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Old 11-26-2010, 08:49 AM   #66 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night Smackdown~
February 2nd, 2007
Houston, Texas



"You are nothin' but a loser. A wannabe, no... you're a never-was."




Much like Raw, we start the broadcast with a highlights package of the Royal Rumble. The video briefly focuses on the Raw side of things, with Kenny Dykstra's defeat of Jeff Hardy and John Cena retaining the WWE Championship over Rob Van Dam featured. More attention is paid to the Smackdown side of the event, in particular Chris Benoit's victory against Test and the battle for the World Heavyweight Championship which saw Batista overcome injury to see off Finlay. 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.

The usual Smackdown intro video plays before we head into the arena for the pyro display, and as the camera spins around the crowd and then settles at the announce desk, we hear from Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield...


Michael Cole: Five days ago, we witnessed a Royal Rumble of epic proportions, but ultimately it was a Raw superstar who stood tall when it was all said and done. Tonight on Friday Night Smackdown, we look forward to No Way Out and Wrestlemania, but the big question is will Edge choose to face Raw's WWE Champion or our very own World Heavyweight Champion, Batista? Hello everyone, I'm Michael Cole, alongside me as always is my broadcast partner John Bradshaw Layfield, and JBL, who do you think Edge is gonna choose to face at Wrestlemania?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Well if Edge has any guts, any cohunes, then he'll step up and face the World Heavyweight Champion, here on the A-Show, Smackdown! But speakin' of the World Heavyweight Championship, I think it's a disgrace that Finlay ain't got the gold around his waist right now! Finlay was robbed last Sunday night, and I blame Teddy Long for lettin' it happen!

Michael Cole: I assume you're talkin' about the ending of the match between Batista and Finlay, where after weeks of assaults from Finlay and that shillelagh of his, 'The Animal' gave Finlay a taste of his own medicine.

John Bradshaw Layfield: You know damn well that's what I'm talkin' about! The ref may not of saw it, but I did, and I want Teddy Long to do somethin' about it. A rematch, a suspension, hell, strip Batista of the title! But somethin' has gotta be done about it.

Michael Cole: Well folks, Batista and Finlay will indeed meet again in the ring tonight, but in tag team action as Batista and Chris Benoit team up to face Finlay and Test. Also tonight, after returning to the WWE last week, La Resistance are in action against The Extremists, and after his incredible performance in the Royal Rumble match, The Undertaker will also be in action tonight!

”ONE... TWO... YOU HEAR THE CLOCK TICKIN’...”

*I’M COMIN’...*


Michael Cole: But folks what a huge match we're kickin’ things off with. After making his return to Smackdown last week, MVP assaulted Kane, only to be eliminated by 'The Big Red Machine' during the Royal Rumble match. Tonight, once and for all, Kane and MVP settle their differences in a last man standing match!

For the first time in 2007, the inflatable tunnel is set up, and soon out bursts Montel Vontavious Porter, sunglasses on and bling hanging from his neck. MVP slaps the ground and posses, setting off a burst of pyro before he swaggers his way down the aisle...

Michael Cole: Well it was certainly an interesting way 2006 ended for MVP, as he was literally set on fire by Kane at Armageddon during the Inferno Match the two had. But last week, MVP returned with a bang, smashing Kane with a sickening steel chair shot to the skull.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And if you ask me, Kane's lucky that's all MVP did to him last week. But Lady Luck ain't gonna be shining on Kane tonight, MVP is out for revenge, and he's gonna get it tonight.

MVP climbs the steps and enters the rings, running the ropes, getting used to his surroundings. Removing his sunglasses, MVP launches them over the top rope into the crowd, but the camera is right there to spot him placing his diamond necklace in the corner, nestling it under the bottom turnbuckle. Soon MVP begins to bounce in the ring, anxiously awaiting...

*SLOW CHEMICAL...*


The crowd rings out with a good cheer as Kane marches down the aisle, not wasting any time in getting to the ring...


Michael Cole: I'm not so sure about that partner. Kane is one of the most sadistic superstars in WWE history. After MVP busted Kane open last week, you don't think 'The Big Red Machine' isn't going to enjoy having MVP one on one in what is essentially a no holds barred situation?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Listen, I know Kane is a sick, demented, twisted monster, but MVP is fuelled by a hunger, a desire to cause Kane pain. Nine times outta ten, I'd agree with you that anybody who steps into a last man standing match with Kane should be scared, but not tonight. Not MVP.

Kane strides up the steps, but as he lowers his head to go through the ropes, MVP hammers him, and the match is on!

Match 1: Last Man Standing Match
Kane
vs. Montel Vontavious Porter

And as he smacks Kane with a flurry of rights and lefts, MVP knocks Kane back through the ropes to the floor below, the match barely making it into the ring before it spills outside. MVP is quickly on Kane, aiming vicious kicks to the gut and head before dragging Kane back up and sending him crashing shoulder first into the steel steps, sending the top half of the flying. MVP shouts at Kane to get up, but when he does ‘The Big Red Machine’ strikes with one of his trademark shots to the throat, allowing him to scoop MVP up onto his shoulders. Kane then charges towards the ring post, looking to lawndart MVP in the steel... but MVP drops down the back... and pushes Kane shoulder first into the ring post! Kane hits the post hard and slumps to the floor, prompting MVP to tell the ref to count.

“1... 2... 3... 4... 5...”

It’s still fair too early as Kane uses the ring to pull himself to his feet, but MVP is right back on him, aiming boots to the shoulder before rolling Kane under the bottom rope. With Kane’s head propped against the bottom turnbuckle, MVP drives his boot into the throat of Kane, trying to choke ‘The Big Red Machine’ out, with the ref powerless to stop him. MVP finally removes his boot, leaving Kane choking and sputtering, but there’s no chance to catch a breath as MVP pulls him up, going for an Irish whip across the ring... but Kane reverses... and follows in for a big clothesline in the corner! Kane finally scores some offence, and he follows this by backing off to charge in for another clothesline, and as MVP staggers out of the corner Kane is waiting to take him up and down with a sidewalk slam. As MVP is down, the ref begins a count, but Kane doesn’t waste any time, climbing to the top rope, waiting for MVP to rise... flying clothesline! Kane nails MVP, and the crowd cheers as Kane cocks his hand high in the air, waiting for MVP to stumble into his grasp... but MVP turns and sees the hand just in time, diving to the mat and rolling under the bottom rope to escape the chokeslam.

MVP stumbles around on the outside, trying to clear the cobwebs, but Kane gives him no chance to recover, as he too rolls under the bottom rope and takes the fight to MVP, rocking him with a shot to the throat that backs MVP up against the barricade. A shot to the midsection doubles MVP over, and as he slowly lifts his head back up, Kane is ready to strike... with a big boot that sends MVP over the barricade into the crowd! The audience cheers as they get an close up look at the action, with Kane stepping over the barricade to hammer MVP with more shots to the throat. Desperate to put some distance between himself and ‘The Big Red Machine’, MVP stumbles through the audience, pushing people aside as he begins to make his way up the stairs! Being a few steps ahead of Kane allows MVP to turn and aim a kick to Kane’s chest, but this only stops Kane momentarily, as he continues to stalk MVP all the way up the staircase.

Eventually the two reach the arena concourse, with security doing their best to keep fans at bay. MVP is battered around the arena, his face drilled into walls, doors, even a plastic trash can, before Kane finally scoops MVP up... and slams him down on the concrete floor!

“1... 2... 3... 4... 5...6... 7...”

Somehow MVP makes it back to his feet, with Kane waiting to strike with another shot to the throat. The shot staggers MVP, sending him tumbling along the concourse, with MVP grabbing a fan (plant, obviously) and hurling him into Kane. Kane simply tosses the fan aside as a hot dog and a cup of Pepsi go flying. Putting a bit of distance between the two, MVP moves towards another plastic trash can, moving quickly to pick it up... only for Kane to kick it back in MVP’s face!

“1... 2... 3... 4... 5...6... 7...”

Again MVP makes it back up, crawling towards another stairs entrance and using the handrail to pull himself to his feet. MVP then begins to head back down the stairs, with Kane in hot pursuit, grabbing MVP from behind and hurling him gut first into the metal handrail that runs up the middle of the staircase. MVP flails down the last remaining few steps, and with both men now back on flat concrete, Kane continues to strike with those trademark thrusts to the throat. Kane then grabs a hold of MVP, running and launching him over the barricade back into the ringside area. Kane takes his time to step over the barricade, and this gives MVP a chance to attack, hitting a clothesline as Kane straddles the barricade, giving Kane a painful landing on the floor. Kane sits on the floor, his head against the barricade, and this is all the invitation MVP needs as he charges... and drills Kane with a kick to the skull! Kane’s head snaps back against the barricade with a sickening thud, with MVP demanding the referee count.

“1... 2... 3... 4... 5...6... 7... 8...”

Kane somehow makes it back up, but MVP is in control now, hammering Kane back down to the floor with a flurry of kicks to the midsection. MVP then walks over to the timekeeper’s desk, shoving Tony Chimel aside to grab a steel chair. Kane is shoved back into the ring, and MVP slides under the bottom rope, holding the chair high in the air, motioning for Kane to get back up. Kane reaches up for the top rope, pulling himself to his feet... only for MVP to drill him with the steel chair! A sickening, unprotected skull shot sees Kane slump back down to the mat. Feeling months of pent up aggression build, MVP looks down at Kane... and then unloads with multiple chair shots to the shoulder! Kane cries out in anger, each shot leader to louder cries of pain. The referee waits for MVP to finish before starting his count.

“1... 2... 3... 4...”

MVP stops the count by pushing the ref out of the way. No one can understand why, until MVP says “I’m not finished with him yet!”. Feeling he has Kane down for as long as he wants, MVP begins to taunt ‘The Big Red Machine’, arrogantly rubbing his boot in Kane’s face before turning to soak up the boos of the crowd. MVP’s confidence grows as he turns to come off the ropes, performing a few theatrics... and going for the ballin’ elbow... but Kane sits up! Before MVP can drop the elbow, Kane’s head rises from the mat... only for MVP to reach down and grab the chair... and drill Kane square in the face! Kane is down and out, and again the ref counts.

“1... 2... 3... 4... 5...”

MVP again breaks the count by diving down to the mat, hammering Kane on the forehead with a flurry of right hands. Cole asks what MVP is doing, but it all becomes clear, as MVP has his diamond studded necklace wrapped around his fist!! Repeatedly drilling Kane’s skull soon sees Kane busted open, with blood covering MVP’s fist, jewellery and jumpsuit. Cole calls the act “sickening”, but MVP continues to attack, drawing more blood, before finally relenting, allowing the referee to count.

“1... 2... 3... 4... 5...6... 7... 8...”

Kane sits up! The ref stops the count as Kane rises, leaving MVP with a stunned look on his face. MVP turns and reaches for the steel chair, swinging it at Kane... who punches it back in MVP’s face! The chair fires back, smacking MVP in the face, the force sending him rolling under the bottom rope to the outside. Kane, a crimson mess, steps through the ropes to the floor, grabbing MVP and smashing him face first off the announce desk. Kane then turns and grabs the steel steps that had previously been knocked loose, sliding them under the bottom rope into the ring! MVP is sent rolling in after them. The blood continues to flow from Kane’s forehead, but he presses on, positioning the steel steps in the middle of the ring. Kane soon pulls MVP to his feet, dragging him towards the steps. The crowd rises as Kane steps up the first step, pulling MVP with him, everyone knowing what’s coming next... chokeslam on the STEEL STEPS... NO!! Out of desperation, MVP kicks Kane in the balls, falling to the mat as Kane releases his grip. With Kane doubled over and still stood on the steps, MVP grabs the chair... and drills Kane across the spine! Kane cries in pain, standing up, allowing MVP to kick him in the midsection... and then hit the PLAYMAKER ON THE STEEL STEPS!! MVP crashes to the mat, but Kane hits nothing but cold, hard steel, prompting the referee to step in and count.

“1... 2... 3... 4... 5...6... 7...”

MVP drags himself to the ropes, pulling himself up to his feet, but the referee continues to count for Kane...

“8...”

Kane sits up! The crowd erupts as somehow Kane drags his head off the steel...

“9...”

But just as fast his head slumps back down again, the arena letting out a collective groan as MVP smiles at his fallen opponent...

“10!”

Winner: Montel Vontavious Porter @ 14:06

With the bell rung, MVP slumps to the mat, exhausted after the effort it took to finally put Kane away. Sitting up, a sick smile cross MVP's face as he stares deep into the camera, before returning to his feet and looking down at the fallen Kane...


Michael Cole: I'm not gonna lie to you JBL, that was just downright disturbing to watch. MVP crossed a line tonight and he-

John Bradshaw Layfield: (Interrupting) MVP CROSSED A LINE?! What about Kane settin' MVP on fire? That was OK?

Michael Cole: That happened in the process of Kane trying to win a match. MVP had the last man standing match won on several occasions, but he keep breakin’ the count to punish Kane.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And that's because Kane deserved it! All the anguish, the agony, the emotional trauma MVP suffered from, it all came out tonight. MVP vowed revenge, and tonight he got it. If you want somebody to blame for this situation, blame Teddy Long! He put MVP and Kane in this situation, and now you're just mad 'cause MVP made Kane pay the price!

Michael Cole: And there you go again with the Teddy Long bashing. We gotta go to commercial to give everybody a chance to cool off.

One last shot of the smiling MVP as he backs up the aisle, while in the ring Kane is still down as we fade into commercial.

*Commercial*


We return to the office of pissed looking Teddy Long, the Smackdown GM shat at his desk in mid-conversation on his desk phone...


Teddy Long: Uh huh... no listen playa, I've had enough of it... I want you to be here next Friday... listen playa, just make it happen and-

Suddenly the line goes dead, and we quickly see that a finger has pressed down on the button to end the call. Soon both the camera and Teddy Long tilt upwards, revealing that is was a furious looking Mr. Kennedy who ended Teddy's call prematurely. Dressed in dark jeans and a casual white shirt, Kennedy is clearly not dressed to compete tonight...

Teddy Long: Kennedy... whatcha' doin' playa? That was a very important phone call that you-

Mr. Kennedy: (Interrupting) Save it Teddy! I'm really not in the mood for any of your crap.

Teddy shrugs his shoulders in acceptance, rising to his feet to look Kennedy in the eye...

Teddy Long: A'ight playa. What are you in the mood for? What made you end my phone call like that? What do you want?

Kennedy smirks and shakes his head, loudly chewing a piece of gum as he chooses his words...

Mr. Kennedy: What do I... want? I want the man who embarrassed me last Sunday night at the Royal Rumble. I want the guy who pulled a cheap stunt to eliminate me from the Royal Rumble match. I... want... Ric Flair.

Wooooo's from the arena, which only serve to further irritate Kennedy...

Mr. Kennedy: I don't care if it's next Monday night on Raw. I don't care if it's next Friday night on Smackdown. But you get me Ric Flair in the ring, one on one, and you get it for me now.

A few pops from inside the arena at the prospect of a Flair/Kennedy match, but Long obviously doesn't share the crowd's enthusiasm as he barely moves...

Mr. Kennedy: C'mon Teddy. Pick up the phone, call whoever you gotta call. But you make it happen. You get me Ric Flair in the ring.

Teddy sighs before he smiles at Kennedy...

Teddy Long: Look playa. Lemme fill you in on a lil' somethin'. I'm the general manager of Smackdown. Ric Flair? He's got a contract with Monday Night Raw. I can't just pick up the phone and make a match like that, ya' dig?

Kennedy almost lets his frustration get the better of him, but he keeps control and presses on...

Mr. Kennedy: Alright, the pay-per-view. No Way Out. Get me Ric Flair one on one in the ring at the pay-per-view. C'mon Teddy, I know even you can make that happen.

This time it's Long who shakes his head, realising his message isn't getting through...

Teddy Long: Kennedy, listen playa. It just... can't... be done. I can't force a Raw Superstar into the ring with one of my Smackdown guys. I have no power to make a match like that, my jurisdiction don't cover those playas on Monday night, ya' dig?

Frustrated, Kennedy runs his hands through his hair and clasps them behind his head...

Mr. Kennedy: Alright... what would it take?

Teddy Long: Excuse me?

Mr. Kennedy: What would it take to make it happen? What, I gotta issue a challenge to 'im or somethin'? I gotta get Flair to wanna face me, not just 'cos you or anybody says so? Then I get my hands on Flair?

Teddy reluctantly nods in agreement...

Teddy Long: Well... yeah. If you can issue Ric Flair with some kinda challenge, and he accepts... then yeah, I could make it happen then.

Suddenly Kennedy has a glint in his eye, as if the light bulb has gone off above his head...

Mr. Kennedy: No Way Out. When you're finding a way to screw up yet another pay-per-view, you save a spot on that card for me and Ric Flair. You understand me?

Teddy Long: Oh I hear ya' playa. But uh... what if Ric says no?

A sinister smile crosses Kennedy's face...

Mr. Kennedy: Oh don't worry... he'll say yes. He'll say... yes.

And with that Kennedy walks out of the frame and out of the room to boos from the crowd, leaving behind a worried looking Teddy Long, with the Smackdown general manager clearly troubled by Kennedy's demeanour as we fade into a video...

*Video Package*

WRESTLEMANIA RECALL!

APRIL 2nd, 2000
WRESTLEMANIA 2000


The first ever 'triangle tag team ladder match' pits Edge and Christian and the Hardy Boyz against the champion Dudley Boyz for the WWF Tag Team Championships. Pushing their bodies to the limits and taking tag team wrestling to new heights in the process, all six men put their careers on the line in several death-defying high spots, including a mid-air spear from Edge to Jeff Hardy, Bubba Ray Dudley powerbombing Matt Hardy through a table and then an outrageous swanton bomb from Jeff that drove Bubba Ray through a table. Ultimately though it was to be Edge and Christian who emerge victorious, but this legendary feud would continue, leading to the first ever 'Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match' at that summers Summerslam.

WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - 58 DAYS AND COUNTING


*End Video Package*


We quickly cut to the smiling Josh Matthews who is standing by ready for an interview...

Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time... he is the World Heavyweight Champion... 'The Animal'... Batista!

Great pop as Batista enters the shot, with the champion smilling and nodding a hello at Matthews. Dressed in his tights, 'The Animal' is ready to compete, but underneath the t-shirt he wears can still be seen the taped left shoulder, obviously still hurting after the damage Finlay has done to it in recent weeks...

Josh Matthews: Batista, last Sunday night you successfully defended your World Heavyweight Championship against Finlay, but the ending of the match was certainly mired in controversy after you struck Finlay with the shillelagh.

Not impressed by Matthews question (statement?) Batista shakes his head briefly before he takes the mic...

Batista: Look Josh, for weeks Finlay smacked that shillelagh off my shoulder. I could barely lift my left arm above my head. I had to have my left shoulder taped up before every match. But I never made any excuses. I just went out there night after night and kicked some ass!

Pop from the crowd...

Batista: At the Royal Rumble... yeah I used that shillelagh. I used before Finlay had a chance to use on me. But if Finlay wants to use that an excuse as to why he lost, that's fine with me. 'Cos I got no problem whatsoever in beating him one more time tonight... and I won't need a damn shillelagh to get the job done!

Another pop as Batista turns back towards Josh...

Josh Matthews: Well Batista, with that in mind, tonight you team with Chris Benoit to face Finlay and Test. If Finlay and Test win tonight, would that put Finlay back in the frame for a rematch with you? Or do you think a new challenger will emerge before No Way Out?

Batista pauses, rubbing his chin as he ponders his response...

Batista: Honestly? I don't care who Teddy Long chooses to face me at No Way Out. If it's a rematch with Finlay, then I'll be ready to beat him again. I don't care if it's The Undertaker, MVP, hell, if Chris Benoit wants to stab me in the back tonight and take a shot, I'm all for it. Anybody who wants to step up and challenge me, I'm ready for 'em. I might be hurtin' right now, but I'm ready for a fight from anybody who wants to bring it! You shouldn't be askin' me who I want to face Josh. You should be out there askin' who has the guts to step into the ring with me.

Having made his point, 'The Animal' turns and leaves to a solid pop from the crowd, leaving Matthews in awe at the intensity of the champion.

We now cut back into the arena for...

*POURQUOI?...*


A decent amount of heat welcomes La Resistance to the arena, as Rene Dupree, Sylvain Grenier and Maryse make their way down the aisle. Unlike their previous teams, there is no waving of Quebec flags here, instead both men wear long, white, sleeveless trench coats, with purple tights and boots on. In the middle of the trio Maryse also wears a sleeveless trench coat, with her version being black. Sunglasses adorn the face of both Grenier and Dupree, who look and act like models...


Michael Cole: For the last month or so, Maryse made advances towards the WWE Tag Team Champions, Brian Kendrick and Paul London, about possibly representing the pair and providing to them, well... certain services I guess you could say.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And those two idiots turned her down. What the hell were they thinkin'?

Michael Cole: Well The Hooligans have been champions for over eight months now with Ashley by their side. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

John Bradshaw Layfield: If it ain't broke, make it better. Maryse coulda taken London and Kendrick to a higher level, to put them on the map, but like the virgins they are they couldn't handle a real woman. And now Maryse has found herself a real tag team in La Resistance. Maryse is gonna lead these guys to the gold one of these days, mark my words Michael.

In the ring Maryse demands and receives a microphone, ready to address the crowd...

Maryse: Excusez-moi!

The simply statement draws heat, to which Maryse simply smirks...

Maryse: Ah, you ignorant Americans. You know, zey say that everything is bigger in Texas. Looking at how you fat you people are, I guess zey are right.

Cheap heat...

Maryse: You people disgust me! All ze men in this arena, you look at your wife or girlfriend... and zen you look at me. And you all know... zat I am a real woman. Now like zat trashy whore Ashley.

More heat...

Maryse: And I want you all to look in ze ring... and see what real men are supposed to look like. Ze greatest tag team of the ze millennium. Zey are handsome... but zey are tough. Zey are what tag team champions are supposed to look like. Zey-

Maryse is interrupted as a "USA! USA! USA!” chant breaks out, causing Maryse to lose her temper...

Maryse: Tais-toi! Chacun d'entre vous taisez-vous!

The chant continues, dying down a little, forcing Maryse to speak over the top of the crowd...

Maryse: You can shout all you want. Zat doesn't change ze fact that my team... La Resistance... will zoon be ze WWE Tag Team Champions! Hooligans, you and zat slut that comes with you... your time... is up. And we-

*BAD DREAM...*


For the second time Maryse is interrupted, as this time The Extremists emerge, with the crowd giving a great cheer to Tommy Dreamer, Sabu and The Sandman, who chugs a beer with one hand while his kendo stick is in the other...


Michael Cole: Well thank God that's over! I was getting pretty sick and tired of hearing Maryse speak.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Why are you so ignorant of other cultures Cole? You had it in for the Irish last week, and now it's the French-Canadians. Why are you so xenophobic?

Michael Cole: Oh my God. Let's go to commercial, please.

*Commercial*


Match 2:
La Resistance
w/Maryse vs. The Extremists (Sabu and Tommy Dreamer) w/ The Sandman

As Sabu steps into the ring to start the match, Dupree turns to Grenier for one last check of his look, with his partner enthusiastically pointing out that Dupree looks good and is ready to go. An aggressive tie up sees Dupree wrench Sabu into a side headlock, but Sabu quickly breaks the hold by forcing Dupree off the ropes... only for Dupree to bowl Sabu over with a shoulderblock. Instead of taking advantage of this, Dupree arrogantly poses, and this allows Sabu to sneak up behind, snapping Dupree’s head back with a string of right hands before going for an Irish whip to the corner... Dupree reverses, but Sabu jumps to the middle rope... and catches the onrushing Dupree with a springboard back elbow! Both men are quickly back up, with Sabu connecting on a pair of armdrags that sends Dupree scurrying to his corner to tag Grenier.

Grenier takes his time as he enters, leading to another tie up, this time with Sabu wrenching into the headlock. A handful of hair allows Grenier to back Sabu into the ropes, and he shoves Sabu off the opposite ropes. Grenier looks to catch Sabu with a clothesline as he rushes towards him, only for Sabu to duck and keep running, but as Sabu comes off the ropes Dupree lowbridges the top rope, seeing Sabu fly over the top and crash to the floor. Grenier then turns and picks a fight with Dreamer, drawing the veteran into the ring but also drawing the attention of the referee. This allows Dupree to do damage on the outside, slamming Sabu hard to the padded floor and then driving him spine first into the side of the ring, before rolling Sabu under the bottom rope, just in time before The Sandman can get over there.

Dupree and Grenier now go to work on Sabu, making plenty of tags and working well together to punish Sabu, with Dupree connecting on a double underhook backbreaker and Grenier hitting a belly-to-belly suplex. Several occasions sees Sabu try to crawl towards his corner, only for him to be dragged back towards the La Resistance corner for more punishment and several near falls. Dupree is in the ring, and he takes Sabu up and down with a hard vertical suplex. Dupree instantly returns to his feet, posing again, much to the delight of Maryse. Dupree then turns and points at Dreamer, shouting “One more!” as he drags Sabu to his feet by the hair. Indeed Dupree does take Sabu up into the air, but instead of finishing the vertical suplex, Sabu shifts his weight, bringing Dupree down with a tornado-DDT! Both men are down and crawling towards their corner, with Dupree tagging Grenier... but here comes Tommy Dreamer!

Dreamer bounds into the ring to flatten Dupree with a string of clothesline, finishing off the flurry by ducking a right hand to connect with an inverted-DDT. Grenier is back on his feet, but a falling neckbreaker soon puts him down for a 2 count. Sabu is back on his feet, and soon all four men trade shots in opposite corners. Sabu and Dreamer are in control, and when Sabu rattles a big right that stuns Dupree, Dreamer drops to his knees in the opposite corner, prompting Sabu to attack... Air Sabu to Grenier! Grenier drops to the mat and then under the bottom rope, while in the ring Dreamer and Sabu work on Dupree, with Sabu and Dreamer going for a double Irish whip... kick to the gut from Dreamer, which allows Sabu to charge off the ropes... only for Grenier to grab Sabu’s foot, pulling him under the bottom rope to brawl on the outside. Dreamer stays in control in the ring though, and with Dupree swinging and missing with a right hand, Dreamer scoops him up on his shoulders... Dreamer Driver!! Dreamer plants Dupree and hooks the leg... but there’s no count! Incensed, Dreamer looks to see what’s wrong... and realises that Maryse is on the apron distracting the referee!

While this is going on, we see a brief shot of Grenier pushing Sabu spine first into the ring post, causing Sabu to slump to the floor in agony. All attention is on Maryse though, but soon the crowd cheers as The Sandman grabs her by the skirt and yanks her to the floor. Maryse suddenly is engulfed in fear as Sandman has his kendo stick in hand, threatening to strike... only for him to be blindsided by Grenier! The ref, still dealing with Maryse orders her to a neutral corner. With Dreamer now back on his feet, he looks to put the commotion behind him and comes off the ropes... only to be nailed BY THE KENDO STICK!! Grenier picked it up after he hammered Sandman, then used it on Dreamer, the ref seeing nothing. Dreamer staggers into the middle of the ring, where Dupree has recovered and is waiting... to hit a cobra clutch slam! 1... 2... 3.

Winners: La Resistance @ 07:12

On the outside Maryse smiles having handed her team an assist in their victory. In the ring, Dupree and Grenier stand over the fallen Tommy Dreamer, with Maryse quickly in to join them. Sandman and Sabu both try to regroup and pull themselves into the ring, but the boots quickly fall upon them from Dupree and Grenier, sending them back to the floor. Eager for her team to impress, Maryse starts shouting orders, telling Grenier and Dupree to further punish Dreamer...


Michael Cole: Aw c'mon now, there's no need for this. La Resistance won the match, there's no need to add to the punishment Tommy Dreamer just suffered.

John Bradshaw Layfield: There's every need Michael! La Resistance wanna send out a message to London and Kendrick, they wanna prove what they did to the champs last week wasn't a fluke.

Slowly Dupree drags Dreamer up, holding 'The Innovator of Violence' in position... for Maryse to slap Dreamer across the face! The trio laugh as Grenier readies himself to attack... but suddenly the boos intensify as William Regal and Dave Taylor jog down to the ring. The crowd, the commentators, even La Resistance wonder why The Bluebloods are in the ring... but all soon becomes clear as Regal and Taylor offer to take hold of Dreamer... so Regal can drop Dreamer with the Regal Cutter! The crowd shits all the four-on-one assault as Dupree and Grenier soon join Taylor and Regal in laying in with the boots. Valiantly Sandman and Sabu crawl back into the ring to help their fallen partner, but they too suffer from a flurry of boots... but the crowd soon erupts, as racing down to the ring comes Paul London, Brian Kendrick and Ashley!

Seeing the champs race down to the ring, Dupree and Grenier turn their attentions to them, but London and Kendrick quickly hammer with rights and lefts, before a double clothesline sends both Grenier and Dupree flying over the top rope to the floor! Soon London and Kendrick follow them outside, and all four start brawling up the aisle, with even Ashley and Maryse scrapping with each other, pulling hair and brawling on the floor! All six continue their fight all the way up the aisle, with Dupree and Grenier trying to distance themselves, making for the safety of the backstage area as fast as they can.

In the ring, Regal and Taylor now turn their attentions to Sabu, while near the ring they don't see Sandman struggle back to his feet... and regaining control of his kendo stick! The crowd explodes as Sandman slides into the ring, trusty weapon in hand... and he cracks it across Taylor's spine! Regal hears the crack of cane against flesh, and he too turns... to be hammered across the skull! The crowd again cheers as Sandman cleans house, but those cheers soon turn to gasps as through the crowd sprints a man dressed in dark jeans, a black leather jacket and a black beanie hat...


Michael Cole: What the... that's... that's Paul Burchill!

John Bradshaw Layfield: What the hell is he doin' here?

Burchill slides into the ring, behind Sandman who's too busy waiting for Regal and Taylor to get back up so he can dish out more punishment. Not realising Burchill is behind him, Sandman is helpless as Burchill attacks... dropping Sandman with a jumping neckbreaker! Burchill lets out a roar as he gets back to his feet, with the crowd hammering him with boos. Unrelenting, Burchill doesn't care as he reaches down to grab Sabu, lifting his head off the mat... and then drilling him with the curb stomp! The heat only intensifies, but still Burchill presses on, scooping up the kendo stick and then grabbing hold of Tommy Dreamer, holding the stick across Dreamer's throat, choking the life out of him! By now Regal and Taylor are back on their feet, and the camera is close enough to hear Dreamer cough and gasp for air, but to also hear Regal scream "I bloody told you we'd be ready!"...

Michael Cole: Paul Burchill has returned, and he's aligned himself with Regal and Taylor!

John Bradshaw Layfield: The student has returned! Paul Burchill learned from one of the best in William Regal, and now he's back on Smackdown, The Bluebloods are lookin' stronger than ever!

The crowd is still incensed, raining down with boos as Regal, Taylor and Burchill stand tall in the ring, looking down on the mat are the three hardcore legends laid out on the mat as we fade into commercial.

*Commercial*


When we return, Kristal Marshall is standing by...


Kristal Marshall: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time... Matt Hardy!

A solid pop as Matt Hardy enters the shot, a sombre, worried expression on his face. Dressed in dark jeans and a white vest, Hardy isn’t dressed to compete tonight...

Kristal Marshall: And Matt, last Sunday night we all saw you deliver a great performance in the Royal Rumble match, a performance that we watched in disbelief after what happened earlier in the evening to your brother Jeff. Matt, how hard was it for you to compete in the Royal Rumble match after seeing your brother leave the arena on a stretcher?

Matt bites down on his lip, holding back the anger inside of him, composing himself before answering...

Matt Hardy: I uh... I gotta admit, it was pretty hard. Jeff’s my little brother, I hated to see him in pain like that. But I knew the Royal Rumble was a huge night in my career. I went out there and gave it my all. I didn’t get there, but last night was a big step forward for me.

An appreciative pop can be heard from inside the arena...

Matt Hardy: Hopefully, from now on, you’ll be seein’ a new Matt Hardy. I’m lookin’ to step my game up, I’m lookin’ to take the next step. Not just for me... but for my brother Jeff.

Solid pop...

Kristal Marshall: Well Matt, I know this will probably be painful for you to answer, but I have to ask you... how is your brother Jeff? What is his status right now?

Matt runs a hand through his hair, his distress clear for all to see...

Matt Hardy: Jeff spent Sunday night in the hospital In San Antonio. They suffered a serious concussion when he got hit with the con-chair-to from Kenny Dykstra, and they think Jeff competing at the Royal Rumble only made it worse. Jeff... I dunno, he wouldn’t tell me if he was hurt. I kept askin’ him if he was ok, but I knew the answer. Honestly, I don’t even know if he was medically cleared to compete last Sunday.

A brief smile now crosses Matt’s face, suggesting he has better news to share...

Matt Hardy: But thankfully he’s home now in Cameron, North Carolina. He’s got his family around him now, he’s got his girlfriend there... we’re all tryin’ to rally around him to get him better.

Once again Kristal pulls the mic back towards herself...

Kristal Marshall: Matt, last Monday night on Raw Jonathan Coachman announces that in 3 days time at Raw: Night Of Champions, Jeff’s rematch clause would be used, regardless of whether Jeff competed in a match with Kenny Dykstra or not. Jeff, after what you just told us... there’s gotta no way Jeff can compete this upcoming Monday night... can there?

Matt pauses for a few seconds, a hint of a smile on his face...

Matt Hardy: Well... never say never, huh? Medically, Jeff shouldn’t compete this Monday night. But if he wants to take part In that match, I sure as hell can’t stop him. So let me just say this Kristal... this Monday night, live on Raw: Night Of Champions, there will be an Intercontinental Championship match.

Pop from the crowd...

Matt Hardy: And it will be Dykstra... versus Hardy.

With a smile, Matt turns and leaves, leaving a bewildered Kristal behind, who no doubt is wondering the same this we all are... which Hardy will compete this Monday night?

*Video Package*

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

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

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

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

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

Narrator: But now...

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

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

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

Narrator: To the WWE!

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

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

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

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

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

"BRYAN DANIELSON - COMING SOON TO FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN!"


*End Video Package*


Back into the arena for...

*CHAVITO ARDIENTE...*


A good amount of heat greets Chavo Guerrero as he arrogantly saunters down to the ring, his aunt Vickie Guerrero applauding as he makes his way down the aisle...


Michael Cole: Well folks, we're all excited by the imminent arrival of Bryan Danielson to Friday Night Smackdown. But right now, here comes the man who emphatically announced his return to the Cruiserweight division last week.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Chavo Guerrero took on three other cruiserweights last week, and he beat 'em all. Chavo is back in the Cruiserweight Title hunt, but until he steps in the ring with Gregory Helms, he's still gonna be in second place as far as I'm concerned.

*I'LL DO ANYTHING...*


A nice pop for the ever fan-friendly Shannon Moore, as the punk slaps plenty of hands as he makes his way down the aisle...


Michael Cole: Well what about Shannon Moore? Moore holds a victory over Gregory Helms, he picked it up about three weeks ago, and then came very close to becoming the new Cruiserweight Champion the following week.

John Bradshaw Layfield: That first week was just a fluke as far as I'm concerned. The following week, with the title on the line, Gregory Helms proved why he's the best Cruiserweight in the world. Forget Shannon Moore, his chance came and went a few weeks ago.

Match 3:
Chavo Guerrero
w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Shannon Moore

Straight from the first collar-and-elbow tie up, Chavo is the aggressor, snapping kicks to the midsection and forearms to the back that drop Moore to a knee, before Chavo rams him face first into the top turnbuckle. A scoop slam is followed by a stiff kick to the small of the back, and Chavo continues on the attack with a bridging Northern lights suplex for an early 2 count. Chavo continues to land stiff kicks and forearms to the back, but when he goes for an Irish whip, Moore reverses, avoiding Chavo as he runs the ropes with a leapfrog to connect on a spinning heel kick. Now the pace of the match picks up as both men are quickly back up, only for Moore to hit a pair of armdrags, finishing off the sequence with a dropkick that knocks Chavo under the bottom rope to the floor.

The crowd responds as Moore gets fired up in the ring, while on the outside Chavo is tended to by his Aunt Vickie. Wanting to keep the momentum high, Shannon charges off the opposite ropes, flying over the top rope to the floor to take out Chavo, with Vickie quickly scurrying away to safety. Again the crowd responds positively, with Moore taking the fight to Chavo with a flurry of rights and lefts to the back as both men struggling back to their feet. Chavo is tossed back into the ring, with Shannon leaping up onto the apron and then returning to the ring with a springboard crossbody, gaining Moore a 2 count.

The fast paced action continues with both men struggling to gain control, as Chavo snaps off a rolling wheel kick only for Moore to fire back with a dropkick. Moore looks to runs the ropes, but Chavo fires back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, ending Moore’s momentum and giving Chavo a measure of control. Now looking to target the back, Chavo draws huge heat from the crowd as he snaps off not one... not two... but three rolling vertical suplexes, with Vickie oddly enough being the only one who applauds Chavo’s use of the three amigos. With Moore down, Chavo begins to taunt and throw some trash talk at the crowd, shouting “I’m the best the world!” at the top of his lungs before climbing to the top rope. There, Chavo steadies himself, holding his arms out to soak up a few more boos before flying through the air... frog splash... NO! Guerrero takes too long, allowing Moore the chance to spring to his feet, jump to the second rope and snap a right hand to Chavo’s face, causing Chavo to drop and crotch himself on the top turnbuckle. Still stood on the second rope, Moore hammers Chavo with right hands, before he jumps up, wrapping both legs around Chavo’s head... FRANKENSTEINER!! The crowd erupts as both men fly through the air, crashing to the mat below. The referee checks on both men before starting his 10 count, but soon a commotion is heard from the crowd. The reason for this soon becomes apparent, as a figure has entered the ring, bowling over the referee mid-count... it’s Gregory Helms! Helms has stormed the ring, title belt in hand, waiting for Chavo and Moore to rise. Chavo is back up first... he gets hammered by the title belt! Moore is soon back up also... and he too takes a title shot to the skull!! Both participants in the match are down, and the referee has recovered sufficiently to call for the bell, the match an obvious no contest.

Winner: No Contest @ 06:12

Ungodly heat as Helms ruins what was shaping up to be a dramatic finish to a solid match. In the ring, Helms clearly doesn't care though as he stands tall, holding his title high in the air which only draws more heat. Chavo and Moore are both lifeless on the mat, and we fade into commercial with the sight of the still dominant Cruiserweight Champion, having laid out two potential challengers to his crown.

*Commercial*


When we return, we see Montel Vontavious Porter in the dressing room, already changed back into his street clothes. MVP stands over a bench, his bag placed on it. Quickly he tosses his ring gear into the bag, not worrying about neat packing. The jumpsuit is thrown in, as are his boots, but when MVP picks up the necklace he was wearing early tonight... he stops. The same necklace that MVP used to bloody Kane, stained red by dried-in blood. MVP stares at the necklace, smiling at the thought of his actions earlier tonight. Feeling his work for the night is done, MVP clenches the necklace tight in his hand before he finally places it in the ring, scooping the bag up onto his shoulder before he heads for the exit. In the corridor, MVP barely makes a move before Josh Matthews chases him down...


Josh Matthews: Uh... MVP? Can we have a moment of your time please?

Not really wanting to, MVP stops and nods...

Josh Matthews: MVP, after your victory over Kane tonight, in such dominant fashion, can we assume that your issues with Kane are now in the past?

Settling in for the interview, MVP drops his bag to the floor...

Montel Vontavious Porter: You can do more than assume that Josh. You can take it to the bank. Kane is nothin' more than some punk I left a bloody mess in the middle of the ring. Kane is nothin' compared to me, and I proved that tonight. I got nothin' more to say about Kane. I'm outta here.

MVP bends down to pick up his bag, but Matthews persists...

Josh Matthews: Well MVP, seeing as you feel you have nothing left to prove with regards to Kane, what's next for you?

A look of sheer disgust crosses MVP's face...

Montel Vontavious Porter: Look man, I ain't here to mess around. Now that I'm back on Smackdown, lightin' up Friday nights, I'm here for one thing, and one thing only... to win championships. I got the money, I got the fame... but now I want the glory. I finally settled things with Kane, and now I want to get my hands on some gold.

This time MVP does bend down and pick up his back, but instead of leaving he stares at Matthews before speaking...

Montel Vontavious Porter: So you do me a lil' favour Josh. You tell Teddy Long and Batista, that if they lookin' for somebody to step up and challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship... then I'm the guy they should be lookin' at.

Once more MVP turns to leave, only to have Matthews in his ear...

Josh Matthews: Wait, MVP are you sayin' that you're-

Having heard enough, MVP stops and snaps at Josh...

Montel Vontavious Porter: No more questions tonight man. You understand me? I'll have a few words for y'all next week. But right now, I'm outta here.

MVP takes one last intimidating stare at Josh before he departs the shot, leaving Josh standing, frustrated at the lack of answers he got as we fade into a pre-filmed segment...

We return to the same dimly-lit room from previous weeks. The camera focuses from behind a televison set, with Big Vito sat on a wooden stool, still tied to the stool, unable to move, forced to watch the TV. The light shining from the screen illuminates the dark room, although instead of squinting, Vito stares at the screen, almost in a trance. As we enter the room, the last few notes of "My Way" by Sid Vicious can be heard playing out, and with the music stopping so does the light from the screen, the movie Vito was watching obviously having come to an end. Trinity then steps forward to switch the TV off, seeing Vito snap back to reality and slump down into the stool...

???: Now Vito... now do you 'ah' understand what is 'ah' expected of you?

The camera now turns to the old oak desk, the mysterious 'Godfather' figure sat on the big leather desk behind it. Still unable to see out Don's face, there is just enough light in the room to illuminate Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke, both men flanking either side of 'The Godfather'...

Big Vito: I understand. You want me to plan robberies and go home and get my shinebox.

???: No Vito. We want 'ah' you to 'ah' help us. We want 'ah' you to restore 'ah' de pride for our peoples. We want 'ah' you to be the muscles of the Full Bloody Italianos!

Vito nods his head slowly, still in that trance like mood...

Big Vito: Yes. I understand.

???: Ah Vito... is 'ah' good that you 'ah' understand. And tell me Vito... what do you 'ah' think about 'ah' de dress now?

Slowly Vito shakes his head...

Big Vito: I'll never wear a dress again!

???: Si Vito! Now everything is 'ah' in place. Next week, we arrive on the Friday Night Smackdown. And I will make every Smackdown 'ah' Superstar an offer they cannot 'ah' refuse.

Evil laughter rings out from the 'Don' and his cronies, while the apparently brainwashed Vito merely stares straight ahead, his expression not changing as we fade into black.


We now cut to the unusual sight of the legendary Arn Anderson standing backstage, talking to some random worker. The appearance of 'Double A' draws a big, respectful pop from the crowd, but Arn is oblivious to this as he and the random worker look down at a clipboard, with Arn pointing and gesturing and offering some nondescript pointers. Soon though both Anderson and the worker feel a presence upon them, and this is confirmed as both they and the camera pan to reveal Mr. Kennedy has approached them both...

Arn Anderson: Can I help you son?

Blanking Arn, Kennedy stares furiously at the backstage worker...

Mr. Kennedy: Get outta here.

Concerned, the worker turns to Anderson for advice, not daring to move, while 'Double A' stares intently at Kennedy...

Mr. Kennedy: I said... get outta here.

Again the worker turns to Arn, this time the legend nods...

Arn Anderson: It's alright. Get on outta here kid. We'll talk later.

Reluctantly the worker leaves the area, leaving Kennedy and Anderson alone...

Arn Anderson: Kennedy, to what do I owe the pleasure?

Kennedy smirks...

Mr. Kennedy: Ah, Arn Anderson. Another so called 'legend' hangin' around backstage, reminiscing about 'the good ol' days'. I bet you and guys like Ricky Steamboat spend your days just sittin' back here, talkin' about how you went 60 minutes every night of the year! God! Those were the days, huh Arn?

Not impressed, Anderson scratches his head...

Mr. Kennedy: Oh wait, I almost forgot. Arn... you used to be a Horseman didn't ya'? Wow, I bet you've got a ton of stories to tell from those days. Ric Flair... he was a Horseman, right? I mean you two, you and Flair... you guys gotta be pretty tight, am I right?

Anderson offers a brief laugh before turning more serious...

Arn Anderson: Look, cut the crap kid. What do you want Kennedy?

Kennedy laughs and obnoxiously chews a piece of gum, taking his time to speak...

Mr. Kennedy: What do I want? I want you to deliver Ric Flair a little message... from me. You tell Ric Flair, that since Teddy Long can’t organise a match for me against Ric at No Way Out... that I am challenging Flair to a match at No Way Out. Man to man. Mano a mano. I don't care how you wanna do it. Give him a call. Drop into the next room in the old folk’s home. Send him an email.

Kennedy stops, thinking to himself...

Mr. Kennedy: Wait, send an email? Do you even know how to turn a computer on Arn?

Arrogantly Kennedy smiles...

Arn Anderson: Enough of that crap son. Why don't you show a lil' respect to the guys who-

Mr. Kennedy: (Interrupting) Blah, blah, blah! Show respect to the guys who paved the way, right? Save it. Ric Flair didn't show me any respect when he eliminated me from the Royal Rumble. If Ric Flair had any respect for this business, he'd have followed you into retirement a long, long time ago.

Kennedy smirks as he sees the rage building inside of Anderson...

Mr. Kennedy: Make sure Flair gets the message. I want him in the ring at No Way Out. And make sure he shows up... or else it's gonna be more than respect you're gonna have to worry about.

Both men stare intently at each other, neither man giving an inch, neither wanting to be the first to blink... until Kennedy smirks again, chewing his gum loudly as he turns and leaves, Anderson watching him go, a furious look on his face as we fade into a video...

*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*


When we return from the video, Joey Mercury is already in the ring, his music slowly fading out. Mercury anxiously paces in the ring, awaiting his opponent. A few moments silence...


And a few more...


Until...


*GONG...*

*GONG...*

*GRAVEYARD SYMPHONY...*


Smoke quickly bellows out as the crowd gives an incredible reception for The Undertaker. In the ring, Mercury has his head in his hands, while 'The Deadman' slowly makes his way towards the ring...


Michael Cole: After a vintage performance in the Royal Rumble, 'The Deadman' is back on Smackdown, looking to claim another victim. It's The Undertaker and Joey Mercury, one on one, when we return to Friday Night Smackdown!

*Commercial*


Match 4:
Joey Mercury
vs. The Undertaker

We return just in time to hear the bell ring, with ‘Taker looking to go on the attack early, stalking towards Mercury. Joey however wants to try delay the inevitable, sliding under the bottom ropes to the outside. Not wanting to waste any time, Undertaker follows Mercury to the floor, with Mercury backing away as he does. A quick chase ensues, with Mercury eventually sliding back under the bottom rope. Again ‘Taker follows, and this allows Mercury to hammer down with forearms to the back. They have little effect though, as Undertaker continues to fight back to his feet, prompting Mercury to charge off the opposite ropes... right into a big boot to the face! Stunned, Mercury backs off to the corner, but Undertaker follows him in, grabbing Mercury by the wrist to drag him back to his feet before winding on the arm and driving his shoulder into the arm. The anticipation of the crowd builds as they all know what’s coming next, with ‘Taker climbing to the top rope, walking along the rope and then dropping down with old school, gaining Taker an early 2 count.

Reeling, Mercury once again crawls for the safety of the corner, but there’s no let up as ‘The Deadman’ stays on the attack, hitting a rapid flurry of rights and lefts to the midsection, before a massive uppercut sends Mercury up and down to the mat, much to the delight of the crowd. Mercury is again dragged to his feet, this time to be sent across the ring with a hard Irish whip. A burst of speed sees ‘Taker charge across the ring, but as he looks to drill Mercury with a boot to the face, Mercury dives for safety, hanging Undertaker up on the top rope. Slowly ‘Taker removes himself from the corner, but he clearly favours the knee that struck the turnbuckle, and Mercury is quick to take advantage of this, catching a staggering ‘Deadman’ from behind with a chop block.

Mercury now looks to gain a measure of control, first by stomping down on the knee and then dropping elbows and legdrops across it. Mercury then drops down to the mat, driving his own knee into ‘Taker’s, before wrenching the leg into a kneebar, hyperextending the knee. Mercury has the hold locked in tight, but as the cheers of the crowd rise, Undertaker claws to break free, but unable to reach the ropes or force Mercury to break the hold with his hands, ‘The Deadman’ resorts to using his free leg, smashing it into Mercury’s face, with JBL quick to remind us all of the extensive plastic surgery Mercury’s face has previously been subjected to.

With Mercury releasing the hold, both men struggle back to their feet, but it’s ‘Taker who’s first to the punch, catching Mercury with big rights to the face. Mercury quickly fires back with a kick to the knee, before he turns and charges off the ropes... but runs right into the mits of Undertaker, who grabs Mercury by the throat... but before he can go for the chokeslam, Mercury desperately aims a kick to the knee... and then stuns the crowd with a perfect enziguri! The crowd gasps as ‘Taker slumps to the mat, and now Mercury quickly dives into the cover, hooking the leg... 1... 2... no! Undertaker kicks out, leaving Mercury frustrated after being seconds away from the biggest win of his career.

Shaking off the cobwebs, Mercury rises to his feet first, throwing out kicks as ‘Taker tries to return to a vertical base. Right hands back Undertaker to the ropes, where Mercury goes for an Irish whip... Mercury swings with a clothesline, but Undertaker ducks... and he snatches Mercury by the throat... chokeslam! Undertaker plants Mercury with a chokeslam, dropping down to place both hands across Mercury’s chest for the elementary 1... 2... 3!

Winner: The Undertaker @ 06.04

Despite a great effort from Mercury, 'The Deadman' emerges victorious. Standing up from off the mat, 'Taker draws a thumb across his throat, gaining yet another solid pop from the crowd...


Michael Cole: The Undertaker is rollin' on his way to Wrestlemania! 'The Deadman' looks as good as I've ever seen him. If there's anybody who deserves a shot at Batista at No Way Out, it's that man right there.

John Bradshaw Layfield: No wait a minute Cole. Before you start runnin' your mouth about 'The Deadman', we saw a dominant display from MVP earlier tonight. How about we give him a chance? A guy who's never had an opportunity before. Let's see what he can do in that kinda environment.

Michael Cole: I understand that, but you can't argue with how good The Undertaker looks right now.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I can argue that point all night long! What you don't realise is that-

*DEAD WHITE GUYS...*


JBL stops in his tracks as King Booker steps out from the back, Queen Sharmell by his side as always. Booker doesn't dare go down to the ring though, instead he has a mic in hand and addresses 'Taker from the top of the aisle...


King Booker: Bravo Undertaker! Bravo!

Sharmell breaks out with a totally over-the-top round of applause...

King Booker: Congratulations on your victory over Joseph Mercury. Bravo.

Another round of over-the-top applause from Sharmell...

King Booker: But unlike yourself and Joseph Mercury... myself and you... we have unfinished business to attend to 'Deadman'. For you see, you have continued to embarrass me Undertaker. You continue to besmirch me, week after week. And you eliminating me from the Royal Rumble last Sunday night... that was the last straw.

A few cheers from the crowd, which Booker ignores...

King Booker: My royal subjects grow weary of your antics 'Deadman'. They grow weary of seeing their majestic leader treated in such fashion. As ruler of the Smackdown kingdom, I-

"Un - der - ta - ker!!" *clap clap clap-clap-clap* "Un - der - ta - ker!!" *clap clap clap-clap-clap*

King Booker: Why don't y'all shut the hell up suckas!!

Boos from the crowd, while Booker tries to compose himself as Sharmell dabs away fake beads of sweat from his forehead...

King Booker: As ruler of the Smackdown kingdom, and as your King, I deserve better from you Undertaker. And since you refuse to step in line with these peasants... you must be humbled. Undertaker... I demand of you... a match. A match for which I may gain my revenge on you.

In the ring, 'The Deadman' listens intently, staring up the aisle at Booker...

King Booker: No Way Out. Grant me this request and face me at No Way Out... so that I may finally vanquish thee!

*DEAD WHITE GUYS...*


Booker slams his mic to the floor before turning to leave, not wanting to wait for the answer, contempt however that his message has been made...


Michael Cole: Well there you have it folks. King Booker, obviously still upset with the way The Undertaker has dominated him in recent weeks, wants another shot at 'The Deadman'.

John Bradshaw Layfield: King Booker may have been pinned by The Undertaker in the tag team match last week, and he may have been eliminated by him in the Royal Rumble, but when if those two meet, one on one, it's gonna be a different story, I guarantee it.

Michael Cole: Well I guess we'll have to wait until next week to find out if The Undertaker accepts King Booker's challenge. We have to go to commercial now, but when we return, it's our main event! Royal Rumble opponents collide one more time as Finlay and Test team up face the United States Champion Chris Benoit and the World Heavyweight Champion Batista! Join us when we return to Friday Night Smackdown!

*Commercial*


When we return from commercial, it's The Miz who greets us, the camera focused on his face as he smugly smiles at the camera. Stood nearby is Michelle McCool who looks as unimpressed as Miz does right now...


The Miz: Wrestlemania. They showcase of the immortals. Y'know, it's this time of year that people start making their plans for the big show. You go backstage at any WWE show, and you can feel the tension in the air. Guys wanna put themselves in the money spots at Wrestlemania, and The Miz? I'm no different.

Miz now begins to walk down a corridor, Michelle following along as he talks to the camera...

The Miz: I wanna make my mark at Wrestlemania. I wanna have my Wrestlemania moment. And for me to do that, it all starts at now. Now is the time for me to make my move. Now is my time to shine. So when I hear guys like Matt Hardy sayin' he wants to take the next step...

Miz turns to McCool, who simply shakes her head at Hardy's words from earlier...

The Miz: It makes me think... really? Matt... Hardy? REALLY? His Wrestlemania moment came SEVEN years ago. Matt Hardy is nothin' more than a tag team wrestler who got left behind. If The Hardy Boyz were like The Rockers, then Jeff would be Shawn Michaels, and Matt would be Marty Jannety.

Boos from inside the arena...

The Miz: Matt Hardy is nothing compared to me, hell, Jeff Hardy is NOTHING compared to me!

More heat...

The Miz: Matt... you are nothin' but a loser. A wannabe, no... you're a never-was. But me? I'm the future of the wrestling industry. I'm the guy everybody is gonna want a piece of. Cos I'm The Miz... AND I'M...

A few smarks can be heard shouting "awesome!", but Miz pauses, taking one last glance at McCool before turning back to the camera...

The Miz: (Whispering) Awesome!

Miz smirks, with McCool nodding her head in the background as we fade into a video package...

*Video Package*


We open to a cold, damp winter's day. The call of a crow can be heard, with the camera soon focusing on this crow, it perched on a tombstone before it flies off into the sky...

Narrator: We all have the freedom to choose our actions...

Our crow now lands on the walls of a prison courtyard, inmates shackled together, slowly walking in a circle as guards look on...

Narrator: But we don't have the freedom to choose the consequences of those actions.

We follow our crow to the playground of an orphanage, as children happily skip, laugh and play, a pair of nuns watching them do so...

Narrator: What consequences will your actions hold?

The skies darken and the rain falls, the prisoners trudging back towards the prison...

Narrator: For the lucky there will be escape...

A gravedigger continues his work, despite the rain falling upon him...

Narrator: For the few there will be salvation...

The nuns usher the children inside, the rain bringing an end to their fun times...

Narrator: But for the damned... There will be...

A prison cell door slams shut...

No...

The massive old oak door of the orphanage closes, the glance of a sad child fading away...

Way...

The lid of a coffin is slammed shut, fading the video into black....

Out!



"WWE NO WAY OUT - FEBRUARY 18TH - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"

*End Video Package*


Back into the arena for...

"MY NAME IS FINLAY... AND I LOVE TO FIGHT..."

*LAMBEG...*


The boos ring out as Finlay makes his entrance, trusty shillelagh in hand, The Little Bastard snarling by his side...


Michael Cole: We are just over two weeks away from Smackdown's next pay-per-view offering, No Way Out. And what role will this man play that night?

John Bradshaw Layfield: I think it's a damn disgrace that we're watchin' Finlay walk down to the ring right now without the World Heavyweight Championship around his waist. I hope Finlay teaches Batista a lesson tonight and gets the rematch he deserves.

Michael Cole: Well could it be Batista against Finlay at No Way Out one more time for the World Heavyweight Championship?

John Bradshaw Layfield: If Teddy Long's got any sense of doin' the right thing, that's what we'll see.

As they approach the ring, Finlay orders The Little Bastard to crawl under the ring, giving the little guy a kick on the ass as encouragement. Finlay rolls under the bottom rope and stands, awaiting the arrival of his partner...

*THIS IS A TEST (EXTREME REMIX)...*


A decent amount of heat as Test steps out, striding down to the ring with a snarl on his face...


Michael Cole: Test gave a great account of himself at the Royal Rumble, taking Chris Benoit to the limit in the United States Championship match. But as we've seen time after time, there's no quit in 'The Rabid Wolverine'.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Test hammered Chris Benoit durin' that match. I dunno how Benoit is still United States Champion. Test had that match won time and time again, only for Benoit to somehow keep hangin' in there until he got his chance to put Test away.

In the ring Test nods to acknowledge Finlay, before he starts to pace the ring...

*WHATEVER...*


The crowd gives a great welcome for Chris Benoit as he paces down the aisle, cocking his head, his championship slung over his shoulder...


Michael Cole: And speaking of Benoit, here comes the United States Champion! A gutsy effort from Benoit at the Rumble saw him hang on to his championship, but Benoit was taken to the limit, yet he somehow managed to remain United States Champion.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I don't like Chris Benoit all that much, but I gotta give credit where it's due, he put up a heck of a fight against Test. But how much did that fight take out of him? We'll find out tonight.

Michael Cole: We're gonna find out after this commercial. Make sure you return to Friday Night Smackdown, our main event is next!

*Commercial*


We return to see Test and Finlay goading Benoit to enter the ring, but Benoit stands defiantly at the foot of the ring, awaiting the arrival of...

*I WALK ALONE...*


A massive pop for Batista, who steps out, crouches down and sets off a massive explosion of pyros before making his way down the aisle...


Michael Cole: And you talk about gutsy performances at the Royal Rumble, Batista may have shown more guts than anybody in overcoming Finlay. The World Heavyweight Champion, injured shoulder and all, overcame the odds to retain his title.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Overcame the odds!? He cheated! Plain and simple. He used the shillelagh and-

But JBL doesn't get time to finish his rant, as when Batista joins Benoit at the bottom of the aisle, the pair nod heads, drop their titles and dive under the bottom rope, and the match is on!

Main Event:
World Heavyweight Champion Batista and United States Champion Chris Benoit vs. Finlay and Test

And instantly Benoit uses a double-leg takedown to drive Test to the mat while Batista uses sheer brute strength to drive Finlay into the corner. Benoit hammers Test with a flurry of rights and lefts, while in the corner Batista repeatedly drives his shoulder into the midsection. Benoit is now back on his feet, dropping boots to Test’s chest, while Batista now has Finlay against the ropes, sending him for the ride into a big back body drop. Finlay rolls under the bottom rope, and when the ref ushers Batista out of the ring, we’re left with Benoit and Test as the match settles down a bit. Benoit stays in control for the early moments of the match, rocking Test with chops to the chest before a release German suplex puts Test down. The force of the suplex brings test close to his corner, allowing him to reach up and tag Finlay.

Finlay enters the ring and takes the fight to Benoit, with both men engaging in a hard collar-and-elbow tie up. Both men jockey for position, only for Finlay to back Benoit into the corner, teeing off with a pair of right hands. Benoit quickly reverses Finlay against the turnbuckle, unloading with more stiff chops to the chest... only for Finlay to fire back with chops of his own! The two men go back and forth, duelling chops with each other, until Benoit fires off three in a fourth, rearing back for a big fourth that knocks Finlay down, much to the delight of the crowd. Batista now tags in, and he rattles off a few power moves, knocking Finlay down with big running clothesline and shoulderblocks before planting Finlay with a spinebuster, gaining a near fall.

Benoit returns to the ring, and again engages in hard hitting action with Finlay before going for another German suplex... only for Finlay to strike with an elbow to the side of the head, then scoop Benoit up onto his shoulders, planting Benoit with a rolling fireman’s carry slam, gaining Finlay a 2 count. Test gets the tag, and he looks for a measure of revenge on Benoit, punishing his Royal Rumble opponent with a big boot to the face in the corner and a stiff falling neckbreaker. Benoit tries to rally back with chops to the chest, only for Test to reach down... and hammer Benoit with a pumphandle slam! 1... 2... Benoit rolls the shoulder, and we fade into the final commercial of the night with Test and Finlay firmly in control.

*Commercial*


As we return, Benoit is taking a hammering from Finlay in the corner, with repeated shoulder thrusts to the midsection and then stiff forearms to the back of the head and neck forcing Benoit down. Test and Finlay now look to target the neck, with Finlay hammering with more forearms while Test rattles off a full nelson slam, getting a 2 count. Finlay is back in, and he continues to snap those forearms to the neck, before he snapmares Benoit down and then aims a stiff kick to the base of the spine. A shoulder clawhold applies more pressure to the neck area, slowing the match down as Finlay looks to wear Benoit out. Batista encourages the crowd, who eventually rise and make noise for Benoit, with the United States Champion answering their call, battling back to his feet to snap off a pair of elbow to the midsection... only for Finlay again to club him with a forearm and then bring Benoit in for a short-arm clothesline... but Benoit ducks underneath... and drops Finlay with a release German suplex!

With both men down, Benoit crawls across the ring, while Finlay has a shorter journey to his corner. Finlay gets their first, tagging in Test, who charges across the ring to grab Benoit by the foot... but Benoit dives and tags in Batista! ‘The Animal’ storms the ring, rattling Test with a series of clotheslines before sending him off the ropes... into a massive back body drop! Finlay then charges, but he runs right into a big boot to the face, before Batista grabs Finlay by the arm and fires him to the corner, ‘The Animal’ following in for a clothesline against the turnbuckle. Test is back on his feet to club Batista from behind, only for Benoit to catch Test around the waist... for one German suplex... and a second... and a third German suplex completes the hat trick! 1... 2... Finlay dives to break the count, and now once again Benoit and Finlay are rolling around on the mat, both men brawling their way under the bottom rope to the outside.

Batista is back up, and he looks to go to work on Test, but with the referee more concerned with the battle on the outside, Test uses this to his advantage... low blow to Batista! ‘The Animal’ crumples to the mat, with the crowd shitting all over the antics of Test. On the outside, Benoit and Finlay are engaged in an all out brawl, both men scrapping across the announce desk, sending Cole and JBL out of their chairs. As this happens, The Little bastard sticks his head out from under the ring, reaching up to grab Finlay’s shillelagh from the corner. Benoit stands as Finlay lays across the announce desk, with Benoit hammering him. With the ref now turning his attention back to the ring, The Little Bastard is poised to strike... but Benoit turns just in time, snatching the weapon from him... and then looks to nail Finlay with it... no! Finlay rolls off the announce desk, scrambling around the ring to safety, seeing Benoit hammer a hole through the top of the announce desk.

The shillelagh is tossed aside as Benoit goes after Finlay, the two resuming their battle at the base of the aisle and eventually up it. In the ring, Test is in complete control, and the camera shot switches back just in time to see Test synch Batista in, wrapping both arms around the waist of ‘The Animal’... gutwrench powerbomb... NO! Batista counters with a back body drop, dropping to his knees in pair for the earlier ball shot. Both men stagger back up, with Test throwing a right hand... only for Batista to fire back... Test strikes again... so does Batista... and a second in a row... and a third from ‘The Animal’... before a fourth knocks Test down! Batista then looks for Test to rise, charging in... spear... no! Test goes for the big boot... but Batista ducks underneath and keeps on running... SPEAR!! This time Batista connects, and a burst of energy sees Batista back on his feet, shaking the ropes before staring into the crows... thumbs up... thumbs down! Test’s legs are like jelly as he stumbles back up, but it’s not for long as Batista brings him in... takes him up... BATISTABOMB!!! The camera takes one last look at Benoit and Finlay, still brawling half way up the aisle, before ‘The Animal’ rolls over to hook the leg... 1... 2... 3!

Winners: Batista and Chris Benoit @ 14:24

A commanding victory for 'The Animal', who rolls off of Test and bounds back to his feet, his arm raised high in the air. Up the aisle, Benoit and Finlay continue to brawl, despite Batista's music playing out and a plethora of officials trying to separate the pair...


Michael Cole: There is mayhem here on Smackdown! Batista has won, but what on earth is goin' on with Finlay and Benoit?

John Bradshaw Layfield: They could fight all night! That's too of the toughest bastards you'll ever find!

Michael Cole: What does this all mean for No Way Out? Batista has prevailed, so who will be the next man to challenge 'The Animal'? Join us next week to find out! Goodnight!

In the ring Batista has climbed to the second rope, holding his title high in the air, all the while the battle between Finlay and Benoit rages on as we fade to black.

*End Show*





Current Card for WWE NO WAY OUT:
Date: February 18th 2007
Location: American Airlines Arena; Miami, Florida


NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED YET





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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2007 King of the Ring Has Been Posted!!!



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