Who's the better man?

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February 17, 2006

Just two days before they were set to face off at No Way Out for the World Heavyweight Championship, Undertaker teamed up with Kurt Angle in a Handicap Tag Team Match against MNM & Mark Henry. Knowing they would be facing each other in just a couple of days, no one knew if they would be able to coexist as a team. By the time SmackDown went off the air, that question was answered, but another one was posed.

Last week, Undertaker competed in his first SmackDown match in four months against the World's Strongest Man Mark Henry. The Deadman had things going his way, but MNM ran in and began to triple team him. Angle became Undertaker's unlikely ally and fended off the attack. General Manager Theodore Long decided to solve the issue by setting up the Handicap Tag Team Match.

Angle appeared to be ready to start the match, but Undertaker cut him off and started instead. The Phenom and the Wrestling Machine both wanted MNM and Henry to go down, but they each wanted to be the ones responsible for making it happen. Undertaker got off to the early advantage, but Angle wanted in on the action. The Deadman didn't look too eager to tag him in, so the Olympic Gold Medalist tagged himself in.

Eventually Angle and Undertaker's game of one-upmanship, combined with the other side's numbers advantage, took its tool. Henry used his power and MNM utilized quick tags to get on the offensive. But they couldn't keep the super tag team of the Wrestling Machine and the Phenom down. Undertaker hit a top-rop clothesline, but then Angle tagged himself back in. He hooked the ankle lock on Nitro, Undertaker knocked Henry out with a big boot and that was all she wrote.

Angle took his World Heavyweight Championship and got in Undertaker's face showing him that he's not afraid of the Deadman. Undertaker stared right back at him and looked like he was going to attack. Instead, the Phenom grabbed Henry by the neck and chokeslammed the World's Strongest Man. Angle looked somewhat impressed, but then Undertaker hoisted Henry up for a vicious Tombstone. The Wrestling Machine looked on in awe, but then got back in Undertaker's face showing him that he's the champion.

For weeks Randy Orton has been demeaning the late, great Eddie Guerrero in an effort to get under the skin of Rey Mysterio. Orton will face Mysterio at No Way Out to try and win his World Championship opportunity for WrestleMania, but his tactics have lit a fire under Mysterio that has never been seen in the master of the 619. Last week Mysterio gave Orton a concussion with some help from the ring post, and was in action again this week. His unlucky opponent was Sylvan. Mysterio wasted no time in punishing the brash Sylvan, taking it to him with an unparalleled aggressiveness. It wasn't long before he hit the West Coast Pop for the win. After the match, though Randy Orton came out to the stage and got into Rey's head once again. Orton said that at least Eddie had main evented a WrestleMania, but that Rey is no Eddie Guerrero. Orton said that Rey will never main event WrestleMania, he'll never be a World Champion and he could never beat the Legend Killer.

Also at No Way Out, Chris Benoit will challenge Booker T for the United States Championship. Lashley laid out a challenge of his own, and will face JBL at the pay-preview. The Rabid Wolverine and the hard-hitting, soft-spoken Lashley teamed up to take on the bruising duo of JBL and Finlay on SmackDown. Booker T, who said he was still trying to legally get out of his match for No Way Out, came to ringside on crutches and, along with his wife Sharmell, joined Michael Cole and Tazz for commentary. This was about as hard-hitting as a tag team match can be. Benoit and Lashley were throwing suplexes around left and right, while JBL and Finlay used their powerful brawling tactics to counter. Benoit sent Finlay into the ring steps on the outside, but as he got back on the apron to get inside the ring, Booker T got up from the announce table and leveled his No Way Out challenger in the back with a steel chair. Benoit hunched over in pain and stumbled back in the ring, and JBL greeted him with a Clothesline from Hell for the win. Booker T got up and danced up the aisle, showing no signs of the groin injury that he said was so serious.

The Cruiserweight Champion, Gregory Helms, was also in action. Ever since coming to SmackDown as the new Cruiserweight Champion, Helms has had an air about him that he thinks he's better than all of the other cruiserweights. Last week he started to prove his point by defeating former Cruiserweight Champion Nunzio. This week he continued his dominance with a win over Scotty 2 Hotty. But after the match, all of the other cruiserweights united and attacked the champion. Brian Kendrick, Paul London, Psicosis, Super Crazy, Funaki, Nunzio and Kid Kash all stormed the ring and joined Scotty in attacking Helms. Moments later Theodore Long told Helms he'd have a chance to get back at all of them at No Way Out because he'd be defending the Cruiserweight Championship against all eight of them in a one fall to a finish match. Helms thinks he's better than all of them, and now he has an opportunity to prove it.

Last week, after Matt Hardy came up short in the Fatal Fourway Match, Melina told him that if he scratched her back, she'd scratch his. Hardy had a puzzled look on his face after the interesting proposition. This week he defeated Simon Dean in singles competition and saw Melina in the back after the match again. He told Melina that he'd take her up on her offer, but not the offer to "scratch her back." Instead, he'd take MNM up on their open challenge offer from last week. Hardy said that he would find a partner to take on MNM at No Way Out.

For weeks, Orlando Jordan has been demanding respect. He's been sick and tired of no one taking him seriously. So, on SmackDown, he issued a challenge to anyone in the back. He said he could beat anyone so it didn't matter who answered. With that, the Boogeyman's music hit, and the most bizarre Superstar in SmackDown history answered the challenge. It only took the Boogeyman mere moments to catch Jordan in a pump handle slam for the win.

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