PPV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE THE BASH PPV REPORT 6/28: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Orton vs. Triple H, Punk vs. Hardy
Jun 28, 2009 - 9:50:20 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
WWE THE BASH PPV REPORT
June 28, 2009
The WWE PPV opened with a video package focusing on everything happening tonight including the Three Stages of Hell match for the WWE Title between Randy Orton and Triple H.
In-ring: Christian came out to start the PPV as part of the ECW Title Championship Scramble match. Jack Swagger then came out as the opposition. They're starting things off in the 20-minute ECW Title match.
1 -- ECW champion TOMMY DREAMER vs. CHRISTIAN vs. JACK SWAGGER vs. MARK HENRY (w/Tony Atlas) vs. FINLAY -- ECW Title match -- Scramble match
Neither man took control in the opening segment of the match, then Finlay came in to join the action. Swagger scored a pinfall on Finlay at 6:00 and he became the current ECW champion. Out fourth was incumbent ECW champion Tommy Dreamer came out. He needs to score a pinfall or submission to "retain" the title. Dreamer went right after Swagger, but the match moved to the floor where Swagger sent Dreamer into the announce table. Meanwhile, Finlay was selling an eye injury from earlier in the week. Finlay took Swagger back into the ring and he dropped Swagger with the Celtic Cross. Finlay put a knee into Swagger's throat to score a pinfall to become the new ECW champion. Christian and Dreamer then battled up top before Swagger interjected with a hard clothesline on Dreamer. Swagger wanted a top rope gut wrench, but Christian blocked. They held pose as the countdown came down to Mark Henry coming out last. Henry then grappled Swagger and Christian to double suplex them off the top rope into Dreamer. Sweet spot. Henry then pinned Dreamer to become the new ECW champion.
With four minutes left on the clock, Henry was knocked to the floor. Christian then tried to roll up Finlay, but Finlay escaped. Men started flying to the outside before Henry teased a big splash off the top rope, but Swagger threw him to the mat. Swagger then pinned Henry to become new champ with 2:20 left on the clock. Finlay and Dreamer then dumped Henry into the ring steps on the floor. Back in the ring, Christian hit the Killswitch on Dreamer, but Dreamer broke up a pin and pinned Christian following a Dreamer DDT. Dreamer new champ.
One minute left. Tons of pin attempts. Tons of pinfall break ups. Henry back in the ring at 0:45. Dreamer with a DDT on Henry, then he covered Henry for no reason. Down to ten seconds. Christian tried a leap-over sunset flip, but no dice. Time expired and Dreamer wins. Crowd had no idea who won the match in the fracas, then Dreamer's music hit and the crowd popped for him still champ.
WINNER: Dreamer in 17:00. Definitely not a full 20 minutes, as they cut corners on the timing, but a decent match. Crowd seemed a bit lost near the end, so there wasn't a "flurry of emotion" in the building, but a good conclusion. Match needed more time to truly feel like a big deal for the match format, but it was fine. (**)
Video package: They aired the John Cena and Vince McMahon Gillette commercial for some reason. Why the pain?!
Backstage: Teddy Long, dressed in a red suit, was texting or Tweeting. Edge then barged in and reminded Long that his job is on the line. He told Long to think outside the box. Ya know, make a triple threat match for the World Title with him involved. Long said they've already had a triple threat and he remembers Edge losing. Edge said that's real cute, but the fact that he's not on the PPV is a crime. Long said Edge should have thought about that before going off on his ex-wife. Edge told Long to think about it more or else he'll be out of a job.
In-ring: Justin Roberts introduced the IC Title match. He reminded us that if Rey Mysterio loses, he must unmask forever. Out first was Rey Mysterio sporting a zebra print outfit with red lettering and a Desert Storm trooper mask. Chris Jericho then came out to defend the IC Title as Jim Ross and Todd Grisham talked up the mask history again. Seems like a segue to the eventual Dos Caras, Jr. debut.
2 -- IC champion CHRIS JERICHO vs. REY MYSTERIO -- Intercontinental Title match -- Rey's mask on the line
Really enjoy Jericho starting the match by berating Rey. "Come on, 619!" Jericho ran into a high boot early on before taking a head scissors to the floor. Very quick pace and already feels like they're at 5:00 less than one minute into the match. Rey tried a baseball slide kick on the floor, but Jericho cut him off with a whip into the guardrail. The pace quickened with both men exchanging control in the ring, including Rey hitting an amazing Lucha spot with a double springboard into a moonsault for a two count. Haven't seen a wrestler pull that off since Chris Hero working out before a PWG show. Jericho then cut off Rey again and stomped him down in the corner to wear down Rey. Jericho then slapped on the Walls of Jericho at 10:00 and the crowd implored Rey to hit the ropes for a break. Hard cam shaking. Awesome. Rey escaped (to some boos in the crowd) before trying to hit the 619, but Jericho blocked.
Jericho and Rey went up top and Rey wanted a top-rope huracanrana, but Jericho blocked with a mid-air powerbomb. He tried to put his feet on the ropes for additional leverage on a pin, but Rey kicked out. Jericho tried to follow with a lionsault, but Rey moved and followed up with a huracanrana for a two count. I love Rey vs. Jericho. So great three PPVs in a row. Rey then dialed up the 619, but Jericho blocked with that big spinning backbreaker, only to have Rey hit a DDT for a close two count. Jericho then came back with a codebreaker, but he didn't make an immediate pin, allowing Rey time to kick out. Jericho sold disbelief with the ref.
At 15:00, Jericho and Rey battled up top again. Jericho teased ripping the mask off, but Rey shoved Jericho down. Rey checked the mask, then double-foot dropkicked Jericho off the top rope into the 619. Rey connected, then he wanted a springboard finish, but Jericho countered mid-air with the Walls of Jericho right in the center of the ring. Crowd alive and hot. Hard cam shaking again. Rey teased tapping out, but he rolled underneath Jericho and flipped over him. Jericho trapped Rey, but Rey rolled him through. Pin exchange. No pin. Jericho then ripped off the mask, but Rey had a mask underneath. Oh snap! Rey then hit the 619 with Jericho confused and Rey followed with the Springboard Splash for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Rey Mysterio in 17:00 to capture the IC Title. Oh, so so awesome. Rey wins the series 2-1 on the last three PPVs, but they need another match. Turn it into a Best-of-Seven or book a 60-minute Iron Man Match or anything to get more mileage out of this program. Rey and Jericho have such great chemistry in the ring and they involved the crowd at a very high level. Great match. (****1/2)
Video package: Raw announcer Michael Cole sent us to a video on the commercial-free Raw from Monday night. Showed us clips of the Donald Trump vs. Vince McMahon exchange that just won't go away.
Backstage: They showed Triple H getting his left knee and thigh taped up.
Backstage: Jericho complained to Teddy Long about Rey going against the contract by having a back-up mask. He wanted the re-match now. Right now. Long said he's not doing that because he didn't get to this point of authority by giving in to each obnoxious, selfish wrestler. Jericho said Long won't last another five minutes if he doesn't give in and book the re-match. He told Long to come find him when he changes his mind.
Video package: They gave us a video profile on Dolph Ziggler to give us a view on Mr. Perfect 2009. ... In-ring: Great Khali came out first for the "bring the crowd down" match. Dolph Ziggler came out second for the No DQ match.
3 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. GREAT KHALI (w/Runjin Singh) -- No DQ match
Match moved to the floor early on where Dolph tried drop kicking Khali off his feet, but Khali came back with a frying pan-like chop to the chest. Dolph tried to introduce a chair into the ring, but Khali slapped it into Dolph's face. Khali wanted the Big Chop on Dolph, but Kane's music hit out of nowhere. Kane's back. Kane distracted Khali, which allowed Dolph to chop Khali down with chair shots. Dolph ran away, then Kane picked up a chair and cracked it over Khali's back. He then blasted Khali with repeated chair shots to the body. Crowd went from stunned to cheering Kane. "Why has Kane assaulted Great Khali?" Ross asked. Here we go with a new Big Man program on Smackdown. Khali then pinned Khali after Kane left the ring.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler at 5:05. Fine. Dolph gets a win, but focus is the future Kane vs. Khali storyline with Kane returning to TV for the first time in several weeks. (*)
Backstage: Vince McMahon walked into Teddy Long's office to apologize for putting him on probation last Friday on Smackdown. He corrected himself that he was going to apologize, but he heard Long was the longest-reigning GM in WWE history, but he's accomplished... absolutely nothing. McMahon laughed. He said Eric Bischoff, "Heyman," even Mike Adamle brought something to the table. He thought about Long's leadership skills and said he will kill himself before wanting Long next time in war. He said Long is still on probation.
Video package: Please buy the "12 Rounds" DVD. Please. It's escapist fun, man.
In-ring: Carlito and Primo came out to defend the Unified tag titles. Jerry Lawler quipped to Michael Cole that he doesn't know what it's like to be yelled at like Teddy Long. Cole laughed nervously and said he knows quite well how that feels. Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes then came out. DiBiase sporting red trunks tonight apparently to differentiate him from Orton as a cookie-cutter clone. Before the match could start, Teddy Long's music hit. Long said this match will now be a Triple Threat tag team match. Cody was not happy. Cue up Edge's theme music. Edge came out on stage. And his partner... Chris Jericho. Kill two birds with one stone. Jericho came out and smirked at Long as Cole said Long caved to pressure. Edge and Jericho slowly made their way to the ring looking very confident. That was quickly erased when the original teams dumped Edge and Jericho to the floor before the bell sounded.
4 -- Unified tag team champions CARLITO & PRIMO COLON vs. TED DIBIASE, JR. & CODY RHODES vs. EDGE & CHRIS JERICHO -- Unified tag title match
Sounded like a light "We want Christian" chant early on as the Colons battled Legacy while Smackdown's main eventers waited on the apron. Edge finally tagged himself into the match on an oblivious DiBiase, but DiBiase quickly tagged himself back in to keep it Legacy vs. Colons. Lawler picked up the "Legacy as mirror images of Orton" talk as the fans chanted for Edge. Not quite a bizarro crowd tonight, but they're definitely into the show. Cody suddenly set up Primo for Homicide's Cop Killer finisher, but he maintained the hold for a submission. Edge had enough and pulled Primo off Cody to break up the hold. DiBiase then tagged in and went to work on Primo. Primo then dumped DiBiase to the floor and crawled across the ring to tag in Carlito. Cody also took a tag and took a springboard cannonball dive from Carlito. Cody had to wait 18 years for Carlito to set up a springboard elbow, then the action broke down. Jericho hit the codebreaker on Primo, then Carlito dumped Jericho to the floor. Edge then tagged in on Cody after Carlito hit the backstabber on Cody. Carlito didn't realize it. He tried pinning Cody, but ref said Cody's not legal. Carlito turned around and took the spear from Edge. Edge covered Carlito and scored the pin to capture the tag titles.
WINNERS: Edge & Jericho at 9:40 to capture the Unified tag titles. Edge and Jericho worked about 30 seconds in the match, but Edge being the "ultimate opportunist" won the match. Great storyline twist. New tag champs over on Smackdown, but now they can be on Raw and/or ECW to save the Raw brand from the doldrums. More than one way to skin a cat. (**)
Backstage: Randy Orton was staring at the ground. Cody and Ted then walked over to Orton complaining about what just happened out there. Orton told them not to worry about that; just make sure he retains the WWE Title against Triple H. Ted didn't appreciate that and said he's not just their henchmen. They deserve to be in the main event. Heck, Orton even kicked him in the head, but he let it go so he could further his career. Orton told him maybe he made a mistake. DiBiase stormed off, then Cody said he'll talk to him. Here we go planting seeds of dissent. First Ted with red trunks instead of black, now talking back to his mentor.
5 -- Women's champion MELINA vs. MICHELLE McCOOL (w/Alicia Fox) -- Women's Title match
McCool dominated early on against the babyface champion. She worked the leg over for a while before wrapping Melina around the ringpost while Alicia looked on with encouragement. Melina then came back, but McCool took out the knee again. Melina blocked a top rope move, then had a pin, but Alicia put McCool's foot on the bottom rope to block a pin. Melina then dropkicked Alicia through the ropes, but it served as a distraction to allow McCool to hit the Styles Clash on Melina and roll her over for the pin and the win. New women's champ.
WINNER: Michelle McCool at 6:40 to capture the Women's Title. Fine showcase match for the Women's division, but the crowd used it as an opportunity to take a breather. McCool as champ has potential, depending on whether they line up some more opponents beside Melina. (*1/2)
Announcers: Jim Ross and Todd Grisham talked up the C.M. Punk vs. Jeff Hardy feud leading to a video package from Extreme Rules when Jeff Hardy won the World Title from Edge, only to have C.M. Punk cash in the MITB briefcase to quickly win the World Title from Hardy. Clips aired on the Punk "tweener" program from the last three weeks on Smackdown.
In-ring: World Hvt. champion C.M. Punk came out first telling the crowd it's his time. Announcers drew attention to the mixed reaction for Punk. Jeff Hardy then came out with no face paint this month. Huge crowd reaction for Hardy. Of note, The Miz in a semi-PPV main event slot tonight. Punk looking a little darker lately with that Colin Farrell look. Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros with Punk doing a little Japanese ring intro with the double index-finger kiss to the lips and toss to the crowd.
6 -- World Hvt. champion C.M. PUNK vs. JEFF HARDY -- World Title match
Punk wanted the Go 2 Sleep early in the match, but Hardy countered with a back slide for a two count. Hardy then dumped Punk to the floor and came over the top with a slingshot plancha. Hardy then tried a running leg splash off the ring steps, but Punk moved and Hardy ate the guardrail. Hardy could have been counted out, but Punk re-started the ten count with a smirk, then grabbed some more rest as Hardy made it back in the ring at nine. Punk started a deliberate offensive attack, but missed with a leg drop from the second rope. Hardy followed right up with the Whisper in the Wind, but Punk kicked out. Hardy then started an offensive flurry and hit a double foot dropkick to the chest for a two count. Hardy tried to follow with a top rope finish, but Punk rolled to the outside. Punk then turned around and took a dive off the apron from Hardy, who adjusted his attack.
At 10:00, the action returned to the ring where Punk blocked Hardy's lift-up kick in the corner into a G2S attempt, but Hardy blocked, only to have Punk hit a high knee and bulldog combo for a two count. Punk landed a series of jabs, but Hardy ducked and nailed an RKO. He ripped off his shirt and went for the Swanton up top, but Punk casually did a sit-up to move out of harm's way. Hardy then blocked Punk's offense and hit the Twist of Fate. He then went up top and nailed the Swanton Bomb in the corner. Punk was out, Hardy made the cover, and he scored the pin. Ref counted a three, but he suddenly waved it off as Punk's foot appeared to "break the plane" of the bottom rope to get a rope break. Hardy's music stopped and the ref said the match must continue.
Crowd with heavy boos before going with a "Hardy, Hardy" chant. Hardy quickly tried a Twist of Fate, but Punk countered with a G2S attempt. Hardy elbowed out, then Punk sold an eye injury. Ref held Hardy back as he checked on Punk. Hardy wanted a piece of Punk, but Punk continued to sell the eye. He then reared back and kicked the ref right in the back while still selling "impairment." Punk continued to act like he didn't know what he did as the ref called for a DQ. Hardy, stunned, simply held his head in disbelief. Ref confirmed the finish to a big "bulls---" chant from the crowd, which really bought into the angle as Punk continued to sell the eye injury.
Afterward, Hardy confronted Punk on the entrance ramp and asked him what's up. Punk said it was his eye. Hardy wasn't buying it, so he pounded on Punk, then dragged him into the ring to land more right hand blows to the eye. Crowd hot for Hardy's post-match "snap" on Punk. Refs spilled into the ring to hold Hardy back from Punk, who still sold the eye injury. Hardy eventually broke free and tackled Punk one more time to get the crowd their "happy ending" to the Punk vs. Hardy match. Refs eventually helped Punk to the back as he sold the eye. Hardy then collected himself in the ring as they replayed the finish.
WINNER: Hardy via DQ in 14:00, Punk retains World Title. Perfect booking, just like I wrote about before the PPV with Punk retaining the title by the skin of his teeth and with questionable motives. Great way to continue the Punk tweener program. Crowd was very involved in the storyline, which was a good sign. Punk was great. Hardy was great. All-around solid booking to continue building frustration for Hardy and building Punk as an illegitimate tweener champion. (***1/2)
Backstage: Teddy Long was pacing around in his office, then Carlito and Primo stormed in demanding to know what the heck was going on with the tag title situation. Long said he wasn't going to just stand around and be fired. "Why not? You been here long enough," Carlito shot back. Great line. Long defended himself again, then the former champs walked off in a huff.
Backstage: Randy Orton dialed a number, then placed a call. No answer. Just ringing. He got Cody Rhodes's voice mail. Orton told him to call back. Did Cody pay his phone bill?
Video package: They recapped the feud between John Cena and The Miz leading to tonight's first legit singles match between the two. A match that was booked six days ago is the semi-main event. Not complaining, as it's a potentially solid match-up after Miz's great work on Raw the past two months, but it's the story of WWE on this every-three-weeks PPV schedule.
In-ring: After they showed Rev Theory and Adelitas Way ringside to promote their pre-Bash concert, The Miz came out first. He was sporting the anti-Cena t-shirt. After a pause, John Cena came out sporting his John Deere clothing line. Miz wanted a piece of Cena, but Cena calmly went through his pre-match routine.
7 -- JOHN CENA vs. THE MIZ
Both men went to neutral corners ala a boxing/MMA fight before the bell sounded. Cena then opened up with a leg trip and he adjusted his knee pads. Another leg trip and Miz was flustered. Miz finally get the best of Cena in a cat & mouse game in and out of the ring, then he started an attack on Cena back in the ring. Lawler lamented that if Miz wins, he'll brag forever and "Twitter" everyone about his win. Cena then made a comeback at 5:00 and set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle combo of moves. Cena connected with the 5NS, then wanted the FU and he connected. Cena stared down at Miz instead of making a cover, then he slapped on the STFU in center ring. Miz tapped out after a one second struggle. Cena kinda looked down at Miz like no big deal. Announcers tried to sell that Miz was "game for most of the match-up," but Cena won. Afterward, Cena did the Victoria spot of kicking imaginary dirt onto Miz.
WINNER: Cena at 5:40. Decisive win for Cena despite a few minutes of offense for Miz. Good news is Miz was in a semi-main event PPV slot. Bad news was Miz didn't put up a fight at the end. Key for Miz will be getting his heat back on TV tomorrow night. (*1/2)
Video package: They aired a complete video package on the Randy Orton vs. Triple H feud. ... Randy Orton came out to the ring first with the WWE Title over his shoulder. He looked very sick, ill, or on the verge of a heart attack. I sure hope he's just selling fear and concern over Hunter because that looks like the same look I had when I went to the hospital two weeks ago. Lawler referenced Orton's curious look before Orton showed off the title belt in the ring. This is going to be a quick two out of three falls match, as it's nearly 9:30 and Hunter hasn't even come out yet. Pause. Hunter's music hit and he came out with the leg taped. Hunter completed his full ring intro. Cole referenced the previous two Three Stages of Hell matches, both won by Hunter. One over Steve Austin. One over Shawn Michaels. Lawler said Orton is lacking that confidence tonight without Cody or Ted around. Another red herring for Hunter or Orton's out. Nice pre-match booking. Bell sounded half-hour until the top of the hour.
8 -- WWE champion RANDY ORTON vs. TRIPLE H -- WWE Title match -- Three Stages of Hell match
Orton quickly went for the left knee and wanted to wrap it around the ringpost, but Hunter slipped out and sent Orton's momentum into the ringpost with Orton eating the post. Hunter teased the Pedigree, but Orton dropped down to one knee and punched the injured knee. Orton then began his focused attack on the knee. Orton teased the RKO, but Hunter shoved off and hit a spinebuster. Match moved to the floor. Poor Matt Striker in the background has been a spectator by himself for two hours with Josh Mathews backstage. Suddenly, Triple H pulled out a chair and blasted Orton with a chair shot to cause a DQ. *** Orton 1, Hunter 0 at 4:55*** Hunter, down one fall, started blasting away on Orton with the chair. Now it's a Falls Count Anywhere in Fall Two. Lawler followed the logic of Hunter sacrificing one fall in order to beat the crap out of Orton to get the second fall. On cue, Hunter hit the Pedigree on the floor and pinned Orton to earn the second fall. *** Orton 1, Hunter 1 at 6:20***
A stretcher was brought down to ringside. Hunter easily placed Orton's limp body on the stretcher and he wheeled Orton up the entrance ramp. He came close to the yellow line, but Orton came to life and jumped off the stretcher to blast Hunter in the knee. Orton then took out the left knee as Hunter gingerly walked down the entrance ramp. Match moved to the ringside area where Orton crotched Hunter across the guardrail. Security held back front row fans from interfering. Would have helped at the Astros game today where a fan cost the Astros a run and the game. Got that off my chest... match turned into a TNA-style brawl through the crowd. Hunter then clotheslined Orton over the guardrail to the ringside area. Hunter landed a straight right hand and Orton fell hard to the ground, but he pulled back the guardrail while on the floor and whipped Hunter into the exposed railing. A non-PG-friendly "Holy S---" whisper from a fan on the front row made air as Orton beat on Hunter. Orton put Hunter on the stretcher, but Hunter came to life. Orton cut him off, though, with a whip into the ring steps.
At 13:00, the match returned to the ring with Orton introducing ring steps into the ring. Classic "Roadrunner circumvents the Coyote" spot with Hunter turned a ring step smash into a drop toe hold sending Orton face-first into the steps. Hunter then bashed (get it?) the steps into Orton's face. He tried to drag Orton onto the stretcher and succeeded. Hunter tried to wheel Orton up the ramp to the yellow line, but Orton kicked Hunter in the head. Hunter then hopped on the stretcher and punched him several times as they wheeled backward down the ramp together. Eventually, the stretcher fell off the ramp and they both fell to the ground in an unintentional comedy spot. Pretty cool ride. Orton sold mass pain to the back, but he got up and gave Hunter the classic Orton horizontal DDT off the stretcher into the ground. That was just not right.
Orton wanted The Punt, but Hunter moved and Orton airballed Hunter's head. Hunter then wanted the Pedigree on the floor, but Orton back body dropped Hunter onto the stretcher. Orton slowly tried to wheel Hunter up the ramp, but Hunter got up about ten feet before the line. Orton then stalked Hunter for the RKO, but Hunter shoved Orton into the HD video scoreboard. Hunter followed with a Pedigree onto the stage. Yellow line marks the spot. Hunter crawled over the stretcher, which was just a few feet from the line. He put Orton's dead weight on the stretcher, then tried to push it across, but Cody Rhodes showed up at the last second to block Hunter. Cody then attacked Hunter, but Hunter chucked him into the HD lights. Orton was still on the stretcher, but DiBiase suddenly made the save one foot away from the yellow line.
Cody and Ted then jumped Hunter and stomped away on him. They picked up Hunter and put him on the stretcher with a ton of effort while Orton was KO'ed, but Hunter fought back. The pack of wild dogs tried to subdue Hunter, who kept putting up a fight. Suddenly, Hunter had a sledgehammer. He stared blasting folks left and right, but he didn't see a Punt to the gut from Orton. Orton then smashed Hunter with a piece from the stage. He flung Hunter onto the stretcher, then spun Hunter across the yellow line to win the match and retain the WWE Title.
Post-match: Orton celebrated on stage with the WWE Title, but Triple H snuck up behind him with sledgehammer behind. Orton sold cluelessness that Hunter was right behind him, then his music stopped and he turned around to accept a sledgehammer blow to the head. Orton KO'ed, Hunter standing tall to send 'em home happy. After several replays, they closed with Orton clutching his WWE Title shot and finally making it to his feet with a look of pain written on his face to close the PPV.
WINNER: Orton at 21:30 to retain the WWE Title. First two falls were quick to get to the final fall, which wasn't a traditional title match, but featured some good drama, action, and body blows to give fans their money's worth. Felt just like the match they had on free TV six days ago, so you didn't miss anything if you watched the free show on Raw. WWE booking the red herrings during the show with Cody and Ted worked well to create more drama on whether they would eventually help Orton retain the title. Sure hope this is the end of Orton vs. Hunter, but I highly doubt it since Hunter didn't lose clean and he stood tall post-match. Solid gimmick match overall. (***1/2)
We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.
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