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Smackdown: Henry escapes The Dead Man
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight Smackdown comes to you from Columbus, Georgia with major questions set to be answered. The number one contender for the U.S. Championship will be revealed in a Fatal 4 Way battle. Also, what will Rey Mysterio do to Randy Orton after The Legend Killer's disrespectful comments towards the late Eddie Guerrero? With No Way Out only nine days away let's see what Smackdown has in store for us.

Match 1: Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender's Match for the U.S. Championship - Matt Hardy vs. JBL vs. Orlando Jordan vs. Chris Benoit

It will be interesting to see who the WWE gives the nod to for Booker T's next feud for the United States Championship. Count out Hardy, and Benoit has been after Booker for quite some time. JBL appears to be the safe bet but if Orlando is getting that new bi-sexual storyline push then O.J. could be the sleeper. Booker and Sharmell are down at ringside to take in the action. Benoit/JBL and Hardy/Jordan are the pairings pounding away on one another to begin the action. Benoit has Bradshaw in a Crossface but Jordan makes the save. Hardy is getting tossed around like a rag doll so far and has shown little offence. On a side note, Booker is hilarious on commentary and actually makes some decent points. After the commercials JBL and Jordan are teaming up to take out Benoit and Hardy, when Bradshaw inevitably turns on his former Chief of Staff. The mayhem is really picking up when Benoit makes Hardy submit to the Crippler Crossface. The number one contender for the U.S. Championship is Chris Benoit.

WINNER: Chris Benoit

As Booker and Sharmell walk backstage Teddy Long confronts the duo and gives Book nine days to get ready to defend his title. If he is unable to defend his championship due to injury then Booker will forfeit the U.S. title to Chris Benoit.

Bradshaw and Jillian Hall are walking through the hallways when JBL screams at a reporter complaining he should be the number one contender. Bobby Lashley confronts Bradshaw challenging him to a match at No Way Out. Jillian accepts on behalf of a nervous JBL.

Matt Hardy is shown backstage nursing a sore arm and is approached by Melina about joining MNM. She tells Hardy that he scratches her back she'll scratch his.

In yet another interview, Mark Henry and Davairi insult Kurt Angle. Henry then tells The Undertaker that he is in the wrong place at the wrong time for their match tonight.

Match 2: MNM vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick

Melina does her world famous entrance and issues an open challenge to any two Superstars for a non-title tag team match. Paul London and Brian Kendrick sprint out in their odd costumes to accept. Kendrick and London are delivering some impressive cruiserweight manoeuvres including head scissors and dropsaults. London delivers an amazing somersault attack to the outside taking out both Mercury and Nitro. MNM regains control after a referee distraction by Melina. Kendrick gets caught in The Snapshot with Melina holding London's leg so he cannot make the save.

WINNERS: MNM

Randy Orton is now in the back to "set the record straight" about his Eddie Guerrero comments last week. Orton acts remorseful about his derogatory words but when the camera comes back after playing last week's clips he rides out to the ring in a low rider. Wow, WWE just keeps going lower and lower. The Legend Killer says he doesn't care if Eddie is in hell or not. Orton continues by telling everyone that he insulted Guerrero to get under Mysterio's skin and get a match for Rey's WrestleMania title shot. Orton says that Eddie was no saint and is about to read a passage out of Guerrero's book when Mysterio rushes in and attacks. Rey knocks out Orton after a drop kick into the steel post. Whether Eddie's name is used to put a wrestler over as a heel or a face it still seems like a cheap and inappropriate way to go about business.

Match 3: Cruiserweight Championship - Gregory Helms (c) vs. Nunzio

These two high flyers will get a chance to showcase their talents for the first time in a while on Smackdown. Moments into the bout Kid Kash stands outside the ring motioning to Helms that he wants his belt back. We are told that Kash will face the winner of this match next week for the title. Helms is looking vicious as he smashes away on Nunzio. After the Italian misses the Sicilian Slice, Helms connects with a knee drop and then the Shining Wizard for the three count.

WINNER: Gregory Helms

Palmer Cannon is in the back area with all the WWE Minis with Super Porky eating a ham. Kennedy joins them all when Paul Birchill cuts through a screen dressed as a ... pirate. He sends the Minis scrambling, says hello, then walks away.

Match 4: Juniors Division - Octagoncito & Mascarita Sagrada vs. Tzuki & Valencia

They really have to start giving these Juniors easier names! Typical comedy moves and running about by the minis when Finlay's music hits. The Irishman comes in and destroys all four wrestlers. Finlay's kicks looked quite stiff and he almost ripped Tzuki's legs off after whipping him from the barricade. Finlay then grabs the mic and says that he has come here to fight.

WINNER: None.

Following the break Booker and Sharmell are in the parking lot about to get into their car. Book opens the trunk and it is filled with worms! Looks like The Boogeyman is up to his old tricks.

Match 5: Mark Henry w/ Davairi vs. The Undertaker

This is The Undertaker's first match on Smackdown in four months and the first time Taker and Mark Henry have ever faced one another. Undertaker can't knock down Henry as The World's Strongest Man counters anything Taker throws at him. The Dead Man finally gains control after sending Henry flying threw the steel steps. After Henry catches Undertaker in a bear hug the big man keeps delivering clubbing blows on his opponent. Somehow Taker is able to land the Chokeslam and calls for the Tombstone. All of a sudden MNM charges the ring causing a disqualification. Eventually the numbers game catches up with Undertaker but then Kurt Angle runs in for the save. Angle hits a German suplex, almost crushing his head in the process. The two No Way Out adversaries clear the ring when Teddy Long comes out. The GM announces MNM and Mark Henry versus Angle and Undertaker in a handicap match next week! What an ending, see you next week!

WINNER: Undertaker by DQ


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  • Tombstone: The History of the Undertaker Triple DVD

    Andy McNamara writes for SLAM! Wrestling and Oshawa Express. He also does the play-by-play broadcasts for Durham College sports on www.thefreq.ca. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com.