June 25, 2011
Smackdown: Last chance for Christian ... again
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling

There’s bound to be repercussions from the controversial ending to Sunday’s championship match, and there’s something poetic about the former Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry’s tour of destruction making a stop in Hershey, PA. More great tag team wrestling and some solid singles matches round things out this week.

Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long heads to the ring with a little less strut than usual, and he calls Christian out to discuss the controversy. Both agree that the pinfall on Sunday shouldn’t have counted, but they disagree on the next step. Christian wants a title shot tonight, but Long says he has to earn it by beating Kane.

For some reason, Cole considers it egregiously unfair that a challenger has to beat another heavyweight contender to earn a title shot. Maybe that’s because it has more to do with sport, less to do with entertainment.

Match #1 – Sin Cara vs. Ted DiBiase

Sin Cara’s repertoire is acrobatically spectacular, but is already becoming a little routine. This may be why DiBiase is able to stop him with a dropkick as Cara springboards off the second rope. A second attempt at the same move, amazingly, seems to catch DiBiase by surprise and leads to a back-and-forth that finishes with Sin Cara’s Mistica for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Sin Cara

Match #2 – Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan

Rhodes has a mic in hand for his entrance, and calls Ted DiBiase his protégé and Hershey a modern-day Sodom. Not to be outdone, Bryan has a mic, too, and uses Dusty Rhodes as an example to prove that looks aren’t everything.

With the debate portion of the match over, the wrestling starts at a frenetic pace until Bryan lands a dropkick into Rhodes’ mush, forcing the former Dashing One to leave the ring. DiBiase joins him on the floor, which allows Jr. to land some cheap shots on Bryan on the outside, while Rhodes creates an upper body attack with a neckbreaker, clothesline, and cross-face arm-bar. Bryan fights back, but takes time to dive through the ropes and tackle DiBiase. This allows Rhodes to land two Beautiful Disasters and a Cross Rhodes to finish things off.

Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes

After the break, Johnny Curtis addresses the possible reasons why he hasn’t made his debut yet. He shows us that it isn’t because he can’t cut the mustard, because he picks up a bottle of ketchup and a jar of mayonnaise – but he leaves the mustard behind. I wish we’d gotten a post-event Obama press conference instead.

Elsewhere, Matt Striker talks with a limping Big Show, suggesting that he has lit a fire under Mark Henry and that Big Show brought the attack on Sunday upon himself. Henry appears out of nowhere, like a giant-sized ninja, taking Big Show down. Seriously, how could nobody see Henry coming?

Match #3 – Wade Barrett vs. Ezekial Jackson (Champion) – for the Intercontinental Championship

Barrett takes advantage of the champion entering first by attacking Jackson on the ramp. The bell rings and Barrett tries following up on his assault with a swinging side-slam, and he stalks the champion until he lifts him up for Wasteland. Jackson tumbles out and lifts Barrett into the Torture Rack instead for the win.

Winner via submission and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Ezekial Jackson

Backstage, Jack Korpela gets a word with renowned funny-man Randy Orton, who insists that he’s laughing on the inside about Christian’s repeated opportunities at the championship. He says that the closest Christian will come to touching the title will be when he hits him on the head with it. That means, of course, that he will actually touch it, which is perhaps a touch of the champ’s famous wry humour.

After the break, Barrett is clutching his ribs when he meets up with Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater, who are none-too sympathetic for Barrett. They tell him to sit back and watch as they go out and win.

Match #4 – Jimmy & Jey Uso vs. Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater

Both teams are focused on double-team maneuvers and quick-tag attacks, with Gabriel & Slater taking charge on Jey. As Gabriel leaps off the top rope, though, Jey catches him into a Samoan Drop. Both tags are made, and Jimmy lands a superkick on Slater, but the read-headed rocker lifts his knees as Jimmy flies off the top rope for a splash to get the win.

Winners via pinfall: Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater

Match #5 – Yoshi Tatsu vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ The Great Khali)

Tatsu is the sacrificial lamb for this week, and he knows it. He tries attacking Mahal before the bell, but a double-team beat down stops him cold.

Match result: No Contest

Mahal takes a mic and promises more of the same kind of domination throughout the WWE with his potential and The Great Khali’s re-birth.

Match #6 – Kane vs. Christian

If Kane wins, does he get a title shot? Christian tries keeping his distance and choosing his moments to attack carefully – but even a missile dropkick off the top rope only nets a one-count. He lands a flying headbutt, but his third attack off the top rope ends up with him cradled in Kane’s arms. Kane follows with slams and sets up a chokeslam, but Christian turns it into a DDT. He thinks spear as a follow-up, but Kane drops him mid-charge with a big boot. Kane is ready for another try at the chokeslam when Mark Henry runs in and attacks Kane, ending the match.

Winner via disqualification: Kane

Christian is understandably upset that Henry cost him his chance at Randy Orton’s title, but Teddy Long isn’t done yet. He announces that Christian will still get his title opportunity if he and Henry can beat Kane and Orton – now.

Match #7 – Kane & Randy Orton vs. Christian & Mark Henry

Christian employs his best strategy – tagging in Henry to lay Orton down low. Orton escapes the beating and tags in Kane, who doesn’t fare any better until he uses Henry’s charging momentum to lift him up for a chokeslam. Orton gets back in and drops Christian with a leveraged DDT and RKO, but Henry is still the legal man and he finishes Orton with the World’s Strongest Slam.

Winners via pinfall: Christian & Mark Henry

Christian, dazed and abused, staggers to his feet with the realization that he gets yet another chance to win back to heavyweight belt.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and, just as Cody Rhodes suggests, could probably hold Hershey accountable for a couple extra pounds.


CANOE.CA SLAM!