~Monday Night Raw~
April 9th, 2007
"You… just lost your smile."
We open with a recap video of last week's main issue, the confrontations between Rob Van Dam, John Cena, Mr. McMahon and Bobby Lashley. We start with the showdown in the ring between Van Dam and Cena, with Cena asking Van Dam to grant him the rematch he never got after losing the WWE Championship. While Van Dam is receptive, Mr. McMahon produces the contract the two signed before their match at the Royal Rumble, which of course had a no rematch clause in it, meaning there will be no chance of the two meeting for the title. Fast forward to the main event, where the team of Lashley and Kenny Dykstra have Cena and 'RVD' well in control, with Dykstra looking to set to grab the biggest win of his career... until Carlito storms to the ring, steel chair in hand! After seeing Dykstra chased away, Lashley is a sitting duck as Cena hits the FU, then Van Dam lands the five star frog splash for the victory, an awkward sense of respect between Van Dam and his would be challenger Cena as the video fades to black.
And now it's straight into the arena, where no noise is heard apart from the quiet buzz of the crowd... until
*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*
An outpouring of heat as 'The Chairman of the Board' Mr. McMahon
leads out his troops. The menacing looking Bobby Lashley
isn't far from Vince's side, cracking his knuckles as he looks towards the fans in disdain, with Shane McMahon
and Brooke Adams
bringing up the rear...
Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome you to Monday Night Raw. We are comin' to you live from the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, and we're not wastin' any time folks. There you see 'The Chairman of the Board', Mr. McMahon himself, and after what we saw in last week's main event, you know 'The Boss' ain't gonna be happy right now.
When is he ever happy!? Last week, it looked like Kenny Dykstra had Rob Van Dam exactly where he wanted 'im, and the Intercontinental Champion was all set to deliver a huge victory for The McMahons. But it was Carlito who came to the rescue, lookin' to get him some of Kenny and the witch who broke his heart at WrestleMania, Torrie Wilson.
And off the back of Carlito getting' involved last week, Mr. McMahon has announced a huge matchup for tonight. Carlito is goin' one on one with Bobby Lashley! What a match that's gonna be.
We've got a big night ahead of us, that's for sure. We are hopin' to find out if Shawn Michaels is gonna accept the challenge from Triple H for the two to meet in a No Holds Barred Match at Backlash, but after last week, I still don't know which way Michaels is gonna go. Mickie James meets the woman who jumped her from behind last week, Victoria, in non-title action, and I'm sure 'The Glamazon' Beth Phoenix is gonna be on hand for that one. Plus, we're gonna determine who will challenge The World's Greatest Tag Team at Backlash for the World Tag Team Championships, as four
teams collide to become the new number one contenders. But right now, let's hear from 'The Devil Himself', Mr. McMahon...
The heat continues as the group enter the ring, with Vince calling for a mic. As his music stops, the boos carry on, but McMahon simply rolls his eyes and shakes his head, having heard it all before...
Alright, alright, that's enough of that now. I'm very busy man, I don't have a lotta time, so I'm gonna make this real simple. Simple enough that even you morons from Virginia can understand.
Cheap heat, but it's effective as the crowd boo once again...
I'll make this real simple... as simple as I thought I made myself to Rob Van Dam and John Cena last week. Rob Van Dam and John Cena, they want to face each other for the WWE Championship. That’s what they want… but that’s not what they’re gonna get. I’m not letting those two ego-maniacs run my show. They don’t make the rules around here, they don’t make title matches… I do.
Small amount of heat…
Rob Van Dam may be the WWE Champion, but becoming WWE Champion doesn’t give you the right to pick and choose who you’re gonna face. That right solely rests… with me.
Vince points squarely to his own chest as a hushed silence crosses the arena…
So let me make this clear, once and for all. Rob Van Dam, John Cena, the WWE Championship… there is no… chance… in hell… of that happening anytime soon.
More heat, which Vince simply shrugs off…
But last week I told Rob Van Dam that I would name the next number one contender for the WWE Championship at a time of my choosing. And that time… is right now.
Vince turns over his shoulder, a quick glance at Lashley, the two nodding to each other in anticipation of the worse kept secret in the world being announced…
At Backlash, it’s time for the WWE Championship to come back under McMahon control. It’s time to take the most prestigious prize in all of sports entertainment away from some former ECW riff-raff, and put it back in the hands of a real champion. A champion that me, my family, you people, and more importantly, the entire WWE can be proud of.
Brooke turns and applauds Lashley, the camera focusing in on him as he cracks the knuckles of his right hand, the crowd heat starting to pick up again…
So Rob Van Dam, you will
defend the WWE Championship at Backlash, -and you’re gonna defend it against this
*MY TIME IS NOW…*
A massively loud, mixed response, although the cheers outweigh the boos as John Cena
interrupts. Cena stops at the top of the stage, staring out at the fans, before he looks down the ramp at the ring, shaking his head with a little laugh to himself before he races down the ramp and dives into the ring. It’s a bold move from Cena, outnumbered four to one, but he holds his hands out in a show of peace, keeping an eye on Lashley in particular as he calls for a mic. Cena is all smiles as he waits for the crowd to die down, and when they do, Cena once again holds out a hand to show he isn’t here for a fight before he starts to speak…
Easy there guys, easy. I ain’t out here to start to a fight. I ain’t out here for trouble… I’m just out here to save all these people from the worse announcement in the history of Monday Night Raw.
You call yourself a great business man, you call yourself the greatest business mind in the history of this business… you ain’t nowhere near that. A great business man listens to the fans. A great business man gives the people what they want, and you better believe, these people don’t want Bobby Lashley anywhere the WWE Championship.
Another pop, the fans very much in agreement with Cena…
That ain’t want the people want… that’s what you want. And I thin last week, Rob Van Dam made it pretty clear, it ain’t what he wants either. So if you ain’t gonna announce me as number one contender… how ‘bout you let me earn it?
Cena closes in on Vince, looking deep into McMahon’s eyes…
You wanna name Bobby Lashley the number one contender? Well how ‘bout you have him earn it… against me?
And now Cena steps towards Lashley, the pair staring at each other, before Cena breaks away and turns to the crowd…
What d’ya say Hampton? Tonight, live on Monday Night Raw, John Cena, Bobby Lashley, the WrestleMania XXIII rematch, and the winner faces Rob Van Dam at Backlash for the WWE Championship!?
A loud cheer breaks out, with the fans very much wanting to see Cena and Lashley go at it tonight. Lashley it appears is also game, even taking a few steps towards Cena, but Vince puts a hand across his chest, shaking his head with a chuckle, with Lashley putting on the breaks…
Ah Cena… what’s the matter John? Too many shots to the head? What don’t you understand Cena? What are you not getting? You and Rob Van Dam… it’s never
gonna happen. It can’t happen. Because this – Ms. Adams, if you would…
Just like last week, Brooke pulls a file of papers from her clipboard and hands it over to Vince…
THIS… is an iron clad contract. In it, it states that the match featuring John Cena and Rob Van Dam at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship, was a one-time only affair. No rematch, Cena. You signed it, Rob Van Dam signed it, you both agreed to those terms. And let me assure you Cena, I am a great business man ‘cause I always get my way. And this piece of paper right here says I’m gonna get what I want… and there’s nothin’ you… or Rob Van Dam… can do about it.
Vince sneers, feeling that he has Cena exactly where he wants him, as Cena over-exaggerates a wince, taking off his cap to scratch his head…
I had a feelin’ you might say somethin’ like that. And you’re absolutely right. I signed that contract, so did Rob. But… there’s somebody backstage who’s got somethin’ to say about it all. And I think you oughta hear her out…
There isn’t much of a pop as Linda McMahon
makes her way down the ramp, but the camera quickly cuts to Vince, who facepalms and shakes his head in frustration, as it looks like once again his wife is about to interfere in his business. As Linda climbs up the steps, Cena holds open the middle rope, allowing the C.E.O. to enter the ring, and he then hands his microphone over to her…
Thank you, John. Hello Vince, Shane. It’s a shame that I’ve-
Now wait just a minute, Linda!
Heat, with Linda rolling her eyes as Vince appears ready to go on a rant…
What’s the meaning of this, huh? You stuck your nose in my business before WrestleMania, and I’m not about to let that happen again. You belong back and in the boardroom with the rest of the suits, Linda. This is not your world, this is not your business! Now I don’t know what kinda game you and Cena are tryin’ to pull here, but it’s not gonna work, not this time! So Linda… I want you to head back up that ramp, take Cena with you, because the matter is closed.
Stern faced, Vince points up the ramp, with Shane even stepping forward to try usher his mother from the ring. Cena takes a few steps to stand behind Linda, showing the pair aren’t going anywhere, with Vince adjusting his tie in a show of authority before he carries on…
And as I was about to say, before I was so rudely interrupted… the new number one contender… and the next WWE Champion… Bobby-
Vince’s eyes nearly bulge out of his head as he’s interrupted once again, the crowd letting out a pop…
Let me remind you of one thing. I am your wife, and this is a family business, which means I really think you should hear what I have to say.
Vince turns his head away, muttering under his breath, rubbing his forehead in irritation at the situation infront of him…
Now, as I was saying. It’s a shame I had to come back to Raw under such circumstances. But I’m afraid Vince that there have been some… concerns, shall we say… about the way you’ve been conducting your business lately. Not only am I concerned by your recent actions Vince… but so are the WWE Board of Directors.
Vince suddenly perks up, confusion on his face as he wonders where Linda is going with this…
From your suspension of Joey Styles, to Lashley’s assault of ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, a man who was here under the capacity of a WWE official, to appointing yourself as the Special Guest Referee at WrestleMania XXIII, both myself and the Board of Directors feel that you, Vince… have seriously abused your power lately.
And now that confusion starts to turn to a look of concern…
So much so, that an emergency board meeting was called earlier today back at WWE headquarters. I have flew down here to Hampton to deliver the results to you personally.
You can’t have a board meeting without me! I’m Vince McMahon, I’m ‘The Chairman of the Board’, dammit!
Vince reacts furiously, getting right in his wife’s face as he starts to shout, but Cena steps forward, causing Vince to back away…
Well, I’m sorry, Vince. But this decision was taken out of your hands. A board meeting was called… and a vote was taken. A vote… on you, Vince. And as much as it pains me to say this to my own husband… the vote resulted… in a vote of no confidence in your abilities to lead this company.
The crowd cheer loudly as Vince’s face starts to drain…
And a motion was put forward, and seconded… that you be removed from your position of power here on Monday Night Raw.
And there’s that trademark gulp from Vince…
But… the vote wasn’t carried, unanimously. You obviously still have some friends in high places, Vince. It was decided that next week, the WWE Board of Directors will be here, live on Monday Night Raw, for another emergency board meeting, where you’ll be allowed to plead your case.
It’s a reluctant look on Linda’s face as she speaks, with Cena even shaking his head slightly…
And IF you can gain a majority in the next vote… you might be allowed to remain in control here on Raw.
And if not?
But now Linda starts to smile…
If not? Then your days in power, both here on Raw and the WWE in general… are over.
The crowd cheer loudly for the prospect of a WWE free of Vince, with Cena seen encouraging the crowd to make some noise in the background…
And as for tonight Vince, I plan on sticking around to make sure you don’t make any… rash
Vince turns away, a furious scowl on his face, before he snaps his head back around to growl towards his wife…
You… you’re gonna regret this, Linda. You’re gonna regret this! You went behind my back to the Board of Directors! But it’s not gonna work! They’re gonna realise that after all I’ve done for this company, after all the money I’ve made over the years, they’re gonna know what’s good for ‘em, and I’m gonna wipe the floor with you in that boardroom next week! And as for you Cena…
Vince aggressively points at Cena, who stands firm in a show of defiance…
I’m still in control tonight. I’m still ‘The Boss’ around here! And that means I still call the shots! That’s why right now Cena, you’re gonna be in a match… with the Intercontinental Champion, Kenny Dykstra!
*IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW…*
All eyes turn up the ramp as the always cocky Kenny Dykstra
steps out, sunglasses on with a t-shirt that reads “Future H.o.F.er” across the chest. Torrie Wilson
is also there, dressed in black, looking as sultry as ever, Raw’s newest power couple heading down to the ring. In the ring, Cena and Linda angrily look towards Vince, who simply sneers as he heads for the ropes, Shane and Brooke quickly following, while Lashley lingers, brushing past Cena, the two sharing a tense stare before Lashley finally leaves…
Wow. What a way to kick off Raw. Next week, the WWE Board of Directors are gonna be here on Raw, and they’re gonna decide the fate of Mr. McMahon!
Next week, that could be one of the most important nights in WWE history! Mr. McMahon… he could be fired!
A huge announcement from Linda McMahon indeed, but right now, John Cena is gonna take on Kenny Dykstra. That’s gonna be a heck of a matchup, and we’re gonna see it when we return, live to Monday Night Raw!
Match 1: Non-Title Match
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra
w/ Torrie Wilson vs. John Cena
We return just in time to hear the bell ring, the two men circling briefly before they come together for a collar and elbow tie up. After jockeying for position, Dykstra wrenches Cena in for a standing side headlock, but Cena shoves Dykstra off the ropes… only for Dykstra to bowl Cena over with a shoulderblock! A gasp emanates from the fans, with Dykstra looking smug, pleased with himself as he nods to the crowd, before he then races off the ropes… but Cena drops down, Dykstra running over the top… then Cena avoids him with a leapfrog… before he sends Dykstra flying with a hiptoss! Dykstra scrambles for the corner, telling Cena to back away, the youngster rattled, but Cena is more than willing to ease up as he allows Dykstra to step out. The two tie up once again, and this time it’s Cena who gets the standing headlock on, wrenching on the hold as Dykstra tries to break free. As before, Dykstra shoves Cena into the ropes… and Cena runs him over with a shoulderblock! There’s no posing from Cena through as he quickly heads for the ropes… but Dykstra drops down, Cena running over the top… then he avoids Cena with a leapfrog… but Cena puts on the breaks… and takes Dykstra down with a headlock takedown! Cena out smartens the youngster, with Dykstra slapping the canvas in frustration.
Cena is in control as both men rise, and again Dykstra is able to shove Cena off the ropes… but Cena ducks a clothesline… then comes off the ropes with a flying shoulderblock! Both men spring up… a second flying shoulderblock! Dykstra is reeling, and here comes Cena… third flying shoulderblock… no! Dykstra drops to the canvas… and Cena crashes to the mat! Cena is down, but Dykstra doesn’t waste anytime… baseball slide… sends Cena crashing to the floor! With Torrie shouting some abuse at Cena, Dykstra heads outside, grabbing Cena… then smashing him face first off the steel steps! Cena slumps to the floor, but Dykstra doesn’t waste any time in getting Cena back in the ring, following in for the first near fall of the match. Dykstra now begins to target Cena’s head and neck, aiming a pair of boots to the head, but the arrogance of the youngster shines through as he holds his arms out to the fans… and this allows Cena to strike, landing right after right, backing Dykstra to the corner, where he goes for the Irish whip… and Cena follows in… boot to the face! Cena stumbles away, and here comes Dykstra… snap swinging neckbreaker! Dykstra crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Cena kicks out.
Dykstra continues to target the neck, dropping elbows to the back of the head, before Dykstra wrenches on a chinlock, looking to apply pressure to the head. With Torrie encouraging him, Dykstra wrenches on the hold tightly, determined to wear Cena down, but eventually the crowd try to rally Cena back into the match, and Cena obliges as he struggles back to his feet. Cena drives a pair of elbows to the midsection, then a right hand to the head finally breaks the hold, with Cena going for an Irish whip… but Dykstra ducks his clothesline… falling neckbreaker! Dykstra takes Cena down, rolls him over to hook the leg… 1… 2… Cena kicks out! Dykstra glares at the ref, demanding the three count, but he quickly gets back to action as he lands more forearms to the back of the head, then sends Cena off the ropes… into a SLEEPER HOLD! Dykstra locks the hold on tight, wrenching back and forth, determined to make Cena submit… but out of nowhere, Cena takes Dykstra up on his shoulders… FU… NO!
Dykstra drops down behind… and takes Cena down with a rollup! 1… 2… Cena kicks out… and the force sends Dykstra to the ropes… Cena catches him with a sitout hiptoss! Dykstra is back up, but here comes Cena… flying shoulderblock! Dykstra is back up… a second flying shoulderblock puts him down! This time Cena doesn’t go for a third, instead he waits for Dykstra to rise… PROTOBOMB! Cena plants Dykstra, and now he looks out to the crowd, before he gets in Dykstra’s face… “You can’t see me!”… FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE!
Cena is back on his feet, waiting for Dykstra to rise, looking to put him away… only for Torrie to jump up onto the apron! The referee and Cena both turn, distracted by Torrie’s presence, and this allows Dykstra to rise… and catch Cena from behind… JUMPING REVERSE STO!!
Dykstra plants Cena head first into the canvas, rolls him over, hooks the leg… but Torrie is a little late in dropping down to the canvas, and it takes an age for the referee to finally turn… 1… 2… Cena rolls a shoulder! Dykstra can’t believe it, Cena kicked out! Dykstra is furious, bursting back to his feet, getting right in the referee’s face, screaming at him that it should’ve been three, but the referee confirms it was only two. With Cena still down, Dykstra sees a chance to put him away once and for all, as he heads for the corner and climbs upstairs… then readies himself… before he flies… SKY HIGH LEGDROP… NO!!
Cena rolls to safety, and Dykstra crashes to the canvas! Both men are hurt, and takes an age for them to rise, but when they do, a slugfest breaks out, until Cena rattles off three rights in a row, backing Dykstra to the corner. Cena goes for an Irish whip… but when he follows in, Dykstra uses the ropes to elevate himself over Cena… no! Cena catches him on his shoulder, drags him to the centre of the ring… FU!!
Cena plants Kenny, and he crawls over to hook the leg for the 1… 2… 3!
Winner: John Cena @ 08.37
Another career enhancing performance from Dykstra, but Cena is just too much as he puts the young champion away. Rolling back to his knees, Cena picks himself up from the canvas, his hand raised by the referee. Cena takes a look down at Dykstra, then takes a quick glance at Torrie, before he drops outside and slaps a few hands with the crowd, heading back up the ramp as we go to a commercial.
We open to the cold, dark eyes of Shawn Michaels, staring blankly into the camera, his face the only light on the screen beneath the black cowboy hat that is pulled down low over his brow, the frame slowly moving from one side of his face across to the other...
Triple H: I... have been wronged...
We cut to the footage of Michaels cracking 'The Game' with a steel chair, a dramatic boom ringing out as the chair makes contact...
John Cena: Had sins committed against me...
A dark red glow engulfs the screen as we see footage of Shane McMahon smack a chair of Cena's head, another boom on impact...
Rob Van Dam: Witnessed travesties of justice.
Van Dam is struck with the sweet chin music...
Randy Orton: I fought without fear of consequence...
Orton drops Ric Flair with the RKO...
Bobby Lashley: I caused immense pain and suffering...
Lashley runs through Cena with a massive spear inside the steel cage at Saturday Night's Main Event...
Kenny Dykstra: And on this night...
Dykstra brings a chair down on the skull of Jeff Hardy for a sickening one man con-chair-to...
Carlito: On 'dis night...
Dykstra flies through the air to land the sky high legdrop on 'Lito...
Shawn Michaels: But on this night...
And we end once again on the cold glare of Michaels, staying on his face as he utters the words....
”Thy Backlash shall be felt...”
"WWE BACKLASH – APRIL 29TH - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"
*End Video Package*
And as we return from the commercial, we see Linda McMahon once more, this time walking backstage. It appears Linda has a target in mind, and it seems like she’s found it as she starts to slow down, with the camera zooming out… to reveal Randy Orton leaning against a wall, talking to some random female backstage worker. Orton has his arms crossed, the Money in the Bank briefcase resting on a nearby table, his back to Linda…
Orton turns his head over his shoulder, spotting Linda, rolling his eyes in annoyance. Orton turns back to the female he was talking with, but at least has the courtesy to give Linda response…
Linda… can I help you with something?
I was wondering if I could have a word with you… alone
Orton rubs his chin in frustration, motioning with his head for his female companion to vacate the area. She does so, and Orton now turns towards Linda, arms folded across his chest, an annoyed look on his face…
And what can I do for you, Mrs. McMahon? I mean, what could me and you possibly have to discuss? Unless of course, it’s the fact that despite what John Cena thinks… and despite what your husband thinks… Rob Van Dam should be facing me
at Backlash… and you’re here to tell me that you agree, and I get a shot at the WWE Championship. If that’s what you’re here to tell me… then I’m all ears.
Linda shakes her head…
Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, Randy, but no, that’s not why I’m here. If you want a WWE Title match, then I suggest you cash in your Money in the Bank privileges. But, it’s actually that briefcase I can here to talk to you about.
Orton raises his eyebrows, listening intently…
Randy, that briefcase guarantees you a shot at any championship whenever you see fit. It is not
to be used as a weapon, like you used it on Jeff Hardy last week.
Pop from inside the arena…
Infact, the WWE Board of Directors wanted me to make it clear to you that repeated use of that briefcase as a weapon could lead to you being stripped of your Money in the Bank title opportunity.
And another pop, but Orton simply smirks at Linda’s words…
With all due respect, Mrs. McMahon… you and your precious Board of Directors… you don’t want to threaten me. ‘Cause when you threaten me, you make me angry. And you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. I’m not afraid of you and your family, and I’m not gonna be intimidated by you and your board. You think you can take this briefcase away from me?
Orton shakes his head…
Not a chance. There’s not a court or lawyer in this whole country who can force me to give this up. So why don’t you go back to your board and you tell them… that unless it’s to offer me a shot at Rob Van Dam and the WWE Championship at Backlash… then I’m not interested. Do you understand me?
Orton now steps forward, towering over Linda, with the C.E.O. taking a step backwards in intimidation…
Both Orton and Linda now look off camera, with the camera panning to reveal… it’s Jeff Hardy! A strong cheer breaks out from inside the arena as Hardy, the man Orton struck with the briefcase last week, steps into the shot…
What the hell is wrong with you man? You don’t threaten women like that. Hell, if you wanna threaten somebody… threaten me.
Jeff now steps forward, stepping in-between Orton and Linda, the two male superstars practically going nose-to-nose…
You better back off, Hardy. This has nothin’ to do with you. You don’t want me to smack this briefcase off your skull again, do you? Don’t think this little threat is gonna stop me from layin’ you out again.
Hardy smirks, remembering fully what happened to him last week, still clearly annoyed at the cheap fashion in which their match ended last week…
Well y’know what, man? You might not think there’s a lawyer or court that can take that briefcase away from you… but I’m pretty sure you put it on the line… I’ll take it away from you. What do you think of that, Mrs. McMahon?
Linda ponders, nodding her head in agreement, the crowd vocal from inside the arena that Jeff’s suggestion should be carried through…
I think that sounds like a great idea, Jeff. But, in the interest of fairness, and to prove that I can make decisions that are fair and balanced, unlike my husband, I’m willing to let you earn what you want, Randy. I think that it’s only fair that tonight, you compete in a match Randy, where if you win, you’ll get your shot at the WWE Championship at Backlash.
Orton smiles, almost surprised that it seems like he’s gotten his way after all…
Linda McMahon: But
… if you lose… you’ll have to defend that Money in the Bank briefcase at Backlash… against Jeff Hardy.
Loud pop from the crowd, as Orton rubs his chin, thinking Linda’s offer over carefully…
Alright, alright I accept. So… who’s my opponent tonight? Jeff again? It doesn’t matter if I don’t use this briefcase, the outcome’s still going to be the same. You’re still gonna end up looking at the lights, Hardy.
Orton smirks again, his arrogance shining through…
No, not Jeff. Your opponent tonight is going to be… the WWE Champion, Rob – Van – Dam!
A massive pop, with Linda turning to look at Jeff, Hardy nodding very much in approval of tonight’s match and it’s stipulation…
Good luck tonight Randy. Good evening Jeff.
Linda turns and walks off screen, leaving Hardy behind, rubbing his hands in anticipation, before he too turns and heads off screen. Orton is left behind on his own, anger on his face, rubbing his jaw in annoyance, before he snatches his briefcase off the table and exits the scene in the opposite direction.
And we now cut to a locker room, a loud, strong pop from inside the arena as we see Triple H sat on a steel chair, wrapping tape around his fists, gearing up for his match tonight Trips finishes off one hand, but before he can start on the second, a shadow is cast over him, with Triple H and the camera looking up… to see Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley standing before him! The crowd is shocked, unsure of how to react, just like Triple H, clearly surprised to see his ‘wife’ is in the arena tonight. ‘The Game’ stands up, the two sharing an awkward few seconds before Trips speaks…
What the hell are you doin' here?
Well, Hunter, that's certainly no way to talk to your wife
, now is it?
Triple H has a little laugh to himself, with the smarks in the arena laughing also. It's 2007, kayfabe is dead people...
But if you must know, I flew in with Mom. I'm here to support her. She's gonna need all the help she can get next week in the board room against Dad.
A look of concern now crosses Stephanie's face...
But I also need to talk to you, Hunter. I uh... I don't really know how to say this but... I'm worried. I'm really worried about this match you have lined up with Shawn. I mean... we've known Shawn a long time. And I've never seen him like this before. Never. He's... he's changed.
Reluctantly, Hunter nods in agreement, sighing deeply as he does so...
You're damn right he's changed. It's like he's not even the same person anymore. He's not the Shawn Michaels I remember. But if anybody's gonna smack some sense into 'im... it's gonna be me.
The crowd pop, while an exasperated Stephanie rubs her forehead...
But that's just it. What if you don't smack some sense into him? I mean... I'm scared to even look at Shawn right now. It's like he's a man possessed. And you want to challenge him to a No Holds Barred Match? What if something happens to you? What if he... what if he hurts you... badly
? You heard what he said. He wants to take you out. He wants to hurt you, he wants to break you so you can never compete again. What if that happens? What if... what if he gets his way?
'The Game' narrows his eyes, a mix of anger and disbelief at the words of his wife...
You startin' to doubt me now, Steph? You don't think I can get the job done? Let me remind you of one thing... I am 'The Game'. I am 'The Cerebral Assassin'. People call me that, 'cause I put people of the shelf. And if I've gotta break Shawn's body to break his spirit, if I've gotta send him home to his wife and kids to finally make 'im realise what the hell he's doin'... then that's what I'm gonna do.
A pop from inside the arena is quickly cut off as Steph loudly responds...
Oh, Hunter, please! Listen to yourself! Nobody is tryin' to tell you you're not 'The Game', nobody is sayin' you're not the best in the business. But just remember one thing. You've not only got me for a wife... you've also got our daughter to consider. You've got a family to think about. Just think about what would happen if you got hurt, that's all I'm saying.
Steph reaches out, placing a reassuring hand on her husband's arm...
Hunter, please... don't agree to a No Holds Barred Match tonight. Don't go looking for answers to your challenge. If you wanna get back at Shawn... then find another way. But please don't step into the ring with him at Backlash. I've just...
Steph turns away, almost choking back tears...
I've just got a feeling that something really bad is gonna happen.
The usually stoic, stoney face of 'The Game' starts to show a hint of emotion, as he lowers his head to stare at the floor, unable to look into his wife's eyes. Realising the pain he's causing her, yet still determined to gain revenge on Michaels, Triple H lifts his head up, shaking it slightly as the pair's eyes meet...
You just don't get it, Steph. The guy was my best friend for all those years. And now look at 'im. Look at what he's become. He's sick, twisted, demented, deranged, call it what you want, the guy ain't right in the head! He turned his back on me... and now it's payback time. I promise you... nothin' bad is gonna happen...
Triple H now furrows his brow, looking all business as he says...
A big pop rings out from inside arena, with Stephanie lifting her head up slightly, nodding, reluctantly agreeing with her husband...
I'm callin' him out tonight. I'm sorry, but... I gotta do it.
Struggling with her emotions, Stephanie bits her lower lip, quivering, before she finally looks her husband in the eye...
Hunter... just promise me one thing. At Backlash... it ends. Backlash is the final battle between you two. Win or lose... you let Shawn fix his own life. You promise?
'The Game' nods, prompting Stephanie to move in close, giving her husband a quick kiss on the cheek...
Stay safe tonight. I'll see you when you get home.
And with one final rub of Triple H's arm, Stephanie turns and leaves the dressing room. Triple H watches her go, his face wracked with emotion, but he soon returns to his chair, a stern look of focus on his face as he continues to apply tape to his knuckles, while we head elsewhere.
To see that Maria is standing by for an interview...
Hi! I'm Maria! And joining me at this time, please welcome the WWE Champion... Rob – Van – Dam!
A massive roar breaks out as Rob Van Dam enters the frame, look relaxed as he has the WWE Championship slung across his shoulder. Van Dam stops near Maria, giving the interviewer a quick wink, causing Maria to giggle slightly...
So Rob, I was hoping to get your thoughts on what we heard at the top of the show from Mr. McMahon and John Cena... but I guess first I should ask you for your thoughts on what we just heard from Linda McMahon. Tonight, in our main event, you're gonna take on Randy Orton. If Orton wins, he gets to face you at Backlash for the WWE Championship. If you win, Orton must defend his Money in the Bank briefcase against Jeff Hardy.
Van Dam shrugs his shoulders, not entirely sure of what to say...
Rob Van Dam:
Hey, what can I say? I think it's an awesome
decision by Linda McMahon. I mean, when i won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania XXII, it didn't change anythin' about me. Sure, I knew I had a guaranteed title shot, but I didn't need to use the briefcase as a weapon. I just went out and kicked ass like I always did!
Pop from inside the arena...
Rob Van Dam:
Orton usin' that briefcase to get himself DQ'ed? That's the cowards way out, dude. Y'see, Randy Orton's one o' these guys who likes to talk tough, but when it really comes down to it... he's nothin' but a guy who takes cheap shots to get the easy way out. He doesn't deserve to carry that briefcase around.
Van Dam pauses, thinking things over...
Rob Van Dam:
As for Jeff Hardy, Jeff's a great guy. I gotta admit, I watched that Money in the Bank Match, and I thought Jeff had it won a couple o' times. If me beatin' Orton tonight helps Jeff get his hands on that briefcase come Backlash... then that's exactly what I'm gonna do.
Van Dam pauses again, becoming more serious...
Rob Van Dam:
This time last year I was Mr. Money in the Bank, and I didn't take any shortcuts or the easy way out. I manned up, I challenged John Cena fair and square, and I beat 'im to become WWE Champion.
Van Dam takes a look down on the title across his shoulder, hoisting it up so that the nameplate glistens in the light...
Rob Van Dam:
And one year later, I'm standin' here as the WWE Champion once again. So tonight, I'm gonna show Randy Orton what it means to be Mr. Money in the Bank... and what it takes to be as good a champion as me, 'RVD'!
Van Dam stops, handing the interview back over to Maria, but our ditzy interviewer doesn't quite grasp this at first, nodding for a few seconds after Van Dam has stopped until she finally catches on...
Oh... OK! So Rob, what did you think about what we heard earlier from Linda McMahon about next week's show? Mr. McMahon is set to plead his case in an emergency board meeting live on Raw, and if the vote from the Board of Directors doesn't go his way... he could be stripped of his power here in the WWE... forever.
Van Dam purses his lips and nods his head, again agreeing with the proposal...
Rob Van Dam:
I think it's about damn time it finally happened to 'im! Vince has been runnin' Raw like it's an expensive toy or somethin'. He doesn't care what the fans want, all he cares bout is himself. If he really cared about the fans, he'd give the people what they wanted last week, that was me and John Cena for the WWE Championship, live on Monday Night Raw!
Rob Van Dam:
That's what Rob Van Dam as WWE Champion is gonna be all about. I'm about givin' the fans what they wanna see. They wanna see me in action, night after night, defendin' this title? Then that's what I wanna give 'im. Except... well, you all heard Vince last week. He ain't cool with it, and I guess I just gotta live by that right now. But if things go the way they should go next week... we won't have to worry about Vince anymore.
Van Dam now turns to the camera, looking to send his message him with a purpose...
Rob Van Dam:
If the Board of Directors have got their heads screwed on straight, they'll do the right thing and kick Vince to the kerb. And then it'll be just like I said last week. I'll put this title up anytime, anywhere, against anybody. John Cena, Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, it doesn't matter who it is, they want a shot, they can have it. All they gotta do, is step into the ring and challenge the WWE Champion... ROB – VAN – DAM!
The arena joins in with Van Dam as he performas that trademark thumb taunt of his, before he again winks at Maria and heads off screen, the camera lingering on Maria as she watches Van Dam leave, before we head back into the arena.
*THIS FIRE BURNS...*
A very warm welcome as The Straight Edge Saints
step out from the back. CM Punk
leads the way, dropping down to a knee, where he taps the invisible watch on his wrist, then holds to the ear of Kelly Kelly
before he and Nick Dinsmore
yell out “It's clobberin' time!” and the trio head down the ramp...
Well folks, it looks like our main event is set. Rob Van Dam and Randy Orton are set to face off, and if Orton wins, he becomes the number one contender to the WWE Championship, and he will face ‘RVD’ at Backlash for the gold! But right now, here comes The Straight Edge Saints, they’re about to compete for the right to go to Backlash to challenge for the World Tag Team Championships, and that happens when we return to Monday Night Raw!
And when we return, The Redneck Wrecking Crew
and Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters
have joined Punk and Dinsmore in the ring, while the music of The Hart Legacy
is playing, as Harry Smith
and Tyson Kidd
help Natalya Niedhart
up onto the apron, before the trio step through the ropes. After some trash talking and jockeying for position, the four teams are now ready to compete, but we’ll have to wait as…
The music of the champs hit, as The World’s Greatest Tag Team
make their entrance, both Charlie Haas
and Shelton Benjamin
dressed in white tracksuits, the champs looking very calm and collected, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be competing tonight…
Welcome back everybody to Monday Night Raw. We’re all set to determine a new set of number one contenders for the World Tag Team Championships, and it seems we’re about to be joined by the champions, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin.
Here they come… Charlie, Shelton, welcome.
Haas and Benjamin approach the announce desk, picking up and placing on a pair of headsets each, before they settle down into nearby chairs…
Nice to have ya’ here, champs.
It is nice for you to have us. You should be thankful we even came out here.
Well why are you guys out here? Is this some kinda scoutin’ mission you’re on? You tryin’ to get an early look at your opponents for Backlash?
We’re tryin’ to see if there’s anythin’ anybody can offer us that catches our eye. You know what we’re all about J.R., we’re tryin’ to drag the tag team division here on Raw up to our level. So let’s see first-hand what they’ve got.
Well we’ve got four young, hungry, exciting teams in there right now. I’m sure you two are gonna be pleasantly surprised when this one’s over…
Match 2: Number One Contenders Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match
Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters w/Melina vs. The Hart Legacy w/Natalya Niedhart vs. The Redneck Wrecking Crew vs. The Straight Edge Saints
The trash talking between the recent rivals continues even after the bell rings, but eventually we wind up with Punk and Masters in the ring to kick us off. The two tie up, with Masters’ strength allowing him to drive Punk to the corner where Nitro stands. The ref calls for a break, which Masters provides… only to then drill Punk with a knee to the gut! Another knee lands, before he goes for an Irish whip across… but Punk reverses… and follows in with a knee to the face! Punk hangs on… bulldog from the corner! Punk quickly tags in Dinsmore, but he stays in the ring to slam Masters to the mat, allowing Dinsmore to come off the second rope… double axe handle connects! Here’s an early cover… 1… 2… Masters kicks out. Dinsmore yanks Masters up, but Masters strikes with a right hand… only to then swing and miss with a second… allowing Dinsmore to connect with an atomic drop… and then knock Masters down with a clothesline! Seeing his partner in trouble, Nitro storms the ring… but runs right into an armdrag! Nitro is reeling as he stumbles against the ropes… clothesline knocks him over and down to the floor! Masters stumbles towards the Hart’s corner, where Smith tags him with a right hand… and then another right sends Masters stumbling into the corner… where he tags Smith into the match!
Masters drops down and rolls outside, with Smith stepping in, he and Dinsmore locking up. Smith overpowers Dinsmore, tagging him with right hands and knees to the midsection, before he goes for the Irish whip… then catches Dinsmore with a belly to belly suplex! Smith crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Dinsmore kicks out. Smith looks to stay on the attack, but Dinsmore sneaks in a right to the face, then fires Smith to the Hart’s corner… and follows in… but he runs into a boot to the face! Smith tags in Kidd, who slingshots to the top rope… springboard dropkick! This actions draws Cade and Murdoch into the ring, looking to finally get involved, but the ref cuts them off… which allows Punk to climb to the top rope… flying crossbody takes Kidd down! The referee turns, catching Punk, and he quickly ushers him from the ring. As Punk stumbles back up, Murdoch reaches in… and tags Kidd! Murdoch enters the ring, while Cade drops down, trips Kidd up, drags him from the ring… and levels him with a clothesline! The bad feeling between The Harts and The Crew continues, but in the ring, Murdoch goes to work on Dinsmore, hooking him up… full nelson slam! Dinsmore is planted, and Murdoch hooks the leg… 1… 2… Dinsmore kicks out. Murdoch drags Dinsmore up and fires him to the corner where Cade stands, Dinsmore hitting chest first, allowing Murdoch to drill a forearm to the small of the back before he tags in Cade. Cade unloads with big right hands, until Dinsmore fires back, only for Cade to land a knee to the midsection. Cade goes for the Irish whip… Dinsmore counters… but lowers his head… Cade drills him with a boot to the head! But as he stumbles back, Cade gets too close to the ropes, allowing Nitro to tag himself in.
Nitro smacks Dinsmore with boots and right hands, then connects with a legdrop, before he fires Dinsmore off the ropes… kick to the midsection… no! Dinsmore grabs the foot… but Nitro rocks him with an enzuigiri! Dinsmore is down and out, and here’s the cover… 1… 2… Dinsmore barely rolls a shoulder! Nitro tags Masters back in, with Masters striking with forearms to the small of the back, before he fires Dinsmore off the ropes… into a bearhug! Masters wrenches on the hold, violently swinging Dinsmore back and forth, trying to make Dinsmore pass out from the pain. Slowly but surely, Dinsmore begins to fade, but the crowd try to rally behind him, willing Dinsmore back into the match. Eventually Dinsmore starts to come around, raising his arms, trying to find a way to break free… he drills an elbow to the side of the head… and a second… but Masters stops the momentum with a knee to the midsection. Masters then goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… but he lowers his head…snap DDT from Dinsmore! Both men are down, crawling to their corners… and Dinsmore makes the tag to Punk! Punk slingshots to the top rope… springboard clothesline to Masters! Nitro storms the ring… into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Here comes Murdoch… he runs into a roundhouse kick! And now here comes Cade… running into a huge back body drop! Punk is cleaning house, and he grabs hold of Murdoch… and launches him over the rope to the floor! Punk then charges across… dropkick knocks Smith off the apron! Masters is still the legal man, and he clobbers Punk from behind with a forearm… but Punk fires back… standing kick to the head!
Masters slumps to the mat, and now Punk is climbing upstairs… but here comes Kidd… to shove Punk off the top rope to the floor! Kidd steps through the ropes, only to be tagged by Dinsmore, but Kidd quickly fires back… then doubles Dinsmore over with a boot to the gut, before he races off the ropes… dropkick to the side of the head! Murdoch and Masters now slide in, with Masters clobbering Kidd, while Murdoch takes the fight to Dinsmore. From the apron, Cade reaches in, tagging Masters, making him the legal man, and now he and Murdoch double team Dinsmore. Masters continues to attack Kidd, but Kidd fires back… and clotheslines Masters over the top rope to the floor! On the outside, Nitro and Smith are brawling, with Masters now joining in, the two double teaming Harry. Seeing his partner in trouble, Kidd leaps to the top rope… then twists… FLYING MOONSAULT… WIPES OUT ALL THREE MEN! It’s an incredible move, the crowd loving it, but it soon leads to a brawl on the floor between Nitro, Masters, Kidd and Smith. The four fight around the ring at the base of the ramp, while in the ring, Dinsmore is in trouble as Cade and Murdoch punish him, then line him up… as Cade comes off one ropes… and Murdoch comes off another… SWEET AND SOUR… NO! Punk reaches in and trips up Murdoch… while Dinsmore avoids Cade’s lariat… and rocks him with a release German suplex! Punk drags Murdoch from the ring… and levels him with a standing roundhouse! In the ring, Dinsmore drags Cade up… then shows impressive strength as he takes Cade up onto his shoulders… while Punk climbs to the top rope… and flies… DOOMSDAY DROPKICK!! Punk sends Cade flying, and with Nitro, Masters, Smith, Kidd, and even Natalya and Melina brawling up the aisle, there’s nobody to save Cade as Punk gets the 1… 2… 3!
Winners: The Straight Edge Saints @ 11.07
Punk and Dinsmore have done it, they’re going to Backlash to challenge for the gold! On the outside, the brawl between Nitro, Masters, Kidd and Smith finally comes to an end, the four realising that the match is over, with Melina again furious at what has turned into another defeat for her team. In the ring, Punk and Dinsmore celebrate with Kelly Kelly, while at the announce desk, Haas and Benjamin now know who they will face in just over two weeks’ time…
Well Charlie, Shelton, there ya’ have it. You’re gonna have to defend those titles against CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore!
And ya’ gotta hand it to ‘em champs, The Straight Edge Saints gave a great performance to secure the victory right there.
Instead of an answer, Haas and Benjamin simply look at each other, then stand up from the announce desk, removing their headsets and dropping them to the table. The champions stare into the ring where their next challengers look back at them, a brief standoff ensuing… until the champions start to applaud Punk and Dinsmore? It’s a confusing tactic, with Kelly Kelly managing to look even more puzzled than she usually does, but Punk and Dinsmore don’t seem to be buying it, stern looks still on their faces, but the camera darts back to the champions, a standing ovation from them for tonight’s victors as we head for a commercial.
And we return to the sights of a smiling Todd Grisham
, ready for an interview…
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Monday Night Raw. And please welcome my guest at this time… Carlito!
A warm response for the cool one, Carlito, as he steps into the frame. Dressed in his wrestling tights with one of his t-shirts on, ‘Lito casually tosses an apple up into the air and catches it, looking calm and focused ahead of his match tonight…
And Carlito, I’d like to start by asking you for your thoughts ahead of your match tonight with Bobby Lashley. From what we understand, Mr. McMahon has arranged this match for, as he put it, punishment
for your actions during last week’s main event.
Carlito snorts, shaking his head at the question…
Todd, ju’ think Carlito cares what old man McMahon has to say? Carlito ain’t got no issue with McMahon or Lashley. What Carlito did last week, was all about that punk Kenny Dykstra and that trashy whore Torrie!
Grisham looks shocked, while the fans cheer loudly…
McMahon wants to punish Carlito? Well, Carlito’s got a message for Vince and Lashley. Carlito… is in a real pissed off mood right now. And Carlito thinks it’s not gonna be Lashley who’s gonna punish Carlito. Carlito thinks he’s gonna take out all his anger, all his frustration… out on Lashley tonight!
Another pop, as a very serious Carlito stares down the camera for a few seconds, before he turns back to Grisham…
So Carlito is really lookin’ forward to facin’ Lashley tonight. Infact, Carlito thinks ‘dat ‘da mood he’s in right row… Lashley’s the one gettin’ punished tonight by Vince!
A strong cheer from inside the arena, with Carlito turning the interview back over to Grisham…
Well, Carlito, last week we all saw you storm down the ramp and chase Kenny Dykstra into the crowd with a steel chair. Obviously, after your betrayal at WrestleMania at the hands of Kenny and Torrie… you’re not finished with Dykstra, or the Intercontinental Championship.
A slight rueful smile crosses Carlito’s face…
Torrie? ‘Dat slut? Carlito thinks Kenny’s welcome to her. She turned her back on Carlito… and maybe ‘dat’s what Carlito needed. No more blonde bimbos weighin’ Carlito down! Now Carlito can do what he wants, when he wants, and he can focus on kickin’ Dykstra’s ass… and becomin’ Intercontinental Champion!
And ‘ju know what? Carlito thinks there’s no better time or place for him to get his revenge… to become Intercontinental Champion… than at Backlash! So Dykstra, Carlito is challengin’ ‘ju to a match at Backlash for that title around ‘jour waist. And if Torrie lets ‘ju take ‘jour balls out of her purse for five minutes… then maybe ‘ju can accept. And then at Backlash?
Carlito tosses the apple up in the air, catching it, and then in one smooth movement turning to face the camera…
Carlito… is gonna be the new Intercontinental Champion. Now ‘dat’s cool!
A nice cheer from inside the arena as Carlito brings the interview to an end, taking a bit out of his apple before he turns and leaves, Grisham watching him go before we head back into the arena...
And the silence is shattered by...
”BEHOLD THE KING... THE KING OF KINGS...”
The arena erupts with the loudest cheer of the night so far as Triple H
appears in the entrance way. 'The Game' allows the noise from the crowd to build, soaking in the atmosphere, before he sprays a jet of water into the air and then storms down the ramp...
He is a ten time world champion. He is one of the very best to ever step foot in a WWE ring. He is ruthless, he is calculated, he is 'The Cerebral Assassin'. But J.R., I put it to you, that after what we heard earlier tonight from the wife of 'The Game', Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, Triple H... well I think he's gotta be a bit rattled by all this.
I've never known anything to phase 'The Game'. He's always been so cool under pressure. But we all know what effect a man's family can have on his decision making. I still think Triple H is gonna go through with this, I think the sadistic nature of a No Holds Barred Match suits him down to the ground... but at what cost is 'The Game' willing to pay in his quest for revenge over Shawn Michaels? I'm sure that's the worry Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley has right now, and I don't blame her one bit.
Yeah, but let's remember one thing. Everybody's talkin' about how derranged Shawn Michaels is... we've all seen in the past what Triple H is capable of. 'The Game' has been waitn' two long months to get Shawn Michaels alone in the middle of the ring, and if Michaels agrees... it could be game over for 'HBK'.
Trips nips up onto the apron, peering out into the crowd before he lets out another spray of water into the air, bursting through the ropes and then heading for the corner. After posing for the crowd, Triple H drops down to the canvas, readying himself for the arrival of his opponent...
*HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?...*
Not much of a response for the seldom seen Hardcore Holly
, but the veteran looks confidently as he strides towards the ring...
He's tougher than a two dollar steak, the grizzled veteran, Hardcore Holly. We might not have seen a whole lot of Holly as of late, but this is gonna be a real test right here for 'The Game'.
Y'know, I don't think I've ever seen this guy smile. He just constantly looks like he's in a real bad mood. He can do some damage, that's for sure.
Holly is well known for his aggressive, smash mouth styles in the ring, but with the way Triple H is feelin' right now, I dunno if that's gonna be enough to grab Holly what I would consider, a big upset.
Triple H vs. Hardcore Holly
After some circling of the ring, the pair step in for a tie up, but Trips cuts if off with a boot to the midsection, then a stiff right hand to the face that knocks Holly down. Holly gets back to his knees, but ‘The Game’ quickly goes for a headlock takedown, wrenching on the neck as both men are down on the canvas. Holly quickly struggles back to his feet, allowing him to shove Triple H into the ropes… but ‘The Game’ bowls him over with a shoulderblock! Holly scrambles to his knees, but Trips hammers him with right hands, backing Holly to the ropes. Trips goes for the Irish whip… but Holly ducks a clothesline and keeps on running… only for Triple H to score with the high knee to the face! Holly is reeling, and now Trips looks to wear the veteran down, driving him to the corner, where a series of shoulder thrusts land to the midsection. A hard Irish whip sends Holly crashing off the opposite corner… and then staggering out into a stiff backbreaker! Here’s the cover… 1… 2… Holly kicks out. Triple H is fully in control, landing right hands to the face with ease, but when he fires Holly to the corner and follows in, Holly gets a boot up to the face, causing Trips to stagger back… but then Holly runs into a huge back body drop! Methodically, Triple H moves in, grabbing Holly as he makes it back to his knees… but suddenly, out of desperation, Holly grabs the tights, yanks Triple H forward… causing him to smack shoulder first off the ringpost!
Flesh meets steel as ‘The Game’ painfully hits the ringpost, and Holly is quick to take advantage, hitting boots and elbows to the shoulder, before he wrings the arm, pulls it across the top rope… and delivers a kick to the arm! Trips drops to his knees in pain, but Holly shoves him into the corner, unloading with stiff chops to the chest. Another chop lands, only for Triple H to come firing out of the corner, landing right after right… only for Holly to drill the left arm with a kick, then come off the ropes… spinning heel kick! Holly takes Triple H down, goes for the cover… 1… 2… ‘The Game’ rolls a shoulder, and Holly quickly locks on an armbar. Holly tries to do further damage to the arm but the crowd make some noise, willing Triple H back to his feet. ‘The Game’ makes it back up, only for Holly to grab a handful of hair, taking both men to the corner… where Trips drills a knee to the midsection… and a second finally breaks the hold… only for Holly to smack him with a stiff right hand. Holly now comes off the ropes… but he runs into a massive clothesline! Both men are down, the referee counting, but eventually Holly is back up first. Holly tags Trips… but Triple H fires right back! A slugfest breaks out, until ‘The Game’ rattles off three in a row, then goes for the Irish whip… Holly reverses… but he lowers his head… facebreaker knee smash! Holly stumbles into the ropes, where ‘The Game’ sends him across… into a massive spinning spinebuster! Triple H is back on his feet, roaring to the crowd, and when Holly stumbles back up, Trips is waiting… kick… PEDIGREE! Triple H gets all of it, rolling Holly over for the 1… 2… 3!
Winner: Triple H @ 04.27
A solid win for 'The Game' as he makes quick work of the veteran Holly. Trips storms back to his feet, his arm raised in the air, but he's clearly not finished as he snatches his arm away and heads for the corner, calling for a mic...
Cut the music! I'm not gonna beat around the bush here. I'm not gonna waste any more time. I came out here last week and I made a challenge. And Shawn Michaels... I want an answer! So get your ass out here, Shawn, and tell me what I wanna hear!
Silence in the arena, the crowd exhuming a hushed buzz of anticipation, but the fans and 'The Game' are made to wait, until finally...
The music of 'The Heartbreak Kid' Shawn Michaels
finally breaks out, a ridiculous amount of heat welcoming the former WWE Champion out onto the stage. Not wanting to get too close to his adversary, Michaels stays on the stage at the top of the ramp, despite 'The Game' motioning for him to come down to the ring. As his music dies, Michaels scans the crowd from under that black cowboy hat of his, the cold, robotic features that have became his trademark in recent months barely visible as he begins to speak...
You really... really
... wanna do this, Hunter? You really wanna risk all you've got... a wife, a child, a job in the family business when it's all said and done... you really wanna risk all that... over me?
Michaels runs a hand across the stubble on his chin, pursing his lips as he considers his words...
This isn't about egos or personal vendettas. This is about... destiny
. It's my destiny to be happy once again. And the only way that can happen, the only thing that can make me happy again... is the WWE Championship. And to get back to that... I need you out of the way. I need you out of the way... permanently
Heat, at which Michaels simply blanks and carries on...
And I am willing, with God as my witness, to do whatever it takes to shuffle you off into some desk job in Stamford, right next to your precious wife. I tried to help you, Hunter. I tried to make you see the light, I tried to show you that your ego and your greed were one day gonna come back and haunt you. And if you really want me to accept your challenge... then at Backlash... your day of reckoning... is gonna come.
Michaels pauses, ever so slightly lifting his head up, before he turns and takes a few paces along the stage...
So I'm gonna give you some advice. Just like I advised you, and guided your career durin' those early DX days, I'm gonna give you some words of wisdom right now. Hunter... listen
... to your wife.
Triple H rolls his eyes in the ring, turning away, almost in disgust, clearly still feeling guilty over his exchange with Stephanie earlier in the broadcast...
Don't spend the rest of your days stuck in some suit, chained to a desk, body and spirit broken beyond repair. Don't try bend down to pick up your daughter, then realise that the pain's too much and think... what if? What if I'd listened to the words... of a wiser man than me?
A furious scowl now crosses the face of ‘The Game’...
What if I'd listened to ol' 'Aitch-Bee-Kay when he warned me... not
... to challenge him at Backlash? 'Cause I'm gonna warn you right now, Hunter. If you go through with this... I'm gonna end your career... and I'm gonna get my smile back doin' it.
More heat, with Triple H having a little chuckle to himself, rubbing his jaw as he carefully chooses his response...
That's uh... that's quite the speech, Shawn. But you wanna talk about crippling me, ending my career, retirin' me to some desk job... I've built an entire career outta doin' just that. Some of the biggest names in the business stepped into the ring with me, and I either shortened or ended their careers. Guys have taken me on, and they've never been the same since. I mean... I know you remember what I did to Mick Foley.
A loud pop for the mention of ‘The Hardcore Legend’...
Mick Foley, one of the craziest, most sadistic sons of bitches to ever enter this ring, I stepped into his world, I entered Hell in a Cell... and I retired him. Chris Jericho, he was another guy who tried to take me out, tried to end my career. I faced him inside Hell in a Cell... and let's just say that I'm still standin' here... and he's not. Hell, Kevin Nash was one of our best friends, we spent hours ridin' from town to town with 'im, but as soon as he crossed me, I put him out of this company for good. If I can do that to one of my buddies... then just imagine what I'm gonna do to you.
But then... maybe I shoulda finished you when I had the chance. All the battles we had, all the blood we spilled, all those times I smashed a sledgehammer off your skull, I shoulda ended your career back then! But I didn't. I was weak, I showed compassion, I eased up a bit, and it's come back to haunt me. But not this time, Shawn. This time, there is no mercy, I'm not stoppin' 'til I know you're done once and for all!
And another mighty cheer from the fans, with the intensity on Triple H’s face clear for all to see...
So to answer your question... do I really wanna do this? Do I really want Shawn Michaels and Triple H, Backlash, No Holds Barred? You bet your ass I do! Do I wanna end your career? Damn straight I do! So right here, right now, I'm gonna say it one more time.
Triple H now steps forward, leaning against the ropes at the base of the ramp...
You, me, Backlash, No Holds Barred. The Final Battle. We end this one way or another. I'm makin' you a challenge, Shawn... and I want an answer, right here... right now.
An emphatic statement from Triple H, who now backs away, waiting for a response. Michaels takes his time, still no expression on his face, but finally he speaks...
You want an answer? You're on.
A massive pop as it’s confirmed, Michaels and ‘The Game’ at Backlash...
But I don't know what these people are cheerin' about... 'cause Hunter, you just placed the fate of your career... in my hands. You just signed away your future happiness. Hunter, you
... just lost your smile.
Eyes narrowed, Michaels lifts his head slightly once more, looking down on ‘The Game’ from up high...
At Backlash, we're gonna fight a fight that you just can't win. You just don't have... the faith
... to get the job done. I'll see you at Backlash.
And with that, Michaels turns to walk backstage, until...
The crowd pop as Michaels puts on the breaks, but he keeps his back to the ring, not turning to look at ‘The Game’...
Just one last thing. Why don't you take all that faith crap... and stick it straight up your ass!
A well-positioned camera sees Michaels closing his eyes, biting his lip, a real sense of anger for that last remark...
I don't care if you've got some higher power, I don't care if you've seen it in some kinda vision. This is the real world, and at Backlash, you're gonna play the game... and it's gonna be game over for you!
An emphatic ending to things from Triple H as he slams his microphone down to the canvas. Michaels, still with his back to the ring, contemplates turning around, his head turning ever so slightly, but he stops, pausing to contemplate, before Michaels simply heads backstage. In the ring, Trips now celebrates his earlier victory, climbing to the second rope to flex for the crowd, the fans giving him a great ovation as we head for a commercial.
We open to the sight of a 2007 Lamborghini Murciélago pulling up into the frame, the bright yellow car glistening in the crisp sunshine as it comes to a stop infront of the camera. The camera pans upwards across the hood, then towards the door, which swings open. Out steps the man we met last week, Claudio Cesaro, the Swiss aristocrat stepping out of the car, a smirk on his face as he removes his Gucci sunglasses...
Claudio Cesaro: My name… is Claudio Cesaro. Incredible, isn’t it? A true mix of brains… and brawn. But you Americans, you can only dream of owning such a car.
Cesaro now slowly walks across a car park that is nestled within a woodland area, towards a field...
Claudio Cesaro: But for me? This is exactly the kind of car a man of my stature, my upbringing deserves to drive. A man of class like myself, deserves a car that matches his prominence.
The camera follows as Cesaro walks towards a white line painted on the field. In the distance, we see a large contingent of men in different coloured jerseys running around...
Claudio Cesaro: Now, allow me to educate you all on the class of the aristocracy. Behind me, you see the game of rugby at its finest. A sport that just like my car, is the perfect blend of brains… and brawn.
A loud cheer goes out in the background, accompanied by a respectful round of applause, suggesting one of the teams has just scored a try. Cesaro turns over his shoulder, then turns back to the camera, a smirk on his face…
Claudio Cesaro: To play the game, you need that mix of smarts, talent, strength… and class. For as the saying goes, “Rugby is a hooligans game, played by gentlemen”.
Cesaro walks off camera, and then we cut ahead in time to hear the shrill of the final whistle, the game coming to an end, with both sets of teams lining up to shake hands, with Cesaro re-entering the frame at the corner of the pitch…
Claudio Cesaro: And that, is what I am. A true gentlemen. An aristocrat. For generations, my family has been at the very top of Swiss society. We move in the right circles. And why do we enjoy such a comfortable lifestyle?
Cesaro holds his hand up, palm open...
Claudio Cesaro: Because for generations, my family have used our brains... and our power... to crush anyone who opposes us.
Before he closes his hand tight, the smirk turning into a sinister glare...
Claudio Cesaro: And now that I am coming to Monday Night Raw, that is exactly what I intend to do... to my competition.
Cesaro smirks again, holding a hand high in the air in a uppercut position as he says…
Claudio Cesaro: For I am Claudio Cesaro, and I… am very… European.
"CLAUDIO CESARO - COMING SOON TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW!"
*End Video Package*
And now we're back into the arena for...
*HELL WILL BE CALLIN' YOUR NAME...*
The beast that is Bobby Lashley
makes his entrance, a strong level of heat welcoming him onto the stage. Lashley doesn't waste any time in heading down the ramp, not even bothering to look at the crowd, his eyes firmly focused on the ring...
He's an awe-inspiring sight. Bobby Lashley, the hired muscle of Mr. McMahon, only things haven't gone all that well for 'The Real Deal' as of late. First the defeat to John Cena at WrestleMania, then another loss last week during our tag team main event.
And of course, Carlito played his part in that defeat last week when he chased Lashley's partner Kenny Dykstra right out the arena. And I'm sure Mr. McMahon has a word or two in Lashley's ear to make sure he gets the job done tonight.
This man is a wrecking machine, a man with scary power that can do some unbelievable damage. I know we heard from Carlito earlier, and yeah, he certainly sounded confident, but I dunno how he can overcome the power advantage Lashley has. This one could be a real slobberknocker if Lashley has it all his way.
”I SPIT IN THE FACE OF PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO BE COOL...”
And it's a very warm welcome as Carlito
strides out from the back, wasting no time in heading for the ring, pointing and aiming some trash talk towards Lashley as he goes...
He is a man with vengeance in his heart. Not only did WrestleMania see Carlito lose out on the chance to become Intercontinental Champion, he also saw his girlfriend, Torrie Wilson, stab him in the back. There's a lot of fire in this kid right now, and I know he's gonna put it to good effect right here.
Yeah, but is it gonna be enough? Carlito talked about lettin' out all his pent up anger and frustration out on Lashley tonight, but he doesn't wanna trade right hands with 'The Dominator'.
Carlito can't let his emotions get the better of him here. He's gotta fight smart, use his quickness and athleticism to keep Lashley off guard. If this breaks down into a brawl, it could be all over pretty quickly.
Bobby Lashley vs. Carlito
As the bell rings, both men come together, angry clear on both their faces, with the trash talking between both men in full flow… until Lashley swings a right… which Carlito ducks… then scores a right hand of his own! ‘Lito quickly rattles off right after right, but Lashley lands a clubbing right of his own, then drills a forearm to the back of the neck, dropping Carlito to a knee. More rights to the face and boots to the midsection land, before Lashley sends Carlito off the ropes… but ‘Lito ducks a clothesline… then hits a dropkick to the knee! Lashley drops to a knee, and here comes ‘Lito off the ropes… one-handed bulldog! Early cover… 1… 2… Lashley powers out. ‘Lito yanks Lashley up, smashing him face first off the top turnbuckle, before he lands alternating right and left hands. ‘Lito then pulls Lashley to the ropes and goes for the Irish whip… but Lashley reverses… then sends Carlito flying with a huge back body drop! After a near fall, Lashley now looks to punish Carlito, focusing on the small of the back as he softens ‘Lito up with a series of forearms. Another Irish whip sends ‘Lito off the ropes… and Lashley lowers his head, looking for a second back body drop… but Carlito scores a kick to the chest! Lashley’s head snaps up, but ‘Lito is charging… but Lashley catches him… and takes him high in the air… military press slam… no! Carlito drops down the back, stumbling to the ropes. Lashley charges… but Carlito low-bridges the top rope… and Lashley goes crashing to the floor below!
The crowd cheer loudly as Carlito uses his quickness to avoid the attack, and now he waits for Lashley to rise… to fly with a plancha! Carlito takes Lashley down, and now he hammers him with right hands, before rolling Lashley back into the ring. Carlito lands boots to the gut against the corner, before he climbs to the second rope, then starts raining down with left hands, the crowd counting all the way with him to ten. ‘Lito drops, then looks to send Lashley across… but Lashley counters and follows in… into a back elbow! Lashley stumbles away, prompting Carlito to jump to the second rope… springboard crossbody… no! Lashley catches him… then drives him spine first into the corner! Carlito slumps to the mat in pain, and after shaking off the cobwebs, Lashley goes right back to work on the back, yanking ‘Lito to the ropes, placing his neck across the middle rope, then driving his knee into the lower spine. A string of elbows now drop across the lower back, before Lashley rolls Carlito over for a near fall. Lashley now enjoys a period of dominance as he continues to focus on the spine, dropping knees, then yanking ‘Lito up to land more forearms, before he sends Carlito crashing hard into the corner, catching him with a fallaway slam for a near fall as he stumbles out. Lashley now locks on a reverses chinlock, driving his knee into the spine as he pulls back on the neck. Carlito tries to break the grip, but Lashley hangs on, and it’s only when the crowd rally that Carlito makes a move back to his feet.
A trio of elbows to the midsection break the hold, before a big left hand staggers Lashley. ‘Lito then goes for the Irish whip… but Lashley reverses… and catches ‘Lito with a big time overhead belly to belly suplex! Lashley crawls into the lateral press… 1… 2… Carlito rolls a shoulder! Lashley angrily glares at the ref, but he soon has ‘Lito back up, drilling more elbows and forearms to the small of the back, before he winds Carlito up… falling neckbreaker! Here’s another cover… 1… 2… ‘Lito rolls the shoulder again! Again Lashley looks towards the ref, before he again drags Carlito up, reaches down… and takes ‘Lito up into the air… TORTURE RACK! Lashley locks on the submission move, applying all kinds of pressure to the spine, looking to make Carlito pass out with pain. ‘Lito cries out in agony, and he appears in bad shape as the ref raises his hand once… it drops. The hand is raised again… again it drops. The hand goes up for a third time… and this time it stays up! The crowd cheer as Carlito tries to break free, landing elbow after elbow to the side of the head, but they have little effect… so ‘Lito comes down the back with a sunset flip! 1… 2… Lashley kicks out! Both men spring back up, but Lashley beats ‘Lito to the punch with a knee to the gut. Irish whip sends ‘Lito off the ropes… but he ducks a clothesline… jumps to the second rope… springboard back elbow! Carlito now looks to build some offense, landing shots to the face, before he goes for the Irish whip to the corner… Lashley counters and follows in… boot to the face! Lashley staggers back, and ‘Lito jumps to the second rope… SPRINGBOARD TORNADO DDT! Carlito plants Lashley, hooks the leg… 1… 2… Lashley kicks out!
Carlito now has all the momentum, landing left hands with ease, only for Lashley to swing a right… and miss wildly… Carlito nails a hurricanrana! 1… 2… Lashley powers out again! Sensing he has a chance to put Lashley away, Carlito waits for Lashley to rise… then makes his move… BACKSTABBER… NO! Lashley grabs the top rope, causing ‘Lito to stumble back into the corner… right next to where Carlito left his apple! ‘The Cool One’ reaches out, grabs the apple and takes a big bite of it, without Lashley or the ref seeing. Seeing Carlito in the corner, Lashley barges past the ref and races in… CARLITO SPITS APPLE IN HIS FACE! The ref never saw it! Lahley stumbles away, while Carlito steps through the ropes, readies himself… then slingshots up… SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY… NO! Lashley catches him, hoists Carlito onto his shoulder… for THE DOMINATOR!! Lashley absolutely drills Carlito, rolling him over, driving an elbow into the face as he goes for the lateral press to get the 1… 2… 3.
Winner: Bobby Lashley @ 08.38
The pain is just too much, the damage too severe as Lashley manages to put Carlito away, despite a great performance from the man from Puerto Rico. Lashley pushes himself back to his feet, breathing hard, rubbing the back of his neck in pain, the full effects of the match clearly evident. Lashley has his hand raised in victory, but he quickly snatches it away, taking one last look down at Carlito before we cut to a commercial.
Our video opens at the King of the Ring ’96, where ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin stands victorious, delivering the interview that launched his main event career…
Narrator: It’s a night where future legends make their mark...
“AUSTIN 3:16 SAYS I JUST WHIPPED YOUR ASS!”
We now head back to King of the Ring ’93, where Bret Hart puts Bam Bam Bigelow away with the winning victory roll...
Narrator: A night where icons are created…
“I’M THE BEST THERE IS, THE BEST THERE WAS, AND THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE!”
King of the Ring ’01, where Edge puts Kurt Angle down with the Edgecution then crawls into the pin to get an emotional victory…
Narrator: A night when the stars of tomorrow shine bright...
“WELCOME TO THE ERA OF AWESOMENESS!”
And we now go to last year’s tournament final, where Booker T grabs the win over Bobby Lashley…
Narrator: A night to crown… a new king.
“BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR KING!”
We now see flashing images of some of this year’s contenders, starting with Jeff Hardy, Montel Vontavious Porter, CM Punk and Matt Hardy…
Narrator: And this year, live on NBC, the WWE King of the Ring returns! It’s the one night Saturday Night’s Main Event spectacular where one man’s career is set to skyrocket!
More flashing images, this time it’s Bryan Danielson, Kenny Dykstra, Johnny Nitro and Mr. Kennedy…
Narrator: Eight men will battle to join the most exclusive of WWE clubs. Who will take King Booker’s crown and become the 2007 King of the Ring!?
Another round of flashing images, this time of former winners such as Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Edge, Bret Hart and King Booker…
Narrator: The King is dead…
More clips from last year, this time from Booker’s coronation ceremony, then a quick shot of him close to tears after his victory to clinch the World Heavyweight Championship…
“ALL HAIL KING BOO-KAH!”
”Long live… the King.”
"SATURDAY NIGHT’S MAIN EVENT – THREE HOUR KING OF THE RING SPECIAL – JUNE 2ND - LIVE ON NBC!"
*End Video Package*
And as the video ends, we now see Carlito struggling to walk along a backstage corridor. 'Lito limps and has an arm wrapped around his midsection, still clearly feeling the effects of the punishment he took at the hands of Lashley. Gingerly Carlito turns a corner, where he suddenly puts on the breaks, the camera panning to reveal... Torrie Wilson is stood infront of him. A loud chorus of boos is heard from inside the arena, while a look of sheer disgust crosses Carlito's face...
What 'da hell do 'ju want? Get outta Carlito's way. Carlito ain't got time to deal with 'jour crap right now.
Torrie’s jaw drops as she scoffs at Carlito’s words…
Well that's no way to talk to a lady, now is it?
'Ju? 'Ju ain't no lady. 'Jou're nothin' but a cheap whore!
A loud “Ooooh!” is heard from inside the arena, with Torrie rolling her eyes…
You always did have a way with words, didn't you?
’Lito shakes his head and now tries to walk around Torrie…
Just get 'da hell outta Carlito's face!
Wait. There's something you should know. I've got a message for you from Kenny, and I'm pretty sure you'll wanna hear it.
Carlito stops, puffing out his cheeks in frustration…
Yeah? What is it?
Carlito is blindsided… by a title shot to the skull… from Kenny Dykstra!
Dykstra came out of nowhere, using Torrie as a distraction, allowing him to clobber Carlito to the concrete. Dykstra instantly mounts ‘Lito, unloading with a flurry of wild right and left hands, before he grabs ‘Lito by the hair, yanks him up… then launches him skull first off the concrete wall! It’s an unforgiving collision, with ‘Lito slumping to the floor, exhausted after both his match with Lashley and now the sneak attack from Dykstra. Sensing he has ‘Lito down and pretty much out, Dykstra picks his title up off the floor, then grabs a handful of hair, grinding the title against Carlito’s face…
You want this? Huh!? You want my title?! You already had your shot, and you blew it! You couldn’t get it done! You ain’t getting’ another shot! We’re not wastin’ our time on a loser like you!
Dykstra releases his grip on Carlito’s hair, with ‘Lito’s head slumping against the nearby wall. Dykstra stands upright, he and Torrie sharing a glance at each other, before Dykstra lays in with one final boot to the face, causing ‘Lito to splutter and cough…
C’mon, let’s go.
And with that, Kenny leads Torrie off screen, the pair sneering as they look down at Carlito as they go. ‘Lito tries to pick himself up to give chase, but it’s no use, the damage is too much as he slumps back against the wall, looking like a broken man, the camera staying focused on him as he coughs and splutters again, before we head back into the arena.
To the smilling sight of our three announcers at their desk…
God, what a… what a shameful thing for Torrie and Kenny to do to poor Carlito. That was another set up from that jezebel, and Dykstra was there to take advantage.
And not only that, but it appears that Dykstra has rejected Carlito’s challenge for a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship at Backlash. But folks, we just saw it advertised, the King of the Ring is back on Saturday Night’s Main Event as a three hour special. What a huge night that’s gonna be for some of the up and coming stars here on Monday Night Raw!
Oh absolutely. And I can exclusively reveal right now the first four superstars who will be representing Monday Night Raw. Are you ready to hear this?
Alright! The first four Raw participants in the 2007 King of the Ring are gonna be… CM Punk, Hardcore Holly, Jeff Hardy and the Intercontinental Champion, Kenny Dykstra! That’s four potential winners right there if you ask me,
Certainly the competition is gonna be fierce, and from what we understand, this Friday on SmackDown, we’ll find out who their first four participants are too. Make sure ya’ tune in for that!
*I AIN'T A LADY TO MESS WITH...*
A smattering of heat as Victoria
steps out, ready for action, but of course her good friend Beth Phoenix
is there as well, with Beth and Victoria sharing a quick fist bump before the pair head down the ramp…
Well the King of the Ring is certainly gonna be a huge event, the tournament kicks off the night after Backlash. But right now, it’s time for divas action, and here come the two ladies who jumped the Women’s Champion, Mickie James, last week.
And talk about set ups, that’s exactly what we saw last week. Beth came out onto the stage, she ran distraction as Victoria came through the crowd to jump Mickie from behind. I’m sure Mickie’s gonna be lookin’ to even the scores tonight, but it’s gonna be a tough ask with Beth Phoenix in Victoria’s corner.
With Mickie holding wins recently over both Victoria and Beth, there’s gotta be some doubt in the mind of these two as to whether or not they can actually beat the Women’s Champion. We’ll find out tonight if those doubts effect Victoria’s strategy in this matchup.
And a pretty decent pop as the Women’s Champion Mickie James
bounds out onto the stage, and it appears Mickie has company, as Candice Michelle
follows the champion out. The two share a high five before they head down the ramp, with both ladies slapping as many ringside hands as they can…
Well it seems that Mickie is tryin’ to even up the odds a bit here. Candice Michelle, who was also smacked from behind by Victoria last week, she’s along for the ride.
A very smart move by the champion. If Candice can keep an eye on Beth, and take her outta things, then I think Mickie’s got a great chance here.
Certainly a good strategy by Mickie to have Candice out here. Mickie and Victoria has a series of battles earlier in the year, with Mickie more often than not coming out on top. But will the presence of Beth and Candice change that, or can Mickie keep up her win streak over Victoria…
Match 5: Non-Title Match
Women’s Champion Mickie James w/ Candice Michelle vs. Victoria w/ Beth Phoenix
As the bell rings, Mickie continues to look down at Beth, the two fierce rivals not taking their eyes of each other as Mickie and Victoria circle the ring. Eventually Mickie focuses on Victoria, the two tying up… only for Victoria to grab a handful of hair… and yank Mickie down to the canvas! Clearly the presence of Phoenix has gotten to the champion as she’s caught off guard early on, with Victoria shouting to Mickie “You better pay attention to me!” as the champion gets back to her feet in the corner. The two charge into another tie up, and this time it’s Mickie with the advantage as she works into a standing side headlock. Victoria drills two forearms to the midsection, then shoves Mickie into the ropes… but Mickie avoids a clothesline with a baseball slide… and springs to her feet to rock Victoria with a dropkick! Here’s an early cover… 1… 2… Victoria kicks out. Mickie is back up, dragging Victoria with her, only for Victoria to grab a handful of hair… and toss Mickie through the ropes to the floor! The champion has a hard landing, while across the ring, Victoria distracts the referee… allowing Beth to drive Mickie spine first into the apron! Candice sees this and races over, but by the time she gets there, Beth already has Mickie rolled back into the ring.
Victoria now looks to punish Mickie, softening her up with a backbreaker and a scoop slam, before she fires Mickie off the ropes… into a sidewalk slam! Here’s the cover… 1… 2… Mickie kicks out. Victoria continues her attack, again yanking Mickie down to the canvas by the hair, before she drills a hard kick first to the spine, then to the ribs, causing Mickie to roll to the ropes. Again Victoria distracts the ref, allowing Beth to run past… drilling Mickie with a forearm to the head! Victoria barges past the ref and goes for the cover… 1… 2… Mickie kicks out. Victoria is in complete control, with Beth cheering her on, and in a show of arrogance, Victoria slaps Mickie across the face… prompting Mickie to land a forearm to the face from her knees! Victoria stumbles away, allowing Mickie to get back up, blocking a right from Victoria, with Mickie now rattling of four forearms to the face, backing Victoria to the ropes, before Mickie goes for an Irish whip… Victoria reverses… but Mickie scores with the Lou Thesz press! Mickie grabs the hair, slamming Victoria head first off the canvas, before Mickie stands up, waiting for Victoria to rise… to go for an Irish whip to the corner… but Victoria reverses and follows in… Mickie uses the ropes to push herself up… MICK-A-RANA! The champion takes Victoria down again, and now she waits, looking to put Victoria away… only for Beth to jump up onto the apron! Phoenix protests, but here comes Candice… to yank Beth off the apron! Phoenix lands on her feet… but Candice levels her with a clothesline! But in the ring, Victoria sneaks up from behind… and synchs Mickie in… for the WIDOW’S PEAK!! Victoria connects, rolls Mickie over for the 1… 2… 3.
Winner: Victoria @ 05.12
And despite the presence of Candice, Beth’s interference causes Mickie to taste defeat at the hands of Victoria. Victoria quickly slides out of the ring after the three count, helping Beth up off the floor, the two hugging in celebration of Victoria’s victory. In the ring, Candice slides in and tries to help Mickie up, a look of confusion and annoyance on the face of the champion as he pushes up onto her knees. Mickie stares out at Beth and Victoria, rubbing her neck in pain, while Beth raises Victoria’s hand as the two back up the ramp and we head for another commercial.
And as we return, it’s straight back into the arena to hear…
*ONE OF A KIND…*
The biggest pop of the night is reserved for the WWE Champion Rob Van Dam
, who confidently strides out onto the stage. Van Dam then heads from side to side, geeing up the fans as he goes, before he stops in the middle, leads the fans through a chant of “ROB – VAN – DAM!” before the champion heads for the ring…
Welcome back folks. It’s time for our main event, and here comes the WWE Champion, ‘Mr. Monday Night’, Rob Van Dam! ‘RVD’ is set to take on Randy Orton, in a match that could have huge implications for both men with regards to our next pay per view, Backlash.
Absolutely right. In a stipulation added by WWE C.E.O. Linda McMahon, if Rob Van Dam wins here tonight, then Orton is gonna have to defend his Money in the Bank briefcase against Jeff Hardy at Backlash. However, if Orton wins, he’s gonna get a shot at Van Dam and the WWE Championship, without having to use his guaranteed title shot!
Van Dam wanted to be the fighting champion, and he wants to do his buddy Jeff Hardy a favour, but this is gonna be a real good test of what kinda champion Van Dam is. Orton’s a very tough competitor, Van Dam’s gonna have to be at his very best to win tonight.
*BURN IN MY LIGHT…*
Some real strong heat as Randy Orton
steps out, Money in the Bank briefcase clutched tightly in his left hand. Orton is slow in his approach, calculated as always, his eyes locked on the ring and Van Dam as he heads down the ramp…
He is one of the most dangerous competitors the WWE has ever seen. He can strike from out of nowhere, and now that he’s Mr. Money in the Bank, champions like Rob Van Dam and Batista have gotta be oh so careful whenever this man is around.
Well, we’ve always known Randy Orton as a guy who can attack at a seconds notice, now he can do so and become world champion in the process. He might not even want to wait for Backlash, he might cash in his briefcase tonight!
And that’s the risk that comes with being a heavyweight champion in the WWE right now. When Orton has that briefcase in his hands, he’s even more dangerous than he usually is. And I dunno if Linda McMahon’s words earlier tonight really got through to ‘The Legend Killer’. I think if he really wants to use that briefcase as a weapon, he’ll do it, and damned if he cares about the consequences.
Main Event: Non-Title Match
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Money in the Bank Randy Orton
As the bell rings, it’s a wary Orton that steps forward, the full implications of the match clearly on his mind. Snapping into a tie up, the pair jockey for position, with Orton driving ‘RVD’ to the ropes. The ref calls for the break, which Orton provides… until he swings a right… which Van Dam blocks… and scores a right of his own! ‘RVD’ comes off the ropes with right after right, backing Orton across the ring, and then Van Dam goes for the Irish whip… but Orton counters… Van Dam scores a spinning wheel kick! Orton staggers up, stumbling into the ropes… Van Dam sends him sprawling to the floor with a clothesline! Orton flops to the floor at the base of the ramp, and Van Dam wastes no time in heading outside, yanking Orton up… then launching him face first into the ringpost! Orton is down once again, and Van Dam heeds the call of the ref and returns to the ring. Slowly Orton picks himself up, scrambling to the apron, but here comes Van Dam… baseball slide… sends Orton spine first into the barricade! Orton crumples in pain, with Van Dam heading back outside, synching Orton in, taking him up in the air… and dropping him gut first across the barricade! Orton is in a precarious position as ‘RVD’ climbs up onto the apron… then flies… legdrop across the back of Orton’s body! Orton slumps down to the floor, but Van Dam wastes no time in rolling him back into the ring for a nearfall.
Van Dam is in control as he yanks Orton up, drilling him with kicks to the head that knock Orton into the corner. There, Van Dam charges in… shoulder charge to the midsection… and another… before Van Dam handsprings backwards… then charges in… jumping up… then sending Orton flying with a monkey flip! Orton is reeling, staggering to his feet, with ‘RVD’ again rocking Orton with kicks to the head. Van Dam goes for a forearm, but Orton finally gets some offense in as he connects with a right hand. Another two rights land, before Orton tries to a kick to the gut… but Van Dam catches the boot… then hits the stepover spinning wheel kick! Orton is down, in perfect position, and here comes Van Dam off the ropes… ROLLING THUNDER… INTO THE SOMERSAULT SENTON! Van Dam grabs his ribs, but he soon crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Orton kicks out. Van Dam looks to continue his attack as he drags Orton up, but out of desperation Orton hits an uppercut… then takes Van Dam down with a falling clothesline! Orton finally manages to string together some offense, but he stays down, shaking off the cobwebs, and that’s the image we see as we head for the final commercial of the broadcast.
And when we return, Van Dam is slumped in the corner, his head against the bottom turnbuckle, with Orton drilling him with boot after boot to the chest. Orton then jams his foot into Van Dam’s throat, choking the champion. Orton relents, yanking Van Dam up, drilling to kicks to the midsection, before he fires ‘RVD’ across the ring and follows in… right into a back elbow! Van Dam springs to the top rope… but before he can fly, Orton pushes him… sending ‘RVD’ crashing into the barricade! Van Dam coughs and splutters on the floor, but Orton gives him no chance to recover as he heads outside, yanks ‘RVD’ up… then returns the favour… by launching Van Dam face first into the ringpost! Orton now looks to take control, clubbing Van Dam with forearms to the side of the head, before he walks Van Dam over… then smashes him face first off the steel steps! Orton aggressively rolls ‘RVD’ into the ring, following in for a lateral press… 1… 2… ‘RVD’ kicks out. With ‘RVD’ grounded, Orton looks to keep it that way as he works his way around Van Dam’s body with stomps, then drops a knee to the head. Orton then wraps his legs around Van Dam’s body for a bodyscissors, trying to squeeze the champion, looking to wear him down. ‘RVD’ tries to fight it, but Orton ups the pressure, and even throws a few cheap right hands to the face for good measure. Van Dam tries to break free, and he finally manages it as he drills elbow after elbows to Orton’s face. Both men stumble up, with Van Dam tagging Orton with right hands… until Orton nails a textbook standing dropkick! Orton goes for the cover… 1… 2… ‘RVD’ rolls a shoulder.
Orton is methodical in his approach as he unloads with more uppercuts, before he doubles Van Dam over with a boot, then hoists him up… gutwrench elevated neckbreaker! Orton drops ‘RVD’ to the mat, and again he goes for a cover… 1… 2… ‘RVD’ kicks out again! Orton storms to his feet, demanding that it was three, but after being told it was only two, Orton drops back down, locking on that trademark wrenching chinlock of his. Determined to wear ‘RVD’ down, Orton wrenches on the hold hard, sapping the life from Van Dam. ‘RVD’ tries to break the grip, but Orton hangs on tight, desperately trying to make Van Dam pass out. Eventually, the crowd rally behind the champion, and ‘RVD’ battles back to a vertical base, drilling elbows to the midsection in an attempt to break free… but Orton grabs a handful of hair, allowing him to smash ‘RVD’ face first off the top turnbuckle. Orton then looks to fire him across the ring… but Van Dam reverses… then races in for a shoulder to the midsection! Another shoulder lands to the gut, before Van Dam handsprings back… but Orton is ready this time as he swings a clothesline… which Van Dam ducks underneath, then jumps to the second rope… springboard superkick! Orton stumbles up, but Van Dam rocks him with a running clothesline! A pair of rights land, before Orton is fired to the corner… and he staggers out into a northern lights suplex! 1… 2… Orton barely kicks out!
Van Dam has all the momentum, but Orton looks to stop this by rolling outside. Van Dam doesn’t let this stop him though, as he lines Orton up… and flies with a plancha! Van Dam takes Orton down, but both men take an age to get back to their feet. When they do, Van Dam rolls Orton back in, but when he climbs up and tries to step through, Orton catches him… ROPE HUNG DDT! Van Dam’s head has a violent collision with the canvas, and Orton rolls him over for the 1… 2… Van Dam rolls the shoulder! Orton is furious, storming to his feet, getting right in the ref’s face, demanding a three count. Turning back to ‘RVD’, Orton decides now is the time to finish it, as he drops to his knees, waiting for Van Dam to rise. It takes an age, but eventually Van Dam is up, and here comes Orton… RKO… NO!
Van Dam pushes Orton away in mid-air, causing Orton to crash to the mat! Van Dam now looks to take advantage, but he’s slow to do so as he slumps against the ropes. Both men now charge, with Orton going for a boot to the midsection… but ‘RVD’ catches it… stepover spinning wheel kick! Van Dam knocks Orton down, and know he heads for the corner, slinging himself to the top rope… where he flies… FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH!!
‘RVD’ gets all of it, grabbing his ribs on impact, but he quickly crawls back over to get the 1… 2… 3!
Winner: Rob Van Dam @ 13.29
Van Dam has done it, another great victory for him as he puts Orton away. Van Dam grabs his ribs as he stumbles backwards into the ropes, the referee handing over the WWE Championship. Van Dam composes himself, straighting himself up as he steps forward to have his hand raised by the referee… until he’s absolutely hammered from behind! It’s Bobby Lashley
! The crowd unleashes a barrage of boos as Lashley mounts the WWE Champion, hammering him with right hands, before he bursts back to his feet and rips off his t-shirt…
Damn it! What the hell is the meanin’ of this!? Bobby Lashley has just assaulted the WWE Champion!
What the hell is Lashley doin’ out here!? He’s got no business bein’ out here, especially after Van Dam just won a hard fought matchup.
I think this is Lashley makin’ his intentions clear. He wants Van Dam at Backlash, Mr. McMahon was about to announce him as the number one contender, and now he’s makin’ sure Van Dam knows he’s not happy about it.
Van Dam somehow is desperately trying to pick himself up off the canvas, his body in serious pain as he clutches the bag of his head. He pushes himself up onto his knees… and then somehow makes it back to his feet… only for Lashley to charge… SPEAR!! Lashley rips through Van Dam, absolutely crushing him, the crowd booing him mercifuly… until suddenly, the boos turn to cheers… as John Cena is sprinting down the ramp!
Cena slides under the bottom rope, where Lashley is waiting to meet him… but Cena tackles him to the canvas! It’s an all-out brawl as Cena and Lashley battle, both men flinging wild rights and lefts as the roll across the mat, until Lashley kicks Cena away… both men make it back to their feet, but Lashley stumbles backwards to the ropes… Cena clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor! The crowd is going wild as Cena makes the save for Van Dam!
Cena roars to the masses, screaming for Lashley to get back in the ring as ‘The Dominator’ picks himself up off the floor. Cena is in a frenzy, demanding that Lashley comes back to face him, but Lashley stands firm, seemingly weighing up the options… until…
*NO CHANCE IN HELL…*
Out of nowhere, the music of Mr. McMahon
hits, with ‘The Boss’ striding out from the back, microphone already in hand…
Cut the music! Shut that damn music off!
And as requested, the music stops, leaving the only sound as the heat from the crowd, but Vince clearly means business as he talks over the top of it…
You might’ve gotten my wife involved in all this Cena, but she’s not the law around here. I am! I always have been, and I always will be!
And that’s why when you and Rob Van Dam say you wanna face each other, I really don’t give a damn! At Backlash, it will
be Rob Van Dam defending the WWE Championship against-
What… again? That’s right, for the second time tonight, Vince is interrupted as Linda McMahon
steps out, joining her husband on the stage, wasting no time in getting down to business…
Vince! Vince… I’m sorry, but this has to be considered a rash decision. And I’m afraid I can’t stand by and let you announce Bobby Lashley as the new number one contender for the WWE Championship.
But in the interest of fairness… I’m going to do what John Cena suggested earlier in the evening. Next week, live on Monday Night Raw… it’s gonna be John Cena and Bobby Lashley one on one… and the winner will face Rob Van Dam at Backlash for the WWE Championship!
A massive cheer from the fans, with Cena pumping his fist in agreement…
Vince… I’ll see you next week in the boardroom.
And with that, Linda turns and heads backstage, leaving an absolutely fuming Vince alone on the stage. Down at ringside, Lashley looks up at Vince, then turns to stare at Cena in the ring. Van Dam is now back on his feet, having heard what was said, and once again, we end Monday Night Raw with the camera switching back and forth, giving us the full flavour of the uneasy tension between all three men…
What an announcement that is! Next week, live on Raw, it’s Cena and Lashley, and the winner is goin’ to Backlash to challenge Rob Van Dam for the WWE Championship!
And not only that, what about the huge board meeting? Vince and Linda are gonna plead their cases, and Mr. McMahon… he could be fired next week!
We’ll see you next week, live for Monday Night Raw! Goodnight!
In the ring, Cena and Van Dam trade a few words, while by now, Lashley is on the stage with Vince, the two looking extremely agitated, with Vince snarling as he takes one last look down at the ring before he storms backstage and we fade to black.
Current Card for WWE BACKLASH:
Date: April 29th, 2007
Location:FedEx Forum; Memphis, Tennessee
WWE Championship Match:
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Bobby Lashley OR John Cena
No Holds Barred Match:
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H
World Tag Team Championships Match:
World Tag Team Champions The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The Straight Edge Saints
Money in the Bank Match:
Mr. Money in the Bank Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy