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[2000-12-28-WWE-Smackdown] Chris Benoit vs Matt Hardy


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Matt is flying solo, Michael Cole informing us that Lita isn’t here because of that ‘Crippler crossface’ she fell victim to on Monday night.  He slides into the ring and Benoit tries to drop an elbow on him but Matt smartly rolls out the way.  ‘The Crippler’ takes to the outside after being on the receiving end of a clothesline however gets nailed with a big dive from the top turnbuckle to the floor.  The Intercontinental title is on the line, Lt. Commissioner Debra having banned ‘the Radicalz’ from ringside and giving Matt a fairer chance of snaffling some gold.  He lights Benoit up with some knife edge chops but when he grabs him for the ‘Twist of Fate’ the champion lifts him up and dumps him across the top rope.  Belly to back suplex.  Benoit signals that it’s over after a backbreaker but fails to connect on the diving headbutt.  Matt gets a couple of near falls after a swinging DDT and a middle rope legdrop, the champion saved on the latter only because he was able to drape a foot over the bottom rope.  ‘The Crippler’ counters the The ‘Twist of Fate’ into the crossface, Matt scrambling to the ropes for the break with Benoit eventually, reluctantly, letting go.  He removes the padding from one of the turnbuckles however isn’t able to take advantage as Matt sends him shoulder first into the ring post.  The tornado DDT is countered with the crossface and this time, in the centre of the ring and with no other option, Matt is forced to tap.

A good TV match and that counter leading to the crossface finish was really nice.

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