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Smackdown: Edge and Mysterio own the ring
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


The pay-per-view machine keeps on rolling, as tonight’s show is split between the fall-out from Hell in a Cell and preparation for Bragging Rights. Two key wrestlers also make a return to Smackdown: Mysterio from injury at the hands of Alberto Del Rio and Edge as a result of a trade for a “wrestler to be named later” – all from Topeka, Kansas.

Match #1 – Edge vs. Jack Swagger (w/ The Swagger Soaring Eagle)

Edge has been roughly hewn into the opening credits and receives a personal introduction by Teddy Long. Michael Cole joins Todd Grisham and Matt Striker for commentary for the second week in a row, which is concerning as he’s only one appearance away from creating a trend. In the ring, Swagger is at his most arrogant, taking Edge down and performing push-ups on his back. The eagle gets up onto the apron to celebrate Swagger’s upper hand in the match, but receives a spear that was meant for Swagger. As the eagle is carted away on a stretcher, Edge fights out of both an ankle lock and a gut-wrench suplex to finally land the spear on Swagger for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Edge

The tipping point for the inventiveness of Cody Rhodes’ grooming tips has come and gone as Rhodes educates us on the proper technique of brushing teeth.

Match #2 – Layla (w/ Michelle McCool) vs. Kelly Kelly (w/ Natalya)

Surprisingly, neither Natalya nor McCool are involved in the match as Layla stops Kelly’s handspring elbow drive with a kick to her rear end, followed by the Lay Out for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Layla

Big Show arrives jubilantly to talk about the release of his upcoming film Knuckleheads, followed the next night by Bragging Rights – for which he has been named team captain. Before he begins compiling his team, he introduces Hornswoggle as Smackdown’s mascot. The Dude Busters descend upon the ring next, urging Big Show to put them on the team. When he hesitates, they reveal Raw t-shirts under their Smackdown garb and threaten to leave. Big Show considers the situation and gives them both a simultaneous chokeslam.(

)

Match #3 – Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre (C) vs. Kaval and Kofi Kingston

This week’s last-minute pairing of two wrestlers to form a challenge for the tag team titles is brought to you by the letter “K”. Kingston is in the ring first, being worn down by a double team effort from the champs. Kingston tags in Kaval without Rhodes’ realizing it, and the recent NXT grad clamps in his Dragon Clutch, only to have McIntyre knock him off with a boot to the head. After that, it’s a Cross-Rhodes for the win.

Winners via pinfall: Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre

Paul Bearer is next in the ring, bringing out the World Heavyweight Champion Kane. Kane delivers a long and winding speech that elicits an “Undertaker” chant from the crowd that sounded more bored than fired up to support the Deadman.

Match #4 – MVP vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

Ziggler looks distracted to the point of disinterested in the beginning, and is further disoriented when Vickie neglects to take an open cheap shot on MVP. As he encourages her to continue their partnership, she walks up the ramp and exits. After the break, MVP is working up an advantage based mostly on hard punches to the champ’s face, when Kaitlyn arrives and interrupts MVP’s Ballin’ Elbow attempt. Ziggler takes advantage with a Zig-Zag for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Dolph Ziggler

Kaitlyn raises Ziggler’s hand in victory, but Vickie re-emerges at the top of the ramp to show her disapproval. Somewhere in the middle of this murky triangle, there’s an Intercontinental championship begging for attention. Before the main event, Del Rio is backstage telling Josh Matthews that he’s not worried about Mysterio at all, still referring to him as the little chihuahua.

Match #5 – Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio

Del Rio is much more serious than usual and seems intent on hurting Mysterio, but he misses a dive and glides feet-first through the ropes to the floor. This opens the door for Mysterio to work very aggressively on Del Rio’s left arm, then hitting a cross-body from the top rope while Del Rio is still outside the ring. Mysterio gets him back in the ring, but is caught on the top rope by a humungous boot to the head by Del Rio, who leapt to the top rope for leverage on the kick. Mysterio falls all the way to the outside floor. Mysterio gamely makes his way back into the match, escaping from Del Rio’s cross arm-bar and sending his opponent right into his personal ring announcer perched on the apron. Mysterio follows with a 619 and splash from the top rope for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and was thrilled to see Mysterio and Del Rio rise above the locked formula of WWE televised programming to deliver the best match on Smackdown so far this year.