Nine days before WWE Bragging Rights, the 530th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Rupp Arena at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.
Quick Match Results
- Bragging Rights Qualifying Match: Triple Threat: Dolph Ziggler def. Finlay & Mike Knox by pinning Mike Knox following a shillelagh shot by Finlay to earn a spot on Team SD.
- Bragging Rights Qualifying Match: Cryme Tyme def. The Hart Dynasty by JTG pinning Tyson Kidd following the straight jacket neckbreaker to join Team SmackDown.
- Bragging Rights Qualifying Match: Eric Escobar (in his debut match) (with Vickie Guerrero) def. Matt Hardy by roll-up with the tights to join Team SmackDown.
- Final Bragging Rights Qualifying Match: Drew McIntyre def. R-Truth by Count-Out to join Team SmackDown.
- Rey Mysterio def. Batista by roll-up.
- Rey Mysterio Vs. Batista
- Cryme Tyme Vs. The Hart Dynasty
- Drew McIntyre Vs. R-Truth
- Dolph Ziggler Vs. Finlay Vs. Mike Knox
- Eric Escobar Vs. Matt Hardy
On a night with major Bragging Rights implications, SmackDown kicked off with the General Manager of SmackDown, Theodore Long, who proclaimed that he is in charge of making sure that Team SmackDown beats Team RAW at Bragging Rights and that he made the decision to name Chris Jericho as the team captain for SmackDown. The team captain then came out and proclaimed that Long made the "right decision" in selecting him as the captain. The Unified Tag Team Champion then stated that, after he loses at Bragging Rights, John Cena will want to come to SmackDown, but that he is "the man" on SmackDown and that Cena will have to "go through" him to succeed. Jericho then states that he needs a team that will "listen" to him and then proclaimed that Team SmackDown will beat Team RAW at Bragging Rights. The confident team captain then took out the new D-Generation X book and claimed that the book was "full of lies" before ripping the book to shreds and declaring that he, and Team SmackDown, will do the same to DX and Team RAW at Bragging Rights. Jericho was then interrupted by "The Big Red Machine" Kane, who bestowed it upon himself to be the co-captain of Team SmackDown! An intimidated Chris Jericho agreed with Kane and claimed that he was getting ready to announce that himself. "The Big Red Monster" then declared that Team RAW will "go up in flames" at Bragging Rights. We now know two of the seven Superstars that will fill out Team SmackDown. Who will be the five SmackDown Superstars that join Kane & Chris Jericho?
The opening match of the night was a Triple Threat qualifying match to determine the third SmackDown Superstar that will be a part of Team SmackDown at Bragging Rights as Dolph Ziggler, Finlay, & Mike Knox did battle. The end of the match came when Finlay was able to get a hold of his trusty shillelagh and clock "Monstrous" Mike Knox with it, knocking the big man down and out. When it looked like Finlay was going to pin Knox and head to Bragging Rights, an opportunistic Dolph Ziggler pulled Finlay out of the ring and pinned Knox to win the match! With this win, Dolph Ziggler joins Kane & Chris Jericho on Team SmackDown. Who else will join the team?
Next up was a tag team qualifying match where both members of the winning team would join Team SmackDown at Bragging Rights. The two rival teams of Cryme Tyme and The Hart Dynasty squared off, but in the end, it was Cryme Tyme who got the win and earned their spot on Team SmackDown as they join Kane, Chris Jericho, & Dolph Ziggler. Five Superstars have qualified and two remain. Who will be the final two?
Backstage, CM Punk catches up with WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon and pleads his case to "The Boss" about his one-on-one rematch for the World Heavyweight Title against The Undertaker. While Mr. McMahon refused to call of the Fatal 4-Way at Bragging Rights, he did grant CM Punk his one-on-one rematch against The Undertaker next week. However, at Punk’s request, it will not be a normal one-on-one bout as it will be a rematch of the controversial title match at Breaking Point as The Undertaker will defend the World Heavyweight Title against CM Punk in a Submission Match with General Manager Theodore Long at ringside and with Scott Armstrong as the referee! With the deck clearly stacked against The Undertaker, can "The Phenom" survive as World Heavyweight Champion next week or will CM Punk regain the gold under his requested stipulations?
Then it was time to decide the sixth Superstar that would be joining Team SmackDown at Bragging Rights as Matt Hardy went one-on-one with the debuting Eric Escobar, with girlfriend Vickie Guerrero at ringside. In classic Vickie Guerrero fashion, Vickie faked a leg injury on the apron to momentarily distract Matt Hardy and allow Escobar to run Matt Hardy into the ring post and roll-up Matt and hook the tights to pick up the win! Regardless of the devious end of the match, Eric Escobar made a very impressive debut as he defeated the veteran Matt Hardy to earn a spot on Team SmackDown at Bragging Rights! Kane, Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler, Cryme Tyme, & now Eric Escobar will be a part of Team SmackDown, but who will join them as the seventh and final member of the team?
SmackDown also saw the return of the Slammy Award winning show, The Dirt Sheet, as Bragging Rights opponents, The Miz & John Morrison, presented the show. As one would expect, insults were hurled back and forth between the two former tag team partners. After the two champions sat down, John Morrison asked The Miz if Miz’s United States title belt was real or if he bought it. Miz responded by declaring that he will prove that he was the star of their tag team at Bragging Rights. The Intercontinental Champion then referred to The Miz as "husky" and a "conformist". Miz then said he would prove his worth in nine nights at Bragging Rights. Morrison then declared that SmackDown is better and called RAW a "cheap version of Saturday Night Live". Miz responds by declaring that he is the "most entertaining" Superstar in the WWE. Stating that "words are cheap", John Morrison then got out of his seat and challenged Miz to "do something". The intense Intercontinental Champion then got into the face of the United States Champion, but The Miz backed out of a potential fight with Morrison and left the ring! Is The Miz afraid of John Morrison or does The Miz feel that the fighting is best kept for Bragging Rights?
Six members were known and one remained as the final qualifying match for Team SmackDown took place between bitter rivals R-Truth and Drew McIntyre. In a rematch from WWE Hell in a Cell, McIntyre made the back of R-Truth his focus and, once on the outside, swept the legs out from under R-Truth which caused R-Truth’s back to smack the steel steps! McIntyre then slid back into the ring as R-Truth just barely missed beating the count as McIntyre won the match via count-out! Team SmackDown is now complete with Chris Jericho, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, Cryme Tyme, Eric Escobar, & Drew McIntyre filling the team. How will Team SmackDown fare against D-Generation X, Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, & Mark Henry? Which brand will reign supreme at Bragging Rights?
World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker made an appearance with a brief, but powerful, message to CM Punk for next week as "The Deadman" proclaimed that history will not repeat itself next week and that he will read Punk his "last rites" next week on SmackDown. Will Undertaker’s prediction come true or will "The Phenom" no longer reign over SmackDown as the champion come next week?
Then it was time for the main event as best friends went one-on-one as Batista faced off with Rey Mysterio. Regardless of how questionable it was, Rey Mysterio did manage to roll-up Batista to get the upset and gain major momentum for the Fatal 4-Way Match at Bragging Rights. Even though Batista had his shoulder up before the three-count, the referee did not see it and the decision stood. After the initial confusion and disappointment, Batista embraced Rey and showed that they are still friends. However, after Batista exited the ring, CM Punk rushed in and hit the GTS on Rey Mysterio before quickly escaping through the crowd! Batista then came in to check on his fallen friend. How will Batista respond to Punk’s attack on Rey? Who will be World Heavyweight Champion after next week’s SmackDown?