~Monday Night Raw~
March 19th, 2007
”It's always funny... when history repeats itself."
We kick off the broadcast with a quick highlights package from last week’s show, in particular the main event were Shawn Michaels and Bobby Lashley took on Triple H and Rob Van Dam. After a back and forth match up, Lashley ultimately grabs the win for his team, only for John Cena to race down to the ring to once again pick a fight with 'The Dominator'. The two battle back and forth until Mr. McMahon sends his security team down to the ring, separating the pair. Just as it looks like Cena is about to be decimated, WWE C.E.O. Linda McMahon appears, declaring that next week we'll have a contract signing for the Cena/Lashley Wrestlemania match, including the appointment of a Special Guest Referee. Vince can't believe it, asking if Linda was serious with her announcement, to which his wife responds "Oh hell yeah Vince!". The crowd erupts, and after being given the chance to recover, Van Dam and Triple H assist Cena in clearing the ring, all three faces standing tall, but an uneasy atmosphere exists between the three as we fade to black.
We now hear the usual Raw opening video, before it's into the arena for the bright lights and pyro display we've come to expect. A quick tour of the crowd showing off some of the more creative signs, before he settle at the announce desk...
There's only thirteen days left 'til the Grandaddy of 'em all, Wrestlemania XXIII! But tonight, Raw comes to you live from Indianapolis, Indiana, and 'King', we've got a huge
night in store!
Oh absolutely! Tonight, it's quite possibly the biggest
contract signing in Monday Night Raw history! John Cena and Bobby Lashley will sign on the dotted line, and of course, we're gonna find out just who will be the Special Guest Referee for that match up!
The rumour mill has ran rampant all week, but we'll find out one way or another tonight! But of course, that's not all folks. One third of the WWE Championship Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania, Rob Van Dam, will take on the always dangerous Mike Knox, Randy Orton teams with the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra to face Carlito and Jeff Hardy, Smackdown's Brian Kendrick is here to take on Shelton Benjamin, we've got Divas action, 'King', this show is packed!
And I can't wait to get it started!
"BEHOLD THE KING... THE KING OF KINGS..."
And wait you shall not 'King', as the arena explodes for the arrival of Triple H
. 'The Game' slowly enters the arena, pausing at the top of the ramp to spray a burst of water into the air before he confidently strides down the ramp towards the ring...
And we're not gonna waste any time 'King', as here comes the man who in thirteen days will be one of the challengers for the WWE Championship. He is a current ten time heavyweight champion, will Wrestlemania XXIII see 'The Game', Triple H, make it number eleven?
I think he's got a heck of a shot at it. Triple H has been fuelled
by his hatred of Shawn Michaels lately, and that desire for revenge could carry Triple H all the way to the WWE Championship if ya' ask me.
What an explosive Raw main event it's gonna be! Shawn Michaels defending the WWE Championship against both Triple H and Rob Van Dam. Both of the challengers will be in action tonight, a big chance for the two of 'em to let their opponents know what they can expect come Wrestlemania.
Right but both Van Dam and Triple H have got tough matches ahead of 'em. Van Dam is takin' on Mike Knox, that's never an easy match when you're in the ring with somebody as dangerous as Knox is, while Triple H is gonna take on 'The Masterpiece', Chris Masters.
After jumping up onto the apron to once again spit a burst of water into the air, 'The Game' steps through the ropes and heads for the second ropes, flexing and posing for the crowd who once again show their support with a great pop. Trips drops down and starts pacing the ring, awaiting the arrival of...
Some prety solid heat as Chris Masters
makes his entrance, stopping behind the bright gold sparks that drop on the top of the ramp, shaking off his robe and posing for the crowd before he turns and heads for the ring, as Johnny Nitro
follow him down...
He's always had an impressive physique, he's always had the ability to punish his opponents. But lately, Chris Masters hasn't quite been able to put it all together and deliver results.
And the same could be said for Masters' tag team partner Johnny Nitro, until last week when Nitro finally managed a win over Nick Dinsmore. Could tonight be Masters' turn to end his losing streak with a big win over 'The Game'?
Triple H vs. Chris Masters w/ Johnny Nitro and Melina
As the bell rings, Masters initially has no interest in locking up with Triple H, instead he stalls by posturing to the crowd, flexing his biceps and popping his pecs. ‘The Game’ wants to get the action started, but again Masters isn’t interested, as he now cuts a pose right in Triple H’s face. ‘The Game’ turns to the crowd, smirks… and than answers Masters with a DX crotch chop… then smacks him with a big right hand! The match is now underway as Masters is backed to the ropes with stiff right hands, before he’s sent for the Irish whip… but Masters reverses… and swings and misses with a clothesline… to then be knocked down with a running high knee! Masters is reeling, but he finds no respite by stumbling to the corner, as ‘The Game’ just follows in and starts to unload with more right hands. An Irish whip sends Masters crashing into the opposite corner… and then staggering out into a running clothesline! ‘The Game’ is pilling on the early pressure, and it continues as Masters is dragged back up and tagged with more right hands. Trips goes for another Irish whip, but this time when Masters reverses, he lowers his head for a back body drop… but Triple H puts on the breaks… and synchs Masters in… PEDIGREE… NO! Masters counters with a back body drop… over the top rope to the floor! ‘The Game’ has a rough landing, but Masters quickly follows him outside, looking to finally gain the advantage in the match.
Masters starts by landing a few well placed right hands to the forehead, and he then scoops Triple H up… and looks to drop him face first on the announce desk… no! Triple H forces himself down to his feet, landing behind Masters… and runs through him with a clothesline! Masters smacks off the floor, but he has little chance to recover as Trips yanks him back up… and whips him shoulder first into the steel steps! The top half off the steps flies off due to the impact, with Masters lying in a heap, grabbing his arm in pain. ‘The Game’ is ruthless in his approach as he starts targeting that arm, driving elbow after elbow into the shoulder. The referee calls for both men to return to the ring, to which Trips agrees too as he rolls Masters back inside. Melina then tries to make her presence felt as she inches closer and closer to the action, but Triple H warns her to back away. In the ring, Masters has the attention of the referee by grabbing him by the shirt, Masters pleading from his knees for a bit of leniency. With his back to Triple H, the ref doesn’t see ‘The Game’ climb up onto the apron… which means he doesn’t see Melina grab Triple H by the foot as he tries to re-enter the ring. With Triple H pinned to the apron, he leaves himself open… for Nitro to spring up and rock him with a boot to the back of the head! Nitro and Melina quickly depart the area, as Masters sees his chance to attack, by rushing the ropes… and shoulderblocking Triple H off the apron… and into the announce desk! The ribs of ‘The Game’ crash into the side of the desk, but as he writhes on the floor in pain and Masters drops down to the canvas to try recover, it’s anybody’s match as we head off for a commercial.
And we return just in time to see Trips take Masters up and down with a suplex, before he heads for the corner, comes out to hit a kneedrop to the face and then hooks the leg for a 2 count. Masters crawls to the corner, trying to regroup, but ‘The Game’ is right on him, laying in with boots and right hands before he pulls Masters to the ropes and goes for the Irish whip... Masters reverses... and Melina reaches in and grabs Triple H by the foot! ‘The Game’ puts on the breaks, angrily shouting at Melina, but Masters is quick to take advantage... as he runs through Trips with a clothesline! Masters nearly snaps Triple H’s head off, and after a two count, he kicks Triple H under the bottom rope. Masters once again distracts the referee, and Nitro moves in, as with Triple H still favouring the ribs he hurt before the break, Nitro drives ‘The Game’ repeatedly into the side of the ring. Trips is rolled back in, and after a near fall, Masters starts to target the ribs by dropping elbows across them. Masters show his strength by scooping Trips up for a slam, then drops a legdrop for a 2 count. Again Masters shows his strength by this time hitting a suplex, before he starts laying in with double axe handles to the small of the back, and then starts hitting forearms to the same point. Triple H manages to muster up a slight comeback as he tags Masters with a pair of rights, but when he goes for an Irish whip, Masters reverses... and sends Triple H flying with a big back body drop! Masters drops into the cover, 1... 2... ‘The Game’ rolls a shoulder.
Masters continues to target the ribs and small of the back as he takes Trips up and down with a backbreaker, getting another near fall, before he starts repeatedly driving the knee to the small of the back. Masters backs away, again drawing the ref’s attention, allowing Morrison to grab the bottom rope, swing his leg up and lay in with a cheap kick to the side of Triple H’s head, with Masters pouncing to hook the leg... 1... 2... ‘The Game’ rolls a shoulder. Masters continues his attack, again hitting a backbreaker, although this time he keeps Triple H across his knee, applying pressure to the chin allowing him to force his knee into the small of the back. Masters tries to up the pressure, but eventually ‘The Game’ is able to drive a pair of knees to the side of the head, prompting Masters to drop Triple H to the mat. Trips can’t take advantage though, as masters quickly moves to locked on a grounded chinlock, applying pressure by again driving his knee into the back. Masters holds this on longer, trying his best to wear ‘The Game’ down, but as the crowd start to make some noise, Triple H shows signs of life. Melina and Nitro try their best to silence the crowd, but the fans get behind Trips, and he slowly starts to work back to a vertical base. A pair of elbows land to the midsection... and Triple H is finally able to break the hold with a side suplex!
Both men are slow to their feet, with Trips having to use the corner to pull himself up. Masters charges in... straight into a boot to the face. Masters charges again... another boot to the face... Triple H charges... but Masters counters with a slam... no! Triple H lands on his feet behind Masters, spins him around... DDT! Triple H crawls into the cover... 1... 2... Masters rolls a shoulder! Triple H now has the advantage, and he looks to hammer it home as he goes for the Irish whip... Masters reverses... only to lower his head... facebreaker knee smash! Masters stumbles backwards into the ropes, but he bounces off and goes for a running clothesline... Triple H ducks underneath... and then catches Masters with a massive ‘Double A’ spinebuster! ‘The Game’ roars to his feet, the crowd going wild as he waits for Masters to rise... kick... PEDIGREE... NO! Masters counters... back body drop! The crowd deflates in an instant as ‘The Game’ crashes to the mat, and after shaking off the cobwebs, Masters stands and waits, readying himself. Triple H slowly stumbles to his feet, and Masters sneaks up from behind... MASTERLOCK... NO!
Triple H shows incredible strength to keep Masters’ arms open... and then twists himself free... kick to the midsection... Masters is synched in... PEDIGREE!
Triple H plants Masters, and he hooks the leg, staring at Nitro who backs away from any possible interference as the ref counts 1... 2... 3!
Winner: Triple H @ 11.09
Triple H gets the win, but almost the second the referee's hand comes down for the three count, Nitro slides into the ring and jumps Triple H, laying into him as 'The Game' tries to get back to his feet. Nitro mounts Triple H and starts hammering him with right hands, and even Melina gets into the ring, laying in with a few cheap stomps with her high heeled boots. Melina then tries to bring Masters back around, helping him back to his feet, while Nitro continues his attack, drilling Triple H time and time again with well placed punches... until a roar rings out from the crowd... as The Straight Edge Saints
are racing down to the ring! CM Punk
and Nick Dinsmore
sprint down the ramp and slide under the bottom rope, with Dinsmore flying at Masters while Punk tackles Nitro to the mat! Suddenly a four man brawl breaks out, with Masters and Dinsmore both rolling out of the ring on one side, while Punk and Nitro roll out on the other. The four men battle back and forth on the outside, and it spills into the crowd as Punk takes Nitro over the barricade with a clothesline. The crowd goes nuts for the wild action at ringside, but soon a commotion is heard... as Shawn Michaels
has sneaked into the ring!
Triple H struggles to pull himself to his feet, but Michaels is already waiting for him, poised ready to strike... but before he can make his move, a huge pop rings out... as Rob Van Dam
sprints down the ramp, steel chair in his hand! Michaels pauses, turning to look at Van Dam, and as he does this, Triple H gets back on his feet. Michaels glances at 'The Game', then back at Van Dam as he slides under the bottom rope... and Michaels wisely decides to roll back out of the ring. The crowd boos as Michaels decides to life to fight another day, quickly backing away from the ring as Van Dam encourages him to return, dying to smack that steel chair off the skull of the WWE Champion. Van Dam stands near the ropes, staring up the ramp, while behind him Triple H has gotten himself back together, a seriously pissed off look on his face. Van Dam realises there's no chance of Michaels coming back to the ring, as he then turns his attentions to Triple H... but 'The Game' gives him an angry stare, the tension between the two once again clear for all to see, with 'The Game' looking at the chair in Van Dam's hand... and Van Dam gives it a glance as well. The crowd continue to roar, dying to see these two go at it, but as both men continue to look at each other and the chair, the crowd reaches a fever pitch as we head off to a commercial.
And we return to hear from J.R. and 'King'...
Welcome back to Monday Night Raw everybody. Before he break, we saw Rob Van Dam come to the aid of Triple H, but there was an uneasy tension between the two to say the least as we headed for commercial. Our cameras followed Van Dam and 'The Game' backstage, and here's what happened durin' the commercial break.
DURING THE COMMERCIAL BREAK
The video opens to see Rob Van Dam walking backstage, a frustrated look on his face as he quickly walks along a corridor. Not far behind him is Triple H, obviously playing catch up in an effort to speak with Van Dam, although that pissed off look from before the break is still very much evident...
Triple H: Hey! Hey, Rob!
'The Game' reaches out, grabbing Van Dam by the shoulder and rather aggressively spinning him around...
Triple H: What the hell are you doin'? I don't want your help Rob, I don't NEED your help! I told you last week that after that tag team match, I was through with you!
Van Dam laughs to himself, shaking his head...
Rob Van Dam: Look bro', you might not want my help, but you sure as hell needed it out there.
'The Game' is seething, breathing hard as he stares at Van Dam...
Rob Van Dam: Trust me dude, I ain't out there to try save your ass. I'm out there 'cause I don't want there to be any excuses come Wrestlemania. I don't want what happened after Saturday Night's Main Event to happen again. I wanna beat you and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania, and I wanna do it the right way... even if you don't.
Trips looks slightly confused by this...
Triple H: What the hell's that supposed to mean?
Rob Van Dam: Look bro', you said it yourself. You're 'The Cerebral Assassin'. You take every chance you get, you show no weakness. To me... that means you wanna take the easy way out. Well I'm not gonna go that way dude.
'The Game' shakes his head, almost in disappointment...
Triple H: And that's why you're not gonna win the WWE Championship. I'll take every chance I get, and I sure as hell won't show any remorse for doin' so. Put it this way... if I see Shawn Michaels out there later tonight tryin' to kick your head off your shoulders...
Triple H steps forward, getting in Van Dam's face...
Triple H: I'm not gonna be there to stop 'im.
A very mixed reaction from inside the arena, with Van Dam smiling to himself...
Rob Van Dam: Y'know... I kinda get a feelin' that you might. You don't want a tainted title win in Detroit man... just as much as I don't.
Triple H: DTA Rob. Don’t… trust… anybody.
Van Dam and 'The Game' have a lasting stare down, before Van Dam, cool as you like, simply turns and continues off down the corridor. Triple H stays standing, conflicting emotions on his face, still seething with anger, but he too turns and heads in the opposite direction before the video ends.
*End Video Package*
And we now cut to the communal locker room to see Randy Orton and the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra stood across from each other, neither man looking particularly happy at how their partnership has been going lately. Dykstra rather sheepishly looks down at the ground, while Orton wears a scowl on his face as he stands over Kenny, arms crossed across his chest…
Last week I said there was gonna be no more mistakes. And you… you made a mistake Kenny.
Kenny is bemused by this, but before he can say anything Orton presses on…
Once again you let yourself be distracted by Carlito and that stupid blonde who hangs on his arm, and it cost you, 'cause now you've gotta defend that title against Carlito at Wrestlemania.
Kenny looks confused and annoyed as he starts his protest...
Wait a second... it was YOU who agreed to that match with Carlito! I was barely conscious! How the hell was it my
Orton sighs, shaking his head...
If I hadn't agreed to that match, you wouldn't even be standin' here right now. If it wasn't me, you'd have had your head caved in!
Kenny turns away, knowing Orton is right...
Last week, mistakes happen. But tonight... we do things right. We punish
Jeff Hardy and Carlito, we make them realise that at Wrestlemania, their dreams go up in smoke.
A smirk crosses Kenny's face as he nods in agreement...
Randy Orton: I
am going to grab that Money in the Bank Briefcase, and I don't need that reckless idiot Jeff Hardy gettin' in my way. As for you and Carlito, if you can keep your head off of Torrie Wilson long enough... then you might just send him a message tonight that you're more of a threat that he gives you credit for.
Kenny smiles, glancing at his title...
Yeah. Yeah we'll show them. I'm gonna kick Carlito's ass tonight infront of his girl. I'm gonna embarrass him tonight!
Orton gets frustrated as Dykstra once again mentions Torrie Wilson...
Dammit Kenny, focus here! No mistakes! I mean it Kenny, if you get distracted and screw up tonight...
Orton pauses, reeling in his temper, composing himself before he says something he'll regret...
Let's just say I don't wanna have to slap you across the face again to make you see sense. Focus, get your head in gear... and I'll see you later.
Orton stares ominously at Kenny, anger and frustration in his eyes before he turns and leaves the scene, the camera lingering on Kenny who watches Orton leave, rubbing his chin in memory of the slap his mentor delivered recently before he too heads off.
As do we as we head off to the office of 'The Chairman of the Board' Mr. McMahon, who's appearance is greeted with heat from the crowd. Shane McMahon is stood nearby his father, the two McMahons with concerned looks on their faces, while in the background Brooke Adams looks as good as ever, although she currently has a phone pressed against her ear, although we can't clearly make out the conversation she's engaged in...
Oh hell yeah? Oh... hell... yeah?! God, who does she think she is? I mean... did you talk to your mother? Did ya' get anythin' out of here?
Shane begrudgingly shakes his head...
No, sorry Dad. She wasn't givin' away anythin'.
Dammit! That evil, twisted, manipulative bitch! I bet this was all her idea. I bet she approached Cena and made this happen! I mean... you don't think... you don't think it's him
... do you?
Shane winces as he knows his father won't like his answer...
It could be Dad. I mean... why else would she say that?
Vince desperately shakes his head, wishing for the best...
Adams ends her phone call, placing the phone back down on the table. She walks over to the McMahons, a desperate look in Vince's eyes...
I'm sorry Mr. McMahon, I tried every contact at the office that you gave me but... nobody wanted to tell me who it is that's going to be the Special Guest Referee in the match between Bobby Lashley and John Cena.
Vince's eyes bulge in disbelief...
What!? Not - not even somebody on the Board of Directors? Not one of those crooks would tell you?
Sadly Brooke can only shake her head...
No... no it - it couldn't be?
Vince has the look of a desperate man, perhaps finally feeling that after months of always having the upper hand, tonight it could all come crashing down around him...
Dad, there's gotta be somethin' we can do. There's gotta be an angle, there's - there's gotta be somethin'!
Dejected, Vince trudges towards a nearby couch, flopping down into it, head in his hands...
Dad? Dad!? Dad, c'mon! We gotta do somethin'. We gotta-
Suddenly the office door bursts open, and in walks Bobby Lashley to a barrage of boos from inside the arena. Lashley is once again suited and booted, but he also wears a confident scowl on his face...
What's the matter Vince? You don't look so good.
Weren't you listenin' last week? Didn't you hear what my wife Linda said? There's gonna be a Special Guest Referee for your match at Wrestlemania, and she dropped a pretty damn
big hint as to who it might be!
Lashley casually shrugs his shoulders...
So? What are you worried about Vince?
Vince looks at Lashley, incredulous at what he just said...
What am I worried about? You don't think that if it is... him
... then that puts us at a huge disadvantage?
Lashley flares his nostrils, breathing hard...
Bobby Lashley: If
it is him
... then maybe I oughta make him see things our way later tonight. Maybe I oughta convince him to call the match... right down the middle. I am going to tear John Cena limb from limb at Wrestlemania... and no washed up old has-been tryin' to be pretend he's a referee is gonna stop me.
Enthused by Lashley's words, Vince allows himself a smile...
Don't worry Vince... John Cena's not leavin' Detroit on his own power. He's gonna need to be carried outta Ford Field... and I'll do the same damn thing to any referee that tries to stop me.
That smile turns into a broad smirk as Vince beams with pride over Lashley's confidence...
I'll see you guys at the contract signing.
Lashley nods at both Vince and Shane before he turns and walks back out of the room, with Shane looking on almost in awe, while Vince rises up off the sofa...
Oh... HELL... YEAH!
Full of confidence once again, Vince has that evil smirk back on his face, nodding his head confidently and looking at Shane with a certain level of reassurance before we head back into the arena.
A solid level of heat for The World's Greatest Tag Team
, as the World Tag Team Champions make their way down the ramp. Charlie Haas
leads the way, having very little time for the crowd, while Shelton Benjamin
throws plenty of trash talking at the ringside fans...
Wow. Certainly strong words from 'The Dominator' Bobby Lashley.
Yeah but J.R., I know you have contacts in the office... you gotta know who the Special Guest Referee is! I know
you know! You gotta tell me.
I'm afraid I don't 'King'. We'll all just have to wait and see who Linda McMahon and the WWE Board of Directors have chosen. But another match scheduled to take place at Wrestlemania is the Champions vs. Champions match. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin issued the challenge to Paul London and Brian Kendrick last Friday night on Smackdown, and tonight, Benjamin and Kendrick are set to go at it.
And I really can't get over the arrogance of these two lately. I mean, it's bad enough they call themselves The World's Greatest Tag Team, but to go around claiming that no team in the WWE can even come close to them is too much for me. I really want to see London and Kendrick bring these two down a peg or two at Wrestlemania.
A very warm reception for The Hooligans
, as Smackdown's WWE Tag Team Champions Brian Kendrick
and Paul London
make a rare Raw appearance. The pair burst out from the back and stop at the top of the ramp, fist bumping and posing for the crowd before Ashley Massaro
sends them racing down the ramp and into the ring...
I think the upcoming matchup between these two teams is gonna be a real clash of styles. The more technical prowess of Haas and Benjamin against the quick, high flyin' style of London and Kendrick.
It's gonna be exciting J.R.! Let's find out if The World's Greatest Tag Team can truly live up to their name. I'd have to believe 'em if they managed to see off The Hooligans in two weeks time...
World Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin w/ Charlie Haas vs. WWE Tag Team Champion Brian Kendrick w/ Paul London and Ashley Massaro
A broad smile adorns Benjamin’s face as he looks very confident as the bell rings, perhaps too confident. The pair tie up, with Shelton quickly working into a standing waistlock. A waistlock takedown brings the action to the mat, where Shelton floats over into a reverse headlock, only for Kendrick to quickly twist this into a grounded hammerlock. Both men trade back and forth, as Benjamin works into a hammerlock of his own, only for Kendrick to force the situation back to a vertical base, uses a front flip to gain the advantage, then puts Benjamin down with an armdrag. Another armdrag plants Shelton, with Kendrick hanging on for the armbar. Shelton slaps the mat in frustration, but he forces himself back up, grabbing a handful of hair to back Kendrick to the ropes, then fires him across… Shelton avoids Kendrick with a leapfrog, but Kendrick puts on the breaks… and takes Shelton down with a hurricanrana! 1… 2… Benjamin kicks out, with both men quickly back up… only for Kendrick to go right back to the armdrag into an armbar. The smile is long gone as Benjamin groans in anger, with this time Kendrick applying more pressure to keep Benjamin down. Eventually though, Benjamin is back up, forcing himself and Kendrick to the corner. The referee calls for the break, which Kendrick provides… only to then be smacked in the face by an elbow! Shelton now hammers Kendrick with forearms to the back of the head, before he goes for the Irish whip across and follows in… but Kendrick uses the ropes to elevate himself over Benjamin… only for Benjamin to catch him, Kendrick’s legs around Shelton’s head… headscissors takedown! Kendrick sends Benjamin flying, but Shelton stumbles back to his feet… running crossbody from Kendrick! 1… 2… Benjamin kicks out.
Kendrick continues his attack by striking with kicks to the legs, but as he goes for an Irish whip, Shelton reverses… and lowers his head… sunset flip from Kendrick, but Shelton rolls straight through and back onto his feet, his momentum bouncing him off the ropes… to hammer Kendrick with a low-angle dropkick! Kendrick’s head snaps back off the mat with the impact of the move, and Benjamin quickly crawls over to get a near fall. The quick pace of the match comes to an end as Benjamin starts laying in with stomps to the chest, before he yanks Kendrick up… Kendrick tries a kick to the gut, but Benjamin catches the foot… and plants Kendrick with a dragon screw! Benjamin twists Kendrick’s knee, causing Kendrick to cry in pain, with Benjamin now seeing an opportunity to do some damage. Stomps land to the knee, as do elbows, before Benjamin drags Kendrick towards the corner. With Kendrick in position, Shelton rears back… and smacks Kendrick’s knee off the ringpost! London and Ashley are furious, as is the referee, but when Shelton returns to the ring to confront the ref, Haas uses the distraction… to smash Kendrick’s knee off the steel for a second time! Kendrick writhes in pain as he crawls away from the corner, with Benjamin hooking the leg and getting a long 2 count.
Benjamin now focuses his attack on the left knee, showing a real vicious side as he slams the knee off the canvas, then shoves Kendrick to the corner, places the knee across the middle rope and delivers a string of stiff kicks. The more technical side of Shelton’s game returns as he gets a near fall from a northern lights suplex, before he drops Kendrick on his head after a release German suplex, gaining another near fall. Haas continues to reach into the ring for the odd cheap shot, and Kendrick is in a world of hurt as Benjamin locks on a single-leg Boston crab. Benjamin pulls back on the knee and sits in to apply pressure, trying to make Kendrick submit, but knowing he’s doing all kinds of damage that could come into effect with Wrestlemania so close now. Kendrick is in the hold for a good while, but with London and Ashley slapping the mat, trying to encourage the crowd, Kendrick slowly starts to crawl towards the ropes. Kendrick inches closer and closer, almost able to grab the ropes. One last surge from Kendrick… and he reaches out to grab the bottom rope… but there’s no break of the hold as Haas jumps up onto the apron and distracts the referee! The hold should be broken, but with no ref, Benjamin is able to drag Kendrick back to the middle of the ring, sitting back into the hold just as Haas drops back down to the floor. Once more the ropes seem so far away as Benjamin pulls back on the knee, but again London and Ashley try to rally the fans, and Kendrick forces himself up onto his elbows… and twists his body around… kicking Benjamin to the corner, breaking the hold! Shelton smacks into the turnbuckle, and Kendrick hobbles over to tag him with a pair of forearms. Kendrick goes for the Irish whip… Benjamin reverses, with Kendrick hitting the turnbuckle hard. Shelton backs up, builds momentum and attacks… SHELTON SPLASH… NO! Kendrick dives to safety… and Benjamin flies into the corner!
Now Kendrick senses a chance to attack, kicking with his good right foot, but as he tries to send Benjamin to the corner, Shelton once again reverses and follows in… into a boot to the face… and then Kendrick explodes from the corner with a springboard tornado DDT! Kendrick crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Benjamin rolls a shoulder! Kendrick now tries to quicken the pace, but the damage to his knee takes it’s toll as Kendrick has to jump to slug Benjamin with right hands. Benjamin swings a right… but Kendrick ducks… and transitions into a northern lights suplex! 1… 2… Benjamin kicks out. Kendrick again throws forearms and kicks, before he sends Benjamin to the corner… and follows in… Benjamin elevates Kendrick over the top rope… but Kendrick lands on the apron! A pair of forearms causes Benjamin to stumble away, with Kendrick springing to the top rope… flying crossbody… but the momentum carries Benjamin through into the pinfall… 1… 2… Kendrick barely kicks out! Kendrick stays alive, but Benjamin quickly pounces, dropping double axe handles across the back as he tries to keep Kendrick down. Benjamin now stands, waiting for Kendrick to rise. Kendrick slowly staggers up, and Shelton is waiting… to hook him up for the T-BONE SUPLEX… NO! Kendrick desperately throws elbows, breaking free as Shelton pushes him into the ropes. Kendrick grabs the top rope to hang on, and here comes Shelton… right into a boot to the face! Benjamin stumbles back, but as Kendrick tries to attack, Haas reaches in and grabs his boot… causing Kendrick to smack face first off the mat! Having seen enough, London races round the ring to try get a piece of Haas, but Haas takes off, running round the ring to stay away from London. As the chase takes place, Kendrick grabs his mouth as he staggers back to his feet… where Shelton is ready and waiting… T-BONE SUPLEX!! Benjamin gets all of it, and he quickly hooks the leg to get the 1… 2… 3.
Winner: Shelton Benjamin @ 07.02
It wasn't exactly clean, but an impressive victory none the less for Shelton Benjamin, who quickly rolls from the ring to join up with Haas. London and Ashley angrily slide into the ring to tend to Kendrick, but it's Haas and Benjamin who have struck the first blow, the two backing up the ramp with broad smirks on their faces, their titles raised high in the air while in the ring Kendrick tries to shake away the cobwebs while London stands by the ropes, staring up at Haas and Benjamin, shaking his head in annoyance as we head for a commercial.
MARCH 24TH, 1991
With the world griped in fear due to the Gulf War, Wrestlemania VII had a distinctly patriotic feel to it as the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena was decked out in the stars and stripes. A few months earlier, former American hero Sgt. Slaughter very publicly turned his back on his country, declaring himself an Iraqi sympathiser who was supporting Saddam Hussein in the ongoing conflict, insulting the troops involved in Operation Desert Shield in the process. Public hatred for Slaughter grew, and it reached a fever pitch when Slaughter beat The Ultimate Warrior at Royal Rumble '91 to become the WWF Champion. America and the WWF needed an American Hero to step forward and save the day. Enter Hulk Hogan. Waving the American flag, Hogan stormed into action, taking the fight to Slaughter, but the champion would gain the upper hand, battering Hogan for much of the match, causing Hogan to bleed heavily and even draping the Iraqi flag over 'The Hulkster'. All hope looked to be lost as Slaughter locked on the dreaded camel clutch, but the spirit of Hulkamania saw Hogan battle back into contention, before he ultimately prevailed by hitting the big legdrop for the victory. After the match, Hogan celebrated by once again waving the American flag, the show ending on a positive note as the American hero had once again slain his enemy, becoming a three time WWF Champion in the process.
WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - 13 DAYS AND COUNTING
*End Video Package*
We now see Todd Grisham standing by...
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time... John Cena.
A loud reaction for the appearance of John Cena, a smattering of boos mixed in amongst the majority of cheers from the crowd. Cena gives Grisham a quick pat on the shoulder, the look of despair of recent weeks replaced by a smile now...
John, we are just thirteen days
away from Wrestlemania XXIII and your clash with Bobby Lashley. Over the last month or so, Mr. McMahon has always found a way to stay one step ahead of you, but last week Linda McMahon announced that your match with Lashley will have a Special Guest Referee. John, have you managed to turn the tide in your favour ahead of Wrestlemania?
Cena sighs deeply, shaking his head in comical fashion...
Ah Todd, Toddy, Todd, Todd! Can ya' feel it? It's Wrestlemania season! There's excitement in the air, and finally
John Cena and Bobby Lashley are gonna have one helluva match... and for once Vince McMahon is gonna be involved in somethin' that's on a level playin' field. I can't wait!
Grisham can’t help but smile as Cena’s infectious positive attitude rings out…
But I wanna just get one thing straight. I never went to Linda McMahon and asked for any of this. I've never went runnin' to authority in my life, I will fight night after night, no matter how the odds might be stacked against me. This was her idea, her call to make, but I'm glad she made it. For too long now I've been on the receivin' end of Vince throwin' his stroke around, and I think a Special Guest Referee is the right call to make sure these fans get the match they deserve in Detroit.
I also wanna say a lil' somthin' to our Guest Referee, whoever he may be. I don't want any favours in this match, I don't want any decisions unfairly goin' my way. All I want is the chance to compete, and for you to call it straight it down the middle. You do your bit, you keep Vinny and Shane on the outside, and I'll take care of Bobby Lashley. And as far as I'm concerned... that's the bottom line.
Cena has a cheeky grin on his face as the crowd responds with another pop...
Well John, with that in mind, I gotta ask you... do you know who the Special Guest Referee is going to be?
Cena smiles, pursing his lips as he pauses to think…
Ah Todd. I just can't answer that man. Don't worry 'bout it though, you, the fans, and everybody else are gonna find out tonight. It's gonna be big... I guran-damn-tee it.
Another knowing reference draws a positive response from the audience, their cheers lingering on as Cena smiles, nods his head at Grisham and leaves the interviewer behind as we cut elsewhere.
To a random backstage room, where sat on a paif of leather couches are Carlito and Torrie Wilson. There is a frosty atmosphere in the air as the pair sit on different couches, although still close enough for the two to make contact with each other. Torrie has her arms folded across her chest, clearly still mad at ‘Lito after last week, while ‘The Caribbean Superstar’ looks very apologetic, head bowed, hands clasped, shaking his head in disappointment at himself…
Look Torrie, Carlito – Carlito’s sorry for what almost happened last week. ‘Ju were right. If Carlito had hit Kenny with ‘dat con-chair-to, Carlito would be no better than ‘dat punk… and Carlito knows ‘dis now. All Carlito can say is… sorry.
Softening her stance, Torrie gives ‘Lito a little smile and let’s her hands drops down to her side…
‘Ju know, sometimes Carlito let’s his emotions get the better of ‘im. Carlito hates that way ‘dat punk talks to us. Carlito hates the way ‘dat punks talks to ‘ju. At Wrestlemania, ‘dat Intercontinental Title is gonna be mine, and Kenny’s gonna get his ass kicked Caribbean style! But to get ‘dat… last week Carlito had to stoop pretty low. And Carlito’s sorry for ‘dat.
Forgiving him, Torrie turns to face Carlito, the two now holding hands…
Carlito, last week I saw a side of you I never knew existed. I mean… you were gonna smash his skull in with those steel chairs. You were gonna seriously injure someone all to get your own way. I never knew you could be that way. I never thought you would do such a thing.
Carlito turns his head, half in annoyance at Torrie’s words, but also a sense of regret in his eyes…
I mean, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing last week. I was so
angry with you ‘Lito. That wasn’t you, and you know it wasn’t.
Carlito can only nod in agreement…
You have to promise me… and I mean promise
… that you’ll never think about doin’ anything like that again.
Carlito holds both of Torrie’s hands in his, staring deep into his girlfriend’s eyes…
Carlito promises… ‘dat’ll never happen again.
Relieved, Torrie moves in closer, the two sharing a hug before they separate once more…
Now you get out there tonight and you kick his ass like he deserves!
Carlito is slightly surprised, but very impressed with Torrie’s response…
Now ‘dat… ‘dat’s cool!
Torrie giggles as the two hug once more, the embrace lingering on before we head back into the arena, where after a few seconds of silence we hear…
A decent enough reaction as the Women’s Champion Mickie James
bounces out onto the stage, holding her title high in the air as she tries to fire up the crowd. Mickie leads the rest of her team for tonight’s match, Candice Michelle
and Kelly Kelly
, down the ramp, the three divas playing up to the crowd who respond with a series of wolf whistles…
A tight lipped John Cena there ‘King’, he’s not givin’ anythin’ away with regards to the identity of our Special Guest Referee for Wrestlemania.
J.R., I don’t know if I can wait much longer. I gotta know now, this suspense is killin’ me!
You’re just gonna have to wait it out ‘King’. Also, great to see the relationship between Carlito and Torrie Wilson looks stronger than ever. But right now, the Women’s Champion Mickie James leads her team into battle in six-diva tag team action.
God, six divas in the ring at one time? I think I’ve just died and gone to heaven J.R.!
A decent outpouring of heat as Beth Phoenix
leads out her team, the powerful blonde purposefully striding down the ramp and leading the way as Victoria
follow a few steps behind…
She has been dominant since her debut. Beth Phoenix already holds a win over Mickie James in tag team action, and it Wrestlemania, the two former friends, now enemies, are set to collide with the Women’s Championship on the line.
Well nobody can excuse Mickie James of not being a fighting champion. She’s defend that title against Victoria, Melina, any challenger who’s stepped forward, Mickie’s been ready for a fight. But I dunno if she’s gonna be ready for ‘The Glamazon’ at Wrestlemania XXIII. I mean, look at how powerful, how strong Beth Phoenix is. I think she’s the biggest threat Mickie James might ever
face, and that’s why I’ve gotta think we’ll have a new Women’s Champion at Wrestlemania.
Match 3: Six Diva Tag Team Match
Women’s Champion Mickie James, Candice Michelle and Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix, Victoria and Melina
Candice and Victoria kick off the match, with Victoria quickly turning the tie up into standing waistlock. Candice grabs the wrists and twists into a hammerlock, but Victoria rolls forward, sending Candice to the corner. Victoria races in, but Candice avoids the contact, and then takes Victoria down from behind with a backslide... 1... 2.. Victoria kicks out, but Candice quickly jumps on her by again going for the wrist, twisting the arm once more. Victoria is dragged to the face corner, where Candice tags in Mickie, who climbs to the top rope... double axe handle across the arm! Mickie continues to target the arm as she wrenches and twists on it, driving her own shoulder into Victoria’s a few times, only for Victoria to grab a handful of hair, backing Mickie to the heel corner. The referee calls for the break, and when both women provide it, Mickie tries to fight out of the corner, rocking Victoria with a forearm, Beth with an elbow, Melina with a forearm... but then Beth grabs the hair... and painfully yanks Mickie to the mat!
After a few stomps, Melina is tagged in, and she lays in with kicks to the gut, forcing Mickie down to the canvas. Melina then fires Mickie to a neutral corner, but when she follows in, she runs smack into an a back elbow. Mickie then uses the ropes to push herself up, wrapping her legs around Melina’s head... Mick-A-Rana! The champion looks to build momentum, connecting on a pair of running leaping clotheslines before she drags Melina to the face corner and tags in Kelly. With Melina sitting on the mat, Kelly comes off the ropes for a running snapmare, before she picks Melina up and goes for the Irish whip... but Melina reverses... and as Kelly comes off the ropes, Beth drills her with a knee to the spine... allowing Melina to take Kelly up and down with a scoop slam. Phoenix gets the tag, and she looks to punish Kelly with knees to the midsection, forearms to the side of the head, before she again grabs the hair and yanks her opponent to the mat.
As she waits for Kely to rise, Beth charges at the face corner and takes a cheap shot at Mickie, knocking the champion off the apron. Kelly is then subjected to a sidewalk slam for a 2 count, before Victoria is brought back in to do more punishment, connecting on a snap suplex and then a falling neckbreaker before she goes fir a reverse chinlock. Kelly reaches for her corner, but she’s a mile away, but the newcomer does manage to eventually struggle back to her feet... and breaks the hold with a jawbreaker! Both divas are down and crawling for their corners... here comes Melina... and here comes Mickie James! Melina sprints across the ring, but she runs into a shoulder to the midsection from the apron, and then Mickie slingshots into the ring... with a sunset flip! 1... 2... Phoenix makes the save, kicking Mickie in the side of the head... only for Candice to tackle Phoenix to the mat! Both women roll to the outside, and similar happens as Victoria and Kelly start scratching and clawing their way through the ropes.
Melina has the advantage, and she looks to press it home as she fires Mickie to the corner... but she runs into a boot to the face... and then Mickie grabs Melina, pushes herself to the middle rope... for a victory roll! 1... 2... Melina kicks out. Mickie quickens the pace, connecting on a pair of dropkicks that put Melina down, before she climbs to the top rope... flying Lou Thesz Press! Mickie takes Melina down, grabbing her hair to slam her head off the mat, but here comes Phoenix... Mickie cuts her off with a baseball slide! Phoenix crashes back down to the floor, but Melina is up and catches Mickie from behind... and goes for the Primal Scream... no! Mickie twists her way free... but swings and misses with a right hand... allowing Melina to push her to the corner. Once more Melina races in... but again Mickie avoids the contact... and this time she synchs Melina in... for the MICKIE-DT! The champion plants Melina, and with Beth and Victoria still brawling on the outside, she hooks the leg for the easy 1... 2... 3!
Winners: Mickie James, Candice Michelle and Kelly Kelly @ 04.49
The losing woes continue for Melina as James grabs the pinfall over her, with Victoria and Beth quickly huddling together on the outside, the outcome of the match the least of their concerns right now. Candice and Kelly join Mickie as they hug in celebration, before the champion steps towards the ropes with her eyes fixated on her Wrestlemania challenger. Phoenix and Victoria slowly start to back up the ramp, with Victoria reassuring Beth that she’ll be victorious at Wrestlemania, while Mickie has a confident glint in her eye as she continues to stare at Phoenix, the camera darting between the two as we cut to a commercial.
And we’re back from commercial, and it’s to a rather sombre looking announce desk we go to hear from J.R. and ‘King’…
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Monday Night Raw. As you may have noticed, we’re still without our suspended colleague Joey Styles. Joey was handed a 30 day suspension after an altercation with Mr. McMahon in the ring two weeks ago.
And from what we understand, Joey is tryin’ desperately to fight that suspension, allowing him to return to work and more importantly, call the action at Wrestlemania.
We hope you’re watchin’ Joey, we’re all rootin’ for ya’! Let’s hope we see you back here on Raw real soon.
A few seconds of silence… until…
*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*
A tremendous ovation breaks out as Ric Flair
enters the arena. Dressed in a sharp shoot, Flair isn’t looking like he’ll compete tonight, although he stills styles and profiles his way down the ramp, giving the crowd an emphatic “Wooooo!” every now and then…
He is a legend of our business! One of the all-time greats, the sixteen time heavyweight champion… ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair. And in thirteen nights, Flair will once again be competin’ at the grandaddy of ‘em all, Wrestlemania!
You think of all the great moments this man has delivered us over the years, all the legendary performances, the outstanding interviews, he’s done it all and he’s done it all with class. But at Wrestlemania, it’s personal between Kennedy and Flair. These two guys hate each other, and I can’t see there bein’ too many classic wrestlin’ moves, I think it’s gonna be a straight up fight!
Emotions have certainly run high between Flair and Kennedy, but let’s remember what Mr. Kennedy said last Friday night on Smackdown. Kennedy said he had somethin’ big
in store for Flair tonight,
Well it certainly doesn’t seem to have gotten to Flair. Look at him, he’s smillin’ from ear to ear! He looks pretty happy with somethin’ right now…
Now in the ring, Flair waits for the roar of the crowd to die down, but he gives them a wave of appreciation and mouths “Thank you” at them. The crowd simmers down, but Flair pauses, soaking in the atmosphere before he brings the mic in his hand to his lips…
Flair sends the crowd into raptures once again, a beaming smile on his face…
Indianapolis, Indiana… WOOOOO!
Oh God Gawd almighty, ‘The Naitcha’ Boy’ is feelin’ it tonight! WOOOOO!
‘Cause tonight, it’s nights like these that ol’ Naitch’ lives for! Wrestlemania XXIII, Detroit City, thirteen days time, ‘The Naitcha’ Boy’ is stylin’ and profilin’ his way right into Ford Field! WOOOO!
Ya’ can feel it in the air! I KNOW you people can feel it! Wrestlemania, the biggest night in our business is just thirteen days away, and ol’ Naitch’ is gonna prove once again why I’m a limousine ridin’, jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’ sun of a gun when I teach that no good jackass Mr. Kennedy a thing or two about respect!
But Kennedy and Wrestlemania, I’ll deal with that in a second. As you all know, the night before Wrestlemania is the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony.
A strong round of applause shows the crowd appreciation for the prestigious event…
Maybe one day, Ric Flair’s name will be included with the legends of this business. Maybe one day! But tonight… we announce the latest inductee into the 2007 Hall of Fame Class. And when ol’ Naitch’ heard who the latest announcement was… I couldn’t sit back there and let it happen. I knew
I had to be out here, I just had to announce it to the world. ‘Cause this latest inductee… is a man who I consider one of the very best to ever step into the ring. And… one o’ the best friends a guy could ever have.
A pop rings out as some of the audience catch on…
A member of the greatest group this business has ever seen. A fellow Horseman!
And now it’s a rousing, loud pop as the rest of the arena catch up…
Ladies and gentlemen… the latest inductee to the 2007 Hall of Fame… ARN… ANDERSON!!!
The audio fades in with the sound of galloping horse hooves, and soon the legendary guitar rift of ‘The Four Horsemen Theme’ kicks in...
Narrator: The Four Horsemen were one of the most feared and revered groups in wrestling history...
We now see footage of the original incarnation of The Four Horsemen, as Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson and J.J. Dillon stand in an interview set, all five men holding up four fingers..
Narrator: But for all their style and pizzazz, one man was the very backbone of the organisation...
The camera now focuses solely on Arn, who grimaces and draws a thumb across his throat...
Narrator: ‘The Enforcer’.
Shots of various wrestlers falling victim to the Double-A spinebuster...
Arn Anderson: The Four Horsemen is what’s makin’ the wrestlin’ world go round and round. Don’t ever forget that!
We now see shots of Anderson punishing his opponents alongside Ole Anderson and then Tully Blanchard in tag team action...
Narrator: He was one of the toughest men to ever enter a wrestling ring...
Cut to Anderson and Flair in the ring, both men seething with rage, motioning for an opponent to return to the ring...
Ric Flair: He could beat up anybody. I mean, without Arn Anderson, The Four Horsemen were nothin’. He allowed me to be who I was in the ring.
We now see various shots of Flair and Anderson, Flair as NWA World Heavyweight Champion while Arn holds the NWA World Television Championship...
Narrator: But even the toughest can suffer pain at the hands of an injury.
We now cut to the emotional retirement speech Arn delivered on Nitro...
Arn Anderson: But the fact it is, I got nothin’ left to give. And I want you to remember me as I was, not as I am.
A shot from an interview, where all four of The Horsemen place their hands on top of each other...
Arn Anderson: And for all you people out there, that have ever bought a ticket to see Arn Anderson wrestle, whether ya’ loved me... or ya’ hated me... you knew, that when that bell rang you got all I had that night, whether I won, whether I lost, I gave you everythin’ I had.
Anderson salutes the fans that night, while in the background Flair si close to tears...
Ric Flair: The speech on Nitro that night, for my money, is one of the highlights of his career.
Footage of some of the battles between The Rockers and The Brain Busters...
Shawn Michaels: I loved wrestlin’ Arn Anderson. It was an education each and every night I stepped into the ring with him.
More spinebusters land on various opponents...
Narrator: The WWE Hall of Fame is proud to announce it’s latest inductee...
Once more Anderson grimaces, slowly drawing a thumb across his throat...
Ric Flair: I hope that he’s remembered and held in the highest esteem and the highest level of respect given to anybody that’s been in this business, ‘cause he deserves that.
A solemn image of Anderson walking up the aisle after a match, his back to the camera, hands placed on his hips...
Arn Anderson: And other than be anythin’ but ‘The Enforcer’ in my best friend’s eyes... I’d rather walk away.
Gene Okerland: One of the all-time legends of this sport, ‘The Enforcer’...
Narrator: Arn Anderson!
We now see a picture of Arn, stony faced, four fingers held across his chest, with the Hall of Fame logo nearby. Also on the screen is the fact that Anderson will be inducted into the Hall of Fame by ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair!
*End Video Package*
The arena is on their feet, a boisterous “DOU – BLE – A! DOU – BLE – A!” chant breaking out. In the ring, Flair can’t help but beam with pride, wiping away the odd tear of joy as he nods his head in agreement with the crowd…
Let ‘im hear it folks, he deserves it!
The chats and claps of the crowd continue, with Flair allowing plenty of time for the fans to show Anderson their appreciation before he uses his hands to motion for quiet…
Before I leave you to enjoy the rest of the show… I got a lil’ somethin’ I wanna say to Mr. Kennedy. Now Kennedy… you got thirteen days buddy. Thirteen days to run your mouth. Thirteen days to tell everybody how great you are. Thirteen days… ‘til you learn the lesson of a lifetime pal!
The crowd pops for the intensity of Flair…
You say I don’t respect ya’ ‘cause I want stand aside and let young guys like you take my spot. Well lemme tell ya’ somethin’… I’ve spent the better part of my career teachin’ kids like you what it takes to be ‘The Man’ in this business. Some of ‘em wanna listen and learn. Chris Benoit... he listened and he learned. Dean Malenko... he listened and he learned real good. Randy Orton, Batista, hell, even ‘The Game’ ‘imself, Triple H, they all learned from ‘The Naitcha’ Boy’! One way or another, I helped shape their careers. And at Wrestlemania, whether ya’ like it or not, Kennedy… I’m gonna do the same to you.
They all showed me respect, and I gave it right back, but you Kennedy… you ain’t got an ounce of respect in your whole damn body!
And that’s why I’m gonna give you exactly what you deserve at Wrestlemania XXIII. You want me to step aside Kennedy? Lemme tall ya’ buddy, I ain’t ready to step aside! Not when I love bein’ in this business! Not when I love entertainin’ these fans! Not when I love givin’ ‘em each – and every – drop o’ blood, sweat and tears in my body each – and every – night! I love what I do! And I ain’t ready to give that up yet! So Kennedy… bring everythin’ ya’ got! Bring it all! Bring the loudmouth, bring the microphone, bring plenty of that bubble gum pal, bring it all! But I promise this, if I die tryin’ to teach it to ya’, you’re gonna learn one thing…
Suddenly the intensity of the moment takes over as Flair rips his jacket from his body, throws it down to the mat, turns, bounces off the ropes and drops an elbow on the jacket…
That diamonds are forever… and so… is Ri-
A loud, echoing scratch of static takes over, the audio going crazy, just like last Friday night on Smackdown. All eyes turn towards the titan tron, where the screen buzzes and the picture shakes violently. Mass confusion rings out all around the arena… until the tron snaps to black. Flair tries to speak into his microphone, but no sound is heard, the fans booing as nobody seems to have a clue what to say or do…
Suddenly the tron comes back to life, and we see the very grainy, shaky footage of a hand held camera. The camera is pointed at none other than Mr. Kennedy, who is sat in the driver’s seat of a car, sunglasses on, the car speeding down the highway. Kennedy is once again engaged with the mystery cameraman from Smackdown…
Mr. Kennedy: Is it on? Are ya’ sure?
???: Yeah. I’m tellin’ ya’ it’s on.
Mr. Kennedy: Alright good…
Kennedy now turns away from the camera, eyes back focused on the road, acting casual as he guides the car along the road…
Mr. Kennedy: Oh hey! Hey there! I didn’t see ya’ come in. Ric! Ricky baby, how the hell are ya’? Huh? Ya’ doin’ good? Now, obviously I’m not there in the arena tonight. Boo – hoo! BUT… I did make this little video for ya’ champ, just to fill ya’ in on what I’ve been getting’ up to. Now, it’s currently Monday afternoon, and right now I’m drivin’ down Route 61, about an hour or so outside of a lil’ place called Eldon, Mississippi.
Kennedy gives the camera an exaggerated confused look…
Mr. Kennedy: Wait a minute. Eldon, Mississippi? That’s a place you know pretty well huh Ric? Hmmm… I wonder what I’ll find when I get there? Well, we’re gonna leave you right now Ric, but when we get to Eldon, I’ll get back to ya’. See ya’ later Ric!
We briefly cut to static as the camera is switched off, but just as quickly it’s back on again. The car has came to a stop, with the footage rolling once more as Kennedy clambers out of the car. Our mystery cameraman does likewise, and after a few seconds of looking at feet and the ground, the camera is adjusted and we see we’re now in a parking lot, while a big old barn of a building stands in the distance of the background. Slowly Kennedy starts to walk along a path towards said building, talking as he goes…
Mr. Kennedy: Ric, welcome back to Eldon! Now, math was never my strong point in school, but if my calculations are right, and the gopher in the production truck I paid off has done his job right, then you’ll currently be stood in the ring in givin’ some long, ass winded speech about our match at Wrestlemania. But Ric, lately I’m not really feelin’ the whole war of words with ya’ pal. Lately, I’d rather let my actions do the talkin’ for me. And that’s why I’m here right now.
Kennedy carries on up the path, very audibly chewing on a piece of gum...
Mr. Kennedy: Y'see Ric, I really wanted to get to know you man. Find out what really makes you tick. I know about the girls, the partyin', the 'space mountain', I've heard all that crap before. I wanted to find out about the real Ric Flair. The man behind 'The Nature Boy'. And y'know what I found out? Despite the fact you've been married - what is it, three times now? - you're actually quite the family man. And you've always wanted your sons to follow you into the ring. I mean, we all remember your son David. He had a good run back in WCW back in the day. Always seemed to have a lady on his arm too. The apple didn't fall far from the tree, huh Ric?
We now see Kennedy pass by a sign that reads 'Harley Race's Wrestling Academy', the camera focusing on the sign rather than Kennedy for a few seconds...
Mr. Kennedy: And that's why I'm here Ric. Family. 'Cause David wasn't the only one of your sons who followed you into the ring. Oh no. While David may have been the first son... the crown prince is just the other side of this door, trainin', workin' hard every day, hopin' to one day make it into a WWE ring. Maybe even wrestle alongside his old man? Just like his big brother David did.
Kennedy reaches for the handle, opening the door...
Mr. Kennedy: Let's take a look and see how the training's goin'...
Kennedy calmly walks through the door, taking a few steps into the gym. The camera of course follows, and we see a single wrestling ring inside the building, a handful of wrestlers stood in the ring, listening intently to the man himself, Harley Race. Race holds counsel with the students gathered around him, and the camera quickly focuses and zooms in on a young man who we can assume to be Reid Flair. So far, nobody has noticed Kennedy entering the gym, but they soon do as Kennedy scrambles under the bottom rope. Surprised and confused, the students' attention leaves Race and snaps to Kennedy, who simply barges his way into the middle of the circle, pushing Race aside...
Mr. Kennedy: Get outta here old man!
The cameraman steps up onto the apron of the ring, focusing the shot on Kennedy and Reid as Kennedy gets in the youngster's face...
Mr. Kennedy: Reid... is it?
The startled youngster nods his head in acknowledgment...
Mr. Kennedy: I thought as much.
BANG! Kennedy drills Flair with a stiff right hand right to the face! The youngster crumples and drops to the mat instantly, with the rest of the students crying out in protest. Harley Race tries to grab Kennedy and manhandle him, but Kennedy quickly over powers the veteran, drilling him square in the jaw with another right hand. The other students look too scared or confused to get involved, and Kennedy warns them off by grabbing Reid by the hair, dragging him to his feet and shouting "Any of you sons of bitches try anythin' you're next!". The students back off as Kennedy yanks Flair towards the ropes, tossing him through them to the floor below. Kennedy drops down to join Reid, as does our cameraman, and the loudmouth yanks Reid back to his feet by the hair...
Mr. Kennedy: Pass me the bag.
Our cameraman then tosses Kennedy a rucksack, with Kennedy catches and opens. Reaching inside, Kennedy quickly finds what he's looking for... it's the microphone head that drops down from the rafters every week on Smackdown... only it's bloodstained! That's gotta be Ric Flair's blood from when Kennedy busted him open two weeks ago! A few more stiff right hands land to Reid's forehead, before Kennedy lines him up... and drills Flair with the mic head to the skull! Reid collapses to the floor, his body barely moving, but Kennedy is soon down on his level, grabbing Reid by the hair, pulling his head up off the floor, the young man now busted open, blood pouring profusely from his forehead. Holding Reid's face close to his own, Kennedy breaths hard, looking at bloody mess that is now Reid Flair, a sick smile on his face...
Mr. Kennedy: Family Ric. Your golden boy... just got a taste of what I'm gonna do to you at Wrestlemania. But y'know...
Kennedy lets Reid's head drop to the concrete as he returns to his feet...
Mr. Kennedy: It's always funny...
And walks towards the camera, snatching it from whoever is holding it, fumbling around with it...
Mr. Kennedy: When history repeats itself.
And then finally points it towards our mystery cameraman. The shot is fuzzy, but as Kennedy settles down the person comes into focus... David Flair? Reid Flair's older brother David has been the man behind the lens all along! A sick smile on his face, the elder Flair sibling looks at the camera, and then down at his little brother, broken, battered and bruised, the camera taking one last look at the prone body of Reid Flair before the feed it cut and the static takes over once more.
We now cut back to the arena, to see tears running down the face of Ric Flair. Heartbroken at seeing one son beaten to a bloody pulp as he stands in the ring powerless to do anything about it, but at the same time, shock, anger and confusion as he realises his other son watched it all unfold. The tears intensify as Flair's face turns red, he reaching out at the tron, almost desperate to console his son, but coming up with nothing but fresh air...
"I... I can't believe what I just saw."
Flair tries to wipe away the tears, and he finally manages to pull himself together long enough to drop down to the mat, roll under the bottom rope and then race up the ramp. The crowd is stunned, a few boos, but it's mostly hands over mouth in sheer shock...
"God I... words can't describe what Ric Flair is feelin' right now."
The same can be said for the commentators, who offer very little as Flair disappears backstage to the sound of silence as we fade into a commercial.
And we return to see an incredibly sombre looking Todd Grisham
is ready and waiting for another interview...
Uh, ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time... the WWE Champion, Shawn Michaels.
Big time heat as the camera pans to reveal Shawn Michaels, the stone-faced WWE Champion being as emotionless as ever. As is the norm these days, Michaels is dressed head to toe in black, the WWE Championship the only bright spot in his persona…
And Shawn, with Wrestlemania just thirteen days away, was your attempted attack of Rob Van Dam a case of you tryin’ to send a message to your Wrestlemania opponents? Or was there perhaps something more sinister behind your actions?
Michaels remains blank faced, staring off into the distance, prompting Grisham to point the microphone under Michaels’ mouth…
Sinister, Todd? Shawn Michaels… does not live in sin. But Triple H and Rob Van Dam… their lives are consumed… by sin.
Grisham starts to look uncomfortable, but Michaels presses on…
Do you know what… greed
… does to a man, Todd?
Grisham looks at the ground as he shakes his head in response…
Greed… can drive a man to do things he never thought possible. Greed can make a man sense dark parts of his mind, think thoughts he never thought possible. Greed… is a terrible sin. But it’s greed that drives Triple H and Rob Van Dam into Wrestlemania. It’s greed that has consumed their bodies and minds. They speak of revenge, they speak of championships, they speak of hurtin’ ‘Aitch-Bee-Kay, they wanna take their shot at Mr. Wrestlemania on the biggest stage of ‘em all, but they have no idea what those thoughts are doin’ to them. Greed… is gonna eat them up inside.
Michaels pauses, lowering his head, staring at the ground for a few seconds as he chooses his words…
They think their sins will carry them to Wrestlemania and the WWE Championship. But if they’d only open their minds… they’d realise the damage they’re doin’. I know they don’t see it, I understand that. And that’s because they haven’t opened their eyes and saw the light.
Michaels glances at his WWE Championship as he says this, adjusting the strap across his shoulder…
Shawn Michaels… is not a greedy man. I don’t live in sin because I am guided each and every day… by the man upstairs. I’ve saw the light, and that’s
what’s gonna guide me into Wrestlemania and beyond as the WWE Champion.
Absolute silence in the arena, nobody quite sure what to make of Michaels’ words…
Rob and Hunter, for whatever reason, don’t want to open their eyes and help themselves. But I
can help them. But to help them… I have to break them. And that’s what I was doin’ earlier tonight. You might call it a sinister attack Todd, but in reality, I was my way of helpin’ Hunter. Call it… an intervention.
Michaels now brings his head up, still staring off into the distance…
I’ve been brought this far, I’ve been brought to the WWE Championship, I’ve been brought to countless classic Wrestlemania moments, and I owe it all to one man. And I know… I’ll be blessed with another Wrestlemania moment in thirteen days time. I will
leave Detroit as the WWE Champion… ‘cause I know it’s my calling to do so. And since earlier tonight Rob Van Dam wouldn’t let me help Hunter… I’ll just have to break both their wills at Wrestlemania. And perhaps once we leave Detroit, their greed, their… sins
… will be clear. And they’ll realise that when you have faith… you have all the power.
Michaels rather robotically turns and faces Grisham for the first time in the entire interview, tipping his cowboy hat in Grisham’s direction before he turns and leaves the scene…
Uh… thank – thank you Shawn. The WWE Champion everybody. Shawn – Shawn Michaels.
Grisham fumbles for his words, looking completely perplexed at what he’s just heard, puffing out his cheeks as he exhales a big sigh, shaking his head in total confusion as we head back into the arena.
The crowd springs back to life as the always popular Jeff Hardy
bounces out onto the stage, shaking his hands and his head to the beat of his entrance theme before he finally starts to make his way down the ramp…
What… on… earth is goin’ on with Shawn Michaels? I mean every week we hear from this guy, it just gets more and more bizarre.
I really worry for Shawn Michaels. That’s not the same Shawn Michaels I remember, that’s not the man these fans used to love. Somethin’ is not right with his mental wellbeing right now. I know it’s his beliefs, I have no problem with that, but some o’ the stuff he’s sayin’… I just don’t understand it ‘King’.
Well, what can you do? What can you say to Shawn to try and get through to ‘im?
I don’t know. I just… don’t know anymore. Folks, we’re scheduled for tag team action here. There’s Jeff Hardy, one of the eight men who’ll be competin’ in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at Wrestlemania XXIII. But tonight, Jeff teams up with Carlito to take on Randy Orton and the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra.
And quite the rivalry has developed between these four men, stretchin’ back over several months now. It was Dykstra who put Hardy on the shelf, but he had a lot of encouragement from Randy Orton when he did it. I’m sure Jeff’s eager to get his hands on Orton, both tonight, and at Wrestlemania.
“I SPIT IN ‘DA FACE OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO BE COOL…”
Another solid pop this time for Carlito
who walks hand in hand to the ring with Torrie Wilson
, the couple looking much more happier than earlier in the evening. Carlito casually tosses his apple in the air with his free hand, plucking it out the air before he starts exchanging words with the ringside crowd…
There’s the man who will challenge the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra at Wrestlemania. After losin’ the World Tag Team Championships at Saturday Night’s Main Event, Carlito wasted no time in settin’ his sights on Dykstra and the Intercontinental Title.
And not only that, Dykstra’s had plenty to say about Carlito’s girlfriend Torrie in recent weeks. I’m sure ‘Lito would like to smack some sense into young Kenny after what he’s been sayin’. I really hope these two are back on track, they make a great couple. I’d hate to see them break up over a disagreement involvin’ that idiot Dykstra.
*BURN IN MY LIGHT...*
Strong heat welcomes the arrival of Randy Orton
and Kenny Dykstra
, the pair looking confident as they stride down the ramp towards the ring. Neither man has much time for the crowd, as Dykstra follows Orton’s lead in remaining focused on the two opponents in the ring. Orton methodically enters the ring, although Dykstra spots Torrie on the outside, giving her an arrogant smirk before he steps through the ropes…
For my money, Randy Orton has to be considered one of the favorites in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. He’s been a heavyweight champion in the past, and he’s started 2007 in determined fashion to get back to the top of the mountain. I think grabbin’ that briefcase could be his ticket to becomin’ a champion once more.
Lemme ask ya’ somethin’. Do you think Orton’s partnership with Kenny Dykstra could be a distraction for ‘The Legend Killer’ at Wrestlemania? I mean, we’ve heard week after week about how Orton feels Kenny keeps makin’ mistakes. If Orton’s too busy tryin’ to cover for those mistakes, he might not have his eyes on the prize.
That’s a great point ‘King’. The message from Orton was perfectly clear earlier this evenin’. No mistakes. I hope for Kenny’s sake, he doesn’t make one…
Match 4: Tag Team Match
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra and Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy and Carlito w/ Torrie Wilson
Orton and Hardy are the two men who step forward to kick off the match, an intense look on Orton’s face as he steps forward. The two engage in an aggressive tie up, both men jockeying for position, before Orton works Jeff into a standing side headlock. Hardy forces Orton into the ropes, only for Orton to bowl Jeff over with a shoulderblock. Orton then turns and comes off the ropes, but Jeff drops face first onto the mat to avoid the contact, then springs back to his feet… hiptoss puts Orton down! Jeff now strings together a series of right hands, and when Orton swings and wildly misses, Jeff takes advantage with the sitout jawbreaker and then a clothesline that puts Orton down for a 2 count. Jeff stomps down on Orton to get him grounded, before he connects with the double legdrop to the midsection. Again Jeff strikes with right hands, but when he tries for an Irish whip, Orton hangs on, twists… and drops Jeff with the inverted headlock backbreaker. Jeff stays down, allowing Orton to crawl to his corner to tag in Kenny. The Intercontinental Champion lays in with kicks and boots to the chest that force Hardy to the corner, where Kenny starts laying in with right hands to the face. Dykstra then sends Jeff for the ride, but when he follows in, Jeff elevates himself over Kenny and lands behind him… dropkick smacks Dykstra into the turnbuckle and down to a seated position! Kenny rests his head against the turnbuckle, but Hardy quickens the pace by charging in… but before he can connect on anything, Kenny rolls under the bottom rope to the outside. Dykstra rolls out near the announce desk, which just so happens to be perpendicular to the face corner… and of course that means Torrie Wilson is stood nearby. Kenny sees Torrie is close at hand, and the ever arrogant youngster can’t help but have a few words in Wilson’s direction… but that means he doesn’t see Carlito drop down from the apron, spin Kenny around… and tag him with a big right hand! Dykstra hits the floor, but the referee sticks his head out from inside the ring and barks for ‘Lito to back away. Carlito holds his hands up and head back to his corner, but as Kenny struggles back to his feet, Jeff is waiting… to take Kenny down with a plancha!
Hardy flies through the air to take down Kenny, and after a few right hands to the face, he rolls the youngster into the ring and hooks the leg for a 2 count. Carlito gets the tag, and he takes the fight to Dykstra, snapping the champion’s head back with a string of right hands, then delivers a few kicks to the chest as Dykstra is down on his knees. Kenny is yanked into the face corner, where ‘Lito unloads with a flurry of stinging knife edge chops, letting out a lot of the frustration he has towards Kenny, before a standing dropkick gains Carlito a 2 count. More chops and right hands land against the ropes, before Carlito goes for the Irish whip… but Kenny reverses… ‘Lito jumps to the second rope for a springboard back elbow… only for Dykstra to drill ‘Lito in mid air with a dropkick! Carlito’s entire body snaps with the force of changing direction mid flight, and his neck and head take a nasty thump as they strike the canvas. Dykstra is still reeling after the punishment he’s taken, but after he angrily drives his knee to the back of Carlito’s neck over and over again, he relents and tags in Orton. ‘The Legend Killer’ steps through the ropes and is calculated in his assault, targeting the neck as he connects with a falling neckbreaker for a near fall. After Orton stomps his way around Carlito’s body, plenty of uppercuts cause Carlito’s head to snap back, before a falling clothesline puts Carlito down for another 2 count.
Orton and Dykstra make plenty of tags as they seek to wear ‘Lito down, insolating him from Jeff in the process. Orton gains a near fall from a full nelson slam, while Dykstra comes close to victory after a snap swinging neckbreaker. Orton is back in, and he looks on that trademark wrenching chinlock of his in an attempt to further damage Carlito’s neck. ‘Lito tries to fight it, but Orton wrenches the hold on tight, not giving ‘Lito much chance of escape. After being in the hold for a good while, Carlito is able to work back to a seated position, and then back to his feet, where he strikes with a series of elbows to the midsection that loosen Orton’s grip. Carlito turns and comes off the ropes… only for Dykstra to pull down the top rope, low bridging Carlito and seeing him crash over the top rope to the floor! The crowd boo the dastardly tactics of young Kenny, but the Intercontinental Champion is the picture of innocence as the referee confronts him. Determined to make it back into the match, Carlito has to drag himself back onto the apron… only for Orton to grab ‘Lito by the hair, yank him through the ropes… and into the rope-hung DDT! It’s gotta be over as Orton rolls Carlito over for the 1… 2… ‘Lito gets a foot on the bottom rope! Orton can’t believe it as Carlito stays alive, and he responds by pounding ‘Lito with wild forearms to the back of the head. Dykstra gets the tag, and he enters the ring by paying Carlito back with a few knife edge chops against the corner, before he muscles Carlito up into a seated position on the top turnbuckle. Kenny keeps ‘Lito in position with a few stiff right hands to the face, before he then grabs a handful of hair and pulls Carlito into position… for the same move that helped him pin Jeff to become Intercontinental Champion… the top rope spike DDT… no! Desperately Carlito swings right hands, knocking Kenny away, before he stands himself on the top rope… DIVING SUMMERSAULT NECKBREAKER!
Carlito takes a huge risk, but it pays off as he’s able to drive Dykstra to the mat, but now both men are down and crawling for their corners… here comes Orton… and here comes Hardy! Both men storm the ring, with Orton swinging a clothesline… Jeff avoids it with a baseball slide… then takes Orton down with a sitout inverted suplex slam! Dykstra tries to get back involved, but he once again runs into a dropkick that knocks him into a seated position in the corner. Jeff charges in… and this time connects on the Hardyac Arrest! Dykstra rolls outside, allowing Jeff to go back to Orton, rocking him with right after right that backs Orton to the corner. Jeff sends Orton for the ride to the opposite corner, but Orton reverses… Jeff runs the turnbuckle… and comes back down with the whisper in the wind! Jeff crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Kenny makes the save! Dykstra hits the ring and then quickly steps back into his corner, holding his hand out for the tag. Orton brings Kenny into the match, and he quickly climbs to the top rope, as he sees Jeff in the perfect spot… only for Carlito to clothesline Orton… and both of them fall to the floor! Kenny saw ‘Lito coming though, and he smartly crouches on the top turnbuckle to avoid losing his balance. Now with the other two competitors out of the way, Dykstra stands on the top turnbuckle… only for Torrie to jump up onto the apron! Dykstra screams at Torrie to get off the apron, but Wilson stands firm, doing her best to buy the faces some time. Enraged, Dykstra abandons the top rope, dropping down to the canvas to confront Torrie. Dykstra again demands that Torrie stand down, but when Torrie doesn’t budge, the youngster gets cocky, taunting Torrie, blowing air kisses in Torrie’s direction… SO TORRIE SLAPS KENNY ACROSS THE FACE! Dykstra is stunned, grabbing his cheek in pain, and in the confrontation with Torrie he doesn’t realise that Carlito has snuck back into the ring behind him… Kenny stumbles backwards… into the BACKSTABBER! Carlito plants Dykstra, and now Jeff is climbing to the top rope… to finish Kenny off with the SWANTON BOMB!! Hardy connects, and as he crawls into the cover, Orton can only watch on in disgust as the referee counts the 1… 2… 3!
Winners: Jeff Hardy and Carlito @ 08.28
This time Dykstra really did let himself be distracted, and it’s cost him as Jeff picks up the win for his team. Orton is furious as he storms up the ramp, not even bothering to drag Kenny from the ring, instead he simply heads for the back, unable to even look at Dykstra such is the anger he’s feeling right now. Jeff and Carlito celebrate along with Torrie, who looks down at Kenny with a smile on her face, as Raw’s golden couple hug in triumph, while the Intercontinental Champion is down and out as we head for a commercial.
And we return to a furious backstage scene, where Kenny Dykstra
has caught up with Randy Orton
, desperately trying to plead his case. Orton however doesn’t want to hear it, as he keeps walking along a corridor, a irate scowl on his face, kicking and knocking things over as he goes…
Randy! Hey, Randy will ya’ – will ya’ stop!?
Orton finally relents, snapping his head around, catching Dykstra off guard as the two nearly go head to head…
I TOLD YOU! I warned you, no mistakes! And what the hell do you do!? You get distracted, AGAIN!
Kenny turns away, unable to look Orton in the eye…
Well that’s IT! I’ve had IT! You and me, we are FINISHED!
This draws a pop from inside the arena, although Dykstra’s jaw nearly hits the floor…
But – but…
But NOTHIN’! Get the hell outta my sight!
Orton then turns and storms off once more, leaving a perplexed and stunned looking Dykstra behind. Kenny clutches tight at his Intercontinental Title, holding it, almost caressing it, a worried look in his eyes, the camera remaining focused on the troubled champion as we cut elsewhere.
And it’s to the interview set we go to see the ever chirpy Maria…
Hi! I’m Maria! And I want you all to say hi to my guests at this time… The Hart Legacy!
A warm welcome as the camera pans to show us The Hart Legacy stood to the right hand side of Maria. Natalya Niedhart stands closest to the microphone, while Tyson Kidd is all smiles infront of the determined looking Harry Smith…
And guys, your first two weeks on Raw, and you’ve picked up two impressive tag team victories. But last week, after your victory over The Redneck Wrecking Crew, Cade and Murdoch decided to attack you after the bell. That can’t have made you guys happy.
Natalya grimaces, shaking her head…
You’re right Maria, that didn’t make us happy at all. Infact, I know it made Harry and Tyson really
angry. Y’see, growin’ up in the Hart family and trainin’ in the dungeon, we learned to leave it all in the ring. We were taught to give everythin’ you’ve got, then at the end of the match, win, lose or draw, you respect your opponents afterwards. But maybe Cade and Murdoch felt that because we’re young and we’re new, they didn’t have to show us
any respect. Well if they’re not gonna show us any respect… Harry and Tyson are just gonna have to beat it outta them!
The arena responds with a good pop as Tyson steps forward…
We know we’re newcomers around here. And we know we gotta pay or dues. We got no problem with that. But we got a problem with guys treatin’ us like a bunch o’ punks, especially
after we just beat ‘em. So Cade ‘n’ Murdoch, anytime you guys want a rematch… you got it!
We might be new, but we’re not gonna let anybody
treat us the way Cade ‘n’ Murdoch did last we-
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold on ‘ere lil’ missy!
The camera now pans left to show us The Redneck Wrecking Crew have entered the scene. Some decent heat greets the arrival of Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, with Murdoch grabbing Maria’s hand, forcing her to hold the microphone under his mouth…
Y’know, for a bunch o’ wet behind the ears kids, you sure like to talk pretty loud. But what y’all gotta realise is that we ain’t about ta’ be upstaged by no uppity young-uns. Ain’t that right Lance?
This here’s the WWE. This here’s Monday Night Raw. We don’t take too kindly to young-uns who don’t show the veterans no respect, and you damn sure didn’t show us none last week!
All three of the Hart’s stare at each other, not quite believing what they’re hearing…
Now we know you’re new here, so that’s why me ‘n’ Lance cut ya’ll a lil’ slack last week. That’s why we didn’t kick yo’ asses back out the door back up to Calgary where ya’ came from. But you don’t start showin’ us
a lil’ o’ that respect y’all are talkin’ about…
Murdoch steps forward, getting in Natalya’s face, although the young diva doesn’t back down…
Then we might have ta’ finish what we started.
This comment angrily draws Harry Smith forward, although Tyson manages to step infront of his partner, stopping the potential altercation…
Easy there big fella! You don’t want this ta’ get ugly.
Think about what we said… and then think twice before steppin’ in the ring with us again.
Cade and Murdoch both slowly back away, their eyes still fixated on Smith, Kidd and Niedhart, who simply fume with anger, although all three bite their lips on this occasion, instead the just glare as they watch ‘The Crew’ leave while we cut back into the arena.
And after a few seconds silence, we hear…
*ONE OF A KIND…*
An incredible pop breaks out for Rob Van Dam
, who excites the crowd as he steps out on the stage. Van Dam walks back and forth across the stage, firing up the fans, before he leads the crowd in a chant of “ROB – VAN – DAM!” and then heads for the ring…
He’s a one time WWE Champion, but he’s never main evented a Wrestlemania. Thirteen days time, at Wrestlemania XXIII, Rob Van Dam fulfils one of the aims he’s been strivin’ for his entire career. But can he live the dream by winnin’ the WWE Championship?
Unless he realises that it’s every man for himself, and you gotta take every advantage you can get, then no, I don’t think he can. I think Triple H is right. The reason he’s been a heavyweight champion so many times is ‘cause he’s so damn ruthless! He takes every opportunity he can get, he never lets a chance to win slip by. I know Rob Van Dam wants to win with no excuses, but it’s the WWE Championship we’re talkin’ about here. You can’t afford to show any
sign of weakness.
Van Dam climbs to the second ropes, again leading the crowd in a chant of his name, before he drops down to the mat. Looking cool and calm, Van Dam shakes his hands loose and paces the ring, awaiting the arrival of…
Always intimidating, Mike Knox
strides down the ramp, those long legs of his eating up the steel in no time. Knox has an evil scowl on his face, and he waists no time in stepping up the stairs and through the ropes…
He may not have won a lotta matches since arriving here on Raw, but one thing you’re guaranteed from Mike Knox is that he will punish his opponent to a degree that many can’t stand up to.
You’ll certainly never forget bein’ in a match with this guy. I think he’s borderline psychotic. I mean, sometimes it’s like the outcome of the match doesn’t matter to ‘im, he just wants to hurt you. This is gonna be far from easy for ‘RVD’ tonight.
Rob Van Dam vs. Mike Knox
With Van Dam giving up so much size to Knox, it’s no surprise that as Knox steps forward, ‘RVD’ avoids an initial tie up and instead starts laying in with kicks to Knox’s thighs and midsection. Knox creates some separation then goes back in with a clothesline, but Van Dam ducks underneath, and again puts those educated feet to work... but Knox catches a kick... and shoves Van Dam to the corner. Knox then charges in for a splash, but Van Dam dives to safety, before he rocks Knox with a kick to the head. Knox is against the turnbuckle, and Van Dam drills him with two turnbuckle thrusts, then handsprings back... and charges in for a third turnbuckle thrust! A pair of forearms to the side of the head follow, before Van Dam fires Knox across the ring... then goes for Rolling Thunder towards Knox... to then fire him out of the corner with a monkey flip! Knox is dazed as he stumbles to the nearest corner, but ‘RVD’ stays on the attack, slugging Knox with a pair of right hands before he goes for the Irish whip... Knox reverses and follows in... Van Dam gets a boot up to the face! Knox staggers away as Van Dam props himself onto the second ropes... diving superkick! Knox is down, Van Dam hooks the leg... 1... 2... Knox kicks out.
And as soon as he does so, Knox rolls outside, frustrated at how the early stages of the match have gone as he angrily kicks the steel steps. Looking away from the ring as he shakes off the cobwebs, Knox doesn’t see Van Dam approach... to fly through the air with a plancha! Van Dam takes Knox down on the outside, and after drilling Knox with a few right hands, he rolls the big guy back into the ring, following in to hook the leg for a near fall. Knox makes it back to his knees, but Van Dam snaps him with a kick to the side of the head, then slings himself up to the top rope. Taking a look over his shoulder, Van Dam seems to be lining himself up for a moonsault... but he doesn’t see that Knox is back on his feet... to shove Van Dam off the turnbuckle... and flying into the barricade! ‘RVD’ crashes and burns to the floor, with Knox quickly out to take advantage, as he scoops Van Dam up and drops him throat first across the top of the barricade before he yanks ‘RVD’ back into the ring. After a near fall, Knox looks to string together some offence, starting with a short-arm clothesline, before he places Van Dam’s throat across the middle rope, applying pressure to choke ‘RVD’. Knox then races off the opposite ropes... and drops the leg across the back of the neck, forcing Van Dam’s throat against the ropes! Van Dam coughs and splutters, and after Knox drops an elbow, Van Dam barely kicks out at 2.
A slugfest breaks out as Van Dam tries to fight back, but a big knee to the midsection ends it, with Knox pushing ‘RVD’ to the corner to pummel him with right hands, knocking Van Dam down to the mat. Knox now starts hitting high impact moves, rocking Van Dam with a double underhook suplex, then a hard Irish whip to the corner followed in with a big splash, before he fires Van Dam off the ropes into a big boot to the face for a near fall. Knox looks to crank up the pressure as he locks on a grounded reverse chinlock, trying to wear Van Dam down. The crowd makes some noise, and Van Dam is able to fight back to his feet, landing a pair of elbows to the midsection, only for Knox to push Van Dam off the ropes... and swing with a clothesline... that Van Dam avoids. ‘RVD’ puts on the breaks, but as Knox turns he goes for a kick to the gut... Van Dam catches the foot... step-over spinning wheel kick! Knox goes down, but he’s right back up as Van Dam tries to quicken the pace by coming off the ropes... and ducking a clothesline... spinning wheel kick! Van Dam now looks to string together some offence, connecting on forearm after forearm, only for Knox to fire back with a knee to the gut. Knox sends Van Dam to the corner, and then follows in... right into an elbow to the face. Van Dam slings with the ropes... springboard roundhouse kick! Van Dam goes for the cover... 1... 2... Knox rolls the shoulder!
Van Dam has all the momentum now, and he looks to press it home as he tries to send Knox to the corner... but again Knox reverses, and follows in... Van Dam hits a drop-toe-hold... and Knox smacks face first off the middle turnbuckle! Knox stumbles back to his feet... roundhouse kick puts him down! Sensing a chance to quicken the pace, Van Dam comes off the ropes... rolling thunder... no! Knox rolls to safety, and he’s already on his feet as Van Dam staggers up... BICYCLE KICK! Knox damn near takes Van Dam’s head off, and he drops into the cover... 1... 2... Van Dam gets the shoulder up! Knox can’t believe it as Van Dam stays in the match! Knox is furious as he gets back on his feet, shouting at the referee, but it’s still only a 2 count. Looking to put Van Dam away, Knox drags him to his feet... and synchs ‘RVD’ in... Knox Out... NO! Van Dam desperately kicks away at Knox’s head, breaking himself free, allowing him to come off the ropes... one-handed bulldog! Knox is down, and in perfect position as Van Dam slings himself to the top rope, poising himself, waiting to fly... but before he can go for the frog splash, Knox shoves the referee into the ropes, crotching Van Dam on the top turnbuckle! Van Dam groans in pain, but Knox is already joining him upstairs... SUPERPLEX! Knox and Van Dam fly through the air, and although initially he can’t take advantage, eventually Knox is able to drag himself over to make the cover... 1... 2... somehow Van Dam kicks out!
Knox can’t believe, head in his hands, holding three fingers to the referee, but only getting two in response. Dragging himself and Van Dam up, Knox looks to finally finish Van Dam off as he once more synchs Van Dam in... KNOX OUT... NO! Van Dam throws his legs up, wrapping them around Knox’s head... and using a headscissors to force Knox into the ropes! Van Dam springs back to his feet just as Knox turns... and catches a Van Dam kick to the midsection... but Van Dam steps over... and connects with a mule kick! Knox is down, and Van Dam moves quickly to sling himself to the top rope... turn... and then fly... FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH!! Van Dam gets all of it, and after taking a few second to grab his ribs, he flops into the lateral press for the 1... 2... 3!
Winner: Rob Van Dam @ 10.12
A good win for ‘RVD’, sending a strong message to his opponents ahead of Wrestlemania. Van Dam clutches his ribs, selling the effects of the match, but he’s soon back on his feet to have his hand raised high in the air by the refe-
Van Dam has his head kicked off his shoulders… by SHAWN MICHAELS!
The WWE Champion slipped into the ring behind Van Dam’s back and just smacked him with the sweet chin music! The crowd absolutely shits all over Michaels’ actions, with ‘HBK’ now standing over Van Dam, the distant look in his eyes as he stares down at one of his Wrestlemania opponents. Van Dam barely moves, unable to stir, prompting Michaels to feel his message has been sent as he calmly tips his hat in Van Dam’s direction and then turns to leave… only for Van Dam to somehow be able to drag his head off the canvas.
Despite all the punishment he took during the match, Van Dam is somehow stirring, trying to struggle back to his feet. Michaels sees this… stops, pausing to think… and then heads for the corner… and for the first time since his heel turn… he starts stomping his foot on the mat! The crowd boos vociferously, knowing exactly what’s coming as Michaels slowly stomps away. Michaels stomps… and stomps… and the crowd start screaming… “TRI – PLE – H! TRI – PLE - H! Sensing Van Dam is in trouble, the referee tries to talk him into staying down on the mat and waiting for medical assistance, but Van Dam is determined to pull himself up using the ropes. Michaels now gathers pace, but the crowd continues their chant… and their persistence is rewarded as racing down the ramp comes Triple H!!
‘The Game’ sprints down the aisle, but Michaels is already on the move… SWEET CHIN –… Michaels pauses as Triple H enters the ring… ‘The Game’ hammers Michaels with a clothesline! Triple H makes the save for Rob Van Dam! The arena comes unglued as Triple H comes through in the clutch, with Michaels quickly rolling and stumbling under the bottom rope. Michaels is flustered on the outside, with Triple H not paying any attention to Van Dam, instead he continues to stare at Michaels and motions for him to get back in the ring. The crowd continue to roar their approval, but for the second time this evening, Michaels is forced to backtrack, slowly backing up the ramp to towards the stage. Van Dam is finally back on his feet, looking dazed and confused, but as ‘The Game’ turns towards Van Dam, the tension between the two is once again very much evident as they stare at each other intently. Triple H wears that scowl on his face, but as Van Dam stumbles towards him, ‘The Game’ appears to soften a wee bit… until he drills Van Dam with a boot to the midsection… PEDIGREE!!
An incredibly loud, mixed reaction breaks out, the crowd unsure as to how to react as Triple H emphatically plants Van Dam! At the top of the stage, Michaels for once shows some emotion, looking down at his two Wrestlemania opponents with a devilish smirk on his face as lies Van Dam flat out in the centre of the ring. Triple H gets back on his feet, taking a look down at Van Dam, before he then once more stares at Michaels…
He told ya’ J.R.! DTA! Don’t trust anybody!
What a combustible situation this is! Michaels, Van Dam and ‘The Game’, on a collision course for Wrestlemania XXIII! These three are about ready to explode, and it’s gonna be every man for ‘imself!
The crowd continues their cacophony of cheers and boos, while an incredibly tense staredown between Michaels and Triple H breaks out, neither man showing any fear, both men looking determined ahead of Wrestlemania, while Rob Van Dam has saw one of weaknesses exploited by ‘The Cerebral Assassin’.
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*
That’s right folks, Wrestlemania XXIII, less than two –weeks – away
! We will live on pay per view from Detroit, Michigan, Ford Field is sold out, with over 70,000 fans from all over the world live in attendance for ‘The Showcase of the Immortals.’
Oh boy I can’t wait! I’m excited for Wrestlemania every year, but I’m even more excited for this year if that could even be possible! You and me J.R., we’re bein’ inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame!
Certainly a huge honour, no doubt it’ll be a very humbling occasion. I still can’t quite believe it’s actually gonna happen. And I’m sure the rest of the 2007 Class feel the same way. And what a class it is! ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, ‘Mr. Perfect’ Curt Hennig, ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart, celebrity inductee Mr. T, earlier tonight we found out that ‘Double A’ Arn Anderson would also be inducted, and then of course, myself Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.
And J.R., from what I understand, the final inductee of the 2007 Hall of Fame Class is gonna be announce next week, live on Raw!
It’s gonna be an unbelievable night, a very emotional Saturday night, the night before Wrestlemania. But then the next night, it’s the lights, the drama, and the pageantry of Wrestlemania! So much excitement, so much to look forward to, and there’ll be plenty o’ excitement durin’ the eight man Money in the Bank Ladder Match. CM Punk, Johnny Nitro, Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy from Monday Night Raw compete with Smackdown’s King Booker, ‘MVP’, Chris Benoit and the final man to qualify, ‘The Big Red Machine’ Kane.
I love those Money in the Bank Ladder Matches, they’re like a train wreck every year! But it’s not just about bein’ a high flyer or a risk taker, experience will also play a part. Half the field have been WWE or World Heavyweight Champion in the past, half the field haven’t. And for me, Kane, King Booker, Chris Benoit and Randy Orton have a big advantage goin’ into the match up.
It’s a great point ‘King’. But don’t count out the young guns in the match. Guys like Jeff Hardy and CM Punk are willin’ to push their bodies to the absolute limit to make a name for themselves and grab that briefcase. And remember folks, in the two years of Money in the Bank, the man who grabbed the briefcase has gone on to become WWE Champion. It could be time for Punk, Hardy, ‘MVP’ or Nitro to take that step to their first heavyweight championships. And another man seeking his first championship in the WWE is Smackdown’s Bryan Danielson. Since arriving here in the WWE, Danielson has made Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms his number one target, they’ll meet at Wrestlemania with the gold on the line!
I’m a big fan of the cruiserweight division J.R., such a different contrast of styles across the board. But at Wrestlemania, I don’t think we’ll se a lotta high flyin’, it’ll be a hard hittin’, technical clinic between those two. Danielson arrived with a lotta hype, and so far he’s lived up it, he just can’t seem to get the better of Gregory Helms so far. Helms may have had Bryan’s number in their previous encounters, but I think that’s all about to change when we get to Detroit!
I like this kid Danielson, he’s made me one impressed Oklahoman since he arrived in the WWE. But from one impressive man, to four guys who for my money have the potential to steal the show. It’s the tag team showcase, it’s Raw versus Smackdown, it’s champions against champions! The WWE Tag Team Champions, Smackdown’s Brian Kendrick and Paul London take on Raw’s World Tag Team Champions, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, with braggin’ rights on the line for both.
You think of some of the legendary tag team battles we seen at Wrestlemania over the years, this one has the potential to be right up there with ‘em. I gotta admit though, I’m not sure who I’m gonna be cheerin’ for to win! I mean, bein’ a Raw guy, part of me wants to see Haas and Benjamin win, but on the other hand, I can’t stand the arrogance of those two. Either way, I’m sure it’s gonna be one helluva match. A Wrestlemania classic in waitin’ if ya’ ask me.
Four incredible athletes, four tremendous competitors, we’ll see which team truly is the best in the WWE in thirteen days time. But one of the most eagerly anticipated showdowns is the battle between John Cena and Bobby Lashley. For months Mr. McMahon has terrorised John Cena, and it was Bobby Lashley who emerged as Vince’s hand picked opponent for Cena. A true test of power if ever there was one.
Well so far, every step of the way, Mr. McMahon has held the advantage. He’s abused his authority and power to his advantage, keepin’ one step ahead of Cena. But thanks to Linda McMahon, a Special Guest Referee is set to be appointed, and we’re gonna find out who that is durin’ tonight’s contract signing! And I have a sneaky feelin’ that the odds are gonna be a little bit more even once we reach Detroit.
I can’t wait for that contract signin’ tonight, that’s could get outta hand in a hurry! But another match that has the potential to break out into an all out war is The Undertaker takin’ on Umaga. The most famous streak in all of sports, The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Streak is on the line, and never
before has ‘The Phenom’ faced such a threat like ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’. Can Umaga be the man to finally end ‘The Streak’?
I’ve never seen anybody like Umaga in the ring. kIt’s just incredible the power, the fury, the savageness that monster can bring to the square circle. He can do incredible amounts of damage in the ring, but The Undertaker has always seemed impervious to pain. But now… I’m not so sure. I can’t ever remember goin’ into Wrestlemania thinkin’ ‘The Streak’ was in such jeopardy. But let’s not forget, Umaga has his own undefeated streak on the line too. He’s never been pinned, he’s never been forced to submit, and I can’t see that changin’ anytime soon.
Mere mortals have struggled to even get Umaga off his feet, never mind pin his shoulders to the mat. It’s gonna be an absolute slobberknocker, I guarantee it! One of the most personal rivalries I can ever remember, certainly the most in the history of the Diva’s division is that between Mickie James and Beth Phoenix. Two long-time friends, turned bitter enemies, they’ll do battle at Wrestlemania for the Women’s Championship.
They used to be best friends, they trained together, they travelled to shows together, they even shared an apartment together! But a freak injury that cost Beth the chance of a WWE contract has turned into a bitter, jealous rivalry between the two. I don’t think they’ll ever settle their differences, but they’ll sure as hell try beat the heck outta each other in thirteen days time!
The United States Champion Finlay has always been considered one of the toughest competitors in the world, as seen durin’ the hellacious Belfast Brawl at Saturday Night’s Main Event. But at Wrestlemania, Finlay’ll have to rely on his wrestling skills as he defends his title against Matt Hardy.
And what a big opportunity this is for Matt Hardy. Never before in his career has Matt had a chance like this, the chance to compete for singles gold at Wrestlemania. We both know how determined Matt is to prove himself on the grandest stage, but what a tall order it is to try get past Finlay. It won’t be easy, but I know how focused Hardy is, how hard he’s workin’ to be ready for the biggest opportunity of his career, and I think he’s got what it takes to become a champion.
Certainly a tough ask for Matt to get it done. I spoke earlier about how personal the rivalry between Beth Phoenix and Mickie James was, but after what I seen earlier in the broadcast, I don’t think anythin’ can come close to bein’ as personal as the match between Mr. Kennedy and Ric Flair.
What a horrible, sickenin’ attack on young Reid Flair by Kennedy, and not only that, but Reid’s big brother David Flair was the man who filmed it all! I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seein’, it was absolutely disgustin’. I mean, what on earth could Kennedy have said that would make David Flair want to be involved in a heinous act like that? It just doesn’t make sense.
Hopefully Friday night on Smackdown, we’ll get a few answers. Kennedy has certainly taken things to a new low tonight. The Intercontinental Championship will also be us for grabs. The young, cocky, brash champion, Kenny Dykstra, who seems to have some kind of infatuation with Torrie Wilson, the girlfriend of the challenger, Carlito.
And as we saw earlier tonight, that infatuation as you put it, it cost Kenny his match. I never thought I’d say this, but I agree with Randy Orton. If Kenny wants to stay Intercontinental Champion, he better stop thinkin’ about Torrie Wilson and start focusin’ on Carlito, or we’re gonna have ourselves a new Intercontinental Champion.
The 2007 Royal Rumble winner was none other than ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ Edge. Edge made his choice, chalengin’ the World Heavyweight Champion Batista. Edge and ‘The Animal’ will collide, but lately, it certainly seemed at first as if Edge regretted his decision.
Well for a while, Edge seemed to duck Batista at every opportunity. A lotta people started sayin’ that quite frankly, Edge was scared
of ‘The Animal’. But all that changed last Friday night when Edge nailed Batista with a devastating one man con-chair-to. We went off the air last Friday night to the sight of Edge standin’ tall over Batista, but I know ‘The Animal’ is gonna be back for more this Friday, and Edge might be forced to finally stand toe to toe with Batista.
And last, but certainly not least, not in any way, for the first in Wrestlemania history, the WWE Championship will be defended in a triple threat situation. The WWE Champion Shawn Michaels defends the most prestigious prize in all of sports entertainment against ‘The Game’ Triple H and ‘Mr. Monday Night’ Rob Van Dam.
The Raw main event featurin’ three of the biggest superstars in WWE history. We’ve know all about the history between Michaels and Triple H, but they’ve been to the top of the mountain plenty of times in the past. Rob Van Dam, he’s never main evented a Wrestlemania. It’s an incredible opportunity for ‘RVD’, but after what we’ve seen tonight, I really have to wonder if Rob has the mental fortitude to win at Wrestlemania. Right now, I’m goin’ for Triple H, he’s my favourite.
It’s gonna be a night to remember folks. The biggest Wrestlemania in WWE history, live on pay per view in just thirteen days! You won’t wanna miss this one folks, I promise ya’ that!
A few seconds of silence, no doubt to let the commentary team recover, before we hear...
*MY TIME IS NOW...
A thunderous out pouring of cheers, with as always, that share of boos, as John Cena
bursts onto the stage. Cena stops at the top of the ramp, gives the crowd a strong salute, before he sprints down the ramp and slides into the ring...
But it’s now that time folks! The contract signing between John Cena and Bobby Lashley is up next, where the Special Guest Referee will be revealed! Join us when we return to Monday Night Raw!
When we return, the ring has been transformed, as a black canvas covers the mat, while a desk now sits in-between two black, leather recliners. Cena sits in one of the leather chairs, looking calm and relaxed, although he twiddles the pen left on the table between his fingers in perhaps a slight show of nerves. Linda McMahon
is already in the ring, having made her entrance during the break, although she stands in a neutral position adjacent to the table. The pair aren’t alone for long though, as pretty soon...
*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*
A strong level of heat as Mr. McMahon
, Shane McMahon
and Bobby Lashley
head for the ring, all three dressed in sharp suits, projecting a strong corporate image. Vince leads the way, performing that trademark strut down the ramp, while Shane sports a look of worry and concern. Lashley meanwhile brings up the rear, hulking as ever, looking like he could unleash his power on anybody who gets in his way at a moment’s notice...
Welcome back to Monday Night Raw. There you see the man who will face John Cena at Wrestlemania, Bobby Lashley, and of course, ‘The Chairman of the Board’ Mr. McMahon and his son Shane.
What an absolute number these three have done on John Cena for the last few months. It started with Vince, then Shane got involved, but Lashley has taken to a whole new level. I don’t know if Ford Field is gonna be big enough to hold these two once they get goin’ at Wrestlemania.
Well, we have all the important parties, let’s hand things over to the C.E.O. of the WWE, Linda McMahon.
Taking her cue, Linda lifts a microphone to her mouth...
Alright, now it’s time to sign-
Just wait a minute there Linda.
Only to be quickly cut off by Vince, who stands behind the now seated Lashley, determined to have his say before anyone else...
On behalf of Bobby Lashley, let me just say, that until we find out the identity of this secret Special Guest Referee, were not signin’ a damn thing! We want full disclosure on who this man is, we want ‘im down here in this ring, or we’re not agreein’ to any terms.
The crowd responds with heat, although Linda has a brief chuckle to herself...
Well Vince, that’s quite the ultimatum. But let me remind you that if Bobby refuses to sign this contract, he could be held in breach of his own contract with the WWE. Not to mention what the WWE Board of Directors would have to say to you about it. So Vince, I suggest that we get the formalities over with, and both Bobby and John sign the contract.
Linda’s words draw a quick pop, as well as a scowl from Vince...
Alright. Alright, fine! Have it your way! We’ll sign your damn contract! But I want you to know that we are signing this under protest! I’m not happy with the way you’re throwin’ your weight around here Linda!
Thank you Vince, I’ll take that on board. Bobby, if you’d like to go first...
Lashley picks up the contract, thumbing through the pages, taking quick glances as he goes. Lashley turns to the final page, flipping the pages open there, but as he places the contract back down on the desk and reaches for the pen, Vince once again interjects...
Just a second there Bobby. John... I’ve got a little something I wanna say to you before you sign that contract. John, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. You brought all of this on... yourself. You put your hands on me, and you’ve suffered the consequences of your actions. Myself and Shane, we’ve taken away your WWE Championship, we’ve beaten you in a steel cage match, we’ve left you battered and bloody and laid out on this mat on countless occasions. And at Wrestlemania XXIII, when Bobby Lashley gets his hands on you, believe me John... things will get a whole – lot – worse for you.
Cena stares at Vince while he talks, however Lashley’s eyes burn a whole through his opponent...
I don’t care who you and my wife handpicked to be the Special Guest Referee, and I know Bobby doesn’t care either. It won’t make one bit o’ difference to us. Bobby Lashley is gonna punish you to within an inch of your life Cena, and no referee is ever gonna be able to stop that. We’re gonna crush
you at Wrestlemania Cena... and I’m enjoy watchin’ each – and every – second of it.
Cena rolls his eyes to the back of his head, taking his cap off to scratch his head in frustration...
BUT... I’m nothing but a fair man John. I’m also a business man. And as much as I’d like to see you leave Wrestlemania on a stretcher, and as much as I know that Bobby here is more than capable of makin’ that happen... that just wouldn’t be good for business. So, putting my personal feelings aside for a second here... I’m willing to let you back out of the match, right here, right now John.
A ton of heat for the offer from Vince, with even Lashley angrily turning towards McMahon, wondering what the hell Vince is doing. Vince tries to appease Lashley by motioning with his hands for Lashley to relax, but across the table, Cena can’t help but laugh at the offer...
Is there any chance Vince that the only reason you’re offering Mr. Cena this opportunity is because you’re worried about who the Special Guest Referee is going to be?
Cena nods his head, knowing full well that Linda has hit the nail on the head, but Vince reacts in typical angry fashion...
No wait just a minute. I’m Vince McMahon dammit! I’m scared of nobody! All the years we’ve been married and you don’t even know that yet!?
Again Cena can’t help but laugh, but now it’s Linda who’s rolling her eyes...
Are you quite finished Vince?
Frustrated, Vince throws his hands up as a sign that he gives up, placing the mic down on the table next to Lashley...
Good. Bobby... is you will?
Having already read over the contract, Lashley quickly grabs his pen... takes one last, long, evil look at John Cena... and then aggressively signs his name on the dotted line! The crowd pops and gasps at the same time, knowing we’re one step close to officially having one of the biggest matches in WWE history. Lashley rather forcibly slams his pen back on the desk, his eyes returning to focus on Cena as he slides the contract in his opponent’s direction. Cena receives the paperwork, taking a quick flick through the pages, before he then reaches across to grab the microphone that Vince placed down...
Well, I guess I oughta start by sayin’... thanks Vince... I guess. Thanks for the offer to back outta the match... but there ain’t no chance in hell of me pullin’ outta this one. I ain’t never backed down from a fight in my life, and I ain’t about to start now. Besides... I don’t think either of us really wants that. Ain’t that right Bobby?
Lashley offers no response whatsoever, instead he continues to fiercely stare at Cena...
I get it Lashley. I mean it, I get what it’s all about for ya’. You might not wanna admit it... but you want my spot Bobby. You wanna be in the main event, you wanna be WWE Champion, and when Vinny gave ya’ the chance to take me out, to grab my spot, ya’ took it with both hands. Now you and me are headin’ to Wrestlemania and we’re gonna tear each other apart. You wanted my spot... but you didn’t wanna do it the hard way. You didn’t wanna earn it... like I did. You can blame me, you can blame these fans, but at the end of the day, you chased the dollar and you - sold – out!
Great pop from the arena, while Lashley flares his nostrils in response...
I mean look at ya’ man! Sat here in a suit, takin’ orders from Vince, what the hell happened to you man? What happened to that guy who rocked into ECW, stuck his name on a contract just like this and made himself a champion? That guy didn’t listen to no boss, that guy stuck it to the man!
Cena angrily shakes his head...
Ya’ sold out, and now you’re buyin’ into all the crap he’s feedin’ ya’!
Pop, with Cena now moving towards the nearby pen...
So I’m gonna sign this contract, and you and me are gonna have a fight the likes of which these people ain’t never seen before. And I hope when it’s all over, you find some comfort in those Gucci suits and the money Vince is payin’ ya’...
Cena quickly scrawls his name on the contract...
‘Cause I ain’t givin’ up what I worked hard for... for NOBODY! I scratched and clawed every day o’ my life to be here right now, and I ain’t lettin’ you, and especially not you Vinny, take that away from me!
So at Wrestlemania XXIII... if ya’ want some... COME GET SOME!
Cena emphatically slams the pen down on the table, the crowd responding with a much more positive cheer for Cena’s actions. Linda reaches down and scoops up the contract, giving a look over, while Vince tries to pear over his wife’s shoulder, hoping to catch a glimpse of the name of our referee, but Linda catches him in the act and snaps the pages over to the front of the contract once more...
Well... I guess that settles it. It’s official. John Cena and Bobby Lashley, one on one at Wrestlemania XXIII. All the remains... is to introduce to you all, the Special Guest Referee for the match up. And Vince...
Linda turns to her husband, a look of comical sympathy in her eyes...
It’s someone you know very...
A look of fear grips Vince’s face...
Which now turns to sheer desperation...
The arena explodes with a fucking crazy pop as the worst kept secret in WWE history is revealed, as Steve Austin
rides into the arena on the back of a 4x4 kart! Austin pauses at the top of the ramp, standing up in his seat to deliver an arena wide flip of the bird, before he cranks on the revs of the engine and roars down the ramp towards the ring...
This arena is goin’ crazy! The Special Guest Referee has been revealed, and oh hell yeah, it’s ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin!
What!? I can’t hear a thing you’re sayin’ J.R.!
Austin circles the kart around the ring a few times before he finally comes to a stop at the foot of the ramp, stepping off the kart to yet another big ovation. Austin rolls under the bottom ropes and into the ring, and his first point of business is to cross paths with Vince, heading for the corner... and flipping the bird at Vince as he goes! Austin climbs to the second rope, raising his arms high in the air, dropping down and then repeating this at ever corner, although not once do he acknowledge either Cena or Lashley. Once he’s done the rounds of the turnbuckles, Austin sticks his hand through the ropes, receiving a mic from Lillian Garcia. Austin’s music may have stopped, but the fans haven’t, as a deafening “AUSTIN! AUSTIN! AUSTIN!” chant continues to reverberate around the arena. Austin pauses, soaking the atmosphere in, waiting a few seconds for the fans to die down before he brings the mic to his mouth...
Happy to see me?
Austin directs the question straight at Vince, getting right in McMahon’s face, but all Vince can do is gulp...
What’s tha’ matter son? You can’t speak ta’ me?
You got nothin’ ta’ say ta’ me?
Cat got yer’ tongue?
I’m talkin’ to ya’ here son!
I said I’m talkin’ to ya’ here son!
Yer’ wife brought me out here, ya’ may as well say somethin’ to me ya’ rat bastard!
A few fans try continue the what, but they’re drowned out by laughter and cheers...
Look at ya’!
I said look at ya’!
I been sittin’ at home, watchin’ ya’ throw your weight around and flappin’ yer’ gums! Ya’ think this suit and that haircut impress anybody?
Vince quickly places a hand on his hair, looking to Shane for reassurance that his hair’s OK...
UH – UH! You ain’t impressin’ nobody son! Especially not ol’ Stone Cold. And now that I am officially tha’ Special Guest Referee o’ tha’ Bobby Lashley versus John Cena match, you oughta start impressin’ me ya’ stupid sunnova bitch!
Another big pop, with Vince seething...
Now, I got a lil’ somethin’ I wanna say ta’ both o’ you two. But before I get down ta’ business, somebody gimme a damn beer!
Two beer cans fly through the air from down by the timekeeper’s desk, with Austin catching both with ease. ‘Stone Cold’ snaps open both cans, placing one down on the table before he rapidly chugs the other can down. When finished, Austin crushes the can and tosses it from the ring, before he picks up the other can, preferring to drink this one a little more slowly...
That’s better. Now, Bobby Lashley, ya’ got a lot goin’ for ya’ son. Big ol’ bastard, strong as hell, great wrestler, but ya’ must be stupider than Vince looks ta’ have this worthless sunnova bitch in yer’ corner at Wrestlemania XXIII.
Angry, Lashley rises up out of his chair, wanting to go nose to nose with Austin, but Vince and Shane quickly step in, separating the pair and encouraging Lashley to sit back down again...
Ya’ll sit yer’ ass down if ya’ know what’s good for ya’ son!
A few more words of encouragement from Vince, and Lashley finally backs down, retaking his seat...
Now as I was sayin’. Ya’ got a lot goin’ for ya’ kid, you wanna make it to tha’ top. ‘Stone Cold’ ain’t got no problem wit’ that. But the fact o’ the matter is son, that when John Cena says ya’ sold yer’ ass out, ya’ damn sure ya’ did son!
Lashley offers no response, simply staring at Cena defiantly...
‘Stone Cold’ don’t like ya’ Lashley! But ‘Stone Cold’ don’t like ya’ either Cena.
A mixed reaction from the crowd...
Hell, ‘Stone Cold’ don’t like anybody! But when ya’ talk about Lashley wantin’ ta’ take yer’ spot... you sittin’ in my old spot right now son. The face o’ the company, that used to be ‘Stone Cold’. Now it’s you. And that means ya’ livin’ off what ‘Stone Cold’ brought ta’ tha’ dance.
Cena shrugs his shoulders, not agreeing with Austin but understanding his point of view...
I don’t like either of ya’, I ain’t gonna show either of ya’ any favouritism, all ‘Stone Cold’ wants ta’ do is drink some beer, count tha’ three count, and make sure nobody by the name o’ McMahon sticks their ass in tha’ match, and that’s tha’ BOTTOM LINE... ‘CAUSE ‘STONE COLD’ SAID SO!
Another great pop from the crowd, but now Vince reaches down and picks up the microphone from the table...
I’m gonna say this once, so you better listen real good.
Cute. Real cute. As I was about to say... let me just give you a little warning. If you so much as make one mistake, if you so much as screw up once in John Cena’s favour and it costs Bobby Lashley, I... will personally make sure... you never step foot in another WWE arena... ever again. I mean it Austin. You screw me over... and I’ll unleash Bobby Lashley on you.
Lashley rather visually cracks his knuckles, making sure Austin saw him do it...
And that’ the bottom line... ‘cause Vince McMahon sai-
Austin hits the stunner on McMahon! Lashley springs to his feet and heads for Austin... but Cena tackles Lashley to the mat! Suddenly the brawl is on! Linda heads for the exit, while Shane tries his best to fight on Lashley’s behalf... but Austin spins him around... KICK... STUNNER!! A stunner to Shane! Finally there’s some separation between Cena and Lashley, with Lashley rolling from the ring, while Cena tries to scratch and claw to get hold of him. Lashley stands his ground on the outside, while in the ring, Cena gets back to his feet... at the same time as Austin... and the two back into each other... and then snap around to face each other! Both men look ready to strike... but at the last second they but on the breaks!
A tense standoff ensues, with Cena having his fists raised, ready for what Austin can throw at him, but Austin is much more open, both hands at his side as he looks Cena up and down. The crowd is electric, dying to see some kind of altercation between the three men, but all three stand their ground, with Cena constantly spinning back and forth to look at Austin in the ring and Lashley on the outside...
Aw hell yeah! Austin is here, and he just laid out Vince and Shane!
Yeah and now he looks like he wants to lay out Lashley and Cena too! What’s gonna happen when these three are in the ring together at Wrestlemania XXIII?!
It’s an explosive situation, and there could be more fuel added to the fire next week, live on Monday Night Raw!
The tension and the crowd is at an absolute fever pitch, all three men looking each other up and down, nobody willing to take that first step, nobody willing to make that first move, the arena coming absolutely unglued as we fade... to... black.
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: Steve Austin
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
Tag Team Showcase Match: Champions vs. Champions
World Tag Team Champions The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans
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. Kane vs. King Booker vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Randy Orton