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Smackdown: Undertaker keeps up the suspense
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


No Way Out and Wrestlemania are rapidly approaching, and the fans are awaiting the possibility of Undertaker's title decision. Championship flavour is definitely in the air tonight as Chris Benoit will battle Finlay for the United States strap, which is sure to be a "slobber knocker." Toss in some tag team action and get ready because Houston, Texas brings you Smackdown right about ... now!

Match 1 - U.S. title - Chris Benoit vs Finlay

Benoit took the early advantage, however, his Irish counterpart soon started to pick apart the champ's knee. After a failed suplex attempt, The Crippler is finally able to hit the Three Amigos. Benoit missed the top rope headbutt, which Finlay used to his advantage to remove the top turnbuckle pad off. Eventually Finlay went under the ring to grab the leprechaun, who was not there. Finlay nearly got counted out looking around for him. All of a sudden Boogeyman's music played and he popped up from under the ring with the Little Bastard! Boogey began to carry him off to the back, and this distraction allowed Benoit to roll up Finlay for the victory.

WINNER: Chris Benoit

Vickie Guerrero has a quick interview with Krystal saying that she will be returning to Smackdown soon with a new business opportunity.

Match 2: Paul London & Brian Kendrick w/ Ashley vs. Deuce & Domino w/ Cherry

London gets the beat down almost from the get go from the much larger tag team. London is finally able to make the hot tag to Kendrick. Deuce and Domino look generally out of place with the fast offense of Kendrick, but are able to hang in there. London is taken out with a over the top hip toss and Kendrick misses sliced bread. Deuce and Domino double team Kendrick for their ferocious looking finisher, with one holding his face while the other coming off the ropes with a front kick for the 1-2-3.

WINNERS: Deuce & Domino

Batista is talking with GM Theodore Long and demands to know which title Undertaker will go after at WrestleMania.

King Booker and Queen Sharmell are up next to receive Booker's "Key to the City" for Houston. The King is hilarious with his speech, but is eventually interrupted by Kane when he was going after ZZ Top member, Billy Gibbons. The Big Red Machine punches away on His Majesty and boots him over the top rope. Looks like this feud goes on.

Match 3: Ken Kennedy vs. Vito

Kennedy controls the tempo of this matchup and gets to it right away. Kennedy rips off Vito's dress during the fight and is able to put the cross dresser to rest following a second rope fireman's carry sommersault. After the bell, Kennedy chokes Vito out with the torn dress.

WINNER: Ken Kennedy

JBL then judges a bikini contest between Krystal, Ashley, and Jillian. Jillian wanted to sing instead of strip so Ashley stripped her. Ashley received the most cheers.

Kennedy is now back in GM Long's office demanding a rematch with Batista. Long grants Mr. Kennedy his wish for a title shot next week on Smackdown!

Match 4: The Miz vs. Matt Hardy

Hardy has control over the youngster, and the crowd is totally loving Matt. Joey Mercury emerges from the crowd, distracts Hardy, and smashes him with his face guard. Mercury's face is still messed up. This gives Miz his opening to roll up the fallen Hardy for the pin. It still amazes me how Matt's character is so over with the audience, yet he remains permanently buried in the purgatory that is the mid-card.

WINNER: The Miz

The World Heavyweight Champion, Batista, comes down to the ring wanting an answer from The Undertaker on which title he will go after at 'Mania. John Cena's entrance theme plays and the Raw champ reviews what a tough week he had on Raw and wants to find out first hand as well whether it will be his belt or Batista's on the line at WrestleMania. The gong of Undertaker hits and here comes The Dead Man. To follow that up, here comes Shawn Michaels! HBK states that he wants a shot at the gold and challenges 'Taker for his #1 contender spot! Vince McMahon then struts out and declares it is Undertaker's decision whether he defends his #1 contendership or not. McMahon does make a huge match for No Way Out where it will be Shawn Michaels & John Cena defending the tag straps against Batista & The Undertaker just before No Way Out.


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  • Mickie James Jakks Exclusive
    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.