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Smackdown: Khali claws his way to victory
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


The hunt for Vince McMahon's illegitimate child continues, as the boss scours the Smackdown locker room for answers. A boxing legend's appearance is announced for Saturday Night's Main Event, while Kane and Finlay continue to be at each other's throats. The Great Khali faces Kane in a clash of the giants, while Batista makes sure that the world champion feels his prescence. From Uncasville, Connecticut get ready for Smackdown!

The program begins with MVP's VIP Lounge segment. The U.S. champion's guest is his rival Matt Hardy who joins him on the leather couches set up in the ring. MVP recaps that he challenged Matt to a boxing match at Saturday Night's Main Event, however, since he has not been medically cleared they could both choose replacements. Hardy chooses himself, while MVP picks former boxing heavyweight champ Evander "Real Deal" Holyfield! I was a big Holyfield fan back in the day so hopefully he puts in a good showing. The crowd is popping huge for Hardy, who says he can beat MVP in any challenge. The show host then calls out Chris Masters for the Masterlock Challenge. As Matt begins to fight out of the full nelson, MVP kicks him in the stomach, slaps him, and hits a Playmaker.

Mr. McMahon's illegitimate child is an on again off again focus on the show. Jesse and Festus discuss the situation and although Jesse wishes he was the kid, says that Festus has the face of a McMahon.

Match 1: Non-title- Deuce & Domino vs. The Major Brothers

Brian starts things off with Domino as Cole and JBL wonder if maybe one of them is Vince's kid. The Majors are working quick tags, delivering crisp arm drags, and score a near fall following a double team flapjack on Domino. The tide turns for the tag team champions as Deuce focuses on the neck of Brett almost putting the youngster away after a neck breaker. In my view the Major Brothers have all the talent in the world but could use a manager to add some personality. A two count from a Brian spinebuster is the closest the Major Brothers will come to victory as shortly after Deuce nails the Crack 'Em on Brian for the win.

WINNERS: Deuce & Domino

McMahon is backstage congratulating Kristal and GM Theodore Long on their engagement when The Great Khali and translator come in to whine about facing Batista at SummerSlam. Long has nothing of it and informs the World title holder that he will be up again Kane this evening. The Coach reminds Vince of when he was in India years ago, dropping the hint that Khali could be the lost McMahon.

Match 2: Finlay vs. Jamie Noble

The wily Irishman is caught off guard early, but changes the momentum when he whips Noble knee first into the ring steps. Finlay does a great job story telling and isolating the knee, including a near tap out on a half crab. Finlay employs the Indian Death Lock to inflict further punishment on Noble's knee, when Kane's music hit. The Big Red Machine's ribs are taped from last week and delivers a big boot to the chops of Finlay. Hornswaggle saves his Irish counterpart from a chokeslam by pushing Noble into Kane. Finlay is able to escape while Jamie Noble pays with a chokeslam.

WINNER: Finlay by DQ

Match 3: Chavo Guerrero vs. Shannon Moore

Chavo carries a black Mysterio mask to the ring and places it on the ring post. Guerrero dominates with quick suplexes, however, he allows Moore to nail a head kick when Chavo pauses to taunt the mask. Moore's momentum is short lived as a missed baseball slide allows Guerrero to smash Moore's knee into the ring post. Shannon recovers briefly with an enziguri, spinning heel kick, and a corkscrew moonsault for a two. The two battle back and forth until Chavo connects with a brainbuster and picks up the win. Guerrero snaps following the match, putting Rey's mask on Moore and hits a frog splash onto his knee.

WINNER: Chavo Guerrero

Batista comes out and discusses how Ric Flair and himself had the Khali claw slapped on them last week. Before long The Great Khali appears on the Titan Tron and has translated that he will pop Batista's head like a basketball (a ball he proceeds to pop with his hands). The audience isn't into this segment. The Animal states that Khali will not be facing a basketball at SummerSlam.

Coach and Vince are backstage speaking about how Batista could also be McMahon's son since they both have great physiques. The child could be anyone, even Big Dick Johnson who starts dancing dressed like a baby. Coach decides to do a little dancing as well.

Match 4: Mark Heny vs. Greg Gardona

Typical Mark Henry squash. The World's Strongest Man decides to finish off his opponent with a bear hug, after picking him from a two count following the big powerslam.

WINNER: Mark Henry

Following his victory Henry recaps yet again how he put out The Undertaker and goes to show a video montage. However, druids in Death Valley are shown instead, and then a gong with two druids walk out. The lights come back on and the druids are gone leaving only a pile of sand.

In the locker room Kristal makes Torrie and Michelle McCool bridesmaids. Victoria walks in and assumes she is one as well. When she is told this is not so Victoria becomes upset and her and McCool begin arguing. This results in a slap to Michelle's face and the start of...

Match 5: Victoria w/ Kenny vs. Michelle McCool

The two divas exchange advantages including a McCool baseball slide and a Victoria hair toss. McCool controls the action with arm drags, and is able to kick the spit bucket in Victoria's face, which the heel had passed to her by Kenny. Michelle leaps from the top rope with a sloppy clothesline and is able to put away her foe.

WINNER: Michelle McCool

McMahon and coach are on their way out of the building when Coach says he will have an answer by tomorrow night's Saturday Night's Main Event. Howard Finkel walks over (he was Vince's first employee) and Coach laughs at the prospect of Finkel being the illegitimate baby.

Match 6: Main Event- Non-Title: The Great Khali w/ translator vs. Kane

Flair vs. Steamboat this is not. Kane's early punches have no effect and Khali throws the Big Red Machine over the top rope. When action rolls back into the ring Khali focuses on Kane's taped ribs and sinks in a claw hold to them. Kane briefly breaks away, but the World Heavyweight champion goes right back to the rib claw grip. Kane is able to finally break free by using the turnbuckle, and following that up with a corner clothesline. Khali and The Big Red Machine simultaneously lock in a head claw hold and a chokeslam setup, respectively. In the end Khali is too strong and forces Kane down to the mat for a pinfall win.

WINNER: The Great Khali

Finlay hits the ring once the bell rings to and attacks Kane's ribs before Batista delivers a spinbuster on the Irishman for the save. The Animal sets up for the Batista Bomb, but Khali sinks in the claw hold from behind to end the night. Good chance of a tag match next week.

Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer, a play-by-play broadcaster for both Toronto Maple Leafs inter-county league baseball on Rogers television, and on the radio for Durham College sports. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com.