07-16-2007, 02:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Re: Deadman & Legend Present: World Wrestling Entertainment
Royal Rumble Match:
WWE Championship Match:
World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Royal Rumble Qualifier:
07-16-2007, 02:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Re: Deadman & Legend Present: World Wrestling Entertainment
Royal Rumble Match;
Winner has automatic shot at EITHER brand's Champion at WrestleMania XXII:
Entrants in Alphabetical order;
Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Brian Kendrick, Carlito, Charlie Haas, Chris Benoit, Chris Masters, Chavo Guerrero, Edge, Eugene, Finlay, Gregory Helms, John `Bradshaw' Layfield, Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro, Kane, Ken Kennedy, Kid Kash, Lance Cade, Matt Hardy, Matt Striker, Paul London, Rey Mysterio, Ric Flair, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shelton Benjamin, Super Crazy, William Regal (Shawn Michaels)
WWE Championship Match:
Kurt Angle © vs. Triple H
World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Batista © vs. Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker
Royal Rumble Qualifier:
John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
1. Which match will be chosen to open the PPV? Cena vs. Michaels
2. Who will be the #1 and #2 entrants in the Rumble match? HBK and Bobby
3. How long will the Rumble match last? 60 Minutes
4. What will be the Match Of The Night? Angle Vs Triple H
5. Which superstar will make the biggest impression? Randy Orton
07-21-2007, 06:48 PM
Follow me on Twitter @TheHudsonLives
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: White Hart Lane
Re: Deadman & Legend Present: World Wrestling Entertainment
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE
January 29th 2006
American Airlines Arena; Miami, Florida
"Stricken" by Disturbed
The video opens in a darkened room, where a figure sits hunched over, as though contemplating something of great importance. His head slowly rises to reveal Shawn Michaels.
Narrator: Who are you to live in all these many forms?
The image fades out from HBK’s emotional face to John Cena, who stands, head bowed, and shoulders hunched.
Narrator: Your death that captures all.
Cena stares at the camera and it cuts away slowly to Rey Mysterio, staring into a mirror, his mask just pulled upon his face.
Narrator: You, too, are the source of all that’s going to be born.
Fade out to Edge, running his fingers through his hair as he stares into the darkness.
Narrator: Your glory.
Cut to John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield, slowly turning on the spot amongst the gloom, eyes cast downwards.
We then fade to see two hands lacing up a pair of boots, and Carlito raises his head, blinking slowly.
Shelton Benjamin stands alone in a room too. He holds his Intercontinental title up and kisses it, before looking to the heavens.
Someone stands at a sink and throws some water up over his face, before blinking through the damp. It’s Matt Hardy.
Narrator: You give calm a spirit…
Ric Flair dons his famous robe in the darkness, before turning to face the camera.
Booker T slowly fastens the United States Championship around his waist and strokes it contently.
Fading out once again, we see Rob Van Dam lurking in the shadows, squatting on the ground, head bowed as if in prayer.
Narrator: The contented heart.
Kane stands alone too, looking most at home in the gloom, as he raises his arms up slowly.
Narrator: The unwavering victory.
The camera flash cuts between images of Batista, Randy Orton and The Undertaker, all in the darkness, watching one another.
Narrator: The unheard question.
Triple H and Kurt Angle are seen against a dark background, the WWE Championship between them.
Narrator: The passion.
And finally, the camera cuts to an empty arena, panning around the ring slowly, before focusing on the Royal Rumble logo.
Narrator: A journey begins … to Wrestlemania.
The camera whizzes around the American Airlines Arena at a ferocious pace, capturing the sheer intensity of the evening, reading such signs as “The Champ Is Here”, “Game Over”, “WHOO” and many others.
Jim Ross: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida for the twenty-second annual Royal Rumble! I’m Jim Ross, here alongside Jonathan Coachman, for what promises to be a slobberknocker of an evening.
Jonathan Coachman: You’re not wrong there, J.R! Not only do we have Kurt Angle defending the WWE Championship tonight from Raw against Triple H, but we also have the first ever meeting of John Cena and Shawn Michaels one-on-one!
Jim Ross: That’s gonna be brutal that’s for sure. Only one of HBK or Cena will advance to the Royal Rumble match later tonight. Thanks to Eric Bischoff and Mr. McMahon, that’s just the way it is.
Jonathan Coachman: A great decision. It doesn’t matter who’s in the Rumble, J.R, ‘cause Raw has it in the bag. Just ask Edge. Isn’t that right fellas?
Michael Cole: I might have to disagree with you there, but one thing is for certain, the Road To Wrestlemania begins tonight. Hello, everybody, I’m Michael Cole, here alongside Tazz from SmackDown!
Tazz: You ain’t kiddin’, Cole, I’m more pumped for this event than I have for a long time. Not only do we have a host of great SmackDown guys in the Rumble tonight, but the World title is on the line as well.
Michael Cole: Absolutely. ‘The Animal’ Batista defends against not one, but two opponents in a Triple Threat later tonight. Randy Orton and The Undertaker are looking to take the gold!
Tazz: That one should blow the roof of this place for sure.
**Sexy Boy** hits over the PA to mixed but undeniably huge reaction from the Miami crowd, as Shawn Michaels struts out onto the stage to get the evening underway in earnest. He drops to his knees and sets off his elaborate pyro, before continuing down to the ring.
Lillian Garcia: The following is a Royal Rumble Qualifying match … and it is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first … from SAN ATONIOOOOOOO, TEXAS ,,, weighing in at 225 pounds … ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ SHAWN MICHAELSSSSSSSS!!!
HBK climbs into the ring and does his usual spin, before squatting down and flexing to a big pop, He removes his fancy vest and trouser accessories, and climbs to the top rope to taunt the fans.
**My Time Is Now** blasts out next to another very mixed but also very, very loud reaction, as John Cena marches out onto the stage looking pumped up tonight. As he makes his way down to the ring, he touches his ribs slightly, still feeling the effects on the attack he suffered from The Spirit Squad on Raw.
Lillian Garcia: And introducing his opponent … from WEST NEWBERRY, MASSACHUSSETS … weighing in at 248 pounds … JOHNNN CEEEEEENAAA!!!
Cena jumps straight into the ring and locks eyes with HBK right away, whilst Michaels gives a little smirk from across the ring. To the delight of the female fans, Cena removes his shirt and hurls it into the crowd.
Royal Rumble Qualifier
Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena
Shawn Michaels shows his patented calmness, as he stands in the middle of the ring, just watching, as John Cena skirts around the ring impatiently, just looking for his moment to strike. HBK invites ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ in with a flick of his arms and the two men lock up in the centre of the ring, vying for position. Using his strength, Cena muscles Shawn across the mat and into the corner, but the referee Mickie Henson tries to break it up quickly, which allows HBK to turn the tables and force Cena into the corner, lighting him up with a vicious knife-edge chop. The “Oooos” go up from the crowd, as Cena winces, feeling the effects of the chop, but HBK doesn’t let up, delivering another chop to Cena’s chest. His eyes bulging slightly, Cena stumbles out from the corner, but Michaels grabs him by the head, leading him right across the ring and slamming his head off the top turnbuckle.
Cena staggers away again, leaning on the ropes, trying recapture some breath. HBK follows him quickly though, chopping him yet again across the chest before sending him into the ropes with an Irish Whip. Michaels lowers his head a split second to early and Cena kicks him in the face, causing him to stand up sharpish. Cena then flattens HBK with a clubbing clothesline, taking him down to the canvas. Cena blinks and rubs his chest, before pulling HBK back up to his feet and drilling him with a stiff right hand to the face. ‘The Showstopper’ is knocked backed down, but springs back up again, but Cena knocks him down again … but HBK gets back up … so Cena slugs him back down again … so HBK gets back up again, and blocks the right hand. Michaels gets there first, nailing Cena with some hard lefts and rights, backing him up across the ring into the ropes. He goes for the Irish Whip and sends Cena into the ropes. HBK goes for a clothesline, but Cena ducks and comes back off the opposite ropes … INTO A LOU THESZ PRESS!
The crowd actually pops, as Shawn Michaels hammers down on John Cena with some thunderous blows. The referee actually has to try and pry Shawn away, as his fists fly furiously. Eventually HBK rolls away, looking pumped as ever, and stands with his hands on his knees, waiting for Cena to get back up to his feet. Eventually Cena does and turns, frustrated to see Shawn smiling at him from across the ring. Cena charges rashly … but HBK simply side steps the youngster and sends him over the top rope to the outside!
The crowd is seemingly at a loss for whom to cheer for, but they still pop as Cena goes flying to the floor in a heap. Back in the ring, HBK points at Cena and shakes his head mockingly, before pointing to himself and doing a little strut across the mat. Seeing Cena pulling himself up using the ring apron, HBK comes off the ropes and goes for a baseball slide … but Cena side steps, and HBK slides to the outside. As Michaels turns, Cena kicks him in the gut and hooks the arm … NAILING THE FREESTYLE SUPLEX ON THE OUTSIDE!!!
The “Oooos” ring out around the American Airlines Arena, as Shawn Michaels writhes around in agony on the floor, clutching his back and head. Trying to shake the cobwebs away, Cena clambers back up to his feet and drags HBK up too. He slams Michaels off the ring apron, before rolling him back into the ring. Cena then follows, entering the ring through the middle rope, as HBK sits in the corner against the bottom turnbuckle trying to recover. Cena puts the boot to Michaels a few times, before pulling ‘The Showstopper’ back up to his feet and slugging him in the face with a big-time right hand. HBK reels, and Cena sends him across the ring with a brutal Irish Whip. HBK slams into the turnbuckle spine first and falls straight out again in agony.
The younger athlete begins to show some confidence, as Cena follows up on Michaels, putting the boot to his back, before jumping up and dropping his knees right across the spine. Cena catches his breath, as HBK struggles back up to his feet and wanders away into another corner. Cena advances … into a knife-edge chop! Cena reels, clutching his chest, as HBK bursts out from the corner with a flurry of chops and right hands, knocking ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ into the middle of the ring. Michaels slugs Cena in the face before backing up, coming off the ropes and leaping up for a Hurricanrana … CENA COUNTERS WITH A SIT OUT POWERBOMB!!! Cena hooks the legs!
The crowd gasps in shock and delight and disappointment, as HBK kicks out frantically. Cena rolls away in frustration, slapping the mat, before quickly scuttling over to Shawn again and applying a reverse chin lock. HBK struggles against the hold, as Cena actually applies the body scissors too, and falls back, wrapping ‘The Heart Break Kid’ up very nicely in the middle of the ring. HBK flails wildly in the hold. The referee Mickie Henson drops down to his knees to assess the Michaels’ condition, asking him whether or not he wants to continue. Gasping with what little air he has, HBK says “No”, but is unable to shake his head, such is the grip Cena has on him. With his right arm, Michaels reaches around blindly for anything to hold onto. HBK’s face is turning a terrible shade of red, followed by a sickening tinge of purple, but he shows some resilience, and throws himself over, rolling both his own body, as well as Cena’s right across the ring … breaking the body scissors. Cena now only has the reverse chin lock in place, as HBK struggles up to his knees and begins to clamber back up to his feet. Cena tries to hold onto the hold, but HBK drives his elbow into the gut of the youngster over and over again, breaking the hold. Michaels gets a thumb to Cena’s eye, ignoring the protests of the referee and, laughing, runs off the ropes. He ducks Cena’s clothesline … BUT THEN GETS NAILED WITH THE SECOND ONE!
Cena shakes his head, feeling his eye and scowling at Michaels. Quickly, he pulls Shawn back up to his feet and sends him into the corner with an Irish Whip. Cena charges but HBK back drops him over the top onto the apron, where Cena lands on his feet. HBK spins around and Cena catches him with an elbow to the face, knocking ‘The Showstopper’ away. With HBK reeling, Cena does something quite out of character and heads up top. Clambering to the top turnbuckle, Cena waits for Michaels to turn around, before flying off the top … BUT HBK DROPS DOWN AND CENA CRASHES AND BURNS!!! He may have been going for a Cross Body or a Flying Shoulder Block, but Cena hits the canvas hard. ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ holds his chest on all fours … AND HBK GETS HIM WITH AN OKLAHOMA ROLL!!!
Cena manages to kick out of the roll up, looking somewhat stunned that he was nearly pinned out of the blue. He jumps back up to his feet rather hurriedly, as does Michaels. HBK swings, but Cena ducks … AND COMES BACK WITH A DDT! Cena hooks the leg.
HBK kicks out to another mixed reaction from the Miami crowd, as Cena looks a little flustered. He pulls ‘The Heart Break Kid’ back up to his feet and slugs him with a couple of right hands, pushing him back into the ropes. Cena sends Michaels across the ring with an Irish Whip, but HBK doesn’t come back, as he locks his arms around the top rope. Cena swears to himself and sprints at the veteran … WHO BACK DROPS CENA OVER THE TOP TO THE OUTSIDE!
For the second time of the night, the wily veteran Michaels has outsmarted the younger Cena. HBK watches as Cena pulls himself up against the Raw announce table. Michaels heads out onto the apron and walks so that he is adjacent to Cena … BEFORE SPRINGBOARDING OFF THE MIDDLE ROPE WITH A MOONSAULT RIGHT ONTO CENA!!!
A small “Holy Shit” chant breaks out around the arena, as both Michaels and Cena roll around on the floor outside. HBK is up first unsurprisingly, pulling Cena up with him and rolling him back inside the ring. Holding his chest, Cena stumbles over to the far corner, but HBK pursues him. Cena stands up but Michaels chops him viciously across the chest, the slap ringing out around the arena. Grabbing ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomic’s’ arm, Michaels sends him across the ring with an Irish Whip into the opposite corner. Cena slams into the turnbuckle, and HBK races at him … but Cena gets his foot up … but HBK catches it and slams down on the knee viciously! Cena lets out a muffled cry and stumbles out of the corner, clutching his knee. He hops on one leg across to the opposite corner, as though trying to protect his knee and stay away from HBK. He holds onto the top turnbuckle for balance, as HBK comes up from behind and kicks him hard in the back the knee. Cena buckles to the canvas in agony, and HBK drops his own knee right into Cena’s.
Using the top rope for some leverage, HBK stomps down again and again and again and again on Cena’s knee, whilst ‘The Champ’ yells out in pain, trying to get away. The referee Mickie Henson is clamouring to get HBK away, but Shawn shoves him away angrily, a viciousness on his face. HBK slides out of the ring quickly, pulling Cena’s right leg with him and wrapping it around the steel ring post. Swinging it backwards, Michaels slams the knee hard into the steel, as the crowd screams. Cena screams and scurries back across the canvas trying desperately to get away, as HBK clambers back into the ring, raking his fingers through his hair intently as he stalks ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’. Cena crawls into the opposite corner, hanging off the second turnbuckle, trying to get himself back up. But Michaels is on him straight away again, putting a hard boot to the back of the knee. Cena’s leg gives way and he drops to the canvas slightly. HBK, grinning sadistically, watches as ‘The Champ’ limps away, holding onto the top rope. Michaels walks up behind Cena and takes him down with a Chop Block!
Before Cena has any time to react, HBK props his right leg up on the bottom rope, before straddling it, leaping up high and dropping 225 pounds across Cena’s damaged knee. Cena winces in agony, his arms flailing around wildly in search of some way out. HBK jumps up once again, slamming into the knee. Yelling out in pain, Cena tries to crawl away out from the ropes, and HBK watches him go with a little smirk upon his face. Cena makes it to the nearby corner and begins to pull himself up on the turnbuckles. Michaels isn’t far behind though, as he grabs ‘The Champ’s’ right leg yet again and throws it over the middle rope, exposing the vulnerable knee. HBK kicks violently at the unshielded knee, causing Cena to buckle, before wrapping around the rope even further, pulling on it taught, as Cena tries frantically to fight him off. The referee pulls HBK off after a 5 count, and Michaels walks away, casually holding his hands up in mocking protest.
Shawn goes right back to Cena … who swings … but HBK ducks with ease, and kicks out Cena’s knee yet again! Cena jumps up in shock and agony and slides across the top rope yet again looking for some leverage. As the referee follows ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’, frantically asking if he wants to continue, HBK heads over to the far corner and begins to remove the padding from the top turnbuckle! The fans are really unsure how to respond to this, as Michaels performs another heelish move, showing no respect for his opponent. Shawn ignores the fan’s protests and throws the padding out of the ring, leaving the steel turnbuckle exposed. Sneering across the young superstar, Michael’s heads back over to where Cena is leaning in the far corner, trying to massage his right knee. Cena swings at Michaels … but HBK evades it so easily, chopping Cena across the chest yet again. Grabbing ‘The Champ’s’ arm, HBK tries to Irish Whip him across the ring into the exposed turnbuckle … BUT CENA REVERSES IT … BUT HBK REVERSES IT! Cena goes flying at the corner, but blocks it with his hands, grabbing the top. He spins around … AS MICHAELS COMES FLYING TOWARDS HIM … AND CENA COUNTERS WITH A FLAPJACK ONTO THE STEEL TURNBUCKLE!!!
The crowd explodes with an “Ooooo”, the HBK fans distraught and the Cena fans relieved. Michaels rebounds back into the ring, staggering around at first in his usual dazed manner, limbs like spaghetti and jelly. The camera focuses in on his forehead, where a small cut has now been opened. He flops down to the canvas, blinking wildly, whilst Cena sits across the ring, still wincing from the pain in his knee, trying to get back to his feet. ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ watches, as HBK begins to clamber back up as well, a far away look in his eye. Cena winds his fist up, before charging … AND NAILING MICHAELS WITH A BIG TIME CLOTHESLINE! Cena wastes little time in pressing his advantage, mounting on top of ‘The Showstopper’ and drilling him with a series of brutal rights and lefts.
The referee pleads with Cena and finally prizes him off HBK. But ‘The Champ’ isn’t done yet, as Shawn, arms flailing wildly, begins to climb back up to his feet. Cena charges off the ropes and takes Michaels down with a Flying Shoulder Block … HBK bounces back up on impact … another Flying Shoulder Block! HBK rebounds off the canvas for a second time, and Cena scoops him up into the air, planting him with the spinning side slam in the middle of the ring! Cena checks on his right knee, still slightly feeling the effects of its punishment, before throwing his hand up high to a MAJOR mixed reaction. Grimacing slightly, Cena goes down and waves his hand in front of Shawn Michaels’ face, collectively, along with his fans, telling him “You Can’t See Me!” Cena limps off the ropes and drops the Five-Knuckle Shuffle across HBK’s already bleeding face!!!
Cena backs up, once again going down to check on his knee, before getting pumped up, waiting behind Michaels with his hands on his knee in preparation. HBK struggles back up to his feet, blinking manically through the haze, before turning slowly … CENA LIFTS HIM UP FOR THE F-U … but Michaels slides off the shoulders and chops Cena across the chest, backing him into the ropes. HBK tries to send ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ across the ring with an Irish Whip, but Cena reverses it and sends Michaels off them. Cena goes for a clothesline, but Michaels ducks and stops … SWEET CHIN MUSIC … CENA DUCKS AND CATCHES HBK ON HIS SHOULDERS FOR AN F-U … BUT MICHAELS COUNTERS WITH A REVERSE DDT!!!
The crowd goes wild at the amazing exchange, as both men go down, flat on their backs. Michaels twitches slightly, trying to lift himself up, but can’t find the energy at all. Cena doesn’t move a muscle. HBK manages to roll his body over onto its front and drape an arm across Cena’s chest!
Cena throws his shoulder up off the canvas, and Michaels can’t believe it, rolling off the cover and holding his head in his hands. He quickly stands up and shoves the referee in a rage, holding up three fingers in desperation. The referee just shakes his head though, and Michaels pushes him away, before climbing out of the ring quickly and heading over to the timekeeper’s area. ‘The Showstopper’, ignoring the protests, yells at Tony Chimel to move, which he does, and grabs the Steel Chair, folding it up and heading back into the ring. The referee Mickie Henson holds his hands up and demands that Michaels drop the weapon, but HBK just walks straight past him to where Cena is just turning around and brings the chair back … THE REFEREE GRABS IT AND PULLS IT AWAY!
Michaels turns on the referee Mickie Henson in a rage, but turns into a big right hand from Cena. ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ levels HBK with some huge shots, backing ‘The Showstopper’ into the ropes. Taking Shawn’s arm, Cena whips him across the ring into the ropes, going for a Clothesline … but Michaels ducks and comes off the opposite set of ropes … FLYING FOREARM! HBK takes Cena out and both men go down, with Michaels flat on his back, seemingly exhausted and out of it as well … BUT MICHAELS KIPS UP!!!
The crowd explodes, despite HBK’s actions throughout the match, as ‘The Icon’ struts around the ring arrogantly sneering at both the fans and John Cena. ‘The Champ’ is stumbling up off the ropes and walks straight into Michaels … INVERTED ATOMIC DROP! Cena howls in agony, and Michaels takes him down with a Sledge to the face. Cena rebounds off the canvas, but Michaels drops him straight back down with another right hand. Back comes Cena, showing some real fight … but HBK scoops him up … but then puts him back down. The crowd isn’t sure what is going on as HBK decides against the Scoop Slam and instead just looks at the standing, dazed former WWE Champion … KICKS HIM RIGHT IN THE KNEE!
Michaels grins, and Scoop Slams Cena to the canvas before he can fall. The crowd again is somewhat in shock at Michaels’ behaviour, as he shows a sadistic side, toying with the hurting youngster. HBK kicks Cena’s arm in place and heads over to the corner, where he ascends to the top turnbuckle and the crowd holds its breath … FLYING ELBOW TO THE HEART OF CENA!!!
The crowd goes wild, as Michaels springs straight back up, pumped up now. He parades around the ring, and intense look on his face as he gazes out at the fans. It is quite difficult to tell whether he is feeding off them or taunting them. One thing is for certain; the end is near for John Cena, as HBK head over to the far corner and STOMPS HIS FOOT … TUNING UP THE BAND! The crowd counts along, as Cena begins to stagger back up to his feet wearily …”One … Two … Three … Four …” Cena is back up to his feet and turns … SWEET CHIN MUSIC … CENA DUCKS AND HITS A SPINEBUSTER!!!
Cena, having exploded with an amazing counter, slumps back down to the canvas alongside Michaels. Both men seem to be exhausted and drained. The referee begins the count … One … Two … Three … Four … Five … Six … Seven … Both men begin to clamber back up to their feet on opposite sides of the ring. After clutching his leg painfully, Cena staggers into the centre of the ring, where he is met by HBK. Cena slugs him in the face … so Michaels slugs him back … so Cena hits another right hand … and Michaels hits him right back … Cena nails a huge right hand, and HBK goes stumbling backwards into the ropes. ‘The Showstopper’ comes bouncing back … AND CENA LIFTS HIM UP HIGH ON HIS SHOULDERS FOR AN F-U … BUT MICHAELS ROLLS THROUGH WITH A SUNSET FLIP!!!
Cena kicks out furiously, eyes wide in shock. The two men spring back up rather quickly, though Cena’s knee almost gives way with the strain. Cena heads towards ‘The Showstopper’, but HBK chops him across the chest, stinging ‘The Champ’ and causing him to back pedal into the ropes. Michaels takes Cena’s arm and goes to Irish Whip him across the ring, but Cena reverses it and sends HBK bouncing off the ropes. Cena goes for a clothesline … but HBK ducks it and comes flying back off the ropes … Cross Body … BUT CENA CATCHES HIM AND THROWS HIM ONTO HIS SHOULDERS … HE GOES FOR THE F-U … AND HITS IT!!!
The crowd explodes, as Cena hits his finishing manoeuvre out of nowhere. Michaels goes completely still on the canvas, whilst Cena stumbles away across the ring clutching his knee, which seemed to suffer from the exertion. Wearily, ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ crawls across the canvas and throws his arm across Michaels.
At the last possible second, Shawn Michaels thrusts his shoulder up off the canvas. The crowd screams with shock, delight and dismay, and Cena rolls back across the mat, a look of utter surprise upon his young face. He struggles back up to his feet, looking down on the veteran HBK with awe. Cena drags Michaels back up and nails with another huge right hand, knocking him back into the corner. After another stiff shot to the jaw, Cena mounts the second turnbuckle, and begins to hammer down on Michaels with more leverage again and again and again, as the crowd counts along … but Michaels lifts Cena up and walks out of the corner as though to drop him on the turnbuckle … but Cena counters and grabs the top turnbuckle, climbing onto the top. Cena sits on the top turnbuckle and Michaels turns around quickly, jumping onto the second turnbuckle and drilling Cena with a hard right hand. Cena reels on the top rope and HBK pummels him again, hooking his arm … IN POSITION FOR A SUPERPLEX … but Cena drives a right hand into HBK’s guts over and over again before shoving him off the top to the floor below.
Michaels scowls and tries to clamber back up quickly, as Cena finds his balance and stands up tall on the top rope … AS HE LEAPS OFF WITH THE AXE HANDLE … SWEET CHIN MUSIC OUT OF NOWHERE!!!
The crowd goes absolutely wild, as HBK strikes out of the blue. Both men are now down on the canvas in the centre of the ring. The fans are going wild, as the referee checks on both men. Gradually Michaels begins to stir first and crawls over onto Cena, covering him!
Michaels’ eyes close in dismay, as he lies alongside ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’. The fans are going wild, as Michaels staggers back up to his feet and looks around helplessly. He hurries after Cena and picks him back up to his feet. Another chop to the chest of ‘The Champ’, backing him against the ropes. Michaels takes Cena’s arm and tries to send Cena across the ring with an Irish Whip, but Cena manages to reverse it, sending HBK into the ropes. Michaels comes flying back, ducking Cena’s clothesline and coming back off the opposite set of ropes. Cena lowers his head a second too early and HBK leaps over in a Sunset Flip … but Cena staggers, refusing to go down. ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ falls backwards.
Cena rolls through, wrapping his leg around Michaels’ on his stomach … AND TRYING TO APPLY THE STFU … but HBK fights it off, scrambling across the ring desperately, rolling onto his back and kicking Cena away. But Cena is relentless, as he springs back up and pounces back onto HBK, trying to lock in the Submission … but Michaels kicks him off again … but Cena holds onto the leg and leaps onto Michaels yet again … but Michaels kicks him away once again.
HBK struggles back up o his feet using the ropes and advances quickly on Cena in the centre of the ring. ‘The Showstopper’ swings … BUT CENA DUCKS AND LIFTS HBK UP FOR AN F-U … BUT MICHAELS SLIDES OFF AND SPINS … DROP TOE HOLD FROM CENA … APPLIES THE STFU!!!
The crowd gives a very mixed reaction, as Cena finally cinches in his deadly submission manoeuvre. HBK’s face reddens and tightens in agony, as his arms flail around wildly. Mickie Henson drops down to his knees, getting right in the face of Michaels to see if he wants to quit. Even though he cannot speak, HBK manages to somehow refuse, and begins to try and find his way towards the bottom rope. It is mere inches in front of him, but still so far away, whilst Cena screams with the exertion of the STFU. ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ tries desperately to keep Michaels away from the ropes, but the plucky veteran shows a great deal of spirit by crawling along the canvas. His face a bloody mess, HBK raises up his hand … AND GRABS THE BOTTOM ROPE!!!
The crowd gives another very mixed reaction, really unsure who to cheer for, as Cena falls away from the submission, as Mickie Henson forces him to relinquish. Cena looks at a loss right now, as he stares at Michaels. He drags Michaels back into the centre of the ring and looks to lock in the STFU again … BUT MICHAELS COUNTERS WITH A SMALL PACKAGE!!!
Cena just manages to kick out at the last possible second, as the crowd gasps breathlessly. HBK grimaces, having been so close to getting the win there. Cena looks slightly stunned, but still staggers back up to his feet. Michaels walks towards Cena, but ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ scoops ‘The Showstopper’ up in the air … BUT MICHAELS SLIDES OFF HIS SHOULDERS … VICTORY ROLL FROM HBK!!!
CENA ROLLS THROUGH, ROLLING UP MICHAELS!!!
WINNER: John Cena @ 18:13!!! Cena qualifies for the Royal Rumble!!!
Both men spring out from the pin fall, and HBK holds his head in dismay, staring around the ring wildly in complete shock. As **My Time Is Now** hits over the PA yet again, John Cena falls backwards, clearly suffering from the same amount of shock at Michaels.
Lillian Garcia: Here is your winner and qualifying for the Royal Rumble match … JOHHHNNNN CEEENNNNAAAA!!!
On opposite sides of the ring, Cena and HBK pull themselves up, eyes still locked. Michaels’ expression is one of total shock and disgust as he walks towards the centre of the ring. Cena, his gaze completely stunned, walks forwards too and the two men meet in the middle. CENA EXTENDS HIS HAND AND THE CROWD CHEERS! HBK stares down at Cena’s hand, a clear show of respect … BUT WALKS AWAY! The crowd actually boos now, as Shawn Michaels climbs out of the ring and storms angrily back up the ring, not even looking back, leaving Cena standing all alone, disappointed.
Jim Ross: I don’t believe it! John Cena just defeated Shawn Michaels! He just pinned ‘The Heart Break Kid’. This – this is amazing!
Jonathan Coachman: For once I agree with you, J.R. I can’t believe that John Cena pulled this off. That – that means that John Cena is now in the Rumble and – Shawn Michaels isn’t?
Jim Ross: That’s exactly right, Coach. The new order just defeated the veteran Michaels, and at his own game. What got into Michaels during and after that match was unbelievable – some of his actions were just disgusting! Cena showed him respect after the match, but Shawn – that wasn’t what I expected.
Jonathan Coachman: HBK surprised me too, J.R, but in a good way. Cena had no right winning that match.
Cut to backstage…
Into the office of Mr. McMahon, who stands smartly with his hands clasped in front of him, whilst flanking him on either side stand the Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff and the SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long. Standing by the tumbler are Kristal Marshall and Maria, doing their jobs perfectly.
Mr. McMahon: A perfect way to start the evening, wouldn’t you agree, Eric?
Bischoff looks particularly sick right now.
Eric Bischoff: Vince … Mister McMahon … I … John Cena in the Royal Rumble is … is…
Vince smiles at Teddy Long, who looks quite amused too.
Mr. McMahon: It isn’t ideal, I’ll concede, but – but, Eric, if the price of John Cena being in the Royal Rumble is that Shawn Michaels takes an early flight back to San Antonio, well (grinning broadly) let’s just say it was well worth it. And with that, I suggest we get ball rolling, figuratively speaking. (Turning to the Tumbler) Ladies, if you will?
The two Divas begin the Tumbler turning with aplomb, as Teddy Long and Bischoff look on excitedly.
Mr. McMahon: So … who’s up first?
Everyone in the room turns to face the entrance, and eventually in strolls RAW superstar RIC FLAIR to a huge “WHOO” from the Miami crowd. Naitch is smiling broadly, though still sporting a little plaster on his forehead, a memento of his Street Fight with Carlito on Monday Night. Flair shakes hands with everyone, especially his friend Teddy Long.
Mr. McMahon: Now this … this is what I’m talking about. What better way to kick things off then with the classiest man on the roster.
Flair doesn’t really pay McMahon much heed, but smirks anyway.
Ric Flair: Evenin’, gents. WHOO! Two-time Royal Rumble winner comin’ up. WHOO! I can feel it tonight, number seventeen is comin’ up. Limousine ridin’ … jet flyin’ … (looks over at the Divas) kiss stealin’ … all the way to Wrestlemania!
Flair strolls over to the Tumbler and eyes up Kristal and Maria approvingly.
Ric Flair: Evenin’, ladies. Wish me good luck.
Naitch winks at Maria and Kristal, who giggle on cue. Flair rolls up the sleeves of his robe and dips his hand inside.
???: Step aside, gentlemen, and make a note of it now; one half of the Wrestlemania Main Event is here!
Flair, McMahon, Long, Bischoff and the Divas turn to face the entrance, where JOHN ‘BRADSHAW’ LAYFIELD and his image consultant JILLIAN HALL come swaggering into the office. JBL, toothy smile and all, removes his hat politely and head straight over to Mr. McMahon.
Mr. McMahon: Good evening, JBL.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: (Shaking Vince’s hand furiously) Mr. McMahon, it’s always a pleasure – it’s an honour in fact.
He moves on to Eric Bischoff and shakes his hand warmly too.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Eric, hard luck earlier tonight. If I can – wait, when I can, I’ll put that snot nosed little punk Cena over the top rope … as a favour … from me … to you, Eric.
Eric Bischoff: I appreciate that, John.
JBL moves on, as Teddy Long extends his hand. Bradshaw completely blanks the SmackDown General Manager and heads over to the Tumbler, where Ric Flair is just pulling out his number.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Well, look what we have here … ‘The Nature Boy’!
Bradshaw actually extends his hand, which Flair accepts warily and shakes.
Ric Flair: JBL.
JBL smiles and reaches into the Tumbler himself now, getting a good feel around.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: I’m feelin’ lucky tonight, ladies. Hell, you don’t need luck when you’re Mister Smackdown. I guess you’re hopin’ for a high number though, Ric?
Flair’s face drops to a look of annoyance.
Ric Flair: What –
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Y’know, the legs don’t go as long as they used to? The Space Mountain … isn’t quite goin’…
The crowd can be heard booing, whilst JBL grins and Flair seethes.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Hey, I’ve got as much respect for what you did as the next guy, Ric. I’m sure that when you wrestling in the … 1940’s? I’m sure you were a pioneer. But now … now it’s the era of … me … John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield … and to be honest, Ric, it’s a little embarrassing that you’re still here.
Flair shakes his head and drops it slightly to the floor, before looking coldly at JBL.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: And I mean let’s be honest about this … let’s be fair: I’ve just come off the back of the greatest WWE title reign … ever, whereas as you… were nearly killed by punks like Triple H and Carlito. Take … the hint, Ric. Hang up the boots and leave this business to the real legends … like me.
The crowd is booing loudly now, whilst Naitch begins to boil.
Ric Flair: Now, I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but –
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Well, why don’t you tell me who you think I am?
Ric Flair: I think you’re an ungrateful bastard with his head up his own a-
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: WRESTLING – GAWD! Wrestling God, was the answer you were lookin’ for, Ric, and don’t you even pretend you don’t know who the hell I am! Nobody cares about you anymore; nobody cares about ‘The Nature Boy’ … they care about me! They care about ‘The Wrestling … GAWDDD!!!’
Flair wipes the saliva off his face, looking a little disgruntled, as JBL grins arrogantly up close. Naitch brushes his arm aside and glances down at his number. His face gives nothing away, whilst Jillian hands JBL his number … and his face drops.
Ric Flair: (Smiling) Somethin’ wrong … Champ?
JBL quickly shoves his number in his pocket.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Not at all … not at all. Well, I guess I’ll see ya out there tonight … that’s if we go slow enough for ya.
JBL turns to leave, but turns back again.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: And if you need any hint of when I’m comin’ out … just listen for when the fans in this very building … CHANT … MY … NAME! And then you’ll know, Ric … then you’ll know…
JBL struts off with Jillian looking full of confidence, whilst Ric Flair shakes his head, at a loss. As he tucks his number in his robe, Bradshaw walks back into the room.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: WHOOOO!!!
JBL walks off, laughing hysterically, with Jillian sycophantically mimicking him. Ric Flair is left standing in the room, biting his lip…
Standing by in another area backstage is TODD GRISHAM, who is standing by with his mic in hand.
Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen … my guest at this time … he is the WWE Champion … Kurt Angle!!!
The crowd pops loudly, as the Olympic Gold Medallist enters the shot looking intense as ever, shaking his head from side to side wildly, and carrying his title belt over his shoulder.
Todd Grisham: Well, Kurt, later –
Kurt Angle: SHUT UP!!!
A mixed reaction from the crowd, as Angle shows no patience whatsoever, getting right in Grisham’s face, who looks a little nervous.
Kurt Angle: Nobody wants to here your questions tonight, Grisham. Nobody cares about your questions! Nobody gives a DAMN about anything you have to say! I … DON’T CARE!
Angle gets right in close now, seething.
Kurt Angle: All I care about is Triple H! NOTHING else matters tonight! Helmsley, you wanna put Cuban cigars in my bag … you want the Police to arrest me … so you can beat up my brother like the BITCH you are? Well, I hope you had fun, I hope you had A LOT of fun … ‘cause that night will be the last fun you EVER have in a Wrestling ring again!
Angle slaps his title belt.
Kurt Angle: ‘Cause tonight isn’t about titles, Helmsley! YOU made it personal when you drew my blood … when you drew MY BROTHER’S BLOOD! If you enjoyed yourself on Monday night, great, ‘cause tonight – tonight I’m not only gonna break your freakin’ ankle … I’m not just gonna end your freakin’ career … I’M GONNA CRIPPLE … YOU!!!
Kurt gets in close with the camera, quivering with rage.
Kurt Angle: Tonight, I’m gonna stain the canvas with your blood, Hunter! I’m gonna leave with the WWE Championship around my waist! I’m gonna leave with your freakin’ ankle in my hand! Oh, it’s true, it’s DAMN true!
Angle shoves Grisham aside and storms off in a rage, leaving the screen.
Back to ringside.
To the SmackDown announce table where Michael Cole and Tazz sit excitedly.
Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, coming up next is the Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship, as the Champion Batista, the dominant Champion of almost a year, prepares for double jeopardy against a Legend and a ‘Legend Killer’.
Tazz: Without a doubt, this is Batista’s toughest defence yet; he’s beaten guys like Triple H – no offence, Raw – he’s beaten guys like JBL and late-great Eddie Guerrero. But he has never beaten ‘The Deadman’ and he has never beaten Randy Orton.
Michael Cole: The Triple Threat is unique, folks; the Champion does not have to be involved in the decision to lose the belt. He has no advantage here. Can the conniving Randy Orton, a man who has taken offence to all of Batista, his former friend’s, success.
Tazz: The roof’s gonna come off this place, Cole. Let’s take a look at how all this came about.
World Heavyweight Championship Video Package
~ Batista wins the title at Wrestlemania 21 and goes on the experience one of the most amazing years in WWE history.
~ Randy Orton looks to make a name for himself against The Undertaker, losing at Wrestlemania, but winning at SummerSlam and No Mercy, before finally going down at Armageddon in Hell In A Cell.
~ Orton cheats to win a #1 Contender Battle Royal, sneaking in through the back door to eliminate The Undertaker.
~ General Manager Teddy Long orders Orton/’Taker the next week, with Undertaker winning thanks to Batista preventing Orton from cheating.
~ ‘The Legend Killer’ builds on his knowledge of Batista, playing on ‘The Animal’s’ emotions and causing him to distrust The Undertaker. Later on, ‘Taker walks out on Batista, and Orton annihilates the Champ with a Steel Chair.
~ Orton and Batista get into a confrontation on SmackDown, and are about to come to blows, when Undertaker appears on the Titan Tron with two freshly dug graves, promising to be “the earth, air, fire and water” this Sunday.
Back to arena…
**I Walk Alone** suddenly booms out over the speakers to a deafening reception from the watching crowd, indicating that it is now time for the World Heavyweight Championship bout. With his music in full swing, ‘The Animal’ Batista struts out onto the stage, his appearance pumped and determined. With his title hanging proudly around his waist, Batista steadies himself accordingly, before setting off his sensational pyro with his jarring machine gun motion.
Tony Chimel: The following is the Triple Threat match scheduled for one-fall and it is for the World Heavyweight Championship. Introducing first… from WASHINGTON, D.C… weighing in at 295 pounds… he is the World Heavyweight Champion… “The Animal” … BATIIIIISSSSTTTAAA!!!
Batista sets his sights firmly on the ring and marches down to it proudly, hurrying up the steps, as the crowd continues to heap their support upon him. In the ring, ‘The Animal’ ascends to the top turnbuckle and flexes his large chest to the delight of the females viewing, whilst holding his title belt up high for all to see. The Champion is all business here tonight it seems, as…
**Burn In My Light** hits next and the crowd quickly switches their attention to the entrance once again. Slowly and ever so confidently, Randy Orton swaggers out onto the stage, a smug smile across his face. The boos are already filling the arena for the former Champion, as he stands angelically, before throwing his arms wide apart and striking his majestic ‘Destiny’ pose. Behind him, the ‘Golden Rain’ begins to fall, and Orton’ eyes are closed tightly in the moment. He eventually comes back to reality and begins to slowly amble down to the ring, where Batista is prowling impatiently.
Tony Chimel: And introducing the challengers. First … from ST. LOUIS, MISSOURIIII… weighing in at 245 pounds … the “Legend Killer” … RANDAAAAAAAAAYYYY ORRRRRRRTTTTTTTOOOOOONNNNNN!!!
Orton reaches the ring, but stops alongside the steps. He looks up at Batista and smiles, shaking his head in the process. It appears as though Orton has no intention of getting in the ring with ‘The Animal’ just yet. But Randy still glances over his shoulder nervously, as…
Darkness descends over the entire building. Lost in the gloom, Randy Orton begins to look around in panic, as **Graveyard Symphony** begins in earnest to the largest pop of the night thus far. The arena is shaken by the reception. Mist rises from the entrance, precluding the arrival of a true legend. The shadow looms out through the smoke serenely, and The Undertaker makes his way down the ramp.
Tony Chimel: And from DEEEEATTHH VALLEEYYY… weighing in at 305 pounds… THHHEEEEEEEE UNNNNNNNNNDDDDDEEERRRRTTTTAAAAAKKKKKER!!!
Orton scuttles around to the other side of the ring, alongside the announcer’s table, to avoid ‘The Phenom’. Back in the ring, Batista’s eyes are set firmly upon ‘The Deadman’. Undertaker steps slowly up the steel steps and stops. The crowd waits, before Undertaker suddenly throws his arms upwards and the lights snap back up. Randy Orton jumps into the air in fright. Undertaker enters between the ropes, whilst Batista does not move a single inch. After shedding his long black coat, Undertaker peels the hat from his shrouded face, revealing the devilish whites of his eyes. ‘The Phenom’ is now ready to do battle.
World Heavyweight Championship
Triple Threat Match
Batista © vs. Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker
As the bell finally sounds, Undertaker immediately raises his hands up in the familiar striking position and moves towards the World Heavyweight Champion. Batista moves forward as well, as these two behemoths prepare to finally collide in the centre of the ring after weeks of skirting with confrontation. But Randy Orton seemingly wants in on the action, as he rolls under the bottom rope into the ring. Undertaker sees his old nemesis and moves towards him, prompting Orton to quickly roll back out of the ring again. Distracted by ‘The Legend Killer’, Undertaker does not see Batista charge towards him and takes him down with a vicious clothesline to the back of the head. The noise from the crowd is one of shock, seeing ‘The Deadman’ taken down so easily.
Undertaker rolls into the corner and pulls himself back up, but not in time to escape the onslaught of ‘The Animal’. Batista unloads on Undertaker with a series of brutal right hands, trying desperately to penetrate ‘The Phenom’s’ awesome defence. But there is no way through, no matter how hard Batista tries. The referee Charles Robinson tries to drag Batista out of the corner to break it up, as ‘The Animal’ seethes with intensity. As Batista glances away momentarily, Undertaker lunges out from the corner, instantly grabbing Batista by the throat and hurling him into the corner. Now it is The Undertaker’s turn to hammer away on one of his opponents, battering Batista with the hardest strikes in the business.
Once again, Charles Robinson tries desperately to pull Undertaker off, but this time the referee receives a deathly look from ‘The Phenom’, who advances on the hapless official. Robinson scurries away across the ring, and Undertaker turns his attention back to Batista. But now ‘The Animal’ is the one lunging out from the corner and grabbing hold of his opponent. Batista hurls Undertaker back into the turnbuckle and begins to drive his shoulder into the mid drift of 'The Deadman’ over and over again, trying to force the air out from him. Undertaker struggles against it, as the crowd gives a mixed reaction for their two heroes going at it. Batista takes Undertaker’s arm and whips him hard across the ring, slamming the spine of ‘The Phenom’ into the turnbuckle. Undertaker rebounds out painfully and Batista races towards him, levelling ‘The Deadman’ with a vicious clothesline.
Stunned, Undertaker goes down hard and pulls himself over to the ropes, whilst Batista flexes confidently. Undertaker uses the ropes to pull himself back up, but as soon as he does so, Batista charges and clotheslines him cleanly over the top rope to the outside.
Landing on his feet, Undertaker flashes a menacing look up at Batista, resulting in a huge cheer from the crowd. Eager to get back at the Champion, Undertaker goes to climb back into the ring… but Randy Orton hits him from behind. The crowd boo Orton, having forgotten about ‘The Legend Killer’ whilst he was lurking near the announcer’s table. Orton bounces The Undertaker off the ring apron, before quickly whipping him crashing into the steel steps knee-first. Undertaker hits the steps and goes head over heels over them and rolling painfully into the barricade. It seems as though Undertaker has been taken out of the equation for now, much to the dismay of his adoring fans. Smiling at his handiwork, Orton clambers back up on the ring apron, his eyes still on the injured ‘Phenom’.
Orton turns back to the ring and is instantly grabbed by the throat by the two huge hands of ‘The Animal’. Orton desperately thrashes about on the apron, trying to break the monstrous grip of the Champion. Batista holds firm though and brings Orton back into the rope by his neck, crashing over of the top rope to the canvas. Orton rolls around painfully, before crawling away from his opponent. Batista gives ‘The Legend Killer’ no time to recover though, as he brings him back up to his feet and whips him into the ropes. Orton comes flying back and hits Batista with a shoulder block … but Orton goes straight back down! Batista does not move an inch, as Orton, his eyes wide with shock, scrambles away into the corner clutching his shoulder.
Batista smirks at his former team-mate, and pats his solid torso as a message to the arrogant youngster. Orton pulls himself up, as Batista advances confidently. ‘The Legend Killer’ drills a boot to Batista’s mid section, causing the World Heavyweight Champion to stagger backwards. Orton pounces on his rival with a series of stiff uppercuts to the jaw, driving the powerhouse back across the canvas into the opposite corner. Desperate to weaken his opponent, Orton pounds away with boots and right hands, before trying to whip Batista across the ring … but it is blocked! Batista is unmoved by Orton’s pull and instead brings the challenger crashing into the turnbuckle. Orton stumbles under the sheer force of ‘The Animal’, as Batista attacks him over and over again with a series of hard elbows and forearms to the face. Staggering away, Orton attempts to escape the onslaught by the defending Champion, but Batista isn’t quite finished with his hated rival yet. Batista grabs Orton and whips him across the ring into the ropes, nailing him with a hard elbow on the return. Orton falls down to the mat rubbing his jaw, but he manages to clamber back up to a vertical base, although his arrogant smile is fading rapidly in the face of this attack. He turns straight into the vicious arms of ‘The Animal’, who scoops him up onto his shoulder, looking for the powerslam. With the desperation clear on his face, Orton thrashes back and forth on Batista’s muscular shoulder, until he manages to slide off behind the Champion. Batista spins around as quickly as possible, but Orton leaps into the air for a perfectly executed dropkick, which knocks Batista staggering out of through the middle rope and to the floor outside.
On the floor, Batista tries to recover, as Orton stands in the centre of the ring beaming from ear to ear with his arms outstretched in a majestic ‘Destiny’ pose, drawing huge heat from the watching crowd. He follows up though soon after, nipping through the ropes and driving a forearm to Batista’s spine from the apron. Batista is barely back on his feet, as Orton hammers away on him. Orton grabs Batista’s arm and viciously hurls him straight into the nearby steel steps with sickening impact, drawing the “Oooos” from the fans. Batista goes down hard clutching his shoulder in agony, writhing in pain, as Orton grins cockily and turns around … into a huge clothesline from The Undertaker!
The crowd is on their feet, as The Undertaker really came out of nowhere, having been down and out previously. Orton is writhing on the ground, and ‘The Phenom’ stands over him menacingly. But then The Undertaker’s eyes drift over to Batista, who is onto his knees. Instead of continuing his attack on Orton, Undertaker moves over to ‘The Animal’, the larger opponent, and raises him back up to his feet. Before Batista can defend himself, Undertaker drives him spine-first into the crowd barrier, before unleashing a series of brutal right hands and high elbows, rocking the World Champion. Seemingly now in complete control, Undertaker drags Batista back over to the ring and rolls him back in under the bottom rope.
Undertaker is quick to follow his current victim, and hurries into the ring to put the boot to ‘The Animal’. Relentless in his pursuit of the Champion now, Undertaker pulls him back up and takes him over to the corner, where he drills Batista’s face into the turnbuckle. Batista is now reeling at the hands of ‘The Deadman’, who proceeds to deliver the hardest strikes in the WWE, with big right hands to the skull his victim. The referee Charles Robinson tries to get Undertaker away from the corner, but receives a deathly glare from ‘The Phenom’ that makes the blood run cold. Undertaker turns back to his opponent, but Batista gets there first, exploding with a major right hand of his own, taking Undertaker reeling backwards. Batista drills his challenger with a series of follow up hard shots, summoning all of his strength. Undertaker staggers back into the centre of the ring. Batista senses an opportunity and bounces off the ropes… straight into a boot to the face from The Undertaker! Batista reels and falls back into the ropes again, but just explodes right back out with a devastating clothesline, almost beheading the unsuspecting Undertaker. The crowd cannot believe that the big boot did not faze ‘The Animal’, as he rolls Undertaker over and makes the first cover of the match.
Undertaker kicks out with authority, much to the mixed relief of the fans. Batista slams the match with frustration, although it was optimistic of him to think he had ‘The Deadman’ beat so early. Back on his feet, Batista raises Undertaker gradually to his knees and looks to hit another right hand, but ‘The Phenom’ gets there first, drilling shot after shot to Batista’s mid drift in one of his trademark flurries, finishing off with a huge uppercut, sending Batista reeling into the ropes. Undertaker is back up quickly; as he unloads on Batista with a series of brutal shots now, back ‘The Animal’ into the corner. He whips Batista across the canvas into the far corner, and then charges, slamming into the massive chest of the World Heavyweight Champion with a brutal clothesline. The crowd is well behind ‘The Phenom’ now, as he backs up, before sprinting towards Batista for a second time and nailing another hard clothesline, nearly taking ‘The Animal’ right out of his boots! Batista falls out of the turnbuckle into the arms of Undertaker, who raises him up high onto his shoulder, before dropping him face first across the top turnbuckle for some Snake Eyes! Batista is in serious trouble now, as Undertaker comes off the ropes and goes for the big boot … but he suddenly changes direction, turns and boots Randy Orton right off the ring apron!
The crowd explodes, not knowing where Orton came from. ‘The Legend Killer’ hits the ground, but tries to recover quickly, the anger obvious on his face. Undertaker turns away from the ropes and returns to Batista … who is waiting for him! Batista catches Undertaker is his arms and nails a huge belly-to-belly side slam! Undertaker crashes to the canvas, and Batista makes the cover.
Randy Orton breaks it up, after sliding back into the ring, with a clubbing blow to the back of Batista’s head. Orton viciously drags Batista away from Undertaker stomps away at the defending Champion repeatedly. Batista tries to pull himself up on the ropes, but Orton still hammers away on him with a series of European uppercuts to the jaw. With both of his opponents down, Orton swaggers around the ring confidently, smiling broadly, drawing huge heat from the Miami crowd. Returning to the assault, Orton whips Batista into the opposite ropes, but Batista comes crashing right back with an incredible clothesline, which wipes ‘The Legend Killer’ out completely! Batista shifts the control seemingly in his favour, as he scoops Orton back up and throws him off the ropes, looking for a second clothesline. Orton is quick to duck underneath the swipe though, and he lands behind Batista, grabbing ‘The Animal’ in a rear headlock, before dropping him spine first across his own knee for the infamous inverted headlock backbreaker! After this famous Randy Orton manoeuvre, Batista is in extreme trouble and pain on the canvas, as ‘The Legend Killer’ hooks the leg.
Undertaker comes off the ropes.
Undertaker drops a leg right across the back of Orton’s head to break up the count. Clutching his skull, Orton rolls away from Batista, and Undertaker pursues him. Propping the cocky youngster up in the corner, Undertaker unloads more brutal right hands, rocking Orton. Undertaker drags Orton to the ropes and goes to whip him across the ring … but Orton reverses it and goes for the RKO out of nowhere … but Undertaker shoves Orton away into the turnbuckle. Orton rebounds back out and is grabbed by the throat by The Undertaker, lifted up high and … ORTON IS PLANTED WITH A HUGE CHOKESLAM! Undertaker drops on top of Orton, and a new World Champion is looking likely.
This time it is Batista who breaks it up by diving on top of The Undertaker. Both ‘The Animal’ and ‘The Phenom struggle back up to their feet, as Orton rolls painfully out of the ring back to the outside. Batista is the first man back up to his feet, whilst The Undertaker takes a while longer. Batista waits readily, and as Undertaker turns, Batista lifts him up and … NAILS A CRUSHING SPINEBUSTER TO ‘THE PHENOM’!
Laid out in the centre of the ring, this could very well be the end for ‘The Deadman, as Batista shakes the ropes and gives the thumbs down taunt, signalling that the Batista Bomb is near. As Batista steps towards his victim … Orton grabs his leg from under the bottom rope and drags ‘The Animal’ to the outside. Desperately, Orton slams the Champion into the announcer’s table, before rolling back into the ring and covering The Undertaker.
But The Undertaker gets a shoulder up! Randy Orton can’t believe it, as he sits up holding his heads in his hands in utter dismay. Undertaker rolls away trying desperately to recover from Batista’s devastating Spinebuster. Angrily Orton pulls ‘The Phenom’ back up and drills him with two hard European uppercuts, sending the larger man reeling into the corner. Orton pummels away at Undertaker with boots and right hands, before smirking widely in the direction of the watching crowd, resulting in massive heat. But it soon costs ‘The Legend Killer’ dearly, as he turns back to his opponent, only for Undertaker to explode from the corner and grab Orton by the throat with both hands. Taken completely by surprise, Orton is unable to prevent himself being tossed into the corner. Undertaker unloads with a flurry of hard right hands, sending the youngster rocking on the turnbuckle.
Orton is in trouble now, with The Undertaker in complete control. ‘The Deadman’ backs up across the ring once again, before running at full speeds and crushing Orton in the corner with a vicious clothesline. Now both Orton and Batista have tasted that same move, much to their suffering. Undertaker retreats again and nails a second clothesline in the corner, causing Orton to drop to his knees in agony clutching his chest. But Undertaker is quick to continue the attack, as he brings ‘The Legend Killer’ back up to his feet and tries to whip him across the ring. Orton manages to reverse it and sends Undertaker into the far corner instead. Crashing into the turnbuckle, Undertaker quickly bounces out of the way, as Orton charges shoulder first… and ends up colliding with the steel ring post!
As the “Oooooos” go up from the crowd, Orton drops between the ropes to the floor outside clutching his shoulder. After catching his breath, Undertaker climbs out of the ring in pursuit. He pulls Orton up and slams him against the crowd barrier hard, causing the youngster to cry out in pain. Relentlessly, Undertaker lays into Orton with more of his famous right hands, with ‘The Legend Killer’ barely even able to cover up. With his opponent struggling, the ruthless Undertaker whips Orton hard into the ring post once again, so that the same shoulder smacks straight into the metal. The “Oooos” are deafening this time, as it sounded as though Orton could very well have dislocated his shoulder with the impact. Undertaker has completely taken Orton out of the equation, but he does not see Batista coming up behind him. ‘The Animal’ spins ‘The Deadman’ around and levels him with a brutal right hand, sending the challenger staggering backwards.
Grabbing his stunned opponent by the back of the head, Batista leads The Undertaker over to the announcer’s table and tries to bounce the skull of ‘The Phenom’ off it. But Undertaker manages to block the move though, and he instead sends Batista crashing head first into the announcer’s table, causing ‘The Animal’ to become sprawled out over the desk in front of Michael Cole and Tazz. Undertaker keeps Batista down with another brutal right hand. Suddenly, ‘The Deadman’ snaps and drags the monitors and protective covering from the table. As he mounts the table, Undertaker brings Batista up with him. The World Heavyweight Champion can barely stand, slumped on his knees. Undertaker positions Batista between his legs and raises one arm up, signalling for the Last Ride to a deafening reception from the crowd. Undertaker prepares to lift ‘The Animal’ up … BUT GETS A STEEL CHAIR TO THE BACK OF THE KNEE!
‘The Phenom’ yells in agony and tumbles from the table, whilst Randy Orton throws the chair down in anger, still clutching his bad arm. ‘The Legend Killer’ picks The Undertaker up once again and delivers a vicious Irish whip, sending his knee slamming into the steel steps!
The Undertaker writhes in agony, whilst Orton turns … and is levelled by Batista. ‘The Animal’ nearly takes Orton’s head off with a vicious clothesline, and gingerly pushes the third generation superstar onto the announcer’s table. It is now Batista’s turn to position Orton between his legs, yelling out “BOMB” with a slow thumbs do – ORTON BACK DROPS BATISTA OUT OF NOWHERE THROUGH THE ADJACENT ANNOUNCE TABLE!
Batista crashes through the table with furious impact, taking out the Spanish team in the process, as the crowd erupts with a “Holy Shit” chant. The World Heavyweight Champion lies amongst the rubble, looking completely out of it, whilst Orton tries to recover, rolling off the undamaged table.
The Undertaker is pulling himself up to and glances over his shoulder to see Randy Orton pulling himself back up using the ring apron. Undertaker turns to go after ‘The Legend Killer’.
Before Orton knows what is behind him, Undertaker spins him around and nails him with a vicious right hand to the face. Orton sprawls against the ring apron, and Undertaker rolls him back under the bottom rope, just about leaving the youngster’s upper body hanging over the edge. The cheers go up from the crowd, who know exactly what is coming next. Undertaker takes careful aim first though and hits a well-aimed kick to the side of the helpless Orton’s head, resulting in a sickening smack. Orton’s head and neck is rocked, but he is still trapped in the precarious position hanging off the apron. Undertaker clambers up onto the apron himself now and runs across it, before leaping into the air with amazing agility and dropping a huge 300-pound leg drop right across Orton’s upper body!
The crowd applauds the display of vintage Undertaker, but ‘The Deadman’ isn’t finished yet, as he rolls back into the ring to join the barely moving frame of Randy Orton. Undertaker drags his fellow challenger back up onto his feet, with Orton staggering back and forth like a drunk. ‘The Phenom’ grabs Orton’s right arm and proceeds to twist around agonisingly, before backing towards the nearest turnbuckle, bringing Orton with him. A great ovation greets what is coming up, as Undertaker ascends to the top turnbuckle, still holding Orton’s twisted arm, and proceeds to walk the tightrope along the top rope. Orton can barely move, let alone manage a counter, and he is unable to prevent Undertaker leaping off with a clubbing blow … FOR A PERFECTLY EXECUTED OLD SCHOOL! Undertaker quickly drops on top of Orton for the cover.
Batista breaks it up from behind, as he drops a smash across Undertaker’s head. ‘The Animal’ just manages to salvage his World Heavyweight Championship for the time being, to an extremely mixed reaction from the crowd. The crowd cannot believe that Batista was able to recover so swiftly having gone through a table. Both The Undertaker and Batista struggle back up their feet, but it is the Champion who strikes first with a series of hard right hands to the skull of Undertaker, who is backed into ropes. Batista whips his challenger across the ring into the opposite set of ropes, causing ‘The Deadman’ to come flying back. The Champion makes an error next though, as he bends his head prematurely, looking for the back body drop, and Undertaker snatches at the opportunity and NAILS THE RUNNING DDT! Batista crashes to the canvas viciously, and Undertaker makes another agonising cover.
Not this time for The Undertaker though, as Batista’s manages to force his shoulder up from the canvas with a last, desperate effort. Randy Orton meanwhile had slid from the ring, and is trying to recover near the timekeeper. With Batista still down, Undertaker clambers back up to his feet and backs off with his arms held high, signalling that a Chokeslam is imminent for ‘The Animal’. Batista slowly manages to get back to his feet, as Randy Orton is climbing back into the ring with a steel chair in hand. Batista turns and ducks, as Undertaker aims for the Chokeslam … but Undertaker nails Orton with a right hand instead, knocking the chair away. Orton staggers back into the ropes and bounces straight back into a brutal clothesline from Batista, taking the ‘Legend Killer’ down. Orton rolls away to recover, as Undertaker drills Batista with another right hand, knocking him into the ropes. Undertaker goes to whip Batista across the ring, but the defending Champion reverses it and brings Undertaker into his arms, looking for a second belly-to-belly side slam … but Undertaker powers out, sending Batista spinning away. ‘The Animal’ turns dazedly and Undertaker grabs him by the throat, looking for a Chokeslam … but Batista kicks ‘The Phenom’ hard in the mid section, sending him down to his knees. Batista falls away to the corner too.
It is now Randy Orton who is struggling back up to his feet, once again with the steel chair in hand. He crouches in wait, as Undertaker clambers up and turns around … STEEL CHAIR OFF THE SKULL!
The shot is so hard that the weapon goes sailing across the ring and out of Orton’s hand. The Undertaker goes down instantly, seemingly knocked out completely by the heinous blow. Orton, having endured most of the damage in this match, is going on pure adrenaline currently it seems, the exhaustion evident on his face. Batista comes behind ‘The Legend Killer’ and spins him around … BUT ORTON LEAPS UP AND NAILS THE RKO OUT OF NOWHERE!
Unbelievably, to the complete shock of all watching, Orton, the third generation superstar has completely changed the face of the match in a matter of seconds. But he cannot capitalise. Both Undertaker and Batista are down, but so is Orton, all of his energy drained. With all three men down, the match is balanced on a knife-edge, until Orton eventually begins to stir. Wincing with effort he crawls over to the nearest man and throws his arm over The Undertaker for a beleaguered cover.
Undertaker gets a shoulder up, and Orton’s head drops in anguish. The crowd cheers frantically for the resurgence of their heroes, but Orton simply rolls over to the other side of the ring now, where Batista is lying. Orton covers the Champion, a smile beginning to creep across his face.
Foot on the ropes! Orton can’t understand why referee Charles Robinson did not count to three, but the official motions to Batista’s left long slung desperately over the bottom rope. Orton’s face is one of mixed anger and dismay, as he struggles away, unable to believe he has not yet won the match. Orton scowls at Batista with hatred in his eyes, and quickly rolls onto his belly, taunting for a second RKO. Batista struggles back up to his feet and Orton leaps up for the RKO … but Batista shoves ‘The Legend Killer’ away … right into the arms of The Undertaker. His skull bleeding from the sickening chair shot he received, Undertaker lifts Orton up onto his shoulder and points at Batista, signalling that this will be the Champions fate next. Before Undertaker can hit the Tombstone Piledriver though, Orton slides off his shoulder and lands behind him. Batista charges at Orton looking for a … SPEAR, but the youngster dives out of the way, and Batista ends up tackling The Undertaker in the back, knocking ‘The Phenom’ crashing through the middle rope to the floor outside.
Batista looks unconcerned, as he managed to take out one opponent. He turns around… RKO! NO! Batista shoves Orton away and ‘The Legend Killer’ goes flying away with the full force of ‘The Animal’, colliding chest first with the nearby turnbuckle. Orton rebounds out dazedly, clutching his chest and turns into a ferocious kick to the gut from Batista. Batista quickly shoves Orton’s head between his legs and hoists him up in the Powerbomb position. Orton is trying to fight out of it with right hands to the face of Batista, but there is seemingly no stopping the Champion when he is like this. Orton comes down … BATISTA BOMB! In the centre of the ring, Orton is out, flat on his back and does move one inch. Batista rolls backwards to catch his breath, before wearily crawling over and draping himself across ‘The Legend Killer’.
WINNER: Batista @ 19:32!! Batista retains the World Heavyweight Championship!!!
Batista drops back from the successful pin fall, visibly exhausted from the draining match up, as **I Walk Alone** hits again to signify victory for “The Animal”. The referee tries to help him back up to his feet and raise his arm, though the Champion can barely stand. Outside the ring, back his feet; The Undertaker glares into the ring at Batista with a look of pure malice.
Tony Chimel: Here is your winner and STILL World Heavyweight Champion … BATISTAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
The referee brings Batista’s title belt back into the ring and hands it to the retaining Champion, who raises it up high over his head for all to see. Randy Orton begins to stir on the mat, his eyes blinking slowly, as the realisation dawns on him that he has failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship. Batista, using the ropes for leverage, struggles back up, staring at his title with joy, as his tremendous reign continues. ‘The Animal’ kisses the belt happily, and tries despite his exhaustion to salute the fans. On the outside of the ring, a ferocious Undertaker stalks away back up the ramp, his vest straps pulled down, a expression upon his face. He does not even glance back.
Michael Cole: The reign of ‘The Animal’ … just keeps going. Several times it looked as though Batista was on the verge of finally losing his title tonight, but he still managed to come through it, overcoming the odds.
Tazz: I – I’m speechless, Cole. I mean, what a match. I though ‘Taker was walking out of here as the Champ at some points, but then Randy looked as though the belt was coming to him too. Batista still gets the win though, and is looking pretty damn unstoppable.
Michael Cole: Indeed he does. How will the ego of Randy Orton cope with being pinned here tonight by his former friend? We already know the jealousy that is exists in ‘The Legend Killer’.
Tazz: That’s right, Cole, but did you see ‘The Deadman’ after? That was cold, man. There was nothing in those eyes; I don’t know what he was thinking, but it ain’t good.
The crowd explodes as we see JOHN CENA sat gingerly on the edge of the doctor’s table in the medical room. He is in his sweats, but is lifting his right leg up and down gingerly, massaging the knee.
???: Feeling rough?
Cena turns to see who it is and sighs instantly, as ERIC BISCHOFF enters the room, his hands in his pockets.
Eric Bischoff: (Looking at Cena’s knee) Ooooh, that looks sore, John, I wouldn’t put too much pressure on it if I were you.
John Cena: What d’you want, Bischoff?
Eric just smiles.
Eric Bischoff: What any good General Manager would be doing … I’m checking up on my commodity. That’s you, John, if you hadn’t realised.
John Cena: I might be a lot of things, Bischoff, but one thing I’m not is stupid … NOW WHAT … do you want?
Bischoff laughs secretively.
Eric Bischoff: Ya know, John, that’s exactly why you and me got off on the wrong foot. Ever since you came to Raw you have done NOTHING … but disrespect me. I am YOUR General Manager and I deserve respect. I was starting to think that maybe – just maybe the WWE title had gone to your head … made you a little brat.
The crowd boos, as Cena glares at Bischoff.
Eric Bischoff: But Triple H had respect. Randy Orton had respect. Chris Jericho had respect. But you – you, John, have none, and now you’re gonna get exactly what you deserve.
Bischoff leans in close, his lips close to Cena’s ear.
Eric Bischoff: ‘Cause I don’t care what you did tonight – I don’t care about Shawn Michaels or Mr. McMahon’s problem with him. But I can guarantee to you that you WILL NOT win the Royal Rumble tonight, and you will … NEVER … be the WWE Champion again…
Huge heat from the crowd, whilst Bischoff backs off smiling and Cena looks at the floor.
Eric Bischoff: Best of luck though, John. Here (reaching into his pocket and tossing Cena something) I took the liberty of picking your number. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Bischoff pats Cena on the shoulder, before strolling off with a cackle.
We cut back to Mr. McMahon’s office, though this time without Eric Bischoff obviously.
Mr. McMahon: That was quite a title match, Theodore, congratulations.
Theodore Long: Thank ya, Mister McMahon. I had a feelin’ it was gonna be somethin’ big, playa.
The two men shake hands warmly.
Mr. McMahon: Well, I’m not quite sure where Eric has got to, but we can’t wait around forever. Let’s keep this thing going! Who’s up next? (Sees) Ah ha, excellent!
In strolls none other than the United States Champion BOOKER T and his wife SHARMELL. Booker is carrying his title belt over his shoulder proudly, as he shakes hands with McMahon and Long.
Booker T: That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout, dawg, Mister McMahon keepin’ it real.
Mr. McMahon: I trust you’re feeling well, Booker?
Booker grins at Sharmell, as though it were a ridiculous question.
Booker T: Never betta’, never betta’. Y’see, ya don’ come into the Royal Rumble any betta’ than I have. I beat Chris Benoit for my United States Championship in a bes’ o’ seven series and then I put his punk ass down in a No DQ match!
Sharmell: Ma man!
Booker heads over to the Tumbler.
Booker T: The way I see it, Mister McMahon, is that ya can jus’ mark it down naw! Champion versus Champion! Firs’ time EVA! United States Champion versus World Champion! The five time … five time … FIVE TIME … Dubya See’ Dubya Champion Booker T versus –
???: ‘Sup, Teddy?
Everyone turns to see REY MYSTERIO enter the room to a huge pop from the crowd, though Booker looks a little annoyed at being interrupted. Rey slaps hands with Teddy Long.
Rey Mysterio: Listen, man, I ‘preciate the offer an’ all on Friday, but I just felt like I had to deal with MNM myself. Ya understand?
Theodore Long: I feel ya, Rey. Completely, playa. Ya had to do it alone. I dig that.
Rey slaps Teddy on the shoulder and shakes Mr. McMahon’s hand, before heading over to the Tumbler, where Booker is just removing his number. Rey nods at Booker and reaches in.
Booker T: So, Teddy, Mister McMahon, I was jus’ thinkin’, isn’t there some kind of rule about havin’ dawgs in the Rumble who ain’t even the same size as the ropes? I mean, how’re we ‘pose to get ‘em out?
Booker bursts out laughing, as does Sharmell, humouring her man, as Long shakes his head and Rey turns slowly to the US Champ.
Rey Mysterio: You talkin’ to me, Booker?
Booker stops laughing and stands up tall, dwarfing Rey.
Booker T: Ya damn skippy I’m talkin’ at you, Rey Rey.
Rey Mysterio: You got a problem with me?
Booker glances over his shoulder at the grinning Sharmell.
Booker T: Ya damn right I got a problem witcha! Ya jus’ don’ sit right with me, dawg. You’re a joke, a punk playin’ wit’ men, Rey. You stickin’ yer nose in the big leagues, where ya don’ belong. So why ya even in the Royal Rumble … beats me.
Rey’s face twitches with anger, but he manages to force a smile.
Booker T: Ya find somethin’ funny, Rey Rey? Ain’t nobody gonna help ya tonight in that ring. Not Teddy Long, not Mister McMahon. It jus’ gonna be Rey Mysterio standing … all-alone.
The crowd boos Booker T, as he stares at Rey angrily, whilst the pint-sized Rey looks away. Showing some real class, Mysterio stands aside and lets Booker pass. Both men inspect their numbers … both men break out huge smiles.
Rey Mysterio: (Whispering, looking up) Gracias, homes.
Booker T stops and laughs.
Booker T: Ya won’ be thankin’ nobody when I drop your punk ass over that rope tonight, Rey Rey.
Rey just gives Booker a slight smirking, patting him on the shoulder.
Rey Mysterio: Well, I guess we’ll see, won’t we? I’ll see ya out there, Booker.
Rey strolls from the room, brushing past Booker rather aggressively, leaving the US Champ fuming.
Back to ringside…
To the Raw announce table where Jim Ross and The Coach sit shaking their heads.
Jim Ross: I don’t think I’ve ever seen the WWE Champion so intense as he was earlier, Coach, and he’s got good reason to be. I knew – I knew that that no good son of a – I knew Triple H had something to do with Angle’s absence from Raw.
Jonathan Coachman: That’s only Kurt Angle’s word; J.R. How do you know that they weren’t his Cuban cigars that the police found? That’s right, you don’t. Triple H is innocent until proven guilty.
Jim Ross: No matter what I think, it’s pretty clear that Kurt Angle is looking to do some serious damage to ‘The Game’ tonight. This one could get real ugly, folks.
Jonathan Coachman: It’s a one-on-one match up. Kurt Angle had better stick within the rules.
Jim Ross: Let’s see how these two came together…
[U]WWE Championship: Kurt Angle/Triple H Video Package[/u]
~ Angle fails to capture the WWE title on several occasions, including at Unforgiven and Survivor Series, before finally winning the gold on the January 2nd edition of Raw, defeating John Cena in a First Blood match.
~ Triple H emerges from a terrible 2005, having just feuded with his former mentor Ric Flair, as well as Batista and The Big Show, and sets his sights on the WWE Championship.
~ During Angle’s coronation celebration on January 9th, Triple H, as well as other challengers John Cena and Edge mock the Olympian. Later that night, Helmsley defeats Edge and Cena in a Triple Threat match to become to No.1 Contender.
~ Angle and Triple H get into a heated confrontation the next week, with the fans getting behind the Champion. Later that night, Triple H walks out on Angle in a tag team match, allowing John Cena to pin the Champion. Hunter returns and gives Angle the Pedigree.
~ On the next Raw, Angle is strangely absent, and Triple H takes advantage, by annihilating Eric Angle, Kurt’s brother, in an unsanctioned match, proclaiming the WWE title “his”.
**Medal** blasts out to a great mixed reaction, although leaning towards a positive pop, and the WWE Champion hurries out, his face completely alight with intensity. Stopping at the top of the ramp, Angle slaps his face in preparation before looking skywards and setting his red, white and blue pyro off to a great reception.
Lillian Garcia: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP! Introducing first … from PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIAAAAA … weighing at 235 pounds … He is the only Olympic Gold Medallist in professional wrestling history … and the WWE CHAMPION … KURT ANGGGGLLLEE!!!
Angle wastes no time at all in scurrying up the steps and entering the ring, doing his patented spin with his arms outstretched to a great pop. Angle, keeping his eyes fixed on the entrance, removes his Gold medals and title belt and hands them to the referee Mike Chioda, before adopting his usual squatting position, hands on knees, as if willing the challenger out.
**Time To Play The Game** hits with its usual rumble and the crowd instantly rises to their feet in excitement. The pop turns to heat eventually though, as the lights dim and the entrance of the incomparable Triple H begins. ‘The Game’ strides out onto the stage with water bottle in hand, pouring it over his head before spitting it out and marching furiously down to the ring.
Lillian Garcia: And introducing next the challenger … from GREENWICH, CONNECCTICUTTT … weighing in at 265 pounds … ‘THE GAME’ TRIPPPPLLLLEEE H!
Helmsley is half-way down the ramp when the crowd explodes, as Kurt Angle has exited the ring through the ropes and charges up to greet the Number One Contender.
Kurt Angle © vs. Triple H
Triple H barely has time to realise what is coming his way before the WWE Champion Kurt Angle is on him. At full speed, the Olympian hits ‘The Game’ and levels him with a brutal shot, sending him stumbling backwards. The crowd is buzzing at the rage of the Champion, as he pursues the stunned Helmsley to the top of the ramp. Nervously, referee Mike Chioda yells to the timekeeper to ring the bell, before hurrying out of the ring to try and establish some control to the contest. Angle drills Hunter with another stiff shot at the top of the ramp, sending him stumbling over to the side and the hard wood floor, where all of the excess equipment is kept. The referee makes it there finally and screams at Angle to take it to the ring, but the Gold Medallist doesn’t hear a word of it, consumed by rage as he is. Triple H slips away across the floor, trying to regain his senses, but Angle is in hot pursuit.
The WWE Champion takes Hunter by the hair and throws him into the nearby equipment, comprising of railings and tables, which ‘The Game’ bounces off painfully, the smack of his bare flesh all too audible. Triple H slips down the wall, but Angle pulls him straight back up and drills him with a hard European uppercut, almost knocking ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ over the railing. Mike Chioda is doing is best to try and reason with Angle, and J.R and Coach comment on the leniency the official is showing here. Angle turns around finally with a vicious look on his face and shoves Doan away, sending the veteran referee staggering backwards. Kurt turns back, but Triple H capitalises on the slight distraction, drilling Angle with a hard shot with his taped fist, sending the Olympian staggering backwards. Helmsley shakes the cobwebs away before hurrying after his opponent, looking to maintain the advantage. He nails Angle with another stiff shot, and the WWE Champion is knocked back onto the top of the entrance ramp, where he tries to keep his balance.
Hunter stalks his man, as the crowd get a prime view of the two superstars on the top of the ramp. Triple H slugs Angle in the face again, rocking the Champ … but Kurt hits him right back. The two exchange blows back and forth in a furious flurry much to the noisy delight of the fans, before Angle ducks Helmsley’s latest shot, and catches the Number One Contender with a stinging uppercut, taking him off his feet. The redness is taking over Angle’s face, as he seethes, and he gives his enemy no respite, bringing Triple H back up to his feet by the back of his head and taking him across to the other equipment area.
Across the wooden floor, Kurt gets a run up before tossing Hunter into a pile of crates shoulder first with a harsh thud. Triple H crumples to the ground with a gasp, unable to regain control, as Angle pounces on him immediately. The WWE Champion lines Helmsley up for another uppercut, but ‘The Game’ manages to drive his knee into the mid section of the Olympian, taking control. Triple H quickly tries to capitalise and attempts an Irish Whip … but Kurt counters and instead sends Hunter crashes into the hard crowd barrier!
Triple H hits the steel hard and buckles with a groan, whilst the manic crowd try to reach over to get a feel of one of their heroes. Angle is there almost immediately though, slamming Hunter’s face of the railing without remorse, completely ignoring Chioda’s pleas. Kurt, showing his intense, mean and downright psychotic brawling side, takes Helmsley by the hair again and leads him off across the concrete before shoving ‘The Game’ over the barrier right into the crowd. The screams are deafening now, as Kurt does the same, vaulting the railing and picking up Hunter by the hair again, before leading him off deeper and deeper into the screaming masses in search of more punishment for ‘The Cerebral Assassin’.
The cameraman tries desperately to follow the two athletes, but they become quickly lost amongst the fans. From above we can see Angle leading Triple H through the horde by the hair, occasionally nailing him with a stiff right hand, encouraged by the crowd. Referee Mike Chioda is in there too now amongst it all, trying to get some control into the match. Finally the cameraman is able to get into the crowd with the combatants, as Angle slams Helmsley off the nearby crowd steps, clearly not showing much Olympic spirit on this night.
Still brimming with intensity, Kurt rams Triple H into the nearby rail, where all of the fans stand above and below. The security guards try to separate the superstars from the crowd, but it does not seem to be working. The chaos of the brawl is all too evident, as is the deafening cries of the fans. Feeding off the atmosphere, Angle drags Triple H back up by the hair and leads him off once again into the foray at a great pace. The two of them go crashing through the fans and tumbling over the barricade, back over onto the entrance ramp, where they sprawl out!
Whilst Helmsley writhes around in agony, Angle pulls himself back up quickly and drags Hunter up with him too. Triple H is quick off the mark though, kicking the WWE Champion in the gut, before drilling the Olympian with a stinging right hand. The Champ stumbles backwards across the ramp and Triple H grabs him from behind, slamming him back into the barricade. Angle nearly crumples, but Helmsley tries desperately to press the advantage, hooking his arm and going for a Snap Suplex … but Angle reverses it and Suplexes ‘The Game’ on the steel ramp to some minor “Oooos” from the crowd.
Helmsley clutches his spine in agony, eyes wide with pain, as Angle shakes the cobwebs away too, before jumping back up to his feet.
Still looking to do some serious damage to the Number One Contender, Angle drills him with a series of hard kicks to the mid section, doubling him over. Dragging ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ back to his feet, Kurt nails another European uppercut, knocking Hunter stumbling back down the ramp towards the ring. Angle roars with intensity before heading after Triple H, finally making it to the ring area. Hunter is leaning against the crowd barricade, clearly trying to re-gather his senses … but drives his knee straight into Angle’s gut when he comes near. Helmsley shoves Kurt’s head between his legs and begins to try and set him up for an early Pedigree on the outside … but Angle fights out of it, taking ‘The Game’ down. Quickly, the Olympian grabs Triple H’s legs in a catapult position and sends him crashing backwards into the barricade … BUT CRUSHES THE REFEREE INTO THE BARRICADE!
The crowd “Oooos” as Mike Chioda goes down hard on the outside, not moving after such a hard shot. Angle only gives the unconscious referee a brief glance before pulling Helmsley back up to his feet and leading him over to the ring steps. Kurt tries to drive Hunter’s face into the steps, but Triple H manages to block it, forcing an elbow into Angle’s mid section and instead slamming the Olympian’s head into the steel with a bump. Without even bothering to recover himself, Hunter repeats the move, driving Angle face first into the steps. We get another brief shot of Chioda, who is still showing no signs of movement, crumpled up against the barricade. The match has seemingly gotten out of control though, beyond pin falls, beyond count outs: an unsanctioned street fight.
Triple H shakes the cobwebs away before taking Angle by the head once again and dragging him over to the announce tables, throwing him face first into the SmackDown one. With the WWE Champion reeling, Helmsley tries to establish some form of control, taking Angle and tossing him under the bottom rope into the ring at last!
Seemingly forgetting the condition of the official, Helmsley crawls in after his opponent, as Angle struggles over to the ropes to try and pull himself back up. But Triple H drills a hard boot to the gut. Holding onto the top rope for some extra leverage, Hunter puts the boot to the flat out Olympian again and again and again, his face screwed up with intensity, before dropping down to his knees and trying to choke the life out of the Champ. The crowd boos wildly, whilst Angle’s legs flail in desperation and Triple H snarls uncaringly. Finally releasing the hold, Hunter tries to assess the situation, with his enemy down. Helmsley clambers back up to his feet and pulls Angle up too. Triple H presses the Champ against the ropes and goes to whip him across the ring … but Angle reverses, pulling Hunter’s arm in, getting underneath the arm and … NAILING THE ANGLE SLAM!
Out of absolutely nowhere, Kurt Angle hits his finishing manoeuvre on ‘The Game’, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Angle, still reeling, crawls over to the motionless Triple H and hooks the leg for a certain cover.
Angle looks around, clearly frustrated, mouthing “Shit” to himself, before climbing back up to his feet and looking for the match official. Spying Chioda on the outside, Angle quickly exits the ring and goes after him. Pulling the still dazed referee up to his feet, Angle leads him back to the ring, pushing him onto the apron before rolling back into the ring himself. Angle leans over the top rope to try and pull the flailing Chioda up … but Triple H is back and spins the Champ around. Angle blocks Helmsley’s right hand attempt thought and drills him with one of his one, before nailing to swift uppercuts to the jaw, sending ‘The Game’ staggering backwards into the ropes and bouncing off. He lands in Angle’s waiting arms, and the Olympian goes for a Belly-to-Belly Suplex … but Triple H shoves him off into the ropes … AND ANGLE ACCIDENTALLY KNOCKS CHIODA OFF THE APRON AND INTO THE CROWD BARRICADE!
The crowd “Oooos” once again and J.R laments the fate of the official in this match so far. Angle rebounds straight off the ropes into a boot to the gut from Helmsley, who throws Kurt between his legs and hooks his legs … GOING FOR THE PEDIGREE EARLY … AND HITS IT!
Once again, the crowd cannot believe that Triple H just nailed his finishing manoeuvre so soon. Clearly oblivious of the situation at hand, Hunter crawls on top of the Champ and hooks the leg.
After at least ten seconds of covering Angle, Triple H looks around furiously in search of the official, before releasing the cover and standing to his feet. He looks around … but here comes referee Jack Doan charging down to the ring. Hunter screams at the official to hurry up, before jumping back on top of Angle for another cover, as Doan slides straight under the bottom rope into an immediate count.
Angle flings his shoulder up off the canvas at the last possible moment, and the crowd erupts into cheers, whilst Triple H rolls away from the cover, completely aghast, a vicious scowl fixed upon his face. Throwing his hair back, Helmsley glares at Jack Doan, holding up three fingers desperately, demanding to know how that was not a three count. Jack Doan protests that he did all he could, but that is clearly not enough for the egomaniacal ‘Game’, who gets back up to his feet quickly and shoves the referee aggressively to boos from the crowd. Doan hits the ropes and comes right back with a shove of his own, somewhat startling Hunter. Doan points to his referee’s badge desperately, proclaiming his authority. Triple H just scowls at Doan … BEFORE KICKING HIM IN THE GUT AND NAILING THE SECOND OFFICIAL WITH A PEDIGREE!
The crowd pours heat on ‘The Cerebral Assassin’, who just looks down on the motionless frame of yet another official with total contempt. Hunter clambers back up and turns around … straight into a vicious uppercut from Angle, who has seemingly recovered from the Pedigree. The Champ hammers Helmsley with a series of hard blows, sending him back into the ropes. Angle goes for the Irish Whip, but Triple H reverses it and sends Angle rebounding off the ropes. Angle comes back and ducks Hunter’s swipe, before rebounding again, ducking another clothesline attempt and grinding to a halt behind Helmsley and grabbing him by the waist … NAILING A GERMAN SUPLEX OUT OF THE BLUE!
Angle keeps his hands well and truly locked and pops his hips, bringing the Number One Contender up for a Second German Suplex! The crowd is buzzing for the WWE Champion now, as he comes up once again, looking to complete the hat trick; Triple H reaches out desperately for the top rope … and gets it! Wearied, ‘The Game’ frantically blocks the next German Suplex and swings back with his elbow, trying to break Kurt’s vice-like grip.
Angle shoves ‘The Game’ into the ropes and sends him across the canvas into the opposite set before he comes flying back … straight into Angle’s arms … WHO NAILS A BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX OVER THE TOP ROPE, SENDING HUNTER CRASHING TO THE OUTSIDE!
The crowd gives a huge pop for this move; as the WWE Champion gets himself even move psyched up in the ring, slapping himself in the face, before heading out after his opponent. Triple H lies against the barricade flat on his back, a dazed expression upon his face after the Suplex to the floor. Angle shows no compassion, as he drags ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ back up and leads him over to the steel steps, slamming Hunter head first into the solid metal. The smack of Triple H’s skull isn’t enough for Angle though, as he takes him over to the announce tables now and slams him into the Raw one, sending ‘The Game’ sprawling over the surface and rolling across J.R and Coach, who both comment that they hope their table isn’t destroyed like the Spanish one earlier. The two commentators get out of the way quickly, as Angle pursues his enemy.
Kurt joins Triple H behind the announce table and drives his head into it consecutively, spurred on by the fans. The crowd behind is on fire, as Angle knocks Helmsley back down with a stiff European uppercut, before searching around for something behind the table. He pulls out an electrical chord to the delight of the fans, wrapping it around Triple H’s throat, and begins to choke the life out the 10-time Champion. Upon Hunter’s forehead we can see he blood now present there, brought on from the constant abuse. Triple H tries to crawl away, still with the wire wrapped around his throat, dragging Angle with him, crawling across the terrified timekeeper, as well as Lillian Garcia and Tony Chimel. Angle climbs out from behind the table and gets behind ‘The Game’, tugging on the chord again and again and … RING BELL OFF THE SKULL!
Kurt goes down instantly from the heinous blow, as the “Oooos” go up throughout the arena. Triple H clutches the bell in his hand as though it were his best friend; he breathes hard, trying to get some air back to his lungs. Hunter glances down to where Angle is sprawled on his hands and knees, clutching his head in agony. There is blood coming from the Champ’s forehead now, much like Hunter’s. Groggily, clearly knocked for a loop by the bell shot, Angle pulls himself up to his feet using the announce table, blinking through the blood and turns around to face Helmsley … A SECOND BELL SHOT TO THE HEAD!
Hunter throws the weapon down furiously, ignoring the boos of the crowd, whilst Angle lies on the floor on his back not moving. Triple H brings the bloody Champion back up to his feet and slams his wounded head into the announce table once again. Helmsley turns Angle onto his back and drills him in the head over and over again with the taped fist, relishing the blood. Angle stumbles away, but Hunter grabs him, hooking his arm and nailing a Vertical Suplex, crashing across the Raw announce table, which doesn’t even break! Angle bounces off the hard surface with no give, and crumples onto J.R and Coach once again. The Olympian lies in a heap behind the table, whilst Hunter shoves the commentators aside, before grabbing the Champ and pulling him back up. Taking Kurt by the head, Helmsley leads back over and shoves him back into the ring under the bottom rope.
A bloodied Angle crawls over to the corner and slumps against the bottom turnbuckle, where Triple H begins to quickly put the boot to the Champ. Helmsley checks over his shoulder to see the condition of the referees, but both are still down in and out of the ring. Viciously, Hunter presses his foot hard into the Adam’s apple of the Gold Medallist, trying to squeeze the very life out of him. Pulling on the top rope, Triple H gets all of the leverage he can, before breaking it off to taunt the fans. He pulls the WWE Champion back up to his feet in the corner before drilling him over and over again with his taped right fist. The blood of Kurt Angle is all over Triple H’s arm, due to the constant blows. Hunter goes for another shot … but Angle gets there first. Triple H tries to fight back, but the plucky Olympian bursts out of the corner, drilling Helmsley with right hands and a series of stinging European uppercuts. Angle backs Triple H into the ropes before trying to Irish Whip him across the ring. Hunter reverses it though and sends Angle into the ropes. The Champ comes flying back and … GETS PLANTED WITH A BRUTAL AA SPINEBUSTER, RIGHT IN THE CENTRE OF THE RING!
Angle goes down hard and ceases to move, whilst Triple H drops down as if to go for a cover.
Hunter once again catches sight of the recently Pedigreed Jack Doan, and realises that there is no point in this pin fall. Hunter instead clambers back up to his feet and bounces off the ropes, leaping up to drop the knee across Angle’s face … but the Champ rolls out of the way. Hunter groans as his knee hits the canvas, but Angle is up quicker than expected, grabbing ‘The Game’ and whipping him into the ropes. The WWE Champion makes a crucial error, lowering his head a split second too early, and Triple H quickly takes advantage once again, kicking Angle in the face. The Champ turns away clutching his bloody face and Hunter charges, taking Angle down with a chop block right to the back of the left knee.
Angle hits the mat straight away clutching at his left knee in agony, whilst Triple H shows his ‘Game’ title to be true and rolls right under the bottom rope, dragging Angle by the legs over to the ring post. Hunter splits Kurt’s legs on either side of the ring post, before slamming his left knee into the steel! Angle yells out in agony, but Triple H shows his ruthlessness, repeating the same move, driving the Champ’s left knee against the post. The Olympian writhes in agony, and Triple H drills him with a right hand, before rolling back into the ring himself.
Hunter allows Angle no time to tend to his knee and drags the WWE Champion by the leg over to the ropes. Helmsley props Kurt’s left leg up on the bottom rope, before jumping up and dropping his entire weight onto the knee. Angle screams in total agony, but Triple H isn’t done with the knee torture yet, as he drags the Gold Medallist back into the centre of the ring, before lifting up his left leg high in the air before slamming the knee down into the mat. Angle winces in pain, wincing through his bloody face. Triple H grabs the leg of Kurt and begins to wrap around it, going for the Figure four leg lock … but Angle kicks him away, causing Helmsley to collide with the turnbuckle. The WWE Champion tries to pull himself back up, gingerly putting weight on his left leg, as Triple H shakes the cobwebs and turning around. Angle swings at Helmsley, but ‘The Game’ ducks and quickly kicks the Champ’s knee out, taking him down once again.
Triple H pulls Angle back into the centre of the ring and drops his elbow into the Champ’s knee, applying a lot of pressure to the weak point. Helmsley jumps back up and drops his elbow into the knee again … and again … and again … and again. Angle is clearly struggling to carry on now, such is his immense agony, but he tries desperately to kick Triple H away. Unbeknownst to the Number One Contender, the initial referee Mike Chioda is regaining his senses on the outside and is leaning against the apron, beginning to crawl into the ring under the bottom rope behind Hunter’s back. Angle sees this though and counters the move … SUDDENLY ROLLING TRIPLE H UP WITH AN AMAZING COUNTER, CATCHING HELMSLEY BY SURPRISE. CHIODA MAKES THE COUNT!
Angle nearly got the win there simply through the sheer shock of his fast manoeuvre. Triple H still looks completely stunned as he sits up, but Angle, moving awkwardly on his knee, pulls ‘The Game’ back up and drills him with a series of vicious European uppercuts, knocking him back into the ropes. Angle sends Hunter across the mat with another Irish Whip into the ropes, but ducks down, and Helmsley catches him with the FACECRUSHER to counter the back body drop attempt. Angle goes down hard once again, as the momentum quickly shifts in favour of the always-prepared ‘Cerebral Assassin’. Triple H hurriedly crawls over to where Angle lies and hooks the leg.
‘The Game’ can’t believe it and immediately hooks the leg again! 1…2…NO! Hunter is fuming, as he hooks the leg again! 1…2…NO! There is a look of pure anger on the complexion of Helmsley, as he goes for a fourth straight pin attempt! 1…2…NO! Furiously, Triple H glowers at Mike Chioda, before mounting Kurt Angle and drilling him with fist after fist to his bloodied skull. The official tries desperately to prise him away, but Hunter just shoves him away, before getting up at his own accord and rolling out of the ring. ‘The Game’ looks around devilishly, before throwing back the ring apron and reaching underneath, pulling out … THE SLEDGEHAMMER! The crowd pops of course upon seeing ‘The Great Equalizer’, but it quickly turns to heat as Triple H rolls back into the ring with the weapon, his eyes fixed on the Champion.
Referee Mike Chioda screams at Triple H to put the weapon down, but Hunter doesn’t care apparently, ignore the threats of a disqualification and charges at Angle with weapon raised high. Angle ducks though, coming up behind the challenger and locking his hands around the waist … NAILING A GERMAN SUPLEX OUT OF THE BLUE, THE SLEDGEHAMMER FLYING ACROSS THE RING!
The crowd goes wild, as Angle, still bleeding profusely from the skull, brings ‘The Game’ back up, hands still locked, and hits a second German Suplex! Gasping for breath, Helmsley has nowhere to go, as he is brought up for a third time, and this time the ropes are just too far away. Angle plants him for a third time with a German! The crowd explodes as the hat trick is completed … but Angle brings Hunter up again, still with his grip intact, nailing a fourth straight German! Gingerly, clearly wary of his damaged left knee, Angle pulls himself back up again, still holding a groggy Triple H and delivers a fifth German Suplex in the centre of the ring! It surely looks to be over now, as Angle is down for a good while, but he still comes back up with Triple H for another, hitting a sixth scintillating German on the canvas! Referee Mike Chioda is now asking ‘The Game’ if he wants to continue, but there doesn’t even seem to be an answer from the groggy challenger. Triple H is picked back up by Kurt Angle once again … AND IS BROUGHT CRASHING BACK DOWN WITH AN INCREDIBLE SEVENTH GERMAN SUPLEX!!! This time, Angle breaks his grip!
The crowd goes wild, applauding the amazing effort of the WWE Champion, who has been on the back foot a lot, to pull off such a series of Suplexes. Both men lie quite still on the canvas, with their chests heaving for air. Angle’s eyes are open though, as opposed to those of Triple H. The Champ crawls across and manages to hook the leg of ‘The Game’.
Somehow, Triple H finds something left in his tank and is able to get his shoulder off the canvas, much to the dismay of the crowd and Kurt Angle. The Olympic Gold Medallist shows his grit though, pulling himself back up, his face red with blood and fury, as he pulls down his straps in determination, screaming at ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ to get up. Triple H struggles up to his hands and knees, still feeling the effects of all those German Suplexes. Eventually, with his back to the Champ, Helmsley gets back up to his feet in a wobbly manner. Angle pounces straight away, looking for the Angle Slam, but Triple H slides off the shoulders and drops behind the Champ. Angle turns and Hunter boot him in the gut, before hooking the arms in preparation for the Pedigree … but Angle drops down and swipes the leg … APPLYING THE ANKLE LOCK!
Triple H screams in pain, as the submission is locked in, in the centre of the ring. Angle’s face is a crimson mask of blood and fury as he cinches in the devastating submission with all of his might. Referee Mike Chioda drops down to his knees to check on ‘The Game’, who is writhing in agony and trying to force himself up, using his powerful upper body. As Angle yells at him to tap, Hunter shows some resilience and begins to scratch and claw his way across the canvas, arms outstretched in search of the ropes. The Champ tries to pull ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ back to the centre of the ring, but Helmsley uses his superior strength to continue to crawl away. With one last-ditch effort, Triple H lunges forward and grabs the bottom rope with his fingertips.
Mike Chioda tries frantically to pull Angle off, gesturing that Triple H has reached the ropes … but the Champ clearly isn’t hearing anything but the screams of his enemy, and continues to apply the pressure! Using the ropes for some extra leverage, Helmsley begins to pull himself up on one leg. Chioda tries to force Angle off, making the count … 1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … TRIPLE H KICKS ANGLE AWAY INTO THE REFEREE!
For the third time in the match referee Mike Chioda is taken out, as Angle crashes into him and Triple H jumps away to the mat. Kurt checks on the referee, his back to ‘The Game’, slapping the mat in frustration, before climbing back up to his feet and turning around … SLEDGEHAMMER OFF THE SKULL!
The crowd erupts in the initial pop of the devastating blow; as Triple H almost takes Angle’s head clean off. The WWE Champion goes down immediately and does not moves, his face bloodies and scarred, whilst Helmsley throws the weapon down triumphantly and makes the cover.
Hunter looks to the heavens in dismay, as no count comes. He looks over to where Chioda lies, and punches the mat in sheer frustration. Throwing Angle’s limp leg back down to the mat with disgust, Triple H heads over to Chioda and tries to pull him up him, slapping at the officials face, trying desperately to revive him. But the referee is down and out this time clearly, and ‘The Game’ seems at a loss. He heads over to the front of the ring and leans over, seeing the second official (who Hunter Pedigreed) still down on the outside. Triple H leans over the ropes and screams up the ramp for them to “BRING ME A DAMN REFEREE!” After a few moments, SmackDown official Charles Robinson comes charging down the ramp.
Grinning sadistically, Helmsley turns back to where the bloody Angle still lies and begins to lift him up into the air. Triple H tries to place the Champ’s head between his legs, but Angle just flops straight back down, unable to stand. The crowd can’t believe it, as ‘The Game’ sneers down on Angle without compassion, a look of pure confidence upon the face of Hunter. He reaches down and begins to pull Angle up again between his legs, as Charles Robinson slides into the ring … BUT ANGLE COUNTERS AND ROLLS HUNTER UP WITH A SMALL PACKAGE OUT OF NOWHERE!
WINNER: Kurt Angle @ 22:17!!! Angle retains the WWE Championship!!!
The crowd erupts for the result, as **Medal** blasts out over the PA once again and Angle collapses the mat, beaten and bloodied. Triple H falls to the canvas too, but with a completely different reaction on his face; one of total shock at what just happened. Charles Robinson brings the WWE title belt into the ring and drapes it across Angle, holding up the Olympian’s arm limply. The EMT’s come rushing down the ramp to tend to match officials Mike Chioda and Jack Doan, as well as Kurt Angle.
Lillian Garcia: Here is your winner AND STILL THE WWE CHAMPION … KURT ANNNGGGGLLEE!!!
The EMT’s roll Angle out of the ring quickly and assist him up the ramp fairly hurriedly, as Triple H storms back up to his feet with an extremely pissed off look on his face. ‘The Game’ savagely kicks the ropes and shoves aside the remaining medical staff who try to tend to his wound.
Jim Ross: I don’t believe it! Kurt Angle has somehow managed to pull out the victory from the jaws of defeat! Just when ‘The Game’ looked to be in the driving seat, the Olympic Gold Medallist showed us why he is the best technical wrestler in the world today!
Jonathan Coachman: Are – are you serious, J.R? Did you not just see that? Triple H had that match won and Kurt Angle cheated to pull out the victory. I saw the handful of tights –
Jim Ross: Baloney! You know that isn’t true, Coach. If you wanna talk about blatant cheating, why don’t we take a look at the sledgehammer shot or the ring bell that Triple H used on Angle?
Jonathan Coachman: I – enough about that, J.R. All that matters is that here tonight Triple H was robbed of the WWE Championship – his eleventh WWE Championship, and that’s all there is to it!
Backstage we cut to…
The training room, where Batista is sat cooling down, his title belt alongside him. ‘The Animal’ has a satisfied smile on his face, as he massages his sore neck. Before Dave can fully relax though, we hear the door creak open, followed by some half-hearted claps.
Batista opens his eyes and turns to see EDGE and his girlfriend LITA standing in the doorway, smirking, holding their MITB briefcase.
Edge: Hey … ‘Dave’ … looks like a congratulations are in order.
Batista just shakes his head and sits back down again, ignoring Edge.
Edge: Hey, I just said congratulations, Dave. That’s right – ‘The Rated R Superstar’ just gave you some praise.
Batista: (Sarcastically) I’m honoured.
Edge looks a little frustrated and strolls confidently into the room.
Edge: Here’s the thing though, Dave, you can crack all the jokes you want … but when it comes down to it, you better get used to ‘The Rated R Superstar’ – you better get used to ‘The Rated R Era’ ‘cause the way I see it, this (holds up MITB briefcase) and this (holds up his Rumble number) pretty much guarantee that I’ll be seeing you sooner than you think.
This seems to strike a bit of a nerve with Batista, as he drops his towel down and stands up to confront Edge and Lita.
Batista: What’s your point?
Edge: My point? My point is that FINALLY things are starting to look up for me. And I’ve done it without being baby-fed by Triple H and Ric Flair – I’ve done it without being protected by Teddy Long every week. I have been held back at every point of my career, but they still couldn’t stop me from making it this far!
Batista looks extremely unimpressed.
Edge: Listen up, chumpstain, ‘cause I’m done been polite with you. Guys like you and Kurt Angle better get used the fact that 2006 is MY year now, and I’m just bringing you along for the ride!
Batista still seems unfazed, but he gradually notices Edge’s gaze moving over to the World Heavyweight Championship belt. Batista leans in suddenly, surprising Edge.
Batista: (Softly) I don’t like you, Edge, so I wouldn’t get any ideas about that belt. Y’see the way I see it … it’s mine … and ALWAYS will be.
Edge backs off quickly, looking a little startled.
Edge: See that’s the thing about you, Dave, you think you’re ‘The Man’ just ‘cause you got that … that physique and – and you can intimidate lesser guys. But it’s different with me – ‘The Rated R Superstar’ doesn’t get intimidated easily!
Batista cocks his eyebrow, as if to say “Oh really”.
Edge: That’s right, I’m not afraid of you … ‘Animal’. And I never will be. I’ve got a Royal Rumble to win, so why – why don’t you just spend all the time with that title that you can …. ‘cause sooner or later it’s not gonna be around your waist. It’s gonna be around MINE! Or someone else’s…
Edge grins mischievously and turns to leave, before stopping at the door.
Edge: Wish me luck … ‘Champ’.
Edge and Lita stroll out of the room smiling happily, leaving Batista standing alone with his hands on his hips, seething from the comments.
Cut to elsewhere…
In another locker room somewhere, TREVOR MURDOCH is standing by nervously, looking at his watch.
Trevor Murdoch: Come ON, Cade, they’re callin’ ya’ll out there to ge’ ready for the Rumble!
LANCE CADE stumbles out from behind the curtain, still pulling on his kneepads.
Lance Cade: Quit whinin’, Murdoch, ya’ll bin’ like this since I got a spot and you didn’t. Ah told ya, once I win the Rumble, ah’ll give ya’ll a shot.
Murdoch shakes his head and throws Cade a towel.
Trevor Murdoch: You better. I mean, ah still can’t understan’ why they gave ya’ll a spot instead o’ Trevor Murdoch.
Cade pulls out his number from his bag and grins.
Lance Cade: It ain’t nothin’ personal, Murdoch. Ya’ll heard Mister Bischoff right? Cade and Murdoch only got one spot in the Rumble and … well … let’s be hones’, ya’ll ain’t got nothin’ on Cade.
Cade laughs jokingly and Murdoch throws his towel at his partner playfully.
Trevor Murdoch: Ready?
Lance Cade: You damn right I’m ready! Let’s go win that Rumble!
Murdoch grins and slaps Cade on his back, and they both head towards the door when… THE LIGHTS GO OUT!!!
Lance Cade: (Through the darkness) What the hell?! Murdoch, Murdoch is that you? Where are ya’ll?
Cade can be heard breathing heavily.
Trevor Murdoch: I can’ see nothin’, Cade!
Lance Cade: Is that ya’ll touchin’ ma arm, Murdoch?
More heavy breathing.
Trevor Murdoch: Uh, no.
A sharp intake of breath.
Lance Cade: Oh no –
A crash in the darkness as Cade is cut off swiftly.
Backstage, we see the Raw locker room filter out, with lots of shouting from the superstars, pumping themselves up for the upcoming Royal Rumble match.
We then cut to the Smackdown locker room, where the same thing happens with equal intensity.
Cut to elsewhere…
In another locker room, we see Shawn Michaels sat on the bench, his head lent back, resting against the wall, and his eyes closed. There is a small bandage on his forehead. He raises his hands up to his face … before angrily grabbing his towel and hurling it across the room.
We return to the ring, where Lillian Garcia is standing by with Tony Chimel. They are both applauding, as a familiar figure enters the ring smiling broadly. The crowd pops loudly upon seeing the legendary Howard Finkel take his place in the ring alongside his two colleagues.
Howard Finkel: Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time for the Royal Rumble Match!
Large cheers from the Miami crowd, who have been awaiting this moment all night.
Howard Finkel: Here are the rules. In just a few moments, the individuals who drew numbers one and two will make their way to the ring and the match will be underway. Every ninety seconds, another superstar will enter until all thirty men have entered. For eliminations to happen the individual must go over the top rope and both feet must hit the floor. The winner of this match will be the superstar who goes onto the Main Event of WrestleMania Twenty-Two to challenge for either the WWE or the World Heavyweight Championship.
Crowd pops loudly at the prospect of Wrestlemania.
Howard Finkel: Now let me introduce the two individuals who drew numbers one and two...
Royal Rumble Match;
Winner has automatic shot at EITHER brand's Champion at WrestleMania XXII:
Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Brian Kendrick, Carlito, Charlie Haas, Chris Benoit, Chris Masters, Chavo Guerrero, Edge, Eugene, Finlay, Gregory Helms, John Cena, John `Bradshaw' Layfield, Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro, Kane, Ken Kennedy, Kid Kash, Lance Cade, Matt Hardy, Matt Striker, Paul London, Rey Mysterio, Ric Flair, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shelton Benjamin, Super Crazy, William Regal.
**Ain’t No Stopping Me**
ENTRANT #1: SHELTON BENJAMIN
Hits to a surprisingly big pop from the crowd, indicating the growing face status of Shelton Benjamin. He bounces out onto the stage wearing his shirt and sunglasses, with his Intercontinental Championship slung over his shoulder. There is an excited smile on his young face, despite having such an uphill struggle ahead of him.
Howard Finkel: Introducing first … from Orangeburg, South Carolina … weighing in at 245 pounds … he is the current WWE Intercontinental Champion … Shelton Benjamin!!!
Benjamin bounds down to the ring and rolls in under the bottom rope, before jumping up onto the top turnbuckle, to hold his belt up high to loud cheers from the crowd.
Jim Ross: Well, it’s gonna be young Shelton Benjamin from Monday Night Raw, our Intercontinental Champion, who’s got the unlucky draw here tonight. Maybe the best pure athlete in the entire WWE, so this daunting task shouldn’t faze him.
Tazz: You’re not wrong, J.R. If I was gonna pick someone to go the distance in the Rumble, it would be Shelton Benjamin. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this guy look tired. I saw him beat Ric Flair a couple of weeks for that Intercontinental title, and I’ll tell you now, he looked impressive.
Benjamin takes off his sunglasses and shirt and hands them to Lillian Garcia, flashing her a toothy smile as he does so. Carefully, he removes his title belt from he shoulder, kisses it, and hands it over the top rope to the timekeeper. Now prepared, the youngster turns around and bounces on his toes, watching to see who has drawn Number Two.
**My Time Is Now**
ENTRANT #2: JOHN CENA
Blasts out to a massive pop from the crowd; a mixed pop of cheers, boos and shock, having seen John Cena earlier in his match with Shawn Michaels. ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ walks out onto the stage, his face clearly disappointed at the early number, but still plays to the fans. He has a slight limp as he approaches the ring and touches his knee. Back in the ring, Shelton Benjamin stares at Cena with a little smile on his face.
Howard Finkel: Introducing next … from West Newbury, Massachusetts … weighing in at 248 pounds … Johnnnnnn Cenaaaaaa!!!
Cena makes it down to the ring, slapping hands with some of the fans, whilst keeping his eyes fixed on Benjamin waiting in the ring. ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ clambers into the ring and throws up his Word Life taunt to a huge pop, though Shelton looks unimpressed.
Jim Ross: Oh boy, this is gonna be huge. The former WWE Champion, the man who defeated the “Heart Break Kid” Shawn Michaels earlier tonight to earn his place in this match.
Tazz: I’m not gonna deny that this is big. I – I mean, John Cena and Shelton Benjamin are gonna duke it out for two minutes straight.
Cena isn’t wearing his t-shirt, so he just rolls his arms around quickly, checking his knee, standing across from Benjamin, as Lillian, Chimel and Finkel exit the ring, and the crowd pops loudly.
The crowd is cheering loudly, as the bell rings to indicate the beginning of the 2006 Royal Rumble Match. Cena does some quick stretches, as does Shelton against the ropes, before turning to face one another. Both men appear very nervous to be at such a stage, but they advance anyway with arms raised. They lock up hard in the centre of the ring and the fight begins in earnest, as both men battle desperately for a foothold. Benjamin tries to wriggle out of it, whilst Cena applies hi superior strength. He backs Shelton up right across the ring into the corner, smothering the youngster with his forearms, until Shelton manages to break away. Cena pulls out of the grapple and drills Benjamin with a hard right hand to his mid section. Shelton keels over in pain, but Cena continues with the early offence with a series of hard rights to him. Benjamin is in trouble, as he tries to cover up from Cena’s hard shots. ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ grabs Shelton’s arm and whips him across the canvas into the far corner. Cena runs after Benjamin, but Shelton tries to catapult himself back over Cena using the top turnbuckle … but Cena catches him on his shoulders!
The crowd pops loudly, as Cena tries to toss Benjamin over the top rope. Desperately, the Intercontinental Champion grabs onto the top rope with both hands and tries to knee the former WWE Champion in the head. With Shelton’s leg over his eyes, Cena can’t quite see to get him over the top rope, and instead stumbles away into the middle of the ring, with Benjamin still on his shoulders. But still the crowd is buzzing, as it looks as though an early FU is near. Thrashing about wildly, Shelton slides off Cena’s shoulders and lands behind him. Cena spins around and walks straights into a huge roundhouse kick to the side of the head! The sound is sickening, as Cena crumples to the mat, and Benjamin bounces away with a small smile on his face having just outsmarted a former WWE Champion. The young man from South Carolina pulls Cena back up and places him in the corner, before nailing him with a series of brutal right hands. Shelton now takes Cena’s arms and whips him across the ring hard, causing him to bounce straight out of the corner … and he flattens the oncoming Benjamin with a vicious clothesline!
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #3: JOHN ‘BRADSHAW’ LAYFIELD @ 01:34
Massive heat, as the self-proclaimed “Wrestling God” John Bradshaw Layfield makes his way out unhappily. Not travelling in his limousine tonight, JBL walks along wearing his American Flag jacket and Cowboy hat, with Jillian Hall at his side. Both of them look extremely annoyed, having failed to get a late number. Jillian is whispering things to her man.
Jim Ross: Oh my, well, here comes the former WWE Champion, ‘The Wrestling God’ himself, JBL. He does not look happy at getting such an early number.
Tazz: Man, JBL looks pissed big time. You gotta believe he’s got what it takes to win this thing though. Longest Championship reign in Smackdown history, baby!
Back in the ring, both Cena and Benjamin are struggling back up to their feet using opposite ropes, whilst JBL takes his time on the outside of the ring handing his hand and jacket to Jillian. Seeing both of his opponents floundering in the ring, JBL hurries up the steps into the ring and marches over to where Cena is leaning against the ropes. Bradshaw pounds away on his old rival from last year’s Wrestlemania with big right hands, until ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ falls to his knees. JBL turns over to where Benjamin is now, and boots him in the mid section, doubling the youngster over. There is an angry viciousness about JBL now, as he is clearly enraged by his early number, whilst Jillian Hall applauds at ringside. JBL moves back over to Cena and drops a huge elbow drop across him, before jumping back up and immediately dropping another elbow to keep Cena down. Bradshaw struts into the centre of the ring before throwing his arms apart in the Longhorn taunt, drawing huge heat from the crowd. Smiling, he pulls Shelton Benjamin back up and tries to force him over the top rope, but the Intercontinental Champion hugs the rope tightly to avoid an early elimination.
Across the ring, Cena is using the turnbuckle to pull himself back to his feet, which JBL sees and clubs Benjamin across the back of the neck, dropping the youngster to his knees. Bradshaw heads over to where Cena is leaning in the corner, and ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ nails a kick to the mid section of ‘The Wrestling God’. The crowd pops and gets behind Cena as he battles out of the corner, hitting right hand after right hand to JBL, knocking him back to the centre of the ring. JBL stumbles backwards and Cena runs off the ropes before levelling JBL with a hard running shoulder block. JBL goes down hard but bounces back up on instinct and Cena nails him with another shoulder block. JBL staggers back into Cena’s arms, and the former Champion nails a shot to Bradshaw’s gut, but hooking the arm and leaping into the air for the jumping release fisherman’s Suplex known as the Freestyle! JBL goes down hard clutching his back, as Cena leaps back up confidently, and gets nailed from behind by Benjamin, and backed up into the corner once again for some punishment.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #4: JOHNNY NITRO @ 03:07
A chorus of boos greets one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, and Johnny Nitro struts out arrogantly with Melina at his side. After a good luck kiss and a few words of encouragement, Nitro wastes no time in rushing down the ramp and sliding into the ring to join the ongoing battle.
Jim Ross: Making his debut in the Royal Rumble match, it’s definitely an uphill battle for this youngster to make it the long haul, Tazz.
Tazz: Don’t kid yourself. Johnny Nitro is from Smackdown, and he’s one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, he’s got as good a chance as anybody.
Bradshaw seems to have crept into the corner and Nitro puts the boots into JBL, while Shelton is in the midst of hitting multiple rights and lefts keeping Cena reeling and slumping in the corner, losing control and losing composure quickly. The Intercontinental Champion doesn’t take his time and fires over to the opposite corner of ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ whilst John breathes heavily and tries to catch his breath. Shelton shoots back across the ring and goes for the stinger splash, but Cena moves out of the way and Shelton’s face nails the top turnbuckle pad nearly knocking him straight out cold. Nitro now puts his large boot to the throat of JBL choking him out and Bradshaw looks to be slowly losing consciousness, but before it escalates to that level Nitro pulls away and sprints over to the staggering Shelton Benjamin who spins around only to be nailed by a devastating big boot to the skull knocking Benjamin right off his feet. Out of the corner of Nitro’s eye he sees John Cena speeding towards him and he quickly lowers his shoulder letting Cena slide over him and fly right over the ropes, but Cena clings onto the ropes for dear life and lets out a sigh of relief knowing that was a close one.
Nitro starts celebrating thinking he’s just eliminated the former WWE Champion, but as Cena rests his body over the top rope, Shelton Benjamin rises off the mat slowly creeping up and stalking one of his twenty-nine adversaries tonight in the Royal Rumble. Shelton finally makes his arrival to his feet and takes Nitro down slightly, pulling him in looking for a reverse DDT, but Nitro elbows the intercontinental champion in the ribs several times. Then Nitro reverses it around and turns it into a regular Suplex, Johnny lifts Shelton up into the air and plants a painful sharp Suplex, which causes Benjamin to writhe, arching his back and squeal agonizing with himself. JBL during this time has arisen from the corner and eyes Cena whom now has been resting on the ropes for a good thirty seconds. Bradshaw sprints at ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ looking to catch him off guard when he’s not looking and tries to score a Clothesline From Hell, but John Cena lowers his head beneath the onslaught from ‘The Wrestling God’ and JBL rebounds back off the ropes from momentum into a hard elbow from John Cena. Cena rushes across the rest of the apron and climbs all the way up to the rope, then poses for the crowd to a good reaction before flying right off and nailing a ‘Five Knuckle Shuffle’ across the face of Bradshaw.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #5: GREGORY HELMS @ 04:31
The up and comer Gregory Helms makes his arrival at the Royal Rumble in style speeding down the ramp and flying into the ring, ignoring the heat he is receiving.
Jim Ross: This kid’s got the ability, the talent, and the endurance to make it the distance, but does he have enough experience and knowledge to win the Royal Rumble tonight, Tazz?
Tazz: I’m sceptical of Gregory Helms. He’s a good performer and got a helluva lot of talent, but I just don’t think tonight will be the night that he wins with the lights on bright, JR.
Helms is off the mark quickly, as he races over to club John Cena across the back of the head. Pulling the former WWE Champion down, Helms nails the high speed spinning elbow drop, flattening Cena with the Nightmare On Helms Street, slamming down to the canvas. Both Cena and JBL are now down and seemingly out in the centre of the ring, whilst Helms springs back up to his feet, smiling and taunting the hostile Miami crowd to surprisingly large heat. He races over to where Nitro has Benjamin up against the ropes, and nods cohesively with the WWE Tag Team Champion. With Nitro lifting Shelton’s upper body, and Helms grabbing hold of his lower half, the two of them attempt to elevate the Intercontinental Champion over the top rope. But Benjamin will not be disposed of so easily, as, spurred on by the screaming crowd, he grabs hold of the top rope and grits his teeth. Both Nitro and Helms dig down deep and try to force Shelton over, but the All-American is proving more difficult than they thought. Benjamin reaches down and pokes Nitro in the eye, causing the Hollywood resident to release his hold and stumble away in pain. Shelton falls down to his feet, as Helms looks concerned, and Benjamin flattens him with a clothesline.
JBL meanwhile has struggled over to the far corner to recover, and he pulls himself up slowly, whilst John Cena is still feeling the effects of the Nightmare On Helms Street. Bradshaw pulls ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ up to his feet with a toothy grin on his face, indicating to the fans what is coming next. He hammers away on Cena, backing the former Champion into the ropes. Cena can barely stand, and JBL senses his opportunity, as he races off the opposite set of ropes and … RIGHT INTO A DROPKICK FROM SHELTON BENJAMIN! The crowd pops loudly, as JBL goes flying. Benjamin came out of nowhere, having just dealt with Nitro and Helms. Right now it is only Benjamin standing, but Cena is pulling himself up. He and Cena exchange a slight nod of respect, even though Shelton saving Cena was inadvertent. It does not last long though, as Nitro is onto Cena immediately on the ropes, and Gregory Helms clubs Benjamin from behind and backs him into the corner once again. JBL is struggling across the ring, watching the action cautiously.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #6: SUPER CRAZY @ 06:06
A small reaction, as the minute Cruiserweight Super Crazy bounces out onto the stage, this time without the Juan Deere. He points straight ahead at the ring and races down immediately.
Jim Ross: Well, this should be certainly interesting. Super Crazy is a high-flying superstar who could do well here.
Tazz: Super Crazy is, uh, well, he’s crazy, so you can really expect anything from him in this kind of environment.
Clearly fired up for his first ever Royal Rumble appearance, the prospect of a World Championship shot running through his veins, Super Crazy slides straight into the ring. Gregory Helms breaks away from the beating he is giving to John Cena and races towards Crazy. Using his incredible agility, Crazy leaps into the air and greets Gregory Helms with a stinging Running dropkick to the face, taking the former superhero down. The crowd releases a pleasant amount of cheers for the move, as Crazy bounces back up excitedly. Nitro scowls at the Mexicool and races towards him. Crazy ducks the clothesline attempt from Nitro and runs off the ropes, coming charging back and jumping up, catching the unsuspecting Nitro with an amazing Flying Headscissors! Nitro is flung crashing across the ring to a massive pop from the crowd, who are really enjoying Super Crazy’s antics thus far. The Mexican is rolling, as he bounces up and down energetically. Shelton Benjamin is back up and looks across at Crazy with a slight smile. Crazy nods back and both men move towards the fallen Helms and Nitro. Crazy pulls Helms up and Shelton brings Nitro to his feet. Simultaneously, Nitro and Helms are whipped across the canvas into the ropes, and they come flying back into duel dropkicks from both Benjamin and Super Crazy! An amazing display of teamwork from the two men, and the crowd greet it as such.
Crazy laughs and holds his hand up, which Benjamin promptly slaps in a warm fashion. Still firing on all cylinders, Super Crazy turns around to play to the fans … but Shelton suddenly grabs him and tries to throw him over the top rope! Fortunately for the Mexican, Crazy is able to tangle his arms around the top ropes, and he clings to it desperately, whilst Benjamin shoves at him desperately. There are clearly no alliances in the Royal Rumble, as the Intercontinental Champion just displayed. As Benjamin is trying with all his might to force Super Crazy over the top, he believes that all the boos from the crowd are coming for him. He does not see the wily John Bradshaw Layfield creeping up behind him with a smirk on his face. JBL clubs Benjamin in the back and tries to get underneath the All-American star to get both he and Super Crazy over the top rope. Crazy falls to the apron with a hard thud, but clings onto the bottom rope desperately, whilst JBL has Shelton on his shoulders, trying to toss him out.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #7: EUGENE @ 07:11
A nice pop from the crowd, as Eugene bounces out onto the stage merrily, waving to the crowd frantically and slapping their hands, as he hurries down to the ring.
Jim Ross: Well, next up is, uh, Eugene from Monday Night Raw. He seems pleased to be here, but I’m not sure how long that will last once he and Gregory Helms get together in that ring.
Tazz: Yeah, I’ve seen the problems Eugene, Snitsky and Goldust have been having with Helms recently; this could be bad for poor Eugene.
Eugene slides into the ring and bounces around happily, until Gregory Helms suddenly steps in front of him with a sinister smile on his face. Looking slightly concerned without Snitsky and Goldust by his side, Eugene begins chewing his nails and extends his hand to Helms as a peace offering. Laughing horribly, Helms slaps Eugene across the face to huge heat from the crowd, and nails him with a hard shot, taking the newcomer down. Helms begins to stomp away on Eugene, whilst hurling abuse at both him and the booing crowd. Across the JBL continues trying to force Shelton Benjamin over the top rope, with Super Crazy struggling to climb back under the bottom rope from the apron.
John Cena is back up against the ropes, and he turns around into a kick to the gut from Johnny Nitro. Nitro spins Cena around and nails a devastating Elevated Neckbreaker, the One-Man Snapshot! The crowd boos, as Nitro stands arrogantly over the writhing Cena. Smirking broadly, Nitro does the “You Can’t See Me” taunt in Cena’s face, before backing off and pointing to his leg. As Cena tries to get back up to his feet, he has his back to Nitro and cannot see what is coming next. He turns around and Nitro goes for the Superkick … but Cena ducks, and Nitro gets hung up on the top rope by his groin. The “Oooos” reverberate around the American Airlines Arena, as Nitro balances precariously. Cena spins around and clubs Nitro with a big clothesline, taking the WWE Tag Team Champion off the top rope and to the floor outside.
ELIMINATION#1: JOHNNY NITRO BY JOHN CENA @ 08:44
John Cena leans on the ropes with a slight smile on his face at having eliminated the first man from the match. He rushes over to where JBL is still working on Benjamin and clubs ‘The Wrestling God’ in the kidneys with a huge right hand. Across the ring, Super Crazy is back into the action and goes after Gregory Helms with some right hands, enabling Eugene to actually get his jacket off and clamber to his feet. Helms is backed into the corner, as Super Crazy goes to work on him, whilst Eugene stumbles over to where John Cena is hammering on JBL and begins to assist ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’. Shelton Benjamin manages to scramble back off the mat and rushes over to where Super Crazy and Gregory Helms are going at it.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #8: KANE @ 09:02
The fiery inferno rips into the American Airlines Arena to a massive pop from the crowd. Everyone in the ring begins to look over to the stage with nervous expressions on their faces, as ‘The Big Red Machine’ Kane makes his way out with a steely expression on his face.
Jim Ross: Oh my God. Oh my God, oh my God. The “Big Red Machine”, the man who eliminated eleven men in 2001, a record, is coming down to the ring.
Tazz: Those guys already in there better get ready, J.R, ‘cause Kane is a freakin’ monster, and he wants to go to Wrestlemania!
Eugene chews his nails and pokes at John Cena desperately, trying to alert ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ that a monster is heading for the ring. Turning away from JBL, Cena looks annoyed at Eugene, but then sees Kane coming down the ramp and his eyes go wide. Benjamin and Super Crazy leave Gregory Helms to brace for Kane too. Kane clambers up onto the apron and gets one leg over the top rope before Shelton charges at him. Kane knocks him away with a vicious uppercut, and then does the same to the hapless Super Crazy. Cena waits in the centre of the ring, whilst Kane finally enters the ring and heads towards him. Showing no fear, Cena nails Kane with a hard right hand staggering the giant, before nailing him again and again. Despite both men being faces, the crowd are getting behind Cena, as he has the 7-foot monster reeling. Seeing his opportunity, Cena comes off the ropes and races at Kane … but Kane catches him by the throat! All of Cena’s struggling and the crowd’s screaming does him absolutely no good, as Kane lifts him and brings him crashing down for a devastating Chokeslam!
Cena looks to be out of it next, as Kane turns to where Benjamin is coming back at him. Kane grasps the Intercontinental Champion by the neck and delivers another Chokeslam! Super Crazy races up behind ‘The Big Red Machine’ and clubs him across the back, but it has absolutely no effect. Kane turns around menacingly to stare down upon Crazy and there is a gasp from the viewers at seeing the immense size difference between the two of them. Kane grabs Crazy by the throat and raises him up high with one arm, before walking over to the ropes and hurling the small Mexican over the top to the floor with terrifying ease.
ELIMINATION #2: SUPER CRAZY BY KANE @ 10:01
There is a huge pop from the crowd at that incredible Chokeslam, as Kane turns around to see the only three men left standing are standing directly behind him: Gregory Helms, Eugene and JBL. Bradshaw looks worried and shoves Helms and Eugene towards Kane, who takes them both down with a boot to the face and a vicious uppercut respectively. Kane drags Helms up and whips him into the far corner, before charging at him and nailing another brutal clothesline. JBL tries to hide across the ring.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
**St. George’s March**
ENTRANT #9: WILLIAM REGAL @ 10:39
A small amount of heat, as the thuggish Englishman William Regal strolls out onto the stage rubbing his knuckles in anticipation.
Jim Ross: Making his first Royal Rumble appearance in a while, it’s SmackDown’s resident Englishman, William Regal, who’s been making an impact alongside Paul Burchill of late.
Tazz: That’s right, J.R, William Regal has been fighting all his life and this Royal Rumble match is gonna be no different at all.
William Regal reaches the ring and is unsure whether to enter the ring to face ‘The Big Red Machine’ or stay outside the ring, away from Kane. Kane laughs sadistically and stares with a smug expression on his face, calling for Regal and looking very deranged. William leaps up onto the apron and places one foot into the ring, but Kane chuckles and stomps towards him, leading to Regal jumping off the apron and scurrying away from the deranged monster, which is Kane. JBL takes advantage of the distraction Regal has caused and clubs Kane from behind wielding several lefts and rights with all of the strength he has. But it has absolutely no effect on Kane and he just jerks his head towards JBL abruptly. Suddenly Bradshaw looks fear stricken and slowly backs away, only forcing JBL to be backed into a corner. After ‘The Wrestling God’ is stuck in the corner, Kane nails several uppercuts and knees to the gut devastating JBL and knocking him down into the corner. ‘The Big Red Machine’ puts his foot to the throat of Bradshaw and applies pressure trying to choke out his adversary, whilst all of the other combatants in this contest begin to stir off the mat and stagger to their feet after the destruction Kane caused of which his multiple Chokeslams, big boots, and uppercuts did to all the competitors.
John Cena rises to his feet and Eugene drags himself up, and Shelton Benjamin started using the ropes to make him get to his feet. Gregory Helms was the only one of the whole bunch who was very fatigued from the brutality Kane unleashed on him and he slowly crept around the bottom of the mat and slowly went below the apron where the ropes were. Kane in the corner grasps JBL by the throat and rips him out of the corner, hurling him out into the center of the ring. Bradshaw arches his back and squirms around in pain, before Eugene looks down noticing that the self-proclaimed ‘Wrestling God’ is right below his feet. Eugene rips a fake elbow pad off and jumps up and down clapping his hands. Then he throws his arms up side to side into the air before swinging over towards the ropes and hurtling over JBL, then rebounding off the opposite ropes, only to flip right over with Gregory Helms using his little energy to pull down the bottom rope, sending Eugene to the floor outside!
ELIMINATION #3: EUGENE BY GREGORY HELMS @ 11:53
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #10: JOEY MERCURY @ 12:03
The other half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, Joey Mercury makes his way out. Melina accompanies him and gives her other man some words of encouragement before sending him down to the ring.
Jim Ross: Well, it’s the other half of MNM, Joey Mercury, and both he and Melina look pretty unhappy, having seen Johnny Nitro eliminated moments ago.
Tazz: Absolutely, J.R, MNM have two chances to win the Royal Rumble!
Mercury races down to the ring, not even glancing at William Regal, who is still standing nervously at ringside. He slides straight into the ring and goes right after John Cena, pounding away on ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ with hard right hands. Kane scoops JBL back off the mat and hurls him into the corner. Across the ring, Gregory Helms is leaning over the ropes, grinning and taunting Eugene, whom he just eliminated. The crowd are booing, but they suddenly begin laughing, as Shelton Benjamin walks up behind the unsuspecting Helms. Shelton shakes his head at Helms, before quickly shoving him the rest of the way over the top rope to the floor outside.
ELIMINATION #4: GREGORY HELMS BY SHELTON BENJAMIN @ 12:38
Helms sits on the floor looking horrified, as Benjamin just shrugs back in the ring. Nearby, Helms glances over to Eugene laughing at him. Eugene suddenly looks terrified and runs away up the ramp, with a furious Gregory Helms in hot pursuit. Back in the ring, Kane is laying into Bradshaw in the corner with hard knees and uppercuts, rocking ‘The Wrestling God’. Joey Mercury is proving to be extremely vicious in his assault on Cena, as he has the former WWE Champion down and is stomping away like a madman. Mercury can be heard screaming at Cena to “C’mon!”
Shelton Benjamin walks to the ropes and points threateningly at William Regal, telling him to get himself into the ring. Regal shakes his head quickly and motions over Benjamin’s shoulder to where Kane is destroying JBL in the far corner. Shelton just grins and looks as though he is about to exit the ring through the ropes, when Kane suddenly strikes him from behind. ‘The Big Red Machine’ is clearly not happy with just annihilating John Bradshaw Layfield, and so turns his sights to the Intercontinental Champion as well. With JBL in one corner, Kane whips Benjamin into the other one and nails him with a stiff turnbuckle clothesline. Shelton hits the mat hard, as Kane races across the ring and slams into JBL with a second vicious clothesline, taking ‘The Wrestling God’ off his feet!
Joey Mercury raises Cena up and lifts him up onto his shoulders, before carefully walking towards the ropes. The crowd screams in dismay, as Mercury attempts to tip Cena over the top. Cena grabs hold of the top rope desperately and drives his knees against Mercury, trying to break away from the precarious situation.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
**Pay The Price**
ENTRANT #11: CHARLIE HAAS @ 13:31
A small face reaction from the fans as Charlie Haas jogs out onto the stage, looking pleased to be in Miami. He heads straight down to the ring.
Jim Ross: Charlie Haas made his return to Raw a few weeks ago and has been trying to make a name for himself as a single’s wrestler. This could be his opportunity.
Tazz: You better believe it, J.R, I was lucky enough to get Haas on Smackdown when he first arrived in the WWE and he’s never done anything that hasn’t impressed me.
Charlie Haas is about to climb into the ring, but he suddenly lays eyes on William Regal standing by the steel steps. Regal holds his hands up in protest, but Haas levels him with a vicious clothesline, before picking the Englishman back up and sliding him into the ring. Regal rolls in and jumps back up, staring down at Haas furiously. The crowd pops as a large figure looms up behind Regal. He winces and turns around nervously to find himself looking up at the monstrous Kane. Regal does not even get the chance to defend himself, before Kane grabs him by the shoulders and, following a run up, hurls the Englishman over the top rope!
ELIMINATION #5: WILLIAM REGAL BY KANE @ 13:53
After a brief chuckle at Regal’s expense, Charlie Haas jumps into the ring and shows no fear in charging at ‘The Big Red Machine’ … straight into a big boot to the face! Haas goes down hard, but Kane lifts him right back up and wraps his hand around his throat, signalling for a Chokslam. He doesn’t get the chance though, as Shelton Benjamin lunges out of the corner and pounds Kane from behind, causing him to drop Haas. Kane turns around furiously to face Shelton, but Haas stomps at the back of the monster’s knee, causing Kane to buckle to one knee. Both Haas and Benjamin begin hammering away on Kane, trying to keep him grounded. The two men exchange a little nod and smile, and it seems as though The World’s Greatest Tag Team have decided to work together for the time being.
Across the ring JBL is lurking in the background watching Joey Mercury struggle to lift John Cena over the top rope. He rushes over and grabs Mercury, trying to force both Mercury and Cena over the top. Cena is trying his hardest to hang onto the top rope, whilst Mercury looks completely stunned. Meanwhile, Haas and Benjamin whip Kane across the canvas into the ropes and cause him to come flying back into dual dropkicks from the former tag team champions! At long last ‘The Big Red Monster’ is taken completely off his feet and goes down hard, whilst Haas and Benjamin spring back up to their feet and exchange high-fives. They indicate that Kane’s time is up, and they pull him back up to his feet, before dragging him over to the ropes and trying desperately to elevate the 300-pounder over the top … but to no avail!
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #12: CARLITO @ 15:11
Some impressive heat from the Miami crowd, as the former Intercontinental Champion Carlito strolls out onto the stage tossing his apple around. He takes a bite of it and sprints down to the ring.
Jim Ross: Well, it’s Carlito, this arrogant young man cost has been having some problems with ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair of late, and he even defeated Naitch in a Street Fight this past Monday.
Tazz: I like Carlito, I liked him when he was on Smackdown, but he’s really coming into his own on Raw. He could go the distance in this thing!
Carlito hurries down to the ring, taunting the fans confidently as he does so. Back inside the ring, Kane levels both Haas and Benjamin with stiff uppercuts, sending them staggering away in pain. Carlito slides into the ring and taps Kane on the shoulder. ‘The Big Red Machine’ turns around slowly to see the native of the Caribbean standing behind him with a huge smile on his face. Kane walks forward and … Carlito spits apple in his face! The crowd boos and howls in shock at the audacity of what Carlito just did, whilst the youngster just laughs. Kane wipes the apple from his face slowly, before setting his fierce eyes upon Carlito once more. Suddenly, Carlito’s smile begins to fade, as he doesn’t find the situation so amusing anymore. He holds up his hands in protest, but Kane is having none of it, as he wraps his hand around Carlito’s throat. Before the Chokeslam can be delivered though, Haas and Benjamin attack Kane from behind once again, and begin to beat him down, with Carlito assisting them. Haas and Benjamin whip Kane into the ropes, but he just comes flying right back and takes them both down with a stinging double clothesline! Carlito looks shocked and charges, but gets taken out by a huge boot to the face!
Across the ring, John Cena finally drops to the mat, but has to cover up, as JBL stomps away on him. Mercury pulls himself up on the ropes looking exhausted and glances up … as Kane races towards him! ‘The Big Red Monster’ clotheslines Joey Mercury right over the top rope to the floor outside, putting an end to MNM’s dreams of main eventing Wrestlemania!
ELIMINATION #6: JOEY MERCURY BY KANE @ 16:16
Kane is dominant in the ring, as JBL turns around and is plucked into the air by his throat, before being slammed down to the mat for a crushing Chokeslam! Haas and Benjamin attack once again … but Kane catches them both by the neck! The crowd is on their feet for the display of power, as Kane lifts both men up with both of his hands for an amazing double Chokeslam! There is only one man left standing now besides Kane, and he is pulling himself behind the monster. Kane turns and Cena quickly ducks, heaving the 300-pound man up onto his shoulders! The crowd is screaming in delight, as it looks as though John Cena is about to deliver the FU to the giant … but Kane slides off his shoulders! Kane lands behind Cena, and ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ turns around, only to be grabbed by the throat and given his second Chokeslam of the match! There is no one left to stop Kane now.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #13: CHRIS BENOIT @ 16:34
Throughout the American Airlines Arena the crowd rise to their feet in delight, as ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ Chris Benoit comes charging head on down to the ring, showing no fear!
Jim Ross: It looks as though business is about to pick up, Tazz. Here comes Chris Benoit, the man who lasted over an hour in 2004 from number one to win the Rumble, and then win the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania Twenty!
Tazz: Oh, you better believe this guy has what it takes, baby. He came off badly in his recent feud with Booker T, and this is the perfect opportunity to change all that.
There is absolutely no fear on Chris Benoit’s face, as he sprints down to the ring. He slides straight into the ring and goes straight after the only man standing: Kane! ‘The Big Red Machine’ goes for a clothesline, but Benoit ducks underneath it and comes back at Kane with a rasping knife-edge chop across his massive chest. The “Oooos” ring out from the crowd, as Kane winces and clutches at his chest. Benoit rears back and delivers another chop … and another … and another, each one greeted by the gasps of the crowd. Kane’s chest is beginning to reflect his nickname now, as it glows a terrible shade of red, each chop lighting up the flesh. Backing the giant into the ropes, Benoit tries to whip Kane across the ring, but Kane reverses it and tries to whip Benoit across the ring. This time Benoit reverses it, and pulls Kane into him, locking his arms around the waist of ‘The Big Red Monster’ and delivering an amazing German Suplex to the 300-pounder! The crowd gives a huge pop for this amazing display of strength from Benoit, as ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ rolls away trying to catch his breath again … and Kane sits up!
Around the ring, Carlito, John Cena, JBL, Charlie Haas, and Shelton Benjamin are all trying to recover from the damage they suffered at the hands of Kane, pulling themselves up on the ropes. Kane stands back up almost immediately, showing no effect from the German Suplex he just received. Benoit grimaces and rushes at ‘The Big Red Machine’, hitting a flurry of right hands and chops to the monster. Haas and Benjamin are up next, as they hurry over to assist Benoit in hammering on Kane. Desperately flailing, Kane tries to swat all of his attackers away, but there are too many, especially when Carlito, Cena and JBL join the offence as well. There are now six men working as a unit to try and get Kane out of the Royal Rumble match. JBL, Cena and Benjamin are pummelling on his upper body and forcing him over the top rope, whilst Haas, Benoit and Carlito grab hold of the monster’s legs and begin to slowly elevate him over the top. Head over heels, Kane is forced out of the ring, where he lands on his feet outside, staring back up at his assailants with hatred in his eyes!
ELIMINATION #7: KANE BY JBL, JOHN CENA, CHARLIE HAAS, CHRIS BENOIT, SHELTON BENJAMIN, AND CARLITO @ 17:58
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #14: CHRIS MASTERS @ 18:08
A decent amount of heat from the Miami crowd, as ‘The Masterpiece’ Chris Masters appears on the stage doing his usual statuesque pose, before shedding his cloak and swaggering down to the ring.
Jim Ross: Well, here comes Monday Night Raw’s very own Masterpiece, Chris Masters. This man’s got a hell of a high opinion of himself, but he has been backing that up of late.
Tazz: Over on Smackdown, we’ve got Bobby Lashley with the million-dollar physique, but it looks as though Chris Masters could give even Bobby Lashley – or even Batista – a run for their money in that respect!
Back in the ring, the six men who just eliminated Kane all stand back happily, until Benoit suddenly straight for Carlito with a right hand and backs him across the ring. JBL starts going at it with Charlie Haas, and Benjamin and Cena – Number one and Number two – begin exchanging blows once again. Chris Masters slides into the ring and rushes over to the corner where Benoit is hammering on Carlito.
Masters spins Benoit around, but ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ nails a knife-edge chop across the granite chest of ‘The Masterpiece’, almost out of instinct, causing the youngster to back away clutching his scars. Carlito and Masters attack Benoit from either side, but veteran goes back and forth between them with right hands and chops, showing his intense determination to win the Royal Rumble once again! Masters staggers away, as Benoit whips Carlito into the ropes and catches him on the way back with a stiff knee to the gut, sending the Caribbean resident somersaulting to the canvas. Masters swings at Benoit, but ‘The Wolverine’ quickly ducks underneath it, and pops up behind his opponent, wrapping his arms around Masters’ waist and delivering another crashing German Suplex! Keeping his arms locked, Benoit rolls the hips and brings Masters back up for a second German Suplex! The crowd is really behind ‘The Wolverine’ now, and he clambers back up with Masters once again, delivering a third and final German Suplex, leaving Masters lying in a heap in the centre of the ring!
Across the ring, JBL sends Charlie Haas into the ropes and goes for the clothesline, but the All-American smartly ducks underneath and pops up behind ‘The Wrestling God’, catching him with a standing dropkick as soon as he turns around. Haas looks over to where Benjamin and Cena are hammering away on one another in one corner, but instead rushes over to Chris Benoit, grabbing the veteran from behind and going for a German Suplex … but Benoit reverses it and spins around behind Haas, catching the All-American’s left arm and pulling him down to the canvas, trying desperately to lock in the Crippler Crossface! Haas tries desperately to fight out of it, swinging wildly at Benoit with his free hand, and flapping for the bottom rope, even though it will do him no good. Trapped in the centre of the ring, Haas can do nothing to stop Benoit from successfully locking in the Crossface!
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #15: MATT STRIKER @ 19:37
Some boos, as the pretentious, disgraced former schoolteacher Matt Striker makes his way out, waving to his ‘students’. He removes his sweater and jogs down to the ring.
Jim Ross: Well, here comes the former teacher Matt Striker of Raw, who has been, well, giving his ‘lessons’ to certain superstars on Monday Night’s show of late.
Tazz: Ha ha, I like Matt Striker. I don’t think he’d like me too ‘cause I never went to College, but, hey, I still got a job, even if it means I have to sit next to Michael Cole!
Striker slides into the ring and races across the ring to boot Chris Benoit in the head, breaking the Crippler Crossface, and knocking Benoit across the ring. Striker begins to stomp away on Benoit, whilst Charlie Haas rolls away to recover from the submission. Meanwhile, having managed to regain his senses following the three German Suplexes Benoit gave him, Chris Masters leans against the ropes, looking for a victim. He spies the floundering Charlie Haas and approaches behind the All-American, his arms raised in preparation. Haas struggles back up to his feet, and Masters grabs him from behind instantly, trying to apply the Masterlock! Haas is quick though to slip away before the move can be successfully locked in. Haas drops down and spins behind Masters, swiping the knee; Masters drops immediately, and Haas pounces, wrapping up the legs of ‘The Masterpiece’ and applying the Haas Of Pain! The crowd pops for Haas getting to deliver his own submission manoeuvre, and Masters begins to tap almost immediately, despite it doing him no good.
Across the ring, John Cena has finally gotten the better of Shelton Benjamin and is pummelling him in the corner, before the All-American manages to drive a boot to the gut of ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’, knocking him away. Carlito comes running up from nowhere and leaps up, trying to nail the Back Cracker to Cena … but Cena doesn’t budge! Carlito falls flat on his back, and Cena turns around to smile at … CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL! John Bradshaw Layfield, who had been keeping quiet for a good while, just nailed his finishing move to Cena out of the blue, and he smiles sadistically at the booing crowd. Still wearing his million-dollar smile, Bradshaw turns around … and gets a spinning heel kick to the jaw from Shelton Benjamin, who came charging out of the corner! Currently then, Benjamin and JBL are paired off in one corner, with Shelton on top of ‘The Wrestling God’ nailing right hand after right hand, whilst Striker pummels Benoit in the opposite corner, Haas has Masters in the Haas Of Pain in the centre of the ring, and both Cena and Carlito are down.
Haas finally releases the hold on Masters and drags him up to his feet. After a few stiff right hands, Haas whips ‘The Masterpiece’ off the ropes and goes for a clothesline. Masters ducks under it though and springs up behind Haas, once again going for the Masterlock, and this time applying it!
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
**Space Odyssey 3000**
ENTRANT #16: RIC FLAIR @ 21:15
An enormous “WHOOOOOOO” precedes a terrific reception from the fans, as ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair waltzes onto the stage, without his cloak though, as he is all business tonight.
Jim Ross: Here comes “The Nature Boy”! The sixteen times World Champion is looking for one more stint at the top and I can’t think of a more fitting way!
Tazz: Ric Flair is one classy son of a gun. He’s had some problems with Carlito recently, so let’s see how this goes down!
As Ric Flair slowly makes his way down to the ring, Charlie Haas is still struggling in the Masterlock, until Carlito runs behind Masters and nails the Back Cracker to ‘The Masterpiece’! Both Haas and Masters go down, but Masters stumbles back into the ropes, allowing Carlito to rush at him and clothesline him over the top to the outside!
ELIMINATION #8: CHRIS MASTERS BY CARLITO @ 21:29
Flair climbs into the ring and makes a beeline straight for the man who cost him the Intercontinental Championship, Carlito! Still celebrating his outsmarting of Chris Masters, Carlito is late in seeing Flair coming towards him and he gets a vicious knife-edge chop across the chest, taking him off his feet! Carlito bounces back up, though he is still clutching at his flaming chest, and stumbles straight into another chop, knocking him back down to the canvas! Flair lets out a “Woooo”, which I returned ten-fold by the crowd.
Across the ring, Chris Benoit has managed to turn Matt Striker around in the corner and is now lighting up the disgraced former school teacher’s naked chest with a barrage of crackling chops that even Flair would be proud of! Charlie Haas is just back up to his feet following the Masterlock and he spies John Cena across the ring leaning against the ropes. Haas charges, but Cena sees him coming at the last possible second and manages to elevate Haas over the top rope. Haas uses his athleticism to land on the apron and catches Cena with a shoulder to the gut, knocking the former Champ away. Haas scurries over to the turnbuckle and climbs to the top, looking to catch Cena off guard … BUT SHELTON BENJAMIN SHOVES HIM OFF TO THE OUTSIDE!
ELIMINATION #9: CHARLIE HAAS BY SHELTON BENJAMIN @ 21:58
Haas slaps the floor in frustration at his elimination, scowling up at his former partner, before retreating up the ramp, whilst Cena looks extremely relieved and exhausted back in the ring. Shelton Benjamin has not stopped moving though and has JBL propped up in the corner and is putting the boot to ‘The Wrestling God’ relentlessly. Ric Flair is dragging Carlito into another corner and is levelling the Caribbean native with some big ‘Nature Boy’ special right hands. Chris Benoit spins Matt Striker around and pounds upon the schoolteacher’s back, as Striker is putting up a good fight at resisting the German Suplex. Striker hugs the top turnbuckle desperately, but Benoit nails a vicious head butt to his back causing Striker to fall away. Benoit then nails a brutal German Suplex to Striker, laying him out in the centre of the ring to cheers from the fans! Striker lies flat on his back, and Benoit advances on him yet again.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #17: KID KASH @ 22:32
A small amount of heat, as the WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kid Kash comes running down to the ring.
Jim Ross: Well, we’re in for some fast paced action now, with the WWE’s Cruiserweight Champion Kid Kash on his way down to the ring!
Tazz: You might have the Women’s title and all those Divas on Raw, J.R, but you’re missing out when it comes to the Cruiserweights. These guys know how to put on a show, and at the moment, Kid Kash is the top of the lot!
Kash, despite now being the lightest man in the match, shows little apprehension, as he races into the ring and leaps up onto the apron. He spies John Cena alone in he centre of the ring, and springboards up and off the top rope. Cena ducks just in time, but Kash lands on his feet and races across the ring, coming off the ropes and nailing ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ with an amazing Flying Headscissors! The crowd actually pops for the audacity of Kid Kash going after a former WWE Champion. The Cruiserweight Champion stalks Cena, as he struggles back up to his feet. Kash delivers a series of stinging kicks to the shins and calves of Cena, causing “Oooos” from the crowd and winces from the recipient. Backing Cena into the ropes, Kash tries to whip him across the ring, but Cena sends the Cruiserweight off the ropes instead. Kash leaps up for a Cross Body … but Cena catches him in mid air! Huge pop for the strength of ‘The Doctor’, as he smiles and goes to throw Kash up onto his shoulders for an FU … but Kash counters it into a Hurricanrana! Kash takes Cena down once again, getting really pumped up, and begins to whale away on him in the corner.
Across the ring, Shelton Benjamin mounts JBL in the corner, placing his feet on the second turnbuckle and hammering down viciously on ‘The Wrestling God’. The crowd counts along in unison … but JBL hooks his arms underneath the young athlete and walks out of the corner, slamming Shelton to the canvas with a hard Powerbomb! JBL pulls himself up and looks at the other action around the ring, before deciding to just have a rest in the corner. In another corner Chris Benoit whips Matt Striker into the already immobile Carlito, piling the two young but cocky Raw superstars up. Ric Flair takes a break from hammering CCC and nods to Benoit, giving him a free shot on Striker. Benoit chops Striker viciously and the former Schoolteacher screams in agony … but Flair gives him a chop for good measure too! The crowd loves this, as Striker’s legs becomes spaghetti-like and he flops out of the corner to the mat, exposing Carlito. The Caribbean native gets the exact same treatment; his chest chopped to death simultaneously by the two great veterans Benoit and Flair.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
**Live For The Moment**
ENTRANT #18: MATT HARDY @ 24:04
The Miami crowd lights up, as fan-favourite Matt Hardy races out at a tremendous pace, throwing up a quick V-1 in the process.
Jim Ross: It’s Matt Hardy! A former tag team Champion, and a man on the cusp of breaking into the Main Event. Could this be his night?
Tazz: Oh, baby! Hardy’s been on a roll lately, J.R. He nearly won that Battle Royal last Friday, and he could go the distance here tonight!
Hardy slides straight into the ring and is met by his rival JBL in the centre of the ring. The two exchange blows, before Hardy smartly ducks Bradshaw’s loose swipe and nails a Side Effect! Hardy springs back up, looking very pumped. He gets spun around though by Kid Kash, who kicks him in the gut and yells out that “It’s over”, before positioning Hardy as though he were to go for the Dead Level! But Matt spins out of it, catching Kash by surprise and instead nailing him with the Twist Of Fate! Hardy picks up the fallen Kash and races across the ring, trying to toss him over the top … but the athletic Cruiserweight hangs on! Kash hangs on, skinning the cat in effect and pulls himself back up. Hardy knocks him back down and he lands on the apron again. Kash is dragged up again by Hardy, but the Cruiserweight Champ drills him with a shoulder to the gut, knocking him backwards. Kash, looking aerial once again, springboards off the top rope, but misses yet again, as Hardy ducks, and Kash runs into Shelton Benjamin … WHO DRILLS HIM WITH A T-BONE SUPLEX! Kash goes down hard, as the crowd pops at the rapid exchange and Matt Hardy and Benjamin begin to exchange right hands in the centre of the ring.
Back in the corner across the ring, Flair and Benoit both deliver a final, devastating chop to Carlito, who falls to the canvas in complete agony. ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ and ‘The Nature Boy’ both look at one another, Naitch with a huge smile on his face … AND THEY BOTH CHOP EACH OTHER AT THE SAME TIME! The crowd pops, as Flair chops Benoit … then Benoit chops Flair … Flair chops Benoit … Benoit chops Flair! The two veterans go back and forth rapidly, with some of the hardest shots ever seen, neither willing to budge … but Naitch rakes Benoit’s eyes. ‘The Dirtiest Player In The Game’ gets the better of the exchange and takes ‘The Wolverine’ down with a Back Suplex to the canvas before letting out a huge “WHOOOO” to the delight of all those watching. Benoit struggles back up to his feet, but Flair comes off the ropes, taking out ‘The Crippler’s’ knee with a chop block, before another “WHOOO” and begins the set up for the Figure Four leg lock. Benoit struggles, but Flair begins to wrap himself around … BUT BENOIT COUNTERS, ROLLING BACKWARDS, TAKING FALIR DOWN AND APPLYING THE SHARPSHOOTER OUT OF NOWHERE!
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
**One Of A Kind**
ENTRANT #19: ROB VAN DAM @ 25:39
An astounding pop, heralding the arrival of the returning Rob Van Dam. ‘Mr. Monday Night’ jogs out onto the stage, saluting the fans, but looking all business.
Jim Ross: It’s time for the return of ROB VAN DAM! What would it mean to the career of RVD to win the Rumble here tonight, and especially after such a lengthy absence?
Tazz: Oh man, RVD looks pumped tonight, J.R. You better believe that this guys has what it takes to go the distance and fulfil his dream!
Rob Van Dam makes perhaps the quickest entrance yet, hurtling down the ramp before leaping into the ring, where Matt Striker meets him. The schoolteacher tries to hammer ‘Mr. Monday Night’ back, but RVD comes back with his own thunderous rights, knocking Striker back across the ring. Striker staggers into the ropes but manages to stop himself. RVD aims a kick to Striker’s gut, but the schoolteacher catches his foot. RVD goes for the Enziguiri … but Striker ducks … BUT RVD NAILS HIM WITH WINDMILL BACK TO THE FACE KNOCKING HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE!
ELIMINATION #10: MATT STRIKER BY ROB VAN DAM @ 25:56
Striker rolls around furiously, scowling up at RVD, who just shrugs nonchalantly. Kid Kash comes at RVD from behind and spins him around, but Van Dam turns the tables and comes at the Cruiserweight with a flurry of right hands! Meanwhile, Matt Hardy has Benjamin in one corner and is laying into him with some tough elbows, whilst Chris Benoit is stomping on Ric Flair, who is hugging on the bottom rope, having finally escaped the Sharpshooter. John Cena makes his way back up to his feet and heads over to a groggy Carlito, who is currently nursing his chest in the centre of the ring. Carlito turns around and Cena scoops him up onto his shoulders, as the crowd goes wild. Carlito thrashes about frantically, and JBL sprints out of his hiding place to try and take Cena out … but ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ spins, catching JBL in the jaw with one half of Carlito, taking ‘The Wrestling God’ down. But Carlito takes advantage and slides off Cena’s shoulders. He leaps up, looking to deliver a Back Cracker … but Cena grabs his arms, basically catching him on his back! Carlito is caught hanging from Cena’s back, as the former WWE Champion backs towards the top rope and begins to try and tip over backwards, shaking Carlito off.
The Caribbean superstar looks terrified and thrashes about wildly, trying to break free, but Cena lets go and Carlito has to grab onto the top rope in order to survive. Cena turns around and shares a collective laugh with the audience at Carlito’s desperation, before preparing to knock him off … but JBL nails Cena from behind! ‘The Wrestling God’ takes ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ down and begins to hammer away on him viciously. Carlito soon joins him, and together, they double-team Cena.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #20: FINLAY @ 27:11
Virtually no reaction given this is only the debut of Finlay. The rough and tough Irishman makes his way down to the ring with a determined look on his face, getting some heat now from those who recognise him from his videos.
Jim Ross: Making his debut in the WWE, it’s the wily Irish veteran Finlay. This guy is tougher than a two-dollar steak, so don’t think he can’t win this thing.
Tazz: Ha ha, I’ve been lookin’ forward to this for ages, J.R. I’ve seen Finlay fight in the past, and he’s one tough Irish bastard who knows how to mix it up.
Finlay marches down to the ring and is about to enter when the officials surrounding the ring notice the shillelagh in his hand and demand that he turn it over. Finlay resists and holds his hands up, claiming that it is not a weapon. The referees seem to believe him to an extent and let him go. Finlay doesn’t hang about and rolls straight into the ring where he is confronted immediately by Chris Benoit. The two hard-hitting veterans stare one another down ... BUT FINLAY BLASTS BENOIT IN THE HEAD WITH THE SHILLELAGH! The “Oooos” go up from the crowd, as the officials go insane on the outside, having been fooled by the Irishman. Finlay turns; still wielding his weapon, and cracks it over the skull of the oncoming ‘Nature Boy’, knocking Flair down. The Irishman gives a little smirk, clearly enjoying his WWE debut, and wonders over to where Matt Hardy and Shelton Benjamin are going at it. He nails Hardy in the back of the knee and then the small of the back, before drilling Benjamin in the face! The crowd is giving Finlay some decent heat as he turns around … INTO A SPINNING HEEL KICK FROM RVD! The shillelagh goes flying from the ring, as the Irishman goes down, though having done quite a bit of damage already. RVD mounts Finlay and begins to hammer away on him.
Across the ring Carlito and JBL are still working over John Cena. Carlito pulls ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ up against the ropes and tells JBL what to do, bringing a smile to the face of the veteran. Bradshaw runs off the adjacent ropes with a Clothesline From Hell on his mind, but Cena elbows Carlito in the face, knocking him away and charges forwards, catching JBL with a running shoulder tackle instead. ‘The Wrestling God’ stumbles back up to his feet and Cena plants him with a spinning side slam in the centre of the ring. Carlito is up next, charging at Cena … but this time he is planted with a Spinebuster! Cena is rolling now, and looks down at his two fallen foes, both flat on their backs in the centre of the ring. He raises both his hands in the air to a massive pop, as the crowd knows what is coming next … BUT CENA GETS DRILLED WITH A MISSILE DROPKICK! Kid Kash springs back up, beating his chest, screaming that he has Cena’s number tonight.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #21: CHAVO GUERRERO @ 28:36
A warm pop as expected, as the famous Cruiserweight Chavo Guerrero comes sprinting down the ramp, pointing up to the sky in homage to his late Uncle.
Jim Ross: Paying tribute to his Uncle, the late, great Eddie Guerrero, it’s Chavo Guerrero, looking to make Eddie proud tonight!
Tazz: I’m rootin’ for Chavo, baby! C’mon, Chavo!
Chavo leaps through the middle rope in spectacular fashion and goes for Kid Kash. Kash ducks Chavo’s clothesline and comes off the ropes … but Chavo nails him with a tilt-the-whirl Backbreaker! The crowd pops, as Chavo athletically leaps back up and picks his next target. Carlito stumbles towards him, and Chavo kicks him in the gut, before lifting him up and dropping him the Gory Bomb! Around the ring the likes of Chris Benoit, Ric Flair, Matt Hardy and Shelton Benjamin are all beginning to recover after their shillelagh shots. RVD has Finlay down in another corner and is choking him out with his boot, whilst Chavo Guerrero heads over to where JBL is on his hands and knees. Chavo lifts up Eddie’s great nemesis … but JBL catches him with a wily thumb to the eye. ‘The Wrestling God’ quickly whips Chavo into the ropes and goes for a clothesline; the former Cruiserweight Champion ducks the swipe though and comes flying back, leaping up at Bradshaw … who catches him in mid air! JBL sets up for a Last Call, grinning broadly … but Chavo counters into a DDT! The crowd pops loudly, as Chavo takes down the former WWE Champion in spectacular fashion. The “Eddie” champs are in full flow now, really firing Chavo up.
Naitch is back up to his feet now, clutching his head, which has been re-opened by Finlay’s shillelagh attack. Where it was bleeding on Monday thanks to Carlito and a Steel Chair, it is now crimson again. Chris Benoit struggles up too, shaking the cobwebs away and backs Flair into a corner, delivering some stiff kicks to his mid-section, before chopping away at the veteran like a pit bull. Back across the ring, Chavo Guerrero is laying into JBL in one corner with a vengeance, still feeding from the crowd support. Inn the centre of the ring, all three of Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin and John Cena manage to struggle back up to a vertical base. They all lock eyes and the crowd pops at this face confrontation. The #1 entrant Cena nails the #2 entrant Benjamin with a right hand, but Hardy nails Cena, and then Benjamin nails Hardy! The fists fly, going back and forth furiously, before Kid Kash attacks Cena from behind with a flurry, allowing Hardy and Shelton to pair off once again! Kash kicks viciously at Cena once again.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #22: PAUL LONDON @ 30:10
An average face pop as Paul London tears down the ramp, even managing to best RVD for speed.
Jim Ross: Oh man, Paul London on his way down to the ring. With Chavo Guerrero and Kid Kash in there too, this could be very interesting.
Tazz: Cruiserweight’s, baby, they know how to get it done. This kid London and his partner Kendrick, they’re nuts, so who knows what’s gonna happen!
Paul London sprints down the ring and races up the steel steps, and keeps on going up, as he climbs straight up to the top turnbuckle, taunting the fans to cheers and pointing to below. In the centre of the ring, Cena, Kid Kash, Hardy and Benjamin all stop brawling and look up … AS LONDON SOARS WITH A SHOOTING STAR PRESS ON TO THEM! The crowd is going wild, as London marks his arrival in the Rumble in spectacular fashion. Cena, Kash, Shelton and Hardy all try to regain their senses, as London leaps back up to his feet straight away again, roaring with intensity. Carlito is back up now and wanders awkwardly into London’s path. The young Cruiserweight kicks CCC in the gut, and begins to drill him with some forearms to the face, backing him into the ropes. London tries to whip Carlito across the ring, but CCC reverses it and sends London into the ropes. London flies back though with a flying forearm … but Carlito ducks … and London hits Hardy! Kid Kash is up to his feet first and London pounces on him straight away, taking him into the corner, clocking him in the face, before raising him up to the top turnbuckle.
It looks at first as though London is going to try and eliminate Kash, but instead London climbs the turnbuckle as well and begins clubbing him on the back, weakening him down. London gets Kash in position for a Superplex … but John Cena clubs London hard in the back. He then gets under the legs of Paul London whilst Kash is still in position for a Superplex … CENA LIFTS EVERYONE UP AND ALL THREE MEN FALL OFF IN A TOWER OF DOOM!!!!
Perhaps the biggest pop of the match greets this manoeuvre, as Cena is slumped in the corner, as the two Cruiserweights are laid out across the ring. A small “Holy Shit” chant can be heard around the arena, whilst those in the ring, Finlay, RVD, Benoit, Flair, Benjamin, Chavo, Hardy, Carlito and JBL, all stare at the carnage that Cena, London and Kash just caused. RVD is first to act; leaving Finlay slumped in the corner, he springs up onto the top turnbuckle … BEFORE SOARING OFF WITH A FIVE-STAR FROG SPLASH ONTO KID KASH! A huge pop for RVD, as he rolls around on the mat clutching his abdomen. With most people down and out, it looks like a prime opportunity, and Chris Benoit is next to head to the top rope, spurred on by the fans … BEFORE CRASHING ONTO PAUL LONDON WITH THE FLYING HEADBUTT! Benoit clutches his arm as the fans cheer and London thrashes around in agony on the canvas.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
**Turn Up The Treble**
ENTRANT #23: MR. KENNEDY @ 31:35
The familiar cry of “Kennedy” goes up from the fan, followed by heat, heralding the return of Mr. Kennedy. The cocky superstar struts out onto the stage, clearly in no hurry, a microphone in hand as he walks down to the ring.
Jim Ross: It’s –
Mr. Kennedy: (Walking past the announce table with his mic) CAN IT, TUBBY! Ladies and gentlemen, standing before you now … making his long awaited return from a career threatening injury … back to set your televisions alight … the man who will single headedly eliminate all of the LOSERS currently standing in the ring … and one-half of the Main Event at Wrestlemania 22 … weighing in at a spellbinding 243 pounds … hailing from GREEN BAY, WISCONSINNNNNNN… MISTERRRRRRRRRRR KENNNNEEEEEDDDDDDDDDYYYYY!!!
Kennedy is getting booed liberally, but pays it no heed.
Mr. Kennedy: KEN-NED-DYYYY!!!
Kennedy throws his mic at Tony Chimel before skirting around the ring apron, clearly not sure whether he wants to enter yet. Inside the ring, it is now Chavo Guerrero’s turn to head up to the top rope, pointing up to the sky in homage to Eddie. He points to John Cena on the mat and prepares to fly – MR. KENNEDY SHOVES HIM OFF THE TOP TO THE OUTSIDE!
ELIMINATION #11: CHAVO GUERRERO BY MR. KENNEDY @ 31:49
The crowd erupts into heat, as Chavo tumbles to the outside, his head held low in anguish. Mr. Kennedy stands on the apron, still clad in his ‘Kennedy’ vest, grinning down on the Guerrero, chewing on his gum arrogantly. Still taunting the fans and mocking Chavo, Kennedy climbs into the ring, not paying attention to the inside. He finally turns, only to be met by a furious Chris Benoit, who delivers a brutal knife-edge chop across KK’s exposed chest. The “Oooos” ring out, as Kennedy stumbles away in agony, and Benoit goes after him quickly. Back across the ring the fallen group of John Cena, Paul London, Kid Kash, and Rob Van Dam are all struggling back up to their feet. Finlay quickly charges over to Van Dam once again and slugs him in the gut before wrestling him into the corner and drilling him backwards with a series of stiff uppercuts across the jaw. Cena shakes the cobwebs from his head and turns to face Kid Kash, who swings. Cena ducks and immediately catches the Cruiserweight on his shoulders and lifts him up high with a roar. It looks as though Cena finally has Kash … but London pulls his fellow Cruiserweight off the shoulders. Cena spins around t see what happened … and gets drilled by two simultaneous dropkicks by Kash and London! The crowd gives a slight pop, as the Cruiserweights get the better of ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ yet again.
London and Kash leap back up to their feet looking pumped … before both nailing each other with right hands and going at it with a flurry. Shelton Benjamin, the #1 entrant is up too, and is hammering on Carlito in one corner, whilst Matt Hardy does the same to JBL across the ring. Ric Flair meanwhile, showing signs of fatigue, rests against the bottom rope. JBL is able to turn the tables on Hardy though, punishing the multiple time tag team champion with some brutal chops to the jaw, still yelling at the fans after all of this time.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
**Just Look At Me**
ENTRANT #24: ROB CONWAY @ 33:07
Some small heat, as ‘The Con Man’ Rob Conway rushes out onto the stage, taunting the fans confidently and rubbing some last minute baby oil on himself.
Jim Ross: Another of Raw’s promising young superstars, Rob Conway is looking to make a name for himself tonight.
Tazz: This could be big for Conway, J.R, but it might be too big.
Conway takes his time strolling down to the ring, watching the action inside closely. He rubs his chin before finally sliding into the ring, where he is met by a flurry of pounding blows across his back before he can even stand up by ‘The Wrestling God’ JBL. Bradshaw seems to be particularly angry currently and is even attacking his fellow heels in a vicious manner. He returns to where Hardy is struggling out from the corner and drives his knee into his gut. Backing Hardy against the ropes, JBL tries to whip Hardy across the ring, but Hardy reverses it. Bradshaw clings on to the ropes, stopping himself rebounding, and Hardy charges angrily … but JBL back drops him over the top rope … BUT HARDY LANDS ON THE APRON! Matt tries to hit JBL, but the former WWE Champion kicks him in the gut, before backing quickly right across the ring into the opposite set of ropes looking for a Clothesline From Hell – RIC FLAIR PULLS THE TOP ROPE DOWN AND JBL GOES TUMBLING OUT!!!
ELIMINATION #12: JOHN ‘BRADSHAW’ LAYFIELD BY RIC FLAIR @ 33:42
Without a doubt the biggest pop of the night for an elimination goes up throughout the American Airlines Arena, as ‘The Wrestling God’ lies on his back on the outside of the ring with his hands over his face having been eliminated after 40 minutes! Ric Flair soaks up the applause in the ring and begins to ‘Style and Profile’ happily, before taking Rob Conway out with a stinging chop to the chest, knocking him to the canvas. On the outside of the ring, Bradshaw seems to have finally regained his senses and is sitting up, scowling hatefully up at ‘The Nature Boy’, his face red with anger. Jillian Hall tries to comfort JBL, but he shoves her aside violently and storms to his feet. Flair is chopping away at Conway against the ropes … WHEN JBL SLUGS NAITCH FROM BEHIND!
Nearly beheading the sixteen-time Champion with a brutal shot, JBL shoves various officials from the apron, ignoring their protests, before mounting on top of Flair and hammering away on an already bloody Naitch (thanks to Finlay) with shot after shot after shot. Bradshaw is screaming in Naitch’s face, “I’M THE MAN! NOT YOU! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!” JBL drags Flair back up to his feet, taking him by the head and tossing him over the top rope to the outside!
ELIMINATION #13: RIC FLAIR BY (AN ALREADY ELIMINATED) JOHN ‘BRADHSAW’ LAYFIELD @ 34:22
JBL heads back to the outside himself and nails two referees in the face as they approach him, before putting the boot to ‘The Nature Boy’ once again, bloodying the veteran even more, as dozens of officials desperately try to drag him away.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #25: REY MYSTERIO @ 34:31
A massive pop from the fans, as Rey Mysterio explodes from the stage energetically. He waves to the fans warmly on his way down to the ring, kissing his Eddie Guerrero armbands.
Jim Ross: He may be the smallest man in this match, but he sure as hell has the biggest heart, and that could carry him to victory here tonight.
Tazz: Ha ha, my man Rey! Can he live his dream at Wrestlemania, baby?
Rey is so quick that he sprints past all of the commotion at the foot of the ramp, where JBL is being restrained and dragged away by at least six or seven officials, screaming and laughing at the bloody Ric Flair, who is being tended to by several EMT’s. Mysterio leaps straight into the ring and is met by a swing from Rob Conway. Conway swings, but Rey ducks underneath it and comes off the ropes, catching ‘The Con Man’ with a Flying Headscissors! Conway goes down hard and Rey springs straight back up, playing to the crowd. Kid Kash comes at him next, but Rey blocks the right hand, nailing his fellow Cruiserweight with his own hard shots, before being attacked on the opposite side by Paul London. Faces attack faces, really proving the ‘every man for himself’ slogan.
Rob Conway staggers back up to his feet, clearly disorientated, and wanders dazedly in no particular direction … but he actually walks to where John Cena is leaning against the ropes. Cena thinks quick and back body drops Conway over the top rope to the outside!
ELIMINATION #14: ROB CONWAY BY JOHN CENA@ 34:58
The crowd pops, as Cena gets another elimination, whilst Rob Conway looks annoyed on the outside to have lasted so short a time. Cena smiles slightly, as he pulls himself on the ropes again. Across the ring, RVD reverses an Irish Whip, sending Finlay into the corner, before racing up to the Irishman and nailing him with a Monkey Flip, sending him crashing to the centre of the ring! RVD leaps back up, his momentum returned … and Cena catches him on his shoulders looking for a FU … but RVD flips out of it and nails ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ with a spinning heel kick! Van Dam grabs ‘The Champ’ and tries to dump him over the top rope … but Cena holds on doggedly.
Also in the ring, Shelton Benjamin has Carlito on the top rope, holding onto his legs and trying to dump him out of the ring. Carlito is rather monkey-like, as clutches the ropes with sheer desperation. As Rey Mysterio fights with Paul London, Kid Kash puts the boot to Matt Hardy on the apron, trying to force him off. Perhaps the loudest noise in the ring though is still coming from another corner, where Chris Benoit is slowly enflaming Mr. Kennedy’s chest with chop after chop.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #26: BRIAN KENDRICK @ 36:08
Another nice pop, as Brian Kendrick hurtles down the ramp to the ring, becoming barely a blur in the process.
Jim Ross: Oh boy, things are gonna get really fast now. The pace quickens now every time Brian Kendrick enters the ring.
Tazz: This is gonna be great, J.R; now we’ve got London, Kash, Kendrick and Mysterio in there, baby!
Kendrick flips over the top rope, landing right on his feet, before leaping up and taking Kid Kash down with a flying forearm. Kendrick jumps straight off the ropes again and nails Kash once again. He hurries over to where his partner Paul London is going at it with Rey Mysterio and begins to hammer away on Rey. He grabs Mysterio’s legs and tries to dump him over the top … BUT REY GRABS THE TOP ROPE, PULLING IT DOWN, DRAGGING PAUL LONDON OUT!
ELIMINATION #15: PAUL LONDON BY REY MYSTERIO @ 37:34
Rey falls onto the apron thankfully, as London stares up in shock at what just happened. Brian Kendrick apologises to his partner for his mistake … BUT GETS NAILED BY A GERMAN SUPLEX FROM CHRIS BENOIT! ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ gets pumped up, as he brings Rey up on the apron too, before trying to force him off as well, showing no allegiances. Mr. Kennedy sits in the corner still, nursing his reddened chest painfully, until Matt Hardy makes his way over and begins to put the boot to him. Rob Van Dam has Cena up on the apron, but ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ quickly performs a Sunset Flip over ‘Mr. Monday Night’ to escape him. Cena jumps up, before RVD has time to react, and catches the onrushing Kid Kash by the hair, hurling him over Van Dam and the top rope to the outside!
ELIMINATION #16: KID KASH BY JOHN CENA @ 37:56
John Cena finally gets the better of the Cruiserweight Champion, who punches the ground in annoyance, whilst Cena gets pumped up in the ring. Finlay charges at ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’, but is scooped up into the air … AND DRILLED WITH AN FU! Cena throws up a ‘Word Life’ taunt to all of his fans, who are going absolutely wild … BUT SOMEONE GRABS HIM FROM UNDER THE BOTTOM ROPE AND DRAGS HIM TO THE OUTSIDE! IT’S SHAWN MICHAELS!
HBK CREAMS CENA WITH A STEEL CHAIR! The crowd are in a state of shock, as Michaels stands over the busted open John Cena, the steel chair hanging loosely in his left hand. He stares down at ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ with a remorseless expression on his face, which quickly changes to anger, as he mounts Cena and begins to drill him with right hands again and again, ignoring the officials! Back in the ring, a few superstars stare in shock at what just happened.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #27: BOBBY LASHLEY @ 37:38
The powerhouse Bobby Lashley makes his way out onto the entrance stage, a grim and determined expression on his face, getting a pretty good response from the Miami crowd.
Jim Ross: SHAWN MICHAELS WHAT THE! Oh my, it looks as though business is about to pick up around here: SmackDown’s resident powerhouse Bobby Lashley is on his way down to the ring!
Tazz: HBK IS GOING NUTS! But Bobby Lashley’s one big, bad, tough young superstar, J.R. Everyone in that ring better get ready!
Lashley gives the chaos on the outside of the ring a brief glance, where HBK has hurled a bloodied and battered John Cena into the steel steps, before strutting away arrogantly to MASSIVE HEAT from the Miami crowd. The fans are still in total shock at what has just befallen their heroes, one has been decimated and the other has … changed. HBK stands on the ramp and glances over his shoulder, a slight smirk crossing his face.
Lashley leaps up onto the ring apron and climbs into the ring … FLATTENING CHRIS BENOIT WITH A SPEAR! ‘The Crippler’ rolls around in agony, clutching his abdomen, as Lashley poses like an American football player once again … BEFORE BREAKING BRIAN KENDRICK IN HALF WITH ANOTHER SPEAR! The Cruiserweight is knocked clean out by the hit, and the impact is sickening, as the crowd “Oooos” and Lashley goes to work. ‘The Real Deal’ raises Kendrick up into the air in an easy Military Press, before dropping him over the top rope to the outside.
ELIMINATION #17: BRIAN KENDRICK BY BOBBY LASHLEY @ 38:02
The crowd is really hot for Lashley right now, as he completely dominates the competition. Mr. Kennedy nails him with a couple of right hands, but to no avail, as Lashley just keeps on coming. He reverses an Irish Whip and brings Kennedy up onto his shoulder, before crushing him with a devastating Dominator! Lashley springs back up, pumped up hotly no, as Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin and Carlito all try their luck, assaulting the powerhouse from all angles, trying to bring him down. They whip him into the ropes … BUT HE COMES STRAIGHT BACK WITH A SPEAR TO CARLITO! Hardy rushes but is flattened with a Spinebuster! Shelton has better luck, catching Bobby off guard and drilling him with a series of hard shots to the face, backing him all the way in to the far corner. He drills Lashley again, before trying to whip him into the opposite corner, but Lashley reverses it, sending Benjamin into the turnbuckle. Shelton reacts quickly though and leaps up to the top turnbuckle agilely, springboarding back off at the oncoming Lashley … WHO CREAMS HIM WITH A MID AIR SPEAR!
The crowd is going absolutely wild at this, with a small “Holy Shit” chant even having broken out. Bobby Lashley jumps back up to his feet, roaring with intensity and surveying the carnage around him: RVD, Finlay, Carlito, Benoit, Benjamin, Hardy and Kennedy all down in the ring, and, of course, the motionless and crimson John Cena lying quite still beneath the steel steps on the outside. Lashley turns to face his next opponent.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
Nothing. The crowd turns; expecting Lance Cade, although with some trepidation following earlier … but no one comes out. The crowd and the officials at ringside all stare at one another in a confused manner, Lashley still waiting in the ring, until…
ENTRANT #28: THE UNDERTAKER @ 39:13
The crowd goes absolutely insane, as a look of fear suddenly crosses Bobby Lashley’s features and the American Airline Arena turns to darkness for the second time of the evening. The Undertaker can be seen making his entrance through the mist, already dressed to compete tonight, following his earlier match. His pulls his gloves tightly and majestically approaches the ring.
Jim Ross: OH MY GAWD! ‘The Phenom’ is coming to the ring! We saw his disillusion at his loss in the Triple threat earlier and it looks as though Lance Cade paid the price!
Tazz: I – I’m in shock! ‘The Deadman’ wasn’t pinned earlier, but I – I can’t believe this! This is huge! WOW!!!
Undertaker slowly enters the ring via the steel steps and locks eyes with the only man still really standing … Bobby Lashley! The young powerhouse shows no real fear and goes right for ‘The Phenom’ with a right hand … but Undertaker swiftly ducks and pops up on the opposite side of ‘The Real Deal’ drilling him with some hard right hands, courtesy of the best pure striker in the business, backing him into the ropes. The crowd is cheering ‘The Phenom’ on, as Lashley is reeling against the ropes, and The Undertaker delivers a mighty clothesline, taking Bobby clean head over heels out of the ring to the floor outside!
ELIMINATION #18: BOBBY LASHLEY BY THE UNDERTAKER @ 39:31
Even though Lashley is a face the crowd gives a massive pop, as ‘The Deadman’ ends his dreams of Main Eventing Wrestlemania. Undertaker turns to the centre of the ring, where he is met by some stiff uppercuts from the tough Irishman Finlay, who shows some courage. He comes off the ropes too and races towards ‘The Phenom’ … but gets caught by the throat! Finlay struggles against Undertaker’s unbreakable grip, but is helpless and is nailed with a Chokeslam! Carlito is up next, not noticing that he is being stalked, as he struggled back up to his feet. He turns suddenly … CHOKESLAM! Matt Hardy is grabbed by the throat too … BUT UNDERTAKER HURLS HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE!
ELIMINATION #19: MATT HARDY BY THE UNDERTAKER @ 40:05
Once again, the crowd does not seem to care that Matt Hardy is a face as well, as they are well and truly behind The Undertaker now, as he continues on his rampage. On the outside of the ring, we get a brief shot of where John Cena is crouching on all fours, clutching his bloody face and bruised abdomen in agony, trying to pull himself up. Back in the ring though, it is The Undertaker who is in control, as he waits for Shelton Benjamin to turn around, before grabbing him by the throat too … but Shelton goes downstairs with a kick to the knee! Benjamin tries desperately to take out Undertaker’s vertical base with shots to the knees, before racing off the ropes. He ducks a clothesline attempt from ‘The Deadman’ and springs off the ropes again … but gets caught in the Tombstone Piledriver position on the way back! Benjamin slides off Undertaker’s shoulders but ends up catching a boot to the face instead!
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
**Can You Dig It, Sucka?**
ENTRANT #29: BOOKER T @ 40:38
Some of the largest heat of the night, and a smiling Booker T comes strolling out onto the stage, clearly pleases with his draw. Accompanied by his wife Sharmell, Booker hands her his United States Championship … but decides to wait outside the ring instead of facing ‘The Deadman’.
Jim Ross: Well it’s Booker T. He was already a hot favourite for this event but this kind of draw his chances just got better. It looks as though he wants nothing to do with The Undertaker though.
Tazz: Can – can you blame him. J.R? The Undertaker’s like a freak of nature out there tonight. Booker’s playing it smart; I like that.
Booker T and his wife converse as they pace around the outskirts of the ring, teasing as though to enter at some points without ever really meaning it. Inside the ring, The Undertaker pays no attention to Booker T, as he continues on his path of destruction. He lifts Rob Van Dam up in the corner and drills him with a brutal right hand, rocking him off his feet. Across the ring, the battles are beginning again somewhat, as Mr. Kennedy and Chris Benoit begin to slug it out once again, as do Rey Mysterio and Finlay. The Fighting Irishman whips Rey into the far corner and races after him. Mysterio tries to springboard back over Finlay, catching him with a headscissors, clutching the top rope and trying to manoeuvre the Irishman over the top. Finlay throws Rey’s feet off him though, and the Cruiserweight lands on the apron. He gets a shoulder to Finlay’s gut and goes to springboard … BUT BOOKER T LEAPS UP AND DRAGS REY TO THE OUTSIDE!!!
ELIMINATION #20: REY MYSTERIO BY BOOKER T @ 41:36
Huge heat greets this elimination, as Booker T strikes out of nowhere to end Rey Mysterio’s dreams for another year. Booker laughs at Rey, who sits on the outside looking forlorn. Booker still refuses to enter the ring. Finlay quickly attacks Shelton Benjamin again in the ring, trying to dump him over the top rope, the Intercontinental Champion having been in there since #1.
Chris Benoit is having little success against Mr. Kennedy on the other side of the ring, as he is pushed over the top rope onto the apron. Kennedy kicks frantically at ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ who shows his pit bull tendencies by refusing to budge. KK raises Benoit up to his feet on the apron and hooks his arm, attempting a vertical Suplex, but once again Benoit fights it, hammering away at Kennedy’s chest and face with bullish right hands and ferocious head butts. Benoit turns the tables then, now trying to Suplex Kennedy over the top rope to the floor. But Kennedy blocks it with his leg, and the two begin to edge along the apron towards the turnbuckle. Kennedy is the first to step up onto the apron in search of some extra leverage, and as a result Benoit is forced to as well, locked as they are in a Suplex position. As they ascend all the way to the top turnbuckle, Kennedy begins to get the advantage, until Benoit fights back with a series of vicious head butts, knocking the loudmouth reeling.
10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
ENTRANT #30: EDGE @ 42:11
Possibly the loudest amount of heat of the evening in Miami, as Edge sprints out onto the stage with his girlfriend Lita in tow, as well as his Money In The Bank briefcase as always. He wastes little time in racing down to the ring.
Jim Ross: We already knew who this was gonna be. Edge won that battle royal on Friday night, but can he make it count?
Tazz: I think Edge was and still is everyone’s favourite for this thing, baby!
Edge slides straight into the ring and … NAILS SHELTON BENJAMIN WITH A SPEAR! ‘The Rated R Superstar’ jumps back up straight away and CREAMS FINLAY WITH A SPEAR TOO! Edge shows his usual intense fury and sprints over to where Chris Benoit and Mr. Kennedy are fighting on the top turnbuckle, shoving Kennedy off first, sending him flying off to the outside!
ELIMINATION #21: MR. KENNEDY BY EDGE @ 42:29
Edge now mounts the turnbuckle too, nailing Benoit with some stiff right hands, trying to knock ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ off the top just like Kennedy. He hooks his arm and looks as though he is about to Suplex Benoit out of the match, but yet again Benoit is able to break out of it and deliver those savage head butts right across the back of Edge’s head. ‘The Rated R Superstar’ reels, his arms saying, before Chris Benoit gives him a final shove and sending him crashing to the canvas below. ‘Mr. Money In The Bank’ lands on his back in a very inviting position for Benoit, who stands tall on the top rope and spreads his arms … BEFORE LEAPING OFF WITH THE FLYING HEADBUTT … BUT CARLITO PULLS EDGE OUT OF THE WAY! Benoit crashes and burns on the mat, clutching his shattered nose and wrist in absolute agony, barely able to make it back up to his feet. Unfortunately for him, he does stagger back up against the ropes, and Edge and Carlito, showing some teamwork again, each grab a leg of ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ and dump him over the top rope to the floor outside.
ELIMINATION #22: CHRIS BENOIT BY EDGE & CARLITO @ 42:58
Benoit slaps the ground in frustration, glaring back up at the two men who just eliminated him, before finally clambering back up to his feet and leaving. Back in the ring, Edge and Carlito converse with one another, clearly discussing whether or not they should team up. Carlito seems less keen, gesturing to the top rope and reminding ‘The Rated R Superstar’ how he threw him over the top on Raw this past Monday. But Edge also helped CCC defeat Ric Flair, and it seems as though this teamwork is back in effect! The two of them head over to where Shelton Benjamin is slumped in a corner and begin to lay into him.
As The Undertaker still drills Rob Van Dam, Finlay staggers back up to his feet and turns …. AND LAUGHS. The crowd explodes with a huge pop as they John Cena standing on his feet, blinking dazedly through a mask of blood, and waving away the officials who try to pull him back, The term ‘spaghetti legs’ does not quite cover the condition that Cena is in, as he wobbles back and forth on the outside, trying to find his way back into the ring. He eventually discovers the apron and the ropes and manages to pull himself up, crawling under the bottom rope, staining the canvas with his blood. All this time, Finlay stands with his hands on his knees, grinning at what will surely be an easy elimination for him. Unaware of the Irishman’s presence, Cena clambers back up to his hands and knees. Finlay has finally seen enough and grabs Cena, dragging him back up to his … CENA EXPLODES WITH AN FU, THROWING FINLAY OVER THE TOP ROPE!
ELIMINATION #23: FINLAY BY JOHN CENA @ 44:09
The crowd goes absolutely wild, as Cena collapses to the mat straight away following such an amazing effort, clearly still not right. Seeing his opportunity, Booker T finally slides into the ring and begins to hammer away on ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ in the corner, really putting the boot to the former WWE Champion. Booker T is brimming with confidence now, as he drags Cena up to his feet and races with him towards the ropes GOING TO THROW CENA OUT OF THE RING … BUT CENA REVERSES IN ONE FLUID MOTION, THROWING BOOKER OVER THE TOP!!!
ELIMINATION #24: BOOKER T BY JOHN CENA @ 44:34
A huge pop greets the elimination of Booker T, who stares back up at the ring, completely aghast at yet another terrible Royal Rumble performance for him. The crowd is really on their feet now, all eager to get as good a view as possible of the FINAL SIX men in the Royal Rumble match. Everyone seems to have spaced out now across the ring, with John Cena falling back into his corner once again, still appearing to be nothing more than a bloody heap, The Undertaker eyeing coldly all others in the ring with his fists raised high, Rob Van Dam standing groggily apart from ‘The Phenom’, Edge glancing nervously from man to man, and both the young pair of Carlito and Shelton Benjamin looking extremely nervous.
After a few seconds of staring one another down, the brawl finally begins, as Undertaker begins to slug it out with Shelton Benjamin and Carlito begins hammering away on the groggy John Cena in the corner. This leaves Edge and Rob Van Dam staring at one another from across the ring. Edge rakes his fingers through his hair angrily, sneering at ‘Mr. Monday Night’, remembering how he was disrespected on his own Cutting Edge just two weeks go. RVD pumps himself up too, and the crowd pops as the two athletes race to the middle of the ring, and begin to slug it out. Edge hits a right hand … RVD hits a right hand … Edge hits a right hand … RVD hits a right hand. It goes back and forth until Van Dam nearly takes Edge’s head off with a particularly vicious shot, sending ‘The Rated R Superstar’ back pedalling into the ropes. RVD quickly pounces, going to Irish Whip Edge across the ring, but ‘Mr. Money In The Bank’ reverses it and sends Van Dam into the ropes. Edge lowers his head for a back body drop, but RVD somersaults over his back, landing perfectly on his feet with incredible agility.
Edge spins around quickly, and Van Dam lashes out with a heel kick … but Edge catches his foot and trips RVD up, before placing his leg through and trying to lock in his Inverted Sharpshooter… THE EDGECATOR! But Van Dam fights it, frantically thrashing his limbs so that the move cannot be fully applied and punching at Edge’s lowered face. Edge breaks away clutching his nose, and RVD quickly rolls back up to his feet before any more damage can be done to his legs. He grabs Edge and lifts him up for a scoop slam … but Edge slides off his shoulders and drives his head to the mat with the EDGE-O-MATIC! The crowd boos, whilst ‘The Rated R Superstar’ catches his breath, lying on his back breathing hard.
Using the ropes for leverage, Edge pulls himself back to his feet and drags Van Dam up too. Taking the ECW Original by the back of his head, Edge goes to throw him over the top rope, but Van Dam blocks it, grabbing the rope, and nailing Edge in the face with a kick right to the face out of nowhere, showing his flexibility, knocking Edge for a loop. RVD quickly pulls Edge back to his feet and tries to whip him across the ring, but Edge reverses it and sends Van Dam into the corner. Edge charges but RVD hits him with an elbow to the jaw, knocking him stumbling backwards. Seeing an opening, RVD does what comes most natural to him and springs up onto the top turnbuckle …. BUT EDGE REACTS QUICKLY AND SHOVES HIM OFF … BUT RVD LANDS ON HIS FEET ON THE APRON! The crowd pops at this wild exchange, as RVD hugs the top rope … but Edge quickly comes off the adjacent ropes … AND SPEARS ROB VAN DAM OFF THE APRON TO THE FLOOR!!!
ELIMINATION #25: ROB VAN DAM BY EDGE @ 48:47
Huge boos greet this elimination, as RVD looks frustrated, whilst Edge leans over the top rope with a large smirk on his face. He turns around and struts across the canvas doing the ‘R-V-D’ thumb taunt in a mocking fashion to massive heat. He looks over to Carlito working on Cena in the corner and decides to lend a hand.
Back on the other side of the ring, The Undertaker is having little bit more trouble with Shelton Benjamin than he might have anticipated, as the Intercontinental Champion will not allow himself to become cornered. Undertaker advances on him with his fists raised, but Shelton quickly ducks and scurries out of the corner, instead drilling ‘The Deadman’ with some hard right hands against the turnbuckle! He grabs Undertaker’s arm and goes for an Irish Whip, but Undertaker is just too strong and blocks it with ease, instead shooting the All-American across the ring. Benjamin collides with the turnbuckle, and quickly gets his foot up; catching the onrushing ‘Phenom’ is the face. Shelton kips up to the top turnbuckle and flies off with Cross Body … BUT THE UNDERTAKER CATCHES HIM IN MID AIR! The crowd pops, as Shelton is helpless against the power of ‘The Deadman’ who quickly throws Benjamin up … AND BRINGS HIM CRASHING DOWN WITH A TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!!! Undertaker grabs the nearly lifeless youngster and HURLS HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE OUTSIDE!!!
ELIMINATION #26: SHELTON BENJAMIN BY THE UNDERTAKER @ 50:09
The crowd cheers for the dominance of The Undertaker, but there is also a lot of respect for the effort of Shelton Benjamin, who lasted all the way from #1 to the final five, going well over an hour, taking Chris Benoit’s 2004 record with him, although Cena will still beat it, it seems.
WE ARE DOWN TO FOUR!!! Wasting little time, Edge catches The Undertaker with a huge right hand as soon as he turns around, trying to back him up against the ropes with some thunderous blows. Unbeknownst to the others in the ring, Carlito rolls under the bottom rope and falls right next to the Steel Chair that Shawn Michaels used on John Cena. Back inside the ring, Edge sends The Undertaker across the ring with an Irish Whip, but ‘The Phenom’ ducks Edge’s clothesline attempt … AND WIPES HIM OUT WITH A HUGE FLYING CLOTHESLINE!!!
As the crowd is going wild, Undertaker clambers back up to his feet, his back to where Carlito can be seen rolling back into the ring with weapon in hand. Undertaker grabs Edge by the back of the head and races across the ring with him … HURLING HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE … BUT EDGE HOLDS ON!!! Edge dangles perilously over the floor below by one hand. Undertaker moves to knock him off but instead turns around … AND IS CREAMED IN THE HEAD BY A STEEL CHAIR!!!
The crowd erupts into a cacophony of heat, as Carlito stands over a writhing ‘Deadman’ who has collapsed to the mat clutching his head. The Caribbean superstar sneers around him, as ‘The Phenom’ crawls back across the ring in a dazed fashion, and CCC stalks him, still clutching the Steel Chair in his hand as though it were his best friend. He holds it up high for all to see, as the crowd boos him wildly. Carlito turns around and sees Edge has re-entered the ring. The two of them smile sadistically at one another, as Edge points at John Cena, who is still lying bloody in one corner, before then pointing at The Undertaker, as though deciding who to eliminate first. CCC and Edge seem to decide on The Undertaker and move over to him in the corner.
Almost punch drunk, a far away look in his eye, The Undertaker has managed to pull himself up in the corner, though barely able to stand. As with his earlier match up against Randy Orton and Batista, ‘The Deadman’ is bleeding from the head, the wound re-opened. Carlito and Edge now have at their mercy two bloodied opponents. Before ‘The Phenom’ can defend himself, CCC and Edge lay into him with rights and lefts to the body and the head, rocking the legend. Both men laugh as The Undertaker staggers out from the corner, his fists still raised dazedly, and moves across to the opposite corner. Carlito rushes after ‘The Deadman’ straight away, but gets a big right hand for his trouble … but Edge drive his knee into the gut of the 300 pounder.
As The Undertaker slumps down, now in the opposite corner to before both Carlito and Edge strut around confidently in the middle of the ring, their arms held up high in a rather premature display of triumph. Edge turns around with a cocky smile on his face … RIGHT HAND FROM THE UNDERTAKER! Carlito takes one to the jaw too, and Undertaker whips him across the ring into the opposite corner. Edge slumps into the other corner behind ‘The Deadman’, who races across the ring … CRUSHING CCC IN THE CORNER WITH A CLOTHESLINE! He turns and races across to the opposite corner … NAILING EDGE IN THE CORNER TOO!
Wearily, Undertaker catches Edge as he falls out of the corner, lifting him up onto his shoulder and dropping him across the top turnbuckle for some Snake Eyes! ‘The Phenom’ comes off the ropes, as ‘The Rated R Superstar’ staggers out … AND TAKES HIS HEAD OFF WITH A BOOT TO THE FACE! A bit of momentum in his favour at last, Undertaker stalks Carlito, who is struggling back up to his feet … AND GRABS HIM BY THE THROAT! The crowd pops as looks like Chokeslam time, as CCC struggles against the iron grip of ‘The Deadman’. Undertaker goes to lift him up … EDGE CRACKS THE UNDERTAKER ACROSS THE HEAD WITH THE STEEL CHAIR!!!
The “Oooos” go up from the crowd once again, as The Undertaker hits the canvas once again. Edge throws the chair down viciously, sneering at ‘The Deadman’ with hatred. Carlito laughs too and turns back to Undertaker … BUT EDGE TRIES TO DUMP HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE! Carlito hangs on frantically, as Edge shoves at him frantically, trying to knock him off the apron. The crowd is buzzing at the betrayal on display, the double-crossing by both men. Carlito is able to escape though and rolls back into the ring under the bottom rope. Edge brings him back up to his feet, drilling him with some stiff right hand blows to the face. Edge tries to Irish Whip CCC across the ring, but the Caribbean reverses it and sends Edge into the ropes … AND CARLITO NAILS HIM WITH A POWERSLAM!!!
CCC shakes the cobwebs away; as he pulls himself back up. He drags Edge up too, grabbing him in position for the Outward Rolling Cutter that he calls ‘The Spitter’ … but Edge spins out of it, catching CCC in position for … THE EDGECUTION! Carlito shoves Edge away into the ropes though … BUT EDGE COMES FLYING BACK WITH A BRUTAL SPEAR!!!
ALL THREE MEN ARE DOWN!!! Edge collapses to the mat clutching his abdomen, Carlito writhes around in agony following the Spear, The Undertaker lies flat on his back, eyes closed, face bloody … AS JOHN CENA BEGINS TO STIR! The crowd is going absolutely wild right now, as Cena pulls hard on the ropes until he is up to his feet, leaning against the top rope, blinking through his bloody face. Both Carlito and Edge begin to do the same, struggling back up to their feet laboriously, glaring at one another and John Cena. All three men look at one another.
Cena begins to crawl back up to his feet using the ropes, as … THE UNDERTAKER SITS UP!!! Everyone in the ring looks over to where a bloodied ‘Phenom’ has risen, and Carlito has seen enough. The cocky young superstar grabs the Steel Chair from the mat and swings it at ‘The Deadman’ … BUT THE UNDERTAKER BACK BODY DROPS HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE OUTSIDE!!!
ELIMINATION #27: CARLITO BY THE UNDERTAKER @ 57:17
The Royal Rumble dream is over for Carlito, who kicks the steel steps in a wild rage, scowling back up at The Undertaker in dismay. The camera stays for a long time on Carlito’s face, as he trembles with a terrible fury, having been eliminated after over 45 minutes. He shoves the referees aside before heading over to the timekeeper’s area, trying to grab a Steel Chair, but the officials begin to drag him away. Back in the ring Edge charges at Cena with a clothesline, but he ducks, and Edge turns around … Cena lifts him up onto his shoulders with a roar, looking for an FU! Edge struggles on the shoulders and manages to slide off … Cena spins and Edge takes him down, looking to try and lock in the Edgecator once again! But Cena uses his leg strength and takes Edge down onto the mat on his belly … CENA POUNCES OVER AND APPLIES THE STFU!!! But Edge screams and rolls over backwards into the ropes, breaking the hold.
Cena clambers back up to his feet, pulling Edge with him and tries to whip him across the ring … BUT EDGE COMES FLYING BACK WITH A SPEAR, CUTTING HIM IN HALF!!! The “Oooos” ring out around the arena, as Cena collapses to the canvas clutching his insides. ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ looks like a complete wreck right now, bruised and bleeding in agony on the mat. Edge stumbles back up to his feet and holds his arms up high, his eyes closed in ecstasy, absorbing all of the boos he is receiving. He grins at the fallen Cena and picks him back up off the mat, lifting him over his shoulder in a Powerslam position, carrying him over to the top rope … DROPPING HIM OVER THE TOP … BUT CENA GRABS HIS NECK, AND BRINGS EDGE WITH HIM OVER THE TOP … BUT CENA HOLDS ONTO THE TOP ROPE!!!!!
ELIMINATION #28: EDGE BY JOHN CENA @ 59:46
Cena’s legs dangle perilously close to the ground but not quite touching, as the officials watch closely!!! Edge looks furious, getting back up to his feet and yanking away at the leg’s of Cena but ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ fights away violently, blasting Edge away with his feet, finally knocking him sprawling away into the announce table. Cena then uses every last fibre of his being to lift himself onto the apron and struggle back into the ring, to a tremendous ovation.
FINAL TWO!!! John Cena lies on his back in the ring, his face a crimson mask, whilst across the ring The Undertaker lies in the same position. The crowd is howling with delight right now, as the epic match up has now come down to two men, two faces at that, two of the biggest faces in the history of the WWE. J.R and Tazz are almost having a fit, as both men stir.
The American Airlines Arena nearly explodes in with a huge pop, as ‘The Deadman’ stares dead ahead at his final opponent … JOHN CENA! ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ has pulled himself up in the opposite corner and has locked eyes with ‘The Phenom’. Both men rise in opposite corners of the ring, not taking their eyes off one another. AND IT’S ON!!!
The Undertaker is on John Cena first, swinging at him in the corner … but Cena ducks, backing ‘The Deadman’ into the corner and drilling him with rights and lefts, rocking ‘The Phenom’ to a huge mixed reaction from the crowd. Cena shows his fighting spirit, as he fights through the pain … but Undertaker grabs him by the throat with both hands and hurls him into the corner with tremendous force. Now it is The Undertaker’s turn to unload on Cena with a flurry of blows, hammering into the young superstar with the hardest shots in the business. ‘The Deadman’ caps it off with an explosive uppercut, taking Cena right off his feet and almost over the top turnbuckle! The crowd screams, not knowing how to react, as Cena balances precariously on the top, and Undertaker tries to force him off to the outside. But Cena fights back, drilling Undertaker with elbows and blows, finally knocking him away. Recovering, Cena drops back down to the canvas, breathing a sigh of relief, ducking The Undertaker’s subsequent clothesline attempt and trapping him in the corner.
Cena winds his big right hand up and nails The Undertaker right between the eyes, rocking the big man. Undertaker struggles to fight back through his bloody gaze, but Cena shoves him back, before grabbing his arm and going for the Irish Whip. Undertaker reverses it though and sends Cena flying across the ring, slamming into the far turnbuckle. Cena barely has time to rest, as ‘The Deadman’ races across, boot raises … BUT CENA MOVES! Undertaker becomes hung up on the top rope and turnbuckle to screams from the crowd and goes tumbling over the top onto the apron … JUST hanging on!
Cena inside the ring and Undertaker on the apron, both men struggle back up to their feet, with ‘The Phenom’ clutching desperately to the top rope. Seeing his opportunity, ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ rebounds off the ropes and leaps at Undertaker with a Flying Shoulder Block knocking ‘The Phenom’ backwards … BUT UNDERTAKER HANGS ON DESPERATELY!!!
Cena kicks desperately at ‘The Deadman’ but Undertaker refuses to budge. He goes for another shot … but Undertaker grabs him by the throat! Cena flails desperately, and Undertaker drills him with a hard right hand, knocking him away. The Undertaker takes this chance to re-enter the ring. The two men meet in the ring yet again and Cena goes for another right hand … BUT UNDERTAKER GETS THERE FIRST! Undertaker blasts Cena in the face, knocking him back against the ropes, and sending him into the ropes with an Irish Whip. Undertaker lowers his head a bit too early … AND CENA NAILS A DDT!!!
The crowd gives yet another mixed reaction, as both men go down with a bump. This time it is Cena who reacts quickest though, pulling himself back up to his feet and swaying groggily around the ring. Undertaker begins to do the same, staggering back up against the ropes as well. Cena slugs ‘The Deadman’ in the face with a stinging right hand, failing to knock the near 7-footer backwards. Cena takes his chances off the ropes … BUT UNDERTAKER CATCHES HIM WITH A BOOT TO THE FACE!!!
Undertaker staggers over into the ropes wearily, showing real signs of fatigue. He pulls Cena back up to his feet and hooks his arm, trying to execute a Vertical Suplex … but Cena blocks it and instead lifts Undertaker up in a Suplex on places ‘The Deadman’ on the apron over the top rope! Undertaker hangs off the top rope though, pulling on Cena’s upper body. But Cena slugs ‘The Phenom’ in the face, dragging him across the apron and slamming his face right into the top turnbuckle. Cena tries to do it again, but Undertaker slams ‘The Doctor’s’ head into the padding this time. Looking to get back into the ring, Undertaker ascends up to the top turnbuckle, but Cena quickly pounces with a violent right hand, rocking ‘The Deadman’ and dropping him onto the top turnbuckle. Now Cena climbs up too, balancing on the second turnbuckle trying to get some leverage on ‘The Deadman’ to force him to the outside. But Undertaker fights back resiliently with hard rights and head butts, finally throwing Cena off the top to the canvas below. Undertaker catches his breath on the top, trying to regain his senses.
John Cena shakes away the cobwebs on the mat, before glancing up to see Undertaker still on the top rope. With a burst of speed, Cena leaps up to his feet and jumps up onto the second turnbuckle … LIFTING UNDERTAKER UP ON HIS SHOULDERS IN THE FU POSITION! The crowd screams with excitement as Cena roars with the effort of lifting a 300-pound man on his shoulders. At first it looks as though Cena is going to FU Undertaker down to the canvas, but suddenly he turns slowly on the second turnbuckle, as though to FU him to the outside! But Undertaker drives his elbow into the side of Cena’s head, rocking ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ and forcing him to step down off the top onto the canvas below. Now Cena still has Undertaker on his shoulders, but in the middle of the mat. Undertaker slides off his shoulders though and Cena turns … INTO A CHOKESLAM!!!
The crowd explodes as Undertaker drops to one knee with exhaustion. Pulling himself up on the ropes, The Undertaker stands up and performs the Cutthroat gesture, signalling that the end is here for John Cena. Grabbing ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ by the head, Undertaker scoops him up onto his shoulder … LOOKING FOR A TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER … BUT CENA SLIDES OFF HIS SHOULDERS AND LIFTS ‘TAKER UP FOR AN F-U … BUT UNDERTAKER REVERSES IT AGAIN …
It looks as though Undertaker is about to deliver the Tombstone Piledriver … but Cena slides off once again and suddenly spins around … Undertaker turns … AND CENA ELEVATES HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR BELOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ELIMINATED #29: THE UNDERTAKER BY JOHN CENA@ 65:18
Winner: JOHN CENA @ 65:18!!! TO EARN A SPOT IN THE MAIN EVENT AT WRESTLEMANIA 23
John Cena collapses to his knees in exhaustion and joy, the tears streaming down his face. The crowd greets the result with an amazing ovation, standing to applaud Cena, as he lies on his back, throbbing with tears, as a referee enters the ring to raise his hand. Cena has overtaken the record of Chris Benoit from ’04 for duration.
Jim Ross: JOHN CENA HAS DONE IT! Defeating Shawn Michaels earlier tonight, coming in at Number Two, even surviving a heinous assault by ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ too … JOHN CENA IS GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA!!!
Tazz: I – I don’t believe it! John Cena just went coast to coast. He lasted over an hour, J.R, to win this thing. This is gonna go down in the record books for sure.
Jim Ross: John Cena has gone longer than any man ever has before him to live his dream. One hour and ten minutes! He eliminated almost eight men to win it all!!!
Tazz: John Cena, BAY-BAY! He’s on his way to reclaiming that WWE title that was stolen from him. Get ready, Wrestlemania, ‘The Doctor Of Thuganomics’ is comin’! Good night!
The camera pans around the arena to give us a great shot of the fans in the American Airlines Arena, as they all stand on their feet, raining down the applause on John Cena. Beating his chest furiously, Cena salutes them all, struggling to stand after his 20-minute battle with HBK and 65- minute effort in the Rumble. Perhaps he just won an amazing Iron Man match after all. His right arm sweeps upwards majestically, and we follow it to see exactly where it is pointing; the sign hanging high in the rafters reading, ‘WRESTLEMANIA 22’.
END OF SHOW
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