TV REVIEW: WWE SMACKDOWN - October 30th, 2009

Rochester, New York

Fresh from their triumphant performance at Bragging Rights, Smackdown head back to New York with their trophy in tow. Yet with Survivor Series approaching, there’s little time to gloat.

**NOTE: This is a review I originally wrote live at the time in 2009. I found this in my archives and decided to share it here** 

Teddy Long sets up tonight’s main event

This week’s Smackdown kicks off with a word from General Manager, Teddy Long. Not surprisingly, the Smackdown boss is pleased with his team’s victory at Bragging Rights, as is Chris Jericho, who interrupts proceedings to talk about the World Heavyweight Championship situation.

Following Raw’s example, Teddy announces that the title will be contested in a triple threat match at Survivor Series, with The Undertaker defending not only against The Big Show, but against the winner of a match between Jericho and Kane, due to take place later tonight.

Non-title match: Intercontinental Champion John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler

The two long-standing rivals get into a battle of wits on the microphone before their war turns physical in a very entertaining contest that Ziggler wins via count-out.
Your Winner via Count-out: Dolph Ziggler 

Backstage, Vince McMahon catches up with Teddy Long, informing the Smackdown GM that his probation period may soon be over following a recent spat of good work.

Not everyone is so happy with Long, as CM Punk arrives to complain about being left out of the world title picture. Hoping to appease one of his biggest stars, Vince books CM Punk in a match with, of all people, referee Scott Armstrong.

Beth Phoenix vs. Jenny Brooks 

Looking to re-establish herself as a dominant force in the Divas division, The Glamazon destroys enhancement talent Brooks in a short and sweet squash match.
Your Winner: Beth Phoenix

Full of Halloween cheer, Vickie Guerrero puts in an appearance dressed as a princess and insists the crowd refer to her as Princess Vickie Guerrero when she leads her boyfriend, Eric Escobar into competition next.

Eric Escobar vs. Matt Hardy

The veteran and the rookie collide in hard-fought contest, with newcomer Escobar looking to establish himself as a threat to the Smackdown roster, and seasoned pro Hardy hoping to get back to his winning ways.

He does just that, picking up the pinfall following a short, passable bout.
Your Winner: Matt Hardy 

After being attacked by his old friend at Bragging Rights, Rey Mysterio heads to the ring to try and work things out with Dave Batista.

Yet Big Dave is in no mood to make amends, instead insisting that their friendship is dead and from now on, Batista only looks out for Batista.

Batista attacks Matt Hardy

Heading backstage after a commercial break, Matt Hardy tries to talk some sense into Batista. Unfortunately for the elder Hardy brother, Batista is adamant in sticking with his new attitude and, just to prove it, he attacks Hardy.

Later on in the show, it is announced that Hardy and Batista will face off next week.

From the Vault: John Cena vs. Chris Jericho - Smackdown 2002

A rookie John Cena, long before he became the biggest thing in modern pro wrestling, tackles an angry Y2J in a good match which proves that Cena could actually wrestle if he wanted to.
Cena wins via DQ when Jericho hits a low blow.

Drew McIntyre vs. Finlay 

Anyone looking forward to an epic battle between Scotland and Ireland is probably disappointed. Instead of a fairly-fought contest, the dastardly Drew McIntyre attacks Finlay on his way to the ring, annihilates him on the outside and heads to the back with an evil grin spread across his face.
No Contest 

Up next, Mickie James wins the 2009 Halloween Diva Costume Contest hosted by Cryme Tyme. The whole thing is rather embarrassing to watch, and ends when Women’s Champion Michelle McCool attacks James after the victory.

CM Punk vs. Referee Scott Armstrong

TNA may have already done the whole ‘wrestling referee’ thing (remember Shane Sewell? Nah, me neither), but that doesn’t stop Smackdown from rehashing that angle as a clearly petrified Armstrong goes up against former World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk.

No surprise here, the Straight Edge Superstar obliterate the zebra and finishes him off with the Go To Sleep.
Your Winner: CM Punk 

Afterwards, Punk tells an unconscious Scott Armstrong not to forget the beating he just received.

Main Event: Unified Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho vs. Kane (winner earns a title shot at Survivor Series) 

With a spot in the World Heavyweight Championship triple threat match at Survivor Series on the line, Chris Jericho and Kane go at it in a heated main event.

It’s a very enjoyable match, and arguably Kane’s best performance of the last two years. Unfortunately for The Big Red Machine, a good performance is not enough to win the match, and Chris Jericho walks into the Survivor Series main event thanks to the Codebreaker.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho 

Final Thoughts: 

Though far from Smackdown’s finest show, this week’s edition was nonetheless a good effort from all concerned.

In this writer’s mind, a heel turn for Batista was long overdue and should go a long way to freshening up his character and injecting a bit of life into an otherwise stale persona. The only problem there is that it takes away from CM Punk’s status as the brand’s number one bad guy.

In the title picture, your reporter is somewhat disappointed to see Smackdown devoid of its own ideas and simply copying Raw’s main event formula, but if this means Chris Jericho main eventing pay per views again, and possibly even scoring a surprise victory over The Undertaker then I’m all for it

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