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Smackdown: Hardy gets Punk'd
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


WWE rolls out another Friday Night Smackdown show tonight for our viewing pleasure. Tonight’s ep is the final one before Night of Champions, so any unanswered questions should be fulfilled before the boys and girls of the Fed walk down the aisle Sunday. Let’s see what went down.

Jeff Hardy comes out first with a ring introduction and then gets on the stick, cutting a decent promo on CM Punk.

Match 1 – Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho

Match starts off pretty well but begins to slip into an all-too-familiar pattern. I can’t really blame the guys for playing it a bit lighter tonight since the PPV is a short time away. Towards the end though, the action heats up, especially after Jericho hits the Codebreaker for a near fall. Hardy eventually is able to score with the Swanton and get the duke.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

Backstage, Michelle McCool is getting… body makeup applied? Sure, why not. Oh, and she’s also yapping about how good she is. Melina comes into the picture, looking quite different with long, straight witch-like hair. Took a second to click, honest. Melina then tells McCool they’re fighting at NoC. Great – couldn’t have announced this a couple weeks ago could they? Oh, and Melina tosses makeup at McCool to end the segment. Next!

Next, we take a special look at John Morrison in the form of a quick, almost time-filler video.

Match 2 – Great Khali vs. Mike Knox

Hey, look who’s back? Someone give Knox some animal fur boots and you’ve got a rebirth of Bruiser Brody.

It doesn’t take long for Kane to come out and serve as a distraction. Doesn’t help much, as this squash is over in a hurry.

Winner: Great Khali

Post-match, Kane teases getting into the ring with Khali, but quickly turns tail

Next up is Word Up, with the word of the week, GOAT (greatest of all time). The Allied Powers DVD is plugged until The Hart Dyansty comes into the picture. Jesse then interjects and for the first time alludes to his father being Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy. He gets a few shots in, before the Dynasty challenges Cryme Tyme and Eve to a 6-person match.

Match 3 – Dolph Ziggler vs. Fit Finlay

Ziggler now has Maria accompanying him to the ring.

The match is pretty solid overall, with some good exchanges between the two. At one point, the boys are outside and Ziggler is down, which brings Maria to her feet to tend to her man. Finlay holds back from pulling her out of the way, which proves costly as Ziggler is able to use his finisher to put Finlay out via countout. Do I sense a subtle heel turn for Maria coming?

Winner: Ziggler

Next up, CM Punk comes out for an oratory to a mixed reaction (though more boos than yays). Punk goes out on a full Straight Edge rant. His speech draws Hardy out for a second time. Soon thereafter, Punk leaves. Good drama here!

Match 4 – Natalya vs. Eve

Okay… so apparently this isn’t a 6-person match.

Natalya looks good in the ring, as always, but Eve really looked strong, finishing the bout with a picture-perfect Moonsault for the duke!

Winner: Eve

Backstage, Ranjin Singh and Khali are chatting when Jericho comes in. Khali declines Jericho’s tag offer.

Match 5 – R-Truth vs. Charlie Haas

Where’s Pretty Ricky?

The bout is standard fare for a Haas match – solid, but not exactly crowd-popping. Truth ends up getting the win with the Corkscrew Scissor Kick.

Winner: R-Truth

Back from a break, Todd Grisham and Jim Ross are in the ring to run down the NoC card.

Match 6 – CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio

This was as good as you’d expect from these two. Punk attacks the shoulder and uses a couple moves out of Jericho’s playbook (namely move number 420, the ironically named Straight Edge Armbar). Punk also pulls out the double chickenwing, which I haven’t seen since the days of the Red Rooster.

Eventually, Ziggler saunters down to ringside and briefly interferes, but Rey shrugs him off. Mysterio then gets the nearfall after the springboard splash, only for Ziggler to interfere again. So Punk essentially loses by pinfall before the big PPV? How does he look credible at this point? Damn,

Winner: Rey Mysterio (DQ)

Post-match, Ziggler continues the beatdown with some help from Punk momentarily before the World champ escapes and heads up the ramp. As Punk stands near the entrance, Hardy rushes out to stop the beatdown of Ziggler on Rey. Punk then comes back and GTS’s Hardy to close the show.

Well, the build was good, so no complaints there. The in-ring was okay, but could have been better. Thumbs in the middle this week. See you in seven.

Jon Waldman is the co-editor of SLAM! Wrestling: Shocking Stories from the Squared Circle. Stay tuned to SLAM! for all pre-order information.