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Smackdown in Philadelphia







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Smackdown: Old standards in Music City
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Nashville, TN is home to tonight’s Smackdown and, like Predators fans, Christian is still coming to grips with losing. Also, The Corre looks to find strength through subtraction and the always reliable Chavo Guerrero has himself in a promising bit with Sin Cara.

Recent World champ and, more recently, ex-champ Christian opens the show by taking the heat off Teddy Long for his decision to square him off against Randy Orton last week. Christian congratulates Randy Orton on his win, but he makes sure to emphasize that he’s looking forward to a rematch at Over the Limit.

Hold the phone, though, Sheamus and Mark Henry enter separately to ostensibly challenge Christian for his title shot, and end up double-teaming the Captain. Orton runs down to his aid, which, after the break, gives Teddy Long an idea: how about a tag match featuring the two heroes and two villains who can't seem to get along?

Match #1 – Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan

Chavo Guerrero is in the ring to take over announcing duties, introducing Sin Cara as the man following in his own footsteps, then joining Booker T, Josh Matthews, and Michael Cole for commentary. There’s also some different, subdued and colourful ring lighting for the match.

The match itself features Bryan sticking to a grounded, submissive style, while Cara does his best to acrobatically escape his clutches. Once Bryan takes control with a missile dropkick off the top rope, he applies armbars and surfboard submission holds in between hard kicks to keep Sin Cara off balance. Cara tries his second springboard elbow, but Bryan nearly turns it into his Lebell Lock. The fight spills outside, where Guerrero grabs hold of Bryan’s leg and allows Cara to land his moonsault slam.

Winner via pinfall: Sin Cara

Cara sees Guerrero's interference on the big screen, though, and shows his appreciation for the assist by shoving Guerrero to the ground.

After the break, Layla is in the ring to reveal that she hurt her knee at Extreme Rules, but considers it a small price to pay for ridding the WWE of Michelle McCool. Michael Cole takes her to task and says that nobody cares abut her or any diva. Cole wants to talk about his feud with Lawler – but both are caught in Kharma's sights as the fearsome diva stalks them all the way to the ring. Layla doesn't escape this time as Cole trips her up, allowing Kharma to drop her to the mat. Kharma then focuses on Cole, but she learns what Lawler knows only too well: the Cole Mine is an impenetrable fortress.

Match #2 – Kane vs. Wade Barrett (C) (w/ Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater)

Barrett has something to say before the match – basically threatening Kane with the numbers of The Corre with Big Show in Mexico for Raw. Kane doesn’t seem intimidated as he works the Intercontinental champ with a hip-toss, a snap-mare, and a suplex – before he remembers his repertoire of clotheslines and punches. Barrett never really gets his offence going, so it’s no surprise when The Corre interjects to stop a choke-slam.

Winner via disqualification: Kane

A three-on-one beating commences, with no Big Show to come to the rescue. Ezekial Jackson, seeking revenge for his own beatdown at the hands of The Corre last week, charges the ring -– but just finds himself on the receiving end of more punishment.

Next up, The Great Khali heads to the ring, with as big a cowboy hat as he could find, with Ranjin Singh to treat the crowd to the Khali Kiss Cam. This one features a lucky fan brought into the ring for a kiss from the friendly giant. Jinder Mahal is none too impressed, coming to the ring to lay a smack down on Khali for, preumbaly, not taking his career seriously enough. Khali should have re-directed Mahal's complaint to WWE Creative.

Match #3 – Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase

Before what seems like a rather anti-climactic meeting between the former tag partners, Rhodes passes out the paper bag masks again – with one for DiBiase, too. These two are perfectly matched-up against one another, but Rhodes slowly takes advantage and lands Cross Rhodes for the perfectly clean win.

Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Backstage, Matt Striker is with The Corre, looking for the scoop on their gang mentality. Barrett insists it’s all about making statements, and challenges Jackson for a match at Over the Limit. Slater suggests that it should be for the title, and Barrett, short of agreeing, says he hopes that Jackson can make it.

Match #4 – Randy Orton (C) & Christian vs. Sheamus & Mark Henry

Christian and Sheamus start it off, with Orton applauding Christian’s offence. Both partners tag out and Orton easily grounds the world’s strongest man, but Henry recovers to overpower the champ. Christian gets in but doesn’t fare any better. After Christian receives a lengthy sequence of quick-tag double-teaming, he gets Orton in to clean house and set up Sheamus for the RKO. Sheamus escapes and sets up Orton for Pale Justice, but Christian had made a blind tag and finds Sheamus’s stance convenient for applying the Kill Switch.

Winners via pinfall: Randy Orton & Christian

The winning partners share a respectful staredown after the bell, both with eyes on the prize for the match in two weeks.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and wants to see Cody Rhodes' paper-bag mask turn into the best-selling piece of WWE merchandise of all time.