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Smackdown: Undertaker vs. Batista leaves fans wanting more
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Smackdown comes to you from across the pond in jolly old London, England this week with an incredible 7 matches on tap. Chavo Guerrero and Jamie Noble put on a wrestling clinic, while two of the WWE’s biggest monsters square off in one-on-one action. A classic rivalry is rekindled tonight as The Undertaker and Batista duke it out in a non-title contest. Grab a spot of tea and a crumpet because the show is about to begin!

Chris Jericho begins the program with his international version of The Highlight Reel. His guest is one half of the match he will be officiating at Backlash, The Animal, Batista. Y2J came across as a major heel on Raw when interviewing Shawn Michaels, but shows no favourites as he goes right after Batista. Jericho accuses him of being jealous of HBK that Ric Flair chose him as his WrestleMania opponent, and that Batista was not given the opportunity to have the torch passed on to him. Finally The Animal unleashes his pent-up fury on the host with a vicious Batista Bomb. This triangle feud has been built up masterfully and should result in a strong battle at the pay-per-view.

Match 1: Non-title: MVP (c) vs. Tommy Dreamer

Matt Hardy will join the ever dynamic *yawn* broadcast team of Michael Cole and Coach. Dreamer slows down the speedy champion initially with an arm bar, but MVP is able to escape and hit a neckbreaker. The ECW original scores a surprising near fall courtesy of a running a bulldog/neckbreaker combo, and also reverses out of The Play Maker to nail a DDT. MVP is able to collect his thoughts and scramble Dreamer’s brain with a stiff head kick for the pinfall win. No interference by Hardy.

WINNER: MVP

In the back Hornswaggle is shown training with Finlay by punching his father’s hands and then accidentally kicking himself in the head.

Match 2: Hornswaggle w/ Finlay vs. Matt Striker

Striker gets on the mic before the bell and states that this will not be a one-on-one match, but one-on-a half. The comedy battle is now underway as Hornswaggle keeps squirting the ex-school teacher in the face with water guns that Finlay keeps supplying. Striker becomes increasingly frustrated and tries to attack Finlay on the outside, only to be tossed about by the Irishman. Striker goes to use the shillelagh, but is caught by the ref, and while the official’s back is turned Finlay smacks Striker over the skull with a different shillelagh. This allows Hornswaggle to connect with the Tad Pole splash for the 1-2-3.

WINNER: Hornswaggle

Backstage Eve interviews Big Show about attacking The Great Khali during the peace offering last week. A clip is shown and Show exaggerates by saying that Khali was in his face and that he will finish what he started at Backlash.

Match 3: Chavo Guerrero w/ Bam Neely vs. Jamie Noble

It is always nice when you have two strong technicians in the ring to remind fans that pure chain wrestling can be more entertaining than a midget squirting someone with water guns. Anyway, the pace is kept fast as the momentum shifts back and forth until Noble delivers a nice northern lights suplex. Following the Three Amigos, Noble is able to pick up only a two count from a swinging neckbreaker. Chavo manages to squirm his way out of a Sharpshooter attempt and is able to eventually put his opponent away with a frog splash. After the bell Bam Neely puts an exclamation point on the victory with a half nelson slam on Noble.

WINNER: Chavo Guerrero

Match 4: The Big Show vs. Mark Henry

This is the battle of the behemoths and should be at a much slower pace than the last match. The two bulls lock up and when neither one can gain any ground they exchange head butts. Big Show stops the headache causing procedure by taking down Henry with a clothesline. The Silverback is just able to lock his fingers around Show in a bear hug. The giant is able to escape, hit the chokeslam for the victory ... oh wait ... The Great Khali comes down before the count and attacks Show causing the DQ. Khali eventually leaves Big Show sprawled on the canvas with a less-than-impressive Khali Bomb.

WINNER: Big Show by DQ

Match 5: Victoria w/ Natalya Neidhart vs. Cherry w/ Michelle McCool

The timid Cherry is dominated from the onset and even begins to cry, which prompts Victoria to yell "there’s no crying in wrestling!" Victoria locks in a camel clutch for a short time as well; Cherry is not putting up much of a fight. Eventually McCool is up on the apron to distract her nemesis and this allows Cherry to roll up Victoria for the surprise pinfall.

WINNER: Cherry

Match 6: Vladimir Kozlov vs. Leroy Kinkade

This is slightly less than a squash as Kinkade does land some European uppercuts for a brief advantage. A belly-to-back suplex and DDT later gives the mighty Russian another win.

WINNER: Vladimir Kozlov

Match 7: Main Event – Non-title: The Undertaker (c) vs. Batista

Say what you want about Batista but these two always put on a terrific performance together. Edge and his Edge Heads are seen making their way to the front row with tickets in hand and state that they are only there to enjoy the match. An early DDT near fall by Taker sparks the crowd, and Batista is able to muscle out of Old School to avoid further harm. The Animal delivers an impressive superplex, but then does fall victim to another Undertaker Old School attempt. The Dead Man tries to finish off his rival with a tombstone, however, Batista wriggles out and connects with a nasty spear. The two warriors take the fight to the outside where neither one pays any attention to the ongoing 10 count, and the match ends with a disappointing countout finish. Both men battle over to where Edge and company are seated leading to Taker dragging The Rated R Superstar over the guard rail and into the ring. Undertaker has Edge set up for a chokeslam when Ryder, Hawkins, Chavo Guerrero, and Bam Neely all rush in for the save. The ex-champ scampers up the ramp into the arms of GM Vickie Guerrero who scolds both Batista and The Undertaker. She says that as a punishment it will be Batista vs. Undertaker next week -- for the world title!

WINNER: Double countout

Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer, a play-by-play broadcaster for both Rogers Television in Toronto, and on the radio for Durham College sports. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com.