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Re: The World Wrestling Entertainment

March 10th, 2006 | Mobile Civic Center; Mobile, Alabama

The show kicks off in the same fashion as RAW, with a video package detailing the events of Saturday Night’s Main Event, where we saw John Cena and Kurt Angle go to a No Contest thanks to the interference from Edge. Matt Hardy was able to defeat MNM, then declare with the return of his brother Jeff, that The Hardy Boyz were coming for the WWE Tag Team Titles. Trish Stratus beat an apologetic Mickie James down, leaving her in a bloody heap, much to the shock of the fans. Charlie Haas picked up the win for himself and Shelton Benjamin, earning them a shot at the World Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania, much to Shelton’s disgust. Bobby Lashley was able to defeat Finlay in a Belfast Brawl, seeing off not just the Irishman, but also interference from John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield, who Finlay levelled with his shillelagh after the bout. Edge was able to become the champion of champions, pinning Batista in the Clash of the Champions match thanks to some interference. Booker T retained his United States Title over Chris Benoit in controversial fashion thanks to Orlando Jordan, before RVD called out The Undertaker, and the two had a confrontation which led to a match being announced for the two at WrestleMania. Finally, before the package calms for a moment, we see Rey Mysterio able to defeat Psicosis in Rey’s return to the cruiserweight division.

The package now grinds almost to a halt, as we see Triple H being kicked out of the arena at the start of the night, then the highlights of Shane McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels in a Street Fight. The early parts are dominated by Shawn Michaels, only for The Spirit Squad to intervene and assist Shane McMahon into almost winning the match. Michaels, however, makes a huge comeback, disposing of The Spirit Squad and looking set to finish the match when Triple H appears. The crowd goes nuts as Triple H presents Shawn with his trusty sledgehammer to hit Shane with, but Shawn tells Triple H he can do it … only to cut Triple H off with Sweet Chin Music! Shawn goes absolutely crazy, shouting at Shane to leave the ring, before hitting the referee with Sweet Chin Music too! Dramatic music kicks in, as Shawn steps it up a level, taking the sledgehammer from Triple H’s hand so he can beat Triple H into oblivion, before finishing him off with the killer blow to the head. The crowd stands in shock as the video package ends, showing Shawn Michaels standing over Triple H, giving him the signature D-Generation X crotch chop.

From there we cut away to the traditional Friday Night SmackDown! opening, complete with video montage and Drowning Pool’s ‘Rise Up’ playing in the background. At the conclusion of the video we cut into the arena to see an impressive display of pyrotechnics on the stage, before the camera sweeps out through the arena, settling down at the announce table.

Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome here to Friday Night SmackDown!, where this week we come to you from Mobile, Alabama. I’m Michael Cole, joined here at ringside by my partner Tazz, and partner, what a show we have in store tonight following an amazing return of Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Tazz: You ain’t kiddin’, Cole. Saturday Night’s Main Event was absolutely off the hook, and with just twenty-three days to go ‘til WrestleMania 22, I got a feelin’ this show is gonna be too.

Michael Cole: The excitement for WrestleMania is certainly building partner, and tonight, we’ll find out another piece to the WrestleMania puzzle when in a Money in the Bank qualifier, Finlay takes on JBL’s ‘Hired Gun’, Brent Albright.

Tazz: This past Saturday night Finlay leveled JBL with the shillelagh after JBL stuck his nose in Finlay’s match, where Finlay said it didn’t belong. Tonight JBL will be hopin’ Brent Albright can get him the ultimate revenge by beatin’ Finlay and keepin’ him off the WrestleMania card.

Michael Cole: Speaking of Money in the Bank, the two men from SmackDown! who have already qualified will be going one on one after Mr. Kennedy walked out on Paul London on the pre-show at Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Tazz: This is a big match for Paul London. A lotta people have been sayin’ that he’s the underdog at WrestleMania, and I tend to agree with that. Mr. Kennedy on the other hand, he’s a favourite, so if Paul London can knock off Mr. Kennedy, he’ll go a long way to givin’ himself a chance in people’s minds at WrestleMania.

Michael Cole: We will also see the return of The Hardy Boyz, as for the first time in FOUR YEARS, they’ll team up here tonight to take on The Mexicools. Plus Rey Mysterio extends another cruiserweight invitational to the SmackDown! roster, and we expect to hear from both Chris Benoit and Batista on their respective title situations.

Silence for a moment, before …


The crowd EXPLODES with a massive pop, as none other than the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista storms out onto the stage. Relishing the cheers from the crowd, Batista runs from one side of the stage to the other, playing it up to the people, before bouncing across to the centre of the stage and setting off his pyro.

Michael Cole: And it doesn’t look like we’re going to have to wait long to hear from ‘The Animal’!

Tazz: Batista’s clearly got a lot on his mind. I mean, he’s lost not once, but twice in the past week. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen Batista lose two straight matches, particularly since being here on SmackDown!.

Michael Cole: But you have to remember that Randy Orton has been the cause of both of those losses, sticking his nose in Batista’s business.

Tazz: Excuses or not, it’s still gotta be weighin’ heavy on the champ’s mind.

Batista marches on down the ramp, then climbs up into the ring exuberantly, showing off his title for a moment, before receiving a microphone. The crowd continues to cheer at first, even starting up a small chant of “Batista! Batista! Batista!” prompting Big Dave to try to quieten them down.

Batista: Alright, alright alright alright alright.

The crowd cheers a little louder, before hushing at Batista’s command. Looking cool as always, Batista peers out to the crowd through his sunglasses for a moment, before speaking again.

Batista: Y’know, it’s hard to believe, but in three weeks time, it’ll be one whole year since I first won this.

Batista motions to the title that sits on his shoulder, pacing about as he does so.

Batista: One – whole – year. It’s a helluva a long time, and y’know it seems like even longer, not that that’s a bad thing. And not to get ahead of myself, but I think I’ve been a pretty good champion.

Small pop from the crowd.

Batista: What do you people think? Have I been a good champion?

The crowd obviously responds with a large pop, giving an emphatic “yes” as their answer to Batista’s question, causing the big man to crack a smile.

Batista: Thanks for that, but it’s not just you guys who think that either. Y’know, each and every week when I watch SmackDown! back, I listen to the commentary, and I hear Michael Cole and Tazz refer to my reign as … what was it again? Oh yeah … a year … of dominance.

Another big pop from the crowd. Even Michael Cole is getting cheered tonight.

Batista: That … that’s a pretty big statement. That’s comin’ from two guys who’ve been here awhile and know what they’re talkin’ about, so I’m honoured to hear that come from their mouths.

Batista pauses for a moment, pacing about the ring.

Batista: And it’s not like I’ve had it easy either. Contrary to what Edge may have said this past week on RAW …

Big heat from the crowd for the Edge mention.

Batista: I haven’t run away. I haven’t hiden. I have never ducked a single challenge. Not one. I’ve met each and every challenge that’s been laid down in front of me head on. I’ve met every man who has had the guts to challenge me head on, and believe me, they’ve been some of … no, scratch that … they’ve been THE best this industry has seen. I’ve faced guys like Triple H.

HUGE pop from the crowd.

Batista: Don’t let the guy holdin’ the title right now on RAW fool you. Triple H is the smartest guy I’ve ever stepped in the ring with. He isn’t called ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ for nothin’. He’s a former ten time world champion … and he’s also the guy I beat back at WrestleMania 21 to become the World Heavyweight Champion.

Another big pop from the crowd for the title victory being brought up.

Batista: I’ve faced JBL.

Big time heat from the crowd for Layfield.

Batista: I know, I know. Don’t let the fact that JBL is complete pain in the ass fool you. He knows how to go. Before I got here, JBL was the longest reigning champion in SmackDown! history. He held his WWE Title for over nine months. That’s a long time. He’s not called a ‘Wrestling God’ for no reason, aside from the fact he decided to call himself that.

Pop from the crowd as Batista gives a cheeky smile.

Batista: I’ve faced the late, great Eddie Guerrero!

Huge pop from the crowd, who break out into a chant of “EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE!” causing Big Dave to wait for a moment, before speaking again.

Batista: Now it goes without saying that Eddie is possibly the greatest wrestler to ever step foot between these ropes. He’s goin’ into the Hall of Fame this year for a reason, and I can’t wait to see it!

Big pop from the crowd, who again begin to start chanting “EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE!” bringing a momentary halt to the promo. Finally, when they’re done, Batista speaks again.

Batista: I’ve faced Mark Henry.

Big boos from the crowd for Henry.

Batista: Now this time don’t let the cute and cuddly exterior fool you …

Laughs from the crowd as Batista smiles cheekily.

Batista: He’s one tough man. He’s strong. In fact, he’s ‘The World’s Strongest Man’, but he’s also fast and smart. He is possibly the most calculating big guy you’ll ever find. The most dangerous man on the planet.

Mixed reaction from the crowd, as Batista looks to continue quickly.

Batista: I’m not just rambling, there’s a point to this and that is this. I have been in Hell in a Cell matches, Steel Cage matches, Street Fights, No Holds Barred matches. I’ve been in straight up matches with some of the best wrestlers you could ever find, I’ve done all of it, but each and every time I’ve been involved, I have been the one to come out of things standing tall! No, I don’t mean to brag, but that means that I’ve been practically … untouchable

Big pop from the crowd, but Batista isn’t done, taking on a very serious demeanour.

Batista: … Until lately. Lately, this past week, things have been different. I want you guys to take a look at something, and tell me what sticks out to you.

Cue video.


In the ring Edge looks at his two teammates leaving, then turns back to see Batista getting up, still struggling from the German suplexes, nursing his head … AND EDGE QUICKLY GOES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE, GRABBING HIM FOR THE EDGECUTION … BUT BATISTA SPINS OUT OF IT … SPINEBUSTER! BATISTA DRIVES EDGE INTO THE MAT! The crowd goes wild as Batista storms up to his feet and begins to shake the ropes manically, doing his best Ultimate Warrior impression and taking an extra long time for his home fans, before turning back to see Edge starting to struggle up … AND ORTON READY FOR THE RKO! ORTON WAITS ON EDGE TO GET UP … AND BIG DAVE ISN’T HAPPY, CONFRONTING HIM! The two men, much like Cena and Angle, exchange some heated words, completely losing their focus … AND EDGE COMES FROM BEHIND BATISTA AND PUSHES HIM FORWARD TO CLASH HEADS WITH ORTON, SENDING ORTON DOWN! BATISTA TURNS GROGGILY … SPEAR! EDGE SPEARS THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OUT OF HIS BOOTS! The crowd boos as Edge hooks the leg … and gets the three.

Winners: Edge, Kurt Angle & John Cena via pinfall @ 14:52


We return to hear the crowd booing momentarily, before cutting away to a second video.


Edge cannot believe it, though he doesn’t have the energy to argue with the referee, instead he just pulls his hair back … then heads to the corner … AND MOTIONS FOR A SECOND SPEAR! BATISTA, UNAWARE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING CLIMBS BACK TO HIS FEET … AND EDGE CHARGES … INTO A MASSIVE SPINEBUSTER FROM BATISTA! The crowd makes almost as much noise as Edge’s back slamming into the mat as Batista, once again, signals for the end, going absolutely crazy as he shakes the ropes …


The crowd EXPLODES with boos as everyone, Batista included, turns towards the entrance … where out comes RANDY ORTON!

Batista yells out at Orton, asking him just what in the hell he thinks he’s doing, completely losing his focus on the match. Orton stands still, saying nothing, instead choosing to just smirk away as Batista continues to berate Orton, before Orton simply tells ‘Tista to turn around … AND HE DOES RIGHT INTO A SPEAR FROM EDGE!

Edge has again used all of his energy, and he takes his time in making the cover, this time hooking the leg … AND GETTING THE THREE!

Winner: Edge via pinfall @ 17:02


We cut back to ringside to see an intense looking ‘Animal’ standing in the ring, his sunglasses now removed, his eyes staring straight down the lens of the camera.

Batista: Randy … Orton.

Heated reaction from the crowd.

Batista: You think you’re pretty clever, don’t you, Randy? You think what you’re doing is smart.

Batista looks at the mat with a wry smile.

Batista: Two weeks ago, Randy, you came out here, and you told me, face to face, man to man, that you … that you weren’t gonna interfere with me. That you weren’t gonna get in my way. That you wanted me to be at one hundred percent come WrestleMania. Now I knew, I knew I couldn’t believe you, Randy. You’ve always been a rat, and you always will be. But do you know what you did? You looked me right in the eye, and you told me that I could trust you.

Batista pauses, that wry smile again reappearing.

Batista: You made me a promise, Randy … but I knew you weren’t a big enough man to keep it.

Big pop from the crowd for the insult directed at Orton.

Batista: Since you made me that promise, Randy, you’ve cost me not one, but two – straight – matches.

Slight pause from the former Deacon, as he begins to pace around the ring.

Batista: I haven’t lost two straight matches in over a year, but you … you made that happen. But don’t worry Randy, I know what you’re doing. I know what you’re up to. I know you, Randy. I know you better than anyone else on the SmackDown! roster, and I know the type of stuff you’ll try, Randy.

Batista pauses, chuckling to himself.

Batista: You’re trying to get into my head. You’re trying to mess with me before WrestleMania, but like I said, Randy, I know you, and more importantly, I get you. I get how your mind works, but lemme tell you, what you’re trying, it’s not going to work. You can try all you want, but I have confidence in my abilities, so as far as I’m concerned, you can do what you want until WrestleMania.

Batista pauses as the crowd gives a small reaction.

Batista: Yeah, that’s right, because no matter what you do, at WrestleMania, I’m still gonna kick your ass and retain MY World Heavyweight Championship!

HUGE pop from the crowd for the emphatic statement from Batista, who then looks to continue …


Or apparently not. Batista looks up to the stage, a wry smile on his face, as out from the back waltzes the man who he’ll face in just over three weeks, Randy Orton. Orton confidently makes his way down the ramp, the pretty boy look compete with his designer jeans and t-shirt to go with his arrogant smirk. Seemingly happy to set foot in the ring with Batista, not fearing any repercussions, Orton swings himself up into the ring, then grabs a microphone, speaking over the heat.

Randy Orton: Dave, man, you need to calm down. Relax, okay?

Orton looks at Batista confidently, although Batista doesn’t respond, leaving the crowd to voice their opinion of Orton instead.

Randy Orton: Alright, now, first things first, I want to make it perfectly clear that I never said I wouldn’t interfere with you. I haven’t broken my promise. I simply said that I wouldn’t attack you … and until now … I’ve kept my word.

Heat as Orton smirks cockily.

Randy Orton: But … but that’s not why I came out here. No, I didn’t just come out here to correct you. I came out here, Dave, because much like you, I too see what you’re doing.

Batista raises an eyebrow, asking “Oh yeah?”

Randy Orton: Yeah, I do, and I have to say that it hasn’t surprised me. I know you too, Dave, and as much as I hate to say this, I saw it coming. I saw the excuses coming.

Batista: Excuses?

Randy Orton: That’s right … excuses.

The crowd gives some pretty great heat as Batista stares Orton down intensely. Randy, though, isn’t fazed, standing his ground.

Randy Orton: Y’see Dave, you can blame me for what happened last Friday and Saturday night all you like, but at the end of the day, I didn’t lose those matches for you. You did.

More heat from the crowd.

Randy Orton: I’m not the guy who got beaten by Edge two straights night in a row. You are. I’m not the guy who lost the chance to become known as the ‘Champion of Champions’. You are. And I’m not the guy who embarrassed Friday Night SmackDown! by losing to a guy from RAW, not once, but twice.

Big heat as Orton smiles that sly, cocky smile.

Randy Orton: You are.

The heat continues to come in from the crowd.

Batista: Y’know what, Randy? Yeah, I lost. I lost to Edge on Friday night, and I lost to Edge on Saturday night. What’s your point?

Orton smirks, pleased with Batista’s little outburst.

Randy Orton: The point is that I knew you would do this. I knew you would do this to protect yourself from the shame that I’m going to cause you at WrestleMania 22.

Big time heat.

Randy Orton: Y’know, everyone always talks about you, and they say “Batista, he’s been world champion for a year! Batista, he’s had the greatest reign as World Heavyweight Champion ever! Batista, he’s the success story from Evolution!” They ALL say it, and Dave, you started to believe it. You started to believe that you truly were the success story to come out of Evolution. But then you came back across me.

Some more heat as Orton pauses slightly.

Randy Orton: You came back across me and you realised that you’re NOT the success story to come out of Evolution … I am, and I was always going to be.

The crowd continues to boo, but Orton takes no notice, upping the ante.

Randy Orton: Ask Triple H, ask Ric Flair and they’ll BOTH tell you the same thing. They recruited ME because they knew that one day, I would be the greatest wrestler this industry has ever seen, and they were right. I mean, look at me. I am the youngest world champion of all-time! The son of the great ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton, and the winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble.

Some more boos from the crowd.

Randy Orton: You, Dave … you were brought to Evolution to be the muscle, and that’s what you still are, Evolution or not. Granted, you’ve been successful. You’ve been World Heavyweight Champion for a year! But deep down, deep, deep down, you know that you’re still the same muscle man that you were in Evolution. While me? I’m the total … package. I am THE perfect … pro wrestler.

The crowd gives some great heat for Orton’s cockiness.

Randy Orton: You Dave? You’ve improved, but you still have nothing on me, which is exactly why at WrestleMania 22 I WILL beat you and I WILL become the new World Heavyweight Champion for the second time in my career.

The crowd continues to boo while Batista starts to get up in Orton’s face.

Batista: Those are some pretty big words, Randy. You think you’re better than me? Fine. How ‘bout you prove it to me, right here, right now?

BIG pop from the crowd.

Batista: You wanna go? Let’s do this thing!

The crowd continues to cheer, but Orton looks less than enthusiastic about things.

Randy Orton: No … no. I’m not giving you the excuse. I am not going to give you the excuse of losing at WrestleMania because I injured you beforehand. It’s not going to happen.

Boos from the crowd.

Batista: You don’t wanna take the first shot? Fine, I will.

The crowd continues to cheer as Batista advances on Orton, when …


The crowd gives a mixed reaction, as despite being a face, Friday Night SmackDown! General Manager, Theodore Long comes out to interrupt a possible fight between Orton and Batista, stopping at the top of the ramp with a microphone already in hand.

Theodore Long: Playas. Up here.

Long gains the attention of both men, who turn to face him.

Theodore Long: Now Dave, I’m sorry, but Randy’s right. The two of you fightin’? That’s not goin’ to happen tonight. That’s goin’ to have to wait ‘til WrestleMania.

Mixed reaction from the crowd.

Theodore Long: But don’t you two worry, ‘cause you will BOTH be in action here tonight in a tag team match!

Big pop from the crowd.

Theodore Long: ‘Cause y’see playas, the way I see it, you two not bein’ able to work together this past week is what cost SmackDown! BOTH matches against RAW, so here’s what I’m gonna do. In tonight’s main event, it’s gonna be the WWE Tag Team Champions, MNM …

Heat from the crowd.

Theodore Long: Against Randy Orton …

More heat.

Theodore Long: And his opponent at WrestleMania, the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista!

Big pop from the crowd, although Orton and Batista look far from happy.

Theodore Long: So by the end of the night, the two of you are gonna have to work together, whether you like it, or not.


The crowd cheers as Long drops the mic, then jives his way off backstage, leaving Orton and Batista to look frustrated in the ring, while we head off to an ad break.

*Commercial Break*

We return from the break back at ringside, where our commentary crew is standing (well, sitting) by.

Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Friday Night SmackDown!, where before the break we saw one hell of a main event announced by our General Manager Teddy Long. It’ll be the WWE Tag Team Champions, MNM, teaming up to take on the two men who will meet in the main event of WrestleMania 22, former friends and now enemies Randy Orton, and the World Heavyweight Champion Batista.

Tazz: That was one helluva bombshell dropped by Teddy Long, ain’t no doubt about it. Batista has said he’s sick of losin’, but he might be makin’ it three in a row here tonight considerin’ I don’t think he’s gonna wanna work together too well with Randy.

Michael Cole: MNM, meanwhile, are tag team experts and two guys who team together all of the time. It’s a tough spot for Batista and Orton, that’s for sure.

Silence, before …


And the crowd goes absolutely wild, as the one, the only Rey Mysterio bursts out onto the stage, pyro flying out under him. Mysterio plays it up to the crowd, acknowledging them on either side of the stage, before marching on down to the ring happily.

Tony Chimel: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from San Diego, California, weighing 175 lbs, REEEYYY MYSTEEERRRIIIOOOOO!

Michael Cole: Rey Mysterio made his return to the cruiserweight division just five nights ago at Saturday Night’s Main Event in a heck of a match with Psicosis. The Cruiserweight Champion, Kid Kash, however, was NOT impressed by Rey’s return, telling Rey to prove himself again, bringing us to where we are now, with Rey extending another open challenge to the cruiserweights in the locker-room.

Tazz: And just like last Saturday night, I’m psyched for this one too. Who’s gonna be the one to step up? Can Mysterio prove himself not just to the guy he’s facin’, but also, more importantly, to Kid Kash.

Having slapped hands with fans at ringside and embraced those with his imitation masks, Mysterio climbs up into the ring and acknowledges the fans. Happy with their reaction, Rey-Rey drops back down to the mat and waits to find out who his opponent will be.


The crowd gives a pretty lukewarm response as out from the back charges a psyched up Jamie Noble. Noble stops at the top of the stage and looks out to the crowd, before slapping himself in the face a few times and making his way down the ramp.

Tony Chimel: His opponent, from Hannover, West Virginia, weighing 195 lbs, JAAAMIE NOOOBBBLLLEEE!

Michael Cole: Last Saturday night it was Psicosis, now tonight it is AGAIN someone with history with Rey Mysterio. Back in 2004, Jamie Noble and Rey Mysterio had an intense rivalry over the Cruiserweight Title, and with Rey now intent on getting back to the Cruiserweight Title, it seems right that Jamie Noble would be one of the men standing in his way.

Tazz: And this ain’t gonna be no easy match for Rey Mysterio. Jamie Noble hits as hard as the heavyweights Mysterio’s been facin’, but he also flies around the ring with the best of ‘em too. This isn’t gonna be a walk in the park for Rey.

Noble makes his way down the ramp, then climbs up into the ring, setting himself for action.

Match One ~ Singles Match:
Rey Mysterio vs. Jamie Noble

These two talented men in the ring know one another quite well, but being that they haven’t stepped in the ring with one another for approximately two years, we see a bit of a feeling out process to begin with. After circling the ring for a moment, the two cruiserweights come forward, then butt chests, entering into a lockup. Noble, the larger of the two men, is able to show his strength advantage, forcing Mysterio back into the corner, before providing a clean break … or so we thought, only for him to suddenly swing with a right hand, but Mysterio is able to duck, then skip his way out to the middle of the ring!

Noble looks somewhat surprised, perhaps not remembering the speed of Mysterio, but he snaps back into action and again locks up with Mysterio, forcing him back to the corner where he again feigns a clean break, only to go for a right hand, which Mysterio again dodges. Noble looks somewhat frustrated, tilting his head to the side, before again grabbing a lockup, rushing Mysterio back to the corner. This time Noble doesn’t even bother pretending to make a clean break, just straight up going for a boot to the midsection, but Mysterio scoots out of the way, and Noble only manages to kick turnbuckle! The crowd laughs, but Jamie is pissed, and after hopping on the spot he charges at Mysterio, looking to take him down, only to get taken over with an arm drag! Noble rushes back up twice more, receiving the dosage twice more, before he then changes things up, going for a clothesline … but Rey ducks, then dropkicks Noble out to the floor!

The crowd cheers as Noble gets back up to his feet on the outside, slapping the floor … ONLY TO BE TAKEN BACK DOWN TO IT AS MYSTERIO HITS A SENSATIONAL COKRSCREW CROSSBODY! Both men go down on the outside, with Mysterio being the first to get up, saluting the crowd as he does so. He then follows up on Jamie, hurling him into the ring, before looking to join Noble himself in the ring, climbing up through the ropes … but Noble charges, then hits a dropkick to the ribs of Mysterio that sends him tumbling to the mat! The crowd boos, but Noble doesn’t give a damn, instead quickly following up by lifting Mysterio up … and throwing him down again, having got him up in a suplex, only to drop the smaller man across the top rope rib first! Mysterio gasps in pain, but he doesn’t get long to dwell on it, with Noble throwing him back down to the mat, then making a cover … two!

Noble is again quick to follow up, locking in a body scissors in an attempt to drain Mysterio. Despite Rey not submitting, he still finds himself being dominated by the pitbull like Noble, who continues his focus on the ribs of Mysterio, kicking away at them both from the front and with some cracking blows from behind. Mysterio is resolute though, refusing to be pinned, forcing Noble to go back to basics as he once again throws the body scissors on Rey-Rey, squeezing the life out of him. Like earlier in the match, Rey appears in no mood to submit, fighting back up to his feet, forcing Noble to change things up to a chin lock that Mysterio fights free from … before taking off to the ropes and taking both himself and Noble down with a springboard crossbody!

The crowd applauds Mysterio as both men remain down, clapping him on as he, along with Noble, begins to fight back up to his feet. Noble is the first of the two to act once up, swinging for a right hand, but Mysterio ducks, then begins to pepper the hamstrings of Noble with kicks. Frustrated with Mysterio’s speed, Noble shoves the smaller man off to the ropes … but Mysterio comes right back with a headscissors takedown! Noble gets back up and sees Mysterio charging towards him again, going for a wild backhand, but Rey ducks … then comes off the ropes with a running hurricanrana! Noble flops back up to his feet again, finding his way towards Mysterio, who dropkicks him in the knees, sending him down to his hands and knees, before coming off the ropes and crushing Noble’s face down into the mat with a leg drop to the back of the head! The crowd applauds the speed of Mysterio as he makes the cover … two!

Despite the kickout, Rey is far from deterred, waiting as Jamie gets back to his feet, before looking to continue the fast offence, heading for the ropes and coming back with a springboard moonsault, but Noble is able to sidestep this one, leaving Noble to land on his feet. Noble attempts to quickly follow up, kicking Mysterio in the midsection … THEN GOING TIGER DRIVER … NO, MYSTERIO SENDS HIM OVERHEAD WITH A BACK BODY DROP! Noble fights back to his feet, grabbing a charging Mysterio in a wheelbarrow position, perhaps thinking German suplex, but Mysterio is able to counter, hitting a huge bulldog! Rey jumps on the cover … just two again!

The crowd gasps, but like before, Mysterio refuses to dwell on the kickout, hopping back up and waiting on Noble … AGAIN thinking springboard … only for Noble to get under his legs as Rey jumps up to the second rope, then back towards the centre of the ring … ELECTRIC CHAIR! Noble makes the cover … only two! Noble can’t believe it, slapping the mat in frustration, before waiting as Rey struggles up … THEN THINKING GUTBUSTER! Noble grabs Rey, lifting him up to the fireman’s carry … BEFORE THROWING HIM UP … BUT MYSTERIO COUNTERS INTO AN AMAZING TORNADO DDT!

The crowd is in awe as Mysterio struggles back up, holding his ribs in pain, seeing Noble head across to the second rope … AND HE DIALS IT UP! The crowd cheers as Mysterio comes hurtling towards Noble … THEN NAILS THE 619! Noble gets sent flying back into the middle of the ring, before getting back to his feet, stunned … RIGHT INTO A SEATED SENTON! Rey hooks the leg … and gets the three!

Winner: Rey Mysterio via pinfall @ 08:23


Tony Chimel: Here is your winner, REEYYY MYSTEERRRIIIOOO!

The crowd pops as Rey Mysterio springs back up to his feet, holding his ribs a bit tenderly while he gets his hand raised by the referee in victory. Clearly happy with that win, Mysterio has a smile on his face, sure that he must have impressed everyone.

Michael Cole: Now THAT was impressive from Rey Mysterio.

Tazz: Yeah, to you maybe, but you ain’t the judge of that. Let’s wait to hear what Kid Kash has to say about that.

Speaking of which, Rey’s music suddenly cuts out as we hear a whistle instead come over the sound system, with the camera refocussing to show the screen in the background, where the Cruiserweight Champion, Kid Kash stands.

Kid Kash: Ahem.

The crowd looks on and begins to cheer a bit as they see Kid Kash beginning to clap. Kash continues to clap for a moment, before stopping and looking down at his hands, startled.

Kid Kash: What are you lookin’ at, Rey? Oh … OH, this? Listen, Rey, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but this … this is just a nervous twitch.

The crowd boos as KK smirks away, happy with himself.

Kid Kash: As far as your match goes, Rey, I hate to break it to ya, but once again, I wasn’t impressed.

More heat from the crowd.

Kid Kash: I mean, it was good. Heck, it was pretty great, but personally, I’m just not feelin’ it. And seein’ as how I am the ‘King of the Cruiserweights’, I think I’d know a little somethin’ about puttin’ on a match worthy of my attention.

The crowd continues to boo the arrogance of KK, while Rey appears somewhat frustrated in the ring.

Kid Kash: But y’know what, Rey? I’m a good … well, actually, no, I’m not a good guy. I’m the man. But that’s beside the point. The point is that I’m a giver. I mean, I’ve given every single cruiserweight the chance to prove themselves against me. I’ve given ‘em all a shot at my title, and I’m willin’ to do the same for you … that’s IF you can prove yourself.

KK smirks away to himself.

Kid Kash: A few weeks ago … a few weeks ago, you told ‘The Notorious K.I.D.’ that despite me bein’ the moneyman of the cruiserweight division, you’d done more for the division than I could ever dream of. So I’m givin’ you the chance to put your money where your mouth is.

Kash pauses for a moment.

Kid Kash: These open challenges of yours? Thus far, they haven’t impressed me, but next week, ya got one last chance to make a difference with that. Next week, I want you to hold your little invitational thing one – more – time. If you impress me, I’ll give you what ya want. I’ll give you the chance to face me for this title at the grandest stage of ‘em all, WrestleMania.

BIG pop from the crowd.

Kid Kash: But if ya don’t? You’ll go down as just a FOOTNOTE in the history of the cruiserweight division … of MY division.

KK smiles confidently as the crowd boos.

Kid Kash: Get it? Got it? Good.

The crowd boos as Kid Kash shrugs his shoulders, then cuts from view, leaving us to look at a defiant Mysterio standing in the ring, nodding his head.

Michael Cole: Well there you have it, folks. Rey Mysterio has one last chance to prove himself to Kid Kash next week, and if he does it, he’ll find himself facing Kash at the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania.

Tazz: But if he don’t, Mysterio can kiss the chance at facin’ Kash for the Cruiserweight Title goodbye. That’s some high stakes right there.

Cutting away from that, we head off backstage to a corridor, where we see Friday Night SmackDown! General Manager, Theodore Long walking along. The crowd gives a pretty positive reaction for Long, who looks to be working with a purpose, only to be pulled up by the sound of a voice.

???: Teddy! Teddy!

Long stops and turns around, looking back as the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista steps into view.

Batista: Teddy, I want to … I want to talk to you about tonight’s main event.

Long doesn’t look to be too open to discussions about that.

Theodore Long: Listen, playa, I know you don’t wanna team with Randy tonight. I get that. But the way I see it, after the way you two cost SmackDown! not one, but two chances to show up RAW, I think the two of you have gotta learn to work together. Ya dig?

Batista doesn’t look as receptive as Teddy may wish.

Batista: Look, I get that, but what I don’t get is why you’re forcing me to put up with Randy’s crap. You and I both know he’s full of it.

Theodore Long: Look, Dave, I get that too, but this … this is about business. You know that outside of here, yeah, you’re my dawg, but right here an’ right now? I need you to be my employee, and I need you do to the right thing by me. Ya feel me?

Batista looks reluctant to accept this.

Batista: I guess.

Long smiles, happy to hear it.

Theodore Long: Good. Now good luck out there tonight, playa. Try to show Randy what he’ll be in for at WrestleMania when he’s out there standin’ on the apron.

Long smiles and playfully punches Batista’s bulging bicep, before leaving the bicep.

Batista: Yeah … I’ll try.

With Batista looking a little unsettled, we cut away to elsewhere to see Paul London standing by backstage, chatting with his partner Brian Kendrick.

Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, later tonight we will see that main event, but coming up next we will see the two men who have thus far qualified for Money in the Bank from SmackDown! competing one on one as Paul London and Mr. Kennedy do battle. That’s next, on Friday Night SmackDown!.

We head off to a break.

*Commercial Break*

We return from the break at ringside.

Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Friday Night SmackDown!, where, momentarily we’ll be hearing from Paul London. However, before then, as we spoke of earlier, tonight we will be seeing the return of one of the greatest tag teams of all-time in The Hardy Boyz, and as such, tonight, we’ll be showing you highlights of their career right up until this point as a tag team, starting now with the very first time they became tag team champions.


The Hardy Boyz defeated The Acolyte Protection Agency to become tag team champions for the very first time, live on Monday Night RAW!


We return from that video backstage, where we see Josh Matthews standing by.

Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time, Paul London!

The crowd gives a decent pop as Paul London steps into view, alone tonight.

Josh Matthews: Paul, in a moment you’ll be going one on one with Mr. Kennedy after he walked out on you this past Saturday night, but first, last week you qualified for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match by defeating your partner, Brian Kendrick. Despite qualifying, since then, it seems like no one has rated you a chance, talking up almost everyone but you. Your thoughts?

Paul London: Look, Josh, I get that I … well, I stick out in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match like a sore thumb. I mean, let’s look at the guys qualified. I mean, first of all, there’s Ric Flair.

Big pop from the crowd.

Paul London: Yeah, Ric’s never been in a ladder match in his career, but the guy’s a sixteen time world champion. He knows what he’s doin’. As does Chavo Guerrero.

Another pop from the crowd.

Paul London: Chavo’s got experience with ladders, and he’s also a member of the legendary Guerrero family. I mean, that’s somethin’. You’ve also got yourself guys like Carlito, Gregory Helms and Mr. Kennedy.

Big heat from the crowd.

Paul London: These guys, they haven’t been around long, or at least for Helms, as himself he hasn’t been, but they’ve made a hell of an impact. Heck, people are sayin’ that they’re the three favourites in the match, and in a match with Ric Flair and Chavo Guerrero, that’s sayin’ somethin’. Those are three very talented guys. And then you’ve got me.

Small pop from the crowd.

Paul London: What have I done? Not a whole lot. I mean, yeah, I’m a former Cruiserweight Champion. I’m a former WWE Tag Team Champion, but out on my own, in the heavyweight division? Yeah, I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t got myself a whole list of credentials. I’m not the biggest guy. I’m not the strongest. And I’m not the star at this stage that everyone else in the match claims to be. But what I am is a daredevil.

Small pop from the crowd.

Paul London: I know that to get myself noticed, to get my name out there, I’m gonna have to do somethin’ different. I’m gonna have to do somethin’ big, and that’s exactly what I intend on doin’. People might not rate me now, but I guarantee you, that by the end of WrestleMania, after the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, they’re all gonna be talkin’ about me, Paul London.

A reasonable pop from the crowd, who seem to buying into what London is saying.

Paul London: As far as Mr. Kennedy goes tonight? I know you love the sound of your own name, but after I’m done with you tonight, you too are gonna be thinkin’ about me.

Paul gives a little cheeky smile, then walks from view as we head back to ringside.



The crowd gives a very good, heated response, as out from the back swaggers the ever cocky Mr. Kennedy. Like always, the platinum blonde is chomping down on his chewing gum, staring out at the crowd with absolute contempt on his way down the ramp.

Michael Cole: A big statement there from Paul London, who starting tonight, looks to be getting the world to take notice of him, which I, personally, would love to see.

Tazz: Look, Cole, London talked up a big game, but he’s gonna have to do a lot to back it up right here against my personal favourite for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania.

KK II struts his way on down the ramp, then does his classic pose as his personal microphone drops down into his hand.

Mr. Kennedy: Ahem.

Kennedy says nothing at first, instead allowing the heat to rain in.

Mr. Kennedy: First of all … Paul London? Kid, I get that you’ve got yourself some dreams, and I applaud you for aiming high. Really, I do. Bravo. But if you think that you’re stealing my spotlight, either tonight or at WrestleMania … well then kid, you’re sadly mistaken.

Kennedy smirks, getting some heat from the crowd.


Kennedy heads up to the second rope, then holds his hands up in the air.

Mr. Kennedy: KEN – NAH – DAY!

Kennedy throws his microphone back, continuing to hold his hands in the air and soak in the reaction from the crowd until …


KK II turns to the stage and glares while the crowd gives a nice pop as Paul London stomps out from the back in exuberant fashion. Looking out at the crowd, London nods his head a few times, before taking flight and charging down the ramp.

Tony Chimel: His opponent, from Austin, Texas, weighing 180 lbs, PAUL LONDOOOONNNNN!

Michael Cole: As you said, Tazz, it’s gonna be a big test for Paul London, but I feel that if he can pick up the victory tonight against Mr. Kennedy, he’ll go along way to legitimising his claim for being a shot at becoming Mr. Money in the Bank.

Tazz: A win against Mr. Kennedy would do that, but unfortunately for Paul, I just can’t see it happening. I mean, he’s goin’ up a guy like Mr. Kennedy, who ever since he’s been here on SmackDown!, has proven that he’s one of the best young wrestlers in this company, and someone a lotta people are comparin’ to a future Ric Flair.

London slides up into the ring, jumping to the corner where he yells at the crowd to get to their feet, before backflipping back down to the mat and readying himself.

Match Two ~ Singles Match:
Mr. Kennedy vs. Paul London

The referee calls for a start to the match, and both men take that as an indication to start circling around the ring, before coming forth and locking up. Kennedy, being the larger of the two by quite a bit, is able to force London back to the corner, although surprisingly that’s as far as he goes, allowing for a clean break. Ken then backs away, still chomping away on his gum, and tells London to bring it, which he does, again engaging in a lockup. As you’d expect, Kennedy again wins with ease, forcing London back before again providing a clean break, smirking ever so slightly as he does so. The duo then lock up for a third time, with Kennedy getting the better of the duel again, this time playfully slapping London’s face as he does so! London, not wanting to be treated like a joke, looks far from amused, and he shows it by shoving Kennedy back!

London now comes from the corner and goes nose to nose with Kennedy, both men showing some fire now, having been pissed off. Kennedy talks a lot of trash, trying to intimidate London, who refuses to back down … only to be pie faced back by the brash Kennedy! The crowd boos the shot from Kennedy, who starts to laugh at London’s expense … when London explodes with a big forearm, sending Kennedy down! The crowd cheers as a furious looking Kennedy springs up, having been knocked on his ass, and charges at Paul London, only to get sent down with a drop toe hold! London is quickly off to the ropes too, looking to follow up as he comes crashing down across the back of KK with a back senton. London hooks the leg quickly … two.

Despite the kickout, London is right back up, grabbing Mr. Kennedy as he gets up and snapmaring him over, before cracking a kick off his spine. Kennedy leans forward, holding his back in pain as London dashes off to the ropes, then comes back with a low dropkick right to the jaw of Kennedy! London makes the cover again … two. The daredevil is again quick to pick Kennedy up, wanting to keep the action moving … but Kennedy suddenly rakes the eyes of London, forcing him back, holding his eyes in pain! The crowd boos as London backs all of the way up to the corner, with Kennedy then charging in at him, but London is able to get a boot up, before elevating himself up to the second rope, then coming off with a reverse elbow!

London’s again quick to look for the cover, but Kennedy is weary of this and he rolls from the ring, dropping down to the floor. London, though, doesn’t look like he wants to leave Kennedy out there, attempting to take the action to Kennedy again as he gets up by charging towards him … BEFORE COMING CRASHING INTO HIM WITH AN INSANE SUICIDE DIVE! The crowd goes nuts as both men crash to the floor, London the first up to high five a few of the fans at ringside, a slightly pained expression on his face. Despite this, London knows what brought him to the dance, and he asks the fans if they want to see another one to a positive response, before heading up to the apron and waiting on Kennedy … THEN CHARGING AT HIM … BUT KK II SPRINGS TO LIFE FROM NOWHERE AND SWEEPS THE LEGS OF LONDON OUT FROM UNDER HIM, CAUSING HIM TO CRASH TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE APRON WITH A THUD!

Kennedy takes time to recover at first, clearly feeling the offensive barrage he’s found himself on the receiving end of, but he soon gets London back into the ring, and following a kickout, begins to work on the leg of the high flier. Although London has the heart to stay in things, Kennedy seems to wear him down with ease, staying on that same left leg and softening it up, before looking for the finish as he locks in a single leg Boston crab. London screams out in pain, his leg clearly causing him a lot of discomfort, but Mr. Kennedy shows no mercy, wanting to prove himself ahead of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Paul London, however, has the same thing on his mind, and he uses that want to prove himself to drive him, giving himself the energy to slowly pull himself towards the ropes … and grab the bottom rope!

The crowd gives a good pop, but KK looks far from happy, getting back to his feet and arguing with the referee at first, before turning back to London and finding himself eating a hard forearm shot! Kennedy backs away, then comes forward again, finding himself walking into another forearm. London reels off a few more before Kennedy has enough, kneeing his foe in the midsection to stop his attack, then sending him off with an Irish whip … but London slides under Kennedy’s legs on the rebound … then takes him over with a hurricanrana! The crowd pops as Kennedy climbs back up to his feet … right into a dropkick, sending both men down to the canvas!

Both men struggle to get to their feet, Kennedy checking his mouth for blood as he does so, while London clutches at his knee. Slowly though, they both get there, and knowing he doesn’t want to get in a fist fight with a bigger man, London scoots off on his knee like a trooper, running off and hitting the ropes … then coming back with a running dropkick right to the button of Kennedy! Both men get up, London still looking very ginger on his knee, but he fights through it, hitting another dropkick to send Kennedy down! The crowd cheers the spirit of London as he pushes Kennedy back into the ropes, then sends him off with an Irish whip … before scoring with a spectacular looking Japanese arm drag on the rebound! Looking for the victory, London jumps on the cover … two!

London gets back up to his feet, shaking his legs loose, while beckoning to Kennedy to follow, which he does … allowing London to grab a front face lock … but Mr. Kennedy is able to slip out of it, then lift London into a fireman’s carry position … only for London to slip out of it and score with a northern lights suplex … two! Both men get up, and Kennedy tries for a big kick to the head of London, but London ducks … then scores with the dropsault! The crowd erupts as London limps back to his feet, then looks to the corner … PERHAPS THINKING 450 SPLASH! With his knee injury restricting him, London is a little slow up the corner, and this gives Kennedy the chance to get up and charge as London sets himself … but London springs to life and suddenly hits the mushroom stomp!

Again, despite KK hitting the second turnbuckle headfirst, this appears to have just as bad of an effect on London, who shakes his knee out, before turning to Kennedy … AND GOING SUPERKICK … BUT KENNEDY DUCKS … THEN QUICKLY SCOOPS LONDON UP AND SCORES WITH A ROLLING FIREMAN’S CARRY SLAM! Kennedy hooks the leg … just two!

Kennedy looks caught off guard by the kickout, thinking he had the match won with the move, before dragging London up by the leg and mocking him, shouting at him that he’s not on his level … WHEN LONDON SHOCKS KENNEDY WITH AN ENZUIGURI! KK looks out on his feet, and London quickly grabs him in a front face lock … LEGSWEEP DDT CONNECTS! The crowd erupts as a hurt London pulls himself towards the corner, then begins to head up top … THINKING 450 SPLASH … BUT AGAIN HE TAKES TOO LONG, AS KENNEDY CUTS HIM OFF, SCORING WITH A RIGHT HAND! Kennedy climbs up with London and starts to hammer away on him … BEFORE SETTING UP FOR THE GREEN BAY PLUNGE … BUT LONDON SPRINGS TO LIFE WITH ELBOWS … THEN KICKS KK IN THE SKULL, SENDING HIM DOWN TO THE MAT IN A HEAP!

The crowd erupts as London looks around, knowing he has to take that big risk to make an impact, and he jumps up … 450 SPLASH … CONNECTS! London hooks the leg … and gets the three!

Winner: Paul London via pinfall @ 09:23


Tony Chimel: Here is your winner, PAAUUULL LONDOOONNNN!

The crowd erupts with a big pop as Paul London rolls from the ring, the excitement taking over his body as he pumps his fist in the air in triumph. In the ring, Mr. Kennedy is slowly recovering, a shocked look on his face.

Michael Cole: Oh my! What a win for Paul London!

Tazz: I don’t … I don’t believe it. The kid did it.

Michael Cole: Paul London did it, and look at the expression on Mr. Kennedy’s face. He’s in shock!

Tazz: I am too. I can’t believe that Paul London pulled this off.

London staggers up the ramp, still celebrating on the stage when he’s joined by Brian Kendrick. In the ring, however, Mr. Kennedy looks livid, not believing that he has been pinned for a second time now.

We don’t dwell on that too long though, as we now cut backstage to see Kristal Marshall standing by.

Kristal Marshall: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guests at this time, The Cabinet!

The crowd boos as The Cabinet shuffles into view, fronted by their benevolent leader, JBL.

Kristal Marshall: JBL, it’s been a tough past few weeks for you with your troubles with Bobby Lashley. Now Lashley speared you through a table at Saturday Night’s Main Event, showing you up again. Your thoughts?

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Lashley showed me up? You think that Bobby Lashley, of all people, showed ME up? Y’see, this … THIS is why you’re standin’ here holdin’ a mic, while someone like Jillian is bein’ successful as MY secretary.

Heat from the crowd for the cheap insults towards Kristal.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Let me make this perfectly clear. NOBODY shows up JBL. Nobody, no less a snot nosed punk who doesn’t even deserve to lace my boots. But I bet you think what Lashley did to me was impressive, dontcha? Huh? Well lemme ask you somethin’. Do you even KNOW who I am?

Kristal looks a little fearful to speak, cowering back.

Kristal Marshall: You’re … you’re JBL.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: That’s right. JBL! I am JBL, a legend here on Friday Night SmackDown!, ‘Mr. SmackDown!’. Everyone wants to talk about how long the vanilla gorilla’s held the World Heavyweight Title for, well I am the longest reigning WWE Champion in SmackDown! HISTORY. I am a media mogul, a SELF-made millionaire, the GREATEST wrestler to step foot in a SmackDown! ring, a ‘WRESTLING GAWD’!

Heat from the crowd.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: I am ALL of those things and so much more. But ask yourself this. What’s Bobby Lashley? Ah, don’t answer that. Let me answer that. Bobby Lashley … Bobby Lashley is NOTHING!

Big heat for the insult of Lashley.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: I smell like smoke ‘cause I’ve walked through fire, yet you think I’m gonna be thinkin’ about a nobody like Bobby Lashley? Rest assured, Bobby Lashley is the last thing on my mind.

Layfield pauses, allowing Kristal to summon up the guts to ask her next question.

Kristal Marshall: Right, well, also at Saturday Night’s Main Event you found yourself laid out by Finlay with his shillelagh. Tonight you get your chance for revenge when Brent Albright faces Finlay in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match qualifier, but originally it was meant to be you facing Finlay. Your thoughts?

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: First of all, Finlay, is nothin’ but a no good traitor. Seriously, why do we let TRASH like him come into our country? We should send him packin’ to whatever drunken country he came from.

More heat, showing that perhaps the crowd have taken a bit of a liking to Finlay after the events of Saturday Night’s Main Event.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Secondly, did you not hear me before? Do you not know who I am? The reason I’m not competin’ tonight against Finlay is because I am too good to set foot in the ring with him. I am too good to put myself at risk in some crazy Ladder Match, when I am the greatest wrestler this company has ever seen, and that is exactly why I’ve got Brent here.

Heat from the crowd as Layfield pauses slightly.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Y’see, it’s as simple as this. Tonight … Brent here takes Finlay out. Then, at WrestleMania 22, on the grandest stage of ‘em all, my man Brent will WIN the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and hand the briefcase … haha … to me.

Layfield takes a step back as Brent Albright now takes centre stage.

Brent Albright: Finlay, you like to think you’re tough? You think you’re the baddest son of a gun on this roster? Well lemme tell ya somethin’. I am a gun, and you haven’t ever had anything like me gunnin’ down on you. So tonight, it’s real simple for ya. You either tap … or you snap. And then after that, when I’m done with the likes of you, at WrestleMania 22, when I unhook the Money in the Bank briefcase … it’s gonna be the sweetest payday of ‘em all.

Albright smirks, before getting a pat on the back from JBL, who leads him out of view. We meanwhile head off to a commercial break.

*Commercial Break*

We return from the break to instantly cut away to a video package.


We now cut to see a vignette, which is accompanied by the sound of ‘This Fire Burns’ by Killswitch Engage. We see images of a mystery man performing some of his in-ring moves (running knee/bulldog combo, urange/anaconda vise combo and the GTS, along with some big kicks).

???: It’s time for a new breed of wrestler.

The moves continue.

???: A breed of competitors. A breed that realises that things like luck, are for losers.

We now cut away to see a close-up of the man’s arms, which are covered by tattoos.

???: A breed of competitor which understand just what wrestling is all about – and that is the art … of battle.

The left bicep is featured.

???: I don’t drink.

The right bicep.

???: I don’t smoke.

The man is now shown holding up his knuckles, which spell out the words ‘DRUG FREE’.

???: And I don’t do drugs.

His stomach is now shown.

???: I’m primed, I’m focused and I know what I want. I am … straight edge, and my only addiction … is competition.

The man’s face is now shown, where we now get a close-up on his long, black hair, and a confident smile, with a snakebite piercing his lip.

???: My name is CM Punk … and I am coming to Friday Night SmackDown!

CM Punk – Two Weeks Away!


We cut back to ringside where we see our commentators sitting by.

Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Friday Night SmackDown!, where in a moment’s time we will find out who will be the third man from Friday Night SmackDown! to qualify for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, however, before then, as we saw earlier, we are taking a look through the tag team career of The Hardy Boyz ahead of their return tonight. Now, let’s take a look back at SummerSlam 2000, when for the very first time, The Hardy Boyz and the WWE went TLC.


The Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian and The Dudley Boyz compete in the very first TLC match at SummerSlam 2000!


We return to ringside to see Tony Chimel standing by in the ring.

Tony Chimel: The following contest is scheduled for one fall, and it is a Money in the Bank qualifying match!


The crowd gives some great heat as out from the side of the stage arrives the familiar white limousine. With the longhorns on the bonnet and the JBL emblem emblazoned on the side of the limo, there’s no guessing who’s inside as the limo pulls up, and out steps a chauffeur, opening the door so Brent Albright can step out, being accompanied by John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield and Jillian Hall, his fellow Cabinet members.

Tony Chimel: Introducing first, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, weighing 245 lbs, BRENT ALBRIIIIGGHHHHTTTT!

Michael Cole: Brent Albright finds himself with possibly his toughest task yet here, as tonight he faces off with Finlay, and the pressure is on from JBL for Albright to succeed.

Tazz: That’s right, this is a big match for Brent Albright, but trust me, he can go. He actually reminds me somewhat of a younger Finlay with his no nonsense, smash mouth style.

Albright walks down the ramp and climbs up into the ring, followed by JBL and Jillian, drawing a fair amount of heat by inciting the fans, telling them he’s in for a big payday.



The crowd gives a mixed reaction, mostly leaning towards cheers, as, for the first time, Finlay appears on SmackDown! playing more of a fan favourite role. The no nonsense Finlay walks down the ramp swiftly, brandishing his shillelagh in the direction of The Cabinet in the ring.

Tony Chimel: His opponent, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, weighing 225 lbs, FINLAAYYYY!

Michael Cole: A bit of an unfamiliar role for Finlay here, actually receiving some cheers from the crowd. I guess that’s what happens when you shut JBL up.

Tazz: Yeah, but Finlay doesn’t give a damn what these people do. They can cheer, they can boo, heck, they can say nothin’. All Finlay wants to do is fight.

‘The Fighting Irishman’ makes his way up into the ring, warning JBL as he exits the ring, before putting his shillelagh down in the corner and turning to Albright.

Match Three ~ Money in the Bank Qualifying Match; Singles Match:
Brent Albright w/The Cabinet vs. Finlay

These two excellent wrestlers stand on opposite sides of the ring, Finlay still watching JBL and threatening him, prompting JBL to just hold his hands up innocently. Deciding he’s taken care of JBL, Finlay now turns back to Albright, and the two men begin to circle around. The circling doesn’t last long though, as both of these bulls are eager to go at it, and they come forward, locking up. Neither man is able to gain a real advantage at first, both just jostling before position, until Albright’s slight size advantage allows him to begin to force Finlay back. Finlay starts to turn it around, and the two begin to struggle for a moment longer, before Albright again starts to force Finlay back into the corner, only for Finlay to use his experience to turn it around at the last moment, instead putting Albright back into the corner. Finlay looks like he wants to go on the attack here, but the referee is aware of it, sticking himself in between the two men and forcing a clean break.

Finlay backs out of the corner to the centre of the ring where he’s soon joined by Albright, who engages a second lockup with him. Both men struggle at first again, but this time Finlay looks to change things up, grabbing a side headlock. Albright flails his arms around at first, looking for an escape, but Finlay persists with holding the move, prompting Albright to land a few right hand shots to the midsection, then toss Finlay off with an Irish whip, only for Finlay to use the momentum to his advantage, jumping up and taking Albright down with a shoulder tackle on the return. Albright pops right back up from the move, wanting to get on Finlay, but the Northern Irishman is ready for him, quickly landing a boot to the midsection, before snapping him over with a headlock takedown.

Finlay is in his element here, controlling Albright with the grounded side headlock, refusing to let the youngster escape. Albright seems to know some tricks on the mat, rolling about and trying to escape, but Finlay’s grip is strong, and he refuses to let ‘The Hired Gun’ go free. Albright continues to flail, tiring himself out, before resting on the mat a few times and finding himself down for some nearfalls, despite only being held in a side headlock. With JBL insisting he fight back at ringside, Albright finds some energy, springing up to his feet and forcing Finlay over to the corner, causing a break. Finlay is a little reluctant to break the hold, but he slowly does, allowing Albright to scoot back to the middle of the ring as Finlay readies himself again … when suddenly he’s distracted by JBL at ringside!

Layfield gets the attention of Finlay, throwing some insults at him, causing him to turn and threaten JBL again … and Brent Albright takes advantage, charging into the corner and scoring with a quick flurry of punches and kicks to the distracted Northern Irishman! Albright looks to continue his advantage, now Irish whipping a stunned Finlay into the opposite corner … but Finlay hits the corner and explodes forward, knocking Albright out of his socks with a big clothesline! Finlay helps a stunned Albright back up to his feet, then snaps him back with a European uppercut, sending him back to the corner. The crowd cheers as with Albright cornered, Finlay is able to go nuts, striking him with some heavy blows that stun him, before doing as Albright did just moments, ago, sending his foe off to the opposite corner, then charging in and scoring with a corner clothesline!

Albright is on jelly legs now, and Finlay looks to take advantage, pitching him out through the ropes, before joining him at ringside as he ramps ‘The Hired Gun’ back into the crowd barrier. Following up, Finlay looks to take advantage of the outside environment as he grabs Albright by the hair, then throws him skull first into the ringpost! The crowd continues to cheer Finlay, who looks to be completely in control, but JBL notices this too as he begins to approach Finlay from behind, perhaps looking for a sneak attack. Finlay, though, turns around, shocking JBL as he warns him off, before turning back and charging at Albright, looking for another clothesline … BUT ALBRIGHT DUCKS … AND FINLAY STRIKES THE TURNBUCKLE ARM FIRST!

The crowd quickly quietens to a hush, watching on as Albright begins to go to town on Finlay’s arm, wrapping it around the ringpost time and time again! Despite his high pain threshold, Finlay is reeling, yelping in pain as Albright now grabs him, then throws him arm first into the crowd barrier! With Finlay down and Albright now looking in complete control of this match, we head away, cutting to a commercial break.

Back from the break, and we’re informed that through the commercial break it has been all Albright, who continues to assault the arm of Finlay upon our return, weakening it severely. There are times when Finlay looks to fight back, but Albright deals with them with ease, before looking to further wear down ‘The Fighting Irishman’ with a keylock. Albright continues to test the arm of Finlay out in the hold, softening him up as much as possible, and perhaps even looking for the submission, but Finlay lives up to his moniker (well, aside from the Irish part), fighting back to his feet and wisely going behind Albright. Perhaps thinking German suplex, Finlay grabs a waistlock, but Albright smartly hits the injured arm of Finlay, causing him to relinquish the hold, before Albright now seems to think German of his own … but Finlay elbows free, then hits the ropes … and takes both men down with a kamikaze like diving shoulder back!

Both men remain down for the moment, trying to fight through the pain they’ve suffered in the match as they get back to their feet. The duo successfully make it up, and they begin to exchange fists, where, despite his injured arm, Finlay is able to use his good right hand to force Albright back to the ropes. Once there Finlay sends him off with an Irish whip, before scoring with a reverse elbow on the return! The crowd cheers as Albright goes down, and suddenly a fire is lit in Finlay, who follows up by taking Albright down with several more running forearm shots. Content with the damage he’s done there, Finlay Irish whips his foe into the corner, before charging in and hitting a big shoulder thrust with his good shoulder! Albright staggers from the corner, right into the clutches of Finlay who quickly hooks him up and snaps him over with a snap suplex, floating over into the cover … two!

Finlay gets back to his feet, then begins to lift Albright back up too … only for Albright to explode out of nowhere with a surprise forearm that sends Finlay back! Albright takes his time to follow up, shaking the cobwebs loose, before charging at Finlay … right into a clothesline! Finlay is quick to move on from that too, charging off to the ropes, then coming back with the cannonball! Finlay grinds his forearm into the face of Albright in the cover … two!

Finlay can’t believe it, looking at the referee in shock, before getting back to his feet and motioning for Brent Albright to get back up. The Cabinet member slowly does so, staggering right across to Finlay … WHO GETS ALBRIGHT UP INTO A FIREMAN’S CARRY … BUT ALBRIGHT FALLS LOOSE THANKS TO THE INJURED ARM OF FINLAY … THEN TAKES HIM DOWN WITH A FALLING ARMBREAKER! Albright takes Finlay down, then declares the match over … QUICKLY POUNCING WITH THE CROWBAR! Finlay is trapped, caught in the middle of the ring, his arm damn near being torn off by Brent Albright! The crowd rumbles, sensing a submission is near, but the gap-toothed Irishman seems to have too much pride to submit, instead trying with all of his strength to pull himself to the corner. Brent Albright, however, is no small man, and bit by bit, Finlay starts to fade away, not being able to pull himself any further as he raises his hand into the air …


The crowd cheers as Finlay grabs the rope, but Brent Albright keeps the hold locked in for as long as he possibly can, before finally letting go when the referee threatens to disqualify him. Frustrated, Albright gets back to his feet, shouting at the referee as he does so, before turning to see Finlay getting up with assistance from the top rope and charging … only to eat boot! Finlay gets a boot up, staggering Albright, before charging out, looking for a clothesline, but Albright ducks … THEN QUICKLY GRABS FINLAY FROM BEHIND … HALF NELSON SUPLEX! ALBRIGHT FOLDS FINLAY UP ON TOP OF HIS NECK WITH THE HALF NELSON SUPLEX! Albright makes the cover … BUT FINLAY IS AGAIN SAVED BY THE ROPES, GETTING HIS FOOT ON THE BOTTOM ROPE AT TWO!

Albright once again can’t believe it, wondering what he can possibly do to put Finlay away! An urgent Layfield at ringside wracks his brain, thinking … BEFORE NODDING ALBRIGHT TOWARDS FINLAY’S SHILLELAGH! Layfield then climbs up onto the apron, distracting the referee as Albright grabs the shillelagh and begins to line Finlay up … but the crowd suddenly explodes with a pop … AND BOBBY LASHLEY PULLS JBL DOWN FROM THE APRON! This distracts Albright, who watches as Lashley pummels Layfield at ringside, before turning into a kick to the midsection … AND QUICK AS A FLASH, FINLAY NAILS THE CELTIC CROSS! Finlay uses all of the strength in his arm, grimacing following the move, before making the cover … and getting the three!

Winner (qualifying for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match): Finlay via pinfall @ 13:01


Tony Chimel: Here is your winner, FINLAAYYYY!

The crowd gives a very good pop as Finlay gets back to his feet, favouring his arm while the referee raises his other arm in victory. At ringside, JBL looks back at the ring in shock, while the man who saved Finlay, his rival Bobby Lashley backs up the ramp, a smile on his face.

Michael Cole: Finlay has done it. Finlay is going to Money in the Bank!

Tazz: I can’t believe this. Brent Albright threw everything he had at Finlay, but he just couldn’t quite get the job done.

Michael Cole: It was a heck of an effort from Brent Albright for sure, Tazz, but if JBL was being truthful before when he said Lashley wasn’t on his mind, well, he may be now.

Tazz: Oh, ain’t no doubt about that. I mean, Lashley’s makin’ himself quite a nuisance for JBL, and JBL ain’t gonna be too happy about that, especially after tonight.

We get another look at JBL at ringside, with Jillian Hall trying to comfort him, but JBL is inconsolable as he looks up at the stage in rage at the man who just allowed Finlay through to the Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

Moving on, we cut away elsewhere backstage … to be in the locker-room of the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista! With the title belt sitting next to him, Batista seems to be preparing himself, rolling his kneepad up his knee, until a voice suddenly catches his attention.

???: Ahem.

Batista looks up to see his partner for tonight, and opponent at WrestleMania 22, Randy Orton standing in front of him.

Randy Orton: Listen, Dave, I know you’re mad, but I came here to talk some strategy. I mean …

Batista, far from happy with Orton, gets to his feet and interrupts.

Batista: No.

Orton looks taken aback.

Randy Orton: Wha … what did …

Batista: I said … NO! I don’t care what you have to say, Randy. I’m not listening to you. Tonight … I’m doin’ things my way. And if you wanna try to test that … well, we’ll just see what happens.

The crowd cheers as Orton gulps, then backs out of the room, leaving Batista to continue to prepare.

We, meanwhile, cut away to see Chris Benoit striding down a corridor, before heading off to a break.

*Commercial Break*

Returning from the break, we instantly cut to a video package.


The Hardy Boyz win the World Tag Team Titles in emotional fashion by defeating Edge & Christian in a Steel Cage Match at Unforgiven 2000!


Back to ringside.


The crowd gives a great pop, as out from the back emerges Chris Benoit. Looking as serious as always, Benoit stops to nod his head at the crowd, wearing the casual attire of a merchandise shirt and jeans, before advancing down the ramp.

Michael Cole: After months of being screwed out of a shot at the United States Title by Booker T, the man who stole the title from him in the first place, Chris Benoit got a shot at the title at the return of Saturday Night’s Main Event, only to be screwed out of it again by Booker T and his protégé, Orlando Jordan in what was said to be Benoit’s last shot at the title.

Tazz: And the last shot at the title for Benoit is what it should be. Booker should have never had to defend the title on Saturday night anyway, so as far as I’m concerned, fair is fair, Booker kept the title.

Benoit climbs up into the ring, not wasting any time as he receives a microphone and stands in the middle of the ring. Benoit then waits for his response to die down, before beginning.

Chris Benoit: Y’know, it’s not the first time I’ve been in this position. It’s not the first time that I’ve found myself getting the short end of the stick, screwed out of a shot that I earned.

The crowd gives some small heat.

Chris Benoit: I’m not looking for sympathy. I was done looking for sympathy years ago. The feeling … it’s all just a bit familiar. Being told I don’t ever have another shot at the United States Title … it kind of … it kind of reminds me about the start of my career. It reminds me of the way people talked to me at the start of the career, telling me I never had a shot at even making it in pro wrestling in the first place.

The crowd remains silent during a slight pause from Benoit.

Chris Benoit: They said that no matter for how long I tried, no matter how many hours I spent in the gym, no matter who I trained with, that I just couldn’t make it.

Again Benoit pauses slightly.

Chris Benoit: They talked down on me. They said, “Oh, Chris Benoit. He’s too small. Oh, Chris Benoit, he’s not big enough. He’s not tall enough. He’s not strong enough. He’s not fast enough. He doesn’t have enough charisma. He doesn’t have this, he doesn’t have that!”

A pretty worked up Benoit starts striding around the ring.

Chris Benoit: They said I simply don’t have it. People still tell me that today. They’ve been saying it my whole career. So hearing that I don’t have what it takes to be United States Champion … that I won’t ever have a shot at it … it’s not something new. I’ve dealt with it before. And at times in the past, hearing something like that, yeah, it made me feel bad about myself. It made me think that maybe I wasn’ good enough. That maybe I should quit, that I should listen to the doubters. I thought about it, but do you know what I did instead?

Benoit gives the crowd a small chance to respond.

Chris Benoit: I worked my ASS off, to prove – them – wrong!

Big pop for the crowd from Benoit.

Chris Benoit: I worked harder than I ever had in my LIFE! I spent more time in the gym than ever, more time in the ring than ever, working, so that I could do what I loved. Working, so I could one day tell the doubters that they were wrong. That I am a success. That I could do it. That I am … for real.

Another good cheer comes from the crowd for Benoit’s old catchphrase.

Chris Benoit: I’m now a former tag team champion. A former Intercontinental Champion. A former United States Champion.

Benoit pauses as the crowd cheers.

Chris Benoit: A former World – Heavyweight – Champion!

A huge respectful cheer from the crowd for Benoit’s achievements.

Chris Benoit: And do you know what people tell me? They still tell me that I’m not good enough. That I’m nothing but a fluke, but deep down, I know that they know they’re wrong. They know I’ve made it. They know I’ve done everything I had ever dreamed of doing. So what do I do when people tell me that? I laugh.

Benoit laughs a little to himself, then looks right in towards the hard camera.

Chris Benoit: I laugh, RIGHT – IN – THEIR – FACE!

Big pop from the crowd.

Chris Benoit: I know I’ve made it, and I know that there’s a lot of guys in that locker-room back there who are in the same position I was back at the start of my career. I know there are, because two years ago, there was a kid named Randy Orton who was.

Big mixed reaction from the crowd, who don’t like the mention of Orton.

Chris Benoit: Randy beat me for the World Heavyweight Championship in the middle of this ring, but he STILL didn’t believe that he belonged at the top of the food chain. He didn’t believe that he DESERVED to be world champion. So y’know what I did? I looked Randy in the eye, I told him he was the better man, and I shook his hand like a MAN.

Another mixed reaction from the crowd, more leaning towards cheers, but with Orton relevant there’s still some boos.

Chris Benoit: Now … now he knows he belongs, but there are still other guys back there in that locker-room who should follow his example and learn that they belong too. There’s one guy in particular, one guy who has it all that needs to know that he can go out on his own.

Benoit pauses, seemingly mulling over his thoughts.

Chris Benoit: I want to show you guys a video. Guys in the back, play the video.


We go back to SummerSlam 2005, where Chris Benoit defeats Orlando Jordan to capture the United States Championship in just 25.5 seconds.


We come back to ringside to hear the crowd applauding.

Chris Benoit: All it took was twenty-five seconds. Twenty-five seconds. I wanna show you guys something else. Guys in the back, roll the second video.


A month later, on Friday Night SmackDown!, Orlando Jordan unsuccessfully challenges Chris Benoit for the United States Championship, losing in 23.3 seconds.


Again, back to ringside where Benoit still stands in the middle of the ring.

Chris Benoit: A month later, a WHOLE month later, it took me just twenty-three seconds to beat Orlando Jordan. Twenty-three. Now I wanna show you guys just one more video, so guys in the back, roll the footage.


They both roll around in pain, with Benoit groggily picking himself up, then doing the same to Booker and throwing him from the ring … BEFORE HEADING ACROSS TO OJ … GRABBING HIM BY THE ARM … AND LOCKING IN THE CRIPPLER CROSSFACE! The crowd goes wild as OJ struggles around the ring, his eyes wide and his head shaking in pain as he looks to not quit to Benoit again. Slowly, Nick Patrick crawls across, realising what is happening as Orlando looks desperate … he doesn’t want to tap out again … AND HE WON’T! HE CONTINUES TO FIGHT! DESPITE NOT MOVING, DESPITE BEING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING … DESPITE SEEMINGLY BEING NOWHERE NEAR THE ROPES, ORLANDO JORDAN GRITS HIS TEETH, LOOKS DOWN DEEP INTO HIS HEART AND HE REFUSES TO TAP OUT! Benoit, being the pugnacious man that he is, will not relent on the pressure, he will not release the hold, BUT ORLANDO JORDAN CONTINUES TO FIGHT! HE CONTINUES TO HOLD ON! HE CAN’T … HE WON’T … HE WILL NOT TAP!

The resolve of OJ is amazing as he refuses to quit, screaming “NO!” with such pain in his voice, such obvious, agonising pain that it makes one wonder just how it is that he won’t give up. Still, Orlando remains in the hold, unmoving apart from his mouth which continues to utter the same screams of “NO!” as he refuses to quit. Benoit has no sympathy though; he wants his title shot, and despite the fight of the kid, he refuses to relent … INSTEAD CRANKING UP THE PRESSURE EVEN HIGHER! Jordan’s cries of “NO!” are replaced with unidentifiable cries as he bellows in pain, still not wanting to quit …


Winner: Chris Benoit via submission @ 14:05


We return from the footage of No Way Out back to ringside, to see Chris Benoit standing in the ring, the crowd again applauding.

Chris Benoit: Did you see that? Did you see that? Orlando Jordan was in my Crippler Crossface for over THREE TIMES as longer than his WHOLE MATCHES had lasted just five months before this. And do you know why? Do you know why Orlando has gotten to where he is? Hard … work.

Respectable pop from the crowd.

Chris Benoit: All those things that I got told I didn’t have when I was a youngster, trying to make my way in pro wrestling? Orlando has them all.

Benoit pauses slightly, pacing about the ring.

Chris Benoit: He’s big, he’s fast, he’s strong … he’s got it. And most importantly he has worked his ass off to get to where he is. At first he got by on his own talent, but after I made him tap out in under thirty seconds, after he stopped wallowing in his own little self pity, he put his head down and he worked. He worked harder than any guy in that locker-room to get where he is today. He became his own man, and for that … I respect him … or at he was, and I did.

Benoit pauses again as the crowd listens on.

Chris Benoit: What disappointed me the most on Saturday night wasn’t that I didn’t capture the United States Title. It’s that after doing all of the hard work, after putting his talents to use, after gaining the respect of guys in the back who a lot of people can only dream of getting respect from … Orlando Jordan went back to being nothing more than Booker T’s BITCH!

The crowd buzzes immediately, sensing a confrontation after that insult.

Chris Benoit: Orlando, I know you’re too good for this. Heck, Booker knows you’re too good for this, so …



The crowd gives a very heated reaction, as out from the back, dressed in a tan colour suit, struts the United States Champion, Booker T, joined by his lovely wife Sharmell and Orlando Jordan. With a microphone already in hand, Booker stops at the top of the ramp, and speaks from there.

Booker T: Hold on, hold on, hold on. Dawg, I thought I made this clear. I told you dat dis past Saturday night was gonna be the last time dat you ever got a shot at muh United States Title. I told you that was it. So just what in da HELL do you think you’re doin’, comin’ out here, runnin’ your mouth off at me?

Big heat from the crowd.

Booker T: Don’t you get it, Benoit? You’re done. Finished. You ain’t ever gettin’ another shot at my title again, ya dig?

Booker looks up at Benoit in the ring, eyes bulging.

Chris Benoit: Hey Booker, Booker, this isn’t about that. Yeah, you beat me. Congratulations. You snaked your way out of another match with me. But this isn’t about me. This is about … him.

Benoit points down at Orlando Jordan.

Chris Benoit: This is about Orlando Jordan!

Mixed reaction from the crowd, who appear to be starting to get behind OJ.

Booker T: Oh no. No, you ain’t pullin’ this crap again. You ain’t wrestlin’ him for a shot at me again. Nuh-uh. You’re through. Get it through your skull, Benoit. You’re through.

Benoit looks somewhat frustrated in the ring by Booker continuing to harp on.

Chris Benoit: Y’know what, Booker? Fine. Dodge the issue. That’s fine with me, because I know that the only reason you’re not acknowledging what I’m saying is because you know that just like I could in a fair environment, Orlando could beat you too!

Pop from the crowd.

Booker T: Oh yeah? You think that do you? You think dat Orlando could beat me? Lemme tell you somethin’. Without me, Orlando Jordan would be nothin’! You think you’re clever, comin’ out here and talkin’ ‘bout him, tryin’ to get another shot at my title, sayin’ even he could beat me? Benoit, you an’ I both know that if me an’ Orlando ever went one on one, I’d drop him in a second!

Big “Ooooooo” from the crowd, as Orlando looks shocked next to Booker, reaching for the microphone.

Orlando Jordan: Hey, hey …

Booker pulls the microphone away from Orlando.

Booker T: What you doin’, dawg? This isn’t ‘bout you.

Jordan looks appalled, backing away and taking his post back up beside Booker.

Booker T: Y’know what, Benoit? You do what you want, ‘cause at the end of the day, you ain’t gettin’ another shot at me whether you like it or not, sucka. So I think it’s time I leave you so you can do … what was it you said … wallow in yo self pity?

Booker smirks as the crowd boos.

Booker T: C’mon, let’s go.

Booker turns to leave, when …


The crowd gives a nice pop, as out from the back steps Friday Night SmackDown! General Manager, Theodore Long, already holding a microphone, stopping Booker from going any further.

Theodore Long: Hold on just a second there, playa.

Booker is enraged, asking Long what he’s doing off microphone.

Theodore Long: Now, I get that before Saturday Night’s Main Event, you, Booker T, and you, Chris, you made yourself the deal that your match at Saturday Night’s Main Event would be your final, and I appreciate that. But I also made a promise to these people watchin’ SmackDown!, that you two would actually have a match. And what happened at Saturday Night’s Main Event? That wasn’t a match. So here’s what I’m gonna do.

Long pauses, allowing the crowd to buzz.

Theodore Long: As of now, at WrestleMania 22, it’s gonna be Booker T, defending his United States Championship … against Chris Benoit!

Big pop from the crowd.

Theodore Long: But … but there is a chance that match could change. Y’see Booker, I know that you could just do what you did six nights ago if I left it at that, so because of that and the fact that I happen to agree with Benoit about Orlando Jordan, next week, regardless of whwther you wanna see it or not, it is gonna be Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan one more time.

Another pop from the crowd.

Theodore Long: And to reverse the roles, IF Orlando can win that match, then the match at WrestleMania 22 … it becomes a Three Way Dance!

The crowd roars with approval.

Theodore Long: Booker, you say you could beat Orlando easily … well let’s just see if you get that chance to test that theory, playa. Holla holla.


Teddy Long now makes his way backstage, leaving Booker to blow a gasket on the stage, while Chris Benoit looks on from the stage.

Michael Cole: Oh my! What an announcement for WrestleMania 22. Booker T WILL be defending his United States Title, and it is guaranteed that he will be facing Chris Benoit, as well as maybe Orlando Jordan.

Tazz: This is exactly what Booker has had to constantly deal with. I dunno what Teddy Long’s beef with our United States Champion is, but makin’ him defend the gold against Benoit AGAIN? That just ain’t fair.

Booker continues to voice his displeasure, shouting towards the backstage area at Long, leaving us to head off to a break, with a caption at the bottom of the screen telling us The Hardy Boyz are next.

*Commercial Break*

We return from the break to see another Hardy Boyz moment.


Matt knows that he has to look to finish Nitro now, so he quickly heads for the corner … BUT JOEY MERCURY CHARGES ACROSS … ONLY TO GET A KICK TO THE CHEST, KNOCKING HIM DOWN ON THE APRON … BEFORE HARDY LEAPS AND NAILS THE GUILLOTINE LEG DROP ON NITRO! Hardy hooks the leg … TWO! Nitro just kicks out! Matt looks slightly frustrated, but he doesn’t let it get to him as he gets back up to his feet … only to get struck in the back by a forearm from Mercury! Mercury ignores the referee’s shouts to get out of the ring, instead trying to Irish whip Hardy into the corner, but Hardy reverses … THEN CHARGES IN HIMSELF … BIG CORNER CLOTHESLINE … RUNNING BULLDOG OUT TO MERCURY … AND A FLYING CLOTHESLINE TO NITRO AT THE SAME TIME! The crowd goes wild as Hardy screams back up to his feet … AND HE CALLS FOR THE TWIST OF FATE! NITRO GROGGILY GETS BACK TO HIS FEET, AND HARDY GRABS HIM FOR THE MOVE, THEN TURNS … BUT NITRO PUSHES HIM OFF TO A RISING MERCURY, WHO GOES FOR A CLOTHESLINE … BUT HARDY DUCKS IT AND NAILS THE SIDE EFFECT!

The crowd cheers as Hardy gets up … RIGHT INTO A HUGE SUPERKICK FROM NITRO … NO, HE DUCKS IT … THEN HITS THE TWIST OF FATE! Matt makes the cover … BUT MELINA HAS THE REFEREE DISTRACTED! The crowd counts, but it means nothing, forcing Hardy to realise he has to get up and try to grab the referee’s attention … BUT MERCURY COMES FROM BEHIND WITH A LOW BLOW! Melina continues to distract the referee as Mercury gets a groggy Nitro up and says Snapshot time, Melina continuing to be a distraction to allow them to hit the double team move … when the crowd suddenly begins to scream as they wait on Matt … AND A MASKED MAN SUDDENLY DIVES INTO THE RING AND TAKES DOWN NITRO! Nitro gets taken down to the outside as Melina drops from the apron in shock … BUT MERCURY STILL HAS HARDY UP, WAITING FOR NITRO TO GRAB HARDY’S HEAD … HARDY ROLLS THROUGH INTO A SUNSET FLIP … AND GETS THE THREE!

Winner: Matt Hardy via pinfall @ 6:42


Tony Chimel: Here is your winner, MAAAATTTT …

Chimel doesn’t get to finish that thought, as both men get up … AND MERCURY SUDDENLY TAKES MATT HARDY DOWN! The crowd boos as Mercury hits some rights on a downed Hardy, sitting over him … AND THE MASKED MAN CLIMBS INTO THE RING AND TURNS MERCURY AROUND … TWIST OF FATE?!

The crowd cheers as the man takes Mercury down, then heads out to the apron and up to the top rope … THEN COMES OFF WITH A MASSIVE SWANTON BOMB! Mercury writhes in pain as the man gets back to his feet and takes off his mask … AND IT’S JEFF HARDY! The crowd goes wild as the rainbow hair is revealed by Jeff stripping the mask off and throwing it down onto Mercury!


We now cut back to ringside to see The Mexicools standing in the ring, readying themselves with no music playing in the background, at least for now …


And the crowd goes ABSOLUTELY WILD as the familiar old tune hits, and out dancing onto the stage come The Hardy Boyz! Jeff, of course, takes centre stage, while Matt bounces up and down around him, psyching the crowd up as much as possible, with pyro blowing up in the background.

Tony Chimel: Their opponents, from Raleigh, North Carolina, weighing a combined weight of 455 lbs, MATT AND JEFF, THE HAAARRRDDDDY BOYZ!

Michael Cole: Will you listen to this reaction? The Hardy Boyz are back, and they are back with a bang!

Tazz: No kiddin’, Cole, the roof was just about blown off the arena as soon as their music hit. A lotta people have been waiting a long time to see this, and I, for one, have to say it’s great to see The Hardy Boyz back as a team, right here on SmackDown!.

The crowd continues to go absolutely bonkers as the brothers charge down the ramp, then slide up into the ring, Jeff acknowledging the crowd as only he can, while Matt goes about his business elsewhere in the ring. Dropping down to the centre of the ring, Jeff joins his brother and waits as The Mexicools climb into the ring, ready for tag team action.

Match Four ~ Tag Team Match:
The Mexicools vs. The Hardy Boyz

The crowd continues to cheer wildly, even starting up a “HARDY! HARDY! HARDY!” chant that absolutely roars through the arena, before Jeff steps out of the ring, leaving Matt to start things off. Psicosis, meanwhile, coming off a big match at Saturday Night’s Main Event, starts off for his team, coming forth and locking up with Matt to get this underway. Knowing that he’s the smaller man, Psicosis looks for an early advantage by grabbing an arm and twisting it overhead, although Matt is quickly on it, twisting Psicosis’ back over instead. Psi looks to go behind, locking in a hammerlock on Matt, but, like before, Matt is onto it quick as a cat, going back behind Psicosis to lock in a hammerlock of his own. Matt then transitions back into a basic wrist lock, but Psicosis is quick too, and he shows it off by rolling through, then quick as a flash kicking Hardy right in the arm, causing him to relinquish the hold. A pained Hardy tries to get back at Psicosis, looking for revenge, but the luchador is able to pull off an arm drag on the elder Hardy.

The two get up and Hardy this time gets the arm drag, although as he gets up, Psicosis is able to sweep his legs from under him, jumping onto the cover … two. Both men get up, Hardy looking for a leg sweep this time, but Psicosis shows his agility by jumping over the swinging arm of Hardy to the amazement of the crowd. Psi then looks to kick Hardy in the midsection, but Matt is able to catch his boot, then spin him around, capturing him with a roll up … two. Both men spring back to their feet and face off, receiving a fair amount of applause from the crowd, before the somewhat obnoxious Psicosis ends the momentary truce with a kick to the midsection of Hardy. Psi looks to follow up, grabbing Hardy by the hair and sending him towards the corner headfirst, but Hardy reverses things and sends Psicosis into the turnbuckle instead, slamming his face down into it. Hardy then corners the luchador for a moment, kicking away at him, before grabbing a front face lock and dragging him across to the corner to tag in his brother Jeff to a huge pop!

In a WWE ring as a legal competitor for the first time in three years, Jeff teams up with Matt to push Psicosis back against the ropes, before sending him off with a double Irish whip, then catching him with a double hip toss on the way back! The crowd roars in approval, but The Hardy Boyz aren’t done, working together to hit a double leg drop! Jeff makes the cover … two! Jeff now looks to follow up, taking Psicosis to the corner to lambast him with kicks, before sending him across to the opposite corner with an Irish whip … but Psicosis comes charging out of the corner, leaving Jeff to hit the turnbuckle chest first … then turn into a big spinning heel kick! The crowd is a little shocked, the ring rust of Jeff perhaps costing him as Psicosis now makes his way across to the corner and tags in Super Crazy. The insane one comes charging into the ring, looking for a clothesline, but Jeff us able to duck, then nail a sitout jawbreaker!

The crowd cheers as Super Crazy reels back in pain, with Jeff quick to follow up, grabbing him by the hair to tag Mat back into the match. The duo again look for a double team, but this time it takes them a second to get on the same page, and this proves costly for them when, after Irish whipping Super Crazy across the ring, ‘The Insane Luchador’ is able to duck a double clothesline on the rebound, then hit a flying double clothesline of his own, knocking both of The Hardy Boyz down.

This brings about some dominance from The Mexicools, who, while not heeling it up, keep complete control of the match, also trying to keep things moving quickly at the same time. Much like earlier in the match, Psicosis starts to show his hot temper when, after an elaborate series of double team kicks, The Mexicools can’t get things done. He demands Super Crazy tags him back into the ring, which Super Crazy does … allowing Psicosis to go up top. Looking down at Hardy, Psicosis balances himself … THEN LAUNCHES HIMSELF OFF WITH THE GUILLOTINE LEG DROP … ONLY FOR MATT TO ROLL OUT OF THE WAY, LEAVING PSICOSIS TO JUST HIT MAT!

The cruiserweight bounces up and down on the mat in pain, before crawling back to his corner, allowing Matt to do the same, much to the delight of the crowd … and both men makes the tags! Jeff Hardy comes streaming into the match, reeling off a series of right hands to Super Crazy, before pushing him back across the ropes, then sending him off with an Irish whip, allowing him to launch the smaller man into the air on the rebound with a back body drop! The crowd erupts in delight as Super Crazy gets back to his feet in pain, running right into a clothesline that takes him down. Getting back up again, Crazy is dazed, staggering right into an inverted atomic drop, with Jeff then tripping his opponent up, before hitting a leg drop right to the midsection! A cover from Jeff … two!

Jeff is up the quicker of both men, grabbing Super Crazy by the hair, then looking to ram him into the turnbuckle. Crazy, however, reaches his boot out, stopping that idea, then sends his foot flying up to kick Jeff square in the chin! Jeff staggers back, clearly in pain as Super Crazy heads up to the second rope … THEN COMES OFF AND PLANTS JEFF WITH A TORNADO DDT! ‘The Insane Luchador’ grabs the cover … two! The crowd pops as Crazy gets up, before looking to the corner and running across to it … COMING BACK WITH A MOONSAULT OFF THE BOTTOM ROPE … BUT JEFF ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY … SUPER CRAZY LANDS ON HIS FEET … ONLY TO HAVE JEFF HARDY COME FLYING AT HIM … AND SCORE WITH THE WHISPER IN THE WIND!

The crowd goes crazy (pardon the pun) as Jeff gets the cover … two! Jeff can’t believe it, looking at the referee in shock, before getting back up … and calling for the end! The crowd goes wild, watching on as Super Crazy pulls himself up, and Jeff goes to kick him in the midsection, but Crazy catches it … only for Jeff to nail a mule kick! Super Crazy falls to a seated position in the corner, and Jeff charges in at him … then nails a step up dropkick right on the button! Jeff gets up … ONLY TO GET STRUCK DOWN BY A FLYING PSICOSIS WITH A SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK!

Psicosis gets back up and signals for the end … ONLY FOR MATT HARDY TO TURN HIM AROUND … AND NAIL THE SIDE EFFECT! Psicosis goes rolling from the ring as Jeff struggles back to his feet, seeing Super Crazy struggling in the corner … and Matt drops to his knees … so Jeff charges across … AND LEAPS OFF HIS BACK TO NAIL THE POETRY IN MOTION ON SUPER CRAZY! ‘The Insane Luchador’ falls from the corner groggily, right into the clutches of Matt Hardy … WHO SCORES WITH THE TWIST OF FATE! Jeff, meanwhile, heads up top, before looking out to the crowd and throwing his singlet off to them … BEFORE JUMPING OFF … AND NAILING THE SWANTON BOMB! Jeff hooks the leg … and gets the three!

Winners: The Hardy Boyz via pinfall @ 06:59


Tony Chimel: Here are your winners, THE HAAARRRDDYYYY BOYZ!

The crowd goes wild as Jeff gets back to his feet, hugging his brother Matt and acknowledging the crowd, feeling the high of a big victory.

Michael Cole: All night we have been seeing videos hyping the return of The Hardy Boyz, and boy have they delivered. A great performance from Matt and Jeff in their return as a team here to the WWE.

Tazz: I gotta say, I was a little worried ‘bout Jeff’s ring rust, but he looked as good as ever, Cole. These two may just be the perfect challenge for MNM come WrestleMania.

Michael Cole: Well …

Cole is suddenly cut off.

???: Oh bravo! Bravo!

The camera pans to see the ring in the foreground, with the titantron in the background showing the WWE Tag Team Champions, MNM standing in the interview area, Melina at the front speaking.

Melina: Wow! Guys … I mean, wow, WHAT a performance! I mean that … that was something else. You guys should be really proud. I mean that, because, y’know, it’s not easy for you guys to live up to the expectations. We’ve seen the videos so far tonight. You guys, you’ve had some great moments.

The crowd gives a slight pop.

Melina: I mean, the first time you won the tag titles? I have to admit, a tear ran down my cheek.

The crowd boos the obvious sarcasm of Melina.

Melina: Or the very first TLC match. How about that? That was something else.

Melina pauses, letting the boos come in.

Melina: And the time you finally won the titles back in the Steel Cage Match? That was emotional. That was really emotional. And both last Saturday night and your return here tonight? They were just as special. They fit in with all of those moments there, so congratulations Hardy Boyz. You should be proud.

More boos for the conceited Melina.

Melina: But, the more I think about it, the more I realise that there’s a little gap where you … you seem to missed something. Did you notice that, boys?

Melina turns to Nitro & Mercury, who both nod away.

Melina: Yeah I thought so. So I just thought I’d ask you two personally. Between the time that you won the titles in that Steel Cage Match and your return last Saturday night, what happened?

Matt & Jeff shake their heads in the ring, not biting the bait.

Johnny Nitro: I’ll tell you what happened. The two of you were overtaken by a superior team.

Heat from the crowd.

Joey Mercury: That’s right. Y’see, while Matt was losing his girlfriend to his best friend, and Jeff was … well, Jeff was no doubt losing at something, a new team hit the scene. The it team hit the scene.

Johnny Nitro: Since the two of you parted ways, we have been the most dominant team in WWE history. We truly have been ‘The A-List Team’.

Joey Mercury: Not only are we three times WWE Tag Team Champions here on SmackDown! – that’s a record, by the way – but we’re also the greatest team of the 21st century.

Johnny Nitro: And in case your math is as bad as your looks, yes, you two have teamed in the 21st century.

More heat from the crowd, as Melina now steps up.

Melina: It’s like this. Out with the old, and in with the new. Gone are the days of the hicks from Cameron. It’s Hollywood time, and no one does Hollywood like M – N – M.

The crowd continues to boo, not approving of this interruption.

Melina: So you boys make sure that you make it to WrestleMania to face us, because we’re going to provide you with your one real career highlight when you yet again lose. Just this time, it’ll be to us. And when it’s all said and done? Everyone will remember your fifteen minutes of actual fame … that’s if you can even last that long with us.

Big heat from the crowd, as Melina smiles innocently.

Melina: Ciao.

The crowd boos as the tron cuts away, leaving a frustrated Hardy Boyz standing in the ring.

Michael Cole: I can’t believe the audacity of MNM. I mean to interrupt this, the successful return of The Hardy Boyz, all just to toot their own horns? I’ll tell you, one day they’re going to get what’s coming to them, and that day could be coming soon at WrestleMania.

Tazz: Well I, for one, believe everything the tag champs say, but if you want any more proof than them, then look no further than tonight’s main event.

Michael Cole: That’s right, Tazz. In tonight’s main event, it’ll be the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista, teaming up with his WrestleMania opponent, Randy Orton, and they look to take on the WWE Tag team Champions, MNM. That’s our main event, and that’s later tonight, here on SmackDown!.

Time for a commercial break.

*Commercial Break*

We return from the break to see a video.


Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage battle out a classic for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania III!



We return from the video, cutting back to ringside.

Michael Cole: The Hall of Fame ceremony will see our third inductee into the Hall of Fame for 2006, Verne Gagne going in, but, as you just saw, that’s right ladies and gentlemen. There are now just twenty-three days to go until WrestleMania 22, and what an event it promises to be.

Tazz: I can’t wait for WrestleMania, Cole. It’s the time of the year that everyone steps up, ‘cause they know there’s only one chance to immortalise themselves at WrestleMania.

Michael Cole: Well two of SmackDown!s biggest stars will be facing off for the chance to immortalise themselves as former stable mates and now fierce enemies collide. It’s Batista defending his World Heavyweight Title against the winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble, Randy Orton.

Tazz: This is a tough one. Batista has been champ for a year, and he has taken on all comers, but Randy has gotten in Batista’s head, causin’ him to lose two straight matches, somethin’ we haven’t seen Batista do in a long, long time, which gives Orton the edge for mine.

Michael Cole: The WWE Title from Monday Night RAW will be on the line too when the WWE Champion, Edge defends the title against the two men he’s been running from for months, John Cena and Kurt Angle. With nowhere left to run at WrestleMania, can Edge survive with the title, or will we see a new champion?

Tazz: I’m expecting a new champion to be crowned here. Whether it’ll be Cena or Angle, I dunno, but as good as Edge has been as champion, I just can’t see him beating arguably RAW’s two top guys.

Michael Cole: Fighting for a shot at a world title in the future will be eight guys, seven of who we know in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. With one man left to qualify from SmackDown!, this is looking like it could be bigger and better than last year.

Tazz: My pick until earlier tonight was Mr. Kennedy clearly, but right now, I’m startin’ to think Finlay or Paul London may have a chance too. Finlay’s a fighter, plain and simple, and London’s shown us what he’s willin’ to do by beating Kennedy earlier tonight.

Michael Cole: The World Tag Team Championships will be on the line, as the champions Kane and the Big Show face Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. On Monday night, Kane and Big Show made sure that they would be facing the former World’s Greatest Tag Team, and the question of why still remains.

Tazz: I dunno why they did it, Cole, but I know this is gonna be a great match. Kane and Big Show may be my picks at this time because they’ve been so dominant, and Haas and Benjamin ain’t on the same page, but you never know with those two.

Michael Cole: The WWE Tag Team Champions MNM put their tag titles on the line when they face off with The Hardy Boyz. While MNM have been, as they put it, the greatest team of the 21st century, they’re facing one of the greatest teams of all-time come WrestleMania.

Tazz: This match could go either way. MNM have been great as champions, but The Hardy Boyz showed no rust whatsoever earlier tonight. Flip of a coin for who’s gonna get up.

Michael Cole: As we found out earlier tonight, Booker T will again be defending his United States Title against Chris Benoit, but Orlando Jordan could be added to this match IF he wins his match against Chris Benoit next week.

Tazz: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Booker should NOT have to defend his title against Benoit again. If he has to defend it against OJ too? I don’t like Booker’s odds here.

Michael Cole: The Women’s Championship will be on the line when Trish Stratus defends her title against her former friend, the woman who looked up to her, Mickie James.

Tazz: Trish has been ruthless of late, and for me, that could mean she gets the job done. One thing’s for sure though, and that’s that this one will be personal.

Michael Cole: You want to talk personal? Well it doesn’t get much more personal than this. Shawn Michaels and Triple H, two former best friends to settle the score in a No Holds Barred Match.

Tazz: This one has chaos guaranteed in it. Michaels and Triple H will both be out for blood. Michaels wants to get rid of Triple H for good, but Triple H just wants revenge.

Michael Cole: And in an interbrand spectacular, Monday Night RAW’s Rob Van Dam has laid down the gauntlet. It’ll be RVD vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 22, Undertaker’s winning streak on the line.

Tazz: And after a win against Shawn Michaels on RAW, RVD’s chances have gotta have gone way up. But this is still WrestleMania, and he’s still facin’ The Undertaker, so it’s Undertaker for me.

Michael Cole: That’s WrestleMania, and that’s just …

The lights suddenly go out.


The crowd erupts at first, but nothing happens, at least not for the moment, until …


The crowd again pops … and The Undertaker appears on the screen, shrouded by darkness.

The Undertaker: Rob – Van – Dam!

Pop from the crowd as ‘Taker looks out menacingly.

The Undertaker: You may have passed the first test this past Monday night, but you STILL are yet to do anything to prove yourself as any different to those who have come before you.

Another slight pause.

The Undertaker: Thirteen men … thirteen souls, all of which have talked a big game, only to perish when stepping foot in the ring with me.

Again, another little pause from Undertaker.

The Undertaker: You may have done well Monday night, Van Dam, but I promise you, that next week, it’ll be out of the pan, and into the fire. And come WrestleMania, when all is said and done, like all of the others, you will REST … IN … PEACE!

The Undertaker now rolls his eyes back, garnering a huge pop from the crowd …

… Before we cut away backstage to see the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista walking down a corridor.

Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, a direct message sent from ‘The Deadman’ to RVD for this Monday night, but coming up next it’s our main event. Batista and Randy Orton vs. MNM, next here on Friday Night SmackDown!.

And away we go.

*Commercial Break*

Back from the break …


The crowd gives some great heat as the red carpet flows from the top of the stage, the paparazzi flocking around it, rushing from nowhere to snap pictures when the infamous trio, the WWE Tag Team Champions, MNM step out onto the stage. The glamorous trio pose for the shots like usual, Melina paying special attention to the cameras, while Nitro & Mercury also talk themselves up.

Tony Chimel: The following contest is a tag team match, and it is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Los Angeles, California, weighinga combined weight of 420 lbs, they are the WWE Tag Team Champions, Mercury, Nitro & Melina, M – N – M!

Michael Cole: We heard from MNM earlier tonight when they said that they would defeat The Hardy Boyz at WrestleMania 22, but before they worry about that, they’ve got themselves a very different task here at hand as they face what could be the formidable duo of Randy Orton and Batista.

Tazz: If Orton and Batista are on the same page, this certainly ain’t gonna be easy for MNM. They may be the best tag team wrestlers on SmackDown!, but they’re about to be up against the two best wrestlers in the entire WWE.

The tag champs make their way down the ramp, then up into the ring with their usual theatrics, including Melina doing her amazing splits. Oozing confidence. the tag champs show off their gold, showing absolutely no fear at all.


The heat is great as the smug, arrogant and narcissistic Randy Orton wanders out onto the stage. Looking casual, Orton smirks out at the crowd as he walks, before stopping to pose on the stage, triggering his rain of pyro to fall behind him.

Tony Chimel: Their opponents, first, from St. Louis, Missouri, weighing 245 lbs, he is the winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble, RAAANNNDY OOOORRRRTON!

Michael Cole: Another man with an eye on WrestleMania is this man, Randy Orton, who as of late has been getting in the head of his partner for the night, Batista, ahead of their huge match at WrestleMania for the World Heavyweight Title.

Tazz: And I think what Orton’s doin’ is workin’. Like I said earlier, I can’t remember the last time Batista lost two matches in a row, and this might just be a little indicator of what to expect come WrestleMania.

Orton slinks down the ramp, arm raised up in the air, before climbing up into the ring where he poses, much to the disgust of the fans. Orton is soon distracted though, as he hears …


And the crowd absolutely ERUPTS as, for the second time in the night, the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista explodes out onto the stage. ‘The Animal’ is full of energy, fired up ahead of his match, and he shows it by really attempting to fire up the crowd, firing off his pyrotechnics in the process.

Tony Chimel: His partner, from Washington D.C., weighing 295 lbs, he is the WOOOORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, ‘THE ANIMAL’, BATIIIIIISSSSTTTTAAA!

Michael Cole: Perhaps the man who has the most on the line in this match, Batista will be looking to get on top of things ahead of his big match at WrestleMania.

Tazz: Well if Batista wants to keep that title, he’ll wanna change the way things are goin’ pretty soon. It ain’t gonna be easy tonight against MNM, but if anyone can beat ‘em, it’d be these two men.

Batista climbs up into the ring, then shows the gold off to the fans, making a point to showcase to his partner for the night that at this stage in time he is the champion, and that he intends on being for a long time to come.

Match Five ~ Tag Team Match:
WWE Tag Team Champions MNM w/Melina vs. Randy Orton & Batista

Keen to prove himself, Batista is quick to order Randy Orton out of the ring, making him the legal man against Johnny Nitro. Not wanting to lock straight up with Batista, Nitro hangs back, causing Batista to adopt a fighting stance and begin to corner Nitro, but right as Batista looks to grab Nitro, the cocky California native scurries out under ‘The Animal’ and escapes. This goes on for a bit longer, the two playing a bit of cat and mouse, until Batista finally gets his hands on the smaller man, then hurls him into the corner. ‘The Animal’ lives up to his name, unleashing upon Nitro in the corner with a vicious flurry of right hands, taking out his frustrations on the youngster, before whipping him across the ring and charging in after him, only to run straight into a boot!

Thinking he had better follow up, Nitro comes charging out of the corner, but Batista catches him, scooping him up with ease, before slamming him down in the centre of the ring. Nitro hits the mat hard, but Batista isn’t done, running across to the ropes and dropping an elbow down into the heart of Johnny, gaining himself a cover … but Mercury breaks it up at two. ‘The Animal’ gives a dangerous glare at the other half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, before going back to work on Nitro, absolutely hammering him from pillar to post for the next few minutes, occasionally glancing at a rather looking uninterested Randy Orton on the apron as he does so. This is what ends up costing Batista too, as after moving Nitro back into the ropes, he again looks at Orton, before going for the Irish whip, although, having been allowed time to recover, Nitro is able to reverse it, sending Batista across the ring right into a knee to the ribs from Mercury. The World Heavyweight Champion then staggers from the ropes gingerly, falling prey to a running neckbreaker from Nitro!

Despite being in the ring with the World Heavyweight Champion, MNM are able to use their tag team expertise to smother him for the next few minutes, using everything they know to work over their body part of choice, the neck. Batista, though, can only be suppressed for so long, and he continuously tries to fight back, making the constant interference of Melina invaluable. Eventually, however, not even Melina can help her boys, as Batista fights out of a corner assault, elbowing Mercury, who stands in the ring, and Nitro on the apron to get free. Batista looks to stumble towards his corner and Randy Orton, but Mercury is able to stop him, jumping onto the gigantic back of ‘The Animal’ to lock in a sleeper hold … only for Batista to ram him back into the corner spine first! Mercury struggles out of the corner … right into a falling clothesline from the champ!

The crowd now cheers as Batista starts to head for the apron, getting set for a tag … but Randy Orton drops down from the apron! The crowd boos as Orton turns his back on Batista, walking up the ramp, leaving a seething ‘Animal’ to look on, before turning to see a charging Johnny Nitro … and knocking him stupid with a huge elbow! Nitro gets back up, walking right into a peppering of right hands from a fuming ‘Animal’, before being thrown into the ropes, then sent overhead with a huge back body drop!

Nitro gets back to his feet to see Batista coming towards him, and ‘The Animal’ continues right through Nitro, forcing him back into the corner where he buries his shoulder into the gut of his opponent with consecutive shoulder thrusts. The tag champ is absolutely reeling, now being thrown to the other corner with an Irish whip … and Batista charges in to squash him with a corner clothesline! Nitro sags out of the corner, moving right into the clutches of ‘The Animal’, who lifts him up … THEN DROPS HIM WITH THE JACKHAMMER!

The crowd erupts, but Batista isn’t done, signalling for the end … WHEN MELINA CLIMBS UP ONTO THE APRON! The crowd boos intensely, causing Batista to notice her and make his way across to her … when Joey Mercury again jumps on his back for a sleeper hold … but ‘The Animal’ just snaps him off overhead! Mercury gets back up to his feet and charges at Batista … RIGHT INTO A SPINE JARRING SPINEBUSTER!

The crowd goes nuts, knowing that this is it as Batista again calls for the end … BEFORE GETTING MERCURY IN POSITION IN BETWEEN HIS LEGS … WHEN NITRO COMES OUT OF NOWHERE WITH A SUPERKICK! Batista is completely out of it, and MNM acts quickly … NAILING THE SNAPSHOT! BATISTA IS DOWN! Nitro hooks the leg … and gets the three!

Winners: MNM via pinfall @ 10:01


Tony Chimel: Here are your winners, M – N – M!

The crowd goes crazy with heat, but MNM don’t care, because they’ve just beaten the World Heavyweight Champion! The tag champs roll from the ring, quickly being joined by their manager Melina, who holds the titles, while in the ring Batista is still down.

Michael Cole: Oh my! Batista … Batista has lost again. Be it thanks to Randy Orton essentially making this a handicap match or not, the World Heavyweight Champion has now lost three straight matches.

Tazz: Could this be it? Is this the end of the reign of dominance from ‘The Animal’?

Michael Cole: It sure looks that way. I didn’t think I’d ever say it, but Batista … Batista is slipping.

Tazz: Look at this, Cole. He’s startin’ to come to.

Indeed he is, Tazz. Batista in the ring begins to roll around, coming back to consciousness, before rolling to a seated position and then from the ring … and suddenly a fire is in the eyes of ‘The Animal’!

Michael Cole: Uh oh.

Tazz: I don’t like the look in his eyes, Cole.

Batista shakes his head … then suddenly runs around the ring … AND BOOTS THE STEEL STEPS! The steel goes tumbling aside, and Batista turns his attention, ripping at the cover of the ring, tearing it in two, before then turning his attention back to the steel steps and hurling them up and over the ring, onto the ramp!

“Batista has lost it!”

“Quick, get some people out here!”

Big Dave quickly moves onto the timekeeper’s area, grabbing some steel chairs and hurling them all over the ringside area, BEFORE TEARING THE BARRIER BETWEEN THE TIMEKEEPER’S AREA AND RINGSIDE DOWN!

The crowd is looking in shock as Batista kicks away at the barrier – which is now on the ground – before turning his attention to the announce table and tearing the cover off it! Michael Cole & Tazz scurry to safety, and luckily so, as Batista, with a single burst, sends the announce table tumbling!

‘The Animal roars with intensity, going completely CRAZY, but before he can do any more damage, members of the backstage crew rush out and try to calm him, surrounding him … ALONG WITH RANDY ORTON! Orton smirks coldly, having made his way back to ringside … AND BATISTA EXPLODES OUT OF THE BLOCKS, BURSTING TOWARDS HIM … BUT THE WORKERS HOLD HIM BACK!

Batista roars, clawing wildly in an attempt to get to Orton, but he just can’t reach the cool, confident Orton, leaving us to fade away from the image of Batista, trying as hard as he can, without being quite able to get his hands on Randy Orton. With the screen fading to black, we hear two last words, before heading off … “I’m untouchable”.



April 2nd, 2006 | Allstate Arena; Rosemont, Illinois

World Heavyweight Championship:
Randy Orton vs. Batista ©

WWE Championship; Triple Threat Match:
John Cena vs. Kurt Angle vs. Edge ©

Interbrand Match:
Rob Van Dam vs. The Undertaker

No Holds Barred Match:
Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

United States Championship:
Chris Benoit vs. Booker T ©

World Tag Team Championships:
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane & Big Show ©

WWE Tag Team Championships:
The Hardy Boyz vs. MNM ©

Women’s Championship:
Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus ©

Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
Gregory Helms vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Carlito vs. Paul London vs. Ric Flair vs. Finlay vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. ???

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