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Smackdown: Making 7
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


SD! tonight revolves around forming the team that will represent the blue brand at Bragging Rights, which means a bunch of qualifying matches on top of our main event of Rey Mysterio vs. Batista. It should be a good night.

Before the show begins, we get a memorial screen for Capt. Lou Albano. Glad that WWE did this.

We kick things off with Chris Jericho discussing the potential for his team, when Kane comes out to declare that he and Jericho are co-captains. Jericho is intimidated, which really doesn't make much sense to me, since Kane has basically been the fall guy in WWE for the last year or so, up until he put Khali out of action a couple weeks back. Such is life though, and two spots are now filled on the Smackdown Seven (nice title by the way!).

Match 1 - Dolph Ziggler vs. Finlay vs. Mike Knox (Triple Threat, BR Qualifier)

I don't like to say that matches are predictable, but this one's finish definitely could be seen miles away, as the International Object gets into the mix and ends up leading to Knox taking the pin after Ziggler pushes Finlay away. When will the bookers realize that the shillelagh makes Finlay look weak?

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Match 2 - Cryme Tyme vs. Hart Dynasty (BR Qualifier)

I think this is match 795 between these tandems, which means that there's good chemistry, but it's getting as repetitive as a top 40 radio station's playlist. It's also worth noting that without Eve Torres, it seemed like there was a smaller pop for CT.

This was a solid but unspectacular match, which ended with JTG pinning Tyson Kidd.

Winners: Cryme Tyme

To the back we go next and Jericho is pumping up Michelle McCool as the Smackdown rep for what looks to be a Divas SD vs. Raw match at Bragging Rights. Mickie James then walks in and throws her name into the pool for who should represent the brand. McCool then walks away in disgust and right into Beth Phoenix, who promises that McCool won't be Women's champ for long. Thank you Beth!

Elsewhere in the arena, Vince McMahon is chatting on his cell when CM Punk approaches to protest the Fatal Fourway. McMahon eventually agrees to a second staging of the submission match from Breaking Point, which will take place next week. Methinks Punk gets screwed in seven days.

Match 3 - Eric Escobar vs. Matt Hardy (BR Qualifier)

Vickie Guerrero is at ringside, naturally, for this very short match, which is won unimpressively by Escobar. Couldn't get a feel for this guy from this short bout, but I don't think he's going to be the bigtime heel Smackdown needs.

Winner: Eric Escobar

We then head into the highlight of the show, nay, the highlight of the month -- the return of The Dirt Sheet. Sorry dudes and dudettes, I'm not going to spoil the fun for you. Best interview segment of the year, hands down.

Match 4 - Drew McIntyre vs. R-Truth (BR Qualifier)

Too bad that we finally see these two mix it up here rather than on pay-per-view. The buildup had been pretty decent.

I'll say this though - McIntyre and Truth did show some promise here and the feud should continue nicely after McIntyre gets the cheap win via countout.

Winner: Drew McIntyre

We then scroll through a couple videos to kill a bit of time before...

Match 5 - Batista vs. Rey Mysterio

Surprisingly better than one would expect from what on paper would be a severe clash of styles, Batista and Rey actually looked good in the ring together. The match ends with Rey getting a sick-looking Rana on Batista for the pin.

Winner: Rey Mysterio

Post-match, Batista protests, saying his shoulder was up, which indeed it was. In the end, he and Rey hug it out. Batista leaves the ring to let Rey celebrate... and eat a Go 2 Sleep out of nowhere from Punk.

Well, it wasn't the best episode of Smackdown of the year, but it accomplished the mission of setting up Bragging Rights pretty well. Well done Smackdown crew.

Jon Waldman is not Marty Jannetty. He is Mork, and he is awesome. Catch Jon on The Great Canadian Talk Show this Monday at 4:00pm central to learn more about the launch of SLAM! Wrestling: Shocking Stories from the Squared Circle in Winnipeg.