An eye for an eye

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July 03, 2009

FRESNO, Calif. -- With Night of Champions just three weeks away and the sudden transformation of the Friday night roster, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long revealed two explosive main events, one for SmackDown and the other for the upcoming pay-per-view. However, it was Jeff Hardy that showed definitively that there is, in fact, an "eye" in team.

Unified Tag Team Champions Edge & Chris Jericho def. World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk & Jeff Hardy (Non-title) (VIDEO | PHOTOS)
CM Punk denied any foul play in his championship match with Jeff Hardy at The Bash, claiming his "eye injury" caused him to "accidentally" kick the referee. He demanded an apology from The Charismatic Enigma for his post-match attack. Teddy Long emerged, swiftly creating a World Heavyweight Title rematch between Punk and Hardy at Night of Champions. Hardy then came to the squared-circle, making it clear that he does not believe Punk's explanation. He did, however, offer an "apology" in advance for taking The Straightedge Superstar down at Night of Champions. (VIDEO | PHOTOS)(Match preview)

Later in the evening, the two reluctant Superstars joined forces to take on the new Unified Tag Team Champions Edge & Chris Jericho. Twice in the course of the match, Hardy tried to tag Punk in. But, both times the champion appeared to be in pain, clutching his eye rather than accepting Hardy's invitation into the squared-circle. Perhaps as a result of this, when Punk was stretching out to tag Hardy into the match later on, his Night of Champions Charismatic No. 1 Contender suddenly and deliberately clutched his eye in "pain," falling from the ring apron, leaving his partner to face the music alone. Punk came back to hit the GTS on Jericho, not realizing that Edge had tagged into the match to blast him with the spear. Hardy soon revealed his Extreme, wide eyes to the WWE Universe, showing that he had in fact dished out some eye-popping retribution onto the World Champion's plate.

Kane def. Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio (Non-title) (VIDEO | PHOTOS)
Despite a tremendous effort by the new Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio, The Big Red Machine endured the 619 to reign supreme over the masked Superstar with the devastating chokeslam. After the match, with Kane poised to inflict additional punishment on his prey, The Great Khali -- who Kane attacked and cost a match against Dolph Ziggler at The Bash -- stormed to the ring with a steel chair and rage in his eyes. Kane uncharacteristically retreated into the crowd.

Melina & Maria def. WWE Women's Champion Michelle McCool & Layla (PHOTOS)
After losing her Women's Championship to Michelle McCool at The Bash, Melina grabbed a small measure of payback. Michelle quickly tagged out to avoid battling the irate former champion, leaving Layla to endure full force of her authoritative wrath.

Dolph Ziggler def. R-Truth (PHOTOS)
Fresh off his Bash win over The Punjabi Playboy, a smiling Ziggler proved victorious over R-Truth with a vicious neckbreaker.

Cryme Tyme def. David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd (PHOTOS) (WATCH "WORD UP!")
Cryme Tyme stole some thunder from The Hart Dynasty's SmackDown debut. As the referee was trying to maintain order on the other side of the ring, outside man JTG used the ropes to throw David Hart Smith off balance, setting Shad up to drive the Hart Dungeon-trained Superstar into the canvas for the win.

Finlay def. Ricky Ortiz (PHOTOS)
Not responding favorably to Ortiz's encouraging suggestion to smile and "Rally up!" before their match, The Belfast Bawler brought the definitive beat down to his towel-wielding adversary with the brutal Celtic Cross.

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