September 21, 2009
Scott Criscuolo

Friday Night Smackdown!
September 18, 2009
Hamilton, Ontario
Jim Ross and Todd Grisham

We have a package from Breaking Point, where Undertaker won the World Heavyweight Championship, and then he didn’t. We go live and a limo pulls into the backstage area, and out of it comes Teddy Long, who is of course booed vociferously. He has a big security team surrounding him, and he heads to the ring.

OPENING ANIMATION

We head to the ring and immediately, and for the first time on Smackdown in a while….we UNLEASH….THE ANIMAL. Out comes Batista to a raucous ovation from the Hamilton crowd. He takes the mike, and says recently his contract expired with Raw, and for the first time in his career he got to choose where he wanted to be. The blue show, the A show and he can’t wait to get started. He is then immediately cut off by Chris Jericho, co-holder of the Unified Tag Team Titles. Jericho says this is all so heartwarming, and he welcomes Batista back to the show. He says everything is right in the world because Batista is back, and he gets the crowd going with it. Jericho thinks nothing good, and he says Batista makes him sick. Batista reminds Jericho of the other injury-prone loser Edge. Another guy who wants the cheers of the crowd, but the reality is Jericho is the star on this show. Jericho says a lot has changed since Batista was last here. Jericho says he is the man on this show. Batista says he was always told that to be the man, you gotta beat the man. He knows a lot has changed, but tonight he wants to catch up. Tonight Batista says Jericho has a match, with him. With that he drops Jericho with a spinebuster and leaves the ring. Backstage Jericho is livid and he finds his partner the Big Show, and he wonders where he was. Show says he was right where he was supposed to be. Show tells Jericho he was to stay right here. Jericho says he’s the best and tonight he’ll do it alone.

-Tonight we’ll hear from Scott Armstrong, the referee in the World Title match at Breaking Point and find out what the heck happened.

Intercontinental Champion John Morrison vs. Mike Knox
#1 contender Dolph Ziggler joins JR and Grish at the broadcast table. We find out that Morrison will face Ziggler at Hell in the Cell. Knox talks about Restless Leg Syndrome in his in-screen comments. I like this new Mike Knox personality, and I’ve mentioned before how he almost has this 1996 Mankind creepiness going on. John Morrison reaps the benefits of Rey Mysterio’s suspension, but he deserves it anyway. 2010 is going to be a big year for him, and it starts with this IC Title win. As much as I miss Edge, his (as well as Jeff Hardy) absences have opened the door for other guys on the show to shine, and Morrison is definitely one of him. Ziggler’s snarky comments at the table proves he’s starting to settle in as a solid character and performer. Still not sure where the name came from, but I can look past that. The match isn’t bad as Morrison works well with the bigger Knox, but Starship Pain finishing it off. WINNER: John Morrison (Grade: 2)

-Morrison takes the mike and asks Ziggler if he’s finished playing footsie with Todd Grisham. I like that he keeps getting ripped by everybody (Grisham I mean). He keeps calling Dolph “Ziggles” and the crowd gets into it. A frustrated Ziggler leaves as Morrison says bye to “Mr. Ziggles”. JR and Grish talk about Breaking Point, and we see the clip of Undertaker allegedly tapping to CM Punk’s Anaconda Vice. We see both CM Punk and Scott Armstrong run from ringside. Josh Matthews is live with Scott Armstrong, who says he was never asked to do anything like he did at Breaking Point. However he answers to someone much higher than he is. He loves his family and needs to provide for them, so he did what he was asked to do.

Melina vs. Women’s Champion Michelle McCool
This is a pretty good rivalry and it continued last week when Michelle’s crutch shot led to Layla getting a win over Melina. I feel a little tension between JR and Grish at times as JR is telling Grish moves that Grish isn’t identifying whereas Grish is correcting JR on history. The match is OK, and Melina may have earned herself a title shot with that cool power bomb flip maneuver and a win. WINNER: Melina (Grade: 2)

-Backstage and Teddy Long is telling security to stay with him, because you never know when “he” will be here. In comes Mr. McMahon who’s pissed that his picture isn’t on the wall. Regardless he tells Teddy that its awesome that Batista’s back, but he wants to know why Teddy double-crossed the Undertaker at Breaking Point. Teddy tries to explain but Mr. McMahon keeps interrupting him, he tells Teddy he wanted him to entertain the audience. He tells Teddy to go out there and explain to the WWE Universe what happened.

-Back from break and out comes Teddy Long to a chorus of boos. Teddy says he’s happy about Batista being back on Smackdown, but he knows what he did at Breaking Point to Undertaker was wrong. We see the footage again, and he says it was all pre-planned. He did what he had to do because he didn’t want to be on the unemployment line and times are tough. He says he’s sorry for what he did but there were others in on the plot including Scott Armstrong and World Champion CM Punk. He, like Scott Armstrong said earlier, did what he had to do because he isn’t the highest on the food chain. He apologizes to the fans for what happened, but more importantly he apologizes to the Undertaker for what happened. Teddy leaves the arena and gets back into his limo. He tells the driver to leave now. The limo doesn’t move and Teddy says it again. Suddenly the doors to the limo lock, the partition comes down and there’s the Undertaker in the driver seat. He says “Buckle Up Teddy”. The inside of the limo lights up purple and smoke starts billowing from the floor. Teddy’s whining to get out but can’t. Frankly the whole skit was pretty stupid and cheesy.

-Back from break and out comes the only “straight edge” World Heavyweight Champion ever. CM Punk comes out to a chorus of boos. He says he told them so. He said he’d beat Jeff Hardy at Summerslam. He said he’d rid Smackdown of Jeff Hardy forever. He said he’d make Undertaker tap out to the Anaconda Vice at Breaking Point. He’s done all those things. He wants to confront the Undertaker, but he’s conveniently not here. So he’ll continue preaching to the masses about living the straight edge life and how none of these people do. They all pop pills to fulfill their self worth, and finding scape goats for their inadequacies. Punk says all the WWE Universe are liars and cowards. The fans medicate themselves but what Punk does is simply be the best at what he does. Finally Punk is acting the part he played successfully in Ring of Honor, by simply telling everyone he’s better than them. Punk is carrying the heel side of Smackdown quite nicely right now.

Hell in a Cell will be October 4 in Newark and 3 matches are currently set:

WWE Championship: John Cena © vs. Randy Orton (HIAC)
D-Generation X vs. Legacy (HIAC)
Intercontinental Championship: John Morrison © vs. Dolph Ziggler

Cryme Tyme vs. Hart Dynasty
Its about time that DH Smith & Tyson Kidd start asserting themselves and become players on Smackdown or they’ll just become fodder for upper echelon teams. I mean they shouldn’t be treated like Legacy or anything but I think they should hang around with CM Punk more like he did before Summerslam. It gave them instant credibility and made them players. Natalya’s still hot but she needs to wrestle more and that keeps the Divas division watchable. As for Cryme Tyme, well after their great build/feud with Chris Jericho/Big Show ended empty at Summerslam they’ve gone back to being forgotten mid-card comedy. Decent match otherwise and the right team won for a change. WINNERS: Hart Dynasty (Grade: 2)

Great Khali vs. Kane
Again? I thought this was finished. Two subpar PPV matches in a row but alas we get to see it again. Best match of the series, if only because it lasted about a minute after a Kane chair shot ended it. WINNER: Great Khali by disqualification (Grade: 0)

-After the match, Kane lays Khali’s leg over the steps and he drops the top part of the steps on the left leg multiple times. Clearly this is to get Khali off camera for a while.

Charlie Haas vs. R-Truth
During Truth’s entrance, out comes Drew McIntyre who says Truth got into an accident and couldn’t compete, so Haas wins by forfeit. WINNER: Charlie Haas (Grade: N/A)

-McIntyre extends his hand to Haas who shakes it. Then he turns around and McIntyre hits the double arm DDT.

Batista vs. Chris Jericho
Great return for the ANIMAL in a match with a stud like Chris Jericho. Raw is so top heavy right now that a change was necessary and this is huge for Smackdown right now. The crowd is stoked and the Animal wins. Not much more to say, it’s a typical Batista match and win. WINNER: Batista (Grade: 2)

-Backstage Josh Matthews is with Big Show who says that Batista got lucky tonight and if the Animal accepts his challenge for next week he won’t be so lucky. With that we’re out.

FINAL GRADE: C+

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