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Smackdown: No Tender, Lovin' Care for anyone
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


This week, Lafayette, LA welcomes Smackdown to one of the best named arenas: The Cajundome. It’s time for the final push towards the TLC event on Sunday, with storylines taking some unexpected turns and Sunday’s matches going through some tweaking as a result. As usual, and as it should be, the drama surrounding the World Heavyweight Championship opens the show.

For those less-intuitive members of the WWE Universe, Edge would like to take a few moments and explain why he’s been spending so much time torturing Paul Bearer over the past few weeks. He realized he needed to become as much of an evil torturer as Kane has always been in order to get inside his head, and although he admits that he may have gone too far, the end will justify the means when he becomes World Heavyweight Champion on Sunday.

After the break, however, Edge is in Teddy Long’s office being reprimanded by the General Manager for making Kane so distraught that he may not actually make the event on Sunday. Edge, who moments ago was suggesting that going so far as to be complicit in killing Kane’s father was okay as long as it led to the championship, suggests that he wouldn’t want to win the title by forfeit. It seems that the Rated-R Superstar has some issues with priorities. In any case, after all his hard work to throw Kane off of his game, Edge is perfectly content to let Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio walk in and convince Teddy Long to let them into the championship match on Sunday. Even if Kane does show up, it will now be a Fatal-Four Way match. Everyone is happy except for Aristotle, whose theories on logical storytelling receive an illegal chair-shot to the head.

Match #1 –Dolph Ziggler (C) & Jack Swagger (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Kaval and Kofi Kingston

There are some deep feelings of resentment between three of the members of this match – and then there’s Kaval, who seems to be on hand to serve as the whipping boy for Swagger and Ziggler. Swagger uncharacteristically fails to focus his attack on his opponent’s legs, though, allowing Kaval to rev up his momentum and wriggle out of the gut-wrench powerbomb to tag his partner. Kingston comes in flying and hits Ziggler with everything but the TIP as Ziggler ducks the kick. Kingston opts for the SOS instead, but Swagger dives in to break up the pin. Kaval gets rid of the All American American, giving Kingston another shot at Trouble in Paradise, felling Ziggler for the win. This win is brought to you by the letter “K”.

Winners via pinfall: Kaval and Kofi Kingston

As Kaval and Kingston celebrate and wonder if they could convince Kelly Kelly to become their manager, Swagger takes out his frustrations on Ziggler with a knock-out punch – sending a message for Sunday’s Triple-Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship.

A sequence of interviews and vignettes starts with Jack Korpela interviewing The Miz, seconded by Alex Riley. The champ talks about his busy week and touts his appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show as proof that he’s the most in-demand WWE Champion ever. Get yourself on Fernando’s Hideaway, Miz, and we can talk. JTG is next up with a segment called “Str8 Outta Brooklyn” in which he hypes the TLC matches and takes an out-of-the-blue shot at Justin Bieber. Following that, Drew McIntyre lays his Scottish charm on Kelly Kelly, trying to get a date with her. She’s unsure, and Kaitlyn makes the save, telling McIntyre that it’s girls night. Finally, Cody Rhodes’ grooming tips are back, and the Dashing One gives pointers on hair care. As usual, the pictures he uses to show non-dashing examples are the best part.

Match #2 – Dashing Cody Rhodes vs. Chris Masters

In a feud struggling for life, Rhodes makes quick work of Masters with Cross Rhodes for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Dashing Cody Rhodes

Match #3 – The Miz (C) (w/ Alex Riley) vs. Rey Mysterio – Non-Title Match

In an unofficial handicap match, Mysterio is handling the champion just fine until Riley interjects, letting The Miz take charge. Mysterio is soon bouncing back, though, and drops Riley with a seated senton off the apron to take him out of the equation. The interference continues, though, as Mysterio charges up for the 619 only to have Del Rio arrive and trip him off of his feet. Mysterio tries his springboard splash instead, but The Miz has his wits back and blocks with his knees, securing the win.

Winner via pinfall: The Miz

Del Rio jumps in the ring and starts laying into Mysterio, and Edge soon follows to pull Del Rio off. Teddy Long stops the madness and makes a tag match for later on, pairing Del Rio with The Miz against Mysterio and Edge.

Lay-Cool arrive in the ring, not to gloat over McCool’s Diva of the Year Slammy Award, but to protest their Tables match against Natalya and Beth Phoenix on Sunday. Said opponents come to the ring as well, carrying a large present shaped suspiciously like a table. After Lay-Cool make some intolerant jokes about masculinity at their opponents’ expense, the wrapping comes off the present to expose a pink table featuring caricatures of Lay-Cool looking like witches. Phoenix and Natalya set Layla up for a suplex through the table, but McCool pulls her to safety.

Match #4 – Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (C) vs. Chavo Guerrero & Tyler Reks

Guerrero’s partner-of-the-week starts off with Santino, making easy work of him. Reks even gets the advantage over Kozlov, but Guerrero tags himself in and it’s downhill from there. Santino finishes the match with The Cobra.

Winners via pinfall: Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov

At least Reks doesn’t beat on Guerrero after the match, so Chavo is making some progress. We watch a video package of Ezekial Jackson, announcing that he’s coming to Smackdown next week.

Match #5 – Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio and The Miz (w/ Alex Riley) (C)

Surprisingly, The Miz and Del Rio show the more cohesive teamwork in the early going, first by blocking Edge from making a tag, and grounding Mysterio even when he makes it into the ring. Neither Edge nor Mysterio will go quietly, though, and Edge has his sights on spearing the WWE Champion until Riley distracts him and lets The Miz recover. The champ sets up the Skull-Crushing Finale, but Edge escapes and delivers an Edgecution, although Del Rio breaks up the pinning attempt. Something’s happening backstage, though, as personnel lay beaten on the ground as a familiar pair of pants walks away from the scene of destruction. Back in the ring, The Miz succumbs to both the 619 and the Spear, but before Edge can finish the match flames erupt from the landing and Kane charges the ring.

Match result: No contest (though it really should be a win by disqualification for Edge and Mysterio)

Kane and Edge trade blows in the middle of the ring until a whole slew of wrestlers arrive to separate them, apparently at the behest of Teddy Long. They do a pretty poor job, as Edge eventually breaks free and spears Kane to finish the show.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and has sent Teddy Long an email with a request to join the match for the Heavyweight Championship on Sunday. Look for me on Sunday.