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Smackdown: The lights go out for Batista and Mysterio
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Welcome to the first Smackdown of 2010! The march to the Royal Rumble begins in a big way as a gigantic main event between former friends Rey Mysterio and Batista. Jericho and The Hart Dynasty tear the house down, along with a lot of other action. Let's rock and roll into the new year, onto the report!

Batista comes out and demands a spotlight on him as he walks to the ring. The Animal complains how GM Theodore Long continues to “screw” him with his TLC title shot and that he did nothing when Rey Mysterio interfered in his Beat The Clock match last week. Batista calls out Long, however, it is Mysterio who shows up and tells his former friend that his true colours have finally shown. Rey proclaims that Batista is not ready for their contest tonight, to which The Animal replies by stating that Mysterio will not walk out of the building after he is through with him.

Match 1: Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler

Kane will be seeking revenge after being punked by Ziggler during their Beat The Clock match last Friday. The Big Red Machine over powers the youngster early on until Dolph connects with a second turnbuckle dropkick. Ziggler survives a couple of long two counts, connects with the top rope clothesline, but cannot finish him off with a chokeslam. Dolph is unable to put away Kane with a Zig Zag and follows it up with a deep sleeper hold. Kane spills out of the ring with Ziggler holding on tight with the sleeper. As the count edges towards ten, he finally lets go and scampers into the squared circle, leaving Kane groggy by the announce table.

WINNER: Dolph Ziggler by countout

Backstage Jericho is complaining to The Hart Dynasty about how he has been disrespected. Y2J challenges the team to make an impact tonight in their match with him. Natalya, Smith, and Kidd state that what happened to Bret Hart on Monday was an embarrassment and that they are better then that.

Match 2: R-Truth & Cryme Tyme vs. The Hart Dynasty & Chris Jericho

I like the tease of Jericho taking The Hart Dynasty under his wing. Could be the perfect mouthpiece to help take this promising group to the next level. All members of the opposition take their turn laying a beatdown on Tyson Kidd, and once Kidd tags out it is Jericho’s turn to feel some pain. Returning from the commercials it is Shad who is in full control of Jericho until Kidd distracts the referee, which allows Shad to be knocked to the outside and Natalya to give him a kick in the ribs. A good pace to this one as the Harts look especially crisp. Y2J catches JTG in the air from a dropkick attempt and turns it into the classic Lion Tamer version of The Walls of Jericho where he has the knee pressed into his opponents neck.

WINNERS: Jericho & The Hart Dynasty

CM Punk and Luke Gallows come out to the ring as they continue their quest to “save” someone from every city they visit. They pick a fan out of the crowd who agrees that he is ready to be saved. Punk tells the man, James, that he is his saviour and has him take an oath of allegiance to him. There is one last step to join the straight edge lifestyle…to shave his head. After some reluctance James does allow Punk to shave his head.

Match 3: Luke Gallows vs. Matt Hardy

Hardy receives a massive pop and strong support from the fans throughout…yet he still receives no push. Hardy works the leg of Gallows in the first couple of minutes before Luke punishes his foe’s back on the ring apron. Matt connects with an impressive moonsault off the top for a near fall and almost scores a pinfall again from a tornado DDT. Punk distracts Hardy, which allows Luke to hit a big boot and The Gallows Pull.

WINNER: Luke Gallows

In the back office Theodore Long discusses with Maria her participation in the upcoming Celebrity Apprentice show. Vickie Guerrero interrupts as do Ranjin Singh and The Great Khali. Essentially a wasteful time filler.

Match 4: Beth Phoenix vs. Layla w/ Michelle McCool

Layla gamely gets a few shots in, but in the end the much more powerful Phoenix prevails. Michelle McCool attacked Beth after the bell, however, Mickie James ran down to make the save…then kicked Phoenix as well.

WINNER: Beth Phoenix

John Morrison interrupts Intercontinental champion Drew McIntyre’s interview. The two exchange words and end up in a backstage brawl

Match 5: Main Event- #1 Contender’s Match: Batista vs. Rey Mysterio

The winner of this one will go on to face The Undertaker for the title at the Royal Rumble. Mysterio uses his quickness right off the bat to throw Batista off his game plan, however, his mammoth size grounds the high flyer with a shoulder block. The Animal escapes an early 619 attempt and counters a body splash by catching Rey and crushing him into the steel post. Back from the commercial break it is Batista still in full control as he plants his former friend with consecutive spine busters. That is not enough for the big man as he delivers a spear and sets up for a Batista Bomb when…gongs are heard and the lights go out! Moments later the lights are back up and both men are laying on the mat. Mysterio seems rejuvenated as he connects with a springboard bulldog and spinning DDT. Rey Rey hits 619 and is about to Drop The Dime when the lights go out again to the sound of Undertaker’s gongs. Both Superstars are knocked down again once the lights rise again. The show ends as Taker’s music plays with pyro and mist…but no Dead Man.

WINNER: No Contest

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, football, and volleyball on Rogers Television, TV Cogeco, Durham College/UOIT, and Ryerson University. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com