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Old 08-10-2012, 05:48 PM   #1601 (permalink)
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>Headlines!<



>The Game Heats Up!<

If Triple H thought he faced an uphill battle in defending the WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble when he turned up to Raw last night, he must've left thinking his job in under three weeks is now mission impossible.

The Game wasted no time in protesting about being forced to be the first man in history to have to defend the WWE title in the Rumble match, however the enormity of his task was made even tougher by Eric Bischoff. A week ago at initially hearing the news about his title defence at the Rumble, the WWE Champion's response was to Pedigree Raw's Head of Authority. Last night Bischoff was revelling in make Triple H sweat, going through the possible list of punishments. He teased stripping him of the title or suspending him before revealing that not only will The Game defend his title in the Rumble, he will do it as the number one entrant.

It looked as if The Game was going to respond in the same manner as last week despite Bischoff being surrounded by security officials. One man who wasn't about to take the risk was Bischoff's long time associate, The Big Show. The World's Largest Athlete made his way down to the ring and dared the WWE Champion to pick a fight with him instead. Bischoff certainly liked the idea and made The Big Show versus Triple H the main event. He even took up a seat at ringside to watch, and he frustrated Triple H even more when he stopped him using the sledgehammer on Show, an action that led to Show defeating the WWE Champion.


However the fun & games didn't end there as Chris Jericho, returning to Raw from Smackdown took everyone by surprise, especially Big Show. The giant was barely back on his feet when Jericho chop blocked him down to the mat before calling him up into a Code-breaker. Having declared his intent earlier in the night to win the WWE title at the Rumble, Jericho certainly left an impression on the champion, Show & Bischoff as the show came to a close.


He wasn't the only one though to make a play for the title that'll be on the line in the Rumble match. The Intercontinental Champion, Sheamus overcame Finlay to retain his title before going onto state his intentions to leave the Royal Rumble with two titles to his name. He wasn't done talking though when The Undertaker settled the score from the week before, calmly making his way to the ring to leave The Celtic Warrior flat on his back, and after winning the Rumble two years ago, The Undertaker will be one of the favourites this time around too. We can confirm as of this morning that Eric Bischoff has named Big Show, Jericho, The Undertaker & Sheamus as entrants in the Rumble.


We were also made aware by Shawn Michaels last Friday night on Smackdown that he too will be in the 30 man over the top rope battle royal, and we are also led to believe that Christian & Edge will also be part of the match. We haven't however had official confirmation as yet but we expect that an official announcement will be made either before or during this Friday's Smackdown, the first show of 2009. During Raw last night, Jericho announced that he will be heading back to Smackdown this week to take on The Heartbreak Kid after Michaels super kicked him in a 'cheap shot' last week. These two men are certainly contenders for the Rumble and they'll go head-to-head live this Friday night in a match you won't want to miss!

If you missed last night's Raw, click here to read the full details of the show!



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Old 08-13-2012, 04:12 PM   #1602 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: A Strong Response




>The 2009 Royal Rumble<



>Confirmed Matches<




For the first time in history, the WWE Championship will be defended in the Royal Rumble match. That responsibility falls in the hands of Triple H who will have to fight off 29 other men in order to retain his title, but whoever it is who emerges victorious and walks out with the WWE title will go onto the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania at Wembley Stadium in London, England to defend the title. For only the second time ever we will see 30 men battle it out for the WWE title in the Royal Rumble match. Can The Game overcome the massive odds and retain his title, but if not, just who will leave the Rumble as the WWE Champion?




There was a huge amount of intensity, bitterness & anger going into the first match between these two at Night of Champions but it's going to be off the scale when John Cena & CM Punk meet at the Royal Rumble in their rematch for the now vacant World Heavyweight Championship. Add in Stephanie McMahon's controversial role in Punk losing the title and Cena subsequently forfeiting the title due to the part she played, you've now got two men even hungrier to ensure victory where the undisputed World Champion will be crowned. With No Holds Barred and a winner guaranteed it's going to be one explosive match to say the very least.




Until the last few weeks, Matt Sydal has been on a non-stop roll that's gone on for almost eight months since winning the King of the Ring last May. He went onto win the United States title at SummerSlam and only last month was voted the Breakthrough Star of 2008. He has however run into another superstar who is looking to make a breakthrough of his own in Dolph Ziggler, and he too has put together a streak of victories, including back-to-back non-title victories over Sydal in consecutive weeks, and he'll be looking to make it three at the Royal Rumble to become the new United States Champion. Sydal's always risen to the challenge when needed and he'll have to again at the Rumble if he wants to keep his title against the determined Ziggler.




We've seen three teams hold Smackdown's tag team titles in four weeks, and two of them will meet at the Royal Rumble when The Empire take advantage of their rematch clause, looking to gain retribution against the resurgent duo of Paul London & Brian Kendrick. Their reunion has left everyone on Smackdown stunned, especially The Empire. Wade Barrett & Drew McIntyre have reason to feel hard done by at losing the titles thanks to a distraction from the team they beat at Night of Champions, Paul Burchill & TJ Wilson, who also felt hard done by at the time, and still do. Regardless of that it's down to the new champions & The Empire to battle it out with everyone else on the roster barred from ringside.




These two brothers had enough to fight for before they found out the winner would be going onto the Royal Rumble match for a shot at the WWE Championship, but it will be the sibling rivalry that takes precedence when Kofi Kingston locks horns with the brother he's come face-to-face with years after walking out on his family to fulfil his dream of being a WWE superstar. Kofi really could live the dream by advancing to the Rumble match and winning the WWE title, only he has to go through his brother to do it. Will he be able to beat the brother who doesn't wish share to the same surname as him or will it be Jay Lethal who gets some long overdue revenge at his brother's expense?

*All confirmed matches will be updated here, the official Royal Rumble page.




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Old 08-14-2012, 01:39 PM   #1603 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: A Strong Response

I love the fact that HHH gotta defend his belt in the royal rumble match. I am enjoying the Cena/Punk feud. The road to WM 25 looks great.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:38 PM   #1604 (permalink)
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I'm looking forward to the rumble. It all depends on his heart, skill and the number.
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #1605 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: A Strong Response


Friday Night Smackdown
Friday 2nd January 2009 - Preview!
From the San Diego Sports Arena
San Diego, California




We ended 2008 with a bang with John Cena forfeiting the World Heavyweight Championship, meaning we go into 2009 without a world champion. Cena's predecessor, CM Punk certainly was happy to see the back of 2008, vowing to quit the company last week and put Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley 'to sleep' if she crosses him again. He'll be hoping that 2009, and specifically the Royal Rumble in just over two weeks makes up for the controversial end to the year at Night of Champions. He & Cena were told by Tazz last Friday night that they will meet again at the Rumble in a No Holds Barred match to determine who will become the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion. Stephanie wasn't too pleased with the decision but she was the only one, and she stuck her nose in Punk's business again by counting another quick fall against The Straight-Edge Superstar last week, gifting Bryan Danielson a huge victory. She can consider herself fortunate that Cena came to save the day, but with Punk's threats firmly in our thoughts, will they be in Stephanie's this week? It seems that Punk is almost at breaking point and Stephanie will be best to avoid Punk, but will she do just that or will she continue pushing his buttons?

Christian made his shock return to Smackdown two weeks ago and last week he called out his brother, Edge, challenging him to a match, and after being goaded into accepting, Edge attacked Christian before he could enter the ring. Captain Charisma fought back and their failed match ended with Christian sending his brother through the announce table after a Killswitch. Christian let everyone know he was back to win the Royal Rumble and get revenge on his brother, and it looks like he's well on the way, just what will Edge have to say about it?

Two other men who have also declared their intent to win the Rumble and leave as the new WWE Champion will go at it this week after Chris Jericho challenged Shawn Michaels to a match following last week's show when Michaels caught him with what the Canadian described as a 'cheap shot'. Jericho also announced he was leaving Smackdown to rejoin Raw, and the self proclaimed Best in the World made an impression on his first night back by attacking The Big Show after The World's Largest Athlete defeated the WWE Champion, Triple H. It appears that Jericho's returned on a mission but he'll have a big challenge on his hands when he meets The Showstopper this week in San Diego in what should be a great match as they prepare to go all out in preparation for the biggest Royal Rumble match in history.

Also in action will be the man who in the last two weeks has defeated the United States Champion, Matt Sydal. Dolph Ziggler's on a role right now and he's set his sights on meeting the 2008 King of the Ring for a third time, only this time with Sydal's title on the line, and this week he'll meet Sydal's friend and a formal rival of his own in the shape of Elijah Burke. Can Ziggler keep his winning streak going by overcoming Burke? He failed to do so when they met at No Mercy several months ago so he has a challenge on his hands this Friday night.

Another man making impression on Smackdown right now is Bryan Danielson, and having defeated CM Punk last week thanks to Stephanie, he'll be looking to pick up another win when he takes on 'The Gold Standard' Shelton Benjamin in what also promises to be a terrific match.

The new WWE Tag Team Champions, The Empire came crashing down to earth with a big bang last week when they met the rejuvenated team of Paul London & Brian Kendrick in what was fortunately for the champions, a non-title match. The men they cheated out of the titles at Night of Champions five days earlier came looking for revenge when it looked like the champions were about to cheat their way to another victory. Paul Burchill & TJ Wilson, along with Harry Smith & Natalya Neidhart made sure that didn't happen, and the distraction of the action on the outside gave London & Kendrick the chance to pick up the upset and their biggest victory since their reunion. We hear that The Empire plan to make an address in San Diego this week. What do they plan to say? Tune in to find out!

Beth Phoenix has been nothing short of unstoppable since becoming the first ever Diva's Champion, but last week she discovered she may have met her match in the shape of O.D.B. The Glamazon & Maria were victorious in tag team action against O.D.B. & Michelle McCool thanks to Beth hitting the Grand Slam on McCool, just as she did at Night of Champions to retain her title. It didn't go down well however with McCool's partner, and O.D.B. returned to the ring to attack Maria until The Glamazon came to her aid, much to the anger of O.D.B. She'll have a chance to take that anger out on another diva she's had problems with since coming to Smackdown in Mickie James. It'll be a tough match for both divas and one neither will take for granted after their previous meetings.

2008 ended in exciting fashion and 2009 threatens to continue in the same manner. Make sure you're watching the first show of the new calendar year as we draw even closer to this year's history making Royal Rumble.


>Confirmed for the First Smackdown of 2009!<

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho

Christian
vs. Jack Swagger

Elijah Burke
vs. Dolph Ziggler

Bryan Danielson
vs. Shelton Benjamin

Mickie James
vs. O.D.B.


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Old 08-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #1606 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: A Strong Response


Friday Night Smackdown
Friday 2nd January 2009 (Recorded – Tuesday 30th December 2008)
From the San Diego Sports Arena
San Diego, California





*Opening Video*
"Let It Roll"

_____________________________________________

*Video Recap*
From Last Week!

A seething CM Punk walks out to the stage where a christmas tree is set up at the side to a largely negative reaction with Punk stopping & staring angrily into the crowd. Dressed in his street clothes he heads down the ramp, giving the fans dirty looks in the process, and as he enters the ring he walks right over to the apron and demands a microphone. He gets one and turns round, walking into the centre of the ring, looking furiously into the fans as his music grinds to a halt.

CM Punk:
I’m not here t’night t’ beat around the bush, I’m just gonna get right t’ the point. . . Stephanie McMahon Helmsley. . . F’ a while now she’s had a problem with how I act around here, how I say things that might not reflect the image this company tries t’ p’tray. Quite frankly I don’t give a rat’s ass what she or anyone else in her family or the board of directors think about my actions. The fact is I speak my mind and if anyone has a problem with that, that’s their deal not mine. Now you can imagine how what I’m about t’ say might just cause some concern for Stephanie an' the image she so cares about given what happened at Night of Champions.

Punk stops and scratches his chin, trying to keep his cool.

CM Punk:
I said since the moment John Cena came t’ Smackdown that I could see what Tazz an’ the powers that be had in mind. They basically handed him the shot at my world title on a plate. They didn’t anticipate the resistance they got though when I led a team t’ victory over Cena’s at Survivor Series yet he still wound up with a shot at the world title despite that. Gran'ed he earned it but the fact is the plan was there all along f’ John t’ walk into Night of Champions as the number one contender, then walk out as the new World Heavyweight Champion. Then low an’ behold we find ourselves with a new World Champion, only the way it came about. . . well it’s what I should’ve expected. When it comes t’ this business, an’ even though they like t’ think diff’rently, the McMahon family an’ Stephanie especially, don’t have a clue.

“I’m all grown up now. . .”

To a largely positive reception, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley walks out into the arena, not showing any signs of being intimidated by the furious Punk as she walks down to the ring, carrying a microphone with her while Punk watches her every step of the way.

CM Punk:
Well look who we have here. Y’know I’m surprised you had the guts t. . .

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley: If I were you Punk I’d take a look in the mirror and at what you did Sunday night. Not only did you knock out one referee, you put your hands on the general manager, an’ then you put your hands on me, the executive vice-president of this company. You should consider y’self lucky you haven’t been fired, but trust me, I’ll have no problem doing just that if you force my hand. You might think you’re untouchable Punk but trust me you’re not.

CM Punk: The fact is you screwed me out of the title like you've screwed most of the guys in the back. You made that quick count regardless of what happened t’ Tazz an’ the referee. You also slapped me remember. You’re the one in the wrong Steph. You’re the reason the poster boy of the company has my title, an’ conveniently the other world champion on Raw just happens t’ be your husband. Is that a co-incidence or is it just me? All I know is you’re throwing your weight around an’ I’m not going t’ stand for it. You can stand there acting like you’ve done the right thing for the company like your dad did all those years ago, which f’ the record I agree with by the way, but this, this is diff’rent. I’m not walking out of the company t’ join the enemy with your title. You did what you did for a reason, a reason that’s totally b-s an’ you’re not gonna get away with it. Whether you like it or not I’ve got a rematch clause in my contract an’ I will get my title back, an’ if you get in the way again, I’ll make sure this time I do put you t’ sleep.

*Heat, some cheers*

“My Time is Now”

The crowd erupts as John Cena hits the stage. The new World Champion doesn’t look too happy at all despite his victory Sunday night and is barely holding onto his title as he carries it down to the ring with a microphone too, looking almost guilty as Punk stares at him every step of the way into the ring.

John Cena:
Punk, you’ve more than had your say dog. It’s my turn an’ I think you’ll wanna hear what I’ve gotta say.

All three of them look nervously at each other.

John Cena:
I’ve heard all y’have t’ say Punk, not just t’night an’ the point I keep comin’ back to is this. This whole time you’ve said you wan’ed me to earn my shot at the world title. A couple o’weeks ago I did just that, but Sunday night I didn’t earn this (holding up the world title). (Drops the title down again) I came here f’ a new challenge, that challenge being t’ win the world title f’ the first time, an’ as much as I wan’ed t’ get my hands on this, this ain’t the way I wan’ed it.

There’s some more uneasy looks between them.

John Cena:
I bust my ass winning that tournament t’ get that shot, an’ Steph, Punk’s right, you stuck y’nose where it didn’t belong. Whatever you think of Punk, he’s right about somethin’ else too, to us this ain’t about company image, it’s about bein’ the best in this ring, night after night week after week. T’ cut a long story short, (holds the title out) I don’t deserve this. As Punk’s pointed out time after time, you’ve gotta earn the right t’ be called the best an’ I didn’t earn it. Even though I stand here World Champion, I don’t wan’ it this way. It pains me t’ do this, but Steph, I don’t deserve this. As of this moment I’ve gotta forfeit the title.

*Heat*

Cena steps forward and goes to hand it over to Steph.

CM Punk:
Wow, I never thought I’d say this John but congratulations. Congratulations on the doing the right thing.

Stephanie flat out refuses to take the title.

?:
. . . Just wait a minute.

Tazz, the General Manager of Smackdown is out on the stage and stomps his way down to the ring with all eyes on him.

Tazz:
Look, you don’t need me t’ tell y’what a mess this all is. Whatever happened Sunday we’ve gotta sort this out right now, an’ the way I see it there’s only one way we can do it. . . John, you wanna forfeit the title? I get what you’re sayin’ an I respect your decision.

Tazz walks towards Cena and takes his title with Steph looking on, still not at all happy.

Tazz:
Let me deal with this. Sunday night was a mess an’ we’ve gotta move on. We need t’ make sure we get a worthy champion, an’ we will in just over three weeks at the Royal Rumble. There ain’t gonna be crap like the other night, we’re gonna make sure there’s a winner. It’s gonna be you two goin’ at it, one fall to a finish in a No Holds Barred match.

*Big Pop*

“13”
plays and all four of them look at each other with plenty of tension inside the ring.

***

Bryan Danielson vs. CM Punk

Danielson turns back into the ropes and comes back for a SIT-DOWN DROPKICK!!. . . . . But Punk ducks it and both men get up as quickly as they can and Punk dodges another stiff kick to take Danielson's head off with a ROUNDHOUSE KICK!!!. . . . . He doesn't as Danielson ducks and Punk knocks the ref out instead. Both men look down in shock, but as they look back up Punk lifts Danielson up off his feet and up for the GTS!!!. . . . . Danielson slips down straight away and grabs Punk's arm, dragging him down to lock in the LE-BELL LOCK!!!. . . . .

Again Punk screams out in pain with the fans cheering, but there's no ref anyway if Punk does tap. He doesn't as Danielson puts him through hell, but again Punk tries to fight it and drag himself to the ropes, not that it's easy. He drags himself closer & closer, and again he gets there, but Danielson doesn't have to let go and he doesn't. Eventually he does though and tries to drag Punk back up, but he gets a rake to the eyes for his troubles.

Danielson drops to one knee holding his face as Punk takes the chance to get his breath back, then steps out as Danielson stands up and lifts him up off the mat and onto his shoulders for the GTS, AND THIS TIME HE HITS IT!!!. . . . . Danielson's out and Punk goes for the cover, then Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley makes her way down the ramp to a pop with some boos mixed in. She takes her time as Punk sits up watching, shaking his head, and as she enters the ring he shouts at her to make the count as he once again covers Danielson. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

Stephanie delays the count and Danielson gets his shoulder up to the delight of the crowd. Punk though is furious and stares up at Stephanie as she stands back up, telling Punk to do the same, but as he does he walks towards her as Danielson comes round. Punk gets right in Stephanie's face like Sunday and lets her have it, but she gives as good as she gets, and Punk looks all set to snap but just about manages to hold back. He turns back and walks slowly back towards Danielson, but as he reaches down, Danielson reaches up and pulls Punk into a SMALL PACKAGE WITH STEPHANIE RUSHING TO MAKE THE COUNT. . . . .

1. .

2. .

. . 3!

Danielson got him in and it was a fairly quick count from Stephanie, and Punk knows it. It wasn't on the level of Sunday and Punk's furious as he sits up, and even Danielson doesn't look best pleased as he stands up with Steph raising his arm. Danielson looks awkward and leaves the ring half apologising to Punk who just stares at the smug Stephanie. Punk shakes his head at her and stands up, walks over to the ropes and demands a microphone. He gets one and stays by the ropes looking at Steph.

CM Punk: I very rarely make threats Steph but I suggest you listen to what I’m about t’ say ‘cause I’m only going t’ say it once. . . You might well be a McMahon but quite frankly I don’t care who your dad is. You’re the only reason I’m not the World Champion anymore an’ this is the very last time you’ll screw me over. I know that because of what I’m about t’ do.

Punk walks slowly & menacingly towards Stephanie who starts to sense she might be in serious danger.

CM Punk:
You’ve screwed around with the wrong guy this time an’ I’ve gotta say I’m not even sorry f’ what’s about t’ happen.

Punk grabs Steph by his left arm and gets right in her face, but a big pop breaks out with some boos too as John Cena races down the ramp and slides in the ring. He gets right in the middle of them, pissing Punk off no end. Punk shakes his head and turns to the side, then nails Cena in the head with the microphone to another loud mixed reaction, largely negative as Cena rolls around on the mat with Steph watching nervously as she tries to escape. Punk drops the microphone and goes after her, grabbing her arm again and pulling her back into the middle of the ring.

The fans boo as she looks really scared with Punk staring at her with evil intent, but Cena crawls across on his hands & knees and grabs Punk’s left leg. Punk turns round and Cena sits up, getting a thunderous roundhouse kick to the face for his troubles as Stephanie pulls away and runs to safety, this time managing to leave the ring a very relieved woman. Punk though isn’t relieved at all as he sees her breathing heavily as she backs up the ramp, and Punk goes back to get the microphone, staring right up at her.

CM Punk:
Count y’self lucky t’night Steph because I promise you, next time you might not be so lucky. Just remember what I said. If you stay out of my way you’ll be fine, but if you so much as try t’ stop me getting the world title back, you’ll be sorry. I don’t care if it costs me my job, it’s a risk I’m prepared t’ take, ‘cause right now if it wasn’t f’ the world title I’d be out of this company like a shot.

“This Fire Burns” hits and Punk continues staring at a fuming Stephanie and then turns round looking at Cena who starts to stir as Smackdown comes to a close with Punk turning back towards Stephanie, making sure she knows he means business.

_____________________________________________


Michael Cole: Happy New Year ev’ryone and welcome to the first episode of Friday Night Smackdown of 2009. 2008 ended with a bang, not just here but on Raw too with the bombshell announcement that at the Royal Rumble, for the first time in history, the WWE Championship will be defended in the Royal Rumble match. Both Raw and Smackdown superstars will be eligible for the match t' fight for Triple H's WWE title, and we found out on Raw Monday night that not only will The Game defend the title in the Rumble but as the number one entrant. The odds are stacked against Triple H and you have t' go with the odds that we'll see a new WWE Champion at the Rumble, but after what happened right here last week we know we will definitely crown a new World Heavyweight Champion in just over two weeks. At Night of Champions John Cena defeated CM Punk thanks to a quick count by the WWE's Executive Vice-President, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley to win his first world title. It turned out that Cena was about as happy as Punk with how their match ended and he forfeited the title. Stephanie might not've been happy about it but Tazz accepted the decision and quickly made a rematch for the Royal Rumble between Cena an' Punk in what will be a No Holds Barred match where there will be a winner who will become the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.

"This Fire Burns"

A chorus of boos with some cheers mixed in greets the former World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk as he strolls out to the stage in jeans a T-shirt, also wearing a big scowl on his face as he stops and looks into the crowd. He heads off down the ramp, still one unhappy camper and he picks a microphone up off the steps as he enters the ring. He steps inside and again looks into the crowd, not getting much love from them as his music is cut by the guys in the production truck.

CM Punk:
Y'know I was asked the other day what one thing I wan'ed in 2009 an' I couldn't answer that. There's so many things I want that it's almost impossible to narrow it down. The first thing I want is my world title back at the Royal Rumble in two weeks. . .

*Ton of Heat*

CM Punk: It's gonna happen, mark my words, but right now it' not about that. There are bigger things t' deal with before the Rumble, namely being our Executive Vice-President, Stephanie McMahon Helmsley.

*Mixed* (Mostly Cheers)

CM Punk: See the next part of the answer to that question was that I want her gone from Smackdown. I don't want her throwing her weight around anymore like the spoiled little daddy's girl that she is, costing me the World Championship in the process. After what she did last week she's now way out of her depth. She complains about me compromising the image of this company but she's the one who's going t' run this show into the ground, an' that's before the dreaded day she gets her hands on the whole company. The thought of her running this company, as bad as a job as she an' her family are doing right now is scary t' say the least, which is why f' one last time I'm gonna try an' make her see sense.

Punk scratches his chin, taking a little pause.

CM Punk:
Now I'm sure a lot of you thought last week that I was about to put her t' sleep, an' if I'm bein' honest I was in two minds about it. Obviously I was angry after she once again got involved in my match an' screwed me over, but t' tell the truth I was only trying t' scare her into realising that she shouldn't be here, she shouldn't get in this ring an' especially that she doesn't mess with CM Punk.

*Heat*

CM Punk: Luckily for her she managed t' get away thanks t' you know who but I hope that my words, however strong they may have been have hit home. Even Stephanie if she sits back must see what a total mess she's caused all by herself, but saying that she's not totally responsible. Not that you'd know it but we actually have a general manager t' run the show, only it seems that he's only too happy t' let Stephanie do whatever the hell she pleases.

Punk turns and looks up at the stage.

CM Punk:
Tazz I know you're back there somewhere, probably looking for the balls you supposedly used t' have but you have t' listen to what I have t' say. This isn't about CM Punk, this is about Smackdown. You were hired because you were seen as being this no nonsense boss who wouldn't let things get out of hand. Well I'm sorry t' break it t' you boss but right now you've gotta step up an' do your job. You've gotta do what you should've done a long time ago an' tell Stephanie t' stay away from where she doesn't belong before I actually put her t' sleep on your watch, an' that won't be good news for either of us.

*More Heat*

CM Punk: I realise it's. . .

"13"

The General Manager, Tazz walks out to the stage with a microphone, stopping & staring down at Punk with the fans cheering, most of them with some booing though as he heads off down the ramp and into the ring. Again he stares at Punk, not looking too impressed as his music stops.

Tazz:
What you want me t' say Punk? You want me t' tell Stephanie t' go home? Do you realise this is her company? She can do what she wants. I might be the General Manager but she's still my boss. I answer t' her, not the other way round. I can't tell her she can't walk out here, not unless I wanna risk losing my pay cheque, an' I'm not gonna do that f' you Punk, even if I had the power.

CM Punk: I think we know what the problem is. It's not that you don't have the power. It's that you don't have the guts t' stand up to the McMahons.

*Mixed*

CM Punk: She might be your boss but she's mine too. Has it stopped me telling her what I think of her an' how she's making a mockery of this show, of this company? I'm the one standing up to her. That's what you should be doing. You've got ev'ry right t' tell it like it is. That's why you were hired in the first place, but look at you know. You're a joke. You're a mockery of what you used t' stand for. Now you're just another a corporate sell out just happy t' collect your pay cheque ev'ry month. You don't even care that Stephanie's made you completely worthless. She's doing your job for you f' crying out loud. Man up. Where's the fire we saw from the ECW Tazz huh? Where's that passion, where's the guy who stood up to authority an' spoke his mind? The only question right now that really needs an answer is when was the last time you looked down an' saw a pair of balls between y'legs?

The crowd are stunned, gasping in amazement as Punk gets Tazz hot, and the GM takes off his jacket and slowly loosens his tie.

CM Punk:
Whoa, am I getting a reaction from you? Is there actually some fire inside that huge belly of yours? Am I making you angry boss. Good, because that's exactly how I feel with Stephanie walking around here sticking her nose in my business. Now before it's too late do what deep down you know you have to, tell her t' get the hell off this SHOW.

Punk & Tazz stare right at each other, Tazz absolutely seething, looking like he wants to choke Punk out.

"I'm all grown up now. . ."

A big pop with some boos as well breaks out as Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley walks out to the stage, looking down at the ring with Punk watching her as she makes her way down to join them, not at all happy as she walks past Punk & Tazz to collect a microphone. Her music stops and she walks into the centre of the ring, staring right at Punk who stares right back.

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley:
First off I'd like to point out I no longer go by the name Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Once again it's Stephanie McMahon.

*Pop*

Stephanie McMahon: Now I think it's obvious I didn't come out here to talk about my divorce. I came out here to talk about you Punk, about what you did last week, what you've been doing for a while now and what you've said t'night. The first thing I'd like to point out is that I'm perfectly happy with the job Tazz is doing as general manager. Also, when he says I can do what I want with it being my company an' all, he's right. I can do whatever I whenever I want.

*More Cheers*

Stephanie McMahon: You on the other hand can't. If you have a problem with that you can do what you threatened last week and walk away. My job is t' do what's best for this company, and having someone like you openly disrespect this company the way you have been, it doesn't fit the image we. . .

CM Punk: . . . Oh enough already. Are you gonna keep running with this whole image crap? What you mean is you don't want someone telling the truth an' speaking their mind, but the truth hurts right? You can keep talking about how I don't fit the (air quote) image you want t' p'tray but in reality I'm the perfect image. I'm the perfect role model. I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I don't smoke. I'm straight edge an' I'm always straight up unlike most people around here. Not only that I came from wrestling in front of ten people t' becoming the World Heavyweight Champion, a title I held f' seven months until you took it away from me.

*Mixed*

CM Punk: I climbed t' the top of this company by working my ass off. I didn't get a helping hand like some people have, an' I certainly didn't have a world title handed to me on a plate. That's what makes you uncomfortable Stephanie, that I'm not one of your hand picked (air quote) superstars. I got where I am by being me, bein' honest and being the best damn wrestler, not superstar in this whole company.

*Loud Mixed Reaction*

CM Punk: Gran'ed most of these people are idiots an' see through the crap you want them t' swallow but not ev'ryone does. If you were even half the business woman you think you are you'd listen t' me because I actually care about this business. I always have an' I always will. I'm not saying this t' piss you off. I'm not saying it because you screwed me out of the world title. I'm saying it because I care about what happens t' this business right now, next week, next year an' the next 10 t' 20 years. With you running it like you are you'll kill this business.

*More Heat*

CM Punk: I don't want that an' I know how stubborn you are. You're a McMahon. You think you know best when actually you don't. Even John Cena said that last week when he did the right thing an' gave up the world title that should still be mine, an' whether you like it or not Steph, at the Rumble it will be mine aga. . .

"My Time is Now"

A thunderous pop with some boos mixed in hits the arena as John Cena hits the stage. He's not in his usual mood either as he salutes the crowd before heading down the ramp, joining everyone in the ring, looking right at Punk before walking past him to get a microphone.

John Cena:
Alright cut the music.

The music stops and everyone looks around at each other.

John Cena:
I can't believe I'm sayin' this f' the second week in a row, an' even though you did speak a whole lot o'crap just now Punk, you're right. You're right about one thing, an' Steph, he's right about you.

Cena turns to Stephanie who looks confused.

John Cena:
I love this company more than anything an' I know it's in safe hands long term, but right now Steph, Punk's right. You need t' stay out of this. This isn't about image, free speech or anything like that. It's about one thing an' one thing only, being the World Heavyweight Champion.

*Big Pop*

John Cena: When Punk said he came from nowhere t' climb t' the top of the ladder by workin' his ass off, that's what it's all about. That's why we're here, an' even though ev'ryone knows my feelings as far as he's concerned, but what you did at Night of Champions was wrong. Last week when you did it again, that was wrong too. This whole thing's gotten way out of control an' it's gotta stop, an' this might sound crazy but I'm gonna make a stand t'night. Clearly you're not gonna listen t' Punk so hear this. I wanna be World Champion but not in the way it happened at Night of Champions or how you screwed 'im again last week. I wanna win it fair an' square. I don't want any favours. This is all about one thing, competition. Right now Steph you've made it about ev'rything but, an' if you screw Punk again at the Rumble, or me f' that matter, I'll be out of the door in a heartbeat an' I won't come back.

A huge amount of cheers & boos break out as everyone in the arena looks stunned except Punk who's got a big smile on his face.

CM Punk:
John I applaud you f' that. Maybe now Steph you can see that what I've been saying isn't just sour grapes. You're the reason there's no World Champion. You're the reason your poster boy threw the title you handed him on a plate right back in your face last week. Now he's even threatening t' walk out on you because of the actions you think are best for the company. The best thing you can do right now Steph is turn round leave the ring, walk back up that ramp, go home an' look after your baby girls, 'cause lt's face it, they've not got a daddy anymore. . .

John Cena: . . . Hey, that was uncalled for dog, just like that sucker punch you got in on me last week.

CM Punk: Alright, maybe I crossed the line that time but there's no way in hell I'm gonna apologise to her after what she's done t' me lately. As f' you John, well you can f'get about getting an apology until I get my world title back at the Royal Rumble, which I will by the way.

John Cena: Yeah? Well I guess we'll find out in two weeks, or maybe just maybe we can find out right now. . .

Cena shocks everyone by tackling Punk down to the mat to a big pop. There's some boos too as he hammers Punk with right hands, but Tazz doesn't like what he sees and pulls Cena up, trying to reason with him as Punk sits back up. Cena ignores his boss with Steph watching too, and he goes after Punk with Tazz following as Punk jumps back up and goes to take Cena's head off with a roundhouse kick, but he ducks it and Tazz walks right into it. The GM falls to the deck to the shock of the crowd, Cena, Punk & Stephanie. Cena & Steph look down concerned and check on him as Punk turns his back on them and leaves the ring, not looking at all interested as he heads back up the ramp. He doesn't look back with Cena & Stephanie looking up disapprovingly at him, but he doesn't see as he walks through the curtain.

Michael Cole:
Well we expected a chaotic show t'night Matt and it looks like we were right.

Matt Striker: Absolutely. We have two men in John Cena an' CM Punk who both desperately want t' be World Champion in the middle of an explosive situation with Stephanie McMahon as well as our General Manager Tazz who looks to be in bad shape right now.

Michael Cole: I'm sure Tazz will receive some medical attention but folks there's a lot more to come t'night. A man who had an incredible 2008, the United States Champion an' 2008 King of the Ring Matt Sydal ended it on an unusual note, losing two weeks in a row to Dolph Ziggler. They had quite the match last week and Ziggler said after that win that he's looking to beat the Breakout Superstar of Year for a third time to become the new United States Champion.

Matt Striker: I have t' say Michael that I was very very impressed with Ziggler last week. He matched up to Sydal ev'ry step of the way, proving that he may well be in with a chance of having a breakout year of his own in 2009.

Michael Cole: He's sure got the confidence, there's no doubt about that, and he'll be in action against a good friend of Sydal's tonight in Elijah Burke. In fact last week Sydal agreed to be Burke's best man for his upcoming wedding to Layla.

Matt Striker: Well we know about the history between Ziggler, Elijah Burke and Layla. It wasn't too long ago at No Mercy that Burke beat Ziggler to ensure that Layla didn't have to go on a date with Ziggler. Since then it has t' be said that Ziggler's focus has changed for the better.

Michael Cole: It sure has, but Matt there are a lot of superstars here on Smackdown whose focus has been on the events from Raw the last two weeks. The Royal Rumble is on ev'ryone's minds as you would expect, and t'night folks we have quite the main event when Shawn Michaels goes one on one with Chris Jericho, who as of last week is now a Raw superstar.

Matt Striker: I think it's safe t' say that Jericho caught us all by surprise last Friday night when he returned to drop that bombshell, and he caused quite a stir on Raw Monday night.

Michael Cole: He sure did, but someone else who returned last week was Christian, and he too made quite the statement, putting Edge through the table in front of us in what was supposed to be a revenge match for Christian. The match didn't get started Matt but I'm sure he got some retribution for what happened at Survivor Series when Edge put him on the shelf.

Matt Striker: Oh absolutely. There's no love lost between these two Michael. They may be brothers but Christian's hell bent on stepping out of his brother's shadow, and last week he proved it yet again.


Dressed for action, a focused Dolph Ziggler is shown making his way through the backstage area.

Michael Cole:
There's the man we were just talking about who's upset Matt Sydal the last couple of weeks and he'll be looking to keep his winning streak going when we come back on this first Smackdown of 2009.

*Commercial Break*

*Video Promo*




CM Punk is shown walking back from the ring, not all that happy as Josh Matthews approaches him.

Josh Matthews:
Punk can I get a quick word with you?

Punk stops & stares right at Josh.

CM Punk:
You wanna a word about what, what I just did t' Tazz? Quite frankly I couldn't care less. I meant t' kick Cena's head off but what does it matter? It's not like it makes any diff'rence around here. We all know who calls the shots an' it's not Tazz, an' until someone does stop Stephanie an' she sees what I'm saying an' even what Cena's saying, I'm not coming back until the Royal Rumble when I get my world title back. An' when that happens Josh, things are finally gonna change.

Josh Matthews: What do you mean by that?

Punk smirks and brushes past a confused Josh, seemingly walking out until the Rumble in two weeks.

_____________________________________________

*Video Recap*
From Last Week!

Non-Title Match
Matt Sydal w/Elijah Burke vs. Dolph Ziggler

Sydal sits up holding his head in his hands but looks up to the top rope and flies back into action, dragging the lifeless carcass of Ziggler towards the corner before heading all the way to the summit with the fans cheering. Burke gets behind him again as Sydal looks into the stands for a brief second with the fans going nuts. He leaps up into the air and comes down on Dolph for the SHOOTING STAR PRESS!!!. . . . . But no, Ziggler rolls into the corner and Sydal crash lands on the canvas to the shock of Burke and the fans.

Burke can't believe it, and along with the fans he watches as both men sit up having been put through it and showing the effects of the match. Ziggler looks the worst of the two as he uses the ropes to help him up, and with Sydal getting up too, they turn to face each other. Ziggler's pissed and charges at Sydal, but the United States Champion leans back for a SUPER KICK!!!. . . . . No, Ziggler ducks it and reacts in a flash, jumping up off the mat to HIT THE ZIG ZAG!!!. . . . . He got it this time and Sydal's down. Dolph wastes no time in going for the cover, game face on as he hooks both legs for the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

Ziggler wins, pinning Sydal for the second straight week! He leans back on his knees, nodding his head before standing up to get his arm raised by the referee with "I Am Perfection" playing. Burke slides in the ring to check on Sydal as Ziggler looks down at Sydal squirming with a smug smirk on his face.


_____________________________________________


*Match #1*
Elijah Burke w/Layla vs. Dolph Ziggler

The over-confident Ziggler got a quick reminder of what he was up against from his old rival, and Burke clearly hasn't forgotten about the problems he's had in the past. Ziggler's slow start though pissed him off, and he came back fighting. It's been a fairly even contest as Ziggler's in the ascendency, watching Burke struggling to sit up, and he sets off across the mat, going for a LEG DROP BULLDOG!!. . . . .

Burke dodges it though and Dolph hits the mat to a pop from the fans. Both men pick themselves back up and Burke blocks a right hand, now unloads with rights on his own and sends him Ziggler into the ropes. Dolph comes running back into a LIFTING SPINNING SIT-DOWN SPINE-BUSTER!!!. . . . . Dolph's down & out and the referee counts his shoulders with the fans counting too. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No! Ziggler gets his shoulder up to the shock of some of the fans in the crowd. Burke gets on with it though and pulls Dolph up with him as he stands back up, firing him into the corner with force. Ziggler's crashes into the turnbuckle pads chest first and with the crowd cheering, Burke pulls down his knee pads, getting ready for the ELIJAH EXPRESS!!!. . . . .

It's getting a bit noisy in the arena to say the least as Burke storms across the mat at speed with Ziggler slumped against the pads. Burke jumps up at him with his knees but Ziggler escapes out of the corner and Burke's knees hit the pads instead as Ziggler drops to his knees by the ropes. They both claw their way back up, Burke struggling with an angry Ziggler watching him. Dolph's eyes are locked on him and he slips behind him to roll him up. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

No, kick out from Burke. Again they race back up and Burke ducks a wild clothesline to whip Ziggler into the corner again, wasting no time to run in at him for a STINGER SPLASH!!. . . . . Dolph steps out again and Burke crashes into the pads. Ziggler slips behind him and connects with the ZIG ZAG!!!. . . . . Layla looks very worried on the outside as Ziggler pulls Burke away from the ropes and hooks the leg for a cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

"I Am Perfection" hits to heat from the crowd as Ziggler stands up, stern faced as he gets his arm raised by the referee. Layla joins her fiancée in the ring as Ziggler, not looking all that satisfied with the win heads over to the apron and calls for a microphone, and he gets one. He turns round and his music stops as he looks over at Burke slowly sitting up with Layla kneeling over him.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler by pinfall.

Dolph Ziggler: HEY, once you get up off your ass, there's something I want you t' do. I want you t' walk back there an' tell that buddy of yours Sydal that I'm coming after that United States title of his, only it's not gonna be his f' much longer, when like you, I beat him too. . . again.

"I Am Perfection" plays again as Ziggler drops the microphone on the mat with a big smug grin on his face, gesturing to the camera the United States title will be around his waist very soon.

Michael Cole:
Yet again Matt we've seen another solid showing from Dolph Ziggler and he's let Matt Sydal know in no uncertain terms that he wants the United States Championship, and having beaten him twice in recent weeks who's t' say he won't get it?

Matt Striker: If he can maintain the level of performances he has as of late then there's no reason why he can't, and if I was Matt Sydal I'd be very concerned right now because Ziggler clearly means business.


We're taken backstage to the medic's room where Tazz is being attended to with Stephanie McMahon also there, showing some support.

Medic:
Ev'rything looks okay but I'd take it easy f' the next day or two.

Tazz: Okay doc, thanks.

Tazz sits up on the bed as the doctor takes off his latex gloves and leaves the room.

Stephanie McMahon:
I think it's best I take over for the night an' you go home take it easy.

Tazz swings his legs round on the table, about to step off the bed looking like he has something to say when John Cena walks in.

John Cena:
Hey boss you alright?

Tazz: Yeah fine.

John Cena: Well y'might not be when y'hear this.

Stephanie McMahon: Hear what exactly?

John Cena: Punk's walked out. He says he's not coming back 'til the Rumble.

Tazz: What??

Stephanie McMahon: Wait, that's fine. That'll make life easier around here for a while.

Tazz: If y'say so.

Stephanie McMahon: What's that supposed t' mean? Have you got a problem with me taking over t'night?

John Cena: Wait, what? Is that such a good idea Steph?

Stephanie McMahon: You heard what the doctor said, you need t' take it easy. You go rest up an' next week you'll be back in charge if that's okay with both of you?

John Cena: Look Steph, you know I've not got a problem with you, but you runnin' the show right now?

Stephanie McMahon: What do you want me t' do John? He's been told t' get some rest an 'we need someone t' run the show. What else am I supposed t' do? If you feel so strongly about it you can always join Punk. Now if you don't mind, I've got a show t' run.

Stephanie walks over to the door and leaves the room with Cena & Tazz looking at each other, not sure what to make of Steph's decision to take charge for the night.


A big pop breaks out in the arena as Christian is shown making his way through the backstage area in his ring gear.

Michael Cole:
Christian's return t' the ring last week didn't exactly go as he thought but he's set his sights on winning the Royal Rumble in two weeks. Will it be more straight forward this week when we come back in just a few minutes?

*Commercial Break*

_____________________________________________

*Video Recap*
From Last Week!

“GO. . . If you close your eyes. . .”

The crowd rise to their feet and go nuts for Christian as he strolls out to the stage, walking to the side and gazing into the crowd and nodding his head, looking very happy to be back. He sets off down the ramp, still getting a great reaction as he gets to the steps and enters the ring, picking a microphone up off the apron in the process. He walks into the ring and towards the corner, climbing up to the second rope, again gazing into the cheering crowd before stepping down and walking into the centre of the ring. His music cuts and it brings out the cheers even more as he smiles, clearly appreciating the reaction.

Christian:
Just in case anyone doesn’t see what’s going on here, Captain Charisma is back.

*Big Pop*

Christian: I’m good t’ go, I’m back an’ I’m back f’ one reason. If you caught the show last week you’ll know what or who that reason is. That being by gutless coward of a brother, Edge.

*Ton of Boos*

Christian: I’m not gonna beat around the bush, I’m gonna get right t’ the point. Thanks to Adam I was out of action almost two months an’ without knowing it at the time I missed out on the chance t’ fight f’ the shot at the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions. That’s why I came back here in the first place an’ thanks to the best brother in the world a guy could wish for I didn’t get the chance t’ do what I’ve dreamed of all my life, but y’know what peeps? It’s cool. I’ve had a lot o’time t’ think things through while I’ve been laid up at home an’ I’ve got it all worked out. We’re at the end of this year but there’s that special time of the year coming soon. . . that being the road t’ WrestleMania.

*More Cheers*

Christian: What I didn’t know last week was what we found out on Raw the other night about the WWE title bein’ on the line in the Royal Rumble. You can bet y’bottom dollar I’ve got my eyes on that an’ going t’ WrestleMania as a world champion, but right now there’s something I need t’ do, an’ I came t’ do it t’night.

“Metalingus”

A ton of heat greets Edge as he slowly walks out into the arena with a microphone in hand, staring angrily down at Christian in the ring, and Captain Charisma stares right back at him. The music stops as they carry on glaring at each other, both furious.

Christian:
I’ve gotta admit I’m surprised t’ see you bring your ass out here Adam but I’m glad so I can say this t’ your face. I’ve waited a long time t’ say it but here it goes bro, I want your ass in this ring t’night an’ I’m not taking no f’ an answer.

Edge: Well bro, I hate t’ disappoint you but you don’t always get what you want. You can think what you want C but this match of yours, it’s not gonna happen. It’s not gonna happen because I’m a coward but it’s not gonna happen ‘cause I don’t wanna do you any more damage. See I know how bad I hurt you at Survivor Series an’ I’m pretty sure you’re nowhere near a hundred percent. . .

Christian: . . . Don’t give me that crap. You couldn’t give a rat’s ass about how my back is. If you could take me out you’d do it like that, just like you did when you took me out the first time. Would it help if I turned my back for ya, would it?

Edge: Fine, you want it t’night? You got it but you're gonna regret it.

Christian looks shocked as his angry brother stares down at him before turning round and walking to the back. Captain Charisma turns to the crowd and smiles with “If You Close Your Eyes” playing again.

***

Christian vs. Edge

Edge waits in the ring, eyes fixed firmly on Christian as he too stares at his brother, walking down to ringside and up the steps. Captain Charisma turns and looks into the crowd that cheer the Canadian, but Edge catches him off guard by running across the mat and sends him off the apron, barging him off it and crashing into the security wall. Christian's music cuts and the fans boo Edge as the opportunistic superstar slides out of the ring and puts the boots to his brother, getting even more heat. The Rated-R Superstar relents and looks into the stands, not at all sorry for what he's doing, and he's not done.

He bends down and helps his brother up from his knees to send him crashing into the ring-post. Again the fans boo Edge but he again shows no remorse as he simply stares down sadistically at his brother who's not moving. Edge looks up and towards the announce table, walking towards it as the referee tries to stop him, but it's hopeless as Edge strips it as Christian starts to stir. The fans boo as Edge shoves the ref aside and goes back after his brother, pulling him from the floor and grabbing hold of his tights and tossing him into the base of the table to yet more loud boos from the crowd.

He menacingly walks across again as Christian lifts his head up off the floor, and as he does so he sees one of the monitors Edge tossed aside right next to him. Edge stops & looks at Cole & Striker who plead with him not to do anything crazy, but as he looks back down at Christian, he tries to pull him up, but he gets a shock as Christian stands up and DRIVES THE MONITOR INTO EDGE'S FACE!!!. . . . . The fans go nuts as Christian, full of rage glares down at his brother, breathing heavily and drops the monitor. Edge is down & out but Christian turns to the fans, feeding off the cheers as he drags his motionless brother up off the floor and shoves him onto the stripped announce table.

The fans are on their feet now and it's deafening as Christian joins his brother on the table, again helping him up, setting him up for the KILL-SWITCH, AND HE HITS IT, SENDING BOTH MEN CRASHING THROUGH THE TABLE TO AN ALMIGHTY POP!!!. . . . . The fans love it as Christian tries to sit up, struggling to do so as Edge lies their flat on his back not moving a muscle. The ref runs over to check on Edge as Christian sits up, looking remorselessly at his brother as "Just Close Your Eyes" hits. Captain Charisma stands up in the wreckage and stands over Edge, staring down intensely at him, still not moving.


_____________________________________________


"Just Close Your Eyes"

A huge pop breaks out in the stands as 'Captain Charisma' Christian hits the stage, heading to both sides and looking into the crowd, getting a big reaction from them as he heads off down to the ring looking ready for action. He walks up to Justin Roberts and borrows the microphone with his music cutting.

Christian:
Last week I stood in this ring an' I told all my peeps around the world that in two weeks at the Royal Rumble I've got one thing on my mind, walking out the new WWE CHAMPION.

*Big Pop*

Christian: As ever my brother told me how I don't have what it takes t' be a world champion despite beating him at SummerSlam, an' last week he found out I can fight too when I put him through an announce table.

*Another Pop*

Christian: I've proved him wrong before an' I'll prove him wrong again because I will win the Royal Rumble, walk into WresteMania as the WWE Champion, an' unlike Edge last year, I won't come up short.

*Pop*

"On Your Knees"

'The All-American American' Jack Swagger
makes his way out to the stage with his game face on, getting booed by the crowd as he sets off down the ramp, giving the fans dirty look as Christian gets ready for his arrival.

*Match #2*
Christian vs. Jack Swagger

Captain Charisma has had the fans behind him every step of the way, but The All-American American has put up quite a fight. The fans thought Christian had it locked up when he went up top for a frog splash, but Swagger brought his knees up into the Canadian's gut. Swagger's taken charge and looks to put Christian away, applying the ANKLE LOCK!!!. . . . . Swagger looks like a man possessed, red faced as he tortures Christian who desperately tries to hold on, lifting his right hand up off the mat.

He's struggling to do so, clearly in agony, and with the crowd willing him on he manages to turn himself over and kick Swagger off him and down to the mat. Swagger's not down for long though as he jumps back up as Christian tries to pull himself up using the ropes. Swagger runs in at him and Christian flies into action, jumping up and extending his elbow into Swagger's face, sending him staggering away from the ropes. Christian runs out at him as he turns round, but Swagger cuts him off with a SNAP OVERHEAD BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX!!. . . . .

Christian rolls towards the corner as a focused Swagger stands back up and sees him writhing around on the mat. The All-American senses his opportunity and runs into the corner, jumping onto the second rope for a SLINGSHOT SPLASH!!!. . . . . No, Christian rolls right into the corner to another pop from the fans. Both men are suffering as they make their way back up. Christian fires first with a right hand but Swagger blocks it and drives his knee into the Canadian's stomach.

He grabs Christian's arm and sends him into the ropes, but Christian holds onto them, and Swagger's not happy. He runs right at Christian into a raised boot, sending him staggering away from the ropes again, and as he turns round, Christian charges out to take him down with a SPEAR!!!. . . . . The fans love it and Christian follows it up with a cover, hooking the leg as the ref rushes across to make the count. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

"Just Close Your Eyes" hits to a big pop with Christian standing up to get his arm raised, looking relieved to have come through to pick up a tough win when "Metalingus" blasts out to a ton of heat as 'The Rated-R Superstar' Edge, Christian's brother walks out to the stage holding a microphone with a face like thunder. Christian turns round and doesn't look happy at all as he looks up at the stage, staring at his brother with Edge staring back at him.

Winner: Christian by pinfall.

Edge: I hate t' cut your big vict'ry short bro but last week proved nothing. You might've managed t' put me through an announce table but that won't win you the Royal Rumble. You wanna talk about me comin' up short last year at WrestleMania, well at least I've been a world champion an' been in the main event of WrestleMania, an' I will be again when I win the Rumble an' show you how it's done bro.

"Metalingus" plays again and Edge smirks down at Christian, not letting his brother get under his skin as he looks back up at him, talking smack at each other.

Michael Cole:
If you ask me both Edge an' Christian have a shot at the Rumble. They both want it badly, but as is always the case with the Royal Rumble, only one man can win, an' this year the winner will leave the WWE Champion, and we could be looking at the WWE Champion right now.

Matt Striker: We could well be. I believe both these man have a very good chance of winning the Royal Rumble. However they're not the only ones. All I know is it promises to be the most exciting Royal Rumble match of all time.


Josh Matthews is standing by backstage at the interview set.

Josh Matthews:
Ladies an' gentleman please welcome my guest at this time, Bryan Danielson.

The camera zooms out and we see Bryan Danielson in his ring gear standing alongside Josh.

Josh Matthews:
Bryan there's a lot of excitement in the air at the moment with what's at stake in the Royal Rumble match which we now know you'll be part of, and after you defeated CM Punk last week your confidence must be sky high?

Bryan Danielson: As a matter of fact Josh I'm glad you brought that up. We all know how angry Punk is about Stephanie getting involved in his matches and last week I wasn't happy about it either. I've always believed in my ability to win any match I'm involved in and I didn't like winning like that. I believed I could win that match. I showed I could compete with the man most people believe should still be the World Heavyweight Champion, an' who knows? If it wasn't f' Stephanie I might've won fair an' square, but I guess we'll never know.

Josh Matthews: It has t' be said that you've made a strong impression on a lot of people in the short time you've been here on Smackdown. How much of that is down to the person who trained you when you first got into the business an' brought you here, Shawn Michaels?

Bryan Danielson: Yeah I can't really say enough about how Shawn's helped me in my career. T' me he's the best the business has ever seen. T' have his knowledge an' advice helps a lot. He's won two Royal Rumble matches already and he's told me about what it takes t' win. Hopefully I can use that all that t' help me win the Royal Rumble and go onto the main event of WrestleMania as the WWE Champion.

Josh Matthews: Well good luck in that and also good luck in your match t'night.

Bryan Danielson: Thanks Josh.

Michael Cole: When we come back folks it'll be Bryan Danielson an' Shelton Benjamin one-on-one. Don't go far.

*Commercial Break*

_____________________________________________

*Video Recap*
From Last Week!

“Sexy Boy”

The fans go crazy as ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels hits the stage. He’s in a good mood tonight, spinning round, swinging his arms round and he drops to his knees with the pyro going off behind him. He jumps back up to his feet and heads off down the ramp, slapping hands with the fans before getting in the ring. The Showstopper picks a microphone up off the apron and enters the ring, walking into the centre and looking into the crowd. He applauds the fans and his music cuts, freeing him to speak, not that he can with “H.B.K.” chants coming from the stands, getting a smile from The Heartbreak Kid.

Shawn Michaels:
F’ the first time ever the WWE Championship will be defended in the Royal Rumble match an’ it gives me great pleasure t’ tell you all that The Heartbreak Kid will be one of those thirty men battling it out t’ walk out WWE Champion.

*Big Pop*

Shawn Michaels: You heard it right boys an’ girls, The Showstopper’s goin’ t’ the dance an’ I’m goin’ there t’ do what I’ve done twice before, only this time there’s a diff’rence. Instead of having t’ wait until WrestleMania t’ fight for the most prestigious prize in the business, it’s there t’ be won in there an' then. Just like 29 other guys I can walk in t’ the Rumble an’ walk out the WWE Champion, but that’s not all. I spoke to Eric Bischoff about being in the match an’ he told me something he didn’t say on Raw. . . whoever wins the Rumble won’t just win the WWE Championship, they’ll defend it in the main event of WrestleMania. I’ve gotta tell ya, winning the Rumble meant a whole lot the two times I’ve done it but it’s not all about getting that shot at the title, it’s about being the main event of WrestleMania, an’ you don’t need me t’ tell you that you’re lookin’ at The Main Event, an’ not only that. You’re lookin’ at Mr. WrestleMania.

“Break the walls down. . .”

A chorus of boos greets Chris Jericho as he casually walks out to the stage with a smug look on his face, looking into the crowd & down at Michaels. The Heartbreak Kid looks quite surprised to see him standing there and now as he coolly walks down the ramp with a microphone in hand, smiling again at the fans as he heads up the steps and joins Michaels in the ring with the fans still booing. Jericho looks right at Michaels, still smirking like a smug son of a bitch as his music is cut.

Chris Jericho:
I can assure you that your eyes aren’t deceiving you. What you see in front of you is the best in the world at what he does, and I stand by the statement I made the last time I was standing in this ring that I would not return as long as John Cena is on Smackdown. I am very aware that he is still a member of the Smackdown roster. I on the other hand am not. . . It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to inform you that after speaking to Eric Bischoff that as of this moment I am officially a Raw superstar.

*Mixed*

That also means Shawn that I too will be a part of the Royal Rumble match, which unfortunately for you and the other 28 entrants means you will be unsuccessful, because I, Chris Jericho will be the last man standing and the new WWE Champion.

*Ton of Boos*

Chris Jericho: I’m sorry to disappoint you Shawn but you won’t be going to WrestleMania one last time as the main event or the headliner. You can talk about how you’ve won two Rumble matches all you want, it was 13 years ago since you last won one. You’ve failed on each of your attempts since and this year will be no diff’rent.

Shawn Michaels: Well we don’t have t’ wait that long t’ find out an’ I’ve got my faith. I believe I’ve still got what it takes. I want it as much now as I did back then an’ I’m makin’ it my New Year’s resolution t’ do it one more time.

*Cheers*

Chris Jericho: You’re not the only one Michaels to be making a New Year’s resolution, only mine will be to not just win the Royal Rumble but go onto WrestleMania with the WWE title and I’m not going to let some over the hill has-been like you prevent me from being on the stage I belong.

*More Boos*

Shawn Michaels: Chris my boy, since it’s a time of good will to all men, I’m going to wish you the very best of luck before I take my leave.

Michaels offers his hand to a baffled Jericho. The Canadian stares at him, shocked, and in his confused state he shakes Michaels’ hand and The Heartbreak Kid walks past him to the ropes, about to step through them but stops with Jericho still shocked. He turns round and looks at Michaels, but The Showstopper steps away from the ropes and takes his head off with some Sweet Chin Music. The crowd cheer like mad for Michaels, and still holding the microphone, he kneels down towards the flat out Canadian.

Shawn Michaels:
Merry Christmas Chris. I hope you have a happy New Year!

“Sexy Boy” blasts out again and Michaels drops the microphone on the mat before standing up to a big pop from the fans with a big smile on his face. He smiles into the crowd and looks down at Jericho who starts to come round. Michaels decides to take his leave and heads back up the ramp slapping hands with the fans again as Jericho sits up with a face like thunder.

_____________________________________________


Michael Cole: After that confrontation last week we learnt on Raw Monday night that Chris Jericho asked for a match here t'night with Shawn Michaels. I f' one can't wait t' see these two go at it.

Matt Striker: You're not alone Michael. These are two of the best in the world and we'll see them compete in our main event coming up later on.


*Match #3*
Bryan Danielson vs. Shelton Benjamin

Danielson & Benjamin have put on a real show for the fans, but they've been right behind Danielson all the way. He looked to have it locked up when he was all set to apply for the LeBell Lock, but Benjamin scurried forward into the ropes before Danielson could apply it properly. The Gold Standard's hasn't given up and caught Danielson by surprise though, blocking a stiff kick and holding onto the boot before hitting the dragon whip. Danielson stands back up and catches the weary Benjamin with a stiff kick to the body, putting him down on one knee. He turns back to run the ropes, but Benjamin leaps up to his feet and plants him with a thunderous SAMOAN DROP!!. . . . . Benjamin thinks he has it and shifts round to make the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No! Danielson get the shoulder up and the fans breathe a sigh of relief. Benjamin isn't happy as he sits up, shaking his head in frustration. He stands back up in a huff and brings Danielson with him, setting him up for a POWER-BOMB!!!. . . . . Shelton lifts him up and steps towards the corner, but Danielson jumps down. Shelton looks shocked but doesn't have time to react as Danielson hammers him with a european uppercut, and another to put Benjamin down as he heads up to the top rope. Shelton flies back up though and jumps onto the second rope to toss Danielson off the ropes and down to the mat.

Danielson rolls around and Benjamin crawls across the mat to the apron and under the bottom rope. He steadies himself on the apron as Danielson picks himself back up, and as he gets up, Shelton jumps into action with a SPRINGBOARD CLOTHESLINE!!. . . . . No, Danielson counters with a stiff kick to the chest. Benjamin drops to one knee holding his chest and Danielson levels him with another stiff kick, a THUNDEROUS KICK TO THE SIDE OF THE HEAD!!!. . . . .

Benjamin falls forward and Danielson jumps on him to apply the LEBELL LOCK!!!. . . . . The fans cheer as Danielson puts the pressure on Benjamin, and Shelton tries to hold on, struggling to do so with Danielson relentless, holding on and he gives Benjamin no chance but to tap out. Danielson's music hits as he stands back up nodding his head, pleased with his victory as he gets his arm raised. He walks over to the ropes and throws his arm up in the air, celebrating with the cheering fans.

Winner: Bryan Danielson by submission.

Michael Cole:
Week after week Danielson continues to impress. You have to wonder if he is going to cause an upset at the Royal Rumble and walk out as the new WWE Champion.

Matt Striker: I've been so impressed with him ever since he debuted and you can't rule it out. He may well be the underdog going into the Rumble.


Looking a little dazed, Tazz is walking through the halls of the arena, turns a corner and walks into the path of Raw's Chris Jericho. Tazz shakes his head and Jericho cracks a smirk, clearly not sympathetic to what happened to the General Manager earlier on.

Chris Jericho:
Well look who we have here. Bad night boss?. . . Oh I do apologise. I f'got. You're not my boss anymore. I'm going to miss you, really I am.

Tazz: Yknow Chris I couldn't care less about anythin' you've gotta say. I kind o'hoped I wouldn't have t' see you again after you walked out on Smackdown last week but I'm glad you're here t'night an' y'can bank on me watchin' Shawn Michaels kickin' your teeth down y'throat again.

Chris Jericho: See that's why you no longer have the best in the world on your show. Your blatant favouritism towards the likes of Shawn Michaels an' John Cena is why this show is in the state it is right now. It won't be long until anarchy breaks out, and it will all be your fau. . .

Alberto Del Rio-Ramirez walks into the scene, taking Jericho by surprise as he walks up from behind him. The Mexican looks furious as he stares angrily at Tazz.

Alberto Del Rio-Ramirez:
I've been looking f' you all night. Do you have any idea how crazy this is? I didn't come t' the WWE for this chaos. If you haven't noticed, my former mentor, y'know the person who should still be the World Champion has walked out the door. This is no way to run a show. You an' this Stephanie have no idea. This guy had the right idea going to Raw.

Tazz: Well if that's the way y'feel dog y'know y'can go too. If you ain't happy the open house rules are there f' a reason. You really wanna go t' Raw? I ain't gonna lose any sleep over it.

Alberto Del Rio-Ramirez: Oh I've thought about it but I'm not gonna go just yet. I'm gonna wait an' see what happens but you've gotta deal with all this chaos before it goes too far.

Chris Jericho: He's right. The first thing you've got t' do is deal with Stephanie. From what I hear she's taken over t'night. The way things are going it won't be long before she takes over permanently.

Tazz: That's not gonna happen.

Chris Jericho: Do you honestly believe that? Do you seriously believe she cares the slightest bit about you? You're a pawn t' her. If you want to keep your job as general manager of Smackdown it's about time you did something about it before it's too late and the clock's ticking.

Del Rio-Ramirez nods his head in agreement with Jericho, and both men turn around to walk away, leaving Tazz with a lot to think about.


*Commercial Break*

_____________________________________________

*Video Recap*
From Last Week!

“On A Mission”
is playing and William Regal & Katie Lee enter the ring with Katie still carrying the Union Jack. They get some heat from the fans as Regal walks towards Justin Roberts and borrows a microphone. The music stops as he looks into the crowd with a big smile on his face, not bothered by the boos coming from the crowd.

William Regal:
Ladies and gentleman, it gives me the sincerest pleasure to introduce you to the new WWE Tag Team Champions. . . representing The Empire, Drew McIntyre and Wade Barrett.

“On A Mission” plays again to more heat and the new WWE Tag Team Champions, Wade Barrett & Drew McIntyre walk out to the stage and lift their titles up into the air to a barrage of boos from the fans with Regal & Katie clapping their fellow Brits in the ring. The new champs head down to the ring shrugging off the boos from the fans without a care in the world, laughing at them before joining their fellow Empire stable mates in the ring, shaking hands with them. They again pose with their titles, this time by the ropes.

“Hey You” blasts out to a big pop, bringing the champions’ showing off to a halt as Paul London & Brian Kendrick race out to the stage, running to opposite sides. The Empire look on disapprovingly from the ring as the fans go nuts for the recently reunited duo who’ve been on a roll of successive wins in the past few weeks. They make their way down the ramp all focused, looking at their opponents as they head up the steps and into the ring, showing no signs of being intimidated by the new champions.


Non-Title Match
Paul London & Brian Kendrick
vs. The Empire w/William Regal & Katie Lee

McIntyre breaks up the cover, pulling Kendrick off of Barrett to a ton of heat. London snaps and hits the ring, gunning for the Scot, but the referee stands up and blocks London off. The fans boo like crazy as he orders him back to the apron, but London refuses, getting into it with him. McIntyre watches, laughing at London as Kendrick picks himself back up and goes after Drew himself shoving him in the gut. The Scot shakes his head and shoves him back, harder, resulting in a slap from Kendrick.

Regal & Katie can't believe it, and neither can McIntyre who goes for a wild clothesline on the intense Kendrick, but he ducks and takes the Scot's head off with a SUPER KICK!!!. . . . . McIntyre hits the deck and rolls out of the ring while the ref continues dealing with London, but as Barrett sits up, Katie slides the Union Jack into the ring and his path. He picks it up and stands up as Kendrick watches Drew down to the floor, but a huge pop breaks out as the former champions, Paul Burchill & TJ Wilson race down the ramp.

Wilson jumps onto the apron, pissing Barrett off no end as Natalya Neidhart & Harry Smith also make their way down the ramp. Smith's still on crutches but Natalya runs the rest of the way as Regal & Katie go for Burchill & Wilson. Burchill knocks Regal down and Natalya does the same to Katie as the ref goes over to TJ on the apron. Barrett sees Kendrick stand up and turns his attention back to his opponent, and with the ref's back turned, he runs at him swinging the Union Jack, but Kendrick ducks it and London runs across as they both nail BARRETT AS HE TURNS ROUND WITH A DOUBLE SUPER KICK!!!. . . . . The crowd erupts as London kicks the flag out of the ring and TJ drops down off the apron, allowing the ref to run over and count the fall as the fans again join in. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3?

YES!

"Hey You" blasts out to a massive pop with London & Kendrick sharing a big guy hug, punching the air before hitting the corners to celebrate their upset victory with the excited crowd as The UK Pack back away laughing. McIntyre sits up on the outside in shock, not sure what happened, but Regal & Katie are seething as they sit up, staring at the UK & Canadian combination smirking back at them. London & Kendrick jump down and hit the opposite corners to continue celebrating as Barrett starts to stir, glaring up at The UK Pack on the ramp who show no sympathy whatsoever for the new champions who stole their titles at Night of Champions.

_____________________________________________


"On A Mission"

Out into the arena come the WWE Tag Team Champions, The Empire. Wade Barrett & Drew McIntyre follow Katie Lee who's waving the Union Jack and William Regal stands in between the champions. The British quartet all appear to be very relaxed as they make their way down the ramp into the ring despite the heat coming from the fans and the events of last week thanks to The UK Pack. Barrett walks over to the apron and asks for a microphone, then heads back to the centre of the ring, standing alongside his Empire stable mates with a smug look on his face.

Wade Barrett:
When we came here last year we vowed to be the WWE Tag Team Champions in 2009 and here we are.

*Major Heat*

Wade Barrett: We said it would happen and it has. There was never any doubt in our minds and not even what happened last week made the slightest bit of diff'rence t' the fact we're extremely proud of our achievements. We're not going t' let a typical petulant reaction from the former champions change that. The only thing that matters is that we're the champions now and believe me, we will be for a long time t' come.

*More Boos*

Wade Barrett: We came here to set an example, and when we return to the UK at WrestleMania 25, not only will we return as the tag team champions but as an inspiration.

*Heat*

Wade Barrett: We said we would be role models, that we would be champions people back home can be proud of. . .

"Britannia"

The former tag team champions, Paul Burchill & TJ Wilson walk out to the stage in their ring gear along with Harry Smith (wearing an ankle boot) & Natalya Neidhart. Burchill has a microphone in hand and lifts his hand up, asking for the music to be cut with The Empire all looking up at the stage.

Paul Burchill:
The nonsense you come out with never fails to astound me. How you have the nerve to stand there and call yourselves role models and an inspiration? You might have stolen the titles from us but we will have our chance to get them back. . .

Wade Barrett: . . . Of course, your rematch. You'll have to excuse my confidence but I think it's only fair t' tell you that we're not worried in the least about that. There's only one thing that's troubling us is just who exactly we'll have t' face out of you lot. Essentially it doesn't matter because we'll beat any combination.

Paul Burchill: Well we've had the chance to talk about this the last week, and thanks t' you, Harry's still unable to compete for at least the next six weeks, so we've decided that myself an' TJ will. . .

Stephanie McMahon walks out to the stage with a microphone, walking towards The UK Pack.

Stephanie McMahon:
I'm sorry to interrupt but as far as this plan for a rematch goes I think you'll all want to hear what I have t' say. . . Now as much as you're all aware you're entitled to a rematch, there is I'm afraid a problem with the rematch clause. As TJ was a stand-in for Harry, the rematch doesn't apply to him. Essentially it will have to be you Harry when you're cleared to compete along with Paul who takes part in the rematch. However that doesn't mean we can't give you guys a chance to challenge our new champions.

Everyone's looking confused and they're all looking at Stephanie as she looks down to the ring at The Empire.

Stephanie McMahon:
Last week gentleman you had a match, your first as champions, in a non-title match it must be said, but you lost to Paul London an' Brian Kendrick. They too have a claim for a title match. So what we're going t' do t'night is have ourselves a number one contenders match.

*Pop*

Stephanie McMahon: It's going t' be, Paul, you an' TJ, taking on Paul London an' Brian Kendrick.

*Big Pop*

Stephanie McMahon: In fact, the winners will get their title match right here next week, and we're going t' find out who that'll be right now.

*More Cheers*

Stephanie McMahon: So gentleman, if you didn't mind leaving the ring we can get this started.

The Empire do take their leave as a referee runs out from the back, carrying on down to the ring as The UK Pack head down there too with Harry & Natalya giving them some encouragement.

"Hey You"

Paul London & Brian Kendrick
fly out to their stage to a big pop as Stephanie turns back and walks backstage with London & Kendrick hitting opposite sides of the stage. Burchill & Wilson keep their eyes on their opponents as they make their way down to the ring with The Empire watching on from ringside too.


*Match #4*
Number One Contenders Match
Paul Burchill & TJ Wilson w/Harry Smith & Natalya Neidhart
vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick

The Empire have been watching on with interest as both teams have given it their all, both extremely determined to get the win. It's Burchill who's taken charge and London finds himself in trouble. Burchill steps back into the ropes with London on his back, and the Englishman comes back to drop his knee into London's chest. Burchill stands back up with London following, turning into his opponent's path with Burchill lifting him up off his feet onto his shoulders. He holds on strongly and steps across the mat, connecting with a ROLLING FIREMAN'S CARRY!!!. . . . . London looks in deep danger as Burchill goes straight for the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No! London gets the shoulder up to the relief of Kendrick on the apron, also bringing a smirk to the face of Barrett on the outside. Burchill takes it on the chin though and coolly stands up, watching London struggle onto his knees. Kendrick looks concerned as Burchill calmly waits for his partner to get up, and as he does, Burchill grabs him and pulls him into place for the C4!!!. . . . . London fights back though with desperation, swinging his elbow repeatedly into Burchill's head. He lets the hold go and turns round to swing a right hand at London, but he ducks it and dropkicks Burchill in the knee to put him on knee. London turns back and runs the ropes, coming back to nail him with a SIT-OUT DROPKICK TO THE FACE!!!. . . . . Burchill hits the mat this time with London frantically going for the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

Burchill kicks out though and London takes it well, racing back up to tag in his partner. Kendrick jumps over the ropes and watches as Burchill make it back up. He runs past him into the ropes and runs back to take him down with a FLYING FOREARM!. . . . . The crowd cheer as both men hit the deck, but not for long. Kendrick tries the keep momentum going and runs into the ropes, jumping onto the second rope for a SPRINGBOARD BACK ELBOW SMASH!. . . . .

Again they hurry their way back up with Kendrick stomping Burchill in the gut, and he pulls him into place for the SLICED BREAD!!!. . . . . The majority of the crowd cheer as he runs into the corner, jumps onto the ropes, but Burchill counters and THROWS KENDRICK CRASHING INTO THE CANVAS!!. . . . . The Empire don't look best pleased as Burchill takes a second to get his breath back and turns back to tag Wilson into the match. The fans cheer again, and the Canadian climbs up to the top rope instead as Kendrick unwittingly picks himself back up.

Wilson's eyes are locked on him, and as Kendrick turns round, Wilson comes off the top and nails him with a DIVING SIT-OUT DROPKICK TO THE FACE!!. . . . . The fans are enjoying this as the pumped-up Canadian jumps up to his feet and helps Kendrick up from his knees, pulling him under his arm. Wilson runs into the corner and drills him with a TORNADO DDT!!! . . . . . Kendrick's not moving and TJ shimmies round to hook the near leg for the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No! Kendrick gets his foot on the bottom rope, drawing a lively reaction from the crowd. TJ sits up holding his head in his hands in shock, much to the amusement of The Empire. Wilson sees Kendrick starting to stir and climbs back up to his feet. He heads over to the apron and steps through the ropes onto it, right in front of Barrett & McIntyre. They taunt the Canadian and he turns round to talk some smack back as Kendrick gets to his knees.

Harry loses it and wanders round with Burchill following, getting into it with Barrett & McIntyre, and Regal too gets involved, as do & Natalya & Katie Lee. Wilson turns round and sees Kendrick almost back up. He panics and hits a springboard, but Kendrick counters with a SUPER KICK!!!. . . . . Kendrick jumps right down on TJ, flat out, and with Burchill oblivious on the outside arguing with The Empire, Kendrick makes the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

The bell rings and "Hey You" blasts out to a big pop with London joining Kendrick in the ring as Burchill & Smith turn round, shocked to see London & Kendrick getting their arms raised and being announced the winners. The Englishmen are stunned, as is Natalya as The Empire back away laughing with London & Kendrick watching the champions back up the ramp. They signal they want the titles with The UK Pack also staring up at the champions who smirk back, not fazed by any of them.

Winners: Paul London & Brian Kendrick by pinfall.

Michael Cole:
The reunion of London an' Kendrick just gets better an' better, an' next week they'll have the chance to once again become the WWE Tag Team Champions. What a story it would be, but standing in their way are The Empire. They'll have their work cut out, that's f' sure.

Matt Striker: They will Michael but they'll go into it high on confidence after beating them last week. Whether they can do it again we'll have to wait an' see, but at the very least they can give the champions a run for their money.


A split screen with Mickie James along with her boyfriend, Matt Sydal on one side and O.D.B. on the other is shown as they make their way through the back.

Michael Cole:
In just a few minutes we'll see Mickie James take on O.D.B. These two divas have had their run-ins recently. This should be quite the battle. Make sure you come back after the break when these two go at it. Mickie an' O.D.B. when we come back.

*Commercial Break*

*Video Promo*



>2 Weeks!<

_____________________________________________

*Video Recap*
From Last Week!

Beth Phoenix & Maria
vs. Michelle McCool & O.D.B.

Beth & McCool stare across at each other as their partners make the tags to bring them into the match, drawing a pop from the fans as they run at each other. The Diva's champion ducks a clothesline and hammers away at McCool, then fires her into the ropes. McCool comes back and is sent down thanks to a DOUBLE AXE HANDLE FROM THE GLAMAZON!!. . . . . McCool's not down for long though and Beth shows off her strength, lifting McCool up off the mat for a GORILLA PRESS!!!. . . . .

The fans cheer and O.D.B. & Maria look on, impressed by Beth's strength before she drops McCool, stepping forward as the former number one contender falls to the canvas. Beth looks relaxed, but as she turns back to McCool to pick her back up, O.D.B. senses trouble and hits the ring. She runs up behind Beth and clubs her across the back, sending her falling forward towards the ropes. The fans boo and the referee isn't happy either, letting O.D.B. know, not that she cares as she locks her eyes on Beth who uses the ropes to help her back up.

The Diva's Champion turns round and sees O.D.B. charges at her, but Beth sees her coming and holds down the top rope to send her falling down to the floor below to a decent pop. Maria looks relieved too as Beth turns her attention back to the struggling McCool, walking up behind her and setting her up for the GRAND SLAM!!!. . . . . McCool's lifted up off her feet and screams out, knowing what's coming but she can't stop it as Beth drives her into the mat to a big pop. The Diva's Champion coolly turns her over and makes the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

"Glamazon" hits and Beth sits up looking very relaxed as Maria joins her in the ring an excited figure as they both get their arms raised once Beth's slowly stood up. O.D.B. doesn't look happy as she sits up on the floor and as Maria applauds her partner who gets her diva's title handed to her. Beth walks towards the ropes and poses with the title, lifting it up into the air. O.D.B. really doesn't look pleased as she stands up and rolls back in the ring behind Maria. The fans try to warn her but it's too late as O.D.B. spins her round and head-butts her down to the mat. Beth turns round, shocked to see her there and goes across to check on Maria and gets in the remorseless O.D.B.'s face who just laughs back in hers and leaves the ring with her flask, looking back at the angry Diva's Champion without a care in the world, not showing any signs of being intimidated by her.

_____________________________________________


*Match #5*
Mickie James w/Matt Sydal vs. O.D.B.

The Diva's Champion, Beth Phoenix joined Michael Cole & Matt Striker at the announce table as O.D.B. started the match the stronger, but Mickie James fought her way back into it and still keeps the fight going with her boyfriend encouraging her on the outside. Sydal again shows her some support as she makes her way back up with O.D.B. not far behind her. Mickie's feeling the adrenaline as it builds up and she hits her opponent with a spin kick to the gut. Mickie means business as she turns back into the ropes and comes running back, jumping on O.D.B. and nailing her with a series of right hands for a LOU THESZ PRESS!!. . . . .

The fans love it as Mickie pummels her opponent, and Beth watches on slightly surprised as Mickie takes the fight to O.D.B. They both make their way back up with Mickie gearing up for a CHICK KICK!!!. . . . . O.D.B. doesn't have a clue, and as she turns round Mickie drives her boot at her, but O.D.B. ducks it and quickly whips Mickie into the corner. Mickie watches as O.D.B. runs into her and a raised boot. The fans cheer again as O.D.B. is sent staggering away from the corner with Mickie pulling herself up to the second rope.

O.D.B. turns back round and Mickie comes off the top for a DIVING CROSS BODY!!. . . . . O.D.B. catches her though and plants her with a FALLAWAY SLAM!!. . . . . The loose diva kips back up with a smile on her face, unnerving The Glamazon slightly at the announce table. She has to watch as O.D.B. drags Mickie back up and scoops her onto her shoulder, then charges across the mat for a RUNNING POWER-SLAM!!!. . . . . Mickie's in trouble and Sydal knows it, watching nervously in her corner, and the very confident O.D.B. takes her time in making a fairly lax cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No, Mickie gets her shoulder up. The fans cheer but O.D.B. isn't overly impressed and she stands back up, bringing Mickie with her and she fires her into the corner. She takes her time, smirking as she prepares to hit Mickie, and she runs across the ring, jumping at Mickie for a BODY AVALANCHE!!!. . . . . No, Mickie counters with a pendulum kick. O.D.B. hobbles out of the corner as Mickie climbs up to the top rope and jumps up, driving O.D.B.'s head into the mat with a DIVING BULLDOG!!. . . . . That could be it and Mickie thinks so too as she shifts round to make a cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No! O.D.B. just manages to kick out, but Mickie takes it on the chin and stands back up, determined to seal the job. She helps her opponent up from her knees and sets her up for the STRATUS-FACTION!!!. . . . . The fans cheer again as she runs into the ropes, but O.D.B. counters and throws her into the canvas. The excitement from the crowd turns to tension as O.D.B. stares intently at Mickie as she claws her way back up, and as she makes it up, O.D.B. runs at her and nails her with a MONSTROUS LARIAT!!. . . . .

She turned Mickie inside out and smirks as she looks down at her, but she doesn't look at her for too long. She reaches down and drags her back up, lifting her onto her shoulders. Sydal looks really worried as O.D.B. takes great satisfaction in planting her with a FIREMAN'S CARRY CUTTER!!!. . . . . Mickie's out for the count and O.D.B. confidently hooks both legs for the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

O.D.B. stands up smiling to get her arm raised and she walks over to the ropes with her music playing, looking down at the tentative Diva's Champion. O.D.B. steps through the ropes and grabs her flask from the apron before taking a swing. She walks over to the announce table and taunts Beth, asking her what she has to say about that, not getting much of a reaction. She doesn't seem impressed by Beth's lack of a response and takes another swig from the flask in front of Beth, then spits it in her face. The fans boo her as she laughs with Beth wiping her face, watching O.D.B. walk away, and the Diva's Champion looks furious as she removes her headset, not that O.D.B. has a care in the world, shrugging off abuse from the crowd as she heads towards the ramp, still smirking at her actions.

Winner: O.D.B. by pinfall.

Michael Cole:
We've got an interesting situation developing here between O.D.B. an' Beth Phoenix and I don't think O.D.B. is intimidated by The Glamazon like most divas are.

Matt Striker: I agree, and that was a very impressive victory over a multi-time Women's Champion in Mickie James. I think Beth might just have met her match in O.D.B.


A smugly confident Chris Jericho is shown heading through the backstage area, ready for the main event. The fans' boos turns into a massive roar as the shot switches to 'The Heartbreak Kid' Shawn Michaels also on his way out to the ring, looking fairly relaxed.

Michael Cole:
We're just minutes away from our main event folks. Whatever you do don't go anywhere. It'll be Shawn Michaels versus Chris Jericho. Don't even think about going anywhere. You won't want t' miss this.

*Commercial Break*

_____________________________________________

*Video Recap*
From Raw Monday night!

Non-Title Match
The Big Show vs. Triple H

The Game sits up frustrated and sees Show coming round as well and he stands back up, taking his time as Show makes it up to his knees. The WWE Champion glances across at Bischoff before stomping Show in the gut and setting him up for the PEDIGREE!!. . . . . He struggles to get Show in place but he does and he stares intensely into the crowd as they boo, but they turn to cheers as Show counters with a BACK BODY DROP!!. . . . . Cheers rally round the arena as The Game uses the ropes to pull himself back up as an angry giant also picks himself back up.

His eyes are fixed firmly on Triple H, and as The Game turns round, Show runs right at him and clotheslines him over the top. Trips lands on the floor in front of the announce table, a few feet away from Bischoff with the fans cheering. Show stays where he is as the ref begins to count, and The Game crawls towards the apron, reaching underneath it to pull out a sledgehammer. The fans boo and Bischoff shoots up off his seat to grab the sledgehammer out of The Game's hands. Trips looks up furiously as the referee & Show look on, shocked as Bischoff keeps hold of the sledgehammer as Triple H makes his way back up.

The Game gets in his face but Bischoff stands his ground, but as the count gets to eight, The Game slides back in the ring, staring down at Bischoff standing there with the sledgehammer. He turns round and runs at Show in a panic, right into a CHOKE-SLAM GRIP!!!. . . . . Triple H fights out though and stomps him in the gut, turns back into the ropes and runs back, right into a KNOCK-OUT PUNCH, THE WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION!!!. . . . . The fans go nuts it and Show coolly drops to his knees and makes the cover as the ref counts the fall. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

It's over and Show beats the WWE Champion, much to the satisfaction of Bischoff on the outside who drops the sledgehammer down on the floor. He applauds Show as he gets his arm raised with "Crank It Up" playing, and The World's Largest Athlete has a big smile on his face as he walks over to the ropes in front of Bischoff and smiles down at him before lifting his giant hand up in the air for the fans enjoying his victory. The smile disappears from Bischoff's face, looking shocked as Big Show is attacked from behind by Chris Jericho, chop blocking him down to the mat.

The music stops and boos ring out around the arena as Jericho puts the boots to Show with the ref trying to pull him away, and he just about manages. Jericho then takes a look down at Bischoff and smirks, then watches as Show struggles back up to his feet, hobbling away from the ropes, right into the CODE-BREAKER FROM JERICHO!!!. . . . . More boos are thrown at Jericho as "Break Down The Walls" hits with the Raw returnee soaking the heat up without a care in the world with Bischoff looking at him angrily and Triple H sitting up confused & angry as Raw comes to a close.


_____________________________________________


*The Main Event*
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho

The Heartbreak Kid came out to a deafening response with Jericho getting a ton of heat from the moment he stepped foot into the arena. It's been a very competitive even match and it remains that way with a tired Michaels dragging himself up to the top rope with Jericho barely moving beneath him. The fans will The Heartbreak Kid all the way up to the top, and it helps him as he stares down at Jericho and dives off for a DIVING ELBOW DROP!!!. . . . . No, Jericho rolls to safety and Michaels crash lands on the canvas.

Both men stay down for several seconds but they try to make it back up, both hurting as they make it up to their feet. Michaels blocks a right hand from Jericho and whips him into the corner. The Canadian hits the pads and Michaels runs in at him, but Jericho reacts in a flash, lifting his boot up into Shawn's face. It sends The Heartbreak Kid away in a spin, and as he turns round Jericho storms across the mat, nailing him with a RUNNING ENZUIGIRI!!!. . . . . Jericho goes straight for the cover, not hanging around as the ref runs across to make the count. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No! Michaels gets his shoulder up to a big pop, not going down well with Jericho as he sits up. The Canadian stands back up and sees that Michaels still isn't moving. A light bulb goes off above his head and runs into the ropes for the LIONSAULT!!!. . . . . Michaels gets his knees up, getting another pop from the crowd as Jericho clutches his stomach, both making their way up to their knees. The crowd cheer Michaels on, but as he turns into Jericho's path, Jericho sweeps his legs in a flash and applies the WALLS OF JERICHO!!!. . . . .

Jericho turns him over and locks the hold in with the fans worrying for The Heartbreak Kid. They now try and encourage him, chanting his name, and it helps as he fights back, staying strong. He tries to drag himself across the mat towards the ropes, but Jericho holds on, desperately. The Heartbreak Kid takes it to another level, fighting it with everything he has, starting to worry Jericho. The Canadian doesn't look as comfortable now as Michaels gets within touching distance of the ropes, and he grabs the bottom rope to a big pop from the capacity crowd.

Jericho's furious and only lets the hold go at the count of four. He's backed away from the ropes by the referee as Shawn sits up by them. He uses them to help get back up, and Jericho's right on him, walking across at him and he pulls him away to plant him with a DOUBLE UNDER-HOOK BACK-BREAKER!!. . . . . Jericho's in control now and looks to end it, going for the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No! The Heartbreak Kid gets his shoulder up to another big pop leaving Jericho fuming. He leans back and stares at the referee, telling him he thinks it should've been three, but the ref has none of it. He takes his time standing back up, staring down at Michaels the whole time as he claws his way back up. Jericho glares at him with serious intent and runs behind him into the ropes, coming back for a ONE ARM BULLDOG, BUT MICHAELS COUNTERS, TURNING ROUND AND NAILING HIM WITH A FALLING CLOTHESLINE!!. . . . .

Another pop comes from the crowd as both men pick themselves back up and Michaels blocks a right hand from Jericho to nail him with a jab, and another. Michaels lifts him up off his feet into an inverted atomic drop. Jericho hobbles around on the mat as Michaels runs into the ropes, running back and connecting with a FLYING CLOTHESLINE!!. . . . . H.B.K. kips up to a huge roar in the stands with Jericho making his way up onto his knees.

Michaels gives him a helping hand and sends him right back down with a scoop slam. With Jericho down & out, Michaels heads to the summit again to a massive pop, and this time he connects with a DIVING ELBOW DROP!!!. . . . . It's deafening in the arena as Michaels stands up and heads into the corner, and he tunes up the band with the fans stomping their feet along with him as the oblivious Jericho sits up. Michaels watches him every step of the way, and as Jericho gets up he explodes out of the corner for some SWEET CHIN MUSIC!!!. . . . .

Jericho ducks it and again sweeps Michaels' legs, this time trying to apply the SHARPSHOOTER!!!. . . . . A chorus of boos breaks out but Michaels fights it and pushes Jericho off of him with his legs, pushing Jericho backwards, down to the mat. They both pick themselves back up and Jericho ducks a wild right with Michaels turning back into a CODE-BREAKER!!!. . . . . Michaels pulls back and Jericho falls to the mat. H.B.K. flips forward in a flash, making a JACK-KNIFE COVER. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

Jericho kicks out and again they race back up to their feet with Michaels up first and gearing up for a SUPER KICK!!!. . . . . Jericho turns round and Michaels flies at him. Jericho ducks it and reacts by taking Michaels down with a LOW BLOW!!!. . . . . A ton of heat breaks out as the referee calls for the bell to disqualify Jericho, not the Canadian gives a damn. He stands up staring into the crowd, showing them nothing but contempt with Michaels writhing around on the mat. Jericho slowly walks across to him, staring at him the whole time before lifting his legs up, setting him up for the WALLS OF JERICHO!!!. . . . .

Jericho takes great pleasure in winding up the crowd with H.B.K. at his mercy. "Crank It Up" hits to a big pop with Jericho shocked, turning his head to see The Big Show heading down the ramp with his eyes locked on the Canadian who lets go of Michaels and backs away. The giant looks in a bad mood as he steps over the top rope, and Jericho grudgingly leaves the ring, walking round to the ramp with Show staring right at him. Raw's seven-foot plus monster turns round and calls for a microphone. He leans over the top rope and gets one, turning back and looking up at Jericho again as H.B.K. sits up.

Winner: Shawn Michaels by DQ.

The Big Show: Hey Chris, before you go take a shower you might wanna hear this.

Michaels stands up by the ropes, listening to Show as Jericho too stands still waiting to hear what it is Show has to say.

The Big Show:
The reason I'm here t'night, I got a call from Eric Bischoff this morning. He told me about a match he's made for next week on Raw I'm really looking forward to after you blindsided me the other night. I think these people are going t' love it too. It's gonna be you an' Triple H. . . against me. . . an' Shawn Michaels.

*Big Pop*

Jericho doesn't look happy as Show turns round and smiles at Michaels, and The Heartbreak Kid smiles back with "Crank It Up" playing again. Jericho turns round in a huff and heads backstage as the show comes to a close.

Michael Cole:
If you ask me, Jericho got what he's deserved and I f' one will be tuning into Raw Monday night.

Matt Striker: As will I. The closer we get to the Royal Rumble, the more exciting things are becoming.

Michael Cole: It sure is. We have 30 men from both brands looking to win the Royal Rumble and become WWE Champion and they'll do whatever it takes. There's only two weeks t' go and we're in f' a rocky ride 'til then. We'll see you next week. Take care folks, we'll see you then.

*End of Show*

Quick Results

Dolph Ziggler df. Elijah Burke
Christian
df. Jack Swagger
Bryan Danielson
df. Shelton Benjamin
Paul London & Brian Kendrick
df. Paul Burchill & TJ Wilson
O.D.B.
df. Mickie James
Shawn Michaels
df. Chris Jericho

Superstars Tapings
Ron Killings df. Chris Masters
J-Red
df. Jamie Noble

______________________________________

>Confirmed for Next Week<

WWE Tag Team Championship

Paul London & Brian Kendrick vs. The Empire (c)


>Confirmed for the Royal Rumble<

Date:
Sunday 18th January 2009 (2 Weeks!)
From: Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, North Carolina)

WWE Championship
The Royal Rumble Match
Featuring - Raw Superstars: Triple H (c), The Big Show, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Sheamus & Kofi Kingston or Jay Lethal.
Smackdown Superstars: Shawn Michaels, Christian, Edge & Bryan Danielson.

(Vacant) World Heavyweight Championship
No Holds Barred – One Fall To A Finish

John Cena vs. CM Punk

For A Place in the Rumble Match
Kofi Kingston vs. Jay Lethal




Last edited by Nige™ : 08-16-2012 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:01 PM   #1607 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: A Strong Response




>Headlines!<



>Punk's Had Enough!<

It's no secret that CM Punk and the newly divorced Stephanie McMah0n have had their fair share of problems as of late, but earlier tonight the former World Heavyweight Champion walked out and told Josh Matthews as he left that he won't return until the Royal Rumble when he meets John Cena in their No Holds Barred rematch for the world title. Punk blamed Stephanie's constant interference for his decision but left Josh confused when he explained that the tide will change after the Rumble when he guaranteed he'd regain the title Stephanie screwed him out of at Night of Champions. It's clear that even with Punk walking out of the door for a couple of weeks, there's no sign of trouble going away anytime soon.




>Third Time Lucky?<

Matt Sydal was on a roll in 2008 but in two weeks at the Royal Rumble he'll be up against someone else who's on a roll right now, and someone whose roll has come at his expense. Dolph Ziggler has scored two non-title victories over the United States Champion in recent weeks, and earlier on he defeated Elijah Burke, Sydal's close friend, and when he was done he told Burke to pass on a message to Sydal to say he was coming for his title and he'd beat him for the third time to become the new United States Champion. We can now announce that after taking charge for the night, Stephanie McMahon made a title match between Sydal & Ziggler for two weeks at the Royal Rumble. Will it be third time lucky for Sydal in his attempts to beat Ziggler, or will it be third time lucky for Ziggler with the gold now on the line?




>Former Champions To Get Another Chance at the Gold!<

While The UK Pack & The Empire have been battling over the WWE Tag Team titles in recent months, the reunion & resurgence of former champions, Paul London & Brian Kendrick has almost gone unnoticed. That may well have changed last week when they defeated Wade Barrett & Drew McIntyre in a non-title match, just days after The Empire beat Paul Burchill & TJ Wilson for the titles at Night of Champions. London & Kendrick put themselves in contention for a title shot and they had the opportunity earlier this evening to get another crack at the champions next week when they were put in a match against the former champions with the winners earning the right to fight for the titles next Friday night. With The Empire at ringside, the champions distracted their rivals, giving London & Kendrick the chance to pick up the win and the shot at the gold next week. Can they continue their resurgence all the way to the titles?


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Old 08-23-2012, 04:10 PM   #1608 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: A Strong Response






Breaking News: The Beautiful People To Join the WWE!

We can announce that Angelina Love & Velvet Sky have agreed to join the WWE.

Known as The Beautiful People in TNA, Love & Sky will be joining up with the WWE when their contracts expire, which we understand will be sometime in late February/early March. There have been rumblings for a while that Love could be leaving TNA, and it appears that the WWE have held interest in her as well as Sky for a while now. They apparently reached out to both divas and gave them assurances that they would receive a strong push upon joining the company in a gimmick similar to their current one on iMPACT!

It's not known as of yet which brand they will appear on or if they will appear before or after Wrestlemania. The likelihood is that they will end up on the flagship show, Raw. They will join fellow former TNA 'knockouts' Gail Kim, Mickie James, O.D.B. and of course the current Women's Champion, Queen Kong in the WWE. Nikki Roxx (Roxxi) is also assigned to FCW after spending some time on Smackdown as one of the rookies, mentored by Beth Phoenix. It's believed she will be called up again very soon.

Creative have been looking at improving the diva's division for a while and see The Beautiful People as a major boost. There is also interest in Sara Del Rey, however she has commitments she is keen to keep despite our understanding she is interested in joining the WWE.


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Old 08-26-2012, 03:58 PM   #1609 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: A Strong Response


Monday Night Raw – Preview!
Monday 5th January 2009
Live from the Miami Arena
Miami, Florida




2008 may be gone but the events of the last few weeks certainly aren't forgotten as we head into a new year. It was only two weeks ago that we learned that in two weeks at the Royal Rumble, for the first time ever in history, the WWE Championship will be defended in the Rumble match. Since then the contenders have been lining up, and last week Triple H was defeated by one of the men looking to take his title at the Royal Rumble in The Big Show, and that was after finding out from Eric Bischoff he will be the number one entrant when he defends the title against 29 determined title challengers. However another superstar who desperately wants to headline Wrestlemania as the new WWE Champion is Chris Jericho, and he made his return to Raw, catching Big Show off guard with the Code-Breaker.

Come Friday night on Smackdown, Big Show returned the favour and caught Jericho by surprise after the Raw returnee headed back to Smackdown for one last match against 'The Heartbreak Kid' Shawn Michaels. Jericho got himself disqualified and The World's Largest Athlete made sure Jericho didn't take his actions any further, coming to Michaels' aid, and he dropped a bomb on Jericho. He told Jericho and the watching world that on Raw this week they'll get their hands on each other when he teams up with The Heartbreak Kid to face Jericho and the WWE Champion, Triple H. With everyone gunning to win the Royal Rumble in two weeks, it's going to be an incredible match when these four collide with so much at stake in the next few weeks.

Two more men who'll be looking to gain a place in the Rumble will meet head on this week when Finlay & Homicide with the winner going onto the Rumble in just under two weeks. Homicide's been clocking up the victories as of late but he'll be in for a real tough fight against the tough Irishman, who like Homicide, enjoys a good fight. Only one can advance to the Rumble, but who will that be?

Kofi Kingston faces a situation he surely never expected to at the Royal Rumble when he meets his brother, Jay Lethal with the winner going onto the Rumble match later on in the evening, and after watching his brother make his debut last week, it'll be Kofi in action this week when he goes up against Ezekiel Jackson. It'll be a tough challenge for Kofi but is he up to it?

Raw comes to you live this week for Miami as we go into 2009, just a matter of weeks away from the Royal Rumble. If the last few weeks have been unpredictable, it's going to get even more so as we draw closer to the history making Royal Rumble match. The Undertaker, the World Tag Team Champions, Rey Mysterio & Mystico, the Intercontinental Champion, Sheamus will all be in attendance with more Royal Rumble places set to be decided. If the last two weeks are anything to go by it's going to be another unmissable edition of Raw this week. Make sure you don't miss it!


>Confirmed for the first Raw of 2009!<

Royal Rumble Qualifying Match

Finlay vs. Homicide

Plus

The Big Show & Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H & Chris Jericho

Kofi Kingston
vs. Ezekiel Jackson



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Default Re: WWE: A Strong Response


Monday Night Raw
Monday 5th January 2009
Live from the Miami Arena
Miami, Florida





*Opening Video*
". . . To Be Loved"

_____________________________________________

*Video Recap*
From Last Week!

"Time t' play the game. . ."

A chorus of boos breaks out in the arena as the WWE Champion, Triple H strolls out to the stage, clearly in one hell of a mood. The Game stops & stares out into the crowd giving them all filthy looks before heading down the ramp on a mission, picking a microphone up off the apron as he steps inside the ring, still getting a ton of heat thrown at him as he looks into the stands again. He's seething tonight and the boos continue as his music stops, and The King of Kings walks into the middle of the ring, trying to compose himself as the fans settle down slowly.

Triple H:
Last week I stood in this ring to be told that in three weeks I have to defend my WWE title against 29 other men in the Royal Rumble match.

*Big Pop*

Triple H: Eric Bischoff stood in this ring and told the world that for the first time ever, the WWE Championship will be defended in the Rumble match, but let me say this. There's a reason why it'll be the first time. There's a reason why it's never happened before, simply because it's almost impossible. It's the most unpredictable match there is with 30 men. Let me say that again. . . 30 men. For Bischoff to expect anyone to defend the title in those circumstances is nothing short of insane and I flat out refuse. . .

"Back in Black"

The Raw Head of Authority, Eric Bischoff casually walks out into the arena to a positive reaction from the Phoenix fans, and he stops to look back. A group of up to 10 security officers follow him out, putting a bigger smile on Bischoff's face as he heads down the ramp towards the ring with security joining him in there, not making Triple H's mood any better at all as he stares at Bischoff with contempt.

Eric Bischoff:
Hun'er I'm disappointed in you. Didn't we have this conversation last week? No matter what you think or how you feel about it, you will defend the WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble match.

*Big Pop*

Eric Bischoff: Now we've got that out of the way I think we should talk about what happened last week and why I've had t' bring security down here with me. You don't need me t' tell you what you did an' I'm going t' skip past that. I'm gonna get right t' the point. I've had a week t' think about what punishment I should give you. I came up with several possibilities, because let's face it Hun'er you've always had a problem with authority, and in just a few moments you're going t' realise who calls the shots around here.

*More Cheers*

Bischoff looks intently at The Game, letting him know he means business.

Eric Bischoff:
I've got to admit that all the possibilities I came up with like suspending you, stripping you of the title, they all appealed t' me. . . but then I had another idea come into my head that I think these people are going t' love. See since this is all about making hist'ry, you being the first superstar to ever defend the WWE title in the Royal Rumble an' all, but it gets better. There's only one thing worse than having t' defend the title in the Rumble, that being having to defend the WWE title in the Royal Rumble as the number one entrant.

The crowd erupts with a massive pop as Bischoff stands there with a big smile on his face. Triple H can't believe what he's hearing and just glares at him, then walks closer as security move in. The WWE Champion shakes his head and turns round, walking away from Bischoff and pulls off his jacket. He tosses the microphone, his title and his jacket down to the mat, then rips off his tie, throwing that down too before marching right back into Bischoff's face, breathing heavily with a red face.

"Crank It Up"

A big pop meets The Big Show as he walks out to the stage, stomping his way down to the ring with The Game stepping back and Bischoff smirking at him. Show's eyes are locked on The Game as he steps over the top rope and walks right towards him, standing right in front of him and keeping him away from Bischoff with security looking worried. Show's music stops and he picks up the microphone Triple H dropped moments ago.

The Big Show:
You think you're tough picking a fight with him? How about you pick a fight with me, 'cause I'll happily knock you out?

*Pop*

Show & HHH stare right at each other.

Eric Bischoff:
Now this is what I like t' see. There's going t' be so much competition at the Rumble, I wanna see people back there step up, an' t'night I think our main event's just popped up right in front of us. So later on t'night we're gonna see the WWE Champion Triple H go one-on-one with The World's Largest Athlete, The Big Show.

Another big pop breaks out as Show starts to laugh in The Game's face, and the WWE Champion is as seething as he was when he walked down to the ring. Bischoff looks pleased with himself as he turns round to leave the ring, followed by security as Show & Triple H still staring at each other.

***

Non-Title Match
The Big Show vs. Triple H

The Game sits up frustrated and sees Show coming round as well and he stands back up, taking his time as Show makes it up to his knees. The WWE Champion glances across at Bischoff before stomping Show in the gut and setting him up for the PEDIGREE!!. . . . . He struggles to get Show in place but he does and he stares intensely into the crowd as they boo, but they turn to cheers as Show counters with a BACK BODY DROP!!. . . . . Cheers rally round the arena as The Game uses the ropes to pull himself back up as an angry giant also picks himself back up.

His eyes are fixed firmly on Triple H, and as The Game turns round, Show runs right at him and clotheslines him over the top. Trips lands on the floor in front of the announce table, a few feet away from Bischoff with the fans cheering. Show stays where he is as the ref begins to count, and The Game crawls towards the apron, reaching underneath it to pull out a sledgehammer. The fans boo and Bischoff shoots up off his seat to grab the sledgehammer out of The Game's hands. Trips looks up furiously as the referee & Show look on, shocked as Bischoff keeps hold of the sledgehammer as Triple H makes his way back up.

The Game gets in his face but Bischoff stands his ground, but as the count gets to eight, The Game slides back in the ring, staring down at Bischoff standing there with the sledgehammer. He turns round and runs at Show in a panic, right into a CHOKE-SLAM GRIP!!!. . . . . Triple H fights out though and stomps him in the gut, turns back into the ropes and runs back, right into a KNOCK-OUT PUNCH, THE WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION!!!. . . . . The fans go nuts it and Show coolly drops to his knees and makes the cover as the ref counts the fall. . . . . 1. . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3!

It's over and Show beats the WWE Champion, much to the satisfaction of Bischoff on the outside who drops the sledgehammer down on the floor. He applauds Show as he gets his arm raised with "Crank It Up" playing, and The World's Largest Athlete has a big smile on his face as he walks over to the ropes in front of Bischoff and smiles down at him before lifting his giant hand up in the air for the fans enjoying his victory. The smile disappears from Bischoff's face, looking shocked as Big Show is attacked from behind by Chris Jericho, chop blocking him down to the mat.

The music stops and boos ring out around the arena as Jericho puts the boots to Show with the ref trying to pull him away, and he just about manages. Jericho then takes a look down at Bischoff and smirks, then watches as Show struggles back up to his feet, hobbling away from the ropes, right into the CODE-BREAKER FROM JERICHO!!!. . . . . More boos are thrown at Jericho as "Break Down The Walls" hits with the Raw returnee soaking the heat up without a care in the world with Bischoff looking at him angrily and Triple H sitting up confused & angry as Raw comes to a close.


***

From Smackdown Last Friday!

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho

Another pop comes from the crowd as both men pick themselves back up and Michaels blocks a right hand from Jericho to nail him with a jab, and another. Michaels lifts him up off his feet into an inverted atomic drop. Jericho hobbles around on the mat as Michaels runs into the ropes, running back and connecting with a FLYING CLOTHESLINE!!. . . . . H.B.K. kips up to a huge roar in the stands with Jericho making his way up onto his knees.

Michaels gives him a helping hand and sends him right back down with a scoop slam. With Jericho down & out, Michaels heads to the summit again to a massive pop, and this time he connects with a DIVING ELBOW DROP!!!. . . . . It's deafening in the arena as Michaels stands up and heads into the corner, and he tunes up the band with the fans stomping their feet along with him as the oblivious Jericho sits up. Michaels watches him every step of the way, and as Jericho gets up he explodes out of the corner for some SWEET CHIN MUSIC!!!. . . . .

Jericho ducks it and again sweeps Michaels' legs, this time trying to apply the SHARPSHOOTER!!!. . . . . A chorus of boos breaks out but Michaels fights it and pushes Jericho off of him with his legs, pushing Jericho backwards, down to the mat. They both pick themselves back up and Jericho ducks a wild right with Michaels turning back into a CODE-BREAKER!!!. . . . . Michaels pulls back and Jericho falls to the mat. H.B.K. flips forward in a flash, making a JACK-KNIFE COVER. . . . . 1. . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . .

Jericho kicks out and again they race back up to their feet with Michaels up first and gearing up for a SUPER KICK!!!. . . . . Jericho turns round and Michaels flies at him. Jericho ducks it and reacts by taking Michaels down with a LOW BLOW!!!. . . . . A ton of heat breaks out as the referee calls for the bell to disqualify Jericho, not the Canadian gives a damn. He stands up staring into the crowd, showing them nothing but contempt with Michaels writhing around on the mat. Jericho slowly walks across to him, staring at him the whole time before lifting his legs up, setting him up for the WALLS OF JERICHO!!!. . . . .

Jericho takes great pleasure in winding up the crowd with H.B.K. at his mercy. "Crank It Up" hits to a big pop with Jericho shocked, turning his head to see The Big Show heading down the ramp with his eyes locked on the Canadian who lets go of Michaels and backs away. The giant looks in a bad mood as he steps over the top rope, and Jericho grudgingly leaves the ring, walking round to the ramp with Show staring right at him. Raw's seven-foot plus monster turns round and calls for a microphone. He leans over the top rope and gets one, turning back and looking up at Jericho again as H.B.K. sits up.

The Big Show: Hey Chris, before you go take a shower you might wanna hear this.

Michaels stands up by the ropes, listening to Show as Jericho too stands still waiting to hear what it is Show has to say.

The Big Show:
The reason I'm here t'night, I got a call from Eric Bischoff this morning. He told me about a match he's made for next week on Raw I'm really looking forward to after you blindsided me the other night. I think these people are going t' love it too. It's gonna be you an' Triple H against me an' Shawn Michaels.

*Big Pop*

Jericho doesn't look happy as Show turns round and smiles at Michaels, and The Heartbreak Kid smiles back with "Crank It Up" playing again. Jericho turns round in a huff and heads backstage as the show comes to a close.

_____________________________________________


Jim Ross: Good evening an' welcome to the first Monday Night Raw of 2009. 2008 is behind us an' we're looking forward to the Royal Rumble in just under two weeks where for the first time, the WWE Championship will be defended in the Royal Rumble match. Ev'ryone is talking about this year's Royal Rumble, an' t'night we'll see the man who has the almost impossible task of defending the WWE title in the Rumble match, Triple H. The WWE Champion will team up with Chris Jericho t' take on two other men who've set their sights on winning his title at the Rumble. . . The Big Show an' Shawn Michaels. It's going t' be an incredible main event, an' just like he will be at the Rumble, The Game will be a marked man.

"Priceless"

Ted DiBiase
strolls out to the stage to a ton of heat, stopping at the top of the ramp with a big smile on his face and his incredibly attractive girlfriend, Maryse by his side.

Jerry Lawler:
Oh god, not this guy.

Jim Ross: We've not seen Ted DiBiase since he was suspended a month ago without a care in the world but here he is, back on Raw.

He laughs off the taunts from the fans and heads off down the ramp into the ring in his casual clothes, picking a microphone up off the apron as he steps through the ropes, letting Maryse in too as he follows. His music stops and he walks into the centre of the ring with the fans still booing, gradually stopping and allowing him to speak.

Ted DiBiase:
Yes, I'm back. I'm back t' carry on the way I left off, taking this show by storm, an' most importantly it's become so obvious how much this show. . . no, how much this company needs me.

*Heat*

Ted DiBiase: The whole company's a joke. You've got Stephanie McMahon throwing her weight around on Smackdown. Somehow Matt Sydal was voted the breakout star of the year ahead of me, an' then there's my suspension. That was the biggest joke of them all, but guess what? It doesn't matter now 'cause I'm back, an' I'm back f' a reason. I might not've been last year's breakout star of the year but this year will I be the biggest star after I win the Royal Rumble an' become the new WWE Champion.

*Ton of Heat*

Ted DiBiase: You heard me right. I won't just be the breakout star of the year, I'll have a year that goes down in history. Not only will I win the Royal Rumble, I will headline Wrestlemania as the new WWE Champion, retain the title an' carry it all the way into 2010.

*More Boos*

Ted DiBiase: I know there'll be certain people doing their best t' stop me but I'm not going t' let anyone stop me. . .

"Back in Black"

A big pop breaks out as Eric Bischoff, Raw's Head of Authority calmly walks out to the stage with a microphone in hand, smiling down at DiBiase, and he's not at all happy at being interrupted as Bischoff's music stops.

Eric Bischoff:
Well, I wish I could say I'm glad t' see you Ted but I think we're past trying t' be civil with each other, an' judging by that look on your face you're still not too happy that I suspended you. I'm guessing that hot streak of yours in Vegas came crashing down, am I right?

Ted DiBiase: As always Bischoff, you've got it all wrong. . .

Eric Bischoff: . . . Oh, I do apologise but that wasn't why I came out here t' speak with you. I couldn't help but hear you talk about this amazing year you're about to embark on. There's just one thing I wan'ed to ask you. You talked about how you're going t' win the Royal Rumble an' my question is what made you think you're actually in the Royal Rumble? I don't recall giving you a place in the Rumble or am I mistaken?

Ted DiBiase: Are you kidding me? Wait I get it. This is all because of what happened last year right?

Eric Bischoff: I'm sure you believe that's the case but the fact of the matter is, an' as difficult as it is t' break this t' you, you're not this big star you think you are.

*Pop*

Eric Bischoff: You might feel like you should just be handed a place in the Royal Rumble but the fact of the matter is there's not many people who do deserve it. You can argue all you want but you're not one of them. You're not a former world champion like The Undertaker like The Big Show or Shawn Michaels. You're nowhere near their level my friend. . .

Ted DiBiase: . . . Excuse me but do you not remember the Survivor Series? I took The Undertaker to the limit. I showed that I'm as good as The Undertaker. . .

Eric Bischoff: . . . I admit you surprised me at Survivor Series. However unfortunately f' you you didn't beat The Undertaker, then what you did next was completely unacceptable, yet here you are talking about how you should be in the Royal Rumble, how you're going t' be the WWE Champion f' a year. You've got a lot t' learn an' I'm going t' make sure you learn what you can an' can't do around here. You might well go on t' be a future star but can you ever remember The Big Show f' example not showing up t' work so he could go throw his trust fund around in Vegas? If you wanna be what you clearly think you are, you'll have to earn it, an' I'm gonna go against my better judgment. I'm going t' give you the chance t' be in the Royal Rumble, but like I said, you'll have to earn it.

Ted DiBiase: Whatever it is I'll do it.

Eric Bischoff: I'm glad t' hear it' because this chance I'm giving you will happen t'night.

*Pop*

Eric Bischoff: There's nothing sinister to it, it's really straight forward. You'll be in a match later on, an' if you win that match you'll win a place in the Royal Rumble.

*Heat*

Eric Bischoff: It's simple as that.

Ted DiBiase: Really? That simple?

Eric Bischoff: Really. No twists or anything like that. All you have t' do is beat your opponent t'night an' you're in. As for your opponent. You'll be taking on someone who already has a place in the Royal Rumble. He also just happens t' be the man who you were supposed t' face when you didn't show up f' work those two weeks. . . T'night you'll be going one-on-one with The Undertaker.

*Big Pop*

Ted DiBiase: Y'know what? That's fine. Like I said before, I took The Undertaker to the limit at Survivor Series. I almost had him beat on several occasions. T'night I will beat him an' I will be going t' the Royal Rumble.

Eric Bischoff: Well let's just wait an' see shall we. All I'm going t' say is good luck.

Bischoff looks down one last time at Ted & Maryse before turning round and walking backstage with Ted looking up at the stage looking very confident indeed as "Priceless" plays again.


The shot cuts to Eric Bischoff walking through the production area and we can hear some commotion. The camera pans suddenly and zooms into the distance to show The Miz & Zack Ryder stomping the hell out of John Morrison & Justin Gabriel. Miz & Ryder are in their ring gear and Miz pulls Gabriel up off the ground and tosses him head first into a production box, looking like it really must've done some damage.

Eric Bischoff:
HEY, stop that right now.

Bischoff stomps his way towards them and ushers Ryder away from Morrison with Miz staring down intensely at Gabriel who looks in a bad way.

Eric Bischoff:
What the hell d' you think you're doing huh? If you guys want some action so bad, fine. Get your asses out there now an' I'll find your some opponents.

Miz & Ryder look at each other smirking, pissing Bischoff off even more.

Eric Bischoff:
Did you not hear what I said? GO.

They sure got the message this time and they head off to the ring as Bischoff sees Gabriel barely moving on the floor. He walks towards him and kneels down to check on him, clearly looking concerned for him and he turns round looking up the hall.

Eric Bischoff:
CAN I GET SOME HELP DOWN HERE PLEASE? NOW.

Bischoff turns back to Gabriel, whose eyes are all over the place.

Eric Bischoff:
You okay?

EMT's rush into the shot and Bischoff stands up and steps back as they attend to him with Morrison sitting up.

*Commercial Break*

*Video Promo*



*The Opening Match*
Team Omega w/Shannon Moore
vs. The Miz & Zack Ryder

Ryder & Miz were too cocky at the start and Hardy & Helms took control in the early going, however the two loudmouths used some cheap tactics to work their way into the contest. It's the Omega boys who are on top though now with Matt in control of Ryder, and the fans are right behind him. Matt urges him back up to his feet and Ryder walks right into a SIDE EFFECT!!. . . . . The crowd are cheering as Matt heads to the corner and up to the second rope with Ryder flat on his back. Matt lets out a roar and jumps off the ropes, coming down on Ryder for a DIVING LEG DROP!!. . . . . He hits it and wastes no time in shimmying round to make the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

Ryder gets the shoulder up but Matt takes it on the chin and stands back up, getting ready for the TWIST OF FATE!!!. . . . . Ryder claws his way back up, eyes all over the place, but Miz sees the danger and storms the ring. He runs at Matt, but Hardy ducks a clothesline and takes him down with a SIDE EFFECT!!. . . . . As Matt stands back up, Ryder does too and he catches Matt with a SWINGING NECK-BREAKER!!. . . . . Miz rolls across the mat towards the corner as an angry Ryder makes his way back up with Matt rolling onto his side and up to his knees. Ryder backs up into the corner, eyes locked on Matt as he sizes him up for the ROUGH RYDER!!!. . . . .

Matt doesn't know what's coming but the fans try to warn him, as does Helms as he turns round to see Ryder running at him and jumping up for the leg lariat. Matt ducks it though and Zack puts the brakes on, turning round into a kick to the gut, followed up by the TWIST OF FATE!!!. . . . . Matt got it but can't take advantage, and both he & Ryder crawl across to their respective corners to tag in Helms & Miz. They race into the ring and Helms kicks the onrushing Miz in the gut.

Miz slumps forward and Helms turns back into the ropes, runs back and connects with a hard clothesline. Miz pulls himself back up with Helms on him in a flash, taking him down with a snap-mare. Miz is in trouble as Helms shifts round on the mat and charges at him for the SHINING WIZARD!!!. . . . . No, Miz ducks his head and both men pick themselves back up in a hurry. Miz is up first and reverses an irish whip, and Helms comes back at him with a DIVING CROSS BODY!!. . . . . . . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

Miz powers out and they rush their way back up with Helms running into the ropes, but Miz counters with the KITCHEN SINK!!. . . . . Miz isn't a happy bunny right now and turns back to hammer Matt off the apron and down to the floor. He lands on his feet though and slides in the ring, gunning for The Miz. The referee though blocks him off as Miz laughs at Matt, not seeing Helms behind him make his way back up, but as he turns round he sees him. The ref tries to get Matt back to the apron as Ryder slips in the ring and takes Helms down with the ROUGH RYDER!!!. . . . . Miz smiles as Ryder storms across the mat and takes Matt out of the ring with a clothesline as Miz drags Helms back up to plant him with the SKULL CRUSHING FINALE!!!. . . . . With Matt & Moore on the outside, Miz makes the cover with Ryder watching on. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

"I Came to Play" blasts out and Miz stands up to get his arm raised with Ryder joining him, grinning like mad, unlike his deadly serious partner who stares into the jeering crowd with Matt sitting up on the floor looking on frustratedly.

Winners: The Miz & Zack Ryder by pinfall.

Jim Ross: You might not agree with their actions earlier backstage but The Miz an' Zack Ryder did a job just there against a good team in Matt Hardy an' Gregory Helms. That's an impressive win right there f' Ryder an' Miz.

Jerry Lawler: As much as I hate t' say it JR, I agree. They did well t'night an' looked like a good team it has t' be said. What is annoying is they clearly know it, look at them.


We get a shot of Kofi Kingston in his ring gear, walking through the back looking very focused indeed.

Jim Ross:
Well when we come back folks Kofi Kingston will be in action. Don't go anywhere. We'll be back in just a couple of minutes.

*Commercial Break*

_____________________________________________

*Video Recap*
From Two Weeks Ago!

Jay Lethal
, Kofi Kingston’s brother walks out to the stage and stops, getting boos thrown at him from the fans, not that he looks bothered as he heads down to the ring. The boos continue as he enters the ring and collects a microphone, staring into the crowd with something clearly on his mind that he wants to get out of his system.

Jay:
Last night my brother got exactly what he deserved. He got what he’s deserved f’ a long long time an’ I loved ev’ry minute of it.

*Heat*

Jay Lethal:
You can boo me all you want but Kofi got what he deserved for walking out on his family all those years ago. He walked out on me, but more importantly he walked out on our mother, leaving her without having the guts t’ say goodbye. That’s why I’m glad he lost last night an’ I don’t regret what I did. I’ve waited a long time t’ do what I did an’ I’m not sorry one bit. You all might like Kofi but the fact is he’s selfish, he’s gutless an’ deep down he knows i. . .

“S.O.S.”

A massive roar breaks out and Kofi Kingston walks out into the arena, not in a good mood at all as he stomps down the ramp, eyes fixed firmly on his brother who stares right back at him. Kofi steps inside and shrugs his way past Jay to get a microphone, then turns back staring angrily at him.

Kofi Kingston:
You done?

Jay Lethal: Not by a long shot. I’ve waited a long time t’ say. . .

Kofi Kingston: . . . No, I’m tellin’ y’Jay, you’re done. . . You wanna know somethin’? I was gonna take this with me to my grave, but since you’re hell bent on makin’ my life hell I think it’s time I told you the truth. . . See all this time you thought I walked out on you, on mom, I didn’t. Yeah I might’ve left without tellin’ you but mom, she knew an’ she gave me her blessing. It was my. . .

Jay Lethal: . . .Yeah right. Don’t you think you’ve lied enough?

Kofi Kingston: It’s the truth. It was my idea not t’ tell you. That way you’d be pissed me an’ not mom. I didn’t want you blamin’ mom f’ me leavin’. I didn’t want you hatin’ her. It wasn’t fair on her, but me. With me gone it didn’t matter how much you hated me. I’m not gonna stand here an’ say I feel good about what I did but I had a chance t’ do what I’ve always wan’ed t’ do, what you knew I always wan’ed t’ do when I grew up, an’ here I am. Do I regret what happened? Damn right. Do I regret comin’ here? Hell no.

*Pop*

Kofi Kingston: This is what I’ve wan’ed f’ so long. You know that better than anyone bro. . .

Jay Lethal: . . . HEY, first off, don’t call me bro, an’ don’t think I can’t see what you’re doin’. You might be able t’ fool these people but you can’t fool me. I know you’re a liar ‘cause that’s what you’ve been doin’ since you walked out on us. You people need to realise what he’s really like. He’s not the person you think he is. He’s nothing but a lying bitch.

Kofi Kingston: Y’know what? I’ve told you the truth. If you don’t wanna believe it, that’s your problem not mine.

Jay Lethal: Is that right? Let me see if I can change your mind.

Jay gets right up close to Kofi, getting right in his face, talking smack and he spits in his face. The crowd can’t believe it and boo him as Kofi wipes the saliva from his face. Kofi looks stunned and gets real angry with Jay staring right at him without an ounce of regret, and it looks like Kofi’s about to punch him, but he stops himself and turns away. Jay looks furious and jumps on his brother’s back, clubbing him down to the mat and he keeps on pummelling to a ton of heat from the Pennsylvanian crowd. He backs away as Kofi sits up, struggling to make it back up before Jay nails him with the Trouble in Paradise, getting even more heat. He coldly stares down at his brother lying there before turning round and heading back up the ramp with the fans booing the hell out of him.

***

Kofi Kingston & Jay Lethal are being held apart in the back by a group of officials with Kofi desperate to get at his brother with Jay taunting him when Eric Bischoff walks into the shot.

Eric Bischoff:
HEY, break it up, now.

The officials ease up on them and they listen to Bischoff, still staring at each other though.

Eric Bischoff:
This has got t’ stop an’ I’m sure as hell not gonna let this happen ev’ry week. The way I see it there’s only way we’re gonna settle this, an’ I heard what y’said Kofi but there’s no way round it. You will have t’ fight him, in the ring, at the Royal Rumble, an’ just t’ make it a bit more int’resting, the winner will get a spot in the rumble match. Now get them the hell out of here before there’s any more trouble.

Security do as they’re told and escort them out of the building with Bischoff watching, making sure they leave the arena.




_____________________________________________

*Match #2*
Kofi Kingston vs. Ezekiel Jackson

Kofi's been fired-up from the get go but it's anything but easy for The Jamaican Sensation with his brother, Jay Lethal watching on at ringside, sat on a fold-out chair. Jackson's shown off his strength and used it to his advantage, catching Kofi in a cross body attempt and tossing him into the mat courtesy of a FALLAWAY SLAM!!. . . . . The crowd watch on nervously as Kofi tries to fight a bear-hug, and with the crowd showing him some much needed encouragement, he responds and somehow holds on. The crowd gets louder as they watch him fight back with a flurry of right hands, managing to jump down onto his feet.

Lethal's not happy with his brother's resilience. Jackson's furious too and throws a right hand at him, but Kofi ducks it and runs through into the ropes. Jackson turns round and sees Kofi jump onto the ropes for a SPRINGBOARD BACK ELBOW SMASH!!. . . . . He got it and the fans cheer again, but neither man is down for long. Kofi looks to keep the momentum going and runs the ropes again, coming back with a flying forearm smash. It doesn't put Jackson down for long though, and as the big man stands back up, Kofi unloads with a series of stiff kicks to the body, putting Jackson down onto one knee.

Kofi again turns back to run the ropes, but Jackson shoots up as he comes back, hitting Kofi with a SHOULDER BLOCK!!. . . . . Kofi rolls around on the canvas with Lethal enjoying it, sat there with a sadistic smile on his face as the intense Jackson calmly stands back up and brings Kofi with him, setting him up for the THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL, AN URA-NAGE!!!. . . . . The fans boo, very concerned for Kofi as Jackson stares into the stands, making them sweat before lifting Kofi up off his feet, but Kingston takes everyone by surprise, countering with a DDT!!!. . . . .

The crowd explodes with cheers, not going down well at all with Lethal as he watches Kofi crawl across to the corner with Jackson coming round. Both men drag themselves back up, and as they turn to face each other, they run across the mat with Kofi ducking a wild clothesline and jumping into the air, nailing Jackson as he turns round with the TROUBLE IN PARADISE!!!. . . . . A huge pop breaks out as Kofi scurries across to make the cover with the fans counting along. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

"S.O.S." hits to a big pop with Kofi standing up looking a very relieved but delighted man as he gets his arm raised, unlike Lethal who watches on angrily outside. Kofi hits the corner and climbs up to the second rope, celebrating with the fans. Lethal stands up and demands a microphone, then slides into the ring as Kofi steps off the ropes and turns round, surprised to see his brother standing there. The music cuts and Jackson rolls out of the ring as Lethal stares right at his brother, microphone in hand.

Winner: Kofi Kingston by pinfall.

Jay Lethal: I guess I should say congratulations right bro? You know that's not gonna happen. The only thing I wanna say is that f' years all I've thought about is standing in front of you in this ring like I am right now, an' in two weeks at the Royal Rumble I can't wait 'til we're in this ring t'gether again, only then I won't be holding a microphone. I've waited so long f' this, t' get my hands on you an' make you suffer, an' regardless of how you walked out on me, your family, you still walked out on us. I'll never, never f'give you f' that. At the Royal Rumble I'm gonna make you sorry f' what you did. I'm not gonna stand here an lie about how I don't wanna win the Royal Rumble an' the WWE title, sure I do, but bro', beatin' you will be enough.

Lethal looks into his brother eyes and drops the microphone with Kofi looking back, and Jay drops the microphone. He carries on talking smack at his brother before brushing his way past him, leaving an awkward looking Kofi with something to think about.

Jim Ross:
We already knew that this was personal between these brothers but I think Kofi just found out how much Jay wants revenge at the Royal Rumble.

Jerry Lawler: I think we all did JR. I can't wait f' the Rumble when they go at it. I think we're in f' a treat.


Eric Bischoff is in his office and wraps up a call on his cell phone when Cody Rhodes & Joe Hennig, dressed casually walk in.

Eric Bischoff:
Well what can I do for y'gentlemen?

Cody Rhodes: Well first off we'd like t' say how much we agreed with your decision last week not t' give Daniels an' Kaval another shot at the tag team titles. . .

Eric Bischoff: . . . Well thank you.

Cody Rhodes: You're welcome, but what else we wan'ed t' say was that since you need someone to challenge the champions, look no further. We're not just the best team f' the future but we've got what it takes right now. If you give us a chance you won't regret it.

Bischoff looks quite impressed, nodding his head.

Eric Bischoff:
Well you make quite the case, but like I told those guys last week an' DiBiase earlier. If you want something, you have to earn it.

Cody Rhodes: That's fine with us.

Eric Bischoff: I'm glad you approve, an' since I'm in such a giving mood t'night, I'm gonna give you guys an opportunity too, well two opportunities.

Cody Rhodes: Two opportunities, what do you mean?

Eric Bischoff: Well here it is. T'night you're gonna face the tag team champions, an' if you guys can win that match, not only will you get a shot at the titles sometime soon, you'll both get a shot in the Royal Rumble. If you lose however, obviously you won't get a title shot an' Rey an' Mystico will be in the Rumble? Does that sound fair?

Cody Rhodes: Yeah that's great.

Joe Hennig: It is great.

Cody Rhodes: Thanks boss, you won't regret it.

Eric Bischoff: Don't mention it.

Rhodes looks quite smug as he & Hennig leave the room, seeming to be very confident about their chances later on.


A split screen pops up with Finlay & Homicide on opposite sides, both walking through the back dressed & pumped up for action.

Jim Ross:
In just a few moments when we come back, we'll see two men who both like a fight in the Irishman Finlay an' the man from Brooklyn, Homicide. I promise you folks if you like a good fight you won't want t' miss this one with the winner getting a place in the Royal Rumble an' a shot at the WWE title.

*Commercial Break*

Todd Grisham
is standing by backstage at the interview set.

Todd Grisham:
Ladies an' gentlemen please welcome my guest at this time, she is the former Women's Champion, Melina.

The camera zooms out and Melina is standing there alongside Todd with her ribs taped.

Todd Grisham:
Melina I think it's fair t' say that it's been a difficult few weeks for you, losing the women's title at Night of Champions to Queen Kong an' we understand that you cracked some of your ribs in that match, but last week you surprised us all when you saved Gail Kim from the same fate. That was quite brave considering you're not cleared to compete yet.

Melina: Well that's true Todd but Gail's a friend of mine and I wasn't about to let Kong do t' her what she did t' me 'cause cracked ribs aren't all that great it has t' be said.

Todd Grisham: I'm sure Gail will be grateful f' what you did but one thing I think ev'ryone will want t' know is when you will be able to compete again an' get your rematch against Kong for the women's title?

Melina: Well maybe not t'night Todd.

Melina & Todd laugh ever so slightly.

Melina:
Honestly I think it'll be a fair few weeks but I'll be ready. No one gave me a chance going into Night of Champions but I'm still standing. I knew how tough it was going t' be an' it won't be easy at all, but I had my moments first time round an' I believe I can get my title back. She might be undefeated at the moment but ev'rything has to come to an end sometime, an' when I'm cleared to compete. . .

Melina's attacked from behind, being thrown forward to the floor by Queen Kong. The Women's Champion pulls her back up and slams her up against the wall, staring deep into her eyes, scaring the hell out of Melina. She looks petrified with Kong just glaring at her, but Gail Kim & Kelly Kelly run into the scene.

Gail Kim:
Hey get off her.

Kong lets go of Melina and turns her head towards Kelly & Kim, worrying them slightly. They just stand there as the menacing behemoth steps back and walks away with Melina breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Gail Kim:
Are you okay?

Melina looks to the side to make sure Kong's gone, rattled by the attacking from the dominating champion.

*Match #3*
Royal Rumble Qualifying Match
Finlay vs. Homicide

Finlay & Homicide went at each other from the moment the bell rung, and even though it wasn't pretty, it was a real battle with a spot in the Rumble at stake. Homicide's had his toughest challenge to date and the fans have got behind the Irishman. He's made the Brooklyn native fight to hang on, and he managed to fight his way to the ropes to avoid tapping out to an elevated boston crab. He wasn't out of danger and Finlay went to finish the job straight away, pulling him up into place for the CELTIC CROSS!!!. . . . . Homicide though held onto the top rope and fought his way down, hammering away with a series of elbows. He sent Finlay staggering away from the ropes and then ran at him into a kick to the gut with Finlay following it up with a SINGLE ARM DDT!!!. . . . . Finlay looks to take advantage now, hooking the leg for the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No, Homicide gets his shoulder up, frustrating Finlay ever so slightly. The fans aren't happy about it but Finlay goes right back to work, looking to apply another boston crab, but the Brooklyn Bad Ass doesn't let him and kicks him away. He sits up as Finlay walks back towards him and helps him up from his knees, but he gets an uppercut to the jaw for his troubles and Homicide pulls him into his body in a flash to plant him with a RELEASE EXPLODER SUPLEX!!!. . . . . Finlay hits the mat hard with Homicide sitting back up staring intently at his opponent trying to sit back up. Homicide slowly makes his way back up and watches Finlay struggling on all fours, and he surges across the mat, nailing him with a SHINING WIZARD!!!. . . . . Finlay looks out for count as Homicide shimmies round to make the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

Shoulder up from Finlay! The Irishman breaks the count and Homicide bites his lip as he sits up, grudgingly accepting the count. He looks down and sees Finlay barely moving and stands back up, heading to the corner and climbing up to the top rope. The fans watch on nervously as he climbs up to the top rope and jumps off for a FROG SPLASH!!!. . . . . Homicide comes through the sky but Finlay lifts his knees up into the Brooklyn native's gut. The crowd chant Finlay's name as they both claw their way back up with Finlay blocking a right hand and catching him with a short-arm clothesline. Finlay watches Homicide pick himself right back up and lifts him up in a flash, trying to get him up for the CELTIC CROSS!!!. . . . . Homicide slips down straight away though and grabs him around the waist, runs into the corner and rolls him up for a cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No. Finlay kicks out and both men race their way back up and the Irishman catches him with a european uppercut. He runs past him into the ropes, but Homicide storms into action, running out to meet him with a thunderous WEST BROOKLYN LARIAT!!. . . . . He turned Finlay inside out and reaches down straight away, dragging him back up and into position for the GRINGO KILLA, A BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLE UNDER-HOOK PILEDRIVER!!!. . . . . He holds Finlay in position as the crowd look on concerned, and Homicide drops to the mat, sending Finlay's head into the canvas! Finlay's toast and Homicide makes the cover with the ref making the count. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

Homicide gets the win and a spot in the Rumble as his music hits. He stands up and stares into the crowd, barely showing any emotion as he gets his arm raised with another hard fought victory under his belt.

Winner: Homicide by pinfall.

Jim Ross:
Homicide picks up another win here on Raw an' arguably his best, earning himself a shot at the WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble match. The way he's been going as of late you have t' give him a chance King.

Jerry Lawler: I don't know about that JR but he's sure making an impression week after week. The Rumble might be a stretch too far right now but if he carries on the way he is I think there'll be a lot of people looking over their shoulders.


The World Tag Team Champions, Rey Mysterio & Mystico are shown walking through the back, headed for the ring and all set for action.

Jim Ross:
It's time f' a quick commercial break folks but when we come back, the tag team champions will be in action with a title shot an' places in the Royal Rumble up f' grabs. Don't go anywhere now. We'll be back in just a few minutes.

*Commercial Break*

A very angry looking WWE Champion, Triple H is shown in his locker room, taping up his wrists for the main event later on against The Big Show & Shawn Michaels, and in walks his tag team partner for the night, Chris Jericho. The Raw returnee is still in his suit as he calmly approaches The Game, but the WWE Champion takes no notice of him.

Chris Jericho:
Hey, champ.

The Game turns his head, giving Jericho no doubt that he's not welcome.

Chris Jericho:
Look I know you're not happy about having to defend the WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble and I'm not here to patronise you Hun'er. I've already told the world how I intend to be the one who leaves the Royal Rumble with your title. I want that title as much as you want to keep it. The fact is only one person will walk out of the Royal Rumble as the WWE Champion and I'm going to do ev'rything in my power t' make sure that person is me. It might be ev'ry man for himself at the Rumble but not t'night. You don't need me to remind you of what happened in your match last week with Big Show. T'night we need t' work t'gether. . .

The WWE Champion turns round and stares furiously at Jericho, taking him by surprise and leaving him speechless.

Triple H:
No one tells me what I need t' do, and no one needs to remind me about the Royal Rumble or what happened last week. What you need t' know is, as far as I'm concerned it's already ev'ry man f' himself. I don't trust anyone including you. If I have t' defend my title in the Royal Rumble then that's what I'll do. It doesn't matter if it's Raw superstars, Smackdown superstars, I'll eliminate them all, including you t' make sure I'm the last man standing and still WWE Champion, now get the hell out of my face before I toss you through that door like I'll toss you an' anyone who gets in my path out of the Rumble.

The Game means it and makes sure Jericho knows it, staring right at him.

Chris Jericho:
I'll leave, but remember what I said champ, I will win the Royal Rumble an' take that title of yours. There might be 29 superstars for you to worry about but there's only you should be worried about. . . me, because I will the new WWE Champion.

Jericho & Tripe H stare intently each other but Jericho turns his head first and leaves the locker room with The Game angrily going back to taping his wrists, breathing heavily as he tries to keep his cool.

*Match #4*
Non-Title Royal Rumble Qualifying & Championship Contender Match
Rey Mysterio & Mystico
vs. Cody Rhodes & Joe Hennig

The Epitome of Excellence, Christopher Daniels & Kaval have been watching closely on a monitor in the back as the Mexican tag team champions continue to frustrate the young duo of Rhodes & Hennig. Rey has the crowd in the palm of his hand as he makes his way back up with Cody following. Mysterio walks into the corner and climbs up to the top rope, turning his back on the ring as Cody makes it back up and turns to face the corner, springing Rey into action with an ASAI MOONSAULT!!. . . . . Rey takes Cody down and holds on for the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

No, Cody kicks out and both men pick themselves back up. Rey kicks Cody in the gut and runs the ropes, coming back off them with Cody looking for a back-breaker, but Rey counters with TILT-A-WHIRL HEAD-SCISSORS!!. . . . . The fans enjoyed that. Hennig didn't though as Rey stands up with the fans still cheering, and Cody claws his way back up in a spin, walking right into a drop toe hold from Rey onto the middle rope.

The fans go nuts as Rey dials up and turns to run the ropes. He storms across the mat, swings through the ropes and nails Cody with the 619!!!. . . . . It's deafening as Rey steadies himself on the apron with Cody standing up, not looking like he has a clue where he is. Hennig looks worried and hits the ring as Rey springboards for the WEST COAST POP!!!. . . . . Hennig shoves Cody out of the way and Rey hits the deck.

The ref's fuming, as is Mystico and the ref tries to get Hennig back on the apron while keeping Mystico back with Cody watching on, knowing he's dodged a bullet. He walks over to Rey and pulls him up, lifting him up off the mat and slamming into the canvas with an ALABAMA SLAM!!. . . . . Hennig steps back on the apron and Mystico reluctantly does the same. Rey's flat on his back and Cody drops to his knees to hook both Rey's leg as the ref rushes down to make the count. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No! Rey gets his shoulder up and Cody's livid. He stands up and gets into it with the referee, getting right in his face and telling him it was three, but he gets short shrift from an un-intimidated referee. Rhodes trudges over to his corner and tags in Hennig, and the son of Mr. Perfect steps through the ropes with purpose with his eyes fixed firmly on Rey as the Mexican sits up. Hennig calmly walks over and pulls him up to his feet, then whips the San Diego native into the corner. Hennig doesn't waste a second and runs across the mat at speed, connecting with a STINGER SPLASH!!. . . . . He gets it and back pedals out of the corner with Rey stumbling out into his path and into a BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX!!. . . . . Hennig has Rey in trouble and hooks the leg for a cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

No, Rey kicks out to the relief of the crowd. Hennig doesn't look too happy though as he leans back, and the fans show their support for Mysterio, clapping away with Mystico joining in. Hennig stands back up and tells the fans to shut up, then helps Rey up, pulling him into place for the PERFECT PLEX!!!. . . . . Rey fights back, taking Hennig by surprise and the crowd, countering with a SIT-OUT JAW-BREAKER!!!. . . . .

The fans cheer as both men lift their heads up off the mat, both suffering as Rey crawls towards his corner and makes the tag to Mystico. His fellow Mexican enters the ring to a big pop as Hennig picks himself back up, only to get sent right back down courtesy of a dropkick. He's not down for long but Mystico goes right back to work, firing him into the ropes and hitting a LEG LARIAT!!. . . . .

Hennig stays down this time and Mystico keeps the pace going, standing up and running into the ropes, jumping up towards them for a SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT!!!. . . . . No, Hennig rolls into the ropes and Mystico hits the deck. They both claw their way back up with Hennig stomping the Mexican in the gut, grabbing his head and twisting it round into a NECK-BREAKER!!!. . . . . He got it and sees the end could be near, shimmying round quickly to make the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No! Mystico gets his shoulder up and Hennig can't believe it. He stares furiously at the referee and stands back up with his eyes locked on Mystico. He yells at him to get back up too, watching him every step of the way. Hennig steps back from Mystico as he makes it back up, and Hennig charges across at him. The Mexican sidesteps him though, and as both men turn round Mystico stomps him in the gut and reacts in a flash, drilling him with a TORNADO DDT!!!. . . . .

Cody flies through the ropes and Mystico sees him coming. He jumps up to his feet and ducks under Cody's outstretched arm, and both men turn round with Mystico nailing him with a SUPER KICK!!!. . . . . Cody hits the deck and rolls under the bottom rope to the floor below as Mystico turns back and sees Hennig still out of it. He runs the ropes and this time connects with a SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT!!!. . . . . The fans cheer as Mystico makes the cover with the crowd counting along with the ref as he counts Hennig's shoulders. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . . 3!

"Booyaka 619" blasts out to a big pop as Rey joins Mystico in the ring and gives him a guy hug as the ref collects their title belts. He hands them over and raises their arms in victory, and they head over to opposite corners to pose with the titles in front of the cheering crowd. Cody sits up on the floor, eyes all over the place and confused as to what's going on. Rey & Mystico switch and step down and hit the adjacent corners, continuing to celebrate having booked their places in the Royal Rumble match.

Winners: Rey Mysterio & Mystico by pinfall.

Jim Ross:
The tag team champions have shown what they're capable of t'night an' they'll be going t' the Royal Rumble in two weeks. Cody an' Joe on the other hand, maybe they're not ready just yet.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah, an' maybe Cody will learn to keep that trap of his shut.


Looking pumped up, Ted DiBiase is making his way through the back with Maryse nervously walking alongside him.

Jim Ross:
We were surprised earlier on t'night when we saw the return of this man, but in just a few minutes folks Ted DiBiase will go one-on-one with The Undertaker looking to win a place in the Royal Rumble match. Can he do it? Make sure you don't go anywhere an' miss it.

*Commercial Break*

A dishevelled looking Cody Rhodes & Joe Hennig are coming back from the ring, walking through the back. They look up and stop, not looking at all happy as the camera pans to the right and we can see Carlito & Eddie Colon stood there smirking away and sarcastically applauding them. Rhodes & Hennig certainly don't appreciate at one bit.

Carlito:
Good job t'night guys.

Eddie Colon: Yeah you did great, bravo.

The Puerto Rican brothers turn to each other and laugh and Rhodes & Hennig skulk past them, no comeback this time from Cody, much to the amusement of Carlito & Eddie.


We cut across the back and Leticia Cline is standing by outside a locker room.

Leticia Cline:
Joining me at this time is the largest athlete in the world, The Big Show.

We can hear cheers coming from the arena as the camera zooms out to reveal the massive frame of The Big Show, and the big man is looking very relaxed tonight.

Leticia Cline:
Show, last week you got a big win over the WWE Champion Triple H, but then Chris Jericho took ev'ryone by surprise when he attacked you in the ring from behind. You then surprised us all by turning up on Smackdown last Friday night when you announced that you will be teaming up with Shawn Michaels later on t' take on Jericho an' Triple H t'night in our main event. There's so much at stake in the Royal Rumble this year with the WWE title on the line it makes matches like this one t'night potentially dangerous given who's involved an' that ev'ryone has their sights set on the WWE Championship.

The Big Show: Yeah you're right. This time of year you know not t' trust anybody. I don't blame Jericho one bit f' what he did last week but that doesn't mean he's not going t' pay f' that. When I get my hands on him t'night I'm gonna enjoy it as much as I did knocking out Triple H last week. I'll show them both why I'm gonna win the Royal Rumble an' be the new WWE Cham. . .

Leticia looks past Show who stops talking, and the camera pans to the side and Shawn Michaels is standing there. More cheers come from the arena as Michaels taps his partner for the night on the shoulder.

Shawn Michaels:
Howdy big man.

The Big Show: Hey Shawn.

Shawn Michaels: Now I don't mean to interrupt partner but did you really just say you're gonna win the Royal Rumble ahead of The Heartbreak Kid? Come on now.

Michaels smirks at Show, not sure how to take it.

Shawn Michaels:
I'm only joking big guy. We both know how the Rumble works but I just wan'ed t' stop by an' say thanks f' what you did the other night. We all know what Jericho's like, Hun'er too, an' I want you t' know I've got your back out there t'night.

The Big Show: Thanks Shawn.

Shawn Michaels: As f' the Rumble though, that's a diff'rent story. HBK's got one eye on the main event of Wrestlemania but I'll catch y'later. See you out there Show.

Shawn taps Show on the shoulder again and walks out of the shot with The Big Show smiling, taking Shawn's sense of humour with a pinch of salt.

_____________________________________________

*Video Recap*
From Last Week!

Intercontinental Championship
Finlay vs. Sheamus (c)

Kick out from Finlay, getting a pop from the fans. Sheamus doesn't like that as he looks into the stands, giving the fans a dirty look before standing up and bringing Finlay with him, setting him up for the HIGH CROSS!!!. . . . . More boos come from the stands as the angry champion looks to put Finlay away, lifting him up above his head and walking out of the corner, but Finlay slips down and turns round quickly to pull Sheamus down into a BACKSLIDE!! . . . . . 1. . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . .

Sheamus kicks out and both men hurry back up to their feet and Finlay ducks a wild clothesline. Both of them to turn back round in a flash and Finlay lifts him up off his feet for the CELTIC CROSS!!!. . . . . Sheamus doesn't let him though and slips down before he can get him in place to shove Finlay into the turnbuckle pads at force. Finlay stumbles forward, dropping to one knee to hit the pads head first.

It gives The Celtic Warrior chance to take a quick breather as Finlay struggles back up, eyes all over the shop. Sheamus though is focused on his opponent, staring at him and taking a couple of steps back, gearing up for something. Finlay doesn't know though and turns round with Sheamus racing across the canvas to nail him with the BROGUE KICK!!!. . . . . Sheamus takes Finlay's head off and drops to his knees to cover his fellow Irishman with the ref making the count. . . . . 1. . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . 3!

"Written in Your Face" plays to heat from the fans as he's passed his Intercontinental title, raising it up in the air looking very proud of himself. He smirks into the stands and heads over to the apron, asking for a microphone. He gets one as Finlay rolls out of the ring and his music comes to a halt.

Sheamus: In t'ree weeks at the Royal Rumble, not only will I walk out like I am t'night as the Intercontinental Champion (lifts the title up briefly) but as the new WWE Champ-io. . .

*Gong*

"Rest in Peace"
hits and the crowd erupts as the lights go out and smoke blows across the stage. The Undertaker emerges through the smoke to the shock of Sheamus in the ring with the phenom walking menacingly down to the ring, his sights set on The Celtic Warrior. The Irishman watches closely, showing some concern as Taker steps up onto the apron and brings the lights back on to another big pop from the crowd. The Dead-Man calmly enters the ring and removes his jacket, placing it on the ropes with Sheamus watching on, and the Intercontinental Champion definitely looks worried now, even more so as Taker removes his hat with the eyes rolling into the back of his head to a thunderous pop, setting the crowd off in a frenzy.

He places his hat on the pads too and walks into the centre of the ring, glaring right at Sheamus who turns to the crowd, angry as hell as he turns back to stare at Taker. He snaps and runs at Taker, running right onto Taker's right hand. The crowd enjoy it and Sheamus jumps back up into a flurry of shots from The Dead-Man, backing him up against the ropes. Taker fires him into the opposite side and steps out to meet him, driving his boot down the Irishman's throat, again drawing a pop from the fans. Sheamus picks his way back up in a daze, turning round into A CHOKESLAM FROM THE DEAD-MAN!!!. . . . . "Rest in Peace" plays again as the lights go out and Taker drops to one knee, posing for the deafening crowd with purple & white spotlights shining down on the ring and Sheamus laid out, not moving as the camera zooms in on the menacing figure of The Undertaker.


_____________________________________________


*Match #5*
Royal Rumble Qualifying Match
The Undertaker vs. Ted DiBiase w/Maryse

DiBiase has had a real fight on his hands as expected, but he's shown some serious determination. The Dead-Man hasn't taken it easy on his former foe either. He's looking to put Ted away with Maryse a very concerned spectator on the outside as Taker fires her boyfriend into the corner. He runs in at DiBiase and nails him with a ferocious clothesline, taking the wind out of Ted's sails. He's not done yet though and fires him into the opposite corner, following in again for another clothesline. Taker turns and runs the ropes with Ted staggering out of the corner as Taker bounces off the ropes and drives his BOOT DOWN DIBIASE'S THROAT!!. . . . .

Ted hits the mat and Taker runs the ropes again to come back and drop his leg down on Ted's chest. The crowd are cheering as The Dead-Man gets right back up and lifts his right hand up in the air, getting ready for a CHOKE-SLAM!!!. . . . . Maryse panics and jumps up on the apron, generating some heat from the crowd and attracting the attention of the referee. Taker turns his head and stares menacingly at her, and now he slowly steps across towards the apron, scaring the hell out of Maryse. Ted makes it back up to his knees and sees what's going on with the ref yelling at Maryse to get down.

Taker's a few feet back and Ted takes full advantage to sneak up behind him and chop block him down to the mat. The fans boo as he sits up and Maryse steps back down to the floor. She gets to see her boyfriend stand back up and stomp all over Taker's left ankle. The fans don't like it but Ted revels in the heat being thrown at him. He bends down and grabs Taker's left leg and places it on the bottom rope. He grabs hold of the top rope and takes great pleasure in winding up the crowd before jumping up off the mat to stamp down on the phenom's ankle. Taker grabs his ankle and rolls away from the ropes, clearly in agony, amusing his opponent very much.

DiBiase goes after him with a smile on his face and grabs the left leg, lifting it up to apply a SINGLE LEG LOCK!!. . . . . Taker screams out in pain as he tries to hold on with the referee asking him if he wants to tap out, but he's not backing down. Ted screams at him to tap, and The Dead-Man responds to the crowd, sitting up and he drives his right boot at Ted's face. The phenom keeps pushing it at him and he breaks the hold to a big pop, and along with Ted he tries to make it back up to his feet. Ted gets back up but Taker struggles, hobbling on one leg and Ted kicks his left ankle.

Taker falls to one knee and DiBiase turns back to run the ropes with purpose, but as he comes back, Taker shoots up and grabs him around the throat. A huge pop breaks out and Taker lifts him up off his feet for the CHOKE-SLAM!!!. . . . . Taker lets him go with his leg giving way and hobbles back towards the ropes. Ted runs right at him but he's lifted over the top and down to the floor. The fans cheer again, and Taker has a scary look in his eyes as he looks down at Ted.

He watches Ted trying to get up onto his knees, and The Dead-Man runs across the ring, hits the ropes and runs back, DIVES OVER THE TOP ROPE FOR A HIGH ANKLE SUICIDE DIVE TO TAKE DIBIASE DOWN!!!. . . . . Both men remain on the floor with the referee counting away and Maryse getting a closer look. She watches them both struggle back up with Ted crawling to the apron when a ton of boos break out in the crowd. DiBiase drags himself back onto the apron as Sheamus stomps down the ramp with his sights set on The Undertaker. The phenom stands back up and sees the Intercontinental Champion staring right at him.

Taker stares back, getting ready for a fist fight with Sheamus taunting the phenom, who doesn't hear the ref count to nine, then ten to give DiBiase the win and a place in the Rumble. Taker slips back in the ring but it's too late as DiBiase scarpers with the ref following, raising his hand on the outside to a ton of heat as DiBiase is announced as the winner. "Priceless" hits and he heads up the ramp with Sheamus laughing back at a furious Taker who glares back intensely at the Irishman with DiBiase & Maryse smiling their way back up the ramp.

Winner: Ted DiBiase by count out.

Jim Ross:
I wonder what Eric Bischoff thinks about this. Whether you like the way he's got there, Ted DiBiase will be in the Royal Rumble match with a chance at becoming the new WWE Champion.

Jerry Lawler: Great. Let's just hope he doesn't last that long an' someone throws him an' his big mouth out of the ring. Can you imagine how big this kid's ego will get if he does win the Rumble? I dread t' think.

Jim Ross: Just t' clarify folks, The Undertaker may have lost the match but he already has a place in the Royal Rumble. He'll still be in the Rumble match, an' now so will DiBiase.


The WWE Champion, Triple H is shown walking through the back, game face on, and we cut to a shot of his partner, Chris Jericho also on his way towards the ring. It changes again to The Big Show heading through the hallway, and then Shawn Michaels walking out of the locker room, all ready for action.

Jim Ross:
We're just a few minutes away from our main event. When we come back, The Big Show an' Shawn Michaels go up against Chris Jericho an' the WWE Champion Triple H. It's a match you can't afford t' miss with huge Royal Rumble implications. Don't go anywhere folks.

*Commercial Break*

*Video Promo*



>2 Weeks!<

*The Main Event*
The Big Show & Shawn Michaels
vs. Triple H & Chris Jericho

It's been a fiercely competitive match with Show taking control of the opening part of the match, but The Game & Jericho have taken it in turns to work over & isolate Michaels. The Heartbreak Kid's been in the ring for a fair while now as a very focused Jericho watches him sit up, and the Canadian taunts the Smackdown superstar, yelling at him to get up. Slowly Shawn picks himself back up with Jericho going back to work, running past Michaels into the ropes, bouncing off them to send Michaels right back down into the mat face first with a ONE ARM BULLDOG!!. . . . . Show looks worried on the apron as Jericho, with his game face on hit the ropes again and hits the springboard for the LIONSAULT!!!. . . . . He hits it and the fans are nervous too as Jericho hooks the leg for the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

H.B.K. gets his shoulder up, pissing Jericho off as he leans back on his knees. The fans cheer, getting Jericho even more hot under the collar. He stand up in a huff and walks round to Michaels' legs, lifting them off the canvas. Boos come from the stands as Jericho tries to turn Shawn over for the WALLS OF JERICHO!!!. . . . . Michaels tries to fight it, holding on as Jericho desperately tries to lock in the hold, but Shawn doesn't let him and powers out, forcing Jericho back. The Canadian hits the deck but he's not there for long, making his way right back up by the ropes, but The Game is right there and leans over to slap his back, and the ref acknowledges it as a tag.

Jericho doesn't look best pleased as the WWE Champion steps through the ropes without a care in the world, ignoring his partner, gunning for The Heartbreak Kid. Jericho's told to step onto the apron as The Game helps Shawn up from his knees to fire him into the ropes. Michaels comes back off the ropes and Triple H connects with a HIGH KNEE STRIKE!!. . . . . Michaels picks himself back up and turns right into a SPINNING SPINE-BUSTER!!!. . . . . Shawn's back hit the mat with some serious force and The Game looks to take advantage, making the cover . . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No! Michaels gets his shoulder up to the relief of the fans & Show on the apron. The WWE Champions isn't happy though and stands back up, stares down at Michaels and watches his former friend drag himself up using The Game's legs as support. Triple H lets him but meets him with a stiff kick to the gut and pulls him into place for the PEDIGREE!!!. . . . . The fans boo as The Game stares into the stands, all set to put Michaels away, but The Heartbreak Kid comes to life and counters with a back body drop. With the fans cheering, Shawn crawls towards his corner with Show reaching out his hand, desperate to get in the ring.

Triple H picks himself back up and turns round to see Shawn getting close to his partner. The WWE Champion paces across the mat to stop him but Michaels jumps up to tag The World's Largest Athlete. Show reaches over the top and hammers Trips down to the mat. Show steps over the top and The Game stands back up, getting fired into the ropes. Trips bounces back, right into a SIDEWALK SLAM!!. . . . . Show's up for this and gets right back up, turning back into the ropes to come back and drop his GIANT LEG DOWN ONTO THE GAME'S CHEST!!. . . . . The Game stays down and Show shifts round on the mat to make a cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No. Triple H kicks out and Show takes it well, getting back up to watch the WWE Champion try to do the same. Show lifts his giant right hand up, stalking him for the CHOKE-SLAM!!!. . . . . The fans cheer again as The Game unwittingly makes his way back up, oblivious to what's just around the corner. He makes it up and turns round into Show's grasp with the big man grabbing him around the throat. He lifts Trips off his feet but he manages to rake Show in the eyes. Show lets go of him and slumps forward as Triple H lands on his feet, and The Game takes full advantage to plant him with a SNAP DDT!!!. . . . . Show's the one on the brink now and Trips hooks his giant leg, holding on as the ref makes the count. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

No, The Big Show kicks out to a pop from the capacity crowd. The Game doesn't look happy but grudgingly stands back up by the ropes with Jericho this time leaning over them to tag himself in the match by slapping Trips on the back. The Game glares furiously at Jericho as he enters the ring, getting an unsympathetic reaction from Jericho. He has no choice but to leave the ring as Jericho urges Show to get up, and as he does, Jericho goes for the CODE-BREAKER!!!. . . . . Show pulls back and Jericho hits the deck to a big pop. Show watches him all the way back up and grabs him by the throat to plant him with a CHOKE-SLAM!!!. . . . . Jericho's flat on his back and out for the count as Show drops to his knees to make the cover. . . . .

1. . . . .

2. . . . .

. . . . .

Triple H storms the ring and breaks it up with a stomp to the back of the head. Michaels is furious, as are the fans, and The Heartbreak Kid flies through the ropes and runs across the mat to clothesline The Game over the top rope, and the momentum takes him with the WWE Champion. Show & Jericho are both down as Michaels & Triple H try and make it back up to their feet on the outside, and Michaels gets there first and helps The Game up, but the WWE Champion reacts in a flash to send Michaels crashing into the steel steps.

Boos come from the stands, and back on the inside Show & Jericho claw their way back up as The Game drops to his knees and leans against the apron. He stops and a light goes off above his head, and he reaches under the ring, pulling out a sledgehammer to a ton of heat. He stands up and lifts his trusty ally up, looking at it with a sadistic look on his face. He slips back in the ring with Show & Jericho clueless, but the ref sees him and The Game just shoves him aside to run at Show, NAILING HIM IN THE SKULL WITH THE SLEDGEHAMMER!!!. . . . .

The ref calls for the bell, disqualifying Trips & Jericho, and the Canadian stands up looking shocked to see Show knocked out. The Game turns round and stares right at his partner, worrying Jericho. He has every right to be as the WWE Champion paces across and DRIVES THE SLEGDEHAMMER INTO JERICHO'S FACE!!!. . . . . A barrage of boos are thrown at The Game as he stands amongst the wreckage, then glares over at the referee, and the ref looks like he's about to make a mess in his pants. Triple H walks menacingly towards him with the ref really panicking.

"I hear voices in my head. . ."

The crowd erupts and rise to their feet as Randy Orton, for the first time in almost two months walks out to the stage. The Game turns round, shocked to see a seething Orton standing there glaring down at him with a face like thunder. He slowly heads down the ramp, eyes fixed solely on the stunned WWE Champion as he watches the man he put out on the shelf at Survivor Series on his way for revenge. The Game gets ready to take his head off as Orton calmly steps through the ropes and continues staring at Triple H.

They then charge at each other, TRIPLE H SWINGING THE SLEDGEHAMMER AT HIM, BUT ORTON DUCKS AND HITS THE RKO ON THE GAME!!!. . . . . It's absolutely deafening as Triple H hits the mat, sledgehammer falling alongside him. Orton stays on his knees but shimmies round, sticking his head right next to The Game's staring at him as he lies there out cold on the canvas. "Voices" hits again with the fans still cheering, and Michaels sits up on the outside, groggy and looking on shocked too with Orton still glaring intensely at the fallen WWE Champion as the show comes to a close.

Winners: The Big Show & Shawn Michaels by DQ.

Jim Ross:
I can't believe what I'm seeing King. . . Randy Orton is back.

Jerry Lawler: And he just took out The Game with an RKO. I'm in shock JR.

Jim Ross: Looking around the arena King you're not alone. I don't think anyone can believe it. If you thought the Royal Rumble was going t' be explosive before t'night, well get ready f' a bumpy ride folks 'cause business has just picked up with the return of The Viper.

*End of Show*

Quick Results

The Miz & Zack Ryder df. Team Omega
Kofi Kingston
df. Ezekiel Jackson
Homicide
df. Finlay
Rey Mysterio & Mystico
df. Cody Rhodes & Joe Hennig
Ted DiBiase
df. The Undertaker
The Big Show & Shawn Michaels
df. Triple H & Chris Jericho

Superstars Tapings
JTG & Gail Kim df. Orlando Jordan & Mia Rain
Christopher Daniels & Kaval
df. Eugene & Goldust

______________________________________

>Confirmed for the Royal Rumble<

Date:
Sunday 18th January 2009 (Under 2 Weeks Away!)
From: Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, North Carolina)

WWE Championship
The Royal Rumble Match
Featuring - Raw Superstars:
Triple H (c), The Big Show, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Sheamus, Homicide, Rey Mysterio, Mystico, Ted DiBiase & Kofi Kingston or Jay Lethal.
Smackdown Superstars: Shawn Michaels, Christian, Edge & Bryan Danielson.

(Vacant) World Heavyweight Championship
No Holds Barred – One Fall To A Finish

John Cena vs. CM Punk

United States Championship
Matt Sydal (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

Plus

For A Place in the Rumble Match

Kofi Kingston vs. Jay Lethal



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