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SmackDown 1/12

The week of TV for WWE has concluded, and with it we have one official match now ready for the Royal Rumble which will be two weeks from tomorrow in San Antonio. Based on the results from last night's SmackDown, the World Heavyweight Title will be on the line as Ken Kennedy will take on Batista. Now I now that Kennedy is an up and comer and a guy that will have a long future in the WWE if he stays healthy, but based on what it looks like they are planning for Mania, he can't and won't get the win here. At least not for the belt.

You got that sense big time last night that the SmackDown side for Mania is building their main event towards Undertaker vs Batista for the title. If that match goes down, it will be intersting to see if this is finally the first time Taker takes a loss at Mania, or if they save that mark with some sort of no contest or double DQ. Taker is at a stage in his career where having the World Title means nothing, and it needs to stay on someone that is going to be around for a long time and will grow as a character with it. In the hands of the Taker, the belt is just...the belt.

There were plenty of matches on the show, and overall I thought the show was a huge
improvement over the RAW showing on Monday night, and it was better than the ECW show that was taped along with this SmackDown show. In total there were six matches, and we even had three time-limit draws for the first time on TV in what seems like 100 years between Finley and Matt Hardy, MVP and Vito, and then Taker and Miz. Time limit draws of 20 minutes were things we use to see all the time back in the 80's when TV shows like "Prime Time Wrestling" use to rule the airwaves. Now, they are almost always a thing of the past, but for this show, it was cool to see.

Tatanka beat Jimmy Wang Yang, whose stock has just about hit bottom after this loss. Kenndy beat Chris Benoit when Chavo jumped into the action, forcing a No-DQ match next week that could see the return of Rey Mystero. London and Kendrick continue to hold the belts after they beat the team of Regal and Taylor. The finale of the night was Taker and the Miz, and Kennedy came out a few times to make sure that Taker would not be able to get the win to take his title shot away.

Things should shape up like this if I am thinking about this right. Kennedy loses to Batista at the Rumble. Taker wins the Rumble to earn the shot at Batista. Kennedy and Taker fight, yet again, at No Way Out with some stip about Taker's title shot being on the line, and in that, Taker gets the clean win to set up Mania 23 in Detroit with Batista and Taker going at it.

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