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   April 18, 2014



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Smackdown: Rock, Rap n’ Wrestling (without the rock & rap)
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Returning tonight, to a surprisingly welcoming crowd, is Christian and his Peep Show. A number of unevenly matched contests, a new nickname for CM Punk courtesy of Chris Jericho, and another match set up for Wrestlemania round out the show.

Opening the show is good ol’ Captain Charisma. Christian gets the boos eventually by inviting the warring GMs of Raw and Smackdown into the ring, and joining “Team Johnny”. Teddy Long tries to one-up him by introducing his newest team member, Kofi Kingston, and making a match to open the show.

Match #1 – David Otunga (w/Christian) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/ Santino Marella)

Also at ringside are the GMs and Aksana, watching Otunga, in dress pants, beat Kingston down and take some time to flex. He has also ripped his pants right down the backside, and somehow the commentators stay away from that. Kingston tries to drop the boom on Otunga but Christian grabs his foot. As the ref ejects Christian and argues with Laurinaitis, Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise.

Winner via pinfall: Kofi Kingston

Daniel Bryan awaits AJ outside the Divas locker room, and she emerges uncomfortably in a black dress that Bryan bought for her. He’s disappointed, saying it looked better on the mannequin.

Match #2 – Nikki Bella (w/ Brie) vs. AJ (w/ Daniel Bryan)

The World Heavyweight Champion is barking instructions from the floor, unhappy with how Nikki takes charge of the match with a series of submission stretches. AJ fights out with a spinning kick to the jaw and, after Bryan alerts the ref to the Bellas trying to trade places, she rolls Nikki up for the win.

Winner via pinfall: AJ

On just one day of the year, Cody Rhodes explains to Matt Striker backstage, is the Intercontinental Champion assured that Big Show will choke. That happens to be at Wrestlemania, so he’s quite confident going into their match on April 1st.

Match #3 – Cody Rhodes vs. The Great Khali

When the match starts, Rhodes is hitting and running, eventually getting Khali down to the mat for arm and leg-lock combinations. Even though Khali gets back to his feet, Rhodes drops him again with kicks culminating with a Beautiful Disaster.

Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Randy Orton heads to the ring with a new t-shirt to question his recent issues with Kane. Kane steps out and shows footage of a fight between them from last summer, after which Kane offered a handshake. Kane says this was a moment when he realized he lost his inner monster, and wants to destroy Orton at Wrestlemania to complete his transformation back into a beast. No official response from Orton.

Match #4 – Big Show vs. Drew McIntyre

Evidently, as announced by Teddy Long on the big screen before the match, McIntyre signed a one-year contract with Laurinaitis last week. He tries to celebrate with a Future Shock DDT on Big Show, but receives a spear, choke-slam, and WMD instead. Big Show can’t even go for the cover as the ref calls for the bell.

Winner via referee’s decision: Big Show

Scowling, Cody Rhodes watches the carnage from the locker room.

Match #5 – Mark Henry vs. Yoshi Tatsu

This week’s theme seems to be a lot of David and Goliath matches. Tatsu is power-slammed and World’s Strongest Slammed in quick order.

Winner via pinfall: Mark Henry

Long gets some more support, this time from Zack Ryder on his YouTube show, hoping to be on Team Teddy. Back in the ring, Chris Jericho explains why he won’t apologize for what he said about CM Punk’s dad on Raw. In fact, he goes further in his descriptions of how Punk’s entire persona is designed to hide his own alcoholic temptations.

Ending with his own quiet chant of “CM Drunk”, Jericho promises to win at Wrestlemania and celebrate with a cocktail.

Match #6 – Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho

Meeting one-on-one for the first time since the end of the Royal Rumble, Jericho is out-muscled early on and finds his aerial attacks backfiring. After Jericho finally catches a break by pulling the ropes on a charging Sheamus, sending him to the floor, Daniel Bryan and AJ saunter down for a close look at the match.

After the break, Jericho has built up an advantage and keeps the pressure on with dropkicks and a long chin-lock. Sheamus steps aside from a bulldog attempt and takes control again with double-axe handles and a backbreaker.

Neither man can seal the deal as Sheamus blocks a Codebreaker before missing a Brogue Kick himself. After Sheamus reaches the ropes to a break the Walls of Jericho, he clotheslines Jericho to the floor and follows him where there will surely be some shenanigans with Bryan.

Indeed, as Jericho gets back into the ring and distracts the ref, Bryan lays Sheamus out with a dropkick of his own. Sheamus can’t beat the ten-count back into the ring.

Winner via count-out: Chris Jericho

After the match, Sheamus gets a consolation prize by returning to the ring and dropping Jericho with a Brogue Kick, then staring down Bryan at the top of the ramp.

Dave Hillhouse wrote this review as an acrostic poem, and hopes that some of his old English teachers are reading.