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KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 7/17: Results, star ratings, thoughts, observations, nitpicks, quotebook

Jul 19, 2009 - 12:47:34 AM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JULY 17, 2009
MIAMI, FLA.
AIRED ON MY NETWORK TV


WHAT HAPPENED

HOUR ONE

-Jim Ross and Todd Grisham introduced the show. Ross hyped the main event. Grisham touted an exclusive interview with Edge regarding his future.

-Jeff Hardy came out to his full ring intro, but in street clothes. No facepaint. Ross called it part of the "ever-evolving look and emotions of Jeff Hardy." Hardy opened by saying C.M. Punk made a shocking revelation last week. They replayed the clip of Punk talking about his suspensions and stints in rehab facilities. Hardy said Punk keeps bringing up his mistakes as if he's trying to hide behind something. He said everybody makes mistakes. He said he's been suspended twice for his mistakes. He said he hasn't failed a test in over a year. Scattered applause from the crowd mixed with discomfort. "I have never been to rehab; I've always healed myself," he said next, which got no cheers (nor should it have). Punk's intro music interrupted.

Punk said not failing a drug test in a year isn't an accomplishment. Punk said those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. When Punk asked if he missed school exams, Hardy asked if he's his guidance couselor. Punk said he's not but maybe he should have been. He might have done better in school and life. He asked him who he thinks he is by bragging about never going to rehab after failing two drug tests. Hardy said he's the next champion. Punk said he'll still be champion in a year, and when he beats Hardy, Hardy will fall back into his vices. He said eventually Hardy will be just another statistic. Hardy punched Punk. Punk rolled to the floor and said he'll be the bigger man because he has a match coming up next. [c]

(1) John Morrison pinned C.M. Punk in 12:00. A good opening three minutes, then they cut to a break. [c] In the end, after a steady stream and back-and-forth action, Punk charged Morrison in the corner. Morrison moved and countered an Oklahoma roll with a cradle for a leverage pin on Punk - a surprise upset almost out of nowhere. Morrison stood over Punk and offered a handshake. Punk refused, choosing to just roll out of the ring instead. (**3/4) [c]

-As Layla walked out to the ring to her music, Grisham noted that she is a former Miami Heat dancer. She got little reaction despite wearing a Miami Heat jersey. She said on the mic she's so happy to be back where she once cheered the Heat. She said she'd keep things up just like old times, so she danced. After dancing for a full minute, Ricky Ortiz's music interruped. Ortiz walked out, tossing rally towels to the crowd. He entered the ring and asked Layla if they really want to see her dance. He said what they really need is inspiration and motivation. He said her dancing won't help them, but he will. He said he's there to personally "rally you up!" He asked the crowd to dig deep and rally up. The already dead crowd got deader. Layla waved his towel in the air with a smile. Still almost no crowd response. She then dropped the towel and walked out. Ricky looked like she dropped a sacred cloth. Ouch. What was that whole segment about?

-Cryme Tyme Segment: The phrases Bottle Popperz, Street Soujas, and Livin the Life Boyz flashed on the screen. Eve joined them and said the word of the week is "championized." That means to engross onesself entirely at a champion level where a person becomes a champion in all respects. JTG told viewers to be a champion in everything they do. Shad said his boy Antrel Rolle was there, a free safety with the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. Jesse interrupted the party. He was wearing a Cardinals jersey. He quoted Will Smith saying "Miami is the place to be." He wanted to go hit the town. Eve was game. Cryme Tyme got irritated by him, though, and threw him into a garbage bin and rolled him away. Eve left with Cryme Tyme and Rolle. [c]

(2) Kane pinned R-Truth. Kane dominated the first two minutes, but then Truth knocked him to the floor. They cut to a break [c] Kane was in control after the break. At 8:00 Trth shoved Kane toward the ringpost, but Kane blocked it. Truth tried again and shoved Kane into the post. Kane, though, took over shortly thereafter again. At 11:00 Truth turned a backdrop attempt into a DDT. He leaped off the top rope, but right into Kane's extended boot, so Kane scored the pin. Actually just fine despite on paper seeming like a potential disaster. Not very good and quite methodical, but watchable. (*)

HOUR TWO

Afterward, The Great Khali's music played and Ranjin Singh and Khali walked out. Truth connected off the top rope with a distracted Kane. Khali entered the ring and Kane bailed out to the floor.

Ross plugged the main event tag match. Grisham again plugged the Edge interview. [c]

Ross plugged ZZ Top would be guest hosts of Raw.

Another Pretty Ricky segment, wandering South Beach in Miami. People commented on his teeth. He said he just got them fixed. He jogged behind someone, then showed off his bling to people driving by on a bus, talked to a woman who said she woudln't kiss him for a thousand dollars. He closed with, "Don't hate me, hate the game."

The Hart Dynasty ring intro took place. [c]

(3) Cryme Tyme & Eve defeated The Hart Dynasty (David Hart Smith & Tyson Smith & Natalya) in 3:00. Natalya nailed Eve with a hard clothesline for the win. Should have been longer, but it was good while it lasted. (*1/4) [c]

-WWE Fact: U.S. Military personnel get free tickets to live events in the U.S. (But not Iraq?)

-Ross and Grisham interviewed Edge. They asked him what his physical and mental frame of mind is after surgery. Edge solemny said July 1 was his 17 year anniversary in wrestling. He said he's accomplished more than he thought he would with all of his title reigns. He said he thinks he's been a leader and conquered everyone who has been put in front of him at the end of the day. He said he's had setbacks, but he's tried to rise above them and get back to competition. He said that's how he's wired. He said with that being said, and he hates to even have to say this, but this injury could be the end of his career. Some fans cheered. He hung his head briefly. He said a torn Achilles Tendon is the hardest injury to come back from in "any realm of physical competition." He said he will do everything in his power to get back to WWE and once again become a champion. Grisham asked him if he has anything to say about his tag partner, Chris Jericho. As Edge said there's never a good time to get injured, Jericho's music interrupted.

Jericho walked into the ring and said Edge is making him sick. He called him hypocritical. He said if he's looking for sympathy, he won't get it from him. He said Edge doesn't care about the tag titles, WWE, or him. He said he won't allow himself to get punished because of his selfish actions. He said that's why at Night of the Champions he'll find a partner who's better than him in every way and continue his reign as "ruler of the WWE universe." He said he brags about his career and all of the titles he's won, but they've come about due to politicking and being the right person in the right place. Jericho said he, on the other hand, earned every title he won because he's the best in the world at what he does. Jericho talked about Edge's broken neck, torn "pectorial" muscle, and now his Achilles heel. He said Edge is injury prone, but he's never been injured once because he's strong. "Weak, frail, pathetic," he called Edge. "Edge, let's be honest with ourselves. You were never in my league to begin with." He said his pandering to the fans proves that. He said he Jericho is the true face of Smackdown and the true face of WWE.

Edge jumped in and said he doesn't need anyone, let alone Jericho, making a personal attack on his character and durability and accomplishments. He said a lot of people probably agree with him, but he'll use that at motivation in his comeback. He said if he comes back, then paused and changed his wording to, "When I come back, I will prove Chris Jericho and everyone else wrong." Jericho smiled as Edge's music kicked in. [c]

(4) Dolph Ziggler & Chris Jericho fought Rey Mysterio & Jeff Hardy to an apparent no contest in 10:00. Punk joined Ross and Grisham on commentary. A minute into the match they cut to a break as soon as Hardy was knocked to ringside by Jericho. [c] At 5:00 Jericho scored a two count on Hardy after a fistdrop. Punk said Ziggler is impressive and maybe being tutored by Jericho. Rey hot-tagged in a 6:00, his first action in the match, and went on a flurry of offense against Jericho. Rey scored a two count after a roundkick to the side of Jericho's head. Rey hit a 619. Ziggler yanked him off the ring apron and threw him hard into the ringside barrier. Ziggler applied a headlock in the ring and actually bridged into a head-stand to ostensibly add extra leverage. Cool looking spot. Hardy hot-tagged in and hit a Whisper in the Wind. Jericho countered with a Walls of Jericho attempt. Hardy powered out of it and flattened Jericho with a Twist of Fate and a Swanton Bomb for a near fall broken up by Ziggler. Hardy went after Jericho at ringside and threw him into the vicinity of Punk, but not necesarily intentionally. Punk stood up and looked upset. Punk retaliated by shoving Jericho into Hardy, sending him into the ringpost. The ref called for the DQ. No winner was declared, though. Ross just said, "This match is over." (**1/4)

Ziggler then jumepd Rey from behind at ringside. Ross said the match is over as Jericho gave Hardy a Code Breaker in the ring and Punk looked on. Jericho put Hardy in the Walls of Jericho. Ross said if Hardy's not 100 percent, Punk will have a big advantage at Night of Champions.

THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS, NITPICKS

HARDY-PUNK PROMO: Lots of messed up things here. First of all, Hardy fans do not want to hear about his history of drug use. The parents of his fans obviously don't, either. Hearing him brag about not going to rehab was really messed up. Is that something to brag about? "I broke my arm, but I never saw a doctor! I got two cavities, but I fixed them myself." The mentality within WWE is just amazing and sad sometimes... I got a kick out of Punk saying he'll never touch alcohol, but when it came to drugs, using a softer phrase: "I don't ever PLAN on doing it." The introduction of semi-reality to these characters' on-air personas should only be done if they'd do it even if there was no connection to their real lives. WWE has the ability to define on-air characters, and there's no reason to use what their real lives are like unless it's the best of all fictional options. Marketing Hardy as a two-time drug test failure is not on my top 100 list of ways to market him to his young audience of pre-drinking-age boys and screeching teeny-bopper girls. There's no advantage to it and major drawbacks, unless they're using this to twist Hardy's arm into re-signing with WWE because if he disappears, guess what WWE has convinced fans to think has happened to him? The usage of the memory of the deaths of wrestlers in a storyline seems wrong given the entirety of the situation. It's like they're testing Punk's willingness to basically sellout his dead friends for an on-air storyline in order to keep his strong push and all the fame and money that comes along with it moving along without interruption. The whole thing seems counterproductive. They're telling Hardy fans you better cheer hard for him or he'll end up on drugs again and maybe even die, and then Punk among others will be shown on TV crying over their latest fallen friend, or as Punk put it, "statistic." I know the mentality sometimes is "all is fair game." I think all is worthy of consideration, but the veto pen should be used more often...

PUNK VS. MORRISON: The push of Morrison continues. It was just a leverage pin out of nowhere, but still noteworthy and sends the signal that he's moving up that second tier as a singles wrestler... The match itself was an example of the current generation of wrestlers advancing the style by incorporating a great mix of athletic moves...

JERICHO-EDGE: Good promo overall. It set Edge up as sympathetic, but more importantly in the mean time, it gave Jericho a chance to firmly entrench himself as the least likeable person on Smackdown by rubbing Edge's face in his own injury situation... Jericho said he's "the best at what he does." Seeing WWE Superstars twist themselves into circles to avoid saying they're "pro wrestlers" is both entertaining and sad. There are so many euphemisms used...

MAIN EVENT TAG: Good match. Ziggler seemed to fit in fine with this established threesome of main event level Superstars. Just being in the mix is one of the steps necessary to be perceived as a main eventer. The other part is carrying himself as a top star and seeming like he physically is in their league. He gets checks on each of those items... It's a little annoying when there's a finish and they don't really explain the outcome. The ref called for the DQ, but who lost? Anyone? Punk shoved Jericho, so does Jericho's team win by DQ? Or because Punk shoved Jericho into Hardy, does that mean Hardy's team wins by DQ? If it's just a "no contest," why not actually give viewers the courtesy of telling us that? If outcomes of matches count for something, they should respect viewers enough to make sure outcomes are announced...

OTHER THOUGHTS: Regarding Pretty Ricky, I still have no idea what that's about and nobody on WWE TV is exactly explaining it... It was good to see Cryme Tyme preaching something positive - living like a champion - rather than touting thievery, robbery, and shallowness...

QUOTEBOOK

C.M. Punk to Jeff Hardy: "This is what it's come to? People actually cheering because you haven't failed a drug test in over a year. That's not an accomplishment. Maybe it's an accomplishment to you, Jeff. So congratulations. You didn't fail a drug test in 365 days. You can start writing your Hall of Fame speech right now."

C.M. Punk to Jeff Hardy: "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. You ever hear that in school? Probably not because you were a screw-up then, too. How many exams did you fail? How classes did you skip? How many times were you expelled?"

C.M. Punk to Jeff Hardy: "A guy like you could never beat me because I'm straight edge. I don't drink. Alcohol has never touched my lips and never will. I don't smoke. I never have. I don't do drugs. I don't ever plan on doing it."

C.M. Punk to Jeff Hardy: "A year from now I will still be champion. What about you? You'll fall back into your cycle. You'll lose to me, you'll fall back into your vices. You'll lose to me, you'll fall back into your vices. You'll lose to me, you'll fall back into your vices. You will lose to me, you'll fall back into your vices. Repeat, so on, and so forth."

Jeff Hardy in response: "Sorry, I guess I'm not as perfect as you."

Punk in response: "Maybe you should be. There is a sea of kids out here wearing Jeff Hardy t-shirts. It scares me, man. That scares me because you are their hero. That just means there a million little kids out there who are going to see their hero become just another statistic."

Jim Ross: "I think we heard Jeff Hardy admit his own human shortcomings."


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