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Smackdown: The injury bug bites again
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


With Mark Henry already out of Sunday’s upcoming Elimination Chamber match, another wrestler is forced out of the match. Plus, Natalya’s gaseous gaffes actually cause trouble in the ring and Daniel Bryan hangs up his role model gig.

Right off the bat, Randy Orton is sitting backstage with Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long, and we learn that Orton has a concussion due to taking a shot to the noggin from Bryan last Monday. This forces Orton out of the Elimination Chamber coming up on Sunday.

Match #1 – Big Show & The Great Khali vs. Cody Rhodes & Wade Barrett

Barrett & Rhodes try quick tags against Khali first, getting him off his feet pretty easily. It’s a strange thing seeing Khali crawl to his corner for the tag, bringing Big Show in to chokeslam Barrett down for the count.

Winners via pinfall: Big Show & The Great Khali

Khali steps into the ring to share in the victory, but receives a WMD knock-out punch from his erstwhile partner. Backstage, as Mark Henry petitions Teddy Long to get back into the Chamber match, Big Show continues his tantrum by knocking Henry out and violently re-arranging Long’s furniture.

After the break, Teddy Long has assembled a team of security flunkies to escort Big Show out of the arena. They are, of course, hesitant to even go and find him. Long figures he’d better get some back-up.

Match #2 – Ted DiBiase vs. Hunico (w/Camacho)

Fast-paced opening between these two emerging rivals, with DiBiase countering a cross-body off the top rope by Hunico with a dropkick. As Hunico recovers, Camacho grabs DiBiase’s injured wrist and drops it across the top rope. Hunico steals the win.

Winner via pinfall: Hunico

Match #3 – The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. Primo & Epico (w/ Rosa Mendes)

Both teams showcase some great teamwork, highlighted by Primo suplexing Epico into the ring onto a prone Jimmy. Primo misses a follow-up dropkick, running himself into the corner ropes. Jey gets in, superkicks Primo and tags in Jimmy for a top-rope splash. Primo gets the knees up, though, and follows up with a Back Stabber.

Winners via pinfall: Primo & Epico

Moments after the bell, Michael Cole passes on the news that Big Show has voluntarily left the building. Shortly after, perhaps not coincidentally, Daniel Bryan hops his way out into the ring. He says that Monday Night was his chance to show everyone what he’s really all about. He insists that Lillian Garcia announce him as the winner of tonight’s previously-scheduled match against Orton.

As Bryan celebrates the announcement, Long steps out and announces a match right now between Bryan and ...

Match #4 – Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus

So much for Bryan’s night off. He looks tanned but tiny compared to Sheamus, and a clothesline coupled with some forearms send the champ grabbing his belt to go home. Sheamus stops him, but Bryan soon turns the tables with a series of dropkicks. Bryan angers Sheamus with a slap and a spit to the face, goading Sheamus into ignoring the referee’s five-count and earning a victory.

Winner via disqualification: Daniel Bryan

Backstage, as Teddy Long contemplates redecoration, Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes arrive to hear him announce a Battle Royale tonight to determine Orton’s replacement in the Chamber match.

Match #5 – Jinder Mahal vs. Ezekial Jackson

Jackson simply mauls Mahal the open the match, but Mahal uses two Camel Clutches to force a tap.

Winner via submission: Jinder Mahal

Match #6 – Tamina Snuka & Alicia Fox vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya

Phoenix starts but Natalya tags herself in, much as Phoenix has been doing lately. She locks in the Sharpshooter, but something forces the referee to back away, covering his face with his shirt. Natalya is mortified, and Fox tags in Tamina to Samoan Drop and Super Fly Splash her way to victory.

Winners via pinfall: Tamina Snuka & Alicia Fox

After the bell, Phoenix runs in on Tamina but gets a super-kick for a greeting. As Tamina scales the ropes again, Phoenix rolls out of the ring to escape the splash. Backstage, John Laurinaitis brings David Otunga in to see Long and make sure he has a spot in the Battle Royale. Long thinks he stinks like a lawyer, but he’s in the match.

Match #7 – Battle Royale for the open spot in the Elimination Chamber

First out is Derrick Bateman at the hands of Otunga as Santino Marella tries his best to avoid fighting anybody. Drew McIntyre hulks up and press slams Tyson Kidd over the top. After the break, action has slowed considerably. Primo and Epico toss Johnny Curtis into Tyler Reks, sending them both over. Shortly after, Primo eliminates Epico, shrugging off the betrayal.

We’re soon down to Ezekial Jackson, Drew McIntyre, David Otunga, and Santino Marella. Marella tosses McIntyre as the Scotsman pandered for a little too long, then dodges an attack by Jackson and sends him over the ropes. Otunga tries to throw Santino over, but a quick reversal gets a huge cheer as Otunga goes to the floor.

Winner via elimination: Santino Marella

Dave Hillhouse figures ... why not shake things up? Santino as World Champ and Kofi Kingston as WWE Champ.