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The Opportunist's Deadly Chase
London, Ontario -- After stripping Undertaker of the World Heavyweight Championship last Friday, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero declared The Deadman would have an opportunity to regain the gold in less than two weeks at Judgment Day. To determine his opponent, the GM set up the Championship Chase to Judgment Day.
The premise was simple: The Phenom would face any former or current World, United States or ECW Champion -- minus The Great Khali and Edge, who were rendered medically unable to compete -- who won the one-night Championship Chase.
In the first qualifying match for the main event, Mr. Money in the Bank CM Punk faced United States Champion Matt Hardy. In the King of the Ring rematch, Hardy reversed Punk's roll up to advance.
The next qualifier pit two former U.S. Champions — MVP and Finlay — against one another. With a controversial finish, both men were awarded the pin by referee Mickie Henson. Later, Vickie Guerrero decided the Irishman and the Franchise Playa were both winners and would advance to the main event.
For the third match in the Chase, former World Heavyweight Champion Batista went one-on-one with former ECW Champion and current WWE Tag Team Champion John Morrison. Morrison controlled the majority of the match, using his speed to subdue The Animal. Unfortunately for the Shaman of Sexy, an ill-timed springboard maneuver left him vulnerable to a spear and the Batista Bomb allowing Batista to move on.
Big Show and Tommy Dreamer were the next to vie for a spot in the main event. The ECW Original gave it his all, but fell to The World's Largest Athlete, as Big Show defeated Dreamer to move on in the Chase.
The final qualifier was a WrestleMania XXIV rematch between ECW Champion Kane and Chavo Guerrero. Despite interference from Bam Neely on the outside, the Big Red Machine was again able to top the Mexican Warrior and move one step closer to facing his brother at Judgment Day.
After winning the hard-fought qualifying matches, the six competitors battled it out in the Over-the-Top-Rope Challenge to declare the final winner. Each man showing fatigue, they all pushed themselves to the breaking point, with an opportunity at SmackDown's most prestigious title hanging in the balance.
In the end it came down to two men: The Animal and The World's Largest Athlete. Big Show smirked as he went to eliminate The Animal, but Batista pulled him over instead, as the fans erupted with cheers. But before Batista could celebrate, Vickie Guerrero was wheeled out with some "great" news: Edge had just been medically cleared, and would be a part of the Championship Chase . The Rated-R Superstar's jetted down the ramp and immediately speared Batista through the ropes, stealing The Animal's spot at Judgment Day.
The Ultimate Opportunist celebrated his victory as our fans expressed their displeasure toward another conniving scheme by Edge and his fiancée. As a bolt of lightening struck the podium holding the World Heavyweight Championship, Edge's smile faded. A single gong resonated through the building, and the Rated-R Superstar knew that in less than two weeks at Judgment Day, he'd be subject to The Deadman's wrath once again.