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COMMENT





Smackdown: The SD! seven switch
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Smackdown hits the airwaves tonight with Bragging Rights looming on the horizon. Those of us who are spoiler hounds know that tonight’s show is going to heavily impact the PPV; those who aren’t will by the time they finish this report. Ain’t life grand?

We’re hosted tonight by Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler, while Todd Grisham is on his honeymoon and Jim Ross recovers from Bells Palsy. We here at SLAM! wish Todd congratulations and JR a speedy recovery.

We kick things off with Chris Jericho in the ring, admitting that he needs to tweak his team up a bit. This inspires JTG to come out, who takes offense to Jericho’s verbiage. The two discuss Shad’s sickness for a bit before Vickie Guerrero comes out and introduces Eric Escobar, who talks a bit of smack. Dolph Ziggler is out next and runs his mouth too. Eventually Drew McIntyre joins the fray. All the egos end up getting ignited when Kane comes out, who declares that JTG, Drew, Dolph and Eric battle for their spots tonight against five other superstars, with their match coming up after the commercial break.

Match 1 – Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Eric Escobar & JTG vs. R-Truth, Tyson Kidd, Finlay, Matt Hardy & DH Smith

I really don’t like matches like this. There are just too many wrestlers on either side for anyone to realistically get worn down enough for a pin or submission. Hardy ends up getting the duke for his team after a *ugh* shillelagh shot from Finlay on JTG. Bad match.

Winners: R-Truth, Kidd, Finlay, Hardy & Smith

Backstage, Scott Armstrong, Teddy Long and CM Punk talk about the submission screwjob. Armstrong refuses to take part in a second screwjob tonight when Vince McMahon comes in.

Match 2 – John Morrison vs. Mike Knox

Pretty decent match between these two, which ends rather abruptly with Morrison hitting Starship Pain soon after Knox crashes into the ropes after missing a crossbody. Looked like they rushed to the finish there.

Winner: John Morrison

Post-match, Morrison gets on the stick and talks trash about The Miz.

Backstage we go then for a Team Smackdown v.2 pep rally of sorts.

Elsewhere, Mickie James and Mae Young are chatting when Michelle McCool comes in and talks about James not being on the Smackdown Diva team. Mickie then exits and Beth Phoenix comes in and reminds McCool that her title’s in jeopardy. Mae eventually slaps McCool.

Match 3 – Rey Mysterio & Dave Batista vs. Chris Jericho & Kane

In a change of pace, the heels are in control of the match going into the commercial break. Seriously – when was the last time you saw that?

The match itself is pretty strong overall. This is only somewhat surprising given how much these four men have battled each other over the years. Great chemistry overall which ends with Batista getting the spear on Kane for the duke.

Winners: Mysterio & Batista

Backstage, McMahon, Punk, Long and Armstrong chat, with McMahon dropping hints that “Bullet” Bob Armstrong may be a candidate for the Hall of Fame induction during WrestleMania weekend this year, trying to get Armstrong to fall into line with the new conspiracy.

Match 4 – Layla vs. Mickie James

Mediocre match won by James with her hook kick.

Winner: Mickie James

Cole and Lawler then transition to a video tribute of Capt. Lou Albano – the same as the one from Raw.

Match 5 – CM Punk vs. The Undertaker (World Title, Submission Match)

As Punk walks down the aisle with Armstrong and Long behind him, he cuts a promo on The Undertaker. Speaking of timekillers, The Undertaker comes out after a break, leaving about 15 minutes for match and wrap-up. ‘Taker, for those who keep track of this sort of thing, looks like he just did a fresh dyejob to both hair and goatee.

The match builds with the conspiracy reluctantly unfolding, including Armstrong and Long both unwillingly participating. Eventually, ‘Taker takes over anyways and eventually gets the Gogoplata on Punk.

Really, really bad match which succeeded in killing the angle quickly. I’m guessing Punk will be a non-factor on Sunday.

Winner: Undertaker

I’m actually stunned at how bad this episode of Smackdown was. Granted it's a go-home show, but this is probably the worst edition of Smackdown I've seen all year. Hopefully next week will be better. See you in seven.