Preparing for battle

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July 24, 2009

RICHMOND, Va. -- With Night of Champions just two nights away, SmackDown's gladiators went to war within the Richmond Coliseum.

Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio def. World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk (Disqualification; Non-Title) (PHOTOS | VIDEO)
In the night's main event, it was a champion vs. champion war that ended in mayhem. After Mysterio thwarted the Go to Sleep from Punk, he hit the 619 on the heavyweight champion and went for the pinfall. But as the ref pounded out the three-count, Dolph Ziggler stormed into the ring at the last moment and attacked Mysterio. Ziggler's interference resulted in an immediate disqualification for CM Punk.

But the action was far from over.

Mysterio battled back and had Ziggler set up for the 619, but The Straightedge Superstar stopped Mysterio in his tracks. Next, Ziggler launched a vicious assault on Mysterio. Then, before things could go from bad to even worse for Mysterio, Jeff Hardy came to Mysterio's aid, driving Ziggler out of the ring. But it was Punk who got the final word in when he rushed in and dropped Hardy with the Go to Sleep.

What will happen on Sunday when all four Superstars will be in action again?

Night of Champions coverage | Order now | Order the webcast

Jeff Hardy def. Unified Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho (PHOTOS | VIDEO)
In the first bout of the night, Jeff Hardy went head-to-head with Chris Jericho. With both poised to compete at Night of Champions, the encounter was the perfect chance to gain momentum for Sunday. Hardy's risk-taking tactics paid off as the free-spirited daredevil defeated Jericho with a Swanton Bomb. With the loss and no announcement of who his new tag team partner will be, will Jericho be ready for Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes? (Match preview)

The Great Khali def. Mike Knox (PHOTOS)
It was a clash of the titans as powerhouse Mike Knox went head-to-head with The Great Khali. Toward the end of the bout, Kane came to the entrance ramp to watch the battle. Knox held his own, but it was a Punjabi Plunge from Khali that put Knox away. After the match, Khali motioned for Kane to come to the ring and get it on. Kane approached the ring and went as far as putting one giant leg over the rope. However, shockingly, The Big Red Monster backed out of the ring and opted not to take on The Punjabi Giant.

Dolph Ziggler def. Finlay (PHOTOS | VIDEO)
With the biggest match of his career on the horizon this Sunday against Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio, Ziggler took on the veteran Finlay. After brawling with the Fighting Irishman outside the ring and driving him hard to the arena floor, the young Superstar was able to get back in the ring, avoid the ref's 10-count, and pick up the win.

World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk challenged the WWE Universe to just say "no" (PHOTOS | VIDEO)
As he prepares to defend his title at Night of Champions, World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk offered some straightedge advice for the WWE Universe. But, his talk was interrupted by No.1 contender Jeff Hardy, who said "People make mistakes, and those people can change." On Sunday, the time for talking will be over when the two go toe-to-toe for Punk's title. (Match preview)

Eve def. Natalya (PHOTOS)
With Cryme Tyme in her corner, Eve took on Natalya. In Natayla's corner were David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd. Last week, The Hart Dynasty beat Cryme Tyme & Eve. However on this night, it was a Moonsault off the top rope from Eve that put away Natalya for the win.

WATCH this week's edition of "Word Up!"

R-Truth def. Charlie Haas (PHOTOS)
Last week, R-Truth fell to the powerful Kane. However, on this occasion, the electric R-Truth put away Haas with a vicious scissors kick.

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