Finally Out of Cutey Sleep
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair
Saying fuck it to a preview this time...
The Hammerstein Ballroom – Manhattan, New York City, New York
“Back From the Dead”
No video package. No opening vignettes. Oblivion opens to yet another restless crowd of 3,000+ with absolutely no elbow room tonight, as the entire building is awaiting the fallout from last week’s ridiculousness. Everyone is awaiting some type of fallout for everything. And for the first time in a while, the Oblivion faithful have something to cheer about…
MICK FOLEY!! IT’S FOLEY!! FOLEY HAS RETURNED!! Not being seen by anyone for two whole months, Mick Foley has returned tonight with hopefully some big news!! Foley is clad in his signature flannel and taking in his huge reception, several “Foley is God” signs being put on display, the entire arena breaking out into a “FOLEY! FOLEY! FOLEY!” chant. After taking it in, the scruffy Hardcore Legend makes his way down the ramp and into the ring, microphone in hand. He puts the mike to his mouth, but the crowd cuts him off with the unbelievable ovation and chanting one more. They go for another few seconds before Foley tries again.
It's not the Ghost of Christmas Past - it really is me.
~HUGE pop as Foley takes this one in too, toothlessly grinning from ear-to-surgically-reattached-ear
Not gonna lie – I kinda missed you guys too.
~Yet another HUGE pop
But the one thing I didn’t miss is the guy that got leg dropped through a table last week.
~A great mixed reaction here, some reacting to the Heyman reference, others to the actions of the Legion
I’m gonna go ahead and throw this on the table to make sure it’s clear enough – I and Paul Heyman are business associates. We never see eye to eye, but even so, I don’t wish the worst upon him. Even if he kind of deserved it.
~Cheap pop for the cheap jab
But yes. In Paul Heyman’s current condition, he is in no shape to organize and run a wrestling promotion. And while Mr. Heyman called me out and blasted me a couple of weeks ago, despite firing my prize signee on live television across the world, what Paul Heyman forgot to do in all his infinite wisdom rage…was actually fire me.
So whether you like it or not, Heyman, and I know good and damn well you don’t sitting from your hospital bed, but you just have to accept the fact that you put me in charge whenever you were not around. And you’re not. So I am.
~Yet another pop, as Foley gives a one handed ‘BANG’ and a small smile towards the camera
And the message I got today straight from you, Mr. Heyman, was that I was to run this show exactly as you would.
Now while this is a very commendable philosophy, one thing's gotta be said – I’m not Paul Heyman. I’m Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy.
~Another good pop
But even so, there is a very important first piece of ‘business’ to attend to. And that’s what to do with the jackasses that put my boss through the announce table last week.
~BIG sustained pop for this
So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you all to welcome to the ring a man that I loathe inconsolably…Chris Jericho.
Foley dryly does that welcome/call-out, but it doesn’t take much time for “KING OF MY WORLD” to hit the airwaves once again to a barrage of heat, as the AOW Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho comes down the ramp and to the ring in a full suit, title slung over his shoulders, but no Legion behind him. He has his nose turned up to everyone in attendance, but it seems particularly high when he steps into the ring and comes face to face with a man he’s been at odds with since the dawn of AOW
Who let you out of the crazy box, Foley? I thought after all the embarrassment I’ve adorned on you, you’d get the message. But since you seem to have missed that because of your absence, let me reiterate something to you that you nor Paul Heyman seem to be able to get through your heads – this. World. Is. Mine.
~Jericho gets a healthy dose of heat
This company has been mine ever since the cameras started rolling and showing footage of this ring. It has been mine ever since I stepped into this ring. And it has been mine when I took out the misguided fool who thought this was his show.
~Even more heat
I am invincible, Foley. So you can do whatever you want to try and punish me and my Legion, but rest assured, I am more than worthy to own up to my actions and prove to you and all of these easily influenced sheep that I deserved to be bowed down to.
~And UNGODLY rain of heat pours down from that ultimate heel tactic, Foley just standing there unmoved
You and Heyman have done nothing but drive this company into the dirt since day one. You're both interchangable cockroaches that as soon as I squish one, the other shows up. But when all of this is said and done, every single one of you will realize that I am your undisputed and worthy champion, your undisputed and worthy leader. And your undisputed and worthy savior.
~Another downpour of heat for yet another heel tactic 101
If there’s one thing I did admire about Paul Heyman is that he stood his ground on you. And that’s why he’s not here tonight. But you’re right. There’s not much I can do to you if I think like Paul Heyman.
So you’ve finally come to your senses. It’s very amusing to me that a man of your mental state can even put together a comprehensible thought like that.
I said ‘if’, Jericho. But see, while Paul Heyman would have only one face to reference, I, Mick Foley, in fact have three.
~A buzz for that statement, Jericho looking much less confident now
But you stated it very clearly, Jericho – a man of ‘my mental state’ might not be able to put anything together very well. But if there’s one thing I’ve become accustomed to doing well, it’s one-upping Chris Jericho.
~We can see the look on Jericho’s face is a very audible ‘gulp’
And I know that you are a very pretentious champion, proudly touting your belt around and proudly declaring that there’s no ‘worthy’ challenger for that AOW Championship. And you’re right. There’s not a single person that’s worthy to face you.
~A bit of buzz, but Foley could be luring Jericho in here
Nope. The way I see it, there are two.
You ran them both over last week in a last ditch attempt to solidify your claims that this is world belongs to you. When in fact, Chris, I have the keys the Gates of Kiev – yourworld is mine!
~Wild pop for Foley gradually get more and more intense, possibly getting more disturbed…
And Jericho. They’re both here. They’re both healed. And they’re both angry sons of bitches.
~The increasingly disturbing look on Foley’s face is rivaled only by the increasingly horrified expression of the AOW Champion
And I’m not gonna wait until This is Exile. Oh no. You’re not gonna face just one of them. You’re gonna face both of them. Samoa Joe. Finlay. Tonight. In a Triple Threat match for the AOW Championship.
~A HUGE pop once again from the Hammerstein, as Jericho is obviously hit by the news, but keeps his cool
Like I said, Foley, I am more than worthy to –
~Foley cuts him off
And you will do so with absolutely no help from your ‘Worthy Legion’. Or from anybody else for that matter.
~A sick grin develops over Foley’s face, Jericho staring at him with his mouth hanging open, still wanting to have his say
Because tonight, you’re gonna defend that AOW Championship in a Triple Threat match against Finlay and Samoa Joe…inside this FIFTEEN FOOT HIGH STEEL CAGE!!
~The entire audience, Jericho, the cameraman – everyone looks as Foley points above his head to indeed reveal a cage, looming over the entire arena, with the crowd losing their effin’ minds. The look on Jericho’s face is of pinnacle crisis – blank fear. He stands motionless as Foley’s sick grin has gotten all the wider
Foley throws his microphone against Chris Jericho’s chest following the hand gesture and exits the ring, but Jericho hasn’t moved a muscle since getting the news. He’s literally paralyzed with fear, the only motion is the subtle quivering of his bottom lip. He then begins to slowly lower the microphone that was still in his hands, dropping it, then slowly beginning to look up at the demonic structure hanging over his head. We get a quick shot of Foley going up the ramp with the same smile that wouldn't look out of place at all with his Cactus Jack tights.
What a way to kick off Oblivion!! I’m Joey Styles alongside John Layfield, and what an incredible announcement we just heard from the triumphantly returning General Manager Mick Foley!
You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me. “Triumphant?” Listen to yourself, Joey. There’s nothin’ “triumphant” about comin’ out here an’ proving Chris Jericho’s point that this company is doin’ nothing but bein’ run by crazy old guys!
Crazy as it may be, that may in fact be what it takes to knock Chris Jericho off of his megalomaniacal high horse – a man who has every plan thought has having to be put to the test by a man who doesn’t have a clear thought to read! Look, Jericho is for once, absolutely speechless!!
How the hell can you sit here an’ condone the violence set forth by a bloodthirsty and insane man?! How is this in any way justifiable?
It’s justifiable when Chris Jericho has had this coming for months – driving half the roster crazy, kicking them out, forcing them away, proclaiming to be some kind of Master of the Universe, and trying to take this company with an iron fist. And hell, if nothing else, it’s justifiable with what Jericho tried to do to Samoa Joe and Finlay last week.
Chris Jericho is a worthy champion. I haven’t the slightest doubt in my mind he will obliterate any challenge placed before him, Worthy Legion or not. What you see as him standin’ there after being outplayed, I see a man who is calculating as we speak.
An absolutely huge opening here tonight ladies and gentlemen, just one week removed from Paul Heyman getting sent through our announce table by the cohorts of the Worthy Legion, and given that’s how we’ve kicked off, who knows what there rest of the night will hold? Oblivion is live for ninety minutes!
We return from the commercial break to see Matt Sydal in the ring, who is getting more words of advice from Billy Kidman, standing on the apron. Sydal’s theme is going over the sound system, so we can’t exactly hear what he’s saying, but Kidman pats the rookie on the shoulder before dropping off the apron and heading to the back. Sydal shadow boxes for a moment, awaiting his other opponents.
“LONDN CALLING” hits the stage now, as Brian Kendrick hits the Oblivion scene for the first time in a few weeks and the first time this year to a very welcome pop. He’s without London, but he’s nonetheless pumped, charging full-force into the ring and backflipping off a turnbuckle in signature fashion. Kendrick actually slaps hands with Sydal once he’s down, the two showing a small sign of mutual respect.
“SIN LIMITES” hits the waves now, as the man they call Aero Star comes through the blood red curtain to a great ovation, many glad to see the sensation after not being on television for a few weeks. Nonetheless, Star is without his cape-like attire, merely in his trademark blue-and-white suit as he leaps onto the apron and salutes the crowd before leaping into the ring, nodding in both Kendrick’s direction and Sydal’s before taking in more of his ‘we miss you’ ovation.
“IT’S TIME – HACKER’S REMIX”
A theme we haven’t heard since World Ablaze sends a few shockwaves through the crowd, the men in the ring all taking note as well, yet another man returning after some time away. The ominous static-heavy theme can only mean the arrival of Gregory Helms…and he does not look happy at all. Still wearing his beanie and vest, the look on Helms’ face just reeks of intensity, as the last two months don’t look like they’ve been kind to him. He walks slowly to the ring and absorbs the crowd’s heat and the men in the ring’s potential fear. As JBL points out, their chances of winning just went down considerably.
~Cruiserweight #1 Contendership Mini-Tournament~
*Winner advances to Finals*
Aero Star v. Matt Sydal v. Brian Kendrick v. Gregory Helms
The match begins with Helms showing he’s more than ready after being away for a while, but he’s quickly upended by both Aero Star and Brian Kendrick, who also seek to prove themselves after absences before us. With all three of those men going back and forth, it’s Matt Sydal that actually begins to break things away, getting in the middle, and quickening the pace. After a hectic first three minutes and dumping Kendrick out of the ring, Helms avoids Aero Star’s crossbody attempt, causing him to roll out of the ring to the floor. With just Helms and Sydal in the ring, Sydal the determinant rookie starts upping the pace with several arm drags before Helms stops him short with a hip toss. Helms then shows that his cruelty hasn’t been lost in the least since he’s been gone, now immediately going to work on the spine of Sydal with a hard backbreaker, followed by another backbreaker that keeps Sydal arched over the knee of Helms, driving it into the vertebrae. As Helms tries to wear down his adversary, Sydal takes to the offensive and starts kicking Helms in the skull, but as the two rise, Helms keeps on Sydal’s head and drives it back into the mat with a reverse DDT drop! The first cover the match – 1…2…NO! Kendrick comes flying in to break it up!
Kendrick now capitalizes on the surprised Helms, giving him several kicks before tossing him into the opposite ropes and meeting him with a jumping calf kick on the rebound. Kendrick now with a cover – 1…2…NO! Helms easily gets out of that, Kendrick dragging Helms to his feet and trying to whip him again, but it’s reversed, Helms tossing Kendrick instead. On the rebound, Helms lowers his head, only for Kendrick to leap over him for a sunset flip – 1…2…NO!! Helms rolls out and vertical, but as soon as he does, he’s met by a dropkick to the back of the head from Sydal! Helms is down, rolling to the outside, leaving Kendrick and Sydal in the ring. The rookie charges, only to get caught in an arm drag, followed by another. When Kendrick now charges, he too is met by a flurry of arm drags from Sydal, the two meeting a nice stalemate. This is interrupted when Aero Star bursts back into things with a springboard double dropkick back into the ring!! Both men are down, Star covering Sydal – 1…2…NO!! Sydal still has fight, now going to Kendrick – 1…2…NO!! He can’t get it there either!
Star doesn’t take it to heart, however, just taking Kendrick and giving him a sharp back kick to the gut, doubling him over. He then chunks him into a corner, charging after him, and attaching himself to his chest…monkey flip…no!! The aerodynamic-in-his-own-right Kendrick lands on his feet to counter the move, but as soon as he lands on his feet, he’s met with a dynamic dropkick from Sydal!! Sydal with a feisty cover now – 1…2…NO!! Star swoops in and breaks it up, bringing us the first time affair of Star and Sydal. Star goes for an arm drag, but Sydal lands on his feet, forces Star over, then tries to execute a backdrop, but Star flips out of that onto his feet, running off the ropes behind him. Sydal sidesteps, sending Star into the opposite ropes that he rebounds off of and nails Sydal with the handspring elbow!! Star with a cover now – 1…2…NO!! Sydal still has some guts in him!
Sydal rolls away by the ropes, but its not a wise place, as Kendrick is breathed back to life and kicks Sydal under the ropes and out of the ring. He turns around to see Aero Star, but he whips Star into a corner, dashing after him with a hard corner elbow!! As Kendrick leaps off of Star’s limping body, he catches his head and looks for the SLICED BREAD…NO!! Star turns the headlock into very luchatastic arm drag, whipping Kendrick all the way across the ring and to the outside. Star’s got a lot of steam under him now, as he looks up to see both Sydal and Kendrick rising outside, Star looking for the NO HAND TOPE…HELMS BEHEADING CLOTHESLINE!!! WOW!! Helms sneaks back into the affair by damn near tearing Star’s neck off his shoulders as he’s running, looking for a big win here – 1…2…3-NO!! Star still has life!!
Helms is not happy about that in the least, taking Star now and delivers a quick snap suplex – 1…2…NO!! Star still won’t go away, Helms putting some boots into before picking him back up and attempting what looks like a backbreaker rack…but Star spins around to reverse it into a very crafty hurricanrana, that sends Helms right back out of the ring. Star sees three opponents on the outside here, as Sydal and Kendrick have been exchanging punches. They see Helms fall at their feet and both look to damage him, but they look up to see AERO STAR FLYING WITH THE TOPE TORPEDO!! THE NO HAND TOPE MISSILE CONNECTS WITH THREE MEN!!
Star is the first of these men to get to their feet, but he does so to an incredible pop, but some of it is buzz because there’s someone rushing down the ramp…it’s Carlito!! Carlito bashes Star in the back of the head, stunning him, before chunking him spine first into the barricade!! Carlito then takes Star and caps it off by scoop slamming him against the ramp!! OW!! Carlito’s business with Star mystifying some, but others know his motives, as ‘Lito vanishes almost as quickly as he came, slowly walking backwards up the ramp, viewing his dastardly handiwork as he retreats.
The first man to come to his senses then is Matt Sydal, who groggily gets up and roll Brian Kendrick back into the ring. Sydal awaits on the apron as Kendrick tries to bring himself back up to his feet, Sydal springboarding…DROPKICK OUT OF THE AIR!! KENDRICK COUNTERS!! The rookie makes a glaring mistake of leaving himself open with unnecessary moves, Kendrick taking advantage of his adversary by taking his head…SLICED BREAD #2!! HE GETS IT!! The crowd goes nuts for a possible Kendrick win – but he’s cut off before he can cover by Gregory Helms, who pulls Kendrick by his hair from behind…NIGHTMARE ON HELMS STREET!! Kendrick’s head is pancaked on the canvas between Helms’ elbow!! Helms takes his lifeless body and flings it out of the ring, turning around to see a very groggy looking Sydal try to get to his feet…SHINING WIZARD!! Sydal gets a leg driven through his skull, dropping like dead weight back to the canvas, eyes glazed. Helms then once again shows the rookie the lights – 1…2…3…!!!
Winner and ADVANCING TO FINALS: Gregory Helms at (9:29)
Helms lifts himself from off of Sydal’s body to a chorus of heat, but he doesn’t seem to give the slightest shit, only concerned that the referee raises his hand. Helms yanks his hand down afterwards, before adding insult to injury by kicking dirt in the direction of the downed Sydal. We get shots of both Kendrick and Star dead on the outside, Helms climbing through the ropes and pulling the cameraman close up the ramp, screaming “Danielson – I ain’t done witchu yet, boy!”
Now that’s a return I can get behind! Atta boy, Gregory!
Helms picking up a victory here, but an impressive display from every man in this contest!
Who cares how they all looked? How they all look now is like losers!
Oh stop it, John. A case could be made for every man in that contest. Brian Kendrick looked excellent, the evolution of Matt Sydal continues, and Aero Star was absolutely on fire until Carlito came and wrecked that whole thing!
As fun as Aero Star is to watch, Carlito was more than justified in beating him down! Carlito is a proud Puerto Rican, a proud man of the Hispanic lineage. He’s pissed because people like the Mexicools an’ Aero Star, comin’ in here an’ fueling their stereotypes.
So that gives him to right to come out here and deny Aero Star any kind of title opportunity?
Carlito was merely out here expressing his opinions.
Oh, right. It would be completely un-American of me to deny a man, no matter his origin, his right to intervene into other people’s business.
Now you’re gettin’ it.
Please. Nonetheless, Gregory Helms is back and by means of his motions, he looks like he wants to get right back at the throat of Bryan Danielson and interject himself as the best cruiserweight in the world.
Like he damn well is.
~Backstage halls, the merchandise stand…?
Sitting at the merchandise stand is, surprisingly, Mick Foley. Foley is selling several t-shirts to a flock of fans for some reason, while at the same time looking back at a member of arena personnel who looks very much confused.
Well, see, Paul Heyman got wind that I’d be back, he didn’t fire me, but he took away my office. So the merch stand is my office this week. But it’s okay so long as I’m right here, in Manhattan, New York?
~Foley gives the camera a thumbs up and his signature toothless grin, getting his vintage cheap pop. The personnel shrugs in acceptance, but someone is making the fans in the merch line complain, soon revealed to be a rude and still very much bitter Muhammad Hassan. He pushes the woman who was first in line out of the way and gets in Foley’s face
So the man who is running the joint is you? And you’re out here goofing around at your lemonade stand? This is exactly the kind of lax leadership Chris Jericho was talking about!
~All the happiness is drained from the scene now, as the fans left in line at the stand are damn near booing in Hassan’s face
Look, Hassan, if you wanna talk matters with me, you’ll have to get at to the back of the line just like everybody else I have to serve tonight.
I still have enough money left to buy this dinky table and all of these people ten times over. You will not discriminate against me and you will speak with me now.
~Hassan really means it, again getting in Foley’s face
I can get you this CM Punk shirt now.
~Foley holds up a black CM Punk design t-shirt, with the phrase “One Dark Flame” overcast in big, bold letters over three ‘X’s. Hassan snatches the shameless plug out of Foley’s hands and gets down to business
I had an arrangement with Mr. Heyman about my re-match for my Dynasty title. I said I wanted it this week, but I was told you said no. Give me what I want, and what I want isn’t to support some street rat!
~Hassan throws the shirt in his hands to the floor and steps on it; Foley is not amused
First of all, Hassan, I’m not Paul Heyman. By a long shot. Second of all, let me make something clear to you since you’re actually the first person to ever lose a championship in AOW – this is Art of War Wrestling. We don’t follow the same rules many assume to be concrete in the wrestling world. There is no automatic rematch clause here. You get your title shots when you show you’ve earned them, however that may be. And when you lose that shot or title…you go to the back of the line.
~Foley points to the back of the merchandise stand, getting a cheer from the actual Hammerstein and the fans waiting to buy stuff. Hassan is not amused by the crucial plot point presented
So take you, your bitter-at-America attitude, go home and accept the fact that since there are people in front of you, you’re not getting squat.
~Hassan damn near chokes Foley as he stares at him, Foley grinning away before taking another shirt off the back rack and tossing it at Hassan’s frozen face that churns back into a scowl before we fade away…
We reach a black screen that soon comes to life in a desolate area in harsh sunrise, beckoning, no sound, until we hear a narrator
In the beginning…
As he speaks, the day seems to fast forward, the sun getting higher and higher in the sky
Light and darkness were separated
The day continues to be fast forwarded until the sun goes down, the moon rising in its place
Only one can exist while the other fades away.
The desolate place’s sand begins to swirl, conjuring images of AOW thus far, the first one of Shelton Benjamin suplexing London off a ladder…
But on February 3rd, 2008…
The sands swirl again, Jericho locking Michaels in the Liontamer, followed quickly by Finlay and Joe battling atop the Hammerstein Balcony
The light and dark shall clash once more…
Our view goes back up to the moon now, the night sky acting like a big screen, being played on it is the intense face of Christian Cage holding a chair over his head
But only one of them can remain in power…the other…meets exile.
The camera pans out a little bit, where we can see the silhouette of a man on a cliff, looking out at the moon. We can’t make out his face, being barely lit by the moon, but his figure seems familiar…
THIS IS EXILE
A THREE-HOUR PAY-PER-VIEW SPECIAL
FEBRUARY 3, 2008
IZOD Center – East Rutherford, New Jersey
~Still backstage, the merchandise stand…
We’re right back where we left at the break, Foley taking cash and handing merch out,, however, his line is pushed aside once again by two even angrier looking men than Hassan – Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. Both men are in normal clothes and have their duffle bags. Benjamin takes off his sunglasses to address Foley.
Why. In the hell. Did you call us down here?
Because I’m running things and when I say get down here, I mean get down here.
But we made it perfectly clear that we have no challengers left.
So since we don’t have anyone good enough to defend out titles against, or more than that, even compete against, we’re leaving because we have earned not doing anything.
~Benjamin and Haas have made their point, but Foley stops them dead in their tracks
If I recall the message you guys sent out, you two were content with not competing unless you got challengers, am I right? So how about just giving you two a bit of a…challenge.
What kind of ‘challenge’…?
I don’t know. That’s not really my department. But I do know whose department it is…
~Foley reaches down in his pants and pulls out…MR. SOCKO!! The crowd pops behind the walls of the segment, the fans in line all going nuts, Haas’ and Benjamin’s eyes not liking anything that they’re seeing
What the hell is that thing doin’ here?
~Foley pays him no heed
So Mr. Socko, what do you think I should do about these two?
~Foley puts the sock puppet up to his ear and acts as though he’s listening intently to what it has to say, nodding his head every so often. We get a look at the deeply disturbed Benjamin and Haas before Foley pulls back away
Mr. Socko and I are fans of the utterly spontaneous. So tonight, you two are gonna defend your AOW Tag Team Championships against…whoever are the next two guys to walk around that corner.
~Haas and Benjamin go from disturbed to absolutely livid, both men throwing their hands in the air in disbelief
You gotta be kiddin’ me!
This is insane!!
~As soon as the two are just getting started with their ‘oh, come ons’, two men do indeed walk around the corner…in Jack Evans and Low Ki, better known as Low Jack.
Hey, Mr. Foley, me and Ki was just lookin’ for you! We wanted to talk about that #1 Contender Cruiserweight –
Talk to me later, Jack. After Low Jack faces the World’s Greatest Tag Team tonight for the Tag Team Championships.
~Jack’s face goes from serious to happy as a lark, Ki not cracking a smile, but his stature noticeably perks up at the title opportunity
I suggest you all go get ready.
~Evans and Ki can’t believe their luck and stare at each other for a moment before getting out of the frame. Benjamin and Haas look as pout as pouting can be, Foley teasing them by waving at them with his Mr. Socko hand as we fade away…
~Back at ringside…
As we head back to the arena, the tune of “MISERE CANTARE – THE BEGINNING” meets the fold, as Dynasty Champion CM Punk comes down the ramp to a very welcome reception. He’s not in competition attire. He does have his title in hand, however, as he roams around the ring and makes his way over by the announce desk to grab a microphone from someone. As Punk turns to go into the ring, he stops and winks at JBL before sliding back in. What’s on Punk’s mind here…?
I don’t really like leaving people in suspense. I don’t really like having to beat around the bush with things, or being cryptic, and I don’t really like sugar coating many things. So I’m gonna be pretty blunt and unceremonial with what I have to say right now.
~Punk pauses to scratch his chin
The first day I ever set foot in this company – Art of War Wrestling, on the pilot episode of Wednesday Night Oblivion, August 22nd, 2007, I made a decree to you people. A decree that I hope was not lost on any of you.
~A little bit of buzz as Punk stops
I made a vow to come here and compete every single week in this ring and to give it my all without all the glitz and glamour, without all the bells and whistles. And if I could be allowed, I would say that I’ve upheld a vast majority of that.
~Crowd gives appreciative applause, recalling that night and the first main event
I’m here with the Dynasty title in hand, so I think I will say that I’ve upheld a vast majority of that.
~Another round of applause
I believe that now, as a champion of this company, it is my duty, nay, my honor to stand before you as a man who will take on all comers no matter what because this is what we are here to do. We are professional wrestlers and we are here to wrestle professionally.
~Another small applause, but where’s he going with this…?
But while I am more than keen on upholding my vow, I understand that there are several champions in the back who have absolutely no intentions of doing the like. And they know exactly who they are. They exclaim week after week how there’s no more challengers for them. How having this title and keeping this title is the pinnacle accomplishment one can achieve. But gentlemen, that’s our job. To keep on wrestling.
~A pop for that
But how would I know, right? I haven’t even had a chance to defend this baby yet. But it’s no different than anything else I’ve had to scratch and claw for in my entire life. Getting there was fun. But it’s how you stay there that really defines a man. So yes, this is CM Punk taking a shot at you, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. And yes, this is CM Punk, of all people, taking a shot at you, Chris Jericho.
~A bit of buzz for that one
The one guy in that locker room that’s gone at it without any real complaints is our Cruiserweight Champion, Bryan Danielson.
~A pop for the Danielson name
There’s one overwhelming quality I see in a guy like Bryan Danielson. It’s something I hold very dear to myself as well. And that’s pride. Danielson has a lot of pride to call himself champion, take on all comers, and always come out of it by giving it his all.
~Another round of applause for the semi-put over here
So when a man, a professional wrestler as proud as Bryan Danielson is forced to take the airwaves and make a plea, you know something drastic had to happen to get things that way. And those drastic things do include you, Chris Jericho, and your entire Worthy Legion.
~More buzz, as Punk looks like he’s getting more intense here
You and your entire little group stand for nothing but abusing power to get what you want. And it’s causing the fighters and true warriors and wrestlers of this company to be pushed into the background to be pawns in your manipulative ploys. But Jericho, this world doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to them.
~Punk points out towards the crowd, getting a very nice, if cheap, pop that lasts a little while, even moreso when Punk holds the microphone to the crowd before turning it back to his lips
And while I’m a very proud man myself, I know how much it took for Danielson to make that plea to stop you and everything you stand for. Tonight, whether or not you survive being inside that cage with those two bulls is one thing. But the spell you've cast over this company can’t be broken by just one man.
~Punk is getting very intense now, if somewhat subtle. He stops his panorama approach and looks directly into the camera in the ring with him…
Danielson, I know you’re back there somewhere. So if you can see this, just know that your prideful plea didn’t fall on deaf ears. This is a place I won’t have stained by men like that. But I want it to be fit for men like us. You said you wanted somebody, anybody, to voice up and step up beside you to end this. And I wholeheartedly agree with you that this ends now. Wherever you are, Danielson, I just want to let you know – I want in.
Punk throws down his microphone to a very nice pop as his music hits the waves once again, the crowd very happy that the ranks opposing the Worthy Legion may in fact be growing. Punk drops his title and slides out of the ring before fetching his title from underneath the bottom rope and slinging it back over his shoulder, taking in his honorable ovation as he heads back up the ramp, surprisingly, uninterrupted.
Well it looks like Bryan Danielson’s plea from aodubya.com did indeed reach out and touch somebody, Punk looking like he wants in on whatever war Bryan Danielson has to let him know that he’s not alone.
For cryin’ out loud. Please give me somebody, anybody, who sees both of those miscreants for who they really are?
And what would that be, John?
They’re doin’ the same damn thing they’re accusing Jericho of doin’ – building a stable to try an’ take power! Look, Joey, to build a new temple, one must be destroyed. Danielson and Punk both have this great little ‘white knight’ thing goin’ on, an’ it makes me sick, because it’s only a ruse of them to build their own crew an’ try to take over this company themselves.
Quite the contrary, John. Their intentions aren’t to take over the company, they’re to take it back and place it back in the hands of men who are here to compete. And Punk was right, because they’re the same words Paul Heyman spoke just a few weeks ago – this company was developed by wrestlers for wrestlers to settle their differences and compete in that ring, not see how many people they could intimidate with their cults.
You’re full of it, Joey. Just full of it. You’re eatin’ everything kids like Punk are shovelin’ you. An’ one day you’re gonna see just how unworthy they are. It makes me sick to my stomach to sit here an’ listen to you regurgitating this filth.
Just like it makes me sick to sit here and have to listen to you feeding into Jericho’s ego, sucking off on his grapefruits like he can do no wrong.
LISTEN HERE! I am John “Bradshaw” Layfield, I am my own man, an’ I REFUSE to be talked to like I’m some –
They’re here to professionally wrestle and we’re here to professionally commentate, so I guess I’ll get to it. Coming up later on tonight, ladies and gentlemen we do have an absolutely enormous main event that wasn’t even decided until the start of the show – AOW Champion for almost five dastardly months, Chris Jericho, will be defending his title not against one, but two very angry and fierce men in Samoa Joe and Finlay in a Triple Threat Steel Cage match, where the only way to win is by escaping the enclosure. Has Mick Foley finally trumped Jericho one final time? Will Joe finally complete his journey to rid the world of the Worthy Legion himself? Of is Finlay going to finally capitalize in his first ever AOW Championship opportunity? Find out later on toight!
~Backstage, viewing room…
Before we head off to break, we see Chris Jericho in a room surrounded by his Worthy Legion – Ken Doane, Bobby Lashley, and Paul “The Great” Wright, all watching what we all just saw from CM Punk on a television screen. Jericho is snarling to himself as the two behemoths behind him stand as stoic as ever. Doane’s face is much more animated.
Should we go out and teach him a lesson?
No. He and Danielson are and always will be just annoying little flies. We have much bigger things to deal with tonight. Like how I’m going to keep this.
~Jericho points to the title draped over his shoulder, a close up going in on it, as we finally fade away…
We’re brought to a very shady setting, darkness shrouding the entire frame save for what looks like an overhead lamp lighting up a small table. We hear what sounds like cards being shuffled before a figure just as shrouded in shadows as his surroundings deals out hands to three other shadowed figures when a narrator kicks in.
War cannot be won alone.
The men in the shadows pick up the hands dealt, where we go to a behind the back shot of one man, but still not able to see his hand…
Rule is spread by armies.
Two of the other players push forth their chips, both appearing to be all in…
And numbers fighting for a man mean everything.
The shadowy man we’re following pushes his entire stack of chips forth…these men have balls…
One is a struggle…
One shadowed man presents his hand…
Two is a battle…
The second man lays down his hand…
Our followed shadow presents one card, a King of Spades, which looks very similar to Samoa Joe…
…and then drops down a King of Clubs, which bears a striking resemblance to Finlay…
…and his final card is dropping the King of Hearts for a three-of-a-kind that looks stunningly like Chris Jericho. As the man rakes in his winnings, we get a graphic flashing up on our screen –
THE AOW TRIOS TOURNAMENT
BEGINNING FEBRUARY 6TH
~Backstage, the Green Zone interview set…
Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time, a man who will be competing in the AOW Championship Steel Cage match tonight, he is the One Man Army – SAMOA JOE!!
~Very nice pop as the camera pans back to reveal a very intense and beastly looking Samoa Joe
Joe, I’m sure you’ve got some last minute preparations to go with before you head into the cage, but can you just give us a few quick thoughts on the match tonight?
I’m only gonna say this, Steve – Finlay deserves an ass kicking.
~Joe pauses as the crowd gives him a pop beyond the walls
And Jericho deserves that title being taken away from him.
And I deserve to be the one to beat it out of him. So all I’m gonna say is that tonight, inside that steel cage, everyone is gonna get exactly what they deserve.
~Joe turns back away from the camera and Romero, as the camera catches him walking to the back, but he’s notably limping a bit, as his knee that was targeted by Finlay and hit the by car last week don’t seem to be completely healed as we fade out…
~Further backstage, locker room area
We leave one interview to only be met with another, as The Miz appears on our screen, but he looks as if he’s damn near about to piss himself…
Hi…I’m Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, here with my guest at this time, the other man in the Triple Threat Cage match for the AOW Championship tonight…Finlay.
~The camera pans back to reveal Finlay behind Miz, his foot on a bench, tying the last laces in his boots. He’s as stoic as ever.
Um…Mr. Finlay…I don’t’ mean to disturb you, I’m only doing my job, but can you please not kill me and just give us some quick thoughts on the match tonight?
~Miz’s hand is noticeably shaking as he puts it up to Finlay’s face, who finally turns around to face Miz
My thoughts? Tonight, I get to kill two birds with one stone. To finally get rid of Joe and take my AOW Championship.
~Finlay gives us his own toothless grin before it quickly fades back into his stoic state
All I can say, boy…is it’s about time.
~There’s notable anger in Finlay’s voice, as he lingers to stare at Miz. It doesn’t take long for Miz to get the point and quickly scurries out of there, leaving Finlay by himself, but like Joe before him, he see him wince for only a moment and tend to his back, his injuries possibly not that healed, as we fade away…
~Back at ringside…
“THE PROUD WARRIOR (LOW JACK REMIX)” greets our ears as we get a good view at the entrance ramp, the team of Low Jack bursting through the curtain, Evans leading the way. He does a mini crump dance on the entrance ramp, Ki following suit and still staying very serious, just staring at Evans with disinterest. Evans looks at Ki and takes him by the shoulders, where we can read his lips say “it’s for the Tag Team titles, man!” Ki just takes Evans by the back of the head and shoves him down the ramp, which forces Evans to keep going lest he fall, and make his way to the ring, Ki following suit as both men look pumped, in their own way, for their very first AOW Tag Team Championship opportunity.
“WORLD’S GREATEST” chimes over the speakers now, as the World’s Greatest Tag Team make their way down the ramp, but they seem very much the opposite of Evans and Ki. There’s not a lot of pep in their step at all, not much emotion on their face, possibly agitated, and rightfully so. The reaction they’re getting is one of mixed reception, the same kind they’ve been getting for several weeks now. They get to the base of the ramp and look at one another before sliding under the bottom rope and into the ring. They both approach center ring and…extend their hands?? An action the WGTT hasn’t done in quite a while occurs here with the respectable handshake! Ki and Evans seem very hesitant at first…before finally shaking the hands of the Tag Team Champions, no one in the crowd not exactly sure what to make of this.
*AOW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS*
The World’s Greatest Tag Team(c) v. Low Jack
The opening seconds of the contest see the WGTT being thrown a little off-guard by the unorthodoxed style of both Ki and Evans, but after a good four minutes, they seem to adapt reasonably well by singling out Jack Evans, Charlie Haas countering his high-octane offense by planting his face in the canvas with a one-man flapjack! Haas tags in Benjamin, who proceeds to nail Evans in the back of the head with an elbow drop before going for a cover – 1…2…NO! Evans has more fight in him than that, trying to get to his corner, but Benjamin prevents that by dragging him back to center and grapevining his leg, tagging Haas back in, who leaps over the top rope upon being tagged and nails Evans again the back of the head with a leg drop! Haas now for a cover – 1…2…NO!! Evans makes his way out of that as well!
The WGTT continue their rotating tag-outs when Haas pulls Evans up to tag Benji back in, the two then performing a double suplex that Benjamin tries to capitalize on – 1…2…NO!! Ki bursts into the ring to save it for his tag team partner! Benjamin now takes Evans and tries to wear him down, pulling his neck back in a rest hold. After a minute or so of being worn down, Evans starts to get back up and try to spark some more fight, putting some elbows in Benjamin’s gut and trying to wrench away, but Benjamin pulls him back in with a short-arm clothesline!! Benjamin again with a cover – 1…2…3-NO!! Evans still has life!
Benjamin shows a little bit of frustration on that one, but he merely drags Evans over to his corner, Haas tagging himself in. Benji then lifts Evans into what looks like a suplex position, but we soon see that he’s merely passing Evans up to Charlie Haas, who has climbed to the top rope. This looks like a hellova move coming, but Low Ki storms the ring once again to his partner’s aid, hitting the spine of Benjamin to let Evans down. He then goes over to kick Haas’ ankle, which causes him to be straddled on the post! As the crowd shares his pain, Ki actually knocks Benjamin out of the ring, Evans completely back to his feet. Ki then looks at Evans, the two of them sharing a thought, as Evans backs up a few steps as Ki stands in front of the recovering straddled Haas. Evans rushes towards Ki, who lifts him over his head and right onto Haas – AIDED FRANKENSTEIR!! WOW!! It’s Low Jack’s turn to show some chemistry, as Haas goes flipping over and crashing below! It takes a moment for Evans to recover a bit and crawl over to Haas, but the referee is trying to direct Ki out of the ring. The ref finally does turn around, though – 1…2…3…NO!!! Benjamin comes crashing in at the last second!
The tag team titles damn near escaping their grasp, Benjamin barely saves it for his partner! Evans is still feeling some of the earlier offense, but he has enough in him to try and pull Haas into his corner for a tag, but Haas starts coming back to life and starts hitting Evans with hard rights, eventually getting enough back in him to Irish whip, but Evans ducks underneath a clothesline attempt to roll right into his corner to tag in Low Ki to a pop! Ki bursts into the ring and hits Haas with a flurry of strikes and forces him into a corner, Shelton Benjamin entering to try and aide his partner. He gets a vicious roundhouse to the face upon entry, flopping on top of Haas in the corner. Evans is still in the ring, looking at Ki to help him direct traffic…cartwheel back elbow smash to both men!! The sandwiched bodies booth feel the impact!! As Benjamin drops to the canvas and rolls outside from the blow, Haas’ inertia keeps him vertical as Ki follows up directly behind Haas…TIDAL CRUSH!! The cartwheel to jumping kick cracks Charlie Haas right in the face!! He falls face-first into the canvas, Ki springing to shoot the half – 1…2…3…NO!!!
HAAS KICKS OUT!! The Tag Team Championships stay where they’re at! The Warrior doesn’t waste any time at all on the kickout, wrapping his body around Charlie’s with some bodyscissors, possibly trying to wear down the resilient champion. Haas struggles to undo the vice, but as soon as he gets back to his feet, Ki looks to absolutely behead with a roundhouse…but Haas ducks, spinning Ki all the way around, allowing Haas to grapple around his waist…flawless German suplex!! Both men are down now, but Haas definitely needs to make a tag! Ki uses some nearby ropes to make it to his feet and rushes at the struggling Haas, but Haas catches the careless Ki in a drop toehold, crunching his jaw against the WGTT’s corner post!! This gives Haas all the time he needs to tag in Benjamin, who stands close behind Charlie, Haas approaching their dazed opponent in the corner and pulling him out…with another German suplex, but this flows right into Benjamin lifting him up right off the mat…and hitting a wheelbarrow suplex!! German-to-German combo!!! Benjamin keeps the bridge on this one, getting another cover attempt – 1…2…3…NO!! It’s Jack Evans turn to make the save!!
Not letting their first time go to waste, Evans saves it! Benjamin shows his disapproval of this move by driving a knee sharply into Evans’ gut before throwing him out of the ring, leaving Ki alone. Benjamin takes his newfound alone time to bring Ki to his feet and into a suplex position before bouncing him off the ropes…slingshot suplex!! Benji floats over for a cover – 1…2…3-NO!! Ki wants his shot to keep going, too!! Benjamin now takes Ki and gives him a hard blow to the head, but this seems to wake up Ki more than anything, as when Benjamin tries to lift him to his feet, Ki breaks his grasp with a knife-edge CHOP(Wooooo!) that sends Benji reeling, Ki himself leaning on the ropes behind him for support. Benjamin geos over and yanks Ki off the ropes with an Irish whip, but Ki greets him on the rebound with a hard knee to the gut that sends Benji to one knee. Ki rebounds again and slings towards the prone Benjamin…BLACK MAGIC!! The feint to back-of-the-head-kick!! Benjamin down again – 1…2…3-NO!! Benjamin’s able to kick out and keep going! Ki doesn’t like that one bit, trying to bring Benjamin back up, but the Black half of the champions surprises him with a last-ditch European uppercut effort that sends Ki away and gives Benjamin enough time to flop to his corner and tag back in Haas.
Haas comes in hot, hitting Ki with a hard back elbow before hitting him with a knee to the gut, doubling him over. Haas then rebounds off the ropes behind him, going for the running knee lift, but Ki spins out of the way, only hit Haas…with a springboard enzeguiri!! Haas falls flat on his back, Ki looking at his position and seeing that Benjamin actually has yet to get back to the apron, leading him not to cover, but to tag in Evans instead. As Jack E leaps in, Benjamin slinks up and charges at Evans, only to get hit by a hard Ki elbow, sending him back leaning against the ropes. Ki then takes Evans like he’s going to backdrop him, but instead, he kicks Benjamin over the top rope…RIGHT INTO A MOONSAULT ON HAAS!! AIDED DROPKICK-MOONSAULT COMBO!! This looks like it could do it – 1…2…3…NO!!
JBL says they took too much time between impact and pin attempt, and he may be right, but Low Jack thought they had’em! Evans quickly picks himself off of Haas’ body, however, he and Ki taking Haas and nailing him with a double dropkick! Ki then looks outside the ring to see Benjamin making it to his feet…SASUKE SPECIAL!! The cartwheel-to-corkscrew-senton over the top rope takes out both Low Ki and Benjamin!! It’s Evans and Haas alone in the ring, Evans making it to the top rope, the crowd on their feet for the beautiful move that may win tag told…630 SENTON…NOBODY HOME!! NOBODY HOME!! Evans crashes and burns, his spine jarring on the impact of the missed maneuver! Haas instantly takes this opportunity to crank Evans’ legs over his body…HAAS OF PAIN!! HAAS OF PAIN!! And with Evans’ unbelievably flexible body, Haas is able to crank back considerably, Evans’ feet TOUCHING THE BACK OF HIS FUCKING HEAD!! The damage to the spine done and the sinister submission locked in…Evans has no choice but to TAP OUT!!
Winners and STILL AOW Tag Team Champions: The World’s Greatest Tag Team at (12:42)
The titles stay home!! Haas uncoils Evans’ body and rolls back towards the center ring, the referee handing him his half of the titles before rolling outside and handing the struggling Benjamin his half of the gold as well. The crowd actually gives them a round of applause, although they’re struck a little funny when the WGTT stop to acknowledge the cheers. They take their titles and head back up the ramp, holding each other up, while Low Jack can only lick their wounds inflicted from their – surprisingly – respectful opponents.
What’s gotten into these guys heads? That certainly didn’t look like the same World’s Greatest Tag Team that walked out of the show last week and damn near boycotted this one.
Does it really matter what’s goin’ on with their attitudes? You an’ everybody else have been on these guys about their ‘changin’ attitudes’ for weeks, but what you people fail to realize is that both of those young men are TAG. TEAM. CHAMPIONS. Whatever they feel like being, they can be.
That’s all true, and a very valiant effort on behalf of Low Jack in their very first title opportunity, but they came here tonight pissed they had to compete, and they came here and –
…and they handled business. It don’t matter what you feel like, Joey, when that bell rings, the lights are on bright, and championship gold is up for grabs, you get down to business. An’ if you’re the World’s Greatest Tag Team, this was just that an’ I must admit, their business is booming.
Again, I’m not refuting that, Bradshaw, I’m just wondering what made them change the way they saw this. I mean, when was the last time we saw them shake an opponent’s hand like that, especially under forced circumstances?
Hell if I know, Joey, but why do you give a damn? Look, they’re a very self-reflective pair of young men. Maybe they saw somethin’ in what they were doing, didn’t like it, an’ just decided to suck it up and compete. The fact is, Low Jack ain’t got gold, Benjamin an’ Haas do, an’ Mick Foley has to think of somethin’ new if he wants to challenge them.
Well speaking of ‘something new’, while many of us were feeling the shock and impact of Paul Heyman being taken out by Chris Jericho at the start of last week, many of us were taken completely aback at what turned out to be our actual main event of the evening and that was the absolutely unbelievable battle put on between two rookies in their debut – Kofi Kingston and Tyler Black.
~Still-frames show now of the Kingston/Black encounter from a week ago, many of the match’s high points displayed
You wanna talk about makin’ a statement as soon as you walk in the doors of the company – I have never seen anything like those two goin’ at it last week in my entire life. Two guys who literally have never had a professional contract before in their entire lives, both in the prime of their youth an’ they came in here on their first day an’ tore this house down.
And those two have caused an insatiable amount of buzz in the wrestling world, many wondering where these guys came from and what they have to offer to AOW at this point in time, and especially, John, whether we’ll see a rematch or not.
As much as I harp on wins and losses bein’ everything, I still wanna see these two guys go back at it. I’m becomin’ a Tyler Black man, especially after he actually won the daggone match, but I can’t take anything away from Kofi Kingston.
I’m quite the opposite, partner. I loved everything Kofi Kingston had to offer in that contest, regardless of whether or not he picked up the win, but like you said, that’s taking nothing away from his opponent in Tyler Black.
As the pictures conclude from our screen, we hear the pulsating rhythm that can only mean one thing – the lowering of the cage. Everyone in the arena looks up to see the unforgiving steel enclosure slowly lower itself into devouring the ring, the cage itself getting as big a reaction as any face tonight.
But that was last week’s main event. This week, we have something much, much bigger and possibly much, much bloodier, but definitely much, much bigger implications. Chris Jericho will be locked in that very cage with two angry, hungry, proven savage beasts in Samoa Joe, the One Man Army, and Finlay, the Man Who Loves to Fight. The AOW Championship is on the line and there’s absolutely no escape for the Worthy Champion. That HUGE main event is coming up…NEXT!!!
We’re brought to a dark screen, seeing nothing, everything looking somewhat blurred, but it clears up after a moment or so. When the blur lifts, we are taken aback when a gold chain crucifix drops down from above and only leaves us with words emerging at the bottom of the screen…
THE SAINT IS COMING…
We return from the break to the sound of Tony Chimel announcing that this following contest is, indeed, a Steel Cage match for the AOW Heavyweight Championship. Not long after he lets that ring over the Hammerstein, “LEMBEG” breaks out on that same sound system, as The Fighting Irishman, Finlay, bursts through the blood-red curtain and onto the ramp, He’s getting a very dense array of heat, his shillelagh still in hand, although when he gets to ringside, the referee in charge of the door asks him to dispose of it. Finlay just gives Ray Ramsey a hard stare, handing him his destructive wooden staff before walking into the asylum. We can see, as Joey Styles is point out at the booth, that Finlay is trying very hard not to expose the damage to his back, but we can see it in the very ginger way he walks.
“MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT” soon ignites the threshold and the fans, as the ass-kicking machine that is the newly dubbed ‘One Man Army’ Samoa Joe pulls back the crimson curtains to reveal an unbelievably focused expression, one that has been on his face for the last month or so. As he struts down the ramp, he almost makes the cage invisible, damn near staring through it to get a cold hard look at the man who has opposed him since the company inception in Finlay. Joe, too, has in injury quite noticeable, although his is more obvious that Finlay’s because we can see his taped up appendage behind its knee pad. He keeps his eyes locked on Finlay as he walks through the door and into the demonic structure. He walks to the near corner, but adjacent to Finlay.
The reaction turns almost violent once “KING OF MY WORLD” hits the system, as AOW Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho comes on out in tights this time, title still slung over his shoulder. He hardly acknowledges the heat, but he looks almost as cold and unfeeling as his opponents, although as JBL is putting it, he’s hiding his weakness the best out of the three men. Jericho has his nose up all the way down the ramp before handing his title to Goose Mahoney, the other referee manning the match from the outside. He kisses it before doing so.
He steps into the ring, his ‘worthy’ face guise wearing thinner by the moment, but comes almost completely undone when Samoa Joe randomly bolts towards the entrance way, Jericho quickly making way to another, empty corner. Joe steps back through the door and up to Ray Ramsey, who still has Finlay’s staff in hand…and takes it from him! This catches both the champion and the Irishman’s gaze, as Joe walks a little bit on the outside…before THROWING THE SHILLELAGH INTO THE CROWD!! The brutal shillelagh that has been the bane of many victims in AOW has just been flung into the masses! The crowd is popping big, everyone on Joe’s side before the match even begins. Joe steps back through the doorway, reaching back, and slams the door shut behind him. It’s on.
AOW HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
*STEEL CAGE MATCH*
Chris Jericho(c) v. Samoa Joe v. Finlay
All three men have a three-way standoff, Joe’s aura clashing with Finlay’s, while both of their airs meet with Jericho’s, who tentatively backs away from those two men, and wisely so. Joe and Finlay meet in the center of the ring, nose to nose, brow to brow. The undeniable tension between the two men in their familiar surroundings of the steel asylum invoke an even bigger reaction from the crowd. The crowd pops even bigger when they suddenly break ranks and turn towards the cowering-in-a-corner champion, and they both start beating the high hell out of him!! Joe unleashes a flurry of punches and a hard kick to the midsection that sends Jericho to the lower rungs of the turnbuckle, Finlay delivering stomp after stomp to the prone champion.
Finlay then forces Jericho back to his feet, only to make him curl up after a hard CHOP(Wooooo!). Joe follows up on that with a CHOP(Wooooo!) of his own. Finlay immediately sees this as a challenge, Joe egging him on. Joe even holds Jericho back up in the corner as Finlay approaches and delivers another ridiculous CHOP(Wooooo!) that sends the champ cringing. Finlay and Joe don’t let their gazes drop from the other as they switch roles, Finlay holding Jericho up while Joe rears back…CHOP(Wooooo!) Jericho’s chest as turned completely raw this early in the contest. Finlay still doesn’t seem all too impressed, but he walks into the corner with Jericho before whipping him out towards Joe, who nails him with a hard clothesline!! Joe stays standing and looks at Finlay once again, Joe now taking Jericho back to his feet and putting him into the corner again, Finlay backing up this time. Joe now whips Jericho towards Finlay…who BEHEADS JERICHO WITH A LARIAT!! Finlay puts his entire body behind the blow, but as soon as he hits the canvas, he hits a single leg-tackle on Joe’s week knee!!
Finlay reminds Joe what’s at stake here by not even making is subtle that he plans to pick apart Joe’s weak joint, stomping away at it before driving a knee into it. Joe doesn’t scream in pan, pretty much taking it, but when Finlay holds in knee into his own, Joe pulls Finlay’s head in close and starts delivering hard blows to his skull, forcing the Irishman up and off. Finlay reels a bit while Joe struggles to get to his feet because of his weakened appendage, but he still has enough in him to take the reeling Finlay and throw his face into the cage!! Finlay is the first man introduced to steel tonight, Joe immediately following up on that by wrapping around Finlay’s midsection and DRIVING HIS SPINE INTO THE CAGE!!
It’s Joe’s turn to make it very blatant he knows Finlay’s weakness, Finlay letting out an Irish yell of anguish. As Joe lets Finlay take a few steps of pain away from the wall, he surprises him by pulling out the CCS ENZEGURI!! THE JUMPING TWISTING BLOW!! Joe hasn’t busted that move out yet in AOW, catching Finlay so off guard that he reels into a corner and falls to the lower rungs. Joe backs up and slaps some life into his damaged knee, backing up to the opposite side of the ring and holding a finger high and screaming “OLE!!” The crowd begins chanting along the corresponding sports cry, as Joe charges for the nasty facewash…JERICHO TRIANGLE DROPKICK!! WOH! Jericho bursts back into the fray by hitting the springboard dropkick to down the charging Joe!
Both of his opponents are down, and it’s no surprise that Jericho is the first man to go for a climbing attempt. Clutching his still throbbing chest, Jericho begins to make his way up a cage wall to a chorus of heat for his weaseling, but he’s soon stopped by a recovering Finlay who clubs him in the spine. Jericho tries to keep going still, now more than halfway up, but Finlay cubs him yet again before bringing himself up to him and pulls the back of his head, slamming Jericho’s face into the cage!! This stuns Jericho enough for Finlay to get underneath his arm and wrap around his waist, catching him in a super backdrop position…but then Joe comes to life. Joe starts climbing the ropes on the cage wall to get directly underneath the setting-up Finlay, coming right up between his legs and putting him in an elevated position and falling back…BACKDROP/ELECTRIC CHAIR DROP ALL THE WAY DOWN FROM THE CAGE!!! OH MY GAAAD!! The match is barely five minutes old, and already the men are all on the canvas!! Jericho’s neck may be broken, Finlay’s back makes him scream in pain, and Joe’s leg that supported the mass of weight possibly buckled upon impact. The sight of all three men down on the ground demonstrates what brutality awaits on the other side of the break.
As soon as we return from the commercial break, Finlay and Joe are on their feet in the center of the ring, exchanging bows back and forth. They’re not furious blows that we’ve become accustomed to as they both seem to be just getting to their feet, but Finlay has more in him to backpedal and whip off the ropes and again, launch himself at Joe’s weak leg, again making him collapse. Finlay may look to get on it like a pitbull this time, but he doesn’t get a chance to because he’s ambushed by a recovering Chris Jericho, who rams his forearm into the base of Finlay’s spine, provoking his own injury. Jericho then takes Finlay and short arm whips him hard, spine-first into the cage! Jericho taking command here, as Finlay whiplashes violently right back into the fray, Jericho takes Finlay’s head and hits him with the one-handed bulldog!
The commentators note this would be a great place for a cover, but it would be for naught in this match, as Jericho now sees an opportunity a mere few feet away from him in the cage door, crawling towards it, but collapsing on his way. He recovers enough to get the refs to open the door as he approaches retention…NO!! Joe catches an ankle of Jericho and pulls him back into the center of Hell, curling up his leg…and locking in the STF!! STF!! While this may not get him the title, Joe’s finally got his hands on Jericho and he’s making him suffer!! He pulls up and cranks violently on Jericho’s spine, Jericho grasping for a rope that won’t do him any good. What saves him from the pain is a recovering Finlay, breaking the hold with a surprise Finlay Press! The seated senton drills the back of Joe, but also sandwiches Jericho under the weight of two brutes.
The calculating Finlay then takes the body of Joe in his hands, making his body a missile and CHUNKING HIM SHOULDER FIRST INTO THE IRON POST!! Not only does Joe’s shoulder meet metal, his face does too, as it grinds against the cage! Joe clutches his ailing shoulder now and he reels back into the ring, where we see Finlay now has Jericho in his clutches…and chunks Jericho right into the legs of Joe!! Finlay, true to form, is using everything (and everyone) he can get his hands on as a weapon! Jericho’s head hits Joe’s knee hard, but of course, Finlay was aiming for Joe’s injury. Joe falls under the momentum of the move on his ailing part, Jericho rolling away and clutching his head.
Finlay is back in command here, taking the still stunned Jericho by the legs now. He stands vertical with them before leaning all the way back…CATAPAULT RIGHT INTO THE CAGE!! Jericho’s face sticks up against the unforgiving steel from the momentum, his body soon sliding down the wall. Finlay takes this opportunity to go for his first climbing attempt, swallowing the heavy array of heat from the crowd as a result. He tends to the small of his back, which has taken damage still, getting closer and closer to the top…when he’s stopped by Joe! Much like he did with Jericho, Joe grabs hold of Finlay’s ankle and prevents him from advancing anywhere, pulling himself up along the cage wall and bringing himself even with Finlay.
The two exchange blows, but they both continue to climb. They keep stopping one another when they ascend, stopping to bash each other with fists yet again. Finlay manages to pull away with a hard elbow that forces Joe to hold onto the cage for dear life should he fall all the way down, getting Finlay the time he needs to get all the way to the top with one leg over. Finlay’s just moments away from capturing gold…but Joe is able to gather himself and stop him just in time! Joe now pulls back up and in the same position as Finlay at the top of the cage, half in and half out. The two now start going back and forth from way up-top. The crowd is behind each blow, but neither man backs down, one immediately following with a hit of their own right after the other is done. Eventually, their punches gain tempo…and they just start bashing with a flurry of punches at the very top!! The crowd is popping wildly at this sight, almost a shot-for-shot perfect remake of their infamous brawl atop the Hammerstein balcony many months ago!
They just keep firing back, left and right, until finally, Finlay does start pulling away, clubbing Joe down to the point that he almost falls all the way down into the ring, but catches himself on the caged wall before he can do so. This still leaves Finlay in a favorable position, but Joe repositions himself beneath Finlay and starts clubbing him in the spine, Joe now getting into Finlay’s weakness!! This prevents Finlay from going all the way over, even bringing his dangling leg back over to sit on the top of the cage, both feet now inside. This turns his back away from Joe, but the Samoan Machine still manages to get several blows in on Finlay’s head…until we see him tuck Finlay’s head into his shoulder. The crowd is buzzing at what this is looking like, Joe now grappling the two of Finlay’s legs…could it be…? MUSCLE BUSTER FROM THE TOP OF THE CAGE!! MUSCLE BUSTER FROM THE TOP OF THE CAGE!!! OOOHHH MY F*CKING GAAAADD!!!
“HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!”
The Hammerstein faithful let ring their approval as they rise in applause for that absolutely ridiculous move. They should be paying for something like this, but they’re getting it for free at the expense of the body of Finlay. Samoa Joe’s body isn’t spared from the move, however, as again the knee used to support the weight of the move is in pain, as well as Joe whiplashing his head pretty hard on the fall down. As JBL and Joey show the folks at home the move again and again from three different angles, neither man is showing any signs of life, Finlay possibly completely KO’d here. But the Hammerstein’s lingering cheers are almost immediately cut off when Chris Jericho comes back to life, whom we now see was evidently BUSTED OPEN when he met the cage wall, as he’s donning a CRIMSON MASK. Jericho springs to his bloody feet and grabs both of the winded Joe’s legs…WALLS OF JERICHO!!! WALLS OF JERICHO TO JOE!! Jericho torques possibly the last bit of life that’s in Joe’s legs, Joe without the whereithall to counter! Perhaps the hemoglobin release has awoken an inner Jericho! The bloody face of the Worthy Champion is screaming to sell the intensity of the hold, the pain also written in Joe’s clenched face as well. Jericho damn near wrenches Joe’s bad knee out of the joint, but Joe somehow finds it in him with his entire body of strength to twist his body and unlock the Walls! Jericho geos tumbling and Joe is free, but that puts even more strain on the knee, forcing him to clutch it in pain.
Joe slowly stumbles to his feet, using some of the ropes to get up before drifting back center ring, but the bloody Jericho is ready…CODEBREAKER…NO!! Joe has the strength to catch Jericho in mid-air and looks like he wants ANOTHER MUSCLE BUSTER…NO!! HIS KNEE BUCKLES!! Once again, the damage to Joe’s leg costs him more than pain, as he collapses to one knee and drops Jericho! The puppetmaster of a champion doesn’t make this go unnoticed, rushing at the cut-down Joe…RUNNING ENZEGUIRI CONNECTING!!! Joe is stunned so much, he is propelled to stand up, leaning against the ropes and the cage behind him, but he doesn’t fall! The dripping crimson face of Jericho looks on in frustration and fear, as Joe doesn’t go down. He takes a moment to rush at the man who has taken an oath to take him down and goes for ANOTHER CODEBREAKER…NO!!
We’re all over the overrun, but Joe still has enough in him to throw Jericho’s body down, forcing him to roll in recovery. Joe is still very much groggy, leading Jericho to charge at him again, but Joe catches him and pulls Jericho over his shoulder…ISLAND DRIVER…NO!! Jericho squirms from over Joe’s shoulder, drifting over to a cage wall…and beginning to climb!! Jericho weasels his way into a cage climb, but Joe promptly stops him by pulling him by his tights off of the cage, right back into his clutches…Samoan Drop!! Jericho is flattened by the One Man Army! Joe gets to his feet and lets out a roar, prompting the crowd to pop huge, but almost as soon as that happens, Joe is surprised by a recovered Finlay…CELTIC CROSS!! CELTIC CROSS TO JOE!! Out of nowhere, Finlay dashes Joe and the crowd’s hopes! The move momentarily jars Finlay’s spine, but he grits his teeth and sucks it up enough to stand up and go over to an attempting to recover Jericho…CODEBREAKER!! CODEBREAKER!!
Finlay flops back, leaving Jericho the only conscious man in the ring! The crowd is throwing ridiculous heat here, as Jericho crawls over the bodies of the downed bulls among him, going towards the door. Ramsey unlocks the gate, opening the door and giving us a clear shot of the blood-drenched Jericho crawling on his hands and knees, struggling to get to the door. He grabs onto the ropes in the doorway to try and pull himself through, but the crowd is buzzing big time…IT’S BRYAN DANIELSON!! AND HE KICKS THE DOOR SHUT ON JERICHO’S FACE!! Jericho recoils violently back into the ring, as Danielson’s interference has the crowd on fire!!
Danielson is screaming through the bars at Jericho, pumped as ever, but he himself has a fight on his hands when he’s suddenly ambushed…KEN DOANE! Doane throws Danielson’s face against the cage wall from the outside!! Danielson reels into a Doane clothesline, sending him splat against the padded outside! The crowd deflates again, but the outside doesn’t stay padded for long, as Doane starts ripping up a portion of the padding. This exposes the hard concrete underneath, taking Danielson in his clutches, possibly looking to nail him with a RKDOANE TO THE CONCRETE…BUT HE’S HIT BY CM PUNK!! The other half of the ‘annoying flies’ comes to the party now, as he bashes Doane from behind and saves Danielson now! Danielson recovers now, getting Doane in a suplex position, prompting Punk to help him…DOUBLE SUPLEX…ONTO THE EXPOSED CONCRETE!! The crowd is back on fire, as the numbers game seems to FINALLY be in Danielson‘s favor…until both men look up and are DECAPITATED BY A DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE FROM BOBBY LASHLEY!
The crowd goes through a roller coaster of emotions in that short timespan, but it seems to be over now, as Lashley stands over both rebels with a look of distain. He then looks behind himself to see Paul Wright galumphing down the ramp now, but he’s in no hurry. Lashley surveys the damage again before our focus shifts back into the ring…where JOE IS VERTICAL AND CLIMBING!! The calm look on Lashley’s face turn to one of panic, as Jericho isn’t up yet, Lashley going to the cage wall Joe is climbing. The crowd is again going nuts, but it gets even more tense when Finlay groggily gets to his feet, and begins climbing a different wall of his own! Lashley helps direct traffic, telling Wright to go cover Finlay, both men looking to threaten the challengers should they make the top!
Both of Joe and Finlay’s injuries are flaring up here in spades, as neither man can climb the cage as best they can when they’re in great pain. The two badasses suck it up verily, however, eventually reaching the top, but looking down to see daunting and large foes. The crowd is popping their heads off for someone to jump, but both men are wary of what waits below. Finlay is the first man to gather himself enough and pretty much says ‘fuck it’, FINLAY LEAPING TO THE FLOOR…BUT HE LANDS ON TOP OF WRIGHT!! Wright breaks Finlay’s fall, both men lying on top of one another…BUT FINLAY DOESN’T TOUCH THE FLOOR! Finlay is positioned perfectly, parallel right on top of the wide body of Wright so that he’s not touching the floor! The replay shows that both men cracked skulls on the fall, knocking them both out. The match goes on!
On the other side of the ring, Ray Ramsey is opening the cage door once again because Jericho has enough in him to start crawling towards the door again! Joe is still at the top of the cage, the crowd urging him to leap, the Machine looking behind him to see Jericho crawling way down below. But Jericho has trouble awaiting, as CM Punk is back to his feet, clutching his body, looking to play Danielson and shut the door on Jericho’s face…but Lashley spots him and rushes over…SPEAR!! LASHLEY SPEARS PUNK IN HALF!! The Dynasty Champion is down, leaving Jericho uncontested…but Lashley leaving Joe alone means that he’s uncontested too!! It’s a race against gravity! Who can hit the floor faster??
…JOE FALLS FROM THE TOP…
…JERICHO FLOPS THROUGH THE DOOR…
WHO WILL HIT THE FLOOR FIRST???
Here is your winner and…
…STILL AOW Heavyweight Champion: Chris Jericho at (20:18)
Contrary to how it’s written, Jericho CLEARLY hits the floor first, flopping through a bloodstained face and eagle spread onto the floor, Bobby Lashley taking his stable leader’s carcass up and takes the title from the referee, holding Jericho up to another great deal of heat. Joe pounds the outside floor in pure frustration and anguish, Danielson clenching his teeth and checking on Punk. Wright finally tosses Finlay’s limp and exhausted body off of his own, shaking the cobwebs out. Doane is struggling in some way to get to his feet, the cage being raised behind all the men.
An absolutely BRUTAL match that signifies just how destructive the steel cage can be, Chris Jericho weaseling his way out of the whole thing!
Weaseling? There’s nothin’ weaselin’ about goin’ toe to toe with the two toughest sons of bitches in the entire world an’ walking out of a steel cage still with the title you more than deserve! Stick that in your craw, Mick Foley!
Wait – this battle might not be over yet!!
Styles is more than right, as Samoa Joe comes rampaging over to the celebrating Worthy Legion, knocking the woozy Jericho down and prompting a brawl with both Lashley and Wright!! He’s going back and forth between both men, Bryan Danielson soon joining in behind him!! A big brawl is brewing, but the power and numbers game catch up to the defiant wrestlers, Ken Doane grabbing Joe’s leg and keeping him still long enough for Wright to hit him with the KNOCKOUT PUNCH!! Wright finally nails the punch on Joe, deadening the big man. Lashley proceeds to beat down Danielson now, Doane aiding how he can. Lashley then takes Joe and rolls him under the ropes and into the ring, looking to do more damage to his rival there. Doane follows suit, while Wright takes the beaten Danielson…and military presses him through the ropes into the ring!!
Danielson and Joe are completely at the mercy of their abusers, Jericho crawling under the ropes after several more seconds of beatdown. Jericho is still bleeding, but he has more than enough in him to survey the damage being done to his enemies. But while everyone has their back turned, no one notices CM Punk getting to his feet and jumping to the apron…SPRINGBOARD CLOTHESLINE…Jericho ducks and rolls…but Doane and Lashley get taken down! Punk is inserting himself right in the war against the Legion!! But just as quickly as Punk gets folks down, he turns to see…JERICHO BASH HIM IN THE FACE WITH THE AOW TITLE!! Punk goes spinning from the impact, Doane and Lashley quickly recovering to have the entire Legion standing over everyone who has ever opposed them that still remains. They continue stomping and beating the living pulp out of them, Jericho still looking on, his bloody face giving way to an insidious smirk that looks damn near demonic, Joey Styles begging for this to stop and many fans silent in disgust, perhaps dying for a hero…
**JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES**
COULD IT BE??? IT…IT’S CHRISTIAN!!! IT’S CHRISTIAN CAGE!! I DON'T BELIEVE IT!! AND HE’S GOT A STEEL CHAIR IN HAND!! The man who was exiled from this company two months ago has just reappeared!! The crowd is absolutely losing their freakin’ minds, although Christian doesn’t seem as thrilled as everyone. He has the same look in his eye that he had before he left, his eyes circled with red like he hasn’t slept since he left. He has a snarl on his face that rivals only an insane man, standing on the entrance ramp and looking around him…his expression easing a bit. Have the people who turned on him finally accepted him? We look down to the ring at every member of the Worthy Legion, none of them believing the ghost they can see, Jericho least of all, whose stunned and wide white pupils stand out from his otherwise crimson face. Even Lashley expresses an emotion of surprise, the man he was sure he exiled somehow back here. Whatever their thoughts, Christian takes his chair in both hands…AND CHARGES THE RING!!
Jericho directs traffic and tells everyone to haul ass, everyone getting out of the ring as Christian slides in, pumped the fuck up, whipping his chair around, and even hitting it off a top rope! He wants the men who evicted him!! Jericho can barely retreat up the ramp, Paul Wright having to aid him, while Lashley is trying to aid a still hurting Ken Doane. Christian looks down at the souls he hates, his face telling his intense story. The crowd is still going crazy, but the voice of Mick Foley in person on the stage cuts through the applause
Chris Jericho, tonight, I made sure there was nowhere for you to run. And in three weeks, there won’t be anywhere for any of your Worthy Legion to run! That’s because at This is Exile, this war ends and the entire Worthy Legion is gonna be in another AOW innovation. You’re all gonna be locked inside the debut of another demonic steel structure that I like to call…THE WARCHAMBER!!
~The crowd pops for what sounds like an absolutely brutal stip, Ken Doane seen mouthing the words “War Chamber?” at Chris Jericho
At This is Exile, it’s gonna be the Worthy Legion taking on Team Art Of War –Dynasty Champion CM Punk, Cruiserweight Champion Bryan Danielson, the “One Man Army”, Samoa Joe…and the man that using every inch of power I’ve been bestowed in this company, I’ve reinstated…CHRISTIAAAAAN CAAAAGE!!
~The crowd lets out an otherworldly pop, as the look on Jericho’s bloodied face gets even worse at this news
I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!! What an absolutely incredible turn of events this has been!!
Ron Simmons, forgive me, but I’ll be DAMNED!
The Ghost of Christmas Past brings back the Ghost of Christmas Future! Twenty-Four hours ago, no one was sure who was even gonna be running things, and not only do we have Mick Foley back at the helm, not only did he give us an absolutely gory main event, but he gave us back the one man who may be the key to taking down the entire Worthy Legion, Christian Cage!! And what the hell is this ‘War Chamber?”
An’ just like that, we’ve got our main event for This is Exile!! I can’t believe I’m sayin’ this, but this is absolutely unbelievable!
Perhaps the single most unreal night in AOW history, and I know it’s almost freakin’ eleven o’clock, but dammit, tonight we have proven that AOW will indeed live and is for the people!! Good night, all!!
The final image we get on the third Oblivion in 2008 is that of the Worthy Legion, beaten, bloodied, and finally out-played, walking away on the entrance ramp and staring into the jowls of vengeance that await them in only three weeks at the rising rebels of Team AOW, Danielson, Punk, and Joe all getting to their feet beside the “Man on the Moon” who is finally back from the dead and, for the first time, is positively NOT alone in this war as we
THIS IS EXILE
IZOD Center – East Rutherford, New Jersey
February 3rd, 2008
~FIRST EVER WarChamber Match~
Christian Cage, Samoa Joe, Cruiserweight Champion Bryan Danielson & Dynasty Champion CM Punk
~The Worthy Legion~
AOW Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho, Bobby Lashley, Ken Doane & Paul “The Great” Wright
Not gonna lie, did this one as best I could under the circumstances I have right now, so I'm not gonna say it's my best show, but I tried to do what I could. Hope all don't hate me for this one, but wishing you all well. Enjoy