Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
- We open the show inside the arena as Justin Roberts brings out tonight’s Guest Host: Snoop Dogg! Snoop rides out in a pink Caddy and Cole is all a twitter for him. He is accompanied by the Bellas and Eve as he struts to the ring with his new single playing in the background. He is excited to be here tonight as he is a huge WWE and Raw fan and his mindset is on business. He knows Raw will embarrass Smackdown on Sunday night and he also has John Cena battling Triple H tonight in what could be Cena’s last night on Raw. He also Randy Orton taking on Ted DiBiase to keep things fair and he is adding Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels as well. Snoop then introduces DX who come on down to the ring to a good pop. Snoop dances and crotch chops a bit with Shawn and Hunter before he and the Divas head off to the back. Hunter says that it is in the contract for white guys to come out and try to talk in Snoop’s language so he asks Shawn to do the honors. They do a few “izzle” jokes and a high five to prove how white they are, but the crowd isn’t feeling it. They turn their attention to Bragging Rights and then show us Team Smackdown on the big screen. They take turns reading off each participant, sneaking inside jokes and put downs in on each one, including a Katie Vick joke. Typical Triple H in acting like he doesn’t know who Drew McIntyre and Eric Estrada are. I am tired of that shit. Why don’t you put over your young talent, clown? Michaels explains thoroughly who McIntyre is but plays dumb on Estrada. Hunter says he parked his car last week and Michaels explains that he is dating Vickie. Hunter makes a fat joke to Vickie, which is also fucking stupid. Michaels gets a funny dig in on Hunter’s relationship with Steph though. Hunter brings out the rest of the Raw team and they all march to the ring. Shawn goes down the line and introduces all of them as Hunter makes stupid jokes behind him. I am usually a Hunter defender but he is just being a dick here. Hunter dismisses Cody too and Cody says he will be following his own path on Sunday. Hunter and Michaels are captains in name only and if it were based on talent. Cody would be captain. He may not tag any of them in and just beat Smackdown on his own. Big Show takes the mic and tells Cody to respect him. If he thinks Cody will let the team down at any time, he will take him out himself and that goes for the rest of them too. Now Henry gets in Show’s face and asks if that was a threat. Show says it is and Henry thinks there is going to be a problem. Swagger steps in and says he is more athletic than either of them so they need to stick to their strengths on Sunday and stand in the background. Kofi tries to calm everyone down and says this is what Smackdown wants. They need to get on the same page or it will be bad news. Kofi no longer has an accent and Hunter calls him out on it. Shawn stops that train and says they need to focus on being a team. So, to put the team to a test, he organized a ten man tag match here tonight. Hunter says that if any of them lose tonight, the person who gets the pin from the other team will take the loser’s place on Sunday. And that match is going down right now. The challengers head to the ring as we take a break. Outside of Hunter’s Dumbass antics, that was a good segment that put the focus on Bragging Rights nicely.
1) Mark Henry, Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes & Jack Swagger vs. Chavo Guerrero, MVP, Primo Colon, Chris Masters & Evan Bourne
When we return, Chavo is working over Kofi and gets a one count. Kofi sends Chavo over with a back drop but Chavo fights his way back in it. Kofi leaps on to him in the corner and slugs away as we see DX watching backstage. Kofi takes out Chavo with a clothesline but Show and Henry both tag themselves in at the same time. As they argue, Cody tags Kofi and comes into the ring. Chavo drives him back to the corner and tags in MVP. He slugs on Rhodes but Cody catches him with a kick. Cody charges and MVP sends him over with a belly to belly throw. MVP tags in Bourne who stalks Cody. He gets a cross body but Rhodes rolls through for a near fall. Cody grabs a side headlock and then hammers on Bourne. Bourne fights him off and tags in Primo. He sends Cody down with a back elbow and then follows with some right hands. Primo takes Cody down with a Russian legsweep as Cole puts over Smackdown’s team. Cody crushes Primo with Crossrhodes but Swagger tags himself in and pins Primo for the win. Team Raw d. Team Raw Challengers when Swagger pins Primo after Crossrhodes; Grade: 1.5
- Team Raw gets into a big shoving match after the bell and it ends with Show and Henry alone in the ring. As Henry turns around, Show drops him with a spear. DX is not impressed backstage as Show leaves the ring. As he takes off, Cole and King take us back to last week when DiBiase pinned Randy Orton in a three way match. Backstage, Josh Matthews is with Ted DiBiase and Ted justifies his actions last week. Orton hasn’t returned his calls all week but he is sure Randy understands. And on cue, Orton stalks into the picture and asks what he needs to understand about Ted’s betrayal. Ted asks Randy if he would have done the same thing but Orton tells him to just listen carefully. He tells Ted not to lift a finger or fight back in their match tonight. Ted needs to finally show Orton the respect he deserves and there is then a chance that Ted can stay in Legacy. If Ted takes advantage, he will regret it for the rest of his life. Orton leaves the choice to him and takes off as we go to break. Good promo there with nice intensity.
- We are back and checking out a Wrestlemania video package as tickets go on sale in 19 days. Back live, we head to the ring where Ted DiBiase awaits.
2) Ted DiBiase vs. Randy Orton in a non title match
Cole ponders if DiBiase will fight or defer to Orton’s wishes. We will find out in a moment as Orton heads out. They stare each other down off the bell Orton slugs Ted down to one knee and then stares at him as he gets back to his feet. Orton nails him with an uppercut and continues to glare as the crowd is starting to chant for Ted. He kicks Ted down and Ted is just shaking angrily on the mat, face getting redder. Orton stomps on his knee and warns Ted not to fight back. He keeps stomping on Ted and then drops down and asks Ted if he wants to hit him. Ted is up and getting in Randy’s face and the crowd is getting behind him. Orton smacks Ted and Ted is looking pretty pissed. The crowd is getting more into it with each Orton smack. Orton shoves Ted and Ted shoves him back to the mat. He stalks after Orton but holds back. Orton gets to his feet and Ted looks out to the crowd. Orton pushes Ted’s chin up and then drops him with RKO for the win. The match was nothing but that was some great stuff. For the first time in a while, the crowd was really into DiBiase. When he finally snaps it should be a great moment. Orton d. DiBiase with an RKO; Grade: 1
- Orton stands tall over DiBiase and raises the belt up high. At ringside, Cole talks about the passing of Captain Lou Albano. Lawler gives a quick eulogy and then we get a nice tribute video package of Lou’s career, including NRBQ’s “Captain Lou”, a clip of Super Mario Bros. and some Cyndi Lauper footage. Lou gets a standing ovation from the fans as we fade to commercial.
- We are back from break and checking out the exterior of the arena. Inside, there are a number of Jaguars players in the arena. Cole then takes us to a sneak peak clip of Snoop’s new video. Backstage, Eve and the Bellas are putting over Snoop and his CD. Hornswoggle comes in and Snoop reminds him what he is supposed to do tonight. Chavo comes in and makes fun of Horny’s DX aspirations. Chavo begs Snoop to let him be part of Team Raw. He is wrestling royalty and is being overlooked. Now Jillian comes in and demands a Divas title rematch tonight. She sings “Gin and Juice” as Chavo keeps trying to get a word in. Now Santino comes in, dressed like Charlie Brown. He wants to start from scratch with Snoopy the Dog. He wants to chase the Red Baron and grab Lucy and smack her around. Jillian sings some more and Chavo whines until Snoop throws them all out. Before Eve leaves, Snoop asks for his bag so he can light one up. As he does, we cut to a funny Technical Difficulties slate featuring Michael Cole with his arm around Hornswoggle and some funny elevator music playing. When we come back, smoke is filling the air but Snoop reveals that it was his personal stash of scented candles. Santino comes in and drops a “Good Grief” to cap it off. We see John Cena contemplating life backstage as we go to break.
3) John Cena vs. Triple H
We are back and John Cena is out to a mega screeching pop. Cole reminds us that this could be Cena’s final Raw match as he heads into Bragging Rights. A loud “Cena” chant breaks out as Cena looks emotional in the ring. Triple H is out next and I expected him to be covered in dirt from all the burying he did earlier tonight. He does the usual to eat up some more time. The bell finally sounds and we are under way. They lock up and Cena takes Hunter down with a headlock. He goes for the AA but Hunter slips free and bails to the corner to regroup. They lock up again and Cena takes him down again. King tells us this is only the fourth one on one meeting between these two. Cena puts Hunter down with a shoulderblock and then follows with a hiptoss for two. Hunter backs off to regroup again as Cole puts over both men. We get another lockup and Hunter grabs a side headlock. Cena fights free and powers Hunter down with a hammerlock. The crowd is behind Cena as Hunter fights back to his feet and breaks the hold. He runs Cena into the buckle but Cena fires out of the corner with right hands. Cena shoots Hunter into the corner but Hunter comes out with a big clothesline for two. Hunter hammers on Cena and then whips him hard into the corner. Hunter whips him hard again and then sets up for the Pedigree but Cena slips free and whips Hunter over the top rope and to the floor. Hunter is down and out and we are taking a break. When we return, Hunter is pounding on Cena in the ring. He drops Cena with a backbreaker for two as we get a quick clip of Hunter taking over during the break, courtesy a shove off the apron and into the announce table. He works Cena’s gut over in the corner but Cena keeps fighting back with right hands. They trade some shots back and forth and Cena is able to hit a flying shoulderblock. He goes for another but Hunter dodges and he crashes and burns. Cena goes for the AA but Hunter slips loose and chop blocks Cena’s knee. Cena dodges a chop block and goes for the STF but Hunter wriggles free. Cena eats a boot on a charge but he recovers and takes Hunter over with a fisherman’s buster. He goes for a bulldog but Hunter blocks it and he goes flying. Hunter goes for the Pedigree but Cena slips free and takes Hunter down and locks in the STF in the middle of the ring. Hunter crawls for the rope and gets close until Cena breaks and drags him back a bit. He locks it in again but Hunter is able to force the rope break this time. They get back up and Hunter hits a Pedigree. He crawls over but Cena gets his foot on the rope at two. Both men are out and we take another break. When we come back, Cena is staggering around on the floor before sliding back in the ring. We see that Hunter took control during the break by whipping Cena into the steps. Cena ducks a right hand and goes for the AA but Hunter slides down and trips up Cena. Hunter locks in a Sharpshooter as we see Orton watching from backstage. Cena is able to reach the ropes to force the break. Hunter eats a boot in the corner and Cena comes out with some running shoulderblocks. He puts Hunter down with the spinning slam and then drops the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Hunter is back up and they trade some right hands until Hunter puts Cena down with a vintage high knee. He follows with a facebreaker, clothesline and a spinebuster. Cena is up and Hunter drops him with the Pedigree…but Cena kicks out! They got me with that one. Cena hoists Hunter up and drops him with the AA…but Hunter kicks out! Cena heads up top but misses his legdrop as Hunter dodges it. Hunter goes for another Pedigree, but Cena switches it to the AA. Hunter slips down and drops a third Pedigree to pick up the clean win. That was a really good TV match that picks up a grade bump due to the really good Pedigree near fall at the end. Triple H d. Cena with a Pedigree; Grade: 3.5
- Hunter extends his hand and Cena accepts. They shake and Hunter takes off as Cena stares off into the crowd. We see Orton staring at the TV backstage and then cut back live as Cena gives a salute to the crowd before solemnly walking to the back.
- Back from break we get the Ninja Gaiden Slam of the Week. It takes us back to Smackdown’s Dirt Sheet where Miz and Morrison debated over which of them was the Marty Jannetty of their team. Back live, Miz is heading to the ring. Miz is out, showing off his title. There is a random jobber in the ring but before the bell, Snoop appears on the Titantron and puts over Marty Jannetty. He then announces that Jannetty is Miz’s opponent here tonight!
4) Miz vs. Marty Jannetty in a non title match
And the classic Rockers music fires up as Marty charges to the ring. The crowd seems to either not care or have no idea who he is at this point. Jannetty pops Miz and gets a roll up for two. Now a “Marty” chant starts up as Miz slugs away at him. Marty ducks Miz and fires back but Miz whips him hard into the corner and then kills him with a clothesline. Marty even busts out the 360 sell. Miz hooks a rear chinlock but Marty elbows free and drops Miz with a back suplex. Marty hits a nice jumping back elbow and a back body drop. Marty heads to the middle rope and nails Miz with a fist drop for two. Miz floats over on a slam attempts but Marty reverses to try a Rocker Dropper. Miz slips loose and drops Marty across the top rope. Marty staggers back and Miz hits the SCF for the win. Nice to see Marty back but Miz picks up the victory and momentum for Sunday. Miz d. Jannetty with the Skull Crushing Finale; Grade: 1
- Miz takes off as Cole and King put over the new Smackdown vs. Raw video game that comes out tomorrow. We see Jillian and Chavo chatting backstage as we go to break.
5) Jillian vs. Melina for the Divas Championship
Jillian and Chavo are out first and they are followed by Melina as Jillian is looking to regain her title. Jillian scoops Melina up off the bell and plants her with a Samoan drop for two. Jillian whips Melina into the corner but Melina is able to avoid the handspring elbow. Chavo runs some interference until Hornswoggle grabs his leg and messes with him. Melina comes from behind and drops the split legdrop for the win. Melina d. Jillian with the Primal Scream; Grade: .5
- Hornswoggle, dressed like Snoop, is celebrating until Chavo comes in the ring and yanks him around. Now Snoop comes charging to the ring to help. Chavo tosses Horny down and then smacks Snoop a bit. Horny ducks down behind Chavo and Snoop shoves Chavo down over him. Now Snoop and Chavo dance around until Snoop takes him down with a nice spear. Chavo bails and Snoop, Horny, Eve, Gail, Kelly and the Bellas dance in the ring. Cole also dances at ringside a bit as they plug USA’s newest show, White Collar. The dancing continues as we go to break.
- We are back and thanking Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster for the Bragging Rights theme song. Cole then sends us to a good Cena/Orton historical video package to hype the Iron Man match on Sunday. After that, Cole and King are in the ring to run down the PPV as is the custom on the go home show. Backstage, Chris Jericho is walking and we are taking a break.
- We are back and Cole tells us that NASCAR stars Joey Logano and Kyle Busch will host next week’s Raw. Perhaps we will get a Sparky Plugg return for next week’s Nostalgia trip? Or maybe we can at least get Steve Grissom and the WCW car. Back in the arena, Chris Jericho is sauntering to the ring, bedecked in a Smackdown t-shirt. Michaels is out next and it is main event time. Jericho has the mic and says he has no need to take out Michaels tonight because Team Smackdown already has an insurmountable edge thanks to his leadership. And in two minutes, Jericho puts over Team Smackdown way more that Triple H could have done in thirty minutes. Jericho says Team Smackdown will start the beatings tonight and they begin with Shawn Michaels. Cryme Tyme, Kane, Escobar, Ziggler and McIntyre all enter from the crowd and hop in the ring. Michaels stands in the aisle as Jericho puts down Team Raw for arguing. Before he can finish, Triple H leads Team Raw out in unison. The teams square off in the ring as Hunter grabs the mic. He credits Jericho for bringing Team Raw together in their agreement that they don’t like Jericho, his team or his show. And while they all may have walked onto Raw, they are about to get thrown off it. Before anything happens, Vickie Guerrero comes out, wearing a Smackdown t-shirt. The crowd heat is instantly there as soon as she comes out. She can see where this is going and as Team Smackdown’s consultant, she will not allow it. If DX wants a fight, they will get it Sunday and not tonight. She orders Team SD to leave the arena and they laugh at Team Raw. Hunter tells Jericho to leave like his boss Vickie said. Hunter keeps egging Jericho on and then says they don’t work for Vickie before attacking. The brawl breaks out and all fourteen men fight in and out of the ring as we fade out.
- Well, the show started off shaky with Hunter’s tirade, but it picked up nicely from there. There was good focus on the PPV and Snoop did a nice job as host as well. We got a lot of in ring action and the Triple H/Cena match was really good to anchor the show. The Jannetty surprise was a nice nostalgia segment and also helped get Miz some momentum for Sunday. Plus I am always a mark for the big pre PPV mega brawl to close a show. This was a much better show than last week so we will see if they can carry that over to Sunday. Enjoy Bragging Rights and I will see you next week!
Final Grade: B
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