On This Day: May 29, 2009 – Smackdown: Jeff Can’t Get High Enough

Date: May 29, 2009
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 7,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Todd Grisham

We’re nearly two weeks past Judgment Day and Edge is world champion, presumably still feuding with Hardy, who he beat to retain the title at said pay per view. Other than that we’re in the middle of Jericho vs. Mysterio in an excellent feud for the Intercontinental Title. That would be your pairing for your weekly Smackdown main event tag match. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio to open things up. The belt looks huge on Rey’s shoulder. He’s glad to be back in his home state and speaks a lot of Spanish for good measure. Apparently he’s fighting Jericho for the title at Extreme Rules in a no holds barred match. Some say it’s going to be dangerous but Mysterio thinks it’s going to be off the hook because he can do whatever move he wants. He can use a 619, a 232, a 323 or even an 818, whatever it takes to shut Jericho up.

Cue Jericho in a suit as he’s still very serious at this point. Jericho wants to know if Mysterio will think it’s off the hook when he bashes Rey’s head in with a chair, or when he hits Rey in the face with the belt after winning it. Mysterio tells Jericho to shut up because the title isn’t changing hands. Mickey Rourke is here apparently. Mysterio says Jericho’s words are worthless, so Jericho aims his next words at Rourke. Now Jericho wants to know why Rey wears a mask and what he’s hiding. Jericho promises that the mask is going to be Rey’s downfall and the fight is on but Jericho avoids the 619.

Great Khali/R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler/Mike Knox

Khali says What’s Up before the match to blow the fans’ minds. Knox has an AWESOME beard and Ziggler is a very low level heel still here. A few weeks back though Ziggler hit Khali in the leg with a chair over and over which was partially what got him noticed. Truth and Ziggler get things going with Truth taking over by out maneuvering Ziggler, which isn’t something you would see today. An armdrag takes Dolph down but Ziggler scampers away when Khali gets the tag.

Instead it’s off to Knox who gets kicked in the face and dragged back to the corner for the tag off to Truth. Knox puts him back down with a clothesline and a knee drop to the chest before it’s back to Ziggy. An elbow drop gets two for Dolph, whose nickname is apparently Mr. Congeniality. Off to a chinlock on Truth which is quickly broken, only to have both guys hit cross bodies at the same time. A double tag brings in the big men but Ziggler gets knocked out of the air by a Khali chop. Khali boots Knox down and Dolph walks out, allowing the Punjabi Plunge to pin Knox.

Rating: D+. This was fine but I don’t think Ziggler vs. Khali is going to go much of anywhere. Ziggler would of course get a lot better in the future while the other three guys wound up doing a lot of nothing. It would take Kofi Kingston showing up on Smackdown to really set fire to Ziggler as they would feud forever over whatever midcard title was on the blue show at the time.

Melina vs. Alicia Fox

Melina is Women’s Champion and the hometown girl but this is non-title. Alicia has Michelle McCool with her, who is the one really feuding with Melina at this point. I keep forgetting how good looking Michelle was. Alicia slaps Melina down but gets kicked in the face for her trouble. Melina does Trish’s Matrix move and kicks Alicia again from there before going outside to stare at McCool. Back in and Alicia gets two off a backbreaker but, say it with me, gets kicked in the head again. Melina mixes things up a bit by kicking her in the ribs for two before hitting a standing legdrop for the pin. Not much to see here other than the girls.

John Morrison thinks Umaga is stupid. Shelton Benjamin comes up and wants to fight Morrison again but John points out how little Benjamin has done in years.

Video on Edge vs. Hardy in their ladder match at Extreme Rules.

Here’s Hardy with something to say. Jeff says people think he’s crazy but this is where he fits perfectly. He talks about being with Edge in the first tag team ladder match and now they’ve taken different paths. At Extreme Rules he’s going to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke when he wins the title again and that’s that.

John Morrison vs. Umaga

Umaga has a leather strap with him which he’ll wear in his match with Punk at the PPV. Umaga kicks the strap to the floor and we’re ready to go. John pounds away to start but gets caught in the chest by a headbutt to put him down. Morrison starts speeding things up by goes after Umaga’s head like a schnook. Umaga misses a charge and falls to the outside, allowing Morrison to dive off the top to take out the Samoan.

Back in and Umaga’s counter to a sunset flip misses, followed by John hitting a running kick to the face for two. A Samoan drop puts Morrison down and out to the floor as we take a break. Back with Umaga holding a nerve hold which apparently messes with John’s brain, as he actually tries a suplex like an idiot. Umaga casually puts him on the apron and kicks Morrison out to the floor as Morrison deserves.

John gets back in and has his head taken off by a clothesline as Umaga is dominating at the moment. We hit the nerve hold again to make Morrison scream for mercy. Morrison comes back with an enziguri, only to be taken down by a spinning Rock Bottom for two. John tries to fight back and grabs a running DDT out of nowhere to put both guys down. Now Morrison gets smart and goes after the knee, only to be hit square in the throat to put him down. John gets back up for the Flying Chuck (Cody Rhodes’ Disaster Kick) to send Umaga back to the floor where he picks up the strap and blasts Morrison for the DQ.

Rating: C+. This was getting going by the end as they were doing the David vs. Goliath/power vs. speed formulas to a pretty effective degree. Both of these guys had good potential but never quite reached the highest point they could have, due to either drugs or drugs and Melina. Decent match here that would have been better with a good ending.

Post match Umaga hangs Morrison with the strap until Punk comes out and blasts Umaga with his MITB case to send him to the floor. Punk says at Extreme Rules he has no strategy as is his custom. He talks about how many things he’s done that no one said he could do, so why can’t he drag Umaga to all four corners?

World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Cryme Tyme

For those of you who forget, this would be Charlie Haas/Shelton Benjamin vs. JTG/Shad Gaspard in a match set up because Cryme Tyme cost the other two a match last night on Superstars. Charlie and JTG get things going with Charlie quickly taking it to the mat and pounding away. JTG comes back with a quick Fameasser for two before bringing in Shad for some big generic power. Shad charges into a pair of knees in the corner and it’s off to Benjamin for a slugout.

Shelton tries a go behind but Shad easily powers him into the corner before taking Shelton down with a shoulder block. Gaspard launches JTG onto Shelton in a splash for two but Haas interference lets the actually challenging team take over. We take a break and come back with Charlie getting two before bringing Benjamin back in. Oh and before I forget: Haas and Benjamin are officially “the team formerly known as the World’s Greatest Tag Team.” I for one certainly care am more interested in them now.

Shelton hooks on a neck crank for a few moments before it’s back off to Charlie. He drives some knees into JTG’s shoulder while talking a lot of trash. Back to Shelton who pounds away in the corner but misses a splash. JTG goes for a tag but gets caught in a sweet German suplex for two. Charlie comes in again but gets kicked in the knee and taken down with a spinning clothesline, allowing for the hot tag to Shad. A big powerslam gets two on Shelton as everything breaks down. Benjamin counters a backdrop and hits Paydirt (jumping downward spiral) for the pin on Shad.

Rating: D+. At the end of the day, Cryme Tyme sucked and there isn’t much else to it. The guys just weren’t that talented or interesting at all and it really started to show. How JTG is still employed in the year 2013 is beyond me, especially given that Shelton and Charlie didn’t make it to the end of 2010.

Eve Torres vs. Layla

This is the result of a dance off gone wrong. In 2009 that’s the story of a Divas match. In 2013, it’s the story for continuing a Chris Jericho feud. Wrestling is funny that way sometimes. Layla charges at Eve to start and pounds away before they brawl on the mat. They head out to the floor for more brawling before going inside again for some….what would I call this…..oh bad wrestling. Layla cranks on Eve’s arms before getting caught in a hair drag to the mat. Eve gets two off a sunset flip and rolls through a bad looking cross body to pin Layla.

Rating: D. They look good in their outfits, they look good in their dance offs when they can shake their hips, and that’s about the extent of the good things about this crop of Divas. Layla would hook up with Michelle in a bit to form Laycool which was the best thing to happen to the Divas in YEARS. Also did anyone need two Divas matches in one show?

Jericho and Edge have a mini argument in the back with Jericho saying he’s done and Edge is on his own tonight.

Edge/Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy/Rey Mysterio

Jeff pinned Edge last week, five days after losing to him at the PPV. Before the match Edge talks about Jeff wasting his potential by picking a ladder match. Edge says he has more success in ladder matches than anyone else, but Jeff is in a lot of them too. That’s the difference between them in ladder matches: Jeff always makes the highlight reel but Edge always wins. That’s a great line actually.

Just as Jericho warned, he isn’t here. During Mysterio’s entrance he talks to the fans as he is known to do, but one jumps him and lays Mysterio out, revealing himself to be Jericho. Hardy makes the save when Jericho goes for Rey’s mask, but Mysterio is taken to the back. Apparently we’re going to have a handicap match.

Jeff quickly takes Jericho down and loads up the Swanton but has to dive on Edge instead. Edge is sent to the floor and taken out by a plancha but Jericho catches Jeff with a springboard dropkick to send him back to the floor. We finally get down to a regular match with the world champion coming in to take over on the beaten down Hardy. A clothesline gets two on Jeff and we hit the chinlock.

Back up and it’s off to Jericho for a splash over the top for two. Hardy tries to fight back but misses a dropkick, only to get his knees up on the Lionsault. Back to Edge who gets clotheslined down and sent into the corner for the slingsthot dropkick, getting two. Edge is sent into Jericho to give Jeff two off a rollup and a Whisper in the Wind takes the Canadians down. Jericho botches the selling on a Twist of Fate but the spear is enough to pin Hardy.

Rating: C-. What were you really expecting here? At the end of the day there’s no way to have Hardy look like a real threat against these two and he barely lasted five minutes. This is a good way to let Edge get one over on Hardy without making Jeff look bad because there’s no way Hardy could realistically win here. Not much of a match but at least it was short.

Post match Edge crushes Hardy in a ladder to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a decent enough episode as the main event and Intercontinental Title stuff was REALLY solid at this point. Umaga vs. Morrison was decent enough too, but the rest of this show just didn’t work for the most part. The tag match and Divas match were pretty lame and felt like they were there to just fill in time rather being good matches. Smackdown was still miles ahead of Raw at this point though so this was the better show of the week by far.

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