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Too close to the Edge
ALBANY, N.Y. -- As new WWE Champion Edge reemerged on SmackDown with his gold raised high, the WWE Universe witnessed three of SmackDown's top Superstars battle for clock supremacy to see who would face the Ultimate Opportunist at Armageddon, only to be left in a shroud of uncertainty.
SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero announces Beat the Clock Challenge (PHOTOS)
With the cause of Jeff Hardy's Survivor Series hospitalization still a mystery, GM Vickie Guerrero introduced the newly crowned WWE Champion, Edge, who claimed no responsibility for the attack, but had plenty of things to say about the Charismatic Enigma's shortcomings. As a furious Hardy and Triple H were both being held back by a dozen security guards, and Vladimir Kozlov stood menacingly across the ring, Guerrero announced that all three Superstars would compete in a Beat the Clock Challenge to see who would face the Rated-R Superstar at Armageddon.
Jeff Hardy def. The Brian Kendrick -- Beat the Clock Match (PHOTOS)
Hardy set the standard early, winning the first Beat the Clock Challenge Match with a high-octane win over The Brian Kendrick. After taking Ezekiel Jackson out with a lightning kick through the ropes, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb on The Kendrick to secure the huge victory, making him the Superstar to beat.
Vladimir Kozlov vs. ECW Champion Matt Hardy (Time Expires) (Beat the Clock Match) (Non-Title) (PHOTOS)
Matt Hardy put everything on the line for the sake of his brother, battling tenaciously with the mighty Moscow Mauler while keeping one eye on the clock. The Extreme champion's endurance paid off, as time expired without a winner, thereby sealing the door shut on Kozlov's opportunity to be part of the Armageddon main event.
Triple H def. United States Champion Shelton Benjamin -- (Beat the Clock Match) (Non-Title Match) (PHOTOS)
After a grueling match, The King of Kings hit the Gold Standard with a Pedigree. But the official had been knocked out, and struggled through glazed eyes to finally deliver the three-count. However, after raising The Game's hand in triumph -- indicating that he had beaten the clock -- a second official ran down to dispute the outcome. The two officials came to the consensus that Triple H and Jeff Hardy had earned their win in exactly the same amount of time, leaving the WWE Universe in a state of confusion and suspense as to who would be facing Edge at Armageddon.
Jesse & Festus def. The Miz & John Morrison (DQ) (PHOTOS)
Miz & Morrison continued to ring Festus' bell. First, Morrison rang it when he got into trouble during their match. Then, Miz rang it again after Jesse helped his tag team partner, and the "Dirt Sheet" co-stars got themselves disqualified for aggressively attacking Jesse outside the ring. After the decision, the Tuesday Night Delight and the self-proclaimed Chick Magnet climbed back in with the bell and proceeded to ring it over and over, having a good laugh by taking Festus in and out of his catatonic state, before the Corn-fed Colossus finally chased them out of the ring.
Maryse def. Divas Champion Michelle McCool (Six-Diva Tag Team Match) (PHOTOS)
Maryse, Victoria & Natalya walked away with a big win over Michelle McCool and The Bella Twins after the Divas Champion was accidentally clotheslined by her own partner, allowing Maryse to pick up the quick pin. After the match, a livid Michelle had some choice words for her twin teammates, seemingly blaming them for the loss. When Maria rushed out to keep the peace, Michelle shoved her to the ground before walking away in anger.