Batista is then introduced to the crowd, receiving a tremendous reaction. He then gets on the microphone, saying that once he has recovered from his injury that he will indeed recapture the World Heavyweight Championship. We then go backstage to Kurt Angle, who is joined by Randy Orton. Angle says he isn’t worried about him but more worried about dealing with The Undertaker. We then return to the arena for the next match of the night.
MNM (w/ Melina) vs. Matt Hardy and Tatanka
This is an open challenge set by Melina for anyone to face MNM, with Matt Hardy and a mystery partner being the opponent in a non title match, which doesn’t make sense. Matt comes out next to a good reaction, before his partner Tatanka comes out to literally no reaction. The match is very much with MNM in control of Tatanka, with the occasional scream from Melina at ringside. At one point when trying to get the tag in, Matt does seem to call Tatanka by his real name Chris…awkward. The match isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but there isn’t really anything to it to make it interesting. Tatanka and Hardy are able to pick up the win following a Samoan drop to Mercury, again to literally no reaction from the Baltimore crowd.
Match Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars
WWE United States Championship: Booker T (c) (w/ Sharmell) vs. Chris Benoit
We go to Cole and Tazz briefly, who talk about the forthcoming match before we then go to the history package. This feud really began with their fantastic Best of Seven series towards the end of 2005/beginning of 2006 and quickly became really intense due to the efforts of an “injured” Booker T attempting to not participate. We then return to the arena, as Benoit makes his way to the ring to literally no reaction. He is soon followed by Booker and Sharmell, to a similar reception from the crowd. Booker then gets on the microphone and says he isn’t healthy enough to compete leading to Teddy Long to make his way to the ring. Booker then says he will forfeit the championship. Benoit then gets on the microphone and chants “coward” at Booker and tells him to take a beating like a man. Sharmell then blames Benoit for everything, and begins to slap him continuously. This leads to Booker quickly making his way back into the ring and attacking Benoit from behind, causing the match to begin.
Booker is initially in control of the match, but Benoit is quickly enough able to mount a comeback. The match is very back and forth between both men, with some great moves displayed and lots of technical ability. The match is really enjoyable, from a wrestling perspective but it does seem to lack that spark to make it outstanding or unique. I’m not sure what that spark required is, but there is something missing from it. Benoit is eventually able to pick up the win after Booker taps out to the cross face, thus becoming the new WWE United States Championship. A very good match, again don’t get me wrong but it could have delivered so much more. After the match, Booker is helped out of the arena by Sharmell.
Match Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars
We go backstage to see Benoit celebrating with various superstars before embracing Chavo and Vickie Guerrero. He then turns to Mysterio, saying they are doing it for Eddie before having a good luck hug. We then head back to Michael Cole and Tazz, who talk briefly about the forthcoming match, before we head to the history package.