A colossal Undertaking

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April 11, 2008

BOSTON -- SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero has made Undertaker's road to Backlash a bumpy one. But after taking down the corn-fed colossus, Festus -- for the moment, anyway -- The Phenom's navigation of that road remains picture-perfect.

The match, which was first announced in a WWE Mobile on AT&T Exclusive video, was quite a compelling one. Sure, Undertaker is the reigning World Heavyweight Champion and one of the greatest WWE Superstars ever, but Festus is one of the most unorthodox Superstars WWE has ever seen. Not only is he big, burly and brutal, but when he transforms from stoic to spastic when the bell rings, no one -- perhaps not even Festus -- is truly aware of how dangerous he can be.

Undertaker discovered that first-hand, however. While Jesse was concerned before the match that Festus might not know what he was getting into, the corn-fed colossus took it right to The Deadman from the opening bell. As Michael Cole noted on commentary, it was perhaps better if Festus was unaware of the magnitude of the situation.

Festus gave The Phenom everything he had, but in the end, Undertaker's experience and ring savvy propelled him to victory. When the corn-fed colossus accidentally ran into referee Charles Robinson, The Deadman tried to seize the opportunity and nail his opponent with a chokeslam. Instead, Festus wriggled free and dropped the champion with a vicious kick.

Jesse screamed at Festus to stay on The Phenom, but as he approached, Undertaker sat up and grabbed the big man's hand -- trapping him in his vicious choke submission hold in the process. The referee was still down, but Festus showed no signs of tapping out. Whether he didn't know the situation or just refused to quit, the corn-fed colossus lasted longer in Undertaker's vicious hold without tapping than anyone has to date. Eventually, with the big man on the verge of potential injury, referee Jim Korderas sprinted to the ring and called for the bell, giving Undertaker the victory. Immediately, as the freshly-finished Festus returned to his stoic state upon the final bell ringing, Jesse scooted into the ring to make sure his big buddy suffered no further harm -- from The Phenom or anyone else.

To say that Festus was a major roadblock on Undertaker's path to Backlash would be an understatement; the burly big man gave The Phenom all he could handle, and wasn't easy to put away. However, in the back of his mind, the World Heavyweight Champion has to know that his brother Kane -- whom he faced two weeks ago -- and the ethanol-fueled Festus won't be the only speed bumps en route to his Backlash battle with Edge.

In the immediate future, Undertaker and Kane will stand united Tuesday night for the first time ever on ECW on Sci Fi. What will come next as the Brothers of Destruction head toward separate collision courses with Edge & Chavo Guerrero on April 27?

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