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   November 21, 2014



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Smackdown: All fired up for No Way Out
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Without much fanfare, John Cena makes a rare appearance on Smackdown and finds his career in jeopardy once again. Meanwhile, AJ has at least one monster and one punk wrapped around her fingers as she positions herself as the wild card going into Sunday’s PPV.

We start off tonight with a recap of Big Show’s errant WMD on Vince McMahon from Raw, which allows for the question to be raised again: how is it that Vince McMahon is in a position to fire the person who replaced him after he was fired? This is madness.

And now for something completely different ... a Diva kicks off the show as AJ is in the ring to explain why she smooched Kane on Monday Night. Vickie Guerrero interrupts her to demand that the focus of the show be on Dolph Ziggler and his World Heavyweight Championship opportunity on Sunday.

AJ gets slapped by Guerrero for mocking Ziggler’s chances at winning –- or more likely it was for calling Guerrero his grandma. AJ puts on the crazy face and Guerrero backs up worrying that she might have poked the bear, and CM Punk comes to stand beside AJ and similarly doubt that Ziggler can pull off a win.

Further complicating matters, Daniel Bryan saunters to the ring to tell Punk that AJ will cost him the title on Sunday. Ah well, might as well bring Sheamus down, too. He wants to start a scheduled match with all four of these men right now.

Match #1 – Sheamus & CM Punk (w/ AJ) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

Punk and Sheamus are both in a jovial mood as they have their way early on with Ziggler, highlighted by a ludicrously long-held suplex by Punk. A little backhanded two-on-one gives the heels a leg-up, but Bryan misses a diving headbutt to squander the momentum.

Still, happy days are here for the heels as Sheamus readies a Brogue Kick. Guerrero leaps up onto the apron, prompting AJ to shove her into the ring. As Sheamus shoos Guerrero away, Ziggler rolls him up from behind for the win.

Winners via pinfall: Dolph Ziggler & Daniel Bryan

Sheamus displays his routinely poor sportsmanship by chasing Ziggler into the crowd while AJ and Guerrero mix it up in the ring. As they tussle to the floor, AJ is kicked into the apron and knocked loopy.

Who should come to her aid but Kane, of course. He picks her up and carries her up the ramp like the Swamp Thing in love, but CM Punk stops him and starts duking it out with the Big Love Monster. Kane fights him back into the ring where he chokeslams both Bryan and Punk, then looks to watch AJ laughing in her unsettling manner from the top of the ramp.

Match #2 – Brodus Clay (w/ Naomi & Cameron) vs. Heath Slater

The business here isn’t the match, which is over in seconds after a splash...

Winner via pinfall: Brodus Clay

The business is David Otunga, Clay’s Sunday pre-show opponent, taking Clay out in mid-Funkasaurus dance. Otunga wreaks havoc on Clay’s left leg, leaving the big man moaning in agony and probably wanting to call his momma.

Match #3 – Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox

Divas Champion Layla joins the commentary team to watch this one, and gets to see Phoenix, her opponent on Sunday, quickly Glam Slam her way to a win.

Winner via pinfall: Beth Phoenix

After the break, GM John Laurinaitis hobbles out to suggest that Vince was asking for trouble just being in the ring at his age, and he brings out Big Show for a twisted trip down memory lane. He does his usual song and dance about being misused and held back over the years, and he also complains about the name Big Show without suggesting that he’s going to change it.

As Big Show and Laurinaitis exit the ring, Michael Cole gets on the house mic to announce that John Cena has left his home to travel to the arena later tonight.

Match #4 – Christian vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

Christian makes Swagger look foolish with a duck-and-run offence until a clothesline stops Christian hard in his tracks. Swagger lands a leg drop and takes the time to do a little Swagger Soaring Eagle run around the ring (definitely miss that). Christian responds by dogging a second leg drop and claiming victory with a frog splash off the top rope.

Winner via pinfall: Christian

Match #5 – Ari Cohen & Mike Testa vs. Ryback

You know the story: double-avalanche, double-clothesline, double running Samoan Drop, double pin.

Winner via pinfall: Ryback

Match #6 – Tyson Kidd vs. Damien Sandow

Kidd successfully employs a moonsault onto an upright Sandow, but the smart fella escapes a Sharpshooter and drops Kidd with his neckbreaker finisher.

Winner via pinfall: Damien Sandow

After the break, John Cena is indeed in the ring, wondering why he hasn’t been able to find Big Show in the building. It’s Johnny time again, though, as Laurinaitis once again limps down to the ring, explaining that he sent Big Show home to protect Cena and ensure the steel cage match on Sunday – which the Board of Directors has insisted must happen.

Cena then figures he’ll just punch Laurinaitis out, but the GM says he’d fire Cena if he did. Cena goes down a road of connect-the-dots to recognize that since the match on Sunday must happen, he can’t be fired for decking his boss. Laurinaitis insists that Cena would be fired once he loses on Sunday.

Cena is willing to gamble on that, and knocks Laurinaitis down with a Weapon of Considerable Destruction –- shaking off the effects of the punch afterwards.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and, since it happened on Raw, wants to highlight Sarath Ton’s turn at being beat up by Ryback from earlier in the week.