WWE: The Evolution Of Greed - Page 22 - Wrestling Forum : WWE, TNA, Debate League, Wrestling Videos, Women of Wrestling Forums
Reply

Old 01-25-2012, 05:07 PM   #211 (permalink)
Acknowledged by SCOTT STEINER
 
RKO85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,415
RKO85 better hope they're relatively new hereRKO85 better hope they're relatively new hereRKO85 better hope they're relatively new hereRKO85 better hope they're relatively new hereRKO85 better hope they're relatively new hereRKO85 better hope they're relatively new hereRKO85 better hope they're relatively new hereRKO85 better hope they're relatively new hereRKO85 better hope they're relatively new hereRKO85 better hope they're relatively new hereRKO85 better hope they're relatively new here
Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Prediction Template:

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

I like what you've done with the build. I am a HHH and HBK fan but RVD is going to win. HHH and HBK will feud without the belt.

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

I am giving edge the victory but his reign won't last long.

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

I like both Cena and Lashley but careless about Stone Cold. Cena gets the victory and hitting austin with a Attitude Adjustment after the match

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

Yawn . Could careless about this match. We know who wins.

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

Great Rivalry here I am hoping Flair pulls this out. Don't care about Kennedy.

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

Going with My Main Man Matt Hardy for the win. He was always the better hardy boy.

3.Intercontinental Championship Match:
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra vs. Carlito

Kenny retains and leaving with Torrie at the end.

2.Tag Team Showcase Match: Champions vs. Champions
World Tag Team Champions The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans

Don't care for this match either but WGTT wins.

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

Bryan Danielson nuff said.

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

Beth Phoenix wins and she deserves it.


1.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

Come on just look at my avatar. RKO Baby and he cashes it on edge at the end of the night for revenge.

Bonus Points:
What will be the match order? Done.
How many championships will change hands? Five, Cruiserweight, United States, Women's, WWE & WHC.
Who will take the fall in the Triple Threat Match? HBK
Will there be any surprise appearances? None
What will be the longest match? Triple Threat Match
What will be the shortest match? Women's Championship Match
How many pinfalls/submissions/other finishes will there be? 1 Briefcase Retrieval, 1 Submission and 9 pinfalls
__________________

Charlotte Is The Future Wooooooo!

Last edited by RKO85 : 01-25-2012 at 05:10 PM.
RKO85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 

Old 01-25-2012, 05:48 PM   #212 (permalink)
MOTHER....ING BEARSHARK
 
Gambit's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4,640
Gambit has posts worth readingGambit has posts worth readingGambit has posts worth readingGambit has posts worth readingGambit has posts worth readingGambit has posts worth readingGambit has posts worth readingGambit has posts worth readingGambit has posts worth readingGambit has posts worth readingGambit has posts worth reading
Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

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

HBK and HHH will feud with each other outside of the title picture.

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

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

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

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

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

4 Intercontinental Championship Match:
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra vs. Carlito

3 Tag Team Showcase Match: Champions vs. Champions
World Tag Team Champions The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans

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

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

1 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

Bonus Points:
What will be the match order? Done
How many championships will change hands? 5
Who will take the fall in the Triple Threat Match? HBK
Will there be any surprise appearances? If yes, then by who? Hall of Fame inductees don't count btw. David Flair and maybe a few others not sure who.
What will be the longest match? WWE title match
What will be the shortest match? Women title match
How many pinfalls/submissions/other finishes will there be? 9 pins 1 submission and one briefcase grab
__________________




Gambit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 07:41 PM   #213 (permalink)
Asking SCOTT STEINER for Wrestling Advice
 
douba-douba-e1013's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Straight Edge Society
Posts: 250
douba-douba-e1013 should be embarassed if they have more than 50 postsdouba-douba-e1013 should be embarassed if they have more than 50 postsdouba-douba-e1013 should be embarassed if they have more than 50 posts
Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

1 - United States Championship
United States Champion Finlay vs. Matt Hardy

Finlay could be a hell of a champion, but facing pure facts, he is just a trasitional champion to Matt Hardy. I think Finlay could get a reign later down the line, but you are really pushing for Matt getting the title I think. Plus, setting the stone for the event with a feel good face win would be awesome and makes the fans even more geared up for the rest of the show.

2 - Intercontinental Championship
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra vs. Carlito

I just got to go with Kenny winning with Torrie dumping Carlito and leaving for Kenny Dykstra, just to make him more interesting again. Carlito could chase for the belt and the feud could get hot, it's just not all the way hot right now. It's a builder and Dykstra getting the win could make it hot.

3 - Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Montel Vontavious Porter

Gaining wins for a heel and MVP is the only one that I can see right now winning. The other pick was Randy Orton, but even though he doesn't win, the last one on the ladder besides MVP will be Chris Benoit.

4 - Tag Team Challenge
World's Greatest Tag Team vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick

It's simple build up to separate feuds and World's Greatest Tag Team will need the win to keep steam on their recent title win. London and Kendrick have held the belts for awhile and there is no reason for a win, why don't they give some rub to a fresh team.

5 - Past vs. Future
Ric Flair vs. Mr. Kennedy

How could I explain this? It's simple, Kennedy needs the win to get over as a heel. He needs it.

6 - Cruiserweight Championship
Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms vs. Bryan Danielson

Well, I can see why you would have Helms retain the title, but it would be cool to see Danielson win the title on the big stage, just for a good feel moment.

7 - Streak vs. Streak
Undertaker vs. Umaga

Umaga will undoubtedly kick his ass, but it's Mania, 15-0 make it, never break it.

8 - World Heavyweight Championship
World Heavyweight champion Batista vs. 2007 Royal Rumble Winner Edge

There is so right with Edge winning. It keeps winning the Royal Rumble meaningful, it's let you have a good face chasing for the belt for the rest of the summer basically. A feud set, put the Royal Rumble over and more importantly, put both men over as Batista will definitely look good in defeat, I hope you book it like that anyways.

9 - The Irresistible Force vs. The Immovable Object
Bobby Lashley vs. John Cena

Lashley will kick his butt, but Stone Cold will come in and make the count for Cena, just to get the face over. Lashley will gain his heat back I'm sure of that.

10 - Women's Championship
Women's Champion Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix

Phoenix is well deserved of winning and James has done her tenure as champion. This will buffer between main events. Like always. It will be a good match I'm sure of.

11 - WWE Championship
WWE champion Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam

I think you want the fans to go home happy with RVD winning in his home state. Plus, Triple H and Shawn Michaels can feud without the title and everybody will love it. You can have major draws for Backlash. Make this happen, it will be good on yourself in a marketing way.

Bonus Questions

What will be the match order? Already ahead of you, sir.

How many championships will change hands? 5 (US, CW, World, Women's & WWE)

Who will take the fall in the Triple Threat? HBK, simple

Will there be any surprise appearances? Yeah, the New Breed will appear in a backstage segment I think to confront Brian Kendrick and Paul London again, like on Smackdown

Longest match? Triple Threat WWE title match

Shortest match? Intercontinental title match

How many pinfalls, submissions, etc? 9 pinfall, 1 submission and 1 briefcase retrieving



I am really looking forward to Mania, mac. Sunday couldn't come sooner.
douba-douba-e1013 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 12:38 PM   #214 (permalink)
Step Up And Play...
 
iMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Scotland
Posts: 3,376
iMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a push
Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Raw and Smackdown Present;
~WWE WRESTLEMANIA XXIII~
April 1st, 2007
Ford Field; Detroit, Michigan






We rather suddenly cut to see a wide shot of the magnificent Ford Field, the stadium looking dazzling under the bright lights and pomp and pageantry of a Wrestlemania night. The arena is abuzz with the sound of 80,000 screaming fans, and that buzz carries on as we cut to the ring to see legendary ring announcer Howard Finkel...

Howard Finkel: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, to sing America The Beautiful, Detroit's own, MOTOWN LEGEND... SMOKEY - ROBINSON!!

We cut back to the stage to see Smokey Robinson stood in front of a microphone, a four piece soul band and a massive gospel choir nearby. Robinson and the band work their magic, taking us through a perfectly smooth rendition of America The Beautiful.


***

And the fans respond with a terrific ovation as Robinson wraps things up, blowing a kiss and waving to the crowd, the cheers still ringing out strong as we fade into a video.


*Opening Video*

We open to a pitch black screen, with the faint sound of a revving motor engine slowly but surely getting louder...

Narrator: The road has been 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 has been 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 twenty years on...

We now skim along the rear of the car, the sun glistening on the chrome duel exhaust...

Narrator: Wrestlemania returns...

The car now speeds past a road sign that reads "8 MILE ROAD"...

Narrator: To Detroit, Michigan!

From behind we see an image of the Detroit skyline, with our car heading down a straight road towards it...

Narrator: And for the superstars of the WWE...

More fast paced shots of the car racing through the streets of Detroit...

Narrator: That means only one thing...

The car suddenly crashes into the screen, with the grill of the car having the official Wrestlemania 23 logo and tagline printed on it, with a burst of smoke and dust engulfing the shot. Slowly the camera pans to the side of the car, the dark, tinted window glides down, and John Cena sticks his head out...

John Cena: We're baa - aaaaaccckkkk!

We now cut to footage from Wrestlemania III, where Vince McMahon stands in the ring, microphone in hand...

Vince McMahon: Welcome... to WRESTLE - MAAANNNNNIIAAAA!!!

A slow, melancholic violin tune plays out, with the echo of a pair of footsteps down a dark corridor ringing out loud...

Mr. McMahon: Twenty years ago... I was there.

The footsteps grow louder as we see footage of the iconic moment when Hulk Hogan slammed Andre The Giant...

John Cena: Twenty years ago... I watched on in awe.

Our footsteps continue to grow louder, while we now see Randy Savage take Ricky Steamboat up for a scoop slam, only for Steamboat to counter with a small package...

Shawn Michaels: Twenty years ago... I knew where I wanted to be.

We cut back to that dark corridor to see a pair of black shoes and legs in a dark suit, the footsteps continuing to grow louder before we quickly cut to footage of Roddy Piper locking on the dreaded sleeper hold on Adrian Adonis...

Edge: Twenty years ago... I realised what I wanted to do with my life.

We continue to move up the body of our mystery walker, his torso decked out in that sharp suit with a crisp pink tie peeking out, the footsteps continuing to grow louder before we cut to see Rick Martel of the Can-Am Connection soar through the air to take down The Magnificent Muraco...

Rob Van Dam: Twenty years ago... the dream was born.

The footsteps continue until they come to a stop and we now see Ric Flair stood in an empty arena, leaning against the ring ropes, a lone spotlight illuminating Flair as he stares out into the barren stands, a lone tear dropping down his cheek...

Ric Flair: Twenty years ago... I had it all.

We cut to shots of Flair in his NWA heyday, with Flair stylin' and profilin' his way to victory time and time again...

Ric Flair: And I'd give anythin' to get that back.

The spectacular image of Shawn Michaels rappelling to the ring at Wrestlemania XII...

Shawn Michaels: I am the WWE Champion... and I'd give anythin' to stay that way.

A shot of Mr. Kennedy, stood in the corner of the ring, spotlight firmly on him, microphone in hand...

Mr. Kennedy: I am the future of this business... and I'd give anythin' to bury the past.

Cut to Edge spearing Mick Foley through the burning table at Wrestlemania XXII...

Edge: I am the best at what I do... and I'd give anythin' to become a champion.

Wrestlemania X-Seven, where Matt Hardy is pushed off a ladder, crashing through a group of tables on the floor below...

Matt Hardy: I'm the guy they say can't get it done... and I'd give anythin' to prove 'em wrong.

Triple H holding both titles high in the air in celebration at Wrestlemania X8...

Triple H: I am 'The Game'... and I'd give anythin' to get revenge.

Back to Wrestlemania III, where Hogan and Andre square up to each other...


Gorilla Monsoon: Look at this! Nose to nose!

Mr. McMahon: What would you give to...

Randy Orton Create a memory.

Armando Alejandro Estrada: End a streak!

CM Punk: Grab that briefcase!

The Undertaker: Claim a soul!

Back to Flair, still leaning against the ropes, aggressively wiping away that lone tear that was falling down his cheek...

Ric Flair: I'd give anythin'. {Echoing} I'd give it all.

Flair steps through the ropes, fading off into the distance, and as he vanishes from the screen, our violin tune is replaced with the hard guitar rift of "Ladies and Gentlemen" by Saliva, with flashing images now crossing of more great Wrestlemania moments, starting with 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin trapped in the sharpshooter, blooding pouring down his face as he screams in agony...

John Cena: Tonight's the night to make a stand! Tonight's a night to fight!

"Ladies and gentlemen please. Would you bring your attention to me?"

'Macho Man' Randy Savage flies through the air to drop a big elbow on 'Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase at Wrestlemania IV...

"For a feast for your eyes to see. An explosion of catastrophe."

Rob Van Dam: Tonight's the night legends are made!

"Like nothing you've ever seen before. Watch closely as I open this door."

Shawn Michaels caresses the WWF Championship, his head resting against it in a moment of ecstasy at Wrestlemania XII...

"Your jaws will be on the floor. After this you'll be begging for more."

Armando Alejandro Estrada: Tonight is da' night streaks are broken!

"Welcome to the show. Please come inside..."

The Undertaker makes his entrance in full 'Deadman' gear at Wrestlemania XX...

"Ladies and gentlemen... Boom! Do you want it?"

Mr Kennedy: Tonight's the beginin' of a new era!

"Boom! Do you need it?"

Bret Hart holds the WWF Championship aloft after his victory at Wrestlemania X...

"Boom! Let me hear it. Ladies and gentlemen..."

Shelton Benjamin: Tonight's the night we redefine our craft!

"Boom! Do you want it?"

Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid celebrate winning the WWF Tag Team Championships in the second main event of Wrestlemania II...

"Boom! Do you need it?"

Batista: Tonight's the night tradition lives on!

"Boom! Let me hear it. Ladies and gentlemen..."

'Stone Cold' hoists the WWF Championship in the air at Wrestlemania XIV...

"Boom! Do you want it?"

CM Punk: Tonight I create my first Wrestlemania moment!

"Boom! Do you need it?"

John Cena forces 'JBL' to tap out to the STFU to win the WWE Championship for the first time...

"Boom! Let me hear it..."

Ric Flair: Tonight? It's Wrestlemania...

And back to where we started, Vince McMahon stood proudly in the Pontiac Silverdome...

Vince McMahon: {Fading in} ...Mania!

"Mania... Mania...Mania..."

The image and sounds of Vince linger and echo before we fade into darkness...


Narrator: And now, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown present... WRESTLEMANIA XXIII!!

We cut back into Ford Field where the crowd are responding with an absolute frenzy as an incredible burst of red and blue pyro explodes into the sky. The camera flies around the arena with "Ladies and Gentlemen" ringing out in the background, giving us a great view of the fans and some of the more creative signs, before we finally settle at the beaming faces of the Raw announce desk...

Jim Ross: Welcome everyone to the sold out Ford Field! Welcome everybody to beautiful Detroit, Michigan! Welcome everyone, to WRESTLEMANIA XXIII!! Hello everybody, I'm Jim Ross, alongside me is Jerry 'The King' Lawler, we're delighted to have you here with us for the biggest night in WWE history! The world is watching as we get set to kick off the granddaddy of 'em all, the 23d annual edition of Wrestlemania!

Jerry Lawler: I can barely hear a word you're sayin' J.R.! These people are goin' nuts right now! So much excitement, so much expectation, what an incredible feelin' it is to be in this stadium right now! It only comes once a year, and I can't wait to kick off Wrestlemania!

Jim Ross: It certainly promises to be a huge night, eleven matches on the card, six titles to be defended, bitter and personal rivalries to come to a head, and careers and lives will be changed in a heartbeat! Myself and 'King' will of course be callin' all the action from Monday Night Raw, but lets' throw it over to our Smackdown colleagues, Michael Cole, 'JBL' and Tazz.

The camera pans along to the Smackdown announce desk...

Michael Cole: Well first of all let me say thank you to our now Hall of Fame colleagues, J.R. and 'King'! Congratulations to both of you for entering the WWE Hall of Fame last night! But hello to everybody watchin' at home, I am Michael Cole, sat alongside John Bradshaw Layfield and Tazz, ready for a night like no other. An unbelievable atmosphere here inside Ford Field, and it's only gonna grow as the night wears on!

John Bradshaw Layfield:
My first Wrestlemania as an announcer, if I'd known it was gonna feel like this, I'd have called it quits a long time ago! It's Wrestlemania XXIII, the biggest night in the lives of many of the WWE superstars, and havinn' been backstage earlier, havin' felt the tension and the electricity runnin' through the roster, I guarantee everybody's bringin' their A-game to this one!

Tazz: Aw no doubt about it! It's Wrestlemania baby! I can't describe how I'm feelin' right now, I'm so pumped and ready for this, and I got goosebumps man! Titles up for grabs, undefeated streaks on the line, pride at stake, and history is gonna be made, tonight! I can't wait to see it!

Michael Cole:
It's gonna be an incredible night. The superstars of the WWE have immortality in their grasp! But not only are we joined by the Hall of Famers at the Raw desk, we're joined by our Spanish broadcast colleagues, Carlos Cabrera and Hugo Savinovich! Carlos, Hugo, take it away guys!

We now head to the Spanish announce desk to hear from Carlos and Hugo, although after the opening "Gracias, amigo..." it's hard to make out much of anything that they're saying. Once Carlos and Hugo are finished, we have a few seconds of silence until...

“OH YEAH…”

*LIVE FOR THE MOMENT…*


The crowd erupt with an enormous cheer as the first face of the evening Matt Hardy races out from the back. Hardy bounces up and down on the stage, his excitement infectious with the crowd as he fires them up, before Hardy puts on the breaks and looks to settle himself. Stopping, Hardy looks down the long ramp, taking in a deep breath and then puffing out his cheeks, before the buzz of the occasion takes over once more and he heads for the ring in an excitable fashion...


Tony Chimel: The following contest is the opening bout of Wrestlemania XXIII! It is scheduled for one fall, and it is for the UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP! Introducing first, the challenger, from Cameron, North Carolina. Weighing in at 235 pounds... MATT... HAARRRRDDDYYY!

Another strong pop as Chimel announce Hardy's name, with Matt quickly making his way towards the ring, although he takes his time to slap as many ringside hands as he can before he climbs up onto the apron and then up to the second rope where he flashes his "V.1" finger salute...


Michael Cole: And what better way to kick off Wrestlemania XXIII than with Smackdown's own Matt Hardy! He's a multiple time former tag team champion, he's a former Cruiserweight Champion, he's delivered countless breathtaking Wrestlemania performances over the years, but Matt Hardy has never scaled the heights of the United States Championship. Is tonight Matt's night? Can he finally take that step to a higher level by becoming United States Champion?

Tazz: What a way to kick off Wrestlemania with some gold on the line! Matt's been on absolute tear so far this year. A great performance at the Royal Rumble, and he followed that up with an even better performance at No Way Out to earn this opportunity. We all found out that winnin' the United States Championship means the world to 'im last Friday night on Smackdown, but tonight's the night Hardy's gotta get it done.

John Bradshaw Layfield: The United States Championship, one of the most prestigious titles in all of wrestlin', and I'm sure I don't have to remind you, it's a title I won last year at Wrestlemania XXII. And the difference between a guy like me and a guy like Matt Hardy is that I didn't choke under the bright lights o' Wrestlemania! I've got what it takes to go out and win championships at Wrestlemania, but this guy ain't nothin' but a screw up! He's gonna choke one more time, and the whole world is gonna be watchin'! I can't wait! I love Wrestlemania for moments like these!

Dropping back down to the canvas, Hardy takes off his t-shirt and tosses it to the ringside crowd, one lucky fan grabbing themselves an early souvenir. Once more Hardy puffs out his cheeks to exhale a deep breath, before he starts bouncing on the spot, that mix of nervousness and determination clear for all to see as the challenger anxiously awaits the champion...


“MY NAME IS FINLAY... AND I LOVE TO FIGHT...”

*LAMBEG...*


A strong chorus of boos welcomes the arrival of the veteran Irishman into the stadium. Looking the very definition of composure, Finlay strides towards the ring, that toothy grin etched on his face as he points his trusty shillelagh in Hardy's direction...


Tony Chimel: And introducing his opponent. From Belfast, Northern Ireland. Weighing in at 233 pounds, he is the WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION... FINLAAAAYYY!

As Finlay makes it to the bottom of the aisle and then climbs up the steps, he pauses to once again point his shillelagh at Hardy, telling Hardy to stay back in his corner before the champion finally steps through the ropes...

Michael Cole: He's one of the toughest men to ever step foot into a WWE ring. A veteran of over twenty years of fighting his way around the globe, and now he's a two time United States Champion.

John Bradshaw Layfield:
As my friend from Oklahoma at the next table likes to say, Finlay's tougher than a two dollar steak. So tough, so much experience, and that's what's gonna see 'im retain the United States Championship.

Tazz: Finlay's one tough as hell competitor, no doubt about that. I'd have to give him the advantage when it comes to brawlin' and knowin' how to hurt an opponent. So Matt's gotta wrestle smart here, he's gotta use his speed and agility advantage to keep Finlay on his toes, 'cause if Finlay starts goin' to work, it's gonna be a long night for the challenger.

Finlay stands across the ring from Hardy, unhooking the title from around his waist to hand it to referee Jim Korderas. As Korderas takes the title from Finlay, he quickly points down at the shillelagh still grasped in Finlay's hand, the veteran champion slowly, cagily placing it on the canvas in his corner, while after a few last minute stretches, Hardy steps forward...





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

And as the bell rings, the pair stand across from each other, the still hot crowd kicking off the in-ring action with a resounding chant of “HAR-DY! HAR-DY! HAR-DY!”, a chant Matt acknowledges as he nods his head towards Finlay, the veteran glaring at the fans as they continue to cheer. Both men then start to circle the ring, and after the posturing, they finally come together for a collar-and-elbow tie up. Both men struggle to gain the advantage, but ultimately it’s Finlay who drives Matt back into a corner. Korderas is there to call for the break, but initially Finlay hangs on to the tie up, prompting Korderas to issue the five count. Finlay breaks at four, a sneer of arrogance on his face as he holds his hands up to allow Hardy out... only for Finlay to then swing a right hand... which Matt ducks... and then yanks Finlay into the corner! Hardy starts hammering Finlay with right hands, causing the champion to cover up, but the challenger stays on the attack by going for the Irish whip across... and following in with a corner clothesline! The force knocks Finlay up off his feet, but he lands again just in time to see Matt charge back in... another corner clothesline! This time Hardy hangs on... and comes out of the corner with a running bulldog... no! Finlay pushes Hardy free, the momentum carrying Matt into the opposite corner. Hardy hits the turnbuckle hard, and here comes Finlay... right into a boot to the face! Finlay stumbles away, doubled-over, while Hardy pushes himself onto the second rope... elbow drop to the back of the head! Hardy crawls into the cover...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……

Strong kick out from Finlay. Having gained the early advantage, Matt looks to stay on the offensive as from his knees he drives his elbow into the back of Finlay’s head three times, then he grabs Finlay by the wrist and yanks it around his head, twisting Finlay with a standing wristlock. Matt then transitions this into a standing hammerlock, wrenching the arm behind Finlay’s back. The champion searches for an escape, reaching up for a handful of hair, then down for an ankle, missing them both. Eventually Finlay just throws a vicious elbow to the side of Matt’s head, with a second breaking the hold. Finlay quickly tries a clothesline... but Matt ducks underneath... SIDE EFFECT! Hardy hits an early impact move, and he quickly crawls for another cover...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……

Finlay kicks out again! The challenger si in control early on, and he looks to continue this as he picks himself up, races off the ropes... for a low-angle dropkick... that knocks Finlay under the bottom rope to the floor! Finlay lands on the floor with a thud, with Matt pushing past the referee to take the fight outside. Hardy catches Finlay as he rises back to his feet, tagging the champion with a pair of forearms to the side of the head, before he lowers his shoulder and drives Finlay spine first into the barricade! Another pair of forearms land, this time clubbing the back of the head, before Matt then tosses Finlay under the bottom rope. Matt then reaches up to pull himself onto the apron... but he stops... and struggles... unable to pull himself up from the floor. Matt desperately tries to pull his right foot up onto the apron... and the camera zooms in on the reason for the delay... The Little Bastard has reached out from under the ring to grab Matt’s foot! Matt continues to fight against the leprechaun, but here comes Finlay off the ropes... for a running knee to the face... the knocks Matt backwards... HEAD FIRST INTO THE BARRICADE!

The back of Hardy’s skull makes a sickening connection with the barricade, with Hardy down and in pain as he clutches his skull and writhes on the floor. Finlay wastes no time in taking advantage, smacking Matt with uppercuts as he slumps against the barricade, before the champion rears back... and drives his knee into Matt’s face... sandwiching it against the barricade! Hardy looks out cold as his body teeters over until he hits the floor, with a sick smile crossing Finlay’s face as he turns and slides back into the ring. Korderas admonishes the champion for his actions, before he then turns and starts to count Hardy out...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
………
……
………3………
………
……
………4………
……

Hardy finally shows some signs of life, propping himself back on his elbows as he crawls for the ring...

………
……
………5………
………
……
………6………
……

Matt reaches up, getting his elbows on the canvas, using them to pull himself up...

………
……
………7………
………
……
………8………
……
One final surge... and Matt’s back in! The crowd cheers as Hardy keeps his chances alive, but Finlay pounces, hammering Matt as he drops forearms and knees to the back of the head, not given Hardy a chance to get back up. Finlay then yanks Matt up and drives him into the corner, landing a series of shoulder thrusts to the midsection. Finlay then pulls Hardy to the ropes, sending him across with the Irish whip... but Finlay lowers his head... and Matt scores with a kick to the chest, snapping his head back up! Finlay stumbles back, and Matt comes back off the ropes for more momentum... only to run into a running bodycheck! Again Matt’s head takes a nasty impact, this time on the canvas, and Finlay quickly crawls over to hook the leg...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……

Hardy kicks out! Seeking to wear Hardy down, Finlay is quickly back on his feet to drop an elbow, then springs back up for another, before he gets up, takes a few steps back and moves in for a running seated senton! Finlay stays seated across Matt’s chest, with the ref making the count... 1... 2... Hardy kicks out. With Hardy down, Finlay looks to keep him there as he wrenches on a reverse chinlock, applying pressure to the head that Finlay has targeted thus far. Finlay has the hold locked in tight as he violently wrenches Hardy’s head from side to side, while a pained expression crosses Hardy’s face as he struggles for a way out. Finlay continues to up the pressure, barking for the referee to ask if Hardy wants to submit, but every time Korderas poses the question, Matt defiantly shouts back “No!”. Hardy slowly starts to fade though, the look of determination in his eyes becoming glazed over, but the crowd soon starts to rally, making some noise as they try to summon up a Hardy comeback. Slowly Matt starts to respond, as he starts to claw away at Finlay’s arm, trying to pry it from his around his neck. When that doesn’t work, the crowd noise rises again, this time encouraging Matt to work his way back to one knee. Another surge sees Matt back onto his feet, but Finlay still has the chinlock on... elbow to the midsection... and another one... and a third finally breaks the hold! Hardy then manages to shove Finlay into the corner, and here comes Matt charging in... corner clothesline... Finlay moves to safety... and Hardy hits the turnbuckle! Stumbling back out, Matt is easy pickings as the champion lines him up... FALLING NECKBREAKER! Yet again Matt’s skull hits the canvas hard, with Finlay scooting over to hook the leg...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……

HARDY BARELY KICKS OUT!

An angry looking Finlay turns his eyes towards Korderas, looking for the three count, but the referee stands firm, confirming it was only two. Looking to do further damage to the head, Finlay drags Matt up and pulls him in for a short-arm clothesline, then drops another elbow. Dragging Hardy by the hair to the corner, the veteran props the challenger against the turnbuckle and once again drives a series of shoulders to the midsection, doubling Hardy over, before a stiff series of the forearms to the back of the head knock Hardy down to the mat. Boots now land to the chest, causing Hardy’s head to rest against the bottom turnbuckle, allowing Finlay to drive his boot into Matt’s throat, choking the challenger. Korderas is right there with the five count, and Finlay takes it all the way to four before he finally relents. Seeing Hardy down in the corner and in pain, Finlay takes the surprising action of then walking across the ring to the opposite corner. When he gets there, Finlay starts ripping away at the cord holding on the padding of the top turnbuckle... until Finlay exposes the steel beneath it! There’s no subtlety about though, as Korderas catches Finlay in the act, chastising the champion for his actions. Finlay holds his hands up innocently, offering no resistance as Korderas steps in to re-attach the padding. It all becomes clear that it’s a distraction though as The Little Bastard slides into the ring! Hardy manages to reach up and pull himself to his feet in the corner, just in time to see Finlay pick up The Little Bastard... AND USE HIM AS A BATTERING RAM! Finlay drives the little guy head first into Hardy’s torso, the challenger crying in pain and crumpling to the mat, with The Little Bastard quickly scurrying from the ring and back under the apron. With Hardy down, Finlay goes for the cover, grinding a forearm into Hardy’s face and franticly waving for Korderas to make the cover...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
THR-NO!!

Hardy rolls a shoulder! Once again Finlay flashes Korderas a look of anger as the match continues, but he shakes it off and goes right back to the seated reverse chinlock. Hardy is in bad shape as Finlay looks to wear him down once more, a devilish smirk crossing the face of the champion as he realises he has Hardy right where he wants him. Finlay viciously wrenches on the chin, trying desperately to squeeze the last remaining life out of the challenger. Slowly but surely, Hardy starts to fade, but once again the crowd try to play their part, clapping and cheering in an attempt to draw Hardy back into the contest... but it doesn’t appear to be working as Korderas steps in to raise Matt’s arm... it drops to the canvas. Finlay ups the pressure once more, and Korderas raises the right arm again... once more it hits the mat. Sensing victory, Finlay wrenches from side to side once more, sure he’s retained his title as Hardy’s arm is raised in the air... and it drops... but DOESN’T HIT THE MAT! Hardy is still in this match!

The crowd cheers as Hardy stays alive, and now the challenger makes a move, showing a burst of life as he struggles back to his feet. An elbow to the midsection causes some separation, but a second can’t break the hold... so Matt takes Finlay up and down with a side suplex! Both men are down upon impact, with the move taking as much out of Hardy as it did Finlay. However, before Korderas can start a count, both men show signs of life, crawling to opposite corners. Finlay is naturally up quicker, while Hardy has to use the ropes to pull himself up... and he does so just in time to see Finlay racing in... right into a back elbow from Matt! The champion staggers back, and now Matt fights out of the corner with right after right that backs Finlay all the way across the ring to the corner he came from. Hardy winds up and fires Finlay across... then follows in for a corner clothesline... only to hang on... and comes out with a RUNNING BULLDOG! Hardy plants Finlay, crawls into the lateral press...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
FINLAY ROLLS A SHOULDER!

Hardy still looks groggy as he helps Finlay back up, tagging him with right hands, only for Finlay to fire back... Hardy ducks the attempt... then synchs Finlay in... SIDE EFFECT! Matt plants Finlay once more, and this he crawls over to hook the leg...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
THR-NO!!

Finlay stays alive! Hardy runs a hand through his hair as he realises just how close he came to victory. Matt looks to stay in control though as he once again pulls Finlay up, tagging him with more right hands that back Finlay into the nearby corner. There, Hardy once more goes for the Irish whip... but this time Finlay reverses... Matt tries to use the ropes to elevate himself over the onrushing champion... but Finlay catches Matt across his shoulders... and walks free from the corner... ROLLING HILLS... NO! Hardy twists and rolls down the back... BACKSLIDE INTO THE PIN!

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
FINLAY KICKS OUT!

And it seems that almost right on cue as he senses danger, here comes The Little Bastard scurrying from under the ring... with a second shillelagh in his hands! As Hardy and Finlay are slow to rise, the camera can focus on the leprechaun as he climbs the steel steps. Korderas sees The Little Bastard coming, and he heads over to tell him to back down. Meanwhile, Hardy and Finlay are both back on their feet, with Finlay scoring a forearm to the side of the head, then a second, before he grabs Matt’s wrist and looks for the short-arm clothesline again... but Hardy ducks underneath... turns Finlay around... KICK... TWIST OF FATE! Hardy strikes with the twist of fate! Hardy rolls Finlay onto his back, hooks the leg... BUT THERE’S NO COUNT... AS THE REFEREE IS STILL TRYING TO GET THE LITTLE BASTARD OFF THE APRON!

Hardy has Finlay wrapped up tight, waiting for the three count, but it never comes! The crowd’s screams for Korderas to turn, and it’s the noise level that makes Hardy look up... to see where the distraction is. Back on his feet, Hardy heads for the ropes... and snatches the shillelagh clean out of the little guy’s hand! Cuaght off guard, The Little Bastard is taken by surprise... but Hardy wastes no time... in SMACKING THE SHILLELAGH OFF THE LITTLE BASTARD’S SKULL! Ford Field erupts as finally, after so many months of getting involved in matches, The Little Bastard finally gets what’s coming to him! The little guy’s green hat goes flying as he flops from the apron to the floor, but as Korderas dips his head through the ropes to check on him, Hardy tosses his shillelagh aside and turns back to Finlay... SHILLELAGH SHOT RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES! NO! Finlay is back on his feet and he caught Hardy unaware! Hardy slumps to the canvas with Finlay grabbing Korderas’ shirt from behind, then dropping down into the cover! “Not this way!” cries Cole as the referee drops to count the inevitable

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
3
FOOT ON THE ROPE!!!

HARDY WAS TOO CLOSE TO THE ROPES, THE MATCH CONTINUES!! Ford Field comes unglued once more as Matt Hardy stays alive, to the absolute disgust of the champion! Finlay is furious, rapidly back on his feet, grabbing Korderas by the shirt and shaking him against the turnbuckle, demanding that the match is over. Despite the look of terror in his eyes, Korderas stands firm, raising two fingers as he’s too scared to speak. With Hardy down and out, Finlay decides that now is the time to finish off the challenger, and he slowly moves in and tries to scoop up the lifeless body of Hardy... but Matt slumps back down to the mat. An evil grin crosses Finlay’s face as he knows he has Hardy beat, but he starts toying with the challenger, grabbing to handfuls of hair as he again tries to pull Matt up... INSIDE CRADDLE!

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
SOMEHOW FINLAY KICKS OUT!

That stings the champion back to reality as he quickly drills Matt with a boot to the side of the head, sending Hardy sprawling to the corner. Finlay then backs away, motioning for Hardy to rise, and ever the fighter, Hardy obliges as he uses to the ropes to drag himself up... here comes Finlay... SPEAR IN THE CORNER... NO! Hardy dives to safety... FINLAY SPEARS THE RINGPOST! Finlay’s shoulder painfully hits the steel, and as the champion grimaces in pain, he stumbles from the corner where the challenger is waiting... KICK... TWIST OF FATE! TWIST OF FATE! Hardy got all of it, and he quickly rolls Finlay over and hooks both legs...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
…… …
……
3!!!

Winner: And NEW United States Champion, Matt Hardy @ 13.58

Tony Chimel: Here is your winner... and the NEW WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION... MATT... HAARRRRDDDYYY!

WE'VE GOT A NEW CHAMPION, HARDY HAS DONE IT! A look of sheer ecstasy crosses Hardy's face as he rolls off of Finlay and brings himself up into a seated position, both fist clenched in delight as Hardy pumps them into air. Hardy then buries his face in his hands, almost in disbelief that he's finally done it, he's taken that big step up the ladder and proved he can compete in the singles division of the WWE...

Michael Cole: YES! He did it! Matt Hardy has done it! After so many near misses, after so many disappointments, Hardy has finally grabbed that elusive first major singles championship! Matt Hardy is the NEW United - States - Champion!

Tazz: God, this place is goin' nuts! What a way to kick off Wrestlemania, with Matt Hardy gettin' the biggest win of his career! Congratulations Matt, our new US Champ, baby!

John Bradshaw Layfield: I may not like 'im, but I gotta give 'im credit where it's due. Matt stepped up and made it happen, he got the job done on the biggest stage of 'em all. I ain't gonna congratulate 'im, but I'll say this, he made a believer outta me.

Hardy slowly gets back to his feet and is handed the title belt by Korderas, who then grabs Hardy by the wrist and raises his hand in the air. After Korderas let's go of Hardy's hand, Matt looks down at the gold belt in his arms, cradling it and then holding it close as he once again drops to his knees in triumph. Soon though, Hardy is back up and heading for the corner, climbing to the second rope where he holds the title above his head in victory, posing for the fans, the camera zooming in on Matt's face to show tears rolling down his cheeks.

On the outside, Finlay has finally dragged himself back to his feet, rolling outside the ring, an angry scowl on his face as he rubs the back of his neck in pain. Looking down, Finlay spots The Little Bastard lying out cold on the floor, prompting Finlay to scoop the leprechaun up onto his shoulder. With one last look at the ring, Finlay snarls at Hardy, before he turns and heads up the aisle, carrying The Little Bastard all the way backstage.

Back in the ring, the celebration continues for Hardy as he drops back down to the canvas and once again raises the title high into the air, the crowd going wild in recognition of the biggest victory of his career, with Hardy finally deciding to make his way backstage, the elation of the moment clear for all to see as we cut backstage.

To the plush dressing room of the McMahons. Shane McMahon and Brooke Adams sit on a long leather couch, Brooke leafing through some papers on her clipboard, while Vince paces the floor nervously. Bobby Lashley is also in the room, his hulking presence casting an intimidating figure as he stands in the background of the shoot, his back turned to the camera as he stares into a mirror, a scowl on his face as he wraps black tape around his wrists...


Mr. McMahon:
Alright Bobby. You ready? You ready for tonight?

Lashley doesn't respond, his eyes fixated on the glass infront of him, his hands twirling slowly around his wrists...


Mr. McMahon: I mean this... this has to the night. This has to be our night, Bobby.

Vince now walks towards Lashley, standing close to him, leaning into the side of Lashley's face, the camera focused on the mirror as we see the expression on both men's faces through the reflection...


Mr. McMahon: You need to crush John Cena tonight. I want you to embarrass and humiliate him with the whole world watchin'! I want you to DESTROY John Cena. You understand me?

Lashley offers no response, his eyes coldly staring a whole through the glass infront of him. Despite getting no response, Vince smiles as he marvels at the look of determination on Lashley's face, turning back to the room with a smirk on his face...

Mr. McMahon: Oh yeah. Yeah, you're ready.

Shane McMahon:
Dad... what about Austin? I mean, (Sarcastically) as much as it pains me to say so... he's not gonna be here tonight. And that means we need a replacement referee for Bobby's match tonight.

Vince rubs his chin, tapping a finger against it as he ponders his options...

Mr. McMahon: I think there's only one thing we can do Shane. We can't take any chances, we're just gonna have to pick another referee. A strong willed candidate. A man who knows what to do if John Cena steps outta line. I don't think we have any other choice. The referee's just gonna have to be...

Shane nods his head confidently as he stands up to join his father...


Mr. McMahon: Me.

The McMahon's laugh to each other as we hear big time heat from the crowd...

Mr. McMahon: What d'ya think of that Bobby?

The camera again zooms in on the reflection of the mirror, with Lashley's eyes now lighting up as takes a quick glance over his shoulder...


Bobby Lashley: Nothing... is gonna stop me tearin' John Cena apart. I... am going to end him once... and for all.

The camera lingers on that piercing stare of Lashley, his eyes like fire on the glass of the mirror, before the camera zooms back out to see the smug looks on Vince and Shane's faces, the two looking impressed with the focus of Lashley before we head back into the arena.

"I SPIT IN DA’ FACE OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO BE COOL..."

*COOL...*


The crowd are on their feet once again as Raw's golden couple, Carlito and Torrie Wilson make their entrance, with 'Lito looking to become the new Intercontinental Champion. Despite their recent difficulties in their relationship, the pair as all smiles as they walk hand in hand down the aisle, with Carlito looking extremely confident ahead of his first Wrestlemania singles match...



Lillian Garcia: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is for the WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP! Making his way down the aisle, accompanied by Torrie Wilson, from San Juan, Puerto Rico... weighing in at 220 pounds... CARRRRLLLLLIIITTTTOOOOOOOO!

Jim Ross: Well folks, now it's time for Raw to join the party. Smackdown kicked off with the United States Championship Match, and a great victory for Matt Hardy, and I'm sure Carlito is lookin' to do the same with the Intercontinental Championship up for grabs. Although I think it's fair to say that lately, things haven't always been great between Carlito and his girlfriend, Torrie Wilson.

Jerry Lawler: Right and pretty much all of the problems between Carlito and Torrie can be attributed to one man, Kenny Dykstra. I mean Dykstra might be just a kid, but he's really gotten to Carlito by payin' so much attention to Torrie. It cost Carlito the tag team match last Friday night on Smackdown, and I hope it doesn't cost Carlito again here tonight.

As the pair step up onto the apron, Carlito sits down on the middle rope to allow Torrie to enter the ring, with the challenger quickly following in. Torrie waves and blows the odd kiss to the crowd, while Carlito is all business, taking off his t-shirt and tossing it aside, all the while casually tossing his apple up into the air before catching it...

*PURE CONTROL...*


The young champion enters the arena to a decent amount of boos, but Dykstra cares little for the fans as he slowly walks down the aisle, arms opened wide as he arrogantly soaks in the jeers of the crowd...


Lillian Garcia: And introducing his opponent. From Worcester, Massachusetts. Weighing in at 230 pounds, he is the WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION... KENNY DYYYKKKSSSSTTRRAAAAAAA!

Dykstra quickly nips onto the apron and then up to the second rope, once again holding his arms out wide to the boos of the crowd. Dykstra then turns towards 'Lito and Torrie, pointing at his title and then wagging a finger in Carlito's direction as he shouts "This ain't goin' nowhere!" before he drops back down and enters the ring...

Jim Ross: Since this rivalry started between these two, Dykstra always had an issue with Torrie Wilson. I'd go as far as sayin' that Dykstra was using Torrie as a way of gettin' to Carlito, a way of tryin' to unnerve the challenger. We thought that Dykstra had finally gotten the message last Monday night when he said he had no interest in Torrie anymore, only for Dykstra to involve Torrie in the match last Friday night on Smackdown, costing Carlito the victory.

Jerry Lawler: And I can't make up my mind whether this kid is a genius or just plain stupid. For weeks he talked about tryin' to prove what kinda man he is to Torrie, and now he's sayin' he's focused solely on the Intercontinental Title. So what is it? I mean, has this all been a ploy from Dykstra to get inside Carlito's head? Or is there somethin' really goin' on here?

Jim Ross: I guess if we're ever gonna find out, it's gonna be right now...







Intercontinental Championship Match:

Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra vs. Carlito

The bell rings, and both men step forward, the pair going nose to nose. The cocky champion starts throwing some trash talk Carlito’s way, with the challenger staying silent, a stern look on his face... until Dykstra slaps him across the jaw! The crowd “Ooh!” as ‘Lito grabs his face, but before he can unleash his anger, Dykstra quickly backs away and ducks his head through the ropes, causing referee Jack Doan to put himself between the two. Carlito holds back a big right hand, and agrees to back away, allowing Dykstra to slowly emerge from the corner, a broad smirk on his face. This time the two lock up for an aggressive collar-and-elbow tie up, with both men turning the tide on each other, battling their way towards the corner where Dykstra pushes ‘Lito against the turnbuckle. Again Doan calls for a break, and Dykstra agrees to give it as he backs off... only to push ‘Lito in the chest... which prompts a big right hand from Carlito!| Dykstra hits the mat, but he scrambles back to his feet... only for ‘Lito to hit a double-leg takedown! The challenger mounts the champion and starts hammering right hands, causing Dykstra to scramble for the corner.

Carlito stays on him though, lining Dykstra... hard knife edge chop! Dykstra groans in pain and tries to walk to another corner, but ‘Lito grabs Dykstra and smashes the champion face first off the turnbuckle. Dykstra leans against the ropes, where ‘Lito lights him up once more with a stiff chop, before he goes for an Irish whip... but Dykstra reverses... only to lower his head... kick to the chest snaps him back up! Carlito turns and comes off the ropes... but Dykstra sidesteps him... and sues Carlito’s momentum to send him flying over the top rope... no! ‘Lito lands on the apron, and waits for Dykstra to turn... then slingshots up... SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK! Carlito scrambles into the cover...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……

Strong kick out from Dykstra. The champion makes it back to his knees, only to taste a hard kick to the ribs, before ‘Lito has him up and sends him to the corner... and follows in with a corner clothesline! Dykstra is reeling as the challenger then fires him to the opposite corner... but Dykstra reverses... Carlito jumps to the second rope... springboard dropkick... no! Dykstra races in... and clubs Carlito from behind... causing ‘Lito to fall over the top rope to the floor! It’s a painful landing for Carlito, and of course, Torrie is straight over to check on her man. Dykstra is on no mood to take this one via a countout though as he steps through the ropes and drops to the floor, barking at Torrie to “Get the hell outta here!” as he looks to go back on the attack. Grabbing a handful of afro, Dykstra drags ‘Lito up... and smashes him face first off the steel steps! Torrie hides her face with her hands as ‘Lito stumbles to the floor, but the champion wastes little time in rolling the challenger back into the ring.

Going on the attack now, Dykstra starts by stomping down on the chest, then dropping the knee, before he grabs ‘Lito by the wrist, pulls him up then in for a short-arm clothesline... but he hangs on and rolls through, pulling ‘Lito up again... another short-arm clothesline... but again Dykstra maintains grip on the wrist, rolls through, pulls Carlito up... for a final, more intense short-arm clothesline! Dykstra drops down and hooks the leg... 1... 2... easy kick out for Carlito. Dykstra looks to stay in control as he again helps ‘Lito up, but Carlito beats him to the punch, drilling a right into the midsection, then one to the face, before he unloads with a stinging knife edge chop. Dykstra covers up in pain, but he’s quickly sent for the ride... Dykstra reverses... then catches Carlito with a textbook jumping high angle back elbow! Carlito is down, and Dykstra moves to hook the leg...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……

Carlito kicks out in time! As the challenger gets back to a seated position, Dykstra drills him with an elbow to the back of the head, then shoves his face down so he can drop the elbow across the throat... and then springs back up for another elbow drop... and repeats it for a third! Dykstra again goes for the cover... 1... 2... Carlito kicks out, still too much in the tank at this point of the match up. Seeking to further punish his opponent, Dykstra drags ‘Lito up, lines him up... and rocks the challenger with a textbook standing dropkick! Feeling rather cocky, the youngster holds both arms out wide to the crowd, who of course respond with boos. Grabbing the hair once more, Dykstra has ‘Lito up, rocking him with a pair of uppercuts before he goes for the Irish whip to the corner. Carlito hits the turnbuckle hard... and here comes Dykstra... but Carlito back body drops Dykstra over the top rope to the floor! This time it’s Dykstra who hits the floor hard, the champion writhing in pain, while after dropping to a knee for a few seconds to recover, Carlito heads outside.

Dykstra clings to the barricade for support as he hoists himself up, but ‘Lito quickly spins him around... and unleashes another vicious knife edge chop! Dykstra coils back in pain, but there’s nowhere to go as Carlito strikes again... and again... and again... and finally a fourth stiff chop drops causes Dykstra to drop to his knees. The champion’s chest is bright red as the crowd cheers for the aggressive look in Carlito’s eyes, and after he snaps Dykstra up with an uppercut, the champion is rolled back into the ring. Carlito climbs up onto the apron, stands with both hands gripping the top rope, calling for Dykstra to rise... and eventually the champion obliges... ‘Lito slingshots up... springboard crossbody... NO! Dykstra counters in mid-air... WITH A POWERSLAM! Dykstra saw it coming this time, and the champion hooks the...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
CARLITO ROLLS A SHOULDER!

Carlito survives, but now Dykstra is firmly back in control as he lays in with more stomps to the chest, then yanks Carlito up, smacks him with a pair of right hands then sends Carlito to the corner... and charges in after... but ‘Lito uses the ropes to eleavate himself over Dykstra... seeing the champion run chest first into the turnbuckle! Carlito is on his feet behind Dykstra... AND GOES FOR THE BACKSTABBER... NO! Dykstra shows great awareness as he hangs onto the top rope, seeing Carlito crash to the mat. With ‘Lito down clutching the back of his head and neck, Dykstra spots his opponent in perfect position... and quickly climbs upstairs! Steadying himself, Dykstra takes one last look down at the concerned Torrie and yells “It’s over!” before he launches himself... SKY – HIGH – LEGDROP... NO!! Carlito rolls to safety, Dykstra crashes to the canvas!

The crowd rises and Torrie starts slapping her hands off the mat, determined to get Carlito back into things. The challenger is a little groggy, but he’s back on his feet... to rattle Dykstra with a big right hand... and a second... and a third, backing Dykstra to the ropes. Carlito sends Dykstra for the ride... but Kenny reverses... and lowers his head... running knee lift from Carlito snaps him up, but ‘Lito keeps on running... RUNNING CLOTHESLINE! Almost on instinct Dykstra staggers back to his feet... HURRICANRANA! Carlito sits in for the...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
DYKSTRA KICKS OUT!

The champion is reeling as the momentum has shifted, with ‘Lito waiting for Dykstra to rise, then heading for the ropes... jumping to the second rope... SPRINGBOARD BACK ELBOW CONNECTS! Quickly Carlito crawls into the lateral press...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
DYKSTRA BARELY ROLLS HIS SHOULDER!!

Carlito looks desperately at Jack Doan, but the ref reaffirms it was only two. Sensing he’s in trouble, the young champion wisely rolls under the bottom rope to the outside, looking to distance himself from the challenger. And wouldn’t you know it, he lands right next to Torrie Wilson. Carlito knows he has the champion in trouble, so of course he heads outside to get Dykstra back into the ring... only for Dykstra to grab Torrie... and USE HER AS A HUMAN SHIELD! An act of sheer cowardice from the champion as he hides behind Torrie, causing Carlito to drop the cocked right hand he had ready for Dykstra’s face. With one arm wrapped around Torrie’s neck, Dykstra calls for Carlito to back off, and naturally Carlito does so... only fro Dykstra to SHOVE TORRIE AT CARLITO! Carlito catches his girlfriend, ushers her to once side... but here comes Dykstra... into a BACK BODY DROP ONTO THE FLOOR! It backfired! Carlito saw him coming! Now Dykstra writhes in agony, and after checking on the visibly shaken Torrie, ‘Lito grabs Carlito and tosses him back into the ring.

The challenger slides in after and is confronted by a pleading Kenny, on his hands and knees, begging for ‘Lito not to hurt him again. Carlito has a look of a man posses in his eyes as he once more readies that right hand, looking to knock Kenny out cold... until Carlito turns and points at Torrie... and the crowd roar their approval! They want Torrie to gain some revenge!! Kenny desperately tries to crawl away, but Carlito pounces, grabbing the champion by the foot, dragging him in, then yanks him to his feet with a full nelson. Torrie climbs up onto the apron... then heads for the corner... to PICK UP CARLITO’S APPLE!! Ford Field cheers loudly, they want to see Torrie spit apple in Dykstra’s face! Dykstra frantically tries to break free, screaming “No!”, but ‘Lito holds on tight, nothing going to stop him from seeing Dykstra taste the ultimate insult. Carlito brings Kenny towards the ropes... and Torrie takes a big bite out of the apple... lines Dykstra up... but doesn’t spit it? The crowd boos, and Carlito looks confused as Torrie hangs back, but he encourages his girlfriend to go for it... but still she doesn’t. Tossing Dykstra aside, Carlito looks bemused as he asks Torrie “What ‘ju doin’?”... and the answer...sees TORRIE SPIT APPLE IN CARLITO’S FACE!! No-one can believe it as Carlito is sprayed in the face... then Dykstra takes him down from behind with a JUMPING REVERSE STO!!! Carlito’s head hits the canvas hard, and Dykstra hooks both legs...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
3!!!

Winner: And STILL Intercontinental Champion, Kenny Dykstra @ 08.52

Lillian Garcia: Here is your winner... and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion... KENNY DYYYKKKSSSSTTRRAAAAAAA!

Dykstra retains... thanks to Torrie Wilson!!? A wave of shock rings out around the arena, the fans in a state of stunned silence as they try to comprehend what they've just witnessed. The champion is quickly back on his feet, a wicked smirk on his face as his eyes meet with Torrie's. Wilson quickly nips up onto the apron and then steps through the ropes into the ring, where she and Dykstra embrace in a hug, the two revelling in the scheme they've pulled off here today...

Jim Ross: Well I'll be damned! This was nothin' but a ruse, a set up! That jezebel Torrie Wilson has just turned her back on Carlito! What the hell's goin' on here? What the hell is Torrie Wilson thinkin'!?

Jerry Lawler: I don't... I don't get it. I mean, for months now Torrie's been sayin' how disgusted she is at the way Kenny's been acting towards her. She tried hard to keep the relationship with Carlito goin'... and it turns out she and Dykstra were in cahoots all along!

Dykstra snatches the Intercontinental Championship from Jack Doan's hands, looking down at it lustily, the same look in Torrie's eyes as she stares down at the gold. The two exit the ring and head up the aisle, stopping at the top to look back down at the ring. Carlito has managed to bring himself around, but as he props himself up on his elbows, a look of confusion and anger crosses his face as he stares up at his now former girlfriend.

At the top of the aisle, Dykstra and Wilson are all smiles, with Torrie mocking Carlito, wiping away false tears from her eyes and shouting "Boo hoo!" at her ex. Dykstra takes one last loving glance at the title he holds so dearly, before he taps his cheek, prompting Torrie to carefully peck a kiss on it. Carlito sees all of this and now a look of sheer fury crosses his face, the beaten challenger wiping bits of apple from his face as he slowly picks himself up off the canvas...


Jim Ross: And what about poor Carlito? Not only has he lost the chance to become Intercontinental Champion, he's had his heart ripped out by this she-devil! I just can't believe this!

Jerry Lawler: You gotta wonder J.R., all the times that Torrie slapped Dykstra in the face, all the times she and Carlito got the upper hand over Dykstra... was it all a set up leading to this moment where they could tear Carlito apart?

I'm sure we'll find out one day soon 'King', but for now, we see one last look of Dykstra and Torrie, Kenny having his arm around Wilson's shoulder, the two rather sarcastically waving goodbye to Carlito before they turn and head backstage and we fade into a video.


*Video Package*

We open to the sound of waves washing up on the shore, the call of seagulls in the air as we see the sun setting, giving a beautiful orange glow across a picturesque beach, the opening guitar rift of AC/DC’s “Heat Seeker” rising in the background...

Narrator: While for many summer is a time to party...

We see shots of various divas posing in the sea and sane in rather revealing bikinis...

Narrator: For the superstars of the WWE...

Palm trees sway back and forth as several members of the roster casually walk along the beach...

Narrator: The party is over!

The music really kicks in now and we explode into the image of The Undertaker drawing a thumb across his throat...

Narrator: It’s gonna be the hottest night of the year...

John Cena scoops Shane McMahon up onto his shoulders, planting him with the FU...

Narrator: The summer spectacular...

Triple H stands on the apron of the ring, spraying a burst of water into the air and flexing his muscles...

Narrator: Where the sun feels hotter than hell...

Edge runs right through Batista with a thunderous spear...

Narrator: ‘Cause this summer...

And finally Shawn Michaels fires some Sweet Chin Music right down the camera lenses, cracking it and causing a burst of flames to engulf the image...

Narrator: The heat is on!



"WWE SUMMERSLAM - AUGUST 19TH - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"

*End Video Package*

And it's back into the arena to the smiling faces of the Smackdown announce desk...

Michael Cole: Yes folks, the heat is definitely on this summer at Summerslam! It's gonna be the biggest spectacle of the summer, a night like no other, live on pay-per-view! But right now, our attention turns to what is quickly becoming a Wrestlemania tradition. It's time for the third annual Money in the Bank Ladder Match!

Tazz: And what a match it's gonna be! The last two Money in the Bank matches have been full of high flyin' action, and I don't think tonight's gonna be any different! And don't forget, the last two men to reach up and grab that briefcase, Edge and Rob Van Dam, both went on to become WWE Champion.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And not only that, but both of 'em are in the main events of this year's Wrestlemania for their respective brands. This is a match that might break a few bones, it might shorten a few careers, but for the winner, it's gonna sky rocket 'em straight to the top!

Michael Cole: And of course, we're lookin' for a Smackdown victory in this one. I'm gonna put both of ya' on the spot right now, who you got winnin' this one guys?

Tazz: I'm goin' with Chris Benoit. There's a lotta talk about Benoit hangin' up some point this summer, and I think he grabs that briefcase and winds up goin' out on a high.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I ain't buyin' into the fairytale. King Booker's my pick, he's got the experience, he's got the history of bein' a great champion, he's gonna grab that briefcase tonight. But one thing I can guarantee, is that Mr. Money in the Bank is gonna be a member of the Smackdown roster, no doubt about it!

Jerry Lawler: Well hang on a minute there 'JBL'. I wouldn't be so sure about that if I was you. We've got plenty of talent in this match from Monday Night Raw. Infact, I think the winner could be none other than Raw's Jeff Hardy. I think after seein' his brother Matt become United States Champion earlier tonight, Jeff's gonna be pumped up and ready to grab that briefcase!

Jim Ross: I gotta admit, I like Raw's chances in this one too. We've got two young, hungry competitors in CM Punk and Johnny Nitro who could really make a name for themselves right here, and of course we've got 'The Legend Killer' Randy Orton. But right now, let's hand it over to Howard Finkel for the announcements.

We cut to a wide shot of the ringside area to see a slew of ladders set up around the ring and up the aisle, and of course legendary ring announcer Howard Finkel is stood in the middle of the ring...

Howard Finkel: Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time for the interpromotional MONEY - IN THE BANK - LAAADDDDDDEERRRR MATCH! Now, the first man to climb a ladder and retrieve the briefcase hanging above me will not only win the match, but also guarantee themselves a future championship match that can be used at any time over the next twelve months.

*WHATEVER...*


A tremendous cheer breaks out as the first participant in the match, Smackdown's Chris Benoit makes his entrance. Benoit is his usual ice cold shelf as he briskly walks down the aisle, cocking his head from side to side as he heads for the ring...


Howard Finkel: Introducing first, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Weighing in at 234 pounds... CHRIS BEEEEENNNNNOOOOOIIIIITTTTTT!

Benoit shows no fear of superstition as he walks straight through the legs of the ladder set up at the bottom of the aisle, before he climbs up the stairs and enters the ring, taking a look up at the briefcase as he strides towards a corner, climbing up to the second rope to salute the crowd...

Michael Cole: Well he's your pick to win it all Tazz. A twenty-two year veteran of this business, but all the talk lately has been of Chris Benoit lookin' to perhaps wind down his career this summer. Can Benoit kick off what would be the greatest retirement run in the history of our sport by grabbing the Money in the Bank briefcase, earning him a chance to go out on top?

Tazz: I think he's our best shot at winnin' it for Smackdown. He's always been focused, he's always been determined, and now he's got somethin' huge to focus on. If he's really goin' out this Summer, if he's really gonna hang it up, what better way to do it than as champion? That's what's gonna push Benoit to go all the way right here.

*PAPARAZZI...*

The red carpet is rolled out and the photographers quickly start snapping away as Johnny Nitro makes his entrance, arm in arm with Melina. Chris Masters is there too, cutting an imposing figure as the three pose at the end of the red carpet, before Melina leads her men down to the ring...


Howard Finkel: From Hollywood, California... weighing in at 215 pounds... JOHNNY... NNNIIITTRRROOOOOO!

Nitro shakes free his long fur coat and slides under the bottom rope, his eyes darting between looking at Benoit and up at the briefcase, before the crowd goes wild as Melina performs her split-legged ring entrance, sliding under the bottom rope to join Nitro, with Masters preferring to stay on the floor...

Jim Ross: It hasn't been the best of starts to the year for Nitro and Masters, although things have picked up lately for Nitro after he qualified for tonight's match. He's an incredible athlete, he's been in ladder matches before, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he put those past defeats behind him to climb the ladder of success.

Jerry Lawler: I think a lot of what's happened to Nitro and Masters these last few months has just been down to bad luck. But that could all change if Nitro can grab that briefcase. Sayin' that, his luck can't be all that bad if he gets to go home with Melina every night!

”ONE... TWO... YOU HEAR THE CLOCK TICKIN’...”

*I’M COMIN’...*


The inflatable tunnel is wheeled out once again, and from within it out bursts Montel Vontavious Porter for his first Wrestlemania appearance. Looking calm and confident behind the bling and dark sunglasses, 'MVP' stops half way down the aisle, crouches down and slaps the floor to set off a burst of pyro behind him...


Howard Finkel: From Miami, Florida... weighing in at 259 pounds... Montel Vontavious Porter... M - V - P!

After the pyro display, 'MVP' swaggers down the aisle, confidently stepping into the ring where he does his ballin' dance towards the crowd. Taking a quick check up at the briefcase, 'MVP' then removes his sunglasses and the bling from around his neck, placing them both down in the corner of the ring...


Michael Cole: One of the young guns from Friday Night Smackdown, this is the Wrestlemania debut for 'MVP'. It was just over six months ago that this man made his debut, and he's had quite the impact. A victory tonight for 'MVP' would put his debut year in the WWE up there with the very best of 'em, especially if he goes on to become champion.

John Bradshaw Layfield: He's made a real name for 'imself on Friday nights, especially after returnin' from the horrific injuries he suffered at the hands of Kane. He could complete the comeback of all comebacks if he gets it done here tonight.

"HEY!..."

*BURN IN MY LIGHT...*


A strong level of heat as Randy Orton is the next man out. Orton arrogantly saunters down the aisle, showing complete disregard for the boos of the crowd, looking all business as he takes his time heading for the ring...


Howard Finkel: From St. Louis, Missouri... weighing in at 235 pounds... ‘THE LEGEND KILLLLEERRRR’... RAAAANNNNDY... OOORRRRRTON!

Orton pauses to size up one of the ladders set up next to the ring, grabbing hold of it, getting a feel for the steel, before he nips up onto the apron, steps through the ropes and climbs to the second turnbuckle for that trademark legend killer pose of his...


Jim Ross: For my money, he's the favourite as far as a Raw competitor winnin' here tonight. The youngest heavyweight champion in WWE history, but the last few years haven't seen much in the way of championship gold for 'The Legend Killer'. Is tonight the night Randy Orton gets his career back on track?

Jerry Lawler: Every time I look at this guy, I see nothin' but a huge chip on his shoulder. He's certainly got the ego to win this match, in his mind he probably already has. But he's lost at the last two Wrestlemania's, and his recent issues with Jeff Hardy could cause him to lose focus. And that might lead to a third straight Wrestlemania defeat if he's not careful.

*BOOM...*

*SLOW CHEMICAL...*


All eyes turn to see the imposing figure of Kane lumber out from the back, tugging on that black elbow pad as he makes his way down the aisle, a sick, demented look in his eyes as he sizes up the opposition...


Howard Finkel: Making his way down the aisle... weighing in at 323 pounds... KAAAAANNNNNEEEE!

As Kane steps over the top rope, the competitors currently in the ring all step away from the corners, as they know what's coming when Kane holds his hands high in the air then fires them down to set the turnbuckles ablaze...

Michael Cole: A ninth straight Wrestlemania appearance for the demented Kane, a man who was involved in the first Money in the Bank Ladder Match two years ago. Kane came close to victory that night, and no doubt making amends is high on the priority list for 'The Big Red Machine' right now.

Tazz: That and causin' as much pain as is physically possible! I love Kane, I think he's a real smash mouth kinda guy, and I can't wait to see what kinda damage this guy's gonna do once he gets a ladder in his hands.

*THIS FIRE BURNS...*

A solid pop as CM Punk emerges as entrant number six. With Kelly Kelly and Nick Dinsmore by his side, Punk takes a few seconds to survey the scene before he drops down to a knee, taps the imaginary watch on his wrist then bursts to his feet and yells "It's clobberin' time!"...


Howard Finkel: From Chicago, Illinois... weighing in at 218 pounds... C - M - PUNK!

AS the trio approach the ring, Kelly and Dinsmore exchange looks with Masters and Melina, with Melina even throwing a few words of trash in Kelly's direction, while Punk stays focused as he enters the ring as takes off his t-shirt, throwing it into the crowd before he starts bouncing on the spot...

Jim Ross: One of the hottest prospects in the WWE today. He's done nothin' but impress since his arrival on Monday Night Raw, and tonight could prove to be a huge breakout moment for young CM Punk.

Jerry Lawler: Well he's certainly impressed me so far. But lately he and Nick Dinsmore have had their problems with Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters, and it wouldn't surprise me if that spills over into this match too. But certainly he's an exciting prospect, and a really strong pick to become Mr. Money in the Bank.

*DEAD WHITE GUYS...*

And the final Smackdown entrant makes his entrance as King Booker and Queen Sharmell step out from the back. Stopping at the top of the aisle, Booker raises his pinkie finger high in the air, while his Queen curtseys and encourages the fans to rise and show respect for the rule of the Smackdown kingdom...


Howard Finkel:
From Houston Texas... weighing in at 253 pounds... KIIIINNNNNNGGGGG... BOOOKKKKKEEERRRRRRR!!

Booker and Sharmell carefully make their way towards the ring, with Booker clearly playing up to the superstitious element of the match by making sure to avoid stepping under a ladder, with the camera close enough to hear Sharmell bark at the ringside fans "All hail King Booker!"...

Michael Cole: And here comes your pick 'JBL', Smackdown's King Booker. A former five time World Heavyweight Champion, the most decorated competitor in this match. He certainly has the experience and the talent to win here, can he get back to the heights of last summer by earning himself another championship opportunity?

John Bradshaw Layfield: My pick to win it all! Look at this guy, a true royal, not like some o' the phonies around here. A man who would carry that briefcase with dignity and class, a man who alwas represents Smackdown impeccably. He's gonna do it, I know he is. This is King Booker's chance at gettin' back into the big-time, and I know he ain't gonna pass it up!

*LOADED...*

And the crowd goes wild for our final competitor, as Raw's Jeff Hardy makes his entrance, bouncing and snapping his head from side to side as he excitedly makes his way down the aisle, looking very at ease with the ladders standing around him...


Howard Finkel: And finally, from Cameron, North Carolina... weighing in at 215 pounds... JEEEFF... HAAAAAAARDY!

Hardy also shows he cares little for superstition as he almost goes out of his way to make sure he walks under the ladder, before he springs up onto the apron and then to the second rope, where he salutes the crowd to another great pop...


Jim Ross: This was your pick 'King', a man who's no stranger to Wrestlemania ladder matches. An innovator of the ladder match, he's had some breath taking moments on the biggest stage, can he make tonight another one? Can Raw's Jeff Hardy follow the unbelievable effort of his brother Matt at the top of the broadcast by becomin' Mr. Money in the Bank?

Jerry Lawler: I really believe that tonight is the night for Jeff Hardy and he pulls off a Hardy Boyz double. Like you said, he's got the experience of ladder matches, he's at home among the mayhem of these matches. And that might be the biggest advantage of all, the fact that he's such a high flier, such a daredevil. But regardless of who wins, this is gonna be a wild match, and I can't wait!





Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
Chris Benoit vs. CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro vs. Kane vs. King Booker vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Randy Orton

The bell rings, but instead of an initial rush, all eight men turn their eyes skyward and stare longingly at the briefcase. Slowly the eight man inch towards each other, the crowd urging them on, the tension starting to build as eyes dart back and forth between opponents and briefcase... until Kane lands the first blow as he strikes ‘MVP’ with a shot to the throat! And just like that, it’s on, with Punk flying at Nitro, Hardy tackling Orton into the corner, while King Booker dives through the ropes and starts running up the aisle towards a ladder, Chris Benoit in hot pursuit. Having knocked down ‘MVP’, kane now turns his attentions to the other competitors in the ring, dragging Hardy away from Orton to snap an uppercut to the throat, then giving Orton the same treatment. Kane then heads towards Punk and Nitro, but Nitro sees him coming... and RUNS INTO A BIG BOOT TO THE FACE! Punk is dazed against the ropes... and Kane clotheslines him over them! On the outside, Benoit has knocked down Booker, leaving him halfway up the aisle, carrying the ladder back to the ring. Benoit starts to slide the ladder under the bottom rope... but here comes Kane... LOW ANGLE DROPKICK... SMACKS THE LADDER INTO BENOIT’S FACE!!

Benoit stumbles back, the ladder crashing to the floor, with Kane stepping through the ropes to pick it up. Kane hoists it into his arms... but here comes Punk off the ropes... SUICIDE DIVE THROUGH THE ROPES! Punk drives the ladder and Kane to the floor, quickly back on his feet to lay into Kane with a few stomps... but before he can make for the ladder, Booker clubs Punk from behind with a forearm to the back of the head. ‘MVP’ joins Booker on the outside, their fragile partnership still together for now, but as the two hammer Punk, Benoit steps in to even up the odds. Nitro involves himself in the scrum, only to taste a shot to the throat from Kane who is now back on his feet. The six men hammer each other in a tight knit group, but the crowd is looking elsewhere, a roar of anticipation as Jeff Hardy has climbed to the top of a nearby corner... and LAUNCHES ONTO ALL SIX MEN WITH THE SWANTON BOMB!! Hardy takes an incredible risk, taking down the entire field... except for Randy Orton. And with his seven opponents down, Orton looks to take advantage, grabbing a ladder from under the ring, sliding it in and then standing it up. Orton starts to climb, completely unopposed...

… SIX RUNGS TO GO …

… FIVE RUNGS TO GO …

… FOUR RUNGS TO GO …

… THREE RUNGS TO GO …

… TWO RUNGS TO GO …


Finally Jeff Hardy races into the ring, scrambles up the ladder and clubs Orton from behind, stopping his progress. Orton tries to turn to strike back, but Hardy beats him to the punch, rocking Orton with a trio of right hands... but Orton fires back with an elbow to the face. Grabbing Jeff by the hair, Orton looks to smash Jeff’s face off the ladder... no! Hardy blocks it... drills Orton wtih an elbow to the chest... then hooks an arm under Orton’s chin... and both men fly... TWIST OF FATE OFF THE LADDER!!! The crowd goes nuts as both men crash to the mat, but there’s no time to rest as Nitro and Benoit both slide back into the ring. Nitro tries to race up the ladder, but Benoit drags him down by the waist of his tights, then smacks Nitro with a forearm. Benoit starts to climb, but Nitro drags him down just as fast, both men stumbling to the ropes. Benoit drills a back elbow, then starts unloading with chops. Nitro swings a right hand... which Benoit ducks... then synchs Nitro from behind... RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX... NITRO CRASHES INTO THE LADDER!!

It’s a painful collision as the ladder falls over, but Benoit now sees a chance as he re-sets the ladder and climbs the first few rungs... only for CM Punk to yank Benoit down. Punk starts striking with kicks to the thigh and chest, only for Benoit to grab the left foot... DRAGON SCREW... INTO THE LADDER!! Yet another man is down grabbing his head thanks to Benoit, although the ladder has tumbled to the canvas once more. Benoit makes a move to pick it up, but he gets blindsided by Booker, who knocks Benoit into the corner. There, Booker starts unloading with backhand chops to the chest, with all the usual Booker theatrics... only for Benoit to yank Booker into the corner... to strike with knife edge chops! Benoit is relentless as he lights up Booker’s chest, the blows driving Booker to the mat. Benoit think the coast is clear... but when he turns... he walks right into a big BOOT TO THE FACE FROM KANE! Booker drags himself back up, but Kane charges in for a corner clothesline. As Kane is doing this, he doesn’t see that behind him Punk and Jeff are both back on their feet with the ladder in their hands... and they RUN THROUGH KANE WITH THE LADDER! Kane staggers back to the ropes... ANOTHER LADDER SHOT KNOCKS HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE!

Kane hits the mat hard, but with both Jeff and Punk turning back to the ring, ladder still in their hand... they don’t see Orton make his move... TO DROPKICK THE LADDER BACK INTO PUNK AND HARDY! With the field down, Orton picks up the ladder, sets it in place, and slowly starts to climb once more...

… SIX RUNGS TO GO …

… FIVE RUNGS TO GO …

… FOUR RUNGS TO GO …

… THREE RUNGS TO GO …


‘MVP’ slides back into the ring and starts to shove the ladder... causing Orton to fall... but he lands on his feet! Orton turns and races at ‘MVP’ with a clothesline... but ‘MVP’ ducks... and Orton runs into the NITRO BLAST! Orton stumbles around... into THE PLAYMAKER!! Moving quickly, ‘MVP’ and Nitro set up the ladder, and ‘MVP’ tries to race up it... but Nitro pulls him down. Nitro scrambles up... ‘MVP’ of course pulls him down. ‘MVP’ heads up one side... and Nitro climbs the other... but Kane grabs ‘MVP’ and Benoit drags down Nitro. All four men try to battle for position, trying to scale the ladder, but eventually Kane has had enough as he drags Nitro down... SLAPS A HAND AROUND HIS THROAT... AND CHOKESLAMS HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE... ONTO CHRIS MASTERS!! Masters is there to cushion the blow for his partner, but as this happens ‘MVP’ and Benoit have climbed the ladder, both men on the second top rung, so close they can touch the briefcase! Both men reach out, the briefcase swaying back and forth, while on the mat King Booker has introduced a second ladder to proceedings... and he RUNS THROUGH KANE WITH THE LADDER! Booker then turns to Benoit and ‘MVP’... HITS THEIR LADDER WITH HIS... CAUSING THE LADDER TO FALL... AND BENOIT AND ‘MVP’ CRASH INTO THE ROPES!!

Booker is now the only man standing, and he lines up his ladder under the briefcase and starts to climb... but as he does this, Hardy slips into the ring, grabs the other ladder, sets it up next to Booker’s... and then scrambles up it! Booker sees Hardy coming, and he strikes across at the other ladder... but Jeff fires back! Booker swings again... Hardy hits back... and now Punk climbs the other side of Booker’s ladder... while Orton climbs Jeff’s! All four men are about three rungs away from the briefcase, trying to reach out while battling the opponent across from them. As they battle, Kane is back in the ring... and the crowd buzzes as he menacingly looks up at the four men across the two ladders... and places a hand on each ladder... shows incredible strength... as he PUSHES OVER BOTH LADDERS SENDING ALL FOUR MEN CRASHING DOWN!! Bodies are strewn across the ring, but through the carnage Kane lines up a ladder and starts to climb...

… SIX RUNGS TO GO …

… FIVE RUNGS TO GO …

… FOUR RUNGS TO GO …

… THREE RUNGS TO GO …

… TWO RUNGS TO GO …


In the corner, Johnny Nitro has climbed to the top rope... and LEAPS ONTO THE LADDER! Now Nitro and Kane battle for the briefcase, with Kane landing massive right hands to try knock Nitro down... but from behind Chris Masters is in the ring, and he yanks Kane down... MASTERLOCK! MASTERLOCK ON KANE! And that leaves Nitro unopposed! After the worst run of form, Nitro is gonna become Mr. Money in the Bank!

... ONE RUNG TO GO...
...
...NITRO TOUCHES THE BRIEFCASE...
...

But down below, Benoit races into the ring... and up the same side of the ladder as Nitro... to grab him from behind... GERMAN SUPLEX FROM THE TOP OF THE LADDER!! Nitro is folded up like an accordion as he hits the mat, and now Benoit starts to climb... only for Kane to show incredible strength... TO BREAK THE MASTERLOCK... THEN GRAB MASTERS BY THE THROAT... LAUNCHING HIM INTO THE LADDER... CAUSING BENOIT TO FALL TO THE MAT!! The ladder balances against the top rope, but Masters is still on his feet... and Kane snatches him around the throat again... CHOKESLAM!! Masters is planted, rolling under the bottom rope to the outside, but behind Kane, ‘MVP’ has grabbed one of the ladders... and he RUNS IT INTO KANE! Kane tries to cover up but his chest takes the full brunt of the steel. Now Booker is back up, with ‘MVP’ barking for ‘The King’ to grab the other ladder. The fragile partnership is working again as the pair stand either side of Kane, waiting for him to rise... KANE IS SANDWICHED BETWEEN TWO LADDERS! Kane groans in agony as he collapses to the mat then rolls under the bottom rope, with both Booker and ‘MVP’ aggressively slam their ladders to the mat in celebration... but there’s no time to celebrate as CM Punk is on the apron... slingshots to the top rope... SPRINGBOARD DOUBLE CLOTEHSLINE!

Punk now tries to battle both men, alternating between kicks to the head of Booker then ‘MVP’, before he tags Booker with three right hands, driving Booker to the corner, before he backs up and charges in... high knee to the face!. This allows ‘MVP’ to grab a ladder... but Punk hangs onto Booker and comes out of the corner... BULLDOG TO BOOKER... AT THE SAME TIME AS KICKING THE LADDER INTO THE FACE OF ‘MVP’!! ‘MVP’ rolls outside, with Punk grabbing that ladder and propping it up against the corner. As he does this, Booker recovers, clubbing Punk from behind with a series of forearms. Punk doubles over in pain, and here comes Booker off the ropes... SCISSOR KICK... NO! Punk avoids it, then grabs Booker by the wrist... IRISH WHIP INTO THE LADDER!! Booker is prone against the steel, and here comes Punk... HIGH KNEE... AGAINST THE LADDER! Booker’s head violently snaps back against the ladder, causing ‘The King’ to slump to the canvas and then under the ropes, leaving Punk as the only man in the ring. The crowd comes alive as Punk is presented with a golden opportunity, and with Kelly Kelly and Nick Dinsmore urging him on, Punk sets up a ladder and starts to climb...

… SIX RUNGS TO GO …

… FIVE RUNGS TO GO …

… FOUR RUNGS TO GO …

… THREE RUNGS TO GO …

… TWO RUNGS TO GO …

... ONE RUNG TO GO...
...
...PUNK HAS A HAND ON THE BRIEFCASE...
...

But before he can unhook it, Randy Orton races up the other side of the ladder, clubbing Punk with a right hand to the face. Punk fires back with right hands, then smashes Orton’s face off the top of the ladder, allowing him to again reach up and touch the briefcase... only for Orton to drive a right into the gut. The two battle back and forth, while Johnny Nitro is somehow back up... and he has a third ladder with him! Nitro sets up the ladder across from Punk and Orton and starts to climb... making it untouched to the top... where he GETS BOTH HANDS ON THE BRIEFCASE... NO! Orton and Punk spot him, both men hammering Nitro with right hands, before they turn back to each other, a slugfest breaking out, with both men teetering on the edge of falling... so much so that Orton grabs Punk in a headlock to hang on... which then prompts Nitro to leap from one ladder to the other... to take Orton down... SUNSET FLIP TOWER OF DOOM!!! A huge “HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!” chant breaks out as Punk is nearly broken in half, and Orton and Nitro aren’t much better. Nitro is able to pick himself up with the help of the ropes, and he soon heads towards the ladders, shoving one into the corner and then starting to climb the standing ladder. Nitro only gets a few rungs high though before Jeff Hardy approaches the ladder... and starts to shove it over... NITRO FALLS... AND CROTCHES ON THE TOP ROPE! Nitro lands in agony, falling from the ropes to the outside where a distraught Melina quickly checks on him. Jeff now looks around, realising he’s the only man standing. The only other man in the ring at this point is Orton, with Jeff taking a look down at his rival... then up at the briefcase... then back down at Orton. Suddenly, Jeff kicks one ladder under the bottom rope, folds up and shoves aside the standing ladder, and heads for the corner to the ladder that Nitro pushed over there. Setting the ladder up, and with Orton in perfect position, the crowd start rise as they realise what Hardy has in store. Jeff makes it to the top... then roars to the crowd... SWANTON BOMB OFF THE TOP OF THE LADDER!!!

Jeff takes an incredible risk, but it pays off as he gets all of Orton, ‘The Legend Killer’ slowly rolling outside, leaving Jeff to writhe in pain on the mat. Somehow, Hardy manages to pull himself back up using the ropes, then he stumbles to grab the ladder that was flat on the mat, pulling it to the middle of the ring to then set it up under the briefcase. Jeff looks up, takes a deep breath, and slowly starts to climb...

… SIX RUNGS TO GO …

… FIVE RUNGS TO GO …

… FOUR RUNGS TO GO …

… THREE RUNGS TO GO …

… TWO RUNGS TO GO …


‘MVP’ grabs Hardy from behind! ‘MVP’ hammers Jeff with forearms to the small of the back, causing Jeff to turn, which allows ‘MVP' to drill him in the midsection. Jeff fires back with right hands to the face, then he hooks ‘MVP’ up... SITOUT INVERTED SUPLEX FROM THE LADDER!! Hardy drives ‘MVP’ face first to the canvas, but already there’s a commotion as in the corner, Chris Benoit is climbing to the top turnbuckle... then to the top of the ladder! Benoit stands high, looking down at ‘MVP’... DIVING HEADBUTT... FROM THE TOP OF THE LADDER!!! The crowd is on its feet once more, marvelling at the risk Benoit just took, with Benoit showing the effects as he lays motionless on the mat. Nobody is upright in the ring, however on the outside, Kane has started to stir, back on his feet with a ladder in his hands. Near the announce desk Orton and Booker both stagger back to their feet... until KANE RUNS THROUGH THEM WITH THE LADDER! With the rest of the field down, Kane slides into the ring and heads for the ladder under the briefcase, starting to climb it... only for CM Punk to grab Kane from behind... and pull Kane off the ladder... onto his shoulders... GTS!! Kane eats a knee to the face, hits the mat, the momentum causing him to roll under the bottom rope. Punk now looks up from his knees, seeing a clear path to climb to victory. Slowly he starts to head up the ladder...

… SIX RUNGS TO GO …

… FIVE RUNGS TO GO …

… FOUR RUNGS TO GO …

… THREE RUNGS TO GO …


On the outside there’s a commotion as having helped Johnny Nitro back to his feet, Melina and Chris Masters are now involved in an altercation with Kelly Kelly and Nick Dinsmore... which soon turns into a fistfight between Dinsmore and Masters! Seeing the fight, Punk pauses briefly, then looks up at the briefcase... and realises he has to chase his dream!

… TWO RUNGS TO GO …

... ONE RUNG TO GO...
...

Nitro is now back on his feet, and he and Masters double-team Dinsmore, but Punk almost has the briefcase... until ‘MVP’ slides into the ring... and pushes over the ladder... CAUSING PUNK TO FALL OVER THE TOP ROPE... RIGHT ONTO NITRO, MASTERS AND DINSMORE!! It’s an incredible distance Punk falls, and he takes out all three men in the process! ‘MVP’ spots Jeff and Benoit still down on the canvas, so he delivers a few boots to the chest of both men. Heading for the ladder, ‘MVP’ starts to climb...

… SIX RUNGS TO GO …

… FIVE RUNGS TO GO …

… FOUR RUNGS TO GO …


But now both Hardy and Benoit make their moves, with Jeff climbing the opposite side from ‘MVP’, while Benoit grabs a second ladder and sets it up. Both men scramble up the ladder, while ‘MVP’ continues to lead the way...

… THREE RUNGS TO GO …

… TWO RUNGS TO GO …


Both Benoit and Jeff start to hammer ‘MVP’, the three men perilously perched near the top of the ladders. A big elbow to the side of the head has Benoit rocking, but he manages to keep his balance. Hardy and ‘MVP’ continue to battle it out, only for Benoit to smack ‘MVP’ with a headbutt... headbutt to Hardy... another to ‘MVP’... but now Hardy drills Benoit with right after right to the face, causing Benoit’s ladder to wobble... but as Hardy and ‘MVP’ both reach out, each getting hands on the briefcase, Benoit maintains his balance... then uses his leg to push the other ladder... HARDY AND ‘MVP’ BOTH FALL ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR!! It’s a brutal landing... but now there’s nobody stopping Chris Benoit! Benoit climbs the final rung... reaches up... GETS HIS HANDS ON THE BRIEFCASE... BUT OUT OF NOWHERE HERE COMES ORTON!! Orton slides into the ring, races up the ladder... and drills Benoit in the midsection! Benoit is stood on the second top rung, both hands on the briefcase... but Orton hammers rights to the gut! Benoit drops down a rung... and ROCKS ORTON WITH A HEADBUTT... BUT ORTON REACHES UP... AND SMASHES THE BRIEFCASE OFF BENOIT’S FACE... CAUSING BENOIT TO FALL! ORTON’S ALL ALONE AT THE TOP OF THE LADDER... AND HE GRIPS THE BRIEFCASE... UNHOOKS IT... AND WINS THE MATCH!!!!

Winner: And NEW Mr. Money in the Bank, Randy Orton @ 16.13

It's RANDY ORTON! Orton grabs hold of the briefcase and holds it dear to his chest, managing to keep his balance on top of the ladder as he smiles with a look of evil delight on his face. Orton grits his teeth as he triumphantly holds the briefcase high in the air amid the absolute carnage that is scattered around him...


Howard Finkel: Here is your winner... and NEW Mr. Money in the Bank... ‘THE LEGEND KILLLLEERRRR’... RAAAANNNNDY... OOORRRRRTON!

Slowly Orton climbs down the ladder, jumping he last few rungs and briefly losing his balance as he drops down to his knees. Orton picks himself up and steps over the broken body of Chris Benoit, staggering towards the corner to then climb up to the second rope to once again hold the briefcase high in the air. The camera then darts between the other participants, with Jeff Hardy still face down on the floor, King Booker slowly rolling over onto his back, while CM Punk tries but fails to pick himself up with the help of Dinsmore and Kelly Kelly...


Michael Cole: In all my years in the WWE, in all my years of witnessing ladder matches, I don't think I've ever seen anything like that. Bodies have been broken, dreams have been shattered, but amongst all the carnage and the mayhem, Randy Orton is standing tall with the Money in the Bank briefcase! Orton has just guaranteed himself a title shot at any time over the next twelve months!

Jerry Lawler: That was unbelievable! What an effort from all eight men involved. I don't think anybody is gonna be the same after that one, but congratulations to Randy Orton, he is the last man standing, and now he's gave himself a shot at becoming world champion again!

Orton now makes his exit from the ring, both arms wrapped around the briefcase as he holds it close to his chest, almost in disbelief that it's actually his. Again we see the various competitors try to pick themselves up, with Benoit now coming around, a look of sheer exhaustion on his face as he realises he was so close to completing the fairy tale. On the outside, Nitro looks completely out of it as Chris Masters struggles to keep him upright, while 'MVP' has to use the barricade to drag himself back to his knees...


Jim Ross: These men put their bodies, perhaps even their careers on the line tonight, and look at the result. They all came close to victory at one time or another, but none came close than Chris Benoit. I really thought Benoit had victory in his grasp when he made that final run up the ladder, but it was Randy Orton who prevailed.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And now look at Benoit, he can barely move! I tell ya' somethin', that was the most chaotic thing I've ever seen! We've got eight guys here who ain't never gonna be the same, but only one of 'em is a winner right now, and that's 'The Legend Killer'.

Tazz: I thought Benoit had it won, but hey, credit to Randy Orton. He came outta nowhere and he got the job done. Congratulations to Randy Orton, the NEW Mr. Money - in the - Bank!

By now, Orton has made it to the top of the aisle, stopping just before the entrance way to once again hold the briefcase above his head, a sick smile of satisfaction on his face, before he winces and pulls the briefcase down, turning to head backstage as we head into another video.


*Video Package*


We now see a short video package highlighting the sights and sounds of "Wrestlemania Week", showcasing the events that the WWE has taken part in during their stay in the city of Detroit. We start with John Cena's appearance on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' to promote the show, with Cena putting over the magnitude of the event...

Jay Leno: So this Sunday, it's Wrestlemania XXIII! One of the biggest nights of the year in any form of entertainment!

John Cena: I can't wait to finally get my hands on Bobby Lashley with a level playin' field. It's gonna be an unbelievable night.

Before he takes Kevin Eubanks up and down with the FU onto a padded section of the stage floor!

We then cut to see the THQ Superstar Challenge, where the best of the best WWE gamers square off to crown this years champion. We see various clips from the competition, with the participants straining and moving the control pad around in the hope it will spur on their character to victory. Ultimately the final is contested between red hot favourite Shelton Benjamin and CM Punk, with Punk scoring the surprise win and then being presented with the championship trophy.

Santino Marella: They tell-ah me to play 'de game, but Santino Marella is not-ah a character! 'Dis is 'de biggest outrage of all 'de times!

And now it's on to Wrestlemania Fan Axxess, with various clips of superstars interacting with the fans, including us hearing from a few of the far travelled fans, who list off the various countries they have came from to be at the event...

Irish Fan: I came all the way from Ireland!

Austrialian Fans: We're from Australia.

German Fan: I am from Germany, ja?

There's also a few shots from an exclusive Fan Axxess match where The Hart Legacy take on The Bluebloods, with Harry Smith hitting the running powerslam on William Regal to grab the win.

Finally, we see rapid fire footage of the transformation of Ford Field. We start with the empty stadium, a picture of seats and grass, until it changes with first the grass being covered, then the stage structure being installed, then the ring and set being put in place, before finally earlier tonight as the fans start filling in, the video ending with the opening fireworks display we saw at the top of the show. It's quickly back to Fan Axxess to see a group of young children, all smiling at the camera as they scream...

"WRESTLE - MAAANNNNIIIIAAAAAAAA!!"


*End Video Package*

And as the video fades out, we quickly cut to a three way split shot of the three men involved in tonight's WWE Championship Triple Threat Match. On the left, Triple H sits stern faced on a black steel chair, carefully wrapping white tape around his fists, clenching and punching one hand into the other as he does so. In the middle is the champion, Shawn Michaels, who sits solemnly on a bench, his head resting back against the wall behind him. Michaels has his eyes closed tight, obviously in some kind of prayer, contemplating the match that awaits him tonight. And finally on the right is Rob Van Dam, in that traditional split-legged stretch of his, his feet propped up on two stacks of palettes at either side of the corridor. Van Dam has his head down, straining for that extra few inches of stretch, before he brings his head up, swings one leg down to the floor and then brings himself to a vertical base, shaking his legs loose...

Jim Ross: There you see the three men who will compete for the richest prize in all of sports entertainment, the WWE Championship. The champion, Shawn Michaels, defends the gold against Triple H and Rob Van Dam. All three men look very focused, they look ready to do battle in what is sure to be a very personal match up.

Jerry Lawler: Oh absolutely, especially when Michaels and Triple H go at it. But you do you think's gonna win it J.R.? Who's gonna leave Wrestlemania XXIII as the WWE Champion?

Jim Ross: I honestly don't know 'King'. This one's just too close to call for me. Shawn Michaels has always turned up and delivered when Wrestlemania rolls around, Triple H has the championship pedigree, while Rob Van Dam might be the hungriest of the three, especially infront of his fellow Michigans. Such a tight contest, and all it could take is one mistake for the match to be over.

A few seconds silence until...

*RAGE...*


The smarks in the audience go wild as the IWC's favourite Bryan Danielson steps into the big time of Wrestlemania for the first time. Looking all business as he always does, Danielson pumps his fist to the crowd as he calmly yet confidently heads for the ring...


Tony Chimel: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is for... the WWE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP! Introducing first, he is the challenger... from Aberdeen, Washington... weighing in at 210 pounds... BBRRRYYANNN... DANNIELLSSSOOOOONNNNNNN!

Danielson shakes off his maroon robe, revealing a pair of bright white tights beneath them. Danielson heads for the corner and steps up to the second rope, raising a fist above his head as he salutes the fans, before he drops back down to the mat and bounces up and down on his toes, cracking his head from side to side as he awaits his opponent...

Michael Cole: Certainly we're all lookin' forward to the WWE Championship Match, but right now it's time for the Cruiserweight Championship to be put up for grabs. Here comes the challenger, the always impressive Bryan Danielson, a man who's made such an impact since arriving in the WWE just a few months ago.

Tazz: Who can forget the performance Danielson had back at No Way Out, when he went just shy of thirty minutes and pushed Gregory Helms to the absolute limit. Helms has been dodgin' and runnin' from Danielson ever since, except for the cheap shots he's took on 'im. I think Danielson has Helms' number, and I think Helms knows that. But tonight there ain't nowhere for the champ to run, and he's gonna have to step into the ring one on one with Bryan.

John Bradshaw Layfield: He's fought around the world, he's been trained by some of the best, but let's just remember that a few short months ago this guy was still makin' a livin' wrestlin' infront of fifty people in a high school gym. He might look cool, calm and collected right now, but just you wait 'til Helms gets a hold of 'em, then we'll see how this kid reacts to the pressure of Wrestlemania.

"LISTEN..."

*IT'S TIME...*


A good level of heat as the Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms steps into the fray. Wearing a long leather trench coat with a beanie hat on his head, Helms scowls at the fans as they boo him, before he takes the Cruiserweight Title from around his waist and holds it high in the air...


Tony Chimel: Introducing his opponent... from Raleigh, North Carolina... weighing in at 215 pounds... he is the WWE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION... GGGGGRRRREGORY HEELLLLLMMMSSSSS!

Helms steps into the ring and takes a few steps towards Danielson, perhaps looking for a cheap shot, although referee Scott Armstrong steps in-between the pair to keep them in check. Helms then heads for the corner, stepping up to the second rope where he once again shows off the gold to the chagrin of the crowd...

Michael Cole: He's been the Cruiserweight Champion for over fourteen months now. The longest reigning Cruiserweight Champion in WWE history. He has taken on and beaten an incredible array of talent since becoming champion, but is he perhaps about to face his biggest challenge tonight in Bryan Danielson?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Absolutely not, no. Tonight is the night that Gregory Helms silences all the doubters, proves wrong all the nay sayers, and once and for all shows why he truly is the greatest cruiserweight in professional wrestlin' today. All the talk's ben about Danielson, all the talk's been about how we’re gonna have a new champion. I can't wait to see you two and all these idiots in this stadium eat their words when Helms retains.

Tazz: Hey, credit where it's due, this guy's been a great champion, he's got a ton o' talent, but he's been runnin' his mouth for a long time now, and he ain't done nothin' to back it up. Well it's put up or shut up time for this guy right now, and I got a feelin' his mouth's about to be shut big time by Bryan Danielson!

Helms and Danielson now stand across from each other, with Helms giving the title belt one last kiss before he hands it over to the referee... one final kiss goodbye perhaps? The two stand opposite each other, with Helms' smirk a stark contrast to the stern look on Danielson face as the bell rings...





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

We're underway, with both men quickly circling the ring, looking for an opening. Neither finds one, so the pair lock up for a collar-and-elbow tie up, which Helms quickly works into a standing side headlock. Helms twists on the neck, but Danielson is able to fire him off the ropes... only for Helms to bowl Bryan over with a shoulderblock. Helms is quickly on the run again, but this time Bryan rolls onto his stomach as Helms runs above him... then springs up to avoid Helms with a leapfrog... and as he lands Bryan heads for the opposite ropes, both men charging at each other... FLYING FOREARM SMASH knocks Helms down! Both men are quickly back up, but Danielson beats Helms to the punch as he tags Helms with a succession of forearms to the side of the head, backing Helms against the ropes. Danielson goes for the Irish whip, but Helms reverses... only for Bryan to run underneath his clothesline... and keep on running for a RUNNING DROPKICK! Helms is down, scrambling for the corner, but Danielson pumps his fist and charges in... RUNNING ELBOW SMASH! It's a vicious collision that forces Helms to immediately grab his jaw, the champion then dropping down to the mat and rolling outside. Helms winces and rubs his jaw in pain, pacing backwards and forwards at the foot of the aisle. Helms doubles over with his back to the ring, trying to suck in some air and dampen Danielson's momentum... but this means he doesn't see the challenger charging off the opposite ropes... SUICIDE DIVE THROUGH THE ROPES!!

Danielson takes a chance, but it pays off as he takes Helms down, although both men lay on the floor in pain for a few seconds. Naturally, it's the challenger who's on his feet first, dragging Helms up, rolling him under the bottom rope and then crawling into a lateral press... 1... 2... Helms kicks out! Far too early to put Helms away, and Bryan realises this as he starts hammering with uppercuts, then sends Helms off the ropes into a back elbow. Helms is down, and here comes Bryan... RUNNING SENTON! Danielson lands flush across Helms' ribs, and again goes for the cover... 1... 2... Helms kicks out strong. The champion now crawls to the corner to try cause some seperation, but Danielson stays on him, lighting Helms up with alternating chops to the chest and forearms to the side of the head. The crowd “Wooooo!” for every chop and pop for every forearm, but the boos ring out as Helms firstly hits a desperation thumb to the eye then tags Danielson with a right hand, causing him to stagger back. Here comes Helms from the corner... but Bryan ducks his clothesline... and snatches Helms from behind... RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX! Helms is down, and Bryan scrambles over to hook the leg...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......HELMS KICKS OUT......
!!

Helms drags himself off the canvas to a seated position, but this just prompts Danielson to unload with a series of shoot kicks to the base of the spine, then the chest, Helms desperately trying to cover up, leaving him exposed to a big kick to the back of the head that knocks him back down. Helms’ legs are like rubber as Danielson drags him to a vertical base, yanking the champion into the corner where he again strikes to land a trio of forearms to the side of the head. Grabbing a handful of hair, Danielson climbs up to the second rope, pumps his fist to the fans who cheer in encouragement... and Danielson starts hammering down on Helms, the crowd counting along with Bryan as he lands seven unanswered right hands... only for Helms to grab Bryan’s legs, walking forward... then dropping Danielson gut first across the top rope! Danielson grimaces in pain as he lays across the ropes, before he pushes himself off them back to his feet, but as Danielson stumbles away, Helms charges from the blindside... to take Bryan down with a RUNNING SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Helms crawls over to hook the leg... 1... 2... Danielson kicks out with authority.

Looking to put together some offence, Helms smacks Danielson with a vicious pair of elbows to the side of the head, then hauls Bryan up, dips his head and drives the challenger to the corner. A series of shoulder thrusts land to the midsection, before Helms goes for the Irish whip across... but Danielson runs up the turnbuckle, pushing off the top with a moonsault... and landing on his feet behind the onrushing Helms! The champion puts on the breaks before he hits the corner, but he’s vulnerable as he turns around... into a NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX! Danielson bridges for the pin... 1... 2... Helms kicks out! Bryan quickly moves to regain control, drilling Helms with kick after kick to the chest that backs Helms to the corner. A hard Irish whip sends the champion to the opposite corner, and across the ring Danielson pumps his fist, builds momentum and races in... but Helms sidesteps... and DANIELSON SPEARS THE RINGPOST!! The challenger instantly groans in pain as his shoulder hits the unforgiving steel, with Helms moving quickly to take advantage, as when Danielson stumbles from the corner clutching his arm, Helms grabs it... SINGLE ARM DDT! Helms plants Danielson, rolls him over for the

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......DANIELSON FORCES HIS SHOULDER UP......
!!!

Helms now starts to focus on Danielson’s arm, dragging the challenger by the wrist towards the ropes, with the champion dropping outside. Helms grabs Danielson’s arm, lifts it up... and slams it down across the apron! Danielson cries out and tries to pull his arm away, but Helms hangs on... to slam it down once more! Helms releases his grip allowing Bryan to roll back towards the centre of the ring, but Helms wastes no time sliding back in, grabbing the arm to lay it flat on the mat... then springing up to drop a knee across it! Again Helms springs up... to drive the knee across the arm! Danielson grabs the arm and rolls away, but Helms quickly rolls him back down and hooks the leg... 1... 2... Danielson rolls a shoulder! Frustration now crosses the face of the champion as he snarls at referee Mickie Henson, and he looks to take it out on Danielson, stomping down on the shoulder of the challenger. Helms then drags Bryan towards the corner, pulling Danielson to his feet to wrap the arm around the top rope. Helms puts his into Bryan’s gut while he pulls hard on the arm, trying to yank it out the socket, the referee having to give Helms a five count before he finally relents. Bryan pulls his arm back into the ring and grabs it in pain, but Helms goes right back to it, grabbing the wrist... then slinging himself over the top rope... PULLING THE SHOULDER DOWN ON THE TOP ROPE! Danielson hits the canvas in agony, with Helms landing nicely on his feet on the floor, a smirk of arrogance on his face as he turns to gloat at the ringside crowd. Danielson is down near the ropes, and this means that Helms can reach into the ring, yank Bryan’s arm down to the canvas, then jump onto the apron... SLINGSHOT LEGDROP ACROSS THE ARM!! Danielson cries in agony, but Helms quickly crawls into the lateral press...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......DANIELSON BARELY GETS THE SHOULDER UP......
!!!

From his knees, Helms starts wildly swinging at the shoulder with a flurry of lefts and rights, before he jumps up to drop boot after boot on the arm. Helms helps Danielson up to his feet, drives his own shoulder into Bryan’s, and then he winds up for the Irish whip... and swings a clothesline... Danielson ducks underneath with a baseball slide... then springs up and tries to hook up Helms from behind... CATTLE MUTTILATION... NO! Danielson tries to take Helms down... but the pain in his left arm is too much and he’s forced to let go... allowing Helms to hammer him with a clothesline! Initially Helms’ eyes are wide in shock, realising that he just had a lucky escape from one of Bryan’s deadly submission moves, but that soon turns to an evil smirk as he realises he’s taken away a huge part of the challenger’s arsenal. Indeed that smirk leads to a sense of arrogance from Helms as the champion swaggers towards Danielson, aiming a well placed kicked to the ribs as Bryan tries to get back up. Methodical in his approach, Helms goes back to the arm with stomps, before he yanks Danielson up... takes him up into the air... and down with a SHOULDERBREAKER!!

And such is the arrogance of the champion that Helms doesn’t even bother to try for the pinfall, instead he returns to his feet with arms spread wide, the crowd responding with heat. The posturing however does give Danielson a chance to try drag himself back up with his good arm, but Helms spots it and moves in to snap another right hand to the shoulder... Danielson fires back with a chop to the chest! Helms recoils, but strikes back with a right to the face... Danielson strikes again with a chop! Another right hand from Helms... another chop from Danielson! And now the challenger steps forward, snapping off a trio of forearms to the side of the head, the crowd rises... until Helms ducks underneath one... and DROP DANIELSON WITH A FALLING NECKBREAKER! Helms silences the masses, and this time he hooks the leg...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......SOMEHOW DANIELSON KICKS OUT......
!!!

Danielson is down and in pain, writhing on the mat in agony, and once more the arrogance of the champion is on full display as he heads to the ropes and shouts down as his biggest supporter ‘JBL’ “Hey John! Watch this... I’m gonna make ‘im tap out!”. Layfield loves it, gushing over Helms on commentary, saying he can’t wait to see Danielson suffer the humiliation of tapping out at Wrestlemania. Helms makes his move, grabbing Danielson’s arm... and looking to drop down into a FUJIWARA ARMBAR... NO! Out of nowhere Danielson counters with an INSIDE CRADLE...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......HELMS KICKS OUT AT THE LAST SECOND......
!!!

Helms survives, but on the kick out, both men are back on their feet, with Helms racing in... Danielson side steps him... and Helms runs into the corner! Helms stumbles and falls, allowing Bryan to very gingerly climb to the top rope... MISSILE DROPKICK! Danielson gets all of it, and drags himself into a lateral press...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......HELMS ROLLS HIS SHOULDER......
!!!

The pain was too much, Danielson was unable to hook the leg, allowing Helms to sneak out. Danielson now looks to build momentum, rocking Helms with a kick to the side of the head, then one to the thigh, then a boot to the midsection that drops Helms to a knee... allowing the challenger to come off the ropes... RUNNING LEG LARIAT! Helms is down, crawling to the corner, where again Danielson uses those educated feet to inflict pain. Still favouring the left arm, is a one-armed Irish whip that sends Helms across with minimal force... but it’s all kinds of force as Danielson nearly kicks Helms’ head off with a RUNNING BOOT! Helms’s eyes glaze over as he staggers forward... and Danielson turns him around... RELEASE TIGER SUPLEX! Helms damn near breaks his neck on impact, with Bryan crawling over to drape an arm across the champion...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
......NO......
!!!

Bryan can’t believe it as Helms hangs on! The challenger has all the momentum now, and he looks to put Helms away, rising to his feet, pumping his fist, fighting through the pain, the crowd going wild as Helms staggers up... and Bryan synchs him from behind... AND GOES FOR THE LEBELL LOCK... NO! Helms aims an elbow to Bryan’s injured arm in desperation, then sneaks behind, takes Bryan down to a knee with a chop block... then races off the ropes... SHINING WIZARD!!! Helms did it, he got all of it! ‘JBL’ is ecstatic as Helms just flops on top of Bryan, his hands raised in the air as he counts along with the...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
......NO......
......BRYAN ROLLED A SHOULDER......
!!!

Ford Field goes wild as Danielson stays alive, with Helms looking in utter shock! Furious, Helms gets right in Henson’s face, screaming that it was three, but all Henson can do is confirm it was two. A look of fury is in Helms’ eyes as he motions for Bryan to get up. Slowly the challenger does so, and here comes the champion... NIGHTMARE ON HELMS STREET... NO! Danielson swings up a boot, catching Helms between the eyes! Helms tries to hang onto the move... although this just gives Danielson a chance to grab the arm... trap the leg... step over... twist... sit... and lock on the LEBELL LOCK!! DANIELSON HAS THE SUBMISSION MOVE LOCKED IN!!! Helms screams in anguish, scratching and clawing, desperately trying to reach the ropes... but he comes up just short! Somehow Helms is able to inch himself towards the ropes... he reaches out... but again comes up short! Ford Field is going wild as Helms shows unbelievable strength to drag himself and Bryan towards the ropes... he reaches out... but just can’t get there! The pain has to be excruciating, and Helms looks like he’s about to tap...

................................
......
.............................
......
..........................
...............
SOMEHOW HELMS REACHES THE ROPES
!!!!!

Danielson can’t believe it as Helms grabs the bottom rope! Releasing the hold, Danielson rolls away and then back to his feet, as now it’s the champion who writhes in agony. Danielson drags Helms up, tagging him with an uppercut, then a chop to the chest, and then a forearm to the side of the head. Helms stumbles away to the corner, where Bryan goes for the Irish whip... Helms reverses... only for Bryan to jump to the second rope! Helms races in... Bryan kicks him in the face! The champion stumbles back, doubled over in pain... so Danielson flies... DIVING SUNSET FLIP... NO! Helms drops down, KNEES ACROSS THE SHOULDERS...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......HELMS GRABS THE SECOND ROPE FOR LEVERAGE......
...............
......DANIELSON DESPERATELY TRIES TO KICK OUT......
...............
...3...
!!!

Winner: And STILL Cruiserweight Champion, Gregory Helms @ 12.04

Helms has stolen it! Danielson kicks out but it's just too late as Helms picks up the victory, although he clearly cheated to win. The force of the kick out causes Helms to fly through the ropes, crashing to the floor below, but Helms is all smiles as he realises that by hook or by crook, he's somehow gotten the job done here tonight...


Tony Chimel: Here is your winner... and STILL WWE Cruiserweight Champion... GGGGGRRRREGORY HEELLLLLMMMSSSSS!

Quickly picking himself back up, Helms heads for the timekeeper's desk, snatching the belt out of Chimel's hands before he quickly makes for the exit. In the ring, Danielson tries to explain to Armstrong what happened, pointing out that Helms had a handful of tights as he desperately tried to kick out in time. Armstrong looks apologetic as he shakes his head, admitting he didn't see anything, prompting Bryan to place his head on the ropes in complete and utter dejection...

Michael Cole:
You gotta be kiddin' me! Gregory Helms, he- he-

John Bradshaw Layfield:
He did it! He proved it once and for all, he's the greatest cruiserweight in the world! Look at ya' Michael, you're speechless! You can't believe your boy Danielson couldn't get it done! God I love it! Gregory Helms is STILL on top of the cruiserweight mountain! What a Wrestlemania moment!

Tazz: That no good, sunnova bitch! I can't believe the referee never saw Helms had a handful of tights! Bryan Danielson just got robbed here tonight!

Helms runs up the aisle, not wanting to be anywhere near Danielson right now, but ever the heel he turns and backs his way to the entrance way, holding his title high in the air, before he pulls it down and looks straight into the nearest camera, shouting "I told you! I'm the best in the world!", Helms sneering into the lens as quick laugh escapes his mouth, with the camera taking one last look back at Danielson, frustration on his face as he grits his teeth, his head shaking as we once again see that silent rage of his.

But alas, we must move on, and it's backstage we go to see the ever bubbly Maria standing by, microphone in hand...


Maria: Hi there! I'm Maria! And please welcome my guest at this time, 2007 WWE Hall of Fame inductee... 'The Hardcore Legend'... MICK... FOLEY!!

The fans pop big time as the smiling figure of Mick Foley enters the frame, dressed in a flannel shirt, showing that he's still the same blue collar man as always despite joining the elite group than can call themselves WWE Hall of Famers...
Maria: Now Mick, I'm sure it was a huge honour to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last night. But I have to ask you, how's it feel to be back at Wrestlemania? I mean, we all remember the match you and Edge had together last year. Do you still have that itch to get back into the ring on the biggest stage of them all?

Foley smiles and nods warmly...

Mick Foley:
I'll be honest with ya' Maria, I don't think that itch will ever go away. Absolutely, I was incredibly honoured and humbled to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last night, it was without a doubt one the highlights of my career. It was just... an incredible experience, a night I'll never forget and that I'll always be thankful for.

Again the crowd cheer, with Foley kinda shrugging his shoulders a little bit...

Mick Foley: But I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish I could be back in that Wrestlemania ring one last time. The chance to compete infront of over 70,000 people, I'd love for that opportunity. Who knows, maybe next year some young punk will step up and challenge me just like Edge did last year. And speaking of Edge, bein' here tonight really brings back a lot of memories of last year. I had a few great Wrestlemania moments, but if last year with Edge proves to be the last one... then I think that was a pretty sweet way to call time on my Wrestlemania career.

Another pop, with Foley nodding in recognition of the fans...


Mick Foley: I can honestly say that I look back on my Wrestlemania appearances and know that I've got no regrets about any of the matches, and I know that...

Foley trails off and then comes to a stop as something, or someone catches his eye off camera. The camera quickly pans to the right to reveal that the object of Foley's attention is none other than 'The Rated-R Superstar' Edge! Heat breaks out for the mere sight of Edge, who cockily steps towards Foley...

Edge: No regrets, huh Mick? I bet I can think of one. I bet the fact that last year at Wrestlemania XXII, I took you on... and then I beat you... at your own game... stands out as a pretty big regret. I bet you wish you had that one back, or better yet, I bet you wish you never even crossed me and stepped foot into the ring with me.

Edge steps forward, standing inches away from Foley...

Mick Foley:
Well, actually... no, Edge. I don't regret our match last year. Even though I lost, I still consider it one of the best matches of my career.

Edge nods smugly...

Edge: Oh I'm sure you do Mick. But you see, last year was just another step up the ladder for me. As far as I'm concerned, you were just a warm up for tonight. I'm not wastin' anymore time on washed up old has-beens like you. Y'see tonight I'm gonna become World Heavyweight Champion when I beat Batista. And you... you're sorry excuse for a career is finally over. That's gotta sting just a little bit, huh Mick?

Foley shakes his head, turning away from Edge, but Edge carries on...

Edge: But I'll give you credit for one thing Mick. You really did push me to all new levels last year. You took me to depths I never knew I had in me. And for that... I guess I oughta say thank you. 'Cause when I beat Batista tonight, I'm not gonna need to set tables on fire... I'm just gonna beat him and prove that I'm just - that - good!

Edge smirks right in Foley's face before he turns and heads off, making sure to brush Foley's shoulder as he leaves. Foley laughs to himself, rubbing his chin with hand as he once again shakes his head...


Mick Foley:
Y'know somethin' Maria? I really hope Batista kicks his ass tonight!

And the crowd loudly voice their agreement as they erupt with another cheer, and it seems Maria is on board too as she nods her head happily, the camera lingering on 'The Hardcore Legend' before we fade into another video...

*Video Package*

Our video package opens with interchanging shots of Mickie James and Beth Phoenix, the two looking very focused and determined as they pace the ring during matches they've been involved in recently...

Beth Phoenix: Y'see, a long time ago, me and Mickie... we used to be friends.

Mickie James: It’s true, me and Beth, we were best friends.

We cut to grainy footage from OVW where James flies off the top rope to take Beth down with a missile dropkick...

Beth Phoenix: Infact, my first ever match was with Mickie James.

Mickie James: We trained together, we travelled with each other between shows, we even lived together in a cramped little apartment near our nearest wrestling school.

Cut to modern day footage where Phoenix plants Candice Michelle with the Beth Valley Driver, before we then see Mickie put away Victoria with the Mickie-DT...

Beth Phoenix: And then one day in late 2005, we got a phone call. Monday Night Raw was looking for a new diva to join the show.

Mickie James: When we got the call about the Divas spot on the Raw roster, we both wanted it so bad.

Footage from 2005, where Mickie makes her first appearance on WWE television, introducing herself to Trish Stratus and Ashley Massaro, declaring herself Trish's biggest fan...

Beth Phoenix: I always assumed that we'd stay friends, no matter which one of us earned that contract.

Mickie James: We used to be so close, but as soon as she knew it was me and her for a WWE contract, she became like a recluse.

Recent footage from the episode of Raw where Victoria brought Beth back to the WWE, the imposing Divas cutting a fierce figure as she walks down the ramp, contrasted with the worried look on Mickie's face as she sits behind the announce desk...

Beth Phoenix: The day before our tryout match against each other, Mickie... she injured me. She broke my damn hand!

Mickie James: It was a total accident, I’d never hurt anybody on purpose, never mind my best friend.

We now cut to the summer of 2006, where Beth Phoenix makes her first debut on Raw, appearing out of nowhere to attack Mickie, prompting James to leave from the ring, screaming in a wild frenzy...

Beth Phoenix: She got to be friends with Trish Stratus, she got to face Trish at Wrestlemania, she became Women's Champion!

Mickie James: But the WWE offered me the contract and said it was now or never. It was my dream come true!

Wrestlemania XXII, where after her victory over Trish Stratus, Mickie James holds the Women's Championship triumphantly above her head...

Beth Phoenix: I'm gonna get my hands on you Mickie, and when I do...

Mickie James: Y’know, if you asked me two years ago, I’d never have believed I’d ever be sayin’ this. But Beth Phoenix...

And now quick fire footage of the two taking down various opponents with high impact offense...

Beth Phoenix: I'm gonna make you pay for what you did to me!

Mickie James: I really wanna kick her ass!

And we end where we started, two separate images meshed together, but women looking extremely focused, looking ready for war as we fade to black.


*End Video Package*

Back into the arena to the sound of silence, however this is soon broken as the bell tolls and we cut to Lillian Garcia stood in the middle of the ring...

Lillian Garcia: The following contest is scheduled for one fall, and it is for... the WWE... WOMEN’S CHAAAMMMMPIONSHIP!

*GLAMAZON...*


A solid level of heat as the powerful looking Beth Phoenix emerges. By her side is of course Victoria, the two cutting a fierce yet sexy look as they briefly pose at the top of the ramp, before the two confidently march towards the ring...


Lillian Garcia:
Introducing first, she is the challenger... from Buffalo, New York... 'THE GLAMAZON'... BETH... PHOOEEEENNNIIXXXX!

Beth jumps up onto the apron and then straddles herself across the top turnbuckle, posing with her hands above her head, the perfect picture of beauty and power, before she backflips into the ring, where Victoria is there waiting to offer a few last minute words of encouragement...

Jim Ross: One of the most impressive Divas I can ever remember seeing. A true mix of power and beauty, a young lady who has physically dominated since she arrived here on Raw just two months ago. Tonight, she takes on Mickie James for the Women's Championship, a match that Beth feels is two years in the making. I don't think I've seen anybody dominate Mickie James like Beth Phoenix has as of late, but will it happen again tonight?

Jerry Lawler: Well let's remember one thing here, Beth Phoenix has already managed to pin Mickie James, albeit in tag team action. And that for me shows that Beth has what it takes to put Mickie away. And quite frankly, I've yet to see anythin' outta the champion that suggests she can put away the challenger. I hate to say it, but Beth Phoenix looks unstoppable, and Mickie James doesn't.

*OBSESSION...*

A strong reaction as the Women's Champion Mickie James bounces out onto the stage, thrusting her championship high into the air. James stops on the stage as he jumps from side to side, firing up the crowd as she goes, but all the fun and enthusiasm stops the second she lays eyes on Phoenix, the champion quickly flashing look that shows she means business tonight...


Lillian Garcia: And her opponent... from Richmond, Virginia... she is THE WWE WOMEN’S CHAMPIOOONNN... MICKIE JAMESSSSS!!!

And indeed that emphasis on serious business continues as instead of bouncing down the ramp as she usual does, Mickie instead strides down to the ring with purpose, not for one second taking her eyes on her opponent...

Jim Ross: Mickie James walked into Wrestlemania XXII last year and emerged as the Women's Champion with a hard fought victory over one of the best ever, Trish Stratus. Can Mickie pull off yet another huge Wrestlemania victory by beatin' her former best friend, Beth Phoenix?

Jerry Lawler: I don't know J.R., I just can't see it happenin'. Mickie's been a great champion, she's beatin' the best of 'em, but I don't think she's got what it takes to- HEY!

'King' reacts with surprise and the crowd pops as Mickie tosses aside the Women's Championship, races down the ramp, slides under the bottom rope... and tackles Phoenix to the mat! The fight is on!






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

And it’s on in a big way as Mickie mounts Beth and starts hammering down on her with stiff right forearms, each blow landing across Beth’s jaw. The champion then grabs two handfuls of hair as she starts slamming Phoenix’s head off the canvas, the crowd cheering for the wild way this match has gotten underway. The referee calls for a break, and as Mickie rolls off of Beth, Phoenix takes the chance to roll under the bottom rope to the safety of the outside. James is in no mood to let up though as he rolls outside too, spinning Beth around... another big forearm lands to the side of the head! The challenger drops to a knee, but as Mickie moves in, the champion senses Victoria sneak up from behind... only for Mickie to turn and catch her! Victoria backs away as Mickie threatens her with a right hand, but here comes Beth to take advantage... Mickie turns back around just in time... and rocks Beth with another stiff forearm! Another pair of rights land before the challenger is rolled back into the ring, with Mickie sliding in for the lateral press... 1... Beth kicks out quickly.

Dragging Beth back up by the hair, Mickie again strikes with those hard right forearms, hitting a trio that snap Phoenix’s head back... only for the challenger to swing a right... that Mickie ducks! James now strikes with a kick to the midsection, then one to the side of the body... before a big roundhouse kick knocks Phoenix down! Mickie drops down into the cover... 1... 2... Beth powers out. The challenger is reeling, crawling to the corner to try get her bearings, but Mickie stays on her, following in, yanking Phoenix up and then unloading once more with another flurry of forearms to the side of the head. Mickie then rears back to fire Beth across the ring, only for the stronger Phoenix to reverse and send Mickie to the opposite corner... but as Beth charges in, Mickie uses the top ropes to elevate herself over the onrushing Phoenix... Beth catches Mickie on her shoulders! Pulling Mickie away from the ropes, Beth lines James up... only for the champion to drop onto her feet behind Beth... and then pushing Beth sternum first into the corner! Mickie sneaks up from behind... and takes Beth down with a rollup... 1... 2... again Phoenix kicks out!

The force of the kickout sends Mickie stumbling into the corner, where Beth moves quickly to catch her... but the challenger runs right into a boot to the face! Beth grabs her chin and stumbles back, but then she lines up and charges once more... this time Mickie avoids it... and Beth again runs into the turnbuckle! Another string of right forearms land to the side of the head, before Mickie yanks Beth from the corner and goes for the Irish whip... but Phoenix reverses... and lines Mickie up... baseball slide from the champion avoids the clothesline! Mickie is quickly on her feet and again coming off the ropes... only for Victoria to reach in and grab Mickie by the foot! The champion puts on the breaks and tries to kick out at Victoria, but all this gives Phoenix a chance to recover... to then run through Mickie with a powerful clothesline! Mickie’s head hits the canvas violently as Phoenix finally manages to score some offence, but the early onslaught takes its toll as the challenger initially drops to a knee to try recover.

After a few seconds Phoenix goes on the attack, stomping down on the chest of Mickie, before the challenger yanks the champion to her feet with a handful of hair. A knee to the midsection doubles Mickie over, allowing Beth to unload with forearms to the small of the back, each blow causing the champion to cry out in pain. Phoenix then goes for the Irish whip to the corner... only for Mickie to jump to the second rope... and then fly out with a springboard crossbody... but Beth catches her! Showing incredible strength, Phoenix hoists James onto her shoulder... and then races in... RUNNING POWERSLAM AGAINST THE TURNBUCKLE! The crowd gasp as Mickie hits the corner and then crumples down to the canvas in pain, with the personal nature of this match shinning through from the sick grin on Beth’s face. Phoenix moves in for a few more stomps to the chest, but with Mickie lying in the corner, referee Chad Patton steps in to drag Beth away. Phoenix offers no resistance, as with the referee’s back to Mickie, this allows Victoria to move in, grabbing one of Mickie’s feet and then placing a hand under her chin... for a BOW AND ARROW STRETCH ACROSS THE RINGPOST!! Mickie cries out in agony as her back is pulled hard against the steel, with Victoria releasing the hold just before Patton catches her.

With Mickie still lying spine against the ringpost, Patton moves in and tries to encourage James back to her feet, only for Phoenix to charge in... BASEBALL SLIDE DROPKICK AGAINST THE STEEL! Once again the crowd “Ooh!” while screams in pain, but Beth wastes no time in dragging the champion to the middle of the ring to hook the leg...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……

Mickie kicks out! Showing a certain level of arrogance, Phoenix stands over Mickie telling her to get up, with Victoria on the outside loving it, loudly applauding Beth’s actions. Tired of waiting, Beth yanks Mickie back to her feet, then scoops Mickie up onto her shoulder... tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Beth plants Mickie back to the canvas and again hooks the leg... 1... 2... Mickie rolls a shoulder! The pace of the match slows right down now as Phoenix takes over, helping Mickie back to her feet, then putting her back down with a snapmare, following this with a stiff kick to the spine. With Mickie still in a seated position, Beth pounces to wrap an arm under Mickie’s chin, pulling back on her head while driving a knee into Mickie’s lower back. Wrenching on the hold, Phoenix violently pulls back on James’ neck, causing all kinds of pressure as her back twists against Beth’s knee. Mickie scratches and claws at Beth’s arm, trying to break her grip, but this just causes Beth to up the pressure, pressing her hips forward to further drive the knee while again pulling harder on the chin. The crowd start to clap in an attempt to bring Mickie back into the match, and slowly James is able to force herself back to a vertical base, but Beth continues to keep the hold locked on. James shows great flexibility by kicking up and over her body to smack Beth in the face, and she follows with another kick to the face, allowing her to twist her body. This then lets Mickie drive knees to Beth’s face, but Phoenix keeps that arm wrapped around Mickie’s head... allowing her to stop the mini rally with a pair of forearms to the spine. Having Mickie in a front-facelock, Beth effortlessly hoists Mickie up into the air... and then down across the top rope... for a slingshot suplex! The added momentum creates a violent collision between Mickie and the canvas, and Beth quickly crawls into the lateral press...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……

Mickie rolls a shoulder! Frustration shows from Beth as she yells “C’mon!” at the official, but she quickly goes back on the offensive, grabbing Mickie and dragging her by the hair to the corner. With her head against the bottom turnbuckle, Beth aggressively jams her foot into Mickie’s throat, pressing against the turnbuckle, causing the champion to cough and splutter. Beth takes every second of the referee’s five count before she finally relents, only to then drag Mickie up and fire her across... then follow in with a corner clothesline! Mickie slumps to a seated position on the mat, with the arrogance of the challenger on display as she backs away from the corner, arms spread wide as she soaks in the boos from the crowd. As the referee has a few words with Beth, Victoria reaches in and smacks Mickie with a cheap shot to the face, with Phoenix then going back on the attack as she drags Mickie from the corner... and show an incredible feat of strength as she takes Mickie up above her head... for a GORILLA PRESS SLAM!! Mickie takes the long fall as she crashes to the mat, with Beth sure it’s over as she drops into the pinfall, grinding her forearm into Mickie’s face as she smiles and awaits the inevitable...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
NO!

MICKIE ROLLS THE SHOULDER! Beth can’t believe it, and neither can Victoria! Back on her feet, Beth gets in Patton’s face, demanding it was three, but Patton stands firm and confirms the two count. Turning back to Mickie, Beth reaches down and yanks Mickie back to her feet... and then twists Mickie around... hooks the arms... and hoists the champion up... GLAM SLAM... NO! Mickie struggles out of it... VICTORY ROLL!

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
BETH KICKS OUT!

Out of nowhere Mickie comes close to victory, but after the kickout, Beth quickly jumps on Mickie, hammering her with a wild flurry of rights and lefts. Reigning in her over-confidence, Beth shows more focus as she now looks to finish Mickie off, starting by winding up for a big forearm... but Mickie ducks underneath... and then rattles Beth with a big kick to the side of the head! Phoenix stumbles to the corner, where Mickie races in to smack Beth with more forearms. Mickie then rears back and fires Beth across... Beth reverses the Irish whip then follows in... but as she runs in Mickie gets her feet up... Beth catches them across her shoulders! Phoenix tries to yank Mickie from the corner... but Mickie hangs on... then explodes out with the MICK-A-RANA!! James sends Phoenix flying to the mat, and now the champion struggles to the ropes, stepping through them to climb upstairs. At the top rope, Mickie waits for Beth to rise... only for Victoria to step up onto the apron... Mickie boots Victoria in the face, sending her crashing to the floor... but the distraction allows Beth to dive for the ropes, causing Mickie to lose her balance! It’s a painful landing as Mickie lands across the top turnbuckle, with Beth wasting no time as she climbs to the second rope... and hooks Mickie up... SUPERPLEX!! Beth takes Mickie flying to the mat, the crowd amazed at such a high risk move from a pair of divas. The impact of the move takes it out of both women, but slowly Beth is able to crawl over and drape an arm across Mickie’s chest...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
MICKIE ROLLS THE SHOULDER!!

Incredibly Mickie James somehow kicks out! Beth can’t believe it as she has her head in her hands, jaw nearly on the canvas, utter disbelief on her face. Determined to finally end things, Phoenix reaches down to drag the almost lifeless body of Mickie back up, straining to get James back on her feet, but when she finally does, Mickie is unable to stand on her own two feet, her body slumping forward against Beth’s. Indeed, Phoenix is the only thing keeping Mickie upright, with a sick smirk crossing Beth’s face. Toying with her opponent, Beth grabs Mickie by the hair, pulling Mickie’s head back, shouting at her “You’re gonna pay! YOU’RE GONNA PAY FOR WHAT YOU DID TO ME!”, while on the outside Victoria encourages her friend to end things. Beth holds Mickie in place... then turns her around... and hoists Mickie up into the air... GLAM SLAM... NO! Again Mickie breaks free, this time rolling all the way through, landing behind Beth to then turn and charge off the ropes... LOU THESZ PRESS!! Mickie flies into Beth and takes her down, grabbing the hair to slam the back of Beth’s head off the canvas! Clutching her lower back, the champion now looks to rally, rocking Beth with forearms to the side of the head, a kick to the midsection, before James again comes off the ropes... but Beth takes her up... Mickie transitions into a TILT-A-WHIRL HEADSCISSORS! The challenger is reeling as she stumbles to her feet in the corner, then staggers out... into the LONG KISS GOODNIGHT! Mickie gets all of it as she plants Beth to the mat, then collapses into the lateral press...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
THR- NO!!!

Somehow Beth forces her shoulder off the canvas! A look of desperation crosses Mickie’s face as she wonders what it’s gonna take to put Beth away, but she slowly gets back on her feet and heads for the corner, lining Phoenix up... then charging in... but Beth sees Mickie coming... and takes her up onto her shoulders... Mickie yells in despair as she’s been caught... BETH VALLEY DRIVER... NO! Mickie kicks and twists and turns... using the momentum... for the MICKIE-DT!! Mickie plants Phoenix head first, and Victoria can only watch on in disbelief as Mickie goes for the cover...

………
……
………1………
………
……
………2………
……
3!!!


Winner: And STILL Women's Champion, Mickie James @ 11.14

Lillian Garcia: Here is your winner... and STILL... WWE Women's Champion... MICKIE... JAMESSSSS!!

The crowd gives off a great ovation as James slowly rolls herself away from the cover, laying on the mat for a few more seconds of recovery. James finally picks her head off the canvas, kneeling as the referee hands over the Women's Championship. Mickie caresses the gold, looking down on it lovingly, before she hoists it high above her head...

Jim Ross: She did it! Mickie James has conquered Beth Phoenix! The incredible title run of Mickie just keeps on runnin'! It was a hard hittin' affair between these two former friends, but in the end, Mickie had enough heart, had enough fight, to get the win!

Jerry Lawler: I gotta admit, I never thought she had it in her. But boy am I glad to be proved wrong! What a fantastic effort from Mickie James, she really proved why she's been such a great Women's Champion! And I think she settled a few scores with Beth Phoenix in the process.

On the outside, Victoria hooks Beth's arm across her shoulder, supporting her friends weight as she helps Beth make the long walk backstage. Phoenix is stilled dazed as she and Victoria back away, but Victoria does the talking for her as she shouts at Mickie "This isn't over!". Mickie takes a good, long, hard look at Victoria and Beth as they back away, and once they're a safe distance from the ring, Mickie heads for the corner, jumping to the second rope to celebrate with the fans, the camera soaking in the atmosphere before we head backstage.

To see Josh Matthews briskly walking down a corridor, a camera crew following close behind him. Matthews encourages a bit of urgency in his colleagues as he beckons them on, before Matthews finally comes to a stop outside a door that reads 'Trainer's Room' on it. Matthews quickly adjusts his tie before he points at the title adorning the door...


Josh Matthews: Uh, ladies and gentlemen, as you can see I am outside the trainer's room here in Ford Field, and I am gonna try and get a few words from the man who won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match earlier this evening, Randy Orton. Let's see if we can hear from Orton now...

Matthews knocks on the door an pushes it open to reveal Orton sat on the trainers bed, his head against the brick wall, holding an ice pack against his neck with his left hand. With his right hand, Orton clutches tightly to his torso the Money in the Bank briefcase, not wanting to release his grip on it for even a split second...

Josh Matthews:
Uh... Randy? Randy, can I- can I just grab a few words with you?

Orton winces as he pulls his head forward, keeping the ice pack to his neck, but he slowly manages to nod his head, agreeing to talk...

Josh Matthews: Randy, after the absolute mayhem we witnessed during the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and the effort you put in to grab that briefcase, I was just wondering what are your thoughts now that you are Mr. Money in the Bank?

Orton takes his time in answering, clearly in pain as he slowly turns his head to look at Grisham, a look of sheer digust on his face...


Randy Orton: My thoughts? My thoughts are that in this briefcase I have a guaranteed title shot at any point over the next twelve months. And that means that from this point on, whoever leaves Wrestlemania as the WWE and the World Heavyweight Champion... they are officially on notice. You see, I don't intend on hangin' onto this briefcase for very long. And that means that the champions of the WWE going forward... better have eyes in the back of their heads.

Orton then has a reminiscent look on his face, presumably regarding the match earlier tonight...

Randy Orton: And let me be the first to apologise for stealin' from all of you that heart-warming Wrestlemania moment that a Chris Benoit or Jeff Hardy win would have brought. But Chris Benoit and Jeff Hardy are not the future of this company... I am. I was the youngest heavyweight champion in WWE history, and that's a level I intend on gettin' back to, and this briefcase is my ticket there.

Orton stops, looking down at the briefcase, before looking back up at Grisham...

Randy Orton: From this night on... the clock is ticking. Slowly ticking down, until once again... I am a champion.

And now Orton again slowly turns his head, this time towards the camera, a look of evil in his eyes as he stares down the lens...

Randy Orton: Tick tock champs... tick tock.

Orton now turns away from the camera, gingerly bringing his legs up onto the bed, allowing him to lie across it... but still he hugs that briefcase tight, both arms wrapped around it, the camera focused on the almost loving embrace Orton is sharing with the briefcase as we head back into the arena...

*WORLD'S GREATEST...*

Boos ring out from the crowd as the always impressive duo of Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Hass, The World's Greatest Tag Team, head down the aisle. Both men are decked out in white tracksuits with red trim, with straight man Haas barely acknowledging the crowd as he has his hood pull down low over his face, while Benjamin is much more interactive as he takes the time to throw a few insults at the fans...


Lillian Garcia: The following contest is the interbrand, Champions vs. Champions Tag Team Showcase Match! Introducing first, representing Monday Night Raw, at a combined weight of 497 pounds... they are the World Tag Team Champions... Shelton Benjamin - Charlie Haas... THE WORLD'S - GREATEST - TAG TEAMMMM!

Haas and Benjamin step through the ropes and remove the title belts from around their waists, handing them over to referee Chad Patton, before they then head for their corner, the two exchanging a few last minute words...

Jim Ross: It's that time folks, time for some interbrand action! And here representin' Monday Night Raw are perhaps the most technically gifted team in the WWE today. Haas and Benjamin have been World Tag Team Champions for just over one month now, and since then, they've been determined to re-establish tag team competition here in the WWE.

Jerry Lawler: And I may not necessarily like these two guys, I think they've got a real attitude problem, but I gotta give 'em credit for this campaign they've been on lately. Let's remember, it was Haas and Benjamin who laid down the challenge to London and Kendrick. They say they're the best, now let's see if they can back it up.

*SLICED BREAD...*


The crowd pops as Paul London and Brian Kendrick race out from the back, their infectious energy catching the attention of the fans. London and Kendrick stop at the top of the ramp, their faces hidden by the trademark masks they wear, before both men crouch down, soak in the atmosphere, until Ashley Massaro sends her team racing down to the ring, although still hobbled by that knee injury, London is noticeably slower in making it to the ring...


Lillian Garcia: And their opponents... representing Friday Night Smackdown... weighing in at a combined weight of 385 pounds... they are the WWE Tag Team Champions... Paul London and Brian Kendrick... THE HOOLIGANSSS!!

London and Kendrick both fly under the bottom rope and then quickly spring to the to corner to head for the second ropes, playing up to the crowd before they perform duelling backflips down to the mat, although London's knee buckles ever so slightly upon landing. The pair slaps hands together, prompting Ashley to ripe the masks from their faces for another nice pop, although the two are wary of any sneak attack from Haas and Benjamin...

Michael Cole: And here are the Smackdown representatives, London and Kendrick, The Hooligans. One of the most fast paced, exciting teams in WWE history. But as you could see from the way he made his entrance, Paul London is clearly not 100% tonight.

Tazz: Well London's knee got pretty roughed up two weeks ago in a match with Charlie Haas, then two night ago on Smackdown Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade did a number on it too. But hey, London got the pinfall in both of those matches, and I don't see why he couldn't help his team to another win tonight. London and Kendrick might be high fliers, but they're tough as hell too.

John Bradshaw Layfield: That little punk London better not let that knee effect his performance! These two are representin' Friday Night Smackdown, the number one show, the 'A' brand! He's got a bum knee, big deal! Plenty o' people have won championships with worse! No excuses, these two better get the job done tonight!






Tag Team Showcase Match: Champions vs. Champions
World Tag Team Champions The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans

Naturally, it’s Brian Kendrick who steps forward for The Hooligans, while Charlie Haas shares a high five with Shelton before Benjamin leaves the ring. The two men inch towards each other, with Haas initially calling for a test of strength as he puts his hand forward, fingers out. Kendrick does likewise, the two hands locking up, but Haas quickly fires a knee to the gut, catching Kendrick off guard. A clubbing forearm to the back of the neck is followed by an elbow to the back of the head, with Kendrick recoiling into the corner. Haas moves in, but Kendrick manages to strike with a pair of rights to the midsection, only for Haas to quickly hit back with a knee to the face, causing Kendrick to drop to his knees. Haas than yanks Kendrick into his corner, tagging in Benjamin. Shelton enters the ring, and quickly drills a boot to the midsection, but when he winds up for a big right hand, Kendrick blocks it… an nails a right of his own! A back elbow catches Haas off-guard, then another right to Shelton allows Kendrick to take control.

Kendrick fires out of the corner with rights, backing Benjamin all the way across the ring, before Kendrick grabs him by the head and rams Shelton face first into The Hooligans’ corner, allowing him to tag in London. Both Hooligans land shots to the face, then they fire Benjamin off the ropes with a double Irish whip… leapfrog from Kendrick… leapfrog from London! Benjamin runs through both of them… until Kendrick catches him with a HIPTOSS… and at the same time London is running off the ropes… KENDRICK HIPTOSSES LONDON… ON TOP OF BENJAMIN!! Enraged, Haas storms the ring… right into a DOUBLE HIPTOSS! Both Haas and Benjamin stagger back to their feet, but Kendrick once again looks to quicken the pace, coming off the ropes and running at London… who propels his partner into the air… DOUBLE DROPKICK… TO BOTH HAAS AND BENJAMIN! Kendrick catches both men with a foot each, Haas and Benjamin quickly rolling under the bottom ropes to try and regroup. On the outside, both Haas and Benjamin take their time getting back up, using the apron and barricade for support, while in the ring, London and Kendrick have both climbed to the top rope… and then they fly… DUELLING FLYING CROSSBODYS TO THE FLOOR!!

Ford Field responds with a massive pop for the high-paced offence of The Hooligans, with London and Kendrick firing back to their feet, pumping up the crowd. Kendrick grabs his ribs as he limps back to his corner, while London shows no signs of the knee injury, the adrenaline getting him through thus far as he grabs his fellow legal man Haas and rolls him back into the ring. London then climbs up to the apron, waits for Haas to rise… then comes back into the ring with a SLINGSHOT SUNSET FLIP! 1… 2… Haas kicks out strongly. Hass sits up, but London quickly connects with a kick to the back, then yanks Haas up to land a pair of uppercuts. An Irish whip sends Haas off the ropes… into a shot to the gut that doubles him over! London then runs off the adjacent ropes… knee to the face snaps Haas up, but London keeps on running… and when Haas falls to the mat… London hits the RUNNING SHOOTING STAR PRESS!! Here’s the cover…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......HAAS KICKS OUT......
!!

Looking to stay on the attack, London drags Haas up… then takes him back down with a SNAP SUPLEX! London crawls to hook the leg… 1… 2… Haas kicks out again! Haas tries to distance himself from his opponent by crawling to the corner, and when London follows in, Haas connects with a knee to the gut. Haas forcibly yanks London to the corner, driving a pair of shoulder thrusts to the midsection, then snaps the head back with a big uppercut, before he fires London across the ring… and charges in… London gets a boot up! Haas stumbles along the ropes… KENDRICK KNOCKS HIM DOWN WITH A BIG RIGHT HAND! Kendrick leaves his corner to get involved, and the referee is right there to tell him to get back. As this is happening, London climbs to the top rope, waiting for Haas to rise… but with the referee distracted… Benjamin races along the apron… SHOVES LONDON… FLYING INTO THE BARRICADE!! London crashes to the floor, immediately grabbing his knee, writhing on the floor in pain. Kendrick quickly drops down to check on his partner, but Benjamin is soon down there too, protesting for the ref to make Kendrick back away. Kendrick is again ordered back to his corner, allowing Benjamin to again attack from behind, as he waits for London to rise… then drops him with a CHOP BLOCK! London groans in pain, but there’s no time to recover as he’s rolled back into the ring and the waiting arms of Haas.

Having been the victim of a few double team attacks, Haas and Benjamin decide to return the favour, as after Haas hits a few stomps to the back of the knee, he tags in Shelton and the pair go for a double Irish whip… into the waiting Benjamin… SNAP OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX! Shelton hooks a leg… 1… 2… London kicks out. Shelton now drags London towards Haas, pushing him against the turnbuckle to aim a few boots to the top of the knee, before Shelton and Haas pull one of the oldest tag team tricks in the book as Shelton turns and picks a fight with Kendrick, drawing him into the ring. The ref steps in-between the pair, trying usher Kendrick away, allowing Haas to use the TAG ROPE TO CHOKE LONDON! With the ref’s back still turned, Benjamin claps in the air, making it sound like a tag was made, with Haas now stepping into the ring. More kicks and stomps connect with the knee, until Haas takes London up and down with a release German suplex. Benjamin is tagged back in, the pair going for a double Irish whip… into a DOUBLE HIPTOSS… INTO A DOUBLE BACKBREAKER!! London crashes down across both knees, and Benjamin drops into the pinfall…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......LONDON KICKS OUT......
!!

The World Tag Team Champions are making plenty of quick tags now, with Haas coming back into the match. Another double team move is in store as Haas cinches London in… takes him up for a suplex… BUT DROPS HIM GUT FIRST ACROSS THE TOP ROPE! Haas then takes a few steps back, dragging London across the ropes until his feet are all that’s hanging… and here comes Shelton off the ropes… LEAPFROG OVER HAAS… DOWN ACROSS LONDON’S KNEE!! London screams and rolls on the mat in pain, while Benjamin smiles, knowing he has London exactly where he wants him. Haas is the legal man, and he really goes to work on the knee, dropping down to repeatedly drive his own knee into the back of London’s. Hass then grabs the left foot, twisting his knee around London’s, sitting in to apply pressure, then grabbing a handful of hair to pull back on London’s head. Haas continues to torque and wrench on the knee, twisting and sitting further in, increasing the pressure, with London grimacing in pain every time Haas does so. Ashley starts banging her hands off the apron, trying to rally London to the corner, but Haas has him pinned down in the centre of the ring… until London reaches back… and sends Haas flying free with an armdrag! London gets the separation, but he’s wound up putting Haas between he and Kendrick. London scrambles towards his corner… and he crawls through Haas’ legs… only for Haas to grab the foot… and take London down with a LEGWHIP!

Haas drags London by the foot to the corner, tagging in Shelton, who enters the ring with a SLINGSHOT LEGDROP… ACROSS THE INJURED KNEE! Again London cries in agony, but Shelton looks to stay on the attack as he pushes London into the corner, bringing Haas right back in. Shelton holds the leg up, allowing Haas to deliver a stomp to the hamstring, before he unloads with relentless stomps to the chest, trying to soften London up. Hass then takes London up… and drives him down with a BACKBREAKER! With London on the mat, Haas again looks for a submission, this time taking the leg, stepping through… twisting… turning… then sitting in… INVERTED TEXAS CLOVELEAF! Haas leans forward, applying the painful submission, with London groaning in agony. Adding insult to injury, Haas leans forward and grabs a handful of hair, and even manages a quick slap to the face, drawing the ire of Kendrick. Desperately Kendrick reaches out with his hand for London to tag in, but Haas has the hold locked in tight, London in all kinds of pain. Desperately London tries to reach out for the ropes, for a tag, for anyway to break free, but Haas has the hold locked on tight. Somehow London manages to push up on his hands, pushing his torso off the canvas, but despite his best efforts, London can’t crawl towards safety… so instead he rolls through… sending Haas rolling forward… breaking the hold! Haas shakes away the cobwebs… and he can’t stop London heading for the corner… but Benjamin storms the ring, drawing the attention of the referee… LONDON TAGS KENDRICK… BUT THE REF DOESN’T SEE IT!

Kendrick bursts into the ring and tags Haas with a jumping forearm… but then the ref orders him back out! Ford Field erupts with heat as Kendrick is restrained, and behind the ref’s back Benjamin grabs hold of London, dragging him to the centre of the ring, again slapping his hands to imitate a tag as Haas rolls to the outside. Benjamin quickly locks on a grounded reverse chinlock, making it look like he’s had the hold on for a while, just as the referee finally turns back to the action. With things settling down, Benjamin yanks London up, sending him crashing into the corner with a hard Irish whip. Benjamin walks over, hooking the left leg across the middle rope, delivering a pair of kicks to the back of the knee. Another Irish whip sends London stumbling across the ring, before Benjamin rears back, lines London up, then charges… SHELTON SPLASH… NO! London dives to safety, Benjamin hits the turnbuckle! Shelton drops to a knee then scrambles to his corner… tagging in Haas… but London dives to his corner… and TAGS IN KENDRICK! Kendrick bursts into the ring and runs right through Haas with a clothesline, doing the same to Shelton as he stumbles back up. Haas is back for more, but he runs into a back elbow, putting him down. Haas staggers back up, with Kendrick hitting a kick to the gut, then going for an Irish whip… which Haas reverses… SNAP OVERHEAD BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX! The crowd is deflated as Haas ends the momentum, hooking the leg…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......LONDON BREAKS IT UP......
!!

A low-angle dropkick stops the pinfall, but Benjamin quickly grabs London from behind, tossing him from the ring. Haas and Benjamin now look to double team Kendrick going for a double Irish whip… into a DOUBLE FLAPJACK… NO! KENDRICK COUNTERS… DOUBLE TORNADO DDT!! Both Haas and Benjamin are driven to the canvas, with the pair crawling towards a nearby corner. Kendrick sees this and races in… RUNNING DROPKICK TO HAAS… SENDS HIM CRASHING INTO BENJAMIN! Shelton is squashed in the corner, rolling from the ring, allowing Kendrick to go on the attack, snapping off right hands before he sends Haas off the ropes… into a HURRICANRANA!!

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......HAAS BARELY KICKS OUT......
!!

Kendrick has all the momentum, and he looks to keep that rolling as he strikes with kicks to the thighs, then he sends Haas off the ropes… Haas reverses… Kendrick avoids his clothesline with a baseball slide… then smacks Haas with a DROPKICK! Haas stumbles into the face corner, where Kendrick brings London back in. London immediately takes Haas between his legs, then fires him up into the air… while Kendrick goes for SLICED BREAD… AND LONDON LOOKS FOR A POWERBOMB… TOWER OF LONDON!! The Hooligans combine beautifully, with London hooking a leg…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......BENJAMIN DRAGS LONDON FROM THE RING......
!!

The crowd complain as Benjamin yanks London under the ropes, saving the match, with Shelton looking to tag London with right hands… but here comes Kendrick… PLANCHA… SHELTON SIDESTEPS… KENDRICK EATS THE FLOOR! Despite his partner crashing and burning, London snaps back into things as he lines Shelton up… JUMPING ENZUIGIRI! Benjamin looks out cold as he slumps to the floor, and London jumps back onto the apron… then sling onto the top rope… SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY… HAAS COUNTERS… EXPLODER SUPLEX!! It’s gotta be over as Haas drapes an arm across London…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......LONDON GETS A SHOULDER UP......
!!

Haas can’t believe it, London is still in this match! After glaring at the referee, Haas heads for his corner, tagging in Benjamin. Shelton steps in, and he drags London up, looking for an Irish whip… London hits the ropes… and KNOCKS KENDRICK FLYING FROM THE APRON! Kendrick was trying to get back in position, but now he’s down once again… and London is in trouble… as Benjamin hooks him up… T-BONE SUPLEX… NO! London kicks his way free, then goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… BLIND TAG BY HAAS… but London never saw it… and he hits a headscissor takedown… that smacks Benjamin face first off the middle turnbuckle! Haas tries to make a move into the ring… but here comes Kendrick… TACKLING HAAS THROUGH THE ROPES!! The pair have a stiff landing on the outside, but London still thinks he’s dealing with the legal man… as he slowly starts to climb upstairs! Ford Field is on its feet as London lines Benjamin up… but on the floor, Haas goes for an Irish whip… KENDRICK CRASHES INTO THE STEEL STEPS… WHILE ACROSS THE RING… LONDON FLIES… 450 SPLASH!!! London gets all of it… but instantly grabs his knee in pain… and now the legal man, Charlie Haas slides back into the ring… and gets his hands on London… HAAS OF PAIN!!! HAAS LOCKS ON HIS DEADLY SUBMISSION HOLD, LONDON SCRATCHES AND CLAWS FOR THE ROPES… BUT HE CAN’T GET THERE… KENDRICK TRIES FOR THE SAVE… BUT BENJAMIN GRABS KENDRICK’S FOOT… SO LONDON HAS NO OPTION… BUT TO TAP!!!

Winners: The World's Greatest Tag Team @ 12.24

Despite Kendrick's best efforts to make the save, and London's valiant attempt to hang on in there, the pain is too much and London has to tap out. Haas hangs onto the hold for a few seconds after the bell, before he finally relents with the referee berating him and then checking on London...


Lillian Garcia: Here are your winners... THE WORLD'S - GREATEST - TAG TEAMMMM!

Haas stares down at London for a few seconds, before he then heads for the ropes, dropping down and rolling under them to re-join his partner Benjamin. Ashley quickly scurries into the ring to check on London, who writhers on the mat in agony...


Jim Ross:
A tremendous performance from both these teams, a unbelievably impressive showcase of what tag team wrestling is all about. But at the end of the day, it was Monday Night Raw and The World's Greatest Tag Team who prevailed.

Tazz: Yeah but tough break for London and Kendrick, they gave it their all but that injured knee of-

John Bradshaw Layfield: Aw enough of this! They blew it! They were representin' our brand and they got beat! What a pair of screw ups! I used to think The Hooligans had somethin', but they let all of us on Smackdown down tonight.

Michael Cole: Now wait a minute 'JBL'. That was a very brave, very couragoues effort from Paul London. He gave everythin' he had, he was part of a great match up, but the injured knee caught up with him. I don't think The Hooligans have anythin' to be ashamed about.

John Bradshaw Layfield:
If I run ino either of 'em backstage this Friday I'm gonna give 'em a piece o' my mind! They've embarrassed us tonight, and they oughta apologise to each and ev'ry member of the Smackdown roster. That performance was a damn joke!

Kendrick hooks London's arm across his shoulder, helping his partner back to his feet, the crowd giving the pair a warm round of applause. By this point Haas and Benjamin have already headed backstage, victorious, while in the ring London struggles to get through the ropes, Kendrick and Ashley doing their best to support him, the crowd treating the losers as winners for their valiant effort, while we head off to another video.


*Video Package*


Ric Flair: This all started 'cause I eliminated you from Royal Rumble. That's all it was. You can try justify your actions by sayin' I hung around too long, I held young guys down, I didn't put enough people over... but when it all breaks down, you just couldn't live with the fact that at the Royal Rumble, you couldn't live up to your own damn hype!

Cut to footage of Flair eliminating Kennedy from the Royal Rumble match, only for Kennedy to then eliminate Flair and deliver a brutal beating to him at ringside...

Ric Flair: Each and every time I see myself, I toss you over the top rope, you hit the floor, and I think to myself... was it worth it? Did I do the right thing? Was it worth it for my family to suffer the way they have? Was it worth it for my children to wind up in hospital beds? The answer each and every time... was no.

And now we see footage of Kennedy assaulting Reid Flair in Harley Race’s Wrestling Academy and then on Smackdown where he attacks David Flair, with Ric powerless to stop the attacks on both occasions...

Ric Flair: You wanna force me into the retirement home? You wanna prove I'm washed up? You wanna tarnish my legacy? That ain't nothin' compared to what I wanna do to you. Kennedy...

And with a look of pure, unadulterated hate, Flair stares straight down the hard camera...

Ric Flair: I wanna f*BEEP*ing kill you.

We now cut to the arrogant smirk of Kennedy from Raw last week...

Mr. Kennedy: It started at the Royal Rumble, when you tossed me over that top rope. The split - second my feet hit the floor, it all became clear to me. I had to get you outta the way once and for all. I didn't want to Ric... well, not at first. But now?

Shot from Smackdown where Kennedy assaults Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long...

Mr. Kennedy: Now I can't wait to leave you layin' in the middle of that ring, in a pool of your own blood, lookin' up at the lights, beaten, brokin', battered and bruised... to the point that you realise that you NEVER wanna step into a wrestlin' ring ever again.

Then to Saturday Night's Main Event where Kennedy plants referee Nick Patrick...

Mr. Kennedy: I have destroyed everythin' Flair holds dear. I started at the Royal Rumble when I beat him to within an inch of his life.

More footage from the Rumble, where Kennedy batters a bloody Ric Flair around the ringside area...

Mr. Kennedy: I came so - damn - close to breakin' his buddy Arn Anderson's neck.

Smackdown from over six weeks ago where Kennedy attacks Flair’s long-time friend Arn Anderson, knocking him down from behind, drilling him with a sick knee to the side of the head, before he starts choking Arn with nearby electrical cables...

Mr. Kennedy: I cost 'im the tag team titles.

Footage from one month ago at Saturday Night’s Main Event, where Ric Flair has Shelton Benjamin locked in the figure four leglock, only for Kennedy to storm the ring, smacking Flair with one of the title belts, handing victory to The World’s Greatest Tag Team...

Mr. Kennedy: I beat up not one, but two of his sons.

Back to the Harley Race Wrestling academy where Kennedy wraps a microphone cord around Reid Flair’s neck, and then to Smackdown from eight days ago where Kennedy plants David Flair with the mic check...

Mr. Kennedy: And this Sunday... it's your turn Ric.

We now see Flair being interviewed on Raw the night after Saturday Night’s Main Event...

Ric Flair: 30 years... and I've never let an opponent get to me the way this punk Kennedy has. THIRTY - YEARS!! And NOBODY has pissed off 'Ol Naitch the way that sunnova bitch has!

No Way Out, where Kennedy appears ready to deliver the Green Bay plunge to Batista to become the new World Heavyweight Champion, only for him to stop, eyes bulging, dropping down to the canvas...

Mr. Kennedy: You are nothin’ more than some washed up has-been, tryin’ to hang on to what he used to have.

Shots of Flair in his NWA heyday, taking on some of the more legendary opponents he’s faced in his career...

Ric Flair: You wanna ask me why I’m still here, after all these years, still steppin’ through those ropes, night after night? You wanna know why?

Back to No Way Out where we see Batista hammer Kennedy with the Batista bomb, a smiling Ric Flair and Arn Anderson giving Batista the thumbs up from the stage as ‘The Animal’ celebrates...

Mr. Kennedy: And while you might think there’s nothin’ wrong with that, and these fans might cheer their little heads off for it, it does nothin’ but hold the next generation back.

And back to Flair from a years ago, blood streaming from his forehead as he finally sees off Triple H during their amazing Steel Cage Match from Taboo Tuesday 2005...

Ric Flair: ‘Cause I love what I do.

A quick shot of a fierce looking Kennedy...

Mr. Kennedy: It does nothin’… but hold me back.

We now go to Smackdown from four weeks ago when Flair appeared on the show to challenge Kennedy...

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

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

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

Mr. Kennedy:
You want me at Wrestlemania XXIII?

Flair franticly nods his head, sweat flying everywhere…

Mr. Kennedy: You got me Ric!

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

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

BOOM!

Out of nowhere Kennedy HITS FLAIR WITH HIS MICROPHONE!!

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

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

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

Cut to Raw from six nights ago, where during his match with Rob Van Dam, Kennedy tries to recover on the outside, only for Flair to smash a steel chair across his skull...

Ric Flair: I don't care if I wind up in jail for what I'm gonna do to you! I'll make my peace with my children, and I'll make my peace with God, but if I gotta go deeper than the depths you've sunk to, if that's the only way I can make peace with myself, then that's what I'm gonna do!

Rapid fire shots from WCW of much younger David and Reid Flair, images of their childhood and the moments they missed out on with their father...

Mr. Kennedy: Reid Flair is in a hospital somewhere. David Flair oughta be in a mental institute after what I put him through. And after this Sunday... Daddy's comin' home kids!

Flair rips off his suit jacket, tossing it to the canvas...

Ric Flair: Dammit, I'm a legend of this business! I've fought my whole life, earned the respect of my peers, just be called that! You've done nothin' your whole PUNK ASS CAREER! NOTHIN'! And if I can't beat you, then I got nothin' left either!

Kennedy stood in the corner on the second rope, microphone in hand...

Mr. Kennedy: Like Ric Flair likes to say... "To be the man, you gotta beat the man."... and this Sunday, that's exactly what he's gonna do. 'Cause he is none other than... MMMIIISSSTTTEEERRR... KENNEDY!

And finally, rapid fire shots from start to present day of Flair’s career, showing how he’s aged and grown as a performer...

Ric Flair: Diamonds are forever... and so is Ric Flair. Wooooo!

And we end on the same footage as the opening video from tonight, a solemn tear running down Flair’s face as he stands in a darkened ring, the video lingering then slowly fading to black.


*End Video Package*


After the video, we head back into Ford Field, the buzz of the crowd ringing out before it's shattered by...

"WOOOOO..."

*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*


The biggest reaction of the night thus far is reserved for one of the all-time greats, 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair. Sporting a fabulous blue robe, Flair looks as grand as he ever has, holding his arms out wide and doing a little spin on the stage before he styles and profiles his way down to the ring...


Tony Chimel: The following contest is an interbrand match scheduled for one fall. Introducing first, representing Monday Night Raw... from Charlotte, North Carolina... weighing in at 243 pounds... 'THE NATURE BOY'... RIC... FLAIRRRR!!

Nipping up the stairs and then walking along the apron, Flair wipes his feet before stepping through the ropes, his arms open wide once more as he slowly spins around, taking in the sights and sounds of the Detroit crowd who are showing Flair a tremendous level of respect with the amount of applause and cheers they're giving him. Flair shouts out a quick "Wooooo!" before he removes his robe and carefully hands it over the top rope to a stagehand...


Jim Ross: He's one the very best this business has ever seen. A sixteen time heavyweight champion of the world. A man more than worthy of the level of respect he's bein' shown by this capacity crowd right now. But this match has been entitled "Past vs. Present", and that is the challenge Ric Flair faces tonight. Can Flair roll back the years and prove to Mr. Kennedy what we all know? That he even after all these years, he still has so much to offer our sport.

Jerry Lawler: Well not only that J.R., but what about the anguish that Kennedy has put Flair's family through these last few weeks? The assault of Reid Flair, then David, those attacks took this feud to a level so personal, that Ric Flair wants blood tonight! I think that while Kennedy might have wanted to hurt Flair, he might have gone too far. He might have driven Flair over the edge, pushed him to a place where Flair is gonna do whatever it takes to get revenge here tonight. And that could be bad news for the self-proclaimed 'future of this business'.

"KENNEDY..."

*TURN UP THE TROUBLE...*


The boos quickly rain down as perhaps the most hated man in the WWE today, Mr. Kennedy, steps out into Ford Field. There's no smirk, no cocky grin, instead Kennedy looks all business he glances around the arena and then starts towards the ring...


Tony Chimel: And introducing his opponent... representing Friday Night Smackdown... from Green Bay, Wisconsin... weighing in at 238 pounds... MMMISSTERRRR... KENNNNEEDDDDYYYYYY!

Upon hearing Chimel announce him into the arena, Kennedy shakes his head in disgust, clearly feeling he could do a better job. Kennedy steps up onto the apron, points and shouts some trash talk in Chimel's direction, before he then steps through the ropes...

Michael Cole: Well, what else can you say about this man? He went into the Royal Rumble claiming it was his destiny to win it all. Kennedy wanted to be involved in the World Heavyweight Championship Match here tonight, but on that night back in January, Kennedy ran into 'The Nature Boy'. And since then, this actions of this man have been nothin' short of disgusting.

Tazz: Oh absolutely. I mean, the assault at the Rumble, the attacks on Arn Anderson and Teddy Long, the beatings Ric's kids took... this guy's a real piece o' work. I really hope Flair teaches this punk a lesson tonight. This guy deserves the beatin' of a lifetime right here.

John Bradshaw Layfield: You two couldn't be more wrong. Ric Flair represents everythin' that is wrong with this business. Too many guys stick around too long, too many young guys have missed out on their chance to make it big. Kennedy just wants what's rightfully his, and that's a chance to advance his career. And if he's gotta beat Ric Flair into retirement tonight to get it, then so be it. He's been robbed TWICE of chances to be in the main event tonight by Flair, and tonight, Kennedy gets his revenge.

In the ring, the lights dim and a lone spotlight shines down on Kennedy, who points a finger at Flair at tells him to back off. Kennedy then looks up to the rafters and holds a hand high in the air, waiting for his microphone to drop down... only for Flair to blindside him with a stiff right hand to the jaw! The match is on!






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

And Kennedy is stunned, taken completely by surprise, with Flair going on the offensive, snapping Kennedy back to the ropes with a flurry of knife edge chops... until he rears back... and a BIG CHOP KNOCKS KENNEDY OVER THE TOP ROPE! Looking like a man possessed, Flair doesn’t give a second thought about following Kennedy outside, as he steps through the ropes and catches Kennedy as he stumbles back to his feet... ANOTHER STINGING CHOP TO THE CHEST! Kennedy cries in pain and tries to cover up, walking around the ring to distance himself, but Flair follows again, spins Kennedy around... ANOTHER CHOP TO THE CHEST! Kennedy’s cries grow louder as he again tries to walk away, heading towards the announce desks in a vain attempt to recover... but Flair stays on him... grabbing Kennedy from behind... AND LAUNCHING KENNEDY INTO THE TIMEKEEPER’S TABLE!! Flair returns the favour from the Royal Rumble as Kennedy is sent crashing into timekeeper Mark Yeaton! Referee Charles Robinson shows leniency in not disqualifying Flair, although he does plead for ‘The Nature Boy’ to take the action back into the ring. Flair is having none of it though as he fights through the debris to get his hands on Kennedy, drilling him with well-placed right hands to the forehead in a furious assault.

Again Robinson asks Flair to take it to the ring, but Flair is unrelenting, continue to tag Kennedy with the big right hands, before he finally drags Kennedy free, and we see that despite the match only being minutes old, Kennedy has already been busted open. With a handful of hair, Flair walks Kennedy towards the Smackdown announce desk... and SMASHES KENNEDY FACE FIRST OFF IT! Kennedy does his best Flair impression as he bolts upright then flops face first to the floor, but Flair soon has him back on his feet, rolling Kennedy under the bottom rope to the relief of Robinson. Flair slides in after, but as he stands back up, Kennedy crawls on his knees to the corner, holding his hands out, pleading, begging with Flair to take it easy on him. Flair turns and looks at the crowd, you urge Flair to go in for the kill... Flair looks Kennedy dead in the eye with a wild, crazed look... and simply yells “WOOOOO!” at his young opponent... before he smacks a stiff boot to the face! Flair goes on the attack with stomp after stomp, with Kennedy again covering up, wrapping his arms and legs around the bottom rope, prompting Robinson to step in and drag Flair away for the break.

Kennedy uses the break to reach up and grab the top rope, trying to pull himself up... but Flair barges past Robinson... then grabs both of Kennedy’s ankles... LIFTING HIM UP INTO THE AIR AND LETTING HIM DROP TO THE CANVAS! Kennedy grabs the back of his head and kicks his feet in pain, but Flair moves quickly for the first pinfall of the match... 1... 2... Kennedy kicks out easily. Looking to continue the punishment, Flair yanks Kennedy up, stings the chest with one more chop to the chest... then grabs the foot, takes Kennedy up in the air... and down with a SHIN BREAKER! The crowd “Wooooo!” and cheer as they sense where Flair is going, ‘The Nature Boy’ looking to soften up Kennedy’s left knee as hangs on and takes Kennedy up for another SHIN BREAKER! Kennedy staggers away, struggling to walk, and it gets worse as Flair takes him down from behind with a CHOP BLOCK! Kennedy’s knee gives way as he slumps to the mat, with Flair pouncing, grabbing the ankle, winding up the leg, then dropping an elbow across it. Flair then holds the leg flat, jumps up in the air and drives his knee into Kennedys. Again Flair jumps up and drives the knee, but when he stands up and looks to twist the knee around, Kennedy kicks out... sending Flair hard into the turnbuckle!

Kennedy tries to shake his knee loose as he heads for the corner, rearing back to drill Flair with a pair of right hands, before he lines up... and DELIVERS A STIFF CHOP TO THE CHEST! Kennedy smirks as he pulls a move from Flair’s playbook, turning his back on Ric in a show of arrogance as he performs Flair’s trademark strut... but the chop only angers Flair... as when Kennedy turns... FLAIR EXPLODES OUT OF THE CORNER WITH A MASSIVE CHOP! Kennedy cries in pain, but Flair continues the assault, hitting chop after chop that backs Kennedy to the opposite corner. Flair winds up... Irish whip sends Kennedy hard into the corner... and he staggers out into a HUGE BACK BODY DROP! Kennedy hits the mat hard and instantly rolls back outside, looking for a chance to regain his composure. But once more, Flair is in no mood to allow Kennedy to recover, stepping through the ropes, grabbing Kennedy by the hair... then SMASHING KENNEDY FACE FIRST OFF THE STEEL STEPS! Kennedy stumbles away, but Flair catches him and shoves him against the barricade... ANOTHER STIFF CHOP TO THE CHEST... AND ANOTHER... AND A THIRD!! Kennedy’s chest is bright red as Flair unloads on it, with ‘The Nature Boy’ continuing the assault with a pair of stiff rights to the jaw.

Kennedy is yanked back into the ring, and Flair slides in after, moving in... only for Kennedy to hit a cheap thumb to the eye. Favouring his left knee, Kennedy comes off the ropes... and finally scores solid offense as he bowls Flair over with a shoulderblock. Kennedy now looks to quicken the pace as he again comes off the ropes... but Flair lays flat as Kennedy runs over him... then springs to his feet to catch Kennedy with a hiptoss! Kennedy just can’t get anything going as Flair stays on the attack, more chops and right hands driving Kennedy to the ropes. Flair winds up... hard Irish whip sends Kennedy across... Flair lowers his head for a back body drop... but he lowers too soon... and Kennedy connects with a SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Kennedy finally gains a measure of control, and after shaking off the cobwebs, Kennedy starts to unload with a series of stomps to the chest. Kennedy drags Flair by the hair to the corner, shoving him against it... then striking with a STIFF KNIFE EDGE CHOP! This time there’s no arrogance though as Kennedy tags Flair with a pair of rights to the face, then rears back, winds up... hard Irish whip across... SENDS FLAIR CRASHING UPSIDE DOWN INTO THE CORNER... AND OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR!! An evil grin crosses Kennedy’s face as he sees Flair laying on the outside, barging past Robinson to join him. There, Kennedy grabs a handful of hair, pulling Flair to his knees, with Kennedy striking down with well-placed right hands to the forehead. Flair is yanked up... and again Kennedy rears back... IRISH WHIP... KNEE FIRST INTO THE STEEL STEPS!

Flair hits the steps and flies over them, writhing on the floor in agony, clutching his left knee in pain. Again Charles Robinson pleads for the action to return to the ring, but Kennedy ignores him, stomping down on the left knee and ankle. Eventually Kennedy rolls Flair back into the ring, going back to work with more stomps on the knee. Kennedy then grabs the ankle, aiming a few kicks to the thigh, before he twists the knee, turns and sits... SINGLE LEG BOSTON CRAB!! Kennedy sits into the painful submission hold, trying to make Flair submit, with ‘The Nature Boy’ defiantly shaking his head, refusing to quit. Kennedy grimaces and yells for Flair to quit, but each time Robinson poses the question, Flair yells back “NO!”. Kennedy sits further down, wrenching back on the knee, continuing to scream for Flair to tap, determined to make Flair suffer, all the while Flair shakes his head, refusing to give up. Kennedy rears back, upping the pressure, and despite all the cries of pain, Flair slowly crawls on his elbows towards the ropes... reaches out... AND GRABS THE BOTTOM ROPE! Kennedy though doesn’t release straight away, and it takes Robinson stepping in to give the five count before Kennedy finally lets go.

Flair crawls to the corner, where Kennedy helps him back up, a look of sheer evil in Kennedy’s eyes as he SLAPS FLAIR ACROSS THE FACE! Kennedy smirks as he shows the veteran no respect, but he’s taken aback as Flair kicks out on instinct, only for Kennedy to quickly regain control with a string of punishing right hands that force Flair down to a seated position. With Flair sat in the corner, his head just above the bottom turnbuckle, Kennedy steps back... lines him up... then charges in... VICIOUS BOOT TO THE FACE! Kennedy damn near takes Flair’s head off, and now he drags Flair from the corner and goes for the cover...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......FLAIR KICKS OUT......
!!

And after the kick out, we see that Flair has too has been busted open, blood flowing hot from a cut just below his hairline, no doubt a result of the vicious kick he just suffered. Knowing he has Flair hurt, Kennedy has a cocky grin on his face as he stands up, driving more stomps onto the left knee, before he grabs the ankle and drags Flair towards the ropes. There, Kennedy places the foot on the bottom rope, bounces up... and DROPS HIS WEIGHT ACROSS THE KNEE! Flair screams in pain, but Kennedy repeats the move... and again... and a fourth time before Flair is able to scramble free. Flair rolls to safety, but Kennedy yanks him back up, striking Flair with right hands to the face, before he lines Flair up... HARD KICK TO THE BACK OF THE KNEE! Flair hits the mat and quickly rolls outside, but there’s no let up as Kennedy follows him out... but walks into a thumb to the eye! Limping badly, Flair tries to go on the attack, scoring a right hand, then a chop, right hand, another chop that causes Kennedy to stumble away. Flair charges at him... but Kennedy counters... BACK BODY DROP ONTO THE FLOOR! Flair groans in anguish, with Kennedy moving quickly to get Flair back into the ring, breaking Robinson’s count. Kennedy stays outside though, and he grabs the ankle to keep Flair near the apron, yanking Flair towards him. Kennedy lifts the foot up... then SMASHES THE KNEE DOWN ON THE SIDE OF THE RING! Agony escapes the lips of ‘The Nature Boy’, but Kennedy isn’t done as he once more slams the knee downwards. After dipping his head into the ring to break Robinson’s count, Kennedy again grabs the ankle and drags Flair towards the corner. Flair tries to fight it, but it’s no use as Kennedy lines him up, rears back with the leg... and SMASHES FLAIR’S KNEE OFF THE RINGPOST!! Kennedy hangs on... and does it again! Kennedy finally lets ago, allowing Flair to crawl to the relative safety of the centre of the ring, but Kennedy slides in after and shoves Flair’s shoulders onto the mat, grinding his forearm into Flair’s face...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......FLAIR KICKS OUT AGAIN......
!!

Kennedy scowls at Robinson, looking for the three count, before he turns back to Flair, standing over ‘The Nature Boy’, shaking his head with an arrogant smirk etched on his lips. Flair grabs the top of Kennedy’s tights, using them to pull himself up, with Kennedy almost laughing in Flair’s face, turning to the crowd and shouting “Look at your hero! Look at your legend now!” as he arrogantly lets Flair drag himself up... only for Flair to stun Kennedy with an INSIDE CRADDLE!!

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......KENNEDY KICKS OUT......
!!

Flair was so close, but after the kick out, Kennedy scrambles to hammer Flair with forearms to the back of the head in an effort to keep Flair grounded. Anger is now on the face on the brash youngster, and after delivering a few more stomps to the chest, and then the knee, Kennedy drags Flair up and fires him off the ropes... dropkick to the knee causes Flair to collapse to one knee... allowing Kennedy to come off the ropes... SNAP DDT!! Kennedy sits up and smiles, licking his lips, feeling that if he wanted he could end the match right now... but instead of going for a cover as Charles Robinson was waiting for, Kennedy shakes his head, wagging a finger at the crowd as he stands back up. Confusion reigns at the announce desk, with everybody wondering what Kennedy has in store... but it all soon becomes clear as he grabs Flair’s ankle... holds the foot in the air... slowly steps over... twists the knee... and drops... FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK!! KENNEDY WANTS TO BEAT FLAIR WITH HIS OWN MOVE!!

Flair screams in anguish, slamming his fists off the canvas in a mix of pain and anger, writhing in agony, shaking his head furiously as he tries to hang on. Several times Flair lets his shoulders drop tot eh canvas, quickly pulling them back up, while Kennedy pushes himself up into a seated position, screaming at Flair “IT’S OVER! IT’S OVER!”, with Flair desperately trying to fight it. Ford Field is absolutely electric with a cacophony of cheers and boos, everybody on their feet in anticipation of the legendary Ric Flair tapping out to his own trademark figure four. Kennedy pushes his hips forward to increase the pressure, causing Flair to let his shoulders fall... 1... 2... Flair rolls a shoulder, but he cries out in pain as he does so. Kennedy licks his lips again, nodding his head confidently, so sure that Flair’s just seconds away from tapping out... but with Ford Field willing him on, Flair has a surge of strength... and he starts to rotate his hips, rocking side to side... and slowly but surely... FLAIR REVERSES THE FIGURE FOUR!! Now it’s Kennedy who screams in pain, desperately searching for an escape. Kennedy claws at the ropes... but he doesn’t get there... and in an act of desperation, Kennedy flings himself on his side, rolling he and Flair over, the pair barrelling into the ropes. Robinson steps in an forcibly breaks the two up, but both men feel the effects as the try get back up.

Kennedy is up first, but he limps, not as heavily as Flair though who has used the ropes to drag himself up. Kennedy approaches... and walks right into a KNIFE EDGE CHOP! Limping badly, Flair comes away from the ropes with chop after chop, backing Kennedy across the ring, before he goes for the Irish whip... HUGE BACK BODY DROP! Flair now looks to build some momentum as he sucks up the pain... to deliver a JUMPING KNEE DROP! Despite landing the move, Flair rolls over, suffering the effects of the impact on his knee. With Kennedy down though, Flair senses a chance to score some big offense... and he brings Ford Field to its feet once more... as Ric Flair... is climbing to the top rope! Never a high-flyer, Flair decides to take a huge risk as he slowly makes it to the top turnbuckle... but he takes too long as Kennedy is back on his feet, jumping to the second rope... to tag Flair with a right hand! Flair sways, grabbing the top rope to hang on, but Kennedy again snaps off a fist... Flair responds with a thumb to the eye! Now it’s Kennedy who has to hang on, but he does so, and fires back with three quick rights to the face. Flair is now in a seated position... but Kennedy reaches down, hooking a hand between Flair’s legs... hoisting ‘The Nature Boy’ onto his shoulders... oh my! Ford Field gasps in shock as Kennedy stands on the second rope... then flies... GREEN – BAY – PLUNGE!!! A devastating move, Kennedy gets all of it as he drives Flair to the canvas, with Ford Field responding with another “HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!”. Both men feel the effects, but Kennedy manages to crawl towards Flair, mercifully dragging himself into the lateral press for the...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
......NO......
......FLAIR GOT THE SHOULDER UP......
!!!!

Detroit, Michigan goes insane as ‘The Nature Boy’ somehow got his shoulder off the canvas! Kennedy looks delirious, smiling, sure he’s won it... but Robinson confirms it was only two. Kennedy still seems in disbelief, holding three fingers up at Robinson, who responds with two fingers of his own. The message finally seeps through as Kennedy’s face turn to fury, storming back to his feet, determined to finish Flair off once and for all. Kennedy reaches down... helps Flair up... but suddenly Kennedy screams in agony... as Flair grips tight... to a TESTICULAR CLAW!! ‘The Dirtiest Player in the Game’ stoops low to gain the advantage, causing Kennedy to stomp his feet in despair. Flair takes every second of the refs five count before he release, with Kennedy stumbling away... CHOP BLOCK! Flair takes Kennedy down, and once more Ford Field is buzzing, as Flair grabs the ankle, twists, turns, drops... NO! KENNEDY COUNTERS WITH AN INSIDE CRADDLE!!

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......FLAIR BARELY KICKS OUT......
!!!

What the hell is it gonna take to put Ric Flair away!? Kennedy rises and strikes Flair with a chop, then goes for a boot to the midsection... but Flair catches it... sweeps the leg! Kennedy is down... Flair twists and drops... FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK!!! Ford Field comes alive as Flair locks on his legendary submission hold! Kennedy frantically scratches and claws for the ropes, desperately trying to find a way to escape, but it’s no use as Flair has the hold locked on tight in the centre of the ring! Kennedy flaps and flails his arms, his shoulder bouncing up and down off the canvas, while Flair simply cinches the hold in tighter! Robinson is right there to check on Kennedy, who’s shoulders drop... 1... 2... NO! Kennedy snaps himself up, gritting his teeth as he screams in pain. Flair wrenches back on the foot, applying all kinds of pressure, but Kennedy shows great resilience in not giving up. Kennedy props himself up on his elbows, then pushes with his hands... slowly forcing himself towards the ropes! Flair shakes his head in despair, with Ford Field marvelling at the effort of Kennedy... as once more he surges towards the ropes! Kennedy lets out a massive scream, finding the strength to again force himself towards salvation... but when he reaches out... Kennedy comes up short! It looks as if Kennedy is spent, his eyes rolling to the back of his head, his shoulders hitting the mat, with the capacity crowd urging him to tap, it appears that Kennedy has nothing left to give... until he forces his head off the apron... has one last superhuman push...

................................
......
.............................
......
..........................
...............
KENNEDY GRABS THE BOTTOM ROPE
!!!!!

The deflated crowd respond with thunderous heat as Kennedy stays alive, with both men laying on the mat, Flair running a hand through his hair, both men searching for a way to finish their opponent off. Kennedy’s face is wracked with pain as he uses the corner to hoist himself up, but Flair is right on him... KNIFE EDGE CHOP! Flair follows with a right hand to the jaw... left hand... right hand... left hand... another chop...Flair brings Kennedy in then takes him up... another SHIN BREAKER... NO! Kennedy drops down behind Flair... spins him around... then takes ‘The Nature Boy’ up onto his shoulders... ROLLING FIREMAN’S CARRY SLAM! Kennedy drives Flair into the canvas... and now he scrambles to climb to the top rope, moving like a man possessed as he heads to the top turnbuckle... then flies through the air... KEN – TON – BOMB!!! A cacophony of boos and cheers rain down as Kennedy gets all of it, crawling over to hook Flair’s leg...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
......NO......
......FLAIR KICKED OUT......
!!!

The fans explode as somehow, someway, Ric Flair is still in this match! Kennedy slams his fists off the mat in anger, screams in anguish, eyes bulging out his head as he can’t believe Flair is still in this match. Flair has barely moved though, and with Kennedy standing over him, the youngster can only look down, shake his head and shout “WHAT ARE YOU DOIN’?! WHY WON’T YOU QUIT!?”. Kennedy reaches down, grabs a handful of hair, drags Flair to his feet... and looks hard into Flair’s face. ‘The Nature Boy’ looks spent, broken and beaten, nothing left to give... FLAIR SLAPS KENNEDY ACROSS THE FACE! The crowd “Ooooh!” as Flair slaps the taste right out of Kennedy’s mouth... but that only serves to anger Kennedy... who cinches Flair in... MIC CHECK!!! Kennedy plants Flair, rolls him over and finally now we get the...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
!!!

Winner: Mr. Kennedy @ 17.03

It's absolute heartbreak for Flair as Kennedy finally, mercifully puts him away, but the youngster knows he was in one hell of a fight tonight. Kennedy runs off sheer adrenaline as he quickly springs back up to his knees, fists clenched in delight as he takes a sick look down at Flair knowing he's just pulled off the biggest victory of his relatively young career...


Tony Chimel: Here is your winner... MMMISSTERRRR... KENNNNEEDDDDYYYYYY!

Kennedy rises back to his feet and has his hand raised in the air, but he quickly snatches it away, looking down on Flair... with a hint of compassion in his eyes? Indeed, Kennedy looks down at what he's done to Flair, and quickly shakes it off, heading for the ropes...

Jim Ross: What an effort from 'The Nature Boy'. A truly vintage performance, Ric Flair really rolled back the years here tonight, but ultimately, it just wasn't enough. But don't ever think that Flair didn't belong here tonight. He took Kennedy to the limit and beyond.

Tazz: God, that was just... I'm really torn up for Ric Flair right now. He wanted that win so badly, for Arn Anderson, for Teddy Long, for his family, for himself... but it just didn't happen.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Aw forget Flair! How 'bout we talk about the winner of this match!? The future of this company, the fastest rising star in Smackdown history, Mr. Kennedy! He came here tonight to prove that Flair was the past and he was the future, and he's done exactly what he said he would!

On the outside, Kennedy soaks up the victory for a few seconds, slowly backing away from the ring, his eyes trained on Flair, with Kennedy nodding his head and then turning his back on the ring and walking up the aisle. The attention now turns to the ring where Flair has made it back up to a seated position, tears in his eyes as he runs a hand through his hair, looking utterly dejected by this loss...


Jim Ross: I don't think there's a man alive who can claim that we're not lookin' at the best of all time right there. A true living legend, and when the lights are shinin' bright, he can still deliver a world class performance. So much heart, so much passion for this business, and you just saw it all right there folks.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah, but what does this mean for the career of Ric Flair? I mean, I know he said he'd never retire, and I believe that, but... has the torch been passed here? I mean these fans, everybody watchin' around the world, you, me, everybody... we all love Ric Flair. But... can he go on forever? Or after all he's been through these last few months, to come up short tonight... is this it for him? Is this the last time we'll see Ric Flair?

The music ends, with a hushed silence gripping the fans as the very emotional Flair gets back to his feet. Looking solemnly out at the crowd, the tears run down Flair's cheeks as he looks a broken man, leaning against the ropes, shaking his head, whiping blood away from his eyes, struggling to take in what's just happened. Flair finally brings his head up, standing in the ring, perhaps the loneliest man in the world right now despite being stood in the middle of a full to capacity Ford Field. The crowd of course respond with an unbelievable standing ovation for 'The Nature Boy', every man, woman and child on their feet in tribute of Flair's performance.

Soaking it all in, Flair becomes even more of an emotional wreck as the tears really start to flow now, with Flair mouthing "Thank you" before he blows a kiss to the crowd. Heading for the ropes, Flair drops down and then slowly rolls under the bottom rope, briefly resting his head on the canvas, before he picks himself up and starts the long walk backstage...


Michael Cole: I... I just really don't know what to say right now. Ric Flair... has lost here tonight. And perhaps... he's lost for the last time.

Tazz: I think these fans are sayin' plenty right now Cole. So much love for Ric Flair... and he's earned it. Flair might've lost tonight... but he ain't never gonna be a loser in my eyes, and not in the eyes of the fans around the world. I just hope he realises that...

Stopping just before the entrance way, Flair turns back to the crowd, all of them still saluting him with their cheers and applause. Flair, still crying, nods as a sign of thanks, blowing one final kiss to the fans before he turns and disappears from sight... for maybe the last time?


*Video Package*


We now go to a video highlighting last night's 2007 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony, the Joe Louis Arena looking fantastic amidst the lights and glamour of the WWE Hall of Fame.

Our host for the evening is none other than legendary announce 'Mean' Gene Okerlund, and he kicks things off in a big way by bringing out Hall of Famer Harley Race for the first induction. After a few words regarding some of the legendary battles he and out first inductee had, Race brings out 'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes who receives a tremendous ovation from the crowd on hand. Always the entertainer, Rhodes performs that trademark common man boogie before he settles in to give his acceptance speech...


Dusty Rhodes: I truly have wined and dined, with Kings and Queens. Thank you!

Out next is Bobby 'The Brain Heenan' for what would prove to be an emotional induction, that of 'Mr. Perfect' Curt Hennig. Represented by his wife Leonice, his father Larry 'The Axe' Hennig and his son and daughter, current independent wrestlers Joe and Amy, there isn't a dry eye on the stage as Larry thanks the fans and the WWE for this honour.

David Letterman is our first celebrity presence of the evening as he enters the stage to discuss one of the most famous moments in the history of his successful Late Night talk show. This of course brings out our third inductee of the night, Jerry 'The King' Lawler...


Jerry Lawler: This is an unbelievable honour, an unbelievable privilege. And I can honestly say that right now... it's good... to be 'The King'!

'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair is our next presenter, and Flair gives an emotional speech regarding the man he considers his best friend in the business, 'The Enforcer' Arn Anderson. As humble as ever, Anderson thanks the various members of The Four Horsemen, pointing out the ones in attendance tonight and giving the four finger salute to all of them. Arn then thanks the fans and of course pays tribute to Flair, mentioning that he hopes Flair emerges victorious in his match over Mr. Kennedy the following evening, with the camera cutting to Kennedy to see a furious scowl on the face of the cocky youngster...

The arnea goes absolutely crazy as 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper makes his entrance, looking healthy after his recent health scares. Piper is full of banter, reminiscing about the early days of Wrestlemania, before he introduces his opponent from Wrestlemania I and II, Celebrity Inductee Mr. T...


Mr. T: I came ta' Wrestlemania ta' fight, and I pity that fool Roddy Piper for gettin' in my way!

On the stage, Piper and T engage in a bit of shadow boxing before the two hug to a standing ovation from the crowd. Out next is current WWE Superstar John Cena, who announce that due to injury (storyline continuity) 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin is unable to be here tonight. After having a few words to say regarding his fight with Bobby Lashley tomorrow night, Cena welcomes our next inductee, Jim Ross. The announcer tells tales about how he got started in the wrestling business, and discusses some of the more historic moments he witnessed, before signing off with..

Jim Ross: Tonight, a true wrestling fan has just entered the WWE Hall of Fame. Dreams can come true, mine just did. Thank you all very much, and Boomer Sooner!

The biggest pop of the night thus far is reserved for Bret 'The Hitman' Hart who is here to not only induct but represent his brother Owen. In an even more emotional speech than what we heard for Curt Hennig, Bret tells stories of some of the more crazy ribs Owen would pull on people backstage, his love of his family and his desire to retire from wrestling to live out a comfortable life with them, and then goes on to state that every wrestler Owen ever encountered had nothing but kind words for his brother, before ending the speech with...

Bret Hart: In my eyes, he'll always be the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be!

After the various wrestlers in the crowd recover and wipe away their tears, everyone is on their feet once more as The Rock steps out, live and in person. The Rock talks about what he describes as "the most electrifying tag team in WWE history", telling plenty of stories and jokes at his partner's expense. Eventually Rock brings out our final entrant of the evening, 'The Hardcore Legend' Mick Foley. Unbelievably, Foley has actually shelled out for a smart tuxedo, and after thanking The Rock and telling the odd joke to get his own back, Foley settles in to tell the story of his journey from his Mom's backyard on Long Island to the very top of the wrestling business. He then goes on to talk about the feelings he had both before and after the brutal Hell in a Cell Match with The Undertaker, before he thanks the fans, saying that their support is the only reason he ever won the WWE Championship, with the video ending on the echoing words of...

Mick Foley: Thank you very much, and have a nice day!

*End Video Package*

And now we're back to ringside we're for the second time this evening Howard Finkel is stood in the middle of the ring, microphone in hand...

Howard Finkel: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame Class!

The crowd respond with a strong pop as the Hall of Fame music breaks out...

Howard Finkel: Introducing first... 'The American Dream'... DUSTY... RHODES!!

Accompanied by Candice Michelle, Dusty Rhodes steps out, he and Candice quickly sharing a version of the common man boogie before Rhodes salutes the fans...

Howard Finkel: 'Mr Perfect'... CURT... HENNIG!!

Much like last night, Larry 'The Axe' Hennig leads out Curt's family, his wife Leonice, his son Joe and daughter Amy, the four proudly waving to the fans...


Howard Finkel: JERRY... 'THE KING'... LAWLER!!

A good pop as Lawler steps out accompanied by Kelly Kelly, 'The King' raising his crown into the air to thank the fans...

Howard Finkel: 'The Enforcer'... ARN... ANDERSON!!

Looking as humble and low-key as ever, 'The Enforcer' enters arm in arm with Kristal Marshall, with 'Double A' simply pumping his fist to the fans as a show of thanks...

Howard Finkel: Celebrity inductee... MR. T!!

With a fine collection of gold chains around his neck, Mr. T slowly steps forward with Maria, with T raising both hands into the air in appreciation of the warm response he received...

Howard Finkel: JIM... ROSS!!

Maryse escorts Jim Ross forward to receive a fantastic cheer, with Ross wiping off his cowboy hat and waving it towards the fans...

Howard Finkel: OWEN... HART!!

A phenomenal roar breaks out in respect for Owen Hart, although sadly, much like his own Hall of Fame induction, Bret Hart is nowhere to be seen. This doesn't stop the crowd breaking into a thunderous cheer of "OWEN!! OWEN!! OWEN!!"...

Howard Finkel: And finally... 'The Hardcore Legend'... MICK... FOLEY!!

And finally Mick Foley makes his second appearance of the evening, dressed in that more familiar flanel shirt, escorted forward by Michelle McCool. Foley smiles and nods his head appreciatively as the crowd give him the biggest cheer thus far, which gets even louder as Foley cocks both fingers and shouts "Bang! Bang!" before he waves to the fans...


Howard Finkel: Ladies and gentlemen... the WWE Hall of Fame Class... of 2007!

Ford Field is still on it's feet as the inductees all wave and appreciate the cheers of the fans, a very respectful round of applause now ringing out, before we once again hear from the announce team...

Michael Cole: Well congratulations once again to all our Hall of Famers, especially to our colleagues Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, two very worthy entrants. But up next, a future first ballot Hall of Famer, the man who has never been defeated at Wrestlemania, The Undertaker, puts his streak on the line against a man who hasn't been beaten period!

John Bradshaw Layfield: The most dangerous threat to The Undertaker's Wrestlemania Streak there's ever been. An absolute savage the likes of which we've never seen before. 'The Samoan Bulldozer' Umaga, never pinned, never made to submit, the one man impervious to the mind games tactics of 'The Phenom'.

Tazz: Umaga wanted a challenge, and he's gonna get the biggest one he's ever had. It's 'Streak vs. Streak' baby! Can Umaga ride his yearlong undefeated streak to the biggest win of his career? Or does 'The Deadman' make it 15-0?

*Video Package*


A lone bell tolls upon the sound of a storm, raindrops being heard falling on a dark screen. The ominous sound of footsteps is heard, until the video finally fades in with grainy footage from Wrestlemania VII where Paul Bearer leads The Undertaker down the aisle. We then cut to the ring to see Jimmy Snuka flying of the ropes, only to be caught by 'Taker and then twisted into a devastating tombstone piledriver...

Gorilla Monsoon: Tombstone city!

Bobby Heenan: I can't believe it!

The sound of rain and footsteps continues, while the shot now heads to Wrestlemania XII, where 'The Deadman' scoops Diesel up with ease, planting him head first into the mat...

Jerry Lawler: It's like he can feed off a higher power. I mean, how d'ya keep this guy down?

Now to Wrestlemania X-Seven, where in the corner Triple H hammers down with right hands, until 'Taker forces him up into the air and then crashing down with a thunderous last ride...

Jim Ross: The Undertaker is 9-0 at Wrestlemania!

Wrestlemania XX for the second Wrestlemania clash with Kane, who suffers a tombstone piledriver, 'The Deadman' then crossing his arms across his chest and then staring straight down the camera...

Jerry Lawler: There's no mercy in that face. No mercy from The Undertaker.

We now head to Wrestlemania XXI where Randy Orton shocks everybody by scooping Udnertaker up for a tombstone... only for 'The Phenom' to counter, reversing the move into a tombstone of his own...

Tazz: Ya' just can't keep this guy down. Nothin' can stop The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

The sound of footsteps intensifies through the rain, suggesting they're coming ever closer as we see footage from Wrestlemania XXII where after planting Mark Henry with an unbelievable tombstone piledriver, Undertaker rolls him into a casket and leads a squad of druids in wheeling the casket away...

Michael Cole: The Undertaker is 14 and 0!

We fade away from the footage to see the man himself, The Undertaker walking through the rain with a purpose, and although we only see shots of his trademark hat and long, leather trenchcoat, we also rather ominously see the glint of a shovel perched against his shoulder...

Michael Cole: {Echoing} Can anybody beat this man at Wrestlemania?

We now cut to No Way Out, where both the music and the footage come to a shuddering stop, then continue in slow motion. The camera is zoomed in tight on The Undertaker, who slowly turns to see Umaga stood in the ring behind him... and then Umaga runs through 'Taker with a massive bodyblock...

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

Umaga has the limp body of Undertaker in his arms, hoisting him up into the air... for a SWINGING SIDE SLAM... OVER THE TOP ROPE... AND STRAIGHT THROUGH THE CASKET LID!!!

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

And we now see Smackdown from two weeks ago, where Umaga hits the Samoan wrecking ball to Undertaker... AGAINST THE STEEL STEPS!

We now fly from slow motion to fast forward, as rapid footage flashes by of Umaga rocking Carlito with a vicious savate kick before he drops John Cena with a thunderous Samoan spike...

John Bradshaw Layfield: Come Wrestlemania, the lights are gonna be on, ain't nothin' gonna go bump in the night, and The Undertaker is goin' down!

Brutal footage of the two trading shots, hammering each other with stiff right hands, neither man budging an inch...

John Bradshaw Layfield: If ya' ask me, I think we've finally found the first man who truly scares 'The Deadman'.

'Taker drudges on, kicking up dirt and soil as he goes, with us now being made very much aware that we're in a graveyard. Through the weeds and grass we see a string of tombstones, with such names as 'Jimmy Snuka', 'Ric Flair', 'Kane', 'Randy Orton' and 'Mark Henry' etched onto them...

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

Armando Alejandro Estrada: When ju' accepted our challenge... ju' just ended the streak amigo.

And finally we end with the camera tight on the face of Umaga, the savage letting out a blood-curdling scream in his native tongue, the image lingering on the ferocity of 'The Samoan Bulldozer' before we cut to see The Undertaker turn his head towards the frame, eyes rolled to the back of his head, rain drops flickering off the rim of his hat through the darkness, an eerie image as we fade to black.


*End Video Package*

Back into the arena...

*VIRTUAL VOODOO...*

The heat is deafening as the always intimidating Umaga makes his entrance into the arena, screaming and snarling in his native tongue as Armando Alejandro Estrada brings up the rear, encouraging the crowd to marvel at the beast before them...


Tony Chimel: The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is "Streak vs. Streak"! Introducing first, from The Isle of Samoa... weighing in at 450 pounds... he is UN - DE - FEATED thus far in his WWE career... 'THE SAMOAN BULLDOZER'... OOOOOOOO - MAAAAAAAGGGGGGAAAAAA!!

Umaga slams his hands off the steel steps and then charges up the stairs onto the apron, where Estrada is already waiting, holding the ropes open by sitting on the middle one. Umaga steps through, then roars to the crowd again like an untamed beast, before he intimidates referee Jim Korderas. Estrada manages to corral Umaga, pulling him back to the middle of the ring where Estrada fires some last minute words of encouragement at the unresponsive Umaga...

Michael Cole: What a year it's been for this monster, Umaga. 'The Samoan Bulldozer' debuted the night after Wrestlemania XXII, and since then, he has still yet to be pinned or forced to submit. He has smashed his way through some of the biggest names in the WWE, and at No Way Out, he set his sights on The Undertaker. I've never seen anyone make such an impact like Umaga did, and does he cap off the greatest rookie year in WWE history by doing the unthinkable, ending the famous Undertaker Wrestlemania Streak?

Tazz: Lemme tell ya' somethin', there ain't many times you can say goin' into a match The Undertaker is the underdog. Infact, this might be the first time! Every year 'The Deadman' rolls into Wrestlemania and he psyches out his opponents, and every year that streak gets extended. But this year... I just don't know. I just dunno if he can beat this monster.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And that's the exact same doubts that's goin' through the mind of The Undertaker right now. Can I do it? Can I beat Umaga? But for Umaga... it's all about total domination! I can't wait to see this, the Wrestlemania Streak is finally gonna end tonight! Undertaker, get ready for 14-1!

Estrada continues to talk, while Umaga just stays focused, looking dead up the ramp, until...

*GONG...*

A massive shriek from the fans as the lights in the arena go out...

*GONG...*

Out of nowhere a bolt of lightning strikes the stage...

*GONG...*

*DRUIDS MARCH...*

Flames bellow out near the entrance way, blasting upwards and illuminating the sky. Fog starts to slowly drift down the aisle, as does a precession of druids who start to form a guard of honour between the stage and the aisle. The druids are carrying flaming torches, lighting the way, but as we cut to a shot of Umaga, 'The Samoan Bulldozer' still looks unfazed...

*GONG...*

*GONG...*

*GONG...*

*GRAVEYARD SYMPHONY…*

A buzz of anticipation breaks out as the traditional music is heard, and that buzz breaks out into a thunderous pop as Paul Bearer leads out The Undertaker. Bearer holds the glistening urn high in the air, beckoning forth 'The Phenom', who is cast all in black from head to toe, the light from the fire on the stage and the flaming torches the only light that we see...


Tony Chimel: And introducing his opponent... from Death Valley... weighing in at 299 pounds... he is UN - DE - FEATED at Wrestlemania... THHHHHEEEE UUNNNDDEERRRTTAKKKERRRR!!!

Another shot of Umaga who eyes are wide with nostrils flaring, showing no fear whatsoever. On the outside, slowly The Undertaker climbs the steel steps, stopping on the top one, raising his arms into the air to bring light back into the darkness to another strong pop. Undertaker then carefully steps through the ropes with Bearer following, 'The Deadman' taking his time to remove his hat, eyes rolled ominously into the back of his head...

Michael Cole: You talk about some of the great streaks in professional sports, the Ripken Ironman Streak, Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak, Wayne Gretzky's point streak... The Undertaker's Wrestlemania Streak is up there with the very best of 'em. Fourteen times he has walked into Wrestlemania, and fourteen times he has left victorious. Some legendary names on that list of victims, some future hall of famers... but has 'The Streak' ever been in such jeopardy as it is tonight?

John Bradshaw Layfield: And the simple answer is no. Hell, I got a ton o' respect for that man. He is the very embodiment of the WWE, he's what makes us tick. But he's finally met a man for whom mind games has no effect. You saw what's happened to The Undertaker in the past at the hands of Umaga, well it's about to happen all over again, and this time it's gonna mean somethin' real big!

Tazz: Yeah but let's remember one thing. While many of the times these two have come together Umaga's came out on top, The Undertaker's made him look human a couple o' times. I still dunno if he can do it again at Wrestlemania, I still think Umaga's gonna win this... but there's definitely hope for 'The Deadman'.






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

Ford Field is electric as the bell rings, with both men standing across the ring at each other, their eyes locked, with Undertaker looking cool as ice while Umaga snarls like a dog straining at a leash, desperate to get his hands on his opponent. Slowly they start to circle the ring, the pair inching closer together... until suddenly Umaga makes his move... but Undertaker avoids the contact... and starts hammering away with big right hands to the face! A trio land, but Umaga is unfazed... so again he charges... but once more ‘Taker ducks underneath, and again he starts landing clubbing blows to the head. This time they have an effect as ‘Mags is backed into the corner, where ‘Taker unloads with rapid fire shots to the gut, before he winds up for a big time right hand to the head. Umaga rocks slightly, but he remains wide eyed as ‘Taker winds up for the Irish whip across... Umaga reverses, with Undertaker hitting the turnbuckle hard... Umaga charges in... but misses the splash in the corner! Once again ‘Taker goes to work with the blows to the gut... only for Umaga to fire back with a right of his own!

Caught off guard, ‘Taker stumbles away, then turns... UMAGA RUNS THROUGH UNDERTAKER WITH A BODYBLOCK! Umaga snarls again as he goes to reach down... but Undertaker sits up! ‘Mags is caught off guard, with Undertaker snapping off a pair of clubbing rights to the side of the head. Umaga stumbles back, allowing ‘Taker to stand, landing another right... but then Umaga snaps to life... and powers ‘Taker into the corner! Umaga now starts to lay in with clubbing blows to the to of the head, with referee Jim Korderas calling for the break, prompting ‘Mags to turn and growl at him, chasing Korderas away. Umaga turns back to Undertaker, then fires him across the ring... ‘Taker hits the turnbuckle, and here comes Umaga... running into a back elbow! ‘Mags stumbles back, then charges again... Undertaker gets a boot up! Umaga staggers away, and ‘Taker charges... into a THUNDEROUS CLOTHESLINE! Umaga postures, snarling at the crowd, allowing Undertaker to get up thanks to the ropes... so Umaga clothesline Undertaker to the outside... but UNDERTAKER LANDS ON HIS FEET! Undertaker stares back up at Umaga with rage, reaching under the ropes, grabbing Umaga by the foot, yanking him to the mat then dragging him outside.

Undertaker rattles rights and left, but they only seem to daze Umaga, who quickly strikes with a sharp uppercut. Undertaker stumbles and splutters, leaning against the barricade. Umaga moves in, but Undertaker fires back with a boot to the midsection, then a pair of big rights back Umaga against the ring. More rights land, then a trio of elbows to the side of the head, before Undertaker muscles Umaga back into the ring. Seeking to gain a measure of control, Undertaker aims kicks to the head, but Umaga continues raise himself up, with ‘Taker desperately trying to keep him off-balance with rights. Undertaker again tries the Irish whip to the corner... but Umaga reverses and charges in... BIG SPLASH... NO! Umaga’s head rattles off the ringpost, and here comes Undertaker off the ropes... RIGHT INTO A ROLLING WHEEL KICK! So far nothing seems to affect Umaga, and it’s ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ who crawls into the first cover...

...
..................1..................
.....................
......UNDERTAKER KICKS OUT STRONGLY......
!!

Looking to stay in control, Umaga drags ‘The Phenom’ up, but ‘Taker beats him to the punch, striking with uppercuts, but a shot to the throat ends the rally. Umaga lands another three rights, then sends ‘Taker off the ropes... but Umaga lowers his head... and UNDERTAKER HITS THE RUNNING DDT... BUT UMAGA STAGGERS STRAIGHT BACK ONTO HIS FEET!! Falling into the ropes, somehow Umaga is still on his feet, but here comes ‘The Deadman’... CLOTHESLINE PUTS UMAGA OUTSIDE! Finally Undertaker’s offense seems to be having an effect, but on the outside, Umaga is right back up, arms flailing wildly with anger, Estrada desperately trying to calm the monster down. Estrada tries to tame the savage beast by grabbing him by the hair, whispering words into Umaga’s ears... but all this means he doesn’t see Undertaker charge off the ropes... TOP ROPE SUICIDE DIVE!! Ford Field marvels as ‘Taker soars through the air to take Umaga down, both men down on the concrete after the move. Slowly the pair drag themselves up, ‘Taker landing clubbing shots to the head that back Umaga up against the apron. ‘Taker manages to muscle Umaga back inside, following in, where he grabs the wrist and starts to go to work, twisting, yanking on it, wrenching around Umaga’s wide frame, then driving his own shoulder into the arm. It takes a great deal of strength as Umaga fights it, but eventually Undertaker has the beast in the corner, and he starts to climb upstairs... then takes the walk along the top rope... to go for OLD SCHOOL! Umaga is still on his feet though as he stumbles away, with Undertaker looking to build momentum, coming off the ropes... ducking underneath a clothesline... to connect on the FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Finally Umaga is down, and ‘Taker goes for the lateral press...

...
..................1..................
.....................
......UMAGA KICKS OUT JUST AS STRONGLY......
!!

Looking to press home his advantage, Undertaker lets Umaga rise by himself, and when ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ is back to a knee, ‘Taker is ready and waiting, hand cocked in the air... UNDERTAKER SLAPS ON THE GOOZLE... BUT UMAGA GRABS THE HAND... AND FORCES IT OFF OF HIS THROAT!! The crowd gasp as Umaga shows unbelievable in strength in forcing Undertaker’s hand away... but now ‘Taker pushes his left hand on his right, trying to push it back down... Umaga scores a knee to the midsection! Umaga then fires Undertaker off the ropes... right into a SAMOAN DROP! The crowd marvel at the ease at which Undertaker was taken off his feet, with Umaga crawling into the cover...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......UNDERTAKER KICKS OUT......
!!

Estrada slaps the mat in anger, while Paul Bearer holds his urn high, willing The Undertaker to get back up. Umaga is on his feet first, ready and waiting as ‘Taker makes it back to his knees, Umaga rattling ‘The Phenom’ with right after right to the side of the head... but from his knees Undertaker strikes with a right to the midsection! Umaga fires back to the face, but again ‘Taker lands one to the gut, following with quick rights and lefts, before a big uppercut from his knees knocks Umaga against the ropes. Undertaker uses this chance to rise up, again striking the head with those stiff right hands, then alternating rights and lefts to the body, Ford Field cheering loudly as ‘The Deadman’ seems to have regained control. Umaga manages to stumble away, still on his feet, although trying to shake away the cobwebs, but ‘Taker traps him in the corner, landing big elbows to the side of the head. Undertaker winds up for the Irish whip... but again Umaga reverses... and he quickly follows in... CORNER SPLASH! This time Umaga gets it, driving the air from ‘The Phenom’, with ‘Taker dropping down to a seated position. With his head resting against the bottom turnbuckle, Undertaker is in trouble as Umaga heads for the opposite side of the ring... yells out in his native tongue, bounces up in the air... then races in... SAMOAN WRECKING BALL!! Undertaker’s head snaps back violently, with Estrada ordering Umaga to drag ‘Taker away from the ropes to go for the cover...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......UNDERTAKER KICKS OUT AGAIN......
!!

There’s no sitting up this time as ‘Taker remains prone on the mat, but Umaga moves quickly to come off the ropes... BIG LEGDROP! Instead of going for the cover, Umaga again turns to Estrada, who barks for Umaga to drag ‘Taker towards the side of the ring. Umaga does so, lining Undertaker up, before he pushes off of the bottom rope... and springs up in the air... BANZAI DROP! Umaga drops all his weight across the chest, with Estrada applauding loudly. Umaga doesn’t sit for any cover, as Estrada quickly shouts “Again! Again!” and motions for a repeat. Umaga looks to do so... but Undertaker sits up! A big pop breaks out... but it quickly turns to boos as Umaga stomps the head, causing ‘Taker to drop back down. Again Umaga pushes up off the ropes... and comes CRASHING DOWN WITH A SECOND BANZAI DROP! This time Umaga does drag ‘Taker to the centre of the ring and drops into the lateral press...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......UNDERTAKER ROLLS HIS SHOULDER......
!!

Umaga pushes himself back to his feet, dragging ‘The Phenom’ with him, landing four more hard right hands. ‘Taker wobbles, but he’s soon sent off the ropes by Umaga... who swings a clothesline... but Undertaker runs underneath and comes off the opposite ropes... only for Umaga to scoop ‘Taker up onto his shoulders... SECOND SAMOAN DROP... NO! Undertaker drills Umaga with elbow after elbow to the side of the head, dropping to his feet as Umaga staggers away. ‘Mags composes himself then races in... right into a BIG BOOT TO THE FACE! Umaga is still on his feet though, stumbling back to the ropes... clothesline puts Umaga over the top rope! ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ crashes to the floor infront of the announce desks, with Estrada quickly over to try help his monster back to his feet. Umaga is furious as he stands up, swatting Estrada aside, while in the ring, Undertaker wastes no time in heading back outside. Umaga turns into a thunderous right hand, ‘Taker adding two more, but Umaga fires back with a shot to the throat.

‘Taker rests his head on the apron, coughing, trying to catch a breath, while Umaga grabs hold of Undertaker’s wrist... then goes for the Irish whip... UNDERTAKER CRASHES KNEE FIRST INTO THE STEEL STEPS! ‘Taker flies head over the steps, with the top half of the steps coming loose on impact. Undertaker writhes on the floor in pain, Paul Bearer nearby with the urn, trying to summon ‘The Phenom’ back to his feet. Estrada waves over Umaga, pointing at the now loose steps, urging Umaga to pick them up. Umaga does so, and despite the ref ordering him not to, UMAGA CHARGES AT UNDERTAKER WITH THE STEEL STEPS... BUT ‘TAKER KICKS THEM BACK IN HIS FACE!! Korderas screams for the two to return to the ring, but it’s no use as Undertaker has something far more sinister in mind. Grabbing the steps, Undertaker lines them up adjacent to the Spanish announce desk... and then he starts rearranging furniture! The top of the table is tossed aside, monitors fly, before Undertaker reaches down and drags Umaga up... then yanks him onto the steps... and slaps a hand around Umaga’s throat... CHOKESLAM THROUGH THE TABLE... NO! Umaga fights free, hitting a barrage of elbows that breaks the grip. Undertaker stumbles away, off the steps and back down to the floor, shaking off the cobwebs. Umaga doubles over, trying to suck in air, but ‘Taker is already racing at him... but Umaga counters... SAMOAN DROP THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE!!

“HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!”

It’s mayhem at ringside as Hugo and Carlos hit the deck, while Umaga and ‘Taker lay strewn among the wreckage. The match should’ve been thrown out a long time ago, but Korderas shows incredible leniency, however after checking on the condition of both men, he heads back to the ring and starts to count...

“ONE... TWO... THREE...”

Understandably, it’s Umaga who stirs first, slowly rolling over onto his knees, crawling towards the ring, Estrada pleading with his savage to get back into the ring...

“FOUR... FIVE... SIX...”

Umaga uses the apron to drag himself up, rolling slowly into the ring. On the outside, Bearer holds the urn high above Undertaker’s head, but there’s no sign of life in ‘The Deadman’...

“SIX... SEVEN...”

Somehow through the wreckage Undertaker makes it back t his feet, lacking balance as he stumbles towards the ring...

“EIGHT...”

And upon seeing this, Umaga barges past Korderas, stepping through the ropes to take the fight back outside. Stiff right hands lands to Undertaker’s skull, before Undertaker’s face is smashed off the canvas. Umaga rolls ‘Taker back inside, with Undertaker stumbling like a drunk man, trying to keep his balance... until Umaga runs through him with a bodyblock! Undertaker is down and seemingly out, but Umaga has other ideas, grabbing Undertaker by the hand and dragging him towards the corner. There, he lines ‘Taker up, then pushes himself up onto the second rope. The crowd buzz with fear, and Umaga lets out a tribal scream before he flies... SUPER SAMOAN SPLASH!! Umaga crushes ‘Taker, and he stays down for the lateral press, pushing up on his hands and sticking out his tongue, convinced he’s got the...

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
......SHOULDER UP......
!!!

Detroit roars with delight as Undertaker stays alive, while Umaga flashes Korderas a deathly stare. On the outside, Estrada snaps off his sunglasses in anger, slaps the canvas in frustration, but quickly regains composure and starts gesturing to Umaga. With Undertaker in the perfect spot, Estrada calls for Umaga to head across the ring. ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ does so, lining himself up, screaming out loud, bouncing up in the air, before he races across the ring... runs over Undertaker... bounces up... and comes crashing down... RUNNING UMAGABOMB!! Umaga absolutely hammers ‘The Deadman’, who hasn’t moved in a long time, and surely now the three count can be made... but Estrada shouts for Umaga to get up!? Estrada doesn’t want the cover yet, instead he motions for Umaga to head upstairs again. Umaga looks slightly puzzled, but he soon nods his head, pulling himself to his feet then climbs back up to the second rope... but now Estrada is on the apron!? Korderas orders Estrada to stand down, but he ignores the referee, and points for Umaga to climb to the top rope! Umaga looks over his shoulder at the prone ‘Taker, then looks back to Estrada... who PULLS OUT A CIGAR FROM HIS TOP POCKET... AND SNAPS IT IN HALF! But instead of triggering Umaga... UNDERTAKER SITS UP!! Estrada has a fit as he wildly points down at the canvas, but Umaga doesn’t see ‘Taker rise up to his feet... stick his hands up... and catch Umaga in his grasp! Undertaker then shows incredible power... and he hoists Umaga up... LAST RIDE!! UNDERTAKER HITS THE LAST RIDE!! It’s gotta be over as ‘Taker drapes an arm across Umaga’s chest...

..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
......KICK OUT......
!!!

Ford Field is in disbelief as Umaga somehow kicks out! ‘Taker rolls his body free, lying on his back, looking up into the heavens, wondering what it’ll take to put Umaga away. Rolling onto his knees and then getting back on his feet, Undertaker reaches across, drops the straps of his tights... then SLOWLY DRAWS A THUMB ACROSS HIS THROAT! Undertaker stands tall, hand in the air, waiting for Umaga to rise. Estrada is going nuts as slowly but surely, ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ stumbles to his feet... right into a goozle... then he goes up... CHOKESLAM!! Umaga is sent straight to hell, with ‘Taker dropping into the lateral press...

..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
......UMAGA ROLLS A SHOULDER......
!!!

Undertaker is furious as Umaga just won’t quit! Sitting back up in anger, ‘The Deadman’ throws a punch at midair in frustration, while Estrada breaths deeply with relief. It takes an age for ‘Taker to get back on his feet, but when he does, Undertaker waits for Umaga to rise... and somehow Umaga is up under his own weight, but he’s dazed and confused... as he staggers towards ‘Taker... who scoops tries to scoop Umaga up... NO! Umaga shows great athleticism as he drops down the back, shoving Undertaker off the ropes... right into a SAVATE KICK! Umaga damn nears takes Undertaker’s head off, and with a burst of energy, Umaga moves at a furious pace as he reaches down, grabs ‘Taker by the hair, drags him to his feet... then let’s out a tribal scream... SAMOAN SPIKE! UMAGA HITS THE DEADLY SAMOAN SPIKE!! It’s all over...

..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
......NO......
!!!

UNDERTAKER GETS THE SHOULDER UP!! Detroit erupts with delight as The Undertaker stays in the match! Estrada is furious, throwing his hat to the floor and jumping up and down on it, while Umaga storms to his feet, chasing after the referee, looking for a way to take out his anger. Korderas dives through the ropes to safety, leaving Umaga to snarl in the ring. Soon, Umaga turns towards Undertaker, who hasn’t moved an inch since the Samoan Spike, absolute rage in the eyes of ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ as he reaches down for a handful of hair and drags ‘Taker up. Undertaker has a glazed look in his eyes as once Umaga holds that thumb high in the air... and screams wildly... SECOND SAMOAN SPIKE... NO! UMAGA SWINGS... BUT UNDERTAKER DUCKS UNDERNEATH... AND TAKES UMAGA UP INTO THE AIR... TOMBSTONE! TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!! Undertaker crawls over, crosses both arms across Umaga’s chest and sticks out his tongue for the...

..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
......UMAGA KICKS OUT......
!!!

“YOU GOTTA BE KIDDIN’ ME!”

Umaga just kicked out of the tombstone! Ford Field is stunned, a mixture of amazement and disappointment, while Undertaker’s eyes nearly bulge out of his skull. Stumbling back to his feet, Undertaker stares desperately at the referee, then looks blankly at the crowd, wondering what it’ll take to put ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ away. Back on his feet, ‘Taker waits for Umaga to rise... and DRAWS THAT THUMB ACROSS HIS THROAT ONE MORE TIME! Somehow, Umaga is back on his feet... but ‘The Deadman’ is ready and waiting... to SLAP A HAND AROUND UMAGA’S THROAT... NO! Umaga swats it away, then pushes Undertaker to the corner... and here comes Umaga... RUNNING SPLASH... NO! Undertaker moves aside... and UMAGA SMACKS HEAD FIRST OFF THE RINGPOST! Dazed and confused, Umaga staggers back to the centre of the ring... where Undertaker is waiting... ‘Taker shows amazing strength to get Umaga up... TOMBSTONE... NO! UMAGA SHIFTS HIS WEIGHT... AND FALLS BACKWARDS... INTO A TOMBSTONE OF HIS OWN!! UMAGA LETS OUT A TRIBAL SCREAM... NO!! UNDERTAKER COUNTERS... FALLING BACKWARDS... AND HE HOISTS UMAGA UP... TOMBSTONE! TOMBSTONE!! A SECOND TOMEBSTONE!!! The arena goes absolutely crazy as ‘Taker places both hands across the chest, then sticks out his tongue...

..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
!!!

Winner: And STILL undefeated at Wrestlemania, The Undertaker @ 15.39

The arena goes wild as somehow, someway, The Undertaker has defeated Umaga! 'Taker releases the pin and falls backwards to the mat, absolutely exhausted after Umaga pushed him further than he's ever been pushed before. Slowly Undertaker staggers back to his feet, flinging his hair back over his head, staring down at the now defeated Umaga...

Tony Chimel: Here is your winner... and STILL UN - DE - FEATED at Wrestlemania... THHHHHEEEE UUNNNDDEERRRTTAKKKERRRR!!!

Michael Cole: FIF - TEEN - AND - OH!! The Undertaker has beaten Umaga! 'The Streak' lives! Umaga was dominant, pushing Undertaker further than he's ever gone before... but it just wasn't enough! The Undertaker just will not die!

Tazz: Unbelievable. Just... unbelievable. I mean, I'm shock! So many times I thought it was over, so many times I thought Umaga had ended 'The Streak'... and yet somehow, 'The Deadman' is still undefeated at Wrestlemania!

John Bradshaw Layfield: That might be the greatest performance I've ever witnessed. Umaga hammered The Undertaker from pillar to post, it shoulda ended so many times... but he just couldn't put The Undertaker away. I mean... what the hell's it gonna take to beat this guy at Wrestlemania?

That's a question for next year 'JBL'. On the outside, Umaga and Estrada slowly trudge back up the aisle, with Estrada absolutely distraught at the outcome of the match. Umaga winces and growls in pain, but he still stares back at the ring, fire in his eyes. In the ring, Paul Bearer holds the urn high, The Undertaker almost feeding off the energy of it, before he drops down to a knee and holds his hand aloft, the crowd going nuts once more. Bursts of fire spray up into the air once more, cutting through the darkness, a eerie purple haze coming across the ring, the impossible nearly but not quite accomplished as we cut backstage.

Where Todd Grisham is standing by...


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time... John Cena.

A strong pop breaks out from the crowd, but tonight there's no smile or nod of the head from Cena. Instead, Cena looks stern faced, more determined than ever before as he steps towards Grisham, with Cena's eyes fixed firmly off camera...

Todd Grisham: John, for months Mr. McMahon has made your life a living hell. Not only did he and his son Shane cost you the WWE Championship, they went on to recruit Bobby Lashley to face you in a match tonight, determined to see Lashley destroy you. A few weeks ago we thought the deck has been evened up when WWE CEO Linda McMahon appointed 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin as the Special Guest Referee for the match... but with 'Stone Cold' being attacked just two nights ago on Smackdown, and Mr. McMahon announcing himself as Austin's replacement, it looks like the deck might be stacked against you more than you ever thought possible.

Cena barely moves, not a hint of expression on his face as he stays silent for a few seconds then finally answers...

John Cena: You know all my life, I've done nothin' but fight for what I've got. I scratched and clawed to make it here to the WWE, I fought harder and trained longer than ever before to become WWE Champion, I worked my way to the very top of this business... then I ran into Vince McMahon.

The mere mention of Mr. McMahon's name draws heat from the crowd, with Cena shaking his head...

John Cena: I ran into Vince, and I was given a choice. Do things his way... or pay the price. Well I ain't man who's gonna set aside his values, I ain't a man who's not gonna fight for what he believes in. Hustle, loyalty, respect, I preach 'em each and every day, I live 'em each and every day, and just 'cause some ego-maniacal millionaire in a bad suit with a worse toupee tells me to toe his line, that don't mean I'm gonna give up on what I believe in!

The emotion of Cena shines through as he starts to become animated, drawing a warm pop from the fans...

John Cena: Ya' beat me, ya' smack a steel chair of my skull, ya' got the referee ya' want, hell, ya' got everythin' ya' wanted Vinny! And what does that mean? That I'm supposed to lay down without a fight? That I'm supposed to walk away?

Cena defiantly shakes his head...

John Cena: That's never gonna happen Vinny. I'm here tonight, and tonight, I'm ready for a fight!

Another pop for the intensity of Cena...

John Cena: You say that I chose this path. Vince, you said this is my fault, that if I had just played ball, none o' this woulda happened. Well Lashley, you chose to take the money, you chose to align yourself with the McMahon's, and tonight's the night I'm gonna cash in! Vince as the referee, Shane at ringside, Lashley across the ring from me, I don't give a damn what the odds are! If I'm goin' down, I'm goin' down in a blaze o' glory! This is wrestling, this is the WWE, this is my life! You take this away from me, I ain't got nothin' left to live for! So Vince, Shane... and especially you Lashley... if ya' want some... COME – GET SOME!

The camera zooms in on the focused Cena, who stares intently into the camera, the shot lingering for a few seconds before we head off for another video...


*Video Package*


Our video opens on the Raw before the Royal Rumble where John Cena and Mr. McMahon sit across a table from each other during a contract signing, the shot switching back and forth between the two...

Mr. McMahon: I gave you an opportunity Cena, and you took full advantage of it. You've won a lot of championships, you've made a lot of money along the way, heck, you've made me a lot of money along the way too!

John Cena: Yes, you did give me an opportunity Vince. You gave me a job, you let me in the door, but since that day, I have fought for everythin' I ever got, and I will fight for everythin' I'm ever gonna get in the future!

Mr. McMahon: You were given those opportunities Cena, because like it or not... you and me have a lot in common.

John Cena: Don't you dare go there Vinny Mac. Don't you dare ever compare me and you. I will NEVER be anythin' like you.

Mr. McMahon:
You show me the respect I deserve Goddammit!!

And to drive that requst home, VINCE SLAPS CENA ACROSS THE FACE!!

Slowly, Cena strokes his cheek, feeling the full effects of Vince's slap. Cena continues to slowly rub his chin...

Until...

"Screw it!"

Cena hoists McMahon up onto his shoulders... FU THROUGH THE TABLE!!!!

Mr. McMahon: {Echoing} You... you just made a BIG mistake Cena.

We now cut to the main event of Raw: Night of Champions, where John Cena defends the WWE Championship against Shawn Michaels and Triple H. In the dying moments, Triple H is up, and he staggers towards Michaels... SWEET CHIN MUSIC! But Triple H stumble towards the now standing John Cena... who hoists ‘The Game’ up onto his shoulders... in position for the FU, but here comes Michaels... and Cena shows superhuman strength to LIFT MICHAELS ONTO HIS SHOULDERS TOO... DOUBLE FU!!! Cena drills both Michaels and Triple H, and he hooks the leg of ‘The Game’... 1... 2... SHANE MCMAHON YANKS THE REFEREE FROM THE RING!!

Cena races after Shane as both men run around the ring, but there’s a commotion at the top of the ramp... as Vince McMahon steps out, waving his security force down to the ring! Cena continues the chase as Shane slides into the ring, and then out the other side, just in time as the security makes it to the ring... and four of them tackle Cena to the mat! Exhausted from the match, Cena can’t offer much resistance as the posse of security guards jump the WWE Champion, holding down to the mat. Shane orders the guards to pull Cena to his feet, and with six of them keeping a tight grip, Cena is powerless as he’s raised to his feet... and held in position... as Shane cracks the steel chair off Cena’s skull! The crowd shits all over it as Cena’s legs buckle, but the security keep Cena standing... allowing Shane to again nail Cena with the chair!

Mr. McMahon: I made you Cena, and now...

Rapid fire shots of the various WWE superstars Vince bribed to attack Cena, with Umaga running through Cena with a massive bodyblock, Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters attacking Cena during his match with Shane, before Edge hammers Cena with a spear...

Mr. McMahon: Now I'm gonna CRUSH you!

Fast forward to Saturday Night's Main Event, where Shane and Vince take on Cena in a Steel Cage Handicap Match, with Shane hitting a brutal low-blow to Cena to save his father...

Mr. McMahon: Now that you’re an enemy of me John... there's a price on your head.

Shane flies coast to coast, violently snapping Cena's head back against the bottom rope, before Vince delivers a second, crippling low blow...

Mr. McMahon: Now it's your turn to find out I always get my way.

But Cena turns the tide, hammering both Vince and Shane with the FU, punishing them by slamming them into the cage...

John Cena: I'll never back down from a fight. No matter how hurt I am, no matter how bad the odds are stacked against me, I'll show up night after night, and I will BRING THE FIGHT!

Shane is beside himself as he sits up, head in his hands as Cena hoists Vince up onto his shoulders... and turns to look straight at Shane... “You can’t see me!”... FU!!! Cena is quickly back on his feet, roaring to the masses, victory almost assured... until the mood of the crowd changes in an instant, with gasps and mass confusion ringing out. Cena is still revelling in his glory, staring at Shane on the outside... who has a huge grin on his face?

John Cena: But when I get my hands on you two... and I beat you two with the whole world watchin'... it's over between me and you Vince.

Mr. McMahon: Cena, let me assure you... that no matter what happens in that steel cage this Saturday night... you and me... will never... be over.

Cena stares at Shane, confused, wondering what the hell Shane has to smile about... Shane points, motioning for Cena to turn around... which Cena does... to see BOBBY LASHLEY IS IN THE RING!!! For a split second a stunned look crosses Cena’s face... until Lashley runs right through him with a FUCKING HUGE SPEAR!!

Mr. McMahon: I always stay one step ahead of my opponents. Whether that’s in the business world of in the ring, I always have a trick up my sleeve.

Lashley menacingly walks over, picks Cena up, scoops him onto his shoulder... and LAWNDARTS CENA INTO THE SIDE OF THE CAGE!

Mr. McMahon: Like I’ve said time and time again, I always have a plan. I always have an ace in the hole.

Vince then looks at Lashley one last time... and says “Finish ‘im!”. Lashley obliges as he reaches down... and yanks the deadweight Cena onto his shoulders... for an almighty DOMINATOR!!

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

And now to the following episode of Raw, where in the ring Lashley had a grip of Joey Styles, with mockingly, Vince pushes forward his chin...

Mr. McMahon: C'mon, I dare ya'! I dare ya' to-

STYLES SLAPS VINCE ACROSS THE FACE!!


Mr. McMahon: Who the hell do you think you are? Huh?! Bobby... teach this punk a lesson!

Lashley is just about to hoist Styles up onto his shoulders, when all of a sudden a roar rings out around the arena... and someone leaps the barricade and slides under the bottom rope... it's John Cena!!!

Jim Ross: CENA! IT'S JOHN CENA! CENA IS HERE AND HE'S COME FOR BOBBY LASHLEY!!!

John Cena: Since the second you ran through me in that steel cage, I’ve thought of nothin’ but getting’ my hands on you.

Cena tackles Lashley to the canvas, the pair trading rapid fire right hands...

John Cena: There ain’t nothin’ I won’t do to make sure I beat you in Detroit, nothin’!

Lashley strikes back on Smackdown two nights ago, hammering Cena with a sickening chair shot to the skull...

Mr. McMahon: I created you John. And with the help of Bobby Lashley...

John Cena: IF YA' WANT SOME...

And now our video comes to an end, with the shot flipping between Cena and Lashley, the two men sharing similar emotions of rage and fury, muscles bursting out of their skin...

Mr. McMahon: I’m gonna destroy you!

John Cena: COME GET SOME!!

And finally the sinister image of Lashley and The McMahons from Saturday Night's Main Event, with Lashley stood in-between Vince and Shane, the trio raising each other's arms high in the air in victory... perhaps a sign of what could come tonight?

*End Video Package*

Back into the arena to hear...

*HERE COMES THE MONEY...*

After an initial pop, the boos quickly ring out as Shane McMahon makes a surprising, yet somewhat expected, appearance. Dressed in a sharp suit, Shane still has time to perform his trade mark Shane-O-Shuffle before he heads down the aisle...


Jim Ross: Well folks, it's now time for what promises to be a battle of epic proportions. John Cena and Bobby Lashley are scheduled to do battle, with... well it pains me to say it, but with none other than 'The Devil Himself', Mr. McMahon, as the Special Guest Referee.

Jerry Lawler: And of course, the Special Guest Referee for this match was scheduled to be 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin. But after Austin was found laid out backstage on Smackdown two nights ago, Austin has been stuck in a hospital. And of course, Mr. McMahon decided that he was the best candidate to replace Austin.

Jim Ross: It makes me sick, it really does. To think that after all The McMahons and Lashley have done to Cena over the last few months, to then attack Austin-

Jerry Lawler: Ah, now wait a minute J.R., we don't know for sure it had anythin' to do with Lashley or The McMahons.

Jim Ross: Aw don't gimme that 'King'! You and I know both know full well it was Vince, Shane and Lashley who were behind it. And after all that's happened to Cena, all that's happened to Austin, for Vince to then appoint himself as the Special Guest Referee... I just don't see anyway John Cena can win tonight. How can this be a fair fight? Quite simply, it can't! And now we've got 'The Demon Seed' himself, Shane McMahon out here. You wanna talk about stackin' the deck? This is gettin' ridiculous!

Shane is now in the ring and approaches a rather confused looking Lillian Garcia, demanding and receiving the microphone in her hand from her. Shane then motions for Lillian to step aside, with it clear Shane plans on handling the announcements for now...

Shane McMahon: OH YEAH! Detroit, Michigan... I know you're ready for this one! The clash of the titans! The biggest match in Wrestlemania history! And for a match so big... there's only one man who can handle the pressure. One man who can handle this situation. One man... who can keep these two men in line. And that man... is none other... than the Special Guest Referee... VINCENT... KENNEDY... MCMAHON!!

*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*

To a larger amount of heat, 'The Chairman of the Board' Mr. McMahon enters Ford Field. Wearing a black and white striped vest, Vince certainly looks ready to step into the breach and take charge. McMahon gives a very exaggerated show of his arms, flexing and posing at the top of the ramp, before that trademark strut of his carries him down the aisle...


Shane McMahon: Give it up, Detroit! Get on your feet for the father of this industry!

Jim Ross: I really don't see what right Vince has to name himself referee of this match. The WWE Board of Directors, under the direction of CEO Linda McMahon, they chose 'Stone Cold' for a reason to try even up the sides a bit. The fact that Vince has removed Austin from the equation and inserted himself into the match, is a damn joke if ya' ask me. If Lashley's so good, and if Vince is so confident in Lashley's ability to get the job done, then why the hell does Vince have to be in there? Why doesn't Vince let Lashley face Cena like a man?

Jerry Lawler: Well... because he's the boss. He can do what he wants. I mean, it was less than 24 hours ago that we heard Austin wouldn't be here. I dunno if the board were able to come together and reach a decision on a replacement in that time. So... Vince has stepped in. You may not like Mr. McMahon, but ya' gotta admire him.

Jim Ross: I'll admire 'im the day he kisses my fat Oklahoma ass!

Vince enters the ring and he and Shane embrace in a very over the top hug, with Shane encouraging the fans to cheer for his father, but only getting boos in return. Shane hands over the mic to his Dad, who tries to wait for the heat to die down...

Mr. McMahon: Alright, alright. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to-

"ASSHOLE! ASSHOLE! ASSHOLE!"

Vince stops, shaking his head angrily at the fans, hoping the chant will die down...


Mr. McMahon: If you don't mind...

But still the chant continues, until...


Mr. McMahon: SHADDUP!

Big time heat from the Detroit masses, with Vince snarling through the boos, deciding that he's had enough of waiting...

Mr. McMahon: Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to welcome... the man who has singlehandedly dominated John Cena at every turn. From Colorado Springs, Colorado... weighing in at a very impressive 275 pounds... he is 'THE DOMINATOR'... 'THE REALLLL DEALLLL'... BOBBBBBYYYYYYY... LLLLLAAAASSSHHHHLLLLEEEYYYYYYYY!!

*HELL WILL BE CALLIN'...*

A fierce, intense look grips the eyes of Bobby Lashley as he makes his entrance. Stopping at the top of the stage, Lashley bounces up and down on the spot for a few seconds, breathing hard, flaring his nostrils, looking ready for battle as he confidently heads down the aisle...


Jim Ross: One of the most impressive pure athletes we've ever seen in the WWE. A true mix of technical skill and power. A former amateur and collegiate wrestling champion. Bobby Lashley has been nothin' but impressive since he arrived in the WWE. But Lashley has been conflicted by greed, he's had his head turned by the money of The McMahons, and quite frankly, he's sold his soul to the devil himself! And bah gawd, it makes me sick!

Jerry Lawler: And I guess, the biggest question is... why? Why has Lashley chose to go into partnership with Vince and Shane? I mean, before Saturday Night's Main Event, there was no issue between Cena and Lashley, that we knew of. Lashley's in this match 'cause he's been blinded by the dollar signs. Lashley's got a huge future in this business, he could go all the way. But instead of gettin' there through hard work, he's lookin' to take a short cut, courtesy of Vince McMahon. But hey... with the deck stacked so strongly in his favour, it looks like it's all gonna pay off for 'im.

In the ring Lashley shares a confident nod with the beaming Vince, while Shane offers Lashley a few last second words of encouragement, even engaging in a little shadow boxing to give Lashley a few pointers, before he exits the ring. Vince then tosses the microphone back to Garcia as the music dies down and there's a period of silence, although the Detroit faithful decided to fill this with a resounding chant of...

"YOU SOLD OUT!! YOU SOLD OUT!! YOU SOLD OUT!!"

Lashley turns his head and stares angrily at the crowd, although Vince is quick to shake it off, the camera hearing him tell Lashley "Don't listen to these idiots.", with Lashley slowly turning his head back around to look up the aisle as...

*MY TIME IS NOW...*

A great reaction from the fans as it's nearly all cheers for John Cena. Looking eager to get things under way, Cena pauses briefly to salute the crowd, before he takes off, making the long jog down the aisle and then sliding under the bottom rope, with Cena weary of the presence of the hulking Lashley nearby...


Lillian Garcia: And introducing his opponent... from WEST NEWBERRY, MASSACHUSSETS... weighing in at 240 pounds... JOHNNNN CEEEEEEENAAAA!!!

Cena rips off his t-shirt and then tosses it and his cap into the crowd, but the bounce in his step quickly ends as he comes face to face with Vince. McMahon quickly points to the stripes on his torso, reiterating the fact that he's a WWE official right now, with Cena shaking his head in frustration at being unable to get his hands on the man who has been the bane of his existance for so many months now...

Jim Ross: The odds are certainly against John Cena tonight. But as we all know, Cena has never met a fight he didn't like. An incredible amount of drive and determination exists within that man... but could tonight be too much for even John Cena to overcome?

Jerry Lawler: I hate to say it... but I think it might be. I mean, this could turn into a no disqualification match as far as Lashley's concerned. He can do whatever he wants to Cena and the referee ain't gonna do a thing about it! I love and admire the fightin' spirit of John Cena... but this could be career suicide right here!

With both men standing across the ring from each other, Vince has a broad smile on his face as he motions to ring the bell... however, he's interrupted as from the outside, Lillian has one final announcement to make...

Lillian Garcia: Ladies and gentlemen, by order of WWE CEO Linda McMahon, please welcome back from suspension... JOEY STYLESSS!!

*THIS IS EXTREME...*

The marks in the crowd respond with a strong pop as sure enough, the thought to be under suspension Joey Styles steps out. Giving a quick wave to the fans, Styles moves quickly as he strides down the aisle...


Jerry Lawler: Alright! Joey Styles is back from suspension, and he's here to call the rest of Wrestlemania with us!

Jim Ross: It's great to see 'im! What a way for Linda McMahon to once again get under the skin of her husband, by bringin' back the man he suspended!

In the ring Vince is furious, shouting at Lillian, demanding answers, and then as Styles rounds the ring and heads for the announce desk, Vince yells "You're supposed to be suspended, dammit!", to which Styles simply ignore. Reaching the desk, Styles shakes hands with Ross and Lawler before placing a headset on...

Jim Ross: Welcome back Joey!

Jerry Lawler: Yeah, great to see ya' back!

Joey Styles: Thanks 'King', thanks J.R., it's great to be back. If that maniacal bastard Vince McMahon thought I was missin' out on this one, he had another thing comin'!

Jerry Lawler: Wow, back five seconds and already facin' another suspension...

Joey Styles: Well screw Vince McMahon! And screw Bobby Lashley too! Impartiality's outta the window on this one, I'm with John Cena all the way!






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


The arrival of Styles has brought a slightly easier tone to Cena’s demeanour as he smiles towards Vince who is still fuming at the arrival of the suspended commentator. Lashley simply snarls from across the ring, and when the bell rings, both men inch towards each other. Coming together, the pair come nose-to-nose, but neither man utters a word, a tense, silent staredown ensuing. The verbals are left to our referee, as Vince starts talking smack at Cena, a broad smirk on his face as he gets in close to shout “You’re finished Cena! I always get my way!”. Cena turns and glares at Vince, and Lashley uses this as a chance to throw a cheap right hand... which Cena blocks... and scores with a right of his own! Lashley strikes back, and an early slugfest breaks out, until Cena tags Lashley with three unanswered rights, backing Lashley to the corner. Cena grabs the head, then runs Lashley to the adjacent corner... SMASHING HIM FACE FIRST OFF THE TOP TURNBUCKLE! With Lashley against the corner, Cena lands another pair of rights before he goes for the Irish whip across... Lashley hits the opposite turnbuckle hard, stumbling out as Cena comes off the nearby ropes... ONE HANDED BULLDOG!

Cena takes Lashley down and immediately starts raining down with rights and lefts, bit McMahon quickly steps in, forcing a break between the two and then admonishing Cena for using a closed fist. Lashley uses this a chance to roll outside, but Cena quickly follows, tagging Lashley from behind with a pair of forearms. Lashley swings back, but Cena blocks it... then SMASHES LASHLEY FACE FIRST OFF THE BARRICADE! Lashley stumbles away towards the announce desk, with Vince trying to buy 'The Dominator' some time as he heads outside to again admonish Cena. Cena shakes it off, but when he catches up to Lashley... he's met with a VICIOUS CLOTHESLINE! Vince's influence pays off as Lashley hammers Cena to the floor, then pounces to drop a few boots to the chest. Cena is dragged up... then Lashley hoists him onto his shoulders with ease... DROPPING CENA FACE FIRST OFF THE TOP OF THE BARRICADE! Vince revels in Cena's pain, encouraging Lashley to do more damage, with 'The Dominator' dragging Cena towards the announce desk. Vince barks “What d'ya think of this Styles?!” as Lashley lines Cena up... but Cena strikes with an elbow to the gut... then DRIVES LASHLEY'S FACE OFF THE RAW ANNOUNCE DESK! Lashley drops to a knee, but Cena soon has him back up, locking on a full nelson... and then Cena calls for Styles to step forward! The crowd buzzes and Styles rises to his feet, with Cena holding Lashley in the perfect position... for STYLES TO SLAP LASHLEY ACROSS THE FACE!

Vince and Shane are furious as Ford Field goes wild, with Styles beaming as he extracts a measure of revenge. Cena rolls Lashley back into the ring, but Vince is again in his face, berating Cena for his actions, but Cena responds with “I dare you to disqualify me!”, playing McMahon at his own game before he slides under the ropes. Cena tags Lashley with more rights, then goes for the Irish whip to the corner... but Lashley reverses... Cena hits the turnbuckle chest first... and then Lashley clobbers him from behind with a clothesline! Cena tries to pull himself up, but Lashley drills him with stiff punches to the head, no sign of any admonishment from Vince as Lashley hammers Cena to the canvas. Lashley steps back... then races in... RUNNING BOOT TO THE FACE! Lashley drags Cena away from the ropes and hooks the leg…

............1............
...2...
!!!

Cena kicks out, but it was a noticeably fast count from McMahon! Lashley mounts Cena and drops rights to the head, before he drags Cena up and goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… Cena ducks a clothesline… then hits a FLYING SHOULDERBLOCK! Cena springs up and comes off the ropes again… SECOND FLYING SHOULDERBLOCK! Both men rise, and Lashley swings a right hand… which Cena ducks… PROTOBOMB! Cena plants Lashley, and Ford Field is on his feet as Cena comes off the ropes… but before he can hit the five-knuckle shuffle, Shane McMahon jumps onto the apron… RIGHT HAND SENDS SHANE FLYING! Vince is straight over to the ropes to check on his son, and Cena lingers for a few seconds as he watches Shane writhe on the floor… and when he turns… LASHLEY HAMMERS CENA WITH A CLOTHESLINE!

Now Lashley looks to take control as he again lays in with boots then mounts Cena for right hands to the head. Lashley then drags Cena to the side of the ring, stepping through the ropes to place Cena’s neck on the ring apron… so Lashley can drop an elbow across the throat! Another elbow lands, with Vince not even bothering to count it. Lashley slides back into the ring, and the pair engage in a ridiculous pretence as Lashley distracts Vince long enough for Shane to smack Cena with a cheap shot. Lashley pushes Cena to the corner, first connecting with boots to the gut, then hitting a series of shoulder thrusts to the midsection. Lashley looks to fire Cena to the opposite corner… Cena hits the turnbuckle hard… and here comes Lashley for the corner clothesline… no! Cena avoids it, and now he strikes with rights and lefts to the breadbasket, then looks to send Lashley off the ropes… but Lashley reverses… and then traps Cena… BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX!! Lashley plants Cena, and hooks a leg…

............1............
...2...
ANOTHER QUICK COUNT BUT CENA KICKS OUT
!!!

Lashley looks to stay in control as he pulls Cena up, rocking him with a pair of right hands, before he cinches Cena in and looks for a suplex… but Cena uses his foot to block it. Again Lashley tries for the suplex… but again Cena uses the foot to block it… and he takes Lashley up and down with a SUPLEX OF HIS OWN! Cena crawls into the lateral press…

..................1..................
.....................
.....................
.....................
…...2......
...............
LASHLEY POWERS OUT
!!!

Ford Field boos loudly as Vince gives a ridiculously slow count, with Cena turning to glare at McMahon, shaking his head, while Vince holds up two fingers to show it was only a two count. Cena looks to stay on the offensive as Lashley gets back up, tagging him with a pair of right hands before he charges off the ropes… CROSSBODY… NO! LASHLEY CATCHES CENA… THEN SENDS HIM FLYING WITH A FALLAWAY SLAM! Cena hits the mat hard, the momentum carrying him straight under the bottom rope to the floor, with Lashley quickly walking to the ropes to head outside… but once again we go through the farce of Vince stopping Lashley, turning his back on the action, allowing Shane to lay in with a series of boots to the chest. Shane eventually lets up, with Lashley heading outside unopposed, yanking Cena to his feet… and SMASHING CENA FACE FIRST OFF THE STEEL STEPS! Lashley snarls as Cena hits the floor, while a broad smirk crosses Vince’s face. Lashley looks to continue the punishment as he pulls Cena up, then hoists him onto his shoulders with ease… and runs at the ringpost… but Cena drops down the back… and RUNS LASHLEY INTO THE RINGPOST! Lashley hits the floor with a thud, but Cena quickly yanks him up and rolls Lashley back into the ring, climbing up onto the apron to step through the ropes… but Cena is stuck on the outside… as SHANE GRABS CENA’S FOOT! Cena tries to kick Shane free, but here comes Lashley off the ropes… SHOULDERBLOCK SENDS CENA FLYING RIBS FIRST INTO THE BARRICADE!

The numbers game again plays its part as Cena writhes against the barricade in pain, with Lashley taking his time to head outside. Lashley clubs Cena with forearms to the back of the neck, then drives Cena ribs first into the barricade once more. Boots now land to the ribs, before Lashley aggressively yanks Cena back under the bottom rope. Looking to punish Cena, Lashley looks to target the ribs as he shoves Cena sternum first into the corner, then drops down to a knee to drive a headbutt to the small of the back. Lashley repeats this another two times, before he turns Cena around, then fires him across the ring… Cena hits the turnbuckle hard… and Lashley follows in with a CORNER CLOTHESLINE! Lashley backs away, and Cena stumbles forward… HUGE BACK BODY DROP! Cena is down and in pain, but there’s no hint of a cover from Lashley, especially as a gleaming Vince shouts “Punish ‘im Bobby! Make ‘im suffer!”. Lashley looks to oblige as he yanks Cena up… then cinches him in… and takes him up into the air… and shows incredible strength as Lashley holds Cena up high for what seems like an eternity… before Cena comes crashing down from a LONG DELAYED VERTICAL SUPLEX! A depressed hush covers Ford Field as Vince and Shane love what they’re seeing, with Lashley now laying in the punishment on Cena. Impartiality is out the window as Vince calls for more pain, and Lashley looks to oblige as he once again fires Cena hard to the corner. Lashley steps back… then races in… Cena gets a boot up to the face! Lashley stumbles, shakes it off, then races in once more… but Cena sidesteps him… Lashley hits the turnbuckle! Cena doesn’t waste any time as he comes off the ropes… FLYING SHOULDERBLOCK! Both men are back up, with Cena off the ropes… SECOND FLYING SHOULDERBLOCK! Cena looks to build momentum, but Lashley is up… PROTOBOMB! Ford Field is on its feet once more as for the second time tonight, Cena holds a hand high in the air… then looks down at Lashley… “YOU CAN’T SEE ME!”… before he heads for the ropes… SPINEBUSTER FROM LASHLEY! Unbelievable impact from ‘The Real Deal’ as he plants Cena, and this time he does hook the leg…

............1............
...2...
CENA KICKS OUT
!!!

Cena survives yet another quick pin attempt, with a worried look now on Vince’s face. Lashley turns towards Vince, almost looking for a cue, and Vince nods, concern in his voice as he orders “Yeah. Yeah let’s finish ‘im!”. Lashley nods in agreement, reaching down to yank Cena to his feet… then he hoists Cena onto his shoulders… DOMINATOR… NO!! Cena drops down the back, both men putting on the breaks… drop toe hold from Cena, who grabs Lashleys foot… then twists, steps and drops… and reaches forward… STFU!!! Detroit erupts as Cena traps Lashley in the STFU! Vince is panic-stricken as Lashley is locked in the deadly submission move, ‘The Chairman of the Board’ frozen to the spot as his master plan is falling apart! Shane races around the ring to the nearest ropes to Lashley, desperately willing him to make it to safety. Lashley grabs at Cena’s wrists, trying to break the grip around his throat, but Cena holds on tight, refusing to let go. Vince is almost in hysterics as he wills Lashley to hang in there, with Shane slapping the canvas, giving Lashley a target to aim for. Lashley now starts to crawl towards the ropes, showing great strength as he drags both he and Cena towards Shane and the ropes. Vince acts as head cheerleader as he desperately encourages Lashley… and somehow Lashley inches ever closer and closer… reaching out… but falling just short! Another surge, and Lashley reaches again… Shane pushes the bottom rope inwards… and LASHLEY GRABS THE ROPE!

Shane gives Lashley an assist, right under Vince’s nose, but our referee is more concerned with getting Cena to break the hold, physically involving himself by dragging Cena by the neck away from the situation. Cena reacts angrily, bouncing to his feet to confront Vince, who stands his ground, pointing to the stripes on his chest, reminding Cena who’s in charge. Cena clenches a fist, but shows great restraint as he holds back, not wanting to strike. Vince realises this, and that cocky smirk returns to his face as he nods arrogantly… THEN SLAPS CENA ACROSS THE JAW! The entire stadium “Ooooh!” as Cena rubs his face… then snaps a furious glare in Vince’s direction! McMahon realises he’s pushed Cena too far… Vince races to slide under the ropes… and Cena is after him… THE CHASE IS ON! McMahon dives under the ropes then takes off around the ring, running along one side, then turning the corner, sliding back into the ring, Cena right behind him… SPEAR! SPEAR! LASHLEY CUTS CENA OFF WITH A SPEAR!! Lashley drops into the lateral press… but Vince is out of position! Finally McMahon scrambles over to make the count…

............1............
...2...
CENA GETS A SHOULDER UP
!!!

McMahon just couldn’t get therein time, and Cena survives! Lashley pushes himself onto his knees, allowing Cena to roll to the corner, but Lashley looks stay on him as he yanks Cena up and drives a shoulder to the midsection. Another shoulder thrust connects, and a third, before Lashley then uses his shoulder and drives with his legs to hoist Cena up onto the top turnbuckle. Lashley reaches up to fire a few rights to the face, then he climbs up to the second rope… hooks Cena up… TOP ROPE EXPLODER SUPLEX… NO! Desperately Cena hits elbows to the back of the head, stopping the move, then a trio of shots to the gut break Lashley’s grip… big right hand to the face sends Lashley flying! Cena now stands on the second rope, waiting for Lashley to rise to his knees… LEGDROP BULLDOG! Cena drives Lashley to the mat, but he doesn’t look for a cover, instead Cena rises to his feet, waiting for Lashley to get up. Vince looks worried once more as Lashley stumbles up… and staggers towards Cena… kick… FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Cena takes Lashley up and down, and for the third time, stands over Lashley, holding his hand in the air… Cena turns and comes off the ropes… puts on the breaks and points at Vince… “YOU CAN’T SEE ME!”… FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! Third time’s the charm as Cena finally connects, and now he stands, hands on knees, again waiting for Lashley… who takes an age, but eventually is back on his feet… Cena takes him up… FU… NO! SHANE MCMAHON JUMPS ONTO THE APRON AND GRABS LASHLEYS FOOT! Cena strains, trying to power Lashley over, but Shane holds on with all he’s got, causing Cena to drop Lashley. Cena turns, seeing Shane on the apron… so he grabs the top rope… and SLINGSHOTS SHANE INTO THE RING!

Shane flies to the canvas, and fear grips the face of the younger McMahon, realising that he’s in a world of trouble now. Cena stalks his opponent, looking to extract some revenge for the assault that cost him the WWE Championship two months ago… but here comes Lashley… drop toe hold… STFU!! FOR THE SECOND TIME TONIGHT LASHLEY IS TRAPPED IN THE STFU!! Ford Field is going crazy once more as Cena has it locked on in the centre of the ring! Desperately Lashley scratches and claws for the ropes… but he comes up short! Lashley tries to drag himself to safety, but Cena wrenches back on the neck, giving Lashley nowhere to go… LASHLEY TAPS OUT! LASHLEY IS TAPPING… BUT THERE’S NO BELL?! VINCE IS MORE INTERESTED IN GETTING SHANE OUT OF THE RING!!

With his back to the action, Vince checks on his son, trying to help get Shane out of harm’s way, all the while Lashley is tapping furiously! Eventually Cena releases the hold, storming back to his feet, turning Vince around to confront him! McMahon pleads his innocence, claiming he was trying to get Shane out of the ring, with Cena screaming that he had Lashley beat. Vince smirks as he claims he didn’t see it, a frustrated Cena shaking his head, looking up at the heavens, thinking what it’s gonna take to turn the tide in his favour… until suddenly he reaches down, takes Vince up onto his shoulders… FU TO VINCE… NO… LASHLEY CRACKS CENA FROM BEHIND WITH A STEEL CHAIR!! Ford Field boos relentlessly as Lashley saves Vince, with no hint of a DQ for the use of the chair. Cena crumples to the floor, with Lashley slamming the chair down, but now Lashley looks to take charge of the situation as he helps Shane up and points to the opposite corner. Still a bit dazed, Shane obliges as he stumbles across the ring, while Lashley drags Cena to the corner and props his head up on the bottom turnbuckle. Shane slowly climbs to the top rope, and Lashley jams the chair between the ropes, right infront of Cena’s face… as Shane readies himself… then flies… COAST TO COAST!! The chair smashes into Cena’s face, with Cena slumping to the mat. Vince loves it, and now Lashley looks to finish Cena once and for all as he drags Cena to his feet… then powers Cena onto his shoulders… DOMINATOR!! An almighty dominator plants Cena, and Lashley drapes an arm across Cena’s chest, with Vince, full of arrogance, going for a very dramatic slow count…

..................1..................
.....................
…...2......
...............
SHOULDER UP
!!!

THE ARROGANCE COSTS LASHLEY AND VINCE AS CENA GETS A SHOULDER UP!! Shane departs the ring, slapping a hand off the ring in anger, while Vince calls for Lashley to end the match, ordering he scoop Cena up for another dominator. Lashley nods, reaching down to grab Cena, but Cena’s legs are like rubber, unable to stand on his own weight, so Lashley takes an age lifting him up… until suddenly Cena has a burst of power… FU!! FU!! FU OUT OF NOWHERE!! Cena drops down onto Lashley, hooks the leg… and Vince has no option but to count…

..................1..................
.....................
…...2......
...............
VINCE FLIPS CENA THE DOUBLE BIRD
!!!!!

McMahon flat out refuses to count the three, and before Cena can respond, Shane slides into the ring and starts stomping down on Cena. With Lashley down and out, Shane looks to do a number on Cena, dropping knees and elbows to the back. Vince then starts directing traffic, picking up the steel chair and telling Shane to hold Cena in position. It takes an age, but eventually Shane has Cena in position, and with all hope seemingly lost, Vince winds up to put Cena to bed once and for all…

*GLASS SHATTERS...*

AUSTIN!! AUSTIN!! ‘STONE COLD’ IS HERE! AND HE’S WEARING A REFEREES SHIRT!!

The roof nearly blows off Ford Field as Austin paces down the ring, a pissed off look on his face, while Vince’s jaw nearly hits the floor. Vince and Shane stop dead in their tracks as Austin approaches, with Shane letting go of his grip on Cena. Austin hits the end of the aisle, and Vince quickly hands the chair to Shane… Austin rolls under the ropes… Shane charges… right into a boot to the midsection! Shane drops the chair… and Austin picks it up… AUSTIN SMACKS THE CHAIR OFF SHANE’S SKULL!! The chair is caved off Shane’s skull, and now Austin has his sights set on Vince… who tries to turn and run… right into the grasp of Cena! Cena has Vince by the shirt collar… and he turns to look at the crowd, seeking their approval… to toss Vince back at Austin… KICK… STUNNER!! AUSTIN HAS TAKEN THE MCMAHONS OUT OF THE EQUATION!!

But just as Austin scrambles back to his feet, Lashley crawls back to his knees… and hits CENA WITH A LOW BLOW!! Cena drops to a knee in agony, with Austin missing it, wondering what happened… and now Lashley is back up… and takes Cena onto his shoulders… DOMINATOR! LASHLEY HITS THE DOMINATOR!! Lashley turns Cena over, and he crawls into the cover…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
......SHOULDER UP......
!!!

CENA SOMEHOW GETS A SHOULDER UP!!! A massive pop breaks out in Ford Field, with Lashley glaring at Austin in disbelief. It was a perfectly fair count by our new referee, but Lashley is furious, storming back to his feet to get in Austin’s face, demanding that it should’ve been three. Austin slaps his hand twice, showing he counted fairly but only got to two, but Lashley isn’t buying it… AS HE SHOVES AUSTIN IN THE CHEST! The crowd “Ooooh!” as Austin looks down at the stripes, then back up to Lashley… and FLIPS LASHLEY THE DOUBLE BIRD! Lashley’s eyes bulge from his head, but what he doesn’t know is that Cena is on his feet behind Lashley… and when Lashley turns… he’s ready and waiting… to take Lashley onto his shoulder… FU!! ANOTHER FU TO LASHLEY!! Cena crawls over, hooks the leg, and Austin makes the count…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
!!!

Winner: John Cena @ 17.23

Thanks to an assist from Austin, Cena has done it, scoring a huge measure of revenge over The McMahons and Lashley. Despite the best efforts of Vince, he's been thwarted once again as Cena has ultimately prevailed...


Lillian Garcia: Here is your winner... JOHNNNN CEEEEEEENAAAA!!!

Cena rolls off of Lashley and lies on the mat, a look of sheer exhaustion on his face as he breathes deeply. Cena then manages to sit up, then slowly gets back to his feet, where he pumps both fists into the air to salute the crowd. On the outside, Shane desperately tries to revive his father, while in the ring, Lashley has barely moved since Cena got the three count...


Joey Styles: Good has triumphed over evil! Justice has been served! John Cena has taken on the corporate machine, and he's beaten it!

Jim Ross: Oh hell yeah! 'Stone Cold' was the equalizer we hoped he would be! 'Stone Cold' evened the odds, and John Cena emerged victorious!

With him now back on his feet, Cena leans against the ropes, tired, but euphoric in victory. On the outside, Vince looks like he's almost in tears after the master plan fell apart, with Lashley and Shane having to support him as they head backstage, with Lashley taking a menacing look back at Cena before we cut back to the ring. There, Cena turns to the crowd and raises his hands in the air, before he turns back to the centre of the ring... right into Austin! The crowd gasp as the two come face to face, with Cena understandably wary of 'Stone Cold'...

Jerry Lawler: Well Austin may have done Cena a favour tonight, but let's not forget, six nights ago Austin hit Cena with the Stone Cold Stunner! I don't think there's any love lost between these two.

Jim Ross: This could get good! Cena and Austin, in the middle of Ford Field... what a combustible situation this could be!

The buzz of the crowd continues to grow as neither man moves, although Cena has his right fist clenched by his side. The two stare each other down, neither man willing to budge... until Austin blinks first... and extends his hand to Cena! The crowd pops as Austin makes the first move, although Cena is understandably wary, slowing inching his hand forward... until Austin grabs it... and raises it high in the air! In his capacity as referee, Austin finishes the job by presenting the winner to the crowd, with the fans giving off a tremendous pop as Austin emphatically puts Cena over. Allowing the hand to drop, there's no extras from Austin, instead he simply nods his head and heads for the ropes... only for Cena to drag him back?

Austin is at first annoyed, turning sharply to face Cena, but Cena is all smiles as he heads back to the middle of the ring, holds a hand in the air... for a beer can to then soar majestically through the air! The crowd is loving it as Cena catches the first, and then the second can, popping both open and firmly placing one against Austin's chest... before he holds his own can into the air! The crowd quickly catches on, cheering loudly, while Austin considers his options, eyeing up the beer can in his hand, taking a good hard look at Cena and the can above his head, then turning to crowd, almost asking their opinion on the matter. The crowd response is overwhelmingly positive, but Austin still seems to have his doubts as he thinks things over... to then emphatically share a toast with John Cena!

The crowd goes nuts once again as the two throw back beer, with Austin calling for a few more cans, catching four and handing two of them to Cena, before he snaps open a pair for himself. The two then seperate, heading for opposite turnbuckles, where they climb to the second rope, smacking the cans together in a toast to the fans and then downing the contents...


Joey Styles: What a Wrestlemania moment we've just witnessed! 'Stone Cold', a veteran of many battles with Vince McMahon, has just shared a toast with the latest man to triumph over Vince at Wrestlemania, John Cena! That's one for the history books right there folks!

Jerry Lawler: What a sight this is! I can't quite believe I'm seein' it! John Cena and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin in the same ring, sharing a beer! That's what Wresltemania's all about!

The pair drop back down with Austin again calling for the brewskies to fly. Grabbing another two and handing one to Cena, the pair stand face to face once more, again toasting each other and throwing back the beer, before Austin heads for the ropes, this time making his exit and allowing Cena to celebrate the victory. Cena again climbs the ropes and toasts the fans, while we see Austin reach the stage and then make his exit...

Jim Ross: John Cena may have won the battle tonight, but is the war over? Is this end of the hostilities between Cena, Lashley and McMahon, or is it far from over for those three?

Joey Styles: I don't think there's any doubt about it Jim, this is far from over. Mr. McMahon has been embarrassed on the biggest stage, he'll be out for revenge. And of course, I don't think Bobby Lashley's gonna take this defeat lying down either.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah but for tonight, congratulations to that man John Cena. He won the battle, and he deserves every drop of those victory beers!

We linger on the image of Cena, stood on the second rope, celebrating with the fans, before we fade into another video...

*Video Package*


Just like the opening video, we cut to the same car we saw John Cena driving, although this time we're back on the highways, the car driving away from Detroit as the city fades into the night's sky...

Narrator: Tonight, Detroit, Michigan has played host to Wrestlemania XXIII…

We see the opening fireworks display of tonight's show...


Narrator:
But next year, Wrestlemania will be welcomed... with some southern hospitality.

Slowly the sun rises over a magnificent metallic structure, the rays gleaming as they bounce off the building, providing a warm orange glow that engulfs the screen...

Narrator: It's been home to some of the most dramatic moments in sports history...

Suddenly we switch to footage from Super Bowl XXXIV, where Tennessee Titans receiver Kevin Dyson makes a dive for the endzone, only to be tackled by St. Louis Rams linebacker Mike Jones, Dyson desperately reaching for the goal line but coming up just short...

Al Michaels: And the Rams have won the Super Bowl!

Narrator: Some of the most bizarre...

We now see the infamous 'Fingerpoke of Doom' where Hulk Hogan places a finger on Kevin Nash's chest, Nash flopping to the canvas, Hogan then dropping down to pin Nash to become WCW Heavyweight Champion...

Narrator: And some of the very greatest.

And now we cut to see Bill Goldberg taking Hogan up into the air, then crashing back down for an incredible jackhammer, Goldberg becoming WCW Heavyweight Champion in the process...

Narrator: But now, on March 30th, 2008...

Back to the sun-kissed image of the building, the camera slowly rising up until we see an aerial shot of the impressive structure...


Narrator: Atlanta and the Georgia Dome play host

And now we see a panoramic view of the magnificent building at night, illuminated beautifully…

Narrator: To Wrestlemania XXIV!



*End Video Package*

Back into the arena where 'Ladies and Gentlemen' by Saliva is heard playing over the PA system, while the camera cuts to the Raw announce desk...

Jim Ross: Yes folks, next year, Wrestlemania XXIV from Atlanta, Georgia for the very first time! I can't wait for that, what a night it's gonna be in the great city of Hot-lanta! But let's take a moment here to thank the great city of Detroit, Michigan. Detroit has been gripped by Wrestlemania fever for months now, and we've certainly been welcomed with open arms into the Motor City.

Jerry Lawler: It's been a terrific response from the great people of Detroit. They've loved havin' us here, and we've loved bein' here! So many great Wrestlemania moments so far tonight, and I'm sure there's a few more to come.

Joey Styles: And one of them is sure to happen right now, as for the first time in Wrestlemania history, the WWE Championship will be defended in a Triple Threat Match. The WWE Champion Shawn Michaels defends the gold against his former best friend Triple H, and the returning hometown hero, Michigan's own Rob Van Dam.

Jim Ross: Three of the very best we’ve got to offer on Monday Night Raw, but three men with very differing agendas comin' into this match up. Michaels has undergone quite the transformation these last few months, preaching that Triple H and 'RVD' have lived their lives in sin, that their careers are driven by greed, and that only he can save them. It's a very scary situation for me to sit in the arena durin' Raw broadcasts and here Michaels speak this way. Somethin' is very much wrong with 'The Heartbreak Kid'.

Jerry Lawler: And what about 'The Game', Triple H? I mean, we all remember how Shawn Michaels won the WWE Championship in the first place. he turned his back on his best friend, he smacked a steel chair off the skull of Triple H to become champion. And since that moment, 'The Game' has been driven by the desire to get revenge on Michaels. And tonight, Triple H finally gets that chance, and he can become WWE Champion in the process.

Joey Styles: And then there's the wildcard in all this, Rob Van Dam. 'RVD' put himself in the title picture by advancing to the final of the tournament to determine Michaels' opponent tonight. Van Dam took on Triple H, only for Shawn Michaels to drill 'RVD' with the sweet chin music, handin' victory to 'The Game'. But Van Dam would not be denied, he won a rematch against Triple H to make it a Triple Threat Match, and in his very first Wrestlemania main event, the man from Battle Creek, Michigan is determined to finally shake off the shackles that have held him back in his career, and grab his Wrestlemania moment.

Jim Ross: It's gonna be a slobber knocker folks, I guarantee it!

Cut to Lillian Garcia in the ring...

*BELL RINGS...*


Lillian Garcia: The following contest is the TRIPLE THREAT MATCH and it is for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

*ONE OF A KIND...*

There's no doubts who the most popular man in the building is tonight as Rob Van Dam steps out to a truly monstrous pop, with the Ford Field faithful fully showing their love for Van Dam. Looking calm and confident, Van Dam nods his head as he surveys the land, soaking in the atmosphere before he draws both thumbs behind his head for a loud "ROB - VAN - DAM!" chant...


Lillian Garcia: Introducing first, challenger number one. From Battle Creek, Michigan... weighing in at 237 pounds... 'MR. MONDAY NIGHT'... ROB... VAN... DAMMM!!!

The crowd again join in to loudly cheer Van Dam's name, with the challenger jumping up to the second rope to again perform his thumb taunt. 'RVD' then drops back down to the canvas, shaking loose his arms, looking comfortable stood in the centre of the ring just seconds away from the biggest match of his life, knowing his moment is finally here...

Joey Styles: For so many years, Rob Van Dam was the epitome of what ECW was all about. He battled, he strived for greatness, but he always seemed to come up short. But tonight, can Van Dam complete perhaps the greatest journey in wrestling history? From the bingo halls of Philadelphia to the bright lights of Ford Field, Rob Van Dam has come home, determined to take advantage of the biggest opportunity of his career.

Jim Ross: I've sat and watched Rob Van Dam since day one of his WWE career. So many highlights, so many breath-taking feats of athleticism, but when Wrestlemania comes around, Van Dam hasn't always lived up to the hype. Last year he took a huge step forward by grabbin' the Money in the Bank briefcase. Van Dam went on to become WWE Champion for the first time, but it was a reign that ended quickly. Tonight, redemption is at hand for 'Mr. Monday Night'.

Jerry Lawler: He's always been an underdog for me, never more so than tonight. He surprised me when he made it to Saturday Night's Main Event, and he surprised me again when he beat Triple H on Raw. But I still have my doubts. He doesn't have that big match experience that guys like Triple H and Shawn Michaels have, and that could come back to haunt him right here. If Rob Van Dam ever wants to prove himself as a main event calibre guy... this is his chance to do it.

”BEHOLD THE KING... THE KING OF KINGS..."

*THE GAME...*


A huge intial pop soon turns into a very mixed reaction as Triple H slowly steps out onto the stage. With his head lowered, 'The Game' cuts a fierce image as he stands motionless at the entrance way, until he finally sprays a jet of water into the air and charges down towards the ring...


Lillian Garcia: And introducing challenger number two. From Greenwich, Connecticut... weighing 255 pounds... he is 'THE GAME'... TRIPPLLLLLLLEEEE... HHHHHHHHHHH!!

Stepping up onto the apron, 'The Game' takes a glance over his shoulder at Van Dam, before he slowly turns back to the fans and draws another big pop from them as he again sprays water into the air, muscles ripping out of his skin as he poses to the crowd...

Jim Ross: Few men have the accolades that this man has accomplished throughout his career. When you look back at this man's career, you'll call him one of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of boots. Triple H has revenge on his mind as he enters this Triple Threat Match, but with revenge could come the richest prize in sports entertainment.

Jerry Lawler: And while a lotta focus has been on the issue between Triple H and Shawn Michaels, don't forget, there's no love lost between 'The Game' and Rob Van Dam either. Those two have been at each for weeks now too, especially since the controversy of Saturday Night's Main Event.

Joey Styles: They call him 'The Cerebral Assassin'. He shows no mercy, he takes every opportunity he finds, and he shows no remorse for his actions. He's been in Wrestlemania main events in the past, and he's won countless championships. Could tonight be the night Triple H becomes an eleven time world champion?

*SEXY BOY...*

A ridiculous level of heat welcomes the WWE Champion into the fray as the cold blooded Shawn Michaels makes his entrance. Dressed in all black, as has become the norm for him as of late, Michaels has that distant look in his eyes as he takes a few steps forward then drops down to his knees, arms open wide, head tilted to the heavens in prayer...


Lillian Garcia: And introducing their opponent. From San Antonio, Texas... weighing 225 pounds... he is the reigning and defending WWE CHAMPION... 'THE HEARTBREAK KID'... SHAAAAAAWWWWNNNNN... MIIICHAELLLLLSSSSSSS!!

Michaels picks himself up and starts the slow walk towards the ring, his eyes in the direction of Van Dam and Triple H, although there's no emotion on the face of the champion as he looks all business tonight. We cut to the ring to see both Triple H and Van Dam staring intently at Michaels, both men eager to get their hands on the hated WWE Champion...

Jim Ross: Well, no matter what you might think about the transformation of this man these last few months, he is still 'The Showstopper' and he is still 'Mr. Wrestlemania'. When he steps into a Wrestlemania ring, nobody outperforms him. He may have a set of beliefs that most people struggle to comprehend, but bah gawd, there's nobody better in the world today.

Jerry Lawler: And I'm sure we'll see another trademark Wrestlemania performance tonight from 'HBK', but will it be enough? Don't forget, this is a Triple Threat Match. Michaels doesn't even have to be involved in the decision and he could still lose his title.

Joey Styles: When you talk about historic Wrestlemania moments, so many of them include this man. But with the level of hatred in the ring for this man right now, winning tonight would no doubt rank up there as perhaps the greatest Wrestlemania achievement in Michaels' storybook career. And as much as my heart wants a Rob Van Dam victory... my head says it wouldn't be a surprise if Michaels delivers another classic Wrestlemania performance and leaves Detroit as the WWE Champion.






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

It's a very boisterous cheer that welcomes the ringing of the bell, but our three competitors are much more reserved, especially Michaels, that cold, blank expression etched on his face as he stares out from his corner. Van Dam looks cool yet anxious, itching to get the action going, while it's a stern look that crosses the furrowed brow of 'The Game'. The look on Michaels’ face quickly changes to that of concern as both Van Dam and Triple H inch their way towards him. The champion stands firm in his corner though, waiting for one of the challengers to make the first move, and that comes in the form of Van Dam stepping forward… only for ‘The Game’ to cut him off, putting himself between ‘RVD’ and Michaels. The champion watches it all unfold as Triple H tells Van Dam that he’s having first shot at Michaels… but Van Dam isn’t buying it, as when ‘The Game’ heads towards Michaels, Van Dam spins him around… big right hand! Van Dam clobbers Triple H, unloading with a quick pair of rights, but Triple H fires back, a brief slugfest breaking out. Eventually Van Dam gets the upperhand, and this prompts Michaels to make his move… but Van Dam turns… right hand to ‘HBK’! Van Dam beats Michaels to the punch, drilling him into the corner with a succession of right hands… only for ‘The Game’ to club ‘RVD’ from behind. A pair of forearms lands, then Trips sends Van Dam off the ropes… Van Dam explodes into a JUMPING CLOTHESLINE!

'The Game' is quickly back up, but 'RVD' strikes with those educated feet, a kick landing to the thigh, chest, before a JUMPING ROUNDHOUSE knocks Triple H down. Here comes Michaels from behind, but again Van Dam beats him to the punch, tagging Michaels with right hands before the champion too goes down to a JUMPING ROUNDHOUSE! ‘RVD’ then quickly fires Michaels to the corner, and then drives Trips to the opposite corner with right hands. An Irish whip sends Triple H across… crashing into ‘HBK’! Van Dam lines the two up… then charges across… ROLLING THUNDER… INTO A SOMMERSAULT SENTON… AGAINST THE TURNBUCKLE! Van Dam hurls his body into ‘The Game’, squashing Michaels behind him, with both men slumping out of the corner. Van Dam rolls Michaels over and goes for an early cover… 1… Michaels kicks out strongly. Van Dam is back up, but he’s caught by ‘The Game’, Trips snapping off a string of right hands to the face, before a big right knocks ‘RVD’ down. Michaels is back up, with ‘The Game’ rocking him with rights too, before he grabs the champion by the head, runs him to the ropes… and launches Michaels over them… but Michaels hangs on! Triple H turns his attentions to Van Dam now, drilling him with more rights, before he goes for an Irish whip… just as Michaels skins the cat… catching ‘RVD’… and taking him outside with a HEADSCISSORS TAKEDOWN! Michaels then pulls himself back into the ring, and he catches Trips off-guard with a stiff chop to the chest. More knife edge chops land against the ropes, before Michaels goes for the Irish whip… but Triple H reverses… Michaels runs under a clothesline… but he can’t avoid the HIGH KNEE! ‘The Game’ drops into the lateral press… 1… Michaels kicks out strongly again.

The champion is reeling, and Triple H sends him off the ropes once more… ‘RVD’ reaches up… low bridges the top rope… and Michaels hits the floor! Van Dam quickly nips up, then jumps to the top rope… SPRINGBOARD LEG LARIAT TO THE ONRUSHING TRIPLE H! The match has started at an electric pace, and ‘RVD’ looks to quicken it further as he yanks Trips up and fires him to the corner, following in with a running shoulder thrust! Another two shoulders thrusts hits the midsection, before Van Dam handsprings back, then rolls back in… MONKEY FLIP! Trips hits the canvas hard, with ‘RVD’ slinging himself onto the top rope… but before he can fly, Michaels nips up onto the apron… and shoves Van Dam off the top rope… all the way to the floor! ‘RVD’ has a rough landing, with Michaels abandoning Trips in the ring to take the fight to Van Dam, shoving him against the barricade… then lighting ‘RVD’ up with a stiff knife edge chop! Michaels rears back… another knife edge chop! Seeing the action on the floor, Triple H rolls under the bottom rope… just as Michaels lands another chop to the chest… then turns… Triple H runs through Michaels with a clothesline! ‘The Game’ quickly moves in on Van Dam, tagging ‘RVD’ with well-placed rights against the barricade. Van Dam’s head snaps back with each shot, before Triple H grabs a handful of hair, walks towards the ringpost… then SMASHES ‘RVD’ FACE FIRST OFF THE STEEL STEPS! Van Dam slumps to the floor, and Trips now turns his focus away from ‘RVD’… to the Raw announce desk! The top is ripped off, monitors are hurled aside, and J.R. and ‘King’ vacate the area, while Detroit starts buzzing.

Looking to take one of his opponents out of the match early, Trips turns back to Van Dam and rolls him onto the desk. ‘The Game’ joins him, dragging Van Dam up… then cinches him in… PEDIGREE THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE DESK… NO! VAN DAM COUNTERS… BACK BODY DROP… ONTO THE WRECKAGE OF THE SPANNISH ANNOUNCE TABLE!! ‘RVD’ pulls off a great counter, saving himself as he sends Trips crashing to the floor. Hopping down, Van Dam drags Triple H back up, rocking him with a pair of uppercuts. As all this is going on, neither Van Dam or ‘The Game’ see that Michaels has climbed to the top rope of the nearby corner… but Ford Field has spotted ‘The Showstopper’, the crowd coming alive as Trips and ‘RVD’ turn towards him… MOONSAULT OFF THE TOP ROPE… TAKES DOWN BOTH MEN!! The action is relentless as Michaels soars through the air, all three men feeling the effects as they lay in a heap just infront of the announcers. Michaels manages to pick himself up first, grabbing hold of Triple H, yanking him up then rolling him under the ropes.

Michaels stands tall over his bitter rival, jumping up to stomp down on Triple H’s face a couple of times, before he drags Trips by the hair towards the corner, smashing him face first off the top turnbuckle. Michaels pushes 'The Game' against the corner... then unloads with a vicious knife edge chop! Michaels rears back... another chop to the chest... but that only enrages Triple H... who yanks Michaels into the corner! Now 'The Game' starts unloading with chops of his own, Michaels face etched in pain as he tries to cover. The chops are followed by right hands, Michaels' head snapping back with every blow. Triple H winds up... then fires Michaels to the opposite corner... where he goes upside down against the turnbuckle! Michaels lands on his feet, stumbling around... RUNNING CLOTHESLINE! Michaels is turned inside out, but before Triple H can take advantage, Van Dam reaches in and drags Trips to the mat, then under the bottom rope. Once again on the outside, Van Dam strikes with right hands, but when he goes for an Irish whip towards the barricade, Triple H reverses… VAN DAM GOES UPSIDE DOWN AGAINST THE BARRICADE! Sensing a chance to weaken one of the competitors, Triple H looks to target the back of Van Dam as he yanks ‘RVD’ up and drives him spine first into the ring… just as Michaels arrives with a BASEBALL SLIDE! Van Dam takes the impact, but it’s ‘The Game’ who is sent tumbling to the concrete.

Looking to gain a measure of control, Michaels tosses Van Dam back into the ring, the frantic pace of the opening moments now a little more sedate as Michaels unloads with another trio of chops to the chest in the corner, before he pummels Van Dam to the mat with hard right hands. Michaels grabs a handful of hair, yanking Van Dam from the corner… then shooting him right back in… SHOULDER FIRST INTO THE RINGPOST! Van Dam grimaces in pain in the corner, with Michaels turning ‘RVD’ around, climbing to the second rope to rain down with right hands. The crowd count along with the champion, all the way up to seven… until Van Dam grabs Michaels’ legs, walking forward… then drops Michaels face first on the top turnbuckle! Michaels staggers away from the corner, but here comes Van Dam off the ropes… ONE-HANDED BULLDOG! Van Dam shoots Michaels over, hooking a leg…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......MICHAELS KICKS OUT STRONGLY......
!!

Looking to build on his advantage, Van Dam drags Michaels up, striking with kicks to the chest that back the champion to the corner. ‘RVD’ drives a shoulder to the midsection, and again, before he handsprings back… and charges in for the third shoulder thrust… but out of nowhere Michaels bursts from the corner… SWEET CHIN MUSIC… NO! Van Dam ducks underneath, his momentum carrying him to the corner… where he jumps to the second rope… SPRINGBOARD HEEL KICK! Both men lay on the mat for a few seconds, until ‘RVD’ returns to his feet, as Michaels is back on his knees… LOW-ANGLE DROPKICK! Michaels is sent rolling under the bottom rope, stopping on the apron, and here comes Van Dam… SLINGSHOT LEGDROP! Michaels rolls back towards the middle of the ring, prompting Van Dam to spring up to the apron… then sling himself onto the top rope… but as ‘RVD’ flies, Triple H races in from across the ring… SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY… COUNTERED INTO A SPINNING SPINEBUSTER!! Triple H crawls into the pinfall…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......MICHAELS MAKES THE SAVE......
!!

A double axe-handle to the back breaks up the cover, and now Michaels is back up, landing right hands to Trips as he struggles back to his knees. Suddenly ‘The Game’ lands a shot to the gut, then bursts to his feet to rattle Michaels with right hands, backing him to the ropes. Triple H goes for the Irish whip… but Michaels reverses… then lowers his head… FACEBREAKER KNEE SMASH! Michaels stumbles backwards, but quickly returns with a clothesline… that Triple H ducks… FALLING NECKBREAKER! Triple H takes control, but here comes Van Dam back into things… running clothesline… no! Van Dam runs into a boot to the gut… but he catches it… STEPOVER SPINNING WHEEL KICK! Triple H is down, and Van Dam looks to quicken the pace, charging off the ropes… ROLLING THUNDER… SOMMERSAULT SENTON! Van Dam gets all of it, and now he’s headed for the corner, Detroit coming alive in anticipation as Van Dam fires himself to the top rope… but here comes ‘HBK’… shoving Van Dam… causing ‘RVD’ to CROTCH HIMSELF ON THE TOP TURNBUCKLE! Ford Field deflates in disappointment, but the buzz is soon ringing out once again, as with Van Dam in agony, and Triple H holding his ribs as he struggles back to his feet, Michaels starts to quickly tune up the band… then makes his move… SWEET CHIN MUSIC… NO! ‘THE GAME’ DUCKS UNDERNEATH… DDT!!

The impact of the move causes Michaels to roll under the bottom rope to try recover, much to the frustration of ‘The Game’. Triple H now turns his attentions to Van Dam, heading to the corner, climbing to the second rope to drill Van Dam with right hands… then he hooks ‘RVD’ up… but Van Dam fights back, striking with rights and lefts to the midsection. Triple H fires back with more rights to the head, then lands clubbing forearms to the spine, only for Van Dam to continue to land shots to the head. The two battle back and forth… until finally Triple H gains the upperhand… then comes off the top rope with a SUPERPLEX! Van Dam crashes to the canvas… and in the corner Shawn Michaels has climbed to the top rope… FLYING ELBOW DROP! Michaels comes out of nowhere, taking advantage of the situation, and he hooks a leg, Triple H yet to realise…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......’RVD’ KICKS OUT......
!!

Triple H finally snaps back to life as he clubs Michaels, with Van Dam rolling to the side of the ring. The two bitter enemies now go at it, with ‘The Game’ in charge as he snaps Michaels back with right hands. An Irish whip sends the champion off the ropes… Michaels runs under a clothesline… then connects with the FLYING FOREARM! Both men are down… until Michaels KIPS UP! Detroit hammers the champion with boos, but with that cold look on his face, Michaels goes to work, taking ‘The Game’ up and down with the INVERTED ATOMIC DROP, dropping Triple H with a clothesline. For the second time in quick succession, Michaels is once again heading upstairs, steadying himself for… the FLYING ELBOW DROP… NO! Suddenly Van Dam springs to life, running up the ropes… to hook Michaels up… TOP ROPE BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX… NO! From on the mat, Triple H moves in, sticking his head between Van Dam’s legs then backing away… ELECTRIC CHAIR… NO! Van Dam flails his arms and kicks his legs, trying to stay upright… which allows Michaels to spin… then fly… MOONSAULT… ONTO VAN DAM… SENDING ALL THREE MEN CRASHING TO THE CANVAS!! Despite being perhaps the most hated man in the WWE today, Ford Field can only marvel in appreciation for the breath-taking risk Michaels just took. The champion crawls over to hook Van Dam’s leg…

..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......TRIPLE H BREAKS IT UP......
!!

‘The Game’ hurls his body at the pin attempt, causing Michaels to roll away. Sensing that Van Dam is the weaker man, Triple H targets him as he yanks ‘RVD’ up, then fires him to the corner… Van Dam jumps to the second rope… then flies… SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY… NO! Triple H steps back, drills a boot to the gut… PEDIGREE… NO! Van Dam reaches down, pulls the feet from under Triple H… then catapults him into the corner… HEAD FIRST OFF THE RINGPOST! ‘The Game’ staggers then slumps to the mat, head against the bottom turnbuckle… and here comes Van Dam… DROPKICK TO THE FACE! Van Dam roars back to his feet… SWEET CHIN MUSIC! OUT OF NOWHERE! MICHAELS HITS THE SWEET CHIN MUSIC… BUT VAN DAM FALLS THROUGH THE ROPES TO THE FLOOR! Caught completely by surprise, ‘RVD’ has his head taken off, and now he’s down and out on the floor. Michaels the bottom rope in anger, but now he heads for the corner across from Triple H, waiting for ‘The Game’ to rise. Using the ropes to drag himself up, ‘The Game’ eventually makes it back to his feet… and Michaels makes his move… SWEET CHIN MUSIC! MICHAELS GOT ALL OF IT! Ford Field boos relentlessly, and despite how much they hate it, Michaels is about to cap off another strong Wrestlemania performance with the…

..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......VAN DAM PULLS TRIPLE H FROM THE RING......
!!!

Michaels is furious, his calm demeanour long gone as he looks out at Van Dam and Triple H, the pair in a heap on the outside. Michaels rolls under the bottom rope, getting his hands on ‘RVD’, drilling him with a trio of right hands. Van Dam fires back with a stiff punch, but Michaels retaliates with a knee to the midsection, tossing ‘RVD’ back inside. Michaels follows in, staying on the attack as he drives Van Dam to the corner… lines him up… and unloads with a VICIOUS KNIFE EDGE CHOP! Again Michaels rears back… ANOTHER STRINGING CHOP… AND A THIRD… before Michaels goes for the Irish whip across. Van Dam hits the corner hard, and here comes ‘HBK’… right into a boot to the face! The champion recoils, then heads back in… another boot to the face… Van Dam explodes out of the corner with a clothesline! Trying to build some momentum, Van Dam calls for Michaels to rise… JUMPING ROUNDHOUSE KICK! Michaels is back down, and now Ford Field come alive once more as ‘RVD’ heads for the ropes… ROLLING THUNDER… SOMMERSAULT SENTON! Van Dam gets all of it, bounding to his feet, clutching his lower back, but ‘RVD’ slings himself to the top rope… and flies… FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH… NO! Incredibly, Triple H reaches into the ring… and drags Shawn Michaels to safety!

Obviously trying to make sure the match doesn’t end, ‘The Game’ yanks the champion under the bottom rope to the outside… then levels Michaels with a clothesline to end any thoughts of collusion! Dragging the champion up, Triple H connects with a fist to the forehead, then he goes for the Irish whip… but Michaels reverses… SENDING TRIPLE H INTO THE BARRICADE! Michaels once again manages to gain the upperhand, slowly walking over… to LIGHT UP ‘THE GAME’ WITH ANOTHER KNIFE EDGE CHOP! A second chop also lands, before Michaels drags Triple H towards the Raw announce desk, it’s top previously ripped off. Michaels tries to smash ‘The Game’ face first off the desk… no! Triple H blocks it… Michaels tastes the hardwood! The champion slumps to his knees, but Trips quickly helps him back up… but as the two are huddled together, Van Dam races towards them… SOMMERSAULT PLANCHA… TAKES OUT BOTH MEN!! All three competitors lay on the floor, bodies wracked in pain, the trio trying to recover from the effects of the match thus far. Van Dam uses the ring apron to drag himself up, grabbing a handful of the champion’s hair… then he ROLLS MICHAELS ONTO THE RAW ANNOUNCE DESK! Ford Field erupts with excitement as Van Dam then turns towards the ring… nips up onto the apron… then springs to the top rope! Perching himself upstairs, Van Dam readies… then leads the crowd through a chant of “ROB – VAN – DAM!”… before he soars through the air… FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH… DRIVES MICHAELS THROUGH THE RAW ANNOUNCE DESK!!!

“HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!”

Another table explodes as Van Dam flies through the air, sending Ford Field into a rapturous cheer for the Michigan native. The two competitors lay strewn among the wreckage, barely any movement from either of them, the true toll of the move shining through. Somehow Van Dam manages to kick aside a part of the table, allowing him to roll over then crawl towards the ring. Ever so slowly he pulls himself back to his feet, only for Triple H to grab a handful of Van Dam’s hair from behind, dragging ‘RVD’ back to his feet. Triple H has a real aggressive look in his eyes, which is confirmed as he rears back… and SENDS VAN DAM CRASHING INTO THE RINGPOST! ‘RVD’ bounces off the steel, hitting the floor hard again, but Triple H doesn’t waste any time in getting his fellow challenger back into the ring. With Michaels looking down and out, Triple H senses that all he needs to do is put Van Dam away. Both are tired and weary, but they manage to help each other back up… Van Dam connects with a right hand… but Triple H fires right back… Van Dam strikes… ‘The Game’ returns the favour… a slow slugfest breaks out as Van Dam lands a shot… Triple H returns… Van Dam… Triple H… Van Dam… and again it’s ‘RVD’… and again… and a third in a row backs Triple H into the corner! Van Dam drills a kick, then another punch, but Triple H turns the tables, yanking Van Dam against the turnbuckle to strike with a boot then a chop to the chest. Trips drags Van Dam from the corner, looking to send him off the ropes… but he lowers his head… and Van Dam rolls right across the back of ‘The Game’, landing on his feet, still running… and coming off the opposite ropes… right into a boot to the midsection… then Triple H cinches him in… PEDIGREE!! Van Dam is down and out, ‘The Game’ hooks the leg…

..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......VAN DAM ROLLS A SHOULDER......
!!!

‘The Game’ can’t believe it as Van Dam stays alive! Turning towards the referee, Triple H glares sternly, but accepts the fact he didn’t get the job done. Seeking a way to finally put Van Dam away, Trips drags ‘RVD’ back up, going for the Irish whip… into a SPINEBUSTER… NO! VAN DAM COUNTERS IN MIDAIR… TORNADO DDT! Ford Field erupts as Van Dam shows he’s till got plenty of fight left in him, planting ‘The Game’ to the canvas. Van Dam manages to pull himself back up, and now he looks to inject some pace back into the match… coming off the ropes… ROLLING THUNDER… BUT AS ‘RVD’ STANDS UPRIGHT… SHAWN MICHELS IS BACK IN THE RING… SWEET CHIN MUSIC!!! Michaels times it to perfection, smacking Van Dam square on the jaw… and the champion crawls over to cover Van Dam…

..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......VAN DAM ROLLS A SHOULDER AGAIN......
!!!

Detroit cheers loudly once more as ‘RVD’ somehow manages to hang on in there. Michaels pushes himself up to his knees, then turns his attention towards the heavens, looking high into the sky, looking for some sort of guidance as to how he can finish this match off. As Michaels is doing this, Van Dam rolls under the bottom rope and drops outside, looking for a chance to recover. Once again Michaels and Triple H are left alone in the ring, the pair both struggling to get back to their feet. Michaels is up first, collapsing in the corner, but soon he’s calling for ‘The Game’ to rise, slowly tuning up the band as Ford Field showers him with heat. Slowly Trips is back up, and Michaels makes his move… SWEET CHIN MUSIC… NO! TRIPLE H COUNTERS… SPINNING SPINEBUSTER!! A massive pop breaks out as Triple H roars to his feet, muscles flexing as he looks to build momentum. Michaels is back up…running clothesline knocks him down! Michaels stumbles to his feet… another running clothesline! Michaels is on dream street as he staggers back up… kick to the midsection… PEDIGREE… NO! MICHAELS COUNTERS… BACK BODY DROP! Triple H crashes to the mat, the crowd deflated once again. Wondering what the hell it’s gonna take to end things, Michaels once again glances to the heavens, seeking answers… and it appears he’s found them as Michaels heads outside… and YANKS THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP FROM LILLIAN GARCIA’S HANDS!!

Michaels returns to the ring and holds the title in his arms, waiting for Triple H to rise so that he can use the item of his desires, the trophy that helped him find his smile once more, to finally see off ‘The Game’. Triple H uses the ropes, but eventually he’s back on his feet… and here comes Michaels… NO! VAN DAM IS BACK ON THE APRON… SNATCHING THE TITLE FROM MICHAELS’ HANDS!! ‘HBK’ TURNS… VAN DAM CLOCKS HIM WITH THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP!! Michaels is down, out cold, and now Van Dam springs into the ring… and tosses the WWE Title at Triple H!? ‘The Game’ catches it… and here comes Van Dam… VAN DAMINATOR… DRIVES THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP INTO THE SKULL OF ‘THE GAME’!! Both opponents are down, and despite taking for every, Van Dam manages to climb upstairs… ready himself… FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH… NO! Before he can fly, Michaels grabs the referee by the belt… and HURLS HIM INTO THE ROPES… CAUSING YET ANOTHER PAINFUL LANDING FOR VAN DAM!! Once again ‘RVD’ is crotched on the top turnbuckle, doubled over in pain, while somehow Michaels and Triple H make it back to their feet. The sworn enemies trade tired right hands, until Triple H rattles off three in a row… Michaels fires back with a chop… a chop from ‘The Game’… and a second chop from Triple H… and a third! Exhausted, Triple H goes for the Irish whip… and catches Michaels with a boot to the midsection… KICK… PEDIGREE… NO! MICHAELS FIGHTS OUT OF IT, PUSHING HIMSELF FREE! TRIPLE H TURNS… SWEET CHIN MUSIC… NO! TRIPLE H DUCKS UNDERNEATH… THEN SPINS MICHAELS AROUND… KICK… PEDIGREE… NO!! AGAIN MICHAELS COUNTERS, TWISTING FREE… SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! MICHAELS GETS ALL OF IT, DROPPING DOWN TO ROLL TRIPLE H INTO THE COVER… BUT HERE COMES VAN DAM… FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH… TO BOTH MEN!!!

Van Dam gets all of it, breaking up the pinfall, causing Michaels to roll off of Triple H, and now VAN DAM HOOKS THE LEG…

..................1..................
.....................
……………
...2...
...............
…………………
......3......
......
………
!!!

Winner: And NEW WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam @ 21.37

It's Van Dam!! Rob Van Dam's first Wrestlemania main event has lead him to glory and the WWE Championship! The crowd goes absolutely ballistic as Van Dam rolls free of Michaels, clutching his ribs, coughing and spluttering, but no doubt delighted by the outcome. Van Dam stumbles to his feet and then collapses backwards into the corner, one arm wrapped around his ribs, while the other is gripped to the top rope to help him stay upright...


Lillian Garcia: Here is your winner... and NEW... WWE CHAMPION... ROB... VAN... DAMMMMMMMM!!!

The referee walks over to hand the title belt to Van Dam, who stares for a few second almost in disbelief before he grabs the title and thrusts it high into the air in celebration. Van Dam then holds the title close to his chest as he takes a few seconds to recover and savour the moment where his dream came true...

Joey Styles: YES!! Rob Van Dam is the NEW WWE Champion! An incredible match, an unbelievable performance from all involved, but it's Rob Van Dam who is on top of the mountain right now! Despite the doubts, despite the naysayers, Van Dam has won, and he did it for every wrestling fan who ever walked through the doors of that Philadelphia bingo hall!

Jerry Lawler: That's was perhaps one of the greatest Wrestlemania performances I've ever seen! I thought Van Dam was done so many times, I wrote him off completely! But somehow he hung in there, and he's reapin' the rewards for it right now. Congratulations, Rob Van Dam! You deserve it!

Jim Ross: It's moments like these that make Wrestlemania the spectacle that it is! For the second time in his long career, Rob Van Dam is the WWE Champion! After the heartache of last summer, Van Dam has reached the top of the mountain once again! Detroit, Michigan has been the site of redemption for 'Mr. Monday Night'!

All eyes are set on Van Dam as he climbs to the second rope, holding the title high in the air with one hand while pointing to the fans with the other. Normally so calm and collected, there's a strong outpouring of emotion tonight as Van Dam clutches the title dearly, before he slings it over his shoulder and then leads the crowd in one final chant of "ROB - VAN - DAM!" before we cut away...

*Video Package*


We open to the cold, dark eyes of Shawn Michaels, staring blankly into the camera, his face the only light on the screen beneath the black cowboy hat that is pulled down low over his brow, the frame slowly moving from one side of his face across to the other...

Triple H: I... have been wronged...

We cut to the footage of Michaels cracking 'The Game' with a steel chair, a dramatic boom ringing out as the chair makes contact..

John Cena: Had sins committed against me...

A dark red glow engulfs the screen as we see footage of Shane McMahon smack a chair of Cena's head, another boom on impact...

Rob Van Dam: Witnessed travesties of justice.

Van Dam is struck with the sweet chin music...

Randy Orton: I fought without fear of consequence...

Orton drops Ric Flair with the RKO...

Bobby Lashley: I caused immense pain and suffering...

Lashley runs through Cena with a massive spear inside the steel cage at Saturday Night's Main Event...

Kenny Dykstra: And on this night...

Dykstra brings a chair down on the skull of Jeff Hardy for a sickening one man con-chair-to...

Carlito: On 'dis night...

Dykstra flies through the air to land the sky high legdrop on 'Lito...

Shawn Michaels: But on this night...

And we end once again on the cold glare of Michaels, staying on his face as he utters the words....

”Thy Backlash shall be felt...”



"WWE BACKLASH – APRIL 29TH - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"

*End Video Package*

And cut to the Smackdown announce desk...

Michael Cole: Folks, once again we thank you for joining us on what has been an unbelievable night here at Wrestlemania XXIII, and we hope you'll all join us for the next time the WWE is on pay per view, as the Raw guys present Backlash.

And now the camera quickly cuts to the crowd to see a group of Detroit Tigers players sat near the front row. Young pitchers Jeremy Bonderman, Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya smile and politely nod and wave to the camera, while outfielder Curtis Granderson is trapped in a headlock by former team mate Dmitri Young...

Michael Cole: Well the celebrities are out tonight, and there you see some of the American League Champion Detroit Tigers! And that's former Tiger Dmitri Young, who of course had a bit of a run in with Edge back at Survivor Series a couple of years ago.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I hope these guys are payin' attention to what's goin' on here tonight, they might finally learn how to win a championship!

And now we see rock star Alice Cooper, who upon seeing himself on the big screens stands up from out his chair to smile and wave for the fans, who give him a big cheer...

Michael Cole: Hey! Alright, a bit of rock royalty, Alice Cooper is in the house! He was here twenty years ago for Wrestlemania III, in the corner of Jake 'The Snake' Roberts as he took on The Honky Tonk Man.

Tazz: Yeah and I remember Alice gettin' Jake's python Damien and using to scare the heck outta Jimmy Hart! Great to see Alice here when Wrestlemania rolls back into Detroit.

And high in the rafters in one of the executive boxes sits Donald Trump, a man who a few months ago was rumoured to have a part to play in this year’s event. Instead, Trump is here tonight as a fan, the crowd cheering warmly as Trump waves to the masses...

Michael Cole: And there 'JBL' is perhaps the one man here in Ford Field who's an even better business man than you are, it's Donald Trump! The star of hit reality TV show The Apprentice, Trump has a long history with the WWE, stretching all the way back to Wrestlemanias IV and V where his Trump Plaza in Atlantic City played host.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Don't insult me by comparin' me to that wannabe. He wishes he was as successful in business as I am!

Tazz: Hey 'JBL', you better be careful man. Donald Trump's here tonight as a guest of Mr. McMahon, and he's got some pretty big contacts. You keep sayin' stuff like that, you're gonna be hearin' those two words... you're fired!

Michael Cole: Sports stars, rock stars and billionaires, they're all here for Wrestlemania XXIII!

And now we cut to a split screen image of the two men involved in tonight's main event. On the left, the World Heavyweight Champion Batista, walking down a corridor, looking very confident and determined, while on the right, a devilish smirk adorns the face of the challenger Edge. The sight of both men draws a good pop from the crowd as both men are clearly making their way towards the entrance way, meaning it's time for our final match of the evening...

Michael Cole: But there they are folks, the two men set to do battle for the World Heavyweight Championship. The champion, 'The Animal' Batista, a man who has won Wrestlemania main events in the past, takin' on the challenger, 'The Rated-R Superstar' Edge, the 2007 Royal Rumble Winner. It's time for our main event folks, and let's take you back to see how it all came about.

*Video Package*


We open way back at the Royal Rumble, where in the dying seconds of the match, the final three men in the ring are Triple H, The Undertaker and Edge. 'The Game' and 'The Phenom' battle near the ropes, and finally Undertaker pulls hard enough that Triple H let’s go off the top rope, and again he looks to eliminate Triple H... but ‘The Game’ drops to his feet behind ‘The Deadman’... and USES THE MOMENTUM TO PUSH UNDERTAKER OVER THE TOP ROPE... BUT TAKER GRABS HOLD OF THE TOP ROPE... AND GRABS HOLD OF TRIPLE H... AND PULLS TRIPLE H OVER THE TOP ROPE... WITH TAKER LANDING ON THE APRON... WHILE THE GAME CRASHES TO THE FLOOR!!!!

ELIMINATION #28 TRIPLE H BY THE UNDERTAKER @ 59.58

TRIPLE H HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! The crowd erupts as ‘The Deadman’ pulls ‘The Game’ over the top rope, but Taker is still PERCHED ON THE APRON... AND HERE COMES ‘THE ULTIMATE OPPORTUNIST’... TO SPEAR THE UNDERTAKER TO THE FLOOR!!!!

ELIMINATION #29: THE UNDERTAKER BY EDGE @ 60:04

Winner: And earning an automatic title shot at EITHER brand’s Champion at Wrestlemania XXIII: Edge @ 60:04


Edge immediately collapses to the mat, slamming his fists off the canvas in a fit of jubilation. Still not quite able to believe he's won, Edge grabs at his hair and slaps himself in the face, almost trying to make sure this moment is real...

Michael Cole: EDGE! EDGE!! EDGE HAS DONE IT! He entered at Number 30, and now Edge is goin' to Wrestlemania!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Wrestlemania is about to go Rated-R!

Cut to Smackdown two weeks later, where before that night's main event, Mr. Kennedy is in the ring, only to be interrupted by Edge...

Edge: Y'see Kennedy, as the Royal Rumble winner, I have a choice to make. Namely, which heavyweight championship do I challenge for at Wrestlemania. Well, I've made my decision. And if you do wind up as the World Heavyweight Champion... you're first title defence... is gonna be against ME!

The following week on Smackdown, where after his victory over King Booker, Batista celebrates in the ring, stood on the second rope celebrating his victory, he doesn't realise that behind him someone has sneaked into the ring... EDGE! 'The Rated-R Superstar' claws at his hair, begging 'The Animal' to turn. Slowly Batista steps down from the turnbuckle, turning back to the middle of the ring... SPEAR!! Edge damn nears cuts Batista in half with the spear!

The crowd shits all over Edge's actions, but Edge doesn't care as he smugly gets back to his feet. A nearby cameraman is on the apron, and Edge walks towards him, staring straight into the camera and saying...

"I told you. I'm in control here."

The boos continue to be hurled at Edge, who simply smiles through them all. Edge then steps back towards Batista, staring down at the champion who lies on the mat in agony. Edge then turns towards the entrance way, with the camera soon following... allowing us all to see that none other than Mr. Kennedy has stepped out from the back, standing under the Smackdown fist. Edge takes one last glance down at Batista, then turns to Kennedy... AND NODS HIS HEAD?!

Michael Cole: What the - what the hell does that mean? Are Edge and Kennedy... are they in cahoots here or somethin'?

We now head to the main event of No Way Out, where Batista and Mr. Kennedy battle for the World Heavyweight Championship. After hammering each other, the end appears nigh as suddenly Kennedy is dragged to his feet... and then booted in the midsection... before he’s pulled in... and taken high into the air! Kennedy desperately throws punches to the forehead... but it’s no good... BATISTA BOMB!!! A thunderous Batista Bomb puts Kennedy down, with Batista crawling over, slumping on top of Kennedy...


……………1……………
………
………2………

…...
…………………………
………………..
BUT THERE’S NO 3 COUNT
!!!!!

CHARLES ROBINSON IS DRAGGED FROM THE RING AND HURLED INTO THE BARRICADE... BY EDGE!!! The crowd is stunned as Edge finally makes his presence felt, robbing Batista off victory! Edge smirks as he stares down at Robinson, before he slides into the ring, with Batista finally turning around to see what’s going on... SPEAR!! EDGE NAILS BATISTA WITH THE SPEAR!!!

Despite the interference, Batista would prevail and retain the title, prompting him to seek answers on the next episode of Smackdown...

Batista: I wanna know... what the hell you think you were doin' gettin' involved in that match Edge? I wanna know what kinda deal you had with Kennedy goin' into that match. I wanna know why you were hell bent on makin' sure I never made it to Wrestlemania as the World Heavyweight Champion! And I wanna know... if you're any more of a man than Kennedy turned out to be.

Edge: Wrestlemania XXIII isn't about you, it was never about you. It's all about me, it's all about the dawning of a new era here on Smackdown, a Rated-R era!

Batista: I think... you're scared of me!

Edge: You can comfort yourself with that fantasy if it makes you feel more confident... but once we get to Detroit, you, and all these people are gonna realise... that your time at the top... IS OVER!

We now head to Saturday Night's Main Event, where during the opening tag team match, Edge teams with Kennedy to face off again Batista and Matt Hardy. During the match, there's NO physical contact between Edge and Batista, but near the finish a twsit of fate from Hardy plants Edge, and now Edge is at the mercy of ‘The Animal’! Batista turns to the ropes, shaking the violently before he looks to the crowd... thumbs up... thumbs down! Batista reaches down, trying to pick Edge up... but suddenly Edge springs to life, pushing himself free of Batista’s grasp... and scrambling from the ring!

The crowd boos profusely as Edge dives through the ropes and starts walking out on the match! Batista and Matt stand by the ropes, watching as Edge slowly backs his way up the ramp, with Batista shouting “C’mere!”, wanting to finally get his hands on Edge. Edge continues to slowly back up the ramp, his eyes still on the ring, where behind Batista and Hardy, Kennedy has finally pulled himself back to his feet, stumbling into the clutches of ‘The Animal’... for a thunderous BATISTA BOMB!!! Batista takes Kennedy up and emphatically plants him on the mat, ‘The Animal’ hooking the leg as Patrick counts... 1... the camera focuses on Batista... 2... and sees his eyes firmly fixed on Edge... 3!

Winners: Batista and Matt Hardy @ 14.28

We now see footage from an interview between Edge and Kristal Marshall, where Kristal turns the conversation towards the events of Saturday Night's Main Event...

Kristal Marshall: There’s a lot of whispers goin’ around backstage that when ‘The Animal’ said you were scared of him… he was right.

And then the next week on Smackdown when Edge arrives at the arena, two backstage workers are heard talking as Edge walks past...

Backstage Worker #1: I think he's scared. I mean last week he-

Edge: What did you say?

The worker looks to his colleague, scared, almost afraid to answer...

Edge: I SAID WHAT DID YOU SAY!?

Backstage Worker #1: I - I think you might be afraid.

Edge snarls, flaring his nostrils, rapidly running both hands through his hair, even grabbing it and pulling on it...

Edge: Afraid... of who?

The worker, feeling that Edge may have calmed slightly, looks again to his colleague, then towards Edge...

Backstage Worker #1: Afraid... of Batista.

A rather psychotic looking edge runs a hand through his hair as the following is said over the top of the footage...

Batista: As far as I’m concerned, Edge it nothin’ but a coward. He had his chance to get the better of me… and he couldn’t take it.

And we now see footage from that night's main event, where Batista celebrates another win, only for Edge to sneak into the ring behind him...

Batista: I’m not gonna be lookin’ over my shoulder at every turn for you. But maybe… you should be lookin’ over your shoulder… for me.

Batista turns…

BANG!!

Right into a steel chair shot… from EDGE!!

It was a set up! Edge had come through the crowd, and just like last week he was stood behind Batista with a chair in his hand… only this week he’s caved Batista’s skull in!! It was with a thickening thud that steel met flesh, a thud that instantly busted Batista open! ‘The Animal’ is glassy eyed, blood streaming down his face, but he somehow manages to make it back to a knee… A SECOND CHAIR SHOT PUTS HIM BACK DOWN!

The crowd is fucking livid, giving Edge a ridiculous amount of heat for his actions. ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ clearly isn’t finished though, as he takes the chair, lifts Batista’s bloody skull off the canvas, and slides the chair under his head!

“Oh for God’s sake, no! Not this!”

Edge then jumps out of the ring, shoves Tony Chimel aside, grabs his chair and slides back in under the ring…

“C’mon man, don’t do this! You’ll freakin’ kill ‘im!”

Edge stands tall… draws the chair in the air… and strikes…

ONE MAN CON-CHAIR-TO!!!

Edge damn near kills Batista with a vile chair shot to the skull! ‘The Animal’ is out, not moving an inch, his body prone on the mat as Edge stands over him…

John Bradshaw Layfield: Haha! What a statement! Edge has just taken out Batista! Who’s scared now?! Haha, I love it!

Edge: I got inside Batista’s head… and then I caved it in with a steel chair. I… got… to Batista. And now Batista is scared… of me.

Batista: At Wrestlemania… I’m gonna tear your head off… and I’m gonna enjoy doin’ it!

And now finally to the last edition of Smackdown before Wrestlemania, with the no-contact ruling fully in effect, the two sit across each other in the ring, a smug look on Edge's face while it's sheer fury from 'The Animal'...

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

Batista: In this business, you're measured by two things. Championships... and respect. And right now, I'm the champion... and nobody respects you.

Edge: You're not scared Dave? You better be. Scared of me... and scared that your title reign is comin' to an end.

Batista: I'm gonna retain my World Heavyweight Championship... and there's not gonna be a damn thing you can do about!

Batista steps forward, closing the gap slightly, holding his title high in the air between the two men...

Batista: This Sunday, it's all about this. Just you and me, alone in the ring... but it's not gonna end as well as tonight has for you. It's time... to unleash 'The Animal'.

Batista and Edge step forward again, going nose to nose but neither man dare touches the other. Fists are clenched, teeth are gritted, with both men straining to his each other, dying to get their match underway, but they have to make do with a tense, dramatic standoff, the crowd loudly urging them on...

Michael Cole: Oh my! This - this is about ready to erupt! Batista and Edge, one on one for the World Heavyweight Championship!

As close as they can be without touching, champion and challenger are nose to nose, both men looking primed and ready for war, with Batista holding the title right in Edge's face, and this is the last image we see before Wrestlemania as we fade... to... black.


*End Video Package*

Back into the arena, where on the stage by the entrance way, Alter Bridge are ready to play, heralding the arrival of the 2007 Royal Rumble winner...


"YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME...

On this day... I see clearly... everything has come to life.

A bitter place... and a broken dream...

And we'll leave it all behind."

Detroit comes alive with a massive mixed response as Edge bursts out from the back. The fans are clearly taking in by the occasion of the live music as Edge initially gets a pop, but as he stops just past the entrance way and turns to see the band playing his entrance live, the boos quickly return...

"On this day it’s so real to me...

Everything has come to life.

Another chance... to chase a dream...

Another chance to feel... chance to feel alive!"

With his long, black trench coat flowing behind him, Edge strides forward, stopping at the of the aisle before he fires two fists into the air, setting off a massive burst of pyro...

"I've been defeated and brought down...

Dropped to my knees when hope ran out...

The time has come to change my ways!"

Edge looks pumped up beyond belief as he now heads for the ring, running the last few feet of the aisle before he slides under the bottom rope into the ring, a sinister look on his face despite the dark sunglasses covering Edge's eyes...

"On this day... I see clearly... everything has come to life.

A bitter place... and a broken dream...

And we'll leave it all... leave it all behind!"

Still on the mat, Edge snaps the sunglasses from his face, then springs up to his feet to head for the corner, where he climbs to the second rope and throws up a pair of devils horns with his fingers...

"I'll never long for what might have been.

Regret won't waste my life again.

I won't look back, I'll fight to remain..."

Edge now heads for a corner facing back up the aisle, where Edge now points up the aisle at the stage towards Alter Bridge, showing his appreciation for the entrance...

"On this day... I see clearly... everything has come to life...

A bitter place... and a broken dream...

And we'll leave it all behind...

On this day... it’s so real to me...

Everything has come to life...

Another chance... to chase a dream...

Another chance to feel... Chance to feel alive..."

The song comes to an end after a long instrumental, with Edge now taking off his coat, pacing the ring nervously as the realization of the magnitude of the occasion finally sets in...


Michael Cole: Well, it's the moment of truth for Edge. We've heard the claims of fear on the part of the challenger, we've saw the mind games and sneak attacks, but tonight, there's nowhere to run for 'The Rated-R Superstar'. For Edge to silence the critics, to silence the doubters, this is his chance as he steps into the ring with 'The Animal'!

John Bradshaw Layfield: I look at 'im and I see a man who looks very confident in his abilities right now. Ever since the Royal Rumble, Edge has been on a roll. He's hurt Batista both physically and mentally. Edge has all the momentum, he has all the attributes to beat Batista and kick start the Rated-R Era on Smackdown!

Tazz: Edge won the Royal Rumble, and he wanted to come challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship. He's talked a good fight, but tonight, he's gotta back it up. He can say he's not scared, he can say it's all been mind games, but tonight's the night he's gotta put up or shut up. You called it right Cole, it's the moment of truth for Edge, and I can't wait to finally find out what's goin' on in that guy’s head!

Edge puffs out his cheeks with a deep intake of breath, pacing the ring before he crouches down in one of the corners, wildly running his hands through his hair. Another long exhale of breath as Edge licks his lips, an insane look in his eyes as they dart from side to side, with Edge awaiting the arrival of...

*I WALK ALONE...*

One more time Ford Field goes absolutely nuts as the World Heavyweight Champion Batista bursts out from the back, looking as pumped up as always. Yelling out to the crowd and slapping his chest hard, 'The Animal' takes a few seconds to glance around and take in the atmosphere, before he crouches down to set off a monstrous pyro display, before he then starts the long walk down to the ring...


Michael Cole: It was two years ago at Wrestlemania XXI where Batista finally arrived, beating Triple H to become World Heavyweight Champion. After forfeiting the title before last year's Wrestlemania due to injury, 'The Animal' has battled back to once again sit atop the Smackdown mountain. He's beaten some of the biggest names in WWE history, he's been one of the most dominant champions Smackdown's ever seen, but tonight, can he beat 'The Rated-R Superstar' to remain World Heavyweight Champion!?

Tazz: He's face up to every challenge ever put infront of 'em, and there's been plenty o' great names who have tried and failed to take that title away from Batista. And for me, tonight's the night Batista adds Edge's name to his list of conquests.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Ya' got it all wrong Tazz! This guy was lucky as hell to hang onto that title at the Rumble against Finlay, he was even luckier to beat Kennedy at No Way Out. Well tonight's the night that luck finally runs out, and Edge is the man in prime position to take advantage.

In the ring, Batista takes a long, hard stare at Edge who stands his ground in the corner, before 'The Animal' heads to the corner across the ring, heading upstairs where he poses and flexes his muscles, the World Heavyweight Championship glistening around his waist...

Michael Cole: They are the two biggest superstars on Smackdown today! A collision of epic proportions awaits us. And let's hand it over to Tony Chimel for the announcements...

Edge continues to remain in the corner, his eyes darting from side to side, following Batista as 'The Animal' paces back and forth. Batista takes the title belt from around his waist holding it in his hands as Chimel takes centre stage...

Tony Chimel: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for one fall, with a sixty minute time limit, and it is for... the WORLD - HEAVYWEIGHT - CHAMPIONSHIP! Introducing first, he is the challenger... from Toronto, Ontario, Canada... weighing in at 241 pounds... 'THE RATED-R SUPERSTAR'... EEEDDDDGGGGEEEEEE!

Big time heat as Edge throws both arms into the air, his eyes locked in on Batista, but Edge quickly brings his hands back down to franticly run them through his hair once more...

Tony Chimel: And his opponent... from Washington, DC... weighing in at 290 pounds... he is the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION... ‘THE ANIMAL’... BATISSSTTTTAAAAAA!!

And a tremendous pop for the champion as Batista raises the title high in the air with one hand, his eyes also trained on Edge as a look of fury grips the eyes of 'The Animal'. The stern look on Batista's face exudes confidence, and that expression doesn't budge one inch as Edge steps forward from his corner. Batista gives his title one last kiss before he hands it over to referee Charles Robinson, who holds it high in the air for the fans to see before he hands it over to the timekeeper and calls for the bell...






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

Despite having already seen so much tonight, Detroit is still buzzing as both men stare at each other across the ring from each other. Edge puffs out his cheeks with a deep breath, perhaps in awe of the occasion, while the champion has a focused look of determination on his face. Batista leaves his corner first, both men slowly circling the ring, until they come together in the middle of the ring for a collar-and-elbow tie up. The two struggle for position, with Edge’s knee dropping briefly to the canvas, but both men remain even matched… until Batista’s strength advantage comes onto play as he shoves Edge down into the corner. Ford Field pops as Batista wins the first exchange, with Edge sitting up in the corner, his head darting from side to side as a sense of fear grips the challenger. The cheers of the crowd soon turn that look of fear to one of anger as Edge roars back to his feet, engaging in a much stiffer collar-and-elbow tie up. Again the pair struggle for leverage, but once more Batista overpowers the challenger, shoving him to the mat near the ropes. This time Batista advances, looking to take advantage, but Edge quickly wraps his arms around the bottom rope, causing Charles Robinson to ask Batista to back away.

The champion waits for Edge to rise, and when he does, the pair engage in a third collar-and-elbow tie up in quick succession. This time Edge gains control with a standing side headlock, but Batista quickly shoves him off the ropes… into a strong shoulderblock! Again Batista looks to move in, but once again Edge scrambles along the canvas to the ropes, looking to stop any whiff of momentum for the champion. A slight glimmer of frustration crosses the face of ‘The Animal’, but Batista respects the referee’s wishes and backs away, allowing Edge back to his feet. Instead of a tie-up, this time Edge extends his hands, looking to challenge Batista in a test of strength. Batista slowly edges closer, the two hands inching together, until Batista tries to catch Edge off guard by swinging a right hand… but Edge ducks underneath, and now the challenger unloads with a string of right hands and forearms, trying to back Batista into the corner… but the shots barely phase ‘The Animal’, who snarls at the challenger, causing Edge to back away in fear… but Batista charges… and lifts Edge up with his shoulder… RUNNING EDGE ACROSS THE RING TO THE OPPOSITE CORNER!

In one fluid motion ‘The Animal’ follows through on the drive to now drive into Edge with a trio of shoulder thrusts, before a big boot to the midsection drops Edge to the mat. Batista yanks Edge by the hair back to his feet, then walks Edge across the ropes to the adjacent corner, smashing Edge face first off the top turnbuckle. ‘The Animal’ rears back, winds up… and fires Edge across the ring… Edge hits the turnbuckle hard and collapses to the mat! Edge is being hammered from pillar to post in the early goings, and there’s no let up as Batista drags him up and shoves him against the turnbuckle, again going in for a series of slow, well-placed shoulder thrusts, each blow causing the challenger to groan in pain. Once again Batista winds up for the Irish whip… sends Edge across… Edge hits the corner hard, barely staying on his feet… and then is engulfed by a RUNNING CLOTHESLINE! Edge is on dream street as he staggers from the corner… right into the waiting arms of ‘The Animal’… SIDEWALK SLAM!! Batista takes Edge up and down, and stays on top for the first cover of the match…

...
..................1..................
.....................
EDGE QUICKLY KICKS OUT
!!

Again Batista yanks Edge up by the hair, heading for the nearest corner where again he smashes Edge’s face into the top turnbuckle… and again… and a third time… before he spins Edge around and tags him with a stiff right, dropping Edge to a knee. Batista yanks Edge back up, and now lands alternating blows… right hand to the face… elbow to the side of the head… right to the body… elbow… right to the face… before Batista drags Edge to the middle of the ropes, then goes for the Irish whip… but Edge reverses… then lowers his head… but Batista puts on the breaks… and cinches Edge in-between his legs… BATISTA-BOMB… NO!! Edge quickly scrambles, dropping to the mat then rolling under the ropes. Fear grips the challenger as he leans against the barricade, eyes wide, franticly running a hand through his hair. Edge reacts angrily as the ringside fans clamour to touch him on the shoulder, prompting Edge to walk away, taking a few steps around the ring to compose himself. Batista decides he’s had enough as he heads outside too, but Edge sees ‘The Animal’ coming and starts to take off. Batista follows around the ring, but Edge quickly slips back inside, then races off the opposite ropes… BASEBALL SLIDE… NO! Batista sidesteps it… and Edge slides right onto the floor… BATISTA HAMMERS HIM WITH A CLOTHESLINE!

After weeks of chasing Edge, Batista finally has ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ where he wants him, and now Batista looks to take advantage as he smacks Edge face first off the ring… then does the same off the barricade! Batista then rolls Edge back into the ring, sliding in after, and he quickly grabs edge and fires him off the ropes… back elbow knocks Edge down, and Batista drops into the lateral press…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......EDGE KICKS OUT STRONGLY......
!!

Running on instinct, Edge sits up, but Batista is already coming off the ropes… LOW-ANGLE BOOT TO THE FACE! Edge breathes heavily as he crawls for the ropes, using them to slowly pull himself up, but Batista is right on him, dragging Edge by the hair to the centre of the ring, before he yanks Edge in… then takes him up into the air… and Ford Field pops for the impressive show of strength… before Batista takes Edge down with a JACKHAMMER!!

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......EDGE KICKS OUT AGAIN......
!!

Batista is fully in control, and he looks to stay in charge as he sends Edge off the ropes… but Edge hangs on, stopping the momentum… but here comes ‘The Animal’… CLOTHESLINING EDGE OVER THE TOP ROPE! Edge hits the floor with a thud, and Batista wastes no time in heading outside, grabbing a handful of hair to yank Edge back into the ring. Batista climbs up onto the apron… but as he dips his head through the ropes, Edge is up… kick to the face! Batista’s neck snaps back against the top rope… and then EGDE HITS A DDT! Batista is folded up like an accordion as his body drapes down across the second rope, his head hitting the canvas hard, before the momentum carries him over and down to the mat. Finally there’s a chink of light for Edge as he shakes clear the cobwebs, and he looks to take advantage as he pushes Batista to the corner. Edge hits a rapid barrage of right hands, then follows with boots to the gut, before he backs away… then charges in… SPEAR IN THE CORNER! Batista crumples in pain, clutching his midsection, while the camera is there to see the almost psychotic looks in Edge’s eyes as he senses things turn in his favour.

Quickly Edge looks to target the neck as he drives his knee to the back of it, before Edge helps Batista back to his feet, striking with an uppercut that backs ‘The Animal’ against the ropes. Another uppercut lands, before Edge then looks to go for the Irish whip… but Batista grabs the top rope, putting on the breaks! Edge strains, but there’s too much power in ‘The Animal’, who yanks Edge in… BACK BODY DROP OVER THE TOP ROPE… NO! Edge lands on the apron, grabs Batista’s head… and DROPS BATISTA’S THROAT ACROSS THE TOP ROPE! Batista splutters as he stumbles away, but here comes Edge looking to take advantage, stepping back through the ropes and racing at the champion… BOOT TO THE FACE! Batista sends Edge crashing back to the ropes, and then races at Edge… but Edge low-bridges the top rope… BATISTA FALLS ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR!

Batista instantly grabs his neck as he writhes on the outside, but Edge is still to dazed to take full advantage, laying on the mat shaking his head clear. Suddenly though, Edge springs to life as Batista tries to drag himself up… Edge comes off the ropes… BASEBALL SLIDE… SENDS BATISTA CRASHING OVER THE TOP OF THE SMACKDOWN ANNOUNCE DESK!! The last remaining bit of ringside hardwood takes a shot as Batista is sent all the way over the top, sending Cole, ‘JBL’ and Tazz sprawling out of their seats. Detroit “Ooooh!” upon impact, with our commentary team spluttering, while Edge stays down on the mat, sucking in air. Slowly Batista picks his way through the wreckage, grabbing at ‘JBL’ to help himself back up, crawling back over the table towards the ring. Batista reaches up, dragging himself onto the apron, then onto his feet, but here comes Edge, twisting Batista around… FALLING NECKBREAKER ACROSS THE TOP ROPE!!

The impact of the move causes ‘The Animal’ to again hit the floor hard, but realising a count-out win is no good, Edge barges past the referee and heads outside. Edge drags Batista up and rolls him back into the ring, where Edge then places Batista’s throat across the middle rope, pressing down on the back of the head with his thigh while pulling the rope tight, choking the champion. Leaving Batista prone, Edge turns and races for the ropes… CROSSBODY DRIVES BATISTA AGAINST THE ROPE! ‘The Animal’ coughs and splutter, struggling to breathe as he rolls on the canvas. Edge slips outside, dragging Batista’s head to the edge of the ring, then drops a pair of elbow across the throat. Edge then drags Batista towards the corner, lining his head up against the ring post. A buzz of fear grips Ford Field as Edge steps back… lines up… BOOT TO THE SKULL… AGAINST THE RING POST!! A sick sense of satisfaction is etched on Edge’s face as the limp body of ‘The Animal’ falls to the floor, with Edge licking his lips, knowing he has the champion exactly where he wants him.

Somehow Batista manages to crawl on his knees, but Edge stomps a few kicks to the side of the head. Edge then shoves Batista against the barricade, quickly dips his head under the ropes to break he count, before he backs up… and charges again… SPEAR AGAINST THE BARRICADE… NO! BATISTA COUNTERS… BACK BODY DROP INTO THE CROWD!!

Almost out of desperation Batista elevates Edge over the barricade onto the concrete, but the champion slumps down to try and recover from the recent onslaught. Charles Robinson pleads for both men to return to the ring, but Batista waves him off… and climbs into the crowd! The fans get up close and personal as Batista hammers Edge with right hands right infront of them. Cameramen scramble to follow the action as Edge tries to walk away, but Batista stays on him, drilling more rights to the head, a knee to the midsection, before he grabs the wrist… IRISH WHIP INTO THE BARRICADE! Edge hits the barricade hard, his knees giving way slightly, the challenger crying in pain. The masses cry for ‘The Animal’ to go in for the kill, but instead Batista is doubled over, trying to suck in some air… until he suddenly has a burst of energy… and charges at Edge… for a FUCKING HUGE SPEAR THROUGH THE BARRICADE!!!

“HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!”

A massive roar engulfs Ford Field as a section of the barrier is sent flying, with champion and challenger crashing back into ringside. Finally Robinson decides he’s had enough, heading back to the ring to start his count, will both competitors struggle to move…

“ONE... TWO... THREE...”

Both men slowly crawl towards the ring, but neither man is able to get back to his feet yet...

“FOUR... FIVE... SIX...”

Somehow both men have made it to the ring, reaching up, grabbing the apron, using it to drag their battered bodies upright…

“SEVEN... EIGHT...”

Batista slides under the ropes… and so does Edge. The match continues! Both men struggle back to their feet, with Batista throwing a right… Edge fires back… Batista strikes again… so does Edge… Batista… Edge… Batista rears back for a big right, stunning Edge, and he moves quickly to hit two rights in a row, backing Edge to the ropes. Batista sends Edge across… then races in… RUNNING LARIAT! Batista hammers Edge, but he doesn’t try a cover, instead he urges Edge up. Edge stumbles to a vertical base, and Batista runs in to elevate him onto his shoulder, once again driving Edge to the corner. A pair of shoulder thrusts land, before Batista goes for the Irish whip across… and Batista follows in… but Edge uses the ropes to elevate himself over the onrushing champion… no! ‘The Animal’ catches Edge on his shoulder… RUNNING POWERSLAM… NO! Edge kicks free, dropping down behind Batista… and then hooks him up… EDGE-O-MATIC!! Edge reaches forward, grabbing both legs…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......BATISTA KICKS OUT AGAIN......
!!

Edge rises, glaring at Robinson, and when he’s back on his feet, Edge almost looks lost, wondering what he can do to put ‘The Animal’ away. Turning to the corner, Edge seems to have his answer as he heads outside and then climbs to the top rope… but the hesitation costs the challenger… as Batista is back on his feet… to lock Edge with a right hand! Edge takes a spill, grabbing the top rope, but managing to save himself from a long fall to the floor. Edge lays on the apron, but Batista grabs the hair, yanks him up, then cinches Edge in… SUPLEX BACK INTO THE RING! Edge is down, but Batista quickly stirs, back on his feet, and surprisingly Batista is stepping through the ropes… and ‘The Animal’ is climbing to the top rope! Seldom seem, and a little shaky, but Batista is stood high, waiting for Edge to rise… FLYING SHOULDERBLOCK! Only at Wrestlemania, but the move has it’s effect as Edge is down, and Batista crawls into the lateral press…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......EDGE ROLLS A SHOULDER......
!!

Batista takes a quick look at Robinson, but quickly looks to press on with his attack, dragging Edge up and socking him with a pair of rights that back Edge to the corner. Batista rears back… Irish whip across the ring… and Batista follows in… CORNER CLOTHESLINE! Edge is on dream street as Batista climbs to the second rope, lines Edge up… and starts hammering him with right hands, Ford Field counting along with each blow…

“ONE… TWO… THREE… FOUR… FIVE… SIX… SEVEN… EIGHT… NINE… TEN!”

Batista drops back down, Edge’s legs like rubber as once more Batista grabs the wrist and fires Edge across… and here comes ‘The Animal’… drop-toe-hold sends Batista face first into the middle turnbuckle! Just like that, the momentum shifts once more, and once he regains his bearings, Edge goes on the attack, drilling Batista with a flurry of right hands to the head. Boots to the chest now follow, stomping Batista down to the canvas, but Edge wastes no time in yanking Batista up, smashing him face first into the top turnbuckle. A right hand causes Batista to stumble to the adjacent corner, but Edge stays on him, swinging a right… which Batista blocks… and returns with a right of his own! Edge connects… so does Batista… and again… and a third straight… but Edge drills a boot to the gut… then grabs the head, twists… FALLING NECKBREAKER! Edge plants Batista, crawls over and drapes an arm across the chest…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......BATISTA ROLLS HIS SHOULDER......
!!

The champion holds the back of his neck in pain, the toll of the match in full evidence, while Edge turns forlornly towards Robinson, sure he had the three count. Robinson flashes two fingers, and now Edge looks to go back on the attack, drilling more stomps to the back of the head. Batista struggles back to a knee, Edge helping him the rest of the way up, before the challenger winds up and sends the champion off the ropes… Batista reverses… and swings a clothesline… but Edge avoids it with a baseball slide, then leaps to his feet behind Batista… and jumps up… SLEEPER HOLD!!Edge dangles his body from the massive frame of ‘The Animal’, but he manages to lock in the sleeper hold! Batista struggles and flails his hands towards the ropes, but the dead weight of the challenger on his back roots Batista to the spot, the champion trying to reach out… but the pressure pays off as Batista is forced to drop to a knee. Edge clutches the sleeper tightly, desperately looking to make ‘The Animal’ pass out, and Charles Robinson is right there to check on him. Batista tries to pry Edge’s arm from around his throat, but Edge hangs on tight, causing that second knee to drop to the canvas. Edge is now stands upright, pressing down on the neck, while slowly ‘The Animal’ starts to fade… and his body slumps down to the mat! Now both men lie on the canvas, Edge’s arms wrapped tightly around the neck and head, the life being smothered out of the champion. With Batista down lying on his side, Robinson moves in, speaking to Batista but getting no response. Robinson grabs a wrist… lifts it into the air… THE HAND DROP FOR THE FIRST TIME! Robinson shouts “One!” to the crowd, pausing before he raises the arm again… IT DROPS FOR THE SECOND TIME! “Two!” barks Robinson, a buzz of anticipation ringing out around the stadium as Robinson reaches in… grabs the wrist… holds the hand high in the air… pauses… then lets go… THE ARM DROPS… BUT DOESN’T HIT THE CANVAS!

The crowd roar their approval as Batista stops his hand hitting the mat, the crowd now on their feet willing the champion to mount a comeback. A burst of power sees Batista force himself back to a seated position, then onto a knee. Edge shakes his head franticly, desperately trying to keep Batista down, but the champion fights back to a vertical base, but still Edge clings to the sleeper… forcing Batista to back pedal to the corner! Edge is crushed, but as Batista steps forward, Edge is still hanging on. Batista reaches up, grabs the back of Edge’s head, rolls forward… and a snapmare finally breaks the hold! Edge rolls all the way through to the corner, pulling himself up… just in time to see Batista charge… SPEAR IN THE CORNER… NO! Edge pushes up with the ropes… avoids the contact… then comes out of the corner with a SUNSET FLIP!

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......BATISTA BARELY KICKS OUT......
!!

Both men quickly spring to their feet, and Edge races at ‘The Animal’… Batista swings and misses with a clothesline… and Edge comes off the ropes… SPINNING HEEL KICK! Edge puts Batista straight back down again, both men staring at the ceiling as they take a few seconds to recover. Naturally it’s Edge who rises first, and with Batista still down, ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ decides to once again step outside and climb upstairs. Edge looks at home perched up top, and he motions with his hand for Batista to rise. Slowly ‘The Animal’ climbs to his feet, and Edge stands upright… then flies… MISSILE DROPKICK! Edge gets all of it, and he’s convinced it’s over as he flops on top of the champion…


...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......BATISTA BARELY GETS HIS SHOULDER UP......
!!

Edge slaps the mat angrily, tearing at his hair, snarling furiously at Robinson. The ref backs away, and now Edge turns his attentions back to his opponent, as he heads for the corner… and crouches down! Ford Field is on its feet once more as Edge rips at his hair, his hand franticly waving for Batista to rise. Batista takes an age to even make it back to a knee, but eventually he gets back on his feet… and here comes Edge… SPEAR… NO! BATISTA SEES IT COMING… AND COUNTERS WITH A SPINNING SIDE SLAM!! Out of nowhere Batista hits back with the high-impact move, but now both men are down and not moving. Champion and challenger lie motionless on the canvas, leaving Robinson no option but to count…

“ONE... TWO... THREE...”

Little sign of life from either man so far, although Edge has at least managed to drag his head off the mat…

“FOUR… FIVE… SIX...”

And now there are signs of life from ‘The Animal’ too, the champion rolling over onto his shoulder, while Edge is back onto a knee…

“SEVEN… EIGHT...”

Edge is up, breaking the count, and he tags Batista with a stiff right hand. Batista is still down on one knee, prompting Edge to turn and comes off the ropes… but Batista explodes to his feet… WITH A THUNDEROUS SPINEBUSTER!! Batista plants edge to the mat, and now ‘The Animal’ roars back to his feet, Detroit going wild as the champion looks to start his comeback. Batista yanks Edge up, clobbering him with right hands into the corner, before he goes for the Irish whip across the ring… and follows… CORNER CLOTHESLINE! Batista rears back and sends Edge back across… ANOTHER CORNER CLOTHESLINE! Edge’s legs are like jelly as he stumbles along the ropes, but Batista grabs him, then goes for the Irish whip… but as Edge comes off the opposite ropes, Batista lowers his head… kick to the chest snaps Batista up! Edge backs away and comes off the ropes… SPEAR BY BATISTA!!

Batista absolutely levels Edge, and now the crowd is going wild as the champion is full of life, instantly back on his feet, grabbing the top rope, shaking it violently, stomping his foot, Detroit going crazy as Batista turns towards Edge… thumbs up… thumbs down! Batista drags Edge to his feet… cinches him in… then takes Edge up into the air… BATISTA BOMB… NO! Edge pushes off him, drops down infront of ‘The Animal’… EDGECUTION!! Edge plants Batista with the lifting DDT, rolls him onto his back, drapes an arm across the chest…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
...NO...
!!!

BATISTA GOT HIS SHOULDER UP AT THE LAST SPLIT SECOND!! Edge can’t believe it, furiously bounding back to his feet, grabbing Robinson by the shirt, driving him to the corner, furiously shaking the referee against the ropes, demanding it was three. Through the fear in his eyes, Robinson screams that it was only two, a fact Edge seems unable to believe. Finally relenting, Edge shoves Robinson aside, and seeing as he’s already in the corner, Edge crouches down one more time, ripping at his hair, eyes wide, looking like a man possessed as he screams for Batista to rise. Somehow, Batista makes it back to his knees, then back to his feet… Ford Field is going nuts… and here comes Edge… SPEAR… BATISTA SIDE STEPS IT… EDGE SPEARS THE CORNER!! Edge smacks face first off the middle turnbuckle, eyes rolling to the back of his head as he staggers from the corner… right into a kick to the midsection… BATISTA TAKES EDGE UP INTO THE AIR… BATISTA BOMB!!! Batista hits the Batista Bomb, and now he crawls into the lateral press…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
...NO...
!!!

EDGE KICKED OUT!! Somehow, someway, ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ is still in this match! Now it’s Batista who turns to look at Robinson in disbelief, holding up three fingers, almost begging for the two, but Robinson shakes his head and fires back with two fingers of his own. Feeling there’s only one way to finish the match off, Batista looks out into the masses, who cheer loudly, almost giving permission for Batista to reach down… drag the tired Edge to his feet… cinch him in one more time… then take him up into the air… BATISTA BOMB… NO! EDGE DESPERATELY FIRES A FLURRY OF RIGHTS TO THE HEAD DROPPING TO HIS FEET!! Batista drops Edge and stumbles away, turning his back on the action, but he quickly turns and charges… SPEAR!! SPEAR!! EDGE HITS THE SPEAR! It’s gotta be over as Edge hooks both leg…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
...BATISTA KICKS OUT...
!!!

Edge can’t believe it, throwing a tantrum like a little kid, furiously slamming his hands and kicking his feet off the canvas, in absolute disbelief that he couldn’t get the job done. It’s as if Edge has completely lost all sense of what’s happening, almost acting on the instinct of a man deranged as heads outside, shoves Tony Chimel aside… AND PICKS UP A STEEL CHAIR! Even Edge’s staunchest fan ‘JBL’ calls this move stupid, pointing out that a DQ win does Edge no favours, but it seems that at this point Edge doesn’t care anymore. Edge slides into the ring with the chair, holding it high, heading towards Batista to smack him with it… until Robinson grabs hold of the chair! Both men struggle, a wild look in Edge’s eyes as he tries to yank the chair free, but Robinson hangs in there, shouting “Use it and you’ll get disqualified!”, but Edge doesn’t care as the pair pull back and forth… but here comes BATISTA… SPEAR… JUST AS EDGE PULLS ON THE CHAIR… BATISTA SPEARS CHARLES ROBINSON!!

The force of Edge pulling on the chair brought Robinson right into the line of fire! Batista looks down solemnly at the broken referee, put behind Edge is waiting… for Batista to turn… EDGE DRILLS BATISTA WITH THE CHAIR!! It’s a sickening thud as steel clashes with skull, and when Batista rolls over, the cameras get a great view to show us that Batista has been BUSTED OPEN!! With both referee and opponent down, Edge has the ring all to himself, and he casually slams the chair down to the canvas. Seemingly having regained his composure, Edge looks from side to side, almost wondering what to do next. It takes a few seconds, but suddenly the light bulb goes off in Edge’s head as he once again climbs through the ropes… reaches under the ring… and pulls out a second chair! A loud, mixed reaction breaks out across Ford Field, everyone well aware of what’s coming next as Edge slides back into the ring. Edge leaves the second chair on the mat, an evil smirk on his face as he drags the lifeless body of Batista across the mat, carefully placing his head on the first chair. Edge then scoops up the second chair, devilishly licks his lips, stares into the cacophony of emotions ringing out through ford Field… before he holds the chair high in the air… and just like on Smackdown three weeks ago… BRINGS IT VIOLENTLY DOWN… ONE MAN CON-CHAIR-TO… NO! BATISTA ROLLS AWAY… CHAIR MEETS CHAIR!!

The force of the impact causes Edge to drop the chair, shaking his hands in pain, but he quickly picks it up again and charges at Batista who is now back on his feet… but Batista is ready… MASSIVE SPINEBUSTER!! The second chair goes flying as Batista drills Edge to the canvas! One more time Batista is on his feet, but there’s no theatrics this time as he yanks Edge up… pulls him in… then takes him up into the air… BATISTA BOMB ON THE CHAIR!!! EDGE SCREAMS IN AGONY AS HE’S DRIVEN ONTO THE ORIGINAL CHAIR!! Batista rolls Edge off the chair, slides it out of the ring, then hooks the leg…

...
....................................
.....................
......
…………
...............
............
……………
...NO REFEREE...
!!!

Through the blood, a pissed off Batista scans the ringside for any sign of life from Robinson, but all he’s greeted with are the collective boos of Ford Field. Shaking his head disappointedly, Batista looks over the top rope down at Robinson, the match official still down on the floor. Again Batista shakes his head, but he soon returns to Edge… SPEAR!! SPEAR!! A SPEAR OUT OF NOWHERE!! Edge hits a second spear, and he hooks the leg… but we still have no referee… but at the entrance way… it’s Smackdown Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman… and he’s waving referee Mickie Henson down to the ring! Henson sprints down the aisle… slides under the bottom rope and with Edge hooking the leg with all he’s got, Henson makes the count…

...
..................1..................
.....................
...2...
...............
......3......
...BATISTA ROLLS HIS SHOULDER...
!!!

DETROIT EXPLODES AS BATISTA SOMEHOW STAYS ALIVE!!

Edge can’t believe it, almost in tears, holding three fingers infront of his face, almost not willing to accept that the match will continue. “BATISTA!! BATISTA!! BATISTA!!” is the cry from the masses as Edge sits up… and heads for the corner one last time. Determined to put Batista away once and for all with one final, devastating spear, Edge crouches in the corner, begging, pleading with Batista to rise. Across the ring, Batista does indeed stand up… and here comes Edge… FOR A THIRD AND FINAL SPEAR… NO! BATISTA SHOWS INCREDIBLE ATHLETICISM, AVOIDNG THE MOVE WITH A LEAPFROG… BUT EDGE PUTS ON THE BREAKS BEFORE HE HITS THE CORNER! EDGE TURNS… LOOKING FOR THE SPEAR AGAIN… BUT BATISTA STOPS HIM WITH A BIG BOOT TO THE FACE! EDGE STAGGERS BACK… THEN EATS A BOOT TO THE MIDSECTION… AND IS THEN DRAGGED IN… AND HOISTED UP INTO THE AIR… BATISTA BOMB!!! BATISTA BOMB!! One more time Batista plants Edge, and he crawls into the cover…

..................1..................
.....................
……………
...2...
...............
…………………
......3......
......
………
!!!

Winner: And STILL World Heavyweight Champion, Batista @ 25.18

The crowd goes wild in celebration as Batista rolls away from the pinfall, still lying face down on the canvas as the emotion of the moment overcomes him. Slowly Batista makes it back to a seated position, but he soon falls backwards to once again lay on the mat...

Tony Chimel: Here is your winner... AND STILLLLL... WORLD - HEAVYWEIGHT - CHAMPIONNNN... BATISSSTTTTAAAAAA!!

Again Batista manages to sit up, this time making it back to his knees where he's handed the big gold belt. Holding it softly in his hands, Batista looks down lovingly at the belt for a few seconds, before he plants a big kiss on it then struggles back to his feet...

Michael Cole: Batista has done it! Batista's reign as champion continues! One of the beast contests I've ever seen, and it's Batista who prevails! Batista retains the World Heavyweight Championship!

Tazz: Unbelievable! Edge gave it everythin', he proved me and a lotta other people wrong tonight, but at the end of the day, it wasn't enough to beat 'The Animal'! What a fantastic match, a great performance from both guys... but it's Batista who's leavin' Wrestlemania XXIII as the World Heavyweight Champion!

John Bradshaw Layfield: In all my years in this business, I've never seen anythin' like that. I may not like 'im, but after that, I gotta respect 'im. Batista is still the champion, and I think he's gonan be the man on Smackdown for a real long time! Nothin' was gonna stop Batista tonight!

Edge rolls under the bottom rope and drops down to the floor, grabbing the back of his head as a pained grimace crosses his face, Edge looking back into the ring and shaking his head angrily as he slowly trudges backstage. In the ring, Batista climbs to the second rope once more, both hands holding his title triumphantly above his head...

Michael Cole: What a truly incredible night it's been! A Wrestlemania that will long live on in the annals of time. So many great moments, and this is one of the greatest right now. Batista is STILL World Heavyweight Champion!

John Bradshaw Layfield: An incredible night. One of the best Wrestlemania's I've ever had the privilege of bein' part of!

Michael Cole: Tonight, Wrestlemania returned to Detroit, Michigan after twenty long years, and for Batista and so many others, it truly was the ride of their lives! What a night, what a spectacle! The grandaddy of 'em all, the biggest night in the history of sports entertainment! I'm Michael Cole, for all of us here at ringside, thank you for joinin' us for this historic broadcast. Good night!

And the ever lasting image of the evening is that of Batista stood high in the corner, an incredible explosion of fireworks going off in the distance behind him, with 'The Animal' roaring loudly to the fans while the screen fades... to... black.

*Video Package*


The closing video starts with the sweet guitar rifts of 'The Memory Will Never Die' by Default playing, the image bursting to life with the pyro display from the top of the show...

"I whisper in your ear... The words you want to hear..."

We cut to Matt Hardy and Finlay making their entrance for the opening contest, the two snapping hard into the first collar-and-elbow tie up...

"You feel the wind and it reminds you..."

Hardy cracks the shillelagh off The Little Bastard's skull, then Hardy hits the twist of fate, crawling into the cover...

"It happens every time... You stop and close your eyes"

Hardy holds the United States Championship tight against his chest, a tear rolling down his cheek as he celebrates his victory...

"You can't deny what lives inside you..."

Carlito and Torrie make their entrance, as does Kenny Dykstra, then Dykstra slaps 'Lito across the jaw...

"Well I know it's hard to see... What is meant to be..."

'Lito waits for Torrie to spit the apple in Dykstra's face, but when she doesn't, Carlito is the one who gets sprayed, with Dykstra hitting the jumping reverse STO for the win...

"When yesterday is so far behind you..."

Wilson plants a kiss on Dykstra's cheek, then we cut to the image of 'Lito sat on the mat, apple chunks surrounding the furious look on his face...

"Deep inside your soul knows I'm always there..."

Quick shots of the Money in the Bank participants making their entrances...

"You made me believe... the day you surrender to me..."

Hardy flies with the swanton bomb to the outside, taking out six men. Nitro reaches up to touch the briefcase, only for Benoit to his the release German suplex from the top of the ladder...

"The memory will never die..."

Hardy hits the swanton bomb from the top of the ladder onto Randy Orton. The ladder is pushed over, sending CM Punk off the top of it all the way down to the waiting Nitro, Masters and Dinsmore...

"The love that you gave... I'll never throw it away..."

Benoit is alone at the top of the ladder, touching the briefcase, only for Orton to make his move, smashing the briefcase off Benoit's face, allowing him to grab it for himself...

"The memory will never die..."

Orton holds the briefcase high above his head in celebration atop a ladder...

"The tides take a turn... Another lesson learned..."

Cut to Danielson and Helms, with the challenger racing off the ropes for the running elbow smash, then diving through the ropes with the suicide dive...

"I'm right here but still you wonder..."

Helms hits the single-arm DDT, falling neckbreaker then the shining wizard, only for Danielson to kick out...

"Would you say that you need more... And it's not what it was before..."

Danielson hits the release tiger suplex, then goes for the diving sunset flip, but Helms drops to his knees, grabs the ropes and gets the win...

"It was before you’re on your own and going under..."

Helms holds his title high in the air at the top of the ramp, sneering at the camera, before we cut to the frustrated look on Danielson's face as he seethes with anger...

"Deep inside your soul knows I'm always there..."

Mickie James slides into the ring, taking the fight early to Beth Phoenix, rocking her with a big roundhouse kick...

"You made me believe... the day you surrender to me..."

Beth stretches Mickie across the ringpost, then delivers a baseball slide to the back against the steel, continuing the punishment with the superplex...

"The memory will never die..."

Phoenix looks to end things with the Beth Valley Driver, but James counters with the Mickie-DT, retaining the title and then climbing to the corner to celebrate with the fans...

"The love that you gave... I'll never throw it away..."

Paul London and Brian Kendrick come off the top ropes, hitting the duelling flying crossbodys to Haas and Benjamin...

"The memory will never die..."

Haas and Benjamin take London up and down with the double hiptoss into the double backbreaker, then we see the look of agony on London's face as Haas applies the cloverleaf...

"Whenever you wake up... Whenever you gave up..."

The Hooligans hit the tower of London, and then London nails the 450 splash, but the damage to his knee it too much to overcome as Haas makes him tap out to the Haas of pain...

"All that you had for nothing at all..."

Ric Flair makes his flamboyant entrance, while Kennedy stomps down to the ring and calls for his microphone, only for Flair to blindside him...

"The bed that you lay in... Remember you made it..."

Kennedy is sent crashing into the timekeeper's desk, busting him open, but Kennedy soon drills Flair with a sick kick to the head, the blood flowing from 'The Nature Boy'...

"And nobody's there to catch you when you fall..."

Kennedy locks Flair in the figure four leglock, only for Flair to later retaliate with his version of the move...

*Instrumental*

Kennedy delivers the Green Bay Plunge and the Kenton Bomb, but Flair hangs in there...

Until the two stand across from each other, with Flair delivering a slap to the face, prompting Kennedy to finally end things with the mic check...

Kennedy stares back at the ring, shaking his head, while an utterly dejected Ric Flair wipes away the blood through the tears and mouths "Thank You" to the fans...

The recently inducted Hall of Famers make their entrance, soaking in the applause of the crowd who show their respect with a standing ovation...

Umaga snarls and grunts his way to the ring, then stands firm as The Undertaker makes his long, dramatic entrance...

'Taker flies through the air with a slow motion suicide dive, but Umaga gains the upperhand by hitting the Samoan drop and then the Samoan wrecking ball...


"You made me believe... the day you surrender to me..."

Undertaker keeps on kicking out, even after the Samoan drop through the announce table and the Samoan spike...

"The memory will never die..."

Umaga kicks out of the tombstone, it taking a second tombstone to finally put him away...

"The love that you gave... I'll never throw it away..."

Cena and Lashley stand nose-to-nose, before the hard hitting starts as Cena holds Lashley in place for Joey Styles to slap him, only for Lashley to connect with a spinebuster...

"The memory will never die..."

Lashley hits the spear, Cena kicks out of the quick count, then has Lashley tapping to STFU, only for Vince to not call for the bell...

"You made me believe... the day you surrender to me..."

Cena hits the FU, only for McMahon to flip him the bird before counting three. 'Stone Cold' makes his entrance, dropping McMahon with the stunner, then counting the three after Cena hits another FU...

"The memory will never die..."

Cena and Austin toast a beer to each other, celebrating for the fans before Austin bows out to let Cena savour the moment...

"The love that you gave... I'll never throw it away..."

Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Rob Van Dam stand across the ring from each other, tense faces all round, then we cut to Triple H looking for the pedigree through the announce desk, only for Van Dam to counter with the back body drop to the floor...

"The memory will never die..."

Michaels soars with a top rope moonsault, Triple H counters a springboard crossbody into a spinning spinebuster, then Van Dam scores with the rolling thunder...

"You made me believe... the day you surrender to me..."

Michaels hits the sweet chin music, Triple H nails a pedigree, before Van Dam nails a five star frog splash through the announce desk...

"The memory will never die..."

The finishing sequence, where Michaels and Triple H counter in and out of pedigrees and sweet chin musics, until finally Michaels connects, only for Van Dam to hit a five star frog splash on both men, grabbing the win...

"The love that you gave... I'll never throw it away..."

Van Dam holds the title dearly, leading the crowd through one final rendition of the "ROB - VAN - DAM!" chant...

"The memory will never die..."

Edge and Batista make their entrances, the champion connecting with early power offense...

"You made me believe... the day you surrender to me...

'The Animal' spears Edge straight through the barricade into the fans, but Edge fires back with the Edge-o-matic...

"The memory will never die..."

Edge kicks out of the Batista Bomb, Batista kicks out of a spear, then Edge hammers Batista with a steel chair, but then swings and misses when he goes for the one man con-chair-to...

"The love that you gave... I'll never throw it away..."

Batista hits the Batista Bomb on the steel chair but doesn't get the three count, only to then finish things off with a second Batista Bomb...

"{Echoing} The memory will never die..."

The lasting image of Batista on the second rope, both arms in the air, World Heavyweight Championship gripped in his right hand, the massive burst of pyro exploding in the background as we finally, once and for all fade... to... black.


*End Show*




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



iMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 01:52 PM   #215 (permalink)
Challenging SCOTT STEINER's authority
 
Terry Gyimah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4,793
Terry Gyimah needs to take rep more seriousTerry Gyimah needs to take rep more seriousTerry Gyimah needs to take rep more seriousTerry Gyimah needs to take rep more seriousTerry Gyimah needs to take rep more seriousTerry Gyimah needs to take rep more seriousTerry Gyimah needs to take rep more seriousTerry Gyimah needs to take rep more serious
Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

WrestleMania 23 Review

Matt Hardy becoming the new WWE United States Champion beating Finlay was great, and now that Matt is U.S. Champion, hopefully Matt Hardy gets a big push in this calendar year of 2007 into 2008, Matt Hardy can really break out as a main event star on Smackdown, and I only hope that you push him , Finlay didn't really even need the US Title, he can set his sights on the World Heavyweight Championship by becoming the first-ever Irish born World Heavyweight Champion because Sheamus is the first-ever Irish-born WWE Champion because Sheamus won the WWE Title, Finlay can win the World Title

Kenny Dystrka retaining his WWE Intercontinental Championship was great, and especially in the fashion in how he retained it, and Torrie Wilson turns heel, turning on Carlito and being in cahoots with Kenny all along was great, and I only hope we get an explanation from Torrie about just why she turned on Carlito and why she has basically joined up with Kenny

My man Randy Orton wins Money In the Bank, if you can tell by my avatar, I am a Randy Orton fan and I have sang his praises always and I always will and now that he is the Money In The Bank Ladder Match winner, Orton he can cash in on the champion at any time he wants, whether it be the WWE Champion or the World Heavyweight Champion it doesn't matter who the champions are, time is ticking on your reigns champs, tick tock

Gregory Helms retains his WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Bryan Danielson, even I am shocked at this, Gregory Helms has been champion ever since 2006, almost a year and a half that he has been champion at this point, time for his reign to end, time for him to move on to the WWE United States Championship and give others a chance with the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, I expect big things from Bryan Danielson in 2008 and 2009

Mickie James retains her WWE Women's Championship, this is great but I don't see it lasting much longer, Beth will end her reign sooner or later

WGTT win the Tag Team Showcase against The Hooliganz, they are the better team and they proved it

Kennedy beats Ric Flair, now it is time for the torch to be past, which means usher in the future and get rid of the past, Kennedy is the future, I expect big things out of Kennedy for 2007 into 2008, he is like the new Ric Flair, he just reminds me so much of Flair in terms of both of them having beach blond hair, that cockiness, that arrogance, that bravado and both of them can wrestle, if only Flair can take Kennedy under his wing and become his mentor, it would be great

Undertaker beats Umaga to go 15-0, who is the next victim for next year, for 16-0 for Mania 24, I hope it is either Mr. Kennedy, Edge, Jeff Hardy, Shawn Michaels or Triple H, or a returning Chris Jericho or a returning Big Show or Rey Mysterio

Cena beats Lashley, this is great, and Austin interceding becoming the referee and taking out Vince and Shane and then Cena beating Lashley after that and I hope you build up towards Cena/Austin at WrestleMania 24 for next year in your thread, and then we can see Cena turn heel during this feud, and it can become as big as Cena/Rock if not bigger

RVD becoming the new WWE Champion beating Shawn Michaels and Triple H to win the title, this is great, now the RVD era can start but I don't see it lasting long

Batista retaining his World Heavyweight Championship against Edge was great but I don't see it lasting much longer, if Edge can't end it, it sure as hell will be Orton who ends Batista's reign by cashing in on Batista
Terry Gyimah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2012, 06:56 PM   #216 (permalink)
Getting ignored by SCOTT STEINER
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 500
cp954 cp954 cp954 cp954 cp954 cp954
Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Wrestlemania Review


Thrilled you’ve managed to reach this point, a great achievement writing a Wrestlemania and you know I’m excited as anything to read this. Before onto the actual review, the preview show was top notch by the way. Anyways…

Perfect way to kick things off. National anthem is always the route to go and Smokey Robinson ain’t a bad way of doing so either, very nice decision there. Opening video package was excellent with a great theme of the superstars giving everything they’ve got to get what they desire, loved Flair in particular here.

Kicking things off with Finlay/Hardy doesn’t surprise me. I was kinda torn between this and MITB, so solid choice here. Really strong opening from Hardy with the two near falls, was surprised to see a Side Effect so early on but it added a shock factor I guess that this one may end early. Good use of Little Bastard, albeit early on, may’ve been better served towards the end but still a good way to get Finlay into this one. Very nice little period for Finlay following this, in particular the reverse chinlock, I thought your phrasing during this was great, ‘the look of determination in his eyes becoming glazed over’ was something I could so easily picture. Little Bastard again coming into this was a good move, Finlay using all his dirty tricks, good show of his experience there. Really liked the way you had ‘Swoggle AGAIN stick his nose in and prevent Hardy winning, only for Hardy to smash him with the shillelagh. Now THAT is a Wrestlemania moment. Great win for Hardy and a great way to kick off the show. Hopefully Hardy gets a nice reign now that really establishes himself.

Classic McMahons here. Vince as the referee should be mighty interesting although it clearly won’t be all that simple.

Dykstra/Lito next was a surprise to me as I expected this a little later on, maybe wedged in between a higher profile match. Great start here with Dykstra slapping Lito and heading to the ropes, typical heel route to go. Nice aggression from Kenny when this spilled to the outside and I liked how you mentioned Torrie’s reaction as she’s certain to play a role in this. Nice little period for Kenny here but was glad Lito began to turn the tables although I would’ve liked him to do it inside the ring as they’d only gone to the outside not too long prior to this. Loved the cross body counter into a power slam, sweet from Dykstra. When Lito began to pick up the pace here I thought the win might’ve been his and we wouldn’t get the Torrie turn that I think the majority predicted/even hoped for so I was THRILLED when it did come. Certainly a unique, different ending, didn’t see it coming that way at all but the main thing is that it happened and that Dykstra held on to that title. Decent match for the time it got, told a nice story here and the potential with Dykstra/Torrie is great and should see this feud build all the more.

That Summerslam poster is fantastic and when I saw old school HBK I had to do a double take, brilliant.

MITB time, no doubts some big stuff will go down in this one. Nice way to start with all the competitors focusing on the prize, was inevitably gonna lead to a mass brawl but pleased to see you not go straight down that expected route. Very nice opening exchanges with Kane looking strong and that Swanton from Hardy was just what is to be expected in this kind of match from a guy like him. Twist of Fate off the ladder following that? Wow, Hardy’s living up to his daredevil reputation here, pleased to see these two go at it also as I expect their rivalry to continue after this no matter what the outcome. Some more good action followed this, particularly liked Orton’s dropkick to the ladder taking down Hardy and Punk. Some clever stuff put here with Booker knocking Benoit and MVP off with a ladder of his own, that’s the sort of stuff you’d expect from him as he’s not the risk taker others are. Nitro’s little leap onto the ladder was great, fully expected something big from him in this match and that athleticism was a nice touch, the use of Masters too was good. Great little passage from Punk to follow this and it really made him look strong taking on both Booker and MVP like that. Sunset flip tower of doom I can just imagine being brutal and I guess that’s the really big spot for Nitro I was expecting, loved it. Swanton off the ladder from Hardy now?!? Jesus I thought he was done with big spots in this thing but apparently not. And that’s followed by a Diving Headbutt off the ladder now!! High risk, high reward, didn’t expect that from Benoit at all but I thought it was fantastic. The ending was well worked with Benoit looking like he’d get the dream win only for Orton to seemingly appear from out of nowhere and steal it from under his nose. Fantastic match with some great spots in it and I predicted Orton would win so pleased to see he did as there’s a ton of possibilities now moving forward.

Tidy little package there just hyping up how excited everybody is for this thing. Something WWE would certainly do so fair play for bothering with it also.

Helms/Danielson up now, should be a mighty good one. Really, really strong start from Danielson here, didn’t expect it to be so one sided early on, a cagey opening was what I expected but AmDrag really looked good here. Helms was always gonna get a foothold and that missed spear into the ringpost was nice, followed with the DDT, at this point you believed the chamion was gonna start to really up his game and he did just that. Working of the arm was smart, looking to prevent the Lebell lock. Loved Helms shouting out to JBL, just such a heel thing to do and then for the Inside Cradle out of nowhere was a great call. The pace now really began to build and it got going big time. The succession of near falls were great and at this stage you really believed it could go either way. The Shining Wizard from Helms had me thinking he’d pulled it off but a kick out just showed how resilient Danielson is. Same thing though with the Lebell lock, at that stage you thought this is Danielson’s now but resilience on Helms’ part this time, just great stuff. I didn’t expect the ending to come that way but it does a whole lot for Helms here to retain but doing so in that manner does a whole lot for Danielson also. Kudos as this keeps the feud going on a little while longer. Really enjoyed this one.

Good to hear from Foley, possible indicator he has got one more match in the tank. Edge appearing I didn’t see coming but made sense I guess and usual cocky antics heading into the big one later.

Nice video package for this next one, really done a wonderful job building this. Right call in having these two just explode from the off, wouldn’t expect any other way. Mickie really did look unstoppable in the early goings, Victoria feeling her force also. Beth finally getting a stranglehold of the match now, although I would’ve preferred it if she did so without Victoria, she’s good enough to do so on her own. The offense from Beth now was as expected, solid and brutal. The bow and arrow stretch was great to see and Mickie smashing the steel sounded nasty. Beth really did look in cruise control at this point and I liked the fact you acknowledged how the pace of the match slowed right down. Mickie fighting back out of nowhere was classic face recovery and the victory roll had me thinking she’d stolen it but glad to see this only rattled Beth. As soon as Beth began to badmouth Mickie I knew that was game over for her, Mickie’s burst of offense following that was beautiful, the tilt-a-whirl head scissors was great and then the Mickie-DT out of the Beth Valley Driver was a nice little counter to score Mickie the win. Very solid outing here and perhaps that ends this little story once and for all, perhaps lol.

Decent little interview with Orton, I guess ruling out him cashing in tonight but his claims it won’t be long make me curious where he opts to go following Mania.

This match up should be a fun one, although it is the one lacking any real build. Clever tactics from Haas in the opening. Really nice sequence here from the Holliganz with the hiptoss followed by a hiptoss onto Shelton, loved that. Really nice showcasing of both London and Kendrick here, showing off that they are a real team with the double dropkicks and double flying cross body’s. Running Shooting Star press from London was great, he really looked on fire in the early going. Some really strong teamwork now shown from TWGTT and it’s something I’m really pleased to see as it is of course the two ‘tag team’ champions going at it, the double backbreaker was great. Again, pleased to see the pair working on London’s injury and the false tag with the referee failing to spot it was a great little twist to add. Kendrick finally entering the match had me believing he’d really pick up steam in this and I wasn’t wrong. That double flapjack counter into a double tornado DDT was excellent and the Tower of London following on had me thinking they’d done the job, great period of dominance for the Hooliganz. Really clever ending with London’s knee eventually giving out on him and the Haas of pain simply proving too much. Big win for TWGTT but a strong showing still from an injured London makes the Hooliganz look no mugs in defeat.


Brilliant video package for this feud and it’s one of the most anticipated matches on the card for me. Again it was a nice, different opening with Flair not wasting any time in heading after Kennedy, as should be, I mean Flair literally wants to kill the guy. Really strong opening from the Nature Boy, I loved the aggression you portrayed from him and having Kennedy busted open so early on just adds to it. Great antics from Kennedy as he turns the tables, the Flair strut is something I can easily imagine Kennedy doing and I’m glad it backfired on him. Single leg Boston crab from Kennedy, unexpected but a great route to go, trying to beat Flair almost at his own game with a submission. Brutal stuff here from Kennedy focusing on Flair’s knee, pleased to see Naitch busted open also, although would’ve preferred it to be maybe off the ring post or something rather than just a straight kick from KK. Smart stuff though for Kennedy to target one area and dissect it. Ah, speaking of beating him at his own game, the Figure Four, brilliant. I expected this at some point as it’s the kinda dick thing Kennedy would do so kudos there. To see Flair fighting with all he’s got against his own hold is compelling. That Green Bay Plunge off the top was wow, didn’t expect that AT ALL, loved it and I thought there and then it could be over with. Flair’s Figure Four was bound to strike once more and I was worried it could be over with but you done great in portraying Ken to have the fight, to have the heart to stay in this thing and survive. KenTon bomb, surely over with? NO! At this point I really thought this wasn’t Kennedy’s night but so glad that he finally put him away with the Mic Check, the little slap beforehand from Flair was a nice touch, almost like all he had left to give. Fantastic match up and you really did allow them to give it their all. Kennedy looks great in victory and I‘m looking forward to his next step, while Flair looks as resilient as ever in defeat.

Nice way out if this is the end for Flair as suggested by the aftermath but I’m not so sure it will be.

Very good hall of fame line up and pleased to see you give them their minute in the spotlight despite Bret not being there for Owen.

This next bout was always gonna be a huge one and although there’s only one winner, what was really gonna interest me here was your booking of Umaga so that’s what I’ll keep an eye out for. Extremely even opening and both men looked like machines in the early going. Umaga really is a beast, taking Taker’s grip away from his throat and then delivering a Samoan drop, I love it. A real spell of domination from Mags followed this and it was great to see Taker so vulnerable and this animal just picking him off bit by bit, those two Banzai drops on the spin were nicely executed. I started to believe Taker was working his way back into this thing so when Mags hit that Samoan Drop through the announce table I was stunned, in the best way possible. This guy is just looking like a total savage here. I thought the part with Estrada snapping the cigar and Taker sitting up was genius, really did, a fantastic idea and the Last Ride was vicious and a choke slam to follow but STILL the Bulldozer doesn’t give in. The kick out from the Samoan Spike was all the more impressive though from Taker and these guys have both been made completely unstoppable tonight, as should be. Kick out from the Tombstone shocked me but it’s the right call, needing two tombstone’s to put away someone just shows how strong somebody is and Mags is exactly that. In the end, as expected but I was thrilled you let Umaga hang with Taker toe to toe, looking better than the Deadman in my eyes. Much like Kennedy, I look forward to seeing where the Samoan Bulldozer heads moving forward.

Typical Cena promo here, did the job of his usual ‘giving it all’ and ‘never backing down’ schtick.

Styles coming back I can live with and certainly makes sense in the context of this match up so a good call there.

Onto the action and I expected Lashley to largely dominate early on so it shocked me that Cena was so strong from the off in taking it to the Real Deal. Styles slapping Lashley was priceless, absolutely priceless. Some really good use of Shane and Vince right from the off, Shane preventing Cena capitalising on Lashley being down, Vince with the early fast counts etc. McMahon then giving Cena a slow count was great, I can imagine Vince’s face while doing so, in all honesty I’d much rather he count slow as fuck than not count at all, just for a laugh. Again, good stuff on the outside as it wore on with Shane grabbing Cena’s foot and allowing Lashley to take charge. I do like it but I do wish Lashley would just straight up do his own dirty work on Cena, it’s a tough one cos it’s the McMahon’s, it’s what they do but still, wanna see Lashley do this alone. The brutal spine buster from Lashley is the kinda thing I wanna see, just exploding from nowhere with Cena in control, makes him look the beast he is, great spot. STFU was nicely done and I couldn’t help but laugh with Shane pushing the rope inwards, brilliant stuff. Another really good spot here with Vince slapping Cena, drawing him into the trap and that spear from Lashley seemed brutal as they come. Cena finally working his way back in was bound to happen and it was executed nicely again with the STFU locked in once more and Lashley tapping but Vinny never seeing it, once more that’s just great use of him and Shane in this thing. Things REALLY picked up from this point and the steel chair getting involved I can imagine would draw so much heat on these three it’d be unreal. Coast to Coast from Shane is epic, always love seeing that move and the Dominator to follow, I thought this was curtains but AGAIN your use of Vince is perfect, slow, arrogant count and the kick out to follow. His reaction would no doubt be priceless. Austin arrives!! Perfect time with Vince flipping Cena the bird lol and all hell breaking loose was anticipated. I liked how you had him still call Lashley’s pin as should be, didn’t make him come in and take Cena’s side but in the end Cena was always going to prevail and it was a perfect ending to a really perfectly written match. Your use of everyone here was spot on, Cena, Lashley, the McMahon’s and Austin were all used right on the money and it was an enthralling contest from start to finish.

Very tense little moment here with Cena and Austin but the right way to end a fan favourite moment, a stunner here probably wouldn’t have done you any good.

Atlanta, Georgia next year, nice venue, if you make it there that’d be fantastic.

I expected a nice video package for this one, so slightly disappointed we didn’t get it but I guess we all know the story by now. Only other complaint would be that we haven’t heard at all from any of the men prior to this tonight. A backstage segment with one, if not all three was what I expected so slightly disappointed there wasn’t anything but ah well. Moving on….Nice start to things with both Trips and Van Dam wanting a piece of HBK and they instantly turn on one another. Really solid opening from Van Dam which he needs as obviously he’s not as strong on paper as these two legends. Good to see things head to the outside as that bit more drama in triple threats is great with things flying from all angles. The Moonsault off the top from Michaels was superb, typical Mr.Wrestlemania for you there. Good to see a little bit of one on one action with Michaels and Trips following that, the history speaks for itself, would’ve liked to see it go a little longer before Van Dam returned to the fray. Really strong period again for Van Dam here though with Michaels on the ropes, that SCM near miss followed by Van Dam’s sequence of kicks were nicely done but then that cross body into a spinning spine buster from Trips was beautiful. A real fast paced little sequence followed this and it was great stuff, the Rolling Thunder from Van Dam followed by Michaels getting the upper hand and then Trips turning the tables in his favour was great as I thought each man was gonna build but they simply outdid one another. Wow, that moonsault once more from Michaels was fantastic and taking out both guys at the same time in a different fashion to earlier was very innovative. Michaels began to look strong here now and when he hit SCM on Trips I thought that may be all she wrote but Van Dam makes the save right on cue. This is one crazy match and the Frog Splash from Van Dam through the announce table was brilliant, that right there is his defining moment of the match, ala Michaels and the moonsault. Never expected the Pedigree to put away RVD so no surprise to see him kick out on that one, right call. Really enjoyed the ending to the match, a great series of events with the title belt being brought into it and then Trips and HBK one upping each other, countering for fun before Van Dam seals the deal with the Frog Splash to both men, nicely done and the feel good moment, the career defining moment is there for Rob Van Dam, great match.
Nice Backlash poster and the biblical reference in there make me think Michaels will play a big role.

Really strong video package here for the main event and this is what I would’ve liked to see prior to the WWE title match. Great intro for Edge here, fitting of Wrestlemania no doubt. I must say, yes Edge won the Rumble and gets to ‘main event’ Wrestlemania but we know that’s never the case and I really would’ve preferred the triple threat to close this one out. The match started out as though both men realised how big a match it was and was slightly cagey with several lock ups in the early going but that’s to be expected. Tista then really began to get a grip on this and he looked really strong here, looked like all the weeks of built up frustration finally coming to fruition. Some nice tactics and moves from Edge then began to come around, typical of his persona, taking any and every opportunity he gets. About time that Smackdown announce table took a seeing to lol, nice baseball slide taking Tista up and over. Things began to turn in Edge’s favour after this and it needed to as you felt Batista was almost looking TOO strong from the get go. That boot to Batista’s skull against the ringpost sounded sickening. Wow, spear through the barricade! Fantastic move there and this match now has it’s own memorable moment to really lift it up a notch, great stuff from the Rated R Superstar. Tista regaining control was inevitable and that flying shoulder block off the top amazed me, never expected that to come from the Animal but would be sweet to see. The sleeper from Edge was a nice way to once again shift the balance and a nice tactic from Edge to try and finally wear down the big man and it worked well with the hand dropping slowly down, only for shock horror Tista to find a way out of trouble. The Spear into a Sunset Flip was great and it this point I really began to root for Edge, I wanted him to walk away with the gold here and I started to believe he could at this point. Tista though started to regain control though and when he hit that second spear I expected him to finish things off BUT NO!! Edgecution was out of nowhere and again the tide turned right on cue and the pace was phenomenal here now, really did pick up in a big way. The BatistaBomb was vicious and at that point I once again thought it was done and dusted but Edge kicked out?!? I was stunned and again I started to think maybe, just maybe Edge will pull this off but those hopes were dashed when Tista kicked out of the spear, some magnificent near falls here and really did sell just how much these two are going through to get the big one. I thought it was gonna come to a close here but a BIG TWIST with the chair coming in, Edge losing his cool was great but Charles Robinson being dragged out of the equation threw me off completely, really didn’t see it coming. The Con-Chair-To would’ve spelled no way back and that’s not how Wrestlemania’s gonna come to a close so wasn’t surprised to see Tista dodge it and the false finish was nicely done with no referee being around. Coach sending an official down was great after that Spear by Edge, such a Coach move to do but you just knew the Animal wouldn’t let it end that way and I can imagine Edge’ reaction to the kick out. And FINALLY Batista gets the job done with one more thunderous BatistaBomb to close off a fantastic main event that surpassed my expectations in all honesty. I wanted Edge to walk away with the gold but it was never gonna end that way with this rounding off the show and this does allow Edge’s chase to continue which will no doubt be compelling stuff.

An absolutely fantastic show iMac, it really was. The odd complaint but that is simply personal preference, every single match on the card delivered in a big way from top to bottom. The two main events were fantastic stuff and I really enjoyed the Cena/Lashley match, a lot more than I expected to. You’ve created some stars tonight, Kennedy, Umaga even in defeat and Van Dam is now legit with that win. I know this is a lot to read butI hope you can take at least something, anything from it. I really, really look forward to where this thread goes from now and all I can say is congratulations on this, you deserved it as the build has been fantastic and you pulled it off big time. Well done.
cp954 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 06:55 PM   #217 (permalink)
The Sleeping Giant
 
619IDH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The Fountain of Dreams
Posts: 2,012
619IDH probably won't be missed619IDH probably won't be missed619IDH probably won't be missed619IDH probably won't be missed619IDH probably won't be missed619IDH probably won't be missed619IDH probably won't be missed619IDH probably won't be missed619IDH probably won't be missed619IDH probably won't be missed619IDH probably won't be missed
Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Don't think I forgot about this. Just been busy with my own huge show, so sorry if this might've taken a while. But on with it!! To this much hyped display of writing achievement~!!


Opening video was very vivid and painted a bevy of pictures, although I will admit the second half of the video had my head bouncing around between wrestler’s words, song lyrics, and the images that followed. That was probably more me than you though. One gaping mistake I noticed though was that you had Cena’s ‘mania memory be that he made ‘JBL tap out to the STFU’, when in reality, he hit JBL with an FU and just got the pin. Thought there could’ve been more images thrown in there, but maybe that would’ve made it too long. Also, the way you arranged the images and wrestler’s talk was different than I’m used to, but I got used to it the farther down I got. Those things aside, the entire feel of ‘going back’ was very well done and a great way to kick off the show and let us know that this is indeed the biggest show of’em all.

“OOH YEAAAH!!” The image of the crowd going nuts on that opening vocal is an awesome image to kick off with. An early Side Effect is pretty big, as is already some involvement from that Little Bastard. Wonder why those big points were so early? Finlay being forced to use his resources to a large degree on Hardy is very telling of both Finlay’s general ‘beat you with whatever I can find’ attitude and Hardy’s classic ‘I will not die’ testimony. Nice to see that both of those styles fit that well. Hardy turning the tables on Finlay following the submission count was very called for, the second Side Effect having much more an effect than the first. The TOF spot on the leprechaun chase was pretty sweet, didn’t feel like that made Finlay look too weak and was a great first Hardy hope spot. The next one was pretty immediate, smashing the little guy in the face to great applause, only to have Finlay crank his own back at him, thought this transition of blows was very telling. Thought the finish was a little clunky – a part of me wanted Finlay to go driving back into that exposed ring corner he introduced earlier, but that’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that you used two elements I don’t normally enjoy and that’s the ‘face foot on the ropes’ and the ‘shoulder shoved into the corner’ spots. But personal preference aside, justice gets done for all here and Hardy’s dramatic and emphatic feel-good ‘mania opening sets the stage for what should be an absolute great show. Kirby approves of this Matt Hardy win.

Another small note on Jibbles’ reaction – still don’t like JBL’s attitude towards Hardy.

oh Vinnie. I just love the image of Vince needing a strong new ref or whatever and Shane standing proudly only for Vince to shoot him down. Either way, a solid segment if for no other reason than that Lashley didn’t say much of anything.

Kudos on so far having the champs coming in second. Not very much into this match even though I’ve enjoyed the story going into it, but that’s probably because Kenny D is a little on the fritz in my mind, personally. Kenny playing the big coward here is no surprise, that big powerslam coming at a nice spot. Liked the missed big leg drop, real good momentum changer there. Torrie the Human Shield was a very nice spot for young Doane, making him just that much more of a punk bitch, and even moreso when the overall goal failed and he still got put on his back. And heeeeere’s what I’ve been waiting for. Something to make Dykstra multi-dimensional is hopefully Wilson. Carlito getting dogged here a great way to build on the sympathy for his character, as I personally feel sorry for him. Bonus points for JR calling Torrie a jezebel. Still, a very solid match in a nice place on the card. Could’ve maybe had a bit more to it, but it was still very good and a stark contrast with the opening match at that. One was heartwarming, the other heartbreaking. But again, very nice job.

Is there a reason old school Shawn Michaels is on the poster? Hm….

Awesome commentary point that both guys who’ve won MITB before are actually in both main events tonight, adding some great credibility before the match even begins. Also love the fact that on commentary, everybody had a favorite to win, adding another layer to this. Thought MVP’s full blown inflatable entrance would’ve required him to come out first or last given the time to blow that thing up. Loved Kane coming across as the monster here in the early goings, only to set up for Jeffery doing a ridiculous early spot, good job on that, although I can only think that he’ll find some way to top it as the match goes on. The TOF off the ladder is a nice spot, but I felt it was really out of place here. It was far too early and almost right after another big Hardy spot. The German against the ladder sounds very much painful. The spots are slowly climbing in impact, I like. Ironic that Hardy and Punk work together to take Kane down, eh? Ah, the ol’ ladder tumble. Won’t be the first time tonight. Thought that Kane climbing up after everybody took the huge tumble was a bit too quick. When everyone is down like that, usually there’s moment of ‘awe’ I guess for everyone to just absorb the atmosphere. The transitioning was just a wee bit too quick for me on that. The German from the top was a bit hard to visualize correctly, since there needs to be a bit of room, unless by ‘mat’ you meant the outside padding. The Kane sandwich sequence was really good, Kane looking like a damn dominant force here. Beautiful Punk hope spot here, really got him going. Sunset Flip Tower of Doom?? Shit, that sounds sick on so many levels, a great MITB replay moment if I might add and a great spot for Nitro to hang his hat on. Totally thought Jeff’s Swanton would miss, but thank goodness it didn’t, nice spot there. I keep being reminded that there’s umpteen people surrounding the ring, as well as in the ring. Thought maybe that was a little crowded with six guys in the ring and four bystanders outside. Damnit I cringe every time Benoit hits a headbutt. Can feel things winding down I think, signified by Punk’s huge tumble. Fuck, should’ve stayed with my pick in Orton. Although a quick question – where the hell did Booker go? He got beat up by Punk and stayed down for what seemed like ages. I was just adding up the number of bodies down for Orton to finally go up alone and realized Booker was nowhere to be found in the last third of the match. That aside, big, if expected, win for Orton, but I have a feeling he’s not staying on RAW.

Nice spot for the ‘mania of ‘mania’ spot, the worldwide audience and all.

Great character perspective shot between HBK, Trips, and Van Dam. Marked for the Van Dam split and the HBK prayer.

Close watch match #1 in Danielson/Helms. Goodness, Danielson was in control a great deal early. Wasn’t expecting so much from him so early, but it makes sense when I think about it. Indy guy on a big stage trying to prove himself, I getcha. Oooh, great take by Helms to finally get an opening and capitalize on it. Seems like the only way Helms can beat Danielson is if he’s weakened somehow. Goodness, Helms looking very meticulous here and showing some great psychology. If Finlay hadn’t already lost tonight, he’d be proud. Helms looking like a real pain here, in a good way, now realizing what he’s done to Danielson’s moveset. Still has enough in him for that release Tiger which sounded brutal. Wow, marked out a bit when Danielson kicked out of the Shining Wizard, thought it was pretty much over there, especially coming out of the LeBell. Great dramatized extension on the submission move, really felt the impending intensity there. Oh, the really, really dirty win? Well that all and settles that these two are sure as hell not over with. Still, a very solid match that displayed lots of things for both men that I’m sure will play out in the final leg of this in some way. Yet another heartbreaker, too.

Very nice segment from Foley and Edge here, really taking off their match last year and getting the World Heavyweight title match some build now. Should’ve had Foley say he hopes Batista kicks Edge’s ass ‘right here, in Detroit, Michigan!” Hurts my feelings a bit that you didn’t do that.

Nice package here to kick off Beth/Mickie, really got the feel of the entire feud down in these few seconds.

Liked the geared from the get-go beginning, really fits the tone of this one and sets a great stage. Mickie was in control a great deal from the early goings, told a good story in regards with Mickie having been around for a good bit longer than Beth and taking it to her, almost daring her to be ready for the big time. Almost didn’t like the tide turning when Vicky grabbed the leg, as I thought that made Beth look a tad weak and just like every other heel, which she definitely is not. Marked for the Bow and Arrow on the post, you described that a lot better than I did. Impressive slingshot suplex here, good wording following. I was gonna reach through this computer screen and choke you if Mickie won off the Glam Slam into the roll-up, so I guess good drawing me in there. A regular superplex is usually somewhat overdone as a big spot, but in a women’s match, is very bar and eyebrow raising in my book, so good shot there. I sat here and shouted ‘no’ repeatedly at my screen when Mickie hit the T and got the win, so I will commend you on getting me fully absorbed into this match and really wanting Beth to win…but this, much like the Cruiserweight contest before it, is FAR and aways from being over. Women’s specialty match to follow at Backlash plz. Push the boundaries with these two, please. If there was ever a time to put on a Women’s ladder/No DQ/Cage/Last (Wo)Man Standing match or something like that, that time would be now and it would be between these two women at some point to completely put Beth (and Mickie and the Women’s division, for that matter) over. But yeah, that’s on down the road. Great job here in the present, and even though a face won for only the second time, a personal heartbreaker for me.

Nice intensity from Orton here. He definitely won’t be holding onto that thing for very long at all, but at least give him a little bit of build with it, please. It tires me to see a guy be directionless, win MITB, and then cash in suddenly. That said, Orton is credible enough to be built with the briefcase or the title should he cash in immediately, I suppose.

Another match to play close attention to, wow, all three of them consecutively for me. Hooliganz were on fire here on the outset, really showed some good tag team chemistry. Woh, tag rope choke is a pretty big sign of aggression from the RAW champions, wouldn’t expect something like that from them. Glad that when the WGTT got control, they didn’t immediately go for the injured knee, which is a very easy and obvious thing to do. The back and forth double teams looked really good, solidifying both teams as reach tag champs. Doh, thought the Tower of London was it. But of course it’s not. Certainly not a clean win, so a heartbreaker for me, but I’m sort of glad the submission boss Charlie Haas got the winning move with that Haas of Pain. Really solid match here, both teams showing why they’re really champions, though still not that happy with the result. I think I’ve lost my heart by this point you’ve broken it so much.

Another great package here, capturing the heat between these two men, which will be absolutely off the charts.

Jesus, another take-it-to’em start, but really brutal. God, Kennedy being busted open inside what, three minutes? Yeah, this is gonna be a slobberknocker. Great opening on that, btw, as the animosity built in Flair is just ridiculous at this point. By this match, I can see your match structure all there – one person dominates, big mistake, capitalization, other person. The ring steps incident was the perfect spot for that to get Kennedy some offense, doing his own picking of the knee/leg I see. Thought it’d take something more than a huge boot to make Flair bleed, but it makes the big boot/facewash he got sound sick. This would’ve gotten a bit repetitive and in the same vein as the tag team match, but Kennedy was much less meticulous and much more brutal with it. Still wanted a bit more variety plz. The big ‘fuck you’ with the Kennedy Figure Four was excellent, should’ve seen it coming, and what a great win that would’ve been for Kennedy, but alas, it was not so. Not yet, anyways. The Plunge kickout took this thing to another level to an extent, having Flair kick out of a ridiculous move like that. Low how no matter how brutal Kennedy got, Flair came right back with incredibly old school moves. Flair gets hit by three different Kennedy finishers? Yikes. That’s a testament to the old man’s will, but the right person won. Possibly the biggest heartbreaker on the card, even though the correct person won. Beautiful stuff here from both guys for their efforts, but damn, this makes Kennedy look like a million bucks. If nothing else, he’s the only reason why Orton would stay on RAW in the near future , ‘cause this kid just made a huge case to be the next big thing, kayfabe wise. The emotional Flair ending was really well done, does make me wonder if the old man’s time is up…

YAY HOF!

The ‘taker exclusive half of this video was phenomenal as far as vivid images go, though the whole package was great too.

You set up the allure of ‘Taker and his streak pretty damn well, I would say. The first match to begin with a truly back and forth opening, good to see a bit of changing before the upcoming decimation. Beautiful job creating that ‘Taker leaping over the top rope spot, the image of him just suspended is always a terrific one. Again, things going back and forth is a great way to have this go. Now here’s some domination and decimation from the big Samoan guy. Jesus, he really is killing him with all this, or at least is trying to. It wouldn’t be a big man match if someone didn’t destroy that chew toy of an announce table, really great spot there. Loved Umaga’s continuous beatdown, still making him look like a total monster by not stopping any of it. BRAVO on this visual with the cigar split/’Taker sit up, just wonderful and made me mark out a good bit. This exchange here was insanely mark-out worthy, really made me believe both Umaga and ‘Taker should’ve gone down at several points. That Samoan Spike sent a chill up my spine. ‘Taker winning is no surprise, but like JBL said, it took it to another level in a sense. While ‘Taker’s streak may not yet have the performances and career of Shawn Michaels on it, ending Umaga’s streak is certainly something to further hang it’s hat on. Great place to further crescendo The Streak. Bravo here.

Finally hearing from Cena, was wondering when we would get that. On that note, still need to hear from a WWE Championship match guy as well as Batista, but we’ll get to that. Cena was on his money here, all pumped up and ready and such.

Another very solid video package, keeping all those things that made this huge in there, although this one was less theatrical than the others, I felt.

YOU SOLD OUT!! YOU SOLD OUT!! YES! Love it. Was hoping you’d take that and run with it in some way. Also lol at the entire Vinny Mac introduction, with his hamminess. No big entrance for Cena? Oh well. And Styles is back? Wow, this one’s got the most storyline pieces to it already. Styles gets his revenge hella early, wow. Glad it was early, seeing as how Vince is still riled up on wanting to destroy Cena so as to not DQ him. Quick count is an obvious thing here. Cena getting drilled because of Vinnie and Lashley’s pointless rendezvous was great, as if these guys needed another reason to hate them. Nice also on the slow count, same motive applying, though I don’t think Lashley should’ve gone all the way to two on the first slow count. This is the third straight match that looks to use the outside to its fair share of abuse (although I don’t think I can say anything in regards to my matches), so let’s see how different it is. Another great heel-dominated segment here, especially with Cena hulking up and Lashley planting him with that spinebuster. The STFU was a great ‘oh shit’ moment if for no other reason than I can picture the look on Vince’s face when faced with the dilemma. The Cena lure into the spear was nicely done. Those goddamn McMahons. Making me hate them even more as the match goes on, though Vince doing the slow count out of arrogance might have been a bit pushing it. Excellent storytelling throughout this one, the closing minutes were really high paced and highly dramatic, though never really in doubt. Beautiful Wrestlemania moment in the conclusion with Austin and Cena sharing brewskies and I’m really glad you went this way. I was probably in the minority with my thoughts of Cena’s not getting a Stunner, although I will say I anticipated it. Great moment to end a great match.

Georgia Dome FTW. From the South, so kudos on that one.

Aw, not closing with this one? Oh well. Was hoping Michaels would get a dramatic and possibly religiously overtoned entrance, a missed moment there. Dramatic brawl beginning is somewhat foreseeable, not much of a way around that one. Van Dam was on fire here, really an ode the psychology that he’s the guy who needs to prove himself here. You and those steel rings steps must’ve had a love affair, because this must’ve been the fifth straight match or something where it’s been featured as a game-changer. Beautiful image of Trips already going for the big kill only to have RVD reverse it and follow with the Michaels traditional Wrestlemania moonsault. The Van Dam/Michaels exchange here was pretty good, RVD getting the upper hand on the champ ‘til Trips makes the save, so to speak. Very much liked the superplex into the Michaels elbow drop. Another Michaels moonsault? Wow, thought that may have been overdoing it a little. Wow, that first SCM was literally from nowhere, didn’t see it coming at all, although I’m noticing Van Dam has impeccable recovery time this match. He got up early from the superplex/elbow drop combo as well as getting up relatively quickly from some totally off guard Chin Music. Five Star through the table has got to have Joey Styles on his feet. Triple H seems like a non-factor right now, he needs something big to happen, it’s being dominated by Michaels and RVD. There’s a big Trips spot…but RVD kicks out? Damn, SNME all over again. Felt like you overdid the Rolling Thunder on this one, would’ve done his third or fourth one had he nailed this one. Now get down and stay down, Rob. Loved Michaels calling to the heavens for a sign, as well as his overwhelming desperation after throwing the ref. Interesting and well done ending, seeing as how Trips took the fall, which I’m sure threw everyone off. This made Van Dam look like absolute gold, and Michaels wasn’t outdone either, but Triple H was very much overshadowed. A one-Pedigree night for The Game at Wrestlemania may cut it any other night, but yeah, he was very much an afterthought for the most part in this match. That said, a great win for Van Dam to nearly outperform Michaels AND pin Triple H on the grandest stage of them all.

Ah, real main event time starting with another very solid video package and an even better introduction with Edge coming into that ridiculous Alter Bridge entrance, really a big time feel now.

Edge taking a majority of the beating early was the right move I thought, seeing as how he’s controlled this thing from the start and Batista definitely wants his licks in on him. Finally no steel ring steps for the turnaround spot, just a nice DDT. Neckbreaker on the rope sounds brutal. Spear through the barricade is fuckin’ huge, especially when a guy as big as Batista is involved. Killer spot there. Edge-o-Matic was huge and must needed after that ridiculous spear to get Edge back into things. Saving Batista’s top rope shoulder block only for ‘Mania is a good spot, showing how far Batista is willing to push himself. Some very nice exchanges here, Edge being forced to revert to a sleeper hold is another good telling spot, as well as his subsequent missile dropkick. NO FUCKING WAY is my reaction to Edge kicking out of a Batista Bomb. Literally a throw my hands in the air moment, so not quite sure how exactly to feel about it. It raises the bar for this match significantly and makes Edge look great, just…damn. Ref bump! Robinson should be dead after that spear, btw. I’m still not sure how to feel about the chair – on one hand, it shows Edge’s ultimate frustration and ambition, yet on the other it won’t get him the gold he so desperately wants. Another finishing exchange here was effing huge with Edge’s Con-Chair-To attempt, but a sick Batista Bomb on the chair no less is really something. Thought Edge recovered WAY too quickly after that to deliver that spear, even when you wrote a good bit of time between them, it just didn’t feel like much, if any, time passed at all. Took almost three spears and three Bombs, but damnit, did it deliver. Really dramatic match here, although still felt like the Triple Threat should’ve ended it all, but I’ll take this and shut up.


With the beautiful package to end it, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Had to do this over a span of a few days, but an incredibly good job here mate. If there’s anything that made me feel like I overdid my World Ablaze any, it was because I had this thing to compete with (on that note, I’m not in any position to judge who did better ) and it pushed the hell outta me. Some final thoughts on the whole card is that I thought you could’ve fit a good bit more in between matches. Yeah, ‘mania skits aren’t the greatest, but they definitely have that aura around it that everything Wrestlemania touches has. Not even a Mae Young segment disappointed me a little. Everything was fantastic, although there were some times where it did feel a bit underwhelming, but that probably has more to do with many of us having been spoiled by the multiple ‘manias of Wolfy many times before. That said, you really stepped everything up to tell great stories, and I found one interesting thing about this ‘mania in that virtually nothing was ended tonight. Only the two title changes might end those feuds, but everything else certainly has new life to continue every angle with plenty of gusto. If there’s anything else, I’m sure I mentioned it in the ramble above, but again, fantastic job with everything and most thorough congratulations on not just getting to, but writing a very quality Wrestlemania here in the Wrestling Forum BTB Section. Welcome to the show…so overall, Kirby was very much in awe and very much approved, no matter how many times you broke his widdle heart
__________________


DO A LITTLE DANCE; MAKE A LITTLE LOVE

GET CUTE TONIGHT


AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair
.:Origins & Endings NOW POSTED!!:.
619IDH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 10:07 AM   #218 (permalink)
IT'S YERSEL!!
 
Wolf Beast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Six inches from a computer screen
Posts: 5,323
Wolf Beast has posts worth readingWolf Beast has posts worth readingWolf Beast has posts worth readingWolf Beast has posts worth readingWolf Beast has posts worth readingWolf Beast has posts worth readingWolf Beast has posts worth readingWolf Beast has posts worth readingWolf Beast has posts worth readingWolf Beast has posts worth readingWolf Beast has posts worth reading
Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Been working on this for weeks. First feedback I’ve given in the thread, and it’s a good time to start…

I don’t want to start off on a negative … but as I’m doing this piece of feedback in chronological order, I’m afraid I have to - but it’s minor {personal preference} criticism anyway. I know you would’ve wanted to put your own spin on WM 23 from Detroit, and for the most part you have, but one area that personally I didn’t think needed to be tinkered with was Aretha Franklin opening the show. With it being the twenty year anniversary of WM from Pontiac, it was fitting for Franklin to once again sing America The Beautiful, and would‘ve been a nice touch to this show too. Anyway, I’ve wasted a paragraph on the signing of a song…

As for the opening video, it felt poignant, touching on WM III and it’s twenty year anniversary, and it segued well into the superstars of today and ‘what they’d give’ in order to achieve greatness on THIS show. An opening video worthy of the Granddaddy of ‘em all.

Excellent choice for an opener (and not just because I predicted it) with two well above average workers, two guys the fans are into, and above all else - a feel good, crowd pleasing win to get the show off on the right note. The match had plenty of excitement with the run ins from the Little Bastard, the long chinlock to get the fans behind Hardy for the comeback, and I particularly liked Matts counter of a pinning combination out of Finlays Rolling Hills. Was also great to see The Little Bastard finally get his comeuppance - and means a lot more to have it happen at WrestleMania of all places - whilst you had a very believable false finish with Finlays shillelagh shot. In the end though, Hardy winning was the wise choice - starts the show off with a fan friendly win, and it’s about time he had his shot at a big run.

On one hand, Vince becoming the new special guest ref seems a bit of a letdown, yet, on the other, it’s a bit late in the day for a major twist like (as I’m sure I read someone predict) Bischoff or Foley etc. Certainly stacks the deck completely against Cena, but it’s also a perfect set up for Austin to save the day later on.

The Intercontinental title match was all about one thing - the build had been all centred around the impending heel turn of Torrie - and it came as expected. Glad that the match didn’t drag too long, as - for me - it was the match I was least excited about, but it was still a good effort for what it was. The finish itself was well done and original, using Carlitos own gimmick against him. The heel turn from Torrie should also serve to give this feud more legs in the coming months, and will hopefully help to establish Dykstra as the upcoming star he had the potential to be back in the day.

Little time wasted in the MITB match was there?? The right way to do those kind of matches if you ask me - straight into the juicy action. It seemed like everyone got to get in all their big high risk spots - but the German off the ladder from Benoit to Nitro was the SICKEST of the lot by a distance. Have to say, Hardy came out of this one as the star of the show, being a part of the biggest moments in the match; the Swanton onto everyone, Twist of Fate off the ladder and the Swanton off the ladder - both on Orton too. I could be mistaken, but I don’t remember reading Orton hitting an RKO at any point during the match, or Punk hitting the GTS which I found surprising and a little disappointing, considering the reactions either move gets from a crowd. Again though, I might have missed it - if I did, my bad.

The use of Masters helped the match too, adding another body to be played with amongst the carnage. I guess Dinsmore, Kelly and Melina had to become involved ay some point too, and with Punk so close to winning before being distracted by the commotion on the outside. Finish was bittersweet, with Benoit on the cusp of victory before having it snatched away (for the second time in MITB matches) right at the death. Orton was a smart enough choice to take the briefcase in the end - it’s easy to forget he was still at this point only a one time champion, and a very brief one at that, having lost a TONNE of momentum after it. Should be interesting to see how long it takes for him to cash in. I’m also wondering if this will be the last of Benoit in the thread, or if you’ll run a retirement angle in the coming months.

Good placement of the WrestleMania week video, right after the chaotic MITB ladder match, to give the fans a chance to catch their breath in the arena, and a nice segue into getting a look at all three men involved in the WWE Title match later, and their differing preparations. Especially liked the sight of HBK being him praying.

Tough spot for the CW title match, following the MITB match, but having said that, this is a CW title match that people DO have a vested interest in. I was a bit 50/50 on having Danielson talk last week on Smackdown, but I guess in the end, the guy had to open his mouth sooner or later, and it should open doors more in the future for him to partake in angles. Anyway, the action felt very true to Danielson - very hard hitting, physical and believable. And with the challenger dominating much of the proceedings, I had a feeling it wouldn’t end well for him on this night. Helms definitely came out looking second best for the best part of the match, really only enjoying prolonged dominance with his work on Danielsons shoulder. Given the finish, it’s a sure thing that Helms record breaking title reign is on borrowed time, and it WILL be Bryan that eventually ends it - surely come Judgment Day??

Really enjoyed the Foley interview which led into his showdown with Edge. Acknowledging the past - and past WrestleManias - is always a hit for me personally, so to see you giving a nod to last years show stealing Hardcore Match was lovely to see, with Edge moving onto a bigger match this year. One thing that hit me during this segment - Edge is still undefeated at WrestleMania at this point. Maybe missed a trick during the build up not to touch on that little fact??

Splendid job with the video package for the Womens title match - in fact, I’ll take the moment to say it now; splendid job with ALL the video packages on this show. Recapped all the feuds nicely, and it really makes this match in particular feel that much more important - arguably the most important a womens title match as there ever has been at a big show like WrestleMania.

Makes sense to kick the match off right into a dogfight, given the back story going into it. Wouldn’t have fit if it started out in a traditional sense, and I liked how it was noted during the entrance that Mickie was in a different mood, and her aggressive start backed it up. Surprised just how dominant Mickie was during the opening salvo, given the size and dominance Beth portrays. It took her quite a while to get a grip on proceedings - longer than I expected. However, her period of control was long and indeed dominant, and it done a good job of showing both Beths freakish power and strength (for a lady), while also putting over Mickies will and determination to survive the onslaught.

In the end, it kinda followed a predictable path of hot face start, heel takes over and dominates, then the face makes a comeback, but that doesn’t mean the match wasn’t booked well - it just maybe could’ve done with something different in the middle to spice things up. Must say though; the finishing sequence was nice - and unexpected. I honestly felt that after the Long Kiss Goodnight failed that Beth would then go on to win, but the last ditch counter out of the BVD was a nice shock, and a surprise retention for Mickie. Thought Beth walking out with the belt would be a lock, but it would appear she’ll have to wait just a little bit longer…

Interesting to see quite a bit being made out of Londons recent knee injuries during the entrances, and makes sense for Kendrick to open the match for them. Honestly, given the fact it’s the least built up match of the night, I fully expected it to be a ‘buffer’ match between either two main events, or to come after MITB to cool the audience down. With so little riding on the outcome, it also felt a little flat coming into the middle portion of the show, even though there was plenty of athleticism and eye catching spots from four tremendous performers, such as the inventive (I don’t remember seeing it before) Kendrick hip toss to London onto Shelton. WGTT say they are the best, and it would’ve been stupid for them to concentrate on anything other than the knee of London to live up to that moniker. Effective into building some heat into a hot tag, and while the ‘ol fashioned ‘ref didn’t see the hot tag’ spot isn’t new - it’s DAMN effective.

Ideally, I would’ve liked to see WGTT dominate London a little longer than they did after the near tag, but, being pushed for time on a big show, and this match having little to no build or major importance, it’s forgivable to not over extend the beat down, and get to the finishing sequence. The near falls and false finishes in the closing stretch was pieced together nicely, proving to be a great advertisement for the burgeoning tag divisions and what should follow in the coming months on Raw and Smackdown. Proof positive that tag team wrestling CAN be an exciting tool in a show - and how much more exciting will the tag matches be when there is heat in the feuds coming into PPV events?? Future looks good. Saying that, although it’s WrestleMania, and people tend to want to see matches end cleanly, I think this match - given the lack of anticipation or rivalry - could’ve benefited from a run in from the New Breed to screw over L&K and help kick start that particular feud, and also give the New Breed a WM sized rub. The clean win for WGTT puts them over solidly, and L&K also have an out with Londons pre existing knee problem. Nice match up in the end.

For me personally, the Flair - Kennedy match was the one I was most into during the build up coming into Mania, and it’s the one I wanted to read the most for sure. Just like the womens title match, it made perfect sense for this to open up as an all out brawl, because there’s no way Flair would idly stand by and let Kennedy go through his intro schtick. Quite pleased that my prediction of blood flow came up trumps - and very early on too!! The intensity from Flair was believable and expected, walking a thin line of nearly getting a DQ so much is his hatred for the loudmouth. I thought it would’ve been Flairs emotions clouding his judgment that would’ve led to Kennedy taking control, but alas, it didn’t quite pan out that way. No WOOO from Kennedy after hitting the chop?? I guess he learned his lesson after the ill timed strut earlier, ha ha. The tumble out of the ring sounded heavy for a guy of Flairs condition to be taking imo. I can imagine the spot of him hitting the buckle upside down, but the fall to the floor sounds risky for a man of that age … although he is a crazy old bastard, so it’s not exactly unbelievable. Obviously Flair was a little jealous of Kennedys blade job Plenty of claret flowing now. I probably would’ve enjoyed Kennedys dissection of Flairs knee a little more if the previous match hadn’t had such a similar match structure. Two consecutive matches dominated by knee work in the middle hurt this contest a little bit in my eyes, although I liked the idea behind it, with Kennedy out-Flairing Flair. Going to the Figure Four especially adds salt to the wound of Flair, and personally, I would’ve loved the match to end with that move - whether by submission or passing out. Would’ve made for UNGODLY heat for Kennedy to beat Flair with the F4LL.

Still though, there was a lot more of a story to tell in this one, and you portrayed Flairs comeback well - making it look like a really gutsy display from the veteran to make a comeback after the punishment he’s took from the younger man. I simply couldn’t believe that Flair KICKED OUT of the Green Bay Plunge. Shocking kick out, personally - THAT should’ve finished him IMO. Also didn’t like how quickly Flair was back up after the kick out, and although he made his comeback with the rather illegal testicular claw, it just felt like he recovered way too fast. Kennedy making the ropes from the Figure Four pretty much makes it the death knell for Natich in this match. Just about took everything in the end for Kennedy to finish the legend, and I especially liked the writing in the final paragraph, of Kennedy expressing his disbelief to Flair, and the old warrior responding with a bit of a fuck you slap. I think the Plunge should’ve finished it, and the Mic Check should’ve been a near fall, personally, with the Plunge (in my eyes) being a much more deadly move. However, the important thing is that the right man won, and won in the correct fashion. Certainly a star affirming victory for Kennedy, and the sky is surely the limit for him now over on Smackdown. He can ride this win all the way to the title IMO, and that might be his next destination, as I think this feud is done, with Kennedy leaving no doubt as to who was the better man in the end. Great brawl, and the emotions and animosity were put over tremendously. Despite the way he left the ring, I don’t think Flair will bow out like this. He might disappear for a while, but I think he has one match/run left in the tank, before calling it quits.

Over the weeks, you did a fantastic job of putting together the videos for the various Hall of Famers. A lot more work than you had to do, putting the rest of us to shame really in that department. Another nice package, and a sterling line up for the Hall of Fame in ‘07.

Now then, ‘Streak vs. Streak’. Quite the dream match that unfortunately we’ll never get to see. Normally, a big man vs. big man match would be a bitch to write, but the level of talent and athleticism between Taker and Umaga would surely make this more of a pleasure to write than a struggle. Liked the opening sequence of Taker having to be the elusive one, showing the fear/respect he has for Umaga, picking his shots rather than steaming in. Looks good for Umaga to get the upper hand early on too, taking Taker off his feet with the body block. Absolute knockdown drag out fight after that early easing in period, like two heavyweights going toe to toe, with the action depicting the two men as EQUAL - which is huge for anyone to do against Undertaker. The match did seem to take on a bit of a Terminator vs. Terminator turn, with big kick outs from both men off big offensive moves, and Umaga getting right back up from the (my favourite Taker move BTW) running DDT, but that’s okay, given the personalities of both men involved. I really dug fact that Umaga was able to overpower Takers goozle, but I would’ve preferred the Banzai Drops to be used as a potential false finish rather than a throwaway ‘beatdown’ move when Umaga delivered them. It could - and should - be a potential finisher for him as an alternative to the Spike.

The main thing I noticed from this match compared to the last few on the show was the pattern, and the switch from just being face controls early, heel takes over, face makes comeback, go to the finish, to a more back and forth barnburner REALLY helped make this an enjoyable brawl. The tussle for supremacy on the outside was terrific, with both men trying to up the ante, and the other consistently fighting back with something better was a great sequence, and the reversal out of the Chokeslam to counter into the Samoan Drop through the table was splendid. The match was obviously never ending on a count out - but as WM25 proved - the near count out works beautifully in a Taker Mania match with the streak on the line. I could imagine the fans being really into that moment. Boy oh boy, this thing didn’t slow down - as I mentioned earlier - it was like two heavyweight sluggers throwing everything they had into everything they did, with the opponent consistently surviving the onslaught from the other guy. Superb moment with the cigar snap and the simultaneously sit up - THAT would get the fans rocking. It’s slightly disappointing how much the Last Ride has been devalued over the years - not just by you BTW, I’m guilty, so are others, but I’m sure the WWE did it first - it’s such a deadly power bomb that NO ONE should ever kick out of it, but even still, Umaga being able to survive it just shows how freakish the dude is.

Add to that the kick out from the Chokeslam, and you KNOW that this is how a Streak vs. Streak match should be done - where it seems NOTHING can finish either guy. Umaga kicking out of the Chokeslam right after the Last Ride works -BUT- only for Umaga. Had it been say a Kurt Angle or Shawn Michaels or Triple H it would’ve been overkill. For a freak like Umaga, it’s just about acceptable. If I’m honest, I thought we might’ve seen a bit more of AAE and Bearer in the final stretch, with some sort of sequence where AAE would put Umagas foot on the rope or something, then Bearer would attack Estrada, which would distract Taker and allow Umaga to strike with something to lead into a false finish, even just to switch things up. As it was though, it’s hard to criticise; Taker and Umaga traded big blow after big blow, taking everything the other had to offer, and the fact they both kicked out of their primary finishers (Spike and Tombstone) puts an exclamation point on why both men have such incredible streaks. The finishing counters added great drama, with both men attempting Tombstones, but rightfully, Taker executed it in the end, and kept his streak alive. Some very believable near falls in the closing moments, and a nice job in creating drama around ‘The Streak’ even though the outcome looked to be rather predictable. Umaga, despite the loss, loses little in such a 50/50 fight - and I suspect coming out of this event, AAE will play up just how far his man pushed Taker, and that next time (and I’m sure this isn’t going to be the one and only meeting) the outcome will be different.

Gotta say (and you shouldn’t worry about it, I’m likely to be the only one that says this) but for me, the Cena vs. Lashley match was a bit of a letdown for me. The setup was nicely executed with Vince appointing himself as the referee, stacking the deck to mammoth levels against Cena, and Joey Styles getting a big WrestleMania moment by being allowed to come back was a nice touch. The match itself was good, and definitely incorporated all the intertwining feuds, allowing Styles another big, feel good moment with the slap to Lashley, whilst also showcasing the animosity between Cena and Vince with Cena goading the chairman and ‘daring’ him to DQ him, knowing Vince hates him that much, he wouldn’t dare. Also, the lack of admonishment for some questionable things done by Lashley, followed by quick counts adds to the likelihood of a screw job on Cena. I thought you done an excellent job of highlighting the numbers game, with Cena always falling victim to it just as he would get a foothold on the competition.

One of the things that kind of irked me was the slow count when Cena covered Lashley. Obviously, it’s a tough spot to be in, as you want to add drama to the match, therefore Cena HAS to go for covers, but with Vince clearly not wanting him to win, he wouldn’t want to count Lashleys shoulders down. It makes Lashley look weak though, kicking out at a LONG two count from a suplex. I think a better way around it might’ve been for Vince to just flat out refuse to make the cover, and keep Lashley looking strong, and as it was the only cover Cena made before the introduction of Austin, it would’ve worked just fine imo. After that spot though, I really thought the pace and intensity of the match turned up a notch or two, with Lashley really taking it to Cena. Catching Cena coming off the top and nailing the fall away to start the dominance of Bobby (with a nice distraction from Shane stopping a potential Cena fight back during that period) was a great spot too.

While the McMahon influence was always going to be a major factor in the match, I’m glad you allowed a period for Cena and Lashley to duke it out without any interference (although the McMahons were rightly still involved by encouraging, rather than interfering) and the sequence in the STFU was superb, and portrayed the McMahons desperation beautifully. And, while I earlier criticised the awkward slow count for Cena, the counts for Lashley to gain believable near falls yet not let Cena look like superman were well done. McMahon being out of position after the Spear, and the slow count from the Dominator due to getting caught up and wanting to milk the moment helped to make Cena NOT look like the superhuman figure he is often made out to be. I know it’s been done in the past, but I still got a kick out of Vince being ‘distracted’ by Shane, and ‘missing’ Lashley tap out to the STFU. And, just as it seems it’s all over for Cena … Glass Shatters, and Detroit comes unglued!! It was always going to go down this way, but there’s nothing wrong with predictability if it’s something that works. Glad the arrival of Austin led to the finish, and things didn’t just settle down before going into a finish. The finish worked nicely with Austin getting to look good by saving the day and getting rid of Vince and Shane, while Cena got to take care of Lashley himself to win the match.

Now, when I said about the match being a bit of a disappointment, it was the aftermath that made things disappointing for me. Austin and Cena sharing a beer was just a little … anticlimactic for my liking. Maybe it’s down to the fact that in my predictions, I got this outlandish idea that you’d plant the seeds for Cena vs. Austin @ WM24, so the basic ‘passing of the torch’ moment didn’t quite match the expectations I had for the aftermath. Putting aside what I wanted to see, the respect for each other was a nice way to wrap things up, and solidify Cena as the man of the era.

Now … THIS is a surprise. I fully expected the triple threat to close the show, with the feel good RVD win … but this placement could throw a spanner in the works. One of the things I always look out for in triple threats is how the match starts, as I personally find it quite tricky to write normally with a third wheel involved. This one wasn’t awkward at all though, and it made sense for Trips and RVD to want HBK, and to go through each other to get to him. Right from the get go, RVD is being portrayed as the hungriest, with the writing on his offence really giving an air of intensity to him. WOW - I can tell you’re going all out in this one from the get go, with the teased Pedigree at the announce table, and THEN a ‘vintage’ HBK moonsault. What a great sequence. I was really impressed that you managed to keep all three men involved together for such a long period in the beginning, and even once the usual two in, one out formula began, it was never for a long period - which again was impressive to see, as the long periods of one guy being out of the ring while the other two battle is usually a negative point that’s made about multiple man match ups. Sweet Chin Music also being teased here on both guys furthers my thinking that this one is going to be an all out sixth gear match with no brakes, as all three have teased - but been unable to execute - their finishing moves.

Another super sequence with Trips electric chair to RVD and HBK hitting another moonsault to both guys. Not sure about Michaels hitting two moonsaults in the match, but you get a pass this time due to the innovation of the spot, and the fact that his one happened in the ring. SCM city!! The out of nowhere ones are always the best, but it might’ve been nice to detail some sort of disappointment from Michaels as Van Dam fell out of the ring. One thing I didn’t like was how quickly RVD recovered from the super kick, being able to pull HHH from the ring, and by the end of the next paragraph he was just about to hit the 5*. Seemed a bit too much too soon after eating SCM. Having your finisher denied twice before hitting it seems to be the running theme here … and HOLY SHIT - the 5* through the table = EPIC WrestleMania moment. Felt like typical Triple H to sneak in after such a big spot and take over, but the Pedigree didn’t feel like it would be enough to end the match - it would’ve been anticlimactic at this stage. Again, the recovery time seemed off, with HBK back in play not too long after going through the table. An extended period of RVD vs. HHH might’ve been a good idea at that point, and slow things down momentarily before the big finish. Van Dam kicking out of BOTH the Pedigree and SCM?? That’s a big middle finger to the Kliq . And man, that finish was electric - bringing in the belt, and getting a chance for RVD to hit a Van Daminator was tremendous, as was the SCM-Pedigree sequence before RVD crashes the party … and what a way to hit the mountain top!!! Match of the night without a doubt, and a great feel good finish for the Michigan native … but why didn’t this one close the show??

I can only assume you wanted to stick to the tradition of the Rumble winner main eventing WrestleMania … but IMO, I think this was a mistake. I simply cant see Edge vs. Batista topping the triple threat, and to me, it came off as a bit of an anticlimax, with Batista retaining the title closing WM. Not quite the moment that RVD winning the title in his home state is, and would’ve been an awesome finish to the show with the best match of the night.

Seeing the big intro for Edge made me stop to think for a second; this was the only ‘major’ entrance for the entire show. At WrestleMania, it adds to the occasion for some more ‘special’ entrances, and while not imperative, it’s something that this occasion lacked. A big entrance for Cena and maybe one of the guys in the triple threat would’ve been a good touch to add during the show. Batista being in charge in the early going was the right way to start - he’s the one that’s been desperate for a piece of Edge lately. You done a good job of keeping an extended beat down interesting and engaging during that early sequence before the turnaround in Edges favour. And right from the moment he started to take charge, the intensity was clear to see from Edge, using the ropes, knocking Batista out of the ring, sending him into the announce table, using the ring post - just about everything around him to damage The Animal. WHOA!!! I didn’t expect to see a spot as big as a Spear through the barrier in this one - but you brought it, and brought it big!! The thing I liked most about the spot though was the tease just beforehand, as once I read that, I honestly thought we wouldn’t see it happen. Nice bait and switch and delivery on that one.

It struck me as odd though that they took as long as each other to recover. The Spear should’ve been enough to put Edge in the drivers seat for a longer period, recovering quicker than Batista and taking him apart from there, rather than battling toe to toe in the ring, and going back and forth. It was nice to see Batista bust out the (WM only) shoulder off the top, and a crowd friendly ten punch in the corner, with Edge eventually coming back into it. At this stage, I really think we need to see a extended period of control for Edge as his offence has come in fits and spurts throughout the match up. Sleeper hold was a nice transition, and it’s another one that always gets a crowd riled up nicely to get the face back into it. It was good to see that extended period of control for Edge that I had previously mentioned, and the spinning slam to counter Edges spear was a great turning point move IMO to end the dominance of Edge. Some great intensity from Batista in his comeback, but the last ditch Edgecution to stop the Bomb was immense, and a great false finish, with the closeness indicated by the 3 then NO. But, that near fall was well and truly outdone by the next one … it just felt like the end, with Edge missing the spear and Batista NAILING the Batista Bomb … but Edge … KICKED OUT!?

Something I don’t ever recall happening, and instantly, I thought back to real life WM25, and Michaels kicking out of the Tombstone. I genuinely think that is the same kind of reaction that kick out would’ve got in the arena. And probably the Spear moments after it might’ve got something similar, as it this point, all the big moves have been busted out - any finisher could finish the match for sure. Another big kick out of a finisher means it’ll take something special to finish this one for sure. Not sure what the point was in Edge bringing the chair in to get himself disqualified … seemed odd, considering there were other ways to get to that point, by having the ref bump first, THEN have Edge go after the chair. Big Dave getting busted open was unexpected, but I always thought he’d avoid the Con-Chair-To, although I DIDN’T expect a Batista Bomb on the chair. For a moment, I thought that it would be the finish, before remembering; no referee. Again, like the triple threat, the recovery times were off IMO. Edge got up way too fast for my liking after the Batista Bomb on the chair to hit the Spear … and how sneaky is Coach!? LOL. That would’ve been a shitty way to close the show. The leapfrog from Batista would be awesome, and finally he finishes Edge off with ANOTHER Batista Bomb. While closing the show with an anticlimactic retention by Batista, I cant deny that this match just about pipped the triple threat as MOTN for my money. I certainly did NOT expect to say that at the beginning of the match. You delivered big time with this main event, and ultimately, I guess you done the right thing in ending with this, despite my dislike for the anticlimactic closing scenes with Batista celebrating his win.

Overall, give yourself a pat on the back. This was a brilliant job. I must also commend you on not going overboard with match lengths etc, where most people (me included) go too overboard and have five or six twenty minute plus matches on a PPV, you’ve managed to keep things tight, and didn’t lose any momentum because the matches weren’t ‘epic’ in terms of length. Not one bad match on the show, and despite some personal disappointments in terms of things not happening as I would’ve liked to see them turn out, everything delivered. One thing that was missing perhaps was a big 'HOLY SHIT' moment like a major heel or face turn (Torries turn wasnt 'huge' per se) or a shocking return ... but I guess you cant force these things, or have someone turn or comeback for the sake of it. Regardless, I want to close this out by simply saying well done on your first WrestleMania, and here’s to the next one

__________________
Being The Booker
Wolf Beast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 08:54 AM   #219 (permalink)
Step Up And Play...
 
iMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Scotland
Posts: 3,376
iMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a pushiMac is getting a push
Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Miss me? No? Douchebags. Anyway, it's nice to be back. Thank you all for the above feedback for WrestleMania. It was a fun show to write, and I'm glad that despite the odd personal preference, people seemed to enjoy it. Anyway, a lot's happened since I've been away, the biggest thing being that I finally finished university. Yay for me. Anyway, hopefully I can do some solid writing over the summer and we'll make it to Backlash. I've already written the next Raw, and the majority of SmackDown is in the books too. I'll wait to finish it before I post a Raw preview. But for now, here's some news and notes to get the thread going again.


*****

~Post WrestleMania News, Notes and Spoilers~

Less than 24 hours removed from WrestleMania XXIII, the feeling within the company is one of general positivity, with many feeling that the event was a relative success. One major surprise was at how well received the main event featuring Batista and Edge went over with the live crowd. Although there was clamouring within the creative team to give the WWE Championship Triple Threat Match the main event slot, giving Rob Van Dam a home state win in the process, the strong pull of tradition in having the Royal Rumble winner compete in the main event won out, with Batista and Edge thankfully delivering. The feud between the two is almost certainly set to continue, with the ref bump spot inserted into the match specifically to provide a sense of controversy to the finish, giving a seamless reason for the story to continue.

With Rob Van Dam now the WWE Champion, the creative team are now charged with dreaming up potential future opponents for Van Dam to main event pay per views against. Indeed, names such as John Cena, Bobby Lashley and Triple H are already under consideration. One name that is strongly being considered is that of Shawn Michaels, especially given Michaels' display at WrestleMania. A Van Dam/Michaels feud is a strong case to headline Raw over the summer months, especially with the creative nature of Michaels' heel turn and character, and the fact that the pair have never worked a program together before.

The SmackDown main event scene is set to heat up over the next few months, with Mr. Kennedy, The Undertaker and Umaga all delivering sterling performances during WrestleMania. Despite his defeat to The Undertaker, Umaga has impressed many backstage, with a title run at some point during 2007 almost a guarantee. Creative have been charged with the task of keeping alive the aura of invincibility that surrounds Umaga, despite the fact that his undefeated streak has ended. With plans already in place for a rematch between the two, it's possible that Undertaker could step away for a month or so to allow him to recharge the batteries before appearing full time over the summer. As for Kennedy, he is set to become a number one priority over the next few months, with even talk of making him the number two face on the brand behind Batista, with the hope that the character could develop and become the star of the blue brand.

The rumours regarding Chris Benoit appear to be true, that he is indeed scheduled to hang up the boots this summer. Benoit has been complaining of neck pain for a while now, and requested one last main event run before bowing out. It has already been rumoured that if Edge ever takes the title away from Batista, that he could be credited as the man to end Benoit's career. Either way, expect a strong push for Benoit in the next few weeks, leading to himself becoming involved in the World Heavyweight Championship situation.

Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson look set to dominate the midcard on Raw for the next few months, as Dykstra is a youngster viewed with real star potential. By teaming him up with Wilson, creative are reportedly hoping to spark some of the young, arrogant persona that helped establish Shawn Michaels early in his singles career, with Torrie playing the role of Sensational Sherry. Although there are certainly no plans for Dykstra to play any sort of toyboy role, he is certainly one to keep an eye on as we head towards SummerSlam.

Likewise can be said for Matt Hardy, with everyone backstage delighted to see him rewarded for his years of service to the company. After a rough few years, many people backstage have noted that Hardy has the old fire back, and he looks set for a long run as United States Champion.

The John Cena/Bobby Lashley/Mr. McMahon feud is set to continue for the next few months at least, with Cena set to continue to battle the odds against the McMahon Family and Lashley. One potential dream match is already being looked at for WrestleMania XXIV, with the preparations for that match set to come from the current Cena/McMahon feud. Who Cena could be scheduled to face is a closely guarded secret right now, but it is at least encouraging to hear that plans are already at an advanced stage for next year's big show.

One surprise decision came during the Cruiserweight Championship Match, where Gregory Helms retained the title over Bryan Danielson. Although the plan is very much still in favour of Danielson being the man to end Helms' epic title reign, Vince McMahon himself felt that the magnitude of a Danielson victory would have been lost in the midcard shuffle of WrestleMania. Indeed, both men have apparently already been made aware that the pair will meet again on pay per view for the gold, most likely at Judgment Day, where the two will be given ample time to create a masterpiece that will provide a fitting end to Helms' reign while also giving Danielson's reign a great start.

Thankfully all involved in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match came through it safely, aside from the usual bumps and bruises associated with the annual WrestleMania stunt match. The decision to have Randy Orton grab the briefcase stems from the desire to have the briefcase back in the hands of a heel after Rob Van Dam held it during 2006. Orton is set to be given plenty of feuds to keep him relative, with the most obvious one being Jeff Hardy for now. There is a strong sense of determination to promote Orton and have his cash in come out of nowhere, which will require his attentions to be elsewhere.

An addition to the WWE roster was discovered over the weekend, as Ring of Honor's Claudio Castagnoli was seen backstage at Ford Field. Castagnoli was rumoured to have signed a WWE contract back in November, 2006. However, it was then reported that the contract had been torn up due to legal reasons surrounding Castagnoli's visa. However, the news coming out of Ford Field over the weekend is that those visa issues have been cleared up and Castagnoli has now signed on the dotted line, inking a contract a few weeks ago. Castagnoli has been working out down in OVW, and will do so for at least another month or so before being brought up to the main roster.

One man who won't be making an appearance anytime soon is Ric Flair. Having put over Mr. Kennedy during their match, Flair has been in talks with Vince McMahon regarding taking a month or so off. It is not believed to be for health reasons, rather a desire from both men to ensure that Flair's character stays fresh in the eyes of the fans. Flair is expected to be away from Raw until at least after Backlash, where upon his return he is set to feature heavily in the Raw upper card.

And finally, the upcoming pay per view schedule has been released, with one huge surprise jumping out at everybody. Since buying the rights to WCW six years, Vince McMahon has apparently been waiting for the right time to unleash his version of the famed War Games concept, and it appears that finally now in 2007, we're going to see what the WWE can do with the gimmick match. It will certainly be interesting to see how creative introduce the War Games concept, as previous matches such as the Elimination Chamber or the Money in the Bank Ladder Match have all had a storyline reason for their introduction.


Monday Night Raw Presents;
WWE BACKLASH

April 29th, 2007
FedEx Forum; Memphis, Tennessee


Friday Night SmackDown Presents;
WWE JUDGMENT DAY

May 20th, 2007
iPayOne Center; San Diego, California


Raw and SmackDown Present;
WWE SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT - KING OF THE RING SPECIAL

June 2nd, 2007
TD Banknorth Garden; Boston, Massachusetts


Monday Night Raw Presents;
WWE WAR GAMES

June 17th, 2007
Target Center; Minneapolis, Minnesota


Monday Night Raw Presents;
MONDAY NIGHT RAW 3-HOUR SPECIAL - 2007 WWE DRAFT LOTTERY
June 25th, 2007
Philips Arena; Atlanta, Georgia

Friday Night SmackDown Presents;
WWE GREAT AMERICAN BASH

July 15th, 2007
Verizon Center; Washington, D.C.


Raw and SmackDown Present;
WWE SUMMERSLAM

August 19th, 2007
American Airlines Center; Dallas, Texas


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



iMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 07:38 AM   #220 (permalink)
Getting ignored by SCOTT STEINER
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 500
cp954 cp954 cp954 cp954 cp954 cp954
Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Great to see this back up and running. News and notes were a nice little taster of what's to come and you have me intrigued already with several things, namely the Cena/McMahon rivalry and regarding next year's Mania already!

PPV schedule is sweet. King of the Ring special as well as War Games will be a real treat and the draft is always exciting, looking very much forward to it all.
cp954 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


VerticalSports
Baseball Forum Golf Forum Boxing Forum Snowmobile Forum
Basketball Forum Soccer Forum MMA Forum PWC Forum
Football Forum Cricket Forum Wrestling Forum ATV Forum
Hockey Forum Volleyball Forum Paintball Forum Snowboarding Forum
Tennis Forum Rugby Forums Lacrosse Forum Skiing Forums
Copyright (C) Verticalscope Inc Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2
Powered by vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2009 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited.
vBCredits v1.4 Copyright ©2007, PixelFX Studios