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Smackdown: Edge talks tough, but Hardy delivers
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Coming off the heels of Judgment Day we begin the build to Extreme Rules tonight. A phenomenal CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho match is alone worth watching the program for and a well fought Divas battle doesn’t hurt either. A massive main event caps things off as Jeff Hardy looks to gain some revenge on the world champion Edge; hopefully without the interference of his brother Matt. From the home of the Reds, Cincinnati is ready to feel the Smackdown!

Edge is out in the ring in a plaid shirt attire saying that after last Sunday he is without a shadow of a doubt the face of Smackdown. GM Theodore Long (coincidentally also wearing plaid) interrupts and informs the World Heavyweight Champion that Jeff Hardy will get a rematch at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view because of Matt Hardy’s interference at Judgment Day. Jeff Hardy appears and goes into the audience with a microphone asking the fans if they want to see this rematch. Everyone answers ‘yes’ and Teddy makes the match.

Match 1: Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin, & Ricky Ortiz vs. John Morrison, & Cryme Tyme

Ortiz has the better of Morrison early on before Chad gets in there and takes control. Coming back from the commercial break the bad guys have the momentum as JTG is stuck in their corner. Haas and Ortiz focus in on the left arm of JTG, and looks to be fading until he finally makes the hot tag to John Morrison. The Shaman of Sexy cleans house and scores a near fall on Haas. After draping Haas over the top rope Morrison is able to hit his corkscrew split leg splash off of the top for his team’s win.

WINNERS: Morrison, Cryme Tyme

Josh Matthews is backstage with Melina for an interview before she is interrupted by Alicia Fox. Alicia tells Melina that the title will soon be Michelle McCools, and the Women’s champ responds with a slap to the face.

Match 2: #1 Contender Women’s Championship Match- Gail Kim vs. Michelle McCool w/ Alicia Fox

Gail Kim hurts her knee on the outside ring post and McCool wisely isolates the injured left leg. Michelle has improved so much both in the ring and charisma wise. Kim locks in the head scissors squeeze while off the ground and almost makes McCool pass out. Alicia grabs Kim’s leg, which allows Michelle to grab her from the top rope and deliver her version of the Styles Clash, The Faith Breaker, to become the #1 Contender. Good crisp match by both Divas.

WINNER: Michelle McCool

Jim Ross interviews Rey Mysterio who speaks about retaining the Intercontinental title against Chris Jericho at Judgment Day. He says that he is done with Jericho and wants to give some of the young guys a chance. Mysterio goes on about how prestigious the belt is, and how he wants to bring honour back to it. He finishes the interview about how it is a Latino wrestling tradition to wear a mask, and how he will never take it off during competition. This I’m sure will lead to a mask versus something match with Jericho.

Match 3: Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk

A quick start to this one as Punk nails Jericho with kicks, chops and slams. Y2J wiggles out of an early GTS attempt with some elbows and then goes to work on Mr. Money In The Bank. These two mesh so well in the ring and always put out entertaining battles. After the commercials Jericho dishes out a senton, but misses the enziguri and is almost pinned from a roll up. Y2J scrambles out of two more GTS efforts and is able to swing Punk into the Walls of Jericho. The MITB winner gets to the ropes and finally connects the GTS, however it sends Chris to the outside. Umaga appears and attacks Punk with a big leather strap to cause the DQ. Umaga ties CM to the turnbuckle and nails him with the Samoan Spike. He then gets on the mic and challenges CM Punk to a Samoan Strap Match at Extreme Rules…when did Umaga learn to speak English?

WINNER: CM Punk via DQ

Ricky Ortiz is speaking to Maria backstage and tells her to “rally up”. Jeff Hardy walks by and Maria flocks to him saying that he did a good job. After Hardy leaves Ortiz advises Maria that she is looking for love in all the wrong places and gives her his rally towel.

Match 4: Dolph Ziggler vs. R Truth

R Truth has the crowd all riled up and hits his typical high flying athletic arsenal, including a one leg spinning drop kick. A jumping scissors kick only gets Truth a count of two. Nothing too great about this one as Truth dominates throughout. Ziggler makes the late comeback by delivering his flying neck breaker type finisher out of nowhere. The Great Khali comes out and forces Dolph back into the ring where R Truth is waiting for him with a spinning elbow. Ziggler narrowly escapes the giant’s grasp and high tails it out through the crowd.

WINNER:

Match 5: Main Event- Non-title: Edge (c) vs. Jeff Hardy

The winner will get to choose what stipulation will be used in their match at Extreme Rules. The live crowd is all behind Hardy as he is on the receiving end of an Edge beat down during the opening minutes. A good fast paced, no surprise as both men always have terrific battles. The story is that Edge continuously worked over Hardy’s head and it was teased that he may not be able to go on. The Rated R Superstar tried to finish off Jeff the same way he did at Judgment Day -- with a top rope Edgecution. Hardy was able to fight him off, shove the champion down, and fly high with a swanton bomb. The Charismatic Enigma grabs the 1-2-3 and gets to pick the match stipulation. Jeff proclaims that they will war over the title in a Ladder Match!

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