Tony Chimel, returning in the role of Smackdown ring announcer, opens the show by introducing Teddy Long! T-Lo is back in total face mode and congratulates The Undertaker on winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Hell in a Cell. He teases John Cena coming to Smackdown if he loses at Bragging Rights, which prompts an angry CM Punk to interrupt. Punk is not happy that his boss is talking about a Raw wrestler (uh oh dirtsheets, he said "wrestler," I bet he'll end up in the doghouse for that!) when he should be talking about giving Punk his rematch. Punk demands another submission match with Scott Armstrong as the referee and Teddy Long at ringside, but before Teddy can respond, Vince McMahon decides to weigh in. When's the last time Vince was on Smackdown this much? Vince announces T-Lo's plans for Bragging Rights (which I feel like are schizophrenic Vince's plans): a Fatal Four Way for the World Title, The Undertaker vs. CM Punk vs. Batista vs. Rey Mysterio! I'm down with that.
Speaking of Rey Rey, Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho is our opening contest this evening... thank you! As always, I'm never going to complain when these guys are in the ring together, especially after a series of Match of the Year candidates in 2009 (which reminds me, I need to do a September Match of the Month). In all honesty, this was probably the worst match these two have had against each other this year, but that still doesn't keep it from being one of the best free TV matches of the year either, that's just how good they are. Mysterio picks up a huge win here and builds momentum heading into Bragging Rights.
Eve vs. Michelle McCool... next! Seriously Smackdown, fix the Women's Division!
Vickie Guerrero is not pleased that Eric Escobar isn't getting any in-ring action and blasts Teddy Long for his management style. Wonder if Vickie's angling to get her old job back?
Dolph Ziggler gets ANOTHER shot at the Intercontinental Title, taking on the champ, John Morrsion just five days after Hell in a Cell. What is this guy doing to get all these shots aside from constantly losing? It's time to put Mr. Ziggles' quest for the IC gold on the back burner because he obviously can't seal the deal. Plenty of other guys for Morrison to wrestle - R-Truth, Mike Knox, Finlay, let's even see what Drew McIntyre can offer - but for now, I'm tired of watching Ziggler blow opportunity after opportunity. In fairness to Dolphy Z, Maria kinda screwed this one up for him by accidentally ruining his chance to cheat, but if Maria is costing you matches, then I definitely have to question your ability to hang with the big boys.
Drew McIntyre & Kane vs. R-Truth & Matt Hardy was an odd combination, they could've called this one the Battle of Four Guys That We Might Push, But Have No Clue What To Do With Right Now. Hardy surprisingly is the one to take the clean fall here after falling victim to McIntyre's nasty double-arm DDT, but since the Scottish Superstar is the only one in this match with any momentum, I guess it makes sense.
Awesome promo from The Undertaker, it's a rare treat to hear him talk at all anymore, but an uninterrupted promo from The Phenom was a nice treat. Loved Taker's reasoning behind wanting the World Title, so that he can lure in "wayward souls" who are tempted by fame and fortune. I really hope all those rumors are bogus, I can't imagine a WWE without Undertaker, he's just too bad ass.
Big main event tonight, CM Punk vs. Batista, and a pretty good match too. I think these two have a lot of potential for great in-ring chemistry, but WWE's going to need to let them loose in a big match situation to find out. And of course, CM Punk (who's in the dog house, ya know!) is the first guy to beat Batista in singles competition since he returned from injury. Sure it was by count-out, but a win's a win! Batista doesn't take too kindly to it and powerbombs Punk after the match, but that just shows he's a bad sport!
Pretty good Smackdown, even though the focus was almost entirely on the main event scene. WWE needs to sort out what the plan is for guys like Matt Hardy, Kane, and Drew McIntyre while figuring out the next move for Dolph Ziggler and John Morrison. Right now, I just feel like a lot of guys are twiddling their thumbs, waiting for their big break. With Jeff Hardy gone, Edge injured and Chris Jericho spending more time on Raw, this should be the chance for someone to step up, but I'm just not sure who that's going to be or when (if?) it's going to happen.