Who's going to WrestleMania?

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February 03, 2006

Rey Mysterio defied the odds and outlasted 29 other Superstars to win the Royal Rumble, but will he be going to WrestleMania 22 to fight for a World Championship? By winning the Rumble, Mysterio earned a title opportunity at the biggest event of the year, but before Rey could give his celebratory speech on SmackDown, he was interrupted by Randy Orton -- the same man that he eliminated last to win the match.

Orton said that there is no way that Mysterio could beat him in a normal match. He said that he only won because of some divine intervention. Mysterio wasn't buying it, but Orton really got under his skin when he said that Eddie wasn't looking down on him from heaven, he was looking up at him from hell. Orton challenged Mysterio to a match for his No. 1 Contendership, but before he received an answer, Mysterio snapped and attacked the Legend Killer. Officials stepped in and separated the two, but they would meet later in the main event.

In a blockbuster tag team match, Kurt Angle teamed up with Rey Mysterio to take on Orton and Angle's Royal Rumble opponent, Mark Henry. Henry and Orton cut the ring in half and used their size to gain the upper hand. With so much bad blood involved, though, it's no surprise that this one broke down. With Rey dealing with Orton in the ring, Angle knocked Henry off the apron and ran him into the steel post. Daivari confronted Angle, but that just angered the Wrestling Machine, who chased him through the crowd. Henry followed right behind, leaving Rey and Randy in the ring. Mysterio looked to have things going his way and went for a sunset flip. Orton once again used his size advantage, and before being taken over for the pin attempt, Orton sat down on Rey for a pin of his own.

Rey looked flabbergasted, and Orton rubbed it in when he said that Mysterio had as much of a chance of beating him as Eddie Guerrero does of coming back to life. Mysterio wasted no time in responding, saying that on behalf of Eddie Guerrero, he accepted Orton's challenge for his title opportunity at WrestleMania.

That wasn't the only question left unanswered as SmackDown went off the air. Who would be the World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania 22? As the Royal Rumble went off the air less than a week ago, Undertaker issued a challenge to Kurt Angle for the World Heavyweight Championship. Angle said that Undertaker may be the phenom, but when he steps inside the ring, Angle is a Wrestling Machine. He said that when the bell rings, he has no soul either. Undertaker was unfazed by Angle's comments, though, and said that at No Way Out, Angle would rest in peace. With that, the lights went out, and the Deadman was nowhere to be seen.

This action-packed edition of SmackDown also featured two Championship matches. Booker T was slated to defend his United States Championship against Chris Benoit. Before the match, however, Booker T informed Theodore Long that his doctor had instructed him not to wrestle because he had aggravated his groin injury at the Royal Rumble. Long said that was fine, but he had to find a replacement to defend the U.S. Championship for him. Booker T said he had the perfect guy for the job -- Finlay. Benoit and Finlay didn't hold anything back as vicious chops were flying everywhere. Benoit hit the rolling German suplexes, and was poised to go to the top rope for the flying headbutt. Booker T saw that and got nervous, getting up from the announce table. With Benoit distracted by Booker, Finlay was saved -- but only temporarily. The Rabid Wolvering was able to lock in the Crossface, but before Finlay could tap, Sharmell got in the ring and blasted Benoit with Booker's crutch, causing a disqualification. Booker T was still the U.S. Champion.

The WWE Tag Team Championship was also on the line as MNM took on The Mexicools. Psicosis and Super Crazy went to the air early and often, and they seemed to have MNM on the ropes. Super Crazy went to the top rope for his patented moonsault, but Melina nailed him with her boot, knocking him out. After the being hit with a foreign object, the pin was academic and MNM retained the Championship.

Plus, JBL addressed the crowd, claiming once again that he was a wrestling god. He said that he didn't belong in the wrestling ring with freaks like the Boogeyman. With that, Lashley's music hit, as he prepared for singles competition against Chad Dick. JBL watched the impressive Lashley, who defeated him a week ago, from the outside. The hard-hitting, soft-spoken Lashley made short work of Dick, but he was taken out by JBL's Clotheseline from Hell right after the pin.

Josh Mathews interviewed the new Cruiserweight Champion, and in turn, new addition to SmackDown, Gregory Helms. Helms said that he doesn't represent the Cruiserweight Division, he is the Cruiserweight Division. Nunzio confronted Helms, and said that he's not better than anyone and challenged him for the gold. Helms accepted the challenge, and the two will face off next week.

The Juniors were back in action as well. Tzuki was able to get the win over Octagon Cito in a fast-paced match. William Regal and Paul Burchill also confronted Theodore Long and network executive Palmer Canon backstage. Regal and Burchill were having a hard time getting along becomes Regal comes from royalty and Burchill is a descendent of pirates. It was agreed that the two would part ways.

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