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Smackdown: Christian's patience wearing thin
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


The Mega-Powers they aren't, but there's definitely an explosion brewing between World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton and Christian in Des Moines, IA. Both have been founding members of a mutual respect society, but championships have a way of getting in the way of partnerships.

Match #1 Mark Henry vs. Christian

Christian's attempts to outmaneuver Henry's power game fail early on, as Captain Charisma is tossed first high into the air and then over the ropes to the floor. When Henry goes to follow up, though, Christian catches him with a drop-toe-hold and sends him into the announcer's table. They drag themselves back in the ring, where Christian turns Henry around for the world's strongest Kill-Switch.

Winner via pinfall: Christian

After the break, Christian has been waiting patiently to address the crowd. He shows footage of his loss in the number-one contender's spot from last week, and cites the dubious circumstances of his loss as a reason for one more shot at the title. Smackdown GM Teddy Long cannot be convinced, but he does install Christian as the referee for the title match between Orton and Sheamus later tonight.

Speaking of Sheamus, we get a recap of his fast-rising career.

Match #2 Alicia Fox & Tamina (w/ Rosa Mendes) vs. Kaitlyn & AJ (w/ Natalya)

Tamina starts with a shove on Kaitlyn, but misses with a corner splash, landing hard one the turnbuckle. Both teams make tags and Fox gets an upper hand, then brings Tamina back in right away to deliver a Samoan Drop on AJ for the win.

Winners via pinfall: Alicia Fox & Tamina

After the break, Cody Rhodes walks to the ring with his Paper Bag Flunkies, putting his spin on the loss to Daniel Bryan last week: he lost the match, but Bryan is the real loser. Backstage, Matt Striker tries to interview The Great Khali, but Jinder Mahal steps in to speak for him, promoting his own match.

Match #3 Jinder Mahal (w/ The Great Khali) vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Mahal is supremely confident from the outset, delivering a solid suplex and ending the match early with a full nelson slam.

Winner via pinfall: Jinder Mahal

The Great Khali puts an exclamation point on the match by clamping the Vise Grip on Tatsu. After the break, there's a new Obama press conference about Capitol Punishment. Funny stuff.

Match #4 Ezekial Jackson vs. Wade Barrett (champion) - for the Intercontinental Championship

The Corre's takeover of Smackdown seems to be on indefinite hold as they focus their efforts on Jackson, though Barrett is alone for this match. Both trade heavy hits, as even a rudimentary atomic drop by Barrett looks punishing. Jackson responds with shoulder-blocks and the body slam barrage. Barrett is up for the Torture Rack, but the champ rakes the eyes and rolls out of the ring. He stays there as Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater run down to support him while he gets purposefully counted out.

Winner via count-out: Ezekial Jackson (title does not change hands)

Gabriel and Slater rush Jackson in the ring, but are quickly roughed up and sent packing. Backstage, Matt Striker gets a few words of self-confidence with Sheamus, before the Irishman spots Christian and warns him about any shenanigans in the title match. Love hearing him say shenanigans.

Match #5 Ted DiBiase vs. Daniel Bryan

A punch-fest gives way to a chop-fest, and Bryan emerges on top with a hard kick to DiBiase's head. The action comes to a rest, though, as Rhodes re-appears with the Paper Bag Flunkies, leading to a break. Coming back, DiBiase has control, but Bryan kicks out after suffering DiBiase's fake-out running clothesline, and then being drop-kicked while coming off the top rope. Bryan almost gets caught in Dream Street, but turns it into the LeBell Lock for the win.

Winner via submission: Daniel Bryan

Rhodes immediately attacks Bryan, and pummels him until Sin Cara runs to the ring and leaps in to save Bryan. Legacy backs away up the ramp, holding a stare-down with Bryan and Cara. After the break, Johnny Curtis is in the locker room, explaining that he won't get a Tag Team Title shot with his former pro R-Truth, so he spills milk and cries over it. Literally.

Match #6 Sheamus vs. Randy Orton (champion) - for the World Heavyweight Championship

These two renew the hostilities that they had over the WWE Championship, with Sheamus taking charge by running Orton into the post out on the floor, followed by a running double ax-handle. After a break, the challenger continues to keep Orton in check with a front face-lock. Orton fights out of it, turning it into a suplex. Sheamus kicks Orton away and climbs the ropes, but is slow in unfamiliar territory and Orton brings him down with a superplex.

Sheamus regains control again, blocking the leveraged-DDT and dropping Orton with his Irish Curse backbreaker. Christian, by the way, has been invisible as a ref (in a good way). Orton gets some room to try an RKO, but Sheamus pushes him away and goes for the High Cross. Sheamus charges Orton, but the champ spins away and Sheamus runs into Christian, hurting the ref's arm. After Sheamus professes innocence, he turns and drops Orton with the Brogue Kick. Sheamus goes for the cover but Christian stops in mid-count, grabbing at his arm in pain. When Sheamus questions Christian, he gets a slap and turns around into an RKO to end the match.

Winner via pinfall and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Randy Orton

Orton celebrates his successful defence, and never sees Christian coming with attack to the head with the belt. As the majority of peeps jump off the bandwagon and boo their former captain, Christian walks away still toting the belt.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and was surprised to see a lot of empty seats in the arena. What else could have possibly been happening in Des Moines?