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Smackdown: Mysterio and Jericho put on another classic
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


The build is on for The Night of Champions pay-per-view that is only two weeks away. Tonight is built around the growing animosity between Jeff Hardy and CM Punk, but don’t forget about the stellar main event. Chris Jericho has cashed in his rematch clause and will square off against arch rival Rey Mysterio for his Intercontinental title. From Bakersfield, California lets rock n’ rolla with some Smackdown!

Match 1: Jeff Hardy vs. Kane

Jeff comes out with an eye patch and shows a clip of the double eye “injury” that both him and CM Punk suffered in their tag match together last week. Hardy removes the patch and proclaims that unlike Punk he does not fake injuries. Out comes Kane and the match begins. Hardy connects with a plancha to the outside early on to temporarily stifle the Big Red Machine. The momentum does not stick as Kane systematically pounds away at Jeff both before and after the commercial break. Finally The Charismatic Enigma makes a comeback by knocking his foe off the top rope and soon after gains a two count from a whisper in the wind. He hits an awkward Twist of Fate and climbs high for the swanton bomb when CM Punk’s music hits and he appears. The distraction allows Kane to recover and for him to execute a choke slam with Jeff still on the third turnbuckle. A three count later and this one is over.

WINNER: Kane

John Morrison is in GM Theodore Long’s office to remind him that he wants a shot at the winner between Punk and Hardy at Night of Champions. There’s some banging sounds coming from the closet when out pops Dolph Ziggler, to which Morrison says, “it’s about time you came out of the closet”. Then Maria creeps out and slaps Ziggler on the behind and wishes him good luck in his match tonight.

Match 2: Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison

Morrison quickly takes down Ziggler and smothers him with some chain wrestling. A decent battle brewing between these two young Superstars as Dolph regains control on the outside. The cocky Ziggler wears down the Friday Night Delight with a full nelson, however, Morrison hits a series of high flying kicks to score a near fall. Each competitor pulls off a reversal, but Dolph is able to get a hand full of tights for an upset roll up victory.

WINNER: Dolph Ziggler

A weird comedy segment with R Truth sporting some fake gold teeth and him talking to fans and security guards as an alter ego ‘Pretty Ricky’.

Match 3: Melina & Eve Torres vs. Michelle McCool & Layla

The most uninteresting rivalry in the WWE continues as Eve and Layla continue to face off one way or another. Layla and Eve start off, but thank goodness Melina and Michelle were given most of the ring time. Nothing overly interesting as Melina pins Layla via roll up. After the bell McCool jumps Melina, however, it is the Latina spitfire who turns the beat down around once the action spills to the outside.

WINNERS: Melina & Eve Torres

CM Punk grabs the mic before his match and it looks like the full heel turn is almost complete. Punk makes fun saying that Hardy is only one failed drug test away from being kicked out of the WWE! Punk is being booed soundly as The Great Khali makes his way down…I hope the champ has his working boots on.

Match 4: Non-title: CM Punk vs. The Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh

Luckily this one is kept short, and Jeff Hardy is at the announce table. Punk skips around the giant and lands some kicks at a distance. Khali catches the champion with some big slaps, however, Punk is able to rebound thanks to some Muay Thai kicks. Khali is just about to pin Punk following a double choke slam when Kane walks down with a steel chair. Ranjin Singh slides Khali a chair for an equalizer and the 7 plus footer survives a chair shot, then nails Kane with one of his own to send him scrambling out of the squared circle.

WINNER: No Contest

Match 5: The Hart Dynasty vs. Cryme Tyme

I really hope they let the Hart Dynasty develop together and really grow as a unit. How amazing would it be to get Teddy Hart in finally and maybe Jim Neidhart as a manager. This is the rematch from last week where the Harts had their Smackdown debut spoiled. Natalya is really embracing her role as heel valet well and of course looks pretty in pink! Tyson Kidd (aka T.J. Wilson) starts things off against JTG who is taking it to the last graduate of the famed Hart dungeon. D.H. Smith hits a stalling suplex reminiscent of his father Davey Boy Smith on JTG before Shad gets the hot tag and runs wild. Natalya distracts the official as Smith and Kidd finish of Shad with the High Low for a revenge win.

WINNERS: The Hart Dynasty

Match 6: Intercontinental championship- Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Chris Jericho

On a side note, it will be interesting to see what is done with Jericho now that his co-tag team champion, Edge, is going to be on the injury shelf for some time. These two have arguably had the feud of the year and the crowd this evening is super hot for Mysterio. Y2J will be trying to capture Intercontinental gold for a record 10th time. WWE is giving us a treat by letting this one go over 20 minutes. Jericho initially slows Mysterio to a manageable pace with some old fashioned fists. Going into the commercial break Y2J sends Rey flying into the steel ring post where he falls hard to the outside. Back from the break is still in full control and wears down the champion courtesy of a reverse chin lock. Mysterio quickens the pace with a spring board cross body, but is caught with a ferocious powerbomb as he went for the flying head scissors. Rey is able to scramble out of the Walls of Jericho, the two exchange pinning reversals, and then Mysterio falls violently out of the ring after a botched 619 attempt. Returning from another commercial break Rey escapes from a submission hold and for his troubles is whipped into the corner. Jericho hits an incredible spinning version of Samoa Joe's finishing neck/shoulder breaker for a two count. Chris misses the Lionsault, but catches a leaping Mysterio and turns it into the Walls of Jericho. Somehow Rey crawls to the ropes and executes a perfect springboard moonsault onto his rival outside the squared circle. The champion is caught in mid-air with an incredible Code Breaker for a near fall. Mysterio recovers to dial up the 619 and follow that with a falling splash from the top rope to retain his title. Mysterio escapes a sneak attack from Jericho's partner Edge, however, he does anticipate a nasty shot from behind by Dolph Ziggler. Dolph stalks the fallen I.C. champion and slams the back of his head to the mat. This was taped before Edge's Achilles tendon injury. What an absolutely magnificent battle.

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. Be sure to check out the one-on-one interview with TNA Knockout Taylor Wilde on SLAM! Wrestling’s home page. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com