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Smackdown: The Rumble comes early
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


This evening's Smackdown is filled with matches, matches, and more matches. A 6 Man Battle Royal challenge is on the agenda, however, each competitor will have to have a singles contest earlier in the night as well. There is a champion vs. champion battle featuring Batista, along with a couple of tag team contests. Mobile, Alabama is ready for a whole lot of wrestling, are you? On to the report!

Match 1: Non-title- Batista vs. Gregory Helms

Batista comes out to the ring to begin tonight's TV. Gregory Helms interrupts The Animal's intro, stating that he is the longest reigning champion and that Batista will lose his title to Ken Kennedy at the Royal Rumble. Helms delivers an ill advised slap to the face and from there The Animal takes over with a running slam into the corner. Following a cheap shot on the outside, Helms connects with a couple of leg drops. The Cruiserweight champion is fairing surpringly well, however, just as things look good for Helms ... Batista strikes. A spinebuster, spear, and Batista Bomb later and the world champ comes out on top.

WINNER: Batista

Match 2: Non-title- Chris Benoit vs. The Miz

A preview of tonight's 6 Man Battle Royal challenge as these two competitors go at it. The Miz is obviously overmatched but to his credit does not look overly out of place in the ring. Miz goes on a brief roll with some forearm shots and back drops, however, the U.S. title holder breaks out of a headlock and begins the comeback. The Crippler nails three German suplexes, hits the top rope flying headbutt ... and before a pinfall, The Miz puts his foot on the rope. This only temporarily avoids the inevitable as Benoit makes Miz tap out in The Crossface.

WINNER: Chris Benoit

Match 3: Deuce & Domino w/ Cherry vs. Adam Evans & John Robinson

This gimmick is absolutely horrendous ... whether these two can wrestle or not is not important, the fact is that in six months the gimmick will be dead. The two '50s greasers double team Robinson and then move onto Evans. Being obviously a squash this one ends when ends with a ferocious running kick to the head by Deuce, while Domino holds him.

WINNER: Deuce & Domino w/ Cherry

MVP is in GM Theodore Long's office in his face. MVP says there is no way he will fight Kane tonight in one on one action. Long tells him that if he doesn't fight he will be out of the Royal Rumble match this Sunday.

Match 4: Finlay vs. King Booker w/ Queen Sharmell

Queen Sharmell joins the broadcast team while her King takes on the Irishman. These two sometime allies battle each other with Finlay finally grabbing the momentum. Finlay's unique style is always a treat to watch as he connects with European uppercuts, slams, and a upper leg drop. The Irishman begins focusing on Booker's left leg, and has the King in a world of hurt. A sidekick to the chops puts Book back in the driver's seat, but shortly after the leprechaun tries to pull Queen Sharmell underneath the ring. The King grabs the "little bastard" and then him and Finlay fight outside to a double countout.

WINNER: No Contest

Match 5: 6 Person Tag- MNM vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick & Ashley

MNM will be taking on The Hardy Boyz in a grudge match at the Rumble, but they will have their hands full with the tag team champions London & Kendrick. Mercury still has a protective mask on his face from the shattered nose he suffered at Armageddon. London and Kendrick work some double team and then London hits a few solid dropkicks and acrobatic moves. A Melina interruption turns the tide and now it is MNM on the double team. The athleticism of Kendrick shows is phenomenal and on the reverse side of the spectrum, Ashley starts attacking Melina. Kendrick tries a sommersault pin from the top turnbuckle, but a near fall is created by Melina. That is the moment MNM were waiting for as The Snapshot is executed on Kendrick for the win.

WINNERS: MNM

Mr. Ken Kennedy not surprisingly is out in the centre of the squared circle, reviewing his accomplishments. Batista then comes out, challenges Kennedy to slap him like last week when the lights go out and The Undertaker pops inside the ring. Both babyfaces try to get a hand on their rival, but their slippery opponent scrambles out and up the ramp.

Match 6: Kane vs. MVP

MVP is doing surprisingly well and is displaying that he belongs in the upper echelon of Smackdown. Kane remains so agile (nailing a standing drop kick, knocking MVP outside), which he cannot follow up with a head smash onto the announce table. MVP uses a steel chair to stop The Big Red Machine, and gets himself DQ'd for his trouble. The rookie then grabs a can of gasoline from underneath the ring to set Kane on fire when the big man sits up and chases MVP out.

WINNER: Kane by DQ

Match 7: 6 Man Battle Royal Challenge- MVP vs. Kane vs. Chris Benoit vs. Finlay vs. King Booker vs. The Miz

MVP originally tries to run away from Kane, but ends up bumping into Benoit who greets him with a chop. From there mayhem breaks out and the heels and babyfaces pair off. Finlay grabs his shillelagh and smacks Kane out over the top rope. Now it turns into every man for themselves as Miz and MVP try to dump out Finlay. The Irishman finally whips The Miz out and over to the floor. For some reason the lights go out and The Undertaker appears and begins to clean house. Benoit comes the closest to giving Taker a hard time, however, he falls to Snake Eyes. The Dead Man continues his decimation by connecting with a chokeslam to Booker and Miz, along with a tombstone piledriver to Finlay. To cap things off poor Miz is on the receiving end of a Last Ride. The program ends this week with Taker alone in the ring posing.

WINNER: No Contest


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  • Spectacular History of the AWA DVD Set
    Andy McNamara is a freelance writer for SLAM Wrestling. Andy is also the play-by-play radio voice for Duhahm College Lords and can be heard next this Saturday at 2pm. Simply click www.theriotradio.com for men's basketball action.