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COMMENT





Smackdown: Sweep the leg!
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Hopefully enough SLAM! Readers have seen the original Karate Kid movie to remember “Sweep the leg.” As Smackdown comes to us from Wilkes-Barre, PA, it seems recently deposed World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger remembers the film from the '80s as he continues his assault on the Big Show’s ankle. Also tonight, new evidence is presented to Kane in the case against CM Punk, and the build-up towards the Money in the Bank pay-per-view continues.

Jack Swagger enters the ring to address the crowd, lamenting the loss of his championship and expressing frustration at being cheated in the Fatal 4-Way match. Big Show interrupts Swagger as the former champ seems to be near tears, telling him that he started something he should have finished: he hurt Big Show, but he didn’t keep him down. As Big Show limps towards the ring for payback, Cody Rhodes dashes in from behind and helps Swagger take down the big man. Rey Mysterio, Jr. arrives shortly thereafter to make the save, something that Big Show may be hesitant to tell his grandkids about someday.

Backstage, Dolph Ziggler is marching with a purpose for his upcoming match when he is stopped by Vickie Guerrero. She reminds him that a win against Kofi Kingston tonight gets him a shot at the Intercontinental Title. Ziggler, though, is too busy ogling a conveniently placed diva doing jumping jacks (sorry – couldn’t identify the diva). Vickie is not impressed.

Match #1 – Kofi Kingston (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler – non-title match

Kingston and Ziggler up the tempo early in this one, exchanging a fast series of reversals and attempts to gain leverage before Kingston takes charge with an impressive leaping monkey-flip – but an early attempt at Trouble in Paradise sends Ziggler scampering to the outside. Upon return from the break, Ziggler has gained control and lands his standing elbow drop on the champ. Moments later, though, Kingston hits a cross-body block off the top rope followed by the Boom Drop and seems to be in total control. He misses another Trouble in Paradise, but gets another shot as Ziggler looks to Guerrero for guidance. This time, he connects and covers Ziggler for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Kofi Kingston

After the match, Guerrero walks away shaking her head at Ziggler. In a backstage meeting of the Straight Edge Society, Serena is clearly upset about this business with Kane, but CM Punk promises her everything will work out in the end.

Back in the ring, Christian is hosting a Peep Show, complete with ladders decorating the ring. His guest is Matt Hardy, and both recall their storied past with ladder matches and their desire to finally win a world title (thereby lessening the importance of the ECW World Championship). The two actually come to blows by the end of it all, each promising victory in the Money in the Bank match.

In the dressing room, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes interviews himself and preens in the mirror, seemingly quite pleased with his new persona. Another new persona, Alberto Del Rio, cuts a promo from his beautiful home (presumably in Mexico) stressing the importance of honesty. Claiming he does not lie, Del Rio proves it by remaining seated for the entire promo.

Match #2 – Kane vs. CM Punk (w/ Luke Gallows)

Serena does not accompany the Straight Edge Society to the ring, as Kane and Gallows put on an impressive display of punches, kicks, and a clothesline. In the end, Gallows runs right into a chokeslam, and even the masked member of the SES gets a chokeslam for his efforts at interference.

Winner via disqualification: Kane

After the bell, Kane readies CM Punk for more punishment when Serena rushes to the ring, pleading with Kane to let her leader go. She says she has proof that Punk did not attack The Undertaker and points to the video screen. We see a very long sequence of Serena in a bar, apparently captured on a security camera, cozying up to a man and a drink. Her society brethren arrive to chew her out, and the video ends. Kane considers the new evidence and declares a court recess to he can deliberate further. Punk, for his part, is very upset with Serena for showing the footage.

Match #3 – Chavo Guerrero vs. MVP

Chavo has a mic in hand on his way to the ring, claiming that he should get an Intercontinental Title shot, and that beating MVP tonight should give him that right. MVP finds that prospect laughable. It’s Guerrero who impresses early, though, with a spinning heel kick and the Three Amigos set of suplexes, but then he misses a suicide headfirst dive off the top rope. MVP takes advantage by hitting the Ballin’ Elbow, then the Play of the Day for the win.

Winner via pinfall: MVP

Match #4 – Michelle McCool (w/ layla) vs. Kelly Kelly (w/ Tiffany)

Team Laycool’s first objective is to have Layla distract Tiffany on the outside while McCool then rams her into the guardrail, taking her out of the equation. McCool then enters the ring and dominates Kelly until Tiffany gets back to her feet and gets McCool’s attention, allowing Kelly to roll her up from behind for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Kelly Kelly.

Alberto Del Rio has another of his qualities he’d like to share – it’s a little convoluted, but it comes down to Del Rio being an inspirational figure. Rey Mysterio, Jr. then comes to the ring with his championship belt, celebrating with his fans and awaiting his tag match.

Match #5 – Rey Mysterio, Jr. (C) & Big Show vs. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes & Jack Swagger

Rhodes finds himself in the clutches of Big Show early on, suffering some brutal chops. Big Show runs Rhodes into Swagger, knocking him off the apron, then hoists Rhodes in the air and throws him onto his partner on the floor. After the break, Rhodes is still in but Mysterio has replaced Big Show. Rhodes tries a suplex off the top rope, but is knocked off and set up for the 619. Mysterio didn’t see Swagger tag in blindly, though, and receives a boot to the face for his ignorance. Swagger literally throws the champ across the ring, then makes a quick tag. Rhodes’ return is highlighted by a vicious springboard kick to Mysterio’s head, then Swagger returns to clamp on a body scissors. Rey escapes the hold, hits a DDT, then tags in Big Show. Down goes Swagger, but down goes Big Show as well on his injured ankle. Mysterio comes back in and soon has Swagger in the 619 position. Swagger catches Mysterio, though, cinching in the ankle lock, and, like last week, refusing to release the hold on the 5-count for a disqualification.

Winners via disqualification: Rey Mysterio, Jr. & Big Show

Swagger still has the ankle lock on Mysterio, even as Big Show attempts to limp in for the rescue. Swagger and Rhodes head to the top of the ramp, leaving a couple of hobbled men in their wake.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and hasn’t changed his mind: the ankle lock, though probably really painful, is just not a visually impressive submission hold.