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Smackdown: All comebacks great and small
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Big Show makes his return tonight, as does a new dance partner for Booker T. The big question is, of course, will there be a Smackdown roster by the end of the night?

In case you missed it –- all of it –- the full history of Mr. H’s run as COO of the company is displayed and, when it’s over, we glimpse Teddy Long in his office on the phone with the troubled executive. Long promises that he’ll do his best to help, and then turns to Zack Ryder to express concern over another walk-out happening tonight.

Speaking of which, Vickie Guerrero is in the ring with a smattering of heels (not shoes), all talking about the dangerous workplace conditions and the need for the walk-out. Cody Rhodes in particular says it couldn’t have happened without the support of WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio (who agrees). Long pops out to put Rhodes and Christian in a match with Randy Orton and Sheamus later on, and Del Rio in a match right now...

Match #1 – Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara

Del Rio opens with several hard shots to Cara’s head and a troubling belly-to-back suplex. Cara fights back gamely with a tilt-a-whirl head-scissors launched off the top rope and a tornado DDT, but Del Rio wastes no time attacking the arm and going for the cross arm-breaker.

Winner via submission: Alberto Del Rio

Matt Striker is backstage with a jubilant Air Boom, who both admit they don’t like being a part of the Raw walk-out, but feel helpless to do otherwise.

Match #2 – Air Boom (Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

Before Air Boom’s pyrotechnic entrance’s smoke clears, Swagger and Ziggler attack them on the ramp. Bourne takes the brunt with a Zig-Zag on the floor. Kofi Kingston does his best to solider on alone, but when he fights back after a Ziggler side suplex he tags Bourne in, who takes a neckbreaker from Ziggler and a gut-wrench powerbomb from Swagger for the loss.

Winners via pinfall: Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger

Match #3 – Alicia Fox vs. Beth Phoenix (w/Natalya)

Fox is thrown rather routinely into the corner, but it looks like it takes more out of her than half an Iron Man match. She succumbs to the Glam Slam soon afterwards.

Winners via pinfall: Beth Phoenix

You know the drill here: Phoenix grabs the house mic as Natalya wraps Fox up in her leg/head-lock as Fox cries for her to stop.

Next up is the returning Big Show, with a new WMD t-shirt that even George W. Bush couldn’t miss. He is happy to be back, but gets teary-eyed as he remembers how a broken ankle changed his life and made him realize what he was taking for granted. It’s a little over-the-top, and he gets back on track with a vengeance-filled tirade against Henry.

The World Heavyweight Champion answers the call, and Henry strides out to tell Big Show, quite rightly, that he hasn’t earned a title shot by sitting at home. Big Show demands that he gets one, or else he’ll put Henry through a table and break his ankle by the end of the night.

Matt Striker is backstage with Orton, who also wants a title match with Henry while getting an ovation for saying that he didn’t join the walk-out because he doesn’t play well with others. After this, Brodus Clay is pushed hard with another promo.

Match #4 – Jinder Mahal vs. Ezekial Jackson

Mahal is already in the ring, speaking Punjabi and being booed for his “funny talk”. Jackson comes to the ring and tries to shush him, but Mahal keeps talking. Jackson punches him instead and the crowd loves it, taking us right back to Jim Duggan telling Nikolai Volkoff that he can’t sing the Russian national anthem because this is the land of the free. Anyway, Mahal absorbs several body slams before submitting to the Torture Rack.

Winner via submission: Ezekial Jackson

Back to Teddy Long’s office, where John Laurinaitis drops by to pledge his support. In the ring, Hornswoggle makes his return to engage in spinaroonie tomfoolery with Booker T.

Match #5 – Sheamus & Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes & Christian

Old pals Christian and Sheamus start off, but Christian is soon tucking tail and runs to tag in Rhodes. The Intercontinental champ gets potatoed by the Great White as he’s tied up in the ropes, before Rhodes shows off a little Steamboat and Hart by skinning the cat and dropping Sheamus with a Russian leg-sweep.

Both teams tag, and Christian takes a scoop-slam and leveraged DDT before rolling away from an RKO. Another double-tag sees Sheamus ready to Brogue Kick Rhodes, before Christian chases him from the ring, but Sheamus does slip in a tag and Orton lands an RKO on Rhodes for the win.

Winners via pinfall: Sheamus & Randy Orton

Time for Mark Henry to give his answer –- and it’s “no” to Big Show. This enrages the WMD, who stampedes to the ring and spears the champ. A legion of security try to contain Big Show, but he swats them away and chokeslams Henry through the announcer’s table.

He wraps a chair around Henry’s leg and is ready to jump off the steel steps for payback, when Long rushes out to award Big Show his title match -– but not if he breaks Henry’s ankle. Makes sense. Big Show decides to simply layeth the Smackdown on Henry’s back with the chair, leaving him laid out.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and is going to give the Great Tiger banner from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out! to Jinder Mahal. Big Show can be King Hippo. Who’s Glass Joe? .