WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It would have been understandable if Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy and Mr. Kennedy had felt a bit of a letdown when you, the voters, did not select them to face Randy Orton in the WWE Championship Match. But the way these two runner-ups tore into each other tonight in a bonus match at Cyber Sunday, their fire wasn't extinguished at all and their rivalry has only heated up.

Both Hardy and Kennedy lobbied aggressively for your vote to be in the WWE Championship Match, arguing that it was each of their time to get an opportunity at sports-entertainment's most coveted prize. But they were not just campaigning for your vote; they were also battling each other for bragging rights. They have waged an increasingly personal war over who is the brightest, rising star in WWE and perhaps the future of sports-entertainment -- and that was evident in their battle tonight.

The Intercontinental Championship was not up for grabs, but there was plenty of pride on the line between Hardy and Kennedy. If you ask Mr. Kennedy, he'll tell you loud and clear that he is the undisputed future of sports-entertainment. Hell, you don't even have to ask him -- the Green Bay, Wis., native has been telling everyone in WWE that for two years. Kennedy has also said he beats Jeff Hardy every time he's in the ring with him  -- a bit of an exaggeration (OK, an outright lie) because the Intercontinental Champion pinned him twice in the weeks leading up to Cyber Sunday.

Though he may never admit it, Kennedy was out to even the score against Hardy -- and he did. He wanted to make sure that you regretted choosing Shawn Michaels for the WWE Title Match and giving him only 10 percent of the vote in the WWE Championship Match at Cyber Sunday. And he wanted to show the world that he is world championship material. But, as had been the case in the weeks leading up to Cyber Sunday, Jeff Hardy -- another Superstar touted by good ol' J.R. and a potential world champion -- stood in his way.

As in their previous matches, tonight's was a physical, hard-hitting clash pitting Hardy's unorthodox, death-defying style against Kennedy's ground-and-pound attack. Hardy eked out a victory in their clash on Raw a few weeks back, but tonight, Kennedy managed to get his hand raised.

The roots of Hardy and Kennedy's rivalry may go as far back as WrestleMania 23, when both were involved in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, which the former U.S. Champion won. Injury and an opportunistic Edge prevented Kennedy from cashing in his world championship opportunity, and he has been frothing at the mouth for a golden chance since.

Tonight at Cyber Sunday, Kennedy may have taken a step toward that goal. But he also has taken a giant step toward a potential golden opportunity with Jeff Hardy with the Intercontinental Championship on the line. As Kennedy would say, the future is now, and his name is MRRRR. KENNEDDDDYYY!!! … Kennedy!!!!

Pick up Kennedy's Talk Loud t-shirt at WWEShop....

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It would have been understandable if Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy and Mr. Kennedy had felt a bit of a letdown when you, the voters, did not select them to face Randy Orton in the WWE Championship Match. But the way these two runner-ups tore into each other tonight in a bonus match at Cyber Sunday, their fire wasn't extinguished at all and their rivalry has only heated up.

Both Hardy and Kennedy lobbied aggressively for your vote to be in the WWE Championship Match, arguing that it was each of their time to get an opportunity at sports-entertainment's most coveted prize. But they were not just campaigning for your vote; they were also battling each other for bragging rights. They have waged an increasingly personal war over who is the brightest, rising star in WWE and perhaps the future of sports-entertainment -- and that was evident in their battle tonight.

The Intercontinental Championship was not up for grabs, but there was plenty of pride on the line between Hardy and Kennedy. If you ask Mr. Kennedy, he'll tell you loud and clear that he is the undisputed future of sports-entertainment. Hell, you don't even have to ask him -- the Green Bay, Wis., native has been telling everyone in WWE that for two years. Kennedy has also said he beats Jeff Hardy every time he's in the ring with him  -- a bit of an exaggeration (OK, an outright lie) because the Intercontinental Champion pinned him twice in the weeks leading up to Cyber Sunday.

Though he may never admit it, Kennedy was out to even the score against Hardy -- and he did. He wanted to make sure that you regretted choosing Shawn Michaels for the WWE Title Match and giving him only 10 percent of the vote in the WWE Championship Match at Cyber Sunday. And he wanted to show the world that he is world championship material. But, as had been the case in the weeks leading up to Cyber Sunday, Jeff Hardy -- another Superstar touted by good ol' J.R. and a potential world champion -- stood in his way.

As in their previous matches, tonight's was a physical, hard-hitting clash pitting Hardy's unorthodox, death-defying style against Kennedy's ground-and-pound attack. Hardy eked out a victory in their clash on Raw a few weeks back, but tonight, Kennedy managed to get his hand raised.

The roots of Hardy and Kennedy's rivalry may go as far back as WrestleMania 23, when both were involved in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, which the former U.S. Champion won. Injury and an opportunistic Edge prevented Kennedy from cashing in his world championship opportunity, and he has been frothing at the mouth for a golden chance since.

Tonight at Cyber Sunday, Kennedy may have taken a step toward that goal. But he also has taken a giant step toward a potential golden opportunity with Jeff Hardy with the Intercontinental Championship on the line. As Kennedy would say, the future is now, and his name is MRRRR. KENNEDDDDYYY!!! … Kennedy!!!!

Pick up Kennedy's Talk Loud t-shirt at WWEShop....