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Smackdown: Don't fear the reaper
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


With the 500th episode a (semi-) distant memory on the Road to WrestleMania, Smackdown soldiers forward with just a couple episodes left before the biggest show of them all. Let's look back now at what went down in the wee hours of the night for Canadians.

Match 1 - Kofi Kingston/CM Punk/MVP/Mark Henry vs. Fit Finlay/Shelton Benjamin/Kane/Christian

Mixing up the heels and faces? I never thought I'd see the day. Still, these variations on a theme are wearing on my viewing patience and I hope something more unique occurs next week.

The biggest problem with eight-man tags is there just isn't enough time to properly tell a story here. We're already familiar with all these guys, and WWE would be better served to create mini feuds going into the big match. Oh well. Kane finishes Punk off with the chokeslam for his team.

Winners: Finlay/Benjamin/Kane/Christian

Post-match, Christian brings in a ladder in for dramatic effect, and somehow for the second show in a row Finlay ends up being the man looking the most threatening in the end. Dear god, no...

Match 2 - Jesse and Festus vs. Big Show

In a less PG world, Show's Roaring Fist would be called the KTFO. Total jobber match and I see Future Endeavors for the kid-friendly tag team.

Winner: Big Show

Next up, Matt Hardy cuts a promo on Jeff while being cutesy and friendly with a dog. Okay last week's promo was one thing, but that's a step a bit too far.

Match 3 - Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero

This must be the 1,000th time these two have fought, and without a backstory it just falls flat. Guess who wins?

Winner: Rey Mysterio

Post-match, JBL comes in and destroys Rey, avenging what happened on Raw.

John Cena's next out for our the standard World Title hype. I'm almost starting to think they established the three-way too early, because I'm now getting really, really bored with this buildup. Show comes out and the two have a brief chat, setting up a match on Raw. Cena gets a punk-ish trip on Show to end this abysmal segment.

Match 4 - Matt Hardy vs. R-Truth

Another predictable match. Could we have something that isn't an obvious swuash, say like guys who are actually in matches at 'Mania face one another?

Winner: Matt Hardy

Match 5 - Los Colons/Brie Bella vs. Miz and Morrison/Nikki Bella

Okay this is going to get confusing quickly unless one of the Bellas dyes their hair.

Despite the green ladies, we get another very good match here from the four men, which ends with the Backcracker on Morrison.

Winners: Los Colons/Brie Bella

Elsewhere, Jeff cuts a promo on Matt. I like that we're now getting a couple weeks of sepration between these two guys to add mystique to their match.

Match 6 - Maryse vs. Michelle McCool (Diva's Championship match)

To say the crowd is dead for this bout would be an understatement. This show, of course, was part of a double taping so we're already well into hour four of wrestling so you can't necessarily blame them.

The two have a decent match going until Gail Kim arrives, Front Missle Dropkicks Michelle and hits a tie-up neckbreaker on Maryse. Gail then retrieves the Diva's belt. Gail gets a decent pop for her return to boot.

Winner: No contest

Next up is the YouTube moment of the week, as Shawn Michaels tops his video on Monday by fully re-enacting the Undertaker's druid entrance, with everything in white instead of darkness. The detail is astounding. Michaels then cuts a promo on 'Taker that further establishes this great feud. Then, as Michaels is celebrating, 'Taker rips open the canvas and tries to Chokeslam HBK, who escapes.

This was a great segment to end a show that, aside from Gail Kim's return and a good (but short) tag match, fell flat. See you next week!