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Smackdown: The contender?
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


No Mercy is now a distant memory as we head into Cyber Sunday build mode. This includes a number-one contender match. There's a good chance we'll see some other matches set up, so let's get right to it.

We kick off appropriately with a look at No Mercy's main event before we go to the official opening. When you look at the video, you can't help but wonder why Khali, or Batista for that matter, didn't just drop down as soon as they were on the outside, rather than climb down.

Match 1 - Chuck Palumbo vs. Chris Masters

The match is all power and no pizzazz between these two. Palumbo ends up with the fluke roll-up for the W.

Winner: Chuck Palumbo

The real "story" begins after the match as Masters locks the Masterlock on Palumbo while he's getting set to ride to the back. Palumbo, naturally, puts the biker down.

Back from break, we get another Big Daddy V video. Yup, he's definitely Smackdown bound.

Match 2 - Jesse/Festus vs. Jay Adams/Conrad Carnes

Jesse, as a couple of you told me last week, is the sun of Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy. Thanks to all who wrote in.

The victory, naturally comes to the name team in this old-fashioned squash match. Deuce and Domino, meanwhile, watch the bout from backstage. This team, if allowed to run, could be very successful and get over with Smackdown fans easily.

Winners: Jesse/Festus

Backstage, Jamie Noble comes into Deuce and Domino's lockeroom and tattles on Jimmy Wang Yang, who apparently said something about Cherry. The greasers take Noble over to Vickie Guerrero's office.

Match 3 - Brett Major vs. Drew McIntyre

A quick check of the Manitoba Moose roster indicates that this isn't the same guy. Man, that's a relief. Anyhoo, McIntyre is a Scottish wrestler, who is apparently applying for U.S. citizenship.

Brett shows some impressive in-ring work, and McIntyre isn't exactly a slouch himself, though he gets a cheap win after Taylor attacks Brian, distracting Brett, allowing McIntyre to get the roll-up pin.

Winner: Drew McIntyre

To the beach we go for the Diva Search, and the world doesn't care.

Backstage, MVP and Matt Hardy get their game plan set for tonight.

Match 4 - Matt Hardy/MVP vs. The Brothers of Destruction

As one would expect, the tag champs don't exactly have the advantage early on, until Kane makes a mistake and becomes the beatdown face for the match. Ah, just like the good ol' days, and, just like the good ol' days, 'Taker lets the smaller guys get some minor offence in before dominating. The match goes quite long as the Brothers play the heels in the match with the extended heat segment on MVP. Matt is eventually tagged in and is a house of fire and even gets the Twist of Fate, but MVP blind tags in before the pin and ends up paying the price as Kane recovers. The result is a Tombstone and a victory. Surprisingly, not a bad match.

Winners: The Brothers of Desctruction

Backstage, new backstage interviewer Anastasia Rose interviews Rey Mysterio, who shows a seriousness by going into Spanish for half of his promo.

Then, we look back at the Teddy Long update, saying that he's recovering.

Then, we go to Vickie with Jamie Noble chat backstage. After Noble discloses that he was fudging the whole Jimmy Yang/Deuce and Domino fiasco, Vickie puts Noble in a match against The Great Khali.

Match 5 - The Great Khali vs. Jamie Noble

Like there was any doubt. Vice grip and it's over.

Winner: The Great Khali

Match 6 - Jimmy Yang vs. Deuce

Michael Hayes must be on vacatin this week, because for once the Cruiserweight doesn't get squashed. In fact, Yang gets the win with the Moonsault Press.

Winner Jimmy Yang

After the match, of course, Yang gets the beatdown, finished by Goodnight, Sweetheart.

Next up, Batista comes out to watch the number one contender match and joins the announce team.

Match 7 - Fit Finlay vs. Rey Mysterio

Prior to the match, JBL announces that the World Title match at Cyber Sunday will have a fan's choice special referee (either Mick Foley, JBL or Steve Austin).

As one would expect, the two have a strong match despite their very different styles. Eventually, the bout simply breaks dwon into an all-out fist fight, and both are disqualified for pushing referee Mickey Henson.

Winner: none (double DQ)

After the match, the fight continues, and suddenly the gong sounds and the lights go out. When we return, The Undertaker is in the ring and both Finlay and Mysterio are down. We close with a staredown between 'Taker and Batista.

Overall, it was a strong episode of Smackdown with matches a-plenty, a couple new feuds potentially brewing, and overall inoffensive television. That's enough to get the thumbs up from this SLAM! reporter.


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