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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night Smackdown~
January 26th, 2007
Mobile, Alabama

"I think you'll find that's 'The Wounded Animal' Cole."

We start with a brief highlights package from last week, which pays emphasis firstly to the actions of Finlay in his confident victory over Kane, and his post match actions of threatening to strike Kane with the shillelagh... only for Finlay to show restrain, before turning to the camera to say "I won't say no when it's you Batista". We then cut to the main event, where Batista and Mr. Kennedy battle, until Batista hoists Kennedy up for the Batista Bomb... until Finlay storms the ring! The two on one beatdown ensues as Finlay and Kennedy do a number on the World Heavyweight Champion, only for Kane to make the save, causing Finlay to bolt, leaving Kennedy to feel the wrath of The Animal, with the package mirroring the ending to last week's show, as Champion and Challenger engage in a tense staredown.

After the usual opening video there is no pyro display as we go straight to the silent arena for...



The boos ring out from the audience as the brash Mr. Kennedy emerges, arrogantly sauntering down to the ring as Cole and JBL speak over the top of it all...

Michael Cole: The Royal Rumble is less than 48 hours away, a night where careers can be altered in an instance! I'm Michael Cole, alongside John Bradshaw Layfield, and what could the Royal Rumble hold for that man, the ever confident Mr. Kennedy.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Well ever since the calendar turned the page into 2007, Mr. Kennedy has been on the rise here on Smackdown. He was the first Smackdown entrant announced for the Rumble match, and for my money, he's gonna be the last man standing when it's all said an done.

Michael Cole: Well we'll find out if you're prediction comes true this Sunday, but tonight, Smackdown takes his final step in the Road to the Rumble and we've got a big night ahead of us.

John Bradshaw Layfield: You're not kiddin' Michael! Tonight, the World Heavyweight Champion Batista teams up with the legendary Phenom of the WWE, The Undertaker as they take on Batista's opponent this Sunday, 'The Fighting Irishman' Finlay and King Booker.

John Bradshaw Layfield: So many questions need to be answered after last week, the biggest one being what is the health status of Batista? How healthy is that shoulder? We already know Finlay has the psychological edge, will he gain the physical edge tonight too?

Michael Cole: And tonight is the night for King Booker. After weeks of demanding a one on one match with The Undertaker, The Deadman and King Booker will go at it. But if you ask me, King Booker better be careful with what he wishes for.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Yeah, well nobody asked you. It was three weeks ago that The Undertaker chokeslammed King Booker through our announce desk. You don't treat a King that way Michael! Tonight, King Booker gets his hands on The Deadman and he gets his revenge.

Michael Cole: Also tonight, the bitter rivalry between Matt Hardy and Joey Mercury finally comes to a head tonight. And there's only one way these two are gonna settle things... first blood.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And I think it's fitting that Joey Mercury, after all the surgery he went through, after all the personal anguish he's suffered due to the reckless actions of Matt Hardy, I think Joey Mercury making Hardy bleed like the pig that he is will be a very fitting way to settle the score between these two.

Michael Cole: Well wait a minute there JBL. Since his return from injury, Joey Mercury has busted Matt Hardy open on two occasions, including last week when the two met in tag team action.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And tonight Joey Mercury goes for the hat trick! I can't wait to see it.

Michael Cole: All of that still to come, but we're kicking things off with the always arrogant Mr. Kennedy.

By now Kennedy is in the ring, his trademark mic in his hand, waiting to address the crowd...

Mr. Kennedy: You people... you people have no idea how important a night this Sunday night is going to be.

Slight cheers at the prospect of the Rumble this Sunday...

Mr. Kennedy: You people have no clue how lucky you are to be able to witness a moment like the one you're gonna see this Sunday night. Hell, lucky isn't even the word. You are people should consider yourself blessed over what you're about to witness at the Royal Rumble.


Mr. Kennedy: Y'see, this Sunday, you people bear witness... to the dawning of a new age. The beginning of my rise to the top, the start of a freakin' revolution!

More boos, at which Kennedy smirks...

Mr. Kennedy: This Sunday... it's time for the leader of a new generation to take his game to a whole new level. It's my time to shine, it's my time in the spotlight.

More boos...

Mr. Kennedy: I have sat back as time and time again, countless opportunities, opportunities I deserve by the way, have been given to another old, stale, boring, washed up has-been who shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as me. The days of Teddy Long passin' me by... are over.

Kennedy now begins to roam the ring, addressing each section of the arena...

Mr. Kennedy: Batista, Finlay, Kane, The Undertaker, I've beat 'em all! Each and every one of 'em stepped in the ring with the biggest can't miss prospect in this company's history, and each and every one of 'em has found just how damn good I am.

Again the crowd boos, at which Kennedy can only shake his head...

Mr. Kennedy: Yet despite all this, I still wait for my shot at glory. Despite beatin' SIX - count 'em, SIX - former World Heavyweight Champions in the past year, Teddy Long still hasn't given me the World Heavyweight Championship shot I deserve.

Kennedy now stares into the hard camera...

Mr. Kennedy: So this Sunday, since Teddy Long refuses to give me the title shot that is rightfully mine... I'm just gonna have to go out a grab it for myself. I don't care if I start at Number 1, I don't care if I have to go the distance, I don't care if I personally have to throw 29 wannabes over the top rope... I... WILL... WIN.

Kennedy now climbs to the second rope in one of the corner...

Mr. Kennedy: So you people better mark the day. January 28, 2007. The day the future of the WWE took the next big step in his evolution. The day I rise to the top of the list! The day each and every WWE Superstar finally sits up and pays me the attention I deserve. The day you all realise that just who is gonna be the man to carry this company forward. When all the fossils finally break down, when all the old timers step aside, when everyone who's overstayed their welcome finally gets the memo that they're not wanted around here anymore, you'll all realise that this Sunday was the day the greatest Superstar in WWE history made his move. And when it's all said and done...

Kennedy raises a single finger to the crowd...

Mr. Kennedy: There'll only be one name on everybody's lips... MMMIIISSSTTTEEERRR KEN – NAH – DAY!

Kennedy quickly jumps down from the second rope, returning to the centre of the ring...

Mr. Kennedy: KEN - NAH -


Furious at being interrupted, Kennedy stares down the aisle as Kane makes his entrance...

Michael Cole: Thank God that's over. I think everyone had just about enough of Mr. Kennedy and his -

John Bradshaw Layfield: (Interrupting) Whoa, wait a second. You don't speak for everybody around here Cole. You don't speak for anybody! As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Kennedy was speakin' nothin' but facts right there. Teddy Long has time and time again denied that man of what is rightfully his. Kennedy will be denied no more.

Michael Cole: But what about Kane? A veteran of Royal Rumble matches, the man who holds the record for most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble match. He could go all the way this Sunday.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Or you could shut up and listen to me when I say Mr. Kennedy will win the Royal Rumble this Sunday. I promise you all it's gonna happen!

Match 1:
vs. Mr. Kennedy

Incensed at the interruption, Kennedy is quick to get in Kane’s face and let him know about it. Kane responds with that almost maniacal laugh of his, which only serves to increase Kennedy’s anger. A stiff slap to the face soon stops Kane’s joy, but this only infuriates The Big Red Machine, who rocks Kennedy with a stiff uppercut. Kennedy hits the deck and quickly rolls towards the ropes, but Kane stays on the attack, grabbing Kennedy for an Irish whip... right into a sidewalk slam for a very early 2 count. The early moments of the match are dominated by Kane, as he punishes Kennedy in the corner, landing stiff rights, elbows and knees. A hard Irish whip sends Kennedy across, and Kane follows with a clothesline in the corner, which sees Kennedy stagger out of corner as Kane comes off the ropes... to nail Kennedy with a big boot to the face! Kennedy’s head snaps off the mat, and as he gingerly sits back up, Kane rocks him with a low angle dropkick for another near fall.

Kennedy is stunned by the early onslaught, and he crawls to the corner to try and recover. Kane is unrelenting though, pulling Kennedy to his feet for a pair of rights, but when Kane sends Kennedy to the opposite corner and charges in, Kennedy ducks the attempted clothesline, catching Kane from behind with a neckbreaker. Trying to shake off the cobwebs, Kennedy takes his time before going on the attack, starting with a few forearms and kicks to Kane’s neck, and then locking on a headlock. Kane quickly makes it back to a vertical base, scoring a pair of elbows to the midsection which allows him to force Kennedy off the ropes... but Kane lowers his head, and Kennedy quickly snaps off a DDT, getting a 2 count.

Kennedy now works to slow the pace of the match down, all the while continuing to target the neck, hitting a Russian legsweep and coming off the ropes for a swinging neckbreaker. Knees quickly rain down on the neck, and then Kennedy goes old school by locking on a camel clutch, viscously wrenching on the neck. Kennedy keeps the hold on for a few minutes, slowly wearing Kane down, with The Big Red Machine showing signs of fading. The referee steps in to check on Kane, raising his arm up... but Kane refuses to allow it to drop, drawing a pop from the crowd. Kane struggles to break free, slowly forcing himself to one knee... then onto both knees... before Kane stands up, with Kennedy still on his back! Kane struggles to break Kennedy’s grip, so he reaches up and grabs Kennedy’s head, pulling him forward... into position for the tombstone! Kane is all set to plant Kennedy... but Kennedy franticly throws desperate elbows, forcing himself back over Kane’s shoulders to drop to the mat. Kennedy quickly turns to run off the ropes... straight into a tilt-a-whirl slam!

Kane now looks to regain control, and he starts by climbing to the top rope... to nail the flying clothesline! 1... 2... Kennedy rolls a shoulder. Kane now has eyes on putting Kennedy away, as he gets to his feet and cocks his right hand in the air. Kennedy takes an age to get back up, but when he does, he turns straight into Kane... and gets a right hand wrapped around his throat! Kennedy struggles to fight it, and out of desperation he falls backwards, grabbing Kane’s tights as he does, sending Kane crashing into the corner... and the referee! Kane flattens the ref against the turnbuckle, which sees the referee crumple to the mat. Kennedy shows no remorse on concern though as he grabs Kane and spins him around, to hoist Kane up on his shoulders... Green Bay plunge... no! Kane pushes himself off Kennedy’s shoulders to drop to the mat, and he again clutches Kennedy by the throat... takes him up into the air... and down for the chokeslam! Kane plants Kennedy and goes for the cover... but the ref is down! Kane turns to try and revive the ref, but as he does, the crowd is rising... as a figure races through the arena, leaping over the barricade, pushing Tony Chimel to the floor and grabbing the steel chair on which he was sitting on... it’s Montel Vontavious Porter!! MVP is back, and he’s stood in the ring behind Kane, steel chair in hand... BANG! MVP damn near takes Kane’s head off WITH THE CHAIR!! Immediately Kane crashes to the mat, with Kennedy immediately taking advantage, crawling over to make the cover, with MVP jumping out of the ring, just in time for the ref to stir and see Kennedy with the leg hooked... 1... 2... 3.

Winner: Mr. Kennedy @ 09.21

Revelling in his victory, Kennedy quickly rolls under the bottom rope to the floor, his hand being raised by the official. Kennedy quickly backs his way up the aisle, while MVP has now slipped back into the ring...

Michael Cole: MVP is back! MVP, he came through the crowd and just smacked a steel chair across Kane's skull!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Haha! I love it! I interview MVP three weeks ago, and he promised he'd get even with Kane, and he just took a big step towards settlin' the score. That big red monster, who you said was a favourite for the Rumble hasn't moved a damn inch, and it's all because of MVP!

In the ring, MVP stands over the fallen Kane, still clutching the steel chair in his hand. The referee has by now returned to the ring, but MVP quickly chases him back out of the ring. MVP turns back towards Kane, smiling over what he has achieved, until suddenly... Kane sits up! The crowd pops as Kane rises... only for MVP to hit him with a second sick shot to the skull!

The crowd quickly dies as Kane slumps back down towards the mat, with MVP slamming the chair down nearby. Once again MVP stands over Kane, staring down at the fallen Big Red Machine, and it's with that image that we fade into commercial.


When we return, the camera and Josh Matthews are scrambling down a hallway...

Josh Matthews: Uh, folks, welcome back to Smackdown. Moments ago we saw MVP return to the ring for the first time since Armageddon and he... MVP! MVP!

The camera focuses down the corridor to see MVP quickly walking away, with Matthews trying desperately to catch up with him...

Josh Matthews: MVP, MVP can we grab a few words with you please?

Stopping, MVP turns to face Matthews, taking his expensive looking sunglasses off...

Montel Vontavious Porter: Man, what you want?

Josh Matthews: MVP, we haven't seen in you in a WWE ring for over a month, we haven't heard from you for the last three weeks. Why are you here tonight? Why have you chosen tonight to make your return?

Montel Vontavious Porter Why am I back? You wanna know why I'm back?

Matthews nods...

Montel Vontavious Porter I'll ya' why I'm back. I'm back for two reasons Josh. The first reason... is lying flat on his ass in the middle of the ring right now. At Armageddon, I suffered second degree burns at the hands of that sick freak. I owe Kane. I owe him a lot of pain and sufferin', and if you thought tonight was somethin', you betta believe me when I say I'm just gettin' started!

Josh Matthews: And the second reason?

MVP smiles, returning his sunglasses to his face as he nods his head...

Montel Vontavious Porter The second reason... is 'cos y'all lookin' at the 30th entrant into the Royal Rumble match this Sunday.

Murmurs from the crowd as Matthews is taken aback by the response...

Josh Matthews: So wait, MVP, you're the final entrant in the Royal Rumble match?

Montel Vontavious Porter Man you heard me! I'm the 30th man, but not only that... I'm the guy who's gonna win the whole damn thing. Now excuse, but I got places to be. I'm outta here.

And with that, MVP walks off, leaving behind a shocked Matthews as we fade into a video...

*Video Package*

Narrator: Every year, 30 men chase a dream...

Shots of historical Royal Rumble moments, starting with Shawn Michaels dumping The British Bulldog over the top rope and then collapsing to his knees in victory...

Narrator: 30 men who fight for greatness...

Triple H returning in 2002 and last eliminating Kurt Angle before celebrating in the ring...

Narrator: 30 men who strive for their spot...

Quick-fire shots of 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin's three Rumble wins, 1997, 1998 and 2001...

Narrator: In the annals of time.

We now see stadium-wide shots of past Wrestlemania's, with the flashing lights and pyro displays of yesteryear...

Narrator: They crave immortality...

We now see shots from last year's Royal Rumble, starting with Shane McMahon eliminating Shawn Michaels...

Narrator: They seek prominence...

The iconic image of Rey Mysterio headscissoring Randy Orton over the top rope to claim victory...

Narrator: But only one...

Rapid-fire images of eliminations, with bodies crashing to the floor as the pace of the video quickens...

Narrator: Will fulfil their destiny.


*End Video Package*

Michael Cole: Folks, the Royal Rumble is this Sunday live on pay per view. The journey towards Wrestlemania starts at the Royal Rumble, and for one man it'll mean the chance to challenge for a Heavyweight Championship of his choice at Wrestlemania 23.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And if you ask me, the winner of the Royal Rumble match is going to be a Smackdown Superstar. We are the A-show, we've got all the talent, and the prestigous World Heavyweight Championship is the prixe everyone has their eyes on.

Michael Cole: And let's talk about some of the contenders to win the Royal Rumble from here on Smackdown. Who ya' got to win it all partner?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Lemme tell ya', in the Royal Rumble, usually you look to the guys who have the experience of being a champion. You look to a guy like King Booker, a former World Heavyweight Champion, a guy who's been there and done it all. He's gotta be a favourite. But this year, I'm lookin' towards the future. I'm lookin' at guys like MVP, who just returned tonight in a big way, or the guy who is the favourite for my money, Mr. Kennedy!

Michael Cole: You're pickin' Mr. Kennedy to win?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Kennedy is my guy! It's time for the new blood to make their move, it's time for Mr. Kennedy to step up and show he belongs, and he's gonna do it this Sunday at the Royal Rumble!

Michael Cole: Certainly an interesting pick, but when you talk about veterans who have been there and done it in the past, how can you ignore somebody like The Undertaker? A legend of the business, a man who in his storied career has never won the Royal Rumble. Could this year be his year? Or what about Kane? The man who holds the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble match?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Kane'll be lucky to make it to the Rumble after the beatin' he just took for MVP.

Michael Cole: Or if you're lookin' for a guy on the rise, how about Matt Hardy? A huge match with Joey Mercury ahead of him tonight, if Hardy could win tonight, he's gonna make a few people sit up and take notice of him, and it could lead to a win in the Royal Rumble match.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I've always said Matt Hardy is a main eventer waiting to happen, but this is not his time. This is Kennedy's time to shine, and it all starts this Sunday.

Michael Cole: And remember folks, last Monday night on Raw, Edge won a ten man battle royal to earn the valuable Number 30 spot. Edge will be the last man in the Rumble, will he be the last man standing too?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Well let me just say, I think the winner will be a Smackdown Sueprstar, and the winner will of course challenge for the most prestigious prize in the game, the World Heavyweight Championship.

Michael Cole: Speaking of the World Heavyweight Championship, it's up for grabs this Sunday when the champion, 'The Animal' Batista takes on the challenger, 'The Fighting Irishman' Finlay.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I think you'll find that's 'The Wounded Animal' Cole. Batista is banged up, Finlay and that shillelagh of his have done a whole lotta damage over the last few weeks. Batista is hurt, and you gotta be at 100% to have any chance of beatin' a guy like Finlay.

Michael Cole: Well, I agree that Batista isn't at 100%, there's no denying that. But Batista has battled through injuries in the past, he's fought through the pain barrier before and been able to stand tall at the end of it.

John Bradshaw Layfield: But Batista wasn't takin' on someone who can inflict as much pain as Finlay can. This is gonna be one of toughest tests of The Animal's career, and I don't think Batista has it in 'im to make it past Finlay.

Michael Cole: Well, we'll find out this Sunday. But the Royal Rumble isn't just about the Royal Rumble match and the World Heavyweight Championship, as the United States Championship is also on the line. The champion Chris Benoit defends his gold against the man who has made quite the impact since his arrival here on Smackdown, Test.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Michael, I've been in this business for a long time, I've known Chris Benoit for a long time. Chris Benoit is one of the toughest men to have ever stepped foot in that ring. But the way Test has dominated him since he showed up on Smackdown, I've never seen anything like it. I've never seen Chris Benoit dominated in this fashion before. I can't see how Chris Benoit can retain his title. I just can't see it.

Michael Cole: Well Chris Benoit is a fighter. He's battled to the very top of this industry in the past, and I think he can do it again. Test has arrived with a lot of momentum, he's looked very impressive, including last week when he pinned Chris Benoit during tag team action, but I gotta believe Chris Benoit can withstand Test's offense and remain United States Champion.

Before the debate can continue...


It's a good pop for the WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London and Brian Kendrick race down to the ring, Ashley Massaro not far behind...

Michael Cole: Speaking of the Royal Rumble, both Paul London and Brian Kendrick will be in the Royal Rumble match, but JBL, I gotta ask ya', in recent weeks we've seen this newcomer Maryse paying London and Kendrick a lot of attention. What do ya' think Maryse's agenda is with The Hooligans?

John Bradshaw Layfield: I don't know what her agenda is, but I don't understand what a woman like that is doin' hangin' around with this pair of idiots.

Michael Cole: Well last week, the words between Maryse and Ashley escalated into violence as the two had a good ol' fashioned catfight backstage.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And for some reason those two clowns decided to break it up. Sounds like somethin' you would do Cole.

Before Cole can respond...


It's a solid reaction for The Extremists as Tommy Dreamer, Sabu and The Sandman step out, all three men ready for action...

Michael Cole: Last week saw The Extremists make a victorious debut here on Smackdown, as they scored a win over William Regal and-

John Bradshaw Layfield: (Interrupting) Hold on a minute! Why don't you tell it like it is? Regal and Taylor had that match won until that drunken idiot The Sandman spat beer in Regal's face!

Michael Cole: Well that may have had somethin' to do with it.

John Bradshaw Layfield: It had everythin' to do with it! I couldn't believe it when Teddy Long signed these three maniacs, and I was disgusted at what I saw last week. The sooner those three are on the end of a serious ass kickin' the better.

Match 2: Non Title Match
WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans w/ Ashley Massaro vs. The Extremists (Tommy Dreamer and Sabu) w/ The Sandman

Sabu and London start the match, and the action is faced paced in the early moments as both men throw caution to the wind, with London connecting on a springboard crossbody out of the corner while Sabu nails a springboard back elbow after being sent into the ropes. Dreamer and Kendrick both tag in, and while Kendrick continues with the fast nature of the match by hitting a hurricanrana. Dreamer slows the match down with a falling neckbreaker. Back on their feet, Dreamer rocks Kendrick with a string of right hands, going for an Irish whip, only for Kendrick to duck the attempted clothesline. Kendrick continues to run the ropes, but when he goes for a running crossbody, Dreamer drops to the mat, which sees Kendrick crash and burn, his momentum carrying him under the bottom rope. Dreamer is back on his feet near the ropes, which prompts London to charge the ring, hitting Dreamer with a flying crossbody that takes both men over the top rope to the outside! We now have Dreamer, Kendrick and London on the floor, near the announce desk and the corner in which Sabu stands. The chance to fly is too much for Sabu to resist, and he waits for all three men to return to their feet before he makes his move, bouncing to the second rope... for a springboard moonsault! Sabu takes out all three guys on the outside, and that’s the image we see as we fade to commercial, with all four competitors down on the outside as an “E-C-DUB!” chant rings out.


When we return, Dreamer and London are now both the legal men, with Dreamer in control as he scoops London up and then drops him with an inverted DDT. With this match consisting of two face teams, there is no long period of dominance from either side, instead the match continues to swing back and forth. Sabu rocks London with a springboard tornado DDT for a long 2 count, leading to Dreamer getting the tag. Dreamer and Sabu combine to whip London to the corner, with Dreamer dropping to all fours infront of the corner. Sabu then charges, going for an assisted air Sabu (poetry in motion) but as he flies, London dives for safety, leaving Sabu to crash into the turnbuckle. London dives to tag Kendrick, who jumps to the top rope... missile dropkick to Dreamer! With Sabu still down, Kendrick continues to attack Dreamer, hitting a series of forearms before London arrives for a double Irish whip into a double hiptoss, with London finishing off the flurry by hiptossing Kendrick onto Dreamer for a near fall.

With Sabu still down in the corner The Hooligans enjoy a brief period of advantage, allowing them to hit a double flapjack on Dreamer. Sabu finally returns to his feet, rocking London and Kendrick with right hands before charging off the ropes... Sabu ducks a double clothesline and bounces to the second rope... springboard twisting crossbody! Both Hooligans go down, and now Dreamer is back on his feet. Sabu climbs through the ropes and stands on the apron, while Dreamer grabs London... fallaway slam... slingshot legdrop! The Extremists hit a double team combo of their own, with the ref finally getting some order as London rolls to the outside and Dreamer steps through the ropes. In The Extremists’ corner, Sabu hoists Kendrick up, perching him on the top turnbuckle. Sabu climbs up with him, but before anything can happen, London reaches up to pull Dreamer off the apron, with Dreamer crashing face first into the apron. This distraction allows Kendrick to hit a few fists to the gut, before he grabs Sabu, who is still stood on the second rope. Kendrick clutches Sabu around the neck and launches himself... twisting top rope DDT! Kendrick plants Sabu, and he quickly makes a tag to London, who climbs to the top rope, steadies himself... then goes for it... 450 SPLASH!! London connects to a huge pop and quickly hooks the leg... 1... 2... 3!!

Winners: The Hooligans @ 07.14

The bell brings an appreciative pop from the crowd, recognising the competitive yet fair nature of the match. Kendrick is back on his feet to help London back to a vertical base, and Dreamer and Sandman do likewise for Sabu. Ashley also enters the ring to offer London a brief hug, and soon all six are stood across the ring from each other. Clutching his neck to sell the offense he was subjected too, Dreamer gingerly walks to the centre of the ring, offering Kendrick a handshake... which is readily accepted. Soon London and Sabu are slapping hands, and the crowd responds with yet another cheer. In a great show of respect, Dreamer raises London's hand to another pop, before the extreme trio depart the ring, leaving the champions to themselves...

Michael Cole: Another great showing from London and Kendrick. The Hooligans once again prove they are the dominant tag team here on Smackdown.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I may not like 'em, but I gotta hand it to 'em, London and Kendrick are one heck of a-

???: (Interrupting) Excusez-moi!

Quickly all eyes and the camera turn to the top of the aisle to see that Maryse has stepped out from the back. Looking stunning as always, Dreamer, Sabu and Sandman are all taken aback as they walk past her, with the ever arrogant Maryse flicking a facepalm in their direction...

Maryse: Bravo Hooligans, bravo. So... yet another team try and fail to beat you. But all zese teams you face Hooligans, they all lack a certain... je ne sais quoi, non?

A few boos from the crowd, while in the ring, Ashley has a furious look on her face...

Maryse: Ze are no good for you. Ze are not a challenge for you. And but of course, zis means you as a team Hooligans... you are borin' to me. You see, I told you I could be for you Hooligans. I could add some joie de vivre to zis team. And of course, I look better than ze trashy slut in ze ring with you.

More boos...

Maryse: But sadly for you, you turned me down. I want ze gold Hooligans... and I'm going to get it. One way... or another.

Suddenly there's a commotion from the crowd, as two men sprint through the audience, leaping the barricade and sliding into the ring... to hammer London and Kendrick from behind! The tag champs are beatdown to the mat, and it's only when the camera settles on the duo that we see who they are... Rene Dupree and Sylvain Grenier!! The Canadiens lay in with a brutal assault, hitting a flurry of boots to the grounded champions. Ashley can only scream in horror as she sees her team take a beating, with Dupree and Grenier now looking to hit a few double team moves. Kendrick is first, with Dupree hoisting him up in the air... Au Revoir! Kendrick is planted with the aided snap swinging neckbreaker, but now it's London's turn, as Dupree grabs him and sends him off the ropes... Bonsoir! London tastes the double spinebuster, and now both champions are down. By this point Maryse has made it to the ring, and she corners Ashley... and gives her a stiff slap to the face! Ashley immediately crumples in the corner, clutching her face, London and Kendrick both down on the mat. Maryse is all smiles as she turns back towards her team, and with the crowd still in shock, she raises Grenier's and Dupree's arms in the air to a chorus of boos as we head backstage.

Where Josh Matthews is standing by...

Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time... he is the man who will defend the World Heavyweight Championship this Sunday at the Royal Rumble against Finlay... The Animal... Batista!

Nice pop as the champ enters the shot, dressed to compete, nodding a hello in Josh's direction. Once again the left shoulder of Batista is heavily taped up...

Josh Matthews: Batista, it was two weeks ago that you were the subject of a brutal assault from the man you face this Sunday, Finlay. And as we all can see, your left shoulder has been heavily taped these last two weeks. Batista, what is the status with that arm right now, and how will it effect you this Sunday in your World Heavyweight Championship defense?

A wry smile crosses Batista's face as he ponders his response...

Batista: Well, what can I say? Two weeks ago, Finlay and that shillelagh of his... he roughed me up pretty good. He cracked it off my skull, he smashed it off my shoulder time and time again. I can't lie, he got me two weeks. He got me good. But tell me Josh...

The Animal smiles again as he places a hand on Josh's shoulder...

Batista: How did last week's show open?

Josh Matthews: Uh... well, it opened with you walking down to the ring and calling Finlay out.

Batista: Exactly. I took everythin' Finlay had to throw at me two weeks ago, but the very next week, I was back, stood in that very ring, callin' him out!


Batista: Y'see Finlay, you can take your shots, you can try play your little games, but at the end of the day... you're messin' with one tough son of a bitch! You're dealin' with The Animal! I may be hurtin' Finlay, but don't you for one second think that gives you some kinda advantage over me. We start the fight tonight Finlay, and then this Sunday... I'm gonna finish it!

Another pop, with Batista staring intently down the camera...

Batista: So you better take your shot again tonight Finlay, 'cause I promise you... this Sunday... The Animal will be unleashed... and it's gonna be too late for you to do anythin' about it!

Batista continues to stare into the camera, and it's on the lingering stare of The Animal that we fade into commercial.


We return to the arena for...

"OH YEAH..."


It's a great response the greets the arrival of Matt Hardy, who instead of his usual jovial self has a determined look on his face, playing off of the very serious nature of the upcoming match...

Michael Cole: Welcome back to Smackdown everybody. It's now time for Matt Hardy and Joey Mercury to settle the score once and for all. A bitter rivalry that started in quite freak circumstances back at the Armageddon pay per view back on December 17th, and over a month later it all comes down to first blood.

John Bradshaw Layfield: What it comes down to is Matt Hardy gettin' what's comin' to him. Joey Mercury, who somehow managed to battle back from not only the physcial damage he suffered, not only from the countless hours of plastic surgery he had to endure, but also from the psychological trauma he suffered. Joey Mercury had model good looks before Matt Armageddon, and Matt Hardy, out of sheer jealousy in my opinion, put paid to that.

Michael Cole: Oh you gotta be kiddin' me! It was a freak accident that happened at Armageddon. Matt Hardy never went out there looking to deliberately hurt Joey Mercury.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Like I said, Matt Hardy doesn't like Joey Mercury, he was jealous of Joey Mercury's good looks so he went out there lookin' to disfigure Joey Mercury.

Michael Cole: I don't believe that for a second.


Nothing but heat as Joey Mercury makes his way down the aisle...

John Bradshaw Layfield: Here comes, for my money, the bravest guy I've ever seen. Matt Hardy made this young man's life a misery, yet he somehow comes out here week after week and performs. It's unbelievable. I take my hat off to Joey Mercury.

Michael Cole: God this is ridiculous! Why don't you tell the people at home about how on the first Smackdown of 2007, Joey Mercury returned to Smackdown and crushed a steel chair over Matt Hardy's skull, giving Hardy a concussion and busting him open? Why won't you mention the fact that last week, Joey Mercury used a drop toe hold to send Hardy face first into the steel steps, again bustin' Hardy open.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I was just gettin' to that. Matt Hardy deserved a taste of his own medicine, and he's gonna deserve to have his head busted open again tonight!

Match 3: First Blood Match
Joey Mercury
vs. Matt Hardy

There’s no traditional tie up to start this match, as the second the bell rings both men fly out of their respective corners, dying to get a piece of each other. Hardy makes the first move by using a double leg takedown, mounting Mercury to lay in with a flurry of rights and lefts. Quickly though, Mercury rolls over, and now it’s his turn to swing wildly with the fists. The rolling on the mat continues as both men trade supremacy, until the pair roll their way to the side of the ring and under the bottom rope to the outside. Here it’s Matt who gains the upper hand, striking with right hands and then smashing Mercury face first off the steel steps. Mercury staggers away from Hardy, walking to the other side of the ring, trying to shake off the cobwebs. Hardy stays on the attack though, following and catching up with Mercury, this time smashing his face off the announce desk. Mercury falls to one knee, and this allows Hardy a chance to head over and grab a chair from near the timekeeper’s desk. Hardy pauses briefly to appreciate the pop from the crowd, but he soon rears back and swings... smashing the chair off of Mercury’s head! A massive cheer greets Matt’s actions, as Mercury slumps to the floor. The ref is quick to check for any signs of blood, but he motions that the match has to continue at this time.

Mercury is little more than a dead weight as Hardy tries to drag him to his feet, but eventually Matt is able to roll him back into the ring. Again Matt mounts Joey, laying in with stiff rights, try bust open the forehead the old fashioned way, but Matt soon realises it’s going to take something extra to get the win here. Hardy decides to drag Mercury to a vertical base, but as he does, Mercury swings a low blow, causing Matt to crumple to the mat in pain. Mercury takes his time to recover, firing in a few kicks to keep Matt grounded. Mercury then walk to the opposite corner of the ring, moving quickly to rip off the turnbuckle cover, exposing the steel below. Returning to Hardy, Mercury drags him by the hair to his feet, before taking a good run... and driving Hardy’s skull into the exposed steel! Matt clutches his face as he falls to the mat, with Mercury demanding the ref check for blood. The ref signals no blood has been spilled, which leads to Mercury dropping elbows and knees to the forehead. Hardy clutches at the ropes to pull himself up, but seeing that Hardy is still dazed, Mercury jumps outside, scooping up the same steel chair that struck his skull earlier. Back in the ring, Mercury motions for Matt to rise, and when he does, Mercury makes his move... and swings with the chair... but Hardy ducks! Mercury swings straight through, dropping the chair in the process, before he turns back to Hardy... side effect!

Hardy plants Mercury, and now Hardy climbs to the second rope... legdrop finds the mark! Quickly back on his feet, Matt grabs the chair Mercury previously dropped, placing it on the mat in the centre of the ring, before pulling Joey up to his feet. Hardy hits a kick to the gut, and pulls Mercury in... twist of fate on the chair... NO! As Hardy twists Mercury pushes him into the ropes, with Matt hanging on... only for Mercury to clothesline him over the top rope to the floor at the foot of the aisle. The exposed concrete of the aisle is in Mercury’s sights as he clubs Matt from behind, Hardy staggering up the aisle a bit. The barricade meets Hardy’s skull at the hands of Mercury, before Mercury ramps up his offence, pulling Hardy in... for a sick DDT ON THE EXPOSED CONCRETE!! The crowd gasps as Mercury plants Matt, with the ref quick to check the damn near unconscious Hardy for blood... not yet, leaving an exasperated Joey to continue his assault. Mercury starts by pulling the deadweight Hardy to his feet, dragging Hardy up the aisle towards the entrance way.

Once they reach the top of the aisle, Mercury drives Hardy into the stanchion of the entrance way, not once, twice, but three times in an effort to finally bust Matt open... but again the ref signals no, saying no blood has been spilled yet. Mercury now searches for another way to bust Matt open, and he appears to have found it as he drags Hardy towards a lighting rig. Looking to drive Matt’s skull into the rig, Mercury grabs a handful of hair, rearing back to force Hardy face first into the rig... but out of desperation, Matt strikes with elbows to the midsection... and it’s Mercury who crashes into the lighting rig! Hardy then reaches down to grab a nearby set of wires... and he wraps them around Joey’s throat! Although not causing any blood, Mercury is quickly choked out, his legs buckling as he drops to the floor. Hardy now spends the next few moments dragging the lifeless Mercury back towards the ring, grabbing his ankles and pulling Joey across the concrete floor. As the pair make it to the ring, Hardy firstly rolls Mercury under the bottom rope, and then goes fishing under the ring. Soon a trash can is tossed over the top rope, followed by another steel chair, and then Hardy pulls out... a kendo stick! Cole quickly quips that perhaps Sandman left it behind earlier, much to JBL’s disgust.

In the ring, Hardy waits for Mercury to make it back to both knees, and when he does, the trash can is placed over Joey’s head. Hardy then scoops up the kendo stick... and starts hammering the trash can!! JBL damn near has a fit at ringside as Matt swings the kendo time and time and time again, caving in the can. Hardy makes it to seven kendo shots, before the eighth shot sees Mercury slump back down to the mat. The ref quickly pulls the trash can away, checking for blood... no! Still neither man bleeds, but now Hardy feels one big move will finally end this battle. Mercury is almost out of it, barely moving as Matt grabs the chair he tossed into the ring, unfolding it and placing it upright in the middle of the ring. The lifeless Mercury is pulled to his feet, with Hardy lining him up... for the twist of fate... but no, Hardy changes his mind, turning his head towards the corner, his eyes gazed at the top turnbuckle. The crowd soon pops as Hardy points to the corner... he’s taking Mercury to the top rope! Hardy hoists Mercury up onto his shoulders in fireman’s carry fashion, perching him in a seated position on the top turnbuckle. A few stiff rights rock Mercury, with Matt going to the centre of the ring to bring the chair closer to the corner. Matt now makes his climb to the top, pulling Mercury up with him. Both men stand on the top turnbuckle, Hardy cinching Mercury in, giving one last cry to the crowd... before he turns, launching himself and Mercury through the air... TOP ROPE TWIST OF FATE... ONTO THE STEEL CHAIR!!! Both men crash to the mat, Mercury face first into the steel, and the ref quickly checks as Mercury rolls over... MERCURY IS BUSTED OPEN!! HARDY WINS!!!

Winner: Matt Hardy @ 13.47

Exhausted, Hardy stays down on the mat, not even aware yet that he's picked up the win. Soon though he hears his music playing, and Matt rolls towards the ropes, using them to drag himself to his feet. The ref raises Hardy's hand in the air in victory, put Hardy collapses again into the corner, and we fade to commercial changing between the sight on Hardy sat in the corner, feeling the effects of the match, and the image of the blood stained Mercury still laying on the mat.


We return to the sight of a smiling Kristal Marshall, who is standing by for an interview...

Kristal Marshall: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Smackdown. And please welcome my guest at this time... the man who teams with Finlay to take on The Undertaker and Batista later tonight... King Booker!

Loud boos greet the arrival of King Booker, who as always has Queen Sharmell hanging off his arm. The King has his nose aimed high in the air as Kristal asks her questions...

Kristal Marshall: And Booker-

Queen Sharmell: (Interrupting) 'Dat's KING Bookah to you.

Kristal Marshall: King... Booker, after demanding that The Undertaker meet you in the middle of the ring, last week you got your wish when The Deadman confronted you after your victory over The Boogeyman. Now tonight, you and The Undertaker will meet in tag team action. King Booker, what are your thoughts on this?

Booker finally drops his gaze to stare at Kristal...

King Booker: My thoughts? You wish to hear the thoughts of your King? Last week, your King... was disgusted by the actions of The Undertaker.

Booker expresses his disgust in the look on his face while Sharmell shakes her head...

King Booker: Your King, a man of honour. A man of class. Two weeks ago, your King walked down to the square circle... and addressed The Undertaker's actions from the week before. Your King laid forth a challenge to The Undertaker. Your King acted with the dignity befitting of such a situation. You King acted with honour and with class. But The Undertaker...

Now it's Booker's turn to shake his head...

King Booker: The Undertaker... he acted like nothing more than a coward! I walk down to that ring, I issue a challenge, man to man, and that sucka jumps me from behind! 'Dat ain't right!

Booker pauses, taking a moment to compose himself as Sharmell runs a hand across his shoulder...

King Booker: So tonight... I shall stand toe to toe with The Deadman... and I shall slay thee Deadman! And this Sunday, at the Royal Rumble...

Booker chuckles to himself...

King Booker: The... Royal... Rumble. An event fit only for a King such as myself. I shall emerge victorious over 29 mere peasants... and then I would be honoured to face my associate tonight, David Finlay at Wrestlemania for the World Heavyweight Championship. Tonight, I shall conquer The Undertaker... and at the Royal Rumble... I shall conquer the WWE.

And with that, Booker offers his arm to his Queen before the pair depart the screen and we fade into a video package...

*Video Package*


MARCH 24TH, 1991

The Undertaker makes his first ever Wrestlemania appearance, stepping into the ring with the legendary 'Superfly' Jimmy Snuka. After dominating all competition placed in his path since his debut six months earlier, The Undertaker faces his toughest test to date in Snuka. However, The Deadman man would not be denied on his Wrestlemania debut, making quick work of The Superfly, in the process starting the most famous streak in wrestling history, the historic Wrestlemania undefeated streak that still stands to this day at 14-0.


*End Video Package*

We now cut to a locker room where sat on chairs are Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman and Sabu. Dreamer has an ice pack pressed against his neck, will Sabu wraps tape around his elbow. Sandman is sitting back downing a beer, but as The Extremists tend to their wounds from earlier, off camera we hear the door of the locker room swing open... as William Regal and Dave Taylor enter the frame...

William Regal: Gentlemen... a rather interesting performance you gave this evening. Very interesting indeed.

Dreamer tries to rise from his seat to go face to face with The Bluebloods, but Taylor pushes down on Dreamer's neck, forcing him back to his seat with a wince...

Tommy Dreamer: What the hell do you guys want?

William Regal: Gentlemen, the three of you have some unfinished business to attend to with Mr. Taylor and myself.

Tommy Dreamer: I think we settled things with you two last week. Y'know, last week... when we beat you two in the ring.

A snarl crosses Regal's face as he speaks through gritted teeth...

William Regal: Last week... last week was a bloody farce! What the bloody 'ell d'you think you were playin' at!? You three are nothin' more than a group of common street thugs. Nobody spits beer in my face and gets away with, d'you understand me?

This time all three Extremists rise to their feet, with Sandman grabbing his nearby trusty kendo stick...

The Sandman: How 'bout you two get the hell outta here... before I stick this (Waving the kendo stick) straight up your ass!

A slight pop from inside the arena as Regal smirks at Sandman...

William Regal: Ah yes, that's it. You wave that stick, you spit your beer in my face. You three absolutely disgust me.

Tommy Dreamer: Look Regal, I dunno what you think you're doin' comin' in here and bad mouthin' us. But if you wanna settle things, we'll give you a rematch with us. Anytime... anywhere. But from where I'm standin'... there's three of us and two of you... and you two don't wanna be on the end of a three man ass kickin'.

Regal turns to Taylor, with both men smiling at each other...

William Regal: We knew you'd say something like that. Don't worry about us gentlemen... we'll be ready. We'll be in touch with regards to a time and a place for our rematch. Come along David.

Both Regal and Taylor turn to leave the room, the duo smugly smiling as they do, leaving behind a bemused looking trio of Extremists as we head back into the arena for...


Week on week the amount of heat continues to grow for The Miz and his associate Michelle McCool...

Michael Cole: Here comes the man who's been trying to make a name for himself in recent weeks. The new and improved Miz.

John Bradshaw Layfield: If you ask me he's still same annoying jackass that he always was.

Michael Cole: Well we know you and The Miz don't get along, but you have to admit, there's been a big change in attitude from this guy as of late. He's much more aggressive in the ring, he's much more arrogant when he talks, and now he's got Michelle McCool helpin' to guide his career.

John Bradshaw Layfield: She's the only reason that punk still has a job right now. I don't get why she's associated with him. He's a nobody who's tryin' to make a name for himself at my expense.


A great pop welcomes the United States Champion Chris Benoit, who confidently makes his way down to the ring, a ruthless stare etched on his face...

Michael Cole: And this is gonna be a huge test for The Miz tonight. The United States Champion Chris Benoit is lookin' to build some momentum ahead of his clash with Test this Sunday.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And he's lookin' for momentum because Test has dominated every exchange between the two. I honestly don't know if Chris Benoit has what it takes to beat 'The Impact Player' this Sunday. If he does, I haven't seen it so far.

Match 4: Non Title Match
United States Champion Chris Benoit vs. The Miz w/ Michelle McCool

Determined to show off his new attitude and demeanour, Miz arrogantly steps forward when the bell rings, talking trash in Benoit’s face. Benoit however is having none of it, but when Miz shoves Benoit in the chest, the veteran responds with a stiff chop to the chest that sends Miz down. Clutching his chest as he returns to his feet, Miz staggers to the corner, allowing Benoit to follow in for more chops, before a hard Irish whip sends Miz across, crashing into the turnbuckle. Benoit continues his aggressive start to the match when he snaps off a backbreaker, scoring an early near fall. More chops and right hands land, with Benoit then connecting on the first release German suplex of the match. Rattled, Miz rolls to the outside, but Benoit stays on the attack, following him out, again striking with chops up against the barricade. Benoit tosses Miz back into the ring, but as he steps up onto the apron to follow Miz back in, Michelle McCool makes her presence felt, grabbing hold of Benoit’s foot. The US Champ glares down at McCool, while in the ring Miz quickly charges off the ropes... and a knee to the spine sends Benoit flying into the barricade!

Now it’s Miz who is the aggressor on the outside, clubbing Benoit’s back and driving him spine first into the side of the ring. Miz now enjoys a period of dominance, mainly focusing on Benoit’s back, driving well aimed knees and forearms to the small of the back, before a snap suplex sends Benoit down. Miz spends the next few minutes focusing on the back, going for a rear chinlock, being sure to drive his knee into Benoit’s spine as he wrenches back on the chin. Benoit is subjected to the pressure for a good while, with repeated attempts to break Miz’s grip failing. Finally though, Benoit is able to force Miz’s fingers free of his chin, breaking the grip and forcing himself back to his feet, although Miz fights to keep the hold locked in.

An elbow to the gut buys Benoit a break, and he quickly follows with a bridging northern lights suplex for a 2 count. It’s Miz however who’s back on his feet first, and he again attacks the spine with an elbow, before a hard Irish whip sends Benoit to the corner. Miz then charges, but as he goes for a swinging corner clothesline, Benoit dives for safety, seeing Miz crotch himself on the second rope. This prompts Benoit to clamp his grip on Miz, snapping off the hat-trick of German suplexes. Miz is reeling now, and a dragon screw from Benoit plants him, allowing the US Champ to climb to the top rope. Benoit steadies himself, preparing for the diving headbutt... but again McCool gets involved, climbing up onto the apron, distracting Benoit and the ref. This is enough for Miz to throw himself into the ropes, causing Benoit to awkwardly land on the top rope and then fall to the mat. Taking his time to recover, Miz lays by the ropes, before finally pulling himself back to his feet. Benoit is stirring too, so Miz decides to wait for him to rise before charging in... reality check... no! Benoit avoids the running knee, and catches Miz around the throat... crippler crossface! Benoit locks it in tight, driving Miz to the mat... and The Miz taps out!!

Winner: @ 06.12 Chris Benoit

A confident win for Benoit, who quickly release his grip and rolls off of Miz and crouches on one knee before being handed his belt by the referee. Benoit pulls himself back onto his feet, slinging his title over his shoulder, before his arm is raised. Quickly thought, Benoit snatches his arm away to stare up the aisle... at the sight of Test stood under the Smackdown fist. Dressed in jeans and a white vest, Test isn't ready to compete tonight, instead he stares down at Benoit from behind a pair of sunglasses. Benoit looks apprehensive in the ring, but at the top of the ramp, Test offers him a slow, almost sarcastic round of applause, before the camera picks up Test saying "This Sunday... that's mine." as a confident smirk crosses Test's face. In the ring, Benoit raises the title high in the air to a pop from crowd, at which Test laughs before turning to head backstage as we cut to commercial.


We return to a pre-filmed segment...

We return to the same dimly-lit room from last week. The same Italian-esque violin tune continuing to be heard in the background. The camera slowly pans the room, allowing us to see an old oak desk. We continue to pan the room, seeing a mahogany bookcase filled with many leather-bound books. The camera then focuses on the middle of the ring, where Big Vito sits on a wooden stool, hands still tied behind his back. The lone light in the room causes Vito to squint and turn his head, not allowing him to see. There is just enough light in the room for us to notice Vito no longer wears his favourite little black dress, instead he now wears a more traditional pair of black wrestling tights...

Big Vito: Why am I here? What do you want with me?

The camera now turns to the old oak desk. Sat on a leather chair behind it, the mysterious 'Godfather' figure, with Trinity stood next to him. The lack of light continues to hide our Don's face...

???: Vito, Vito, Vito. You are such 'ah' de disappointment to me. When my Grandpapi stepped off 'ah' de boat from 'ah' de old country, he never thought 'ah' he'd see our people wrestling in dresses!

Big Vito: What you got against guys in dresses?

???: It brings 'ah' de SHAME on us!

In a show of anger, the 'Godfather' slams his fist against his desk, with the camera showing us the reactions of the nearby Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke, both of whom show fear at their boss' actions...

???: Our people have 'ah' suffered enough. You have 'ah' embarrassed us for 'ah' de last times!

Big Vito: What... what are you gonna do to me?

???: Vito... we need to 'ah' retrain you. You need 'ah' to remember where 'ah' you come from. You need... to 'ah' watch this.

Suddenly Nunzio and Tony wheel a TV set infront of Vito. The bright light of the screen pierces the darkness of the room, forcing Vito to again squint. The camera focuses on Vito from behind the TV set, not allowing us to see any of the images Vito is seeing, but we do hear the opening like... "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster."

We now see a video package...

*Video Package*

We fade into a dimly lit gym, which has clearly seen better days. Smashed windows, a dusty ring, wooden bleachers, it appears to be a high school gym...

Narrator: For years he has carved a reputation as one of the very best...

We now see a slender built man aiming a series of stiff kicks at an unknown opponent, and in-between brief flashes of light we see this man is wearing maroon coloured tights...

Narrator: He has travelled the world, winning countless championships...

We now see this man engaging in a submission move with his unknown opponent, namely the cattle mutilation...

Narrator: But now...

We see our man now dressed in street clothes, leaving the shoddy gym, a blinding white light flooding the screen as he swings open the double doors...

Narrator: He brings his skill, talent and recognition...

The white light fades, and now we see the man back in his ring gear, stood in a WWE ring in an empty arena...

Narrator: To the WWE!

The camera revolves around the man, who stares into the rafters of the arena...

???: My name, is Bryan Danielson...

The camera now comes to a stop, with the man staring straight at it, a determined look in his eyes...

???: And Smackdown better be ready... for me!

The camera lingers for a few seconds before we fade to black and then the following graphic appears...


*End Video Package*

Michael Cole: And there you see the latest Superstar to sign with Friday Night Smackdown. A decorated veteran of the world wrestling scene, Bryan Danielson is soon gonna be makin' a name for himself here on Friday nights!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Now wait a minute Michael, how can you be so sure about that? I mean, what do we know about this guy?

Michael Cole: Well we know he's wrestled all over America, he's been to Europe, Japan, Australia-

John Bradshaw Layfield: (Interrupting) Yeah, yeah, that's all great, but lemme ask you this. What has he done in a WWE ring?

Michael Cole: Well nothing. He's never wrestled in the WWE before.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Exactly! Until this world renowned guy, who I've never heard of before, steps into a WWE ring and impresses me, he's not even worth talkin' about.


A nice pop as Shannon Moore makes his entrance, slapping hands with the fans as he makes his way down the aisle...

Michael Cole: Well maybe Bryan Danielson will surprise you, much like that man Shannon Moore surprised Gregory Helms a few weeks ago. The Cruiserweight four way is comin' up when we return to Friday night Smackdown!


When we return, Jamie Noble is already stood in the ring while the music of Jimmy Wang Yang is playing as Wang Yang slides under the bottom rope to salute the crowd...

Michael Cole: Welcome back folks. There you see Shannon Moore, Jamie Noble and Jimmy Wang Yang, three members of the Cruiserweight division that has been dominated by the Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms, who this Sunday at the Royal Rumble celebrates the one year anniversary of his winning of the Cruiserweight Championship.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And in that year he has taken on all comers and he has seen off every challenger. All three of those men in the ring have one way or another fallen at the hands of Gregory Helms.


It's a decent amount of heat that welcome Chavo Guerrero back to the Cruiserweight division, Vickie Guerrero by his side...

Michael Cole: Well what about this man right here? It was strong words from his Aunt Vickie last week that prompted Chavo to return to Cruiserweight wrestling, and you have to think Chavo's out to prove his credentials tonight.

John Bradshaw Layfield: The Guerrero name and legacy rests on Chavo's shoulders. He's got a big family name to live up to, and it took a kick up the ass from Vickie last week to make Chavo realise that.

Michael Cole: This match is ready to get underway now and-


*IT'S TIME...*

A surprised hush engulfs the arena as the Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms makes his way down to the ring. Not dressed to compete, Helms confidently makes his way down the aisle towards the announce desk...

Michael Cole: Well... it seems we're being joined by the Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms. I uh, I didn't know Helms was gonna be joining us.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Finally somebody on the same intellectual level as me is at the announce desk. Stand up Cole, show some respect for the Cruiserweight Champion of the World!

Cole does indeed rise to his feet as Helms places his title belt on the desk, placing a headset over his ears...

Michael Cole: Well, thanks for joinin' us Greg.

Gregory Helms: That's Gregory He... no, wait, to you it's Mr. Helms.

John Bradshaw Layfield: God what an embarrassment you are Cole. Greg, can I call you Greg?

Gregory Helms: You can but the gopher here calls me Mr. Helms.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Well Greg, allow me to apologize for Michael Cole's actions. I can't believe it's a jackass like him who has to commentate when the greatest cruiserweight in the world shows us how it's done. I sincerely apologize.

Gregory Helms: That's alright JBL, I understand it's not yo' choice, it's that joke of a GM we've got. I feel sorry that a Wrestling God like yo’self has to put up with this clown sat next to you.

Michael Cole: God this is gonna be a long match listening to you two...

Match 5: Fatal Four Way
Chavo Guerrero
w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Jamie Noble vs. Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Shannon Moore

With four top cruiserweights in the ring, this match was destined to be competed at a fast pace, and that’s exactly what we see straight from the bell, as after an initial moment or two of feeling each other out, the match kicks into gear as Yang and Moore go on the offensive, taking the fight to Chavo and Noble respectively. Moore hammers Noble in the corner, while Yang sends Chavo off the ropes into a bigtime back body drop, following with a string of armdrags. Moore whips Noble to the opposite corner, but when he charges in, Noble elevates Moore over the top rope. Moore lands on the apron, driving a shoulder into Noble’s gut and flying over the top rope into a sunset flip. Noble rolls straight through, and when both men get back on their feet, Moore is waiting to drop Noble with a spinning heel kick. With both heels down, Moore and Yang turn to each other, with Jimmy teeing off with right hands, sending Moore off the ropes, catching Moore in an overhead belly to belly.

The force of the move sends Moore rolling under the bottom rope to the outside, and this allows Chavo and Noble to make their move, clubbing Yang from behind with forearms and boots. Noble and Chavo show some teamwork as they take Yang up for a double suplex. Noble and Chavo are both quickly back on their feet, but before they can take advantage of the situation, Moore climbs to the top rope... and takes both men down with a crossbody off the top! The crowd pops for the fast paced action, and it continues throughout the match, with Moore’s attempted headscissor takedown on Chavo being countered into a sitout facebuster, while Jimmy drops Noble with an enziguiri. This leads to Yang and Guerrero squaring off for the next few moments, with Yang gaining the advantage by sending Chavo off the ropes into a monkey flip and quickly hitting a spinning heel kick, the momentum sending Chavo under the bottom ropes.

This leaves Noble, Yang and Moore in the ring, with Noble dropping Yang from behind with a reverse DDT and then forcing Moore to the corner with shots to the face. Noble then muscles Moore up, perching him on the top turnbuckle. Noble climbs to the second rope, grabbing Moore and looking for a superplex... but Moore grabs the top rope to save himself, before desperately striking with right hands to the gut. This stops Noble long enough to allow Yang to step in, as he positions himself under Noble... and he rattles both guys above him with a tower of doom! Moore crashes and burns, and Noble doesn’t fair much better, and it’s Yang who’s back on his feet first. Chavo however slips back into the ring, and he moves quickly to grab Yang and send him off the ropes... straight into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Yang goes down, and Chavo speedily heads to the top rope... to nail the frog splash! 1... 2... 3!

Winner: Chavo Guerrero @ 07.43

A confident win for Chavo, who is quickly joined by Vickie, who applauds her nephew’s efforts. Chavo is soon back on his feet to have Vickie raise his arm, before he turns his attentions to Helms at the announce desk. Chavo walks towards the ropes, pointing at Helms, motioning with his hands that he wants the Cruiserweight Title around his waist. This prompts Helms to stand up, his headphone still on his head...

Michael Cole: Well champ, what d'ya make of that? I think Chavo Guerrero just made his intentions very clear. He wants to be in the hunt for the Cruiserweight Title.

Gregory Helms: Hey listen Cole. I've taken on each and every guy who's stepped up to challenge me. If Chavo Guerrero wants a shot at my title, he's gonna have to earn it, just like everybody else. Once he's earned it, then he start challenging me.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And until then he doesn't deserve it. Until Chavo Guerrero proves he belongs back in this division, there's no reason for you step in the ring with him Greg.

Gregory Helms: You absolutely right.

Michael Cole: Sounds to me like you're maybe a little scared of Chavo after that display tonight.

John Bradshaw Layfield: You better watch your damn mouth Cole! I'm sick and tired of you insulting our guests!

Gregory Helms: I'm the Cruiserweight Champion Cole. I ain't afraid of nobody! I'm the best cruiserweight in the world, and I'll prove that to you and Chavo Guerrero, anytime, anywhere.

And with the camera switching between Helms stood at the desk and Chavo stood in the ring, we soon fade backstage...

To see Finlay making his way down to the ring, with The Little Bastard walking by his side. Finlay turns a corner, heading towards the entrance to the arena, where he is stopped by Smackdown GM Teddy Long...

Finlay: What the hell d'ya want Teddy?

Long smiles, while The Little Bastard snarls in Long's direction...

Teddy Long: Listen playa. These last few weeks, you won a lot of matches, and you done a whole of damage to Batista.

Finlay flashes that toothy grin of his as the memories of recent weeks come flooding back...

Teddy Long: But you been doin' it with a weapon in yo' hand playa. And I ain't gonna stand for that no more. So you gonna have to hand over that...

Long points towards the shillelagh...

Teddy Long: To me.

Finlay: What?! Ye can't do that me!

Teddy Long: Oh yes I can playa. Now you hand over that shillelagh, or I'm gonna cancel your title match this Sunday. I ain't gonna stand for you usin' that no mo' playa. Now... hand it over.

Again The Little Bastard snarls in Teddy's direction, but Long stands firm, his hand outstretched, waiting to receive the shillelagh. Finlay clutches his trusty weapon tightly, raising in the air, looking as if he's about to strike Teddy Long with it... but Finlay relents, slowly handing it over, much to his disgust...

Teddy Long: Alright. I appreciate you handi-

Finlay: (Interrupting) Shut yer mouth Long! I don't need a shillelagh to beat Batista. So why don't you hold on to that for me? And after the Royal Rumble, I'll be knockin' on yer door to get it back... as the World Heavyweight Champion.

A brief stand off ensues before Finlay turns to leave, muttering a "C'mon." to The Little Bastard, who takes one last snarl at Teddy before he follows Finlay out of the shot. Teddy lets out a deep sigh, and the lasting image we see as we fade to commercial is that off a very relieved General Manager.


We go to straight to the arena as we return for...



A ton of heat as the shillelagh-less Finlay angrily makes his way down the aisle, a seriously pissed off look on his face, The Little Bastard by his side...

Michael Cole: Welcome back folks. Moments before went to commercial, Teddy Long, in a great move if you ask me, told Finlay that he was taking away the shillelagh, that it was banned from being used tonight and this Sunday at the Royal Rumble.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And you agree with that? You think that's fair?

Michael Cole: Of course. It makes it a level playing field. We've seen the damage Finlay can do with that shillelagh in his hand.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Tell me Michael, what's the Second Amendment to the Constitution?

Michael Cole: The right to bear arms.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Exactly. The shillelagh, a historic symbol of Irish weaponry. Teddy Long has just denied Finlay his right to bear arms. Teddy Long is a bigot, he is a racist and he is prejudiced towards the Irish! Try and deny that Cole!

Michael Cole: You gotta be kiddin' me! You can't be serious about that.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I'm damn serious! I'm sick and tired of Teddy Long. He's been gettin' away with this kinda crap for far too long! It's about time somebody did somethin' about it. I hope Finlay wins the World Heavyweight Championship, and then I wanna see him stick that shillelagh down Teddy Long's throat!

Michael Cole: I can't believe I'm hearin' this...


For Cole it's a welcome distraction when King Booker and Queen Sharmell make their way out. As always the pair stop at the top of the aisle, with Booker raising his pinky high in the air to a chorus of boos...

Michael Cole: Let's try change the subject here and talk about this developing rivalry between King Booker and The Undertaker. It was three weeks ago, during the Number One Contenders match that Finlay would go on to win, that me and you JBL got a very up close and personal look at how this rivalry started.

John Bradshaw Layfield: You mean when The Undertaker, for no apparent reason, chokeslammed King Booker through our announce desk?

Michael Cole: That's what got this rivalry started. And since then, we've seen King Booker call out The Undertaker, which lead to last week when The Deadman answered the call, appearing out of nowhere to drop Booker with another chokeslam, this time in the centre of the ring.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Why won't you tell it like it happened Cole? The Undertaker had to use a sneak attack, he had to use all his mind games to gain an advantage. Well there's gonna be no mind games tonight, there's no chance for The Undertaker to take the easy way out. King Booker will get his hands on The Deadman, and he will teach him a lesson tonight.




Smoke quickly fills the arena as the crowd lets loose with an incredible response as The Undertaker makes his entrance, the arena bathed in darkness as he slowly makes his way down the aisle, with Booker and Finlay both diving through the ropes to the outside...

Michael Cole: You said there would be no running. So far the only person running is King Booker. He got out of the ring in a hurry.

John Bradshaw Layfield: He's not runnin' anywhere. King Booker wants this match, he wants this fight. He's just givin' The Undertaker plenty of space, so there's no excuses before the match starts.

In the ring, The Phenom removes his hat, rolling his eyes into the back of his head before handing the hat down to a nearby ringhand. Undertaker walks towards the centre, of the ring, stopping, keeping his eyes fixed on Booker until...


The roof nearly comes off the arena as the World Heavyweight Champion Batista storms out, charging from one side of the aisle to the other before squatting under the Smackdown fist to set off a huge burst of pyro...

Michael Cole: Here comes The Animal! Here comes the man who this Sunday puts the gold on the line against Finlay! Can Batista, injured shoulder and all, defeat The Belfast Brawler?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Like I said before, I don't think he can do it, but if he's gonna have any chance at it, he's gonna have to make it through this match unscathed. This is gonna be very interesting to see just how Finlay and Booker attack The Animal...

Main Event: Tag Team Match
World Heavyweight Champion Batista and The Undertaker vs. Finlay w/ The Little Bastard and King Booker w/ Queen Sharmell

Initially we start with Booker and Batista in the ring, and despite still having a heavily taped shoulder, The Animal dominates early on, beating Booker in early tests of strength by knocking Booker down with shoulder blocks and then sending Booker crashing to the corner with a hard Irish whip. Batista follows in for a clothesline in the corner, then he drives the shoulder into the midsection several times. A nice pop greets the arrival of The Undertaker, with The Deadman focusing his attack on Booker’s left arm, twisting and wrenching on it before walking the top rope... for old school! Big boots and stiff right hands continue to knock down Booker, before Batista returns to the ring to send Booker off the ropes... but Booker reverses, and as Batista comes off the ropes, Finlay drives a knee into the back... allowing Booker to nail the Harlem sidekick, knocking Batista over the top rope to the floor! Booker then turns to pick a fight with Taker, which draws the attention of the ref. This allows Finlay on the outside to grab Batista’s injured arm... and smash it into the ringpost! Batista drops to the floor, clutching his shoulder, crying in pain as we fade into commercial.


And we return to see Finlay repeatedly driving his knee into Batista’s arm as the champ lays grounded on the canvas. Finlay relents, but it’s only so he can come off the ropes to hit a running seated senton. The next few minutes see some good teamwork from Finlay and King Booker, with both men making plenty of tags and working well together to target the arm of Batista. During one spell in the ring, Booker twists the arm to hit a hook kick, he tosses Batista shoulder first into the corner and then hits a single arm DDT. Finlay also does some damage, connecting with the point of his elbow into Batista’s shoulder joint and then locking on a hammerlock. Wrenching on the arm, Finlay continues to apply pressure, occasionally driving his knee into the arm of The Animal. After being locked in the hold for a few minutes, the crowd rallies behind Batista, and The Animal slowly starts to rise, first of all making it back to his knees, then back to his feet. Finlay continues to hold on while stood behind Batista, put the Irishman is powerless to stop the champ as he ducks under Finlay, countering the hammerlock into a big side suplex.

The crowd pops, and now both men are down, crawling for their corners. Finlay makes it to tag in King Booker... but here comes The Undertaker! The crowd erupts as The Deadman gets the hot tag, unloading with rapid fire punches to the midsection before a big right to the face knocks Booker down. Finlay is back up, but as he charges Taker knocks him down with a big boot to the face. Taker again turns his attention to Booker, rocking him clubbing fists and then sending Booker off the ropes... Booker reverses, but he ducks his head... running DDT! Taker plants Booker, but he then gets nailed from behind by Finlay, who rains down with forearms to the back... SPEAR! Finlay turns just as The Animal charges! Finlay is down and he quickly rolls to the floor, but Batista doesn’t wait, instead he steps through the ropes to take the fight to Finlay on the outside. Batista rocks Finlay with right hands, with Finlay staggering his way around the ring, trying to distance himself from the champion. The number one contender makes it to the bottom of the aisle, where he turns to hit a knee to the gut.

While all this is happening on the outside, in the ring Booker drops Undertaker with the Harlem sidekick, and he now motions for Undertaker to rise. Slowly The Deadman makes it back to a knee, then to his feet, but on the way up Booker makes his move... axe kick... NO! Undertaker avoids it... and he clutches Booker by the throat... CHOKESLAM!!! Undertaker plants King Booker, while on the outside we see Batista and Finlay have descended into an all out brawl halfway up the aisle, Finlay driving Batista into the barricade but The Animal hangs on to smash Finlay with forearms. In the ring, Undertaker stares ominously into the camera... and draws a thumb across his throat! On the outside, Sharmell can do nothing but scream as she watches her husband somehow return to his feet... only for Taker to hoist him up onto his shoulder... TOMBSTONE!!! Undertaker nails the tombstone, crossing Booker’s arms across his chest for the inevitable... 1... 2... 3!!

Winners: Batista and The Undertaker @ 13.07

It’s a great pop as The Undertaker puts Booker down for the count. Meanwhile on the aisle, Batista and Finlay continue their battle, neither man aware that the match is over...

Michael Cole: The match may be over, but all hell has broken loose! We need security or somebody to get out here and stop these two.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Haha! I love it! You ain't gonna stop those two in a hurry! Batista and Finlay are gonna fight all night! Hell, they might still be fightin' by the time we make it to the Royal Rumble!

The battle rages on up the aisle, with security, road agents and referees trying their best to separate champion and challenger, but their efforts are futile as Batista and Finlay continue to trade a flurry of rights and lefts on the concrete. In the ring, The Undertaker has returned to his feet, and he stares ominously at the Royal Rumble banner hanging from the rafters...

Michael Cole: That's what it's all about this Sunday folks! For Batista and Finlay, it's the World Heavyweight Championship, but for The Undertaker, it's all about the chance to headline Wrestlemania 23! Join us live this Sunday on pay per view for the Royal Rumble! Goodnight!

The lights go out again in celebration of The Undertaker's victory, but through the shadows the camera manages to pick out Batista and Finlay, still brawling on the aisle, neither man giving an inch as we fade... to... black.

*End Show*

Current Card for WWE Royal Rumble:
Date: January 28th 2007

Location: AT&T Centre, San Antonio, Texas

WWE Championship Match:
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam

World Heavyweight Championship Match:
World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. Finlay

Intercontinental Championship Match:
Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Kenny Dykstra

United States Championship Match:
United States Champion Chris Benoit vs. Test

30 Man Royal Rumble Match:
Winner has automatic title shot at EITHER brand’s Champion at Wrestlemania XXIII:
Entrants in Alphabetical order:

Bobby Lashley, Brian Kendrick, Carlito, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, CM Punk, Edge, Gregory Helms, Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro, Kane, King Booker, Lance Cade, Matt Hardy, Mr. Kennedy, Montel Vontavious Porter, Paul London, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Sabu, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, The Miz, The Sandman, The Undertaker, Tommy Dreamer, Trevor Murdoch, Triple H, Umaga


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