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Smackdown: No tricks, but a couple of treats
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Friday night’s centerpiece, The Undertaker, was buried alive five nights ago. Instead of focusing on the criminal culpability of Kane and Paul Bearer, life goes on and Smackdown needs to anoint a new number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. The show also features two great matches and one perfunctory Divas Hallowe’en Costume Contest, coming from Milkwaukee, WI.

Kane and Paul Bearer stand by the TitanTron, along with a makeshift grave and a tombstone marking the date of what Kane claims to have been The Undertaker’s final match. Kane delivers a passionate, reverential sermon to honour the demise of his brother, but is rudely interrupted by ... Alberto Del Rio? He is soon followed by Mysterio and Edge, all of whom want a piece of the title. After the break, Teddy Long makes a match between Del Rio, Mysterio, and Edge to determine the number one contender.

Match #1 – Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

In what is turning into a captivating feud, Ziggler seeks his first win in three tries against Bryan. Ziggler owns Bryan early, until a trade-off of hard forearms sees Bryan take the hammer. Each matches the other move for move – including Bryan escaping from the sleeper and Ziggler wiggling out of the LeBell lock. Ziggler’s downfall comes when the ref is knocked down, so there’s nobody to count after he lands the Zig-Zag. Guerrero slides into the ring and slaps a three-count, but it only serves to distract Ziggler allowing Bryan to deliver a vicious kick to Ziggler’s head and earn the win.

Winner via pinfall: Daniel Bryan

Backstage, Josh Matthews finds Paul Bearer and Kane, both angry and vowing revenge for the service interruption earlier on. Elsewhere, Cody Rhodes is admiring himself and explaining to Kelly Kelly what it takes to be, well, himself, when Big Show interrupts with a challenge. Rhodes offers a tag team bout, including his partner Drew McIntyre and a partner of the Big Show’s choosing. It’s on for later.

Match #2 – Jack Swagger (w/ The Swagger Soaring Eagle) vs. Kaval

In this bout of speed versus strength, strength wins pretty handily. Kaval shows his customary flashes of creativity, but Swagger is too big to be brought down. It ends after Swagger runs Kaval’s leg into the ringpost and follows up with the ankle lock.

Winner via submission: Jack Swagger

Teddy Long and Hornswoggle are next in the ring, introducing the Divas for the Hallowe’en contest. Here’s how it breaks down: The Bella Twins are Batgirl and Robin (or is it Robingirl? Or is Robin androgynous?); Alicia Fox is Cleopatra; Kelly Kelly is Little Bo Beep; Rosa Mendes is a leprechaun; Melina is Spider Woman; and Laycool has Layla as Beyonce and Michelle McCool as Lady Gaga. Somehow, tensions erupt and a fight nearly breaks out, so Teddy Long makes an 8-Diva tag match happen.

Match #3 – The Bella Twins, Kelly Kelly, & Melina vs. Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, & Laycool

The Batgirl Bella starts off with Layla. The caped crusader should have started with a headbutt, what with the pointy mask and all, but instead the match breaks down into a mess with all Divas in the ring. Kelly Kelly stops the madness with her K2 on Rosa Mendes for the win.

Winner via pinfall: The Bella Twins, Kelly Kelly, & Melina

Backstage again, Edge and Mysterio make sure that they understand each other: both will do anything to become the number-one contender tonight.

Match #4 – Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre vs. Big Show and ...?

Rhodes and McIntyre arrive first, sporting mics to announce not only their determination to win back the World Tag Team Titles, but that they will now be known as The Dashing Ones. Big Show enters and introduces his partner: Kofi Kingston. Hey – Kingston’s blue Smackdown apparel finally arrived! Oddly enough, McIntyre has now switched to wearing red. Early in the match, Big Show makes mincemeat of Drew McIntyre, so Kingston tags in to presumably finish the job. He’s the victim of smart double-teaming by The Dashing Ones, though, with a focused attack on the legs to keep Kingston grounded. Kingston survives long enough to tag Big Show back in again, and it’s not long before a chokeslam puts Rhodes away.

Winner via pinfall: Big Show and Kofi Kingston

McIntyre just walks away, leaving Rhodes alone in the ring. After the break, they jaw it out backstage and drop the biggest bombshell since Ahmed Johnson was kicked out of the Nation of Domination five seconds after he joined: The Dashing Ones are no more.

Match #5 – Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio – Triple Threat Match for Number One Contender’s Spot

For those just joining us: a Triple Threat Match means all three competitors are in the ring at the same time, and the first pinfall or submission by anyone determines the winner. All three take turns trading blows with each other – no alliances or personal vendettas are noticeable. All three are involved as Edge clotheslines himself and Del Rio over the top rope, and Mysterio follows with a flying cross-body block onto both of them. While still outside the ring, Del Rio creatively stretches Mysterio’s abdomen around the ringpost. Back inside, Del Rio continues to torment Mysterio, grabbing him in mid-619 while Edge is draped on the ropes. Del Rio follows with his cross-arm breaker on Mysterio, but Edge lands an elbow off the top rope to break it off. All three are on their knees, slugging it out with one another, until Mysterio tries another 619 but is caught again by Del Rio. This leaves Del Rio open for a spear, though, and Edge escapes with the win.

Winner via pinfall: Edge

Kane emerges to intimidate Edge as the bout between them is now set for Survivor Series.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and is ready for the Survivor Series to Wrestlemania marathon to begin.