Keys to the Game 4.13.07: Money in the Bank vs. Gold in the Pot
Posted by Joe Estee on 04.13.2007
A Kennedy hasn’t faced this much peril since Dallas, Texas 1963
Mr. Kennedy vs. Hornswoggle; on the surface, a comical match, but upon closer examination, a more insidious feud is revealed.
Originally scheduled for tonight's edition of SmackDown! this match featured Mr. Kennedy squaring off against his latest rival: Hornswoggle!
While this match has apparently been canceled, my journalistic convictions deem a closer examination of this match is still in order (Plus, I had already written the article).
I realize of course that Teddy Long also assigned Finlay to be Hornswoggle's partner for the match, but seriously… let's stay focused on the real players and set aside the inconsequential details.
Name: Mr. Kennedy
Weight: 243 Pounds
From: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Signature Moves: Green Bay Plunge, Kenton Bomb
Career Highlights: Defeated 7 former World champions, winner of the 2007 Money in the Bank Ladder match.
Mr. Kennedy debuted on SmackDown! in August of 2005, and nearly eleven months passed before Kennedy was finally rolled up by Matt Hardy in July of 2006, ending Kennedy's streak of not being defeated by pinfall or submission since entering the WWE.
Part of Mr. Kennedy's billing is that during the past year, he has defeated seven former World Champions, with Batista, Chris Benoit, and The Undertaker topping the list.
At WrestleMania, Mr. Kennedy became the third winner of the annual Money in the Bank Ladder match, granting him the option to challenge for any title, at any time. During this match, Kennedy performed his now famous Green Bay Plunge off the top of a ladder onto the 4'5" leprechaun Hornswoggle, igniting this simmering feud.
Hornswoggle made his first appearance last May when he scurried out from under the ring for a post match beatdown after Finlay defeated Paul Burchill. This would be a familiar scene for the next several weeks.
Soon afterwards, Michael Cole started referring to the strange little fellow clad in green as "Little Bastard." However, JBL continued to refer to him as a leprechaun citing that he "may have parents."
As the weeks went on, Little Bastard became more and more aggressive, and eventually would interfere during Finaly's matches.
With a toss of a shillelagh, the petite pugilist was instrumental in helping Finlay claim the United States Championship from Bobby Lashley.
At No Way Out 2007, now under the official name of Hornswoggle, he and his Irish amigo defeated Boogeyman and Little Boogeyman. Later that week on SmackDown!, Hornswoggle himself pinned Boogeyman in a tag team rematch after an Irish DDT.
The true roots of this feud trace far back past the now infamous Midget Mashing maneuver during the Money in the Bank Ladder Match two weeks ago at WrestleMania 23. In fact, both Kennedy and Hornswoggle possess similar backgrounds. Both came out of NWA Wisconsin; both have only been in the WWE for less than two years; both have already had name changes during their brief WWE careers with Kennedy actually debuting in the WWE as "Mr. Anderson" and Hornswoggle only recently dropping the "Little Bastard" moniker.
Two days before Wrestlemania, the lethal leprechaun helped Finlay defeat Kennedy by copying Kennedy's Kenton Bomb from atop a stepladder. Cole & JBL coined this move the "Leprechaun Bomb" (High Angle Senton Bomb)
During the SmackDown! following WrestleMania, Mr. Kennedy, distracted by Hornswoggle, was jumped by Finlay prompting Kennedy to plead with General Manager Theodore Long for a match with Hornswoggle, setting the stage for:
THE KEYS TO THE GAME
Neither Kennedy nor Hornswoggle have been competing in the WWE for very long. Kennedy certainly has made the most of his time. As previously stated, he has defeated seven former World Champions as well as winning the MITB match at WrestleMania. However, being a leprechaun, Hornswoggle could be hundreds of years old, and he possesses uncanny timing with regards to assisting Finaly. One wouldn't have to climb too far out on a limb to ascertain that Hornswoggle's lack of appearances in no way reflects his experience. This prompts me to give the little man the edge in this department. ADVANTAGE – Hornswoggle
As detailed in last week's Keys to the Game: Unlocking a Win at WrestleMania,
Mr. Kennedy's intensity level is what ultimately gave him the victory in the MITB ladder match. Hornswoggle's intensity however, is also not something to take lightly.
Quite often when the leprechaun would interfere in Finlay's matches, the Irishman did not seem to appreciate the little man's antics and at times has had to forcibly restrained the former Little Bastard and toss him back under the ring.
Depending on one's point of view, this dysfunction hit either its high or low point when the compact combatant actually bit Finlay... ADVANTAGE – Hornswoggle
While both of Mr. Kennedy's finishers are quite impressive, they are also severe high risk maneuvers; specifically, the Green Bay Plunge suffers the drawback of a very elaborate set up. Hornswoggle really hasn't established a true finisher, but we have seen him end a few matches with his Leprechaun Bomb (Which suffers the same drawbacks as Kennedy's Kenton Bomb) as well as an Irish DDT that put the Boogeyman down for the count earlier this year. Ultimately, I feel that Kennedy has more experience closing out matches and has also won a number of them without the aid of a signature move. This shows me that Kennedy understands when, and more importantly, when not to use one of his dangerous closers. ADVANTAGE – Mr. Kennedy
While it's true that the wee warrior has never truly been put in the position to impose his physical will on another in the ring, I think it's safe to say that we can quickly glance past this category. ADVANTAGE – Mr. Kennedy
Hornswaggle clearly has the advantage here. After his encounter with Little Boogeyman, the sadistic sprite uttered his first audible line in the WWE: "Little People Scare Me." More than likely, a few icy strands of fear have pierced Mr. Kennedy's heart given the prospect of facing this magical creature of Irish lore. ADVANTAGE - Hornswoggle
I suppose Finlay will have somewhat of an impact being Hornswoggle's tag team partner, but I have my doubts. ADVANTAGE - Hornswoggle
KEYS TO VICTORY
Legend has it that if one were to keep an eye fixed upon a leprechaun, it would be rendered immobile, yet the moment the eye is withdrawn, the leprechaun would vanish. This was evident at WrestleMania 23, when Kennedy kept a purposeful gaze fixed upon his prey prior to executing his signature move from atop the ladder. This certainly is a strategy that could factor in heavily during the confrontation.
While Hornswoggle does have Finlay as his partner, he needs to realize that he will be called upon to perform in critical moments of the confrontation. Hornswoggle needs to use his speed and experience, as well as any tricks he may have up his sleeve to secure a victory.