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MVP and Matt Hardy Ballin' together?
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter and Matt Hardy have been embroiled in one of 2007's hottest rivalries. But after weeks of each man trying to prove that they're better than the other, the heated rivalry took a back seat following this week's shocking decision by SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long: That Hardy and MVP must team together next Friday on SmackDown, and challenge Deuce & Domino for their WWE Tag Team Titles.
The startling move by Long forces two of SmackDown's brightest young stars to shine as a cohesive unit, rather than polar opposites out to prove one's superiority over the other. Whether or not the United States Champion and the Superstar determined to take it from him can actually co-exist, however, remains to be seen.
The WWE Tag Team Champions have no such predicament. Just moments after the blockbuster announcement, in fact, Deuce & Domino handily defeated Shannon Moore & Eugene in non-title action, and in effect sent a strong warning to any challengers for their titles.
Despite the announcement that they would team together in one week's time, Matt and MVP competed against one another in their next contest outside the ring. SmackDown's arrogant "Franchise Playa" showcased his "Ballin'" hoop skills before Hardy even made his way out. Yet when the One-on-One Basketball Challenge officially began, the United States Champion hadn't counted on Matt simply throwing the ball against his inflated head, easily allowing himself to score and gain a 1-0 advantage.
Unfortunately, before another point could be scored by either Superstar, Deuce & Domino attacked. The greasers from the Other Side of the Tracks quickly leveled both MVP and Hardy with a pair of Crack 'em in da Mouths. Needless to say, the brutal assault made it clear that the WWE Tag Team Champions have no intention of losing their titles anytime soon, and that they won't be threatened or intimidated by anyone on SmackDown's roster.
Undoubtedly, neither MVP nor Matt Hardy has ever faced a challenge quite like this. Both have been so entangled in their own heated rivalry and specialty challenges, one has to wonder if either are ready to handle this latest -- and possibly greatest test: working as a tandem. Can these two Superstars co-exist long enough to win tag team gold, or will personal pride and shared animosity stand in their way?