ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Judgment Day is still a few weeks away, but SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero passed a judgment of her own on Friday night. As a result, the World Heavyweight Championship is currently vacant.
As part of Championship Friday, Undertaker was scheduled to defend the World Heavyweight Championship against The Great Khali. But before the challenger could even get to the ring, Vickie was wheeled out into the arena by her fiancé, the former World Heavyweight Champion, Edge.
Vickie informed our fans that there would be no World Title Match in Atlantic City, instead choosing to scold Undertaker for using the newest weapon in his repertoire, that vicious choke submission.
"Chokeholds are illegal in WWE," the General Manager reminded The Phenom. "Effective immediately, as General Manager, I must ban that move. If you ever, ever, use it again in a match, you will have hell to pay."
With that, Vickie then added an even bigger blow.
"Since you show no remorse or concern for your opponents ... and because I am under extreme pressure from the higher authorities … I have to tell you that you have been stripped of the World Heavyweight Championship!"
The puzzled Phenom refused to bring the gold up to the General Manager following the announcement, so she sent someone to get it -- Undertaker's scheduled opponent, the 7-foot-3 Punjabi giant himself.
Khali came to the ring and stared down The Deadman, but when he went to pick up the title, he never came back up. Undertaker scored a vicious kick to the head, and with Khali down, he locked on that devastating choke. Since it wasn't in the context of the match, it didn't seem like there was anything Vickie Guerrero could do.
Someone else could, however. As The Phenom choked out Khali, Hawkins & Ryder hopped the barrier and snatched the World Heavyweight Championship before scurrying up to hand-deliver it to their boss. When Undertaker finally released his grip on Khali, he watched as Guerrero, Edge, Hawkins & Ryder left the arena with what should still be rightfully his.
As it stands, SmackDown is currently without a World Heavyweight Champion. What will be the fate of the most coveted championship on Friday night? How will a new champion be crowned? And with Judgment Day fast approaching, how will the title situation affect SmackDown's pay-per-view participation?
Only one thing is for sure: Hell hath no fury like a Phenom scorned, and even though she was just doing her job, Vickie Guerrero -- and perhaps more immediately, her fiancé Edge -- may now be even more firmly in the path of Undertaker's pure, unadulterated rage.