Re: Melvisboy's WWE: The Comeback
WWE: Monday Night Raw
Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
23rd November 2009
Highlights from last night’s Survivor Series pay-per-view play on the screen, with the main highlight being John Cena beating both members of D-Generation X in a Triple Threat after tossing Shawn Michaels on to his partner, Triple H, with the Attitude Adjustment. Also shown is Kofi Kingston’s team beating Randy Orton’s team, with Kingston eliminating Orton last with a Top-Rope Boom Drop, and Jack Swagger three eliminations in Team Miz’s victory over Team Morrison. The video finishes with Cena holding the WWE Championship atop a turnbuckle, and then it sweeps into the Raw entrance video and theme. After it finishes, we see fireworks exploding across the Raw stage, and the camera cuts to ringside, where at the commentary table, Michael Cole and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler are sitting, who look pretty excitable.
Cole: Good evening, and welcome to Monday Night Raw! We are one night removed from an epic Survivor Series pay-per-view – I’m Michael Cole, here tonight with my partner in commentary as usual, WWE Hall of Famer, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.
King: Thanks, Michael, I cannot wait for tonight’s show – last night at Survivor Series, John Cena retained the WWE Championship, and there were wins for Team Kingston and Team Miz.
Cole: There sure were, King, and tonight we begin on the road to WWE Armageddon, the first uni-brand pay-per-view since early 2007. On the 27th December, the superstars of Raw will invade the Pepsi Center in the Mile High City, Denver, Colorado.
King: It’s gonna be a great winter night in Denver, two days after Christmas! It’ll be like an extra Christmas present, Michael!
Cole: It’ll be pretty special, King. But let’s not forget, we have five action-packed shows before then, starting tonight. In a second, we will hear from WWE Champion John Cena, and we also have the VIP Lounge, plus DX and Divas in action! It’s sure to be a great show, folks.
John Cena’s music sharply blares from the speakers about the arena, and the crowd erupt! The WWE Champion bursts on to the stage, prompting the cheering to increase, and Cena stands still for a second – the camera focuses in on his smiling face as he looks around the Richmond Coliseum, eyes sparkling. He wears a blue cap and a traditional Cena-esque t-shirt – the shining, golden WWE Championship sits perfectly on his shoulder.
Roberts: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, the WWE Champion... John Cena!
Cena charges down the ramp as his music continues to play, and makes his way into the ring. The camera shows various people in the audience with signs saying ‘WWE Champion’ and ‘John Cena: The Champ’. The camera cuts back to the ring, where Cena stands proudly in the centre, mic in hand. His music dies down. He pauses before he talks, looking around, and the crowd starts to chant ‘Cena! Cena! Cena!’ Cena smiles and brings the mic up.
Cena: I stand before you, the loyal WWE fans... still as WWE Champion.
A cheer goes up from the crowd, and the camera spans across the wide expanse of the arena to show the very fans Cena was talking about.
Cena: I know you probably all saw it already, but hey, this is what people do after this situation, so bear with me, ok?
The crowd cheers. Cena smiles and begins to pace slowly as he talks.
Cena: Last night at Survivor Series, I think I had one of the best performances of my career. I mean, D-Generation X! Well, c’mon, they’re not pushovers, that’s for sure. And I won. I defended my title against two of the best performers I’ve ever been in the ring with.
The crowd give another large cheer for Cena, who stops in the middle of the ring, and looks at his title endearingly.
Cena: With my win last night, I proved something. Not just to Triple H. Not just to Shawn Michaels. But I proved to the entire Raw locker room, that I deserve to hold this title...
Cena lets the title fall from his shoulder – it slides down his arm and he catches it in his hand. He hoists it high so everyone can see which title he is talking about. The crowd cheer as he speaks.
Cena: I am the top dog. I’ve proved it before, I will prove it again... and again... and again.
Cena brings his arm back down, and slips his belt back on to his shoulder.
Cena: And you know what?
Cena looks about, as if searching for an answer to his own hypothetical question. He continues.
Cena: I welcome any challenge. They call me The Champ for a reason. It’s because I know, Shawn Michaels knows, Triple H knows... dammit, the whole WWE knows, I’m the best, of the best.
The crowd gives Cena the largest cheer since the opening fireworks went off. Cena smiles a cheeky grin.
Cena: And I bet there are tonnes of superstars out back, who figure they could tell me otherwise. But...
Cena pauses and looks at his title belt again with a smile.
Cena: I have one thing they don’t.
Cena looks straight at the camera and speaks slowly.
Cena: The W... W... E... Championship.
The crowd roars with appreciation and Cena smirks. Suddenly, however –
I HEAR VOICES IN MY HEAD, THEY COUNSEL ME, THEY UNDERSTAND... THEY TALK TO ME!
The crowd explodes with boos at the sound of Randy Orton’s music, and the Legend Killer arrives on the steel stage. Cena sighs, as if he knew Orton was coming, and turns to face the Viper, who is beginning to menacingly make his way down the ramp. The camera shows various fans booing and giving thumbs-down signals. When the camera returns to the ring, Orton is getting in, his face an expression of seriousness. He receives a mic, and wanders around the ring, boos fired at him by the fans. They subside, and Orton comes to face Cena. He raises the mic.
Orton: John... you can say what you like. You can keep calling yourself The Champ; you can tell yourself you’re the cream of the crop on Raw. But... no matter how many times you say it... it doesn’t make it true.
The crowd rains boos on Orton. Orton smirks and begins to move as he talks. Cena follows him with his eyes.
Orton: Last night... you didn’t beat two of the ‘best performers’ on Raw, you beat a comedy act. Triple H and Shawn Michaels are nothing but a pair of immature jokers – they clearly are not World Title contenders.
More boos from the crowd.
Orton: But I can point you to someone who is...
Orton stops pacing, tilts his head and looks at Cena.
Orton: Last night at Survivor Series, I hadn’t even been in the ring because my pathetic excuses for teammates didn’t tag me in – what a mistake that turned out to be. Had they tagged me in earlier, I would have won that match for Team Orton.
Orton receives more boos.
Orton: I was up against the wall. Five on one. As soon as I got my shot, I took advantage. Two eliminations in two minutes. I dominated. But eventually, even I can’t beat five men at once. No-one can. I was cheated out of the win last night by my own teammates. You all know it’s true, don’t try and deny it.
The crowd’s boos increase, prompted by Orton’s excuses. The Viper begins to move about again.
Orton: You say you’ve proved your worth before, John? Of all people, you’re the last I would expect to need reminding of my accomplishments... I’ve always been better than you, I’ve always been that... little... bit... better.
More boos. Cena looks annoyed by Orton’s comments. Orton goes to speak again, but Cena raises his hand and his mic.
Cena: I’m gonna stop you right there, Randy.
A mild cheer goes up.
Cena: Randy, you do a lot of talking. What you don’t do, is a lot of... backing it the hell up.
A massive cheer follows the Champ’s words. Cena’s face is serious as he stares down Orton.
Cena: I know why you’re out here. I’ve heard this same speech before, Randy... yada yada yada.
Orton looks irritated. Cena starts to mock Orton with a crude impression.
Cena: Blah blah, I’m Randy Orton... I’m the Legend Killer... I was the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in the history of WWE... blah blah... I’m the best... gimme a shot at the WWE Title... am I right?
Orton’s face turns from irritation to fury as the crowd yells their approval and agreement. His mic shoots up from his side to his mouth and he rages.
Orton: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, CENA? I’M THE BEST SUPERSTAR THIS COMPANY HAS EVER SEEN! YOU DON’T GET TO TALK TO ME LIKE THAT, NOBODY DOES!
Orton’s face is a bright red. His voice suddenly quiets down, and he speaks through clenched teeth, as if trying to contain himself from attacking the WWE Champion.
Orton: I want you... for the WWE Championship... at Armageddon.
Cena is surprised by this eerie change of attitude in Orton, and it highlights his strange and unstable personality. The crowd begins to boo, and then they are given another reason to –
CHECK, ONE TWO... OH YEAH
The crowd fires boos towards the stage, where the All-American American, Jack Swagger has appeared, wearing a cocky smirk. Cena and Orton turn in the direction of Swagger with puzzled expressions. The former ECW Champion raises both arms in his signature fashion, revealing he has a mic in his hand. He does not, however, come any further than the steel stage. His music fades away and Swagger stares down the men in the ring. His mic arrives at his mouth.
Swagger: Sorry to spoil the fun...
The crowd unleashes a torrent of boos on Swagger. Orton and Cena look nonplussed at Swagger – they don’t see him as a threat, it seems.
Swagger: I just thought I’d come down here and remind you both... that last night at Survivor Series, it was I, the All-American American, Jack Swagger, who was the shining star.
Swagger’s arrogance is clear to see, and the crowd continue to boo him heavily. Swagger’s lisp makes Cena and Orton seem to think less of him, though chances are that’s not the only reason they do.
Swagger: Not only did I win my match, but I eliminated three of Team Morrison – now that’s dominance, Randy.
Orton fumes. The crowd has subsided slightly.
Swagger: I bet you both, and hell, everyone here, are thinking, ‘Jack Swagger? He doesn’t deserve a title shot...’ And the reason you all think that is because all of you are IDIOTS.
Cena and Orton scowl and the crowd erupts with boos towards Swagger. The All-American American chuckles to himself.
Swagger: Need I remind you, I’m a two time All-American, and a former ECW Champion. I am simply the finest new talent available.
More boos for Swagger.
Swagger: There is no-one more talented, no-one more determined, and, let’s face it, no-one more deserving.
Orton looks to be having a quiet fit in the ring over Swagger’s last comment. A corner of Cena’s mouth curls at Orton’s reaction. The WWE Champion is leaning against the ropes, his cap tilted downwards as he listens.
Swagger: So, what I want, no...
Swagger pauses and revels in having the world hanging off his every word.
Swagger: What I will get, is a WWE Title shot. At Armageddon, screw Randy Orton, I want me...
Swagger directs a finger at himself, then towards Cena, who looks bemused.
Swagger: Versus John Cena... for the WWE Championship.
The crowd boos Swagger as his mic comes back to his side and he waits for a response. He gets one, from the mouth of Randy Orton. The first noise that comes from the Viper is a chuckle, as if he doesn’t believe a word Swagger just said.
Orton: Jack... You need to understand how this thing works on Raw. Title contenders are people like me, who are second to none in the ring.
Boos for Orton. Swagger frowns.
Orton: You think you’re up to my standard? Laughable. I’m more than willing to prove it to you... you won’t show up on this show for a while, but I’ll do it.
Orton smirks, and Swagger takes a step forward, then starts to make a move down the ramp. Cena suddenly becomes more alert, tilting his cap up so he can see better. Swagger moves quickly, and gets in the ring, over the second rope. He stares down Orton, while Cena looks on. Suddenly, the crowd erupts and Cena looks around in surprise at the reaction – Swagger looks at Cena, and Orton sees his chance, clobbering the All-American American with a lightning quick hook, sending him reeling back!
Swagger instinctively fights back, throwing wild punches at the Legend Killer, who steps back under pressure. It suddenly becomes apparent why the crowd erupted – Kofi Kingston was charging down the ramp, and he slides into the ring, to the dismay of a stunned Randy Orton! Kingston flies towards Orton, connecting with a Flying Forearm Smash! The crowd roars, and Kingston yells with excitement, but before he can do more, Orton rolls out of the ring! The crowd explodes with boos, and a shell-shocked Orton starts making his way back up the ramp. Kingston leaps from the ring and faces Orton, who now stands on the stage, having run up the ramp in a hurry.
Meanwhile, in the ring, Jack Swagger turns round from looking at Orton to face an ominous-looking Cena, who stands across from Swagger, still. Suddenly, however, Cena bursts into life, charging at Swagger, and the crowd roars once more! Cena clotheslines Swagger over the ropes and out of the ring to a fantastic crowd reaction, and Swagger hits the floor, wincing. The Titantron bursts into life and on the screen appears Shane McMahon, who doesn’t look pleased. He is sitting at his desk – a camera has been set up for TitanTron messages, it appears. All four men look up at the screen, intrigued. The crowd falls silent.
Shane: That’s enough! I’m not having this on my show. My father appointed me to be the new Raw General Manager for a reason – he wanted a decisive, fresher edge to Raw... and that’s exactly what I’m going to bring.
Shane’s face is dead serious.
Shane: So, I’m going to settle this. Tonight, in the Main Event, we will decide the No. 1 Contender for the WWE Championship.
The crowd cheers for this announcement.
Shane: Later tonight, Randy Orton...
The crowd boos.
Shane: ...will face off against Jack Swagger...
The boos continue.
Shane: And the winner will face John Cena for the WWE Championship at Armageddon!
The TitanTron falls black, and Shane’s face disappears. On the stage, Orton stares down a now-standing Swagger, who returns the glare from the bottom of the ramp. Kingston is on one of the turnbuckles, watching Orton, and Cena stands on another, eyes flicking between Orton and Swagger. Raw goes to a break.
As Raw comes back, the camera is on Michael Cole and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler at the commentary table.
Cole: Welcome back to Monday Night Raw, where we’ve just had a monster announcement from Raw General Manager Shane McMahon regarding who will face WWE Champion John Cena for his coveted championship at Armageddon.
King: That’s right, Michael – later on tonight, Randy Orton will face Jack Swagger, and the winner will face off with John Cena for the WWE Championship at Armageddon on December 27th! It’s gonna be great!
Cole: It sure is, King. But before then, we have plenty of great action lined up for tonight. For instance, this match coming up right now!
The bell rings. Melina’s music strikes up and the crowd lets out a mild cheer – the Divas Champion appears on the stage with her title and smiles. On either side of her are Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim. All three, smiling, start to walk down the ramp, touching hands with the fans at ringside.
Roberts: The following tag team contest is scheduled for one fall! In this match, whoever picks up the winning pinfall or submission will earn themselves a shot at the Divas Championship at Armageddon! Introducing first... the team of the WWE Divas Champion, Melina, Kelly Kelly, and Gail Kim!
Another small cheer greets the announcement, and by the time Roberts has finished the three are in the ring, Melina through her usual extravagant means. As they ready themselves, the music of Maryse plays and out comes her team, lead by the French diva, who is smiling cockily. Her partners, Jillian and Alicia Fox, also look confident. They begin to make their way down the ramp.
Roberts: And their opponents... Maryse, Jillian, and Alicia Fox!
Some fans look bored at ringside as the trio strut down the ramp, and find their ways into the ring. Soon enough, the bell rings, and the match starts.
Melina, Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim vs Maryse, Jillian and Alicia Fox
In a match filled with tags and poorly thrown punches, only Maryse and Melina are performing to a slightly interesting standard. As we reach the six minute mark, Alicia Fox is pounding Gail Kim in the corner, and the referee is telling her to ‘get outta there’. Fox does so, before hurling Kim towards the opposite turnbuckle – she races after her opponent as she throws, but Kim grabs the ropes, and propels herself upwards and above Fox, trapping her in the corner. Kim unloads with punches and kicks to Fox in the corner, then drags her into the centre of the ring. Fox attempts to slap Kim, but the latter ducks, gives a quick kick to the gut, then... a fine DDT from Gail Kim! Cover from Kim... 1-2 kick out from Fox. Kim lifts her opponent from the mat, Fox screaming as Kim holds her by her hair, and Kim hits her with a hard punch. Fox reels back, then throws a punch of her own, connecting flush with Gail Kim, and sending her to the mat. Fox looks pleased, and uses the time to take a breath, before kicking Kim in the stomach on the floor! The crowd groans with the impact and Kim rolls away in pain. Fox waits for Kim to rise, then charges, but Kim raises a boot, and Fox runs right into it! The crowd gives another groan and Fox goes down like a brick, flopping, breathlessly, on the mat.
Gail Kim, tiring, tags in Kelly Kelly, who immediately picks up Fox, and sweetly hits a Dropkick – Fox falls to the mat with force. Both women make their way back to their feet, and Kelly whips Fox to the ropes... when she comes back, Kelly leaps into the air, and sends Fox crashing down with a Headscissors Takedown! The crowd cheers mildly, but Fox is near her own corner, and Kelly pays for her mistake, as Fox exhaustedly tags in Maryse, who looks in fine form, and quickly hammers Kelly in the stomach with an Axe Handle. Maryse whips Kelly to the ropes, and when she comes back, Maryse unleashes a vicious kick to gut, followed up with a brutal Neckbreaker to Kelly Kelly! It takes Kelly a while to get back up, wincing with the pain. Maryse then holds Kelly from behind, her arm over Kelly’s neck, and drives into the mat with a Forward Russian Legsweep! The crowd moans in sympathy and Maryse now looks to take advantage... She waits for Kelly to rise one last time, applies the front facelock, and gives a sharp look towards the Divas Champion before... drilling Kelly into the mat with the French Kiss! Maryse covers... 1-2-3! Maryse will face Melina at Armageddon!
Winners: Maryse, Jillian, and Alicia Fox
Match Time: 7:13
Maryse is joined in the centre of the ring by Alicia and Jillian, who, while happy the team won, look like they wished they had won the title shot themselves. Kelly Kelly rolls out of the ring and apologises to Melina, who brushes it aside as she stares down her Armageddon opponent from outside the ring. Maryse stops celebrating her win and returns the stare – Jillian and Alicia also give the Divas Champion hard looks.
Cole: Well there you have it, with Maryse winning the match for her team there, she earns herself a title shot at Melina’s Divas Championship at Armageddon next month.
King: Maryse was so dominant there, Michael – I don’t know if Melina will be able to overcome her at Armageddon!
Cole: Certainly Melina will have her hands full, King.
Suddenly, Maryse turns away from facing Melina, kicks both Jillian and Alicia separately, then gets them both in a double front facelock! Melina’s eyes go wide as she watches on the outside, and Maryse turns so she’s facing her Armageddon opponent again, with both Jillian and Alicia still under her arms. Maryse laughs evilly, then leaps up, dropping both Jillian and Alicia Fox with a Double French Kiss! The crowd roars with boos at Maryse’s betrayal of her partners, and the Sultry Diva looks darkly cool about her actions. On the outside, Melina is shell-shocked.
Cole: Oh my god! Maryse just hit both her tag team partners with the French Kiss! What despicable mind games from the French superstar!
King: I hardly think that was necessary, Cole – she had just won the match, the attack on her own partners was totally uncalled for.
Cole: You’re very right, King. Well, this will certainly make this rivalry more intense with these mind games Maryse is playing. Will we see an explanation from Maryse in the near future?
Cole’s words are left to hang in the viewers minds, and the camera cuts from Maryse’s smiling face to backstage. Randy Orton is striding quickly and purposefully towards a room backstage, nearly running, even. The crowd boo him profusely. The door to the room is closed, but not for long, as Orton hammers it open, and it crashes against the wall behind with a bang. As Orton storms through the door it is shown that the room is Legacy’s locker room, and as the door crashes open, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase look up in surprise from a conversation they’d been having. Orton is fuming.
Orton: Having a nice chat, huh? HUH?
Rhodes and DiBiase look bewildered. Orton’s face is bright red.
Orton: I have lost COUNT of how many times he has got one over on me! You call yourselves my associates – why aren’t you watching my back? You worthless...
Orton holds himself back and the other two members of Legacy frown.
Orton: Get your act together, you two! I am SICK of being constantly blindsided by Kofi Kingston!
Orton says Kingston’s name as if he makes him feel sick, and the crowd cheer at the mention of the ‘Controlled Frenzy’, as he is called.
Orton: You two hung me out to dry last night when you didn’t tag me in – you cost me that match... and tonight, you’ve let me down AGAIN! You don’t deserve to be associated with me... I deserve better than this! I am the LEGEND KILLER! DAMMIT, YOU KNOW I COULD SNAP YOU BOTH IN HALF AND FIND SOMEBODY MORE SUITED, MORE DESERVING TO BE AT MY SIDE!
Orton takes a second to cool down, then hisses at his comrades.
Orton: I need the WWE Championship again. I NEED IT! Dammit, being attacked because my Legacy can’t handle the pressure... it’s putting out a bad message – we’re supposed to be the most feared people in the business! SO FOR GOD’S SAKE... GET IT TOGETHER!
Ted and Cody look just as displeased as the raging Viper does. It’s Rhodes, snarling, who leads the fightback.
Rhodes: Randy, it’s not our fault you can’t look after yourself. We’re not your personal bodyguards, we have careers too – show us some respect.
Rhodes almost spits the last word at Orton, who unleashes another torrent of verbal abuse –
Orton: I’ll show you respect... when you show ME respect, Cody! And when you EARN IT! Recognise greatness when you see it! You two say you’re the future of this business... WHY DON’T YOU PROVE IT! I CHOSE YOU BOTH BECAUSE I THOUGHT YOU WERE TALENTED, NOT LAZY! SO WHY DON’T YOU GIVE ME A REASON TO RESPECT YOU? HUH?
Rhodes doesn’t back down, continuing to stare straight into the eyes of the Legend Killer, before DiBiase steps in, just as fired up as his partner and his mentor.
DiBiase: HEY! We can prove it, alright! Next week, we get a match against the Tag Team Champions, and then we’ll be heading to Armageddon to face them for the straps when we win. So don’t give us crap about proving ourselves, we’ve done it before, we’ll do it again next week, and again at Armageddon. You know us, Randy! We are talented! Dammit, we WILL make you respect us.
Orton stares at both men, eyes wide, face shaking with anger. Suddenly, he turns round and strides out of view, slamming the door behind him as he leaves. DiBiase and Rhodes look at each other briefly, then back at the door. Raw goes to a break.
As Raw returns, we briefly go down to the commentary table, to hear the opinions of Michael Cole and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.
Cole: Welcome back to Monday Night Raw, where before the break, we just saw a tense confrontation between the Legend Killer, Randy Orton, and the other members of Legacy, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase.
King: Yeah, Cole, it was pretty intense – Orton really let loose!
Cole: He sure did, King. Remember, later on tonight, Orton takes on Jack Swagger for a WWE Title shot at Armageddon.
Jamie Noble’s music hits, and the Pit Bull appears on the stage to little to no crowd reaction. In fact, some members of the audience get up and head for the stairs to go get snacks! Noble looks apprehensive as he looks out at the arena in front of him, and then he composes himself, takes a deep breath, and begins to wander down the ramp. In the ring, Justin Roberts brings the mic to his mouth.
Roberts: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome... Jamie Noble!
The crowd are silent. Noble’s eyes flicker about the arena, almost searching for someone who is cheering for him. He finds nobody, and once again his eyes focus on the ring, where Roberts is leaving to return to ringside. The commentators talk a bit about Noble’s previous success as a Cruiserweight Champion, and mention, in an attempt to big up their company’s talent, that Noble is a ‘proud and ferocious ring performer’. They also throw in a comment reminding the viewers that Noble has just got out of hospital after a brutal beating by Sheamus a few weeks previously. Noble makes his way to the steel steps, and marches up them, slipping under the top rope before standing in the dead centre of the ring. The camera focuses on some watching crowd members and when it returns to the ring, Noble has a mic in his hands. He looks out again at the crowd, eyes pleading for a chant or a cheer, but he is left hanging. Sighing, he licks his lips and brings the microphone up.
He seems exasperated, tired... old.
Noble: I’m Jamie Noble.
The camera shows a singular clapping fan in the upper tiers of the arena, then switches back to an increasingly nervous-looking Noble.
Noble: I want to show y’all somethin’. Highlights from two weeks ago, on Raw. I was in this very ring against Sheamus. Well, I’ll show you what happened.
‘RAW’ sweeps across the screen and highlights are shown from Raw two weeks previously. Sheamus is beating down Noble, who looks totally out of his element. The Celtic Warrior slams Noble with the Irish Curse, then his signature Bicycle Kick. The video shows the panting face of an exhausted and pained Noble, hunched up and bent on the floor in the corner of the ring. Sheamus then boots Noble to ringside from the top turnbuckle, and the Pit Bull crumples as he hits the outside floor. Then comes the vicious Powerbomb that put Noble in hospital, and the video closes with the last image being that of Noble’s painful face, the referees surrounding him, and a stretcher arriving at the ring. ‘RAW’ once again sweeps across the screen and Noble looks aggrieved at the memory he’s just relived. The mic comes back up, but he seems to be struggling for words. Shaking, he speaks again.
Noble: Fourteen years I’ve been in this business. Fourteen years!
Noble’s eyes are wide. Soon they shut almost fully, so he is squinting.
Noble: For about 5 years I’ve been a part of this company... I’ve given my all, I try my hardest when I get in that ring.
Noble looks upset.
Noble: And yet, this company has thrown it back in my face! I try my hardest, y’know, I just wanna entertain...
The fans give a small cheer for Noble, who is now pacing the ring.
Noble: I’ve been given matches against people twice my size, matches against people half my size... Does anybody take me seriously? Does anybody see me as a genuine threat? Does anybody see me as anything more than a joke to throw to the lions?
Noble continues to pace, eyes still half-closed in disbelief at his own words.
Noble: Two weeks ago was the final straw for me. It was a wake-up call.
Noble’s southern accent is making his words slightly erratic. The crowd start to chant ‘WHAT?’
Noble: I was pounded, and beaten by a bigger, better opponent.
Noble: Tonight, I came out to my own music for the first time in, heck, I don’t even know how long.
Noble: Any-y’all noticed how ya always hear, ‘And already in the ring... Jamie Noble’?
‘WHAT?’ Noble comes to a halt in the middle of the ring and looks straight ahead, his face an expression of dead seriousness.
Noble: Tonight marks a new – oh, y’all’re gonna believe me – tonight marks a new Jamie Noble.
Noble: I ain’t lion food. I’m Jamie Noble. I’ve had enough.
Noble: I’m gonna show y’all. Jamie Noble’s not taking no crap no more.
The crowd is silent. Noble’s voice drops quieter. He takes a long pause.
Noble’s head drops. His face can’t be seen, but his voice is deadly.
Noble: Two weeks ago, you tried to end my career. You nearly did.
Over the course of the promo, the crowd slowly paid more attention to Noble. Now, they are hanging off his every word. Every eye is on the Pit Bull, whose presence in the ring is intoxicating.
Noble: This is a challenge. Next week on Raw, I want you, one on one.
Noble’s head comes back up to face the arena, and he truly seems like a new Jamie Noble – his eyes are bright, his lips are pursed, and his body has a new air of confidence... he finally seems like he believes in himself, after years of hardship.
Noble: And... when I beat you, Sheamus...
Noble smiles at the thought. The crowd gives a solid cheer, the biggest Noble has received all night.
Noble: When I beat you, Sheamus, every last superstar in that, there, locker room – every last one – will look at me, and they’ll think... he ain’t lion food.
Noble looks straight at the camera, eyes shimmering.
Noble: Not no more.
Noble emphatically drops the mic to the mat, and his music hits, provoking another respectful cheer from the crowd. Noble clambers up the nearest turnbuckle, facing the camera, and raises both arms, mouth open in triumph of sorts. Across the arena, members of the audience start to stand and clap, and before long, half the arena is applauding on their feet. Noble nods, acknowledging the fans, and hops down from the turnbuckle, before leaving the ring and making his way back up the ramp to the stage. Once at the stage, Noble turns once more to the audience, raising a fist, then turns and wanders back to the locker room. The camera goes backstage, where Todd Grisham stands with a mic.
Grisham: Please welcome my guest at this time... the United States Champion, the Miz!
The crowd unleashes a ton of boos as the camera zooms out to incorporate the Miz, who is looking his usual cocky self.
Grisham: Miz, last night at Survivor Series-
Miz: Hold up, Todd. I think I know what happened at Survivor Series. I’m not stupid, like you, or the losers who came to watch me perform tonight...
Some serious booing accompanies the Miz’s comments. Grisham looks insulted.
Miz: And you know what? I’m gonna tell you about Survivor Series. And then I’m gonna tell you about Armageddon, got it, Todd?
More boos for Miz’s cockiness.
Miz: At Survivor Series, Team Miz came out the winners, and I pinned John Morrison, my former partner, for the second time in as many pay-per-views. That shows to you all just how ruthless, how unstoppable, how... supreme – now that’s a word worthy of me – I am.
The Miz’s smirk is ridiculously large. Grisham looks repulsed by Miz’s cocky attitude.
Miz: There’s no-one quite like me. Let’s face it. I am the United States Champion, I am possibly the most unique superstar on Raw...
Miz looks like he’s drifting off into his own world where he can enjoy talking about himself. He snaps back to reality suddenly.
Miz: You gonna ask me a question or something?
Grisham bites his lip, then moves the mic back towards himself.
Grisham: Miz... where do you go from here? With Raw General Manager Shane McMahon announcing that you will defend your United States Championship at Armageddon, what do you plan to do now?
Miz chuckles to himself as the mic comes back his way.
Miz: Well, once I’m done with this pathetic excuse for an interview...
Boos rain down on Miz.
Miz: I’m gonna find myself a contender for my United States Championship, laugh at him, tell him has no chance, then I’m gonna go on to Armageddon, and I’m going to humiliate him, and retain my title. And you know why?
Grisham half rolls his eyes but stops in case the Miz picks up on it. The crowd knows what’s coming and they try to drown out the sound of Miz’s voice with immense booing, but he has a mic-
Miz: BECAUSE I’M THE MIZ, AND I’M-
Bourne: Awesome? I don’t think so.
The crowd roars as Miz is cut off, and the Chick Magnet’s head jerks in the direction of Evan Bourne, who has arrived into the picture, his face a picture of seriousness. Miz breaks away from Grisham, who is cut out of view by the camera, and Miz and Bourne face each other with anger.
Miz: I don’t think I’m hearing right. Did you just interrupt me? Who do you think you are?
Bourne: Miz, you like to talk, don’t you? You say-
Bourne counts on his fingers with each point:
Bourne: You’re the United States Champion, you’re the most unique superstar on Raw, you’re ruthless, you’re unstoppable, you’re supreme, you’re gonna retain your title at Armageddon.
Miz smirks at all this. Bourne looks at the six fingers he’s holding up.
Bourne: And you know, you speak some truth...
Bourne drops five fingers, leaving just one for him to hold up in front of Miz.
Bourne: You are the United States Champion.
The whole crowd lets out an ‘OHHH’ and Miz looks furious. Bourne relishes his moment, then continues.
Bourne: Sure, Team Miz won last night – shame you weren’t around to see it. Remember me eliminating you? I sure do. I pinned you for the 1... 2... 3...
Bourne flicks up one finger, then two, then three, simultaneously with his words.
Bourne: And I can do it again... tonight.
The crowd roars with approval.
Bourne: How about it? You and me, one on one. I’ll show you just how much of a title contender I am, and show you just awesome... you are.
Miz frowns and the two stand in silence for moment. The Chick Magnet hisses three words.
Miz: You... are... on.
The crowd cheers wildly, and Miz storms off, leaving just Bourne in the picture, smiling. The camera cuts to the ring, where MVP and Mark Henry are standing in the VIP Lounge setting, with sofas and a coffee table in the ring. MVP has a mic.
MVP: Hey y’all – MVP and the World’s Strongest Man in the ring? It can only mean one thing. So sit back, relax and enjoy the view... cause the VIP Lounge is where we goin’ talk about what we goin’ do.
Mild cheer for Porter.
MVP: And I’ll tell you what we goin’ do. We goin’ go to Armageddon, and that’s where we – that’s me and the World’s Strongest Man, the one and only Mark Henry – are goin’ beat Chris Jericho and that fat lump the Big Show-
Boos surround the names of the Unified Tag Team Champions.
MVP: -and we goin’ take their WWE Unified Tag Team Championships from ‘em. Simple, right?
Mark Henry goes to talk in his mic.
Henry: Montel, you could not be more right. We aren’t like other superstars – we’re not gonna just big ourselves up and not back it up. Hey, people know we can back it up. When it comes right down to it, we know we can beat Jerishow – we just want a chance at them, right, Montel?
MVP: You know it, Mark. The Legacy get a shot at Jerishow next week, so we want one the week after. What Legacy can do, we can do better.
The crowd cheers. MVP’s next comment is rather sarcastic-
MVP: So... please welcome, this week’s guests – Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, the Legacy!
The crowd erupts with boos as Legacy’s music hits and the former WWE Tag Team Champions come out – they don’t look impressed by MVP’s words, and look exasperated by their ordeals already this evening. The guard at the velvet rope allows them in, and the pair get into the ring, get mics, and face Porter and Henry with scornful looks. They really don’t seem to be in the mood for trash talk. MVP starts the ‘interview’.
MVP: Ladies, you’ve already had a bit of handbags already this evening...
The crowd laughs and Legacy’s faces turn sourer, were it possible.
MVP: And last night at Survivor Series, Mark and I put yo to shame when we pinned y’all – what kind o’ condition are y’all in to face the Tag Team Champions next week?
Rhodes, his eyes scarily dark, brings his mic up.
Rhodes: MVP... you’re a thug. A street criminal. There are another two thousand people like you in Richmond alone.
The Richmond crowd boo Rhodes loudly.
Rhodes: Who are you to ask if we can beat the Tag Team Champions? Need we remind you, we’ve done this before. Been there, done that, come out with the gold around our waists. You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. So shut up and go rob someone – something you’re actually decent at.
More boos for Rhodes. MVP glares at Rhodes. DiBiase raises his mic and goes on the attack himself.
DiBiase: And you... Mark Henry. Ha. The two of you are just about the most pathetic pairing I’ve ever seen... A criminal... and a tub of lard with the IQ of... a tub of lard.
Henry bares his teeth and clenches a fist as the crowd boos Ted DiBiase. MVP curls his lip and goes to reply.
MVP: Ok, that’s it. I’ve got an idea – you seem so eager to pick a fight... so I say... why wait for us to meet at Armageddon?
The crowd roars with approval and Rhodes’ face hardens further. Legacy move away and confer for a second, then Rhodes spins back towards MVP.
Rhodes: You got yourself a match, Porter – you and me...
The crowd cheers as the camera zooms out to encompass the roaring fans, then cuts back to Rhodes, who is saying something else.
Rhodes: But trust me on this... when I’m done with you... you can be damn sure you’re not gonna make it to Armageddon, never mind beat the Tag Champs in two weeks...
The crowd boo as loud as they can, and Porter scowls. As Cody Rhodes and MVP stare each other down with malice, the camera fades to black and Raw goes to a break.
As we return, MVP and Cody Rhodes are gearing up to go in the ring. Mark Henry and Ted DiBiase stand on opposite sides of the ringside area, both leaning on the apron, watching the action about to unfold. Justin Roberts is in the ring to announce both men. The crowd is silent, and the sound of the bell breaks it.
Roberts: The following contest is scheduled for one fall!
MVP and Rhodes look ready to go, showing no signs of fatigue after last night’s bout at Survivor Series, when Porter hit Rhodes with the Drive-By Kick and pinned his adversary.
Roberts: Introducing first... from Miami, Florida, weighing in at 259 pounds... Montel Vontavious Porter... M... V... P!
The crowd roars, and MVP bounces off the ropes, before showing off his Ballin’ motion. He moves back to his corner.
Roberts: And his opponent... from Charlotte, North Carolina, weighing in at 223 pounds... Cody Rhodes!
Boos greet Rhodes’ name and the young superstar makes no acknowledgement to the fans for their reaction, nor his name. Roberts exits the ring and the bell rings – the match starts.
MVP vs Cody Rhodes
After an impressive back-and-forth contest, the ending comes around the nine minute mark – we join the action with MVP in control. The pair are in the middle of the ring but Rhodes looks worse off than MVP. Porter throws a ton of lefts and rights, forcing Rhodes on to the ropes, and the referee breaks it up. Porter takes a step away, and Rhodes sees an opening, using the ropes to gain some momentum, then launches forward, connecting with MVP’s jaw with a strong elbow, causing the Ballin’ Superstar to reel back. Rhodes takes advantage, and brings MVP down to the mat with a Neckbreaker! MVP groans as the crowd does with the impact, and Rhodes looks confident. Porter finds his way back to his feet, and Rhodes tries to whip him to the ropes, but MVP is too strong, and Rhodes goes running himself. He cannons off the ropes, then comes back... MVP throws a clothesline but Rhodes ducks under it... and applies a Sleeper Hold! DiBiase looks elated on the outside and Henry hits the apron in frustration as MVP struggles with the effects of the Sleeper. MVP tries to fight Rhodes off, but Rhodes clings like a limpet to the Ballin’ Superstar. Rhodes won’t let go, and he holds on for half a minute before...
MVP starts to go limp, and his body is wobbly. Rhodes starts pulling MVP back towards one corner a little, then releases him with one hand, using the other... to hit MVP with a wicked Bulldog! The crowd groans with the impact, and MVP looks out. The commentators mention how ring-aware Rhodes is, as he took a few steps back so he could perform the Bulldog and not be near the ropes for a pin attempt. Speaking of which, Rhodes smirks and covers, the referee counts... 1-2- NO! The crowd is absolutely stunned, but somehow, MVP has kicked out! Rhodes’ eyes are wide, and DiBiase gets up on the apron, screaming at the referee, saying it was a slow count. Before the referee can tell DiBiase what he thinks of him, Mark Henry arrives behind DiBiase, and pulls him from the apron by his ankle! The crowd roars as DiBiase’s face collides with the apron, and then Henry takes advantage, flinging DiBiase into the ring steps! The crowd again cheers, and DiBiase writhes in pain. In the ring, Rhodes peels MVP from the mat – the Ballin’ Superstar’s eyes are barely open – and Rhodes sets up behind him... inverted facelock... Henry suddenly looks to the ring but it’s too late to do anything... Cross Rhodes connects! The crowd groans with the immense impact, and boos follow, but they can do nothing... Rhodes with the cover, a smirk on his face... the referee counts... 1-2-3! Cody Rhodes has won!
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Match Time: 10:39
Rhodes gets out of the ring to check on DiBiase, who still looks in some serious discomfort on the outside, while Henry gets into it to check on MVP, who isn’t moving.
Cole: Wow, Cody Rhodes really lived up to his word here tonight.
King: Yeah, Michael – I think that performance was just as much directed at Randy Orton as it was at Mark Henry and MVP.
From showing Legacy, with Ted DiBiase now ok, smirking, the camera cuts backstage, where we see Todd Grisham, who doesn’t look in the mood for another interview where he’ll be insulted. His voice is a lot less enthusiastic this time.
Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen... please welcome... Jack Swagger.
The camera zooms out to show a displeased Swagger.
Swagger: That’s ‘the All-American American, Jack Swagger’ to you, Todd.
Grisham rolls his eyes.
Swagger: Hey! If you want to get paid, at least do your damn job right! Say it again!
Grisham sighs and the crowd boo Swagger.
Grisham: Please welcome... the All-American American... Jack Swagger.
Swagger: That’s better. Now, on the topic of doing your job right...
The crowd boo him further. Grisham takes the mic back his way.
Grisham: Jack, later on tonight you face the Legend Killer, Randy Orton, for a WWE Title match at Armageddon against John Cena. What are your thoughts?
Swagger thinks for a second.
Swagger: My thoughts? Well, I’m thinking... not a challenge. Either of them.
Swagger: Come on, sure they’ve held some titles, had some experience. But I’m Jack Swagger. I am the ultimate in new talent. Orton’s head’s not in the game – he doesn’t take me seriously? Fine by me. He’s happy to go dancing around having hissy fits at his own friends and Kofi Kingston, thinking he’s so high and mighty that he can do whatever he wants, then he’ll just march into the Main Event and show me up.
Swagger pauses to take a breath.
Swagger: But he should beware. Because I don’t plan to get shown up. I didn’t interrupt Orton and Cena so I’d seem big or impressive to the ‘big boys’ on Raw. I did it because I want to become WWE Champion.
The crowd boos, but they also respect him more.
Swagger: So... Orton? I’d take me seriously. Cause when it comes down to you and me later on, and you try and mess me around... well, I won’t be messing around. I don’t underestimate you. So, when I bring you down to earth with the Gutwrench Powerbomb... dammit, you’ll wish you’d taken me seriously.
Swagger leaves, his words ringing in the viewers’ ears. Raw goes to a break.
The camera shows Cole and King at ringside. Cole’s voice is much quieter than usual, and the crowd isn’t making much noise, as usual in these periods of transition.
Cole: Hello, welcome back to Monday Night Raw. Before the break, we heard some strong words from Jack Swagger – after that, do you think people will start to consider him a title contender as he wants to be, King?
King: Well, if they don’t, and by they, I mean Randy Orton, he might be in for a little surprise before the night is out – if Swagger can beat Orton, people will stand up and take notice. Orton’s a former WWE Champion! It takes a lot to beat him, and if Swagger can back up his promise, I think the entire Raw locker room will finally take him seriously alongside the Raw elite.
Cole: Wise words, King. Up next, United States Champion The Miz takes on Evan Bourne in a non-title bout – if Bourne could pin the Champion for the second time in as many nights, he would be well on his way to a title match at Armageddon.
The Miz’s music bursts from the speakers, cutting through the silence, and boos fill the Richmond Coliseum. As the United States Champion appears on the stage, the bell rings. Miz swings his arms slowly above his head with a cocky smirk, and Justin Roberts makes the rather dramatic announcement-
Roberts: The following contest is scheduled, for, one, fall! Intro-ducing first... from Cleveland, O-hio, weighing in at 2 hundred, 31 pounds... he is the U-nited States Champion... The Miz!
The crowd boos for the Chick Magnet, but everyone’s getting pumped up for the upcoming match – the Miz included. The United States Champion begins to strut down the ramp with dramatic, overdone strides, and finds his way to the ring. Once there, he rubs his title a little, then lofts it above his head with a smile the size of Texas. His music stops, and is replaced by that of Evan Bourne! The crowd roars, and Bourne makes his way out on to the stage, wearing his traditional wide smile. He jogs down the ramp, touching the outstretched hands of the fans at ringside. Another growling announcement comes from the mouth of Roberts-
Roberts: And, his opponent! From St. Louis, Missouri, weighing in at 1 hundred, 83 pounds... Evan Bourne!
The crowd cheers as Bourne slides under the bottom rope and into the ring, before staring down the Miz – the whole arena is buzzing for this match-up. The pair circle each other, and Roberts leaves the ring. The referee gives Miz’s United States Championship to the ringside staff, then checks on both men, before calling for the bell to start the match.
The Miz vs Evan Bourne
In the best match of the night so far, the crowd have seen many high spots, including Miz throwing Bourne into the ring steps, and Bourne narrowly beating the 10-count after, and Bourne launching from the top turnbuckle to take down a standing Miz with a majestic Diving Double Knee Drop. After 12 minutes or so of pay-per-view standard action, it’s Miz in control as we join the match-up. The Chick Magnet has Bourne in a headlock on the floor, and the crowd is clapping, attempting to motivate Bourne into getting out of the hold. Bourne struggles, and then manages to roll so that Miz’s shoulders are down! The referee, surprised, leaps to the mat and counts... 1-2 Miz realises what Bourne has done and launches himself away from Bourne, breaking the hold and the cover. The crowd applauds Bourne’s intelligence, and Miz looks frustrated – the Chick Magnet moves towards a panting Bourne, who is on all fours, and smacks him with a hard kick to the gut. The crowd boos, and Bourne rolls away with a pained expression, grabbing the ropes to stop himself falling from the ring. Slowly, he uses the ropes to haul himself back to his feet, and the Miz charges in, attempting to clothesline Bourne from the ring, but the high-flyer lashes out with a hard kick, and it hits the running Miz with force – the Chick Magnet reels back, wincing. Bourne takes the opportunity to breathe, by which time the Miz has recovered, and goes again, but once again he is met with Bourne’s boot, this time to his head – Miz goes down, but rolls as he lands and finds his way back to his feet.
Both men stand opposite from each other, looking for an opening as they did at the beginning of the bout, but both men look much more exhausted. Miz makes the first move, darting in and attempting a clothesline, but Bourne ducks underneath and heads for the ropes – he comes back, and leaps upwards, using Miz’s shoulders to help him up into a Hurricanrana position... but Miz spins round for momentum... and Powerbombs Bourne into the turnbuckle! The crowd groans with the immense impact, and Bourne writhes about on the mat, his face an expression of agony. The camera shows a few people in the crowd with their hands over their mouths, and then shows the Miz looking very, very pleased with himself. He drags Bourne into the centre of the ring and hooks a leg in the cover... the referee counts... 1-2—NO! Miz’s eyes are wide open and the crowd roars – Miz stands in disbelief for a second, then it occurs to him that only his finisher will do. Miz pulls Bourne up, but Bourne hasn’t the energy to stand, and he collapses down to the mat again, by the ropes. As the Miz goes to pick Bourne up again, frustrated, the crowd erupts – it’s Carlito! The Miz cancels his plans to hit Bourne with his finisher, and goes over to the ropes, yelling at ‘Lito, who is standing just outside the ring with a smile on his face. Carlito simply shrugs when faced with the furious Miz, and as the Chick Magnet yells, Evan Bourne finds his way back to his feet! ‘Lito motions to Miz to turn round, and he does – only to be met with a great Dropkick from Bourne! Carlito smirks, and Bourne heads for the top turnbuckle! The crowd goes absolutely nuts, and Bourne points at the grounded Miz with a smile before he launches himself from the top turnbuckle... and connects with the Air Bourne! Carlito begins to make his way back up the ramp with a smirk, and Bourne covers, relieved he’s caught a break in this one... 1-2-3! The match belongs to Bourne!
Winner: Evan Bourne
Match Time: 14:12
Bourne has his hand raised by the referee, and Carlito smiles on the stage, his afro as bushy as ever. Miz looks dazed on the mat, and as he crawls to his knees, he looks at the stage, where the Caribbean superstar is making a belt motion around his waist. Miz clenches his teeth in fury, and Carlito turns around and heads to the back. Bourne is smiling to the crowd on the turnbuckle. The camera cuts backstage, where Shane McMahon is at his desk – a mild cheer goes up. Shane O’Mac is writing on some sort of match contract or paperwork, and a knock at the door makes him look up. He speaks coldly.
Shane: Come in.
The door opens, and in shuffles Chavo Guerrero. The crowd boos and Shane raises an eyebrow. His voice is almost laughing as he speaks.
Shane: What do you want, Chavo?
Chavo steps closer to the Raw General Manager’s desk. He seems rather cocky, but at the same time, he seems respectful of Shane’s authority.
Chavo: Well... uh, homes, I was thinkin’... well, y’see...
Shane: Spit it out, Chavo, time is money.
The crowd cheers and a humbled Chavo does what Shane says.
Chavo: Look, I have what it takes, homes. Honest.
Shane rests his head on his hand.
Chavo: Well, I can prove it. I want a United States Title shot. I wanna become the Champion – to prove that the Guerrero family isn’t a joke. We’re wrestling royalty. I just wanna prove that I am a serious contender on Raw.
Shane sits up.
Shane: Why on earth would I give you one of those?
The crowd cheers again.
Shane: Chavo, on my show, you get what you earn. For the past couple of months, you’ve been having – and losing, mind – matches with a midget. You wanna be taken seriously? You want a United States Title shot? Then earn it.
Chavo goes to speak again, but Shane holds up a hand.
Shane: Look. I’ll give you a chance to change my mind about you. Next week, I’ll give you a match. You win it, I’ll start to consider you a title contender. You lose it... you’ll be off my show.
Chavo goes white and the crowd roars.
Shane: We’re done here.
Chavo mutters a ‘Thanks’ and scurries out. Shane looks down again briefly, then looks up again – John Cena is standing in front of him. The crowd roars and Shane sits up again. His demeanour to Cena is much different to how he treated Chavo.
Shane: John – hey. What can I do for you?
Cena, WWE Title on his shoulder, smiles a little. He moves around the office while he talks. The office door is closed.
Cena: Oh, nothing much, Shane. Just a question, though. About a month ago, I beat Randy Orton for this-
Cena indicates the WWE Championship. The crowd cheers.
Cena: -at Bragging Rights. Part of the stipulation of the match, I think, was that Randy Orton wasn’t allowed to challenge for my title again. So could you tell me, Shane, just why that’s exactly what he has the opportunity to win himself later tonight? Hey, do you remember when he punted your father in the skull? When he made your life hell? So why are you, of all people, rewarding him?
Cena stares down Shane at the desk. Shane rises, pulling his jacket together as he does.
Shane: Well, let me tell you something, John. Orton, as much as I hate to say it, Randy Orton is a draw.
The crowd boos Shane’s words.
Shane: If Randy Orton headlines Raw, you know we’re gonna get views. On my show, hell, you heard what I said to Chavo – you get what you earn. Randy Orton eliminated two men last night when he was against five men at once. That, in my opinion, earns him a title opportunity.
Shane: John, if you’re as good a Champion as you say you are, you shouldn’t be worrying about Randy Orton, should you?
Shane, being blatantly sarcastic, raises an eyebrow. Cena takes a step back from the desk.
Shane: Look. Randy Orton will get as many shots as he earns, as will anyone on Raw. Got it?
Cena stays silent. Slowly, he turns and leaves. Raw goes to a break.
ARE YOU READY?
The crowd goes nuts as Raw returns from the break to the sound of D-Generation X’s music, and the screen shows the traditional DX imagery. Triple H and Shawn Michaels appear on the ramp in their DX gear and begin to make their way down to the ring, holding green glowsticks and flinging them into the crowd. The pair, looking slightly exhausted after last night’s hard-fought WWE Championship match, enter the ring, and unleash their usual green ‘X’ pyro with their crotch chops. The crowd roars as the Game and the Heartbreak Kid flex their muscles under the green arena lights, before they fling some more glowsticks into the crowd. The music dies down, and both men get a mic. Triple H is the first to speak.
Triple H: ...Are you ready?
A mild ‘Yes’ goes up.
Triple H: No, Richmond... I said... ARE... YOU... RRRREEEEADDDYYY!
The crowd roars – ‘YES’
Triple H: Good to hear. Now, all night, people have not shut up about the WWE Championship – now, we say our piece.
DX look pretty serious.
Triple H: People look at DX and they don’t take us seriously any more. We’ve just become a joke to some people.
The crowd boo – they don’t agree with this, it seems.
Triple H: Shawn and I, we didn’t form D-Generation X so we could become the hottest comedy act on television – we did it so we could become stronger with each other’s help… to become as successful as possible. Obviously, last night showed us just how much that plan hadn’t come to fruition.
Michaels takes over.
Michaels: We decided that it’s time to make the WWE take us seriously again. The time for joking is over.
The crowd don’t know how to react to the death of ‘comedy’ DX.
Michaels: This means it’s time for DX to step it up. Down the drain with the jokes, the laughter, the fooling around – we’re getting down to business.
The crowd likes this and responds with some hearty cheers for HBK’s statement. He points at the Cerebral Assassin. Triple H points back at the Showstopper.
Michaels: The Game, Triple H...
The crowd roars. The Game himself raises his mic.
Triple H: The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels...
Another roar from the jubilant crowd.
Michaels: We’re not concentrating on the WWE Championship any more. All that’ll happen is we’ll turn on each other like the Tag Team Champions did last night.
Triple H raises his mic again.
Triple H: That’s why we’re gonna take advantage of the crap those two are coming up with – and we’re gonna take their WWE Unified Tag Team Championships from them... at Armageddon.
Michaels takes a step forward.
Michaels: We don’t care if we have to beat MVP and Mark Henry...
A cheer goes up for the World’s Strongest Tag Team.
Michaels: Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase...
Boos greet the names of Legacy’s younger members.
Michaels: Or the Champs themselves, Chris Jericho and the Big Show...
More boos, heavier this time.
Triple H: As long as we get our shot at the titles, it doesn’t matter to us. At Armageddon, we will win the WWE Unified Tag Team Championships. No other outcome is possible. We are D-Generation X.
The crowd roars with approval.
Triple H: But, just cause the joking is done, doesn’t mean... that there isn’t room for a couple of words...
The crowd stay silent, waiting for the moment.
Triple H: So...
Triple H and Michaels get into position, knees bent. The crowd cheers, happy that at least this trademark of DX won’t be leaving with the jokes.
Triple H: For the thousands in attendance... For the millions watching at home... And for Chris Jericho and the Big Show. Whose little fights will inevitably cost them the WWE Unified Tag Team Championships.
The crowd cheers madly for DX.
Triple H: ...OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH... LET’S GET READY TO SUCK IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!
The crowd roars with approval and the Game spins to yell the phrase to the crowd. The crowd, on their feet, go nuts for D-Generation X. The bell rings as DX begin to take their gear off, and Justin Roberts clambers into the ring – he makes an announcement.
Roberts: The following tag team contest is scheduled for one fall! Already in the ring – the Game, Triple H... the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, together they are... D-Generation... X!
The crowd roars as DX prepare in the far corner of the ring, and suddenly a Scottish tune starts up, and the crowd boos as the returning Highlanders appear on the ramp, teeth bared angrily. The pair are practically identical, with red hair and tartan kilts, though one of them, Rory, is bald, and only has a beard, whereas Robbie has both. They begin to make their way down the ramp with dirty looks directed at DX.
Roberts: And their opponents... from Oban, Scotland, at a combined weight of 476 pounds... Robbie and Rory McAllister... The Highlanders!
The crowd boos the announcement, and the Scottish duo enter the ring, attempting to intimidate DX by staring them down. DX are having none of it though, and they return the glare, as Roberts leaves the ring. The bell rings – it’ll be Rory starting the contest against the Game.
D-Generation X vs The Highlanders
The match has mostly been dominated by DX in terms of good action, as all of the Highlanders offence has been limited to punches and headlocks. The Scottish pairing have failed to take advantage of DX’s exhaustion following last night’s Survivor Series, and it’s not long after 5 minutes that DX make them pay – Robbie pounds Triple H in the corner as we join the action, but the Game reacts sharply, whipping Robbie to the ropes, and when he comes back, the Cerebral Assassin plants him with the Double A Spinebuster! The crowd roars, and Triple H isn’t done – with a giant yell, he gives the rising Robbie a crotch chop to a great crowd reaction, then kicks Robbie in the gut... before dropping him with the Pedigree! The crowd goes crazy, but the Game doesn’t go for the cover... instead, he flips Robbie on to his back, and tags in the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels!
The crowd cheer as HBK clambers up his turnbuckle, and he points to the crowd with a grin before he leaps off, connecting with his patented Elbow Drop! The crowd goes nuts, and HBK begins to tune up the band! 1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... Robbie finds his way up... only to be met with the Sweet Chin Music! The roof bursts off the arena, and Triple H charges across the ring to knock Rory off the apron, and HBK drops into the cover... 1-2-3! D-Generation X are the winners!
Winners: D-Generation X
Match Time: 5:57
As DX celebrate, people across the crowd hold up green glowsticks in the shape of ‘X’s. Suddenly, from the crowd come Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to boos, and DX leap off the turnbuckles as they see Legacy coming. Rhodes and DiBiase determinedly slide into the ring and attack the Game and HBK. DiBiase low blows the Showstopper, and Triple H finds himself double-teamed, and before long, both men are on the floor, victims of vicious stomps from both young guns. To add to the chaos, MVP and Mark Henry charge in! The crowd goes wild, and Henry smashes Rhodes and DiBiase’s heads together with force! The crowd cheers again, and Legacy reel back, pained. MVP forces Rhodes back on to a turnbuckle, then connects with the Player’s Boot! Henry yanks DiBiase into his clutches, and attempts to slam him into Michaels on the floor, but HBK is alert, and rolls away, meaning DiBiase meets the mat under the force of the World’s Strongest Slam! Michaels rolls up, and hits Henry with the Sweet Chin Music! Henry goes down, but MVP clotheslines a standing Triple H from the ring! MVP and HBK are left in the ring, and the latter throws a Sweet Chin Music, but the former ducks underneath, and before throwing a kick of his own, which connects to Michaels’ side. Michaels, obviously not in the mood for a brawl, bounces off the ropes and flies forward, catching Porter with his Flying Shoulder Block! MVP rolls from the ring as he hits the mat, and Michaels looks pleased. Triple H finds his way back to the ring, and DX stand tall, and once again their music plays.
Cole: Chaos on Monday Night Raw from the Tag Title Contenders, and the Champions aren’t even here!
King: Yep, but next week, they will be, and one of them is the World Heavyweight Champion!
Cole: It’s very true, King – next week, the WWE Unified Tag Team Champions, Chris Jericho and the World Heavyweight Champion, the Big Show, will face off against Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase – if Legacy win, they will earn themselves a shot at Show and Jericho’s titles at Armageddon in a few weeks time. However, keep in mind, D-Generation X and the World’s Strongest Tag Team have their sights set on the gold too, and believe me, I wouldn’t put it past either team to get involved to prove they deserve a title shot just as much as Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase.
The camera cuts backstage, where Todd Grisham stands with a microphone.
Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my final guest of the night... the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus!
The crowd boos heavily for Sheamus as the camera zooms out to show the white-skinned Irishman standing by Grisham, looking impatient.
Grisham: Sheamus, earlier tonight, you were challenged to a match next week by Jamie Noble, who only two weeks ago, you beat down and put him in hospital.
Sheamus smiles cruelly.
Grisham: Do you plan to accept his challenge?
Sheamus smirks and looks at Grisham.
Sheamus: All I wanna say is... I need to try harder, I wasn’t trying to put him in hospital, I was trying to end his career.
Immense boos for Sheamus.
Sheamus: It’s... simple. Jamie Noble? I’m sorry.
The crowd know he’s not serious.
Sheamus: I’m sorry I didn’t put you out of your misery two weeks ago, and end your pathetic career while I had the chance.
More boos are unloaded on Sheamus.
Sheamus: I’m gonna finish what I started two weeks ago. Jamie Noble, I accept your challenge.
A mild cheer goes up.
Sheamus: But I warn you. Next week on Raw, I won’t be playing to win the match, oh no. I’ll be playing to put you out of this business... for good.
The crowd boos loudly and the Celtic Warrior smirks before walking away. The camera cuts elsewhere, showing separate shots of Jack Swagger and Randy Orton walking down corridors, heading to the ring. The crowd boo each man, and ‘NEXT’ appears in the corner of the screen. Raw goes to a break.
Raw returns from the break and the commentators tell us what we’ve already figured out – it’s time for the Main Event. The bell rings, and the camera cuts briefly to Justin Roberts in the ring.
Roberts: The following contest is a WWE Championship No. 1 Contender’s Match!
CHECK, ONE TWO... OH YEAH
Jack Swagger appears on the stage to booing, beating his chest in his usual fashion, and then beginning down the ramp with a focused look on his face.
Roberts: Introducing first... from Perry, Oklahoma, weighing in at 263 pounds... The All-American American, Jack Swagger!
The crowd boos as Swagger uses the steel steps to get to the apron, then pauses briefly before he gets in. He stands in the middle of the ring and raises both arms in confidence. He turns to the stage, and the camera zooms out as Randy Orton’s music hits...
I HEAR VOICES IN MY HEAD, THEY COUNSEL ME, THEY UNDERSTAND... THEY TALK TO ME!
More booing, heavier this time, greets Orton as he stalks out on to the stage. His eyes never leave Swagger, who returns the glare – the pair are playing mind games, and it looks like Orton may have taken Swagger’s earlier warning to heart.
Roberts: And his opponent! From St. Louis, Missouri, weighing at 245 pounds... Randy Orton!
Boos follow the announcement. Orton gets in the ring, looking deadly focused. The pair, never taking their eyes off each other, take small steps around the ring to try and see an opening. The referee makes a quick check, then calls for the bell to begin – it’s time to find a No. 1 Contender.
Jack Swagger vs Randy Orton
This match, which has shown that Swagger has Main Event quality beyond a doubt – he’s held his own against the Legend Killer throughout the match-up, and kept him at bay with some great moves, including Suplexing Orton into a turnbuckle, as he did to Shelton Benjamin at Survivor Series. However, the Viper isn’t giving up, and as we reach the 14 minute stage it’s Orton in control, stomping viciously on all parts of Swagger, especially his left knee. Swagger looks in agony as Orton lands stomp after stomp, and the All-American American realises the Viper won’t be stopping any time soon if he doesn’t make him stop, so he rolls and attempts to get back to his feet, but his targeted knee fails him and he kneels to the mat, staring at Orton with frustration. Orton smirks, then moves in, but Swagger lashes out with a punch, connecting to Orton’s side, and the Legend Killer moves back suspiciously. Swagger uses the ropes to struggle to his feet, then as Orton goes in again, Swagger launches forward, catching Orton with a terrific clothesline that knocks both men from their feet! Swagger makes his way tenderly back to his feet, and takes the opportunity to rest. As Orton gets back up, Swagger lifts him up... and plants him with a basic Bodyslam!
Swagger clenches his teeth in pain. He tries to shake the pain away from his left knee, then, confident it will hold, peels Orton from the mat. He sets up the Viper in Gutwrench position... but Orton flails like a madman, and catches Swagger in his weakened knee with a hard boot, and the All-American American goes down with a yell out as the knee completely gives way. Orton stays on his feet with a sick smile, then drops down to his belly... he’s stalking Swagger! The crowd starts to boo as Orton clenches his teeth with a sick look on his face, and bounces up and down on his fists, waiting for Swagger to rise. Slowly, Swagger starts to move, and then tries to struggle back to his feet, clueless as to where Orton is. Suddenly, the crowd erupts, and from over the security barricade comes none other than Kofi Kingston! Orton’s eyes goes wide as he sees his nemesis, and he stands, darkly walking over to the ropes, to face Kingston... who is standing on the Raw announce table! The crowd is going crazy for Kingston’s appearance and Orton looks furious as he roars something at Kingston, who shrugs. Swagger, meanwhile, is starting to recover, and finds himself on his knees. Orton turns round, and his sick smile returns... it’s obvious what he’s thinking – the RKO opportunity has gone, but there’s another move available... Orton turns once more back to Kingston, and roars ‘Watch this! This’ll be you!’ before turning back to Swagger, and charging forward, going for his infamous Punt... NO! The All-American American has blocked Orton’s punt! He caught Orton’s foot before it hit him! Orton is stunned, and he realises Kingston’s distraction gave Swagger time to recuperate... Swagger goaded him into it! Swagger’s fine! The All-American American stands with a grin, still holding a shocked Orton’s leg, and kicks him in the gut before... surely not... Gutwrench Powerbomb! The crowd go insane, knowing Orton must be beat, and Kingston smiles on the outside, knowing he’s cost Orton his title shot... Swagger goes down for the cover, and the referee counts... 1-2-3! It’s gonna be Swagger vs Cena at Armageddon!
Winner: Jack Swagger
Match Time: 16:04
Swagger celebrates on the outside but the crowd are cheering for Kingston rather than him, and Swagger begins to make his way back up to the stage, not wanting to stick around even as his name is announced as the winner by Justin Roberts. Kingston slides into the ring, and looks with a fiendish smile at the grounded Viper. He slowly climbs up on to the nearest turnbuckle, and a feeling of déjà vu sets in, from last night at Survivor Series! Kingston yells ‘Yo, remember this, Randy?’ then does his classic theatrics before he lands an insane Top-Rope Boom Drop! The roof explodes off the Richmond Coliseum, and it’s Kofi Kingston who stands as the dominant force at the end of Raw!
Cole: What... a... night! Jack Swagger is our new No. 1 Contender for John Cena’s WWE Championship, and Kofi Kingston has driven a stake to the heart of Randy Orton by costing him that very No. 1 Contender’s spot!
King: Take nothing from Swagger, Michael. He pulled off a stunning strategy to defeat the Legend Killer here tonight! He let Orton think that left knee would stop him fighting back, and Orton got cocky, so Swagger blocked the Punt! I’ve never seen anyone block it before!
Cole: Quite the feat, King. Anyway, thanks for joining us here in Richmond, Virginia, for Monday Night Raw, tune in next week for all the fallout from tonight’s monster show!
Kofi Kingston’s triumphant pose on top of a turnbuckle in front of thousands of roaring fans is the last thing we see as the Raw end-of-show logo appears in the corner, and the camera fades away.
Confirmed for Armageddon
John Cena (c) vs Jack Swagger
Melina (c) vs Maryse