly into the camera as Striker tied it together to the Armageddon PPV.
Elijah Burke came out and told everyone to forget what happened on Smackdown because this is his yard on ECW. Burke said there is no animal taking him out tonight. He said Batista would fall to the Elijah experience.
[Q5 — over-run]
This is going to be quick. Batista’s music hit at two minutes past the top of the hour and Batista walked out for the match. Burke simply glared at him.
5 — World Hvt. champion BATISTA vs. ELIJAH BURKE — non-title match
The bell sounded at three minutes past the top of the hour, then Batista shoved Burke into the corner and landed a forearm blow. After a game of cat and mouse on the floor, Burke rammed Batista shoulder-first into the ringpost. Burke nailed a quick dropkick to the shins and a DDT for a nearfall. He went to the mat with a chicken wing rest hold, and Batista came back with a standing spinebuster. Batista came up holding the back of his head, as if he took an unexpected knock on the noggin. Burke then shoved Batista in the corner and went for the Elijah Express, but Batista blocked with a spinebuster that was a bit off. Batista finished him off with a Batistabomb for the win.
WINNER: Batista in 4:00. Short TV main event match. Just an opportunity for Tazz and Styles to plug Batista’s title defense at the PPV, while making Burke look foolish in an Anthony Smith of the Pittsburgh Steelers kind of way. Not exactly the best use of Burke, but they must believe him working with Batista twice in five days will give a rub. (*)