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Smackdown: Orton returns, wants Barrett
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on WWE Smackdown: After several weeks away, Randy Orton makes his return and The Viper has his sights set squarely on Wade Barrett, the man who put him out of commission. Elsewhere, a Funkasauras is on the loose and Mark Henry collides with the Big Show in the evening's main event. Should be a good one!

And we are TAPED! from Tucson, Ariz. Josh Mathews, Michael Cole and Booker T are our hosts. This show is presented in WWEHD (TV-PG, V)

The Big Show is out to start the show and he immediately apologies to AJ for running her over two weeks ago. He says she immediately forgave him, but he is having trouble forgiving himself. He says he didn't know his own strength growing up, but he thought it was all behind him. He says he loves his job but he doesn't think he has the heart to go on with his career. He says he'll participate in the title match Sunday at Royal Rumble, but after that, he's going to have to do some soul searching.

This brings out Daniel Bryan. He is in full sarcasm mode saying Big Show saying he's sorry makes everything OK. Bryan says AJ was heavily medicated when Show apologized to her and doesn't remember it at all. But he says he remembers everything. He says he remembers watching WWE as a kid thinking it was a place for athlete, not genetic freaks. He tells him not to mention Andre the Giant because he is no Andre the Giant. Bryan says Show is full of it. He has no plans on reassessing his career. He says if he was serious about it, he wouldn't be here apologizing to everyone, he'd do the honorable thing and just retire, right now.

Bryan says AJ can't do anything about it, but he can. He slaps Show hard across the face twice when Show grabs him and runs him into the corner, telling him, "what happened to AJ is an accident, you arrogant little ass. What happens to you this Sunday won't be," then he throws Bryan across the ring.

Now here comes Mark Henry. He's here to remind them it's a triple threat match Sunday. He says he doesn't care about Show's hurt feelings, or Bryan's Napoleon complex, or some 95-pound girl in a training bra. He says after Bryan screwed him out of the title last week, he's going to tear the skin off him. Of course, Smackdown GM Theodore Long won't have that, so he comes out.

He says tonight, since Daniel Bryan faced Show and Henry the last two weeks, that it's only fair that Show and Henry go head-to-head this week.

(Ads)

Match #1 - Cody Rhodes (Marietta, Ga.) vs. Justin Gabriel (Cape Town, South Africa)

Back-and-forth match in the early-going, but Rhodes quickly hits the Beautiful Disaster kick and follows up with Cross Rhodes and that is it. Impressive victory for Cody Rhodes here.

Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Backstage, Santino Marella and Yoshi Tatsu form a tag team when Drew McIntyre comes in. Long tells him he's facing Sheamus tonight and that's next.

(Ads)

Match #2 - Drew McIntyre (Ayr, Scotland) vs. Sheamus (Dublin, Ireland)

Sheamus hits a plunge but McIntyre kicks out at two. McIntyre rolls to the apron and is able to grab Sheamus and snap his neck on the rope. He hits a belly-to-belly suplex with a bridge for two. Nice snap suplex for McIntyre for two. But here comes Sheamus. He clubs away at McIntyre then hits a series of hammerfists. McIntyre is reeling and runs right into the Brogue Kick. See ya.

Winner via pinfall: Sheamus

(Ads)

Match #3 - Santino Marella (Calabria, Italy) & Yoshi Tatsu (Tokyo, Japan) vs. Primo & Epico (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Epico with a nice double underhook suplex for two on Tatsu. Epico and Tatsu grapple and Tatsu gets a backslide for two. Tatsu brings in Santino, who comes in on fire and hits the diving salute headbutt for two, with Primo breaking up the pin. Tatsu comes in to fend off Primo but misses the high kick and gets clotheslined over the top rope. Santino hits Primo with the Cobra but Epico catches him from behind with the Backstabber and gets the fall.

Winners via pinfall: Primo & Epico

(Ads)

Match #4 - Wade Barrett (Manchester, England) vs. Randy Orton (St. Louis, Mo.)

They meet each other on the ramp and start brawling. They quickly end up in the ring and Orton is going to town. The officiating crew comes out and tries to restore order. Barrett tries to take off but Orton catches up and brings him back. This is all Orton. He intimidates the refs when Long asks all the jobbers to come out and try to help calm Orton. As they grab him, Barrett clobbers him. It doesn't phase Orton, though, as he gets back in the ring and spears Barrett. More mid-carders coming out as Barrett retreats to the back.

They let Orton free and for their troubles, Orton delivers RKOs to Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, Trent Barreta and Jimmy & Jey Uso.

(Ads)

Match #4 - Hunico (Juarez, Mexico) vs. Ted DiBiase (Madison, Miss.)

Quick start for DiBiase, but Hunico quickly goes after DiBiase's injured wrist. DiBiase fires up, but is going at it with one arm. He goes for Dream Street, but can't get Hunico up because of the wrist. Hunico takes advantage and puts DiBiase away soon thereafter.

Winner via pinfall: Hunico

Hunico and Camacho attack DiBiase after the match and stomp on the injured wrist on the steps.

Backstage, Natalya is asking Long for another match with Tamina. Instead, Long books her in a match with Aksana after the two trade words. Then Natalya farts. And runs away. What?

(Ads)

Match #5 - Alex Riley (Washington, DC) vs. Brodus Clay (Planet Funk)

Riley shows off some of dance moves but just gets T-Boned for his troubles. Clay hits a corner splash and then finishes him with What The Funk.

Winner via pinfall: Brodus Clay

(Ads)

Match #6 - Natalya (Calgary, Alberta) vs. Aksana (Lithuania)

For some reason, Natalya walks to the ropes and turns her back on Aksana, yelling for Tamina. Aksana rolls her up and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Aksana

Natalya attacks Aksana and applies the Sharpshooter. Tamina makes the save, hitting a Samoan drop and the Superfly Splash.

(Ads)

Match #7 - The Big Show (Tampa, Fla.) vs. Mark Henry (Silsbee, Texas)

Henry and Show trade punches when Henry throws a punch of his own and goes down in a heap and stays down. He rolls to the outside and gets counted out.

Winner via count out: The Big Show

Bryan gets in the ring and tries to attack Show with a chair. Bryan bails, grabs his belt and backs away. As Show approaches, he throws him his belt, which distracts him long enough to hit a drop kick to the knees. Bryan grabs the chair and starts going to town with it. They go in the ring and Bryan puts Show in the LaBelle Lock, but Show just swats him off and then hits the choke slam.