Time to Rumble
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Amidst the feverish anticipation of the Intercontinental Championship rematch between the "Chosen One" and The Guru of Greatness, a riveting Beat the Clock Challenge attempted to establish the No. 1 Contender to take on the World Heavyweight Champion Undertaker at the Royal Rumble.
CM Punk def. Matt Hardy in their Beat the Clock Challenge Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
CM Punk emerged with Luke Gallows by his side and attempted to lead the WWE Universe in a pledge to take up the straightedge lifestyle as their New Year's resolution. The Second City Saint claimed that next week, his "Straightedge Society" will save one "lost soul" from the audience.
SmackDown's self-proclaimed "savior" then went on to overcome the high-octane Matt Hardy and, with the help of the G.T.S., set a formidable time of 7:20 in the first match of the Challenge. Once the straightedge smoke cleared, Gallows added his own intervention, decimating the war-torn Hardy.
Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler ended when the time expired in their Beat the Clock Challenge Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Punk moved even closer to his prophesized title opportunity later that night when the time expired in the explosive Challenge Match between The Big Red Monster and the ultra-confident Dolph Ziggler. Although the bell might have sounded to end the rip-roaring battle, Ziggler nevertheless felt compelled to ring in his own New Year's havoc with a post-match Zig Zag on his monstrous opponent.
Rey Mysterio def. Chris Jericho in their Beat the Clock Challenge Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
The excitement of the Challenge continued to build with masked fury as the high-flying Master of the 619 soared to the top of the proverbial mountain. With seconds to spare, Mysterio captured an astounding winning time over the self-proclaimed "best in the world at what he does" with a small package out of nowhere.
Batista vs. R-Truth ended when time expired in their Beat the Clock Challenge Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Mysterio stuck around to watch his former comrade-in-arms Batista attempt to make short work of R-Truth in the final Challenge Match. But just when it appeared as if The Animal was about to pin The Rapping Superstar in time to beat Rey Mysterio's mark, the masked Superstar he once called brother surprised all by pulling the Official from the ring. Not only did the unorthodox move prevent the three-count, it also took away the precious seconds that would close the door of Batista's championship hopes.
It appeared as if Mysterio had overcome the odds once again by becoming the official No. 1 Contender to The Deadman's World Title. But that all came to a screeching halt when SmackDown Consultant Vickie Guerrero suddenly interrupted his celebration. She informed Mysterio that because he broke the rules and denied the Challenge its clear victor, Mysterio would have to face The Animal in one week to decide who will face The Demon of Death Valley for the World Heavyweight Championship at Royal Rumble.
Intercontinental Champion Drew McIntyre def. John Morrison by disqualification in an Intercontinental Championship Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
The brutal Intercontinental Champion battled his gravity-defying predecessor in a furious contest of pure athletic excellence. But when The A-Lister paused to argue with the Pfficial, McIntyre suddenly pushed his adversary into him. The official thought Morrison had shoved him on his own accord and quickly disqualified the challenger.
After the match's conclusion, things quickly turned into pandemonium as the outraged Friday Night Delight targeted McIntyre and ignited a fierce brawl.
Mickie James def. Beth Phoenix (PHOTOS | WATCH)
While trying to attack Mickie James during her match with Beth Phoenix, a shocked Women's Champion Michelle McCool instead connected with The Fabulous Firebird, allowing Mickie to roll her up for the victory. This mishap drew major retribution from the furious Glamazon, who turned the full force of her dominance on Michelle. And just when it looked like her wrath had subsided and that she and Mickie had joined forces to eradicate a common enemy, Beth suddenly hit the Glam Slam on the stunned Diva, assuring with supremacy over all.
The Great Khali def. A local athlete (PHOTOS | WATCH)
The Punjabi Playboy's opponent tried to make a statement with the East Rutherford members of the WWE Universe, wearing a jersey of the football team that just blew out their beloved Giants. But, his colors would be no help against The Great Khali, who swiftly decimated the local competitor with the devastating Punjabi Plunge.