Champions, contenders and carnage

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January 18, 2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- As Royal Rumble approaches, rivalries over the ECW and World Heavyweight Championships are heating up; but for World Champion Edge & Chavo Guerrero, the events of Friday night may have thrown more logs onto the fires burning inside Rey Mysterio & ECW Champion CM Punk than they intended.

Ever since defeating Edge two weeks ago to Beat the Clock and earn a title opportunity at Royal Rumble, Rey Mysterio has been left crumpled in a heap every time he comes up against the Rated-R Superstar and his entourage.

Chavo can sympathize, as over the last few weeks, he has been chasing CM Punk in hopes of earning an ECW Championship opportunity. He was finally successful on this past Tuesday's ECW on Sci Fi, as a little unexpected help from Edge earned Chavo a count-out victory over Punk and an ECW Title Match on the final ECW before the Rumble.

Then, there's the X-factor: Vickie Guerrero. She's Edge's girlfriend, Chavo's aunt, a thorn in Mysterio's side and, most importantly, SmackDown's General Manager. So when Chavo announced last week that he -- along with the entire Guerrero family -- were disgusted by her relationship with Edge, eyebrows were raised and whispers floated about whether or not the relationship between aunt and nephew was fractured beyond repair.

Obviously, that all changed on ECW, and the union was further cemented shortly before SmackDown's main event. Chavo & Edge were due to face Mysterio & Punk, and our fans found out that Vickie's men were a united front when Chavo made the following proposal:

"Vickie, I've had a change of heart about last week," he said, "and Edge, I think you're a pretty good guy. I'd like it if we could just be one big, happy family."

An overjoyed General Manager took both men's hands and shrieked with joy, and it was clear to our fans -- as well as Mysterio & Punk -- that they were up against an even bigger force than they anticipated.

Come match time, Edge & Chavo worked cohesively as a unit, but Mysterio & Punk were a step better in the early going. After taking a moment to regroup -- one necessitated after Mysterio & Punk tossed them to the arena floor and followed with a pair of suicide dives -- however, Edge & Chavo regained control and dominated CM Punk, who may have still been suffering the lingering effects of the attack he endured days earlier on ECW on Sci Fi.

Finally, the ECW Champion escaped his opponents and made the tag to Mysterio, who came in like a house of fire. After knocking Edge off the apron -- repayment for the Rated-R Superstar doing the same earlier when Punk was trying to tag out -- Rey nailed Chavo with a 619 and prepared to launch himself off the top rope.

That never got off the ground, however, as the World Heavyweight Champion blasted Mysterio in the knee with a steel chair. Referee Jim Korderas immediately disqualified Edge & Chavo and called for the bell, but that didn't stop the attack. A 2-on-1 beatdown of Mysterio began, and when Punk tried to help his partner, more backup arrived in the form of Edge's cronies, Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder. Punk & Mysterio were unable to combat the 4-on-2 advantage, and both were left laying after the beating culminated in the Ultimate Opportunist spearing Mysterio into oblivion.

It was the second week in a row that Mysterio had been decimated by Edge, and the second broadcast in a row that CM Punk was left beaten by the Rated-R Superstar and Chavo Guerrero. As two big title matches approach -- Chavo vs. Punk on ECW and Edge vs. Mysterio at the Royal Rumble -- will the constant beating leave the ECW Champion and the Master of the 619 in any shape to be successful in those contests?

Now that he has two Guerreros on his side, Edge looks as powerful as ever; when all is said and done, will this Edge-Chavo alliance leave his kingdom with another crown jewel -- the ECW Championship?

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