The high octane returns of Jack Swagger and Mark Henry continued on this week’s SmackDown, as both looked to secure their position in the Elimination Chamber match. While Swagger took the conventional route of decimating his opponent Justin Gabriel in a sanctioned match, Mark Henry created his own battle ground. After Khali defeated Titus O’Neil, the World’s Strongest Man hulked his way to the ring, launching Titus like a javelin in the to crowd barrier. Then in a remarkable show of Power, Henry hoisted up the over 7ft Khali for The World’s Strongest Slam!
His message to the locker room was clear, The Hall of Pain is open to new members, and if Booker T didn’t put him the Chamber, many more victims would be inducted.
The General Manager decided Henry at least deserved a shot, and booked him against Randy Orton who has already secured his position. In perhaps a sign of things to come, Orton found himself laying starring at the ceiling following two bone-crushing World’s Strongest Slams!
Rey Mysterio, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Mark Henry are all now confirmed participants in the chamber, with Jack Swagger and other potentials still needing to prove themselves.
Judging from tonight’s victory it looks like Henry is WWE’s front-runner for the match and nobody can fault that decision. If we judge a talent’s push by their believability, you’d be hard pressed to find somebody that could challenge Henry in a real contest. And whether you love him or hate him, audiences are certainly entertained by his brute strength in the ring.
Henry also has the fresh factor on his side. While stars like Orton and Mysterio will always be over, their characters are stale and they bring nothing new to the table. It would be interesting to see Daniel Bryan back in the title picture, but it would make more sense to develop a feud with Kane. Right now Henry is the only one with the momentum to win at the Chamber and follow through in to the World title picture.
This week’s other main theme centered around the Big Angry Giant and his bitterness towards Booker T and the WWE Universe for supporting Alberto Del Rio, a blatant cheater who assaulted him in a hotel room. The General Manager rightfully suspended the Mexican Hero from entering the arena, but that didn’t ease Big Show’s self-victimization. Perhaps a match with Kane would take his mind off things?
Turns out Show probably should have remained focused on his Elimination Chamber opponent. Del Rio cut a deal with Show’s run-down Tour driver, resulting in his bus being left on cement with no wheels! When Big Show made it out of the arena he got gunked with orange paint, leaving him even more bitter and angry than at the start of the broadcast. Perhaps he’ll learn a valuable lesson from this…treat those around you the way you want to be treated, because if you think you’re hard done by, you probably will be.
- Cody Rhodes def. Kofi Kingston, with the Cross-Rhodes.
- The Great Khali def. Titus O’Neil.
- Big Show def. Kane.
- Jack Swagger def. Justin Gabriel, with the “Patriot Act” ankle lock.
- Tensai def. Drew McIntyre by DQ, when 3MB interfered; he then proceeded to dance with Brodus Clay. (If the push as a monster failed then a comedy character is the next best thing).
- Antonio Cesaro def. Sin Cara, after Cara collided with a European Uppercut and fell victim to the Neutralizer. After the match Cesaro and Miz had to be held apart backstage.
- Mark Henry def. Randy Orton.