The Hardys & Chris Benoit def. MNM & MVP

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February 18, 2007

Since Joey Mercury's nose was shattered by a ladder shot from The Hardys, the rivalry between the brother duo and MNM has grown increasingly personal, as Mercury has been on a crusade to disfigure Matt Hardy on SmackDown. Tonight, the latest chapter in the rivalry between two of the greatest teams in WWE ended without MNM completing its mission. The Hardys reigned supreme after Mercury tapped out to United States Champion Chris Benoit's submission move in a Six-Man Tag Team Match pitting "The Rabid Wolverine" and the brothers against MNM and MVP to kick off No Way Out.

"It turned out to be a really good night," said Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy.

The rivalry between Matt & Jeff Hardy and Mercury and Johnny Nitro started as a one-time dream matchup between the two teams at ECW's December to Dismember, where the Hardys were victorious. But after Mercury suffered his horrific injury at Armageddon, MNM embarked on a personal war that stretched across the Raw and SmackDown brands and saw Matt Hardy suffer a dislocated jaw from a sneak attack by Mercury and Nitro.

But MNM couldn't even get support from their hometown crowd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. MNM focused on isolating Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy to a chorus of boos from the crowd. Nitro and Mercury did not want any part of Benoit, at one point refusing to accept MVP's tag when he was reeling from his trademark knife edge chops. The crowd roared when Benoit double German-suplexed MNM, a feat SmackDown announcer Michael Cole said he had never seen before.

Mercury tapped out quickly when Benoit slapped on the Crossface across the protective guard covering his face, possibly indicating that he has not fully recovered from the injury.

Though the rivalry between MNM and The Hardys has raged for months, a new one may be brewing between Benoit and MVP. Before coming to SmackDown, Montel Vontavious Porter was touted by his agents as the "most talented free agent in the game." And after a series of victories over Kane, observers such as JBL called MVP "the future of the WWE." When Benoit entered the ring tonight, MVP pointed to his U.S. Championship and could be seen saying he wanted an opportunity at the gold.

MVP -- who is accustomed to having gold on his fingers outside the ring -- has said he is a franchise player and already an all-time great. Does he want to add some U.S. Championship bling around his waist?

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