~Monday Night Raw~
February 19th, 2007
"That bastard couldn't even shake my hand."
We start the show with a recap of the action from last week, starting with the confrontation between Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam and Mr. McMahon, which resulted in a sweet chin music to RVD and Mr. McMahon walking off with the ECW Championship. When then hear Shane McMahon announce the Number One Contenders Tournament, with RVD beating Kenny Dykstra and Triple H knocking off Johnny Nitro, both men advancing to the semi finals. And finally, the interaction between John Cena and Mr. McMahon, which lead to the announce of Cena and Shane McMahon tonight... and then the destruction of Cena by Umaga, the video fading to black on the image of a broken Cena, lying motionless on the mat for the second week in a row.
We then have the usual Raw opening video, before he head inside the arena for the pyro display and then a scan around the capacity crowd as we hear from the announce team...
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening and welcome to Bakersfield, California for Monday Night Raw! I'm Jim Ross, alongside me, Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Joey Styles, and folks, last night may have been a Smackdown pay-per-view, but the repercussions of No Way Out were felt by all of us here on Raw!
No doubt about it J.R.! Edge is now officially
a Smackdown Superstar, Umaga came outta nowhere to destroy The Undertaker, and then Ric Flair got a measure of revenge on Mr. Kennedy by runnin' a lil' distraction shall we say, helping Batista retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
And of course, after the beating John Cena suffered at the hands of Umaga last week, we all thought Mr. McMahon had handpicked Umaga to face Cena at Wrestlemania. We now know that won't happen, and it seems the incentive for Umaga and Armando Estrada was that if they softened up John Cena, they got that Smackdown contract and the chance to go after The Undertaker.
We certainly hope to get some answers from Mr. McMahon over the course of the evening. And speaking of the McMahon's, Shane McMahon is scheduled to go one on one with John Cena!
And if you remember when that match was announced last week, it was Shane's idea! He told his Father to make the match, and Vince and Shane both had smiles on their faces when they told Cena.
Yeah and if you ask me, somethin' ain't right about that. The McMahon's are too happy right now, they've gotta have somethin' up their sleeves.
Nothin' more dangerous than a McMahon with a smile on his face. But also tonight folks, we're continuing with the quarter final stage of the Number One Contenders Tournament, Randy Orton and Ric Flair set to meet, as are Bobby Lashley and CM Punk.
And John Cena wasn't the only victim of Umaga last week. CM Punk took a brutal beating from 'The Samoan Bulldozer' earlier in the night. I saw Punk backstage earlier tonight, he is not
100% tonight, but if I know CM Punk, he's not gonna let that stand in his way of going on to Saturday Night's Main Event.
And of course, if you make it to Saturday Night's Main Event, you're puttin' yourself in line for a shot at Shawn Michaels and the WWE Championship. And J.R., I understand that tonight, you're set for an in ring interview with 'HBK' himself.
I'm certainly lookin' forward to that. We're all due a few answers with regards to Michaels' actions in recent weeks. We are well on our way down 'The Road to Wrestlemania' folks...
*ONE OF A KIND...*
The crowd rises for a massive pop as Rob Van Dam
steps out from the back. Van Dam has a determined look on his face, not his usual jovial self, but he still manages to slap a few hands before he enters the ring...
And what role will this man play in Detroit, Michigan? Rob Van Dam advanced in to the semi final stages last week, he's just one match away from going to Saturday Night's Main Event and a chance at facing the WWE Champion.
But you can't help but notice that there's something missing from around the waist of Van Dam. The ECW Championship, that was stolen
last week from RVD by Mr. McMahon, with the help of Shawn Michaels.
Well I don't really care much for ECW, but I know it meant a lot to you Joey and to guys like RVD. It's gotta be hard for you knowing the ECW Title is in the hands of Mr. McMahon.
It eats me up inside 'King'. I hope Shawn Michaels has an explanation for his actions last week when we hear from him later in the broadcast.
In the ring, Van Dam waits for the crowd's "R - V - D! R - V - D! R - V - D!" chant to die down, before he bites his lip, shakes his head and brings the microphone to his mouth...
Rob Van Dam:
I uh... I wanted to come out here, 'cause I think I'm due a few answers after what went down last week. Y'see, last week I lost somethin' that means a lot to me. No wait... that's not right. I had somethin' stolen
from me last week. And Shawn Michaels... you owe me some answers bro'.
Heat for the mention of the WWE Champion...
Rob Van Dam:
I mean, I never realised you'd become Vince McMahon's bitch
Rob Van Dam:
I didn't know you did Vinny Mac's dirty work for 'im Shawn! Vince wanted my ECW Championship, and you went and handed it to 'im bro'!
Boos for Michaels' actions...
Rob Van Dam:
Y'see, last week I came out here and I made Shawn Michaels a challenge. I'm not the only guy backstage who's pretty disgusted with the way Shawn's been acting lately. And I know he's set for an interview with J.R. later tonight... but I don't wanna wait anymore dude. I want Shawn Michaels out here right
Big time pop...
Rob Van Dam:
Shawn... I'm callin' you out dude!
Another big pop, with Van Dam staring up the ramp, his arms open wide. Van Dam waits patiently for Michaels to answer the call... but it never happens. After a few moments of silence, the crowd catches on, booing the fact that Michaels' hasn't appeared. Van Dam quickly gets the message, shaking his head in disappointment, before a rueful smile crosses his face as Van Dam nods in reluctant acceptance...
Rob Van Dam:
Alright. Alright Shawn, I can wait. I'll wait to hear to what you gotta say later tonight. But I don't wanna wait long to get my hands on you. We both had big nights at Night Of Champions dude. You won the WWE Championship... and I won the ECW Championship. You turned your back on best friend... and I did what I do best... I went man to man with Bobby Lashley, I took everythin' he had to give, and I beat 'im 'cause I left it all out here in this ring for these people!
The crowd responds with an appreciative pop...
Rob Van Dam:
Winnin' the ECW Championship, it might never have been all that high on your priorities Shawn... but it's pretty damn high on mine. Night Of Champions, I didn't just fight for me. I didn't just win the ECW Championship for myself, I did it for each and every former ECW wrestler who fought alongside me to take ECW from a bingo hall in Philadelphia to the world man!
"EEE - CEE - DUB! EEE - CEE - DUB! EEE - CEE - DUB!"
Rob Van Dam:
Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, The Sandman, all those guys who I stood with as we put ECW on the map, I won for all of 'em! We built a legacy, we built a brand that lived on long after the company closed, but all it took Vince McMahon to ruin that legacy was six months. Six months and the ECW I gave my blood for was dead and buried. And at Night Of Champions, I got back the one shred of dignity Vince McMahon had left us. I won back the ECW Championship, and you Shawn... you took that away from me.
Van Dam pauses briefly...
Rob Van Dam:
And that means I owe you bro'. You took the ECW Title away from me... and I don't mind waitin', but I'm gonna take somethin' away from you. And if that means I gotta go to Saturday Night's Main Event, win the Number One Contenders Tournament, and go on to face you at Wrestlemania to do it, then that's what I'm gonna do. But I guarantee dude... I'm gonna take that WWE Championship away from you.
Rob Van Dam:
Vince McMahon may not want me anywhere near the WWE Title, but I'll let John Cena take care of Vince... and that means I'm comin' after you Shawn.
The impact of the statement draws a cheer from the crowd, but Van Dam stays cool as ever...
Rob Van Dam:
You don't wanna meet me man to man in the ring tonight? That's alright bro'. But at Wrestlemania, you're gonna have to step in this ring with me. One kick to my chin and you killed any chance I had of reclaiming that ECW legacy. And at Wrestlemania... I'm gonna beat your ass dude!
Feeling he's made his point, Van Dam briefly soaks in the pop of the crowd, before turning and heading for the corner. But just before he can hand over the mic in his hand...
”BEHOLD THE KING... THE KING OF KINGS..."
The crowd gives another massive pop as Triple H
steps out from the back. Dressed in his wrestling tights and a t-shirt 'The Game' looks ready to fight as he methodically makes his way down to the ring, springing up onto the apron to spray water in the air...
Well Rob Van Dam wanted Shawn Michaels... but instead he's got Triple H! Last week, Triple H made his intentions clear, he wanted his hands on Shawn Michaels. He wanted revenge for what happened at Night Of Champions.
Yeah but Michaels made it clear, he's not takin' orders from Triple H anymore. If 'The Game' wants a piece of Shawn Michaels, he's gonna have to go to Saturday Night's Main Event and earn that shot at 'HBK'.
And we've just heard Rob Van Dam lay out his intentions. He
wants Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania too.
Business is about to pick up folks! 'The Game' and 'Mr. Monday Night' both
have their sights set on the WWE Champion! Could you imagine if these two win up facing each other at Saturday Night's Main Event?
Stepping through the ropes. Trips initially gets in the face of Van Dam, the two sharing a tense stand off, before Triple H heads to the corner and grabs a mic...
Rob... listen man, I heard what you had to say there. I get it, that ECW Title... I meant a lot to ya'. I understand that. And you want to get you're hands on Shawn Michaels... I understand that too. But Rob... you're gonna have to step to the end of the line.
A mixed response from the crowd...
You and Shawn, you feel it's personal. He kicked ya' in the face, Vince stole your belt, I get that. But me and Shawn? We're as personal as it gets.
'The Game' stares intently at Van Dam, who calmly stares back...
That son of a bitch turned his back on me! He cracked a steel chair off my skull! I wanna rip Shawn Michaels to pieces! And no offence... Rob
... but you're gonna have to wait your turn and pick up the scraps. At Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels... is mine
Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Bobby Lashley, CM Punk, and even you Rob... I don't care who I have to beat at Saturday Night's Main Event. I WILL be the Number One Contender. I WILL go to Wrestlemania. I WILL beat Shawn Michaels to within an inch of his life, and I WILL become WWE Champion!
Big pop as Triple H snarls at Van Dam, the intensity clear for all to see...
I got nothin' against you Rob. You're a heck of an athlete, a heck of a competitor. But I owe Shawn Michaels the ass kickin' of a lifetime, and not you, or anybody else, is gonna stand in the way o' that happenin'. You want Shawn Michaels? You can have what's left of 'em once I'm finished with 'im. But it's not gonna happen at Wrestlemania.
Van Dam shakes his head in disagreement...
If I could find the son of a bitch backstage, he'd already be laying in a hospital bed. His bible ain't gonna save 'im from what I've got planned for Wrestlemania. And while I respect you Rob, believe me, I won't hesitate, not for one second... to kick your ass too.
The crowd gasps, with Van Dam raising his eyebrows...
If kickin' your ass means I get my hands on Shawn... then I'll do it. I don't care if I get in the semi finals next week, I don't care if I get you in the final at Saturday Night's Main Event, hell, I don't care if you don't even get that far. It doesn't matter if it's you
... or anybody else... I WILL get my hands on Shawn Michaels.
Van Dam chuckles briefly, bringing the mic to his mouth...
Rob Van Dam:
And uh... I guess you expect me to sit back and let that happen?
You do what you want Rob... it doesn't matter to me.
Rob Van Dam:
Oh it'll matter bro'. If
we both make it to Saturday Night's Main Event... I'm not just gonna turn up and lay down for you man. I know I've not won as many championships as you, I know I've not main evented Wrestlemania as many times as you... but that doesn't mean you're any better than me bro'. That doesn't mean you deserve a shot at the WWE Championship anymore than me. And that doesn't mean you want Shawn Michaels anymore than I do dude.
'The Game' smirks, shaking his head...
Listen Rob... I don't have a problem with you. But if you want... I can have a problem with you... real soon.
The crowd pops in anticipation as the two almost go nose to nose, both men stepping forward, neither man giving an inch. Triple H shakes his head, calmly saying "Don't let it happen Rob", while Van Dam simply nods his head, almost wanting to come to blows. The crowd continues to buzz... until...
The buzz of excitement quickly turns to boos as the No Way Out bearer of bad news Jonathan Coachman
steps out. Dressed in a sharp suit, 'Coach' appears to have recovered from the FU onto the hood of a car he suffered at the hands of John Cena last week. Coachman already has a mic in his hand as he stops at the top of the ramp, waiting for the boos to die down before he speaks...
You two hold on for just one second there. I have a little announcement I need to make.
Van Dam and 'The Game' both loked equally annoyed as they look up the ramp...
Y'see, Mr. McMahon is busy concentrating on his son Shane's match with John Cena tonight, and-
'Coach' is quick off by a pop for the mention of Cena, much to his chigrin...
If you don't mind. As I was saying, Mr. McMahon is currently concentrating on Shane's match tonight with John Cena. And because of that, Mr. McMahon has personally
put yours truly in charge for the evening.
Heat as 'Coach' smiles smugly...
Now, in an effort to not only impress Mr. McMahon, but also you people here in the arena, Bakersfield, California, I have a question for all of you. Do you wanna see Rob Van Dam and Triple H go at it, one on one here TONIGHT?!
A massive pop from the crowd, with 'The Game' and 'RVD' both turning to each other, an awkward stare shared between the two...
C'mon! Lemme' here ya'! You want 'The Game' and 'Mr. Monday Night' live tonight!?
Another huge pop...
Oh 'Coach', you tease...
You're not gettin' what you want. You're gettin'... what I
want. Lemme' make this clear... I don't like either of you two gentlemen. Neither one of ya' ever shows Mr. McMahon any respect. 'The Father of Our Industry'... and you two treat him like dirt. Well I
... am gonna do somethin' about that. So tonight, both
Triple H and Rob Van Dam will be in action...
As tag team partners
Once again Triple H and Van Dam turn to each other, an uneasy glance on both their faces...
And you two will be teaming up to take on my bois, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, The World's - Greatest - Tag Team!
The crowd pops in excitement, but neither Van Dam nor Trips share their enthusiasm, as Van Dam rolls his eyes as he leans against the top rope, while 'The Game' turns and walks to the opposite side of the ring, his back turned on both Van Dam and 'Coach', but the camera still picks up the seething look on his face...
And gentlemen... I hope you're ready to fight, because that match is happenin'... RIGHT NOW!
The boos quickly rain down as right on cue, The World's Greatest Tag Team
make their entrance, with Shelton Benjamin
leading the way as Charlie Haas
brings up the rear, doing more of the trash talking at the crowd while Benjamin aims his insults at the ring...
What a way to kick off Monday Night Raw! An impromptu match up featuring Triple H and Rob Van Dam against The World's Greatest Tag Team!
Yeah and it's pretty clear for all to see that 'The Game' and 'RVD' aren't happy about it.
Can Triple H and Rob Van Dam co-exist here tonight? We'll find out when we return to Monday night Raw!
Match 1: Tag Team Match
The World's Greatest Tag Team
vs. Triple H
and Rob Van Dam
We return just as the bell rings, with both Triple H and Rob Van Dam still in the ring, the tension between the two clear for all to see as neither man wants to back down. With the referee pestering the pair to make a decision, it’s finally ‘The Game’ who relents, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head as he steps through the ropes, willing to let Van Dam get on with things. Benjamin starts for his team, and off the first tie up, it’s Benjamin who gains control, working into a standing side headlock. Van Dam quickly fires Shelton into the ropes, but Shelton bowls Van Dam over with a shoulderblock. Benjamin then turns and heads off the ropes, with Van Dam staying on the mat, seeing Benjamin run over him, allowing Van Dam to roll and catch the onrushing Benjamin with a monkey flip! Both men are quickly back up, with Van Dam going for a kick to the gut... which Shelton catches, leading to ‘RVD’ going for an enziguiri... which Benjamin ducks... but Van Dam lands on his feet... and connects on the third attempt with a spinning heel kick! Van Dam scrambles for the cover... 1... 2... Shelton kicks out. Van Dam moves to help Shelton back up, but this allows Benjamin to drill a knee to the midsection, with Haas getting the tag. Charlie steps in and raced at ‘RVD’, but Van Dam counters with a roundhouse kick! Haas is dazes as Van Dam picks him up and goes for the Irish whip, but when Van Dam again tries the roundhouse, Haas baseball slides underneath it... and rocks ‘RVD’ with a release German suplex!
Van Dam takes a hard landing as he crashes to the mat, and it gets worse as once Haas has cleared away the cobwebs, he takes Van Dam up and down with a side suplex, gaining a near fall. Haas lands a few right hands, before he takes Van Dam up for an atomic drop... but Van Dam rolls all the way over, landing on his feet, and when Haas turns... Van Dam catches him with a spinning crescent kick! ‘RVD’ then heads for his corner, holding out his hand for the tag. ‘The Game’ briefly hesitates... before he forcibly slaps Van Dam’s hand! Triple H bursts into the ring, tagging Haas with rights to the head before going for the Irish whip... but Haas reverses... high knee strike! ‘The Game’ knocks Haas down, and follows with a big clothesline that’s put Haas down again. Benjamin storms the ring, but he runs right into a huge spinning spinebuster! ‘The Game’ roars to the crowd as he waits for Haas to rise... kick to the gut... PEDIGREE... NO! Benjamin races towards them... leg lariat!
Benjamin hammers Triple H, with Haas now free to go for the cover... 1... 2... kick out! Determined to press home this advantage, Haas brings Benjamin back into the match, with Shelton going for an Irish whip to the corner... but Triple H reverses... and follows in for a big time clothesline! Benjamin slumps to the mat, with ‘The Game’ turning to look at his corner... and seeing Van Dam’s hand stretched out! Again there’s hesitation, but ‘The Game’ tags in Van Dam to a nice pop from the crowd. ‘RVD’ quickly climbs to the top rope, waiting for Shelton to rise...flying crossbody! 1... 2... Haas breaks it up, which draws ‘The Game’ back into the ring to protest. The ref turns and tries to usher ‘The Game’ from the ring, but this only allows Haas and Benjamin to take advantage, as Haas drags Van Dam up... swinging neckbreaker! Haas plants Van Dam, and then boots start to fly, with Jerry Lawler stirring the pot a bit on commentary, pointing out that if Triple H left the ring the referee would see the illegal double team.
Finally order is restored, with Shelton working over Van Dam, connecting on a belly to belly suplex and a springboard bulldog, while Haas gets a long 2 count from a bridging German suplex. Haas and Benjamin continue to keep Van Dam away from his corner, showing a more vicious side as they hammer with right hands to the head and stiff kicks to the back and midsection. Another long 2 count comes from a Benjamin northern lights suplex, with Van Dam slowly beginning to fade. Shelton hammers Van Dam with right hands in the corner, causing Van Dam to slump down into the turnbuckle. A hard Irish whip then sends Van Dam across, with Benjamin lining ‘RVD’ up from across the ring before he charges... stinger splash... no! Van Dam dives to safety... but Benjamin manages to land on the second rope, quickly turning the move into a springboard crossbody... but Van Dam counters with a dropkick that catches Benjamin in mid air! Both men are down and crawling for their corners, with Benjamin tagging in Haas... while Van Dam dives for the corner... and tags in ‘The Game’!
Triple H enters to a big pop, running through Haas with clothesline after clothesline, before he takes Haas to the ropes and fires him across... Hass reverses, but as ‘The Game’ springs back Haas lowers his head... facebreaker knee smash! Haas stumbles back... until he’s planted with another clothesline! ‘The Game’ once more roars and flexes for the crowd, but here comes Benjamin... running straight into a back body drop! Order is lost as all four men are in the ring, with Van Dam targeting the still down Haas... ROLLING THUNDER! The referee quickly ushers Van Dam and Benjamin from the ring, leaving the legal man Triple H to target Haas. Haas clutches his ribs as he stumbles to his feet, with ‘The Game’ rocking him back into the ropes with a stiff right hand. An Irish whip fires Haas across, but he ducks a clothesline... but can’t avoid a MASSIVE SPINING SPINEBUSTER! ‘The Game’ is dominant, and he’s got Haas lined up, waiting to hit the pedigree... but Van Dam tags himself in!?
Van Dam slaps Triple H’s back, instantly springing to the top rope. ‘The Game’ turns, confused and angry, shouting “What are you doin’?!” as Van Dam perches on the top rope. ‘RVD’ shouts for ‘The Game’ to move so he can fly with the five star frog splash, but Trips continues to shout up at Van Dam... and in the confusion Benjamin slides back under the bottom rope, barging Triple H into the ropes and over the top to the floor... causing Van Dam to lose his balance... crotching himself on the top turnbuckle! The crowd gasps as both Triple H and Van Dam have simultaneous bad landings, but that doesn’t bother Benjamin who quickly springs to the top rope... TOP ROPE RELEASE OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX!!
The crowd gasps at the incredible move Benjamin pulls out, with Haas as the legal man quickly crawling to make the cover, hooking both legs tight 1... 2... 3!
Winners: The World's Greatest Tag Team @ 10.12
A huge upset as Benjamin takes advantage of the confusion between Van Dam and Triple H, grabbing the win for his team. Shelton quickly rolls from the ring to celebrate with Haas, the two sharing a hug as the referee raises their hands in victory. On the opposite side of the ring, 'The Game' picks himself back up, realising that he's suffered a defeat tonight. Sliding back into the ring, Trips stares furiously as Haas and Benjamin back up the ramp, before he turns his attention to Van Dam. 'RVD' picks himself up off the mat, holding his arms out wide and shouting "What happened?!". 'The Game' steps forward, getting in Van Dam's face, with both men clearly blaming the other for the loss. Tempers start to flare as both men start shouting at each other, but instead of coming to blows, 'The Game' runs a hand through his hair, then buries his face in his hands. Walking away from Van Dam, Trips leans against the corner of the ring, shaking his head angrily, while Van Dam does likewise as we head off into a commercial...
Quick-cutting shots flash across the screen of two young superstars, the two trading moves across a wrestling ring in a dimly-lit room...
Narrator: In Canada, wrestling is a tradition...
More shots of the youngsters in action, with it now clear that one of them is a strapping powerhouse, while the other is a smaller, technically gifted athlete...
Narrator: And one place is sacred to all...
We now see a blonde woman enter the ring, encouraging the two men inside...
Narrator: Beneath a family home is a place where only the brave enter...
Quick-fire shots of Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, The British Bulldog, Lance Storm and Bret Hart...
Narrator: And only the strong survive.
More shots of the two men flying around the ring, visible only through the shadows...
Narrator: The last graduating class of the Hart Dungeon is coming to Monday Night Raw...
The trio now stare at the camera through the shadows...
Narrator: To forge a new legacy!
"THE HART LEGACY - COMING SOON TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW!"
*End Video Package*
Back into the arena for...
*THIS FIRE BURNS...*
The crowd gives a good pop for CM Punk
, the newcomer to Raw gingerly making his way down the ring, grimacing as he does. After stepping through the ropes, Punk removes his t-shirt, revealing tape around his ribs after the punishment he suffered during his gutsy effort in his defeat to Umaga last week...
What an incredible effort it was CM Punk last week against Umaga. We've all witnessed the destruction 'The Samoan Bulldozer' is capable of recently, but Punk ran Umaga closer than I can ever remember.
CM Punk, for my money, really made a name for himself last week. It was the night that Punk arrived on the scene here on Raw as a major threat to win championships. Can he advance tonight to the semi finals of the Number One Contenders Tournament?
Well, he's not only got to get past Bobby Lashley, he's gotta try overcome the pain he's gotta be sufferin' in those ribs right now. I dunno if Punk can get it done tonight. This might be one week too early.
It's certainly gut check time tonight for CM Punk.
*HELL WILL BE CALLIN’...*
The mixed reaction for Bobby Lashley
continues, but week on week, the level of heat grows for the former ECW Champion. Looking composed, Lashley confidently makes his way down the ramp, still taking time to slap hands with the few fans still offering to exchange high fives, although the smile that he used to wear is long gone...
There's somethin' goin' on in this young man's life lately that I can't quite understand. The last two weeks, Bobby Lashley has point blank refused to give interviews. There's a different attitude, a much more aggressive Lashley in recent weeks.
I think it all goes back to Lashley losin' the ECW Championship at Night Of Champions. I mean, Lashley nearly lost it when Maria tried to grab a few words from him after that match.
I'd say it goes back further than that 'King'. For quite a while now Lashley has been complainin' about the reaction he gets from the fans. He's not exactly been gettin' a lot of cheers lately guys.
Yeah but Lashley can't let that get to him. He's gotta stay focused on winnin' matches, then the cheers will soon return...
Match 2: Number One Contenders Tournament Quarter Final Match
Bobby Lashley vs. CM Punk
As the bell rings, Punk is still clutching his ribs, with Lashley staring ominously across the ring at his injured opponent. The two head for the centre of the ring, where the pair tie up... until Lashley shoves Punk across the ring, down to the mat in the corner. Punk leans against the turnbuckle, clutching his ribs again, but Lashley gives Punk the chance to step out of the corner. Punk slowly walks back to Lashley, the pair again tying up. This time Lashley backs Punk into the corner, with the ref calling for the break. Lashley obliges, once more allowing Punk to leave the corner. Lashley backs off and the pair tie up again, with this time Punk working into a standing waistlock. Punk releases his grip to strike Lashley with kicks to the thigh, but when Lashley turns he swings with a right hand... that Punk ducks underneath, charging towards the ropes... crossbody... but Lashley catches Punk... and shifts him up onto his shoulder for The Dominator... but Punk shifts his weight... and twists into a DDT! Punk plants Lashley and hooks the leg... 1... 2... Lashley strongly kicks out.
Still visibly in pain, Punk is back on his feet first, tagging Lashley with a pair of kicks to the skull as he gets back to a knee, before Punk comes off the ropes for a low angle dropkick. Lashley rolls to the corner to try recover, but Punk stays on him, again striking with kicks to the head before going for an Irish whip across... which Lashley reverses... but Punk avoids the corner clothesline, coming off the ropes... one handed bulldog! 1... 2... kick out! Punk winces and grabs his midsection with every move, but now he’s in control of the match, Punk looks to press home his advantage, waiting for Lashley to rise before charging to the ropes... and jumping to the middle... springboard clothesline... but Lashley catches Punk... and plants him with a massive spinebuster! The crowd gasps as Punk cries in pain, with Lashley hooking the leg... 1... 2... Punk kicks out!
Frustrated, Lashley presses on, rocking Punk with right hands to the head against the turnbuckle. Lashley then sends Punk across the ring with a huge Irish whip, with Punk hitting the opposite corner hard, the impact causing him to slump to the mat, once again grabbing at his ribs. The crowd instantly starts to boo Lashley, viewing the move as a blatant attack of Punk’s ribs. Lashley stares at the crowd, almost in disbelief at the boos, with anger taking over as he presses on, starting by pulling Punk to his feet in the corner, only to hammer him with right hands, causing Punk to slump down to the mat. A hard scoop slam gets Lashley another 2 count, with Lashley then dragging Punk to his feet to lock on an abdominal stretch. Again the crowd boos, but Lashley continues to look confused as to the crowd’s response, simply feeling that’s he doing his best to win the match.
Lashley refrains from the typical heel tactics of driving elbows into the ribs or grabbing the top rope, but he does keep the hold locked in for a while, with Punk desperately trying to break free. The crowd tries to rally behind Punk, with the youngster feeding off their cheers. Punk tries to shift his weight in an attempt for a hiptoss... but Lashley hangs in there, and tags Punk with clubbing forearm to the small of the back. Punk is then shoved chest first into the corner, with Lashley turning him around to drive several shoulder thrusts to the midsection. Lashley then fires Punk across the ring, charging across the ring... SPEAR... NO! Punk dives to safety, seeing Lashley spear the ringpost! Lashley grabs at his shoulder as he slowly backs from the turnbuckle, but Punk stays on him, connecting with a pair of kicks to the head before going for an Irish whip. Punk then races across... knee to the face connects... and here comes the bulldog... no! Lashley gets his hands underneath Punk, shifting him across his shoulders... TORTURE RACK BACKBREAKER! Lashley drops to his knees, the impact sending searing pain through Punk’s ribs, with Lashley making the cover, convinced it’s over... 1... 2... Punk rolls his shoulder!
The crowd pops and Lashley is in disbelief as Punk stays alive! The match should be over, but Lashley is forced to press on, helping Punk to his feet... and Punk strikes with a forearm to the side of the head! The crowd cheers as Punk connects again... but a knee to the gut from Lashley ends the brief rally. Once more, Punk is fired to the corner, with Lashley again charging in... SPEAR! Lashley spears Punk against the turnbuckle, stepping back to watch Punk collapse to the mat in agony. This time it’s gotta be over, with Lashley hooking the leg... 1... 2... Punk gets a foot on the bottom rope! Lashley again can’t believe it, rage engulfing his face, the same look in his eyes that he had for Maria two weeks ago. Lashley gets in the ref’s face, demanding it was three, only to be defiantly told it was just two. The rage that Lashley is feeling is now taken out on Punk, as Lashley yanks him to the his feet and takes him up into the air... for a long vertical suplex!
Again the crowd boos, but Lashley still has that furious look in his eyes, and rather surprisingly instead of going for the cover, Lashley again takes Punk to his feet... and goes for another suplex... but this time Punk lands on his feet behind Lashley, spinning Lashley around... and taking him up on his shoulders... GO TO SLEEP... NO! Lashley hits elbow after elbow to the side of the head dropping to his feet... to nail Punk with a brutal clothesline! It should be over, and J.R. even says as much on commentary, but Lashley again refuses the cover, dragging Punk back to his feet... and taking the lifeless Punk onto his shoulders... for the DOMINATOR! Lashley smashes Punk to the mat, and through all the boos of the crowd, Lashley finally goes for the cover... 1... 2... 3.
Winner: Bobby Lashley @ 07.49
Mercifully, it's over. Lashley aggressively releases the leg he hooked, pushing it down to the mat. Getting back on his feet, Lashley has his hand raised by the referee, pleased to have ended his mini losing streak with a victory, but as he pumps his fist to the crowd, the heat level has risen once again. Lashley looks at the audience, almost confused, wondering why he's been booed for simply finishing Punk off. Lashley shakes his head, not understanding the hostility towards him. Stepping through the ropes, Lashley walks around to the foot of the ramp, a few hands making their feelings perfectly clear as Lashley simply heads backstage...
Well... once again, an incredible effort from CM Punk, especially considering the condition he's in right now. But what on earth is goin' on with Bobby Lashley? I don't think there was any need for the way Lashley approached that match. There was no need for Punk to suffer as badly as he did.
Well wait a minute J.R., what was wrong with that? I mean we all know Lashley hasn't been winnin' match lately, he tried to put Punk away early, but Punk wouldn't give up. Punk battled to the end, so Lashley did what he had to do to win the match.
I don't know about that 'King'. I'm pretty sure Lashley had the match won a lot
sooner than when the pinfall came. Punk was in no position to continue, but Lashley kept up the offense.
As Lashley drifts up the ramp, the camera takes a look at Punk, trainers and doctors attending to him, with Punk complaining of struggling to catch a breath. The docs check his injured ribs, and then the camera turns back to Lashley, stood beneath the tron. Lashley turns back towards the ring, a look of remorse on his face... and then suddenly Mike Knox barges past Lashley on his way down to the ring...
Oh what the hell?! What does Mike Knox want?
I think he wants to get his hands on a defenceless CM Punk!
There's no need for this! Mike Knox has this crazy desire to cause CM Punk pain, and he's picked the perfect moment to do it!
Lashley looks back down the ramp as Knox strides past him. Sliding under the bottom rope, the trainers and doctors quickly scatter as the hulking Knox stands over them, with Punk trying to reach up and grab the ropes to drag himself up. Feeling his prey is weak, Knox grabs Punk and yanks him up, holding Punk by the hair. Knox has a sick smile on his face, suggesting he's going to enjoy what he's about to do... but he pauses as Kelly Kelly scrambles under the bottom rope, pleading with Knox to leave Punk alone...
Surely Kelly Kelly can talk some sense into her ex-boyfriend? He's not gonna do this with her in there is he?
God I hope not. For the love o' God Mike, have some compassion!
I don't understand this. I mean, Bobby Lashley... he's watchin' this happen! Why doesn't Lashley do somethin' to stop this?!
Indeed the camera cuts to Lashley, still standing at the top of the ramp, watching the actions unfold. Lashley's conscience seems to take over, as he starts to walk down the ramp, the crowd popping as it appears Lashley is about to make the save... but after two steps, Lashley stops... turns on his heels... and simply walks backstage!
The crowd shits all over this, but in the ring, Knox takes no notice, instead focusing on Kelly, who is clawing at Knox's arm, trying to break his grip. Knox shouts "Kelly! Get your ass backstage, NOW!" but Kelly is determined, trying to stop the attack... until Knox shoves her across the ring on her ass!! The heat increases yet again as Knox smirks at Kelly, looking helpless as he sits on the mat. Knox then turns back to Punk, again yanking his hair... before pulling Punk away from the ropes... and then hooking him up... KNOX OUT!! Knox aggressively plants Punk, quickly getting back on his knees to look down on the broken Punk. Knox then turns towards Kelly, going eye to eye with her, with the camera close enough to hear Knox say "That... was your fault". Kelly is visibly distressed, close to tears almost, with Knox staring at her, fear in her eyes. Knox finally gets back on his feet and walks towards Kelly, offering his hand to her and saying "Let's go!". Instead of taking his hand, Kelly scrambles over to Punk, trying to comfort him, with the doctors getting back in the ring to help Punk again. Knox looks furious that Kelly has defied him... so he simply grabs Kelly by her dress, drags er to her feet... and hoists her onto his shoulder! The crowd is incensed, booing the shit out of Knox, as he places Kelly on the mat and steps through the ropes. Kelly tries to crawl away, but Knox is too quick, grabbing her by the ankle and pulling her under the bottom rope and back onto his shoulder. Kelly desperately kicks and screams for Punk to save her, but Punk can barely move in the ring, trying to sit up to come to Kelly's aid, only for the doctors to tell him lay back down. Kelly desperately fights to be free, but Knox's grip is tight, with the camera picks up every inch of the sick smile on his face as he walks back up the ramp, the boos and the screams of Kelly ringing loud as we head to a commercial.
And we return to the sight of the ever bubbly Maria
ready to conduct an interview...
Hi! I'm Maria! And I'd like you all to join me in welcoming my guest at this time... John Cena!
The crowd gives a mainly positive reaction as Cena enters the shot, the former WWE Champion grimacing slightly as he approaches Maria...
And John, last week you suffered a brutal
attack at the hands of 'The Samoan Bulldozer' Umaga. It seems pretty clear to everybody that the attack was an attempt by the McMahon's to soften you up ahead of your match with Shane McMahon tonight. John... how are you feeling right now?
Cena gives a brief shrug of the shoulders...
What do ya' want to me say Maria? I mean, Umaga... he did a number on me last week. Vince and Shane, they set me up... and they got me. I'm hurt, I'm banged up, I'm not a hundred percent right now. Call it what you will, but whatever deal Vince and Shane cut with Armando Estrada, whatever plan they had to hurt me, to weaken me, to soften me up for tonight... it worked.
A mixed reaction from the crowd as Cena has a pained expression on his face...
But I wanna make one thing clear to you Shane. You think that stunt you pulled last week with Umaga gave you the advantage tonight? You think you've got a better chance now of makin' Daddy proud tonight Shane?
Cena smirks and shakes his head...
Not only did that attack from Umaga hurt... it made me even more determined to kick your ass tonight!
Pop as Cena turns serious...
There's one thing you oughta know about me Shane. I'll never
back down from a fight. No matter how hurt I am, no matter how bad the odds are stacked against me, I'll show up night after night, and I will BRING THE FIGHT SHANE! Each and every night, I'll step through those ropes, and I'll fight with all I got! I ain't some punk that backed down to the McMahon Boys like so many others did in the past. I ain't them... I'm John Cena
And Vince... Shane... you two may have won the first couple o' battles these last two weeks, but I promise you this... tonight I'm gonna get back at you Shane. And then after that... I'm comin' after you Vinny!
Cena nods his head, happy with his brief comments, before turning and walking off the set, leaving behind Maria who watches in awe as Cena leaves. We quickly then cut to see Todd Grisham standing by an office door, also ready for an interview...
Ladies and gentlemen, I am stood outside the office of Mr. McMahon. I understand that both Vince and Shane McMahon are just behind this door, I'm gonna attempt to get an interview with both of them right now. Uh... Mr. McMahon...
Grisham knocks on the door and pushes it open, not bothering to wait for an invite inside. We briefly see inside the office, noticing that Shane McMahon is stood infront of a TV screen, obviously having just saw John Cena's interview. Both Mr. McMahon and Jonathan Coachman are stood in the centre of the room talking to... is that Melina? Startled by the interruption of Grisham, Vince angrily charges for the door, pushing Grisham and his cameraman back through the door, slamming it shut behind him...
Grisham! What's the meaning of this!? You don't just barge into my office unannounced like that!
Sorry Mr. McMahon, but uh... I was just wondering, in light of the comments John Cena just made... do you have any response for Cena? Or could we get an interview with Shane, get his feelings on the match tonight?
Vince looks at Grisham with disgust...
My son Shane is in there preparing himself to beat
John Cena tonight. There will be no interviews with him. But, I did hear what Cena had to say. Let me guess Todd. Ya' fell all fired up now don't ya'! Ya' feel that once again, John Cena is gonna overcome the odds, fight through the pain, beat Shane McMahon! Ya' think that's gonna happen now, don't ya' Todd?
Almost afraid to do so, Grisham nods his head in agreement...
Yeah, just as I expected. Well y'see Todd... what you and Mr. Cena both need to realise... is that the odds are always
stacked in my favour. See, the second John Cena put his hands on me and FU'd me through a table the Monday night before the Royal Rumble, Cena made an enemy of me. And now that your an enemy of me John... there's a price on your head.
Heat as McMahon smugly smiles...
And not just any old price Cena. Oh no. Y'see, I've decided to open this up to the masses Cena. Anybody can come to me, name their price... and all I ask in return is that you suffer at their hands. Last week, Armando Estrada and myself had a little business meeting. Mr. Estrada told me he and Umaga wanted a challenge. I gave them the ultimate challenge, The Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak. And in return? Well... you all saw what Umaga did to Cena last week.
You crossed 'The Boss' Cena. And now you're gonna pay the price... and I'm gonna enjoy every second of it! This interview is over.
But Mr. McMahon, wait! If you gave Umaga a Smackdown contract, allowing him to show up at No Way Out, does this mean Edge cut a similar deal with you? And... was that Melina in there? What is she-
McMahon places a hand on top of the microphone, prompting Grisham to stop...
I said this interview is over. I'll leave the rest up to your imagination.
And after one last smirk for the camera, Vince turns and re-enters his office, the camera this time focusing on the concerned looking Grisham as we fade into a video package...
MARCH 20th, 1994
Two champions, two title belts, but only one ladder to climb to grab victory in what would prove to be one of the greatest ladder matches of all time. Entering the match, both Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon claimed they were the true Intercontinental Champion. In a gripping encounter, both men batter each other with the ladder, and Michaels gives the iconic image of diving off the ladder for a big splash to Ramon. The action is fast paced and brutal, with both men coming close to victory on several occasions. In the end, both men make one last push for glory up the battered ladder, it looking like it could buckle at any moment. After trading punches at the top of the ladder, Michaels is sent crashing crotch first into the ring ropes, tangling himself in the process. This allows Razor a free run at the gold, with 'The Bad Guy' finally reaching up and grabbing both belts to bring to an end the original and best ladder match, crowning a new Undisputed Intercontinental Champion in the process, and giving fans their first taste of some of the legendary Wrestlemania moments 'The Heartbreak Kid' was about to provide them with.
WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - 41 DAYS AND COUNTING
*End Video Package*
Back into the arena for...
The crowd gives a decent pop as Women's Champion Mickie James
bounces out onto the stage, her tag team partner Candice Michelle
not far behind. The two pose briefly at the top of the ramp, before they make their way down to the ring...
What on earth is going on in Mr. McMahon's office right now? That- that was Melina, I'm sure of it!
Yeah and... what was she doin' back there? And why couldn't we get any answers from Mr. McMahon?
Somethin' ain't right. I don't like this one bit. McMahon is up to somethin', I'm sure of that. Well... we're gonna have to get on with the show. Mickie James and Candice Michelle are in tag team action when we return, takin' on Victoria and her new associate Beth Phoenix.
And it was quite the impact Beth Phoenix made last week on her return to the ring, not only did she beat Candice Michelle, she laid out Mickie James too.
It was very impressive, but you have to think now that Mickie and Candice have had a chance to prepare for Beth Phoenix, they'll be ready for her this week.
*I AIN'T A LADY TO MESS WITH...*
A few boos as Victoria
and Beth Phoenix
step out, the two confidently striding down to the ring. Victoria in particular looks very confident, knowing her new ally has already made her mark on their upcoming opponents...
When you look at this Beth Phoenix, you can't help but think there's a lotta power waitin' to be unleashed.
And with these two now acting as running buddies, you have to fear for Mickie's title reign. Mickie saw off Victoria, but can she see off the combined forces of Victoria and Phoenix?
This match oughta give us an insight into that. Maybe tonight we'll find out just how impressive this Beth Phoenix can really be...
Match 3: Divas Tag Team Match
Women's Champion Mickie James and Candice Michelle vs. Victoria and Beth Phoenix
Continuing the theme from last week, Beth’s eyes are firmly locked on Mickie, even as Mickie steps through the ropes to allow Candice to start. Victoria eventually manages to convince Beth to step out, leading to a tie up between Victoria and Candice. Victoria quickly works into a headlock takedown, wrenching on the neck, until Candice swings a leg over, wrapping them around Victoria’s head. Victoria swivels to her knees, then flips over, bridging on top of Candice with the shoulders down... 1... 2... Candice bridges up, forcing both women back to the feet... and then she takes Victoria down with a backslide! 1... 2... Victoria kicks out. Both women are quickly back up, with Victoria swinging a right hand... but Candice ducks, taking her down with a roll up... 1... 2... again Victoria kicks out, springing back to her feet... to hammer Candice with a clothesline!
A handful of hair allows Victoria to apply a hair pull Gory special, the ref calling for a break. Victoria lets go, only to again apply the hold... but this time Candice rolls all the way across Victoria’s back, landing on her feet... then tagging in Mickie! Victoria charges the corner, only for Mickie to tag her with a forearm, then use the ropes to spring up... for the Mick-A-Rana! Victoria staggers to her feet... but Mickie nails a flying clothesline! Again Victoria stumbles as he returns to a vertical base, this time swinging with a right hand... but Mickie ducks... and takes Victoria down with a falling neckbreaker! 1... 2... Victoria kicks out, with Mickie once again tagging Candice.
Candice enters just as Victoria sits up, allowing Candice to connect with a low-angle dropkick. Candice then waits for Victoria to rise before coming off the ropes, only for Beth to drill a knee into the back. Candice swings a right hand, tagging Beth, but as she turns back to the action Victoria is waiting... to drill Candice with a boot to the face! Victoria quickly tags in Beth, and the powerhouse newcomer quickly goes to work, rocking Candice with forearm after forearm before scooping Candice up for a stiff backbreaker, getting a near fall. Beth and Victoria know work together to target Candice’s spine, with Beth hitting a slingshot suplex and Victoria connecting with A-rack-nophobia, both getting long two counts. Beth again hits the backbreaker, but this time she keeps Candice across her knee, pushing down on her chin to lock on a pendulum backbreaker submission. Beth forcibly pushes down on the chin, causing Candice to cry out in pain. Candice tries to claw Beth’s hand away from her chin, but the newcomer keeps a firm grip. Eventually Mickie starts bouncing up and down on the apron, rallying the crowd who try and will Candice to break free. Eventually Candice swings a boot, catching Beth at the side of the head... and another... and a third finally breaks the hold!
Both women return to their feet slowly, with Beth swinging a right hand first... but Candice blocks, connecting with a forearm! Again Beth swings, again Candice blocks and fires back. Candice then swings a big right, but Beth ducks, hooking Candice from behind for a inverted suplex... but Candice goes all the way over, landing on her feet... and diving for the corner to tag in Mickie! The champion explodes into the ring, tagging Beth with a pair of forearms before coming off the ropes... Beth misses with a clothesline, and Mickie keeps running... Lou Thesz press! Mickie repeatedly slams Beth’s head off the mat, but Victoria makes the save, clubbing Mickie from behind with a boot to the head. Victoria then stands behind Mickie, waiting for her to rise... but Candice charges, tackling Victoria through the ropes to the floor! Both divas spill to the outside, leaving Phoenix and James in the ring. Beth is first back up, and she grabs Mickie, firing her to the corner then charges in... but Mickie gets a boot up, allowing her to synch Beth in and bounce off the ropes... tornado DDT... no! Beth shows great strength to hand on, yanking Mickie across her shoulders... BETH VALLEY DRIVER!! Phoenix plants the champion for the second week in a row, this time hooking the leg... 1... 2... 3!
Winners: Victoria and Beth Phoenix @ 05.24
For the second week in a row, Mickie and Candice are left down and out by the combination of Phoenix and Victoria. Rolling off of Mickie, Beth is soon back on her feet, joined by Victoria, the two having their hands raised high by the referee. Mickie starts to show a few signs of life, but she's unable to make it back to her feet, with the camera staying focused on Beth and Victoria as we head off to commercial.
When we return, we head to the announce desk, which is down a member as we only see Lawler and Styles...
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Monday Night Raw. During the commercial break, CM Punk was removed from the arena on a stretcher, with what we believe to be broken ribs. Uh... credit where credit's due, Punk put up a great fight against Bobby Lashley, but it just wasn't enough for Punk to overcome 'The Dominator'.
Well I think Lashley did what he had to do to Punk away, I don't necessarily have a problem with that. What I do
have a problem with is that Lashley watched on and then walked away as Mike Knox attacked Punk after the bell.
It was certainly a cowardly
attack from Knox, picking on a defenceless Punk, even going as far as to shove Kelly Kelly as she pleaded with Knox not to punish Punk any further. As for Lashley... I just don't know what was goin' through his mind at that point in time.
I hope Punk's OK. Kelly Kelly was in tears as they took Punk out of the arena, I hope she's finally managed to break free of Mike Knox.
Let's try move on from that folks. J.R. is in the ring, ready for a huge
interview. Let's hand it over to Jim Ross...
Ross is already stood in the ring, microphone in hand, but a concerned look crosses the legendary announcers face. There's no special set up for this interview, just J.R., a mic, the quiet hush of the crowd and his upcoming guest...
Ladies and gentlemen, over the last few weeks or so, we've seen a certain change in our new WWE Champion. A change in attitude, a change in direction, and quite frankly... a change I never thought possible.
J.R. shakes his head in disappointment as the crowd gives a few quiet boos...
Well folks, tonight, I'm gonna try and get a few answers that in my opinion, we all deserve. Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time... the WWE Champion... Shawn Michaels.
The crowd erupts with tremendous heat as the familiar music plays, and the volume rises again as Shawn Michaels
steps out from the back. Much like last week, Michaels is dressed all in black, with a black cowboy hat pulled down low over his face. Michaels has the WWE Championship slung over his shoulder as he slowly drops to his knees, offering a silent prayer to the heavens before he stands back up and carries on down to the ring...
The transformation in recent weeks of Shawn Michaels... it's been staggering 'King'! For so many years, Shawn Michaels was loved by these fans. Religion was never an issue for Michaels, but recently it seems that Shawn will only answer to one man, the man upstairs.
We all knew Shawn was a religious man, but he pretty much kept it to himself. But ever since the breakup of DX, it's been a different Shawn Michaels, and it all came to a head two weeks ago at Night Of Champions.
Somethin' is goin' on with Michaels right now. I only hope J.R. can try shed some light on it all right now...
Michaels enters the ring, slowly walking towards J.R. in the middle. Michaels raises his head just enough to allow us to see the vacant look in his eyes, the expressionless look on his face, the apparent peace he has inside despite the boos being hurled at him...
Shawn... everybody has seen a change in you in recent weeks. These fans aren't stupid, they've all seen the way you've been acting as of late. From your issues with Triple H, to the confrontation you both had at the Royal Rumble, to Night Of Champions, to your actions last week with Rob Van Dam, somethin' ain't right with you Shawn. You might have said last week that you didn't owe anybody an explanation, but dammit Shawn, Triple H, John Cena, Rob Van Dam, these fans here tonight, the millions of fans watchin' at home... they all
deserve an explanation Shawn.
J.R. points the microphone at Michaels, who lifts his head to look at J.R., then to glance at the fans, many of whom have gone quiet awaiting his response...
You want... an explanation for actions recently. Is that it?
J.R. nods his head as the crowd throw out a few boos...
You wanna know what's been goin' on in ol' 'Aitch - Bee - Kay's head recently, is that it?
Again J.R. nods, with Michaels pausing to consider his words...
What makes you think that you
J.R. deserve an explanation? What makes you think that Triple H, John Cena, Rob Van Dam... what makes you think any of 'em deserves an explanation from me? What makes you think these people deserve
J.R. looks almost shocked at Michaels' response...
They deserve an explanation Shawn, because these people have always stood by you. They cheered for ya' night after night, they rooted for ya' time and time again.
The crowd pop as J.R. sticks up for them...
Me? I've known you for nearly fifteen
years. I stood by you when you when you had your well documented personal problems, I supported you durin' some of the darkest times of your life. John Cena? You can claim that was just business. But as for Triple H and Rob Van Dam... it couldn't have been any more personal than what you did to them.
Again the crowd pops as J.R. starts to build up a head of steam, although Michaels remains unmoved...
You had absolutely no business in hittin' Rob Van Dam with the sweet chin music last week. You practically took the ECW Championship and put it in Vince McMahon's hands. And Triple H... the man was your best friend for over ten years and you-
The crowd boos more vocally as Michaels finally shows a hint of emotion, a sense of rage engulfing his face at the mention of 'The Game'...
You want an explanation? Here's
your explanation. You say these people have always stood by me. You say Triple H has always stood by me. You
always stood by me? What about 1998 Jimbo? Where were you all then?
Having calmed down a bit, Michaels stares intently at Ross...
You remember, don't ya' Jim? Wrestlemania 14, me, Shawn Michaels, 'The Icon', 'The Showstoppah', 'The Main Event'... in yet another Wrestlemania headliner. But what was different about that night? I wrestled with a broken - freakin' - back! I gave everythin' I had that night, not just for me... but for these people... and for DX. And what happened? I lost. I got beat by 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, and the rest is history.
A brief pop for the mention of Austin, with Michaels smirking at this...
Oh yeah. Steve Austin. He was your new hero, wasn't he? I broke my back, I gave my body, I destroyed myself physically and emotionally for you people, and when it was all over, you dropped me like a bad habit. For the next - FOUR - YEARS - I sat at home, and not once did I hear from you people. Nothin'. You people didn't give a damn about me anymore. And neither... did Triple H.
For the most part, the crowd is silent, hanging on Michaels' every word...
The very next on Raw, Hunter ran me down. He said I was weak, he said DX was under new leadership. I got kicked to the kerb, I had to shuffle on home... and Hunter took DX, my
creation, to new heights. And y'know what happened when I saw that? Y'know what watchin' Monday Night Raw every week, listening to you scream at the top of your lungs (Imitates J.R.)
"Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Triple H! The Game!", you know what that did to me?
J.R. solemly shakes his head...
It made me more determined to come back, better than ever. To be the very best once again. Not for Triple H, not for these people... but for myself. I had to know if I could be 'The Maim Event' once again. And y'know what? I did it. I made it back, and here comes my old... friend
... Triple H. "Let's put DX back together. Let's put the band back together." I didn't need Triple H. When I shoulda been listenin' to the voice in the back of my head tellin' me not to do it... I was listenin' to you people cheerin' me on. You wanted it, you got it... and then Triple H... he tried to end my career.
Shawn pauses, rubbing a hand across his face...
He tried to break my back all over again. I let it happen, 'cause I let you people convince me it was the right thing to do. I listened to ya'... and you were wrong. And it wasn't any of you who paid the price. It was me. I was the one who had to go through a street fight with Triple H. I came out of it alright. I came out of it WWE Champion again, and for the first time in over four years, I was happy again. I was back, I was 'The Showstoppah', I was the champion! And then I lost it again. I had it all taken away from me by Triple H.
Michaels frowns, shaking his head, disappointed at his former self...
Fast forward another four years, last summer. I see Triple H gettin' his ass kicked by Vince and Shane McMahon's hired hands... and once again, I listen to you people. Good ol' Shawn Michaels, ridin' to the rescue, savin' Triple H, puttin' the band back together. But this time last year... when I
was Vince and Shane's target... I didn't see Triple H come to my rescue. I didn't see him savin' me from the ass kickin I took night after night. I didn't hear anybody screamin' for Triple H to save me back then. But me? Then it was "C'mon Shawn! Do the right thing Shawn!" And I did... again. I entered into a new DX, a better DX, no leaders, just equals. Until... until Hunter started makin' decisions without me.
Michaels adjusts his cowboy hat, running a hand across his face as he does...
The DX that I put back together, not because I wanted to... but because you people told me it was the right thing to do... that DX was on the line. Again, not 'cause I wanted it to... but because Triple H and you people wanted it to. So I gave it everythin' I had, I fought for DX, I fought for my... friend
, Triple H... and I fought for you people. And when it was over?
Michaels turns and glares at the hard camera...
That bastard couldn't even shake my hand.
The crowd fires back with heat...
And y'know, I took a good, long, hard, look at myself after that. DX was over, and I had once again... lost my smile. So I looked back on the last five years, since my return to the WWE, I looked back at I searched for a time when I was happy. And that time... was when I was WWE Champion. So that became my goal. To be WWE Champion again. To main event Wrestlemania once again. And how do I do that? I win... the Royal Rumble. And what happened at the Rumble? Tell the people J.R., what happened at the Royal Rumble, in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas. Tell 'em.
Perplexed, J.R. shrugs and answers...
You were eliminated from the Royal Rumble... by Triple H.
Michaels chuckles to himself...
That's right! Triple H, once again... takes away my chance at happiness. My chance at the WWE Championship... and he took it from me again. So at Night Of Champions, I saw my opportunity to be happy once again. I saw my chance to find my smile again. I saw my chance... to be champion. And I did whatever it took to get the job done. And that meant smackin' a steel chair of Hunter's skull. And I loved each - and ev'ry - second of it.
More heat, to which Michaels smirks again...
The moment that steel chair hit Triple H's skull... I was happy. I had found... my smile. You people may not like it... but I don't give a damn what you people want anymore. Rob Van Dam may have came out here last week and told me all about what he thought of me... but I don't give a damn what he thinks either. I don't give a damn what anybody
thinks about me, except... the man upstairs.
Michaels glances to the heavens...
Shawn Michaels: He's
the only one who I answer to now. I do what I want, when I want... and as long as me and the big guy are alright, then I don't care what anybody else thinks of ol' 'Aitch - Bee - Kay!
And as for Rob Van Dam... consider what happened last week to 'RVD', the first example of what's gonna happen to people who try and tell me what they think o' me. I don't listen to anybody anymore. I don't listen to Triple H. I don't listen to Rob Van Dam. I don't listen to any of you people. And I don't listen to you either Jim.
Michaels steps away from the microphone to another chorus of boos, while J.R. can only shake his head in disbelief...
Well I... I... I can't quite believe what I'm hearin' here Shawn. What on earth has happened to you this last month or so? I mean... the WWE Championship... your happiness... was it really worth turnin' your back on your best friend? Was it really worth costin' Rob Van Dam the prized item he cherished the most?
Michaels glances at the WWE Championship on his shoulder, deep in contemplation despite J.R. pleading with him...
This isn't the Shawn Michaels I know. This isn't the Shawn Michaels these people have loved for so many years. I mean... for the love of Gawd Shawn, what's goin' through that-
Michaels... just drilled Jim Ross... with SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! The crowd is stunned to silence, as Michaels has just planted J.R.! Michaels stands over J.R., looking down at the fallen legendary commentator, with the crowd now finally recovering from the shock to boo Michaels heavily. The clunk of a headset hitting the announce desk is heard, with it soon apparent that it belonged to Jerry Lawler, with 'King' scrambling into the ring to check on his long-time announce partner. J.R. is down and out, not moving an inch, while Michaels still has that expressionless look on his face, not a trace of emotion, no guilt, no remorse, once again a man at peace with himself and his actions. 'King' shows great concern for J.R., slapping Ross in the face in an attempt to bring him around. Lawler then turns to Michaels, fury in his eyes, bounding to his feet, going face to face with the WWE Champion! The crowd pops, hoping to see Lawler crack Michaels with a right hand. Michaels stares blankly at Lawler, despite the rage engulfing Lawler's face. Lawler looks in Michaels' eyes, then down at J.R., then back at Michaels before shouting...
"What the hell is wrong with you!? What the hell are you doing!?"
Lawler is shaking with rage, furious at how low Michaels has stooped tonight. The crowd urges him on, with Lawler clenching his fist by his side. The fans cheer loud, begging Lawler to swing... but before he gets a chance, Michaels simply tips his cowboy hat at Lawler... then turns and walks away! The crowd boos as Michaels walks away from the confrontation, leaving a stunned Lawler behind, his rage quickly turning to confusion. Michaels calmly steps through the ropes and drops to the floor, with Lawler quickly turning back to J.R., checking on his friends condition and waving to backstage for help. The camera then focuses on Michaels as he makes his way back up the ramp, his expression still not changed, even as medical personal and referees race down the ramp past him, Shawn Michaels remains a man at peace with himself...
Joey Styles: Folks I... I can't believe what I just saw. Jim Ross, one of the most respected men in the WWE... was just hit with the sweet chin music by Shawn Michaels! What the- what the hell is wrong with that S.O.B?!
Michaels continues his walk up the ramp, before he stops to look back at the ring. Michaels stares blankly as the doctors check on J.R., the crowd still in a stunned silence... until they start to pop... as Rob Van Dam races out from the back... and clubs Michaels from behind! The WWE Title and the black cowboy hat go flying as Michaels is sent rolling down the ramp, with Van Dam quickly giving chase, drilling Michaels with right hands that knocks him down to the base of the ramp. The referees from the ring dive to the outside to try and break up the fight, but Van Dam takes no notice, mounting Michaels to drill him with right hands. Soon a team of security guards race down the ramp, and it takes four of them to drag Van Dam away from the WWE Champion. Michaels is stunned, crawling on his hands and knees up the ramp, the camera staying tight to him. Soon the crowd is buzzing once again, as Michaels crawls to find a pair of legs blocking his path. Both Michaels and the camera look up... it's Triple H!!! Michaels is on his knees at the feet of 'The Game', fear suddenly gripping his face! Michaels backs away in shock, trying to distance himself from Trips... but 'The Game' methodically walks down the ramp after him, and as Michaels makes it back to his feet... Triple H tackles him to the ramp!
All hell has broken loose as another brawl breaks out between Triple H and Michaels, with 'The Game' unloading with furious right hands to Michaels' skull. The security guards and referees who were dealing with Van Dam now have to turn their attentions to Triple H, with the workers desperately trying to drag 'The Game' away from the WWE Champion. It's chaos as Triple H starts drilling security guards with right hands, trying to free himself to attack Michaels again... and it gets worse as Van Dam races towards them... and takes down both Michaels and Triple H! The crowd goes crazy again for the mayhem that has taken over, as Van Dam tags both men, with security guards and referees trying valiantly to separate the trio...
This- this is insane! We've got Jim Ross down in the ring... and we've got a mass brawl at ringside! We've gotta go to commercial, join us when we return!
The crowd is still going crazy as Triple H, Van Dam and Michaels throw fists wildly, all three men knocking over security guards and referees, with 'The Game' and 'RVD' both trying to get their hands on Michaels, while Michaels desperately seeks a path of escape as we fade to commercial with the chaos ensuing.
We open to a dark, empty Madison Square Garden, the arena barely illuminated as shadows are cast on a wrestling ring ...
Narrator: Over 20 years ago, an institution was born...
Slowly the lights of the old arena rise, revealing more of the empty seats...
Narrator: A prime-time spectacular that brought sports entertainment to the masses.
The whirl of a projector can be heard, a grainy image of Hulk Hogan flexing his muscles being ‘projected’ across the ring...
Narrator: The legends of the WWE shone bright on this night...
We now see the image of a young Bret Hart holding his arms open to the crowd...
Narrator: And now it’s time for a new set of legends to make their mark.
The ‘projected’ image of John Cena, muscles bursting out his skin as he roars to the crowd...
Narrator: The WWE is back on NBC...
We now see Triple H stood on an apron, spraying water high into the air...
Narrator: Ready to reclaim their night...
A quick shot of a young Shawn Michaels in full ‘Sexy Boy’ attire, before cutting to the modern day ‘Heartbreak Kid’...
Narrator: And make Saturdays once again...
A similar fast shot of a younger Undertaker, being led to the ring by Paul Bearer and the urn, before we snap to the current ‘Deadman’...
Narrator: The main event!
"SATURDAY NIGHT’S MAIN EVENT – THREE HOUR SPECIAL – MARCH 3RD - LIVE ON NBC!"
*End Video Package*
Fade back into the arena, for a few seconds silence until...
*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*
Not quite the mega pop he got at No Way Out, but still a great response for one half of the World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair
, who heads down the ramp with his fellow champion Carlito
and Torrie Wilson
by his side...
Ladies and gentlemen, it had been a chaotic night thus far. Jim Ross was taken backstage after suffering the sweet chin music from Shawn Michaels, and 'King' I understand that J.R. did
regain consciousness as he was helped backstage.
J.R. did indeed come around, he was conscious as they helped him backstage, obviously he's in no condition to continue tonight though.
Just you and me from here on out partner. And I can't even begin to imagine what's goin' on in Shawn Michaels' head right now. I just... I can't believe what I saw earlier tonight.
Lemme tell ya' somethin', I was so
close to poppin' him in the jaw when he stood opposite me. I wish I had now, but I was just so in shock at the time... I froze!
Well you're not the only one who would love to get his hands on Shawn Michaels, 'King'. Both
Triple H and Rob Van Dam are dying
to get a piece of Michaels, but they're gonna have to advance to Saturday Night's Main Event and win the Number One Contenders Tournament to do so.
I'd love to see Triple H, or anybody for that matter, get their hands on Shawn Michaels. That guy's due a real ass kickin' from somebody.
And to do that, they might have to get past the legenday Ric Flair! It was quite the night at No Way Out for 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair. Along with the legendary 'Double A' Arn Anderson, Flair got himself a measure of revenge on Mr. Kennedy for Kennedy's actions at the Royal Rumble.
And after giving Batista a big assist in retaining the World Heavyweight Championship, you wouldn't put it past Flair goin' on to Saturday Night's Main Event for the chance to then go to Wrestlemania and become a seventeen
time world champion.
*BURN IN MY LIGHT...*
A good amount of heat as Randy Orton makes his way down the ramp, a confident smirk etched on his face. Alongside Orton is the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra, who stays a few steps behind Orton, shouting some abuse at the crowd as he goes...
It was a rather chilling message that Randy Orton delivered last week. The warning was loud and clear from 'The Legend Killer', bet in his way, and Orton's gonna make you pay for it.
We all remember the vicious beating Jeff Hardy suffered at the hands of Kenny Dykstra, under the direction of Randy Orton. And Orton claims that if we thought what happened to Jeff was bad, that was nothin' compared to what Orton could do.
And ever since he declared himself in the tournament, Randy Orton has been considered one of the favourites to win it all. And he could really show that by knockin' off another legend in Ric Flair tonight.
Match 4: Number One Contenders Tournament Quarter Final Match
World Tag Team Champion Ric Flair w/ Carlito and Torrie Wilson vs. Randy Orton w/ Kenny Dykstra
Both men circle the ring, Orton more calculated compared to Flair, but eventually the two come together for a collar and elbow tie up. Orton grabs Flair’s left wrist and twists the arm, only for Flair to fire back with a chop to the chest. A string of chops backs Orton to the ropes, where Flair fires him across with the Irish whip... into a back body drop! Orton crashes to the mat, then heads to the corner to recover, but Flair stays on him, unloading with more stinging knife edge chops. Another Irish whip sends Orton off the ropes, this time into a back elbow. Flair follows with a stomp to the head, with Orton again crawling for the safety of the corner. Flair stays on the attack, again hitting chops, only for Orton to turn the tide, tossing Flair into the corner to tag him with right hands that knock Flair down to the mat. Flair is dragged by up, then knocked down with a big uppercut, giving us the first near fall of the match.
Now it’s Flair who’s fired off the ropes, straight into a big back body drop. Orton is methodical in his approach, stomping his way around Flair’s body, before he pulls Flair to his feet... but Flair pulls out an inside cradle! 1... 2... Orton kicks out, but as both men get back to their feet, Flair again connects with chops to the chest. Flair once more goes for the Irish whip, but this time Orton reverses... allowing Dykstra to reach in and grab the foot! Flair stumbles, turning to see Dykstra protests his innocence... and when he turns back to the ring, Orton is waiting to nail him with a textbook dropkick! Orton hooks the leg, 1... 2... Flair kicks out, and on the outside Carlito is quickly over to try get in Dykstra’s face, with the Intercontinental Champion quickly scampering away.
Feeling the effects, Flair is dazed as he returns to a vertical base, only for Orton to send him back down with another standing dropkick. Orton then synchs on a tight reverse chinlock, slowing the pace of the match way down. Orton has the hold locked on for a good while, slowly wearing Flair down. Torrie acts as cheerleader, encouraging the crowd to get behind Flair, with ‘The Nature Boy’ feeding off them, working back to his feet. A pair of fists to the ribs break the hold, and Flair follows with a pair of chops. Flair then goes for another Irish whip, but this time Orton hangs on to the top rope, prompting Flair to charge... but Orton elevates Flair over the top rope to the floor! The veteran takes a hard landing on the floor, while in the ring, Orton heads to the side of the ring, picking a fight with Carlito. As the two trade words, the referee is drawn over, trying to pull Orton away. This of course is the perfect distraction as Kenny waits for Flair to rise... and hammers him with a clothesline! Flair hits the floor with a thump, but Kenny quickly helps Flair up, rolling him under the bottom rope... but here comes Carlito! ‘Lito starts chasing after Dykstra, the intercontinental Champion fleeing around the ring. The referee dives to the outside, putting himself infront of the onrushing Carlito, causing him to give up the chase. In the ring, Orton drops down on top of Flair, hooking the leg, waiting for the referee to get back in for the count... and finally it comes... 1... 2... Flair kicks out!
Once more Orton goes for the chinlock, this time really upping up the pressure by wrenching on the neck. A couple of times Flair’s shoulders hit the mat, leading to 2 counts, but once more it takes Carlito and Torrie to fire up the crowd before we see Flair make his move. Flair struggles back to his feet, with Orton refusing to break his grip... so Flair takes him up and down with a shinbreaker! Orton limps away, but Flair bounces off the ropes... for a chop block! The crowd pops as they see what Flair has in mind, but Orton wisely gets back to his feet as quick as he can. Orton swings a wild right, which Flair ducks... side suplex! Flair hooks the leg... 1... 2... Orton kicks out! Both men are slow to get back up, with Flair again striking with a pair of chops... until a big chop knocks Orton down! Flair then grabs the ankle, and twists the leg... FIGURE FOUR... NO! Orton kicks Flair off the ropes, with Orton springing up from his knees... RKO... NO! Flair pushes Orton in mid air, sending him crashing to the mat, with ‘The Nature Boy’ moving quickly... to twist the leg... FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK!
The crowd goes nuts as Flair locks it in! Orton desperately strains for the ropes, reaching out... but coming up just short! Orton tries to drag himself to the ropes, slowly inching closer... but again he just misses! Orton gives it one more heave, reaching out... and Kenny pushes in the bottom rope... allowing Orton to grab it! The ref never saw it, but he soon enough sees Orton with his hands on the ropes, demanding Flair breaks the hold. Carlito decides he’s seen enough, and he starts sprinting after Dykstra! Kenny takes off, racing around the ring, with ‘Lito in hot pursuit! Kenny sprints around the ring, with the referee again diving through the ropes to try separate the pair... but this time Carlito runs right past him! Kenny continues to run around the ring... sliding the Intercontinental Championship into the ring as he does! With the referee and Carlito still in pursuit, Dykstra hits the bottom of the ramp and this time races up it. Carlito is still in pursuit, while in the ring Flair heads for Orton... who DRILLS FLAIR WITH THE TITLE BELT!! Orton hammers Flair, and slumps down for the cover, and with Carlito half way up the ramp as Dykstra disappears backstage, there’s no one to save Flair as the ref counts 1... 2... 3!
Winner: Randy Orton @ 08.23
The crowd instantly boos as Orton rolls free of Flair, quickly getting back to his feet. Up the ramp, Carlito has ended his chase of Dykstra, turning back towards the ring to see his partner has been defeated. Orton has his hand raised by the referee, but he quickly drops down to the mat and rolls from the ring as Carlito slides in to check on Flair. A smug smirk crosses Orton face as he backs up the ramp, pleased that with a little help from Dykstra he's advanced to the semi finals, with the camera then lingering on Carlito, Torrie and Flair in the ring as we head into commercial.
When we return, Todd Grisham
is standing by...
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guests at this time... they are the World Tag Team Champions... Ric Flair and Carlito!
The crowd "Woooo's" and gives a great welcome as Ric Flair and Carlito enter the frame, Torrie Wilson stood alongside her man 'Lito. Flair is still dressed in his ring gear from earlier, his hair slicked back with sweat, a t-shirt now adorning his body. Both Flair and 'Lito look pissed off and disappointed at how Flair's match with Orton went earlier...
Now Ric, obviously you're still upset with how your match with Randy Orton went earlier tonight-
Lemme stop ya' right there brother! Randy! You got that little punk Kenny trained well. He ran interference almost better than you did for 'The Nature Boy' back in the day!
Flair shakes his head with a smile...
But now that I'm out of the Number One Contenders Tournament... now I can focus fully on myself and my friend Carlito here, defending the World Tag Team Championships! There is nothin' else on my mind right now, than you and me brother, defending these titles.
Carlito nods his head in approval...
'Dat's cool Ric. Dat's cool. And hey... Carlito's sorry he didn't get to Kenny Dykstra in time. 'Dat's punk did Orton's dirty work tonight, and Carlito weren't there to stop 'im.
Carlito shakes his head in disappointment, while Flair nods his understandingly...
But Carlito's gonna get that punk back one day. Carlito promises 'dat!
That's alright brother, you got nothin' to apologise for. You forget all about Dykstra, 'cause from here on out, it's you, it's me, and it's these titles my friend. Wooooo!
The crowd responds with a "Wooooo!", and Flair and Carlito begin to leave, thinking the interview is over...
Uh, well Ric... before you leave, I have to ask you about last night at No Way Out. I mean, you showed up on the Smackdown pay per view, and you gave an assist to Batista as he defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Mr. Kennedy. I mean... you had to feel good getting a measure of revenge on Kennedy last night?
Flair sighs deeply, not really wanting to discuss his actions last night...
Look Todd, as far as I'm concerned, whatever issue I had with Mr. Kennedy... ended
last night. That sunnova bitch kicked my
ass durin' the Rumble, he kicked Arn Anderson's
ass durin' Smackdown... he got exactly what he deserved last night.
The crowd pops in agreement...
I told you weeks ago that Kennedy would get his, and last night... he got it.
I don't wanna hear Kennedy's name mentioned again, as far as I'm concerned, I taught him a lesson, the matter is finished, he got what was comin' to 'im... and that's all I have to say about that.
Grisham looks a little sheepish as Flair gets firm...
It's all about Ric Flair and Carlito! The World - Tag Team - CHAMPIONS! Wooooo!
And 'dat... 'dat's cool!
Carlito tosses an apple up into the air and catches it, with both he and Flair walking off camera, the interview finally over.
We open to a pitch black screen, with the faint sound of a revving motor engine slowly but surely getting louder...
Narrator: The road may be long...
Slowly on the horizon we see a red convertible driving over a hill, heading towards a sunset which lights the screen...
Narrator: The journey may be treacherous...
The revs of the engine increase and get louder, with the camera closing in on shots of the side of the car...
Narrator: But you'll love every second of it!
We now skim along the rear of the car, the sun glistening on the chrome duel exhaust...
Narrator: So strap yourself in...
The car now speeds past a road sign that reads "8 MILE ROAD"...
Narrator: And get ready!
From behind we see an image of the Detroit skyline, with our car heading down a straight road towards it...
Narrator: 20 years on, Wrestlemania returns to Detroit, Michigan!
More fast paced shots of the car racing through the streets of Detroit...
Narrator: And it's going to be...
The car suddenly crashes into the screen, with the grill of the car having the official Wrestlemania 23 logo and tagline printed on it...
Narrator: The ride of your life!
"WWE WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - APRIL 1ST - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"
*End Video Package*
Back to the announce desk, where both of our announcers remaining have smiles on their faces...
It's almost that time folks! Wrestlemania is less than SEVEN weeks away! I can't wait 'King'!
I can't wait either! I don't think I've ever been this excited for a Wrestlemania!
And of course, it is now a Wrestlemania Weekend tradition that the night before Wrestlemania, we induct yet another class into the WWE Hall of Fame. And folks tonight, we are privileged to announce the first member of the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame Class.
We open to the grainy footage of Wrestlemania VI, and soon the music ‘Common Man Boogie’ is heard...
Narrator: He was a common man who connected with the people like no other...
We now see Dusty Rhodes make his way down to the ring in various points of time, starting with Wrestlemania VI with Sapphire by his side, then his Jim Crocket Promotion days, and finally at a WCW event...
Narrator: A man who embodied the very spirit of ‘The American Dream’...
Dusty is stood infront of the camera, blood pouring down his forehead...
Dusty Rhodes: Get a dream, hold onto it, and reach for the sky!
Scenes of various championship wins throughout the years...
Gordon Solie: Dusty Rhodes is the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion!
We now see shots of Rhodes landing bionic elbow after bionic elbow to various opponents...
Narrator: A man who took on countless legends of the wrestling world...
We see Rhodes wind up and connect with a big elbow to the blood stained skull of Ric Flair...
Ric Flair: Dusty Rhodes is one of the greatest performers in the history of this business.
Rhodes then slams Flair from the top rope during a cage match...
Narrator: And beat them all.
Dusty is once again stood infront of the camera cutting a promo...
Dusty Rhodes: I wanna tell all the people, that on Christmas Night, I’m comin’ for that NWA Title! Harley Race, I’m comin’ for ya’! …
Scenes of Dusty from his WWF days, clad in polka dots, shaking his ass to the music...
Narrator: And on this night, we celebrate the legendary career...
Action from the Wrestlemania Vi mixed tag team match, with Rhodes slamming Randy Savage to the mat...
Arn Anderson: There’s not many who you could say connected with the fans any better than he did. He was a real man of the people.
Shots of the fans clamouring to see Rhodes, and Rhodes struggling to make his way through the masses at the Great American Bash ’85...
Ric Flair: One of the greatest opponents I ever had. A guy I consider not only a friend, but a hero...
More shots of the great Flair/Rhodes battles...
Narrator: Of ‘The American Dream’...
Rhodes, bloody, being hoisted up onto the shoulder of a posse of wrestlers in celebration of another title win...
Shawn Michaels: He had so much talent, so much charisma. He could sell a pay per view with 30 seconds infront of a microphone, that’s how good he was...
More images of Rhodes making an entrance into the arena, dancing and shaking as only he could...
Narrator: Dusty Rhodes!
We now see a picture of Dusty, stern faced, with the Hall of Fame logo nearby. Also on the screen is the fact that Rhodes will be inducted into the Hall of Fame by current Hall of Famer Harley Race!
*End Video Package*
We return to the arena with the crowd on their feet, giving a big round of applause for Rhodes' induction...
Yes folks, the first member of the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame Class, 'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes.
And I can't think of too many more deserving people than Dusty. What a great competitor, a man who could connect with the fans like never seen before. A great way to kick off the Hall of Fame this year!
A few moments silence while the crowd dies down... and then...
*HERE COMES THE MONEY...*
A great amount of heat as Shane McMahon
makes his entrance, performing the 'Shane O'Mac Shuffle' on the stage before heading fro the ring. Shane wears one of his trademark jerseys which reads "$ bought me Hustle, Loyalty and Respect"...
Well, here he comes. 'The Demon Seed' Shane McMahon, and 'King', what on earth could Shane and Mr. McMahon have up their sleeves tonight?
I'm scared to even think about it if I'm honest with ya' Joey. I mean, Vince and Shane... they're just too damn happy right now! They just seem so confident that they can have their way with John Cena, I really fear the worse for Cena tonight.
And what about what Mr. McMahon said earlier tonight? There's a price on John Cena's head, and anybody can take a shot at Cena for whatever price they name.
And look at Shane in the ring right now. He's bouncing around, he's cocky as he's ever been... somethin's up Joey. Somethin' not right.
*MY TIME IS NOW...*
The biggest pop of the night, although as always there is a smattering of boos, is reserved for John Cena
, who confidently steps out from the back. Stopping at the top of the stage, Cena offers a three finger salute to the chain gang before he races down the ramp and slides under the bottom rope, with Shane quickly diving through the ropes to the floor...
If anybody has shown us in the past that he was it takes to overcome any odds, it's that man John Cena! We know Cena is hurt right now, after the attack from Umaga last week, but Cena has always managed to dig deep in the past. Can Cena do it again tonight?
If John Cena wants to survive, he's gonna have to! He was left for dead last week by Umaga, and who knows who could make their presence felt in this one? I just hope Cena's got his wits about 'im, and he's ready for what's on it's way.
Cena removes his hat and t-shirt, tossing them to the crowd, before he removes his dog tags, kisses them and hands them over to Mike Chioda. Cena then crouches down, encouraging Shane to enter the ring. Shane leaps up onto the apron... then drops back down again. Smugle, Shane shakes his head, as he knows what's coming...
*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*
The crowd groans as the main event is delayed by the appearance of Mr. McMahon
, who struts out from the big, a beaming smile on his face, microphone in his hand...
Wait a minute! Wait just a minute here! Now John, when my son Shane and myself announced this match last week, there was something we forgot to mention.
Cena looks up at Vince confused, all the while anticipating a sneak attack from Shane...
You see Cena, my son Shane is so confident that he can beat you, that when he offered to face you last week, Shane wanted this match to be... a No - Disqualification - Match!
The crowd boos, knowing this leaves the door open for all kinds of interference on Shane's behalf...
Have a great match Cena!
And with that, McMahon heads backstage, leaving a disappointed Cena in the ring, while Shane is all smiles on the outside as we head to commercial.
Main Event: No Disqualification Match
vs. Shane McMahon
And when we return, Shane still hasn’t entered the ring, continuing to stall on the outside. Cena continues to look over his shoulder at the ramp, allowing Shane to continue to inch into the ring then back away again as Cena turns towards him. Eventually decides he’s had enough, jumping through the ropes to chase after Shane! McMahon races around the ring, trying to stay away from Cena, before he eventually rolls under the bottom rope. Cena slides in after him, allowing Shane to strike with repeated double axe handles to the back, stopping Cena from getting to his feet. Cena though continues to struggle to a vertical base, prompting Shane to abandon the double axe handles and charge at Cena... who back body drops McMahon over the top rope to the floor! Cena quickly heads outside, tagging Shane with big right hands that sees Shane tumbling into the barricade. Cena again hammers Shane with rights as the barricade props Shane up, before Cena goes for an Irish whip... into the opposite barricade! Shane crashes and then slumps to the floor, with Cena quickly heading under the ring... to pull out a steel chair! The crowd pops big time as Cena looks for a little poetic justice, shouting at Shane “You wanna make this no DQ?!”... and then cracking the chair across McMahon’s spine! Just as steel chair in Shane’s hands cost Cena the WWE Championship, Cena now wields the steel... and cracks the chair once more across Shane’s back!
Early on, Cena seems to be revelling in the no disqualification stipulation, rolling Shane back under the ring before again looking under the ring, tossing a trash can over the top rope and sliding a table under the bottom! The crowd is buzzing for the introduction of the wood, and the buzz continues as Cena, chair in hand, waits for Shane to rise... to CRACK THE CHAIR OFF SHANE’S SKULL!! Cena returns the favour from Night Of Champions! Cena emphatically slams the chair to the mat, briefly allowing himself to soak in the cheers of the crowd. Cena knows he could probably pin Shane right now, but instead Cena seems determined to punish Shane, seeking revenge for what happened two weeks ago. Cena begins setting up the table, perhaps looking to FU Shane through the wood like he did Vince over a month ago. With the table in position, Cena reaches down, pulling Shane to his feet... and then hoisting Shane onto his shoulders... FU... NO? Cena looks at the table... then the crowd... and shakes his head? The crowd is confused as Cena lets Shane flop back down to the mat, and instead he heads back outside. Cena again looks under the ring... and this time pulls out a ladder?! The crowd pops, as they realise that Cena wants to FU Shane off the top of the ladder through the table!
Cena muscles the ladder up, looking to slide it under the bottom rope... but out of nowhere Shane baseball slides the ladder into Cena’s face! Cena goes down from the impact, giving Shane a chance to recover before he too heads outside. Shane tags Cena with a few right hands, before a hard Irish whip sends Cena crashing into the steel steps! Shane takes his time, slowing the pace of the match down in an attempt to recover from the earlier assault, before he starts rummaging around under the ring... bringing out a KENDO STICK! Shane starts ‘shadow swinging’ the stick, waiting for Cena to get back to his knees... kendo stick across the back! Cena winces in pain... and then cries out as the stick again hits his back! Cena is on his knees in pain, and it only gets worse as Shane starts to use the stick to choke Cena out! Cena tries to claw the kendo stick away from his throat, but Shane pulls it tight, eventually releasing, seeing Cena slump to the floor. Feeling cocky, Shane again ‘shadow swings’ as he waits for Cena to get up. This time Cena has to use the ring post to rise, propping himself against it. Shane then takes an elaborate wind up, swinging the kendo like a baseball bat... at Cena’s head... but Cena ducks... and the stick shatters against the ring post!
Shane looks aghast as he holds the handle in his hands, and this allows Cena to grab Shane by the hair... and ram him head first into the ringpost! Cena takes a moment to recover before he tosses Shane back into the ring, sliding in after. We now finally see the first bit of wrestling in the match, as Cena sees Shane struggling back to his feet, allowing Cena to go on the ropes to hit the throwback. Cena shouts “Get up!” at Shane, before he comes off the ropes for the flying shoulderblock to put Shane back down again. With Shane down and seemingly out, Cena again comes off the ropes... for the FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! Cena is quickly back on his feet, motioning or Shane to rise. Eventually Shane staggers to a vertical base... and Cena takes him up on his shoulders... and looks for the FU THROUGH THE TABLE... NO!
Wtf... Johnny Nitro
is in the ring, dragging Shane from Cena’s shoulders... and then drills Cena with the NITRO BLAST!
Soon Chris Masters
is in the ring to join his partner, with Melina
appearing at ringside. The crowd wonders what the hell is going on as Masters and Nitro now hammer Cena with boots, before they take Cena up into the air... DOUBLE SUPLEX THROUGH THE TABLE!!
Cena is driven through the wood, with the confusion running large all around the arena as we head off into our final commercial of the night, with Cena down and out.
And when we return, the crowd is booing loudly as Nitro and Masters continue to lay a beating on Cena, while Shane is slumped, seated against the bottom turnbuckle, barely conscious, with Melina tending to him, trying to bring Shane back around. The one on one no DQ match has quickly turned into a three on one handicap match, with Nitro and Masters doing Shane’s dirty work from him. Masters and Nitro try their best to punish Cena, with Masters holding Cena up while Nitro drills him with punches to the gut. Shane finally picks himself up off the mat, and with Cena subdued, Shane wants a piece of the action. With Masters still holding Cena in place, Shane tags Cena with a left jab... and another... it’s the Shane O’Shuffle! The left jabs find their mark time after time, before Shane goes for the big wind up and swings the right hand... but Cena ducks... and Shane tags Masters! Cena manages to break free, firing a boot to Shane’s gut, before he clothesline Nitro over the top rope! Cena then turns back to Masters... and takes him up... FU... NO!
From his knees, Shane hits a LOWBLOW
out of desperation!
The brief Cena rally is ended quickly as Cena crumples to the mat. Shane quickly turns to Nitro on the outside, telling him to head to the corner. He then orders Masters to drag Cena towards Nitro, while Shane picks up the trash can that was earlier tossed into the ring. Masters props Cena against the bottom turnbuckle, with Shane placing the trash can infront of Cena’s face, Nitro holding it in place. Shane then heads to the opposite corner, climbing to the top rope, steadying himself... before flying through the air... COAST TO COAST!!
Shane drives the trash can into Cena’s face, much to the horror of the crowd. Nitro removes the can, and Masters drags Cena to the middle of the ring, with Shane flopping on top for the cover... 1... 2... Cena rolls his shoulder!
Shane can’t believe it as Cena stays alive! Almost in disbelief Shane gets back to his feet, his mind looking blank as he tries to think of his next move. He light bulb goes off Shane finally starts directing traffic, pointing at Nitro and Masters and telling them to take Cena outside. Nitro and Masters lay in with right hands as they force Cena to the floor, while in the ring, Shane is setting up the ladder... near the side of the ring closest to the announce desk! The crowd pops as they sense what could be next, especially when Nitro rips the lid off the announce desk. Lawler and Styles leave their seats as Cena is rolled onto the desk, while in the ring Shane has climbed the ladder! Looking down at his limp, lifeless opponent, Shane steadies himself... before he flies through the air... LEAP OF FAITH... BUT CENA ROLLS OFF THE DESK... AND MCMAHON CRASHES THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE DESK!!!!
The crowd goes nuts as Shane flies through the desk, with Melina, Nitro and Masters looking on in horror! Melina and Nitro check on Shane, while Masters goes after Cena... but when Cena is dragged to his feet, he scoops Masters onto his shoulders... FU OVER THE BARRICADE... INTO THE FRONT ROW!!
Some conveniently placed security guards are there to cushion Masters fall, but Masters has just been ejected into the crowd! Nitro sees this, charging for Cena... but Cena takes Nitro onto his shoulders too... FU ON THE FLOOR!!
Cena has gone crazy, FU’ing everything in sight! With both Nitro and Masters down, Cena turns his attentions to broken down Shane, dragging McMahon to his feet.
Shane is dumped back into the ring, where Cena follows, furious vengeance in his eyes. Shane is barely conscious, crawling on the mat, unable to get back to his feet. Cena reaches down, pulling the limp body of McMahon back to his feet... to then hoist him up on his shoulders... FU!!!
Cena plants McMahon with an emphatic FU! The crowd pops as it looks like Cena has the match won... but the cheers quickly turns to commotion, as out of the crowd... Edge
slides into the ring! Cena doesn’t realise, finally turning around... SPEAR!!
The crowd is furious as Edge plants Cena with the spear... and then drags Shane on top of Cena! 1... 2... 3!
Winner: Shane McMahon @ 16.09
Once more, the crowd shits all over the actions of Edge, who has just gifted Shane McMahon victory. Despite coming so close to overcoming the odds, for the second week in a row Cena is down and out, a broken man at the hands of one of Mr. McMahon's shady business deals...
Aw c'mon! You gotta be kiddin' me! What the hell is the deal here? I mean, as if Johnny Nitro, Chris Masters and Melina wasn't bad enough, Edge
showed up and just handed Shane McMahon the victory!
Well, we wondered if there was a deal cut between Edge and Vince to allow Edge to appear at No Way Out... I guess we just got out answer.
In the ring, Shane has managed to prop himself up in the corner, while Edge stands over Cena, staring down at the broken former WWE Champion. Edge then looks up at Mr. McMahon, stood at the top of the ramp... and the two share a nod to each other, showing that Edge has repaid his debt to Vince...
John Cena showed huge guts and determination... but it's just not enough as far as Vince McMahon is concerned. Mr. McMahon always seems to have that final trick up his sleeve!
I really can't see how John Cena can keep goin' through this every week... but at the same time, I can't see an end in sight for Cena. I think Vince is tryin' to kill 'im!
We- We really need some help out here. John Cena is down, and he is hurt... badly
The camera focuses on Cena, down, hurt, lying on the mat in pain, while at the top of the ramp an evil grin covers the face of Mr. McMahon, who then sadistically starts to laugh at what he's seen as we fade... to... black.
Current Card for WWE SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT :
Date: March 3rd 2007
Location: Madison Square Garden; New York, New York
Number One Contenders Tournament Final Match:
Winner will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
??? vs. ???