The Grade Book #9 (April 14 - April 20, 2012) April 22, 2012
Welcome to "The Grade Book", a weekly look into the matches (and some segments) in professional wrestling. I am "Mr. V" Anthony J. Valvo and I will be alongside WWE Superstars/ROH on Sinclair/FCW Recapper and Co-Host of "The Wrestleview Independent Roundtable" Jason Namako to provide our "grades" for each match that was aired on television for the past week. World Wrestling Entertainment, TNA Impact Wrestling, and Ring of Honor will be highlighted weekly in this feature. We may also include matches from Florida Championship Wrestling & TNA Xplosion.
Jason and I watched every match from the WWE, TNA, and ROH from March 31 - April 6, 2012. We will provide a couple of sentences as thoughts and give the readers a Grade Point Average or GPA. If you are not familiar with a GPA, it is based on a point system from 0.0 to 4.0. We then will give it a letter grade based on the quality of the match.
The contents are as follows:
Mr. V and Jason Namako provided a grade for WWE Monday Night Raw, WWE NXT, WWE Superstars, TNA Impact Wrestling, and WWE Friday Night Smackdown. Those shows are part of the weekly rankings.
Jason & Mister V also provided a grade for Florida Championship Wrestling & TNA Xplosion.
(Editor's Note: There will be no grade for Ring of Honor this week as it was a clip show with matches from the "Showdown in the Sun" Internet PPV.)
Mr. V and Mr. Namako's GPA Scale
4.0 - 3.6 - A 3.5 - 2.6 - B 2.5 - 1.6 - C 1.5 - 0.7 - D 0.6 - 0.0 - F or INC
After our Grade Book is opened, we will then offer what we thought was the Show of the Week. We will award two points for the show of the week and one point to the runner-up, similar to what the "Mr. V" columns were in months past.
Now remember readers, this is completely subjective. There is a difference between the words "objective" and "subjective". If you don't know what that means, look it up on dictionary.com.
So, let's begin.
Florida Championship Wrestling (aired April 15th)
Best Segment: The Dean Ambrose promo that closed the show. Simply put, just plain awesome.
1. 6-Man Tag: C.J. Parker, Jason Jordan & Xavier Woods defeated Brad Maddox & FCW Tag Team Champions Corey Graves & Jake Carter w/Abraham Washington by pinfall when Woods pinned Carter with Lost in the Woods (Sliding Flatliner).
Mr. V: This was not a terrible 6-way tag team match, as I can see the potential in Jason Jordan. Xavier Woods also showed some improvement and much needed quickness. The heel tag team was pretty basic, but effective. CJ Parker is one that really needs to get some more tuning. Grade: 1.8
Jason N.: It was decent, although I felt it dragged a little too long with the heels control section on Jordan. Woods was very good off the hot tag and showed a lot of babyface fire. Solid opener with good effort shown by all. Grade: 1.8
Overall Grade: Grade: 1.8
2. Mike Dalton defeated Sakamoto by pinfall with an Implant DDT.
Mr. V: This match was ok, though not a real impressive match when it came to the storytelling by both wrestlers. Sakamoto was impressive with attacking the head and neck region of Dalton, while Dalton was not bad with his quickness. If I had one gripe, it would be Dalton being a bit too springy. Grade: 1.8
Jason N.: Match was pretty good. Dalton is improving in the ring, both in his FIP & comeback game. Sakamoto played the old school foreigner heel nicely and bumped good for Dalton on Dalton's comeback. Good match with a lot of effort shown by both guys. Grade: 2.2
Overall Grade: 2.0
3. FCW Divas Title: Raquel Diaz (c) Audrey Marie by pinfall to retain the title with a Jackknife pin while grabbing onto the tights for leverage.
Mr. V: The match had intensity, and that was pretty much it. Just when something good was about to happen, they (yes they) counter it with a botched maneuver. There is potential in these two, but when one sees a match like this in developmental it shows that there is still years to go for these two divas. Grade: 1.3
Jason N.: This was not very good. Whoever thought these two should get 6 minutes needs to be chewed out. You give a green talent a lot of time when they are in there with a veteran who can teach them, not someone as green as them. They did bring the hate and amped up the intensity, which was good, but the rest was just not. They both tried very hard, but they still have a lot to learn and it showed. Grade: 1.4
Overall Grade: 1.35
4. Big E. Langston defeated Jiro by pinfall with the Big Ending.
Mr. V: In this match, Langston just showed off his abundant power. Langston may be a bit small in height, but has raw potential to be an up-and-coming super heavyweight. Grade: 1.0
Jason N.: Short showcase for Langston to give him a dominant win. Nothing more to it than that.Grade: 1.0
Overall Grade: 1.0
5. Kassius Ohno defeated Benicio Salazar by pinfall with the KO (Rolling Elbow).
Mr. V: This match was a bit on the short side, but another quick match that showed me a good bit with these two wrestlers. Ohno's finish was awesome and give credit to Salazar for selling it like a real death blow. Grade: 1.6
Jason N.: See last match for thoughts on this match. Grade: 1.3
Overall Grade: 1.45
6. 1st ever Tapout Match: Dean Ambrose defeated James Bronson with the Regal Stretch.
Mr. V: Now I am not used to watching FCW, but I can already feel the intensity brewing between William Regal and Ambrose. Both wrestling showed great technical ability and it made for an average match. I think what was told after the match was over was the real highlight to the story, as Regal walked out when Ambrose applied the Regal Stretch. Grade: 1.6
Jason N.: The main event was OK, but it didn't seem to click and was very short. Grade: 1.7
Overall Grade: 1.75
WWE Monday Night RAW Supershow (aired April 16th)
Best Segment: The Brock Lesnar video promo hyping his match with Cena at Extreme Rules.
1. No Disqualification & No Count-Out Match for the WWE Title: CM Punk (c) defeated "The World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry by pinfall to retain the title with a Top Rope elbow drop using a steel chair.
Mr. V: his was a very solid start and a great match for the Monday Night Raw audience. Punk overcame a very game Mark Henry, who is quickly becoming a threat once again in the world title picture. All disciplines were met, as Henry showed technical, brawling, and power tactics while Punk brought the quickness to this match. There was good chemistry and flow and one match to remember in 2012. Grade: 3.1
Jason N.: Really good match, but to me, a notch down from the match they had 2 weeks ago. Not to say this wasn't good, but it just wasn't as good to me as their 1st match. These two do have really good chemistry and Mark Henry has become a player again after his setback in the beginning of the year. Punk was really over with the crowd and was very good as the underdog babyface champion. Best match of the week by farGrade: 2.8
Overall Grade: 2.95
2. WWE United States Title: Santino Marella (c) vs. David "A List" Otunga by pinfall to retain the title with the Cobra.
Mr. V: The match was ok for Marella, but Otunga was sloppy. I feel that this will be a match heading to Extreme Rules.Grade: 1.3
Jason N.: Not a good match, but short, so that is a positive. Otunga tried, but it didn't click and Santino is not a person to carry someone, so the match was hindered because of that. The antics were entertaining, but that's about it.Grade: 1.6
Overall Grade: 1.45
3. Zack Ryder vs. Kane never got started as Kane laid out Ryder with a Chokeslam.
Mr. V: I enjoyed this match, but since the bell never rang I won't give it a "grade". Grade: INC
Jason N.: The burial of Ryder continues. Nice to show it so blatant that wrestlers shouldn't dare get themselves over, or they will be buried. Sure seems like a great company to work for, give me a break. Grade: INC
Overall Grade: INC
4. Daniel Bryan defeated Kofi Kingston by submission with the YES! Lock.
Mr. V: Daniel Bryan really shined in this match with his technical ability and his uncanny quickness. Bryan's mission was to work on the head and arm regions of Kingston and he did just that. This would have been higher, but Kingston was really sloppy in transitions and his offense is regressing. The lack of chemistry is what made this match average. Grade: 1.9
Jason N.: Very good match from these two, although it showing more and more that Kingston is more suited as a tag wrestler than a singles wrestler because he gets really exposed in 1 on 1 matches. Bryan was great and I like how he says "YES" after every strike. Its getting over in spite of the company's booking decisions, so happy to see that for Bryan. let's just hope now he doesn't become Zack Ryder. Grade: 2.4
Overall Grade: 2.15
5. "The Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay w/Cameron & Naomi defeated "The Show-Off" Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero & "The All-American American" Jack Swagger by disqualification when Swagger interfered.
Mr. V: This match was just a reason for someone to call their momma. Grade: INC
Jason N.: Short, but fine for what it was. Grade: 0.6
Overall Grade: 0.3
6. WWE Intercontinental Champion "The World's Largest Athlete" The Big Show & The Great Khali defeated WWE Tag Team Champions Epico & Primo w/Rosa Mendes by pinfall with a stereo Chokeslam/Punjabi Plunge.
Mr. V: I would love for them to be a regular tag team for some reason. I would not put titles on Show and Khali, but throw them in for a filler/squash and it could be fun. Grade: 0.6
Jason N.: Glad to see that tag teams don't matter in favor of putting over a lug like Khali. Nothing against Show, but the match should have never happened to begin with. Grade: 0.8
Overall Grade: 0.7
7. Extreme Rules Match: Lord Tensai w/Sakamoto defeated John Cena by pinfall with the Tensai Bomb.
Mr. V: Though the match dragged, it was solid. Give credit to Cena for being ok with the booking. Tensai with this win is established, and rightfully so. For his size, he moved well in this match. The story of course to destroy Cena's will. Since Mania, the objective has been reached. Grade: 2.3
Jason N.: Another good match and I was pleasantly shocked by the booking. Cena is being treated right now like someone who is moving to a new company and is jobbing on the way out, which says to me that he is taking time off, which that guy is top candidate IMO to receive it. Cena didn't lose nothing with the loss and Tensai stamps himself as a player on the roster with the win, as I see him right now in the Umaga 2006 role, which is a good fit for him. Great effort by both. Grade: 2.7
Overall Grade: 2.5
WWE NXT (aired April 18th)
Best Segment: The Matt Striker promo on Hawkins & Reks that setup the main event.
1. "Showtime" Percy Watson defeated Johnny Curtis w/Maxine by pinfall with the Percecution.
Mr. V: This match was methodical and boring, but I'll give credit because it was near flawless. Watson is a good babyface and showed once again that when he gets a better crowd reaction that he can be a strong mid-card talent. Curtis was strong in wearing down Watson to almost get the booked victory. It seemed at times there were sloppy transitions, but only a minor mistake. Grade: 2.2
Jason N.: Solid match, but like a lot of recent matches, is hampered by using the commentary table to further angles. If I say it once, I'll say it many times over, I don't mind angles, I just mind when they overlap a match in the ring and make it meaningless because to me, that is a slap in the face to the guys working their butts off in the ring.
Overall Grade: 2.15
2. Maxine w/Johnny Curtis defeated Kaitlyn w/Derrick Bateman by submission with a Dragon Clutch.
Mr. V: This match told a story between the two divas, and that lacks a ton on the other WWE shows. There was some good brawling by Maxine and both showed their strengths in the match. Excellent positioning on the card. Grade: 1.8
Jason N.: Pretty much the same as the last match. Match was solid, but hurt by the overlapping commentary. Grade: 1.8
Overall Grade: 1.8
3. Loser Gets Fired Match: Tyler Reks defeated "The Party Starter" Curt Hawkins by pinfall with a Roll-Up.
Mr. V: The match was quick, but I really enjoyed the outcome. Both fought as if their job was on the line. The match had its ups and downs, but the story was solid and it spelled the end for Hawkins (and later, Reks). If one likes a quick brawl, look no further. Grade: 2.3
Jason N.: Decent back and forth match. Both guys have futures as single stars, but in the short-term, they are a much better fit as a tag team. I sincerely hope that the firing was only storyline and not an omen for what is to come with "Spring Cleaning" season on the horizon. Grade: 2.0
Overall Grade: 2.15
WWE Superstars (aired April 19th)
1. Jinder Mahal defeated Yoshi Tatsu by submission with the Camel Clutch.
Mr. V: I will give credit to Mahal here, as he was very technical in working the back effectively. However, his knee strikes still look very green. The match was a basic formula to build the Mahal character. For Tatsu, I fear this is near the end of the road for him. Grade: 1.8
Jason N.: Just like every other Mahal match, with few exceptions. Bland and boring. Yoshi is on his way out the door and its sad, because he is a very likeable babyface and a good worker. But hey, let's keep putting over a guy that is horrible, cuz that makes sense.Grade: 1.4
Overall Grade: 1.6
2. Eve Torres defeated Kelly Kelly by pinfall with a jackknife pin using the ropes for leverage.
Mr. V: On Raw, they would only get a minute to tell a story. However, give these two divas a few more minutes and they can put on a good match. I enjoy some chicanery every now and then, and Torres did that in the end. Also, Torres was very technical and bumped for Kelly. It was a very nice divas match for the WWE. Grade: 2.0
Jason N.: Good match that was better than it had any right to be. Eve is maybe one of the top 3 Diva workers in the company while Kelly had her working boots on and was game to have a good match. Hats off to both girls. It wasn't blow your socks off, but it was good. Grade: 2.0
Overall Grade: 2.0
3. R-Truth defeated "The All-American American" Jack Swagger w/Vickie Guerrero by pinfall with the Little Jimmy.
Mr. V: Who in their right mind scheduled this match to go over ten minutes. There were too many delays in the transition. However, in the final minute it finally picked up. The match itself was average, but man did I almost fall asleep. Grade: 2.0
Jason N.: It was solid, although I think they were given a little too much time given who was in there. Not to say Swagger & Truth aren't good, just feel like this long of a match doesn't suit them. Truth & Swagger have decent chemistry and the crowd was into it, so overall, I would say it was a solid main event. Grade: 2.2
Overall Grade: 2.1
TNA Impact Wrestling (aired April 19th)
Best Segment: The promo from James Storm where he was distraught over his loss at Lockdown.
1. In a match taped for TNA Xplosion, Tara defeated Winter by pinfall with the Widow's Peak.
Mr. V: This was a nice Knockouts match that showed Winter developing a devious character (yet again). The match did have too many delays leading a good spot (Tara's Standing Moonsault came to mind). When wrestling, this match did have its moments that sparkled. Grade: 1.7
Jason N.: Decent little Knockouts match. Winter is underrated IMO as a worker and Tara, with the right opponent, can still put a decent match.Grade: 1.8
Overall Grade: 1.75
2. "The Undefeated" Crimson & "Calfzilla" Bully Ray defeated "The Blueprint" Matt Morgan & TNA X Division Champion "A Double" Austin Aries by pinfall when Ray pinned Aries with a roll-up using the tights for leverage.
Mr. V: The match was quick, but the storytelling was nice. Ray won by "cheating", but it showed that Aries is a legit threat to Bully Ray. Crimson and Morgan continued their intense feud, and Morgan did a good job selling his leg injury during the match. It had a nice blend of power, technical, and quick tactics. Grade: 2.3
Jason N: Solid tag team match. Crimson showed some good stuff in this as he has found new life as a heel, while Aries was good off the hot tag. The finish was a little clunky, but didn't hurt the match to me.Grade: 2.1
Overall Grade: 2.2
3. "The Olympic Gold Medalist" Kurt Angle defeated "The Phenomenal" A.J. Styles by pinfall with a roll-up after Styles was distracted by Christopher Daniels & Kazarian at ringside.
Mr. V: The match showcased Styles' unique ability. As for AJ's character. Daniels and Kazarian now have ammunition to continue this feud. As for Angle, the man needs a break. He is in pain, yet continues to perform. Grade: 1.4
Jason N.: These two always have good chemistry and it was no different here. Even for a 4 minute match, these two worked their tail and had a decent little match, even with the Daniels/Kazarian side story that led to the finish. Grade: 2.0
Overall Grade: 1.7
4. 8 Knockout Tag: T & T (Brooke Tessmacher & Tara), "Hardcore Country" Mickie James & Velvet Sky defeated Mexican America (Rosita & Sarita), "The Queen Bee" Madison Rayne & TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim by pinfall when Tessmacher pinned Kim with an O'Connor Roll after Kim was distracted by Sky.
Mr. V: The match was good and paced well, especially near the end of the match. I thought Brooke, Sarita, and Mickie shined in this match while Gail Kim is letter out her personality more each week. Also, give credit to Tara for showcasing some power and Rosita for her quickness in the match. Grade: 1.7
Jason N.: All 8 women worked hard and put on another solid multi-person match. Interesting to see Tessmacher get the win on Gail as I assume it would lead to her being the next challenger. Grade: 2.0
Overall Grade: 1.85
5. TNA Television Title: Devon (c) defeated Gunner by pinfall to retain the title with a one-armed Spinebuster.
Mr. V: This match is one of my guilty pleasures. I enjoy a match that is a brawl, fast-paced yet the positioning was perfect. It was power vs. wearing down and it was an overall solid performance by Devon and Gunner. Grade: 2.4
Jason N.: Short, but to the point. Gunner still shows a lot of potential and Devon, since losing a lot of weight, has improved greatly in the ring. Grade: 1.8
Overall Grade: 2.1
6. Triple Threat #1 Contenders Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Title: "The Whole F'N Show" Rob Van Dam defeated Mr. Anderson & "The Charismatic Enigma" Jeff Hardy by pinfall when he pinned Hardy with a split-legged backslide.
Mr. V: This match was as good as a three-way could be between these styles of wrestlers. Anderson was very good in this match and knew the stakes. I enjoyed the start to the match and the flow was impressive. Anderson is improving in his skills. Hardy and Van Dam were great with their flying and quickness abilities. Grade: 2.3
Jason N.: Good main event. All 3 worked hard, especially Anderson, who has really shown a lot of renewed fire since coming back. The Hardy tease of being frustrated after the match has me worried that he may go back heel, which would be a huge mistake. Van Dam is a decent choice for a PPV that frankly no one cares for and did show some fire also in this. Good effort by all 3 for a fun main event. Grade: 2.2
Overall Grade: 2.25
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (aired April 20th)
Best Segment: The opening segment with Daniel Bryan & A.J. where A.J. then snapped later on.
1. Natalya defeated A.J. by disqualification when A.J. would not listen to the referee's 5 count.
Mr. V: I gave this match an "incomplete", but in a good way. A.J. is mad and frustrated. She took it out on someone and now we won't think the same of A.J. again. Grade: INC
Jason N.: A.J. went crazy, Natalya got gigged hardway, that is all. Grade: INC
Overall Grade: INC
2. "The Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay w/Cameron, Naomi & Hornswoogle defeated Hunico w/Camacho by pinfall with Funk It.
Mr. V: It was a nice squash that gets Clay over once again. Oh yeah, and now he has an ally in Hornswoggle. Grade: 0.8
Jason N.: Brodus squash, haven't we seen this before?Grade: 0.6
Overall Grade: 0.7
3. "Mr. No Days Off" Darren Young & Titus O'Neil defeated The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) by pinfall with a Spinebuster/Top Rope Neckbreaker combo.
Mr. V: The match went everywhere and it was hard to follow what was going on in the ring. I liked the wrestling ability by Darren Young and both Usos as they wrestled like they wanted the championship. There were a few blips in this match, but the action was ok for the time allotted. Grade: 1.6
Jason N.: Decent match in the beginning, but fell apart towards the end, especially with the finish. I guess Mr. No Days Off is also Mr. No Hops. Grade: 1.6
Overall Grade: 1.6
4. Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez defeated WWE Intercontinental Champion "The World's Largest Athlete" The Big Show by pinfall after Cody Rhodes interfered and hit Big Show with the Beautiful Disaster.
Mr. V: Del Rio's quickness and Show's power were showcased well in this match. Show was great in-peril while Del Rio worked on the leg. Del Rio looked very swift and agile. He belongs once again in the world title picture, while Big Show continues his underrated feud with Rhodes. Grade: 2.0
Jason N.: Good little match from these two. Another pairing that has good chemistry and Show loses nothing here since it was due to Rhodes interference as a way to continue that feud. Grade: 2.4
Overall Grade: 2.2
5. Ryback defeated Denny Lerman by pinfall with the Running Muscle Buster.
Mr. V: Ryback wins via flawless victory. Might as well make his in-ring music the theme to Mortal Kombat. Grade: 0.9
Jason N.: I love Ryback squashes. That is all. Grade: 1.0
Overall Grade: 0.95
6. 6-Man Tag: WWE World Heavyweight Champion "The Great White" Sheamus, "The Viper" Randy Orton & WWE Intercontinental Champion "The World's Largest Athlete" The Big Show(subbing for the Great Khali) defeated Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan & "The World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry by pinfall when Orton pinned Henry with the RKO.
Mr. V: The match had a good finish to take Henry out. The heels in this match had a great game plan. Everyone had a unique talent in this match. I really enjoyed the hot tag work by Orton and Sheamus while The Big Show did a great job selling injuries from his encounter with Del Rio. The flow was great and this was one of my favorite matches of the week. Grade: 2.9 Jason N.: Really, really fun main event. Everyone worked hard, especially Mark Henry, who has definitely gotten himself back to where he was before he lost the title at the end of the year. In the Top 3 matches for this week no doubt. Grade: 2.6
Overall Grade: 2.75
The Honor Roll
Distinguished Honors-: CM Punk vs. Mark Henry, WWE Monday Night Raw Supershow, April 16.
High Honors-: Sheamus, Randy Orton, and The Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, and Cody Rhodes, WWE Friday Night Smackdown, April 20.
Honors-: Lord Tensai vs. John Cena, WWE Monday Night Raw Supershow, April 16.
The Grade Book
A+; A; or A-:
B: CM Punk vs. Mark Henry (RAW).
B-: Sheamus, Randy Orton, and The Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, and Cody Rhodes (Smackdown).
C+: Lord Tensai vs. John Cena (RAW); Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy (IMPACT Wrestling);.
C: Mike Dalton vs. Sakamoto (FCW); Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston (RAW); Percy Watson vs. Johnny Curtis (NXT); Tyler Reks vs. Curt Hawkins (NXT); Eve Torres vs. Kelly Kelly (Superstars); R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger (Superstars); Crimson and Bully Ray vs. Austin Aries and Matt Morgan (IMPACT Wrestling); Tara, Brooke Tessmacher, Mickie James, and Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Sarita, and Rosita (IMPACT Wrestling); Devon vs. Gunner (IMPACT Wrestling); Alberto Del Rio vs. The Big Show (Smackdown).
C-: Xavier Woods, CJ Parker, and Jason Jordan vs. Brad Maddox, Jake Carter, and Corey Graves (FCW); Dean Ambrose vs. James Bronson (FCW); Maxine vs. Kaitlyn (NXT); Tara vs. Winter (Xplosion); Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles (IMPACT Wrestling); Titus O'Neil and Darren Young vs. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso (NXT).
D+, D or D-: Raquel Diaz vs. Audrey Marie (FCW); Big E Langston vs. Jiro (FCW); Kassius Ohno vs. Benicio Salazar (FCW); Santino Marella vs. David Otunga (RAW); The Great Khali and The Big Show vs. Epico and Primo (RAW); Jinder Mahal vs. Yoshi Tatsu (Superstars); Brodus Clay vs. Hunico (Smackdown); Ryback vs. Danny Lerman (Smackdown).
F or INC: Kane vs. Zack Ryder (RAW); Brodus Clay vs. Dolph Ziggler (RAW); AJ vs. Natalya (Smackdown).
Our Weekly TV Rankings (Week 9)
1) WWE NXT
2) TNA Impact Wrestling
3) WWE Friday Night Smackdown
4) Florida Championship Wrestling
5) WWE Monday Night RAW Supershow
6) WWE Superstars
Overall Rankings after Week 9
1) WWE NXT (9 pts.)
2) TNA Impact Wrestling (7 pts.)
3) Ring of Honor on Sinclair (5 pts.)
4) WWE Monday Night RAW Supershow (3 pts.)
5) WWE Superstars (2 pts.)
6) WWE Smackdown (1 pt.)
7) Florida Championship Wrestling (0 pts.)
That ends this week's edition of the Grade Book on Wrestleview.com. Give us your feedback by e-mailing either Mr. V or Jason Namako at the e-mails below. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out all the other columns on Wrestleview. You are...DISMISSED!
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