SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com ten years ago…
KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JULY 3, 2009
AIRED ON MY NETWORK TV
BOX SCORE BASICS
Todd Grisham and Jim Ross introduced the show. Grisham said Punk had been the subject of controversy lately.
C.M. Punk walked out and said everyone is talking about the controversy from the Bash. He said he’s getting sick and tired of it. He said people are accusing him of striking an official intentionally to protect his title. He said he wants to walk through it. A clip aired of Hardy hitting the Swanton Bomb and scoring a three count, but Punk’s leg was under the bottom rope. Punk said the ref was only human, but he did catch his mistake. He said where he comes from, the rules still mean something. He said the ironic thing is he was almost robbed of his title had the ref not caught his mistake.
A replay aired of Punk then getting poked in the eye and kicking the referee. Grisham said the question is whether Punk did it on purpose. Punk said he thought he was swinging at Jeff, but he accidentally hit the referee. He said he prides himself on being a competitor and a man of honor. He said he doesn’t take the cheap way out or shortcuts in the ring or out of it. He said Jeff has every reason to be upset because he thought he was about to win the title in the midst of a classic wrestling match. Punk said Jeff, though, has no excuse for what he did next. They showed a clip of Hardy confronting and then attacking Jeff.
Punk said Hardy has no idea who he is as a person, or else he would never accuse him of taking a shortcut. He said what he did was an accident, but Hardy did to him was obviously deliberate. He he understands now that Jeff wants a rematch. He said that’s fine by him, but he wants something himself. He said he wants an apology.
G.M. Theodore Long walked out. He said Hardy is going to get a rematch at Night of the Champions. Punk said that’s all fine, but he need to get Jeff out there to give him an apology. Long said since Vince McMahon wants controversy, he’s going to team Punk and Hardy together against the new Unified Tag Team Champions, Chris Jericho & Edge. Ross called that a shocker. Jeff Hardy’s music then played.
Hardy danced to the ring and immediately accused Punk of knowing what he was doing at the Bash. Punk told him the next words out of his mouth better be an apology. Hardy said he’ll apologize for beating the holy hell out of him at Night of the Champions. Long stepped between them as things got heated. Punk said Jeff needs to be the same page as him later or Jericho & Edge will tear them apart. Punk said he wanted to give him some advice, because he can see in his face he badly wants to punch him. He told him to say something he should have said long ago – just say no. Punk then slipped out of the ring, proud of his line, and he walked to the back. Grisham wondered if they could coexist as a tag team unit. [c]
(1) Finlay pinned Ricky Ortiz in 2:00. During Finlay’s ring intro, they went to Ross and Grisham at ringside who spoke briefly about the 15 talents who switched brands. They touted the acquisition of Finlay, but didn’t mention who left Smackdown. Before the match Ortiz told Finlay that he seemed sad because his lost his little buddy – although he’s been separated from Hornswoggle dating back to the big draft. Ortiz told him to rally up and waved his rally towel. Finlay didn’t like that and slapped him. Ortiz got in most of the offense early, but then Finlay won with the Celtic Cross out of nowhere for the win.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler was doing pilates stretches. Maria walked up and introduced herself to him. They giggled and talked about their matches. She then said, “About last night, I had fun.” Ziggler said, “You’re welcome. We should definitely do it again, go out, if you want to, I’m kinda busy, or whatever.” She flirtatiously wished him luck. He said, “Yeah, I may just get lucky.” [c]
WWE Fact: “Smackdown was watched by more adults 18-34 tan any program on ABC, Fox, CW, or CBS.”
Ross plugged Rey Mysterio vs. Kane was coming up later.
(2) Dolph Ziggler pinned R-Truth in 3:00. R-Truth danced and sang his way to the ring, holding the mic out for fans to fill in “What’s Up?!” The interaction with the fans is a good touch. Grisham noted that R-Truth beat Shelton Benjamin last week, and he added that it turned out to be Shelton’s last week on Smackdown as he was traded to ECW. Ziggler looked strong and got in most of the offense early, then aplied a full nelson. Truth made a brief comeback at 2:00 and hit two clotheslines and a powerslam for a two count. He got up and kicked Ziggler in the face. Ziggler rolled under the ropes and then snapped Truth over the top rope and hit him from behind with his finisher for a strong wind. Grisham said Ziggler is a huge roll, including dating Maria. (*) [c]
A Cryme Tyme “Word Up” segment aired. Their word of the week was “Wanksta” which is a person who looks or acts like a gangsta or a thug but has never done anything but look and act like one. Nice to see WWE letting kids know that in order to be a real gangsta, you need to do actually rob someone or do other petty crimes. The odd part is, John Cena totally fit that definition in his early WWE days. Maria looked through binoculars as if they were looking in a jungle for wild animals and they came upon Jimmy Wang Yang. Maria said it’s rare to see an Asian Redneck. Then they spotted Jesse, who was doing a full Wanksta gimmick. It really looked like he was spoofing early-era John Cena. Cryme Tyme mocked him and left.
Rey Mysterio’s ring intro took place. Grisham said the ultimate underdog will be an underdog against Kane. [c]
(3) Kane pinned Rey Mysterio in 11:00. Kane dominated for two minutes, and then they cut to a break. [c] The methodical beating continued with the announcers selling Kane as a remorseless human being. At 10:00 Rey finally made a comeback with an enzuigiri and a 619. Kane blocked the 619 and chokeslammed Rey for the pin. Grisham said Rey put in “an awe-inspiring performance” but not enough to beat Kane. Ross said Rey is only five nights removed from one of the best matches of the year against Jericho, building in a bit of an excuse for Rey’s loss. The match was just a one-sided methodical beatdown. As Kane threatened to do more damage to Rey, Khali walked out with his interpreter Ranjin Singh. Kane fled through the crowd. (*)
Josh Matthews interviewed Jericho backstage. He said he likes to see the ultimate hypocrite Rey get what he deserves. Edge then stepped up and said tonight isn’t about he and Rey, but rather them proving they’re the most dominant duo in WWE. Jericho told Edge they are the best in the world at what they do and as far as Punk’s injured eye goes, Punk is as much of a liar as the fans. He guaranteed Edge they’d prove their dominance. [c]
WWE Fact: “WWE King of Content: WWE will create more original hours of TV this year than HBO and Showtime combined.”
(4) Cryme Tyme beat The Hart Dynasty (David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd w/Natalya) in 5:00 when Shad pinned Hart. Grisham noted they are new acquisitions for Smackdown. He said Ross must be excited. He said they have big upside and the pink and black colors and the music riff is no accident. He referenced Bret Hart by name a minute later. Grisham asked if these two tag teams could be any different. Grisham said Kidd claims to be the best graduate of the Stu Hart Dungeon. Ross said DHS feels he’s better than his father, Davey Boy Smith. JTG interfered as Hart bounced into the ropes, leading to Shad getting the pin. Some good spots, but not a showcase match for the Hart Dynasty. (*1/2)
The Raw Rebound aired. [c]
(5) Maria & Melina beat Layla & Michelle McCool in 4:00. Grisham and Ross brought up that Alicia Fox was traded to Raw. At 4:00 Maria hot-tagged Melina in and she pinned Layla within a minute. (*) [c]
John Morrison was backstage with Teddy Long, who was in his own world dancing. He said he was thinking about the BET Awards with the Michael Jackson tribute. Long sang some Jackson lyrics and then Morrison turned them into having to do with him. He and Long had a good laugh together. Morrison focused on wanting to beat Punk for the title.
Ring intros for the main event began with 28 minutes left in the show, giving the main event plenty of time. [c]
(6) Chris Jericho & Edge defeated C.M. Punk & Jeff Hardy when Edge pinned Punk in 16:00. The match began with 19 minutes left in the show. There was visible tension between Punk and Hardy before the match. Punk started the match. Punk and Hardy tagged in and out and controlled Jericho in the early minutes. They cut to a break after Hardy and Punk cleared the ring and then sized each other up.
Back from the break, Hardy was in control against Edge. Hardy went for a dive in the corner, but Jericho moved. He then shoved Hardy to the floor. Punk was cheerleading Hardy, but when Hardy crawled into the ring, Punk moved out of the corner and rubbed his eyes as if they were bothering him. Hardy hit a Whisper in the Wind on Jericho seconds later. Punk returned to the corner but kept checking on his eye. Jericho tagged in Edge, who cut off Hardy. Hardy surprised Edge with a Twist of Fate and then leaped into his own corner and slapped Punk to initiate a tag. Punk hit a running bulldog on Edge for a two count. He followed with a Go To Sleep attempt, but Edge escaped and dropped Punk hard to the mat leading to a two count. Jericho tagged in and gave Punk a running kick to the ribs. Ross said Punk can worry about something other than his eye for a while. Jericho raked Punk’s eyes. Punk fought back with elbows, but didn’t get much crowd reaction. They hit each other with simultaneous clotheslines. Punk crawled over toward his corner for a tag as Hardy stomped the ring apron to cheer him on. Punk got near a tag, but then Hardy faked a eye injury. He leaped to the floor and acted like he just got pepper-sprayed. Jericho went for a Walls of Jericho on Punk. Punk escaped and set up a GTS. As he had Jericho in the air, Edge tagged himself in and he speared Punk as soon as Punk gave Jericho the GTS. That gave Edge the win. Good main event tag match, especially in terms of forwarding the tension between Punk and Hardy. (**3/4)
Afterward, Hardy continued to sell his “eye injury” and checked on Punk, then he rolled out of the ring and feigned apologies to Punk while pointing at his right eye. Punk also covered up his eyes, selling his injury. Hardy then seemed to magically recover on the stage, at which point Ross declared that Hardy pulled one over on Punk. Grisham said Hardy thinks Punk is faking it, so he decided to fake it.
THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS, AND NITPICKS
PUNK-HARDY: Punk and Hardy were both really good n this segment. Punk, especially, showed he’s one of those top tier talents who can carry a long in-ring segment and look like he belongs. He continues to make his case why he’s being misunderstood and unfairly criticized, but still comes across as a heel because of how he defends himself…
TRUTH-ZIGGLER: Ziggler seems to be getting a serious look my management at a bigger push. He was somewhat protected against Great Khali in the latter stage of their feud and then gets a win here while being matched up with Maria. He deserves the push, as he might have that X-factor that could get him into the top of the second tier or even the first tier as a heel in a year or two. It seems Truth is not on any fast-track to a bigger push, but more of a utility player to elevate someone like Ziggler.
HART DYNASTY VS. CRYME TYME: Here’s a situation where it’d be great to see WWE give the Hart Dynasty two squash match wins two weeks in a row to show off to the viewers what the Hart’s signature moves are and their overall style and personality. That way, when the Cryme Tyme match was announced, anticipation would be higher to see how they do against tougher competition.
MAIN EVENT TAG: Edge and Jericho were in the background here, as the primary storyline on Smackdown right now is the Punk-Hardy tension. They did a nice job pushing this storyline to the next stage, with the most obvious examples yet of Punk being devious and heelish rather than misunderstood. Hardy getting back at him by giving him a piece of his own medicine worked, as Hardy played it up really well. Ross seemed a little dimwitted by seemingly buying into Hardy’s “eye injury,” and only realizing it was a ruse when Hardy “recovered instantly” after the match. Maybe he was playing it tongue-in-cheek, though.
OTHER THOUGHTS: It’d be a little frustrating as a viewer of Smackdown who hadn’t kept up on everything on Raw, ECW, and WWE.com regarding the draft. They didn’t talk about it until Finlay came out, and even then they didn’t mention who else was acquired or any of the five names who left… Kane beating Rey convincingly like that indicates WWE might be en route to another semi-serious push, or else they just wanted to give him a little extra credibility headed into a feud with Khali. Rey is the type of wrestler who can take a beating and lose and end up with a stronger bond with his fans they see continue to see any offense and any victory as him overcoming huge odds…
FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall a good show, par for Smackdown these days with a good balance of wrestling, backstage segments, and in-ring promos.
Jeff Hardy: “What does straight edge mean? That you’re a liar?”
Jeff Hardy: “I know how bad you want to punch me, but my advice to you is very simple and it’s something you should have done a long time ago – just say no.”\
Jim Ross, after Grisham asked him, “What’s up?”: “I got a new contract, so my wages went up. Eight bucks an hour now.”
Chris Jericho: “I think Punk is as much of a liar as the obsequious gelatinous parasitic drones who make up this audience tonight.”
Jim Ross on Melina vs. Layla: “It sounds like a women’s match at Wimbeldon with all of this screaming.”
Todd Grisham: “Melina, bending like a piece of Laffy Taffy!”