World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy Addressed CM Punk and John Morrison
Hardy was fresh off his big World Heavyweight Championship victory over Punk at Night of Champions, and what was so surprising about it was that it was being reported at the time that Hardy was on his way out of the company, so no one expected him to beat Punk. Sure enough, he did, and the crowd loved seeing him make his grand entrance as world champ here. Hardy has never been the best promo guy, but you could tell he was speaking from the heart. I liked how he addressed Punk's recent actions before then turning his focus to Morrison, who he'd put his world title on the line against later on in the night.
Cryme Tyme def. The Hart Dynasty in a Unified WWE Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
Mere days earlier on Raw, Cryme Time had a colossal clash with tag champs Jeri-Show that also involved the night's guest host Shaquille O'Neal. WWE thankfully rode with the momentum Cryme Tyme had at the time and put them in the tag title picture by having them beat Hart Dynasty here in a well-wrestled match. I feel like the post-match promos from Cryme Tyme and Jeri-Show were longer than the actual matchup was, but at least they successfully built up their SummerSlam encounter.
Melina and Eve Torres def. Women's Champion Michelle McCool and Layla
Melina and McCool had been feuding since the start of the summer over the Women's Championship and McCool had already beaten Melina twice on pay-per-view, so I'm not really sure why the feud had to continue with Melina pinning McCool here. Nevertheless, this was a perfectly fine tag team match. It should be noted that McCool and Layla weren't officially "LayCool" at this point. They were allies but not the best friends they'd eventually become.
Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio and Finlay def. Dolph Ziggler and Mike Knox
This went a lot longer than I expected it to, but I was happy with how much time they ended up getting. Mysterio and Ziggler were in the midst of a feud over the Intercontinental Championship at the time, though it felt like Ziggler could never get one over Mysterio, including here. He challenged for the title again at SummerSlam, so Mysterio pinning Ziggler in this bout made no sense. From an in-ring standpoint, however, this was very entertaining with everyone having solid showings.
The Great Khali vs. Charlie Haas Ended in a No Contest
This appeared to be your typical squash match from the moment the bell rang, and although it started out that way, Kane soon surfaced to lure Khali out of the ring by threatening to attack Ranjin Singh, effectively causing this contest to end in a no contest. Hey, I didn't really care to see a decisive finish anyway, so I didn't mind it. Unfortunately, this continued the awful rivalry Kane vs. Khali going on at the time that nobody, and I mean nobody, wanted to see.
World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy def. John Morrison
Hardy and Morrison of course had a ton of chemistry and history from their days feuding over the Intercontinental Championship three years earlier, so I figured this would be a quality main event and they delivered. Morrison was on the rise in 2009 and he had a strong showing here. It was pretty obvious he wasn't beating Hardy for the belt five days after he had just won it, but the fact he kicked out of a Swanton Bomb was huge and put him over as a threat to the title. Sadly, this was the closest Morrison came to contending for the championship in WWE. Afterward, Punk showed up and looked like he wanted to make amends with Hardy, only to blast him over the head with the microphone and unleash hell on him. It was an awesome angle to build toward their title rematch the following week on SmackDown.
As a Night of Champions followup show, this was pretty good stuff. The World Heavyweight Championship being up for grabs in the main event was a treat and it was a terrific match at that, not to mention that the post-match angle was excellently executed. The rest of the episode also held up quite well with three fun tag team matches and multiple feuds being furthered going into SummerSlam.
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