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Old 05-14-2013, 03:26 AM   #301 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
May 14th, 2007
Tucson Convention Center
Tucson, Arizona



”WALK AWAY!? I can’t walk away! I need this!”





We open with a highlights package from last week's main event, where near the conclusion of John Cena's match with Claudio Cesaro, Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton storm the ring, with Orton hitting a RKO behind the referee's back, handing the victory to Cesaro. Post-match, Orton, Lashley and Cesaro lay in with a beating on Cena... until Ric Flair makes a surprise return to Monday Night Raw, coming to Cena's rescue, with Flair and Cena clearing the ring, before Cena announces that Flair is the second member of Team Linda and will be at War Games, the package coming to an end with Cena and Flair standing tall while the screen fades to black.

We then see the usual Raw opening video, before we head into the arena, where the loud, boisterous crowd are treated to the always impressive pyro display. After a quick scan of the fans, we now hear from our announce team as they welcome us to the show...


Jim Ross: Monday Night Raw has come to Tucson, Arizona, just one week after the return of the legendary 'Nature Boy', Ric Flair! We are marchin' down the road to War Games, and bah gawd, Ric Flair is comin' along for the ride folks! Hello everyone, I'm 'Good Ol' J.R.', Jim Ross, alongside me as always are Jerry 'The King' Lawler and 'The Voice of ECW', Joey Styles, and fellas, I don't know about you, but I can feel the electricity in the air tonight!

Joey Styles: No doubt about it, the Tucson Convention Center is packed and for good reason. Not only is 'The Nature Boy' back on Raw, but tonight, the WWE Championship is on the line, as the champion, Rob Van Dam, defends the title against Claudio Cesaro. Cesaro may have gotten the cheap win two weeks ago, and he got another bit of luck last week to help 'im beat John Cena, but tonight, Van Dam looks to avenge that defeat by retaining his title.

Jerry Lawler: And from what we understand, with both Vince and Linda McMahon busy focusing on their War Games teams, the WWE Board of Directors have stepped in and announced that anybody who interferes in the WWE Title Match, in any shape or fashion, will be suspended indefinitely!

Jim Ross: I think it's a great call. We've seen this newcomer Cesaro wrestle twice now, he's picked up two victories, but both matches have been mired in controversy. Let's see if this guy really is as good as he thinks he is. But not only is the WWE Championship up for grabs, we'll also have the last of the first round of qualifiers for the Raw half of the King of the Ring tournament. Two more Raw superstars will advance to the final sixteen, right here tonight!

After a few seconds of silence...

”WOOOOO!”

*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*


A tremendous roar of approval from the fans as iconic figure of Ric Flair steps out from the back. Dressed in a sharp suit, Flair stops on the top of the stage, looking around the arena, almost emotional at the level of support he's receiving, before he starts to strut his way down the ramp to the ring...


Jim Ross: And who else could kick off Raw this week than Ric Flair? What a moment it was last week when Flair returned to Monday Night Raw, and he returned in a huge way, bein' revealed as the second member of Team Linda at War Games.

Jerry Lawler: John Cena was talkin' about it all night, he was keepin' us all in suspense, but when he needed help, there was Ric Flair to save the day.

Joey Styles: It's great to see Ric back, but of course, we haven't seen 'The Nature Boy' since his loss at the hands of Mr. Kennedy at WrestleMania. We all saw the tears after the match, we all saw the effect that defeat had on Ric, I'm sure he's done a lot of thinking about his career over the last six weeks, and I can't wait to hear what's he's got to say about it all.

In the ring, Flair struts to the corner and is handed a microphone, before he heads back to the centre of the ring and waits for his music to die down. When it does, the cheers from the crowd are deafening, something Flair greatly appreciates as he fights back the tears and mouths “Thank you.” to the fans. Composing himself, Flair nods his head in appreciation at the still cheering crowd, before they finally start to quieten down, allowing Flair to speak...

Ric Flair: Thank you. Thank you very much. I'm truly honoured and humbled by your applause and by the way you've all welcomed me back to Raw. Thank you.

A warm round of applause from the fans, Flair nodding in appreciation, biting his lip as a method of containing his emotions…

Ric Flair: For those of you who have followed me throughout my career, you know that I've never been a man that's lacked confidence in myself. To be 'The Man'... you gotta beat 'The Man'. That was never just words. That was somethin' I always believed in.

Pausing, Flair looks out into the crowd, almost misty eyed…

Ric Flair: I always believed I was 'The Man', 'cause I went out there night after night, and I beat the very best this business had to offer, and I gave you people a show in the process. I was 'The Man', and if anybody wanted to be a big deal in this industry... they had to go through me first.

Flair has a little smirk to himself…

Ric Flair: Stylin', profilin', limousine ridin', jet flyin'...

A brief “Woo!” from a few members of the crowd…

Ric Flair: Bein' the very best in the world, bein' the best professional wrestler alive, that's what bein' 'The Nature Boy' was all about!

And now a much louder “Wooo!”…

Ric Flair: I had the cars, I had the private jets, I had the beautiful women, 'cause I knew that the second I stepped into this ring, I'd prove that it was never just for show.

And now slowly, Flair’s head drops, his eyes looking down on the canvas…

Ric Flair: But... somewhere along the way... I lost a little bit of that confidence. I lost a little bit of that swagger. I started to doubt whether or not Ol' Naitch' could really live up to those words anymore. And a lotta that...

Flair stops, thinking hard, shaking his head, almost afraid to finish his sentence…

Ric Flair: A lotta that's down to a certain Mr. Kennedy, and WrestleMania XXIII.

A lot of heat, but as always, there’s that smattering of cheers for the mention of Kennedy…

Ric Flair: Kennedy... I don't like 'im. I think he's a punk, I think he's arrogant, I think he's full o' crap! But I gotta hand it to 'im... the kid beat me fair and square. And as I stood in that ring, as I looked out at all those people, for the very first time in my career... I thought maybe... it was time to walk away.

Mixed response from the crowd…

Ric Flair: I thought that maybe 'The Nature Boy'... wasn't quite 'The Man' anymore.

The crowd are hushed, unsure of how to react to Flair’s words…

Ric Flair: And after WrestleMania, I went home with my family, and I did a lotta thinkin'. A lot. I thought about the future, I thought about the past, I thought about all I had done in my career... and I thought maybe it was time to walk away. And God knows how many times I sat at home, and I reached for the phone to call Vince and tell 'im... I'm not comin' back.

Thinking about those moments when he was at his lowers, Flair solemnly shakes his head…

Ric Flair: But then, every time I started to dial those numbers... I just couldn't do it.

A slight pop, with Flair raising his head once more…

Ric Flair: I just couldn't walk away. Somethin' inside kept tellin' me I had more to give. Somethin' inside kept tellin' me to hang in there, to keep fightin’, to wait for a sign, to come back and prove who I am. And that's when I heard... John Cena.

A loud response for Cena, the majority of it positive, with Flair now starting to pick up the pace…

Ric Flair: That's when I heard about... War Games. And I knew there and then, that that was the sign I was lookin' for. You can call it magic, you can call it fate, but when 'the Nature Boy' was at an all-time low, the call came for War Games, and Ol' Naitch' wasn't gonna miss out on that one!

Another big pop, the glint starting to return to Flair’s eye…

Ric Flair: I picked up the phone, I called John Cena... and I told him how much his team needed me... and how badly I needed to be in that match. And just like that... 'The Nature Boy' was back!

And that’s the biggest pop so far…

Ric Flair: Oh lord, 'The Nature Boy' was back! 'The Limousine Ridin', Jet Flyin', Kiss Stealin', Wheelin', Dealin' Sunnova Gun' was back! And did somebody say, 'The Nature Boy' would be back, tonight, in Tuscon, Arizona?!

The crowd are fully on board now, giving Flair a tremendous cheer, with ‘The Nature Boy’ now starting to strut around the ring…

Ric Flair: WOOOOO!

Another cheer, Flair now feeding off the energy of the crowd…

Ric Flair: 'Cause nobody know more about War Games than me. NOBODY. I know the pain and sufferin' that comes with losin' 'em... and I know how sweet it feels to win 'em! And I want that feelin' again!

Wild eyed, Flair now rips off his jacket and tosses it down to the canvas…

Ric Flair: And I got on the phone with Cena, and I begged, I pleaded, John, ya' gotta put me on that team! I need to be back, I need to be 'The Nature Boy' again, and I need to do it inside War Games!

And now Flair comes off the ropes, struts, then drops an elbow down upon his jacket, much to the crowd’s delight, but it seems that the elbow is the cue for Flair to become more serious, as when he’s back on his feet, he leans against the ropes at the foot of the ramp…

Ric Flair: And John... and Linda McMahon... I know you're both back there, I know you can hear me. I just wanna say, from the bottom of my heart... thank you.

Another pop…

Ric Flair: Thank you for allowing me the chance to come back and do what I love most. Thank you for givin' me the opportunity to step back into this ring... and entertain these people. But more important than all of that...

Flair pauses, running a hand through his hair, before he softly says…

Ric Flair: Thank you for lettin' Ric Flair... be 'The Nature Boy' again.

And yet another big cheer from the fans, the crowd loving seeing Flair back in action, so much so that a “Thank you, Ric! Thank you, Ric!” chant breaks out, with Flair again becoming wild in his delivery…

Ric Flair: Retire? I'll never retire. They'll have to carry me outta this ring in a body bag before I ever give it up. I am back, I am back better than ever, and I am ready to help John Cena and Linda McMahon kick Vince's ass!

”Woooo!”…

Ric Flair: I'm a SIXTEEN – TIME – WORLD – CHAMPION... and I doubted myself. But never again. I'll never doubt myself again, and at War Games, I promise ya' I'll-

*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*


All eyes turn towards the entrance as Mr. McMahon steps out alongside Bobby Lashley, both men dressed in dark suits, with Vince smirking at the sight of Flair, while Lashley remains as intense as always. As the pair head down the ramp and step into the ring, Flair is understandably on guard, but Vince uses his hand to motion that he means no harm, before he heads for the corner and grabs a mic...


Mr. McMahon: Well, well, well... Ric Flair is back on Monday Night Raw! How 'bout that, folks? 'The Nature Boy' has returned!

Vince pauses and encourages the crowd to applaud, but the majority boo, clearly unimpressed…

Mr. McMahon: It's good to see ya' back, Ric. I mean, I thought for sure after your loss at WrestleMania, that you're you were gone and we’d never see ya’ again.

Shaking his head, Vince exaggerates how surprised he is…

Mr. McMahon: And I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought that. I mean, Kennedy... he gave you a real beatin', didn't he? Yeah. What is you like to say, J.R., beat 'im like a government mule?

”Somethin’ like that” mutters J.R. on commentary…

Mr. McMahon: And the doubts about your career, I can certainly understand those after a defeat like that. Although I guess I've finally got an explanation for all those prank calls I thought I was gettin'.

Letting out a very fake laugh, Vince turns to Lashley, although ‘The Dominator’ remains with his arms crossed across his chest, barely offering up a smirk…

Mr. McMahon: But in all seriousness, Ric, you know I've always respected you as a performer. You're a legend of this business, one of the all-time greats... but...

A long pause, during which Vince rubs his jaw nervously…

Mr. McMahon: Are you sure this is the right thing to do, Ric? I mean, mentally, you're not at 100%, I think we all know that. I mean, you're head's gotta be all over the place, you've not been in the ring in well over a month... are you sure coming back for War Games is a wise move?

Boos from the crowd…

Mr. McMahon: Especially when you're steppin' into War Games... and you're gonna be on the opposite side of Lashley here.

An intimidating crack of the knuckles from Lashley…

Mr. McMahon: I just... I just don't think it's the right thing for you, Ric. Not at this stage of your career.

Doing his best to show concern, Vince looks at Flair with worry…

Mr. McMahon: I mean, maybe you compete for another year or two, put some money away in the retirement fund, then you ride off into the sunset to live out your days with your family. That's the dream, isn't it, Ric? But let me assure you that if you step inside that cage... then Lashley here is gonna make sure that War Games...

Stepping forward, Vince leans in and very seriously says…

Mr. McMahon: Is where your career comes to an end.

Big time heat from the crowd, with Vince now backing off, nodding, encouraging Flair to consider his warning…

Mr. McMahon: It’s not too late, Ric. It’s not too late to back out. Think of your career, think of your legacy, think of your family. Your wife, your kids, they don’t want to see you head home to them when it’s all over as a shell of the man you used to be. And quite frankly, as the Chairman of the Board of this company, and the majority shareholder, I don’t want my company to be held responsible to what might happen to you should you be on the losing end at War Games.

Flair can’t help but smile, knowing exactly what Vince is trying to do…

Mr. McMahon: A loss to Mr. Kennedy at WrestleMania nearly sent you over the edge, God knows what your mental state could be like after War Games.

A sly smirk crosses Vince’s face, but he quickly removes it as he looks Flair in the eye and says…

Mr. McMahon: Seriously, Ric… do the right thing. Walk away… before you get hurt. Just walk away, and we can forget all about this.

More heat from the crowd, as Flair once again looks down on the mat, pondering, rubbing a hand across his jaw…

Ric Flair: You want me... to walk away?

Almost reluctantly, Vince nods his head and says “It’s for the best, Ric”…

Ric Flair: While I appreciate the concern, Vince, lemme just tell ya’ one thing… I’ve never been more ready for a fight than I am right now.

A massive cheer from the crowd, Vince snarling at Flair in response…

Ric Flair: When the call went out that we were goin’ to war… my name was the first name on the list!

Again Flair becomes animated…

Ric Flair: And now you want me to walk away!? They’ve always said Ol’ Naitch’ was a little crazy, but Vince, you must be LOSIN’ YOUR MIND! WALK AWAY!? I can’t walk away! I need this! But if you’re so worried about how I’m gonna hold up at War Games, then why don’t you put me in the ring…

Squaring up to Lashley, Flair points a finger firmly in his chest and says…

Ric Flair: With him?

And now it’s Lashley who snarls, the crowd going wild, baying for blood, with Flair not backing down an inch…

Ric Flair: Come on! I want it! Tuscon wants it! Each – and – every person watchin’ at home, they want it! You wanna ask the question about how I’m feelin’, about whether or not I still got it? Then find out, Vince! Gimme Lashley! What d’ya say, big guy?

Right in Lashley’s face, Flair pushes Lashley for a response, and it seems to working as Lashley drops his arms from across his chest, clenches his fists and grits his teeth…

Ric Flair: ‘The Dirtiest Player in the Game’ is callin’ you out! I might be old, I might be senile, but damn it, I’m still ‘The Sixty Minute Man’! And I can prove it tonight, and I can prove it again at War Games! So c’mon! What d’ya got, ‘stud’?

And the tension builds, Lashley snarling more and more, wild becoming ever wilder and adjitated…

Ric Flair: Or are you two just too damn scared that I might be right?

And that’s the one that finally pushes Lashley over the edge as he steps forward to square up to Flair, only for Vince to step infront of his monster, calming him down. With a few quiet words in his ear, Vince gets Lashley to stand down, before he turns to Flair…

Mr. McMahon: You want Lashley, right here, tonight? You just made a big mistake, Flair. You got ‘im!

Big pop…

Mr. McMahon: But Ric, not only have you made a mistake personally… you’ve made a mistake that’s come back to haunt your team at War Games. You’ve let your own selfish ego rule your head, you’re not thinkin’ straight, and now you, John Cena, Team Linda, you’re all gonna pay the price!

Smirking, Vince now makes a move towards the ropes…

Mr. McMahon: We’ll see ya’ around, ‘Slick’. I hope you’re ready for this… ‘cause after tonight… you’ve got no – chance – in hell of makin’ it to War Games.

*NO CHANCE IN HELL…*


Lashley continues to stand and stare down Flair, intimidating him, but Vince reaches an arm across Lashley’s chest and says “Not now. Later.”, prompting Lashley to turn and walk away. Vince and Lashley head to the ropes and make their exit, leaving behind a confident, if not slightly crazy looking Flair behind, ‘The Nature Boy’ with a broad smile on his face, watching them leave…


Jim Ross: God, what a match that's gonna be. As if tonight wasn't big enough, now we're addin' Ric Flair and Bobby Lashley to the mix!

Jerry Lawler: And what a way for Ric Flair to mark his return to Raw! He’s steppin’ into the ring with ‘The Dominator’, and that’s a test of anybody’s resolve right there.

Joey Styles: You can feel it in the air folks, it’s gonna be a huge night, make sure you don’t miss a second by joining us when Monday Night Raw returns!

At the top of the ramp, Vince and Lashley turn to take one last look at Flair, ‘The Nature Boy’ looking confident in the ring, eager and ready for action, while Vince and Lashley slip backstage and we head for a commercial.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

"]We open to grainy, black and white footage from back in the NWA days, where we see one of the first War Games matches, where Dusty Rhodes has Ric Flair locked in the figure four leglock, Flair writhing and screaming in pain, but there’s no sound as over the top we hear extracts from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous address from 1936...

Narrator: For years, many men entered it’s caged walls…

“I HAVE SEEN WAR… I HATE WAR.”

We now see more footage from early War Games, where Road Warrior Animal viciously jams one of the spikes from his shoulder pads into the eye of The War Machine, causing him to submit...

Narrator: But no man ever left the same.

”I HAVE SEEN WAR ON LAND AND SEA.

More black and white footage, this time from Fall Brawl ’95, where Hulk Hogan leads his Hulkamaniacs team to victory over The Dungeon of Doom by forcing The Zodiac to submit to a camel clutch...

Narrator: And now, with a civil war threatening to rip the WWE apart…

“I HAVE SEEN CITIES DESTROYED.”

And now Fall Brawl ’97, where Curt Hennig turns his back on The Four Horsemen, smashing the cage door into the skull of Ric Flair, handing victory to the nWo…

Narrator: The most barbaric of matches has returned.

“I HAVE SEEN THE AGONY OF MOTHERS AND WIVES.”

We now cut to modern day footage to see Vince and Linda McMahon stood across from each other, tense looks on both their faces…

Mr. McMahon: The reason this company has made hundreds of millions of dollars over the years… is all because… of ME!

“I HAVE SEEN BLOOD RUNNING FROM THE WOUNDED.”

A shot of a busted open John Cena, blood streaming down his face as he struggles to use the ropes to try pull himself to his feet…

John Cena: Tonight is a night to fight!

Slow motion shots of the brawling John Cena and Bobby Lashley have done over the last few months, each punch that lands being accompanied by the sound of a bomb dropping…

Linda McMahon: Both myself and the Board of Directors feel that you, Vince… have seriously abused your power lately.

We now see John Cena scooping Vince up onto his shoulders, then deliver a thunderous FU, an explosion sound echoing out as Vince strikes the canvas…

Mr. McMahon: I’m Vince McMahon, I’m ‘The Chairman of the Board’, dammit!

And now finally we see rapid firs shots of Linda, then Vince, then Lashley, before a final shot of Cena…

Narrator: The battle for power on Monday Night Raw can be settled only one way…

“I HAVE SEEN WAR… I HATE WAR.”

”WAR GAMES!”



"WWE WAR GAMES – JUNE 17TH – LIVE ON PAY PER VIEW!"

*End Video Package*


We now cut to a backstage hallway where we see John Cena and Linda McMahon walking along, with Linda still wearing a long jacket and carrying a bag, having clearly just arrived at the arena. Cena has obviously just greeted her at the door, and the two are already in conversation as we join them…

John Cena: …I mean he sounded good, I thought. He sounded just as clear and as confident as he was when I talked to ‘im on the phone. I think he’s ready.

The pair are clearly discussing Ric Flair and his words before the break, but just like last week, Linda can’t help but show her concerns on her face…

John Cena: Look, you’re just gonna have to trust my instinct on this one. We need somebody like him in the team, we need somebody who’s been there before.

Softening her stance, Linda nods, albeit slowly and reluctantly…

John Cena: And anyway, by the end of the night, we’ll all know one way or another where his head’s at. He challenged Lashley to a match.

The C.E.O. raises her eyebrows in surprise…

Linda McMahon: He… really? Well… I hope you’re right. But we’ve got to sit down and start thinking about who we want-

As the pair reach an office door, they stop… and the camera pans to reveal that Carlito is leaning against the door, obviously waiting for Linda McMahon to arrive. Standing up straight, ‘Lito looks rather sheepish as he tentatively approaches Linda…

Linda McMahon: Carlito? Is there something I can do for you?

Carlito: Uh… well, ‘ju see Mrs. McMahon, it’s not what ‘ju can do for Carlito, it’s what Carlito can do for ‘ju.

More raised eyebrows as Cena and Linda both look at each other, clueless…

Linda McMahon: Go on.

Carlito: Carlito heard what John Cena had to say last week, and… Carlito liked it. Carlito’s hungry for ‘de chance to be in ‘de War Games Match. Carlito wants to know where he signs up.

A pop from inside the arena, with Linda looking pleasantly surprised...

Linda McMahon: Oh, well… that’s fantastic. We’d love to have-

Carlito: No, no, no, wait, wait. Carlito isn’t done yet. Carlito would love to be on ‘jour War Games team… but… Carlito has a favour he needs from ‘ju first.

Suspiciously, Linda turns to Cena, then back to Carlito...

Linda McMahon: A favour? What kind of favour?

Again a rather sheepish look from 'Lito, almost as if he's plucking up the courage to ask...

Carlito: Well… let’s just say Carlito would love to walk into War Games… as ‘de Intercontinental Champion. ‘Ju know?

Another pop from inside the arena, with both Cena and Linda now nodding knowingly...

John Cena: I think we get where you’re comin’ from here, ‘Lito. I’m sure we can work somethin’ out, right?

Linda McMahon: Absolutely. Why don’t you step into my office Carlito and the three of us can discuss it further?

Linda opens the office door and motions for Carlito to enter...

Carlito: ‘Jour office? ‘Dat’s cool with me…

And when all three enter the office, the door slowly closes behind them, meaning we're going to have to wait to find out how well the negotiations wait as we cut elsewhere.

Infact, it’s back into the arena we go for…

*THIS FIRE BURNS…*


As always it’s a warm welcome for The Straight Edge Saints as the popular duo of CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore step out alongside Kelly Kelly. With Dinsmore being the one in action here, he leads the trio down the ramp, slapping hands with the fans at ringside, while Punk and Kelly walk arm in arm to the ring…


Jim Ross: Well, that’s uh… that’s certainly an interesting development between Carlito and Linda McMahon. I guess it the talks go well, we might have the third member of Team Linda revealed.

Joey Styles: And what a great pickup that would be. Carlito’s full o’ fire, full o’ hunger right now, exactly the attributes John Cena was lookin’ for last week. But right now, we’ve got King of the Ring action, and the draw has thrown up yet another meeting between members of The Straight Edge Saints and The Redneck Wrecking Crew. Two weeks ago it was CM Punk and Trevor Murdoch, tonight it’s Nick Dinsmore and Lance Cade.

Jerry Lawler: And I’m sure both Punk and Dinsmore remember the beating they took from Cade ‘n’ Murdoch after the bell two weeks ago. If ever you needed any extra motivation to advance in the King of the Ring, that’ll do it.

*SWEET ‘N’ SOUR…*


And now The Redneck Wrecking Crew make their entrance, with the two angry rednecks Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch striding down the ramp, plenty of pointing and shouting being exchanged between the two teams…


Joey Styles: They’re as smash mouth as they come. Two of the toughest, meanest, nastiest guys you’re ever gonna find. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch have had they fair share of problems with Punk and Dinsmore, and it’s quite the rivalry that’s starting to develop between these two teams.

Jerry Lawler: And it’s a rivalry that so far, The Saints have had the better of. CM Punk knocked Murdoch out of the King of the Ring, they were part of the winning team in last week’s Six Man Tag Team Match, but I’m sure Lance Cade is out to make sure it’s a different story tonight.

Jim Ross: No doubt these two can brawl with the very best of them, but is that gonna be enough for Cade to advance here? Dinsmore has shown a real strong technical edge to his game lately, and that’s somethin’ Cade’s gonna have to try match if he’s to advance here.

Match 1: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
Lance Cade
w/ Trevor Murdoch vs. Nick Dinsmore w/ CM Punk and Kelly Kelly

The two come together in the centre of the ring, with Dinsmore working his taller opponent into a standing side headlock, only for Cade to quickly shove Dinsmore off the ropes… right into a stiff back elbow. Dinsmore is down, but instead of taking advantage, Cade turns to Murdoch, the two sharing a laugh, before Cade yanks Dinsmore up, lands a few stiff right hands, then takes Dinsmore up and down with a side suplex for an early near fall. Shoving Dinsmore to the corner, Cade lands a few more back elbows, before he fires Dinsmore across the ring and follows in… right into a boot to the face! Cade stumbles back, allowing Dinsmore to take him down with a double leg takedown… then catapult Cade into the corner! Cade’s head smacks off the top turnbuckle, and he staggers back… into a bridging German suplex! 1… 2… Cade kicks out. Dinsmore now looks to go on the attack, striking with kicks to the thighs, then he lands uppercuts, before going for the Irish whip… Cade reverses… but Dinsmore ducks underneath his clothesline… then levels Cade with a running leg lariat! Cade crawls to the corner, but Dinsmore stays on him, drilling more boots to the gut, then he fires Cade across the ring and follows in… Cade elevates Nick over the top rope… but Dinsmore lands on the apron! Cade turns right into a shoulder to the midsection, causing him to stumble away, which allows Dinsmore to climb to the top rope… FLYING CROSSBODY! Dinsmore stays on top for the cover… 1… 2... Cade kicks out. With Cade down, Dinsmore sense a chance to end this one early, grabbing Cade by the legs… and possibly thinking about the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF… but Cade kicks Dinsmore to the corner… and he smacks shoulder first off the steel ringpost! Dinsmore grabs his arm in pain, staggers backwards… and Cade makes his move… falling neckbreaker! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… Dinsmore rolls a shoulder.

Cade now lays in with what J.R. calls “bowling show ugly offence” as he lays in with stomps to the chest, then rights to the face, before he takes Dinsmore up and down with a side suplex for a near fall. Yanking Dinsmore up, Cade smashes him face first off the top turnbuckle, then he goes for an Irish whip off the ropes… Cade lowers his head… and Dinsmore looks to take advantage with a backslide! 1… 2… Cade kicks up, and both men burst back to their feet… and Cade damn near takes Nick’s head off with a huge clothesline! After another near fall, Cade now looks to target the arm, aiming the boots to it, then he scoops Dinsmore up and drives him down with a shoulderbreaker. More damage to the arm as knees are aimed to the shoulder, then a legdrop, before Dinsmore is again yanked up and Cade takes him up and down with a long vertical suplex for another two count. With Dinsmore down, Cade now locks on a cross armbar, using his legs to pull on the arm and hyperextend the elbow. Dinsmore groans in pain, Cade trying to make him submit, but with Punk and Kelly encouraging him back to his feet, eventually Dinsmore is able to make a move, managing to roll over and make it back to his knees… and with his free hand he starts hammering at Cade’s face, breaking the hold! Dinsmore tries to shake the feeling back into his arm, but as Cade advances, Dinsmore strikes with his good hand, backing Cade to the ropes, where he goes for the Irish whip… but Dinsmore lowers his head… and Cade strikes with a single arm DDT! Dinsmore cries out in pain, and Cade goes for the cover… 1… 2… Dinsmore somehow rolls a shoulder!

Cade storms back to his feet and confronts the ref, convinced it should have been three, but he’s told it was just a two. Cade aggressively yanks Dinsmore back up, then plants him with a scoop slam, before Cade heads outside and climbs to the top rope, readies himself, then flies… FLYING ELBOW DROP… NO! Dinsmore rolls to safety… and Cade crashes to the canvas! Both men are down, but Dinsmore makes it back to his feet first, yanking Cade up, tagging him with a few rights against the ropes, then he goes for the Irish whip… into a big back body drop! Cade stumbles back up… kick… DDT! Cade is planted, and Dinsmore hooks the leg… 1… 2… Cade rolls a shoulder! Dinsmore slaps the mat in frustration, but now he has Cade back up, smacking rights off the jaw, before he fires him off the ropes… right into a SLEEPER HOLD! Dinsmore locks on the submission move… but now Trevor Murdoch jumps up onto the apron! Murdoch causes the distraction, making Dinsmore release the hold and head for the ropes to confront Murdoch… but as he does this, Cade gets back to his feet and charges… looking for a BIG BOOT TO THE FACE… but Dinsmore ducks… and Cade puts on the breaks before he smacks his partner! Cade and Murdoch breathe a sigh of relief… only for Punk to yank Murdoch from the apron… and level him with a big right hand! Cade rages at Punk, but that means he doesn’t see Dinsmore sneak up from behind… spin him around… and take him down with the double leg takedown… step, twist, turn and sit in… TEXAS CLOVERLEAF!! Dinsmore has the hold locked on tight, and despite desperately fighting it… Cade has no option but to tap out!

Winner: Nick Dinsmore @ 06.18

Just like his partner, Dinsmore advances to the next round of the King of the Ring… but just like two weeks ago, CM Punk is clobbered from behind by Trevor Murdoch as he tries to enter the ring! The celebration is spoiled once again as Punk is hammered to the floor, and now Murdoch lays in with the boots, stomping a mudhole in Punk’s chest, until Dinsmore realises what’s happening, charges the ropes… and flies through them… coming to Punk’s rescue by wiping out Murdoch! Dinsmore lays into Murdoch with a flurry of rights and lefts, a brawl breaking out between the two on the outside… until Dinsmore is drilled with a massive boot to the side of the head from Cade! Shaking off the punishment he took during the match, Cade now starts to lay in on Dinsmore, and soon Murdoch is back on his feet, both angry rednecks laying into Dinsmore with stomps. With Punk still down and struggling to get back onto his feet, Dinsmore is easy picking as he’s yanked up… then LAUNCHED OVER THE BARRICADE INTO THE CROWD!

A painful landing for Dinsmore as he spills to the concrete, and now with his partner taken out of the equation, Punk is a sitting duck as Cade and Murdoch drag him back to his feet… and then they send Punk FLYING INTO THE TIMEKEEPER’S DESK!! Bodies spill everywhere, Kelly Kelly has her head in her hands in despair as Punk is tossed about like a ragdoll, and now we get a stream of officials and backstage agents racing down to the ring to try and prevent any further damage. Smiling at their handy work, Cade and Murdoch back away peacefully, not offering up any resistance as they’re ushered backstage, while medical help is on hand for Punk and Dinsmore as we head to another commercial.

*Commercial*


We return to see Todd Grisham standing by, ready for an interview…


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Monday Night Raw. And please welcome my guest at this time, he is the challenger for the WWE Championship later on this evening… Claudio Cesaro.

An impressive amount of heat as the smug newcomer Claudio Cesaro steps into the frame. Wearing a sports jacket emblazoned with the Switzerland flag on it, Cesaro shows he means business tonight, already dressed and ready to compete…

Todd Grisham: Claudio, in the two weeks since you debuted here on Raw, you’ve picked up victories over both Rob Van Dam and John Cena… albeit, under some rather dubious circumstances. With the WWE Board of Directors announcing that anybody who involved themselves in your match against ‘RVD’ tonight will be suspended immediately, do you view tonight as a chance to both win the WWE Championship… and prove your credentials?

Cesaro turns and glares at Grisham…

Claudio Cesaro: Credentials? I don’t need to prove my credentials. I’ve wrestled all over the world, I’ve held countless titles. What do I need to prove? Unless of course… you’re being as ignorant about your country as I’ve been saying you people are. I assume that because I am now here, competing in the biggest country in America… that that’s why I have to prove my credentials now. Am I right?

Grisham lowers his head and offers no response, causing Cesaro to shake his…

Claudio Cesaro: Du machst mich krank! What is wrong with this company? Everywhere I look, I see examples of what is wrong with America. If anybody has anything to prove tonight… then it’s your WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam. I beat him two weeks ago, and the only reason I wasn’t declared champion in my first WWE match, was because he acted like a coward!

Grabbing the microphone from Grisham’s hand, Cesaro shoves the interviewer out of the scene, turning to speak directly into the camera…

Claudio Cesaro: He choose to stay down on the outside, he let himself get counted out. That’s not the American Way. A true American, we would crawled on his hands and knees, he would made it back, he would have fought to the bitter end, he would have lost a hero! And he would have done it for all of you people. But he’s still a hero, isn’t he? He’s still your hero, your WWE Champion.

Cesaro stares into the camera, shaking his head…

Claudio Cesaro: But I… I should be your hero. After all… I was so close to living the American Dream. Just like in your Hollywood movies, I came out of nowhere, I shocked the world, I became WWE Champion… or that’s how it should’ve happened. That’s how Hollywood would write it. I beat if I was a broken down, beaten up, Italian American you people would love me. I would’ve had my American Dream, I would have been WWE Champion. But instead?

Another shake of the head, this time a more sombre nature…

Claudio Cesaro: I had been here barely two hours, and already I was being held down. Maybe Shawn Michaels wants to challenge a fellow American for the title. Maybe Rob Van Dam thinks I’m beneath him because I’m not ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ like he is? Maybe…

A nonchalant shrug of the shoulders…

Claudio Cesaro: Maybe it was a conspiracy? Tonight… we find out the answer. Last week, I beat John Cena… ein… zwei ... drei. And tonight, I’m going to do exactly the same thing… to Rob Van Dam. I’m going to live the American Dream!

And now with a roar of determination, Cesaro ends things with…

Claudio Cesaro: Ich werde Champion!

Leaning back, arms out wide, a true euphoric pose, Cesaro revels in the boos being heard from inside the arena, the camera focusing on the steely look of determination in his eyes as we cut elsewhere.

Back into the arena to hear…

*WITH LEGS LIKE THAT…*


In a rare move, Maria has put down the microphone and is scheduled for action here tonight, receiving a warm welcome from the crowd as she bounds down to the ring…


Jim Ross: It’s time to crown a new number contender to the Women’s Championship, a chance for one of three ladies to take on the champion Beth Phoenix next week, right here, live on Raw.

Joey Styles: Last week Beth Phoenix issued an open challenge for the Women’s Championship, and the challenge was answered by Candice Michelle, although she didn’t fare to well. Phoenix was dominant, and after the bell, she had Victoria subject Candice to a vicious submission hold in what was another message to the former champion, Mickie James.

Jerry Lawler: And that was a pretty disgusting moment, one I hope we never see again. But I’m very happy to see Maria right now! She looks great, and even though she’s not had much experience in the ring, she could shock a lotta people by winnin’ this match here… although I’m not sure how much of a prize it is to have to step into the ring with Beth Phoenix.

*PAPARAZZI…*


The red carpet is rolled out, the photographers take their place, awaiting the arrival of Melina onto the scene. Posing in a long fur coat, Melina lets the togs get their snaps, before she saunters down the ramp…


Joey Styles: It was two weeks ago that the long-time partnership between Melina and Johnny Nitro came to an end. Melina sided with Chris Masters, and now she’s lookin’ to put herself back in the hunt for the Women’s Championship.

Jim Ross: And Masters is conspicuous by his absence tonight, he’s obviously got better things to be focusin’ on right now after advancing in the King of the Ring last week.

Jerry Lawler: You just had to bring that up, didn’t you?

Jim Ross: Sorry, ‘King’…

*HART BEAT…*


That old guitar rift rips through the arena, and the crowd respond with a warm welcome for Natalya Neidhart, who is also flying solo like Melina. Natalya is all smiles as she heads down the ramp, slapping hands with as many ringside fans as she can, before she slides into the ring…


Jim Ross: Since arriving in the WWE, Natalya has for the most part been by the side of her fellow Dungeon graduates, Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd. Is this maybe the chance Natalya has been looking for to establish herself as a threat in the women’s division?

Joey Styles: I think it’s safe to say that despite her young age, Natalya probably has the most experience in the ring of the three competitors in this match. She’s wrestled all across the world, and I think a match between her and Beth Phoenix is somethin’ we’d all like to see.

Jerry Lawler: Oh without a doubt. I mean, if Mickie James doesn’t feel ready to come back and challenge Beth, I’m sure Natalya would love the chance to do so. Let’s see if she can earn that opportunity right here…

Match 2: Triple Threat Match
Maria
vs. Melina vs. Natalya Neidhart

A slow start as the bell rings, with nobody wanting to make the first move, the three inching towards the centre of the ring... until suddenly Melina cracks Maria with a stiff forearm... only for Natalya to then rattle Melina with a forearm of her own! Another two forearms land, before Melina is fired off the ropes... then knocked down with a clothesline! Maria is back up, spinning Neidhart around, drilling a boot to the midsection, before she goes for the Irish whip to the corner... Natalya reverses then follows in... Maria tries to get a boot up to the face, misses... but then wraps her legs around Natalya's head and drops her with a headscissor takedown! But now it's Melina's turn, as she snaps off a few forearms to Maria's head... then smacks her with a spinning heel kick... that knocks her clean through the ropes to the floor! The match settles down a bit now as Melina and Natalya go at it, with Melina unloading with kicks to the body, then she tries a roundhouse... but Natalya ducks underneath... and knocks her down with a clothesline! Natalya goes on the attack, smacking more forearms, before she takes Melina up and down with a snap suplex for a near fall. Natalya continues to attack, this time she hooks Melina up... takes her high in the air... and holds for a delayed vertical suplex! As the pair crash to the mat, Natalya doesn't see that Maria has climbed to the top rope... flying crossbody! Maria stays on top for the cover... 1... 2... Natalya kicks out! Now Maria targets Natalya, rocking her with shots to the side of the head, before Natalya is sent for the ride... jumping clothesline! Neidhart is back up... another jumping clothesline knocks her down... and then a third! Maria now comes off the ropes... low angle dropkick! Here's a cover... 1... 2... Neidhart kicks out!

Natalya rolls to the side, and now Maria and Melina square off again, with Maria landing a few more forearms before she looks to send Melina off the ropes... but Melina reverses... then nails a textbook tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Looking to target the back, Melina lays in with boots and knees to the spine, before she hooks Maria up... double underhook backbreaker! Here's a cover... 1... 2... Maria rolls a shoulder! Melina looks to stay on the attack as she shoves Maria to the corner, then jams her boot into Maria's throat, before she hoists Maria up onto the top rope. Melina climbs up too, and she hooks Maria up for a SUPERPLEX... but before she can go for it, Natalya moves in... and the trio come crashing down with a TOWER OF DOOM! Maria bares the brunt of the move, causing her to roll under the bottom rope, leaving Melina and Natalya to battle it out. Natalya goes on the attack, rocking forearms to the face, then she sends Melina off the ropes... into a powerslam! Neidhart hooks the leg... 1... 2... Melina barely kicks out! Sensing she can put Melina away, Natalya grabs her by the legs... and looks to step into the SHARPSHOOTER... NO! Melina scrambles and kicks Neidhart away, and when Natalya stumbles back to her feet, Melina charges... EXTREME MAKEOVER! Melina nails the charging spinning facebuster, and now she hooks the leg... 1... 2... Natalya rolls a shoulder! Melina screams in frustration, but she moves quickly to stay on the attack, as she doubles Natalya over, then wraps a leg around her neck... and looks for the PRIMAL SCREAM... NO! Before she can go for the leg-trap bulldog, Natalya grabs the leg, sweeps the standing leg... then steps, twists and sits in... SHARPSHOOTER! Natalya has the sharpshooter locked on in the centre of the ring, and with Maria still down on the floor, and no chance of escape... Melina has no option but to tap out!

Winner: Via Submission, Natalya Neidhart @ 04.38

It’s Natalya, she’s done it, and she’ll face Beth Phoenix next week on Raw for the WWE Championship! Releasing her grip on Melina, Natalya rolls over onto the mat and then bounces back to her feet, her hands raised by the ref. Natalya thrusts her fists up into the air with joy, but that soon turns to annoyance, as the crowd start to murmur… and we soon all see why… as Beth Phoenix and Victoria have stepped out onto the stage.

The champion and her partner look down at the ring, a smug grin on Phoenix’s face as she eyes up her next challenger. Natalya stands firm in the ring, looking confident and ready, while on the ramp, Beth gives Natalya a rather patronising round of applause, something which causes Victoria to roll her eyes. Seeing this, the champion gives her friend a nudge, telling her to join in, and soon both Beth and Victoria are sarcastically applauding, and it’s on that image that we head for a break.

*Commercial*


And once again we’re back and we see Todd Grisham stood in the interview area…


Todd Grisham: Welcome back to Monday Night Raw, folks. And please welcome my guest at this time... he is the WWE Champion... ‘Mr. Monday Night’... Rob – Van – Dam!

A loud cheer from inside the arena as Rob Van Dam steps into the shot, the WWE Title slung across his shoulder. Van Dam looks calm and composed as he gives a quick nod hello, a confident smile on his face as he awaits Grisham’s questions...

Todd Grisham: ‘RVD’, two weeks ago you lost via countout to Claudio Cesaro during a WWE Title Match. Last week, you admitted that you underestimated the newcomer, but were determined to put things right this week. Rob, just how confident are you that you’ll leave Raw tonight still the WWE Champion?

Pausing, Van Dam considers the question, then he nods his head and rubs his jaw...

Rob Van Dam: Well, what can I say? I held my hands up last week, I made a mistake. I didn’t know what Cesaro was bringin’ to the party when he came in and challenged me. He did his homework on me, but I gotta admit... I didn’t do the same.

Ruefully, ‘RVD’ shakes his head…

Rob Van Dam: And it ain’t easy to admit that, dude. But hey, I thought I did OK two weeks ago. I had ‘im down and I was ready to fly... but I guess Shawn Michaels wasn’t all that happy about that. I mean let’s be honest, it was Shawn who cost me that match, not Claudio.

A quick laugh to himself from the champion…

Rob Van Dam: And I heard ‘im run ‘is mouth last week, and I’m not gonna stand by and let that slide. This time, I’m ready for ‘im, I know what he’s got, and I know what it takes to put ‘im away, only this time... I’m gonna make sure it happens.

Pop from inside the arena, with Grisham now moving to ask a follow up question…

Todd Grisham: Well, Rob, you mentioned Shawn Michaels there. I guess after your words last week, the WWE Board of Directors sat up and took notice when they issued the threat to anybody who got involved in the title match tonight. But if you manage to retain your title tonight... is Shawn Michaels next in line?

Another easy going shrug from the champion…

Rob Van Dam: It’s like I’ve always said, bro’, anybody, anytime, anywhere... step up and challenge me. I don’t really like Claudio, but I gotta give ‘im some respect. He had the guts to walk in here on his first night and challenge the WWE Champion. There ain’t a lotta guys who would do that, and not only did he get one shot at the gold, he got ‘imself two.

And now with a more serious look, Van Dam turns to the camera…

Rob Van Dam: But tonight... this is the last chance Claudio is gonna get.

Another pop…

Rob Van Dam: And Shawn, if you wanna step up next, that’s cool with me, bro’. Bring it on. You warned me not to make it personal... and I’m givin’ you the exact same warnin’. You keep stickin’ your nose in my business... and it’s gonna get personal between me and you in a hurry. To me, I’m all about the in-ring stuff. I’m a wrestler. I don’t need God, I don’t need religion, I’ve never needed anythin’ like that. What ya’ see is what ya’ get, and that’s all I’ve ever had. And hey, it’s gotten me to the very top of this business.

Van Dam looks down on the WWE Title, admiring it for a few seconds before he again looks into the camera…

Rob Van Dam: So Shawn, save me speeches, and save me the mind games. You want a shot as this title? Step up and get it. But nothin’ on this planet... or anythin’ upstairs either, is gonna take it away from me. And that’s ‘cause I’m...

And with his thumbs, the champion leads the crowd through a rendition of…

Rob Van Dam: ROB – VAN – DAM!

And with a quick pat of Grisham’s shoulder, Van Dam turns and makes his exit, the interviewer watching him leave in awe, before we cut elsewhere.

We go to the same War Room set up we saw last week where Mr. McMahon sits at the head of a table, with both Shane McMahon and John Laurinaitis sat nearby, flicking through folders and shuffling papers. Across from Shane and Johnny sit Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton, the pair with stern looks on their faces, especially Orton, who has a hand wrapped around the handle of his Money in the Bank briefcase as it sits on the table. Brooke Adams is also in the room, sitting on a chair, crossed legged, a legal pad on her knee as she waits to take notes from ‘The Boss’…


Mr. McMahon: Ric Flair? Huh. Who the hell does he think he is?

Vince fumes as he shakes his head…

Mr. McMahon: He picks up the phone, and all of a sudden he’s back? Linda’s got a lot to answer for on that one. But we’ll deal with her later. Now Bobby, Randy, I can’t stress to you how important it is that we get things started right tonight. I wanna send Cena a message, and I want you to make an example out of Ric Flair.

Orton offers very little in response, while Lashley cracks his knuckles and nods his head slowly…

Mr. McMahon: I want everybody to know that if they sign up with Cena and my wife, that there will be consequences, and they will be severe. I want him taken out tonight, you understand me?

Orton and Lashley both slowly nod to show they understand, but now Shane pipes up…

Shane McMahon: Dad, what about Carlito?

Mr. McMahon: Has he got a deal with your Mother yet?

Unsure, Shane shrugs and shakes his head…

Shane McMahon: I don’t know yet. But they’ve gotta be close.

Thinking it over, Vince purses his lips…

Mr. McMahon: We’ll deal with him next week. Tonight, the focus needs to be on Flair. I want him to rue the day he picked up that phone. I want him to wish he’d stayed at home and never set foot in another one of my arenas. Now get outta here, and go get ready.

And with that, Orton and Lashley slowly stand up and make their exit, but Laurinaitis quickly flicks through some more papers…

John Laurinaitis: Uh… Mr. McMahon? Have you given anymore thought about who else you want on your team? I mean, if Carlito does sign up with your wife… that puts us a man down.

Annoyed, Vince breathes heavily through his nose, but suddenly a devilish smirk crosses his face…

Mr. McMahon: Well… why don’t we take back that advantage? Why don’t we shake things up a bit? Let’s get a couple o’ guys signed up tonight, and let’s send out a real message.

Nods of the head from Shane and Laurinaitis…

John Laurinaitis: Yeah, sounds great. Do you have anybody in mind?

Another smirk from Vince…

Mr. McMahon: Oh, I’ve got a couple o’ names in mind. A pair o’ real tough, mean bastards. Ms. Adams? I’d like you to send out another memo please.

Opening a pad of paper, Brooke readies herself to write, but looks confused as Vince says…

Mr. McMahon: And maybe send ‘em a six pack of beer with it. Just to sweeten the deal, y’know?

And now McMahon has a little chuckle to himself, clearly having thought up two perfect names to join his team… but we’re going to have to wait to find out who as we head back into the arena.

And the silence if broken by…

*MIRACLE…*


And with a buzz of excitement, the fans quickly break out in a chorus of boos as Claudio Cesaro steps out onto the stage. Pausing infront of the entrance way, Cesaro pumps his fists into the air, before he heads down the ramp…


Jim Ross: Many disagree with his views and his attitude, but you can’t fault him when he says that in his first two weeks here on Raw, Claudio Cesaro has beaten two former or current WWE Champions. But tonight, can Cesaro prove he’s worth the hype, and become WWE Champion in only his third WWE match?

Jerry Lawler: I might not like what this guy’s gotta say, I think he’s been pretty outspoken since he got here, but I can’t argue with the fact that he is a very talented competitor. He’s came into the WWE runnin’ his mouth, now it’s time for ‘im to put up or shut up!

Joey Styles: But could you imagine is he does put up and become WWE Champion? I don’t think anybody’s ever had such a high level of success so quickly. Some men go their entire careers without even getting a title shot, this guy could make it to the top of the mountain in just three weeks! And imagine what he’s gonna have to say about it if he does…

*ONE OF A KIND…*


Entering the arena with a purpose, there’s a far more serious look on the face of Rob Van Dam as he stares down on his opponent, leading the crowd through a rendition of his name, before he strides down the ramp, Cesaro and Van Dam’s eyes locked onto each other…


Joey Styles: It took Rob Van Dam almost two decades as a professional wrestler to finally make it to the top of the mountain as WWE Champion. But faced with the unknown threat of the newcomer Claudio Cesaro, can ‘Mr. Monday Night’ keep his reign as champion going?

Jim Ross: I just wonder how much Van Dam learned from that match two weeks ago? ‘RVD’ admitted that he underestimated Cesaro, he wasn’t prepared, but that tonight is going to be a different story. But if we’ve to believe Cesaro, he’s done months of scouting on the WWE roster, and that could prove to his advantage again right here.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah but I’m sure Van Dam picked up a thing or two over these last few weeks. I’m sure he’s gonna be a lot more prepared, and I’m sure he’s the guy to finally put this jerk Cesaro in his place. This is the WWE, and in this company, we pay or champion the respect he deserves, and Cesaro’s about to find that out the hard way!

Match 3: WWE Championship Match
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Claudio Cesaro

As the bell rings, there’s a smug smirk on the face of Cesaro, the challenger feeling extremely confident that tonight will be his night, while ‘RVD’ is the personification of coolness as always. After a bit of posturing from Cesaro, the two finally tie up, with Cesaro working into a standing side headlock. Van Dam shoves Cesaro off the ropes… only for Cesaro to bowl him over with a shoulderblock! More arrogance from the challenger as he laughs and taps the side of his head… only to be caught off guard as Van Dam sweeps the leg to take him down! Bursting back to his feet, Van Dam comes off the ropes… ducks underneath a clothesline… then explodes off the ropes with a spinning wheel kick! Cesaro is back up… clothesline knocks him down again, the challenger scrambling to the corner, but Van Dam is right on him, landing forearm to the face, before he goes for an Irish whip across… then ‘RVD’ rolls in, leaps… and sends Cesaro flying with a monkey flip! Cesaro stumbles back to his feet, but kicks to the chest drive him to the corner, where ‘RVD’ climbs to the second rope… and starts hammering down with right hands! The crowd count along, all the way to ten, before he backflips from the corner, then charges back in… only for Cesaro to explode from the corner with a clothesline! Again Cesaro has that smug look on his face as he catches ‘RVD’ off-guard, and now the challenger lays in with stomps to the chest, before he yanks Van Dam up and lands a few stiff uppercuts. Cesaro then looks for a side suplex… but Van Dam goes all the way over and lands on his feet! Cesaro turns and tries a kick to the gut… but Van Dam catches it… then nails the step-over spinning wheel kick! Cesaro stumbles to his feet against the ropes… and a clothesline sends him sprawling to the floor!

On commentary, Styles points out that in a reversal of two weeks ago, it’s ‘RVD’ who outsmarting Cesaro tonight, the challenger reeling on the outside. As he gets back to his feet and tries to walk it off, Cesaro doesn’t see Van Dam climb to the top rope… for a FLYING CROSSBODY! ‘RVD’ goes airborne to takedown Cesaro, the crowd loving it as the WWE Champion leads them through a “ROB – VAN – DAM!” chant before he drags Cesaro to his feet… and smashes him face first off the barricade! A real aggressive side on display from the WWE Champion, and it gets more aggressive as he takes Cesaro up… and drops him gut first across the barricade! Van Dam then nips up onto the apron… for the CORKSCREW LEG DROP! Cesaro crumples to the floor in a heap, and it’s only now that Van Dam decides to roll him back into the ring, hooking the leg for a near fall. With Cesaro still down, Van Dam charges off the far away ropes… and goes for ROLLING THUNDER… but Cesaro rolls under the bottom rope to the floor… and Van Dam lands on his feet! Cesaro reaches in, trips Van Dam up and drags him under the bottom rope… then levels ‘RVD’ with a stiff clothesline! Once again the fight spills outside, and this time it’s Cesaro who’s the aggressor, lining Van Dam up… then smashing him face first off the steel steps! At the foot of the ramp, Van Dam uses the ring to drag himself up, leaving him open to more uppercuts… but Van Dam fights back, landing rights of his own, then he goes for a standing roundhouse… Cesaro ducks underneath… drills a boot to the midsection… then he hooks ‘RVD’ up… DELAYED GUTWRENCH SUPLEX… ON THE STEEL STEPS! Just like two weeks ago, a seriously painful landing for Van Dam on the steel, and as we go commercial, it seems that Cesaro has fully taken control of this match.

*Commercial*


We’re back, and we see that Cesaro has Van Dam locked into a grounded headlock, but Van Dam is doing his best to break free from it, struggling back up, drilling elbows to the midsection… but then a forearm to the spine ends the momentum. Cesaro looks for the Irish whip… ‘RVD’ reverses… and tries to avoid Cesaro with a leapfrog… but Cesaro catches Van Dam on his shoulders… and counters with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Cesaro hooks the leg... 1… 2… ‘RVD’ rolls a shoulder! With the WWE Champion down, Cesaro now looks to apply pressure as he locks Van Dam in a strait jacket hold, crossing Van Dam’s arms around his throat, trying to choke the champion. Van Dam does his best to fight it, and with the roar of the crowd, he makes it back to his feet, but struggles to find an escape… until he drills Cesaro with a boot to the face! Another pair of boots land to the gut, before Van Dam turns and charges off the ropes… right into a sitout scoop powerslam! Cesaro rolls into the lateral press… 1… 2… Van Dam kicks out again! Cesaro snarls the ref, and now he looks to take out his frustration on Van Dam, using the ropes to choke him, then he drives a double foot stomp to the midsection. Dragging Van Dam up, a trio of uppercuts land to the back of the head, before the WWE Champion is sent off the ropes… into a big boot to the face! More damage is done to the head and neck, as Cesaro catches Van Dam with a swinging neckbreaker, then he drops him with a delayed vertical suplex, before Van Dam is sent flying across the ring from a giant swing for a near fall.

With the WWE Champion struggling, Cesaro lands a few more uppercuts, before he fires Van Dam to the ropes… into a sleeper hold! Cesaro locks the hold on tight in the centre of the ring, and slowly but surely, he gets Van Dam to fade down to a seated position. The WWE Champion is in a world of trouble now, but he shows signs of life, and somehow after what seems like an eternity, he’s able to battle back to his feet. Van Dam tries to break free, drilling elbows to the midsection, allowing him to head for the ropes… only for Cesaro to send Van Dam skywards… into the VERY EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! Cesaro damn near takes Van Dam’s head off, and now he drops down, convinced he’s got the win… 1… 2… NO! Van Dam somehow kicks out! Cesaro can’t believe it, this time he storms back to his feet to confront the ref, demanding that it should’ve been three. After the two count is confirmed, Cesaro now steps through the ropes and climbs upstairs, looking for a high risk move… but it backfires as Van Dam jumps to the second rope… and catches Cesaro with a right hand… crotching the challenging on the top turnbuckle! Still suffering, Van Dam looks dazed, but he soon manages to rattle off a few forearms… then he leaps up… and sends Cesaro flying with a FRANKENSTEINER!! Both men are down and out, the ref moving in to start the count, and it’s not until seven that we see either man make it back to their feet, both having to use the ropes to get back up. Cesaro stumbles towards Van Dam, where he’s met by a shoulder to the midsection. Another shoulder backs Cesaro away, but Cesaro answers back with another uppercut, then he goes for the Irish whip to the corner… Van Dam reverses and follows in… running shoulder thrust! Another two turnbuckle thrusts land, then ‘RVD’ backflips out… races back in… and sends Cesaro flying again with the monkey flip! Quickly ‘RVD’ slings himself onto the top rope, and as Cesaro stumbles up… he’s caught with the DIVING SUPERKICK! Cesaro is down, but here comes Van Dam charging off the ropes… ROLLING THUNDER! ‘RVD’ gets all of it, and here’s the cover… 1… 2… Cesaro rolls a shoulder!

Looking to keep the momentum going, Van Dam quickly has Cesaro back up, tagging him with rights to the face, then kicks to the gut that back Cesaro to the ropes. Van Dam goes for the Irish whip… but Cesaro reverses… and catches ‘RVD’ with a kick to the midsection… then he hooks Van Dam up… looking for THE NEUTRALIZER… NO! Van Dam counters… with a back body drop! Cesaro crashes to the canvas, but Van Dam has him right back up, drilling kicks to the body, then he fires Cesaro off the ropes… into a spinning wheel kick! Cesaro is down in the centre of the ring, and Van Dam now climbs to the top rope… and readies himself for the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH… NO! Cesaro shoves the ref into the ropes… and Van Dam crotches himself on the top turnbuckle! The roles are reversed from earlier, as now Van Dam has the painful landing, and it could be about to get worse as Cesaro climbs to the second rope… hooks Van Dam up… and nails a TOP ROPE RICOLA BOMB! It’s gotta be over… 1… 2… NO! Somehow Van Dam got the shoulder up! Cesaro is furious, storming back to his feet, grabbing the ref by the shirt, enraged that it wasn’t a three count, but only being told it was two. After pausing for a few moments to compose himself, Cesaro now turns back to Van Dam, dragging him up… INSIDE CRADLE! 1… 2… NO! Cesaro kicks out at the last split second, and he quickly pounces to land stiff shots to the back of the head. Determined to finish things, Cesaro slowly drags Van Dam up… doubles him over with a knee to the midsection… then he hooks the WWE Champion up… and once again goes for THE NEUTRALIZER… NO! Van Dam desperately fights it, kicking Cesaro repeatedly in the head until Cesaro lets go… and then Van Dam smacks him with an ENZUIGIRI! Cesaro slumps to the canvas, and Van Dam slings himself to the top rope… then he flies… FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH!! Van Dam gets all of it, and after grabbing his ribs, he drapes an arm across the chest… 1… 2… 3!!

Winner: And STILL WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam @ 16.09

A fantastic effort from Cesaro, but Van Dam has done it! An emphatic victory for the WWE Champion as he puts to bed any doubts remaining from his match with Cesaro two weeks ago. Rolling free of Cesaro, Van Dam grabs his ribs and slowly makes it back to his feet, the title thrust into his hand by the referee before he raises both arms in victory…

BANG!!

Van Dam turns… and absolutely hammered… with the SWEET CHIN MUSIC… Shawn Michaels is in the ring, and he’s just layed out the WWE Champion!!

The cheers of the crowd soon turn to jeers as Michaels stands over Van Dam, that cold, heartless look in his eyes, God only knows what’s going through his mind right now as he stares down upon the fallen champion. Upon impact with the canvas, Van Dam has released grip on the WWE Championship, and now it lies nearby, like a glistening light in the darkness that is Michaels’ world right now.

Looking down upon it, Michaels can’t help but look on the title with lust, and he slowly squats down, and every so gently… runs a finger across the belt. Michaels caresses the title, the thing he longs for, the object of his desire… but he does in that cold, robotic fashion, and it’s damn right creepy. A true shivers down the spine moment, Michaels continues to look longingly at the gold, but he dares pick it up, he just looks and touches it… until he slowly stands up, takes one last look down on Van Dam… and then he just casually heads to the ropes and steps to the outside.

“Disturbing” is the word J.R. uses to describe the situation, and disturbed is the perfect word to sum up Shawn Michaels right now, not a hint of emotion on his face as he heads back up the ramp, the loud boos of the fans ringing out, the camera snapping back to one last look of ‘RVD’ down and out in the ring, before Michaels disappears backstage and we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We’re back in the catering area, where we see Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson grab some bottles of water from a table, while behind them, Ezekiel Jackson keeps the lookout, standing guard, his eyes darting all over the room, no doubt looking for a sight of Carlito. As Kenny and Torrie turn and head to take a seat, the pair stop in their tracks… as John Cena stands before them! Almost on instinct Jackson steps forward and squares up to Cena, causing Cena to laugh and motion with his hands that he means no harm…


John Cena: Whoa, whoa, easy there, big guy. I’m not here lookin’ for a fight. And I promise ya’, I ain’t runnin’ diversion for anybody either. I just want a word with Kenny here.

Jackson turns towards the Intercontinental Champion, with Dykstra taking a quick look over his shoulder, then once he realises that the coast is clear, he nods for Jackson to step aside…

Kenny Dykstra: It’s cool, ‘Zeke’. What d’ya want, Cena?

John Cena: Oh, nothin’ much. Just wanted to personally deliver you a little message. Y’see, Carlito came to speak to me and Linda McMahon earlier tonight. You remember Carlito, right?

Dykstra and Torrie both rolls their eyes in annoyance…

John Cena: Hey, Torrie, you know him pretty well, right? Sayin’ that, from what I’ve heard you know a lotta guys around here pretty well.

”Oooh!” from inside the arena, with Jackson again stepping forward to confront Cena, only for Cena to again motion with his hands that he means no harm…

John Cena: Alright, alright, easy. Take it easy. Listen, I just wanted to let you know that your days of runnin’ away from Carlito are over. Tonight, by order of Linda McMahon, you and Carlito are gonna be facin’ off against each other in a Tag Team Match. Y’see, Linda felt that since you, Carlito, and another two guys who already qualified for the King of the Ring, Jeff Hardy and Chris Masters, since you four had nothin’ to do tonight, you guys might as well face each other in a match tonight.

Not happy, Dykstra flairs his nostrils and shakes his head…

Kenny Dykstra: Alright, fine. That’s no sweat. Just as long as ‘Lito doesn’t get another shot at this title, I’ll take him on any time you want. C’mon Torrie, let’s go.

But just as Dykstra turns to lead his posse away…

John Cena: Ah, wait! Wait, I forgot the important part. Y’see, Carlito made us a little deal earlier tonight regarding the War Games Match, and you’re involved in it.

Kenny Dykstra: What? What are you talkin’ about? I don’t want nothin’ to do with War Games.

Cena shrugs…

John Cena: Hey, that’s fine with me. But uh… Carlito agreed to sign up for my team on one condition. He got one last shot at you and the Intercontinental Championship. And guess what, Kenny? That match is gonna happen next week, live on Raw!

Big pop from inside the arena, but in a surprising move, Dykstra simply laughs and shakes his head…

Kenny Dykstra: I don't think so. 'Zeke'?

The big guy hands Kenny a paper document...

Kenny Dykstra: This restraining order right here says Carlito's not allowed anywhere near me. And that means... no title shot for him.

A smug grin crosses Dykstra's face...

John Cena: Can I uh... can I see that for a quick second? Just to give a once over?

Cena snatches the document from Kenny's grasp and starts to flick through it...

John Cena: Uh huh... uh huh... hmmm... I see... oh, I like that bit...

And just like that, Cena rips the papers in half...

John Cena: There's what I think of your damn restrainin' order!

Kenny Dykstra: What the hell...!?

John Cena: This is professional wrestlin', 'kid', that legal stuff ain't gonna fly here! The match is set, it's you and 'Lito next week for that title.

Dykstra fumes and shakes his head, but Cena isn't finished yet...

John Cena: And lemme tell ya’ right now. Torrie and your hired muscle here? Both of ‘em are BANNED from ringside!

Another big pop, with Dykstra reacting furiously…

Kenny Dykstra: What!? You can’t do that!

John Cena: I think you’ll find that as C.E.O. of this company, Linda McMahon can do whatever the hell she wants. And that’s why to make sure there’s no coutouts or disqualifications like at Backlash, next week’s match… is gonna be a Ladder Match.

And that’s the biggest pop so far, with Dykstra’s jaw nearly hitting the floor in shock…

John Cena: Best of luck, kid. You’re gonna need it.

And with a pat of the shoulder, Cena turns and makes his exit, leaving behind a stunned and seriously worried Intercontinental Champion, who just stares into the camera, lost, without a clue of what to do, while Torrie and ‘Zeke’ turn to Kenny looking for answers… but there’s no words from Dykstra as we cut elsewhere.

And it’s to the parking lot we go to see Chris Masters and Melina walking along, both with annoyed looks on their faces, especially Melina who clutches an ice bag to the back of her neck. The pair walk with a purpose, until they reach what appears to be the sound truck, stopping at the stairs…


Melina: Alright. Let’s get to this bottom of this.

The pair now walk up the stairs, with Masters flying open the door, causing mass confusion inside the truck. Looking around, Masters intimidates the few members of the production team who dare to stand up, shouting “Sit down!” at several people, which allows Melina to walk towards a man who we assume is the director of the show…

Melina: You. You’re Kevin Dunn, right? You’re the guy in charge?

The man identified as Kevin Dunn nods his head in fear…

Melina: So you’re the guy in control of all these buttons, right?

Again Dunn nods…

Melina: So that means you were the guy who played that music during Chris’ match last week, right?

This time Dunn shakes his head in disagreement, prompting Masters to grab Dunn by the collar and yank him right out of his seat…

Chris Masters: Answers! We want answers!

Melina: What do you mean no? You control the music and the videos, you’re the guy who pushed the button on that music. And we wanna know why.

Gasping for air, Dunn tries to plead his innocence…

Kevin Dunn: No! I swear I don’t know anything about it!

Running a hand through her hair, Melina shrieks in frustration…

Melina: Then how did it happen? Where did it come from!?

Kevin Dunn: I-I don’t know! Honest!

Masters and Melina now turn to look at each other, and it seems as if Melina is buying what Dunn is saying for now, as she nods her head…

Chris Masters: You listen to me. If it happens again… we’re gonna be back here. And I’m gonna tear this whole truck apart until I get answers. You understand me?

Dunn franticly nods his head, before Masters releases the grip on his collar and shoves Dunn back down into his seat. With an ominous stare around the truck, Masters intimidates every member of the production staff, before he and Melina make their exit. Dunn breathes a long sigh of relief, wiping a bead of sweat from his brow, before he readjusts his headset and tries to get back to work…

Kevin Dunn: Uh… uh… camera two… go.

And on that, we cut back into the arena...

And hear…

*HART BEAT…*


For the second time tonight we hear that trademark guitar rift, only this time it’s for the arrival of The Hart Legacy, as Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd make their entrance alongside Natalya Neidhart, the trio wearing big smiles on their faces as they slap hands with the ringside fans…


Jim Ross: It’s our final King of the Ring match in the round of 32, after this match we’ll know the Raw half of the bracket for the round of 16. Natalya Niedhart got a great win earlier tonight, and I’m sure Tyson Kidd is gonna look to do the same right here.

Jerry Lawler: And after Harry Smith lost to Kenny Dykstra last week, if Tyson doesn’t win here tonight, that’s it for The Hart Legacy as far as the King of the Ring goes.

Joey Styles: This promises to be a great matchup between Kidd and Charlie Haas, two very technically sound competitors, and two guys that are more than capable of becoming King of the Ring!

*WORLD’S GREATEST…*


And now the heat breaks out as The World’s Greatest Tag Team step out, with both Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas dressed in their blue tracksuits, the pair pointing and throwing some trash talk towards the youngsters in the ring…


Jim Ross: They are the current World Tag Team Champions, and with Shelton Benjamin already qualified for the next round, tonight could be a chance for the World’s Greatest Tag Team to really make their mark on this tournament. If Charlie Haas can join Shelton Benjamin in the next round, they could easily cut through the field and make it to Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Joey Styles: Well not only that, but last week, we heard Haas and Benjamin say they were putting the tag titles on the back burner to focus on the King of the Ring, but that wasn’t something The Hart Legacy agreed with. Smith and Kidd were pretty adamant that sooner or later, they’re gonna come after the champs lookin’ for a shot at the gold.

Jerry Lawler: And what a match that could be. This one right here promises to be a helluva match, and I’m sure if these two teams were to meet for the tag titles, that’d be even better!

Match 4: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
World Tag Team Champion Charlie Haas w/ Shelton Benjamin vs. Tyson Kidd w/ Harry Smith and Natalya Neidhart

A cagey start as both men inch forward from their corners, with Haas challenging Kidd to a test of strength. Kidd accepts, the two locking a hand together… but before the second hands can lock, Haas drills Kidd with a boot to the midsection. Haas then twists into a wristlock, but Kidd quickly twists out if it, runs to the ropes, jumps… and sends Haas flying with a springboard armdrag! Both men quickly back up… another armdrag puts Haas down… and then a third, this time Kidd hanging on for an armbar. Haas struggles back to his feet, and forces Kidd to the corner, where the ref calls for the break… only for Haas to drill a shoulder into the midsection! Another shoulder lands, but when Haas goes for a third, Kidd uses the ropes to push himself up… and comes out of the corner with a sunset flip… but Haas rolls right through! Both men burst to their feet… and Kidd levels Haas with a running dropkick! Early cover… Haas kicks out at two. As Haas tries to sit up, Kidd is already coming off the ropes, delivering a stiff kick to the chest, before he yanks Haas up and starts landing kicks to the thighs. Kidd then goes for an Irish whip off the ropes, but Haas reverses… then swings and misses with a clothesline… allowing Kidd to nail Haas with a flying forearm! Haas stumbles to his feet against the ropes… only for Kidd to clothesline him over the top rope to the floor! Haas hits the floor with a thud, and Benjamin is quickly over to help his partner back to his feet. As the champs talk strategy and try to help Haas recover, Harry Smith is over to call for Haas to get back in the ring. This distracts Haas and Benjamin, which means they don’t see Kidd steps out onto the apron then charge… DIVING SOMERSAULT SENTON… TAKES OUT BOTH MEN! The crowd love the high-risk offence from Kidd, giving him a great cheer as he rolls Haas back into the ring.

Nipping up onto the apron, Kidd waits for Haas to stagger up… then flies with a springboard dropkick! Another cover… 1… 2… Haas kicks out. Kidd is well in control, landing forearms and kicks, but when he goes for the Irish whip off the ropes, Haas reverses… Kidd runs underneath a clothesline, then jumps to the second rope… top rope… looking for a double jump moonsault… Haas runs underneath… and Kidd lands on his feet… only to be levelled with a massive clothesline! Haas damn near takes Kidd’s head off, and now he goes on the attack, laying in with stomps to the body, then repeated knee drops, before he yanks Kidd up, snapmares him down… then comes off the ropes to deliver a stiff kick to the spine! Haas now begins to target the lower back, aiming forearms, driving knees, and then taking Kidd up and down with a hard backbreaker for a near fall. A double underhook and then a release German suplex do further damage, with Haas in control now as he sends Kidd to the corner with a hard Irish whip… and Kidd crumples to his knees as his spine hits the turnbuckle. After another near fall, Haas tosses Kidd to the outside, and then proceeds to cross the ring to pick a fight with Harry Smith. With the referee distracted, Shelton makes his move, yanking Tyson up… to drive him spine first into the barricade! Kidd is rolled back into the ring, and Haas pounces, dragging him up… for a northern lights suplex! 1… 2… Kidd muscles out of it! Looking for a way to wear Kidd down, Haas takes Kidd up and down… across his knee with the backbreaker… but he keeps Kidd in place for the pendulum submission! Haas presses down on Kidd’s legs and chest, torqueing his body across the knee, Kidd crying out in pain, but unable to break free. Kidd is in the hold for quite a while, and it looks like he might be starting to fade, but Harry and Natalya start to rally the crowd, the noise of the fans bringing some life back to Tyson, and he tries to mount an escape… a kick to the head… and another… and a third finally breaks him free! Both men stumbles back up, Kidd rocking Haas with kicks to the chest, then he charges off the ropes… but Haas is waiting… SNAP OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX! Kidd is down, Haas has it won… 1… 2… Kidd barely rolls a shoulder!

Haas slaps the canvas in annoyance and yells at the ref that it should’ve been three, but now he presses on, hooking Kidd up, stepping over, twisting… he’s going for the HAAS OF PAIN… but Kidd counters… wheelbarrow victory roll! 1… 2… Haas just kicks out, and he quickly pounces to regain control, smacking a flurry of forearms and elbows to Tyson’s back. Sensing he needs one more high impact before he can finish Kidd off, Haas hoists Tyson up onto the top turnbuckle, keeps him in place with a few right hands, then he climbs to the second rope… he’s looking for a TOP ROPE OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY… NO! Kidd desperately fights free, landing rights that knock Haas down to the canvas. Still standing, Haas moves back in… kick to the face from Kidd… then a SPRINGBOARD TORNADO DDT! Haas is planted, both men down, and the ref starts to count, making it all the way to seven before there’s any sign of life. Haas is back up first, yanking Kidd to his feet… Tyson strikes with a forearm… then a kick… forearm… kick… forearm… then he goes for an Irish whip off the ropes, but Haas reverses and lowers his head… kick snaps the head up… another to the gut doubles him over, before Kidd comes off the adjacent ropes… DROPKICK TO THE SIDE OF THE HEAD! Haas is down and out, but now Kidd climbs to the top rope… waits for Haas to rise… DIVING HURRICANRANA! Kidd sits in for the cover… 1… 2… somehow Haas kicks out! It’s all too much for Shelton as he now nips up onto the apron, yelling at Kidd… but here comes Harry… yanking Shelton down… then hammering him with a big right hand! Benjamin stumbles around the ring to the base of the ramp, but here comes Tyson… SUICIDE DIVE! Benjamin is wiped out, and now Kidd jumps back up onto the apron, sees Haas is still down… slings himself to the top rope… SPRINGBOARD ELBOW DROP… NO! Haas was playing possum as he rolls to safety, and when Tyson stumbles up, Haas makes his move… HAASTILE TAKEOVER!! Kidd is planted, and there’s nothing Harry or Natalya can do as Haas gets the 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Charlie Haas @ 07.35

Haas gets the win, joining Benjamin in the next round, and as soon as the bell rings, Haas dives through the ropes to make his exit, joining his partner at the foot of the ramp before Harry Smith can get his hands on either of them. Haas and Benjamin quickly back up the ramp, pointing and laughing back at the ring, while Smith fumes, kicking the bottom rope in anger, with Natalya trying to help Kidd back to his feet. Slowly Tyson is back up, he and Smith leaning against the ropes, glaring at Haas and Benjamin, who simply back up the ramp, taunting the youngsters, and as we head for a commercial, you get the feeling that this feud might not be over with yet.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

Our video opens at the King of the Ring ’96, where ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin stands victorious, delivering the interview that launched his main event career…

Narrator: It’s a night where future legends make their mark...

“AUSTIN 3:16 SAYS I JUST WHIPPED YOUR ASS!”

We now head back to King of the Ring ’93, where Bret Hart puts Bam Bam Bigelow away with the winning victory roll...

Narrator: A night where icons are created…

“I’M THE BEST THERE IS, THE BEST THERE WAS, AND THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE!”

King of the Ring ’01, where Edge puts Kurt Angle down with the Edgecution then crawls into the pin to get an emotional victory…

Narrator: A night when the stars of tomorrow shine bright...

“WELCOME TO THE ERA OF AWESOMENESS!”

And we now go to last year’s tournament final, where Booker T grabs the win over Bobby Lashley…

Narrator: A night to crown… a new king.

“BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR KING!”

We now see flashing images of some of this year’s contenders, starting with Jeff Hardy, Montel Vontavious Porter, CM Punk and Matt Hardy…

Narrator: And this year, live on NBC, the WWE King of the Ring returns! It’s the one night Saturday Night’s Main Event spectacular where one man’s career is set to skyrocket!

More flashing images, this time it’s Bryan Danielson, Kenny Dykstra, Johnny Nitro and Mr. Kennedy…

Narrator: Eight men will battle to join the most exclusive of WWE clubs. Who will take King Booker’s crown and become the 2007 King of the Ring!?

Another round of flashing images, this time of former winners such as Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Edge, Bret Hart and King Booker…

Narrator: The King is dead…

More clips from last year, this time from Booker’s coronation ceremony, then a quick shot of him close to tears after his victory to clinch the World Heavyweight Championship…

“ALL HAIL KING BOO-KAH!”

”Long live… the King.”



"SATURDAY NIGHT’S MAIN EVENT – THREE HOUR KING OF THE RING SPECIAL – JUNE 2ND - LIVE ON NBC!"

*End Video Package*


Back into the arena, where we see the smiling faces of our announce team…

Joey Styles: That’s right folks, we’re just three weeks away from Saturday Night’s Main Event and our King of the Ring special. Eight men will remain by the time we make it to The Garden in Boston. Tonight, we saw the last matches in the Raw half of the round of 32, let’s take a look at what the Raw bracket looks like now…

Kenny Dykstra vs. Nick Dinsmore
Chris Masters vs. CM Punk

Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin
Jeff Hardy vs. Charlie Haas


Joey Styles: There you see the final eight men from the Raw brand, four of those individuals will be going to Saturday Night’s Main Event. Some great matchups in store for us over the next couple of weeks guys.

Jerry Lawler: Oh absolutely. I mean, Jeff Hardy and Charlie Haas, that’s gonna be a great match, Punk and Masters, Carlito and Shelton Benjamin, so many impressive superstars, and any one of them could easily become King of the Rng!

Jim Ross: The round of 16 all kicks off next week, live on Raw. We’re getting ever closer to Saturday Night’s Main Event, and the 2007 King of the Ring!

And after a few second silence…

*LOADED…*


A great cheer welcomes Jeff Hardy into the arena, with Hardy firing up the crowd as he gyrates in the entrance way, before he bounds down the ramp and slides into the ring…


Jim Ross: And this guy’s in with a great chance of goin’ all the way and becomin’ King of the Ring if ya’ ask me. Jeff Hardy vowed in an interview last week that the King of the Ring was his crown to claim, and that he was gonna use it as a springboard to take his career to the next level.

Joey Styles: And given the success Jeff's brother Matt is having over on SmackDown right now, it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Jeff go all the way. 2007 is already lookin' like it could be Matt Hardy's year, it could well be Jeff's year too.

Jerry Lawler: Could you imagine if both Matt and Jeff made it all the way to the final? A Hardy boy final, that'd be somethin' pretty special right there...

”I SPIT IN 'DA FACE... OF PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO BE COOL...”

*COOL...*


And an equally warm welcome for Carlito as he wastes no time in heading down the ramp and sliding into the ring, he and Jeff sharing a high five as the pair talk strategy ahead of the match...


Jim Ross: We're maybe getting' a bit ahead of ourselves there, 'King'. I'm sure all four of these men in this match will be dreamin' of the King of the Ring final, but for Carlito, he's got a huge opportunity next week live on Raw. A Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship against Kenny Dykstra.

Jerry Lawler: And not only that, but Torrie Wilson and Ezekiel Jackson are both gonna be banned from ringside! I think that' gonna be a helluva match next week, one I can't wait to see!

Joey Styles: And that could be the difference right there. In their two matches at WrestleMania and Backlash, Torrie Wilson has been the difference maker. She's cost Carlito on both occasions, but next week, she's not gonna be involved, and I think that could lead to a new Intercontinental Champion!

*MASTERPIECE...*


His entrance as dramatic as ever, Chris Masters steps out, Melina by his side, the pair standing at the top of the ramp as the pyro rains down on them, before Masters thrusts off his robe and the duo slowly head down the ramp...


Jerry Lawler: God, would ya' look at this guy. I almost had 'im beat last week and kicked him straight outta the King of the Ring!

Jim Ross: You came mighty close, 'King'. But durin' that match, we heard some pretty strange music playing. It obviously confused and affected Masters at the time, and as we saw earlier this evening, Masters and Melina sure as hell wanted to know what it was all about and where it came from.

Joey Styles: I think it's safe to say that it has Chris Masters rattled a bit. But I guess after that threat they made to the guys in the production truck, it won't be happening again anytime soon.

*IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW...*


And finally the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra emerges, with both Torrie Wilson and Ezekiel Jackson along for the ride. Dykstra and Torrie walk arm in arm down the ramp, both still clearly upset with the ruling that Torrie will be banned from ringside next week, while 'Zeke' brings up the rear in a menacing fashion...


Jim Ross: They are the self-proclaimed new power couple of Raw, but next week, the power will be gone as Dykstra is gonna have to go it alone. No Torrie, no 'Zeke', just Dykstra, Carlito and a ladder to determine who will be the Intercontinental Champion.

Joey Styles: You don't think that Dykstra might be runnin' kinda scared right now do ya'? I saw the fear in his eyes when John Cena told him the stipulations for next week, he didn't look all that happy.

Jerry Lawler: I think that's 'cause he knows he in a whole heap o' trouble now. He's rode his luck, he and Torrie have pulled every trick in the book, but next week, there's gonna be nobody left to save him. If Kenny's gonna retain his title, he's gonna need to finally do it by himself, and I just don't think he can handle Carlito with the mood he's in right now.

Match 5: Tag Team Match
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra and Chris Masters w/ Ezekiel Jackson, Melina and Torrie Wilson vs. Carlito and Jeff Hardy

Hardy and Masters get this one underway, the two locking up in the centre of the ring, and after a bit of back and forth, Masters uses his power advantage to drive Jeff to the corner. The ref calls for the break, which Masters provides… only for him to then hammer Jeff with a stiff elbow to the face! More elbows follow, then clubbing forearms land to the back of the head, before Masters fires Jeff off the ropes… Hardy avoids a clothesline with a baseball slide, nips up… and takes Masters down with a mule kick! Masters sits up, but Hardy is already coming off the ropes… low angle dropkick! And now he grabs Masters by the legs… double leg drop to the gut, earning Hardy a near fall. Both men are back up, and Masters again uses his power to lift Hardy up and drive him against the turnbuckle, enabling him to tag in Dykstra. Kenny enters and lays in with a trio of hard rights, before he smashes Hardy face first off a neutral turnbuckle. Dykstra goes for the Irish whip across… but when he follows in, Jeff uses the ropes to elevate himself over Kenny… and Kenny smacks chest first off the top turnbuckle! Dykstra staggers back… and Jeff rocks him with the sitout jawbreaker… that puts Dykstra in the perfect position for… the HARDYAC ARREST! Jeff drags Kenny to the centre of the ring, hooks the leg… 1… 2… Kenny rolls a shoulder. Hardy drags Dykstra to the faces’ corner and tags in Carlito, a look of fear on Kenny’s face as his long-time adversary drills a few boots to the midsection, then sends Kenny for the ride… into a big back body drop! After another near fall, ‘Lito yanks Kenny up, only for Dykstra to drive a knee into the midsection. Irish whip off the ropes… but Kenny lowers his head… ‘Lito snaps it up with a kick… then sends Kenny sprawling from the ring with a headscissor takedown!

Dykstra writhes on the floor, ‘Big Zeke’ over to try help him back up, but from the apron, here comes Hardy… DIVING DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE! Hardy wipes out both Dykstra and Jackson, roaring to the crowd as he bursts back to his feet, quickly rolling Kenny back into the ring where ‘Lito gets another two count. Hardy tags back in, and he rocks Kenny with rights, then goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… Dykstra reverses… allowing Masters to drill a knee into the spine! Hardy puts on the breaks… and sends Masters flying off the apron with a big right hand… but when he turns… Dykstra levels him with a stiff clothesline! Just like that, the match swings in the heels’ favour, with Dykstra now laying in with a string of elbow drops, before he jumps up to deliver one final big elbow, gaining a near fall. Masters gets the tag, and he starts to target the lower back, laying in with stomps and knees, before he scoops Jeff up for a big backbreaker. Mounting Hardy, Masters him with right hands, before he and Dykstra show some impressive teamwork as Masters holds Jeff open, allowing Kenny to come off the second rope with a fistdrop to the spine. Further damage is done as Masters lands a sidewalk slam, and Kenny gets a near fall from a falling neckbreaker. Dykstra then goes for a reverse chinlock, trying to wear Hardy down, but with ‘Lito stomping his feet, and the crowd cheering, eventually Hardy is able to fight back to his feet… and after three elbows to the midsection he finally breaks the hold! Jeff now comes off the ropes… right into a textbook jumping back elbow! Dykstra goes for the cover… 1… 2… Hardy rolls a shoulder! Dykstra tags in Masters, the two combining for a double suplex for a near fall, and after a string of elbow drops, a quick tag brings Kenny back in.

Dykstra lands a string of short arm clothesline, then he hooks Jeff up, looking for a suplex… but Hardy blocks it. Again Kenny tries… again Jeff blocks it… then he takes Kenny up and down with a sitout inverted suplex slam! Both men are down now, the ref counting, but when he reaches six, the pair are close to their corners… here comes Masters… but here comes Carlito! ‘Lito slingshots into the ring, tagging Masters with stiff shots to the face, then he goes for the Irish whip… Masters reverses… but ‘Lito jumps to the second rope… springboard back elbow! Carlito now looks to quicken the pace, running to the ropes… springboard moonsault… no! Masters rolls through to avoid it… but ‘Lito lands on his feet… then when Masters stands… he smacks him in the face with a dropkick! Carlito hooks the leg… 1… 2… Dykstra makes the save! And now Dykstra looks to lay in with a few cheap shots, but here comes Hardy… jumping clothesline knocks Dykstra down! Kenny rolls under the bottom rope, again helped back up by Jackson, but in the ring, Carlito makes the tag to Jeff… then ‘Lito charges… SOMERSAULT PLANCHA… TAKES DOWN BOTH KENNY AND JACKSON! The crowd loves the high risk attack from ‘Lito, and when Kenny staggers back to his feet, Carlito is right on him… clothesline over the barricade! Dykstra is sent sprawling into the crowd… and now ‘Lito leaps the barricade too! To hell with the match, Carlito just wants to hammer Dykstra! Kenny desperately tries to escape, Ezekiel and Torrie in hot pursuit, but soon Dykstra and Carlito disappear from our sights. Back in the ring, Masters is in trouble as Jeff has him lined up… kick… TWIST OF FATE… NO! Masters shoves Jeff chest first into the turnbuckle, the he stumbles backwards… into THE MASTERLOCK!! Masters has it locked on, violently swinging Hardy from side to side, and just when it looks like Jeff is about to fade…

*GUITAR RIFT...*

”NOW LISTEN... THIS AIN'T NO MAKE BELIEVE...

C'MON! OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE...”


It’s happened again! Masters is furious, tossing Jeff aside, he and Melina looking all over the arena as the music plays, the two shouting for whoever or whatever this music refers to show themselves… and then just like that, the music stops. Confusion all around once again, with Masters and Melina shouting at each other… but that means Masters doesn’t see Hardy sneak up from behind… schoolboy rollup! 1… 2… 3!

Winners: Carlito and Jeff Hardy @ 08.49

It’s happened again, and this time it’s cost Masters as Jeff Hardy takes advantage of the distraction and gets the win! The force of the kickout sends Jeff tumbling from the ring, but he’s quickly back on his feet to have his hand raised by the ref on the ramp. In the ring, Masters is furious, slamming his fists off the canvas in a rage, while Melina slides into the ring and lets out a scream of anguish, wildly running her hands through her hair in despair at what just happened. Hardy backs up the ramp and thanks the crowd for their support, but the real story is back in the ring, where Masters looks like he’s ready to boil over, head in his hands, a mixture of disgust and disbelief on his face as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

We open to a blank, black screen, with dark, ominous violin strings playing. Slowly, heavy rainfall is heard, then the sound of police sirens and screaming women fade in, then we hear the whir of a helicopter as the picture cuts to news footage from what looks like some sort of disaster that’s hit a city…

Female Reporter: …and police are reporting a lone assailant, who rampaged through the city, leaving a terrifying path of destruction behind him…

More news footage, this time of overturned police cars scattered around a city street, while in the background, an ambulance is on fire...

Male Reporter: …we’ve heard he hit suddenly, he ripped through the heart of the city, and nothing would slow him down…

Now we see a man on the scene, who appears to be an innocent bystander in all this mayhem, being interviewed, blood pouring down his head, dust flying all around him as police cars whizz past in the background...

Man: …God, I dunno, he was a beast, he was huge! The guy was a monster! I’ve never seen anythin’ like ‘im…

We now see an Army truck pull up onto the scene, with a full squadron of soldiers jumping out of the back and then running in various directions…

Female Reporter: …and we understand police chiefs have called in the National Guard, in the hope they can do something about it…

More grainy interview footage from the news feed, this time from a man who we assume to be the Chief of Police, who stands in the middle of the mayhem, the rain bouncing off his hat as he ducks in fear of the explosions going off behind him…

Police Chief: So far, all our efforts haven’t phased him. We just can’t see to stop ‘im, and we’re runnin’ outta time…

We now cut to a news conference with the mayor of this city, who looks worried as he reads from the notes on the podium he stands behind...

Mayor: …with that in mind, I am declaring a state of emergency. Folks, this is not a drill. Please, leave your belongings, just grab your families and get out of the city as fast as you can…

Back to the mayhem, where the man previously interviewed is again infront of the camera, people screaming and running for their lives behind him…

Male Reporter: …if I can just ask you one last question. What on earth can stop this man?

With a look of fear in his eyes, the man offers no response, simply shaking his head until he’s able to mutter the words…

Man: I dunno man, I mean…

The screen now fades to black, until two dark red eyes slowly shine through the darkness, while we hear the man say…

“God help us all…”

"‘THE PREDATOR’ SYLVESTER TERKAY - COMING SOON TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW!"


*End Video Package*



From the video we go back into the arena to hear…

”WOOOOO!”

*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA…*


The loudest cheer of the night is reserved for Ric Flair as the legend emerges from the back dressed in one of his flamboyant robes, strutting his way down the ramp to the ring, pausing every so often to let out a “Woo!” to the crowd...


Jim Ross: He is without doubt, a living legend. Perhaps the greatest man to ever lace up a pair of wrestling boots. But tonight is perhaps one of the biggest test of Flair's career. After his defeat to Mr. Kennedy at WrestleMania XXIII, can Flair prove that he's back to his best, not only to all of us, but to himself?

Jerry Lawler: And that's the big question right there. Flair talked about his doubts, he talked about not believin' in himself anymore, but the best way to dispel any of those doubts is to beat Bobby Lashley here tonight.

Joey Styles: You talk about the experience of this man, all the legendary moments he's had inside the squared circle, it's all gonna prove invaluable for Team Linda at War Games. John Cena may be the captain of the team, but you get the feeling that Ric Flair is gonna be the heart and soul, and he's gonna play a crucial part in deciding just who gains control of Monday Night Raw.

*HELL WILL BE CALLIN'...*


A ton of heat as Bobby Lashley steps into the arena, snarling and with eyes locked in on Flair as he pounds down the ramp. Interestingly, there's no Vince or Shane in Lashley's corner tonight, nor is there any sign of Randy Orton, as Lashley instead flies solo into the ring...


Jim Ross: He is as dominant as they come. He is a supreme athlete, so much power, so much intensity, and at War Games, he will lead Team Vince into battle. But tonight, can Bobby Lashley give his team a real shot of momentum by beatin' 'The Nature Boy', and in the process, handing his team the early advantage.

Joey Styles: And I think it's a real statement of intent to see Lashley out here by himself. Usually we see either Vince or Shane McMahon in his corner, but not tonight. Lashley's out here to lead like a captain, to lead by example, and that could spell trouble for Ric Flair.

Jerry Lawler: But then again, you’ve gotta ask has Lashley ever been in the ring with a guy like Ric Flair? I mean, Flair’s ‘The Dirtiest Player in the Game’, he knows more tricks and shortcuts than anybody. That’s the kinda experience Flair can bring to War Games, and even though Lashley might be quicker and stronger, there’s no way he’s gonna out-think ‘The Nature Boy’ in this one…

Main Event:
Bobby Lashley
vs. Ric Flair

The crowd is electric for this one, with plenty of “Wooo!” chants ringing out, with both men recognizing this as they pause, Lashley snarling at the fans, while Flair simply smiles and nods his head. Eventually the two lock up, and after some brief jockeying for position, Lashley shows off his power as he simply shoves Flair to the ropes, ‘The Nature Boy’ grabbing on, saving himself from a possible high impact move. Trying to rattle the big guy, Flair now starts to strut, letting out a quick “Woo!” in the corner… which prompts Lashley to charge… Flair sidesteps… and Lashley crashes into the corner! Moving quickly, Flair starts to light Lashley up with chops to the chest, but once again Lashley uses brute strength to shove Flair away. Flair hits the deck, but bounces back to his feet near the ropes, prompting Lashley to charge… but Flair low bridges… and Lashley tumbles all the way to the floor! Lashley bursts back to his feet and slams his hands off the announce desk in frustration, while in the ring, Flair again struts, playing mindgames with Lashley, taunting him with another “Woo!” to the crowd. Flair allows Lashley to re-enter the ring, the two tying up, but this time Flair works into a side headlock, then twists into a hammerlock, and finally takes Lashley down with a sweep of the leg. With Lashley down, Flair grabs an ankle, twisting and wrenching on it, already applying pressure to the leg, before he then starts aiming stomps to the thigh, softening up the leg for a future figure four attempt. Flair continues to target the hamstring area, before he drags Lashley up, then takes him up and down with the shinbreaker… no! Lashley drills a right to the face mid-move, landing on his feet… then he sends Flair flying with a belly to belly suplex! Flair rolls and crawls to the apron, pulling himself up on the wrong side of the ropes… and this allows Lashley to charge… and send Flair flying to the floor with a shoulderblock!

Heading outside, Lashley drags Flair back to his feet, smashing him face first off the ring apron, before he rolls Flair back inside for a near fall. Mounting Flair, Lashley lands well placed fists and elbows to the face, but when he yanks Flair back up, a simple thumb to the eye from ‘The Dirtiest Player in the Game’ turns the tide back in Flair’s favour. Flair takes Lashley down with a snapmare, then comes off the ropes… jumping knee drop! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… Lashley powers out of it. Flair helps Lashley up and again drives him to the corner with chops to the chest, following them with a trio of right hands, before Flair goes for the Irish whip across… Lashley reverses and charges in… corner clothesline… Flair sidesteps… and Lashley smacks off the turnbuckle! Lashley staggers back, and here comes Flair… chop block! Flair takes Lashley down, but now he’s back on his feet… grabbing the leg… and the crowd rise in anticipation… as Flair steps, twists… but before he can apply the figure four, Lashley kicks him away! Flair smacks off the corner, and now there’s a chance for Lashley to go on the attack, dropping clubbing forearms to the back of the neck, before he climbs to the second rope and starts hammering down on Flair with right hands… but he only reaches five before Flair grabs the legs, steps forward… inverted atomic drop! Lashley is frozen to the spot in pain… and then a big chop knocks him down! And now Flair decides to head outside, climbing to the top rope, taking a huge chance as he waits for Lashley to rise… FLYING CROSSBODY… NO! Lashley catches Flair… then sends him flying with a fallaway slam! The impact of the move causes Flair to bounce off the canvas and roll under the bottom rope, and as we head to the final commercial of the evening, this one may just have turned in Lashley’s favour.

*Commercial*


And when we return, we see that indeed Lashley is in control, using a nerve hold to keep Flair grounded, applying pressure to the neck and shoulder. The crowd urge Flair back to his feet, and he starts to make a move, battling back to a vertical base, then he drills Lashley with a few elbows to the midsection, only for Lashley to shove Flair into the corner. Lashley races in… right into a back elbow! Lashley stumbles back, and here comes Flair… straight into a massive clothesline! Lashley goes for the cover… but only gets a two count. Shoving Flair into the corner, Lashley pummels him with stiff rights, but Flair tries to mount a comeback, rocking Lashley with chops to the chest, only for a knee to the gut to put an end to it. Lashley fires Flair across the ring… Flair hits the turnbuckle hard… and staggers out into a huge back body drop! After another Flair kickout, Lashley starts to dominate, landing clubbing forearms to the side of head, then he does damage with an impressive delayed vertical suplex, before again coming close to victory with a spinebuster. Lashley is almost toying with Flair as he again shows off his strength with a military press drop that causes Flair to cry out in anguish, before Lashley again does damage with a string of headbutts to the back of the neck, then an Irish whip that he turns into a powerslam for another near fall. A backbreaker causes more damage, and then Lashley hoists Flair up onto his shoulders… for a TORTURE RACK! Flair is in big trouble as Lashley looks to make him submit, applying pressure on the neck and back, causing Flair to cry out in pain. Lashley keeps the hold locked on tight, and slowly he makes Flair fade, the life draining away from ‘The Nature Boy’. After a while, the referee finally steps in, raising Flair’s hand… it drops. Again the hand is raised… again it drops. A third time the hand goes up… it drops… no! Flair catches it at the last second!

The fans roar their approval, and with their backing, Flair somehow starts to fight his way free, landing elbows to the side of the head, enabling him to drop down to the his knees. As he does so, there’s a tangle between Lashley, Flair and the ref, the ref too close as Lashley tries to move back in, and in the confusion… Flair strikes with a LOW BLOW! The ref missed it, and now Lashley is doubled over in pain, and Flair moves in… side suplex! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… Lashley kicks out! Now Flair looks to go on the attack, repeatedly knocking Lashley down with chops to the chest, before he sends Lashley off the ropes… into a back elbow which knocks him down! Flair comes off the ropes… JUMPING KNEE DROP! Flair has all the momentum, and now he’s headed back upstairs, waiting for Lashley to rise… DIVING DOUBLE AXE HANDLE! Lashley is down, and now once again, Flair grabs the leg, steps, twists and turns… FIGURE FOUR… NO! Again Lashley pushes Flair away, this time through the ropes to the floor! Lashley quickly shakes it off and heads outside, where he starts rearranging furniture, ripping the top of the announce desk, then taking out the monitors and tossing them aside. It looks like Lashley doesn’t care about winning anymore, he just wants to hurt Flair, and that’s exactly what he has in mind as he yanks Flair up… takes him up on his shoulders… he wants THE DOMINATOR THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE DESK! But before he can do it, Flair drops down behind… then shoves Lashley knees first into the steel steps! Lashley comes away limping, rolling back into the ring, but when he struggles back to his feet, Flair makes his move… nails another chop block… then he grabs the foot, steps, twists and turns… FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK!! Flair has the figure four locked in on Bobby Lashley… but wait! It’s… Randy Orton is in the ring… and he’s hammering Ric Flair! The ref has no choice but to call for the bell!

Winner: Via Disqualification, Ric Flair @ 13.28

Orton has hit the ring, and now he's laying into Flair with a flurry of vicious right and left hands, swinging wildly, until he gets back onto his feet and starts stomping away on Flair's chest. Lashley limps back up, and now he too joins in with the beatdown, the pair doing a number on Flair as they give him a severe beating... but all of a sudden the crowd roar in approval... as racing down the ramp... it's John Cena and Carlito! Cena and 'Lito slide under the ring... Cena tackles Lashley... and 'Lito flies at Orton! The brawl in on! Wild shots land, all four men rolling around on the canvas, with Cena and 'Lito gaining the upperhand, smacking away at Lashley and Orton, and things have gone crazy here! Orton and Carlito scramble back to their feet in the corner, both men still going at it, while on the mat, Cena is on top of Lashley pounding down on him with stiff right hands... but again the fans react, this time with gasps of fear... as The Redneck Wrecking Crew are charging down the ramp!!?

What the hell? Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch both slide into the ring... and they've got chairs in their hands! Cade sneaks up on Carlito from behind... AND SMACKS THE STEEL CHAIR OFF HIS SPINE! Hearing the sound of steel smacking off skin, Cena leaves Lashley and returns to his feet... only for Murdoch to CRACK HIS CHAIR OFF CENA'S SKULL!! A sickening thud, with Cena collapsing to the canvas, not moving an inch, the crowd booing furiously, wondering what the hell is going on...


Jim Ross: Dammit to hell! It's Cade and Murdoch! Cade and Murdoch, what the hell is the meanin' of this!?

Jerry Lawler: They've gotta be on Team Vince!

Cena is down, Carlito is down, but valiantly, Ric Flair battles back to his feet... but Randy Orton strikes... RKO!! Orton plants Flair with the RKO! All three members of Team Linda are down and out, and it looks like it’s about to get a whole lot worse as Lashley grabs Cena by the ankle and drags him towards the ropes. The crowd respond with ominous groans, as Lashley soon drags Cena from the ring…

”OH NO! NO WAIT A MINUTE…”

Hoists Cena up onto his shoulder…

”NO! STOP! DON’T DO THIS!”

And charges towards the announce desk…

RUNNING POWERSLAM THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE!!!


”OH MY GAAAWWWDDD!!!”

“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!!?”


The table shatters, the wreckage flying everywhere, and somewhere in amongst it all lies the broken body of John Cena! “Holy shit! Holy shit!” is the cry from a small section of the crowd, while the majority remain stunned into silence. Looking down on Cena, Lashley’s eyes burn with rage, a sick smirk of satisfaction crossing his face, before he turns and re-enters the ring. It’s mayhem all over the arena, with no words from our announce team having been knocked off of commentary due to the powerslam, instead it’s just the dominant sight of Team Vince standing tall, Randy Orton, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch and their captain, Bobby Lashley, the quartet standing tall in the ring, arms raised in victory, while all we hear is the boos and jeers of the crowd. Team Vince is standing tall, while Team Linda has been decimated, and that’s the final image we see as we fade… to…

Well not quite. Just as it looks like the broadcast is over, we cut backstage to see Linda McMahon stood infront of a television set, her hand covering her mouth, her eyes wide with fear, having watch the assault of the last few moments unfold. As Linda lowers her hand and stares into the screen with a mixture of fear and sadness, slowly approaching her from behind… comes Mr. McMahon himself. Linda turns and looks at Vince with disgust, but all she gets in return is an evil smirk, with Vince chuckling to himself, and as the show comes to a conclusion, all he’s got to say for himself is…


Mr. McMahon: I told ya’, Linda.

“No…”

Fade...

“Chance...”

To...

“IN HELL!”

Black.

*End Show*




Current Card for WWE SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT - KING OF THE RING SPECIAL:
Date: June 2nd, 2007

Location: TD Banknorth Garden; Boston, Massachusetts


The 2007 King of the Ring Tournament:
COMPETITORS TO BE DETERMINED





Current Card for WWE WAR GAMES:
Date: June 17th, 2007

Location: Target Center; Minneapolis, Minnesota


War Games Match:
Team Linda (John Cena, Ric Flair, Carlito ??? and ???) vs. Team Vince (Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch and ???)


__________________
WWE: The Evolution Of Greed
2007 King of the Ring Has Been Posted!!!



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