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Smackdown: Punk flies high, while Hardy crashes and burns
By ANDY McNAMARA - SLAM! Wrestling


Smackdown rolls into Edmonton, Alberta as SummerSlam is only a week away Sunday. An injured Jeff Hardy is forced into action, while his SummerSlam opponent CM Punk gains some sweet revenge. The unified tag team champions also show Cryme Tyme why they are the best in the world. From Bizzaro Land lets get to the report!

Number one contender CM Punk begins tonight’s festivities in the ring and explains to the crowd how he actually has the advantage in his Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match versus Jeff Hardy at SummerSlam. Punk states that to try and make members of the audience productive members of society he must “end” Jeff Hardy. GM Theodore Long interrupts the challenger and chastises him for almost ending Hardy’s career last week and tells everyone that Jeff is here tonight. Long announces that Punk will have to face the man he has never defeated -- John Morrison. Hardy’s music hits and the world champion walks down to the ring in street clothes. Jeff gets in Punk’s face and says that he is hurt, but that he will defend his belt at SummerSlam.

Teddy Long is back in his office and receives a call from Mr. McMahon ordering him to place the injured Jeff Hardy in a handicapped match tonight against The Hart Dynasty.

Match 1: Dolph Ziggler vs. Finlay

Good to see the technically sound Finlay back on Smackdown these past couple of weeks. Ziggler will be squaring off with Rey Mysterio at SummerSlam for the Intercontinental championship. Finlay nails some European uppercuts early and traps the youngster between the ring skirt and the apron to land some punishing forearms. Mike Knox strolls down the aisle and when we return from commercials Ziggler scores a couple of near falls. The Irishman gains back control, but a shillelagh shot to the back of the leg by Knox allows Ziggler to land his reverse bulldog to pick up the win. After the bell Knox and Finlay brawl, however, big Mike gets the better of the exchange by side walk slamming his rival onto the steel steps.

WINNER: Dolph Ziggler

It appears that we are in the boiler room with Ranjin Singh tied up by Kane. The Big Red Machine forces him to tell the camera that he is being treated fairly and being well taken care of. Kane then slaps the frightened adviser and challenges The Great Khali to come meet him.

Match 2: CM Punk vs. John Morrison

These two continue to have phenomenal chemistry and hopefully this will translate into a proper world title feud one day. Terrific back and forth action with numerous near falls, including Morrison almost grabbing his third win in a row over Punk via a spinning second rope cross body. The two exchange martial arts kicks, but it is the Friday Night Delight who hits a single leg kick, standing moonsault, and top rope attack ... however, he still cannot keep the number one contender down. Punk starts to roll with a running knee lift and running bulldog for a count of two. What a terrific athletic spectacle by both Superstars. Punk escapes two Starship Pain attempts and finds himself stuck in a tree of woe. The straight edge Punk powers Morrison into the GTS to finish him off. Interesting that they wouldn’t save Punk’s victory for a pay-per-view.

WINNER: CM Punk

Match 3: Melina vs. Layla

Layla outsmarts Melina early outside the ring and is able to turn that into a couple of quick roll up attempts. The former women’s champ is caught in a tree of woe and Layla then wears her down with a modified STF. Melina nails her split single leg drop finisher to defeat her feisty foe.

WINNER: Melina

Match 4: Big Show w/ Chris Jericho vs. JTG w/ Shad Gaspard

Big Show tosses JTG around like a sack of potatoes and wears on him with an arm bar. JTG is chucked to the outside, and Jericho is able to sneak attack Shad from behind and whip him into the steel post. Show connects with a vicious choke slam and makes JTG tap out with his version of the camel clutch.

In the boiler room Kane ambushes Khali as he went to save Ranjin Singh.

WINNER: Big Show

Match 5: Non-title Handicap Match: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. The Hart Dynasty

Hart Smith, Kidd, and Neidhart receive a heroes welcome from the Edmonton crowd. Hardy tries to finish off Kidd quickly, but the powerful David Hart Smith overwhelms him. The world champion seems helpless in his injured condition, however, he gamely tries to battle back. Smith tosses his partner off the top rope and misses Hardy whose swanton bomb attempt is foiled by a Tyson Kidd distraction. A leaping version of the old Hart Attack finisher (Kidd delivered a springboard clothesline from the third rope while Smith held him) to put Hardy down for the 1-2-3. After the bell CM Punk runs in and goes after the neck of Jeff. Before he can lock in Hardy’s head in a steel chair, brother Matt storms in for the save. Punk and the Hart Dynasty are sent reeling. Matt helps up his little brother and it looks like the Hardy Boyz are back.

WINNERS: The Hart Dynasty

In GM Long’s office Vince McMahon walks in and has Teddy announce next week’s main event of John Morrison, Jeff and Matt Hardy vs. CM Punk & The Hart Dynasty. McMahon then tells Long that he is still on probation.

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