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Smackdown: Fair is foul, and foul is fair
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


While Teddy Long is behaving a little bit like Macbeth trying to control the spiralling situation he incited in regards to the World Heavyweight Championship, some Raw wrestlers show up on Friday night for an unofficial mini-invasion. Plus: tag-team wrestling the way it should be!

The Providence, RI, crowd watches World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton start things off in the ring, milking the pandering before taking the mic to admit that he is indeed concussed. However, this doesn’t stop him from asking for a fight with Christian tonight. General Manager Teddy Long steps out and says he won’t allow it, which brings Christian out to gloat and tell Randy that at least he has the concussion as a ready-made excuse for his upcoming loss on Sunday.

Not to be left out, Sheamus makes an appearance and suggests that he is more deserving of a title shot than Christian. Never shy to shake things up on a whim, Long makes a match for tonight between Christian and Sheamus – and if Sheamus wins then the title match on Sunday is a Triple-Threat.

Match #1 – Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan & Ezekial Jackson vs. Wade Barrett, Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes

DiBiase is first up for a beating at the hands of Jackson and Cara, but after the break Rhodes has the masked acrobat lined up for his Beautiful Disaster. This leads to a lengthy sequence of punishment for Cara by his three opponents, before Bryan enters and drills DiBiase with a clothesline and dropkick in the corner. Bryan makes the cover and, although DiBiase lifts his shoulder at the last second, the ref counts to three nonetheless.

Winners via pinfall: Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan & Ezekial Jackson

Sin Cara and Jackson look legitimately surprised that the match is over, hesitating before coming into the ring to celebrate. Backstage, Matt Striker gets a few words from a happy Sheamus, very sure of himself going into the match later on.

Match #2 – Vladimir Kozlov vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ The Great Khali)

A big test for Mahal early on in his run against Raw wrestler Kozlov, who is appropriately dressed in Smackdown blue. Mahal hits a heavy suplex and a rather pansy knee to Kozlov’s jaw, but Kozlov fights back with headbutts to the gut before Mahal runs him into the ringpost through the ropes. As Kozlov tries to shake the cobwebs, Khali nails him with his big chop, leaving Kozlov open for Mahal’s full-nelson slam to end the match.

Winner via pinfall: Jinder Mahal

Following the break, Josh Matthews is in the ring with an agitated Big Show, who is here because he heard Alberto Del Rio might show up. Long comes out again, warning Big Show not to lay a finger Del Rio, and gives him a match to keep him occupied.

Match #3 – Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Big Show looks very upset as Henry makes his way down, and indeed attacks the World’s Strongest Man before the bell. A knock-out punch later and Henry is out.

Match result: No Contest

Big Show stalks away from the ring as a team of medics put Henry on a stretcher and carefully take him for help. Backstage again, Matt Striker is with a less-than happy Christian, whose excellent paradox tonight is that he’s nostalgic for the days when Teddy Long actually ran a good show – which was never.

Match #4 – Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes & Tamina vs. Natalya, AJ & Kaitlyn

Tamina tries a leg drop on Natalya, but it’s caught and turned into a Sharpshooter. Mendes breaks up the submission hold and Natalya tags AJ into the match. A Samoan Drop later, though, and Tamina has the win.

Winners via pinfall: Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes & Tamina

Johnny Curtis is backstage with a practice putting green. How will he turn this into an ironic usage of a maxim? By showing a playing card in the hole. An ace. In the hole. That’s what he has.

Match #5 – Jimmy & Jey Uso vs. Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater

This is what tag-team wrestling should look like in the WWE. Slater takes charge early on, but Jimmy catches him flying off of the top rope and brings him down with a scoop slam. Tags are made for both teams and The Usos plant their double-team Samoan Drop on Gabriel but Slater breaks up the pin. Not to be stopped, Jey finishes Gabriel off with a splash off the top rope for the win.

Winners via pinfall: The Usos

Welcome back, Alberto Del Rio! Your dreams were your ticket out. Welcome back to that same old place that you laughed about. Yes, Del Rio comes to the ring, but without Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio speaks of his personal ring announcer as his best friend, and, oddly, in the past tense. He dedicates his upcoming win on Sunday to Rodriguez, but Big Show emerges and Del Rio runs for the hills. From way up in the crowd, he watches as Big Show dismantles the set around the ring in anger.

Match #6 – Christian vs. Sheamus

Leaving the crowd a little uncertain of when to cheer and when to boo, the wrestlers trade their favourite holds and each one finds himself getting a little bit of love and hate from the fans. Christian lifts Sheamus off of the second rope for a DDT and calls for a spear, but Sheamus stops him cold with a running double-axe handle. Sheamus slips out of two Kill-Switches, and Christian himself ducks under a Brogue Kick. As Sheamus has Christian set up for a potential superplex, Christian leaps all the way to the floor, bringing Sheamus’ head down on the ringpost. Christian dives back in and secures the win.

Winner via pinfall: Christian

Orton slips into the ring after the bell, sending Christian running. Needing to release a little excess aggression, Orton punts the defenseless Sheamus in the head to the delight of the crowd.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and wonders how many people recognized the “Welcome Back, Kotter” lyrics in this review.