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Old 01-08-2011, 08:03 AM   #73 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night Smackdown~
February 9th, 2007
Omaha, Nebraska



"If anybody's a coward, it's you, you gutless son of a bitch!"





Instead of the usual opening, we instead open to the office of the General Manager and Teddy Long, the GM stood in his office, hands clasped behind his back. At the bottom of the screen a banner reads "Earlier Tonight". A knock on the door prompts Teddy to respond with "Come in."... and in walks the always smug John Bradshaw Layfield, the Smackdown colour commentator entering the room and going close to Teddy...

Teddy Long: JBL. Now listen playa, the reason why I asked you to come to my office is that-

John Bradshaw Layfield: (Interrupting) You hold on a second there Teddy. I don't really care what you've gotta say to me. And before you start runnin' your mouth, I got a few things I wanna say to you.

Teddy sighs, realising he's going to have to listen...

John Bradshaw Layfield: First of all, I don't appreciate you sending some 'Johnny Stagehand' to come and drag me away from my business. I have important matters to attend to, my cellphone is ringin' off the hook, some of the greatest Wall Street minds need my advice, and I don't need to be puttin' them on hold to listen to you.

Teddy Long: A'ight, I understand that but-

John Bradshaw Layfield: (Interrupting) SECOND of all... let me just say, for the record, that in all the time I've been here on Smackdown... I have never seen you do a worse job. I've been WWE Champion, I broke records, I put Smackdown on the map, I was and shall forever be... A WRESTLING... GAWD!

Again Teddy sighs...

John Bradshaw Layfield: And I am sick and tired of seein' you ruin the legacy I left behind.

JBL takes a big breath and adjusts his suit jacket...

John Bradshaw Layfield: Alright. I'm glad we had this talk Teddy. Now you know a few things that needed to be said. Good talk, I'll see ya' around...

JBL turns to leave...

Teddy Long: Uh... not so fast playa. You may have said what you wanted to say... but I got a few things I wanna get off my chest too.

JBL laughs, almost in disbelief at Teddy's actions...

Teddy Long: You been runnin' yo' mouth about for a while now, and I'm sick and tired of it playa. I'm sure I don't need to remind you that the only reason I gave you a job behind the announce desk was because I had an empty chair I was desperate to fill.

JBL scoffs at the notion...

Teddy Long: But y'know somethin' playa? Your position ain't that safe no more.

John Bradshaw Layfield: What d'ya mean by that Teddy?

Teddy Long: I mean from now on, until I decide otherwise... yo' ass is on probation!

Furious, JBL's jaw nearly hits the floor...

Teddy Long: And when you go out there tonight and commentate on my show... you gonna have a new partner at that announce desk wit' you.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Well... who?

Teddy simply smiles and nods, prompting JBL and the camera to turn towards the door... to see Tazz has entered the room! A nice pop from inside the arena welcomes the ECW legend, who cuts a fierce look in a grey suit and dark shades...

Tazz: Hey Teddy. 'Sup JBL?

Disgusted, JBL simply storms out of the room, barging past Tazz as he does, leaving behind the smiling Teddy Long and the returning Smackdown colour commentator.

No opening video, no fireworks and no opening commentary. Instead we get the cold opening, until...

"KENNEDY..."

*TURN UP THE TROUBLE...*


The boos quickly rain down as the brash Mr. Kennedy arrogantly makes his way down to the ring...


Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, this is Friday Night Smackdown, and making his way down to the ring is none other than Mr. Kennedy. But first of all, I guess I have to welcome back Tazz to the Smackdown announce desk!

Tazz: Thanks man. It’s good to be back here on Friday nights, but I don’t think our colleague here at the announce desk is all that happy about it. Ain’t that right JBL?

John Bradshaw Layfield: I can’t believe you’re sittin’ at the same announce desk at me. What the hell is goin’ through the mind of our General Manager right now? I just- unbelievable.

Michael Cole: Well before you two get into it with each other, let’s talk about what that man Kennedy did last week. It was made painfully clear by Kennedy that he was extremely unhappy that he was eliminated from the Royal Rumble by Ric Flair. Kennedy then tried to intimidate both Teddy Long and Arn Anderson.

Tazz: Yeah and that was pretty disrespectful on the part of Kennedy to be threatenin’ a guy like Arn Anderson that way. This guy’s walkin’ about with a huge chip on his shoulder, and if he ain’t careful he’s gonna get a real ass kickin’ one of these days.

Michael Cole: And as we heard on Monday Night Raw, Ric Flair turned down Kennedy’s challenge of a match at No Way Out, moments after Flair and Carlito became the new World Tag Team Champions.

Tazz: Ric Flair, he’s got his own stuff to deal with right now. He don’t need-

John Bradshaw Layfield: (Interrupting) Aw that’s a crock and you know it! The reason Ric Flair didn’t except Kennedy’s challenge is ‘cos he’s scared of ‘im! This title reign is a sham, a smokescreen to hide the real issue, and that’s the fact that Flair doesn’t want any part of Kennedy.

Michael Cole: I don’t think Flair was all that scared when he eliminated Kennedy from the Royal Rumble.

Tazz: Yeah he was real scared when he embarrassed Kennedy by sendin’ him flying over the top ropes.

John Bradshaw Layfield: You better watch your damn mouth ‘Shortstack’ or I’ll embarrass you right now.

Michael Cole: Easy guys...

In the ring, Kennedy stands square in the middle as a lone spotlight shines down on him, the brash youngster reaching to the sky as his microphone is lowered...

Mr Kennedy: I uh... I’m pretty sure I made myself clear last week. I’m pretty sure I was clear when I told Teddy Long I wanted a match with Ric Flair at No Way Out. I’m pretty sure I was clear when I told Arn Anderson that I wanted him to make sure Ric Flair got the message last week. I think I was clear. Uh... yup, I know I was.

Kennedy paces the ring as he loudly chomps on his gum...

Mr. Kennedy: And one week later, do I have my match with Ric Flair? Huh? Huh? Huh? NO! No, no-no... NO! I don’t have my match, but Ric Flair? He somehow winds up as a tag team champion. FIFTY – SEVEN – YEARS – OLD! And somehow he’s still gettin’ title shots on Raw.

The crowd cheers for Flair’s recent accomplishment...

Mr. Kennedy: And how many title shots have I received lately? I mean, I begged, I pleaded to be in the hunt for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble. But instead, that other washed up loser Finlay got the shot. So I enter the Royal Rumble. Not only that, I enter at FREAKIN’ NUMBER TWO! I give a masterful performance, well on my way to the greatest Royal Rumble performance in WWE history, and then after 30 minutes... Ric Flair enters the match.

Pop...

Mr. Kennedy: Oh yeah. Ric Flair dragged his sorry lookin' ass down to the ring, and after such a brilliant display, I lose concentration for one second... I lose focus and I get caught off guard for one moment... and this happens.

Kennedy motions towards the two screens either side of the Smackdown fist, while the announce team talk over the top of the footage we see...

*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*


Michael Cole: Well, obviously this is footage from the Royal Rumble twelve nights ago. It was a great effort from Mr. Kennedy, entering the ring as entrant number two and lasting over 30 minutes, only for Ric Flair to eliminate Kennedy from the match.

Tazz: Yeah and I don't really get what Kennedy's beef is here. I mean I gotta hand it to him, that was one helluva shot he took at going coast to coast tryin' to win the Rumble. But hey, Ric Flair got him out fair and square, and there ain't no shame in goin' down to 'Naitch'.

Kennedy shakes his head in disgust as the crowd voices it's approval...

Mr. Kennedy: Yeah you loved that didn't ya'? You just loved seein' that washed up geriatric throw me over the top rope didn't ya'? But uh... you didn't love this...

*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*


John Bradshaw Layfield: His 'beef' as you so eloquently put it is that once again Kennedy has been held down by a veteran who's time has came and went. Mr. Kennedy is the fastest rising star here on Smackdown, and yet he continues to be over looked by old timers who shoulda retired years ago.

Michael Cole: What?! John, it's the Royal Rumble, it's every man for himself. There's no conspiracy here about why Kennedy was eliminated. He just ran into Ric Flair and Flair got the better of him.

The crowd boos while Kennedy smirks...

Mr. Kennedy: Oh but wait. It gets better... much better.

*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*


Michael Cole: Well folks, we apologise for the disturbing footage we're seeing right now. I was sat just a few feet away when this happened, I couldn't believe what I was watching.

Tazz: Y'know this guy Kennedy's a real piece of work. What a way to treat a legend of this industry, all because he tossed you over the top rope. That assault was a real punk-ass thing to do.

Heat as Kennedy chuckles to himself...

Mr. Kennedy: God, I dunno know 'bout you, but I loved seein' that again.

Kennedy laughs again, sighing contently, only to then switch to a much more serious demeanour...

Mr. Kennedy: You all talk about Ric Flair, and what he's meant to this business. 16 times, World Heavyweight Champion. SIX - TEEN - TIMES! And yet here he is, TWENTY YEARS past his prime, still tryin' to reach the top of the mountain one last time.

Kennedy faux smiles...

Mr. Kennedy: But Ric, in pursuit of your dreams... you made one, big mistake. You messed with me. You messed with the future of this industry. You messed with the fastest rising star Smackdown has ever seen. You messed... with MMMIIISSSTTTEEERRR KEN – NAH – DAY!

The crowd answers back with "KEN - NAH - DAY!", but Kennedy simply shakes his head and gives the nearest cameraman an eyeful...

Mr. Kennedy: But as much as I loved seein' the battered, bloody, broken down body of Ric Flair on those screens... it still doesn't get me what I want. I'm gonna make this perfectly clear. Infact, I'll even say it slowly so each and every one of you braindead hicks in Omaha, Nebraska can understand me.

Cheap heat...

Mr. Kennedy: I... want... Ric Flair... in this ring... at No Way Out. I asked nicely last week Teddy, but I'm not in any kinda mood to be nice tonight. So Teddy, bring your ass out here, use the little bit of stroke you've got left, get on your cell phone to Vince McMahon personally, do whatever the hell it takes, but one way or another, get me my match.

Kennedy now stares up the aisle, waiting for Teddy Long's arrival...

Mr. Kennedy: C'mon Teddy. Don't make me come back there. You don't wanna piss me off tonight, not after-

*I WALK ALONE...*


The roof damn near blows off the arena as the World Heavyweight Champion Batista strides out from the back. Dressed in a sharp grey suit with dark sunglasses, the champion crouches down to fire off his massive pyro display before heading down to the ring with a purpose, the big gold belt slung over his shoulder...


Michael Cole: Oh my!

Tazz: Aw baby! Business just picked up! Here comes 'The Animal', and he looks pissed!

John Bradshaw Layfield: What the hell is this? Batista has no business bein' out here. Kennedy wants to speak with Teddy Long, this has got nothin' to do with Batista.

Michael Cole: Now wait a minute John. Batista and Ric Flair go back to their old Evolution days. Ric Flair was like a mentor to Batista. I'm sure 'The Animal' has had enough of listenin' to Mr. Kennedy run down a man he respects and admires so much.

Stepping through the ropes, Batista asks for and receives a microphone, but before he speaks, Kennedy goes first...

Mr. Kennedy: (Laughing) That's uh- that's pretty funny! I ask for Teddy Long... and I get the man who's possibly the only bigger COWARD in the WWE than Ric Flair. That's- that's some funny stuff right there.

Kennedy fake wipes a tear from his eye...

Mr. Kennedy: But uh... seriously. What the hell are you doin' out here? The only thing I ever wanna hear you say is that you'll give me the World Heavyweight Championship match I deserve. But I know you'll never do that Dave... 'cos we both know what would happen if you did, don't we?

Kennedy cocks his head, trying to stare into Batista's eyes but only seeing the lense of his sunglasses...

Mr. Kennedy: We both know that that (Points at the title on Batista's shoulder) title would be where it belongs... around my waist. So unless you're out here to give me the title shot that was robbed from me by Ric Flair... then GET - OUT - OF MY - RING!

Feeling affronted, 'The Animal' slowly removes his sunglasses to a small pop from the crowd, the champion staring straight at Kennedy...

Batista: Y'know somethin' Kennedy? You got a real big mouth for a guy who's done nothin' to back it up. You come up here, you run your mouth about not gettin' a title shot, when everybody knows that the reason you don't have a title shot... is that you don't deserve one.

Kennedy rolls his eyes incredulously, but Batista presses on...

Batista: And then... you have the nerve to disrespect a legend like Ric Flair. A guy who's forgotten more about this business than you'll ever know. A man who's been part of some the greatest moments in wrestling history... and you of all people, run him down. And then you threaten a guy like Arn Anderson. Lemme tell ya' somethin' Kennedy, if you wanted to threaten one of Ric Flair's friends last week, then you shoulda came and found me.

Kennedy mouths "Oh really?", to which 'The Animal' nods...

Batista: But no. No, you go pick a guy who retired 10 years ago due to a serious neck injury. And then you come out here... and you start callin' me a coward.

Batista shakes his head then steps forward, further getting in Kennedy's face...

Batista: If anybody's a coward, it's you, you gutless son of a bitch!

The crowd pops for Batista's aggression as the first signs of fear cross Kennedy's face...

Batista: And y'know what Kennedy?

Batista removes the title from his shoulder, tossing it to the mat...

Batista: I'm not gonna give you a title shot...

The crowd rises as 'The Animal' removes his suit jacket...

Batista: But what I am gonna give you...

And then pops as Batista starts rolling up the sleeves of his shirt...

Batista: Is the ass kickin' you deserve!

Big time pop, and instantly Batista tosses his mic aside, stepping towards Kennedy... but Kennedy quickly backs away...

Mr. Kennedy: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey! This ain't your fight Dave! THIS AIN'T YOUR FIGHT!

Kennedy holds out his hands, motioning for Batista to stop, which 'The Animal' does, although both fists remained clenched...

Mr. Kennedy: This is between me and Flair! Like I said, unless you're gonna give me a title shot anytime soon... then I got nothin' to say you, and you got no reason to be in this ring right now. So how about you turn around, walk up that aisle... and you send Teddy Long down here, so I get what I deserve.

A tense standoff ensues, as 'The Animal' refuses to budge, slowly inching his way towards Kennedy... until...

*MACMILLITANT...*


All eyes quickly turn towards the entrance as way as Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long steps out, stopping under the Smackdown fist, microphone already in hand...


Teddy Long: Hold up a minute there playa! Hold on...

Batista stand his ground, still staring at Kennedy, his back to Teddy...

Teddy Long: There ain't gonna be nothin' goin' on between you two tonight. Batista, you already have a match wit' Test tonight. You don't need to be gettin' involved wit' Kennedy right now.

In the ring, Kennedy nods in agreement, mouthing "That's right!" as 'The Animal' slowly turns to look at Long...

Teddy Long: But lemme tell ya' somethin' 'Champ'... you said somethin' in that ring that made a lotta sense to me. Y'see Kennedy, you been comin' out here for the last month or so, and you done nothin' but run your mouth about how you want a title shot. But like Batista said, the reason you ain't got a title shot... is 'cos you never earned it playa.

Gathering himself, Kennedy inches past Batista to stand by the ropes near the aisle...

Teddy Long: The man stood next to you in that ring right now, he earned himself a title shot by winnin' a Royal Rumble not so long ago. Batista won the Royal Rumble, and then he went to Wrestlemania and became the World Heavyweight Champion!

Pop...

Teddy Long: Batista never whined and complained about bein' held back, he just made it happen for himself. But you Kennedy? You do nothin' but run ya' mouth about how you deserve your shot. And as for Ric Flair, like I keep tellin' ya... I can't make that match for ya' playa.

Kennedy shouts "Aw c'mon!" up the aisle...

Teddy Long: Ric Flair is a Raw Superstar, and that means I have no authority to make that match at No Way Out. You challenged Ric Flair, and you gotcha' answer Monday night... NO!

A few boos as once again we are denied the prospect of a Flair/Kennedy match...

Teddy Long: So here's what I'm gonna do. I can't give ya' Ric Flair... but I wanna see you put ya' money where ya' mouth is. So what I'm gonna do... is give you your title shot. But you gonna earn it first playa.

Both men look intrigued as Teddy confidently strokes his chin...

Teddy Long: Batista needs an opponent for his World Heavyweight Championship at No Way Out... and tonight, we gonna crown a new Number One Contender!

Pop...

Teddy Long: Kennedy... I gotta hand it to ya' playa, that was one hell of a performance durin' the Royal Rumble. You may not have won, but you were in that ring for over 30 minutes when Ric Flair eliminated ya', and I respect that.

Kennedy smugly nods his agreement...

Teddy Long: But there was another Smackdown Superstar who put in a great performance that night too. And that man deserves his shot at Batista just as much as you do playa. So tonight, in that very ring... it's gonna be Mr. Kennedy...

Heat...

Teddy Long: One on one... with The Undertaker!

Massive pop as Kennedy hides his face in his hands...

Teddy Long: So Kennedy, if you want your shot at Batista... you better earn it playa. And uh... I don't know think 'The Champ' is done wit' ya'...

Wondering what Teddy means, Kennedy removes his face from his hands and turns back towards Batista... only for 'The Animal' to drop him with a THUNDEROUS SPINEBUSTER!

*I WALK ALONE...*


The arena responds with a massive pop, while Batista is quickly onto his feet to roar to the crowd. The camera then cuts to the smiling Teddy Long who quickly turns and heads backstage...


Michael Cole: What a huge main event we've got lined up! Kennedy and The Undertaker, the winner to face Batista at No Way Out for the World Heavyweight Championship!

Tazz: God what a match that's gonna be! 'The Green Bay Loudmouth' and 'The Deadman' goin' at it!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Why am I not surprised? Another veteran standin' in Kennedy's way. I hope to God that Kennedy rubs it in Teddy Long's face by beatin' The Undertaker tonight and then beatin' Batista at No Way Out. I'd love to see that!

Michael Cole: Well for Kennedy to face Batista at No Way Out, he'll need to get past The Undertaker first! All that and more still to come on Friday Night Smackdown!

In the ring, Kennedy clutches the back of his head as he rolls over onto his knees, staring up the aisle at Batista who stops at the entrance way, turning back for one last glare at Kennedy before we fade into commercial.

*Commercial*


As soon as we return...

*WHATEVER...*


A great pop welcomes the arrival of the United States Champion Chris Benoit, who confidently strides down the aisle, his championship slung over his shoulder as Benoit slaps a few hands as he goes...


Michael Cole: Welcome back everybody. We are still buzzing over the announce made just before the commercial. The Undertaker and Mr. Kennedy will go one-on-one with the winner facing Batista at No Way Out! But right now, the United States Champion is in action.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And he can count himself lucky he's still got that title. I still don't understand how Test didn't leave The Royal Rumble as United States Champion.

Tazz: Test hammered Benoit that night, but ain't nobody got more fight than Chris Benoit. It's gonna take a lot to take that title away from Benoit.

Michael Cole: Well last week, we went off to the air to chaotic scenes as Benoit and Finlay brawled their way backstage during the main event tag team match. I can't think of two tougher guys here in the WWE right now.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Lemme tell ya' somethin' Michael, Chris Benoit may be a tough guy, but he can't come close to Finlay. That's one tough Irish bastard Chris Benoit don't wanna mess with.

*WAR DANCE...*


Boos for the seldom seen Tatanka, three months removed from his heel turn that hasn't lead to many recent appearances. The Native American, now with black and white face paint and a menacing look on his face slowly paces down to the ring, the days of his bouncing down the aisle and into the ring long gone...


Michael Cole: And speaking of tough, Tatanka is one tough customer. Here's a guy who can do some damage when given the chance to.

Tazz: This is a new Tatanka. He's got a mean attitude, but I ain't seen him around here all that much lately.

John Bradshaw Layfield: He's may have this new attitude, but he's still one mean son of a gun. He knew how to get it done back in the day, let's see if he's still got it...

Match 1: Non Title Match
United States Champion Chris Benoit vs. Tatanka

With both men known as hard hitters, it’s no surprise that from the first collar and elbow tie up, Tatanka gains the upper hand, backing Benoit to the corner. The ref steps in for the break, which Tatanka briefly gives, only to fire back with a string of kicks to the gut. Tatanka then snaps off a chop to the chest, but this only seems to invigorate Benoit, who instantly fires back with a stiff chop of his own. More chops follow from Benoit, backing Tatanka all the way across the ring to the opposite corner, where ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ tees off with hard right hands, snapping Tatanka’s head back. A hard Irish whip sends Tatanka back to the opposite corner, where Benoit slowly walks over to tag Tatanka with more chops... until Benoit charges in... only for Tatanka to snap off a boot to the face... and then take Benoit down with a clothesline, gaining a near fall.

Tatanka pulls Benoit to his feet, looking to snap off a few rights, but Benoit ducks underneath... and connects with a German suplex! Keeping his grip, Benoit pulls Tatanka up with him, looking for a second... but Tatanka grabs the referee, stopping the move. With the ref trying to break Tatanka’s grip of his shirt, he’s momentarily distracted... allowing Tatanka to flick his heel... resulting in a LOW BLOW! Benoit crumples to the mat, and the ref never saw a thing, allowing Tatanka to hammer Benoit with boots and then drop down for a blatant choke, taking every second of the ref’s 5 count.

Looking to do some damage, Tatanka tosses Benoit through the ropes to the floor, the United States Champion hit the ground with a bump. The hard nature of the match continues as Benoit is sent crashing side first into the steel steps. Benoit is rolled back into the ring, where Tatanka looks to focus on the ribs, aiming boots to them and then scooping Benoit up for a backbreaker, although he is careful to drive the knee into the side instead of the spine. Benoit struggles back to his feet, only for a flurry of right hands to knock him to the corner, where a hard Irish whip sends him crashing into the opposite corner. Sensing he has the champion weakened, Tatanka looks to earn himself a surprise victory... by twisting Benoit into a Boston crab!

Tatanka applies the pressure, sitting down on Benoit and wrenching on the spine, causing the champion to cry out in pain. Slowly though, Benoit is able to pull himself towards the ropes, and despite Tatanka’s best efforts, Benoit inches closer and closer... until he reaches out and grabs the bottom rope! Tatanka however doesn’t release straight away, taking the ref’s five count to the limit, causing the ref to once again step in and physically remove Tatanka from the hold. After an exchange of words with the ref, Tatanka scoops Benoit up for a slam... but Benoit drops down the back... and connects with a German suplex! Benoit hangs, on pulling Tatanka up... and snaps off a second German suplex! Again Benoit retains his grip, taking Tatanka up, who desperately grasps as fresh air... but it’s no good, as Benoit hits the third German suplex, completing the Hat Trick!

Both men stagger to their feet, but Benoit is in control now as he tags Tatanka with more chops, backing his opponent to the ropes before going for an Irish whip... but Tatanka reverses... and he hoists the running Benoit up onto his shoulders, looking for the Samoan drop... but Benoit drops down, grabs hold of Tatanka’s arm... trips his leg out, taking Tatanka down to the mat... and locks on the Crippler Crossface!! Benoit locks it on tight, pulling back on Tatanka’s chin, and despite his best efforts, the Native American has no option but to tap out!!

Winner: Chris Benoit @ 05.37

The gives a good pop as Benoit finally release the crossface, quickly back on his feet to have his hand raised. Benoit raises his title in the air to another good pop as Tatanka rolls from the ring, frustrated by his defeat...


Michael Cole: A brave effort from Tatanka, but Chris Benoit just had his number tonight.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Well that match proved one thing. Tatanka ain't no Finlay. You wanna talk about toughness, then let's see Benoit and Finlay goin' at it!

Benoit adjusts his title over his shoulder again, before reaching through the ropes to be handed a mic...

Chris Benoit: You all know by now, I'm not much of a talker, so I'll make this quick.

Benoit pauses, breathing hard into the mic...

Chris Benoit: Finlay... GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE RIGHT NOW!

Huge pop as Benoit slams his mic to the mat and places his title down in the corner, the referee from the previous match still in the ring, motioning for Benoit to vacate the ring...

Michael Cole: Wow! Well there you go JBL, you might be about to get your wish!

Tazz: What the hell's gonna happen here? Are Benoit and Finlay just gonna beat the crap outta each other?

John Bradshaw Layfield: I think Benoit's taken one too many shots to the head lately. He's gotta be insane to call out Finlay for a fight!

Benoit waits patiently in the ring...

Until...

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

*LAMBEG...*


A sense of anticipation as Finlay steps out, walking to the ring with a purpose, that toothy smirk of his clear for all to see and trusty shillelagh gripped tightly in his hand...


Tazz: Aw here we go! Benoit and Finlay are gonna kick the crap outta each other!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Benoit, I hope you know what you're gettin' yourself into here son! This is gonna turn around and bite you on the ass if you ain't careful!

Finlay continues to walk down to the ring, but as he reaches the bottom of the aisle, instead of stepping into the ring, Finlay very deliberately walks around to the timekeeper's desk, snatching a microphone out of Tony Chimel's hand before slowly stepping up the steel steps...

Finlay: Hold on a second there Chris.

Cautiously Finlay steps through the ropes, smirking at Benoit at all times...

Finlay: If it's a fight ye' want Chris... then it's a fight ye'll get. But first... why don't ye' do everyone a favour... and put that title o' yers on the line.

The crowd pops at the prospect of a US Title match between the two...

Finlay: I'll kick yer arse up down this arena... but how about when I do at No Way Out, you make it worth my while?

Benoit glances at the title sat in the corner of the ring... then emphatically nods his head and shouts "You got it!", much to the delight of the crowd...

Michael Cole: Wow! What a match that's gonna be! Benoit and Finlay at No Way Out, the United States Championship on the line!

Tazz: I can't wait to see these two go at it with the title on the line! They're gonna rip each other to shreds!

John Bradshaw Layfield: I can't believe 'im hearin' this. Chris Benoit must have a death wish or somethin'. He's gonna be kissin' that title goodbye at No Way Out, you mark my words.

Having gotten his title shot, Finlay's smirk widens, the veteran nodding his head. The crowd rises as Finlay tosses the mic aside and steps forward, with the fight seemingly on. Both men size the other up, with Finlay cocking the shillelagh high in the air while Benoit shows no intimidation, motioning for Finlay to bring it. Both men take small steps towards the other, inching every closer, about to come to blows... until Finlay drops to the mat and rolls under the bottom rope! The crowd shits all over it as the crafty Irishman waves Benoit off, turning his back on the United States Champion and walking up the ramp...


Michael Cole: What the...?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Haha! I love it! Finlay just played Chris Benoit for the fool that he is! Finlay got what he wanted, he got the title shot, and now he's outta here!

Tazz: So much for all that talk about kickin' ass and-

Michael Cole: Hey, wait! Here comes Benoit!

The crowd rises as Benoit drives through the ropes and sprints up the aisle... to club Finlay from Benoit! The arena comes unglued as Benoit and Finlay repeat their actions of last week, brawling all over the aisle! Finlay is driven into the barricade, but he fires back with a flurry of fists to the back as both men scratch and claw, winding up on the concrete floor! Suddenly a posse of referees and backstage officials race down and try to separate the pair...

Michael Cole: This situation between Benoit and Finlay has exploded once again! For the second week in a row, Finlay and Benoit are engaged in an all out brawl!

John Bradshaw Layfield: That was a cheap shot from Benoit! Finlay had his back turned, Benoit attacked him from behind!

Tazz: Benoit wanted a fight and when Finlay didn't give it to him he went after it himself!

Michael Cole: We've gotta go to commercial! Join us when we return and hopefully we've got some sense of control back here!

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

WRESTLEMANIA RECALL!

MARCH 30th, 2003
WRESTLEMANIA XIX


Having already met during two epic confrontations, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and The Rock meet for a third and final time in what would prove to be the last match of Austin's career. Having gone 'Hollywood' in his time away from the ring, The Rock entered Safeco Field determined to achieve the one accomplishment that had eluded him during his career... namely beating Steve Austin at Wrestlemania. After a battle that saw The Rock lock Austin in a sharpshooter, it was the taunting of 'The Rattlesnake' that lead to Austin coming close to victory, as when 'The Great One' began wrestling in Austin's ring jacket, Rocky ultimately ran straight into a Rock Bottom from Austin. Returning the favour, The Rock connected with a Stone Cold Stunner and then The People's Elbow. Valiantly hanging on, Austin would not die, until three Rock Bottom's finally put Austin down, giving Rock that elusive Wrestlemania victory over his greatest nemesis.

WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - 51 DAYS AND COUNTING


*End Video Package*


We back into the sight of Josh Matthews standing by...

Josh Matthews: Welcome back to Friday Night Smackdown folks. Join me in welcoming my guest at this time... King... Booker!

Boos as King Booker and Queen Sharmell step into the shot, a furious look adorning Booker's face...

Josh Matthews: King Booker, what was your response to the announcement made earlier that-

King Booker: (Interrupting) Am I fool to you Joshua?

Taken aback, Matthews fumbles his words...

Josh Matthews: Uh-uh- sorry, what?

King Booker: I said... am I... a fool to you... Joshua?

Matthews pauses briefly, giving the impression he's thinking about it, which draws a scowl from Sharmell...

Josh Matthews: Uh- no. No, of course not.

King Booker: Then why, Joshua, does Thadeus Long continue to treat me as such?

Unable to answer, Matthews simply shrugs...

King Booker: I of course was an interested listener earlier tonight when Thaddeus Long addressed these peasants in Ohama. And I heard what Thaddeus had to say. The Undertaker and Kenneth Kennedy in a Number One Contenders match tonight. But I ask you Joshua... what of my challenge to The Undertaker last week?

Booker audibly breathes deeply into the mic, the tension building...

King Booker: What of... my match with The Undertaker at No Way Out?

Deeper, more audible breaths...

King Booker: What 'bout muh damn match Josh!

Distressed, Sharmell dabs a bead of sweat from her husband's brow...

King Booker: Forgive me my Queen. Undertaker... I shall have my vengeance on thee. I shall never forget the way you besmirched me 'Deadman'. The fact that so far you have remained silent on my challenge... tells me that you fear me. Well fear is not enough to save you Undertaker. I want my match... and as your King... my wishes shall be met. Your King... has spoken.

Booker and Sharmell join hands in royal fashion, leaving the area as a bemused Matthews looks on...

Back into the arena for...

*SLICED BREAD...*


Big pop for The Hooligans as the WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London and Brian Kendrick, the champs racing down to the ring as Ashley Massaro jogs down not far behind...


Michael Cole: Well it seems that King Booker is still pretty mad with The Undertaker and is still determined to get that match against 'The Deadman' at No Way Out.

Tazz: Yeah but I don't get what Booker's tryin' to say when he says 'Taker's scared of him. You tryin' to tell me your gonna turn down potentially a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship?

John Bradshaw Layfield: You would if you knew you had a pissed off King comin' after ya'!

Michael Cole: When have you ever known The Undertaker to be scared of someone?

John Bradshaw Layfield: There's a first time for everythin' Michael, and though you may not like it, The Undertaker is running scared of King Booker! Mark my words, 'The Deadman' is prayin' he wins tonight so he don't have to deal with King Booker.

*BAD DREAM...*


A decent pop for the arrival of The Extremists, as while Tommy Dreamer and Sabu step down the aisle, the camera scans the crowd for a sight of The Sandman, who of course chugs a beer and smashes it on his head before making his way through the fans...


Michael Cole: Well I think you're being ridiculous, but let's move on. We've got eight man tag team action coming up, as the champions London and Kendrick join forces with Tommy Dreamer and Sabu to take on La Resistance, William Regal and the returning Paul Burchill.

Tazz: And here comes my boys Dreamer, Sabu and Sandman! I love that these guys are teamin' up, and they got a bit of an issue goin' on with The Bluebloods right now

John Bradshaw Layfield: These maniacs are you kinda people huh Tazz? You can relate to them can ya'?

Tazz: Yeah, sure.

John Bradshaw Layfield: That explains why I like you as little as I like them 'Shortstack'.

*VILLAIN...*


A fair amount of heat for The Bluebloods as William Regal and Dave Taylor make their entrance joined by the impressive looking Paul Burchill for the first time...


Michael Cole: What an impact the returning Paul Burchill made last week. Regal and Taylor came down to the ring after a match between The Extremists and La Resistance, and when London and Kendrick came down for the save, it looked like it was all going to backfire on The Bluebloods.

John Bradshaw Layfield: But that was until Paul Burchill came through the crowd, and he gave Dreamer, Sabu and Sandman a hell of a beatin'! Your boys didn't like it Tazz when that Singapore cane got turned on 'em.

Tazz: Hey, credit where credit's due, Paul Burchill was dominant last week, but that after he snuck through the crowd and took advantage of a bunch o' guys who just went through a hard match. It's gonna be a different story this week, you wait and see.

*POURQUOI?...*


The heat level rises as La Resistance make their entrance. As always Maryse leads the way, dressed in her long, black, sleeveless trench coat, while Rene Dupree and Sylvain Grenier follow closely in their white version of the coat...


Michael Cole: Well you wanna talk about makin' an impact, what about the impact La Resistance has made? For weeks Maryse claimed she was bringing in a team to challenge The Hooligans, and last week Dupree and Grenier picked up a great win over Dreamer and Sabu.

Tazz: These two guys were very successful the first time around, and now they've got this Maryse chick with 'em, they look like they're gonna be successful again here on Smackdown.

John Bradshaw Layfield: It started last week with the washed up Dreamer and Sabu, and it's gonna end with London and Kendrick. These two are a team destined for gold, mark my words.

Match 2: Eight Man Tag Team Match
WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans and The Extremists (Tommy Dreamer and Sabu) w/ Ashley Massaro and The Sandman vs. The Bluebloods (William Regal and Paul Burchill) and La Resistance w/ Maryse and Dave Taylor

Kendrick and Dupree kick this one off, and the match starts a fast pace, with Kendrick being fired off the ropes from the first tie up, straight into a shoulder block. Briefly pausing to pose for the crowd, Dupree is then caught by a quick fire armdrag, and another one, before a dropkick knocks Dupree down. Sabu gets the tag, entering the ring with a slingshot legdrop, continuing the attack with a pair of right hands before going for an Irish whip... which Dupree reverses, and when Sabu hits the ropes, Regal drills a knee to the spine... only for Sabu to knock him off the apron with a right hand! Regal goes down, with Burchill checking on his partner. Seeing this, Sabu goes for a plancha... only for Sabu to push Regal out of harm’s way... leaving Sabu to crash to the floor! Dupree then goes to pick a fight with London and Kendrick, drawing the attention of the referee, allowing a three on one mugging to take place on the outside, as Regal, Burchill and Taylor drill Sabu with boots, before Burchill rolls Sabu back into the ring.

The heel team now look to work on Sabu, with Regal and Burchill both looking to make their mark. Burchill in particular does damage with clubbing forearms and big backbreakers, and Regal also plays his part by connecting on a double underhook suplex for a near fall. Grenier is in, and he too looks to target Sabu, but when he sends Sabu to the corner, Sabu fires a boot to the face, staggering the La Resistance member. Sabu then cinches Grenier into the corner, jumping off the middle rope... tornado DDT! Sabu plants Grenier and heads for his corner... to tag in Paul London!

London explodes into the ring, climbing to the top rope to connect on a crossbody that knocks Grenier down. Dupree is in, looking for a cheap shot, but London ducks, connecting on an inverted atomic drop and then bouncing up for a hurricanrana. La Resistance are reeling, but when London looks to run the ropes, Maryse reaches through and grabs his foot. This causes London to stop and turn, and by the time he returns his attention to the ring, Grenier is back on his feet...to take London up and down with a flapjack!

The match settles down again, as the heels now work together to do a number on London. Plenty of quick tags are made, with the physical presence of Burchill proving most effective, as he tosses London and around the ring with fallaway and pumphandle slams. La Resistance also play their part, working on London’s spine, with Dupree hitting a belly to back suplex and Grenier connecting on a stiff looking backbreaker. Continually the heels look to put London away, but London shows great determination to hang in there. Regal is in, and he locks London in a bow and arrow stretch, trying to wear London down and apply further pressure to the spine. Regal has the stretch locked in tight, causing London to cry out in pain. Determined to hang in there, London tries to fight his way free, trying to force himself back down to the mat, but Regal manages to resist. One final effort from London sees him free, falling to the mat, but Regal beets him to the punch, hitting a knee to the midsection before firing London off the ropes... London ducks a clothesline... and then hits a flying forearm! Both men are down, crawling to their corners for the hot tag... here comes Burchill... here comes Tommy Dreamer!

Dreamer bursts into the ring with right after right, ducking a big swing from Burchill and then dropping him with a falling neckbreaker. Dupree and Grenier storm the ring, prompting Kendrick and Sabu in as well, with the four of them brawling all over the joint. Dreamer now turns his attentions to Regal, firing Regal off the ropes... into a sit-out spinebuster! 1... 2... Burchill makes the save, with Sabu now coming to the aid of his partner. Paul London is back on his feet, tagging Dupree, while Grenier and Kendrick battle. A clothesline knocks Dupree over the top rope, while Kendrick and Grenier brawl under the bottom rope. London now engages with Burchill, with the Englishman catching one of London’s kicks... enziguiri! Burchill goes down, but instead of going for a cover, London sees Kendrick outnumbered on the outside... so he charges the ropes... and flies through the air... SUICIDE DIVE! London takes down all three, and soon the champions and La Resistance are going at on the floor. In the ring, Burchill is dazed as he gets back to his feet, but Sabu hits him with a dropkick, knocking Burchill down. Turning to Regal, Sabu slams Regal to the mat, before pointing to the sky and running for the ropes... TRIPLE JUMP MOONSAULT! Sabu connects, but before he can go for the cover, Burchill snatches him from behind... JUMPING NECKBREAEKR! Burchill plants Sabu, hooks the leg... 1... 2... Dreamer tries to make the save, only to be pulled down by Taylor... 3!

Winners: The Bluebloods and La Resistance @ 07.12

Once again Paul Burchill looks impressive, this time in gaining the decisive pinfall. Burchill steps away from the fallen Sabu, being joined by Regal and Taylor for a show of celebration, only for Sandman to slide into the ring with his kendo stick, checking on the health of his partners, causing The Bluebloods to slowly back away. On the outside Kendrick and London realise they've been defeated, their frustration clear as La Resistance back up the aisle, delighted that they played their part in the victory...

*Commercial*


When we return, we head back to the office of the General Manager, although right now there is no Teddy Long. Instead, the room is occupied by the presence of Montel Vontavious Porter, The Miz and Michelle McCool. A certain tension is evident between the unusual trio, with both men sizing the other up...


Montel Vontavious Porter: You know why he asked you here?

The Miz: No. Do you?

Montel Vontavious Porter: Nah man. But I can guess. I bet Teddy Long asked me here ‘cos he forgot to put me in that Number One Contenders match. He probably just got me here to apologise or somethin’, y’know what I’m sayin’?

Miz and McCool exchange confused glances...

The Miz: He's gonna apologise to you?

Montel Vontavious Porter: Man, you know he can't afford not to have me in that match. He ain't gonna play me like that. You watch man, I'll be in that match tonight.

The Miz: Oh yeah? Well maybe that's why I'm here too. Maybe Teddy Long finally realised what a huge improvement I've made these last few months. Maybe I'm gonna be in that match too.

MVP doesn't hold back, having a chuckle right in Miz's face, much to the annoyance of McCool...

Montel Vontavious Porter: He ain't never gonna put you in that match! You ain't in my league Miz. You ain't nobody's league. You don't even belong here right now man.

Stepping forward, the two go nose to nose...

The Miz: Really? Really?

Montel Vontavious Porter: Yeah really.

The Miz: You won't be sayin' that for much longer when I beat your ass tonight!

Quickly an argument breaks out between the two, and even Michelle joins in. The commotion quickly comes to an end though, as the door to the office swings open... and in walks Matt Hardy! The crowd responds with a generous pop, while both Miz and MVP show their disappointment at Matt's arrival...

Montel Vontavious Porter: Man, what are you doin' here?

The Miz: You're gonna have to hit the back o' the line Matty boy, 'cos Teddy Long asked of both to meet him here so he can put us both in the Number One Contender's match.

Montel Vontavious Porter: Yeah and that means whatever you in here to whine about is gonna have to wait.

Hardy fakes confusion...

Matt Hardy: Oh really?

The Miz: Really!

Matt Hardy: That's uh- that's kinda funny guys... 'cos Teddy Long asked me to meet 'im here too.

MVP and Miz share a nervous glance...

Montel Vontavious Porter: Nah. Nah man. He ain't gonna play me like that. He probably gonna fire yo' ass or somethin' for showin' up on Raw unannounced.

The Miz: Yeah, and nice job on that Matt. Really made a name for yourself there champ.

Now it's Matt and Miz who inch closer together, but before anything can happen, the door again swings open... and in walks Teddy Long, the Smackdown General Manager showing the signs of a stressful evening thus far...

Teddy Long: Good, y'all are here. Alright, now listen playas, I got somethin' to say to y'all and-

Montel Vontavious Porter: (Interrupting) Yeah c'mon Teddy, hurry up man! I'm a busy man, I ain't got all night to wait for you. So hurry up and say you sorry for not puttin' me in the Number One Contender's match, I'll let bygones be bygones and go get ready.

The Miz: No, no. How about you put me in that match first and-

Having heard enough, Teddy slams his hands off his desk...

Teddy Long: Shut up! Now I got somethin' to say all three of ya', and all three of ya' are gonna listen, ya' hear me?

Sheepishly Miz and MVP nod, while Matt smiles at both of them...

Teddy Long: Good. Now, you two, Miz and MVP. You both new 'round here, but since you two playas got here, you ain't done nothin' but run yo' mouths. And I'm sick and tired of hearin' it. I don't care 'bout the size of yo' contract, I don't care 'bout how many hours you spent on reality TV. It's time for you two playas to either put up or shut up, ya' dig?

Pop from inside the arena for the intensity of Long...

Teddy Long: And as for you Matt, I saw what ya' did on Monday night. Now I realise you were just tryin' to defend the honour of your brotha' Jeff. And you put up a helluva fight against Kenny Dykstra. But Matt, I can't have any of my Smackdown guys just turning up on Raw whenever they feel like it. I just can't happen playa.

Matt reluctantly nods...

Matt Hardy: You're right Teddy, but uh... I'm sick and tired of waitin' for my shot. I've been here a long time now, and I'm still pretty much in the same spot as when I started. I'm just not in a tag team anymore. I saw a chance to take a shot at the bigtime, and I went for it.

Teddy Long: Matt, don't worry playa. You gonna get yo' shot. All three of ya' are. Y'see, earlier tonight, Chris Benoit and Finlay agreed to a match at No Way Out for the United States Championship. And I just signed off on that match. But when I signed off on that match... I also signed off on another one.

All three men (and McCool) listen in intently...

Teddy Long: At No Way Out... it's gonna be MVP versus The Miz versus Matt Hardy versus an opponent of my choosing in a fatal four way match!

Pop...

Teddy Long: And the winner of that match is gonna face the United States Champion at Wrestlemania, regardless of who the champion may be!

MVP and Miz both smile contently, but the biggest smile belongs to Matt, who looks delighted at the chance just presented to him...

Montel Vontavious Porter: Wait a minute man, wait a minute... who’s the fourth guy?

Teddy Long: Oh don’t worry playa, you gonna find out. ‘Cos the four of you are gonna meet in tag team action tonight, when The Miz and MVP team up to take on the team of our mystery man and Matt Hardy!

Another pop...

Teddy Long: Now the three of ya’, get outta my office and go get ready for that match!

MVP is first to leave, quickly barging his way past Matt as he goes. Miz and Hardy share a lingering stare at each other, before Miz and Michelle also vacate the room. The camera focuses on Matt, who is clearly the most upbeat of the three, with the smile still etched on Hardy’s face as we fade to another part of the arena...

To see Shannon Moore walking along a random corridor. Moore appears to be heading nowhere in particular, but he soon comes to a stop. The camera pans to reveal Chavo Guerrero and Vickie Guerrero sat in front of a television set, and we are left to assume that is also the destination Shannon was headed for...


Vickie Guerrero: Oh look Chavo, it's Shannon Moore. That guy you were about to beat last week.

Moore shakes his head, unimpressed, before grabbing a nearby chair and lining it up away from Vickie and Chavo but still with a good view of the screen...

Chavo Guerrero: Yeah, you lucky Gregory Helms got involved in our match last week or you were gonna your ass handed to you esse.

Shannon Moore: That's not how I remember it Chavo. I sent you flyin' off the top rope when Helms got involved.

Vickie flashes Chavo a "Are you gonna let him talk to you like that?" look...

Chavo Guerrero: You keep tellin' yourself that holmes. We both know your buddy Helms saved your ass last week.

Shannon Moore: Look man, Gregory Helms is no friend of mine.

???: You got that right!

An unknown voice speaks from behind, with both Chavo and Shannon turning to see who it was... and to find none other than the Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms stood behind them, on his way to the ring for his match...

Gregory Helms: But lemme clear a lil' somethin' up for you two esses.

Helms steps forward, standing between the two chairs Guerrero and Moore sit on...

Gregory Helms: I didn't smash my Cruiserweight Title off both yo' skulls to save either of ya'. I did it to prove a point. Y'see, what you two gotta realise is that it don't matter how many times you fly off the top rope, or how pumped the crowd gets for your match. All that matters...

Helms holds the Cruiserweight Title in front of both of there faces...

Gregory Helms: Is this right here. And neither of you are gonna get yo' hands on this... 'cos I'm the best cruiserweight in the world. So why don't sit back, relax... and watch 'The Champ' do his thing. You might even learn a thing or two... holmes.

And with one last smirk, Helms turns to leave, leaving behind the awkward tension between Chavo and Moore, who exchange angry looks with each other before 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*


Back into the arena for...

”LISTEN...”

*IT’S TIME...*


Heat welcomes the recently seen Gregory Helms, the Cruiserweight Champion smirking from ear to ear after the verbal bashing he just gave Chavo and Shannon...


Michael Cole: Well folks, we are all excited for Wrestlemania XXIII, but one question for you two is will Gregory Helms still be the Cruiserweight Champion by the time we reach Detroit?

Tazz: If you ask Helms he'd gurantee it! Man, I dunno, this guy's so arrogant in the way he claims to be the best cruiserweight in the world, but there's still a lotta guys he ain't faced yet, one of 'em bein' Bryan Danielson.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Ah here we go. I was wonderin' when his name was gonna be brought up. Listen, Gregory Helms was been Cruiserweight Champion for over a YEAR now. For my money, he's the best cruiserweight in the world today. Hell, he's the best Cruiserweight Champion we've ever seen! And some punk, who made his name in high school gyms across America ain't gonna be the guy to take that title away from him. There's nothin' to discuss, Helms is the man right now.

Michael Cole: Well after hearing what Gregory Helms had to say to Chavo Guerrero and Shannon Moore, I'm expecting a great matchup here. Let's see who Helms' opponent is...

In the ring, Helms hands over his title to the ref and uses the ropes to stretch off a bit. Bouncing on the spot, Helms eagerly awaits his competition...

...

.....

*KAI EN TAI...*


A solid pop for the ever popular Funaki, although in the ring, Helms is doubled over, nearly in tears due to laughter...


Michael Cole: God what arrogance, what disrespect from Gregory Helms. Look at him laughing at the appearance of Funaki.

John Bradshaw Layfield: That's not arrogance! That's just confidence. You get a lot o' that bein' the best in the world. Besides, he's right to laugh! When was the last time Funaki won anythin'?

Tazz: Hey, don't sell Funkai short. That guy's a former Cruiserweight Champion in his own right. Funkai can get it done.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I can't believe you of all people just made a short joke.

Tazz: What you talkin' about JBL...

Match 3: Non Title Match
Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms vs. Funaki

Wiping away the fake tears from his eyes, Helms finally decides to get down to business, going for a collar and elbow tie up... only for Funaki to surprise him, working into a waistlock, which Helms stuggles to break free from. Realising he can’t break Funaki’s grip, Helms swings wildly with a back elbow... that Funkai ducks... and as Helms spins around, Funaki plants him with a northern lights suplex! 1... 2... no! Nearly a huge upset, and now the crowd is behind Funaki as he bounces back to his feet and charges... straight into a bigtime clothesline!

The crowd is instantly deflated as Funkai crashes to the mat, but the feisty Japanese superstar looks to quickly get back to his feet... only for Helms to charge off the ropes... to hammer Funaki with the SHINNING WIZARD! Funaki slumps to the mat, down and out, leading Helms to go for the cover... 1... 2... Helms pulls Funaki’s shoulder off the mat! The referee can only shout “What are you doin’?” as Helms vigorously shakes his head, grabbing a handful of hair to pull the limp Funaki back to his feet. There, Helms scoops Funaki up onto his shoulders into a fireman’s carry position, and proceeds to spin Funaki around until he drops him down into a facebreaker knee smash, finishing off his TopSpin Facebuster. Once again Helms goes for the cover, not even bothering to hook the leg... 1... 2... but again Helms yanks Funaki up off the mat! The crowd delivers a ton of heat, as the ever arrogant Helms simply smiles at them, one more time dragging Funaki to his feet... to connect with the Eye of the Hurricane! Funaki down, looking unconscious, and once more Helms goes for the cover... 1... 2... 3.

Winner: Gregory Helms @ 02.37

A dominant display from Helms, who looks as if he hardly broke sweat as he gets back to his feet, quickly snatching his title from the ref and demanding his arm be raised in the air, drawing more heat for the increasingly unpopular champion...


Michael Cole: Well thank God that's over. What a disgusting display from Gregory Helms.

John Bradshaw Layfield: What? What was wrong with that?

Michael Cole: The way Helms treated Funkai during that match was a damn disgrace. Plenty of times Helms had the match won, but he repeatedly broke up pinfalls so he could inflict more punishment.

Tazz: That ain't the mark of a champion JBL. I don't think anybody was impressed with Helms right there.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Well I was very impressed. An opponent was put infront of 'im, and Gregory Helms beat in damn impressive fashion. What's not to be impressed with?

In the ring, Helms demands a microphone, promptly snatching it from Tony Chimel's hand...

Gregory Helms: (Sarcastically) God... whew! Wow! Man, that was close! I mean, boy that was tough.

Helms looks down at Funaki, who coughs, clutching his ribs as the ref helps to roll him towards the ropes...

Gregory Helms: Now get this piece o' trash outta my ring!

With a final kick from Helms, Funaki is sent rolling under the bottom rope, crashing to the floor...

Gregory Helms: And to each and every cruiserweight watchin'... and especially you Chavo and Shannon... that is how a real Cruiserweight Champion handles his business. That is what it takes to be a champion.

Feeling cocky, Helms addresses the crowd...

Gregory Helms: When are you people gonna realise that I am the best cruiserweight in the world. I own the cruiserweight division. No... no scratch that. I... AM the cruiserweight division! They're not a man alive who can take this title away from me, and the sooner people wake up and get that fact through their skulls... the better. And the sooner Teddy Long realises that bringin' in a nobody like Bryan Danielson ain't gonna chance a damn thing, then maybe I'll finally get the respect I-

*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 TO FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN - NEXT WEEK!"


*End Video Package*


A buzz of excitement flies around the arena, as the crowd saw every second of that video on the screens. And of course, that means the Cruiserweight Champion saw every second of it too... and as the camera cuts to him, a worried look has replaced the earlier smugness on Helms' face...

Michael Cole: Oh my! Did- did you see that?

Tazz: Aw baby I can't wait! Bryan Danielson - he's gonna be here on Smackdown next Friday night!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Finally, the biggest letdown of the year is upon us. I can't wait for this over-rated wannabe to get here so Gregory Helms can put him in his place.

Tazz: I don't think Helms is gonna want any part of Bryan Danielson. Look at the look on the champs' face! He looks like his worst nightmare is about to come true!

Michael Cole: What a moment that's gonna be! Bryan Danielson will be here on Smackdown! And what a night we've still got to come. Batista goes one on one with Test, and The Undertaker and Mr. Kennedy square off to determine a new Number One Contender! Join us when we return to Friday Night Smackdown!

*Commercial*


Straight back to the arena as...

*I WALK ALONE...*


A thunderous pop as the World Heavyweight Champion Batista races out from the back, firing up the crowd. 'The Animal' crouches down and fires off his massive pyro display, before storming down to the ring...


Michael Cole: Here comes 'The Animal'! What a response for the World Heavyweight Champion, the man who later on tonight will discover his opponent at No Way Out.

John Bradshaw Layfield: He better not be thinkin' about The Undertaker or Mr. Kennedy right now. He better be thinkin' about Test, cos 'The Impact Player' could do a lotta damage to 'The Animal' in this match.

Tazz: Got that right JBL. Test can be a monster when he's in the mood, but 'The Animal' ain't gonna be distracted. He's gonna be focused on this match and nothin' else, especially after the way these two went at it durin' last week's main event.

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


A solid amount of heat as Test strides down to the ring, snarling at the various members of the crowd as he passes them...


Michael Cole: At the Royal Rumble, Test came unbelievably close to taking away the United States Championship from Chris Benoit. Last week, Test had several hard hitting exchanges with Batista, but it was 'The Animal' who came out on top on that occasion.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Test was on a hell of a roll ever since he came to Smackdown, but at The Rumble he ran into Chris Benoit. Tonight, it wouldn't shock me a bit to see Test get back on the wagon tonight with a big win over Batista.

Michael Cole: And what about if Test does win tonight? Does he then enter the hunt for a possible World Title match?

Tazz: Absolutely. Hell, Test could be next in line to face whoever the World Heavyweight Champion is after No Way Out. A win over Batista could do huge things for Test's career.

Match 4: Non Title Match
World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. Test

Determined to avenge his defeat last week, Test looks to make an instant impact as he tries to get the jump on ‘The Animal’, as when both go for a collar and elbow tie up, Test strikes with a knee to the midsection, snapping Batista back against the ropes with a pair of right hands. Test then grabs Batista by the head, ramming him into the top turnbuckle before going for an Irish whip... Batista hits the corner hard... but explodes back out with a big clothesline! Dazed, Test stumbles to the corner, where Batista quickly moves in to repeatedly drive his shoulder into the midsection. Again Test is fired off the ropes, this time straight into a sidewalk slam, gaining ‘The Animal’ the first near fall of the match. Test crawls towards the ropes, trying to regroup, but Batista stays on the attack, clubbing Test on the back with a forearm... only for Test to grab Batista by the tights, yanking him forward... and through the ropes to the floor!

Batista hits the ground hard, prompting Test to move quickly to slide under the bottom rope and catch the champion with a boot to the side of the head. Looking to press home this advantage, Test continues to hits boots to the skull, until Batista winds up with his head pressed against the side of the steel steps. Test then backs up, lining Batista up before charging... to KICK BATISTA’S HEAD AGAINST THE STEPS... NO! Batista rolls to safety, leaving Test to boot the top half of the steps free from the bottom. Test instantly grabs at his foot, but he quickly limps back towards Batista... who drives Test spine first into the ring apron! Batista then rolls Test back into the ring, but as ‘The Animal’ slides back in Test is already coming off the ropes... to connect with a big boot to the face!

Batista is down, and now Test looks to take control, mounting the champion and hammering him with well placed fists. Batista stumbles to the corner, pulling himself to his feet, only for Test to again tag him with a series of right hands, each blow hammering Batista further down against the turnbuckle. Test looks to send Batista across, but ‘The Animal’ reverses and charges in... but Test avoids Batista’s clothesline, letting Batista hit the turnbuckle. Batista then stumbles out of the corner, and Test is waiting for a big falling clothesline, gaining him a near fall. Frustrated, Test searches for the next big move, but realises that he’s never going to win a battle of strength with ‘The Animal’. The answer comes as Test fires Batista off the ropes... straight into a sleeper!

Test locks the hold in tight, continually wrenching on Batista’s head, shaking is from side to side in an attempt to but the champion down. Test has the hold locked in for age, slowly taking ‘The Animal’ from a standing position, to doubled over, and then eventually down to a seated position. Test continues to work the hold, trying to wear Batista down. Showing little sign of life, the referee steps in to check on Batista, raising a hand high in the air... only for it to drop. Once more the arm goes up... and once again it falls to the mat. One last time the referee lifts Batista’s hand in the air... but this time ‘The Animal’ pumps his fist! The crowd pops as Batista has a surge of energy, bursting to his feet and drilling two elbows to the midsection, breaking the hold. An Irish whip sends Test off the ropes... straight into a massive spinebuster! 1... 2... Test kicks out!

Now it’s Batista who looks to attack, pushing Test into the corner for more shoulder thrusts before firing Test across... here comes ‘The Animal’... SPEAR... NO! Test dives for safety, and Batista winds up spearing the ring post! Looking to seize the moment, Test pulls Batista free... and looks to hook him up... for the GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB... NO! Batista counters with a back body drop, saving himself. Still hurting from hitting the post, Batista favours his left arm, dropping down to a knee to try and regroup, allowing Test to get back on his feet. Knowing he has ‘The Animal’ weakened, Test attacks, going for a big boot to the face as Batista rises... but Batista ducks underneath, and he keeps on running, coming off the ropes... SPEAR! Batista damn near snaps Test in half, and he’s instantly back on his feet, shaking the ropes with his right hand only, before both thumbs go up... and then down! Test staggers back up, but he walks straight into a boot to the midsection... and then he does high in the air... BATISTABOMB!!! 1... 2... 3!

Winner: Batista @ 09.53

A hard fought match, but for the second week in a row, Test becomes a victim of the Batista-bomb, earning 'The Animal' yet another victory. Rising to his feet, Batista briefly rests against the ropes before climbing to the middle turnbuckle, raising his title high in the air for the lasting image as we fade into commercial.

*Commercial*


We return to the unusual location of the parking lot, where a long, black Sedan approaches. Pulling up next to the camera, the car comes to a stop, and the front door opens. Out steps the driver, dressed in a sharp, dark grey suit, complete with dark fedora hat. The driver takes a shifty look around, before walking to the rear of the car and opening the door. A pair of sleek female legs step out, and the camera soon pans to reveal that they belong to Trinity. Assisted by the driver, Trinity makes her exit from the car, and is soon joined by Nunzio, Tony Mamaluke and Big Vito, his dress wearing days a thing of the past, as all three wear similar suits and hats as the driver...


Trinity: Alright boys, this is it. Tonight is the night the Full Blooded Italians take Smackdown over.

Nunzio: Yeah. Yeah these mooks ain't gonna know what's hit 'em!

Trinity: Alright, we gotta make sure everythin's capisce before 'The Don' gets outta the car. Tony, Nunzio, go check it out.

Nunzio and Mamaluke step forward towards the entrance of the building... only to be met by a pair of tall security guards. One of the guard has a clipboard in his hands, while the other motions for the FBI duo to stop...

Security Guard #1: Whoa, hey... what the hell are you guys supposed to be?

Nunzio and Tony turn to each other, exchanging offended glances...

Nunzio: What? Don't you know who we are ya' smhuck?

Security Guard #1: Uh... no. No I don't.

Nunzio: We the Full Blooded Italians! We here with 'The Don', so you two mooks better step aside and let us in.

Nunzio and Tony move to step past the guards, only for the two guards to close ranks, blocking the entrance way, causing Nunzio and Tony to bounce off of them...

Security Guard #2: The Full Blooded Italians?

The guard scans the list on his clipboard...

Security Guard #2: You're not on the list.

Security Guard #1: And if you ain't on the list, you ain't comin' in. So get outta here.

Disappointed, Nunzio and Mamaluke are forced to head back to the Sedan, where Trinity holds her arms out...

Trinity: Well? What's goin' on?

Nunzio: The security guards they uh... they ain't gonna let us in.

Trinity runs a hand through her hair...

Trinity: God. 'The Don' ain't gonna be happy 'bout 'dis.

Suddenly, one of the rear windows of Sedan winds down with an electric whir, and although we can't see inside, a distinctive voice speaks out...

???: What is 'de 'ah' holdup here? Why aren't 'ah' we inside?

All four members of the FBI look at each other, no doubt which one of them is going to have to explain all this to the mysterious 'Don'.

Back into the arena, where the inflatable tunnel is already set up, meaning only one thing...

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

*I’M COMIN’...*


A big amount of heat as Montel Vontavious Porter bursts out of the tunnel, dark sunglasses on and bling hanging from his neck. The camera is right there to see that the flash necklace hanging around MVP's neck is still bloodstained due to the vicious assault MVP subjected Kane to last week...


Michael Cole: Last week we saw a side of MVP that I never knew existed. MVP and Kane met in a brutal Last Man Standing Match, which MVP won, but only after he viciously assaulted and busted Kane open using the necklace that he's currently wearing around his neck.

Tazz: That was straight up nasty what MVP did to Kane last week. The way MVP busted Kane open like that, nobody deserves that.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Aw for God's sake! Need I remind you all once again, but Kane set MVP on FIRE! Gettin' busted open at the hands of MVP was the least Kane deserved. That monster oughta be thrown in jail for he did! All MVP did last week was get the revenge he wanted, and there ain't nothin' wrong with that!

*REALITY...*


Less heat than MVP received, but still a good level of boos for The Miz as he and Michelle McCool make their way down the aisle...


Michael Cole: Here he is! Your favourite JBL! And last week he had a few choice words for Matt Hardy.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I don't like Matt Hardy, and I like The Miz even less. This punk ain't impressed me, hell, he ain't impressed anybody so far. And I don't understand what a woman as fine lookin' as Michelle McCool sees in a nobody like Miz. I don't understand it!

Tazz: I'm pretty sure it's strictly business between these two. But Miz is a guy who's been gettin' better in the ring over the last month or so. This kid's workin' hard behind the scenes. Don't count this guy out when we get to No Way Out.

"OH YEAH..."

*LIVE FOR THE MOMENT...*


Great pop for Matt Hardy, who bursts out into the arena, firing up the crowd as he makes his way down to the ring...


Tazz: This guy right here, Matt Hardy, he's hungry for success. I like that, that's the kinda hunger and desire you need in this business to get ahead. Is tonight gonna be the night it all starts for Matt?

John Bradshaw Layfield: He's been a part of this company for 10 years now. I may not like Miz, but he got one thing right last week. Matt Hardy's chance came and went a long time ago. It's time for a guy like MVP to step up and take his chance, and that's what I think is gonna happen at No Way Out.

Michael Cole: Well I really think 2007 could be Matt Hardy's year. He's never been given a chance to step up before, and now he's gonna get that shot at No Way Out. But of course, we all wanna know who's the fourth member of the Fatal Four Way going to be? Who's gonna be Matt Hardy's partner tonight?

Seeing he's outnumbered, Matt remains stood on the outside, while in the ring Miz tries to goad Hardy into the two on one situation. All three men wait patiently, with Matt turning towards the entrance way...

*SLOW CHEMICAL...*


A furious look crosses MVP's face as the crowd pops for Kane, 'The Big Red Monster' snarling as he strides down the aisle...


John Bradshaw Layfield: This is ridiculous. Why is Kane even involved in this? He got his ass handed to him last week, and now he's goin' to No Way Out? What the hell is Teddy Long thinkin' when he makes these matches?

Tazz: He's thinkin' that Kane's pretty pissed off and he owes MVP one after what went down last week.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Aw that's a piece o' crap right there! MVP's lookin' to move on to bigger and better things, but here comes Kane to get in his way again.

Michael Cole: Well let Teddy Long said, MVP's been runnin' his mouth a lot lately. If he's so cocky, he shouldn't have anything to worry about should he?

Tazz: You kiddin' Cole? That's a pissed off 'Big Red Monster' in that ring right now. That's plenty to be worried about...

Match 5: Tag Team Match
Kane
and Matt Hardy vs. Montel Vontavious Porter and The Miz w/ Michelle McCool

The Miz is the man who steps forward for his team, eager to back up his earlier words, however when he sees that it’s Kane who starts for the opposition, the look of fear of Miz’s face is clear for all to see. Thinking fast, Miz calls out Matt Hardy, saying he wants Matt in the ring instead of ‘The Big Red Machine’. Accepting the challenge, Matt tags in to another nice pop, and soon he and Miz are locked up, with Matt working into a side headlock. Miz tags Matt with a few forearms to the side, enabling him to fire Hardy into the ropes. Miz then surprises a few people by using a drop toe hold, slithering across to then slap Matt across the back of the head a few times before returning to his feet, taunting Hardy as the crowd boos. Miz then steps in to fire Matt to the corner, only to run straight into an elbow, allowing Matt to come out of the corner with a clothesline.

Kane gets the tag, and he immediately starts unloading with those big uppercuts of his, rocking Miz around the ring until he goes for the Irish whip... and catches Miz with a big boot to the face! Miz is reeling, but when Kane scoops him up for a slam, Miz drops down the back... and takes Kane down with a chop block! Kane crumples and cries out in pain, allowing Miz to scramble to the corner and make the tag to MVP, who shows his recent vicious streak by hammering Kane’s left knee with a flurry of boots, repeatedly stomping down until the ref steps in. Kane is then fired to the corner, allowing MVP to charge and connect with a big boot to the face against the turnbuckle, allowing MVP to get the first near fall of the match.

Miz and MVP show some nice teamwork as they combine to damage Kane’s left knee, with Miz dropping a series of legdrops across the knee while MVP pins Kane in the corner, hanging the leg across the middle rope and hammering the knee with stiff kicks. Miz continues to be stiff in his assault, favouring more kicks, stomps and elbows to the knee, while MVP shows a bit more technical savvy, tie the leg up on several occasions before going for a single leg Boston crab. Kane cries in pain, reaching for the ropes, but MVP has the hold applied dead square in the middle of the ring. Kane claws for the ropes, showing great strength in dragging both himself and MVP towards safety. Slowly, Kane inches ever closer to freedom, and finally he does reach out and grab the ropes... but there’s no break, as Michelle McCool jumps up on the apron, distracting the ref! Miz quickly sneaks in to assist MVP in dragging Kane back to the middle of the ring, and the ref conveniently turns in time to see Matt enter the ring in protest, the ref quickly ordering Matt back to the apron.

MVP continues to have the single leg Boston crab locked in, with Kane starting to fade. Matt tries to rally the crowd, stomping his feet and clapping his hands, and the audience responds, encouraging Kane to break free. Showing more feats of strength, Kane forces himself up onto both hands, managing to twist his body around, kicking MVP away with his free leg, releasing the hold! MVP flies towards MVP, quickly tagging Miz, while Kane crawls for his corner... and tags Matt Hardy! Matt bursts into the ring, knocking Miz down with a pair of clotheslines before going for an Irish whip to the corner... Miz reverses and charges for the swinging corner clothesline... but Matt dives to safety, leaving Miz strung up on the middle turnbuckle! Once more Matt sends Miz to the corner, this time following in with a clothesline... and then flying out with a bulldog! MVP storms the ring, but he’s immediately knocked down with a right hand! Matt then climbs to the second rope, waiting for Miz to get back to his knees... elbow drop to the back of the head! Miz is reeling, but Matt is on fire... SIDE EFFECT! 1... 2... MVP breaks the count!

MVP drags Hardy away, but Kane is now back on his feet, charging towards MVP... clothesline over the top rope! MVP is dumped out of the ring, landing on the floor hard, and after he gets back to his feet, MVP looks at Miz down in the ring while Kane and Matt are ready to pounce... and decides he’s had enough, waving the match off and backing up the ramp! Michelle McCool is furious, screaming at MVP “Where are you goin’?!” but MVP doesn’t care, turning his back on the match. Miz doesn’t yet realise, but he soon does as he stumbles to his feet... and sees Matt looking at him... and sees Kane staring at him... but sees no partner! Before he can protest, Matt makes his move... kick... TWIST OF FATE! Matt plants Miz, but he soon drags the former reality TV star to his feet... and fires him towards Kane... who snatches Miz by the throat! Pointing at MVP, who has stopped halfway up the aisle to watch the ending, Kane looks to put an emphatic ending on the match... with the CHOKESLAM!! 1... 2... 3!

Winners: Kane and Matt Hardy @ 10.26

Kane doesn't get the win over MVP, but he does pin Miz for the 3 count. In the ring, Matt is back on his feet, and the referee raises both men's hands in victory. Furious at the defeat, MVP slowly backs up the ramp, not taking his eyes of either of his No Way Out opponents, with the camera switching between the celebrating Hardy and Kane and the seething MVP as we fade into commercial.

*Commercial*


And we're back, and it's to the image of Arn Anderson, who much like last week is busy working backstage, talking to a pair of stagehands...


Arn Anderson: I don't care how we do it, but get it done. Understand me? I'm not havin' Finlay and Benoit brawlin' all over this arena.

One of the stagehands moves to show 'The Enforcer' a running sheet... until the running sheet is snatched from his hand... and the camera pans to reveal Mr. Kennedy has once again confronted 'Double A'. The crowd quickly hammers Kennedy with boos, with Arn standing his ground, much like last week refusing to be intimidated...

Arn Anderson: Listen son... I'm gettin' pretty ticked off with you interupting me when I'm at work.

Ignoring Arn, Kennedy instead switches his gaze between the two stagehands...

Mr. Kennedy: Leave. Now.

The two stagehands turn and look at each other, and then to Arn, who nods his approval for them to depart. It's only after they leave that Kennedy sets his sights on Anderson... but the usually loud Kennedy remains quiet...

Arn Anderson: Alright, what is it you want this week Kennedy? Another message you want me ta give Ric Flair?

Still Kennedy says nothing, staring straight ahead...

Arn Anderson: Look what is this son!? I ain't got time for your games boy. You got somethin' ta say ta me, say it. Otherwise you betta get your ass down ta that ring.

Kennedy steps forward, getting right in Anderson's face... but instead of speaking, Kennedy smirks, loudly chewing his gum in Arn's face... before turning to leave. Anderson, visibly annoyed at Kennedy's actions, shakes his head and moves to leave the area... until he's HAMMERED FROM BEHIND BY KENNEDY!

Kennedy drills 'Double A' with a hard forearm to the back of the head, knocking the legend down, and quickly Kennedy mounts Anderson, drilling him with repeated right hands to the forehead. Kennedy then stands, waiting as Arn crawls back to his knees... only for Kennedy to drill him with a SICK KNEE TO THE SKULL!

With the legend down, Kennedy appears set to leave... but his eyes quickly turn to evil, as Kennedy whips off his t-shirt, wraps around Arn's throat and drives his knee into the back of Anderson's head... CHOKING 'DOUBLE A' OUT! Kennedy furiously pulls back on Arn's neck, causing Arn to cough and splutter... until we finally get a posse of referee's and agents running into the scene to break things up. Ref's pull at Kennedy's arms trying to break his grip, but Kennedy refuses to release the choke hold...


???: HEY!

Kennedy looks up, and instantly let's go... as Batista races into the shot...

Batista: GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!

Quickly Kennedy backs away, smirking as Batista bounds over to check on Anderson. Kennedy quickly heads towards the curtain, making sure he's far enough away that 'The Animal' won't be able to touch him, but still close enough to admire his handy work, all the while referees and agents check on the condition of Anderson, the legend barely moving as we fade into a video.

*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*


We cut to a very sombre looking announce desk...

Michael Cole: Uh folks, I don't uh... I don't know what to say really. That was just a vicious assault of Arn Anderson, a highly respected member of the backstage team here on Smackdown. Uh...

Tazz: What a son of a bitch that Mr. Kennedy is! I'm tellin' ya', he just crossed a line right there. Arn Anderson, a legend of the wrestling business, and that punk Kennedy just treated him like dirt. And lemme guess, you're gonna defend that right? You're gonna sit there and justify that are ya'?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Hey don't you get on your high horse and start takin' shots at me! I ain't to blame for what just happened! If you wanna put the blame on someone you look no further than Ric Flair!

Michael Cole: Oh my G- You gotta be kiddin' me! Ric Flair?

John Bradshaw Layfield: He shoulda excepted Kennedy's challenge when he made it! Then what happened to Arn Anderson would never have happened.

Tazz: Man I can't believe I'm hearin' this! I oughta slap the hell outta you right-

"KENNEDY..."

*TURN UP THE TROUBLE...*


Filthy heat as Mr. Kennedy casually jogs out, taking the occasional glance over his shoulder to make sure he's not being followed by Batista. Kennedy swings his head from side to side, clearly delighted with his recent actions...


Tazz: Seriously, I'm gonna go in there and kick that punk's ass right now!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Aw why don't ya' sit down and shut up before you wind up like Arn Anderson!

Michael Cole: Well, let's try and focus here. We do have a match to call after all. The Number One Contendership for the World Heavyweight Championship is on the line, as Mr. Kennedy is about to take on The Undertaker.

Kennedy steps through the ropes and instantly reaches up for his microphone, once again bathed by the lone spotlight that shines down upon him...

Mr. Kennedy: Now that... that is how you send someone a message.

The boos continue to rain down on Kennedy, who simply smirks through them, embracing every boo thrown at him...

Mr. Kennedy: Boo all you want, but I'm pretty sure Ric Flair gets my message loud and clear. Y'know I didn't think there was any doubt last week... but maybe... maybe I was wrong. But not this week... not after what I just did.

More boos, but Kennedy simply cocks his head...

Mr. Kennedy: Now I know what you're all thinkin'. What about The Undertaker? What about No Way Out? What about Batista and the World Heavyweight Championship?

Kennedy shrugs, almost nonchalantly...

Mr. Kennedy: Don't worry. I haven't forgotten any of that. It's just... I know I'm gonna beat The Undertaker tonight. And I know I'm gonna beat Batista at No Way Out. But I also know...

Kennedy climbs to the second rope, staring straight into the camera nearby...

Mr. Kennedy: That I want Ric Flair.

A sick smile crosses Kennedy's face as he closes his eyes in thought...

Mr. Kennedy: So Ric... when I become World Heavyweight Champion... and I will become World Heavyweight Champion...

Kennedy carefully ponders his next statement...

Mr. Kennedy: I'm gonna make sure my first title defence... is against you Ric. Consider your old, weathered ass challenged for the second time. Only this time... I willing to give you... one... last... chance... at greatness.

Kennedy holds a single digit in the air, staring at it coldly...

Mr. Kennedy: If that's what it takes to end your career in a more brutal fashion than what just happened to your good ol' buddy Arn... then that's what I'll do.

A serious growl crosses Kennedy's face...

Mr. Kennedy: But you remember one thing Ric... you remember the name that is going to cripple you. You remember the name that is going to end your worthless career. You remember the name... of MMMIIISSSTTTEEERRR KEN – NAH – DAY!

Unlike the start of the show, the crowd simply boos instead of joining in... much to Kennedy's satisfaction, who pauses, pleased that he's silenced the crowd before...

Mr. Kennedy: KEN - NAH -

"YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME..."

*METALINGUS...*


WTF??

The entire arena is stunned and gives a huge pop as EDGE steps out from the back! In the ring, Kennedy throws his mic back up into the rafters and drops down to the mat, but he can't help but stare in disbelief over the face that Edge is here on Smackdown. Standing under the Smackdown fist, Edge fires his arms up into the air for a massive pyro display, before he arrogantly strides down to the ring, the crowd still cheering in sheer amazement...


Michael Cole: What the...?

Tazz:What the hell's goin' on here?

Michael Cole: IT'S EDGE! The 2007 Royal Rumble winner Edge is here on Smackdown!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Yeah but he's a Raw guy! What the hell's he doin' on our show?!

Tazz: Who knows but... he's about to go face to face with Mr. Kennedy!

Indeed Edge does step into the ring with Kennedy, who still stares in disbelief. Asking for and receiving a mic, Edge waits for his music and the pop he received to die down before speaking...

Edge: WOW! Smackdown! Y'know it's been FOUR YEARS since I was last a member of the Smackdown roster. And y'know, a lot has happened in that time.

Edge pauses, placing a finger on his chin...

Edge: Let's see. Since then, I've won the World Tag Team Championships... three times. I've been the Intercontinental Champion. I was the first ever Mr. Money in the Bank. And... I was the WWE Champion!

Edge scratches his head, as if he's forgotten something...

Edge: And uh... oh yeah, I went and won the 2007 Royal Rumble!

Edge arrogantly nods in Kennedy’s face, who shouts back “It shoulda been me!”...

Edge: Yeah, you really wanted that one didn't ya' Kennedy? I mean I saw that video earlier, the way you brutalised Ric Flair, it was all very impressive. And here you are now, about to face The Undertaker for the chance to fight for the World Heavyweight Championship at No Way Out. All just, really...

Edge breaks out in a faux round of applause...


Edge: That's all just fantastic. But, and I was listenin' to you runin' your mouth there, and you said somethin' I kinda took offence with. Y'see, you said that when you beat The Undertaker tonight, and when you beat Batista at No Way Out to become the World Heavyweight Champion, that you were gonna give the first title shot to 'The Nature Boy' himself.

Edge takes a deep breath through clenched teeth...

Edge: God. Yeah, I uh, hate to break it to ya' there champ, but not only are you gettin' WAY ahead of yourself, you're also tryin' to cash a cheque that you can't write. Y'see, if you do beat The Undertaker tonight, and then you do beat Batista, your first title match won't be against Ric Flair.

Edge shakes his head, prompting Kennedy to shout "What are you talkin' about?"...

Edge: That's a choice you're not gonna be able to make. Y'see Kennedy, as the Royal Rumble winner, I have a choice to make. Namely, which heavyweight championship to I challenge for at Wrestlemania. Well, I've made my decision. And if you do wind up as the World Heavyweight Champion... you're first title defence... is gonna be against ME!

Seriously unimpressed, Kennedy runs a hand through his hair in disgust...

Edge: And don't bother reachin' up for that microphone, 'cos I've said all I'm gonna say to you. Good luck tonight. You're gonna need it.

"YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME..."

*METALINGUS...*


Edge heads for the ropes, stepping down the steps as Kennedy tries to recover from the bombshell just dropped on him. Instead of heading backstage though, Edge makes his way towards the announce desk...


Michael Cole: I am in shock right now! Not only has Edge just joined Smackdow, but now he's comin' over here to join us!

Edge reaches the table, placing a headset on, while JBL rises to shake Edge's hand...

John Bradshaw Layfield: EDGE! Welcome to Smackdown!

Edge: Thanks JBL. Tazz, Cole, how are ya'?

Tazz: Stunned! I can't believe you're here man!

Michael Cole: Well, welcome back to Smackdown, Edge. We've got to go to commercial, but we'll talk more with Edge when we return.

*Commercial*


As soon as we return...

*GONG...*

*GONG...*

*GRAVEYARD SYMPHONY...*


A thunderous cheer as The Undertaker makes his entrance, slowly stepping through the smoke and fog, his hat pulled over his head as always. Although he initially stands firm in the ring, as ‘Taker approaches the steps Kennedy quickly dives through the ropes to the floor, giving ‘The Deadman’ plenty of space as he removes his hat, bringing light back into the arena...


Michael Cole: It is defeaning here in Omaha, Nebraska! This is Friday Night Smackdown, and 'The Phenom' of the WWE is making his way-

John Bradshaw Layfield: (Interupting) Aw forget about that for a minute Michael! Let's talk about the real issue here! Arn Anderson just got his ass handed to him by Mr. Kennedy, and then Edge just came out and announced he's joinin' Friday Night Smackdown and he's gonna face the World Heavyweight Champion at Wresltemania!

Michael Cole: Indeed Edge, who is sittin' with us here at commentary, is now a member of the Smackdown roster. And Edge, you've got a vested interest in this match as the winner here between Mr. Kennedy and The Undertaker goes on to face Batista at No Way Out. You could be facing one of these two men at Wrestlemania XXIII!

Edge: You're absolutely right. I can't wait to see who wins this one.

Michael Cole: It was an incredible performance from 'The Deadman' at The Royal Rumble. Entering at Number 13, Undertaker made it all the way to the final two, only to be the last man eliminated by you Edge. But will Wrestlemania come early for The Undertaker with a win here tonight, and then another victory at No Way Out?

Tazz: God, in all the time I was away from Smackdown, I never missed this entrance. It sends chills up my spine Cole! The Undertaker is one scary dude, and Kennedy better have his mind focused on this match and not on Edge or Ric Flair, or he ain't gonna be anywhere near No Way Out.

John Bradshaw Layfield: But what about King Booker? If The Undertaker wins here tonight, where does that leave 'The King'? What he's just meant to sit at home come No Way Out?

Edge: I'm sure he'll find a way to get involved in it all...

Main Event: Number One Contenders Match
The Undertaker
vs. Mr. Kennedy
Winner will face Batista at No Way Out for the World Heavyweight Championship

The bell rings, and of course it’s ‘Taker who steps forward first, looking to connect on a few early right hands. Kennedy backs off to the corner, enabling him to duck the first swing of ‘The Deadman’ and tag ‘Taker with a right of his own... but this only angers Undertaker, who’s eyes bulge as he no-sells the shot. Kennedy instantly backs away, but ‘Taker stalks him until he connects on a boot to the gut, sending Kennedy off the ropes... Kennedy ducks a clothesline... but he can’t duck as ‘Taker grabs him by the throat! The crowd pops as Undertaker looks for an early chokeslam... but Kennedy desperately kicks out, catching ‘Taker in the midsection before nailing three right hands and coming off the ropes... straight into a massive boot to the face! Kennedy flops to the mat, allowing Undertaker to get the first near fall of the match.

Kennedy is reeling, and it only gets worse as Undertaker winds up his left arm, wrenching on it, drilling the arm with his shoulder and continuing to wind it around. ‘Taker keeps working on the arm, until the inevitable happens and he heads for the corner, climbing to the top rope and looking for Old School... but Kennedy tags ‘Taker with a right hand to the gut, crotching ‘The Deadman’ on the top turnubuckle. Kennedy then hammers Undertaker with a string of rights to the face, before scaling the corner... and taking Undertaker flying through the air with a SUPERPLEX! Kennedy quickly scrambles for the cover... 1... 2... Undertaker kicks out... and sits up! Kennedy can’t believe it as ‘Taker is already heading back to a vertical base, but Kennedy looks to beat Undi’ to the punch, hitting furiously with kicks and punches that back ‘Taker to the corner.

Kennedy looks to send ‘Taker across, only for Undertaker to reverses the Irish whip... Kennedy hits the corner hard... and stumbles out straight into a massive clothesline! Kennedy is all over the place as he stands back up, and this allows ‘Taker to once more twist the arm and head to the corner. This time he makes it up, walking across the top rope... before dropping down with OLD SCHOOL! Kennedy hits the mat and crawls for the ropes, using them to pull himself up, but this only offers Undertaker a chance to attack... as he hits a big clothesline that knocks Kennedy over the top rope! Kennedy lands on his feet, but the momentum carries him straight into the announce desk, and it’s on the image of Kennedy laying across the top of the announce desk that we fade into the final commercial.

*Commercial*


We return to see the action is still taking place on the outside, with ‘Taker briefly rolling into the ring to break the count, and then back out to do more damage. We also see a replay, showing us that during the break Undertaker took Kennedy up for a version of snake eyes, dropping him face first across the announce desk. Kennedy has a glazed look in his eyes as he dragged to his feet, and once more he’s smashed face first off the announce desk. Undertaker is well in control, but as he goes to yank Kennedy up, out of shear desperation Kennedy grabs Michael Cole’s bottle of water... and throws in ‘Taker’s face! Momentarily buying himself a bit of respite, Kennedy then grabs ‘Taker by the hair... and LAUNCHES HIM ACROSS THE ANNOUNCE DESK! Undertaker flies into JBL and Tazz, with Cole heading for safety. Kennedy then copies ‘Taker by ducking his head into the ring to break the count, before stepping behind the desk to hammer ‘Taker with right hands, beating ‘The Deadman’ into the ground.

Feeling he’s done a fair amount of damage, Kennedy dives under the bottom ropes and demands the referee count Undertaker out, while Kennedy uses it as a chance to recover. The ref makes it to 7 before Undertaker staggers towards the ring, and it’s not until 9 that ‘Taker is able to roll under the bottom rope. Kennedy now goes on the attack, hammering down with double axehandles and stomping away. ‘Taker crawls for the corner, but this only leads to more boots, before Kennedy retreats to the other side of the ring... and charges in to hammer ‘The Deadman’ with a sick kick to the skull!

A nearfall follows, and Kennedy stays on the attack, connecting with a forward Russian legsweep and a snap DDT, both gaining 2 counts. Kennedy’s frustration grows with each kick out, so he then looks to keep ‘Taker grounded, hammering with furious rights and lefts and following a hangman’s neckbreaker. Kennedy then looks to take a risk by climbing to the top rope, where he steadies himself and then flies... KENTON BOMB... NO!! Undertaker rolls to safety, leaving Kennedy to crash to the mat. Both men struggle to their feet, where Kennedy throws a right... but Undertaker fires back with a right of his own. Again Kennedy connect... but again so does Undertaker, and now ‘The Deadman’ tees off with three rights in a row, backing Kennedy to the ropes. ‘Taker goes for an Irish whip, only for Kennedy to reverse and swing with a clothesline... Undertaker ducks and keeps running... to then duck another clothesline, still running to build momentum... for a massive FLYING CLOTHESLINE!

The advantage swings back to Undertaker, who now goes on the offensive, teeing off with rapid fire rights and lefts to the gut against the turnbuckle, before sending Kennedy across... but Kennedy tries to use the ropes to elevate himself over the onrushing ‘Deadman’... but ‘Taker catches Kennedy on his shoulder, charging across the ring... SNAKE EYES! Kennedy hits the top turnbuckle, and here comes Undertaker... massive boot to the face puts Kennedy down! Kennedy is in trouble... and could be getting worse as Undertaker draws a thumb across his throat! Cocking his right hand, ‘Taker waits for Kennedy to rise... and slaps his hand around the throat... but Kennedy kicks out of it... and pulls ‘Taker in... MIC CHECK!! Kennedy plants ‘The Deadman’ and hooks the leg... 1... 2... NO! Much to Kennedy’s disbelief, Undertaker kicks out.

Exasperated, Kennedy drags himself and Undi’ to their feet, both men feeling the effects of the match. Kennedy swings a pair of tired looking right hands, before he hoists ‘Taker up onto his shoulders... GREEN BAY PLUNGE... NO! Undertaker grabs Kennedy’s arm, dropping down to the mat... and locking in the TRIANGLE CHOKE! Undertaker has Kennedy down... and Kennedy is tapping out! Kennedy furiously taps... but there’s no bell ringing... as KING BOOKER IS ON THE APRON DISTRACTING THE REFEREE!! Kennedy taps until his body goes limp, prompting The Undertaker to let go, wondering why on earth the match isn’t over. He soon sees why, his eyes bulging again as he sets his sights on Booker. Stepping forward, Undertaker pushes the ref aside... and SLAPS HIS HAND AROUND BOOKER’S THROAT! Undertaker has King Booker in his grasp, looking for a chokeslam to the floor, but Booker desperately hangs on. All this commotion has given Kennedy a chance to recover, and he charges from behind... and takes Undertaker down with a rollup... 1... 2... Kennedy has a handful of tights... 3... ‘Taker kicks out!

Winner: Mr. Kennedy @ 13.48

Kennedy wins! 'Taker kicks out, but a split second too late, with the force of the kick out sending Kennedy flying through the ropes to the outside. Furious, Undertaker is quickly back on his feet, searching for King Booker... until his eyes settle up the aisle on the smug grin of the man who just cost him a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. Kennedy can scarcely belief he's going to No Way Out, with the realisation finally settling in as he sits on the padded floor next to the ring, the referee out to raise his hand...


Michael Cole: Dammit! King Booker just cost The Undertaker a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship! Undertaker had this match won until Booker got involved, and now it's Mr. Kennedy who's goin' to No Way Out!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Haha! I love it! King Booker warned The Undertaker that he wanted that match no matter what. Now there's no more excuses, nowhere left for Undertaker to hide!

Tazz: King Booker's gonna wish he had a place to hide! Undertaker's gonna kill him! What are you sayin' to it all Edge? Now you know it's either Kennedy or Batista for you at Wresltemania.

Edge: Credit where credit's due, Kennedy put up a great fight. He may have gotten a little help over the line at the end, but he's just earned himself a shot at Batista and more importantly a chance at my Wrestlemania main event.

Michael Cole: But now we know, it will be Batista and Mr. Kennedy at No Way Out for the World Heavyweight Championship. In nine days time, Batista and Kennedy will go at it... but what retribution will 'The Deadman' seek on King Booker?

The camera continues to switch between the furious Undertaker, stood against the ropes, staring a whole through the grinning King Booker as he backs towards the entrance way, while on the floor Mr. Kennedy may be battered, but ultimately it's he who's going to No Way Out, a twisted smile crossing the new Number One Contender's face as we fade... to... black.

*End Show*





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

World Heavyweight Championship Match:
World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. Mr. Kennedy

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

Fatal Four Way Match:
Winner will face the United States Champion at Wrestlemania XXIII

Kane vs. Matt Hardy vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. The Miz





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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Last edited by iMac : 01-08-2011 at 08:06 AM.
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