September 1, 2009
Scott Criscuolo

Friday Night Smackdown!
August 28, 2009
Phoenix, Arizona
Jim Ross and Todd Grisham

-We start with a highlight package of Summerslam 5 days earlier.

OPENING ANIMATION

JR welcomes us to Phoenix, the home of Wrestlemania XXVI. Our main event tonight, Is Jeff Hardy enacting his rematch clause and will face World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk in a steel cage. Ring announcer Justin Roberts announces CM Punk as the only “straight edge World Heavyweight Champion” in history. Out comes a limping and smug CM Punk. With mike in hand he tells the fans he told them so. He said he would defeat Jeff Hardy at Summerslam to regain his World Heavyweight Title, and indeed unless the fans were too intoxicated, he did. We go to a video package recapping that match from Summerslam. Punk says he’s never felt more alive than he does right now, and he says none of the weak people in the audience have never felt that way because of all the shortcuts they’ve taken in their lives. He says the pain from the match is what makes him alive. He also reminds the audience that he’s taken no painkillers to alleviate the pain. He says unlike himself, the fans and Jeff Hardy load up on the extra strength medications. He says at Summerslam he not only suffered physical pain, but emotional pain. His moment in the spotlight was stolen from him by the evil incarnate: the Undertaker. We go back to the video and the aftermatch of the TLC. Punk says its unfair he has to wrestle in a steel cage match. He says it’s a conspiracy because the higher-ups are terrified of him. The fans don’t know how to respond to a straight edge champion. He’s a pioneer, and a role model that eventually the fans will have to accept. Suddenly the music hits and out comes former champion Jeff Hardy. Hardy’s ovation is great again, and he has a mike. He says he hopes Punk enjoys his 5 day reign as champion, because tonight it ends. Hardy says no one cares and no one has to listen to Punk’s rhetoric. The three main words to hear tonight are STEEL CAGE MATCH. Punk says Hardy’s probably intoxicated right now. He asks Hardy what medication it took to have the guts to come down and give him grief. Punk says the reality of Hardy and the people is that he’s sick of hearing the boos. He’s sick and tired of young, impressionable teens cheering someone like you. He says multiple times he’s fed up with Jeff Hardy, and that one of them doesn’t belong here anybody. So tonight, Punk says he wants to finish it. Not only will tonight’s match be for the World Heavyweight Title, but it will also be a Loser Leaves WWE match. Either these cloudy fans will get their cloudy champion, or these people will have to open their eyes and see reality. Hardy takes a minute and says that’s risky, but says it’s on! Then the Macmilitant comes out, and that is of course GM Teddy Long. Teddy says tonight’s match is official: It’s a World Heavyweight Championship Loser Leaves WWE. So the loser is out of a job, but the winner gets the privilege of defending the World Title in two weeks at Breaking Point, and it will be a submission match against….THE UNDERTAKER! Both Punk and Hardy look up at the cage.

We get a quick vignette stating the Undertaker will return next week.

John Morrison & Matt Hardy vs. Hart Dynasty
I think the best thing for Tyson & DH Smith is to go up against guys like Morrison & Hardy every week. Morrison will be rising up Smackdown’s ladder very quickly since someone on the roster will be gone after tonight’s main event. Both Kidd & Smith clearly know how to maneuver around the ring, but getting the heel swagger down is what the important thing now. Clearly Kidd is reminiscent of a mid-80’s Bret Hart. DH doesn’t quite have the outgoing personality of the Anvil, but he may eventually. A pretty good match with nice chemistry by the faces, ending with Morrison hitting Starship Pain on Kid Bulldog for the win. Once again, JR mentioned that when he sees John Morrison in the ring, he thinks of a young Shawn Michaels. Hmmmm….Wrestlemania 27? WINNERS: John Morrison & Matt Hardy (Grade: 2.5)

-Backstage Melina sees Maria and tells her that after Summerslam she saw Dolph Ziggler with another woman. Maria wouldn’t accept it and said that Melina was jealous of her. Melina says Maria needs to be careful and leaves. Dolph walks over to Maria and asks what’s wrong, and she questions him about the woman. Dolph says it was his sister Kristen, in town for Summerslam. Hmmmm…let’s get the Hurricane on the case.

Drew McIntyre vs. R-Truth
In the middle of R-Truth’s rap intro as he’s getting into the ring, Mcintyre punts Truth in the head and beats the crap out of him, including a double-arm DDT. Mcintyre takes the mike and says the fans like to be entertained. They like dancing and rapping. Well he says the party is over. Nice intro for a repackaged heel. WINNER: No Contest (Grade: N/A)

-We go to Women’s Champion Michelle McCool, who’s on crutches. She says the fans paid to see her perform, but Melina’s vicious attack last week gave her a knee injury that she’s not cleared to wrestle. Melina ruined the night for everybody.

Melina vs. Layla
Michelle McCool’s got a very dark, very almost spray-painted tan. I am starting to tire of these same Divas matches every week on Smackdown. I was getting excited with Melina and Gail Kim and everybody else. But with Kim and Maryse on Raw the Divas situation is again boring and bland. At least here Melina is extremely ingenious in the ring and comes up with some cool moves. Layla is getting into a pretty good groove as well in the ring. Again its not the matches that stink, it’s just the same opponents over and over again. Melina hits the very tough Primal Scream that not many can probably hit, and gets the quick win. WINNER: Melina (Grade: 1)

-After the match Melina heads outside and attacks Michelle McCool for the second straight week. After the break we have a recap of Summerslam Axxess. Man Batista’s huge. I hope they do Axxesses for all the Big 4 every year. Really make them special.

Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio vs. Kane
We reignite an old feud with our next match. Of course this was taped before Rey’s Wellness faux pas, so that’s why he’s on camera. I still don’t understand why Kane defeated Khali at Summerslam. Payback for their Wrestlemania match two years ago? Sometimes I just don’t understand booking. These two usually have pretty good matches together regardless of the size and speed differences. Rey is a pretty good bumper for bigger guys and this match was no different. Kane kept holding Rey in his hands and slammed him into the steel post outside 4 times before the ref disqualified him. WINNER: Rey Mysterio by disqualification (Grade: 2)

-The Great Khali comes in after the match and he and Kane brawl out to the crowd. Then Dolph Ziggler comes down and pummels a prone and injured Rey Mysterio.

Unified Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho vs. Shad Gaspard
Jericho takes the mike and says they are the most dominant team in WWE, and they are honest, forthcoming, and unified. I think its strange that Big Show didn’t wrestle either of these guys in singles matches. Before Summerslam Jericho faced JTG. Show has been in tags with Cryme Tyme, but no singles matches. The short match degenerates into a brawl with all 4 guys outside. Teddy Long comes out to say that now it’s a tag team rematch from Summerslam.

Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & Big Show vs. Cryme Tyme
After the break the match continues as a tag team match. This doesn’t help Cryme Tyme much since its already booked that the champs will face MVP & Mark Henry at Breaking Point. Nothing much here, as the champs win again, and Cryme Tyme is slowly heading back to the comedy ranks. WINNERS: Chris Jericho & Big Show (Grade: 2)

-Backstage Jeff Hardy is putting his facepaint on. Matt comes over to him and says tonight is a big gamble, but with Jeff that’s not a surprise. Matt says he respects his brother and to go out there and win his title back. Jeff says this is the ultimate example…of living in the moment. As we go to break the cage is lowering, our main event is next.

World Heavyweight Championship, Steel Cage: CM Punk © vs. Jeff Hardy
Punk attacks Jeff early and gets the early advantage by beating Jeff down outside before the match even officially started. The match is as good as you would expect once they got into the ring. It’s amazing how many matches these two have had since June. They met at Extreme Rules, Night of Champions, a couple of times on Smackdown, and at Summerslam. Now here they are, one final time for the Title or your job. Jeff tried multiple times to just duck out of the cage and win the title. It’s reminiscent of the Hart Brothers cage match from Summerslam 1994. Owen Hart didn’t want to beat up and pin Bret Hart, he wanted to win the title. That’s how Jeff Hardy wrestled this match, he just wanted to leave the cage and regain his gold. There’s a sweet moment where Jeff’s trying to escape from over the top of the cage, and CM Punk superplexed him back to the canvas. Eventually both men fought on top of the cage, but Punk thumbed Hardy’s eye and he hit the canvas. Punk falls to the floor, and Jeff Hardy’s career is over. WINNER: CM Punk (Grade: 3.5)

-After the match Hardy said he said he was sorry if he let anyone down and said he’s sorry they’ll be seeing Punk instead of him on Smackdown. “But it’s been one hell of a ride, hasn’t it?” he said. “I just want you to know that it’s not goodbye forever, it’s only goodbye for now,” Hardy said. “And if the time is right, I’m sure I’ll see you in the future. Thank you all. Hey, but at least Matt’s back on my side. There’s still a Hardy on this show.” Hardy walks up the ramp high-fiving fans, but then Punk ruins the moment and cracks Hardy in the head with the title belt. The show ends with another promo for Undertaker’s return next week. With that we’re out.

FINAL GRADE: B-

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