No looking back
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Batista, the only SmackDown participant who has fought in the Elimination Chamber before, opened SmackDown by telling our fans that he meant what he said last week: He would win the unprecedented second Chamber at No Way Out. The other participants, however, didn't share the same view as The Animal, and the dissent led to a Six-Man Tag Match later in the night.
United States Champion MVP was the first to voice his displeasure, followed by Big Daddy V and his mouthpiece, Matt Striker. The Great Khali entered the arena to show his dissent, as did Finlay. Suddenly, the lights then went out, and Undertaker appeared in the ring ready to show his dominance. The Chamber at No Way Out is going to be literally the biggest ever, with the combined weight of the Superstars equaling nearly a ton.
Instead of an all out brawl to begin SmackDown, the six Chamber opponents were put into a Six-Man Tag Team Match with the Irishman, The Animal and The Phenom teaming up to face The Dominating Force in WWE, the Punjabi giant and the Ballin' Superstar. With each man trying to gain momentum before the Elimination Chamber, the tension in the ring was as intense as the action.
When it looked as if Khali and his partners had the match in hand, Finlay turned the tables, nailing the 7-foot-3, 420 pound giant with his shillelagh. All hell broke loose, and no Superstar could trust the others, evident by the stare down between Batista, Finlay and Undertaker. But the message was sent by all the participants: There will be no intimidation and no way out as they will all fend for themselves in the Elimination Chamber on Feb. 17.
Bringing the crazy
One Superstar who stayed true to his own personal mission is Chuck Palumbo. Last week, the revved-up Superstar warned Michelle McCool that whatever he did to Jamie Noble would be her fault and that he would make her watch. On SmackDown, Palumbo lived up to his word when he defeated Noble for the first time and then unleashed a maniacal assault on the already weakened Noble.
Despite McCool's desperate plea, Palumbo destroyed her friend Jamie Noble, even making our fans and McCool believe he was unhinged enough as he teased running over Noble with his motorcycle. Noble injury update...
Paper or plastic?
The returning Jesse & Festus hoped to pick up where they left off a few weeks ago before they left SmackDown to seek help for Festus' changing personalities. Paraded out in a paper bag by Jesse, Festus' "new" look was ultimately unveiled, and the face of the returning Superstar seemed to remain the same. Another thing that didn't seem to change was the focus of Festus when the bell rang, which gave the "Biscuits ‘n' Gravy" duo the victory over the boys from the Other Side of the Tracks.
Two weeks ago on ECW on Sci Fi, Kane defeated ECW's "Gold Standard" Shelton Benjamin by count-out. On SmackDown, Benjamin returned the favor, albeit inadvertently. After a thunderous blow that sent Shelton flying back into the ring, Kane was unable to answer the referee's 10-count, giving Shelton the victory. Will these two Superstars continue to clash, and will Kane find a way to bring to a halt the man who claims, "There ain't no stoppin' me?"
Two for the road
Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder continued their recent string of successes with another win over Jimmy Wang Yang & Shannon Moore. Hawkins & Ryder's rise to prominence in the tag team division was at the expense of SmackDown's resident redneck & Moore, who have now lost two straight to Edge's cohorts.
World Heavyweight Champion Edge hosted another edition of "The Cutting Edge" on SmackDown, this time to welcome back his lover, General Manager Vickie Guerrero. The Rated-R Superstar claims to have a "life altering question" for Vickie next week on SmackDown, but his focus on this night was Rey Mysterio. The GM was returning after being injured by Mysterio at Royal Rumble, and the reunited lovers demanded Rey apologize to Guerrero.
The Master of the 619 did what he could to show his heartfelt apologies, but what ensued was the Ultimate Opportunist trying to take out his No Way Out opponent before their championship clash on Feb. 17. Read the whole story…