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Smackdown: The Animal reigns supreme
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight is centred around the return of The Animal Batista to Smackdown! Batista co-headlines a huge main event against Chris Jericho to see who is the true face of Friday nights. General manager Theodore Long receives the shock of his life, and CM Punk spews out his version of the truth. The show is north of the border so welcome to Bizzaro Land!

A quick video recap of The Undertaker getting screwed by GM Theodore Long out of the world title is shown. We then are taken to Teddy Long getting out of his limousine and being surrounded by security guards. The general manager cautiously walks on. Batista makes his way out to the ring for his return to Friday Night Smackdown. The Animal states that his contract expired with Raw and he chose to come to the “A” show, Smackdown. Chris Jericho interrupts and tells Batista that he makes him sick like his injury prone former partner, Edge. The Animal informs Jericho that they have a match tonight and proceeds to deliver a nasty spine buster. Y2J storms back into the locker room and yells and Big Show for not being there for him. Show says that Jericho wanted him to wait in the back and Chris responds that he will take care of Batista all on his own.

Match 1: Intercontinental Championship- John Morrison (c) vs. Mike Knox

Dolph Ziggler is at the announce table to keep an eye on his Hell in a Cell PPV opponent John Morrison. The 300lbs Knox is outsmarted by the speedy Morrison who uses some kicks and a perfect second rope moonsault to the outside. Returning from commercials Knox has the champion grounded thanks to a reverse chin lock and a near fall via a big boot. Morrison recovers and almost ends the match with a standing shooting star press…wow John is incredible. Knox makes a brief comeback, but ultimately falls to Star Ship Pain. After the bell the I.C. champ talks trash to Ziggler, and Dolph walks out without incident.

WINNER: John Morrison

Josh Matthews interviews referee Scott Armstrong who was the one who rang the bell in the mock recreation of Bret Hart’s Montreal Screw Job between CM Punk and Undertaker. Armstrong said he answers to someone very high up and isn’t proud of what he did, but did it to keep his job. Why oh why is WWE bringing this old sore point in its history up again? Ridiculous.

Match 2: Non-title: Melina vs. Michelle McCool (c)

Michelle has a big knee brace strapped to her right leg and the women’s champion is noticeably limping. McCool jumps Melina when she is chased back into the ring and connects with some heavy leg kicks. Melina bounces back and hits her modified Canadian Destroyer type move to pick up a non-title victory over Michelle.

WINNER: Melina

GM Theodore Long is in his office with security when Mr. McMahon startles him and congratulates his employee on bringing back Batista and questions Long on his decision to double cross The Undertaker. McMahon orders Teddy to explain himself in the ring to the WWE Universe. Long admits that his plan to prevent Taker to become world champion was pre-planned, however, he is not proud of what he did. He states that he did it to save his job and apologies to the fans and The Undertaker. Teddy Long scampers back to his limo…and the driver is…The Undertaker! The Dead Man says “buckle up Teddy” and the car fills with smoke and purple lights. In the year 2009 this is not what fans want to see.

The world heavyweight champion is out and reminds the crowd how he got rid of Jeff Hardy forever and how he made The Undertaker tap out. CM Punk runs down how pathetic the WWE Universe is and that everyone self medicates to escape their pathetic realty.

Match 3: Cryme Tyme w/ Eve Torres vs. The Hart Dynasty

DH Smith has the advantage out of the gate, however, Shad and JTG send both Dynasty members out of the ring as we head into the commercial break. When the action returns Smith and Kidd work some double team on Shad for a near fall and follow that off by continuing to wear down the much bigger Cryme Tyme member. Shad finally makes the hot tag to JTG to takes it to Tyson Kidd and nails an impressive flying leg drop from the second turnbuckle. A distraction between Natalya and Eve allows Kidd to recover and connect with a standing blockbuster on JTG to grab the 1-2-3 on home turf.

WINNERS: The Hart Dynasty

Backstage Melina walks into the Diva locker room to find pictures of Dolph embracing Michelle McCool posted all over the walls. Maria comes in and blames Melina for putting them up.

Match 4: The Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh vs. Kane

A treat for the live crowd is that Kane was DQ’d quickly when he used a steel chair outside the ring. The Big Red Machine smashes Khali’s left leg over and over again with the steps and leaves the giant in a heap.

WINNER: The Great Khali by DQ

Match 5: Charlie Haas vs. R Truth

This was to be against R Truth, however, Drew McIntyre strolls down to the squared circle and informs Haas that R Truth had an “accident” in the backstage area and cannot compete. McIntyre offers to shake hands with Charlie then hits a spike double arm DDT.

WINNER: No Contest

Match 6: Main Event- Batista vs. Chris Jericho

Surprisingly Jericho is out muscling and actually man handling the big man. Batista explodes with a sidewalk slam, but Y2J is able to wriggle out of a Batista Bomb and score a near fall thanks to an enziguri. Jericho dodges a spear and manages to slap on The Walls of Jericho…only for a moment though. Y2J is caught in mid air going for a Code Breaker and Batista shifts it into a Batista Bomb. The Animal is successful in his Smackdown return. Big Show is interviewed by Josh Matthews in the locker room who says that Batista got lucky this evening, but if he steps into the ring with him next week then the luck will run out.

WINNER: Batista

Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer, and is the play-by-play broadcaster for Toronto Maple Leafs inter-county league baseball on Rogers TV. Along with baseball Andy does play-by-play for hockey, basketball, and volleyball on Rogers Television in Toronto. Check out Rogers channel 10 in Toronto this Saturday at 6pm to hear the play-by-play for the season opener of the GTHL. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com