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Smackdown: Kane won’t get fooled again
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


This week, from Dayton, OH, Edge ratchets up his efforts to drive Kane over the brink of madness heading into their fight for the World Heavyweight Championship, while no less than two championships are also being contested.

The show opens with Kane coming to the ring to say just what may be on the mind of those in attendance (and the millions watching at home): this business with Edge and Paul Bearer has gone on way too long. He again stresses his humanity and love for his father (though he often calls him by his full name, which is a little less than respectful) and begs Edge for it to end tonight. Edge appears on the TitanTron and continues to torment the World Champion by holding Bearer captive for Kane to see, even taking what he calls a practice swing at Bearer with a chair. Kane gives chase and finds Edge backstage, delivering a Con-Chair-To to Bearer and yet, it turns out to be yet another of Edge’s surprisingly large collection of phony Paul Bearers.

Match #1 – Jack Swagger vs. Kaval

Kaval gets his usual commendation from the announcing team regarding his unorthodox methods of attack. At first, his style serves him well as he stays at arm’s length from Swagger and takes a few pegs off the All-American American with his swift kicks. It only takes one moment, though, for Swagger to get his hands on Kaval, throw him to the mat and set him limping. Swagger keeps his attack focused on the leg and, though Kaval mounts a solid comeback, Swagger finally clamps on the ankle lock and Kaval is forced to submit in the centre of the ring.

Winner via submission: Jack Swagger

After the bell, Swagger vents his frustrations over his loss to Kofi Kingston last week, claiming screwage by the number-one contender for the Intercontinental Championship that Swagger now has his sights set upon. He claims that Kingston beat him with an illegal maneuver and is therefore protesting tonight’s Intercontinental Championship match.

Match #2 – Hornswoggle (w/ Rosa Mendes) vs. The Soaring Eagle

Hornswoggle uses a devious trick by spilling some bird feed in the ring and, as the Eagle goes for it, delivers a dropkick to the well-padded head of the mascot. After a little more chicanery and very little offence from the great American symbol, Horsnwoggle lands the Tadpole Splash and gets the win.

Winner via pinfall: Hornswoggle. Losers via eyewitness: Us.

WWE Tag Team Champions Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov are with Teddy Long, partly to take advantage of their ability to appear on either brand’s show, mostly to give Santino a chance to sing “We Are the Champions”. Who interrupts but Chavo Guerrero - Smackdown’s Manny Mota - showing that he is ready to pinch-hit with exuberance when called upon. He asks Long for a title shot with anyone as his partner and receives it for later tonight. For someone that hasn’t been on the show in ages to receive a tag-team title shot quite out of the blue, with any partner of his choice ... well, that neatly sums up the tag team division’s current status.

Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler also has time for a quick word with Todd Grisham, and has this jewel of an analogy: the difference between himself and Kofi Kingston is the difference between a champion and a contender. Unfortunately, we break for commercial before he gets a chance to explain that the difference between night and day is the difference between darkness and light.

Match #3 – Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler (C) (w/ Vickie Guerrero) - Intercontinental Championship Match

Just as a reminder: this match is being officially protested by Jack Swagger. Ziggler and Kingston, given the time to showcase their skills, deliver another very good match based upon their complimentary styles and athleticism. Ziggler rolls out of the ring to avoid an early Trouble in Paradise, and Kingston later breaks out of Ziggler’s sleeper hold - perhaps rather easily. Guerrero is a non-factor, but Ziggler does get some help after Kingston eventually crowns him with his TIP kick - as Jack Swagger arrives to pull Kingston off during what seemed to be a winning pin attempt.

Winner via disqualification: Kofi Kingston

Of course, there is no title change due to the disqualification, leaving the belt on Ziggler, and a hurting on Kingston thanks to Swagger’s ankle lock. Elsewhere, Kane is still on the hunt for Edge, and finds himself falling yet again for a fake Paul Bearer stunt. You know the old saying: fool me seven times ...

Tonight is Smackdown’s turn to go old school ... or at least a little stale. Chris Masters is in the ring with a chair set up, meaning it’s The Master Lock challenge! Dashing Cody Rhodes is the participant, though he doesn’t seem to want any part of it. First he uses an cleaning wipe on the chair and then can’t stand the fact that Masters has his hands on him for the challenge. Masters goes for a good ol’ face grab and Rhodes throws a hissy fit at having his face touched. While Rhodes is checking his reflection in the mirror, Masters cinches in his submission hold and Rhodes is soon knocked out.

Match #4 – Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (C) vs. Chavo Guerrero & Drew McIntyre - WWE Tag Team Championship

McIntyre starts off with Santino and shows that he’s a cut above the semi-serious superstar. McIntyre even holds his own against Kozlov once the big Russian tags in. Eventually, McIntyre has Santino primed for the Future Shock DDT, but Guerrero tags himself in to go for the win. Santino dodges Guerrero’s Frog Splash and counters with the Cobra, sealing the win.

Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov

After the match, McIntyre shows as much support for Guerrero in defeat as he did for his former partner Rhodes, delivering his DDT and presumably sending Guerrero back to the bench for a while.

Match #5 – Layla (w/ Michelle McCool) vs. Natalya (w/ Beth Phoenix)

The point of this match seems to be proving that Lay-Cool can’t gang up on Natalya anymore, as Phoenix discourages any attempt that McCool makes to interfere. Layla soon submits to the Sharpshooter.

Winner via submission: Natalya

Match #6 –Kane & Alberto Del Rio vs. Edge & Rey Mysterio

As Edge, Mysterio, and Del Rio let their eyes adjust to Kane’s fiery red entrance theme, it soon dawns on them that the World Champion is not coming. Instead, Teddy Long walks out to let Del Rio know that he is now in a two-on-one handicap match. Edge and Mysterio take full advantage of this, double-teaming Del Rio handily. However, feeling that late is better than never, Kane charges the ring with his bearings set for Edge. Edge abandons the match and runs backstage with Kane giving chase. Although Del Rio manages a little fight now that it’s an even-odds match, the earlier double-teaming catches up with him and he succumbs to Mysterio’s top-rope splash.

Winners via pinfall: Edge & Rey Mysterio

Backstage, Kane has caught up with Edge, who has a ladders and table scaffolding set up. He appears to be talking to Bearer perched on top of the table. Kane arrives and decides he is going to call Edge’s bluff. He topples the ladders over a railing but then gapes in horror at Paul Bearer lying unconscious or worse on the concrete far below. Edge shows very little concern for what would be his accountability in at least some degree of manslaughter.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and wonders if there’ll be a Soaring Eagle versus Canadian Beaver feud on the northern WWE tours.