Earning the right to "brag"
LEXINGTON, KY. -- With WWE Bragging Rights just nine days away, Friday night's Superstars were looking to earn spots on Team SmackDown in four hotly contested qualifying matches. And it wasn't just the Superstars who wanted to brag. Former SmackDown announcer Michael Cole -- filling in for a missing Jim Ross -- called Raw the outright superior brand! Find out where J.R. was in his latest blog.
Rey Mysterio def. Batista (PHOTOS | WATCH)
In Friday night's main event, longtime friends and WWE Bragging Rights Fatal Four Way contestants Rey Mysterio and Batista were forced to go one-on-one. After a competitive battle, Mysterio pulled off the win, pinning The Animal. Although there was some question regarding whether or not one of Batista's shoulders had been fully on the canvas, the ref's call stood. After Batista conceded the win to his friend and exited the ring, CM Punk rushed out of the crowd and into the ring, dropping Mysterio with the Go to Sleep. The Animal came charging back to drive Punk off. All three will meet again when they face The Deadman at WWE Bragging Rights. (Fatal Four Way preview)
The return of "The Dirt Sheet" (PHOTOS | WATCH)
United States Champion The Miz and Intercontinental Champion John Morrison reunited for a special live edition of "The Dirt Sheet." After trading verbal insults and touting their respective brands, it looked like things were going to get physical between the former tag team champions. However, The Miz opted to back down from The Friday Night Delight and leave the ring. Who will prevail when the two champions square off at WWE Bragging Rights? (Preview)
Revisit classic moments in "The Dirt Sheet" archives.
WWE Bragging Rights Co-Captains confident (PHOTOS | WATCH)
At the start of the night, Kane declared himself Team SmackDown Co-Captain with Unified Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho. In discussing the WWE Bragging Rights Tag Team Match, Jericho boldly predicted that with The Big Red Monster's strength and his genius, Team Raw doesn't stand a chance. (Preview)
Dolph Ziggler def. Finlay and Mike Knox in a Triple Threat WWE Bragging Rights Qualifying Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
In a match with major implications, the young Dolph Ziggler saw an opportunity and took it. Finlay smashed Mike Knox with his shillelagh and appeared to have the big man right where he wanted -- until Ziggler pulled Finlay off the fallen Knox to cover him and claim the pinfall for himself.
Cryme Tyme def. The Hart Dynasty in a Tag Team WWE Bragging Rights Qualifying Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
With JTG's pinfall over Tyson Kidd, Cryme Tyme stamped its ticket as part of the seven-Superstar blue team competing at WWE Bragging Rights. Team Raw no doubt took notice of the formidable duo they will now have to face.
Team SmackDown Co-Captain Chris Jericho wants a win from McCool (WATCH)
Eager for a good showing at WWE Bragging Rights, Chris Jericho wanted assurance from Women's Champion Michelle McCool that she would represent the blue brand well. Jericho got what he wanted, but new SmackDown Divas Mickie James and Beth Phoenix had something to say about the matter. (More on the Tri-branded Divas trade)
CM Punk to face World Heavyweight Champion Undertaker for his title on SmackDown! (WATCH)
Although CM Punk couldn't get Mr. McMahon to call off the WWE Bragging Rights Fatal-4-Way Match, The Straightedge Superstar did receive a title match with World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker next Friday on SmackDown! Plus, the encounter will be contested in exactly the way Punk wants -- a Submission Match. And just like at WWE Breaking Point, Scott Armstrong will be the referee, with SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long at ringside. (PREVIEW) Will the WWE Universe again bear witness to a sordid conspiracy against The Phenom? (WWE Breaking Point photos)
Eric Escobar def. Matt Hardy in a WWE Bragging Rights Qualifying Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
In his SmackDown debut, Vickie Guerrero's boyfriend, Eric Escobar, stunned both Matt Hardy and the WWE Universe by picking up the "W." Distracted by a screaming Vickie at ringside, Matt was driven into the steel ring post by Escobar. Reeling from the collision, Hardy was easy prey for Escobar to cover for the pinfall.
Drew McIntyre def. R-Truth by Count-out in a WWE Bragging Rights Qualifying Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
With a damaging offensive attack, Drew McIntyre targeted R-Truth's back by driving him into the steel ring post and stairs, then to the outside floor. R-Truth dug deep and fought a competitive battle, but the onslaught was too much to handle. After having his feet swept out from under him and falling hard on his already-injured back, Truth could not recover in time to re-enter the ring before the ref's 10-count.
The Undertaker's message (WATCH)
As next Friday's Submission Match on SmackDown and the WWE Bragging Rights Fatal-4-Way World Heavyweight Championship approach, The Undertaker offered some foreboding words for not only CM Punk, but also Scott Armstrong and Theodore Long. "Once you enter Hell's Gate, there's no turning back," he warned.