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Smackdown: Batista feels the Dead Man's wrath
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Tick, tick, tick, that is the sound of time counting down to WrestleMania. This evening another pair of Money in the Bank warriors square off in attempt to gain any last minute intimidation advantage. A massive main event is also on tap as The Undertaker battles King Booker in what should be a key tune-up match before the big show in two weeks. From Trenton, NJ, bring it on, because here comes Smackdown!

Batista comes out to The Miz's interview segment and Miz essentially says that The Undertaker will take out The Animal. Miz fools Batista by turning out the lights, the champion responds by laying down a Batista Bomb.

Match 1: Matt Hardy vs. Ken Kennedy

Smackdown again pits Money in the Bank WrestleMania competitors against one another. A solid start to this one and as always the crowd is popping huge for Matt Hardy. Kennedy has really come a far way and is my pick to win Money in the Bank; unfortunately Hardy is only in the Mania match because he is good with ladders! A back and forth battle for the most part with Matt delivering a hard clothesline and then tackles Kennedy over the top rope. Kennedy is focusing on the shoulder and knee, even applying an Indian Deathlock. The surprising end comes when Hardy stops Mr. Kennedy's comeback courtesy of a Twist of Fate for a clean pin! Following the contest Kennedy states the loss does not matter since he will be winning the Money in the Bank match.

WINNER: Matt Hardy

Match 2: MVP vs. El Gran Latte

The poor masked jobber is being thrown to the wolves as this one as squash written all over it. The bout ended quickly and MVP demands for Chris Benoit at WrestleMania. GM Theodore Long makes the match. The two then begin to brawl and Benoit looks to have better advantage of that exchange.

Match 3: MNM & Melina vs. Paul London, Brian Kendrick, & Ashley

I have to give credit to both Ashley and Melina as both women have improved their in-ring work tremendously. On an interesting note Michael Cole tells us that this is the 300th day of London and Kendrick's tag team title reign, making them the 4th longest tag champs in WWE history. These two teams are clicking really well in-ring as both sides combine high flying and crisp ground work. An impressive spot occurs when London and Kendrick do a sommersault over the top and a suicide dive, respectively, to the outside on Nitro and Mercury. The finish comes with a Snap Shot on London for the pinfall.

WINNERS: MNM & Melina

King Booker and Queen Sharmell try to discuss strategy on how to defeat The Undertaker with Finlay. After the two men leave, the Little Bastard bursts out yelling "Happy St. Patrick's Day" and drinks a pitcher of Guinness.

Match 4: Kane vs. Daivari

The Big Red Machine tries to exact some revenge on The Great Khali's former handler. This one goes to a no contest as Kane uses his new hook weapon to drag Daivari away. Backstage Kane continues to yell and pull Daivari around.

WINNER: No Contest

Match 5: The Undertaker vs. King Booker w/ Queen Sharmell

Taker continues his tune-up to keep his undefeated WrestleMania streak alive, and he has quite the task ahead of him by facing the King. Batista joins Cole and JBL at ringside to watch The Dead Man up close. Wow The Animal needs to get some charisma, he sounds so bland! Booker is scrambling and The Undertaker seems to continuously stalk his prey. No matter what offence King Booker mounts, Taker keeps coming right back. Undertaker looks to be ready to put the final nail into his opponent's coffin with a Last Ride when Finlay interferes. The King and the Irishman beat down Taker as Batista looks on doing nothing. The Dead Man makes his comeback on his two foes, whipping Finlay into Batista, and choke slamming Booker. The program ends with The Animal and Undertaker staring each other down from afar.

WINNER: The Undertaker by DQ


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    Andy McNamara is a freelance writer for SLAM! Wrestling and play-by-play radio broadcaster for Durham College sports. Andy and his broadcast team won for the 2nd straight year the OCAA Broadcasting Excellence Award for outstanding broadcasting in Ontario College sports. Contact Andy: andymcnamara@hotmail.com.