PHILADELPHIA – For weeks, World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk said Jeff Hardy didn’t stand a chance against him. There was no way a flawed man like Hardy could defeat a competitor who follows the straightedge way of life, Punk claimed.
But at Night of Champions, Jeff Hardy proved CM Punk wrong when he pinned him in the center of the ring and captured his second World Heavyweight Championship.
This victory over Punk was a long time coming for The Charismatic Enigma. Jeff thought his dream of becoming the World Heavyweight Champion had finally come true at Extreme Rules when he defeated Edge in a Ladder Match, but the moment was short-lived. Mere seconds after he grabbed the gold, Hardy had to face CM Punk, who was cashing in his Money in the Bank title opportunity. Battered and tired, Jeff was unable to put up a good fight and The Straightedge Superstar won the title.
At The Bash, Hardy’s frustrations continued. When it seemed as though The Charismatic Enigma had pinned Punk to win the gold, it was revealed that the champion’s foot was under the ropes. When the match was restarted, Punk kicked the referee in the back, resulting in a disqualification and no title change.
But when the two Superstars met again at Night of Champions, there was nothing CM Punk could do to stop Hardy’s drive to win. The World Heavyweight Champion utilized his aggressive and unique offense to slow the Cameron, N.C., native down, but he simply couldn’t break the colorful warrior’s spirit. Even Punk’s brutal finishing maneuver, the Go to Sleep, wasn’t enough to keep Hardy down.
Frustrated with Jeff’s resilience, The Straightedge Superstar grabbed his gold and tried to leave the ring, but the adrenaline junkie dragged him right back in and delivered the Twist of Fate. Then, with 17,774 fans in the Wachovia Center chanting his name, The Charismatic Enigma scaled the top rope and delivered a picture-perfect Swanton Bomb onto Punk, scoring the victory and the title.
After the match, Jeff Hardy passionately celebrated his championship win with the WWE Universe, but the party can’t last for long. If CM Punk’s track record is any indication, the former World Heavyweight Champion is already concocting a scheme to get the title back.
What will happen the next time these two Superstars meet? Watch the next edition of SmackDown at 8/7 CT on MyNetworkTV to find out.
-Match 1: Chris Jericho & Big Show def. Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase
-Match 2: Christian def. Tommy Dreamer
-Match 3: Kofi Kingston wins 6 Pack Challenge
-Match 4: Michelle McCool def. Melina
-Match 5: Randy Orton def. John Cena & Triple H
-Match 6: Mickie James def. Maryse
-Match 7: Rey Mysterio def. Dolph Ziggler
-Main Event: Jeff Hardy def. CM Punk
WWE's Night of Champion takes place this Sunday (July 26th) live and only on Pay-Per-View. Let's take a look at the card.
WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. Triple H vs. John Cena
PREDICTION: I believe that this will in fact be the main event and has the potential to be a very good match. However, given the fact this PPV is a lead in to SummerSlam I believe Randy Orton will walk out holding the strap.
World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy
PREDICTION: Will this be Jeff Hardy's final match on PPV before he takes time off? That possibility is certainly there. It's also possible that WWE could drag the feud out to SummerSlam. Either way, I see CM Punk keeping the gold.
Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler
PREDICTION: This is the match that could launch Dolph Ziggler if he beats Mysterio for the IC title this Sunday. As much as I love Mysterio and wish he could have a longer run as the champ I think WWE realizes that they've got to establish new stars and so I predict that Dolph Ziggler will in fact cheat to capture his first WWE gold.
United States Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Big Show vs. MVP vs. Carlito vs. Jack Swagger vs. The Miz (Six Pack Challenge)
PREDICTION: If given enough time, I believe that this will be the match of the night. As I've said on my Twitter, "Kofi Kingston is money". That being said, I don't think Kingston needs to U.S. title long term and I already feel that both Swagger and MVP are on track for heavyweight gold in the near future. So, who would benefit most from winning the U.S. title? I feel that The Miz is going to continue be a good heel and for that reason he is my pic to win this Sunday.
ECW Champion Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian
PREDICTION: This could also be a match that steals the show. Tommy Dreamer is a legend and it is my hope that he will keep the ECW Championship.
Unified Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho & A Mystery Partner vs. Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes
PREDICTION: Who will be Jericho's partner? How about Christian? I could see Jericho and Christian losing the Tag Team Championships to Legacy. Of course, after the match Jericho will turn on Christian and this will set up a feud between the two at SummerSlam.
Women's Champion Michelle McCool vs. Melina
PREDICTION: I think Melina will beat McCool.
Divas Champion Maryse vs. Mickie James
PREDICTION: Maryse is as hot as it gets but I have not been impressed with her ring work. Thus I think the ultra talented Mickie James has gold in her future this Sunday.
WORTH THE MONEY: There are some good matches on this card. Randy Orton vs. Triple H vs. John Cena is a strong main event where all three superstars will work hard. CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy is sure to be an intense match (it also may very well be the last time we see Hardy for awhile) and the Six Pack Challenge match-up is sure to deliver for those looking for highspots. But at $40.00, that's an incredibly hefty price to pay for just three hours of action. Plus Night of Champions is in many ways just a short interlude before SummerSlam. So despite the good card, I can't recommend spending that kind of money in this economy unless you're a hardcore fan of wrestling. My suggestion? SAVE YOUR MONEY (Or watch it at your local sports bar)!