~Monday Night Raw~
February 26th, 2007
"One more win... and I'm comin' for ya'!"
No highlights package, no opening video, no pyro display. Instead it's straight into the arena for a cold opening, until...
*MY TIME IS NOW...*
A thunderous response for John Cena
, although as always there's a smattering of boos mixed in to the mostly cheers of the crowd. Cena is not his usual jovial self, as instead of bouncing out onto the stage as he usually does, Cena sternly marches out from the back, stopping at the top of the ramp to offer a salute before he strides for the ring...
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Monday Night Raw! We are live and we are sold out tonight in Fresno, California, and folks, it certainly seems the actions of the McMahon's last week has had a profound effect on John Cena.
You look at John Cena walkin' to the ring right now, and there's a real sense of focus on his face. A real look of determination in his eyes. It would appear that the constant assaults from Mr. McMahon's cronies has lit a fire under the former WWE Champion.
Well we all know how determined a competitor John Cena is. Cena looks ready for a war, and tonight could be the first of many battles he has ahead of Wrestlemania.
Absolutely right 'King'. We're kickin' things off with Cena takin' on the ever dangerous Mike Knox, but what a show we have lined up tonight folks. The semi finals of the Number One Contender's Tournament will take place tonight. Triple H squares off against Bobby Lashley, while Rob Van Dam goes one on one Randy Orton. Who's gonna advance to Saturday Night's Main Event to fight for a WWE Championship opportunity at Wrestlemania?
And not only that, but we've got two
title shots tonight. As a result of the assist they gave Shane McMahon in his victory over John Cena last week on Raw, Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters will challenge Ric Flair and Carlito for the World Tag Team Championships, while Melina, the mastermind behind the deal, while take on Mickie James for the Women's Championship.
Yeah but not only that, but tonight, yours truly is gonna try smack some sense into the head of Shawn Michaels. He might be the WWE Champion, but when he kicked my friend Jim Ross with that Sweet Chin Music, that crossed a line as far as I'm concerned, and I'm gonna teach him a lesson tonight.
Give 'im hell 'King'! Impartiality goes right out the window for that one, Shawn Michaels can kiss my fat Oklahoma ass! I'll be rootin' for ya' Jerry!
I'm sure we all will 'King'...
In the ring, Cena tosses his t-shirt into the crowd, before giving his dog tags a quick kiss before he hands them over to the referee. Cena then paces the ring, bouncing off the ropes as he awaits his opponent...
A decent amount of heat for the Raw newcomer Mike Knox
, making his first in-ring appearance since arriving on Monday nights. Knox has a tight grip of the wrist of Kelly Kelly
, almost dragging her down the ramp...
It's certainly a very uncomfortable situation young Kelly Kelly has found herself in lately. Mike Knox just refuses to admit this relationship between the two is over, and the man taking the brunt of his frustrations is CM Punk.
CM Punk two weeks ago went through a hellacious match wit Umaga, suffered severely injured ribs, then had to face Bobby Lashley last week. And of course, Mike Knox chose to wait until after Lashley had beaten Punk to make his move, assaulting a defenceless Punk, despite Kelly pleading with Knox to stop.
Guys I saw firsthand what Mike Knox could do during the brief time he was on ECW. He is a dangerous, dangerous
competitor. John Cena may look focused and determined tonight, but this could be yet another severe beating he could suffer thanks to the McMahons.
John Cena vs. Mike Knox w/ Kelly Kelly
With both men looking for a momentum boosting win, it’s an aggressive tie up that gets the match underway, with Knox quickly working Cena into a standing side headlock. Cena struggles, backing Knox to the ropes before he fires Knox across the ring... only for Knox to bowl Cena over with a big shoulderblock! Knox momentarily stands over Cena, before going for an elbowdrop... but Cena rolls to safety! Cena is quickly back on his feet, tagging Knox with a few right hands, but Knox fires back with a knee to the midsection. This stops Cena in his tracks, allowing Knox to go for a suplex... but Cena blocks... and blocks a second attempt... before he takes Knox up and down with a suplex of his own! Looking to quicken the pace, Cena comes off the ropes, knocking Knox down with a flying tackle. Cena repeats the trick a second time, before he grabs Knox and fires him to the corner... Cena charges in... but Knox side steps... and Cena goes shoulder first into the ring post!
Knox now looks to punish Cena against the turnbuckle, unloading with big knees to the gut and punishing right hands to the face and clubbing forearms to the spine. A hard Irish whip sends Cena to the opposite corner, with Knox racing across the ring... but Cena avoids the contact, seeing Knox splash into the corner! Now Cena tags Knox with rights and lefts to the gut, before he sends Knox off the ropes... but Knox hangs on, stopping his momentum. Cena charges the ropes, but Knox gets an elbow up, causing Cena to back peddle... and then clothesline Knox over the top rope to the floor!
Cena jumps through the ropes, taking the fight outside, connecting on a right hand to the face before smashing Knox face first off the steel steps. Knox is rolled back under the bottom rope, but when Cena climbs back onto the apron, Knox is there to grab Cena by the wrist, dropping Cena’s arm across the top rope! Cena somehow manages to cling on to the top rope with his other hand, leaving him prone on the apron... until a bicycle kick to the skull sends Cena crashing to the floor! After shaking off the cobwebs, Knox joins Cena on the floor... and whips Cena shoulder first into the steel steps! Cena cries in pain as he sends the steps flying from their hinges, with Knox moving quickly to get Cena back in the ring before he starts climbing to the top rope... to show great agility for a big guy as he drops a double axe handle across the shoulder! Knox hooks the leg... 1... 2... Cena kicks out.
Knox looks to target the arm, aiming kicks to the shoulder, wrapping the left arm under the top rope to yank on it, before Cena goes up and down with a shoulderbreaker, getting Knox another near fall. Knox then grabs the arm and twists it into a high wrist lock, wrapping the arm around Cena’s head while applying pressure at the wrist. Cena winces in pain, groaning as Knox ups the pressure he’s applying. Eventually though, Cena works back to a vertical, using his free arm to hook Knox up... for the Killswitch! Both men stay down, but eventually Cena gets back to his feet first, coming off the ropes...flying shoulderblock! Again Cena comes off the ropes... another flying shoulderblock! Cena then climbs to the second rope, waiting for Knox to rise... diving legdrop! The crowd rises as Cena builds momentum, coming off the ropes... for the five knuckle shuffle! Cena makes the cover... 1... 2... Knox rolls the shoulder!
Back on their feet, Cena strikes Knox with two right hands, backing the big guy to the ropes. Cena goes for an Irish whip to the corner, following in... but Knox again avoids the contact, with Cena hitting the turnbuckle as Knox comes off the ropes... running crossbody! Knox creates a huge impact as he flies to take Cena down, hooking the leg... 1... 2... Cena kicks out! Knox can’t believe it, sure he had the match won, only for Cena to kick out. Dragging Cena back to his feet, Knox looks to send Cena off the ropes... into a big boot to the face... but Cena slides underneath... and then jumps back to his feet... to take Knox up onto his shoulders... FU!! Cena emphatically plants Knox, rolling into the cover... 1... 2... 3!
Winner: John Cena @ 06.24
Cena finally manages to put Knox away, but he sells the effects of the match, clutching at both his shoulder and his neck as he has his hand raised. Knox rolls to the outside, and after taking a few seconds to recover, he starts shouting at Kelly Kelly, putting the blame for his defeat firmly on her. Knox soon once again grabs Kelly by the wrist and leads her away, the two slipping down the side of the ramp. Cena is back to his usual self as he climbs to the second rope, posing for the crowd, but he's soon staring up the ramp as...
*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*
Big time heat as Mr. McMahon
and Shane McMahon
make their way out from the back, stopping at the top of the ramp. Both men flash huge smirks on their faces, with Vince already holding a microphone...
Congratulations John! A real-
"ASSHOLE! ASSHOLE! ASSHOLE!"
Heat, although the crowd quickly quiets down...
Where was I? Ah... congratulations John! A real hard fought victory there. It's great to see that you've managed to put your... loss
... at the hands of my son Shane behind you so quickly.
Shane and Vince turn and share a laugh, while Cena angrily shakes his head...
I mean, you managed to bounce back here tonight with a win, bet you're feelin' great right about now huh Cena? Bet you're startin' to feel back to your ol' self, back on top of the world huh Cena?
McMahon laughs to himself, while Cena sternly shakes his head in disagreement...
Well ya' know somethin' Cena? Now that you've managed to pick yourself up again, I think it only fitting... that you be put right back down at the hands of a McMahon!
And John, I remember a few weeks back where you said you wanted to get your hands on me. Well I'm in a generous mood tonight, so Cena, you get your wish. This Saturday night, live in Madison Square Garden... it's goin' to be you, John Cena... one on one... with Vincent... Kennedy... MCMAHON!
The crowd pops as Cena gets what he wants, a chance to get a Vince. Shane meanwhile is loudly giving his father a big, sarcastic round of applause, while Vince has his arms outstretched to the crowd, feeling their cheers are for him. In the ring though, John Cena just laughs to himself, almost in disbelief, before he runs a hand down his face. Cena pauses momentarily, almost as if he's thinking things over, before he heads to the corner to be handed a microphone...
Wow, Vinny! I can't believe it! For once in your life you've done the right thing and stopped actin' like a jackass!
Pop, although Vince scowls at the crowd...
But c'mon Vinny, we both know what's gonna happen if you and me step in the ring together. You'll decide it's no DQ, Shane'll shuffle his way down to the ring, right into an ass kickin' from yours truly...
Another pop, with Shane shouting down at Cena "That's not what happened last week!"...
Then the cavalry will arrive, your security team, your hired goons, however many guys ya’ paid off and bribed to take a shot at me, they'll all get all involved and it'll be nothin' but chaos!
Vince and Shane again turn to each other, smugly nodding their heads...
And you, and all these people know, that I will fight, with everythin' I got, I will go toe to toe with a HUNDRED guys Vinny if it means gettin' my hands on you! I'll never quit, I'll never stop, until you
are the last one left standin', and you got nobody left to stand behind! Until that moment... I - WILL - NEVER - GIVE UP!!
The crowd loudly pops for the intensity of Cena, while Vince rocks that trademark gulp of his...
But Vinny... let's think about this for a second. Let's think about this... like businessmen.
Vince gives Cena an intrigued glance...
I mean this is Saturday Night's Main Event we're talkin' about here. This is live on NBC! This is live from New York, and you're gonna have a bunch o' goons try and take me out, just so can get a cheap win?! Vinny... that doesn't make sound financial sense!
Despite the sarcasm being evident, McMahon continues to look intrigued...
And of course, what about that McMahon pride? I mean last week, when Shane needed two guys, a girl and a 'Rated-R Superstar' to beat me, that wasn't all that bad. I mean, it's too late for Shane, he's already less of a son to you than Stephanie ever was.
The crowd "Oooh!"'s while Shane makes a move to head down the ramp, his Dad quickly telling him to forget it...
No, no, everybody knows Shane could never
beat me one on one. Never! However you Vinny...
Cena over exaggerates a shrug of the shoulders...
Who knows? I mean, the genetic jackhammer! Mr. Vincent Kennedy McMahon, he can beat anybody! That McMahon family pride runnin' through your veins, hell I bet you could walk into Madison Square Garden, live, Saturday night, NBC, and you could beat anybody you wanted to!
Vince proudly puffs out his chest, believing every compliment Cena is throwing at him...
Except of course... me
Only for Cena to burst his bubble in an instant...
Me? Nah, I don't think so Vinny. Not without help. Not without your hired guns dragging you're lifeless body to make the cover. And when all those people watchin' see that you... Vince McMahon... take the easy way out, they'll know you ain't nothin' but a coward
Rage starts to build inside of McMahon...
But hey, if that's the way you wanna play it Vinny, I'm game. You and me, this Saturday night, live on-
Hold on just a second there Cena!
Cena turns away, sharing a smirk with the camera before turning back towards Vince with a shocked look on his face...
You think that I
... can't beat you
I know it. Not one on one, not straight up, not like a man!
Alright Cena, have it your way. This Saturday night, you and me, live on NBC... one on one!
Pop, to which Cena nods his head in agreement... until he once again pauses to think...
Y'know what Vinny? As much as I love
the sounds of that idea, I'm gonna have to pass.
A confused murmur rings out around the arena, with Shane and Vince taking confused glances at each other...
Y'see, while I want nothin' more than to get my hands on you Vinny... I got a lil' somethin' to settle with Junior first.
Another pop, as a worried look crosses Shane's face...
So how 'bout we settle this like men? John Cena... taking on BOTH Vince and Shane McMahon... in a STEEL CAGE MATCH!!
Massive roar of approval from the audience, with the McMahon's taken aback by Cena's challenge...
C'mon Vinny, give the people what they wanna see! They wanna see me
your asses, let's do it live at Saturday Night's Main Event! No outside interference, nobody stickin' their noses in the match, and hell, if somehow the pair of ya' manage to beat me, then you'll have done it like men. You’ll have done it with hustle... loyalty... and respect.
Vince is searing with anger now as once again his pride is called into question...
But when I get my hands on you two... and I beat you two with the whole world watchin'... it's over between me and you Vince.
So c'mon Vinny, what d'ya say? Give the people the match they want, give 'em John Cena and The McMahon's in a Steel Cage, and let's end this once and for all.
Vince and Shane turn to each other, Vince still simmering after Cena's comments, while Shane looks worried...
Alright Cena. Have it your way. This Saturday night, live on Saturday Night's Main Event... it's gonna be John Cena in a Steel Cage Handicap Match against Vince and Shane McMahon!
A huge cheer erupts around the arena for the emphatic statement that the match is set, while Cena buries his head in his hands from fear...
But Cena, let me assure you... that no matter what happens in that steel cage this Saturday night... you and me... will never
... be over.
*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*
And with that ominous warning fresh on everyone's mind, the McMahon's turn and head backstage, with Vince looking a damn sight more confident than Shane does. In the ring Cena still looks focused, ready for a fight, but there's that lingering doubt that once again the McMahon's could pull a power play this Saturday as we fade into a commercial.
MARCH 29th, 1987
One of the greatest matches in WWE history sees Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat battle for the Intercontinental Championship, delivering a performance that could only be outdone by the epic Hulk Hogan/Andre The Giant encounter later in the evening. Giving a great display of high flying and technical moves that left the crowd in awe, Savage and Steamboat battle back and forth for nearly fifteen minutes, delivering an instant classic. After battering Steamboat for much of the match, Savage attempts to once again smash the ring bell across Steamboat's throat in an homage to the angle which kicked off their rivalry six months earlier. However George 'The Animal' Steele, stationed in Steamboat's corner, would save the day, snatching the ring bell from Savage's grasp. In an attempt to end the match and retain his title, Savage takes Steamboat up for a scoop slam, only for the challenger to counter with an inside cradle, grabbing the win out of nowhere, in the process becoming the new Intercontinental Champion and closing out a match that would go down as one of the all time classics.
WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - 34 DAYS AND COUNTING
*End Video Package*
We now cut to the backstage area, where Mike Knox and Kelly Kelly are walking along. Knox is furious after hsi defeat, forcibly dragging Kelly behind, until finally Kelly yanks her wrist free...
Stop it Mike! You're scaring me!
I'm scarin' you? You should be scared after costin' me that match! What the hell where you doin' out there?
Kelly turns her head in fear as Knox towers over her...
But I... I didn't do anythin'!
Exactly! You're out there to help me, you're out there to make sure I win. Why the hell didn't ya' distract Cena or somethin'? Where's your head at Kelly?
Knox stops, laughing to himself...
Oh I know exactly where your head is. CM Punk. You're probably too busy thinkin' about him to help me, aren't ya'?
Again Kelly offers no answer, simply turning her head aside...
Just like I thought. Well you better get him outta your head in a hurry, 'cause you're never
goin' anywhere near him ever again. Do you understand me?
Reluctantly, Kelly nods out of fear...
girlfriend Kelly, and-
I'm NOT your girlfriend Mike!
Shocked, Knox is taken aback as Kelly finally speaks out against him...
Yeah, you keep tellin' yourself that. Now c'mon, let's go.
Knox motions for Kelly to move, but Kelly stands firm, noticing someone or something stood behind Knox...
I said let's go! What are you-
Knox turns and looks over his shoulder... to see CM Punk standing nearby. The crowd gives a good pop for the youngster, who has a stern look on his face as he squares up to Knox...
And what the hell do you want?
What do I want? I want what I'm pretty sure everybody watchin' right now wants. I want you to stop treatin' this girl like she's nothin' and start actin' like a man.
Another pop from inside the arena, while Knox glares angrily...
When are you gonna realise that obviously Kelly doesn't wanna be with you anymore? When are you gonna let her go?
Knox smirks, shaking his head...
I always knew you wanted my
girlfriend. Face it Punk, you're jealous of me.
Now it's Punk's turn to laugh to himself...
I'm jealous of you
? Jealous of the guy who's draggin' his ex around by the wrist 'cause he's livin' in denial about that fact she doesn't want anythin' to do with him anymore? I'm jealous of that
Punk sarcastically shakes his head before flashing a more serious look...
Now listen, I'm real sick and tired o' seein' you treat Kelly this way. So it's time for somebody to step up and do the right thing. So how 'bout this? Saturday Night's Main Event, you and me have a match. If I beat you, you leave Kelly alone, and let her get on with her life.
I always knew you had a thing for my girl Punk. Alright, I accept. You and me, this Saturday night.
The crowd responds warmly for the second match announced tonight...
... I beat you... and I will beat you... I don't want to see you anywhere near my girlfriend ever again.
Knox turns to look at Kelly, who against turns away in fear, while Punk stays focused on Knox...
Alright fine. You beat me... I'll stay away. You'll never hear from me again.
Knox flashes a sick grin...
Good. I'll see you Saturday. Let's go Kelly...
Once again Knox goes to grab Kelly by the wrist, only for Punk to intercept, grabbing Knox by the wrist and stopping him reaching Kelly, who is taken aback, gazing at Punk with affection in her eyes...
Don't do that. If she's gonna leave with you... let her do it by herself.
Knox pauses, considering Punk's words... until he drives a knee right into Punk's midsection! Punk groans, instantly dropping to a knee after Knox maliciously targets the area that Punk has sustained such damage to over the past two weeks, with Kelly trying to console Punk...
How those ribs doin' Punk? Still hurtin'? I'll keep that in mind for Saturday. Let's go Kelly.
And just like that, Knox grabs Kelly by the wrist and drags her off screen, leaving Punk down, coughing and spluttering as we head back into the arena.
Where after a few seconds silence...
*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*
The arena buzzes as the World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair
make their entrance, with 'Lito walking hand in hand with Torrie Wilson
while Flair styles and profiles his way down the ramp...
Well there you have it folks. Another match set for this Saturday night. CM Punk takin' on Mike Knox, and if Punk wins, this nightmare of a relationship, if you can even call if that, that Kelly Kelly has found herself in will finally be over.
Yeah but if Knox wins, we're gonna lose CM Punk! I've been really impressed by that kid since he arrived here on Raw, I'd hate to see 'im leave.
That's in store for this Saturday, but right now, the World Tag Team Championships are on the line. The champions, Ric Flair and Carlito defending the gold against Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters.
Yeah and the only reason Nitro and Masters are gettin' this shot is 'cause they did Shane McMahon's dirty work for 'im last week. I'd hate to see Flair and Carlito lose to a team that earned
their title shot in such a manner.
In the ring, Flair removes his robe and lays it over the top rope, while Torrie gives 'Lito one last kiss on the cheek before she steps through the ropes. The champions have a few last words of strategy until...
The boos quickly ring out as Johnny Nitro
an Chris Masters
make their entrance, Nitro leading the way down the red carpet while Masters poses at the start of the carpet before he too heads for the ring...
Well here come the challengers, and conspicuous by her absence is Melina. I can only assume she's busy backstage gettin' ready for her Women's Championship Match later tonight.
The only good thing about this team is missin' right now.
And let's remember, Nitro and Masters have been on quite the losing streak lately. Heck, Nitro hasn't won any kind of match all year
! Could that losing streak end tonight with us crowning new World Tag Team Champions?
Match 2: World Tag Team Championships Match
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito w/ Torrie Wilson v Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters
Carlito and Johnny Nitro get things underway, with the bad blood of the rivalry between Masters and Carlito from earlier in the year still evident as Masters wants nothing to do with ‘Lito early on. Masters does however throw some smack at ‘Lito from the apron, and this brief distraction is enough for Nitro to get the first shot in, landing a kick to the gut and a pair of right hands. An Irish whip sends ‘Lito across, but he ducks underneath Nitro’s clothesline, putting on the breaks... to then land a textbook hurricanrana! The force of the move sends Nitro flying towards his corner, where he reaches up and tags in Masters. ‘The Masterpiece’ charges into the ring and swings wildly at Carlito, but ‘Lito again avoids the contact, this time dropping Masters with a dropkick before tagging in Flair.
Flair enters to a chorus of “Wooo’s”, and they continue as ‘The Nature Boy’ unloads on Masters with stiff chops to the chest. Right hands land to Masters’ jaw, before more chops find their mark and Masters is sent to the corner, crashing hard against the turnbuckle... into a big time back body drop! Flair calls out to the crowd as he waits for Masters to rise, and once Masters is one his feet, Flair goes back to work, connecting with a chop block. Flair now starts to target the knee, stomping down on it before he takes Masters up and down with a shin breaker. Flair then grabs Masters’ foot, winding up... for the figure four... no! Masters kicks Flair into the corner... where he lowers his head, driving his shoulder into Nitro... and propelling Nitro over the top rope into the ring! With both challengers in the ring, albeit down, Carlito’s first instinct is to enter the ring... but the referee puts a stop to that, halting ‘Lito. With the referee busy with ‘Lito, Flair turns back to Masters... only for Nitro to catch him from behind with a springboard roundhouse kick to the back of the head! Flair slumps to the mat, with Masters quickly hooking the leg, although it takes an age for the referee to pull himself away from the champions corner... 1... 2... Flair kicks out.
The challengers now work to isolate Flair from Carlito, with Nitro landing a Russian legsweep while Masters connects on a hard backbreaker. Flair tries to rally as he starts chopping away at Nitro’s chest, but when Flair swings a right hand and misses, Nitro drills him with a kick to the lower back, before tagging Masters and holding Flair in position for a double axehandle from the second rope, gaining Masters a near fall. The punishment of the spine continues as Nitro hits an STO backbreaker, transitioned into a neckbreaker, while Masters shows great strength to take Flair up for a massive gorilla press slam, again coming close to victory. Masters plies on more pressure with a double underhook suplex for a near fall, while Nitro gets a long 2 count from sending Flair off the ropes into a big back body drop.
Masters is in the ring, but once again Flair tries to rally, stinging Master’s chest with chops... only for Masters to duck a right hand... and hammer Flair with a Samoan drop! Flair cries in pain as Masters plants him, and now ‘The Masterpiece’ is back on his feet... calling for the masterlock! Masters urges Flair to stand up, poised, ready to hook his hands up... but as he goes for it, Flair manages to block it! Flair manages to keep Masters’ grip open... before dropping down for a jawbreaker! Masters snaps back, and now both men are down, crawling for their corners... here comes Nitro... but here comes Carlito!
‘Lito leaps over the top rope, racing across to catch the onrushing Nitro with a clothesline, before he grabs Nitro and goes for the Irish whip... but Nitro reverses... only for Carlito to leap to the middle ropes... springboard back elbow! Masters is back up, but he runs into a boot to the midsection, before Carlito comes off the ropes... running DDT! ‘Lito now turns his attention back to Nitro, borrowing a play from Flair’s book by connecting with chops to the chest before sending Nitro to the corner... and following in with a clothesline... but here comes Masters from behind... and ‘Lito avoids it... sending Masters running into Nitro! Masters stumbles from the corner, only for Flair to catch Masters with a clothesline that takes both men over the top rope to the floor! ‘Lito is now alone with Nitro, rocking Nitro with right hands before looking to fire Nitro to the opposite corner... but Nitro reverses... only for Carlito to jump to the second rope, then bounce to the top rope... springboard backflip sees ‘Lito land behind the onrushing Nitro... to drop him with a BACKSTABBER!! Carlito gets all of it, dropping Nitro and hooking the leg... 1... 2... 3!
Winners: And still World Tag Team Champions, Ric Flair and Carlito @ 06.52
A warm reception from the crowd as Carlito emphatically puts Nitro away. Flair is helped back to his feet by Carlito, with the champions sharing a hug as Torrie joins them in the ring, title belts in hand. After handing them over, Flair and 'Lito raise the gold high in the air, while on the outside Nitro slams his fist of the mat in despair at yet another defeat, with he and Masters looking lost, searching for the answer as we head off into commercial.
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*
And we return to the always glorious sight of Maria standing by, microphone in hand, ready for another interview...
Hi! I'm Maria! And joining me at this time... the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra... and 'The Legend Killer'... Randy Orton!
Big heat as Randy Orton and Kenny Dykstra enter the frame, with Dykstra looking as cocky as ever as he admires the gold across his shoulder, while Orton has a scowl on his face as he glares at Maria...
And Randy, tonight you face Rob Van Dam in a semi final match of the Number One Contender's Tournament. How are you feeling knowing you're just a win tonight and then another win at Saturday Night's Main Event away from a WWE Championship opportunity at Wrestlemania?
Orton continues to scowl at Maria as he answers...
How do I feel about bein' so close to Wrestlemania? I feel like finally I'm getting the chance that I deserved
for so long. Two weeks ago I warned every Raw Superstar that if they stood in my way of becoming WWE Champion that they'd regret ever stepping into the ring with me. Well tonight, Rob Van Dam, you're gonna regret getting in my way.
Orton remains stony faced while Dykstra smirks...
I have waited far too long to become WWE Champion again, and I'm not gonna wait any longer. 'RVD' if you put up any kind of fight tonight, then I promise you... I will end
Orton turns to the camera, a sick smile on his face...
You people don't know what I'm capable of, hell, I
don't even know what I'm capable of. You were all shocked and disgusted by what Kenny did to Jeff Hardy one month ago, well let me promise you all that I
... can do so much worse.
Dykstra nods his head in the background, loving every word his mentor speaks...
I am goin' to Wrestlemania, and if anyone tries to stop me... there will be severe consequences.
Orton turns as if the interview is over, but Dykstra quickly grabs the mic...
Wait a minute, wait. I got a quick somethin' I wanna say. Carlito... I heard that little warnin' you had for me last week. You said you were gonna get me back one day?
Dykstra shakes his head...
You don't make threats to me 'Lito. I'm the Intercontinental Champion. I'm the man who put Jeff Hardy on the shelf by crackin' a steel chair off his skull. And if you start runnin' your mouth of about me again... I ain't got no problems smashing a steel chair off your skull either.
Orton gives Dykstra a disturbing smile of satisfaction..
Kenny here is my protégé. And if he's willing to do that... then you can only imagine what I could do.
And with that emphatic statement, Orton and Dykstra turn and head off camera, leaving a perplexed Maria behind as we cut elsewhere.
And speak of the devil, it's to the dressing room of the World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito, the champions relaxing and recovering after their successful title defence. There's no TV or monitor in the room, meaning Carlito hasn't heard a word of what Dykstra just said. Torrie Wilson is nearby, grabbing a bottle of water and handing it to 'Lito, who takes a quick swig before he starts to speak...
Man, 'dat was tough. Carlito didn't think we were gonna make it there man. But we got 'der, and we still the tag team champions man. And dat's cool!
Flair props himself down on a nearby bench, letting out a quick "Wooo!" as he does...
You got it brother! Still the champs baby! But Carlito, ol' Naitch owes you an apology my friend.
Carlito turns to Flair with a confused look on his face...
Apology? What for?
I saw what that no good sunnova bitch Mr. Kennedy did to Teddy Long last Friday night on Smackdown. I saw it, and I blame myself for it happenin'. I let it get in my head, I let that punk
get it in my head, I let it bother me, and it affected my performance out there tonight. Carlito, my brother, I apologies... it won't happen again.
'Lito flashes a cheeky smile, taking another drink of water...
Ric... ju' don't gotta apologise for nothin'. 'Dat's not cool. Carlito and Ric Flair... we're a team. Live or die together man. 'Dat's the way it is man. And 'dat's the way it's gonna stay.
Flair smiles, appreciating Carlito's words...
Thanks man. That means a lot. Still the champs baby! Wooooo!
The crowd responds with a "Wooooo!" of their own, but the cheers soon turn to a murmour of despair, as entering the room behind Flair and Carlito comes Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Hass. The standing Torrie is first to notice that The World's Greatest Tag Team have entered the room, gasping at the sight of them, this prompts 'Lito and Flair to turn and see their rivals over the last few months have made their presence felt, with Flair and Carlito getting to their feet to go toe to toe with Haas and Benjamin...
Awww, ain't that cute Charlie? Looks like we interrupted a lil' love-in between you two.
Haas and Benjamin share a laugh between themselves...
Listen, what is the deal with you two? Huh? We beat you guys to earn a tag team title shot, then we won the belts, and yet you two guys are still on our case every week. If you wanna shot at us, all you gotta do is step up and earn it.
First off, you two didn't beat us to earn that title shot. You stole
our title shot away from us. And you wanna talk about earnin' a title shot? Then I guess you two weren't watchin' when we beat Triple H and Rob Van Dam last week. See we don't need low blows or shortcuts like you two... we just get the job done.
Tensions are high as all four men stare intently at each other...
Alright, 'ju guys want a title shot? How 'bout Wrestlemania?
The crowd pops as Carlito lays down the challenger, but Benjamin remains stern faced as he shakes his head...
Nah. Nah we ain't gonna wait that long. This Saturday night. Put them titles on the line this Saturday.
You finally wanna be rid of us? Then gives us our title shot... and we'll settle things.
Flair and Carlito turn to each other, both men nodding in unison...
Alright. You got it! This Saturday night, live on NBC... you two punks... against Carlito and Ric Flair, the World - Tag Team - CHAMPIONS! Wooooo!
But when we beat ju' two... it's gonna be over between us. And 'dat... dat's cool!
Haas and Benjamin turn and smirk to each other before they head for the exit, leaving Flair and 'Lito behind, the champions looking confident ahead of their title defence this Saturday night.
We now quickly cut to the office of The Chairman of the Board to see Mr. McMahon stood alongside Shane McMahon and Jonathan Coachman, the three huddled in conference, worried looks on all of their faces...
I mean c'mon Dad, what we're you thinkin' about when you agreed to that? A steel cage
match with John Cena!? What are we gonna do?
Vince strokes his chin, searching for the answer...
Mr. McMahon, are you sure this Saturday is wise? Forget what John Cena thinks, there would be no shame whatsoever in cancelling that match. I mean, if you ask me... that would be the smart business move to make.
We can't go through with this Dad. We just can't.
Vince turns to the duo with disgust...
What are you two tryin' to say here? I'm Vince McMahon dammit! I'm not gonna back down from a challenge from the likes of John Cena. There's always a way to get things done Shane, and that's the McMahon way. We just need to think of a way to turn this to our advantage.
'Coach' and Shane look exasperated, both men struggling to think of any advantages to being locked in a steel cage with John Cena... only for the light bulb to go off in Vince's head, a devilish smile crossing his face...
... I've got it. Listen, let him
do what he needs to do tonight, then get him in here. We've got a plan to discuss.
Shane and Vince nod in agreement to each other, while 'Coach' is left dumbfounded, wondering just as the rest of us... who exactly are Vince and Shane talking about?
Back into the arena for...
*HELL WILL BE CALLIN’...*
A very mixed response as Bobby Lashley
makes his entrance, still acting very face like despite the ever growing level of heat he receives. There's still a fair share of cheers for Lashley though, and after he sets off his pyro display, he confidently strides down the ramp, slapping the hands of the fans who offer at ringside...
I said it last week, and I'll say it again tonight. McMahon is just too happy right now. Somethin' ain't right, and I don't like it.
Who was McMahon talkin' about back there? I mean... has he got somethin' lined up for this Saturday for John Cena?
You have to believe he does. But right now, Bobby Lashley is set to take on 'The Game' Triple H, both men knowing that a win tonight will send them to Saturday Night's Main Event and the chance to compete for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania.
And last week, Lashley, well, he did what he had to do to beat CM Punk. Lashley saw a weakness, he exploited it, and he advanced in the tournament. But the fact that Lashley didn't stick around to help CM Punk as Punk was assaulted by Mike Knox, that didn't sit right with me.
I don't see what business Bobby Lashley had gettin' involved in that situation. I didn't really see what Lashley could have done there.
He coulda done the right thing! He could helped Punk, stopped 'im takin' a beatin' from Knox.
Yeah but I'm sure Lashley was just focusing on his own business. He got the win, and he turned his attentions to tonight and Triple H. I don't think it was anythin' more than that.
Lashley removes his t-shirt, still tossing it to the crowd before he stretches against the ropes, anxiously awaiting the arrival of...
”BEHOLD THE KING... THE KING OF KINGS..."
The arena comes unglued as Triple H
emerges, pausing at the top of the ramp before he rampages his way down to the ring, springing up onto the apron to stare at Lashley briefly before he sprays water high into the air...
For Triple H, all signs point to Wrestlemania XXIII and a showdown with the WWE Champion Shawn Michaels. But for 'The Game' to make it to Detroit, he's gonna have to overcome Bobby Lashley tonight, and that won't be easy.
But it certainly seems that the idea of finally gettin' his hands on 'HBK' is drivin' Triple H to succeed. He saw off Johnny Nitro two weeks ago to make it this far, but Lashley will be a whole different story.
I can't wait to see this! This could be an absolute war once these two start goin' at it!
Match 3: Number One Contenders Tournament Semi Final Match
Bobby Lashley v Triple H
The crowd is buzzing as Lashley and ‘The Game’ come face to face in the centre of the ring, a tense standoff between the two gripping the arena. Trips throws a few words Lashley’s way, with Lashley remaining staunchly silent, before the two finally tie up, both men jockeying for position. The two bulls match each other’s strength, until Lashley wrestles ‘The Game’ into a standing side headlock. Lashley wrenches on the neck, but Triple H manages to force Lashley to the corner, where the ref steps in to call for the break. Lashley obliges, giving a clean break, but both men stare long and hard at each other as they return to the middle of the ring.
Again the pair tie up, but this time Lashley drives a knee to the midsection of ‘The Game’, following with a hard right hand. An Irish whip sends Triple H off the ropes, with Lashley knocking ‘The Game’ down with a hard shoulderblock. Lashley quickly pounces on ‘The Game’ by snatching him up and going for another Irish whip, but this time Lashley shows great athleticism by avoiding Trips with a leapfrog... and then lowering his head for a back body drop... but ‘The Game’ telegraphs it... and counters with the facebreaker knee smash... and follows with a big time clothesline! Lashley stumbles back to his feet, to be met with a flurry of right hands backing him to the ropes, before Trips goes for the Irish whip... but again Lashley reverses, swinging a big clothesline... but ‘The Game’ ducks underneath... and catches the turning Lashley with a big spinning spinebuster! Lashley staggers back to his feet, leaning against the ropes... and Triple H clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor! Lashley crashes to the mat below, while ‘The Game’ turns to roar to the crowd, Triple H in control as we head to a commercial.
And we return to action mid-move, Triple H still in control as he takes Lashley up for an impressive scoop slam, gaining a near fall. Lashley crawls for the corner to recover, but after a pair of rights ‘The Game’ has him headed for the opposite corner... but once more Lashley reverses, charging in... but Triple H avoids the contact, waits for Lashley to turn from the corner... right into a DDT! ‘The Game’ plants Lashley and hooks the leg... 1... 2... Lashley forcibly kicks out. ‘The Game’ looks to stay on the attack by snapping off more right hands, but when Lashley is able to duck one, ‘The Dominator’ hooks Triple H up... for an exploder suplex! Lashley crawls into the cover... 1... 2... Trips rolls the shoulder! Lashley now looks to pick up the pace up a bit, driving knee after knee to the gut of ‘The Game’ before a shoulder thrust forces him to the corner. Forearms now land to the skull of ‘The Game’, with Lashley then sending Triple H off the ropes... right into a big sidewalk slam, getting another 2 count. The crowd seems to be back on Lashley’s side as he hits a few crowd-pleasing spots, such as rocking ‘The Game’ with a fallaway slam and then taking him up for a long delayed vertical suplex, both moves gaining Lashley more near falls.
Lashley now slows things down by working ‘The Game’ into an abdominal stretch, targeting the ribs and lower back that has taken much of the brunt of Lashley’s offense thus far. ‘The Game; continually tries to break free, with the crowd doing its best to rally behind him. Lashley remains physically strong as he keeps the hold on, although mentally signs of the crowd rooing for his opponent are clearly starting to effect him, with Styles on commentary pointing out that despite being a fan favourite, Lashley is unimpressed with the cheers for Triple H. ‘The Game’ valiantly battles to break free of the hold, trying to use a hiptoss to break free... but Lashley puts paid to that by drilling an elbow to the ribs, causing ‘The Game’ to stumble to the corner. Lashley races in for a splash... but Triple H avoids the contact... and Lashley states the turnbuckle! Lashley jumps right into the corner, stumbling out... right into another massive spinning spinebuster! Triple H now looks to build momentum, rocking Lashley with right hands before sending him off the ropes... Lashley counters, again lowering his head... and this time ‘The Game’ nails a spinning neckbreaker! Trips is on his feet, poised to strike... kick... PEDIGREE... NO! Lashley fights out of it, pushing ‘The Game’ away and off the ropes... into a massive POWERSLAM! 1... 2... Triple H rolls the shoulder!
The crowd pops big time as ‘The Game’ hangs on, and again Lashley lets the crowd get to him, their cheers for him earlier long gone as they now root for Triple H. Lashley stares long and hard at the audience, angrily shaking his head at them, before finally turning his attention back to ‘The Game’. Lashley crouches near the corner, poised in a three point stance, waiting for Trips to rise. ‘The Game’ staggers back to his feet, and here comes Lashley... SPEAR... NO! Triple H dives to safety... and Lashley spears the ring post! Again the crowd cheers, with ‘The Game’ now going on the attack, rocking Lashley with right after right before he goes for the Irish whip... but Lashley reverses... only to miss wildly with a swinging elbow... and ‘The Game’ keeps on running to nail the high knee strike! The crowd is on their feet as Triple H flexes, roaring to the masses as he waits for Lashley to rise. Lashley is on his feet... kick... PEDIGREE... NO! Lashley counters with a back body drop, sucking all the excitement from the arena.
Lashley makes it back to one knee, waiting for ‘The Game’ to rise, before he hooks Trips up for a suplex... but Triple H lands on his feet behind Lashley pushing him into the ropes... SPEAR!!
Lashley explodes off the ropes with a spear! It’s got to be over... but just as Lashley goes for the cover, he hears the boos of the crowd, who were rooting for a Triple H win. Lashley stares into the masses angrily, again shaking his head, almost in disbelief, before he finally hooks the leg... 1... 2... Triple H kicks out! Lashley took too long, he let the crowd get to him! Despite being a face, Lashley has let the reaction of the audience get to him, giving Triple H time to recover and kick out! Lashley slaps his hand off the mat, almost as angry at himself as he is at the response he’s getting from the crowd. Rising to his feet, Lashley drags ‘The Game’ with him, hoisting Trips onto his shoulder... for THE DOMINATOR... NO!
Triple H slips down the back, spinning Lashley around... kick... PEDIGREE!!!
Out of nowhere Triple H nails the pedigree, hooking both legs tight... 1... 2... 3!
Winner: Triple H @ 11.19
A huge pop rings out as Triple H finally sees off Lashley. 'The Game' sells the effects of the match, slouching in the corner before he finally hoists himself up to have his hand raised in the air. Lashley manages to bring himself back around, rolling under the bottom rope, furious at his defeat. Lashley hangs his head on the apron, slapping his hand of it in anger, while in the ring 'The Game' is handed a microphone...
Hey... hey Shawn!
'The Game' shouts up the ramp, although the camera quickly focuses on Lashley, who angrily kicks the steel steps before angrily heading backstage, staying out of sight by the side of the ramp...
One more win Shawn. One more win... and I'm comin' for ya'!
Short but sweet as Triple H slams the mic to the mat, before climbing to the second rope to pose for the fans. Lashley has disappeared into the darkness of the side of the stage, but the shot now snaps backstage, to see the WWE Champion Shawn Michaels
stood in front of a monitor, having obviously just watched Triple H win and then heard the post match warning. Michaels has the WWE Champion draped across his shoulder, taking a quick glance down at it before he turns his back and walks away, the camera now pointed at the monitor and the image of Triple H straining his muscles for the crowd before we fade into a commercial.
We open to grainy footage of the early days of Monday Night Raw, and soon the music ‘Perfection’ is heard...
Narrator: He was the man who had the total package of technical prowess blended with natural charisma...
We now see 'Mr. Perfect' Curt Hennig make his way down to the ring, before we see him stood on the second rope in the corner of a ring, tossing his towel high into the air and straight into the hands of Bobby 'The Brian' Heenan...
Narrator: A man who embodied his nickname like no other...
Perfect smirking into the camera, spitting his gum into the air and then slapping it aside, the Intercontinental Championship wrapped around his waist...
Mr. Perfect: There's only one Mr. Perfect, and you're lookin' at 'im!
Perfect ties up with Hulk Hogan, with Perfect shocking everyone by taking Hogan down with a hiptoss...
Jesse Ventura: There's no better athlete in the world today!
Perfect lands the Perfect-Plex on jobber after jobber...
Narrator: A man who excelled at whatever sport he turned his hand to...
We see Perfect stood in front of a bowling alley lane, bowling ball in his hand...
Mr Perfect: You sit back on the couch, you put your feet up and you relax. Because you are goin' to witness the 'perfect' game!
Perfect then bowls the ball down the alley, straight down the middle for a textbook strike...
Narrator: And truly was the definition of the word 'perfect'.
We now hear a more sombre type of music, ...
Larry Hennig: He could do it all. Football, basketball, baseball, golf, he could do anythin'. He truly was Mr. Perfect.
Scenes from the legendary vignettes that preceded his debut in the WWF, with Perfect throwing and catching his own pass, nailing three pointer after three pointer and hitting a monster home run with Wade Boggs watching on in amazement...
Narrator: And on this night, we not only celebrate the career, but also the life...
Action from Summerslam 1991 and the epic Intercontinental Title Match between Perfect and Bret Hart...
Ted DiBiase: Not many people live up to their name quite like he did.
And now a clip of Perfect dousing Heenan in cold water during an episode of Prime Time Wrestling...
Shawn Michaels: He was so good at everythin' he did. One o' the very best I ever stepped into the ring with...
Perfect making his return to the WWE during the 2001 Royal Rumble, posing at the entrance way...
Narrator: Of the man they called...
And then in the Rumble match itself, taking Kurt Angle up and down with the Perfect-Plex, the crowd going crazy for the move in the background
Ric Flair: When everythin' comes together at the same time, it becomes great. And Curt Hennig was a great, great performer...
More images of Perfect making an entrance into the arena, spitting gum into the air and slapping it away, giving that arrogant grin to the camera...
Mr. Perfect: There's a reason why they call me...
We now see a picture of 'Mr. Perfect' Curt Hennig, that old cocky smirk etched, with the Hall of Fame logo nearby. Also on the screen is the fact that Hennig will be inducted into the Hall of Fame by current Hall of Famer Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan!
*End Video Package*
We now go back into the arena, where the audience is responding to the video with a rousing round of applause for the late Mr. Perfect...
Yes folks, the second inductee to the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame Class, the perfect
inductee if you will, 'Mr. Perfect' Curt Hennig.
A great competitor, one of the most technically gifted wrestlers in the history of the WWE. What a night the 2007 Hall of Fame induction ceremony is shapping up to be.
Oh absolutely. The night before Wrestlemania, I can't wait for the Hall of Fame!
*THE GREAT GATE OF KIEV...*
The crowd rises again with a great cheer, as Jerry Lawler
stands up from the announce desk...
And here's somethin' else I can't wait for! I'm about to teach Shawn Michaels a lesson he's never gonna forget!
Lawler removes his headset, dropping it down to the announce desk with a thump before he removes his t-shirt and heads for the ring...
Go get 'im Jerry! Give 'im one of them big ol' right hands for me!
Let's see if someone can finally get through to Shawn Michaels. After the way Michaels has been actin' the last month or so, somebody's gotta try slap some sense into 'im.
In the ring Lawler bounces off the ropes a few times, trying to shake off some of the ring rust, while he waits for...
Ridiculous heat for the WWE Champion Shawn Michaels
, with the champion adorning a new pair of black wrestling tights, more befitting of his recent character change. Michaels takes a few steps down the ramp before he drops to his knees in prayer, opening his arms wide, turning his head to the heavens before returning to his feet and continuing down to the ring...
I said it last week, before I nearly got my head kicked off my shoulders, but there's a distinct change in the attitude of Shawn Michaels over the last month. I really don't understand why Shawn has turned his back on the fans who loved him.
And of course, not just the fans, but his former best friend Triple H. Michaels has burned so many bridges lately, it's hard to imagine how things could ever be the same for him. But let's not forget, he's still
the WWE Champion, and still
an incredible competitor.
Oh absolutely. I'm rootin' for 'The King' here, but this is gonna be a big ask for Lawler tonight. I only hope he can get the job done...
Match 4: Non Title Match
WWE Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Jerry Lawler
That vague, distant look is once again on Michaels’ face as the bell rings, while Lawler has a look of sheer rage, dying for a chance to get his hands on Michaels. The two tie up, with Michaels twisting Lawler into a standing side headlock. Lawler manages to shake Michaels into the ropes, only for the champion to put Lawler down with a shoulderblock. Still there’s no sign of emotion as Michaels stand over Lawler, with the champion allowing Lawler back to his feet unchallenged. Again the two tie up, but this time it’s Lawler who gets the upperhand. Michaels pushes Lawler off the ropes... and Lawler runs through Michaels with a shoulderblock of his own! The first sign of emotion is seen as Michaels looks flustered, scrambling back to his feet... only for Lawler to knock him down again! Once more Michaels stumbles up, with Lawler coming off the ropes... Michaels misses with a clothesline... and goes down from a third Lawler shoulderblock! The crowd pops as Lawler gets the early upperhand, while Michaels is furious as he scrambles to the corner, kicking the bottom rope in frustration.
Lawler cocks his right hand in frustration, begging Michaels to attack, while the champion nonchalantly leans against the ropes, not pandering to Lawler’s wishes. The pair move to tie up again, with this time Michaels striking first with a kick to the gut and a forearm to the spine that puts Lawler down. Michaels then mounts Lawler to deliver right after right square to the face, before getting back up to drill a stiff kick to Lawler’s midsection. Lawler crawls for the corner, with Michaels tagging him with more right hands, until a massive Irish whip sends Lawler crashing off the opposite corner and down to the mat. It’s a slow, methodical pace from the champion, who pushes Lawler into the corner to light him up with a trio of knife edged chops. The champion then looks for an Irish whip, only for Lawler to reverse it... but Michaels comes off the opposite ropes... and takes Lawler down with a flying forearm... and then kips up to his feet! The crowd boos Michaels, who arrogantly holds his arms out, drawing even more heat. Feeling fully in command of the match, Michaels heads for the corner, climbing to the top rope... flying elbow drop... but Lawler rolls to safety... and Michaels crashes to the mat!
The crowd pops as Lawler avoids the contact, and now the veteran is teeing off on Michaels with left jabs, until a big right hand knocks Michaels into and off of the ropes... into a textbook dropkick! Michaels stumbles back to his feet... another dropkick puts him down! Again Michaels is up... a third dropkick connects, with the crowd loving Lawler on the attack. The third dropkick keeps Michaels down, and now Lawler ascends to the second rope... and drops that strap... fist drop finds it’s mark! Lawler makes the cover... 1... 2... Michaels kicks out! With the crowd fully behind him, Lawler looks to stay on the attack, dragging Michaels up... a left jab lands... and another... before Michaels is sent for the ride... into a massive back body drop! The champion is reeling as he staggers back up, with Lawler making his move... kick to the midsection, before Michaels is synched in... PILEDRIVER... NO! Michaels counters with a back body drop of his own! Lawler crashes to the mat, and he has to use the ropes to help himself up, stumbling to the middle of the ring... right into the SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! Michaels gets all of it as he drills Lawler, the champion not even bothering to hook the leg as he gets the 1... 2... 3.
Winner: Shawn Michaels @ 05.53
A gallant effort from Lawler, but ultimately it takes one deadly strike of the boot for Michaels to put him away. The champion is quickly back to his feet, snatching his hand away as the ref tries to raise it, with Michaels then yanking the WWE Title into his grasps. Michaels takes on last look down at Lawler before leaving the ring, taking a quick glance to the rafters as he heads up the ramp, with J.R. and Styles continuing to praise the efforts of Lawler, all the while still questioning what is going on with Michaels as we head for commercial.
And we return to see Todd Grisham
is standing by...
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time... John Cena.
The crowd gives a good pop as John Cena steps into the frame, giving a nod in Grisham's direction. Cena has a towel wrapped around his neck, suggesting he's been relaxing since his victory earlier tonight...
And John, we just wanted a quick word regarding the comments we heard earlier from Mr. McMahon. You made the challenge to Mr. McMahon for the Steel Cage Handicap Match as a way of removing any outside interference on the McMahon's behalf. But John it seemed very much as if Mr. McMahon has yet another trick up his sleeve for Saturday Night's Main Event.
Cena reluctantly nods his head..
It uh... it sure seems that way don't it? I mean Vince McMahon said two weeks ago that I'd find out my Wrestlemania opponent when the time was right. And it looks like ol' Vinny Mac has decided that this Saturday night might be the right time.
Cena smiles to himself...
When I challenged Vince to that Steel Cage Match earlier tonight, I knew he and Shane would still have somethin' ready for me. But that's alright, I'm ready for that. You been one step ahead o' me every step o' the way so far Vince, but this Saturday night I will
be ready for it!
Pop from inside the arena, with Cena now turning to the camera, an intense look in his eyes...
So to whoever it is that Vince has in mind, I got one... simple thing to say to you. You better get to me early Saturday night, 'cause once I get Vince and Shane inside that steel cage, I'm gonna unleash hell on 'em! I ain't gonna leave 'til both of 'em are beggin' me to walk through that door!
Again the crowd pops for the intensity of Cena...
And when Vinny and Shane-O are done, I'll be waitin' for ya', and it's just gonna be you and me! You might be livin' outta Vince's pockets, but I don't live my life like that. I believe in hustle, loyalty and respect, and come Saturday night, if I come face to face ya', whoever you are... you're gonna find out that the champ... IS... HEEERRRREEEE!
Cena stares deep into the camera, an ominous message delivered to however 'he' was that McMahon refereed to earlier, before Cena finally turns and walks off, leaving Grisham to marvel at the intensity of Cena as we fade into a video package.
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 TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW - NEXT WEEK!"
*End Video Package*
We now cut to a random corridor, deep in the heart of the building. The camera pans out to reveal Rob Van Dam performing his split legged stretches, obviously warming up in preparation for his match with Randy Orton tonight. Van Dam has each leg propped up on a crate, allowing him to flex his head down between his legs. As he does this, a shadow is cast over Van Dam, and when 'RVD' finally brings his head back up, he's taken aback by the figure in front of him. Van Dam lifts one leg off, then the other, pushing himself back to his feet to go nose to nose with... Triple H! The camera zooms out to reveal 'The Game' now stood in front of Van Dam, both men sharing an awkward stare with each other. Both men remain silent, the awkwardness of the moment taking over... until 'The Game' finally utters...
Good luck tonight. I'll be watchin'.
The crowd pops as 'The Game' delivers a short but sweet message to Van Dam, the two continuing to stare hard at each other, neither backing down, neither man flinching, until Triple H finally turns and walks off, leaving 'RVD' behind to watch him go, Van Dam confidently nodding his head to himself before he heads back to his warm up.
We now cut to see Maria once again standing by...
Hi! I'm Maria! And my guest at this time is the newest Raw diva... Beth Phoenix!
Boos as Beth Phoenix and Victoria enter the frame, with Phoenix looking as menacing as ever while Victoria smiles. The bubbly Maria quickly has the happy look wiped from her face, as Victoria does her best to intimidate the interviewer...
So, uh, Beth. You've been on Raw for a couple of weeks now, and it's pretty clear that your target is the Women's Champion Mickie James. But from what we understand, there's quite a history between you two...
Beth turns to Maria and glares at her...
Beth Phoenix: Quite
... the history? Oh believe me Maria, there's a lot of history between me and Mickie James. But before I tell you all about it, I think a little... history lesson
... is needed first.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM MONDAY NIGHT RAW
MAY 15TH, 2006
We open to a standoff in the ring, where Mickie James and Trish Stratus circle each other, Trish's right arm in a sling. The two continue to stall, both waiting to make the first move... until from out of nowhere a muscular blonde woman storms the ring, tackling Mickie to the mat! The mystery blonde hammers Mickie, causing James to scramble from the ring and race up the ramp to safety...
Trish Stratus: Hey Mickie! You remember Beth don't you? Well guess what, she's my new friend.
Mickie screams in horror, shaking her head and mouthing "No!" over and over...
Trish Stratus: And apparently Mickie... I'm not the only one you screwed over!
The crowd gasps as Stratus hands the mic over to Beth...
Beth: Mickie! I am not gonna let you get away with what you did to me! You... PSYCHO!!!
Mickie is stunned, frozen to the spot, unable to say much more other than to scream "NOOOO!!" at Trish and Beth...
*End Video Package*
We cut back to present day, where Victoria and Beth both have smiles on their faces, while Maria looks even more confused than she usually does...
Did you hear that Maria? I said I wasn't gonna let Mickie James away with what she did to me. Last summer, I was so close
to getting my revenge on Mickie... but unfortunately, I suffered an injury. And I never got my revenge.
Beth shakes her head ruefully...
Y'see, a long time ago, me and Mickie... we used to be friends. We both worked the same bingo halls and high school gymnasiums, we used to travel the roads together. Infact, my first ever
match was with Mickie James. We were best friends. And we both... were huge
Trish Stratus fans.
Beth sighs, showing those days are long gone...
So we both worked hard, trained long hours, wrestled in front of 30 people every night to try and better ourselves. We spurred each other on, we encouraged each other, hoping that one day... we'd both be WWE Divas... and we'd both get to wrestle Trish Stratus. And then one day in late 2005, we got a phone call. Monday Night Raw was looking for a new diva to join the show. We were both so excited, we couldn't believe it, we finally had a chance... but there was only enough room on the roster... for one
Beth breathes hard through her nose, the anger inside starting to build...
I always assumed that we'd stay friends, no matter which one of us earned that contract. But Mickie... started acting strange with me. She was different. I tried to ignore, tell myself I was just imaginin' things... but deep down, I knew she had changed. But I never thought she's do what she did.
Again Beth breathes hard...
The day before our tryout match against each other, Mickie... she injured
me. She broke my damn hand! I couldn't compete in the tryout match, Mickie got my
WWE contract, she got to live out my dream! She got to be friends with Trish Stratus, she got to face Trish at Wrestlemania, she became Women's Champion! And me?
Beth bits her lip hard, shaking her head...
I missed my chance. Bur I worked hard, I went back to fightin' in those bingo halls, and when I was ready... I called Trish Stratus. I told Trish all that happened between me and Mickie, about how she stole my dream from me, and Trish helped me get a WWE contract. So I finally got to show up on Raw... and as you saw in that video, Mickie James knew exactly
who I was.
Beth has a thought, shaking her head in disbelief...
But then, two weeks ago when I returned to Raw... thanks to Victoria...
Beth turns to Victoria, the two nodding to each other...
Mickie James was on commentary, and she said... that she'd forgot
... all about me. You never forget me Mickie... I won't let you. I came back last time for revenge, but I got injured before I got it. Well this time, I won't make the same mistake. I'm gonna get my hands on you Mickie, and when I do...
Phoenix stares ominously into the camera...
I'm gonna make you pay for what you did to me!
The camera stays focused on Phoenix, her eyes burning a whole straight through the camera until we fade into a commercial.
And when we return...
The crowd gives off a good cheer for the Women's Champion Mickie James
, who instead of bouncing out onto the ramp and then down to the ring, is rather more subdued tonight, obviously having heard every word that Beth Phoenix had to say before we went to commercial...
Welcome back folks. That was certainly a rather chilling statement that we heard from Beth Phoenix. Apparently Beth and Mickie are long time friends, and somethin' happened with regards to an injury for Beth that cost her the chance to compete for a WWE contract, a contract that ultimately wound up goin' to Mickie James.
Well, we've only heard one side of the story so far J.R., but that side certainly appears to have had an impact on the Women's Champion.
And that's not a good way to be walkin' into a title defence! Could Mickie be distracted, and could Melina potentially take advantage of this situation?
The red carpet is rolled out for the second time tonight as Melina
struts her way down it, the paps snapping away at her as she shimmies on past them...
Well Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters couldn't get the job done earlier tonight, but what an opportunity this has become for Melina.
Well, she cut that underhand deal with Mr. McMahon last week to get this title shot. This jezebel knows how to get what she wants. And if she wants the Women's Title... there might not be a better time for her to get it. Look at poor Mickie James, the girl looks in shock over what we just heard...
Match 5: Women's Championship Match
Women's Champion Mickie James vs. Melina
And when the bell rings, Mickie is clearly not focused on the match, as she stares up the ramp in confusion, allowing Melina to get the jump on her and club Mickie from behind. Mickie collapses into the corner, and Melina is quick to lay in with a flurry of kicks, with the champion only saved by the referee calling for the break. Melina backs away briefly, but she moves back in... only for Mickie to explode from the corner to tackle Melina to the mat! Rights and lefts fly from the champion, with once again the referee forced to step in and call for a break. Both women are back up, but Mickie continues to be aggressive, grabbing Melina by the hair to toss her across the ring, perhaps taking out some of the frustration with Beth on the challenger. Melina scrambles for the safety of the ropes, and when Mickie grabs her by the feet, Melina is able to kick out, with J.R. pointing out that perhaps Mickie’s aggression got the better of her.
Melina now looks to take control, striking with knees to the face and then dropping elbows across the back, before Mickie is taken up and down with a suplex, gaining Melina a near fall. In retaliation for the earlier eating, Melina shows off her aggressive side with a series of stiff forearms to the face from a camel clutch position, before then hooking James up with an underhook chinlock. Melina wrenches on Mickie’s neck, bt the champion is able to battle back to her feet... but Melina starts laying in with more forearms, this time to the open midsection, keeping the hold locked on only now in a standing position. Again Melina wrenches on the neck, hoping to catch a quick submission victory... but Mickie shows great flexibility to kick Melina in the face, with another kick finally breaking the hold. Dazed, Melina swings and misses with a wild right hand, allowing Mickie to hit a kick to the gut... and then nail a fisherman’s suplex! 1... 2... Melina kicks out.
Both women stumble back up, with Melina striking first on a big forearm... but Mickie fires back with a forearm of her own! Again Melina connects... but again Mickie fires back... and again... and a fourth forearm lands on the side of Melina’s skull! Melina is against the ropes, prompting Mickie to send her for the ride... but Melina reverses, firing Mickie off the ropes... Mickie ducks a clothesline and keeps on running... Lou Thesz press! Mickie flies and takes Melina down, grabbing her by the hair to repeatedly slam Melina’s head off the canvas. Building momentum, Mickie lets out a roar to the crowd as she waits for Melina to rise... bit clothesline puts the challenger down. Again Melina is up, another clothesline knocks her down, before Mickie retreats to the corner, motioning for Melina to rise one more time. Finally Melina is up, and here comes Mickie... kick to the midsection... Mickie-DT... no! Melina pushes Mickie off in mid air, but James lands on her feet... and can’t avoid the Primal Scream! Melina drops the leg across Mickie’s neck, straight into the pinfall, the challenger sure of victory... 1... 2... NO!
Melina can’t believe it, she thought she was the new champion! Furious, Melina lets out a scream of anguish before she drags Mickie by the hair to a vertical base. A big forearm lands to the side of Mickie’s skull, knocking James to the corner. Another forearm lands, before Melina goes for the Irish whip across. Mickie hits the corner hard, and here comes Melina... right into a back elbow! Melina is dazed, allowing Mickie to prop herself up with the ropes... right into the Mickie-A-Rana! Mickie springs back to her feet, waiting for the stumbling Melina... to his the Mickie-DT! Mickie plants Melina, hooking both legs tight... 1... 2... 3!
Winner: And still Women's Champion, Mickie James @ 04.29
Mickie does it! Despite her mind clearly being elsewhere, Mickie manages to somehow retain her title! Battered and bruised, Mickie takes an age to return to a vertical base, but she finally makes it, holding her Women's Title close to her chest. Melina hasn't moved since Mickie connected, and when the camera switches back to the champion, the mix of emotions is clear for all to see, happiness for another successful title defence, but fear and concern over what Beth Phoenix had to say.
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*
That's the last video of the night, I promise. Anyway, we not head to a random corridor to see Carlito and Torrie Wilson walking along, hand in hand, both in street clothes, looking like they're on their way home for the evening...
Man, did 'ju see hear Ric earlier? I mean 'dat thing with Teddy Long on Smackdown, 'dat really got to him.
'Lito shakes his head, adjusting his tag title on his shoulder...
Yeah, that was pretty sad. That Mr. Kennedy's really gotten to him these last few weeks.
The two continue walking, until they reach the end of the corridor... and suddenly stop... as walking across them from an adjacent corridor... is Randy Orton and Kenny Dykstra. Orton and Dykstra are obviously on their way to the ring for tonight's main event, but they stop for a brief standoff with Carlito, with Dykstra in particular smirking at the sight of the pair...
Well look who it is. I thought after last week, you were gonna get back at me 'Lito? Well... here's your chance.
Not wanting to back down, Carlito places his title on top of the luggage he was pulling, stepping forward to go nose to nose with Kenny...
Don't push me man. 'Ju don't want 'dat!
Carlito seethes with anger, ready to strike... only for Torrie to grab 'Lito by the hand...
No. C'mon Carlito... let's just go.
Wilson flashes a look of distain at Kenny, who simply laughs at the couple...
Just as I thought. Not hard to see who wears the pants in this relationship.
Carlito turns away, almost embarrassed, while Dykstra gives Torrie a look of lust...
Hey! Y'think we can focus here on my
Yeah let's go. See ya' around Torrie.
Dykstra arrogantly blows an air kiss in Torrie's direction before he and Orton head for the ring...
Ugh! What a creep! C'mon baby, let's go.
Carlito angrily watches the pair leave, before he joins Torrie in heading for the exit as we head off into a commercial.
Straight back into the arena for...
*ONE OF A KIND...*
The crowd gives a massive pop as Rob Van Dam
makes his entrance, with Van Dam looking confident as he heads down the ramp. 'RVD' quickly gets into the ring, doing his usual thumb movement for a rousing "ROB - VAN - DAM!" from the audience...
Welcome back to Monday Night Raw folks. It is time for the second semi final match in the Number One Contender's Tournament. Rob Van Dam and Randy Orton will square off, with the winner facing Triple H this Saturday night at Saturday Night's Main Event for the chance to face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE Championship.
And what a night it's gonna be this Saturday. Not only will we find out Shawn Michaels' opponent for Wrestlemania, but John Cena is set to face both Vince and Shane McMahon in a Steel Cage Match!
And of course, the World Tag Team Championships are on the line as Ric Flair and Carlito defend the gold against The World's Greatest Tag Team, and CM Punk and Mike Knox will face each other, and if Punk wins, Knox has to let Kelly Kelly get on with her live in peace!
It's gonna be a helluva night, live on NBC! And I know Rob Van Dam is dyin' to be there. He wants that shot at Shawn Michaels just as bad as Triple H does.
*BURN IN MY LIGHT...*
The crowd gives off some strong heat as Randy Orton
makes his entrance, coldly and calmly striding down the ramp, the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra
following not far behind...
But standing in Van Dam's way is Randy Orton. A cold blooded, almost sadistic streak resides in that young man, and he doesn't seem to be in any mood to let somebody get in his way of reaching Wrestlemania.
This could be a real tough matchup. Both men are focused, both men are determined... but does Van Dam have that killer edge that Orton seems to possess right now? We're about to find out...
Main Event: Number One Contenders Tournament Semi Final Match
Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton w/ Kenny Dykstra
Both men stand in their respective corners, slowly inching towards the centre of the ring, only for Dykstra to jump up on the apron, pointing and talking trash at Van Dam. ‘RVD’ turns and chases Dykstra from the apron, but of course Orton sees this as a chance to strike from behind, clubbing ‘RVD’ with a forearm to the back. A pair of rights land to the skull as Van Dam is against the ropes, prompting Orton to go for an Irish whip... but Van Dam comes off the ropes with a spinning heel kick! Dazed, Orton stumbles to the ropes... and Van Dam clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor! Dykstra is quickly over to check on Orton, helping Orton back to his feet, but here comes Van Dam off the opposite ropes... ROLLING THUNDER... into a SUMMERSAULT SENTON OVER THE TOP ROPE!! Van Dam flies through the air to take out both Orton and Dykstra, with ‘RVD’ wasting little time to get Orton back to a vertical base so he can send Orton face first into the steel ring post. Orton struggles to his knees, using the barricade for support, and this allows Van Dam to easily hoist Orton up with a suplex... only to drop Orton gut first across the barricade! Van Dam then leaps up onto the apron... and launches himself with a corkscrew legdrop across the spine!
Both men take a hard landing on the floor, but all the momentum is with Van Dam as he springs back to his feet, again doing his signature thumb taunt to draw another “Rob... Van... Dam!” chant from the crowd. Orton is rolled back into the ring for the first near fall, followed by Van Dam tagging Orton with a pair of kicks to the head, with a third jumping roundhouse finishing the sequence. Orton crawls to the corner, but Van Dam stays on him, driving his shoulder to the midsection for a pair of shoulder thrusts before Van Dam backflips out of the corner... and races in for a third shoulder thrust! Van Dam then goes for the Irish whip across, but Orton reverses and follows in... right into an elbow to the face! Van Dam then hoists himself up to the top rope, but before he can mount any offense, Dykstra springs up onto the apron, causing a distraction. Van Dam is forced to pause, but he does flick out a boot to the face, kicking Dykstra to the floor... but here comes Orton from behind... pushing ‘RVD’ off the top rope... and flying into the barricade! Van Dam has a brutal landing, with Orton slumping down to the mat, both men trying to recover as we head off for the last commercial of the evening.
And we return with Orton firmly in control, a deep chinlock locked in that has both men on the mat. We also see a replay of what happened during the commercial break, where Dykstra made his presence felt once more, drilling ‘RVD’ with a stiff kick to the side of the head while Orton had the referee distracted. Orton continues to wrench on the chinlock, but the cheers of the crowd is enough to encourage ‘RVD’ to make it back to his feet, where he drives the elbow twice to the midsection to break the hold... only for an old fashioned thumb to the eye to stop any Van Dam momentum... and then a perfect standing dropkick to knock Van Dam down again, with Orton quickly hooking the leg for a 2 count.
After Van Dam kicks out, Orton goes right back to work on the neck, this time driving a knee into the top of the spine while pulling back on the head with both hands. With Orton applying pressure to the spine and neck, it seems there’s no escape for Van Dam, who tries reaching for the ropes but gets nowhere near them. Once more the crowd tries to encourage ‘RVD’, and eventually a flurry of back elbows help Van Dam force himself back to his feet. More back elbows to the side of the head finally break the hold, with Van Dam coming off the ropes... only for Orton to end any chance of a rally with a snap powerslam! Orton quickly hooks the leg... 1... 2... Van Dam rolls the shoulder! Orton can’t believe it, as Van Dam stays alive, with ‘The Legend killer’ furiously confronting the referee, demanding that it was 3. Orton’s protests are waved away, before Orton finally turns his attention back to Van Dam... who goes for a kick to the gut, which Orton catches... ‘RVD’ goes for an enziguri... which Orton ducks... only for Van Dam to fire back with a spinning mule kick!
Now ‘RVD’ looks to rally, starting with a forearm to the side of the head that knocks Orton into the corner. There Van Dam scales the second rope, hammering down on Orton with right after right, the crowd counting all the way along until 10, where Van Dam drops back down, catching the stumbling Orton... with a northern lights suplex! 1... 2... Orton kicks out! ‘RVD’ is fully in control now, and he again unloads with kicks that force Orton to the corner, where he goes for an Irish whip... that Orton reverses... but Van Dam jumps to the second rope... for a springboard roundhouse kick! Orton is down, and here comes Van Dam off the ropes... ROLLING THUNDER! Van Dam gets all of it, and hooks the leg... 1... 2... Orton rolls a shoulder! Van Dam has his head in his hands, sure he had it won, while Dykstra looks like he’s about to have a heart attack on the outside. Van Dam senses he has victory in his grasp though, as he drills Orton with a knee to the face and then takes Orton up onto his shoulders... for a rolling fireman carry... which ‘RVD’ seamlessly rolls through, leaping to the top rope... and the crowd comes alive as Van Dam turns on the top rope, with Orton in perfect position... for THE FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH... but Dykstra once again jumps up onto the apron! The ref tries to get Dykstra down, but the Intercontinental Champion isn’t budging... until Van Dam flies with a dropkick that catches Dykstra square on the jaw, knocking him to the floor!
Despite the heavy landing for both men, Van Dam now again leaps back onto the top rope, readying himself... FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH... NO! In an act of desperation, Orton shoves the referee into the ropes... causing Van Dam to lose his balance... crotching himself on the top rope! Orton shakes away the cobwebs, before he grabs Van Dam by the head, pulls him forward... rope hung spike DDT... from the top rope! Orton viciously drives ‘RVD’ skull first into the mat, hooking the leg for the win... 1... 2... Van Dam gets a foot on the bottom rope! The crowd goes wild as ‘RVD’ stays alive, while Orton can’t believe it, furious that he didn’t get the 3 count. After a few moments chastising the referee, Orton stands in the corner, readying himself, waiting for Van Dam to rise so he can strike with the RKO! Orton waits and waits, willing Van Dam to his feet... although suddenly there’s a commotion ringing out through the crowd. Orton and Dykstra pay little attention, but soon they have to as someone has leapt over the barricade... and TACKLED DYKSTRA TO THE FLOOR! The crowd is going wild, with the cameras scrambling to pick up the image... of JEFF HARDY
hammering Dykstra with right hands! Not seen in over a month since Dykstra put him on the shelf, Jeff has raced through the crowd to get his hands on the Intercontinental Champion! Orton and the referee are both distracted by the brawl at ringside, with Orton forgetting all about ‘RVD’ and the RKO... until Orton turns back to the ring... and Van Dam drills him with a spinning wheel kick! Orton is down, in prime position as Van Dam springs to the top rope, and with no Dykstra to cause the distraction, Van Dam can fly... FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH!!!
The roof blows off the arena as Van Dam gets every inch of it, hooking both legs tight... 1... 2... 3!!
Winner: Rob Van Dam @ 13.49
Van Dam has done it, thanks to a huge assist from the returning Jeff Hardy! It's bedlam in the arena as Hardy has left Kenny Dykstra down and out, the distraction enough for Van Dam to get the win over Orton! Having made his mark, Jeff hops back over the barricade and disappears back into the crowd, and after Orton rolls from the ring to join Dykstra on the outside, 'RVD' is alone in the ring... until...
*TIME TO PLAY THE GAME...*
The already going crazy crowd somehow manages to kick it up another notch as Triple H
, now dressed in street clothes, bursts out from the back, water bottle in hand, heading for the ring with a purpose. Van Dam struggles back to his feet, but he's stood in the middle of the ring as 'The Game' climbs up onto the apron and then steps through the ropes.
The music dies down, the roar of the crowd descends into a buzz of anticipation as Triple H and Rob Van Dam, now officially opponents this Saturday night, go nose to nose, both men staring deep at each other. A stare down quickly develops, neither man giving an inch, just like earlier tonight, although the stakes are much, much higher now. Both men strain and clutch their fists, waiting fo that first move to be made...
What a combustible situation this is! Two men, a common goal, a common hatred of an opponent, but there can only be one! Who's goin' to Wrestlemania to face the WWE Champion?! It's VAN DAM AND 'THE GAME', THIS SATURDAY NIGHT, LIVE ON NBC!!
J.R. goes into hype overdrive on the mic, with the crowd building to a frenzy, the arena absolutely electric as Triple H and Rob Van Dam stand eye to eye, neither man budging an inch... and it appears that neither man has spotted that the WWE Champion Shawn Michaels has stepped out to the top of the ramp! Michaels looks down at 'The Game' and 'RVD', who only have eyes for each other. The camera however continues to switch, between the explosion in waiting in the ring and the blank stare of the heartless WWE Champion, three men who's destinies will be revealed this Saturday night, 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
Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam
Steel Cage Handicap Match:
Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon vs. John Cena
United States Championship Match:
Match Stipulation TBA
United States Champion Finlay vs. Chris Benoit
World Tag Team Championship Match:
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team
Four Way Elimination Match:
Winner will face Gregory Helms at Wrestlemania XXIII for the CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Bryan Danielson vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Joey Mercury vs. Shannon Moore
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox