Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Six inches from a computer screen
Re: Being The Booker
Monday Night Raw | May 7 2007 | Louisville KY
Open up, backstage, where Eric Bischoff is stood (in his office?) with a big smile on his face.
Eric Bischoff: Good evening. Tonight, I, Eric Bischoff will lead Monday Night Raw into a new era … a Vince McMahon-less era. Last Monday was the very last time you’ll see our dearly beloved Chairman on television … but please, don’t shed any tears, because tonight, to help you over this time of mourning, tonight, Eric Bischoff presents…
Camera pans out to show the roulette wheel, with Bischoff giving it a hearty spin.
Eric Bischoff: RAW … ROULETTE!!!
The camera shows the wheel spinning, as we fade to black…
Jim Ross: Freedom Hall is filled to the rafters, the anticipation has been building all week and rightly so!! Tonight, Eric Bischoff brings back the legendary Raw Roulette for only the fourth time in WWE history; with two championships at stake, and one heated rivalry set to explode before our eyes, there is a very, VERY special feeling this week on Monday Night Raw!!! I’m Jim Ross, joined as always, by The Coach.
The Coach: If this was anything other than Raw Roulette tonight, I wouldn’t be here old timer - not after last weeks shenanigans. But, unlike some of the broadcast team, I’m a real professional. And besides, what would Raw Roulette be, with The Coach??
Jim Ross: I can only imagine… but Coach, whether you’re here to work or not, John Cena WILL meet Kurt Angle, Melina WILL challenge Alexis Laree for the Womens Championship, and Christian WILL defend the World Heavyweight Championship against the Intercontinental Champion, Shelton Benjamin. All those contests will be held with different rules, different methods of victory, all of which will be decided by the spin of the roulette wheel. It promises to be one of the most exciting episodes of Raw in recent memory!!
We get a look at a specially placed Roulette wheel on the side of the stage, with Raw divas, Candice Michelle and Maryse standing either side, ready to spin.
**MY TIME IS NOW**
Jim Ross: And it is kicking off in style!!
After closing last weeks show, John Cena is kicking it off this time around. The former three time World Heavyweight Champion looks pumped as he enters, and salutes the fans, before making his way to the ring.
Jim Ross: Fifteen days ago at Backlash, John Cena sent shockwaves around the wrestling world, as he defeated Kurt Angle to consign the egomaniacal Mister McMahon to a lifetime off screen. Tonight though, Cena could well face a backlash of his own, with Kurt Angle desperate to get even.
The Coach: And Kurt Angle WILL get even, J.R, of that, there is no doubt!!
Cena reaches the ring, and chucks his cap and shirt to the fans, geared up and ready to roll.
Kurt Angle steps onto the stage looking pent up, but keeps his cool, despite showing a lot of intensity, roaring as he stops at the top of the ramp, deciding not to run like a madman.
Jim Ross: He’s been disgusted by the privileges awarded to John Cena in recent weeks; first, Cena was appointed General Manager for a night, and last week, Cena was allowed to preside over the farewell address to Mister McMahon.
The Coach: And he’s got every right to be, J.R. Cena has been rewarded for ousting the greatest boss in the world. Kurt Angle has every right to be aggrieved!!! If he wasn’t stepping up to take on that idiot in the ring, I’D DO IT!!!
Jim Ross: Oh, what I wouldn’t give to see that.
As Angle paces down the ramp, Bischoff appears on the titan tron…
Eric Bischoff: Just a second, just a second.
Boos from the fans initially, as all eyes turn to the GM.
Eric Bischoff: Before you get into that ring, Kurt … I think we’d all like to know just what type of match you’re about to compete in. Ladies??
Pop, as Bischoff fades from the screen, and attention turns to Candice and Maryse.
Maryse stands and looks pretty, as Candice spins the wheel, with some excited hush inside Freedom Hall … until the wheel stops …
… AT FIRST BLOOD!!!
There is a decent pop from the fans for the match, whilst Angle shows a smile, and Cena nods knowingly.
Jim Ross: How fitting!! Given the intense dislike running between Cena and Angle, how fitting is it, that to win the match, you need to made your opponent bleed!!
The Coach: I cant wait to see Cena bleed like a stuffed pig, baby boy!!!
Jim Ross: AND HERE WE GO!!!
Match 1 | FIRST BLOOD MATCH:
Kurt Angle vs. John Cena
Angle doesn’t wait another second, getting right into the ring, and the two men trade blows, dead centre in the ring, with Angle overly aggressive, surprisingly winning the fist fight, backing Cena into the ropes, and sends him off … BUT CENA BURSTS BACK WITH A FLYING SHOULDER RIGHT OFF THE BAT!!! Kurt stumbles up, and Cena bundles him over the top rope, quickly following out himself, as the match kicks off in frantic fashion.
The two men continue to wage war on the outside, both looking for impact blows to the head in order to draw blood, bouncing one anothers heads off the steel steps, ram each other into the steel ring posts, and after catching Cena with a Belly to Belly on the mats, Angle introduces a trashcan, but after a hat trick of shots, he fails to bust his rival open. The Olympian then wails on Cena at the guard rail, delivering successive blows to the skull, but as he backs up to charge at Cena, the Bostonian has a counter, and back body drops Angle over the railing, and into the crowd, we go to the first commercial of the evening…
We return, with both men surrounded by the fans, having spent the entire commercial break brawling through them, with Cena now the aggressor, beating Angle to the punch, and going as far as to deliver a body slam, impacting the notoriously weak neck of Angle. With Kurt at his mercy, Cena has his way, slamming the Olympians head off the upright chairs in the crowd, before ending up back at the guardrail, with Cena sending Angle over with a clothesline. Cena then looks to send Kurt into the steel steps … but at the last moment, Angle is able to reverse the whip, sending Cena instead, and over the steps, hitting them knee first.
Angle doesn’t have time to get himself together, and gets on Cena while he can, grabbing the legs of his foe, and catapults him into the ring post!!! Cena staggers from the post … but hasn’t been busted open. With Angle in the ascendancy, he gets Cena back inside, and looks to wear him down further, hammering his enemy in the corner, pounding him down, looking to draw blood, but fails to do so, which seems to anger him further. The Gold Medallist grabs Cena by the face, demanding that he bleed, and refers to Cena as a ‘son of a bitch’, before hauling him from the corner, and delivering a Belly to Belly suplex again.
Kurt exit’s the ring, looking under the apron, and gets himself another trashcan, placing it on the apron … AS CENA BASEBALL SLIDES THE CAN … INTO THE UNSUSPECTING ANGLE!!! There’s still no blood though, as Cena begins to mount a comeback, delivering an axe handle off the apron onto Angle, before picking up the steps, and LAUNCHES THEM AT KURT … BUT HE DUCKS!!! Angle avoids the steps, but doesn’t avoid a Throwback, with Cena quickly rethinking the game plan to keep Angle at his mercy.
Now, Cena gets to his feet with a wild look in his eye, pointing toward the announce table, with the fans rabidly willing him on to use it. He then strips the table down, throwing off the cover, and removing the monitors … but while he does this, Angle gets back to his feet, and he now has the steps in his possession, waiting for Cena to turn back around … and he comes at Cena as he turns … BUT CENA REACTS … AND DROP TOE HOLDS ANGLE … WHOSE HEAD BOUNCES OFF THE STEPS … BUT NO BLOOD!!!
He dodges the bullet, but Angle is on dream street now, which can only bode well for Cena … AND CENA GETS ANGLE UP … AND WITHOUT HESITATION HE SENDS THE OLYMPIAN THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE!!! It’s pandemonium in Freedom Hall, with Raw kicking off in spectacular fashion, with nothing being held back by these two rivals. Angle lays in a heap on the rubble left by the table, as Cena takes the chance to catch his own breath. After watching Angle writhe for a moment, Cena grabs a monitor, and lies in wait, taking a moment to turn and pander to the fans, pointing down at Angle, and raising the monitor.
Angle crawls along the ground, toward the timekeepers position, with Cena now closing in, waiting for Angle to pull himself to his feet. The Olympian - out of sorts - has to pull himself up, using the legs of the timekeepers, and gets to a vertical position … QUICKLY PULLING LILLIAN GARCIA IN FRONT OF HIMSELF!!! Angle uses Lillian as a shield, knowing Cena was closing in, and knowing better still that Cena would hesitate with a woman in the mix. Cena does stop, and helps get Lillian Garcia out of the way … but as he turns back around to Angle … HE GETS NAILED WITH THE RING BELL!!! Cena goes down, as does the groggy Angle again, with the referee getting a look at both men … AND SPOTS JOHN CENA IS BLEEDING!!! Instantly, he calls for the bell, ending the match!!!
Winner: Kurt Angle @ 11:25
It’s redemption for Angle, who has his arm raised whilst trying to reach his feet again, looking dazed, having looked to be out on his feet at the tail end of the contest, appears relived. But as he regains his footing, Angle looks down at Cena, who is slowly coming around … AND CONTINUES THE ATTACK!!!
Jim Ross: WHAT THE HELL IS THIS ABOUT!!! YOU WON THE DAMN MATCH, KURT!!!
Angle hunches over Cena, pounding at the bloody forehead of his adversary, then gets off, going back for the ring bell, then changes his mind, spotting a cameraman, and demanding his camera. The worker puts up a bit of a struggle, but Angle aggressively rips it from him, AND NAILS THE WORKER WITH IT FOR HIS TROUBLES!!!
Jim Ross: HAVE YOU LOST YOUR DAMN MIND, KURT!!??
Angle then turns, camera in hand, looking to attack Cena … but as he turns around … CENA TACKLES HIM DOWN!!! Cena bursts, pounding Angle, with Kurt turning him over, as the two trade blows on the floor … AS REFEREES AND AGENTS RUN DOWN THE AISLE TO PUT A STOP TO THE MADNESS!!!
The Coach: Cena just got lucky, J.R!!! His friends just came to save him!!!
Jim Ross: I think they’re being saved from each other, Coach!! This issue hasn’t been solved here - I think it just got worse!!!
As referees and agents struggle to break the two men up, a handful of security guards also arrive on the scene, with Cena and Angle being pulled apart in the end, with Cena still bloodied, and both trying to break free to get at each other.
Jim Ross: This aint over, Coach. It aint over. Not by a long shot.
Angle is restrained at ringside, still yelling toward Cena, with Cena being hauled out of view, up the aisle and behind the curtain, as we go to a commercial.
Jim Ross: Welcome back to Monday Night Raw, and if you are just joining us, you have missed an explosive start to this weeks show. We promised it would be unmissable - and by Gawd, we weren’t wrong. John Cena and Kurt Angle just beat the holy hell out of one another.
The Coach: Typical, J.R. That’s just typical. Not a single mention of the fact that Kurt Angle just made John Cena taste his own blood!!! You say you’re impartial, but you cant even bare to acknowledge that Angle won the match!!
Jim Ross: Kurt Angle won the match, Coach - but the issue is far from settled.
The Coach: Why?? Because Cena lost??
Jim Ross: No!! Because Kurt Angle couldn’t settle for just winning the match, Coach - he wanted to inflict as much pain and suffering on John Cena as he possibly could!!
Attention then turns to the ring, where William Regal is stood, looking awfully disgusted, as Scotty Too Hotty (yep, he’s still around) stands by his side.
Jim Ross: Folks, as you can see right now, William Regal has been joined in the ring by Scotty Too Hotty. The reason?? Well, during the commercial break, William Regal was on his way to the ring, set to compete against young Cody Rhodes, but the spin of the Roulette wheel threw up a Strange Bedfellows match, and as a result, Eric Bischoff has decided to pair up the prim and proper English gentleman with the outgoing and off the wall, Scotty Too Hotty.
**OUT TO KILL**
Cody Rhodes enters, to little reaction, focusing on the ring, wasting little time to motion to the fans.
Jim Ross: Cody Rhodes of course, much like William Regal, will be one of the sixteen Raw superstars entered into tomorrow nights draw for the King of the Ring tournament on Superstars. A win tonight could really help the confidence of the second generation superstar.
The Coach: And after the recent tutelage of Goldust - who for some reason has taken a shine to young Cody - this kid should be in prime condition for the gruelling King of the Ring tournament.
Jim Ross: Yeah … I’m not so sure that training regime has done him any help.
Cody waits on the aisle, looking up to find out who he partner is …
Oh dear. The lights turn gold, as the Bizarre One enters to a modest pop.
Jim Ross: Well I never.
The Coach: This is an unfair advantage. How can Cody and Goldust - given their friendship over the last few weeks - be called strange bedfellows!!??
Jim Ross: Yeah …
Shaking his head in disgust, Cody watches as Goldust strides down the aisle, joining Cody, as they get to the ring. Then, as Goldust enters, Regal decides he’s waited long enough, and jumps the bell.
Match 2 | STRANGE BEDFELLOWS MATCH:
William Regal & Scotty Too Hotty vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust
A nothing match, simply here to calm things down after the intense opener, and to give J.R and Coach an opportunity to discuss the upcoming King of the Ring tournament, in which Regal and Rhodes will both compete. The match itself is nothing to write home about, with both Regal and Rhodes not overly happy tagging with guys that are either on a different wavelength … or a different planet. Goldust and Scotty try to add an element of fun to the match, with Scotty setting Goldust up for The Worm, going as far as to get the fans worked up with the W-O-R-M portion … but Regal orders him not to do the ridiculous move.
That distraction for Scotty costs him, as Goldust fights back, even managing to hit the Shattered Dreams kick in the corner, then tags in Cody, but as Cody gets Scotty in position for Cross Rhodes … Goldust puts him off inadvertently, shouting to him ‘REMEMBER THE TRAINING’. Rhodes looks confused, as Scotty slips out, getting a tag to Regal, and another shout from Goldust of ‘WATCH OUT’ distracts Rhodes, allowing Regal to take him down with a clothesline. The British veteran then softens up Cody with a butterfly suplex, and finishes him off with the Knee Trembler, as Goldust merely watches on in horror, yelling for Cody to ‘KICK OUT’, as the cover is made, 1...2...3!!!
Winners: William Regal & Scotty Too Hotty @ 03:18
It’s a win for Regal, rebounding after losing to Mister Kennedy. The Englishman has his arm raised, with Scotty alongside him, and looks down his nose at the jobber (who probably doesn’t remember the last time he won a match), whilst Goldust tries to help Cody up, but Cody pushes his
brother mentor away.
Jim Ross: Well, tomorrow night, both William Regal and Cody Rhodes could be paired together in the first round of the 2007 King of the Ring tournament.
The Coach: I love the King of the Ring, J.R.
Suddenly, the action turns backstage, WHERE JOHN CENA AND KURT ANGLE have managed to find each other … AND THEY ARE BRAWLING ALL OVER THE PLACE AGAIN!!!
This time, officials and road agents are beaten away as they try to intervene, with Cena and Angle determined to beat the holy hell out of one another. They crash into a table of cables, with the force of the two men breaking the table - but neither man stops - and the fight continues!!
Security enter the fray, along with Eric Bischoff now joining the scene, watching as the two men are pulled apart once more, having to be restrained - desperate to settle the score with one another.
Eric Bischoff: THAT’S ENOUGH!!!
Neither man listens, as both try to struggle free, with more referees now helping security to control them.
Eric Bischoff: Alright, that’s it. Security?? I want these men OUT of the building. NOW!!!
Bischoff shakes his head, before storming off, as Cena and Angle, despite trying to kick free, are led off in opposite directions, hurling verbal abuse at one another, most of which is based around ‘THIS AINT OVER’.
Backstage, Todd Grisham is standing by with The Brotherhood.
Todd Grisham: Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome, my guests at this time, led by Theodore Long, The Brotherhood.
The group nod, with JTG blurting out ‘CH’YEAH’.
Todd Grisham: Tonight, gentlemen, is undoubtedly the most important night in the history of your group, as, for the first time ever, the opportunity to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship has arisen.
Theodore smiles proudly, jiving his arms in excitement, taking the mic from Todd.
Theodore Long: TODD … for years, this group of under-appreciated, under-valued, underestimated athletes have had to scratch and claw for recognition. Now, Todd, over those years, in order to reach this moment, The Brotherhood has had ta make a few changes, ya dig?? Well playa … after all of tha sacrifices we’ve made … it’s come full circle. T’night, Tha Black Diamond-
Long brings the Intercontinental Champion forward, putting his arm around Shelton Benjamin.
Theodore Long: T’night playa, Tha Black Diamon’ will take us to the place ‘the man’ said we couldn’t reach. T’night, Tha Black Diamond is goin to take us to the place we deserve to be. T’night Tha Black Diamond takes us … to the promised land!!! T’night, Tha Black Diamon’ will put The Brotherhood at the top of whiteys mountain, ya feel may??
Theodore pats the shoulder of Shelton, who nods.
Theodore Long: So Christian … lemme holler at ya playa!!! Let me give you the chance to look, look at the man who is endin your time on the top. Let me give you the chance to look, look at a man that is more gifted, with more athleticism, and more talen-ted than you could ever dream of being, ya feel??
The other members of the group pat Benjamin on the back now, with JTG chipping in with another ‘CH’YEAH’.
Theodore Long: Forget the trials and tribulations you’ve been through Christian, because t’night, it’s not Triple H, and it’s not John Cena playa … t’night it’s Shelton Benjamin, it’s Tha Black Diamon’, and t’night this man right here will show the entire world that it is not hot air … it’s not hype … instead … it’s a man, representin’ an entire band of brothers that have been held down for far too long … BUT NO LONGER WILL THEY HOLD US DOWN!!!
The group collectively nod, in agreement with the mouthpiece.
Theodore Long: And t’night the world will find out what Tha Brotherhood has known for the past twelve months … Christian?? You’re just the great white hype, playa. But Shelton Benjamin?? HE … is the great … black … hope!!!
Long puts his arm on the shoulder of the Intercontinental Champion again, looking at his prize possession with pride.
Theodore Long: No more holdin The Brotherhood down … no more. T’night, Tha Black Diamond, Shelton Benjamin … shines bright.
‘CH’YEAH’ from JTG.
Theodore Long: HOLLA HOLLA HOLLA!!!
The group ‘holler back’ at Long, with a lot of high fives and back slapping, as we fade away…
Back to ringside…
Jim Ross: Coach, I can tell you’re excited. The main event tonight sees your boy, Shelton Benjamin challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship, with the opportunity to become a dual champion - and only the second man to ever hold a World Championship whilst being the Intercontinental Champion!!! Theodore Long sounds confident … are you??
The Coach: Not only am I confident, J.R … I’m convinced!!! Shelton Benjamin is walking out of Louisville tonight with the World Heavyweight Championship finally in the possession of The Brotherhood!! It’s long overdue, baby boy.
Jim Ross: Well, still to come, we are waiting for the arrival of The Game, Triple H, for the first time since Backlash - and Coach, it’s a surprise to me that Triple H will even be here tonight, after the comments of his wife two weeks ago.
The Coach: Yeah, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley pretty much said that her husband wouldn’t be back for a long time after the sledgehammer shot he received at point blank range at Backlash … but we’re expecting him tonight.
**LIVE FOR THE MOMENT**
Matt Hardys music gets a good reaction from Freedom Hall, as he comes onto the stage for this next match.
Jim Ross: All that is to come later, but right now, Matt Hardy looks to impress, as he takes on Tyson Tomko. What match will the Roulette wheel throw up for this one??
The Coach: This is a big opportunity to shine for Matt Hardy. But it’s a big chance for Tyson Tomko to get himself back on track too. Since the evaporation of the McMahon Family Empire, Tomko has been like a lost soul on Raw. But tonight, he has requested this match, in a bid to get back to winning ways, having lost to Hardy two weeks ago.
Jim Ross: I’m looking forward to this match, Coach. Two of the stars of Monday Night Raw with big aspirations, two men, hungry for success, and Coach, there is no substitute for hunger.
The Coach: I’ll take your word for it, big guy.
Tyson Tomko makes his way out, fully focused on the ring, as Hardy awaits his opponent.
Jim Ross: Well Coach, Candice and Maryse are standing by, waiting to spin the wheel, and decide the fate of these two men.
Tomko reaches the ring, with attention turning to the stage, and Maryse spins the wheel this time … as we wait for it to slow … and then to stop …
… FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE!!
Jim Ross: OH MY!! Falls Count Anywhere!! Folks, we will be back in just a few moments for a match up, that could literally end up anywhere!!
Match 3 | FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE:
Tyson Tomko vs. Matt Hardy
Joined in progress from the break, and surprisingly, despite the stipulation, the action stays in the ring for the opening exchange, with Tomko ultra aggressive, but Hardy standing firm, fighting just as hard, although the big man scores the first near fall off a power slam. Hardy then finds himself on the back foot, with Tomko piling the pressure on, but unable to put Matt away with a big clothesline. The Problem Solver takes the action to the outside, with Matt coming back, using his stiff right hands to fight off Tomko, and knocks the big man down with a big Discus punch!!
Hardy then delivers a suplex on the steel ramp, going for a cover to make the most of the stipulation, but only gets a two. Hardy looks to keep Tomko at bay, using those big right hands again, then looks to deliver the Side Effect, but Tomko elbows free, and hip tosses Matt on the steel ramp!! He goes for a cover, 1..2...NO!!! The big man shakes his head, surprised by the kick out, but keeps on Hardy, dragging him up, and leading him to the top of the ramp, and looks to deliver the Pumphandle Slam … but Hardy slips off just in time, and runs Tomko into the steel structure at the entrance, before hitting a side suplex, getting himself another two count!!!
The two then brawl through the curtain to the backstage area, with Matt on top, but as he looks to have Tomko in trouble, the Problem Solver catches him with a kick to the gut, then hurls him through a door!!! Tomko takes a moment to get his senses together, then grabs a wooden board, looking to smash it over the head of Matt Hardy, but Matt JUST avoids it!!! The board breaks on the floor, with Tomko selling pain from his hands, then turns to come back after Matt … BUT GETS SPRAYED WITH A FIRE EXTINGUISHER!!! Matt then grabs a trashcan, chucking the contents at Tomko, putting the object over his opponents head … and sends him sprawling over a table, sliding down and crashing onto the floor again. Tomko struggles up, still with the trash can on his head, as Matt comes at him, kicks him in the gut … AND SCORES WITH THE (awkward looking) TWIST OF FATE!!! He covers, 1...2...3!!!
Winners: Matt Hardy @ 05:32
Hardy rolls off Tomko, and has his arm raised by the referee, earning a hard fought victory tonight, whilst the pain continues for Tomko…
Jim Ross: A Herculean effort from Matt Hardy tonight, Coach. A tough, gruelling contest with Tyson Tomko, that took full advantage of its Falls Count Anywhere stipulation.
The Coach: I feel for Tomko, J.R. The guy has been on a downward spiral since Backlash, when he had his closest allies ripped away from him.
Jim Ross: Allies he obtained after stabbing his supposed best friend in the back, Coach.
The Coach: That’s ancient history old timer. Forget the past.
Jim Ross: You- forget it. The fact remains, Matt Hardy continues to roll on Raw, and tomorrow night on Superstars, he will find out just what path he’ll need to follow if he is to become the 2007 King of the Ring.
Backstage, we see the greasy Italian, Santino Marella, enjoying a joke with his two meal tickets, the 2005 & 2006 Diva Search winners, Leyla M and Layla L.
Santino Marella: Jussa like I say, when I flicka my fingers, people do as I say.
The two divas smile, as the audience misses what the funny bit was, but the smiles drop, as Eric Bischoff appears behind Marella. Leyla & Layla motion to Santino to look behind himself, which he does, with Eric showing a fake smile.
Eric Bischoff: Ah … Santino Marella.
Marella puffs his chest out, looking proud that Bischoff knows his name.
Eric Bischoff: Santino, I just cant make my mind up about you. I cant tell whether you really want to be part of the Raw roster, or if you’re just looking to grab yourself an easy contract here. I mean, you first arrived here posing as a doctor. Then, after you ran that well dry … you turn up with these two.
Bischoff motions toward the two consecutive Diva Search winner.
Eric Bischoff: So, now that you’re using Leyla and Layla as your meal ticket, I get the impression that you’re happy enough to mooch off them, and just turn up here, week in, week out, without a contract.
Marella shrugs, as if to say ‘That can work’. Bischoff smiles, but shakes his head.
Eric Bischoff: I don’t think so.
Eric Bischoff: Y’see, there’s enough people running around here, and I don’t need anyone getting in the way, so here’s what’s going to happen. Tonight, you’re going to have a match. If you win?? Congratulations, you’ll be part of the Monday Night Raw roster, contract an’ all.
Marella smiles proudly, looking to his two diva compatriots, and tilting his head toward Eric.
Eric Bischoff: But, here’s the best bit. If you lose?? Then you’re gone … FOR GOOD!!!
The smile fades from Santino.
Eric Bischoff: No more turning up, and using these two to get a backstage pass … no more hassling people for contracts … you vanish.
Marella tries to get a word out, but simply stutters, whilst Layla and Leyla look concerned.
Eric Bischoff: So … with that, I guess I just need to inform you of your opponent tonight … Rey Mysterio.
Pop in the background, as a smile appears on Santinos face, fancying his chances against the minute luchador.
Eric Bischoff: I suggest you go and get yourself ready, Santino, and take this as seriously as anything you ever had. Your career depends on it.
Bischoff smiles, as the realisation that he HAS to win, dawns on Marella. Eric walks off, as we fade out, with Layla and Leyla comforting Marella, who mutters ‘Mama Mia’.
SUPERSTARS PROMO - TOMORROW NIGHT
FEATURING A NUMBER ONE CONTENDERS MATCH FOR THE WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS; THE FORMER CHAMPIONS MNM TAKE ON THE UP AND COMING DUO OF THE BRITISH LIONS.
Back into the arena, where MIKE KNOX is awaiting his opponent.
Jim Ross: It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen Mike Knox here on Raw, but now that he is flying solo, this big mammoth of a man has a chance to make an instant impact, facing a living legend tonight…
The fans rise to their feet, as Shawn Michaels enters for action!!
Jim Ross: Once again last week, Shawn Michaels was the victim of a sneak attack from the current holder of the Money in the Bank briefcase, Umaga. That’s right folks, Umaga - that three hundred and fifty pound Samoan Bulldozer, has had to resort to cheap assaults, rather than face his enemies man to man.
The Coach: Don’t try and make Umaga out to be some kind of coward, J.R. You and I both know that Umaga can take out Shawn Michaels at the click of Armando Estradas fingers.
As he proceeds down the aisle, Michaels has to take a look around, making sure he isn’t jumped from behind by Umaga.
Jim Ross: Well we don’t know, Coach. Because up until now, Umaga has simply attacked Shawn Michaels when his back has been turned!! Sounds pretty cowardly for a monster if you ask me.
The Coach: It’s all for good reason, Jimbo. Shawn Michaels has been asking for Umaga to come face him, man to man, but Armando Estrada wants to play with HBK for as long as possible. He wants to make him wait. They’re toying with Michaels right now.
HBK reaches the ring, staring across from Knox, as we await the spin of the wheel. Attention turns to the two divas at the top of the ramp, with Candice on spinning duties this time around. The wheel spins … slows down … and lands … on …
… A BLINDFOLD MATCH!!!
Jim Ross: You have GOT to be kiddin me.
HBK looks far from amused, with Knox hardly overjoyed at the thought himself.
Jim Ross: Folks, I think I can count on one hand, the amount of blindfold matches in WWE history. And there’s a reason for that-
The Coach: Yeah, they suck.
Jim Ross: Well … there is that …
Quickly, a runner comes to the ring with the hoods, passing them to the official, who quickly places the ‘blindfolds’ over the competitors heads, before ringing for the bell.
Match 4 | BLINDFOLD MATCH:
Shawn Michaels vs. Mike Knox
It’s exactly what you’d expect. Both men tentatively move forward … reaching out … and excruciatingly just pass one another in the ring. Michaels then points to various places in the ring, hoping for a reaction from the fans, and gets help, with a big ‘NO’, as he points into space, then gets a ‘YEAH’ as he points toward where Knox is … as HBK slowly moves forward … UNTIL UMAGA HOPS OVER THE BARRIER, AND SLIDES INTO THE RING … RUNNING THROUGH A DEFENCELESS SHAWN MICHAELS!!!
Winner: Via Disqualification - Shawn Michaels @ 00:57
The match is instantly thrown out, as HBK lays flat out in the ring, with Umaga standing over him … AGAIN!! Knox curiously takes off his hood, having heard the bell, and makes a quiet exit, not looking to end up on the receiving end of whatever Umaga is dishing out.
AAE now enters the ring, carrying the briefcase, as Umaga drags the blindfolded Michaels to the corner, looking to his handler for approval, before racing across the ring … RUNNING BUTT SPLASH CONNECTS!!!
Shawn Michaels is slumped in the corner, as Umaga stands tall, looking into the sea of fans, who give the Samoan Bulldozer ungodly heat for his actions. Meanwhile, Estrada makes his way toward Michaels in the corner, ripping off the hood, and grabbing HBK by the face, and cockily talks trash, knowing HBK is in no condition to teach him a lesson.
“JU WANTED THE SAMOAN BULLDOZER FACE TO FACE … JU JUST GOT THE SAMOAN BULLDOZER FACE TO FACE, PERO”
Estrada then stands upright again … BEFORE SMASHING THE BRIEFCASE IN THE FACE OF MICHAELS!!! The cowardly Cuban unleashes his own assault on Michaels, with The Showstopper in a bad way - in no condition to put up a fight against him.
The heat worsens, as the smiling Estrada grabs the arm of his Samoan Bulldozer, raising it in the air, as Mister Money in the Bank leaves Shawn Michaels laying … AGAIN!!!
The music of Umaga plays, as the dastardly Estrada leads his carnivore from the ring, whilst HBK remains slumped in the corner.
Jim Ross: Sickening. Absolutely, sickening. When will Umaga REALLY go one on one with Shawn Michaels?? What the hell is he afraid of??
The Coach: Afraid?? Please, what could Umaga possibly be afraid of?? Fear runs from Umaga, J.R. Fear is afraid of the Samoan Bulldozer. Didn’t I already explain it?? That man right there, the genius, Armando Estrada, is pulling the strings - he’s callin the shots baby boy. He don’t march to Shawn Michaels beat. When the time is right for Armando, he’ll put HBK out of his misery.
Jim Ross: I’m not buying it Coach-
The Coach: I aint selling it old timer. It’s a statement of fact.
In the ring, two trainers tend to HBK, who rises to his feet, but looks groggy, and has a far away look in his eyes, after suffering another attack at the hands of Umaga.
We then cut backstage … AND SEE TRIPLE H!!!
There is a big pop initially for The Game, but plenty of boos to override it, as the former ten times World Champion walks down the hallway, in his regular street gear, including leather jacket, and sporting dark sunglasses, as it appears Triple H is on his way to the ring …
Jim Ross: The Game is here, Coach. Fifteen days after being wheeled out of Hell in a Cell, Triple H IS HERE!!! What will he have to say … where does his future lie?? We’ll find out … NEXT!!
**TIME TO PLAY THE GAME**
Freedom Hall rises to it’s feet, as the all too familiar sound of Motorhead fills the arena, and slowly, Triple H enters, to a firm initial pop, before boos descend over the arena, as The Game walks down the aisle, showing little emotion, not even spitting any water this evening, keeping focused on the ring.
Jim Ross: Fifteen days ago, Triple H was wheeled out of the Bell Centre in Montreal, after a devastating, horrific loss inside the demonic Hell in a Cell, after being knocked out at close range by his trusty sledgehammer, courtesy of Christian. To say this appearance has taken us all by surprise, would be an understatement.
The Coach: But it shows just how tough The Game is, J.R!!
Jim Ross: Two weeks ago on Raw, his own wife, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley admitted that after the shot to the head at Backlash, the injuries he suffered, that retirement might just be the next step for Triple H.
The Coach: Does he look like he’s ready to retire, J.R??
Jim Ross: No. No, he doesn’t.
The Game stands in the ring, mic in hand, patiently waiting, looking around the arena, as some fans show their respect for the ten times champion, but most give the Cerebral Assassin the heat he deserves.
Triple H: It takes a man to admit when he was wrong… and as sure as I‘m standin here, at Backlash, I was proven wrong.
Triple H stops, peering into the audience, as the fans cheer.
Triple H: For weeks, I preached. For weeks, I’d tell anyone that’d listen. For weeks, I was convinced that Christian didn’t have what it took to succeed inside Hell in the Cell … I announced to the world … that Christian didn’t have ‘the killer instinct’.
Pop for Christian.
Triple H: I said that when it came down to do or die … when it would come down to a case of kill, or be killed … that he couldn’t finish the job. I said he didn’t have the cold, ruthless, mean streak that’s required … but he did.
Another pop for Christian. Triple H stops, and looks out to the fans again, allowing them to cheer their favourite.
Triple H: And at Backlash … I learned the hard way.
Once again, a pop from the fans, enjoying seeing Triple H admitting he was wrong. As the cheers die off, The Game slowly takes off his sunglasses … showing a fading remnant of a severely blackened eye. The fans cheer again (sick bastards) as the camera gets a close up of the eye.
Triple H: After six days in a hospital bed … you’re damn right I learned the hard way. Christian-
Another small pop for the mention of the champion.
Triple H: It tears me apart to say it … but I’m man enough to tell ya … you proved me wrong.
Triple H: And although it’ll not make you feel any better, and it wont mean a thing to ya … I want you to know … for doing what you did at Backlash … for proving me wrong …
The Game looks around for a moment, before spitting out what he wanted to say.
Triple H: You earned my respect.
Respectful pop for the veteran.
Triple H: And while it may seem strange to you people, considering I spent nearly a week in a hospital bed because of the guy … but no one has ever done that to me. No one has ever laid me up in a hospital bed for that long. Not Austin, not The Rock, not Shawn Michaels, not Mick Foley … NO ONE.
Triple H: And for that feat alone, Christian … I take my hat off to ya.
The fans pop, but Triple H remains stony faced.
Triple H: And make no mistake about it, I didn’t take him lightly. I may have written him off prior to Backlash, I may have been certain he didn’t have the mean streak to take me out … but I went into Backlash with just as much preparation as I ever have for a title match. On the night … the best man won.
Big pop. Triple H waits for the cheers to die down, waiting for silence, before delivering his next line.
Triple H: And that seems to be a growing trend.
Silence. Triple H kills the crowd dead, with an intriguing follow up line, after his endorsement of the champion.
Triple H: Over the past twelve months, I’ve lost more matches than I care to remember. To win the World Heavyweight Championship in October, I needed the help of the McMahon Family. To keep the belt … I needed the help of the McMahon Family.
Heat for The Game, but he holds his hand up, indicating he hasn’t finished, with more info to input.
Triple H: Sometimes … even they weren’t enough. I needed a crazed Mick Foley to save the title at the Survivor Series against Shawn Michaels … I needed Brock Lesnar of all people to help me see off John Cena … and once I had to go it alone at SuperBrawl?? I lost.
Triple H: And while I tried to convince myself that John Cena just got lucky in the Iron Man Match … a match he had no right to compete with me in … the fact is … the best man won.
Few more cheers, but some boos for the endorsement of Cena.
Triple H: And yeah … at WrestleMania, despite having the entire McMahon Family Empire in my corner … I still lost to the better man in Brock Lesnar.
Big pop for Lesnar.
Triple H: See a pattern??
The Game pauses again, composing himself, before continuing.
Triple H: For damn near a decade, I’ve been everything I said I was. I wasn’t called ‘The Game’ because it sounded good, or because it would sell t-shirts. They called me ‘The Game’, because I WAS THAT DAMN GOOD!!!
Mixed response. Triple H then turns, and points to J.R on commentary.
Triple H: That man, right there, Jim Ross, he gave me the moniker of ‘The Cerebral Assassin’. You wanna know why?? Because I was the smartest, because I was the best. I used my brain, and I could get the job done, anyway possible.
The Game turns from the ropes, and addresses the audience solely.
Triple H: You don’t just get called ‘The King of Kings’ without doin something to earn it. This entire decade, I’ve sat on top of the throne, I’ve headlined countless WrestleManias … and I’ve walked out of countless WrestleManias AS THE MAN!!!
Triple H: And you sure as hell don’t become a TEN TIME World Champion if you’re not the best this industry has to offer.
Small amount of heat. Triple H calms now, and softens his tone.
Triple H: But despite all that … I’ve started to become second best. For these last six months, it’s slowly dawned on me.
Triple H: And after Backlash … after SIX DAYS in a hospital bed … I’ve had a lot of time to think … maybe-
Triple H stops himself. There are a few cat calls from the fans, as The Game ponders over the mic for a moment.
Triple H: I’ve had a lot of time to think over these last two weeks. I’ve had time to talk with my wife, time to talk with my family, and time to spend with my daughter.
Deadly silent inside Freedom Hall.
Triple H: And after discussing my future … I’ve had to make the hardest decision of my career. And that decision …
The Game pauses again, putting his head down, then looking back up, with a lump in his throat.
Triple H: It’s time to take a step back.
A heavily mixed reaction from the fans, as Triple H rubs his face, showing the anguish he’s went through to make the decision.
Triple H: Right now, I’ve decided it’s in my best interest for me to step away, go home, and spend time with my infant daughter.
He stops again, head lowered, shaking his head, still struggling with the decision he’s come to make.
Triple H: Because if I cant be the best in the business, if I cant compete with the very best there is to offer- if I cant be ‘The Game’ … then I cant be here.
Triple H looks around, getting little consolation.
Triple H: Now … I don’t know whether I’ve lost a step, I don’t know if I just cant cut it anymore, or if I just need time out of the spotlight … but soon enough?? We‘ll find out whether I am still The King of Kings.
The camera closes in, as Triple H puts his intense face on.
Triple H: BECAUSE YOU CAN BET YOUR ASS THAT THE GAME IS FAR FROM OVER!!!
Triple H: The Game aint over. The Game … is simply on hold. Because let me assure you all, while I may be stepping away for now … I can guarantee I WILL be back. And you wanna know why I’m so sure?? Well, there’s one guy out there that’s gonna drive me to come back.
Triple H shakes his head, ignoring a shout from a member of the front row.
Triple H: Not Christian. That issue’s over. No. There’s one guy runnin around out there that I haven’t forgotten …
Triple H: Brock Lesnar.
Huge cheer for ‘The Iron Man’.
Triple H: LESNAR?? You may think you’ve escaped me by endin up on Smackdown … but you can bet your ass I haven’t forgotten about ya. You didn’t think I’d just forget about your hand in proceedings at Backlash, did ya?? You didn’t think I’d just forget that you had a deciding hand in banishing Vince McMahon from television, and let it slide, did ya?? And considering what went down at WrestleMania … We’ve got a lot of unfinished business, pal … and when the time is right … I’m comin for ya.
Pop for the possibility of a Triple H/Brock Lesnar rematch.
Triple H: But until that time, Brock?? You’d better grow eyes outta the back of your head.
Triple H: Like I said … The Game isn’t over. It’s simply on hold.
**TIME TO PLAY THE GAME**
Triple H stares into the camera, before slipping the shades back on, and leaving the ring.
Jim Ross: I’m not sure I can believe what we’ve just heard, Coach. I’ve never saw Triple H look like such a defeated man, devoid of confidence, stripped of that bravado we’ve witnessed for the last decade-
The Coach: What in the hell are you on?? Did you not see the fire in that mans eyes when he got on to Brock Lesnar??
Jim Ross: It wasn’t the same, Coach. Sure, there’s issues there … but I have never saw Triple H so downbeat on himself. And while he has promised to come back, and settle the score with Lesnar, I cant help but wonder … is The Game we all know, The Cerebral Assassin we’ve all come to expect … is that guy finished??
The Coach: No way, J.R. The man said it himself, The Game is far fr-
Here’s a surprise. The fans come rise up, interested to see what’s going on, as Mister Kennedy, bold as brass, strolls onto the stage, gate crashing Triple H’s walk up the aisle … and IGNORES Triple H, passing him by on the ramp, as The Game slowly turns, taking off his glasses, eyes narrowed, shocked by the complete lack of respect from Kennedy.
Jim Ross: What the??
The Coach: I LOVE IT J.R!!! Kennedy isn’t waiting for anyone to move aside!!!
Kennedy confidently steps through the ropes, and into the ring, quickly demanding a mic. On the ramp, Triple H shakes his head, before turning, and leaving through the curtain, unable to process the disrespect from Kennedy.
In the ring, Kennedy waits for his music to stop, chewing on his gum, leaning on the ropes, taking a glance up the aisle to see if Triple H has left. The music dies off, with Kennedy speaking up.
Mister Kennedy: Stop … wasting … MY AIR TIME!!!
Kennedy looks up the aisle, as if to suggest his point was made toward Triple H.
Mister Kennedy: If you cant make your point in a concise manner … if you don’t have something worth talkin’ about … then just don’t bother.
Again, Kennedy stares up the aisle.
Mister Kennedy: Seriously. Hands up if you give a rats ass that Triple H is taking time off??
Kennedy barely gives the fans a chance to respond.
Mister Kennedy: I sure as hell don’t. Fact is … if you cant handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. Don’t let the door hit ya. Take that ball o’ yours, and head on home. Just don’t broadcast it, don’t look for sympathy … JUST … GO.
Mister Kennedy: And maybe, just maybe … when you go home and play housewife, wearing a little apron, whilst that wife of yours wears the trousers and brings home the bacon … you’ll come find yourself where you belong, and you wont need to waste our time by coming back again.
Mister Kennedy: It’s become plainly obvious that you don’t cut the mustard anymore. But unlike The Rock and Stone Cold … you outstayed your welcome. What you shoulda done, was get out while the goin was good. But hey … better late than never.
Kennedy smiles again, cockily chewing his gum.
Mister Kennedy: Like I said two weeks ago … it’s time to clear out the old, and bring in the new. Lets forget the past, and focus on the future, huh?? Triple H?? Good knowin ya, but I‘ve wasted enough time on ya already. Ciao.
Kennedy pauses, then decides to continue.
Mister Kennedy: But since Triple H has finally climbed off that perch of his … that means a spot has just opened up …
Mister Kennedy: I’m not eyeing it. I’m definitely not gonna ask for it. Naw, naw, naw. ERIC BISCHOFF?? I’M TAKING IT!!!
Mixed reaction, as the camera gets an extreme close up of Kennedy.
Mister Kennedy: And since after tonight there’s a spot opening up for a new Number One Contender …
He looks around for some sort of acknowledgement.
Mister Kennedy: You need not look any further than your JUGGERNAUGHT!!!
Kennedy walks to the ropes, leaning on them, and looking up the aisle, before proceeding on.
Mister Kennedy: C’mon Eric. How about it?? I don’t want a sit down meeting in your office … I don’t want a phone call … let’s discuss this … RIGHT HERE … RIGHT NOW!!!
Kennedy pushes off the ropes, looking up the aisle, outstretching his arms, waiting.
After a moment or two of waiting, the General Manager of Raw walks onto the stage, not looking particularly pleased about being called out. Eric rushes down the aisle, whilst Kennedy backs to the opposite ropes, giving the GM space to breathe as he steps into the ring. Bischoff steps inside, shaking his head in the direction of Kennedy, as the music dies down, and he calls for a mic.
Eric Bischoff: First things first. I don’t take too kindly to being called out on my show.
Mister Kennedy: And I don’t take too kindly to being overlooked on MY SHOW.
Kennedy gets the ‘Oh, really?’ look from Bischoff.
Mister Kennedy: Two weeks ago, Eric, you made it clear that it was time for a change on Monday Night Raw … you laid down the law in no uncertain terms that you had no time for prima donnas. Yet, Eric … all I see around here … is you running the coattails of Kurt Angle.
Mister Kennedy: And if ever someone was behaving like a spoiled brat … it’s our Olympic Hero. Kurt Angle has done NOTHING … ABSOLUTELY NOTHING … but stamp his feet, and cry like a whiny bitch … yet still … you’re trying to cater to all his needs.
Bischoff puts his hand up, looking to stop Kennedy, but Kennedy scoffs at the attempt to be silenced.
Mister Kennedy: Put it down, cause I havent finished.
Pop for Kennedy, whilst Bischoff raises his eyebrows again.
Mister Kennedy: Forget Kurt Angle, he’s had his time. He’s had more than enough chances over the years. You call yourself a revolutionary?? You want to do what’s best for Raw?? Why not do something different … why not give that ball … TO ME???
Kennedy walks around the ring, whilst Bischoff allows Kennedy to make his point.
Mister Kennedy: I’d hate to be a hypocrite, and start talking about the past … but I think the fact speaks for itself that in eighteen months on Raw … I’ve had, uh … how many title shots??
Kennedy overacts his thought process for a moment.
Mister Kennedy: Oh, that’s right … NONE.
Kennedy gets in Erics face, with the GM turning his face away.
Mister Kennedy: Despite being the 2006 King of the Ring, despite being a former Intercontinental Champ - all within a year of my debut - and having not been pinned to the mat since February … I’m still waiting for my shot. So, Eric … how about it??
The bleach blonde superstar outstretches his arms, waiting for something from Eric. Bischoff nods, and readies himself.
Eric Bischoff: Alright. You want to know where you stand in the pecking order on Raw?? Not too high.
Mixed response. Now, it’s Kennedy’s turn to respond with an ‘Oh, really’ look.
Eric Bischoff: Y’see, guys like you Ken?? Dime a dozen. All hot air, no end product. But that’s just my opinion.
Mister Kennedy: That’d mean so much more Eric. It really would … but since you’re the guy that didn’t see the big deal about Steve Austin and fired him … your opinion doesn’t worry me.
Bischoff fakes a clap for that one.
Eric Bischoff: Very cute. But honestly Ken?? This isn’t the road you want to take. Scoring points on the guy that has your career in his hands?? Not very smart. If I were you, I’d be very, very, careful with how you address your boss. And while my opinion doesn’t mean a lot to you, it’s still extremely important for your future. And frankly, I’m a little bored with your weekly rants, and pleas for “the ball” … so y’know what?? I’m prepared to give you the chance to put up … or shut up.
Eric smirks, whilst Kennedy leans up at the turnbuckles in the corner.
Eric Bischoff: First of all … you touched on being the 2006 King of the Ring. Now, there’s still one spot remaining on the Raw side of the draw for tomorrow night. How’d you like the sound of attempting to become the first man to ever retain the King of the Ring??
Mister Kennedy: Does it give me a shot at the World Heavyweight Title??
Bischoff shakes his head.
Mister Kennedy: Then, no. As much as that King of the Ring meant to me … it was last year. It’s in the past. Time to move on, don’t’cha think?? Eric, I want to make this crystal clear … unless you’re prepared to offer me the chance to challenge for the big gold belt … I’m not interested in anything you’re offering.
Eric Bischoff: Then you’re in luck. Next week on Raw, I’m introducing a new concept to the WWE that’s NEVER been seen before. And it’ll determine the next Number One Contender, at our next Pay Per View event on June 17, called Vengeance.
Kennedy mouths ‘I’m listening’.
Eric Bischoff: And the concept is called … The Beat the Clock Challenge.
Little bit of excitement from the unknowing fans.
Eric Bischoff: Over the course of the evening, there’ll be a series of matches, and the man that can win his match in the shortest time possible will challenge either Christian or Shelton Benjamin at Vengeance.
Another pop. Kennedy again doesn’t like the fan backing, and turns to the fans, mouthing at a few to ‘shut it’.
Eric Bischoff: And Ken … you WILL be one of those men vying for the title shot. But I want to be crystal clear here myself. This is going to be your one and ONLY opportunity to challenge for the World Heavyweight Title. Because frankly, I don’t care for your attitude … and I don’t think you’re half as good as you think you are … so make the most of the opportunity next week.
Mister Kennedy: You done??
Mister Kennedy: Good. I got what I came for, and now I’m leavin.
Kennedy chucks the mic, and gives Eric a stern look, before exiting the ring, and proceeding up the aisle, with Bischoff watching on, as we cut off after a very long segment.
Jim Ross: Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome back to Monday Night Raw, and folks, I’m still tryin to catch my breath. It’s been an explosive night, and we’ve still got a long way to go. Just moments ago, we found out that The Game, Triple H will be taking a leave of absence for an unspecified amount of time-
The Coach: Which has left the door open for my pick in next weeks Beat the Clock Challenge to meet the NEXT World Champ, Shelton Benjamin, at Vengeance - that man being Mister Kennedy.
Jim Ross: Indeed, next week, we will witness the first ever ‘Beat the Clock’ challenge, which will determine who challenges the World Champion at Vengeance, and Coach, it may indeed be your boy, Shelton Benjamin, as he faces Christian tonight in a match that has yet to be decided by the Roulette wheel.
The Coach: It doesn’t matter what match it is, old timer, Shelton Benjamin is leaving this hell hole with DOUBLE GOLD BABY!!!
Jim Ross: We’re little over half way in this broadcast, but already, Kurt Angle and John Cena tore the house down at the TOP of the show in a shocking First Blood match which Kurt Angle won, but that wasn’t the end of the story-
The Coach: No, you’re right baby boy. Kurt Angle beat the living daylights outta Cena too!!!
Jim Ross: That’s a selective memory, you’ve got there Coach. The two men brawled all the way out of the arena, and you can bet your bottom dollar that that issue is far from over. And how about another heinous assault from Umaga on a blindfolded Shawn Michaels!!
The Coach: I know, I thought it was genius too!!
Jim Ross: I sure as hell did not, Coach. For a massive man mountain, for a behemoth like the undefeated Samoan Bulldozer, he’s one gutless coward!!! And he’s not the only one, as we’ll see in just a minute when Melina challenges Alexis Laree for the Womens Championship.
The Coach: How can you call Umaga a coward?? You just don’t understand the brilliance of Armando Estrada!!! And you talk about cowards?? That little secretive hussie Alexis Laree personifies the term!!
The sight of the red carpet and photographers is met by round boos, as Melina struts onto the stage, looking overly confident, ahead of her challenge for the womens title.
Jim Ross: This- this, she-devil has taken great pride and joy out of making Alexis Larees life a living hell in recent weeks. For the last month, Melina has been claiming to have sources of information from a woman named ‘Beth’, deep, dark secrets about the Womens Champion, Alexis Laree.
The Coach: And you say it’s like a bad thing. Melina is doing the world a favour, and she’s been kind enough to give Alexis the opportunity to keep it a secret.
Jim Ross: Everybody has a past Coach. Everyone has secrets-
The Coach: Not like Laree though, Jim.
Jim Ross: But how do we know?? How do we know how severe these secrets are??
The Coach: Have you seen Alexis Laree lately, J.R?? I think it’s safe to say her past is something she wants kept hidden.
Melina waits in the ring, having went through the leg-split ring entrance.
Looking subdued, Alexis Laree makes an understated entrance. No hopping in excitement, no smiles. The champion looks down to the ring, where Melina is holding up the ropes with a broad smile on her face. Laree looks around at the fans, then her belt, before putting her head down, and proceeding down the aisle, looking beaten before even making it to the ring.
Jim Ross: This isn’t right, Coach. How can this be allowed to happen??
The Coach: What do you mean?? Melina won this title shot fair and square.
Jim Ross: She’s got the title shot because she’s blackmailed the champion into submission. And she’s going to walk out of here with the title for the exact same reasons!!!
The Coach: Hey, she doesn’t have to lay down, y’know.
Jim Ross: What other choice does she have??
Laree steps onto the apron, not getting into the ring just yet, as Melina keeps the ropes opened for her, but Laree ignores the phony sportswomanship.
Attention turns to the stage again now, as the Roulette wheel is spun once more …
… and lands on …
… STRAP MATCH …
Quickly, a runner sprints down the side of the aisle, with the strap in hand, passing it to the official, as Laree looks to the heavens, before stepping inside the ring, with the cocky challenger applauding the champion. The two are then strapped together, with Melina not taking her gaze off Alexis, showing that shit eating grin - that knowing grin, that Alexis has NO choice.
Match 5 | WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP | STRAP MATCH:
Alexis Laree vs. Melina
The bell rings, but, just like last week neither female moves. Melina shrugs, as she moves forward, with a sinister smile etched on her face, and walks into the space of the champion, and points to each corner, and motions to Laree to simply stand still. The challenger twirls around, and prances to the opposite corner, simply tapping the buckle, before tiptoeing to the next corner, making a mockery of Alexis, who looks emotionally fraught - standing still, watching Melina dance her way to the title.
Melina then reaches the third corner, but as she gets there, Alexis makes a move … but stops herself, much to the annoyance of the fans. Melina laughs, and sarcastically points to the corner, as if to offer Laree the chance to stop her. The champion merely puts her head down … all but accepting defeat, all just to keep her secrets hidden away, as Melina finally touches the third turnbuckle. Then, Melina turns to move toward the final corner … BUT SUDDENLY THE STRAP IS YANKED BACK … AND MELINA IS FLATTENED WITH A CHICK KICK!!!
Freedom Hall ERUPTS!!! Melina lays out on the mat, as Laree LOSES CONTROL completely!!! Laree kneels down, and HAMMERS Melina, finally cracking after weeks of torment, with a sickening array of right hands, most unbecoming of a woman, before getting up, and letting out a massive roar, which is greeted by cheers from the fans. The champion wraps the leather strap around the throat of Melina, choking the life out of the challenger, with referee Nick Patrick having to literally pull her off, with Laree seemingly intent on choking Melina to death!!!
Alexis finally lets go, and drags Melina up, hooking her into position, and leaps up … DELIVERING A STUNNING LAREE-D-T!!! Melina has no chance of recovery now, as Laree quickly hits each corner, and as she reaches the fourth, she looks back around at Melina, who is slowly beginning to stir, and makes sure the A-Lister watches, as she defiantly smacks the final corner, winning the match!!!
Winner: And STILL Womens Champion - Alexis Laree @ 03:27
Alexis retains the title, having been pushed over the limit by Melina!!! She takes the strap off, and begins to whip Melina like a government mule, according to J.R, with the A-Lister rolling out to safety, as Alexis roars from the ring, ‘I’VE HAD ENOUGH’. Melina, eyes wide, looks damn scared, pushing herself up the aisle on her ass, having witnessed Alexis Laree go straight over the edge tonight.
Jim Ross: GOOD FOR YOU!!! GOOD FOR YOU ALEXIS!!! By Gawd, tonight, Alexis Laree simply reached a breaking point!!! And it wasn’t a moment too soon!!
The Coach: But what does this mean for her future?? She didn’t go with what Melina wanted, J.R … I think Alexis Laree has just opened Pandora’s box.
Jim Ross: Right now, Coach, I don’t think it matters!!! Tonight, that young woman proved to Melina that blackmail gets you absolutely nowhere!!!
The Coach: But did she have to be so violent?? Very unladylike if you ask me.
Jim Ross: I’d say it was justified Coach. Melina pushed the champion too far. And yeah, there could be consequences, but the point was proven, the womens champion wont cower from any secrets in her past!!! And who knows, Coach, perhaps after this lesson, Melina might think twice about crossing Alexis Laree!!
The Coach: Don’t count on it, J.R.
Clip of Bret Hart rolling up Bam Bam Bigelow to win the King of the Ring tournament in 1993.
“I‘M THE BEST THERE IS, THE BEST THERE WAS, AND THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE”
Narrator: It has given the platform for champions to establish themselves.
Clip of Owen Hart being crowned King of the Ring in 1994, as we hear him yell over it.
“I‘M THE KING OF HARTS!!!”
Narrator: It has immortalized greats forever.
Clip of Stone Cold Steve Austin winning the 1996 King of the Ring tournament, with the sound bite over it.
“AUSTIN THREE SIXTEEN SAYS, I JUST WHIPPED YOUR ASS”
Narrator: It ushered in the birth of a new attitude.
Clip of Triple H having his hand raised in 1997.
“THE KING OF THE RING!!!”
Narrator: Stars have been born.
Clip of Kurt Angle dropping to his knees in victory in 2000.
“IT‘S TRUE, IT‘S TRUE”
Narrator: Legends have been made.
Clip of Brock Lesnar having his hand raised in 2002, as we hear Paul Heymans voice over the top.
“THE NEXT BIG THING, BRRRRROCK LLLLLESNARRRRR”
Narrator: Careers have skyrocketed.
Clips of Mister Kennedy with the crown last year, and Edge with his trophy in 2001
Narrator: The King of the Ring tournament has provided some of the most memorable moments in sports entertainment history, and on Saturday, June 23, 2007 … the King of the Ring lends itself to another staple in the illustrious history of the WWE … Saturday Nights Main Event.
Clips of current superstars, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Straight Edge, Brian Kendrick, Paul London, MNM, Carlito and Brent Albright.
Narrator: The year, the King of the Ring tournament climaxes on NBC, with quarter finals, semi finals and the grand final, on the most special edition of Saturday Nights Main Event in history!!!
Quick clips again of the prominent former winners.
Narrator: Which superstar will use the King of the Ring tournament to follow these legends, icons and immortals into the pantheon of greatness??
~ THE 2007 KING OF THE RING TOURNAMENT ~
!! LIVE ON SATURDAY NIGHTS MAIN EVENT ON NBC !!
JUNE 23 | THE PYRAMID, MEMPHIS TN
We return, backstage, where Kelly Kelly is standing by…
Kelly Kelly: Guys, moments ago, Alexis Laree successfully defended the Womens Championship against Melina, despite the promise made by Melina that she would unearth the deep, dark secrets that Alexis has kept hidden for years. Right now, I’m about to try and get a word from Melina, and see just where she goes from here.
Kelly turns, and walks a short distance to the trainers room, opening the door, and we see Nitro and Mercury standing by Melina, who is feeling her ribs, muttering ‘it really stings’.
Kelly Kelly: Melina, I’m sorry for disturbing you, but I have to ask. After-
Melina: I know exactly why you’re here, Kelly.
Melina winces, with the pain stopping her from speaking for a moment.
Melina: (Continually wincing) And while right now, I don’t feel like talking … next week on Raw … I’ll have plenty to say. And the world will know the truth about “Alexis Laree”
Melina does the air quotes, before turning, and allowing the trainers to try and soothe her welts, as Kelly turns to leave.
Kelly Kelly: There you have it. I would appear that Melina will reveal all … next week on Raw.
Back to ringside…
Jim Ross: I do not like the sound of this, Coach.
The Coach: It wasn’t like Laree - if that is her real name - wasn’t warned. She had the chance to keep those secrets locked away for good, she had the chance to-
Jim Ross: But for how long?? How long would it have remained a secret?? Sooner or later, Melina was always gonna do this. It would always lead to next week. I just hope someone steps in, and stops Melina before she goes too far.
The fans pick up their spirits once more, as Rey Mysterio bursts into view, ahead of his match with the irritating Santino Marella.
Jim Ross: Folks, in just a moment, that man, Rey Mysterio could well put the final nail in the coffin of Santino Marella, because of Marella loses this match, he can never show up on Raw again. But, if he can somehow defeat the Master of the 619, Marella will be granted a contract!! Join us, when we come back.
We return with Santino now in the ring, joined by the lovely pair of Layla and Leyla, as we wait for the spin of the Roulette wheel…
… which slows …
… and lands on …
… TABLES MATCH …
Match 6 | TABLES MATCH:
Rey Mysterio vs. Santino Marella
As soon as the bell rings, Marella charges at Rey, but Rey leaps over him, and delivers a variety of stiff kicks to the legs of the Italian, with Santino swinging his arms wildly, missing by a distance, as Rey picks up some speed, running off the ropes, and catching Marella with a head scissors. The force of the move sends Santino tumbling out of the ring, onto the floor, with his two valets quickly tending to him, but Mysterio isn’t waiting, and runs across the ring, AND LANDS WITH A SENTON ON SANTINO!!!
The fans pick up for the high risk offence, as Rey picks himself up, and goes looking for a table, dragging one from under the apron, and slides it inside the ring. As he turns around though, Marella charges at him, and forces Rey into the ringpost!!! All of a sudden, Marella seems to think he’s got the match won, and starts to celebrate, flexing his muscles, and wiping his hands as if to signify it’s over. He grabs Rey and rolls him back inside, then looks under the apron, getting another table out, but once it’s been pulled out and Santino stands up straight … REY CATCHES HIM WITH A BASEBALL SLIDE!!! Santino falls into the barrier, with Rey coming back out, and rolls his opponent inside, before setting the table on the outside up, and getting back inside himself.
Rey looks for an Irish whip, but Santino reverses, and then does the splits as Rey bounces back, getting a few laughs from the fans. Mysterio then comes back again, and is caught with a reverse elbow, which allows Marella to run off the ropes, but as he returns, Mysterio surprises him with a Monkey Flip … and Santino bounces into the ropes … PERFECT POSITION … AND THE 619 CONNECTS!!! Marella staggers around the ring after impact, as Mysterio looks to dumps him out of the ring, over the top … BUT LAYLA AND LEYLA MOVE THE TABLE … AND SAVE SANTINO!!!
Mysterio looks out at the two divas, holding his arms up, asking why (even though it’s obvious) and shakes his head in disappointment, as Santino crawls on the floor below, after impact. In the ring, Rey gets the table he slid in earlier, and sets it upright in the corner, taking his time, knowing Marella isn’t going anywhere quickly … but strangely, a sudden buzz comes over Freedom Hall … and as Mysterio turns around, we find out why … AS HE IS GORED THROUGH THE TABLE!!! IT’S RHYNO~!!!!!
Winner: Santino Marella - Earns WWE Contract @ 01:37
In the ring, Rhyno crouches down by the broken down Mysterio, as we see Layla and Leyla help Marella to his feet on the outside, with the dazed Italian still unaware he’s won the match!!
I CANNOT BELIEVE MY EYES, COACH!!! That- That’s RHYNO!!!
The Man Beast is back, baby boy!!!
He- he’s been on the sidelines for nearly six months, Coach!! But why return now?? And why did he target Rey Mysterio??
I can think of a couple dozen reasons. No one likes Mysterio, J.R.
What?? Folks, amongst the chaos here, we’ve not had a chance to mention the fact that by virtue of his win here … Santino Marella is now officially a WWE Superstar!!!
On the outside, the two Diva Search winners explain to Marella that he WON the match, and as the realisation sinks in, Santino begins to jump on the spot, delighted in his ‘victory’, and he dances up the aisle, raising his arms in victory, with Layla and Leyla following him.
Meanwhile, in the ring, Rhyno continues to stand over Mysterio, who is folded up in the rubble of the table, with the returning Man Beast pounding his chest, and posing, as the fans give him a smattering of heat.
I just don’t get it, Coach.
I do. It’s a statement!!! The Man Beast IS BACK!!!
Without a doubt, but Coach, I just don’t understand why Rhyno would come back and go straight for Rey Mysterio!!! Can we get some answers??
Do you wanna go and ask him?? Go ahead, I’d like to see it.
That wouldn’t be a good idea right now for anyone, Coach. But we need to find out what has possessed Rhyno to attack Rey Mysterio. I’d love to say it’s great to see Rhyno back, but not under these circumstances, Coach. Not like this.
To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be delighted to see him … but what’dya know, after what he just done, I’m trying to remember how I got through the last six months without him!!
Well, I’m sure there is still a lot more to come from this issue, but we have to move on here. Folks, we are just minutes away from our main event-
And The Coach cant wait, baby boy!!! The Black Diamond is about to shine through!!!
We get another shot of a rabid Rhyno, as Mysterio lays in the pieces of crumbled table in the corner, before fading to a commercial.
We return, backstage, where Christian is seen doing some last minute preparations, stretching out, as Jim Ross speaks over the footage.
Well right now, lets send it up to Candice Michelle and Maryse, who are about to spin the wheel, and reveal the fate of Christian and Shelton Benjamin ahead of the main event…
Cut to the stage, and the wheel spins …
… and spins …
… and slows …
… and grinds to a halt …
… on …
… yep, you guessed it …
… LADDER MATCH …
The fans pop in major fashion, as we get a major match for the main event, with the two men involved well versed in ladder matches.
BUSINESS HAS JUST PICKED UP COACH!!!
Understatement, baby boy. And how fitting will it be when Shelton Benjamin climbs the ladder, like he has done on Raw since joining The Brotherhood, and finally reaches the pinnacle … and becomes only the second ever man to hold a World title and the Intercontinental title at the same time!!!
You sound awfully confident, Coach. Shelton has never challenged for the World Championship before - he has got to be nervous, he has got to have all kinds of thoughts running through his head right now-
Yeah, thoughts like “How great will it be to hold two titles”, and “I‘m gonna need someone to carry these belts for me”. Don’t dare say he’s nervous. The Black Diamond has been ready for this opportunity for the longest time. This title shot is overdue.
Backstage, we cut to the locker room, where Tyson Tomko is sat, stuffing his clothes into his bag, shaking his head, having suffered yet another loss.
Don’t sweat it.
Tomko looks up, and as he spots the person speaking to him, he looks a little surprised. The camera pans out, and shows … X-PAC??
Bro, you’ve just hit a rough patch. It’s been a hard month.
The Problem Solver tuts, and looks away, continuing to sort his bag, and mutters ‘that’s an understatement’.
Hey, look. Right now, you’re the one with problems. And I’m here to solve ‘em.
Cheesy. X-Pac walks toward the big man, sitting beside him.
Listen, I’ll level with ya. I’m in the last chance saloon here. I sure as hell didn’t expect to get another go around at this place, but I’m back. And I wanna help ya out.
Hear me out, big guy. You’re just about to hit the skids. You lose many more matches?? You’re headin for the exit door. You’ve not got the McMahons to back ya anymore, and you’ve burned your bridges with Christian-
I’m NOT interested, okay??
Look, I’m just tryin to help ya out, and yeah … I’m tryin to do myself a favour too. If you think I’m tryin to talk ya into being my muscle … that’s not it. You’ve been that guy for too long. I wanna guide ya, big man. Fifty-fifty. My experience, my smarts … and your strength and power … it’s a lethal combination, bro.
Tomko looks up, and sighs. Pac shakes his head, and gets to his feet.
Just think about it.
X-Pac then walks out, as Tomko lifts his head, and watches the veteran exit, before sighing again.
Elsewhere, we now see Shelton Benjamin, carrying the Intercontinental Championship, with Theodore Long and the rest of his brethren in The Brotherhood following behind, as Long gets in the ear of his golden meal ticket, giving him some last minute words of advice.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the time is almost upon us … the main event - the ladder match, for the World Heavyweight Championship, is next!!!
Back into the arena …
**SOMEBODIES GONNA GET IT**
We return, and it is truly main event time. The Intercontinental Champion enters the arena, followed by his entourage of Theodore Long, JTG, Monty Brown and Mark Henry.
If he’s so good Coach, why does he need The Brotherhood by his side, huh??
Pfft, they’re here to join the celebration, baby boy. The Brotherhood are here to witness, first hand, the crowning achievement in their history!!!
We’ll see how long this moral support lasts. I don’t like the look of this, not one bit.
The group reach the ring, with Theodore Long looking highly excited, doing a bit of jiving, brimming with confidence, but that wont last for long, as Lillian Garcia speaks…
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have just been informed that per orders of Eric Bischoff, that The Brotherhood MUST leave the ringside area … IMMEDIATELY!!!
A huge pop descends over Freedom Hall, as Theodore Longs eyes bug out, and Shelton Benjamin throws a strop, whilst JTG, Monty Brown and Mark Henry all look furious at the ruling, surrounding the referee.
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY DISGRACEFUL!!! There’s an agenda against The Brotherhood, and it makes me sick!!!
But I thought they were only here to offer moral support?? Surely it cant be that big of a blow??
Shut up J.R!! You don’t understand.
Eventually, the members of The Brotherhood leave the ring, but argue back toward the ring as they leave, shaking their heads in disgust, whilst Theodore Long offers his prize asset one more final piece of guidance, before wishing him luck, and leaving the ring, but not before giving Mike Chioda a piece of his mind. He leaves, shaking his head in fury, and looks to join up with his other men…
**JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES**
Entering the stage with a purpose, The World Heavyweight Champion shows no fear of The Brotherhood, passing by the group on the stage with a smirk, before waving as he passes an incensed Theodore Long.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are just about to take our final commercial break of the evening - our main event will come to you COMMERCIAL FREE in it’s entirety, when we come back!!
Main Event | WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP | LADDER MATCH:
Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin
The contest starts rather slowly, as the two look to build toward the excitement. In the early stages, the ladder plays very little part, as both take the option to try and incapacitate the opposition, before making a beeline for the object for victory. Despite Benjamin being able to hit his suplex into a neck breaker move, its the champion that has the better of the early exchange, but Shelton doesn’t fold easily, and remains confident in himself, despite finding himself second best early on. And, the effort pays off, as Benjamin plays possum, staying down after a dropkick, with the champion thinking he has time to climb the ropes, and perches himself onto the top turnbuckle … AS BENJAMIN LEAPS TO LIFE … AND LEAPS UP … SUPERPLEX CONNECTS!!!
With that, The Black Diamond believes it’s time to introduce the ladder, and goes to the outside, grabbing the key to victory, which brings a pop from the fans, and slides it inside the ring, picking it up, and sees Christian pulling himself up in the corner … and seemingly has an idea … picking up the ladder, and racing across the ring … LOOKING FOR A STINGER SPLASH WITH THE LADDER … BUT CHRISTIAN SPINS INTO THE ROPES … SEESAW KICK INTO THE LADDER INTO BENJAMIN!!! The fans come alive, as the use of the ladder backfires on Shelton, with the IC Champ tumbling into the ropes, dropping the ladder, as Christian follows up, delivering a clothesline that sends Benjamin out of the ring.
Now having a clear run, Christian sets the ladder up, and proceeds up, making the first move toward his title belt … but Shelton quickly gets his senses back, and gets back inside, TIPPING THE LADDER OVER!!! Christian falls from the ladder, and into the ropes - throat first - as Benjamin seizes the opportunity … AND STRIKES WITH THE FROST KICK!!! The Intercontinental Champion then sets Christian in the middle of the ring, placing the ladder upright over him … trapping the champion, as he ascends the ladder … but the plan to neutralise the champion doesn’t pay off … as Christian manages to shake the ladder from the bottom, and Benjamin loses his footing, and slips off the ladder, but doesn’t have a hard landing.
Benjamin gets right back on Christian, and the two trade blows, until Benjamin looks for a kick, only to have his boot caught by the champion … BUT BENJAMIN SURPRISES HIM WITH THE DRAGON WHIP!!! The move puts Christian down, as the challenger tries to think whether or not he should go for broke, and try to capture the belt at this moment. Seeing Christian moving already, he decides against going for the win, and sets the ladder upright in the corner, with something dastardly planned, before getting back on the champion, not allowing him to recover. After pounding Christian in the corner, the Black Diamond attempts an Irish whip to the opposite corner (where the ladder is set) … but Christian reverses … AND BENJAMIN LOOKS TO BE HEADING TOWARD THE LADDER … BUT HE LEAPS UP … LANDING ON ONE OF THE RUNGS … AND SPLASHES BACK AT CHRISTIAN!!!
A massive show of respect comes from the fans for the exceptional athleticism from Benjamin, taking Christian by surprise. Benjamin takes a moment to catch his breath, then picks up the ladder, waiting for Christian to get to his feet … and as he does … BENJAMIN CHARGES WITH THE LADDER LIKE A JOUST … AND CRACKS CHRISTIAN … SENDING CAPTAIN CHARISMA OUT OF THE RING!!! It sets the challenger with a free run to the title … but the ladder slipped from his grasp, and fell to the outside with Christian.
That sets Shelton back for a moment, as he needs to exit the ring and retrieve the ladder, quickly getting back inside, and Benjamin sets the ladder up … before climbing, albeit at a slower pace than previously … but the delay has possibly cost him … as Christian crawls back inside the ring, and climbs up the ladder behind Benjamin, who hasn’t realised that he has company. He soon does though, as Christian pounds the back of his challenger, eventually gripping him, and hooking him into position … AND DELIVERS A SCINTILLATING REVERSE DDT OFF THE LADDER!!!
A smattering of ‘HOLY SHIT’ chants are heard inside Freedom Hall, as both men stay down for the time being, selling the effect of the fall. But it’s Christian to move first, and slowly, the champion crawls to the ladder, grabbing on the bottom rung, and at a snails pace, begins to climb. He eventually reaches halfway, but spots his opponent beginning to stir, and switches the gameplan, now waiting for Benjamin to reach his feet, and as he does … CHRISTIAN FLIES OFF THE LADDER WITH A REVERSE ELBOW!!!
Not exactly a big, highlight reel type stunt, but it’s effective. Christian gets back to his feet, and now looks to finish off Benjamin, setting the ladder down, and placing Benjamin on top with a slam, before climbing the ropes … AND ATTEMPTS A FROG SPLASH … BUT BENJAMIN ROLLS OFF … AND CHRISTIAN LANDS ON THE LADDER!!! Another small ‘Holy Shit’ chant can be heard, as Shelton stirs, slowly reaching for the ropes, pulling himself up, and looks down at Christian who is still squirming after his crash landing.
Benjamin, looking groggy, sets the ladder up, but staggers around, slowing himself down, but eventually begins to try and climb, but as he does, the fighting champion makes a move too, crawling toward the ladder himself. Christian is behind, but Shelton cant shake the cobwebs, and takes too long to scale the object, as Captain Charisma catches up … and the two warriors trade blows, back and forth … as the ladder begins to shake … and eventually BOTH MEN TOPPLE OFF THE LADDER … AND TO THE OUTSIDE!!!!!
Both men stay down, as the fans pick up in voice again. After a rest period for both, they begin to stir, and reach their feet. Christian gets the better of Benjamin, and then takes a backward step, before coming at Shelton … BUT THE BLACK DIAMOND EXPLODES WITH PAYDIRT!!! Benjamin delivers his finishing manoeuvre ON THE OUTSIDE!!! Despite taking his time to get back up, Shelton is in control, with the champion OUT. The challenger crawls back inside the ring, and sets the ladder up, climbing ever so slowly, with Christian now facing a race against time to save the title, slowly recovering on the outside.
Benjamin looks to be nearing the title, but doesn’t see what’s going on behind himself, as Christian has a ladder on the outside … AND USES IT AS A JAVELIN … INTO THE BACK OF BENJAMIN!!! Christian now re enters the ring, and positions himself to power bomb Shelton off the ladder … AND ATTEMPTS TO POWERBOMB SHELTON OUT OF THE RING … BUT THE CHALLENGER COUNTERS WITH A HURRICANRANA … AND BOTH GO OVER THE TOP ROPE, AND ONTO THE FLOOR!!! Again, both are slow to recover, as the match takes it’s toll, and they both move at the same rate, reaching their feet, as Benjamin drives a knee to the gut of the champion, before looking to deliver the T-Bone Exploder … BUT CHRISTIAN LANDS ON HIS FEET … AND TURNS SHELTON OVER … GOES FOR THE UNPRETTIER … BUT THE CHALLENGER RUNS CHRISTIAN INTO THE RINGPOST!!!
Christian staggers from the blow of the post, as Benjamin scoops him up onto his shoulders, AND DELIVERS A SAMOAN DROP … ONTO THE LADDER THAT CHRISTIAN HAD INTRODUCED MOMENTS AGO!!!!! The champion lies flat out on the ladder, as Benjamin composes himself, and re enters the ring, slowly climbing the ladder. The Black Diamond is getting closer … and reaches up, but is just too far still from the belt. He takes another step, and looks to reach up again … BUT CHRISTIAN IS BACK!!! Christian grabs the leg of Benjamin, dragging him off the ladder, pounding his challenger, then runs off the ropes … BUT IS CAUGHT WITH A BELLY TO BELLY OFF HIS RETURN … INTO THE LADDER!!!
The Champion crashes and burns into the steel, as Benjamin watches. The challenger picks himself up, and shoves Christian into the corner, then THROWS THE LADDER AT HIM!!! With that, Benjamin now charges across the ring … AND DELIVERS A STINGER SPLASH TO THE LADDER … ONTO CHRISTIAN!!! The fans pop, as Christian slumps down in the corner, with Benjamin now in the ascendancy, looking favourite to win the match.
The Black Diamond decides to go for broke, and grabs the ladder, setting it up, and slowly pulls himself up, getting closer to the title belt, but with Christian reaching his feet, Benjamin wont get to the title belt in time … AS CHRISTIAN PUSHES THE LADDER OVER … BUT SHELTON LANDS ON THE ROPES, STILL ON HIS FEET … and smiles at his awesome athleticism … UNTIL CHRISTIAN SHOVES THE LADDER AT HIM … AND SHELTON FLIES OFF INTO THE BARRIER!!!!!!
Christian now sets the ladder up, and begins to climb, with Benjamin out of commission on the outside … but as he reaches the top and reaches for the championship … BENJAMIN COMES FROM NOWHERE!!! The Black Diamond leaped from the ropes, onto the ladder, and races to the top, as he and the amazed champion trade blows … WITH BENJAMIN WINNING THE EXCHANGE … SLAMS CHRISTIANS HEAD OFF THE TOP RUNG … AND KNOCKS CHRISTIAN OFF!!!
Christian lands on the ropes, with BENJAMIN REACHING UP … TOUCHING THE TITLE … BUT CHRISTIAN PUSHES THE LADDER OVER … AND BENJAMIN SEES THE TITLE SLIP AWAY … AS HE CRASHES AND BURNS INTO THE ROPES … CATCHING HIS LEG … TRAPPED!!!!! Christian JUST saves the title, and with Benjamin tied up in the ropes (ala WrestleMania X) Christian climbs the ladder … showing the tiredness, but Benjamin CANT break free from the ropes … AS CHRISTIAN REACHES UP … AND GRABS THE TITLE!!!
Winner: Christian @ 17:02
Shelton Benjamin frees himself - but it’s too late. His valiant effort is for nothing, as the champion retains the title, with Benjamin looking up, before putting his head in his hands, distraught with his ‘close, but no cigar’ performance. Christian holds the belt aloft, standing atop of the ladder, emphatically proving his standing as the man at the top of the ladder, literally!!!
He may not have won, Coach … but by Gawd, Shelton Benjamin just proved to the world that on his day, he can compete with anyone.
I’m in shock, J.R. Shelton Benjamin had the championship in his grasp … if Christian had been one second later, we’d be looking at a new World Champion … we SHOULD be looking at a new World Heavyweight Champion. But mark my words old timer, Shelton Benjamins time WILL come.
After tonight’s performance, I don’t doubt it. Shelton Benjamin, without the aide of his brethren, has undoubtedly proven his credentials. But the fact remains, Captain Charisma has retained the championship tonight - he is STILL THE MAN!!!
The show closes, with Christian still on top of the ladder, holding the title high, as we fade to black.
END OF SHOW
ROLLINS > REIGNS & AMBROSE