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And onto the stretcher
AUSTIN, Texas -- In the explosive wake of the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, Theodore Long returned to Friday nights to once again take his place as the General Manager of SmackDown. And his first decision was a bit of a "stretch."
Matt Hardy def. Jeff Hardy (Stretcher Match)
Fresh off his Extreme Rules victory over his brother at WrestleMania (recap), Matt Hardy looked to "erase Jeff from WWE." He demanded that Jeff come to the ring and apologize to him and the WWE Universe for being an "extreme disappointment," or he would end up leaving the ring on a stretcher. After Jeff emerged to chase Matt from the squared-circle, the returning Teddy Long made Matt's choice of words into a reality. For the first time ever on SmackDown, Jeff and Matt would face each other in a Stretcher Match. (WATCH | PHOTOS)
In the culmination of the Hardys' excruciating Stretcher Match, Matt moved out of the way at the last second, causing Jeff to Swanton Bomb himself down onto an empty, unforgiving stretcher frame outside the ring. After Matt finished him off with a painful chair shot, he claimed victory by pushing his fallen brother up the ramp. Once his arms were raised in unsettling triumph, Matt sent Jeff hurling back down the ramp, causing the stretcher to smash into the ring below. (WATCH | PHOTOS)
The Cutting Edge with special guest World Heavyweight Champion John Cena (WATCH | PHOTOS)
With John Cena seated before him -- and their Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash looming (Backlash preview) -- Edge told the World Champion that he had stolen "his" title and that he completely hates Cena. Cena informed The Rated-R Superstar that what he really hates is the truth; that no matter how many times Edge has knocked him down throughout their epic rivalry, he has kept coming at him and always will. The Champ then offered to give The Ultimate Opportunist a free shot to prove his point, but Edge wouldn't take it. Instead, he simply backed up and walked away.
Big Show def. Kofi Kingston ( PHOTOS)
After coming up short in his WrestleMania bid to win the World Heavyweight Championship (recap), Big Show took out his frustration and anger by delivering the knockout punch in mid-air to Kofi Kingston. Though Kingston gave a tremendously valiant effort in his attempt to overcome The World's Largest Athlete, in the end, he would suffer a giant disappointment.
The Great Khali def. Santino Marella (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Due to recent events surrounding Santino's emerging "sister" Santina, Santino arrived on SmackDown to issue an open challenge and show any Friday night Superstar who wished to face him that Santina wasn't the only Marella sibling to be afraid of. The Great Khali answered the call. When Ranjin Singh explained that Khali would not hurt Santino if Santina would be his guest on Khali's Kiss Cam, Santino declined, insulting The Punjabi Playboy profusely in the process. So, the bell was rung and Santino ended up taking the painful Punjabi Plunge.
Gail Kim def. Michelle McCool (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Gail Kim reversed Michelle McCool's pin attempt to win a hard-fought victory over the former Divas Champion. After Gail missed a dropkick off the top rope, Michelle looked to have things going her way. But as she went for the cover, Gail's quick thinking -- and quicker action -- prevailed.
Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase def. Unified WWE Tag Team Champions Carlito & Primo (Non-title) (PHOTOS)
DiBiase's distraction of Carlito allowed Cody Rhodes to hit the devastating Cross Rhodes on the Southpaw from San Juan. After the match, Rhodes & DiBiase continued to attack the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions, when Randy Orton emerged to survey the damage. The Legend Killer then gave a frightening account of what will happen when Legacy meets WWE Champion Triple H, Shane McMahon and the returning Batista at Backlash with the gold at stake. (Backlash preview)