Perfect timing

Perfect timing

The Beat the Clock Sprint wrapped up this week on SmackDown, and Mr. Kennedy, right or wrong, fair or not, is going to the Royal Rumble to challenge Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Kennedy has defeated six former world champions on his ascension to No. 1 contender status, and now The Animal is standing firmly in his path. Batista told SmackDown fans he would "never look past and never underestimate Mr. Kennedy." The Animal has tasted defeat at the hands of Kennedy once before, and at Royal Rumble, they will face off for Batista's World Heavyweight Championship.

In the last Beat the Clock Sprint match, Undertaker seemed poised to overtake the time of 5 minutes 7 seconds posted last week by Kennedy. When he took on The Miz, The Phenom looked to capitalize and move on to Royal Rumble. However, Kennedy interfered, pulling Miz out of the ring. Undertaker chased him off, and delivered the Tombstone to Miz, but it was too late. As the buzzer sounded, Mr. Kennedy celebrated at the expense of Undertaker.

MVP returned to action, to take part in the Beat the Clock Sprint, still showing the ill effects of the burns he received last month in an Inferno Match. As MVP was hoping to fulfill what he believes to be his destiny to be World Heavyweight Champion, his opponent Vito was eager to make the most of his own opportunity - and to take advantage of the less than 100 percent Porter. The two men attempted numerous pinfalls, but neither MVP nor Vito could gain an advantage and beat the clock.

Matt Hardy and Finlay faced off in the Beat the Clock Sprint, each with their focus on victory. Hardy finally had the chance to elevate himself into the World Heavyweight Championship mix, but The Irishman had plans of his own. Little Bastard made an appearance, and Finlay used that as his opening to attack Hardy with a shillelagh to the knee. Finlay applied a submission maneuver to that same knee, but could only watch the clock count down and expire as Matt Hardy would not quit.

With Finlay's hold still applied, Joey Mercury, donning a protective mask, attacked and viciously assaulted Hardy, still blaming Hardy for his disfigurement. WWE officials stopped the young, angry Superstar before he could inflict severe damage, but Mercury made it clear to WWE fans that, "until General Manager Theodore Long gives me what I want, this will continue."

The Beat the Clock Sprint winner Mr. Kennedy was also in action against United States Champion Chris Benoit.

As Chavo Guerrero sat ringside on commentary, Benoit and Kennedy went back and forth. When JBL and Michael Cole questioned where Chavo's business manager Vickie Guerrero was, he responded, "This has nothing to do with Vickie and everything to do with Chris Benoit." As Benoit was poised to take the victory, Guerrero once again interfered, and as the Rabid Wolverine hooked the Sharpshooter on Chavo, Kennedy stole the victory.

General Manager Theodore Long has announced that next week on SmackDown, Chavo Guerrero will challenge Chris Benoit for the United States Championship in a No Disqualification Match.

WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London and Brian Kendrick squared off against William Regal and Dave Taylor for the titles. Regal and Taylor claimed this was their night, telling London and Kendrick, "There are no ladders in this match." The match pitted the brute strength of Regal and Taylor against the speed and agility of London and Kendrick. In the end, London and Kendrick sealed the victory, much to the disgust of Regal and Taylor. The WWE Tag Team Champions have held the titles for nearly 8 months now.

Jimmy Wang Yang and Tatanka had another physically brutal match. Tatanka picked up the victory, using his strength and power to neutralize Yang's quickness. Tatanka has been focused since unleashing the vengeful warrior, and this budding rivalry with SmackDown's resident redneck has picked up the past two weeks.

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