Chairman's Bombshell

Chairman's Bombshell

The fallout from the Royal Rumble continued on SmackDown as its Superstars embarked on the Road to WrestleMania. Only one question remained: Who will Undertaker face at WrestleMania 23?

The action was live from the sold-out Toyota Center in Houston. This was the third WWE show in the state of Texas this week, all three sellout crowds of WWE fans. Several celebrities were in attendance, including Tracy McGrady of the NBA's Houston Rockets, DeMeco Ryans of the NFL's Houston Texans, and rock ‘n' roll legend Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

World Heavyweight Champion Batista demanded an answer from the Deadman about his intentions for WrestleMania 23, welcoming the challenge.

"The World Heavyweight Championship up against the [Undertaker's] 14-0 undefeated streak.  It doesn't get any bigger than that."

Just when fans believed Undertaker would appear, WWE Champion John Cena came out and demanded an answer — an answer he believes he rightfully deserves.

Batista and Cena stood side-by-side, both with their gold over their shoulders as the Phenom made his way out. Undertaker stared them both down, seemingly ready to make a choice — until Shawn Michaels interrupted.

"You two aren't the only ones who want an answer," HBK said. "Undertaker, put your title match on the line against me."

Although all four men had questions for each other, only one man ultimately decides the fate of Superstars: Mr. McMahon.  The Chairman made his way to Texas having answers.

 "I don't give a damn what any of you want," said The Chairman. "On Feb. 18 there will be no way out for you four men."

Mr. McMahon then announced a blockbuster match involving all four men.  In less than three weeks at WWE's No Way Out on pay-per-view, WWE Champion John Cena and his tag team partner, fellow World Tag Team Champion Shawn Michaels, will face World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Undertaker.

In other action, a focused Mr. Kennedy defeated Vito, and unleashed an assault on the dress-wearing Superstar. After leaving Vito unconscious, Kennedy sought out General Manager Theodore Long.

"I should be the World Heavyweight Champion," Kennedy explained to Long.

After listening to Kennedy's gripes, the General Manager decided that next week on SmackDown, it will be Mr. Kennedy taking on Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship.

United States Champion Chris Benoit retained his gold when he pinned Finlay. This tough, physical match was interrupted when Little Bastard attempted to emerge from under the ring.

After numerous tries by Little Bastard to emerge, Boogeyman was revealed to be below the ring, preventing him from going anywhere.  This caused Finlay to lose the focus he had on Benoit's knee.  The Rabid Wolverine capitalized and retained his United States Championship.

King Booker returned to his hometown of Houston and was greeted with a ceremony giving him the key to the city, from the Ancient Order of Royal Houstonians. The coronation quickly turned sour when Kane arrived and cleared the ring. Kane was still seething about the Royal Rumble, when he eliminated King Booker, only to have Booker re-enter the ring and eliminate him. Booker ran off and the Big Red Monster stood tall.

In just their third week of action, the new additions to SmackDown's roster, Deuce and Domino were able to win a non-title match against the WWE Tag Team Champions, Paul London and Brian Kendrick. Deuce and Domino have been dominant since debuting, and they continued to make a name for themselves at the expense of the champions.

The Miz defeated Matt Hardy when Joey Mercury interfered and nailed Hardy with his protective faceguard. Matt Hardy claimed to be finished with Mercury after the Royal Rumble, but Mercury is still hell-bent on revenge.

SmackDown Diva Ashley was declared by WWE fans to be the winner of the Diva Bikini Contest. Jillian refused to participate, deciding to sing to the crowd, much to the disgust of Ashley, Kristal and anyone within an earshot. After winning the approval of the crowd, Ashley stripped Jillian down to her bra and panties, giving WWE fans something they really wanted.

Finally, Vickie Guerrero told Kristal, "I will be returning to SmackDown soon."

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