FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN LIVE
BROADBENT ARENA, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
FRIDAY JANUARY 28TH, 2011
*** DO YOU KNOW THE ENEMY? ***
*** PYRO ***
*** PYRO ***
*** PYRO ***
*** PYRO ***
*** PYRO ***
Todd Grisham and Mick Foley introduce SMACKDOWN as the crowd here in Louisville, Kentucky, cheer excitedly for the first SMACKDOWN on the Road to WrestleMania where tonight we are scheduled to hear from the Royal Rumble winner as well as beginning to find out which SMACKDOWN superstars will be competing in the SMACKDOWN Elimination Chamber match in just over three weeks time ...
FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN GENERAL MANAGER
Boos erupt around the arena as the smirking, arrogant face of the SMACKDOWN General Manager appears on the big screen. After his experiences with his live recording last week, Cole appears to have opted for the recorded version again this week and he begins to speak ...
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Friday Night SMACKDOWN! This is the Number 1 show here in the WWE where the top superstars compete for the top title under the management of the top General Manager ...
More boos erupt at this announcement from Cole, the crowd here in Kentucky clearly do not agree ...
Now, I don’t expect that many of you people here in Kentucky will appreciate this – after all, your most famous achievement is the creation of a popular fried chicken. Cole smirks as the boos erupt again!
However, it is clear to me that you all need to listen to my words of wisdom. When I took over the reins here on SMACKDOWN, I suggested that this was the Number 1 show and I guaranteed that a SMACKDOWN superstar would be victorious at the Royal Rumble. I also guaranteed that Christian would NOT win the World Championship ... And guess what?
The heat that Cole is generating in his new role as the General Manager is growing each time he appears on WWE television ...
I was dead right! Correct on every single thing that I have said so far. But tonight is not about Michael Cole. Tonight is a celebration of SMACKDOWN and a celebration of one man who took on 29 other superstars, took on the odds that were stacked against him ... and overcome every single one of them! Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the winner of the 2011 Royal Rumble, the man who will go to WrestleMania 27 and compete in the main event for the World Heavyweight Championship ... Please welcome ... JOOOHHHHHNNNNNNN CEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNAAAAA!
Cole’s smarmy face disappears from the titantron as a video begins ... The video features highlights from the Royal Rumble as Cena eliminates his opponents, lays the smack down on Randy Orton and then eliminates the Viper to secure the win. The video ends with Cena pointing up at the WrestleMania 27 logo and the crowd boos and jeers as they prepare for his arrival ...
*** MY TIME IS NOW ***
*** JOHN CENA ***
There is an explosion of boos from around the arena as John Cena bounds from backstage, a huge smile on his face, and he stands on stage and looks out around him as the jeers intensify. Smirking, Cena stands at the top of the ramp and he slowly raises his hand and waves it across his face: “You can’t see me!” Cena bursts into a run and he slides under the bottom rope and into the ring before bouncing across the ring off the ropes with a grin on his face.
Last Sunday, Mick, Cena participated in the 30-man Royal Rumble, overcame his issues with RAW superstar Randy Orton and booked his spot in the main event of WrestleMania 27!
Controversially though, Todd. Many people have issues with the way Cena went about defeating Orton to earn that WrestleMania spot. Listen to the reaction Cena is getting!
Cena is stood in the centre of the ring holding a microphone and looking round at the WWE Universe still smirking. His music fades and he laughs out loud to himself as he steps around the ring once more. The fans are completely against him but Cena doesn’t care – he is in the WrestleMania 27 main event regardless!
You do make me laugh, guys! How about a chant? Here, let me get you started off ... “Ceeee ... na ... sucks! Ceeee ... na ... sucks!” ...
Cena continues to compose the crowd as they start to join in with the “Cena sucks!” chant but it doesn’t bother him at all. He cups his ears as the crowd continue to chant and he openly mocks the fans as they chant louder. As the chant dies out, Cena lifts the microphone again ready to continue ...
Hold up, hold up, hold up. Come on, Louisville, let me speak to you about something then. I want to take you a trip down Memory Lane ...
Another intensification of the boos but these die out – people still want to hear about what Cena has to say ...
Two months ago, the night after Survivor Series, I cost Randy Orton his chance to win back the WWE Championship and then Teddy Long brought me here to Friday Night SMACKDOWN. Now, we all know that Teddy Long was a lousy General Manager but that was one of his few good decisions. Over I came and immediately I vowed to win the World Heavyweight Championship and prove that I was the best on SMACKDOWN!
Cena looks round arrogantly at the WWE Universe who continue to give him a lot of grief ...
Last Sunday night, I proved once and for all that I am the man who will be officially announced as SMACKDOWN’s best, SMACKDOWN’s World Heavyweight Champion, when I won the Royal Rumble to earn my title shot at WrestleMania. I don’t care who it is: CM Punk, Christian, Kofi Kingston ... They will lose the World Championship to me at WrestleMania.
An ‘a**hole’ chant begins now as the crowd look to get under Cena’s skin – they fail once again.
Give over, Louisville, I don’t care what you think. You see, a few months ago, I did care. I attended the ‘Make a Wish’ appointments, I shook hands with all the little kids, I signed all the autographs and I smiled for the cameras. And where did it get me? Nowhere. Now, I have more time than ever, I don’t have to put up with all your idiotic children, I don’t have to smile at morons in places like this ...
Huge boos for Cena’s latest comment ...
... and I have a World Championship match at WrestleMania. Why on earth would I care what you think, Louisville? Why on earth would your boos and chants upset me now?
More boos and jeers for Cena but he continues to laugh mockingly at them.
I have the chance at WrestleMania to prove I am the greatest WWE superstar on SMACKDOWN, I’ve proven it over and over on RAW already. I am going to go all the way to WrestleMania 27 unbeaten and then I will win the World Championship and all of you can boo and hiss as much as you want. However, there is one little complication. Randy Orton. For the past two months, Orton has been a constant thorn in my side.
An “RKO!” chant begins as the WWE Universe show their support for the RAW superstar. Cena – for the first time tonight – looks slightly annoyed at the chant.
Oh, shut up!
Intense, loud boos from the crowd!
When I left RAW, I wanted a fresh start here on SMACKDOWN. I wanted a clean break, a chance to prove that I was the best superstar in the WWE but Orton wouldn’t let things rest. We faced each other at Vengeance, I won. I wanted to leave it there but Orton wouldn’t leave it. He continued to stalk me, he continues to want revenge on me for whatever reason. At the Rumble, I once again got the better of him but still he wants a piece of John Cena.
Cena looks down and shakes his head in disappointment over the recent actions of Orton ...
This Monday, I am going to turn up on Monday Night RAW and I have a proposition for Orton. I want to end this once and for all so that I can concentrate on heading to WrestleMania and facing the World Heavyweight Champion, concentrate on proving that I am the best in the WWE and ensure that my name ends WrestleMania 27 in lights when I become the World Heavyweight ...
*** THIS FIRE BURNS ***
*** CM PUNK ***
World Heavyweight Champion
Cena looks up annoyed by the interruption as the World Champion heads out laughing to himself. He kneels down on stage and announces that he it is ‘Clobbering Time’ before readjusting the WWE Championship around his waist. He is bearing a t-shirt proclaiming that he is the ‘Best in the World’ and as he steps up the ring steps, he looks to Cena and chuckles at the look of annoyance on his face. Punk has picked up a microphone as he enters the ring and he stands opposite Cena as the music fades ...
What the hell do you ...
John, John, John, Johnny Boy. Do everybody a favour for a moment, will you? Shut up!
Cena looks stunned but he blusters for a moment before lowering his microphone ...
Thank you, Johnny, now listen to me carefully. I’ve been listening to your spiel backstage and I just had to come out and speak to you. You see, we’re not so different, you and I. Once upon a time, we cared about the fans with a passion, nowadays we couldn’t care less about their opinions ...
Slight heat for Punk’s comment about not caring about the fans ...
You’re out here claiming to be the best in the WWE, I am wearing a t-shirt proclaiming myself to be the ‘Best in the World’ – like I said, not so different. One difference though, Cena, is that I have this. Punk unstraps the World Championship from around his waist and holds it up in the air.
I have this title that proves that I am the best whereas all you have is a title opportunity. Fair enough, you had to win the Rumble to get that but, at the moment, you haven’t proven anything.
Cena raises himself up a little trying to look a little more intimidating but Punk shakes his head at him.
Back down, Johnny, I’m not out here for a fight. I’m simply out here to remind you that at WrestleMania, if you think you’re going to become the World Champion, you’ll have to go through me. You might be looking past me but I assure you that you should have a little bit more respect for me before you go booking your celebration party just yet.
The WWE Universe in attendance look on and there is a little excitement as Cena and Punk’s dialogue continues; a few people are definitely on Punk’s side, his loyal fans as usual.
Before you came here to SMACKDOWN, John, you used to go by the creed of ‘Hustle, Loyalty, Respect’ but nowadays that appears to have been forgotten. Whilst I’m not interested in what the fans think of me, good or bad, I respect people in this industry enough not to think that I can just push them all aside and go unbeaten for months on end. Last Sunday, at the Rumble, I fought with Christian for the title and he earned my respect. We fought to the bitter end and he refused to tap out.
Punk fixes Cena with a stare as he continues ...
I now respect Christian but, as for you, I have no respect yet. Another man who I have no respect for is Michael Cole.
Huge boos for the mention of the SMACKDOWN General Manager ...
On Sunday, Michael Cole came out and he tried to hand me a steel chair, he offered to allow me to smash Christian with the chair and not be disqualified. He wanted me to take the cheap way out.
More boos for Cole’s actions at the Rumble ...
Do I have any respect for Michael Cole? No. Just like you don’t appear to have any respect for the other superstars here on SMACKDOWN. Let me guess, Cena, where do your loyalties lie these days? Are you loyal to Michael Cole?
Cena laughs and then he raise his microphone to respond ...
Can I have your attention please?
*** MICHAEL COLE ***
SMACKDOWN GENERAL MANAGER
Huge jeers echo around the arena as the SMACKDOWN General Manager Michael Cole steps out onto the stage and begins to make his way towards the ring with a determined look on his face.
Hold it there, Punk. Cena doesn’t need to answer that one. We all know that John Cena knows full well that I am the SMACKDOWN General Manager and he knows that I deserve respect. He knows that keeping me onside is beneficial to his career. Just ask Christian and Matt Hardy what happens to people who don’t respect their boss.
Cena raises his eyebrows but Cole misses this as he is focused on Punk. Punk smirks at him and begins his reply ...
Ask Christian and Matt Hardy? Look, Cole, I’ve been wanting words with you about Christian. In three weeks time, I am going to be defending this World Championship in the SMACKDOWN Elimination Chamber match against five other men. I really think, Cole, after his performance on Sunday, that Christian deserves to be one of those five men.
You do, do you? You think that Christian should be given another opportunity for the World Championship? Really?
Punk nods his head and Cole grimaces towards Cena who is listening intently ...
After he gave up to your Anaconda Vice?
Punk rolls his eyes at Cole and nods his head again.
Yes, Cole, I do. You see, Christian didn’t tap out to my Anaconda Vice. He passed out. And not only do I think he deserves another shot at the title, I also contacted the WWE board of directors and requested that they give him another shot as well.
Cole looks annoyed with Punk ...
That was you, was it? Punk nods his head, smiling.
The board have contacted me regarding Christian and they have insisted that he is given a chance to earn himself a place in the Elimination Chamber. Completely against my wishes, obviously, but ... Cole shrugs his shoulders.
So I made my decision, I would give him a shot. Tonight, there will be a number of qualifying matches for the Chamber match and Christian will be involved in one. Tonight’s main event as it happens ...
Cole looks directly into the eyes of his World Champion with a threatening stare ...
Now, Punk, I thought you were different. I thought you were a champion that I could be proud of. I thought that Cena and you could dominate SMACKDOWN and the WWE for the foreseeable future. Last Sunday, you disappointed me when you spurned my offer of help. So tonight, I want to make sure that I have your loyalty ...
Punk laughs out loud at this statement, he is highly amused by the thought of being loyal to Cole.
Loyal to you?
Yes, Punk loyal to me. Now if you want to do things the difficult way, Punk, you can go against me if you wish. However, now that I am General Manager, I can make life very, very difficult for you.
A look of concern passes across the face of Punk and he glances towards Cena who is smiling at the thought of Punk’s life being made difficult. Cole continues ...
However, if you would like, you can do things the easy way. You see, tonight Punk, Christian will be in the qualifying match for the Elimination Chamber ... against you ... and John Cena!
Boos erupt around the arena as Punk shakes his head in anger ... On the commentary, Grisham and Foley react incredulously at the news that Christian will have to defeat the Royal Rumble winner, John Cena, and the World Champion, CM Punk, if he wishes to be involved in the Elimination Chamber. Cole has a huge smile on his face ...
You’re joking me, Cole?
Do I look as if I am joking, Punk? If Christian wants to be in the Elimination Chamber match, he needs to defeat Cena and yourself in a Handicap match tonight. If he doesn’t, then I’m afraid that he will have blown his chance!
Punk looks towards Cena who is nodding his head happily ...
Christian deserves better than that, Cole, you know ...
I KNOW that I am the General Manager of Friday Night SMACKDOWN, Punk. Tonight, you will team up with Cena here ... Cole pats his Royal Rumble winner on the shoulder.
... and you will defeat Christian. If you don’t beat him, I will hold you personally responsible for it, Punk.
Cena flashes a grin at Punk and then lifts his microphone up to speak ...
I see what you mean now, Punk? Respect for each other? That’s the key, alright. I’ll see you later, shall I? Partner?!
Cena laughs and then accompanies Cole as he exits the ring leaving a flabbergasted CM Punk stood in the ring with a concerned, annoyed look on his face as he contemplates tonight’s main event ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns and Grisham and Foley recap the announcements from before the break by showing part of the confrontation between Michael Cole and CM Punk as John Cena watched on. Grisham reminds us that tonight’s main event will see Christian in a 2 vs. 1 Handicap Match with CM Punk and John Cena and that he needs to win the match to earn his place in the SMACKDOWN Elimination Chamber match. Foley also reminds us that Punk needs to ensure that Christian doesn’t win or else Michael Cole is planning to make his life as World Champion extremely difficult ...
*** SOMEBODIES GONNA’ GET THEIR ASS KICKED ***
*** MARK HENRY ***
Smiling as normal, the ‘World’s Strongest Man’ Mark Henry heads out and lifts his hands up high in the air to acknowledge the cheers of the WWE Universe in attendance. Henry heads towards the ring slapping hands with the fans in the rampway area before stepping into the ring and saluting the fans. Grisham reminds us that last Sunday night Mark Henry and his partner, Evan Bourne, were involved in the final fall of the Tag Team Turmoil match but were outwitted by the British Empire. Henry turns to await his opponent for this Elimination Chamber qualifying match ...
*** CRANK IT UP ***
*** BIG SHOW ***
Stepping out from backstage, the ‘World’s Largest Athlete’ heads out as well with a look on disgust on his face as he is greeted by a less than enthusiastic welcome from the crowd. After his problems with Kofi Kingston of late, Show’s Royal Rumble was shortlived after he was eliminated by Kofi late on in the contest to deny him the chance of challenging for the WWE or the World Championship. Grisham suggests that the issues between Kofi and Show are probably still not resolved; this idea is confirmed quickly by Foley.
Big Show stands up and looks down on the fallen Henry who is not moving much at all after he was clocked with the WMD punch. Show is the first man confirmed in the SMACKDOWN Elimination Chamber to challenge for CM Punk’s World Championship and he looks to be an incredible danger to the chances of Punk retaining. Despite the win, Show doesn’t look any happier with life and he stands over Henry looking annoyed before turning and heading out of the ring with his music playing in the background. Some fans mouth off at Show as he walks up the ramp once more but he doesn’t react – a mere look is enough to silence most of them. As he backs off the stage and out of sight, the camera switches to the interview area where Josh Mathews is waiting.
SINGLES MATCH: Winner earns a spot in the SMACKDOWN Elimination Chamber match** 1 **
BIG SHOW vs. MARK HENRY
The match begins with the two big men facing up to each other in the centre of the ring as if daring each other to try and knock the other one over. A shoving contest ensues before Henry comes off the ropes and attempts to take Show down with a tackle. Show staggers but remains on his feet. Henry tries twice more with the same result as Show mocks his attempts. Show then tries the same move but Henry – thinking cleverly – moves aside and then catches an unsuspecting Show with right hands as he looks to get on top in the contest. Show retaliates by grabbing Henry by the throat but not even he can Choke Slam the World’s Strongest Man and a kick to the knee from Henry gets him space and takes Show down to one leg. Henry comes off the ropes and hits a boot to the face that sends Show spinning and he crashes to the mat as the crowd roar him on. Henry goes for a cover but cannot get a 3-count and Show gets to his feet quickly and hits a number of slaps to the chest of Henry before mowing him down with a clothesline that takes Henry down for the first time. Henry is able to counter with a drop toe hold move and Show’s head cracks off the turnbuckle giving Henry chance to go for a big move as the match slows down further. Henry climbs to the corner ropes and steadies himself before trying to splash Show from the middle rope ... Too late, Show moves! As Henry staggers up, Show is able to go for a Choke Slam again but Henry again battles out and goes on the offensive. As Henry tries to lift Show for the World’s Strongest Slam though, he takes on too much. Staggering under the weight of Show, he is forced to release him and this leaves him unsuspecting ... CHOKE SLAM! HENRY CHOKE SLAMMED TO THE MAT! Big Show looks down, breathing harder now, at Henry who is laid out, the ring still shaking from the impact of his 450+ frame slamming down on it. Show stands back and winds up his big fist as Henry groggily gets up ... WMD PUNCH! HENRY SPINS ROUND KNOCKED COLD BY SHOW! Big Show places a huge foot over the chest of Henry as the referee makes the count ...
** 2 **
** 3 **
BIG SHOW (3:48) via pinfall
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome my guest ... ZACK RYDER!
Ryder comes into shot dressed in a custom made t-shirt and ready for action tonight. He looks serious for a change as he awaits Mathews’ questioning ...
Zack, on NXT last Tuesday, Curt Hawkins and yourself were defeated by the British Empire and failed to regain your Tag Team Championships. After the match, Curt blamed you – once again – for the defeat. Tonight, you go one on one with Curt as you look to put aside your differences. You thoughts?
Ryder thinks for a moment before answering ...
You know what, Josh, I thought that Curt was my Broski. We come from the same city, we like the same music, we worked so well as a team. We were the Long Island Major Broskis and we were the Tag Team Champions. But for the past few weeks, Curt has been questioning my performances in our matches. I’m not going to lie to you, Josh, that has hurt me. Especially seeing as Curt has been just as much to blame as I have. When he blamed me again on Tuesday night on NXT, I snapped.
A quick replay of Ryder hitting the Rough Ryder to Hawkins on NXT after their loss to the British Empire ...
It felt good, Josh. It felt good to stick it to Curt and show him that I wasn’t going to be blamed for anything. And now, I’m ready to move on and concentrate on my singles career. Tonight, I take revenge on Curt and then the ‘Ryder Revolution’ can finally begin. I am ready to prove to the WWE that I am the Long Island Iced Z, I am ready to feature on SMACKDOWN and I am ready to be the future of this company. You can count on that, bro. Woo Woo Woo ... You know it!
*** CURT HAWKINS ***
Decent reaction to Ryder’s words from the crowd but Curt Hawkins is in the ring and has been watching on the titantron. He is looking very unimpressed with Ryder’s words as his theme tune plays in the background and he prepares himself for his match against his former partner.
*** RADIO ***
*** ZACK RYDER ***
A small pop for Ryder who comes down looking focus and his attention squarely on his former friend and – it seems – his former partner. He steps into the ring and he flashes the LI symbol on the buckles before turning to face Hawkins who is speaking to him animatedly. Hawkins is still berating Ryder but he then tries to offer out his hand for a truce. Ryder stares at it for a moment and appears to be considering it to the disappointment of the crowd. However, he then makes a big decision and he refuses the handshake as he tells the referee to get the match started. As Ryder removes his shirt and tosses it out, Hawkins takes advantage and attacks Ryder from behind forcing the referee to signal for the bell to start the match ...
Despite winning the match, Ryder looks anything but the winner as Hawkins gets to his feet and joins in with Swagger to lay down a beating on the Long Island Iced Z. What on earth is going on here? Why is Jack Swagger helping Curt Hawkins? Swagger lifts Ryder up and sets him up ... PUMPHANDLE SLAM! Ryder crashes down onto the mat on his back and he writhes in pain as Hawkins continues to stick the boots to him. Hawkins looks to Swagger and mutters something before heading for the top rope. As he waits on the ropes, Swagger grabs Ryder’s right leg and lifts it off the mat ... ANKLE LOCK! SWAGGER HAS THE ANKLE LOCK ON RYDER! Zack is tapping out but Swagger refuses to let go despite the officials demanding that he does so immediately. As Ryder screams in pain from the Ankle Lock, Hawkins steps up onto the top rope ... HEAT SEEKING ELBOW! HAWKINS DROPS THE ELBOW ON RYDER’S BACK! Swagger releases Ryder from the Ankle Lock now and the medics and officials swarm into the ring. A Heat Seeking Elbow whilst he was in the Ankle Lock? A brutal and vicious attack from Hawkins and Swagger who now exit the ring with beaming smiles together. Grisham and Foley are in complete shock on the commentary as the camera follows the pair of them up the ramp where they are taking some heat from the crowd. However, they appear not interested as they exit the arena whilst the camera returns to a seriously hurt Zack Ryder in the ring ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns with footage of Zack Ryder being helped out of the arena before a replay of the devastating moment when Hawkins hit the Heat Seeking Elbow from the top rope on Ryder’s back whilst he was trapped in Swagger’s Ankle Lock. Foley criticises the actions of Hawkins and wonders why he would do that to his Tag Team partner? Grisham suggests that Hawkins might have found himself a new partner already ...
*** REALEZA ***
CURT HAWKINS vs. ZACK RYDER
Hawkins begins to lay into the back and shoulders of the Long Island Iced Z, Zack Ryder, and he pummels him as the WWE Universe boo and jeer his actions – Hawkins doesn’t care! After a while, Hawkins drags Ryder up and he hooks his arms around his stomach and hits a belly to back suplex that crashes Ryder down hard onto his back. Ryder kicks out of the cover at 2 though and Hawkins is forced to continue the attack as he stomps at the stomach and knees of Zack in the corner before ramming his head several times into the turnbuckles. More heat from the crowd but then Ryder strikes a counter-elbow that knocks Hawkins down and buys him a little time. Hawkins rubs his jaw annoyed on the mat and then gets up and goes for an Enzuguri kick to Ryder but this is ducked and the crowd cheer as Ryder hits the Broski Boot in the corner to stun Hawkins a little. Ryder continues with a drop kick that knocks Hawkins down and out through the ropes as he starts to take control. Following him outside, Ryder stalks Hawkins when the cameras show that another person is heading out to the ring ...
*** JACK SWAGGER ***
Grisham and Foley on commentary are at a loss for the reason for Swagger’s appearance here tonight – he has no issues that we know of with either of these two men. Ryder slams Hawkins down on the outside and then follows it up with a leg drop before he drags Curt up once more and rolls him back into the ring, Ryder is on a roll here as he looks to prove his superiority over what seems to be his former Tag Team partner. Ryder steps back and begins to hold up the L.I. symbol with his hands as he waits for Hawkins to get up ... Ryder is preparing for the Rough Ryder ... Wait a minute! What the hell is Swagger doing?! The former World Champion has jumped into the ring and just barrelled into the back of Ryder for no reason, the referee has no choice here!
** THE REFEREE SIGNALS FOR THE BELL – HAWKINS HAS BEEN DISQUALIFIED! **
ZACK RYDER (3:03) via D/Q
*** ALBERTO DEL RIO ***
(w/Ricardo Rodriguez) | Intercontinental Champion
Ricardo Rodriguez is shown in the ring as he waits for the arrival of the Intercontinental Champion, his employer, Alberto Del Rio, to make his way out into the arena in his Rolls Royce car. Del Rio steps out of the car and onto the stage as the golden rain showers down behind him and Rodriguez introduces him to the crowd who aren’t fans of the wealthy Mexican. He dismisses their jeers as he heads for the ring and enters between the ropes held apart by Rodriguez. Foley and Grisham discuss the Royal Rumble and remind us that Del Rio’s fellow Mexican, Rey Mysterio, made his return from injury – inflicted by Del Rio – to eliminate the Intercontinental Champion.
*** S.O.S. ***
*** KOFI KINGSTON ***
As Kingston comes bounding out onto the stage and the fireworks explode around him, Foley suggests that the Royal Rumble was yet another moment when Kofi got so close to glory but couldn’t quite get there. Grisham reminds us that Kingston reached the final five of the Rumble but was eliminated when he was close to achieving his goal. Foley airs the suggestion that maybe Kofi is not capable of that one last huge victory that would propel him into superstardom as Kofi leaps up on the ropes and slaps his hands together in salute to the WWE Universe. Grisham informs us that both men have a huge opportunity tonight to prove that they are heading into the big time as they do battle for a place in the Elimination Chamber match for the World Championship right now!
Kofi Kingston jumps up in celebration as he books his place in the Elimination Chamber match and earns himself an opportunity to compete for the World Championship yet again. As the referee holds up the hand in victory, Del Rio protests and points angrily to the smiling Rey Mysterio who is still stood outside the ring. Laughing at his enemy, Mysterio backs away pointing up in the sky as Del Rio watches on. Kofi exits the ring and he gives Mysterio a hug before Rey holds his hand up high to taunt Del Rio who is still in the ring. As SMACKDOWN exits into another commercial, Foley speculates that this is only the start of Mysterio’s revenge against Alberto for the injury he caused five months ago ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SINGLES MATCH: Winner earns a spot in the SMACKDOWN Elimination Chamber match
ALBERTO DEL RIO (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. KOFI KINGSTON
As you would expect from these two, the different styles of the pair of them go together well and produce a decent paced match that entertains the crowd. After a fast start from Kofi Kingston, it is Alberto Del Rio who takes over the match after he counters with a clothesline – a distraction from his personal ring announcer helps slightly though. Despite his control of the match, Kofi continues to show signs of danger as he threatens to get back on top and the match swings back and forth for a while as it winds towards a conclusion. When Kofi manages to avoid a corner clothesline from the Mexican in the corner, he rushes across the ring and off the ropes before hitting a high, diving crossbody off the ropes. A 2-count follows as Kofi looks to secure his Elimination Chamber spot but he then decides to head up the ropes for the first time tonight. Another distraction from Rodriguez follows and this causes a delay to Kofi on the top rope and allows Del Rio to knock one of his feet off the ropes and causes him to land awkwardly over the top buckle as the men in the crowd wince for him. Dragging Kofi down off the ropes, Del Rio smirks and he locks Kofi’s arm up ready to roll through and lock in the Cross Arm Breaker when all of a sudden, somebody else makes an appearance here tonight ...
*** BOOYAKA! BOOYAKA! 6-1-9! ***
*** REY MYSTERIO ***
The crowd go wild for the sight of the returning Mysterio who clearly retains a fierce issue with Del Rio after the Aristocrat caused his injury months ago. Mysterio walks down the ramp eying Del Rio who is now stood at the ropes, pointing to Rey and warning him to stay away. This is giving Kofi time to rest of course and when Del Rio goes to grab Kofi and try again, the Ghanaian shakes him off and pops him off into the ropes ... Drop kick from Kofi! Del Rio wobbles to his feet and Kofi locks him up ... SOS! KOFI HITS THE SOS ON DEL RIO! He makes the cover ... No! Del Rio kicks out at 2! Kofi is stunned but goes on the offensive and climbs the ropes once more. He steps onto the top turnbuckle and leaps off ... Diving Crossbody! But Del Rio rolls it though, hooks the leg and grabs the bottom rope ... The referee is making the count as Del Rio uses the rope for leverage here ... 1 ... 2 ... Mysterio rescues Kofi and knocks Del Rio’s hand off the ropes and allowing Kofi to kick out. Del Rio is on his knees staring at Mysterio in annoyance as the referee, who now realises what Alberto was doing, reprimands him. Del Rio slowly gets up, the hatred between him and Rey is obvious ... TROUBLE IN PARADISE! DEL RIO TURNS INTO THE TROUBLE IN PARADISE! Kofi makes the cover ... Has he sealed his place in the Chamber?
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
KOFI KINGSTON (8:47) via pinfall
*** LAST TUESDAY ON NXT ***
A highlights video airs that recaps the action on NXT last Tuesday night. Striker’s announcement about the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh ranked participants facing each other is played along with the news that next week will see the first NXT elimination match. McIntyre hitting the Future Shock DDT to MVP is shown and the news that it will be MVP against Dolph Ziggler is shown on a match card. Following that, clips of a miserable looking JBL are shown along with the reasons for this: Kaval winning the Royal Rumble, Rock hitting the Rock Bottom to him during the Rumble match. Snippets of Kaval berating JBL and all the other non-believers are played before JBL calling out Rock to the ring. The scene turns more sinister and the action slows down into black and white as we see Rock laid face down on the concrete after being attacked with a steel pipe with medics positioned around him looking concerned. As the video ends, JBL’s face is shown with him smiling for the first time since before the Rumble PPV ...
NEXT WEEK: Dolph Ziggler vs. MVP (Loser will be eliminated from NXT and the WWE)
The cameras return to the announce table where Foley and Grisham are sat looking sombre after watching the NXT recap video ...
I’ve heard from the WWE medics tonight on SMACKDOWN who have told me that Rock is suffering from a severe concussion after the attack on Tuesday. Doctors have ordered him to take an indefinite amount of time off until he is fully recovered so he will miss NXT this Tuesday night.
And with one of his team, Dolph Ziggler, going up against MVP in the first NXT Elimination contest, Rock could return to NXT and find that members of his team have been eliminated.
The cameras switch backstage where we see the Hardy Boys stood together sharing a joke and laughing together. Cue huge cheers from the SMACKDOWN audience as they see the popular team back together again. Into the picture walks the SMACKDOWN General Manager, Michael Cole. Cue huge jeers from the SMACKDOWN audience as well as a look of disgust from the Hardys as they look at Cole.
Michael Cole, what can we do for you then?
Cole looks equally unimpressed to see the Hardys and he smirks before speaking to them ...
Look, this is definitely not my decision but I’ve been speaking to the WWE board of directors ...
Yeah, we heard, man. Just to let you know, the match you set up for Christian, completely wrong.
Cole looks at Jeff and looks a little annoyed at this comment.
When I want advice on how to run SMACKDOWN, Jeff, I’ll let you know. For now, we’ll just assume I’m doing a great job on SMACKDOWN, shall we?
Matt and Jeff cast amused looks towards each other, they clearly don’t agree. Cole shakes his head in annoyance but continues on.
Like I said, I was speaking to the board earlier and they demanded that I give Christian a chance to earn a spot in the Elimination Chamber. They also insisted that I give the pair of you a chance as well.
The Hardys suddenly perk up their interest in Cole as they sense a chance to earn their spot in the Elimination Chamber World Championship match in three weeks. Cole smirks at their interested faces ...
Not running your mouths now, I see? Anyway, I’ve been racking my brains and I’ve decided that tonight, you will team up to face the new Tag Team Champions, the British Empire. If you can beat them, and I severely doubt you will ...
Cole laughs as the Hardys now look annoyed again ...
If you beat them, you will earn a spot in the Elimination Chamber match.
A smile spreads across the faces of the Hardys as Cole turns and walks out of the locker room. A golden chance for the Hardy Boys to earn their spot in the Elimination Chamber as they go up against the Tag Team Champions later tonight. The cameras switch back to the ring where music of the ‘Dashing’ one begins to play ...
*** SMOKE AND MIRRORS ***
*** CODY RHODES ***
Cody Rhodes steps out and checks his appearance in the mirror on the titantron before heading towards the ring laughing at the WWE Universe as they attempt to mock him. Rhodes is clearly feeling superior to the people of Louisville and he points at some of the uglier members of the WWE Universe as he mocks them before he jogs up the ring steps and removes his jacket. He continues to look around the arena at the other people in attendance whilst he awaits his opponent ...
*** BOOYAKA! BOOYAKA! 6-1-9! ***
*** REY MYSTERIO ***
For the second time this evening, Mysterio comes running out and he greets the youngsters in the rampside seats as he presses his masked forehead against theirs and speaks some words of encouragement. He removes his custom-made shirt and drapes it over one of the children before sliding under the bottom rope and saluting the fans by holding up a finger and pointing to the ceiling. The crowd are clearly delighted to see Mysterio back on SMACKDOWN and he is clearly delighted to be back on SMACKDOWN too. As he bounces on the balls of his feet, he faces Cody Rhodes and the referee signals for the bell to begin the contest ...
A huge roar from the SMACKDOWN crowd as Mysterio makes a winning return to SMACKDOWN and to singles competition here tonight. An embarrassed Cody Rhodes slides out of the ring and away as Rey jumps onto the middle rope in the corner of the ring to salute the crowd after his win. An increase in noise should give the Mexican a warning but he doesn’t notice until it is too late. He jumps down from the middle rope, still facing out into the crowd, and then ... BAM! Enzuguri kick!
SINGLES MATCH** 1 **
CODY RHODES vs. REY MYSTERIO
Mysterio and Rhodes size each other up early on before Rhodes begins to mock Rey’s height and underestimates him like so many have done in the past. To be fair to Cody, he is able to control the match as he hits a number of knee drops and dropkick moves that keep Mysterio grounded in the early going. At one point though, Rey counters with a Hurricanrana, the crowd come alive as Rhodes heads into the ropes and ends up straggled over the middle rope. Mysterio goes for the 619 but Rhodes sees it coming and rolls out of the way in time ... Mysterio was starting his swing round and he stands on the edge of the ring apron, he leaps up onto the top rope and goes for a second Hurricanrana as Rhodes spins round. However, Rhodes catches Mysterio out and hits the Alabama Slam before dropping down and balling up Rey for the cover ... 2 count! Rhodes is livid with the referee, he thought he had the match won there. Cody climbs to the top rope and goes for a drop kick that connects and Rey is sent down to the mat once more ... another cover from Cody Rhodes ... 2 count again! Rhodes cannot believe he hasn’t put Rey away and he sets up for the Cross Rhodes instead, Mysterio is having none of it though and he uses his flexibility to kick Rhodes in the head a couple of times to make the break. Springboarding off the middle rope, Rey hits a crossbody and then jumps up, springboards off the ropes on the other side of the ring and hits a Bulldog to Cody as he gets up. Cover from Rey gets a 2-count as he looks to have the match under control now. Rhodes rolls out of the ring now and takes a moment but Rey wants to get this match won and he goes flying through the ropes and connects with a huge Suicide Dive that crashes Rhodes back into the barricades. The referee orders both men back into the ring and starts a countout, Rhodes only just makes it back in time (8) and this allows Mysterio time to prepare. Rhodes sees him coming off the top rope again though and he catches Rey and looks for a second Alabama Slam ... however, this time, Rey turns it into a Headscissors takedown that leaves Rhodes over the ropes again. The crowd are on their feet, here we go again! MYSTERIO HITS THE 619 TO CODY RHODES! AND FOLLOWS WITH THE DIVING HEADBUTT! Mysterio makes the cover on Rhodes ...
** 2 **
** 3 **
REY MYSTERIO (5:48) via pinfall
*** ALBERTO DEL RIO ***
Alberto Del Rio has returned to the ring and he does not look happy as he drops onto his knees and begins to pummel Mysterio’s masked face hard over and over as his victim tries desperately to cover up. Ricardo Rodriguez is also in the ring and he is shouting encouragement at Del Rio who seems to have snapped. Getting up and shaking his hand which he has hurt in punching Rey over and over, Del Rio steps back a little and then rushes back and connects with a low drop kick to the side of Mysterio’s head that sends him rolling under the rope to the outside with a thud. Del Rio is intent on hurting Rey and he follows him out and drags him to his feet before holding an arm behind his back and then ramming him shoulder first into the ring steps, Mysterio hits them with a loud crash and is clutching his shoulder and elbow. Grisham worriedly informs us that that is the arm that Del Rio injured months ago on SMACKDOWN to take Rey out and it appears he is intent on doing it one more time. As Rey tries to climb back up, using the steps for support, Del Rio stretches his injured arm over the steps and tells Rodriguez to hold it over them. With his arm exposed, Del Rio steps up and pauses for a moment before slamming his boot down hard onto the arm several times. Rey rolls around in pain on the outside of the ring and is clearly in agony here, Foley urges Del Rio to stop but nothing could be further from the wealthy Mexican’s mind. He rolls Rey back into the ring and follows before standing over him with an evil smirk on his face. He points to himself and shouts to the crowd in Spanish before grabbing Mysterio’s arm and pausing ... CROSS ARM BREAKER! DEL RIO HAS THE CROSS ARM BREAKER LOCKED IN ON MYSTERIO AGAIN! Mysterio is tapping immediately but Del Rio refuses to release him, he is set to cause another injury right here as Del Rio completely ignores the instructions of the medics and referees ...
*** EVAN BOURNE & MARK HENRY***
The Tag Team of Mark Henry and Evan Bourne rush to the ring looking concerned and angry, they have both had some issues with Del Rio of late, but Rodriguez warns him and he releases Rey as they enter the ring. Del Rio rolls away as Bourne and Henry rush over to Mysterio to check on him and this gives Del Rio chance to retreat up the ramp. Rodriguez catches up and hands him his Intercontinental Championship belt and Del Rio backs up the ramp and out leaving Mysterio a sorry state in the ring as Grisham wonders how long this injury will take from Rey’s career in the WWE ...
SMACKDOWN heads into another commercial but this time advertises next week’s SMACKDOWN main event that Michael Cole has already determined ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns with a buzz of excitement in the air at the news that Undertaker and Kane will face each other next week in an Elimination Chamber Qualifier – and it will be a Buried Alive match. Foley and Grisham talk about the hell these two have been putting each other through for the past six months since Kane’s attack on his brother on Memorial Day last year and about how this match could finally put an end the rivalry between them.
*** RULE BRITANNIA ***
*** MASON RYAN & WILLIAM REGAL - BRITISH EMPIRE ***
(w/Finlay) | Tag Team Champions
Sauntering out with Finlay waving the red, white and blue colours of the Union Jack, Mason Ryan and William Regal, the Tag Team Champions, head towards the ring with smiles on their faces after their recent title victories at the Rumble (Tag Team Turmoil) and on NXT (Ryder and Hawkins) as they won and retained their first Tag Team Championship together. They mock the audience as they come towards the ring, Ryan with the Tag Title over his red, white and blue tights, Regal in a splendid, elaborate cloak that hides his black trunks and title belt. As the trio step into the ring, Finlay waves the flag to heat from the American crowd as Regal looks around with a look of disdain on his face, clearly unimpressed with what he can see. He signals for and is handed a microphone which he stands central in the ring with and holds up his hand for the music to be faded out. As the music dies, the heat for the Empire gathers noise again and Regal is forced to wait ...
Now, now, now, Louisville, that is no way to treat guests to your state!
Another eruption of boos and jeers as Mason Ryan threateningly tries to intimidate the crowd into silence. They appear to be refusing though and Regal shakes his head in annoyance.
Tonight, you are being handed a once in a lifetime opportunity, a real privilege, an undoubted highlight in your miserable existences. Tonight, Louisville, not only do you get to see three of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s representatives ...
Thumbs down signals from the crowd as a chant of ‘Regal sucks!’ begins in the arena. Regal again pauses and waits, a look of impatience on his face, before continuing ...
But you also get to see the new Tag Team Champions!
Foley comments that the way they won, and retained, those titles was controversial to say the least and that the Louisville crowd’s reaction shows that they are not impressed by the sight of the champions in the ring.
Now, I know that you still don’t understand that anything that you idiotic Americans do, we Brits ...
Regal is really riling up the crowd here tonight and a ‘USA! USA!’ chant now begins in a show of national pride ...
... we Brits do it ten times better as well as with an air of manners and grace. We proved that last Sunday when we beat all of your heroes and won the Tag Team Championships within weeks of introducing ourselves to you. That, Louisville, is impressive.
Ryan applauds Regal’s comments whilst Finlay waves the flag with increased fervour ...
If you want an example of how the British are superior to the Americans in everything we do, take a look at our opponents tonight. Matt and Jeff Hardy ...
Cheers for the mention of the Hardy Boys ...
Tonight, they team together for the first time in years to try and beat us and earn themselves a place in the SMACKDOWN Elimination Chamber. Look at their history. One man who has failed with every single opportunity that he has ever had in life; another man who finally succeeded but then blew it through his own stupidity.
More heat for Regal’s comments and jibes at the Hardys ...
I look at Matt and Jeff Hardy and I ask myself why this abomination of a team is still allowed here in the WWE. Why are they been given chance to earn a spot in the Elimination Chamber when the British Empire is more deserving of their chances after just three WWE matches together?
A ‘Hardy!’ chant goes up, the crowd want to see Matt and Jeff come out and shut Regal’s mouth ...
Tonight, your heroes, the Hardys, will waste another chance at glory. Tonight, the British Empire makes a stand and proves to you all that not only is Britain superior to America, not only is the British Empire more deserving of an Elimination Chamber place than the Hardys but that it is time that all of you morons in the WWE Universe ...
Morons? Way to impress the crowd, Regal!
... all of you morons will take notice and realise that we are here ... to dominate the WWE!
Boos and jeers again as Regal tosses the microphone away and turns back to Mason Ryan and Finlay who look impressed by what he said and clearly agree with him ...
*** LOADED ***
*** HARDY BOYS ***
An explosion of noise in the arena as the Hardys, reunited for a match for the first time in three years, come racing out onto the stage and greet the fans together in a classic SMACKDOWN moment. The electric in the air is palpable and Matt and Jeff hug on stage before racing down to the ring and sliding under the bottom rope. The Empire take leave of the ring for a moment to allow the Hardys chance to jump up on the ropes and salute the crowd ‘Hardy-style’ as Foley excitedly claims them to be the WWE’s greatest ever tag team and says he loves seeing them back together and ready to rock the world once more. Grisham runs down the impressive achievements of the Hardys – seven time Tag Team Champions, innovators of the infamous TLC matches as well as numerous singles titles including Jeff capturing the World Championship back in late 2008 – before they turn and face the Empire and beckon them to get in the ring to begin the match tonight. Matt and Jeff look determined to win the match, earn their spots in the Elimination Chamber match and – as Foley points out – propel themselves into major contention for a Tag Team Championship match as well. The Empire climb back into the ring and Regal and Ryan hand over their title belts to the referee who also orders Finlay out of the ring and to stay out of the contest.
A huge reaction greets the 3-count and the crowd go wild for the result – Matt and Jeff Hardy have qualified for the Elimination Chamber match! Matt returns to the ring and the brothers hug in the middle of the ring, one of these two men could win the World Championship in just three weeks time, their smiles are spread wide across their face. The British Empire have skulked away embarrassed by their first defeat as a team in the WWE since their formation and the Hardys continue to celebrate and salute the crowd who are cheering for them. However ...
TAG TEAM MATCH: If Hardy Boys win, they earn a spot in the SMACKDOWN Elimination Chamber match** 1 **
MASON RYAN & WILLIAM REGAL vs. HARDY BOYS
The Tag Team Champions waste time early as they try to rile up the Hardys who are desperate to get back into their Tag Team routine right now – Regal continues to hold up Matt who is starting out for them. When Regal finally starts the match properly, Hardy takes the early advantage before tagging in Jeff who continues. The turning point comes when Finlay – as ever – causes a distraction to Jeff and this allows Regal to tag in the powerhouse, Mason Ryan. In comes the Welsh enforcer of the team and he mows down Jeff with a shoulder block before ramming into Matt and knocking him flying off the apron. Ryan goes after Jeff now and slams him hard into the mat several times before a mean looking leg drop off that gets a 2-count. A tag to Regal follows and now Regal can apply his technical assault as he hits several suplexes and submission style holds that weaken Jeff. Matt is back on the apron and is desperate for the tag but Jeff cannot get to him. When he does manage to hit a mule kick to Regal and starts to crawl over towards his brother, Mason Ryan tags in and again knocks Matt off the apron just in time. Jeff slumps and this allows Mason to stomp on his lower back over and over before dragging him to the centre of the ring. Regal takes the tag and he goes straight for Jeff who is in trouble here ... REGAL STRETCH! JEFF HARDY COULD BE FORCED TO TAP TO REGAL HERE! Jeff is scrambling for the ropes but he can’t reach, will he have to tap out here? In comes a fired up Matt, he is fed up of the tactics of the Empire and he runs over and kicks Regal in the head before surprising Ryan with a shot to the face. The referee grabs Matt and ushers him away as Regal tags Mason Ryan back in, the Welshman comes in and looks to set up for his powerbomb finisher ... Jeff counters into a DDT and both men are down on the mat. Jeff crawls over slowly, he is inching closer and closer ... Tag to Matt! Ryan also tags in Regal, here we go, the fight is on now! Matt and Regal trade blows, this is not the way Regal likes to wrestle! Matt hits a kick to the knee of Regal and then hooks his head and suplexes him over and crashes him down on the mat. As Regal staggers up, Matt tags in Jeff who backs away to the corner ... Matt drops to his knees in front of Regal, Jeff runs over and uses Matt as a springboard, clothesline to Regal in the corner. In comes Ryan again, this is breaking down now, Jeff ducks under his clothesline though and Matt surprises him with a huge clothesline that staggers Ryan through the ropes and to the outside with a thud. Matt exits the ring as per the orders of the ref as Jeff lifts himself up onto the middle rope ... Missile dropkick from the ropes by Jeff! 2-count only though! Jeff tags in Matt again, he comes in and whips Regal to the ropes before catching him with a reverse elbow and then clotheslining him down to the mat. As Regal slowly gets up, Matt waits and waits ... Side Effect! Regal crashes down hard, he is in trouble here ... 1 ... 2 ... No! Ryan drags Hardy out with the legs to the outside! Matt and Mason Ryan trade blows and the Welsh Dragon is getting the better of it until Jeff comes around the corner of the ring, balancing on the top of the barricades and hits a diving clothesline to the big man that knocks him down once more. Matt clobbers Finlay next before he rolls back into the ring and he waits ... Could it be time for the Twist of Fate? Matt tries but Regal counters by shoving him away, Regal looks for a tag but there is no partner there ... he turns around and Matt hits him with a dropkick that staggers him into the corner ... TWIST OF FATE! MATT HITS THE TWIST OF FATE! Matt looks down on Regal and then runs over and tags in Jeff instead of making the cover ... Jeff climbs the ropes ... SWANTON BOMB! JEFF HARDY HITS THE SWANTON BOMB ON REGAL! Jeff makes the cover as Matt takes down Mason Ryan again on the outside to keep him away ...
** 2 **
** 3 **
HARDY BOYS (6:48) via pinfall
Can I have your attention please?
*** MICHAEL COLE ***
SMACKDOWN GENERAL MANAGER
Boos and jeers erupt around the arena once more as the SMACKDOWN General Manager comes out for a second time carrying a microphone and smiling broadly ...
Matt, Jeff ... Congratulations. I promised that if you won tonight, you would get a shot at the World Championship in the Elimination Chamber. I am a man of my word and that is exactly what you will get ...
Matt and Jeff nod their heads but there is a look of suspicion in their eyes ...
So, next week, live on SMACKDOWN, as well as the Buried Alive match between Kane and the Undertaker ...
Cheers for next week’s main event match from the WWE Universe.
... there will also be one final qualifying match.
Furrowed brows around the arena, how many spaces are there in the Elimination Chamber? CM Punk is defending the title, Christian could qualify later, Kofi Kingston and Big Show have already qualified tonight, one of Undertaker and Kane could also qualify as well as the Hardys ... How can there be any more qualifiers?
I promised you a shot at the Elimination Chamber and the World Championship, gentlemen. I promised you ... A shot.
Boos begin to echo around the arena as the truth dawns on the WWE Universe and the Hardys. Only one of them is getting a spot in the Chamber ...
Just one of you will be in the Chamber and I’ve made a decision – next week, on SMACKDOWN Live, it will be brother vs. brother in the main event ... and it will be brother vs. brother in the other qualifier too. Next week, Jeff Hardy goes one on one ... with Matt Hardy!
The crowd are not impressed and Matt and Jeff are stood dumbfounded in the ring. Why has Cole made that decision? Cole turns and heads back off the stage and out of sight as the crowd digest what they have just heard. Todd Grisham reminds us of the Elimination Chamber line up as it stands at the moment: CM Punk defends against Big Show, Kofi Kingston, one of the Hardys, one of Undertaker and Kane ... and, if he can upset the odds and defeat Cena and Punk later tonight in a Handicap match, Christian. As the camera switches backstage, the Hardys continue to look amazed at the last announcement before we see a jovial Kofi Kingston walking backstage.
*** KOFI KINGSTON ***
He slaps hands with Trent Barretta who is wandering around and congratulates him, he gives a hug to Eve Torres and he also greets some of the other backstage members before opening the door to enter the locker room. As the door opens though, Kofi walks right into a huge ham of a fist ... BOOM! KNOCKOUT PUNCH! Kofi is knocked cold immediately and WWE officials swarm around him as the man who delivered the punch appears ...
*** BIG SHOW ***
Show stands over the fallen Kofi and he smiles widely as he looks down on him. The officials plead with him to leave Kofi alone and then Show drops to one knee as he looks down on Kofi ...
Congratulations on your win tonight, Kofi. I’ll see you in the Elimination Chamber!
The crowd boo as Show lifts himself back up and steps away from Kingston as if nothing has happened, smiling as he walks away and the medics have to tend to the fallen Ghanaian as well now.
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns and Grisham and Foley suggest that there must be something in the water tonight with the number of sneak attacks – Hawkins and Swagger on Ryder; Del Rio on Mysterio and now, with replays shown, Big Show on Kofi Kingston. Foley wonders whether or not there is more to come tonight as Cena and Punk team up to face Christian in a Handicap match where a Christian win would see him qualify for the Elimination Chamber match for the World Championship.
*** SLOW CHEMICAL ***
*** KANE ***
Eerie music, a sudden fading of the light and then a stream of red smoke signals the arrival of the Big Red Monster, Kane, as he enters the arena ready for his match tonight. He slowly walks towards the ring as Foley and Grisham discuss next week’s Elimination Chamber qualifier between the Devil’s Favourite Demon and his brother, the Undertaker. Foley is excited that the pair of them are ready to face each other in a Buried Alive match, a chance to end their feud once and for all after it has dominated SMACKDOWN one way or another since the previous May. Kane enters the ring and drops his hands to set off his huge red explosions in the four corners of the ring and he looks around with a menacing look on his face as he awaits his opponent tonight ...
*** CLAVICLE ***
*** EVAN BOURNE ***
Poor, poor Evan Bourne! With Kane in no mood for showing any mercy, he tentatively makes his way towards the ring with a look of concern on his face. Kane is pacing the ring waiting for him and he seems to have a point to prove as he prepares for his match with Undertaker next Friday night – and Bourne appears to be in the way. As Evan steps into the ring, he straightens up and looks towards Kane who laughs at him. Bourne shows a lot of guts as he pulls off his shirt and tosses it to the crowd before saluting them but he seems to be a sitting duck here ...
As Bourne rolls out of the ring and is helped away by officials, Kane stands in the centre of the ring and he laughs once more – he has sent a clear message to his brother here tonight. There is no doubt that Kane is ready and desperate to extinguish Undertaker from his very existence, thirsty to end the era of the Deadman once and for all. Kane is talking to himself and he then sets off his pyro once more as the crowd boo him. Foley and Grisham again remind us: NEXT WEEK, BURIED ALIVE MATCH – KANE vs. UNDERTAKER! The winner goes to the Elimination Chamber to challenge for the World Championship. As Kane celebrates his convincing win, the camera switches to the locker room and shows Christian preparing. Another man who has a huge match to earn himself a place in the Elimination Chamber. However, if people think Kane and Undertaker have it tough, Christian has it worse – a Handicap match against the Royal Rumble winner John Cena and the World Champion CM Punk.
SINGLES MATCH** 1 **
EVAN BOURNE vs. KANE
A complete massacre here as Evan Bourne never ever gets started aside from one or two little flurries of kick combinations that have little to no effect on the Big Red Monster. Kane’s power is too much and he looks determined and fired up tonight after the announcement earlier of Kane’s match with the Undertaker next week. A side slam from Kane squashes Bourne down on the mat before he stands back with a maniacal grin on his face ... waiting ... CHOKE SLAM! KANE WITH THE CHOKE SLAM TO BOURNE. This one is over! But wait? What is Kane doing? Kane drags Bourne up and decides that he wants to send a message! With Bourne propped up against him, Kane looks out to the crowd and performs Taker’s cut throat taunt before lifting Bourne up ... TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! KANE WITH THE TOMBSTONE! Kane makes the cover, it’s irrelevant, it’s over ...
** 2 **
** 3 **
KANE (2:17) via pinfall
*** RAW REBOUND ***
A video airs that reminds us of the action from this week’s edition of Monday Night RAW where the four main contenders to become Number 1 contender for Wade Barrett’s WWE Championship were determined. It focuses on the issues between Triple H and Kurt Angle and begins with Hunter stating that he deserves a fair, one on one shot at Barrett’s WWE Championship after Nexus’ involvement cost him on Sunday at the Rumble. Clips of the Rumble are shown as well as Kurt Angle’s actions the week before that meant Triple H had to face Barrett with Nexus at ringside in the first place. Angle’s interruption is shown as he vows that he will never be spoken down to by Hunter again before HBK’s announcement that there will be four matches tonight to determine the four men to battle for the Number 1 contendership next week. Quick clips of Daniel Bryan’s win over Sheamus, John Morrison’s victory over Edge (controversially) and Miz beating Orton thanks to Cena’s distraction. We then focus on the main event where Kurt Angle and Triple H would face each other for the final Fatal Four Way spot. Clips of the match and some big moves are shown before we see Hunter set up for the Pedigree and then ... two mystery men dressed in red, white and blue arrive and cause a distraction that allows Angle to hit the Angle Slam to earn the 1, 2, 3 and a place in next week’s Number 1 contender match. As the video ends, Triple H looks pissed off in the ring as Angle and the two mystery men back away up the ramp smiling ...
NEXT WEEK: Daniel Bryan vs. John Morrison vs. Kurt Angle vs The Miz (Winner to challenge for WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber)
SMACKDOWN returns and Foley and Grisham discuss the mystery men who appeared during the main event to aid Kurt Angle in qualifying for the Number 1 contender match. Neither of them know the identity of the two mystery men but Grisham says that they have pictures of the two men and they show them ...
Grisham says that nothing has been heard from Kurt Angle or the two mystery men since Monday night so it appears that the WWE Universe will need to wait until Monday night to find out more about the acquaintances of the Olympian, Kurt Angle. The camera switches backstage to Josh Mathews who is stood waiting with his microphone ready to conduct an interview ...
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time ... the World Heavyweight Champion, CM PUNK!
A mixed reaction to Punk although there are more cheers than there has been after his show of respect for Christian earlier tonight when he interrupted John Cena’s interview in the ring. Punk looks troubled as he adjusts his World Championship over his shoulder, he sighs as he turns to speak to Josh Mathews ...
Tonight, Punk, you team up with the Royal Rumble winner, John Cena, to face off against Christian in a Handicap match. It appeared that, earlier tonight, you didn’t seem pleased by this. What are your thoughts now?
Punk turns and stares towards Mathews, a look of bewilderment on his face, as he considers his response to the question. Punk looks completely torn over the situation. He thinks carefully for a second and then answers ...
Josh, you don’t need to be Einstein to realise that I’m not happy over the situation. Last Sunday night, I faced Christian for my World Heavyweight Championship and we went at it big time. The only way I could defeat him was to lock in the Anaconda Vice and hold it until he could no longer remain conscious.
Punk reaches up and scratches the side of his face, he is in a real quandary here ...
Do I like Christian? No, not particularly. But I respect the hell outta’ him after his efforts last Sunday. He didn’t tap out, he fought and fought until he couldn’t remain conscious anymore. With the Elimination Chamber up ahead, I want to see Christian in the match, I want the chance to beat him fair and decisively in the middle of the ring.
Some admiration from the WWE Universe for Punk’s words.
You see, Josh, when I claim to be the ‘Best in the World’ I mean it. I prove it each and every night and the whole world is now looking on and thinking to themselves ... “What if Christian hadn’t passed out? Could CM Punk have beaten him?”
Punk shakes his head a little ...
That irritates me. I have a need to prove that I can beat Christian. I have a need to prove that I am what I say I am – the ‘Best in the World’ – by beating Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship. That is why I want to see Christian given a place in the Chamber.
Punk laughs to himself ...
I want to beat Christian to prove that I am worthy of holding this. Punk lifts up the title belt.
And regardless of what Michael Cole might want, I want to beat him in a fair contest. I have no interest in having a moron like Cole help me to win a match, I have no interest in teaming with Cena to defeat Christian. I didn’t need no help from Cole to win this title – I don’t want no help from Cole to retain it either.
Punk looks a little fired up, he looks insulted that Cole has tried so hard to help him lately ...
But whilst I don’t want to win a title with Cole’s help, I certainly don’t want to lose my title because of Michael Cole. In the main event tonight, I have been forced by Cole to team up with Cena to face Christian in a Handicap match. If I beat Christian, he will not get a chance to be in the Elimination Chamber, I won’t have my chance to prove that I am a worthy World Champion again. If I allow Christian to get the win, Michael Cole will begin to do what he can to cost me the World Championship. I can tell you know, I am not willing to let that happen.
Punk shakes his head as he turns to face the camera.
Michael Cole, let me tell you something. I am the World Heavyweight Champion because I am the best and I will not allow you to take that away from me. Tonight, I will beat Christian, I will reluctantly team with Cena and I will ensure that Christian misses out on the Elimination Chamber. But don’t you think I’m doing it to help you. For what it is worth, I still believe Christian should be in the Elimination Chamber. Not because the fans want him there – I don’t care what they think. Mild heat for this statement.
But because I want to face him and prove who the better man is. I suggest that you make it happen.
Punk turns and exits leaving Josh to thank him and the camera switches to the locker room where Christian is shown watching Punk’s interview on the monitor. He nods his head at Punk’s words, he seems to be in agreement with them as he prepares for his match. In walks Matt Striker with a microphone and Christian smiles to him showing him that he is prepared to speak to him ...
Christian, man, tonight you can qualify for the Elimination Chamber World Championship match. A wonderful opportunity but there is the problem of the match being a Handicap match against the World Champion and the Royal Rumble winner as per the orders of the SMACKDOWN General Manager, Michael Cole. Thoughts?
Christian grimaces as Striker asks the question, he is clearly upset over the situation that he finds himself in. He shakes his head a little before speaking ...
Michael Cole, there is a name not to mention to most people in the SMACKDOWN locker room. Since he became General Manager, all he has done is make matches and situations that suit him and the people he likes. People like Cena, people that say the right things to him, people that creep around him, people that benefit him. Back at Vengeance when I defeated Matt Hardy to earn a shot at CM Punk’s World Championship, Cole tried to belittle me and Matt in front of the worldwide audience. Since then, he has intimated that I didn’t deserve to face CM Punk for the title, he tried to interfere in my title match and now he is working against me to try and ensure I won’t be in the Elimination Chamber match ...
Christian pauses as he considers his next words carefully ...
Now, I have just listened to CM Punk’s words and I agree with what he is saying. I know that tonight he has no choice but to work with Cena to try and defeat me. I understand that. And I appreciate his attempts to get me another title shot at the Elimination Chamber. Fact is – I was this close ... Christian holds up his thumb and finger to indicate.
... to winning the World Championship last Sunday. I wasn’t willing to give up my dream, I refused to tap out and I only lost because I passed out. Tonight, I am going to give it everything I have got. It’s the only chance I’ve got to earn myself a spot in the Chamber – Cole isn’t going to give me another chance. Stranger things have happened, Matt. You never know – I might be able to pull off a miracle.
Christian winks at Striker and then turns to leave the locker room as Striker thanks him. The cameras switch back to the ring where the WWE Universe are ready and waiting for the main event to begin ...
*** MY TIME IS NOW ***
*** JOHN CENA ***
Cena heads out for the second time this evening, he looks as if he is determined to end Christian’s dream here tonight. He mocks the fans by waving his hand over his face again and then makes his way towards the ring as Grisham reminds us of Cena’s busy last few days: winning the Rumble on Sunday; distracting Orton and costing him his WWE Championship chance on RAW; and now facing Christian to try and end his World Championship chances tonight. Foley suggests that getting on with and working well with CM Punk tonight might prove to be his hardest challenge of the week ...
*** THIS FIRE BURNS ***
*** CM PUNK ***
World Heavyweight Champion
Punk comes out looking less than impressed with what he has to do tonight. He is so annoyed that he doesn’t even drop to a knee and call out that it is ‘clobbering time’ – he simply walks to the ring where he is eyeballing John Cena who is stood in the ring waiting. Cena gestures to Punk to get into the ring, he is mocking Punk over the fact that he has got to assist him in this match. Punk steps into the ring and he walks towards the Royal Rumble winner – Grisham comments that as it stands – with a long way to go, of course – this is the WrestleMania 27 main event. World Champion CM Punk vs. Royal Rumble winner John Cena. How are they going to co-exist in this match against Christian?
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns with Michael Cole shown on the commentary table alongside Foley and Grisham. He is insulting both of the commentators whilst demanding that Punk does what he has told him to do ...
*** JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES ***
*** CHRISTIAN ***
Out walks Christian to a great reception, the WWE Universe are fully behind him tonight as he surveys them looking for his Peeps. He walks to the ring and he climbs through the ring ropes where he comes face to face with his opponents in this Handicap match. Cole is clearly adamant that Punk and Cena will team up to destroy Christian’s dream here tonight. Cena mocks Christian and his chances here tonight whilst CM Punk watches on, a grim look on his face as he considers what he has to do tonight. The referee checks on all three men, takes CM Punk’s World Championship belt and signals for the match to begin ...
Punk rolls away from Christian after his pinfall – he stands up and looks down to Christian with a look of what appears to be dismay at what he has had to do. He looks over to a delighted Michael Cole and Cena with a look of disgust as they back away. Cole, laughing to himself, gives Punk a mocking thumbs up before walking away from the ring smirking, Cena again signals that he is going to take CM Punk’s World Championship soon. As Christian rolls over and realises what has happened, he looks up at Punk who holds his arms out as if to ask what else he could have done. Punk exits the ring and he looks up the ramp towards the SMACKDOWN General Manager who continues to smirk as the camera switches between the men involved in tonight’s main event ... SMACKDOWN comes to a close with Christian looking devastated as he fails to earn his title opportunity thanks to Michael Cole. Join us next week on SMACKDOWN: Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy, Undertaker vs. Kane in a Buried Alive match and who will be given the final Elimination Chamber spot? Find out next Friday!
*** END OF SHOW ***
MAIN EVENT HANDICAP MATCH: If Christian wins, he earns a spot in the SMACKDOWN Elimination Chamber match
CHRISTIAN vs. CM PUNK & JOHN CENA
The match starts with Christian going up against Cena with Punk waiting for the tag from his ‘partner’ on the outside. Christian and Cena work well together as usual and Christian manages to get on top when he climbs to the top rope to hit a Plancha to Cena on the outside of the ring. Rolling Cena back into the ring, the Rumble winner takes the easy way out and makes a rather forceful tag to CM Punk who reluctantly enters the ring. Punk and Christian stand looking at each other and Punk looks troubled. He clearly tells Christian that he has no choice and the pair of them begin with a tie up that leads to Christian getting on top again as he continues to put up a fight here. A springboard shoulder block to Punk brings the first pinfall attempt but Christian can only hold Punk down for a 2. Cena begins to berate Punk from the outside and something isn’t right with Punk – maybe his heart isn’t in this but he seems a second slower all the time and Christian has his number. Finally, Punk manages some offense and he catches Christian coming towards him in the corner with a boot but his attempted bulldog fails when Christian tosses him away across the ring instead. Punk gets to his knees, shakes his head and ignores Cena who reaches over and slaps Punk on the back, a tag in. As Punk looks at Cena with a look of disdain, Cena smirks and motions a title belt around his waist before going after Christian and catching him with a kick to the gut. Cena takes control and he looks to be getting the better of Christian before he tags CM Punk back in who – again, seemingly reluctant – goes to work on Christian. Punk sets up for the Go To Sleep but Christian is able to fight out of it and he elbows Punk to the head before setting Punk up once more ... KILLSWITCH! CHRISTIAN SURPRISES PUNK WITH THE KILLSWITCH! The WWE Universe is in shock as Christian looks to have Punk beat, he hooks the leg ... 1 ... 2 ... 3! No! Cena rescues Punk just in time with a shot to Christian’s exposed head. Punk rolls over and looks to Cena who looks annoyed with him now. Cena berates Punk some more and really rips into him for almost losing the match. Cena goes back to his spot on the apron and demands Punk finish Christian now, instead Punk walks over to Cena and slap him hard across the face. Wow! Cena swings for Punk who ducks and drags Cena into the ring, he lifts him onto his shoulders all of a sudden ... GO TO SLEEP! PUNK HITS CENA WITH THE GTS! The WWE Universe are actually cheering CM Punk for his actions now but he then spoils it as he looks over at Christian who is climbing up opposite. Punk catches him in the corner with a running knee and follows with a Bulldog ... The referee is trying to speak to Punk but he ignores him, he is now fired up and is ready to fight with whoever he has to. Punk drags Christian up and lifts him onto his shoulders ... GO TO SLEEP! CHRISTIAN IS HIT WITH THE GTS THIS TIME! Punk makes the cover and hooks the leg ... but the referee fails to make a count. Cena is the legal man! When Punk slapped Cena, the referee took it as a tag! CM Punk holds his head in shock as Christian rolls out of the ring and the referee begins to count both men out. The referee reaches 7 and Cena rolls back into the ring ... Will Christian make it? Suddenly, Punk runs round the ring and he drags Christian up ... 8 ... Christian is about to be counted out but Punk seems to be helping him ... 9 ... Punk rolls Christian into the ring to the amazement of Cena who demands to know what CM Punk is playing at! Punk ignores him and returns to the corner as Cena continues to have a pop at him before grabbing Christian and lifting him up to his shoulders ... FU! CENA HITS THE FU TO CHRISTIAN! Christian is down and out but Cena doesn’t make the pinfall; instead he tags in Punk again and points to Christian, demanding Punk finish the job. On the ramp, look who is here ...
*** MICHAEL COLE ***
Cole wanders down the ramp and stands with his hands in his pocket outside the ring. He glares at Punk and orders him to finish Christian as well but Punk remains stoic in the ring. Punk is in a real dilemma here, will he finish Christian’s dream or will he sacrifice himself? Cole climbs onto the apron and the pressure from Cena and Cole increases, they are both demanding Punk finish it but Christian is showing signs of life. Christian pulls himself up with the ropes and Cole shouts to Punk to finish it ... Christian spots Cole and grabs him by the lapels of his jacket, Cole swings and punches Christian in the face ... As Cole orders the referee not to signal for a DQ, Christian spins into the path of Punk ... GO TO SLEEP! PUNK HITS THE GTS TO CHRISTIAN! The crowd are disappointed but you sense they understand as Punk drops down and covers Christian ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
CM PUNK & JOHN CENA (7:12) via pinfall
ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2011
*** CONFIRMED MATCHES ***
SMACKDOWN ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH FOR THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
CM Punk (c) vs. Big Show vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jeff/Matt Hardy vs. Kane/Undertaker vs. ???
RAW ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH TO DETERMINE #1 CONTENDER FOR WWE CHAMPIONSHIP AT WRESTLEMANIA 27
??? vs. ??? vs. ??? vs. ??? vs. ??? vs. ???
Wade Barrett (c) vs. Daniel Bryan/John Morrison/Kurt Angle/The Miz
Maryse (c) vs. Layla vs. Michelle McCool (?)
*** SUNDAY 20TH FEBRUARY LIVE AND EXCLUSIVE ON PAY PER VIEW ***