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Smackdown: Less rock, more talk
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


The promo rules tonight in Houston, TX, as plenty of wrestlers have a lot to get off their chests. As for in-ring action, here’s a question: does Teddy Long purposefully avoid planning enough matches to fill his two-hour time slot for the likely event that he’ll have to make a few matches up here and there throughout the show?

First up, Edge comes out to address his Wrestlemania opponent, Alberto Del Rio. He suggests that Del Rio doesn’t really know who he is and what he’s been through, and demands that Del Rio comes out for a fight.

Del Rio obliges, but he walks out with Brodus Clay instead of taking a ride in one of his cars; maybe that’s because his protégé would have been a bit snug in the passenger seat. After a quick exchange of words, Edge falls prey to a double-team assault before Christian emerges to again make a save. Clay and Del Rio still dominate, though, so Teddy Long appears to make a tag match with all four wrestlers for later on.

Match #1 – Kane vs. Wade Barrett

Kane emerges through his fiery entrance to some strong support from the crowd. Barrett, on the other hand, has a mic in hand on his way to the ring and tells Kane he has made a monumental mistake in siding against The Corre. Kane and Barrett each get a few shots in before Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, and Ezekial Jackson charge the ring, attack Kane, and cost Barrett the match.

Winner via disqualification: Kane

As The Corre beat Kane down, Big Show comes to the ring to make the save, clearing the ring as we go to break. Upon return, we have another match in progress:

Match #2 – Kane & Big Show vs. Wade Barrett & Heath Slater

Big Show is having his way with Barrett, and there’s no sign of Gabriel or Jackson. Big Show looks to finish things off with a chokeslam, but Barrett escapes and chops the big guy down. Slater gets in some offence, but Big Show tags in Kane for a full-on babyface house-cleaning. Shockingly, Gabriel and Jackson return and the match is called.

Winners via disqualification: Kane & Big Show

Kane is suffering his second four-man beating of the night, but Big Show brings in a chair and sends The Corre packing. Next, proving again that Smackdown is short on material, we get the full replay of Steve Austin’s shenanigans from the previous Raw.

Match #3 – Cody Rhodes vs. JTG

Rhodes is not only sporting his face-mask, but is now wrestling in his dress pants and shirt. He takes an early punch to the face - which, oddly, doesn’t even faze him. Moments later, Cross Rhodes knocks JTG out for the pinfall.

Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Next up are more thoughts from Shawn Michaels, who champions Triple H’s viciousness as giving him an even chance to beat The Undertaker. When HBK is done, Michael Cole enters the ring to have what he deems the interview of the year with John Cena. After another Raw review of The Miz attacking Cena last Monday, Cole loses the mic to his interview subject before he’s done his first question.

Cena says that The Miz has made a mistake - now he’s mad, and will take it out on The Miz. Cena tries to leave, but Cole isn’t done. He says that Cena is scared of losing, which prompts Cena to take his shirt off (a classic rhetorical technique). Before Cena gets his hands on Cole, Jack Swagger comes to the ring and knocks Cena to the mat, but ends up receiving an AA instead.

After the break, we get a little Sin Cara preview and watch him show off some moves.

Match #4 – Kaitlyn vs. Layla (w/ Michelle McCool)

Kaitlyn convincingly overpowers the former Co-Woman’s Champion, but McCool distracts her enough for Layla to deliver the Lay-Out.

Winner via pinfall: Layla

Lay-Cool double-teams Kaitlyn after the bell and leave the apparently friendless Diva down and out.

Match #5 – Drew McIntyre vs. Rey Mysterio

Right off the bat, McIntyre shocks Mysterio with a boot to the face. Mysterio recovers quickly and sets McIntyre up for a 619, only to see him roll out of the ring. As Mysterio chases him, he suffers a sidewalk slam from the ring steps onto the apron. After the break, Mysterio escapes from McIntyre’s surfboard submission hold and delivers a 619 with McIntyre lounging against the ropes. A splash off the top later, and the match is done.

Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio

Cody Rhodes comes out looking for the answer to his Wrestlemania challenge – and Mysterio accepts. Next up, Triple H is here to let us in on his secret weapon: he is a horrible person. He will have no remorse for the unthinkable things he does to The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

Match #5 – Alberto Del Rio & Brodus Clay vs. Edge (C) & Christian

Clay waits in the ring for Del Rio, who indeed enters alone in a car far too small for Clay to ride shotgun. Christian has his troubles with Clay in the opening moments, leaving him helpless for Del Rio to enter and wear down his arm. Tags are made on both sides of the ring, and Edge soon has Clay set up for a Spear. The big man counters with a clothesline, though, and Del Rio enters to try and help out. Christian is also in and rids the ring of Del Rio, taking down Clay with a swinging DDT. This allows Edge to hit Clay with an elbow off the top rope for the win.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and should have taken off his shirt more often during high school debating sessions.