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Smackdown: Edge barely escapes the Dead Man's wrath
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Armageddon is a mere nine days away and the feuds keep on building here this evening. Edge tries to find redemption against the man who put him out of action; however, it is Batista and The Undertaker who make the real impact. Finlay feels the power of The Great Khali’s hands and a couple of non-title bouts cap off a strong show. From South Carolina get ready for some Friday Night Smackdown!

The man who is replacing General Manager Vickie Guerrero is the former GM Theodore Long, who struts out the ring. He makes a United States championship match for Armageddon with MVP putting the title on the line versus Rey Mysterio. Edge interrupts by coming down and wishes Vickie a speedy recovery from Undertaker’s tombstone. The Rated R Superstar claims that Long is screwing him out of his one on one world title shot, by adding the Undertaker to the mix. Edge demands redemption and Long agrees making a match against the man who put him on the sidelines -- Kane.

Match 1: Non-Title - Festus & Jesse vs. The Miz & John Morrison (c)

The bell rings and Festus snaps, clearing the ring. Jesse is attacked from behind as Festus fights with Miz on the outside. I really think that Morrison’s in-ring charisma as the cocky heel is tremendous. A quick paced short match and the finish comes when Morrison crotches Jesse on the top rope, rolling him up for the pinfall as Festus was pounding away again on The Miz. Festus’ character becoming unstoppable once the contest starts is making up for where the WWE missed out on Eugene.

WINNERS: The Miz & John Morrison

Match 2: Non-title - Batista (c) vs. Elijah Burke

Elijah stalls before locking up with the world champion and is on the receiving end of some shoulder blocks in the corner. A drop kick to the knee gives Burke a focal point, and he hits an athletic elbow splash. However, the best looking/most dangerous spot I have seen in a while is The Animal spearing Burke in mid air off of the top turnbuckle. Very impressive looking. The champ puts on the finishing touch with a Batista Bomb for the 1-2-3.

WINNER: Batista

Backstage Jamie Noble makes another attempt to hit on Michelle McCool. Noble has defeated Chuck Palumbo twice in a row, and Michelle accepts his challenge of having to go on a date with him if Noble can beat Palumbo again.

Match 3: Jamie Noble vs. Chuck Palumbo w/ Michelle McCool

Jamie Noble has a "Noble 2 Palumbo 0" shirt on, and I am glad his old school comedy heel tactics seem to be getting over with the crowd. Palumbo bursts out of the gate hot as he manhandles Noble with a variety of power moves. McCool tries to distract Noble by taking off her jacket, but the move backfires as Palumbo pulls up in front of her after a missed clothesline. Jamie takes advantage and rolls up Palumbo from behind! Noble is now 3-0 and gets his date with Michelle McCool!

WINNER: Jamie Noble

Up now is MVP’s VIP Lounge and his guest is Michael Hayes to promote the new World Class Championship Wrestling DVD. An excellent preview for the compilation is shown, and then out comes The Fabulous Freebird himself Michael Hayes. Hayes runs down the many tragedies of the Von Erichs and the drug problems involved. The two then begin bickering over Hayes’ age, the Hardys, and MVP’s upcoming pay-per-view match with Rey Mysterio. Hayes wants to fight, gets jumped by MVP, makes a brief comeback, and then Mysterio runs in for the save.

Match 4: Finlay w/ Hornswaggle vs. Deuce w/ Domino & Cherry

Finlay takes it to Deuce quickly, but Domino chasing Hornswaggle around the ring is a distraction and allows Deuce to capitalize. I personally think Finlay is a much stronger heel than a babyface, but him and Hornswaggle together for some reason entertains me. Hornswaggle sprays Cherry with a fire extinguisher causing the referee to become pre-occupied and this gives Finlay the chance to smack Deuce on the head with the shillelagh. By the time the ref turns around the Irishman is on top for the three count. The Great Khali’s music hits as Finlay is fighting off both Deuce and Domino. Hornswaggle watches on helplessly as Khali puts a two handed squeeze on Finlay’s head.

WINNER: Finlay

Match 5: Main Event - Edge vs. Kane

Batista joins the commentating team for some uninspiring drab comments. Kane was the one who Edge fought when he tore his pectoral and was therefore forced to vacate his world championship. Kane immediately goes after Edge’s left arm/pec by smashing and then stretching it on the steel post. The Rated R Superstar finally mounts some offence by pulling Kane down hard after escaping a back drop. Following the commercials Edge is in full control and connects with a leaping shoulder thrust in the corner. The Big Red Machine misses his top rope clothesline, but is able to stop Edge’s spear with a big foot. Kane climbs high a second time and is able to hit the clothesline, however, Edge escapes the chokeslam to the outside. Rated R is DQ’d when he brings a chair into the ring, but it backfires as Kane smacks him with it. Edge is able to use a drop toe hold on Kane to have him slam face first into the steel steps that the big man brought inside. Edge spears Kane, and sets up for the Con-Chairto when Batista slides in and the two stand in a stale mate. The lights go down and when they come up Undertaker has his hand around Edge’s throat. Batista immediately spears Taker allowing a startled Edge to escape up the ramp. This three way feud is being built strongly in a short period of time, and should allow for a solid showing at Armageddon.

WINNER: Kane by DQ

Andy McNamara is a writer for SLAM! Wrestling and play-by-play broadcaster for Rogers Television: Toronto Maple Leafs baseball, and Toronto university and high school basketball and volleyball. As well, Andy does the play-by-play for Durham College basketball and volleyball. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com.