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Smackdown: Bradshaw outsmarts Mysterio
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight's Smackdown really puts World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio to the test. The champ was able to survive Kurt Angle last week, but can he outlast The World's Strongest Man? The King Of The Ring tournament marches on in what will surely be an all out war between Chris Benoit and Finlay. Who will advance? Who will survive? Let's find out!

Mysterio makes his way to the ring in Cincinnati, Ohio, and talks about how happy he is to be holding the title. JBL's music plays and he runs down Mysterio for being a sympathy champion. Bradshaw makes some racial Mexican jokes, and goads Rey into accepting a match against Mark Henry later tonight. Henry then comes out and the two stare off face to face.

Match 1: Booker T w/Sharmell vs. Gunner Scott

With Kurt Angle on the sideline with cracked ribs from the Mark Henry attack last week, Booker has received a bye into the King Of The Ring finals. Gunner Scott pulled out the upset three weeks back over the five-time WCW Champion. Gunner out muscles Booker early on, but the crafty veteran rebounds with a cheap shot. After Sharmell grabs Gunner's leg, Booker delivers a side kick, which sets up the Scissors Kick and the victory. Book grabs the mic following the bell and boasts how he will be the next King Of The Ring.

WINNER: Booker T

Match 2: Tag Team Championship - MNM (c) vs. London & Kendrick

Melina comes out on her own and distracts London and Kendrick allowing for Nitro and Mercury to get the sneak attack. Before the bell even rings Nitro and Mercury hit two Snap Shots on Kendrick and one on London. The challengers are decimated and this tag team championship battle will have to wait for another day.

WINNERS: No Contest

Backstage, Teddy Long meets with Davairi and The Great Khali. The GM announces that The Undertaker has challenged Khali to a match at Judgement Day. The giant grabs the contract and signs immediately. Taker better have his working boots on for this one.

Match 3: King Of The Ring - Chris Benoit vs. Finlay

This one is going to be a good old fashioned slug fest. The two warriors stiffly bang away on each other, going back and forth in a ferocious manner. Benoit is busted wide open on the top of his head, but this does not deter The Crippler as he eventually gains the advantage on Finlay. There is some fantastic technical wrestling here, but the tide turns in favour of the Irishman when Benoit misses the flying headbutt. Finlay is tossed outside after trying for a shillelagh shot. While the referee clears the foreign object, Finlay nails Benoit with a steel chair, then delivers the Celtic Cross to pick up the tainted victory and advance in the tournament.

WINNER: Finlay

Match 4: The Gymini (Jake & Jesse) vs. Scotty 2 Hotty & Funaki

Nothing sadder then a balding hip hop guy doing the worm ... poor Scotty. Funaki starts things off, and after a brief flurry is promptly smashed down by both members of The Gymini. Scotty gets in for a short time before being double teamed and pinned. Typical squash match, nothing overly noteworthy.

WINNERS: The Gymini

Following the break Lashley busts into Booker T's locker room and confronts Booker in a towel around his waist and head. They argue back and forth about who is going to be King Of The Ring.

Match 5: #1 Contender Cruiserweight Triple Threat Match: Super Crazy vs. Kid Kash vs. Nunzio w/Vito

All three competitors are in fine form and flying all over the place, proving once again that these cruiserweights should get a lot more TV time. Super Crazy nails an amazing top rope moonsault onto Nunzio, Kash, and Vito. The Great Khali comes down out of nowhere and throws around all four men like rag dolls. Khali finishes things off by gorilla pressing Nunzio to the floor.

WINNER: No Contest

Before the main event gets under way, JBL pulls up in his limo and makes his way to the announce booth.

Match 6: Main Event - Non-Title: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Mark Henry

Henry taunts Mysterio about his size but the World Champ responds with some hard kicks. I'll give Henry his due, he's not a great wrestler, but for a big man he has improved quite a bit. Rey uses his quickness to gain an early advantage, however, The World's Strongest Man is too overpowering. After Dropping The Dime, Henry does that amazing back roll stand up while holding Mysterio, but the champion reverses it into a tornado DDT. Rey hits the 619 and goes for a flying cross body when Henry turns it into a slam. Mysterio cannot kick out and the big man picks up the win. Henry drags Rey by the leg up the ramp and climbs up onto the Smackdown set to deliver a giant splash. JBL stops him saying not to destroy Mysterio before he gets his title shot at Judgment Day. Then Bradshaw promises Henry that he will have the first title shot after he defeats Rey. JBL announces that next week Mysterio, in his home town of San Diego, will have to face The Great Khali.


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    Andy McNamara writes for SLAM! Wrestling and is a freelance writer. Andy asks: What do you think of this most recent reincarnation of the King Of The Ring? Andy can be contacted at andymcnamara@hotmail.com.