In memory of Louis Vincent Albano 1933 ? 2009. Captain Lou was one of the greats who left an indelible mark on the wrestling business and he will be missed. Often imitated, never duplicated.
?Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event?? The WWE video leads us into the show.
We open up with the Smackdown video, which has our new Divas worked in, and we?re brought into the arena with a great pyrotechnics display. Todd Grisham welcomes us to the show and promotes Rey Mysterio vs. Batista. Also the Dirt Sheet returns. We now see Michael Cole sitting at the announcer’s table, filling in for JR.
General Manager Theodore Long walks out to the stage and promotes Bragging Rights. In addition to the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship matches, there will be a seven on seven tag team match. Team Raw takes on Team Smackdown to determine who the superior show is. Long says as General Manager he intends to uphold this show’s great history and heritage, and also to insure that Smackdown winds up the dominant show. Long made a tough decision to counter Raw’s team of DX, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, and Big Show. Long introduces the Captain of Team Smackdown Chris Jericho.
Chris Jericho walks out and rips the microphone out of Long’s hands before walking to the ring. Jericho says it’s about time Long put aside his prejudices after years of incompetence, he made him the captain of Smackdown. Jericho says as the face of the show he has to address the possibility of John Cena returning. When Randy Orton beats John Cena at Bragging Rights he will be banished from Raw, meaning he?ll want to return home to Smackdown. Jericho lets Cena know that he is the man on the show. No one has been more successful or dominant in the show’s ten year history and if Cena wants to come on the show then he has to go through him. Jericho says he’s led the locker room by example, honesty, and integrity. He’s the cornerstone of the show and is the best in the world at what he does.
As the Captain of Team Smackdown it’s his responsibility to put together a team that will listen to his every word and allow him to lead them to the Promised Land. They will beat Raw that’s captained by two delinquents who have written a piece of flotsam and jetsam. Jericho holds up the DX book. Jericho says they?re two miscreants who are more interested in pandering to all us hypocrites and pushing all their useless merchandise. Jericho lets us know what he thinks of them by ripping the book up. Jericho says that’s the same thing he?ll do to them when he meets them at Bragging Rights. That was pretty funny.
All of a sudden the stage explodes and the lights turn red. Kane makes his way out to the ring and gets in Jericho’s face. Kane says it’s not just Jericho’s team and they need to talk. Kane says he’s been listening to Jericho’s every word and has come out to tell him that he is now the Co-Captain of Team Smackdown. Jericho, looking intimidated, says of course he is and he was thinking the same thing. Jericho claims he was just going to announce that because the combination of Kane’s strength and his immense intelligence the Raw Team doesn?t stand a chance. Kane says as far as he’s concerned, this book, DX, and the rest of the Raw Team can all go up in flames. Kane then makes the ring posts explode as Jericho smiles.
Two best friends will collide in the main event as Batista takes on Rey Mysterio.
Bragging Rights Qualifying Triple Threat Match
Finlay vs. Mike Knox vs. Dolph Ziggler
The bell rings and no one is too anxious to make the first move. Ziggler tries to form a team with Knox to take out Finlay but Knox just hits a short-arm clothesline. Knox charges Finlay and Finlay throws him out of the ring. Finlay then takes him down with a baseball slide. Finlay hits an uppercut on Ziggler and bounces him off the turnbuckle. Finlay sends him into the corner and hits a running shoulder tackle. Finlay sends him again into the ropes but lowers his head and eats a kick. Ziggler clotheslines him over the top rope. Ziggler gets on the apron and Knox comes flying out of nowhere and knocks him off.
Knox gets on the apron and jumps off so Finlay pulls the apron out, only he doesn?t pull it out enough and Knox appears to have hurt himself as he crumbles to the floor. His leg might be hurt. Finlay stomps his head before bouncing his face on the apron. Ziggler all of a sudden takes Finlay out with a dropkick on the outside before rolling Knox in the ring and covering him for a two count. Ziggler mounts Knox and punches him before dropping a big elbow for a one count broken up by Finlay.
Finlay hits a short-arm clothesline on Ziggler and drops an elbow on Knox. Finlay hits Ziggler with an uppercut and body slams him for a two count. Finlay hits a head-butt and drives Ziggler into the corner when he starts punching. Finlay sits him on the top rope and climbs up for a superplex but Knox comes from behind and gets Finlay in electric chair position and drops him. Ziggler then comes off the top rope with a splash on Finlay. I may be looking too much into this but perhaps Knox brought him down because of his leg. It looks like that should have been a tower of doom spot. Ziggler covers Finlay for a two count broken up by Knox. Knox hits Ziggler before hitting a nice suplex for a near fall. Knox then covers Finlay for a two count. Knox gets up and gets hit by a fame-ass-er from Ziggler for a one count broken up by Finlay.
Ziggler eats an uppercut from Finlay and a few more after that. Ziggler comes back with punches and a dropkick, getting a near fall. Ziggler sends Finlay into the corner and runs into his boot. Finlay hits the Rolling Hills on Ziggler and hits it on Knox! Finlay waits for Knox to get up but Knox catches him and slams him in the corner. Ziggler then splashes Finlay and Knox splashes them both in the corner. Knox hits a weak bicycle kick on Ziggler. Knox goes into the ropes and hits a cross-body on Finlay but Finlay hits him in the face with the shillelagh at the same time! Finlay covers but Ziggler throws him out of the ring and picks up the win for himself.
Winner by Pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Match Rating: * ?
So far Team Smackdown consists of Chris Jericho, Kane, and Dolph Ziggler.
Still to come tonight is the return of the Dirt Sheet with John Morrison and the Miz, both opponents at Bragging Rights.
Did you know as Smackdown celebrates its ten year anniversary, it has broadcast more shows than ER, Law & Order, Cheers, and the Simpsons?
Tony Chimel is shown in the ring announcing this is a Bragging Rights Qualifying Tag Team Match.
Bragging Rights Qualifying Tag Team Match
Cryme Tyme vs. The Hart Dynasty
The match begins with David Hart Smith and Shad Gaspard starting it out. Smith immediately knocks JTG off the apron. Shad intimidates Tyson Kidd and gets dropkicked in the knee by Smith. Smith hits a wishbone split and works on the knee a bit before tagging in Kidd. Kidd wraps Shad’s legs around the ring post in a Sharpshooter! Unfortunately that gets no reaction from the crowd, half of whom probably weren?t even a thought when Bret Hart was in WWE. Kidd tags Smith back in and Smith works on the knee some more. Smith holds a leg bar on until Shad kicks him off. Smith prevents him from tagging in Kidd and he locks on an ankle lock. Batista was using that move a few weeks ago. I bet he?ll be reprimanded for that. Smith misses an elbow drop and runs into a back elbow. Shad tags in JTG and Smith tags in Kidd.
JTG ducks a clothesline and hits a flipping shoulder block. JTG hits a nice dropkick and knocks Smith off the apron as revenge. JTG sidesteps Kidd and hits a second rope face buster (Mug Shot) for a near fall. JTG goes to the ropes and stops before Smith hits him. Kidd rolls him up for a one count. When he kicks out Kidd goes into Smith, knocking him off the apron. Shad then dives off the apron with a clothesline on him. In the ring Kidd counters a Shout Out with a chicken-wing pin for a near fall. What a beautiful move. Kidd gets on the apron and snaps JTG off the top rope. Shad prevents Kidd from springboarding off the top rope for a second. Kidd springboards but JTG runs under him and hits the Shout Out for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Cryme Tyme
Match Rating: * ?
Cryme Tyme celebrates in the ring as the Hart Dynasty walks away. Team Smackdown is now Chris Jericho, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, and Cryme Tyme.
Later tonight we?ll see Batista take on Rey Mysterio.
Backstage Mickie James is in the office with Teddy Long and Michelle McCool. Mickie James says she’s happy to be on Smackdown. Jericho walks in and James tells him if he’s looking for someone to beat a Raw Diva than he should think about having her, since she’s beaten every Diva on Raw. Something tells me the officials don?t want that FAIL named Mickie James anywhere near a live camera. Michelle McCool walks away and right into Beth Phoenix, who tells her now that she’s on Smackdown she better not plan on keeping her title very long.
Elsewhere backstage Vince McMahon is talking on the phone (maybe to Shane McMahon?) when CM Punk walks up to him. Punk complains about the Fatal Four Way and says he should have a one on one return match with Undertaker. McMahon agrees and says that’s why Long is on probation. McMahon then says that he did like Punk’s idea for a return match from Montreal where Long, Punk and the referee conspired against Undertaker. McMahon won?t call off the Fatal Four Way but books that Submission Match with Scott Armstrong as the referee and Teddy Long as the referee for next week’s Smackdown. McMahon wishes Punk luck and continues talking on the phone.
We now will have another Bragging Rights Qualifying Match but first we?ll hear from Vickie Guerrero, who excuses herself on stage. Guerrero introduces he new boyfriend Eric Escobar. Eric Escobar comes out to zero reaction in some lame looking attire. He?ll face Matt Hardy.
Bragging Rights Qualifying Match
Eric Escobar vs. Matt Hardy
My favorite referee Charles Robinson will officiate this one. Hardy gets the crowd into it before locking up with Escobar. Hardy ducks a clothesline and gets a side headlock on. Escobar whips him off and goes for a hip toss, which Hardy blocks, and hits a backslide for a one count. Escobar goes for a suplex but Hardy gets an inside cradle for a one count. Michael Cole got really excited for that. Hardy gets a side headlock back on and Escobar backs him to the ropes. Hardy hits some punches but has a whip reversed on him and Escobar hits a back elbow. Escobar attacks him and covers for a one count. Escobar hits a clothesline for a two count.
Escobar traps Hardy in a chin lock. Hardy fights up so Escobar body slams him down. Escobar goes for a senton but misses. Hardy ducks a punch and hits the Side Effect for a near fall. Hardy goes to the second rope and comes off with a back elbow. Vickie Guerrero gets on the apron and distracts the referee by saying she hurt her ankle. Escobar sends Hardy into the ring post and grabs the tights to get the pin.
Winner by Pinfall: Eric Escobar
Match Rating: *
Eric Escobar celebrates in the ring with Vickie Guerrero. Team Smackdown is now Chris Jericho, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, Cryme Tyme, and Eric Escobar. One more spot remains open.
Coming up next is the return of the Dirt Sheet.
Howard Finkel’s voice is heard introducing the Dirt Sheet. Both men make separate entrances. In the ring is a carpet, half red and half blue. It looks pretty cool. John Morrison introduces himself and says at Bragging Rights he’s going to prove that being the Intercontinental Champion is far more superior than being the Miz. Morison then realizes Miz has a title and asks if he brought it on WWEShop.com. Miz introduces himself as our United States Champion. Morrison then welcomes us to the Dirt Sheet.
Miz puts over Bragging Rights, which will determine which show is more superior ? Raw or Smackdown. They?ll also find out which former tag team partner is more superior. Miz says everyone knows he was the star of that tag team. Throughout history pairs have broken up, with one going on to fame and fortune, while the other one fizzles into obscurity. For example Mork and Mindy ? Robin Williams and what’s her name? Then Bill and Ted ? Keanu Reaves cracked the Matrix and Bill went to the unemployment line, where Miz will go. The list goes on ? Wayne and Garth, Regis and Kathie Lee, and the Rockers. Miz says when they broke up Shawn Michaels became SHAWN MICHAELS while Marty Jannetty stayed the same. Miz says he’s Shawn Michaels and Morrison is Marty Jannetty.
Morrison says that’s impossible because Marty Jannetty didn?t have sweet merchandise like he does. Morrison says Miz? mom got on. Morrison says there’s two Marty Jannetty’s ? Marty Jannetty and Miz. Morrison says this is what happens when you don?t have a girlfriend but what has happened is Miz conformed. Miz had the courage to be himself and dress like a loser before showing a picture of Miz in his old attire. Now he’s a strange mixture of Michael Phelps, Mr. Ed, Pink, and Big Dick Johnson. When you put them all together you get the Miz.
Miz says he has great hair and women love his pearly whites. He also looks good in trunks and Morrison says he looks husky. Morrison asks the crowd to make some noise if they think he’s husky. Miz says they?re just jealous of his amazing body. Miz says at Bragging Rights he will prove that he is better than Morrison. Morrison asks why they should wait for Bragging Rights and challenges Miz right now. Miz says he won?t do that in a second rate city, state, and show. Morrison says Miz thinks Raw is the A-show but really it’s a cheap version of Saturday Night Live before asking if Big Bird is hosting next week. Morrison says if you want entertainment you watch Smackdown. Morrison says Miz is boring and Miz lets him know that he’s the most entertaining superstar in WWE. Miz says he carried Morrison for two years because he’s AWESOME. Morrison says he’s the Miz and all he does is run his mouth. Morrison says talk is cheap and he doesn?t want to hear about what Miz is going to do ? he wants to see him do something now.
Morrison gets up and knocks Miz out of his chair and dares him to take a shot at him. Morrison gets really intense and in Miz? face. Miz backs away and leaves the ring. Morrison says that’s what he thought would happen. Morrison says, ?See you at Bragging Rights, Jannetty.? Both raise their titles.
Still to come tonight is Batista vs. Rey Mysterio. We now see a video of Drew McIntyre’s attacks on R-Truth. They?ll face each other next.
Tonight we?ll have a message from the Undertaker to CM Punk.
Bragging Rights Qualifying Match
R-Truth vs. Drew McIntyre
The match begins and they circle the ring. They lock up and R-Truth pushes him away. R-Truth blocks a kick and punches McIntyre. R-Truth punches him in the corner and gets the crowd into it. McIntyre hits a kick and locks on a side headlock. McIntyre goes over and under R-Truth before being dropped by a hip toss. R-Truth dropkicks him out of the ring before hitting an over the top rope splash on McIntyre.
We come back from the break to see R-Truth trapped in a chin lock. During the break McIntyre sent R-Truth hard into the steps. R-Truth fights up but McIntyre stops him. McIntyre sends him to the ropes but R-Truth holds on. McIntyre charges and R-Truth sends him over the top rope. R-Truth gets him back in the ring and gets on the apron. R-Truth punches McIntyre from the apron but McIntyre smashes him into the ring post, getting him a two count. McIntyre mounts R-Truth and punches viciously before locking on a knee to the back chin lock. R-Truth fights up but gets body slammed down. McIntyre goes to the second rope and jumps right into R-Truth’s boots.
McIntyre charges but R-Truth sidesteps him and punches. R-Truth gets whipped to the corner and he slingshots over McIntyre. R-Truth splits under a clothesline and hits a nice spin kick for a near fall. R-Truth goes for his Scissors Kick but he misses. McIntyre goes for his Double Arm DDT but R-Truth slams him into the corner and clotheslines him over the top rope. R-Truth gets on the apron and gets pulled to the steel steps. McIntyre sweeps R-Truth’s legs on the steel steps and he hits the steps hard! That looked like it hurt because half of R-Truth’s back caught the steps and the other half was off! McIntyre gets in the ring and wins by count-out!
Winner by Count-Out: Drew McIntyre
Match Rating: * ?
Team Smackdown consists of Chris Jericho, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, Cryme Tyme, Eric Escobar, and Drew McIntyre.
Backstage Rey Mysterio is getting ready when Batista walks in. They shake hands and Batista says he’s not feeling good about this match next. Mysterio jokingly asks if he senses fear and says brothers fight all the time. Batista says tonight is one thing but at Bragging Rights it’s another. Batista says Mysterio knows how much the title means to him. Mysterio says it’s the same for him. Batista then says CM Punk and Undertaker are going to be a problem. Mysterio says this is one of the times he wishes they could work together. Mysterio says it’s a problem but he’s been World Champion before and he plans on walking out with that title. They laugh and shake hands.
Coming up next we?ll hear from the Undertaker, who has a special message for CM Punk.
Michael Cole thanks Maylene and the Sons of Disaster for their song ?Step Up (I?m On It),? the official theme song of Bragging Rights.
A video hypes up the Iron Man Match at Bragging Rights.
We now see a video from Breaking Point, when the new Montreal Screw Job went down. They?ll meet up again in the same match under the same circumstances next week on Smackdown.
Backstage Undertaker walks up in the purple light. ?It has been said that history has a way of repeating itself, but not in my yard. CM Punk, Theodore Long, Scott Armstrong ? once again the three of you have decided to tempt your own fates and rest the holy grail from death’s grip. I think you should know that once you enter Hell’s gate, there’s no turning back. CM Punk, at Bragging Rights I will take your soul, and in one week’s time I will give you your last rites.?
Next week we?ll have a Submission Match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Undertaker and CM Punk, with Scott Armstrong as the referee and Teddy Long at ringside.
Rey Mysterio vs. Batista
The bell rings and they shake hands. Mysterio gets a quick waist lock and Batista quickly breaks his grip. Mysterio goes for a cross-body but Batista catches him and lets him go. They laugh it off and go at it again. Mysterio wrenches the arm and Batista whips him into the ropes. Mysterio slides through his legs and smiles. Batista whips Mysterio and he slides to the outside. Mysterio quickly gets in the ring smiling and we?ll take a commercial at this stalemate.
We come back from the break to see Batista throw Mysterio off him from a lock up. During the break it’s been getting more competitive. They circle and lock up. Batista throws him down harder. Mysterio runs and dropkicks the knee. Mysterio kicks him and Batista throws him into the ropes. Batista charges into a drop toe hold putting him in position. Mysterio goes for the 619 but Batista avoids it and asks, ?Are you kidding me?? Batista kicks him hard and goes for a back suplex but Mysterio lands on his feet. Mysterio goes into the ropes and kicks Batista in the face. Mysterio goes back into the ropes and gets SPEARED big time! Mysterio rolls out of the ring to recover.
Mysterio gets back in the ring at the nine count and Batista covers him for a near fall. Batista picks Mysterio up and Mysterio fights back with punches. Batista throws him into the corner and hits some shoulder thrusts. Batista doesn?t look happy about the damage he’s causing yet he whips him into the ropes and hits a kitchen sink for a near fall. Batista locks on a reverse bear hug. Mysterio hammers out with some back elbows before going into the ropes, ducking a clothesline, and getting caught by Batista. Mysterio slides down and goes for a roll up but Batista doesn?t budge. Batista picks him up and goes for a powerslam but Mysterio slides off and chop blocks him. Mysterio kicks Batista in the head and dropkicks him into the ropes. Mysterio hits the 619 and goes for the West Coast Pop but Batista holds him! Batista goes for the Batista Bomb but Mysterio counters into a hurricanrana pin for the win, despite Batista having his shoulder up! The referee didn?t see it!
Winner by Pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Match Rating: ** ?
Batista argues with the referee but to no avail. Batista hugs Mysterio and raises his arm. Batista then leaves the ring to let Mysterio have his moment. Batista claps for Mysterio until CM Punk comes through the crowd and hits Mysterio with the GTS! Batista runs back to the ring but Punk escapes! Batista helps Mysterio up and they hug as the show closes.
Quick Match Results
Dolph Ziggler def. Finlay & Mike Knox*
Cryme Tyme def. The Hart Dynasty
Eric Escobar def. Matt Hardy
Drew McIntyre def. R-Truth via Count-Out
Rey Mysterio def. Batista
Bump of the Night: R-Truth getting swept on the steel steps!
Match of the Night: Rey Mysterio vs. Batista ** ?
This was a good, wrestling heavy edition of Smackdown. We had an interesting Main Event and some other pretty good matches. Unfortunately with a Pay Per View about a week away everything feels really rushed.
I really enjoyed the Main Event tonight. It was definitely interesting and could be a peek into a possible future. Batista and Mysterio started the match as friends but things heated up and got competitive. Mysterio beat Batista despite his shoulder being up. Batista, being a bit stale for a while now, needs to turn heel against Mysterio. I think that?d be huge and really rejuvenate him. Mysterio has been on a roll since coming back to Smackdown. He’s moving and wrestling better than I?ve seen him go in years. If anyone can help Batista out it’s him. It?d be like Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio. Good friends, better enemies!
I really liked the opening promo with Chris Jericho tonight. Jericho was hilarious once again as the cowardly heel he perfected. Jericho also really put over this Bragging Rights Tag Team match and made it seem more important than the Iron Man. That’s true skill. Kane being his co-captain definitely made things more interesting. This will be Kane’s first big match since Elimination Chamber. That’s a long time.
The Dirt Sheet segment was terrific. Miz and Morrison have such great chemistry and played off each other so well. John Morrison was particularly impressive here. Morrison for a while has been considered not one of the better serious promo guys but he showed a different side here tonight. Morrison was intense and you really felt emotion tonight. It was great and I can?t wait for their match.
There were some things that weren?t sparkling, though. Eric Escobar wasn?t impressive tonight in his debut. He came out with Vickie Guerrero, who still gets great heat, and gets no reaction. I found that surprising. Then he beat Matt Hardy who really shouldn?t be losing matches and is on the PPV. Maybe it’s like when MVP debuted where we haven?t seen anything yet but tonight made me a little nervous for Eric Escobar.
I?m happy Dolph Ziggler is on the PPV and I had no problem with the match he was in tonight. My question is what are they doing with Mike Knox? Knox was doing great with those Hannibal Lecter promos but then he was beaten week after week by Finlay and the shillelagh. Knox is still getting outsmarted by Finlay and is losing more and more steam with each loss. Find something for him to do because he can be great.
Final Rating: ** ?
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Be sure to check out yesterday’s Superstars recap.
Thanks for reading!