ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- For the first time in nearly three years, three titles were on the line in one big night on SmackDown -- the World Heavyweight Championship, the WWE Tag Team Championship and the United States Championship.
Fresh off Backlash, new United States Champion Matt Hardy found himself defending the gold just five days later in a rematch against former champion Montel Vontavious Porter. Fighting tenaciously, Hardy showed no signs that he was ready to relinquish the title any time soon. He sealed the deal and retained the gold by nailing his arch-rival with a Twist of Fate, further staking his claim that he is truly better than MVP. (WATCH)
WWE Tag Team Championship intact
In recent weeks, all of the contestants in SmackDown's Tag Team Championship bout had crossed paths in the ring. But now it was time to settle the score when it really mattered. Jimmy Wang Yang & Shannon Moore kept the match close, but reigning champions John Morrison & The Miz were able to hold onto the gold thanks to a Moonlight Drive from the Shaman of Sexy to "The Reject". (WATCH)
Foley's debut / Batista's warning
In his SmackDown commentary debut, legendary Superstar Mick Foley welcomed Batista to the ring to talk about The Animal's loss to Shawn Michaels at Backlash. After reviewing Chris Jericho's recent Highlight Reel -- where Y2J accused HBK of faking his injury at Backlash (WATCH) -- Batista issued a strong warning to HBK: "Shawn, for your sake, I hope you are actually hurt. Because if you're not, when I see you, you will be."
As he prepared to face the World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry, Nunzio had some huge support in his corner -- none other than the World's Largest Athlete, Big Show. Unfortunately, it didn't help much, as Henry made quick work of Nunzio to get the win. But when Henry went to attack Nunzio further, Big Show jumped into the ring to ensure the Full Blooded Italian's safety after the bell. The World's Strongest Man chose not to tangle with Big Show, however, and backed out of the ring. As Henry exited, Big Show expressed his displeasure with the match-up: "Next time, why don't you try picking on somebody your own size?" One can only wonder. Was this a challenge or a threat?
If you wanted to make a safe bet in Atlantic City, this was it. Take the undefeated Russian superpower, Vladimir Kozlov, over the winless Colin Delaney. After manhandling the diminutive upstart, Kozlov sealed the deal with a reverse DDT and pinfall. The 300-pounder's SmackDown record now stands at 5-0. Who can stop this man-machine?
Finlay seemed to have things under control in his match against Julio Dinero, but Hornswoggle decided to get into the act to help his father. After emerging from under the ring, Hornswoggle grabbed Dinero by both legs and tried to pull him under the ring. Dinero escaped Hornswoggle's grasp, but eventually met his fate in the ring -- a pummeling Celtic Cross from Finlay and the pinfall. Hornswoggle then got his licks in as well, nailing Dinero with a Tadpole Splash.
When four of SmackDown's Divas squared off in a tag match, it was clear that love wasn't in the air. After some heated tag and singles encounters in recent weeks, tonight it was the team of Victoria & Natalya that emerged victorious over Michelle McCool & Cherry when Natalya pinned the All-American Diva. (WATCH)
Edge's cohorts get a win
Usually, Edge's cohorts Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins are busy taking care of the Rated-R Supertar's conflicts. But tonight on SmackDown, they had some business of their own to deal with -- the corn-fed colossus, Festus, and his partner Jesse. In typical Festus fashion, the giant went berserk at the sound of the bell. But later in the tag team encounter, he was the target of a well-placed chop to the throat by Hawkins. Feeling the effects of the blow, Festus tagged out to Jesse, who Hawkins soon sent face first to the canvas with a swinging neckbreaker to get the pinfall.
In the third and biggest title match of the night, Undertaker was set to defend his World Heavyweight Championship against The Great Khali. But in a shocking move, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero stripped The Phenom of this title before the match. According to the GM, the devastating submission hold The Deadman has been using to bloody his opponents is an illegal chokehold, so she banned that, too. The GM demanded that the champion surrender his title right then and there, but, unfortunately for The Great Khali, things got bloody ugly instead. (WATCH) Read the full story…