February 16, 2013
Smackdown: Signs, signs, everywhere are (Wrestlemania) signs
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
It’s time for the Elimination Chamber, but what that really means is that the card for Wrestlemania is about to take a big step towards being settled. For Smackdown, that means Sunday will produce a contender for the World Heavyweight Champion, and possibly a new champion as well. Tonight is a final tune-up for all involved and, yes, there’s some pointing at the Wrestlemania sign.
Breaking news: Big Show is mad. Nothing seems to put him in a good mood these days, and he’s in the ring to once again express his displeasure. It seems all the rage will be expelled, though, in his match against Alberto Del Rio on Sunday.
Somebody’s in the mood to poke the bear, and it’s Chris Jericho. He steps into the ring and tells Big Show that he knows him as well as anybody, and has a feeling his former partner will win the World Heavyweight Title. Of course, Jericho thinks he might win the Elimination Chamber, setting up a match between them at Wrestlemania.
Big Show is not amused by Jericho’s antics and warns him, as a favour, to leave. Never one to miss an opportunity, Booker T slides out to announce tonight’s main event: Jericho and Big Show. It would be interesting to know what Booker T’s planned main event was before this lightning bolt of an idea hit him.
Matt Striker is backstage to hear from Randy Orton ahead of Sunday’s show, but Mark Henry interrupts the interview. Henry’s entrance music sounds, though, so the World’s Strongest Man smirks and saves what he has to say for their match.
Match #1 – Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton
Henry is stunned by an early drop-toe hold onto a corner buckle, allowing Orton to pepper him with distant attacks. Henry gets all riled up, though, throwing Orton off a perch on the turnbuckles all the way to the floor. After the break, Henry is having trouble getting his hands on Orton, as The Viper even slips away from a World’s Strongest Slam. A blocked RKO leads to a fight outside, where Orton decides that enough is enough and he smacks Henry with a chair.
Winner via disqualification: Mark Henry
Even after some more chair attacks, Orton still gets hit with a World’s Strongest Slam when all is said and done. Backstage, after the highlights, Henry finds Striker and advertises the Hall of Pain.
Match #2 – Tamina Snuka vs. Layla
Layla, the former champ, is fodder for the current number-one contender as Kaitlyn watches from the back. Despite some quick kicks, Tamina uses a Samoan Drop and Superfly Splash for the easy looking win.
Winner via pinfall: Tamina Snuka
Next, out comes The Rock. Apparently, he has a hard time getting a word in edgewise as the fans go crazy. Or, he’s milking it, depending on how you see things. He speaks of the ten long years it took him to earn the World Title (still not sure what he means by that), and he eventually gets rolling with a string of promises all about beating CM Punk. Speaking of whom, the nefarious title-stealer shows up on the big screen and also has a promise: that this nightmarish era of The Rock is soon to be over. The Rock doesn’t think so.
Match #3 –Tensai & Brodus Clay (w/ Naomi & Cameron) vs. Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal (w/ Drew McIntyre)
Tensai has it out with Slater until McIntyre distracts the former Lord enough to let the 3MB enjoy a run of double-teaming. Clay eventually gets a tag and cleans house. Following an illegal choke-slam by Tensai, Clay finishes the match with a splash.
Winners via pinfall: Tensai & Brodus Clay
The besties are getting their groove on when The Shield shows their disdain for all things funky. They emerge to attack the big guys rather handily, with Clay receiving the powerslam.
Match #4 –Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz
The Miz is heavily taped up after his rather brutal attack at the hands of Antonio Cesaro. It takes a while for Rhodes to find a way to attack the left arm, but once he does Miz is at his mercy. Until, that is, a Beautiful Disaster kick is caught and turned into a figure-four leglock.
Winner via submission: The Miz
Match #5 – Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter)
Ryder is, as always, game, but he is tossed around without mercy. He gets as close to hitting a Broski Boot as he could, but Swagger dodges it, delivers a gut-wrench powerbomb, and evokes the Patriot Act for the win.
Winner via submission: Jack Swagger
Swagger hands Colter the mic and ol’ Zeb discusses how choices determine your life. He questions America’s choices, but not those of great Americans like Jack Swagger. Maybe it was Colter in that Swagger Soaring Eagle all along?
Matt Striker is busy tonight, as he spends some time with Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. Although Striker has questions for Del Rio about Big Show pointing out that he’s never been pinned by the champ, Del Rio passes each question on to Ricardo. Did I beat Big Show? “Si”. Will I beat Big Show? “Si”. Seems like Daniel Bryan’s catchphrase is being more officially appropriated.
Match #6 – Big Show vs. Chris Jericho
Big Show is still mad. Jericho probably hasn’t missed the chops while he’s been on tour, but he gets a few of them as welcome back presents anyway. Jericho charges Big Show while outside the ring, but he’s simply thrown into the announcer’s table. Jericho is dragged back into the ring, but he’s chokeslammed and rolls out of the ring again to avoid a pinfall.
Back in the ring once again, Big Show misses an elbow drop from the second rope, which Jericho follows with a Lionsault and an attempted Walls of Jericho. He never can turn the big guy over, though, and a knock-out punch puts Y2J away.
Winner via pinfall: Big Show
Big Show’s anger has not abated, and Del Rio steps out for the obligatory staredown heading into Sunday.
Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and is thoroughly confused as to how the Elimination Chamber’s participants were chosen.