Night of the living dead

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March 28, 2008

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- In a morbid mock funeral, World Heavyweight Champion Edge presented "The Burial of Undertaker's WrestleMania Undefeated Streak" on Friday Night SmackDown.

Sporting a dark gray suit, Edge and his cohorts Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder -- both dressed in black -- joined SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, also dressed in black, along with Assistant GM Theodore Long, for a pre-celebration of Edge's self-predicted victory over Undertaker this Sunday at WrestleMania XXIV. (Full Preview)

The ring was adorned with black wreaths, purple and black flowers, a pulpit, black carpet, and a giant Undertaker photo -- much different than when Edge proposed to Vickie Guerrero in a ring full of bright flowers on a Valentine's Day edition of SmackDown. And instead of celebrating a new life, the Rated-R Superstar was out to relish in the death of Undertaker's 15-0 WrestleMania record.

After reading a list of some of The Phenom's ‘Mania victories -- including against the likes of Jimmy Snuka, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, King Kong Bundy, Triple H, Ric Flair, Kane, Randy Orton, Mark Henry and Batista --  Edge claimed he would bury The Phenom's streak this Sunday. Vickie backed up her man by running a video showcasing her champion fiancé -- one of few Superstars who can boast to having never lost to Undertaker.

To end the service, Edge read the final rites: "Now it's time to bid farewell to Undertaker's undefeated streak and The Undertaker once and for all. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust." Reveling in the moment, Edge then lifted Vickie's black veil and the two embraced in a passionate kiss. But just when things got hot and heavy, Undertaker's infamous gong was heard and the arena lights went out.

Hawkins & Ryder immediately stationed themselves outside the ring in a defensive posture to protect against the approaching Phenom. The champion held his ground at the edge of the ropes within the ring.

But, Undertaker crashed the macabre celebration by emerging from the coffin right in the middle of the ring. First he went after Edge's approaching defenders, knocking both from the apron back onto the floor. Next, The Phenom grabbed hold of Edge, hoisted him in the air and slammed him into the open coffin.

Then it was Guerrero's turn. The Deadman keyed in on her with a deadly stare from across the ring. The gaze evoked screams of fright from the GM -- the fear so real, it somehow enabled the wheelchair-bound GM to leap to her feet and run screaming from the ring and arena. Luckily, she escaped.

Hawkins & Ryder weren't so lucky. After coming back into the ring, both ended up on the receiving end of crippling Tombstones from The Phenom. During the fray, the Ultimate Opportunist saw his chance to escape and hightailed it out of the ring.

This Sunday, there will be no escaping when the World Heavyweight Championship is on the line. Will The Phenom rise again and bring his record to 16-0? Or, will the Ultimate Opportunist find a way to retain his title, and at the same time end Undertaker's undefeated WrestleMania streak? All the speculation will be laid to rest on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

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