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Smackdown: Poison changes Mercy lineup
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


It's the go-home edition of Smackdown before we head to No Mercy, which means we'll either see some good matches or super short ones. Oh, and we'll find out some information about the main event of the PPV tonight. Let's just get to the action.

Before the show even kicks off, both King Booker and Bobby Lashley announce their choices for the "pick your poison" element of tonight's mathes.

Match 1 - Rey Mysterio/Matt Hardy vs. Gregory Helms/Chavo Guerrero

The white contacts are back for Mysterio, which means he's all about business tonight. By the way, methinks the family reunion Monday will be the Hardyz.

As you would expect, the match is very solid, with Rey Rey and V.1 both taking heat segments. Helms is particularly impressive, getting a Blue Lightning Bomb and a facecracker at different points. Eventually, Rey gets a double 619, and pins Helms after a combo of the Twist ofFate and the Springboard Legdrop.

Winners: Rey Mysterio/Matt Hardy

The French girl from the Diva Search welcomes us back. If it weren't for the accent, she would be the latest N.F.D.

Match 2 - Elijah Burke vs. Tatanka

Thankfully, the SD! writing staff appears to have steered away from the storyline I feared. If you're wondering what it was, look at Shelton Benjamin's newest gimmick on Raw.

Burke looks damn impressive with his offence, using innovative offence and stiff-looking strikes. The match soon takes on the standard segments. Eventually, Tatanka gets the Pemmican Drop and the Tomahawk, but he doesn't get the pin. Eventually Turkay provides he distraction and a heart punch, allowing Burke to get the duke with The Stroke.

Winner: Elijah Burke

Post-match, Turkay gets a spinning B2B suplex.

Match 3 - King Booker vs. Fit Finlay

As always, the M.A.D.E. annoys me to the point of muting my television. If THQ is reading this, please, please, PLEASE do not include her in the next Smackdown! vs. Raw. game.

The match starts with Booker getting the advantage after distraction from the M.A.D.E. It isn't long, however, before Finlay gets the advantage. The action then continues going bak and forth in a good wrestling bout. Heatless, because the fans don't know who to cheer for, but heatless nonetheless. Eventually, the lebrechaun comes out with a rat which spooks the M.A.D.E., distracting King Booker, allowing Finlay to grab the International Object (wink, wink Eric Bischoff) and get the duke.

Winner: Fit Finlay

Match 4 - Bobby Lashley vs. Batista

The two start off with a handshake then go through various tests of strength, establishing how equal they are. The match then goes to similar back-and-forth action as our last match until King Booker and Finlay run in.

Winner: No Contest

The four then start to skirmish, until the agents come out (including Ricky Steamboat, Mike Rotundo and Dean Malenko). Teddy Long then officially makes the No Mercy match a Fatal Four-Way match. Of course, we don't know if this is first-to-a-fall or elimination format.

Backstage, Booker and the M.A.D.E., Lashley and Batista confront Long. The result is a tag match with Booker and Finlay vs. Batista and Lashley later tonight.

Match 5 - Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Sylvan Grenier

This is a rematch from last week's bout. Thankfully, despite the lame gimmick, Yang is still able to use his innovative offence. Give him the Cruiserweight belt now and let him feud with Psichosis for a few months; please! Then again, Grenier is looking impressive in the ring with Yang; maybe they should feud longer.

Eventally, Grenier gets the win after a surprisningly entertaining match, holding the ropes after reversing a roll-up. Well, hopefully this losing streak lead to Yang rediscovering his Japanese heritage (Samurai spirit perhaps?).

Winner: Sylvan Grenier

Next up, M.V.P. cuts a promo to establish himself as a heel. It doesn't take long for the fans to start on the "What?" chants.

Backstage, we go to Mr. Kennedy cuts a much better promo than the one we just saw.

Backstage, Michelle McCool, K.C. James and Idol Stevens cut a promo for the PPV title match.

Match 6 - Ashley Massaro vs. Michelle McCool

The two Diva Search alumni work a decent little match here, giving us a bit more hope for a post-Trish Stratus era for the Women's Division. McCool ends up getting the victory, rolling through a cross body press.

Winner: Michelle McCool

Match 7 - King Booker/Fit Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley/Batista

Well, the intent is good here, but running these guys, three of which are either pushing or over 40, twice in one night isn't the smartest plan.

The psychology here, would theoretically be that you don't want to tag in for your injured partner so they can absorb the most punishment possible in advance of the title match Sunday and we get that from Booker and Finlay but not Lashley and Batista. Guess which tandem feature veterans of 15+ years in the biz...

The match is actually pretty solid before until William Regal comes in the for the DQ.

Winners: Bobby Lashley/Batista

Post-match, Batista clears the ring of everyone, including Lashley, with spinebusters. He also almost gets the leprachaun, who attempted a low-blow.