(Written by Paul McIntyre)
Cody Rhodes is first out, and he makes his way to the ring. He gets into the ring with the crowd giving him a great heel reaction.
Santino Marella comes out next with Big Show at his back. Santino gets a nice pop, and he looks focused and determined. He stares down Rhodes who smiles with no sense of respect for Santino at all. Then the bell rings.
Both men lock up, and Rhodes applies a headlock easily, even holding on with one arm, and raising the other in the air as though in victory, much to the crowds fury. Santino pushes him off against the ropes, but when he tries an arm drag from the rebound, Rhodes holds on and clobbers him with a clothesline.
Walking over to the referee, he points to Santino in disdain.
Rhodes says, “He shouldn’t even be in this ring! He’s nothing!”
Next, he looks at Big Show, and shouts, “What have you been teaching this clown? You’re a joke! Both of you!”
The crowd come alive with anticipation as Santino makes his feet behind Rhodes, who turns around. Santino aims for a dropkick, but Rhodes catches his legs, making the crowd angrier still. He catapults Santino into the corner.
Matthews says, “Oh, did you hear that sickening thud as Santino’s head collided with the turnbuckle?”
Sprawled in the corner, Rhodes hits him with two shoulder blocks, then again taunts the crowd, who by this point are baying for blood. When Rhodes goes for the third shoulder block, they give a massive cheer as Santino dives out of the way.
Matthews remarks, “A desperation move by Santino there! Could this be the opening he needs?”
Striker says, “Give credit where it’s due, Josh; that was a good reaction from Santino. He’s slowly gaining awareness on how to use the ring to his advantage.”
Slowly getting to his feet as Rhodes stirs, Big Show shouts instructions to Santino.
Show says,“The arm! Work on the arm!”
Nodding groggily, Santino drags Rhodes into the center of the ring, and starts stomping on his injured arm. Next, he lands two elbow drops onto the arm as Rhodes cries out in pain.
Moving to the corner, Santino pushes himself up to the top rope, as the crowd gets excited. Standing up, he jumps through the air and lands a double axe handle on Rhodes’ weak arm. Going for a pin, Santino pressurises the arm, but gets a close two-count.
Big Show roars encouragement from outside as Santino picks Rhodes up; the referee, concerned, moves over to the ropes and tells Big Show to calm down. With his back turned, he doesn’t see Rhodes hit a low blow on Santino, an action which has the crowd booing mercilessly.
“No! The referee’s back was turned, and Rhodes hit a low blow! He’s gonna steal one!”
Turning around just in time to see the pin, the referee counts.
Matthews screams, “This is over. 1! 2! 3- NO! Santino kicks out!”
The crowd cheers loud as Rhodes looks at the referee in fury; standing up, he pushes him into the corner, losing control. Turning around to look at Santino, he sizes the Italian up as he staggers to his feet.
Going for the disaster kick, Rhodes misses when Santino ducks; as he gets to his feet slowly, Santino begins to play the trombone; the crowd is delighted, but Big Show looks unhappy.
Striker: “This is Santino’s problem; he has a chance for a big win here, but again he’s lost sight of the match and is showboating. This will cost him.”
Readying the Cobra, Santino moves towards Rhodes; standing up again, Rhodes looks at him in disgust and makes no move to avoid the Cobra. In fact, he dares him to do it.
Striker says, “Clearly Santino hasn’t yet figured out a way to end matches, so he’s resorting to the Cobra.”
Moving closer, Santino prepares to hit his devastating finisher but instead kicks Rhodes in the gut!
Matthews comments, “Wait, what’s this? Santino has tricked Cody Rhodes!”
Grabbing him by the weak arm, Santino then hits a Double Arm DDT! Big Show again shouts encouragement, as does the crowd.
Santino makes the cover; the referee, still in the corner after Rhodes attacked him, rushes over and makes a somewhat quick count.
Matthews spouts, “1! 2! 3! Unbelievable! Santino did it! Huge upset here!”
Tony Chimel: “Here is your winner, Santino Marrella!” (Time of Contest: 9:28)
The crowd is going crazy, and Rhodes can't believe it. He gets out of the ring shaking his head. He walks over to grab his belt, ripping it out of the man's hands. He then scowls and starts walking away then looks over at Striker.
He says, "what are you looking at?" He scolds Striker, who looks confused. He then motions to him that he doesn't mean anything, and Rhodes walks off angrily as we head to commercial.