Itâ€™s the last Friday of July and the WWE looks to end the month with a bang tonight on Smackdown. Tonightâ€™s show features John Morrison challenging the new World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy for the title in our main event. Let the road to Summer Slam begin!
We begin with a video package of the main event from Night of Champions and Jeffâ€™s big moment. I really disagree with the booking of that match but as a long time WWE viewer Iâ€™m used to that sort of thing. Jeff is announced to the crowd as the new champ and joins us in the ring for what has become the standard promo to open the show. We also get extra footage of CM Punk offering Hardy a post match handshake after their ppv match while Jeff continues to pose in the ring. Eventually Jeff gives us his usual promo while also putting over John Morrison and tonightâ€™s main event.
Cryme Tyme vs The Hart Dynasty: Cryme Tyme enters while Hardy is still in the ring and they all pose together before we head to commercial. And as we return we see a bit of their adventure Monday on Raw with Shaq. The winner of this match gets a shot at the unified Tag Team Championships at Summer Slam. If you know that and you watch WWE programming, then you already know who is going to win this match. JR and Todd put over Tyson Kiddâ€™s match last night on Superstars vs John Morrison and I agree.
Smith and Shad start us off and JR remarks how he has enjoyed the feud between these two teams and I agree with that as well. Spooky. Shad begins to overpower Smith and take control of the match before Kidd gets a blind tag and uses that bit of stealth to go low on Shad and the heels begin to work over the big manâ€™s leg outside the ring as we head to commercial break.
When we return from break the action has returned to the ring but Shad is still having his leg worked over by the Hart Dynasty. Finally JTG is able to get the hot tag and as he works against Kidd the pace begins to quicken. There are several nice spots between these two with a series of pin reversals that get two counts. After one of those pinfall attempts is broken up, Shad and Smith begin to battle outside. JTG hits the Shout-Out on Kidd and covers him for the win and the title shot.
The tag-team champions join us (with a new theme and entrance video mix) to belittle their challengers. Jericho; â€œWe have a combined 40 title reigns between us, do you know how great that makes us?â€ Shad calls them Han Solo and Chewbacca then does his best wookie impression for the fans. The champs are not amused and the Big Show reminds everyone how great they are. I like this Show/Jericho team a lot better after this promo and this was a good segment for both teams.
Womenâ€™s Champion Michelle McCool & Layla vs Eve Torres & Melina: I guess Laylaâ€™s face turn was for one show only. All four ladies get their own entrances but Melina disappoints us all by not doing her usual split. We are told that is because McCool attacked her during her entrance on Sunday, which is a good way to get heel heat from most of the male viewers. Melina and Layla start us off but Eve is quickly in the ring and the faces are in control. Layla trips her up when she tries to climb the ropes and McCool tags in and roughs Eve up a bit.
After a jawbreaker by Eve, Melina gets the hot tag and takes control over Layla. As she sets up for her finisher, Michelle breaks it up with a vicious kick to the face and then gives one to Eve on the outside for good measure. McCool back inside the ring and looks to possibly set-up a Widows Peak but Melina makes an excellent counter (that has her wearing a huge grin for the camera) and gets the pin on the Womenâ€™s Champion. Not a great match but it had a very hot finish.
CM Punk is with Josh for an interview. He runs down Hardy and considers Jeffâ€™s win over him to be an upset because no one that lives like he does can be considered â€œthe better manâ€ than him. We then get a shot of the new â€œitâ€ couple in the WWE Maria and Dolph walking around backstage as we head to commercial.
Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio & Fit Finlay vs Dolph Ziggler & Mike Knox: Dolph and Rey start us off and the action goes back and forth until Knox gets the blind tag and levels Mysterio with a crossbody. After being roughed up a bit Rey gets the hot tag to Fit and the Irishman starts hammering away on the bigger man. Finlay gets hung-up on the ropes after a kick by Knox and seems to have wrenched his knee. Ziggler and Knox begin to tag in and out frequently as they work over Finlay but are only focusing on the knee about half the time.
Several good tease spots for the hot-tag but the heels remain in control for an extended period of time. Finally Dolph makes a mistake and Rey comes in to quicken the pace. Rey gets Ziggler set-up for the 619, hits it, Knox and a splash but Mike breaks up the pin attempt. Chaos erupts with all four men involved for a bit, but Fit and Rey combine on a roll-up of Ziggler and he takes the loss. Decent match and I am sure we will continue to see Ziggler do battle with both Mysterio and Finlay in the future.
John Morrison joins us in the back (with Josh) and cuts a really weak babyface promo about his title match tonight. I liked his character much more as a heel. Khali and his kiss loving sidekick are walking in the back so I assume his match will be next.
The Great Khali vs Charlie Haas: Haas is already in the ring as we return to the show with Khali making his grand entrance. As you might imagine Khali is quickly in control of this match with is usual bag of tricks. Suddenly Kane appears behind TGK and motions for the chokeslam. But Khali turns around too quickly and with the element of surprise gone Kane bails and that will not only end this match but also this segment.
World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy vs John Morrison: Weâ€™ve had a lot of build up for this match thru-out the show and the entrances and introductions are given the â€œbig matchâ€ treatment as well. Morrison looks to take control by working the arm and Jeff counters by doing the same. Really not much to recap in the early going as this match is pretty uneventful in the early going. A nice reversal of Jeffâ€™s trademark legdrop to the lower abdominals by Morrison leads to him dumping the champ outside the ring. Hardy stops Johnâ€™s first dive attempt to the outside but after eating a kick for his troubles Morrison hits a nice moonsault to send us to a commercial break.
As we return from the break, Morrison is in control with the champ locked in a headlock on the mat. Another nice reversal by John, this time of the Twist of Fate but Hardy is quickly out of the pin attempt that follows. Starship Pain is attempted but missed and Jeff follows with Whispers in the Win. Hardy goes to a rest hold and follows up with a top rope leg drop for a tow count and another rest hold. Morrison starts a comeback and quickly gets on a roll with a nice series of moves. But a battle over top rope positioning leads to both men being knocked down outside the ring and we all know that means we are due for another commercial break.
We return with both men back in the ring and slugging it out. Hardy finally hits his legdrop to the neither-regions and follows with a dropkick to the face. After a long two count he almost hits an MDK bomb on Morrison to the outside but John blocks it. Jeff tosses John into the barricade and follows with a high impact move off the ringsteps. Back inside Jeff again covers for two and his frustration leads to a comeback by Morrison. Several high impact moves lead to a series of nearfalls for Morrison and he begins to build momentum. Jeff turns a reversal into a forward vertical suplex and hits the Swanton but only for a 2.8 count. Morrison again has the opportunity for Starship Pain but Jeff gets his knees up. Twist of Fate connects and so does the Swanton Bomb and this time it is good enough for the three count and the champ retains. Despite a slow beginning this was a great match with Morrison really looking good despite the loss.
CM Punk is out to congratulate the champion on his victory even raising his hand and applauding him. He grabs a mic and as he begins to speak just lays into Hardy with the microphone and starts to wail on him. He takes the action outside and this is a restaurant quality beating by the former champion. Punk even pauses at one point, removes his t-shirt as he seems to be leaving, before running back over to Jeff to continue the beating. As he finally stops the onslaught and reaches the top of the ramp, Punk tells us all to tune into Smackdown next week where he will regain his World Heavyweight Championship.