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Smackdown in Philadelphia







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Smackdown: Lights out for Edge
By ANDY MCNAMARA -- SLAM! Wrestling


One Night Stand is only two days away, and Smackdown is getting ready for the extreme. An intriguing segment of The Cutting Edge has The Rated R Superstar interviewing The Undertaker nose to nose. Several hard-fought matches are also on tap including the likes of Matt Hardy, Finlay, and Batista. From Colorado Springs it is time to lay down the Smackdown!

The program starts out with Edge stating that he will chronicle throughout the evening The Undertaker’s career since One Night Stand will be Taker’s retirement. After the show opening Batista coming down to the squared circle where he begins to talk about his match against Shawn Michaels. The Edge Heads, Hawkins and Ryder, along with GM Vickie Guerrero interrupt The Animal and insults are then exchanged. The payoff is a main event tag battle this evening where it will be Hawkins and Ryder versus Batista and anyone who wants to step up as a partner.

Match 1: Non-title: Matt Hardy vs. Elijah Burke

Elijah takes it to Matt early on including the impressive second rope choke slide to the outside and a couple of near falls. Hardy finally turns things around by fighting out of a backslide and into a Side Effect for two. Despite controlling the majority of the contest Matt is able to nail a nasty Twist of Fate for a big win.

WINNER: Matt Hardy

MVP interrupts Eve Torres from complimenting Matt Hardy. Jamie Noble then stops the former U.S. champ in mid sentence saying that he is making excuses for not winning. MVP calls Noble half a man and the cruiserweight challenges him to a match later on tonight.

Match 2: Finlay w/ Hornswaggle vs. Chuck Palumbo

As far as this Smackdown reporter is concerned it is just about time to put Mr. Palumbo out to pasture as he is just not over with the crowd. Finlay recovers from a belly to belly suplex by hustling away from a Palumbo charge, which results in his foe’s shoulder smashing into the ring post. The resourceful Finlay then snaps on an armbar and isolates the now injured wing. Chuck is distracted by Hornswaggle scurrying out from under the ring. Palumbo lands some of his usual power moves with Finlay countering. It is a shame that the Irishman’s technical ability is being overshadowed by a leprechaun son. The finish comes when Chuck is DQ’d by punching Finlay with a chain from his motorcycle ... sadly this feud will continue.

WINNER: Finlay by DQ

Back in general manager Guerrero’s office Hawkins and Ryder are discussing how confident they will be that Batista will not be able to get a partner for tonight’s match. Jamie Noble rushes in asking Vickie if he can fight MVP. He is surprised when she grants him his wish with no stipulations (like when Noble was fed to the Big Show) and he leaves happy.

Match 3: John Morrison w/ The Miz vs. CM Punk

The referee bans Miz from ringside and sends him to the back right from the start so this will truly be a one on one affair. Following a Morrison near fall Punk connects with a hard head kick, and is so refreshing to watch with his unique ring style. After landing a nice running bulldog on Mr. Morrison, Punk is eventually able to hit the Go To Sleep and finally gets a win.

WINNER: CM Punk

Match 4: Batista & Big Show vs. The Edge Heads (Curt Hawkins & Zach Ryder)

Batista’s surprise partner is ... The Big Show! The giant promptly wheels Vickie Guerrero behind the curtain and receives a nice pop from the crowd for that. Batista starts, but the first move worthy of note is when Show presses Ryder from the ring floor up over the top rope and into the ring with only one hand! The Edge Heads do manage to cut the ring off and take turns pounding away on Batista, but soon enough The Animal nails a huge spinebuster to turn the tide. Both Show and Batista are in and deliver a simultaneous chokeslam and Batista Bomb to wrap this one up.

WINNERS: Batista & The Big Show

Match 5: MVP vs. Jamie Noble

The cruiserweight pitbull attacks MVP’s legs right off the bat before the ex-United States title holder lands some hard knees and kicks. Noble is able to land a drop kick to the knee of his foe and an enziguri to try to wear down MVP once again. Noble gets a two count, but a frustrated MVP comes back by dropping Noble neck first on the top rope. Noble’s head is almost taken clean off by a running kick and that is enough to end this match in favour of MVP.

WINNER: MVP

Match 6: Vladimir Kozlov vs. Shannon Moore

It is that time of the week -- the time for Vladimir Kozlov’s SQUASH ALERT! The usual routine for this one. Kozlov hits some early power moves, Moore makes a brief comeback and is head butted in mid air, Kozlov delivers the inverted DDT. This one is mercifully over, and yet again we see what an awesome physical specimen Kozlov is. Give this man a manager; just imagine a Paul Heyman type with this guy.

WINNER: Vladimir Kozlov

Match 7: Michelle McCool vs. Maryse w/ Deuce & Domino

What the heck happened to Natalya Neidhart and her rivalry with McCool? That would be a solid women’s match and much more entertaining then the awful performance Maryse is sure to turn out. McCool rolls through a sunset flip and dropkicks Maryse in the face. After a distraction by Domino Maryse is able to sink in a single leg crab when ... out runs Cherry! The French model loses focus, which allows Michelle to escape and lock on her heel hook for the submission tap out.

WINNER: Michelle McCool

The main event segment is The Cutting Edge and the host has a ladder with the world belt hanging above it in the ring. Edge reiterates how he will retire The Undertaker at One Night Stand and that he will reign as champion once again. The Rated R Superstar shows a very cool video package of his TLC highlights with the movie voice guy making it all sound epic. When Taker eventually comes out Edge has La Familia wheel out a casket, which of course does not psyche out The Dead Man. Undertaker leaves the ring and pounds away on Hawkins, Ryder, Chavo, and Bam Neely while Edge awaits in the shadows with a steel chair. Taker has Guerrero setup for a chokeslam onto the casket when The Rated R superstar strikes with the chair to the back and head. Edge then starts to climb the ladder in the centre of the ring when the lights go down and when they come back up ... Undertaker is on the ladder with Edge! He knocks Edge off and lays into him when Ryder comes to his leader’s aid. This gives Edge time to scurry away, but sadly Ryder is not so lucky. He gets the Last Ride through a table and the program ends with Undertaker and Edge staring at one another from across the arena.

Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer, and play-by-play broadcaster for Toronto Maple Leafs inter-county league baseball, along with university basketball and volleyball on Rogers Television in Toronto. You can catch Andy this Sunday at 2pm live on Rogers Cable 10 in Toronto for the Maple Leafs baseball broadcast. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com