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   Sat, January 16, 2010



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Smackdown in Philadelphia







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Smackdown: Setting the stage for the Rumble
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Smackdown is building to the Royal Rumble this week, and with only a couple shows left to go we'll here one thing a lot this week, guaranteed - "I'm going to eliminate 29 other men and go on to WrestleMania to be the champ."

And indeed we get that right off the bat from Chris Jericho, who's sporting quite the bruise from his encounter with Mike Tyson. Jericho, by the way, also seems to accept his fate of only being on Smackdown. His promo precedes our opening bout...

Match 1: Chris Jericho vs. John Morrison

Good test match to see if these two can jive, and indeed they can. I'm guessing this was a test run, amidst the Drew McIntyre angle for Morrison. Drew, by the way, was respectfully sitting ringside much of the match, until the end when his distraction caused Morrison to be Codebroken (or is that Codebreakered?), giving Jericho the duke.

Winner: Jericho

CM Punk and Luke Gallows are out next, and it's another cultfest. Their subject this week, Trevor, was much more willing to join the Straight Edge Society. Great segment, as Punk really is getting into this version of his character.

Match 2: Straight Edge Society vs. Hart Dynasty vs. Cryme Tyme vs. Matt Hardy/Great Khali (Tag Team Title #1 contender match)

Hardy and Khali? Really?

I really hate these matches. The only way another team will tag in is a blind tag, making spots so contrived.

SES ends up winning the match after the usual spot shmozz.

Winners: Straight Edge Society

Undertaker's out next and cuts a long promo after his long entrance. Seriously. The big news of the day is that 'Taker's essentially already looking past the Royal Rumble match to Shawn Michaels at 'Mania. You know what that means kids - HBK costs him the match at RR.

Match 3 - Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix

Not a bad match, but only serves to make Mickie look back. Methinks she's on her way out of the Fed with her music career on the horizon. Beth gets DQ'd for putting Mickie in the Tree of Woe for too long... okay...

Winner: Mickie James (DQ)

Post-match, Team Lay Cool come in and beat Mickie up. I'm really sick of this crap. Look for title vs. career at 'Mania.

Dolph Ziggler then cuts a promo as Kane awaits him in the ring. More Rumble hype.

Match 4 - Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane

More decent wrestling from these two, as Kane gets the upper hand this time.

Winner: Kane

Rey Mysterio is interviewed next as he makes his way to the entrace for tonight's main event.

Match 5 - Rey Mysterio vs. Batista (Cage match/World Title #1 contender match)

Bad match. Mysterio get squashed most of the match but escapes a Batista Bomb, leading to him fleeing the cage.

Winner: Rey Mysterio

Very average show tonight, nothing to write home about.