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Smackdown: The Animal returns
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight is the night that Smackdown and thousands of fans around the world have been waiting for. It is the return of The Animal Batista! The former world champion will be back in a big way and Mark Henry is sure to have a big bullseye on his chest. As well, a huge 20 Man Battle Royal for the #1 contender for the World Heavyweight championship at The Great American Bash is on the line. In the land of the hardcore, from Philadelphia, PA, here comes Smackdown!

Match 1: #1 Contender 20 Man Battle Royal

The winner of this Battle Royal will face Rey Mysterio for the World Heavyweight championship at The Great American Bash. After about five minutes in no one has been eliminated yet as everyone is scrambling and battling all over the ring. Super Crazy and Psicosis are the first two eliminated, and then the two former partners go at it outside the ring. Kid Kash is also tossed over the top just before the commercial break. Right after Mr. Kennedy throws out Simon Dean and Funaki before being eliminated himself by Matt Hardy. Regal and Finlay have formed an alliance to combat the remaining London, Kendrick, Hardy, and Booker T. Eventually Finlay gets rid of London, while Regal tosses out Kendrick. Hardy is able to take out Finlay, and hits a Twist of Fate on Booker. Mattitude is taking over as Hardy is cleaning house. While Regal and Hardy are battling to throw out each other, King Booker takes advantage and eliminates both men at the same time. Booker T is going for the World Heavyweight championship at The Great American Bash. Even after being eliminated William Regal grabs the mic and still chants "All hail King Booker".

WINNER: King Booker T

Rey Mysterio is interviewed by Krystal who recaps what Mark Henry did to Chavo Guerrero last week. The champion then switches gears and says that he is blessed by holding the title and that Booker will go down.

Sylvain Grenier (the Ambassador to Quebec) comes out to the ring and invites all the fans to vacation in Quebec this summer. Fairly pointless.

Match 2: Ken Kennedy vs. Super Crazy

Crazy interrupts Kennedy's self introduction by rushing the ring. Kennedy snaps and starts pounding away on Crazy both inside and outside the ring. Super Crazy rebounds with a hurracarrana, but Kennedy quickly gains control again by applying a sleeper hold. Mr. Kennedy is wrestling especially fierce tonight and is fighting crisp. After a sudden flurry of offense, Super Crazy is about to hit the moonsault from the top when Psicosis distracts him. That was all Kennedy needed as he delivered the swanton bomb for the victory.

WINNER: Ken Kennedy

Krystal is caught off guard by complaining about Ashley winning last year's Diva contest. Tatanka then comes in and speaks about the courage he'll need to face The Great Khali this evening.

Backstage Davairi is rubbing a casket and tells someone to get the casket out to ringside.

Match 3: The Great Khali w/ Davairi vs. Tatanka

The casket is down at ringside, while Davairi calls out The Undertaker. Before Tatanka gets in the ring Khali gave him a huge boot. The native American was never able to get out of the blocks. The referee stopped the bout because Tatanka was knocked out. Khali wants to put Tatanka in the casket but smoke starts coming out of it! The Titantron flickers and Taker's voice comes on accepting Khali's challenge of a Punjab Prison match.

WINNER: The Great Khali

Match 4: Vito vs. Psicosis

A clip of Vito (in a dress) shopping in the Caribbean is shown ... yikes! Vito is psyching out Psicosis by flashing him and is winning the battle of mind games. Psicosis taunts and slaps Vito, but the Italian rebounds and celebrates by doing the Macarana dance. Super Crazy marches down to the ring just as Psicosis regains control. Crazy does the job by distracting his former Mexicool mate and Vito is able to win with a neck crank submission.

WINNER: Vito

In the locker room King Booker, Queen Sharmell, and William Regal celebrate his number one contender Battle Royal victory earlier tonight. Regal pours champagne to toast the win.

Match 5: The Pit Bulls (Jamie Noble & Kid Kash) vs. Funaki & Scotty 2 Hotty

Funaki connects early with a flying cross body off the second turnbuckle. That momentum didn't last long as Kash and Noble take turns ferociously ripping apart Funaki. Scotty receives the hot tag but the Philadelphia fans are booing loudly for the former Too Cool member. Shortly after that The Pit Bulls use a double team and finish off their opponents.

WINNERS: The Pit Bulls

In the back Regal and Finlay talk about their triple threat U.S. Championship match with Lashley at The Great American Bash.

Match 6: Gregory Helms vs. Bobby Lashley

The match is joined in progress after the commercials. Lashley is dominating, including a long stalling suplex. Helms tries to wear the United States champion down with a sleeper hold but Lashley is easily able to escape. Lashley turns a gorilla press into a powerslam for the 1-2-3. Intense displays of power from the U.S. title holder.

WINNER: Lashley

Mark Henry is interviewed and says that if Batista challenges him he will receive the worst "whoopin'" of his life.

To a thunderous ovation out comes the man of the evening ... BATISTA! The Animal is back and immediately calls out Mark Henry. The World's Strongest Man quickly walks down to the ring, then waves Batista off and is about to walk to the back when Rey Mysterio attacks him. Batista begins to decimate Henry, putting an exclamation point on it by busting Henry open with the steel steps. Security tries stopping The Animal, but he cannot be controlled. Batista is legitimately not holding back as he slams a steel chair into the back of Henry several times. A screaming Batista is the final shot as the program goes off the air.


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  • The Matt Hardy Show Season 1 DVD
    Andy is a freelance and SLAM! Wrestling writer. Andy asks: do you think the suspension of Rob Van Dam and the removal of his championships was the right decision by WWE creative? Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com.