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Smackdown: Hardy's hot, Edge is not
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


A slew of matches rocks the Smackdown house tonight on the road to Judgment Day. Edge is forced to take on CM Punk once again ... but will Punk be able to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase? Chris Jericho also challenges Jeff Hardy for his chance to climb back into the World Heavyweight Championship picture. From Steel Town Pittsburgh, here comes the report!

General Manager Theodore Long announces “the face of Smackdown” and out comes Rey Mysterio. The I.C. champ tells the crowd how happy he is to be back and that he will one day be world champion. Chris Jericho interrupts and complains to Long how he is continually disrespected and how he deserves a world title shot after being screwed in last week’s Fatal Four Way #1 Contender’s Match. Mysterio and Y2J exchange words followed by Rey pushing down Jericho and walking out of the ring. Jeff Hardy then arrives and strolls casually to the squared circle. Hardy tells Chris that he has to beat him to become the #1 contender. Jeff challenges Jericho to a match tonight where by if Y2J wins he will be added to the title bout at Judgment Day. The Charismatic Enigma then slaps Jericho in the mouth causing Chris to exit.

Match 1: R-Truth vs. Mike Knox

This is Mike Knox’s Smackdown debut and is hopefully the start of a nice run for the talented monster. A slow start as each Superstar exchange some heavy fists and feet. A scissors kick by Truth and a missile drop kick off the top rope scores him a pair of near falls. Knox quickly recovers by connecting with a big boot and then his spinning finisher manoeuvre for a 1-2-3.

WINNER: Mike Knox

Match 2: Michelle McCool w/ Alicia Fox vs. Gail Kim

McCool tries to psych out Kim by doing some pushups following an arm drag. Michelle is made to pay for her taunting by some Gail kicks both in and out of the ring. McCool locks in a submission scissor lock around the neck of Kim. Gail hits an impressive blockbuster off the top rope for a two count. Michelle catches Kim in a head scissors attempt and turns it into the Faith Breaker (a modified Styles Clash).

WINNER: Michelle McCool

Josh Matthews interviews Jeff Hardy who says that Jericho is only a distraction on his way to another world title.

Edge is backstage with GM Teddy Long’s office. Edge is complaining about how the general manager is giving Jericho a chance to compete in a Triple Threat Match for the gold at Judgment Day. Long tells the Rated R Superstar that he will be facing CM Punk -- unless of course Punk decides to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase.

Match 3: John Morrison vs. Charlie Haas w/ Shelton Benjamin

Haas uses some of his amateur wrestling to control Morrison on the ground early on. The Friday Night Delight is eventually able to deliver a springboard dropkick and follows that up with a backdrop to turn the tide. Haas makes a comeback with a text book double arm suplex and back breaker to where his opponent down. An incredible looking split leg corkscrew splash bouncing off the top turnbuckle is enough to keep Haas down.

WINNER: John Morrison

Match 4: Non-title: Edge (c) vs. CM Punk

After a back and forth exchange Punk sends Edge to the outside and then hits a suicide dive. The World Champion fights back in the ring, but Punk is able to squirm out of an electric chair and turns it into a victory roll for a two count. These two have some real chemistry in the ring. Punk forces the Rated R Superstar to the outside again, however, this time Edge voluntarily walks away. This gets him counted out, but does not allow the challenger to cash in his briefcase. Umaga sneaks in through the crowd again and kicks down Punk. He then nails Mr. Money In The Bank with a Samoan Spike.

WINNER: CM Punk by countout

Match 5: Arm Wrestling Match- Eve vs. Layla

Cryme Tyme is hosting this Divas arm wrestling match. Long story short Eve wins and is then attacked by Layla.

WINNER: Eve

In the back we have Dolph Ziggler, Jimmy Wang Yang (he’s still around?), and Jesse. Ziggler tells them he has an announcement after the commercials. Once the show resumes Dolph is in the ring proclaiming that he will rip through the Smackdown locker room and issues and open challenge. Who accepts? The Great Khali. Nice crisp promo by Ziggler.

Match 6: The Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler is dominated by a clothesline and some big open hand slaps. Dolph becomes frustrated and repeatedly strikes Khali with a steal chair until he is disqualified.

WINNER: The Great Khali by DQ

Match 7: Main Event- Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy

If Chris Jericho wins this match then he will be thrown into the Edge/Jeff Hardy world title bout at Judgment Day. Edge is back out for commentary. These two rivals set a quick pace right off the bat with Jericho gaining the advantage on the outside by hurling Hardy into the steel steps and barricade. Rey Mysterio shows up and makes sure that Jericho does not walk out on the match. Jeff is able to escape the Walls of Jericho, but is unable to hit a Swanton Bomb following a suplex. Hardy is able to bounce back and slaps Y2J in a Walls of Jericho before narrowly escaping a reversal roll up pin attempt. Chris chucks Jeff into Edge’s lap while he sits at the announce table; however, the world champ distracts Jericho, which leads to a Hardy roll up for a near fall. Mysterio points out to the referee that Jericho had his feet on the rope, which sends Y2J into a rage. Hardy takes advantage of the distraction by nailing Jericho with a Twit of Fate and is able to finally hit the Swanton Bomb for the victory. Great match. Rey Mysterio attacks Jericho from the top rope with a split leg splash to end the program.

WINNER: Jeff Hardy

Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer, and is continuing his 3rd season as the play-by-play broadcaster for Toronto Maple Leafs inter-county league baseball on Rogers TV this Sunday live at 2pm. Along with baseball Andy does play-by-play for hockey, basketball, and volleyball on Rogers Television in Toronto. He is also the Host of Oakville Blades hockey on TV Cogeco. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com