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post #141 of 349 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 10:10 PM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

6) Number One Contenders Tournament Final Match:
Winner will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP

Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam
Going with the no contest, because I really can't see RVD fitting in anywhere else on the card. Michaels to interfere and cause it. That way you have Michaels/Triple H to continue on after 'Mania too.

8) Steel Cage Handicap Match:
Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon vs. John Cena
Someone is definitely interfering here. I'm sticking to my guns from ages ago and saying Lashley, making him that beastly heel by having him go up against the fan favourite after the fans turned on him. I could also see Orton getting involved here, but I'm going with B-Lash.

7) Last Chance Tag Team Match:
If Edge and Kennedy win, Kennedy will join Edge and Batista in a WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania XXIII

World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Matt Hardy vs. Edge and Mr. Kennedy
Kennedy has to wrestle Flair. Simple.

3) United States Championship Belfast Brawl:
United States Champion Finlay vs. Chris Benoit
Finlay is a transitional champion to get the belt onto Matt. He has to face Matt to drop it to him though.

4) World Tag Team Championship Match:
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team
This is interesting. TWGTT haven't been great in this thread, but I feel like you've got Carlito/Dykstra and Flair/Kennedy going, and you want to feature the tag titles, so that means TWGTT would have to take them to defend against someone at 'Mania.

1) 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
Nothing wrong with this being obvious. AmDrag to look beastly.

5) Grudge Match:
Umaga vs. Kane
The undefeated streak ends at 'Mania to 'Taker.

2) Grudge Match:
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox
Can't see why he would lose.

Bonus Questions:

What will be the match order? Check above.
How many championships will change hands? One.
What will be the order of elimination in the Four Way Elimination Match? Moore, Mercury, Chavo.
Will there be any surprise appearances? If yes, then by who? Yes. Lashley, Michaels, possibly Orton and Dykstra.
What will be the longest match? Van Dam/Trips.
What will be the shortest match? Punk/Knox.
Will The Undertaker answer Armando Alejandro Estrada's challenge to appear tonight? Yes.

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post #142 of 349 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 11:20 PM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

7: Number One Contenders Tournament Final Match:
Winner will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam

8: Steel Cage Handicap Match:
Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon vs. John Cena

6: Last Chance Tag Team Match:
If Edge and Kennedy win, Kennedy will join Edge and Batista in a WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania XXIII
World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Matt Hardy vs. Edge and Mr. Kennedy

3: United States Championship Belfast Brawl:
United States Champion Finlay vs. Chris Benoit

4: World Tag Team Championship Match:
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team

1: 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

5: Grudge Match:
Umaga vs. Kane

2: Grudge Match:
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox

Bonus Questions:

What will be the match order? Done
How many championships will change hands? One
What will be the order of elimination in the Four Way Elimination Match? Mercury, Moore, Guerrero
Will there be any surprise appearances? If yes, then by who? Shawn Michaels
What will be the longest match? HHH/RVD
What will be the shortest match? Umaga/Kane
Will The Undertaker answer Armando Alejandro Estrada's challenge to appear tonight? Yes

It's my first time reading this thread, and through the SNME preview you've got me excited for what's going on and I'll definitely be back to read when the show is up and towards Wrestlemania as well.
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post #143 of 349 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 02:46 AM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Never really reviewed around here, maybe once in the pilot show a long time ago however, I do plan on reviewing this one and hopefully from here on out in a regular basis. Good luck with this and all.

Number One Contenders Tournament Final Match:
Winner will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP

Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam

Going to go with Triple H on this one, Shawn may actually screw Van Dam who comes very close, out of a victory. Superkicking him out of nowhere because he wants to face HHH at Wrestlemania.

Steel Cage Handicap Match:
Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon vs. John Cena

Going to go with the McMahon's on this one, Cena will probably get the win come Wrestlemania however, Vince and Shane may steal one here or have the wrestlemania opponent for Cena be revealed and attack him during the match.

Last Chance Tag Team Match:
If Edge and Kennedy win, Kennedy will join Edge and Batista in a WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania XXIII

World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Matt Hardy vs. Edge and Mr. Kennedy

Much like others have said, Edge and Batista has been done to death. I see Kennedy and Edge having some interactions and pushes between them throughout the match, not cooperating but eventually picking up the victory.

United States Championship Belfast Brawl:
United States Champion Finlay vs. Chris Benoit

I'd like Benoit to win always enjoyed him and his work but Finlay has been pushed and used well in your thread and I don't see it stopped suddenly right before the grandest stage of them all.

World Tag Team Championship Match:
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team

Flair and Carlito were put together in your thread for a reason, they'll probably be broken up in the future and have a short feud with one another where Carlito may win and get a push up in the card but in the mean time they'll pick up the victory.

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

Pretty split between Danielson and Guerrero but going out on a limb here, Danielson may do it, obviously bringing him in this thread for loosing and jobbing out would not be a good idea.

Grudge Match:
Umaga vs. Kane

Kane doesn't need the win, Umaga does.

Grudge Match:
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox

Might actually say Knox here, have a feeling there is a slight chance for an upset here.
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post #144 of 349 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 10:28 AM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Number One Contenders Tournament Final Match:
Winner will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam
no contest
6. Steel Cage Handicap Match:
Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon vs. John Cena

7. Last Chance Tag Team Match:
If Edge and Kennedy win, Kennedy will join Edge and Batista in a WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania XXIII
World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Matt Hardy vs. Edge and Mr. Kennedy

4. United States Championship Belfast Brawl:
United States Champion Finlay vs. Chris Benoit

5. World Tag Team Championship Match:
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team
1. 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

2. Grudge Match:
Umaga vs. Kane

3. Grudge Match:
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox

Bonus Questions:

What will be the match order?done
How many championships will change hands?1
What will be the order of elimination in the Four Way Elimination Match?
moore, mercury. and guerrero
Will there be any surprise appearances? If yes, then by who?
yes, Lashley, Micheales
What will be the longest match?Triple h vs van dam
What will be the shortest match?Punk vs Knox
Will The Undertaker answer Armando Alejandro Estrada's challenge to appear tonight?

Tna! TNA! TNA!
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post #145 of 349 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 01:53 PM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

5) Number One Contenders Tournament Final Match:
Winner will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam
No Contest

8) Steel Cage Handicap Match:
Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon vs. John Cena

7) Last Chance Tag Team Match:
If Edge and Kennedy win, Kennedy will join Edge and Batista in a WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania XXIII
World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Matt Hardy vs. Edge and Mr. Kennedy

3) United States Championship Belfast Brawl:
United States Champion Finlay vs. Chris Benoit

4) World Tag Team Championship Match:
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team

1) 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

6) Grudge Match:
Umaga vs. Kane

2) Grudge Match:
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox

Bonus Questions:

What will be the match order? Done
How many championships will change hands? One.
What will be the order of elimination in the Four Way Elimination Match? Mercury, Moore, Chavo
Will there be any surprise appearances? If yes, then by who? Yes. Lashley, Michaels
What will be the longest match? Last Chance Tag Match
What will be the shortest match? Punk/Knox.
Will The Undertaker answer Armando Alejandro Estrada's challenge to appear tonight? Yes.
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post #146 of 349 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 03:10 PM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

8 - Number One Contenders Tournament Final Match:
Winner will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam

6 - Steel Cage Handicap Match:
Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon vs. John Cena

7 - Last Chance Tag Team Match:
If Edge and Kennedy win, Kennedy will join Edge and Batista in a WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania XXIII
World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Matt Hardy vs. Edge and Mr. Kennedy

5 - United States Championship Belfast Brawl:
United States Champion Finlay vs. Chris Benoit

4 - World Tag Team Championship Match:
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team

1 - 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

3 - Grudge Match:
Umaga vs. Kane

2 - Grudge Match:
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox

Bonus Questions:

What will be the match order?
How many championships will change hands? 1
What will be the order of elimination in the Four Way Elimination Match? Mercury, Guerrero, Shannon More
Will there be any surprise appearances? If yes, then by who? Yes, by Michaels
What will be the longest match? Main Event
What will be the shortest match? US Title Match
Will The Undertaker answer Armando Alejandro Estrada's challenge to appear tonight? ...
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post #147 of 349 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 11:32 PM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

I didn't forget...

1 Number One Contenders Tournament Final Match:
Winner will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam

I'm going with the obvious here, but I can't see RVD doing anything else at 'mania, either. HHH/HBK looks to have been in the cards since the start of this thread, but RVD doesn't have much beyond the title picture and I don't think you're gonna have him dwelling in the midcard come 'mania. Either a dusty finish and both men going to 'mania or Trips/Michaels is set up.

8 Steel Cage Handicap Match:
Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon vs. John Cena

It'd be silly for Cena to win here, but I don't expect him to lose fairly. I fully expect a slew of interference, seeing as how Cena's still a bit Supermanish. Another gimmick match between Vinnie Mac and Cena come 'mania looks like a lock.

6 Last Chance Tag Team Match:
If Edge and Kennedy win, Kennedy will join Edge and Batista in a WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania XXIII
World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Matt Hardy vs. Edge and Mr. Kennedy

Kennedy will probably have his hands filled with Flair come Wrestlemania time, and I expect Hardy to get a bit of momentum gonig into the big show.

5 United States Championship Belfast Brawl:
United States Champion Finlay vs. Chris Benoit

I don't approve much of title trades, but I can only see Hardy winning come 'mania and finally getting his Wrestlemania moment. And I would much rather him winning it off of Benoit than Finlay, or in a Triple Threat.

2. World Tag Team Championship Match:
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team

Carlito has Dykstra breathing down his neck and Flair has Kennedy. The WGTT haven't been the best, but they'll do.

3 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

Fairly simple. Danielson/Helms has to happen.

7 Grudge Match:
Umaga vs. Kane

Another fairly simple choice, but I'm loking forward to this one being savage, even in recap.

4 Grudge Match:
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox

Another simple choice. Punk for MITB winner.

Bonus Questions:

What will be the match order? Done.
How many championships will change hands? Two, I believe.
What will be the order of elimination in the Four Way Elimination Match?

Will there be any surprise appearances? If yes, then by who? I vote Kenny and Orton. And maybe Lashley.

What will be the longest match? I'll vote Cruiserweight match. You seem to have fun with those.
What will be the shortest match? Umaga/Kane
Will The Undertaker answer Armando Alejandro Estrada's challenge to appear tonight? I don't see why not. So yeah.


AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair
It's Baaaaack...
.:Oblivion Edition 39/40 Recap NOW POSTED!!
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post #148 of 349 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

First of all, thank you so much for all the predictions received so far. Absolutely blown away by the volume of them, very much appreciated. Anyway, here is the afore-mentioned news piece. Show will be up on Sunday at some point I'm sure.


~News, Notes and Spoilers~

With Saturday Night's Main Event mere hours away, there's a big time feel backstage at Madison Square Garden tonight as the company gears up for the final push towards Wrestlemania XXIII. Vince McMahon in particular is gearing up for the show in a big way, trying to lead by example with his efforts in the John Cena feud. With Vince and Shane facing Cena tonight, it's all but guaranteed that Cena's opponent will be revealed during the broadcast. Many names continue to be tossed around, including a late push being made for Triple H to be inserted into the scene. Vince had long wanted a Wrestlemania 26 rematch between the two, with the possible storyline being floated that should Triple H lose tonight, he will immediately turn heel and re-united with his in-laws for a McMahon Family partnership. This would then leave Rob Van Dam and Shawn Michaels to compete in the WWE Championship Match, while Cena and 'The Game' would be one of the featured matches on the undercard.

Officials backstage are reportedly pleased with the recent developments of both the tag team and cruiserweight divisions over on Smackdown. The arrival of Bryan Danielson has brought a great deal of excitement to the cruiserweight scene, and as of this moment a match between Danielson and Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms at Wrestlemania is a lock. As for the tag team division, the addition of Paul Burchill has breathed new life into The Bluebloods, La Resistance and The F.B.I are both set to have strong presences on the card, while the trio of Tommy Dreamer, Sabu and The Sandman, all thought to be on the way out of the company after the demise of ECW, have proven themselves as a solid lower card team. Further additions are on the way with the team of Elijah Burke and Monty Brown scheduled to debut before Wrestlemania, providing another set of challengers to The Hooligans.

With things going well on Smackdown, attention has now turned to developing the tag team scene on Raw. With the titles having been passed around between makeshift teams such as Rated-RKO and the current champions Ric Flair and Carlito, there's a real desire to return the titles to a more permanent fixture within the division. That would suggest a win tonight for Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, but there have been rumours floating around that The Hart Legacy may debut as heels as win the titles on their first night with the company, much like the Spirit Squad did when they first debuted. Regardless, there is a determination to make more use of the division on Raw, with more teams set to follow The Hart Legacy and better use of Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch.

As of this moment, the Wrestlemania card calls for one Triple Threat Match. The questions remains whether it will take place for the World or United States Championship. With Edge and Batista already guaranteed to meet in Detroit, the campaign to insert Mr. Kennedy into the match has really gathered pace in recent weeks, as has been the way Kennedy has impressed lately. This would help further the issue between Flair and Kennedy that has been developing in recent weeks, with Flair firmly in the corner of 'The Animal' come Wrestlemania. Meanwhile, with Matt Hardy knowing he'll be facing the United States Champion at Wrestlemania, whoever that may be, there again has been talk of having both Benoit and Finlay involved in the match. If this plan doesn't come to fruition, expect the loser of tonight's Belfast Brawl to be one of the early favourites for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

As of right now, there is very little chance in Kane being the man to end Umaga's defeated streak. The Undertaker IS in Madison Square Garden tonight, but officials are playing things very close to their chest. There has been talk of keeping 'Taker off our screens until Wrestlemania, and only having him return on the night to face Umaga. One interesting comment from one member of the creative was "There's a real sense of nostalgia with this feud...". What the means with regards to tonight remains to be seen. Another match with a fairly predictable outcome is the match between CM Punk and Mike Knox. Punk is almost guaranteed to win tonight, however officials are hoping that he can gain exposure from appearing on the big show, putting him nicely in the frame for a run at the Money in the Bank Ladder Match come Wrestlemania.



Prediction Template:

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

Last Chance Tag Team Match:
If Edge and Kennedy win, Kennedy will join Edge and Batista in a WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania XXIII

World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Matt Hardy vs. Edge and Mr. Kennedy

United States Championship Belfast Brawl:
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

Grudge Match:
Umaga vs. Kane

Grudge Match:
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox

Bonus Questions:

What will be the match order?
How many championships will change hands?
What will be the order of elimination in the Four Way Elimination Match?
Will there be any surprise appearances? If yes, then by who?
What will be the longest match?
What will be the shortest match?
Will The Undertaker answer Armando Alejandro Estrada's challenge to appear tonight?


See you Sunday.
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post #149 of 349 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Raw and Smackdown Present;
~Saturday Night's Main Event~
March 3rd, 2007
Madison Square Garden; New York, New York

*Opening Video*

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!

We now follow the SNME openings of yesteryear with an old school trip around the main participants of the evening, starting with Mr. and Shane McMahon, both men stood in Vince's office...

Mr. McMahon: Every now and then a WWE Superstar feels the need to challenge my authority over my company. And one by one they all learn... never cross the boss!

Shane McMahon: And John Cena, tonight is your night to learn that. Y'see, as McMahons, we demand a certain level of respect. Now most WWE Superstars offer us that respect, and they do it 'cause they know they're damn lucky to be workin' for us. But John, it looks like you're gonna have to go through hell tonight to finally learn your lesson.

Vince McMahon: You're gonna be locked inside a steel cage with the most sadistic Father-Son team in history! I don't think you fully understand what's ahead of you tonight John, but believe me, you're gonna find out, that when it comes to gettin' outta that cage in one piece...

Shane McMahon: You've got no chance... in HELL!!

We now cut to see John Cena sat in his dressing room, reaching into a gym bag to pull out a t-shirt...

John Cena: No chance in hell, huh Vinny? Lemme tell ya' somethin' Vinny, you and Shane, you step in that cage with me tonight... and you ain't NEVER gonna be the same again! You made me a target, you kicked my ass these last few weeks, but tonight, I'm takin' you ta' HELL Vinny, and I'm walkin' out that cage alive! I just don't know... if you'll be doin' the same.

Cut to Mr. Kennedy, sat alone in a dark room, a flicker of light illuminating his face...

Mr. Kennedy: I am... nah, screw that. You people know who I am. And you know that for months now, I've been held down, held back from fulfilling my destiny. It started with Ric Flair, it continued with Teddy Long... and they both suffered at my hands. Well tonight, Batista... and Matt Hardy? (scoffs)... tonight it's your turn to suffer. I will be held down no longer. I WILL go to Wrestlemania... or my name isn't MMMIIISSSTTTEEERRR... KENNEDY!

And now to Triple H, stood in the interview set...

Triple H: I am 'The Game', Triple H! Tonight for me means more than just goin' to Wrestlemania. Tonight's about guaranteein' a shot to get my hands on Shawn Michaels! Shawn, you may have found your smile again, but you're gonna lose a whole lot more once you step in that ring with me. As for Rob Van Dam, tonight Rob, it ain't personal, but when...

'The Game' is interrupted as Rob Van Dam enters the set, the two quickly going face to face...

Rob Van Dam: Y'know what? You're right bro, it ain't personal tonight. You might think that Shawn Michaels and the WWE Championship are yours for the takin'... but it ain't gonna go down that way dude. 'Cause at Wrestlemania, I'm gonna get my revenge on Shawn Michaels, and the new WWE Champion is gonna be Rob... Van... Dam!

Both men continue to stare at each other, 'The Game' snarling while Van Dam stays cool as ever as we cut away.

Narrator: And now, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown present... live on NBC... Saturday Night's Main Event!

We now head into the arena for a massive pyro display, the raucous New York crowd already in a frenzy as the theme music for the night, 'Boom' by P.O.D. rings out. The camera pans The Garden, showing us some of the more creative signs of the crowd, before we settle at the Raw announce desk...

Jim Ross: The WWE is back in it's spiritual home, and one more time, 'The Road to Wrestlemania' runs through Madison Square Garden and Saturday Night's Main Event! Hello everybody, I'm Jim Ross, alongside me are Joey Styles and Jerry 'The King' Lawler, we are live on NBC for what's sure to be a night full of matches with big time Wrestlemania implications.

Jerry Lawler: Wrestlemania is just 30 nights away! I'm excited, these fans are excited, everybody's excited about what we're gonna see tonight! The shape of Wrestlemania could take place in front of our eyes live tonight!

Joey Styles: And as far as we here on Raw are concerned, no match at Wrestlemania is gonna be bigger than the WWE Championship Match. Tonight, Rob Van Dam and Triple H will meet, with the winner guaranteeing themselves a shot at Shawn Michaels and the WWE Championship.

Jim Ross: It's gonna be a slobberknocker, I guarantee it! Two o' the very best in the business goin' at it, the winner to face Mr. Wrestlemania himself for the WWE Title! But that's not all folks, as John Cena will finally get his hands on The McMahons, hopefully, and I stress that word hopefully, without any outside interference, in a Steel Cage Match.

Joey Styles: Well we all know Mr. McMahon is nothing short of an evil genius. He's gotta have somethin' up his sleeve tonight? I mean, I realise he was goaded into this match tonight by John Cena, but I don't believe for a second that honour or fightin' fair is McMahon's intention tonight.

Jerry Lawler: I don't think so either. Cena may have challenged Vince and Shane to do the right thing, settle their differences like men... but I don't think it's actually gonna go down like that tonight. Cena's gonna have to fight with eyes in the back of his head if he's gonna get the win.

Jim Ross: Also from Raw tonight, CM Punk and Mike Knox will try to settle things with regards to Kelly Kelly, and the World Tag Team Championships are on the line, as the champion, 'Nature Boy' Ric Flair and Carlito defend the gold against The World's Greatest Tag Team, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. It's gonna be a great night folks, but Raw is only have the equation. Let's hand it over to the Smackdown desk, Michael Cole, 'JBL' and Tazz!

The camera quickly snaps to the Smackdown announce desk...

Michael Cole: Our thanks to the Raw guys, it's certainly gonna be quite a night, and we here on Smackdown have got a huge night in store, with plenty of Wrestlemania consequences. Tonight, three championship matches at Wrestlemania will be determined, and we could have a new United States Champion when it's all said and done.

Tazz: Aw baby, what a night it's gonna be! You talked about the United States Championship, Finlay and Chris Benoit, a rematch from No Way Out, but this time it's on Finlay's terms, the first ever Belfast Brawl. If Benoit's gonna regain the championship, he's gonna have to do it the hard way.

Michael Cole: And let's not forget, we're gonna crown a Number One Contender for the Cruiserweight Championship. Chavo Guerrero, Shannon Moore, Joey Mercury and Bryan Danielson, one of those men will survive a Four Way Elimination Match, the winner to face Gregory Helms at Wrestlemania.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And we're gonna see that minor league wannabe Bryan Danielson put in his place tonight. He caught a few people by surprise at No Way Out, but there's no chance o' that happenin' tonight. Hell, he might even be the first man eliminated!

Michael Cole: After a brutal, devastating assault of The Undertaker at No Way Out, Umaga tonight steps into the ring with The Undertaker's brother Kane, a match that promises to be a hard hittin' affair.

Tazz: It's gonna be a war. Kane and Umaga, they've got a history together, and they're gonna do battle one more time tonight. Kane might be tough as hell, but I can't see anybody endin' Umaga's undefeated streak anytime soon.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Yeah and once Umaga's finished with Kane, he wants The Undertaker! Armando Estrada laid down the challenge, he wants 'The Phenom' to be here tonight, to go mano a mano with Umaga. If ya' ask me, I think we've finally found the first man who truly scares 'The Deadman'. For my money, he ain't here tonight, and he ain't gonna make it to Wrestlemania!

A few seconds silence, before...


The Garden gives a solid welcome for the World Heavyweight Champion Batista. 'The Animal' jogs out from the back, confidently slapping his chest in an attempt to fire up the already hot crowd, before he crouches down to fire off a massive pyro display...

Michael Cole: But folks we are kickin' things off in a huge way! 'The Animal' Batista, teamin' up with Matt Hardy, to take on Edge and Mr. Kennedy, and if Edge and Kennedy win, we'll have a Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania for the World Heavyweight Championship.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And I gotta wonder what was goin' through Batista's head last night when he choose Matt Hardy as his partner? Matt Hardy's never performed at the highest level, he's never been a main event type guy. Batista might as well be walkin' into a handicap match right now.

Tazz: I think I'd still take Batista, even with those odds! 'The Animal' is so fired up, so intense right now, he's been dyin' to get his hands on Edge and Kennedy these last few weeks.

Michael Cole: And you make an interesting point there Tazz, Batista said that the only reason Edge wants Kennedy in the match at Wrestlemania is 'cause Edge is runnin' scared. So far, to my knowledge at least, there's has been NO physical contact between champion and challenger. Will we finally see that tonight?

Tazz: We will if Batista gets his way...

'The Animal' steps up to the second rope, posing for the crowd to another solid pop, before he drops down and removes the title from his waist, handing it over to referee Nick Patrick. Batista then paces the ring, waiting for his partner for the evening...

"OH YEAH..."


The crowd explodes with a great pop as Matt Hardy races out, giving the 'V1' sign to all his fans before he making his way down the aisle, slapping hands with most of the ringside crowd...

Michael Cole: It was last night on Smackdown where Batista not only asked Matt Hardy to be his partner tonight, but also challenged him to step up and prove that he belongs at the main event level. 'JBL', you criticised Batista's choice of partner tonight, but could Batista perhaps have lit a fire under Hardy, spurring him on to deliver the performance of a lifetime here in Madison Square Garden?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Listen, all the words of encouragement in the world can't help Matt Hardy tonight. I'm honestly amazed by Batista's decision. Matt Hardy hasn't done a damn thing as a singles wrestler! Hell, he tried makin' a name for himself off my back a while back, and we all know how that went. Face it, the guy is a nobody!

Tazz: Wait a minute here 'JBL'. Alright, Matt Hardy might be better known as a tag team wrestler, but he's a guy tryin' to take his career to the next level. Matt's had a great 2007 so far, a real strong show at the Royal Rumble, followed with a great win at No Way Out. He might not be all the way there yet, but I think he's gonna surprise you tonight.

In the ring, Matt and Batista once again shake hands, the two confidently nodding at each other, ready for battle. Hardy puffs his cheeks hard as he bounces on the spot, before he bounces off the ropes, the nerves showing as he awaits the opposition...



The crowd erupts with heat as the forever cocky Mr. Kennedy heads for the ring, his head shaking from side to side as he arrogantly chews his gum. Kennedy has an intense, focused look on his face, but he stops at the foot of the ramp instead of heading straight into the ring...

Michael Cole: This guy's actions in recent weeks have quite frankly disgusted me. Not only did Kennedy assault Teddy Long, he then claimed it was Long's fault for holdin' Kennedy down. This guy's a real piece of work, but like him or not, a win tonight and he's goin' to Wrestlemania to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Tazz: You'd think after No Way Out this guy would've learned to watch his mouth. He talked so much trash, and it backfired on 'im when Batista retained the title. Well, he's done more than run his mouth since then, he put Teddy Long on the shelf, and now somehow, thanks to Jonathan Coachman, he's got another chance at goin' to Wrestlemania. The whole situation stinks if ya' ask me, and I hope Batista and Matt Hardy kick the hell outta this punk.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Are you jealous Tazz 'cause Kennedy's about to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania? You never got that opportunity did ya' Tazz? You're more of a Matt Hardy type, a loser who can never take the next step. Guys like me and Mr. Kennedy, we're winners. I've been in heavyweight championship matches at Wrestlemania, and tonight is the night that Kennedy finally gets the chance he deserves.

Kennedy stands firm at the base of the aisle, refusing to enter the ring, despite the motions of Batista to start the fight early. Kennedy doesn't offer a word in response, instead he simply stares at 'The Animal' as he waits for...



An initial pop turns to deafening heat as the 2007 Royal Rumble Winner Edge makes his entrance, stopping at the top of the ramp to set off a massive pyro display before he confidently strides for the ring...

Michael Cole: And although he's already guaranteed to go to Wrestlemania, tonight is still a big night for Edge. If Edge wants to prove he can go toe to toe with Batista, now would be a good time to start.

Tazz: Well we all know Edge wanted to face Kennedy at Wrestlemania rather than Batista, No Way Out proved that to the world. This might be a last chance for Kennedy, but Edge has gotta consider it a last chance for him too. One last chance to avoid havin' to go one on one with 'The Animal'!

John Bradshaw Layfield: But let's remember what Edge said last night on Smackdown. He said he was gonna help Kennedy win, and in the process he's gonna take Batista outta the title picture! He's gonna cripple 'The Animal', he's gonna make sure Batista don't even make it to Detroit! You two are flapin' your gums about Edge bein' scared of Batista, but it's Batista who oughta be scared tonight!

Edge and Kennedy come together just outside the ring, the pair nodding to each other before they circle the ring. Kennedy climbs the steps at one corner, while Edge slides under the bottom rope from one of the sides, his eyes locked on Batista as he takes off his trench coat and readies himself for the match...

Last Chance Tag Team Match:
World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Matt Hardy vs. Edge and Mr. Kennedy

Batista enters the ring, ready to kick things off, but in the opposite corner a debate is raging between Edge and Kennedy over who is going to start things for their team. Both men seem to be gesturing that they would rather the other man start, and it finally takes Edge giving Kennedy a nudge in the direction of Batista and quickly scrambling through the ropes that the decision is made. Kennedy though spends the first few moments of the match avoiding contact with Batista, skirting around ‘The Animal’ each time Batista tries to grab him. Eventually though Kennedy is backed towards a corner, and when he tries to dart to safety, Batista catches him, scooping him up like he’s going for a spinebuster only to drive Kennedy against the turnbuckle! Batista then hits a series of shoulder thrusts to the gut, before a hard Irish whip fires Kennedy to the opposite corner... and then stumbling out... right into a big back body drop! Kennedy lands hard, crying out in pain as he sits up, but Batista is already running off the ropes, delivering a boot square to the face for an early near fall. A scoop slam takes Kennedy up and down again, before Batista brings Matt into the match with a nice pop from the crowd.

Hardy pushes himself onto the second rope, entering the match with an elbow across the back of Kennedy’s head, before he fires Kennedy to the corner... and follows in with a clothesline... and then comes out of the corner with a bulldog! Hardy goes for the cover... 1... 2... Kennedy kicks out. Hardy then makes the tag, with Batista coming back in to unload with powerful looking shoulderblocks, suplexes and right hands, before ‘The Animal’ takes a page from his mentor Ric Flair’s book, tossing Kennedy to the corner to unload with stinging knife edge chops to the chest before he brings Hardy back in. Hardy gets a near fall from a Russian legsweep, before he goes for an Irish whip... but as Hardy lowers his head, Kennedy puts on the breaks... and kicks Hardy square in the chest. Hardy stumbles towards the ropes, close enough for Edge to reach across and cheap shot Matt on the back of the head... only for Hardy to drill Edge with a right hand! Edge tumbles from the apron to the floor, but the distraction works as when Matt turns back to the ring, Kennedy attacks... and damn near takes Matt’s head off with a massive boot to the face! Hardy crashes to the mat, with Kennedy also falling down, but as we head off to a commercial, it appears the tide of the match has turned.


And when we return, Edge has finally made his presence felt in the match, laying into Matt with a series of stomps to the chest as Hardy lies on the mat. Edge then mounts Hardy, grabbing a handful of hair with his left hand and hammering down with right after right to the forehead. Edge returns to a vertical base, arrogantly holding out his arms to soak in the boos of the crowd, before he helps Matt up and pushes him into the heels corner. After a few shots to the face, Nick Patrick steps in and calls for Edge to get Matt out of the corner. As this happens, Kennedy grabs the tag rope, wrapping it around Matt’s throat, choking him out, until finally Patrick turns around. More punches and stomps land from Edge, with the 2007 Royal Rumble winner feeling ever cockier, even turning towards Batista and throwing some trash talk at ‘The Animal’. Edge and Kennedy continue to work over Hardy, cutting him off from Batista, slowly wearing Hardy down. Kennedy comes close to winning with a snap DDT, while Edge gets a long 2 count after hitting the Edge-O-Matic.

Kennedy is back in, continuing to attack Hardy, laying in with knee after knee to the side of Hardy’s head. Kennedy then comes off the ropes looking for a clothesline, only for Hardy to duck underneath... and score with the SIDE EFFECT! Out of nowhere Hardy connects, and with both men down Hardy starts crawling towards his corner... only for Edge to storm the ring... just as Matt tags in Batista! ‘The Animal’ races into the ring, desperate to get his hands on Edge... only for Patrick to cut him off! He never saw the tag! Batista can’t believe it as Patrick orders him back to the corner, while behind the referee’s back, Edge drags Matt back to his corner, pulling his head towards the apron, draping his neck across it... and driving the point of his elbow into Matt’s throat! Edge innocently hops back onto the apron, standing in his corner, his arm out stretched to Kennedy for the tag, while Batista finally heads back to his corner, realising his protest has fallen on death ears.

Kennedy makes the tag, with Edge stepping in to hammer Hardy with more right hands, before he casually tosses Matt through the ropes to the outside. Edge then turns and again talks smack at Batista, drawing ‘The Animal’ back into the ring, Batista desperate to get his hands on Edge. Edge however plays the chicken-shit heel to perfection, hiding behind Nick Patrick, taunting Batista from a safe distance. As this is going on, Kennedy goes on the attack on the outside, driving Hardy spine first into the ring post, before he hoists Matt up on his shoulders... and drops him throat first across the barricade! Matt instantly clutches at his throat, coughing and spluttering for breath as Kennedy rolls him back into the ring for Edge to turn and make the cover... but he has to wait for Batista to leave the ring before Patrick can make the count... 1... 2... Hardy rolls the shoulder! Frustrated, Edge and Kennedy now begin to target Hardy’s neck and throat, with Kennedy repeatedly dropping an elbow across it while Edge fires Matt off the ropes, taking him up so he can drop Matt throat first across the top rope.

The pace of the match slows right down as Kennedy and Edge methodically go about their work, continuing to target the throat and neck. Kennedy brings Edge back into the ring, with Edge connecting on an inverted DDT for yet another near fall before he locks on a camel clutch. Edge works over the neck, trying to wear Hardy down, but Matt shows great resolve back hanging in there. Batista desperately tries to encourage Matt to make the tag, but Hardy just can’t inch himself close enough to his corner. He does however manage to force himself back onto his knees... and then back to his feet, but Edge still has his hands clasped under Matt’s chin. Hardy drills an elbow to the midsection... and another... until he takes Edge up and down with a side suplex! Hardy finally breaks the hold, and once again he’s crawling for the corner to tag in Batista... but as he does, Kennedy drops down from the apron and races across to where Batista stands... and runs straight through the knee of ‘The Animal’! Batista was stood on the apron, his hand out for Matt, only for Kennedy to drive his shoulder into Batista’s knee! Batista falls to the apron and then down to the floor, with Nick Patrick seeing Kennedy stood over Batista, the referee angrily berating Kennedy. Kennedy protests his innocence, casually walking back around to his corner, while in the ring Matt is on his feet, his hand looking for the tag... but there’s no Batista! Hardy turns back to the ring... SPEAR!! Edge nails the spear, and he hooks the leg, and Patrick makes the count... 1... 2... Batista makes the save!

Batista somehow manages to hobble under the bottom rope, diving to break the count with a last ditch forearm to the back. Edge and Kennedy can’t believe it, but as Batista rolls from the ring and limps back up to his corner, Edge tags in Kennedy. Sensing Hardy is one big move away from being finished, Kennedy begins by unloading on Matt with kicks and punches to the head, but he soon slams Hardy to the mat, leaving him in perfect position for a move off the top rope. Before he heads upstairs though, Kennedy gets in Batista’s face, pointing at him and shouting “Your ass is mine at Wrestlemania!”, the bad knee of ‘The Animal’ preventing him from storming the ring this time. Kennedy heads for the corner, slowly climbing to the top rope, briefly posing on the top rope before he flies through the air... KENTON BOMB... NOBODY HOME!! Matt rolls to safety, seeing Kennedy crash to the mat below! For the third time Matt crawls for his corner... and this time he tags in Batista!

‘The Animal’ steps through the ropes, gingerly running towards Kennedy to knock him down with a clothesline. Edge makes it half way through the ropes, but Batista turns and stares at him... stopping Edge in his tracks! Edge brings his foot back through the ropes, while Batista turns his attentions back to Kennedy, sending him off the ropes... into a massive back body drop! Still Edge stays on the sidelines as Batista clobbers Kennedy in the corner with a clothesline, before an Irish whip sends Kennedy across... Batista musters enough speed to charge in for another corner clothesline, and as Kennedy stumbles out, Batista takes him up... and down with a running powerslam! Edge is still stood in his corner, still unsure if he wants to enter the match... so Batista grabs him... and launches him over the top rope into the ring! Edge hits the mat, but he quickly scrambles to his feet... only to turn into a boot to the midsection from Hardy... and then the TWIST OF FATE! Hardy plants Edge, and now Edge is at the mercy of ‘The Animal’! Batista turns to the ropes, shaking the violently before he looks to the crowd... thumbs up... thumbs down! Batista reaches down, trying to pick Edge up... but suddenly Edge springs to life, pushing himself free of Batista’s grasp... and scrambling from the ring!

The crowd boos profusely as Edge dives through the ropes and starts walking out on the match! Just like he did to Randy Orton a month ago, Edge has walked out on a tag team partner! Batista and Matt stand by the ropes, watching as Edge slowly backs his way up the ramp, with Batista shouting “C’mere!”, wanting to finally get his hands on Edge. Edge continues to slowly back up the ramp, his eyes still on the ring, where behind Batista and Hardy, Kennedy has finally pulled himself back to his feet. Still stunned, Kennedy doesn’t realise the situation he’s been left in... until his eyes widen, and he sees Edge backing up the ramp. Anger and despair crosses Kennedy’s face... as Batista runs through him with a clothesline! Kennedy is down, but Hardy quickly drags him up, tossing him into the clutches of ‘The Animal’... for a thunderous BATISTA BOMB!!! Batista takes Kennedy up and emphatically plants him on the mat, ‘The Animal’ hooking the leg as Patrick counts... 1... the camera focuses on Batista... 2... and sees his eyes firmly fixed on Edge... 3!

Winners: Batista and Matt Hardy @ 14.28

The crowd comes unglued as Batista picks up the win for his team, ending any last hope Kennedy had of being involved in the World Heavyweight Championship Match at Wrestlemania XXIII. All eyes are trained on Edge and Batista, the two now confirmed for a one on one clash, both men eyes' locked on the other, with Batista reaching out from the ring, calling for Edge to return, while 'The Rated-R Superstar' continues to slowly back away. Kennedy is down and out, while Hardy heads over to celebrate with ‘The Animal’, as Batista gives up on Edge, instead turning back to the ring to celebrate with his partner...

Michael Cole: What a way to kick off Saturday Night's Main Event! Batista and Matt Hardy have once and for all ended any chance Mr. Kennedy had of goin' to Wrestlemania to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship!

Tazz: I'm glad Kennedy finally got what he deserved! And to top it off, Edge walked out on the match! So much for Edge tryin' to cripple Batista, they didn't even touch each other!

John Bradshaw Layfield: That don't mean nothin'! Edge did the right thing, he saw that Kennedy couldn't hang on, so he walked away to save himself. Edge is just keepin' himself fresh for Wrestlemania, the night he becomes World Heavyweight Champion!

The roar of the crowd continues to ring out as Hardy and Batista drop through the ropes to the floor, the winners slapping hands with the crowd as they head up the aisle. Edge has already disappeared behind the curtain, while in the ring, Kennedy has finally managed to bring himself around as he sits on the mat. Kennedy tries to shake away the cobwebs, but it takes the help of Nick Patrick for Kennedy to finally make it back to a vertical base. Kennedy quickly shoves the referee aside, wanting to stand on his own two feet in the middle of the ring. Kennedy looks dejected as he runs a hand through his hair, shaking his head in disappointment. The ever hostile New York crowd show their affection by turning up the boos on Kennedy, leading to a sense of rage coming across Kennedy's face. Kennedy stares at the crowd, feeding off the heat they throw at him, before Patrick once again tries to usher Kennedy to the ropes... only for Kennedy to drill Patrick with kick to the gut... and then a SNAP DDT!!

The arena is stunned as Kennedy out of nowhere drops the referee! The Garden really lets Kennedy have it, giving him tons of heat as Kennedy looks down on Patrick, a sick smile on his face, before he finally drops to his knees and rolls under the bottom rope...

Michael Cole: What the hell is wrong with this guy?! Kennedy has SNAPPED! He has lost it!

Tazz: I don't think he's lost it. He knew exactly what he was doin'!

Michael Cole: Once again Kennedy has taken out the disappointment of a loss on a non wrestler. First it was Teddy Long, and now Nick Patrick! This is an absolute disgrace, Kennedy should be fired for his actions!

John Bradshaw Layfield: If you ain't careful Michael, you might be next!

Michael Cole: God, we- we need some help out here! Let's go to commercial...

The crowd continues to boo as Kennedy heads back up the aisle, walking with a purpose, as despite suffering defeat tonight, he's looks like a man who's mind is made up... as if he knows what needs to be done to get his career back on track, the camera staying focused on the smirk etched on his face as we fade into commercial.


*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!


*End Video Package*

Back to ringside to hear...


The smarks of the NYC crowd give a great welcome to CM Punk, the former Ring Of Honor standout soaking in the cheers before he taps the tape on his wrist, yells out "It's clobberin' time!" and then heads for the ring...

Joey Styles: Here comes one of the most exciting new talents we have on Monday Night Raw, the always impressive CM Punk! And lately Punk has been the subject of a series of attacks from Mike Knox, due to Knox's paranoia regarding his girlfriend Kelly Kelly's infatuation with Punk.

Jerry Lawler:
Well I think it's clear that Kelly has taken a shine to Punk, but as far as CM Punk is concerned, tonight's about doin' the right thing. We're all pretty disgusted with the way Knox has been treatin' Kelly Kelly lately, and Punk is steppin' up to do the right thing.

Jim Ross:
Certainly Punk is doin' the right thing, but you have to wonder if he really has his mind set on Knox tonight, and not on Kelly Kelly. And of course, let's not forget those injured ribs Punk has been suffering from.

And indeed as Punk enters the ring, he takes off his t-shirt to show his midsection is still heavily taped up. Punk clutches his ribs and grimaces ever so slightly as he paces the ring, showing he's clearly not 100%...


And as we've seen over the last few weeks, Mike Knox makes his entrance with a hand firmly gripping the wrist of Kelly Kelly, almost dragging her down the aisle behind him...

Jim Ross: This man, well, I say man, he's not been actin' like a man recently, but he's a dangerous competitor, capable of causing real damage to whoever steps into the ring with 'im. But this desire to hurt CM Punk has pushed Knox to a whole new level of danger if you ask me.

Joey Styles: We've seen what Knox is capable of, he's hurt CM Punk in the past. But could tonight be the night that Knox's relationship with Kelly Kelly comes to an emphatic end? Can CM Punk free Kelly Kelly from the hold Knox has over her right now?

Jerry Lawler: I hope so. And to be honest, I'm surprised to see Kelly Kelly out here tonight. I didn't think Knox would allow her to be out here at ringside for this, but perhaps in his sick mind he wants her to see firsthand what he's gonna do to CM Punk.

Knox clambers into the ring, however he makes sure to order Kelly to stay on the outside, not wanting her anywhere near Punk. After flashing Punk a sick smirk, Knox orders Kelly to the corner where he stands... although in an act of defiance, Kelly instead heads for a neutral corner. Furious, Knox points and demands Kelly move to the corner where he stands, but Kelly stands firm, not budging an inch, and with Knox not paying attention, Punk barges past referee Jack Doan to get the match under way...

Grudge Match:
CM Punk vs. Mike Knox

And Punk grabs Knox, spinning him around, right into a pair of big right hands! Punk rocks Knox with the punches, and then starts to unload with kicks to the thighs, before a big kick to the side of the head causes Knox to stumble into the corner! Knox is dazed as Punk goes on the attack early, and here he comes again, charging to the corner... step up enzuigiri! Knox drops to his knees, then to the his stomach, before he rolls to the outside to try and regroup... but of course Knox lands near the corner where Kelly has chosen to stand. Once more Knox shouts at Kelly, furious at her defying his orders, but once again Knox has taken his attention away from Punk, as in the ring Punk is coming off the far side ropes... suicide dive! Punk flies through the ropes to take Knox down, and with Knox still down on his knees Punk hammers away with right hands to the forehead before rolling Knox back under the bottom rope. Punk pauses briefly to look towards Kelly, with Punk’s gaze staying on her for a few seconds, drawing a broad smile from Kelly as Punk rolls back under the bottom rope into a lateral press for a 2 count.

Knox is still reeling as Punk drags him back to his feet, once again striking with kicks to the thighs that back Knox against the ropes. Punk goes for an Irish whip, only for Knox to reverse it. Punk comes off the ropes... ducks underneath a Knox clothesline... and keeps on running... to take Knox down with a flying clothesline! Knox somehow manages to crawl on his knees to the ropes, but Punk looks to stay on the attack by charging... only for Knox to elevate Punk over the top rope with a back body drop... but Punk lands on the apron! Knox swings a right hand, but Punk blocks, tagging Knox with a pair of rights of his own, before he slingshots onto the top rope... only for Knox to push Punk... causing Punk to fly into the barricade! Punk has a brutal landing, going ribs first into the barricade, with Kelly Kelly inching towards the prone body of Punk, trying to check on his condition. Knox shakes away the cobwebs as he steps outside, and once again his attention is taken by Kelly as he shouts at her to back away. Kelly does give a bit of ground, but Knox continues to stare at her and point for her to leave. This allows Punk a brief moment of recovery, as he gets back on his feet and again tags Knox with kicks to the thighs. Each kick causes Knox to back away in pain, pushing him close and closer to Kelly. Punk then crouches down, looking for a jumping enzuigiri... but Knox pulls Kelly Kelly infront of him, using her as a shield! Punk manages to control himself, pulling in the kick, but now it’s a standoff, as Kelly cowers in fear while Punk calls for Knox to let her go. Knox tells Punk to back off, which Punk does, holding his arms out to show he offers no threat. Kelly appears frozen to the spot in fear, but it looks like Knox is about to let her go... until he shoves Kelly into Punk’s arms! Punk catches Kelly, but here comes Knox... Punk pushes Kelly to safety... only to eat a massive bicycle kick to the face!

Punk’s head bounces off the floor with a sick thud, with Knox not showing an ounce of concern for his girlfriend as he quickly grabs Punk, lifts him up with a bearhug... and drives Punk spine first into the ringpost! Punk’s knees crumple as he slumps to the floor in pain, with Doan constantly calling for the match to return to the ring. Knox finally obliges, rolling Punk under the bottom rope and hooking the leg for a near fall. Knox now looks to take control of the match, targeting the weakened ribs of Punk by locking him into a three-quarter facelock, allowing Knox to drive knee after knee into the midsection, before a clubbing forearm causes Punk to slump to the mat in pain. Knox now focuses his attention solely on the weakness of Punk, attacking with repeated forearms and knees, before a series of backbreakers and scoop slams further Punk’s pain. A hard Irish whip sees Punk fired to the corner, the fast pace of the match slowed right down as Knox is methodical in his attack, calmly walking over to tag Punk with a right hand... but Punk blocks it, scoring with a right of his own and then a chop to the chest! Punk lands another right hand, before a knee to the midsection ends any hopes of a rally. Once more Punk is fired to the corner, hitting the turnbuckle hard and stumble forward... into a textbook dropkick from Knox! Knox hooks the leg, 1... 2... Punk rolls a shoulder!

Once again Knox goes to work with forearms, knees and even headbutts to the midsection and lower spine, before fires Punk off the ropes... right into a sidewalk slam! Punk is down, and Knox hooks the leg... 1... 2... Punk rolls a shoulder again, but with each near fall Punk kicks out of, the look of concern grows on Kelly’s face. Punk is dragged to his feet, and Knox quickly works Punk into an abdominal stretch, trying to further weaken Punk’s ribs. Punk cries out in pain as Knox ups the pressure, wrenching on the hold, even throwing the odd elbow down across the side of Punk’s sternum. The crowd tries to encourage Punk to break free, but it has little effect as Punk continues to fade... and fade... until his arm is raised into the air... and drops. Once again Jack Doan raises Punk’s arm... and again it drops. Doan lifts the arm for a third time... but this time Punk keeps his hand in the air! The crowd once again tries to rally behind Punk, and this time Punk is able to break free, drilling Knox with elbows to the side of the head, breaking the hold... only for Knox to shove Punk to the corner. Knox shakes off the elbows, before he goes on the attack... but Punk gets a boot up to the face! Knox bounces back, grabbing his chin before he charges again... drop toe hold sends Knox face first into the middle turnbuckle! Now Punk looks to go on the offensive, drilling Knox with knees to the face before he sends Knox to the opposite corner... and follows in... high knee to the face... followed by a bulldog! Punk drives Knox to the mat, rolls him over and hooks the leg... 1... 2... Knox kicks out!

Punk now looks to fully take control, drilling Knox with forearms to the side of the head, before going for an Irish whip... catching Knox with a spinning wheel kick! Knox is down, but Punk spring back to his feet, stepping through the ropes, taking one last clutch of his ribs before he once more slingshots onto the ropes... springboard clothesline! Punk gets all of it, and again hooks the leg... 1... 2... Knox barely rolls a shoulder! The disappointment on Punk’s face is only matched by Kelly, with the young blonde hiding her face in her hands after Knox once again survives. Punk assists Knox back to his feet, again striking with those kicks to the thigh, before he goes for an Irish whip... which Knox reverses, only to lower his head... and Punk hits a kick to the chest, snapping Knox’s head up. A boot to the gut lands, then another to the chest, only for Knox to swing a right hand... which Punk ducks... and then takes Knox up onto his shoulder... GTS... NO! Knox forces himself back onto his feet, pushing Punk off the ropes... but Punk runs right under a clothesline... but he can’t avoid the FLYING BEAR! Knox gets every inch of the running crossbody, hooking the leg for the sure win... 1... 2... NO! Somehow Punk rolls his shoulder!

Knox can’t believe it, furiously back on his feet to confront Doan, demanding a three count, but the ref is defiant that it was only two. Despite Knox’s attention not being on Punk, Punk is unable to take advantage, instead he reels on the mat in agony. Kelly shouts words of encouragement to Punk from her neutral corner, and as Knox returns his gaze to Punk, he catches Kelly in the act, hearing her calls to Punk. Knox laughs, a sick smile crossing his face as he reaches down and yanks Punk by the hair to a vertical base. Knox grabs Punk... and yanks him in... for the KNOX OUT! Knox has Punk in the perfect position, pointing at Kelly Kelly and shouting “This... is all your fault!”. Anger crosses Kelly’s face as Knox rears back, ready to strike... until Kelly Kelly jumps up onto the apron! Knox is stunned to see his girlfriend on the apron as he’s about to end the match, so surprised infact that he lets go of his grip of Punk, dropping him to he mat. Knox steps towards the apron, going nose to nose with Kelly and barking for her to “Get down!” from the apron. Kelly stands firm, not moving, which leads to Knox repeating his demand that Kelly steps down... only for Kelly Kelly to SLAP KNOW IN THE FACE! For the first time in their relationship Kelly has stood up to Mike Knox, and now Punk is on his feet behind Knox... spinning him around... and then hoisting him onto his shoulders... GO TO SLEEP!!! Punk nails the GTS, and as Kelly drops back down, Punk drops on top of Knox and hooks both legs... 1... 2... 3!!

Winner: CM Punk @ 06.13

Punk wins, and Kelly has emphatically told Mike Knox that their relationship is over! Punk is still down on the mat, in pain, holding his ribs, but pleased that he's won the match, a broad smile crossing his face. Kelly rolls under the bottom rope, but she doesn't go to Punk, instead she stands over the laid out Knox, looking at him with a sense of relief...

Jim Ross: Well thank Gawd for that! CM Punk has came through, he delivered, and now Kelly is free to live her life free from the shackles of Mike Knox.

Jerry Lawler: And who would have thought Kelly Kelly would slap Knox right in the face!? Finally, Knox got what he deserved, and I'm glad Kelly can now get on with her career on Raw.

Joey Styles: CM Punk has set Kelly free... and what could happen next between these two?

Kelly has now turned her attention to Punk, who is being helped back to his feet by Jack Doan. Punk makes it back to a vertical base, taking his arm off of Doan's shoulder to stand in front of Kelly... who places her hands on either side of Punk's face... and plants a kiss smack on Punk's lips! Punk is taken aback, a look of shock on his face, while Kelly blushes as the crowd give a few cheers and wolf whistles. Punk rubs his lips before he starts to smugly nod his head, clearly happy with how things have worked out tonight. The two continue to stare at each other, a certain sexual tension clear for all to see, with us fading into commercial at the sight of both Punk and Kelly looking very happy with themselves.


And we return to see Todd Grisham standing by, ready for an interview...

Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time... the WWE Champion... Shawn Michaels.

A ton of heat as Shawn Michaels enters the frame, a black cowboy hat pulled down low over his face, although it's still clear for all to see the cold-hearted look that been evident on Michaels' face for these last few weeks. Michaels continues his recent rend of being dressed in all black, the WWE Championship slung over his shoulder the only chink of light in his outfit...

Todd Grisham: And Shawn, with Rob Van Dam and Triple H set to meet tonight to determine who will face you at Wrestlemania for the WWE Championship, I was just wondering if you had any opinion either way on which one of those men you'd rather face at Wrestlemania XXIII?

Michaels keeps his eyes fixated on something in the distance, not looking at Grisham as he responds...

Shawn Michaels: Who... would I rather face? Rob Van Dam... or my ol' buddy... Triple H? Y'know Todd, as far as I'm concerned, neither of 'em are what I would call... a threat to my WWE Title. Y'see, I AM Mr. Wrestlemania. I've been to the big dance more times than I can count, I've delivered more classic matches than I can remember, and I have knocked off some o' the very best of all time on the grandest stage of 'em all.

Michaels now turns to look Grisham dead in the eye...

Shawn Michaels: When Triple H and I used to run up an' down the road as DX, he always knew... I was better than him. That's why he tried to cripple me all those years ago. 'Cause he was weak... he was scared o' me. He knew that one on one, in the ring, there was NOBODY in the world better than me... includin' him. I've proved it once... I've proved it twice... and I proved it again at Night Of Champions when I pinned Hunter to become the WWE Champion. Triple H is, was, and forever will be... in my shadow. And if he's lucky enough to win tonight, I'll prove it one more time at Wrestlemania.

And now Michaels turns his head to face the camera...

Shawn Michaels: As for Rob Van Dam... y'know, Van Dam... he really oughta thank me for takin' that ECW Title outta his hands. Y'see, as far as I'm concerned, ECW was nothin' but a third rate promotion. And Rob Van Dam was their poster boy. Take him outta his element, take him away from that trash they called wrestling, take the weapons from his hand... and he's nothin'. Rob Van Dam has never been in the main event of Wrestlemania... and if he wins tonight, I'll make sure that the main event of Wrestlemania XXIII... is the last one he ever makes it to.

The cold, emotionless look in Michaels' face suggests he damn serious about that...

Shawn Michaels: So Triple H, Rob Van Dam... enjoy your match tonight. To the winner... congratulations. You just signed on for the match of your life. Y'see any time 'The Heartbreak Kid' walks into Wrestlemania... he leaves with the show in his back pocket. And this year at Wrestlemania, I'm walkin' in the WWE Champion... I'm walkin' out the WWE Champion... and I just hope you two can keep up with me. You can say your prayers boys...

Michaels glances to the heavens, then back to the camera...

Shawn Michaels: But it's too late for that. Your sins Rob, Hunter, are gonna come back to haunt you... and at Wrestlemania one o' you will pay for those sins with the whole world watchin'... courtesy of ol' 'Aitch - Bee - Kay!

With that cold, steely look in his eyes, Michaels tips his hat in Grisham's direction before walking off, leaving Grisham behind, simply watching Michaels leave with a stunned look on his face as he head back into the arena.

To hear...


Some solid heat as Chavo Guerrero heads for the ring, his Aunt Vickie Guerrero by his side. The members of the first family of Mexican wrestling look confident as they head down the aisle, with Vickie barking a few last minute words of instruction, although Chavo seems more concerned with throwing some trash talk at the fans...

Michael Cole: An absolutely chilling interview with Shawn Michaels there. His Wrestlemania opponent will be determined later tonight. But right now, we're gonna find out who Gregory Helms will defend the Cruiserweight Championship against at Wrestlemania.

Tazz: And it's a real impressive bunch o' guys that are about to duke it out right here. And this could be the most impressive of 'em right here in Chavo Guerrero.

John Bradshaw Layfield: This is the favourite, and this is my pick to win tonight. Chavo Guerrero, a warrior, a pioneer of cruiserweight wrestling, this guy ain't no one hit wonder. He's focused, he's determined, and he's the man to go to Wrestlemania, mark my words.

Chavo leaves Vickie behind as he races and dives through the ropes for an impressive entrance into the ring, before he quickly heads for the second rope to again have his say at the crowd...


An appreciative pop welcomes Shannon Moore into The Garden, with Moore taking his time to slap as many hands as possible as he heads for the ring...

Michael Cole: It was just over a month ago that Shannon Moore had a shot at Gregory Helms and the Cruiserweight Championship. Helms manages to pull out yet another questionable victory that night, and Moore would love another shot at Helms, especially at Wrestlemania.

John Bradshaw Layfield: You hit the nail on the head Michael, this kid Shannon Moore, he had his shot and he couldn't get it done. He didn't get it done one on one with Helms, he didn't get it done at No Way Out. Why is this guy even in this match tonight?

Tazz: He's here 'cause Teddy Long felt he deserved the right to compete for one last chance at the gold. And I happen to agree with 'im. Shannon Moore is a heck of an athlete, a real high flier. Don't count this guy out, let's remember he already holds a non-title victory over our Cruiserweight Champion.

Moore hits the ring and he and Chavo exchange words as they cross paths, with the two doing some jaw jacking before Moore heads for the corner to salute the fans...


The red carpet is rolled out and the photographers start snapping away as Joey Mercury makes an extravagant entrance. Complete with his long fur coat, Mercury arrogantly saunters down to the ring, sliding under the bottom rope and posing briefly...

Tazz: This guy's a real wildcard if ya' ask me. Tough as nails, but real athletic to go with it. He ain't been around the cruiserweight division for all that long, but I wouldn't be surprised for a second if he won tonight.

Michael Cole: Well you mentioned he's not been wrestling in the cruiserweight division for very long, but Mercury was still very impressive at No Way Out.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And after the way 2006 ended for him, sufferin' those horrific facial injuries, after all the plastic surgery, after overcoming the mental anguish he went through, what a way to complete the comeback winnin' tonight would be.

Mercury picks himself off the mat and removes his fur coat, he and Chavo sharing a quick nod of the head together before he turns and points to Moore, the pair trading words as we await the final competitor...


And just like CM Punk earlier in the evening, the smarks in the crowd goes nuts as Bryan Danielson emerges. Wearing a maroon robe, Danielson has a fierce look on his face, his eyes firmly fixated on the ring as he quickly heads down the aisle...

Michael Cole: And you can hear what this New York crowd thinks of Bryan Danielson! The man who made his debut at No Way Out and came so close to becoming Cruiserweight Champion on his very first night. Can Danielson grab that one on one shot with Gregory Helms that everybody wants to see?

Tazz: You wanna talk favourites 'JBL'? This is my favourite right here! Great technical skills, a submission specialist, and a lotta heart and determination to go with it. This is my pick right here, and I think The Garden agrees wit' me!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Why am I not surprised to see you side with this midget, Tazz? He must remind you of yourself! It don't matter what these people think, all that matters is that this guy caught people off guard at No Way Out. Now guys like Mercury and Guerrero are ready for 'im, Danielson don't stand a chance! He'll be the first guy eliminated, I promise ya' that!

Danielson slides under the bottom rope and quickly gets to his feet, causing Mercury and in particular Chavo to snap back, a slight hint of fear evident in both men. Danielson removes his robe and has a quick fist pump for the crowd, before the bell rings out and the match is under way...

Four Way Elimination Match:
Bryan Danielson vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Joey Mercury vs. Shannon Moore

The four men hover around a corner each, but sloly Guerrero and Mercury start to inch their way towards the corner that Bryan is stood. Feeling slighted by this, Moore decides to make an early impact... by charging at Mercury... and hitting a clothesline that takes both men over the top rope the floor! Moore and Mercury hits the floor hard, but Moore is quickly back on his feet to rattle Mercury with right hands to the head. In the ring, Chavo is left along with Danielson, a look of worry crossing his face as Bryan attacks... but Chavo decides to swing first... only for Danielson to counter, grabbing the arm, trapping the leg... and going for the LEBELL LOCK! Danielson goes for the early submission, trying to eliminate Chavo just moments after the bell... but Chavo is able to reach out, hooking his foot on the bottom rope! Danielson is forced to release the hold, which prompts Chavo to roll under the bottom rope to safety. Danielson however doesn’t let up, as he climbs to the top rope and waits for Chavo to turn... DIVING CROSSBODY! Bryan flies to the outside taking Chavo down, but both men feel the effects of the match as they roll around on the outside.

It’s at this point that Moore and Mercury get back into the ring, Shannon rolling Mercury under the bottom rope before he too climbs to the top rope. Moore then waits for Mercury to stumble to his feet, and when he does, Moore flies... with a diving hurricanrana! 1... 2... Mercury kicks out! Danielson then tosses Guerrero back in, with Bryan soon following, with all four men now paired off in opposite corners. Bryan unloads with forearms to the side of Chavo’s head in one, while in the other corner Moore is lining Mercury up for an Irish whip... but Mercury reverses, sending Moore towards Bryan... who elevates Shannon over the top rope... but Moore lands on the apron! Shannon then catches Bryan with a right hand, before he quickly climbs to the top rope... diving spinning wheel kick takes down the onrushing Mercury! Moore springs back to his feet... only for Chavo to hammer him with a clothesline! Guerrero stands over the fallen Moore... only for Danielson to catch him from behind with a rollup... 1... 2... Chavo kicks out!

The actions is fast paced, but with Chavo again on the outside and Moore down, Mercury turns his attentions to Danielson, taking him over with a snap suplex for a near fall. Mercury helps Bryan back to his feet, but Danielson strikes quickly with kicks to the leg, knees to the head and then a discuss elbow smash puts Mercury down. Bryan then looks for an Irish whip... but Mercury reverses, then swings a clothesline... which Bryan ducks underneath and keeps on running... running dropkick! Danielson rocks Mercury, but when he tries to pick Mercury up, Chavo snatches him from behind... release German suplex! Bryan takes a bad landing on the back of his head, and the force of the move causes Danielson to bounce across the mat, all the way under the bottom rope to the floor. Chavo now turns to Mercury helping him back to his feet, with the pair now looking towards Shannon, who is struggling to pick himself back up.

Moore makes it back to a vertical base, and he sees Mercury and Guerrero approaching, prompting Moore to strike first, rocking both men with right hands as Moore fights his way from the corner. With Chavo staggered, Moore grabs him and goes for an Irish whip... but Chavo reverses... only for Moore to put on the breaks by grabbing the top rope. Chavo charges... but Moore elevates him over the top rope to the floor... but Chavo lands on his feet! Shannon doesn’t realise this though as he goes on the attack at Mercury, tagging him with a right hand before going for another Irish whip... into a massive back body drop! Mercury hits the mat hard, stumbling back to his feet... and Moore catches him from behind with a rollup... 1... 2... Mercury kicks out, sending Moore stumbling forward, just as Chavo slides back into the ring... Guerrero catches Moore with a kick to the midsection, then twists and turns, taking Moore up... for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Guerrero plants Moore head first, rolling him over to hook both legs... 1... 2... 3!


With Moore eliminated, Danielson drags himself back into the ring at a disadvantage, but he puts this aside as he goes on the attack, rocking Mercury and Guerrero with duelling kicks to the side of the head, kicking Guerrero to the corner and then finally putting Mercury down with a dropkick. In the corner, Danielson climbs to the second rope, raining down on Guerrero with right hands, the fans counting along all the way to 7... until Mercury sneaks up from behind, dipping his head through to take Danielson away from the corner on his shoulders... and then down to the mat with an electric chair! Both men feel the effects on the move, but Chavo moves quickly to take advantage, hooking the leg... 1... 2... Danielson rolls a shoulder!

Despite this being an elimination match, Mercury and Guerrero quickly come to an agreement to work together to eliminate Danielson, the pair looking to take out the biggest threat in the match. The duo start by taking Danielson up and down with a double suplex, following this with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Guerrero, but Chavo holds Danielson on his knee for Mercury to nail a guillotine legdrop from the second rope, both moves gaining near falls. Guerrero and Mercury continue their attack, this time Mercury sending Danielson running into a rolling wheel kick while Mercury connects on a hangman’s neckbreaker, again coming close to eliminating Danielson. The frantic start of the match is replaced by the slow pace cut now by Guerrero and Mercury as they work over Danielson, with Chavo rattling off the Three Amigos, much to the displeasure of the crowd.

Each big move brings yet another near fall, but Danielson manages to stay alive, each kick out bringing more and more frustration to the faces of Guerrero and Mercury. Chavo then orders Mercury to hold Danielson in place as he climbs to the top rope. There, Guerrero begins taunting the crowd, before he launches himself... for a missile dropkick... but Danielson dives to safety... and Chavo drills Mercury! Guerrero can’t believe it as he sends Mercury flying, but as he gets back to his feet to check on Mercury, Bryan is already racing towards him... flying clothesline! Danielson now starts to unload on Chavo with kicks to the body that back Guerrero to the corner, before Bryan goes for an Irish whip across... that Chavo reveres... but Bryan runs the ropes, coming off the top with a moonsault over the onrushing Chavo, and when Chavo hits the turnbuckle and turns, Bryan is waiting... tiger suplex! Danielson plants Guerrero, but he has to release from the pinning predicament as Mercury is back into things... but Mercury swings and misses with a clothesline... and Bryan clutches him from behind, hooking the arms... and then taking Mercury up and down... for CATTLE MUTILATION!! Out of nowhere Bryan strikes with his deadly submission move, and with Chavo still down, Mercury has no option... but to tap out!!


Mercury is eliminated, and now we’re down to Chavo and Danielson! After seeing Mercury tap out, Guerrero jumps on Danielson, drilling him with a string of forearms to the midsection as Chavo does his best to keep Danielson grounded. Knees and elbows then drop across the chest, before Chavo pulls Danielson up to a vertical base for a northern lights suplex that gets him a near fall. A bridging German suplex gets another near fall, before Chavo again snaps off the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker... but again it only gets him a 2 count. Chavo’s frustration continues to grow, as does the frustration of Vickie at ringside, as she slaps her hand off the mat after each kick out. Guerrero looks for a big move that can put Bryan down for the frog splash, and he thinks he has it as he takes Danielson to the corner and hoists him up onto the top rope. With Danielson sitting on the tope turnbuckle, Chavo climbs up to the second rope... looking for a FRANKENSTEINER... NO! Bryan pushes Chavo away, with Guerrero crashing to the mat hard. Bryan then steps up, perched on the top rope as he waits for Chavo to rise... MISSILE DROPKICK! Danielson gets all of it, hooking the leg... 1... 2... NO! Chavo rolls a shoulder at the last split second!

The crowd groans in disappointment, but now it’s Danielson’s turn to attack, again striking with kicks to the thigh before he goes for an Irish whip... but Chavo reverses... and then misses with a clothesline as Bryan keeps on running... cross body... but Chavo rolls through... and grabs a handful of tights! 1... 2... NO! Danielson somehow kicks out, leaving Chavo is complete disbelief! After momentarily shouting at the referee, Chavo viciously stomps down at Bryan, before he pulls him back to his feet... and nails a suplex... but Chavo keeps his grip, swinging his feet and then going back to a vertical base... for a second suplex! Again Chavo keeps his grip, swinging back to his feet... for a third suplex, completing the three amigos... no! Bryan goes up but pushes through, landing on his feet behind Chavo... release German suplex... but Chavo lands on his feet! Bryan springs back up, but Chavo is waiting... jumping up for a hurricanrana... but Bryan rolls straight through, with Chavo’s shoulder down... 1... 2... no! Chavo kicks out, with both men quickly back on their feet... Chavo dvies, rolling through into a pinning predicament... 1... wait, Bryan traps his hand... and pushes through, twisting, turning and wrenching... into the LEBELL LOCK!! Bryan gets the submission move locked in, pulling back, desperately trying to get Chavo to submit! Chavo strains, reaching for the ropes, but he has no other choice... but to TAP OUT... BUT THERE’S NO BELL... AS VICKIE GUERRERO IS UP ON THE APRON!

Bryan can’t believe it, wondering why the match isn’t over, but he soon finds out why, getting back on his feet to confront Vickie. Vickie begs off, pleading her innocence, but Bryan is buying it, cocking his fist in the air, the fans begging him to clock Vickie... only for Chavo to catch Bryan from behind with a sick looking SAITO SUPLEX! Bryan is down, and Chavo has a burst of energy, springing to his feet and then up to the top rope, where this time there’s no showboating... FROG SPLASH!! Chavo gets all of it, the match is over, Chavo is going to Wrestlemania... 1... 2... 3... NO! Bryan gets a foot on the rope! Chavo and Vickie celebrate like they’ve won, but the referee quickly points out that Bryan had a foot on the rope! Guerrero can’t believe it, dropping to his knees, his head in his hands, wondering what the hell it’s gonna take to put Danielson away.

Chavo briefly stands over Bryan, shouting at him, berating him for still being in the match, before he pulls Danielson to his feet, doubling him over and looking for the move that put away Moore earlier in the match... he hooks Bryan up... GORY BOMB... NO!! Bryan rolls through, landing on his feet behind Chavo... hooking Chavo’s arms behind him... then taking him up and down... CATTLE MUTILATION!! Danielson looks on yet another submission move, and he has it locked on tight in the centre of the ring! Chavo has survived two previous submission attempts from Bryan, but now he’s straining, desperately trying to kick out a leg to reach the ropes and survive a third... but it’s no use, CHAVO TAPS! CHAVO GUERRERO TAPS OUT!!


Winner: And facing the Cruiserweight Champion at Wrestlemania XXIII, Bryan Danielson @ 13.27

Danielson has done it, he's going to Wrestlemania! Chavo taps furiously, and finally Bryan relents, releasing the hold to then slump on the mat in triumph. Danielson stays down on the mat, trying to recover from the beating he took in the match, but he soon makes it back to his feet to have his hand raised by Chad Patton, the crowd continuing to show it's appreciation and excitement for Helms and Danielson at Wrestlemania...

Michael Cole: Bryan Danielson has done it! What a match, what a performance from Danielson!

Tazz: What an effort from Danielson. It didn't look great for 'im when Mercury and Guerrero had 'im in their sights, but Bryan hung in there, and now he's goin' to Wrestlemania!

John Bradshaw Layfield: And he's goin' to lose! I'm sure Gregory Helms didn't see anythin' that would-

Michael Cole: Hey! What the-

And speaking of the Cruiserweight Champion, Gregory Helms has raced down the ramp and slide into the ring... to smash Danielson from behind WITH THE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE!! The shits all over Helms' actions as the champion now goes to work with a series of boots to the chest, Helms looking to send an early message to his now confirmed Wrestlemania opponent. Helms finally stops with the boots, but it's only so he can wait for Danielson to make it back to a knee... to then charge... for the SHINNING WIZARD!! Helms connects with a sickening kick to the skull, Danielson's body going limp as he slumps back down to the mat. Helms then picks up his title, dropping down to hold the title against the face of Bryan, and as the camera zooms in we here Helms shout...

"You... are NOT... BETTER THAN ME!"

Helms forcibly shoves Bryan's head back down to the mat, returning to his feet as the crowd continues to shit all over his actions. Helms takes one last look at the lifeless body of the number one contender to his title, before he stand over Danielson, hands aloft, title in the air, looking every bit the best cruiserweight in the world as we head into a commercial.


*Video Package*

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!


*End Video Package*

And we return from commercial to a silent arena, until...



The arena soon burst to life with a very respectful pop for the World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito. The champs step out with Flair dressed in one of his trademark robes, while Carlito wears a t-shirt over his torso and Torrie Wilson on his arm. 'Lito and Torrie lead the way, while Flair styles and profiles from the rear...

Jim Ross: Welcome back to Saturday Night's Main Event folks! It's been quite a night thus far, and it's about to step up a gear, as we have the first of two title matches tonight. The World Tag Team Championships are on the line as the champion, Ric Flair and Carlito, defend against the challengers, The World's Greatest Tag Team.

Joey Styles: There's been a real sense of team unity between these two ever since they became champions. And that's never been more evident than last Monday night on Raw. After a hard fought title defence over Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters, Ric Flair admitted that his recent troubles with Mr. Kennedy have been affecting his performances in his matches. Ric Flair vowed that he wasn't gonna let that happen again, and tonight we'll find out if Flair and Carlito can keep their focus on the World Tag Team Titles.

Jerry Lawler: Well Carlito told Ric Flair he was bein' a bit hard on himself, and I tend to agree with him. But we all know how determined and how much it would mean to Ric Flair to be able to defend the World Tag Team Championships at Wrestlemania. They make it past Haas and Benjamin tonight, they'll be lookin' good for that to happen.

Flair removes his robe and hands it over the ropes to a stagehand, while Carlito receives one last kiss from Torrie before she leaves the ring. Flair runs the ropes while Carlito takes a bite from his apple, the champions looking confident as they wait for...


A pretty impressive response for The World's Greatest Tag Team as Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas manage to draw a good amount of boos from the crowd. Haas stays straight faced as he quickly heads down the aisle, while Benjamin takes his time, throwing a few insults at the crowd as he goes...

Joey Styles: In their first match as a team, Ric Flair and Carlito grabbed a victory over Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. Since that match, Haas and Benjamin have been seeking revenge, constantly getting in the faces of the champions. Will tonight see Haas and Benjamin even the score, and in the process become the new World Tag Team Champions?

Jim Ross: Well certainly Haas and Benjamin are both great athletes, great competitors. They can hang with the very best of 'em. They had a victory over Rob Van Dam and Triple H two weeks ago, a win that has put them in this position. But as impressive as that win was, Flair and Carlito have held the upper hand over the challengers thus far.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah but you never want to count these two out. Two of the very best we've got to offer on Monday Night Raw. I'm tellin' ya', if Ric Flair and Carlito aren't 100% focused on this match, then we could have new champions in a heartbeat.

Haas and Benjamin enter the ring and both men square up to their opponents, with Benjamin going nose to nose with Flair while Haas faces off with Carlito. The challengers throw a bit of trash talk at the champions, causing Flair and Carlito to turn and smirk at each other. A nod of the head from the champions... and then Carlito spits apple in Haas' face! The right hands fly and the match is under way...

World Tag Team Championship Match:
World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Carlito vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team

And Flair and Carlito get the match started in a big way as they tag their opponents with rights and lefts, backing Haas and Benjamin to the ropes. Flair and Carlito then go for Irish whips... sending both Haas and Benjamin into duelling back body drops! Haas and Benjamin are reeling, stumbling to the ropes... where a pair of clothesline sends them flying over the top rope to the floor! The champions get the match off to a fast start, leaving the challengers reeling on the outside. Haas and Benjamin pick themselves back up, with Haas still wiping chunks of apples from his face as he slides back into the ring to kick the match off with Flair. After a bit of early jockeying for position, the two finally go for a collar and elbow tie up, with Flair quickly working into a headlock takedown. Haas quickly forces the pair back to their feet, before he drills Flair with a pair of shots to the gut, enabling him to send Flair into the ropes... only for Flair to bowl Haas over with a shoulderblock! Haas springs back up, only for a stinging chop to the chest to knock him back down.

Flair then yanks Haas into the champions’ corner, tagging in Carlito, but Flair delivers another chop before he leaves the ring, with ‘Lito then adding a chop of his own. A few rights land to the side of the head, leading to Carlito going for an Irish whip... which Haas reverses... but Carlito jumps to the second rope... for a springboard back elbow! The pace quickens again as Carlito knocks down Haas with a pair of arm drags, then a dropkick, before Haas stays down after a scoop slam, gaining Carlito the first near fall of the match. As Both men get up from the cover, Haas fires a desperate uppercut from his knees, and follows with a stiff knee to the face, allowing him to tag in Benjamin. Haas holds ‘Lito in position as Shelton drills him with a kick to the gut, before a short-arm clothesline puts Punk down. Shelton unloads with a flurry of kicks to the midsection and punches to the head, before he yanks ‘Lito to their corner, the challengers trying to gain control of the match.

Haas tags back in, But Carlito shows great fight to hammer Haas and Benjamin with punches and elbows, trying to fight from the corner... only for Shelton to enter the ring with a springboard summersault neckbreaker! ‘Lito goes down hard, and Shelton hooks the leg... 1... 2... Carlito kicks out! Benjamin now shows some nice intensity as he drops ‘Lito with a falling neckbreaker and a release German suplex, gaining near falls from both, before he absolutely levels Carlito with a turnbuckle powerbomb, the titles only saved by ‘Lito managing to stick a foot on the ropes as Benjamin hooked the leg. Shelton continues his attack, rocking Carlito with an uppercut, but Carlito manages to fight back, drilling a kick to the gut and then going for a sunset flip... but Benjamin hangs in there, managing to reach out to tag Haas before ‘Lito takes him down. Carlito has Shelton down, but there’s no count as Haas enters the ring... and drills Carlito with a vicious shoot kick to the spine!

Carlito cries out in pain, and now Haas goes to work, the master technician showing of an impressive array of moves designed to weaken and wear Carlito down, starting with a stiff backbreaker and following this with a release German suplex. More damage is down to the back, as hard knees and elbows drop across it, followed by Haas showing some real strength as he whips ‘Lito hard to the turnbuckle. Haas and Benjamin then begin to show off their experience advantage as they start making quick tags, isolating ‘Lito, and coming close to victory as they fire Carlito off the ropes... and then take him up with a double hiptoss... into a backbreaker across both men’s knees! Benjamin hooks the leg, 1... 2... Flair breaks it up! The champions barely survive as Flair enters to break the pinfall, but as the referee admonishes Flair, Haas and Benjamin take the chance to lay into ‘Lito, both men hammering him with boots and stomps before the referee sees anything.

Haas is the legal man, and after continuing to try soften up the spine, he then gets a near fall from an overhead belly to belly suplex, frustration growing as the challengers can’t put ‘Lito away. Haas then looks to try a submission move, as he twists and wrenches Carlito... into an inverted cloverleaf! Haas leans forward into the hold, applying all kinds of pressure on the spine of Carlito, causing ‘Lito to grimace in pain as he reaches for the ropes. Haas is sure he has the match won, but Flair and Torrie try to rally the fans behind ‘Lito, The Garden responding with some decent cheers. It doesn’t appear to work though, as Haas has the hold in tight, Carlito slowly beginning to fade... until he has a surge of energy, forcing himself closer and closer... until he finally reaches out a hand and grabs the bottom rope! The hold should be broken, but Haas is reluctant to let go, drawing Flair into the ring to protest. The referee cuts Flair off, and once again Haas and Benjamin take advantage, dragging ‘Lito to their corner to hammer him with more boots and stomps, this time squarely to the lower back, causing further pain to Carlito.

A desperate look crosses Torrie’s face as Carlito looks down and out, with Benjamin now the legal man, with Shelton locking in a seated reverse chinlock, pulling back on the neck while driving his knee into the spine. The pressure is upped every time Benjamin wrenches back, but once again Flair stomps his feet, Torrie slaps her hands off the apron and the arena makes some noise, prompting Carlito back to a vertical base... elbow to the midsection... and another... and a third breaks the hold... only for Shelton to drill ‘Lito with a kick to the midsection. Benjamin goes for an Irish whip... and swings a clothesline... but ‘Lito ducks underneath, and he looks for a falling neckbreaker... but Shelton counters with a backslide... 1... 2... but ‘Lito kicks out... right back onto his feet... and dives to his corner to tag in Flair! The Garden pops as ‘The Nature Boy’ steps through the ropes, catching the charging Shelton with a chop across the chest that knocks him down. Shelton is then helped up and sent for the ride... into a big back body drop! Here comes Haas, but he too is stung by a chop, and two more, before he’s taking up and down with an inverted atomic drop and then a final chop to the chest puts him down.

Flair is on fire, unloading with chops to Benjamin before going for the Irish whip... Shelton reverses... but again he misses with a clothesline... and Flair strikes form behind with a chop block! The Garden comes alive as Flair then grabs Shelton by the leg, wining him up... FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK... NO! Benjamin kicks his way free, sending Flair towards Haas... into a snap overhead belly to belly suplex! Haas plants Flair, but as he stands over the veteran gloating and taunting him, Carlito approaches from behind... BACKSTABBER!! Carlito connects on the Backstabber, causing Haas to hit the mat and rolls under the bottom rope... BANG! Out of nowhere Shelton drills Carlito with the SUPERKICK, sending Carlito tumbling... INTO THE REFEREE... KNOCKING BOTH HE AND MIKE CHIODA THROUGH THE ROPES!! The crowd is stunned as both ‘Lito and Chioda hit the floor hard, both looking out of action.

The two legal men are left in the ring, with Shelton standing over Flair, before he helps ‘Naitch to his feet... and fires him to the corner. Benjamin rears back, builds up a head of steam and charges... SHELTON SPLASH... NO! Flair dives to safety, causing Benjamin to his the corner, and as he stumbles back into the ring, Flair is waiting... to sweep the leg... and step over, twist...FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK!!! Flair locks in the figure four!! The Garden is going wild as Flair has the move locked in, with Shelton tapping furiously... BUT THERE’S NO REFEREE!! Shelton’s taps ring out among the cheers of the crowd, but those cheers soon turn to commotion... as someone has grabbed a tag team title belt from the timekeeper’s desk... it’s MR. KENNEDY!! Kennedy grabs the belt and slides under the bottom rope, just as Flair finally releases the figure four to find out why the hell the ref hasn’t called for the bell... BANG! KENNEDY DRILLS FLAIR WITH THE TAG TITLE! Flair is down and out cold, with Kennedy quickly diving through the ropes to the outside, tossing the tag title aside like he doesn’t give a shit about it as Benjamin slowly crawls over to make the cover... as Kennedy tosses Chioda back into the ring! The referee slowly makes his way over... 1... Carlito manages to get back to his knees... 2... but Kennedy drills him with a kick to the skull! And with no-one left to make the save, Chioda’s hand finally drops... 3!!

Winners: And NEW World Tag Team Champions, The World's Greatest Tag Team @ 08.49

Kennedy has just screwed Ric Flair, and we've got new tag team champions! The crowd hammers Haas and Benjamin with boos as they hug and celebrate in the ring, the pair clutching their new titles as the referee hands them over. Flair is down and out, while Carlito slides back into the ring, wondering what the hell happened... until he sees the smirking Kennedy slowly backing away from the ring. Carlito slams a hand off the mat in anger, while Kennedy looks very happy with his actions...

Joey Styles: Dammit! Ric Flair just got screwed by Mr. Kennedy! We've got new World Tag Team Champions, and it's all thanks to Mr. Kennedy!

Jim Ross: Ric Flair and Carlito wanted to go to Wrestlemania, they wanted to defend their titles on the grandest stage of 'em all. And Mr. Kennedy has ripped that away from them, by handing the titles to Haas and Benjamin! What in Gawd's name is wrong with that bastard?!

Jerry Lawler: I know that Flair and Kennedy have traded a lot back and forth over the last few months, but I never expected to see Kennedy cost Flair and Carlito here tonight.

Jim Ross: What's gonna happen when Ric Flair realises what's happened here tonight? What's Flair gonna do once he gets his hands on Kennedy?!

Kennedy continues to back up the aisle, his eyes locked on the ring, where Carlito has managed to bring Flair back around, he and Torrie trying to get 'The Nature Boy' back on his feet. Flair manages to prop himself up onto his elbows, and the camera sees the moment where Flair's eyes lock on Kennedy, the two bitter rivals staring a whole through each other, one man smirking from ear to ear while fury and anger has gripped the other as we fade off into a commercial.


And it's backstage we go on our return to see Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas walking along a corridor, the new World Tag Team Champions walking gingerly, a little sore, but delighted with their win. The new champions slowly walk the hallway, titles in their hands... until they suddenly stop. Benjamin points at someone or something off camera, with Haas nodding his head in agreement. The pair take a few more steps until the camera pans to reveal the object of their attentions...
it's the WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans! A solid pop rings out as we see Brian Kendrick, Paul London and Ashley Massaro stood by a catering table, the trio casually hanging around until their attention is taking by The World's Greatest Tag Team...

Shelton Benjamin: Hey Charlie, look who it is man... it's those other tag team champions. Those second rate tag team champions!

Kendrick and London flash a look of surprise at Haas and Benjamin...

Brian Kendrick: You guys talkin' to us?

Shelton Benjamin: Yeah we talkin' to you. You guys watchin' that last match? You see us put on a tag team wrestlin' clinic? You see us become the new World Tag Team Champions?

The Hooligans turn to each other and laugh...

Paul London: Oh yeah, we saw it. Great victory guys. Way to earn those titles.

Brian Kendrick: Yeah great job on bein' handed the gold by Mr. Kennedy. You guys must feel real proud right about now.

Haas angrily steps forward, only for Shelton to place an arm across his chest...

Shelton Benjamin:
It don't matter how we won man. All that matters is that The World's Greatest Tag Team is back on top, and we gonna put tag team wrestling back on the map. You guys might be the longest reigning champions in Smackdown history... but that's only 'cause we weren't on Smackdown for your entire reign.

Haas and Benjamin smirk at each other...

Charlie Haas: Why don't you two start payin' attention to Raw, then you'll see what real tag team champions look like.

Haas and Benjamin continue to smirk, this time staring at London and Kendrick...

Shelton Benjamin: C'mon man, let's get outta here. Let's leave the paper champions to it.

And with that, Haas and Benjamin walk off, leaving behind an angry looking London and Kendrick, The Hooligans clearly showing that the words of The World's Greatest Tag Team have got to them as we head back into the arena.

To hear...


A great pop for the arrival of Chris Benoit, the former United States Champion calmly walking to the ring, cocking his head from side to side as he goes...

Michael Cole: It was back at No Way Out where thanks to the use of the shillelagh, Finlay won the United States Championship from this man, 'The Rabid Wolverine' Chris Benoit. Tonight, Benoit has his rematch, but if he's gonna win back the title, he's gonna have to overcome Finlay in Finlay's specialist match.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Nobody has ever doubted the toughness of Chris Benoit, but does he have what it takes to beat Finlay in a Belfast Brawl? Benoit is tough, but there's nobody tougher than the current United States Champion.

Tazz: Well I don't know about that 'JBL'. Benoit ain't gotta prove his toughness to anybody. He had Finlay there for the takin', only for that damn leprechaun to stick his nose in the match, and that allowed Finlay to use the shillelagh to get the win. Tonight ain't gonna be a classic wrestlin' match, it's gonna be nothin' but a fight. And who knows what could happen if Benoit gets his hands on the shillelagh? The tables might get turned here tonight!

Benoit anxiously paces the ring, dying to strike, although he has to wait through the silence before we finally hear...



A real solid level of boos as the United States Champion Finlay emerges from the back. The US Title is strapped around Finlay's waist, while as ever the trusty shillelagh is gripped by Finlay's right hand...

Michael Cole: Let's remember here folks, this is the first ever Belfast Brawl! This is the match Finlay chose last night on Smackdown, this is his match and it’s his rules. Let’s remind you, there’s no count outs, no disqualifications, the match can only end with a pinfall or submission. The advantage has to be with Finlay right now.

Tazz: I don’t think anybody would deny that Cole. I mean, we’ve never seen this before! Who knows what could happen once these two start goin’ at it!

Michael Cole: John, Matt Hardy is awaiting the winner of this match. Hardy will face the United States Champion at Wrestlemania, that’s guaranteed, but who do you think Hardy would rather face?

John Bradshaw Layfield: I think Hardy would rather face Chris Benoit. He knows he can't hang with the physicality of Finlay, and-

Tazz: Wait a minute, wait a minute, here comes Benoit!

On his way to the ring, Finlay has stopped to aggressively point his shillelagh at a few members of the crowd, meaning he doesn't see Benoit leave the ring and race up the ramp... to hammer Finlay with a clothesline! Finlay hits the concrete with a thud, and referee Jim Korderas calls for the bell!

United States Championship Belfast Brawl:
United States Champion Finlay vs. Chris Benoit

And Benoit has the jump on Finlay, mounting him to hammer down with right hand after right hand, before he viciously yanks Finlay into the barricade, following this with clubbing left and right forearms. Finlay’s shillelagh is left laying on the aisle as Benoit continues to hammer him, with Finlay stumbling towards the ring to try and keep Benoit at a distance. Benoit doesn’t let up though, following Finlay to the ring, but Finlay takes advantage of the space as it allows him to drive Benoit spine first into the barricade. Uppercuts and forearms knock Benoit down to a knee, before a big boot to the side of the head puts him on his back, as Finlay gets in his first offence of the match. A few more stomps land before Finlay has Benoit on his feet... and goes for an Irish whip into the steel steps... but Benoit reverses... and it’s Finlay who tastes the steel! Finlay crashes shoulder first into the steps, the force of the impact dislodging the steps from the bearings, separating them for the bottom half. Finlay writhes on the floor in pain, while Benoit briefly takes a breather before going right back to work, grabbing Finlay and rolling him under the bottom rope as the match enters the ring for the first time.

But before Benoit follows Finlay in, he first reaches under the ring, pulling out a pair of trash cans, tossing them both over the top rope into the ring. Benoit slides under the bottom rope, but the amount of time he took to find the trash cans has given Finlay a chance to recover, as he’s already in his feet, trash can in hand... Finlay launches the trash can off Benoit’s skull! Benoit crashes to the mat, but Finlay doesn’t let up, quickly picking the trash can back up, this time slamming off Benoit’s back, the can denting on impact. Finlay then stomps and drops forearms across Benoit’s arm, before he has him back on his feet, going for an Irish whip to the corner. Benoit hits the turnbuckle hard, and here comes Finlay... looking for a spear... but Benoit side steps it... and Finlay goes shoulder first into the ring post! Finlay clutches his shoulder as he stumbles backwards from the corner, into the waiting arms of Benoit... German suplex! Benoit keeps his hands clasped around Finlay’s waist, pulling both men back to their feet... for a second German suplex! Once again Benoit keeps his grip, pulling inlay back up... and looking to complete the Hat Trick... no! Finlay swings back elbows to the side of Benoit’s head, slowing him down, before Finlay falls forward... and sends Benoit tumbling through the ropes to the floor!

Benoit hits the floor hard in front of the announce desk, and Finlay wastes little tiem in following Benoit outside, dropping a pair of stiff forearms to the back of Benoit’s neck before a stiff uppercut knocks Benoit into the Smackdown announce desk. Another forearm lands, this time to the side of the head, but Benoit is able to kick out, drilling his boot into the midsection. Benoit then starts unloading on Finlay with chops to the chest, backing Finlay away from the announce desk, until he’s pressed up against the barricade, allowing Benoit to rear back and deliver four knife edge chops to the chest, each blow causing Finlay to grimace and try cover up. With Finlay leaning against the barricade in pain, Benoit takes a few steps back... then charges... to clothesline both himself and Finlay over the barricade into the crowd! The Garden faithful find the action in their lap as Benoit and Finlay crash to the concrete in front of them, with Benoit quick to pounce, drilling Finlay with more chops, headbutts and uppercuts. Finlay tries to stagger away, but Benoit stays on him, clubbing the back of Finlay’s neck before he synchs Finlay in... SUPLEX ON THE CONCRETE... NO! Finlay wisely drills a knee into the midsection, blocking Benoit’s attempt... before he counters with a SUPLEX ON THE CONCRETE OF HIS OWN!

Now it’s Benoit’s turn to grimace and cry in pain, the unforgiving floor taking a toll on both men as Finlay is slow to get back to his feet. Dragging Benoit up, Finlay shows off some of those brawling skills as he simply yanks Benoit into the barricade, Benoit breathing hard as he leans against the barricade to keep himself on his feet. Finlay tags Benoit with a few shots to the head, before he rears back and looks to take Benoit back over the barricade...but Benoit counters... back body drop over the barricade! Now it’s Finlay’s turn to hit the floor hard, as the match once again swings back and forth, this time in Benoit’s favour. Benoit slowly ambles over the barricade, but instead of going for Finlay he heads for the Smackdown announce desk... and rips off the top of it! The crowd buzzes in anticipation as Benoit tosses one monitor aside, while picking up the other... and smashing it off Finlay’s skull! The impact of the shot causes Finlay to collapse on the table top, with Benoit giving him a push, rolling Finlay until he’s lying flat on the desk. The crowd starts to cheer and Cole, Tazz and ‘JBL’ head for safety as Benoit begins to climb to the top rope! The Garden is posied, primed to erupt as Benoit steadies himself... and then flies... DIVING HEADBUTT THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE DESK!! Madison Square Garden goes fucking insane as Benoit crushes Finlay, the table shattering on impact! A “Holy Shit! Holy Shit! Holy Shit!” chant quickly breaks out, and both men writhe on the floor in pain, we disappear off into a commercial.


And when we return, Benoit has dragged the broken body of Finlay back to his feet, both men spending the ad break trying to recover from the hellacious move that saw us into the break. Finlay is rolled under the bottom rope, with Benoit crawling in after and then into a vertical press... 1... 2... Finlay rolls a shoulder! It took too long for Benoit to get Finlay back in the ring, with the champion able to stay alive for now. Benoit gets back on his feet, with a sense of wonderment ringing through the crowd as they wonder what Benoit’s next move will be... but they wonder no more as Benoit draws a thumb across his throat! Benoit calls to end the match, and with Finlay still prone on the mat, the challenger reaches down, trying to work Finlay into the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE... but as he tries to move Finlay into the hold, the crowd buzzes... as The Little Bastard crawls out from under the ring! Just like at No Way Out, The Little Bastard makes his presence felt, as he scrambles up the steel steps and heads into the ring. Benoit is unaware, still trying to work Finlay into the crossface, while behind The Little Bastard is in the ring... to drill Benoit with a LOW BLOW! “That damn leprechaun!” cries out Tazz as Benoit crumples to the mat in pain, the momentum of the match swinging yet again.

The Little Bastard heads over to Finlay, trying to shake some sense into the United States Champion. Finlay snaps back into the match, seeing Benoit down in agony, but he wastes no time in encouraging The Little Bastard to head up the aisle to grab the shillelagh that was dropped during the opening seconds of the contest. Off The Little Bastard scurries to retrieve the weapon, while in the ring Finlay goes to work, rocking Benoit with uppercuts before he puts the challenger back down with a short arm clothesline. The Little Bastard returns with the shillelagh, handing it over to Finlay, before the United States Champion shoos the little guy back under the ring. Finlay grips his trusty weapon in his hand, and with Benoit struggling back to his knees, Finlay lifts the shillelagh high in the air... and then cracks it down on the top of Benoit’s shoulder! Benoit cries in pain as Finlay viciously attacks, aiming shot after shot with the shillelagh to Benoit’s left arm. Finlay is unrelenting, striking time and time again, until mercifully he stops, dropping the shillelagh to the mat. On commentary, Cole very astutely points out that by weakening the arm, Finlay is making it harder for Benoit to lock on the crossface, with ‘JBL’ claiming it to be “brilliant strategy” on the part of the champion. After dropping the shillelagh, Finlay quickly drops into a lateral press, driving his forearm into Benoit’s face... 1... 2... Benoit kicks out!

Seeking to cause further damage to the arm, Finlay drops Benoit with a shoulderbreaker and then drives his knee into the arm several times, only for Benoit to again kick out of a pinfall attempt. Seeking a way to increase the pain Benoit is suffering, Finlay heads outside, shoving Tony Chimel aside to pick up the steel chair Chimel was sat on. Finlay heads back into the ring, steel chair in hand, and with Benoit still writhing on the mat, clutching his arm, Finlay lines him up... and drives the top of the chair into the arm of Benoit! Finlay drives it again... and again... and again! Benoit cries out in pain, but Finlay doesn’t give a damn, as this time he delivers a shot with the chair across the arm, repeating this another three times before he drops down, rolls Benoit onto his back and hooks the leg... 1... 2... Benoit kicks out! The crowd cheers as Benoit stays in the match, but this to only spur Finlay on, the champion now looking for a way to further the damage he has already caused to Benoit’s arm. Finlay takes the chair, then grabs the left arm of the still down on the mat Benoit... and slides the arm inside the gap of the chair! The crowd gasps as they know what Finlay has in mind as he props himself up onto the second rope... and then flies through the air... DOUBLE FOOT STOMP ON THE CHAIR! The Garden “Oooh!”’s as both of Finlay’s feet drop down on the chair, sandwiching Benoit’s arm between the two sides, the challenger screaming in agony as he rolls across the mat as Cole shouts “His arm could be broken in half!”.

Finlay is methodical in his approach, that toothy grin appearing on his face as he knows he has the match well in hand, not even bothering to go for pin, instead he soaks in the jeers of the crowd for a few seconds. Indeed, so confident of victory is Finlay that he shows Benoit total disrespect by standing over Benoit, arms out wide, begging the challenger to strike, well in the knowledge that the pain he is suffering right now is too much for Benoit to do anything about. Feeling he has gloated and insulted Benoit enough, Finlay reaches down and helps the challenger to his feet, before he hoists him up onto his shoulder... and then takes a few steps... Rolling Hills... NO! Benoit is somehow able to slip down the back, dropping to his feet behind Finlay. The champion quickly puts on the breaks, turning and charging at Benoit... who counters with a drop toe hold... sending Finlay face first into a TRASH CAN! The crowd cheers as Benoit shows signs of a comeback, but he’s unable to take advantage initially as he sits on the mat, grabbing his left arm in pain.

Returning to his feet, Benoit’s left arm hangs like a useless limb, but he’s able to grab a trash can lid of the mat, holding it in his right hand and swinging wildly with it, each swing seeing the lid smack of Finlay’s skull! Benoit then grabs the trash can, using his one good arm to place the trash can over Finlay’s head! Finlay stumbles back to his feet, but he can’t see a damn thing as the trash can engulfs all of his upper body... meaning he doesn’t see Benoit pick up the shillelagh! The crowd buzzes as Benoit grips the shillelagh in his right hand, and with Finlay stumbling around like a blind drunk, he’s an easy target as Benoit starts swinging... with shillelagh shot after shillelagh shot to the side of the trash can! Finlay can do nothing as Benoit unloads, the force of the shots and the impact causing Finlay to drop to his knees... leading to one final shillelagh shot to the top of the can! Finlay collapses on the mat, and after a few seconds of trying to shake some feeling back into his left arm, Benoit tosses the shillelagh aside, rips the trash can off of Finlay and goes for the cover... 1... 2... Finlay rolls a shoulder!

It took Benoit too long to make the cover, with the trash can inadvertently saving Finlay’s title. Benoit stands over Finlay, the camera showing us that after the shillelagh assault Finlay has been busted open, blood pouring fast from a gash on his forehead. Seeing this, Benoit decides it time as he rears back... and once more drags that thumb across his throat! Heading for the corner, Benoit begins to scale to the top rope, with Benoit steadying himself... and then soaring through the air... DIVING HEADBUTT! Benoit gets all of it... but his injured arm bears much of his landing! Benoit writhes on the mat in pain, the move taking a lot out of him too, but he eventually manages to crawl over and drape his right arm across Finlay’s chest... 1... 2... NO! Finlay rolls a shoulder! The pain of his arm meant it took Benoit too long to make the cover! Benoit can’t believe it, running a hand through his hair in a mix of anger and despair. It takes a while, but eventually Benoit is back on his feet, looking down at the bloody champion, title there for the taking... and once more that thumb runs across his throat! Benoit reaches down, trying for the crossface... but he instantly has to roll away in pain. Benoit’s arm gave out on him! Just as Cole predicted, the injured, possibly broken arm is too much a pain for Benoit to bare as he realises he can’t lock on the crossface! ‘JBL’ is loving this, claiming there’s no way for Benoit win now... but perhaps there is a way as Benoit picks up the shillelagh!

The crowd buzzes, wondering what Benoit has in mind... but Finlay has made a recovery, getting back on his feet... and charging at Benoit with a clothesline... but Benoit spots him at the last second... and takes Finlay down... CRIPPLER CROSSFACE... WITH THE SHILLELGH UNDER FINLAY’S CHIN!! Benoit uses Finlay’s weapon in a submission move against him! The Garden is on it’s feet as Benoit has his submission locked in... but right on cue... The Little Bastard once again crawls from under the ring! The crowd groans as the little guy scrambles up the steps and into the apron, but before he can break the hold, Benoit sees him coming... and releases the hold... shillelagh shot to the skull of The Little Bastard! The crowd cheers (evil people that they are) as the little guy goes is sent tumbling through the ropes back outside, with Benoit turning back to Finlay... who is somehow back on his feet... to crack Benoit across the skull with a steel chair! The crowd gasps as the force of the chair shot causes Benoit to fall into the ropes, bouncing off them... right into the grasp of the champion... who takes Benoit up... for the CELTIC CROSS!! The Little Bastard provides the distraction, and Finlay strikes to take advantage, collapsing on Benoit for the 1... 2... 3!

Winner: And still United States Champion, Finlay @ 18.36

Finally it's over, and the crowd responds with an appreciative round of applause for the brutality both men subjected themselves to. Both men stay down after the finish, neither man able to move much, although Finlay is able to roll over and sit up, clutching his title as it's handed to him. Finlay manages to struggle back to his knees, but he doesn't look like a winner after being taken to the absolute limit by Benoit...

Michael Cole: What an absolute war that was! Two of the toughest men you'll ever find, and they laid it all on the line in pursuit of the United States Championship.

Tazz: That was nothin' short of a war Cole. Credit where it's due, Finlay survived, he got the job done, but that match took a whole lot outta 'im.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Irish eyes are smillin' bright tonight! Matt Hardy, you just got a look at what Finlay is willin' to do to hold on to that US Title. That's what's in your destiny come Wrestlemania!

Referees, agents and medical workers have now hit the ring, with two refs hooking Finlay's arms over their shoulders, helping the United States Champion head backstage. In the ring, Benoit is still down, medical workers checking him over as we head off into commercial.


And we return to the image of the Raw announce desk...

Jim Ross: We are back, and while it's already been an incredible night, there is still so much to come tonight.

Joey Styles: Oh absolutely. John Cena is set to step into a steel cage to take on both Vince and Shane McMahon. It's a Steel Cage Handicap Match, but you have to feel that the steel cage will be to the advantage of Cena.

Jerry Lawler: Boy I can't wait for that one. But that's not all we've got to offer here on Raw. Let's not forget, Triple H and Rob Van Dam are set to meet, with the winner facing Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIII for the WWE Championship!

And right on cue, we cut backstage to see Triple H sat on a chair in a dressing room, wrapping tape around his fists, a focused, determined look on his face...

Jim Ross: 'The Game' looks ready, an intense look in the eyes of 'The Cerebral Assassin'. Triple H has his eyes set on Shawn Michaels, but to get his hands on the WWE Champion, he'll have to make it past Rob Van Dam.

And speaking of, we now cut to see Rob Van Dam stretching in a corridor, his legs spread across the width of the corridor as he does his trademark splits, readying himself for action...

Jerry Lawler: Joey, you know Rob Van Dam better than me. I always struggle to get a read on this guy, he's always so composed, so calm lookin'. What's goin' through the mind of 'RVD' right now?

Joey Styles: He's gonna focusing on what he needs to do to beat Triple H. Van Dam is a student of the game, he'll have looked at where he can gain advantage, what weaknesses, if any, that Triple H might have. And of course, havin' never main evented Wrestlemania, he'll have his eyes on the prize tonight. Shawn Michaels and the WWE Championship await either Triple H or Rob Van Dam!

We now cut to the Smackdown announce desk, or at least the thre commentators sat amongst the rubble...

Michael Cole: That's gonna be a helluva match when 'The Game' and 'RVD' meet, but up next, it's the undefeated 'Samoan Bulldozer' Umaga taking on 'The Big Red Machine' Kane. And of course this all started back at No Way Out when Umaga came out of nowhere and decimated The Undertaker during his Casket Match with King Booker. Let's take you back to that night right now...

*Video Package*


Booker is somehow able to crawl on his belly to the centre of the ring, with ‘Taker standing over him... and DRAWING A THUMB ACROSS HIS THROAT! The crowd erupts again as they sense the end is nigh! Booker somehow gets back to his knees... then back to his feet. Stood behind him, Undi waits for Booker to turn towards him. Booker looks out on his feet, barely able to move as he turns around... and ‘Taker scoops him up... TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!!!

As ‘Taker labours to shift the deadweight King, a commotion is heard from the crowd. The noise level grows, but ‘Taker doesn’t notice, continuing to roll Booker to the casket. The commotion soon turns to a mix of cheers and gasps of shock, with the camera finally revealing to us...


Having raced through the crowd, ‘The Samoan Savage’ is stood behind an unsuspecting Undertaker! The crowd is going ape shit, and it soon dawns on Undertaker that something’s going on. ‘Taker senses a presence behind him, standing up and turning around... UMAGA RUNS THROUGH UNDERTAKER WITH A MASSIVE BODYBLOCK!! Caught off guard, Undertaker is powerless as Umaga hammers him! Stumbling back to his feet, ‘Taker tries to swing rights and lefts, but he’s stunned by the appearance of Umaga... who takes Undertaker up FOR A SAMOAN DROP!! Umaga plants ‘Taker with ease, with Armando Estrada now joining his monster at ringside, conducting traffic. Estrada motions for ‘Taker to be brought to his feet, which Umaga obliges with... before letting out a massive native yell... SAMOAN SPIKE!!!

Estrada slaps his hands off the casket lid, with Umaga nodding his understanding. The crowd is confused, thinking how can Umaga place ‘Taker in the casket with the lid closed. They’re about to find out, as Umaga drags the now lifeless ‘Deadman’ up... and GOES FOR A SWINGING SIDE SLAM... OVER THE TOP ROPE... AND STRAIGHT THROUGH THE CASKET LID!!!

Michael Cole: What the- what the hell is goin' on!?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Have you ever seen The Undertaker man handled like that?

Suddenly the LIGHTS GO OUT...



Once more the druids head down to the ring, six of them in two columns of three. Mist engulfs the aisle, drifting around Umaga and Estrada, while an eerie blue haze illuminates the pair. The druids march down the aisle, one column passing on either side of Umaga. Estrada looks spooked, but 'The Samoan Bulldozer' never changes his expression for a second, continuing to snarl as the druids drift on past him.

Michael Cole: This is one of the most surreal things I've ever seen. In all my years of broadcast journalism... I've never seen anything like this.

Slowly the druids reach into the ring, pulling the lifeless body of The Undertaker towards the ropes. Once there, the druids reach down and hoist 'The Deadman' up onto their shoulders in almost a crucifix position. Slowly the druids begin to carry 'Taker back up the aisle, the crowd once again stunned into a hushed silence...

John Bradshaw Layfield: The Undertaker... is bein' carried from this arena. 'The Demon of Death Valley' has been left broken, limp, lifeless, by 'The Savage from Samoa'.

Tazz: Where are they takin' him? I mean... {Echoing} is this the last time we're gonna see The Undertaker?

*End Video Package*

And it's straight back into the arena for...


A ton of heat as menacingly as ever Umaga snarls his way into the arena, Armando Alejandro Estrada a few steps behind 'The Savage From Samoa'. Both men quickly walk down the aisle, with Umaga intimidating every fan he looks at while Estrada simply marvels in awe at this beast that walks before him...

Michael Cole: I don't think I've ever seen The Undertaker dominated in quite the fashion that Umaga did at No Way Out. Simply put, Undertaker was destroyed two weeks ago, and we haven't seen 'The Deadman' since. At the end of that video package, we heard you Tazz utter the words, "Is this the last time we're gonna see The Undertaker?", and right now it's lookin' that way.

Tazz: When those druids came down the ring, I got chills man! I mean, I dunno if I got caught up in the moment, if I maybe over reacted, but at the time, I honestly thought we'd seen the last of The Undertaker. That's how brutal that assault was from Umaga.

Michael Cole: Last night on Smackdown, Armando Alejandro Estrada issued a challenge to The Undertaker. Estrada and Umaga have made their intentions perfectly clear, they want The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. They want the streak, and they want an answer from 'The Phenom' tonight.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And I hate to say it, but I think they're gonna be left disappointed. The Undertaker is runnin' scared! He ain't gonna be here tonight, and that's bad news for Kane. Umaga's gonna be lookin' for somethin' to take out his frustrations on, and Kane is right in the line of fire!

Nice pun. Umaga snarls and lets out a tribal scream as he enters the ring, with Estrada joining him. Umaga paces the ring, snarling, intimidating everyone in sight as he waits for...



The crowd explodes with excitement as the massive pyro display that announces Kane to the arena rings out, with Estrada nearly jumping from the ring in fear. Umaga however barely moves an inch, showing that nothing can intimidate him, not even Kane...

Michael Cole: Well Umaga took out one member of The Brothers Of Destruction at No Way Out, will Kane join his brother The Undertaker on the shelf tonight, or can Kane become the first man to ever beat Umaga?

Tazz: Hey, don't get me wrong, I love Kane. This guy is one of the most scary individuals I've ever stepped into the ring with. But I dunno if Kane's got enough in 'im to go toe to toe with Umaga. I hope I'm wrong, but I just think Umaga is unstoppable right now.

John Bradshaw Layfield: For once I gotta agree wit' ya' Tazz. Kane's gettin' shipped off to the hospital in Death Valley after this match. He's gonna be in the bed next to his big brother! Or maybe that oughta be the grave next to his brother!

Kane enters the ring by stepping over the top rope, showing no fear by walking to straight towards Umaga... and the pair go nose to nose! The crowd anticipation builds as both men square up to each other... and then Umaga lets out a scream... and cops a shot to the throat from Kane! The match is under way...

Grudge Match:
Umaga vs. Kane

And Kane quickly strikes with another thrust to the throat before he turns and comes off the ropes... shoulder block... but Umaga barely moves! Kane turns and charges off the ropes, again going for a shoulder block... but once more Umaga barely moves! Umaga lets out another tribal scream, only for Kane to again strike with a throat thrust, and another, and a third finally gets Umaga rocking. More shots land to the throat, backing Umaga to the ropes, before Kane goes for an Irish whip... but Umaga reverses... and catches Kane in a big Samoan drop! The crowd gasps as all the air is driven out of Kane as he hits the canvas, with Umaga quickly back on his feet to roar to the fans... but Kane sits up! Kane brings his head off the mat, and then quickly gets back to his feet, Umaga caught off guard by the recovery powers of ‘The Big Red Machine’. He does however beat Kane to the punch, tagging him with a right hand, before a big running clothesline puts Kane over the top rope... but Kane lands on his feet! Reaching in, Kane grabs Umaga by the foot and drags him under the bottom rope, slamming ‘Mags face first off the announce desk! Umaga stumbles away, but Kane stays on him, again grabbing Umaga and this time smashing him face first off the steel steps before he rolls Umaga back into the ring.

Kane then steps up onto the apron and over the top rope, but Umaga is waiting for him, tagging Kane with a pair of right hands. Kane fires back with a shot to the throat, only for Umaga to go for an Irish whip... which Kane reverses... big boot to the face... but it only staggers Umaga! ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ is still on his feet, to Kane’s disbelief, but after pausing to recover from the shock, Kane charges off the ropes... right into a spinning wheel kick! Kane is down, and this time there’s no sitting up as Umaga bounces off the ropes... diving headbutt connects! Once more Umaga roars to the crowd, going for the cover not even crossing his mind as Estrada demands more punishment for Kane. This starts with ‘Mags dragging Kane back to his knees, a pair of right hands and then a headbutt putting Kane back down in the corner, his head perched on the bottom turnbuckle. The crowd gasps as Umaga heads for the opposite corner, as everyone knows what’s coming next. Umaga builds up a head of steam, bouncing in the air and then racing across the ring... SAMOAN WRECKING BALL!! Kane’s head violently snaps back on impact, but he somehow manages to crawl from the corner, leaving Umaga looking confused. Kane has to use the ropes to make it back to his knees, only for Umaga to start pummelling him with right hands.

Kane is finally down on the mat, with Estrada calling for Umaga to end things quickly, the manager motioning for his monster to use the Samoan spike. Kane is dragged to a vertical base, and Umaga cocks his thumb and swings... SAMOAN SPIKE... NO! Kane ducks underneath... shot to the throat... and another... and a third... but Umaga is still on his feet! The shots back Umaga to the corner, where Kane unloads with a flurry of rights and lefts, until a big right uppercut finishes off the sequence... but still Umaga is standing! An Irish whip sends Umaga across, and Kane follows in... corner clothesline! Umaga stumbles from the corner, and Kane again comes off the ropes... but once again Umaga responds with the SAMOAN DROP! The commentary team is in disbelief, wondering what the hell it’s gonna take to put Umaga down. Umaga moves quickly though, as he climbs to the second rope, steadies himself and flies... SAMOAN SPLASH... NO! Kane rolls to safety, and finally Umaga is down and hurt! Kane now looks to work quickly, as he heads to the top rope and waits for Umaga to rise... FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Kane gets all of it, and he springs back to his feet, the crowd firmly behind him as he cocks his hand in the air, waiting for Umaga to rise. Slowly Umaga gets back on his feet, and Kane is waiting... slapping on a goozle... CHOKESLAM... NO! Umaga manages to grab the wrist, slowly twisting free of Kane’s grip... and then pulling Kane towards him... SAMOAN SPIKE!! The crowd marvels at the power of Umaga as he nails Kane, dropping into a lateral press, not even bothering to hook the leg as the ref counts 1... 2... 3.

Winner: Umaga @ 04.57

The crowd is initially in awe at the dominance of Umaga, but they soon throw heat at the ring as 'Mags is quickly back on his feet, standing over the broken Kane. Estrada quickly snatches the mic from Tony Chimel's hand, scrambling up the steps and into the ring...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: Todos... ju', haha, listen... to me! 'Dis right here... was for ju' 'Deadman'! 'Dis is a message for ju' Undertaker. We won't be... commes se dice... IGNORED, anymore! We want ju' at Wrestlemania perro, and we want de' answer right now amigo!

Estrada stops talking, waiting for a response... but he receives no answer. A few boos ring out from the crowd, with estrada now motioning up the aisle at the entrance way, encouraging The Undertaker to come down to the ring and accept the challenge... nothing but silence. Estrada smirks as he turns his attention back to Umaga, who is still stood over Kane...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: Ok. Maybe ju' need a little... commes se dice... encouragement to come out here.

Estrada reaches into his top pocket, pulling out a cigar... and then snaps it in half! The crowd gasps as they know what's coming next, with Umaga reaching down, trying to drag the limp body of Kane to his feet... until suddenly...



The Garden is plunged into darkness, with the crowd going wild in anticipation... but there's nothing. Nothing but darkness for a few seconds, an impatient rabble the crowd's only response...



Michael Cole: NO!

Tazz: You gotta be kiddin' me!

Through the darkness an absolute monstrous pop rings out, and finally the lights return... to see PAUL BEARER stood in the ring! The crowd goes fucking ape-shit as Paul Bearer is stood in the middle of Madison Square Garden, urn in his hand...

John Bradshaw Layfield: What the hell is goin' on here?!

Michael Cole: That's- that's- that's PAUL BEARER! Paul Bearer is back in the WWE!

Estrada nearly falls over in shock at the sight of 'The Father of Destruction', with even Umaga showing a sense of fear as he drops Kane back down to the mat. Bearer has a devilish look on his face as he switches his gaze from Estrada to Umaga, before reaching into his suit pocket for a microphone...

Paul Bearer: It's been three... long... years since I set foot in a WWE ring. Three long years, I have watched as mortal after mortal have challenged... my Undertaker. Mere mortals that have entered the ring with my Undertaker... only ta' be sent straight ta' HELL!

Big time pop from the crowd...

Paul Bearer: Mr. Estrada... you stand here, behind this savage beast... and dare to challenge my Undertaker? You Mr. Estrada... have just signed your monster's own personal death warrant!

Estrada's jaw nearly hits the floor, with him snapping his sunglasses from his face...

Paul Bearer: We've all seen tha' footage... we've all marvelled at tha' way this monster of yours conducted himself at No Way Out. But Mr. Estrada, your one mistake was that at No Way Out... you didn't finish him off... when you had tha' chance!

Bearer shakes his head...

Paul Bearer: The druids came and carried my Undertaker back to Death Valley. They brought a son back ta' his lovin' father, a child back ta' tha' family home, and now... now he's comin' for you Umaga!

Bearer ominously points a chubby finger at Umaga, who simply snarls back at him...

Paul Bearer: My Undertaker... will rise again! And come Wrestlemania, come that glorious day, you Mr. Estrada... and of course, you Umaga... shall be consigned to the very depths of existence! You may claim ta' strike fear into tha' hearts of your opponents... but nobody strikes fear like my Undertaker!

Once again the lights go out...



The lights returns as Estrada cowers in fear, pulling his hat down tight on his head in a comical attempt to somehow hide, while Umaga's head snaps from side to side, his nostrils flaring, snarling, dying to be face to face with The Undertaker...

Paul Bearer: ESTRADA... your monster, your beast... he CAN'T BEAT MY UNDERTAKER!


Paul Bearer: On behalf of 'The Phenom'... we accept your challenge. 'The Deadman' shall rise again! And when he does, you Umaga will rest... IN... PE-

Suddenly Umaga bounds across the ring... and slaps the microphone clean from bearer's hands! The crowd gasps as Estrada starts handing out directions, ordering Umaga to destroy Paul Bearer! Umaga snarls and yells at Bearer, but there's no fear in Bearer's eyes... as he simply raises the urn to the sky! Bearer holds his arms up to the heavens, with Umaga not knowing what on earth to do! The crowd once more goes wild in anticipation until...


For a third time the arena is plunged into darkness...


And when they return...


The roof nearly blows off Madison Square Garden as The Undertaker is stood behind Umaga! Estrada looks around, fear gripping him, while Umaga continues to stare down Bearer. Finally Estrada sees 'The Deadman', stalking towards Umaga, with Estrada frantically trying to get Umaga to turn around. Umaga finally turns... into a massive right hand from The Undertaker! 'The Deadman' hammers Umaga with right after right, before unloading with rapid fire rights and lefts to the midsection! Umaga is backed up against the ropes, with 'Taker going for an Irish whip... but Umaga reverses... and swings with a clothesline, only for Undertaker to duck and keep on running... FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Undertaker soars through the air, taking Umaga off his feet! The revitalized 'Deadman' is quickly back on his feet... and he DRAWS A THUMB ACROSS HIS THROAT!

The crowd once more pops in anticipation, as Undertaker cocks his right hand in the air, waiting for Umaga to rise. 'The Samoan Bulldozer' stumbles to his feet... right into a goozle... NO! The crowd is stunned as Umaga reaches out... and grabs Undertaker's hand! 'The Deadman' strains and tries to wrap his hand around Umaga's throat... but Umaga continues to fight it! A titanic struggle ensues, with neither man budging an inch, and The Undertaker looks amazed, almost in disbelief at the strength of Umaga... but now Kane is back on his feet... and he slaps his hand around Umaga's throat... and now so does The Undertaker... MASSIVE DOUBLE CHOKESLAM!!!!

The Brothers of Destruction unite to hammer Umaga to the mat! Estrada is amazed, having never seen his savage treated this way, and he scrambles from the ring to the safety of the floor. In the ring, Kane and Undertaker turn to look at each other, a slightly concerned look in both their eyes, but they soon both drop to one knee... infront of Paul Bearer! Both brothers raise a hand in the air, prompting Bearer to hold the urn high in the sky one last time, to yet another huge pop from the crowd...

Michael Cole: Paul Bearer has returned to the WWE! Paul Bearer is back, and he's brought The Undertaker with him!

Tazz: And the match is set baby! Undertaker and Umaga at Wrestlemania! Streak versus streak!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Yeah but wait a damn minute here! You saw what happened, The Undertaker needed help! He couldn't chokeslam Umaga by 'imself! When have you ever seen that happen? When has The Undertaker been over powered like that before?! The Undertaker's proved nothin' here tonight!

Michael Cole: Folks, we've gotta go to commercial. Join us as Saturday Night's Main Event continues!


We return from the break to the office of Mr. McMahon, his son Shane McMahon by his side. Vince is wearing a vest that shows off a pretty good looking pair of biceps as he completes his warm up, firing jabs at a punching bag that hangs from the ceiling. Jonathan Coachman is stood behind the punching bag, holding it in place, while Shane shouts words of encouragement at his father...

Shane McMahon: YEAH! Yeah that's it! That's it! Work the body, work the body! Punish 'im!

Vince continues to lay in with the jabs, before a big right hand causes Coachman to stumble backwards, bringing a natural end to the session...

Shane McMahon: That's it Dad! That's it, we're ready! We're ready to kick John Cena's ass!

Vince breathes hard, nodding his head in agreement as he turns around to grab a bottle of water. 'Coach' has got himself back together, and he approaches the McMahon boys with a look of concern...

Mr. McMahon: What's the matter Coachman? You don't look too good.

Jonathan Coachman: Well, Mr. McMahon, Sir... while I admire the fact that you're so confident, I gotta ask... how can you feel so relaxed goin' into a Steel Cage Match with John Cena? I mean... aren't you even a little bit worried?

Vince turns to Shane, disgust on his face, while Shane can only shake his head in disbelief. Vince then turns back to 'Coach', almost looking angry at his former Executive Assistant...

Mr. McMahon: How long have you worked for me 'Coach'?

Jonathan Coachman: Oh, uh... almost eight years Sir.

Mr. McMahon: And in all that time, have you ever known anyone to get the better of me?

Jonathan Coachman: Well there was that time that... I mean no, no Sir. No. Absolutely not. No.

McMahon shake his head in frustration...

Mr. McMahon: No. The answer is no. And do you know why that is 'Coach'? 'Cause I'm Vince McMahon dammit! Nobody... NOBODY... embarrasses me and gets away with it. Now John Cena might like to think he holds all the cards in a Steel Cage Match, but as you know 'Coach'... I always have a little somethin' extra up my sleeve.

Jonathan Coachman: But you're not wearing sleeves Sir, and... oh, wait... never mind.

Vince face palms...

Mr. McMahon: Now I remember why I packed you off to Smackdown. Just understand this 'Coach', I always have a plan. I always have an angle I can work. And I've got one tonight... I've got a good one. Now while a steel cage might be hard to get into... who's to say that maybe John Cena... won't even get that far? Maybe John Cena has a little accident on his way to the ring? Maybe John Cena... can't even make it inside the steel cage?

Vince turns to look at Shane, the McMahon's both flashing knowing smiles...

Mr. McMahon: I appreciate your concern 'Coach', but trust me... like always, I have it all... under control.

'Coach' realises what's going on, simply nodding his head in agreement, while Vince goes back to his bottle of water as Shane starts doing the Shane O'Mac shuffle on the punching bag as we cut away...

To see John Cena stood in front of a TV screen, having heard every word the McMahon's had to say. Cena looks sternly at the screen, his eyes narrowed underneath the cap on his head, pure focus on his face. Cena continues to look at the monitor, a look of thought now crossing his head... until the light bulb goes off in his head. Cena has a brief smile to himself, before he turns and walks away, the mind games between Cena and 'The Boss' obviously going to play a huge part in their match tonight.

Back into the arena, and it's too the Raw announce desk...

Joey Styles: Well the dynamics of that match have just stepped up a notch. McMahon is confident, perhaps too confident, but has John Cena just heeded the warning by listening on Vince's conversation?

Jim Ross: I guess we'll have to wait to find out, but it's a fascinating situation to see unfold. But folks, every year, the Wrestlemania weekend tradition of the WWE Hall of Fame honours some of the legends of our industry. And tonight, we're proud to announce the third member of the 2007 Hall of Fame Class. Uh... tonight's inductee is a rather poignant affair for a lot of us, but one that is very much deserved. Let's roll the footage.

*Video Package*

We open to the bright strobe lights of an early ‘90s WWE show, footage with the entrance theme ‘Rocket’ prominent before it fades into the background...

Narrator: He was one of the very best technical wrestlers in WWE history, a man who’s in ring skills were second to none.

We now see Owen Hart make his entrance at King of the Ring 1994, hair slicked back, sunglasses pushed up on his forehead as he walks straight into the camera, offering a few words...

Narrator: A product of the legendary Hart wrestling family, he had big shoes to fill...

Rapid fire shots of that ’94 event, with Owen collapsing onto Tatanka for the 3 count, drilling The 1-2-3 Kid with a brutal dropkick as he tried to enter the ring, and then Owen flying off the top rope with an elbow drop to finish off Razor Ramon...

Owen Hart: I did it! I hope you’re watching Dad, Bret, everybody... I’m the King!

Footage of Owen sat on the throne, crown on his head, robe around his shoulders, sceptre in his hands...

Owen Hart: My first proclamation is from this day forth to be known as... The King of Harts!

We now cut to Wrestlemania X and the classic battle between Owen and his brother Bret, with Bret going for a victory roll only for Owen to drop to his knees, getting the three count...

Narrator: But when it was all said and done, it was perhaps the ‘Crown Prince’ of the Hart Family who would be revered more by his peers.

We see Bret and Owen during their Steel Cage Match at Summerslam 1994, with the iconic image of Bret hitting superplex from the top of the cage...

Owen Hart: Owen 3:16 says I just broke your neck!

We now see action from the series of matches Owen had with Steve Austin...

Narrator: And while he is fondly remembered as a villain, for all who knew him, he was the most loved of all WWE Superstars.

We now hear a more sombre type of music, ...

Mick Foley: He was my son’s favourite wrestler.

Shane McMahon: Owen was always a prankster. You do a prank to Owen and you were gettin’ one back tenfold.

Shots from early in Owen’s career, flying around the ring for Stampede Wrestling and then his High Energy days...

Bobby Heenan: He has a heck of a reputation. He’s very agile, he’s very quick, he’s strong, he’s smart, he knows what he’s doin’ in the ring.

More shots of Owen flying around the ring, hitting dropkicks and crossbodies off the top rope...

Bret Hart: Owen was the most lovable guy. Everybody loved him, and he was a great wrestler. He was respected by the fans and respected by the other wrestlers.

Family pictures of the young Owen, the blonde haired, blue eyed boy easily picked out of the Hart Family line up...

Shawn Michaels: Owen is the only guy you could have a 2-hour show for, and no-one would say a bad word about him.

A beaming Owen makes his entrance during an episode of Raw, Canadian flag draped across his back, a Slammy in each hand...

Narrator: The WWE is proud to induct into its Hall of Fame, ‘The King of Harts’...

Ever the family man, Owen stands in the ring, his son in his arms as the pair wave to the crowd...

Triple H: He loved his family. He talked about ‘em all the time. He couldn’t wait to get home to see ‘em.

Mick Foley: I think there's probably a special place in heaven for Owen Hart.

And finally the iconic image from ‘Raw Is Owen’, with the image of Owen on the tron as Steve Austin gives one last toast and then leaves a beer behind for his fallen colleague...

Jim Ross: We’ll never forget you Owen...

Narrator: Owen Hart!

We now see a picture of Owen Hart, a warm smile on Owen’s face, with the Hall of Fame logo nearby. Also on the screen is the fact that Owen will be inducted into the Hall of Fame by his brother, current Hall of Famer Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart!

*End Video Package*

And we return to the arena, every man, woman and child on their feet, an absolutely deafening chant of "OWEN! OWEN! OWEN!" ringing out throughout The Garden...

Jim Ross: He was one o' the very best. Owen Hart, a more than worthy inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Jerry Lawler: Absolutely. A true great inside and outside the ring, respected and loved by all. What a fitting tribute to the memory of Owen Hart.

The commentators go silent, wanting to let the chants of the crowd die down a bit. After what feels like an age, the arena finally falls silent, only to hear...


Yet another great response as Rob Van Dam walks out from the back, 'Mr. Monday Night' firing everybody up as he heads for the ring. Van Dam looks as cool, calm and collected as he always does, walking with a purpose down the aisle...

Jim Ross: What an ovation for Rob Van Dam! 'RVD' is just one match away from a Wrestlemania main event! It's Van Dam and 'The Game' when we return, live to Saturday Night's Main Event!


When we return, Van Dam's music is dying out as 'RVD' bounces up and down in the ring, eagerly awaiting the appearance of...



The roof once more is nearly blown sky-high as Triple H slowly steps out from the back, stopping at the top of the entrance way. 'The Game' lets the anticipation build before he spits a jet of water into the air and then charges down to the ring...

Jim Ross: He's a 10 time heavyweight champion. He wants to go to Wrestlemania to make it number 11. But he also has a very personal desire to get his hands on the WWE Champion, Shawn Michaels. Can 'The Game' put behind a barren 2006 to make a run at the gold in 2007?

Joey Styles: This is goin' to be quite the match up. Two men with vastly different styles. You've got the quickness and high flying ability of Van Dam up against the power and technique of Triple H.

Jerry Lawler: I don't think there's a whole lot that needs to be said. I just wanna sit back and enjoy this, it's gonna be a heck of a match, with a huge prize on offer for the winner.

After spraying yet more water into the air, 'The Game' steps through the ropes and goes nose to nose with Van Dam, a carbon copy of their confrontation as Raw went off the air last Monday night... although this time Triple H steps aside, heading for the corner to pose for the crowd...

Number One Contenders Tournament Final Match:
Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam

And when ‘The Game’ drops back down, he and Van Dam stand at opposite corners of the ring, both men locking eyes with each other. The music dies down, the bell rings, and the buzz of anticipation is all that we hear as Van Dam and Triple H slowly inch towards each other. The crowd reaches a fever pitch as ‘RVD’ and ‘The Game’ square off, both men trading words with each other, the opening of this match very reminiscent of the way Raw went off the air last Monday night. The two continue to jaw, the crowd building to a frenzy, desperate for the action to start... Triple H lands a right hand... but Van Dam fires straight back! A slugfest quickly breaks out, both men trading right hand until ‘The Game’ is able to land three unanswered, backing Van Dam to the ropes. Trips goes for an Irish whip... and Van Dam comes off the ropes... and ducks a clothesline! Van Dam keeps on running... but ‘The Game’ catches him with a high knee strike! Triple H wins the first offensive tangle, but instead of taking advantage, he pauses, allowing Van Dam to get back to his feet.

This time the two tie up, with Triple H working into a standing side headlock. Van Dam is able to fire ‘The Game’ off the ropes, only for Trips to bowl Van Dam over with a shoulderblock. Trips then turns and charges off the ropes, with Van Dam rolling onto his front as ‘The Game’ runs over him, then springs to his feet... rolling wheel kick! This time it’s Van Dam who puts Triple H down, but ‘The Game’ is quickly back on his feet... to catch a ‘RVD’ kick to the midsection... and then duck an enzuigiri... but not a reverse heel kick! Triple H goes down an scrambles for the corner, and as Van Dam heads over Trips grabs ‘RVD’ and yanks him into the corner, tagging Van Dam with right hands. An Irish whip sends Van Dam across the ring, but when Trips races in, he runs into a back elbow. Van Dam then jumps to the second rope... for a springboard leg lariat! Van Dam goes for the cover... 1... 2... Trips quickly kicks out.

Both men return to their feet in a hurry, with Triple H trying to beat Van Dam to punch by going for a kick to the midsection... that Van Dam catches... step over spinning heel kick! After another near fall, ‘The Game’ aggressively goes nose to nose with Van Dam, the anger at coming out second best in the early goings clear for all to see. ‘The Game’ has a few words with Van Dam, obviously displeased with how the match is going... only for Van Dam to slap him across the face! ‘RVD’ slaps the taste out of Triple H’s mouth, with ‘The Game’ rubbing his chin hard, the anger continuing to build inside of him, with Styles pointing out that perhaps Van Dam’s strategy is to try enrage ‘The Game’ to a point where he loses concentration. Van Dam encourages Trips to step forward, the two engaging in yet another aggressive collar and elbow tie up. This time Van Dam embarrasses ‘The Game’ by working into an armdrag, and as Trips bounds back to his feet, Van Dam repeats the trick. Again ‘The Game’ is up, but again Van Dam is waiting, this time with a headlock takedown. Van Dam wrenches on the grounded headlock, with Lawler admitting his surprise at how Van Dam has out-wrestled ‘The Game’ thus far. Trips works himself back to his feet, going for a belly to back suplex in an attempt to break the headlock... but Van Dam rolls right through, landing on his feet behind ‘The Game’. Trips is spun around, with Van Dam going for a jumping roundhouse... but Triple H ducks underneath... kick... PEDIGREE... NO! Van Dam counters... back body drop over the top rope! Triple H hits the floor hard, and after Van Dam takes a few moments to interact with the crowd, he builds up a head of steam and races at ‘The Game’... diving summersault senton over the top rope... NOBODY HOME! Van Dam crashes spines first to the floor as Triple H sidesteps him!

Van Dam writhes on the floor in pain, but after a he takes a few moments to regroup, Trips has Van Dam back in the ring, hooking the leg... 1... 2... Van Dam kicks out! Being ‘The Cerebral Assassin’, no one is surprised to see Triple H start to target the spine of Van Dam, starting with a backbreaker before going for some well placed knees to the small of the back. Triple H looks to further damage the spine as he takes Van Dam up for a suplex... but Van Dam twists, landing on his feet behind ‘The Game’... and taking him down with a back slide! 1... 2... Triple H kicks out! Both men spring back to their feet, with Van Dam swinging a right hand... but ‘The Game’ ducks... falling neckbreaker! This time it’s Triple H with the cover... 1... 2... Van Dam kicks out! ‘The Game’ then yanks Van Dam by the hair and launches him through the ropes, the match spilling outside. Van Dam lands in front of the Raw announce desk, with Triple H looking to smash Van Dam’s face off it... but ‘RVD’ blocks it... and it’s Triple H whose face eats the desk... and again! The force of the second shot causes ‘The Game’ to stumble against the apron and then under the bottom rope, Van Dam quickly following in. Kicks and punches land from Van Dam, before he goes for an Irish whip... that Triple H reverses... into a massive spinning spinebuster! ‘The Game’ makes the cover... 1... 2... Van Dam rolls a shoulder! The crowd cheers as Van Dam stays alive, but as we head off into commercial it’s ‘The Game’ who is clearly in control of this one.


But when we return, the tide has turned as Van Dam is now in control, hitting a clothesline that puts ‘The Game’ to the outside. We then see some of the action from during the break, including the point where the match turned, as Van Dam ducks a right hand and hammers Trips with a kick to the back of the head. Back to the present moment, and as ‘The Game’ gets back to his feet, Van Dam builds up a head of steam... baseball slide... sends Triple H spine first into the barricade! ‘The Game’ winces on impact, but as Van Dam rolls under the bottom rope, he’s still favouring the small of his back. Van Dam drills ‘The Game’ with a pair of rights, before he takes Trips up with a suplex... only for drop him gut first across the top of the barricade! Van Dam then leaps onto the apron... and flies... corkscrew legdrop! Van Dam connects, with both men collapsing to the floor, but Van Dam is soon back on his feet to get ‘The Game’ back in the ring, hooking the leg... 1... 2... no! Triple H kicks out, keeping his Wrestlemania dream alive.

Van Dam now heads for the top rope, waiting for ‘The Game’ to rise... diving super kick! Van Dam rolls into the lateral press... 1... 2... Triple H rolls a shoulder! Searching for a way to keep the advantage, ‘RVD’ snaps off kicks and punches that back ‘The Game’ into the corner. A pair of shoulder thrusts to the gut land, before Van Dam moves away with a back handspring... Triple H explodes from the corner with a clothesline! ‘The Game’ nearly takes Van Dam’s head off, and he quickly drops into the pinfall... 1... 2... ‘RVD’ kicks out! Trips asks the referee if he’s sure it wasn’t 3, and when he turns back to Van Dam... ‘RVD’ goes for an inside cradle! 1... 2... ‘The Game’ barely kicks out! Both men spring back to their feet, but Van Dam beats ‘The Game’ to the punch, tagging Trips with a trio of rights before going for an Irish whip... but Van Dam lowers his head... facebreaker knee smash! Van Dam staggers... clothesline puts him down! Van Dam is back up... clothesline puts him back down! Again Van Dam stumbles up... again a clothesline puts him down! ‘The Game’ now looks to build on this momentum, going for an Irish whip... into a sleeper hold! Van Dam scratches and claws, trying to break Triple H’s grip, trying to reach the ropes, his arms flaying around, but ‘The Game’ manages to keep the hold locked on in the centre of the ring.

‘The Game’ has the sleeper locked in tight, trying to make Van Dam submit in the centre of the ring. Van Dam tries to fight, but ever so slowly he starts to fade, dropping to a knee and then to a seated position on the mat. ‘The Game’ wrenches on the neck, trying to put Van Dam to sleep... and eventually it looks like it’s working as Van Dam begins to fade. The referee steps in, lifting Van Dam’s arm in the air... it drops to the mat. Again the arm is lifted... again it drops. One last time the arm is lifted... it drops... no! Van Dam catches it at the last second, the crowd responding with a pop as Van Dam battles back to his feet... elbow to the midsection... and another... and a third breaks the hold! Van Dam then sends Triple H for the ride... forward roll... and then ‘The Game’ is sent flying with a monkey flip! The pace quickens as Van Dam comes of the ropes... ROLLING THUNDER! Van Dam grabs at his lower back, but he does eventually hook the leg... 1... 2... no! Trips barely stays alive, but now it’s Van Dam who is on the attack, striking with kicks and right hands before he sends ‘The Game’ to the corner... and charges in for a spinning heel kick! Trips stumbles from the corner, still on his feet as Van Dam heads for the top rope... but ‘The Game’ dives for the ropes, causing ‘RVD’ to lose his balance... crotching himself on the top turnbuckle! Van Dam cries in pain, and after shaking away the cobwebs ‘The Game’ is climbing to the top rope. He hooks Van Dam up, with The Garden coming alive in anticipation... SUPERPLEX! Madison Square Garden erupts as both men fly through the air, but it’s unclear who got the better of that move as both men lay prone on the mat.

The referee has no option but to count, making it all the way to 6 before there’s any sign of life from either man... 7, and ‘The Game’ makes his move, slowly crawling towards Van Dam... 8, and Trips drapes an arm across Van Dam’s chest... 1... 2... 3... NO! ‘RVD’ rolls a shoulder at the last split second! Both men are down, struggling to get back to their feet, having to lean on each other as they return to a vertical base. The effort involved thus far has clearly taken a toll on both men as a slow slug fest ensues... Van Dam strikes... Triple H fires back... Van Dam... Triple H... ‘RVD’... ‘The Game’... and again Triple H... and a third time... and a fourth backs Van Dam to the ropes. Irish whip sends him across... but as Trips lowers his head, Van Dam rolls right across his back, landing on his feet behind ‘The Game’... JUMPING ROUNDHOUSE! Trips is down, but Van Dam has him by the ankles... slingshot to the turnbuckle! Triple H hits the turnbuckle and stumbles out... standing roundhouse puts him down! Van Dam then heads for the corner, slinging himself to the top rope, moving quickly as The Garden comes alive... FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH!! Van Dam gets all of it, but he clutches his ribs before he makes the cover... 1... 2... 3... NO!! Triple H rolls his left shoulder! Styles on commentary can’t believe it, and neither can ‘King’ or J.R., the announce trio in disbelief as Triple H stays alive. Van Dam turns to the referee holding three fingers aloft, almost in disbelief, with the look on his face summed up by ‘King’ when he says “What’s it gonna take for Van Dam to win this?”.

Van Dam shakes his head as he gets back on his feet, slugging tired looking right hands at ‘The Game’ before he goes for an Irish whip... but once again Trips sees Van Dam lowering his head... facebreaker knee smash! Van Dam’s skull snaps back, but he’s still able to swing a standing roundhouse... that Triple H ducks underneath... and then take Van Dam down with a backslide... 1... 2... Van Dam kicks out, right back onto his feet... but so is Triple H... KICK... PEDIGREE!!! A pedigree out of nowhere, Triple H strikes! ‘The Game’ rolls Van Dam over and flops onto the lateral press... 1... 2... 3... NO!! Madison Square Garden erupts again as Rob Van Dam kicks out of the pedigree! This time it’s Triple H who turns to the referee, forlorn look on his face, with the commentary team now asking “What’s it gonna take to put Van Dam away?”. A lull in the match happens as both lay on the mat, taking deep breathes, trying to recover, searching for the energy for one last push to victory... until a commotion from the crowd is heard. The commotion soon turns to boos, with the cameras scrambling to the entrance way... as the WWE Champion Shawn Michaels calmly, almost robotically walks towards the ring.

Neither Van Dam nor Triple H realise at first that Michaels is stood at the base of the aisle, both men more concerned with trying to suck in enough breath to make that one final push for victory. Again Van Dam and Triple H have to use each other to support themselves back to their feet, with Van Dam striking with the first right hand... Triple H fires back... Van Dam swings and misses... ‘The Game’ goes for a belly to back suplex... but again Van Dam lands on his feet behind Trips... standing roundhouse knocks ‘The Game’ against the ropes! Here comes Van Dam... back body drop from Trips... but Van Dam lands on the apron! Triple H swings... Van Dam low bridges the ropes and ‘The Game’ tumbles to the floor... at the feet of Shawn Michaels! Trips gets back to his feet, right in the face of the WWE Champion, Triple H shouting at Michaels, but Michaels stares blankly back at him. Triple H gives up, sensing there’s no point in shouting at Michaels... until he turns back and hammers Michaels with a right hand! ‘The Game’ drills the WWE Champion! Madison Square Garden comes unglued once more as Triple H hammers his nemesis, but as he turns back to the ring Van Dam jumps to the second rope... springboard moonsault! Van Dam soars through the air, taking down Triple H! Van Dam now moves as fast as his aching body lets him, rolling Triple H back into the ring, before he scales to the top ropes. Van Dam crouches, perching himself, waiting for Trips to roll into the perfect position... FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH... NO!!

‘The Game’ rolls to safety, leaving Van Dam to crash to the mat! ‘RVD’ instantly grabs his midsection, stumbling back to his feet... straight into a PEDIGREE!!! Triple H plants Van Dam with a second pedigree, the match is over... 1... 2... THERE’S NO 3 COUNT?!! SHAWN MICHAELS YANKS THE REFEREE FROM THE RING... AND TOSSES HIM INTO THE BARRICADE! New York is stunned as Michaels drills the referee, leaving him laying on the mat while Michaels slides into the ring. Triple H picks his head up off the mat, wondering why in the hell the match isn’t over. He turns behind him to see the referee down on the floor... and then looks up to see Shawn Michaels stood in front of him. Fury grips the face of Triple H as he puts the pieces together, slowly getting back to his feet to confront Michaels. ‘The Game’ angrily stares down Michaels, shaking in rage, dying to strike... but it’s Michaels who makes the move... SWEET CHIN MUSIC... BUT TRIPLE H DUCKS... AND MICHAELS TAKES VAN DAM’S HEAD OFF!! Van Dam has stumbled to his feet behind ‘The Game’, and when Michaels went for Trips he got Van Dam! Michaels stops dead in his tracks, almost in disbelief that he’s missed his target... until Triple H clotheslines him over the top rope! ‘The Game’ then drops down to his knees, flopping on top of Van Dam... as the referee crawls back into the ring to count 1... 2... 3?

Winner: And facing the WWE Champion at Wrestlemania XXIII, Triple H @ 20.09

The crowd is stunned, not sure how to react, as Shawn Michaels has inadvertently helped send Triple H to Wrestlemania! Michaels picks himself up on the outside, furious with himself for making the mistake, angrily snatching his WWE Title up and storming off backstage, while in the ring Triple H struggles back to his feet, the effects of the match clearly visible as he has his hand raised in victory...

Jim Ross: What the hell just happened here?!

Joey Styles: Shawn Michaels... well I think he was goin' for Triple H, but he just damn near took Rob Van Dam's head off his shoulders! Triple H is goin' to Wrestlemania... and somehow it's all thanks to Shawn Michaels!

Jerry Lawler: I- I'm in shock! I mean... while I feel happy for Triple H now that he's goin' to Wrestlemania to challenge Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship, I can't help but feel Rob Van Dam's had his dream ripped away from 'im tonight.

Now back on his feet, 'The Game' reaches down and tries to bring Van Dam around. Eventually, along with the referee, Trips manages to get 'RVD' back to a vertical base, but Van Dam quickly shoves Triple H away. 'The Game' shows his displeasure at this, but then all he can do is open his arms and shrug, shouting "What did ya' want me to do?". Van Dam reacts angrily again, getting in Triple H's face, shouting "You didn't earn this!", before he backs away to the corner, head in his hands with despair. Once more Triple H shrugs, before he climbs through the ropes and heads backstage, his music ringing out loud across The Garden. In the ring, Van Dam runs his hands through his hair and then slams a fist down across the top turnbuckle, his calm demeanour long gone. Van Dam then looks into the crowd, helpless as he realises his dream of challenging for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania has vanished into the New York air.


We return to the sight of a door backstage, a sign reading 'Trainer's Room' across it. The door soon opens, and out walks Ric Flair, Carlito and Torrie Wilson, the former World Tag Team Champions looking dejected after their defeat earlier in the evening. Torrie tries to console Carlito by lovingly placing a hand on his back, but it's no use as Carlito quickly shakes his head, returning an ice pack to the back of his neck. Flair gingerly walks along a corridor, a mix of grimace and rage on his face, until he snaps and tosses the ice pack that was held against his elbow off a nearby wall...

Ric Flair: God dammit! That sunnova bitch! God I... I let 'im get to me. Carlito, brother... I'm sorry. He got me. He got me, and cost us both the titles.

Carlito and Torrie stop as Flair shakes his head in disappointment...

Carlito: Hey, Ric... ju' got nothin' to say sorry for man. Ju're cool wit' Carlito man, always will be. But Ric... ju' can't let this go man. Ju' gotta go get 'im man, ju' just gotta.

Flair looks at his partner, a sense of pride washing over him before he nods his head in agreement...

Ric Flair: Y'know somethin' brother? You're right. You're absolutely right.

The pair look at each other, Carlito almost embarrassed by the situation, until Flair reaches in for a hug that is warmly returned by 'Lito. The hug ends with Flair slowly walking out of the shot, a sad end to the brief tag team the two men shared. Torrie offers a quick wave, before she turns and offers 'Lito another consoling rub of the back. The two start to walk off, until the sound of a slow, sarcastic round of applause is heard off camera. 'Lito and Torrie both turn to the opposite direction from where Flair walked, and out of the shadows emerges the provider of said round of applause... it's the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra. Boos welcome the brash youngster as he slowly walks towards the couple, still slowly clapping his hands...

Kenny Dykstra: Awww. Now that... that was beautiful. A real touching moment.

Carlito steps forward from Torrie, going face to face with Dykstra...

Kenny Dykstra: Y'know somethin' 'Lito? You are nothin' put a disappointment man. I mean one week you're threatenin' me, the next week you hide behind your girlfriend, and now I'm seein' ya' huggin' guys who oughta be on the retirement line! I mean what happened to you man? When did you get so soft?

Dykstra smirks, but quickly has the smirk wiped from his face as Carlito grabs him by the shirt collar and drives Dykstra against a nearby wall...

Carlito: Who ju' callin' soft man? Carlito told ju' not to push me man! Ju' wanna find out if Carlito is soft?

Carlito looks like he's about to rip Dykstra's head off, but just like last Monday night, Torrie tries to defuse the situation...

Torrie Wilson: Carlito, no! C'mon, this creep isn't worth it. Be the bigger man and walk away.

Carlito seethes with anger, dying to strike Kenny... but he finally relents and releases his grip...

Kenny Dykstra: Just like I thought. You've gone soft man. What's the matter, your girl got your manhood in her purse or somethin'?

Carlito shows great restrain, despite clearly wanting to smack Dykstra in the face...

Carlito: Ju' and me man. One of 'dese days, ju' gonna be alone wit' Carlito... and ju' ain't gonna be sayin' soft after 'dat! Now dat's cool!

Carlito turns and angrily walks away as Dykstra simply laughs at him. Carlito moves so fast that he briefly leaves Torrie behind, and she gives Dykstra one last look of disgust...

Kenny Dykstra: Hey Torrie... when you gonna ditch that loser and get yourself a real man? A real... champion like me?

Torrie again looks at Dykstra with disgust as Dykstra smirks at her... only for Torrie to slap Kenny hard across the face! The smack of the slap rings out loud, with the crowd in the arena giving a big "Oooh!" in response. Dykstra clutches his face in pain initially, but as Torrie shakes her head and leaves, the youngster starts to laugh, rubbing his chin with a big smile on his face as we head back into the arena.


And it's main even time, as out comes Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon, the pair looking extremely confident as they make their entrance! Both men stop at the top of the aisle, with Vince flexing and posing while Shane bounces around in one of his custom made jerseys that reads "Shane O'Mac 1 - Cena 0" before the pair head for the ring...

Joey Styles: Well it's hard to argue with the message written on Shane McMahon's jersey. Certainly so far, Shane and Vince have had the better of John Cena, and on several occasions Cena has felt the wrath of Vince's hired guns. A bounty has been cast over Cena's head these last few weeks, and you just get a feeling that there could be another one tonight.

Jerry Lawler: And that's my biggest fear about this match. We all saw how confident Mr. McMahon sounded, and we know for a fact John Cena saw it. I just hope that Cena can get Vince and Shane in the cage and then-

Jim Ross: Wait, here comes Cena!

The crowd is buzzing as racing down the aisle is John Cena... and he knocks down Vince from behind! 'The Chairman of the Board' clatters into the concrete, but Cena wastes no time in grabbing Shane... and launching him into the barricade! Cena roars to the crowd, looking more fired up than he's ever been, but he shows concern for McMahon's earlier words as he glances over his shoulder at the entrance way, trying to anticipate an attack from the back. Nobody makes their presence felt though, so Cena continues his attack, this time grabbing Vince and taking him for a walk around the ring... to then launch him head first across the Raw announce desk! Vince goes crashing into 'King', both men collapsing over the leather chair Lawler sits in as it tumbles to the floor.

Cena then turns his attentions back to Shane, walking back around to the front of the ring to grab Shane by the hair... and then launch him face first into the side of the cage! The crowd gives mostly cheers to Cena, but Cena is more concerned with looking over his shoulder, still trying to anticipate an attack from one of Vince's hired guns.

Sensing that perhaps the coast is clear for now and that he's managed to jump the gun on any planned attack, Cena grabs Shane once more by the hair and walks him towards the entrance to the cage, shoving Shane through the open door! Cena then races around to the Smackdown announce desk, grabbing hold of Vince... and he too is pushed through the open door! One last look up the aisle... and with the coast clear, Cena also heads into the ring, the match officially under way!

Steel Cage Handicap Match:
Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon vs. John Cena

And Vince and Shane cling to each other, both men dazed, both men having to pull the other to his feet... Cena runs through both of them with a double clothesline! All the months of frustration at the hands of the McMahons, losing the WWE Championship, the weeks of beatdowns, it’s all coming out now as Cena is as aggressive as he’s ever been. Grabbing Shane by the hair, Cena yanks Shane to his feet... and sends him flying face first into the side of the cage! Shane bounces off the side of the cage and collapses to the mat, but Cena doesn’t rest, climbing to the second rope, just as Vince makes it back to his knees... legdrop bulldog! Cena is dominating, in complete control of things, turning his attentions back to Shane, smacking him with right hands against the roes before he goes for an Irish whip... into a sitout hiptoss! Shane is planted right next to his Dad, and Cena is again coming off the ropes... DOUBLE FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! The crowd is mostly in raptures for the way Cena is treating The McMahons, with J.R. quipping that he’s never seen Vince beating as bad since the days of ‘Stone Cold’.

It’s all Cena thus far, and he looks like he’s enjoying every second of it as he fires Vince into the corner, following in with a clothesline and then a flurry of rights and lefts to the midsection and then the face, Cena pummelling Vince until he’s sat on the mat, head slumped against the middle turnbuckle. The crowd starts to buzz though, as on the opposite side of the ring, Shane has used this as a chance to escape, as he starts climbing the cage, jumping from the top rope and pulling himself up... but Cena races across the ring and grabs Shane by the ankle! Cena shouts “I ain’t done with ya’ yet!” as he pulls Shane back down so he’s standing on the top rope again, with Cena climbing onto the second rope, turning Shane around to drill him a pair of right hands to the midsection. Cena then grabs Shane, hooks him up... FISHERMAN’S SUPLEX FROM THE TOP ROPE! Shane is emphatically planted to the mat, with the majority of the crowd enjoying seeing Cena finally get a measure of revenge against The McMahons.

Cena gets back on his feet, looking down at both Vince and Shane, the pair laying close together on the mat, neither man moving. Cena stares out into the crowd, broad smile on his face, before he reaches down and grabs Vince by the hair, pulling him up... and then hoists him onto his shoulders! Cena has Vince up, looking for the FU... but Shane grabs his father’s leg in an attempt to save him! Cena turns, seeing Shane struggle back to his feet... and then reaches down and hoists Shane up onto his shoulders too... DOUBLE FU... NO! The crowd boos as Cena drops both McMahon’s down to the mat, and the reason soon becomes apparent... as Jonathan Coachman comes marching down the aisle. Cena looks confused as he sees ‘Coach’ approach him, a “Is that it?” look on his face. Coachman strides down to the ring, and then heads over to the cage door, shouting at the referees and demanding that they call off the match. Mike Chioda and Jack Doan turn to each other, confused, before they turn back to ‘Coach’ and explain that they can’t call off the match until either Cena or both Vince and Shane exit the cage.

Frustrated, Coachman then shouts at them to “Open the damn door!”, but once again his request is denied, as Doan and Chioda explain that only individuals involved in the match can request the door opened. Annoyed at this, ‘Coach’ then walks back around to the side of the cage facing up the aisle, the Smackdown General Manager desperately trying to think of a way to save his hero. Cena can’t help but stare and laugh as ‘Coachman’ franticly paces around the cage... until he gives up on that and starts climbing! Cena is stunned as ‘Coach’ starts to scale the side of the cage, but he struggles to do so in his suit and smart shoes. Coachman looks pretty pathetic in all honesty as he tries to involve himself in the match, but pretty soon John Cena is standing on the top rope, face to face with Coachman! The side of the cage is all that separates Cena and ‘Coach’, with Cena looking him dead in the eye, almost welcoming the chance to get his hands on ‘coach’ too... but Shane is on his feet, reaching up... LOW BLOW!! Cena drills a forearm to Cena’s groin, causing Cena to groan and crumple in pain, before he falls all the way down the side of the cage, landing in-between the ropes and the steel! Cena grimaces as the camera zooms in on his face, and as we head off to the final commercial of the broadcast, it appears that thanks to the distraction from ‘Coach’, The McMahons may have turned the match in their favour.


And when we return, Cena is doubled over in Vince and Shane’s grasp... and they launch him through the ropes, head first into the steel cage! Vince and Shane both look battered and bruised, but with their head cheerleader ‘Coach’ encouraging them from the outside, the boss and his son now look to inflict some pain on Cena. They duo drag Cena to the corner, his head slumping against the bottom turnbuckle. To make sure he stays there, Vince drives his foot into Cena’s throat, pressing down, applying pressure, choking Cena while Shane heads to the opposite corner. Climbing to the top rope, Cena poises himself, telling his Dad to step aside before he flies through the air... COAST TO COAST!! Shane drives both feet square into Cena’s head, it violently snapping back against the turnbuckle. It’s all smiles and celebrations from The McMahons now, the pair high fiving each other in the ring as they feel they have the match well in hand. They drag Cena from the corner and back to his feet, with Vince holding Cena in place... as Shane snaps off the SHANE O’MAC SHUFFLE! The big right lands flush on Cena’s jaw, prompting Vince to release his grip on Cena, who slumps to the mat. Feeling they can do whatever they want to Cena, Vince tells Shane to get Cena back on his feet, saying “It’s my turn!” as Shane helps Cena up. Vince then grabs Cena’s arm, draping it over shoulder... then bends down... and hoists Cena onto his shoulders... Vince is going for the FU... but Cena strikes with elbow after elbow to the side of Vince’s head, dropping back to his feet!

Cena catches Vince with a right hand, then snaps one off the side of Shane’s head... but Vince delivers a SECOND LOW BLOW!! Cena looks close to tears as he collapses to the mat, with Vince helping his on back up, waving off Cena and motioning that it’s time for the pair to leave. Vince and Shane head for the side of the cage, the pair feeling confident enough that they can climb over the cage and escape to victory. Shane and Vince start their climb, the younger Shane naturally pulling himself a bit ahead of Vince. Shane reaches up, grabbing the top of the cage and pulls himself up so he straddles the side. He reaches down and offers a hand to his father, helping Vince haul himself up so that he’s just about halfway there. Shane then swings his other leg other, Vince waiting for Shane to drop down so he can swing the rest of his body over... but suddenly Cena has a burst of energy, stumbling to his feet... and he jumps up to grab hold of Vince! Shane is already over, hanging off the side off the cage... but the impact of Cena jumping up causes Shane to fall off the side of the cage and drop to the floor! Styles is quick to remind us that BOTH Vince and Shane have to escape to win, but Cena currently has a hold of Vince’s hair, ‘The Chairman of The Board’ hanging upside down, his legs dangling on the side of freedom while his top half is inside the ring... Cena smashes Vince’s head off the cage! Vince is still dangling upside down... and again his head is drilled into the steel... causing Vince to fall head first to the mat!

Now it’s Cena and Vince alone in the cage! Shane is in a panic as ‘Coach’ helps him back to his feet, realising that he’s accidently abandoned his father! Shane now desperately tries to climb up the side of the cage, determined to come to his father’s rescue... but Cena has Vince by the hair... and yanks him into the side of the cage... sending Shane flying back down to the floor! Shane is beside himself as he sits up, head in his hands as Cena hoists Vince up onto his shoulders... and turns to look straight at Shane... “You can’t see me!”... FU!!! An emphatic FU to Vince McMahon! The Garden is going wild as Cena hammers Vince to the mat!! Cena is quickly back on his feet, roaring to the masses, victory almost assured... until the mood of the crowd changes in an instant, with gasps and mass confussion ringing out. Cena is still revelling in his glory, staring at Shane on the outside... who has a huge grin on his face? Cena stares at Shane, confused, wondering what the hell Shane has to smile about. Shane is helped back to his feet by Coachman, both men delighted over something... Shane points, motioning for Cena to turn around... which Cena does... to see BOBBY LASHLEY IS IN THE RING!!! For a split second a stunned look crosses Cena’s face... until Lashley runs right through him with a FUCKING HUGE SPEAR!!

Stunned voices all round from the commentary team, with J.R. screaming that Lashley has came up through the bottom of the ring! Cena is down, badly hurt, while the crowd loudly boos Lashley for his actions, a smug smirk crossing his face as he reaches down and helps Vince back to his feet. Once Vince is stable against the side of the cage, he points and orders Lashley to do more damage. Lashley menacingly walks over, picks Cena up, scoops him onto his shoulder... and LAWNDARTS CENA INTO THE SIDE OF THE CAGE! Vince is loving it, shouting all kinds of abuse at Cena, as Lashley is ordered to repeat the trick... again Cena is tossed into the side of the cage! Cena is down, broken, battered, and as the camera zooms in on him, busted open too. Cena bleeds hard from his forehead, but Vince once again orders Lashley to drag Cena to his feet. Lashley holds Cena in place, trapping his arms behind his back... as VINCE SLAPS CENA IN THE FACE! A look of sheer fury is in Vince’s eyes as he screams at Cena “You’ll never beat me Cena! Never!”, while Cena looks out cold, his eyes closed, his head slumping to one side. Vince then looks at Lashley one last time... and says “Finish ‘im!”. Lashley obliges as he reaches down... and yanks the deadweight Cena onto his shoulders... for an almighty DOMINATOR!! Cena is planted square in the middle of the ring, a beaten and bloody mess, and after seeing Lashley consign Cena to the mat, Vince simply steps through the door... and down the steps... to victory.

Winners: Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon @ 12.41

The crowd is in disbelief at what has happened, as Cena lies bloody, battered and broken at the hands of Bobby Lashley! Cena is down and out, not moving an inch, while on the outside Vince and Shane huddle together in victory. Lashley continues to look down on Cena, breathing hard, looking like a man possessed as he stands over the broken body of Cena. Lashley then reaches down, dragging Cena to his feet, with the crowd heavily booing his actions. Lashley doesn't give a damn though as he scoops Cena out onto his shoulders... and again lawndarts Cena skull first into the side of the cage!

"For the love of Gawd! What the hell has happened here?!"

"What on earth is Bobby Lashley thinkin'?!"

Cena bounces off the cage and collapses back to the mat, with Vince and Shane now playing the cheering squad on the outside! Referees try to get into the cage to save Cena, but Vince and Shane guard the door, keeping any help away, giving Lashley all the time in the world to go on the attack. And attack he does as Lashley once more reaches down, scooping Cena back up and hoisting him onto his shoulder... for a devastating DOMINATOR!!! Lashley once again plants Cena to the mat, with the crowd booing Lashley with all they've got.

"Damn it Lashley, enough's enough!"

"Can we get some more help out here?!"

Lashley again stands over Cena, staring at the lifeless body of Cena, motionless, bloody, eyes closed tight. On the outside, Shane is busy searching under the ring, eventually finding what he's looking for as he pulls out a steel chair, handing it over to his Father. The cage door is now swung open, with Vince and Shane sliding into the ring. Shane and Vince have huge smiles on their face, and the anger of the crowd only intensifies... as VINCE AND LASHLEY HUG IN THE CENTRE OF THE RING!! Shane gets a big bearhug from Lashley too as it all becomes clear, this was a set up from the start! With Shane keeping guard at the door, kicking away anybody trying to enter the ring, Vince motions for Lashley to pick Cena. Lashley obliges, dragging the limp, prone body of Cena to his feet. Holding Cena in position, Lashley stands behind Cena, his arms the only thing keeping Cena on his feet, while Vince takes the chair...

"No! No c'mon Vince, NOT THIS!"

And swings it back...




Lashley releases his grip, allowing Cena to slump to the mat, unable to support his own weight, more than likely unconscious. Shane finally relents, allowing referees to scramble into the ring, and soon after the steel cage is raised back into the rafters of the building. With the cage clear, Vince, Shane and Lashley all share a big group hug, before the three separate, Vince and Shane stood either side of Lashley, a hand each on Lashley's wrists as all three men raise their hands in the air, resplendent in their victory.

"I can't believe it. What a disgusting act. John Cena... has been destroyed by Bobby Lashley."

"I am in shock right now. I don't know what to say."

"Bobby Lashley has been bought out by Vince McMahon! BOBBY LASHLEY HAS SOLD HIS SOUL TO THE DEVIL HIMSELF!!"

And one those words, the final image of the show is the trio of Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and Bobby Lashley, all three stood hand in hand, arms raised his in the air, while the broken body of John Cena is attended to by medical personal while we fade... to... black.

*End Show*
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post #150 of 349 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 06:58 AM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

SNME Feedback

I cannot explain to you just how much I love these old school SNME openings. They just kind of seem innovative these days compared to the same old opening video package crap that we constantly get these days. Starting off with The McMahon’s makes sense, and I’m sure it’s no coincidence that they are opening up the intros. The egomaniacs that they are, they’d love that sort of thing. I’m pretty sure Vinnie Mac says “don’t cross the boss”, I’m not to sure if he’s actually ever said “never cross the boss”. Not an overly big thing, but it’s just something that stood out when I read this. The rest of their intro was nice, and I couldn’t help but chuckle at Vince putting him and his son over as a sadistic team. That’s just typical dickish McMahon stuff. The intensity from Cena was nice, absolutely no complaints there, however Cena constantly calling Vince “Vinny” was really irking me. Cena’s is a really intense character, and I don’t know, the whole Vinny thing just seems a little ‘not intense’ for lack of a better term. Despite that, it was alright. The other three superstars intros were all perfectly fine. I especially enjoyed Triple H and Van Dam being on the screen at the same time, I think it was needed before their match.

The opening commentary from both brands was effective in hyping the card. Good work. I think sometimes bookers, myself included, don’t understand just how important good commentary can be.

Before I get to the match, during the commentary for Kennedy’s entrance, you had JBL rip Tazz a new one. He called him a loser, and basically just insulted his whole career. I was a little shocked to see Tazz not say anything back. Tazz has always been a somewhat tough character, and I definitely wouldn’t expect him to take crap like that from JBL without saying something back. Plus, JBL and Tazz owning each other with Cole playing something of a mediator type role could create some awesome chemistry.

I love how SNME always opens with a huge match to. Everybody always worries about a fiery opener to get the audience into your show, right? Well, hell, what better way than to put one of the biggest matches on your card straight up? I know a lot of people will say the main event needs to always go last, but if you think about it, this formula is kind of logical. Batista starting for his team is the obvious choice as he’s the World Heavyweight Champion, which means he’s simply the best. On the other hand, I expected something like this from KK and Edge. They’ve talked such a big fight, and now neither man wants to start the match. Wow. I was shocked by just how much you had ‘Tista dominate KK early on. No offense at all from KK, as Batista truly looks like an animal. I don’t mind that though, as he didn’t hit anything to drastic, just some basic moves, before he tagged in Hardy. The quick tags from the face team further emphasizes which team is on the same page, nothing at all wrong with that. Good stuff for Edge’s cheap shot to allow KK to gain the advantage, and then for the heels to use continuous heel tactics to maintain the advantage. Edge distracting the referee from making a tag is typical tag team wrestling, which relates back to Edge’s epic run with Christian, and to a lesser extent, Rey Mysterio in the tag division. Typical Edge insulting ‘Tista and then hiding behind the referee as well, good stuff. Edge nailed the Spear rather easily, I really didn’t expect that. The build to it was nice though, as the excitement from the attempted tag would have built up the crowd, only for Edge to shut them back down. I’m not to sure about Batista making the save though. He seemed to recover from KK’s attack a little too quickly for my liking. KK’s arrogance mouthing to Batista possibly ruining him was good as well. Edge walking out suits his character fine once again, and it allows the faces to finish off Edge rather comfortably. A solid match to open up, nothing special, but did the job well. KK attacking the referee after the match has me very interested to see just where you go with his character from here. Flair waits at ‘Mania, but is this perhaps going to be the beginning of a much more intense KK? I shall wait and see.

I love The Hart Legacy! They are definitely going to be useful in your tag division. A feud with WGTT would be absolutely epic.

I enjoyed the idea of Kelly not wanting to stand in Knox’s corner. It’s just a clever representation of pretty much what this whole thing is over, and its Kelly. Punk attacking Knox to start the match fits the situation, as this feud has real bad blood to it. I probably would have preferred if Knox attacked Punk though, as attacking somebody from behind can seem cowardish, which is something the Punk character is not. Punk starting off so well is a nice way to show his anger regarding the situation he is involve din though. I thought the way Knox potentially stopped his momentum by pushing him off the ropes was good as well. I understand Knox turns his attention towards Kelly again, but Punk recovered too quickly from that crash into the crowd barricade. With that being said, the human shield spot was cleverly inserted so that Knox can keep the advantage. All of Knox’s offense being focused on the ribs was the right way to go about things obviously. Once Punk regained the advantage, despite Knox trying to get the win, it was always going to be Punk’s victory. With that being said, I was surprised Knox got so close to winning the match, Punk is just so much better. Kelly helping Punk get the win doesn’t do anything for Punk, even if it does maybe fit in with the storyline. Probably could have been just as effective if Punk won cleanly, and then Kelly slapped Knox, who still tried to boss her around. Another solid match anyway.

A nice promo from Shawn Michaels, focusing on both of his potential ‘Mania opponents. I know you’re going to go down the triple threat route, and this interview suited that fine. Good job.

This Cruiserweight Fatal four way is one I’ve really been looking forward to. You seemed to really enjoy writing the Cruiserweights at NWO so this could potentially be a match stealer. Talk about an explosive way to start this match, very innovative with all four men being outside the ring very quickly. Not to sure how often that happens, but I enjoyed it. The fast pace beginning of the match was nice, and it was clever to have Danielson be disposed of, allowing the two heels to double team Moore. Once again, it was obvious that the heels would double team Danielson, although I must say, I was a little disappointed to see Chavo and Mercury not duke it out at all. It makes sense though, as it seems you want Danielson to overcome all the odds tonight, judging by the way he eliminated Mercury. Guerrero and Danielson going at it was nice, and cue the much anticipated, and I use that term lightly, Vickie Guerrero interference. I disliked Bryan getting a foot on the ropes after the Frog Splash. Why? It seems illogical. The Frog Splash more often than not takes place close to the middle of the ring, nowhere near the ropes, so unless Danielson is eight feet tall, this wouldn’t happen. If the Frog Splash was being performed in a different position to usual you should have mentioned something about it beforehand. And Danielson gets the win, defying all the odds, putting forth another epic performance. I was about to complain about no Helms, so I was pleased he decided to actually show up and attack Danielson. Their match at Mania should own, and this match was probably my favorite of the night so far.

‘Mania is going to be one of the top events of the year no doubt.

at Carlito beginning the match by spitting apple into Haas’ face, just awesome. The initial dueling attacks from the champions were nice, making for an exciting fast paced start to the match. Not only that, but Flair and Carlito are not exactly looked upon as a proper tag team, so showing some dueling tactics perhaps shows that they can be a formidable team. WGTT gaining the advantage was alright, although when Shelton came into the ring, you wrote that he Clotheslined Punk. Not a majorly huge thing, obviously a mistake, but mistakes that glaringly obvious bother me at times. All of the offense from the WGTT was well done, with a few double team moves standing out, especially the Double Backbreaker move that they hit. I really liked the sequence that lead to Carlito finally making the tag, with Shelton going for the Back Slide. It just flowed really nicely, and that’s when matches are the best to read. Flair dominating was expected, but I think it seemed stupid that after simply knocking Haas down with a chop, he attempts a Figure Four on Benji. Everybody knows a chop isn’t going to keep somebody down for long, so just seemed strange. From here, the action really picked up, leading into the ref bump. Once the ref went down, I knew what was coming, and the KK interference was inserted perfectly, ending what was yet another solid match.

A nice little confrontation between the two sets of tag champions here. Obviously WGTT are going to be really arrogant, having just won the gold, and it makes sense for The Hooligans to point out that they needed Kennedy’s help. It was a good read, and a meeting between these two teams would certainly be epic somewhere down the line, possibly even ‘Mania.

An error with your formatting to begin the Belfast Brawl, nice one jobber. A little thing here is that the referee called for the bell before Finlay got into the ring. Belfast Brawl or not, don’t both superstars have to have stepped foot in the ring for the match to begin? A nice start anyway with the two brawling outside the ring. I’m really pumped for this match; I’m expecting an absolutely brutal affair. The brawl going into the crowd was a nice way to show just how intense both these guys are. A monitor shot as well as a Diving Headbutt through the table really raised this match a few notches. The all out relentless war was already making for a match that was taking its toll, but now it’s damn right crazy. It was smart booking to place the commercial break where you did, and then still have Benoit working on getting Finlay into the ring. It allows Finlay to realistically pop a shoulder up, yet at the same time, he still looks like an animal. With Benoit dominating, it was a smart place to put The Little Bastard interference. I still hate this little prick though, I vote for Matt Hardy to end him at ‘Mania. Yet another hard assault with Finlay attacking Benoit’s arm with the shillelagh. Later on, Finlay survives another Diving Headbutt, before picking up the victory. Just wow. Finlay looks pretty good here, even if he couldn’t beat Benoit without help. Definitely a brutal match though, glad you didn’t over do the weapons either.

Smart to play the NWO video package and refresh everybody’s memory of what’s going on between Umaga and ‘Taker. Obviously most readers would know, but the video still fits in nicely. Not much to say about this match except it did exactly what I thought it would do. You’ve done a great job at making Umaga look like a monster in this thread, and it continued here. Kane couldn’t even knock Umaga off of his feet, just great stuff really. I was however a little disappointed that ‘Mags wasn’t actually able to destroy Kane tonight, would have been even better if he did. I marked the fuck out for the Paul Bearer appearance by the way. Bearer was written pretty well, as everything he said made sense, making the showdown official for ‘Mania. With the urn or not, I doubt Bearer would be dumb enough to step into the ring alone with Umaga and Estrada. Then we get the typical Undertaker showing, where he shows up, and beats down the opponent. It was done nicely, although I was extremely happy with the fact that Kane had to help ‘Taker land the Chokeslam, it keeps Umaga looking great. Definitely a good segment here, mate.

McMahon’s segment was alright. I like the arrogant Coach, but I think you actually made him look slightly dumb here. As the GM of Smackdown, I don’t think the Coach should come across like this. Segment did the job of making us think just what the McMahon’s have planned though.

Owen Hart going into the HOF is a huge positive for me. He was/is one of my all time favorites.

Triple H against Van Dam is one I’ve been waiting for all night. I sometimes enjoy the stop start nature of big matches in the beginning, just to almost set the scene. I liked it here as well, although I was a little, maybe shocked, to see Triple H land a High Knee Strike so early into the match. It’s almost one of his five moves of doom, so not saying there’s anything wrong with it, I just really didn’t expect it. As usual, all of RVD’s offense was pretty damn impressive. Triple H is a brutal bastard so I was surprised that when he had Van Dam down on the outside that he just sent him straight back into the ring. ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ would usually just beat RVD around the ring for a little. With that being said, the offense was pretty good once they were back into the ring, and then we got the eventual outside the ring action anyway. The match seemed to flow along nicely from here, although I was stumped as to why after Triple H nailed three Clothesline in a row he went for a Sleeper. He’s just started to build some momentum, so wouldn’t a sleeper hold just kill that? Anyway, the next set of offense from Van Dam was good, leading to the Superplex. Wow. I really didn’t expect HHH to kick out of the Five Star Frog Splash, definitely a well executed false finish there. The Pedigree coming out of nowhere was good to read, and it was obvious RVD was going to kick out of that. Smart stuff, doesn’t make RVD look bad. Triple H hitting Michaels was nice, eventually somebody was going to. The ending was great as well, with Michaels inadvertently helping Triple H pick up the victory. This was probably my favorite match of the night so far, a great read. I didn’t really understand Van Dam’s “you didn’t earn this” argument, as Trips had the match won with the second Pedigree anyway. If that’s the angle you’re going to take with RVD, maybe the second Pedigree shouldn’t have happened. Good stuff anyway.

An interesting segment here between Dykstra and Carlito hopefully starting something between the two, whilst Flair focuses on Kennedy. If this ends with Dykstra ending up with Torrie, I’ll be a happy man. Anyway, a good segment, ending well with Torrie slapping Kenny.

It was a smart start having Cena attack The McMahon’s. It makes him look really smart, and just starts things off in a really exciting way. The start has been what I expected, with Cena simply dominating. at Shane McMahon trying to leave his father in the cage, although it lead to a nice spot with the Fisherman’s Suplex from the top. The Coach being used as a distraction was clever, as eventually The McMahon’s had to have some sort of advantage. I marked for the Coast To Coast spot, although Cena recovered pretty quickly, already trying to battle out of the FU after that. at Vince trying to nail the FU as well, by the way, more dickish McMahon stuff. Another low blow followed by the transition into Vince being trapped in the steel cage alone with Cena was all done pretty well. Awesome ending with Lashley interfering and giving McMahon’s the win. A heel Lashley is so much better than a face Lashley, so smart booking as well. You made this match as easy to read as you possibly could, so I commend you with that.

The matches that were the least fun to read were all still solid, with four matches being a very good read. You managed to produce a good show, and ‘Mania is shaping up wonderfully now, and as long as you keep writing like this, you should have no issue maintaining this thread as one of the big movers of this year. Well done.

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