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COMMENT





Smackdown: Hardy tested on first night as champ
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on Friday Night Smackdown: Jeff Hardy picked up the biggest win of his career Sunday at Armageddon, capturing his first WWE Championship. Now it's time to celebrate -- unless Edge and Vickie Guerrero have their way, as Edge will take on Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy faces Vladimir Kozlov. Should be a good one!

And we are TAPED! from Baltimore, Md. WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross and "The Tazz" are our hosts. This show is presented in WWEHD (TV-PG,V).

Justin Roberts immediately welcomes our NEW WWE Champion Jeff Hardy to the ring with a beefed up pyro display. Confetti is falling all over the arena along with celebratory pyro as Hardy hits the front two turnbuckles.

Hardy apologizes for it taking so long, but it finally happened. He says the WWE is about to change.

Eventually, Edge makes his way to the ring sans music in full crazy mode. He tells Jeff nothing has changed because he got lucky (LUCKY!). He says one good day out of 365 doesn't make a champion (actually, Edge, it was 366 this year). He says he was WWE Champion for one reason and one reason only -- hard work. Hardy calls him a liar, which the crowd quickly picks up on. Edge says he had nothing to do with what happened to Hardy at Survivor Series because he didn't need to, because he's better than him. Edge says he has always out-performed Hardy. Edge says Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero (independent of their relationship) has made these two matches: ECW Champion Matt Hardy against Edge and WWE Champion Jeff Hardy versus Vladimir Kozlov.

Hardy asks him if he is done, kicks him in the gut and hits the Twist of Fate, leaving Edge laying in the ring.

(Ads)

Match #1 - Montel Vontavious Porter (Miami, Fla) & Shelton Benjamin (Orangeburg, S.C.) vs. Hurricane Helms (Raleigh, N.C.) & R-Truth (Charlotte, N.C.)

Next week, Benjamin will meet Helms for the United States Heavyweight Championship.

Ross calls MVP "the Detroit Lions of WWE." The Tazz points out MVP is wearing Lions' colors tonight. As a Lions fan, that hurts me.

There is friction between MVP and Benjamin early, as Benjamin blind tags himself in and it quickly goes against Shelton.

Eventually, things start going Benjamin's way, as he snap-mares R-Truth into the corner and starts to work a Level-2 Randy Orton Chinlock. R-Truth gets out and Shelton charges him in toe corner but eats a face full of turnbuckle as the rapping one gets out of the way.

Finally, R-Truth gets to Hurricane Helms, who knocks MVP off the mat hits a reverse bulldog on Shelton and a flying crossbody, but the pin is broken up by MVP.

R-Truth disposes of MVP and Benjamin throws R-Truth to the outside and then Helms and Shelton go for back-slides. MVP comes flying in and tries to kick Helms, but Helms ducks and he hits Benjamin. R-Truth disposes of MVP and Helms hits a Vertebreaker for the win.

Winners via pinfall: Hurricane Helms & R-Truth

Chavo Guerrero and Vickie Guerrero are backstage and Vickie is complaining that her coffee isn't hot enough and for Chavo to taste it. When he does, she slaps it out of his mouth and screams "HOTTTTT COFFFFFEEEEE!".

Then Edge comes in kicking and screaming about being embarrassed by a Hardy again. Vickie calms him down.

(Ads)

Match #2 - Festus (Parts Unknown) vs. John Morrison (Los Angeles, Calif.)

The Miz (HOO-RAH!) immediately tries to take the bell, but it knocked away by Jesse, but takes possession of the bell. Jesse gets us start by ringing the bell.

Morrison it hot from the bell and hits a running knee to a downed Festus for two. He locks in a full nelson which Festus easily escapes and hits a shoulderblock. He sends Morrison off the ropes and he tries to hit a springboard kick but is caught by Festus, who hits a fall-away slam.

Miz, not liking what he's seeing, gets on the apron and Jesse pulls him off. Jesse runs at Miz with the bell, but Miz ducks and Jesse ends up running the bell into the ring post, ringing it and rendering Festus useless. Morrison takes advantage, of course, and hits the Moonlight Drive for the win.

Winner via pinfall: John Morrison

After the match, Morrison surfs on the "comatose" Festus, who was on his side. This was funny.

(Ads)

Eve is backstage with ECW Champion Matt Hardy, who says all of Jeff's critics have to shut up and enjoy the ride. He also has some choice words for Edge, the man he'll face later tonight.

(Ads)

Match #3 - Matt Hardy (Cameron, N.C.) vs. Edge (Toronto, Ontario)

Hardy takes control early, grinding Edge down on the mat. Hardy sends Edge over the top rope onto the apron and then sweeps the leg to send him crashing to the mat. Nice!

(Ads)

We're back and Hardy is still in control, working an armbar on the Rated-R Superstar. But Edge gets a break and sends Hardy over the middle rope and to the floor. Hardy tries to regain his bearings on the floor, but when he comes up near the apron, Edge hits a baseball slide. Then he sends Hardy into the steel steps.

Hardy rolls back into the ring and gets stomped and then Edge works an armbar of his own. Edge sits Hardy on the second rope (with his feet facing the outside) and slams him down to the mat with a vicious thud. Edge again puts the boots to Hardy and has to be pulled away by the referee. This allows Hardy time to recover and he goes off the ropes, only to be arm-dragged to the mat into another armbar.

Hardy catches a break himself and gets Edge down. He hits a swinging neckbreaker and then goes to the top, looking for a moonsault, but Edge hits him from behind before he gets all the way there.

Edge follows Hardy up but eats elbows, sending him down. Hardy then hits the moonsault for a close two.

Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate but Edge counters with a full nelson slam for two.

Edge climbs to the second rope and jumps off, but Hardy hits a boot to the mid-section and a Side Effect, but Edge gets his foot on the rope at two.

After a series of roll-up reversals, they hit a double clothesline and both go down. They are both up at the same time and Edge runs for a Spear, but Hardy drop-toe holds him into the turnbuckle. Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate, but Edge counters and runs him shoulder-first into the ring post. Edge then sets up and hits the Spear on a reeling Hardy for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Edge

(Ads)

Match #4 - Carlito (The Caribbean) vs. Ezekiel Jackson (Harlem, N.Y.)

Carlito throws his apple at Jackson to start. Probably not the best idea.

Carlito gets off to a good start and has Jackson reeling, but it goes south quickly. Carlito runs into the "brick wall" that is Ezekiel. Then gets trapped in a bear hug. Carlito gets out and slaps Jackson and he no sells it and knocks him down and sends him outside.

The Brian Kendrick gets involved on the outside which brings in Primo. Carlito rings Jackson on the top rope and hits a flying crossbody for two. Carlito goes to hit a springboard back-elbow, but is cracked in the back by Jackson, who then hits a modified chokeslam for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Ezekiel Jackson

(Ads)

Match #5 - No. 1 Contenders Bout for Divas Championship - Maria (Chicago, Ill.) vs. Maryse (Montreal, Quebec)

Maria gets things started with a huge slap to the kisser and some vicious ground-and-pound.

Things don't go so well for Maria after that as Maryse grounds her. Maria gets up and goes to the second rope, but Maryse ducks and Maria lands awkwardly. Maryse follows this up with a nice DDT for the fall.

Winner via pinfall: Maryse

After the match, Maryse confront Michelle McCool, who was watching from ringside.

MVP is upset in the room when Mr. Kennedy comes and sits next to him. He comes and acts all nice when MVP blows up on him for attempting to promote his movie, even when Kennedy wasn't going to. He tells MVP to keep his chin up and then says "Merry Christmas from MISSSSSSSSSSSSSTER KENNEDY," about two inches from MVP's face.

(Ads)

Eve is backstage with The Great Khali and asks him about his "romantic moment" with Mae Young. Ranjin Singh says Khali says the kiss sent tingles up and down his spine and that he's found his true soul mate. Oh boy...

Match #6 - Vladimir Kozlov (Moscow, Russia) vs. Jeff Hardy (Cameron, N.C.)

(Ads)

Hardy tries to use his quickness early, but to no avail. He seems to catch a break when it seems like Kozlov hurt his shoulder dropping an elbow on Hardy. Kozlov throws Hardy to the outside, but then they switch positions and Hardy hits a baseball slide on Kozlov while he is on the apron.

(Ads)

We're back and Kozlov is in the process of sliding Hardy right under the bottom turnbuckle into the ring post. Kozlov lifts Hardy up by the leg twice and drops him to the canvas. Kozlov works a Kimura on the left arm of Hardy. Hardy gets out and goes off the ropes, only to eat a huge powerslam. Kozlov goes back to work on the arm with an armbar. Hardy works his way back up, but Kozlov controls his arms, hits three headbutts to the chest and lands a belly-to-belly suplex.

Kozlov gets Hardy in the corner and goes to hit him, but Hardy moves and hits a Whisper in the Wind off of two turnbuckles, only to have Edge run in to start a beatdown of Hardy.

Winner via disqualification: Jeff Hardy

Kozlov holds Hardy up for Edge, who punches him some more. Then Triple H comes up on the Tron, walking down an aisle. Edge sees this and grabs a chair while Kozlov puts the boots to Hardy in the corner. Then Triple H hits the ring, ducks the chair shot and Pedigrees Edge. Then he takes Kozlov down and works some ground-and-pound. Kozlov retreats to the outside, where Triple H jumps him from behind then runs him into the ring post and the announce table. He throws him back in the ring and grabs the sledgehammer as Kozlov retreats.

Back in the ring, Hardy composes himself enough to hit the Swanton Bomb on a perfectly positioned Edge as Triple H looks on.

Matt Bishop is SLAM! Wrestling's ECW reporter. He can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. And if you're interested in mixed martial arts, check out Matt's weekly podcast -- Lights Out Radio. Should be a good one!.