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WWE Smackdown Report
TAIT'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 6/17: Complete results on final hype for Capitol Punishment PPV, Tait's Overall Breakdown

Jun 17, 2011 - 9:05:02 PM
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WWE Smackdown TV report
June 17, 2011
Providence, R.I.
Report by James Tait, Torch int'l Smackdown correspondent


PWTorch columnist Greg Parks will post his Smackdown report later this weekend.

- A video package aired highlighting Christian's heel turn and subsequent feud with Orton over the last two weeks was shown.

- Tony Chimel introduced Randy Orton to kick off Smackdown. The champ came out to a big pop. The announcers were shown at ringside and Michael Cole said that Christian had gotten into Orton's head before Capitol Punishment. They recapped Orton's appearance on this week's Raw. Orton cracked a smile in the ring and celebrated on the turnbuckle with his belt.

- Orton got on the mic and said what everyone heard is true: he was diagnosed with a concussion last week. He said it's also true that he doesn't give a damn. Big pop. He said he's ready to fight tonight. Another big pop. He said Christian got what he wanted: a World Title shot. He said it's only fair that he gets what he wants: the chance to beat the living hell out of Christian right now.

- Theodore Long interrupted. Cole blamed Long for sparking the feud between Orton and Christian. Long said he could appreciate how he's feeling and doesn't blame him one bit. He said while Orton is here to fight, he hasn't received any medical clearance. He said he couldn't let Orton fight tonight, which Randy didn't like.

- Christian made his way out in street clothes sporting a big smirk. Mix of boos and cheers. Christian said he couldn't believe that Randy was still angry with him. Christian said he gave him something he desperately needed: a concussion. He said that he gave him one hell of an excuse. Christian said Randy could blame the concussion this Sunday when he beats him for the World Heavyweight Championship instead of the real reason: that he's just plain better than Orton.

- Christian continued, not wanting the facts to get in the way of a good story. He said the people wouldn't think any less of him after he beats him on Sunday. Christian said he wanted to do things Teddy Long style and poll the audience. Christian asked the audience if they would think any less of Orton after he beats him this Sunday. The crowd booed in response and a 'you suck' chant started.

- Christian said that's good news for Orton but the really good news is that maybe if Orton's polite he might give him a rematch five days later. Sheamus interrupted, startling Christian on the stage. Sheamus said between Orton's concussion, Christian's constant whining and Teddy Long's incompetence everyone has forgotten the big picture. Last week, Sheamus beat the World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton.

- Sheamus asked Teddy who deserves a title shot more, the man who's lost 50 championship matches in a row, or the man who beat the World Heavyweight champion last week? Christian interrupted, saying that his match at Capitol Punishment is locked in and Strawberry Shortcake will have to wait his turn. Hilarious.

- Sheamus and Christian got in each other's face on the stage. Long interrupted and told them to stop it. Long announced Christian vs. Sheamus as tonight's main event. Long said if Sheamus wins the title match this Sunday will become a Triple Threat match. If Christian wins, the title match will stay the same. Long said he would give Orton a ringside seat to better prepare him for Sunday.

- Long took a chair and set it up at ringside. Long told Orton that in this match he could look and watch but not touch or there would be serious consequences. Orton said there's no question: tonight there will be serious consequences. Orton stared down Sheamus and Christian as his music played him out. Cole said it was ridiculous and accused Long of having a vendetta against Christian. There appeared to be a papier-mache Gobbledygooker in the background so it was difficult to take Cole seriously (more so than usual).

- Josh Mathews hyped a six-man tag rematch between Ezekiel Jackson, Daniel Bryan, and Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Sin Cara was out first after the break and trampolined into the ring with pyro. Daniel Bryan was out next to a surprisingly big pop. Ezekiel Jackson was out to the biggest pop of the three as Mathews hyped his match against Wade Barrett this Sunday. Cole said he had a good name for this team: two nerds and a big guy.

- Barrett was out next, apparently using The Corre's theme as his own now. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase came out together flanked by the usual bagmen. The baggers handed out bags at ringside before the match.

1 -- SIN CARA & DANIEL BRYAN & EZEKIEL JACKSON vs. WADE BARRETT & CODY RHODES & TED DIBIASE

DiBiase and Jackson started things off. Jackson hit DiBiase with a shoulderblock and a clothesline in the corner early. Jackson tagged Cara in, who hit DiBiase with a flurry of kicks and a huracanrana to send the Fortunate Son out of the ring. Sin Cara wanted to hit a diving move out of the ring but DiBiase backed off up the ramp.

[Commercial Break]

DiBiase was in control of Sin Cara as Smackdown returned. Rhodes was tagged in and continued to work over Cara. Cara countered with an armdrag takeover followed by a bodyscissors and rolling Rhodes up for a two count. Rhodes grabbed Cara's hand and pushed him in the face, taunting him.

Cara struck back with kicks and a springboard corkscrew flip armdrag takeover. Cara ran at Rhodes but Cody hit a springboard Beautiful Disaster kick and covered Cara for two. Nice. Barrett tagged in and covered Cara for another two. Barrett suplexed Cara and tagged in DiBiase, who hit a running knee on Cara and got two himself.

A "Sin Cara" chant started and DiBiase took Cara down with a running clothesline for two. DiBiase tagged Barrett in and Barrett drove his knee into Cara's back. Jackson clamored for a tag as another "Sin Cara" chant started. Cole noted that this was Barrett on his own for the very first time: no Nexus, no Corre.

Cara fought out but was hit with a sidekick to the gut from Barrett. Wade went for a gutwrench move but Cara countered it over Barrett's shoulders. Barrett went for a pumphandle slam that was countered into a tilt-a-whirl DDT by Cara. Barrett tagged in DiBiase as Cara made the hot tag to Bryan. Bryan hit a flurry of kicks to Ted and did a running backflip off the turnbuckle over DiBiase followed by a running clothesline.

Bryan fired up and hit a running dropkick on DiBiase in the corner and made the cover. DiBiase kicked out after the ref got to three, giving the win to the faces. After the match the winning team celebrated in the ring and the heels skulked to the back.

WINNERS: Sin Cara & Daniel Bryan & Ezekiel Jackson via pinfall in 10:00.

TAIT REAX: Obviously a botched ending there which looked to fall on Ted DiBiase for not kicking out early enough. It made for a rather anticlimactic end to what was otherwise a decent match. DiBiase was once again nothing but a punching bag but Bryan and Cara were allowed to get some decent offense in. Nice to see they didn't use Sin Cara's atrocious blue lighting in this match as they did on Raw. To have that lighting on in the ring when Sin Cara isn't even wrestling doesn't make sense. Neither of these feuds has a lot of momentum going into Capitol Punishment but perhaps this will change by the end of the show.

- Sheamus was backstage with Matt Striker. Striker asked him how he felt about having to compete against Christian tonight in order to get a title shot on Sunday. Sheamus asked Striker what sort of simple question that was. He said he feels great, on top of the world and standing on Cloud 9. He said he bets neither Christian nor Randy Orton feels to good about it. Sheamus continued that it's not about feelings, but facts. Sheamus said it's a fact he's the biggest star on Smackdown and Teddy Long has finally realized it. Sheamus said tonight he's going to beat Christian again and on Sunday he'll beat Orton again and take his rightful spot as the World Heavyweight Champion. The crowd booed as Sheamus smiled wide.

[Commercial Break]

- A replay of the finish of the six-man tag match was shown. Booker T blamed the referee for not seeing DiBiase kick out. Truth be told, it looked like DiBiase kicked out at the same time as the ref hit the mat for three so it's probably equal blame to both for the botch.

- Vladimir Kozlov was already in the ring. Mathews hyped Edge on the season finale of Sanctuary next week. Jinder Mahal came out with The Great Khali at his side. Kozlov stared him down from the ring.

2 -- VLADIMIR KOZLOV vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/The Great Khali)

Booker said it was a big test for Mahal as Kozlov hit a headlock takeover and a running shoulderblock. Mahal beat on Kozlov in the corner and hit a few shoulder thrusts. Mahal hit a suplex on Kozlov followed by a knee drop for two.

Mahal sent Kozlov into the ropes and hit a jumping knee lift on the rebound. Mahal yelled at the crowd, who responded with heat, before hitting a Russian leg sweep for two. Kozlov fought back with punches, knees and kicks. Kozlov grabbed Mahal and hit his signature headbutts.

Kozlov kicked Mahal into the corner but Mahal dodged his running clothesline and sent Kozlov shoulder first into the ringpost. Mahal distracted the referee and Khali hit Kozlov in the head with a chop. Mahal taunted Kozlov before hitting his full nelson slam finisher for the pin and win.

WINNER: Jinder Mahal via pinfall in 2:00.

- After the match, Mahal and Khali celebrated over the fallen Kozlov. Mahal grinned evilly but the two left the ring without their usual post-match assault of their opponent.

TAIT REAX: I'm not sure why Raw wrestler Kozlov is being given match time on Smackdown when there are so many other mid-carders actually on Smackdown with nothing to do. At least they didn't attack Kozlov afterwards just so it felt less repetitious.

- Mathews hyped the Sheamus vs. Christian main event tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Josh Mathews was in the ring and introduced The Big Show. Cole said Show should be locked up after his assault on Ricardo Rodriguez on Monday's Raw.

- Mathews asked Show what he was doing here on Smackdown. Show said he heard a little rumor that Alberto Del Rio would be here. A replay of Show's 'accident' from a few weeks ago was shown as well as his return on this week's Raw resulting in a match at Capitol Punishment.

- Show said he felt fine when Mathews asked. Show tried to continue but sold emotion and couldn't. Teddy Long interrupted as Show struggled for words. Long said that Big Show wouldn't lay a finger on Del Rio if he shows up tonight. Long said earlier this morning his office was informed that criminal and civil charges are being considered against Show for what he did to Rodriguez on Raw. Long said that he was put on notice that if a similar incident occurred tonight that Long would lose his job (surprising pop from the crowd for that one) and Show would as well. Long said since he is here tonight ready to compete he has an opponent for him: Mark Henry.

[Commercial Break]

- Mark Henry was still making his way to the ring as Smackdown returned. Show looked distraught in the ring. Show attacked Henry with a kick to the head before the bell was rung. Show was all over Henry, kneeing him in the head and raining down blows. Mark Henry lay motionless in the ring and a 'Big Show' chant started as Show stood over him. Booker said Henry didn't deserve this no matter what state Show is in. Cole said he was glad that there were charges against Show as referees hit the ring to help Henry.

- Show pulled up his hood and left to the back as Henry was put on a stretcher and taken away.

- Christian was backstage with Matt Striker, who asked him how he felt about possible having his title match turned into a triple threat after tonight. Christian said he's feeling nostalgic for the days when Teddy Long knew how to run a show, which was never. He said it was a bad call. He said he doesn't need to prove himself to anyone and shouldn't have to prove himself for an opportunity at something he never should have lost in the first place: the World Heavyweight Championship. Christian spat that it was ridiculous before storming off as the crowd booed.

- Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, and Tamina came out for a six-Diva tag match. Natalya, A.J., and Kaitlyn were out as their opponents.

3 -- ALICIA FOX & ROSA MENDES & TAMINA vs. NATALYA & A.J. & KAITLYN

Kaitlyn and Fox started things off with the two going back and forth in the corner. Kaitlyn took Fox down with a clothesline and Alicia tagged in Tamina. Tamina overpowered Kaitlyn, who tagged in Natalya. Natalya ducked a clothesline and hit a dropkick. Natalya was distracted by Rosa and Tamina kicked her in the gut and headbutted her.

Tamina tried for a leg drop that Natalya countered and turned into a Sharpshooter. Interesting. Rosa Mendes broke it up but was headed off by Kaitlyn. Natalya tagged in A.J. who went to work on Tamina. A.J. locked a crucifix on Tamina but Tamina countered it into a Samoan Drop that was good for the win. After the match the heels celebrated in the ring over A.J.

WINNERS: Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes & Tamina via pinfall in 2:00.

TAIT REAX: More meaningless Divas action, unfortunately. There's no context to this three-on-three feud, they're just trading wins and losses and expecting viewers to give a damn. It's more than can be said for the Divas on Raw but it's still very sad. Getting to eyeball Kaitlyn and A.J. for two minutes is all that's good about it.

- Booker hyped Sheamus vs. Christian later tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Johnny Curtis was shown backstage with a mini putting green. Curtis said he'll soon make his Smackdown debut. He said if we were wondering if he has what it takes to survive in one of the harshest environments in sports entertainment, the answer is yes. Curtis putted the ball in (off camera) and went to the hole, where an Ace of Spades card was resting. Curtis picked it up and said it's because he has one of these.

- Cole said Curtis was standing out on Smackdown. Booker once again did his segue to the Obama press conference dream. Thankfully this will be the last time this ever happens, even though the version with the Smackdown wrestlers asking the questions that was shown was actually pretty funny.

- The announcers hyped the Capitol Punishment card this Sunday.

[Commercial Break]

- The Usos were in the ring as Smackdown returned. The chair ready for Randy Orton was shown at ringside. Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater were out (to generic rock of course) as their opponents. A replay of Corre's split last week was shown.

4 -- JIMMY & JEY USO vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL & HEATH SLATER

Jimmy Uso and Slater started the match. Jimmy took Slater down and did some breakdancing moves, dodging a running clothesline before hitting a sidekick to Slater's abdomen and a Stinger splash in the corner. Jimmy did the moonwalk and hit a clothesline on Slater for two.

Jimmy went for the classic ten punches in the corner, but was distracted by Gabriel. Slater fought out and tied Jimmy to the Tree Of Woe. Slater tagged in Gabriel, who ran along the top rope and hit a jumping stomp on Jimmy Uso. Gabriel went for the cover but Jey broke it up. Gabriel tagged in Slater, who continued to go to work on Jimmy.

Jimmy fought out but was yanked backwards by the hair. The ref reprimanded Slater, who went for a cross body off the top rope that was countered by Jimmy into a scoop slam. Jimmy made the hot tag to Jey as Slater tagged in Gabriel. Jey hit a few flying forearms including one off a 360 spin. Jey fired up and ran at Gabriel in the corner, hitting him in the face with a back bump, Umaga-style.

Jey went for a cover but only scored two. Jey tagged in Jimmy and flapjacked Gabriel into the air for Jimmy to catch him on his shoulders and hit a quick Samoan drop. Jimmy went for a cover that was broken up by Slater. Jey took Slater out of the ring and Jimmy DDT'd Gabriel. Jimmy tagged Jey back in, who climbed to the top rope. Slater tried to interfere again but was superkicked by Jimmy. Jey hit a Superfly Splash on Gabriel for the three. After the match The Usos celebrated in the ring as replays were shown.

WINNERS: Jimmy & Jey Uso via pinfall in 4:00

TAIT REAX: Finally, a decent tag team! Everything about The Usos is great. The breakdancing, the throwback Samoan moves, the innovative tag offense. They've got a decent look and have a lot of chemistry and charisma in the ring. They needed a chance to shine and tonight was it. The crowd was hot during that match and really got behind the two. Tag team wrestling just got defibrillated, it hasn't been jolted back to life by any means, but there's still a tiny heartbeat there. What they need is a heel tag team that is equally as good and that sadly isn't Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. (It isn't David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty either.) Here's to hoping that WWE recognizes the potential in these two and in tag team wrestling in general and continues to invest a little more time and effort into the division. A few new teams (and not just two random mid-carders hobbled together) with chemistry and a connection are sorely needed.

- A video package highlighting John Cena and R-Truth's feud leading up to Capitol Punishment was shown. The announcers hyped their match this Sunday.

- Cole hyped Christian vs. Sheamus tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Alberto Del Rio was out as Smackdown returned. Mathews said the rumors were true about Del Rio being here tonight. Del Rio was out in a 2011 Mercedes AMG 63 convertible worth over $200,000. Del Rio suited up for the occasion as Cole reminded everyone that Big Show was still here tonight.

- Del Rio introduced himself as is tradition, adding that the Big Show already knows that. Del Rio said there are rumors going around that Del Rio negotiated his return to Smackdown because he is afraid of Big Show on Raw. Del Rio denied this. He said it is his destiny to be the next WWE Champion and nobody can stop him, not even a giant. Del Rio said what happened with Show and Ricardo and his car was an accident. He said accidents happen all the time and bad things happen to bad people.

- Del Rio said speaking of Ricardo, he wants us to bear witness to this horrible act. Del Rio threw to a replay of Show's interference and assault on Ricardo on Monday's Raw. Del Rio said that was not an accident. He said there are several pending criminal lawsuits against Big Show. He said Ricardo was his best friend and loyal to him, following him everywhere like a dog. Del Rio said what Big Show did was wrong. Del Rio said Ricardo has a little girl named Consuela, his wife is a deacon in his church and Ricardo is a new version of Montezuma and he will get his revenge.

- Del Rio said this Sunday he will dedicate his victory to his best friend Ricardo. He said he knows this ring is to compete but he know what Big Show did was wrong. He said this ring is not for slaughtering innocent people like his best friend. Del Rio said if Show were standing in front of him here he would spit in his face. Heat from the crowd.

- Show obliged by interrupting, strolling with purpose out to ring before running after Del Rio, who bailed into the crowd. Show stared after him from ringside; he continued to look wracked with emotion. Del Rio laughed at Show from the safety of the crowd and winked at him. Show grew angrier and angrier at ringside before finally snapping, overturning the announcers desk and sending chairs flying.

- Show knocked over the barricade, picking up the steel frame and hurling it. Del Rio suddenly looked nervous at this. Show stood in the middle of the ring staring down Del Rio. One of the ring ropes was snapped off. A very intense moment.

[Commercial Break]

- A replay of Show's rampage was shown when Smackdown returned. Cole called him a lunatic. The announcers were shown sitting at their upturned desk. Christian came out for the main event to the biggest heat of the night and Mathews reiterated the stipulation of the match. Sheamus was out next; Christian smirked at him from the ring. Orton was out last to another giant pop. Orton held the belt high as he reached ringside and sat down in his chair in front of the announcers.

5 -- CHRISTIAN vs. SHEAMUS -- if Sheamus wins, the World Heavyweight Championship match at Capitol Punishment becomes a Triple Threat

Sheamus overpowered Christian early, hitting a clothesline for two. Sheamus hit a running knee lift for another two. Sheamus ran Christian into the ropes but Christian rolled out of the ring and came face to face with Orton. Christian was startled and Sheamus took advantage by kicking him in the back.

[Commercial Break]

Sheamus had Christian between the ropes beating his chest when Smackdown returned. Christian fought out and choked Sheamus on the middle rope. Christian stood on Sheamus back and choked him on the middle rope before being pulled off by the referee. Sheamus hit an Irish Curse backbreaker for two.

Mathews said it's all or nothing for Sheamus tonight as the Celtic Warrior got Christian in a headlock. Sheamus went for a running powerslam but Christian fought out and yanked the back of Sheamus' neck over the top rope. Christian went for a splash off the top rope but Sheamus rolled away and Christian ate canvas.

Dueling 'let's go Sheamus' and 'let's go Christian' chants started up. Sheamus hit a diving shoulderblock off the top rope but only got two. Christian rolled Sheamus up and used the ropes for leverage, getting to two before the ref spotted it and stopped the count. Sheamus powered Christian onto the turnbuckle but Christian hit him with a Tornado DDT for two.

Christian taunted Orton from the ring, setting up for a Spear in the corner that Sheamus countered with a big clothesline that scored another near fall. Christian went for a Killswitch but Sheamus countered. Christian flipped over Sheamus' shoulders and ducked a Brogue Kick. Christian went for the Killswitch again but Sheamus pushed him into the corner. Sheamus ran at Christian, who hit his Pele kick between the ropes.

Christian went to the top rope but Sheamus cut him off. Sheamus stared down Orton from the turnbuckle and looked to hit a superplex but Christian countered, jumping off and driving Sheamus face first into the top of the ringpost. It may have been the angle but that looked absolutely brutal. Christian made the cover and got three.

WINNER: Christian via pinfall in 8:00.

- After the match Orton, hit the ring and ran at Christian with the belt. Captain Charisma hightailed it to the back. Simultaneous chants of 'RKO' and 'Punt' were heard as Orton noticed Sheamus still prone in the ring. Orton stared down Christian on the stage and punted Sheamus in the skull. Orton held his belt high as his music played him and Smackdown.

FINAL THOUGHTS: A much better episode of Smackdown as the final stop before Capitol Punishment. The main event was a bit of a headscratcher. The finish was incredibly confusing. From what I saw, it looked like Sheamus legitimately hurt himself when his face smacked into the ringpost and it looked as if they finished it on the fly though I could be wrong. Either way, I was expecting Orton to interfere at some point and either cost Christian or Sheamus the match, but instead Christian pinned Sheamus clean. It just doesn't make sense and was a bit anticlimactic after such a big stipulation being on the line.

The punt is equally as confusing. Wrestlers have been put out for several weeks off the back of a Randy Orton punt but it makes no sense for Smackdown to take their number three star in Sheamus off the air for an extended period of time, especially when he's finally starting to look like a main event player again. If they do, then hopefully someone like Cody Rhodes can step up and take his place, but if they don't, it just undersells the punt. It's not a great situation. Look for Orton to retain come Sunday though I would be in favor of another Christian World Title reign.

Big Show injected a ton of fire into his feud with Del Rio this week. The whole criminal and civil charges thing was ridiculous considering the amount of assault that has occurred in the WWE over the years. Yes, it's logical and realistic, but it's inconsistent with how WWE has always played these types of feuds. Aside from this, the intensity Big Show brought this week have kick started this feud and hopefully it won't be too late to get the crowd right into their match at Capitol Punishment. Look for Del Rio to score a tainted victory with possible interference from Ricardo.

A side note, I was unsure what Del Rio meant by 'negotiating his return to Smackdown.' Am I to take this as Del Rio being a Smackdown wrestler now? Yet more confusion.

The build up to the feuds between Wade Barrett and Ezekiel Jackson and Cody Rhodes and Daniel Bryan this week were complete letdowns. I'm not sure why a six-man tag re-match from was needed, but it was a disappointment and the botched ending didn't help matters at all. Look for Jackson to finally win the Intercontinental Championship from Barrett and, if WWE even cares, they'll throw out a last-minute tag match between Sin Cara/Daniel Bryan and Rhodes/DiBiase that the heels will win. The card already has seven bouts on it, though, so this is an unlikely scenario.

What's troubling is that Smackdown only has two matches (I'd say two-and-a-half, but I'm still unsure of Alberto Del Rio's status) on the card. It says a lot for Smackdown's lack of depth when compared to Raw (despite my beliefs to the contrary). With only three bona fide main-eventers in Orton, Christian, and Sheamus, Smackdown needs to get stepping in moving wrestlers from the mid-card to the main event or PPVs are going to continue to be Raw-centric like this.

I saw a lot of potential in the Usos this week and that's the surprise little gem I'll take away from this week's Smackdown. Hopefully WWE doesn't can it faster than you can say Hart Dynasty.

All in all, a better episode of Smackdown this week that set up the World Heavyweight Championship match for Capitol Punishment nicely, even if it frustratingly failed to sell its only other contribution and just caused a lot of confusion in general. Until next week...

SMACKDOWN BREAKDOWN

Match Of The Night: The Usos vs. Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater (seriously)

Match To Forget: Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes & Tamina vs. Natalya & A.J. & Kaitlyn

Star Of The Show: Randy Orton

Please Go Away: Vladimir Kozlov (back to your own show, Koz)

Quote Of The Night: Christian - "Strawberry Shortcake is gonna have to wait his turn."

Quote Of 1000 Facepalms: Booker T - "The ref was too busy looking into Ted DiBiase's eyes instead of looking at his shoulder and it cost him the match."

Most Entertaining Move: The Uso's flapjack to Samoan Drop tag team finisher.

On The Next Episode Of Botchamania: The finish to the six-man tag match.

Best Moment: Big Show destroys the set while Del Rio watches on in need of a new pair of underwear heading into their match on Sunday.

Worst Moment: Vladimir Kozlov gets match time while worthier wrestlers actually on Smackdown get the Superstars treatment.

Overall Grade: B+


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