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Smackdown: John Morrison shines with quips not flips

John Morrison put himself on the wrestling map with his spectacular acrobatic moves, but his movement up the card has stalled because of his inability to cut main event-level promos.

On Friday night's episode of Smackdown, however, Morrison did perhaps his best work yet on the mic – and he did it dressed as Mel Gibson's character (William Wallace) from "Braveheart," complete with a Scottish accent, face paint, a sword and a kilt.When I first saw Morrison coming out in the get-up to confront Drew McIntyre, I thought for sure it was going to bomb, but he made it work. Morrison appeared to be having fun with the material and seemed a lot more relaxed than usual delivering his lines. Now the trick is for him to be that smooth when he's not imitating a movie character.

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I thought McIntyre was good, too, and I liked the fact that the brief brawl between he and Morrison looked like a real fight more than a worked one. Overall, the segment did a nice job of selling Sunday's Morrison-McIntyre Intercontinental match at the TLC pay-per-view.

Other thoughts on Friday's show:

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I did have a couple nitpicks with the Morrison-McIntyre confrontation, however. One was that it was just a little too convenient that seconds after McIntyre mentioned William Wallace, here comes Morrison in full costume as the character. The other thing I didn't care for was Morrison making inside references during his promo. For a second, I felt like I was watching TNA Impact. He talked about McIntyre brown-nosing guys such as Ricky Steamboat, Arn Anderson, Irwin R. Schyster and John Laurinaitis. Beyond the fact that a younger segment of the audience may not know those names, an even larger segment probably has no idea that they work behind the scenes as producers. And even fewer people are likely to be familiar with Laurinaitis, the executive vice president of talent relations. ...

Batista continues to impress since turning heel. He cut a good promo to open the show and looked dominant in the main event by scoring another decisive victory over Rey Mysterio, this time in a Street Fight. The post-match angle saw Undertaker gain a measure of revenge by attacking Batista with a chair. "The Animal" escaped, however, before Undertaker could do serious damage, whetting the appetite for their world heavyweight title match at TLC. ...

I'm not sure why WWE called the Batista-Mysterio match a Street Fight. I guess I'm old school, because my idea of a Street Fight is two guys in jeans and cowboys boots whipping each other with leather belts and pulling out all the stops. This was just two guys in tights basically doing a pretty tame no-disqualification match. ...

I liked the tag team match in which CM Punk and Luke Gallows defeat Matt Hardy and R-Truth. Gallows was put over as a monster. I wouldn't mind seeing Hardy and R-Truth as a regular tag team. It's not like their singles careers are on fire at the moment. Plus, the unified tag team belts actually mean something now, so being in a tag team is not a dead end. ...

I was surprised that Mike Knox lost to Kane for the second straight week. Why not let Knox win one and give him a chance to get over by participating in a competitive program? ...

Todd Grisham said during Mickie James' match that she "brings home the bacon," an obvious reference to the "Piggy James" deal. Grisham is a babyface announcer, so he never should have made a remark that belittles a babyface and validates the heels' insults. Matt Striker got one in as well when he said that James' hat "smelled like bacon bits." He plays a subtle heel, so I didn't have a problem with him doing it.

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