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Old 11-04-2010, 03:31 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
January 29th, 2007
Dallas, Texas


"I messed up, pure and simple."




We open the broadcast with a highlights package from last night's Royal Rumble. The video pays attention to the Smackdown side of the event, which included Chris Benoit retaining the United States Championship against Test and the battle that was the World Heavyweight Championship match, where Batista emerged victorious over Finlay. Paying more focus to the Raw side of things, we see the brave effort of Jeff Hardy in his Intercontinental Title defence, only for Kenny Dykstra to drill Jeff into a steal chair, grabbing the win and causing Jeff to be removed from the arena on a stretcher, and the back and forth tussle between John Cena and Rob Van Dam, which saw Cena hang onto the WWE Championship. The package finishes with highlights of the Royal Rumble Match, with particular attention paid to the strong performances of Mr. Kennedy, Bobby Lashley, Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Also included is the brutal assault of Ric Flair by Mr. Kennedy after Flair eliminated him, the attack of Umaga on Bobby Lashley and the dramatic ending, in which Triple H eliminated Shawn Michaels, only to later be eliminated by The Undertaker, who seconds later is also eliminated last by Edge, who stares at the Wrestlemania XXIII banner hanging from the rafters as the package ends.

We now get the usual Raw opening video and then it's into the arena for a massive pyro display, and as the camera pans the arena Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler try their best to talk over the deafening cheers of the crowd...


Jim Ross: Good evening everybody, welcome to Monday Night Raw, just 24 hours removed from a historic Royal Rumble! I'm Jim Ross, alongside me is Jerry 'The King' Lawler, and King, after last night we now know that Raw's very own Edge will be in one of the main events of the granddaddy of 'em all, Wrestlemania!

Jerry Lawler: What a night it was last night! By hook or by crook, Edge entered the Rumble at Number 30, and you gotta hand it to him, he was the last man standing. And what about John Cena and Rob Van Dam? Those two pushed each other to the limit last night, but when it was all said and done, John Cena was still the WWE Champion.

Jim Ross: And the question on everybody's mind is just who will Edge choose to face at Wrestlemania? Will it be Smackdown's World Heavyweight Champion Batista? Or it will be John Cena?

Jerry Lawler: It's a huge choice to make. If I was Edge, I wouldn't rush into a decision like that. I don't think we'll find out Edge's answer tonight.

Jim Ross: Well speaking of tonight, what a huge match we have in store as the ECW Champion Bobby Lashley takes on the man who subjected him to a heinous, uncalled for assault after he was eliminated from the Royal Rumble, 'The Samoan Bulldozer' Umaga.

Jerry Lawler: What a collision that's gonna be when those two get together! And remember J.R., next week, we've got a three hour Raw special. Raw: Night Of Champions! The night where every championship here on Monday Night Raw will be defended. We're gonna find out who will face the Women's Champion Mickie James next week, but who's gonna face John Cena?

Jim Ross: Hopefully all will be revealed tonight. We'll try and get an update on the status of Jeff Hardy, after Jeff suffered yet another concussion at the hands of Kenny Dykstra. It's gonna be quite a night tonight, I can feel it King! Monday Night Raw starts down the Road to Wrestlemania, and I can't wait to see it all unfold!

Silence...

Until...


*SEXY BOY...*


Despite not being an obvious choice to kick off the show, the crowd gives a good pop to welcome Shawn Michaels to the stage. A calm yet serious look on his face, Michaels forgoes his usual routine of dropping to his knees in prayer and setting off his pyro, as he instead gingerly walks down the ramp. Wearing a chequered shirt, jeans and old boots, the cowboy hat pulled down over his brow can't hide the focus in his eyes, with Michaels only acknowledging the occasional fan as he walks around the ring towards the timekeeper's table...


Jim Ross: What an incredible performance last night from that man Shawn Michaels. Last night, it was like watching the Shawn Michaels of yesteryear. Michaels rolled back the years last night, entering the Royal Rumble at Number 11 and making it all the way to the final four.

Jerry Lawler: It was certainly yet another memorable Royal Rumble performance from Shawn Michaels last night. But J.R., we both know that after all we've seen in recent weeks between Shawn Michaels and Triple H, that Michaels has gotta be pretty mad at the fact that it was 'The Game' who eliminated him from the Rumble last night.

Michaels is handed a microphone by Lillian Garcia before he strides up the steel steps and into the ring, waiting for the mostly positive (but with a smattering of boos from fans taking Triple H's side over the DX split) reaction to die down before he speaks...

Shawn Michaels: I uh... I realise I'm not maybe who you were all expecting to come out here to open the show tonight. I know you were all expecting Edge to be out here, celebrating his victory last night. But uh... I got a lil' somthin' I wanna say tonight.

Pausing, Michaels gulps hard and takes a tug at the brow of his hat...

Shawn Michaels: You all know that I've had a pretty traumatic last few weeks. Two weeks ago, I accidently hit my then tag team partner Triple 'Aitch with a steel chair.

Boos from the crowd, to which Michaels can only nod in acknowledgment...

Shawn Michaels: I know, I know. I know a lot of you weren't happy with ol' 'Aitch-Bee-Kay that night. Tell ya' the truth, I wasn't all that happy with myself either. I messed up, pure and simple. It wasn't the first time I've hit the wrong guy with a chair, and it probably won't be the last. You guys can boo all you want, but nobody's booin' my actions anymore than me.

A hush descends from the crowd, the majority of the people in attendance unsure what to make of the situation...

Shawn Michaels: You people, you've known me a long time now. You've seen me grow up in this ring. You know the type of man I am. I'm very proud... but I'm also very stubborn. It's been hard for me to admit my mistakes in the past. But now, I'm a lil' older. A lil' wiser. I know when to admit to my mistakes. I've learned how to atone for my sins. And that's why at the end of the night, once I'd realised the consequences of my mistake... I wanted to say sorry. I wanted to apologise to Triple 'Aitch. So I offered him my hand.

Michaels smiles, ruefully shaking his head...

Shawn Michaels: I offered Triple 'Aitch a handshake. After all the years we've known each other, after all we've been through together, after all the miles we've travelled together, when I messed up, I offered you my hand Hunter, 'cos I felt it was the least I could do. But you?

Michaels pauses, choosing his words carefully...

Shawn Michaels: I dunno. I honestly don't know what went through your mind at that moment Hunter. I thought maybe I'd get a few answers out of ya' last week, but... it never happened. I know we both had to focus on the Royal Rumble last week. I know you wanted to main event Wrestlemania again... and I know I did. But uh, you ended my hopes and dreams for another year when you eliminated me from the Rumble last night, didn't ya'?

A small smile cracks Michaels' face...

Shawn Michaels: But Hunter, I know that you still remember a lil' thing called D-Generation X.

Big pop from the crowd for the mention of DX...

Shawn Michaels: I know you remember what it meant to be a part of DX. Last summer, we came back together to finish what we started ten years ago. And because of me... we didn't get the job done. I'm a proud man Hunter, I ain't gonna beg. But I'm askin' ya'... right here, right now... walk down that ramp... and meet me man to man in the middle of this ring.

Another pop...

Shawn Michaels: If D... Generation... X... meant anythin' to you Hunter, then you come out here. Ten years ago we started the greatest faction this business has ever seen. Ten years ago, if I had hit you with a chair, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. But my Lord and my saviour has delivered me to a better place. My conscience is clear Hunter... but I know what I owe ya'. And you know you owe me the same. So Triple 'Aitch... get out here right now, and let's settle this like men.

All eyes turn towards the top of the ramp, with a small "Triple H! Triple H! Triple H!" chant breaking out. Michaels patiently waits in the ring through a few moments of silence until...

"YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME...

HEY! NOTHING YOU CAN SAY..."

*BURN IN MY LIGHT (RATED-R REMIX)...*


Both the crowd and Michaels are taken by surprise as instead of 'The Game' it's Rated-RKO who step out, the group respondent in all their splendour. The new Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra is all smiles as he brings up the rear, with one half of the World Tag Team Champions and 2007 Royal Rumble Winner Edge also grinning from ear to ear as he confidently leads the way. The same can't be said of Randy Orton though, as the other half of the tag champs looks pissed off at the showboating actions of his partner...


Jerry Lawler: Well I knew we'd hear from these three at some point tonight, but why have they picked this moment right now?

Jim Ross: This certainly wasn't what Shawn Michaels was hoping to see. I dunno why Edge, Orton and Dykstra have decided to come out here when we all wanted to hear from Triple H.

As the trio enter the ring, Michaels stands firm in the centre of the ring, his eyes darting across all three men. Edge cautiously walks past Michaels to receive a microphone, while Orton arrogantly props himself up in the corner while Dykstra circles the ring...

Edge: Well... well, well. If it isn't Shawn Michaels. 'The Showstoppah'! 'The Heartbreak Kid'! 'The Main Event', 'The Icon'... the man of a thousand pathetic nicknames.

Heat...

Edge: But more important than all that Shawn... is who you're not. And Shawn... you're NOT the winner of the 2007 Royal Rumble! I AM!!

More heat...

Edge: You're not the man who threw 29 other guys over the top rope... I AM!!

Ridiculous exaggeration of course, but it draws more heat...

Edge: You're not the man who's guaranteed a main event spot at Wrestlemania... I AM!!

Boos as Edge runs a hand through his hair and shakes his head...

Edge: So tell me Shawn, despite all of that, why, one night after I won the Royal Rumble, does Monday Night Raw open with you out here pourin' your heart out over a group that people stopped carin' about ten years ago? Why, when I should be out here celebrating my victory with the single greatest Royal Rumble performance in history, are you stood in this ring beggin' from that jackass Triple H to come out here and shake your damn hand?!

Heat...

Edge: You talk about how you've changed over the years, how you found religion, how you think you're a better man nowadays. I don't see it like that Shawn. All I see is a pathetic, broken down version of 'The Heartbreak Kid'. Ten years ago, you wouldn't have gave damn about hittin' your partner with a steel chair. Hell, you'd probably say it was his fault for gettin' in the way of your swing. But this is what you've become now? This pathetic shell of a man. Is this what religion and finding God does to a man Shawn? If it is, I hope I burn in hell, 'cos I don't ever wanna wind up like you.

Michaels keeps his composure in the face of the smirking Edge...

Edge: These people, they don't wanna hear what you have to say Shawn. They don't care about how you feel about Triple H. They don't wanna see you and Triple H shake hands and hug it out.

Pop from the crowd, which Edge ignores...

Edge: They wanna hear... from me.

Boos...

Edge: They wanna hear about my heroic performance in the Royal Rumble, they wanna relive the memories of last night. They don't wanna hear your tales of the past Shawn, they wanna hear... what I'm gonna do in the future.

More heat...

Edge: So Shawn, why don't you walk out of my ring and leave with your last shred of dignity... before I kick your ass and throw you out?

Edge steps aside, motioning for Michaels to head for the exit, with the eager Kenny arrogantly sitting on the middle ropes, looking to assist Michaels out of the ring. Instead, Shawn stands firm, his eyes fixed on Edge who grows ever frustrated at Michaels' lack of movement...

Edge: What? What the hell's wrong with you? Didn't I make myself clear Shawn? Get out of this ring right now... before I do somethin' you're gonna regret.

Still Michaels doesn't budge an inch, his eyes still staring into Edge's...

Edge: DAMMIT SHAWN!! GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!

More boos as Edge frantically paces the ring, grabbing at his hair as he does...

Edge: You think anybody cares about DX anymore? Huh? Face it Shawn, DX... IS OVER! DX is history! DX is old news! Me and Randy, Rated-RKO, we did what no other group in WWE history could do. We... ENDED... DX! You two shoulda NEVER messed with us Shawn, and you paid-

Shawn Michaels: (Interrupting) SHUT UP!!

Big reaction as Edge looks stunned...

Shawn Michaels: Y'know somethin' Edge? You may be right. DX may be dead... but I'm not. I may not be able to bring back DX, but last night at the Rumble... I brought back the ol' 'Atich-Bee-Kay you were talkin' about!

Pop...

Shawn Michaels: I gave it all I had, I fought 'til I had nothin' left, and even then, it took the guy who knows me best to get rid of me. Somethin' not even you could do Edge.

Another pop as Edge seethes with anger...

Shawn Michaels: You couldn't get rid of me last night Edge. And neither could your partner over here in the corner.

Orton now peeks his interest, stepping out of the corner attentively...

Shawn Michaels: So what makes you think you can do it tonight?

Again the crowd cheers for the intensity of Michaels, but Edge turns to his two colleagues and smiles...

Edge: Well Shawn, the fact that there's three of us... and only one of you... says you're about to get your ass handed to you.

And with that, Edge, Orton and Dykstra, the Rated-RKO trio step towards Michaels, circling 'The Heartbreak Kid' waiting for their moment to pounce...

Until...

"BEHOLD THE KING... THE KING OF KINGS..."

*THE GAME...*


The crowd explodes with a massive mixed reaction as Triple H strides down the ramp, removing and tossing aside his leather jacket as he does before rolling under the bottom rope...


Jim Ross: Business has just picked up! Here comes Triple H!

Jerry Lawler: Yeah but is he out here to help Shawn Michaels or to help Rated-RKO?

Jim Ross: Aw what the hell d'ya mean by that?

Jerry Lawler: Don't act dumb J.R.! We both know 'The Game' and Shawn Michaels haven't been on the same page for weeks now.

'The Game' stands on one side of the ring, while against the opposite ropes, Edge, Orton and Dykstra look on in panic, wondering why Triple H is out here. In the middle of it all stands Shawn Michaels, with 'HBK' not wanting to turn his back on either side for too long. As the tension builds for the dramatic standoff, the volume of cheers quickly outweighs the boos as Triple H looks like he wants to tear Edge's head off...

Edge: Hey! Hey... easy. What the hell are you doin' out here? I mean, I know you're not out here for a happy reunion. So what are you doin' stickin' your nose in my business? Your '90s tribute act is over, and the sooner you two realise it the better.

Still 'The Game' stares at Rated-RKO, barely looking at Michaels, who continues to switch between the two sides of the ring. The standoff continues until...

*HERE COMES THE MONEY...*


Jim Ross: You gotta be kiddin' me!

Jerry Lawler: He's back J.R.! We've got an explosive situation in the ring, and now we've got Shane O'Mac out here!

Jim Ross: But what business does he have bein' out here right now?

The arena initially pops for the seldom heard music of Shane McMahon, and the pop intensifies as Shane O'mac steps out onto the stage, stopping at the top of the ramp. Dressed in a sharp suit, McMahon already has a mic in his hand, waiting for his music to die down so he can address the situation in the ring...

Shane McMahon: Wow. I know I haven't been around here all that much for the last six months or so... but from I see stood in that ring right now, nothin' really changed while I was gone.

Confused looks from Edge and Orton, while 'The Game' is still seething, wanting to get his hands on Edge...

Shane McMahon: Y'see, as far as I can tell, it's still YOU Shawn Michaels and YOU Triple H, stood in that ring, causin' problems for people. You may not be D-Generation in name anymore, but you two are still nothin' more than a pair of degenerates.

The boos quickly return for Shane...

Shane McMahon: Six months ago, me and my Father tried to put an end to DX. We did everythin' we could to try and end your little boys club. Hell, we even used Kenny and his cheerleaders to try get the job done.

Edge flashes Dykstra a look of disgust while Kenny can only sheepishly shrug in response...

Shane McMahon: But it wasn't until Edge and Randy Orton came together that once and for all the final nail was put in the DX coffin. And for that, Edge, Orton... I want to publicly thank you for your actions.

Edge and Orton smile, with Edge mouthing "You're welcome"...

Shane McMahon: But now, I'm back once again, because yet another WWE superstar has decided to pick a fight with my Father. Namely, John Cena.

Pop...

Shane McMahon: Last week, Cena put his hands on the Chairman of this company, and I'm not about to let that slide. When you put your hands on a McMahon, you better realise that the entire family is comin' after you. Just as DX found out last Summer. Now, Edge and Orton, I don't need you two to take care of John Cena for me. Oh no. I'll be handling Mr. Cena... personally.

Heat...

Shane McMahon: But since my Father is back home in Greenwich, takin' a well earned night off... I'm in charge tonight. So Edge, Orton and even you Kenny... tonight, I want the three of you to soften up John Cena a little bit for me. I want you three to teach John Cena a little lesson tonight. And I was rackin' my brain, tryin' to think of what kind of match I could put Cena in, what situation would cause John Cena the most damage. What about a three-on-one handicap match? Or what if I make John Cena runs the Rated-RKO gauntlet? I thought long and hard about both of 'em, believe me. But y'know what? I'm a fair man. That's why I decided to make it a six man tag team match.

Confused looks from Rated-RKO, with Edge especially animated by the announcement...

Shane McMahon: I decided that I would allow John Cena to have two partners. But it's goin' to be two partners... of my choosing. And who better to be John Cena's partners... than two guys who I know aren't on the same page. So tonight, it will be Rated-RKO takin' on John Cena... and his tag team partners... Shawn Michaels and Triple H.

Pop from the crowd, but in the ring, Michaels and Triple H both look apprehensive, while it's all smiles from Rated-RKO...

Shane McMahon: Triple H, I know you're in that ring, not because you want to reconcile with Shawn Michaels. You're in that ring because you want a piece of Edge 'cos he outlasted you in the Royal Rumble last night.

'The Game' instantly turns towards Edge who nods his head and mouths "That's right!"...

Shane McMahon: Face it Shawn, you're buddy Hunter... he doesn't care about you anymore. All he cares about... is himself. And that's why I think you two will make the perfect partners for John Cena tonight.

Heat...

Shane McMahon: So Edge, Orton, Kenny... I hope you three enjoy yourself tonight. And since next week, live on Monday Night Raw: Night Of Champions, John Cena will defend the WWE Championship... well who's to say a victory tonight won't land one of you three a title shot next week? Maybe you could become a double champion Kenny? Maybe you could get back into the championship hunt Randy? Maybe you won't have to wait for Wrestlemania to get a championship opportunity Edge? Or maybe... maybe all three of you can take a shot at Cena next week?

More heat...

Shane McMahon: Either way, get the job done tonight... and the McMahon family will forever be... grateful.

*HERE COMES THE MONEY...*


And with that Shane turns and heads backstage. In the ring, the Rated-RKO trio throw a few last words of trash talk before departing the scene, leaving behind Michaels and Triple H. Both men stand at the ropes, looking out at Rated-RKO, but despite being standing close, they couldn't be further apart as we fade into commercial.

*Commercial*


When we return, Rob Conway is already in the ring awaiting his opponent tonight ...

*THIS FIRE BURNS...*


It's a warm welcome for the newcomer CM Punk, who steps out and taps his wrist, bringing it close to his ear and yelling out "It's clobberin' time!" before he races down to the ring...


Jim Ross: Last night he entered the Royal Rumble as Entrant Number 1, and he lasted just shy of 25 minutes. The buzz around the locker room is starting to build for young CM Punk.

Jerry Lawler: He's startin' to make quite the name for himself since he arrived here on Raw from ECW. A good win over Hardcore Holly on his debut, a great performance in the Royal Rumble. A think a win over Rob Conway tonight and people are gonna really sit up and take notice of this guy.

Match 1:
CM Punk
vs. Rob Conway

With his reputation enhancing performance in the Rumble last night it’s no surprise to anyone when a booming “CM Punk! CM Punk!” chant breaks out as the bell rings. Instead of a usual collar-and-elbow tie up, Punk immediately strikes with kicks to the thighs, before a snapmare and a stiff kick to the spine hands Punk the early advantage. The early moments of the match are all Punk, as he continues to rattle Conway with kicks, landing more shots to the thigh and then targeting the head. The kicks to the skull succeed in forcing Conway to the corner, but when Punk charges in for a big clothesline, Conway manages to avoid the attack... but Punk sees him move, stopping himself in time to spring to the second rope... springboard crossbody... but Conway dives underneath it... and Punk crashes to the mat!

Conway now senses a chance to attack, shaking away the cobwebs and charging to knock Punk down with a running swinging neckbreaker, getting himself a 2 count. Conway looks to continue his brief flurry of offence, as he comes off the ropes to connect on a leg lariat, following this with a grounded side headlock. Sadly this proves to be all the offense Conway can muster, as once Punk fights back to his feet, he quickly escapes the headlock by forcing Conway off the ropes, catching Conway with a kick... and then a double underhook backbreaker! 1... 2... Conway rolls the shoulder.

Eager to deliver yet another impressive victory on Raw, Punk now sends Conway into the turnbuckle with a hard Irish whip, following in with the big knee to the face and then the bulldog out of the corner, gaining another 2 count. Dazed, Conway staggers back to his feet, where Punk is waiting to scoop him up onto his shoulders... Go To Sleep... no! Conway fights free with elbows to the face, dropping to his feet and sending Punk off the ropes... Conway swings with a clothesline, but Punk ducks... and rattles Conway with a massive kick to the side of the head! Somehow Conway is still on his feet, but with his legs like jelly all he can do is stagger into Punk’s grasp... Go To Sleep! This time Punk connects, and he hooks the leg for the 3 count!

Winner: CM Punk @ 04:46

The crowd pops as Punk completes a confident looking victory. The referee raises Punk's hand, who rubs his midsection, selling the little offence Conway got in, before rolling under the bottom rope to slap a few hands around the ring...


Jerry Lawler: You gotta hand it to 'im J.R., that was a very impressive victory.

Jim Ross: I can see this guy makin' a big impact here on Raw in the near future. I think a lot of people are gonna start payin' attention to CM Punk.

We then cut away from Punk celebrating with the fans to see the beautiful Kelly Kelly stood backstage infront of a monitor, obviously having just watched CM Punk's performance. Kelly has a big smile on her face, and she bites a nail in a poor attempt to hide her blushes. Having seen enough, Kelly turns to leave... only for her 'boyfriend' Mike Knox to enter the scene, as imposing as ever. Surprised to see him, the intimidation on Kelly's face is instantly clear for all to see...

Kelly Kelly: Oh... uh... hey Mike.

A mix of anger and disbelief crosses Knox's face...

Mike Knox: "Hey Mike"? "Hey... Mike"!? That's it? That's all you've got to say to me? I haven't seen you in weeks, and that's what I get when I finally catch up with you?

Feeling uneasy, Kelly turns to leave, only for Knox to grab her by the wrist...

Mike Knox: Where d'ya think you're goin' Kelly?

Kelly Kelly: Get your hands off of me Mike!

Tightening his grip, Knox pulls Kelly closer to him...

Mike Knox: What's the matter babe? I thought you'd be glad to see me. I mean, you haven't been returning my texts, you haven't been answering my calls, hell, I haven't seen my girlfriend in over a month!

Kelly Kelly: I'm not your girlfriend anymore Mike! Don't you remember, I dumped you!

Knox laughs and shakes his head...

Mike Knox: You... think you dumped... me? Kelly, when are you gonna realise that your MY girlfriend... and you're never gettin' away from me?

And with that, Knox yanks Kelly by the wrist and walks her away from the monitor she was previously watching, Kelly letting out a brief squeal as she goes. The camera follows the pair as they leave, but soon Knox stops... as CM Punk has just arrived backstage. A towel in his hands, Punk tries to dry the sweat away from his hair, causing him not to see Knox or Kelly Kelly. Knox stands his ground, and the inevitable happens when Punk, towel covering his eyes walks straight into Knox...

CM Punk: Oh, excuse me, I'm sorry...

Getting his bearings back, Punk quickly realise who he's talking to...

CM Punk: Can I uh... can I help you Mike?

Knox has a brief laugh in Punk's face before he turns with a scowl to face Kelly...

Mike Knox: So that's it huh? He shows up on Monday Night Raw, and you follow him?

Kelly Kelly: What? No. It's not like that-

Having heard enough, Knox again yanks on Kelly's arm and drags her away, leaving the camera to stay focused on a bewildered Punk, who stares after Knox and Kelly Kelly with a concerned look on his face.

We soon cut to an office to see Jonathan Coachman dressed in a smart suit. Stood opposite him are The World Greatest Tag Team, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, both men listening intently to 'The Coach' as we join them mid conversation...

Jonathan Coachman: So y'see, next week is Raw: Night Of Champions. Every championship here on Raw is on the line next week. Now, later tonight there's a Divas match to determine who will face Mickie James next week for the Women's Championship. As far as I'm concerned, Jeff Hardy and his rematch clause means he's gonna face Kenny Dykstra next week for the Intercontinental Championship. If Jeff can't compete... that's his problem, not mine. And Shane McMahon has told me he will personally decide who's going to face John Cena next week.

Getting frustrated, Benjamin cuts in...

Shelton Benjamin: Wait a minute, we heard Shane McMahon earlier. He said if Edge and Randy Orton hand John Cena his ass tonight, they could be in line for a shot at Cena.

Charlie Hass: And that means they won't be defending their tag team titles.

Shelton Benjamin: And that's the only reason we even here to talk to you right now.

Realising their concerns, Coach moves to ease Haas and Benjamin's fears...

Jonathan Coachman: Guys, guys, there's no need to worry. As I said, it's Raw: Night Of Champions. The night when EVERY title is defended... and that includes Rated-RKO's World Tag Team Championships.

Intrigued, Benjamin turns to Haas and raises an eyebrow...

Jonathan Coachman: Let me put it this way guys. Let's just say Edge, Orton and Kenny Dykstra get the job done tonight. And let's say Shane McMahon does give them the WWE Title shot. They'd have to pull double duty next week. They'd be concentrating on two different matches. Who's to say that they maybe have a mental error while defending their tag titles? Who's to say they make a mistake in the tag title match next week? And who better to benefit from those mistakes... than my boi Haas... and my boi Benjamin?

Now it's all smiles and nodding from TWGG...

Shelton Benjamin: A'ight, we hear ya' Coach. On behalf of Charlie and myself, we'd be happy to-

Suddenly the office door flies open, with all heads turning towards it. Coach sighs and turns away, while Haas and Benjamin look furious as Ric Flair, Carlito and Torrie Wilson enter the room to a chorus of "Wooooo" from inside the arena. Evident are the battle scares of last night as a bandage is clearly visible on Flair's forehead...

Jonathan Coachman: Hey, can't you guys knock? You don't just barge in here like that!

Puzzled by Coach's boldness, 'Lito takes a bit from his apple, causing Coach to cower in fear... but Carlito simply chews and swallows, much to his amusement...

Carlito: Hey, Coach, relax man. 'Ju think Carlito was gonna spit his apple on 'ju?

Having finally opened his eyes, Coach sighs in relief...

Jonathan Coachman: No. No of course not. I know you wouldn't dare do somethin' like that to me.

Faking offence, Carlito turns to Torrie who can only shrug...

Carlito: No way Coach. Carlito wouldn't do 'dat to 'ju. 'Ju got 'dis nice suit on man, Carlito wouldn't wanna mess that up. 'Dat's not cool.

Gullible as ever, Coach smiles...

Jonathan Coachman: Thanks Carlito! Hey, you really like this suit? I can get you one if you want, I mean-

Shelton Benjamin: (Interrupting) Hey! Can we cut the crap here? I mean, you were about to name us the number one contenders for the World Tag Team Championship. Right Coach?

Coach stammers as he snaps back to business...

Jonathan Coachman: Oh yeah, right, right. So, next week, it'll be Randy Orton and Edge defended their World Tag Team Championships against...

Ric Flair: (Interrupting) WOOOOO!!

The crowd "Woooo"s back as Coach is left flustered...

Ric Flair: Did... somebody... say... we were in... Dallas, Texas tonight?! WOOOOO!!

Wooooo...

Ric Flair: Now Coach, did I hear you right brother? Were you about to say that Haas and Benjamin are the number one contenders to face Edge and Randy Orton next week?

Coachman motions to answer, only for Charlie to cut him off...

Charlie Haas: That's right, he was about to say that. Until you two clowns barged in here and interrupted him. Coach, why don't you finish what you were sayin'?

Again Coach motions to speak, but once again he is cut off...

Carlito: Whoa, whoa, wait. Haas and Benjamin? 'Dey get to face Edge and Orton next week? 'Dat's not cool either.

Shelton Benjamin: What you talkin' 'bout Carlito? We're The World’s Greatest Tag Team. If anybody deserves that shot at Edge and Orton next week, it's us.

Once again Carlito sarcastically fakes offence while Flair smiles at his young partner's antics...

Ric Flair: Look Benjamin. You and Haas? You're both great athletes and great wrestlers. But if you two wanna go around sayin' you're 'The World's Greatest Tag Team' why don't you two prove it tonight against a team you've never faced before. You wanna be the number one contenders? How 'bout you try earn it against Ric Flair and Carlito tonight!?

Looking to regain some semblance of control, Coach speaks up...

Jonathan Coachman: Now wait a minute here. I'm in charge of deciding who faces-

Shelton Benjamin: (Interrupting) Listen Flair, we don't need to prove anythin' to you. But we'd be more than happy to show you and your boi 'Lito why we are so great. Besides, shouldn't you be more worried about that fact you got your ass handed to you last night by Mr. Kennedy?

Haas stifles a laugh while Flair touches the bandage on his forehead...

Ric Flair: Mr. Kennedy? That punk, he'll get his ass handed to him one day, I promise you that. But tonight's not about that. Tonight is about you two... and us two. So what d'ya say guys? Does the so called 'World's Greatest Tag Team' have the guts to step into the ring with Ric Flair and Carlito?

Haas and Benjamin share a whisper...

Charlie Haas: Alright Flair... you're on. We'll see you tonight.

Flair nods his approval...

Jonathan Coachman: Alright! Then it's settled. Tonight, Haas and Benjamin against Flair and Carlito, and the winners will face Edge and Randy Orton next week for the-

Suddenly, Coachman is sprayed as Carlito spits his apple in Coach's face to a good pop from inside the arena. Disgusted, Coach tries to frantically wipe apple chunks off his face, while Haas and Benjamin can only look on in embarrassment...

Carlito: Now 'dat... 'dat's cool!

Ric Flair: WOOOOO!

All smiles, Flair, Carlito and Torrie exit the room, while the camera remains focused on Coachman, who looks close to tears.

Back into the arena for...

*OBSESSION...*


A solid pop welcomes the arrival of Mickie James, who steps out dressed in a low cut referee's shirt. The Women's Champion pumping her fist at the top of the ramp to try raise the crowd before she bounces down the ramp...


Jerry Lawler: Tonight just keeps gettin' bigger and bigger! We've just heard that The World's Greatest Tag Team will face Ric Flair and Carlito, and the winners are gonna face Edge and Randy Orton next week for the World Tag Team Championships!

Jim Ross: A lot of bad blood has built over the last few weeks between those two teams, that one'll be a slobber knocker that's for sure! But when we return, it's Divas action as we find out who will face Mickie James next week for the Women's Championship!

*Commercial*


We return to see that Maria, Melina and Candice Michelle are already in the ring, awaiting the arrival of...

*I AIN'T A LADY TO MESS WITH...*


A solid amount of heat as Victoria strides down to the ring, pointing and throwing some trash talk at the crowd as she does...


Jim Ross: Welcome back to Raw folks. Here comes the Women's who has had plenty of altercations with Mickie James over the last few weeks. Two weeks ago, Mickie defended the Women's Title against Victoria in what some would consider a bit of an upset.

Jerry Lawler: Well after the way Victoria dominated that match, I was shocked to see Mickie grab the win. But what about last week when Victoria jumped Mickie James from behind in the locker room? I don't think I've ever seen a Diva be so aggressive as Victoria was last week. If you ask me J.R., that's your favourite to win tonight right there.

Match 2:
Candice Michelle
vs. Maria vs. Melina vs. Victoria
Special Guest Referee: Mickie James
Winner will face Mickie James next week for the Women's Championship

Mickie calls for the bell, but the actions is slow to get under way as instead of targeting her opponents, Victoria refuses to take her eyes off of the Women’s Champion. This causes the other three women to pause, almost unsure of what’s going on. Mickie stares back at Victoria, before pointing for Victoria to turn around... as the other three competitors in the match all make a beeline for her! Quickly a three-on-one brawl starts that leads to Candice, Melina and Maria knocking Victoria out of the ring to the floor. This leaves the other three to trade forearms between themselves until Maria and Candice start double teaming Melina, with the pair teeing off with forearms to the head against the ropes. Candice and Maria then combine to send Melina off the ropes, knocking down Melina with a double clothesline. The partnership between the two doesn’t last long though, as Candice snaps off a kick to the midsection, scoops Maria up and slams her to the mat. A few cheers and wolf whistles emanate from the crowd as Candice does her ‘Go Daddy’ theatrics, but before she can drop the elbow Victoria slides back into the ring... and hammer Candice with a stiff clothesline!

The four now pair off as Melina takes the fight to Maria, while over in the corner Victoria has her way with Candice. Melina fires shots that back Maria to the opposite turnbuckle, and now both Melina and Victoria send Candice and Maria towards each other with Irish whips... but Maria and Candice are on the same page as Maria drops to the mat, allowing Candice to step over here... and run through Melina with a clothesline! Maria is quickly back on her feet, but Victoria has her lined up... Maria ducks the right hand, and Candice charges at Victoria... who takes her up... only for Candice to counter with a tit-a-whirl headscissors! A small pop rings out for the fast-paced action, with the match now settling down a bit as the heels roll outside, leaving Candice and Maria to trade blows.

The faces battle it out, but soon the heels return to the match, as when Candice sends Maria off the ropes, Victoria grabs Maria’s foot, pulling her under the bottom rope to hammer her on the onside. As this goes on, Melina sneaks in behind Candice, clubbing her from behind. With Maria and Victoria brawling on the outside, Melina takes control, dropping Candice with a string off kicks before grabbing the hair and stomping Candice’s face to the mat, and then scoring a two count from a spinning facebuster.

Having left Maria on the floor, Victoria returns to the ring, and now she and Melina are trading shots, with Victoria connecting on a snap suplex and then a standing moonsault for a near fall, with Victoria having a few words for Mickie as she makes the count. Candice is now back up, and she takes the fight to Victoria with a string of forearms. Melina joins the two as all three trade shots to the face, but over in the corner Maria has climbed to the top rope... crossbody takes all three opponents out! Again there’s a small pop from the crowd, with Maria trying to fire them up by letting out a scream. Dazed, Melina crawls to the corner, her head perched on the bottom turnbuckle, and this gives Maria the chance to charge from across the ring... bronco buster! Maria bounces up and down on Melina, to another decent pop. AS Maria returns to a vertical base, Melina rolls under the bottom rope, but there’s no chance for Maria to celebrate as Candice catches her from behind... candywrapper! Candice plants Maria, and she hooks the leg... 1... 2... Victoria drags Candice from the pinfall, and she drags Candice to her feet, hooking her up for... the widow’s peak! Victoria plants Candice, and she stares a whole straight through Mickie, the two locking eyes as Mickie reluctantly... 1... makes the... 2... count... 3.

Winner: Victoria @ 05:21

The crowd boos as Victoria tosses Maria aside, getting back to her feet to go face to face with Mickie, who looks disgusted at having to make the three count...


Jerry Lawler: Wow. That was scary. Victoria is just so dominant right now, I don't know if anybody can stop her. I know Mickie James managed to do it two weeks ago, but now that Mickie and Victoria will meet one more time next week, I really don't know how Mickie can hold on to her title.

Jim Ross: Don't count out the Women's Champion just yet. Mickie James is as tough as they come, she'll give Victoria the fight of her life next week, you can guarantee that.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah, but is that going to be enough?

We take one last look at Victoria and Mickie, face to face, the tension between the two clear for all to see. Victoria glances at the bodies strewn across the ringside area, mouthing "Next week... that's gonna be you!" before we cut backstage.

Where Todd Grisham is standing by...


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time... the WWE Champion... John Cena!

A great reaction as John Cena enters the frame, with Cena giving Grisham a friendly pat on the back...

Todd Grisham: John, last night we all saw Rob Van Dam push you to the limit in your WWE Championship defence. What are your thoughts on the match that took place just 24 hours ago?

Cena pauses, flashing a smile...

John Cena: What can I say Todd? Last night, Rob Van Dam showed exactly what kind of a competitor he is. It was back and forth, it was man to man, it was face to face, it was nothin' short of a fight. It may not have been a weapons filled brawl like back in the ol' ECW days, but it had all the passion and desire Rob Van Dam talked about last week. RVD gave it all, and I gave it all right back at him, but at the end of day... I was the better man.

Cheers from inside the arena...

John Cena: I respected Rob Van Dam before our match at the Royal Rumble... and I respect him even more today. I dunno who Shane McMahon has in mind to face me next week for the WWE Championship. I dunno if it's gonna be Edge, Orton, Dykstra, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Bobby Lashley, Umaga, Superman, Spiderman, the damn Easter Bunny, hell I dunno!

Another pop as Cena smiles, but his expression soon changes to a more serious demeanour...

John Cena: But I do know one thing. If Shane McMahon feels like making it John Cena and Rob Van Dam for the WWE Championship one more time... I'd be more than happy to step into the ring with RVD again.

The crowd pops for the intensity of Cena...

Todd Grisham: Well with that in mind John, what do you think of the fact that Shane McMahon will personally choose your opponent next week?

Cena shrugs, unsure of his answer...

John Cena: Honestly Todd? I don't know what to think about that. Shane McMahon, he certainly takes after his Father. Vince is a damn evil genius, and Shane's got that vibe goin' on too. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if Shane McMahon chose himself to be the guy to face me next week. But no matter who Shane O'Mac picks, I want whatever guy it turns out to be to know one thing... if you WANT SOME... COME GET-

Cena stops, and the boos quickly ring out as Shane McMahon has entered the frame...

Shane McMahon: You uh... you wanna finish what you were sayin'?

Cena smiles as Shane flashes a scowl...

John Cena: Nah that can wait. What do you want Shane?

Cena stares eye to eye with Shane as he waits for an answer...

Shane McMahon: What do I want? I want to give you a little message John. No... no wait, message isn't the right word. I want to give you a warning John.

Surprised, Cena raises his eyebrows...

John Cena: You wanna give me a warning? Lemme guess... if I ever lay another hand on you or your Father, you'll round up the Mean Street Posse and give me a Greenwich ass kickin' huh?

Sensing the sarcasm, Shane smirks...

Shane McMahon: No, no I think I made that perfectly clear earlier tonight. No, I just wanted to give you a little warning about the two men I chose as your tag team partners later tonight. Y'see John, I picked Edge, Orton and Dykstra because I know they're a cohesive unit, and I know they'll work together to get the job done tonight. But your partners John?

Shane smiles as he shakes his head, much to Cena's annoyance...

Shane McMahon: I chose them, because I know that at any moment, they could turn around and start kickin' hell outta each other... or maybe even you.

Heat from inside the arena as Cena steps towards Shane...

John Cena: You think I don't know all about Shawn Michaels and Triple H? I read the papers Shane, I know what's goin' on between the two of them. I know they can't get on the same page right now. But I also know they both got a bone to pick with Rated-RKO, and I know they'll both be there in my corner tonight.

Arrogantly, McMahon laughs in Cena's face...

Shane McMahon: Alright Cena, you believe that. But uh, while you focus on Rated-RKO tonight... watch your back. And don't say I didn't warn ya' when one of your... partners... stabs you in the back tonight.

And with the seed of doubt successfully sowed, McMahon turns to leave, with the camera staying focused on the concerned face of the champ before we fade into a video.

*Video Package*

WRESTLEMANIA RECALL!

APRIL 17th, 2002
WRESTLEMANIA X8


In a match billed as being "Icon vs. Icon" the SkyDome in Toronto is the sight of one of the most historic matches in Wrestlemania history as 'Hollywood' Hulk Hogan returns to Wrestlemania after a nine year absence to face The Rock. With a fever pitch crowd cheering them on, the match descends into a back and forth battle, with the crowd's support switching from 'The Great One' to 'The Hulkster' as the match goes on. Eventually, it takes three Rock Bottoms and a People's Elbow to put Hogan away, with the two shaking hands and posing together for the crowd in a show of respect.

WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - 62 DAYS AND COUNTING


*End Video Package*


We then cut to see ECW Champion Bobby Lashley in the locker room, finishing off taping his wrists for his upcoming match with Umaga. The camera is focused tight on Lashley as he goes about his business, but he soon stops as he feels a presence behind him. Lashley turns and the camera zooms out to reveal Rob Van Dam has entered the room...

Rob Van Dam: Hey Bobby, What's up dude?

Lashley rises out of his seat to stand toe to toe with Van Dam...

Rob Van Dam: Whoa, hey... easy big guy. I ain't here lookin' for trouble, believe me. I just want you and me to have a little chat... about that.

RVD nods towards the ECW Championship belt that sits nearby...

Bobby Lashley: You wanna talk about my ECW Title?

Not really impressed with the emphasis on 'my', RVD reluctantly nods his head...

Rob Van Dam: Yeah, yeah, alright. I wanna talk to you about your ECW Championship. A championship that used to mean somethin' in the wrestling world. A championship, that to be honest with you dude... you're runnin' it straight into the dirt man.

Bobby Lashley: What you just say to me?

Rob Van Dam: You heard me dude. That title you carry to ring every week, it used to be a prestigious prize in the wrestling business. It used to be that guys night after night would give their blood in some of the most brutal matches you've ever seen for that title. But now?

Van Dam shakes his head...

Rob Van Dam: 'Cos of guys like you and Vince McMahon... it don't mean anythin' anymore.

Bobby Lashley: You better watch what you're sayin' Van Dam.

The intensity in Lashley rises, but RVD holds his arms in an attempt to calm him...

Rob Van Dam: Hey, like I said man, I ain't here lookin' for trouble. But lemme ask you somethin' Lashley. You know as well as I do that next week, it's Raw: Night Of Champions. The night every championship here on Raw is defended. Everybody's runnin' around, tryin' to get themselves a title shot for next week. But y'know, I'm not hearin' anybody talkin' about the ECW Championship. Why do you think that is Lashley?

Lashley offers no answer, keeping his eyes firmly fixed on Van Dam...

Rob Van Dam: It's not 'cos there's an entire locker room runnin' scared of you bro. It's 'cos over the last few months, you've made the ECW Championship, a title me and countless others back in the day gave our blood for to make relevant... worthless.

Lashley glances at the title sat on a nearby chair before turning back to face Van Dam...

Rob Van Dam: Worthless to everybody... except for you... and me.

Pop...

Rob Van Dam: So since nobody's said anythin' about you or ECW Championship and next week... I want you to give me a shot at the ECW Championship at Night Of Champions.

Another pop...

Rob Van Dam: Think about it man. I know how pissed off you were when I beat you three weeks ago on Raw. And you gotta know how pissed off I am watchin' you walk around with that title around your waist. I know Vince McMahon doesn't wanna see that championship around here anymore, but c'mon man... the spirit of the old ECW was that we rebelled against authority. That title was created by throwin' the NWA Championship in the trash. Let's do it again dude. Let's rebel one more time, let's stand up to authority, let's put that championship on the map again. You and me, next week, live, Raw: Night Of Champions... let's make it happen. Bobby Lashley and Rob Van Dam in an extreme rules match... for the ECW Championship.

Thinking long and hard, Lashley rubs his chin, not saying a word...

Rob Van Dam: Look man, I know you got Umaga tonight. I took that guy on two weeks ago and he kicked me ass. So don't give me an answer just yet. Think about it for a while. But let me know.

Bobby Lashley: Alright. I'll think about it.

Van Dam smiles...

Rob Van Dam: That's what I like to hear big guy. I'll leave you to finish up gettin' ready. Good luck tonight man... you're gonna need it.

And with that, Van Dam leaves the locker room, an intense looking Lashley watching him go as we fade into commercial.

*Commercial*


We return to the arena and a few second silence until...

"WOOOOO..."

*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*


The arena erupts as 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair steps out in one of his trademark flashy robes. Stylin' and profilin' his way down to the ring, the living legend shouts out several more "Woooos" to which the crowd respond to...


Jim Ross: Welcome back to Raw everyone. Here comes the man who last night at the Royal Rumble, was brutally assaulted during the Royal Rumble match. We've got some footage from last night we'd like to show you all here. Let's roll the tape.

J.R. and King talk over the following footage...

*Video Package*

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ROYAL RUMBLE

...with Flair hitting the corner hard. Flair steps out, and Kennedy is waiting to send him flying with a back body drop! Flair cries out as he hits the mat, but he can’t rest as Kennedy grabs him... and RUNS FLAIR TOWARDS THE ROPES... BUT FLAIR REVERSES... AND USES THE MOMENTUM... TO SEND KENNEDY FLYING OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR!!!!

ELIMINATION #15 MR. KENNEDY BY RIC FLAIR @ 32.14


*End Video Package*


Jerry Lawler: Well it was a great performance from Mr. Kennedy last night. He entered the Royal Rumble as entrant Number 2 and he lasted over 30 minutes, only for Ric Flair to turn up and eliminated from the match.

Jim Ross: Even though we all know Ric Flair as 'The Dirtiest Player in the Game' there was nothin' wrong with that elimination. But for some reason, Kennedy snapped after he was eliminated.

*Video Package*

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ROYAL RUMBLE

The camera then focuses on Mr. Kennedy, who slowly begins to trudge back towards the dressing rooms... but he stops, turns to the ring with a seriously pissed off look on his face... and THEN RACES BACK INTO THE RING! Kennedy slides under the bottom rope, and he immediately grabs Ric Flair, catching ‘Naitch’ by surprise... and TOSSES FLAIR OVER THE TOP ROPE!!

ELIMINATION #16 RIC FLAIR BY (AN ALREADY ELIMINATED) MR. KENNEDY @ 32.58

The crowd shits all over Kennedy’s actions, but he doesn’t give a damn as he destroys Flair on the outside with vicious right hands, then lays in with stiff kicks to the ribs. Referees scramble to pull Kennedy away, but he takes no notice, continuing to hammer Flair and then dragging Flair to his feet... and LAUNCHING HIM INTO THE TIMEKEEPER’S DESK!


*End Video Package*


Jerry Lawler: It was a disgusting act by Mr. Kennedy. I mean, it was such a beating he gave Ric Flair... I'm honestly amazed Ric is even here tonight, never mind competing in a match.

*Video Package*

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ROYAL RUMBLE

The two officials assigned the match plead with Kennedy to stop, but he takes no notice, pounding the forehead with hard right hands. Eventually Kennedy relents, and the camera zooms in to see that Flair has been BUSTED OPEN. The blood streams out of Flair’s head, but Kennedy isn’t finished yet, as he grabs one of the chairs strewn on the floor... lines Flair up... hoists the chair high... AND DELIVERS A SICK CHAIR SHOT TO THE SKULL!! “For the love of God!” screams J.R., but Kennedy doesn’t give a damn, instead he slams the chair down, pulling Flair cheek to cheek with him, Flair’s blood staining the platinum blonde of both men. With the camera right on top of them, Kennedy holds the lifeless Flair’s head in his hands, shouting “This was my night! This... was MY... NIGHT!” before he finally drops Flair’s head to the floor. The refs cry for Kennedy to leave, and he finally agrees, slowly being led backstage, all the while his eyes fixated on the broken down legend he’s left behind.


*End Video Package*


Jim Ross: Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. I don't know what was goin' on in Kennedy's mind to make him react that way, but quite frankly it made me sick to see it.

Jerry Lawler: Well, I dunno what's gonna happen between those two. Right now it seems Ric Flair wants to continue to focus on this new alliance he has with Carlito.

In the ring, Flair removes his robe and paces in the ring awaiting the arrival of...

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

*COOL...*


The crowd gives a good pop to welcome Carlito and Torrie Wilson as the pair stride down the ramp, their arms locked, while Carlito tosses a new apple in the air with his free hand...


Jim Ross: We'll try and put the actions of Mr. Kennedy behind us and focus on the upcoming match. Ric Flair, the decorated veteran, has in recent weeks been associated with Carlito, a young man who's kinda lacked a bit of direction for the last six months or so.

Jerry Lawler: And who better to learn from and rediscover your passion for the business than from Ric Flair? I dunno if these two can win tonight, but I think they'll be a force to be reckoned with if they start to team up on a regular basis.

Flair holds the ropes open so Torrie can enter, and he also welcomes Carlito to the ring with a high five. The pair talk tactics as 'Lito removes his t-shirt, before they stand and face up the ramp to hear...

*WORLD’S GREATEST...*


Some good heat from the crowd as The World's Greatest Tag Team, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas arrogantly head for the ring, the pair shouting some abuse at the crowd in the face of their boos...


Jerry Lawler: You gotta admit J.R., these two have gotta be the favourites for this match. Haas and Benjamin are an experienced tag team goin' up against a team who's havin' their first ever match together tonight.

Jim Ross: Certainly the experience factor favours Haas and Benjamin, but we've counted out Ric Flair in the past, and by hook or by crook, he's always found a way to get it done.

Match 3: Tag Team Match
Ric Flair
and Carlito w/ Torrie Wilson vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team
Winners will face Edge and Randy Orton next week for the World Tag Team Championships

Flair and Haas kick the match off, with both men jockeying for position, switching in an out of headlocks and takedowns until Flair bowls Haas over with a shoulderblock and then puts him down with a hiptoss. The chops soon start to flow, stinging Haas’ chest, backing him to the corner where Flair tags in ‘Lito, who also unloads with a few chops, much to the amusement of the crowd. Carlito yanks Haas in for a headlock, but a big handful of hair allows Haas to back ‘Lito into his corner, tagging in Benjamin.

Shelton enters looking to keep control for his team, but ‘Lito instantly turns it back around, blocking rights to score a few of his own and then sending Benjamin off the ropes... Shelton reverses, but Carlito jumps to the second rope... springboard back elbow, but Shelton ducks... and Carlito lands on his feet! Benjamin turns, and Carlito is waiting for him... to land a textbook hurricanrana! The impact tosses Shelton across the ring, but Carlito dives to make the cover... 1... 2... Haas is on hand to stomp on down on ‘Lito, breaking the count. Carlito angrily gets to his feet, getting in Haas’ face, but the ref si quickly in to usher Haas back to the apron. This distraction gives Shelton a chance to recover, and he’s quickly back on his feet, waiting for Carlito to turn... to snap him over with a northern lights suplex! Benjamin plants Carlito near his corner, with Haas quickly getting the tag, with both men stomping down on Carlito as we fade into commercial.

*Commercial*


And we return with Haas having Carlito up for backbreaker, driving ‘Lito spine first across his knee, hooking the leg for a near fall. Haas then makes the tag to Benjamin before he works ‘Lito into a another backbreaker, but this time Charlie holds Carlito across his knee, allowing Shelton to slingshot himself into the ring for a guillotine legdrop, violently driving ‘Lito to the mat, but once again only getting a 2 count.

Carlito valiantly tries to fight his way to his corner to tag in Flair, but each of his mini comebacks are quickly thwarted, with neckbreakers and German suplexes rocking Carlito every time he tries to rally. Flair shouts encouragement to his partner as Carlito survives yet another pinfall, only for Haas to hammer ‘Lito with a flurry of forearms to the side of the head and then a string of elbow drops to the spine. Benjamin tags in an immediately locks on a reverses chinlock, applying pressure to the spine, but as the noise from the crowd rises, and with the encouragement of Flair and Torrie, Carlito battles to get back to a vertical base, scoring a pair of elbows to the gut to break the hold, only for Benjamin to again end the rally with a stiff forearm to the small of the back. A hard Irish whip sends ‘Lito to the corner, and feeling cocky Benjamin takes his time lining up his next attack, arrogantly taunting the crowd before he charges... blinger splash... no! Carlito dives for safety, but Benjamin shows great athleticism to land on the second rope. Shelton turns back to face the ring, still stood on the second rope in the corner, but Carlito makes his move, jumping up to join Benjamin on the second rope... to launch Shelton with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex!

The crowd pops, and now with both men down Carlito crawls for his corner... to tag in Ric Flair! The crowd pops again as Flair enters, unloading with chops and rights and lefts before sending Shelton off the ropes, a big chop knocking him down. Haas charges, but he runs straight into a back body drop, with Flair snapping off chops to his chest as he tries to fight back. Shelton tries to get back into the fight, but Carlito cuts him off, hitting a clothesline that takes both men over the top rope to the floor. As they fight on the outside, in the ring Flair is still in control, delivering chop after chop to the chest of Haas, but when he goes to send Haas off the ropes, Haas ducks underneath Flair’s clothesline... and locks in a sleeper! Haas catches Flair around the neck and head, looking to wear Flair down. The ref is quickly in to check on Flair, who desperately grabs the ref’s jersey... low blow to Haas! Flair flicks a heel straight into Haas’ balls, with the ref not seeing it due to Flair grabbing hold of him. Haas clutches his sack, releasing the sleeper, allowing Flair to sweep the leg... and twist in the figure four leglock! The crowd erupts as Flair locks it on, and despite his best efforts Haas has no choice but to tap out!

Winners: Ric Flair and Carlito @ 08:57

The crowd continues to go wild as Flair finally releases the figure four, rolling away from Haas before returning to his feet, where Carlito is waiting to give Flair a hug in celebration...


Jim Ross: Well I be dammed! 'The Dirtiest Player in the Game' has just got another one over Haas and Benjamin!

Jerry Lawler: Well, it may not have been legal, but Ric Flair got the job done. And that means he and Carlito are gonna face Edge and Randy Orton next week for the World Tag Team Championships!

On the ramp, Haas clutches his balls in pain, while Benjamin furiously shouts back at Flair and 'Lito, who stand tall in the ring as we cut backstage...

To see Melina and Johnny Nitro in a dressing room. Melina is still in the attire she wore for her match earlier tonight, while Nitro, not competing tonight, is dressed in a casual shirt and a pair of jeans. Both sit on steel chairs, with Nitro having his head bowed, his hands rubbing his face in frustration. Melina too looks dejected as she rises to her feet to start getting changed, grabbing her back up of the floor and placing on the chair she's just vacated. Melina pulls out a towel and a top, but her frustration soon boils over as she grabs a shoe from the bag and launches it off the wall before letting out a scream...


Melina: God Johnny, I can't stand this anymore!

After covering his ears to protect himself from the scream, Nitro stands to place his arms in consoling fashion on Melina's shoulders...

Johnny Nitro: Hey, babe... relax. It'll all work out, trust me.

Melina: I'm sick of hearin' you say that Johnny! What is wrong with us!? You haven't won a match in 2007 yet. You've lost to John Cena and Rob Van Dam lately, and you've not even got a match tonight!

Feeling slightly sorry for himself, Nitro turns his head away...

Melina: And you didn't even get close to winning the Royal Rumble last night.

Johnny Nitro: I entered at Number Six! It's pretty hard to win from there.

Scowling, Melina turns her back on Nitro...

Johnny Nitro: And besides, I'm not the only one who's hasn't won in a while. Great job out there tonight babe(!) Tell me, when was the last time you had a shot at the Women's Championship?

Now both Nitro and Melina stare intensely at each other, the anger and tension clearly visible, until the couple sense another person in the room. Melina arches her neck and Nitro turns, and the camera soon pans to reveal... Chris Masters? Masters leans against the open door frame, also dressed in casual gear, a smirk etched on his face...

Chris Masters: Wow. What happened to the happy couple?

Masters now steps forwards, placing himself between Nitro and Melina...

Chris Masters: I mean, don't tell me you two are havin' problems... and I don't just mean in the ring.

Nitro simply shakes his head angrily while Melina tuts in disgust...

Melina: What do you want Chris?

Chris Masters: Listen, I know how you guys feel. I’m not winnin' many matches right now either. I'm sure as hell not gonna be in a match tonight. The way I see it, you and me Johnny... we're in same boat right now. We've done favours for Jonathan Coachman and Vince McMahon over the last few weeks, and where did it get us? Nowhere. So I think you and me... we oughta start working together... and do ourselves a few favours.

Melina looks intrigued, but Nitro is dismissive...

Johnny Nitro: No thanks man. I've had partners before, I'm not really interested in goin' there again.

Nitro returns to his seat, but Melina stays standing next to Masters...

Chris Masters: Hey, I understand man. You’ve been in a tag team before, now you're on you're own. You don't wanna go back there, right? But what happens if you keep losin' matches? You think a woman as beautiful as this...

Melina blushes as Masters glances at her...

Chris Masters: Is gonna stick around with a loser? You lose to many more matches... and you're gonna lose your girl man.

Angry, Nitro bursts back to his feet, getting in Masters' face...

Johnny Nitro: I’m really NOT interested, ok?

Chris Masters: Aw c'mon Johnny. Admit it. In this company, you've have the most success as part of a team. You and Mercury, MNM, you guys dominated over on Smackdown. But now you're here on Raw, and you can't catch a break man. Just like me. You and Mercury, you guys were good... but me and you Johnny... we could be great. You're speed and high flyin', my strength and power, Melina's smarts to guide us... nobody could stop us man.

Slowly Nitro looks like he's been won over, as he looks much more receptive now. Melina is all smiles having clearly already bought into the idea...

Chris Masters: Think about man. I can already tell Melina's on board. Just give me the word Johnny... and we'll start winnin' matches... I guarantee it.

Masters then turns to leave, but not before he gives Melina a wink. Nitro and Melina watch Masters head to the exit, before Nitro sighs and Melina smiles as she goes in for a hug as we fade into a video package...

*Video Package*

Quick-cutting shots flash across the screen of two young superstars, the two trading moves across a wrestling ring in a dimly-lit room...

Narrator: In Canada, wrestling is a tradition...

More shots of the youngsters in action, with it now clear that one of them is a strapping powerhouse, while the other is a smaller, technically gifted athlete...

Narrator: And one place is sacred to all...

We now see a blonde woman enter the ring, encouraging the two men inside...

Narrator: Beneath a family home is a place where only the brave enter...

Quick-fire shots of Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, The British Bulldog, Lance Storm and Bret Hart...

Narrator: And only the strong survive.

More shots of the two men flying around the ring, visible only through the shadows...

Narrator: The last graduating class of the Hart Dungeon is coming to Monday Night Raw...

The trio now stare at the camera through the shadows...

Narrator: To forge a new legacy!

"THE HART LEGACY - COMING SOON TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW!"


*End Video Package*


And we now go to a different locker room to see Shawn Michaels, in a similar pose to what we saw last night at the Rumble, his head bowed in prayer. This time when Michaels opens his eyes, he sighs much more audibly than last night, even taking a quick bit at one of his fingernails in a sign of nervousness, his troubles still heavily weighing on his mind. Soon though Michaels snaps himself into gear and heads for the door, opening it and stepping out into the corridor. The camera follows Michaels as he walks the halls, turning several corners, walking past several backstage workers, all of whom stare ominously as Michaels crosses their paths. Eventually Michaels arrives at his destination, a door that has the words "TRIPLE H" written across the nameplate. The crowd pops at the sight of this, as Michaels lets out one last sigh... but before he can reach for the handle, Michaels is taken off guard as the door swings open... and out steps...John Cena? Cena is also taken off guard at having opened the door to HBK, with both men taking a few seconds to get their bearings...

John Cena: Oh... hey Shawn.

Cena awkwardly stands in the doorway as Michaels tries to peek over his shoulder into the room...

Shawn Michaels: What uh... what are ya' doin' here?

John Cena: Probably the same thing you came here to do. I came here to talk to Triple H?

Shawn Michaels: Well now you've had your say, I think it's my turn.

Michaels moves to walk past Cena, but 'The Champ' doesn't budge, shaking his head as Michaels walks into him...

John Cena: He's not here Shawn. I only got a few seconds before you did. The room's empty. I dunno where he is.

Wanting to see for himself, Michaels forcibly pushes himself past Cena...

John Cena: It's empty Shawn! He's not here.

Cena follows HBK into the room, with frustration etched on Michaels' face...

Shawn Michaels: Why are you here John? What could you have to talk to Hunter about?

Sighing, Cena removes his cap and scratches his head...

John Cena: What could I want to discuss with Triple H? How about the fact that you, me and him are supposed to be partners tonight? How about the fact that the two guys I'm teamin' with tonight haven't even spoke to each other since one hit the other with a chair? How about the fact that I'm in a six-man tag team match tonight and I don't know if my two partners are gonna have my back? Hell, I can't even find one of 'em right now!

Michaels smirks and shakes his head...

Shawn Michaels: You really bought into what Shane McMahon was sayin' earlier, didn't ya?

Reluctantly, Cena nods his head and shrugs his shoulders...

John Cena: Can you blame me Shawn? I mean... can I trust you and Triple H tonight? Despite all that Shane McMahon said, do I know that when I go down to that ring to face Rated-RKO, you and Triple H are gonna be in my corner?

Michaels doesn't answer, instead he brushes past Cena and heads for the door... but as he reaches the door, Michaels stops and turns to face Cena from across the room...

Shawn Michaels: You can count on me... AND Hunter. I promise ya'.

And with that HBK turns and leaves, with the camera staying focused on the concerned face of the WWE Champion, HBK's words offering little comfort to Cena.

Back into the arena for...

*VIRTUAL VOODOO...*


The crowd comes alive with some good heat as Umaga ominously snarls his way down to the ring, Armando Alejandro Estrada as always a few steps behind...


Jerry Lawler: Well what do you make of that J.R.? Both John Cena and Shawn Michaels went lookin' for Triple H, but 'The Game' is nowhere to be found.

Jim Ross: I can only speculate as to the whereabouts of Triple H right now. I mean, he could be anywhere in the building right now, maybe John Cena and Shawn Michaels just missed him by a matter of moments.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah, but maybe Triple H doesn't want to be found. Maybe he's already left J.R.! He might not even show up for tonight's main event.

Jim Ross: I don't believe that 'King'. Triple H wanted to get his hands on Edge earlier tonight, he wouldn't pass up that chance. But either way, all that will have to wait, as here comes 'The Samoan Bulldozer' Umaga, all set for a titanic collision with Bobby Lashley.

Jerry Lawler: Well, I know you like to say it J.R., but I'll do the honours this week. He's never been pinned, and he's never been forced to submit. An 'undefeated' streak that has lasted close to a year!

Jim Ross: It was the night after Wrestlemania 22 last year that Umaga made his debut here on Raw, and he's been reeking havoc ever since.

*HELL WILL BE CALLIN’...*


The crowd booms with a mixed reaction for Bobby Lashley, but Lashley continues to play face, stepping out onto the stage to set off his pyro display before heading down the ramp...


Jim Ross: But could this be the man who will finally tame the savage Samoan beast? Is the ECW Champion going go to be the first man to inflict a pinfall or submission on Umaga?

Jerry Lawler: Well, I don't know too many men who could overpower Umaga, but Bobby Lashley's one of them. Although after the way Umaga beat up Lashley during the Rumble last night, I don’t think even Lashley can stop him. But J.R., what did you make of the challenge Rob Van Dam made to Lashley earlier? I mean, could you imagine Bobby Lashley and Rob Van Dam, one on one for the ECW Championship?

Jim Ross: It's be a heck of a match, and under extreme rules too if Lashley accepts. But I'm sure that right now Lashley is focused on nothin' but 'The Samoan Bulldozer' stood across the ring from him.

Now in the ring, Lashley raises his hands to a few more cheers and boos, before he removes the ECW Championship from around his waist and hands it to the referee. Lashley then paces the ring, while the camera cuts to Estrada who shouts "'Ju in big trouble now amigo!"...

Match 4: Non Title Match
ECW Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada

There’s a buzz in the air as the two big bulls meet in the centre of the ring, going nose-to-nose, neither monster budging an inch as the intensity of this match is clear for all to see. The staredown leads to some Samoan trash talk from Umaga, while Lashley stands tight-lipped, a determined look on his face. Eventually it’s Umaga who swings first, but his right hand is blocked by Lashley, who fires back with a stinging right of his own. Again Umaga swings, again Lashley blocks and fires back, rattling off three big right hands that backs Umaga to the ropes. Lashley then goes for an Irish whip, only for Umaga to counter, sending Lashley off the ropes into a big clothesline... but Lashley ducks underneath, coming off the ropes for a big shoulderblock... but Umaga stays on his feet, leading to Lashley driving off the ropes for a second... which staggers Umaga, but the beast is still on his feet. Lashley tries again, going for more momentum to hit a third shoulderblock... that bounces Umaga against the ropes. The crowd pops as Lashley again comes off the opposite ropes with a big head of steam... and a massive clothesline sends Umaga over the top rope to the floor! The crowd cheers as Lashley make a positive start to the match, and we fade into commercial with the referee giving Umaga a 10 count while Estrada tries to help his monster regroup.

*Commercial*


And when we return Umaga has Lashley grounded with a nerve hold to the neck, but now we’re back Lashley quickly fights back to his feet, tagging a pair of elbows to the gut and coming off the ropes... straight into a swinging side slam! The crowd gasps at the ease at which Umaga plants ‘The Dominator’, and now ‘Mags sees his chance to do some damage, stomping down and coming off the ropes for a big splash, driving all the air out of Lashley but only getting a 2 count.

Umaga now enjoys a period of dominance, starting by delivering a string of kicks to the spine and boots to the chest as Lashley writhes on the mat, clutching his midsection. The pace of the match slows right down now as Umaga looks to wear Lashley down, starting with a series of headbutts that continue to knock Lashley down to the mat. A hard Irish whip to the corner sees Lashley slump to the mat on impact, which gives Umaga another chance to slap on the dreaded nerve hold. Having worn Lashley down a bit more, the hold has more effect this time, with Umaga keeping Lashley grounded, the ECW Champion crying out in pain as Umaga ups the pressure. After what feels like an age, Lashley struggles back to his feet, throwing desperate elbows and punches to finally break free, before staggering Umaga with a big right and coming off the ropes... straight into a spinning wheel kick! 1... 2... Lashley rolls the shoulder.

‘Mags continues to dominate, with each solid headbutt he lands taking its toll. Umaga is almost methodical in his attack, being slow and deliberate as he continues to target the ribs in an effort to soften Lashley up. With both men on their feet, Umaga goes for a big right, but Lashley ducks, and he looks to rally with three quick fire rights of his own before scooping Umaga up... but the damage to the ribs takes its toll as the weight of Umaga causes Lashley’s legs to buckle, seeing ‘Mags fall on top of him for a near fall. A hard Irish whip sends Lashley to the corner, and Umaga then hammers him down to the mat with well placed fists. Instead of his head becoming perched on the bottom turnbuckle as Umaga had hoped, Lashley shows great fight and determination to pull himself back up. Surprised at the resilience shown, Umaga retreats, lining Lashley up and then charging... for a big splash in the corner... but Lashley dives to safety... and Umaga crashes head first into the steel ring post! Dazed and confused, Umaga has rubber legs as he stumbles from the corner... into a belly-to-belly suplex! 1... 2... no!

Umaga kicks out, but Lashley sees this as his chance to attack, starting with a few stiff rights before going for an Irish whip... Umaga reverses, but Lashley ducks his clothesline and keeps running, coming back off the opposite ropes... SPEAR!! Lashley hammers Umaga with a thunderous spear, and the crowd is alive as Lashley hooks the leg... 1... 2... no! Somehow Umaga rolls the shoulder at 2 and his ‘undefeated’ streak remains. Still clutching his ribs, Lashley is back on his feet, pulling Umaga up with him to score with a trio of tired looking right hands. Once again Lashley goes for the Irish whip, and as Umaga comes off the ropes, Lashley looks for a back body drop... but Umaga aims a kick to the chest, snapping Lashley’s head up, and then goes for a clothesline... which Lashley ducks, allowing him to hook Umaga up... for a powerful suplex! J.R. and King sell the move, claiming it could be the first time Umaga has been up and down like that, while Lashley now looks to feed off the crowd, which is mostly positive despite the few lingering boos. Waiting for Umaga to rise, Lashley crouches down, making his move to scoop Umaga up on his shoulder... to go for the dominator... no! As Lashley runs across the ring with Umaga on his shoulder, ‘Mags slides down the back, pushing Lashley into the turnbuckle. Reaching for his ribs, Lashley turns out of the corner... into a massive Samoan drop!!

The audience gasps in disappointment as Lashley is planted, and with a burst of energy Umaga is back on his feet, just time to catch Lashley as he rises... with the SAMOAN SPIKE!! Umaga damn near takes Lashley’s head off, and he drops down to make the cover... 1... 2... 3!

Winner: Umaga @ 12: 14

The boos quickly ring out as Umaga enters yet another devastating performance. Umaga quickly rolls off Lashley and gets back on his feet, snarling down at his fallen opponent, with Lashley clutching at his throat and coughing violently...


Jerry Lawler: J.R., I don’t think I’ve ever Umaga come so close to defeat.

Jim Ross: An incredible effort from Bobby Lashley, but once again, ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ prevails.

While J.R. and King hype Lashley’s efforst and the dominance of Umaga, Estrada walks over to Lillian Garcia and snatches a microphone from her before he climbs the steps and enters the ring...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: Tudos... excussemay, haha! 'Ju people... 'ju see how... comos se dice... dominant, haha, 'dis man is.

Estrada looks down at Lashley, landing a few cheap kicks with his loafers...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: But Senor Shane McMahon... why when 'dat amigo choose who will face John Cena, does he not say... he chooses a MONSTER! Why does he not say... he chooses The Saaaaamoan Bulldozerrr... UMAGA!? Haha!

Boos from the crowd...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: We have been patient amigo! We have waited for 'da chance we... comos se dice... deserve. But now... 'dis man... no, no... 'dis MONSTER... he waits no more mi amigos. If Shane McMahon don't give us what we want...

The crowd rises as Estrada pulls a cigar from his top pocket...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: 'Den we...

And holds it high above his head...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: We gonna take it amigos!

And snaps it in two!

And instantly Umaga reaches down, grabbing Lashley by the neck and dragging him to his feet. Weighing over 300 pounds, it takes Umaga a while to get Lashley back up, and as he does so the crowd erupts, as racing down the ramp is Rob Van Dam, steel chair in hand! RVD sprints down the ramp and slides under the bottom rope, with Estrada alerting his monster to the threat. Umaga drops Lashley back to the mat, but Van Dam is ready to attack... tossing the chair to Umaga who catches it... VAN DAMINATOR!! Van Dam drives the chair into Umaga's skull with a spinning wheel kick, the force sending Umaga staggering into the ropes and then falling through them to the floor! Estrada quickly rolls under the bottom rope to check on his beast, while RVD picks the chair back up, poised for another attack from Umaga.

Estrada tries to calm Umaga, doing his best to lead 'The Samoan Bulldozer' away, with Umaga crying out in his native tongue as Estrada backs him up the ramp. In the ring, Van Dam stands by the ropes, pointing with the chair that Umaga should leave the area. Behind him, Lashley is back on his feet, a pissed off look on his face, Van Dam oblivious to the fact. Soon with Umaga a safe distance away, RVD turns back towards the ring, to see Lashley staring angrily at him. The tension rises as the crowd is unsure what to make of the situation. Van Dam stands with the chair still in his hand, but that doesn't concern Lashley as he steps to go face to face with RVD. Still unsure of Lashley's intentions, RVD looks uneasy... but Lashley nods his head in a show of thanks, before a nearby camera catches him saying... "Next week... you got it!".


Jerry Lawler: Did you hear that J.R.? I think Bobby Lashley just accepted Rob Van Dam's challenge!

Jim Ross: That's what it sounded like! Rob Van Dam just saved Bobby Lashley from God knows what at the hands of Umaga, and next week the two of 'em will battle under extreme rules for the ECW Championship!

The crowd cheers for the prospect of Lashley vs. Van Dam II live next week on Raw! RVD smiles and nods his approval, while Lashley stares long and hard at Van Dam before he drops down and rolls under the bottom rope, his eyes locked on Van Dam with the camera switching between the two as we fade into a video package.

*Video Package*

We open to a pitch black, with the faint sound of a revving motor engine slowly but surely getting louder...

Narrator: The road may be long...

Slowly on the horizon we see a red convertible driving over a hill, heading towards a sunset which lights the screen...

Narrator: The journey may be treacherous...

The revs of the engine increase and get louder, with the camera closing in on shots of the side of the car...

Narrator: But you'll love every second of it!

We now skim along the rear of the car, the sun glistening on the chrome duel exhaust...

Narrator: So strap yourself in...

The car now speeds past a road sign that reads "8 MILE ROAD"...

Narrator: And get ready!

From behind we see an image of the Detroit skyline, with our car heading down a straight road towards it...

Narrator: 20 years on, Wrestlemania returns to Detroit, Michigan!

More fast paced shots of the car racing through the streets of Detroit...

Narrator: And it's going to be...

The car suddenly crashes into the screen, with the grill of the car having the official Wrestlemania 23 logo and tagline printed on it...

Narrator: The ride of your life!



"WWE WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - APRIL 1ST - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"

*End Video Package*


Jim Ross: Wrestlemania XXIII, it's gonna be an unbelievable night folks! And next week, while it may not be quite as spectacular as Wrestlemania, the live Raw 3-hour special promises to be quite the night.

Jerry Lawler: I can't wait J.R.! Next week, live, it's Raw: Night Of Champions. The night when every championship here on Monday Night Raw will be on the line, and after what we just witnessed between Bobby Lashley and Rob Van Dam, it appears the ECW Championship is goin' to take its place on the card.

Jim Ross: Rob Van Dam, a man more passionate about ECW you'll never meet. earlier tonight, we heard a passionate please from Van Dam to the ECW Champions Bobby Lashley for Lashley to put the title on the line against Van Dam. But you have to wonder 'King', does Bobby Lashley know what he's gettin' himself involved in by agreeing to face Van Dam under extreme rules?

Jerry Lawler: I gotta feelin' that the ECW Champion is in for a whole new experience next week when Lashley and Van Dam collide. But J.R., I gotta ask you, what did you think about what Jonathan Coachman said earlier tonight with regards to Jeff Hardy and the Intercontinental Championship? I heard 'Coach' say that Jeff Hardy, despite the two separate concussions he's suffered in the past week, despite the fact that last night we saw him leave the Royal Rumble on a stretcher, Jeff Hardy WILL have his rematch next week, and if he can't compete, then Jeff loses his rematch opportunity.

Jim Ross: I think it's a damn disgrace if you ask me King. Jeff Hardy was ambushed by Rated-RKO last week, he suffered a con-chair-to, he was spike DDT'd into a steel chair during his match last night, Jeff Hardy, from what we understand, is in no shape to compete right now. Infact folks, at the top of the show we said we'd try to get an update on the status of Jeff Hardy, from what I understand, this Friday night on Smackdown, Jeff's brother Matt will address the health of the former Intercontinental Champion.

Jerry Lawler: All our wishes are with Jeff right now, I hope it's good news we hear from Matt Hardy on Smackdown, and I hope Jeff can be here next Monday night to try and win back the Intercontinental Championship.

Jim Ross: Earlier tonight we determined the challengers to both the World Tag Team Championships and the Women's Championship, and King, as far as the Divas are concerned, it's gonna be a rematch from two weeks ago as Mickie James defends the gold against Victoria.

Jerry Lawler: Right, and two weeks ago, when Mickie James pinned Victoria, who can call it a fluke, you can call an upset, call it what you will, it was a major surprise in the way it happened. Victoria dominated the match only for Mickie to catch her in a victory roll for the victory. I dunno if Mickie's luck is gonna carry through to next week though.

Jim Ross: The World Tag Team Championships are also on the line, as the champions, Edge and Randy Orton, two thirds of Rated-RKO, defend the championships against the new team of Ric Flair and Carlito.

Jerry Lawler: Edge and Orton, both of those guys may be focusing on John Cena and a possible WWE Championship shot, but they better focus on Flair and Carlito. They may be a new team, but there's a lot of skill and talent in that team, and they won their very first match earlier tonight!

Jim Ross: And then of course, what will no doubt be the main event next week, John Cena will defend the WWE Championship, but as of right now, we don't know who Cena's opponent will be.

Jerry Lawler: So many names have been mentioned tonight as possible opponents. Will it be Edge? Randy Orton? Triple H? Shawn Michaels? Umaga? Could it be Shane McMahon himself? Could it even be Mr. McMahon? Who knows who it's gonna be?! But knowing Shane McMahon, it's gonna be a big time match, and I don't think John Cena's gonna like it.

"YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME...

HEY! NOTHING YOU CAN SAY..."

*BURN IN MY LIGHT (RATED-R REMIX)...*


A barrage of boos welcomes Rated-RKO back into the arena, as Edge, Randy Orton and Kenny Dykstra arrogantly strut down to the ring, for now a collective unit, all three men champions in their own rite...


Jim Ross: It's time for our main event folks. Here comes Rated-RKO, they will be the opponents of John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Triple H, and-

Jerry Lawler: (Interrupting) Now wait a second J.R., we don't know if Triple H is gonna be here. Both John Cena and Shawn Michaels went lookin' for 'The Game' earlier and they couldn't find him.

Jim Ross: Well... you've got a point there 'King'. Join us after this commercial folks, and we'll find out whether or not Triple H joins John Cena and Shawn Michaels to take on Edge, Randy Orton and Kenny Dykstra.

*Commercial*


When we return, the Rated-RKO trio are set in the ring, waiting patiently for the arrival of their opponents...

*MY TIME IS NOW...*


The arena explodes with its usual mixed response as the WWE Champion John Cena makes his entrance. Tonight though it's not the usual jovial, confident Cena we see, instead 'The Champ' lets out a big sigh before he salutes and walks down the ramp, stopping at the bottom of the ramp instead of getting into the ring...


Jerry Lawler: You gotta admit J.R., Cena does not look confident right now.

Jim Ross; Absolutely not. John Cena has no idea what to expect from Shawn Michaels or Triple H tonight. That can't be good goin' into a match where those two men are supposed to be your partner.

In the ring Edge taunts and goads Cena to enter the ring, but Cena remains on the outside, nervously looking up the ramp until he hears...

*SEXY BOY...*


A relieved Cena smiles and nods his head as he turns to see Shawn Michaels step out, with 'HBK' dropping to his knees in prayer, opening his arms to set off his pyro display...


Jim Ross: It's been quite the 24 hours for Shawn Michaels. Last night, it was a vintage 'HBK' performance as Michaels made it all the way to the final four of the Royal Rumble, only to be eliminated by Triple H. Tonight, Michaels tried to clear the air with 'The Game' only to be interrupted by Rated-RKO.

Jerry Lawler: And right now we don't even know if Triple H is going to be in the same corner as Cena and Michaels!

Michaels makes it to the bottom of the ramp and shares a nod with Cena, as both men make their entrance to the ring. Rated-RKO is all smiles, especially Edge, the 2007 Royal Rumble winner taunting the pair infront of him for their lack of numbers right now.

HBK's music dies down and there's several moments of silence, unnerving both Cena and Michaels. Cena turns to Michaels, looking for some semblance of hope... but the silence continues, much to the disappointment of both men.

......
...

Until...


”BEHOLD THE KING... THE KING OF KINGS..."

*THE GAME...*


The arena erupts once more as Triple H slowly emerges from the back, taking his time to join Michaels and Cena. On the apron, 'The Game' blasts out his water, before stepping through the ropes. There are no pleasantries exchanged however, as 'The Game' is all business, wanting to get the match under way.

Main Event: Six Man Tag Team Match
WWE Champion John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Triple H vs. Rated-RKO

On the apron there is a visible uneasiness between Cena and Triple H as Shawn Michaels gets ready to start the match, while Kenny Dykstra is ready to go for Rated-RKO. A collar-and-elbow tie-up allows Dykstra to force HBK to the corner, where the new Intercontinental Champion unloads with a series of rights and lefts to the midsection. Encouraged, Dykstra opens his arms to the crowd, shouting “What d’ya think of that?!” to a round of boos... only for Michaels to grab Dykstra and toss him to the corner, unloading with stinging chops to the chest. Dykstra staggers from the corner and swings a right hand, which Michaels ducks and replies with an atomic drop, before another big chop knocks Kenny down.

Cena gets the tag, and he rocks Dykstra with stiff rights, following this by smashing Kenny face first into the top turnbuckle. Dykstra manages to reverses an Irish whip, but Cena ducks a clothesline and keeps running, flying with the shoulderblock to knock Kenny down before hooking the leg for an early 2 count. After kicking out, Dykstra scrambles for his corner, tagging Orton who cautiously steps through the ropes. Orton and Cena lock up, with Orton working into the side headlock, only for Cena to send him off the ropes... but Orton bowls Cena over with a shoulderblock. Edge quickly tags in, and he tags Cena with stiff right hands in the corner, but when he tries to send Cena across the ring, Cena reverses, seeing Edge hit the corner hard and staggering straight into a fisherman’s suplex, getting Cena a 2 count.

Cena then rather forcibly slaps the hand of Triple H, bringing ‘The Game’ into the match for the first time. Triple H steps through the ropes, but Edge sees him coming, immediately retreating to his own corner to tag in Dykstra, with the 2007 Royal Rumble wanting no part of ‘The Game’. Dykstra enters and is immediately on the back foot as Trips hammers him with right hand after right hand, knocking Kenny down with a high knee to the face. ‘The Game’ then looks to come off the ropes, only for Edge to drive a knee into his back, prompting Triple H to turn around and hammer both Edge and Orton with right hands that knock them off of the apron, but when he turns back to the ring Dykstra is waiting... to rattle ‘The Game’ with a textbook dropkick. Dykstra then turns and gets in the faces of Cena and Michaels, drawing both into the ring but more importantly drawing the ref to that corner, allowing Edge and Orton to slide in and hammer Triple H with boots behind the referee’s back, and it’s on the mugging of ‘The Game’ that we fade into the final commercial of the evening.

*Commercial*


We return with Rated-RKO fully in control, Triple H still down on the mat as Randy Orton repeatedly drives his knee into the throat of ‘The Game’. The trio work well to dominate this period of the match, doing a great job of keeping Triple H away from his partners and using plenty of cheap tactics to punish ‘The Game’, usually behind the back of the referee. Edge is in the ring, thinking he’s in control, only for Trips to stun him with a sudden flurry of right hands and then a big running clothesline that knocks Edge down. Slowly Triple H crawls for his corner, only for Dykstra to spring in and drag Triple H back towards Rated-RKO territory. Naturally this draws Cena into the ring to protest, but on the apron Michaels doesn’t move, a point Lawler is quick to highlight on commentary. Once again the ref is oblivious as Orton and Dykstra hammer Trips with boots and knees, allowing Edge a chance to recover and regain control before the ref turns around.

Now it’s Orton who punishes Triple H, snapping Trips with the inverted headlock backbreaker and following with the Orton stomp before wrenching on a chinlock. Orton applies pressure and keeps the hold locked on for an age, but the crowd rallies behind ‘The Game’, and soon Trips struggles back to his feet, firing elbows to the midsection and coming off the ropes... Edge ducks looking for a back body drop, but Triple H stops his momentum... and hits the facebreaker knee smash!

Both men go down, and Triple H crawls to his corner... to tag in John Cena! Cena flies into the ring to hammer Edge, then Orton, and finally Kenny with clotheslines, before taking Orton up and down with the killswitch. Dykstra is back on his feet too, but Cena flies at him with shoulderblocks, leaving Dykstra in perfect position as Cena comes off the ropes... five knuckle shuffle... SPEAR!! Out of nowhere Edge connects with the spear, leaving Cena in a heap... but here comes Michaels! HBK flies at Edge, taking him down with the flying forearm, before kipping up and going to the corner, where he wastes no time in tuning up the band. Michaels waits for Edge to rise, before he makes his move... but Edge ducks... with Triple H standing behind him... and ‘The Game’ tastes SWEET CHIN MUSIC!!!

The crowd is stunned as Michaels nails Triple H... by accident... again? But before much can be discussed by the announcers, Orton springs to life... RKO!! Michaels suffers a devastating RKO, and Orton now hooks the leg... 1... 2... Cena dives to make the save! Cena but instantly he’s subjected to a three on one beatdown, as with both his partners down there’s nothing stopping Rated-RKO from hammering the champ. With both Michaels and Triple H down outside the ring (on opposite sides though) there’s no one left to save Cena. With confidence running high, Edge crouches to the corner, wanting Dykstra and Orton to hold Cena in place for a spear. Edge waits as Orton and Kenny drag Cena into position... here comes Edge... but Cena fires an elbow into Kenny’s face, and launches Orton towards Edge... SPEAR TO ORTON!!! The crowd erupts as Edge... accidently?... spears his fellow tag team champion! Stunned, Edge can only stare at the fallen Orton, but Cena is alive to the situation, grabbing Edge and hoisting him up... FU!! Cena takes advantage to plant Edge with the FU, but here comes Kenny, swinging a right hand... Cena ducks, wrenching the arm... into the STFU!!! The crowd is alive as Cena pulls back on Dykstra, with young Kenny desperately clawing for the ropes... but he can’t make it... and he has no option but to tap out!!

Winners: John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Triple H @ 15.03

Dykstra continues to tap until Cena mercifully releases the submission hold, rolling away from Dykstra before returning to his feet to have his hand raised by the ref. Shawn Michaels is first to return to the ring, a furious look on his face despite his team gaining the win. Cena audibly asks HBK “What the hell was that?!” to which Michaels can only reply “I didn’t mean it.”...


Jerry Lawler: They did it J.R.! I dunno how, but somehow John Cena, Triple H and Shawn Michaels managed to see off Rated-RKO!

Jim Ross: But what about what happened between Michaels and Triple H? HBK, he caught ‘The Game’ with an accidental Sweet Chi-

Jerry Lawler: Aw enough of that J.R.! That was no accident.

Jim Ross: Aw c’mon King! Michaels was lookin’ for Edge, everybody saw it!

As King and J.R. continue to argue, there’s mayhem all around. Having recovered, Orton confronts Edge about the spear he suffered, while Dykstra hobbles up the ramp behind them, trying to calm his partners down...


“Rated-RKO is falling apart at the seams!”


The debate between Cena and Michaels continues... and now Triple H is back in the ring! Furious, ‘The Game’ confronts Michaels, getting in his ‘former’ best friends face, the two going nose to nose, all kinds of shouting between the two, with Cena trying to play peace maker, but it’s clearly no use...


“Triple H and Michaels are close to breaking point!”


And just when it seems it can’t get anymore chaotic...

*HERE COMES THE MONEY...*


Among the boos the crowd tingles with anticipation as Shane McMahon steps out onto the stage, Edge, Orton and Kenny stopping in their tracks half way up the ramp, while in the ring Cena, Michaels and Triple H all stop dead, staring up at the stage. McMahon smiles as he looks down at Cena, ruefully shaking his head...


Shane McMahon: God... you did it! I dunno know why, but somehow you did it. You three managed to... SOMEHOW... beat Rated-RKO. Bravo!

McMahon breaks out with a fake round of applause...

Shane McMahon: Helluva job guys! I mean really! Well Cena... I'm a man of my word. I said I'd announce your opponent for next week's Raw: Night Of Champions tonight, and that's exactly what I'm gonna do. Now, you three...

Shane points at Edge, Orton and Dykstra, who all look on expectantly...

Shane McMahon: After watchin' you guys go to work there, I gotta admit... you didn't really impress me. So you three, you guys just focus on defending the titles you have next week, 'cos you're not gonna get a chance to add to that gold.

Furious, Edge turns and starts pointing blame at Orton and Dykstra, who naturally turn around and blame Edge and each other...

Shane McMahon: But you wanna know what did impress me? The way you battled through adversity tonight John.

Shane now turns his attentions to the three men in the ring...

Shane McMahon: I mean, really, that was impressive. So impressive... that I wanna see just how far you can be pushed. So next week, live on Raw: Night Of Champions... it's gonna be the WWE Champions John Cena...

Mixed reaction, but mainly cheers...

Shane McMahon: Defending his championship against...

The crowd buzzes, feeling they have it worked out...

Shane McMahon: Shawn Michaels AND Triple H!

A loud mixed reaction fills the arena, as Shane lets his announcement sink in...

Shane McMahon: Have a great week John! I know I can't wait for next Monday night!

*HERE COMES THE MONEY...*


An arrogant smile crosses Shane's face as he stares into the ring, seeing both Michaels and Triple H staring at Cena, the WWE Champion now with a massive target on his back...


Jerry Lawler: Oh my God J.R.! Can you believe that? Next week, live, it's John Cena against both Shawn Michaels and Triple H for the WWE Championship!

Jim Ross: What a powder keg of emotions that's gonna be! The tension between the three men in the ring could be about to explode next week! What's going to happen at Raw: Night Of Champions?! We'll see you next week folks.

The camera continues to switch between shots of Cena, Triple H and Michaels, three partners... now three opponents, the tension between the trio at breaking point, the friendship on the brink, the vulnerable champion, as we fade... to... black.

*End Show*





Current Card for WWE SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT :
Date: March 3rd 2007

Location: Madison Square Garden; New York, New York


NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED YET

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