Layin' the SmackDown 500 times over
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- As SmackDown celebrated its historic 500th episode (Full 500 Episode coverage), a love triangle took a painful turn, The Game grew more intense, a new champion was crowned, extreme passion rang forth, heartbreaking music was played out, and complete submission was demanded in an incredible extravaganza on The Road to the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania.
Big Show calls out World Heavyweight Champion Edge; SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero interrupts; John Cena interrupts (WATCH | PHOTOS)
After being speared on Monday Night Raw, Big Show challenged World Heavyweight Champion Edge to come out and face him. However, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero interrupted their confrontation to inform the two love-sick Superstars that she was in love with them both, and the winner of their WrestleMania match will be the champion of her heart. But as she was engineering a truce, John Cena emerged to remind the three victims of Cupid's arrow that he is also in the Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania (Match preview), refueling the conflict between The Rated-R Superstar and The World's Largest Athlete in the process. After Big Show accidentally shoved Guerrero amidst the turmoil, Edge went for the spear, only to inadvertently hit his wife when Big Show moved. The fireworks continued and Big Show chokeslammed The Ultimate Opportunist, carrying Guerrero out of the ring.
WWE Champion Triple H def. Vladimir Kozlov (WATCH | PHOTOS)
With retribution toward his WrestleMania opponent Randy Orton consuming him, Triple H denounced the past claims that Orton's illness had caused him to attack his wife, Stephanie McMahon. He proclaimed that on The Grandest Stage of Them All, he will "cure" the "disease" that is The Legend Killer. (Match preview)
The King of Kings then emphasized his point, hitting The Pedigree to reign supreme in a hard-fought match with The Moscow Mauler. Though Kozlov brought his impressive record and every bit of his unbridled intensity to the table, it was not enough to check the ultimate fury of The Game.
Montel Vontavious Porter def. United States Champion Shelton Benjamin (United States Championship Match) (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Despite the outstanding efforts and tremendous skill of United States Champion Shelton Benjamin, MVP brought his comeback full circle, recapturing the prestigious title from his fellow WrestleMania Money in the Bank participant. Since The Ballin' Superstar turned his fortune around and began an unbelievable winning streak, he has been on a quest to recapture "his" gold from The Gold Standard. But now that The Franchise Playa' is back on top, will he be able to rise even higher and claim the Money in the Bank Briefcase? (Match preview)
Jeff Hardy def. The Brian Kendrick (Extreme Rules Match) (PHOTOS)
As a prelude to Jeff Hardy's WrestleMania Extreme Rules Match against his brother Matt Hardy (Match preview), the driven Charismatic Enigma took the extreme battle to both The Brian Kendrick and his ringside associate Ezekiel Jackson. After decimating Jackson with the steel chair with fire in his eyes, Hardy turned his favorite implement of destruction on The Kendrick. He planted his opponent's head onto the unforgiving steel with a Twist of Fate before sealing his victory over The Kendrick with his roaring Swanton Bomb. And as extreme as it was, that carnage is nothing compared to what could happen when Jeff unleashes his fury on his elder brother.
Shawn Michaels def. Kane (WATCH | PHOTOS)
As HBK prepares himself to try and destroy the undefeated WrestleMania streak of Undertaker, he took on the daunting task of toppling his monstrous brother Kane. Michaels came back from certain peril to defend The Big Red Machine with the stunning sound of Sweet Chin Music. Though HBK has never lost a one-on-one match to The Phenom, will it be enough to carry him forth to break the most fearful winning streak in WrestleMania history? (Match preview)
Undertaker def. Intercontinental Champion John Bradshaw Layfield (Non-title) (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Later that night, the legendary Deadman made the incomparable Intercontinental Champion JBL tap out to his horrific Devil's Triangle. This monumental victory sent another resounding message to his WrestleMania opponent Shawn Michaels. Will Mr. WrestleMania fall to the most dreaded submission hold in WWE?
Find out at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, Sunday, April 5, at 7:00 p.m. ET, only on pay-per-view (Check out special WrestleMania coverage)