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   October 02, 2014



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Smackdown: London calling
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


It’s the London, England edition of Smackdown, and here’s what’s on tap (no offence, CM Punk): girlfriend troubles abound for both Daniel Bryan and Teddy Long; the tag team roster continues to grow; The Funkasaurus unveils a relative; and a six-man tag match caps it all off.

Daniel Bryan comes to the ring, receiving a less-friendly welcome here in London than he’s been getting back in the U.S. lately. He has his fair share of fans, though, and he promises them that the answer to the question of whether or not he’ll beat Sheamus at Extreme Rules is: yes.

However, appealing to Coronation Street fans at home and abroad, AJ arrives to publicly deal with the private issues between her and Bryan. He refutes her so completely that he tells her he wishes she’d never been born. Booker T is shocked. Bryan leaves her alone and despondent.

Match #1 – AJ vs. Natalya

Natalya is ready to fight, but AJ is just staring off into nothingness – until Natalya tries to console her and AJ snaps. She beats Natalya down into a corner and ignores the referee’s admonishments, earning a disqualification.

Winner via DQ: Natalya

The ref checks on Natalya as the shattered AJ stumbles away from the ring. Elsewhere, Damien Sandow is still on about the banality of Reality TV, which is a bit like having a Harvard professor tell us how hot the sun can get.

Match #2 – Hunico (w/ Camacho) vs. Brodus Clay (w/ Naomi & Cameron)

Clay stops on his way to the ring and calls for his little brother to come on out. It’s Hornswoggle in a matching red outfit, and we now have the answer to the age-old conundrum: can a Funkasaurus jump a shark? Hunico has a back-drop and splash awaiting him just moments later.

Winner via pinfall: Brodus Clay

Hornswoggle (Hornasaurus? Funkswoggle?) also delivers a Tadpole Splash after the bell for good measure. Backstage, Teddy Long is looking for Aksana, but instead finds John Laurinaitis introducing Smackdown’s newest tag team: Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. Laurinaitis also has a Beefeater outfit for Long to wear tonight.

Match #3 – The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young

Jey is down and out at the hands of the frequently tagging O’Neil and Young for a while, but Jimmy tags in with a surge of offence on Young to earn a two-count. O’Neil tags in blindly and Jimmy is felled with a double-team neckbreaker, as Young comes off the second rope.

Winners via pinfall: Titus O’Neil and Darren Young

Match #4 – Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)

Del Rio can’t get on his game, finding that Big Show’s chops hurt just the same when delivered on the other side of the road. Del Rio finds his opening by taking Big Show out at the knees, pounding him continuously into the mat thereafter. Big Show powers out of a cross arm-breaker, though, and is ready to choke-slam Del Rio when Cody Rhodes interrupts with a Beautiful Disaster.

Winner via pinfall: Alberto Del Rio

Big Show is fuming, and Rhodes escapes into the crowd. Backstage, Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre get together to watch the following entertainment:

Match #5 – Danny Lerman vs. Ryback

Fall-away slam. Running Samoan Drop. You might say that Lerman gets banged and mashed.

Winner via pinfall: Ryback

We get some comments from a John Cena adversary. You know, the one who’s been away for a while, has signed a short-term contract with the WWE, and will show up at live events periodically while delivering the bulk of his material via recorded interviews. These are the same comments made by Brock Lesnar on Raw.

Backtage again, Teddy Long is guarding Laurinaitis’ office when he gets a quick visit from William Regal (to cheers from the crowd), then an awkward meet-and-greet with Aksana and her “friend” Antonio. Laurinaitis invites them in, as Antonio is a rugby player seeking to join the WWE.

Match #6 – Sheamus, Randy Orton, & The Great Khali vs. Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, & Mark Henry

Khali is the last to enter the ring, and Rhodes pulls him down off the apron as he clambers up. Trainers help Khali to the back and the team gets a new partner in Big Show. That seems like a Teddy Long-type decision, not something Laurinaitis would do.

Rhodes is in first with Sheamus, although he asks Bryan if he’d tag in (Bryan defers). Rhodes gets the upper hand regardless, dropkicking Sheamus to the floor, where Bryan also dropkicks his current nemesis.

Back in the ring, Sheamus clotheslines Rhodes in mid-Beautiful Disaster, making it back to his corner to tag in Orton. Orton gets a leveraged DDT on Rhodes but is attacked from behind by Henry. Bryan tags in but misses a flying headbutt off the top rope. The giants tag in and the heels work over Big Show for a while.

A rested Sheamus returns and keeps out of the Yes Lock, but Bryan also ducks under a Brogue Kick. He tags in Henry who runs into a Brogue Kick, a WMD, and an RKO as the market value of an individual finisher continues to free-fall.

Winners via pinfall: Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Big Show

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and vaguely remembers William Regal as a manly-man lumberjack. What happened to that?