Never go against the family

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January 25, 2008

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- After World Heavyweight Champion Edge's actions helped Chavo Guerrero become the new ECW Champion this past Tuesday on ECW on Sci Fi, CM Punk came to SmackDown looking for retribution against the Rated-R Superstar. With Royal Rumble opponent Rey Mysterio at ringside, the World Champion Edge was hoping to send a message of his own to the Master of the 619 just two days before they clash over the gold, and he might have done just that by defeating Punk to earn the victory heading into the Rumble.

In the non-title affair, Edge defeated the Straightedge Superstar with a perfectly delivered spear that appeared to come out of nowhere, sealing the victory and building his final momentum before the Royal Rumble. After the win by the Rated-R Superstar, Rey entered the ring to check on CM Punk -- and possibly get his hands on the champion -- while the Ultimate Opportunist exited and celebrated up the aisle with Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder.

Earlier in the night, Mysterio fended for himself in a Handicap Match against Edge's associates. In a match made by General Manager Vickie Guerrero, Hawkins & Ryder were on a mission to punish the Master of the 619 before his championship encounter with Edge this Sunday. But as Rey has shown time and time again during his career, he is at his best with the odds against him. As the No. 1 contender had set up Ryder for the 619, Hawkins entered the ring with a chair, but was quickly surprised when Mysterio kicked the chair into his face, a sign that Mysterio's growing frustrations have made him more dangerous than he has ever been. Mysterio claimed the victory by disqualification, and more importantly, delivered a statement of his own: That he is focused on winning the gold this Sunday and nothing is going to stand in his way.

While he may have made the clear statement on SmackDown as he faces the task at hand on Sunday, Mysterio will still have to contend with Edge, Hawkins & Ryder, General Manager Vickie Guerrero and now, his longtime rival, ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero. If Rey hopes to reclaim the title he held in 2006 as the biggest underdog in WWE history, lightning will have to strike once more at the site of perhaps his greatest underdog feat, the Royal Rumble. The question now is: Can Rey Mysterio find a way to win, despite the deck being stacked against him in the "Guerrero family," or will the World Heavyweight Champion Edge and those aligned with the Rated-R Superstar make it impossible for Mysterio to find his way back to the "richest prize in the game"?

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