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COMMENT





Smackdown: Still The Undertaker's yard?
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


As Todd Grisham and Matt Striker talk about a match between The Undertaker and CM Punk later in the evening, the Baltimore crowd is beset by darkness and an ominous bell tolling. Amazingly, it isnít a ceremony for the moribund Baltimore Orioles, but The Undertaker making a relatively subtle appearance in the middle in the ring. He questions Kaneís confidence going into Night of Champions, but CM Punk emerges to question The Undertakerís waning strength. Things just arenít the same for the Deadman on Friday nights.

Match #1 Ė Jack Swagger vs. MVP

Swagger continues in the tradition of the Jack Swagger, Sr. Invitational with takedowns and grappling, while MVP just looks to plain olí beat Swagger up. This gets Swagger in a bad mood, too, and he abandons the collegiate approach with two hard clotheslines to the back of MVPís head. After a run of momentum from MVP, though, itís Swagger who runs MVPís leg into the ringpost, followed by the ankle lock for the submission win.

Winner via submission: Jack Swagger

Backstage, Kaval is still hanging out with Laycool, but he gets fed up listening to them argue about who will fight Melina for the unified championship. He excuses himself to prepare for a match tonight. We are then treated to a look back at the history between Kane and The Undertaker.

Match #2 Ė Alberto Del Rio vs. Matt Hardy

Ricardo Rodriguez is here again to introduce Del Rio, and even he gets booed. Del Rio seems amused at the prospect of fighting Hardy, until he ends up on the receiving end of a bulldog. Del Rio responds with a powerful inziguiri, and a move that doesnít have a name but doesnít need one: he kicks Hardy solidly in the side of the torso. Hardy does land a moonsault, but Del Rio finishes the match off with his cross armbreaker.

Winner via submission: Alberto Del Rio

Match #3 Ė Drew McIntyre vs. Kaval

Kaval enters the ring without Laycoolís accompaniment, using a series of aerial attacks to take an early upper hand. McIntyre turns that around, though, knocking Kaval off the ropes to the floor. Kaval mounts a comeback, but is done for when McIntyre catches an attempted hurricanrana and plants him on the floor. McIntyre drags Kaval back in the ring for a Future Shock DDT and the win.

Winner via pinfall: Drew McIntyre

McCool and Layla show a surprising amount of compassion and come down to the ring to help Kaval make his way back. Speaking of surprising, Cody Rhodes is in his dressing room, revealing a bright green facial cream on his face. Smmmmokin!

Match #4 ĖChavo Guerrero & Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero & Kaitlyn) vs. Kofi Kingston & Chris Masters

Masters starts off with Ziggler, showing off his press slam again on the Intercontinental Champion. Guerrero tags in and narrowly avoids the Master Lock, allowing him and Ziggler to start a double-team offence on Masters. Kingston gets into the ring with Ziggler for a preview of Night of Champions (or a review of several Smackdowns, your choice). In a rare event, the heels make a tag that the referee doesnít see and, as Chavo argues his case, Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise on Ziggler for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Kofi Kingston and Chris Masters

Big Show is backstage interviewing himself, playing the role of Josh Matthews. Kelly Kelly is amused, but Matthews is not when he retrieves his microphone from Big Showís armpit.

Match #5 Ė CM Punk vs The Undertaker

CM Punk emerges with Luke Gallows and Joseph Mercury, but verbally berates them and sends them to the back. Once in the ring, Punk is not intimidated at all and is actually being playful and taunting The Undertaker. Still, The Undertaker gets his hands on Punk and focuses his attacks on Punkís left arm and shoulder. First sign that maybe Punk is right and The Undertaker isnít what he used to be: Taker canít maintain his balance while performing Old School and falls, allowing Punk to beat him brutally outside the ring. Punk makes a big mistake, though, when heís caught coming off the top rope and laid out with a chokeslam: but he kicks out! Punk then wriggles out of a Tombstone and hits The Undertaker with his Go To Sleep. In going for the pin, Punk is caught in Hellís Gate and has no choice but to submit.

Winner via submission: The Undertaker

The Undertaker begins his post-match celebration, but his blue light is replaced by Kaneís fiery red motif, with the sound of Kaneís laughter filling the arena.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and thought that Danny Glover looked a little nervous and uncomfortable saying that Cena has skills as an actor during the Legendary behind-the-scenes promo. Like maybe he was tied to the chair or something.