Next stop: WrestleMania

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March 28, 2008

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho's first match on SmackDown since returning to WWE saw Y2J face United States Champion MVP in a non-title Champion vs. Champion encounter.

Both Superstars will participate in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match Sunday at WrestleMania XXIV, and in their final match before the Citrus Bowl, Jericho picked up a disqualification victory. The Ballin' Superstar wasn't finished, however, and he tried to make one last statement before the career changing Ladder Match. He attacked with his gold in hand, but Y2J ducked and delivered a Codebreaker to the cocky U.S. Champion.

Jericho then made his own bold move, smashing MVP in the face with a ladder.(WATCH) The tension between these two champions is at the boiling point, and Sunday in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Y2J and MVP will undoubtedly look to further their career at the expense of the other. Will either competitor be successful, or will someone else step in and take the opportunity of a lifetime?

Monstrous challenge

On SmackDown, four Superstars who will take part in the 24-Man Battle Royal at WrestleMania competed in an Over-the-Top-Rope Challenge. Kane, The Great Khali, Mark Henry and Chuck Palumbo all were in Fayetteville to improve their stock for WrestleMania, with ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero looking on from ringside. The World's Strongest Man displayed the intensity and strength that has always made him one of WWE's most feared competitors, eliminating Khali and Kane to win the challenge.

The "Mexican Warrior" then attempted to weaken Henry with a post match assault, but the World's Strongest Man demolished the ECW Champion with a World's Strongest Slam. With the Battle Royal to name a new No. 1 Contender to the ECW title just 48 hours away, Chavo Guerrero may have seen his grip on the gold loosen ever so slightly.

Untamed fury

Just two days before he represents SmackDown in the war for brand supremacy against Raw's Umaga, Batista faced the challenge of another Raw Superstar -- Snitsky. The Animal wasted no time decimating Raw General Manager William Regal's hand-picked challenger with ease. When the bell rang, Batista speared Snitsky, delivered a spinebuster and then sealed the impressive victory with a Batista Bomb.(WATCH) If his match with Snitsky is any indication, The Animal is focused and more intense than ever heading into his match with the Samoan Bulldozer.

Loose Change

Both John Morrison and CM Punk are former ECW Champions, and this Sunday at WrestleMania they will have the chance to earn a World Title Match of their choosing when they participate in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. On SmackDown, the two faced off in a Money in the Bank Preview Match, with Punk gaining some momentum before The Granddaddy of Them All by making the WWE Tag Team Champion Go To Sleep.

Wet ‘n' Wild

As the Diva Competition rolls on, Assistant General Manager Theodore Long announced that Eve was the latest Diva voted out of the running to win a custom Beverly Hills Chopper, leaving two finalists -- Cherry and Michelle McCool. The final duo teamed up on SmackDown to take on Victoria & Maryse in a Wet ‘n' Wild Water Fight Match, with eliminated Eve as the special referee. This match was exactly as advertised -- wet ‘n' wild, with McCool picking up the win for her and Cherry with the Wings of Love. Who will win the Diva Competition? Your votes count so be sure to text your favorite SmackDown Divas name to 44993! (WATCH) More on this competition...

Also on SmackDown

Rising Superstar Kofi Kingston, undefeated since debuting in ECW, joined forces with Jesse & Festus on Friday night to take on the trio of former World Tag Team Champions Cade & Murdoch and current WWE Tag Team Champion The Miz. All six Superstars will take part in the 24-Man Battle Royal at WrestleMania, but this night belonged to the Superstar from Jamaica, who picked up the win when he pinned Miz. Will one of these six young studs step up and outlast 23 other Superstars at WrestleMania XXIV and earn a title match against Chavo Guerrero?

You raise me up

As World Heavyweight Champion Edge showed last week with his vicious Con-Chair-To, he is out to destroy Undertaker's legacy at WrestleMania. On SmackDown, the Rated-R Superstar was joined by his fiancée, General Manager Vickie Guerrero, Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder for a Burial of Undertaker's WrestleMania Undefeated Streak. The ceremony was cut short when Edge's WrestleMania opponent appeared and tried to send one last message before their showdown on Sunday.(WATCH) Read the full story…

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