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Smackdown: Fire, firing, and farts
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Randy Orton is back (again), but he receives an unwelcoming reception from Kane. Drew McIntyre, meanwhile, has an apparently more serious “last chance” at winning, and Natalya decides to use her super-smelly powers for good.

First out in the ring tonight is Joey Fatone, formerly of NSYNC. Oh, sorry, it’s Sheamus. But some guy’s sign has an illustration of Sheamus that makes him look far more related to Fatone than he does to Beaker the Muppet.

Sheamus promises to knock some sense into World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania, but Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler emerge to protest that the fans really want to see Ziggler main-event the grand-daddy PPV. Teddy Long joins in on the festivities, matching up the red-head and the show-off.

Match #1 – Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

After Ziggler’s opening run-and-gun attack fails him, the heel tries escaping to the apron. Sheamus pulls him towards the ropes vigorously by the trunks, providing evidence that even dedicated tanners have parts where the sun don’t shine. After being potatoed by forearms, Ziggler mounts a comeback based on neckbreakers and elbow drops.

Sheamus powers out of a sleeper hold, actually shrugging Ziggler over the top rope, but his pinning attempt following a backbreaker is foiled by Guerrero getting her man’s foot on the ropes. Jack Swagger also comes down to help, receiving a Brogue Kick as his parting gift. After another sleeper hold is broken up, Sheamus finishes with his newly minted finisher: White Noise.

Winner via pinfall: Sheamus

Backstage, Teddy Long cuts his phone call with Aksana short as he finds John Laurinaitis and David Otunga waiting for him in his office. Otunga is considering civil action against Long for his part in injuring Laurinaitis’ back last week, and he has also colour-coordinated his travel mug to his shirt and tie. Long and Laurinaitis promise to run each other’s show as it should be done, as they do a GM switcheroo next week.

Match #2 – Santino Marella vs. Heath Slater

All you need to know is that Slater seems to have the upper hand until Santino inadvertently knocks him off his feet on the top turnbuckle. Out comes the Cobra, and Santino’s winning ways continue.

Winner via pinfall: Santino Marella

Eve Torres is here, and Natalya confronts her in the locker room by saying that Zack Ryder doesn’t deserve the way she treated him. Eve says Ryder stinks. Natalya farts and says that stinks.

Match #3 – Eve Torres vs. Natalya

Eve pulls out some dirty tricks and a full-on sneer to promote her change of heart, but more importantly she employs a roll-up for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Eve Torres

Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes comes to the ring to continue his campaign of showcasing Big Show’s sub-par Wrestlemania performances. Big Show heads down the ramp, too, sending Rhodes running for the stands. Teddy Long makes yet anther appearance, announcing to Big Show’s joy that he has a title match against Rhodes at Wrestlemania.

Match #4 – Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Right now, though, Big Show has another entry in his long-running series of matches against Henry. The World’s Strongest Man clotheslines Big Show over the top rope to the floor, and proceeds to throw him over the security barrier and run his chest into the exposed steel of the turnbuckle.

Back from break, Henry runs Big Show into the corner post and throws the stairs at him, which Big Show barely dodges. Rhodes has returned to commentate, just in time to watch Big Show’s comeback featuring a super-kick and a spear. After Big Show kicks out of the World’s Strongest Slam, he nails a charging Henry with a WMD for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Big Show

It’s the Teddy Long show, as the GM has another segment with Drew McIntyre, promising that tonight is the last chance to win and keep his job. Elsewhere, Matt Striker gets some vengeful words from Randy Orton who is seeking payback against Bryan.

Match #5 – Drew McIntyre vs. Justin Gabriel

McIntyre is a man possessed, trying for a pin after almost every offensive strike. It’s Gabriel, though, with a Tornado DDT and 450 Splash for the easy win.

Winner via pinfall: Justin Gabriel

McIntyre looks positively crushed as Long appears on the big screen and releases the Scotsman -- as he once did several years ago.

After the break, Striker plays fair and gives Daniel Bryan a chance for rebuttal against Orton. Bryan directs his indignation at being disrespected against Orton, Sheamus, and anyone who eats meat.

Match #6 – Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

Orton, frankly, doesn’t seem interested in winning as he throws Bryan over the top rope and then squashes his head between his foot and the steel steps. Somehow, he gets away with only a warning from the ref and the match returns to the ring.

Bryan stops a superplex by head-butting Orton off the top rope, seemingly bringing back some post-concussion issues for The Viper. After the break, Orton has found his feet and prepares to DDT Bryan on the outside floor, but a familiar red hue heralds the arrival of Kane.

Bryan takes advantage of the distraction and scuttles back in before the ref calls for the bell, and Orton and Kane duke it out both around and inside the ring as Bryan and AJ take off.

Winner via count-out: Daniel Bryan

It all ends with a chokeslam for Orton, and Laurinaitis watches the chaos on a backstage monitor with Otunga. Mr. Excitement thinks that maybe he’ll have Kane face Aksana next week. That hardly seems fair.

Dave Hillhouse really appreciated writing that Big Show delivered a super-kick and a spear. It’s like he absorbed HBK and Edge to enhance his own powers.