World's Strongest Splash

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March 03, 2006

At No Way Out, Undertaker and Kurt Angle had one of the greatest World Heavyweight Championship matches of all time. Angle looked down and out, but somehow countered the triangle choke into a pin to retain the gold. But the champion didn't have much time to rest. Just two weeks removed from their instant classic, the Deadman and the Wrestling Machine squared off once again, this time on Friday Night SmackDown.

This was hyped as the greatest main event in SmackDown history, and it certainly did not disappoint. Kurt Angle and Undertaker matched the intensity and excitement of their first encounter and then some. Undertaker used his strength to his advantage early on, but Angle's quickness and technical expertise kept him in it. As the match wore on, Undertaker was able to hook in his triangle choke, but Angle tried to reverse it into a pin, just as he did two weeks earlier at No Way Out. Undertaker showed that he had learned from his mistakes in the first encounter and was able to escape the pinning combination. The Deadman went for a leg drop, but Angle countered into an ankle lock, but the Phenom was able to escape that as well.

It seemed like this match could go on forever, as each Superstar seemed to have a counter for every move that was thrown at them. But then Angle made his biggest mistake. The Wrestling Machine went to the top rope and soared through the air for a moonsault, but Undertaker rolled out of the way. The Deadman was like a shark smelling blood in the water and pounced on his fallen foe. He hoisted him and sent him crashing to the mat with a devastating Tombstone. Undertaker made the cover and it appeared as though there would be a new World Heavyweight Champion. Then, just as the referee was about to bring his hand down for the three-count, Mark Henry and Daivari stormed the ring and attacked the Phenom.

Henry felt he should have been granted another World Heavyweight Championship Match after the Royal Rumble and thought that Undertaker stole that opportunity. The World's Strongest Man took it out on the Deadman and cost him the gold. Henry tossed Undertaker to the outside and laid him down on the SmackDown announce table. Henry then climbed on top of the Spanish announce table. He picked up a head of steam and leapt from the one table to the other and came crashing down on Undertaker, giving him the World's Strongest Splash. If Henry couldn't be the World Heavyweight Champion, he wouldn't allow Undertaker to wear the gold either.

Two weeks ago, Matt Hardy and mystery partner Tatanka answered MNM's open challenge and shocked the WWE Tag Team Champs. Then, last week on SmackDown, Hardy and Tatanka got a rematch, and this time the gold was on the line. Hardy looked to have things going his way and was primed for a pin, but Melina interfered while the referee was distracted. With Hardy occupied with Melina, he got rolled up and MNM retained the Championship. This week Hardy answered MNM's open challenge once again, but this time his mystery partner was one of the greatest tag team competitors of all time, Road Warrior Animal. Once again, Hardy's team had things going their way once again. Despite more Melina interference, Road Warrior Animal went to the top rope for the Doomsday Device. Nitro ran in at the last second and broke it up, saving Mercury. With Road Warrior Animal down, MNM nailed Hardy with the Snap Shot and picked up another win. After the match, a frustrated Road Warrior Animal attacked Hardy and left him laying.

Plus, Lashley had a chance to exact some revenge on Finlay. Lashley rode his undefeated streak into No Way Out against JBL. The hard-hitting, soft spoken Lashley looked primed to keep his streak intact, but Finlay leveled Lashley with his shillelagh, and JBL picked up the win. Last week, Lashley got his hands on Finlay in a six-man tag team match, but this week they clashed in a one-on-one encounter. The intensity in this one was at an all-time high, and it quickly broke down into an all out brawl. Finlay threw several chairs into the ring and both Superstars swung at each other. Their chairs clashed, and the referee called for the bell for the double disqualification. But the fireworks continued. Lashley and Finlay continued to go at each other's throats, and officials swarmed the ring, trying to keep them apart. They broke away from security guards several times before finally being separated. One thing is for certain -- this one is far from over.

Plus, former United States Champion Booker T was in action against Tatanka. Booker T had all the momentum and connected with his Scissors Kick. Before he could go for the pin, though, Boogeyman's music hit and Booker became distracted. From out of nowhere, the creepy Boogeyman crept up in the audience, right behind Sharmell who was doing guest commentary at the announce booth. With Booker distracted, Tatanka rolled him up for the win. Booker T had other things to worry about, though, and he and his wife retreated in horror.

Also, the Legend Killer Randy Orton was in singles action against Super Crazy. The Mexicool utilized his high-flying aerial attack to keep Orton off balance, but in the end, the Legend Killer connected with the RKO for the win. Orton seems primed and ready for his World Heavyweight Championship opportunity at WrestleMania 22.

And William Regal tried to convince Paul Burchill to ditch his new swashbuckling ways once again. Burchill refused and informed his former tag team partner that his first match would be next week, and if things went his way, it would be against Regal.

It was also announced that at WrestleMania 22 JBL would face the same man the broke his hand and sent him to the operating table -- United States Champion Chris Benoit.

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