Press Conference Showdown

Tempers flared during the Judgment Day Press Conference in Phoenix this afternoon, as a melee nearly broke out between United States Champion JBL and World Champion Rey Mysterio. Michael Cole, who hosted the press conference, told me that "I have never been at a press conference with this much tension and animosity, and I thought those two were going to brawl."

JBL took the stage first, and he proceeded to badmouth the crowd. An Eddie Guerrero chant broke out, and the United States Champion went on a tirade about how he beat Eddie and would beat Rey at Judgment Day. "I respected Eddie Guerrero, but I don't respect Rey Mysterio," JBL said, "and I will beat Rey's ass because I am the best professional wrestler of all-time."

As World Champion Rey Mysterio came to the stage, he and the United States Champion had a staredown. JBL belittled Mysterio, saying "You're pathetic and you make me sick." After thanking the fans for coming out, Rey told JBL that he did not respect him either. As another Eddie chant then broke out, JBL reminded the World Champion that "these fans don't care about you, they won't even chant your name!"

When Rey threw it back at JBL, however, things broke down. "You have others do your dirty work for you, JBL," the champion said, "like Mark Henry and The Great Khali. What's the matter, do you not have the cojones to fight me yourself?" At that point, the United States Champion got up and made an advance at Mysterio, but he was held back.

WWE producers became concerned, as they feared that security would have to get involved. JBL settled down, but later made another pair of advances at Mysterio; fortunately, the Superstars on stage took it upon themselves to police the situation, as Booker T and Mark Henry grabbed JBL and pulled him off the stage. JBL finally told Rey he'd see him on Sunday before storming off.

After it was over, Cole was still aghast at what he had just seen. "I can't believe that something like this would happen. I never thought I'd say this, but thank God for Booker T and Mark Henry. If they didn't grab JBL, who knows what would've happened."

As if tensions weren't already high enough surrounding the World Heavyweight Championship match at Judgment Day, what happened at the press conference only solidifies the theory that it will be a knock-down, drag-out affair this Sunday night.

WATCH the Judgment Day press conference.

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