Tonight, Rey Mysterio calls out the Undertaker! Rey/Taker matches always seem to be tough ones for the audience because they are (regardless of alignment) the two most over guys on the show. Taker is simply not going to be booed. How will calling out the Dead Man end for the perpetual underdog? We go to the opening credits.

Did John Morrison turn down Vickie Guerrero’s lascivious advances? It’s the only possible explanation for why she has ordered the Shaman of Sexy to compete in a handicap match against his rival, Intercontinental Champion Drew McIntyre AND Chris Jericho. Wow!

Batista vs. Finlay: This looks like a squash, but perhaps there is method to this madness. Unlike the sort that takes place on Thursdays. 🙁 But I digress. Finlay no longer sports the bleached blonde hair that so many WWE Superstars favor (or have favored for them). It’s brownish now. Interesting. Finlay actually mounts some decent offense at first, including a second rope missile dropkick. A rolling Samoan drop scores Finlay a two-count. The Colt Cabana-ish butt splash follows, and Finaly knocks Batista to the floor outside. Finaly doesn’t get much of a chance to brawl, as Batista catches him and goes after the eyes repeatedly. The referee calls for the bell to be rung, and Batista is disqualified. Post-match, Finlay is thrown over the announcer’s table and then speared flat. Batista uses the guardrail, the corner ringpost, and the steel steps as weapons in the quest to annihilate Finlay. Batista rolls Finlay back into the ring and grabs a mic before continuing the assault. A spinebuster precedes Batista’s announcement that all this times twenty-nine was precisely what would happen at the Royal Rumble. Batista lays into Finlay with stomps, shouting out names of other wrestlers with each one. Don’t you hate it when the wrestler stomping you calls out another wrestler’s name while doing it? Oh, wait…. Meanwhile, back in Story A, when Batista shouts the name of John Cena, he stomps Finlay repeatedly and with greater force. One way or another, Batista is getting his title back.

Winner (by DQ): Finlay

To the ring! CM Punk and Luke Gallows enter, and the saving continues! We are reminded, via video recap, that Punk and Gallows are now the Number One Contenders to the Tag Team Championship titles. Great bit where Punk starts talking on the ramp, and speaks all the way to the ring. I’m reminded of the “Smackdown” taping that I attended where Punk talked all through R-Truth’s entrance. He’s just gold all around. Punk says that he and Gallows beat DX because DX was morally corrupt, and they themselves are Straight Edge. That’s also why Punk is going to win the Royal Rumble, and defeat twenty-nine other losers, like the rest of the WWE Universe. Boo all you want, but Punk knows that you’re all just cowards hiding behind their vices. Parents who drink and smoke in front of their children, guaranteeing that the kids will end up addicts as well. He used to be sick at the weak-minded people who begged to besaved, but not anymore. In addition to knowing that he’s better than you, he can wash away all your sins. While pondering who the next “saved” person would be, a woman climbed the railing and grabbed at Punk. Gallows pulled her away and handed her off to security, who dragged her away up the ramp. She screamed that she needed him and wanted to be saved. When Punk reallized this, he ordered security to stop, and Gallows to bring him the woman. She tries to explain why she needs to be saved, but Punk shushes her and calms her down. He asks her name, and she replies, “Serena.” She tries to talk again, but Punk quiets her like one might a frightened child. There’s a difference, he says, between pledging sobriety and pledging allegiance to teh Straight Edge Society. She agrees, and the head-shaving commences. Just as we go to a commercial break.

Upon return from commercial break, Serena looks positively ecstatic as Punk shaves her long brown hair away. She’s still really cute bald, which says a great deal. Punk hugs her, kisses the top of her head, and introduces her as the newest member of the Straight Edge Society. Sleazy Jesus now has his Scary Magdalene, and it is awesome.

Drew McIntyre & Chris Jericho vs. John Morrison: McIntyre enters first, then Jericho. Morrison makes his grand entrance, but looks all business when he gets to the ring apron. The handicap match is about to start when –

“You know it’s the Mack Militant!”

“Smackdown” GM Teddy Long enters. Lemme holla at ya, playas! Vickie Guerrero may be the official “Smackdown” consultant, but she made this match without consulting him. Therefore, he is changing the match to a tag team match. Drew McIntyre and Chris Jericho will face the team of John Morrison and –

R-Truth! McIntyre and Jericho are furious. Morrison looks quite pleased. Truth makes his full rapping entrance, and the match properly begins.

Drew McIntyre & Chris Jericho vs. John Morrison & R-Truth: Morrison and Jericho start. Jericho dominates early, and knocks Morrison down. Morrison fights back with the hiptoss-dropkick combination. Truth tags in, and Jericho gets double-teamed with hiptosses. The double kip-up was neat. More double-team goodness as they knock McIntyre off the apron to the floor, and send Jericho out to collide with his own partner. Truth drags Jericho back into the ring. Morrison tags in, and lands a top rope double-axe handle to Jericho’s arm. Jericho clotheslines Morrison before knocking Truth into the railing. Morrison hits Jericho with a jumping heel kick, but only scores a two-count. McIntyre yanks Morrison’s hair, allowing Jericho to hit Morrison with a dropkick that knocks him to the floor outside. McIntyre tags in and throws Morrison into a corner. A stiff short clothesline later, McIntyre goes for the cover, but Morrison kicks out at two. Both McIntyre and Jericho, once he tagged in, work over Morrison’s arm. Morrison squirms out of Jericho’s chin lock, and hits Y2J with a backbreaker and a side Russian leg sweep. McIntyre tags in, and in a true thing of beauty, uses Morrison as a springboard to knock Truth off the apron and stop the tag from being made. NICE! More targeting of Morrison’s arm by McIntyre, followed by a tiltawhirl backbreaker. Lots of backbreakers tonight. Roderick Strong may come for you in your sleep! Jericho tags back in, and with the referee distracted, McIntyre kicks Morrison in the head. Morrison somehow fights out of a Jericho superplex and knocks Jericho to the canvas. Morrison’s flying crossbody only scores a two-count. Morrison desperately tries to tag in Truth, but Jericho had his leg and stopped it. Quick tags between Jericho and McIntyre now. Morrison counters with a tornado DDT on McIntyre and finally tags in Truth. The place goes crazy. Truth cleans house, ending with a two-count on Jericho that McIntyre broke up. Morrison throws McIntyre to the floor, and receives the same from Jericho. Truth rolls Jericho up in a schoolboy, but the Canadian kicks out at two, and deals Truth an enziguri. Morrison takes th emoment to roll McIntyre back into the ring, much to the surprise of the referee. While the referee deals with the illegal man in the ring, Morrison kicks Jericho in th ehead, allowing Truth (the legal man) to land his Scissor Kick and get the win on Jericho. WOW! Now THIS was a match! Just great. Matt Striker is twenty-four carats of GOLD here.

Winners: John Morrison & R-Truth

To the ring! Michelle McCool and Layla have set up a party spread in the ring, with food and the works. This is lamer than a horse with no legs. The title match between McCool and “Piggie” James isn’t happening, because after tonight, James will be out of the WWE for good. More fat jokes. Maria comes out and takes issue with this. She says that it’s Team LayCool who will be leaving, either walking out hand-in-hand or being carried out. The fashionably anorexic McCool laughs at Maria, calling her “underfed.” Pot, I’d like you to meet my friend, Kettle Black. I know, I know, that’s the point. It’s still lame. Mickie comes out, with more to say about how she’s happy with what she looks like, and how she and Maria look like real women. Uh, easy there, Mickie. If either of you looked like “real women,” you would not be employed by WWE. Still more fat jokes. And it’s on! Mickie fights Michelle, while Layla and Maria need Joey Styles to yell, “CATFIIIIIGHT!!!” Beth Phoenix enters, looking uncertain as to whom she should help. I’d be happy if she just destroyed all four. Oh, well. Beth throws Maria into the ringpost before holding down Mickie for McCool and Layla to smash cake in Mickie’s face and pour punch over her head. Beth leaves, Team LayCool gloats, and Mickie cries. Oh, this is just so much fun, isn’t it? Jeebus.

Cryme Tyme vs. Charlie Haas & Mike Knox: Only Cryme Tyme actually got an entrance here. Not that it really matters, as the match barely got started before Kane showed up. Kane throws all four guys over the top rope to the floor before his pyro goes off. Kane thinks that Kane is going to win the Royal Rumble.

Winner: No-contest

The Hart Dynasty vs. Matt Hardy & The Great Khali: When you need The Great Khali to get you over…. I’m just sayin’. Hardy and Tyson Kidd start, with “Nattie by Nature” Natalya distracting the Great Khali with her Awesome Canadian Womanliness. The Hart Dynasty keep Hardy in their corner and take turns going at him. DH Smith hits a delayed vertical suplex, but Hardy kicks out at two. Hardy goes for a Twist of Fate, which is pushed off, but HArdy tries again and lands a Side Effect. Hardy crawls desperately to his corner to make a tag, but the Hart Dynasty is a crafty lot, and Natalya is sent to the Great Khali’s corner, armed with her Magnificent Rack. It’s enough to charm the Great Khali away from the ring and up the ramp, abandoning Hardy to take a Hart Attack alone. Hey, let’s be honest, you would have done the same. Help Matt Hardy? Natalya’s cleavage? No real decision there. Hardy, however, manages to shove DH Smith into the ropes, which causes Tyson Kidd to fall from the top corner. Hardy rolls Smith up with an inside cradle for the win. So Matt Hardy just single-handedly defeated the finest tag team on the WWE roster. Um, ok….

Winners: Matt Hardy & (technically) The Great Khali

To the ring! Rey Mysterio announces that he’s calling out The Undertaker because he wants to look him in the eyes and tell him that he isn’t afraid to face him for the title at the Royal Rumble. Taker responds with his grand entrance, and asks if Rey is having second thoughts about the whole thing. Rey says that he was, but he would stand his ground and do what it took to win the title from Taker. Taker responds that neither Rey nor anyone else triumphs over the grave, and that while he did admire Rey’s quest for the title, by continuing on this path, Rey was digging his own grave. Rey would end the same way as all of the others who had tried to make their names at Taker’s expense. Rest. In. Peace. Taker walks away. Rey shouts that he isn’t like the others. Batista attacks Mysterio from behind. Spinebuster and Batista Bomb on Rey as Taker slowly walks back toward the ring and stares at Batista. Batista bails from the ring as Taker gets closer, leaving the Dead Man little choice but to walk back up the ramp again.

The End.

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