Chris Jericho Interrupted World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker
It isn't often that Undertaker cuts extended promos, but his mic work was good here as he hyped up his upcoming World Heavyweight Championship defense at Survivor Series. Of course, it got better once Jericho interrupted him and make a big deal (as he should have) about how they had never faced off or even crossed paths prior to that point. That would set up a one-on-one encounter between them I believe on the following week's episode.
Dolph Ziggler and The Hart Dynasty def. Intercontinental Champion John Morrison and Cryme Tyme
Ziggler and Morrison had been involved in an Intercontinental Championship feud for months, so it made sense for them to further that storyline in a six-man tag team match without making much contact (saving that for their Intercontinental title rematch the next week on SmackDown). Speaking of said rematch, Ziggler winning here was important in giving him a boost of momentum before his shot at the strap. As for this match, it was fun while it lasted.
Josh Mathews Interviewed Rey Mysterio
Mysterio was still in disbelief about Batista betraying him at Bragging Rights and ending their friendship, so this was a great way to further that story. Mysterio has never been known as an amazing talker, but he held his own here and did well with what he had to say. I was glad that he was surprised by Batista's actions but also promised to get even by showing a darker side of him as well when they went one-on-one at Survivor Series.
Beth Phoenix def. Brittany Carter
Phoenix was fresh off being traded to SmackDown from Raw and wasn't involved in anything of note on the blue brand for her first few months there, but at least she was able to maintain momentum by squashing local athletes. That concept had long been done away with by that point in WWE, so it was cool to see it return and especially for someone like Phoenix who had a lot of power moves in her offense that the crowd was impressed by.
Drew McIntyre def. Jimmy Wang Yang
Before the bout even started, Yang was shoved off the top rope by McIntyre, and McIntyre claimed that he wasn't worthy competition. Yang demanded the bell be rang anyway, and The Chosen One made short work of him as he should have. McIntyre was fresh off his debut match against R-Truth at Hell in a Cell and was in need of a solid storyline, but giving him dominant victories like this one definitely helped.
Rey Mysterio def. Mike Knox
These familiar foes had a handful of matches against each other earlier in the year, so they already had chemistry together. Thus, it wasn't a surprise that this was a nice little sprint with Knox on offense for the better part of the bout. Unfortunately, Knox hardly meant anything by this point in the year, so the outcome was never in doubt, but it did give Mysterio a win ahead of his Survivor Series match with Batista.
R-Truth def. CM Punk
The week prior to this, Punk embarrassed referee Scott Armstrong in a match after he blamed Armstrong for costing him the World Heavyweight Championship. Once Armstrong was assigned to this contest, you knew exactly what was going to happen. It was a decent match, but the focus was clearly on Armstrong costing Punk the victory by counting too quickly, not Truth's big win that should have propelled him up the card.
Matt Hardy def. Batista by Disqualification
Batista made for a tremendous heel, but his matches early on during this heel run were boring because it was all about him dominating his opponent, just not in exciting fashion. Essentially, this was a glorified squash match up until the end when Hardy hit a few hope spots before Batista got himself disqualified. It did give him a ton of heat, though, so it was successful in that respect.
This was the first WWE show I ever attended, and despite being sick beyond belief, I was adamant on attending and had an entertaining time. I hadn't it seen it since, so watching it back on the WWE Network was a treat. Other than my own nostalgia, this was a pretty flat edition of SmackDown that didn't offer much exciting in-ring action, though the build to Batista vs. Mysterio was well done and the next week's episode was hyped up effectively.
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