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Old 08-01-2011, 05:30 AM   #161 (permalink)
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Raw feedback


Had to open with one of Trips/Van Dam or the McMahon’s so Trips isn’t a bad choice at all. Was obviously all just set up for RVD to come out and interrupt things and I thought you did a good job with RVD here. The way he talked about the politics and Trips relationship with HBK was enjoyable. HBK was the star of the show here. I love your use of him and his religious side is brilliant. Fully expect him to get involved later on tonight.

Loved the McMahon’s segment here. Something I can fully see them doing with rewinding the tape. Brooke Adams was a bit of a surprise though and I’m not so sure on her getting into this at all but I’ll see how you go with it first.

Comfortable debut win for the Hart’s and I’m looking forward to how you go with them after Wrestlemania.

C.M Punk promo was good and I like how you’re going the saviour route with him, particularly as a face. Eugene, well Nick Dinsmore is a great option to go with and with Kelly in the mix this Straight Edge Saints group could be very entertaining, hopefully add another member or two along the way maybe. MNM showing their faces, may well be that the tag division is kicking up a notch now which would be great.

Good match between Orton and Carlito here. Dykstra makes his presence felt and now it looks a lock at last for Wrestlemania time between Dykstra and Lito, should be a good match. Orton in MITB, you’d have to consider him a favourite although I don’t think he really needs it that much.

Trips and Van Dam was as expected, a heck of a rematch from SNME. Surprised you put it here in the card but I’m guessing the McMahon’s close the show. Really enjoyed this match though and the false finishes were exciting again. RVD steals one almost really with the roll through, catching Trips off guard and the triple threat now is the best way to go. Good job here.

Michaels with the double Sweet Chin Music afterwards just stamps his authority down as the man here. Again a good little move to have him show up and take advantage of the two beaten opponents.

I really liked this WGTT promo. It’s always hard to capture either of Benjamin/Haas but I thought you did well here and the challenge is now laid down. Fully expect it to be London/Kendrick that take them up on it but we’ll see if you throw a surprise in there.

Divas, not fussed.

Typical Flair promo here. Looking forward to him and Kennedy on Smackdown, should be a good one.

Another good match up here with Dykstra and Hardy. Orton makes his presence felt with his protégé and Carlito gets some retribution also. Good stuff. Not sure whether Jeff goes into the I.C. title hunt or slips into MITB. Intrigued which route you go, I expect MITB.

Closing segment was very good. Corporate Lashley, all suited and booted is something I can’t imagine seeing but I think it’s a good call. Lashley’s reasoning was spot on for everything and makes more than enough sense. Burning the ECW title is priceless stuff and getting Styles into the mix here was excellent with all things taken into account. Styles slapping McMahon was great and you knew he’d pay the price but Cena as ever saves the day. Was only a matter of time before he came out and things got heavy, though I’d have liked to see Lashley kill Styles and then Cena come down.

Overall, another very good show and the road to Mania is now in full swing. Right call in making things a triple threat match. The McMahon/Cena saga continues to advance well, although still not 100% sure on Brooke Adams getting involved. Straight Edge Saints and Hart’s are good additions to the tag ranks while the Dykstra/Lito/Orton/Hardy four way thing going on was also entertaining. Looking forward to next week. Keep it up.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:44 PM   #162 (permalink)
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I was surprised to HHH open the show, because the McMahons could have opened the show as well. Anyway, I like the side of HHH, not simply the cookie face who feel sorry for Van Dam but an agressive side of him, showing he would do anything to get his hands on Shawn Michaels. Van Dam interrupting was expected, the allusion to backstage politics was good but I didn't like the fact that he said that if the roles were reversed, he wouldn't have pin Triple H because just before that main-eventing Wrestlemania was his dream. So naturally I loved the response of HHH because he's right.

I don't think that HBK really needed a cheap heat at the beginning of his promo, anyway his explanation was pretty good and with this promo it is clear for me that the match will be a Triple Threat. I really like those references to God that Michaels made, it's good to see the keyfabe and the reality mixed together. I think that the best gimmick are simply an extension of your true personality. Also HBK wanted to face Van Dam to have a better match in my opinion.

The tag match was basically a squash for the Harts, a good win to debut but I think that they could have a make a bigger impact, by interrupting the WGTT. Anyway, solid debut for them.

Using straight-edge to cure Eugene was good but I don't think that Punk and Dinsmore should be a team or form a stable because with Punk looking for the MITB, it will obviously lead to a storyline based on jealousy but why not. MNM interrupting makes me think that they will face each other next week and maybe for a MITB spot.

The match between Orton and Carlito was solid, and I just realised how much their moveset are basically the same. I'm not sure if it's a good idea when two wrestlers use the same moves during the match, it shows that they are a bit generic in my opinion. I hope both will get some new moves add to their repertoire like the gutwrench neckbreaker for Orton, anyway Orton winning the match was expected and he's probably the favourite to win the match. The distraction from Kenny just announced his match with Carlito at Wrestlemania.

Van Dam/HHH was as good as their SNME match, very back and forth but I would've prefered to see a dirty finish, to see if Van Dam would've really kept his word. Anyway, great match and the aftermatch was expected, but I would've been great if HBK only superkicked Triple H and not Van Dam to show him that he's not a threat for his WWE title.

The promo from Haas/Benjamin was awesome, their goal of making tag team wrestling relevant again will be a great stroryline to follow and I really don't know who will challenge them next. It could the Hooligans after their confrontation at SNME but you have also the Bluebloods, the Hart Legacy, it could be anybody.

I didn't really follow the situation for the Divas, but at least the match is official.

Flair/Kennedy will probably be announced for Mania and while the match will not be a 5 star match, the promos between the two will be awesome.

The match between Dykstra/Hardy was nice, and you seem to really like Dykstra because you have booked him as a very dominant champion, anyway Jeff will probably be in the MITB and as a fan of him, I hope that he will win it, anyway Carlito coming to help Jeff has probably set up a tag team match for next week.

I have mixed feelings on the last segment, it was good but I don't think that Lashley should've talked for so long, he should've said that he's not talking anymore to the crowd and let the McMahons, do the speech. Anyway, his explanation was logical and I really loved the burning of the ECW title, the reaction of Joey Styles was great also and it makes me think that thiis storyline will evolved in a sort of battle of power of the company. The Cena appearence was good but I think that Lashley should've beat him down to prove his dominance, but it was a exciting way to finish the show.

The Road to Wrestlemania is now officially on and it is with an great show, some decisions I disagree with but anyway this show was great as the Road to Wrestlemania will be.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:25 AM   #163 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night Smackdown~
March 9th, 2007
Wichita, Kansas






The first Friday Night Smackdown after Saturday Night's Main Event has arrived, with the whispers around the locker room regarding Edge and his apparent fear of the World Heavyweight Champion Batista continuing to grow in intensity. Edge and Mr. Kennedy teamed to take on Batista and Matt Hardy last Saturday night, but there was no physical contact between champion and challenger during the match, with Edge actively avoiding being in the ring with 'The Animal'. Indeed, Edge ultimately walked out on the match, leaving Kennedy behind to suffer a thunderous Batista Bomb, handing 'The Animal' the victory. The rumours and whispers will no doubt have grown in volume since last week, and with both Edge and Batista scheduled to appear on the show tonight, perhaps that first physical contact between the two is inching ever closer.

As for Mr. Kennedy, after suffering the defeat at the start of the broadcast, Kennedy returned later on during Saturday Night's Main Event, attacking Ric Flair and in the process costing Flair and his partner Carlito the World Tag Team Championships. Last Monday on Raw, Flair vowed he was coming to Smackdown tonight to call Kennedy out. With 'The Nature Boy' finally in the building, we could have the first face to face between the pair since the Royal Rumble, the night when this explosive rivalry all kicked off. What could Flair have to say? And will Kennedy finally get his wish of a match with Flair, especially with Wrestlemania on the horizon?

And the final member of that Saturday Night's Main Event tag team match, Matt Hardy, his fate is now clear. It's he and Finlay one on one at Wrestlemania XXIII for the United States Championship. After defending the title in the brutal Belfast Brawl against Chris Benoit, Finlay will no doubt be watching on intently as Hardy faces Test tonight, with Hardy looking to send an early message to his Wrestlemania opponent by continuing to build on the great 2007 he's had thus far. As for Benoit, he's involved in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match against F.B.I. leader Santino Marella. While last week Marella was full of confidence that he would make it to 'Mania, he might not be quite as sure once he sees who his opponent is tonight.

Umaga continued his dominance of the Smackdown roster as he saw off Kane in convincing fashion at Saturday Night's Main Event. it was however the shocking return of Paul Bearer to the WWE that garnered the attention, especially as Bearer brought The Undertaker back from the darkside to confront Umaga and Armando Alejandro Estrada. Seen for the first time since No Way Out, 'Taker and Umaga battled back and forth, but it took the help of Kane for Undertaker to gain the upperhand. No one has managed to stop Umaga thus far, and at Saturday Night's Main Event, it appeared that even The Undertaker was no match for 'The Samoan Bulldozer' in a one on one situation. Tonight, John Bradshaw Layfield will conduct an in ring interview with Umaga and Estrada, but no doubt The Undertaker will have his say as the two continue to build towards their epic showdown at Wrestlemania XXIII.

Also tonight, Bryan Danielson will take on one of the men he beat at Saturday Night's Main Event as he squares off with Chavo Guerrero, one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions Brian Kendrick steps into the ring with Bluebloods member Paul Burchill, while we also hear from The Miz on his Wrestlemania aspirations. It's a jam packed edition of Friday Night Smackdown, one you really won't want to miss!!

Confirmed Matches

Monday Night Raw's Ric Flair will call out Mr. Kennedy!

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Chris Benoit vs. Santino Marella
Matt Hardy vs. Test
Bryan Danielson vs. Chavo Guerrero
Brian Kendrick vs. Paul Burchill

John Bradshaw Layfield will conduct an in ring interview with Umaga and Armando Alejandro Estrada

Plus! Batista, Edge, King Booker, Montel Vontavious Porter and The Miz are all scheduled to appear!!


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Old 08-12-2011, 11:25 AM   #164 (permalink)
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~Friday Night Smackdown~
March 9th, 2007
Wichita, Kansas



"...an eye for an eye... a streak for a streak."




We open cold to the arena. No opening video, no highlights of Saturday Night’s Main Event, no pyro. Just silence, apart from the general buzz of the crowd. The silence continues, until...

"WOOOOO..."

*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*


The crowd goes wild as Ric Flair, rarely seen on Friday nights, makes his entrance. Flair, dressed in a sharp dark suit with a pink shirt on underneath, stops briefly under the Smackdown fist, letting out a big “Wooooo!” and soaking in the adulation of the fans, before he struts his way down the aisle...

Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, this is Friday Night Smackdown. And that is ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair! Hello everyone, I’m Michael Cole, alongside me are ‘JBL’ and Tazz, welcome to the show. There you see the legend, the sixteen time heavyweight champion, the incomparable Ric Flair!

Tazz: Man, what a treat it is to have ‘Naitch’ here on Friday nights! But he ain’t here for personal reasons, he’s here to call out Mr. Kennedy!

Michael Cole: It’s gonna be a big night here on Smackdown. Not only will we have this confrontation between Ric Flair and Mr. Kennedy, but there’s scheduled to be another Money in the Bank Qualifying Match tonight as Chris Benoit takes on Santino Marella. Matt Hardy is also here, he’ll take on Test, while Bryan Daneislon faces Chavo Guerrero and one half of the tag team champions Brian Kendrick goes up against Paul Burchill of The Bluebloods.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Never mind all that. Let’s talk about the highlight of the night, your truly, ‘The Wrestling Gawd’, the greatest broadcaster in sports entertainment history, yours truly, ‘JBL’ in the ring with ‘The Savage of Samoa’, the man who for my money is gonna beat The Undertaker and end the Wrestlemania streak, Umaga!

Tazz: Oh boy, I can’t wait for that. I hope ‘The Deadman’ pulls some of that magic out the playbook again and winds up in the ring. More than likely he’ll get his hands on you partner!

John Bradshaw Layfield: He better hope he don’t wind up in the ring with me, or he might wind up six feet under if I get my hands on ‘im!

Michael Cole: Well let’s set the scene here folks. It all started back at the Royal Rumble, where Flair eliminated Kennedy, only for Kennedy to return to the match and eliminate Flair. It escalated when Kennedy attacked Flair’s longtime friend Arn Anderson, only for Flair to retaliate as he gave the assist to Batista at No Way Out, costing Kennedy his chance at the World Heavyweight Championship. But last Saturday night in Madison Square Garden, it reached a whole new level as Kennedy cost Flair and Carlito the World Tag Team Championships.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And no more than Flair deserved in my opinion. He cost Kennedy at the Rumble, he cost him again at No Way Out, it was high time Kennedy got his own back.

Tazz: Just gonna ignore all the assaults Kennedy’s been responsible for are ya’? I mean Flair at the Rumble, Arn Anderson, Teddy Long? Kennedy’s done a lotta damage lately, he don’t deserve to be World Heavyweight Champion after the way he’s been actin’.

Flair clambers up the steel steps and then through the ropes, giving a quick wave to the crowd in appreciation for their support before he’s handed a microphone. The music dies, but as Flair stands in the middle of the ring, he has to wait for the chants of the crowd to die before he speaks. Flair grins, knowingly nodding his head as the crowd cheers again, before he burst out with…

Ric Flair: WOOOOO!!

"Woooo!"…

Ric Flair: Did somebody SAY… that ‘The Naitcha Boi’… was HERE tonight, in Wichita, Kansas?! WOOOOO!!

"Wooooo!"…

Ric Flair: Did somebody SAY… that the limousine ridin’, jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin' dealin' sunnova gun was HERE on Friday Night Smackdown?! WOOOOO!!

"Wooooo!"…

Ric Flair: And did somebody say that the SIX – TEEN – TIME World Heavyweight Champion was gonna call out that no good sunnova bitch Mr. Kennedy?

The crowd pops as Flair delivers the last comment with a serious intent…

Ric Flair: KENNEDY… you ain’t nothin’ but a punk as far as ‘ol Naitch’ is concerned. But there was a time Kennedy, that I actually respected you kid.

A few boos from the crowd, but Flair motions for calm…

Ric Flair: I may have respected ‘im, but I never liked ‘im. But when I looked at ‘im and saw how cocky he was, how confident, how arrogant he could be, and with the blonde hair, y’know, I gotta admit… I saw a lil’ of a younger Ric Flair in the guy. But there was one big difference between Kennedy and me… respect for this business.

Pop…

Ric Flair: You have NO RESPECT for anythin’ in this business Kennedy. You wanna be a star, you wanna be on top, you want the spotlight on you. There’s nothin’ wrong with that, ‘Naitch wants that spotlight just as much as you do. Maybe even more! Ya’ want success, that’s alright too. Nobody had more success than ‘The Nature Boy’ did. Ya’ wanted to win the Royal Rumble? Ric Flair gave one of the very best Royal Rumble performances in history. Simply put, Mr. Kennedy, you my friend… wanted to be ‘The Man’.

Another pop as Flair nods knowingly…

Ric Flair: But to be the man… you gotta beat the man!

Pop…

Ric Flair: And Kennedy, oh boy… you get it a helluva shot at the Rumble buddy. You beat ‘ol Naitch. Beat ‘im good. You took me outta the match, you kicked my ass all over ringside, you busted me open, you gave me one helluva beatin’! But you made one mistake my friend. You picked a fight… with me.

Flair stares intently into the hard corner…

Ric Flair: Not only that… but you then picked a fight with a fellow Horseman! And that brother… is unforgivable. And now it’s time for you to pay the price.

Pop…

Ric Flair: So KENNEDY… I want you to come out here, step in this ring… and show me what kinda man you really are.

The crowd buzzes in anticipation, although Kennedy makes them wait… and wait… until…

"KENNEDY…"

*TURN UP THE TREBLE…*


Finally Mr. Kennedy graces us with his presence. A strong chorus of boos greets Kennedy as he cockily makes his way down the aisle, a slightly confused look on his face as he goes…


Michael Cole: Well here he comes. Ric Flair wanted it, here comes the man who cost Flair the World Tag Team Championships last Saturday night. They’ve been goin’ back and forth for months now, but this is the first time we’ll see them face to face in this kinda situation.

John Bradshaw Layfield: He’s the fastest rising star in the WWE, the biggest can’t miss prospect in Smackdown history, a future legend of this industry… and that damn geriatric is callin’ him out?! Who the hell does Ric Flair think he is?!

Tazz: He thinks he’s a sixteen time world champion. Kennedy’s put Flair through a heck of a lot lately, it’s about time these two got in the ring, man to man.

In the ring, Kennedy heads for the corner and climbs to the second rope, taking a glance at Flair before he turns and shouts some abuse at the crowd. Dropping back down to the mat, Kennedy gives Flair a “What did you just say?” kinda look, before he shakes his head. The music dies down, and the pair stare at each other, fierce looks on both their faces…

Ric Flair: Lemme start by sayin’-

Kennedy points the palm of his hand to Flair’s face, prompting silence and confusion from ‘The Nature Boy’, but soon all becomes apparent… as Kennedy reaches to the rafter… and waits for his microphone to drop into his hands! The crowd respond with heat, while Flair laughs to himself, almost in disbelief at the arrogance of Kennedy…

Mr. Kennedy: Did I uh… did I hear your right? Did you just say… that you look at me and see a younger version of yourself?

Flair doesn’t respond, although Kennedy scratches his head in an exaggerated fashion…

Mr. Kennedy: You – you think I’m… like a younger version of you?

Kennedy laughs, shaking his head…

Mr. Kennedy: I know you’re getting’ old, I know you’re goin’ a little senile, I know I hit ya’ over the head pretty hard with that title belt last Saturday night… but are you out of your freakin’ mind?!

Kennedy again shakes his head…

Mr. Kennedy: Lemme promise you this Ric. I… am nothin’… like you.

Kennedy steps forward, aggressively pointing in Flair’s face…

Mr. Kennedy: ‘Cause you are everythin’ that’s wrong with this business!

Flair mouths “Oh really?”…

Mr. Kennedy: Yeah, yeah really. ‘Cause y’see, you are nothin’ more than some washed up has-been, tryin’ to hang on to what he used to have. Tryin’ to relive the glory years. And while you might think there’s nothin’ wrong with that, and these fans might cheer their little heads off for it, it does nothin’ but hold the next generation back. It does nothin’… but hold me back.

Heat…

Mr. Kennedy: You guys who overstay your welcome, you like to make your excuses. “Oh, I’m givin’ somethin’ back to the business”, well lemme tell ya’ brother, the damn business don’t want NOTHIN’ from ya’ anymore!

Flair rubs his chin as he soaks in Kennedy’s words…

Mr. Kennedy: You and these other has beens you call ‘legends’. They mean nothin’ to me anymore, ‘cause all they do is get in my way. Just like you got in my way at the Royal Rumble. Just like Arn Anderson got in my way. Hell, Teddy Long even got in my way. And what happened to all three of ya’? Huh, huh? I beat crap out o’ all of ya’! I put Arn Anderson in the hospital, I kicked Teddy Long’s ass so bad he ain’t been able to come back to work yet! After all that, after the beatin’ I gave you at the Rumble, you still wanna call me out, huh?

Kennedy looks at Flair quizzically…

Mr. Kennedy: You sure about that old man?

Kennedy leans in, deadly serious…

Mr. Kennedy: ‘Cause I’m warnin’ you… I didn’t even scratch the surface at the Rumble. You have made my life hell these last few months. Two times you cost me the chance to be World Heavyweight Champion. I was willin’ to wait for Wrestlemania… but I got no problem kickin’ your ass right now.

Kennedy then shrugs his shoulders, changing his expression as he backs away…

Mr. Kennedy: But if you wanna wait, I’m a nice guy. I’m willin’ to give you the chance to pack up your memories, take your respect, take your so called ‘legends’, take all that crap, and get outta my ring, and off of my show.

Flair stands firm, not budging…

Mr. Kennedy: Don’t play the hero here Ric. Don’t embarrass yourself again. You don’t belong here in this era. This is MY era. This is my time to shine, this is my moment. I don’t share the spotlight with anybody… especially not a relic like you.

Kennedy stares fiercely at Flair, a scowl on his face, but Flair just smiles to himself…

Ric Flair: Lemme tell ya’ somethin’ kid. I’m Ric Flair.

’Woooo’ from the crowd...

Ric Flair: I’ve been in this business longer than you’ve been born. You wanna ask me why I’m still here, after all these years, still steppin’ through those ropes, night after night? You wanna know why? Because I love what I do.

Nonchalantly, Kennedy scoffs, turning his head away in an ignorant show of disgust...

Ric Flair: Hey!

Kennedy turns back around... straight into a SLAP TO THE FACE! The crowd gasps as Kennedy clutches his face...

Ric Flair: Look at me when I’m talkin’ to ya’! I brought you out here, so now you’re gonna listen to what I gotta say! I... am Ric... FLAIR! I am a SIX – TEEN – TIME... WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT... WOOOO... CHAMPION!!

“Wooooo”...

Ric Flair: And the reason for that... what I owe everythin’ I got from this industry to... is the legends that paved the way for me.

Having gotten over the embarrassment of suffering a slap to the face, a seething Kennedy now listens intently...

Ric Flair: Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne, Ed Lewis, Gorgeous George, Buddy Rogers, Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, guys who paved the way for me! Every time I walked into an arena and saw them sittin’ there, every time I stepped through those ropes and saw one of them stood across from me, I paid my dues, and I gave each and every one of ‘em the respect they deserved.

Flair aggressively points at Kennedy…

Ric Flair: But you? You don’t got an ounce of respect in your whole body.

Mr. Kennedy: Ric, why you gotta-

Ric Flair: SHUT UP!!

The crowd is almost as stunned as Kennedy, whose jaw nearly hits the floor…

Ric Flair: I’m not done talkin’! You got NO RESPECT! Not for me, not for these fans, and not for this business! You have no idea how many punks have walked into this business and tried to make a name off ol’ Naitch’, no idea! And you got no idea how many times people have tried to force me into retirement. But I’m still HERE! I’m still stylin’ and – WOOOOO - profilin’, and I’ll be doin’ it ‘til the day I DIE!!

Pop…

Ric Flair: You walk into this company, and you expect everythin’ to be handed to ya’! Ya’ don’t wanna work for nothin’! I worked every day of my life to be where I am right now! The GREATEST of ‘em all! THE MAN! That’s who I am, ‘cause I earned this reputation! All you earned is the ass kickin’ of a LIFETIME from Ric – WOOOOO – Flair!

The crowd is loving how animated Flair is getting, and it only gets better as Flair takes of his suit jacket, slams it to the mat and then struts his way off the ropes to drop an elbow on the jacket…

Ric Flair: I came here TONIGHT ‘cause I’m callin’ you out! You wanna be the man? You wanna be a legend? I’ll give the biggest opportunity of a lifetime junior! It ain’t about bein’ a champion, it’s about bein’ the BEST! The VERY BEST! And until you beat the best, you ain’t worth JACK kiddo!

Flair’s eyes bulge as he continues to become animated…

Ric Flair: So how ‘bout it? You and the – WOOOOO - ‘THE NATURE BOY’, the GREATEST of all time, at the greatest show of all time! YOU… AND ME…. AT WRESTLEMANIA XXIII! How ‘bout it!?

The fans respond with a massive pop…

Ric Flair: I WANT IT! THESE PEOPLE WANT IT! Dammit…

Flair again comes off the ropes, this time dropping a knee on his jacket…

Ric Flair: THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD WANTS IT! SO LET’S GIVE IT TO ‘EM!

Flair takes the mic away from his face, shouting “C’mon!” as Kennedy ponders…

Mr. Kennedy: You want me at Wrestlemania XXIII?

Flair franticly nods his head, sweat flying everywhere…

Mr. Kennedy: You got me Ric!

A massive pop from the crowd, with Flair licking his lips at the thought of the match…

Mr. Kennedy: But I promise you this. I… WILL… end your career. I’ll be the one to finally put Ric Flair out to pasture. And maybe then… I’ll get the respect I deserve.

BOOM!

Out of nowhere Kennedy HITS FLAIR WITH HIS MICROPHONE!!

Flair crumples and hits the mat, with Kennedy pouncing, rolling Flair over to hammer him with right hands, as we see that Flair has already been busted open. Kennedy continues to rattle the fists off Flair’s forehead, before he gets back to his feet and once again grabs his microphone…


Mr. Kennedy: Or maybe… I’ll just end your damn career RIGHT NOW!

The crowd gasps as Kennedy starts wrapping the mic chord around his hand, a stark reminder of what he did to Teddy Long just two weeks ago. Kennedy lines Flair up, waiting for him to get back to his knees… to WRAP THE CHORD AROUND FLAIR’S THROAT!

The crowd boos furiously as Kennedy starts choking the life out of Ric Flair! Flair scrambles, arms flailing wildly, desperately looking for a way to escape… LOW BLOW!! Flair drills Kennedy with a nut show, causing the arrogant youngster to release his grip on the mic. Flair, blood running down his face, makes it back to his feet as Kennedy grabs at his crotch… and Flair starts landing rights and lefts to the face! Kennedy is reeling as Flair lays into him… until a big clothesline puts Kennedy over the top rope to the floor! The crowd is on there feet as Flair rips off his shirt, stood in a fighting stance, motioning, almost begging Kennedy for more!

Kennedy is furious on the outside, still suffering the pain in his groin, but he snarls and angrily stares into the ring, looking like he’s about to head back into the ring, until…

*HARD HITTIN’…*


The crowd groans as Smackdown’s Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman barges out onto the stage…


Jonathan Coachman: Wait a minute! Hold on a damn second here! Stop this right now!

The crowd boos, with Kennedy looking almost glad of the interruption while Flair just looks like a man possessed…

Jonathan Coachman: Alright, you have your match at Wrestlemania, but that’s enough! You two aren’t gonna be brawlin’ all over my show! Mr. McMahon put names me Interim General Manager ‘cause he wants me to clean up Smackdown, and this kinda thing has to stop!

Heat…

Jonathan Coachman: Ric, you are a guest here tonight. I agreed to let you appear on Smackdown to talk things out with Mr. Kennedy, but I never signed up for blood-filled brawls! But since you seem so eager for a fight tonight, I’m gonna give you one. Tonight, it’s gonna be ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair… one on one with the Number One Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship… ‘The Rated-R Superstar’… Edge!

The crowd pops for the announcement of a massive main event…

Jonathan Coachman: But you remember one thing, Ric. This is MY show now, so you’re gonna play by MY rules tonight. Clean yourself up, get outta my ring… and enjoy the show.

*HARD HITTIN’…*


And with one last smirk, ‘Coach’ turns and heads backstage, leaving Flair in the ring, still blood pouring down his face, while Kennedy is seething , his eyes locked on Flair as he backs up the aisle…


Michael Cole: God, can you believe the intensity of Ric Flair? ‘The Nature Boy’ just challenged Mr. Kennedy to a match at Wrestlemania XXIII, and Kennedy accepted!

Tazz: What a match that’s gonna be! Such a bitter rivalry, and it’s all gonna be settled in Detroit City!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Yeah but you heard what Kennedy said. He’s headin’ to Detroit to end Ric Flair’s career once and for all. He wants to go down in history as the guy that finally retired Ric Flair, and I think he’s gonna do it!

Michael Cole: And of course tonight, Flair takes on ‘The 2007 Royal Rumble Winner’ Edge. It’s Flair and Edge in our main event tonight! That, and a whole lot more when we return to Friday Night Smackdown!

*Commercial


*Video Package*

WRESTLEMANIA RECALL!

MARCH 3OTH, 2003
WRESTLEMANIA XIX


For the first time ever, two former champions of the amateur wrestling world would meet in the main event of Wrestlemania, with the WWE Championship on the line. Kurt Angle entered the match as the WWE Champion, but all the momentum was with the challenger Brock Lesnar after he won the Royal Rumble two months earlier. Angle and Lesnar battled back and forth, with Lesnar on several occasions trying for the F-5, only for Angle to counter out of it each time, including countering into an ankle lock. Lesnar escaped and finally did deliver that F-5, but instead of going for the cover, Lesnar went for what would prove to be the moment this match would be remembered for. At well over 300lbs, many were surprised when Lesnar climbed to the top rope... and the world was stunned as he then went for a shooting star press! Sadly, it never turned into quite the Wrestlemania moment Lesnar had hoped for as he landed on his head, giving him a concussion and damn near breaking his neck in the process. Lesnar sucked it up though, managing to his another F-5 that would ultimately get him the win, although both men looked groggy as they shook hands after the match in a great show of respect.

WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - 23 DAYS AND COUNTING


*End Video Package*


Back into the arena to hear…

*RAGE…*


A good amount of cheers as the Number One Contender for the Cruiserweight Championship Bryan Danielson enters the arena. Sporting a “Tap Or Snap?” t-shirt and a determined look on his face, Bryan slaps the odd hand as he makes his way towards the ring…


Michael Cole: What a great performance it was from this man, Bryan Danielson, at Saturday Night’s Main Event. It was supposed to be a Four Way Elimination Match, but after Shannon Moore was eliminated, it quickly turned into a handicap match.

Tazz: Right, I mean Chavo Guerrero and Joey Mercury, they started workin’ together to try and get Bryan outta the match. But credit to Danielson, he hung in there and now he’s goin’ to Wrestlemania baby!

John Bradshaw Layfield: I gotta admit, I may not like this kid, I might not believe the hype you two have built up around ‘im, but last Saturday night was very impressive. I still don’t think there’s a hope in hell he’s gonna beat Gregory Helms, but I was impressed.

*CHAVITO ARDIENTE…*


Pretty solid heat for the arrival of Chavo Guerrero, the man who Danielson saw off to finally win the match last Saturday. Chavo’s aunt Vickie Guerrero is by his side, offering words of encouragement as the pair head for the ring…


Michael Cole: Well Chavo may have missed out on the chance to go to Wrestlemania, but tonight’s about perhaps gettin’ a little bit of revenge. A chance for Chavo to prove a point tonight.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Chavo is a Guerrero! He don’t have to prove anythin’, the name alone speaks of this guys credentials. But at the same time, he’s a proud Guerrero, and losin’ to a geek like this guy Danielson had to hurt ‘im. Chavo’s here to just remind everybody of just how good he can be.

Tazz: Nobody’s gonna doubt Chavo’s credentials, but Bryan Danielson has been on a tear here since he got to the WWE. I just don’t think guys like Chavo and Joey Mercury can figure this guy out. And if Gregory Helms can’t figure ‘im out, we’re gonna have a new Cruiserweight Championship in about a month’s time.

Match 1:
Chavo Guerrero
w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Bryan Danielson

An aggressive opening tie up leads to Danielson quickly twisting into a hammerlock, but Chavo breaks free of this just as fast with an elbow to the side of the head. Quickening the pace, Chavo comes off the ropes, straight into an armdrag from AmDrag. Both men are back up, and then right back down from another armdrag, but once more both men spring back to their feet. Chavo misses wildly with a right hand, leading to a backslide from Danielson... Chavo kicks out at 2, but Danielson runs him into the ropes for a rollup... Chavo hangs, and when Bryan rolls back to his feet, Chavo is already charging... textbook dropkick brings the sequence to an end! Frustrated, Chavo rolls to the outside, Vickie quickly over to speak with her nephew. Vickie tries to offer her encouragement, but Bryan doesn’t want to wait as he comes off the opposite ropes... suicide dive! Vickie screams and runs for safety as Danielson flies through the ropes, taking Chavo down and then landing a string of right hands on the floor.

Chavo gets tossed back into the ring for another near fall, before Bryan starts unloading with those educated feet of his. Forearms to the side of the head follow, before Bryan goes for the Irish whip... but Chavo reverses, only to miss with a clothesline... running leg lariat puts Chavo down! Chavo shakes his head as he sits up, but a trio of kicks land to the base of the spine, causing Chavo to cry out in pain. Guerrero heads for the corner to try escape the punishment, but the boots just keep on landing from Bryan, this time to the midsection and head. Dazed, Chavo is sent for the ride to the opposite corner, but as Danielson races in, Chavo manages to get a boot up... and follow with a stiff clothesline! Chavo hooks the leg, but only manages a 2 count, but now it’s Guerrero who starts to lay in with the stiff kicks and stomps to the body.

Looking to string some offence together, Chavo starts with a textbook Saito suplex for another near fall, before he synchs Bryan from behind, unloading with uppercuts to the side of the face. This is then transitioned into a high hammerlock as Chavo looks to target the arm. Chavo wrenches and bends the wrist behind Danielson’s head, every now and then applying extra pressure. Danielson struggles back to his feet, drilling elbows that break the hold, but Chavo instantly drives a knee to the midsection... then hooks Bryan up... sitout inverted suplex slam! Chavo plants Danielson, rolls him over into the cover... 1... 2... Danielson rolls a shoulder. Chavo now strings together a series of offense, as uppercuts land to the face, then the arm is targeted again as Bryan’s arm is wrapped around the top rope, Chavo driving his foot into the shoulder as he leans back, trying to yank the arm out of its socket. More work is applied to the arm, as a shoulderbreaker gets Chavo a 2 count, before it’s nothing but viciousness as Danielson is sent shoulder first into the ringpost.

More damage to the shoulder as elbows land on top of it, before Chavo takes Danielson up for one suplex... and a second... a third to complete the Three Amigos, much to the displeasure of the crowd. Chavo and Vickie revel in the heat the move garners, and after getting another near fall, he works into armbar, trying to hyper extend the left arm of Bryan. Danielson pumps his fist, trying to get the crowd into it, trying to fight the pain, but Chavo continues to wrench the move on tight. Danielson is in the hold for a good while, but eventually he manages to work back to his knees... and then flips over, with Chavo’s shoulders on the mat... 1... 2... Chavo kicks out, releasing the hold. Bryan tries to shake some life back into his left arm, but as Chavo charges in, he’s able to use his feet to land more kicks to the body. Bryan goes for the Irish whip, but Chavo reverses... and misses a right hand... flying forearm from Danielson! Chavo scrambles for the corner, but Bryan stays on hi, landing kicks to the chest before sending Chavo across... again Chavo reverses, although Bryan runs the ropes, backflips off the top... and then nails Chavo with a dropkick against the turnbuckle! Guerrero is stunned, but it’s about to get worse as Bryan muscles him into a seated position in the corner... and then joins him up top... TOP ROPE HURRICANRANA! Bryan sends Chavo flying, hooks the leg... 1... 2... no! Chavo kicks out!

Vickie breathes a huge sigh of relief as Chavo stays alive, but Danielson stays on him, again going to work with kicks to the chest... but he misses with one to the head, allowing Chavo to push Bryan off the ropes... where Vickie grabs his ankle! Danielson angrily stops, glaring at Vickie, before he finally turns and races at Chavo... straight into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Chavo plants Bryan, hooks the leg... 1... 2... NO! Danielson rolls a shoulder, Chavo can’t believe it! With Danielson still down, Chavo looks towards the corner, although he takes his time as he climbs to the top rope. Once there, Chavo again brings back memories of his Uncle Eddie as he shakes his chest to more boos, before he flies... FROG SPLASH... NO! Chavo takes too long and eats nothing but mat! Danielson now sees a chance to attack, drilling Chavo with kicks to the head as he gets back to his knees, before Danielson comes off the ropes... low angle dropkick! Daneislon nearly takes Chavo’s head off, but now it’s he who heads to the top rope... MISSILE DROPKICK CONNECTS! 1... 2... Chavo rolls a shoulder!

Both men look tried as Bryan drags Chavo up, driving a pair of uppercuts to the face before he goes for the Irish whip to the corner... Chavo counters, and then follows in... but Bryan uses the ropes to elevated himself over... no! Chavo catches him on his shoulders, working Danielson into position... DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Out of nowhere Guerrero plants Bryan, and he doesn’t even bother to hook the leg... 1... 2... BRYAN GETS A FOOT ON THE ROPE! Chavo can’t believe it, slamming his hands off the mat in a fit of rage, while ‘JBL’ screams down his headset “What the hell’s it gonna take to put this guy away?!”, a sentiment shared by both Guerrero’s. Chavo gets in the referee’s face, demanding that it was 3, but as he’s told no, Chavo turns back to Bryan, dragging him to his feet... out of nowhere Danielson grabs Chavo’s hand, dragging him down to the mat... and working Chavo into... the LEBELL LOCK!! Danielson locks on his deadly submission move, but Chavo desperately tries to fight it, scratching, clawing for the ropes... but he has no option but to tap out! Chavo taps!!

Winner: Bryan Danielson @ 07.24


Vickie lets out a scream of frustration as Danielson puts in yet another impressive performance, building more momentum ahead of Wrestlemania. Danielson quickly gets back on his feet, selling the effects of the match put getting a rousing cheer as his hand is raised in victory. Bryan takes a few deep breaths before he exits the ring, with the commentary team putting over how much of a threat he is to Gregory Helms as we head off for a commercial.

*Commercial*


And when we return, Josh Matthews is standing by…


Josh Matthews: Welcome back to Friday Night Smackdown everybody. And please welcome my guest at this time, he is the Cruiserweight Champion… Gregory Helms.

Boos as the Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms steps into the frame, a angry scowl on his face. Helms is dressed in street clothes, not ready to compete tonight, while the Cruiserweight Title is strapped around his shoulder…

Josh Matthews: And Gregory, it was Saturday Night’s Main Event that we found out that at Wrestlemania it will be you defending your Cruiserweight Championship against Bryan Danielson. After yet another impressive display from the challenger earlier this evening, I was just wondering what your thoughts were regarding the challenger?

Helms now turns and scowls as Matthews…

Gregory Helms: Impressive? You think that was impressive? Tell me, how impressed were you with Bryan Danielson when he was lyin’ flat out on the mat last Saturday night after I stepped into the ring wit’ ‘im. Huh? How impressed were you then?

Matthews sheepishly looks at the ground, offering no response…

Gregory Helms: That’s what I thought. Y’see Bryan Danielson looks great when he’s takin’ on guys like Chavo Guerrero, Joey Mercury and Shannon Moore. But any time he’s ever stepped in the ring wit’ me, I’ve made him look like the piece o’ trash that he is.

Helms now turns to the camera…


Gregory Helms: He got the big introduction, he got the big welcome, but when it came down to it at No Way Out, he just didn’t have what it takes to become a champion. I ain’t worried about Bryan Danielson. All the hype, all the wins over guys who ain’t fit to lace my boots, but when it really matters, he just ain’t in my league.

Helms smirks with confidence…


Gregory Helms: I ain’t no Mexican tryin’ to live up to the family name, I ain’t no Hollywood pretty boy, and I ain’t some punk with a nose ring and a mohawk. I’m Gregory Helms, I am the Cruiserweight Champion, and at Wrestlemania I’m gonna prove to you, to Bryan Danielson and to the world, like I proved time and time again, that I am

Helms glances down at his title, then back into the camera…

Gregory Helms: The best damn cruiserweight in the world today.

And with one last smirk at the camera, and then at Josh, Helms turns and walks out of the shot, the camera lingering on Josh for a few seconds before we head elsewhere.

To the office of the Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman, who stands in the middle of his room, talking to… Layla? It’s a rare appearance for the seldom seen 2006 Diva Search Winner, although as we enter the room she and ‘Coach’ appear to be already in conversation…


Jonathan Coachman: …y’know? I mean if Mr. McMahon can have a very beautiful assistant in Brooke Adams, then I figured I should have one too. And I can’t think of anybody better than you Layla.

Layla gives off a sultry laugh as she starts to play with Coachman’s suit jacket…

Layla: Well Mr. Coachman, as fun as that sounds, I actually wanted to talk to you about some other business today. Do you… think you have time to squeeze me in?

Layla draws herself closer, prompting Coachman’s eyes to drift down into her cleavage…

Jonathan Coachman: Oh I can always make time for you Layla. What’s on your mind?

Layla: Well y’see, lately I’ve been thinking of the best way to utilize my… talents… here on Smackdown. And I’ve been working on putting together a little tag team, that I’d love to bring here to Smackdown. Of course, I’ve had offers from Monday Night Raw, but I…

Layla playfully runs a finger down the bridge of Coachman’s nose…

Layla: Thought of you first ‘Coach’. And I was just wondering, if you could maybe give them Smackdown contracts. What d’ya think?

‘Coach’ stumbles for words like a virgin in a brothel, before he shakes his head and manages to pull himself together…

Jonathan Coachman: Absolutely! I’ll have the contracts drawn up right away!

Layla smiles seductively…


Jonathan Coachman: But uh, while you’re here, perhaps we can discuss something other than business. I mean, all work and no play…

’Coach’ slowly leans in, drawing an awkward, almost panicky look from Layla… until there’s a knock at the door. Layla looks relieved, turning her head towards the door, while Coach mutter under his breath…


Jonathan Coachman: God… come in!

The door swings open, and in walks The Full Blooded Italians, lead of course by their ‘Don’ Santino Marella. Marella is accompanied as always by Trinity, Big Vito, Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke, the men all dressed in their 30’s styled suits with fedora hats…


Santino Marella: Excuse-ah me! I hope-ah we are not-ah interrupting anything?

Layla: No! No, absolutely not. We were just finished. Thank you so much ‘Coach’, I’ll see you next week!

Layla quickly scrambles from the room, leaving ‘Coach’ clutching at air as he watches her leave…

Jonathan Coachman: Alright Santino, this better be good!

Santino Marella: Si! Mr. Coachman, I have-ah de’ business proposition for-ah you!

Jonathan Coachman: Go on.

Santino Marella: Well, it-ah comes to my attention that tonight I have-ah my Money in the Bank qualifying match with-ah Chris BonneNuit, si?

Initially ‘Coach’ looks confused, but he soon understands…


Jonathan Coachman: Oh! Oh Benoit! Chris Benoit! Yes, that’s right. Your qualifying match tonight is with Chris Benoit.

Santino Marella: Si. But you see Mr. Coachman, Santino doesn’t-ah think this is-ah very fair. After all, I am new to these-ah parts. Chris BonneNuit is a former World Heavyweight Champion. It wouldn’t be right to do-ah this match.

Jonathan Coachman: So uh… what do you propose?

Santino smiles to himself, snapping his fingers, which prompts Nunzio to reach into his jacket pocket, pulling out a brown envelope that he passes to Mamaluke…

Santino Marella: Mr. Coachman, we are-ah both the business men. So…

Who then passes it to Vito…

Santino Marella: I propose that we…

Who then passes it to Trinity…

Santino Marella: Even up-ah the odds, shall we say?

Who seductively places it in the hands of ‘Coach’. Coachman opens the envelope, and his eyes nearly bulge out of his head, before he clears his throat, glances over both shoulders to see if anyone is watching (but forgetting about the camera, obviously) and then slips the envelope into the inside pocket of his suit…

Jonathan Coachman: I’m sure we can come to some kind of arrangement. Please… take a seat.

it’s all smiles as ‘Coach’ ushers Santino and Trinity towards the leather couches, before ‘Coach’ takes one last nervous look around and we head back into the arena…

To hear…

*SLICED BREAD…*


The crowd gives a great response for the WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans as they race out from the back, firing up the audience. Although it’s only Brian Kendrick who is competing tonight, he’s still accompanied by Paul London, although London hangs back and walks to the ring with Ashley Massaro, allowing Kendrick to sprint to the ring by himself…


Michael Cole: What on earth was that all about?

Tazz: I think our new Interim General Manager just took a bribe from The Full Blooded Italians! So much for ‘im bein’ here to clean up Smackdown.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Now wait a damn minute! You don’t know that! You have no idea what was in that envelope or what’s gonna happen tonight. That’s slander!

Tazz: Are you kiddin’ me!?

Michael Cole; Alright, alright. Let’s not start that again. Right now, here come the WWE Tag Team Champions, although this is scheduled to only be a singles match, and it’s Brian Kendrick who’ll represent the champions.

Tazz: Yeah and the champs gotta be feelin’ pretty confident right now after that big victory over La Resistance last week to finally put that feud to bed.

John Bradshaw Layfield: They got lucky. But luck ain’t gonna help Kendrick tonight, not after Paul Burchill gets his hands on ‘im.

*VILLIAN…*


Some real solid heat as The Bluebloods stride towards the ring. Dave Taylor leads the way down the aisle, while Paul Burchill speaks straight into the ear of the always menacing Paul Burchill, with Burchill confidently nodding along to every word…


Michael Cole: What an impact this man Paul Burchill has made on The Bluebloods. London and Kendrick really had Regal and Taylor’s number, but since Burchill has arrived on the scene, it’s been hard goin’ for the champions.

John Bradshaw Layfield: That’s ‘cause Burchill is a real difference maker. You’ve got the technique and the brawling of Regal, the veteran savvy of Taylor, and now you’ve got the brute strength of Burchill. These three could possibly be the most complete unit in the WWE today.

Tazz: But the one advantage London and Kendrick have over any team they face is speed. And Kendrick better use that tonight or we could be lookin’ at another Paul Burchill victory…

Match 2:
WWE Tag Team Champion Brian Kendrick w/ Paul London and Ashley Massaro vs. Paul Burchill w/ William Regal and Dave Taylor

As the bell rings, both men stride towards each other, the difference in size between the two glaring. Burchill moves in to try grab hold of Kendrick, but Brian slips underneath, quickly back on his feet to tag Burchill with kick after kick to the thigh. Burchill backs away, but then charges in, but once again Kendrick avoids it... and then catches Burchill with an armdrag. Another armdrag puts Burchill back down again, before Kendrick grabs the arm and hits a legdrop across it. Looking to quicken the pace, Kendrick comes off the ropes, only for Burchill to bowl him over with a shoulderblock. Burchill aggressively yanks Kendrick up and starts drilling his knee into the midsection, backing Kendrick into the ropes. An Irish whip sends Kendrick across, but Burchill lowers his head... sunset flip... 1... 2... Burchill kicks out, but Kendrick is back on his feet... jumping heel kick knocks Burchill through the ropes to the outside! Burchill takes a hard landing, but Regal and Taylor are quickly over to help him back to his feet... but they don’t see Kendrick climb to the top rope... moonsault takes down all three!! The crowd pops bigtime as Kendrick takes a huge risk, but it pays off as he rolls Burchill back into the ring for a near fall.

Burchill makes it back to his knees, but Kendrick tags him with kicks to the side of the head, before he goes for an Irish whip to the corner... but Burchill reverses, only for Kendrick to jump to the second rope... and then jump at Burchill... springboard headscissors takedown! Burchill is staggered, stumbling to the ropes, but Kendrick races off the opposite side... flying crossbody... but Burchill catches him... fallaway slam! Burchill sends Kendrick flying, the momentum of the move seeing him bounce and roll under the bottom rope to the outside. In the ring, Burchill heads towards London, trying to pick a fight with him. This draws the attention of the referee, allowing Regal and Taylor to take advantage, hammer Kendrick with a flurry of boots and stomps. Taylor gets Kendrick up... and drives him spine first into the barricade! Regal then grabs Kendrick and aggressively yanks him back into the ring, with Burchill quick to lay in with more boots to the small of the back.

Burchill now targets the spine, dropping knees, forearms and right hands to Kendrick’s back, before he uses brute strength to shove Kendrick into the corner. Burchill charges, but Kendrick gets a boot up. Again Burchill charges, again Kendrick manages to get the boot into the face, and this time he comes out of the corner... into a massive clothesline! Burchill nearly takes Kendrick’s head off, hooking the leg... 1... 2... Kendrick kicks out. With Kendrick down near the corner, Burchill slides under the bottom rope, and pulls Kendrick spine first against the ringpost, applying pressure to Kendrick’s chin and foot as he pushes off against the post... applying all kinds of pressure to Kendrick’s spine! Kendrick cries in pain, but Burchill takes every second of the 5 count before he finally lets go, the camera close enough to hear Regal say “That’s it, punish ‘im!” as Burchill slides back into the ring.

A backbreaker, a diving knee drop and a vertical suplex all add damage to the back, before Burchill gets a near fall from a snap overhead belly-to-belly. Frustrated, Burchill synchs on a bodyscissors, using his legs to squeeze and apply pressure to the lower back. Kendrick tries to pry himself free, but Burchill doesn’t budge, keeping his legs wrapped tight. It takes a flurry of elbows to the face to finally free Kendrick, but as he stumbles back to his feet Burchill simply drills a knee to the back. Burchill fires Kendrick to the corner, but he once again eats a boot to the face... and Kendrick comes out of the corner with a tornado DDT! Kendrick hits the move out of desperation, as now both men are down. Both men take their time making it back up, and when Burchill makes the first move Kendrick beats him to the punch, unloading with forearms to the head before he goes for the Irish whip to the corner... Burchill reverses and charges in... but runs straight into the turnbuckle as Kendrick slides through the ropes! Burchill stumbles away while Kendrick stands on the apron... and slings up... springboard dropkick! Kendrick looks to build some momentum, but Dave Taylor quickly jumps on the apron... running forearm sends Taylor back down, but now Burchill is behind Kendrick... side suplex... Kendrick lands on his feet behind him... kick to the midsection... SLICED BREAD... NO! Burchill counters, pushing Kendrick off of him... flying over the top ropes... and landing on Regal and Taylor!

The two Bluebloods on the outside are in convenient position as Kendrick flies through the air, but as the champion picks himself up, Regal gets in his face... Kendrick rocks him with a forearm... and then one for Taylor! Kendrick jumps back onto the apron, at the same times as London runs the apron too... crossbody to Regal and Taylor... but they catch him... and drill London spine first into the ringpost! London tastes the cold steel, but as this is going on, Kendrick sticks his head through the ropes, driving his shoulder into Burchill’s midsection. He then slings up to the top rope... springboard hurricanrana... but Burchill shows great strength to block the move, pulling Kendrick back up... to then fall backwards... letting Kendrick smack face first off the top turnbuckle! Kendrick is on dream street as he stumbles backwards from the corner... JUMPING NECKBREAKER! Burchill plants Kendrick, and aggressively goes for the cover, driving his forearm into the face as the referee counts 1... 2... 3.

Winner: Paul Burchill @ 06.49

Yet another impressive victory for Paul Burchill, as despite the shenanigans at ringside, it was a perfectly clean win. Burchill aggressively pushes himself off of Kendrick, getting back to his feet, before he’s joined in the ring by Regal and Taylor, who raise Burchill’s hand high in the air. London is down on the outside being tended to by Ashley, and with Kendrick down in the ring, it’s The Blueblood who stand tall after once again laying out the tag team champion.

*Commercial*


And we return to see Kristal Marshall is ready for an interview...


Kristal Marshall: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time… ‘The Rated-R Superstar’… Edge.

Big time heat as Edge enters the scene, an arrogant smirk etched on his face…

Kristal Marshall: Well Edge, it’s official. At Wrestlemania XXIII, it’s gonna be you and Batista one on one for the World Heavyweight Championship. What are your thoughts now that you exactly what you’ll face in Detroit? And also, what are your thoughts on your match with Ric Flair tonight?

Edge ponders, rubbing his chin…

Edge: My thoughts? My thoughts are pretty much the same as they’ve always been. For the moment I decided that I was gonna challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship, I’ve always had the mindset that I will become champion. The fact that it’s Batista doesn’t really matter to me. If could have been Batista, it could’ve been Mr. Kennedy, hell, it could’ve been anybody. I really don’t care anymore who I face and who I beat. But I will become World Heavyweight Champion.

Edge ponders again…

Edge: As for Ric Flair, I’ve beat his wrinkled ass enough times in the past to know he’s not a threat to me. I mean, I appreciate Jonathan Coachman givin’ me a little warm up match, but I really don’t need it. I think I showed with my performance at Saturday Night’s Main Event that I’m at the top of my game right now. Mr. Kennedy didn’t do himself any favours with his attitude durin’ out tag team match that night, but I hope he paid attention to how a real champion gets things done. And I hope he’s payin’ attention tonight too. Maybe he can pick up a few pointers ahead of his match at Wrestlemania.

Edge looks like he’s had enough and is about to leave, only for Kristal to carry on…

Kristal Marshall: Well Edge, speaking of Saturday Night’s Main Event, a lot of people have found it rather convenient that you and Batista never actually came into physical contact with each other. There’s a lot of whispers goin’ around backstage that when ‘The Animal’ said you were scared of him… he was right.

Edge angrily turns and looks at Kristal, intimidating her…


Edge: What did you say? Huh!? You think I’m scared?! HUH!? You think me, Edge, is scared of Batista!?

Kristal cowers in fear, barely able to keep the microphone in position…

Edge: WRONG! I’m not scared of anybody! If anythin’, Batista oughta be scared of ME! ‘Cause he has no idea what I can be capable of. I can strike at a seconds notice, and that’s all it’s gonna take at Wrestlemania for me to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. One spear, and it’s all over. Infact… I’m gonna prove that tonight against Ric Flair. So Dave, I hope you’re watchin’ tonight, ‘cause I intend on makin’ an example of your mentor. And I’m gonna you just a taste of what lies in-store for you at Wrestlemania.

Edge has regained his composure as he looks deep into the camera…

Edge: This year Wrestlemania goes Rated-R! And that means you’re in your title reign Dave, is about to come to an end. And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it!

Edge turns and snaps one last glare at Kristal before he leaves, the interview still shaking with fear as we fade into a video…


*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!



"WWE WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - APRIL 1ST - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"

*End Video Package*


After the video, we then head to the locker rooms, the scene opening on a pair of black wrestling boots on the floor. A pair of hands reaches down to tie the laces, with the camera panning up to reveal the boots belong to none other than Ric Flair. ‘The Nature Boy’ laces up his boots tight, with the camera showing us that he has a bandage across the cut on his forehead from earlier in the evening. A shadow is soon cast over him though, but as Flair looks up, it’s all smiles as we see the World Heavyweight Champion Batista standing over him…

Ric Flair: Hey! Big Dave! How ya’ doin’ champ?

The two share a handshake that quickly turns into a hug…


Batista: I’m good, I’m good. How you doin’? How’s the head?

Ric Flair: Don’t worry about that man, it’s fine. Nothin’ but a scratch. Hey, nice job Saturday night man. You really taught that punk Kennedy a thing or two. Just like I’m gonna do at Wrestlemania.

Batista smiles and nods his head in agreement…

Batista: Yeah it was a good night. Matt Hardy did a great job as my partner too.

A quick pop from inside the arena as Batista puts Hardy over…

Batista: But listen, about tonight. I know Edge and Kennedy aren’t exactly friends anymore after Edge walked out on the match Saturday night, but I got a feelin’ they’re gonna try somethin’ tonight. I ain’t got a match tonight, so I really think I oughta be there in your corner.

Flair smiles appreciatively…


Ric Flair: Listen big guy. You got your own stuff to deal with right now. You don’t need to worry about ol’ Naitch, I’ll be fine.

Batista flares his nostrils, not sure if Flair’s doing the right thing…

Ric Flair: Hey, don’t worry about it. I’ll handle it. If Kennedy wants to try somethin’, then that’s fine with me. ‘Cause I can’t wait to get my hands on ‘im again.

This time Batista smiles and nods his head…


Batista: Alright, good luck tonight. Let’s see some that old Flair magic tonight.

Once again the pair shake hands…


Ric Flair: You got it big guy. Now get outta here! Enjoy that night off.

Batista turns and heads for the exit, leaving Flair behind to finish his preparations as we head back into the arena for…

"OH YEAH..."

*LIVE FOR THE MOMENT...*


A great ovation as Matt Hardy bounces out into the arena, instantly pumping out the crowd. Hardy stops under the Smackdown fist to flash the ‘Version-1’ sign before he heads for the ring, slapping every hand he can as he goes…


Michael Cole: Here comes the man who will challenge the United States Champion Finlay at Wrestlemania. Matt Hardy has always been known as a tag team specialist, always been known as a man who kinda hung around the lower reaches of the card. But 2007 has seen a more focused, a more determined Hardy, capable of takin’ it to the next level.

Tazz: Oh absolutely. Matt Hardy is a changed man as of late, he’s looking to push his career up a notch. He had a good showin’ durin’ the Royal Rumble, he has a great night at No Way Out, followed it up with another good performance last Saturday night. This guy’s got all kinds of momentum headin’ into Wrestlemania.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Yeah but the big question is can he cut it with the big boys? Can he take that next step. I’ve yet to be convinced.

*THIS IS A TEST (EXTREME REMIX)...*


Boos as Test makes his first appearance in a while, but he still manages to draw some decent heat for himself as he snarls and throws trash talk at the ringside fans…


Michael Cole: When Test is on his game, he can be a very dangerous competitor. He’s another guy who had a strong start to 2007, but consecutive defeats to Chris Benoit and then Batista got Test off track. He’ll look to get back to winnin’ ways tonight.

John Bradshaw Layfield: He’s a big powerhouse, a guy who can do some real damage once he gets goin’. This is a teal test for Matt Hardy tonight.

Tazz: Yeah nice pun man. Let’s hope this match is better than those jokes o' yours...

Match 3:
Matt Hardy
vs. Test

Hardy looks confident as the two tie up, and we quickly takes Test down with a headlock takedown. Hardy wrenches on a grounded chinlock, but Test quickly muscles his way back up, pushing Matt off the ropes… and then running him over with a shoulderblock. Test quickens the pace by coming off the ropes, but Hardy lays down to avoid him… then catches Test with a hiptoss as he comes back across. Matt quickly comes off the ropes for a snap legdrop, getting the first near fall of the match, causing a flustered Test to head for the corner and call for time as he tries to regroup. Hardy obliges, giving Test plenty of space to come out of the corner, the two once again tying up. This time it’s Test who works the standing side headlock, but Hardy is able to shove Test into the ropes… who looks for the running big boot… baseball slide from Hardy avoids it… and then he takes Test down with a Russian legsweep for another near fall. Test angrily rolls from the ring, frustrated at how the early exchanges have gone, so much so that he kicks out at the steel steps. Matt is willing to wait though, as he grabs the top rope… plancha onto Test! Hardy flies through the air, getting the crowd fired up again as he takes Test down.

Hardy takes the fight to Test on the outside, smashing him face first off the announce desk. However, when Hardy moves to get Test back inside, Test out of sheer desperation drives Matt spine first into the side of the ring, allowing him a chance to recover as Hardy slumps to the floor. A few clubbing forearms connect with the back, before Test rolls Hardy back into the ring. A hard scoop slam puts Hardy down, with a big elbow dropped across the throat getting Test a 2 count. Looking to do further damage, Test sends Matt to the corner with a hard Irish whip, but he charges right into a boot to the face. Hardy then springs to the second rope… double axe handle! Hardy takes Test down, hooks the leg… 1… 2… Test kicks out. Favouring his back slightly, Matt pulls Test up, unloading with right hands, before he sends Test to the corner. Matt follows in… clothesline… and then the bulldog… but Test pushes him off, into the ropes… and then running straight into a massive boot to the face! Test damn near takes Matt’s head off, and he drops into the cover… 1… 2… Hardy rolls a shoulder. It’s at this stage of the match that we quickly cut backstage to see the United States Champion Finlay stood infront of a TV set, watching the match from the interview area, his title across his shoulder as he sternly watches Hardy in action.

‘The Impact Player’ now mounts Hardy, hammering him with well placed right hands to the top of the forehead. Hardy crawls for the ropes, where Test uses his weight to choke Matt against the middle rope, the ref berating Test for taking so long to break the choke. Leaving Matt in place, Test comes off the opposite ropes… and again drives all his weight across Matt’s back, choking him once more. Hardy coughs and splutters, barely kicking out of Test’s pinfall attempt. More fists to the face land, before Matt is sent to the corner… no, Hardy reverses and follows in… but Test avoids the contact, letting Matt hit the corner… and then he flattens Hardy with a falling clothesline! Here’s the cover, 1… 2… Matt rolls a shoulder, much to Test’s annoyance. Test now looks for a few power moves to try soften Matt up, connecting on a backbreaker, a full nelson slam and then a gutwrench suplex, all three moves getting Test 2 counts. Frustrations grows for Test, but now Hardy shows his fight, striking Test with right hands that back ‘The Impact Player’ to the ropes. Hardy goes for an Irish whip… which Test reverses… into a bearhug!

Test elevates Matt, squeezing around his waist, applying pressure to the spine in an attempt to make Hardy submit. Hardy tries to break free, but Test simply squeezes harder, applying more pressure, shaking Matt from side to side as he wrenches the hold on tight. Slowly but surely, Matt starts to fade, his head and arms dropping as the pain of the hold takes over. Test continues to wrench, shaking Matt, wanting him to submit, but the crowd start to cheer, with Hardy feeding off the volume in the arena. Test tries to fight against it, continuing to wrench Matt, but Hardy shows signs of life as he starts to fight free… elbow to the side of the head… and another… and a third breaks the hold… but Test fires back with a knee to the midsection… and then synchs Matt in… GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB… NO! Matt rolls all the way over, landing on his feet behind Test… and spinning him around for the SIDE EFFECT! Hardy nails the side effect, but both men are down on impact, the referee starting his count. He makes it to 6 before either man shows signs of life, but they both stumble back up… Hardy slugs a right hand… Test fires back… Hardy again… again Test hits back… Hardy tags him… and again… and a third straight from Matt gives him the momentum, backing Test to the ropes, allowing Matt to go for the Irish whip… Test reverses… but Hardy runs under his clothesline… flying forearm from Hardy!

Hardy has a bounce in his step as he gets back on his feet, slugging right after right that drives Test to the corner. An Irish whip sends him across… Matt follows in for the clothesline… then out of the corner with the bulldog! Test is down, but Hardy is already heading for the corner, roaring to the crowd as he stands on the second rope… diving legdrop connects! 1… 2… Test rolls a shoulder! Although disappointed, Hardy presses on, again slugging rights and lefts to the body, before he launches Test to the corner… no, Test reverses… but runs into a boot to the face. Hardy quickly pushes himself onto the second rope… elbow drop across the back of Test’s head! Matt has all the momentum as he jumps back up, roaring to the crowd, waiting for Test to rise. Test stumbles to his feet… kick… TWIST OF FATE… NO! Test twists free, then drills Matt with a kick to the gut… before he hooks him up… PUMPHANDLE SLAM! Test rattles off the big impact move, falling into the lateral press… 1… 2… NO! Hardy rolls his shoulder! Test is enraged, furiously shouting at the referee, demanding the 3 count, but he gets no joy as the referee confirms it was only 2. Seeking to finally put Hardy away, Test yanks him to his feet, then synchs him in… and poses for the crowd to a round of boos before he makes his move… GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB... NO!! Again Hardy is able to carry the momentum through, landing on his feet behind Test, turning him around… kick… TWIST OF FATE!! Hardy gets all of it, and he quickly crawls into the cover… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Matt Hardy @ 08.47

A great win for Hardy, solidifying his recent run of victories. Hardy stumbles back to his feet, selling the effects of the match, before his hand is raised by the referee to another pop. The shot then cuts back to Finlay, still stood infront of the monitor, but now a much more angry look on his face. Finlay seethes, twirling his shillelagh in his hand, clearly not impressed with Hardy’s win… so he smashes the monitor with his shillelagh! The monitor crashes to the floor, electrical sparks flying everywhere, before Finlay then starts trashing the surrounding area. The backstage area now looks a total mess thanks to Finlay, with the United States Champion having one last look at the damage he’s done before he walks off and we head into commercial.

*Commercial*


We're back, and John Bradshaw Layfield: is already in the ring, his music just about coming to and end. 'JBL' wears a broad smile on his face, adjusting his tie and cowboy hat as he waits for silence...


John Bradshaw Layfield: Ladies and gentlemen, once again, I, your Wrestling Gawd, is here to prove my I'm the not only the greatest wrestler who ever lived, but that I have seamlessly transitioned into the greatest broadcast journalist who ever lived.

The crowd boo, but 'JBL' laps it up like cheers...

John Bradshaw Layfield: Thank you, thank you. It was three weeks ago, that the world was left in shock. The world was stunned as the man thought to be unbreakable... was broken. 'The Phenom', The Undertaker, a man who for over 15 years has used fear and mind games to control his opponents... ran into a man... no, a monster... who is truly fearless. 'The Deadman' ran into 'The Savage of Samoa'... Umaga.

The crowd remains relatively silent as 'JBL' smiles...

John Bradshaw Layfield: He has never been pinned, he has never been forced to submit. He made his debut eleven months ago, he started bulldozin' the competition, and he hasn't been stopped since. And at No Way Out... he did this.

*Video Package*

HIGHLIGHTS FROM NO WAY OUT


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...

THAT UMAGA IS IN THE RING!!!

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...

*GONG...*

*DRUIDS MARCH...*


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*


John Bradshaw Layfield: Ladies and gentlemen... 'The Samoan Bulldozer'... UMAGAAAAAA!!!

*VIRTUAL VOODOO...*


Filthy heat for Umaga, who grunts and snarls his way down the aisle, with Armando Alejandro Estrada following from behind, putting his monster over to the ringside crowd as he does. Umaga screams and slaps his hands off the steel steps before he clambers up them and into the ring, where Estrada and Layfield share a hearty handshake. Umaga continues to snarl, intimidating even 'JBL', but Estrada motions for calm from 'Mags as 'JBL' once again adjusts his tie...


John Bradshaw Layfield: Alright. Umaga... Mr. Estrada... welcome. I just showed the video from No Way Out, where this man decimated The Undertaker. But quite frankly, that was just one moment of many I could've shown. It's been nearly a year since you brought Umaga to the WWE, and it has been a year of flawless dominance. Nobody on Monday Night Raw could touch 'im, nobody even came close to beatin' 'im. He ran through the competition on Raw, but you Mr. Estrada... I know you had a much bigger target in sight.

Estrada nods, shouting "Si!"...


John Bradshaw Layfield: You had The Undertaker and his famous Wrestlemania Streak in your sights. Usually The Undertaker stalks his Wrestlemania prey with a long series of mind games and sneak attacks. Simply put, The Undertaker is nothin' more than a coward!

Big heat for that comment, but Estrada simply nods in agreement...

John Bradshaw Layfield: But not you, and not Umaga. Instead you walked into the belly of the beast, you interrupted The Undertaker's signature match... and you tossed his broken body into a casket. It was a dominance of The Undertaker that I've never seen before. And at Saturday Night's Main Event, Paul Bearer was dispatched to the ring to accept your challenge. But just like I said, The Undertaker showed his true colours, as Bearer was nothin' more than a distraction for a trademark sneak attack from 'The Deadman'.

Estrada scrunches up his face as he reluctantly nods...

John Bradshaw Layfield: But the match is set, and Umaga will go after the Wrestlemania streak. It stands at 14-0... but I don't think it's gonna hit 15.

Estrada smiles broadly, moving closer to speak into the mic in Layfield's hand...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: Si. Senor Layfield, ju' are a very smart man. Ju' know a good deal when ju' see one. Ju' know perro that Umaga is de' most dominant force de' WWE has ever known! And deep down inside... De' Undertaker knows 'dis too! Haha!

Heat...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: 'Dat's why at Saturday Night's Main Event, De' Undertaker had to... como se dice... SNEAK into de' ring! He had to turn out de' lights amigo! Ju' came to de' ring after Umaga just got finished beatin' up jour brother Kane! Undertaker... ju' made de' biggest mistake of your career perro! Ju' see, 'dis man... ju' can't play de' mind games with him. Dey' don't work on Umaga! We don't play games. For ju' 'Deadman', playtime... is over!

'JBL' smirks, loving what he's hearing...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: We were... como se dice... bored with de' competition on Raw. We wanted de' big challenge. We want... de' streak!

In the background, Umaga's head snaps to attention at the mere mention of it...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: Ju’ see, de’ people in de’ WWE like to give De’ Undertaker de’ big build. Guys like Michael Cole and Tazz, ‘dey give de’ Undertaker ‘dis… como se dice… mystique! ‘Dis – ‘dis aura! ‘Dey like to pretend ‘dat ‘dere precious Undertaker is… invincible! And while ‘dese people may believe it… but not me… not ‘ju Senor Layfield… and not Umaga do. Haha!

Layfield laughs as the crowd responds with heat…

Armando Alejandro Estrada: Ju’ can dress in black all you want amigo, you can cut de’ lights, you can ring ‘dat stupid gong all night long perro! It doesn’t matter what mind games ju’ play, ‘cos ‘dey don’t effect ‘dis monster! We ain’t afraid of things ‘dat go bump in ‘de night amigo! And we ain’t afraid of ju’! But ju’ Undertaker…

Estrada points at the nearest camera…


Armando Alejandro Estrada: Ju’ better fear Umaga.

A huge smirks crosses Estrada’s face…


Armando Alejandro Estrada: ‘Cause ju’ my friend… have just found ‘de one man who is truly… fearless. He is a savage! He doesn’t fear ‘de mind games… ‘cause he knows no fear. ‘Ju can’t scare a monster Undertaker! ‘Dere is nothing ‘dat can effect him, nothing! Undertaker, ‘ju are finally gonna face ‘de one man who truly is… invincible. ‘Dere is no aura, ‘dere is no mystique, ‘dere is nothin’ but… como se dice… FACTS!

Umaga continues to snarl, pacing the ring in the background, poised to strike…

Armando Alejandro Estrada: Undertaker... ju' came to Saturday Night's Main Event... and when ju' accepted our challenge... ju' just ended the streak amigo. Ju' want a piece of 'dis man... 'dis beast... 'dis MONSTER?! Ju' got it!

Estrada stares hard into the camera, snapping his sunglasses from his face...

Armando Alejandro Estrada: Wrestlemania XXIII... de' biggest streak in professional sports... DIES. And so... does De' Undertaker! HAHA!

It's all smiles between Estrada and 'JBL', the two once again going for a handshake...

THE LIGHTS IN THE ARENA GO OUT!

A buzz rings across the arena, the fans anticipating an appearance from 'The Deadman'... but instead it's silence... until a rumble of thunder rings out... and a BOLT OF LIGHTNING STRIKES THE RING!

Just enough light returns to the arena so we can see the ring, with 'JBL' and Estrada huddled together, cowering in fear... but Umaga is stood square in the middle, ready for a fight! Umaga snarls and yells in his native tongue, wanting The Undertaker...

Only for The Undertaker and Paul Bearer to appear on the tron! A fucking huge cheer greets the sight of the pair, with Bearer and 'The Deadman' stood in a dark room, a flickering light illuminating them and the urn in Bearer's hand...


The Undertaker: There comes a time in a man's life... when he must look within himself... deep down into his soul... and face his demons.

No reaction from 'The Samoan Bulldozer', who continues to snarl at the tron...


The Undertaker: Umaga... your own personal demon... is the pursuit of my Wrestlemania streak. You seek the path to glory? You seek what you believe to be your destiny?

Bearer shakes his head knowingly...

The Undertaker: Your fate does not lie at Wrestlemania XXIII. Your fate... lies in the depths of hell.

A massive pop in the arena...

The Undertaker: At No Way Out, you unleashed the creatures of the night. You opened the gates of hell, bringing forth a force… that you do not understand.

Estrada and Layfield continue to cower together, while Umaga’s eyes have yet to leave the screen…

The Undertaker: Umaga, heed this warning. You are but a mere mortal. Despite your determination... despite your belief... and despite your power... you will fall like the mortals who have came before you.

A long pause from 'Taker...

The Undertaker: At Wrestlemania XXIII... it will be ...an eye for an eye... a streak for a streak. And you Umaga shall REST... IN... PEACE!!

*GRAVEYARD SYMPHONY...*


Another huge pop from the crowd as 'Taker rolls his eyes to the back of his head. The lights flicker again and the tron goes black, but Umaga hasn't moved an inch the whole time, just staring at the tron, snarling, growling, but more importantly, perhaps he's proven that mind games... don't phase this beast?

*Commercial*


We return to hear...

*WHATEVER...*


A great response as Chris Benoit makes his entrance, limping slightly as he shows the effects of the brutal Belfast Brawl he was involved in at Saturday Night's Main Event...


Michael Cole: What an incredible effort this man gave last Saturday night in pursuit of the United States Championship. The first ever Belfast Brawl, and Benoit and Finlay left it all in the ring, but it was the champion Finlay who retained the gold.

Tazz: Lemme tell ya', I was in ECW for a long time, I saw my share of tough as hell matches over the years. But that was just unbelievable between those two on Saturday night. Finlay has the night of tonight, and quite frankly, I'm amazed Benoit is even able to compete right now.

John Bradshaw Layfield: A Money in the Bank spot is on the line! That's enough to motivate anybody, no matter how much pain they're in.

*LA VITTORIA E MIA...*


Not much of a reaction, but a few boos nonetheless as Santino Marella steps out ready to compete. The rest of The Full Blooded Italians join him, with Big Vito, Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke also head slowly down the ramp, also dressed to compete. Trinity is on Marella's arm, and she smirks as she and Santino smile at Benoit...


Tony Chimel: Ladies and gentlemen, I have just been informed, that by order of the Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman, this match, will now be... a Four-on-One Handicap Match!

Michael Cole: Are you kiddin' me?!

Benoit turns and looks at Chimel and the referee, wondering what the hell is going on...

Tazz: Still think that wasn't a bribe 'JBL'?

John Bradshaw Layfield: If it was, it's genius on the part of The F.B.I.! Santino just guaranteed 'imself a Money in the Bank spot!

Match 4: Four-on-One Handicap Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
The Full Blooded Italians (Santino Marella, Big Vito, Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke)
w/ Trinity vs. Chris Benoit

Benoit can only shake his head in disbelief as he looks across the ring at four opponents, although it’s the muscle of the group, Big Vito, who gets things under way. A hard collar-and-elbow tie up sees Benoit work into a standing side headlock, but Vito fires him off the ropes... and then knocks Benoit down with a shoulderblock. Vito goes for an elbowdrop, but Benoit rolls to safety, seeing Vito hit the mat. Kicks to the midsection land from Benoit, before Benoit goes for the Irish whip to the corner... Vito reverses and follows in... straight into an elbow! Benoit then yanks Vito against the turnbuckle, unloading with a string of stiff chops to the chest. Kicks to the gut follow, before Benoit sends Vito for the ride... again Vito reverses, but this time Benoit avoids him with a baseball slide... Vito tries a kick, but Benoit grabs the foot... dragon screw! Benoit takes Vito down, and grabs both feet... trying to twist him into the SHARPSHOOTER... but Vito kicks Benoit away, scrambling to his corner to tag in Nunzio.

Nunzio storms the ring, but he runs straight into an armdrag, before Benoit sends him off the ropes... into a knee to the midsection, sending Nunzio over and getting Benoit a near fall. Benoit then gets Nunzio up, rocking him with a big German suplex! Benoit holds on... second German suplex! Benoit hangs on, dragging Nunzio up... looking for the third... but Vito and Mamaluke storm the ring, hammering Benoit from behind! The numbers game takes over as they beat Benoit to the mat, the referee calling for the duo to leave the ring, which they do after taking every second of the 5 count. Mamaluke now gets the tag, and he clubs Benoit from behind with more forearms, causing Benoit to crawl to the ropes. Mamaluke then uses his knee to press Benoit’s throat against the middle rope, before he pulls Benoit to the Italians’ corner and tags in Nunzio. The pair combine to send Benoit off the ropes into a double hiptoss, then link hands for a double elbow drop, getting Nunzio a 2 count. The quick tags now happen as Nunzio comes back in, he and Mamaluke hitting a double side suplex for another 2 count, while Vito enters and hits a swinging neckbreaker.

Conspicuous by his absence thus far is Marella, who instead barks orders from the apron in his own unique way, preferring to let his teammates do most of the work. Vito hits a big vertical suplex, Mamaluke hits a nasty looking tornado DDT, while Nunzio connects on a bulldog, all three getting near falls. Nunzio is in the ring, with Benoit deep in a camel clutch. Nunzio jumps up and down, driving his body into Benoit’s spine, slowly but surely wearing Benoit down. Eventually the crowd rallies, despite Trinity’s best attempts to quiet them, and Benoit struggles back to his feet, drilling elbows that break the hold, but as he comes off the ropes, Vito drives a knee into the small of the back... and Nunzio runs at him, jumping to the middle rope, grabbing Benoit... springboard single arm DDT! Nunzio drives Benoit to the mat, hooks the leg... 1... 2... Benoit rolls a shoulder!

Vito tags back in, looking for that big power move to put Benoit away... so he synchs Benoit in for the CODE OF SILENCE... NO! Benoit counters... northern lights suplex! 1... 2... Mamaluke makes the save. The referee berates Mamaluke, causing him to stay in the ring... Benoit grabs him for a release German suplex! Nunzio storms the ring... he too runs into a release German suplex! Vito is back on his feet... third German puts him down! Nunzio and Mamaluke roll to the outside, with Benoit now climbing to the rope... but before he can go for the diving headbutt, Trinity jumps up onto the apron! Benoit glares at her angrily, and the distraction is enough as Vito dives into the ropes, causing Benoit to lose his balance and crotch himself on the top rope! Vito is back on his feet, climbing to the second rope... SUPERPLEX! The numbers game is gonna cost Benoit as Vito sends him flying down, and he crawls for the cover... only for Santino to demand Vito tags him in!?

Marella is adamant, ordering Vito to tag him. Although confused, Vito obliges, bringing his boss into the match. It looks like Santino wants the glory to himself as he heads towards Benoit... but Benoit catches him with a snap overhead belly-to-belly suplex! Seeing his boss in trouble, Vito tries to storm the ring, but Benoit cuts him off, knocking Vito off the apron... and into Mamaluke and Nunzio below! With the trio down, Benoit turns back to Santino... who stumbles to his feet... into the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE! Santino’s been in the ring for a total of 10 seconds, but he’s already in the deadly submission... and he’s got no choice but to tap furiously!

Winner: Chris Benoit @ 05.29

Despite the odds, Benoit gets the win, in quite comical fashion as far as Santino is concerned. Marella is quickly dragged from the ring by Vito, and quickly consoled by his teammates, while in the ring Benoit has his hand raised in the air, and then turns towards the Wrestlemania banner hanging from the rafters, pointing at it with that toothy grin of his on his face...

Until he's blindsided! Benoit crashes to the mat, and we snap back to the hard camera to reveal that it's King Booker and Montel Vontavious Porter who have stormed the ring! The pair hammer Benoit with stomps to the body, the crowd booing profusely. Booker calls 'MVP' away, waiting for Benoit to rise... but Benoit only makes it to his knees... so Booker can strike with the Axe Kick! Benoit goes down again, with Booker adding insult to injury by treating us all to a Spin-a-Roonie. 'MVP' hasn't his his turn yet though, and he barks for Booker to pick Benoit up... then toss him in... for the Playmaker!! The partnership of Booker and 'MVP' have taken out their first member of the competition, leaving Chris Benoit down and out on the mat, the two slapping hands in congratulations for themselves as we head off to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We return to once again see The Full Blooded Italians, now walking backstage, each member grabbing and rubbing various body parts in pain, while Trinity can only shake her head in disbelief. The quintet walk along the backstage corridor, Santino looking very angry while the others look almost too scared to speak. Suddenly, Santino comes to a stop, the rest of the group falling into place behind him... as we see The Extremists are stood infront of them! Tommy Dreamer, Sabu and The Sandman step towards the group that insulted them last week, with Dreamer smiling as he goes...


Tommy Dreamer: Looks like I won't be needin' my shinebox after all, huh Santino?

Vito steps forward angrily, but Sandman lifts the Singapore cane that was resting on his shoulder, cocking it in the air, ready to strike. Vito backs down, the tension running high between the two groups...

Tommy Dreamer: We'll see ya' around.

And with that, Dreamer, Sabu and Sandman walk on, the various members of the two groups brushing shoulders as The Extremists leave, the camera staying focused on The F.B.I. who all watch on angrily before we cut elsewhere.

To see The Miz and Michelle McCool stood in the interview area. Some decent heat welcomes the appearance of the two, which Miz simply smirks through...


The Miz: So... Chris Benoit becomes the latest entrant into the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Benoit, Booker, and 'MVP'. Really?

Miz shakes his head...

The Miz: I'm sure all three of you have high hopes for goin' to Wrestlemania and grabbin' that briefcase. Well guys, I think it's time for a little reality check. 'Cause y'see, next week the final Smackdown spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match is up for grabs... and yours truly is gonna grab it.

McCool smirks and nods in the background...

The Miz: I mean, they're really no competition in the match. Nobody that can stop me. Benoit? The guy is so broken down he'll be lucky to even make it one rung. Booker and 'MVP'? Lemme give ya' a little warnin' fellas. If either of you two try and jump me after I qualify next week, I'll make sure neither of ya' make it to Detroit.

Miz angrily turns his head away, then back to the camera...

The Miz: I might have had a slight interest in the United States Championship, but now I'm goin' after the real prize. I am gonna win next week, and I am gonna go to my first Wrestlemania. And when I there, I'm gonna climb that ladder and become Mr. Money in the Bank. 'Cause I'm The Miz...

Miz turns to McCool, who steps forward...

Michelle McCool And he's awesome!

The Miz: And don't you dare forget that.

The two turn and smirk at each other, the camera focusing on them before we fade into a video.

*Video Package*

We open to the sound of cheerful, triumphant music, with images of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler sat side by side, the pair commentating on a WWE event...

Narrator: They were the voices that lent themselves to some of the greatest moments in WWE history...

We now see the famous moment from King of the Ring 1998, where Mick Foley is sent flying off the top of the Hell in a Cell structure and straight through the announce desk...

Jim Ross: As Gawd is my witness, he is broken in half!

Narrator: There words and passion can bring life to even the most simplistic moments inside a WWE ring...

Lawler is now in the ring, hosting a bikini contest...

Jerry Lawler: Oh my God J.R. look! Puppies!

More footage of the two sat behind the desk, calling matches together...

Narrator: One who many claim was a man born to be an announcer...

We now cut to old school WCW footage, with a much younger Ross welcoming viewers to a show...

Narrator: The other born quite simply to be a champion...

And now even older, grainier footage of Lawler battling with Kerry Von Erich and then Terry Funk...

Narrator: But it’s perhaps together that they’ll both be most fondly remember as the greatest announce team in WWE history.

Once again we see footage of the pair sat behind the desk, this time under the glamour and glitz of a Wrestlemania...

John Cena: I don’t think it gets any better than those two workin’ together...

The triumphant music continues as we now see footage of the infamous Late Night with David Letterman episode, where Lawler sits next to Andy Kaufman...

Jerry Lawler: When he was born, his father wanted a boy, and his mother wanted a girl, and they were both satisfied!

Lawler and Kaufman continue to trade words, until Lawler rises up and slaps Kaufman right out of his chair...

Vince McMahon: He certainly always know how to create controversy for himself, and how to get people to dislike him, and I think that was one of his real strengths as a performer...

We now see Ross walking down the ramp at a WWE event...

Steve Austin: Ev’rybody knows he’s got ‘is list o’ catchphrases...

Shawn Michaels: It’s a slobberknocker!

Chris Benoit: Whipped like a government mule!

Steve Austin: Stomp a mudhole and walk it dry!

And now we see Lawler walk the ramp, crown in hand as he waves to the crowd...

Michael Cole: They play off each other so well, the chemistry between the two is unbelievable.

A classic Raw moment as Steve Austin comes flying off the zamboni and tackles Vince to the mat...

Jim Ross: Aw yeah! Austin’s got McMahon! Stone Cold!

Jerry Lawler: Oh no! Mr McMahon, are – are you alright?!

Still images of the two sat side by side...

Triple H: There’s nobody I’d rather have call one of my matches than those two.

John Cena: You listen to ‘em and you get so caught up in the energy and the emotion they bring to a match.

Another iconic Raw moment as Mr. McMahon rips off the hood, revealing himself as ‘The Higher Power’...

Vince McMahon: It’s me Austin!

Jim Ross: Aw sunnova bitch!

Jerry Lawler: What?!

Narrator: The WWE Hall of Fame is proud to welcome Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler!

We now see a split screen picture of the pair, with the Hall of Fame logo between the two. Also on the screen is the fact that Jerry Lawler will be inducted into the Hall of Fame by David Letterman, while doing the honours for Jim Ross will be ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin!

*End Video Package*


We now cut to a backstage corridor, where we see walking to the ring Ric Flair, dressed in an elaborate pink robe as he makes his way along, a confident look on his face...

Michael Cole: Our congratulations go out to both Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, two great additions to the WWE Hall of Fame. But up next, it's time for our main event. 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair takes on 'The Rated-R Superstar' Edge, when we return to Friday Night Sma-

Cole, Flair, the cameraman, everybody come to a halt, with a beaming smile crossing Flair's face... as Arn Anderson approaches him! The crowd pops as 'Double A' strides towards his friend, the two legendary Horsemen all smiles as they go for a handshake...

Arn Anderson: Get 'im tonight.

Nothing more needs to be said as the two long time friends nod and release their grip on the shake, with Anderson giving Flair one last pat on the shoulder before Flair carries on his walk, the camera lingering on him before we fade out into the commercial.

*Commercial*


And when we return...

"WOOOOO..."

*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*


Ric Flair makes his entrance to yet another tremendous pop from the crowd, with 'The Nature Boy' strutting his way down the aisle, pausing every now and then for a quick "Wooooo!"...


Michael Cole: It's not very often we get to see this man, this legend compete on Friday nights. But we've got 'im tonight, as Ric Flair is set to go one on one with Edge.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Listen, I gotta lotta respect for Ric Flair. He's one of, if not the greatest of all time. But what Mr. Kennedy said earlier tonight was right. He's past his best, he's overstayed his welcome, and I think Edge is gonna prove it tonight.

Tazz: I wouldn't be so sure about that. 2007 has seen a bit of a resurgence in Flair's career. He might just surprise you and a lotta other people right here.

Michael Cole: Well is tonight considered a test for Flair? I mean, does his performance here against Edge give us a kinda indication of whether or not he can compete with Mr. Kennedy at Wrestlemania?

Tazz: Yeah I think it might. I think it means a lot to Ric Flair too though. He wants to prove a few naysayers wrong right here, especially a guy like Kennedy.

In the ring, Flair removes his robe and hands to a stage hand, before he stretches against the ropes and takes a little jog around the ring. Flair looks confident and relaxed as he awaits the appearance of...

"YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME..."

*METALINGUS...*


A great level of heat for Edge, as 'The Rated-R Superstar' burst onto the stage, pausing underneath the Smackdown first to fire of an explosion of pyro before he makes his way down the aisle...


Michael Cole: Well speakin' of someone with somethin' to prove, a lotta people have made the point that perhaps Edge is scared of 'The Animal', Batista. And you gotta admit, it's a pretty convincing-

John Bradshaw Layfield: What the hell are you talkin' about Michael?! Scared?! He ain't scared o' Batista! If he was scared, ya' think he woulda challenged the man to a match at Wrestlemania?

Tazz: Now wait a minute, that ain't strictly true. Yes, Edge challenged for the World Heavyweight Championship, but he's done everythin' he could so far to make so it's not him and 'The Animal' one on one.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Ah that's a crock and you know it! Edge is walkin' into Wrestlemania for a match with Batista, a match he wanted. It's idiots like you Tazz, runnin' your mouth that pisses Edge off. And he's about to take it out on Ric Flair tonight, just wait and see!

Main Event:
Edge
vs. Ric Flair

The crowd is buzzing as the bell rings, with both men smiling as they circle the ring. Flair moves for the first tie in, but Edge quickly backs away, playing the waiting game as he tries to frustrate Flair early on. Flair waves Edge on, and after some more circling the pair finally tie up, Edge working into a standing side headlock, and then a takedown. Edge briefly has a chinlock locked in, but Flair kicks up his legs, wrapping them into a headscissors that he uses to get the advantage. Edge manages to roll his way free, both men back on their feet, but they pause, neither man striking first, a brief standoff ensuing. Eventually they tie up again, but Edge quickly drills a knee to the midsection, and then he clubs Flair all the way into the corner. Edge mocks Flair and the crowd by shouting “Wooooo!” before he unloads with a chop to the chest… but this only serves to snap Flair to life, as he yanks Edge into the corner and unloads with a string of stiff chops, the crowd shouting “Wooooo!” each time Flair connects. Edge covers up, but Flair is unrelenting, only stopping to send across the ring, crashing off the turnbuckle… into a big back body drop! Edge is slow to get back up, and when he does Flair goes back to work with the chops, although Edge does swing a right hand… missing wildly… atomic drop from Flair… sends Edge bouncing over the top rope to the floor!

Flair is in control, but as he heads for the ropes, Edge grabs his foot, yanking him down and then dragging him under the bottom rope. Edge stings a knife edge chop… but Flair fires back with a trio of his own, before he grabs Edge… and smashes him face first off the steel steps, with Edge doing his best Flair impression as he flops face first to the floor. Flair yanks Edge back into the ring, and as he follows in he stalks Edge, waiting for him to rise… to connect on a chop block! The crowd cheer as they see Flair start to target the knee, with a shinbreaker and then a jumping knee drop across Edge’s leg adding further damage. Flair continues to drive the knee, only stopping to get back on his feet… to then grab Edge’s foot… and twist him into… the FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK… NO! Edge franticly kicks Flair away, sending Flair into the corner. Edge favours his knee as he heads over, and this allows Flair to snap off a right hand, then a chop… right hand… chop… right, no Edge ducks, grabs Flair from behind… inverted DDT! Edge plants Flair, finally registering some offence, but he’s slow to take advantage, favouring his knee as he gets back to a vertical base.

Edge now has his first chance to string together some offence, and he decides to take a page out of Flair’s book, grabbing the foot as Flair lies on the mat, allowing Edge to drill kicks to the back of the knee. An elbow drop across the knee causes more pain, with Edge then pulling Flair to his feet. A few right hands land, but Edge quickly fires Flair to the corner with a hard Irish whip… sending Flair crashing into the turnbuckle upside down! Flair somehow manages to land on the apron, but here comes Edge… to bodycheck Flair… right into the barricade! The crowd gasps as Flair crashes spine first into the barrier, with Edge now firmly in control as he rolls outside. With Flair in a seated position against the barricade, Edge starts laying with boots to the chest and punches to the head, before he drags Flair up… and goes for the Irish whip… knee first into the steel steps! Flair screams in agony as he lays on the floor, grabbing his knee, but Edge is finished yet, an aggressive look in his eyes as he rolls Flair into the ring, but then drags him towards the corner. With Edge controlling things from the outside, he pulls Flair in, grabs his left leg and rears back… smashing Flair’s knee off the ringpost! Once more Flair cries out in pain… and again Edge smashes the knee off the steel… and a third time! Flair is in absolute agony as he shuffles away, a sick smile crossing Edge’s face as we fade into the final commercial of the broadcast.

*Commercial*


And when we return, Flair is showing signs of life as he stands toe to toe with Edge, striking with chops… until a stiff kick to the knee puts an end to the rally. Flair collapses on the mat, with Edge now firmly in control, looking to rattle off a few moves to wear Flair down. Edge starts by sending Flair off the ropes into a flapjack, then the Edge-O-Matic, and finally he sends Flair to the corner, staggering into a big back body, each move met with ever louder cries of pain from Flair but only 2 counts for Edge. Feeling cocky, Edge starts strutting around the ring like Flair would, then he pushes Flair into the corner to unload with chops to the chest, mocking the veteran. Edge then goes back to the knee, placing Flair’s leg across the middle rope, allowing him to aim stiff kicks to the back of the leg. His confidence growing, Edge grabs the leg and with Flair standing on one foot, he pulls ‘The Nature Boy’ to the middle of the ring… and sweeps the leg, causing Flair to fall to the mat. Edge stands over Flair, left leg in his hand, and he furthers the mocking by shouting “Wooooo!” at the crowd, before he twists into the FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK… NO! Flair reaches up… and counters with an inside cradle! 1… 2… NO!

Edge kicks out, and he quickly jumps on Flair, drilling him with right hands in an attempt to keep the veteran grounded. Edge goes back to work on the knee, driving his own knee into Flair’s leg, before he pulls Flair to a vertical base. Stood on only one foot, Edge knows he has Flair where he wants him… ENZIGUIRI! An enzuigiri from Flair! Out of nowhere Flair strikes! Both men are down now, the crowd willing them back to their feet. Edge is dazed as he gets back up, while Flair has to use the ropes to drag himself up. Leaning against them, Flair has to wait for Edge to approach… and he strikes with a chop… and another… and a third, just relentless chops that back Edge all the way across the ring to the opposite ropes. Flair goes for the Irish whip… huge back body drop! Edge crashes to the mat, but he somehow manages to crawl to the corner, although Flair is right on him, stinging chop lands, before Flair climbs to the second rope, grabs Edge by the hair… and starts raining down with right hands, the crowd counting along all the way to 10… when Flair dips down and starts biting Edge on the forehead! Edge flails his hands, but the pain only stops when Flair drops back down to the mat, one last big chop knocking Edge down, with Flair going for the cover… 1… 2… no! Edge kicks out!

Flair presses on though, as he turns his attentions back to Edge’s knee, starting with the shinbreaker and then the chop block. Edge is down, Flair has his foot in his hands… FIGURE FOUR… NO! Again Edge is able to kick Flair into the corner. Flair hits the top turnbuckle face first, stumbling back into the middle of the ring… and here comes Edge… SPEAR!! Edge hits the spear from out of nowhere! Flair is down, and Edge drapes an arm over Flair’s chest for the straightforward 1… 2… NO!! Flair rolls his shoulder! Flair stays alive! Edge can’t believe it, and neither can the crowd as they cheer wildly for the resistance of ‘The Nature Boy’! Edge runs a hand through his hair, in total disbelief, not even arguing with the referee, instead he simply looks and offers three fingers, but only gets two in return. Edge is back on his feet, and with Flair still down hurt, now is the time as Edge grabs Flair’s foot… steps over the leg… twists and drops… FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK! The crowd boos heavily as Edge goes for the ultimate insult, trying to make Ric Flair tap out to the figure four. Flair cries out in pain, furiously shaking his head, desperate not to submit. Flair tries to scratch and claw for the ropes, but it’s no use as Edge has the hold locked in tight in the middle of the ring. Flair tries to stretch out, but in the process his shoulders hit the mat, the referee counting 1… 2… until Flair pulls himself back up. Flair is repeatedly asked if he wants to submit, but each time he yells “No!” and shakes that blonde mop of his. The crowd desperately try and encourage Flair… and it seems to be working as Flair slowly shifts the momentum, twisting, straining, trying t turn… REVERSE FIGURE FOUR! Flair has countered it!

Now all the pressure is on Edge’s knee, with ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ screaming in pain… but managing to turn Flair over again, the pain rolling into the ropes where the referee steps in to separate them. Both men stumble back to their feet, limping heavily, but it’s Flair who strikes first with a chop, and a second, and a third, before he ducks a wild Edge right hand… atomic drop finds the mark… and a big chop knocks Edge down! Now it’s Flair who looks to build some offence, snapping more chops against the ropes before he goes for the Irish whip to the corner… with Edge reverses and follows in… straight into a back elbow! Flair looks for a clothesline, but Edge ducks it, and he synchs Flair from behind… EDGECUTION! Edge plants Flair with the DDT, dropping his body on top of Flair, sure of victory as he uses his fingers to count along with the 1… 2… NO!!! Flair rolls his shoulder again! This time Edge is furious, back on feet, right in the referee’s face, almost striking the ref with a right hand before thinking better of it. Edge can’t believe that wasn’t three, but when he finally accepts the decision, he crouches in the corner, running his hands through his hair, motioning for Flair to get up. Edge demands Flair to rise, but he has to use the corner to do so. Flair is finally up… here comes Edge… SPEAR… NO! Flair counters… drop toe hold… Edge smacks face first off the middle turnbuckle! Edge stumbles back from the corner… and Flair goes for a double leg takedown… and grips Edge’s foot… twist, turns, wrenches and drops… FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK!! This time it’s Flair, the old master, who has the move locked on! Edge screams, arms flailing, frantically trying to reach the ropes, the crowd cheering, wanting to see him tap out… until their cheers turn to boos… as Mr. Kennedy storms the ring… and starts hammering Ric Flair! The referee has no choice but to call for the DQ!

Winner: Via Disqualification, Ric Flair @ 14.56

Kennedy instantly mounts Flair, drilling him square on the forehead with stiff right after stiff right hand, before he bursts back to his feet in rage. The camera switches to Flair, and we see that the cut to his forehead that he suffered at the start of the show has once again been busted open. Kennedy now starts laying in with the boots, and soon Edge is back on his feet, he too stomping down on Flair before he then abandons the attack and heads for the outside. As Edge drops to the floor, he heads for the timekeeper's desk, pushing Tony Chimel aside, only to hear...

*I WALK ALONE...*


The arena explodes as the World Heavyweight Champion Batista races down the aisle! Edge plays it coy, staying on the outside with the chair in his hand, although in the ring Kennedy continues to hammer Flair until he sees Batista enter the ring. Kennedy charges... straight into a massive spinebuster! Batista absolutely plants Kennedy, who quickly rolls from the ring in pain, before 'The Animal' bursts to his feet, roaring to the crowd, shaking the top rope, the fans on their feet, loving every second of it...

But Edge is in the ring... chair in his hand! Edge rears back... gets ready to swing... but Batista turns early and sees him... prompting Edge to stop! Edge has been caught, chair in his hand, ready to strike... but he doesn't swing. Instead it's a tense, nervous standoff, the pair staring at each other, eyes bulging, the crowd baying for blood, with even Batista yelling "C'mon!" at Edge... who pulls the chair down... and then drops it on the mat... and casually steps through the ropes?

The crowd boos, and Batista looks confused as Edge slowly walks around the ring and backs his way up the ramp... tapping the side of his head? Edge has a big smile on his face, motioning with his thumb and index fingers and utering the words "This close!" as he backs away. Batista stands by the ropes, still breathing heavily, looking for a fight, but he's not gonna get it tonight as Edge simply continues to bak away, smirking and tapping his head as he goes...


Michael Cole: Well... Edge lives to fight another day I guess.

Tazz: Yeah but why didn’t he swing, huh? I mean, if he ain't scared, why didn't he take Batista's head off and prove a point?

John Bradshaw Layfield: 'Cause he don't need to! He's in Batista's head now! Aw, that was genius from Edge. Now he's got Batista wonderin' when he's gonna strike.

Michael Cole: What an explosive situation this is. And it's only gonna continue to grow as we head towards Wrestlemania. Goodnight everybody!

In the ring, Batista has helped Flair back to his feet, 'The Animal' checking on his mentor, with Flair nodding he's fine, while Edge continues to back away, his eyes never leaving the ring, the camera switching back and forth between champion and challenger as we fade... to... black.

*End Show*




Current Card for WWE WRESTLEMANIA XXIII :
Date: April 1st 2007

Location: Ford Field; Detroit, Michigan

WWE Championship Triple Threat Match Match:
WWE Champion Shawn Michaels vs. 'The Game' Triple H vs. 'Mr. Monday Night' Rob Van Dam

World Heavyweight Championship Match:
World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. 2007 Royal Rumble Winner Edge

The Irresistible Force vs. The Immovable Object:
'The Real Deal' Bobby Lashley vs. John Cena

Streak vs. Streak:
'The Phenom' The Undertaker vs. 'The Samoan Bulldozer' Umaga

Past vs Future:
'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair vs. Mr. Kennedy

United States Championship Match:
United States Champion Finlay vs. Matt Hardy

Cruiserweight Championship Match:
Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms vs. Bryan Danielson

Women's Championship Match:
Women's Champion Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix

Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
Entrants in Alphabetical Order:

Chris Benoit vs. King Booker vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Randy Orton vs. ??? vs. ??? vs. ??? vs. ???
__________________
WWE: The Evolution Of Greed
2007 King of the Ring Has Been Posted!!!




Last edited by iMac : 08-12-2011 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:03 PM   #165 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Smackdown feedback

Kicking things off with Naitch isn’t a bad way to go at all. Really good stuff to begin with here. Flair saying he saw Kennedy as a younger him somewhat was a great spin on things. The losing respect for him was also a nice touch as you can totally see his point with Kennedy’s arrogance. Kennedy was in good form here also, saying Flair hanging on is holding him back was great. One little gripe I had was him talking about legends getting in his way and mentioning Teddy Long lol. Flair starting to get more worked up, more aggressive was great, classic Flair and the Mania match is now on!

Nice little cheap shot from Kennedy and ensuing little brawl following on. Coach stopping things was smart, someone had to, be it the GM or trainers etc. Flair v Edge tonight is a nice main event and a good little setup there to boot. Very good opening here.

Nice action here from Chavo and Danielson. Danielson has to pick up the win so right move there and that LeBell lock is looking dangerous for Helms come Mania.

Speaking of Helms. Liked this interview a lot. Puts his foot down and you have to kinda believe him with how adamant he is that he’s the best in the world, facts don’t lie with his title reign thus far. This feud is building very nicely indeed.

Coach and Layla. God I feel for Layla if this plays out. I have no idea who the team is she’s mentioning, maybe I’m being stupid but I can’t think of any off the top if my head. Decent stuff with the F.B.I although I’m still not overly keen on them. Can’t see Santino having a chance against Benoit, even with ‘evening up the odds’.

Nice match between Burchill and Kendrick here. Big win for Burchill, didn’t expect it to be so clean, expected a touch more interference from Regal and Taylor. Interested to see where you go considering Benjamin/Haas’ open challenge on Raw.

Edge interview was ok but I didn’t think it was your best work with him. I can’t quite put my finger on why. Him referring to himself as Edge when he said ‘me? Edge is scared of Batista?‘ I get what he was trying to point out but I’d expect him to say the ‘Rated R Superstar scared of Batista?‘ I’m probably just nitpicking! The last line also you made a slight error with the title reign line, that or I didn’t understand it lol.

Flair and Batista interaction was good here and I do expect Tista to show his face later on at some stage.

Big win for Hardy here continuing his momentum. Smart stuff and I liked the touch of having Finlay watching on. A match between the two for Mania would be a stellar showing, especially now Benoit seems out of the way with MITB.

Umaga interview time. Looking forward to this and having JBL do the honours was a great choice. You capture both JBL and Estrada very well and that’s exactly why this is so well done here. I thought you did a great job again, especially Estrada in building up Mags further. This match is getting some good hype and deservedly so. Taker making an appearance was probably needed and I’m glad it wasn’t an attack or anything, just words from the Deadman which worked well, just building more and more to the showdown. Great stuff.

Benoit v F.B.I, no matter what the odds are, only one man winning here and deservedly so. Aftermath was the more important factor with MVP and Booker taking out the competition. Decent job of building things forward here for MITB.

Extremists/F.B.I little interaction probably wasn’t needed but no big deal. I like the job you’re doing with the Miz, I’m not sure if he’s ready yet for MITB and I personally wouldn’t hand him that fourth spot but if you do it will only further his rise so interested to see what you do choose to do.

Flair and Edge was a nice match and got a decent amount of time to go with. Kennedy showing his face was no shock, neither was Batista. Things went down as expected but it’s good booking, totally made the right choices here tonight with this as both these feuds go up a notch heading into Mania.

Overall it was a good show here as ever. You did a very good job in building all the feuds and furthering the anticipation for certain matches, in particular Taker/Umaga and Flair/Kennedy in my opinion, I thought that interview was very good with Estrada and JBL while Kennedy/Flair went up another notch tonight. To be honest I think it’s got more going for it than Batista/Edge currently. Maybe one up yourself next week on the Tista/Edge feud. On the whole though, good stuff as ever.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:43 AM   #166 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
March 12th, 2007
Washington, DC





Last week, Raw bore witness to wrestling sacrilege as the ECW Championship literally went up in flames at the hands of Mr. McMahon and Bobby Lashley. Joey Styles was one of the few men to stand against the McMahon’s tyrannical scheme, only for Styles to need saving from Lashley after he slapped Vince across the face. The savour came in the form of John Cena, thought to be banned from the building last week, who showed up to extract a measure of revenge after the devastating assault Cena suffered at the hands of Lashley at Saturday Night’s Main Event. Cena only briefly got his hands on Vince, Shane and Lashley last week as the evil trio scarpered from the ring, but with Cena in the building tonight, you can be sure he’ll have plenty to say with regards to his Wrestlemania XXIII opponent.

Speaking of Lashley, he’ll be involved in tonight’s main event as he steps into the ring with the three participants in the WWE Championship Match at Wrestlemania XXIII, as Lashley teams with WWE Champion Shawn Michaels to take on the challengers Triple H and Rob Van Dam, a match created by the sick mind of McMahon intended to showcase his new monster to the fullest capacity. Tensions are running high between Van Dam and ‘The Game’, especially after the two gruelling matches the pair had between them within the space of 48 hours last week. The main beneficiary of this situation appears to be Michaels, the WWE Champion revealing in the way Van Dam and Triple H appear to be on the edge of tearing each other apart. It could all fall apart tonight on Raw, as with Van Dam and Triple H set to team with each other, all hell could break loose, especially with someone as dominant as Lashley stood across from them.

Last week, Ric Flair vowed to go to Smackdown and confront Mr. Kennedy, the man so long a thorn in the side of ‘The Nature Boy’. On Friday night, Flair did just that, challenging Kennedy to a match at Wrestlemania and in the process coming into a physical altercation with Kennedy. Flair was then inserted into the main event of the show for a match against the man who will challenge Flair’s longtime friend Batista at Wrestlemania, ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ Edge. Turning back the years, Flair delivered a vintage performance, and was within a whisker of making Edge tap out until Kennedy stormed the ring. After gaining the upperhand over Kennedy, Flair will no doubt be in a buoyant mood tonight during Raw.

Of the four Money in the Bank Qualifiers thus far, only Randy Orton is a representative of the red brand after his victory over Carlito last week. Tonight, the next three Raw participants will be determined in a trio of qualifying matches. After their confrontation last week, CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore will be looking to get past both Chris Masters and Johnny Nitro respectively, will no doubt Orton will have a keen eye on things as Jeff Hardy takes on Mike Knox. With Orton still harbouring a grudge against Hardy for costing him the chance to advance in the Number One Contender’s Tournament, and of course given the actions of Orton’s protégé Kenny Dykstra towards Hardy recently, it would surprise no one to see Orton and Dykstra involve themselves in Hardy’s affairs.

And finally, the World Tag Team Champions Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin will no doubt be continuing their search for a challenge ahead of Wrestlemania, Mickie James will take part in an interview regarding her past with Beth Phoenix, and newcomers The Hart Legacy will once again be in action as they take on Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch. All this and much more on another jam packed episode of Monday Night Raw!

Confirmed Matches:

Shawn Michaels and Bobby Lashley vs. Triple H and Rob Van Dam

Money in the Bank Qualifying Matches:

CM Punk vs. Chris Masters
Nick Dinsmore vs. Johnny Nitro
Jeff Hardy vs. Mike Knox

The Hart Legacy vs. The Redneck Wrecking Crew

Plus!!

John Cena will be in attendance, we’ll hear from Ric Flair, The World’s Greatest Tag Team and Mickie James!



__________________
WWE: The Evolution Of Greed
2007 King of the Ring Has Been Posted!!!



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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Hmm, another double post. Interest seems to have dropped way off lately. Maybe time to take a break and hope things pick up in a few months or so. Anyway, Raw...

~Monday Night Raw~
March 12th, 2007
Washington, DC



”...you chased the damn dollar!"




We start with a brief highlights video from last week, highlighting the two main feuds on the show, as we start with rapid-fire clips of the tense match up between Rob Van Dam and Triple H, the two battling for more than just a spot in the WWE Championship Match at Wrestlemania. Sliced in-between the action is clips of Vince McMahon and Bobby Lashley in the ring last week, with the conformation that at Wrestlemania it will be Lashley one on one with John Cena. We continue to see Van Dam and ‘The Game’ battle… then we see Lashley hold the ECW Championship over a burning trash can… pedigree connects… Joey Styles is dragged into the ring by Lashley… five star frog splash… Styles is held in position… Van Dam counters a second pedigree into a bridging pin… Lashley releases his grip on the title… the referee counts 1… the title slowly floats through the air… 2… Styles turns his head away, unable to watch… 3… the title disappears into the flames. The music accompanying the video screeches to a halt as it goes from agony to despair for the ECW alumni, a lonely heartbeat all we hear. The heartbeat builds as we see Shawn Michaels tune up the band… the rage in Joey Styles builds… Michaels cracks Van Dam with the sweet chin music… Styles is taunted into slapping Vince McMahon… Triple H suffers the same fate… Styles is grabbed by Lashley… the WWE Champion stands over his two fallen opponents… Styles is about to destroyed… but the music soon kicks back in as John Cena storms the ring to make the save. The heartbeat builds, working to a crescendo as Cena swings for Lashley, but Lashley, Vince and Shane manage to escape, Cena desperate, bursting at the skin to get his hands on Lashley… until our heartbeat flatlines, switching between the tense looks on Lashley’s and Cena’s faces before we fade to black.

It’s now the usual Raw opening video, and then into the arena for a massive pyro display, before a quick scan of the crowd with the words of the Raw announce team welcoming us to the show…


Jim Ross: Welcome everyone to our nations capital! And welcome to Monday Night Raw! Hello folks, I’m Jim Ross, alongside me is Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, we are live and we are sold out in Washington, DC! But ‘King’, conspicuous by his absence, is our broadcast colleague, Joey Styles.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah I mean, none of us know where Joey is right now. I haven’t seen him all day, I don’t think he’s in the arena, so I really don’t have any clue where Joey is.

Jim Ross: It’s certainly a mystery folks. But nonetheless, we need to press on with the show. We’ve got a huge night in store, with a huge main event. The WWE Champion Shawn Michaels teams up with Bobby Lashley to take on both of Michaels’ Wrestlemania opponents, Rob Van Dam and Triple H.

Jerry Lawler: And from what we understand, it was Mr. McMahon personally who signed off on that match. After the bad blood between Van Dam and Triple H over the last week or so, I can’t see them workin’ together for all that long.

Jim Ross: The evil mind of Mr. McMahon at work once again. Also tonight, we’ve got THREE qualifying matches for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Three men tonight are gonna grab their spot at Wrestlemania, and we’ve got The Hart Legacy in action once again as they take on Cade and Murdoch, the Redneck Wrecking Crew.

*MY TIME IS NOW…*


Ross is interrupted as a massive response breaks out for the arrival of John Cena to the arena. Cena strides out onto the stage, offering a strong salute to the masses before he races down the ramp and slides into the ring…


Jim Ross: Listen to this response for John Cena! After being banned from the arena last week, Cena is back, and I’m sure he’s desperate to get his hands on Bobby Lashley!

Jerry Lawler: I can barely here you J.R.! But you’re right, Cena was banned from the arena last week by Mr. McMahon, but he showed up anyway, and thank God he did. Who knows what could’ve happened to Joey Styles if Cena hasn’t made the save.

Jim Ross: You have to wonder if that has somethin’ to do with why Joey isn’t here tonight.

Jerry Lawler: I think it’s a distinct possibility, don’t you?

Now in the ring, Cena nods appreciatively to the crowd, not breaking into a smile. Instead, Cena is all business as he’s reaches through the ropes for a microphone, positioning himself in the middle of the ring as he waits for the crowd to die down…

John Cena: I uh… I’m not out here to run my mouth, I’m not out here to call anybody out, I’m not out here lookin’ for a fight. I’ve got one helluva fight lined up in three weeks time at Wrestlemania. I’m not out here for that right now. But what I am out here for is to ask one simple question…

Cena stares into a nearby camera...

John Cena: What the hell is goin’ on in this company right now?

Cena throws his arms up in the air, pacing the ring...

John Cena: Y’know this last month or so since I lost the WWE Championship had been one of, if not the most challengin’ times in my career. And why? ‘Cause we’ve got this power crazed dictator, runnin’ the show how he sees fit, makin’ whatever match he feels like, beatin’ up announcers, and doin’ his best to make sure I get my ass kicked week after week. Hell Vinny, you banned me from the arena last week, you did me a favour! I didn’t get attacked by one o’ your hired guns for a change.

Cena has a quick laugh to himself, removing his cap to scratch his head...

John Cena: Y’know somethin’ Vince, I didn’t pick a fight wit’ you. I didn’t start a war wit’ you, I simply did what I always do, and that’s do what I think is right.

Pop...

John Cena: And hey, maybe that’s what’s cost me. I did the right thing before the Rumble, I gave Rob Van Dam, the man who the whole world knew was the rightful Number One Contender for the WWE Championship, I gave ‘im the match the world wanted to see. And ‘cause I went against your wishes, ‘cause I did the right thing, you been tryin’ to make my life hell ever since. And I gotta admit… you got me Vinny.

Cena shakes his head in annoyance...

John Cena: You and Shane, ya’ got me at Raw: Night Of Champions, you got me again at Saturday Night’s Main Event… but you ain’t gonna get me no more.

Another pop...

John Cena: I’m tired o’ playin’ your games Vince, and I’m tired o’ gettin’ beat. A guy like ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, I dunno how he did it all those years.

Big pop for the random mention of Austin…


John Cena: He got his ass kicked by somebody workin’ for the McMahon’s time and time again, but he never quit, he never gave up. He worked hard, he fought every night, hell, in his own way, he showed a helluva lotta hustle, loyalty and respect!

The crowd cheers as Cena becomes animated...


John Cena: Now I ain’t Steve Austin, and I never will be, but I promise you this, I’m gonna bring the fight every night, I’m gonna give it everythin’ I got, hell, I might even drink some beer while I’m doin’ it! And that means when I step in that ring with you at Wrestlemania XXIII Lashley, nothin’ is gonna get in my way o’ me kickin’ your ass all over Detroit City!

Pop...

John Cena: And lemme tell ya’ somethin’ Bobby. I hope however much Vince is payin’ ya’ was worth it. You sold out Bobby. You sold out, as the future hall of famer Jim Ross called it, you sold your soul to the devil himself!

The camera cuts to J.R., who nods his head in agreement…

John Cena: Dammit Lashley, you chased the damn dollar! You gave up everythin’ you had, everythin’ you believed in, to line your pockets and get tight with the McMahons. You lost your ECW Title, hell I lost my title, but I didn’t turn my back on my beliefs or these people because of it. I mean dammit Bobby, what the hell are you thinkin’?

Cena scrunches up his face, shaking it angrily...

John Cena: Last week, you threw the ECW Championship into a burnin’ trash can? You were about to beat up Joey Styles? A title that at one point, you fought for and defended with pride? And guy who did nothin’ but try and sell you to these people each and every week? And you throw it all away just ‘cause you lost a few matches and you let Vince McMahon get in your head.

Cena shakes his head in disappointment…

John Cena: Well maybe at Wrestlemania… I’ll be the guy to slap some sense into ya’.

Pop...

John Cena: It ain’t gonna be a classic wrestlin’ match. It’s gonna be a fight, plain and simple. Vince wanted to go to war with me, and you’re the puppet he’s chosen Lashley. Ya’ might think this is a big chance for your career, but you have no idea how far you just set yourself back. I promise ya’ Bobby, there is no chance that I’m leavin’ Detroit on the losing side. No chance! There ain’t nothin’ I won’t do to make sure I beat you in Detroit, nothin’!

Another pop...

John Cena: Since the second you ran through me in that steel cage, I’ve thought of nothin’ but getting’ my hands on you. And now it’s official. John Cena and Bobby Lashley, one on one at Wrestlemania XXIII.

Cena looks deep into the hard camera...

John Cena: Vince, Shane and Bobby might see this as a chance to kick the hell outta me. They might even see it as a chance to end my career. But it ain’t gonna go down the way you want it to Vinny. ‘Cause I am work harder, I’m gonna train longer, I’m gonna lift more than ever, I’m gonna run faster than ever, I’m gonna do everythin’ I can to make sure that by the time we make it to Detroit, I’m more than I’ve ever been for a match!

Pop...

John Cena: It might not be pretty, but once we step in that ring, it’s gonna be a war, and people are gonna be talkin’ about this match for a real long time! So Vince, Shane… you better get your boy ready.

Now Cena paces the ring, stopping to look again at the hard camera...

John Cena: I’m right here Bobby! Anytime and anyplace, if ya’ want some… COME GET SOME!

Cena roars into the hard camera, before he slams his mic down to the mat and heads for the ropes, only for him to hear…

*YEAH BABY...*


Initially the crowd is confused, not sure who the music belongs to, but all soon becomes clear as Brooke Adams steps out. Much like last week, Brooke wears a smart business like jacket with an incredibly short skirt that shows off her best assets, Adams carries a clipboard in one hand and a microphone in the other…


Brooke Adams: Nice speech John, really nice. Very inspirational. But I just came from Mr. McMahon’s office, and quite frankly… he’s bored of hearing you talk.

Cena laughs as he leans against the ropes...

Brooke Adams: That’s why Mr. McMahon has sent me out here to give you a little message. See, instead of listening to you talk, he’d rather see you in action. And since you’re already in the ring, he’d like to see it happen right now.

Cena instantly tosses his cap into the crowd and snaps his t-shirt over his head, tossing that aside too as he listens eagerly as to who his opponent could be...


Brooke Adams: So John, here are your… opponents

*WORLD’S GREATEST…*


The crowd groan in sympathy as the World Tag Team Champions The World’s Greatest Tag Team emerge. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin both stop at the top of the ramp to briefly nod in Brooke’s direction, before they start the walk down the ramp, with Brooke turning and heading backstage…


Jim Ross: Gawd, this ain’t right! John Cena is gonna take on the World Tag Team Champions! Cena in a handicap match when we return, live to Monday Night Raw!

*Commercial*


Match 1: Handicap Match
World Tag Team Champions The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. John Cena

And we return to hear the bell ring, Cena puffing out his cheeks as he realises the task ahead of him. Benjamin starts the match for the champs, but as the two tie up, it’s Cena who surprises everyone by managing to out-wrestle Shelton, as Cena works into a waistlock, then the takedown, and then he snatches Benjamin into an armbar. Shelton forces himself back up, but when he tries to twist free, Cena twists again, taking him down with an armdrag that sends Benjamin rolling into the ropes. The two tie up again, with this time Cena taking Shelton down with a snapmare and going for a chinlock. Shelton manages to twist his way free, but he scrambles across the mat to his corner, tagging in Haas. Haas is weary as he steps through the ropes, but he manages to get the upperhand on Cena, twisting him into a standing armbar. Cena twists into a standing side headlock, only for Haas to fire him of the ropes... shoulderblock puts Haas down. Cena charges off the ropes... Haas avoids him with a leapfrog... but Cena puts on the breaks... and takes Haas down with a hiptoss. Haas is back up... but a dropkick knocks him down, rolling under the bottom rope.

Haas slaps his hand off the announce desk in frustration, with Benjamin soon over to speak with his partner. Haas gets back into the ring, and again he and Cena tie up, this time Haas working into a standing side headlock... but Cena turns it into a side suplex. Both men spring back to their feet, with Haas swinging a right hand... Cena ducks... Protoplex finds the mark! 1... 2... Haas kicks out. Haas crawls towards the ropes, holding a hand out at Cena, almost begging for mercy, but a quick glance to the crowd shows Cena is not in a giving mood. Shelton meanwhile starts calling out at Cena, shouting abuse at him... and this split-second distraction is enough as Haas grabs Cena’s waistline, yanks him forward... through the ropes to the outside! The ref berates Haas, but he argues back, and with the referee not looking, Benjamin drops off the apron and grabs Cena... driving him into the barricade! Shelton grabs Cena again... and yanks him shoulder first into the steel steps! Cena cries out in pain, and Benjamin quickly gets him back in the ring, where Haas hooks the leg for a near fall.

The champs now look to punish Cena, and they spend a good portion of the match with Cena trapped in their corner, with Haas drilling Cena with boots that cause him to slump down to the canvas. Quick tags between the champs follow, with Benjamin snapping off a German suplex while Haas connects on a overhead belly to belly, both men gaining near falls. Haas and Benjamin then start a series of double team moves, including firing Cena off the ropes and into a double hiptoss... to land on a double backbreaker! After yet another 2 count, frustration starts to grow for the champions, with Haas snapping a stiff shoot kick to the base of Cena’s spine. Haas drags Cena to the champions corner and tags in Shelton, who hammers Cena with boots to the chest and then backs away to the opposite corner. Shelton lines him up... and charges in... SHELTON SPLASH... NO! Cena gets a boot up, and quickly drills Haas with an elbow to the head. Cena then props himself onto the top rope, looking for the legdrop to the back of the head... but Haas jumps back on the apron, grabbing his foot. Cena manages to kick Haas away... but Shelton shows amazing athleticism to leap onto the top rope... TOP ROPE BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX! Cena has a brutal landing, and Shelton crawls into the cover... 1... 2... Cena rolls a shoulder!

Benjamin quickly snatches Cena in a seated chinlock, wrenching on the neck, but it doesn’t take long for Cena to fight back to his feet... elbow to the midsection... and another... and finally Cena is able to force Shelton off the ropes... but Benjamin ducks the clothesline, and Cena turns... into a Samoan drop! Shelton hooks the leg... 1... 2... again Cena rolls a shoulder! Benjamin shouts at the ref, demanding the 3 count, but when he doesn’t get it he drags Cena to his corner and tags in Haas. A few boots to the chest land, before Haas muscles Cena up and angrily fires him to the opposite corner. Cena crashes to the mat, and after Haas drags him to the centre of the ring for a near fall, he locks Cena into a camel clutch. Haas cranks up the pressure, and he has Cena in the hold for a good while, but as the crowd cheer Cena begins to rise, working back to his knees... and then onto his feet... with Haas still on his back... so he reaches up and pulls Haas down... into a powerslam! Haas hits the mat hard, but he manages to crawl to his corner to tag in Benjamin, who slingshots into the ring... but Cena springs from a tackle position with a flying shoulderblock!

Building some momentum, Cena comes off the ropes... another flying shoulderblock! Shelton is back on his feet... but he swings and misses with a right hand... and Cena hits the protoplex! Bursting back to his feet, Cena looks down on Shelton... “You can’t see me!”... and then comes off the ropes... FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! Cena is back up, waiting for Shelton rise... so he can scoop Benjamin onto his shoulders... FU... NO! Haas pulls Benjamin to safety, and then he takes u and down with an inverted atomic drop... and then Benjamin takes Cena’s head off with the superkick! Benjamin quickly goes for the cover... 1... 2... NO! Shelton can’t believe it as Cena rolls his shoulder! Again Shelton reacts angrily, but once he calms down, he drags Cena to the corner and once more muscles him onto the top rope. Shelton climbs up, and it looks like he’s going for the overhead belly to belly once again... but this time Cena rocks him a trio of right hands... before a big fourth puts Benjamin down! Haas races down the apron, only for Cena to drill him with a boot to the face that knocks him off the apron. Cena stands on the top rope, waiting for Shelton to rise... DIVING LEGDROP TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!

Cena gets all of it, and he races to grab Shelton’s leg... STFU!! Cena locks on the submission hold... but Charlie Haas makes the save, clubbing Cena from behind! The crowd is deflated as the champions use the numbers to their advantage, as Haas hammers Cena into the corner with boots and punches, despite the referee’s pleas for Haas to leave the ring. The champions now both hammer Cena in the corner, but soon they drag him against the ropes and go for the double Irish whip... but Cena avoids the double clothesline... kick to the midsection of Benjamin... and then he hoists Haas up onto his shoulders... and then Benjamin is taken up too... DOUBLE FU!!! Cena shows incredible strength as he plants both Haas and Benjamin... but instead of hearing cheers, the arena responds with boos... as Bobby Lashley has stepped out onto the stage! The jeers of the crowd alert Cena, and he turns and looks up the ramp. Cena and Lashley lock eyes, the tension between the two causing the arena to burst into a pop... which only gets louder as Cena dives through the ropes and races up the ramp to get his hands on Lashley!! Lashley sees Cena coming, and a broad smile crosses his face as he taunts Cena, waving Cena on as he heads backstage. Cena races up the ramp and then disappears from sight, but as this is going on, the referee has been counting... 6... 7... 8... Benjamin finally shows some signs of life... 9... and now so does Haas... 10!

Winners: Via Countout, The World’s Greatest Tag Team @ 09.47

Haas and Benjamin get the win, but they don’t look like winners as they pick themselves up off the canvas. Cena is long gone, having chased Lashley all the way backstage. Lashley has handed Haas and Benjamin the win, with the champs pulling themselves back to their feet, hugging each other in celebration as we head off for a commercial.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

WRESTLEMANIA RECALL!

APRIL 5TH, 1992
WRESTLEMANIA IIX


A true match between old and new as ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper and Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart meet for the prestigious Intercontinental Championship. Having lost the Intercontinental Championship three months earlier to The Mountie due to competing under a debilitating illness, Hart was still on the way to recovery when Piper beat The Moutie to become champion, winning his first WWF championship of any kind in the process. It was the true fairytale story for Piper, having returned from retirement to finally win WWF gold. Hart however was now the natural choice to be Piper’s opponent at Wrestlemania IIX, given that he never did receive the rematch he was entitled to. Going into the match, both men showed each other a lot of respect, but the gloves were off once the bell rang as neither man held back in this hard hitting face-versus-face encounter. Despite the level of respect between the two, the action was intense as they hammered each other all over the ringside area, including one moment when Piper sent Hart crashing into the timekeeper’s desk. Once the bodies and debris cleared, Piper dragged Hart back to his feet to reveal ‘The Hitman’ had been busted wide open. The appearance of blood only served to heighten the level of anticipation in the crowd, but Piper was firmly in control as Hart suffered the effects of the match. Piper at one point even toyed with Hart, slapping him as the two stood toe-to-toe. Hart mounted a comeback, only for Piper to lock on his trademark sleeper hold. With the world expecting Hart to quickly fade away, ‘The Hitman’ showed incredible ingenuity as he managed to kick himself off the corner, rolling into a pinning predicament to get the 3 count in a result that stunned the audience watching. After the match, the two hugged and Piper raised Bret’s arm in the air in triumph, yet another show of respect between the two that capped off the Wrestlemania classic they had just produced.

WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - 20 DAYS AND COUNTING


*End Video Package*


We now head to a darkened backstage area, where we see The World’s Greatest Tag Team standing by. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin are both still breathing heavily, both still grabbing various parts of their bodies as they sell the effects of their match with John Cena, but both smirking after their victory…

Shelton Benjamin: You see that? Huh? We just beat John Cena. We… just beat Superman!

Benjamin and Haas smirk at each other...

Shelton Benjamin: When we talk about the other tag teams doin’ somethin’ impressive… that’s exactly the kinda thing we lookin’ for. It don’t get anymore impressive than that.

Charlie Haas: The only thing more impressive than beatin’ John Cena… is becomin’ the World Tag Team Champions. And we all know, there’s not a team out there that can beat us for these titles.

Haas holds his title belt infront of him...

Shelton Benjamin: Like we said, we gonna put tag team wrestlin’ back on the map in this company. And if we need to, we gonna drag the rest of the division kickin’ and screamin’ with us for the ride.

Charlie Haas: And remember guys, we’re lookin’ for an opponent for Wrestlemania. If you want it to be you… you better start impressin’ us.

Benjamin nods in agreement...

Shelton Benjamin: We just beat John Cena. Why don’t you try and match that?

And with one final nod to each other, the champs walk off, the camera lingering on them leaving for a brief second before we cut elsewhere…

To see Todd Grisham standing by, looking rather nervous ahead of this interview…


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time… ‘The Chairman of the Board’… Mr. McMahon.

A ton of heat from inside the arena as Mr. McMahon steps into the frame. ‘The Boss’ has a devilish grin on his face as he stands next to Grisham, hands in his pockets, looking very relaxed and pleased with how the night has gone so far…

Todd Grisham: Mr. McMahon, you requested this interview time, as you wished to address certain rumours flying around tonight?

Mr. McMahon: That’s right Todd. With regards to John Cena’s comments earlier in the broadcast, I’ll get to those in a second. But I’d like to start by filling you all in on the situation regarding a certain Mr. Joey Styles.

Vince smirks as he ponders what he is about to say...

Mr. McMahon: Y’see, last week Joey Styles put his hands on me. He assaulted me. Quite frankly, I should’ve called the police and handed him over to the proper authorities. But since I’m such a nice guy, I figured I’d just take care of it myself.

Vince gives a fake laugh, at which Grisham uncomfortably giggles...

Mr. McMahon: Now, as I understand the WWE Board of Directors have laid out an edict stating that anybody who interefered in the match last week between Rob Van Dam and Triple H would be suspended for 30 days without pay, rulling them out of appearing at Wrestlemania. Well, when Joey Styles arrived at the arena earlier today, I had a security team escort him off the premises.

Grisham flashes Vince a look of confusion…


Mr. McMahon: Don’t look so confused Todd. Y’see, seeing as Joey Styles interfered in my little victory celebration last week, I decided that effective as of this afternoon, Joey Styles has been suspended for 30 days without pay.

Heat...


Mr. McMahon: And I guess that means Joey… you won’t be able to commentate on your buddy ‘RVD’ during the WWE Championship Match. Ain’t that a shame Todd?

Reluctantly, Grisham nods…

Mr. McMahon: As for John Cena, I only have this to say to you John.

Vince pauses, breathing deeply...

Mr. McMahon: If you think that what I’ve put you through this last months or so has been hell… then just you wait and see what I’ve got lined up for you at Wrestlemania. John, I guarantee you… there is no chance in hell of you survivin’ Wrestlemania XXIII.

Heat...

Mr. McMahon: I created you John. And with the help of Bobby Lashley… I’m gonna destroy you!

With a cold-hearted look in his eyes, Vince snarls at the camera, and then at Grisham, before he makes his exit, leaving behind a rather perplexed looking interviewer as we head back into the arena.

To hear…

*THIS FIRE BURNS…*


The crowd gives a warm welcome for CM Punk, the youngster appearing to a big round of applause, with the odd wolf whistle for Kelly Kelly by his side. Punk drops down to a knee, taps the tape around his wrist, holds it to his ear, then holds it against Kelly’s ear, before yelling out “It’s clobberin’ time!” as he bounces to his feet and heads for the ring…


Jim Ross: It time for the first of three Money in the Bank Ladder Match qualifiers, and here comes a young man who has made quite the impact since arriving here on Monday Night Raw.

Jerry Lawler: And perhaps the biggest impact he’s made is on the life and health of Nick Dinsmore. We found out last week that Dinsmore for years was portraying a character in Eugene, but was doin’ so under the influence of a pretty toxic mix of prescription drugs. Punk managed to help get Dinsmore back on the straight and narrow, and he’ll be in action later tonight!

Jim Ross: But up first, it’s CM Punk’s turn. After a big win over Mike Knox at Saturday Night’s Main Event, Punk has a lotta momentum right now. Can he ride that wave all the way to Wrestlemania?

*MASTERPIECE…*


From behind the shower of golden sparkles, Chris Masters enters to a chorus of boos, the heat intensifying as he tosses his robe aside, poses and flexes his muscles before he finally gets down to business and heads down the ramp…


Jim Ross; Certainly an impressive physique, nobody can doubt that. But as of late, Chris Masters, and his tag team partner Johnny Nitro for that matter, haven’t exactly been doin’ a lot of winnin’.

Jerry Lawler: Well certainly they both look great, but Nitro and Masters haven’t exactly been settin’ the ring on fire. Maybe a return to the singles ranks is what Masters needs to get things back on track. Remember, he’s just one win away from a spot at Wrestlemania.

Match 2: Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Chris Masters
vs. CM Punk w/ Kelly Kelly

As the bell rings, Punk seems eager to get on with things, while Masters would rather pose and flex in Kelly’s direction, much to Kelly’s disgust, in an attempt to get under Punk’s skin. Punk simply laughs it off, and the two tie up, with Masters using his power to simply shove Punk to the deck. Again Masters poses and flexes, with Punk back on his feet for another tie up. This time Punk works into a standing waistlock, then uses this to take Masters down, twisting into a grounded headlock. Masters slaps the mat in frustration, but he eventually works back to his feet, breaking the headlock as he sends Punk off the ropes… and then knocks Punk down with a shoulderblock. Now it’s Masters who runs the ropes, but Punk avoids him with a leapfrog… and then catches Masters with a leg lariat as he comes back across. Punk now goes work with the boots, aiming kicks to the thighs, chest and head, before a big roundhouse kick puts Masters down for a 2 count.

Masters angrily gets back to his feet, charging at Punk, but running straight into an armdrag. Another armdrag puts Masters down again, with Punk then working into a hammerlock, trying to wrench on Masters’ arm. Again Masters is able to struggle back to his feet, with a handful of hair enabling him to back Punk into the corner. The referee steps in for the break, with Punk releasing his grip… only for Masters to sucker punk him with an elbow to the side of the head. Masters then lands a pair of right hand, before he sends Punk to the opposite corner… but Punk reverses and follows in… Masters elevated Punk over the top rope… but he lands on the apron! Masters turns, swinging a right hand to knock Punk down, but Punk ducks, driving his shoulder through the ropes to Masters’ midsection, then rocking him with a kick to the skull. Masters stumbles away, allowing Punk to slingshot to the top rope… springboard crossbody… no! Masters counters… into a big time powerslam! Masters hammers Punk to the mat, and he stays on top for the cover… 1… 2… Punk rolls his shoulder.

Masters now looks to use his power advantage to hurt Punk, starting with forearms to the back of the head, and then to the small of the back, before he takes Punk up and down with a backbreaker for another near fall. Masters then breaks out the power moves, hitting a sidewalk slam, a sitout spinebuster and then a long, delayed vertical suplex, each move causing Punk to take longer to kick out. Masters continues to attack the back with a series of double axe handles, before he aggressively fires Punk to the corner… and follows in… into a boot to the face! Masters staggers back, but then charges again… another boot to the face! Punk quickly pushes himself onto the second rope, then flies… diving clothesline… but Masters catches him… fallaway slam! Masters punishes the back again, and he crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Punk kicks out!

Frustrated, Masters clambers back to his feet, giving the referee a long glare before he stands with arms open wide, waiting for Punk to rise. Punk drags himself up, and Masters is waiting, ready to pounce… Masterlock… no! Punk senses Masters coming, grabs the left hand and twists underneath, escaping the hold. Punk briefly has Masters in a hammerlock, but Masters is able to back him into the corner, landing elbows to the side of the head and then forearms to the back of the head. Masters goes for the Irish whip… but Punk reverses… and follows in with a knee to the face… and then comes out of the corner with a bulldog! Punk rolls Masters over… 1… 2… Masters kick out!

Punk now has the upperhand, and he looks to stay on the attack by once again striking wit those educated feet of his, before he looks for the Irish whip… but Masters reverses… only to lower his head… swinging neckbreaker! Angry, Masters quickly rolls to the outside to try recover, but Punk gives him no time to rest… as he takes Masters down with a suicide dive! The crowd pops as Punk lands on Masters and then drills him with right hands to the forehead, before he rolls Masters back into the ring. Masters in on his hands and knees, struggling back to his feet, while Punk is already on the apron… to slingshot onto the top rope… springboard clothesline! Masters is down again, Punk goes for the cover… 1… 2… Masters rolls a shoulder!

Sensing Masters is there for the taking, Punk drags Masters up… and then hoists Masters up onto his shoulders… GO TO SLEEP… NO! Masters strikes with elbows to the side of the head, allowing him to drop to his feet behind Punk… where he hooks one arm under… and then the other… MASTERLOCK… NO! Punk desperately fights it, somehow managing to stop Masters’ hands from clasping together… and then he twists one arm free, grabbing Masters by the wrist… twisting, turning, taking both men down to the mat… ANNACONDA VICE!! Punk counters with a submission of his own, locking it in tight! Masters tries to fight it, trying desperately to kick out and reach the ropes… but he’s down in the middle of the ring… and has no choice but to tap out!

Winner: CM Punk @ 06.39

It’s yet more misery for Masters as CM Punk advances, booking his spot at his first Wrestlemania. Punk is helped back to his feet by Kelly, the two sharing a brief hug before Punk has his hand raised high in the air. Punk then turns and points to the Wrestlemania banner hanging from the rafters, audibly shouting “I’m goin’ to the show!” as we head off for a commercial.

*Commercial*


And when we return, the always chirpy Maria is standing by…


Maria: Hi! I’m Maria! And please welcome, the WWE Champion… Shawn Michaels!

Deafening heat as Shawn Michaels steps infront of the camera, the WWE Title strapped around his shoulder. Michaels, as always nowadays, is dressed head to toe in black, the black cowboy hat on his head pulled down low over his face…

Maria: And Shawn, last week we found out that at Wrestlemania it’s goin’ to be you defending your WWE Title against Rob Van Dam and Triple H in a Triple Threat Match. Shawn, what are your thoughts now you know what you’ll be up against come Wrestlemania?

Michaels ponders, thinking long and hard about his answer…

Shawn Michaels: My thoughts? My thoughts are the same as they’ve always been. I’m still the WWE Champion, and that’s the way it’s gonna stay after Wrestlemania. It really doesn’t matter whether it was Triple H or Rob Van Dam or even both of them. It’s not about them, and it never was. It’s about me… and the man upstairs.

Michaels takes a quick glance to the heavens, the first time thus far he’s lifted his head…

Shawn Michaels: Y’see, I’m the WWE Champion for a reason. It’s not just about God given talent or ability. It’s about faith. It’s about believin’ in a higher power, a higher power that can deliver you to greatness.

Michaels turns, his cold eyes now trained on Maria...


Shawn Michaels: The big guy’s seen me through plenty of Wrestlemania’s in the past. Some I’ve won, some I’ve lost. But each and ev’ry time I’ve stepped out on the grandest stage of ‘em all, I have delivered greatness. I used to think the outcome of those matches mattered. I’d get all worked up after a defeat at Wrestlemania. But now I realise, I shouldn’t have worried.

It's which robotic-like precision that Michaels delviers his words...


Shawn Michaels: It was all part of a plan to bring me to the WWE Championship. And now I’m here, I know there’s no chance this title will be taken away from me. I believe that to be true… ‘cause I have faith.

Michaels stops, letting us linger on that last line before he tips his hat at Maria and calmly, coldly walks off. The camera turns to Maria, who somehow manages to look even more confused that she usually does, before we cut back to the arena…

*HART BEAT…*


That old guitar rift draws a great pop, which soon settles into a good amount of cheers as The Hart Legacy make their second appearance on Raw. Natalya Niedhart leads the way, with Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd making sure to slap as many hands as they can…


Jim Ross: It was certainly an impressive debut last week from Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd. The Hart Legacy picked up the win over The Highlanders, and Smith and Kidd really looked like they belong here on Raw.

Jerry Lawler: Very impressive. These guys have obviously been together a long time, they were just so crisp, so smooth in everythin’ they did last week. But tonight’s gonna be another step up for ‘em again Cade ‘n’ Murdoch.

*SWEET ‘N’ SOUR…*


Not much of a response for The Redneck Wrecking Crew, as the seldom seen Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch stride down to the ring. Murdoch snarls at the ring, a look of disgust on his face, while Cade is more reserved…


Jerry Lawler: And the reason these two are step up in competition is ‘cause when they’re angry, they’re as mean and tough as you’re gonna find. Just plain nasty guys when they’re in the mood for it.

Jim Ross: That Trevor Murdoch, he’s tougher than a two dollar steak. But we haven’t seen a whole lot of these guys lately, but tonight could be the night they get things back on track. A victory over the newcomers would certainly put them back in the hunt for tag team gold.

Jerry Lawler: And I’m sure the champions, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin are watchin’ this. They wanna be impressed by somethin’, I’m sure they’ll be impressed by this.

Match 3: Tag Team Match
The Redneck Wrecking Crew
vs. The Hart Legacy w/ Natalya Niedhart

Smith and Murdoch step forward to start the match, the two powerhouses locking up hard. Both men jockey for position, trying to drive the other to their corner. It’s Murdoch who manages to force Smith backwards, but when the referee orders the break, Smith unloads with an elbow to Cade and a right to Murdoch. Smith repeats the combination until Cade drops from the apron, allowing Smith to tee off on Murdoch and then send him off the ropes… straight into a powerslam! 1... 2... Murdoch kicks out, but Smith drills an elbow to the back of the head then tags in Kidd. But before Smith leaves the ring, he fires Murdoch across... drop toe hold, and Kidd is coming off the ropes...dropkick to the side of the head! Smith and Kidd pull off the nice double team move, but before Kidd can go for the cover, Murdoch scrambles to his corner and tags in Cade. Cade takes his time entering the ring, but eventually the two tie up, with Kidd twisting the left arm, wrenching into a hammerlock. Cade though manages to drill an elbow to the midsection, then he snapmares Kidd to the mat and delivers a stiff kick to the spine.

Cade pulls Kidd back up, and after a few right hands he goes for a suplex... but Kidd lands on his feet behind Cade...and runs Cade into the ropes for a rollup... 1... 2... Cade kicks out, but Kidd bounces back off the ropes... low-angle dropkick to the face! Cade goes down, but Kidd jumps through the ropes and waits on the apron... springboard elbow drop! Kidd hooks the leg... 1... 2... Cade rolls the shoulder. Smith is tagged back in, and he and Kidd once again combine as they take Cade up with a double suplex... drop him down to bounce off the top rope... and then down to the mat! Smith goes for the cover, getting another near fall, before he drags Cade up... then takes him up in the air... for a long vertical suplex. Again Smith goes for the cover... 1... 2... Murdoch drags Smith off the pinfall. Smith gets to his feet and angrily gets in Murdoch’s face, but Murdoch scurries from the ring, not wanting to get involved. This distraction is enough for Cade to get back on his feet though, and he clubs Smith from behind, knocking him into the redneck corner. Murdoch gets the tag, and now the experience of ‘The Crew’ shows, as after snapping off a few right hands, Murdoch backs away, drawing the attention of the referee, allowing Cade to choke Smith behind the ref’s back with the tag rope.

Cade and Murdoch now look to work together to target Smith’s left arm, aiming elbows, knees and kicks to the shoulder. ‘The Crew’ also make use of the ropes, repeatedly wrapping Smith’s arm around it, and dropping the arm across the top rope. Murdoch shows great strength in connecting on a shoulderbreaker, before the pair combine as Murdoch hits a jawbreaker and Cade drops Smith with a neckbreaker for a near fall. More double team work from Cade and Murdoch, as they get Smith down, hold his arm to the side, allowing Murdoch to lift Cade into the air for an elevated legdrop across the arm. Smith cries in pain with every blow that lands, but the punishment keeps on coming as Murdoch aims multiple kicks to the shoulder as Smith slumps into the corner. It’s just straight brute strength as Smith is yanked shoulder first into the ringpost, and the pain continues as Murdoch smacks him with a short-arm clothesline then drops his elbow across Smith’s arm. Murdoch remains on the deck, working the arm into an armscissors, with Murdoch managing to drive the odd elbow into Smith’s face too.

Smith tries to break the hold, but Murdoch has it locked on tight... until Smith manages to roll Murdoch onto his shoulders... 1... 2.. Murdoch kicks out, releasing the hold. Both men are back on their feet, with Murdoch swinging a right hand... Smith ducks... and takes Murdoch up and down with a side suplex! Both men are down, crawling for their corners... here comes Cade... but here comes Kidd! Tyson slings himself onto the top rope... then connects with a springboard clothesline to the onrushing Cade. Murdoch now charges, but he runs straight into a spinning heel kick, knocking him through the ropes. Kidd jumps to the second rope... elbow drop connects! 1... 2.. Murdoch dives back in to make the save, before he quickly jumps back on the apron and accepts a tag from Cade. With Kidd clutching the back of his head, Murdoch and Cade line him up... and come off opposite ropes... Sweet and Sour... no! Smith reaches up, low-bridging the top rope, which sees Cade crash to the floor! Murdoch keeps on running.... but Kidd avoids him with a leapfrog... and Smith hammers him with a big boot to the face! With Cade down on the outside, Kidd and Smith move quickly... as Smith picks Murdoch up... and here comes Kidd... HART ATTACK! Kidd gets all of it, hooking Murdoch’s leg... 1... 2... 3!

Winners: The Hart Legacy @ 05.18

For the second week in a row, Smith and Kidd grab an impressive victory. Natalya slides into the ring to help Tyson back to his feet, while Smith is able to drag himself up… only for Cade to level Tyson with a massive boot to the face! The crowd boo as Cade decides he isn’t finished yet, smacking Kidd square in the face, but Smith now springs back to life, hammering Cade with a string of rights and lefts… until Murdoch takes him down from behind with a chop block! Smith crumples in pain as Murdoch drills his knee, with the two angry rednecks now picking apart each of their opponents. Natalya heads back outside for her own safety, helpless as Cade and Murdoch drag Smith to his feet… and then spring off opposite ropes... Sweet and Sour! The combination move puts Harry down, with Cade and Murdoch both quickly back on their feet. Despite losing this match, they look more like winners right now as we head off into a commercial.

*Commercial*


And we're back, looking at John Cena storming through the backstage area, on the hunt for someone or something, presumably Bobby Lashley. Cena ducks his head in and out of doorways and corridors, but it's clear that he still hasn't found what he's looking for...


John Cena: Where is he?! Huh?

Several random backstage workers scurry past Cena, until he stops one...


John Cena: Bobby Lashley, you seen 'im?!

The random worker shakes his head in fear, with Cena releasing the grip on the poor guy's shirt as he runs away. Cena carries on, continuing to search, until he approaches a pair of people with their backs to him. Cena walks towards them with a purpose, hoping for answers...

John Cena: Hey! You guys seen-

Cena stops in his tracks, as when the two people turn around, one of them is just another random backstage worker... while the other is Linda McMahon! The C.E.O. of the WWE turns and smiles at Cena, who looks apologetic over the manner at which he approached her...

Linda McMahon: Hi John. How are you?

Cena rubs the back of his neck nervously...


John Cena: I'm good Mrs. McMahon. How are you?

Linda McMahon: I'm fine thank you. One second...

Linda turns to the random worker she was talking to, simply telling her "That'll be great. Thanks.", to which the worker nods and exits the scene, prompting Linda to turn back to Cena...

Linda McMahon: So John, you sounded like you were looking for someone.

John Cena: Yeah, uh... Bobby Lashley. The guy kinda got in my face and cost me my match earlier. He wants a fight a few weeks early, I'm gonna give it to 'im. If... I can find 'im, that is.

Cena turns his head from side to side, still searching for Lashley...

Linda McMahon: Well, I'm sorry John but I haven't seen him. But if I do, I'll let him know you're looking for him.

John Cena: Yeah you do that. You tell that husband o' yours I'll be lookin' for him too. Infact, Mrs. McMahon... what's the deal with Joey Styles bein' suspended? Just for standin' up for the company he loved, he's out for thirty days without pay? That ain't right.

Linda looks slightly perplexed...

Linda McMahon: Well, I... I had no idea Joey had been suspended. Must be another one of those spur of the moment things Vince likes to pull. But thank you for letting me know. I'll look into it.

Cena nods his head and makes to leave...


Linda McMahon: Oh and John, before you go... I was wondering if perhaps you had time for a little chat. Perhaps we can discuss you're match with Bobby Lashley at Wrestlemania?

Cena looks intrigued...

John Cena: Well, what did ya' have in mind?

Linda McMahon: I'm assuming that Bobby will have my husband and my son in his corner for the match. But this is Wrestlemania John, and the fans deserve to see you two go at one on one, with no interruptions. So perhaps, there could be something that you and I could put together to maybe... even up the score, shall we say? In the interests of fairness, of course?

Despite the offer, Cena remains cagey...


John Cena: In the interests of fairness? I didn't even know that word existed in the McMahon vocabulary?

Linda McMahon: I married into that family John, I'm a little bit different than Vince.

Eventually Cena comes around to the idea, nodding in agreement...

John Cena: Yeah, alright. I got time to talk.

Linda McMahon: Great. Why don't we go into my office?

Linda motions for Cena to lead the way, and after a quick look at McMahon to convince himself she's legit, Cena walks on, the C.E.O. of the company following, the pair leaving the scene as we cut elsewhere.

To see Randy Orton and the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra stood in a dressing room. The pair both wear tense looks on their faces, with it clear that we've joined them in mid-conversation...


Randy Orton: We make no mistakes tonight, understand? We get the job done, we get Jeff Hardy tonight. I am gonna be the one to grab that briefcase at Wrestlemania, and I’m not havin’ him, or anybody else get in my way.

Dykstra has a stern look on his head as he nods in agreement…

Randy Orton: He embarrassed me… excuse me, us last week, and tonight he pays the price.

Kenny Dykstra: Yeah. Yeah, and if we get a chance, we take out Carlito too.

Frustrated, Orton cracks his neck as he looks away slowly…

Randy Orton: Look Kenny, no offence, but your little problem with Carlito is none of my concern. When I was the youngest Intercontinental Champion in WWE history, I didn’t need any help dealin’ with guys like Carlito. I took care of these kinda things by myself.

Kenny Dykstra: What about the rest of the guys in Evolution? They always had your back. Helped you win plenty of matches.

Orton sighs and shakes his head…

Randy Orton: I know I’ve not taught you everything yet, but one thing you’re gonna learn real quick is that you don’t contradict me. Understand?

Dykstra sheepishly nods…

Randy Orton: Get your head off Carlito, and start focusin’ on the bigger picture. I’m sure I’ve taught you enough to handle Carlito, but we’ve got some work to do with regards to Jeff Hardy. I don’t wanna see him anywhere near the Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

And just for a second, Orton softens his demeanour…

Randy Orton: I tell you what. If you do well tonight and everythin’ goes to plan, then maybe after we take care of Jeff Hardy, we’ll take care of Carlito. How’s that sound?

Kenny Dykstra: Yeah alright. And along the way I’ll prove to Torrie Wilson I’m way more-

SLAP!

Furiously Orton cracks Kenny across the check with a stiff slap, the smack of flesh on flesh echoing around the two…


Randy Orton: Dammit Kenny! Get your head off of Torrie Wilson and start focusin’ here! You don’t need to be worryin’ about her. Women in your corner make you weak. Carlito is weak ‘cause he listens to her more than what his head is tellin’ him to do. How many time has he wanted to smash your head in, but stopped ‘cause she told him not to? Huh?

Kenny doesn’t answer as he rubs his face in pain…

Randy Orton: If you wanna keep that Intercontinental Title, you better start listenin’ to me, and forget about Torrie Wilson. Do you understand?

Still rubbing his face, but now with an angry look on it, Kenny nods, clearly not happy…

Randy Orton: Good. Tonight we deal with Jeff… then we’ll deal with Carlito. I’ll leave you to get ready.

Orton takes one last lingering stare at his protégé before he coldly walks off, leaving a simmering Dykstra behind, still rubbing his jaw as we go back into the arena...

*PAPARAZZI…*


The red carpet rolls out and the cameras start flashing as Johnny Nitro heads for the ring, as always arm in arm with Melina, the two looking as glamorous as ever…


Jim Ross: I wouldn’t want to be in Jeff Hardy’s shoes later tonight after hearing that. But right now it’s time for our second Money in the Bank Qualifying Match, and here comes Johnny Nitro, a man who has yet to record a win in 2007.

Jerry Lawler: And it’s not just Johnny. His teammate Chris Masters kept up his losin’ streak earlier tonight against CM Punk. The two of ‘em just can’t buy a win right now. And after how insulting Nitro and Melina were to Nick Dinsmore last week, I dunno if Nitro’s gonna like what he sees standin’ across the ring from ‘im.

*THIS FIRE BURNS…*


A good reception for Nick Dinsmore, the newcomer of sorts making his first appearance since cleaning up his act and converting to a straight edge lifestyle. Wearing one of CM Punk’s t-shirts, Dinsmore looks calm and confident as he slowly heads down the ramp…


Jerry Lawler: I’m excited to see this young man in action tonight. For all those years, I thought he was just a goof, just a kinda warm-natured idiot. I had no idea he had addiction problems that kinda confused him and allowed people to manipulate him. But not he’s healthy, I’m sure he’ll be determined to show us all what he can do in the ring.

Jim Ross: Certainly would be the fairytale story if Dinsmore could beat Nitro right here and grab a spot at Wrestlemania. What a way to prove you’ve conquered your demons that would be.

Match 4: Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Johnny Nitro
w/ Melina vs. Nick Dinsmore

As the bell rings, Nitro is unsure of how to go about things, initially laughing at Dinsmore with a confused look on his face. Dinsmore waves Nitro in, encouraging a tie up between the two, but all Nitro seems interested in is laughing at Nick… so Dinsmore slaps him hard across the face! Nitro grabs his face and rubs his cheek, but the slap snaps him into action as he swings a right hand, only for Dinsmore to duck underneath and rock Nitro with a trio of rights of his own, backing Nitro to the ropes. An Irish whip sends Nitro across… into a big back body drop! Nitro is taken aback, stumbling to the corner, where Dinsmore starts unloading with right hands to the face, before he fires Nitro across… and follows in with a clothesline! Nitro staggers from the corner… and then gets dropped by a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall.

Nitro is reeling, so he rolls to the outside to try and regroup with Melina, but Dinsmore doesn’t waste any time… as he flies through the air with a plancha! Dinsmore flattens Nitro, hammering him with right hands, before he yanks Nitro up and smashes him face first off the barricade. Nitro stumbles around the ring area, leading to him being smashed off the announce desk too, before Dinsmore tosses him back under the bottom rope. Nick then climbs up onto the apron, but before he can step through the ropes, Melina grabs him by the ankle. Dinsmore manages to shake himself free, but the distraction allows Nitro to charge… and bodycheck Dinsmore off the apron… crashing into the announce desk! Dinsmore’s ribs and gut take the brunt of the impact, with Nitro heading outside to go on the attack, driving Nick ribs first into the side of the ring before Nitro tosses him back into the ring. Dinsmore lies flat on the mat, with Nitro on the apron… who then slingshots onto the top rope… springboard elbow finds it’s mark, getting Nitro a 2 count.

A few vicious kicks and stomps land to the midsection, before Nitro drags Dinsmore up… STO backbreaker… into a falling neckbreaker, gaining another near fall. Uppercuts lead to a Russian legsweep, with Nitro firmly in control as he gets another 2 count. Nitro continues to attack the ribs, as when Dinsmore sits up Nitro lays in with stiff kicks, before he charges off the ropes and drills Nick with a vicious knee to the face, but still he only gets a 2 count. Looking for a way to wear Dinsmore down, Nitro drags him to his feet and locks on an abdominal stretch, causing Dinsmore to cry out in pain. Adding to the pressure, every now and then Nitro reaches out and grabs the top rope, upping the tension on the hold, but quickly releasing every time it looks as if the referee might catch him. Elbows also land on the ribs, and once more Nitro reaches for the top rope… but this time he gets caught! The referee spots it, causing Nitro to lose focus… and Dinsmore breaks free with a hiptoss! Nick drops to a knee to try and recover, but he’s soon back up, rocking Nitro with right hands that back him to the ropes before going for an Irish whip… but Dinsmore bounces off the ropes too… and catches Nitro with a running dropkick! Nitro is down, and here comes Dinsmore again… running senton! 1… 2... Nitro kicks out!

Looking to build momentum, Dinsmore tags Nitro with right hands before he goes for the Irish whip to the corner… which Nitro reverses… but he runs into a boot to the face. Dinsmore pushes himself onto the top rope… flying shoulderblock! 1… 2… Nitro rolls a shoulder! Nitro’s legs are like rubber as he stumbles back to his feet, with Dinsmore snapping off three shots to the face… Nitro swings and misses… and then gets caught with a bridging German suplex! 1… 2… Nitro kicks out again! The crowd is rooting for a Dinsmore win, and it looks like it could come as Dinsmore stands, waiting for Nitro to rise, poised, ready to strike… only for Melina to jump on the apron? Dinsmore walks over and barks at Melina, telling her to get back down… only for Melina to plant a kiss on his lips! Melina locks lips with Nick for quite a while, before finally letting him come up for air. Dinsmore stumbles away, but there’s something different about him now, as he sticks his tongue out and claps his hands… just like Eugene used to do! Melina finally decides to drop down, as Nitro is now back on his feet… NITRO BLAST! The distraction costs Dinsmore as Nitro smacks him with the kick, and quickly goes for the cover… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Johnny Nitro @ 05.38

Nitro manages to pull off the sneak victory, catching Dinsmore by surprise with the rollup. Nitro quickly scrambles from the ring and embraces Melina, who squeals with delight and jumps into Nitro’s arms, wrapping her legs around his waist as the two celebrate Nitro’s first win of 2007. Dinsmore angrily slaps his hand off the mat, annoyed that he was distracted in such a way, but the commentators question what happened when Melina caused the distraction as Nick was acting in a very Eugene-like way…

*Commercial*


It’s to a dark corridor that we return to, to see Rob Van Dam performing some of those trademark stretches of his. Van Dam dips his head, adding pressure to the stretch, but this means he’s starring down at the ground… meaning he doesn’t see the shadow being cast over him. Van Dam lifts his head up, initially taken aback by who he sees, but he quickly swings a leg around to push himself back to his feet… nose to nose with Triple H! A big pop echoes throughout the arena as the two Wrestlemania opponents now stand face to face with each other…


Triple H: I just wanna say one thing to you. I really don’t like the way you’ve handled your business lately. I know you don’t like how it happened, but I beat you at Saturday Night’s Main Event. I got what I wanted, I had Shawn Michaels and I had the main event. But after the way you’ve been actin’-

Rob Van Dam: The way I’ve been actin’? Dude, I’m not the one who took the cheap way out.

‘The Game’ scowls at those words…

Triple H: Well I’m not the one who whined like a little bitch on some video on wwe.com until I got a rematch.

Van Dam laughs to himself, shaking off the comment…

Rob Van Dam: I didn’t bitch to anybody bro’. I just said it like it was and the dudes in charge saw it my way. I can’t help it if you can’t handle that.

The two breathe hard, getting right in each other’s face…

Triple H: Let’s just get through tonight. Tonight’s a chance to get my hands on Shawn Michaels, and I’m not gonna screw that up. And I guess that’s one thing we can agree on.

Van Dam nods…

Triple H: But after tonight, I’m treatin’ you the exact same way I would Shawn. I might’ve said in the past that it wasn’t personal between me and you, just business. Well it’s damn personal now Rob.

A big mixed reaction rings out, some fans enamoured with the tough attitude of ‘The Game’, while others not happy with the way he’s speaking to fan favourite Van Dam…

Triple H: And at Wrestlemania… I’m takin’ you out.

Rob Van Dam: Alright. We make it through this match tonight… and then it’s on dude.

The two stare each other down, neither man flinching, until eventually Trips turns and leaves, the camera staying focused on Van Dam as he returns to his stretches and we fade into a video.

*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!



"WWE WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - APRIL 1ST - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"

*End Video Package*


Back into the arena…

*LOADED…*


The always energetic Jeff Hardy bounces out from the back, bopping his head and shaking his hands to set off a burst of pyro before he bounds down the ramp…


Jim Ross: That’s right folks, Wrestlemania less than three weeks away! So many big matches, so many highlights are about to be made in Detroit City! And right now, we’re about to find out who the fourth and final member of the Raw roster in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match will be.

Jerry Lawler: And since returning from injury two weeks ago, Jeff Hardy has been after Kenny Dykstra and Randy Orton. And we heard earlier that Orton and Dykstra have somethin’ instore for Jeff tonight.

Jim Ross: Jeff’s gonna have to keep his head on a swivel if he wants to survive tonight. Orton and Dykstra came very close to puttin’ Jeff back on the shelf last week, and that could’ve easily happened had it not been for Carlito makin’ the save.

*DEATH GRIP…*


A good level of heat as Mike Knox makes his entrance, looking as dangerous and as menacing as ever. This is the first appearance from Knox without Kelly Kelly by his side, and as he cuts a fierce pace down the ramp now he’s not dragging her behind him…


Jim Ross: Well not only does Jeff have to worry about Orton and Dykstra, he’s also got to contend with this man, Mike Knox. As about as scary and deranged as they come, with a lot of power and a real mean streak to back it up,

Jerry Lawler: Can you imagine the damage this guy could do with a ladder in his hand? He could turn Wrestlemania into a bloodbath in a heartbeat! Jeff better not worry about Orton or Dykstra right now, he better worry about the man standin’ opposite him in the ring.

Match 5: Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Jeff Hardy
vs. Mike Knox

Off the first collar and elbow tie up, Knox use his strength to wrench Jeff into a standing side headlock, only for Jeff to force Knox off the ropes… and he runs Hardy down with a shoulder block. Knox doesn’t waste any time in taking advantage, as he literally launches Hardy into the corner, following in to drop big elbows to the side of the head. A hard Irish whip sends Jeff across, but when Knox charges for a splash against the turnbuckle, Jeff is able to dive to safety. Knox stumbles from the corner, with Jeff tagging him with right hands before he comes off the ropes… clothesline only staggers the big guy, so Jeff comes off the ropes again… and ducks underneath a Knox right hand… flying clothesline finally knocks Knox down.

Knox is down near the ropes, but before he can pick himself up, Hardy races across the ring and then hits a baseball slide that sends Knox tumbling under the ropes to the floor. Knox reaches up to grab the apron in an attempt to pull himself back up, but Hardy is already on the move… for a mid-rope baseball slide… that sends Knox crashing into the barricade! Hardy lands on his feet, and he starts drilling Knox with right hands, before he smashes his face off the steel steps. Hardy abandons Knox as he returns to his feet, but that’s only so he can climb onto the barricade… diving clothesline! Hardy puts Knox down again, but it takes and age for him to get Knox back in the ring for the cover, meaning it’s only a 2 count. Knox crawls to the corner to try and regroup, but Hardy stays on him, rocking him with rights and lefts before he goes for the Irish whip to the opposite corner… but Knox reverses… only for Hardy to run to the top rope and go for whisper in the wind… no! Knox runs straight through, avoiding the contact, although Hardy is able to land on his feet… only for Knox to damn near take his head off with the bicycle kick! Hardy crashes to the mat, looking out cold as Knox slumps into the cover… 1… 2… somehow Hardy kicks out!

Given Hardy’s recent issues with concussion, it’s no surprise to see Knox start to target the head of Jeff, landing clubbing forearms and big elbows to the side of the head, before he drags Jeff from the corner for a scoop slam, following this with an elbow drop for a near fall. A string of headbutts land, before Hardy is fired hard to the corner, and this time Knox does connect on the splash against the turnbuckle, causing Jeff to simply crumple from the corner. Knox is toying with Hardy, continuing to lay on the punishment as he hammers Hardy with a vertical suplex and then a flapjack that sees Jeff smack face first off the canvas. Knox lands a few more of the clubbing forearms to the side of the head, before he wrestled Jeff into a sitting rear chinlock, looking to apply pressure to the skull. Jeff tries to fight it, but eventually it looks like Jeff is beginning to fade as he slumps further and further down to the mat. Jeff manages to find some life from somewhere, as he somehow manages to force his way back to his feet… elbow to the midsection, but Knox holds on… another elbow, but still Knox hangs in there… sitout jawbreaker finally sets Jeff free! Knox stumbles backwards from the impact of the move, with Jeff charging off the ropes… and ducks a right hand… but he can’t avoid the FLYING BEAR! Knox connects with the running crossbody, crawls into the lateral press, so sure of victory he doesn’t even bother to hook the leg… 1… 2… NO! Hardy rolls his shoulder!

Frustrated, Knox clambers to his feet and starts shouting at the referee, demanding the 3 count, but being assured it was only 2. Jeff is still down, and Knox waits for him to rise, but as he’s doing this a commotion is heard from the crowd… as Randy Orton and Kenny Dykstra start walking down to the ring! Just they said earlier, they’re here to make sure Jeff doesn’t get anywhere near Wrestlemania… but the boos of the crowd soon turn to cheers… as racing down the ramp is Carlito, steel chair in hand! Orton and Dykstra don’t see ‘Lito or Torrie Wilson coming… meaning ‘Lito is free to smack the chair off of Orton’s back! Kenny turns, but it’s too late… he gets the chair smacked off his skull! Carlito makes the save for Jeff, who has finally dragged himself back to his feet with the help of the ropes… here comes Knox… BICYCLE KICK… NO! Hardy ducks… and Knox winds up crotched on the top rope! In pain, Knox gingerly steps back into the ring, where Jeff is waiting… kick… TWIST OF FATE! Hardy plants Knox, and as Carlito on the outside grabs hold of Kenny, Jeff is on the top rope… SWANTON BOMB!! Jeff gets all of it, hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Jeff Hardy @ 06.35

Jeff does it, he’s going to Wrestlemania! The crowd is on their feet as Hardy pins Knox, but Carlito is still tearing into Kenny on the outside. Orton scrambles away, seeking the safety of the top of the ramp, but Kenny’s not so lucky as ‘Lito tosses him into the ring. Knox roll s out of the ring and keeps himself out of sight while ‘Lito goes to work, throwing the chair he held over the top rope and then reaching under the ring for another chair that he slides in. Carlito soon follows, positioning one of the chairs on the mat… and then placing Kenny’s head on top of it!

The crowd pops big as they know what’s coming next, but Orton looks on in despair, almost having a fit on the top of the stage. Carlito then reaches through the ropes for a microphone, but he’s still got the second chair in his grasp…


Carlito: Hey! Hey, Orton! Carlito wants to ask ‘ju a question man. See Carlito wants to teach ‘dis punk a lesson for the way he’s been talkin’ trash to Carlito lately. So Carlito thinks… he oughta do to ‘dis punk what he did to Jeff.

A huge pop from the crowd, who are baying for blood, dying to see a con-chair-to…

Carlito: But ‘cause Carlito is cool, Carlito is gonna ‘ju a chance to save your little buddy Orton. Carlito is gonna drop ‘dis chair on one condition… ‘ju speak for ‘jur buddy, and ‘ju agree on his behalf, that at Wrestlemania XXIII, ‘dis punk puts the intercontinental Title on the line against Carlito… Caribbean… Cool!

Another big pop, as Orton has his head in his hands, wondering what to do…


Carlito: What ‘ju say Orton? ‘Ju give Carlito what he wants or ‘jur little friend gets ‘dis chair smacked off his skull!

Orton is beside himself, franticly pacing the ramp, still not knowing what to do…

Carlito: No? ‘Ju dunno, huh? OK… maybe Carlito can help make up ‘jur mind!

Carlito rears back, lifting the chair high in the air, ready to strike…

“YES! Yes, alright! Yes! He’ll give you the match!”

The crowd roars it’s approval as Carlito gets his wish, it’s him and Kenny at Wrestlemania for the Intercontinental Championship! Carlito brings the chair back down, much to Orton’s relief, but the crowd isn’t as pleased, booing in disappointment…


Carlito: Carlito and Kenny for the Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania! Now ‘dat’s cool!

But this draws a mixed response, the crowd still wanting ‘Lito to drill Kenny with the chair...

Carlito: Wait, wait, wait. Carlito got his match… but ‘ju still think Carlito should smack ‘dis punk with ‘dis chair?

The crowd responds with a resounding cry of “YESSS!!!”, dying to see Carlito hammer Kenny…

Carlito: Y’know… Carlito thinks ‘jure right!

Another roar from the crowd, as ‘Lito draws back, poised to strike… but Jeff taps ‘Lito on the shoulder, trying to encourage ‘Lito not to do it. Knowing better than anyone the damage a con-chair-to can do, Jeff tells ‘Lito it’s not worth it. Carlito thinks for a second, pondering what to do, with Orton still animated on the stage… but much to the crowd’s delight, Carlito shrugs Jeff aside and once again pulls the chair in the air… until Torrie steps infront of him?

An angry, disappointed look on her face, Torrie just shakes her head at ‘Lito, not uttering a word. Carlito looks confused at his girlfriend, telling her to get out of the way…

“What is wrong with you?!”

Torrie looks very disappointed in her man, almost in disbelief that Carlito could do such a thing. Carlito still looks dazed, wondering what on earth Torrie is playing…

“If you do this, you’re no better than them!”

Those words seem to strike a chord with ‘Lito, who ultimately decides to listen to his woman, dropping the chair. Torrie looks dejected, crushed, wondering how her boyfriend could stoop so low. Torrie can only shake her head, and with the crowd booing in the background, she turns and leaves the ring, quickly walking up the ramp. In the ring, Carlito is left with Jeff, steel chair in his hand, but a world of confusion whirling on his face, all Jeff can do is to pat him on the shoulder with a brief moment of consolation as we head into a commercial.

*Commercial*


And when we return, Maria is once again standing by…


Maria: Hi! I’m Maria, and welcome back everybody to Monday Night Raw. Boy,what a night it’s been! And right now, I’d like you to all welcome my guest at this time… ‘The Nature Boy’… Ric… Flair!

A round of “Wooooo” breaks out in the arena as Ric Flair steps into the frame. Dressed in smart-casual clothes, Flair isn’t competing tonight, but as always he looks like he has plenty to say…


Maria: And Ric, last Friday night on Smackdown you issued the challenge to Mr. Kennedy for a match at Wrestlemania XXIII. Kennedy accepted, but later in the night, you delivered the performance of a lifetime against Edge. Ric, how are you fellin’ now given what happened last Friday night?

Flair doesn’t responds, instead he looks Maria dead in the eye…


Ric Flair: WOOOOO!!

”Wooooo!”…

Ric Flair: How do I feel? Lemme tell ya’ Maria, I feel GREAT! ‘The Nature Boy’ and Mr. Kennedy, one on one, on the Grandaddy of ‘em all! Wooooo!

”Wooooo!”…

Ric Flair: Y’know last Friday night, ol’ Naitch proved a few things to a few people. To punks like Kennedy and Edge, they found out that, like I always say… to be the man… you gotta beat the man! Y’know people like to talk a lot about my age, how old I am. They say I’m too old, I’m too slow, that I can’t cut it anymore. Well all I got to say to those people, is that there’s an old sayin’ somebody told me once. “You’re only as old… as the woman you feel”! And Maria, you play your cards right, and tonight could be your lucky night!

Maria gasps and giggles as Flair smiles at here…


Ric Flair: But lemme get serious here for a second. Y’see, Mr. Kennedy likes to say that guys like me, the legends of this ring, the guy that paved the way for a punk like him to make a living in this great industry, he says we stick around too long and hold guys like him down. Now I know over the years, people know me for talkin’. I run my mouth like the best of ‘em, hell, maybe better than anybody ever did! But I stepped through those ropes night after night, and I backed up each and every single word I said.

Pop…

Ric Flair: And that’s what Friday night was for me. I went out to that ring, I took on Edge, and I backed up every single word I said to that lil’ punk at the top of the show. Y’know maybe I have hung around a lil’ bit too long. Maybe. But I do it… the reason I’m still here after all these years… is’ cause I love what I do.

Another pop, as Flair starts to get emotional…

Ric Flair: I love entertain’ the fans! I love the art of wrestlin’! I love steppin’ through those ropes and bein’ ‘The Nature Boy’! And I’m not gonna let some young punk take one second o’ that away from me. Wrestlemania XXIII… Detroit City… it’s just you and me Kennedy! You and me! I gave a great performance against Edge Friday night, and believe me brother, I got another one saved up, just for you!

Flair bites his lip, looking hard down the camera lense…

Ric Flair: I’ll give my blood, I’ll give my sweat, I’ll give my tears, hell, I’ll even give my damn life Kennedy! I’ll do whatever it takes! And win, lose, or draw, you’ll realise one thing… that diamonds are forever… and so is… RIC FLAIR! WOOOOO!!

A final “Wooooo!” from the crowd as Flair leaves the interview set, with Maria left to watch him go, smiling, almost in awe of the great man as we head back to ringside.

And to the announce desk, a proud looking Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler sat looking down the camera…


Jim Ross: Wrestlemania XXIII, less than three weeks away, and that one right there is set to be one of the most personal, hate filled matches I’ve ever seen. Ric Flair and Mr. Kennedy, a rivalry spanning several months, and it all comes to a head, in Detroit.

Jerry Lawler: Oh absolutely. But y’know, Wrestlemania isn’t the only event takin’ place in Detroit that weekend. Saturday night, the night before Wrestlemania, it’s the WWE Hall of Fame! And me and you J.R., we’re gonna be inducted! Can you believe that?

Jim Ross: Certainly a very humbling honour, lemme tell ya’. But right now, we’re gonna announce the latest member of the 2007 Hall of Fame Class, and it’s an inductee into the Celebrity Wing of the Hall of Fame.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah, he was there way back at the first Wrestlemania, infact, he was in the first Wrestlemania main event! And not only that, he came back again the next year for Wrestlemania II! And quite frankly, I pity the fool who doesn’t know who I’m talkin’ about by now!

*Video Package*

We open to the grainy footage of Wrestlemania I, and soon the familiar opening to ‘Eye of the Tiger’ is heard...

Narrator: Wrestlemania was the showcase that brought sports entertainment to a whole new level, and this man was at the very heart of it...

We now see Hulk Hogan, Mr. T and Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka walking the corridors of Madison Square Garden, the trio on their way to the ring for the first ever Wrestlemania main event ...

Narrator: Already a star of the small and big screen, he brought his talents to the wrestling ring...

Hogan reaches out tag in T, who starts unloading with rights and lefts to ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff...

Narrator: And captivated audiences like never before.

Shot from the end of that match, as Hogan and T embrace after their hard fought victory...

Mr. T: On the 31st, don’t look for a lotta sweet moves from me. I only know one thing... pain!

Mr. T and ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper go nose to nose during an edition of Piper’s Pit...

Narrator: Appearing at both Wrestlemania I and II,he helped establish what is now the biggest night of the wrestling year...

We see T unloading on a punching bag in preparation for his boxing match with Piper...

Gene Okerland: Mr. T, please-

Mr. T: Lemme tell ya’ somethin’! This ain’t gonna be no fight. This gonna be a war! I’m a smash the chump! When I finish wit’ ‘im, he gon’ look like you! Now get outta here!

And then we see the first of three main events at Wrestlemania II, with Piper and T trading jabs...

Narrator: And left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.

All hell breaks loose as Piper scoop slams T to the mat...

Narrator: But it was undoubtedly his famous television and movie roles that embedded him into the fabric of Americana.

We now hear the theme from ‘The A-Team’, with various shots of Mr. T portraying the B.A. Baracus character...

Mr. T: I ain’t gettin’ on no plane!

The music continues as we now see T in ‘Rocky III’ as Clubber Lang...

Interviewer: Clubber, what’s your prediction for the fight?

Mr. T: My prediction? I predict pain!

Shot of Hogan and T on the set of Saturday Night Live, the two struggling not to laugh...

Roddy Piper: Lemme tell ya’, when he hit ya’... forget about it! He was one tough S.O.B.!

More shots of the great Piper/T battles...

Narrator: The WWE Hall of Fame Celebrity Wing proudly welcomes...

We see Hogan and T reunited at Halloween Havoc ’94...

Edge: As a kid, I loved the WWE and I loved The A-Team. And I thought it was the coolest thing ever to see Mr. T in the same ring as Hulk Hogan...

And a final shot from Saturday Night’s Main Event, when T knocks Piper off the ring apron then slugs ‘Cowboy’ Boy Orton the top rope with a big left hand...

Narrator: Mr. T!

We now see a picture of Mr. T, stern faced, pointing at us, gold chains around his neck, with the Hall of Fame logo nearby. Also on the screen is the fact that T will be inducted into the Hall of Fame by current Hall of Famer ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper!

*End Video Package*


And it’s back into the arena, where a generous round of applause welcomes the announcement of the newest member of the Hall of Fame. A brief “MIS – TER – TEE! MIS – TER – TEE!” chant breaks out as we once again hear from J.R. and ‘King’…

Jim Ross: Congratulations to Mr. T, a more then worthy addition to the Celebrity Wing of the WWE Hall of Fame.

Jerry Lawler: Just think J.R., without guys like Mr. T helpin’ promote the very first Wrestlemania, the WWE would never have grown into the company it is today, and Monday Night Raw would never have existed!

Jim Ross: Certainly a lot to be said for the efforts of all involved with Wrestlemania I. Pioneers of the industry if you will! But right now folks, we’re gonna hear from the Women’s Champion Mickie James. A lotta talk has taken place these last few weeks regarding Mickie and the history she shares with Beth Phoenix. We’ve heard Beth’s side of the story, and now it’s time to hear from the champion.

The shot cuts to the interview area, where standing alone is Mickie James. The champion isn’t her usual cheerful self, instead she looks very determined and reserved. The Woman’s Championship is held across her shoulder, with Mickie not dressed to compete tonight…

Jim Ross: And Mickie, thank you for joinin’ us tonight, we appreciate the opportunity to hear you side of things.

Mickie James: Thanks J.R., I’m glad to be here. I hope to set a few things straight tonight.

Jim Ross: Well, certainly that’s what we’re all hopin’ for too. Mickie, I wanna take you all the way back to 2005. Now from what Beth Phoenix has told us, you and Beth used to be best of friends. You trained together, worked out together, the two of you even had both your first matches against each other. To say the least, you were pretty close.

Mickie nods, a distant look on her face, perhaps reminiscing about those days…

Mickie James: Um… yeah. Yeah, that’s absolutely right.

Jim Ross: You two had both impressed on the independent wrestling scene, you started to make names for yourselves. The call went out for a new Diva to join the Monday Night Raw roster, and you and Beth made it to the final two. A match between the two of you was scheduled to take place, the winner receiving the contract.

Mickie James: Uh huh.

Jim Ross: Unfortunately, Beth suffered a broken hand right before the match was scheduled to take place. Beth was on the shelf injured, the match never took place, and you were awarded the contract. And of course, we all know what happened, you’ve gone on to become a two time Women’s Champion. Now Mickie, Beth made the claim two weeks ago in an interview, that you injured Beth deliberately to get that contract. Now Mickie… I personally find that rather hard to believe… but the question has to be asked. Mickie… did you deliberately injure Beth Phoenix so that you could become a WWE Diva?

Mickie drops her head, shaking it slightly, taking a long time to ponder her answer…

Mickie James: No J.R., I did not deliberately injure Beth. I think you need to hear the real story as to how Beth got injured. It’s true, me and Beth, we were best friends. We trained together, we travelled with each other between shows, we even lived together in a cramped little apartment near our nearest wrestling school. We worked any jobs we could find to raise enough money to train and travel the country, all in an effort to get better. But every Monday night, without fail, we’d sit down and watch Monday Night Raw. Y’see, we were both huge Trish Stratus fans. She was so amazing in the ring. The night we saw Trish in the main event of Raw, we both knew that one day, that’s where we wanted to be.

Mickie can’t help but break into a smile when she thinks of those moments…

Mickie James: When we got the call about the Divas spot on the Raw roster, we both wanted it so bad. We knew it would mean us together in the ring against each other, just like old times. But we both promised that we wouldn’t let it affect our friendship. But y’know, I couldn’t help but laugh at what Beth said two weeks ago. She said I started acting weird in the run up to the match? It was Beth who started actin’ weird. We used to be so close, but as soon as she knew it was me and her for a WWE contract, she became like a recluse. She spent all her time in the gym, she started lifting heavier and heavier weights, she even started missin’ out on watchin’ Raw with me on Monday nights so she could work out more and more. She was my roommate and I never saw her! To be honest J.R., I think she became obsessed with beating me.

Mickie looks down, saddened and concerned with how her friend was acting back then…

Jim Ross: Tell us about the injury Mickie. Tell us about the broken hand.

Mickie James: Like I said, I barely saw Beth anymore. I figured that perhaps one last practice match between the two of us, just as friends, might mean we didn’t worry so much about the big tryout match. So I managed to convince her to go down to the local wrestling school the day before the tryout and do a little practice with me. We always competed and fought hard, even in practice, but that day… I really think Beth was tryin’ to soften me up for the match the next day. I didn’t say anything, I just gave as good as I got… and that’s when it happened. Beth went for some move, I forget what it was now, and when I tried to counter, we landed funny and… that’s when she broke her hand. J.R., you gotta believe me, I was crushed. It was a total accident, I’d never hurt anybody on purpose, never mind my best friend. I even took Beth to the hospital in my car and stayed with her, that’s how bad I felt,

Mickie bites her lip, holding back tears…

Mickie James: The doctor said it was a really bad break, there’d be no way she could compete tomorrow. Beth was… devastated. So was I because I knew, in a way, it was my fault. We called the WWE, explained the situation. We asked If the tryout could be postponed for like a month or somethin’, at least until Beth was healthy again. But the WWE offered me the contract and said it was now or never. I had to accept it J.R., I just had too. It was my dream come true! I said yes and had two days to say my goodbyes and go on the road with the Raw roster. I tied up all my loose ends, except for one… Beth. She just… she just didn’t want to see me.

A single tear drops down Mickie’s cheek…


Mickie James: I tried so hard to make things right. I wrote her so many letters from all the different towns we performed in, I called her so many times, but she... she just didn’t want to know me anymore. Each night, I stepped into the arena and I was bubbly, and bouncy, and happy go lucky Mickie James. But deep down inside… I was hurtin’ ‘cause I lost my best friend.

Mickie catches another tear, wiping it away…

Jerry Lawler: Mickie, I know this is hard for you. But there’s another question I feel has to be asked. Four weeks ago, when Victoria brought Beth back to Monday Night Raw, you sat next to me on commentary and said… you’d forgotten about Beth Phoenix. Mickie, after all we’ve heard from you and Beth… how could you say somethin’ like that?

A few more tears start to fall, Mickie struggling to wipe them off her cheeks…


Mickie James: I dunno ‘King’. I guess after a while, you just have to move on. I mean, I was workin’ all the time for the WWE. I made new friends. Friends like Trish Stratus. Friends like Torrie, or Candice, or Maria. I saw them so much, they became like family to me. Whereas to Beth… I didn’t exist anymore. OK, so I shouldn’t have lied the night she came back. I remembered her. I guess it was just shock or somethin’ that took over. I hoped to have the chance to talk to Beth, to try and make amends… but all that got me was her plantin’ me face first into the mat.

With one final, aggressive swipe, Mickie manages to dry her eyes…

Jim Ross: Well, we thank you for fillin’ us in on your side of the story Mickie. Last week, the match was set, you and Beth Phoenix for the Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania. I know it’s gonna be an emotional night for you Mickie, but how are you feelin’ now ahead of the match?

Mickie James: Y’know, if you asked me two years ago, I’d never have believed I’d ever be sayin’ this. But Beth Phoenix… I really wanna kick her ass!

The crowd lets out an emphatic pop… but suddenly Mickie is blindsided by Beth Phoenix and Victoria! Beth leads the charge, smashing Mickie with a forearm that sends her crashing into the interview set, with the backdrop and lighting rig tumbling to the floor. The backdrop is yanked aside, allowing Beth to mount Beth to drill her with right hands, while Victoria shouts encouragement to her friend, laying in with the occasional kick. Beth continues to drill Mickie, but finally we get some help as referees and agents race into the scene, trying to separate the pair. Victoria does her best to scare a few refs away, allowing Beth those few extra seconds to lay on the punishment. Finally they manage to drag Beth off of Mickie, with Victoria grabbing her friend, dragging her away from the situation. Beth breathes hard, her hair wild, looking like a woman possessed, but smiling at the fact she’s left the Woman’s Champion down and out, with Mickie coughing and spluttering on the floor as we head for a commercial.

*Commercial*


Straight back into the arena for…

”BEHOLD THE KING… THE KING OF KINGS…”

*THE GAME…*


An incredible cheer as Triple H makes his entrance, ‘The Game’ nearly blowing the roof off the arena when he steps through the curtain. Stopping at the top of the ramp, Trips pauses before he sprays a burst of water into the air before he strides down the ramp…


Jim Ross: Listen to the ovation for ‘The Game’, Triple H! He’s goin’ to Wrestlemania to challenge for the WWE Championship, and a very personal showdown with Shawn Michaels. But lately, ‘The Game’ has had his share of problems with the third man in that match, Rob Van Dam.

Jerry Lawler: And they’re about to be partners tonight! We heard ‘im say it earlier, it wasn’t personal between Triple H and Van Dam before, but it sure as hell is now! Those two guys looked like they wanted to rip each other’s heads off. How in the world are they meant to team together right now?

’The Game’ springs up onto the apron and again sprays water high into the air, before he steps through the ropes and climbs to the second rope, flexing and roaring to the crowd. Eventually Trips drops back down, taking another sip of water before he tosses the bottle aside and waits on his partner…

*ONE OF A KIND…*


And it’s another great pop for Rob Van Dam, the perennial crowd favourite stepping out onto the stage, leading the crowd in a chance of “ROB… VAN… DAM!” before he confidently heads for the ring…


Jim Ross: One interesting fact to remember about Rob Van Dam is that he’s never main evented a Wrestlemania. He’s a onetime WWE Champion, but he’s never been in this kinda position before, with this much pressure.

Jerry Lawler: And this match’ll be a great indication of how Van Dam responds to that pressure. Can he handle the big match tension? Can he deal with the nervousness? We all know he’s cold as ice usually, but this is Wrestlemania season, and the stakes could not be higher.

Van Dam heads for the corner, climbing to the second rope to once again lead a chant of “ROB… VAN… DAM!” before he drops down and comes face to face with Triple H. The crowd cheers as the tension between the two starts to build, a few words of trash talk being exchanged until they hear…

*HELL WILL BE CALLIN’…*


Major heat for Bobby Lashley who is scheduled to wrestle his first match since his shocking heel turn on John Cena at Saturday Night’s Main Event. Lashley doesn’t bother with his old routine of posing at the top of the ramp, instead he’s all business as he snarls his way down the ramp and circles the ring…


Jim Ross: It was one of the most shockin’ things I’ve ever seen. Saturday Night’s Main Event, Bobby Lashley ripped through the canvas and interjected himself in the Steel Cage Match featurin’ John Cena and The McMahons. Lashley decimated Cena, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he did somethin’ similar to either Rob Van Dam or Triple H tonight.

Jerry Lawler: Or maybe even both! This guy has always had power, he’s always been a very impressive individual. But now with Mr. McMahon guidin’ his career, he could be about to skyrocket his way to the top. And that includes destroyin’ John Cena at Wrestlemania.

Lashley remains on the outside, looking extremely confident as he continues to pace the ringside area, waiting for the arrival of his partner…

*SEXY BOY…*


And the biggest level of heat all evening goes to the WWE Champion Shawn Michaels, who emerges once again dressed all in the black. Black wrestling chaps, black boots, black vest, and the black cowboy hat is still adorning his head. Michaels drops to his knees and opens his arms to the heavens, saying a quick prayer before he heads for the ring…


Jim Ross: Love him or hate him, you have to respect him. He’s the WWE Champion, and he believes that God has brought him to the point, and that God will deliver him safely through Wrestlemania, still the WWE Champion.

Jerry Lawler: I find the way this guys been actin’ lately just bizarre. I think he’s gone crazy to be honest with you. I’ve got no problem with bein’ religious, but Michaels is startin’ to take it to a whole new level. And I don’t like it.

Main Event: Tag Team Match
WWE Champion Shawn Michaels and Bobby Lashley vs. Triple H and Rob Van Dam

After their words earlier, it’s no surprise that there’s discontent between Van Dam and Triple H when the bell rings, as neither man wants to stand down to the other. Eventually Van Dam relents, holding his hands and stepping through the ropes, while in the other corner, Michaels has no worries in letting Lashley start for his team. Lashley and ‘The Game’ step forward, the two tying up, with an initial struggle for position between the two. Neither man budges as they match each other’s strength, but Trips eventually manages to back Lashley to the heel corner. The referee calls for the break, which ‘The Game’ provides... so he can slug Michaels with a big right hand! ‘The Game’ knocks Michaels from the apron, but this allows Lashley to gain the upperhand as he drives a trio of knees into Trips’ gut. Lashley rocks Triple H with a right hand, then fires him off the ropes... and bowls ‘The Game’ over with a bodycheck. Lashley brings Michaels into the match, and the WWE Champion starts to light up ‘The Game’ with a series of chops to the chest against the corner. Michaels moves Trips to the ropes, sending him across... but he misses with a clothesline... and ‘The Game’ answers back with the running high knee! Michaels stumbles to the corner, but Trips stays on him, snapping his head back with stiff right hands before going for the Irish whip... Michaels goes upside down into the opposite turnbuckle! Michaels’ legs look like rubber as he staggers from the corner... and ‘The Game’ knocks him down with a clothesline!

‘The Game’ grabs a handful of hair, holding Michaels in position... and then holds out a hand to Van Dam... who rather forcibly makes the tag. Van Dam enters and starts tagging Michaels with right hands that back him to a corner. A pair of turnbuckle thrusts land, then Van Dam does a handspring away from the corner... and charges in for another turnbuckle thrust! Kicks land to the thigs and head, before a jumping roundhouse knocks Michaels down. Van Dam then looks to come off the opposite ropes... for ROLLING THUNDER... but Michaels rolls under the bottom rope to the outside, seeing Van Dam land on his feet instead. Michaels paces that side of the ring, trying to shake it off, put this means he doesn’t see ‘The Game’ coming round the corner... to hammer Michaels with a right hand! Michaels stumbles away, but Lashley sees this and drops down... and now he and Triple H are trading right hands on the outside! The two trade rights and lefts, with Michaels now laning a few shots to ‘The Game’... but here comes Van Dam... ROLLING THUNDER... INTO A SUICIDE SENTON OVER THE TOP ROPE! Van dam flies through the air, taking out all three men, and with bodies strewn across the floor, we fade into our final commercial of the night.

*Commercial*


And we return to Lashley and Van Dam in the ring, with Van Dam having Lashley locked in a standing side headlock… but Lashley pushes Van Dam off the ropes… but misses a right hand… Van Dam goes for a jumping roundhouse… but Lashley catches him… and sends him flying with a fallway slam ! Lashley shows off his power, and he quickly makes the tag to Michaels. The WWE Champion enters the ring, and he mounts Van Dam and starts laying in with right hands. Michaels and Lashley show a good measure of team work as they start making quick tags, with Lashley coming back in to rock ‘RVD’ with a backbreaker… and he keeps Van Dam on his knee, pushing down on his chin and lower body to apply all inds of pressure to the small of the back. Van dam tries to break free, but he can’t break Lashley’s grip, although as the crowd try to make some noise an rally Van Dam into breaking the hold, Lashley simply tosses Van Dam to the mat, silencing the arena. Michaels comes back in, unloading with chops to the chest against the heel corner, and then he gets a near fall after coming off the ropes into a swinging neckbreaker.

Lashley and Michaels continue to punish Van Dam, as Lashley connects on a delayed vertical and then an overhead belly to belly suplex, while Michaels catches him witha back body drop, then gets the longest 2 count fo the match off of an enziguiri. Van Dam is in a world of hurt, but when Lashley sends him to the corner and charges in, Van Dam is able to get a boot up to the face… and then knock Lashley down a rolling wheel kick ! Van Dam then slows starts to crawl towards his corner… but Michaels darts into the ring, drawing the attention of the referee… as ‘RVD’ tags in ‘The Game’ ! Trips bursts into the ring, taggign Lashley with a few rights, but Michaels tels the ref to turn, saying there was no tag. The referee indeed does this, ordering Trips from the ring, while behind his back Michaels drags Van Dam back to the heel corner. Triple H is enraged, protesting that there was a tag, but this just keeps the referee distracted, allowing Michaels and Lashley to drill kicks and boots to th chest of Van Dam in their corner, until finally ‘The Game’ leaves the ring. Michaels heads outside too, the picture of innocence, and after Lashley drags Van Dam to the middle of the ring, he tags in Michaels… who climbs to the top rope… ELBOW DROP ! Michaels conects, and cralws into the lateral press… 1… 2… Triple H makes the save, much to Michaels’ annoyance.

Lashley comes back in, and he looks to really lay on the pain, drilling knees, forearms and even headbutts to the small of the back, before he hooks Van Dam up… for a full nelson slam ! 1… 2… Van Dam rolls his shoulder. Michaels is back in, and he looks for an Irish whip… but ‘RVD’ reverses it… only for Michaels to answer back with a flying forearm… and then a kip up ! The crowd boo the arrogance of Michaels, but he doesn’t care as he simply points at ‘The Game’ and says "This one’s for you.", drawing an angry glare from Triple H. Michaels heads for the corner, waiting for Van Dam to rise… stomping his foot, each stomp drawing more boos from the crowd as Michaels gets ready… and makes his move... SWEET CHIN MUSIC… NO ! Van Dam ducks underneath… spinning cresecent kick ! Van Dam knocks Michaels down, and now both men are crawling for their corners. Michaels tags in Lashley… but here comes ‘The Game’ !

Triple H enters the ring and starts hammering Lashley with right hands, backing him to the ropes, allowing ‘The Game’ to go for an Irish whip… but Lashley reverses… but he lowers his head… facebreaker knee smash ! Lashley stumbles back… and Triple H levels him with a clothesline ! Triple H flexes and roars to the crowd, but here comes Michaels… into a big back body drop ! All hell breaks loose as all four men are in the ring, with Van Dam targetting the still down Lashley… ROLLING THUNDER ! This time Van Dam connects, but when he gets back to his feet, the referee tries to usher him from the ring… which means he isn’t looking… as Michaels drills him with SWEET CHIN MUSIC ! Michaels kicks Van Dam’s head off, causing Van Dam to roll to the outside… but when Michaels gloats and taunts Van Dam, he doesn’t see Triple H charge from behind… clothesline puts Michaels over the top rope to the floor !

Now it’s Lashley and ‘The Game’, the two trading blows, with Trips gaining the upperhand. Triple H goes for the Irish whip… Lashley ducks a clothesline… but can’t avoid a MASSIVE SPINNING SPINEBUSTER ! Once more Triple H roars to the fans, and now he’s waiting for Lashley to rise… kick… PEDIGREE… NO ! Lashley counters with a back body drop, but he has to drop a knee afterwards to try and recover. ‘The Game’ lands near his corner, and he reaches up to tag in the now recovered Van Dam, who slowly climbs to the top rope… DIVING SPINNING HEEL KICK ! Van dam gets all of it, and he hooks the leg… 1… 2… Lashley powers out of the pinfall ! Lashley forcibly kicks out, but Van Dam stays on him as he tags Lashley with kicks to the head… but when he tries to send Lashley off the ropes, Lashley revrses… so Van Dam jumps to the second rope… springboard leg lariat ! Lashley is down, and in perfect position, the crowd going wild as Van Dam drags his body to the top rope… Michaels reaches in drags Triple H from the ring… Van Dam gets ready to fly… SWEET CHIN MUSIC TO TRIPLE H ON THE FLOORFIVE STAR FROG SPLASH… NO ! Lashley rolls to safety, allowing Van Dam to crash to the mat, but he’s quickly back on his feet as Van Dam stumbles up… SPEAR !!! Lashley runs through Van Dam with the spear, and with Triple H down on the outside, there’s nobody to save Van Dam from the 1… 2… 3 !

Winners: Shawn Michaels and Bobby Lashley @ 14.29

Absolutely dominant. Lashley spears the life out of Van Dam, grabbing the win, and in the process perhaps gaining a measure of revenge for the two defeats Van Dam has inflicted on him this year. Lashley gets back to his feet, roaring to the masses, ecstatic over his victory. Michaels meanwhile backs his way up the ramp, obviously delighted that he's laid out Triple H while Lashley has done the same to Van Dam. Michaels slowly backs his way up the ramp, smiling, nodding, happy at what just happened... until a commotion rings out around the arena... John Cena is racing down the ramp! Cena barges Michaels to the steel, running straight through him and sliding into the ring... where he tackles Lashley to the mat!

Just like last week, Cena has stormed the ring and has taken the fight to Lashley! The two brawl all over the ring, rolling on the mat, neither man able to keep the upper hand for very long... and now Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon race out from the back... and are calling a security squad down to the ring! Shawn Michaels has already slipped backstage, but now Vince and Shane are franticly waving security personnel down to the ring. At least ten guards slides under the bottom rope, and with Cena in a mount position, laying into Lashley, he doesn't see the guards grab and tackle him from behind! The crowd boos vociferously, wanting to see the two men go at it, but Cena is quickly dragged away from Lashley, allowing him to recover after his match. The guards manage to subdue Cena, keeping him down on the mat, which allows Vince and Shane to enter the ring. The McMahons initially check on Lashley, with Shane helping Lashley back to his feet while Vince calls for a microphone...


Mr. McMahon: Well, well... just couldn't help yourself could ya' Cena? Ya' just couldn't help yourself! When are you gonna realise John... that the deck is always gonna be stacked against you? Get 'im up!

Vince orders his security guards to yank Cena to his feet...


Mr. McMahon: I always have things in my favour John! You can preach all night long about your hustle, your loyalty, your stinkin' respect, but tonight, just like Wrestlemania, everythin' is in MY favour!

Cena tries valiantly to fight free, but at least eight of the security guards have him firmly in their grasps...


Mr. McMahon: Joey Styles found that out the hard way last week, and at Wrestlemania, that's exactly what you're gonna find out too. I don't play fair Cena, it's never been my way in business or-

*RETRO WRESTLEMANIA...*


At first nobody in the audience knows what's going on, but soon it becomes clear as Linda McMahon steps out onto the stage with a microphone in her hand, to a surprisingly big pop, although fans know that they could be about to hear something rather important...


Linda McMahon: Thank you for your applause Washington. I'll make this brief. Vince, I-

Mr. McMahon: Wait a minute! What the hell's the meanin' of this? What are you doin' Linda?

Linda allows a quick smile to cross her face...

Linda McMahon: Well Vince, it's nice to see you too. As for the reason why I'm here, I was here tonight on official WWE business. However, earlier tonight I ran into John Cena backstage and we had a little business meeting of our own.

Vince turns to Shane, then to Cena, then back to Linda, confusion reigning in the ring...


Linda McMahon: And having heard what John had to say, and after having a review of your recent conduct via conference call with certain members of the WWE Board of Directors, we've come to a decision Vince. And, we've decided... that there is to be a change made to the match you signed off on between John Cena and Bobby Lashley.

Vince now angrily looks at Cena, who doesn't even bother to fight anymore, instead he has a goofy, over the top grin on his face, purely to further anger McMahon...

Linda McMahon: And after that review, I forwarded a motion concerning that match. A motion that was carried unanimously. That's why next week Vince, you, me, Bobby Lashley and John Cena are going to sit down in that ring, and we're going to sign a new contract for the match at Wrestlemania.

Pop...


Linda McMahon: And also at the contract signing... is going to be the man myself and the Board of Directors appointed... as the Special Guest Referee for the match.

And another pop, that further angers Vince...

Mr. McMahon: Wait a minute! Wait a damn minute here! Special - you've appointed a Special Guest Referee?!

Linda McMahon: Oh hell yeah, Vince!

A fucking huge cheer from the crowd as the instantly know who that special guest referee is. Everyone in the ring knows too, as Shane has his head in his hands, Lashley angrily kicks the bottom rope, while the announcement draws that trademark gulp from Vince...

Linda McMahon: But of course, this appointment has been made... purely... in the interests of fairness. Now, I'd very much like to see you and this security team of yours out of the ring please Vince. Or maybe... Hunter and Rob can oblige?

Suddenly, Triple H and 'RVD' burst into the ring... and start laying out the security guards! The guards drop like flies as 'The Game' and Van Dam start drilling them with right hands, allowing Cena to break free... and fly for Lashley once again! Once more Cena and Lashley are brawling all over the ring, while Vince dives from the ring and stars running up the ramp. Linda has already departed for the backstage area, meaning Vince can only watch the mayhem taking place. Shane also heads to the outside, managing to help Lashley escape, while the security team take a pounding, scrambling from the ring. It's mayhem in and out the ring as the guards start running for the hills, with Cena giving chase, following Vince, Shane and Lashley all the way up the ramp and backstage.

The ring is cleared, except for Van Dam, Triple H... and a helpless bastard who was left behind! Trips and 'RVD' both look up the ramp, before they turn and realise they're the only two left in the ring, except for the guard who's slowly managing to get back to his feet. Sensing his predicament, the guard looks like a dear in the headlights as he sees the two men stood either side of him... and 'The Game' drills him with a kick... Pedigree! Triple H plants the poor guy, who happens to roll onto his back, just as 'RVD' springs to the top rope... Five Star Frog Splash! Two thirds of the WWE Championship scenario hit their big moves, with the two back on their feet, standing across the ring from each other, looking like they could tear each other apart at any second...


Jim Ross: Bah Gawd what a night! 'The Game' and Van Dam, what an explosive situation!

Jerry Lawler: And next week we're gonna find out who the Special Guest Referee is for Cena vs. Lashley!

Jim Ross: You won't want to miss it folks! Goodnight!

The two men left standing continue to stare at each other, both men's eyes narrowed, shaking with rage, ready to burst at any moment... but that's for another week as we fade... to... black.

*End Show*




Current Card for WWE WRESTLEMANIA XXIII:
Date: April 1st 2007

Location: Ford Field; Detroit, Michigan

WWE Championship Triple Threat Match Match:
WWE Champion Shawn Michaels vs. 'The Game' Triple H vs. 'Mr. Monday Night' Rob Van Dam

World Heavyweight Championship Match:
World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. 2007 Royal Rumble Winner Edge

The Irresistible Force vs. The Immovable Object:
'The Real Deal' Bobby Lashley vs. John Cena
Special Guest Referee: ???


Streak vs. Streak:
'The Phenom' The Undertaker vs. 'The Samoan Bulldozer' Umaga

Past vs. Future:
'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair vs. Mr. Kennedy

United States Championship Match:
United States Champion Finlay vs. Matt Hardy

Intercontinental Championship Match:
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra vs. Carlito

Cruiserweight Championship Match:
Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms vs. Bryan Danielson

Women's Championship Match:
Women's Champion Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix

Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
Entrants in Alphabetical Order:

Chris Benoit vs. CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro vs. King Booker vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Randy Orton vs. ???
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Last edited by iMac : 10-31-2011 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:59 PM   #168 (permalink)
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After last week’s end it made sense for Cena to open up. Pretty strong promo here, very Cena esque. I liked how sort of heartfelt it was in saying Lashley had sold out and wondering how Stone Cold used to cope with this week in week out. Brooke Adams I’m still not sold on but standard little announcement and a tough ask for Cena.

Booking was spot on here. Didn’t make Benjamin and Haas look weak and also kept Cena looking strong with the countout defeat. Good match on the whole and a Lashley appearance was to be expected I suppose.

Benjamin saying we beat superman certainly brought a laugh. Laying down the challenge once more. I hope we find out who they’re gonna face soon enough as we can start to get a bit more build for it.

Pretty standard McMahon stuff. The Styles suspension for Mania is just classic McMahon and would kill Styles inside I’m sure. Liked the line about how Vince created Cena and he’ll be the one to destroy him, good stuff.

Punk over Masters was a no brainer. Simple, yet effective job here.

Your Michaels character continues to shine and it’s no different here. His relationship with ‘the man upstairs’ is great and I like those kinda references. The whole faith thing and it being a part of the plan to get to the WWE title is fantastically well thought out.

Good win for Hart Legacy here. Woulda liked to see it go a little longer but a good match nonetheless and their little push upon arrival is going well. Aftermath was decent here and perhaps a nice little feud to drag along on Raw for a while between the two teams. Would do them both the world of good.

Well this Linda stuff has thrown a spanner in the works for Mania now. To be honest I’d rather she didn’t get involved, though I understand when Vince goes off on his power trips she always tends to get involved. Interested to see what she’ll throw up. Expecting a stipulation of some sorts.

Good interaction between Orton and Kenny here. I particularly liked the slap. The way their respective feuds have gone with Jeff and Lito have been done nicely.

Nitro had to get the win here following the outcome earlier so no surprise there. The real surprise was Dinsmore’s Eugene outburst and I don’t quite know what to make of it as his behaviour was supposedly down to pills not a woman kissing him? Not too sure about it but willing to see where it goes if anywhere.

Nice tension builder here with these two. I think they will destroy each other at some point before Mania as something sets one of them off, maybe even here tonight.

Only one winner again here with Jeff. Main story though is to do with Orton and the others. Glad to see them appear during the match and not after. The aftermath with the chair was great and now it’s official it should be a good match for Dykstra and Carlito to showcase themselves at Mania. The stuff with Torrie is very interesting and I smell a Carlito heel turn down the line.

Solid Flair promo. Nothing too outrageous but enough to hype the Kennedy feud which is one of my favourites right now.

Very good interview here with Mickie James and that’s saying something from me who’s never too quick to read the Divas stuff. Liked the emotion portrayed from Mickie and the story behind it all, very unique and this has caught my interest now.

Very nice main event as ever and I’m glad you gave Lashley the win to just keep building him up furthermore. Cena showing his face was no surprise and he certainly made an impact, nice little brawl between the two men. Vince and Shane bringing out security was a decent move and adds anticipation for when they do finally get their hands on each other. Linda’s announcement wasn’t a major shocker and I suppose it does add to the match. However, I would’ve just had her announce it there and then. Yes it’s more than likely to be Stone Cold. She practically gave it away. Unless it was going to be a mystery for next week, I’d have done it now and added a bit more shock value to the show. If it’s not Stone Cold then I’d be amazed and take back that last part!

On the whole it was another good show. Nothing too shocking or memorable but obviously it’s hard to do so every show. Felt like there could’ve maybe been a bit more hype for the WWE title match as it was more geared towards Lashley/Cena tonight which was well done admittedly. Looking forward to next week and the Smackdown coming up.
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:10 PM   #169 (permalink)
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Keep on rollin', Mac...

619s Feedback for iMac's Monday Night RAW



For starters, I very much enjoyed what you tried to do with the opening video. This seems like a great place to perhaps start practicing for those Wrestlemania video packages you’ll be needing to get in top form. I thought it could’ve been a bit more descriptive, and some of what was described going on didn’t really fit right in. I found it very easy to read, but towards the end, the whole heartbeat going flatline as Lashley and Cena stared down didn’t fit for me. It would’ve easily worked if one man had beat the other down and left him lifeless at his feet or something like that, but leaving it flatline on an intense staredown didn’t quite fit. Do a bit of research on what would actually happen if an ‘irresistible force’ met an ‘immovable object’ if you haven’t already. There’s a bunch of neat stuff you can find about that situation that can be used in the hype, billing, video package(s), etc. Feel like I’m babbling a good bit, but good way to kick off the show.

Cena kicking things off seems more appropriate following what happened last week, although I do think his address went on a little too long. Cena sounded as Cena as Cena can be, with his exaggerated tones and delivery and what not, then suddenly turning serious. The mentioning of both Austin and JR has me thinking they may potentially have something to do with this on down the road, but Austin may be a bit stretchin’ it, especially with the mental state of Vinnie. The subsequent handicapped match was the norm for Cena at this period in time, although I’m very glad you didn’t have Cena completely squash your tag team champions. I was hoping the Lashley distraction would give the WGTT a win somehow, but then you got my hopes up even more when Cena followed Lash backstage…and then nothing happened. Or at least nothing immediate, but beyond that, it loses a bit of impact I would think. Good to see you not go with the SuperCena route, always good to see Lashley doing heel stuff, though not completely sold on the end result. Good showing for the WGTT though.

Of course TWGTT hype themselves with it. Great choice right there, giving them even more leverage in their tag team division crusades. Beyond London and Kendrick, there’s a long drop-off in reasonably strong enough teams before we get to the Hart Legacy. Wanna see how that whole thing plays out.

Love how easy it is to provoke Vinnie Mac and also how fun it looks to write him as completely losing it. This leaves me wondering what kind of role Styles will play down the road, but with that said, this also effects the WWE title situation for perhaps somewhere down the line in its relation to Van Dam.

Solid booking with Punk getting the nod towards Wrestlemania. Was hoping maybe he’d come out with Dinsmore, but nonetheless, I still think a feud is down the road for he, Kelly, and Nick with MNM. That said, I’m hoping you go somewhere with this MNM losing streak. At least throw Masters a bone. I believe as you once stated before, that guy can’t catch a break anywhere. Again, good choice with Punk advancing, but can’t say I see him winning as much as I’d like it.

Have I mentioned enough lately how much I love your HBK? The potential religious piousness in his character has evolved from undertones to completely taking over. As touchy as a topic like religion is, I love it in the way you deliver it with Michaels, and even better here. The fact that he’s now presented us with his evidence that he’s the ‘God-given’ WWE Champion will truly be something to build on towards ‘mania (and hopefully, beyond ).

Harts getting the win isn’t surprising, continuing to build them as needed, although nice to now get them in a potential feud. The RNWC has a great deal of potential and still have some credibility left to get the new kids over.

Oh, there’s Cena. With…Linda?! Didn’t see that one coming at all! This evening of the odds proposal leads me to believe there’s either a) gonna be a guest referee/enforcer or b) a match with Shane and/or Vince to stop them from interfering. My only gripe about this segment is that it would’ve had to come somewhere in the vicinity of 30-40 minutes following the segment where Cena started looking for Lashley, which may be a bit long to put up a search, even for a guy you hate. But nonetheless, I’ll overlook it, since this segment really kept me guessing.

I lol’d towards the end of this segment, as Orton came off as an abusive boyfriend more than a potential deranged mentor. Nonetheless, gets the point across that this isn’t exactly a healthy alliance for both men, only really Orton. Interesting with Orton’s hatred of Jeff, though. I don’t think I was in the thread for that.

A very interesting match indeed with Dinsmore and Nitro. Not surprised to see Nitro finally go over in this year and go on to MITB, but the whole Eugene-mannerisms angle looks like it could be interesting to see develop in the months before ‘mania. Not sure why a kiss from Melina would cause it, but I guess we’ll find out in the near future, won’t we?

Hasn’t been a wasted segment tonight, which is very good to see. Anyway, an intense encounter between these two is always nice, gonna keep an eye on their attitudes towards one another in the main event, though.

Jeff Hardy with ladders is his ideal environment I suppose, although good on Carlito to get his title match in a terrorist-esque way. This whole angle between Carlito and Torrie is one of my favorite things on your RAW, probably because I’m very pleased to have you have the chick in the girlfriend role actually contribute something character/plot wise and not just be eye candy and the occasional distraction. Wanting to see how this completely plays out.

@ Flair. Seems like the good ol’ Naitch to me.

MISTA TEE for the f’n win

I really enjoy the whole set up you’ve done with Beth and Mickie. It’s given both women a great amount of depth, which is something women’s wrestling usually seems to lack, especially nowadays. They’re doomed to meet at ‘Mania, but one thing I am noticing is that this bears somewhat of a resemblance to the Mickie/Trish storyline going into ‘mania 22, with Mickie’s obsession over Trish now turned into Beth’s obsession with beating Mickie. Either way, I do love me some crazy ladies.

Really solid main event, with Lashley staying out of the action most of the time, which I guess is a good thing, yet it makes sense to have him get the fall to fully cement his status and credibility as a top heel. Of course the attitudes between Van Dam and Trips were the main focal point, all three men look on the same level, even if Van Dam took the fall.

I should’ve put two-and-two together and put Austin together with the potential guest referee decision. I love the three question marks on the final card, as though there’s no possible way we could guess who it was, but y’know, you could always pull a fast one on everyone and make it…the Brooklyn Brawler. The destruction of the guard by the hands of both challengers for the WWE title is a great way to end the show.


You never really had a letdown show so long as I’ve been around, and this time didn’t disappoint, either. There’s big things going on with the Road to Wrestlemania, but even beyond that, there’s definitely other things to pay attention too, mostly with the Dinsmore situation, as well as the continued depth of Carlito/Torrie. ‘Mania card is looking incredible, dude. Gonna throw a last MITB prediction out there – is Kane doing anything right now? Think he’ll wind up filling the void. But yeah, the whole card looks stacked from top to bottom, with everything being given a great amount of attention and detail. And as for you taking a break, do so only if you’re burnt out and need one. It’s not from a lack of interest, I don’t think. Just a wave of ‘demotivation’ across the section, I suppose. But yeah. No break unless you really need one, plz. I want this ‘mania up before the year is up. And plus, I need some help carrying this section while the tournament goes on . I kid. But yeah, keep it up, duder. Kirby still very much approves.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:58 PM   #170 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Just want to say thanks to both of you for the reviews, chaps. Means heaps to me to know there's still some interest in this, and I'll be in to return the feedback whenever you both post again. If I'm gonna make Wrestlemania by the end of the year I suppose I better try and pick up the pace a wee bit. So here's another preview...

~Friday Night Smackdown~
March 16th, 2007
Trenton, New Jersey





Last week’s main event saw a performance for the ages from Ric Flair, but as Smackdown went off the air, the whispers regarding Edge and his fear of the World Heavyweight Champion had grown to shouts... and you can guarantee Edge will be hell-bent on silencing those cries tonight.

After not coming into physical contact once during their tag team match at Saturday Night’s Main Event, Edge seemed like he was about to put to bed any doubts of his determination to face Batista at Wrestlemania by smacking the World Heavyweight Champion with a steel chair last week... only for Batista to catch Edge in the act. With ‘The Animal’ urging him on, many felt now was the moment that Edge would finally strike... but instead, he dropped the chair and calmly headed backstage. Edge claimed it was all mind games, that by not attacking he had gained the upperhand, but most people felt it was nothing more than another display of Edge’s fear of ‘The Animal’. Tonight, Batista is in action as we witness a rematch of Smackdown’s most dramatic feud of 2006, as King Booker steps up to face the champion. Will Edge view tonight as his chance to strike? Will the constant whispering and rumours push him over the edge? Or will he stay the course and continue to play his mind games?

Speaking of mind games, The Undertaker exchanged words with his Wrestlemania opponent Umaga last week, as ‘The Phenom’ vowed to end Umaga’s undefeated streak, preserving his own Wrestlemania undefeated streak in the process. Tonight, Umaga is in action against Chris Benoit, surely the toughest test Umaga will have faced since his arrival on Smackdown. Alejandro Armando Estrada has said that his savage can’t be effected by mind games, and Umaga has backed these words by appearing impervious to fear in the face of ‘The Deadman’. No doubt The Undertaker will again look to make his presence felt, but the question remains... can anything phase ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’?

After beating The Extremists at No Way Out, and on the back of Paul Burchill’s victory over Brian Kendrick last week, The Bluebloods have been named the number one contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championships. However, instead of that match happening at Wrestlemania, Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman agreed to grant the match at a time of The Bluebloods’ choosing... and William Regal and company have chosen tonight! That’s right, London and Kendrick will defend their titles tonight on Smackdown against William Regal and Paul Burchill, the challengers full of confidence after their recent performances. However, The Hooligans aren’t the longest reigning tag team champions in Smackdown history for nothing, and they’ll no doubt be ready for what should prove to be a very difficult title defence. London and Kendrick may have beaten Regal and Dave Taylor a month ago, but now with Paul Burchill in their ranks, The Bluebloods have to be the heavy favourites to finally end the reign of The Hooligans.

At Wrestlemania XXIII, Finlay will defend the United States Championship against Matt Hardy, while Gregory Helms will put up the Cruiserweight Championship against Bryan Danielson. Tonight, the four will meet in tag team action as Helms and Finlay combine to face Hardy and Danielson. Hardy has had a sensational start to 2007, gathering all kinds of momentum and really making a name for himself on Friday nights. Danielson has had a great start to his WWE career, coming close to winning the Cruiserweight Championship in his very first match. The two will be looking to continue to impress and pick up a big win ahead of Wrestlemania, while Finlay will no doubt want to send Hardy a clear message that he’s known as a tough bastard for a reason, whereas Helms will look to continue to sneak and stay one step ahead of Danielson, in the process proving once again that he’s the self-proclaimed greatest cruiserweight in the world.

All of this, plus the last Money in the Bank spot is up for grabs as The Miz takes on a mystery opponent, Layla will debut a new tag team tonight, and maybe an appearance from the brooding Mr. Kennedy will happen. All of this and more on the latest episode of Friday Night Smackdown!

Confirmed Matches:

Batista vs. King Booker

WWE Tag Team Championship Match:
The Hooligans vs. The Bluebloods

Chris Benoit vs. Umaga
Finlay and Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy and Bryan Danielson

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match:
The Miz vs. ???

Plus! Layla will debut a new tag team tonight, and Mr. Kennedy will possibly have something to say!!



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WWE: The Evolution Of Greed
2007 King of the Ring Has Been Posted!!!



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