OMAHA, Neb. - Tragedy struck SmackDown suddenly and without warning as WWE Champion Jeff Hardy was injured on his way to the ring, while MVP finally found triumph and WWE said goodbye to one of its own.
WWE Champion Jeff Hardy sustains injury on "The Cutting Edge" (WATCH | PHOTOS)
As Jeff Hardy was approaching the ring to be the guest of his Royal Rumble opponent, the Rated-R Superstar, on "The Cutting Edge," something with his pyrotechnics display went horribly wrong, surrounding him in a sea of sparks and flames; causing him to collapse to the ground in excruciating pain. As the smoke cleared, the reality set in to the WWE Universe that the black cloud that surrounded Jeff Hardy toward the end of 2008 is continuing to follow him in 2009. The show came to a frantic close as the bedlam ensued.
Vickie Guerrero's nude photos returned; announced huge match to determine Triple H's fate (PHOTOS)
SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero gloated about putting Triple H through Triple Jeopardy one week ago for disrespecting her. The Game then came to the ring to return the nude photos of her that he recovered. When Guerrero responded by creating a Last Man Standing Match against Big Show - with The King of Kings Royal Rumble spot on the line - the 12-time World Champion proceeded to show the nude photos on the TitanTron for all to see. Guerrero then announced that MVP would be the Superstar facing Big Show in the match to determine if The Game would keep his spot, banning Triple H from ringside for good measure.
Montel Vontavious Porter def. Big Show (Last Man Standing Match) (WATCH | PHOTOS)
In a Last Man Standing Match almost as brutal as MVP's losing streak, the Ballin' Superstar finally proved victorious, after Big Show could not answer the 10-count. When the two Superstars carried the exhausting match away from the ring and up the entrance ramp, Triple H - seeing the opportunity to liberate himself from his ringside ban - charged in and knocked out The World's Largest Athlete with the sledgehammer. Will The Game continue to repel Guerrero's attacks when he faces the undefeated Vladimir Kozlov on next week's SmackDown?
WATCH Vladimir Kozlov's training.
Michelle McCool def. Victoria (WATCH | PHOTOS)
After Michelle McCool attacked Victoria at the conclusion of their tag team match against the Bella Twins one week ago, the two Divas squared off in what would be the former Women's Champion's final match before retiring from WWE. Although Victoria fought heroically, in the end her battle-weary leg could not support Michelle long enough to execute the Widow's Peak, opening the door for the former Divas Champion to hit her devastating Faithbreaker for the victory. WATCH: Victoria's goodbye
Matt Hardy & Finlay def. ECW Champion Jack Swagger & Mark Henry (Tag Team Match) (PHOTOS)
Once Finlay removed Mark Henry from the equation with a hard crack of the shillelagh, Matt Hardy hit Jack Swagger with a Twist of Fate. As a result, he gained a tag team win on the Superstar that took the ECW Championship away from him on ECW on Sci Fi. Will the same result take place when the two face off in a rematch for the Extreme Championship at the Royal Rumble? (Match Preview)
R-Truth def. The Brian Kendrick (PHOTOS)
In a match between two Royal Rumble participants, R-Truth earned a hard-fought victory over The Kendrick with his Corkscrew Scissors Kick. His victory was short-lived however, as Ezekiel Jackson attacked R-Truth from behind, leaving him on the canvas.