~Friday Night SmackDown~
April 6th, 2007
Allen County Memorial Coliseum
Fort Wayne, Indiana
"You ain’t gonna get a bigger statement than that!"
No WrestleMania recap video here, as we've already seen that on Raw. Instead, we see the usual SmackDown opening video, before we head into the arena for an explosion of pyro as the camera scans the raucous crowd on hand tonight. After seeing the sights and hearing the sounds, we soon hear from our announce team...
WrestleMania XXIII was one of the most historic nights in WWE history, an event for the ages like no other! But tonight, on Friday Night SmackDown, the fallout from Ford Field is about to be felt! Hello everyone, I’m Michael Cole, alongside me are my broadcast colleagues John Bradshaw Layfield and Tazz, coming to you from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Guys, it was five nights ago that we had the privilege to call WrestleMania XXIII, and I’m still reeling from the grandeur of it all!
You and me both, Cole. It was a helluva show, and what a way we finished it off. The World Heavyweight Championship up for grabs, Batista and Edge one on one, and it was ‘The Animal’ who left Ford Field the champion.
Absolutely right, Batista retained the title against Edge in great match up. But so much of the SmackDown landscape changed during the event. We’ve got a new United States Champion in Matt Hardy after he beat Finlay to crown the biggest achievement in his career to date. Or what about The Undertaker’s victory over Umaga? The WrestleMania streak lives, Umaga’s undefeated streak is at an end!
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Aw never mind all that, let’s talk about Mr. Kennedy and his huge
win over Ric Flair! Kennedy has arrived, he established himself as the man around here, and we might never see Ol’ Naitch’ ever again! Or how ‘bout Gregory Helms? He told ya’ he was the best cruiserweight in the world, and when he beat Bryan Danielson last Sunday, he proved it once and for all! And don’t even get me started on those two punks London and Kendrick. They oughta be embarrassed and ashamed o’ themselves. They let this entire brand down at WrestleMania, and I demand they come out here and give us all a public apology!
Well certainly there were some controversial moments during WrestleMania last Sunday, that can’t be denied. And if you wanna talk about controversy, what about the situation that unfolded during the World Heavyweight Championship Match? Batista had just hit the Batista Bomb-
John Bradshaw Layfield:
On a steel chair-
That Edge brought into the ring.
And with referee Charles Robinson down, there was nobody to make the three count on Edge. Fast forward to just after Edge hit Batista with the spear and went for the cover, and our Interim General Manager, Jonathan Coachman, sent a second referee down to the ring. It was a controversial moment, and the question is, why did ‘Coach’ not send a ref down to the ring when Batista had Edge beat?
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Maybe he couldn’t find one? How the hell are we went to know!? And anyway, why don’t you discuss the real controversy here? Why isn’t Edge World Champion right now? He had Batista down, and it’s only ‘cause Mickie Henson is so damn outta shape that Batista’s still the champion.
Well I’m sure at some point tonight we’re gonna hear from both men involved-
”YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME…”
It seems we’re not going to have to wait to hear from one of the men involved, as a strong outpouring of heat greets the arrival of Edge
into the building. Dressed in jeans and a black leather jacket, Edge has a seriously pissed off look on his face as he wastes no time in walking down the aisle and entering the ring…
Well… here comes the man who some would say was unlucky to not leave Ford Field the World Heavyweight Champion. Others would say he should have been disqualified, while others would point out he should have been defeated long before the three count actually took place. Either way, it was a tremendous effort from Edge at WrestleMania XXIII, but ultimately, ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ came up short against ‘The Animal’.
Credit where credit’s due, Edge brought his A-Game to Detroit last Sunday. We all know he’s ‘The Ultimate Opportunist’, and he tried every trick in the book, but it just wasn’t enough to get past Batista.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
I can’t believe you two. The man had the title won, he had Batista down for a ten count, and it was only a fat, outta shape referee that saved that title for Batista. The man was robbed, and he oughta be out here as the new World Heavyweight Champion. And that’s a fact, Jack!
In the ring, Edge calls for a mic as his music dies down, the jeering of the crowd growing in intensity. Edge’s nostrils flare as he breaths heavily, grabbing his hair wildly, the heat from the crowd and the anger at his defeat clearly effecting him…
You… you people are booing me?
More heat, with Edge biting his lip and shaking his head in frustration…
You… you’re booin’ me… but y’know what you should be doin’ right now? You should all be singin’ my praises after I became the new
World Heavyweight Champion last Sunday, that’s what you SHOULD be doin’ right now. But you’re not. And y’know why? ‘Cause simply put…. I got screwed
The camera zooms in on Edge, who snarls at the fans…
The only thing comin’ outta my match with Batista that doesn’t have a question mark hangin’ over it, is the fact that I had Batista down, I had him beat, I had a three count on ‘im, if it wasn’t for the fact that a damn referee couldn’t drag his ass down to the ring fast enough! No doubt about it, I got screwed by the system, I got screwed by the establishment, and I got screwed by Batista!
A mix of jeers and cheers, as some fans boo Edge’s words while others enjoy the fact that by hook or by crook, Batista is still the champ…
It was WrestleMania, it was supposed to be my
night, and it woulda been if it wasn’t for the incompetent idiots in the black and white stripes! I should be champion right now! And y’know, Batista… if you’re any kinda man… if you’ve got any honour, if you’ve got any dignity… you’ll walk down to this ring right now… and you’ll hand that title over to me. ‘Cause you know damn well that I had you beat in the middle of Ford Field, I had the title in my grasp, and it got taken away from me. So if you’re any kinda champion… you’ll do the right thing… the honourable
thing… and forfeit the title… to me.
The fans fiercly boo Edge’s demands, with Edge looking up the aisle for a response, but we hear nothing but the crowd, something Edge’s facial expression seems to suggest he knew would be the case…
No? Nah… I knew it. I knew you were gutless. You kept your title Dave, congratulations. But from this day on… you’re title reign should have an asterisk next to it. ‘Cause that title, and your win at WrestleMania… are tainted
. You know it, I know it, all these idiots in the crowd know it, and you can’t deny it either. I deserve
to be champion right now.
The crowd shit all over Edge’s claim, but he presses on, ignoring them…
But…. If you’re not man enough to face up to the facts, then that brings me to my second request. Give me a rematch… tonight
Edge’s latest comment draws a pop from the Fort Wayne fans, excited by the prospect of a WrestleMania rematch tonight…
C’mon Dave, show some guts, show some intestinal fortitude, show you’re not afraid ‘cause you know you can’t beat me fair and square! Gimme another shot! Prove that-
A surprised pop breaks out as it’s Chris Benoit
who answers Edge’s call. Benoit strides down the aisle in his wrestling gear and a t-shirt, clearly ready for a fight right now. Edge throws up his hands in frustration, franticly running a hand through his hair, clearly not getting the response he was looking for…
Wow. Well… that’s clearly not Batista. That’s Chris Benoit, the man who came so close to grabbing the Money in the Bank briefcase last Sunday. ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ has talked about how he wanted to get back in the title hunt, and it looks like Benoit’s not gonna waste any time.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Well he can just step to the back o’ the line. Edge has a legitimate claim to a rematch, a rematch he shouldn’t even need to have. He should be champion right now, and if Benoit wants a shot at the gold, he’ll have to wait ‘til Edge is ready to give ‘im a chance.
Benoit talked about possibly hangin’ up the boots this summer, he don’t know how much time he’s got left, and he’s out here lookin’ to make a statement. The first SmackDown after WrestleMania, and we’ve got guys steppin’ up to challenge the top guys. And I’m excited to see how it pans out!
Benoit steps through the ropes and makes a beeline for Edge, the two engaging in a tense staredown for a few seconds before Benoit brushes past Edge and calls for a mic…
Y’know Edge, I was sat back there listenin’ to you goin’ on and on, listenin’ to you complainin’, listenin’ to you pissin’ and moanin’… and I think I speak for everybody in this arena tonight when I say… you’re borin’ the hell outta us!
Edge fumes as the crowd give a massive pop of agreement…
You can talk about referees, or three counts that you never got, but the fact of the matter is, that last Sunday night, WrestleMania XXIII, Ford Field… you got beaten… by a better man.
Another pop, with Edge looking down to the mat, shaking his head in annoyance...
You talk about getting’ screwed… you’re screwin’ every one of us right now by makin’ us listen to this crap!
Edge is furious, an angry scowl now on his face, while Benoit flashes him that toothy grin of his...
I mean, I’ll give credit where it’s due. You won the Royal Rumble, Edge. That’s not an easy thing to do. I should know, I won the Royal Rumble back in 2004. But y’see Edge, unlike you, I actually went on to WrestleMania and became the World Heavyweight Champion. Unlike you… I actually got the job done.
The crowd "Oooh"'s as Edge runs a hand through his hair, showing that the comment clearly hit home...
And as far as I’m concerned, when you won the Royal Rumble, you earned one shot, and one shot only at the World Heavyweight Championship. And since you’re shot’s came and went… and there’s still no title around your waist… it’s time you stepped aside… and let a new challenger step forward.
The crowd voice their approval with a strong pop, while Edge raises his eyebrows and laughs...
Oh. Oh, and let me guess… that you should be you, right? Well, remind me Chris… how exactly did WrestleMania XXIII go for you? I mean… it’s a little fuzzy, but all I seem to remember you doin’ was fallin’ off a ladder, over and over again. You did nothin’ to impress anybody last Sunday, so what in the hell gives you the right to come out here and tell me to step aside?
Edge takes a step forward, shortening the gap between the two, with Benoit doing likewise...
What gives me the right? Nothin’ does. But y’see, that’s the difference between you and me, Edge. You think everythin’ should be handed to ya’, you take every shortcut you can find, just like a few minutes ago when you wanted Batista to just hand over the title to ya’. You don’t wanna work hard and earn anythin’. Well now I’m
out here, puttin’ my name forward, I’m lookin’ to be Batista’s next challenger, and I’m willin’ to earn it…
And again Benoit steps forward, he and Edge now practically nose-to-nose...
Even if that means I gotta go through you to get it.
Benoit steps forward, getting right in Edge’s face, the two going nose-to-nose, neither man backing down… but before there’s any physical confrontation…
A gasp breaks out in the crowd, with both Edge and Benoit turning, surprised looks on their faces as the menacing figure of Umaga
stomps out from the back, with Armando Alejandro Estrada
by his side. Umaga snarls with a wild look in his eyes, focused on the ring, leaving Estrada to trash talk the fans…
Oh my. That- that’s Umaga! ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’, the man who ran The Undertaker closer at WrestleMania than any man in history, and he’s on his way out here!
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Ha ha! This is what I came to see! We’ve got two hot heads in the ring in Edge and Benoit, two guys who look like they’re about to tear each other apart, and now this monster is throwin’ his name into the mix!
Man, this could break down in a hurry. Umaga is a smash-mouth kinda guy, and Estrada don’t exactly mince his words. And we all saw what that beast did to The Undertaker last Sunday. If he can do that to ‘The Deadman’… imagine what he can do to Edge or Benoit if they get in his face.
Umaga pounds on the steel steps then storms up them into the ring, with Estrada all smiles as he steps through the ropes. Showing no fear or intimidation, Benoit stands tall in the centre of the ring, with Edge taking a few steps back from any potential confrontation. Umaga now steps forward and squares up to Benoit, the two in each other’s faces, neither man backing away, but Estrada puts a hand on Umaga’s shoulder, calming the beast, for now…
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
Everybody listen… ha ha… to me! My name… es Armando… Alejandro… Esssssttrrraaadddaaaaa! Ha ha! And ju’ two dummies better wake up and smell the coffee, amigos! ‘Dis is not ju’re time, anymore! ‘Dis is time for a new champion. ‘Dis is time for Batista to face a real
Benoit and Umaga's eyes stay firmly fixed on each other, while Estrada now steps between the two, allowing him to address Benoit...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
Chris Benoit… jour’ time came and went a long
time ago. Ju’ may have won de Royal Rumble like ten
years ago, but now perro, ju’ are… como se dice… old news
! Ha ha!
Benoit now turns his gaze to stare at Estrada, but Estrada quickly steps away and heads towards Edge...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
And ju’ Edge… ju’ think ju’ deserve another shot at Batista? Ju’ don’t deserve nothing, idiota! Ju’ had jour chance… and ju’ failed, amigo. So ju’ need to step aside.
Edge shakes his head and shouts "No way!", but Estrada barely aknowledges it as he turns back to the centre of the ring...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
‘Cause ‘de whole world saw what happened at WrestleMania XXIII. ‘Dis man… ‘dis beast… ‘dis savage… ‘dis MONSTER… he pushed ‘De Undertaker further than ever before! Nobody… has ever beaten ‘De Undertaker so bad. So bad, that he could barely stand! He could barely breathe
! And why? Because of ‘De Samoan Bulldozer’… Oooooo – Maga! Ha ha!
Heat from the fans, which prompts 'Mags to turn and snarl at them...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
And ‘dis… ‘dis is our time now. Ju’ two don’t get Batista next… we do
Estrada now stands between Benoit and Edge, allowing him to address them both at the same time...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
So ju’ two can get out of ‘dis ring… and Batista… ju’ can get out here and accept our challenge, perro! Ha ha!
Estrada turns towards the entrance way, fully expecting the arrival of ‘The Animal’, while the menacing Umaga takes a step towards Benoit, clearly intent on removing him from the situation with force. Edge is cagily hanging around in the background, waiting to see who of Umaga and Benoit makes the first move… but it’s neither man, as instead…
”KEN – NAH – DAY!...”
*TURN UP THE TROUBLE…*
A ridiculous initial pop quickly descends into boos as Mr. Kennedy
is the fourth unexpected appearance of the evening thus far. Wearing a light grey sweat suit, Kennedy cocks his head from side to side as he heads down the aisle, a broad smirk on his face as he looks at the collection of men in the ring…
Oh, now what? Here comes the man who, and I hate to admit it, but he did beat Ric Flair last Sunday night at WrestleMania.
Beat ‘im fair and square, Cole. I mean, I think this guy’s a real piece o' work, a real jerk, and a total no-class guy… but ya’ gotta admit, he and Flair had one helluva match, and it was the younger man who prevailed.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
The future has arrived! The next superstar of the WWE, the leader of the new generation, SmackDown’s own, Mr. Kennedy! You all wanted your fairytale moment, you wanted old man Flair to get it done, but it was Kennedy who did exactly what he said he was gonna do. He beat Flair, and if ya’ ask me, he put Flair on the shelf permanently
when he done it!
Kennedy clambers through the ropes and arrogantly walks right in-between Umaga and Benoit, casually wagging a finger at Estrada as he passes him. Edge throws a few words of trash at Kennedy, but Kennedy just laughs it off, grabbing a mic from Tony Chimel…
Uh… what- what the hell is this? Huh? I mean, what the hell are you three doin’ out here? Huh?
Kennedy exaggerates a look of stunned confusion, shaking his head and rubbing his eyes in a completely over the top manner...
I mean, there’s three of ya’ out here… and not one of ya’ has got this right. No, no-no, you three have got this way, way… way
… wrong. Y’see, this is the WWE. Lemme explain how this works. Ya’ win a big match here and there, you get to move on to bigger things. Now, WrestleMania XXIII… that was a big night. A huge night. A monumental night in the career of yours truly. But, uh… how’d it go for you guys. I mean, me, ol’ ‘Double K’ here… I beat a legend. I beat a sixteen time World Champion. I beat Ric Flair. But you
Kennedy turns and points towards Edge…
And then turns towards Benoit…
As Kennedy turns towards Umaga, ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ snarls and flares his nostrils, intimidating Kennedy, causing the normally unflappable loudmouth to lose his composure. Kennedy takes a couple of steps back, gathers himself, then continues…
Easy there big fella. And- and you
… you three clowns… you three lost last Sunday. You lost on the biggest night in the history of the WWE, but me… I got the biggest win of my career. And that’s why I’m the guy who’s up next for Big Dave.
Kennedy pauses, loudly chewing his gum into the mic...
'Cause I am the future of SmackDown... the future of the WWE... and the future World Heavyweight Champion... and my name is Mmmmiisssstteerrrrr... KEN – NAH – DAY!
Loud boos, with frustration getting the better of Edge as he facepalms and runs a hand through his hair...
Wait, wait a min-
KEN – NAH – DAY!
A few laughs from the crowd, with the frustration growing in Edge as he fumes and breathes deeply...
I said wait a damn minute! You
? You’re up next? You had your chance back at No Way Out… and you didn’t take it. I mean… I put Batista on his ass for you. I knocked him out, I smacked a chair off his skull, I did everythin’ I could to help you win. Hell, I practically handed you the title… and you still lost. You belong at the back of the line behind these other two. I’m up next to face-
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
No, no, perro, Umaga is the next-
How about you guys realise that-
Finally the argument comes to an end as the current authority figure on SmackDown, Jonathan Coachman
, barges out from the back. ‘Coach’ comes to a stop under the SmackDown fist, but he wastes no time in addressing the situation…
Alright, alright, enough of this!
All five men in the ring quieten down and turn to face ‘Coach’, who adjusts his tie in a show of his authority…
This stops right now. I'm don't wanna hear anymore of this. Gentlemen, while I admire the fact that you all came out here and stated your cases to be the next number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, your opinions of each other matter very little. The only opinion that really matters... is mine.
’Coach’ points to himself, with him now pacing back and forth along the entrance way...
I'm the guy in charge around here, and I'm the guy who's gonna decide who faces Batista for the title next. But... I'm willing to let the four of you... influence
... my decision. And you're gonna do that in the huge main event I have lined up for tonight.
A smirk crosses Coachman’s face, with all eyes in the ring looking at him in intrigued fashion...
'Cause we're gonna have ourselves a Six Man Tag Team Match tonight. It's gonna feature the team of Edge, Mr. Kennedy and Umaga, taking on you, Chris Benoit, and your tag team partners... The Undertaker... and the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista!
Big time pop for the upcoming massive main event. Benoit certainly seems to agree with the call as he nods his head, while Estrada smiles devilishly, sure his charge will dominate like always. Kennedy is much more reserved, simply blowing a bubble with his gum, while Edge fumes once again...
But... I'm not gonna add any stipulation or make any promises regarding the World Heavyweight Championship. I'm not gonna say that whoever gets the pinfall is gonna be Batista's next opponent. I'm not gonna give that guarantee. But when I am gonna do is issue all of you a little challenge. I want you all... especially you four in the ring right now... I want you all... to impress
me tonight. I want you all... to make a statement
Kennedy’s ears pick up, his eyebrows raised as he waits for ‘Coach’ to continue...
Show me why you deserve to challenge Batista. Show why you're the guy that deserves the next shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. Show me that you're the guy to lead this show forward. Show me... championship material. 'Cause whoever impresses me the most tonight... is gonna be named the number one contender.
The five men in the ring turn to look at each other, a range of confidence and trepidation on their faces...
So be ruthless, be aggressive, hold nothin' back, show me why I should pick you. Two of you in that ring have already tried and failed to take that title away from Batista.
Edge and Kennedy both turn to look at each other, neither man impressed with ‘Coach’ reminding them of their previous failures...
And quite frankly, I'm getting' pretty sick and tired o' him runnin' around on my show like he owns the place. I need somebody to take him down a step or two. I just need to find... the right guy to do it. And I'm gonna find 'im... tonight. The only question is... which of you is gonna be the guy to do it?
’Coach’ smirks again, before he comes to a stop, adjusts his tie once more, then looks straight down the aisle...
Now... I want you all to get outta my ring... and I wanna get on with the show. I wanna get on with... 'Jonathan Coachman's Friday Night SmackDown'!
And with that, 'Coach' turns and heads backstage, leaving behind the awkward situation in the ring. Benoit's expression barely changes, still looking calm and confident, while a very animated Estrada talks up his client's chances of winning, with Umaga snarling away. Kennedy simply takes one last stare at all three men before he becomes the first to head for the ropes, while it's a worried look that crosses Edge's face now that he realises what's at stake tonight...
Well, how about that? Jonathan Coachman is layin' down the law tonight it seems. He's made a blockbuster main event, and it doesn't necessarily matter to him who gets the win tonight. All he's interested in is who's gonna go the extra mile and impress him the most.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
And I think it's a brilliant move! Now we're got six men in our main event, and all of 'em are gonna be hungry to impress.
Yeah but let's remember, not only is it Edge, Benoit, Umaga and Kennedy... The Undertaker and Batista are gonna be in there as well! 'The Animal' ain't gonna back down, he'll be out there lookin' to impress these fans, especially hot off the back of that big win for him at WrestleMania.
Well what about The Undertaker? He finally ended the year long undefeated streak of Umaga, I'm sure he's thinkin' about goin' after 'The Animal' too. Well folks, we've got all that to come when we return to Friday Ni-
John Bradshaw Layfield:
It's 'Jonathan Coachman's Friday Night SmackDown'! The guy just said it 'bout thirty seconds ago!
Ugh... join us when we return to – I can't believe this – 'Jonathan Coachman's Friday Night Smackdown'.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
'Atta boy, Michael!
And we return to the smiling face of Josh Matthews
, standing by to conduct an interview...
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to SmackDown. And please welcome my guest at this time... he is the reigning World Heavyweight Champion... 'The Animal'... Batista!
A warm welcome as Batista enters the frame. Wearing a smart suit yet still looking casual as he wears no tie and has the top button undone, 'The Animal' has an easy look about him as he holds the big gold belt across his shoulder...
Batista, last Sunday night at WrestleMania XXIII, you successfully defend your title again ‘The Rated-R Superstar’, Edge. After months of confrontations between the two of you, and of course, the no contact rule put in place by Jonathan Coachman prior to the match, how did it feel to finally get your hands on Edge at WrestleMania?
Batista has a little laugh to himself, rubbing his jaw with a wry smile on his face…
How did it feel? Lemme tell ya’ Josh… it felt great! After all Edge’s talk, after all his B.S., to finally get my hands on ‘im and beat ‘im in the main event of WrestleMania XXIII… I couldn’t even begin to describe it. I’m just glad that I proved once and for all, that is you pick a fight with ‘The Animal’… it’s not gonna end well for ya’.
Pop from inside the arena, with Batista looking off camera now, awaiting the next question…
Well Batista, it certainly was a big victory for you, but it was also a match not without controversy. We heard earlier tonight about Edge’s grievances regarding the match, I was just wondering what your response was to what Edge had to say.
Again Batista has a laugh to himself, nodding his head to indicate he heard exactly what was said earlier…
Look Josh, I heard what Edge had to say. But if ya’ ask me, Edge only told one side of the story. I didn’t hear Edge mention the fact that I had him down and out in the centre of the ring… but there was no referee to make the count. I didn’t even get a ref runnin’ down to the ring. I got nothin’. But did I throw up my hands and complain about it?
Batista turns to Matthews, who is more than happy to shake his head in response…
No, I didn’t. I just on with the job… and I beat Edge.
And I heard all those guys in the ring sayin’ they want a shot at me and my title. I say… bring it on. I mean, Edge and Mr. Kennedy are two guys I know real well. I’ve faced ‘em both before, and I’ve beat ‘em both. If they want another shot at me… I’ll be happy to beat ‘em both one more time. As for Chris Benoit and Umaga…
Batista pauses, carefully considering his answer…
Well, what can you say about Umaga that hasn’t already been said? The guys a freak of nature. He’s a huge threat to anybody he steps into the ring with. But he’s never been in the ring with a guy like me. He’s never faced ‘The Animal’. But if Umaga winds up bein’ the guy chosen to face me… I’ m more than happy to hand him his second defeat here in the WWE. And Chris… Chris is an unbelievable wrestler. He’s had an incredible career, and if this is gonna be his swansong… then I’d gladly but my title up for grabs against him, any night of the week.
Batista moves to walk away, but Matthews moves quickly to ask one final question…
Uh, well, Batista, there’s one other man you forgot to mention. The final participant in the Six Man Tag Team Match tonight, your second partner… The Undertaker.
A loud pop from inside the arena as the fans dream about the prospect of Batista and Undertaker squaring off for the title. Batista bits his lip as he ponders his response, the smile on his face regarding Benoit quickly turning to a look of focus and determination…
The Undertaker? That’s uh… that’s a pretty interesting concept. Listen, I got a lotta respect for ‘The Deadman’. The WrestleMania streak, the length of time he’s been at the top, the amount of titles he’s won, it all really impressive. But as impressive as all that might be… if he’s the guy who I gotta defend my title against… then he’s gonna suffer the same fate as all the others. And maybe I’m lookin’ too far ahead right now, but I don’t plane on ever lettin’ this title go. So maybe… maybe I’ll defend this title at next year’s WrestleMania… against The Undertaker. And then we’ll see… what streak comes to an end.
A very mixed response for the final statement from Batista, but ‘The Animal’ simply reaches into the top pocket of his suit jacket and pulls out a pair of sunglasses, slipping them off and giving Matthews one last smile before he heads off camera, with Matthews watching him go as we head back into the arena…
*LIVE FOR THE MOMENT…*
A great pop for the new United States Champion Matt Hardy
, who bounds out from the back and thrusts his newly won gold high in the air. Hardy looks delighted, still clearly buzzing over his victory five nights ago as he slaps plenty of hands at ringside on his way down the aisle…
What a night in the career of Matt Hardy WrestleMania XXIII turned out to be! Hardy pulled off the biggest win of his career when he beat Finlay to become the new United States Champion, a truly great WrestleMania moment!
Matt Hardy was just awesome
last Sunday. Plenty people doubted ‘im, I even had my doubts, but the guy stepped up big time and delivered on the biggest stage of ‘em all.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
I doubted it, hell, if I’m honest, I still can’t believe it actually happened. Matt Hardy, the other
Hardy Boy, finally winnin’ gold at WrestleMania. But I got some advice for ‘im. I can’t see ‘im holdin’ that title very long, so he better enjoy it while he can, ‘cause Finlay’s gonna be back for it sooner rather than later.
The boos quickly break out as The Bluebloods
make their entrance, lead of course by the man in action tonight, William Regal
. Regal is flanked by Paul Burchill
and Dave Taylor
, the trio of Englishmen posing a menacing sight as they head down the aisle…
This is gonna be a big test for Matt right here, William Regal is certainly no pushover. Not exactly an easy match for Matt to get used to the pressure that being United States Champion entails.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Hardy talked in the run up to WrestleMania about how he needed to win, he needed to take the next step in his career. Well you wanted it Hardy, and now ya’ got it! And you’re kickin’ off your title reign against one of the toughest S.O.B’s around in William Regal.
And it ain’t just Regal either. I mean, he’s got Taylor and Burchill out here, and Burchill looked damn
impressive durin’ the WrestleMania Pre Show Battle Royal. This ain’t gonna be no walk in the park for Hardy, that’s for sure!
Match 1: Non-Title Match
United States Champion Matt Hardy vs. William Regal w/ Paul Burchill and Dave Taylor
Hardy is clearly still running on the momentum of WrestleMania as he bursts from the corner at the opening bell, ducking Regal’s attempt at a collar-and-elbow tie up, forcing Regal against the ropes with a string of right hands. Hardy goes for the Irish whip, but Regal reverses… Hardy ducks underneath his clothesline attempt… and takes Regal down with a side Russian legsweep! Angry at the opening exchange, Regal rolls from the ring, dropping to a knee on the outside. Burchill and Taylor help him back up, with Regal slamming his hand on the canvas in frustration. After a few words of encouragement from Taylor, Regal slides back in and challenges Hardy to a test of strength. Hardy obliges, the two locking hands, but Regal quickly ends it by drilling Matt with a knee to the midsection. Stiff uppercuts land, before Regal drives Matt to the corner with a strong of knees to the face. Elbows to the side of the head land, before Regal goes for the Irish whip… Matt reverses… Regal hits the turnbuckle hard… and staggers into a back body drop! Hardy goes for the cover… and gets an early near fall. Hardy yanks Regal up and tags him with rights to the face, then puts Regal down with a scoop slam. Hardy heads for the corner, pushing himself up onto the second rope, waiting for Regal to get back to his knees… elbow drop to the back of the head! Hardy puts Regal back down, but once again Regal heads outside, although this time he’s dragged there by Burchill, with Regal again dropping to his knees on the floor. Taylor and Burchill both look up into the ring, arguing with the ref as Regal recovers, but Hardy doesn’t want to waste anytime… as he heads for the ropes and lies… PLANCHA TAKES OUT BURCHILL AND TAYLOR!
The crowd pop as Hardy takes the fight outside, reaching down to yank Regal up, and after smashing him face first off the apron, he tosses Regal back into the ring. Regal crawls on his knees to the corner, with Hardy staying on him, rocking him with more right hands, before he goes for another Irish whip… and Matt follows in… corner clothesline! Matt then tries for a bulldog… but Regal pushes Matt into the ropes… and Taylor reaches in and grabs Matt’s foot! Hardy puts on the breaks, turning to glare at Taylor… but this only opens it up for Regal… who takes Hardy’s head off with a clothesline! After shaking off the cobwebs, Regal hammers Matt with boots to the chest, then drops knees to the face, before he kicks Matt under the bottom rope. Regal backs away, but he takes the ref with him, distracting him as Burchill and Taylor grab Hardy on the outside… and viciously SHOVE HIM INTO THE BARRICADE! Hardy cracks the barricade head first, instantly grabbing his neck, but he gets no chance to recover as the duo roll Hardy back into the ring, Regal barging past the ref to get a two count. Regal now looks to target the head and neck, aiming well placed elbows and forearms, before he places a boot into Hardy’s throat, choking him as Regal distracts the ref. Regal backs away, but again the ref is distracting, allowing Taylor to continue the choke from the outside. Regal goes back on the attack, drilling knees to the head, before he takes Hardy up and down with a double underhook suplex for a near fall. More damage to the head, this time with elbows connecting, before Hardy is launched head first into the turnbuckle. Regal now strikes with knees to the midsection, before he unloads with right hands, driving Matt to the canvas. Hardy’s head rests against the bottom turnbuckle, with Regal again drawing the eye of the ref, allowing Burchill to choke Hardy by pulling his head down against the turnbuckle. Burchill lets go, and here comes Regal... knee to the face! Hardy’s head snaps back violently, but he’s dragged from the corner so Regal can go for the cover… 1… 2… Hardy kicks out.
Regal lays in with the punishment, scoring near falls from a falling neckbreaker and a German suplex, before Regal locks on a crossface chickenwing, wrapping the arms around the neck and pulling backwards, applying pressure to the neck. Regal wrenches on the painful hold, trying to make Hardy submit, but the crowd soon make their voices heard, and from his seated position, Hardy is able to force Regal back to his feet… but Regal still has his arms wrapped around Hardy’s neck… so Hardy runs him to the corner… and kicks off… rolling over, taking both men down… and Regal’s shoulders are down on the canvas… 1… 2… Regal kicks out to break the hold! Both men get back on their feet, where Matt beats Regal to the punch, snapping off two right hands before he goes for an Irish whip… but Regal reverses… then hangs on to Matt’s hands, pulling him in… REGAL CUTTER! Regal drives Matt neck first to the canvas, and goes for the cover… 1… 2… Hardy rolls a shoulder! Regal groans at the ref in frustration, but now Regal waits for Matt to rise, lining him up… KNEE TREMBLER… NO! Hardy avoids the contact… and takes Regal down with a backslide… 1… 2… Regal kicks out! Both men stagger back up, but this time Regal strikes first, drilling Matt with forearms to the side of the head, backing him to the corner. Regal fires Hardy across the ring… then charges… but he runs into a boot to the face! Regal stumbles back, but charges again… another boot to the face! Hardy charges from the corner… and ducks a Regal clothesline… then takes him down with the SIDE EFFECT!
Both men are down now, struggling to get back up, but when they do, a slugfest breaks out, the pair trading rights, until Hardy scores three in a row, backing Regal to the corner. Matt fires him across the ring… then follows in… corner clothesline… and then he hits the bulldog! Regal is down, and Matt heads for the corner… DIVING LEGDROP! Here’s the cover… 1… 2… Regal kicks out. Hardy now looks to build momentum, tagging Regal with right hands, before Regal swings and misses wildly… INVERTED DDT! The crowd is buzzing as Hardy gets back to his feet, calling for Regal to rise, looking for the TWIST OF FATE… but before he can make the move, Burchill jumps up onto the apron… right hand sends Burchill flying! The crowd cheers loudly, but with the referee distracted by all this, Regal reaches into his tights… and pulls out the brass knuckles! Regal hides his hand, but when Hardy turns, he strikes… POWER OF THE PUNCH… NO! Hardy ducks underneath it, with Regal putting on the breaks… but when he turns… Hardy drills him with a kick… TWIST OF FATE!! Hardy plants Regal, rolls him over and hooks the leg to get the 1… 2… 3!
Winner: Matt Hardy @ 07.12
A great effort from Hardy as he overcomes the influences of Burchill and Taylor on the outside to pick up the win over Regal. Hardy makes it back to his feet, leaning against the ropes as the referee hands over his title. Hardy takes the belt and holds it high as his hand is raised, but as Taylor reaches in to drag Regal from the ring, the camera is in a great position to pick up the lingering look of disdain being shared between Hardy and Burchill. Burchill soon snaps out of it and aids Taylor as they help Regal backstage, with Hardy climbing to the second rope to salute the fans as we head for a commercial.
We open to a dismal, rainy scene, a solemn church bell ringing loudly in the background. We slowly see peasants trudging through the rain and mud of what appears to be an eighteenth century town, everybody dressed like pilgrims of the time. As the camera pans, we see a rather portly town crier, who rings a handbell to a much faster beat than the previous church bell...
Town Crier: Hear ye! Hear ye! Thy day of reckoning is upon us!
We hear the clang of a nearby blacksmith hammering down on a piece of raw metal, with the close up revealing the blacksmith to be none other than SmackDown’s own Matt Hardy, dressed in the traditional garb...
Town Crier: Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age!
Hardy tosses his hammer aside and slowly trudges off camera, passing the town reverend, who just so happens to be Mr. Kennedy, with Kennedy also dressed in the church fashion of the time...
Town Crier: I tell thee my friends, do not fear thee who kill the body, and after that can do no more!
Kennedy glances down at the bible in his hands, then tosses it down into the mud, before he follows Hardy off camera...
Town Crier: But I will warn you whom to fear! Fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast thee into hell!
A man in a horse slowly approaches, the man being revealed as Batista. ‘The Animal’ quickly drops down off the horse, the buckle on his boots clunking heavily as he lands before he too walks off camera...
Town Crier: I tell thee, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak!
We now see Edge chopping wood, aggressively swinging an axe into a log set up on a stump, but he soon wipes the wet hair from his face, tosses the axe aside and exits the scene...
Town Crier: So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy!
King Booker and Queen Sharmell sit on thrones like a Mayor and Mayorness, with Booker soon standing up out of his chair, leaving Sharmell behind as he heads out of the frame...
Town Crier: For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
The town magistrate is played by Chris Benoit, complete with wig, who suddenly sits upright from behind the bench of his courtroom and storms out of the building mid trial, leaving behind a full courtroom of confused people...
Town Crier: And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them!
We now see practically the entire SmackDown roster, all dressed for the time, stood surrounding the Town Crier, who now has a petrified look on his face…
Town Crier: Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting?
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Town Crier is clobbered by Umaga, who is dressed as he normally would be. Umaga now stands with one foot on the chest of the crier, the camera looking down on him in pain, but he manages to get in the last word as he shouts...
”Judgment Day... is upon us!”
"WWE JUDGMENT DAY – MAY 20TH - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"
*End Video Package*
After that somewhat tongue in cheek video, we now cut to a dark room, or more specifically, to a pair of large black boots that stand on the floor. Slowly the camera pans up this person’s body, revealing a long black trench coat. We continue to pan upwards, an eerie purple glow protruding as the only light in the room, until he reach the person’s face… it’s The Undertaker! A huge pop is heard from inside the arena for the appearance of the fierce look on the face of ‘The Phenom’ beneath that trademark black hat of his, and as the camera zooms out, we see Paul Bearer stood beside him, the urn in his hand glistening in the darkness…
Ooooohh yesssss! At WrestleMania XXIII, Umaga… you suffered the fate expected for you at the hands of my Undertaker. With your words and your actions, you brought upon you your own doom Umaga, and at WrestleMania, my Undertaker sealed your fate, and ended your undefeated streak!
Another pop from the fans, with Bearer looking down lovingly at the urn…
Oooohh yessss, the creatures of the night rejoiced on that occasion! Umaga… and especially you Mr. Estrada… you sought the fame and glory that comes with beating my Undertaker at WrestleMania… but your greed brought you nothing but pain and sorrow. And now your undefeated streak has been condemned to the fiery depths of hell!
Bearer becomes animated, his head snapping back and forth as he speaks, while there is little expression from ‘The Deadman’…
They said he was a freak of nature. They claimed he was a savage. They said he couldn’t be beaten. Well, my Undertaker once again proved that there is only one all powerful force here in the WWE! And that… brings us to the World Heavyweight Championship… and Batista.
Batista… you’re title reign has been a glorious success. You have taken on all challengers, faced up to all comers, but you have never
… faced my Undertaker.
Bearer pauses, a slight hint of regret on his face for his next statement…
And though you may be partners tonight… my Undertaker will once again be the eternal light in the sea of darkness. We will shine brightest, we will make that impression Jonathan Coachman spoke of… and when we do… you Batista… shall…
Undertaker now slowly raises his head, allowing him to utter those famous words of his…
Rest… in… peace!
The Undertaker rolls his eyes to the back of his head signalling the end of the promo, with the crowd letting out yet another strong cheer as we head back to ringside…
To see that Shannon Moore is already in the ring, bouncing up and down on the spot, clearly ready for action. As Shannon is introduced by Tony Chimel, he receives a slight pop, raising his hand in appreciation, before we hear…
A smattering of heat as Chavo Guerrero
swaggers his way out into the arena. Vickie Guerrero
is alongside him, the two not wasting any time as they head for the ring…
Well it looks like all eyes are firmly fixated on Batista, even The Undertaker’s! It’s all startin’ to heat up ahead of our huge main event tonight. But right now, here comes Chavo Guerrero and his Aunt Vickie, ready for some cruiserweight action against the man currently in the ring, Shannon Moore.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
That’s what happens when you’re the champion, everybody wants the belt around your waist, and everybody’s gonna come after you ‘til they get it. And you’re talkin’ about the cruiserweights, I gotta assume now that Gregory Helms has proven to Bryan Danielson once and for all that he can’t cut it here in the big leagues, that Danielson is gonna step aside and a guy like Chavo is gonna step up next.
I ain’t got a problem with Chavo tryin’ to put ‘imself back in the hunt, but I guarantee ya’ that Bryan Danielson ain’t done with Gregory Helms. Not a chance.
Chavo Guerrero w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Shannon Moore
Chavo is eager to get things going as both men circle the ring, as it's the veteran luchador who moves in for the initial tie up, working it into a standing side headlock. Chavo wrenches on the hold, only for Moore to shove Chavo into the ropes... Guerrero bowls Moore over with a shoulder block! Instead of taking advantage though, Chavo turns to the crowd, arms opening wide as he boats about winning the first exchange, but behind him, Shannon is back on his feet... to take down the onrushing Chavo with an armdrag! Chavo is back up... another armdrag puts him down! Caught off guard, Chavo crawls to the corner, where Moore lands a trio of big right hands, then goes for the Irish whip across... Chavo reverses and follows in... but Moore uses the ropes to elevate himself ove Chavo, landing behind him... rollup! 1... 2... Chavo kicks out... but the force of the kicks sends Shannon to the ropes... where he jumps to the second... for a springboard crossbody! Another cover... 1... 2... again Guerrero kicks out. Moore has the advantage, and he looks to stay in control as he yanks Chavo up, snapping his head back with more right hands, before he goes for an Irish whip... but again Chavo reverses... and this time he catches Moore with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker... no! Moore counters... headscissors takedown! The force of the sends Guerrero sprawling to the corner, with Moore charging in... but Chavo elevates Shannon over the top rope... Moore lands on the apron! A big right hand knocks Chavo back, with Moore now climbing to the top rope... but Chavo pushes Moore’s foot... crotching him on the top turnbuckle!
It’s a painful landing for Moore, with Chavo rattling him with right hands, before he climbs up, hooks Moore up... for a SUPERPLEX! Another painful landing for Moore, but instead of going for the pin, Chavo takes out his aggression over how the early moments have gone, drilling Moore with forearms to the face and then rolling him over to repeatedly drive he knee into the small of the back. Chavo now looks to punch Moore, taking him up and down with a backbreaker, then shoving him chest first into the corner, where more knees to the spine connect. A vicious Irish whip sends Moore to the corner, with him staggering out into a massive back body drop. It’s all Guerrero as he goes on the attack, doing further damage with a German suplex and a sitout slam suplex. Guerreo is fully in control, so much so that when he yanks Moore to his feet, he points to the crowd, shouting at them to “Watch this!” as he hooks Moore up for a suplex... then hangs on, kicking his legs over, dragging Moore back to his feet... second suplex... but again he kicks over, dragging Moore up... to complete the HAT TRICK... NO! Moore counters with an inside cradle... 1... 2... Guerrero barely kicks out! Furious, Chavo pounces, not letting Moore back on his feet as he unleashes with a series of elbows, forearms and knees to the back, doing anything to keep Moore down.
Back on his feet, the crowd boo Chavo loudly, with Vickie encouraging her nephew to put Shannon away. Guerrero nods in agreement, hoisting Moore up... and then dropping him with the GORY BOMB! It’s all over as Chavo rolls Moore over for a lateral press... 1... 2... Chavo pulls Moore’s shoulders off the mat! The crowd boo again as Chavo shows total arrogance, not wanting to pin Moore yet. Instead, Chavo grabs a handful of hair, yanking Moore up, drilling him with knees to the face... before he again takes Moore up... DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!! Moore is down and out as Chavo plants him once again, the ref calling for Chavo to end things, but Guerrero has other ideas as he pushes the ref aside and heads for the corner. Slowly Chavo steps outside and climbs upstairs, where he readies himself, arms out wide once more, encouraging the heat from the fans before he finally flies... FROG SPLASH!! Chavo gets all of it, not even bothering to hook the leg as he gets the 1... 2... 3.
Winner: Chavo Guerrero @ 04.36
An impressive display from Chavo as he emphatically puts Moore away. Chavo quickly pushes himself up onto his knees, holding his arms out wide as the crowd boo. Vickie enters the ring, pushing the referee aside as when Chavo rises back to his feet, it's Vickie who raises his hand into the air. Chavo then takes a few steps towards the ropes, getting up close and personal with one of the cameras, and we hear every word as Chavo shouts…
“Helms… I’m comin’ after you! I want the gold!”
Chavo turns away from the camera, his intentions clearly made, and he backs this up as he motions that he wants a title around his waist with his hands as we head for a commercial.
And now we’re back, we see Edge
backstage, walking along a random corridor. A few backstage workers take long looks at Edge as he passes them by, but Edge doesn’t notice as he moves quickly… until he stops, noticing someone in the distance. Edge takes a few more steps forward… and reveals that it’s Mr. Kennedy
who he’s bumped into. Another loud, mixed response welcomes the sight of Kennedy, who causally leans against a nearby wall. Kennedy pushes himself forward and heads towards Edge, once again loudly chewing gum for all to hear…
What the hell do you
Kennedy laughs to himself, letting out an over exaggerated sigh…
Oh… nothin’. I just uh… I just went in to pay a lil’ visit to ‘The Coach’. Just, y’know, before you did. I mean… that’s where you’re headin’, right?
Kennedy turns his head, giving a nod towards the direction of Coachman’s office…
And, y’know, I was just on my back when I saw ya’ comin’… and I just thought I’d stop and say hi. Hi.
Kennedy smiles broadly, but Edge is in no mood to exchange pleasantries…
Oh yeah? So what were you in with Coachman for? You got somethin’ lined up for tonight? You uh… been greasin’ ‘Coach’ up since you know you can’t go out there and impress him more than me?
Kennedy nonchalantly shrugs his shoulders…
Hmmm… maybe. Or maybe, I was, y’know… doin’ what you do best Edge. Maybe I was just… playin’ a little politics. Maybe… I just wanted to beat you to the punch.
Edge rubs his jaw, smirking as he takes a few steps forward to go face to face with Kennedy…
Oh yeah? Well you listen to me. You better just stay out my way out there tonight. I’m gonna be the guy to face Batista next… and I don’t need you doin’ somethin’ stupid to screw that up.
Kennedy steps back, holding his hands out wide…
Oh hey, listen big guy, you got it. I’ll just let you get on with things. Or, y’know, you could always do what you did last time we teamed together and… run away.
”Ooooh!”s ring out from inside the arena, a furious scowl crossing Edge’s face, but Kennedy moves to make a quick exit…
Take it easy, ‘champ’.
Edge turns and watches Kennedy leave, rubbing his jaw once more, before he angrily runs a hand through his hair and then carries on towards what we assume is Jonathan Coachman’s office…
While we head into a video package…
A hiss of static is heard, before the picture and sound snap to life, and we see the images from what appears to be a handheld camera. Stood infront of the camera is none other than The Miz leaving us to assume that the person holding the camera is Michelle McCool. Dressed in smart-casual attire, Miz leans against a Pepsi machine, the glow of it giving a menacing look to Miz's face through the darkness...
The Miz: Well, what can I say? I mean, for weeks I kept tellin’ people I was gonna win the Pre Show Battle Royal. And what happened? I just went out there and did exactly what I said I was gonna do. It was a great night, a great victory for me.
Miz casually shrugs his shoulders…
The Miz: I'm not gonna lie, it was probably the toughest match of my career so far. But hey, I made it look easy. I just went in there, tossed out the other nineteen guys and won. And I was especially proud of the way that I made the last two eliminations by getting’ rid of Harry Smith and Test at the same time. I figured I owed to the fans to give ‘em somethin’ special to end things with. God knows they needed it considerin’ how the rest of the night turned out.
Miz rolls his eyes, before he smirks into the camera...
The Miz: But hey, it was nothin’ really. My gift to all of you.
Miz now pushes himself up, not leaning on the vending machine anymore, taking a few steps down a corridor...
The Miz: But that's somethin' that you're all gonna get used to in a hurry. Me, shinning bright at WrestleMania, standing in the middle of the ring victorious. There's a lotta big WrestleMania victories in my future, and last Sunday was just the beginning.
As he walks, Miz becomes more animated, using his hands to gesture towards the camera...
The Miz: And now that I’ve proven myself YET AGAIN as a true rising star here in the WWE, I’ve decided that I need to… accessorise a lil’ bit. I mean, I’m already the sharpest dresser in the WWE…
Miz reaches up and adjusts his tie, then quickly makes sure his hair is neat...
The Miz: But I need something to really set things off. And I think that nothing would suit me better… than the United States Championship currently held by one Matt Hardy.
Miz laughs to himself, shaking his head...
The Miz: Now, I know Finlay probably has a rematch or somethin’ with Matt lined up, so I guess I’ll just wait for that. I mean, I don’t really care who the champion is. Finlay? I could beat that washed up old has-been any day o’ the week. Heck, that damn leprechaun of his would probably be more of a challenge!
A more serious look crosses Miz's face as he ponders something...
The Miz: As for Matt, he had a nice little moment at WrestleMania. But his Hollywood moment has come and gone, and now… it’s time for a reality check.
Miz again smirks...
The Miz: Sooner or later, that United States Title is comin' home with me. 'Cause I'm The Miz... and I'm...
Miz comes to a stop, staring long and hard into the camera, before he softly utters the word...
The Miz: Awesome.
And now, Michelle turns the camera on herself...
Michelle McCool: And don't you forget that.
And with a sinister sneer on the face of the Miz in the background, Michelle fumbles for the right button, until the image disappears and the static returns, signalling the end of the video.
*End Video Package*
And now that thankfully that’s over with, we head back into the arena to hear…
And for the first time tonight we see the Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms
, who has a rather smug look on his face as he makes his entrance. Helms is dressed in street clothes, not ready to compete, with the title he retained at WrestleMania draped over his shoulder…
Well, there you have it folks. I guess Miz has made his intentions clear. He’s comin’ after the United States Championship, and he doesn’t care who the champion is, he wants the gold. And speakin’ of gold, here comes a man who pulled every dirty trick in the book to hang onto his last Sunday.
Damn right he did. I mean, I always knew Detroit was a tough city, but that was a muggin’ that Helms left WrestleMania still the champion. Two times now Helms and Danielson has gone at it for the Cruiserweight Title, and twice Helms has had to cheat to win.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Ah quit your complainin’! He’s the greatest Cruiserweight Champion of all time, a true legend of the division! Your just upset ‘cause now you have to admit how great this man is. He said it, I said it, and anybody with any sense was sayin’ it too. Danielson couldn’t cut it at this level, he couldn’t get it done at WrestleMania, and last Sunday proved that once and for all.
The crowd boos loudly as Helms enters the ring, holding his title high in the air to even more heat before he asks for and receives a microphone…
I hate to say I told ya’ so… aw hell, who am I kiddin? I told ya’ so!
Again the crowd boo, with Helms laughing his head off in the ring…
I told ya’! I told all of ya’! You all said your boy Bryan Danielson was gonna take this title away from me. But when it came down to it, when it mattered most, under the bright lights, with all those fans in Ford Field and watchin’ around the world, at the end of the day… I – BEAT – BRYAN DANIELSON!
Again Helms laughs,
And nobody thought I could do it. Nobody! The only man in this whole damn arena who thought I even had a chance was ‘JBL’ down here…
Helms walks over towards the ropes at the announce desk side, pointing down at a beaming ‘JBL’…
John Bradshaw Layfield, the only man who thought I had a shot. The only man who believed in me. Well ‘JBL’, I know you’re a brilliant business man, so I hope you called up your guy in Vegas and bet the house on me, ‘cause I delivered! Infact, ‘JBL’, why don’t you stand up and take a bow?
You don’t have to ask him twice, as Layfield is on his feet straight away, taking off his hat to bow, before he waves his hat to the crowd and shouts “Thank you!” for their boos…
And y’know what? In light of my historic victory at WrestleMania… I have decided, that tonight… I’m gonna have a celebration of my title reign. I’m throwin’ a party… and none of y’all are invited!
Helms quickly darts from the ring and heads outside, where he approaches the timekeeper’s desk. Helms shoves Tony Chimel aside and reaches down, pulling a cooler. Helms rips off the lid of the cooler and grabs a can of beer, and heads back towards the ring, but he stops briefly…
‘JBL’, this one’s for you buddy!
Helms hands over the can to Layfield, and then places the cooler down and grabs himself one. The two snap them open… and then share a toast, before they thrown the beverages down their throats, the crowd booing loudly. With one can out of the way, Helms heads back into the ring, with ‘JBL’ raising the can to him as he leaves before retaking his seat…
Now, since I don’t want any of you dirtbags from Indiana gatecrashin’…
Security! Get on out here!
And right on cue, a posse of security guards, all dressed in yellow t-shirts emerge. The guards walk down to the ring in two tight lines, before they begin to surround the ringside area, with a few hanging around the entrance way to ensure nobody can spoil Helms’ party…
Now… I wanna ask you people a lil’ question. Do you people realise just how long I’ve been Cruiserweight Champion? Huh? Anybody?
Helms waits for an answer, cracking open another can to pass the time as he waits for a response, but none is forthcoming…
No? Well I’ll tell ya’. Four hundred and thirty three days. That’s sixty one weeks. That’s ten thousand, three hundred and ninety two hours! Six – hundred – and twenty three thousand – five hundred – and twenty minutes! The longest reign in Cruiserweight Championship history! I have held this title longer than some of the greatest wrestlers under 215 pounds. I have proven time and time again that I am the best in the world, but still… up until last Sunday… some of y’all didn’t believe me.
Helms laughs and shakes his head, taking another sip of beer…
But after I beat Bryan Danielson fair and square in the middle of the ring at WrestleMania XXIII, the biggest night in WWE history… I have nothin’ left to prove to anybody.
Infact, I am gonna start a petition to have this title… retired.
A general hush of confusion breaks out, but Helms simply nods confidently before continuing…
Y’see, since nobody can defeat me for it, I think it would be only fittin’ to have it retired in my honour. I have put together the greatest reign in this title’s illustrious history, a reign nobody’s gonna top. So I think it’s only right that this title be retired as a tribute to my legacy as champion.
Heat again, but Helms simply shakes it off, taking another sip of beer…
So I am gonna start canvassing the entire WWE roster, and all of my fans too, to sign my petition. Retire the Cruiserweight Title, have me go down in history as its greatest and last champion. Let’s give it the send-off it deserves. And I know you’ll be the first name on the list, right ‘JBL’?
From the announce desk, ‘JBL’ gives Helms a thumbs up and shouts “You got it buddy!”…
But that’s for next week. Right now, it’s time to have a party! Cue the celebrations!
And right on schedule, a triumphant music is heard, and a burst of confetti falls from the ceiling. Helms takes another sip from his beer can, his arms held wide as the confetti rains down upon him. The crowd boo loudly, while over at the announce desk, ‘JBL’ is again on his feet, this time leading the applause…
Well this has to be one of the most disgusting displays of self-grandeur I’ve ever seen. Gregory Helms has for so long now taking shortcuts, he’s cheated at every turn, and this is the result.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Are you kiddin’ me? What more does this man have to prove to you? He’s just laid it all for ya’, he’s the greatest in the world! Nobody can beat ‘im! Hell, where’s that petition, I’ll sign it right now!
And how arrogant can a guy get when he wants a title retired to preserve his legacy? I mean this guy Helms is a real piece of-
Cole interrupts, as excited as the crowd, as from behind Helms’ back, one of the security guards has slipped into the ring… and clobbers Helms from behind! It’s Bryan Danielson! Fort Wayne is going wild as Danielson mounts Helms, hammering him with stiff elbows and forearms to the face! Danielson, still clearly furious after his defeat at WrestleMania, is relentless as he attacks in a wild frenzy… until finally the real security guards around ringside converge on the ring, three of them tackling Danielson down to the canvas. Helms is rattled as he grabs his title and rolls out of the ring, staggering and then collapsing right infront of the announce desk…
I guess Bryan Danielson had seen enough! He decided to crash the party!
John Bradshaw Layfield:
It was a set up! How the hell did nobody see ‘im?! And where the hell’d he get one o’ those t-shirts!?
Who cares about that!? Danielson’s one pissed off dude right now, and he just took some o’ that out Helms! I’m tellin’ ya’ ‘JBL’, if Helms wants to get that title retired, he better do it quick before Danielson gets ‘im in the ring again!
Danielson desperately tries to break free, determined to get his hands on Helms once again, but as he kicks and struggles and tries to make a break for the outside, the guards pounce once again, trapping him against the canvas by the ropes… just a few feet away from Helms! Although he can’t break free, Danielson is close enough to allow him to stare wildly into Helms’ eyes and shout…
“You’re mine Helms! You’re mine! I’m gonna get you! I’m gonna make you tap!
Helms is stunned, the champion sitting dumbstruck on the floor, leaning against the announce desk, clutching his title dearly to his chest, his mouth wide open and his eyes bulging with fear. Just feet away from his rival, Helms appears frozen to the spot, griped by terror, while Danielson continues to struggle like a man possessed, still wanting to get his hands on Helms, the camera darting back and forth between the terrified champion and the crazed would be challenger as we fade into a commercial.
Our video opens at the King of the Ring ’96, where ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin stands victorious, delivering the interview that launched his main event career…
Narrator: It’s a night where future legends make their mark...
“AUSTIN 3:16 SAYS I JUST WHIPPED YOUR ASS!”
We now head back to King of the Ring ’93, where Bret Hart puts Bam Bam Bigelow away with the winning victory roll...
Narrator: A night where icons are created…
“I’M THE BEST THERE IS, THE BEST THERE WAS, AND THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE!”
King of the Ring ’01, where Edge puts Kurt Angle down with the Edgecution then crawls into the pin to get an emotional victory…
Narrator: A night when the stars of tomorrow shine bright...
“WELCOME TO THE ERA OF AWESOMENESS!”
And we now go to last year’s tournament final, where Booker T grabs the win over Bobby Lashley…
Narrator: A night to crown… a new king.
“BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR KING!”
We now see flashing images of some of this year’s contenders, starting with Jeff Hardy, Montel Vontavious Porter, CM Punk and Matt Hardy…
Narrator: And this year, live on NBC, the WWE King of the Ring returns! It’s the one night Saturday Night’s Main Event spectacular where one man’s career is set to skyrocket!
More flashing images, this time it’s Bryan Danielson, Kenny Dykstra, Johnny Nitro and Mr. Kennedy…
Narrator: Eight men will battle to join the most exclusive of WWE clubs. Who will take King Booker’s crown and become the 2007 King of the Ring!?
Another round of flashing images, this time of former winners such as Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Edge, Bret Hart and King Booker…
Narrator: The King is dead…
More clips from last year, this time from Booker’s coronation ceremony, then a quick shot of him close to tears after his victory to clinch the World Heavyweight Championship…
“ALL HAIL KING BOO-KAH!”
”Long live… the King.”
"SATURDAY NIGHT’S MAIN EVENT – THREE HOUR KING OF THE RING SPECIAL – JUNE 2ND - LIVE ON NBC!"
*End Video Package*
And now we’re back, and the lovely Kristal Marshall is standing by ready for another interview…
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Friday Night SmackDown. And please welcome my guest at this time… Finlay.
Some pretty decent heat as the veteran Irishman Finlay enters the shot, an angry scowl on his face, which intimidates Kristal ever so slightly…
And uh… Finlay, after your defeat to Matt Hardy at WrestleMania XXIII, I was just wondering what your plans are now regarding the United States Championship? I assume you’re going to ask for a rematch at some point.
Finlay looks at Kristal with distain, almost disgusted by the question…
Rematch? Yer’ damn right I’m wantin’ a rematch. But I’m gonna let young Matt have his moment. I’ll let ‘im savour the moment. But pretty soon…
Finlay turns to face the camera, his eyes narrowing…
I’m comin’ back for what’s mine.
Heat from inside the arena…
And another thing. Matt, if you, or anybody else for that matter, puts yer’ hands on my leprechaun again… I’m gonna take this shillelagh…
Finlay holds the shillelagh in the air, then stares straight down the camera with a look of pure aggression…
And stick it straight up yer’ arse!
And with one final, menacing glare at Kristal, Finlay turns and heads off camera, leaving the interviewer behind, a little shaken by the experience as we head back into the arena…
One of the beaten Money in the Bank competitors makes his entrance, as Kane
heads down the aisle, tugging on his elbow pad before he reaches up, grabs the top rope and pulls himself onto the apron…
Kane gave a great performance during the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and at one point, he looked like the favourite to win it. But right now Kane is set for one-on-one action with another Money in the Bank participant, King Booker.
And you can see there, Kane still ain’t back to 100%. He’s walkin’ kinda gingerly, he’s lookin’ a little bit awkward right now. Just goes to show the kinda effect that match can have on a guy.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
And when this freak’s showin’ the effects, you know it’s serious. This match is gonna be won by whoever can handle the pain of last Sunday the best.
*DEAD WHITE GUYS…*
And now the show takes a royal turn as King Booker
and Queen Sharmell
emerge, Booker raising his pinkie finger high in the air as Sharmell curtseys for her King…
Well we saw it advertised just a few moments ago, the King of the Ring returns this June as a Saturday Night’s Main Event special. And there is the current King of the Ring, last year’s winner, King Booker, who no doubt will be looking to defend his crown.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
I think he’s gotta be the favourite. He knows what it takes to win the tournament, he knows how to handle the pressure that comes with bein’ a King. That’s my pick right there.
Well qualifying don’t start for another few weeks, there’s still plenty o’ time for guys to step forward and put their names in the hat. And from what I understand, we’re gonna find out some of the participants in the tournament this Monday on Raw. I can’t wait for that!
Kane vs. King Booker w/ Queen Sharmell
Despite the punishment both men endured at WrestleMania, the two are aggressive in the early goings, with Kane rattling Booker with big right hands and elbows in the corner, while Booker reverses things and strikes with chops to the chest and shots to the face against the turnbuckle. Booker snaps off one chop too many though, as Kane grabs him by the throat… and yanks Booker into the corner! Rapid fire right hands lands to the gut, before a big shot to the throat sends Booker off his feet and down to the mat. Kane yanks Booker up by the hair, then fires him off the ropes… back elbow knocks Booker down, but now Kane comes off the ropes… elbow drop connects, getting Kane an early two count. Booker is helped up, but a scoop slam puts him back down again, and when Booker sits up, Kane is coming off the ropes… low angle dropkick! Booker is reeling as he crawls to the corner, with Kane again landing clubbing blows to the midsection, before he fires Booker across the ring… and follows in with a corner clothesline! Kane backs away, and Booker stumbles towards him… into a sidewalk slam! Another cover… 1… 2… Booker kicks out. Booker again tries to crawl to the corner to create separation, but Kane stays on him, again drilling him with those shots to the throat. Again Kane fires Booker across the ring and follows in, but this time Booker gets a boot up to the face. As staggers back, Booker looks to go on the attack, drilling more chops to the chest against the ropes, before he goes for the Irish whip… but Kane reverses… and Booker runs into a boot to the face!
Kane now stands tall, hand cocked in the air, waiting for Booker can rise… but before he can slap on the goozle, Booker rolls under the bottom rope to the outside. Sharmell is over to try help Booker up, but Kane doesn’t want to wait, as he heads outside to take the fight to Booker. Sharmell doesn’t back down though, shouting at Kane, until Kane turns and stares at her menacingly, causing Sharmell to back off. This distraction is enough for Booker to drill a boot to the midsection… and then he smashes Kane face first off the announce desk! Boots land to Kane’s face, before Booker rolls him back into the ring for a near fall. Booker now looks to go on the attack, landing stomps to the face and body, before he looks to wear Kane down with a grounded headlock. Booker wrenches on the hold, but not for long as Kane struggles back to his feet, landing elbows to gut before he shoves Booker off the ropes… another big boot to the face! Booker is down, and now Kane heads for the corner, climbing upstairs. Kane waits for Booker to rise… FLYING CLOTHESLINE… NO! Booker counters… HARLEM SIDEKICK! Booker catches Kane in mid-air, and now he crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Kane kicks out! Booker is fully in control, and now he looks to target the arm, trying to take away the chokeslam from Kane’s arsenal. Booker aims stomps and knees to the shoulder, then drags Kane up, wrenches on the arm to drill a heel kick to the face. Alternating punches and chops land in the corner, but Kane fires back, rocking Booker with big right hands before he lines Booker up for a clothesline… but Booker ducks underneath and races off the ropes… flying forearm smash! Booker takes Kane down, and he crawls into the lateral press… 1… 2… Kane rolls a shoulder!
Sharmell screams the ref, while Booker looks to stay in control as he yanks Kane up, tagging him with a right… but Kane fires back! A slugfest breaks out, with both men trading right hands, until Kane rattles off three in a row… only for Booker to double Kane over with a boot to the gut… and here he comes off the ropes… SCISSORS KICK… NO! Kane avoids it, and as Booker spins around… Kane takes his head off with a clothesline! Both men stay down… until Kane sits up! ‘The Big Red Machine’ now goes on the attack, snapping Booker’s head back with thrust after thrust to the throat, before a big right sends Booker flying to the corner! Kane then goes for the Irish whip across… then follows in with a corner clothesline! Kane backs away… then races in for another corner clothesline! Booker stumbles forward… into a tilt-a-whirl slam! Kane plants Booker but he doesn’t go for the cover, as instead he once more heads for the corner. Kane climbs upstairs, waits for Booker to rise… FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Kane gets all of it, and now he stands tall, hand ready and waiting, as Booker makes it back to a knee… but before Kane can make his move, Sharmell jumps up onto the apron! Kane sees her, and he stomps towards the ropes, causing Sharmell to shriek and back away. Kane finally turns back to the action… and Booker catches him with the HARLEM SIDEKICK! Booker rolls Kane over and hooks the leg, but the ref is still trying to get Sharmell off the apron… but eventually he dives to make the cover… 1… 2… Kane kicks out! Booker can’t believe it, head in his hands, but when he gets back to his feet, he waits for Kane to get back to his knees… to come off the ropes… SCISSOR KICK… NO!! Kane springs up, catching Booker in a goozle… before he takes him up and down… CHOKESLAM!!
Winner: Kane @ 06.29
A confident performance from Kane as he shakes off the disappointment of WrestleMania to score the win over Booker. Kane slowly makes it back to his feet, his hand raised by the referee, while Booker rolls to the outside and drops to the floor, with Sharmell still trying to help him back up as we head into another commercial.
And we return to the backstage area, to see King Booker
doubled over in pain, leaning against the wall, while an angry looking Queen Sharmell
has her head in her hands in frustration…
Dammit, Booker! What da’ hell was that!?
Booker lifts his head up, eyes nearly bulging out their sockets…
My Queen… has thou forgotten where thou is? Or to whom thou is talkin’ to!?
Remembering the gimmick, Sharmell is exasperated as she runs a hand across her forehead…
Right, right… my liege… what on earth was that performance? Kane beat you like-
Sharmell puts on the breaks, as approaching the pair comes Montel Vontavious Porter, limping heavily after his effort in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. ‘MVP’ slowly walks towards the pair, the heels of his smart dress shoes clicking off the concrete, with Booker looking up at the man who he shared a recent uneasy alliance with…
How dare you approach me in this fashion. Show some respect, bow down before your King!
’MVP’ gives Sharmell a “Are you serious?” look, before he shakes his head in annoyance…
Montel Vontavious Porter:
What? Look man, cut the crap! Y’know, despite all this… royalty stuff… you and me, we ain’t that different.
Booker now stands upright, looking ‘MVP in the eye…
Us? No no, you and me my friend… we are nothing if not different.
Porter shrugs, agreeing somewhat…
Montel Vontavious Porter:
Oh don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot different about us. I mean, all this… this is too much for me. And we didn’t exactly help each other like we said we would durin’ Money in the Bank. But…
’MVP’ lowers his voice, his tone becoming more serious…
Montel Vontavious Porter:
We both know we deserve better than we gettin’ right now. I mean, you know the King of the Ring’s comin’ back, right? I mean, you know I’m gonna be in it. And I know you wanna win again, defend that crown?
Porter pauses, allowing Booker to nod in agreement…
Montel Vontavious Porter:
So how ‘bout we put aside what happened in the past… and we actually work together right this time? We both gotta make it to Saturday Night’s Main Event. Then we gotta make it to the SmackDown final. I say… we help each other get there, and then when we do… we have it out. Best man wins. And after that showin’ against Kane… you gonna need all the help you can get.
Angry, Booker’s eyes bulge again, shocked that ‘MVP’ would speak to him in such a way…
Sharmell clears her throat and raises her eyebrows at Booker, causing him to pause and regain his composure…
My dear Montel, let your King assure you, that in the King of the Ring tournament, it’s you
that shall need help, more than me. For I will defend my crown, and I shall defend the honour of my queen, and I shall do it… without you. Come my Queen!
Booker turns and quickly walks off, with Sharmell following, giving ‘MVP’ a quick “Hmm – mm” as she passes. ‘MVP’ shakes his head in frustration, pulling his sunglasses from his top pocket and placing them on his face before he turns and walks off in the opposite direction.
We now head back to the interview set where… Funaki?... is standing by. Huh. Must be time for another interview… I guess…
Hai! I am Funkai, SmackDown Numbah One Annouceah! Hai! And please welcome, Funaki guests… The Eff – Bee – Hai!
And sure enough, in steps the entire contingent of The Full Blooded Italians, with their leader Santino Marella and his main squeeze Trinity standing front and centre, flanked either side by Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke while Big Vito cuts an imposing figure at the rear…
Santino, you and team, tonight you face SmackDown Tag Team Champion, The Hooligans. But, your team… you lose ALL times. What’s – up – with – ‘dat?
Cole can be heard chuckling away on commentary, while Santino simply gives Trinity a confused look, before he shakes his head and responds…
What? Who are you? Where is ‘de-ah other guy? And how dare you say that-ah to me, Santino Marella! ‘Dis is the greatest outrage of all ‘de times! Santino doesn’t even think you-ah actually work-ah here!
Santino turns, laughing, which prompts Nunzio and Mamaluke to laugh too, although both men’s faces suggest they know their boss isn’t exactly a comical genius…
Hai, Funaki work here. Funaki is SmackDown Numbah One Annouceah! But you? You are SmackDown Numbah One Losah!
A few “Ooooh!”’s from inside the arena, with Cole again heard clearly laughing at how bad this all is…
You sunna mah gun! You-ah gonna pay for ‘dis! Vito!
With a click of the fingers, Vito steps forward, towering over Funaki. Funaki of course backs away, but for some reason he keeps the microphone jammed under Vito’s nose… until Vito snatches it out of his hands and tosses it over his shoulder! Funaki now begins to cower, nothing separating him from Vito… until Vito stops, his eyes now looking off screen over Funaki’s shoulder… and when the camera pans, we see… Jimmy Wang Yang has entered the scene. Wow, we’re really going all in with the comedy characters here, aren’t we? Yang takes a few steps forward, firmly showing that he’s got Funaki’s back right now. Not intimidated, but certainly confused and unsure, Vito turns and looks at his boss, wondering what to do next, but Jimmy decides to speak up first…
Jimmy Wang Yang:
Howdy. Somethin’ wrong here guys?
Again Vito looks towards Marella, with Santino giving Jimmy the same confused look he gave Funaki moments ago…
This-ah doesn’t concern-ah you. You just get back-ah on your horse and head back to the rodeo!
Again Nunzio and Mamaluke laugh, but this time Santino turns and glares at them, wanting to show Jimmy he was serious, which quickly prompts the pair to stop…
Jimmy Wang Yang:
That’s funny. Real funny. Or maybe… I’ll kick Big Vito’s ass… and Funaki’ll take care o’ the rest of you… partners
Jimmy gives the rest of the group a tip of the hat…
OK, we will-ah let you tell your jokes. We don’t want to-ah fight with you just before-ah our match with ‘de champions. But don’t-ah think this will-ah be forgotten. We will-ah be back, and you two are gonna need more than-ah phony microphones and cowboy hats.
In a show of disrespect, Marella slaps the hat clean off of Yang’s head…
Santino barges past Jimmy, the two colliding shoulders, with the rest of The F.B.I. following Marella off screen. Yang then turns to Funaki, the two shaking their heads as they watch them go. The camera stays focused on the pair for just a bit longer, and hey, look at that… we could have a new face tag team on SmackDown. How ‘bout that?
A black screen fills the frame, as the opening chords of ‘Booyaka 619’ begin to play. As the music starts to grow, we fade into a match from the July 8th, 1996 episode of Monday Nitro, where Rey Mysterio hits a hurricanrana on Dean Malenko, hanging on tightly for the three count, with Tony Schiavone making the call...
”WE’VE GOT A NEW CHAMPION!”
Narrator: For years he has defied the laws of gravity…
We now fade in on Halloween Havoc ’97, where Mysterio soars through the air, over the top rope, crashing down on Eddie Guerrero with a hurricanrana onto the concrete, with Bobby Heenan shouting...
”I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHIN’ LIKE THIS IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!”
Narrator: Fans across the world have marvelled at his feats of athleticism…
The June 5th, 2003 episode of Friday Night SmackDown, where Mysterio counters Matt Hardy’s Twist of Fate into a bridging pin, becoming Cruiserweight Champion once more before we see Rey celebrate with his family as Michael Cole screams…
”MYSTERIO’S THE CHAMPION! MYSTERIO WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP!”
Narrator: He was always the ultimate underdog…
SummerSlam 2005, where Mysterio and Guerrero battle once more, this time in a Ladder Match, with Rey emerging victorious as Tazz yells…
”THE FIGHT IN THIS GUY IS UNBELIEVABLE!”
Narrator: Until he climbed to the very pinnacle of sports entertainment…
And finally WrestleMania XXII, where hits the 619 then hits the West Coast Pop on Randy Orton, winning the World Heavyweight Championship and paying tribute to his late friend, Eddie Guerrero, with Cole again making the call…
”DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE!”
Narrator: And now, Rey Mysterio…
We cut to a darkened wrestling ring, where Mysterio stands, his back to us, his shaved glistening in the light as he holds his mask in his hands, raising it above his head…
Narrator: Is returning to…
Mysterio slips on the mask, the camera rapidly zooming in for a close up just as Mysterio turns…
Narrator: Friday Night SmackDown!
And we see Mysterio staring into the camera, his eyes as green as the mask adorning his face, before we fade into the following graphic…
"REY MYSTERIO - RETURNING SOON TO FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN!"
*End Video Package*
Back into the arena for…
Despite their defeat at WrestleMania, the audience is full of respect for The Hooligans
as Paul London
and Brian Kendrick
emerge. The pair slap hands under the SmackDown fist, and wait for Ashley Massaro
to send them sprinting down to the ring, although just like at WrestleMania, London labours behind Kendrick, still clearly suffering from the knee injury he suffered a week or so ago…
Well that’s unbelievable news folks! Rey Mysterio is on his way back to Friday Night SmackDown! The competition is already fierce here on Friday nights as we saw earlier tonight, and it’s about to get even more competitive with Mysterio comin’ back.
Oh no doubt about it. Mysterio, a former World Heavyweight Champion, he’s gonna be a big time player here once again on Friday nights.
We look forward to the return of Rey Mysterio. But right now, here come the tag team champions, London and Kendrick, and you heard the response they got from this audience. They gave such a brave effort given London’s injury against The World’s Greatest Tag Team at WrestleMania, and despite the defeat, the fans clearly still have the upmost respect for them.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Ah, what do these idiots know? The Hooligans were representin’ all of us here on SmackDown, and they let us all down! They oughta be embarrassed and ashamed of that performance. I hope they get on the mic and give us all an apology right now, ‘cause I certainly deserve one!
God, give ‘em a break…
*LA VITTORIA E MIA…*
There’s no apology, as instead we again see The Full Blooded Italians
, with Santino Marella
looking hilarious as he angrily leads his squad down the aisle, with Trinity
trying her best to get Marella to calm down, with Nunzio
and Tony Mamaluke
discussing strategy while Big Vito
acts as enforcer…
And here comes The F.B.I., who were somewhat embarrassed, shall we say, by Funaki a few moments ago.
It was about to get ugly for Funaki, until thankfully, Jimmy Wang Yang showed up and evened things up a little bit.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Who the hell gave that idiot a microphone again? I thought we’d left those days behind? Don’t tell me I’m gonna need to put up with that moron talkin’ every week? I’m a Wrestling and Announcing Gawd, and I’m workin’ on the same broadcast team as that idiot?
Match 4: Non-Title Tag Team Match
WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans w/ Ashley Massaro vs. The Full Blooded Italians (Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke) w/ Santino Marella, Big Vito and Trinity
Despite his injury, Paul London is the man who steps forward for the champs, kicking the match off with a collar and elbow tie up with Tony Mamaluke. Mamaluke works into a standing side headlock, then twists into a standing wiastlock, but London quickly scoots round and a waistlock takedown puts Mamaluke on the canvas. London scoots over into a grounded headlock, but Mamaluke soon forces them back to a vertical base, where he shoves London into the ropes... and knocks him down with a shoulderblock. Mamaluke now runs the ropes, but London springs up, avoiding him with a leapfrog, before he drops down... and catches Mamaluke with a monkey flip! Mamaluke crashes into the ropes, but now he's back on his feet... flying forearm from London! London quickly moves to grab Mamaluke by the wrist, twisting and wrenching on it, then dragging him to the corner, where Kendrick gets the tag. London holds the arm in place as Kendrick jumps to the top rope... double axe handle across the arm! Mamaluke drops to his knees, but Kendrick yanks on the wrist to drag him up again, wrenching on the arm again, before he runs towards the corner... leaps up... for a springboard armdrag! An impressive looking move, but the force sends Mamaluke to his corner, allowing Nunzio to tag in. Nunzio storms into the ring... right into an armdrag! Nunzio is straight back up... another armdrag puts him down. Once again the champs focus on an arm, as Kendrick drags Nunzio by the wrist to the corner, tagging in London. The champs then send Nunzio off the ropes with a double Irish whip... into a double hiptoss... and a double elbow drop finishes the combination! Kendrick exits the ring as London goes for the cover... 1... 2... Nunzio kicks out.
London looks to press home the advantage as he comes off the ropes… only for Vito reach up… and low bridge the top rope! London falls over and crashes to the floor, the ref missing all of it as Nunzio distracted him. Kendrick races into the ring to protest, but that only allows Santino’s henchman Vito to punish London on the outside… with a stiff clothesline! London smacks off the floor, and he’s quickly rolled back into the ring, where Nunzio gets a near fall. Nunzio and Mamaluke now look to cut London off from Kendrick, and they start to target the knee as Nunzio hits a chop block, then aims stomps and kneedrops to London’s injured left knee. Mamaluke hits a legdrop from the second rope across the knee, getting another near fall, before he and Nunzio combine to hoist London up into the air… to then smash him knee first off the canvas! London cries in pain and clutches his knee, but after another near fall, the punishment continues as Nunzio goes for a single leg Boston crab. Nunzio wrenches back, applying pressure to the knee, keeping London far across the ring from Kendrick. Kendrick reaches his hand out, but London can’t break free, with Santino loving seeing his team in charge. London tries to break free, but Nunzio sits in on the hold, but soon Ashley starts to rally the fans, and their cheers seem to spur London on as he manages to crawl towards Kendrick… only for Nunzio to walk London back to the Italians corner! Sensing that he has to break the hold, London pushes up on his hands… then grabs Nunzio’s ankle… and rolls through into a pinning predicament! 1… 2… Nunzio kicks out, and he beats London to the punch with a string of forearms to the back. Mamaluke gets the tag, and after a pair of kicks to the knee, he sends London gingerly off the ropes… but then London avoids a clothesline with a baseball slide… and puts Mamaluke down with a dropsault!
Both men are down, crawling towards their corners… Mamaluke tags in Nunzio… but here comes Brian Kendrick! Kendrick slingshots into the ring and bowls Nunzio over with a forearm smash! Here comes Mamaluke… Kendrick ducks underneath… then takes Mamaluke down with a hurricanrana! 1… 2... here comes Nunzio to break the hold… but his elbow drop connects with Mamaluke! Tony takes the full brunt of Nunzio’s attack, with Kendrick now tagging Nunzio with right hands, backing him to the ropes. Kendrick goes for the Irish whip… but Nunzio reverses… then lowers his head for a back body drop… but Kendrick wraps an arm around his head… tornado DDT! Mamaluke is back on his feet, and he tags Kendrick from behind, ending the momentum. Mamaluke pummels Kendrick with forearms to the face, then he sends Kendrick to the corner and follows in… Kendrick gets a boot up to the face… and as Mamaluke staggers back, Kendrick pushes himself onto the top rope… FLYING CROSSBODY! Kendrick hits the move and rolls through, with Mamaluke stumbling back to his feet against the ropes… until London clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor! Nunzio is back up now too, but when he swings at Kendrick, Kendrick sees it coming, ducks underneath… then hooks Nunzio up… and runs him to the corner… SLICED BREAD! Kendrick plants Nunzio, hooks the leg… 1… Santino jumps up onto the apron… 2… but London hobbles across the ring to clobber him with a forearm smash… 3!
Winner: The Hooligans @ 04.39
Despite London’s bum knee, the champs get it done, returning to winning ways. Kendrick quickly nips back up to his feet, leaning against the ropes, while Ashley slides into the ring to check on London, who is writhing on the mat in pain. Instead of heading straight to check on his partner, Kendrick turns and raises his hands to the fans, but when he turns back to the ring, Ashley waves him over to London, with Kendrick jogging over to check on London. On the outside, Santino is furious, throwing his fedora hat at Nunzio and Mamaluke as Vito helps keep them upright, before he storms up the aisle. Trinity picks the hat up off the floor and chases after Santino, with the camera clearly hearing Marella shout “Idiotas!” as Vito tries to help the beaten pair backstage. In the ring, Kendrick and Ashley help London back to his feet, the trio celebrating as the ref raises the hands of the champs… until suddenly there’s a commotion from the crowd… as behind London and Kendrick.. The New Breed have slid into the ring!
Unaware, London and Kendrick are blindsided as Elijah Burke and Monty Brown jump the champs from behind, with the force of the shot to Kendrick knocking him through the ropes to the floor. A prone London is then hammered with boots, with Layla shouting encouragement from the outside. Ashley cowers in the corner Burke helps London up… and then goes for an Irish whip… as Brown comes off the ropes… POUNCE!! Brown absolutely levels London, leaving him flattened on the canvas, while on the outside, Kendrick slowly picks himself up off the floor, but as he grabs at the canvas, Burke drills him with a stiff kick to the face. Layla races around to the timekeeper’s desk, snatching the title belts, and then she enters the ring and hands them to Burke and Brown, who raise them into the air to some pretty strong heat. Both champions are down, the newcomers having made their intentions perfectly clear as they stand tall with the gold before we head for another commercial.
And we return just in time for…
”KEN – NAH – DAY!...”
*TURN UP THE TROUBLE…*
Another initial strong pop for Mr. Kennedy
from the smarks, before the volume of boos quickly drowns them out. Kennedy arrogantly struts down the aisle and enters the ring, brushing straight past Tony Chimel before he heads for the corner, climbing to the second rope to throw some trash talk at the fans…
It’s time for our main event folks. A huge Six Man Tag Team Match, with major implications for Batista’s World Heavyweight Championship. And we saw it earlier this evening when Kennedy confronted Edge backstage, admitting that he had been to see Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman, claiming that he was beating Edge to the punch. And we still don’t know what that meeting was about.
Yeah, but it makes me wonder if it’s got anythin’ to do with the huge smirk on Kennedy’s face. He’s up to somethin’, I just dunno what it is yet.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
He’s happy ‘cause just six days ago he got the biggest win of his career! He oughta be on Cloud Nine right now, and he looks like he is, and good for him. He deserves after the way he ended Ric Flair’s career once and for all!
The always menacing Umaga
steps out from the back, snarling and growling at any fan who even dares to look at him, with Armando Alejandro Estrada
following in his wake, applauding his monster’s every step…
Well, perhaps a little bit of the aura of invincibility is gone from ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ after his defeat to The Undertaker last Sunday. But no matter how many matches this man loses, he is always going to intimidate anybody in any arena he steps into.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
If ya’ ask me, his aura is bigger than it’s ever been. He pushed The Undertaker further than he’s ever been, he took ‘The Deadman’ to the absolute limit, like no man has ever done before. If I was still in the ring, I’d be even more scared o’ this guy after what I saw at WrestleMania!
And I gotta agree with ya’, ‘JBL’. I mean, Umaga impressed the heck outta me, even though he lost. And all it takes it one more impressive performance right here, and he could be next in line for ‘The Animal’.
”YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME…”
Big time for the man who got us kicked off tonight, Edge
. ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ steps out from the back, stopping under the SmackDown fist where he sets off a burst of pyro before heading for the ring…
You have to wonder, given what we saw earlier between the two, will Edge and Kennedy be able to co-exist here tonight? I mean, they both had this same idea with regards to goin’ to see Coachman, but when the two met backstage, there was clear tension in the air.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
It ain’t just Edge and Kennedy either. I mean, this might be a Six Man Tag, but remember, everybody is out to impress. There’s five potential challengers to Batista set to enter this match, and they’re all gonna have to get along for a while, but eventually somebody’s gonna step up and show why they deserve to be the next challenger to the gold.
Yeah and it could backfire on Edge and Kennedy if they spend too much time thinkin’ about each other. The best way to impress in this situation for me is helpin’ your team get a win. That’s gotta be the number one priority.
The arena is plunged into darkness as The Undertaker
makes his entrance, Paul Bearer
using the urn to lead ‘Taker down the aisle. As ‘The Deadman’ approaches the ring and climbs the steps, the heel trio head to the outside, with ‘The Phenom’ finally entering the ring, removing his jacket and hat to bring light back into the arena…
It was quite simply, phenomenal. A phenomenal performance from The Undertaker that took his WrestleMania streak to 15-0 against Umaga, in a match that pushed both men to levels we never thought imaginable.
But that’s the thing ‘bout ‘The Deadman’. Just when you think he’s done, just when you think there’s nothin’ left, The Undertaker reaches deep to that mythical power o’ his, and he pulls out yet another classic WrestleMania victory.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
And we heard Paul Bearer earlier, he and ‘Taker have got their dark eyes set on ‘The Animal’ and the World Heavyweight Championship. But right here’s where we’re gonna find out just how much Umaga took out of The Undertaker. How far was he pushed, how much does he really have left, this match’ll give us the answer.
A great welcome for Chris Benoit
, with ‘The Crippler’ cocking his head from side to side as he strides down to the ring. Benoit climbs the steps and then hops through the ropes, heading straight to the corner closest to where the heels have gathered, with Benoit showing no fear or intimidation…
Well, Chris Benoit has admitted he doesn’t know how much longer he’s got left. If it all ended tomorrow, his career would go down as one of the very best of all time. But the want, the desire, the fire and hunger is there for Benoit to sign off with one final title reign. Can Benoit defy the odds like he has his entire career to once again challenge for the richest prize in sports entertainment?
John Bradshaw Layfield:
I can’t see it happenin’, Michael. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a ton o’ respect for Benoit. I’ve known him a long time, I’ve followed his career, and you’re right, his has been one o’ the greatest we’ll ever see. But I think his time has come and gone, and it’s time for Kennedy to shine.
I ain’t so sure ‘bout that. I think Benoit is still a class act, he can still be a great champion here on SmackDown, and I think that the drive in this man can take him all the way to the title.
*I WALK ALONE…*
And it’s a freaking massive pop for Batista
as ‘The Animal’ bursts into the arena. Batista slaps his chest, firing up the crowd, before he crouches down under the SmackDown fist and sets off a massive explosion of pyro before heading for the ring…
Here comes ‘The Animal’! Batista turned in what was for my money, the greatest performance of his career as he saw off Edge to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. But as we’ve heard all night, it was a match not without controversy.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
The guy doesn’t deserve to be holdin’ that title right now! He was beat, Edge had ‘im down in the middle of the ring for a ten count, and he’s got the nerve to call ‘imself champion! It makes me sick!
What about the fact that Batista had Edge down for a ten count of his own before that even happened? Both guys got caught up in the ref getting’ knocked down, but it was Batista who got the win, no questions asked. And he’s about to get up close and personal with the five guys who’ve all laid claim to the title around his waist…
Main Event: Six Man Tag Team Match
World Heavyweight Champion Batista, Chris Benoit and The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer vs. Edge, Mr. Kennedy and Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada
Batista is the man to step forward for his team, and upon seeing this, Edge quickly nips out of the ring, leaving Umaga and Kennedy to decide among themselves. A snarl from Umaga means Kennedy gets the message, and he allows Umaga to start. As the two big bulls slowly circle the ring, the crowd pops at the sight of the two powerhouses about to clash. The pair tie up for an initial test of strength… and it’s Umaga who prevails as he shoves Batista to the canvas! A hush of surprise breaks out as Umaga lets off a tribal scream in celebration. Batista angrily picks himself, and he aggressively locks up again, both men struggling for position. Eventually though, Batista gets a leg drive on, backing Umaga into the heels corner. The referee steps in for the break, and ‘The Animal’ obligies… so he can rock Edge and Kennedy with elbows and right hands, knocking both off the apron… only for Umaga to drill him with a shot to the throat! Batista coughs and splutters away from the corner, with Umaga charging… and taking Batista down with a massive bodyblock! Umaga now lays in with boots to the chest, before he drops down to apply a choke hold. Umaga then drags Batista up, firing him off the ropes… but Batista ducks underneath the clothesline and keeps on running… shoulderblock… only staggers Umaga! Batista again comes off the ropes… another shoulderblock… Umaga is still on his feet! Batista comes off the ropes for a third time… and finally bowls Umaga over! Batista now tags in Benoit, who goes to work with boots to the midsection, before he tries to fire Umaga to the corner… but Umaga digs in, then sends Benoit in the opposite direction… and races in… but he misses with splash in the corner! Umaga stumbles away, and Benoit now unloads with chops to the chest, only for Umaga to swing a right… which Benoit ducks… and he hooks Umaga up… German suplex… no! Umaga stays grounded… then twists… and takes Benoit down… with a belly-to-belly suplex!
Umaga plants Benoit, and now he crawls to his corner to tag in Edge. ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ storms into the ring and aims stomps to Benoit’s chest, before he yanks him up, shoves him into the corner and unloads with right after right that causes Benoit to crumple to the canvas. The ref steps in to back Edge off, but this only allows Kennedy to drop down and choke Benoit against the bottom turnbuckle. Edge takes Benoit to the ropes, then fires him off them… spinning wheel kick! Edge now brings Kennedy into things, the brash youngster snapping off a few uppercuts to the face. Kennedy gets a near fall from an inverted suplex, and does further damage with a snap DDT to counter a Benoit back body drop attempt. Edge is back in, and he too hurts Benoit with a Russian legsweep, before he too comes close to ending things early with a flapjack. Umaga is back in, the heels working well together to keep Benoit away from his corner, and ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ punishes Benoit with more pummeling rights in the corner that again knock Benoit down to the canvas. Umaga backs away… then races in… SAMOAN WRECKING BALL! Benoit’s head violently snaps back against the bottom turnbuckle, with Umaga quickly dragging him from the corner for the cover… 1… 2… Benoit rolls a shoulder. Umaga now tags in Edge once more, who drops knees to the midsection, then takes Benoit to a neutral corner. Edge lands more rights, then uses a scoop slam to put Benoit down. Edge then heads for the corner and climbs to the top rope, and we see the first sight of someone going out of their way to impress Jonathan Coachman, as Edge stands on the top rope and shouts to his partners “Watch this!”… before he flies… MISSILE DROPKICK… NO! Benoit moves to safety, allowing Edge to crash to the mat! Both men now crawl towards their corners… Edge tags Umaga… but here comes The Undertaker!
The WrestleMania opponents meet once again as ‘Taker storms into the ring, ducking underneath an Umaga clothesline… and comes off the ropes… FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Undertaker now strikes with those rapid fire right hands, before he goes for an Irish whip to the corner… but Umaga reverses… and follows in… corner splash… no! Undertaker moves to safety… and Umaga smacks headfirst off the turnbuckle! Umaga now stumbles away, but ‘Taker is already coming off the ropes… big boot to the face! Seeing his partner in trouble, Kennedy races into the ring… straight into a big right hand! Edge now attacks… but he tastes a big boot to the face! With all three heels in the ring, Batista and Benoit now come to Undertaker’s aid, with Benoit using kicks to the gut to knock Kennedy out of the ring, while a running clothesline from Batista sends Edge crashing to the floor. Benoit and Batista follow their foes outside, leaving Undertaker and Umaga in the ring. Undertaker is in control, rocking Umaga with massive right hands, before he looks for the Irish whip… but Umaga reverses… only to then lower his head… running DDT! Undertaker is dominating, and now he stands tall, hand ready, looking to slap on a goozle… Umaga stumbles up… and gets a cold hand across his throat… no! Before ‘Taker can go for the chokeslam, Umaga simply clubs the hand away and shoves him to the ropes… then races in… clothesline puts ‘Taker over the top rope… but he lands on the floor! Umaga doesn’t realise, until ‘Taker grabs him by the foot, pulls him down, then drags him under the bottom rope! Now all six men are brawling on the outside, with match quickly spiralling out of control. The referee tries to regain control, desperately trying to get the action back in the ring, but nobody wants to listen, all six men just dying to fight… so the referee throws the match out!
Winners: No Contest @ 08.16
The crowd boo loudly as the match is tossed out, but none of the six compettitors take any notice as they continue to battle. Undertaker is still laying into Umaga with those massive right hands, backing Umaga up the aisle, while infront of the announce desk, Batista smashes Edge face first off the announce desk. Benoit and Kennedy are brawling against the barricade, but the camera switches to the action on the aisle, as despite the pleas of Bearer and Estrada, Undertaker and Umaga get close and close to the entrance way. Another right hand from 'Taker connects, only for Umaga to strike with a shot in reply. 'Taker leans against the barricade, but Umaga doesn't let him rest, grabbing Undertaker by the hair, dragging him towards the entrance way. The two trade more shots underneath the SmackDown fist, until Umaga grabs Undertaker by the hair... and smashes him face first off the stanchion! Undertaker leans against the metal supporting the set, trying to regain his composure... but here comes Umaga... MASSIVE SPLASH AGAINST THE METAL! Undertaker's body violently collides with the steel, causing him to slump down to the concrete, the camera zooming in as 'The Deadman' coughs and splutters... then out of nowhere... Umaga attacks again... SAMOAN WRECKING BALL AGAINST THE STANCHION... CAUSES THE ENTIRE SET TO SHAKE!! It's a massive collision, with the entrane set now beginning to teeter... and Umaga is quick to back away... AS THE ENTIRE SMACKDOWN ENTRANCE WAY COLLAPSES ON TOP OF THE UNDERTAKER!!
”HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!”
It's mayhem inside the arena as the entire set, SmackDown fist and all, collapses, burying The Undertaker beneath the carnage! Even Umaga looks stunned, his eyes wide in shock, while Estrada pulls his hat down tight on his head in disbelief at what he just saw. There's no sign of The Undertaker, all we see is the remnants of the SmackDown set, with sparks now beginning to fly from the tron. Nobody can quite believe what they've seen, and it appears neither can the comentary team...
Holy * BLEEP*! Did you see that!?
Oh my... I... I...
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Jesus christ, sombody get some help out here! The guy's gotta be dead or somethin'!
Folks, in all my years behind the desk here on SmackDown, I have never
seen anything like that!
God, somebody... somebody help 'im!
Folks, I... I'm not sure if we're goin' off the air here or... what? Oh... OK. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm getting word that we're gonna go to a commercial right now. Let's... let's go to commercial.
Confusion is still reigning in the arena when we return, with the ring crew working feverishly to pry The Undertaker free of the wreckage left in Umaga’s wake. A very concerned looking Paul Bearer holds the urn high in a desperate attempt to revive ‘The Deadman’, but so far The Undertaker remains hiding beneath the devastation, unseen by anyone yet. Batista and Chris Benoit are nearby, showing concern for their partner, ready to offer any assistance they can. Back down near the ring, Edge and Kennedy stand around, unsure of what the hell is going on, while Umaga and Estrada are nowhere to be seen…
Ladies and gentlemen, uh… wel- welcome back to the show. Uh… I apologise, but we quite honestly have no idea what is going on right now. We were all watching our main event tonight, the huge Six Man Tag Team Match, but things kinda spiralled outta control, the referee threw the match out, but as The Undertaker and Umaga battled up the aisle… well… it was just indescribable. The Undertaker was crushed as the SmackDown set… well it collapsed on him.
I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I’ve never seen anythin’ like that happen. Umaga… he destroyed the set… and it landed on ‘The Deadman’! And we ain’t see ‘im since! He’s under that debris somewhere, and we’ve got the ring crew and arena security, desperately tryin’ to free ‘im.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Have we heard from ‘im yet? I mean, is there any signs of life so far?
Um… not- not that I’m aware of. And what about Umaga and Estrada? How callous, how disgusting was that? They did this to The Undertaker, and then during the commercial break, they just headed backstage without a care in the world!
John Bradshaw Layfield:
I tell ya’ one thing, ‘Coach’ challenged ‘em to impress ‘im tonight… you ain’t gonna get a bigger statement than that!
Yeah but at what cost? The World Heavyweight Championship… it ain’t worth this.
Back over at the wreckage, a group of men, assisted by the added muscle of Batista and Benoit, have found what appears to be the key piece of scaffolding connected to the SmackDown fist. A member of the ring crew appears to be calling the shots, barking orders to about twenty men… and he calls out “One… two… lift!” to them all… and slowly they start to get the scaffolding up, the wreckage beginning to move ever so slightly…
Suddenly, the lights go out in the arena! A buzz of confusion breaks out, nobody knowing what on earth is going on, but through the darkness the camera hears a call of “Keep goin’! Keep liftin’!”…
And just as suddenly, the lights return… and the scaffolding and SmackDown fist has been hoisted off the concrete… but The Undertaker… HAS DISAPPEARED!
It’s nothing but cold, hard concrete where The Undertaker’s body should lie, but the camera quickly pans, searching, looking for Paul Bearer… but he’s nowhere to be seen either! Struggling under the strain, the group of men place the scaffolding back down, with Batista clearly heard shouting “Where the hell is he!?”, but only getting blank faces in response…
What the… where… what the hell happened!?
The Undertaker… has vanished! He’s just disappeared into thin air!
John Bradshaw Layfield:
How the… where’d he go? There’s no way he coulda got outta-
And now here comes Jonathan Coachman
, the SmackDown Interim General Manager storming out from the side of the stage, furious at what’s going on. ‘Coach’ initially heads towards the wreckage, his music stopping quickly, with Coachman trying to figure out what’s going on, only for he too to draw a blank. ‘Coach’ has another check, but when he can’t see any sign of The Undertaker either, he begins to speak…
Uh… alright. Alright, listen up. First of all, lemme just say, that Umaga, and Mr. Estrada, of course… you better believe that after that
, I… am very much impressed!
The crowd shit all over that statement, with ‘Coach’ shrugging his shoulders to the nearby Benoit and Batista as they stare at Coachman in disgust…
Hey! He did what I ask, he made a statement! But listen, I promised all you fans a huge main event tonight, and that’s what we’re gonna have. So Benoit, Batista, I want you two to let these guys get on with tidyin’ up the mess… and I want you two to get back in that ring, ‘cause you’re gonna finish what you started. I want a Tag Team Match, Batista and Benoit against Edge and Kennedy, and I want it right now! Ring the bell!
Batista shouts “Are you kiddin’ me?!” but ‘Coach’ reacts angrily, aggressively pointing to the ring and shouting at both Benoit and Batista “Get in there, now!”, with the faces throwing their arms up in disbelief. Begrudgingly, Batista and Benoit step through the mess and trudge down towards the ring, where Kennedy and Edge are ready and waiting…
Main Event: Tag Team Match
World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Chris Benoit vs. Edge and Mr. Kennedy
As the bell rings, Batista turns to the referee, almost in disbelief at the fact that after what's happened we're about to have another match. Batista, almost reluctantly, snaps into a collar-and-elbow tie up with Kennedy, then works it into a standing side headlock, then a headlock takedown. Batista wrenches on the hold, and even takes another glimpse up at the mayhem at the top of the aisle, only for Kennedy to force himself back up to a vertical base. Kennedy shoves Batista into the ropes... but 'The Animal' runs through him with a shoulder block! Kennedy is put down, and he scurries to his corner and tags in Edge. Edge reluctantly enters the ring, looking to avoid contact as he circles Batista. Eventually Edge's quickness gives him an opportunity, as Edge nips in for a waistlock and tries to take Batista off his feet... but Batista doesn't budge... and instead he drops down and counters with an armdrag that sends Edge sprawling to the corner. 'The Animal' moves in, hitting a trio of shoulder thrusts to the gut, before he fires Edge across the ring... then follows in with a corner clothesline! Batista backs off, as Edge stumbles towards him... right into a powerslam! 1... 2... Edge rolls a shoulder. Batista looks to keep control for his team as grabs a handful of hair, yanking Edge into the faces corner, where after another trio of shoulder thrusts, Batista tags in Benoit.
Benoit drills kicks to the midsection against the turnbuckle, before he unloads with chop after chop to the chest, forcing Edge to cower in a neutral corner. Another chop lands, before Benoit fires Edge across the ring... then races in... but Edge avoids the contact... and Benoit winds up spearing the ring post! It's a painful collision as Benoit's arm smacks off the steel, and as he stumbles backawards, Edge is waiting... EDGE-O-MATIC! Edge drives Benoit down, but he doesn't go for the cover, instead tagging in Kennedy. Kennedy now looks to do some damage, targeting the left shoulder with stomps, before he drags Benoit up, then puts him back down with a single arm clothesline for a near fall. The heels now look to isolate Benoit, keeping him trapped in their corner of the ring, allowing Edge to come close to victory with a shoulderbeaker, while Kennedy almost ends things with a single-arm DDT. Benoit is then trapped in a world of pain as Kennedy uses a uses a grounded hammerlock to apply pressure, every now and then pushing himself up to drop a knee across the arm. Benoit manages to force himself back up, but with Kennedy still hanging on to the hold... until Benoit starts swinging elbows to the face... but Kennedy answers back with a side suplex! Benoit is down once more, and we head off for our final commercial with Kennedy shaking away the cobwebs, but fully in control.
And when we return, Benoit is still in a perilous position, as Edge has him down in a bow and arrow stretch, pulling back on the arm. The crows start to make some noise, trying to entice a Benoit rally, with 'The Crippler' straining to get back to one knee, then back to his feet... but Edge quickly clubs the left shoulder with forearms, snapping the momentum. Edge now goes for an Irish whip... which Benoit ducks underneath... and then he rocks Edge with a release German suplex! Both men are down, and now Benoit is scrambling for his corner... to tag in Batista! 'The Animal' storms into the ring, running through Edge with a clothesline, before he fires 'The Rated-R Superstar' off the ropes... into a massive spinebuster! Kennedy now sprints into the ring... and he too suffers a spinebuster! Batista is on fire, bursting to his feet to shake the ropes, before he turns back to the ring, grabs hold of Edge and brings him in... but before Batista can go for the Batista Bomb... he's hamered with an enzuigiri! Kennedy pulls off an impressive kick to the back of the champion's head, a sick smack ringing out upon connection. Kennedy quickly rolls outside then nips back onto the corner, his arm outstretched as Edge brings him back into the match.
Kennedy now looks to go to work on 'The Animal', drilling him with a series of kicks to the ribs, before he yanks Batista into the corner. A flurry of right hands and boots to the gut cause 'The Animal' to slump against the bottom turnbuckle, where Kennedy arrogantly rubs his boot across the champion's face. Kennedy seems to be enjoying himself as he plants Batista with a forward Russian legsweep for a near fall, before he tags Edge back in. Edge goes on the attack with a big boot to the face, then another Russian legsweep, before he tries to wear Batista down with a camel clutch. Edge pulls back on the head, applying pressure to the neck as he lets all his weight press down on the lower back. Edge continues to wrench on the head, but the crowd now start to make their presence felt, willing the champion back to his feet. Slowly Batista makes a move, working back to a knee, but when he tries to claw Edge's hands away from his face, Edge hangs on tight. Batista gets back to two knees... then shows incredible strength as he powers up with Edge still on his back! Edge hangs on in desperation, but Batista is determined to break free... so he backs both men into the corner, crushing Edge against the turnbuckle! Batista now starts to swing back elbows, throwing rights and lefts as he finally manages to break Edge's grip. Batista now sends Edge across the ring... and follows in with a corner clothesline! Edge is now sent off the ropes... but when Batista lowers his head for a back body drop, Edge puts on the breaks... EDGECUTION! Edge nails the lifting DDT, and he rolls Batista over for the cover... 1... 2... Batista rolls a shoulder!
Edge can't believe it, sure he had it won, but when he looks at the ref, all he gets is two fingers in response. Sensing an impressive victory is within his grasp, Edge now heads for the heels corner, crouching down, pulling at his hair, begging, pleading for Batista to rise. Slowly Batista makes it back to a knee... but before Edge can attack... Kennedy slaps him on the back... tagging himself into the match! Edge is furious, angrily shouting “What the hell?!” at Kennedy, who simply steps into the ring as pushes Edge aside, saying “You had your chance!”. Kennedy then looks to line Batista up, but Edge grabs him, snatching his attention, the two heels now arguing with each other, a shoving match soon breaking out. As this is going on, Batista crawls across the mat... and finally Edge and Kennedy realise... but it's too late... as here comes Benoit! Benoit steps in, but Edge and Kennedy race at him... Benoit ducks underneath their double clothesline... and takes both down with a double clothesline of his own! Edge stays down in the corner, with Benoit grabbing hold of Kennedy... and rocking him with a German suplex... but Benoit hangs on, drags Kennedy up... a second German suplex... but again Benoit hangs on tight, yanking Kennedy back up... for a third German suplex! Kennedy is down and out, but suddenly Edge springs to life... SPEAR... NO!
Benoit sees him coming, and he catches him by the air, trapping Edge down... CRIPPLER CROSSFACE!!
Benoit locks on his deadly submission move, with Edge straining, clawing for the ropes, but he gets nowhere near them... so Kennedy has to make the save! Now Kennedy goes on the attack, looking to end things quickly as he hooks Benoit up... MIC CHECK... NO!
Benoit strikes with elbows, breaking free, sending Kennedy stumbling forward... right into a SPEAR from Batista! Kennedy is down, and 'The Animal' is rolling once more, as he sees Edge get back up... clothesline dumps Edge to the floor! But now it's Benoit who makes his move, seeing a prone Kennedy, he heads outside then climbs to the top rope... DIVING HEADBUTT!!
Benoit gets all of it, and he crawls into the cover for the 1... 2... 3!
Winners: Batista and Chris Benoit @ 12:38
Batista and Benoit prevail, with ‘The Crippler’ grabbing the pinfall, impressing every fan watching, but of course, the big question is whether or not he impressed Jonathan Coachman. Benoit rolls free of Kennedy, staying down on the mat, the beating he took in full evidence. Eventually Benoit manages to drag himself off the mat, to see that Batista is now back on his feet, standing across the ring from him. An awkward moment is shared as the pair stare at each other, but eventually Batista stares forward… and extends a hand to Benoit. Benoit ponders, looking the champion up and down… before he too offers his hand… and the pair share a strong handshake! The crowd cheer once more, with Batista even raising Benoit’s arm in victory…
What an incredible main event! Statements have been made, messages have been sent loud and clear… but is it Chris Benoit who’s impressed the most here tonight? We’re gonna have to wait to next week to find out. Who is ‘Coach’ gonna announce as the Number One Contender? Join us next week to find out, only on Friday Night SmackDown!
We take one final look at the four remaining men, with Edge storming up the aisle in anger, the referee helping keep Kennedy upright on the outside, while in the ring, Batista and Benoit stand in opposite corners, both men saluting the fans, although only one holds aloft the World Heavyweight Championship, as we fade… to… black.
Current Card for WWE JUDGMENT DAY:
Date: May 20th, 2007
Location: iPayOne Center; San Diego, California
NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED YET