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   September 03, 2014



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Smackdown: Serving it up cold
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Revenge is on many people’s minds tonight, as we strike the set from Survivor Series and quickly set things up for TLC. Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes (via Tout), and even John Cena all have grievances to air, and Smackdown is just the place to do it.

The Miz welcomes everyone to his must-see interview show, said now with a little less irony as he gets John Cena to make a rare Smackdown appearance. Cena addresses his injury (his afflicted left knee won’t keep him from competing) and the kiss with AJ (he liked it) along with the requisite Raw Rebound clips.

As Miz prods Cena for his feelings for AJ like an elementary schoolmate, AJ skips down to the ring and Miz peppers her with his hard-hitting questions, too ("Are you in looooove?", delivered just a bit like Brother Love).

Last to the party are Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero, introducing even more footage from Raw and then getting into an insult match with Cena, with the seemingly unavoidable mixed-gender tag match coming in the near future.

Oddest sight is Cena and Miz shaking hands at the end of it all, as if to say "Hey, Cena, remember when Alex Riley and I routinely tried to beat the WWE Championship out of you? Sorry about that".

Match #1 – Darren Young (w/ Titus O’Neil) vs. Ryback

Young is game, but does nothing against The Ultimate Goldberg.

Winner via pinfall: Ryback

Titus O’Neil jumps in the ring, blowing his whistle, and is left Shell-Shocked just like his partner.

Match #2 – R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro

Cesaro’s on the mic while on his way to the ring, chastising the fans for stuffing themselves on Thanksgiving. He gains a quick advantage over Truth, but a backdrop sets the champ off his game and Truth applies the Lie Detector for the win.

Winner via pinfall: R-Truth

In a recurring theme, Booker T meets up with Sheamus backstage and tells him he needs to keep his cool, and tries to abate his need for revenge against Big Show by offering him a championship match at TLC in the form of a chair match. Sheamus is tickled pink.

Match #3 – Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)

It’s somewhat surprising that Del Rio doesn’t raise a stink about Sin Cara’s mood lighting, but he is certainly upset about his masked opponent diving onto both him and his personal announcer as they regroup on the floor. Returning from break, Del Rio has things well in hand, and nearly unmasks him again before settling for a victory by cross-arm breaker.

Winner via submission: Alberto Del Rio

Back in the locker room, Daniel Bryan and Kane strategize for the handicap match against Big Show coming up next. Well, not so much strategize as discuss the pointlessness of a vegan Thanksgiving dinner and make plans to get together for Christmas. Sheamus and William Regal are watching this match from a private box.

Match #4 – Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan & Kane

Bryan starts off with some kicks to Big Show’s legs, but a few chops quickly take all the starch out of Bryan and leave him defenceless against Big Show’s other straightforward power moves. Less straightforward is watching Big Show try an elbow off the second rope. Bryan rolls away, but then refuses to tag Kane.

As Kane watches in disbelief and rage, Bryan gets Big Show fading in a sleeper hold before the champ falls on his side, squashing Bryan and breaking the hold. Kane finally gets his tag and runs Big Show down, soon setting up a chokeslam. As has become tradition, Bryan tags himself in. Kane walks away from the ring as Bryan tries a No Lock, then returns in frustration after Big Show finishes Bryan off with a chokeslam.

Winner via pinfall: Big Show

Team Hell No sends Big Show scrambling away with his belt, and he gets on a house mic to throw some trash in Sheamus’ general direction.

Cody Rhodes is on Tout, taped up with a brace across part of his upper chest, making sure that Kane knows he will be seeking revenge for the injury at the Big Red Monster’s hands.

Match #5 – Damien Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston - for the Intercontinental Championship

Wade Barrett provides guest commentary, vowing to take the title from Kingston if he wins this match. Sandow has a slight edge for the duration, most notably snapping the ropes up into Kingston’s neck. All this does is poke the Wildcat, though, and an SOS followed by a Boom Drop leads to Trouble in Paradise.

Winner via pinfall and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston

Just to make sure he was clear, Barrett stands on the announcer’s table and tells Kingston that he’s coming for him.

Match #6 – Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton

Vickie Guerrero is conspicuous by her absence. Ziggler pounds on Orton to open the match, but a standing dropkick and suplex from the apron tilt the scales towards the Viper. As the fight goes to the floor, Ziggler is clotheslines over the security barrier and Orton pumps his arms in a distinctly “Feed me more-ish” kind of way.

After the break, Orton is run into the announcer’s table, knocking JBL’s hat to the floor. Back in the ring, Orton is thinking about his greatest hits but Ziggler lands a leaping DDT. Orton stops the follow-up, though, catching Ziggler on the top rope with a superplex. Now it’s time for the greatest hits, but Orton only gets as far as attempting the RKO as Ziggler ducks and rolls him up for the win. Slight pull on the trunks, but otherwise clean.

Winner via pinfall: Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler gets no time to celebrate, as Ricardo Rodriguez rushes the ring and gets an RKO, leaving Del Rio to glare at Orton from the apron. Up the ramp, Cena knocks 1Ziggler down from behind and clamps on an STF, holding it tight as the broadcast ends.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and likes pizza served cold, but can't believe he used to eat cold hot dogs as a kid.