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Old 06-05-2012, 08:16 PM   #221 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

LOVE to see this back up again.
The news is great to here and I think I have a feeling that the match at the next Mania is already known.
HOLY HELL! WAR GAMES! It's here and it should be awesome!
Ah, King of the Ring. A PPV that has been a stepping stone for many wrestlers and hopefully that can be built upon. Would love to see a Face win as the last....4, Angle, Edge, Lesnar, and Booker I think have ALL been heels.

Finally, thank you for giving Benoit one last run instead of just writing him off as many Bookers tend to do. It's understandable that it would be uncomfortable, but the Crippler deserved a main event run in these last stages and hopefully he goes out with a BANG!
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:02 PM   #222 (permalink)
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~Monday Night Raw~
April 2nd, 2007
Joe Louis Arena
Detroit, MI






There were tears and triumphs, heartbreaks and heroes, but with WrestleMania XXIII now in the history books, the show must go on as Monday Night Raw braces itself for the Backlash!

Last night saw the crowning of a new WWE Champion, as Rob Van Dam prevailed in a Triple Threat Match against the former champion, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H. It was a great moment as Van Dam pulled off a win that some would consider an upset infront of a boisterous home-state Michigan crowd. With Raw also emanating from Detroit tonight, Van Dam will no doubt be looking to deliver yet another great performance infront of the Michigan faithful, kicking off his reign as WWE Champion with a bang!

But while WrestleMania XXIII was perhaps the highlight of Van Dam's career, it was certainly one of the darkest nights for Shawn Michaels. Michaels had entered Ford Field the WWE, determined to yet again steal the show at WrestleMania, and in the process retain his title. While Michaels' performance was at times breathtaking, he met fierce competition from Van Dam and 'The Game'. Triple H has long sought a one-on-one opportunity with Michaels as he continues to seek revenge for the betrayal at the hands of his former D-Generation X colleague two months. With the WWE Championship now no longer an issue between the two, will Triple H get his wish and finally get Michaels alone in the ring? Or will his faith yet again come to Michaels' rescue, allowing him to dodge yet another bullet?

WrestleMania XXIII was also a great night for John Cena, as thanks to a little help from 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, Cena overcame Bobby Lashley, sending a clear message to the McMahon Empire that nothing will break Cena's spirit or resolve. Despite Mr. McMahon himself being the Special Guest Referee, and plenty of outside interference from Shane McMahon, Cena prevailed when Austin, the original choice as referee, made a triumphant return, removing Vince and Shane from the equation and allowing Cena to pick up the win. But, one thing Vince has long been known for is holding a grudge, and despite his win, Cena will no doubt be aware that his troubles with the McMahons are far from. Just what will 'The Evil Genius' Mr. McMahon have in store for Cena tonight?

The Money in the Bank Ladder lived up to it's tradition as eight superstars contested one of the most ferocious ladder matches in WWE. Through all the mayhem, a winner was finally crowned, Raw's own Randy Orton. 'The Legend Killer' picked his moment well, capitalising on the misfortune of others as he stormed up the ladder to success. But Orton has been challenged to meet one of the other Money in the Bank compettitors, Jeff Hardy. A rivalry that has been building between the two over the last month or so escalated in the run up to WrestleMania, and even at Ford Field, the two came to blows on several occasions. Both men will be battered and bruised, but Orton will look to send a clear message to both Rob Van Dam and Batista, that their titles could be lost at any moment.

Elsewhere, two tag team feuds are set to be settled tonight as The Straight Edge Saints meet Chris Masters and Johnny Nitro, while we'll also see the rubber match in the recent series between The Hart Legacy and The Redneck Wrecking Crew, with the champions The World's Greatest Tag Team no doubt watching both matches with a keen interest in their outcomes. Plus, after her victory over Beth Phoenix at WrestleMania, the Women's Champion Mickie James is in action again tonight against Candice Michelle in a non-title matchup. And after his heartbreaking loss to Mr. Kennedy last night, it appeared as if Ric Flair was ready to hang up his boots and head home... for good. Tonight, we'll get the latest on the status of 'The Nature Boy'.

All this and more, live tonight, on Monday Night Raw!

Confirmed Matches:

Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy

The Straight Edge Saints vs. Chris Masters and Johnny Nitro
The Redneck Wrecking Crew vs. The Hart Legacy
Mickie James vs. Candice Michelle

Plus! The latest news on the status of 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair.
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WWE: The Evolution Of Greed
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:52 PM   #223 (permalink)
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I just read every chapter on here so I am not going to do a review.But I am going to say very good btb I have been reading non stop since yesterday (not counting hours of sleep).Though I have some signing request that could help your btb greatly.

1.)Austin Aries signing would benefit the cruiserweight division.Most likely as a heel for Danielson to feud with when his saga with Helms is over.These two have torn it up in an ROH ring and can tear it up in WWE now.It would be awesome to play on their ROH background.

2.) Samoa Joe.A feud with Umaga would be amazing.2 athletic Samoan big men with former undefeated streaks.Joe should be a face and he could be the perfect foil for Umaga.Or if you want to team them up then go on ahead.

3.)Mason Ryan signing to feud with Batista.He has no challengers left and I would rather have Orton cash in on RVD and end his dream quickly then cashing in on the dominate Batista.Play up on the similarities between the two.Make Mason and be instantly compared to Batista.Put him in a battle royal for a #1 contender shot after a few months up buildup where he wins using his power.Have Batista win but by a close margin.Or if you want to save it till a Big 4 PPV. where they won't need the title.Perhaps a match at Summerslam and the feud continues till Survivor Series setting up Team Mason Ryan vs Team Batista.
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[X]Miz turns face.Surivor Series and it's buildup

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Old 06-10-2012, 07:10 AM   #224 (permalink)
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~Monday Night Raw~
April 2nd, 2007
Joe Louis Arena
Detroit, MI



"I... must strike thee down."





We kick off the show with the obligatory WrestleMania recap video, with the quick-fire glimpses of the sights and sounds of last night's show. We see the joy on the face of Matt Hardy after the opening contest, where we crowns his biggest achievement to date in the WWE by becoming United States Champion at the expense of the tough Irishman, Finlay. The Intercontinental Championship was next on the line, with the challenger Carlito looking good for the gold as he held Kenny Dykstra in a perilous position, waiting for his girl Torrie Wilson to gain a measure of revenge... only for Torrie to spit apple all over Carlito's face, allowing Dykstra to grab the win, the duo celebrating at the top of the ramp as Torrie plants a quick kiss on Dykstra's cheek. Up next was the chaotic Money in the Bank Ladder Match, the footage filled with the daredevil antics of Jeff Hardy as he flew through the air time and time again. King Booker, Montel Vontavious Porter and CM Punk are also featured for their death-defying moments, but it's Chris Benoit who is featured heavily in the dying moments as he stands atop the ladder, close to victory... only for Randy Orton to race up the ladder, smash the briefcase off Benoit's skull, causing Benoit to fall and allowing to unhook the briefcase for victory. Another title was on the line as Gregory Helms and Bryan Danielson battled for the Cruiserweight Championship, with Helms pulling off an unlikely win thanks to some very underhand tactics by the champion. Another championship was retained as Mickie James grabbed an emotional win over her fierce rival Beth Phoenix, with Beth barking into the camera that "This isn't over yet!" as Mickie celebrated her win. The Tag Team Showcase Match pitted both Raw and Smackdown's respective champions against each other, with The World's Greatest Tag Team grabbing the bragging rights over The Hooligans thanks to the knee injury Paul London suffered in the run up to WrestleMania coming back to haunt the man from the blue brand.

The first of our showcase matches sees 'Past vs. Future' as Ric Flair and Mr. Kennedy square off in a deeply personal battle. Flair hangs in there, but Kennedy ultimately has too much as he finally, thankfully puts Flair away, with 'The Nature Boy' shedding tears after the bell in what appears to be the final match of his illustrious career. It's 'Streak vs. Streak' next as The Undertaker, undefeated at WrestleMania, takes on the undefeated in all competition Umaga. In a hellacious battle, the two go back and forth, neither man able to grab the win despite the brutal moves being landed, until finally, a second tombstone puts 'The Samoan Bulldozer' away. For months John Cena had battled the combined forces of Mr. McMahon, his son Shane, and 'The Real Deal' Bobby Lashley, and with Vince installing himself as the replacement Special Guest Referee, it seemed Cena wouldn't be able to overcome the odds. However, with the dramatic return of the original referee, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin evening the odds, Cena finally got Lashley one on one, putting Lashley away before sharing a brewski with Austin. The WWE Championship was contested under triple threat rules as the champion Shawn Michaels defended the gold against Triple H and Michigan's own Rob Van Dam. The three went at it in a wild match, with Van Dam connecting on the Five Star Frog Splash to Triple H to pick up the win, sending the fans into raptures. And finally, Batista marched into Ford Field to defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Edge. A dramatic conclusion saw both men hit their finishers, but finally a second Batista Bomb puts Edge away, the video ending on the image of 'The Animal' stood high in the corner, pyro exploding in the background, the big gold belt held high in the air as we fade to black.

And from this, we head into the arena for a cold opening. A quiet buzz rushes around the arena... until...

*ONE OF A KIND...*


The crowd explodes with a thunderous pop as the new WWE Champion, the Michigan native Rob Van Dam confidently strides out from the back. Sporting a "Nobody Gets Higher" t-shirt and with the WWE Championship slung over his shoulder, Van Dam stops at the top of the ramp, the usually unflappable champion taken aback by the welcome he's received as he mouths "Wow!" before he heads down the ramp for the ring...


Jim Ross: Ladies and gentlemen, we are just 24 hours removed from what many are calling the greatest WrestleMania in WWE history! And that man right there is the NEW WWE Champion, Michigan's own Rob Van Dam! Hello everyone, I'm Jim Ross alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Joey Styles, fresh off the most dramatic night the WWE has ever seen!

Jerry Lawler: And as far as we're all concerned here on Monday Night Raw, the highlight of the night was of course Rob Van Dam's victory in the Triple Threat Match to become the new WWE Champion!

Joey Styles: 'RVD' stepped into the ring with two sure-fire Hall of Famers in Shawn Michaels and Triple H, but it was the man who defined extreme in the bingo halls of Philadelphia all those years ago who finally stood at the top of the mountain as the WWE Champion!

Jerry Lawler: It was an unbelievable night, blood was spilled, rivalries were ended, titles changed hands, but when it was all said and done, Rob Van Dam is the new face of Monday Night Raw!

Jim Ross: So many incredible moments took place just 24 hours ago, and we're gonna try cover each and every one of 'em tonight folks! So many issues remained unresolved, so many questions need to be answered, but right now, let's hear from our new champion, Rob Van Dam!

In the ring, Van Dam is stood on the second rope in the corner, leading the crowd through a "Rob - Van - Dam!" chant before he drops down to the canvas. Van Dam asks for and receives a microphone, but when his music comes to an end, the noise level from the crowd is simply deafening, with 'RVD' smiling and nodding his head, taking the atmosphere in as he scans the arena. Eventually Van Dam holds up a hand and calls for quiet, with the majority of the crowd coming to order...

Rob Van Dam: Wow... guys, really... just... wow.

A section of the crowd break out with a "RVD! RVD! RVD!" chant that quickly grows in volume, with Van Dam again nodding his approval but quickly holding his hand up to call for quiet...


Rob Van Dam: Thank you, thank you very much. Wow.

Van Dam again nods appreciatively, rubbing a hand across his jaw, almost in awe of the response he's received...

Rob Van Dam: Y'know, people used to have a sayin' about me. They'd say, “Rob Van Dam? He's the best guy goin' today to never win a world championship.”

Van Dam shrugs his shoulders, almost apologetic...

Rob Van Dam: But that all ended last summer at One Night Stand when I beat John Cena to become the WWE Champion. And yeah, it was kinda controversial, but it didn't matter... I had done it. I'd finally became a world champion.

The crowd respond with another loud, yet brief, pop...

Rob Van Dam: But then... then they started sayin' “Rob Van Dam? Yeah, he's been a champion... but he's never got it done where it really matters. He's never got it done... at WrestleMania.

Again the crowd cheer, with Van Dam taking a glance at the title over his shoulder...

Rob Van Dam: Going into last night, that's what people were sayin'. That's what Shawn Michaels and Triple H kept tellin' themselves, that 'RVD' just couldn't cut it when it mattered most. But last night, WrestleMania XXIII, Detroit, Michigan...

Cheap pop...

Rob Van Dam: We crowned a new WWE Champion... and his name... is ROB – VAN – DAM!

The crowd chant in time as Van Dam performs his trademark thumbs once again, before yet another roar of approval breaks out as Van Dam finishes...

Rob Van Dam: But... I've been around this business a long time now. And I know that the split second the referee counted three... the target was on my back. The hard work starts right here, right now, 'cause there's a whole locker-room full o' guys back there just dyin' to take this title away from me.

Van Dam again rubs his jaw, but the laid-back attitude soon returns as he again shrugs his shoulders...

Rob Van Dam: But hey, that's cool with me. Bring it on. I've waited my entire career for a night like last night. Every table I ever crashed through, every chair that ever got smacked off my skull, every time Joey Styles made me record an interview at 3am in the basement of a Philadelphia motel...

The smarks in the crowd break out with an “E – C – DUB! E – C – DUB! E – C – DUB!” chant as the camera turns to Styles, the commentator laughing and nodding along with the champion...

Rob Van Dam: It all became worth it last night to stand infront of over 70,00 of my fellow Michigans and hold this title in the air. And now that I've got it? I'm not givin' it up for nobody!

Another pop, with Van Dam taking the title off his left shoulder to hold it high above his head...

Rob Van Dam: Now, I'm not gonna come out here week after week and bore you with some long ass, drawn out monologue. That's not Rob Van Dam's style. That's not the kinda champion I'm gonna be. I'm gonna do what I always do... and let my actions in the ring do the talkin' for me. But... there is one thing I wanna make clear to everybody back there... and two guys in particular.

The camera closes in on Van Dam as he turns slightly towards the entrance way...

Rob Van Dam: So Shawn Michaels... Triple H... every member of the Raw roster... I'm right here waitin' guys.

Van Dam opens his arms wide, giving a visual challenge to the rest of the Raw roster...

Rob Van Dam: On any given night, if anybody wants to step up and challenge me for this title... then do it, bro. Monday Night Raw... this is my show now. This is my house. And I'll take on any challenge, I'll give anybody that's got the guts to step in this ring and challenge me face-to-face, man-to-man, the shot they want.

Van Dam gathers pace, quickly turning to face the hard camera...
Rob Van Dam: I've never been one to be modest or lack confidence in myself... and I ain't gonna start now. This is my time to shine, this is the opportunity I've been waitin' for. This is gonna be a new era here on Raw. The time for talkin' is over... now it's time to fight.

Pop...

Rob Van Dam: 'Cause there's a new name at the top o' the bill here on Monday nights... and that name's ROB – VAN – D-

*MY TIME IS NOW...*


A gasp of shock quickly descends into a very loud mixed reaction, which only grows louder as John Cena himself steps out onto the ramp. Looking much more jovial after his win last night, Cena is beaming as the camera zooms in on him, with Cena turning to the lens and saying “He did good. He did real good.” before he offers up a salute and then races down the ramp...


Jim Ross: Well there he is folks, the man who thanks to a little bit o' help from 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, finally rose to the challenge of Bobby Lashley and Vince McMahon.

Jerry Lawler: And of course after the match, I saw a sight I thought I'd never see. Cena and Austin standing toe-to-toe, toasting each other with a beer! Only at WrestleMania would you see somethin' like that.

Joey Styles: It was certainly a historic moment last night, one I wanna thank Linda McMahon for allowing me to be a part of. She lifted my suspension, and then I slapped the taste right outta her husband's mouth!

Jerry Lawler: Yeah and you're lucky you're not facin' another suspension after that one!

Jim Ross: You have to wonder now that Cena has put his issues with Lashley and McMahon to bed, does he have his sights on the WWE Championship once again? When Cena lost the title to Shawn Michaels, Cena never got a rematch.

Joey Styles: And if Rob Van Dam is true to his word, and I know he is, he'll happily give Cena that rematch right here tonight!

Cena stands across from Van Dam, nodding his approval in the direction of the champion, before he heads for the corner and receives a microphone. Both men position themselves in the centre of the ring, square to each other, both men sharing a wry smile as Cena waits for his music and the crowd to die down...

John Cena: Well, well... let me be the first to come out here and publicly say... Rob Van Dam... congratulations.

Detroit gives Cena a very respectful cheer and applause, with Van Dam nodding his appreciation at Cena. Cena still has that wry smile on his face as he takes his time, pondering his next statement...

John Cena: You did a helluva job last night, you beat two men and you became the WWE Champion at the biggest WrestleMania of all time. That's a huge achievement, somethin' that nobody'll ever take away from you.

Another pop from the crowd, and while Van Dam again smiles and nods, he's wary as he adjusts the title belt on his shoulder...

John Cena: But I'm not out here to blow smoke up your ass. And while I appreciate the whole talk is cheap thing... I got a few words I wanna say to ya'. I got somethin' pretty important that I wanna remind you, and all these people about. I wanna remind you that a few months ago, when ECW folded, you were a man without a home. Monday Night Raw wasn't your show... it was mine.

Van Dam keeps that calm, nonchalant look on his face, while Cena points a finger to his own chest in a show of importance...


John Cena: But you showed up on Raw, you chose to come here 'cause you wanted to win championships. And hey... look how that turned out for ya'.

Cena points at the title on Van Dam’s shoulder, with the champion taking a quick glance down at it before returning his eyes to Cena...


John Cena: And you stood across the ring from me, face-to-face, man-to-man, just like you said, and you challenged me to a match for MY WWE Championship. But for whatever reason... ol' Vinny Mac back there, he didn't wanna see that. He thought your face didn't fit anymore, you represented all that he thought he was wrong with ECW, he didn't wanna see Cena and Van Dam, but me? I wanted it. But more important than that... these people wanted it too. And we gave it to 'em, didn't we?

Cena looks to carry on, but Van Dam quickly jumps in...

Rob Van Dam: Yeah bro', yeah we did. It was a heck of a match. I'm sure you're gonna remind everybody who won that night, right?

Cena laughs, turning away for a few seconds to compose himself...


Rob Van Dam: It was him, by the way.

Again Cena laughs, this time with a few chuckles from the crowd as the fans laugh for the easy exchange of banter between the two...

John Cena: Well... I'm not one to brag. But yeah, I beat ya'. I beat ya' fair and square.

This time it’s Van Dam who has a quick laugh, but he quickly motions for calm...

Rob Van Dam: John, John... I don't need the history lesson, bro'. I was there, I remember. Despite what Vince McMahon said... you gave me a shot at the Royal Rumble.

Cena nods in agreement, while Van Dam winces before his next statement...

Rob Van Dam: But y'know, I just got finished tellin' everybody that there wasn't gonna be so many openin' monologues on Raw anymore... and this one's already getting' kinda long. So why don't we cut to the chase?

Cena raises his eyebrows in surprise, but he quickly composes himself...

John Cena: You wanna cut to the chase? Alright, fine. I defended my title against you at the Royal Rumble, then at Raw: Night of Champions, I got screwed outta it by Shane McMahon. And I never got my rematch. I got nothin' but beat on night after night by whoever sold themselves to Vince, while you got to go to WrestleMania and challenge for the WWE Championship. You... got my rematch, Rob.

A quiet hush from the crowd as Cena inches closer to Van Dam...

John Cena: And right now I'm out here to tell ya' that if you're lookin' for a challenge, if you're lookin' to defend that title right here tonight... then consider yourself challenged.

But this time the crowd responds with a pretty decent pop, with Van Dam sensing some tension, looking to appease the situation...

Rob Van Dam: John... I don't have a problem with you, dude. If it's a title match you want... then that's what you're gonna get.

Again the crowd pop, with Cena narrowing his eyes...

John Cena: Alright... then let's do it. Tonight, live on Monday Night Raw, John Cena and Rob Van Dam for the WWE Championship, right here in 'The Joe'!

Cena becomes animated, roaring to the masses, before he moves in on Van Dam... and offers him a handshake. Van Dam takes his time, sizing up the situation, taking a good long look at Cena's outstretched arm... before he finally offers a hand of his own... but before the two can shake on it...

*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*


The always ominous music of the McMahon's hit, and indeed the crowd voices it's disapproval as Mr. McMahon leads out his troops onto the stage. Shane McMahon is not far from his Father's side, while the imposing figure of Bobby Lashley has a fierce scowl on his face as he stares into the crowd. McMahon's assistant Brooke Adams brings up the rear, clipboard in hand, handing her boss a microphone as the posse position themselves at the top of the ramp...


Mr. McMahon: Wait a minute. Cena, Van Dam... you two just hold it right there.

Cena turns away from Van Dam and the handshake, allowing himself to look up at Vince...

Mr. McMahon: Cena, I'll get to you in just a minute. But as for you 'RVD', first of all let me be the second person to publicly say... congratulations.

The crowd boo, unsure of how to take Vince's statement, especially with the very over the top round of applause the champion receives from Shane and Brooke, while Lashley barely flickers...

Mr. McMahon: No, hey... I mean it. You won a fair fight. You're not exactly my choice for champion. I mean, there's no real redeeming qualities about you. You're gonna prove nigh on impossible to market. And you're probably gonna cost me a lotta money. But hey... congratulations again, Rob.

Cena turns to Van Dam with a smirk on his face and shouts “You buyin' this?”, with 'RVD' simply shaking his head in response...

Mr. McMahon: But you better realise somethin' real fast Rob. Just because you're the new WWE Champion... doesn't mean you run MY show.

Small level of heat from the fans...


Mr. McMahon: You're not gonna defend that title every week Rob. Not a chance. Y'see, title matches, they make me money. But to make me money, they need to be promoted. And promotion... that takes time. And I wouldn't be the greatest business mind this industry's ever seen if I didn't know a little bit about promotion. So any matches for the WWE Championship are gonna be run by me first. Especially... the one you two are tryin' to fix up right now.

The heat level rises, but Vince simply flexes his arms to readjust his suit...

Mr. McMahon: The last thing I want to see is...

”ASSHOLE! ASSHOLE! ASSHOLE!”

Mr. McMahon: SHADDUP!!

A long chorus of boos breaks out, with Vince rubbing his brow in annoyance as he waits for the crowd to die down...

Mr. McMahon: That's quite enough of that. As I was saying, the last thing I want to see is you two go at it. Quite frankly, the only thing I can think of right now that's worse than Rob Van Dam as WWE Champion... is John Cena as WWE Champion. And I don't care if these people wanna see it... it's not gonna happen. Not tonight. Not next week. Not at Backlash. Never! 'Cause you see – Ms. Adams, if you would?

Brooke quickly flicks through the papers on her clipboard, handing Vince a brown envelope...

Mr. McMahon: Thank you. Y'see in this business, a handshake means... absolutely nothing. But this...

Vince opens the envelope, taking out a collection of papers...

Mr. McMahon: This does mean something. This is a legally binding contract that you two signed before your match at the Royal Rumble. A contract, with a certain stipulation in it, that you both agreed to. And that was... no rematch.

Vince sneers as he speaks, with the crowd booing loudly while Cena can only shake his head despondently...

Mr. McMahon: It’s right here in black and white guys. No rematch, Cena and Van Dam at the Royal Rumble was a one-time only affair, and it’s never gonna happen again. Especially not in this hellhole you people call Detroit.

Cheap heat...

Mr. McMahon: But since you both seem so enthusiastic about bein’ in the ring with each other tonight, I’m gonna give you just that. Tonight, it’s gonna be the team of John Cena and Rob Van Dam facing off... against ‘The Dominator’ Bobby Lashley... and a young man who impressed the heck outta me last night, the Intercontinental Champion, Kenny Dykstra.

Despite the prospect of that main event, the crowd voices its displeasure with a loud chorus of boos, while Lashley simply cracks his knuckles and tenses his neck before we see Cena and Van Dam turn and share an anxious look at each other...


Mr. McMahon: So, gentlemen, allow me to wish you a-

Rob Van Dam: Hey, Vince!

McMahon’s jaw nearly hits the floor as Van Dam interrupts him, the crowd pleased somebody finally shut Vince up...

Rob Van Dam: I came out here tonight lookin’ to give these people a WWE Title Match. And I got a dude here in John Cena who says he’s up for the challenge. And to me... that sounds like a pretty good business move. I mean, it’ll make the sponsors happy, the networks are gonna like it, everybody is gonna wanna see it... except you. So what’s your problem, Vinny? Unless... you’re savin’ me for Lashley up there?

Lashley suddenly perks up, the mention of his name enough to attract his attention...

Rob Van Dam: And if that’s the case... then why wait? I already kicked his ass TWICE!

The crowd “Oooh!”’s as Lashley steps forward, with Shane quickly stepping infront of him, trying to calm the big guy down...

Rob Van Dam: If you want it to be Lashley so badly... then why don’t you do it tonight, bro’?

Another pop from the crowd, desperate to see Van Dam defend his gold tonight. Vince quickly catches on though, having a wry chuckle to himself as he waits for the crowd to die down...


Mr. McMahon: Let’s get one thing straight, Rob. I am not, and I never will be... your bro’. But don’t you worry about defending that title. I’ll let you know where and when... all in good time. You just worry about tonight... and leave the business to me.

*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*


And with a smirk on his face and a maniacal glint in his eye, Vince turns and leaves, with Shane and Brooke quickly following, while Lashley lingers on the stage, staring down at both men for a few seconds further before he too turns and heads backstage. In the ring, Cena and Van Dam turn and look at each other, hoping to be opponents, but now forced to be partners, neither man happy with the situation, a tense stand-off as we head off into a commercial.

*Commercial*


And when we return, it’s straight back into the arena to hear...

*HART BEAT...*


That all too familiar guitar rift rips through the silence as The Hart Legacy make their entrance. Natalya Neidhart leads the way down the ramp, as Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd slap as many hands as they can along the way...


Jim Ross: Welcome back to Monday Night Raw folks, as we experience the fallout of one of the most dramatic nights in WWE history. WrestleMania XXIII will long live on in the memories of millions of people around the world, but now it's time to start that long road towards WrestleMania XXIV. And we're kickin' it off with one of the hottest young tag teams here on Raw, The Hart Legacy, Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd.

Jerry Lawler: And this one's a rubber match between The Hart Legacy and The Redneck Wrecking Crew. Smith and Kidd won the first matchup, Cade and Murdoch won the rematch two weeks ago, and tonight we're gonna see these two settle things once and for all.

Joey Styles: And both these young men impressed during the WrestleMania Pre Show Battle Royal, especially Harry Smith who wound up being the last man eliminated by The Miz. But both these teams are gonna be lookin' for the win here in an attempt to establish themselves as threats to the champions, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin.

*SWEET ‘N’ SOUR…*


A smattering of heat for The Redneck Wrecking Crew, as both Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch stride down to the ring. Murdoch snarls at the ring, pointing and hurling abuse at his upcoming opponents, while Cade scowls into the camera before pushing it away…


Jim Ross: These two tough, angry rednecks took exception when The Hart Legacy grabbed a win over them that many would've called an upset. But since then, Cade 'n' Murdoch have assaulted and beaten the youngsters, and they're here to prove once and for all that the first victory for Smith and Kidd was nothin' but a fluke.

Joey Styles: Two real smash mouth competitors, but their arrogance is what's really stood out. They felt disrespected that The Hart Legacy had the nerve to beat 'em, and they've been tryin' to set the record straight ever since.

Jerry Lawler: They talked about respect, but these two showed Smith and Kidd no respect whatsover. I really wanna see these youngsters shut these two up, they've done nothin' to deserve any respect from any team here on Raw.

Jim Ross: It's gonna be a slobberknocker, that's for damn sure...

Match 1: Tag Team Match
The Redneck Wrecking Crew
vs. The Hart Legacy w/ Natalya Niedhart

Tyson Kidd and Lance Cade step forward to kick us off, but as the two come face-to-face, Cade shows Kidd a complete lack of disrespect… as he slaps Tyson across the face! Kidd rubs his face in pain, as Cade simply laughs in his face… until Tyson snaps back with a pair of stiff forearms to the face! Kicks to the thigh are followed up with a reverses thrust kick to the midsection, doubling Cade over, and now Kidd is coming off the ropes… low angle dropkick… sends Cade rolling under the bottom rope to the floor! Cade scrambles back to his knees, but Kidd already has him lined up… looking for plancha… but Murdoch pulls Cade to safety… only for Kidd to land on the apron! Cade and Murdoch huddle together, trying to regroup, but here comes Kidd… running sommersault senton… takes out both men! Kidd bounces back to his face, firing up the crowd, before he yanks Cade up and rolls him back into the ring. Cade comes to a stop near the ropes, and Tyson nips up… then re-enters the ring with a slingshot legdrop! Kidd rolls into the lateral press… 1… 2… Cade kicks out. Tyson looks to stay in control as he helps Cade up, twisting and wrenching on the arm, before he tags in Smith. Harry steps in and drops a double axe handle across the arm, before he fires Cade off the ropes… big back body drop!

Cade scrambles to the corner and tags in Murdoch, but as he charges into the ring, Smith is ready and waiting… to duck underneath a clothesline… a then rock Cade with a release German suplex! Smith goes for the cover… 1… 2… Murdoch kicks out. Looking to stay on the attack, Smith smashes Murdoch face first off the top turnbuckle, rocking him with right hands to the face, elbows to the side of the head and boots to the midsection. Smith fires Murdoch across… and follows in with a corner clothesline! Again Harry sends Murdoch across… and again follows in… but this time Murdoch gets a boot up to the face! Smith staggers away, and here comes Murdoch… clothesline… puts Smith over the top rope to the outside! Murdoch cleverly turns and gets in Kidd’s face, allowing Cade to drop down and lay a beating on Smith behind the referee’s back. Smith is rolled back in, with Murdoch bringing Cade back into the match, with Cade targeting the lower back of Smith with a string of forearms and elbows. A quick tag brings Murdoch back in, and he props himself onto the second rope as Cade takes Smith up and down with a backbreaker… but keeps him across his knee… so Murdoch can hit a guillotine legdrop! Murdoch crawls into the lateral press… 1… 2… Smith rolls a shoulder!

Now ‘The Crew’ look to isolate Smith from Kidd, with Murdoch rocking Smith with a big boot in the corner, while Cade comes close to victory after a long, impressive vertical suplex. Smith is worn down as Murdoch locks on a reverses chinlock and drives his knee into the back at the same time, but as Smith battles back to his feet, he starts to comeback into it, drilling elbows to the gut to break the hold… but he swings and misses with a right hand… allowing Murdoch to hook him up from behind… FULL NELSON SLAM! Murdoch rolls Smith over, hooks the leg… 1… 2… Smith barely kicks out! Angry at the kick out, Murdoch quickly tags in Cade, and hoists his partner up… elevated legdrop! Cade’s weight comes crashing down, and he has another cover… but again Smith just about kicks out! Another quick tag, and Murdoch is back in, softening Smith up with right hands, before he goes for the Irish whip… and traps Smith in a bearhug! Smith cries out in pain as the painful submission hold is applied, with Smith being caught for a good while, the hold slowing wearing him down further. Kidd and Natalya desperately try to rally the crowd to support Smith, but despite the cheers, Smith continues to fade… until he suddenly has a burst of energy, and tries to mount a comeback, rocking off a pair of right hands… but he can’t break Murdoch’s grip! Another right… still no break… so Smith… takes Murdoch up and down with a belly-to-belly suplex!

Both men are down, but slowly they crawl for their corners… here comes Cade… here comes Tyson Kidd! Cade bounds into the ring, but Kidd sees him coming, slinging himself onto the top rope… springboard dropkick! Murdoch is back on his feet, but Kidd cuts him off, striking with kicks to the thighs… before a jumping roundhouse puts Murdoch down! Kidd now turns back to Cade, drilling him with more kicks, backing Cade into the corner, before Kidd goes for the Irish whip… but Cade reverses… and follows in… but he runs into a boot to the face! Kidd scrambles through the ropes and then upstairs… big time crossbody! 1… 2… Murdoch makes the save! And with Smith still down, ‘The Crew’ are free to double team Kidd, with Murdoch rocking him with a string of right hands to the back… before he calls for Cade to get up… Murdoch sends Kidd towards Cade… boot to the midsection doubles Kidd over… and here come Cade and Murdoch… SWEET AND SOUR… NO! Kidd leaps to avoid Cade… then sends Murdoch flying from the ring with a headscissor takedown! Smith is now back in the corner, and Kidd tags him in, with Smith charging… bowling Cade over with a bodyblock! Cade is back up… another bodyblock! Cade staggers up a third time… and here comes Smith… massive boot to the face! Cade is down… but Smith has him up… as Tyson heads for the apron… Irish whip to Cade… and Smith hoists him up with a bearhug… Kidd springs to the ropes… springboard lariat… it’s the HART ATTACK!! Kidd gets all of it, and Smith crawls into the cover… 1… 2… low angle dropkick from Kidd sends Murdoch sprawling back down to the floor… 3!

Winners: The Hart Legacy @ 07.12

The crowd respond with a strong cheer as Smith grabs the win for his team, the powerhouse quickly back on his feet to share a hug with Kidd. Natalya quickly enters the ring, delighted with her teammates effort, while Murdoch reaches under the bottom rope and drags Cade from the ring, having support his partner as the two gingerly make their way around the ring...


Joey Styles: Well congratulations to Tyson Kidd and Harry Smith! The Hart Legacy has won the rubber match with The Redneck Wrecking Crew, and they did it in pretty impressive fashion.

Jerry Lawler: It was lookin' pretty rough there for a while, Cade 'n' Murdoch looked like they had Tyson Kidd exactly where they wanted 'im. But credit to the newcomers, they dug deep, and they've pulled off a great victory that's really gonna make The World's Greatest Tag Team sit up and take notice.

Jim Ross: Congratulations again to Smith and Kidd, two outstanding looking young talents here on Monday Night Raw. But folks, with WrestleMania XXIII now in the rear-view mirror, we're all bracing ourselves here... for the backlash.

One last look at the celebrating Harts, before we cut into a video...

*Video Package*


We open to the cold, dark eyes of Shawn Michaels, staring blankly into the camera, his face the only light on the screen beneath the black cowboy hat that is pulled down low over his brow, the frame slowly moving from one side of his face across to the other...

Triple H: I... have been wronged...

We cut to the footage of Michaels cracking 'The Game' with a steel chair, a dramatic boom ringing out as the chair makes contact..

John Cena: Had sins committed against me...

A dark red glow engulfs the screen as we see footage of Shane McMahon smack a chair of Cena's head, another boom on impact...

Rob Van Dam: Witnessed travesties of justice.

Van Dam is struck with the sweet chin music...

Randy Orton: I fought without fear of consequence...

Orton drops Ric Flair with the RKO...

Bobby Lashley: I caused immense pain and suffering...

Lashley runs through Cena with a massive spear inside the steel cage at Saturday Night's Main Event...

Kenny Dykstra: And on this night...

Dykstra brings a chair down on the skull of Jeff Hardy for a sickening one man con-chair-to...

Carlito: On 'dis night...

Dykstra flies through the air to land the sky high legdrop on 'Lito...

Shawn Michaels: But on this night...

And we end once again on the cold glare of Michaels, staying on his face as he utters the words....

”Thy Backlash shall be felt...”



"WWE BACKLASH – APRIL 29TH - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"

*End Video Package*


*Commercial*


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


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Monday Night Raw. And please welcome my guests at this time... Torrie Wilson... and the Intercontinental Champion, Kenny Dykstra.

Big time heat as the always arrogant Kenny Dykstra enters the frame, once again wearing those sunglasses indoors. Torrie Wilson is of course by his side, cutting a fierce but sexy look. Long gone are the pigtails and flowing dresses, as Torrie now sports straight hair and a revealing black outfit that shows off her, ahem, assets...

Todd Grisham: And, if I can start with you Torrie? Last night you turned your back on Carlito. For months the two of you were in a relationship together, and when Kenny first started making advances towards you, you made it clear you were disgusted by his actions. But now, the two of you seem to have entered some kind of relationship together... at Carlito's expense. I'm sure the question on everybody's mind is... why?

Torrie turns to Dykstra, the youngster arrogantly shaking his head at Grisham's question, before Wilson steps towards the mic...

Torrie Wilson: Why, Todd? I'll tell you why. For so many months I stood by Carlito's side. He was smart, he was funny, we had a lotta fun together. But Carlito... he was nothin' but a loser!

Loud boos are overheard from inside the arena, with Torrie simply rolling her eyes at the crowd's reaction...

Torrie Wilson: I mean, he never won any titles, he barely won matches, and he had to get the help of an old man like Ric Flair to win the tag titles. And even then, they lost them like a month later. I mean, I'm a Playboy Covergirl, I was voted one of FHM's Most Sexiest Women, men all over the world dream of being with me... and I'm supposed to stick around with Carlito?

Wilson, scoffs, turning her nose up...

Torrie Wilson: I don't think so. So when Kenny came on the scene, and he started winning matches, and he became the Intercontinental Champion... I sat up and took notice. And I realised I was fed up wasting my time with a loser like 'Lito. So now I've got a new man... and he's more man than you'll ever be Carly.

Torrie runs a finger down Dykstra’s torso, the youngster arrogantly laughing as he steps towards the mic...

Kenny Dykstra: You know what they say Todd... behind every great man... is a great woman. You think about every dominant couple in WWE history. 'Macho Man' Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. Shawn Michaels and 'Sensational' Sherri. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Well now... now they're gonna say “Kenny and Torrie”. 'Cause there's a new power couple here in the WWE...

Dykstra casually wags a finger between he and Torrie...

Kenny Dykstra: And you're lookin' at 'em. Y'know, for the last few months, I've been the fasted rising star here on Raw. I won the Intercontinental Championship, last night I won my WrestleMania debut, and it looks like Mr. McMahon is fially startin' to pay attention too, 'cause tonight I'm in the main event. And guess what? I'm gonna win that too. And then... with Torrie by my side... NOTHIN' is gonna save Monday Night Raw...

Dykstra snaps the sunglasses from his face, his eyes piercing the camera...

Kenny Dykstra: From total... domination... at the hands of 'The Future Hall of Famer'... Kenny Dykstra.

Dykstra stares deep into the camera, before he finally turns his eyes back towards Torrie, who takes one last flirtatious look at Grisham before the pair leave, that camera focused on Todd as he watches them leave, slowly shaking his head.

And now we head back into the arena...

*LOADED...*


Detroit gives up a strong pop as Jeff Hardy makes his entrance. Jeff stops at the top of the ramp to perform his usual gyrating entrance, but he's clearly still suffering the effects of last night's Money in the Bank Ladder Match as he gingerly makes his way down the ramp, favouring his lower back as he does...


Jim Ross: A pretty classless statement on the part of Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson right there. I think that kid's got a ton of potential, he's gonna be a star some day here in the WWE. But the way he and that jezebel Torrie have humiliated Carlito, it makes me sick quite frankly.

Joey Styles: And speakin' of Carlito, he hasn't been seen here in the arena tonight. And who can blame 'im? Poor guy's probably heart-broken.

Jerry Lawler: And speakin' of broken, after the Money in the Bank Ladder Match last night, I'm amazed Jeff Hardy wasn't broken in half! Jeff took a crazy amount of risks last night, but he came pretty to victory on a couple of occasions.

Jim Ross: You could make an entire highlights video based purely on Jeff's performance alone last night. Jeff gave a helluva effort to try grab the briefcase, but he came up a little bit short, and you can see the physical toll the match took on him.

”HEY!...”

*BURN IN MY LIGHT...*


And it's yet another walking wounded from last night, although the new 'Mr. Money in the Bank' Randy Orton will no doubt feel the briefcase he holds in his right hand makes the pain all worthwhile. Orton walks with a visible limp and he rubs the back of his neck too, but the scowl on his face shows that Orton is all business tonight...


Joey Styles: And there you see him folks, 'Mr. Money in the Bank' Randy Orton. We've always known Orton to be a very cunning competitor, but what a dangerous proposition he becomes now that he's got that briefcase and a guaranteed title shot in his grasp.

Jerry Lawler: Well just like Orton can strike out of nowhere with that deadly RKO, he could strike without warning to cash in that briefcase and become a champion. And it was an ominous warning Orton gave last night at WrestleMania. He's not gonna waste any time in cashing in his opportunity. It could even be tonight!

Jim Ross: It certainly could, but right now Orton has to deal with 'The Charismatic Enigma', Jeff Hardy. This one's been brewing for a while now, with a rivalry developing between the two. Neither man at 100% means this one could be a real smash-mouth affair...

Match 2:
Mr. Money in the Bank Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy

As the bell rings, neither man is quick to make the first move, both starting across the ring at each other before Hardy finally starts to circle. Orton slowly follows suit, until the two come together for a collar-and-elbow tie up. Orton backs Hardy to the corner, with the referee stepping in to call for the break. Orton initially obliges, but he quickly moves back in to repeatedly drive his shoulder into the midsection. Right hands land to the face, before Hardy is yanked to the middle of the ring and sent off the ropes... but a baseball slide avoids the contact... allowing Hardy to score with the clothesline! Orton is down but quickly back up, only for Hardy to tag him with a string of right hands. Hardy sends Orton to the corner, then charges in... corner clothesline connects! Orton slumps down to the canvas in a seated position, which presents Hardy with the chance to race in at him... for the Hardyac Arrest! Hardy uses the ropes to drive both feet into Orton, with Randy quickly rolling to the floor to regroup. Orton shakes away the cobwebs, but Hardy isn't wasting anytime... as he flies through the air with a plancha! Hardy crashes into Orton, and he mounts 'The Legend Killer' and starts unloading with right hands.

Hardy is back on his feet, the crowd right behind him, but he's wary of the ref's count as he slides back into the ring. Orton slowly picks himself up, but Hardy attacks again... baseball slide... sends Orton spine first into the announce desk! Hardy now rolls outside and looks to stay on the attack, again tagging Orton with right hands. Jeff then turns and heads to the barricade, climbing atop it as he waits for Orton to rise... Jeff runs the barricade... and then delivers a diving clothesline! It's all Hardy thus far as he again puts Orton down, rolling him back into the ring where Jeff gets a two count. Jeff helps Orton back to his feet, before a scoop slam puts him back down. Hardy then heads for the corner, stepping through the ropes to climb upstairs, the crowd on their feet as it looks like Jeff is going for the SWANTON BOMB... NO! Orton shakes the ropes... leaving Jeff to crotch himself on the top turnbuckle... and then fall to the floor! It's a painful landing for Hardy, with Orton telling the referee to count as he tries to recover. Hardy slowly makes it back up, crawling onto the apron as the count reaches seven, but as he tries to come back through the ropes, Orton pounces, hooking him up... ROPE HUNG DDT! Orton drives Jeff skull first to the canvas, and now he hooks the leg... 1... 2... Hardy rolls the shoulder!

Orton now looks to go on the attack, stomping his way around Hardy's prone body, before he drags Hardy up then yanks him into the corner. A pair of uppercuts are followed with a trio of right hands, before Orton pulls Hardy to the centre of the ring, then fires him off the ropes... into a textbook dropkick for another near fall. Further damage is done with a pair of kneedrops, before Orton locks on that trademark chinlock of his. Orton squeezes tight and wrenches on the neck, but the crowd makes some noise, and Hardy manages to struggle back to his feet, a pair of elbows to the midsection breaking the hold... Hardy swings a right hand... but Orton ducks underneath... inverted headlock backbreaker! Hardy is down, Orton hooks the leg... 1... 2... Hardy kicks out! Orton reacts with frustration, glaring at the ref, before he goes right back to the chinlock. Orton wrenches even tighter this time, keeping Hardy down on the canvas for a good while, with Jeff trying to claw free Orton's grip. Orton hangs on though, and slowly the pressure tells as Jeff starts to fade. Once again the crowd raise the noise levels, determined to will Jeff back into contention. Hardy struggles to his feet once more, again drilling elbows to the midsection, but Orton hangs onto the hold... until Jeff breaks free with a sitout jawbreaker!

Orton staggers away, but Jeff looks to go on the attack, rocking him with right hands, but when he tries for a kick to the gut, Orton grabs the foot... Jeff scores with a mule kick! Orton is down, and Jeff grabs both his legs... double legdrop to the midsection! Here's a cover... 1... 2... Orton kicks out! Hardy is in control now, and he looks to build momentum as he strikes with rights that back Orton to the ropes. Jeff winds up for the Irish whip... which Orton reverses... SNAP POWERSLAM! Orton gets all of it, hooks both legs... 1... 2... Hardy barely kicks out! Orton is furious, back on his feet to confront the referee, who confirms it was only two. Focusing once more, Orton turns his attentions back to Jeff, waiting for Hardy to rise... to go for the RKO... no! Hardy pushes Orton away, and when Orton turns, Jeff drills him with a boot to the midsection... TWIST OF FATE... NO! Orton pushes Jeff into the corner, where he nips up the turnbuckles... WHISPER IN THE WIND! Jeff crawls into the lateral press... 1... 2... Orton rolls a shoulder! Orton barely stays alive, but now Hardy has him lined up, waiting for Orton to rise... kick... TWIST OF FATE... NO! Out of sheer desperation, Orton grabs the referee... and yanks him into Hardy! The underhand tactic allows Orton to break free, falling into the corner... right next to his Money in the Bank briefcase! Hardy checks on the referee, and then looks to quickly finish Orton off... but Orton is ready and waiting... to SMASH THE BRIEFCASE OFF HARDY'S SKULL!! The ref sees it all, and has no choice but to call for the bell!

Winner: Via Disqualification, Jeff Hardy @ 06.14

What the...? Orton lays Jeff out with a vicious shot to the skull with the briefcase, with Hardy flat on his back in the middle of the ring, barely moving. Orton slumps against the corner, briefcase still in his grasp, with the referee furiously chastising Orton for his actions. Orton snarls at the ref, more interested in regaining his composure in the corner. Hardy slowly begins to stir, which prompts Orton to shove the ref aside, allowing him to ready himself as Jeff makes it back to a knee... then back to two feet... and here comes Orton... ANOTHER BRIEFCASE SHOT TO THE SKULL!!


“Dammit! What the hell is wrong with you?!”

Hardy collapses to the canvas once again, a sick, remorseless look on Orton's face as he stands over him. Again the referee tries his best to get Orton to leave the ring, only for Orton to then threaten to strike once more. The crowd boos relentlessly, but Orton barely notices as he looks down on the fallen Hardy, standing over him with malice in his eyes as we fade into a commercial.

*Commercial


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


Maria: Hi! I'm Maria! Welcome back to Raw everybody! And please welcome my guests at this time... the World Tag Team Champions... Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas... The World's Greatest Tag Team.

The camera pans to the right to reveal The World's Greatest Tag Team nearby, both Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin looking extremely smug and proud after their victory last night...

Maria: Charlie, Shelton, last night you won the Champions vs. Champions Tag Team Match when you beat The Hooligans from SmackDown. But... since becoming World Tag Team Champions one month ago at Saturday Night's Main Event, you've yet to defend your titles. And-

Shelton Benjamin: Whoa, whoa! Hold up! What you tryin' to say?

Looking worried, Maria simply “Um”'s in response...

Shelton Benjamin: We ain't been duckin' no challenges. Fact o' the matter is, there ain't a team out there worthy enough of facin' us with this gold on the line. We ain't defended these titles yet 'cause we were busy puttin' the art of tag team wrestlin' back on the map in this company.

Benjamin turns towards Haas, passing over the speaking duties...

Charlie Haas: Y'see last night we went out and did exactly what we said we were gonna do. We issued the challenge to London and Kendrick 'cause we wanted them to give us the best competition we could find. Raw... just isn't cuttin' it with us anymore. The level of talent just can't compete with us. So we called out SmackDown's best... and we beat 'em. We proved that The World's Greatest Tag Team isn't just a name... it's a fact.

Benjamin smirks and nods as he pulls the microphone back towards him...

Shelton Benjamin: And now that we've proven ourselves again, we're lookin' for the next challenge. We wanna go down as not only the greatest tag team around today... but the greatest tag team in wrestling history. And to do that... we need to defend these titles. So we're throwin' it out there to all the teams here on Raw. Before WrestleMania we asked you to impress us... and not one of ya' stepped up and did that. So now WrestleMania is in the past... we givin' you one – last – chance.

Maria pulls the mic away, her confidence restored as she asks her next question...

Maria: So who do you guys think that's gonna be? I mean, earlier tonight we saw The Hart Legacy beat The Redneck Wrecking Crew. And up next, The Straight Edge Saints take on Chris Masters and Johnny Nitro. Which team do you think will emerge as your next challengers?

Haas shakes his head at the question while Shelton nonchalantly shrugs...

Shelton Benjamin: Honestly, Maria? We don't care. But we just wanna let whoever it is know that if they're gonna step into the ring with us, they better be ready... 'cause they're steppin' into the ring with the best.

Charlie Haas: We proved it last night... and we'll prove it again. Anytime... any place... 'cause we're the greatest.

Having said their piece, Haas and Benjamin casually stroll off, leaving behind a confused looking Maria as we head back into the arena...

To hear...

*THIS FIRE BURNS...*


A warm welcome for The Straight Edge Saints as CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore make their entrance. Punk winces as he slowly kneels down on the stage, slapping his hand off the steel, tapping his wrist, bringing up to the ear of Kelly Kelly, before Punk hollers “It's clobberin' time!” and the trio head for the ring...


Jim Ross: And yet another man suffering the effects of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. CM Punk of The Straight Edge Saints was one of the eight participants, and he gave a great accounting of himself last night.

Joey Styles: Punk is another one who came extremely close to victory last night. Infact, on a couple of occasions, he was at the top of ladder all along, hands on the briefcase, but he was unable to take possession and claim the win.

Jerry Lawler: This young team is really startin' to impress me. Punk brought 'em together, and they've looked good so far. If Haas and Benjamin are lookin' for their next opponents, they'd be wise not to look past Punk and Dinsmore.

*PAPARAZZI...*


The red carpet is out, as are the photographers for the arrival of Chris Masters and Johnny Nitro, both linked arm-in-arm either side of Melina. The duo now also have matching fur coats, although Masters clearly looks uncomfortable wearing his...


Joey Styles: Johnny Nitro was also a participant in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match last night, and he almost won when Chris Masters got involved in the match. Masters took out the field with the Masterlock, and Nitro nearly had a free run at the briefcase.

Jim Ross: And what an upset that would've been! Save for one rather dubious victory Nitro scored over Nick Dinsmore a few weeks ago, these two have been shut out of the win column so far in 2007.

Jerry Lawler: And I understand that earlier today, Melina took both Nitro and Masters shopping to try and settle a few nerves and get her guys back on track. That must be where Masters got that new fur coat.

Jim Ross: Well, I dunno much about retail therapy, but I hope Melina's got these two in the right frame of mind, otherwise they're gonna be starin' down the barrel of another defeat right here.

Match 3: Tag Team Match
The Straight Edge Saints
w/ Kelly Kelly vs. Chris Masters and Johnny Nitro w/ Melina

Our two Money in the Bank survivors, Punk and Nitro, get this one underway, the pair initially locking hands for a test of strength. Nitro quickly works out of this into a standing side headlock, wrenching on the neck, only for Punk to fire him into the ropes... Nitro bowls Punk over with a shoulderblock. Nitro turns and comes off the ropes again, but this time Punk is ready and waiting... armdrag hiptoss! Nitro is quickly back up, but Punk unloads with a string of kicks to the thighs and body, backing him into the ropes. Punk goes for the Irish whip... and then takes Nitro down with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Punk goes for the cover... but Nitro kicks out of the early cover. Looking to stay in control, Punk drags Nitro to his corner, tagging in Dinsmore, who drills Nitro with a knee to the midsection, then takes him up and down with a backbreaker for another near fall. Both men are back on their feet, with Dinsmore snapping off a few right hands, before he fires Nitro to the corner and follows in... but Nitro drills Dinsmore with a back elbow! Dinsmore staggers back, while Nitro jumps to the second rope, then flies... springboard roundhouse... no! Dinsmore ducks underneath, as Nitro lands on his feet, but when he turns Dinsmore is waiting... northern lights suplex! 1... 2... Nitro kicks out again.

Dinsmore now brings Punk back into the match, with Punk again snapping off those kicks to the thighs. Punk winds up and goes for the Irish whip, only for Nitro to reverse it... and Melina reaches in to grab Punk by the foot! Punk puts on the breaks and angrily yells at Melina, but when he turns back to the ring... Nitro rocks him with the NITRO BLAST... causing Punk to fall through the ropes to floor! Punk lands right at Melina’s feet, and when Nitro turns to distract Dinsmore and the ref, Melina quickly lays in with a few kicks, before Masters drops down and hauls Punk up... then sends him crashing shoulder first into the steel steps! Punk is rolled back into the ring, with Nitro diving into the lateral press... 1... 2... Punk rolls a shoulder. Masters gets the tag, and he starts to unload with a string of forearms to the back of the neck, before a scoop slam puts Punk down, allowing Masters to drop a knee across the throat. Masters continues with the impact moves, landing double axe-handles and uppercuts, before he fires Punk off the ropes... straight into a sidewalk slam! Masters hooks he leg... 1... 2... Punk rolls the shoulder once more!

Nitro and Masters now look to keep Punk away from Dinsmore, attempting to wear him down by targeting the neck. Masters connects with a shoulderbreaker and a falling neckbreaker, while Nitro does further damage by launching Punk through the ropes shoulder first into the ringpost, before he gets a near fall from his STO backbreaker into the Russian legsweep combination. Masters is in the ring, and he has Punk in the heels’ corner, repeatedly driving his shoulder into the midsection, before he strikes with a flurry of forearms to the back of the neck, dropping Punk to a seated position on the mat. Nitro backs up... and then races in... RUNNING KNEE STRIKE! Punk’s head snaps back violently, with Nitro dragging him to the centre of the ring... 1... 2... Punk stays alive! Seeking a way to end things, Masters comes back in, again dropping those forearms to the back of the neck. Masters then hooks Punk up for a vertical suplex... but Punk lands on his feet behind Masters... runs him into the ropes... for a rollup! 1... 2... Masters kicks out, but he sends Punk into the ropes... who comes off them... with a low angle dropkick to the face! Both men are down, but Punk heads for his corner... and tags in Dinsmore!

Dinsmore charges into the ring, rocking Masters with a clothesline, and he keeps on running to knock Nitro off the apron. Dinsmore turns back to Masters, racing towards him... spinning heel kick! Here’s the cover... 1... 2... Masters rolls the shoulder! Dinsmore has all the momentum, and now he looks to put Masters away, starting with a flurry of forearms to the side of the head, backing Masters to the ropes. Dinsmore goes for the Irish whip... but Masters reverses... and then swings and misses with a clothesline... Dinsmore connects on a flying forearm! Masters is down, and now Dinsmore heads for his legs, tying them up, twisting and turning... into a TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Dinsmore unveils his new submission finisher, with Masters riving in pain, desperately clawing for the ropes... but he can’t reach them... and he begins to tap... but there’s no bell... as Melina is on the apron distracting the referee! The match should be over, but the call is nowhere to be seen, and now Nitro is back in the ring... NITRO BLAST! Again Nitro connects, this time breaking the hold, with Masters going for the cover, the referee turning... 1... 2... Dinsmore rolls the shoulder! The crowd pop loudly as Dinsmore barely kicks out, much to Masters’ disbelief. Masters quickly tags in Nitro, the two now looking to finish things off with a double team move as Masters holds Dinsmore in position while Nitro comes off the ropes... Punk grabs Nitro by the foot... and trips him up! Punk now jumps onto the apron, with Masters dropping Dinsmore to wonder what the hell is going on... springboard clothesline from Punk! Masters is down, but he’s soon back on his feet... Punk smacks him with a kick to the side of the head... causing Masters to fall through the ropes! Dinsmore is now back on his feet, and he grabs Nitro, while Punk climbs upstairs... Dinsmore takes Nitro up on his shoulders... and Punk flies... DOOMSDAY DROPKICK! Nitro is sent flying to the mat, with Punk hooking the leg... Melina is again on the apron... Kelly Kelly drags her down... and now the ref counts the 1... 2... 3!

Winners: The Straight Edge Saints @ 07.29

Melina can't believe it as she slumps her head onto the apron, her team losing yet another match. Masters reaches in to drag Nitro from the ring, while Kelly Kelly quickly joins Punk and Dinsmore to celebrate their win. On the outside, Melina screams with anger, while Masters has to support Nitro as the two struggle up the ramp...


Jim Ross: Well, I guess Melina's plan didn't quite come to fruition. Once again her boys Nitro and Masters are putting another one in the 'L' column.

Jerry Lawler: God, poor Melina. Nobody that hot deserves to be managing a team so cold. Maybe we could offer her a job here at the announce desk, she could fetch drinks and provide free neck massages. And she could do the splits right on our table!

Joey Styles: Well anything's gotta be better than bein' associated with Masters and Nitro right now!

One last look at Melina, who tugs her hair in desperation, while in the ring Punk and Kelly share a hug as Dinsmore climbs to the second rope to celebrate with the fans.

And now we quickly snap to a corridor backstage... to see Shawn Michaels walking along it!


Joey Styles: But there you see the former WWE Champion, Shawn Michaels. We understand Michaels is on his way out to the ring, you won't wanna miss that, when we return live to Monday Night Raw!

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

We open to the sight of a log fire burning, the flames slowly flickering away. The camera slowly pans upwards to see the beautiful wooden décor of a plush wooden cabin. The camera continues to pan, this time across a window, with the breath-taking image of snow covered mountains in the background. We pan once more to see a tall, well-built man with a shaven head sitting on a couch, sipping what appears to be champagne from a glass, a stunning blonde woman sat nearby, the pair sharing the moment, before the man turns his head towards the camera...

???: My name… is Claudio Cesaro. And these… are the Swiss Alps. Beautiful, aren’t they?

Our man, now identified as Cesaro, takes another sip of champagne before he carefully places the glass down on an antique wooden table...

Claudio Cesaro: Now, I know you ignorant Americans know very little of other cultures. But that’s OK, as Claudio… is here to educate you all.

Cesaro stands up from the couch, the camera following him as he slowly walks across the room...

Claudio Cesaro: You see, here in Switzerland, we are very much the opposite of you. We have class. We are refined. We are dignified people who enjoy the finer things in life.

Cesaro approaches a stunning brunette woman, who delicately places a chocolate into his mouth, Cesaro smiling as he chews…

Claudio Cesaro: We are a peaceful nation, too busy living a life of luxury to worry about fighting wars or engaging in foreign conflict. Unlike you Americans, we Swiss have no blood on our hands.

Again Cesaro paces the room, a butler holding out the sleeves of an expensive looking leather jacket, with Cesaro effortlessly sliding his arms in and then affixing the jacket over his body…

Claudio Cesaro: For us, fighting is never a necessity… it is always, purely for sport. For recreation. For fun.

Cesaro takes off again, stopping next to a bookcase filled with many leather bound books, picking out ‘The Art of War’ and flicking through the pages...

Claudio Cesaro: And for me, fighting comes easy. That’s why I have won championships all over the world. You see, I have the best education money can buy. Not only in the classroom… but also in the ring.

Cesaro now heads for the door of his palatial ski lodge, picking up a pair of car keys with a ‘Lamborghini’ logo on the keyring ...

Claudio Cesaro: And that is why I am bringing myself to your United States… to conquer the wrestling world.

Cesaro stops infront of the door, holding one hand high in the air in an uppercut position…

Claudio Cesaro: For I am Claudio Cesaro, and I… am very… European.

"CLAUDIO CESARO - COMING SOON TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW!"


*End Video Package*


And we're back, with a second cold opening of sorts, as for a few seconds the only sound breaking the silence is the gentle hush of the crowd, until...

*SEXY BOY...*


A strong outpouring of heat for the former WWE Champion Shawn Michaels, who slowly steps out onto the stage. Dressed head-to-toe in black, with that black cowboy hat pulled down low over his brow, Michaels pauses, staring blankly into the cold, his cold eyes piercing the camera lens as we move in for a close up, before Michaels takes a few steps forward then drops to his knees in prayer...


Jim Ross: What a night it was last night for Shawn Michaels. Michaels went into WrestleMania XXIII the WWE Champion, and a man determined, almost possessed by the desire to once again steal the show and retain his title. And while many would say that the Triple Threat Match did indeed steal the show, Michaels did not leave Ford Field as champion.

Joey Styles: There were some breathtaking moments from all three men involved, and 'HBK' pushed himself to levels I don't think I've ever seen before. You called it right J.R., the man was possessed by somethin' last night!

Jerry Lawler: Yeah and for so long we heard Michaels talk of how winnin' back the WWE Championship had helped him find peace in his life once again. Now that he's lost the title... what's that gonna do to 'im? We've been sayin' for a while now that Michaels has lost his mind... I just hope last night doesn't push him over the edge.

In the ring, Michaels receives a microphone, then slowly, almost robotically heads for the centre of the ring. His head down, his hat low, the camera struggles to see the look on Michaels’ face. Finally Michaels raises his head to stare into the crowd, the boos of the fans ringing out loud, with Michaels contempt to simply wait for the jeers to die down before he speaks...

Shawn Michaels: Y’know... I came out here about two months ago... and I laid it all on the line for you people.

The boos come to a stop as the fans listen in intently, with Michaels rubbing the stubble on his check with the palm of his hand as he ponders carefully...

Shawn Michaels: I told you all how by becomin’ WWE Champion, I’d finally found my smile again. About how I’d finally found...

Michaels pauses, closing his eyes for just a second...

Shawn Michaels: Peace... with myself.

Michaels again pauses, composing himself, gathering his thoughts before pressing on...

Shawn Michaels: ‘The Showstopper’... was back. Back to doin’ what he did best. And while all of you people might like to think that what I do best is entertain you... that’s not what I’m here for. That’s not what the big guy upstairs put me on this earth to do. He put me here to make myself happy, to live an honest life. And to be honest... I’m only happy when I’ve got that WWE Championship around my waist. But last night...

Michaels glances to the heavens...

Shawn Michaels: WrestleMania XXIII... for one reason or another... didn’t make me happy.

Michaels ruefully lowers his head once more, pursing his lips as he ponders again...

Shawn Michaels: But... if there’s one thing ol’ ‘Aitch – Bee – Kay has goin’ for ‘im... it’s faith. Faith that this’ll all work out. Faith that is all just part of the bigger picture. Y’see, I thought back at Raw: Night of Champions, I thought I had it all figured out. I held that chair in my mind... and I cracked it over Triple H’s skull, and suddenly... I felt at peace. But last night, Hunter... my old friend Hunter... you and Rob Van Dam conspired against me.

Michaels shakes his head, the faintest hint of a scowl on his face...

Shawn Michaels: I thought Raw: Night of Champions was the moment it all became clear for me but I’m man enough to admit I got it oh – so – wrong. But when I lay on that mat, and I looked up and saw Rob Van Dam holding my WWE Championship, it was like an epiphany. It all became clear. One day Rob, I’ll make my peace with you, but right now, I know what has to be done. Triple H...

And with a dark, evil stare, Michaels turns his gaze to look deep into the hard camera...

Shawn Michaels: I... must strike thee down.

The crowd, unsure how to react, offers a smattering of boos, with must stunned into silence...

Shawn Michaels: YOU... Triple H... must suffer MY... backlash.

The fans catch on this time though, unloading with a strong level of heat...

Shawn Michaels: Last night, I didn’t lose the WWE Championship. I wasn’t the man who had his shoulders pinned to the mat. I wasn’t the one who lost. That was YOU, Hunter! It was YOU! But what you don’t get Hunter, what you just didn’t understand, is that you... never... stood a chance last night.

Finally a hint of emotion from Michaels, who start to become animated...

Shawn Michaels: You went into WrestleMania so full of hate, so full of rage, your judgment clouded by anger, that you had no hope in hell of winnin’ last night. All you did Hunter... was get in my way... cost me my title... and cost me my happiness.

Michaels snarls, shaking his head angrily, running his hand across his brow then down his face...

Shawn Michaels: And now I’m gonna make you pay. Vengeance shall be had. Redemption shall be achieved. Peace... shall be found. And the only way that’s gonna happen... is if you’re no longer here. For you Triple H, Backlash shall be your day of reckoning... and I-

”BEHOLD THE KING... THE KING OF KINGS...”

*THE GAME...*


A phenomenal roar of delight as Triple H slowly strides out from the back. Dressed in jeans with a denim jacket, ‘The Game’ is clearly not dressed to compete tonight, but the furious look on his face suggests he’s damn ready for a fight. Trips takes a sip from his water bottle before he starts the methodical walk down to the ring, with Michaels’ eyes trailing every step ‘The Game’ takes. Triple H slowly circles the ring, then climbs up onto the apron, taking a quick glance over his shoulder. Michaels doesn’t budge an inch, allowing ‘The Game’ to spray a jet of water into the air, flexing for the crowd before he steps into the ring. A boisterous “Triple H! Triple H! Triple H!” chant rings out as Trips is handed a mic, with ‘The Game’ then turning back towards Michaels.

The two engage in a tense, nervous stand-off, with Triple H slowly circling Michaels, like an animal stalking his prey. Michaels is unmoved though, barely a flicker of emotion on his face as his eyes follow his nemesis, with Trips finally coming to a stop, turning to square up to ‘HBK’. The crowd is still on their feet, cheering wildly as ‘HHH’ takes a long, hard look at Michaels, before he takes one last sip of water and then brings the mic to his mouth...


Triple H: Lemme, uh... lemme see if I get this straight. You think that the fact you’re not WWE Champion right now... is’ cause o’ me? Rob Van Dam’s won the WWE Championship last night... and you wanna blame me for that? Is that it?

’The Game’ stares at Michaels, looking for a response, but ‘HBK’ remains stoney faced...

Triple H: Lemme tell ya’ somethin’ Shawn... if anybody oughta be pissed off after what happened last night... if anybody’s got a right to fell like he should be standin’ in this ring the WWE Champion... it’s me.

The crowd pop, with ‘The Game’ now glaring at Michaels...

Triple H: Saturday Night’s Main Event, I won the tournament, I earned the right to face you last night, one-on-one, for the WWE Championship. That title was mine for the takin’, and the fact that I was gonna kick your ass all over Ford Field to do it, made it all the better.

Another pop, but Trips doesn’t waste any time in pressing on...

Triple H: But... Rob played the politics game, he got his way into the match, and the rest... is history. It’s kinda rich me of all people complainin’ about politics, but hey, it’s always funny when it happens to somebody else.

A few laughs from the smarks, with even ‘The Game’ allowing himself a quick chuckle, although Michaels remains the emotionless shell we’ve come to know...

Triple H: You got your eyes set on Rob Van Dam? Believe me, I got the exact same thing in mind. One day I’m gonna get my shot at him, and we’ll see if he really can play the game. But you, Shawn?

Trips steps forward, narrowing his eyes...

Triple H: I don’t wanna wait any longer.

Pop...

Triple H: If you wanna settle things Shawn, then let’s do it. But lemme tell ya’ somethin’. I’m not the answer to your problems. I’m not the one that’s got you this screwed up in the head. That night on Raw two months ago when you smacked that chair off my skull... you think that brought you peace? You think that brought you happiness?

Triple H shakes his head...

Triple H: The only thing that brought you Shawn... was the ass kickin’ I owe ya’!

Another pop...

Triple H: You shouldn’t be mad with Rob Van Dam about last night. If anythin’, Rob did you a favour. Van Dam bought you some time. Y’see with Rob makin’ it a triple threat, you had somebody there watchin’ your back. Somebody there to step in and draw me away from you when I had you right where I wanted ya’.

’The Game’ shrugs his shoulders...

Triple H: If anythin’, you oughta be thankin’ ‘RVD’ for savin’ your ass. But all he did... was delay the inevitable.

Again the crowd cheer, but ‘The Game’ is on a roll now as he quickens the pace...

Triple H: There’s nobody left to get in my way, there’s nobody left to save your ass... not even your buddy upstairs.

This time it’s Trips who raises his eyes to the heavens, but not even the mention of God can draw Michaels’ attention to him...

Triple H: But we’ve been here before Shawn. We’ve had battles in the past, wars that left neither you nor me the same. We’ve spilled blood, we’ve broken bones, we’ve shattered bodies. Hell... maybe it’s all those times I smacked you over the head with a sledgehammer that’s made you the way you are today.

Triple H turns his body slightly, scratching the back of his head...

Triple H: But maybe... maybe another shot to the skull’s what it’s gonna take to set you straight.

Triple H takes a step back, his hands gesturing towards Shawn, using them to emphasis the doubts and confusion he’s feeling right now...

Triple H: I mean, what the hell is this? What the hell happened to you? All this religious crap, lookin’ out for number one, searchin’ for peace and happiness, that ain’t you Shawn. Truth be told, you were always the most selfish son of a bitch in that locker-room! Sure, you looked out for number one, but you looked out for your friends too! That’s the real Shawn Michaels, not this-

Shawn Michaels ENOUGH!

’The Game’ turns with a fierce look in his eyes, while Michaels stares at the mat, not wanting to make eye-contact as he speaks...

Shawn Michaels: You wanna know what happened to that guy, Hunter? He found his faith, he found some guidance, and he realised what he needed to do. He needed to step away from the past. You, DX, it all had to end if that guy was gonna get what he wanted. I was always the guy who did the right thing, I was always the good guy. But every night these people cheered for me... it was tearin’ me up inside. Every night I teamed with you, every match we fought together... it made me sick to my stomach.

Michaels snarls at Triple H, while ‘The Game’ clenches his jaw, willing to hear Michaels out...

Shawn Michaels: But I stuck it out... for you. And where did that get me? The first chance you got, the first sniff of gold, you put that friendship on the line, you put our team on the line. You didn’t care about me, you didn’t care about DX, you never did. And neither did I. So when I saw my chance to break free, I took it. I just didn’t think you’d still be tryin’ to ride on my coattails all the way to WrestleMania.

’The Game’ laughs, shaking his head...

Shawn Michaels: That’s why we’ve gotta finish this, once and for all.

But he’s all serious for that one, as are the crowd, who give a mixed response of heat and excitement...

Triple H: Once and for all? One final battle, huh Shawn? That’s what you want?

’The Game’ steps forward, getting right in Michaels’ face...

Triple H: YOU’RE ON!

A massive cheer breaks out, with the prospect of the match closer to a reality...

Triple H: But if we’re gonna do this, let’s do it right. Let’s end this thing with no doubts. Let’s end this with no questions asked. We’ve had Street Fights, Hell in a Cells, Cage Matches, Ladder Matches... so if we’re gonna end this, it’s gonna have to be...

The camera darts back and forth between the two, until it settles on ‘The Game’ as he firmly says...

Triple H: NO – HOLDS – BARRED!!

The arena roars it approval, with ‘The Game’ clenching his jaw, staring menacingly into the eyes of Michaels. Triple H and the fans wait patiently for an answer from Michaels, who initially stares at Triple H, then turns his eyes away, clearly pondering his response. It’s silence from both men, although the crowd makes plenty of noise as they urge Michaels to say yes. Finally ‘HBK’ brings his eyes back up to meet Triple H’s, the two standing toe-to-toe, looking each other dead in the eye, ‘The Game’ shaking with rage almost, the crowd electric as they wait for Michaels to confirm... but Shawn... simply gives Triple H a tip of his cowboy hat... then walks away!?

A stunned look of confusion crosses the face of ‘The Game’, as Michaels simply brushes shoulders with him as he walks past, his back to Trips as he heads for the ropes. Triple H turns, almost in disbelief, watching Michaels step through the ropes and then casually walk down the steps and head for the ramp. Michaels slowly starts to head towards the entrance way, the crowd booing loudly, while Triple H can only stand in the ring and watch Michaels leave, with nobody sure of whether the challenge was accepted or not...


Jim Ross: Well, I... I...

Jerry Lawler: What d’ya think he meant by that, J.R.? I mean, Michaels said he wanted to settle things, he practically called ‘The Game’ out, and then when the challenge was made... he just tips his hat?

The camera has the perfect view of Michaels’ face as he trudges up the ramp, a man who looks at ease once again, despite all we’ve just heard...

Joey Styles: What on earth is going on in the mind of that man right now?

Jim Ross: Well, I’m not a particularly religious person. But quite honestly, I think only God knows what’s goin’ on in that head o’ his. I don’t think anybody in this arena has a damn clue right now, not even Shawn!

Michaels makes it to the stage, continuing to walk for the entrance way... until he stops. Not once has Michaels looked back since he tipped his hat, but now he stands still, his back to Triple H in the ring. The crowd buzz, hoping for some kind of final confrontation between the two... but ‘HBK’ simply disappears backstage, out of sight into the darkness, leaving an angry, confused looking Triple H in the ring as we fade into a commercial.

*Commercial*


And from one bizarre sight to another, as when we return, Mick Foley is standing backstage, speaking to a random backstage worker. The two share some indistinct chat about Foley’s latest book, until Foley’s attention is dragged elsewhere... as Rob Van Dam enters the frame! The crowd pop inside the arena as the two ECW legends come face-to-face, both men sporting broad smiles as they shake hands...


Mick Foley: Hey, Rob! Great to see ya’ man! I was hoping I’d catch up with you at some point tonight.

Rob Van Dam: Hey, Mick! How ya' doin'?

Mick Foley: I'm good, I'm good. Hey, listen, I just wanna say that I saw your match last night with Triple H and Shawn Michaels. And I just wanna offer my congratulations on winnin' the WWE Championship, right here, in Detroit, Michigan!

Trademark Foley as he goes for the cheap pop, with Van Dam laughing and shaking his head...

Rob Van Dam: Well hey, Mick... let me be the first to congratulate you on being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

A warm round of applause breaks out from inside the arena, with Foley nodding appreciatively...

Mick Foley: Well thanks man, thank you very much. But hey, I also heard what you had to say earlier tonight. And I gotta tell ya'... you got it pretty much right. Now that you're the champion, that target is definitely on your back now.

Van Dam nods knowingly, with Foley looking almost reluctant to say so...

Mick Foley: I mean, guys like you and me Rob... we're not meant to make it to the top in this company. We're not exactly the stereotypical WWE Champions. But I made it... and now you've gone one step further. You've won the big one at WrestleMania. And I'm proud o' ya' man.

Foley gives 'RVD' a quick slap on the shoulder, with Van Dam taking a look down at the title...

Rob Van Dam: Thanks a lot Mick. But listen, I know I'm now the guy everybody's gunnin' for. But I'm cool with that. I'll take on anybody. I welcome the challenge. Anybody who wants to step in that ring with me, all they gotta do is ask and I'll be ready.

Foley winces ever so slightly, not sharing Van Dam's confidence or laid back manner...

Mick Foley: Well... that's certainly how it was back in my day. But things are a little bit different now. I mean, challenges to your WWE Title can come out of nowhere, just-

???: Just when you least expect it, right Mick?

Both Foley and Van Dam turn too see Randy Orton standing nearby, the crowd instantly showering him with heat after his actions earlier this evening. Orton is now changed into street clothes, but he still carries that menacing look on his face, and of course the Money in the Bank briefcase as he steps forward...

Randy Orton: I mean a challenge can come out of nowhere. I could challenge you right now, Rob. Especially... with this briefcase in my hands.

Orton holds up the briefcase, having it in the eye-line of all three men...


Randy Orton: It could be tomorrow, it could be next week, it could even be... after tonight's main event.

The fans boo loudly as Orton sneers at 'RVD', who remains as unflappable as ever...

Rob Van Dam: Like I said Orton, any challenge, any time, anywhere. I just always figured if somebody was gonna challenge me they'd do it... like a man. I mean, that's what I did last year when I won that briefcase. I challenged John Cena to a match, I cashed in my briefcase with plenty of warning... and I beat 'im.

Orton rolls his eyes and shakes his head, caring little for Van Dam's method of cashing in the briefcase...


Randy Orton: Listen Rob, it's got nothing to do with guts or dignity. It's all about... that thing on your shoulder. And I'm gonna wait until the perfect moment, I'm gonna wait 'til you're battered, bruised and broken, and then... then I'm gonna cash in my opportunity.

And now Orton steps forward, the two going face-to-face...


Randy Orton: And believe me Rob, you shouldn't be worried about facing John Cena any time soon. 'Cause I don't intend on waiting that long... to take that title away from you.

And with that, Orton glares at both 'RVD' and then Foley, before he turns and walks back in the direction he came from. Van Dam turns to take a quick look at Foley, 'The Hardcore Legend' puffing out his cheeks and shaking his head before he quietly says...

Mick Foley: Have a nice day.

We linger on the two for a few seconds, before we fade into a video...

*Video Package*

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 we now cut to the announce desk to hear from the commentary team...

Jim Ross: That’s right folks, the King of the Ring is back! A 32 man tournament, and we’re gonna whittle ‘em down to just eight men who will compete during a live, Saturday Night’s Main Event special.

Joey Styles: That’s right J.R., 16 Raw superstars and 16 SmackDown superstars will battle in a series of tournament matches. Four men from each brand will make up the final eight who will head to the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on June, 2nd, where we’re gonna crown a new king!

Jerry Lawler: And the qualifying matches are set to start one month from tonight, live on Raw, the night after Backlash! Over the next few weeks, the 32 participants will be announced, we’re gonna have a draw to determine the brackets, there’s gonna be a lot goin’ on before qualifying starts.

Jim Ross: And the only way to see it folks is to tune in to Raw and SmackDown every week. But while the King of the Ring is set to return, one man’s future that is very much in doubt right now, is that of ‘The Nature Boy’, Ric Flair.

Jerry Lawler: Last night Ric was involved in a match against SmackDown’s Mr. Kennedy, a match that was billed as ‘Past vs. Future’. Certainly in the weeks leading up to the match, there was a lot of ill feeling between the two.

Joey Styles: Well certainly Ric Flair and his family suffered a lot of emotional anguish during the run in to WrestleMania. Flair was assaulted, his best friend Arn Anderson was sent to the hospital, and Kennedy attacked both of Flair’s sons, Reid and David. The Flair family was ripped apart by Kennedy, and Ric Flair walked into Ford Field last night with revenge on his mind.

Jerry Lawler: And it was a brutal match last night, both men busted open, hittin’ each other with everythin’ they’ve got, but in the end, sadly, it was Kennedy who came out on top.

Jim Ross: It was certainly an emotional night, especially after the match. Let’s take you back folks, to last night, WrestleMania XXIII, and the aftermath of the battle between Mr. Kennedy... and Ric Flair.

*Video Package*

We open to the sound of applause ringing out, a slow, melancholic violin tune playing in the background, as the sight of Ric Flair sat in the ring, tears in his eyes as he runs a hand through his hair, looking utterly dejected by this loss...

Jerry Lawler: {Echoing} Is this the last time we'll see Ric Flair?

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

Jim Ross: {Echoing} I don't think there's a man alive who can claim that we're not lookin' at the best of all time right there.

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

Tazz: {Echoing} Flair might've lost tonight... but he ain't never gonna be a loser in my eyes, and not in the eyes of the fans around the world.

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

Michael Cole: {Echoing} Ric Flair... has lost here tonight. And perhaps... he's lost for the last time.

And as Flair disappears, the sound of the violin slowly comes to an end, while the screen slowly... fades... to black.


*End Video Package*


And now we head back to a very dejected looking announce desk...

Jerry Lawler: I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on Ric Flair’s face after that match. He looked crushed, absolutely devastated. And I felt terrible for ‘im. I don’t think there was dry eye in Ford Field last night when Flair headed backstage.

Jim Ross: It was certainly a very heartbreaking moment for us all to witness. Ric Flair is not here tonight, uh... from what we understand, Flair hasn’t been in touch with any WWE officials since last night. We believe he didn’t even stay to watch the rest of the show, he simply headed backstage, packed up his things and went home. In my book, Ric Flair has nothin’ to prove to anybody. He’s done it all in his career. I just hope... last night wasn’t the end.

Joey Styles: We’re gonna try over the next few weeks to get some insight into Ric Flair, maybe even an interview, just to see how he’s doin’, and to find out what the future holds, for the greatest of all time.

Jim Ross: So Ric, if you’re at home in Charlotte, North Carolina watchin’ this right now... please get in touch. There’s a lotta people here in the WWE who care a lot about you, and they wanna hear from you. Uh... we’re gonna take a commercial now folks, join us in a few moments, when Monday Night Raw, continues.

*Commercial*


And we head straight back into the arena to hear...

*OBSESSION...*


A warm welcome for Mickie James as the Women’s Champion bounces out onto the stage. James rushes from side to side of the stage, thrusting her championship into the air, before she bounds her way down the ramp towards the ring...


Joey Styles: Welcome back folks. Last night saw the Women's Champion, Mickie James, pick up a very impressive victory over her long-time rival Beth Phoenix. But perhaps more importantly than retaining the title, Mickie proved to everybody that she can stand up to the power of 'The Glamazon'.

Jim Ross: Goin' into the match, I just see how Mickie could get it done. She'd been dominated over the weeks by Beth, and with all the controversial history between the two, I thought Phoenix was just gonna run Mickie over. But Mickie rose to the challenge, and she pulled off a heck of a victory.

Jerry Lawler: You mentioned the history between the two, and that's what makes me think it isn't over yet between Mickie and Beth. I can't see Beth takin' that defeat lyin' down. She'll be back for more, and Mickie better watch her back.

*WHAT LOVE IS...*


A slight pop for Candice Michelle, but nowhere near the reaction for the champion. Candice bursts out onto the stage, and then heads for ringside, where she climbs up onto the apron and rips open her jacket...


Jim Ross: These have spent some time teaming together lately, but tonight, Candice gets a great opportunity to put herself in the title picture again.

Joey Styles: Candice is another Diva here in the WWE who has suffered at the hands of Beth Phoenix, but she'll be lookin' to take advantage of this chance. A win right here, and Candice could see herself as Mickie's next challenger.

Jerry Lawler: And not disrespect to Candice, but I'm sure Mickie would rather be defending her title against a women she considers a friend rather than 'The Glamazon'...

Match 4: Non-Title Match
Women's Champion Mickie James vs. Candice Michelle

The two faces share a quick handshake in the middle of the ring, before both start to circle the other. Coming out of the corner, the pair tie-up, with Mickie quickly taking Candice down with a headlock takedown. Michelle wraps her legs around Mickie’s head, breaking the hold, but Mickie smartly twists her body over into a pinning predicament… but after two, Candice pushes up, the two bridging their bodies back to a vertical base… before Candice takes Mickie down with a backslide! 1… 2… Mickie kicks out, and both ladies spring up for a stand-off, neither wanting to make the first move after the initial exchange. Mickie smiles and nods her head, and once again the pair circle the ring, with the two snapping into another collar-and-elbow tie-up. This time Candice works into the standing side headlock, only for Mickie to fire her off the ropes… and drop down to her stomach as Candice runs over the top… the champion takes Candice down with the Lou Thesz Press! Forearm after forearm land to Candice’s face, with the referee having to step in to separate the two. Candice is dazed, crawling for the corner, where Mickie follows in, landing another pair of forearms to the face. Mickie rears back, looking for the Irish whip across… but Candice reverses… then charges in… Mickie gets an elbow up to the face… then uses the ropes to elevate herself, wrapping her legs around Candice’s head… MICK-A-RANA! Candice is down, and Mickie crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Michelle kicks out.

Candice crawls to the ropes, but Mickie stays on her, again landing another pair of forearms before going for the Irish whip… and Mickie looks to catch Candice with a spinning heel kick… but Candice avoids it with a baseball slide… and takes James down with a clothesline! Mickie is down but quickly back up… another clothesline! But again Mickie is back up… dropkick keeps her down! Here comes Candice off the ropes… and she performs that Go Daddy dance… before dropping the elbow! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… Mickie kicks out! The fast paced matchup continues as Candice looks to take control, landing forearms of her own before she fires Mickie to the corner… and charges in… but when Candice lowers her shoulder, Mickie pushes up, avoids the contact… and comes out of the corner with a sunset flip! 1… 2… Michelle kicks out! Neither woman can take control of the contest, but Mickie tries to again as she looks a clothesline… but misses… allowing Candice to drill a boot to the midsection, then yank Mickie in… for a sidewalk slam! Another cover… 1… 2… again Mickie kicks out.

Candice once again looks to go on the attack, drilling more forearms before she pushes Mickie against the ropes. There, Candice races in… and looks for a clothesline… but Mickie ducks, elevates Candice over the top rope… but she lands on the apron! Mickie turns, only for Candice to drill a shoulder to the gut, doubling Mickie over… and allowing her to connect on a slingshot sunset flip… but Mickie drops down… knees across the shoulders! 1… 2… Candice barely kicks out! The match swings back and forth, with Mickie now on the attack, landing a pair of forearms… but Candice fires right back… and then swings again… but Mickie ducks underneath… and comes off the ropes… RUNNING CROSSBODY! Mickie takes Candice down, and now she reaches down, grabs Candice by the hair, yanks her up… and rocks Candice with the LONG KISS GOODNIGHT! Mickie gets all of it, and she drops down to hook both legs… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Mickie James @ 04.48

Another convincing win for Mickie as she puts Candice away. Rolling free of her beaten opponent, Mickie pushes herself onto her knees and quickly goes to console Candice, the pair sharing a hug as Michelle brings herself around. Mickie helps Candice back to her feet in a great show of sportsmanship, and when the referee hands Mickie her title belt, it's Candice who raises the hand of the champion. All eyes suddenly turns towards the stage as...

*GLAMAZON...*


A gasps breaks out around the crowd as Beth Phoenix confidently strides out onto the stage, a furious look on her face as the crowd throw some heat at her. Beth ignores most of the heat though, her eyes firmly focused on the ring as she comes to a stop on the stage as Beth has a mic in her hand...


Beth Phoenix: Hey Mickie. Way to go, another win. That's two in two nights now. But while you can beat somebody like Candice with ease, your win over me... that was a total fluke.

In the ring, Candice and Mickie both look at each other, with Mickie raising her eyebrows while Candice simply shakes her head...

Beth Phoenix: And if you think that by beating me last night means it's over between me and you... uh uh. I'm not gonna be finished with you, until I've got that Woman's Championship strapped around my waste.

Mickie hoists the title in the air, but Beth wastes no time in carrying on...

Beth Phoenix: And I'm not done making you pay for what you did to me. You're gonna suffer, Mickie. You're gonna feel the pain I felt, you're gonna go through the anguish I went through when you took my dream away from me. Last night...

Beth narrows her eyes, an evil smirk crossing her face...

Beth Phoenix: That just adds more fuel to my fire.

Boos from the crowd, as Mickie stands defiantly, her gaze fixed on Phoenix, a look of determination etched on her face...

Beth Phoenix: I want a rematch, Mickie. And if I can't get it from you... I'm just gonna have to take it.

A commotion breaks out from the crowd, and we soon see why, as both Mickie and Candice are clobbered from behind... by Victoria! Beth's running buddy Victoria has snuck through the crowd and into the ring, hammering the two faces there. Victoria quickly lays in with a string of boots to Mickie, while Beth tosses her mic aside and races down the ramp. Phoenix slides under the bottom rope and quickly grabs hold of Candice, launching her through the ropes to a nasty landing on the floor. Now Beth joins Victoria in her attack, the two laying in with stomp after stomp, the champion defenceless. Beth soon calls Victoria off, telling her to get Mickie on her feet. Slowly Victoria drags Mickie up, the champion's body a dead weight, before she spins Mickie around... then shoves her towards Beth... who hooks Mickie up... then hoists her into the air... GLAM SLAM!! Phoenix plants Mickie square into the mat, quickly shoving her aside as Victoria helps her back up. The crowd boo loudly, but Beth and Victoria simply smile through it, the pair knowing they've gotten the better of the champion tonight, the shot focusing on Beth as she picks the Woman's Championship up off the canvas, taking a long, hard stare at it, before she casually tosses it down on Mickie's torso, just before we fade into a commercial.

*Commercial*


Right back into it as...

*ONE OF A KIND...*


The arena erupts once again as the WWE Champion Rob Van Dam makes his entrance for tonight's main event. It's the usual routine from 'RVD', as he confidently marches out onto the stage, slings his title over his shoulder, before he takes the crowd through a rendition of his “ROB – VAN – DAM!” thumb manoeuvre...


Joey Styles: It's time for our main event folks! And there he is, the new WWE Champion, Battle Creek, Michigan's own, Rob Van Dam! And 'Mr. Monday Night' is scheduled to team up with the man who challenged him to a WWE Championship match earlier tonight, John Cena, to take on Bobby Lashley and the Intercontinental Champion, Kenny Dykstra.

Jim Ross: It's gonna be quite the dynamic to see Van Dam and Cena teamin' together, especially after what we witnessed at the top of the broadcast. Cena and Van Dam were hopin' right now would see them facin' each other. Instead, they're gonna have to learn to co-exist right here.

Jerry Lawler: And they better learn pretty quick, especially with Bobby Lashley standin' across the ring from 'em. If they're not on the same page, this could be the worst possible start to Van Dam's title reign.

*MY TIME IS NOW...*


A strong, loud mixed response as John Cena makes his entrance. Cena stops on the stage, taking another look out at the Detroit crowd, before he offers up a salute and then races down to the ring. As he slides under the bottom rope and nips back up, Cena and Van Dam share an awkward stare between the two, although it ends as Van Dam stands aside, allowing Cena to come off the ropes and launch his hat into the crowd...


Jerry Lawler: Did you see that? They didn't exactly look like they were happy to see each other.

Joey Styles: And I think that plays exactly into Mr. McMahon's hands. No doubt, when he made this match earlier tonight, he was hopin' to see Cena and Van Dam fall apart as a team, leaving Lashley to pick up the pieces.

Jim Ross: I'm sure that once the match gets goin', these two will get along long enough to see this one out. They've been around long enough to know not to buy into McMahon's mind games.

Jerry Lawler: You better they know that...

*IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW…*


New tunes for the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra as the brash youngster cockily walks out, arm-in-arm with Torrie Wilson. Dykstra holds open his arms, encouraging the crowd to marvel at his physique, while Torrie flashes everyone a devilish smirk...


Jim Ross: He's young, he's athletic, he's talented, he's good-lookin', you might say Kenny Dykstra is the complete package. And hell, he knows that, and he's not afraid to make sure everybody else knows it too.

Jerry Lawler: I don't think I've ever seen a kid as arrogant at this guy. And I really couldn't believe what I was seein' last night, when Torrie turned her back on poor Carlito and left Ford Field with this idiot.

Joey Styles: For all the weeks we heard Dykstra brag, only for Torrie to repeatedly shoot down his advances... it was all a ruse. It was all a set-up, designed to embarrass Carlito on the biggest stage. These two are welcome to each other if ya' ask me, and I'm pretty sure one o' these days they're gonna get what's comin' to 'em.

*HELL WILL BE CALLIN' YOUR NAME...*


Big time heat as 'The Real Deal' Bobby Lashley steps out, bouncing up and down on the spot, before he flexes his arms, cracks his neck and starts the slow walk down to the ring...


Jim Ross: Well... there is Bobby Lashley, but I'm surprised that the rest of the posse isn't with 'im. I thought for sure we'd see Vince, Shane and Brooke out here, but Lashley is flyin' solo tonight.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah, so far. I'm sure if Cena and Van Dam get it together and things start goin' their way, we'll see Vince and Shane out here pretty quickly.

Joey Styles: He's an incredible athlete, a real freak out of nature, and of course, a former ECW Champion. But Lashley has suffered painful defeats to both Van Dam and Cena over the last few months, none more so than his defeat to Cena last night. I know I wouldn't be in the ring against that guy when he's in a pissed off mood...

Main Event: Tag Team Match
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam and John Cena vs. Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra and Bobby Lashley w/ Torrie Wilson

The two champions get things going, with Dykstra and Van Dam locking up with a tie up. Dykstra is able to drive Van Dam back to the corner, where he catches Van Dam off guard with a stiff right hand. Dykstra rears back, sending ‘RVD’ across, before he charges in… but Van Dam sidesteps… and Dykstra runs chest first into the turnbuckle! Van Dam quickly turns Dykstra around, drilling a pair of kicks to the thigh, before he drives the shoulder once… twice… three times to the midsection… before a backflip from the corner… allows Van Dam to race in for another shoulder charge! Dykstra clutches his ribs as he staggers from the corner, but when Van Dam goes for a kick, Dykstra catches it… step-over spinning wheel kick! Van Dam goes for the early cover… 1… 2… Kenny kicks out. Van Dam quickly yanks Dykstra back up, drilling him with kicks to the gut against the ropes, before ‘RVD’ goes for the Irish whip... forward roll from Van Dam… catches the onrushing Dykstra with a monkey flip! Dykstra crashes to the mat, but Van Dam again grabs him quickly, this time dragging him to the corner… where Van Dam reaches out… and it’s an uneasy tag that brings Cena into the match. Cena goes to work with rights and lefts to the body, before he sends Kenny off the ropes… into a sitout hiptoss! Dykstra is in a daze as he stumbles up… into a scoop slam… and then Cena comes off the ropes to drop the elbow! Cena hooks the leg… 1… 2… another near fall. Dykstra crawls to the corner to try regroup, but Cena stays on him, landing two right hands before going for the Irish whip… but Dykstra reverses… then charges… right into a boot to the face! Dykstra drops to a knee… and then Cena strikes with a DDT! 1… 2… Dykstra hangs in there!

Cena looks to press home the advantage, but out of desperation, Dykstra reaches up and grabs Cena by the belt, yanking him forward… shoulder first into the turnbuckle! This brief attack allows Dykstra to reach over and tag in Lashley, the powerhouse bounding into the ring and smashing Cena with massive right hands to the face. Cena is then smashed face first off the top turnbuckle, before Lashley drills a pair of rights to the midsection. Boots to the head, uppercuts to the jaw and forearms to the back of the neck put Cena down, before Lashley has him right back up… then right back down with a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall. Right hands drive Cena to the corner, where Lashley goes for the Irish whip… but Cena reverses… Lashley hits the turnbuckle hard… and stumbles out into a fisherman’s suplex! Cena takes Lashley up and down, and now Cena tries to build momentum, waiting for Lashley to rise before he charges off the ropes… flying shoulderblock! Lashley stumbles up… another flying shoulderblock puts him back down! Cena stands, awaiting Lashley getting up… PROTOBOMB! Lashley is down, and Cena is on his feet, peering down… “You can’t see me!”… Cena is off the ropes… FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! Cena gets all of it, and now he’s up waiting once again… until a commotion breaks out behind him… as coming down the ramp… is Mr. and Shane McMahon! Cena is distracted, staring out at the two as they walk down the ramp… and this distraction allows Lashley a chance to get back on his feet… to catch Cena from behind… RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX! Cena’s head and neck violently slam into the mat, and as we go to commercial, it looks the distraction from the McMahons has handed the initiative back to Lashley and Dykstra.

*Commercial*


And when we return, Cena is in a perilous position, down on the canvas in the corner, with Lashley unloading with a flurry of boots to the chest and shots to the face, the referee practically having to drag Lashley away from the corner. With the ref’s back to the action, Dykstra drops down and wraps an arm around Cena’s throat, choking Cena against the bottom turnbuckle. Dykstra nips back onto the apron to tag back in, and he again goes for a choke as he drives his foot into the throat. Cena is yanked back up, with Dykstra planting him with a scoop slam, before he comes off the ropes… jumping kneedrop finds its mark. With Cena writhing on the mat, Dykstra turns and comes off the ropes… baseball slide… sends Cena under the bottom rope… and crashing to the floor! Dykstra then quickly turns and gets in Van Dam’s face, distracting the referee, allowing Lashley to drop down, yank Cena up… then send him flying shoulder first into the barricade! Cena writhes in agony on the floor, with Vince, Shane and Torrie all looking very pleased at ringside.

Back in the ring, Cena is isolated, as Dykstra and Lashley work to keep him away from ‘RVD’. Dykstra gets near falls from a snap swinging neckbreaker and a textbook dropkick, while Lashley unloads with power moves, getting a near fall from a spinebuster before he vows the crowd with a long, delayed vertical suplex. Dykstra is tagged back in, and he strikes with forearms to the head, before he takes Cena up and down with a suplex. Dykstra heads for the second rope… elbow drop connects! Here’s the cover… 1… 2… Cena kicks out. Another quick tag, and here comes Lashley back in, looking to soften Cena up with a backbreaker and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Lashley now looks to wear Cena down with an abdominal stretch, with Vince encouraging Lashley from ringside to lay in with the punishment. Slowly but surely, Cena starts to fade, so much so that the ref is in to check on him, raising the arm once… it drops. Again the arm is raised… it drops for a second time. And for a third time the arm goes up… and Cena keeps it there! The crowd pop, ‘RVD’ encourages his partner, and now Cena has a burst of power as he tries to break the hold… and he does so with a hiptoss! Cena drops to both knees, in too much pain to take advantage, but he soon goes to work, teeing off on Lashley with right hands, before he comes off the ropes… crossbody… no! Lashley catches him… then launches Cena with a fallaway slam! Lashley goes for the cover, hooking the leg… 1… 2… Cena grabs the bottom rope! Lashley is furious as Cena hangs in there, but he quickly brings Dykstra back into the match.

Dykstra re-enters and he goes to work, unloading with boot after boot to the chest. Dykstra soon has Cena back up, and he tries to turn Cena over into a falling neckbreaker… but Cena spins straight through it… and drops Dykstra with a clothesline! Now both men are down, inching towards their corner… Dykstra tags in Lashley, who bounds across the ring… but he can’t prevent the tag to Van Dam! ‘RVD’ steps into the ring and avoids a Lashley clothesline with forward roll, then springs back to his feet… jumping enziguiri! Lashley slumps to the canvas, but here comes Dykstra… running right into a huge back body drop! Dykstra is down, in perfect position, and here comes Van Dam… ROLLING THUNDER! Van Dam crushes Dykstra, but here comes Lashley, clubbing Van Dam from behind… only for Cena to tackle Lashley through the ropes! A brawl breaks out at ringside as Cena and Lashley trade right hand for right hand, neither man giving an inch… and the fight draws the referee’s attention… meaning that behind his back… Shane McMahon has slipped into the ring! Shane waits for Van Dam to rise… and here he comes… but Van Dam sees him coming… causing Shane to put on the breaks! Shane backs off, with a furious looking Van Dam looking like he’s about to kick Shane’s head off… but all this means Dykstra can sneak up from behind… JUMPING REVERSE STO!! Dykstra drives Van Dam skull first into the canvas, a victory over the WWE Champion is in his grasp… but Dykstra instead decides to head to the outside… and climb upstairs! The crowd is booing mercifully, but with Cena and Lashley still brawling on the outside, nobody can stop Dykstra as he lines up for the SKY HIGH LEGDROP… until…

”I SPIT DA' FACE... OF PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO BE COOL...”

*COOL...*


It’s Carlito! He’s here after all! The Joe Lewis arena goes nuts as Carlito strides down to the ring… STEEL CHAIR IN HIS HANDS! ‘Lito rips off his shirt, making a beeline for the ring, with Dykstra dropping down to the canvas… and as ‘Lito slides under the bottom rope… Dykstra dives through the ropes at the other side of the ring… and he and Torrie take off through the crowd! Dykstra runs so fast he winds up leaving Torrie behind, but Carlito doesn’t care, as he leaps over the barricade, races past Torrie and chases after Dykstra! In the ring, Lashley is back in, with Shane and Vince shouting into the masses, ordering Dykstra to return. Lashley does likewise, his eyes looking out into the Detroit faithful… and that means he doesn’t realise that behind his back… Cena and Van Dam are back on their feet! Vince and Shane are the first to realise, and they scream and flail their arms wildly, trying to get Lashley to turn… but when he does… Cena is primed and ready… to hoist Lashley up… FU!! Cena drives Lashley to the mat, and now ‘RVD’, the legal man, slings himself to the top rope… and then flies… FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH!!! Van Dam gets all of it, and with nobody left to help Lashley, ‘RVD’ hooks the leg to get the 1… 2… 3!

Winners: Rob Van Dam and John Cena @ 13.37

Cena and Van Dam combine to put Lashley away, another defeat for Vince's man. On the outside, Vince and Shane are shocked yet furious at the same time, with Shane staring into the crowd, trying to get a sight of Carlito and Dykstra, while Vince has his head in his hands. In the ring, Cena and Van Dam are both on their feet, standing tall, the uneasy look between the two clearly evident on both men's faces as the referee raises their hands. Lashley rolls under the bottom rope and drops to a knee, with Shane over to help him back up. Vince meanwhile has a look of absolute rage on his face, his eyes firmly locked in on the two men standing in the ring...


Jim Ross: Carlito! He was here after all! And he's just cost Lashley and Dykstra this match!

Jerry Lawler: Look at Mr. McMahon, he can't believe it! He thought Lashley and Dykstra had the match won, but Carlito came outta nowhere to get some of Kenny and Torrie!

Joey Styles: And I think Carlito's gonna chase 'em all the way to Lake Michigan if he has to!

Van Dam and Cena now stand across from each other, neither man entirely happy with what's transpired tonight, but the pair remain pleased to have picked up the win. Cena and Van Dam stare at each other, but they soon nod to each other a gesture of thanks, with both men then heading to opposite corners to celebrated with the fans. Vince, Shane and Lashley meanwhile make their way up the ramp, with Lashley having to be supported by Shane as the two struggle to make their way to the stage, while Vince backs his way up, his eyes still firmly fixated on the ring and the two men who have defied him once again...

Jim Ross: What a night it has been! What a great series of moments we've had here in Detroit, Michigan! Thank you for watchin' folks, we'll see ya' next week for more Monday Night Raw!

And as we prepare to leave, the camera cuts back and forth between the smiling Cena, the delighted Van Dam... and the furious McMahon... but it's the image of the WWE Champion using his thumbs to lead the crowd through a chant of “ROB – VAN – DAM!” as we fade to black.

*End Show*




Current Card for WWE BACKLASH:
Date: April 29th, 2007

Location:FedEx Forum; Memphis, Tennessee

NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED YET

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Old 06-13-2012, 10:25 AM   #225 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Under some time constrains at the moment, but just wanted to drop back in and tell you how stoked I am that this is back on. You have plenty of things to build on following your huge Wrestlemania. Went on through the return show, the biggest thing sticking out was your potential revitalization of the tag team division continuing. I remember before 'mania that was a bona-fide on the radar goal you were aiming towards and I'm curious how you'll build it back up. Also noted very well that the IC title feud got some prominence the night after 'mania, which can't hurt, as well as the coming of Claudio. The only thing I'm not too keen on for the time being is yet another Triple H/Shawn Michaels feud on the horizon, but I'm sure you'll make it yours in some way, shape or form. Besides, it might be a great deal more interesting at the inception that nobody seems entirely in line with being a face, possibly even a heel/heel feud (if you turn your Michaels face, I swear, I might reach through this screen and cyberslap you).

Anyway, through all that ramble, guess this was a welcome back to you too, Mr. perpetually sexy sigs.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:38 AM   #226 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

First of all, I’d like to apologise for missing ‘Mania. I was around for a majority of the build and you did a wonderful job, and the event came off basically without a hitch. I seriously considered going back and hitting you up with feedback for the big show, but I can’t be stuffed, and with life the way it is, by the time I finish the feedback I’ll probably have to piss off again. I’m ranting and raving a little bit now, but just wanted to commend you on doing a WONDERFUL job.

The customary video package was done very well, and I enjoyed the detail you went into as well. One thing you brought fresh into my mind is the Ric Flair tears thing. It has been awhile, but If I remember correctly, there was never anything saying Mania would be Flair’s last match. Again, I could be wrong, and maybe it will be addressed some time tonight, but I’m hoping it was his last match. Nothing against Flair but the tears and shit will come off as very cheesy and overdramatic if he’s wrestling again in a couple of months time.

Not a more fitting way to open the show then with not only the new WWE Champion in Van Dam, but he’s also the hometown hero. It’s just such a good story, and something the commentators reminded me of, and something I may not have mentioned is how great of a job you’ve done building RVD finally winning the big one. I know there was the title reign in 2006, but you’ve done an awesome job at almost making that a mute point, which makes the win for Van Dam seem that much better. I’ll get onto the actual promo now, but I felt like that deserved a mention. Funnily enough, you recapped basically everything I mentioned in the beginning of Van Dam’s speech, which is exactly what needed to happen. Just a well rounded new champion promo really, not much you can do besides what you did with it. I was a little surprised to see John Cena of all people interrupt Van Dam. I guess I was expecting Shawn Michaels just because he’s the former champ and because he wasn’t the one who got pinned and what not, but this is MUCH better. It makes the promo stand out and just makes the program seem a little fresh, rather than having the same guys go at it, who have been for the past few months. Plus, I guess the whole HBK/HHH feud is going to be full steam ahead from here anyway. I was a little shocked that when Cena dug into his history with Van Dam in the early parts of his speech, he only mentioned the match that took place in this thread. I like the emphasis you put on this thread, but I thought you could have went as far back as to mention One Night Stand, and how Van Dam stole the title from Cena, when Cena was the man. The rest of the promo was pretty standard, with Cena mentioning how he never got a rematch when he lost the title. McMahon’s interruption obviously to kill the situation, and everything he said went pretty well. The stipulation is a nice thing to play on, which annoys Van Dam, but will obviously continue to show Vince’s hatred for Cena. The main event set up for tonight is a good one, and could actually do big things for Kenny Dykstra. I love the fact that you’re going to have the IC champ stepping it up with the main eventers, as it could get him ready for bigger and better things. The mentioning of Lashley was well done to, and giving Lashley a title shot, despite losing at Mania, seems exactly like the dickish shit Vince would try to pull. Overall, a solid promo to open up the show, and all of a sudden Raw looks really fresh, with the possibility of Lashley and Cena, and hell, maybe even Dykstra chasing the gold.

The rubber match between these two teams was one I was looking forward to, and whilst I would have liked them to maybe get a little more time for the possible final encounter, the match certainly delivered. You had the RWC heel it up like usual, and The Hart Legacy came back at the end for the win. Basic tag team formula and also an effective one. The Hart Legacy really look as if they’re the logic challenge to WGTT, even though they’re relatively new, whilst losing twice to such a new team, I can’t help but feel as if it could hurt Cade and Murdoch a little. I’m intrigued to see just how you book things from here, as all three of these teams, plus maybe a couple more firing, would equal one hell of a division.

Backlash video package looks pretty good, and full marks for getting Carlito and Kenny in on the action. A lot of the time to many people, myself included, only focus on the main event scene, and it’s not right. Also, even though I have less shows to write, I bet you’ll reach Backlash before I reach Vengeance.

I love how you described Torrie’s new look, it actually reminds me a lot of the way Lita used to dress and act when she was partnered with Edge. Maybe not the best idea to be comparing Edge and Kenny just yet, but geez the future could be right. Despite just having turned on Carlito, I wasn’t sure about letting Torrie speak first. Everything she actually said was fine, but it’s just not something I could really see Kenny allowing/wanting to happen. Anyway, I was worried about comparing Kenny to Edge, and you’ve gone and made comparisons with Randy Savage and Triple H. Absolutely awesome stuff, not so much for this interview, but for what the future reads. You’ve built Kenny wonderfully so far and I really think you’ve got a winner here.

It was good to see Hardy and Orton both selling the effects of the MITB match through there entrances, yet then you made a blatant mistake. You made absolutely no reference to the pain they are feeling throughout the whole match itself, which came off as you just blatantly forgetting about in ring psychology that needed to be used here. Again, the match itself was alright, but just that one missing ingredient made it hard for me to read and enjoy. The DQ and the briefcase shot after the contest are something that interests me. I’m thinking maybe it’s just a self preservation sort of thing for Orton, but obviously Hardy is going to be hot and it could lead to a nice little feud for Backlash or something. I’ll have to wait and see which direction you decide to take though.

Little WGTT segment definitely did its job here. Clever to have them get very defensive when Maria mentioned they haven’t defended their titles since they won them. I’m intrigued to see just where you go with this though. I can see them continually trying to duck challenges, and perhaps that will lead to some sort of multi man match. All I know is I forgot Masters/Nitro and The Straight Edge Saints. You’ve definitely got enough teams rolling for an awesome division then, I’m just intrigued to see how challengers are actually chosen at this stage.

First of all, at Masters being in a fur coat. I’m glad you mentioned that he looked uncomfortable because I felt uncomfortable just reading it. I didn’t actually realise that this team hasn’t had ANY wins really for the whole year. Maybe you’re going for some sort of losing streak storyline, but I’d rather all the teams look a million bucks to get this tag division up to the level it can be, before trying anything overly clever. Another tag match that went down with decent enough action. The interference from Melina was good, although I would have preferred for Kelly Kelly to go after Melina a little earlier than she did. It almost seemed like Kelly would have just been standing there like a ditz, which is pretty much what she does anyway, but it would have looked terrible here. The Saints come off looking great though, and another loss to continue this angle you’re going for. I’m not sold on it yet, going to have to wait and see.

Shawn Michaels on his way to the ring. I guess I better get ready for a segment between he and Triple H...

Claudio should be a solid addition to the mid card. I’m going to be interested to see just how he’ll fit in.

Absolutely beautiful commentary to accompany Shawn Michaels’ entrance talking about his state of mind, and basically wondering what I’ve been wondering. And that’s if losing the WWE Title will send him even more insane, if that’s even possible. Then from there to not being able to see his face straight away because of the hat, to the robotic movements, you right this version of HBK AMAZINGLY well. It has been touched on plenty of times before to, but I’m going as far as to say you utilise this character better than anybody else in BTB currently uses a character. Obviously as a lot of promos do after Mania, he recapped some shit before turning his attention towards Triple H. The stuff he said about Trips made sense for his character, which is good because every heel needs good logic, and I also like how Michaels didn’t leave Van Dam fully out of the picture. The “I must strike thee down” line was so just so powerful, GREAT stuff. And here comes Triple H. A real little thing but I don’t think Hunter would bother to spit the water here, just because in the state Michaels is in, who knows when he’ll attack. I didn’t really like the way Triple H started in all honesty. Michaels was smartly complaining because Trips is the one who got pinned, that cost Shawn the title, clearly he’ll have beef. I feel like everything Triple H said in the beginning was directed to Van Dam, as RVD is the one who played politics, not Michaels. Again, it is good to have that heat with the champion there, but Trips seemed to focus on RVD considering he was standing across from HBK. That little line about the politics being funny when it happened to somebody else was gold. I doubt anybody would ever actually say something that blatant on screen, but it still made me chuckle. From here, when Trips directed his shit towards Michaels, the promo got a hell of a lot better. The mentioning of DX and Shawn being out for himself, from both men was done very well. The twist you’ve put on this feud shone through nicely through the ending of this promo. A No Holds Barred match sounds good to me, although Michaels’ reaction to the challenge was epic as well. Just a casual tip of the hat, it not only reminded me of an epic cowboy in an old western, but it leaves me wondering just how he actually will accept the challenge.

Whilst I understand what you were trying to do having Van Dam and Foley communicating, I just didn’t like it. It just wreaks of a cheap way of RVD getting more over, by having him associated with a legend. Just because they were both in ECW doesn’t mean they’d be friends. Again, I get it, but I just personally felt it was a bit cheap. With that being said, Orton was wonderful here, and I absolutely love confrontations between the champion and the MITB holder. The tease as well and truly began, and I’m intrigued as to when Orton will pull the trigger. Again, I felt like Foley’s remark wasn’t really needed, tried to add some comedy, when the tension between Orton and Van Dam had been built perfectly.

A smart idea to bring KOTR back. It’s such a prestigious tournament, and I’m banking on Kenny or Kennedy to win it.

You had to at least touch on the Flair stuff, so I’m glad you did here. I’m interested to see how this whole angle plays out, but again, after the crying and what not, I don’t think he should wrestle again... Although he does make an epic manager...

Candice Michelle is absolutely terrible, so whilst you didn’t want to make things a full squash, it annoyed me having her hold her own in mat wrestling with Mickie in the beginning. I’m glad you kept the match short, and the champion looks great, with an easy victory to follow last night’s huge win. The sportsmanship was a nice touch, because they’ll probably have to team up again sometime soon. The continuation of the Phoenix/James feud is smart, because there’s still so much heat in that one. The promo and attack was all done cleverly here, although it is disappointing to see Victoria as nothing more than Beth’s lackey at this stage.

Firstly, the Kenny to superstardom push continues with the new music. Okay, maybe not to superstardom, but that’s what I eventually want. I think it’s key for the heels to win tonight as well, but it’s more to do with Lashley. The commentators mentioned it during his entrance and the fact is he has been doing a hell of a lot of losing in high profile matches as of late. I think a win is very important to get him back on track, because you can’t sell a man as a beast if he can’t beat worthy competitors. The match went rather smoothly, and it was clever how you used The McMahon’s appearance to regain the advantage for Lashley and Dykstra. The match flowed along well, and as we headed towards the finish I was pretty happy with the showing from Kenny. The Carlito appearance was sort of expected, as was Kenny fleeing, as it cleverly builds more heat. Obviously from this point the faces were going to win, but another loss for Lashley, even with the numbers against him, means he needs a proper win REALLY soon. A nice main event to end the show, and a nice first night as champ for RVD. One question I have is whether or not McMahon will have repercussions for Dykstra just leaving his man like that.

Overall a pretty good show. As most post Mania shows, it didn’t have all that much character development or feud development for that matter, bar the things we expected to continue continuing. With that being said, the in ring action was great, every promo hit the spot, and Backlash with the potential of Kenny/’Lito, Trips/HBK, Mickie/Beth, and maybe even Orton/Hardy is already looking DAMN good. It’s good to have you back, and hopefully I’ll be able to keep following for a longer period of time... oh and push Kenny.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:44 AM   #227 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night Smackdown~
April 6th, 2007
Allen County Memorial Coliseum
Fort Wayne, Indiana





Fresh off of WrestleMania XXIII, Friday Night SmackDown returns with ‘The Animal’ still the top dog... albeit, with the stench of controversy lingering in the air.

Last Sunday night, Batista put his World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Edge, the two engaging in a dramatic main event in which both men had chances to win. Indeed, therein lies the controversy as far as Edge is concerned, with ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ convinced he had Batista beat, only for the referee to be knocked out. Batista also suffered a similar fate, as after hitting the first of two Batista Bombs, there was no count in sight for the champion. Edge however has been vocal backstage about his displeasure, and has vowed to make his grievances known tonight. Although WrestleMania is in the rear view mirror, it looks like ‘The Animal’ may still have a score to settle with ‘The Rated-R Superstar’.

After a year of dominance, Umaga finally met his match last Sunday night as his winning streak came to an end at the hands of The Undertaker, ‘The Deadman’ preserving his own WrestleMania winning streak in doing so. But unlike so many of The Undertaker’s WrestleMania conquests, Umaga was able to walk out of Ford Field under his own steam, despite the battering both men subjected on each other. With Armando Alejandro Estrada vowing that things between Umaga and Undertaker are far from over, and with both scheduled to be in Fort Wayne tonight, there could be more mind games and slobberknockers in store tonight.

It was one of the most poignant moments of WrestleMania, where after defeat, Ric Flair shed tears with his family, his future in wrestling unknown. Indeed, Flair wasn’t present on last Monday’s Raw. The man who defeated him at WrestleMania, Mr. Kennedy, is guaranteed to be in Fort Wayne tonight, no doubt to revel in his victory. But after feeling he should have been involved in the World Heavyweight Championship Match at WrestleMania all along, will Kennedy now turn his attentions towards Batista and Edge? And will he be joined in doing so by another man who impressed at WrestleMania XXIII, namely, Chris Benoit? Benoit gave a great performance during the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, being inches away from victory only to have it snatched away by Randy Orton. Benoit has spoke recently of his desire to get back into the title picture, and with Money in the Bank now not an option, will Benoit be the next man to throw his name into contention to challenge ‘The Animal’?

Perhaps the biggest feel-good moment of WrestleMania, as far as SmackDown is concerned, belonged to Matt Hardy when he accomplished the biggest victory of his career in beating Finlay to become United States Champion. Having survived the tough Irishman, Hardy now has his sights set on defending his title and proving he belongs in the conversation when the biggest names of SmackDown are being discussed. In his first match as champion, Hardy faces another rugged man from Britain in the form of William Regal, who will no doubt have his fellow Bluebloods with him, ensuring it won’t be an easy first night as United States Champion for Hardy.

All of this, plus two of the survivors of Money in the Bank square off when Kane tangles with King Booker, and The Hooligans hope to put their disappointing WrestleMania defeat behind them when they face The Full Blooded Italians, Chavo Guerrero looks to emerge as the next threat to the Cruiserweight Championship when he takes on Shannon Moore... and speaking of the Cruiserweight Title, the champion, Gregory Helms, has some kind of surprise in store for all of us... especially Bryan Danielson. You won’t want to miss the post-WrestleMania XXIII Friday Night SmackDown!

Confirmed Matches:

Matt Hardy vs. William Regal
King Booker vs. Kane

The Hooligans vs. The Full Blooded Italians
Chavo Guerrero vs. Shannon Moore


Plus!! Gregory Helms has something in store for Bryan Danielson and the rest of the cruiserweight division.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:05 AM   #228 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Preview is basically a recap of WrestleMania and that's fine. I'm intrigued to hear from Edge, and the star in this thread so far, Mr. Kennedy. You've also got a solid match card set up, with Hardy/Regal easily able to steal the show.

I'll be reading.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:47 AM   #229 (permalink)
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Raw Feedback


Little late to the party but here goes…

Really good video package highlighting Mania there, bravo on that again by the way.

No other choice to kick this show off than the new champion and I can imagine it being a rousing reception for Van Dam. Very passionate speech from RVD, almost felt like this was his first championship victory but you swayed away from that nicely with the way you had Van Dam say this was the making of him, doing it when it mattered most on the biggest stage of all, nicely laid out there. Cena coming out was a surprise but a pleasant one. Really enjoyed this interaction, bringing up the history back to the Rumble and how Cena didn’t get his rematch after losing the championship, all shaped together very nicely. Would’ve liked you to maybe even go further back to ONS with Van Dam practically stealing the title from Cena there also. McMahon was always gonna show his face and again much like Van Dam and Cena, you laid Vinny out really nicely with his point, that of making money and what’s right for business. Big tag match set up for later on and I’m intrigued as to where you go here with the next Title challenger now Vince is involved in this thing. Impressive opening.

Really solid tag team contest here between two teams who will hopefully make their mark in the tag ranks moving forward. I’m a fan of both and I think a series of matches between these guys along with Masters/Nitro, Punk/Dinsmore resulting in a number one contenders match would be a good route to go. Big win for the Legacy here though.

The Kenny/Torrie alliance was definitely the right call made at Mania and I’m really hoping this does mark the start of a real surge by Dykstra as champion. The power couple route is a nice way to go, though the Sherri/Michaels, Savage/Elizabeth comparisons are a tad much, guess that’s typical arrogance from Doane for ya though.

Very surprised we got this match up here and now as I fully expected to not see these two collide until Backlash, however the ending made that still more than possible, more than likely infact. Smart ending, the use of the briefcase was nice, always enjoy seeing the briefcase holder use it to their advantage and I’m hopeful these two get the chance to steal the show at Backlash.

I liked this WGTT interview a lot. Yeah they’re heels but going the route of them wanting competition, wanting to actually go and defend their titles is great and it’s a great showcase for the tag division. There’s certainly something to work with here as a lot of teams are getting the spotlight and things are only gonna pick up if you keep focusing on it, kudos my friend.

Speaking of which, another nice tag team contest here. Masters in that fur coat looking uncomfortable would be priceless, I can totally imagine that. Anyways, there’s a match here… Punk and Nitro have some nice chemistry and would’ve liked to see a bit more from them but Dinsmore looked strong here, a far cry from his Eugene days which is refreshing. The Doomsday Dropkick is a great tag team finisher and it’s nice that you’re really making teams, not two individuals simply stuck together. Only complaint would be perhaps you could’ve had a heel team win one of the two tags here, Cade and Murdoch maybe steal a win earlier on or Nitro/Masters lose by DQ, something like that as the heel teams lose a touch of momentum now.

Cesaro will be a nice addition to the roster and thank the good lord you aren’t doing a Rugby gimmick eh? This gimmick suits him to a tee, can’t wait to see him in action.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, your HBK character is so enjoyable to read. Him blaming this all on Trips was I guess expected but I really liked the way you had him bring up his faith and how he’s relying on that to find him happiness again. The biblical references are always a great touch and this was likewise. Trips coming out was a given and to be honest, he rambled on a little bit just like Triple H does at times but it made some sense I guess in trying to build this thing up. The ending to this ins brilliant, almost Taker-Triple H esque from the build up to Mania with the tip of the hat and the see ya later, great stuff. No Holds Barred? Should be a brutal showdown. One thing I will say is, I don’t see No Holds Barred being as WOW as Hunter made it here, it’s simply the only thing left these two can do together. Great job with Michaels, as ever ,and the feud should really continue building as we gear closer to Backlash.

Well worked segment again here with Orton lurking and the MITB hint. The teasing of the cash in is something I personally like, not too sure why Foley was all that necessary here but not all that important. An Orton/Van Dam feud would be great but I see RKO heading to Friday nights sometime real soon.

King of the Ring, can’t wait!! Nice package there and I’m loving that poster too. Wow, 32 men?! That’s huge and I’m glad you’re making this out to be such a huge deal, could make a star there and then using this.

Nice update on Naitch there, pleased to see you dragging it out a little, no need to rush Flair into things from tonight, build the suspense a little bit.

Victory for Mickie once more, always a pleaser and I’m glad Beth still has her in her sights as these two women will put on a heck of a show when they meet again. I think Beth’s time is now and she should take the strap at Backlash, leading to a crazed Mickie chasing back her gold.

Main event time and it was a solid contest once again, much like the majority here tonight. Dykstra certainly looked good in hanging in there with the big boys so to speak. It’s nice to see you allowing the I.C Champ this exposure and the title itself as Carlito’s arrival was a nice surprise as well as the chasing of the champion, just shows how much the Wrestlemania goings on got under Lito’s skin. The uneasiness between Van Dam and Cena at the end was nice and it’s a big win for the pair but I didn’t like it. Lashley just suffered a huge defeat last night and now he’s taken another one. Mmmm, debatable call in my opinion as there’s really no aura about the Dominator now as he’s on the downward spiral. It’s gonna take something big to hoist him up the pecking order again in my mind.

On the whole, a really enjoyable show as ever and great to have you back. I’m excited about where things are gonna go moving into Backlash and beyond. There weren’t any real shockwaves made here but it was a solid start in the building process and it has me gripped for the next one, good job and keep ‘em coming.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:51 AM   #230 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~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...

Michael Cole: 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!

Tazz: 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.

Michael Cole: 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!

Michael Cole: 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-

Tazz: That Edge brought into the ring.

Michael Cole: 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.

Michael Cole: Well I’m sure at some point tonight we’re gonna hear from both men involved-

”YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME…”

*METALINGUS…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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’.

Tazz: 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…

Edge: You… you people are booing me?

More heat, with Edge biting his lip and shaking his head in frustration…

Edge: 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 at WrestleMania!

The camera zooms in on Edge, who snarls at the fans…

Edge: 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…

Edge: 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…

Edge: 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…

Edge: 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…

Edge: 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-

*WHATEVER…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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…

Chris Benoit: 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…

Chris Benoit: 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...

Chris Benoit: 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...

Chris Benoit: 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...

Chris Benoit: 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...

Edge: 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...

Chris Benoit: 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...

Chris Benoit: 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…

*VIRTUAL VOODOO…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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!

Tazz: 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 challenge!

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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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…

Mr. Kennedy: 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...

Mr. Kennedy: 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…

Mr. Kennedy: And you

And then turns towards Benoit…

Mr. Kennedy: And y-

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…

Mr. Kennedy: 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...

Mr. Kennedy: '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...

Edge: Wait, wait a min-

Mr. Kennedy: KEN – NAH – DAY!

A few laughs from the crowd, with the frustration growing in Edge as he fumes and breathes deeply...

Edge: 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-

Chris Benoit: How about you guys realise that-

*HARD HITTIN’…*


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…


Jonathan Coachman: 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…

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: '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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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 out there.

Kennedy’s ears pick up, his eyebrows raised as he waits for ‘Coach’ to continue...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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'!

*HARD HITTIN'...*


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...


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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.

Michael Cole: 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!

Michael Cole: Ugh... join us when we return to – I can't believe this – 'Jonathan Coachman's Friday Night Smackdown'.

John Bradshaw Layfield: 'Atta boy, Michael!

*Commercial*


And we return to the smiling face of Josh Matthews, standing by to conduct an interview...


Josh Matthews: 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...

Josh Matthews: 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…

Batista: 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…

Josh Matthews: 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…

Batista: 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…

Batista: No, I didn’t. I just on with the job… and I beat Edge.

Pop…

Batista: 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…

Batista: 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…

Josh Matthews: 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…

Batista: 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…

“OH YEAH!...”

*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…


Michael Cole: 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!

Tazz: 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.

*VILLIAN…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*


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…

Paul Bearer: 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…

Paul Bearer: 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’…

Paul Bearer: 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.

Another pop…

Paul Bearer: 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…

Paul Bearer: 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…

The Undertaker: 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…

”OOOOHH CHAVO…”

*CHAVITO ARDIENTE…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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.

Match 2:
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.

*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…


Edge: What the hell do you want?

Kennedy laughs to himself, letting out an over exaggerated sigh…

Mr. Kennedy: 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…

Mr. Kennedy: 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…

Edge: 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…

Mr. Kennedy: 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…

Edge: 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…

Mr. Kennedy: 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…

Mr. Kennedy: 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…


*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…

”LISTEN…”

*IT’S TIME…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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…

Gregory Helms: 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…

Gregory Helms: 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,

Gregory Helms: 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’…

Gregory Helms: 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…

Gregory Helms: 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…

Gregory Helms: ‘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…

Gregory Helms: Now, since I don’t want any of you dirtbags from Indiana gatecrashin’…

Cheap heat…

Gregory Helms: 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…

Gregory Helms: 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…

Gregory Helms: 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…

Gregory Helms: 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.

More heat…

Gregory Helms: 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…

Gregory Helms: 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…

Gregory Helms: 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!”…

Gregory Helms: 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…

Michael Cole: 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!

Tazz: 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-

Michael Cole: HEY!

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…

Michael Cole: 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!?

Tazz: 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.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

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…

Kristal Marshall: 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…

Kristal Marshall: 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…

Finlay: 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…

Finlay: I’m comin’ back for what’s mine.

Heat from inside the arena…

Finlay: 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…

Finlay: 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…

*BOOM...*

*SLOW CHEMICAL...*


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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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!

Match 3:
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.

*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…


Queen Sharmell: Dammit, Booker! What da’ hell was that!?

Booker lifts his head up, eyes nearly bulging out their sockets…

King Booker: 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…

Queen Sharmell: 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…

King Booker: 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…

King Booker: 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…

King Booker: What da’…

Sharmell clears her throat and raises her eyebrows at Booker, causing him to pause and regain his composure…

King Booker: 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…


Funaki: 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…

Funaki: 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…

Santino Marella: 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…

Funaki: 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…

Santino Marella: 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…

Santino Marella: 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…

Santino Marella: 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 Marella: Ciao.

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?

*Video Package*

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…

*SLICED BREAD…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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.

Michael Cole: 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!

Tazz: 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…


Michael Cole: And here comes The F.B.I., who were somewhat embarrassed, shall we say, by Funaki a few moments ago.

Tazz: 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?
Jesus…

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.

*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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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!

*VIRTUAL VOODOO…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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!

Tazz: 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…”

*METALINGUS…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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.

*GONG...*

*GRAVEYARD SYMPHONY…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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.

*WHATEVER…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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…


Michael Cole: 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!

Tazz: 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...


Tazz: Holy * BLEEP*! Did you see that!?

Michael Cole: Oh my... I... I...

John Bradshaw Layfield: Jesus christ, sombody get some help out here! The guy's gotta be dead or somethin'!

Michael Cole: Folks, in all my years behind the desk here on SmackDown, I have never seen anything like that!

Tazz: God, somebody... somebody help 'im!

Michael Cole: 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.

*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…


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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?

Michael Cole: 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!

Tazz: 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…

*GONG…*


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’!”…

*GONG…*


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…


Tazz: What the… where… what the hell happened!?

Michael Cole: 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-

*HARD HITTIN’…*


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…


Jonathan Coachman: 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…

Jonathan Coachman: 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.

*Commercial*


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…


Michael Cole: 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.

*End Show*




Current Card for WWE JUDGMENT DAY:
Date: May 20th, 2007

Location: iPayOne Center; San Diego, California

NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED YET

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