Smackdown: Champion versus champions
ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling
The Royal Rumble is only days away but the action starts early tonight from Greenville, SC. There are still two Smackdown spots left in the Rumble match, and let's not forget about the No Holds Barred battle between Chris Benoit and Randy Orton tonight. Finally it will be champion vs. champions as World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle takes on the Tag Team Champions MNM in a handicap match. Let's get ready to rumble!
Match 1: Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Henry w/Davairi
Not quite sure why this match is taking place as Mark Henry beat Mysterio cleanly last week to become the #1 contender for Kurt Angle's World Heavyweight Championship. Rey Rey jumps off to a quick start, kicking away at Henry's legs. The World's Strongest Man regains control by slamming Mysterio after an attempted tornado DDT by the lucha libre. Henry is dominating with power moves, but Mysterio scampers under the ring and hides from the big man. Rey sneaks up from behind and delivers with some high flying manoeuvres capped off by a huge 619. After Mysterio escapes a power bomb attempt, Henry catches the cruiserweight and power slams him for the victory.
WINNER: Mark Henry
After the break Matt Hardy is giving a backstage promo about how he will win the Royal Rumble. Following that Randy Orton, Booker T and Sharmell are in the locker room talking about Orton's No Holds Barred match with Chris Benoit tonight. Orton also hints that he might be cashing in his favour that Booker owes him at the Royal Rumble.
Match 2: Royal Rumble Qualifying Match- Mexicools (Psicosis & Super Crazy) vs. Nunzio & Vito vs. The Dicks (James & Chad)
This contest is joined in progress with all three teams scrambling back and forth. The team that wins the match will have both members entered into the Rumble. Nunzio and Psicosis are having a fantastic cruiserweight battle showing once again that the cruiserweight division deserves more air time. The Mexicools finish off Nunzio after Super Crazy and Psicosis do a combined X Factor.
WINNERS: Royal Rumble Qualifiers- Super Crazy & Psicosis
Match 3: No Holds Barred- Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton
Benoit and Orton are starting to develop quite the rivalry with this match starting out solidly. The Crippler works over The Legend Killer's right arm and is trying to wear him down for The Crossface. Some great storytelling in this bout as the two competitors have not taken advantage of the No Holds Barred stipulation. Orton changes all that at about the ten minute mark by smacking Benoit in the head with a trash can lid. Benoit recovers and nails some blistering chops to Orton. Business is picking up as momentum shifts back and forth with the extremely hard hitting action spilling in and out of the ring. After hitting a nasty superplex Benoit goes for The Crossface but is thrown to the outside. Orton follows up with a sick garbage can shot almost knocking out The Crippler. Benoit hits a fantastic flying headbutt onto a garbage pail lid held up by Orton. After a missed RKO attempt, Benoit is able to make The Legend Killer tap in The Crossface. A five star match for sure.
WINNER: Chris Benoit
Match 4: Fit Finlay vs. Funaki
Squash alert! Fit Finlay dominates Funaki, but the crowd lets out some boring chants at points during the match. Finlay destroys Funaki with a modified side walk slam for what seemed to be the win. The Irishman continues to pound away on Funaki and the referee reverses his decision and disqualifies Finlay. Finlay then gets on the mic and states that he is sick of the soft Americans and he came here to fight, not fit in.
WINNER: Funaki by DQ
JBL and Jillian Hall are backstage essentially talking about how Jillian is scared of The Boogey Man and that JBL will beat him at the Royal Rumble.
Match 5: JBL w/Jillian Hall vs. Scotty 2 Hotty
Back to back squash matches as JBL pounds away easily on Scotty. Scotty eventually knocks over Bradshaw, but while he sets up for the worm JBL nails The Clothesline From Hell. Before JBL can cover Scotty The Boogey Man's music hits allowing Scotty to scramble out of the ring. Suddenly it starts raining worms in the ring and Boogey appears from under the ring! Bradshaw slips in the worms and after that Boogey Man picks up the worms and eats them. JBL and Jillian hightail it to the back, what a gross yet strangely entertaining segment.
WINNER: No Contest
In Teddy Long's office Melina tries to seduce the GM, but it is actually to complain about her swollen ankle that Kurt Angle gave her last week. She warns Teddy that something bad is going to him if he doesn't punish those who harm her.
Mark Henry and Davairi are being interviewed in the parking area speaking on how Henry will defeat Angle and be the next World Heavyweight Champion.
Match 6: Main Event Handicap Match- Kurt Angle vs. MNM
To the disappointment of the audience Melina cannot do her famous ring entrance because of her swollen ankle. Angle is completely over with the crowd and it was genius to switch around the "You Suck" chant to be against his opponents. Joey Mercury starts against the Olympic Gold Medalist as Angle is doing some effective chain wrestling. As Melina distracts the referee Mercury and Nitro are able to double team the champion. The tag champs stay in control with underhanded tactics for some time until Angle reverses out of The Snap Shot by back dropping and German suplexing Mercury. Joey Mercury is able to switch with Nitro after Melina distracts the official once again. He then uppercuts Angle with a roll of quarters, knocking the champ silly and almost scoring the win. Angle is able to recover by back dropping Nitro over the top rope and then snaps in the Ankle Lock on Mercury for the tap out. Mark Henry and Davairi march down to ringside and the two Royal Rumble opponents exchange blows. Angle delivers the Angle Slam, followed by the Ankle Lock on the big man. Henry is amazingly able to kick Angle out of the hold and clear out of the ring! Mark Henry and Angle glare at one another to end the show.
WINNER: Kurt Angle
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Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer and the pride of Pickering, ON. He also does the play-by-play broadcasts for Durham College sports on www.thefreq.ca. Tune in this Saturday @ 2 p.m. on Rogers Cable to watch Andy and SLAM! Wrestling enthusiast Steve Clark call the OCAA Basketball All-Star game action from Durham College. Contact Andy at email@example.com.