Belfast brawler's Bakersfield beatdown

Belfast brawler's Bakersfield beatdown
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Finlay, hell-bent on avenging his Cyber Sunday loss to Rey Mysterio, had been claiming that the masked Superstar's weakness and compassion made him a loser, and that he would capitalize on his supposed fear of the Irishman. All of these points remain highly debatable even after the two squared off on SmackDown Friday night. Unfortunately for Mysterio, Finlay left him in no condition to dispute them, or the outcome of their match.

During his interview with Anastasia earlier that evening, the former World Champion had assured our fans, "Rey Mysterio fears no man, and certainly not Finlay…. I was raised to win." Carrying that attitude into his match with the Rabobank Arena crowd firmly behind him, the unorthodox high-flyer would surprise our fans -- and, more significantly, the Belfast brawler -- with an unusually aggressive offense from the onset. To our fans, if the assertive Mysterio seemed afraid of anything Friday night, it was that he might not get his hands on Finlay again at their upcoming Survivor Series contest, when the two join opposing teams for the pay-per-view's Traditional Elimination Match.

Then, just like that, Finlay demonstrated once again why he is one of the most dangerous individuals inside the squared circle. His smashmouth offense, arguably the most original in sports-entertainment, enabled him to take control of the match -- at the expense of Mysterio's back and skull. Utilizing all four corners (plus the outside barricade) to toss the masked Master of the 619 around like a sack of potatoes, even the usually dour Irishman couldn't stop from cracking a sick, twisted smile.

Though Rey clearly favored his back throughout the last half of the battle, it looked like he swung momentum back in his favor after countering Finlay's attempted shillelagh assault and connecting with the 619. But the Celtic combatant, always aware of his surroundings, grabbed hold of the top rope just before Mysterio could launch into a West Coast Pop, forcing the masked Superstar to crash sickeningly hard onto the canvas. Hoisting the visibly hurt Mysterio up onto his shoulders, Finlay then executed a devastating Celtic Cross that made pinning his opponent seem almost excessive.

Unfortunately, the Northern Irishman didn't see it that way, even after picking up the victory. Hurling the beaten Mysterio halfway across the ring to the outside floor, Finlay grabbed a laptop from the SmackDown announcers' table and, in a very un-"P.C." manner, used it to whack Rey across the skull. Seeing that the near-unconscious Mysterio was absolutely defenseless, the bruiser then lifted and rammed him directly across the steel ring post. Needless to say, the assault was brutal and merciless -- exactly the way Finlay loves to fight.

The look on our fans' faces illustrated grave concern for their home state hero, especially while Finlay again reached for his blackthorn-wooded club. Thankfully, the referee interjected, protecting the fallen Mysterio before the Celtic combatant could inflict any further damage. Finlay had gotten his point across, however. On this night, he backed up exactly what he promised to do a week before -- he beat Rey Mysterio. And if Finlay has his way, the beatings will continue until he finally convinces Mysterio why he should be fearful of him.

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