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'Smackdown' Recap: Big Show Returns, Jeff Hardy, and Randy Orton Qualify for 'WWE World Cup'

The 'Crown Jewel' lineup continues to take shape.

Jeff Hardy on WWE Smackdown
Courtesy WWE/YouTube

WWE's Crown Jewel is only weeks away, and with it comes the first-ever “WWE World Cup.” Superstars from around the world are competing to get a shot at victory in Saudi Arabia, and this week on Smackdown, the WWE Universe watched as two more competitors qualified for the event.

With John Cena and Kurt Angle having already qualified for the tournament, this week's matches determined the #3 and #4 slots respectively. The first qualifier of the night put the fan-favorite Jeff Hardy against the monstrous Samoa Joe.

While Joe is usually a virtually unstoppable opponent, he was visibly injured from his clash with AJ Styles at Super Show-Down. Hardy took advantage of this by focusing on Joe's injured leg, and the referee had to stop the match before Joe got seriously hurt. Hardy may have got a spot at the tournament, but we have the feeling Joe won't forget this any time soon.

Meanwhile, the vicious Randy Orton was pitted against the Big Show. This was Show's first match since getting injured by Braun Strowman last year, and the giant still looked to be in as good a shape as ever.

While the WWE veteran threw Orton for a loop, “The Viper” was able to get the edge thanks to his trademark dirty tactics: He poked Show's eyes and then got a RKO for the pin.

With half of the “WWE World Cup” already determined, the tournament is already shaping up to be one to watch. While Hardy and Orton are impressive in their own right, time will tell if they can compete against legends like Cena and Angle.

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