Cause for concern

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January 27, 2006

If the World Heavyweight Champion planned on beating Mark Henry with the Angle Slam or the ankle lock at the Royal Rumble, he's got a serious problem.

The Wrestling Machine powered through a "Champion vs. Champions" Handicap Match against MNM on Friday, but Henry powered out of Angle's finishers following the SmackDown Match.

The WWE Tag Team Champions used teamwork and Melina's devious tactics to take the upper hand in the Handicap Match, but not even a Joey Mercury uppercut with a roll of quarters could keep Angle down. After kicking out, the Olympic gold medalist delivered a belly-to-belly suplex sending Johnny Nitro over the top rope and to the floor. Then, Angle grabbed Mercury and cinched in the ankle lock. With an intense look on his face, Kurt twisted Mercury's leg until he had no choice but to tap.

Immediately afterward, No. 1 Contender Mark Henry stormed the ring with Daivari at his side. Angle attacked and hit an Angle Slam, but Henry remarkably recovered. Angle then followed with an ankle lock, but Henry pushed up and propelled Kurt out of the ring with a fierce mule kick. Angle stared at his own hands outside the ring, shocked that Henry was able to force his way out of Angle's most-important hold. If Angle can't beat Henry with Angle Slam or ankle lock, then will Henry become the new World Heavyweight Champion at Royal Rumble? We'll find out this Sunday. 

Earlier, Henry cemented his status as No. 1 Contender by again defeating Rey Mysterio. The fleet Mysterio had a game plan to chop down his large opponent, but it proved to only be a matter of time before Henry again blasted Mysterio with "The World's Strongest Slam."

Also on a blockbuster edition of SmackDown, Chris Benoit faced Randy Orton in a No Holds Barred, One Fall to a Finish Match. This contest was filled with legal foreign objects as well as a multitude of wrestling holds from both Superstars.

The tide turned when The Rabid Wolverine attempted a diving headbutt — only to have Orton meet him in mid-air with a trash can lid. Orton then stalked Benoit looking for the RKO, but Benoit pushed "The Legend Killer" away and connected with his own trash can shot. Orton went down, and Benoit locked in the Crippler Crossface in the center of the ring. After a valiant fight, Orton tapped, sending Benoit into the Royal Rumble Match with a wealth of momentum.

Prior to the match, Orton informed Booker that with the Royal Rumble Match only two days away, he might be cashing in that favor sooner than later.

The Boogeyman got inside JBL's head one more time before their match this Sunday. JBL had just hit the Clothesline from Hell on Scotty 2 Hotty when the arena went blood red, smoke rose from the ring's four corners and worms rained from the sky as The Boogeyman's music played. JBL looked on in horror as The Boogeyman emerged, frightening JBL into the mass of live, squirming worms. JBL thrashed as worms covered his body before finally escaping. Then, The Boogeyman ate two heaping handfuls of worms from off the ring mat.

In addition, the Mexicools qualified for the Royal Rumble Match by winning a Triple-Threat Tag Team Match against The Dicks and the team of Nunzio & Vito. And Funaki technically beat the fighting Finlay after the referee reversed his decision. Finlay wouldn't stop his assault on Funaki after winning in impressive fashion, forcing the ref to change his ruling.

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