The 523rd edition of WWE SmackDown came to you from the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ.
Quick Match Results
- Matt Hardy & John Morrison def. The Hart Dynasty by John Morrison pinning David Hart Smith following Starship Pain.
- Melina def. Layla by pin with the L.A. Splits.
- Non-Title: Rey Mysterio def. Kane by DQ after Kane runs Rey Mysterio into the ring post.
- Non-Title: Big Show & Chris Jericho def. Cryme Tyme by Big Show pinning Shad following the Knockout Punch.
- World Heavyweight Championship: Steel Cage Match: Loser Leaves WWE: CM Punk (c) def. Jeff Hardy by escape to retain and vanquish Jeff Hardy from the WWE.
- World Heavyweight Championship
- Big Show & Chris Jericho Vs. Cryme Tyme
- Matt Hardy & John Morrison Vs. The Hart Dynasty
- Rey Mysterio Vs. Kane
- Melina Vs. Layla
The show opened with the new World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk, who proclaimed that he told everyone that he would win the World Heavyweight Title at SummerSlam and he did. "The Straightedge Champion" then stated that he could never feel more "alive" then he does at that moment and that "pain makes him feel alive". Punk said that his championship celebration at SummerSlam was ruined by the return of The Undertaker and now he is being "forced" to defend his newly won championship in a Steel Cage Match, which Punk called "unfair" and a "conspiracy". The new champion then proclaimed that he is the "role model that the world needs". The former champion, Jeff Hardy, interrupted and gingerly made his way to the ring, still hurting as Punk was, from the TLC Match just five days prior. "The Extreme Enigma" told Punk that his reign would end inside the Steel Cage in the main event. The confident World Heavyweight Champion then accuses Jeff of being "intoxicated" and proclaimed that he is sick of the boos that he hears from the fans and that he’s also sick of hearing the fans cheer Jeff Hardy. Punk then made a bold statement by telling Jeff that one of them "doesn’t belong here". Desperate to get "The Charismatic Enigma" out of his life, CM Punk proposed a stipulation to their Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Title; the champion proposed that, whoever loses in the main event, must leave the WWE! Following the challenge, Jeff Hardy wasted no time in accepting the stipulation! This brought out SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, who made it official. Not only did Long sanction this new stipulation, but he made a blockbuster announcement regarding Breaking Point; the GM announced that, whoever leaves the Steel Cage as the World Heavyweight Champion, will face The Undertaker with the title on the line in a Submission Match at the event! Who will emerge from the Steel Cage Match as the World Heavyweight Champion and who will be left lying with their WWE career lying right beside them?
The opening match of the night saw two tag team specialists team up as seven-time tag team champion Matt Hardy teamed with five-time tag team champion John Morrison to face The Hart Dynasty. In the end, it was some concrete tag team work and Morrison’s Starship Pain that got the win for Matt & Morrison. Will Matt Hardy & John Morrison continue to team together? Could we see this team as possible contenders for the Unified Tag Team Titles?
The always electric R-Truth was set to square off with the returning Drew McIntyre, but as Truth started to step through the ropes, the vicious McIntyre blasted Truth with a sadistic kick to the head. McIntyre then brutally assaulted R-Truth before laying him out with a devastating double-arm DDT! After this heinous attack, Drew McIntyre proclaimed that the "party is over". How will R-Truth respond to this attack by McIntyre? What will we see next from the proud Scotsman?
Women’s Champion Michelle McCool made an appearance on SmackDown, using crutches to hold herself up! McCool revealed that the attack by Melina last week caused McCool to suffer a knee injury! The Women’s Champion then introduced her replacement to face Melina- Layla.
The former Women’s Champion made fairly quick work of Layla, picking up the win. After the match, Melina once again shoved Michelle McCool to the floor! What is the status of Michelle McCool and how does it affect the Women’s Championship?
Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio was also in action as he squared off in a non-title match with "The Big Red Machine" Kane. "The Ultimate Underdog" tried on several occasions to get the upper hand over Kane, but "The Big Red Monster" was able to overpower his smaller adversary. Intent on dishing out punishment on Mysterio, Kane rammed Rey into the steel ring post and, despite the referee’s warning, did it a second time! The referee had no choice but to disqualify Kane. After the match, Kane threw the helpless Intercontinental Champion into the ring and was about to continue his assault when The Great Khali came out! The two behemoths continued where they left off at SummerSlam as both men teed off on the other. Khali then went for the Punjabi Plunge on Kane, but "The Big Red Machine" thought better of it and narrowly escaped the maneuver by exiting the ring. On the outside, Ranjin Singh blasted Kane in the back with a kendo stick! Unfortunately, it was to no effect on Kane. However, it did have a big effect when Khali swung the stick at Kane! Khali chased Kane all the way backstage with the kendo stick. Back in the ring, with Rey Mysterio recovering, Dolph Ziggler entered the ring and laid out the Intercontinental Champion! After such an opportunistic attack, how will Mysterio respond to the new #1 Contender’s actions? When will see the third match between these two combatants and who will emerge as the Intercontinental Champion?
After having a less than stellar night on RAW, Unified Tag Team Champions Big Show & Chris Jericho appeared on SmackDown as Chris Jericho would go one-on-one with Cryme Tyme’s big man, Shad. Before the match, Jericho had a few things to say; never lacking in confidence, the Unified Tag Team Champion vowed to beat MVP & Mark Henry at Breaking Point and retain the Unified Tag Team Titles. Jericho then proclaimed that himself and Big Show are men of "honesty" and "integrity", but most of all, they are "champions".
Though the match started as a one-on-one match between Chris Jericho and Shad, it ended as a tag team bout as, in the middle of the one-on-one match, Big Show & JTG got involved and a brawl ensued on the outside of the ring. This prompted General Manager Theodore Long to make another appearance and make the match into a tag team match; Big Show & Chris Jericho Vs. Cryme Tyme in a non-title SummerSlam rematch! Just like at SummerSlam, Big Show used his devastating right hand to knock his opponent out and win the match for himself and Jericho. How will the Unified Tag Team Champions fare when they face MVP & Mark Henry with the titles on the line at Breaking Point? Is the team of MVP & Mark Henry the right combination to dethrone Big Show & Chris Jericho?
Then it was time for the much-anticipated Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship as CM Punk was set to defend his newly won championship against former champion Jeff Hardy, with the loser being forced to leave the WWE. Ever the opportunist, CM Punk got a jump on the match by blind-siding Jeff during his entrance. Before the match even began, Punk pounded on Jeff on the outside, delivering a suplex on the floor before finally throwing Jeff into the Steel Cage and allowing the match to begin. Despite their battered and bruised bodies, both men fought valiantly; both for the World Heavyweight Title and their WWE careers. After several close calls for both competitors, it was CM Punk who, just like at SummerSlam, knocked Jeff Hardy off of his perch to the unforgiving mat below to leave Jeff lying and allow Punk to exit the cage and retain the World Heavyweight Title. While CM Punk took another step up in solidifying his spot atop SmackDown, Jeff Hardy fell from the heavens to come crashing down to reality; the decade-long WWE career of Jeff Hardy was over. As CM Punk exited with his World Heavyweight Title, Jeff Hardy lay a broken man on the ring mat he has come to know so well. After managing to get to his feet, Jeff had some parting words for his fans around the world; the three-time World Champion apologized to his loyal fan base for losing the match and thanks the fans for supporting him in the highs and lows of his career. An emotional Jeff then said that "it’s only goodbye for now". Jeff then vowed that, if the time is right, he will return. Jeff then proclaimed that there is still a Hardy on SmackDown; his brother, Matt. Jeff then takes a much-deserved bow in the middle of the ring before taking his leave. Jeff stood on the stage and gave his emotional fans one last salute before his departure. However, CM Punk was not satisfied with ending the storied career of Jeff Hardy as Punk returned and blasted Jeff in the back of the head with the World Heavyweight Title belt; effectively ruining Jeff’s final moment in the spotlight.
Regardless of how he did it, CM Punk has put his personal rivalry with Jeff Hardy to rest and now the World Heavyweight Champion moves on to his next challenge and what a challenge it is as CM Punk will defend the World Heavyweight Title against The Undertaker at Breaking Point in a Submission Match! How will CM Punk combat the legendary "Deadman"? What will happen when The Undertaker makes his return to SmackDown next week?