Rage before The Bash

Rage before The Bash

MILWAUKEE -- Just two nights before The Bash, things erupted in the land of SmackDown, culminating in an epic "Rage in the Cage" Match, featuring some of Friday night's biggest Superstars.

Edge & Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho def. Jeff Hardy & Rey Mysterio (PHOTOS | VIDEO)
With World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk as guest referee, Edge & Chris Jericho went to war with Jeff Hardy & Rey Mysterio in a "Rage in the Cage" Match. In the end, it was "Team Ego" who prevailed when The Rated-R Superstar avoided a Twist of Fate from Hardy and stunned the high-flyer with a hard-hitting spear.

After the match was over, CM Punk, perhaps being sarcastic, offered up his praises for Hardy, saying he fought a good fight despite losing the match. On Sunday, the two will clash for Punk's World Heavyweight Championship at The Bash. (Bash preview)

A visit from the Chairman (PHOTOS | VIDEO)
The epic main event was orchestrated by SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long. Long was put under pressure to deliver a quality night by none other than the Chairman himself, Mr. McMahon, who paid a rare visit to SmackDown.

During the night's opening segment, the Chairman insisted that the night better be good, and put Long on "probation." The Chairman never let up on Teddy. After the night's main event, Mr. McMahon said he expected really big things from him at The Bash and told him to "perform as if your job depended on it."

R-Truth def. Shelton Benjamin (PHOTOS)
Performing his signature entrance song "What's Up?!," R-Truth crossed paths at ringside with the Chairman. When offered the chance to respond to the famous question, Mr. McMahon had nothing to say. (VIDEO)

After the rapping was over, R-Truth endured a vicious verbal assault from his opponent, Shelton Benjamin. The mean-spirited lashing fueled a quick and aggressive offense from Truth during their match. Benjamin eventually turned the tables, putting Truth on the defensive. But in the end, Truth prevailed when he dropped The Gold Standard with a Lie Detector.

Michelle McCool & Alicia Fox def. Women's Champion Melina & Gail Kim (PHOTOS)
With the upcoming Women's Championship match on their minds, Michelle McCool and Alicia Fox went to work, punishing reigning champion, Melina. Their strategy worked, keeping Kim out of the ring for most of the contest. When Kim finally entered the fray, she was stopped cold by McCool with a devastating Faithbreaker. After it was all over, Melina was clearly still feeling the effects of the encounter. Can she recover in time to defend her title against McCool at The Bash? (Bash preview)

John Morrison def. World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk (Non-Title) (PHOTOS | VIDEO)
Last week on SmackDown, John Morrison went toe-to-toe with former World Heavyweight Champion Edge, giving him a run for his money. (PHOTOS) Although The Friday Night delight came up short against The Ultimate Opportunist last week, on this night, he found a way to defeat the reigning champion. Perhaps feeling uncomfortable with his loss to the younger Superstar, Punk offered a congratulatory handshake to Morrison, only to crush him with a Go to Sleep. After the loss, Punk must put it behind him if he is to successfully defend his title against No. 1 contender Jeff Hardy at The Bash. (Bash preview)

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