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KELLER'S TAKE

KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 8/28: Results, star ratings, thoughts, observations, nitpicks, quotebook

Aug 29, 2009 - 3:54:00 PM


By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

HardyJeff_130WK_2.jpg
Jeff Hardy [photo by Wade Keller (c) PWTorch]
KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
AUGUST 29, 2009
PHOENIX, ARIZ.


WHAT HAPPENED

[Q1]

-Jim Ross introduced the show and hyped the Jeff Hardy vs. C.M. Punk cage match for the World Title.

-Justin Roberts then introduced "the new and only Straight Edge World Heavweight Champion in history, C.M. Punk." Out walked Punk with the belt around his waist. He was limping. A video package aired on the Hardy-Punk match, including dramatic music accompanyment and slo-mo shots of the finishing crash by Hardy. They went to a smiling Punk who said he's never felt more alive than he does at this very moment. He said none of the fans have ever felt the way he does because they take shortcuts. He said the pain he feels makes him feel alive. "Naturally, I haven't taken a thing for it. Unlike you people and unlike Jeff, who faced with the symptoms of even a small headache, reach right for your medication, but not just the regular stuff. You people immediately double up on that extra strength, don't you?" Punk said if any of the fans felt the way he did, they'd be on a morphine drip.

Punk said his celebration was interrupted by an attack by Undertaker. A clip aired of Taker chokeslamming Punk. Punk said after all he's been through, he's now being forced to compete in a steel cage match. He said that's unfair. He said it borderlines on conspiracy because the higher-ups are terrified of him because they fear what they don't understand. "You don't even know what a Straight Edge World Champion is." He called himself a pioneer and the role model the world needs who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, and doesn't abuse prescription medication like Jeff Hardy. He said that makes him better than all of the fans and Hardy. He said he will prove it once again tonight.

Jeff Hardy's music played and he walked to the ring. He said Punk is on a high horse of self-righteousness. He said he's talking as if the three most important words in the English language are "just say no." He said tonight the three more important words are "steel cage match." Punk asked him how intoxicated he is so he had the guts to walk to the ring to face him. He asked him if he took pain killers so he can dull the scary reality he is in. Punk said he's tired of seeing young impressionable fans looking up to him. He said if he's into taking chances, how about the loser has to leave WWE. Hardy said that's risky and crazy, and then yelled, "You're on!" G.M. Teddy Long's music then played.

Long walked out and said it's official. He said since they're both in agreement, that's what they'll get. He said the loser of tonight's match will no longer be in the WWE. He said the winner will defend the World Hvt. Title against Undertaker in two weeks at Breaking Point. He said every main event in this new PPV will be submission match.

[Q2] [c]

-A commercial hyped the return of Undertaker next week on Smackdown.

-They showed Arizona Cardinals sitting at ringside watching the event.

(1) John Morrison & Matt Hardy beat The Hart Dynasty when Morrison pinned David Hart Smith in 3:00. This was good while it lasted, but ridiculously short if WWE has any hopes for fans to take the Hart Dynasty seriously. Grisham called it "lightning quick" and Ross immediately tried to do damage control by saying the loss shouldn't reflect poorly on the Hart Dynasty as much as a sign of Morrison and Hardy having a great night. Ross added, "It could be a different story if these two teams meet again." [c]

[Q3]

-WWE Fact: Smackdown was the most watched entertainment program on all of TV last Friday among people under 65.

-Melina expressed concern to Maria about dating Dolph Ziggler. Maria said she's happy. Melina told Maria that she saw Ziggler with another women after Summerslam. Maria said maybe that's true or maybe she's jealous of her. "Do you have a boyfriend who really cares about you?" Maria asked. Melina said she might have to ask herself that. Ziggler walked up as Melina walked away. Maria asked about the women he was seen with. Ziggler said it was his sister who was in town for Summerslam. Maria apologized for doubting her. Ziggler said he only has eyes for her.

-R-Truth vs. Drew McIntyre was scheduled. R-Truth sang his way to the ring. McIntrye attacked him before the bell on the ring apron and flattened him with a DDT. He then stood over Truth and apologized for ruining the party. He said fans may like to see dancing and singing, but his name is Drew McIntyre and the party is over. Grisham said they don't forget his name now. [c]

-Ross and Grisham commented on a replay of McIntyre attacking Truth. They showed Ross and Grisham a ringside briefly.

-Justin Roberts introduced Michelle McCool who was standing at ringside on crutches. She said she knows the fans paid good money to see her compete, but Melina attacked her last week "for no good reason" and now she can't because she has an injured knee. She said it's all Melina's fault. "She's ruined the night for everyone. Thanks Melina." she said. McCool introduced Melina's opponent, a dear friend of hers, Layla.

(2) Melina pinned Layla in 2:00. Afterward, Melina knocked McCool backward with a shove. McCool fell into a chair and toppled over.

[Q4] [c]

-A clip aired of MVP and Roddy Piper, among others, at Betty's Battle charity event and Summerslam kick-off event in L.A. last weekend. They also showed clips of WWE wrestlers including Jeff Hardy and Kofi Kingston at a neighborhood charity event. Then a highlight package aired on Summerslam Axxess including a short soundbite with Batista.

-Rey Mysterio's ring entrance took place. [c]

(3) Rey Mysterio beat Kane via DQ in 5:00. Kane took early control. Rey dove off the top rope in the midst of a little comeback, but Kane cut him off with an uppercut at 2:00

[Q5]

Rey came back with a low dropkick that popped the crowd, setting up the 619. Kane popped up, though, and went for a chokeslam. Rey headscissored Kane back into the 619 position. The crowd popped. Kane bailed to ringside. Rey dove off the apron at him. Kane sidestepped him and gave him a big boot. Kane rammed Rey into the ringpost. The ref warned him if he did it again, he'd DQ him. Kane did it again. The ref DQ'd him. That was really good while it lasted. Short, but the right finish given where the two wrestlers are right now in the hierarcy. (*1/2)

As Kane threatened to continue to hurt Rey, The Great Khali came out to his music and made the save. Khali pursued Kane to the back. Ziggler walked out and attacked a prone Rey. [c]

-Clips aired the Floyd Mayweather appearance on Raw and the match with Chris Jericho & Big Show vs. Mark Henry & MVP. Then Show and Jericho came out. Jericho said they're men of integrity. Show bragged about being the Unified Tag Team Champions.

[Q6]

(4a) Shad Gaspar fought Chris Jericho to a no contest at 1:00. Grisham noted this is the first-ever one-on-one match between these two. Shad overpowered Jericho early. Show yanked Jericho to the floor to save him during a pin attempt. J.T.G. attacked Show. Jericho joined in. Long's music played during the melee. He ordered the match continue as a tag team match. [c]

(4b) Big Show & Chris Jericho beat Cryme Tyme in about 4:00. This didn't last long, with Show KO'ing Shad with a blindside after a blind tag. Only about two minutes aired after the break. Ross called it a carcinogenic right hand by Show. Grisham said J.T.G. never saw it coming, which would be a good point except J.T.G. was at ringside and Shad was the one who got punched.

-Ross narrated freeze-frames of Taker attacking Punk at Summerslam.

-Backstage Matt and Jeff Hardy hugged. Matt wished Jeff best of luck. He said he's always been a gambler and he respects him. He told him to knock out Punk and win back his World Hvt. Title. He said then it's time for the Hardys to take over Smackdown. Hardy said he lives for the moment and "the moment is now." People should especially live for the moment when it comes to immunizations, money management, and eating whatever tastes good. [c]

(5) C.M. Punk defeated Jeff Hardy in 22:00 in a cage to retain the World Hvt. Title. Punk attacked Hardy in the aisle during his ring intro. Ross called it an unfair advantage. Punk tried to climb out of the cage early. At 4:00 Hardy made a comeback and a hit a Whisper in the Wind for a near fall. They cut to a break. [c] After the break Hardy nearly climbed over the cage, which drew a big pop, but Punk stopped him and then set up a superplex. Hardy blocked it and knocked Punk into a top rope straddle. Punk fell to the mat and Hardy hit the Swanton Bomb. Hardy, though, was slow to get up. When he made the cover, Punk kicked out at the last second. As Punk climbed the cage a minute later, Hardy crawled through the door. Punk saw Hardy's move and dove after him and stopped him from leaving at 11:00. Ross declared it an amazing main event as they cut to a second break. [c]

Back from the break Hardy was holding onto Punk's legs as he was hanging out of the door. He yelled, "I'm out!" Ross said he's not because his feet have to touch the floor. They exchanged punches mid-ring leading to a backslide near fall by Hardy. Punk came back with a double underhook backbreaker for a two count. Punk lifted Hardy for a Go To Sleep, but Hardy escaped and hit a Twist of Fate which Grisham called "maybe the biggest of Hardy's career." Hardy climbed the cage and reached the top. Punk chased him down (well, actually he chased him up) and grabbed his right leg. Hardy punched Punk and ended up dangling over the top edge. Ross yelled, "Just drop and pay the price! Just drop and win the title!" Punk instead superplexed Hardy from the top of the cage to the mat. Ross deflated in unison with the crowd. Both were slow to get up. They both climbed to the top and fought. Punk poked Hardy in the eye and knocked him to the mat. Punk then dropped to the mat and his music played. (****)

-An emotional Hardy took the mic afterward and apologized if he let any of the fans down. He said, "It's been one hell of a ride, hasn't it?" They went to close-ups of fans looking melancholy. "This is not goodbye forever, it's only goodbye for now." He said if the time is right, he'll see them again in the future. He said, "Hey, at least Matt's back on my side. There's still a Hardy on this show." He closed with, "Yours truly Jeff Hardy, ours truly, this life." He rolled out of the ring and headed to the back as fans stood and gave him scattered applause. They showed a few women crying, including one crying in the chest of her mother. As Hardy handed parts of his outfit to fans and then stepped onto the stage for a final bow, Punk gave him a final shot in the head with his title belt. The show ended with him holding his belt in the air and declaring, "He's gone forever!"

-Then, to give fans some sense of hope, a vignette aired hyping the return of Undertaker next week.

THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS, NITPICKS

PUNK-HARDY: Punk continues his excellent heel mic work. There's still something odd about booing someone who's preaching against abuse of prescription pills, but at least he lays it on so thick that it's his delivery, not the message, that is the offensive part... The stips of the cage match with the title and one wrestler's WWE career on the line seems like it deserved even more hype throughout the show. I wouldn't have gone a segment without having the announcers talk about it at least briefly. Usually that's overkill, but in the case of either Hardy or Punk having to leave WWE, it was called for here... The main event cage match was very good, very much what you'd expect from those two, which is a good thing...

OTHER THOUGHTS: When Rey Mysterio comes back from his suspension, does he have a ready-made feud with C.M. Punk awaiting him? Punk can lecture him about letting his fans down by failing a Wellness Policy test... Michelle McCool is unmistakably a heel with the way she delivers her lines. Her promo at ringside talking about the fans all paying to see her and being let down that she can't wrestle was simple, yet well-delivered and effective... The McIntyre attack on R-Truth might have been more effective if he scored a pin like Goldberg did on Hugh Morrus. But I get why they didn't, since McIntyre is probably not in for that type of a push nor do they want to bury Truth. But had he actually scored a pin, it would have made more of a statement... Ross keeps saying things like "Rey could care less." The phrase is "Rey could not care less." There's a huge difference and he always says the opposite of what he means. If you don't care about something at all, you could not care less. If you care deeply about something, obviously it would be possible to care less than you do. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine... Ziggler continues to carry himself more and more each week like an emerging main eventer. His presence and body language and intensity all is clicking... I know the focus of the show was on hyping the main event of Punk vs. Hardy, but they would have benefited in multiple ways if they had taken just a moment out to hype the Kane vs. Rey and Jericho vs. Shad matches...

QUOTEBOOK

C.M. Punk: "I told you all I would beat Jeff Hardy at Summerslam, and in case you were too intoxicated to remember, let me show you."

Jim Ross on Kane: "When you're evil and intelligent, that's quite the combination."

Todd Grisham cliche watch: "This is par for the course for C.M. Punk" ...


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VIP - 05/03 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show w/Wade Keller, pt. 1: In-depth retrospect on Verne Gagne, one of the most important figures in the industry’s history in the ring and behind the scenes, similarities between Verne and Vince, more (92 min.)
VIP - 05/03 McNeill & Valley's "Wayback Playback" Audio Show (ep. #33): Into the WCW Time Machine for Hour #3 of Spring Stampede '94 - Flair vs. Steamboat, more! (70 min.)
VIP - PWTorch Newsletter #1402 (PDF & TEXT): Remembering Verne Gagne, Keller’s Extreme Rules and Raw reports, Extreme Rules PPV Roundtable, Mitchell on Dana-Rousey, Parks on special stipulations in WWE (16 pages)
VIP - 05/02 - Wade Keller Hotline - WWE News: In-depth rundown and analysis of Stephanie McMahon’s hour-long live interview with Chris Jericho on WWE Network including Give Divas a Chance discussion, dating Triple H (53 min.)
VIP - 05/01 PWTorch Livecast & VIP Aftershow: Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant w/live callers: Week-In-Review on Verne Gagne, Mayweather-Pacquiao connection, how Divas are presented, more!, plus VIP Aftershow on Stephanie/Jericho podcast (86 min.)
VIP - 05/01 - Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: What happens to Lana if she turns on Rusev? Do you predict Lesnar-Seth at Summerslam? Does Okerlund take to much heat for his 900 plugs? History of PWI Weekly? More (33 min.)
VIP - PWTorch Newsletter Back Issue #330 PDF & TEXT (20 Yrs. Ago): Dan Severn wins UFC5, Keller on UFC rule changes, Torch Talk with UFC match-maker Art Davie, Taz talks to Torch about Sabu-ECW controversy, Zavisa on Japan (04-17-95)
VIP - 05/01 Audio Flashback - WWE Backlash PPV Roundtable with Keller, Mitchell, McNeill: Did Batista did a main event performance? Did Hogan give the fans what they wanted? What was surprise of night? What disappointed? (47 min.)
VIP - 04/30 AD-FREE PWTorch Livecast “Interview Thursdays” w/Mick Karch & Kenny Jay: Remembering Verne Gagne - the highs and lows of his career as a legendary AWA Champion and top national promoter (105 min.)
VIP - 04/30 - Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Making sense of WWE’s Q1 business figures information dump including latest on WWE Network subscribers, shift away from PPV, what areas of WWE biz drive the most revenue (29 min.)