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Smackdown: Oh Henry, O Canada
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Not that the WWE should be expected to make any kind of deal about it being Canada Day, but that doesn't stop Christian, the resident Canuck, from celebrating by continuing his drive towards a second World Championship. Of course, Canadian-trained Mark Henry has something to say about that.

Phoenix, AZ, is host to a rare occasion: the first in-ring action of the night is a match and not a promo. In a quick backstage conversation, Christian is looking for an official contract signing for his title shot at Money in the Bank, but General Manager Teddy Long hasn't made up his mind on that match yet. He says that if Mark Henry can beat Randy Orton right now, then the match for the title becomes a triple threat.

Match #1 – Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton

Henry naturally outmuscles Orton early on, while Booker T comments that he's never seen Orton punished in this way, nor has Cole ever seen Henry look more dangerous. Presumably this is all said with a straight face. The fight spills to the floor, but Henry is distracted by Big Show's entrance music. When he turns back to Orton, the champ is waiting with an RKO and he slinks back into the ring before the count of ten.

Winner via count-out: Randy Orton

Henry is pretty cheesed, and takes it out on one of the sound guys and his equipment.

Match #2 – Daniel Bryan vs. Ted DiBiase

Neither wrestler holds a lengthy advantage for some time, until Bryan falls for DiBiase's tricky rope-running clothesline. Bryan fights back with a less sneaky clothesline of his own, and nearly gets the LeBell Lock applied before DiBiase scampers to the ropes. DiBiase tries his sneaky clothesline again, but Bryan won't get fooled again; he cinches in his alternate, triangle-choke submission for the win.

Winner via submission: Daniel Bryan

Back in Long's office, Christian is granted the contract signing he seeks, though the GM voices his suspicions about Christian setting off Big Show's music. Long is feeling generous, though, and also gives Christian a match against Sin Cara tonight.

Elsewhere backstage, Cody Rhodes talks to Ted DiBiase about his embarrassing losing ways, offering a paper bag as a solution. Ranjin Singh also gets a little TV time, explaining that the power Mahal has over The Great Khali stems from them being brother-in-laws, and that Mahal has threatened to divorce Khali and Singh’s sister if he doesn’t get the help he wants from Khali.

Match #3 – Christian vs. Sin Cara

Christian is wrestling under protest, complaining about the lighting scheme and running from Cara’s attacks. When Christian does stay put he manages to back-drop Cara over the top rope to the floor. Christian struggles to follow up, but eventually scores by dropping Cara face-first onto the top turnbuckle and finishing him off with a spear.

Winner via pinfall: Christian

Match #4 – Cody Rhodes (w/ Paper Bag Flunkies & Ted DiBiase) vs. Ezekial Jackson

Rhodes plays rag doll for the champ before he slips out to the floor and under the ring. He appears again behind Jackson, running him into the ringpost. This gives him a short-lived hammer before Jackson starts his body slam barrage -- but DiBiase distracts Jackson from the apron long enough for Rhodes to hit a Beautiful Disaster and Cross Rhodes for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Johnny Curtis is backstage with an easel, showing off a picture of himself (in stick-figure detail) in the corner. He doesn‘t want his antics to cause him to paint himself into -- well, you get it.

Match #5 – Kane vs. Wade Barrett

The big men show off their punching and kicking skills, with Barrett holding the slight edge. Kane frustrates him, though, by repeatedly kicking out of pinning attempts at the count of one or earlier. Then the big men turn it up as Barrett misses an elbow off the top rope and Kane lands a cross-body! Both slip away from each other’s finishers, but Kane succeeds in his second choke-slam attempt.

Winner via pinfall: Kane

It’s time for the contract signing, as Christian (along with his legal counsel) meets Teddy Long and Randy Orton in the ring. Christian claims that Orton can’t beat him without the help of the powers-that-be, and a clause in the contract states that anything screwy in the outcome of the match will grant Christian another title shot.

Orton admits that he has lost his respect for Christian, and is starting to get very angry, very angry indeed about this whole thing. As Christian starts complaining about the pen not working, Sheamus blindsides Orton from behind and lays out Christian as well. The returning Celtic Warrior rips up the contract and leaves the contract set in ruins.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and applauds the CM Punk situation as great television.