November 17, 2009
Scott Criscuolo

Friday Night Smackdown!
November 13, 2009
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Todd Grisham and Matt Striker

OPENING ANIMATION

The Grish & the Teacher welcome us to Sheffield and Friday Night Smackdown from across the Pond! Tonight history will be made as for the first time in WWE history, World Heavyweight Champion Undertaker takes on Chris Jericho, we’ll have the contract signing for Rey Mysterio & Batista at Survivor Series, and John Morrison will defend the Intercontinental Title against Dolph Ziggler! First we have the Straight Edge former Champion to kick the show off.

CM Punk vs. R-Truth
Punk takes the mike and says look what’s become of the UK. This country ruled half the planet, and now the Brits are just as pathetic as Americans. They can pretend they’re not drinking at the pubs or smoking fancy cigarettes or chewing tobacco. He calls the Brits weak minded and they have no heart. Punk says they’re decomposing as he speaks, accusing him of being preachy. These Britons need the Straight Edge to get their life in order, and aspire to be as great as he is. He says he’s absolutely better than everyone else, and he’s perfect in every way. He says he’s filed a former complaint against referee Scott Armstrong for what happened last week with the fast count, and he’ll beat R-Truth tonight and at Survivor Series. Both these guys will be at the Survivor Series as R-Truth will be on Kofi Kingston’s team and CM Punk will be on Randy Orton’s team. Truth grabs the mike and says he wants to file a report against Punk for being a man. He won’t keep talkin, he’ll just entertain and shut him up. Truth says he tells other people about their lives and how Punk covers up his own deficiencies. Then he does the Whatsup and we’re off. Pretty good match, well paced as Punk was using some solid moves, like the Indian Death Lock. Punk however used some chicanery as he uses the rope for leverage to get the 3 count. Some say Punk might be getting punished a bit for that Undertaker nonsense a couple months ago, but he’s taking it in stride. WINNER: CM Punk (Grade: 2)

-Todd & Striker pimp Rey Mysterio’s new book: Behind the Mask. Then we go backstage where Mickie James & Layla have words as Mickie calls her Scary Spice again.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Mickie James vs. Natalya
Decent little match as I’m trying to notice if Mickie’s getting better in the ring and getting out of her slump. She seems to have lost a little weight as many thought she got a little chunky. During the match Michelle McCool and Layla come out and start chopping up Mickie’s clothes with a pair of scissors. That gives Natalya a chance to ratchet up the Sharpshooter and win the match. WINNER: Natalya (Grade: 2)

-We see the opening of tix for Wrestlemania XXVI in Phoenix and they interview some people in line. They say tix are on sale, but I’m not sure if there are many left.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

-Josh Matthews is backstage with the IC Champ, John Morrison. Morrison says he feels great, he’s the Friday Night Delight. He’s human, but he’ll take care of Dolph Ziggler tonight.

Drew McIntyre vs. Finlay
Drew has a mike and the Scotsman says 2 weeks ago he left Finlay in the ring because he wasn’t worthy. Tonight we’ll see if Finlay will like to fight him. This is a legit European rivalry between Scotland and Northern Ireland. They start grappling but Finlay starts clubbing and beating McIntyre down. I like the feud as it gives Finlay another young guy to work with and McIntyre gets some credibility. They continue clubbing each other and Scott Armstrong calls for the bell. WINNER: Double Disqualification (Grade: 1.5)

-Finlay goes after McIntyre with the Shillelagh but Drew Mac boots him then grabs the Shillelagh and cracks Finlay with it. He leaves the ring, then comes back, grabs the Irish fighting stick and whacks Finlay in the ribs.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

-Striker’s in the ring and we’re about to have the contract signing for Batista vs. Rey Mysterio for Survivor Series. Rey comes to the ring first, followed by Batista. Batista tries to make small talk, but Rey will have nothing of it. Batista signs, then Rey signs. Batista takes the mike and says he wants Rey to sign a “hold harmless” agreement, meaning that Batista can’t be sued for what he does to Rey at Survivor Series. Rey says no and Batista says he’s a coward and is hiding behind his mask. If he doesn’t sign this he will snap his neck right there. So Rey signs it, but says the intimidation won’t work, and Batista will be the one embarrassed. With that Rey flips the table over on Batista, runs over it and leaves the ring. Batista snaps and starts breaking the chairs.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Intercontinental Championship:
John Morrison © vs. Dolph Ziggler

Good trivia question: Striker says the Intercontinental Title changed hands 3 times in England. Think about it as we go along and I’ll give the answer at the end of the column. They grapple back and forth early. Ziggler actually dictated the action early but Morrison punched his way out of it. They go back and forth and Ziggler tried the Randy Savage “legs on the corner rope” pin but the ref caught him. At one point both guys were on the middle turnbuckle and both guys hit the floor hard. Crowd’s kind of quiet tonight, come on you Brits. Both guys end up getting counted out, and that doesn’t make the crowd happy. Lame ending to the match, which wasn’t that great anyway. WINNER: Double Countout (Grade: 2)

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Beth Phoenix vs. Lisa Taylor
I like the way that they’re rebuilding Beth Phoenix into a hot killer again once she went back on the show. Nothing fancy, another squash as she hits the Glam Slam for the win. WINNER: Beth Phoenix (Grade: .5)

-Josh Matthews is backstage with Chris Jericho. He asks Josh about the Deadman, and Jericho says he’s not the Deadman. He’s just a man. All the plebians and parasites have believed he is immortal. Well he’s hot, and tonight Jericho’s going to prove it. He’ll defeat the Undertaker tonight, and he’ll defeat the Undertaker at Survivor Series and become the World Heavyweight Champion.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

-We’ve just been announced that next week John Morrison & Dolph Ziggler will have another Intercontinental Title match, but it will be 2 out of 3 falls.

Chris Jericho vs. World Heavyweight Champion Undertaker
I thought this was going to be some schmozz to protect the match for a later date, but no they actually wrestle. Jericho takes the early beating, as Taker works the left arm over. Jericho stops Old School to change momentum as they go to commercial. They go back and forth after that. The crowd’s not really in this match either, and this match would have pulled this show out of C- range. The pace is ok but there’s no special feel here to this match. Taker kicked out of the Codebreaker, but Jericho then reversed the Chokelslam into the Walls of Jericho. The drama is building (no pun intended) but the crowd is still kind of out of it. Taker then reverses into Hell’s Gate and Jericho taps out. Eh, I thought that was a waste of a first match between the two. WINNER: Undertaker (Grade: 2)

-Big Show comes to the ring and the Unified Tag Champs start beating Taker down, but suddenly Kane comes out and helps big brother out. Backstage Vince McMahon talks to Teddy Long on the phone, and proposes that The Brothers of Destruction face Jeri-Show on next week’s Smackdown Teddy apparently is under the weather, and Vince nicely points out that he’s still on probation. Overall a match-dominated show which was fine, but the matches were ordinary and the crowd was too flat to save them.

FINAL GRADE: C-

PS: The answer to the trivia question, as to the three IC Title changes in England are:

-British Bulldog defeats Bret Hart, 8/29/92; Jeff Hardy defeats Johnny Nitro, 11/13/06; William Regal defeats Santino Marella, 11/10/08.

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