February 4, 2012
Smackdown: Teddy Long’s Chamber of Horrors
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling

Teddy Long makes what is probably supposed to be a big announcement: Smackdown will be joining in the Elimination Chamber match festivities in two weeks’ time. Plus, which Hall of Famer has Santino roped in as his new partner, and how short can a Divas match be?

Long is in the ring to announce the entrants in the Chamber match: World Champ Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Mark Henry, Cody Rhodes, Big Show, and Randy Orton.

Henry, however, lumbers to the ring and tells Long that he’s not happy with the arrangement. Long points a finger in Henry’s chest and pulls a power play, suspending Henry indefinitely for his bad attitude. Henry is about to take out his frustrations when Sheamus makes the save with a Brogue Kick.

With Henry tucking tail to the back, Long asks Sheamus if he knows which title he’s going after. Not yet, says Sheamus –- that decision will wait until after the Elimination Chamber match. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes sticks his nose in and gets a match with Sheamus for his efforts.

Match #1 – Cody Rhodes vs. Sheamus

Rhodes fares poorly out of the gate, getting potatoed by forearms and tumbling to the floor. While out of the ring, though, Rhodes kicks Sheamus into the post and follows with a Beautiful Disaster off the security barrier. A moon-shot moonsault by Rhodes then nets him a two-count.

Taking a moment to point at the Wrestlemania sign earns Rhodes some promotional points, but leaves him open to a Sheamus comeback, topped by his Celtic Slam – though it might have a different name upcoming as a new finisher.

Winner via pinfall: Sheamus

Match #2 – Justin Gabriel vs. Hunico (w/ Camacho)

Cody Rhodes remains by ringside, angrily pacing after his defeat, and as Hunico makes his entrance, Rhodes attacks Gabriel from behind. As Hunico and Camacho join the fight, The Great Khali strides to the ring and decimates the heels – except for Rhodes who high-tails it to the back.

Match Result: No Contest

Backstage, Drew McIntyre is begging for his job, while Teddy Long complains about predictable television. McIntyre leaves with a vow to impress (again), and Santino arrives with his new tag team partner: Hacksaw Jim Duggan. They immediately rocket up the tag team rankings and get a non-title match against the champs tonight.

As Long watches them go, a saxophone announces Aksana’s arrival, and she drops a sexual double entendre. That wasn’t predictable.

Match #3 – Santino & Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Primo & Epico (w/ Rosa Mendes)

Duggan starts things off and punches and elbows his way through the champs before tagging in Santino for a hip-toss and falling headbutt. Santino pulls out the Cobra sock, but Rosa distracts him for a moment, allowing Primo to hit the Backstabber for the win.

Winners via pinfall: Primo & Epico

After the break, Michael Cole is in the ring, welcoming Daniel Bryan to the ring. Bryan takes one more step towards full heel by earning Cole’s respect and winning him over as a fan. Bryan doesn’t accept it whole-heartedly, though, dismissing Cole from the ring to proclaim his greatness.

He proceeds to promote veganism, drawing ire from the Omahans that love meat -– which seems to be all of them. He also doesn’t think that Big Show deserves a spot in the Chamber match, but guess who does? Big Show heads down and takes a few barbs from Bryan before he decides to rough him up instead.

It would have been a lot worse for Bryan, but AJ shows up with a neck brace and plays Fay Wray to Big Show’s Kong (as in “King”, not “Awesome”). Bryan escorts AJ to the back, promising to protect her.

Backstage, Natalya and Beth Phoenix are doing squats to warm up for a tag team match, but one of them farts. Who was it? We don’t know! Santino walks right into the noxious cloud and promptly vomits. Okay, that definitely wasn’t predictable.

Match #4 – Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. Tamina & Aksana

Natalya takes control of Aksana with slams, but Phoenix tags herself in with the “Get out of my ring” attitude, and Glam Slams Aksana for the win.

Winners via pinfall: Beth Phoenix & Natalya

Phoenix leaves alone as Natalya wants to lock Aksana in a Sharpshooter, but Tamina superkicks her down and Super Fly Splashes her again.

We learn that The Great Khali has replaced Mark Henry in the Elimination Chamber. Backstage, Matt Striker gets Orton’s thoughts on his match tonight against Wade Barrett -– which, predictably, Orton is relishing for a measure of revenge.

Match #5 – Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton – No Disqualification Match

As Barrett awaits Orton, we see Bryan and AJ in Long’s office waiting for a chance to talk about how scared of Big Show AJ has become. Orton and Barrett waste no time opening the match with hard fisticuffs, and Orton gets the first advantage, dropping Barrett to the mat for his Garvin Stomp.

They head to the floor and Orton gives Barrett an up-close tour of the ringside surroundings. Orton brings out a table and, after the break, has it ready for a superplex on Barrett, but he’s sent flying back onto his own device instead.

Barrett focuses on the lower back after that, including attacks with a chair, but Orton escapes Wasteland and gives as many chair shots back. Barrett readies a slam on the chair, but Orton pops out a pair of RKOs, the second on the steel, for the victory.

Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton

Back in Long’s office, the GM sets up a match between the champ and Orton for next week. Bryan tells AJ to watch him and he hops jubilantly down to the ring, leaps around a little more, then skips backstage again -– all under the watchful eye of Orton.

Dave Hillhouse would try veganism if it weren’t for missing out on the ribs. And wings. And burgers. And deli meat. And everything else, too.


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