Returning the favor

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September 01, 2006

Tonight, Matt Hardy will face WWE Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms in a non-title match on SmackDown. This battle comes after Helms sent an unexpected yet resounding message to Hardy by interfering in Hardy's match last Friday.

Earlier this week, Hardy told WWE.com that he would look to return the favor in tonight's match, thus settling a deep-rooted rivalry that extends far back into the beginnings of each man's professional career.

"We have a long, storied history," Hardy said. "We've always had this competitive nature between us. It's almost like a real personal race to see who can be the biggest star and who can achieve the most success in WWE."

Last week on SmackDown, Hardy squared off with Mr. Kennedy while Helms sat alongside commentators Michael Cole and JBL. At the close of an exhausting physical contest, Hardy gained the advantage and was en route to what could've been one of his biggest victories in recent weeks. Suddenly, just moments after complimenting Hardy's abilities, the Cruiserweight Champion leapt from the announce table onto the ring apron and dropped Hardy's throat across the top tope. This enabled Kennedy to capitalize and gain another impressive win over Hardy, while Helms looked on with a satisfied grin.

According to Helms, his actions last Friday were driven by personal issues that exist between both he and Hardy. The Cruiserweight Champion told WWE.com that those matters need to be sorted out in the ring tonight.

"[Last week], I did something that I felt needed to be done," explained Helms. "Matt Hardy's an accomplished wrestler who has done a lot in this business and he's a very, very talented performer. We're pretty evenly matched across the board, but Hardy and I have some unresolved issues that are kind of under the scene right now. People don't know about them and it's time for that stuff to come into the light."

The longest current reigning champion in sports-entertainment, Helms came to SmackDown in January and has held the Cruiserweight gold for seven months. He also boasts an extremely impressive record as of late, most recently earning a controversial victory over Tatanka. Hardy himself is a former Cruiserweight Champion, and while he may have the size and strength advantage in the match, Hardy will need to retain his focus tonight against the crafty, stealthy Helms.

"Helms has a lot of really high impact, high-flying moves in his arsenal and I have to watch out for those," admitted Hardy. "Right now, I'm not necessarily the fastest guy in this match and I know that he is; he's the WWE Cruiserweight Champion. Helms is a phenomenal wrestler with phenomenal talent and he's dangerous, especially if you let him explode. More than ever, I have to be on my toes tonight. I'm going to try and actually keep him grounded as much as possible. I'm going to take a step toward ensuring that I become the bigger star because I'm going to beat him in the ring tonight: one, two, three."

Who will emerge victorious in this personal battle tonight? Will we see the close of this vendetta in a SmackDown ring?

Click here to find out how you can catch this match and other SmackDown action this week.

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