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post #1577 of (permalink) Old 06-10-2012, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: WWE: A Strong Response

Friday Night Smackdown ‘Live!’
Friday 19th December 2008
MetraPark Arena
Billings, Montana

A recap from last week’s main event to determine the number one contender for the world title at Night of Champions was shown. The four wannabe challengers were joined by the man they were hoping to face at Night of Champions when CM Punk, the World Heavyweight Champion brought out a fold-out chair to watch from the stage just before the ref was going to call for the bell. The fans were so into it and split between Bryan Danielson & John Cena with some even getting behind Edge, but despite giving it all he had and making a strong impression, Ziggler was the first to bite the bullet. It looked as if he was all set to put Danielson away, but when Shawn Michaels’ protégé dodged a leg drop bulldog, Ziggler was taken down in a flash and found himself tied up in the LeBell Lock.

The fans were urging him to tap, and he held on for as long as he could before tapping out to a big pop. Danielson was on fire and the crowd went nuts when he was able to slip down from the F-U and pull Cena into the LeBell Lock. Edge was coming to on the outside as Cena fought for his life with a huge portion of the crowd screaming for him to tap. He wouldn’t though and hung on in as Danielson put him through the hell, doing all he could to make him tap, and eventually Cena managed to drag himself to the ropes to grab hold of the bottom rope. There were a ton of boos as Danielson was told to break the hold, reluctantly doing so as Edge slipped back into the ring, dragging himself back in behind Danielson’s back.

The Rated-R Superstar set his sights on him, devastated as he stood back up and backed away from the ropes. The crowd tried to warn him about what was lying in wait, but as he turned round, his fate was inevitable and Edge charged across the ring to take him down with the Spear. It was enough to get the three count, much to the disappointment of the crowd after a massive effort from the impressive Danielson. The fans were split on them and Edge was staring up intently at Punk, letting him know how much he wanted it, and he was milliseconds away when he landed on his feet after an F-U attempt and stomped Cena in the gut before drilling him with the Edgecution. The Rated-R Superstar couldn’t believe it and once again set his sights on Punk before stalking Cena for the Spear.

Cena was slowly clawing his way back up and Punk stood up to watch with the fans going nuts. Edge was ready to explode out of his boots and he stormed across the ring to spear Cena out of his, but Cena caught him with a drop toe hold and locked in the STFU to a hugely mixed response from the capacity crowd. Edge was shocked but quickly had to fight for his life and the chance to face Punk with Cena wrenching away at his face, the crowd still torn but blowing the roof off the joint with Punk’s eyes fixed firmly on Edge’s struggle to survive. He fought with everything he had, dragging himself closer to the ropes, inch by inch, but just as he was about to grab hold of them, Cena stood up and dragged him back to the centre of the ring to apply the hold again.

The fans weren’t crazy about it and the fight was draining away bit by bit from Edge and he was left with no choice but to tap out. The crowd erupted and Cena rose to his feet, getting his arm raised and walking over to the ropes, throwing both arms up into the air in front of the fans, and then he turned round to look up at the man he’ll face at Night of Champions for the World Heavyweight Championship. He walked across to stare directly up at Punk, and the World Champion was applauding the number one contender for his title with Cena staring right at him. Punk then lifted his title up into the air defiantly as the show drew to a close with them talking smack at each other, all set for quite the battle in nine nights at Night of Champions when they’ll finally lock horns one-on-one for the gold.

Michael Cole & Matt Striker had no chance to talk up the show as the General Manager of Smackdown, Tazz was standing in the middle of the ring and he introduced the number one contender for CM Punk’s World Heavyweight Championship Sunday night at Night of Champions, John Cena to a deafening reaction. The fans were split as “My Time is Now” hit with John Cena flying out to the stage, hitting both sides of it with a big smile on his face, in one hell of a good mood with his Slammy for Moment of the Year in hand. After saluting the fans he headed down the ramp and into the ring, getting a round of applause from Tazz but another mixed response from the fans. Cena shook hands with his boss and was passed the microphone, and with his music coming to a halt, the split of cheers & boos became clearer, but Cena was in too good a mood to let anything get him down.

He started by talking about what he’s had to face since he returned to Smackdown, all the pure hate & negativity he’s had thrown at him about how he was brought over to be the number one guy on Smackdown and how CM Punk’s cried non-stop like a baby about him taking his spot & his title. He then said that was all in the past because after last week no one can say he hasn’t earned the right for a shot at the world title, but now he has and then reminded everyone how on Raw Monday night he made Punk tap out. With the fans again giving a mixed response, Cena brought up how that’s not all that happened on Raw, mentioning his Slammy victory and holding it up, promising that the true moment of the year wasn’t him returning to Raw but what he’s going to do at Night of Champions when he makes Punk tap out again to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.

Again the fans were split on that as the ice cool Cena looked into the stands, taking a moment when “This Fire Burns” blasted out with the World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk walking out to the stage to another mixed reaction. He too was holding his Slammy for Superstar of the Year with the world title over his shoulder as he coolly walked down the ramp into the ring, smiling at the also relaxed Cena. As Punk got in the ring, he walked past Cena to get a microphone of his own and then congratulated Cena for his victory last week, then Tazz for getting what he’s wanted since he brought Cena over from Raw. The Straight-Edge Superstar told Cena he might’ve sounded like a baby but said he had every right to be angry about him being hand picked to be his replacement, stating his belief that he’s sure Tazz stood there as confident as he was when Cena came back, thinking that at Night of Champions, Cena would beat him and take his world title from him.

Punk said that even though the plan didn’t work out the way Tazz planned at Survivor Series, everything’s now fallen into place to set up the clash of the titans for the title Sunday night, the one thing he said Tazz didn’t bank on is what actually will happen, John Cena walking out without the World Heavyweight Championship. The fans were torn in how to react to that and Punk said that he hates to disappoint his boss but there’s no way in hell he’s going to let Cena take the title from him. It was getting serious in the ring and Punk continued, saying that regardless of how convenient he thinks his Slammy was, he deserves the title of Superstar of the Year as much as he does World Champion before going onto say that his accomplishments since his debut on Smackdown earlier in the year haven’t been given the credit they deserve.

He said that he has single handedly revolutionised Smackdown and that he’s worked his ass into the ground in the process, which is why he sure as hell isn’t going to just turn up and let Cena & Tazz have their moment. Cena had enough and told Punk he’s listened to him run his mouth for months and now it was Punk’s turn to listen. Cena told Punk that all he’s spoken about is him earning the right to fight for his title, which he said he has, but then told Punk how ironic it was given how Punk won the title, cashing in the Money in the Bank. Punk cut in and told Cena that was the whole point of Money in the Bank, and it’s irrelevant as he went onto successfully defend the title at the King of the Ring, The Great American Bash & SummerSlam and how he would’ve done the same at No Mercy had Cena and his big ego not get involved. He told Cena he has nothing to prove and like at Survivor Series but in less controversial circumstances, he’s going to beat him in the middle of the ring again.

Cena though said they were big words and there was only one way they were going to find out if he could back it up but how they didn’t have to wait long to find out. He told Punk to get ready for the fight of his life because he’s bringing the fight like never before, telling Punk he better be ready or he won’t have that title of his for much longer when he makes him tap out like he did on Raw. The World Champion confidently told Cena that he was more than ready, how he’s been getting ready to face him for a long time and how he can’t wait for the opportunity to show in front of the whole world that what he’s said all along about Cena being overrated and not fit to lace his boots is true. Cena stood there and just nodded his head as Punk carried on, saying that people like Stephanie who don’t have a clue about the business or people like Tazz who don’t have the guts to man up might not see things the way he & others do but said he’s not worked his ass off his whole career to get to this point to simply hand it all over to some hand picked management poster boy like Cena.

That touched a nerve with Cena as he stared at Punk who went onto say that beating him would send a message to everyone in the back that you can get to the top through hard work even if management try and stop you in your tracks. With Cena listening closely to every word, Punk said that he won’t settle for anything less than a victory and how he’ll celebrate it more than any other in his entire career, saying it’ll be a victory for everyone in the business when he beats Cena and makes sure he’s nowhere near a world title ever again. Punk & Cena stared intently at each other and Tazz had something to share, saying that the time for talking was done and later on they were both going to fight, Cena against ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ Edge and Punk against the man he beat for the title, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels. “13” played as Tazz left the ring with Punk raising his world title, talking smack at the serious Cena, not letting Punk get to him.

{Commercial Break}

Josh Matthews
was standing by with ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels. He was asked about his match with CM Punk later on, and Michaels spoke about how he has unfinished business with the World Champion, not because he took the world title from him but how Punk & Edge jumped him a few weeks ago before their tag match with John Cena. He told Josh he’s been looking forward to the opportunity of getting some good old fashioned payback, saying he now had the chance and he was going to enjoy every second of it.

He then said that he had a reputation like Punk for running his mouth but he’s heard about what Punk’s said about being some kind of locker room hero for standing up to Cena, but The Heartbreak Kid said Punk was kidding himself. He did say that having had the opportunity to get in the ring with Punk at SummerSlam, he agrees Punk’s almost as good as he claims but that he’s no locker room here and how he’s got Cena all wrong. Michaels said that he respects Cena and there’s many more that do, but he was then joined by ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ Edge.

He didn’t look all that happy and told Michaels that he’s wrong about Punk and that there are a lot of people who happen to agree with him and hope he beats the hell out of Cena Sunday night. Edge then told Michaels he was going to let him into a secret, saying that Cena wasn’t going to Night of Champions, claiming that when he got his hands on him later on in he’d make sure he wouldn’t make it to Sunday night. Michaels didn’t seem all that convinced or impressed by Edge who turned round and walked out of the shot with Michaels smirking.

Michael Cole & Matt Striker had chance to go over what was in store for the rest of the show, including the two matches announced before the break with Shawn Michaels taking on the World Champion, CM Punk as well as John Cena meeting Edge. They also mentioned that Matt Sydal would be in non-title action against Dolph Ziggler and that J-Red, the Cruiserweight Champion would warm up for his title defence against Chavo Guerrero at Night of Champions by taking on the former champion, Johnny Jeter in a Falls Count Anywhere match. They also mentioned that Michelle McCool, the number one contender for the Divas Championship at Night of Champions would be in action against a former foe in Mickie James.

*The Opening Match*
Bryan Danielson, Paul London & Brian Kendrick
vs. Jimmy Yang, Sonjay Dutt & Super Crazy

All six fan favourites put on a decent show for the opening contest with Danielson and London & Kendrick very over with the live crowd, and it was that trio that came out on top. With London & Kendrick looking back to the team they once were, they dominated the match for the large part and sealed the deal when Kendrick connected with the Sliced Bread on Crazy, setting off a big pop in the crowd. Kendrick was joined in the ring by his tag team partner, London and then Danielson, all sharing some guy love before celebrating in the front of the fans.

Winners: Bryan Danielson, Paul London & Brian Kendrick by pinfall.

{Commercial Break}

We got a recap from last week where Beth Phoenix took on O.D.B. in non-title action. The Glamazon was one angry diva as she walked out into the arena, and before the bell rung for the match to start, ”You’re Not Enough for Me” hit and Michelle McCool casually made her way out to the stage posing with Beth’s divas title that they’ll fight for at Night of Champions. McCool then joined Michael Cole & Matt Striker at the announce table, and she played a massive part in the outcome of the match. With Beth having fought her way into control in what was a very competitive match for, she was looking all set to go for the Grand Slam.

McCool though wasn’t too keen to see Beth get a win ahead of their collision in nine nights and jumped up from the announce table, flaunting the title she’d stolen from The Glamazon a week earlier. Beth was livid and went over to the ropes, threatening the incredibly relaxed number one contender, all while O.D.B. was making it back up to her feet. McCool kept her eye on O.D.B’s progress and told Beth to turn round at the perfect time for O.D.B. to stomp her in the gut and lift her up onto her shoulders.

With McCool watching with a big smile on her face, O.D.B. walked away from the ropes and nailed her finisher, a fireman’s carry cutter to continue her undefeated start to her career on Smackdown at the expense of the Divas Champion. McCool clapped as O.D.B. got her arm raised by the referee, and after she left the ring taunting the fans, McCool slipped inside with the divas title and laughed at Beth as she came round. The fans were all over McCool as she then walked towards Beth and held the title in her face, talking smack before getting a big shock when The Glamazon hammered her in the gut.

The crowd went mad for Beth as she shot up from her knees and knocked McCool down with a right hand. She wasn’t done there and tried to grab her for the Grand Slam, but McCool managed to slip away before she found herself in serious danger, leaving the title behind and back in the possession of its rightful owner. “Glamazon” hit and Beth picked her title back up, raising it high up in the air and letting McCool know just who it belonged to with the fans cheering, getting McCool even hotter under the collar.

With Mickie James & Matt Sydal in the ring, “You’re Not Enough For Me” played and Michelle McCool, the number one contender for Beth Phoenix’s Divas Championship at Night of Champions calmly strutted out to the stage with a microphone in hand. As her music cut, a chorus of boos were thrown at her and her former friend & rival, Mickie James looked up at her with a look of disgust on her face with her boyfriend alongside her. McCool spoke about how in just 48 short hours she’d be taking on Beth Phoenix for the divas title and that she was about to prove she was ready for the challenge by beating a multi-time Women’s Champion in Mickie James. She went onto say that once she’s done beating Mickie again, she’ll make her way to Cleveland for Night of Champions where she’ll also Beth again and become the new Divas Champion. She dropped the microphone and her music hit to more boos before heading down the ramp with Mickie getting psyched up for the match.

*Match #2*
Mickie James w/Matt Sydal vs. Michelle McCool

Mickie didn’t make life easy for McCool at all, still some needle there from their problems earlier in the year, and The Glamazon walked out to the stage to watch her opponent in action. Mickie came close to gaining the win, getting frustrated when McCool just about managed to get her foot on the rope after a Chick Kick. The match turned there in McCool’s favour when she used the ropes to pull herself back up to her feet, and Mickie didn’t want to wait around. She was held back by the referee, giving McCool more time to recover before stepping out to meet her with a big boot right to the face. Mickie was down & out and McCool knew it, soaking in the knowledge she had her opponent in the bag before pulling her back up to finish her off with the Faithbreaker, earning herself an impressive win heading into Night of Champions, looking right up at Beth while getting her arm raised. She then turned round and went to get a microphone, then turned her attention right back at the Divas Champion.

Winner: Michelle McCool by pinfall.

McCool asked Beth if she believed her now about taking her title and beating her at Night of Champions. She congratulated The Glamazon on her Slammy but told her to keep it close because it’ll be the only thing she’ll have to hold onto after Night of Champions when she vows to win the Divas Championship. “You’re Not Enough For Me” hit again to a lot of boos as she looked up at Beth very sure of herself, but The Glamazon wasn’t impressed at all as she stared down at her very confident rival.

{Commercial Break}

Video footage from earlier on in the day was shown where Natalya Neidhart was talking in the back with Mickie James & Layla about Layla’s upcoming wedding to Elijah Burke when The Empire’s Katie Lee along with Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre & William Regal walked into the scene. The three divas stopped laughing & joking with Katie winding Natalya up, asking her where her boyfriend and the rest of her gang were, joking in speculating that they’d gone into hiding knowing they were going to lose the WWE Tag Team titles at Night of Champions Sunday night. Natalya wasn’t intimidated one bit and told Katie that they couldn’t wait to get their hands on them and beat the hell out of them, then promised her that TJ & Paul Burchill won’t lose the titles and how she can’t wait to see everyone in The Empire embarrassed when that happens. Katie turned round and laughed with her fellow Brits before turning back to slap Natalya across the chops to the shock of Mickie & Layla. Natalya held her cheek for a second, staring at Katie before slapping her back and going at it, ending when Katie shoved her down to the floor. Mickie & Layla immediately checked on the angry Natalya as she sat up with Katie & The Empire laughing at her before walking away.

Michael Cole & Matt Striker
announced at ringside that since then The UK Pack had issued a challenge for later on with TJ Wilson & Natalya Nedihart taking on Drew McIntyre & Katie Lee. They then said that Josh Matthews was standing by backstage. Indeed he was with the WWE Tag Team Champions, Paul Burchill & TJ Wilson along with Harry Smith & Natalya Neidhart. They were all looking very serious and Josh confirmed that TJ would be teaming up with his girlfriend to take on Katie & McIntyre, mentioning what happened earlier on. TJ said that was exactly what The Empire are all about, calling them cowards for picking on Natalya on her own and in numbers, and for what they did to Harry to try and get the titles without a fight. He then said that The Empire were going to get what was coming to them at Night of Champions anyway but McIntyre & Katie were going to get it even sooner.

Wilson was clearly livid and said that even though he’s only carrying the title temporarily for Harry, he’s going to fight to keep it like his life depended on it and to make sure those gutless SOB’s didn’t get their hands on them. Burchill stepped in and said he agreed with TJ that The Empire are nothing but cowards and how they made a mistake earlier in what they did to Natalya because they just made them even angrier. He looked into the camera and let The Empire know that if they thought they already had a fight on their hands Sunday night to think again because it was going to be ten times worse. Burchill said that the match had gone way beyond just the titles and it was personal, and told them TJ & Natalya were going to send them a message personally later on when they beat the holy hell out of them like he & TJ will at Night of Champions.

*Match #3*
Non-Title Match
Falls Count Anywhere
J-Red vs. Johnny Jeter

Red & Jeter went at it with the former Cruiserweight Champion really eager to get some payback on Red, but the current champion was all out to go into Night of Champions in style. He fought through some serious offense from Jeter, and just about to managed to duck the Genesis Kick before connecting with an enzuigiri. Jeter rolled down to the floor, leaving Red unable to take advantage, or so we thought. Red walked over to the apron as Jeter eventually clawed his way back up, eyes not on his opponent as Red then hit a springboard to head towards the floor, hitting the Red Alert on the padded floor to a huge pop as the fans watched on in shock. Jeter was flat out and Red took advantage to make the cover, earning a solid win before his title defence against his former mentor, Chavo Guerrero at Night of Champions. As Red then got his arm raised back and was handed his title, Chavo walked out to the stage with a microphone and applauded his former rookie who wasn’t best pleased to see Chavo standing at the top of the stage.

Winner: J-Red by pinfall.

Chavo said he personally wanted to congratulate Red on his victory and told him to enjoy it, claiming it’ll be his last as Cruiserweight Champion, because in two nights the title will belong to him. “Chavo Ardiente” played as Chavo gestured down at Red that he was going to be champion, not going down well with Red at all.

{Commercial Break}

*Match #4*
Non-Title Match
Shawn Michaels vs. CM Punk

Punk was put through his paces against The Heartbreak Kid, and Michaels certainly wasn’t there just to be just a tune-up match for the World Champion ahead of his huge title clash with John Cena. Punk though was fired-up too, knowing full well he was in a contest. If there was any doubt he quickly got reminded when he came off the top rope looking for a double axe handle, only for Michaels to counter by grabbing his legs and applying the Sharpshooter. Punk had to fight for his life to hang on, and he did, just about managing to get to the ropes before he was forced to tap out. Michaels could sense victory and tuned up the band as the World Champion used the ropes to help get back up, and with the fans stomping their feet in tandem with The Heartbreak Kid, Punk turned round and stepped away from the ropes.

Michaels exploded at him going for the Super Kick, but Punk ducked it and reacted in a flash to nail him with a thunderous roundhouse kick. Michaels was out for the count, or so Punk thought, getting a shock when The Showstopper got his shoulder up as the ref’s hand came down for the third time. Punk was in shock and quickly became hot under the collar, and to the shock of everyone in the arena he went to the corner and tuned up the band, not getting a good response from the fans at all. Michaels sat up, eyes glazed over and totally oblivious, but just like Punk did, he managed to duck it and lifted Punk up onto his shoulders, seemingly for a GTS.

The World Champion reacted quickly and lashed out with elbows, slipping down to safety to then lift Michaels up off his feet. The Heartbreak Kid quickly landed back on his feet and pushed Punk into the ropes. The Straight-Edge Superstar held onto them though and Michaels ran at him, right into an extended elbow. It sent Michaels staggering away from the ropes and Punk quickly followed him out, taking advantage to lift him up onto his shoulders and nailing the GTS. Punk wasted no time in dropping to his knees and making the cover, picking up a very impressive win just two days from his match with Cena, and you could see how much it meant to him, emphatically celebrating with his title after the bell.

Winner: CM Punk by pinfall.

{Commercial Break}

The World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk was shown walking backstage from the ring, walking right into Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Breathing somewhat heavily still, Punk wasn’t best pleased to see Stephanie standing in front of him with a big smile on her face. The World Champion told her to just say what she had to so he could to take a shower, and Steph said she had no problem with that and cut right to the chase, unconvincingly telling him she was impressed with his victory. Punk didn’t buy it for a second and didn’t let her talk anymore, letting her know he knew she didn’t like him and was hoping & praying that Cena beats him at Night of Champions, for (air quote) the good of the family business.

He was pissed and told her that he hates to ruin the company’s vision for what a champion should be or who exactly should be in this case, but let her know that she and the rest of her out of touch family members were going to be disappointed as he was still going to be World Champion after Sunday night. Steph didn’t seem fazed and told Punk that she admired his confidence but didn’t share it, then let him know that she was going to be there in Cleveland to see how the match first hand, then wished him luck before turning round and walking away, leaving a very angry Punk behind watching her go.

{Commercial Break}

*Match #5*
TJ Wilson & Natalya Neidhart w/Paul Burchill & Harry Smith
vs. Drew McIntyre & Katie Lee w/Wade Barrett & William Regal

Both teams were bang up for this one with their stable mates watching on with interest on the outside. Natalya & Katie really tore into each other, but TJ especially was on a mission, and McIntyre found out to his cost. The Canadian stand-in tag team champion lay into him with some ferocious kicks to the Scot’s body. McIntyre though did manage to get some control in the match, helped by his team-mates on a couple of occasions, but TJ wasn’t done and blocked the Futureshock DDT. He pulled away from McIntyre and ducked a wild clothesline, then ran through into the ropes and came back at speed, connecting with a diving double foot stomp to the knees of the Scot. McIntyre fell to the mat and TJ raced back up to this time connect with a double foot attack to the face.

McIntyre was in serious danger and Katie knew it, trying to distract TJ as he got back up. Natalya hit the ring and took her out as TJ headed to the apron, watching closely and getting ready to explode as McIntyre unwittingly clawed his way back up to his knees. Barrett walked round towards him but Burchill & Smith made sure he didn’t get near, allowing the Canadian to hit a springboard and then a front flip neck-breaker to beat McIntyre and pick up the win for him & his girlfriend. Regal & Barrett tried slipping into the ring to get at TJ but he escaped before they could get to him, heading back up the ramp with Natalya, Burchill & Smith, staring back intensely at the furious Brits in the ring. Barrett was seething and went after a microphone.

Winners: TJ Wilson & Natalya Neidhart by pinfall.

Barrett was fuming but told The UK Pack not to get carried away and how they might have their Slammy for Tag Team of the Year, which he said he wasn’t sure which combination it actually went to before saying that he hopes the Slammy is consolation enough when he & McIntyre take their titles and bring their year long run to an end, promising to do just that. “Britannia” hit again as The UK Pack defiantly raised their titles at the top of the stage with The Empire watching on angrily from the ring.

{Commercial Break}

*Match #6*
Non-Title Match
Matt Sydal w/Mickie James vs. Dolph Ziggler

Sydal didn’t have it easy against Ziggler who wasn’t downbeat after his disappointment in the World Championship tournament final last week. He gave Sydal a real battle and came close to earning the victory when he ducked an attempted enzuigiri and followed it up with a leg drop bulldog at rapid speed. The United States Champion kicked out though, not going down well with the pissed off Ziggler. He stood up and urged his opponent to get up, taunting him to do so as he stalked him for the Zig Zag. Dolph was bursting to hit it, but as he went for it, Sydal snuck away to safety and then came back off the ropes to take him down with a spinning wheel kick.

As they both then made their way up, Sydal went to the corner, climbing up to the top rope and connected with a double knee takedown, holding onto Ziggler’s legs for the cover. Dolph kicked out, but as he made his way back up, this time he didn’t escape the enzuigiri into a head-scissors takedown. The King of the Ring had Ziggler where he wanted him and went up top for the Shooting Star Press, but he didn’t count on Alberto Del Rio-Ramirez walking down the ramp. His Night of Champions opponent got his attention and Sydal looked towards him with concern, forgetting about Ziggler lying beneath him.

The Mexican gestured towards Sydal, allowing Ziggler time to come round, and by the time Sydal went for the Shooting Star Press, Ziggler had time to bring his knees up into the gut of the United States Champion. Ziggler jumped up in a flash and grabbed the staggering Sydal to plant him with the Zig Zag, pulling him away from the ropes to make the cover and pick up somewhat of a shock win, met with a big smile on Del Rio-Ramirez’s face. Dolph got his arm raised and quickly left the ring all smug, taunting the fans as the Mexican then walked round to the timekeeper’s table. He grabbed a microphone and Sydal’s title as Mickie slipped into the ring to check on her boyfriend as he tried to sit up.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler by pinfall.

The slimy Mexican coolly entered the ring and walked towards the squirming King of the Ring, telling him to say goodbye to his United States title before dropping the belt and the microphone to lock in the deadly arm-bar submission hold to a ton of heat. Mickie was screaming at him to get off and tried to drag him off of Sydal, just about managing to eventually, infuriating Del Rio-Ramirez. He stood up and got right in Mickie’s face, starting to worry her slightly as he shouted at her and then grabbed her arm as she tried to slap him. Sydal though saw what was going on and grabbed his foot, but the Mexican turned round and kicked him right in the face with his other boot. He let go of Mickie and just stared down at him before turning back at Mickie, giving her a menacing stare before leaving the ring to a ton of heat from the Montana crowd, stopping and looking back as Sydal sat up furiously in the ring.

{Commercial Break}

>2 Days!<

Cole & Striker ran through the card for Sunday night, starting with the Raw side of things and the WWE Championship 3 Stages of Hell match. Cole said that the first fall would be a No Holds Barred match, the second a Tables match and the final fall if needed would be a Last Man Standing match. He & Striker weren’t sure who the stipulations favoured but were in agreement that Triple H would be a fool to believe he was going to retain the title he only won six weeks ago at Survivor Series. Striker said that these rules would indeed allow The Animal to be unleashed, but that The Game is one of the most resourceful superstars in these situations and that either of them could win, saying that it won’t be pretty but one hell of a must see contest.

Cole talked about how Queen Kong is probably the most dominant diva he’s ever seen and that Melina has arguably the toughest challenge of all the champions when she defends against the undefeated monster that is Kong. Striker agreed with Cole and said that he couldn’t see how Melina was going to be able to win the match, even after saying he was a fan of the Women’s Champion, although he didn’t think that would be a title she’d hold for much longer.

Cole spoke of his admiration for Rey Mysterio & Mystico as a unit but said that he couldn’t help but agree with Christopher Daniels’ & Kaval’s claims that they are unfortunate not to be World Tag Team Champions given how they were the only team to qualify for the tournament. He did say that they had the chance to make up for that when they challenge the Mexican high flyers for the titles, and Striker said that the bottom line is Rey & Mystico won the tournament final at Survivor Series and that The Epitome of Excellence would have to beat them to earn the right to be champions.

Cole said that he was looking forward to seeing the Intercontinental title clash between Kofi Kingston & Sheamus, stating his belief that if Kofi can shake off everything that’s happened with his brother, Jay in recent weeks, he can do what only he’s done in Sheamus’s career and beat The Celtic Warrior to regain the title he lost in controversial circumstances to Ted DiBiase at SummerSlam. Striker agreed with Cole in his belief that Kofi was able to beat Sheamus given how big a heart he has, saying he would need every last bit of fight if he was going to come through what will be a tough match against the big Irishman.

Both Cole & Striker said they hoped justice would be done and that the makeshift champions, Paul Burchill & TJ Wilson came through against The Empire, talking about how hypocritical & underhand The Empire have been since coming to Smackdown. Cole said he believed they would be the opposite of what they claim to be in role models as WWE Tag Team Champions but how he had a bad feeling that they might just have something up their sleeve to end the year long run of The UK Pack. Striker said he wouldn’t put anything past The Empire either but was highly positive about how united the makeshift champions are, which they proved earlier on, going onto say that if they can fight as they did earlier, he believes they’ll retain the gold come Sunday.

Cole spoke about how Matt Sydal, like The UK Pack has had an incredible year, but how determined Alberto Del Rio-Ramirez is to end it on a bad note by taking the United States Championship. Striker said that the King of the Ring was in for a battle and after what happened earlier, he knows he’ll be in one against someone in Del Rio-Ramirez who is hell bent and on a mission to take the United States title to Mexico.

Cole was very positive about The Glamazon but said he had a feeling that Michelle McCool will do anything she can to win the divas title, telling the audience that he doesn’t trust her one bit and that Beth will need to be careful when she steps inside the ring with her Sunday evening. Striker also spoke of McCool’s determination & ‘resourcefulness’, believing that The Glamazon might well need eyes in the back of her head if she wants to retain her title.

Cole & Striker said they were both looking forward to seeing Red & Chavo meet in the Falls Count Anywhere match and how it should be one of the most hotly contested battles of the night given their history. Striker said that he knows Chavo very well and that as angry as we’ve seen him at failing to beat Red and the Cruiserweight Champion’s quick success, it will be eating him up even more inside, making him desperate to finally beat his former rookie. Cole said that Red’s rise to the top of the cruiserweight division has been incredibly quick but highly deserved, making sure everyone was aware that he’s beaten Chavo in each of their matches, making him the favourite for this one too, to which Striker was sceptical.

Both Cole & Striker said they simply couldn’t wait to see John Cena & CM Punk lock horns one-on-one for the World Heavyweight Championship and could only look forward to seeing just how much they beat the hell out of each other. Neither could pick a winner and said that they’re both as determined as each other but that Punk has a point to prove, even though he’s the champion, it’s Cena who really has nothing to lose. Cole said that Punk has backed himself into a corner with his criticism of Cena and how much the win will mean to him and the locker room, putting a lot of pressure on his own shoulders to beat Cena and retain his title. Cole went onto say that he’s seen Cena fight his way to big title victories on the biggest stages in sports entertainment and how he won’t be fazed by the occasion, speculating as to whether Punk will be able to.

*The Main Event*
John Cena vs. Edge

Like Punk, Cena went up against an opponent who wasn’t there to make up the numbers. The Rated-R Superstar was intent on beating Cena and looked like he might just do it, dodging the Five Knuckle Shuffle and racing up to his feet to hit the Edge-O-Matic. Cena got his shoulder up but Edge was desperate to get the win, falling short with a missile dropkick and then an Edgecution. He was quickly getting very angry and stalked Cena for a Spear, but as he ran at him, Cena countered with a drop toe hold to lock in the STFU to a loud mixed reception. Edge held on for dear life, flat out refusing to tap. Cena furiously kept the pressure applied, but to his credit, The Rated-R Superstar fought his way to the ropes. Cena didn’t want to let go of the hold but had no chance and quickly shifted gear, getting ready for an F-U.

Edge though fought his way down and pushed Cena forward, accidentally into the referee before Cena down with a reverse DDT, but there was nobody to make the count, leaving Edge furious. He couldn’t believe it and eventually retreated to the corner, once again getting ready to take Cena down with the Spear. To everyone’s shock, ”If You Close Your Eyes” hit and Christian walked out to the stage to a deafening pop. He stared down intently at the stunned Edge, then charged down the ramp with Edge getting ready to throw himself at him. Christian slid in the ring and ducked a wild clothesline before slugging it out with his brother who put him on the shelf at Survivor Series, and it was Captain Charisma who managed to do what Edge couldn’t and hit a Spear.

His music hit again as he glared down at his brother just lying there before leaving the ring, still not satisfied as he headed back up the ramp and to the back as Cena sat up in a state of confusion, seeing Edge and the referee down. The crowd then booed as CM Punk raced down the ramp and slid in the ring behind Cena, and as Cena then turned round, Punk took his head off with the world title they’ll be fighting for Sunday at Night of Champions. ”This Fire Burns” then hit as Punk stood over Cena with a smirk on his face, raising his title up in the air, laughing into the crowd as Tazz & Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley were then shown watching it in the back in his office, not looking too happy as the camera went back to the all smiling World Champion standing over Cena to end the show.

Result: No Contest

{End of Show}

Quick Results

Bryan Danielson, Paul London & Brian Kendrick df. Jimmy Yang, Sonjay Dutt & Super Crazy
Michelle McCool
df. Mickie James
df. Johnny Jeter
CM Punk
df. Shawn Michaels
TJ Wilson & Natalya Neidhart
df. Drew McIntyre & Katie Lee
Dolph Ziggler
df. Matt Sydal
John Cena
NC. Edge

Superstars Tapings
Elijah Burke & Layla df.Chris Masters & Jillian Hall


>Confirmed for Night of Champions<

Night of Champions Homepage

Sunday December 21st 2008 (2 Days)
Location: Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland, Ohio)

World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena vs. CM Punk (c)

WWE Championship
3 Stages of Hell
Batista vs. Triple H (c)

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus (c)

WWE United States Championship
Matt Sydal (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio-Ramirez

WWE Tag Team Championship
Paul Burchill & TJ Wilson (c) vs. The Empire

World Tag Team Championship
Rey Mysterio & Mystico (c) vs. The Epitome of Excellence

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Falls Count Anywhere
J-Red (c) vs. Chavo Guerrero

WWE Women’s Championship
Melina (c) vs. Queen Kong

WWE Divas Championship
Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Michelle McCool

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