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August 21, 2009
– Adam Russell

The Hardy Show

This week’s show was built around the reuniting of the Hardy Boyz, as Matt and WWE Champion, Jeff, were scheduled to team up
with John  Morrison for the main event against the team of CM Punk, Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith. Of course, this comes after the
revelation in recent months that Matt burned down Jeff’s house, killing his dog in the process, and tried to seriously injure him
(maybe even kill him) on several other occasions. There was certainly a good chance that this seeming truce was just the set-up for a big
swerve in order to give Matt’s heel turn a shot in the arm. We shall see.

--- Rey Mysterio and Cryme Tyme Vs The Big Show, Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler

Just as our main event was scheduled to be a six-man tag match, so we opened the show in the same fashion, with Summerslam
opponents being on opposite sides of the ring. Old rivals Rey and Jericho started as the legal men, Jericho gaining an early advantage
with a kick, punches, and then a flapjack, before sending Rey into the corner but running into a boot to the face. Rey hit a reverse head
scissors takedown, before Jericho hit back with a forearm. Jericho again ran into a boot in the corner, but this time he blocked it, only to
be caught with an enziguri. That sent Jericho into position for the 619 and, although Jericho avoided the contact, he was caught with a
kneelift, and JTG tagged into the match. JTG and Rey hit a double kick on their opponent, before he came back with punches, and made
the tag to Ziggler. Dolph took JTG down with a fireman’s carry, and locked on a facelock before JTG fought out, and delivered a
dropkick and a super face jam as we went to commercial at 3’16. We returned at 6’33 to find JTG back in a Ziggler facelock,
before Dolph tagged Jericho back in. JTG hit a cross body block on Jericho for a two count, and then a clothesline, before making the tag
to Shad. Shad launched his partner into Jericho, and then hit a powerslam, before tagging JTG back in and slamming him atop Jericho.
This earned JTG a nearfall, but Jericho hit back with a clothesline and made the tag to Show. Show immediately went to work dominating
JTG, slapping his chest, and tossing him around the ring before tagging Jericho back in. Jericho hit an enziguri and an elbowdrop for a
two count, and followed up with a sleeper. JTG battled out and managed to make the tag to Shad who opened up with a pair of
clotheslines, then kicking Show off the apron. He connected with a flying shoulderblock on Jericho and tagged in Rey, who climbed onto
the big man’s shoulders before launching off with a splash onto Jericho. Dolph just managed to break up the resulting pin attempt,
but was thrown to the outside by Shad for his troubles. Show returned to the ring and clotheslined Shad over the top, the momentum
taking him out too, whilst Rey hit a wheelbarrow bulldog on Jericho for another nearfall. Jericho tried to come back with a forearm, but
Rey floated over a back suplex attempt and head scissorred him into the 619 position. This time, he connected with the move, but was
caught on the apron by a knockout punch from Show. Ziggler quickly tagged himself in and covered Rey for the victory at 13’00,
bringing to an end a highly entertaining opening match.

Next, it was time for a promised interview with Matt Hardy, regarding his recent change of heart. Josh Matthews was the man assigned to
the task of asking the tough questions, and he started by asking for the reasons behind his new outlook. Matt answered that he has
always looked after Jeff, and protected him, but that it is hard going from that to watching  your kid brother win the love of a global
audience and become a world champion. He explained that this brought out the nasty competitiveness in him, but that everything he did
was a huge mistake- the biggest he has ever made. He might never, he continued, be able to live with what he did, but he has taken
comfort in the fact that Jeff has opened his heart to him, and the two of them are going to move past it. Tonight, he concluded, the Hardys
will ride again.

This was a fairly effective segment, which at least tried to justify why Jeff would suddenly (and it has been sudden- suspiciously so)
forgive Matt, and be willing to team with him again.

It was time for more talk next, as Kane made his way out to address his actions from last week in which he held Ranjin Singh hostage,
and then beat down the Great Khali. Kane said that he proved that he was the only giant on Smackdown, and that the fear he instilled into
the heart of Singh was the mark of a true monster. He went on that he has found in Khali’s concern for his ‘brother’ a
weakness, and that he was never afraid of Khali, but Khali should be of him. This brought out the man in question, to which Kane
responded by grabbing a chair. Khali, though, swatted the chair out of Kane’s hands, beat him down with punches and stomps, and
then picked up the chair himself. This sent the Big Red Machine fleeing through the crowd. This worked okay to send the pair home for
their Summerslam match, but didn’t exactly set the world on fire.

After that unusually long interlude of talking, it was back to what Smackdown does best- match action.

--- Mike Knox Vs Finlay

Knox got a pop-up interview as he made his way to the ring as, bespectacled, he told us that Finlay is suffering from fear-induced
paralysis. The idea of Knox’s character, I suppose, is that he’s a monster who’s an expert in the mechanics of pain and fear,
which is fine as it adds another layer to his character. The match began with Knox muscling Finlay into the corner, but the Irishman
coming out punching. Knox found himself on the ring apron, and Finlay low dropkicked him to the outside, going out after him when he
reversed a slam into the ring post. Back in the ring, Finlay picked up a two count, before Knox gained an advantage by pulling his
opponent down from the second rope. He then executed a back breaker, holding Finlay over his knee and, after Finlay tried to knee free,
Knox repeated the move. Knox then applied an armbar surfboard, followed by a series of forearms to the back, a short clothesline and a
splash for a two count. After kicking Finlay’s shillelagh from the apron, Knox missed with a kick, connecting with the ropes instead,
and Finlay came back with clotheslines and a senton for a two count, and then a Regal roll for another two. He tried a shoulder in the
corner, but Knox moved, sending Finlay shoulder-first into the ring post, with Knox rolling him up for a nearfall. Knox then mounted his
opponent and laid into him with forearms, punches and elbows, refusing to heed the referee’s warnings to stop the assault. That
brought about the slightly cheap disqualification after 5’24 of good physical action, but the assault didn’t stop there. Knox took
Finlay to the outside, where the Irishman procured his shillelagh, striking Knox in the stomach. However, the big man hit straight back
with a pump kick, and then whacked him in the face with the steel steps. Knox had some real heat on him as he left Finlay lying for the
second straight week.

When we returned from the break, tables, ladders and chairs were set up in and around the ring, and Jeff Hardy made his way out to
address his adoring fans. Jeff said that he is pleased that he and Matt are at peace, and that it is the Hardys who made the TLC match
famous. He continued that last week he was dealt an unfair hand in having to face the Hart Dynasty in a handicap match, and that the
doctors have told him that he should retire. He went on that he has never listened to doctors orders and then, after climbing to the top of
one of the ladders, he turned his attention to CM Punk. He told Punk that there is no time to think or plan when you’re atop a ladder,
and that it will take more than a steel chair to stop him from winning the TLC match at Summerslam. That brought out the challenger,
who accused Hardy of being drunk, and asked him if it has all been worth it for a brief moment of attention. He went on that beating Jeff
will validate everything he has said, that straight-edge means that he’s better than him, and that he has to get rid of Jeff so that
people will learn to say no. He then said that the fans are living vicariously through a man who thinks he can fly, to which Jeff responded
that his spirit knows he can fly. Punk suggested they find out, and tipped over the ladder, but Hardy landed on his feet and hit a Twist of
Fate, albeit with the ladder conking Jeff on the back of the head.

I couldn’t help that notice that this was virtually the same segment as took place between Jeff Hardy and Edge in the build-up to their
ladder match at Extreme Rules a few months back. While the performances were fine, I find this to be unimaginative booking.

--- Melina and Maria Vs Layla and Natalya

Women’s champ, Michelle McCool joined Jim Ross and Todd Grisham on commentary for this match, and added nothing. Maria and
Layla started, with Layla taking control of the head, before Maria sent her to the ropes and hit a couple of clotheslines and a dropkick for a
two. Melina tagged in and hit a dropkick of her own, which sent Layla to the outside. Melina went out after her, but ended up clotheslining
Michelle. This gave Layla the attempt to attack, sending Melina’s head into the table. Back in the ring, Natalya tagged in and locked
on a surfboard. She then knocked Maria off the apron, but in doing so gave Melina the chance to hit the Paparazzi Destroyer to pick up the
win at 2’41.

Next it was time for this week’s edition of Word Up, which found Shad and JTG in low spirits after their defeat earlier in the night. Eve
tried to rouse them, but it took Slam Master J to finally convince them they could beat Show and Jericho at Summerslam. The word, by the
way, was suspect, as in something suspicious.

The hardest working announcer in the company, Josh Matthews, was backstage with Rey Mysterio next, and the Intercontinental
Champion told his Summerslam opponent, Dolph Ziggler that he better bring it if he wants to defeat Rey in his home state on Sunday.

Back in the ring, Ross and Grisham ran down the card for Summerslam, which included a marathon D-X promo, before it was main
event time.

--- CM Punk and The Hart Dynasty Vs Matt and Jeff Hardy, and John Morrison

Matt and Jeff entered the arena together, and to their old music, to play up their reconciliation, but it was Morrison who started the match
with Tyson Kidd. Tyson took Morrison down with a headlock, but Morrison worked up to his feet and sent Kidd to the ropes, only to be met
with a shoulderblock. Kidd hit the ropes again, but ran into a flapjack, which Morrison followed up with a breakdance legdrop for a one
count. Matt tagged in and sent Kidd hard into the corner to pick up another one count, before Kidd connected with a kneelift and tagged in
David Hart Smith. Smith went to work on Matt with punches and kicks, before tagging in Punk, who was wearing pink and black for the
match. Punk sent Matt into the corner, but missed with his running knee, and Matt tagged out to his world champion brother. The two
Hardys hit Poetry in Motion on Punk, and then Jeff clotheslined his rival over the top rope as we hit the break at 2’44. We came back
at 6’16 in time to see Kidd missing a dropkick on Jeff, and Matt tagging back in. Matt and Jeff hit a double wheelbarrow suplex on
Kidd, for which Matt picked up a two count, and then quick tags saw Morrison come in to take control of Kidd’s head, and then Jeff
come in to hit a legdrop to the groin and a low dropkick for a two count. Matt came back in and the two hit a double elbow, but then Matt
missed an elbowdrop, which allowed Kidd to tag in Smith. Smith hit a backbreaker for a count of two, and followed up with a facelock,
which Matt countered out of with a jaw japper, then tagging in Morrison. Matt and Morrison hit a legsweep/Side Russian legsweep
combination, and Morrison followed up with a standing shooting star press, which brought Punk in to break up the pinfall attempt.
Morrison missed a running knee on Smith, which allowed Smith to roll him up for a two, and then nail him with a big clothesline before
tagging in Punk. Punk mounted Morrison with punches, and then countered a flying chuck attempt by sending Morrison to the outside,
where Smith got in a big boot behind the referee’s back. That sent us to our final commercial break 10’19 in, and we came back
at 13’41 to find Kidd controlling Morrison with a facelock. Morrison elbowed his way out, but Kidd managed to tag in Smith, who cut off
Morrison’s attempted tag, and hit a suplex for a nearfall before going back to the facelock. Morrison again fought out, floated out of a
powerslam attempt, and this time connected with the flying chuck. Smith tagged Kidd back in, and it looked like he had again denied
Morrison from making the tag, but Morrison kicked him away and tagged in Jeff. Jeff hit a back body drop, a couple of clotheslines and a
front suplex, before knocking Punk and Smith off the apron with a double clothesline. He then hit Kidd with an overhead powerbomb and
went to the top rope. Jeff went for a Swanton Bomb, but Smith pulled Kidd out of the way. Tyson tagged in Punk, who hit a series of
legdrops on the champion, to pick up a two count, and then a series of elbows to the face for another two. He then applied a facelock,
which Hardy fought out of, before connecting with a Whisper in the Wind, albeit from the second rope as he stumbled in his ascent up the
turnbuckle. Jeff tagged in Matt who exploded with clotheslines and an elbow, and then his clothesline/bulldog combination. He knocked
Punk’s partners off the apron before connecting with a Side Effect on Punk, bringing in Smith to break up the pin attempt. Morrison
clotheslined Smith over the top rope, and then back body dropped Kidd onto him, before leaping over the top rope with a corkscrew
plancha. Jeff Hardy, meanwhile, hotshotted Punk on the top rope, and the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Champion
rebounded into a Matt Hardy Twist of Fate, which allowed the older Hardy to gain the victory for his team after 19’09 of exciting action.
After the match the Hardys embraced, meaning the swerve didn’t come, at least not this week.

Smackdown had much more talking then you normally see this week, with two lengthy promo segments. We also got two good, long six-
man tag team matches, as well as a good five-minute singles match. As a go-home show for Summerslam, this was much more
successful than Raw and, while not a classic edition of Smackdown, it was still thoroughly enjoyable television.

MVP of the night- I’d like to give the nod to Matt Hardy this week. It’s been a while since he was in the spotlight in a big match like
this, and he gave the reliable performance that we’ve become accustomed to. His character is also a point of great interest right now.