Takin' it back

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March 13, 2009

UNCASVILLE, Conn. - This week on SmackDown, undertakings of intense redemption, matrimonial fallout, extreme family dysfunction, triumph teamwork in defense of gold, and qualification against all odds all served as hazard signs on the epic road to the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania.

Undertaker def. Vladimir Kozlov (WATCH | PHOTOS)
After shocking the WWE Universe by getting pinned by The Moscow Mauler two weeks ago, The Deadman redeemed himself with absolute fury, crushing Vladimir Kozlov's undefeated record on SmackDown with the destructive force of his Tombstone Piledriver. The decisive victory gives The Phenom a firestorm of momentum in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania, and echoes his haunting message to opponent Shawn Michaels that "it can be hell trying to get to heaven." (Match preview)

World Heavyweight Champion Edge def. Kofi Kingston (Non-title) (WATCH | PHOTOS)
An emotionally affected Rated-R Superstar resurfaced for the first time since John Cena revealed security footage on Monday Night Raw of his wife - SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero - kissing Big Show. And from the moment Edge entered the ring, he seemed distracted, as if his thoughts were completely consumed by the state of his marriage and his WrestleMania opponents in the World Heavyweight Championship Triple Treat Match (Match preview). Kofi Kingston, however, only had revenge on his mind after The Ultimate Opportunist's attack at No Way Out that cost him his Elimination Chamber spot and allowed Edge to capture the title. But despite the determined Raw Superstar's thirst for retribution and an extremely hard fought match, Edge's sharpshooter was Ja-makin' Kofi crazy enough to tap out.

Matt Hardy Tells All (WATCH | PHOTOS)
After referencing Jeff Hardy's suspension and alluding to the fact that he may have caused the awful events that have continued the black cloud hanging over Jeff Hardy's head --  the stairwell attack and the car and pyrotechnics "accidents" -- an incensed Matt Hardy produced from his pocket the burned dog collar of Jack, Jeff's dog that died in his house fire. Without music or fireworks paving the way for his entrance, Jeff made a subdued, yet determined entrance. Before long, Jeff finally gave in and attacked Matt with reckless abandon. Although Matt looked as if he might show some remorse in that instant, the traces of a menacing smile crept on his lips as he walked up the metal ramp, implying otherwise. Later, the shocking announcement rang forth that Jeff and Matt Hardy will settle sibling rivalry at WrestleMania. (Match preview)

World Tag Team Championship The Miz & John Morrison def. WWE Tag Team Champions Carlito & Primo (World Tag Team Championship Match) (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Two weeks after The Colon brothers successfully defended their WWE Tag Team Championships against Miz & Morrison, the "Dirt Sheet" duo returned the favor in spades. As both Primo and Miz were being taken out of the action, The Shaman of Sexy took full advantage of the turmoil, hitting Carlito with the Moonlight Drive for the win. After the match, the Bella Twins once again abandoned the WWE Champions and left with the victors. 

Finlay def. The Brian Kendrick (Money in the Bank Qualifying Match) (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Despite being sucker punched by Ezekiel Jackson before the opening bell and falling prey to his numerous distractions thereafter, Finlay ultimately denied The Brain Kendrick his finishing maneuver of the same name. And after The Belfast Brawler powered his way over The Kendrick with the quick and painful Celtic Cross, Finlay stood in triumph, knowing that he had captured the last coveted spot in the WrestleMania Money in the Bank Ladder Match. (Match preview)

United States Champion Shelton Benjamin & Chavo Guerrero def. Montel Vontavious Porter & R-Truth (Tag Team Match) (PHOTOS)
The tension surrounding the United States Championship has been reaching epic proportions over the past couple months. And it only promises to become more intense during the weeks to come. After The Ballin' Superstar threw the interfering Chavo Guerrero from the ring, The Gold Standard struck with Pay Dirt, allowing him to reign supreme over his fellow WrestleMania Money in the Bank participant (Match preview).

Women's Champion Melina & Maria def. Divas Champion Maryse & Michelle McCool (Divas Tag Team Match) (PHOTOS)
Any time an athlete of Women's Champion Melina's caliber visits SmackDown to team with Maria against Divas Champion Marie and Michelle, the WWE Universe has to expect the unexpected. But when Michelle wouldn't extend her arm to tag into the match, Maryse got more than she bargained for, falling to Melina and her inside cradle. After the bell, Maryse and Michelle decided to keep the action going, brawling in a whirlwind of Diva brutality.

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