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   December 21, 2014



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Smackdown: Measuring mass destruction
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


There’s a little bit of everything tonight, as both Sheamus and Big Show look strong going into Hell in a Cell; the controversy over the Divas championship turns into “Wig-gate”; and Del Rio, having picked a fight with Randy Orton, pushes his luck too far.

GM Booker T steps out right off the top to introduce a terrific challenge between champion and challenger, reminiscent of the posedown between Rick Rude and The Ultimate Warrior before Wrestlemania V.

World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus faces challenger Big Show in a Punch versus Kick contest (hey, I think the WWE were inspired by my headline last week). A contraption looking like an official Ivan Drago training device awaits them to measure the pounds per square inch devastation of their respective finishing moves.

Big Show sees right through this, though, and refuses to go first. He’s so flustered, in fact, that he talks about tearing through the “WWF”. Sheamus has no problem jerking the curtain, and winds up a Brogue Kick to the tune of more than 1300 PSI. It’s a little hard to trust the reading as it counts up rather slowly after the kick, but, regardless, Big Show is still hesitant, concerned that the machine will trick him or blow up.

Oddly, Josh Matthews talks right over top of Sheamus as the champ goes on about the WMD, saying that what he really means is the “Knock-Out Punch”. Big Show eventually gets mad enough to punch the bag and gets a rating over 1800 PSI, walking immediately backstage. As Sheamus opines on the results, Tensai attacks him from behind to set up a match.

Match #1 – Sheamus vs. Tensai

They scrap a bit on the outside before the bell, and an early shoulder-block by Sheamus somehow gives Tensai a wedgie, but referee Scott Armstrong gives the former A-Train the heads-up to check his caboose. Sheamus seems to be looking straight at Ryback as he delivers White Noise, and a Brogue Kick sends Tensai packing.

Winner via pinfall: Sheamus

Alberto Del Rio is in the locker room, discouraging Ricardo Rodriguez from worrying about the Twitter-spawned rumours of Randy Orton seeking revenge for his attack at the hands of the Mexican aristocrat. Rodriguez is sent out to find Orton pre-emptively. All he finds is Santino who gives him a Cobra in place of the Viper.

Match #2 – Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal (w/ Drew McIntyre) vs. Santino Marella & Zack Ryder

The terrible trio takes to the mic first, extolling the power of their supergroup. Admittedly, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal; then again, neither did Billy Gunn severing ties with The Honkytonk Man to partner up with Jesse James.

Ryder holds Mahal open for a Santino attack off the top rope -- no, the second rope –- actually, Santino opts for the bottom rope and lands a double-axe handle. Things go poorly for Santino after that, but tagging in Ryder leads to a Broski Boot and a sure Rough Ryder until McIntyre interferes, allowing for Slater to strum his E-Minor inverted DDT.

Winners via pinfall: Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal

Match #3 – Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

Is this the first ever Tout-fuelled match, as Ziggler issued the challenge on that particular platform? Probably. Ziggler looks outmatched, thrown over the top ropes twice, but he escapes a chokeslam and hits the leg lariat that Zach Ryder wishes he had. Frustrated with Kane’s ability to bounce back, Ziggler finally ust smacks him with his MITB briefcase as Kane launched off the top rope. The ref saw it, and that’s it.

Winner via disqualification: Kane

p>Ziggler thinks about keeping up the attack, but Daniel Bryan comes to the rescue. As he and Kane argue, Matt Striker bravely enters the ring. He suggests that Bryan may be the weak link in the team, and gets a No Lock for his journalistic efforts. Kane pulls Bryan off, then chokeslams Striker anyway.

Back to Rodriguez’s search, he hears Orton’s voice and enters a locker room to find Hornswoggle playing with a talking Orton doll. The doll gets severely beaten.

Match #4 – Kofi Kingston vs. Big Show

The Miz is on commentary to see Kingston draw the short straw tonight. Kingston lands a missile dropkick and thr Boom Drop, but it’s all kind of academic, isn’t it? Big Show brushes aside a Trouble in Paradise attempt and Kingston feels 1800+ PSI of force.

Winner via pinfall: Big Show

Miz enters the ring for a little bad-mouth on Kingston as a trainer attends to him. After the break, Bryan visits Del Rio in the locker room to announce a match between them tonight. Elsewhere, in Booker T’s office, Kaitlyn and Layla are all up in arms over the discovery of a blond wig in Eve’s bag. Eve still proclaims innocence, and Booker T just looks befuddled.

Match #5 – Sin Cara vs. Damien Sandow (w/ Cody Rhodes)

Rhodes looks offended as Cara delivers a sort of Beautiful Disaster on Sandow, then he gets really mad when Cara hits a cross-body on him instead of on Sandow by mistake. Rhodes attacks Cara on the floor so the ref sends him packing, and as Sandow argues that decision Cara leaps into the ring and wraps him up for the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Sin Cara

Bryan is on his way through the backstage for his match, but he stops on the way to tell Kane not to interfere.

Match #6 – Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Daniel Bryan

Bryan connects with kicks a-plenty but Del Rio lures him outside to throw him hard into the security barrier. Bryan slips away from a cross-arm breaker and applies the No Lock instead, which Del Rio endures for a long time before making the ropes. A cross-arm breaker is up next anyway and Bryan is forced to tap.

Winner via pinfall: Alberto Del Rio

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and wants to see more PSI competitions.