~Friday Night SmackDown~
April 13th, 2007
1st Mariner Arena
"Is it maybe… corruption? Is it maybe… bribery?"
We open with a recap of last week's main event, where in six man action, Batista, The Undertaker and Chris Benoit team up against Umaga, Mr. Kennedy and Edge, with Jonathan Coachman's stark warning that he wants to be impressed echoing over the top of the action. The match breaks down as all six men brawl around the ringisde area, prompting the referee to throw the match out, only for 'Taker and Umaga to continue to battle up the aisle... until Umaga crashes into Undertaker against the entrance way... bringing the entire set crashing down on top of 'The Deadman'! Sharp, dramatic music kicks in, panic breaks out, everybody in the arena fearful for the life of The Undertaker, but when the stanchion is finally lifted... The Undertaker has vanished! We then hear from 'Coach' as he demands the main event continues, which sees Batista and Benoit combine to put away Kennedy and Edge, with Benoit grabbing the pinfall, the shot darting back and forth between the victorious champion and his would be next challenger, before we fade to black.
And as the video comes to an end, we cut straight into the arena, but more specifically, to the ring, where ready and waiting are Edge, Mr. Kennedy, Umaga and Armando Alejandro Estrada, the crowd absolutely electric with a mix of intrigue and anticipation...
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Friday Night SmackDown. Don't adjust your television sets, we are indeed kicking off the show with three
SmackDown superstars in the ring. There you see Edge, Mr. Kennedy, and the man who decimated The Undertaker last week, Umaga, and folks we understand they're in the ring by order of Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman.
Yeah, I mean... what the heck are these guys doin' out here? They're all confused, the crowd's confused, hell, even I'm confused right now!
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Well that ain't hard to do! Aren't you supposed to be the investigative journalist here, Cole? Why don't you know what's goin' on?
Me!? You're the one with all the sources backstage!
In the ring, Kennedy and Edge both gesture and point fingers at each, while Estrada does his best to keep the snarling Umaga calm. The gesticulating continues, until...
A heated response to the arrival of SmackDown's Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman
, who walks down to the ring with a purpose...
Well it looks like we're finally gonna get some answers. Here comes the man who last week challenged the six men involved in our main event to, and I quote, impress him, and to make a statement. So just who is 'Coach' gonna name as the new number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship?
For my money, I thought the most impressive guy was Chris Benoit. You talk to Benoit backstage, there's a real fire in the eyes of 'The Crippler' right now, and if 'Coach' makes a fair decision, he'll name Benoit as the number one contender.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Are you kiddin' me? 'Coach' challenged 'em to go out and make a statement, it didn't get any bigger than the statement Umaga made when he damn near crushed
The Undertaker! Hell, if I was the G.M., he'd be my number one contender right now.
Well thankfully, you're not the General Manager. Folks, there is only one word to describe the actions of Umaga during our main event last week... shocking
. And I wanna know what action will be taken by our Interim General Manager?
Oh you ain't kiddin' Cole! You called it shockin', hell, I was stunned when I saw our entire entrance way collapse on top of 'The Deadman'. I thought he was a goner, but then when they finally cleared all the debris, Undertaker... he disappeared! I just couldn't believe it!
Well, I guess we're kickin' things off with the big announcement. Just who is Jonathan Coachman gonna name as the man to face Batista at Judgment Day for the World Heavyweight Championship?
As 'Coach' enters the ring, he's meet with a barrage of question from Edge, Kennedy and Estrada, the three men all demanding answers as to why they're out here. Coachman motions for calm with his hands, buying himself some time as he cuts his way from one corner of the ring to another, where he's handed a microphone...
OK, OK, easy guys. Easy. I know you're all wonderin' why I've asked you to be out here to start the show tonight. Well, I'm gonna tell ya'.
Edge paces anxiously, determined to get some answers, while a more nonchalant Kennedy leans against the turnbuckle...
Last week, I challenged you three, Chris Benoit and The Undertaker to compete in a Six Man Tag Team Match, where the man who impressed me the most would be the next challenger to Batista and the World Heavyweight Championship.
'Coach' smiles and nods his head, reminiscing about last week's show...
And I have to admit, some of what I saw... was very impressive. But of course, some of what I saw was more impressive... than others. Some of it... really made a statement.
But now 'Coach' winces, almost afraid to say what he has in mind...
But... despite all I saw... I just couldn't come to a decision.
Edge shouts “What!?”, while Estrada and Kennedy looked concerned, but manage to stay much more reserved...
But I am willing, right now, to give you all one last chance to impress me. One last chance to make that statement I was talking about. So right now, I’m gonna give all three of you a chance to tell me why I should name you as the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship at Judgment Day.
Edge mouths “What?!” again, while Estrada rips his sunglasses from his face, but in the corner, Kennedy simply laughs to himself, head in his hands...
Now, given what I saw last week, I think it’s only fair that you
, Mr. Estrada, go first. And I-
Suddenly, Edge snatches the microphone clean from Coachman’s hand! His jaw nearly hitting the floor, ‘Coach’ turns to Edge, shocked expression on his face, arms out wide, but Edge motions for him to calm down, while also running a hand through his hair in anger…
Listen, ‘Coach’, this is a total joke. You wanna know what was impressive? You wanna know what was the biggest statement made recently? How ‘bout the fact… and I stress, it’s a fact
… that I had Batista beat in the centre of the ring at WrestleMania?
Heat from the crowd, but Edge barely notices as he presses on...
You’ve made it pretty clear in the past ‘Coach’, you don’t like Batista. You don’t want Batista as World Heavyweight Champion, and I share those sentiments. And at WrestleMania, I made it happen. I had Batista beat, I had him down and out, and if the damn referee’s in this company could do their jobs right, I’d have that title around my waist right now, and we wouldn’t even be out here!
More heat, with Edge becoming increasingly agitated, almost desperate...
I mean c’mon ‘Coach’, think about it! You don’t want Batista as champion, so the alternative… is one of these two? A snivelling, snarling beast who can’t even speak English? And that’s just Estrada! Or how about a guy who’s only redeeming quality is that he provides his own echo?
A few laughs from the fans, with Kennedy giving Edge a slow, sarcastic round of applause...
… that’s the alternative to me. Neither of these two have main evented WrestleMania… I have. Neither of these two had Batista down in the centre of the ring for a ten count… I did. So if you’re lookin’ for a statement ‘Coach’… that’s it right there. Now, how ‘bout we end this farce, and you just announce… me
… as number one contender?
Having said his piece, Edge hands the mic back to ‘Coach’, who nods his head, taking in everything Edge has said. Coachman purses his lips, contemplating, before he brings the mic up…
Well, Edge... that was certainly quite the statement. Infact, I’d go on record as sayin’… it was very impressive. But I brought the three of you out here so you could all please your case, and that’s exactly what’s gonna happen. So, Mr. Estrada… I believe you have the floor. Tell me, tell us all… why Umaga should be the man to face Batista?
Graciously, Estrada accepts the microphone from 'Coach'...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
Si. Gracias, Senor Coachman. ‘Ju see, when ‘ju talk about making statements, ‘ju need to remember what Umaga has done. At WrestleMania, Umaga, he… como se dice... destroyed
‘De Undertaker! He took ‘De Undertaker further than ever before! And then last week… ‘De Samoan Bulldozer’… he went one step further, ha ha!
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
And now, ‘ju two idiotas, ‘ju think anything ‘ju can do is more impressive than what Umaga did last week? ‘Den ‘ju two are… como se dice… delusional, amigos! Ha ha! ‘Cause now, ‘De Undertaker, he is… vanished! He fears Umaga! He's never coming back!
More heat, with Umaga turning, snarling at the crowd...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
So Senor Coachman, if ‘De Samoan Bulldozer’ can do ‘dis to ‘De Undertaker, just think… what he can do… to Batista.
Estrada shrugs his shoulders, handing the mic back to Coachman, convinced that he's said enough to ensure his client is named Batista's next challenger. 'Coach' takes back the mic, and he nods in agreement, impressed with what he's heard from Estrada...
Very convincing Mr. Estrada, very convincing. And after what I saw from Umaga last week… I think you’ve got a very good chance of being named number one contender. But, there’s still one man left to hear from. Mr. Kennedy, if you will…
'Coach' offers Kennedy the mic, but Kennedy just shakes his head in disgust, reaching up to the sky... and his personal microphone drops into his hand! The crowd pop as Kennedy shows some defiance of authority, shaking his head again as he surveys the ring...
Are… are you kiddin’ me? I mean, seriously? You really expect me to lay it out for ya’ again? I said what I had to say last week… but, if ya’ really want, I’ll say it one more time.
Kennedy takes a few steps towards the centre of the ring, pointing towards Umaga...
He’s over 350 pounds, he’s a freakin’ savage, he’s a monster, and at WrestleMania, he pushed The Undertaker to the very depths… and beyond. And hell, I’ll hand it to ya’ big guy, that thing with the set last week… very impressive. Hell, I loved it! But…
Kennedy now wags the finger he was pointing...
At WrestleMania XXIII, under the bright lights, with over 70,000 people live in attendance… you didn’t get it done buddy. You lost. That undefeated streak o’ yours just snapped like a fine Cuban cigar. Over. The myth of Umaga… is done.
Umaga reacts angrily, taking a step forward, but Estrada puts a hand across the monster's chest, stopping him in his tracks. Kennedy quickly turns away, now pointing at Edge...
And then there’s you, Edge. You won the Royal Rumble. But you didn’t last over thirty minutes in the match like a certain somebody did. And then at WrestleMania, smack dab in the middle of Ford Field, you had Batista down, you had ‘im pinned, the match was over… eh, except it wasn’t. And ya’ didn’t quite get your hand raised in victory… like a certain somebody did. Nope, you joined ol’ Maggie May over there in the loser’s circle.
A few laughs from the fans, with Edge scowling at Kennedy, shaking his head slowly in anger...
But there’s one man who at WrestleMania XXIII, beat a legend of this business, a man many call the greatest of all time, and in the process, he brought an end to one of the most illustrious careers in WWE history. And it’s that man, ‘Coach’, who should pick as the man to finally bring Batista’s reign as World Heavyweight Champion to an end. And that man… is MMMIISSSSTTTEEERRRRRRR… KEN – NAH – DAYYY!
As always, Kennedy draws a strong reaction, a brief pop quickly turning to boos as he lets his mic drift back up into the rafters...
Alright. I’ll give it to ya’ Kennedy, your victory over Ric Flair was indeed very-
KEN – NAH – DAY!
Kennedy darts forward, shouting into Coachman's microphone, then he stares deep into the eyes of the Interim G.M., emphasising his point that number one contender spot should be his. 'Coach' is caught off guard, but as Kennedy backs away, he quickly adjusts his tie and suit jacket in an attempt to regain his composure...
As I was saying, your victory over Ric Flair at WrestleMania was indeed, very impressive. Gentlemen, you’ve all put forward very convincing arguments tonight. And I think… I have come to a decision. The man, who will go to Judgment Day, to face Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship… is…
What the…? After the crowd get over the surprise of hearing his music, it’s a pretty darn loud pop that heralds the shock return of Teddy Long
, the SmackDown General Manager seemingly back from his medical suspension. Long, wearing an all-white suit, strides down to the aisle with a purpose, his eyes firmly fixed on the ring and Jonathan Coachman, who’s jaw appears to have hit the canvas once again…
Oh my! That- that’s Teddy Long! The SmackDown General Manager! We haven’t see Teddy in months, not after the injuries he suffered at the hands of Mr. Kennedy! What is he
God, does this mean what I think it means? Is Teddy Long back off the shelf, ready to run SmackDown again?
John Bradshaw Layfield:
He can’t do that. He can’t just show up and take charge! This is ‘Jonathan Coachman’s Friday Night SmackDown’, he told ya’ all last week!
I don’t think that matters! ‘Coach’ was only ever named as Interim
General Manager. Teddy Long is back… and I think he’s back in charge!
Teddy heads for the corner and calls for a mic, with confusion on faces from nearly everyone in the ring. Kennedy continues to lounge against the corner, rolling his eyes, while ‘Coach’ looks furious at the interruption…
Wait a minute, wait a minute, cut the music! Cut that music off!
As requested, 'Coach' gets silence, the heat of the crowd now ringing out loudly...
Just what do you think you’re doin’ here? You’re not supposed to be here, you’re on an indefinite medical suspension! Mr. McMahon said I was in charge, not you!
Coachman doesn't hold back as he lets out an animated rant at Teddy, who raises his eyebrows in surprise...
Nice to see you too, ‘Coach’. Lemme tell ya’ how it is, playa. You right, I was
placed on indefinite medical suspension. But I was cleared to return to work by WWE physicians weeks ago. A fact that you and Mr. McMahon knew about.
'Coach' looks on fearfully, rubbing a hand over his mouth, worried that he's been caught out...
But for some reason, the two of ya’ decided to keep it quiet. Infact, if it weren’t for Linda McMahon, agreeing to sign off on my return, I wouldn’t even be here tonight.
Pop, with 'Coach' biting his lip in anger...
And if I weren’t here right now, I’d have been sat at home, watchin’ you make a World Heavyweight Championship Match, talkin’ about it bein’ based on who impressed you the most, when the most impressive guy from last week ain’t even in the ring right now!
Big time pop as the crowd know exactly who Teddy is referring to...
So ‘Coach’, holla at me playa. Why ain’t Chris Benoit out here right now? Why is the man who won the main event last week, not in consideration?
'Coach' doesn't offer any response, instead he turns away and rather sheepishly looks down to the canvas...
And why, ‘Coach’, is Umaga even in the buildin’ tonight after what he did to The Undertaker last week?
Once again Estrada removes his sunglasses, looking to argue the point with Teddy, only for Teddy to cut him off as he continues...
And why are Kennedy and Edge here right now? Kennedy had his chance at No Way Out, Edge had his shot at WrestleMania, neither of ‘em got it done, yet here they are. What gives ‘Coach’?
'Coach' lifts his head back up, unsure of how to answer...
Is it maybe… corruption? Is it maybe… bribery? When I was sat at home, recoverin’, watchin’ you run my show, I watched you like a hawk, ‘Coach’. And I remember that brown envelope Santino Marella handed to ya’ to get ‘imself a Four-on-One Handicap Match against Chris Benoit to try qualify for Money in the Bank. And I know how Layla batted her eyelashes at ya’ to get her boys Brown and Burke jobs here on SmackDown.
Edge now steps forward, shouting “What the hell is this?!”, while Kennedy remains in the corner, a much more intent look on his face, clearly interested in what's being said...
And we all know that before last week’s main event, both
Edge and Kennedy paid you a little visit. Now I dunno what that was all about, but I know one thing. Since you took over ‘Coach’, SmackDown has become corrupt! And I worked hard these last few years to run this show fairly, and I ain’t lettin’ yo’ ass get away with it anymore!
I am back, fully reinstated as SmackDown General Manager, and that means I’ve got a situation to address right here. So ‘Coach’, I’m gonna deal with you in a minute. But as for you three…
Teddy now turns to address Edge, Kennedy and Umaga, a mixed look of fear and confusion on their faces...
‘Coach’ had one thing right. Tonight, we are indeed gonna find out who’s gonna face Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship. But it ain’t gonna be for a match at Judgment Day. It’s gonna be for a match… next week, on Friday Night SmackDown!
Another loud pop, with all three men now having hope in their eyes...
And we’re gonna determine the new number one contender the ol’ fashioned way. We’re gonna have a Triple Threat Match tonight. And it’s gonna be… Mr. Kennedy… up against Edge…
Teddy pauses, building the suspense, but Estrada slaps Umaga on the chest with glee, knowing his man's name is up next...
Takin’ on Chris Benoit!
A thunderous cheer breaks out from the Baltimore faithful, but Estrada is furious, ripping the microphone from Coachman's hand...
Armando Alejandro Estrada:
Uh, excusamah, excusamah. Senor Long… ha ha… I think ‘ju are forgetting someone amigo, no?
Estrada motions towards Umaga, trying to convince Teddy to agree, even going as far as to reach into his jacket pocket to pull out a cigar, offering it to Teddy... but the SmackDown G.M. simply shakes his head...
Oh, I didn’t forget about you or Umaga, playa. Now Umaga’s performance at WrestleMania, that was somethin’ to be impressed with. He didn’t get the job done, but he looked damn good doin’ it. But last week? What you did to The Undertaker, bringin’ the entrance way down on top o’ him… that ain’t acceptable, playa. ‘Coach’ mighta found that impressive, but for me… Umaga’s actions last week were unacceptable.
Sensing something is wrong, the snarling Umaga steps forward, Estrada the only thing separating him from Teddy...
So Estrada… you better make it clear to Umaga… that his ass… is suspended indefinitely!
Another massive cheer, with Umaga seemingly getting the message loud and clear, responding furiously as he screams and flails his arms. Estrada tries to calm Umaga, but it's no use, the monster storming around the ring, causing Edge and Kennedy to back away in fear...
Now, I want the four of ya' to get outta here. Edge, Kennedy, you two got a match to get ready for. And Estrada, Umaga… I want you two outta this arena, right now! Ya’ got ten minutes to leave, before I have you escorted from the premises!
Obliging, Edge and Kennedy head for the ropes, quickly making an exit from the ring. As Teddy stares at Estrada and Umaga, behind him, 'Coach' is trying to sneak away with being noticed...
Oh! One last thing. ‘Coach’…
'Coach' curses his luck, putting on the breaks, turning back towards Teddy...
I’m gonna enjoy sayin’ this…
A desperate 'Coach' tries to plead with Teddy, but he's not interested, as he pauses to build the suspense before finally saying...
Another huge cheer, with 'Coach' closing his eyes, almost close to tears as he drops to his knees...
Now let’s get on wit’ the show! Holla at me playas!
Coachman looks in emotional hell right now, screaming over and over again “No! I can't be fired! No!”, while Teddy now turns to Umaga and Estrada, motioning with his hand for them to leave the ring. Estrada takes off his hat, slamming it onto the canvas, before he decides the wise move is to lead Umaga out of the ring. As the two leave, Teddy turns back to 'Coach', a blubbering wreck, but with his music playing, Teddy decides to celebrate by breaking out a few dance shuffles...
Oh my… I don’t believe it! Teddy Long is back in charge here on Friday Night SmackDown... and he's just suspended Umaga and fired 'Coach'!
John Bradshaw Layfield:
This ain't right! He can't just waltz back in here and start causin' mayhem like this! Who the hell does he think he is!!?
He think's he's the SmackDown General Manage, that's who! Man, I can't believe it. Umaga and 'Coach' are outta here!
And what a main event we just heard announced. Edge, Kennedy and Benoit in a Triple Threat Match, the winner gets to face Batista next week on SmackDown for the World Heavyweight Championship!
John Bradshaw Layfield:
I can't believe you two are happy about this. A man just lost his job for Christ's sake, and you two are out here just laughin' it up like it's some big joke. You two make me sick!
Folks, we're gonna go to a commercial. It's already been a wild night, you won't wanna miss the rest of it. Join us when we return, to Friday Night SmackDown!
DURING THE COMMERCIAL BREAK
We now see footage from what happened during the commercial, with Teddy Long accompanied by a team of security guards, leading Armando Alejandro Estrada and Umaga down a corridor. Estrada and Teddy are involved in a heated argument, with Umaga simply snarling and growling at the guards, although so far it's peaceful between them. Jonathan Coachman is also in attendance, although instead of walking out with some dignity, 'Coach' is being carried out by four security guards, kicking and screaming all the way...
Jonathan Coachman: NO! YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME! I'M 'THE COACH'! I KNOW PEOPLE IN HIGH PLACES!
'Coach' continues to struggle, but it's no use as we continue towards the exit. The camera now picks up Estrada pleading his case with Teddy…
Armando Alejandro Estrada: 'Ju know he can tear 'dese dummies apart, perro? One word, and it's all over for 'dese guys!
Teddy Long: Well that ain't gonna get yo' suspension over any quicker, playa. If Umaga hits one o' these guards, you two might be spendin' longer on the shelf...
Coachman continues to struggle as we move along the corridor, with Umaga continuing to snarl at the guards. Eventually we approach a door with a red luminous sign above it that reads “EXIT”. Teddy pushes open the door and stands aside, before he turns to Estrada…
Teddy Long: Alright, Estrada... I want ya' to leave peacefully now. Your boy Umaga did the crime, now he's gonna pay the time.
Estrada fumes, looking at Umaga, the savage almost straining at the leash, dying to tear the head off of some scrawny security guard, but instead Estrada rips off his sunglasses and looks Teddy in the eye…
Armando Alejandro Estrada: 'Ju gonna pay for 'dis! We'll be back, and when we do, 'ju gonna wish 'ju never did 'dis!
Teddy Long: Well I'll deal wit' that when the time comes. But tonight, I want you outta here...
Estrada weighs up the situation, pondering his next move, looking like he might unleash Umaga... but it seems cooler heads have prevailed as he replaces his sunglasses, adjusts his jacket and head, and then ushers Umaga towards the door. Umaga gets right in the face of one of the security guards, letting out a tribal scream that causes the poor guy to nearly shit his pants, before he then walks past Teddy, stopping to take a long look at the G.M. before Umaga slips through the door. Teddy breathes a deep sigh of relief, before he turns back to 'Coach', still being held in the air despite all the kicking and screaming he's done…
Teddy Long: As for you 'Coach'... boys, get 'im outta here!
'Coach' continues to struggle, but it's no use as he carried towards the door, before the security guards swing back...
Jonathan Coachman: NO! MR. MCMAHON'S GONNA HEAR ABOUT THIS!
And then launch Coachman through the door outside! 'Coach' lands with a thump and a whimper, with Teddy now stepping forward, grabbing the door handle...
Teddy Long: AND STAY OUT!
And just like 'Coach' did to Ric Flair, Teddy ejects Coachman from the arena and then slams the door behind him! The camera zooms in on Teddy, a strong sense of determination on his face, before he adjusts his jacket and walks off, the camera staying focused on that “EXIT” sign as the video comes to an end.
*End Video Package*
And from the video, we head back into the arena to hear..,
The always focused Bryan Danielson
makes his entrance into the arena to a warm reception from the fans, with Danielson pumping his fist to the crowd as he strides down the aisle, the stern look of determination etched on his face...
Welcome back folks. During the commercial break, we saw Teddy Long-
John Bradshaw Layfield:
We saw 'im have a guy man-handled and literally thrown from this arena! What the hell is this? 'Coach' is a human being, the man has rights, and you two are gonna sit there and laugh it up when he gets treated like that!? It's a damn disgrace!
I didn't hear all that crap outta you when 'Coach' did the same thing to Ric Flair. That was karma right there. All the shady deals and all the biases decisions 'Coach' has made finally bit 'im on the ass, and it's about damn time too!
And don't forget 'JBL', you were on probation before Teddy Long was injured. You might be in trouble too if you're not careful.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Did ya' have to remind people of that?
Just doin' my job partner. And speakin' of which, let's get on with the show with some cruiserweight action. There you see Bryan Danielson, a man who gate-crashed Gregory Helms' big party last week. For my money, Danielson was robbed at WrestleMania, and I know he's dyin' to get one last shot at Helms and the Cruiserweight Championship.
Yeah, and what about Helms' announcement last week? He claims that since he's been the champion for well over a year now, he's proven himself as the best of all time and that the title oughta be retired in his honour.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
And he's absolutely right. He'd already beaten everybody before Danielson was brought in, and now he's beaten him, who else is there to face? There's nobody that can beat this guy, how many times is he gonna have to prove that?
Not much of a reaction for the seldom seen Jamie Noble
, but 'The Pitbull' shrugs it off as he slowly makes his way to the ring, licking his lips ahead of what could be a big opportunity to push himself back up the card...
We've talked a lot about the reputation Bryan Danielson built by wrestling around the world for independent promotions, but Jamie Noble is another guy who made a name for himself away from the WWE by wrestling for smaller promotions all over the world. Infact, he and Bryan Danielson have a history together in the indies.
I know I've seen a title match between the two on youtube before, and it was a helluva match, with Danielson comin' out on top that night. Noble hasn't had much luck lately, but he's a real tough competitor.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Who gives a damn what they've done elsewhere? This is the WWE, this is the only place that matters, and right now, all that counts is that neither of 'em if at the level of Gregory Helms. But if Noble can get a win here, maybe he can have the honour of bein' the last guy Helms defends the title against before he retires it. As long as Danielson doesn't get another chance to embarrass himself...
Bryan Danielson vs. Jamie Noble
When the bell rings, both men start to circle the ring, eventually coming together to tie-up, only for Noble to quickly work into a standing rear waistlock. Danielson tries to break the grip, only for Noble to turn it into a waistlock takedown, which he quickly works into grounded headlock. Danielson works back up, then breaks the hold with a rolling armdrag, sending Noble tumbling into the corner. Noble pulls himself up, but here comes Danielson… running forearm to the face! Danielson now goes to work with kicks to the thighs against the turnbuckle, before a string of forearms cause Noble to stumble towards the ropes. Danielson grabs the wrist and goes for the Irish whip… but Noble reverses… then drops down as Danielson runs over the top… and now Noble nips up and tries for a leapfrog… only for Danielson to rock him with a dropkick! Noble staggers back to his feet, and here comes Danielson… clothesline knocks Noble over the top rope to the floor! Noble is reeling, struggling to shake off the early attack, but he manages to pick himself up off the floor… but doesn’t see Bryan coming… suicide dive! Danielson flies through the ropes to take Noble down, the crowd roaring their approval as Danielson bursts back to his feet. Noble is quickly rolled back into the ring, allowing Danielson to get the first near fall of the match, with Bryan then yanking Noble up, scoring with a pair of uppercuts to the jaw. More kicks to the thigh connect, before Bryan fires Noble to the corner… then follows in… but Noble sidesteps… and Bryan smashes shoulder first into the ringpost!
After shaking off the cobwebs, Noble smells blood as he goes on the attack, targeting the arm, firstly by pulling it down across the top rope, then he drills a few elbows to the shoulder. Leaving the arm across the top rope, Noble takes a step back… then delivers a dropkick right to the arm! Danielson groans in pain and stumbles away, but Noble doesn’t let him get far as he wrings on the arm, taking Bryan down… and then delivers a legdrop across the arm! After a near fall, a pair of stiff kicks land to the small of the back, before Noble grabs Danielson’s left arm and applies pressure across his knee, pulling back on the arm. Noble continues to pull the arm back across his knee, but eventually Danielson manages to fight back to his feet. Noble hangs on to the hold, but Danielson rocks him with a forearm to the face… and another… and a flurry of rapid fire forearms finally break the hold… only for Noble to end the rally with a knee to the midsection. Noble goes for an Irish whip to the corner… but Danielson steps up the ropes then backflips off the top rope… landing behind Noble… then hooking him up… dragon suplex! Noble’s head crashes off the canvas, both men slow to rise, with Bryan trying to shake some life back into his arm. Danielson moves in, driving Noble to the corner with kicks to the body, where he then drills forearms off the face then goes for the Irish whip across… and follows in… right into an elbow to the face! Danielson stumbles away, but Noble charges… right into a snap powerslam! Here’s the pinfall… 1… 2… Noble kicks out!
Both men struggle back to their feet, with Danielson again landing kicks to the thighs, before he turns and races off the ropes… and ducks under a clothesline… flying forearm! Danielson yanks Noble up… big roundhouse kick to the head! Noble is down, here’s the cover… 1… 2… Noble rolls a shoulder! Danielson is in firm control, and he looks to finish Noble off as he lines up a German suplex… but Noble puts on the breaks with elbows to the side of the head. Danielson drops to a knee… and here comes a charging Noble… for a single arm DDT! Noble quickly rolls Danielson over, hooks the leg tight… 1… 2… Danielson kicks out! Noble has his head in his hands in frustration, but after he glares at the referee, he soon turns his attentions back to Danielson… lining him up… for the CRUICIFIX ARMBAR… NO! Danielson manages to roll free… then charges… and ducks underneath a clothesline, running off the ropes… leg lariat! Danielson takes Noble down, but he’s quickly back up, heading for the corner. Danielson heads outside, then goes upstairs… readies himself… then flies… missile dropkick… no! Noble counters in mid-air, grabbing the legs… TRAILER HITCH!! Noble tries to apply his submission finisher… only for Danielson to block the move by grabbing Noble’s arm… then he twists, pulls and turns… countering the move into the LEBELL LOCK!! Danielson counters with a submission of his own, cranking back on the arm and head… and despite his best efforts… Noble has to tap out!!
Winner: Via Submission, Bryan Danielson @ 06.21
Another good win for Danielson as he puts Noble away, adding further weight to his claims for another crack at Helms and the Cruiserweight Title. Danielson is quickly back on his feet, his hand raised in victory to a nice pop from the crowd, but the cheers soon end as...
A barrage of heat as Danielson's celebration is interrupted by the arrival of the Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms
. Helms steps out dressed in street clothes, with his title wrapped around his waist. In one hand Helms holds a microphone, while in the other, he holds a clipboard. Helms stops at the entrance way under the SmackDown fist, waiting for his music to die down before he speaks...
Bryan, Bryan... I hate to rain on your parade, but... oh, wait... after what you did to me an' my party last week, that's exactly
what I wanna do!
Heat, which Helms simply smirks at...
You mighta beat Jamie Noble tonight, but he just ain't in my league. He ain't Gregory Helms, the greatest cruiserweight wrestler who ever lived! You can pick up all the wins on SmackDown that ya' want, but when it really matters, when you're in the ring with me with my title on the line... you just ain't got it, kid.
More heat, with Helms nodding to emphasis his words...
Now, I saw Teddy Long comin' back in here tonight. And while he's made a lotta mistakes over the years... you gotta be the biggest mistake he ever made.
Helms shakes his head ruefully...
You got brought in here to give me some competition. After a year as champion, after I'd beaten everybody Teddy Long threw at me, you were the guy who's supposed to give me a challenge. Well, Bryan, I'm gonna be honest with ya'... you done nothin' but disappoint me.
Helms shrugs a sarcastic apology...
All you did was prove just how bade a General Manager Teddy Long is. You ain't given me a challenge. You ain't even come close to takin' this title away from me! Face it Bryan, you are nothin'... but a failure.
More heat, with the camera cutting to show an intense looking Danielson staring up the aisle at Helms, his eyes locked in on his long-time rival...
For four hundred and seventy days now, I have carried this division on my back. I've held this title longer than anybody in history, I've carried myself with great distinction and pride, I've gave SmackDown a champion it can be proud of! I am the longest reigning champion in cruiserweight history, I am the longest reigning champion in SmackDown history, and I am the longest reigning champion in the WWE today!
And that's why, I think I deserve to have this prestigious title retired in my honour. There's nobody left to beat, there's nothin' left for me to prove, so I think it only right that this title be retired as a way of preservin' the legacy I built for it.
Helms looks down lovingly at the title...
And that's why I'm out here tonight. This right here...
Helms holds up the clipboard for all to see...
Is a petition I started. A petition to get the WWE Board of Directors to agree to retire the Cruiserweight Championship in my honour. Furthermore on this petition, is that during the ceremony to retire my title, I be immediately inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as 'The Greatest Cruiserweight Who Ever Lived'. I am gonna travel the country, week by week, show after show, and I am gonna canvas for signatures.
Helms now turns to the crowd, preaching to the masses...
I need one million people to sign my petition and say “Yes!” to retirin' my title in my honour. With your help, I can achieve my dream, and we can let this ol' championship have the dignified send off it deserves.
Helms now starts to make his way down the aisle, the kids at ringside booing him, but as one youngster reaches out, Helms responds to him...
Easy there kid, you'll get your turn. Now Bryan... I've you had any kinda class or dignity like me, you'll sign this petition. I mean, I beat you at No Way Out, I beat you at WrestleMania, you oughta know firsthand just how good I am.
Helms reaches the ringside area, but instead of walking up the steps, he starts to walk around the ring...
So I'm gonna give you the opportunity to sign this, and if you've got any self-respect you'll do it. But I'm not gonna have you be the very first name. That's a privilege I owe to a man who's always believed in me. A man who always supported me...
As Helms heads towards the announce desk, 'JBL' is heard on commentary saying...
”Guys, guys! He's talkin' 'bout me!”
Much to the chagrin of Cole and Tazz...
And a man who knows exactly what it means to be a great champion. 'JBL'... I want you to have the honour of bein' the first name on this petition.
'JBL' removes his headset and stands up, walking around the announce desk to join Helms, the two sharing a warm handshake that quickly becomes a hug. The crowd boos loudly as the two milk the situation for all it's worth, with Helms handing 'JBL' the clipboard and a pen. Before he signs it though, 'JBL' shouts towards one of the ringside photographers...
”Take a picture o' this you idiot! This is history in the making!”
Helms and 'JBL' line up for another handshake, this time for the cameras, the two posing as the photographer's flash goes off a few times. 'JBL' now takes the clipboard and holds the pen in his hand, motioning to the photographer to take another picture... but suddenly, the crowd noise starts to rise... as Bryan Danielson is coming off the ropes... SUICIDE DIVE... TAKES OUT BOTH MEN!!
Baltimore erupts as Danielson brings an end to he charade, sending 'JBL' sprawling into the announce desk, while Danielson now mounts Helms and starts to hammer him with forearms to the face! Danielson is relentless, the crowd going wild as he absolutely destroys Helms... until 'JBL' rocks Danielson with a boot to the side of the head! Incensed at the attack, 'JBL' now starts to lay in with stomps to the chest, and Helms sees this as a chance to make his escape, picking up his title and his petition and sprinting around the ring and back up the aisle. 'JBL' sees Helms leaving, prompting him to stop his attack and shout after the Cruiserweight Champion...
”Greg! Hey... Greg! I never signed the petition! Greg!”
As 'JBL' looks up the aisle at the departing Helms, he doesn't realise that behind him, Danielson is back on his feet... and when 'JBL' turns... Danielson rocks him with a vicious jumping roundhouse kick! ‘JBL’ slumps to the floor, with Danielson looking up the aisle, realising its futile to chase after Helms as he’s already disappeared out of sight. Bryan now looks down at ‘JBL’ who slowly picks himself up to his knees... so Danielson makes a move... and locks on the LEBELL LOCK!!
Baltimore is going crazy once again as Danielson locks his deadly submission move on the self-proclaimed wrestling god! Wrenching back, Danielson locks the hold in tight, ‘JBL’ tapping furiously on the floor, and it’s not until a posse of agents and referees sprint down to the ring to break the hold that ‘JBL’ is finally set free. Danielson gets back on his feet, looking down at ‘JBL’ the crowd roaring loudly, loving what they’re seeing from Danielson...
God, I... I think he’s out cold!
Bryan Danielson, he wanted Gregory Helms... but he wound up makin’ ‘JBL’ tap out!
Slowly Danielson is lead away by officials who try usher from ringside, while on the floor, a few slaps to the face finally bring ‘JBL’ around, the commentator looking more than dishevelled as we head into a commercial.
We open to a dismal, rainy scene, a solemn church bell ringing loudly in the background. We slowly see peasants trudging through the rain and mud of what appears to be an eighteenth century town, everybody dressed like pilgrims of the time. As the camera pans, we see a rather portly town crier, who rings a handbell to a much faster beat than the previous church bell...
Town Crier: Hear ye! Hear ye! Thy day of reckoning is upon us!
We hear the clang of a nearby blacksmith hammering down on a piece of raw metal, with the close up revealing the blacksmith to be none other than SmackDown’s own Matt Hardy, dressed in the traditional garb...
Town Crier: Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age!
Hardy tosses his hammer aside and slowly trudges off camera, passing the town reverend, who just so happens to be Mr. Kennedy, with Kennedy also dressed in the church fashion of the time...
Town Crier: I tell thee my friends, do not fear thee who kill the body, and after that can do no more!
Kennedy glances down at the bible in his hands, then tosses it down into the mud, before he follows Hardy off camera...
Town Crier: But I will warn you whom to fear! Fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast thee into hell!
A man in a horse slowly approaches, the man being revealed as Batista. ‘The Animal’ quickly drops down off the horse, the buckle on his boots clunking heavily as he lands before he too walks off camera...
Town Crier: I tell thee, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak!
We now see Edge chopping wood, aggressively swinging an axe into a log set up on a stump, but he soon wipes the wet hair from his face, tosses the axe aside and exits the scene...
Town Crier: So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy!
King Booker and Queen Sharmell sit on thrones like a Mayor and Mayorness, with Booker soon standing up out of his chair, leaving Sharmell behind as he heads out of the frame...
Town Crier: For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
The town magistrate is played by Chris Benoit, complete with wig, who suddenly sits upright from behind the bench of his courtroom and storms out of the building mid trial, leaving behind a full courtroom of confused people...
Town Crier: And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them!
We now see practically the entire SmackDown roster, all dressed for the time, stood surrounding the Town Crier, who now has a petrified look on his face…
Town Crier: Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting?
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Town Crier is clobbered by Umaga, who is dressed as he normally would be. Umaga now stands with one foot on the chest of the crier, the camera looking down on him in pain, but he manages to get in the last word as he shouts...
”Judgment Day... is upon us!”
"WWE JUDGMENT DAY – MAY 20TH - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"
*End Video Package*
When we return, Josh Matthews is standing by, ready for an interview...
Welcome back to Friday Night SmackDown everybody. And please welcome my guest at this time... he is the reigning World Heavyweight Champion... 'The Animal'... Batista!
A warm pop from inside the arena as Batista steps into the frame, a confident smile on the face of the champion as he gives a nod in Josh’s direction…
And Batista, I guess we should start with the shocking news that kicked off the show tonight. Teddy Long is back from his medical suspension, has resumed his duties as SmackDown General Manager, and has suspended Umaga and fired
former Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman. Your thoughts on those developments?
Batista rubs his jaw, contemplating his answer…
Well, Umaga bein’ suspended, I guess after what he did to The Undertaker last week is fully deserved. Umaga went out there lookin’ to take Undertaker out, tryin’ to end his career. I think Teddy Long called it right, you can’t let that kinda thing go unpunished. The only regret I have… is that it means I won’t get to kick his ass in a title match against him.
And now a smile crosses the face of ‘The Animal’…
As for Jonathan Coachman… I think it’s been a long time comin’. The guy tired his best to take this title away from me and put it in Edge’s hands. ‘Coach’ tried to screw me at WrestleMania, and he damn sure tried to do it to a whole lotta other guys over the last few months. And if ya’ ask me… he got exactly what was comin’ to ‘im.
Another pop from the fans, with Matthews bringing the mic back to him for a follow-up question…
Batista, last week we of course saw you compete in our Six Man Tag main event where we assumed ‘Coach’ would make a decision as to who would face you at Judgment Day for the World Heavyweight Championship. But with Teddy Long now back, we’re gonna find out who the next number one contender is gonna be tonight.
A hint of annoyance now as Batista rolls his eyes…
Y’know, I really wanted to know who was gonna be the guy to face me next for my title at the top of the show. The sooner, the better. But now, I guess I’m gonna have to wait. I guess that’s what happens when you let ‘Coach’ try organise somethin’. Listen, if ya’ ask me, based on last week, the guy I oughta be defendin’ this title against… is Chris Benoit.
And the fans loudly give their agreement to that with another pop…
If anybody deserves a shot at me, it’s him. So tonight, it’s Benoit against Edge and Kennedy. Edge, Kennedy, they’re two guys I’ve already beatin’ on pay per view. It’s time we got somebody new steppin’ up to challenge me. If ‘Coach’ had any sense, he’s have just named Chris the number one contender last week. And then maybe what happened to The Undertaker last week would’ve been avoided.
Batista pause, almost shrugging his shoulders, knowing it’s out of his hands…
I hope it’s Chris, but if it’s Kennedy or Edge… then bring it on. But I guarantee, if either of ‘em step into the ring with me with this title on the line again… the outcome’s gonna be exactly the same. ‘The Animal’ is still gonna be the World Heavyweight Champion. So I’m gonna be watchin’ that match tonight very closely, but I’m tellin’ ya’ no matter who it is I face next week…
Batista now turns to the camera, a fierce look in his eyes…
This title… is goin’ nowhere.
A strong statement to end things, with Batista giving Josh a quick slap on the shoulder before he turns and leaves, Matthews watching him go before we head back into the arena…
To see that The Full Blooded Italians are already in the ring, their leader Santino Marella stood in the centre of the ring, microphone in hand. Stood next to him is his main squeeze, Trinity, while in the background, a rather sheepish looking Big Vito, Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke shuffle their feet as they look down at the canvas…
It has-ah come to my attentions that many people in-ah 'de back are laughin' at-ah me, 'de great Santino Marella! But, Santino knows this cannot be because of me. Oh no. Santino is-ah bein' laughed at... because of YOU!
Santino turns and very forcibly points towards Vito, Nunzio and Mamaluke, the three keeping their heads down, unable to look their boss in the eye...
You three, you keep-ah losing all 'de times! It's getting embarrassing! I don't wanna be associated with-ah losers anymore!
A stern yet comical look is on Santino's face as he shakes his fist at his associates...
So... I have-ah decided that-ah I
, 'de great Santino Marella, will-ah show you all how it's-ah done. I will restore 'de pride and 'de great name of The F.B.I.!
The crowd boo, but Trinity claps and cheers loudly in support...
Now, bring out-ah my opponent!
Santino turns to look up the aisle, before he turns and shares a quick laugh with Trinity...
But there's no laughing now as Santino's opponent is revealed to be Kane
! Marella nearly has a heart attack as the pyro explodes, before the menacing monster starts to make his way down the aisle, tugging at his elbow pad before he reaches up for the top rope and enters the ring...
Oh – my – God.
Well Santino, you wanted to show 'em how it's done, let's see it buddy!
John Bradshaw Layfield:
I'll tell ya' one thing, Santino's damn lucky he's wearin' black pants...
I take it you’ve recovered from your little run in with Bryan Danielson earlier, huh ‘JBL’?
John Bradshaw Layfield:
You shut your damn mouth! That punk Danielson’s gonna rue the day he messed wit’ me, just you wait and see!
Kane vs. Santino Marella w/ Big Vito, Nunzio, Tony Mamaluke and Trinity
Santino looks like he’s seen a ghost as he looks across the ring, blessing himself and saying his prayers in the hope of some divine intervention, while a sinister laugh crosses Kane’s face. Kane steps forward, looking to corner Santino, but Marella shows some nimble footwork as he ducks underneath a big right hand, and then he jumps up to snatch Kane into a headlock. The success is short lived though, as Kane shoves Santino off the ropes… into a thunderous shoulderblock! Santino goes flying to the mat, then scurries to the corner, where the rest of The F.B.I are there to help him regroup. After a few words of wisdom from his cohorts, Santino is back up, fists at the ready, looking to take the fight to Kane… only for him to charge straight into a shot to the throat! Santino coughs and splutters his way to the ropes, and now Kane fires him across… into a big boot to the face! Santino is down, but sits up almost on instinct… allowing Kane to come off the ropes with a low angle dropkick! There’s no cover as Santino again heads for the corner, with Kane lighting him up with those shots to the throat, then big elbows to the side of the head. An Irish whip sends Santino across… and here comes Kane… corner clothesline! Kane steps back, and waits for Santino to stumble towards him… right into a sidewalk slam! Kane is having it all his own way so far, and it looks like that will continue as he steps through the ropes then climbs upstairs, readying himself for the flying clothesline… only for Big Vito to jump up on the apron! With both Kane and the referee distracted by Vito, they don’t see Nunzio sneak up on the other side… shoving Kane… and causing him to fall all the way down to the floor!
It’s a painful landing for ‘The Big Red Machine’, and it’s about to get worse as in the ring, Santino is on his knees, pleading with the referee for leniency, which means the ref has his back to Kane… allowing the rest of The F.B.I. to hammer Kane with a flurry of stomps and kicks! It’s a three on one mugging on the outside, but eventually after they’ve all had their fill, Kane is rolled back into the ring, and Santino quickly scrambles into the lateral press… 1… 2… Kane kicks out with authority… and then he sits up! The crowd pop as Kane’s eyes snap to Santino, a look of fury on his face, with Santino again cowering for mercy. Kane stalks Santino, hunting him down, but upon seeing their boss in a desperate situation, The F.B.I. make their move, with Nunzio storming the ring… running right into a big boot to the face! Here comes Big Vito… tilt-a-whirl powerslam! Nunzio and Vito roll under the ropes back outside, while in the corner, Mamaluke huddles close to Santino… who then shoves Mamaluke towards Kane… who takes Tony up with ease… gorilla press slam… over the top ropes… right on top of Vito and Nunzio! The other three F.B.I. members are wiped out, leaving Santino in the ring along with Kane, and here comes Santino… but he runs right into a goozle… and then Kane takes him up into the air… CHOKESLAM!! Kane plants Marella to the canvas, rolls him over and gets the 1… 2… 3!
Winner: Kane @ 02.49
Kane makes quick work of Santino, finishing off the leader of The F.B.I. in emphatic fashion. 'The Big Red Machine' now stands in the middle of the ring, taking his arms up in the air and then down for another explosion of pyro. A sick, twisted laugh crosses the face of Kane as he looks down at all the destruction he's caused, before he exits the ring and heads backstage, while we slip into another commercial.
And when we return, we that Funaki
is standing by, seemingly ready to conduct another interview...
Hai! I am Funaki, SmackDown Numbah One Announceah. Hai! And please welcome, Funaki guest... Chavo Guerrero.
Some pretty solid heat as Chavo Guerrero steps into the frame, his aunt Vickie Guerrero right by his side. Chavo looks Funaki up and down, turning to Vickie with a look of disgust on his face, clearly feeling an interview with Funaki is beneath him...
Chavo, last week, we see video of return of Rey Mysterio! Mysterio come back SmackDown very soon. But you are man who injure Rey's knee. Funaki think Rey Mysterio come back... and kick you ass! What's – up – with – 'dat?
Chavo's eyes nearly bulge out their sockets...
What? Shut up, you idiot! You think little Rey-Rey is gonna just walk back in here and kick my ass? Lemme explain this so even you can understand it. Rey Mysterio... is nothing to me. You remember how he got injured, don't ya'?
Hai. You hit Rey knee with chair. You... act like coward!
A small pop from inside the arena is heard, with Chavo looking shocked again...
Me? I acted like a coward!? Who the hell you talkin' to, esse? Rey Mysterio abused the legacy of my uncle, Eddie Guerrero. He tried to ride our family name to the World Heavyweight Championship, and all it did was bring shame on us.
Rey Mysterio... was a disgrace. And after I shattered his knee, he shoulda just gave up and retired.
And more heat, with Vickie nodding along in the background...
And lemme tell you somethin', Funaki... if you're not careful with the rest of this interview... I might wind up doin' what I did to Rey... to you
. Infact... since you like to run your mouth so much... how 'bout you put down the microphone... and you step into the ring with me tonight?
Funaki over-exaggerates a thinking pose, before he nods again...
Hai. Funaki accept.
Chavo smirks, nodding his head, pleased with the answer…
Good. I'lll see ya' later. And I'll show you why if Rey Mysterio had any sense... he'd stay at home... and he'd never come back.
With a sinister sneer, Chavo stares at Funaki before he finally turns and leaves, with Vickie laughing and shaking her head before she follows Chavo off camera. Funaki fumes, anger and determination on his face as we stay focused on him before we cut elsewhere...
To see Chris Benoit in a dimly lit corridor, doing a series of hack squats, an intense workout ahead of his big match tonight. Benoit lets out a puff of breath between each squat, sweat dripping onto his t-shirt, intense focus on his face. Benoit continues to squat, until suddenly a shadow is cast over him. Releasing he’s not along, Benoit comes to a stop, then looks up, the camera panning with him… to reveal it’s Batista! A strong pop is heard as the World Heavyweight Champion comes into view, with Benoit rising up to stand face to face with ‘The Animal’…
Listen, I just wanted to say, if it was up to me, you’d be the guy. You earned a shot at this last week. Hell, if you’re really serious about goin’ out in a blaze of glory this summer… then you earned a shot at this a long time ago.
Another pop from inside the arena, but despite the respect the champion is paying him, Benoit’s emotions barely flicker...
If I’m gonna put this title on the line next week, then I hope it’s against you.
Another cheer, with this time Benoit nodding in appreciation...
So, I guess… good luck tonight.
Batista offers Benoit a handshake, and a brief second of deliberation, Benoit shakes the hand of ‘The Animal’...
I’ll be watching...
But when Batista moves to release his grip and walk away, Benoit hangs on and turns him back around. Batista looks surprised, almost angry, and there’s a very mixed response from the crowd...
What I did earlier in my career... that counts for nothin’. I haven’t earned that title shot... yet
But I’m gonna earn it tonight. And lemme tell ya’, luck’s gonna have nothin’ to do with it.
Batista looks stern faced, staring down on Benoit with a strong look of confidence...
So I’ll see you next week, when it’s gonna be you and me in the ring... and I’m gonna take that title away from you.
And finally Benoit releases the handshake, the crowd giving another mixed response. Batista adjusts the title across his shoulder, then he shrugs his shoulders and laughs...
Well... if you don’t need any luck to win tonight... then you’re gonna need all the luck you can get next week against me.
Another mixed reaction, with Benoit flashing Batista a toothy grin before ‘The Animal’ turns on his heels and walks off, the camera staying focused on Benoit, who watches Batista leave before returning to his workout as we head back into the arena.
*LIVE FOR THE MOMENT...*
A very loud response for the ever-popular Matt Hardy
as the United States Champion bursts into the arena. Hardy bounds down the aisle, firing up the crowd, before he nips up to the apron then climbs to the second rope to flash his “V1” hand-gesture to the fans...
Before WrestleMania XXIII, Matt Hardy spoke of his dreams and desires to become United States Champion. But after finally making that happen, the target is now firmly on Hardy’s back, and already challengers are starting to emerge.
We already know that Finlay wants a rematch, The Miz has his sights on the gold, and I’m pretty sure that despite his loss last week, William Regal’s lookin’ for another shot at Hardy, especially if The Bluebloods pull out a win here tonight.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
And that’s the kinda pressure that comes with holdin’ the prestigious United States Championship. I didn’t think Hardy would get the job done at WrestleMania, but he proved me wrong. But now I gotta wonder if he can handle the pressure of bein’ champion. That
remains to be seen.
And it’s a warm welcome for the WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans
, with Paul London
and Brian Kendrick
stepping out, the two slapping hands and posing under the SmackDown fist before Ashley Massaro
sends both men down to the ring, although just like in recent weeks, London is a few steps behind Kendrick, still clearly hobbled by his knee injury...
Last week Matt Hardy faced William Regal in singles action, but the match was littered with outside interference from Regal’s cohorts Burchill and Taylor. Looking to even up the score, Hardy challenged The Bluebloods to a Six Man Tag Team Match, and he of course turned to London and Kendrick to be his partners.
And who better to bring in than the WWE Tag Team Champions? The Hooligans have had plenty o’ run-ins with The Bluebloods these last few months, I’m sure they’ll know a few pointers to help Hardy in this one.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
I’m amazed these two have even got the nerve to show themselves around here after the way they let us down at WrestleMania. They embarrassed this entire brand, and I’ve yet to hear an apology from ‘em!
A decent outpouring of heat as The Bluebloods
make their entrance. Lead as always by William Regal
, it’s Dave Taylor
who does most of the snarling at the fans, while the hulking Paul Burchill
brings up the rear...
William Regal is of course one of the toughest men to ever set foot in a WWE ring, and as we saw last week, with Burchill and Taylor by his side, he’s an even more dangerous competitor. But now that it’s three-on-three, just what kinda impact will Taylor and Burchill be able to have?
John Bradshaw Layfield:
I hope Burchil and Taylor tear London and Kendrick apart! If we were gonna send any team to represent us at WrestleMania, it shoulda been these three right here. At least we’d have been represented with a bit of class and dignity.
I don’t think you’ll see the same effect as last week from Burchill and Taylor. They ain’t gonna be able to take cheap shots behind the referee’s back. So let’s see what they can do when it’s three-on-three and the numbers game ain’t to their advantage.
Match 3: Six Man Tag Team Match
United States Champion Matt Hardy and WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans w/ Ashley Massaro vs. The Bluebloods
Kendrick and Burchill get this one underway, and when the two come together, Kendrick ducks underneath the tie-up, going for a rear waistlock. Kendrick then works this into a standing side headlock, but Burchill breaks free by shoving Kendrick into the ropes… but he then misses with a clothesline… allowing Kendrick to build momentum… running crossbody! Early cover… but Burchill kicks out at one. Both men are back up, but Kendrick quickly snatches Burchill back into that headlock, dragging him to the face corner where London slaps Kendrick on the back… then slingshots into the ring for a sunset flip on Burchill! 1… 2… Burchill kicks out. London looks to regain control with another side headlock… only for Burchill to grab a handful of hair… and yank London head first off the canvas! Burchill shakes off the cobwebs and tags in Taylor, but as he approaches, London catches him off guard with an armdrag! Taylor is back up… another armdrag puts him down! Taylor stumbles back up… right into a dropkick! Another cover… Taylor kicks out at 2. London now drags Taylor to his corner and tags in Matt, with Hardy getting a nice pop from the crowd as he steps into the ring, climbs to the second rope as London wrings on Taylor’s arm… double axe handle connects! Matt goes for the cover… 1… 2… Taylor kicks out. Hardy yanks Taylor up, scoring right hands and then a boot to the midsection, but when he goes for an Irish whip, Taylor hangs on, reverses... and takes Hardy down with a short-arm clothesline! Hardy is down, and now Taylor brings Regal into the match, but it’s at this point that the camera cuts backstage, showing us that watching on is The Miz and Michelle McCool, the pair smiling having seen Hardy taken down.
Regal enters and wastes no time, drilling boots to the small of the back, then he aggressively yanks Matt up and smashes him face first off the top turnbuckle. A series of boots and stomps drive Hardy to the canvas, the referee having to step in to stop the onslaught. Hardy crawls from the corner, and Regal lines him up… KNEE TREMBLER… NO! Hardy avoids it… and Regal crashes into the ropes! Hardy quickly dives for his corner… and here comes London! London slings himself over the top rope, racing at Regal to knock him down with a running forearm. Regal reaches up and tags in Burchill, who storms in… straight into a running forearm! Both men back up… dropkick puts Burchill down! London nips up and comes off the ropes… only for Taylor to low-bridge them… causing London to tumble to the floor! Hardy and London burst into the ring to protest, but this only allows Regal to drop down, hammer London with a series of kicks to the chest, before he rolls him back into the ring, where Burchill goes for a cover… 1… 2… London rolls a shoulder. Burchill shoves London into the heels’ corner, where he hammers him with a flurry of right hands, before he puts London down with a scoop slam. Taylor gets the tag, and he hits a legdrop for a two count, then takes London up and down with a suplex, before he starts repeatedly dropping his knee across London’s chest. Regal tags in, and again it’s aggressive boots to the chest and head he hits, before he yanks London up… then takes him down with the REGAL CUTTER! Regal hooks the leg… 1… 2… London barely kicks out! Regal pulls London up, locking on an inverted headlock that allows him to drill knees to the face, but London takes the punishment… then breaks free with a hiptoss! London lunges for his corner… only for Regal to cut him off with a massive clothesline! Regal goes for a cover… 1… 2… London rolls a shoulder!
London is dragged across the canvas to the heels’ corner, Burchill tagging back in, and he lays in with more boots to the body and right hands to the face. Burchill then hoists London up into a seated position on the top turnbuckle, climbing up to then hook London in for a SUPERPLEX… NO! London drills headbutts and right hands, causing Burchill to drop back down. Burchill charges in… into a boot to the face… then London flies… tornado DDT! London plants Burchill, and now he’s crawling for his corner… to tag in Matt Hardy! Hardy bursts into the ring, charging to the corner, knocking Regal and Taylor off the apron with forearms, before he runs through Burchill with a clothesline. Burchill quickly back up, but Hardy ducks a right… then scores with the side effect! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… Burchill kicks out. Hardy has control as he fires Burchill to the corner, then follows in… corner clothesline… and Hardy hangs on… bulldog! Here’s another cover… 1… 2… Taylor makes the save. Taylor now drills Hardy with a few elbows to the back of the head, but here comes Kendrick… clothesline… takes both men over the top rope to the floor! With Kendrick and Taylor down on the outside, and Hardy on his knees, Burchill is able to tag Regal in. Regal steps in and sees Hardy in a weakened state, so he lines him up, makes his move… REGAL STRETCH… NO!! Hardy breaks free with elbows to the side of the head, but Regal swings a right hand… which Hardy ducks… inverted DDT! Hardy springs back to his feet, but here comes Burchill… Hardy low bridges the top rope… and Burchill crashes to the floor! Burchill lands in a heap next to Kendrick and Taylor, the three on their feet, but here comes Paul London… plancha… takes out everybody! It’s carnage at ringside, while in the ring, Hardy stands, waiting for Regal to stumble to his feet… kick… TWIST OF FATE!! Hardy plants Regal, rolls him over and hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!
Winners: Matt Hardy and The Hooligans @ 08.13
For the second week in a row, Matt Hardy puts William Regal away, another confident victory for the US Champion. Hardy pushes off Regal and then struggles back to his feet, looking around the ringside area to see London and London still down on the outside, but the referee moves to raise Hardy’s hand anyway... only for a commotion to be heard from the crowd... as Hardy is hammered from behind... by Finlay!
Hardy is clobbered to the canvas, with Finlay now laying in with the boots, before he holds his shillelagh high in the air... then brings it crashing down on Hardy's midsection! The crowd shits all over Finlay's actions as he repeatedly drives the shillelagh into Matt's ribs, hammering him time and time again, a wild, frenzied assault on the champion. Referees and agents dive into the ring, but Finlay chases them away, threatening them with the shillelagh, before he again smashes the weapon of Hardy's ribs.
Finally, it seems like Finlay has almost swung himself out as he comes to a stop, but just as the refs move in to check on Hardy, Finlay barges past them... to land yet another shillelagh shot to the ribs! Hardy groans in agony, the crowd continuing to boo loudly, with Finlay finally deciding he's done enough as he backs away, allowing help to reach Hardy. Looking down on the fallen champion, Finlay flashes that toothy smirk of his before he steps through the ropes, the boos ringing loudly as we once again cut backstage to see The Miz and Michelle McCool standing by, with Miz looking particularly pleased with the damage Finlay has done, a smug look on his face as we cut to commercial.
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 Rey 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 head 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*
And we head straight back into the arena to hear…
Some pretty solid heat for the appearance of Chavo Guerrero
, who enters wearing a bandana and poncho that reads “Warrior” across it. Chavo’s Aunt Vickie Guerrero
is also there, the pair slowly walking down the aisle, as Chavo has a microphone in his hand, clearly having a few more words to say…
Cut my music! Cut the music!
Calling for silence, the music stops, leaving the boos of the crowd the only sound we hear…
So… little Rey Rey is on his way back, huh? And I bet all you people just can’t wait to see him back, right?
The crowd respond with a pop, at which Chavo shakes his head...
Well I got news for all you people. I mean, I hate to disappoint you all, but… the Rey Mysterio you people used to love and adore… is long gone, amigos.
Heat, with Chavo simply smirking...
I mean, I watch that little video, and I see Rey flyin’ around, soarin’ through the air, but y’see, after what I did to Rey Mysterio to put him on the shelf, that
Rey… ain’t comin’ back. When I took that steel chair and I wrecked his knee, I put an end to his high flyin’ days. Take a good look at that highlight reel, ‘cause those moves? You’re never gonna see them from Rey, ever again.
And Rey, I’m sure you’re back home in San Diego preparing for your comeback. I know you’re workin’ hard, each and every day, tryin’ to strengthen that knee, tryin’ to get back to where you used to be, but you oughta just face it… you’ll never get back there. You’ll never be as good as you were in those video clips. And that’s why Rey, I’m gonna give you a piece of advice.
Chavo and Vickie start to climb the ring steps, entering the ring...
Stay at home, Rey. Don’t put yourself through any more pain, don’t make your family suffer any more. Stay away Rey. Retire. Call it a day. ‘Cause if you don’t… if you follow through with this comeback… if you return to Friday Night SmackDown…
And now Chavo looks straight down the hard camera...
Then I’m gonna put you straight back on the shelf again. I’ll finish the job, I’ll do what I shoulda done last time, and I’ll end you’re career… for good.
More boos, with Vickie nodding her head in the background...
So think long and hard about comin’ back, esse
. And if you still wanna do it… then at Judgment Day, I’m gonna challenge you to a match, where you can make your comeback… and your retirement… all in one night… and it’ll all be because of me.
More heat from the crowd, while Vickie cackles in the background, an evil smirk on Chavo's face, but the crowd is soon cheering again when we hear...
*KAI EN TAI...*
In a rather comical fashion Funaki
bursts out onto the scene with an intense look on his face, heading straight down the aisle, not wanting to waste anytime in getting his hands on Guerrero...
Well, some pretty disturbing words there from Chavo Guerrero towards Rey Mysterio. It was over six months ago that Chavo put Rey on the shelf with a serious knee injury, and I can't believe that with Mysterio now on the way back, Chavo wants to put him on the shelf permanently.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
And can ya' blame 'im? For years Mysterio has lived of the legacy of the Guerrero family, and six months ago, Chavo decided he wasn't gonna stand for it anymore. And if Rey thinks he can come back and do the same again, he's gonna find out in a hurry that his days of leechin' off the Guerrero's are over.
What the hell are you talkin' about? Rey made a name for 'imself through some o' the great matches he had. You saw the video, he don't need to ride the coattails of anybody! And if ya' ask me, Chavo's startin' to sound a little too arrogant for my likin'. If he ain't careful, he might wind up on the wrong end of an upset right here.
Chavo Guerrero w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Funaki
As the bell rings, Chavo intially looks across at Funaki with disdain, laughing and shaking his head at the prospect of his opponent. Funaki inches towards Chavo with his fists raised, causing Chavo to laugh once more, the trash talk following as the two move closer... and then Chavo slaps Funaki across the face! Guerrero turns to the fans, arms out wide, boasting at what he just did... only for Funaki to rock him with a forearm to the face! 'Naki now rattles off another three forearms, backing Chavo to the corner, where Funaki starts unloading with karate chops to the body. 'Naki then goes for the Irish whip, only for Chavo to reverse it... but when he follows in, Funaki steps aside... and Chavo runs into the turnbuckle chest first! Stumbling backwards, Guerrero doesn't see Funaki come off the ropes... running crossbody! 1... 2... Chavo kicks out, and he quickly rolls under the bottom rope to the outside. Sitting on the floor, Chavo looks stunned, caught completely off guard, with Vickie furiously screeching at the referee to do something. The ref simply shrugs his shoulders and counts, with Funaki motioning for Chavo to bring the fight back into the ring. The crafty veteran, Chavo paces on the outside, trying to slow things down, but eventually he finally steps back into the ring. Instead of locking up, Guerrero calls for a test of strength, pointing his hands out towards Funaki. 'Naki agrees, offering his hands too... but before the two lock hands, Chavo drills a knee to the midsection. Looking to take control, Guerrero lands a flurry of forearms and elbows to the back, then he smacks right hands off the face to back Funaki to the ropes. Chavo winds up, then sends Funaki across... but 'Naki uses a baseball slide to avoid the contact, then nips back up.. inverted DDT! Funaki crawls into the lateral press... 1... 2... Chavo kicks out again.
Off the kickout, Chavo scrambles to the corner, begging off, pleading with Funaki to ease up. ‘Naki turns to the fans, fist cocked, the crowd roaring him on… but it costs Funaki as by looking at the crowd, Chavo is able to reach up, grab the tights and yank ‘Naki forward… sending him crashing through the ropes to the floor! Funaki lands with a bump, with Chavo quickly following him outside. With an aggressive look on his face, Guerrero yanks Funaki up… then drives him spine first into the apron! A flurry of elbows and forearms land to the head, before Chavo rolls Funaki back into the ring. Looking to do some damage, Chavo looks to target the lower spine as he repeatedly drives his knee, then drops a few elbows to the same spot. Chavo does further damage with a German suplex, then comes close to victory with a northern lights suplex. Feeling confident, Guerrero is slow in his attack, repeatedly showing disrespect to Funaki by grabbing him by the hair and slapping him across the face… but Chavo pushes ‘Naki too far, as after one slap too many, Funaki snaps… and rocks Chavo with a slap of his own! Funaki now goes on the attack, landing right hand after right hand, backing Guerrero to the ropes, where he goes for an Irish whip… but Chavo reverses… then takes Funaki up and down with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Chavo shouts “It’s over!” as he rolls Funaki over and hooks the leg… 1… 2… Funaki kicks out! Chavo is furious, storming to his feet, demanding a three count, but the referee confirms it was only two. Turning to his Aunt Vickie, Chavo makes his frustrations clear… and from behind, Funaki takes him down with a rollup… 1… 2… Chavo kicks out!
Storming back to his feet, Chavo catches Funaki with knees to the head, then more to the body. Chavo then fires Funaki to the corner and follows in… but Funaki gets a boot up to the face! Chavo stumbles away, and here comes Funaki from behind… one handed bulldog! Funaki rolls Chavo over and hooks the near leg… 1… 2… Chavo gets a foot on the bottom rope! Funaki is back up, pumping his fist, the crowd getting behind him as he waits for Chavo to rise… and then makes his move… looking for the CRANE KICK… NO! Chavo avoids it, then he grabs Funaki from behind… hooks him up… for the GORY BOMB!! Funaki is planted to the mat, and Chavo rolls him over for the 1… 2… just like last week, Chavo yanks his opponents shoulders off the mat to stop the three count! The crowd loudly boo, the referee is confused, asking Chavo what he’s doing, but Chavo simply wags a finger in response and shouts “Not yet!”. Yanking Funaki up, Chavo sinches him in… then connects on a suplex… but Chavo hangs on, kicks his legs, drags Funaki back up… for a second suplex! Again Chavo hangs on, drags himself and Funaki up… for a third suplex that completes the HAT TRICK! With Funaki down and out, Chavo stomps towards the corner, climbing through the ropes, heading upstairs, where he once again poses and soaks in the jeers of the fans before he flies… FROG SPLASH!! Chavo emphatically connects, and he doesn’t even bother to hook a leg as he picks up the 1… 2… 3.
Winner: Chavo Guerrero @ 03.47
A gutsy effort from Funaki, but it's Guerrero who gets the win. Rolling back onto his knees, Chavo spreads his arms out wide, soaking in the boos of the crowd yet again, while Vickie applauds her nephew. Chavo nips back up, Vickie raising his hand in victory, but Chavo barely acknowledges the fans as he stares down at Funaki. With a look of disgust on his face, Chavo shakes his head angrily, then ushers Vickie aside... so he can start laying into Funaki with boots to the chest!
The heat level rises from the fans as Chavo adds insult to injury, stomping down on the chest, then he drops down to smack well-placed right hands off Funaki's skull, with even Vickie laying in with the odd cheap kick to the ribs. The referee tries to break it up, but Vickie screams at him and pushes him away, allowing Chavo to continue his assault... until a roar is heard from the crowd... as Jimmy Wang Yang is racing down the aisle! Vickie hears the cheers and alerts Chavo, the pair seeing Jimmy coming, and just as Yang slides under the bottom rope... Chavo and Vickie exit the ring to safety!
There's more boos for Chavo and Vickie, with Chavo angrily pointing back into the ring at Jimmy, with Yang challenging Guerrero to get back in the ring. Chavo waves him off though, instead choosing to back away up the aisle with Vickie, his Aunt raising his hand in the air once again, with the unlikely partnership of Yang and Funaki in the ring, Jimmy trying to help Funaki off the canvas. The camera takes on last look at Chavo and Vickie, the two revelling in their actions and the boos of the crowd as we head off for another commercial.
This time we return to the office of Teddy Long
, the newly returned SmackDown General Manager taking care of some business as he inaudibly talks on his cell phone, pacing back and forth. A knock on the door is heard, causing Teddy to stop and turn towards the door...
Hold on one second playa... come in!
The door swings open, and in walks... The New Breed. Boos are heard from inside the arena as Layla leads Elijah Burke and Monty Brown into the office, with a smug smirk on the face of Burke, while Brown looks as intense as always...
Well, well... if it ain't The New Breed.
Teddy, welcome back. It's nice to see you.
Layla rolls her eyes as she speaks, with Teddy seeing straight through the faux pleasantries...
Let's cut the formalities. The reason you three are in my office right now is 'cause I wanna ask you all a question. What do you two playas think you were doin' last week when you jumped London and Kendrick from behind after their match?
Burke rolls his eyes and shakes his head, while Brown simply glares at Teddy...
London and Kendrick, the longest reignin' WWE Tag Team Champions in SmackDown history, the team that represented this brand at WrestleMania, a match they took on despite Paul London havin' a bum knee. And you two decide that the best way to get their attention is to jump 'em right after a match?
A smirk crosses Burke's face as he remembers the attack...
Well lemme tell ya' somethin' playas... it ain't gonna happen no more!
Pop from inside the arena as the smirk quickly drains from Burke's facem but he quickly composes himself...
Listen Teddy, we made it real simple to London and Kendrick a few weeks ago. We told 'em we wanted a shot at the gold. But we also told 'em we were givin' 'em 'til WrestleMania to take care o' business with The World's Greatest Tag Team.
Burke let's out an exaggerated sigh as he shrugs his shoulders...
But WrestleMania's came and went, Teddy. And we're tired o' waitin'. So we ain't waitin' any longer. Last week, we made our move. We want a challenge. We want the champions. We want... the gold. So, if you want us to ease up on The Hooligans... then I guess you know what you gotta do. Give us a title shot next week, and we'll prove that there's a new breed
of tag team here on SmackDown... and we're ready to take over.
Layla nods in agreement, with Teddy pursing his lips as he considers what Elijah had to say...
Alright. Well, first of all, there ain't gonna be any title match next week. I'm givin' The Hooligans the night off next week. I wanna give London a week off to let that knee rest.
Layla scowls in disappointment, with Burke turning to Brown, the pair angrily looking at each other...
Teddy Long: If
you playas ever get a title shot, I'm sure you're gonna want the champs at full strength. And if you ever gonna get that title shot, you gonna have to earn it the old-fashioned way. As for givin' you two a challenge... you leave that to me.
A confused look crosses the face of Burke and Brown, while Layla looks more intrigued...
What do you mean?
Next week, I'll find a challenge for the two of ya'. You just make sure these boys are ready to go next week, and leave the rest up to me.
A pop is heard from inside the arena as Teddy confidently lays down the law...
Now, I want you playas to get outta here.
Instead of heading for the exit, a brief laugh is heard from Burke as he takes a few steps forward, getting in Teddy's face...
You better not try screw with us, Teddy. We want those titles, and we'll beat anybody you put in our way to get 'em.
A tense stand-off ensues, with neither man backing down...
I said get outta here...
Burke shrugs before he reluctantly turns and leaves, Layla scowling one last time before she too heads for the exit, while Brown narrows his eyes and stares at Teddy for a few seconds before he follows his cohorts out, with Teddy taking the cell phone back out of his jacket pocket to carry on with his conversation.
We now cut to a backstage area, to see Montel Vontavious Porter standing next to a very pretty assistant. Porter is dressed in a sharp white suit with pinstripes, sunglasses on, signature 'MVP' bling hanging from around his neck, clearly impressing the young lady with whatever he's been saying to her. A presence is felt from off camera, the young lady noticing and looking out of the frame, but 'MVP' barely recognises it, until somebody clears their throat. 'MVP' hears it, turning around, then taking off his shades, with the camera panning to reveal... King Booker and Queen Sharmell stood behind him. Porter quickly shoos the worker away, clearly wanting an audience with the King...
Montel Vontavious Porter:
Hey, Booker! Good to see ya' man! I take it you thought about what I said last week and-
And again, we hear Sharmell clearing her throat, causing 'MVP' to stop...
Montel Vontavious Porter:
Is that any way to address a King?
Booker turns his nose up at 'MVP', showing that he demands to be welcomed with a certain level of resepct. 'MVP' sighs and shakes his head, pushing up his sunglasses to rub his eyes in annoyance...
Montel Vontavious Porter:
You gotta be kiddin' me? Ugh... your royal highness... what's happenin'?
Booker's eyes bulge, clearly not the respect he was looking for...
How dare you?! That is no way to speak to your King! One has never been offended like this before in one's life!
'MVP' rolls his eyes and shakes his head, running a hand across his face, almost in disbelief...
Montel Vontavious Porter:
I'm pretty sure 'one' has at some point.
And again Booker's eyes bulge in shock and disgust, but before he can start, 'MVP' carries on...
Montel Vontavious Porter:
Look man, enough o' this. You heard what I said last week, so now I wanna know. The King of the Ring comin' up soon, you gonna be in it, and I already know I'm gonna be in it. Now you wanna work together or not?
Booker turns to Sharmell, the pair letting out an exaggerated laugh, before the laughing ends sharply and Booker glares at 'MVP'...
Work with you? No, no, my dear Montel, no. Your King is more than capable of winning the King of the Ring tournament, and retaining his crown, all by his self. Your King is here tonight to serve you a warning.
'MVP' raises his eyebrows in surprise...
Montel Vontavious Porter:
Yes. I am going to win the King of the Ring tournament, I am going to retain my crown, and I don't want a peasant such as yourself getting in my way. Last week, you dared to suggest I needed your help. Well... I don't. So stay out... of my way.
In the background Sharmell nods her head and shouts “Damn straight!”, with Booker smiling contently. 'MVP' shakes his head again, then throws his hands up in despair...
Montel Vontavious Porter:
A'ight, fine. Have it yo' way. But when I make it all the way to Saturday Night's Main Event and the final match... don't say I didn't give you a shot at comin' all the way wit' me.
Porter decides he's had enough, shaking his head...
Montel Vontavious Porter:
Whatever... I'm outta here man.
And now 'MVP' walks off screen, leaving behind the very dignified, and rather pleased Booker and Sharmell, the two turning their noses up as they watch 'MVP' leave and we fade into a video...
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*
From the video, we head to the announce desk and the smiling face of our commentary team...
Yes that's right folks, the prestigous King of the Ring tournament makes it return during a Saturday Night's Main Event special on June 2nd, live on NBC. But qualifying kicks off just over two weeks away on Monday Night Raw, where we're gonna get the 32 man tournament under way. No on Raw last Monday, we heard the first four participants representing the red brand, and right now, we can reveal the first six men who will battle to qualify here on SmackDown.
Oh absolutely. We already know King Booker is, of course, gonna be back, tryin' to defend the crown he won last year. And we know 'MVP' is gonna be in the bracket too, and he's gonna be a real strong contender. But how 'bout this? The next four SmackDown guys are none other than the United States Champion, Matt Hardy, the Cruiserweight Champion, Gregory Helms, the former US Champ, Finlay, and 'The Big Red Machine', Kane!
Some serious contenders right there folks. 'JBL', anybody off that list that catches your eye as a potential winner perhaps?
John Bradshaw Layfield:
I'm tellin' ya', the talent in this tournament is incredible. I think that crown stays here on SmackDown, and if I had to pick from the first six names I've heard, I've gotta go with King Booker. He's got the experience, he knows how to win this thing, he gets my pick.
Tazz, what about you? Who stands out so far?
I gotta go with Matt Hardy so far. He's been on fire in 2007, this has been a great year for him so far, it could get even better with a King of the Ring victory. But hey, don't count out Kane either, he's been lookin' pretty strong as of late, picked up two good wins off the back of WrestleMania, he could be a contender.
More details to follow, more names will be revealed this Monday night live on Raw. It really is shaping up to be one heck of a tournament, and it all comes to a head, June 2nd live on NBC!
And after a few seconds of silence and smiles...
The arena errupts once again as Chris Benoit
makes his entrance. Stopping for a brief second under the SmackDown fist, Benoit looks out into the fans, nodding his head in appreciation before he strides for the ring...
But up next, it's time for our main event! Edge, Mr. Kennedy and that
man, Chris Benoit, will meet in a Triple Threat Match, and the winner will face Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship next week on SmackDown. Join us when we return to Friday Night SmackDown!
We return to see Benoit in the ring, his music still playing, 'The Crippler' pacing the ring, cocking his head from side to side, looking calm and confident ahead of his match. Benoit continues to pace, anxiously awaiting the arrival of...
”KEN – NAH – DAY!...”
*TURN UP THE TROUBLE...*
A loud, boisterous, mixed response for Mr. Kennedy
as the always cocky loudmouth makes his entrance. Kennedy has his eyes fixated on Benoit, the boos now starting to outweigh the cheers, but Kennedy doesn't give a damn as he steps through the ropes, he and Benoit sharing a brief staredown before Kennedy heads for the corner...
He's always loud, he's always opinionated, he's always extremely confident. But last week, fresh off the biggest win of his career at WrestleMania, Kennedy ran into a roadblock in the shape of Chris Benoit as Benoit got the pin over Kennedy in our main event last week.
Yeah but not only that, Kennedy was havin' some problems with his partner last week, Edge. They weren't on the same page, it cost 'em last week, and from what we heard earlier this evenin', it sounds like those problems still exist.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Listen, that guy right there is a future superstar of this business, he's a future world champion, of that there is no doubt. Kennedy's time has come, he's ready, he beat Ric Flair infront o' 70,000 people, the guy is primed to dominate SmackDown for a very long time. Kennedy's my guy to win this, and I think he's gonna become World Heavyweight Champion next week on SmackDown, and I'm gonna love watchin' it!
”YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME...”
Nothing but heat as Edge
strides out into the arena, stopping under the SmackDown fist, where Edge puffs out his cheeks before he sets off a massive pyro display. Looking intense and focused, Edge shakes his hands loose as he walks down the aisle, before he slides into the ring and nips up to his feet, he and Kennedy looking each other up and down before Edge heads for the second rope to pose for the fans...
You may not like his actions, but nobody can deny the accolades Edge has picked up during his career. He's a former two-time WWE Champion, he won the 2007 Royal Rumble, but at WrestleMania XXIII, Edge just couldn't get it done when he faced off with 'The Animal'.
John Bradshaw Layfield:
Aw listen to ya', Michael! Couldn't get it done!? He had Batista beat, he had 'im down for a ten count, if only we had some competent officials around here, Edge would be the champion right now!
Listen, we're not getting' into that whole argument again. Yes, Edge had Batista down and out without a referee, but Batista had Edge down and out without a ref too. But hey, if Edge is as sure a winner as you say he is 'JBL', he'll win right here then he'll win next week no problem. I just happen to think it's gonna be Benoit's night...
Main Event: Number One Contender's Triple Threat Match
Chris Benoit vs. Edge vs. Mr. Kennedy
When the bell rings, all three men stand near each other in the centre of the ring, with Benoit’s head darting between both Edge and Kennedy, but when his head eventually settles on Kennedy, Edge reacts angrily, pushing Benoit in the chest and pointing to himself, claiming he’s the one Benoit should be focused on… so Benoit smacks him with a stiff right hand! Benoit and Edge now trade right hands, with Kennedy more than happy to step back and let them go at it. Benoit lands three shots in a row, backing Edge to the ropes, where he starts to unload with chops to the chest. Kennedy continues to watch on as Benoit goes for an Irish whip… only for Edge to reverse it… then catch Benoit with a knee to the midsection. Benoit is down near the ropes, and here comes Edge… baseball slide… sends Benoit sprawling to the floor! Edge turns and glares at Kennedy, who holds his hands up in innocence, which prompts Edge to head outside, where he scoops Benoit up… and drops him across the barricade! Edge lays in with more right hands, before he rolls Benoit into the ring… but when he steps up onto the apron, Kennedy makes his move… and knocks Edge off the apron… into the barricade! Kennedy now goes after Benoit, drilling him with boots against the corner, before he rears back and fires Benoit across the ring… crashing into the opposite corner! Benoit slumps to the floor, with Kennedy pulling him to the centre of the ring for a cover… 1… 2… Benoit kicks out.
After the kickout, Kennedy yanks Benoit into the corner, drilling him with boots to the gut and rights to the face, before he goes for an Irish whip and follows in… right into a boot to the face! Benoit now comes out of the corner with chops to the chest, but Kennedy swings a right… and misses… then gets caught with a release German suplex! Kennedy stumbles to his feet, and Benoit lines him up for a second… only for Edge to club him from behind. A brief period of teamwork sees Edge and Kennedy both lay in with alternating stomps to Benoit’s chest, before Edge turns and smacks Kennedy with a right hand. A pair of rights drive Kennedy to the corner, before Edge goes for an Irish whip… but Kennedy reverses then follows in… into a boot to the face. Kennedy stumbles away… right into a knife edge chop from Benoit! Edge charges… into a chop of his own! Benoit turns back to Kennedy, landing more chops, before he fires him off the ropes… into a forearm smash! Edge eats a boot to the gut, then gets fired off the ropes… another forearm smash! Back to Kennedy, who tastes a chop to the chest, then a snap suplex. Kennedy and Edge stumble up against the ropes… double clothesline from Benoit puts them both over the top rope! Edge and Kennedy are sprawling on the floor, but as they drag themselves up, here comes Benoit… suicide dive… takes out both men! The crowd is electric as Benoit bursts back to his feet, Edge and Kennedy down, ‘The Crippler’ firmly in control as we head to the final commercial of the broadcast.
And when we return, Kennedy is down on the outside, with Benoit having a handful of Edge’s hair, smashing him face first off the top turnbuckle. Knees to the midsection, chops to the chest and right hands to the face land, before Benoit takes Edge up with a suplex… but drops him across the top rope! Benoit then takes Edge back into the ring with a suplex, before he takes Edge by the feet, steps, twists and turns… for a SHARPSHOOTER… but here comes Kennedy… Benoit release the hold as he sees Kennedy coming… and traps him by the arm… CRIPPLER CROSSFACE!! Benoit locks Kennedy in, but Kennedy manages to scramble… and he reaches the ropes! Benoit has no choice but to release the hold, and when he gets back to his feet… Edge smacks him with a rolling wheel kick… that sends Benoit through the ropes to the floor! With Benoit down on the outside, Edge turns his attentions to Kennedy, smacking him with right hands before he goes for an Irish whip… but Edge lowers his head… Kennedy scores with a snap DDT! Kennedy rolls Edge over… 1… 2… Edge kicks out. Kennedy now looks to take control as he drags Edge up… but when he goes for a suplex, Edge lands on his feet behind Kennedy… EDGE-O-MATIC! Kennedy is driven to the mat, and Edge hooks the leg… 1… 2… Kennedy rolls a shoulder! Looking to put Kennedy away, Edge heads to the corner, crouching, clawing at his hair, ready to pounce as Kennedy stumbles up… here comes Edge looking for the SPEAR… but Kennedy avoids it… EDGE SPEARS THE CORNER! And then he stumbles out… and Kennedy takes Edge up onto his shoulders… ROLLING FIREMAN’S CARRY SLAM!
Kennedy storms back to his feet, licking his lips in anticipation, calling for Edge to rise… so he can hook him up… MIC CHECK… NO!
Edge puts on the breaks with elbows to the head, and then he reaches down, grabbing the legs, taking Kennedy down… so he can catapult Kennedy into the corner! Kennedy’s head smacks off the turnbuckle, and he stumbles backwards… into Benoit’s waiting hands… release German suplex! Benoit now goes back to Edge, landing more kicks, knees and chops, before he hooks Edge up… suplex… right on top of Kennedy! Kennedy grabs his chest and rolls under the bottom rope in pain, leaving Benoit in control of Edge. Benoit looks for another German suplex… but Edge swings a back elbow… that Benoit ducks… and then he takes Edge down by the legs, steps, twists… and sits into the SHARPSHOOTER!!
Benoit has it locked in tight, with Edge desperately crawling for the ropes! Slowly Edge manages to inch himself towards safety… only for Benoit to pull him back to the centre of the ring! Baltimore comes alive as Benoit appears just seconds from victory… but here comes Kennedy… to catch Benoit with a facewash! The brutal boot to the face causes Benoit to release the hold, and after a few seconds of recover, Kennedy looks to send Benoit to the corner… but Benoit reverses… and then grabs Edge, launching him towards Kennedy… SPEAR AGAINST THE TURNBUCKLE!
Edge is fired into Kennedy’s midsection, then staggers backwards… GERMAN SUPLEX! Benoit hangs on though, drags Edge up… SECOND GERMAN SUPLEX! But again Benoit hangs on, pulls Edge up… THIRD GERMAN SUPLEX!
With Kennedy down in the corner and Edge out of it, Benoit is back up… and he draws a thumb across his throat! Benoit thinks he has Edge lined up, but here comes Kennedy… but Benoit side steps him… sending Kennedy flying over the top rope! Benoit now steps through the ropes, climbing upstairs… but Edge dives for the ropes, causing Benoit to lose his balance… crotching him on the top turnbuckle! The crowd groan as Benoit suffers a painful landing, with Edge now climbing to the second rope, looking for a suplex… but Benoit strikes with a series of headbutts… causing Edge to fall back down! He’s in perfect position as Benoit steps up, looking for the DIVING HEADBUTT… NO! Kennedy reaches up… and shoves Benoit… sending him flying… and crashing into the referee! The ref hits the canvas, but with both opponents down, Kennedy takes his time, lining them up, before he settles on Benoit… and looks to finish things off with THE MIC CHECK!
Kennedy plants Benoit, but when he stands up and looks for the referee, Edge attacks… SPEAR!!
A spear out of nowhere, and Edge hooks the leg… but there’s no referee! Edge never realised! He’s missed out on victory again thanks to there being no ref! Edge can’t believe it, a furious look on his face as he claws at his hair, even going as far as to grab the ref by the collar, trying to shake some life back into him. Edge gives up on this though, as he sees Benoit using the ropes to drag himself back up… and here comes Edge… SPEAR… NO!
Benoit sidesteps it… Edge eats the turnbuckle again! Edge then stumbles to the ropes… Benoit clotheslines him over the top rope! Benoit now turns back to the action… here comes Kennedy… but Benoit traps him by the arm… CRIPPLER CROSSFACE!!
Benoit slaps it on in the centre of the ring, there’s nowhere for Kennedy to go! Desperately Kennedy scratches and claws for the ropes… but when he can’t get there… Kennedy taps! Benoit wins!
Winner: Via Submission, Chris Benoit @ 14.58
It's Benoit! Benoit has done it, he's gonna face Batista next week for the World Heavyweight Championship! Baltimore is on it's feet in celebration, the crowd cheering loudly as Benoit rolls free of Kennedy for the second week in a row, fully selling the impact of the match as he barely manages to drag himself up using the ropes. Once on his feet, Benoit breathes heavily, but he manages to offer his arm to the referee, who raises it high into the-
Suddenly, out of nowhere, Benoit is smacked from behind with a steel chair... by Edge! Furious at the outcome of the match, Edge has grabbed a pair of steel chairs, and he's just cracked one of them off the back of Benoit's skull! The cheers instantly turn to boos, the crowd letting Edge know exactly what they think of him, but Edge doesn't care as he looks down at the fallen Benoit. Edge quickly picks up the second chair from the canvas, and he he points it in the direction of Kennedy, who has managed to pick himself up onto his knees. Looking surprised at the offer, Kennedy doesn't know how to react at first, but after a little prodding from Edge, Kennedy pushes himself up and takes the chair out of Edge's hand. A gasp of fear crosses the arena now, as the fans are fully aware of what Edge has in mind, as he motions for Kennedy to follow his lead, with Edge winding up, waiting for Benoit to rise. Kennedy looks at Edge, then down at Benoit, then almost reluctantly, he too hoists his chair into position, the two waiting for Benoit to surface... but...
*I WALK ALONE...*
Before they can swing, the World Heavyweight Champion Batista
bursts out from the back! The fans explode as 'The Animal' sprints as fast as he can down the aisle, Edge and Kennedy frozen to the spot, with panic starting to appear of the face of Edge. Batista hits the ring, sliding under the bottom rope, with Edge nodding to Kennedy for Kennedy to attack. Kennedy races at Batista with the chair... but Batista ducks underneath... then both men spin around... Batista floors Kennedy with a MASSIVE SPINEBUSTER! But when 'The Animal' roars back to his feet... Edge strikes from behind... just as Batista turns... STEEL CHAIR SHOT TO THE SKULL OF BATISTA!!
The crowd groan in despair as Edge nearly takes Batista's head off, and now he wastes little time as he takes the steel chair in his hand, grabs Benoit by the hair... and places the steel chair under Benoit's head...
Then picks up the second chair, holding it high in the air...
”No! No, not this!”
ONE MAN CON-CHAIR-TO!!
Edge absolutely crushes Benoit's head in, the body of 'The Crippler' seemingly going limp on impact. The crowd is unmerciful in their booing, absolutely disgusted with the actions of 'The Rated-R Superstar', while a sick smile of satisfaction crosses Edge's face...
What the hell is wrong with this guy!?
Jesus Christ. We need help out here, in a hurry!
John Bradshaw Layfield:
That looked absolutely sickening...
In the ring, Edge surveys the scene, Batista down, Kennedy down, Benoit down, only one man left standing, 'The Rated-R Superstar'. Holding the chair high in the air, more heat rains down on Edge, but he doesn't give a damn, simple smirking through all the boos as he stands victorious...
God, we... we need help out here. We have got bodies down all over the ring... and what does this mean for Chris Benoit and his title match next week? Is Benoit even gonna make it for his World Heavyweight Championship opportunity?
We... we really need some help out here...
Just as Tazz says that, referees, agents and paramedics hit the ring, a stretches wheeled down the aisle and left at ringside. In the ring, the boos continue to be directed at Edge, who simply smiles at the carnage he's created, while the lasting image of the show is that of medical personal checking on the condition of the prone Benoit, a brace being slipped around his neck as we fade... to... black.
Current Card for WWE JUDGMENT DAY:
Date: May 20th, 2007
Location: iPayOne Center; San Diego, California
NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED YET