August 1, 2009
Smackdown: A memorable main event
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
The countdown to the end of Jeff Hardy's latest WWE run, if the rumours are indeed true, begins tonight as Smackdown embarks on the road to Summerslam. The show has been much anticipated with what many see as a surprising title win by the Charismatic Cnigma. Let's take a look at what went down.
Now, normally I don't pay much attention to opening videos, but this one was dedicated to Jeff's title win at Night of Champions and WWE made a huge deal of it, as if it was his first win, which is a bit odd since it's actually his third; but hey, it's sucked the fans in and made them more interested so kudos on good marketing.
Hardy then comes out to the ring and cuts a decent promo thanking the fans and talking up his bout later tonight with John Morrison.
Cryme Tyme then comes out for the quick rub before their match.
Match 1 - Cryme Tyme vs. Hart Dynasty (#1 Contender's Match)
The feud wraps up here, apparently. Not a bad way to do it either.
Cryme Tyme comes out on top with a great effort and earn a surprisingly rare title shot. I'm glad these guys are getting the shot they deserve after being one of the few long-running (and titled) tandems WWE has had in the last half decade.
Winners: Cryme Tyme
Post-match, Chris Jericho and Big Show (or as some have dubbed them, Jerishow) come out and the two teams exchange words. The work here is good and I hope WWE actually begins to give some serious attention to the tag ranks.
Match 2 - Eve/Melina vs. Michelle McCool/Layla
I'm liking Eve's work more and more each week. Could she be the next Trish Stratus? If WWE were to give her time to develop fully, I'd say there's a decent outside chance; at worst she'll get up to a mid-level worker by this time next year (and yes, you can quote me on this). In the meantime, she and Melina worked fairly well in this short match, leading to Melina getting the duke for her duo.
Backstage, CM Punk is interviewed and he keeps his integrity character going pretty smoothly. He announces that he gets the winner of tonight's title bout.
Match 3 - Finlay/Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler/Mike Knox
Three tag matches in a row? Interesting...
I'm glad to see that Mike Knox is back on TV. If it were me, I'd have him brutalize Finlay and beat him into a long hiatus or retirement. This match doesn't do much to build him, or Ziggler for that matter, as Maria's beau takes the pin.
Match 4 - The Great Khali vs. Charlie Haas
Charlie deserves better, but at least he's on TV. Khali looks ready for this to be a squash, but Kane sneaks into the ring. No contact though means that there's no DQ, and Kane slips out before anything can happen. He grabs Ranjin Singh and extracts some physicality there. Khali rushes out to aid his translator and... well... somewhere the match ends. I guess this is leading to a Summerslam match between the two. Hey look, around the corner -- there's August! Never thought I'd be so happy to see the eighth month.
Winners: Like in war, there are only losers
Match 5 - John Morrison vs. Jeff Hardy (World Title Match)
As a friend of mine at the University of Winnipeg once said, this was all that and a bag of chips... and dip! Awesome match between two guys who had a great run on Raw a couple years back and who could easily have a WrestleMania main-event level bout even a year from now... that is if Hardy stays on board or returns (depending on whether you believe the rumours or not). This is a must-see and must-have, either by recording a replay or download or whatever you need to do. After a couple finisher counters, Hardy picks up the duke with the Swanton, but elevates Morrison to the main event in the process (can we call this appointing his successor?).
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Post-match, CM Punk comes down to congratulate Jeff... and kick the ever-loving hell out of him. Brutal beatdown to finish the heel turn completely.
This was the perfect show to continue the momentum from NoC's big title match. The main event here was legen...wait for it...dary. I'm curious what will happen with the tag situation now, while the middle matches either built some intrigue or, at worst, were fillers that didn't completely offend me. That's a recipe for a happy recapper if there ever was one. See you all soon!
Jon Waldman is the co-editor of SLAM! Wrestling: Shocking Stories from the Squared Circle. Catch him every Friday on The Great Canadian Talk Show with Marty Gold at 5:15 central on 92.9 KICK FM in Winnipeg.