I'm probably never going to complain about a show that starts off with a Chris Jericho promo, and that won't change tonight. Jericho's on fire, running down DX and Team Raw, JTG interrupts - minus Shad - which Jericho immediately notices. "Where's your partner, shouldn't he be in jail?" Shad's out sick, which doesn't surprise Jericho, he must have caught something from the "parasites and germ incubators" in the audience. Hilarious. Eric Escobar, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Kane all make their way to the ring, and it looks like Team Smackdown is in just as bad of shape as Team Raw was at the start of Monday night. Jericho takes a page from DX's book and puts them in a 5-on-4 handicap match, but if they lose, the guy who got pinned isn't the only one replaced, the ENTIRE team will be.
Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, JTG & Eric Escobar vs. Matt Hardy, Finlay, R-Truth & The Hart Dynasty is the opening contest and a much better match than the 5-on-5 we saw Monday night. Decent length, lots of back and forth action, and the big shocker, Hardy's team won! That's right, Smackdown's D-List is out, and they now actually look like the pose a threat to Team Raw. It makes sense, without both members of Cryme Tyme, the only member of the Smackdown team with any credibility is Dolph Ziggler. Shame that Dolphy Z has to get replaced, but he's expendable if it means getting guys like this on board. So that's the good news, Team Smackdown looks legitimate, but now for the bad. This Smackdown is the last show before the PPV, so the new team has no hype whatsoever. I suppose we'll see how it plays out tonight at Bragging Rights.
Scott Armstrong wants no part of CM Punk's dastardly plan in tonight's submission match, but just as he's storming out, he runs into Vince McMahon. The boss wants to talk, that can't be good.
John Morrison vs. Mike Knox was fairly short, but a great tune-up match for Morrison heading into Bragging Rights. Knox dealt out some nasty offense in this one, but after missing his crossbody and getting tangled up in the ropes (it looked a lot grosser than how it sounds too), Morrison capitalized and nailed Starship Pain for the win. If the Friday Night Delight and his former tag partner bring their A-games tonight, I think we're looking at a potential show-stealer.
The New Team Smackdown is backstage, they let their co-captains know that they're all on the same page. Pretty crazy that The Hart Dynasty & R-Truth will both be a part of a PPV main event.
Mae Young slapping Michelle McCool? I could watch that every week. The funny thing is, even at 86-years-old, I'm pretty sure Mae could still beat the hell out of McTwiggy.
Batista & Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho & Kane is the 9pm main event and a solid tag match all around. Definitely too much Batista & Kane and not enough Jericho & Mysterio, but I enjoyed this one, especially the ending. Kane had Batista in a bad way, but Rey attacks and takes a chokeslam for the team, allowing Batista to recover and hit a spear for the win. No shame in losing to Batista & Mysterio, and these two need to look strong heading into the Fatal Four Way, which has been criminally underhyped.
Loved the next backstage segment with Vince McMahon, Teddy Long, Scott Armstrong & CM Punk. Punk is hilariously obnoxious, bipolar Vince is trying to convince Scott Armstrong to play ball by hinting that he might induct "Bullet" Bob Armstrong into the Hall of Fame and Teddy Long just looks terrified.
Mickie James vs. Layla was pretty standard, but much better than anything we'd been seeing on Smackdown in recent months. Mickie picks up the win with the Mick Kick, and I suspect more high-profile matches on the way for her on Friday Nights.
Main event time! CM Punk vs. The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Submission Match with Scott Armstrong as the referee and Teddy Long at ringside... now I'm out of breath. The deck is stacked against The Undertaker here, but that doesn't keep us from getting an extremely entertaining match from start to finish. Punk gets increasingly frustrated with The Phenom's resiliency and demands T-Lo to give him a chair, but the SD GM hands it to Scott Armstrong, Punk swipes the chair and gets it kicked into his face! Taker turns his attention to Armstrong - Chokeslam! Punk seizes the opportunity and clocks Taker with the chair and locks in the Anaconda Vice, T-Lo calls for another ref, put Taker reverses into Hell's Gate and Punk taps! Taker retains his title heading into Bragging Rights, but can he hold onto it when he has to face CM Punk again, as well as Batista and Rey Mysterio? We'll find out in just a few hours! Make sure you check back at Kick-Out!! throughout the day for ongoing Bragging Rights coverage!