~Monday Night Raw~
February 12th, 2007
"I don't owe you and explanation. I owe you... nothing."
After such a dramatic ending to last week's show, the usual Raw opening just wouldn't do tonight. Oh no. A dramatic ending to one show deserves a dramatic opening to the next...
HIGHLIGHTS FROM RAW: NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS
The roar of the crowd. Dramatic, quick music playing in the background. We see flashes of action from the main event, the WWE Championship Triple Threat Match featuring Shawn Michaels, Triple H and the WWE Champion John Cena. The action is fast paced and hard hitting, with all three men struggling for supremacy. A sweet chin music connects to Cena, sending 'The Champ' over the top rope to the floor. Triple H ducks a sweet chin music, only to have Michaels counter his pedigree with a back body drop. Cena recovers, locking in the STFU on Triple H... only for Michaels to drag Cena into the figure four leglock. The rapid fire action continues, sweet chin music... pedigree... Michaels breaks the count on Cena at 2.
The dramatic music comes to a stop, as Michaels heads to the corner, tuning up the band in slow motion, every stomp echoing loudly... Triple H is up, and he staggers towards Michaels... SWEET CHIN MUSIC! But Triple H stumble towards the now standing John Cena... who hoists ‘The Game’ up onto his shoulders... in position for the FU, but here comes Michaels... and Cena shows superhuman strength to LIFT MICHAELS ONTO HIS SHOULDERS TOO... DOUBLE FU!!! Cena drills both Michaels and Triple H, and he hooks the leg of ‘The Game’... 1... 2... SHANE MCMAHON YANKS THE REFEREE FROM THE RING!!
Remorseful music now cuts in, the shot lingers on the smirk etched on Shane's face... but the smirk soon fades as Cena makes a move to roll under the bottom rope... and the chase is on! Cena races after Shane as both men run around the ring, but there’s a commotion at the top of the ramp... as Vince McMahon steps out, waving his security force down to the ring! Cena continues the chase as Shane slides into the ring, and then out the other side, just in time as the security makes it to the ring... and four of them tackle Cena to the mat! Exhausted from the match, Cena can’t offer much resistance as the posse of security guards jump the WWE Champion, holding down to the mat. Shane orders the guards to pull Cena to his feet, and with six of them keeping a tight grip, Cena is powerless as he’s raised to his feet... and held in position... as Shane cracks the steel chair off Cena’s skull! More slow motion, this time as the chair connects, giving the image of Cena almost floating to the mat below.
We continue to see the smirk on Shane's face... but the dramatic music soon kicks back in with a vengeance... as Triple H is now stood behind Shane... SLEDGEHAMMER IN HAND! Frantically the hired goons point for Shane to turn, as ‘The Game’ hoists the hammer high in the air. Shane turns... and his jaw drops, as his life flashes before his eyes... but before Triple H can swing, Shane grabs a guard and tosses him forward... so Trips drives the sledgehammer into his skull! Shane flees from the ring, but the guards keep coming... one guard has the sledgehammer drilled into his gut... another gets it driven off his skull! Michaels is back up, picking up the steel chair Shane dropped... cracking it off a guards skull! The last three guards charge, with the former DX members working in tandem... steel chair... sledgehammer... another steel chair shot! The security guards are all dispatched, with the crowd in raptures as ‘The Game roars his approval... until the screen fades to black and white...
Once more the remorseful music makes it's mark. Tension...
"OH MY GAAWWD!!"
Drama, stunned faces of the audience, several members with their heads in their hands, total disbelief...
"GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY! WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?"
As Shawn Michaels...
"HE DID IT ON PURPOSE THAT TIME!"
HAS JUST NAILED TRIPLE H WITH THE STEEL CHAIR!!!
The crowd is furious, shitting all over Michaels’ actions. ‘The Game’ crashes to the mat instantly, with Michaels releasing his grip on the chair... then dropping to both knees... and draping himself over Triple H... just in time for the referee to crawl back into the ring...
“YOU GOTTA BE KIDDIN’ ME!”
“NO! NO, NO KICK OUT! KICK OUT!”
Winner: And NEW WWE Champion, Shawn Michaels @ 18.12
SHAWN MICHAELS IS THE NEW WWE CHAMPION! WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED HERE?!
Sitting up, Michaels runs both hands through his hair, covering his face with his hands on the way back down, a man who feels redemption. A man... who's conscience is clear?
Slowly walking up the ramp, Michaels stares dead ahead, an expression-less look on his face. Much like the night that started all this, Michaels walks up the ramp, his back to Triple H, much like 'The Game' did to Michaels almost one month ago. In the ring, Trips has finally come around, propping himself up on his elbows, just long enough to gather himself... with 'The Game' finally realising what's just went down. The new champion strides from the ring... where rage engulfs his former friend... and this video fades to black with the ever-echoing words...
"WHAT THE HELL IS SHAWN MICHAELS THINKING?!"
*End Video Package*
Into the arena. Cold opening. No fireworks. No opening video. No commentary. Instead, we snap to the hard camera, seeing Lillian Garcia stood in the middle of the ring...
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the NEW WWE Champion... 'The Heartbreak Kid'... Shawn Michaels!
The crowd erupts with furious heat at the opening few rifts of the music, the sound only intensifying as Shawn Michaels
steps out from the back. One thing is instantly noticeable about his attire, as Michaels is dressed all in black. Black jeans, black boots, a casual black shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and to top it off, a black cowboy hat, pulled down over Michaels' face. The only chink of light in the whole outfit is that gold slung over his shoulder...
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Monday Night Raw. I am Jim Ross, alongside me are my broadcast colleagues Jerry Lawler and Joey Styles, and folks, I promise you're not seein' things. Do not adjust your TV sets, as that is indeed
the new WWE Champion, Shawn Michaels. We were all, quite frankly, shocked
by the actions of 'The Heartbreak Kid' last week, as Michaels, afters weeks of protesting his innocence with regards to his situation with Triple H, turned on 'The Game', striking him with a vicious steel chair shot and taking the WWE Championship away from John Cena.
I don't think shocked
is enough to describe what went my through the minds of millions of Shawn Michaels' fans last week when they saw him connect with Triple H's skull. I for one couldn't believe what I was seein' last week.
Well, for weeks I asked the question: Was it really an accident when Shawn Michaels hit Triple H with the steel chair? Last Monday night, it happened for the second
time, and it definitely
wasn't an accident last week.
I don't think there's any doubt about that 'King'. It appears we're about to hear from 'HBK' himself, but let me remind you that the new World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito are in action, taking on The Redneck Wrecking Crew, while Victoria looks to rebound after he defeat to Mickie James last week as she takes on Candice Michelle. But let's hand it over to a man who owes each and every one of us, and especially
John Cena and Triple H, a few answers tonight...
By now Michaels is stood in the centre of the ring, microphone in hand. His entrance music has stopped, with Michaels remaining silent for the moment, soaking in the boos of the crowd with a vacant, expressionless gaze on his face, staring into the distance of the audience before finally lifting the microphone to his mouth...
I guess I uh-
The heat from the crowd instantly cuts Michaels off, causing the new champion to close his eyes for a few seconds, contemplating, before again staring into the distance and again trying to speak...
I guess I owe a few people out here an explanation, huh?
More boos, to which Michaels adjusts his hat, making it harder for the camera to see his face...
But y'know, while you all want an explanation for my actions last week, and my you may all feel like you deserve one... I don't have to explain myself to anyone... except the man upstairs. 'Cos at the end of the day... he's
the only one I care about judging me.
Michaels glances to the heavens, a smirk crossing his mouth as he does...
And I got news for each and every one of ya'... the one man I absolutely don't
own an explanation to... is Triple H.
Nice pop for the mention of 'The Game', to which Michaels can only shake his head...
Shawn Michaels: Triple H
. Y'know, he said somethin' a few weeks ago that really struck a chord with ol' 'Aitch - Bee - Kay. He talked about all the partners he turned his back on. Batista, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, they all
got a name check. But what about me Hunter? What about... me
? Let's not act like you don't remember Hunter. I know
you do. July 22nd, 2002. Grand Rapids, Michigan. You pleaded with me that night Hunter to get the band back together. You wanted to put D-Generation X back together, and I... I believed you. And what happened? You turn around... and you stick me face first into the mat with a pedigree.
Brief pop as the memories of that night come flooding back...
Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint when it comes to turning my back on partners. I mean, Marty Jannetty, Kevin Nash, Psycho Sid... I kicked their teeth down each - and - every one of their throats. I did it 'cos they latched on to me, and they tried to ride me all the way to bank. They tried to make their name on my
talent... on my
popularity... and on my
Michaels takes a deep breath, calmly adjusting his hat...
And you might not wanna say so Hunter... but you know you're no different than any of 'em. The early days of DX, you were nothin'
in this business. I made you a somebody Hunter... and it may have taken you four years to do it... but you turned your back on me.
Michaels nods to himself...
And we had our fights. We had our battles. I won some, I lost some... but I was back
where I belonged. Where I knew, deep down, where I always
belonged. And that's as Shawn Michaels, ridin' solo. No partners. Nobody ridin' my coat-tails. Nobody holdin' me back. Just 'The Showstopper'. 'The Headliner'. 'The Main Event', 'The Icon', 'The HEART - BREAK - KID'!
A slight pop, but only for the mention of the names...
That 'Aitch - Bee - Kay magic was back! I was a World Heavyweight Champion again. I put on some of the greatest Wrestlemania performances you'll ever see. Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, Vincent - Kennedy - McMahon himself, and even you
Hunter... I carried you all
to great, Wrestlemania moments.
Boos for the self-appreciation of the champion...
Wrestlemania XXII. That was your turn Vinny Mac. That was your turn. You and that boy Shane o' yours, you did a number on me Vinny. And then later that summer... you got to Triple H too. And I knew, deep down inside I knew
, I shoulda never came back to help him.
Michaels shakes his head, showing his regret at the decision he made all those months ago...
I thought it about long and hard, I fought with my conscience every night I lay in bed, I prayed... a lot
... and I asked the Lord... what should I do? Do I do the good, Christian thing, to come back and help my fellow man? Or do I do the right
thing for me? Do I stay at home... and let Triple H, the man who turned his back on me all those years ago... fight his own battles? Lemme tell ya'... it wasn't an easy choice. I didn't need
Triple H. Triple H... needed
me. So I thought about it... and I prayed... and in the end... I did the right thing... in your
Michaels points at the crowd, a look of hate now in his eyes...
I came back, I put that D-Generation X t-shirt on, I started kickin' teeth down people's throats again... and you people loved it. You cheered, you went nuts, you bought the merchandise, you believed
in DX. And y'know what? I believed
in DX too. I believed in me and Hunter... as a partnership. I believed... that we were back, better than ever, better than we were in 1997, but that this time, it was me and Hunter... friends. Partners. Equals.
Michaels rubs a hand across his unshaven face...
But one month ago, Hunter... he ended all that when he put DX on the line for a shot at the World Tag Team Championships. The partnership that I came back for, the guy I saved
from a ton o' ass kickin's over the past six months, he just did whatever he felt like doin'. He didn't ask me, he didn't tell me he was gonna make that challenge, he just did it anyway, and you people... you loved
it. You wanted to see DX finally win those titles, you wanted to see DX give Rated-RKO what they had comin' to them.
A small pop, but most of the crowd sits in stunned silence...
So I 'played the game'
and I gave it everythin' I had. I fought with every bit of my being... and then I made one
mistake. I swung a steel chair... but instead of hittin' Edge... I hit my partner. And just like that... DX was over. And I don't blame myself, oh no. I blame Hunter... and I blame each and every one of you.
I listened to the cheers, I listened to the people, and I believed that I was in the right place. But when I accidently... and I'll say it one last time, it WAS an accident... when I accidently hit Triple H with that chair... I didn't hear cheers anymore. No. No, I heard the boos. There weren't many... but I still heard 'em. I heard the whispers. 'Did he do it on purpose?'. 'Did he mean to hit his friend... with a steel chair?'.
Michaels simply shakes his head...
But last week? Oh I meant it last week. I meant every second of it. 'Cos y'see, I saw my chance to be back where I was. A loner. A man lookin' out for number one. A man standin' on his own two feet. A man... who could be 'Champion' again. And that may have not been the right thing in your
eyes... but it was the right thing in mine
. And like I said earlier, you people... Hunter... I don't owe you an explanation. I owe
Michaels adjusts the title on his shoulder, looking at it admiringly...
I am finished with DX... I am finished with Triple H... and I am finished... which EACH - AND EVERY - ONE OF YOU!
Heat, at which Michaels smirks, glancing up to the heavens...
Y'know, their a quote from the bible that sums this all up pretty well. "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give me the desires of my heart." Well, last week, I delighted myself when I nailed Triple H... and I got what my heart desired.
Again Michaels glances at the title...
the WWE Champion... but I am not your
WWE Champion. My actions are my own. My conscience is clear. I have my redemption. Now, hit my
Michaels carefully places his mic on the mat, heading for the ring ropes... strangely still to silence. Michaels goes to step through the ropes, but he pauses, no doubt wondering where his entrance theme is. Shrugging it off, Michaels again goes to step through the ropes... until...
*ONE OF A KIND...*
The crowd is (pleasantly) surprised as instead of 'Sexy Boy' we get the entrance of Rob Van Dam
, the last ever ECW Champion making his way down the ramp, with interestingly the ECW Championship still over his shoulder...
Well I have to admit, I never thought I'd hear words like that from the mouth of Shawn Michaels. I never thought I'd see the day that 'HBK' would turn his back on these fans.
I - I'm shocked. I can't believe what I just heard. And I don't understand what Rob Van Dam is doing out here. And he's still
got that ECW Championship with him, despite Mr. McMahon saying that last week was the last week we were ever gonna see that title again.
Rob Van Dam, the very definition of the counter culture. After so many years rebelling against authority, you think 'RVD' is just gonna not come out here with the title he holds so dearly?
I think he better do what he's told or he's gonna wind up like John Cena. Even Rob Van Dam had to get the message last week that you don't cross the boss...
Having now joined Michaels in the ring, Van Dam scoops up the mic Michaels placed on the mat. Once his music ends, Van Dam stares out into the crowd, smiling, nodding along with every "R-V-D! R-V-D!" chant that is thrown at him...
Rob Van Dam:
God Shawn, please... stop with the self-righteous B.S. for a minute and listen to what you're sayin' bro'!
Pop from the crowd, much to Michael's annoyance...
Rob Van Dam:
You're out here blamin' these people for your actions last week? Man, these people loved
DX! They couldn't get enough of ya', they cheered for you each and every night. And then you turn your back on them... and have the nerve to blame 'em for it!
Losing his usual cool, Van Dam starts pointing at Michaels...
Rob Van Dam:
You took a shortcut man. You took the easy way out. That title on your shouler right now... you didn't earn
that title man. You took advantage of Shane McMahon's dirty work... and you stabbed your best friend in the back to do it.
Van Dam stares straight at Michaels, shaking his head...
Rob Van Dam:
And that's not cool bro'.
Michaels looks furious, begging for a chance to answer back...
Rob Van Dam:
Me? I earned
my title. This ECW Championship, a title that means as much to me as the WWE Championship does to you. A title I gave everythin' for. A title I earned with my blood, my sweat and my tears. A title... that's not tainted like the one you're carryin' right now.
Van Dam raises the ECW Championship infront of Michaels' face...
Rob Van Dam:
And ain't no amount of prayin' and sayin' you're right in the eyes of The Lord is gonna help you here bro'. You're nothin' but a coward. Nothin' but a fraud. You don't deserve to be carryin' that title. John Cena, a guy I fought tooth and nail with at the Royal Rumble... he's the real WWE Champion... not you.
A brief "CENA! CENA! CENA!" chant breaks out...
Rob Van Dam:
Y'know, I used
to respect you man. Every guy back there used to respect you. They might notta liked you, hell, a lotta them didn't... but they still respected
you Shawn. But now? Now you got nothin' man.
Rob Van Dam:
Now I dunno if John Cena is here tonight. I don't think he is. I haven't seen him around today. But I'm not gonna sit back and watch you carryin' that title around, when I know you deserve to hold it. You'll never be the WWE Champion as far as I'm concerned, and I know these people agree with me.
Rob Van Dam:
So right here, right now... I'm callin' you out bro'! I'm challenging you to a match for the WWE Championship, right here, tonight, in Portland, Oregon!
The roof nearly comes off the arena for Van Dam's challenge...
Rob Van Dam:
And just to show that I'm not some paper champion... I'll raise the stakes man. You put the WWE Championship on the line... and I'll put my
ECW Championship on the line too.
Another big pop for the chance of a title unification tonight...
Rob Van Dam:
What d'ya say Shawn?
Once more the "R-V-D! R-V-D!" chant breaks out as Michaels ponders his response. Deciding he's made his decision, Michaels holds out his hand for the microphone, but as RVD goes to hand it over...
*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*
Once more the crowd is surprised by the timing and subject of an entrance theme, as this time it's Mr. McMahon
and Shane McMahon
who make their way down the ramp... flanked an army of security guards. Much like last week, The McMahon's both wear massive smirks on their faces as they confidently enter the ring, with Shane demanding a microphone for his Father...
Whoa, whoa, whoa... easy there Rob. I don't know what kinda show you think this is 'RVD', but this ain't ECW. You don't come out here and-
"EEE - CEE - DUB! EEE - CEE - DUB! EEE - CEE - DUB!"
If you're quite finished? You don't come out here Rob and just start throwin' around challenges for the WWE Championship. But Rob, I'll deal with you in a second. You just stand there and pay attention. And as for you Shawn...
Van Dam throws a few words of trash at Shane, only for two of McMahon's goons to step forward, protecting the heir to the McMahon throne, with Vince giving his son's suit jacket a tug, distancing him from Van Dam...
Well Shawn, I think my son Shane here has a few words he wants to say to you.
Vince hands the mic over to Shane, who takes one last nervous glance at Van Dam before addressing Michaels...
Now Shawn, let's get one thing straight off the bat... I don't like you. I don't think I've ever liked you Shawn. I heard what you said earlier about the beating me and my Father gave you. You remember that one at Backlash, Dad? You - haha - you gave him 'God' as a tag team partner? You remember that?
Vince shares his sons enthusiasm for the moment, while 'HBK' remains unimpressed...
I think there uh... there may have been a few more encounters after that, but that's the main one in my mind right now. As for last week Shawn, I'm not out here to talk about whether you were right in the eyes of these idiots.
Hell, as far as I'm concerned, you saw a chance to be somebody again and you took it. You were ruthless, you were unrepentant. You were... scarily, you were pretty much like a McMahon.
Shane turns to his Dad, who gives Junior a "What?" look, but Shane motions for calm...
Like I said Shawn, I don't like you... but John Cena? I hate
John Cena. And as far as I'm concerned, John Cena got exactly
what he deserved last week. You just happened to be the man to take advantage of the situation Shawn. I don't think God would disagree with that.
Shane strokes his chin, pondering...
But let me state for the record, right here, right now... there will be NO REMATCH for John Cena.
The crowd loudly disagrees with the announcement...
But Shawn, it is
Wrestlemania season. And you are
the WWE Champion. And that means you will be defending the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania XXIII.
Van Dam now takes a serious interest...
And we're gonna determine a new Number One Contender for your title in just under three weeks time, LIVE on NBC at Saturday Night's Main Event!
So startin' tonight, we're gonna have ourselves a little tournament, the final of which will be at Saturday Night's Main Event. Rob... you're gonna be one of eight men fighting for the right to face the WWE Champion, Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII.
But John Cena, will NOT be one of those eight men. And Shawn, unless you want to suffer the same fate as Cena did last week... you'll be sure to reject any challenge from John Cena. Do you understand me?
Michaels coldly nods his head, drawing a big smirk from Shane...
Good! Now Rob, I think my Father has a few words he wants to say to you.
Shane hands the microphone over to Vince, who struts to go face to face with RVD...
Well, well. Rob Van Dam. Look at ya', stood there with that piece of trash
on your shoulder.
I made it pretty clear Van Dam, that I didn't care who was the last ever ECW Champion when we went off the air last week, but as far as I was concerned, that
piece of junk was to never appear on a WWE broadcast ever again.
More heat, to which Vince smugly grins...
Now Rob, I don't have time to get into a brawl with you, so I'm going to make this very, very simple. You hand over that ECW Title belt... or my security are gonna take it from ya'! So what's it gonna be Rob? We can do this the easy way? Or we can do it... the McMahon way!
The crowd continues to boo, with Vince holding out his hand for the title. Van Dam pulls the title down off his shoulder, looking at it... then looking at Vince and his posse... then back at the title. Griping the title in his left hand, Van Dam continue to stare at the gold, then into the crowd. Desperately the crowd cries "No!", urging Van Dam to stand for what he believes in. Van Dam again looks at Vince... and then one last time at the title... and shakes his head... only to FLIP THE BIRD AT VINCE! The crowd explodes as Van Dam refuses to hand over the title, re-adjusting it on his shoulder, not backing down an inch...
Out of nowhere Shawn Michaels nails Van Dam with the SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Van Dam is down and he is out, with Michaels standing over him. Both Vince and Shane can't hide their delight at Michaels' actions, but the WWE Champion simply steps over Van Dam, stepping through the ropes and then dropping to the floor, calmly making his way back up the ramp...
God, that son of a bitch!
What the hell has gotten into Shawn Michaels?! This isn't the Shawn Michaels I know. This - this - aw hell, I don't know what this is!
I tell ya' what this is. This is an absolute joke. I don't think Shawn Michaels for one moment was doin' the bidding of Vince and Shane McMahon, but I still can't believe he'd leave 'RVD' helpless in the middle of the ring like this.
Hey... wait a minute. What the - Vince has got the ECW Championship!
Indeed in the ring, after checking that Van Dam is down and staying down, Vince picks up the fallen ECW Championship, looking at with disgust yet delighted to be holding it in his hands. The camera takes one last look at Shawn Michaels walking up the ramp, his back to the ring, all the while Vince, Shane and the security take a few final laughs at Van Dam's expense before they too make their exit and we fade into commercial.
As soon as we return...
*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*
The crowd gives a great welcome to the new World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair
, both men wearing their new title belts around their waists, with Flair opening his robe to let everyone get a good look at his gold, while Carlito as always has an apple in one hand and a Torrie Wilson
in the other...
Welcome back to Monday Night Raw. We're still trying to come to terms with what we saw before the commercial. Not only did Shawn Michaels turn his back on the fans who supported him for so many years, he also nailed Rob Van Dam with the sweet chin music.
And because of that, Mr. McMahon now has possession of the ECW Championship! Can you imagine what could be goin' through the mind of 'The Evil Genius' right now?
Oh I'm sure he's thinkin' of the best way to taunt you and all the other ECW alumni now that he holds the title in his hands. But what about the announcement of Shane McMahon? A tournament is gonna kick off later tonight to decide who will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania!
We'll try and get word on the makeup of that tournament as the night progresses. But right now, here comes the NEW World Tag Team Champions, Ric Flair and Carlito, and they of course won that gold last week with a victory over Edge and Randy Orton.
Yeah, and they got a big assist from Edge when he walked out on Randy Orton during the match! You know 'The Legend Killer' has gotta be furious about that.
Speaking of furious, I know that Ric Flair was seriously angry after he saw what Mr. Kennedy did to Arn Anderson last Friday night on Smackdown.
That certainly was a heinous act on the part of Mr. Kennedy. He's gonna get his at the hands of 'The Animal' Batista come No Way Out, I can promise you that.
Flair passes his robe down to the stagehand, while Carlito hands his title over to the referee. Flair does likewise, and then the two champions share a few words as they await their opponents...
*SWEET AND SOUR...*
Decent heat as The Redneck Wrecking Crew Lance Cade
and Trevor Murdoch
stride down to the ring with a purpose, both men wearing scowls on their faces as they enter the ring...
Well these two guys can certainly do some damage. They've been a team for a while now, they're former tag team champions, they could really put themselves in the hunt for a title show with a win here tonight.
Well, while that is a very good point, we're just getting word that Rob Van Dam's quarter final match in the Number One Contenders Tournament will be tonight!
And... am I hearing that right J.R.? His opponent is goin' to be the Intercontinental Champion, Kenny Dykstra?!
What a huge opportunity for Dykstra. Van Dam can't be 100% after the Sweet Chin Music he suffered earlier...
Match 1: Non Title Match
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito w/ Torrie Wilson vs. The Redneck Wrecking Crew
The attention quickly switches to the match in hand, with Flair and Murdoch kicking things off. The two tie up and jockey for position, until Murdoch works into a standing side headlock. Flair shoots Murdoch off the ropes, only for the big redneck to bowl Flair over with a shoulder block, taunting Flair with a cheap ”Woooo!”. Murdoch again runs the ropes, but Flair drops face down on the mat, and when Murdoch comes back across, he catches him with a hiptoss. Now the chops start to fly, with Flair backing Murdoch to the corner before smacking two more chops against the turnbuckle and going for an Irish whip... but Murdoch reverses... and when Flair bounces out, Murdoch sends him flying with a big back body drop. Looking to gain the edge for his team, Murdoch charges and looks for an elbow drop, but it swings back in favour of the champs as Flair rolls to safety then tags in Carlito.
‘Lito bounces into the ring, tagging Murdoch with a pair of rights before going for an Irish whip, only for Murdoch to reverse it... and Cade drills a knee into the base of the spine as ‘Lito comes off the ropes. Cade gets the tag, and he snaps ‘Lito’s head back with two right hands before firing Carlito across... but ‘Lito jumps to the second rope... and springboard back elbow! Cade is quickly back up, but Carlito takes him down with a pair of quick arm drags before going for an Irish whip... which Cade reverses... and then Murdoch pulls down the top rope... and Carlito flies over the top rope to the floor! The cheap move sees ‘Lito crash to the floor, and while Cade picks a fight with Flair in the ring, distracting the referee in the process, Murdoch drives ‘Lito into the apron before rolling him back into the ring.
Now Cade and Murdoch look to isolate ‘Lito, starting with a nice double team move that sees Cade hit an inverted atomic drop while Murdoch connects with a running big boot to the face. Murdoch then tags ‘Lito with punches and kicks in the corner that send him down to the mat, before the double team moves continue as Murdoch slams Carlito to the mat before Cade elevates his partner and then drops him for a legdrop, earning a near fall. Cade ‘n’ Murdoch show their experience of teaming together as they work well to wear ‘Lito down, punishing him with stiff forearms to the spine, backbreakers and a long vertical suplex from Cade, with ‘Lito taking longer to kick out with every cover attempted. Once again ‘Lito is slammed to the mat, and when Cade tags in Murdoch, he again looks to take him up for a big legdrop... but this time Carlito rolls to safety! The referee calls for Cade to leave the ring, and he stands on the apron, anxiously hoping Murdoch can make the tag... but ‘Lito makes it to his corner first, and here comes Flair!
Cade also gets a tag, and he charges looking for a right hand... but Flair blocks, and instantly connects on a big knife edged chop, knocking Cade down. Murdoch has a go, but he too goes down from a chop, while Flair turns his attentions back to Cade, nailing two more stinging chops before going for an Irish whip... big back body drop! With Cade down, Flair connects on a running jumping knee drop, hooking the leg... 1... 2... but Murdoch makes the save, dropping an elbow across the back of the head. This draws Carlito back into things, as he charges and hits a big clothesline... that takes both he and Murdoch over the top rope! Cade and Flair are now alone in the ring, with Cade tagging Flair with a right hand and then looking for a kick to the gut... but Flair traps the foot... and sweeps the standing leg... FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK!! Flair wrenches the hold in tight, square in the middle of the ring! Cade’s arms flail wildly, desperately trying to reach the ropes... but he has no choice and has to tap out!
Winners: Ric Flair and Carlito @ 07.27
A great first performance as champions for Flair and Carlito, as they confidently dispatch of Cade and Murdoch. 'Lito helps the veteran Flair back to his feet, with Torrie handing over the title belts. The champs are quickly back on their feet, raising their titles high in the air to a nice pop as we fade into commercial.
When we return, we go straight to the office of Mr. McMahon
, the 'Chairman of the Board' grinning from ear to ear, the ECW Championship in his hands. Both Shane McMahon
and Jonathan Coachman
are stood nearby, their mood a reflection of 'The Boss'...
God... look at it. Just look at it. Have you ever seen such a piece of crap in all your life?
Shaking his head in disgust, Vince turns and hands the title to one of his hired goons...
Now you take good care of that. Never know when it might come in handy.
What are you gonna do with it Mr. McMahon?
Exasperated, Vince sighs...
I'm gonna do whatever the hell I wanna do with it Coachman! Now listen, John Cena isn't here tonight, but when he does get here, I want to know about it before anybody else. So I want you 'Coach' to go out and wait by the parking lot, and when you see Cena arrive, you come and tell me. Understand?
Yes sir Mr. McMahon. I'll get on it right away.
'Coach' turns to head out the door, but on his way the door swings open and in walks Armando Alejandro Estrada, the Cuban dressed in an all white suit complete with white hat and dark sunglasses, a cigar already in his mouth, offering handshakes all round...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
Haha! Senor McMahon! Senor McMahon! Senor Coach! Haha! Good to see you amigos!
Vince and Shane both share a laugh with Estrada, until the three of them realise that 'Coach' is still in the room...
Get the hell outta here!
Realising his presence isn't wanted, 'Coach' quickly leaves the room, no doubt headed for the parking lot, leaving Vince and Shane shaking their heads...
God, we gotta do somethin' about him Dad.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Anyway... Mr. Estrada, what can we do for you?
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
Si. Senor McMahon, The Saaaaamoan Bulldozerrr... UMAGA! He want to you know... comos se dice... who we face in the tournament Senor McMahon announced. Haha!
A few awkward glances are exchanged between the McMahon's...
Well you see...
The thing is Estrada, Umaga already has this match lined up with CM Punk tonight. And because of that... he doesn't have a spot in the tournament.
Stunned, Estrada's jaw drops, the cigar falling out of his mouth to the floor...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
'Ju... 'ju don't have a spot for Umaga, amigo?
Reluctantly, Shane shakes his head...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
Aimgos... 'ju is startin' to upset 'The Samoan Bulldozer'. And 'ju don't want 'dat monster runnin' free on your show, perro.
Shane motions to reply, but Vince places a hand on his son's shoulder...
Mr. Estrada, please. We're both successful businessmen here. You and Umaga... it's the big challenge you want, isn't it?
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
Once again an evil smirk crosses McMahon's face...
Well Mr. Estrada, I think I know just the challenge for you. And I can help you get it. Perhaps, we can come to some sort of... arrangement? Si?
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
Great. Why do you uh... hand me one of those Cubans there Estrada and take a seat. We'll talk about a few things and see what we come up with, huh?
Smiling, Estrada takes out two cigars from the top pocket of his suit jacket, handing one to Vince and keeping one for himself, with Shane nearby taking a lighter from his pocket as we fade into a video...
Quick-cutting shots flash across the screen of two young superstars, the two trading moves across a wrestling ring in a dimly-lit room...
Narrator: In Canada, wrestling is a tradition...
More shots of the youngsters in action, with it now clear that one of them is a strapping powerhouse, while the other is a smaller, technically gifted athlete...
Narrator: And one place is sacred to all...
We now see a blonde woman enter the ring, encouraging the two men inside...
Narrator: Beneath a family home is a place where only the brave enter...
Quick-fire shots of Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, The British Bulldog, Lance Storm and Bret Hart...
Narrator: And only the strong survive.
More shots of the two men flying around the ring, visible only through the shadows...
Narrator: The last graduating class of the Hart Dungeon is coming to Monday Night Raw...
The trio now stare at the camera through the shadows...
Narrator: To forge a new legacy!
"THE HART LEGACY - COMING SOON TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW!"
*End Video Package*
We return to the backstage area to see Maria standing by, ready for an interview...
Hi! I'm Maria, and please welcome my guest at this time... 'The Legend Killer'... Randy Orton!
A good amount of heat as Randy Orton enters the frame, a scowl etched on his face...
Now Randy, we all saw what happened last week during you and Edge's World Tag Team Title defence against Ric Flair and Carlito. Unfortunately for you, Edge walked out on you, costing Rated-RKO the titles. And then of course, we heard Edge announce last Friday night on Smackdown that he would be challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXIII, signing a contract with Smackdown this Friday night. Randy, what is your response to all of this?
Almost offended by the question, Orton shakes his head before answering...
Maria, Rated-RKO... ended the second Edge turned his back on me last week. The only regret I have is that with Edge moving to Smackdown, I won't get a chance to get my hands on him and extract my revenge.
Ruefully, Orton shakes his head once more...
As far as I'm concerned, Edge hasn't gone to Smackdown to challenge however the World Heavyweight Champion might be... he's gone there because he's running scared of me
. Edge can run all he wants, but one of these days, I will
get back at him.
A slight pop, which Orton ignores...
Now Rated-RKO may be no-more, but Kenny Dykstra is a young man with a lot of promise. And I, graciously, have agreed to help Kenny reach the top. Kenny has his match with Rob Van Dam in the Number One Contenders Tournament next, a match that I will be watching very... closely. And speaking of the Number One Contenders Tournament, I
myself am one of the eight men involved. And I fully intend on winning that tournament at Saturday Night's Main Event, going on to Wrestlemania and become the new WWE Champion.
And let me just make one thing clear... I don't care who I get in my quarter final match next week. But whoever it is, that person is going to regret that they ever stepped into the ring with me. Infact... that warning can apply to any
member of the Raw roster. You don't want to mess with me. You don't want to get in my way. Or else I will
end your career. You all cried in despair after what Kenny did to Jeff Hardy. But that is NOTHING compared to what I
... am capable of.
And with one last cold-blooded stare at the camera, Orton methodically turns and leaves, with Maria looking shell-shocked as she watches Orton leave...
Back into the arena for...
A bunch of heat as the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra
makes his entrance, getting in the faces of a few fans as he walks down the ramp and around the ring...
Uh... well, it appears that the first match of the Number One Contenders Tournament is going to take place right now. Here comes young Kenny Dykstra, a kid with a ton o' talent, just like Randy Orton said, and last week Dykstra scored a victory over yet another of the Hardy Boyz.
By hook or by crook, but Dykstra has got it done now against both
Jeff and Matt Hardy.
He's the youngest Intercontinental Champion in history, and after the start he's had to 2007, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him go on to Wrestlemania and become the youngest WWE Champion in history too.
*ONE OF A KIND...*
The crowd erupts once more for the arrival of Rob Van Dam
. 'RVD' isn't his usual jovial self though, as he looks groggy from the earlier Sweet Chin Music he suffered...
But for Dykstra to shatter the record books, he's going to have to get past the last ever ECW Champion Rob Van Dam!
And what a night it's been so far for 'RVD'. Not only did he have his head kicked off by Shawn Michaels, he then had the ECW Championship he won last week taken away from him! And it could be about to get worse here.
No doubt Rob Van Dam wants to go to Wrestlemania to face Shawn Michaels, but he's in danger of not even making it to the semi finals...
Match 2: Number One Contenders Tournament Quarter Final Match
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra vs. Rob Van Dam
The two men kicks off the match with an aggressive tie up, which quickly spirals into a chain wrestling exhibition. Headlock takedowns are countered into headscissors which are then countered into bridging pins as both men look for control early on. Dykstra is on top of Van Dam, who bridges both men back onto their feet. Dykstra swings with a right hand, only for Van Dam to duck and take Dykstra down with a backslide for a 2 count. Dykstra kicks himself back onto his feet, only to run into an armdrag takedown which ‘RVD’ transitions into an armbar. Frustrated, Dykstra slaps the mat, but he quickly works back to a vertical base, grabbing Van Dam’s ponytail to pull him against the ropes and fire ‘RVD’ across... Dykstra executes a perfect leapfrog, but he doesn’t notice Van Dam has put on the breaks behind him... jumping roundhouse kick! Van Dam crashes to the mat, rolling to a stop near the ropes, which prompts Van Dam to come off the opposite side of the ring... ROLLING THUNDER... NO! Van Dam lands on his feet halfway through the move as he spots Dykstra rolling under the bottom rope, saving himself. Dykstra kneels down on the outside, rubbing his jaw, shouting at ‘RVD’ to back off. Dykstra turns his back on the action, pacing the ringside area as he tries to compuse himself again, but Van Dam isn’t waiting, climbing to the top rope. Perched on the top turnbuckle, Van Dam waits for Dykstra to turn... before launching himself... FLYING CROSSBODY! Van Dam puts his body on the line, but it pays off bigtime as he gets all off of Dykstra. ‘RVD’ is quickly back up, using his thumbs to draw a “ROB – VAN – DAM!” chant from the crowd before we fade into commercial.
But when we return, Dykstra has taken control, having Van Dam grounded and locked into a headlock. A quick replay fills us in on what happened during the break, and we see that ‘RVD’ fired Dykstra to the corner, charging in and leaping in an attempt to his a monkey flip... but Dykstra held on, managing to elevate Van Dam over the top with a painful landing on the floor! Back to real time, and Van Dam claws at Dykstra’s arm, but when he’s unable to break the grip, he fights back to his feet, hitting elbows to the gut and then sending Dykstra off the ropes... but ‘RVD’ lowers his head... and the Intercontinental Champion hits a textbook swinging neckbreaker. Dykstra then mounts ‘RVD’ to connect with a string if stiff right hands, before pulling Van Dam in for a short arm clothesline, hooking the leg for a 2 count.
Dykstra continues to attack, with a leaping back elbow and a picture perfect dropkick as Van Dam comes off the ropes, both moves earning Dykstra long 2 counts. After another ‘RVD’ kickout, Dykstra mounts Van Dam to pound him with stinging right hands, before he quickly works his way into a reverse chinlock. Dykstra drives a knee into Van Dam’s spine as he wrenches on the chin, applying maximum pressure and causing ‘RVD’ to claw at Kenny’s hands in an attempt to break his grip. Slowly but surely, ‘RVD’ manages to open Kenny’s arm, enabling himself to work back to a vertical base where he twists to be facing Kenny... who goes for a kick to the gut... but Van Dam catches the foot... and counters with a step over spinning wheel kick! Van Dam connects, but he has to crawl to the ropes to pull himself up. This gives Kenny a chance to recover, and it’s he who strikes first with a right hand... but ‘RVD’ blocks it, firing back with two of his own before he sends Dykstra to the corner. Van Dam then drills his shoulder twice into the midsection, before coming out with a cartwheel and then finishing the sequence with one final shoulder thrust.
An Irish whip sends Dykstra across, but Dykstra reverses and keeps on running... but Van Dam uses the ropes to elevate himself over the oncoming Dykstra... and then cartwheels back to give himself space... before rocking Dykstra with a jumping roundhouse! The impact knocks Dykstra down in the corner, his head against the bottom turnbuckle, which prompts ‘RVD’ to attack with a low angle dropkick! Dykstra clutches at his face, but Van Dam doesn’t let out, helping Dykstra out to his two kicks to the gut and then fire Dykstra off the ropes... dropkick finds its mark. With Dykstra down, ‘RVD’ builds up steam running to the corner and leaping to the top rope, possibly thinking Frog Splash... but Dykstra is already up on his feet, but ‘RVD’ still flies through the air... FLYING CROSSBODY! 1... 2... Dykstra rolls the shoulder!
Van Dam comes so close to advancing, but he quickly looks to press on, tagging Dykstra with a forearm and then firing him off the ropes... Dykstra reverses, but ‘RVD’ ducks his clothesline... hurricanrana sends Dykstra flying! Dykstra lands right next to the ropes, and one more time ‘RVD’ charges... Rolling Thunder... no! Dykstra gets both knees up, saving himself and punishing Van Dam. With ‘RVD’ clutching his ribs in pain, Dykstra senses a chance to win, quickly moving to the top rope... SKY HIGH LEG DROP... NO!
Van Dam rolls to safety, seeing Dykstra crash to the mat! Dykstra writhes in pain, but as he does, Van Dam is quickly racing to the top rope... and flying through the air... FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH!!
Van Dam gets all of it, hooking both legs... 1... 2... 3!
Winner: Rob Van Dam @ 09.13
Van Dam has done it! A unbelievable effort from Dykstra, who just couldn't put Van Dam away, and the crowd expresses its delight at the outcome of the contest...
Van Dam has done it! 'Mr. Monday Night' will advance in the Number One Contenders Tournament!
What a display from 'RVD'. Van Dam will advance, but Dykstra took a lot out of the last ever ECW Champion. Van Dam may be goin' on in the tournament, but he better hope he's got a week off before his semi final match.
Do you really think Vince and Shane McMahon are gonna give Van Dam the chance to recover?
Van Dam rolls from the ring, slowly walking up the ramp, trying to shake away the cobwebs as we cut backstage...
To the interview area where Todd Grisham is standing by...
Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time... Bobby Lashley.
A mixed response, although more cheers than boos as Bobby Lashley steps towards the mic, a stern look on his face...
Bobby, last week you lost the ECW Championship to Rob Van Dam in an Extreme Rules Match. It was certainly a brutal contest Bobby, but unfortunately for you, for the second time in 2007, you came up short against 'RVD'. Bobby, we understand that next week you will be involved in the Number Contenders Tournament. Lashley, can you recover from your set back last week to go on to Wrestlemania and challenge for the WWE Championship?
Grisham points the mic under Lashley's face, expecting an answer... but Lashley simply looks down at it...
Uh... Bobby? Do you need me to repeat the question?
Lashley stares at Grisham, the fire in his eyes burning, looking like he wants to rip Grisham limb from limb... but instead Lashley, breathes hard, almost as if he's counting to 10 in his mind, composing himself before finally uttering...
I said last week... no more interviews.
And just like that, this interview is over, as Lashley turns and leaves, the stunned look on Grisham's face the lasting image as we fade to another backstage area...
To see Ric Flair looking nervous as he speaks on a cellphone. Still in his ring gear from earlier, Flair's concern is clear for all to see as he paces back and forth...
Yeah... yeah... good, that's good... alright Tully, tell 'im I'll call 'im tomorrow... yeah, alright... bye.
Snapping shut his phone, Flair opens the door to a dressing room, walking to find Carlito and Torrie Wilson sat on a nearby bench...
Hey Ric, ju' talk to Arn?
No. I got Tully Blanchard, he's gone to Charlotte to see how he's doin'. They let 'im out the hospital earlier today, he's at home restin' up right now. Tully's been watchin' the show though, says you did a heck of a job tonight.
'Dat's cool man!
Flair then turns towards his gym bag, while Carlito looks apprehensive, almost as if he doesn't want to ask the question that Flair knows is coming...
Listen Ric... uh... what 'ju gonna do about Kennedy man? I mean, 'ju can't let this side Ric.
Almost reluctantly, Flair nods his head...
I know. Believe me brother, I know. I'm gonna make sure Mr. Kennedy gets his ass handed to him. But I won't be forced into anythin' by that sunnova bitch!
He'll get his one day, but it's gonna be on MY terms. My number concern right now, with regards to bein' in the ring, is that me and you defend these tag titles. This team Carlito, this ain't somethin' that's gonna end 'cos of some punk
Carlito smiles and nods his approval...
You and me? We're in this thing for the long haul brother!
Flair and Carlito share a handshake...
'Dat's cool Ric. 'Dat's cool.
Alright. Now if you'll excuse me, I got another phone call to make.
Having already changed, 'Lito reaches down and picks up his bag, extending his hand to Torrie...
'Dat's cool. We'll take off man.
Thanks brother. See ya' later Torrie.
Carlito and Torrie head off, with Torrie turning to offer a brief wave goodbye. Flair then picks his phone back up off the bench, pressing a few numbers before bringing the phone to his ear. Waiting for the call to connect, Flair looks off into the distance, before a big smile crosses his face...
Ric Flair: Dave!
How are ya' 'Champ'? Listen, I got a lil' favour to ask ya'...
We see one last shot of a beaming Flair before he then turns his back on the camera, and it's here we cut back into the arena...
Real solid heat as Umaga
ominously strides down to the ring, Armando Alejandro Estrada
following, shouting trash at the crowd...
Well folks, the monster is on the loose! Umaga, challenged last week by CM Punk, is out to inflict more pain and destruction on yet another Raw Superstar.
And after finding out he's not in the Number One Contenders Tournament, Umaga's probably gonna be in a worse mood than he usually is!
CM Punk and Umaga are gonna go at it, and that match is next, when we return to Monday Night Raw!
Back to it, and Umaga and Estrada are in the ring, 'The Samoan Bulldozer' snarling and pacing the ring, waiting for his opponent...
*THIS FIRE BURNS...*
A great welcome for CM Punk
, who steps out looking as confident as ever despite the mammoth task ahead of him. Punk does his usual routine of taping and listening to the imaginary watch on his wrist, before shouting "It's clobberin' time!" and then confidently striding down the ramp...
Welcome back to Raw folks. 'King', J.R., I saw CM Punk for several months on ECW, and I gotta admit, I was extremely impressed with what Punk brought to the table. And while he's continued to impress since arriving on Raw, I don't know if Punk is impressive enough to beat the still
They say he doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, he doesn't do drugs, but I think Armando Estrada said it best last week. He must've
been takin' somethin' to challenge Umaga!
Well, I don't think there's any question regarding that. CM Punk had nothin' but a clear mind when he stepped out last week. But we've seen a lotta people try and fail to overcome 'The Samoan Bulldozer', but CM Punk could easily make a believer outta me.
CM Punk vs. Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada
Having been the one who issued the challenge, it’s no surprise to see Punk come out firing, as when the two come together he instantly starts throwing kicks off of Umaga’s thighs, stinging right and left boots finding their mark. ‘Mags swats Punk away, pushing him to the corner, but Punk comes back out and quickly goes back to work with the boots... until a big knee to the midsection slows things down. Umaga then scoops Punk up for a slam, but Punk slips down the back, striking with more kicks and a pair of forearms before going for an Irish whip... but Umaga anchors himself, blocking the attempt and then fires Punk to the opposite corner. Punk hits the turnbuckle hard, prompting Umaga to attack... but Punk scrambles through the ropes to avoid the big splash! Umaga is dazed as his head hits the ringpost, stumbling to the middle of the ring, allowing Punk to climb to the top rope... flying crossbody! 1... 2... Umaga kicks out with force.
Umaga quickly makes it back to a knee, but again Punk attacks with kicks, striking the chest and midsection. Punk then swings for the head, only for Umaga to grab him by the boot. Slowly Umaga gets back to his feet, lining Punk up... who counters with a great enziguiri! The impact of the kick to the back of the skull sends Umaga flying through the ropes to the floor, and now the match has spilled outside the ring. Seeing Umaga down, Punk brings himself to the ropes, waiting for ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ to rise... to attempt a plancha... only for Umaga to nail Punk in-flight with a stinging shot to the throat! Punk hits the floor hard and instantly reaches for his throat, coughing as Umaga drags him to his feet... and launches Punk into the barricade! The crowd gasps as Punk hits the barricade hard, but there’s no time to rest as he rolled under the bottom rope and Umaga quickly goes for the cover, with Punk rolling the shoulder at 2.
Umaga now looks to do some damage, hitting a pair of chops to the neck before locking on the nerve hold. Applying pressure, Umaga squeezes down, but Punk is able to strike back, connecting on a pair of kicks to the head. Umaga still has the hold locked on, but the kicks buy Punk a bit of separation, allowing him to scramble to the his feet... but Umaga stays in control with a knee to the gut, then he fires Punk hard to the corner. The impact causes Punk to stumble back towards Umaga... who is waiting to strike with the savate kick! 1... 2... Punk rolls the shoulder!
‘Mags now looks to target Punk’s back, working the area with a knee drop and then a bow and arrow stretch. Again Umaga wrenches back to apply pressure, but once more Punk shows fight by using his free leg to kick himself out of the predicament. Both men are back on their feet, and the crowd sense a rally as they pop for every right hand Punk throws, before he charges off the ropes... straight into a swinging side slam! 1... 2... again Punk survives! Feeling angry at his inability to put Punk away, ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ synchs ‘The Straight Edge Superstar’ to his feet, locking on a bear hug in another attempt to wear Punk down. Punk shows signs of fading, but the crowd rises for him, willing him back into the match. Punk responds as he strikes with elbow after elbow to the skull, forcing the break, before again tagging a kick to the thigh and then going for an Irish whip to the corner... but ‘Mags reverses and attacks... only for Punk to get a boot up into the face! Staggered, Umaga turns his back, and Punk quickly steps through the ropes and waists for the monster to turn... into a springboard clothesline! 1... 2... no!
Punk looks to continue the attack, as when both men are back up he strikes with yet more kicks to the thigh. A dropkick drops Umaga to one knee, and this allows Punk to come off the ropes... STEP UP ENZUIGIRI! 1... 2... NO! Again Umaga kicks out, keeping his ‘undefeated’ streak intact. Again Punk goes on the attack, snapping off tired right hands before he comes off the ropes... crossbody... no! Umaga catches him... swinging side slam! Punk crashes and burns, but there’s no cover attempt, as instead ‘Mags grabs him by the hand and drags Punk towards the corner. His head propped against the bottom turnbuckle, Umaga retreats to the opposite side of the ring, bounces up and down and attacks... SAMOAN WRECKING BALL! Punk’s head snaps back in frightening fashion, but again there’s no cover, as instead Umaga drags Punk and turns him, placing him perpendicular to the corner. In position, Umaga, with his back to the ring, then climbs to the second rope. Gripping the top rope, Umaga then begins bouncing up an down, before launching himself in the air... for a
VADERUMAGABOMB! The crowd gasps as all the air is driven out of CM Punk, with Umaga not even bothering to hook the leg... 1... 2... PUNK GETS A FOOT ON THE ROPES!
The arena erupts as Punk stays alive, leaving Umaga to furiously confront the referee. Feeling intimidated, the ref backs away to the opposite corner, with our now pissed off Samoan following him all the way. Umaga continues to shout in Samoan at the ref, who has a look of sheer fear in his eyes. While all this happening, Punk has somehow dragged himself to his feet, and he charges across the ring just as the ref moves to safety and Umaga turns against the turnbuckle... SHINNING WIZARD... BULLDOG! Punk drives Umaga to the mat, and he hooks the leg... 1... 2... NO! Punk runs both hands through his head, disconsolate that Umaga managed to roll his shoulder. Looking to stay in control, Punk returns to his feet, clutching his back due to the earlier offence, but he fights on, continuing to hit those kicks before going for an Irish whip to the corner... Umaga reverses and he keeps on running... but Punk again avoids him, with this time Umaga drilling his shoulder into the ring post! Punk stands behind Umaga, waiting for him to turn... and when he does, Punk takes ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ up on his shoulders... GO TO SLEEP... NO! The sheer weight of Umaga causes his back to give out, forcing Umaga to drop to the mat behind Punk... and then spin Punk around... SAMOAN SPIKE!! The deadly Samoan Spike finds it’s mark, and the crowd is dejected as Umaga falls down for the cover... 1... 2... 3.
Winner: Umaga @ 11.53
A heroic effort from Punk, who now writhes in pain on the mat, clutching his ribs and coughing furiously. Umaga is quickly back on his feet, once again victorious, but well aware that he came closer tonight than ever before to losing his undefeated record. Umaga stands ominously over his latest victim, but Estrada quickly leads his monster towards the ropes...
Unbelievable. What an incredible effort from CM Punk.
We've been watching Umaga decimate people for just under a year now, but I don't think I've ever
seen Umaga pushed as close as that.
I don't think I've ever seen Armando Estrada look as worried during a match as that! I think CM Punk really made a name for himself here tonight, I just hope the injury it appears he's suffered isn't serious.
With Estrada and Umaga having now headed backstage, Punk remains seated in the ring, the referee talking to him, the camera picking up "Are you alright?". Punk grimaces and he nods, but it's clear that Punk is having problems catching a breath. Slowly Punk inches towards the ropes, crawling under them, still clutching at his ribs. Exiting to silence, the referee tries to assist Punk, but 'The Straight Edge Superstar' declines the offer, preferring to head backstage under his own steam. Slowly, a round of applause breaks out from the crowd that line the ramp, and with every agonising step Punk takes towards backstage, the applause intensifies, until the arena is on its feet in a great show of respect. Punk continues to make his way backstage, without help, and we finally cut away from the arena...
Yet again to the office of Mr. McMahon, who is stood infront of a TV screen, a huge smile on his face. Shane McMahon is stood next to him,, also looking rather smug...
Y'know what Shane?
Vince nods his head confidently, clearly aware of something we don't know...
I think that little arrangement we made with Mr. Estrada... is going to work out just fine
Shane nods his agreement, as both Father and Son watch the TV, both eerily happy at what Umaga has just done.
We quickly cut to another area of the arena, to see both Mike Knox and Kelly Kelly sat on a leather couch. Having obviously just watched CM Punk suffer, Kelly has a concerned, almost scared look on her face and tears in her eyes, while Knox has a sick grin etched on his...
Y'see that? Huh? Y'see what loser
that guy is? I mean seriously Kelly, what do you see in this guy?
Please Mike. I don't want to talk about this.
Knox turns his gaze away from the screen and back to Kelly, who shudders as he does so...
You're right. All that talk of you and CM Punk... that's all behind us now, isn't it? Now that you and me, our relationship
, is stronger than ever... we don't need to be talkin' about him.
Wiping a tear away from her eyes and sniffing, Kelly moves to stand up off the couch...
I have to go to bathroom.
But instantly, just like he's done for the last two weeks, Know aggressively grabs Kelly by the wrist...
That bathroom? (Scoffs)
You think I'm STUPID don't you Kelly? You think
I don't know you're goin' to check how Punk's doin', DON'T YOU?!
No! Mike, please... you're hurtin' me.
A final yank of the wrist forces Kelly back down to the couch...
When are you gonna get it through that pretty lil' head of yours that you're never goin' anywhere without me... ever
... again. Huh? When you gonna realise that babe? Maybe I need to teach CM Punk a lesson he'll never forget... to make you realise that I'm the only guy for you Kelly.
Knox's evil mind goes to work, will we take one last look at Kelly. Scared, worried, in tears, before we fade into a commercial.
And we return once more to the interview area and Todd Grisham
, no doubt hoping this interview goes better than the last one he attempted...
Ladies and gentlemen, my guests at this time, the self proclaimed
'World's Greatest Tag Team', Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas.
Boos as Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin enter the scene, one man entering on each side of Grisham, leaving the interviewer feeling just a little bit intimidated as he stands between them...
Shelton, Charlie, last week you both had a few words for the new World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito. You said that-
Annoyed, Benjamin snatches the mic from Grisham's hand...
what we said man! Infact, get outta here! We'll handle this.
Haas grabs Grisham by the shirt, tossing him to one side out of the shot...
We said that we wanted our shot at Flair and Carlito, and that we weren't gonna wait to get it! We're still waitin', and for some reason, Ric Flair's still talkin' about Mr. Kennedy.
Haas shakes his head...
Well guess what Ric? It ain't Kennedy you oughta be worryin' about. You oughta be worryin' about us!
Benjamin now hands the mic over to Haas...
We want what's comin' to us. And that's the World Tag Team Championships. So right here, right now, we're issuin' a challenge. Ric, 'Lito... we want your asses in that ring!
And now Haas hands it back to Benjamin...
We ain't gonna wait anymore 'Champs'. If you're lookin' for competition, then don't look no further. The World's Greatest Tag Team wants a shot at the gold... and we're gonna get it. All that matters is whether you give it to us... or we gotta take it.
Benjamin now steps forward, his intensity clear for all to see...
And if we need to take it... you gonna be beggin'
us to take those titles too. Let's go man.
Benjamin lets the mic drop to the mat, with he and Haas exiting the area while we fade into a video...
MARCH 27th, 1988
For the first, and to this date only time, a one night tournament is held to determine the new WWF Champion. After the much heralded Hulk Hogan/Andre The Giant rematch at Saturday Night's Main Event the previous month ended in controversial fashion, the title is vacated after Andre sells the championship to 'The Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase. After another Hulk/Andre match ends in a double disqualification, the last two men standing are Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase. After receiving a semi final bye and having Andre in his corner, DiBiase is the heavy favourite, and he dominates the match. However, after Miss Elizabeth disappears backstage and returns with Hogan, the tide of the match turns, and with the threat of Andre neutralized, Savage connects with a big elbow from the top rope to grab the vacant title and celebrate his first WWF Championship.
WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - 48 DAYS AND COUNTING
*End Video Package*
We now go back into the arena for...
Decent heat as for the first time as a trio, Johnny Nitro
and Chris Masters
stroll the red carpet...
We have our second quarter final matchup of the Number One Contenders Tournament right here folks, as Johhny Nitro is in action.
But what about the dynamic of this newfound partnership between Nitro and Masters? Neither man has won a match in 2007, and both felt that the best way for them to overcome their problems was to team together.
Well, when you say it like that, it all makes sense really. And if Chris Masters is really the answer, then Nitro could wind up fighting for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania!
In the ring, Masters asks for a microphone...
You people are in for a real treat tonight! Tonight is just the first night of what is going to be the greatest
partnership in the HISTORY of wrestling!
And it all starts tonight, as with ME in his corner, there's no way Johnny can lose!
Melina claps, jumping up and down as she does, while Nitro wears a big smirk on his face...
So, bring out the man who has the honour
of being the first man Johnny Nitro beats in 2007!
Masters tosses the mic aside, shouting "C'mon!" and rubbing Nitro's shoulders, psyching up his partner for the upcoming match. There's a few moments of silence...
”BEHOLD THE KING... THE KING OF KINGS..."
Oh dear. The arena plunges into the darkness, but through the flickering lights we can see that both Nitro's and Masters' jaws have hit the floor. The arena is buzzing, and gives out a defeaning roar as Triple H
steps out, looking in no mood to mess around. 'The Game' sprays water in the air, to another great pop before he charges down the ramp...
I don't think Nitro and Masters can believe it! 'The Game', no doubt still furious with Shawn Michaels after his actions last week, is entered in the Number One Contenders Tournament!
Nitro and 'The Game', one on one, when we return to Monday Night Raw!
Match 4: Number One Contenders Tournament Quarter Final Match
Johnny Nitro w/ Chris Masters and Melina vs. Triple H
The crowd is still buzzing when we return, just in time to hear the bell ring. Nitro is tentative at first, feeling uncomfortable with the cold blooded stare in the eyes of the ‘The Game’. After a bit of encouragement from Masters and Melina, he finally steps forward, and as Trips looks for a tie up, Nitro surprises him with a knee to the gut. A pair of rights back Triple H to the ropes, where Nitro goes for an Irish whip... but ‘The Game’ reverses, only for Morrison to duck his clothesline... but Triple H charges off the ropes... and connects with a running high knee strike! Nitro is rocked, staggering to his feet, only to be sent back down again with a big right hand. Again Nitro stumbles to his feet, this time backing up to the ropes... and ‘The Game’ clotheslines him over the top rope! The crowd rises as the intense Triple H looks to take his frustrations out on Nitro, who is being tended to on the outside by Masters and Melina. ‘The Game’ isn’t in the mood to let him rest though, as Triple H steps through the ropes and drags Nitro up, launching him face first into the steel ring post! Nitro flops to the floor, prompting a concerned Melina to race over and check on his condition. Wanting to press on, ‘The Game’ hesitates as Melina crouches over Nitro, prompting the ref to step in and order Melina to move. As the referee and Melina argue, Trips tosses Nitro back into the ring, only for Masters to grab him from behind... but ‘The Game’ snaps off a right hand, rocking Masters and then turning to enter the ring... but Masters grabs him by the foot, pulling Triple H down and causing ‘The Game’ to crash face first off the apron!
With the ref still distracted, Masters drives Triple H spine first into the apron, and then rolls him under the bottom rope, with Nitro quickly going for a cover... 1... 2... Triple H forcibly kicks out. ‘The Game’ then crawls to the corner, looking to recover, but Nitro stays on the attack, connecting with uppercuts and boots to the midsection before going for an Irish whip... but Triple H reverses... and charges to connect with a clothesline... but Nitro drives his boot into the face. ‘The Game’ staggers out of the corner, and Nitro looks to take advantage, jumping to the second rope... springboard roundhouse! Nitro gets all of it, and he crawls over to hook the leg... 1... 2... Triple H kicks out!
Looking to press home his advantage, Nitro tags Triple H with a pair of forearms and a big kick to the midsection against the ropes, before he runs to charge off the opposite side of the ring... only for Triple H to elevate him over the top rope... but Nitro lands on the apron! Instantly ‘The Game’ turns and swings with a right hand, but Nitro uses the ropes to baseball slide through Triple H’s legs, and again he comes off the ropes... and runs into a massive SPINNING SPINEBUSTER! The crowd erupts as ‘The Game’ plants Nitro and rises to his feet, roaring to the masses before turning and waiting for Nitro to rise... kick... PEDIGREE... NO! Melina is up on the apron, drawing the attention of Triple H, who tosses Nitro to the mat and heads over to the side of the ring. Melina has the eye of the referee too, and before ‘The Game’ can confront her, Chris Masters slides into the ring... but he too runs into a massive SPINNING SPINEBUSTER! Masters is hammered to the mat, and again Trips rises to his feet... only for Nitro to take his head off with the NITRO BLAST!
Nitro quickly rolls Masters out of the ring, and with expert precision Melina drops down from the apron, allowing the referee to turn and see Nitro has hooked the leg... 1... 2... NO! Again Triple H kicks out, to the delight of the crowd and the disbelief of Nitro! After taking a few moments to compose himself, Nitro helps ‘The Game’ back to his feet, connecting of a few right hands before going for an Irish whip... but Nitro lowers his head... facebreaker knee smash! Nitro’s face cracks of the knee of ‘The Game’, staggering Nitro back, but he attacks again... only to run into a kick to the midsection... and then Triple H quickly hooks him up... PEDIGREE!!
‘The Game’ plants Nitro, and he rolls him over to hook both legs tight... 1...2... 3!
Winner: Triple H @ 06.49
Nitro's woes continue as 'The Game' picks up a convincing victory, advancing to the semi final stage. Nitro quickly rolls to the floor, where he's helped back to his feet by Masters and Melina, while the camera snaps to Triple H, who is already reaching through the ropes for a microphone...
Triple H: (Through heavy breathing)
Heat for the mention of Michaels...
GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE NOW!
The crowd goes nuts over the thought of a Michaels/Triple H encounter. 'The Game' paces the ring, patiently waiting... but all he gets is silence...
C'mon Shawn! I'm not gonna wait 'til I win this tournament to get my hands on ya', I want you TONIGHT!
Again the crowd cheers, but again their cheers fall on deaf ears as Shawn Michaels remains backstage...
Alright Shawn. Have it your way. If you're not gonna come out here and face me like a man... I'm just gonna have to come back there and treat you like the BITCH that you are!
'The Game' emphatically slams the mic down to the mat, moving to climb through the ropes...
You want me to come out there?
Instantly huge heat as Shawn Michaels appears on the titan-tron. Looking up, 'The Game' sees his former best friend, stopping his climb through the ropes to now lean against them...
Y'know what Hunter? I'm sick and tired of doin' what you want me to do. You
were the one who needed my help six months ago and wanted to put DX back together. You
were the one who wanted that match with Rated-RKO. And you
were the one who put our friendship on the line. And why did you do that Hunter? Nothin' more than for your own selfish greed.
Michaels glances at the WWE Championship on his shoulder...
So I'm not gonna pander to you anymore Hunter. You don't make demands of me anymore. I'm
the WWE Champion, and that means I'm
callin' the shots!
Although addressing the camera, Michaels continues to have that distant look in his eyes, while in the ring 'The Game' has a look of pure fury on his face...
So Hunter, if you want a piece of me, you're gonna have to go to Saturday Night's Main Event and earn it. 'Cos my days of doin' what you want are long gone.
Having picked up the mic he earlier slammed to the mat, Triple H laughs to himself...
Alright Shawn. You sit back there, and you hide behind that bible of yours. But you better pray to God that I don't win that tournament Shawn. 'Cos if I do... I'm straight up kill
* THE GAME...*
Michaels' expression doesn't change one inch, still the same expression-less face he's had all night. 'The Game' stands tall in the ring, the crowd going nuts for him, while Michaels soon turns his back on the camera and we fade into commercial...
We return to a 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*
We exit the video and go to the parking lot, where we see Jonathan Coachman stood at the doorway to the arena. 'Coach' has an apprehensive look on his face as he checks his watch, anxiously looking all around the lot. Suddenly, a tire screech is heard, with 'Coach' and the camera both staring at the bright lights of a car, piercing the darkness and heading straight for them. The car continues to speed towards the lot, and we soon see it is a yellow muscle car. The car pulls up right infront of 'Coach', with Coachman trying to peek through the tinted windows to see who the driver is. Unable to do so, 'Coach' steps back... and the driver's door swings open... and out steps John Cena! A great pop rings out from inside the arena as Cena steps out, walking towards 'Coach'...
Cena! You're here, finally! God, I need to go tell Mr. McMahon and-
John Cena: (Interrupting)
Whoa! Coach, where you goin' man?
Well, I promised Mr. McMahon I'd let him know when you get here.
Yeah but c'mon 'Coach'! You don't gotta tell 'im right away! Hey... y'know what 'Coach'? You can do me a huge
Naturally wary after his recent experiences with Cena, 'Coach' is apprehensive to Cena's offer...
Wh- wh- what's the favour?
Well, y'know, I got this car on rental from the airport and I... I dunno. I kinda like it, I'm thinkin' about gettin' one just like it but... I just can't make up my mind.
Cena removes his hat and exaggerates a scratch of his head...
And I was just wonderin' 'Coach'... what do YOU think about it? Y'think I should get a car like this?
Convinced that Cena is sincere, Coachman smiles, stepping forward to inspect the grill of the car to offer his opinion...
Well... are you crazy? You don't want a car like this Cena, this doesn't suit you at all.
Cena gives 'Coach' an over the top look of sadness...
Y'know what you should get Cena? You should get like a minivan or something.
Oh absolutely! Y'know, you're lucky you asked me for my advice Cena 'cos this is just all wrong for you.
God, I... I guess you're right 'Coach'. Thanks man. Thanks a lot! Hey... put it there man.
Cena extends his hand for a handshake, which 'Coach' enthusiastically accepts... only Cena to synch 'Coach' in, hoisting him up onto his shoulders... FU ONTO THE HOOD OF THE CAR!! A huge cheer echoes out from the arena as Cena plants Coachman on the hood of the car, causing 'Coach' to cry out in agony...
Y'know, I don't think I want this car anymore. It's got a dent in it.
Lulz. The camera stays focused on the hurt 'Coach', while Cena makes his way inside the arena, happy at extracting a measure of revenge one measure of revenge tonight. Could there be more to come?
Back into the arena for...
*WHAT LOVE IS...*
Not much of a reaction at all as Candice Michelle
enters the arena, despite her best efforts to fire up the crowd and slap hands as she goes down the aisle...
John Cena is in the building folks! And he just emphatically announced his arrival to Jonathan Coachman!
John Cena might be here, but does Mr. McMahon know about it yet?
Well since John Cena shot the messenger, I can't imagine that he does. But right now it's time for Divas action, and we're delighted to have along with us, none other than the Women's Champion herself, Mickie James. Welcome Mickie.
The shot snaps to the announce desk to see Mickie James sat alongside the commentary trio, dressed a tidy black dress, the Women's Championship perched on the desk infront of her...
Thanks J.R.! Thank you for having me guys!
Oh it's always
a pleasure to have you out here with us Mickie.
We're about set to see Candice Michelle go one on one with Victoria, and of course Mickie, you picked up a long awaited, decisive victory over Victoria last week.
Yeah, and boy, what a hard match that was. I mean, so many times I came so close to losing my title. But somehow, I managed to hang in there, and now I'm still the champion!
*I AIN'T A LADY TO MESS WITH...*
Solid amount of heat as Victoria
makes her entrance, although surprisingly, Victoria isn't dressed to compete tonight, instead wearing a red, low-cut top, dark jeans and high heels. In the ring, Candice and the referee share confused looks, while Victoria, who already has a mic in her hand, looks to clear up the confusion...
I know I'm supposed to be in a match tonight, but to be honest... I really just don't feel like it.
A few boos to which Victoria just innocently shrugs...
I know, I know. But don't worry Candice, I have found the perfect replacement for me. A really, really
good friend of mine...
Confused looks all around, except for Victoria, who has a big smile on her face as a tall, blonde, muscular woman emerges...
Well folks, that young lady right there is Beth Phoenix
, a Diva who was previously on Raw, only to suffer an injury that ruled her out of action.
Well, I can't say I remember all that much about Beth Phoenix, but just lookin' at her, she looks very
Mickie, you're the current champion, what do you make of this Beth Phoenix?
Uh... well, I certainly remember Beth Phoenix. We had our share of problems when she was first here on Raw.
And do those problems continue to this day?
Well, y’know, she got injured, and we never really settled anything. I kinda forgot all about her to be honest with you, but... we’ll see what happens.
Candice Michelle vs. Beth Phoenix w/ Victoria
Upon entering the ring, Beth doesn’t take her eyes off of Mickie, staring at the champion with an eerie smile on her face. However, when the bell rings Beth is all business, turning to her opponent and going for a collar and elbow tie up. Beth immediately twists this into nothing short of a forearm choke, standing behind Candice to choke her with one arm and hammer her face with the other forearm. The referee protests, but Beth drags Candice to the corner, connecting with another pair of forearms to the face. This time the referee steps in, physically forcing a break, admonishing Beth for her actions. A hard Irish whip sends Candice to the opposite corner, but when she charges in for a clothesline, Candice avoids the contact, seeing Phoenix strike her arm off of the turnbuckle. Candice looks to take advantage of this, hitting a kick to the arm and then wrenching it before running to the top rope for an impressive looking springboard armdrag.
Both divas are quickly back up, but Beth looks a little shaky, allowing Candice to attack... but when she goes for a hurricanrana, Beth shows great strength to hang on, hoisting Candice high above her head... and then hammering her into the corner with a nasty looking turnbuckle powerbomb. Candice is hurting in the corner, but Beth is relentless, again landing a string of forearms that drives Candice to the mat, then using her boot to choke Candice against the middle turnbuckle. Beth then drags Candice by the hair from the corner to her feet, scooping Michelle up and taking her down with a sidewalk slam, gaining a 2 count.
Beth then looks to again go for a power move, helping Candice up and then taking her up onto her shoulders... but Candice slips down the bag, again connecting on forearms to the face and a kick to the midsection before coming off the ropes... flying clothesline! The crowd gives a small pop as Candice roars at them, and soon she’s waiting for Beth to rise, charging in... but Beth ducks down and hoists the unrushing Candice onto her shoulders... for the BETH VALLEY DRIVER! The crowd gasps at the dangerous looking fireman’s carry into Michinoku driver combination, with Beth pressing herself on top of Candice, not even bothering to hook a leg... 1... 2... 3.
Winner: Beth Phoenix @ 03.27
A very convincing re-debut for Beth, as she makes light work of Candice. Victoria soon joins her new ally in the ring, taking a few cheap kicks at Candice, before both she and Phoenix turn to stare at Mickie, who is still sat behind the announce desk...
What a display from Beth Phoenix. Aside from a few moments when it looked like Candice might be able to mount a comeback, Phoenix absolutely dominated that matchup.
And Mickie, you were watching that, what did you make of it?
Wow. Um, well certainly it was impressive, but-
In the ring, Victoria points at Mickie at Beth picks Candice up off the mat, lining her up for more punishment...
Aw c'mon now! Enough’s enough!
Excuse me guys...
Mickie drops her headseat, kicks off her high heels and slides under the bottom rope... and starts trading fists with Beth and Victoria! Showing great fight, the champion gets the better of both women, rocking Beth with a big forearm before connecting on a pair to Victoria... only for Phoenix to hammer her with a massive clothesline! The crowd gasps as Mickie's head snaps against the mat, and after shaking off the champion's offence, Beth soon has Mickie up, tying up her arms and taking her high in the air... for the GLAM SLAM! Mickie crashes to the mat face first, as Beth Phoenix has made an emphatic statement her tonight...
God, what an impact Beth Phoenix has just made. She's just laid out the Woman's Champion!
And the scary part is she did it with ease!
Certainly business just picked up in the Women's Division here on Raw.
The shot cuts to John Cena walking along a corridor, no doubt on his way ringside...
But ladies and gentlemen, the former
WWE Champion John Cena is here tonight, and we understand we're going to hear from Cena, and that is comin' up next!
Straight back to the arena for...
*MY TIME IS NOW...*
A thunderous response for John Cena
, who for the first time in months is subjected to far more cheers than boos. The boos are barely audible as Cena offers a salute before striding to the ring in with a purpose, not his usual jovial sprint down the ramp...
This place is goin' crazy for the former WWE Champion! John Cena was nothin' short of robbed
of the WWE Championship last week, first by Shane McMahon, and then by Shawn Michaels. What on earth does Cena have to say about it?
Look at John Cena, he's all business tonight. He didn't run down the ramp and slide under the bottom rope, he walked down the ramp and climbed the steps. He's not here to mess around tonight.
And that can only mean bad news for the McMahon's.
Cena reaches through the ropes to receive a mic, returning to the centre of the ring...
I wanna start by-
"CENA! CENA! CENA!"
Thank you. Thank you very much. I wanna start by sayin' that I apologize for not bein' in the best of moods tonight. Havin' the WWE Championship ripped out of your hands like what happened to me last week can do that to a guy.
Cena removes his hat, tossing it to the crowd...
I was backstage for a few minutes there, and somebody happened to mention to me that Shane McMahon has decided that I won't
be gettin' a rematch for the WWE Championship. Well, Shawn Michaels, as far as I'm concerned, that's only delayin' the inevitable. One o' these days, may not be you, but one o' these days I'll earn
another shot at the WWE Championship, and I will
get back what you stole from me. You mighta just been the guy who took advantage of the situation, but to me, that means that title is tainted
as long as it's around your waist.
Cena steps towards the cameraman stood on the apron, reaching into the collar of his t-shirt and pulling out his dog tags...
Hustle. Loyalty. Respect. You ain't got a single one of 'em anymore Shawn. One day, we're gonna dance the dance Shawn, and you gonna find out exactly
what those three words mean.
Cena places his tags back within his t-shirt, returning to the centre of the ring...
As for the McMahon's...
Cena laughs, shaking his head...
Well, what else can I say? Ya' got me. Ya' waited 'til I was one second away from winnin' one heck of a triple threat match, then you and your boys came down to the ring and beat me half to death with a steel chair.
Cena stares dead-straight into the hard camera...
My doctors ain't happy, they want me to sit this one out. But I ain't gonna let you think you got me beat Shane. You don't deserve the satisfaction of thinkin' like that. I am here TONIGHT and I am lookin' for a FIGHT!
I understand Shane, you wanna look good infront of ya' Daddy, you wanna make Daddy proud. You wanna finally step up and be the son he thinks he's found in Stephanie.
You wanna try prove yourself at my expense Shane? You don't gotta walk down that ramp with six other guys and crack a steel chair off my skull. You walk down that ramp alone, you get in this ring, and we settle this like real men.
You can bring Vinny with ya' if ya' want, I already put him through a table in the last month. He wants a good view of seein' his boy get his ass kicked, then bring him along to the party! But Shane, you better-
*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*
Ask and ye shall receive as Mr. McMahon
and Shane McMahon
step out, stopping at the top of the ramp, their security team quickly falling into line behind them...
Cena! I had no idea you were here!
Yeah, I saw the welcoming committee.
Yeah, yeah. I really
need to do somethin' about 'Coach'. Nothin' but a disappointment.
Vince and Shane share a knowing glance...
Buy myself and Shane, we seem to be doing alright when it comes to taking care of problems tonight. Y'see Cena, earlier tonight, we had ourselves a little problem with Rob Van Dam and the ECW Championship. And that problem, has been taken care of.
Cena leans against the ropes, unimpressed...
And y'know, you and 'RVD'... your both very similar in certain ways. You both disobeyed me by agreeing to to face each other for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. You knew
I didn't want Rob Van Dam anywhere near the WWE Title, but you and your stupid hustle, loyalty, respect, you just couldn't say no, could ya' Cena?
Vince shakes his head with annoyance...
You couldn't say no to a challenge, even when it was for your own good. Even when it was in your best interest NOT to accept that challenge, you just couldn't do it.
Again Vince shakes his head, almost with regret...
So then we had a contract signing. Where both
you and 'RVD' saw fit to put your hands on me. You put me through a table, Van Dam came off the top rope, I had to spend the next week in a wheelchair with a brace wrapped around my neck.
Vince reaches for the back of his neck, wincing briefly...
And there's something else you and 'RVD' are going to have in common. Earlier tonight, Van Dam learned the most valuable lesson a WWE employee can ever learn: You don't cross 'The Boss'!
And Cena, last week was just a small
taste of what you're in for. I made
you Cena, and now... now I'm gonna CRUSH
Vince closes his fist as he speaks...
Y'see, a lot of people have tried to mess with me over the years. Bret Hart, 'Stone Cold', Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels...
You remember last year Shane, at Backlash, the number we did on Shawn?
Shane nods and laughs in agreement...
And now Cena... now it's your turn. Now it's your turn to find out I always
get my way.
Cena flashes a sarcastic smirk...
That's uh- that's real cute Vinny. I mean look at ya', standin' up there with your little posse stood behind ya'. That's real cute. I bet you feel pretty invincible right now Vince, I bet you feel like you're 'King of the World' or somethin'? But Vince... and you too Shane... I ain't none of the men you just listed. I am John... Cena.
Steve Austin kicked your ass Vince up an' down the road for a YEAR. It weren't 'til he got run over by a fat Samoan that you dared
walk back in the door.
A few laugh, especially from J.R. and 'King'...
Hulk Hogan? The guy damn near built your company, then when he came back, you couldn't wait to try tear 'im apart. But at Wrestlemania... he handed your ass to you!
Shawn Michaels, he kicked your ass at Wrestlemania too. And Bret Hart? Bret knocked you out - cold
when you screwed him for the WWE Title.
"YOU SCREWED BRET!", to which Vince nods with pride...
And since I won't
be involved in the WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania XXIII... how 'bout you give me the chance they all had? How 'bout you give me a shot at ol' Vinny Mac, one on one, on the granddaddy of 'em all?! Hell, I'll even take on the only one of ya' that ever won a match at Wrestlemania, and even then, Shane-O had to beat his old man to do it!
I'll take both of ya', handicap match! I don't care how, but I ain't got nothin' planned for Wrestlemania no more, so how 'bout we settle this in Detroit City?!
Fired up, Cena paces the ring, while Vince and Shane share a knowing glance. Looking especially smug, Shane moves in to whisper something in his Father's ear. Vince's eyebrows nearly hit the roof with surprise, before he smirks and nods like a proud Father...
Well actually John, Shane here just suggested to me that...
Vince turns to Shane, still close to disbelief, mouthing "Really?", to which Shane shouts "Yeah!"...
Alright. Well John, tonight might be your lucky night. Y'see John, Shane here has just made a rather interesting offer to me. He just suggested to me that next week, live on Monday Night Raw, it be John Cena one on one... with SHANE MCMAHON!
The crowd is slow to respond, eventually cheering as Cena nods...
I tell ya' what Cena, IF you can beat Shane next week... hell, you can have yourself a match with ME!
"I don't like this. Mr. McMahon looks way too happy right now."
Vince turns to Shane with his arms outspread, as if to say "What do you think of that?"...
Y'see, as McMahons, we too will never back down from a fight. I know that I personally, would like nothing more than to KICK - YOUR - ASS at Wrestlemania. And I'm sure Shane feels the same. But John, unfortunately, you are otherwise engaged at Wrestlemania 23.
Cena looks bemused as he stares up the ramp...
Cena, you already have a match at Wrestlemania. Your opponent? You'll find out when you need
to know. But I don't mind throwin' out a few names, get the people talkin' a lil'. Maybe John... maybe
I've cut a deal with a certain HULK - HOGAN to be your opponent at Wrestlemania?
The crowd pops at the prospect of such a match...
You like the sound o' that, huh? Or how about John Cena, one on one... with STONE - COLD - STEVE - AUSTIN?!!
A bigger pop, but in the ring, the frustration is clear on Cena's face...
YEAH! Yeah, or maybe John, I've decided that you will be the next man to try and break The Undertaker's Wrestlemania Streak?
ENOUGH! You say I got Shane next week, you say I got a Wrestlemania opponent, well WHO THE HELL IS HE?!
Big pop for Cena's intensity, while Vince passes the mic to Shane...
John, John... relax. My Dad won't tease you anymore, I promise. You'll find out your Wrestlemania opponent, when the time is right.
Hey, Shane... how about I just beat it out of you next week?
Another positive response, to which Shane just laughs...
Ah, John. When will you learn? Alright fine John, I'll give you just one - more - name... to consider.
Suddenly, a huge commotion is heard. With the camera switching from Shane at the top of the ramp to Cena in the ring, we don't see it straight away... but it's soon blatantly obvious as to the cause... as UMAGA has raced through the crowd and slide into the ring! Stood behind Cena is a snarling 400lbs Samoan savage... but Cena doesn't know yet! Cena continues to look towards Shane for the answer, the crowd franticly yelling for him to turn...
"FOR GAWD'S SAKE! TURN AROUND JOHN!"
Finally Cena does turn... straight into a SAMOAN DROP! Umaga drives the unaware Cena to the canvas, the former WWE Champion instantly groaning in pain...
WHAT THE HELL IS THE MEANING OF THIS?!
Is this what Mr. McMahon and Armando Estrada were talkin' about earlier?! Is this the deal they cut?!
Nowhere near finished, Umaga drags Cena to his feet... but Cena fires back with a right hand! Cena throws furious right hands, staggering the beast and then charging off the ropes... straight into a SAVATE KICK! Umaga damn near takes Cena's head off, with the crowd dying just as quickly as they rose for Cena's brief comeback. Once more Cena goes down, but Umaga almost instantly has him back on his feet... SAMOAN SPIKE!!!
For the love of Gawd! This damn
Umaga, someone's gotta stop this monster!
I don't think anybody's gonna step in that ring with Umaga right now.
By now Armando Alejandro Estrada has also entered the ring, applauding the efforts of his charge. Looking down at the fallen Cena, Estrada decides that Cena has suffered enough, looking to ease his monster towards the ropes... until...
HEY! Hey, Estrada! You remember that deal we had, amigo
! You two better soften Cena up good, or all bets are off.
Easily persuaded, Estrada reaches into his top pocket... pulls out a cigar... looks Umaga straight in the eye... and SNAPS IT IN HALF! Enraged, Umaga snatches Cena to his feet... and shows incredible strength to gorilla press Cena into the air... for a HUGE SAMOAN DROP!
Once more Cena is dropped to the canvas, but Umaga isn't done, grabbing Cena by the hand, dragging him towards the corner. Laying Cena perpendicular to the corner, Cena is a sitting duck as Umaga climbs to the second rope... bounces up and down... and flies to the mat... UMAGABOMB!! Cena suffers the same fate as CM Punk earlier, with Cena clutching his midsection in pain. Umaga is quickly back on his feet, snarling down at the broken Cena... but Estrada taps 'The Samoan Bulldozer' on the shoulder... and raises a digit in the air, shouting "ONE MORE! ONE MORE!". Nodding, Umaga again climbs to the second rope... bounces for momentum... SECOND UMAGABOMB!!!
Oh my - John Cena is hurt. Badly.
We need some help out here! We need somebody to stop this!
At the top of the ramp, watching it all, Shane and Vince are almost doubled over with laughter...
Alright, alright. That's enough.
Estrada tries to pull Umaga off of the prone Cena, with the Samoan slowly rises to his feet...
John Cena just learned his lesson! See ya' next week John. I can't wait!
*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*
And with that, the evil McMahon's make their exit, heading backstage. In the ring, Estrada continues to try and remove Umaga from the ring, but Umaga remains stood over Cena, snarling down at the unconscious looking former WWE Champion...
God I- I think John Cena has passed out from the pain or somethin'.
What a sick
human being Vince McMahon. And I hope that BASTARD Shane gets his ass handed to 'im next week!
Will John Cena even be able to compete next week?
Oh he'll be ready. He'll be ready to fight! I guarantee that!
I dunno J.R., I think that beating might be too much even for John Cena.
Well... Bah Gawd it makes me sick! Vince and Shane McMahon have just pulled a power play on John Cena tonight. They had the unstoppable
Umaga do their dirty work for 'em!
And that begs the question J.R., is Umaga
the man chosen by Mr. McMahon to be John Cena's opponent at Wrestlemania XXIII?
I dunno. I honestly just don't know anymore. Folks, we're outta time. For the love of Gawd can we get some help out here for John Cena?
Goodnight folks. We'll see you next week.
The music plays, the fans boo, but Umaga takes no notice, simply looking down at John Cena, who for the second week in a row, thanks to the McMahons, is a broken, beaten, fallen man when we fade... to... black.
Current Card for WWE SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT :
Date: March 3rd 2007
Location: Madison Square Garden; New York, New York
Number One Contenders Tournament Final Match:
Winner will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
??? vs. ???