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   July 23, 2014



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Smackdown: Faster, Higher, Stronger
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


While Olympic and World records await smashing in London, another prestigious title is defended on tonight’s show. Plus, a #1 contender for Sheamus is determined while Dolph Ziggler fiddles.

After nearly eight minutes of a loving looking back to Monday’s “Raw 1000”, new Intercontinental Champ The Miz struts out to declare that he’s ... interrupted by Christian. The former champ wants a rematch and, as Freddie Mercury would have said, he wants it now.

Match #1 – Christian vs. The Miz – Intercontinental Championship

The opening moments see an even-handed match that Booker T nonetheless deems a potential mistake by Christian, citing his dodgy knee. The Miz has a number of Peeps on his side as he takes the advantage, backdropping a tired-looking Christian over the ropes to the floor. Christian tries a few of his favourite things to get back into it and has The Miz on the ropes until a thumb to the eye and a roll-up keeps the belt from changing hands.

Winner via pinfall and STILL Intercontinental Champion: The Miz

Match #2 – Jinder Mahal vs. Ryback

Mahal enjoys a lengthy offensive surge, but Ryback stands up during a Camel Clutch attempt and Mahal ends up walking away to take the 10-count.

Winner via count-out: Ryback

Backstage, Daniel Bryan is commenting to Sheamus on how unimpressed he was by most of Raw 1000, while a giddy Sheamus hands him what was to be a wedding present –- a book about how to last more than 18 seconds, adorned with a picture from their Wrestlemania match.

Match #3 – Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes

You can take the man out of GQ ... Rhodes is very upset about a punch to the nose early on. He elbows his way out of being potatoed by Sheamus on the ramps, knocking the champ to the floor and nearly getting a count-out win. After Sheamus rolls back in, Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero come down for a closer look.

Rhodes misses a standing moonsault off the top rope, but it fazes him less than you’d think. Still, White Noise and a Brogue Kick come soon afterwards, and Ziggler’s vulture-esque plan must wait for another day.

Winner via pinfall: Sheamus

Chris Jericho, however, sporting a “Show-off t-shirt, arrives to toss Ziggler into the ring for a Brogue Kick, then chases it with a Codebreaker.

Match #4 – Antonio Cesaro (w/ Aksana) vs. Santino Marella

Cesaro successfully employs the “What in the world is that thing” distraction and punches Santino when he looks away, then dodges The Cobra and downs him with his front-suplex.

Winner via pinfall: Antonio Cesaro

Match #5 – Damien Sandow vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Sandow simply pounds Tatsu in and out of the ring, making this a quick night for the distinguished one.

Winner via pinfall: Damien Sandow

Sandow takes the mic and lets people know that he is, indeed, the people’s martyr after his treatment by DX on Raw.

Match #5 – Rey Mysterio vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio - #1 Contender’s Match for the World Heavyweight Championship

No alliances showing here, as this truly starts off with every man for himself. Kane looks good early on, laying all three opponents out before the first break, but the advantage changes hands quickly as the match resumes. Bryan is suffering in the cross arm-breaker until Mysterio leaps off the top rope, leg-dropping Del Rio.

Then the two masked men go at it for a while, with Mysterio perhaps seeking hair-growth advice from Kane. Del Rio interjects and rids the ring of both of them, only to have Bryan give him a gift exchange of the Yes Lock. Kane breaks it up and Mysterio pops in for a double-619 (or would that be a 1,238?) on Bryan and Del Rio. After Mysterio lands a splash on Bryan, though, Kane pulls his pint-sized nemesis from the ring and Del Rio covers Bryan for the win.

Winner via pinfall and #1 Contender: Alberto Del Rio

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and imagines that Smackdown 1000 will still feature 15-20 minutes of Raw recap.