Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust
Okay, it’s been nearly a week, and Extreme Rules is halfway finished, so I’m going to post this, and then I’ll follow up with the official preview (and prediction contest, too, I would imagine) once I’ve got some more of the event done, so I don’t pull a ‘Rumble’ from the last thread and keep everyone waiting for months on end between preview and show. I think you’ve all done enough waiting already.
Oh, and quick edit: Thanks to Harlem/The Bad Guy for his comments.
Friday Night SmackDown
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina | 29th April 2011
We open with a rather brief highlights package from last week’s episode, in which Edge prevails over Justin Gabriel in the main event, only to be distracted by Chavo Guerrero of all people. This allows Brodus Clay and Edge’s Extreme Rules opponent, Alberto Del Rio, to attack him from behind, and ‘Destiny’s Darling’ invites Chavo to the ring, before bringing down the steel cage and battering the World Champion in a three-way assault. At the end of SmackDown, it’s Del Rio with the World Heavyweight Title fixed round his waist, with his hands held into the air by Chavo and Clay as they stand triumphantly over the Rated R Superstar...
...and now we get the usual SmackDown opening video package, accompanied by Green Day’s awful and unsuited-to-this-show tune, which I will change after Extreme Rules, before the camera cuts to the Greensboro Coliseum. It’s all eyes on the stage as the pyro clatters about the stage, and now we sweep over the cheering crowd before we head to our favourite three-man team at ringside.
Josh Matthews: Welcome one and all, this is Friday Night SmackDown, emanating tonight from Greensboro, North Carolina; I’m Josh Matthews, joined as always by your teacher Matt Striker and Booker T – guys, Extreme Rules is but two short days away!
Booker T: Awwww, I’m gettin’ pumped aight Josh – just forty-eight hours ‘til we get crazy in Tampa, man, and dat means it’s gonna be hot, hot, hot ta-night on SmackDown!
The Bookerman gives one of his classic, satisfied laughs.
Matt Striker: (grinning) Your enthusiasm is not unfounded, Booker, because I too am excited for what should be a stellar show, and tonight is no different; I’m thinking about the Cutting Edge later tonight, with special guests, the Alberto Administration.
Josh Matthews: Indeed, Edge confronts the already-infamous Administration in his very own talk show later tonight, but note this for your main event match of the evening, guys –
A graphic crashes into view as is typical of SmackDown, with Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio and Trent Barreta on one side, and Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre and Wade Barrett on the other.
Josh Matthews: Two days before they all collide in a Six-Man, Hardcore, Elimination Challenge at Extreme Rules for the Intercontinental Title, we’ll be seeing them all in action; it’s a Six-Man Tag Team Match, set up by SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long. Kingston, Mysterio and Barreta take on Rhodes, McIntyre and a man not to be crossed, the current champion, Wade Barrett.
Booker T: Wade had a rough night last week, no doubt, Josh – it’s all about gettin’ back on track for him, and he’s gonna get right on dat, ta-night here in Greensboro.
Matt Striker: Barrett’s got a point to prove, but so does McIntyre, having endured some mind games from Trent Barreta last week, while the demented Cody Rhodes got a taste of punishment from Rey Mysterio; these two teams have animosity in every possible direction, guys – just like this Sunday, I think it’s gonna get ugly before the final bell chimes.
Josh Matthews: Also to come, Justin Gabriel takes on the Big Show, one week after losing to the World Heavyweight Champion, and Beth Phoenix is in action against –
The heat is some of the biggest this man’s had in years on end; Chavo Guerrero struts out with a more-than-satisfied smirk on his face, with the imposing, no-nonsense figure of Brodus Clay measuring the crowd with a disgruntled expression beside him. There’s more than just size that contrasts the pair, who have different heritages, different styles, different ring attires and different outlooks here tonight, yet they’re undoubtedly linked by their membership in the Alberto Administration, and that gets them the heat they linger for to open SmackDown. The bell rings.
Tony Chimel: The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, accompanied by Brodus Clay... from El Paso, Texas, weighing in at two hundred and fifteen pounds... CHAVO – GUERRERO!
Josh Matthews: Now here’s a man who’s got some questions to answer, guys. Chavo Guerrero, the so-called Mexican Warrior, provided the distraction for Alberto Del Rio to sneak-attack Edge last week at the end of SmackDown, and all week, the WWE Universe has been wondering – why?
Matt Striker: A perplexing one indeed, Josh; of course, Chavo shares one very important thing with Del Rio in the eyes of the Mexican Aristocrat, and that’s a rich heritage. Both men come from lines of famous, legendary luchadors, and that links them like brothers to Del Rio – though personally, it seems less like something to do with pride and more something to do with Chavo wanting to cover his back, Josh.
Booker T: All I’ll say is – Chavo’s been havin’ a bad run of late. Maybe he thought dere was safety in numbers, so he asked Alberto what he had to do to get himself in da Administration; dat involved screwin’ my boi Edge over after his match, so Del Rio could get his hands on da World Heavyweight Title a few days early, dawg.
Wearing his usual poncho and headband, Chavo beckons the heat to keep coming, casually strolling down the ramp and beating to the beat of his music. He takes the steps up to the ring, casting a nonchalant look over the Greensboro Coliseum as he does, and he immediately heads to the turnbuckle, spreading his arms wide with another casual pose. He hops down, asking for a mic, as Brodus Clay stands with an emotionless expression at ringside, arms folded. Chavo’s music dies down; this allows a few “Chavo sucks! Chavo sucks!” chants to spring up, and Guerrero, having not enjoyed a reaction as such in while, is content to let it run for a few moments before he brings the mic up.
Chavo Guerrero: For those of you... who don’t remember me...
A scowl at the haters.
Chavo Guerrero: My name is Chavo – GUERRERO.
His surname gets a huge Spanish emphasis from the Mexican Warrior, who paces slowly about the ring as the crowd boos him.
Chavo Guerrero: Just when you think I’m gonna fade into obscurity, I go out and make sure it’s all eyes on me again; just when you start to forget who Chavo Guerrero is, I do something no-one expects.
A few boos here and there; his eyes flicker about the arena, as if he has some long-standing dislike for each of the members of the audience.
Chavo Guerrero: I mean, here we are in 2011 – I’ve been here on SmackDown for years. Sure, I’ve been on Raw, ECW – but SmackDown was always home of the Guerreros.
Around the arena, some powerful “EDDIE! EDDIE!” chants pick up, and Chavo, though frowning, nods his head and holds the mic out to let them build. Once the crowd has paid their respects, Guerrero brings the mic back to his mouth and continues.
Chavo Guerrero: Now, before I take us all back to last week, lemme take you back to 2008. See, back then, I was part of a little group called La – Familia.
Mixed reaction from those who remember.
Chavo Guerrero: La Familia was supposed to be about us all – we were supposed to be just that, a FAMILY. We had the Mexican name, we tried to imprint the Mexican gene on SmackDown, but we failed, and that’s all on one guy. Edge.
Big pop for the Rated R Superstar, but Chavo scowls.
Chavo Guerrero: I get that he’s some kinda hero to everyone now, but I see right through ‘im. Back then, he was a self-centred, self-preserving, egotistical champ...
Heat presses in for that comment; Guerrero wanders around the ring, then continues.
Chavo Guerrero: So three years on, has anything changed? Hell no! All I see is Edge with that belt again, and dammit, it’s getting ridiculous now. (he shakes his head) I was just Edge’s lackey then. But today, I’m not here to be anyone’s puppet. I’m my own man, and that means makin’ my own choices.
He pounds his chest with his free fist.
Chavo Guerrero: See, I’m not here to do Alberto Del Rio’s dirty work; I’m here to make sure that the World Title isn’t on someone who doesn’t deserve it. And mostly, I’m here to pay tribute to my heritage better than I ever could when I was Edge’s – tackle dummy.
Boos from the crowd.
Chavo Guerrero: Alberto Del Rio knows how to bring the true Mexican spirit into the WWE – better than anyone else. So this Sunday, he’s gonna become the new World Heavyweight Champ, and at the same time, the Administration’s gonna become the biggest force in the WWE.
He points towards the hard camera, as the fans boo yet again.
Chavo Guerrero: And Chavo Guerrero’s along for the ride, ese.
With a ‘clunk’, the mic hits the floor, and the crowd boos as Guerrero kicks it from the ring, clearly fired up for his upcoming match. The “Chavo sucks!” chants are audible yet again, but as the Mexican Warrior turns to the stage, still in his poncho, we do likewise – the stage turns gold...
*JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES*
It’s a BIG pop for the appearance of Christian in his ring gear, swinging his hand up to search the arena for his ‘Peeps’. Grinning, he throws his arms into the air, then begins to head down the ramp towards the ring, slapping the hands of as many fans as he can reach. In the ring, Chavo looks undeterred, watching his opponent with a confident expression that we haven’t seen so much from him recently. At ringside, we briefly see the emotionless face of Clay, but it’s more to remind us of his presence rather than sell a particular storyline element on this occasion.
Tony Chimel: And his opponent... from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, weighing in at two hundred and twelve pounds... CHRISTIAN!
Josh Matthews: Well, an intriguing contest here to open SmackDown tonight, guys, because Chavo Guerrero has to contend with one of the men he probably didn’t want to see – best friend to the World Champion himself, Christian.
Booker T: Not to mention Christian got his own point to prove, Josh – he’s out to show Jack Swagger he got da edge to make him say ‘I – QUIT’ dis Sunday, and dat means he gotta go all out on Chavo here ta-night.
Matt Striker: The mind games have been rife between Swagger and Christian indeed, Booker, and if Captain Charisma beats the revitalised Chavo tonight, it could be the next step to putting a bit of doubt inside the All-American American’s mind.
Josh Matthews: Swagger and Christian have a long-standing rivalry that dates back several years, just like Chavo’s loathing of Edge, as we just heard – this Sunday, it’s an I Quit Match to decide which one of them is more worthy of a precious shot at the World Title, and more than anything, it’s about pure pride, gentlemen.
As Booker and Striker agree there, we see Christian clambering up to the ring to join Chavo in the squared circle. Chimel has long since cleared off, leaving just the Mexican Warrior, the Livewire and the referee in the ring, as Brodus watches at ringside, and the music fades out. We’re left with just the “LET’S GO CHRISTIAN!” chants that boom around the Greensboro Coliseum, causing Christian to smile a little, and he glances momentarily at Clay, though without much concern. The referee brings both men in, has a quick word, then calls for the bell as they begin to circle.
Match One – Singles Contest
Chavo Guerrero vs Christian
As we join a well-fought contest about seven and a half minutes in, the fact that both men have had plenty of experience in the industry is evident; just about every move has been crisp and well-executed on the part of both competitors, even including the rest hold Chavo employs as we get into it. The side headlock has Christian frowning as he tries to escape it, and eventually, he begins to get the crowd involved, clapping his hands to incite them to do likewise. With the Peeps in the Coliseum behind him, Christian starts to get back to his feet, then shoves Chavo off to the ropes; he rebounds, only to run right into a Forearm Smash from the Livewire! Guerrero goes down holding his jaw in pain, and Christian lets out a yell of adrenaline as he heads for the corner, hopping to the second rope. He again shoots a glance at Clay, still unmoving on the outside, then watches Chavo get to his feet – he soars off, catching the Mexican Warrior with the Diving European Uppercut, the Flashpoint! A pop goes up as both men go down, but it’s Christian who moves first, hooking a leg a little sluggishly for the cover... 1... 2... but Chavo kicks out of it!
A groan rings around the arena there, and both men find their feet again; Chavo throws a right hand, catching Christian in the side of the face, but the Livewire fires back, and soon the pair are exchanging blows! Christian begins to get the upper hand, then lets loose a stinging Knife Edge Chop across Chavo’s chest – the crowd screams “WOOOO!” in unison, as Guerrero stumbles backwards! Chavo rests in the corner, and Christian tries to follow... but he gets a surprise kick to the gut for his trouble. Guerrero suddenly steps to the second rope, then leaps over the top of Captain Charisma for the Sunset Flip – but Christian rolls through, and throws a slap at Chavo’s face; no! Guerrero rolls to the side instinctively, so Christian hits nothing but air, and now the Mexican Warrior takes control, spinning the Livewire to face him, kicking him in the gut – and hitting a Suplex! As you’d expect, Chavo rolls to bring Christian up again, only to hit the second Suplex... and now the pair get up for a third time – SO GUERRERO COMPLETES THE THREE AMIGOS!!! A mixed reaction goes up for that, and Chavo wastes no time with a cover... 1... 2... but no! Kickout by Christian!
Tilting his head back, Chavo lets out an exasperated sigh, then pulls Christian back to his feet. He puts his hands on the Canadian’s shoulders, then leaps into the air, pulling him down with the Hurricanrana and sending him spiralling across the ring! The crowd groans in awe, and Christian frowns as he gets dizzily back up – Guerrero spins a Rolling Wheeling Kick in his direction; DUCKED! Captain Charisma manages to get underneath the kick, then hits the ropes... Chavo tries with the right hand, but again, Christian ducks, then hooks up the inverted facelock from behind – INVERTED DDT!!! Instead of the cover, however, Christian gets up again, and begins to fire up the crowd with a frenzied yell... before he turns back to the Mexican Warrior, and brings up the pincer motions, setting up for the Killswitch! Cheers build throughout the Coliseum as Christian circles Chavo, who winces as he tries to find his feet... BUT BRODUS CLAY IS ON THE APRON!!! The aforementioned cheers turn to rabid boos as the big man tries to step in the ring, possibly to get his funk on, and the referee rushes to stop him getting in, though Clay takes his sweet time by feigning a misunderstanding. Christian frowns, moving over to speed up the referee’s remonstrations, as all the while Chavo Guerrero recovers...
...but the crowd begins to cheer again, this time as loudly as they can – BECAUSE EDGE IS CHARGING DOWN THE RAMP... WITH A KENDO STICK IN HIS HAND!!! The crowd inside the Coliseum is going NUTS for the World Heavyweight Champion, who quickly hits ringside, and Clay drops from the apron to meet him... BUT EDGE BLASTS HIM BETWEEN THE EYES WITH THE CANE!!! The big man collapses to a knee, then to the floor as Edge stings the kendo stick off his back, and now a wide-eyed Chavo forgets all about sneak-attacking Christian, instead heading to the ropes himself to trash talk at Edge! Suddenly, it’s roles reversed, with Christian now the man setting up behind his opponent, eyes alight as Chavo stares furiously down at the shrugging Rated R Superstar. The referee keeps telling Edge to leave, and slowly, he begins to backtrack towards the ramp, as the crowd chants “EDGE! EDGE!”... so Guerrero turns back to the ring, scowling – BUT CHRISTIAN HOOKS HIM UP, SPINS HIM AROUND, AND DRILLS HIM WITH THE KILLSWITCH!!! The crowd ERUPTS with a unanimous cheer as Chavo gets flattened, and now Christian makes the elementary cover... 1... 2... 3!!!
Result: Christian bts. Chavo Guerrero via pinfall at 11:10
*JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES*
Tony Chimel: Here is your winner... CHRISTIAN!!!
“C’MON!” roars Christian in jubilation as the bell chimes to confirm his win, and sweat runs off his face as he leaps to his feet, one arm clutching his stomach as the referee raises the other into the air. The crowd gives him a strong ovation too, which he acknowledges with a grin, as the referee leaves the ring – we see Brodus Clay still blinking out the cobwebs on the outside, then Edge leaning on the cane on the ramp, smiling politely at the official as he walks past him.
Josh Matthews: Edge levelling the playing field here tonight with that kendo stick, gentlemen; I don’t think Chavo and Brodus were expecting that!
Booker T: Dat’s some revenge right dere, Josh. Edge makin’ sure Chavo’s not makin’ off widda spoils here ta-night on Smack... hey, whut da hell?
As soon as the referee is past Edge, the Rated R Superstar immediately takes the kendo stick back in hand, and charges back to the ring! The crowd pops again as Edge grins devilishly at Chavo, currently trying to pull himself up using the ropes; Christian gives him a nod of encouragement, and now Edge turns the cane in his hand, preparing to give his old ‘lackey’ some payback for last week. Chavo finally finds his feet, then staggers as he turns around – AND GETS THE KENDO STICK TO THE STOMACH... THEN TO THE BACK, TOO!!! Chavo groans dramatically as he kneels to the floor, face wrecked with the pain, but the crack that echoes around the arena has the crowd cheering, and both Edge and Christian share that jovial attitude! The World Heavyweight Champion holds the cane out to the audience, and with his free hand holds up a single finger, as if to ask ‘One more time?’, and the response is a more than positive cheer, so Edge winds back – AND DRIVES IT INTO CHAVO’S BACK ONCE AGAIN!!! This time, the Mexican Warrior rolls from the ring, holding his back in agony, and Clay stumbles to help him, wincing himself. In the ring, however, it’s all good for Edge and Christian, as the Rated R Superstar hands the kendo stick over to the former ECW Champion, then beckons for them to leave. Smiling, the pair slap a few fans’ hands, then Edge walks towards the nearest camera and hisses in a low voice...
“Cutting Edge – tonight.”
With that, he smirks evilly, and turns away, with Christian raising the cane high to drum up some more crowd support – they oblige, chanting a mixture of both men’s names, and we see Clay and Guerrero looking less than pleased at ringside, scowling in pain.
Josh Matthews: It’s all about retribution for Edge tonight, guys – after that horrific attack on the World Champion inside the steel cage last week, he came out here to punish Brodus Clay and Chavo Guerrero, and he did just that, without a doubt.
Matt Striker: Edge getting down to business for sure, Josh, and if that doesn’t teach the SmackDown locker room not to get on his bad side, I don’t know what will.
Josh Matthews: Of course, we’ll be hearing from the Rated R Superstar a little more... (pause as a graphic appears) later tonight, when he hosts the Cutting Edge with special guests Alberto Del Rio and the rest of his, perhaps a little bruised, Administration.
We cut from Edge and Christian’s celebrations to fade backstage, where Sin Cara is WALKING! The crowd pops for the Mexican Idol, clad in his usual mask and longcoat, and ‘UP NEXT’ fades into view in the corner.
Josh Matthews: But before that, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got plenty of other action in store; it’s Sin Cara in action on Friday Night SmackDown after the break, so don’t go away!
We fade to that break.
When SmackDown returns, we’re in a classic WWE locker room, with wooden shelving and benches in the background, complete with the usual pay-per-view posters on the walls, one of which hypes Extreme Rules this Sunday. Regardless, our focus is the three in the middle, who get a good pop between them; in the middle stands Kofi Kingston, with Rey Mysterio to his right and Trent Barreta on his left. Kingston, with one of his own green merchandise shirts on over his ring gear, is gesturing as he talks.
Kofi Kingston: ...and I know that this Sunday, it’s every man for himself, I get that. But tonight, we’ve gotta be on the same page if we wanna win, guys.
Rey Mysterio: Absolutely – I mean, Wade Barrett’s a bare knuckle fighter, Drew McIntyre’s scary to have to deal with and... Cody Rhodes, he’s just unstable, homes.
Kofi Kingston: Exactly what I was thinkin’. Whichever team wins tonight could take a whole load of momentum into this Sunday’s match, and I don’t know about you guys, but I’m thinkin’ we could really deal ‘em a blow if we beat ‘em here.
Trent Barreta: Dudes, why don’t we just...
He does the classic ‘turn it down’ Ross gesture from Friends.
Trent Barreta: ...chill out a little, y’know? Relax. We’ve got this tonight.
He runs a hand through his gelled-back hair.
Trent Barreta: C’mon, we’ve got one of the greatest luchadors of all time...
Pop as he points to Rey.
Trent Barreta: A former three-time champ...
And another as he lightly punches Kofi on the arm.
Trent Barreta: And me, the guy who just loves to entertain. I’m tellin’ ya, we can do this.
Kofi nods with a slight smile.
Kofi Kingston: I like your thinkin’, man.
Rey does likewise.
Rey Mysterio: Same here. Tonight – is our night.
Barreta nods with a smirk, then leads the line with a hand in the middle – shrugging, Kofi puts his hand on top, and Rey does the same; Trent then shoves them all up in a gesture of teamwork, and as they all look confident ahead of their match and continue to talk tactics, we fade back to the arena. The bell rings.
A hearty cheer goes up as blue mist rushes up from the stage, and out steps Sin Cara, surveying the crowd from behind his shining azure mask. He unclips his longcoat and dumps it on the stage, before he raises his arms, and begins to take a few paces on the top of the ramp.
Tony Chimel: The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Mexico City, Mexico, weighing in at one hundred and seventy-five pounds... SIIIIN – CARA!
Josh Matthews: Sin Cara’s really made an impact since arriving on Friday nights, guys, as shown last week when he narrowly came up short in a gripping encounter inside a steel cage for Alberto Del Rio’s World Title shot.
Matt Striker: The Mexican Idol really wants to inject himself into the forefront of SmackDown from the get-go, Josh, and considering what we’ve seen from him so far – I’m all for it! He’s awe-inspiring in that ring!
Booker T: Awww, no doubt, no doubt, man. Sin Cara’s one excitin’ dude, and he goin’ show us dat once again ta-night, you better believe it. I’m seein’ big things for dis little guy.
Sin Cara takes a few steps back, then sprints down the ramp, hitting the unseen springboard to LAUNCH athletically over the top rope, with the pyro exploding behind him to elicit a groan of pure awe from the crowd. He immediately goes for the nearest turnbuckle, hopping up to the second rope so he can throw both arms into the air, pointing to the sky as the fans cheer him on. He returns to ground level, then paces around the ring to fire himself up further as he waits for his opponent.
There’s a few boos at the arrival of the menacing, six-foot-five figure of Tyler Reks, though not many; Reks takes a long, long disparaging glare around the Coliseum, then begins to pace down the ramp, eyes now locked on Sin Cara from behind his dreadlocks.
Tony Chimel: And his opponent – weighing in at two hundred and fifty pounds... TYLER – REKS!
Josh Matthews: Now here’s an intriguing match-up; there’s seventy-five pounds between Sin Cara and Tyler Reks, which means this could one of the hardest bouts he’s had in his short SmackDown career, guys.
Matt Striker: I agree, Josh, especially considering the technical proficiency Tyler Reks brings to the table in addition to his impressive strength. He’s a dangerous man to step in the ring with, and if Sin Cara isn’t quick enough on his feet, he may suffer the same fate as he did to Alberto Del Rio last week.
Reks clambers up to the apron, and steps over the top rope; he doesn’t make any attempt at theatrics or real emotion, instead just staring darkly at Sin Cara as if the high-flyer was his ‘prey’. The Mexican Idol, from what we can understand in his body language, seems undeterred, however, bouncing about on the balls of his feet and shaking his arms out as the music fades. These two vastly-different men face up to each other, and the referee calls for the bell to get us started.
Match Two – Singles Contest
Sin Cara vs Tyler Reks
Reks, indeed, presents one of the biggest challenges Sin Cara has faced yet, using his strength to throw the Mexican Idol about the ring, perhaps more so than Del Rio did last week. As we join the contest four minutes in, despite some resilient comeback attempts from the high-flyer, it’s Reks still in control, pounding his smaller opponent with right hands from a mounted position on the canvas. The referee forces Tyler to stop his assault at the count of four, and the dreadlocked figure rises silently to his feet, though he snorts briefly as he prepares to go back on offence. As Sin Cara slowly brings himself back to a vertical base, Reks throws his dreadlocks out of his eyes... AND HAMMERS THE LUCHADOR WITH A FEROCIOUS CLOTHESLINE!!! Cara crumples to the floor, his body contorted from the impact, but Reks grabs him back up by the head, giving him no respite... he applies an inverted facelock, baring his teeth briefly – THEN THROWS CARA BACKWARDS WITH AN INVERTED SUPLEX!!! The crowd groans as the nasty impact leaves the Mexican Idol in a bad way, and now Reks presses him to the mat for the cover... 1... 2... 3-NO! Sin Cara kicks out!
Applause and a few cheers go up as the high-flyer keeps this bout alive, and now he begins to show signs of life, crawling towards the ropes. Reks pushes himself back up to his feet, clearly infuriated that his opponent won’t stay down, so he tries to force the issue by grabbing him, and shoving him across the ring to the ropes... Sin Cara rebounds speedily, then comes hurtling back faster than Tyler expects – he ducks Reks’ clothesline attempt, then smoothly scales the ropes, soaring off backwards... AND WIPING REKS OUT WITH AN ASTOUNDING SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY!!! Reks goes down, with Cara landing on top of him for the cover... 1... 2 – but the big man shoves Sin Cara off him, sending him spiralling back across the ring! Both men get back to their feet, with Reks stumbling clumsily back into the corner to rest; Sin Cara, however, sprints in to keep on offence... NO! Reks throws him up with a Back Body Throw – only for Cara to land PERFECTLY on the top turnbuckle! Reks, thinking he’s thrown his opponent from the ring itself, staggers into the middle of the squared circle, breathing heavily as he recovers, before finally he turns around... AND SIN CARA LEAPS OFF, CATCHING REKS AROUND THE NECK AND WHIPPING HIM ACROSS THE RING WITH A DIVING HURRICANRANA!!!
The crowd pops loudly as Reks tries to figure out where he is, blinking through the pain, and Sin Cara leaps back to his feet, pumping his arms to get the fans cheering! Of course, they oblige, and now the Mexican Idol sets his targets on Reks once again. The big man struggles back to his feet, stumbling dizzily towards Sin Cara, who charges in for La Mistica, spinning all around the world... but wait! Reks manages to jam the high-flyer’s movement, catching him in a Powerslam hold, and as Sin Cara struggles like a fish in a net, Tyler throws him up into the Argentine for the BURNING HAMMER... BUT SIN CARA SUDDENLY ESCAPES THE HOLD, ROLLING OUT BEHIND – AND IMPROVISING WITH THE CRUCIFIX FOR THE SHOCK PIN... 1... 2... 3!!!
Result: Sin Cara bts. Tyler Reks via pinfall at 6:28
Tony Chimel: Here is your winner... SIIIN – CARA!!!
Exploding out of the pinfall like a cat caught stealing food, Sin Cara immediately charges to the nearest turnbuckle, throwing his hands into the air to play to the cheering crowd! The referee never gets a chance to put his hand in the air, as the Mexican Idol is ecstatic about his win, and simply heads about the corners, celebrating with the fans as much as he can. Reks, meanwhile, is on the outside, raging after his narrow loss, and he stomps up the ramp with a frustrated expression.
Josh Matthews: Sin Cara overcoming Tyler Reks there, guys, and he’s proved something to us; even after losing last week, he came back bigger and better tonight, and I’d bet things will only get brighter for him here on out.
Matt Striker: Oh, it’d be a brave man to bet against you, Josh, because we saw from Sin Cara tonight that he’s not just quick, he’s not just talented – he’s resilient, too, and that helped him beat a fearsome opponent in the hulking Tyler Reks. Plaudits to that man.
Booker T: I keep bein’ impressed with dat boi right dere. He just gotta keep clockin’ up dose wins, and ya better believe dat good things will come rainin’ down for an excitin’ guy like Sin Cara, dawg.
We get the obligatory replays of Sin Cara’s win, then we see him continuing to celebrate, slapping the hands of the fans at ringside, before he heads back up the ramp, and SmackDown goes to a break.
When we return, we’re with Todd Grisham, who has a mic.
Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time... Drew McIntyre.
Boos for Drew McIntyre as the camera pans to reveal the frowning Sinister Scotsman.
Todd Grisham: (tentatively) Now, er, Drew – well, tonight you team with Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes in the main event of SmackDown... considering your l-loss last week to one of your opponents later, Kofi Kingston, how do you plan to get back on – back on track tonight?
McIntyre opens his mouth, but no words come out as the mic comes his way. He closes it, then frowns, and runs a hand through his hair before speaking.
Drew McIntyre: For weeks, I’ve been tellin’ yoo, Todd, that I’m gonna be the next Intercontinental Champion. Last week – last week was just a wee blip on the ol’ radar.
Again, he stops, thinking it through.
Drew McIntyre: It doesn’t change anythan’. I’m still goona go inta Extreme Rules an’ dominate, like it or not. Any man who gets in ma way... will be considered – collateral damage.
Heat for McIntyre’s cold, calculated remarks.
Drew McIntyre: An’ ta-night – well, I’ve got somethin’ special planned for ma opponents. Little Rey... Mysterio.
Pop for the Ultimate Underdog. McIntyre narrows his eyes.
Drew McIntyre: I’ve dominated him before – an’ I’ll do it again later on. Same for Kofi Kingston, a man who I’ve beaten – more, more than once, Todd. No matter what the record says for last week.
He clenches a fist.
Drew McIntyre: But the worst things I’ve got planned... revolve around the last man, ya’see. Trent – Barreta.
Decent pop for the optimistic rocker.
Drew McIntyre: He’s like a petulant... insubordinate... arrogant... CHILD.
He bares his teeth, scowling at the very thought of Barreta; heat is the crowd’s inevitable response.
Drew McIntyre: An’ he likes ta think to himself, that he’s better – than me. But that’s wrong. Aye, he’s nothin’. And ta-night’s just goona be a taster for him.
Finally, he allows himself a smirk.
Drew McIntyre: The real punishment begins... this... Sunday.
Rather than walking out of the shot (like so many of my interviews seem to end), Drew Mac stands where he is, staring coldly into the distance, as a few boos ring around in response...
...and we cut away to see Big Show and Kane – and they’re WALKING! A pop goes up for both big men, with Show wearing a small smile to contrast Kane’s emotionless demeanour. After they’ve walked for several moments, however, Show turns and stops him. He says something we can’t hear, but Kane thinks for a moment, then smirks, and nods. Show begins to WALK (~!) away by himself, preparing himself by weighing his monstrous right hand in his equally-huge left, now wearing that sly smile again, as Kane’s figure shrinks into the distance behind him, and we cut back to the arena.
“I’VE HAD ENOUGH!!! I MAKE ‘EM SEE...”
*END OF DAYS*
A series of boos (though interestingly, a few cheers here and there) are audible as WWE Tag Team Champion, Justin Gabriel, makes his way out on to the stage. With his black hair spiked up as usual above his matching beard, the South African slaps the title belt around his waist several times, then begins to make his way down the ramp, again working by himself this week. We cut briefly backstage to see Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson and Gabriel’s partner Heath Slater watching on a TV screen in their locker room; Barrett sits pensively in the corner, eyes on the screen but not at all focused on it, while Jackson works with a dumbbell as he watches, and Slater stands, one hand on his jaw in thought. From there, it’s back to the arena, where Gabriel heads up to the ring apron, and slingshots into the ring.
Tony Chimel: This bout is set for one fall – introducing first, from Cape Town, South Africa, weighing in at two hundred and thirteen pounds... he is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions... JUSTIN – GABRIEL!
Josh Matthews: Folks, if your opinion of Justin Gabriel hasn’t risen after last week’s main event, it’s entirely plausible you weren’t watching closely enough. Matt?
Matt Striker: Oh, I’d have to agree, Josh. Justin may have declined a handshake from the World Champion after their near-twenty-minute marathon last Friday, but his performance was nothing short of impressive, and that puts him in a very good stance ahead of both this match, and the Tables Match he’ll be competing in this Sunday... at Extreme Rules.
Booker T: Justin’s an excitin’ competitor, guys – naw, I don’t approve of da stuff da Corre gets up to, but damn, if dey don’t have some talented guys in dere. Justin’s one of ‘em, and ta-night, he can build on what he did last week by pinnin’ one of da guys he gonna have to face in just two days’ time, man.
Gabriel sets up in the corner, removing his title belt and throwing it over his shoulder as he closes his eyes, quietly murmuring to himself ahead of the behemoth contest we’re about to see... Exhibit A...
“WEEEEEEEEEELL... IT’S A BIG SHOW!”
*CRANK IT UP*
Crank it up indeed, and the crowd obliges, cranking the volume levels up with some loud cheers for the Big Show as he strides out on to the stage. The World’s Largest Athlete wears a hearty grin on his face as he observes the Greensboro Coliseum laid out in front of him, and he raises his deadly right hand to get another pop before he starts to make his way down the ramp, greeting nearby fans.
Tony Chimel: And his opponent... standing seven feet tall, weighing four hundred eighty-five pounds... he is the largest athlete in the world... THE BIG SHOW!!!
Josh Matthews: The Big Show didn’t score a fall last week either, guys, but he did win his match; Cody Rhodes getting himself intentionally counted out against the World’s Largest Athlete.
Booker T: I tell ya, Josh, I’d be thinkin’ about runnin’ any time I get in da ring widda Big Show. He’s one mean mutha when he gets goin’, and dat’s exactly why he didn’t bring Kane out to help him ta-night.
Matt Striker: It’s very intriguing to say the least, gentlemen; both the Big Show and Justin Gabriel are out here minus their respective partners here tonight, and that really says something about what they’re trying to prove to the other team. This Sunday, as soon as one man gets put through a table, his team is automatically at a disadvantage, but I think both these tag teams want to prove they’re individually stronger than the other, and that’s the kind of competition that can only be good for SmackDown.
Josh Matthews: Well put, Matt, and of course folks, it’s a huge match-up to look forward to this Sunday – Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel putting their Tag Team Titles on the line against Big Show and Kane in a Tag Team Tables Match; I’m not exaggerating when I say anything could happen, because it’s four very unpredictable individuals involved – the momentum for grabs in this match here tonight could just sway it, even.
Big Show is in the ring now, having thrown up his usual Chokeslam taunt to the crowd, and now he turns to face Gabriel; the South African looks quietly confident, though he clearly measures the bigger man with a degree of restraint, knowing not to go all guns blazing early on. Show, conversely, looks pleased to be getting a chance to put his hands on his future opponent, and as the referee calls for the bell, the big man clenches his fists in anticipation.
Match Three – Singles Contest – Non-Title Match
WWE Tag Team Champion Justin Gabriel vs Big Show
After eight minutes, it’s been fairly back-and-forth, though Show has obviously got a little more offence in; this holds true as we join the bout, as Gabriel staggers back to his feet after a Big Show Scoop Slam. A thumping left hook to the gut has the South African stumbling to the turnbuckles, and he grabs the top rope with his right hand to steady himself. Before he can properly recover, however, Show is on him, pressing him into the corner with his left hand, and telling the crowd “Shhh” with the other; the fans wait as the right hand goes into the air... then comes CRASHING down on Gabriel’s chest, eliciting a huge ‘CRACK’ around the arena, followed by a groan of awe from the masses in attendance! Gabriel gasps out in pain, but he finds himself shoved back into the corner – BOOM! Big Show strikes again with that palm, sending the high-flyer crumpling to his knees in agony! Pleased with himself, Show turns to face the crowd, punching the air and roaring “C’MOOOON!” to get them pumped up; they respond with a loud cheer, so he turns with a grin, beckoning for Gabriel to rise... when he does, the World’s Largest Athlete scoops him up high with the Military Press! The crowd sits in awe of the big man’s strength, as Gabriel comes alive, struggling as he tries to escape before Show can drop him to earth... but this is a man who went toe-to-toe with the World Champion last week, and he surprises his larger opponent by twisting in mid-air... AND SOMEHOW APPLYING A KOJI CLUTCH TO BIG SHOW FROM UP HIGH!!!
Matt Striker goes into a mark-out frenzy at ringside, stunned (as we all are) that Gabriel could pull that off – and now the Big Show slumps to his knees, with Gabriel’s entire weight pressing down on his shoulders, not to mention the fact the South African’s arms and legs are wrapped like a vice around Show’s throat, refusing to let go! Show’s eyes begin to glaze over, with Gabriel frowning furiously as he tightens his grip, and now the World’s Largest Athlete falls to the canvas, though his opponent doesn’t let him out of the hold. The referee falls to the deck, asking Big Show if he wants to tap – he manages to grunt an unconvincing “No” back at him, but Gabriel, now with his head on the canvas as he continues to choke Big Show out, starts to tell him to “Tap! TAP OUT!” with a venomous look in his eyes. Show brings up a hand... but he uses it not to tap, but to push himself towards the ropes, desperately looking to escape – and though Gabriel cranks up the pressure, the World’s Largest Athlete has the drive to find the ropes, with his hand coming gratefully down on the bottom one to break the hold!
A resounding cheer rings around the Greensboro Coliseum now, and the referee immediately starts a count, forcing Gabriel to detach himself from the bigger man. He gets up, eyes ablaze with frustration after failing to achieve a submission there; he decides to head to the outside apron, gesturing to the dizzy Big Show to get up. The big man looks in no hurry, however, having been seriously de-energised by the Koji Clutch. Finally, however, he wobbles back to a vertical base, and turns to face Gabriel as the high-flyer springboards... CAUGHT! Big Show catches Gabriel in the middle of his Crossbody attempt, then transitions – AND DUMPS GABRIEL WITH A RING-SHAKING SIDEWALK SLAM!!! The crowd groans with the impact, and now Show slumps over his opponent for the cover... 1... 2... but Gabriel gets a shoulder up!
Big Show looks to the ceiling in shock, then forces his tired, giant frame back up. He turns to the crowd for support... then throws up the Chokeslam taunt! He lacks his usual gallantry, having taken a bigger hit to his focus than he might have expected, but regardless, he gets a pop from the crowd, and now he turns to face Gabriel, who is slowly finding his feet, clutching his back tenderly to sell the last move. The South African stumbles into Show’s grip, and it could be CHOKESLAM TIME... BUT NO!!! Gabriel escapes the hold as Show lifts him up, then hits the ropes – HE DUCKS THE KNOCKOUT PUNCH – then takes refuge in the corner, a hand on the top rope either side of him! Show, adrenaline pumping, sprints after him... but Gabriel moves forward, and drops him sweetly with a Drop Toe Hold – AND SHOW’S HEAD CANNONS SICKENINGLY OFF THE MIDDLE BUCKLE!!! “OHHH!” cries the crowd in unison, and now Gabriel darts frantically out to the apron, climbing to the top rope as Show rolls lucklessly into position! Boos begin to swarm Justin Gabriel as he crouches on the top turnbuckle, then turns his head to give that malevolent, hard-hitting glare to the camera... BEFORE HE LAUNCHES – AND DELIVERS THE 450 SPLASH, CRUSHING THE BIG SHOW WITH A HUGE IMPACT!!! A groan rings around the Greensboro Coliseum as Gabriel rolls momentarily to the side, a hand on his stomach... then he leaps over the Big Show, wincing as he does... 1... 2... 3!!!
Result: Justin Gabriel bts. Big Show via pinfall at 12:45
*END OF DAYS*
Tony Chimel: Here is your winner... one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions... JUSTIN – GABRIEL!!!
Upset! Gabriel slowly pushes himself up, breathing heavily, and clutches his stomach with that right arm; the referee raises his left into the air in victory. The South African allows himself a smile, at which point the crowd begins to boo further, because Heath Slater appears on the stage, and begins to stride speedily down the ramp to join Gabriel’s celebrations.
Josh Matthews: J-Justin Gabriel really took it to the Big Show tonight, guys, and his hard work paid off... he’s beaten one of his opponents for this Sunday, and that 450 Splash might just be a reminder to the Big Show when they meet again in Tampa, guys!
Matt Striker: Indeed, young Justin Gabriel proving why he’s a champion with that performance, but (as the replay appears) he got a huge hand from the turnbuckle here – would you look at the pure impact of that collision? The Big Show wasn’t getting up after that, Josh, and I think the 450 Splash was just Gabriel’s way of... well, making a point.
Booker T: And now Heath Slater’s joinin’ him in da ring, man. I tell ya, dese two kids are lookin’ better and better for dis Sunday right about now – Justin Gabriel? He put it down right here tonight, he showin’ da world that size isn’t da be all, end all right here on Friday nights.
In the ring, Slater continues to congratulate his tired tag team partner, but then has a ‘light bulb’ moment. He rolls from the ring, and flips up the apron – BEFORE HE GRABS A TABLE!!!
Josh Matthews: H-hey!
Booker T: Whut da hell is he doin’?
The crowd begins to boo wildly, as Slater slides the table under the bottom rope, then follows it in; Gabriel stands with his hands on his hips, still recovering from the match he was just in, but Slater tells him to “Help out” as he begins to set it up! He unfolds the table and stands it up in the centre of the ring, as Gabriel finally nods, and grabs Big Show off the canvas with a front facelock... the big man’s huge dead weight means Slater has to give Gabriel a hand to get him on the table, but once he’s there, both men begin to form smirks. Slater points to the corner, and Gabriel heads back out there, clambering to the top...
Matt Striker: Good Lord, I think –
Josh Matthews: Hang on, this is – this is despicable! Big Show’s barely conscious!
Gabriel crouches again, looking evilly out at the Coliseum, as Slater raises his arms into the air in his typical One Man Rock Band way...
*MAN ON FIRE*
THE COLISEUM GOES NUTS!!! Suddenly, Slater’s smirk disappears, as do Gabriel’s 450 Splash intentions, and all eyes turn to the stage, where KANE walks out on to the stage, snarling in fury!!!
Matt Striker: Ohhhh man, here we go!
Kane takes one bulging-eye look at the WWE Tag Team Champions... THEN CHARGES DOWN TO THE RING, SENDING THE CROWD WILD YET AGAIN!!! Gabriel scrambles down from the top turnbuckle to fight, as Kane slides into the ring – and sends Slater spiralling away with a Throat Thrust! The One Man Rock Band reels away in agony, as Gabriel tries his hand... but Kane deals HIM a Throat Thrust too! Slater comes roaring back... STRAIGHT INTO A BIG BOOT TO THE SKULL!!! The crowd has come unglued here, chanting “KANE! KANE!” frantically as Gabriel comes in again... but Kane scoops him up, AND DELIVERS THE SIDEWALK SLAM!!! With both champions laid out, Kane moves to the table, grabbing Show by the hand to pull him from danger – the World’s Largest Athlete stumbles briefly, but his partner keeps him upright, saying nothing, but the teamwork is there for all to see!
Josh Matthews: Folks, this is undoubtedly a tag team affair – Kane wasn’t going to see his tag team partner put through a table here tonight!
Matt Striker: Absolutely, Josh, and it’s that backing that might just carry Big Show and Kane to the Tag Team Titles this Sunday, no matter what the result of the match we just – oh, wait a second!
In the ring, Slater begins to clamber back to his feet, as Gabriel uses the ropes to do likewise; Kane suddenly darts forward, however, AND GRABS GABRIEL BY THE THROAT!!! The crowd roars once again, and Big Show clumsily grabs SLATER by the throat too – the two behemoths turn back to the table in the centre of the ring... AND BRING THE TAG TEAM CHAMPS UP... BEFORE SENDING THEM CRASHING THROUGH THE SAME TABLE WITH SIMULTANEOUS CHOKESLAMS!!! The Greensboro Coliseum LOVES it, and as the reigning champions lie dismantled in the wreckage, Kane smirks evilly, then brings his arms into the air...
...and back down! Kane and Big Show raise their arms into the air in triumph; Kane’s eyes flicker around the arena, though he shows little more than a small smirk in the way of emotion, while Big Show, an exhausted solider, seems ultimately satisfied.
Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, Justin Gabriel may have been victorious over the Big Show here tonight on SmackDown, but believe me, it’s far from over between these two tag teams; this Sunday, if the Big Show and Kane can do what they just did, we’ll be crowning new WWE Tag Team Champions.
Booker T: Did you hear dat crunch when Gabriel and Slater went through dat table, dawg? Boi, it’s all about da message dey’ve sent, and we could be lookin’ at new champions aight. Hell, I don’t think dere’s a man alive who could put both dose guys through a table!
Matt Striker: We’ve witnessed a big moment for these four men right there, gentlemen. Gabriel and Slater will take confidence from the win, but the Big Show and Kane will take confidence from putting their opponents through the table... it doesn’t mean all that much just yet, but in just forty-eight hours, doing will get them the title belts, and that means – well, it’s still all to play for, Josh.
Josh Matthews: Indeed it is, and we eagerly await that bout for the WWE Tag Team Titles this Sunday – but before that, we’ve still got Diva’s action, plus a huge Six-Man Tag Team Match and the Cutting Edge! Don’t go away!
As Kane and Show leave the lifeless Slater and Gabriel in the debris, we fade away.
There is a lot the human body can endure.
We see nothing but a black screen, coupled with the sound of a man breathing heavily.
A human can survive a heart attack.
A lightning-quick flashing shot of a man clutching his chest, then back to black.
A human can survive a huge fall.
The darkness is punctuated by the image of someone falling off a ledge, then it returns.
A human can survive an attack from an animal.
A man falls backwards as a dog leaps at him, then the black cuts it off again.
A human can even survive a gunshot.
Two silhouettes across from each other, as one lifts up a gun, and the blackness cuts in as the gunshot rings out. The shot suddenly turns to the image of John Cena screaming in pain in a submission hold, then Edge lying against the turnbuckle, baring his teeth as he suffers.
But with survival... comes pain.
And now Randy Orton, clutching his injured knee on the canvas.
How much pain is a man willing to go through?
Rey Mysterio slumped against the mat, eyes unfocused.
What barriers will a man break to achieve glory?
The Miz gasps for air as he raises his WWE Title above his head.
Which man will be able to survive?
Alberto Del Rio winks to the camera, then The Corre raise their arms in the air.
Which man will truly experience...
Christian looks to the sky in frustration, and Cena roars to the crowd.
CM Punk grins devilishly at the camera, before the ‘EXTREME RULES’ graphic appears, and the video package fades to a close...
We return to ringside, where Matthews, Striker and Booker remain sat.
Josh Matthews: Guys, I can’t tell you how excited I am for this Sunday; in a little under forty-eight hours, we’ll be in Tampa, Florida, ready for the first pay-per-view of the new WWE calendar, Extreme Rules.
Booker T: (chuckling) Get ready for a big night, dawg! Six titles on da line, eight matches, and each one of ‘em got its own unique twist – I’m so pumped, man, I can barely sit still!
Josh Matthews: The buzz is certainly in the air, Booker, and let’s jump right in with SmackDown’s biggest match – the World Heavyweight Title will be defended inside a steel cage, with current champion Edge and his challenger Alberto Del Rio fighting it out for the gold.
Matt Striker: I’m way past the point of trying to call this one either way, Josh; Edge has had his moments, so has Alberto, but ultimately, it’ll be a tremendous contest between a true veteran, the Rated R Superstar, and one of the WWE’s brightest up-and-comers, the Mexican Aristocrat.
Booker T: My boi Edge doesn’t have to worry about da Alberto Administration dough, guys, ‘cause dey locked inside dat big steel, if ya know what I’m sayin’ – it’s all about which guy can just pull out da win, dawg, and I can’t wait to see who comes out wit da gold!
Josh Matthews: Those two men have been at each others’ throats for weeks and weeks, but two men who have a rivalry that stretches back years are the duo of Christian and Jack Swagger, Matt. Both men have a lot to prove, both hope they can claim the World Heavyweight Championship in 2011, and I suspect they still have some scores to settle from their days on ECW; that I Quit Match should cover it for them.
Matt Striker: Absolutely; by the end of that match, neither man will be able to deny the other their right to be higher up the pecking order for a title shot, and I think the Phenomenal Athlete might just be able to steal it, Josh. As we heard last week, Christian doesn’t have much in his arsenal to make a man submit, and that might prove to be the difference.
Josh Matthews: And Book, I know you’re eager to see this one; the WWE Title bout between The Miz, Triple H and John Cena in an Extreme Rules Match – there should be some broken bones and bruised egos before that match is done, guys, and after this past Monday on Raw, it really could go to any of these three determined competitors.
Booker T: Awww, it’s lookin’ mighty tasty right dere, Josh! Da Miz has got himself convinced that he da most must-see WWE Champ of all time, but da best champs gotta win da tough matches, and it don’t get much tougher than an Extreme Rules Match, dawg. I’m expectin’ nothin’ less than pure – carnage.
Josh Matthews: Indeed, these three men will battle it out in a hostile environment for sports entertainment’s biggest prize, but perhaps something greater is up for grabs in this bout, guys... (pause for the graphic) take a look at this; the Viper, Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing Match against his mortal enemy, the Second City Saint, CM Punk.
Matt Striker: Well, if we’re talking about carnage, Josh, this match is going to be chaotic. These two men don’t just hate each other, they despise each other, they loathe each other. They want nothing more than to tear the other into several pieces, and I’m genuinely scared one of them might achieve that when the bell rings for their contest this Sunday.
Booker T: Randy and Punk have got some serious issues, man – Punk is desperate to, to punish the Viper for puntin’ him back in 2008, and I don’t think dey gonna stop whalin’ on each other until one of ‘em is down for dat massive ten count, guys. Dey gonna put da ‘Extreme’ in ‘Extreme Rules’.
Josh Matthews: And, of course, speaking of treacherous match-ups; you saw them just now, it’ll be Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater putting their titles on the line in a Tag Team Tables Match against the Big Show and Kane... I think the question remains, guys, how the champions are supposed to put two behemoths like their opponents are, through a table?
Booker T: Oh, I’m thinkin’, Josh, but it ain’t goin’ be easy. Show and Kane put Gabriel and Slater through a table ten minutes ago, and dey showed us all how easy dey find it – I don’t know if da champs can return da favour.
Josh Matthews: I doubt you’re alone in thinking that, Book. Speaking of members of The Corre, Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett faces one of his biggest challenges to date; he’s got five challengers to deal with in a Six-Pack, Hardcore, Elimination Challenge this Sunday, and not only is it sure to be a crazy ride, but Barrett’s mental status might play a part.
Matt Striker: I agree, Josh; Wade may still be preoccupied with the events of two weeks ago, when the lights went out in his match with Kofi Kingston – last week didn’t go well for him either, being fined by SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, and that might affect his confidence. A win later tonight could help, though, so I’d keep an open mind.
Josh Matthews: All six of these men have a claim to the Intercontinental Title, meaning it should be an action-packed contest, but likewise, the Ladder Match to determine the new No. 1 Contender to the WWE Title should be the same.
Booker T: Dese two guys are both hella competitors, Josh, but in my eyes, look no further than my boi D-Bryan; Dolph Ziggler knows how to get it done aight, but Daniel’s got dat fire in his eyes, he got dat ambition to be da next big thing, and dawg, I think we gonna see him top o’ da ladder this Sunday.
Josh Matthews: Daniel Bryan climbed to the top of the ladder this past Monday on Raw, Book, so he’s undoubtedly got the momentum that might carry him past the braggart, the show-off Dolph Ziggler – but one match that’s not about the bragging rights as much as it is about the titles... it’s Winner Take All, folks. Eve Torres teams with John Morrison against Sheamus and Melina – first fall takes it all.
Booker T: When it comes to Eve and Melina – I mean, shucky ducky quack quack, man, dose two ladies are welcome to get all catfightin’ near me any day.
Matt Striker: Er, thanks Booker – I’ve gotta say, John Morrison has been desperate for a shot at Sheamus’ United States Title, and I think he might just pull it out in Tampa in two days’ time, Josh. I think the Brogue Kick he took on Monday will only fire him up – it could be a case of Sunday Night Delight for him, I think.
Josh Matthews: Well, it’s Morrison’s determination against Sheamus’ undefeated streak with the title in hand, as well as Melina’s back-alley tactics against Eve’s style and grace; definitely one to watch, folks, as is the entire event – it’s Extreme Rules, LIVE from Tampa, Florida... just two short days away!
A decent pop goes up from the crowd, and Beth Phoenix strides out confidently on to the stage. She raises her arms into the air in her usual fashion, though she has no title belt to do it with, and begins to head for the ring, with Kelly Kelly appearing behind her to cheer her on. The bell rings.
Tony Chimel: The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, accompanied by Kelly Kelly... from Buffalo, New York... the Glamazon... BETH – PHOENIX!
Josh Matthews: We’re set for Diva’s action here, with Beth Phoenix being joined by Kelly Kelly, and guys, what a return to the ring for the Glamazon two weeks ago.
We cut to see some highlights from Phoenix’s hot tag on SmackDown on the 15th, coming in like a freight train against Michelle McCool and Layla, barely taking any offence from Lay-Cool before she drops Layla with the Glam Slam for a dominating win.
Booker T: Yo, da Glamazon ain’t to be messed wit when she’s in dis kinda form, Josh, and she’s ready to get it done again ta-night.
Matt Striker: It’s worth pointing out, Josh, the Diva’s Title is on the line this Sunday, and after that, whether the champion is Eve or Melina, the next challenger could well be the winner of this match we’re about to bear witness to.
Josh Matthews: Beth Phoenix has always been one of the ambitious Divas in the WWE; competing in a Royal Rumble match, a previous multiple-time Women’s Champion, plenty of dominating performances under her belt and a plethora of pay-per-view wins – I’d be surprised if she didn’t pursue the title after Extreme Rules, Matt, I agree.
Phoenix climbs up to the top turnbuckle from the outside apron, then flips down into the ring; she nods at the referee (you better believe it’s “The Pimp” Justin King, this is Diva’s action, playa), then sets up shop in the corner to wait for her opponent.
*NOT ENOUGH FOR ME*
Boos ring around the arena as Team Lay-Cool, consisting of Michelle McCool and Layla, strut out on to the stage; they spin around to show their team name embroidered across the back of their jackets, then McCool starts for the ring, with Layla smirking as she follows.
Tony Chimel: And her opponent, accompanied by Layla... from Palatka, Florida... MICHELLE – MCCOOL!!!
Josh Matthews: Now, Team Lay-Cool might be obnoxious and... well, vain to the extreme, guys, but they too have had their fair share of success here in the WWE, and Michelle McCool will want to get back in the hunt for the Diva’s Title, starting with this contest against the Glamazon.
Matt Striker: Any moment these two start to talk, you see members of the WWE Universe putting their hands over their ears, Josh, but you gotta respect these lovely ladies for havin’ an opinion! Michelle’s a terrific in-ring competitor on her day, and I just fancy her to give Beth Phoenix a run for her money here, gentlemen.
Booker doesn’t contribute; he’s too busy admiring Layla as the English Diva takes up a position at ringside, while McCool enters the ring to face Phoenix. Michelle scowls at the sight of the Glamazon, who gives nothing away, while Justin King brings them in for the match, and the bell chimes.
Match Four – Singles Contest
Beth Phoenix vs Michelle McCool
These two have been through a fair few matches in their careers, so it’s not quite as sloppy as it would have been if I’d put you all through a match between the Divas managing them from ringside. Regardless, this one doesn’t take all that long, and as we join the bout three minutes in, it’s Michelle choking Beth on the middle rope – the referee counts loudly in her ear to get her to relent, and as she moves away, she throws her arms into the air to taunt in her advantageous position. She gets the heat she’s after, for the most part, then pulls Phoenix off the ropes by her hair; King scolds her about the handfuls of hair McCool has, but she ignores him, and drags the Glamazon to the corner, before she thumps her head clumsily off the top turnbuckle. Phoenix groans, then stumbles backwards, trying to shake out the cobwebs, and McCool charges in again with a clothesline – but Beth ducks it, and when McCool hits the ropes, she sends her FLYING with a Back Body Drop! McCool writhes in pain, as Layla claps her hands on the outside and screams “C’MON MICHELLE!” in support, and Phoenix runs a hand through her hair, still smarting from a couple of shots she’s taken from her opponent.
Michelle begins to find her feet, but a stiff forearm shot from Phoenix has her reeling again. The ‘flawless’ blonde stumbles into the ropes, dazed, then pushes herself back to face the Glamazon once more... so Phoenix scoops her into the air with the Military Press, showing her immense strength to the crowd – BEFORE SHE LETS MICHELLE FREE FALL TO THE CANVAS WITH A CRUNCHING IMPACT! A groan goes up around the arena as McCool’s face becomes wrecked with pain, and even Phoenix’s ally in Kelly Kelly looks a little disconcerted with the Glamazon’s brute force here tonight. Not one to mess around, Phoenix brings McCool back to her feet... but suddenly, Michelle shoves her opponent away, then lashes out with a big kick – DUCKED! Phoenix always saw the shot coming, and the momentum spins McCool around, disorientated, giving Beth the opening she needs to clip her arms! Michelle screeches in protest, as does Layla in horror at ringside, but all she can do is flounder about helplessly, unsure how to help, as Phoenix brings McCool into the air – THEN SCORES WITH THE GLAM SLAM!!! Michelle finds herself flattened, and Kelly Kelly nervously applauds at ringside as Beth turns her opponent nonchalantly on to her back, hooking the leg... 1... 2... 3!!!
Result: Beth Phoenix bts. Michelle McCool via pinfall at 5:21
Tony Chimel: Here is your winner... the Glamazon... BETH – PHOENIX!
Phoenix lets out a long, drawn-out breath as the bell chimes, and she acknowledges the now-cheering crowd as she gets to her feet, raising an arm to the masses in attendance. King raises her arm into the air, and she sells her jaw by rubbing it with her hand. Business completed, she heads to the turnbuckles to celebrate briefly, allowing herself a smile, before she leaves, with Kelly Kelly throwing her arm around her to congratulate her as they wander back up the ramp.
Josh Matthews: Another powerful performance from the Glamazon on SmackDown tonight; guys, could we be looking at a future Diva’s Champion? I mean, again?
Booker T: Awwww, Beth Phoenix got it DONE ta-night, Josh, and I bet she’s just itchin’ to get on Raw where dat title is... hell, Team Lay-Cool just can’t handle her, dawg!
Matt Striker: Indeed, it’s hard to see who on SmackDown can stop Beth Phoenix with these kind of performances every week, guys – I don’t think Kelly Kelly’s that eager to get in the ring with her either!
As Phoenix gives the crowd one last raised arm on the stage, and Layla tends to a dizzy McCool in the ring, the Glamazon can’t help but smile, and now we fade backstage...
...once again, we’re with Todd Grisham, mic in hand.
Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time... Christian!
A BIG pop goes up for Captain Charisma, Christian, who is indeed Todd’s guest, stepping into the shot with an amiable smile for our friendly interviewer.
Todd Grisham: Christian, in just two days you’ll be facing the All-American American, Jack Swagger, in an I Quit Match, and earlier tonight you beat Chavo Guerrero – I can only assume that’s given you a boost.
Christian nods with that same smile as the mic comes his way.
Christian: Absolutely, Todd, absolutely – but before I elaborate...
He clears his throat dramatically.
Christian: Ahem... ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, PEEPS – of all ages...
A good cheer goes up from those same Peeps.
Christian: Tonight, you guys saw Captain Charisma take charge. See, the second Teddy Long told me I’d be facing Chavo tonight, I knew it was going to be rinse and repeat from last week. I knew Chavo was gonna waltz out to face me with a block o’ muscle behind him to get him to the finish line.
A smile as he wags his left index finger intuitively in front of the camera.
Christian: So what did I do? Like I said, I – took – charge. I made sure I had back-up of my own, and trust me, it doesn’t get any better than the World Champ havin’ your back.
Pop as Christian smiles; we’ve yet to see his right hand, but he brings it into view – he’s holding the KENDO STICK from before, and the crowd cheers again. Slowly, he tees it up in front of him, admiring it, then rests it over his shoulder like a baseball bat.
Christian: Now this old friend o’ mine, the kendo stick? That’s a little trip down memory lane for you... Jack... Swagger.
Boos for the Phenomenal Athlete.
Christian: Oh, this Sunday, it’s all about the here and now, the present day for us, Jack. But when you see this, what do you think about, man? I’ll tell ya what I think about – I think about E... C... W.
The crowd cheers, and a few “E – C – DUB!” chants ring out.
Christian: I know you bring up what happened two years ago... all the time. You think I – I cheated you. You moan about singlet straps and exposed turnbuckles, Jack, but you’re makin’ me ask the question... are you focused?
A frown into the camera.
Christian: I mean, think about it. Back then, it was all about the ECW Title. That was the biggest prize we could get our mitts on, y’know that. But now we’re on SmackDown. Now there’s the World – Heavyweight – Title.
He stops to smile at the very thought.
Christian: That’s huge. And if you want it, you’ve gotta be focused. Not complainin’ about something that happened two years ago, but just step in the ring with me and change the record this time around.
Again, his smile fades and he looks uncomfortable.
Christian: But that’s just it, I am focused, Jack. I’ve always been ready for this step up. And three weeks ago I was ready. I was gonna get that title shot and have my dream match with my best friend; the match where we could go all out for that big... gold... belt.
He looks down to the floor, frustrated, then back to the camera; the kendo stick is now in his hand, which hangs by his side, unseen by the camera shot.
Christian: The second you wrenched that chance outta my hands, man, you dug yourself a hole that I’m not gonna let you out of. Hell – no. I’m gonna make things EXTREME this Sunday!
Big pop for Christian’s enthusiasm and subsequent grin.
Christian: And in that I Quit Match, I’m gonna make you yell out that you could never beat me back on ECW, and that you can’t beat me here on SmackDown either. Then once we’re done – I’m going straight for the gold.
Eyes wide, he stares into the camera, his grin fading to a small, confident smirk.
Christian: Christian... World – Heavyweight – Champion.
The crowd begins to cheer – BUT SUDDENLY, THE CAMERA SHOT STAGGERS TO THE SIDE, AS CHRISTIAN GETS BLASTED CLUMSILY TO THE FLOOR... BY JACK SWAGGER!!!
Immediately, boos ring around in the arena, as Todd Grisham scurries frantically away from the scene, horrified, and as the kendo stick tumbles from Christian’s hand, Swagger begins to lay boots into Captain Charisma, each shot taking the breath out of him! From the edge of the shot arrives Michael Cole to a plethora of further heat, yelling “YEAH! YEAH!” obnoxiously as Christian takes a beating; Swagger drops to his knees to fire away with clubbing shots to the Canadian, as the heat intensifies in the arena.
Josh Matthews: S-Swagger! No, he’s – he’s stooping lower than ever here!
Matt Striker: This is – oh come on... why does Jack feel the need to do this?
With adrenaline running through him, Swagger now huffs and puffs about Christian’s body on the floor, before he picks him up by the left leg – AND APPLIES THE ANKLE LOCK!!!
Josh Matthews: NO! Swagger with the – with the Ankle Lock, he’s gonna t-tear him in half!
Booker T: He just tryin’ to weaken Christian for dis Sunday, man, it’s sick!
As Christian YELLS out in agony on the floor, an ecstatic Cole reaches into his jacket and pulls out his MOBILE PHONE, before he presses a button and holds it to Christian’s mouth! Swagger roars “SAY IT! SAY YOU QUIT!” furiously, and Christian’s face becomes wrecked with pain and sweat, but he shakes his head vehemently... SO SWAGGER WORSENS THE ANGLE! Christian can’t contain his agony once again, as Cole desperately tries to elicit a submission into the recording device; eventually a host of medics and referees rush up to Swagger, shouting at him to “LET GO! LET GO, JACK!”
Josh Matthews: Thank god – I...
Finally, when Cole can get no submission from the determined Christian on the floor, Swagger scowls and angrily flings the Livewire’s ankle down. Immediately, Christian grips it in pain, gasping in desperation, and the medics swarm to help him – in the background, Swagger spreads his arms wide and loudly proclaims:
Jack Swagger: (panting) This Sunday... I’m puttin’ things... in their rightful – PLACE.
As the crowd in the arena boos, Swagger and the suited-up Cole make their exit, though Swagger seems frustrated he didn’t get Christian to QUIT. Regardless, the sight of Christian being tended to fills our screens...
Josh Matthews: Has... has the damage been done?
...and we go to a break.
SmackDown returns to a silent, uncomfortable arena after what we just saw. The bell rings.
“I’VE HAD ENOUGH!!! I MAKE ‘EM SEE...”
*END OF DAYS*
Loud heat echoes around the Coliseum as the Intercontinental Champion, Wade Barrett, makes his way out with a Corre t-shirt on and his title belt over his shoulder. Twirling a mic casually in his hand, Barrett forces a smirk, despite having a poor night last Friday; he paces from side to side on the ramp, eyes watching the entire arena as he does.
Tony Chimel: The following is a Six-Man Tag Team Match, set for one fall! Introducing first, from Manchester, England, weighing in at two hundred and forty-six pounds... he is the Intercontinental Champion... WADE – BARRETT!!!
Josh Matthews: Wade Barrett was unsuccessful in finding out who was to blame for the lights going out in his match two weeks ago when he went “on the hunt” last Friday, and to compound his misery, he was fined by SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long for his... forwardness, during his investigations.
Matt Striker: There are production workers backstage who’re still coming to work with black eyes, Josh, but as a man of class and... er, Britishness, I don’t doubt that Wade Barrett has calmed himself and is ready to get back on track – after all, he’s got to defend his Intercontinental Title in two days’ time.
As Barrett’s music dies down, the crowd’s booing becomes more prominent; the Englishman pays them little heed, however, instead admiring his title belt with that same smirk. He then turns to face the arena once again, bringing the mic up to cut through the “YOU SUCK!” chants.
Wade Barrett: As all you no doubt are aware... tonight has seen members of The Corre, a faction I hold dear to my heart, put through tables.
Big mocking cheer for that; Barrett frowns.
Wade Barrett: And last week, I went on a chase around the O2 Arena to find out who was responsible for... in fact, it doesn’t matter.
He holds up his free hand.
Wade Barrett: For the purposes of convenience, let’s just summarise; these past few weeks, things haven’t exactly been running smoothly for the number one stable in the WWE.
And now he rubs his jaw, as a few members of the crowd boo the ‘number one stable’ bit.
Wade Barrett: But no matter what obstacles we face, we will overcome them. The Corre is united, The Corre is resilient, and most importantly... The Corre is going to turn it all around this Sunday, when we keep our share of SmackDown’s titles – in our grasp.
Heat for that, but Barrett does his classic pout and nods his head.
Wade Barrett: Now, not only was I cruelly dealt a ten thousand dollar fine last week by Theodore Long, but this Sunday I have to deal with five separate challengers, and although frankly I could easily make accusations of him stacking the deck against me... I think I’ll actually take a great deal of pleasure seeing his face after I overcome the odds.
More boos; as the Englishman continues, he begins to slowly wander down the ramp.
Wade Barrett: Though of course, I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, because tonight is very important too. After the aforementioned... hiccups, it will be a relief to show my opponents this Sunday that I’m the Intercontinental Champion for a very good reason – because, put simply, I’m a more refined competitor.
The heat continues as Barrett heads for the ring steps.
Wade Barrett: And following that train of thought, you can all watch me in just a few moments...
Now on the apron, he sweeps into the ring.
Wade Barrett: ...as I take my opponents by storm – and lead my team to glory.
With that, he lowers the mic slowly, forming another Barrett classic; the content grin. Before he can say more, not that it seems that was his plan, the stage turns gold...
“WHAT’S THAT METRONOME I HEAR, PERHAPS THE END IS DRAWING NEAR...”
More boos accompany the arrival of another hard-hitting Brit in the form of Drew McIntyre; the Sinister Scotsman looks unworried despite his loss last week, and treads slowly down the ramp, locking eyes with his tag team partner. Of course, the two have teamed up in the past, albeit briefly, and thus there is an element of respect between them... wait, unless McIntyre’s just staring at Barrett’s title – actually, that might be it.
Tony Chimel: And his tag team partner... from Ayr, Scotland, weighing in at two hundred and fifty-six pounds... DREW – MCINTYRE!
Josh Matthews: We heard it earlier, guys; Drew McIntyre, just like Wade Barrett says he is, seems focused and determined to walk out with the Intercontinental Championship this Sunday, more so than I think I’ve ever seen him.
Matt Striker: Absolutely, Josh – he said anyone who got in his way would be “collateral damage”, and after his loss to Kofi Kingston last week, I can’t help but fear his anger is going to drive him to make that true.
As McIntyre heads to the ring steps to join Barrett in the squared circle, we turn our attention back to the stage...
Once again, it’s boos, even heavier than that which the other two heels received, for tonight’s first sighting (if you can call it a ‘sighting’) of Cody Rhodes, clad in his dark jacket with his hood over his masked face. He stands on the ramp momentarily, staring down at the floor, then begins to trudge down towards the ring, holding up a hand to stop the camera filming him.
Tony Chimel: And their tag team partner... from Marietta, Georgia, weighing in at two hundred and fifteen pounds... CODY – RHODES!!!
Josh Matthews: Though if we’re talking about guys who could inflict pure punishment, expect murder and mayhem from the mentally-altered Cody Rhodes, and expect it at one Rey Mysterio.
Matt Striker: Exactly. Despite the possible overshadowing of this issue by the Intercontinental Title match, there is no escaping the fact that Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio have some issues to settle; issues that will surely impact how the match flows this Sunday, and possibly even impact who walks out victorious.
Booker T: Cody’s one nasty piece o’ work right about naw, man. He don’t stop for nobody, he only lookin’ to – to inflict dat damage on anybody who moves, y’know? He’s just... just dangerous, dat’s what!
In the ring, McIntyre and Barrett exchange a few icy words, far from being keen partners, while Rhodes joins them with barely a glance in their direction; instead, he sets up shop in the corner, places a hand on the top rope either side of him, then stares at the mat. His music subsides, then...
A decent pop leads Trent Barreta out on to the stage; he throws up his arms to fire up the crowd, wearing that same youthful grin as earlier in the locker room, and he keeps this up by jogging down the ramp, slapping the hands of the nearby fans. In the ring, we can see McIntyre eye him with a look of disgust.
Tony Chimel: And their opponents... first, from Mount Sinai, New York, weighing in at two hundred and three pounds... TRENT – BARRETA!!!
Matt Striker: Oh boy! Gentlemen, don’t get too comfortable, because you’ll soon be up and out of your seats in awe of the entertaining young athlete that is – Trent Barreta.
Josh Matthews: I know you’re a big fan, Matt, as am I – Trent’s got a real fire lit inside of him, and he could well be a dark horse for this Sunday if he gets a bit of luck on his side.
Booker T: And if he keeps Drew Mac offa his back, too, right? Dere ain’t no love lost there, dawg.
As if to highlight that, Barreta stops at the bottom of the ramp, eyes locked on the Scotsman in the ring; as the music dies down, the stage behind Trent turns a vibrant green.
“SOS... I HEAR DEM SHOUTIN’! SOS... I HEAR DEM CRYIN’!”
The crowd gives a hearty ovation here as Kofi Kingston comes sprinting into view, and throws up his hands... “BOOM!” “BOOM!” “BOOM!” cries the crowd in unison with the Ghanaian, as the pyro explodes in perfect time, and now Kingston greets the fans along the ramp with a grin.
Tony Chimel: And his tag team partner... from Ghana, West Africa, weighing in at two hundred and twelve pounds... KOFI – KINGSTON!
Josh Matthews: Speaking of exciting superstars, Matt, Kofi Kingston has some experience in flying about the ring, and seeing as he lost the Intercontinental Title to Wade Barrett in the first place, he’ll want to get one step closer to regaining that belt by winning this main event tonight.
Matt Striker: I’m not one to deny that Kofi’s an exciting superstar, Josh, not at all, and earlier we heard that he, Trent and Rey Mysterio seem ready to co-operate in this match; the question has to be asked – can Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett co-exist like their opponents plan to?
Booker T: Awww, ma boi Kofi’s lookin’ fired up ta-night, man. Whedder dose guys can co-exist or not, it’s gonna be hard to take down dis guy when he’s rollin’ like he is recently – he beat Drew Mac last week, and I might even call dis boi my pick for da win dis Sunday.
As Kofi joins Barreta, the pair do a quick high-five, as in the background, the stage turns a rainbow colour...
AND THE COLISEUM GOES NUTS!!! In the ring, Rhodes finally brings his head up to stare at the stage, as Rey Mysterio sprints out, throwing his arms about like a madman as he feeds off the energy of the arena! The Ultimate Underdog rushes to one side of the stage to unleash his pyro, then the other, and blesses any fans wearing his replica masks along the ramp before joining Barreta and Kingston with a grin.
Tony Chimel: And their tag team partner... from San Diego, California, weighing in at one hundred and seventy-five pounds... RRRRRREEEEEEYYY – MYSTERIO!!!
Josh Matthews: Few men inspire the WWE Universe quite like Rey Mysterio does, gentlemen, and as a previous two-time champion, the Master of the 619 could well be in a position to win it once again this Sunday.
Booker T: I’ve been in dat ring wit Rey myself, Josh; I know what he can do, I know dat level he can reach when he really kicks into gear, dawg. He’s got himself some stiff competition but don’t be surprised if we hearin’ dat six-one-nine gettin’ dialled for da win in just two days’ time, oh yeah!
Matt Striker: Undoubtedly a fierce competitor with a long lineage of Mexican luchadors and several accolades under his belt, guys; Rey Mysterio hasn’t backed down from a fight in his life, even against men literally twice his size, and in some ways, the odds being stacked against him in that Six-Pack Challenge probably don’t matter to him, because that’s how it’s been his entire career.
The three faces exchange a look, then head to the ring as a unit; Rey and Kofi clamber up to the turnbuckles, while Barreta stands on the apron in the middle, as Kingston leads the crowd in a “BOOM!” chant, and Mysterio blesses them with his usual sign-of-the-cross-esque gesture. Barreta engages in a staredown with McIntyre, then steps into the ring to face the Scotsman and his partners. Rhodes has his eyes locked on Mysterio, while Barrett’s eyes flicker between his opponents, even back to his tag team partners, too. As Rey’s music dies out, the face team sets up the usual corner, while Barrett elects to start immediately for their opponents. The Englishman removes his shirt and hands his title to ringside, while his partners have already got rid of their attires, leaving Rhodes’ face on show for the first time. As Trent Barreta steps into the ring to face the Intercontinental Champion, the referee calls for the bell, because as you all know, it’s MAIN EVENT TIME...
Main Event – Six-Man Tag Team Match
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes vs Trent Barreta, Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio
As we join the contest ten minutes in or so, it’s Rey Mysterio taking the brunt of the offence from a surprisingly-adept team of Barrett, McIntyre and Rhodes. For the first half of the match, it’s been back-and-forth, but in typical WWE tag team fashion, the heels have begun to take control, isolating the Ultimate Underdog to make sure he can’t get the tag to Kingston or Barreta. In this vein, it’s McIntyre pounding Rey as we jump in, with the high-flyer trapped in a seated position in McIntyre’s team’s corner. The referee counts to four before the Scotsman moves himself away, baring his teeth in frustration, because no amount of punches would have been enough for him; he sets Mysterio in his sights again, however, and charges in – OH! McIntyre catches Rey in the face with a horrific running knee in the corner, causing the high-flyer to slump deliriously to the canvas! The crowd groans with the impact, and now McIntyre tags in Rhodes, who’s been hissing at Drew to tag him in for the last few moments. Immediately, the Disfigured One throws himself through the ropes into the ring, and starts putting the boots to Mysterio with a scowl on his barely-obscured face. As with McIntyre, the referee counts him off, and frustrated, Rhodes grabs Mysterio by the head and pulls him up, before shoving him to another corner. Rey hits the turnbuckle and staggers slowly back into Rhodes’ domain – so the Disfigured One scoops him up... AND DELIVERS THE ALABAMA SLAM!!! The impact shakes the ring, and as Kofi and Trent look concerned on the apron, Rhodes hooks a leg... 1... 2... 3-NO! Rey kicks out!
Though the crowd cheers, Rhodes is less than pleased, and now kneels to grab his enemy by the head, trash talking in a low, hate-filled voice. Once he’s done, he yanks Rey back up again... AND GOES TO END IT WITH CROSS RHODES – NO!!! Mysterio spins out, then immediately heads for the ropes – he springboards – THEN SENDS CODY FLAILING ACROSS THE RING WITH A HEADSCISSORS TAKEDOWN! It’s roles reversed now, with Rhodes looking dazed as the crowd frantically eggs a floored Mysterio back to his corner, and Kingston and Barreta stretch out their arms desperately – but Rhodes manages to shake out the cobwebs and scramble to grab Mysterio by the leg! The crowd screams as Rey tries to reach his corner, but Rhodes tugs him back, with the high-flyer staggering to his feet, though Cody refuses to let go of his leg... SO MYSTERIO TURNS ROUND, AND NAILS A HUGE ENZUIGIRI TO TAKE HIM DOWN! The ‘crack’ that echoes around the Coliseum gets the crowd on their feet in awe, and now it seems that Mysterio might get that tag... both men slowly edge towards their corners, as Rhodes lethargically finds Barrett’s outstretched hand – BUT REY GETS THE HOT TAG TO TRENT BARRETA, MEANING IT’S GAME ON!!!
Barreta immediately slingshots into the ring LIKE A BOSS, then charges forward, ducking Barrett’s bare-knuckle punch and knocking him down with a Dropkick when he turns around! The crowd pops, as both men get back up, and Barreta unleashes a Knife Edge Chop to send the Englishman reeling into the corner; as the crowd roars “WOOOO!” in the background, Barreta steels himself, then sprints in – BAM! Trent rocks Barrett with a stinging Running Corner Elbow, forcing the Intercontinental Champion to stagger dizzily into the middle of the ring... so Barreta charges off to the ropes, then hurtles furiously back at his opponent – AND WIPES HIM OUT WITH THE BUSAIKU KNEE STRIKE, THE GOBSTOBBER!!! The crowd can’t help but cheer in awe of that huge hit, and as Barrett goes down, Kofi Kingston lets out a yell of amazement, and Trent punches the air before he makes the cover... 1... 2... 3-BUT NO, DREW MCINTYRE BREAKS IT UP!!!
Heat rains down on McIntyre now, as the Scotsman boots Barreta out of the cover with a dark smile, and subsequently ignores the referee’s berating. Retreating to the corner, Drew steps to the apron, where Rhodes regards him with an impressed look, or what resembles one from behind his mask; Mysterio and Kingston are FURIOUS, however, yelling at the referee in protest – but now the focus returns to the action, where Barreta and Barrett are getting to their feet once again. Trent is first to make a move, kicking the Englishman in the gut, then hitting the ropes – ONLY TO BE SCOOPED UP FOR THE WASTELAND... NOOOOO!!! Barreta escapes out the back, then almost jumps to his corner to tag in the first man he sees, an infuriated Kofi Kingston – WHO COMES IN LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN! Still frustrated by McIntyre’s actions, Kingston shoots over the top rope, then takes Barrett by surprise with a Two-Handed Chop, then another when he gets up! Fired up, the Ghanaian whips Wade to the corner, then leaps athletically to unleash the KORONCO BUSTER, getting ten punches and a subsequent count from the crowd before he rolls back down... AND SENDS BARRETT FLYING WITH A MONKEY FLIP!
With the fans in the Greensboro Coliseum well and truly excited now, Kingston begins to jog about the ring, telling them to make even more noise, before he hits the ropes, cries “BOOM”... “BOOM”... AND LANDS THE BOOM DROP! A pop goes up as Kofi rolls back to his feet, gritting his teeth with adrenaline as he begins to slap his hands together – and on the apron, Mysterio and Barreta begin to do it too! This gets the ‘WWE Universe’ fully involved, with pretty much the whole arena clapping as Barrett finds his feet, allowing Kingston to fire away with TROUBLE IN PARADISE – NO, HE DUCKED IT!!! Kofi staggers on landing, as the crowd groans, and now he turns to face the Englishman... BIG BOOT OUT OF NOWHERE FROM BARRETT!!! Kingston crashes down to the canvas, and Barrett has to sweep strands of hair out of his face as he stumbles exhaustedly towards his corner, and tags in McIntyre before retreating to the apron. Conversely, the Scotsman shows none of Barrett’s fatigue, stepping inside with a callous smirk and immediately going to work with a ferocious set of stomps on Kingston. He eventually pulls him back up, then flings the Ghanaian into the turnbuckle – Kofi stumbles backwards, clutching his torso in agony, then turns with a pained expression into the path of the Sinister Scotsman, who sends him up and down with a smooth Northern Lights Suplex! McIntyre bridges professionally into the pin, and the crowd sits in suspense as the referee drops for the count... 1... 2... 3-NO! KINGSTON KICKS OUT!
McIntyre sits up in horror, then casts a look at the official before he gets back up. Barrett and Rhodes watch intently as the Scotsman grabs a handful of Kingston’s hair to bring him up to his feet – he hooks the lifeless Ghanaian by the arms, but as the crowd gasps in protest, McIntyre takes a moment to shoot a menacing look at Barreta on the apron... BUT THAT COSTS HIM, BECAUSE KOFI SHOVES HIM AWAY, THEN SCORES WITH TROUBLE IN PARADISE!!! The crowd ERUPTS as McIntyre goes down, but so does the fatigued Kofi, meaning he can’t make a cover – as the arena eggs him on, Kofi manages to turn himself towards his corner to tag in Mysterio... so the Master of the 619 charges down the apron, and climbs up to the top turnbuckle adjacent to McIntyre’s position on the mat! With the Scotsman down and out, there’s no-one to stop Rey launching with the NO-HANDED SPLASH, CATCHING MCINTYRE ACROSS THE STOMACH, AND THE COVER... 1... 2... BUT BARRETT BREAKS IT UP!!! The crowd immediately boos the Englishman, who throws himself on top of Mysterio to stop the cover, only to be taken off-guard by Kingston, who sprints into the fray, and clotheslines him over the top rope! Barrett clatters to the outside floor to a great cheer from the fans in attendance, but before Kofi can enjoy it, he’s rocked by a HUGE mask-aided headbutt from Cody Rhodes, who’s joined the proceedings!
Kingston goes down clutching his face, and Rhodes mutters some kind of trash talk as the Ghanaian rolls from the ring. Turning, Rhodes sets his sights on Mysterio, eyes bulging wide in fury as he sees the high-flyer... but Trent Barreta hurtles on to the scene, shocking the Disfigured One with a Flying Clothesline, taking both men over the top rope out to the floor! The crowd cheers as Barreta’s go-all-out policy leaves Rhodes crumpled on the outside floor, and now we’re back to Mysterio versus McIntyre; both men get up at about the same time, and McIntyre scrambles to grapple Rey somehow – but the high-flyer ducks sweetly under Drew’s grip, and hits the ropes. The Scotsman instinctively bends down for the Back Body Drop, but Mysterio goes over the top with the SUNSET FLIP, AND THE PIN... 1... 2... 3-NO! McIntyre narrowly kicks out, and both men leap lethargically back to their feet once more; Drew bares his teeth, and tries to catch Mysterio off-guard with a heavy forearm shot... BUT REY DUCKS, AND MCINTYRE CATCHES THE REFEREE IN THE JAW!!! The crowd groans with the impact as the official slumps to the floor, and McIntyre takes one crucial second staring in shock at what he’s just done – before he gets Dropkicked on to the second rope by Mysterio! A huge cheer goes up once more, and Rey can’t hold back a grin, firing up the crowd as he prepares to dial it up...
...BUT CODY RHODES SLIDES INTO THE RING – AND HITS REY IN THE FACE WITH HIS MASK, NOW IN HIS HAND, DETACHED FROM HIS FACE!!! The crowd ROARS in horror, as Mysterio crumples lifelessly to the floor, and Rhodes stares down at his enemy, before he slowly puts his mask back on his face, and cracks a devilish smirk. McIntyre sluggishly removes himself from the second rope, then sees Mysterio on the floor with a similar smirk forming; he wastes no time yanking the high-flyer’s dead weight up, determined to put his own stamp on this affair as he hooks the arms... FUTURE SHOCK TO MYSTERIO!!! The Coliseum rains boos on Rhodes and McIntyre, the former who revives the referee as McIntyre makes the cover – slowly, the dazed official crawls to count it – and as Trent Barreta gets back on to the apron, Rhodes SMACKS him back off with a sharp right hand! With Kingston and Barrett still laid out on the outside floor, there’s no-one left in the ring but McIntyre pinning Rey, as Cody watches with a disgusting look of pleasure... 1... 2... 3!!! IT’S A STEAL!!!
Result: Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes bt. Trent Barreta, Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio via pinfall at 18:13
Tony Chimel: Here are your winners... the team of Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes, and the Intercontinental Champion, Wade – BARRETT!
Josh Matthews: No! That’s – Drew McIntyre just stole that win, guys!
Booker T: Whut a despicable way to get da win, man. Drew Mac should be countin’ his lucky stars, he was about to get dat six-one-nine, ya know what I’m sayin’?
McIntyre and Rhodes have their arms raised by the official; Rhodes immediately tugs himself away, however, and falls beside Mysterio on the canvas, hissing insults under his breath to the Ultimate Underdog. McIntyre regards him with a frown, and makes his exit, as on the outside, Kingston, Barrett and Barreta find their feet again. Barrett seems satisfied, but Kofi and Trent are inevitably frustrated by the loss.
Matt Striker: This is a huge momentum shift in my eyes, gentlemen, ill-gained or not; when the bell rings for this Sunday’s title match-up, it’ll be Drew McIntyre who got the last fall on another competitor, and that could be crucial.
Josh Matthews: And folks, this match is about a lot more than the Intercontinental Title; Cody Rhodes screwed Rey Mysterio out of a win here tonight, and as you can tell, he’s more than happy about it – oh!
In the ring, Rhodes’ expression has changed from sick satisfaction to a scowl, a desire to inflict more punishment. Following that theme, he pulls Rey back to his feet, and with the crowd beginning to boo, he applies the inverted facelock – CROSS RHODES CONNECTS!!! Heat rains down on Rhodes, who doesn’t care in the slightest, instead just staring down at Rey with bulging eyes...
...BUT SUDDENLY, HE GETS NAILED WITH TROUBLE IN PARADISE – BY KOFI KINGSTON!!! The Disfigured One goes down in a heap, as the crowd changes its tune to hearty cheers, and now it’s the Ghanaian on top, pumping his arms as he feeds off the energy in the Coliseum! Rhodes rolls from the ring completely, while Rey does likewise, leaving us with just Kingston, who heads to the turnbuckles to celebrate...
...ONLY FOR DREW MCINTYRE TO AMBUSH HIM WITH A CLUB TO THE BACK!!! Frankly, Kingston should have seen it coming, as McIntyre slides back into the ring to make sure the spotlight hasn’t been stolen from his pinfall victory! Kofi slumps over the top turnbuckle, then finds himself tugged off it completely by McIntyre, who dumps him to the floor, and starts pounding away with ferocious right hands...
...AND NOW TRENT BARRETA GETS INVOLVED, SLIDING INTO THE RING AND TACKLING MCINTYRE TO THE DECK!!! The crowd goes wild once again as Barreta fires away, bludgeoning the Scotsman with each shot – but McIntyre shoves him off! As Kofi rolls out of the ring, McIntyre snarls and goes after Barreta again with a clothesline... but Barreta ducks it, then hits the ropes – GOBSTOBBER!!! McIntyre collapses to the floor, and Barreta YELLS in triumph... but he’s not done! The frantic youngster swipes the hair out of his eyes, then pulls McIntyre back to his feet, before he applies the side headlock and scales the ropes... SPRINGBOARD TORNADO DDT!!! The Coliseum applauds that awe-inspiring finisher, and Barreta begins to grin, enjoying the reception...
...BUT THERE’S ONE MORE MAN! Wade Barrett has bided his time perfectly, and now he slides into the ring with an opportunistic look; as Barreta turns to celebrate with the other side of the crowd, he walks straight into the path of the Englishman – WHO SCOOPS HIM UP, AND IMMEDIATELY DELIVERS THE WASTELAND!!! It’s turned from a scene of celebration to being laid out for Trent Barreta, and now Barrett takes the spoils, heading to ringside to demand his title; he gets it, and lofts it triumphantly into the air to a chorus of boos, wearing his classic grin as his music booms into our ears.
*END OF DAYS*
Josh Matthews: Anyone who was worried that Wade Barrett wasn’t re-focused on the Intercontinental Championship need only look at that image; he’s on top here on SmackDown, and he’s got a win to his name as well. Folks, could Wade Barrett beat the odds this Sunday after all?
Matt Striker: Well, I think the safest thing to say is that anything could happen, Josh. After the anarchy we just witnessed, I expect nothing less than similar anarchy in Sunday’s match-up, and whoever can come out of it in one piece... might just be our Intercontinental Champion.
Josh Matthews: Indeed, Matt – it’s Wade Barrett’s biggest test as champion yet, ladies and gentlemen; that’s to come in just two days’ time in Tampa, but after the break, the World Heavyweight Champion, Edge, hosts the Cutting Edge! You don’t wanna miss it!
As Barrett tells the assorted men on the outside that “This title isn’t going anywhere, gents” with that same grin, SmackDown fades to its last break of the evening.
And now, it’s time for RAW REBOUND!!!
Raw Rebound this week has an excerpt of The Miz’s lengthy opening promo, namely his part about the WWE being a “miserable, cold-hearted, fickle place” and how he plans to start towards finally getting his “thrill” this Sunday. We then cut to the main event, a marathon between John Cena and Triple H, and after a series of narrow near falls, including Cena surviving the Figure Four and the Game surviving the STFU, The Miz and Alex Riley end the bout prematurely with stereo chairshots to both men. However, as Riley lines up a lethal shot to Cena’s head, the ex-“Champ” ducks and sends Riley reeling with a clothesline, before he takes the chair and chases the Varsity Villain into the crowd. In the ring, the distraction gives Triple H a chance to recover, charging at The Miz, only for the WWE Champion to make a last-second escape; as Cena taunts from the stands where half the fans chant his name, Hunter finds himself the name the other half chant in the squared circle, and The Miz scowls at his future opponents as Raw comes to a close.
SmackDown returns to ringside, where the three-man team awaits us.
Josh Matthews: Welcome back to SmackDown, and as you just saw, things are getting heated in the fight for the WWE Championship – but frankly guys, I don’t think there’s a more heated rivalry in the entire WWE than the one raging about the World Heavyweight Championship between Edge and Alberto Del Rio.
Booker T: Ya know dat’s right, Josh – I mean, dese two guys went at it at Wrestlemania and Edge came out on top, but dey’re steppin’ it up a notch dis Sunday! Inside dat steel cage, things are gonna – get – SETTLED.
Matt Striker: And of course we can’t forget the new dynamic to this match-up, even if it won’t matter this Sunday; Edge has been plagued by the actions of Del Rio’s new ‘guard’, the Alberto Administration, and they’ve made sure that the Mexican Aristocrat always has an upper hand when he needs one.
Josh Matthews: Absolutely Matt, but as you said, these two men will be locked inside the steel cage, and it’s for that reason that Edge might just stand a chance of retaining the World Title; it’s outside influences removed, nothing but pure one-on-one action inside that unforgiving steel, and whoever can simply out-do their opponent will be known from then on... as the face of Friday Night SmackDown. Let’s take you to the ring now...
The shot indeed fades to the squared circle, where the usual stools are set up, standing on a black carpet floor. The ‘Rated R’ logo is projected on to the mat to set the scene, and now Tony Chimel pipes up.
Tony Chimel: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome... the World Heavyweight Champion... the Rated R Superstar... EDGE!!!
“YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME!”
THE COLISEUM GOES ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!!! Just like when we saw him earlier, the appearance of the World Heavyweight Champion, Edge, gets a massive ovation from the fans in Greensboro, wearing his leather jacket over jeans, with his title belt draped over his shoulder. He observes the Coliseum from behind his classic shades, then begins to march down the ramp, casually acknowledging the fans who wave and cheer.
Josh Matthews: Edge is one of the most determined World Champions that SmackDown has seen in a long while, guys – after winning the title back in December late last year, he’s seen off a number of challengers, and this Sunday he could finally put the issue of Alberto Del Rio to bed... or he could lose the belt that means so much to him.
Matt Striker: I think the Rated R Superstar will take heart from the match stipulation, Josh. Edge has won several Steel Cage bouts in the past, and Del Rio has only won one... last week. In terms of experience, our World Champion could have the edge, no pun intended, and the fact that the Administration won’t be able to influence the match means he has reason to be hopeful.
Booker T: Aww, more dan hopeful, Matt! Edge is here to stay as World Champ – I’m not denyin’ that Alberto’s not done some damage, raised a few questions, know what I’m sayin’, but Edge’s got a score ta settle after summa da stuff Del Rio’s been pullin’, and he goin’ get it done dis Sunday, I just know it.
With Booker’s endorsement behind him, Edge heads up the steel steps and enters the ring. Holding the World Title to his shoulder still, he uses his free hand to pick up one of the mics on the nearest stool, then paces about the ring. As he mulls over what he’s about to say, his music cuts out, and a whole host of “EDGE! EDGE!” chants kick off around the Greensboro Coliseum. Smirking from behind his shades, the Rated R Superstar nods his head in acknowledgement, then raises the mic as the ‘Cutting Edge’ logo appears in the bottom-left-hand corner of our screens.
Edge: I just came from the doctor’s office.
Small mixed reaction as Edge runs a hand through his hair.
Edge: Y’know, I have so very... very, little respect for a guy like Jack Swagger and his personal helper monkey Michael Cole...
Pop for that.
Edge: ...and what they did tonight just – just made sure that the next time I see them, I’m Spearin’ both of ‘em right outta their boots.
Again, the crowd approves.
Edge: But Christian’s a tough guy, he’ll pull through, he always has... and it occurs to me I don’t have to worry about what Jack Swagger does, because Christian will be in Tampa this Sunday and he will make Swagger cry like a little girl, so...
Big cheer for that concept, as Edge shrugs.
Edge: Only there’s one thing that Jack Swagger has done which I suppose I should mention – and that brings me to the set-up you guys see in the ring here. Of course, as your World Heavyweight Champion, I’d like to wish you all welcome to the most ground-breaking talk show on SmackDown, the Cutting Edge...
Again, Edge tails off as the crowd cheers.
Edge: And on that note, it’s down to my own business, not anyone else’s. So let’s talk about Alberto... Del... Rio.
Immediate heat for the Mexican Aristocrat.
Edge: Now, three weeks ago, ‘Berto beat Christian to earn a shot at my World Title after leaving me unconscious at the start of the show and... and Jack Swagger givin’ him a helpin’ hand in the match itself.
More boos for Del Rio and Swagger’s actions.
Edge: Sure, I said I’d move on from Swagger, but my point here is that unlike when Alberto won the Royal Rumble, which is all well and good, he didn’t earn his shot for this Sunday. Nothin’ he’s done recently, on his own merit, makes him worthy of bein’ World Champion, and sometimes? Sometimes that rubs me the wrong way.
A few boos for Del Rio again. The Rated R Superstar removes his shades now and puts them in his jacket pocket; his eyes, now visible, seem a little tired.
Edge: And just like that, he’s tryin’ to make up for how he couldn’t beat me at Wrestlemania... by stacking the deck with this so-called – Administration.
Edge: But not only does that steel cage make sure he can’t do that, it just proves something to me, proves something to you all, and proves something to Alberto himself.
Edge: Like everybody saw last week, it proves that Alberto Del Rio can’t beat me – by himself.
A healthy pop accompanies that shot from Edge, who now turns to the stage.
Edge: So if ya wanna prove me wrong, Alberto – well, here’s your chance, because the special guests on the Cutting Edge here tonight are Alberto Del Rio... and his fan club.
A small mixed reaction goes up, and now the camera turns to the stage...
Huge boos immediately swarm in as the Mexican theme hits, and clad in a dazzling silver suit, Alberto Del Rio walks casually on to the stage with his hands on the white scarf that adorns the outfit. Alongside him are inevitably his cohorts; Rosa Mendes clutches a clipboard to her bust with a smirk, while Chavo Guerrero scowls following his earlier loss and Brodus Clay looks in a considerably un-funky mood. They are joined by the nameless trumpeter, instrument in hand, while we cut to see Ricardo Rodriguez standing smugly at ringside for an unnecessary introduction.
Ricardo Rodriguez: Damas y caballeros, siéntate y cállate. Usted está a punto de presenciar un hombre magnífico. Es querida del destino. Él es el próximo Campeón Mundial Peso Pesado. Él es el hombre al que todos deseamos que podría ser. Provenientes de los países de la gloria, México, por favor, pagar sus aspectos. Él es ... ALBERTOOOOOOOOOOO – DEL RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOO!!!
Josh Matthews: Well guys, this Sunday it’s ‘redemption time’ for Alberto Del Rio, or it’s nothing at all.
Matt Striker: Alberto calls himself ‘Destiny’s Darling’ because he believes it’s always been his fate to win the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania, Josh – the problem with that is Edge beat him a month ago at that exact same event, which has inspired this new, more vicious side to the Mexican Aristocrat, like we saw a week ago.
Josh Matthews: And while we’re on that subject, let’s just take a look at that again...
We cut to see highlights from last week, in which Del Rio, Chavo and Brodus lay Edge out, and the Mexican Aristocrat calls for the steel cage to be lowered. Once it has been, the Rated R Superstar gets hit with a variety of moves, which we get fleeting clips of, including the Three Amigos, the Fall of Humanity, the Frog Splash and eventually the Cross-Arm Breaker. We return to the arena, where Del Rio is heading for the ring steps, though Clay steps up to the apron to begrudgingly open the ropes to let ‘Destiny’s Darling’ inside.
Matt Striker: The fact that Alberto could dominate the World Champion inside the very steel cage they’ll be competing in this Sunday will do wonders for his confidence, Josh. You can see the smirk etched on his face there; he knows the Administration have given him the upper hand, and this Sunday, that momentum, that confidence, might lead him to his very first title win.
Booker T: I can’t say I’m da biggest fan o’ da way Alberto does things, dawg, but when you leave the World Champ on his back in da middle of the ring, you sendin’ a message that you comin’ for dat title. Dis has gotta be one of da biggest threats to Edge’s World Heavyweight Title... well, ever!
By now, Del Rio has entered the ring, and taken the other mic from the other stool. Neither he nor Edge sit, however, and as the remainder of the Administration files in behind Del Rio (with Ricardo even joining from ringside), the sight is that of Edge lined up against all six individuals. Alberto’s music soon dies down, and several “YOU SUCK!” chants follow the Mexican, who watches Edge with a wary grin before raising his mic.
Alberto Del Rio: You’re... you’re walking, amigo.
Edge returns a patronising smile.
Edge: Yeah, I figured that would surprise ya. See, unlike you, Alberto, I don’t have a skeleton like a Chinese vase.
Pop for that; Alberto’s grin vanishes.
Edge: So we’re different like that. But after what you did last week, when the guys in the back were checking me over, I got to thinking... we’re – we’re very different, you and I, Alberto.
A little frown now from ‘Destiny’s Darling.’
Edge: Yep, you and I are on total opposite ends of the scale. On one hand you’ve got me, growin’ up stomping through the snow in Toronto, and then there’s you, bein’ served by waiters in Central Mexico.
Boos for that, but Del Rio shrugs – he doesn’t care.
Edge: (flippantly) Hell, you were even trained by the legendary luchadors of the past!
Del Rio misses the sarcasm and cracks a smirk.
Edge: But I’ll tell ya what, ‘Berto, the biggest difference between us is that while I stand here and face whatever you’ve got to throw at me, you run. You run from everything. You hide behind bodyguards like Clay there, or yes-men like (gesturing) Ricardo, or – er – lackeys like Chavo…
The deliberate word choice from Edge gets Chavo FURIOUS, and the Mexican Warrior has to be blocked off by Del Rio as he attempts to get at the World Champion, yelling “C’mon! Let’s do this right now!” Edge can’t hold back a grin, using Chavo’s previous promo to bite back at him.
Alberto Del Rio: No, no, no, Edge. You lie. I hide from nothing, peso. But you – you hid behind your little buddy Christian at Wrestlemania, and now you’re running from me. De new standard.
Heat from the crowd as Edge folds his arms.
Alberto Del Rio: You try to divert de attention from your weakness by ruining my beautiful car at Wrestlemania, my wonderful fiesta two weeks ago… you’re trying to out-do me at something that I excel at. De spectacular.
Again, the fans boo that.
Alberto Del Rio: But you don’t fool me, amigo.
He flashes that priceless smile again.
Alberto Del Rio: Behind all your tactics, you’re still de same man who’s going to TAP dis Sunday to de Cross-Arm Breaker. And believe me – I dream of dat moment every night when I fall asleep. It’s all I think about. Dat one moment where I break out, in front of (he throws up his free hand) I don’t know – fifteen, twenty thousand people in Florida? No?
A few boos, but the crowd mainly starts to tell Del Rio “YOU SUCK!” again and again. He chuckles, then continues with his speech.
Alberto Del Rio: When I make dat happen dis Sunday, Edge, I’ll show everyone in dat locker room, all dese people paying to watch, and most of all – YOU – that de new era is upon us.
On cue, Ricardo cries “VIVA ALBERTO!” behind his friend and employer. Del Rio grins.
Alberto Del Rio: Gracias. My Administration…
“DAH-DAAAAH DAH-DAH DAH-DAH-DAH!” is the cry from the trumpet.
Alberto Del Rio: …is de most powerful force in de WWE right now, led by de most powerful man… and soon to be de most powerful World – Heavyweight – Champion.
Heat from the crowd. Edge raises an eyebrow as Del Rio paces a little.
Alberto Del Rio: And you know, de stakes are higher in two days, Edge. Much higher than at Wrestlemania. Because you and I are going to step into dat Steel Cage Match – it’s a dangerous, dangerous place.
He tilts his head, as if he sympathises for Edge.
Alberto Del Rio: I showed you last week how much I can handle de cage. I beat Sin Cara inside it and made him suffer.
Alberto Del Rio: And dis Sunday, I’m going to do the same to you. I’m going to come out victorious – just me, not my associates. I’m going to stand tall as the new leader of SmackDown…
One more flash of a smile from Alberto.
Alberto Del Rio: …because it’s my destiny.
Big heat from the crowd as Edge holds up a finger.
Edge: As much crap as we all just heard come outta your mouth, Alberto…
The fans cheer for that, while Del Rio frowns.
Edge: …you said one thing that’s right. The stakes ARE higher for you. Because this Sunday, I wanna kill two birds – with one stone.
Edge: Y’see, I don’t just want to retain my title… I wanna tear your Administration… LIMB FROM LIMB.
HUGE pop at that thought, and Ricardo and the trumpeter exchange a look of terror. Chavo raises his fists, however, and Del Rio looks ready to fight too… but Brodus Clay looks less worried; he’s frustrated by Edge’s attack on him earlier, but he’s in no hurry to go to war over it just yet.
Edge: Yeah, when that match is done this Sunday, and once I’ve retained my World Title…
The crowd cheers again.
Edge: Once it’s done, I’m gonna find a steel chair, and run through your stupid Administration until there’s nothing but wreckage left. A personal con-chair-to symphony.
Another hearty cheer from the crowd, who desperately want to see that; Del Rio looks slightly concerned, as do his cohorts behind him, but he frowns and shakes it off.
Alberto Del Rio: How unfortunate for you, amigo… that you’re not going to win.
Immediate boos from the Coliseum.
Edge: No, that’s where you wrong, ‘Berto. And straight after it, I’m gonna make all these loyal fans notice that you’ve tried real hard to make a… make a legacy outta your short career, but when it comes down to it, when it’s gut-check time, there’s no room in the WWE for people who don’t deserve it.
Pop as Del Rio scowls.
Edge: There’s only room for the guys at the very top. They’re the guys here to make the lasting impact. Guys like me who can tap into the levels way beyond the regular, way beyond PG and way beyond the acceptable standard.
He pauses for a moment, as Del Rio mouths “Beyond PG?” and Edge nods.
Edge: Guys like the RATED – R – SUPERSTAR.
MASSIVE pop for that.
Edge: (hissing) And I’m not going anywhere.
The crowd roars their approval, and now Alberto takes a step forward to go nose-to-nose with the World Heavyweight Champion, as both men let their mics drop to the floor. The trash talk flies from under their breath, as Chavo and Clay stand behind, prepared to launch for the attack…
…but Del Rio holds his hand behind him to tell them not to pull the trigger. The Administration exchanges glances and stays back, though Chavo looks pissed to not get his hands on Edge, and now it’s just a pure stare-down, Edge and Del Rio telling each other what they think of the other. An eerie scene to take us home.
Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, the entire landscape of SmackDown could change inside that steel cage in just two days’ time… will it be another Rated R performance from SmackDown’s most faithful servant, Edge, or will Alberto Del Rio truly ‘usher in the new era’? Folks, it’s Extreme Rules, it’s this Sunday, and it’s going to be absolutely unforgettable! I’m Josh Matthews, with Matt Striker and Booker T – goodbye for now!
As Edge and Alberto Del Rio share one last moment of trying to out-talk the other, SmackDown, and the Cutting Edge, both fade to black.
END OF SHOW
Christian bts. Chavo Guerrero
Sin Cara bts. Tyler Reks
Justin Gabriel bts. Big Show
Beth Phoenix bts. Michelle McCool
Drew McIntyre, Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes bt. Kofi Kingston, Trent Barreta and Rey Mysterio
WWE Championship – Extreme Rules Match
The Miz (c) vs John Cena vs Triple H
World Heavyweight Championship – Steel Cage Match
Edge (c) vs Alberto Del Rio
Last Man Standing Match
CM Punk vs Randy Orton
I Quit Match
Christian vs Jack Swagger
No. 1 Contender To The WWE Title – Ladder Match
Dolph Ziggler vs Daniel Bryan
Intercontinental Championship – Six-Pack Hardcore Elimination Challenge
Wade Barrett (c) vs Kofi Kingston vs Cody Rhodes vs Rey Mysterio vs Drew McIntyre vs Trent Barreta
United States and Diva’s Championships – Winner Take All Match
Sheamus (c) and Melina vs John Morrison and Eve Torres (c)
WWE Tag Team Championships – Tag Team Tables Match
Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater (c) vs Big Show and Kane
*CARD SUBJECT TO CHANGE*
EXTREME RULES PREVIEW TO COME SOON
NO PREDICTIONS YET
Last edited by Melvis; 04-14-2012 at 02:27 PM.