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Old 07-31-2012, 09:36 AM   #241 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

JAM's Review

First of all, I'd like to say thanks for giving me recaps to really get into this properly. Was really trying to get into this thread but it was really hard since you've gone far in it already, so yeah, thanks again. Anyway, onto the review.

Vince was definitely the right person to open RAW here. His alliance with Lashley, Shane, and Brooke is definitely one of the better alliances that I've seen formed here in the BTB section. I like the attitude that Vince has since he's the boss, abusing his power to gain what he wants, and that's Lashley to be champion. However, the interruption for Linda proves otherwise. I hope that she doesn't stick around too long because I'm not too high on her. Will be interesting to finally see these Board of Directors live, and would be rather ironic for Vince to hear those words he always says, “You're Fired!” Definitely looking forward to that. Good opening to the show and a great match to start it off with Cena and probably the superstar with the most momentum on RAW, the IC Champ, Kenny Dykstra.

Dykstra looked really good against Cena despite the loss. Agree with Stojy here that this is a simple booking strategy that isn't used too often. Nonetheless, the kid looked strong against a proven main eventer in Cena, simple as that. Good booking here.

Don't really get the decision by Linda to forbid Orton from using the briefcase as a weapon, didn't really think it was needed. In fact, I think you kind of took away from the whole thing by forbidding that, would've been good to incorporate that in a storyline somewhere. Who knows, Orton isn't really one to comply by the rules. Agree with the feedback that said it was hard to picture Stephanie as a caring person because of her character being heel so much. I did like that she emphasized that HBK has definitely changed because that much is true. Another backstage segment here, maybe it could've been stretched out a little better. But RVD's interview was pretty standard here, he came off as a fighting champion and that is always good to see. As for his thoughts about the board meeting next week, it was probably just another way to hype up the event.

Was quite shocked to see the SES win here, was definitely pulling for The Hart Legacy. SES definitely has an interesting story behind them with Punk curing Dinsmore. But anyway, definitely liking the tag team division on RAW especially with TWGTT leading the way. Another interesting development here as you have them just applaud the team that they're gonna face? Probably all just mind games once again. They'll definitely provide a good match at the Pay-Per-View.

Liking this Carlito interview a lot. Proves that Carlito can one day main event. And with him seemingly having problems with the boss, it can really elevate him up the card. His match with Lashley later on tonight should be a good one. Really liking that the Intercontinental Championship is looking rather valuable as of late especially with guys like Dykstra and Carlito having the kind of feud they're having over it. Brilliant.

This was the highlight of the show for me, even if I didn't read the other parts yet, I can just tell that this was one hell of a segment if it really did happen. I like HHH mentioning the people that he has taken out and that he'd gladly do the same to HBK. But HBK had a great line where he said that HHH is gonna regret doing this because he should've listened to HBK. There were lots of great lines in this exchange between the two, it's definitely a big feud and I don't know if Backlash is a big enough PPV if this feud were to truly end.

Definitely a fan of his ROH days but let's hope that you let him be enjoyable instead of the crap that WWE has him doing at the moment.

Oh man, I thought Carlito would pull out the win in this match. But I do think that Lashley needed this win more because of his recent losing streak in big matches. Especially being Vince's lackey, he needed to look strong. Was kind of surprised that we didn't see Dykstra or Torrie out to cause some kind of distraction though. Nonetheless, a good match here and the right man won. Oh wait, here comes the interaction, definitely better than I thought. JR plays Torrie's new role here quite well calling her a jezebell, haha. Definitely liking this outcome instead of the distraction that they could have caused in Carlito's match earlier on.

I don't like that it seems Victoria is Beth's lackey, she should definitely get a shot at the title as well. The Divas are looking strong with women like Mickie, Victoria, and Beth being in the title picture a lot, I hope you continue to do this. It could even rival TNA's Knockouts Division.

Oh man, Orton vs. RVD was just a great match. The two definitely had some good chemistry in the match, but the aftermath is what really stole the show. Again, not a big fan of Linda so seeing her a lot is gonna take some getting used to. But just when Vince was about to announce what he wanted, Linda comes out and makes her own decision but it's definitely a good one for RAW next week.

Overall, a really enjoyable RAW. It seems that one week, SD out-does RAW then the next week RAW out-does SD, it's just great to see that. HHH/HBK was definitely the highlight of the show for me while seeing good pushes for Dykstra and Carlito was refreshing to see. As for SD, I'm really looking forward to see what happens after a very chaotic scene to end the show last week. Doing great bro, onto the next show!
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:48 AM   #242 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night SmackDown~
April 13th, 2007
1st Mariner Arena
Baltimore, Maryland



"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...


Michael Cole; 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.

Tazz: 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?

Michael Cole; 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...

*HARD HITTIN'...*


A heated response to the arrival of SmackDown's Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman, who walks down to the ring with a purpose...


Michael Cole: 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?

Tazz: 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.

Michael Cole: 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?

Tazz: 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!

Michael Cole: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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…

Edge: 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...

Edge: 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...

Edge: 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...

Edge: That… 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…

Jonathan Coachman: 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!

Heat...

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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Mr. Kennedy: 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...

Mr. Kennedy: 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...

Mr. Kennedy: 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...

Mr. Kennedy: 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...

Mr. Kennedy: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: Alright. I’ll give it to ya’ Kennedy, your victory over Ric Flair was indeed very-

Mr. Kennedy: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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…

*MACMILLITANT…*


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…


Michael Cole: 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 doin’ here!?

Tazz: 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!

Michael Cole: 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…

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Jonathan Coachman: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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!

Strong pop...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: ‘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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: Oh! One last thing. ‘Coach’…

'Coach' curses his luck, putting on the breaks, turning back towards Teddy...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: You’re… fired!

Another huge cheer, with 'Coach' closing his eyes, almost close to tears as he drops to his knees...

Teddy Long: Now let’s get on wit’ the show! Holla at me playas!

*MACMILLITANT…*


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...


Michael Cole: 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!!?

Tazz: He think's he's the SmackDown General Manage, that's who! Man, I can't believe it. Umaga and 'Coach' are outta here!

Michael Cole: 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!

Michael Cole: 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!

*Commercial


*Video Package*

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..,

*RAGE...*


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...


Michael Cole: 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!

Tazz: 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!

Michael Cole: 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?

Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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?

*TRAILER PARK...*


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...


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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...

Match 1:
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...

”LISTEN...”

*IT'S TIME...*


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...


Gregory Helms: 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...

Gregory Helms: 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...

Gregory Helms: 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...

Gregory Helms: 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...

Gregory Helms: 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...

Gregory Helms: 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!

More heat...

Gregory Helms: 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...

Gregory Helms: And that's why I'm out here tonight. This right here...

Helms holds up the clipboard for all to see...

Gregory Helms: 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...

Gregory Helms: 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...

Gregory Helms: 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...

Gregory Helms: 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...


Gregory Helms: 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...


Tazz: God, I... I think he’s out cold!

Michael Cole: 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.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*


We open to a dismal, rainy scene, a solemn church bell ringing loudly in the background. We slowly see peasants trudging through the rain and mud of what appears to be an eighteenth century town, everybody dressed like pilgrims of the time. As the camera pans, we see a rather portly town crier, who rings a handbell to a much faster beat than the previous church bell...

Town Crier: Hear ye! Hear ye! Thy day of reckoning is upon us!

We hear the clang of a nearby blacksmith hammering down on a piece of raw metal, with the close up revealing the blacksmith to be none other than SmackDown’s own Matt Hardy, dressed in the traditional garb...

Town Crier: Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age!

Hardy tosses his hammer aside and slowly trudges off camera, passing the town reverend, who just so happens to be Mr. Kennedy, with Kennedy also dressed in the church fashion of the time...

Town Crier: I tell thee my friends, do not fear thee who kill the body, and after that can do no more!

Kennedy glances down at the bible in his hands, then tosses it down into the mud, before he follows Hardy off camera...

Town Crier: But I will warn you whom to fear! Fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast thee into hell!

A man in a horse slowly approaches, the man being revealed as Batista. ‘The Animal’ quickly drops down off the horse, the buckle on his boots clunking heavily as he lands before he too walks off camera...

Town Crier: I tell thee, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak!

We now see Edge chopping wood, aggressively swinging an axe into a log set up on a stump, but he soon wipes the wet hair from his face, tosses the axe aside and exits the scene...

Town Crier: So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy!

King Booker and Queen Sharmell sit on thrones like a Mayor and Mayorness, with Booker soon standing up out of his chair, leaving Sharmell behind as he heads out of the frame...

Town Crier: For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

The town magistrate is played by Chris Benoit, complete with wig, who suddenly sits upright from behind the bench of his courtroom and storms out of the building mid trial, leaving behind a full courtroom of confused people...

Town Crier: And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them!

We now see practically the entire SmackDown roster, all dressed for the time, stood surrounding the Town Crier, who now has a petrified look on his face…

Town Crier: Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting?

Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Town Crier is clobbered by Umaga, who is dressed as he normally would be. Umaga now stands with one foot on the chest of the crier, the camera looking down on him in pain, but he manages to get in the last word as he shouts...

”Judgment Day... is upon us!”



"WWE JUDGMENT DAY – MAY 20TH - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"

*End Video Package*


When we return, Josh Matthews is standing by, ready for an interview...

Josh Matthews: 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…

Josh Matthews: 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…

Batista: 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’…

Batista: 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…

Josh Matthews: 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…

Batista: 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…

Batista: 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…

Batista: 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…

Batista: 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…


Santino Marella: 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...

Santino Marella: 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...

Santino Marella: 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...

Santino Marella: Now, bring out-ah my opponent!

Santino turns to look up the aisle, before he turns and shares a quick laugh with Trinity...

*BOOM!...*

*SLOW CHEMICAL...*


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...


Michael Cole: Oh – my – God.

Tazz: 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...

Michael Cole: 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!

Match 2:
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.

*Commercial*


And when we return, we that Funaki is standing by, seemingly ready to conduct another interview...


Funaki: 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...

Funaki: 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...

Chavo Guerrero: 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'?

Funaki nods...

Funaki: 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...

Chavo Guerrero: 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.

Heat...

Chavo Guerrero: 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...

Chavo Guerrero: 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...

Funaki: Hai. Funaki accept.

Chavo smirks, nodding his head, pleased with the answer…

Chavo Guerrero: 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’…


Batista: 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...

Batista: 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...

Batista: So, I guess… good luck tonight.

Batista offers Benoit a handshake, and a brief second of deliberation, Benoit shakes the hand of ‘The Animal’...

Batista: 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...

Chris Benoit: What I did earlier in my career... that counts for nothin’. I haven’t earned that title shot... yet.

Pop...

Chris Benoit: 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...

Chris Benoit: 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...

Batista: 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.

To hear...

”OH YEAH!...”

*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...


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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.

*SLICED BREAD...*


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...


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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!

*VILLAIN...*


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...


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

A black screen fills the frame, as the opening chords of ‘Booyaka 619’ begin to play. As the music starts to grow, we fade into a match from the July 8th, 1996 episode of Monday Nitro, where Rey Mysterio hits a hurricanrana on Dean Malenko, hanging on tightly for the three count, with Tony Schiavone making the call...

”WE’VE GOT A NEW CHAMPION!”

Narrator: For years he has defied the laws of gravity…

We now fade in on Halloween Havoc ’97, where Mysterio soars through the air, over the top rope, crashing down on Eddie Guerrero with a hurricanrana onto the concrete, with Bobby Heenan shouting...

”I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHIN’ LIKE THIS IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!”

Narrator: Fans across the world have marvelled at his feats of athleticism…

The June 5th, 2003 episode of Friday Night SmackDown, where Mysterio counters Matt Hardy’s Twist of Fate into a bridging pin, becoming Cruiserweight Champion once more before we see Rey celebrate with his family as Michael Cole screams…

”MYSTERIO’S THE CHAMPION! MYSTERIO WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP!”

Narrator: He was always the ultimate underdog…

SummerSlam 2005, where Mysterio and Guerrero battle once more, this time in a Ladder Match, with Rey emerging victorious as Tazz yells…

”THE FIGHT IN THIS GUY IS UNBELIEVABLE!”

Narrator: Until he climbed to the very pinnacle of sports entertainment…

And finally WrestleMania XXII, where 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…

”OOOOHH CHAVO…”

*CHAVITO ARDIENTE…*


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…


Chavo Guerrero: Cut my music! Cut the music!

Calling for silence, the music stops, leaving the boos of the crowd the only sound we hear…

Chavo Guerrero: 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...

Chavo Guerrero: 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...

Chavo Guerrero: 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.

More heat...

Chavo Guerrero: 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...

Chavo Guerrero: 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...

Chavo Guerrero: 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...

Chavo Guerrero: 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...


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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.

Match 4:
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.

*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...


Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: Well, well... if it ain't The New Breed.

Layla: Teddy, welcome back. It's nice to see you.

Layla rolls her eyes as she speaks, with Teddy seeing straight through the faux pleasantries...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Elijah Burke: 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...

Elijah Burke: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Layla: What do you mean?

Teddy Long: 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...

Teddy Long: 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...

Elijah Burke: 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...

Teddy Long: 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: What?

Queen Sharmell: 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...

King Booker: 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'...

King Booker: 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: A warnin'?

King Booker: 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...

*Video Package*

Our video opens at the King of the Ring ’96, where ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin stands victorious, delivering the interview that launched his main event career…

Narrator: It’s a night where future legends make their mark...

“AUSTIN 3:16 SAYS I JUST WHIPPED YOUR ASS!”

We now head back to King of the Ring ’93, where Bret Hart puts Bam Bam Bigelow away with the winning victory roll...

Narrator: A night where icons are created…

“I’M THE BEST THERE IS, THE BEST THERE WAS, AND THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE!”

King of the Ring ’01, where Edge puts Kurt Angle down with the Edgecution then crawls into the pin to get an emotional victory…

Narrator: A night when the stars of tomorrow shine bright...

“WELCOME TO THE ERA OF AWESOMENESS!”

And we now go to last year’s tournament final, where Booker T grabs the win over Bobby Lashley…

Narrator: A night to crown… a new king.

“BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR KING!”

We now see flashing images of some of this year’s contenders, starting with Jeff Hardy, Montel Vontavious Porter, CM Punk and Matt Hardy…

Narrator: And this year, live on NBC, the WWE King of the Ring returns! It’s the one night Saturday Night’s Main Event spectacular where one man’s career is set to skyrocket!

More flashing images, this time it’s Bryan Danielson, Kenny Dykstra, Johnny Nitro and Mr. Kennedy…

Narrator: Eight men will battle to join the most exclusive of WWE clubs. Who will take King Booker’s crown and become the 2007 King of the Ring!?

Another round of flashing images, this time of former winners such as Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Edge, Bret Hart and King Booker…

Narrator: The King is dead…

More clips from last year, this time from Booker’s coronation ceremony, then a quick shot of him close to tears after his victory to clinch the World Heavyweight Championship…

“ALL HAIL KING BOO-KAH!”

”Long live… the King.”



"SATURDAY NIGHT’S MAIN EVENT – THREE HOUR KING OF THE RING SPECIAL – JUNE 2ND - LIVE ON NBC!"

*End Video Package*


From the video, we head to the announce desk and the smiling face of our commentary team...

Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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!

Michael Cole: 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.

Michael Cole: Tazz, what about you? Who stands out so far?

Tazz: 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.

Michael Cole: 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...

*WHATEVER...*


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...


Michael Cole: 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!

*Commercial*


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...


Michael Cole: 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.

Tazz: 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...”

*METALINGUS...*


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...


Michael Cole: 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!

Tazz: 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.

*Commercial*


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-

BANG!!

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...

”Oh no...”

Then picks up the second chair, holding it high in the air...

”No! No, not this!”

Then swings...

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...


Michael Cole: What the hell is wrong with this guy!?

Tazz: 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...

Michael Cole: 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?

Tazz: 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.

*End Show*




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

Location: iPayOne Center; San Diego, California

NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED YET

__________________
WWE: The Evolution Of Greed
2007 King of the Ring Has Been Posted!!!




Last edited by iMac : 08-03-2012 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:57 AM   #243 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

JAM's Review

Excellent opening segment here giving the guys in the ring a chance to plead their case to be the #1 Contender. I was quite impressed with Kennedy's speech but knew he wasn't gonna get it for some reason. Was wondering why Benoit wasn't in the ring as well but that was addressed later on. Teddy Long's arrival could only spell bad things for Coach and I like how you wrote Long here at some parts. He sounded a bit too smart for my liking but he sets up a great main event match and suspends Umaga?! Don't think this is the last that we see of him tonight though. All in all, a good opening segment to highlight the main event guys but I think it could've used Benoit speaking in this segment, giving him a chance to work the stick, but it was still fine.

Been lovin' this feud with Helms and Danielson, it's just been great. The match Bryan had was definitely something different to read. Instead of all those high flying moves, the match was pretty technical which I enjoyed a whole lot. The petition angle you have going is very interesting in that I can see a new side of Bryan Danielson being unleashed here due to him being very pissed off. After this whole attack, I can see JBL returning to the ring, which I wouldn't mind. He's a good commentator, but he'll be great in the ring. Although bringin' him back to help with the Crusierweights may not be the best idea, but it's a good start then have him move on to better things.

That's a really well thought out Judgment Day video package, really good. at JBL's line about Santino lucky to be wearin' black pants. As for Batista's interview, it put over Benoit well here. The main event scene is sure seeing a lot of people in it and I guess with Kennedy and Edge already having a shot, it'd be nice to see Benoit get a shot for the title.

I'm loving the whole United States Championship scene going on at the moment, it really seems like a very prestigious title. Hardy's a great champion while you have guys like Miz and Finlay to fill out as challengers. Interesting enough that you had both Miz and Finlay somehow involved in this match. Those little details like Miz watching from the back with McCool was great while the beatdown from Finlay was definitely brutal. Big fan of Finlay here. Would even love to see him in the World Title picture if ever you wanted to elevate someone.

Really thought that Funaki would score the upset here. Also, you made a mistake by declaring Funaki the winner at the end there but it's fine. This feud between Chavo and Rey could be something special, you could turn it personal and they could have some awesome matches since both guys are pretty solid in the ring. I like that you're keeping Vickie with him, since she's a heat magnet. Jimmy Wang Yang and Funaki, ha, what a tag team that would be!

Ha, hope that King Booker dies....the gimmick I mean. While it's pretty funny to me, I think the real Booker T is way better and could be a tool to put over MVP. Which I think is totally fine, if that's what you're going for. Excited for the KOTR Pay-Per-View, never really read one that was published in a BTB so that's something to look forward to.

Really happy that Benoit won here but the aftermath was where things really picked up. Everytime these things occur with Edge, it's just sickening to me but it makes for a great storyline. I do think that Kennedy was kind of lost in the mix here, looks like we know who's getting a really big push in the main event. But I agree with you that maybe one more major feud for Kennedy would really boost him up the card, so kudos to you for being patient with Kennedy.

Overall, the show was pretty awesome. The World Title picture has really been great here and I'm enjoying everything about it. The Crusierweights have also caught my attention, with brining JBL into the mix. Everything flowed really nice, can't wait for what next week's episodes hold with the suspensions and stuff. Good stuff here iMac
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:46 AM   #244 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Smackdown Feedback


Really liked this opening here. Was a different approach to go and having these three talk up why they should be number one contender was more unique than Coach simply saying I need to see more of you in action tonight. Edge was fantastic here, character spot on and what he had to say spot on also. Estrada was pretty short and sweet, I think Umaga’s actions last week spoke louder than words though. Kennedy, much like Edge was on the money, his line about a Cuban cigar just screamed Kennedy to me. All very well worked stuff there. Teddy Long coming out shocked me, to be honest I’d forgotten all about him. Standard speech from T-Lo here, bringing up Benoit was the smart thing to do as he should obviously be out there. The whole corruption and bribery was another nice point brought up too. Wow, big time main event right there, can’t call it to be fair although didn’t Kennedy take Long out? Why hasn’t Teddy made anything of that and instead given him a chance at earning a title shot? Umaga’s suspension however is certainly disappointing but with Long back in the fold, more than expected. End of the segment was a downer for me cos Coach is THE MAN so for him to be fired doesn’t sit well with moi, however I fully understand what with Long calling the shots again and I’m hopeful you find a way of bringing him back in some capacity, be it on Raw or SD. On the whole, really good job with this.

Nice continuation from the opening here, good way of knowing Umaga is officially out of the arena and just another way of ridiculing Coach again.

Danielson/Noble is always gonna be a good match, whether it’s two minutes, twenty minutes or in this case, six minutes and this was no different. Nice showcase for both men and of course the right call in having Danielson get the victory.

Aftermath was what was important though here and I absolutely loved Helms last week with the whole retiring the title routine and this was no different, excellent job. Helms talking himself up as the longest reigning champion in the company is a great little boost for him and will make Danielson’s victory when it comes mean all the more. The petition is here!! JBL, absolutely superb, the picture taking, his words, the man is a god. Danielson showing no fear though here, awesome suicide dive and a great way to build him up even more with taking it to JBL. A one night return to the ring for Mr.Layfield soon? Wouldn’t mind at all. Excellent segment again.

Run of the mill stuff from Tista here but you couldn’t do any more. Done its job here.

Santino versus…Kane. Goodnight Santino. Really hope Kane finds some direction soon.

Much like Batista, pretty standard stuff from Chavo here. Ending was a bit random with Chavo challenging Funaki but I guess we’ll get a nice Guerrero squash tonight to build him for Rey’s return. Funaki as an interviewer though is gold.

Interesting encounter here between Benoit and Big Dave. Glad you kept it pretty short and to the point, especially Benoit. To be honest I would’ve scrapped Batista’s interview earlier and just gone with this, better to see the two interact and Tista gave near enough the same thoughts. Really curious about the main event now as you’ve made it almost TOO obvious it’ll be Tista-Benoit for next week.

Solid win here for Hardy and the Hooliganz. A match that served its purpose nicely, particularly enjoyed the use of Miz. He may only have been watching on but it gets him some attention and plays up the fact he’s gunning for Hardy. Attack afterwards from Finlay was nicely done and it looks like Hardy’s got his hands full with challengers right now.

Much better from Chavo here. Felt a lot more passion in what he was saying and a lot of truth to it also. Much like with Batista’s two appearances speaking tonight, I think you’d have just been better served having this than the interview earlier. Got more out of it although I guess you had to set up the match somehow. Match itself, I was surprised Funaki got any moves in at all and it was somewhat easy for Chavo, made his mark ahead of Rey’s return.

Nice exchange between Long and the New Breed here. Typical Teddy with him hammering them for their actions but I liked Burke’s comeback to it all. Interested in who Long’s gonna line them up against next week, another new team would be great.

Good stuff between Booker and MVP here, always love the way Booker tries to stay in character but just loses it at times with his words or in this case expressions. Booker not accepting MVP’s offer surprised me, I fully expected him to take it and for them to fall apart so this has me excited as to where you go. A feud between the two would be nice somewhere down the line, I’m guessing Booker would turn face but who knows.

Nice additions to the tournament thus far. Should be a classic.

Very enjoyable main event, some nice action throughout here. Really liked the fact that you had Edge once again done over by the fact there was no referee. I fully expect him to play that up next week. Benoit winning was a tad predictable and I’m disappointed that AGAIN it was Kennedy with the loss. Two on the trot after such a huge win has derailed him a touch I think, though I’m sure it won’t last long. Ending was awesome, really good stuff. Batista making the save only for Edge to just tear shit up, loved it. The con-chair-to to Benoit was brutal, could’ve easily done it to Batista but he knows what he’s doing, he wants Benoit out next week. Clever stuff to cap off another very strong show.

Like I said another solid show here iMac. I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as last week’s Smackdown but it was always gonna be tough to top. This though developed things even further and we now have a huge title match next week scheduled while Edge looked sadistic coming out of this. Build to King of the Ring is also developing nicely under the radar while Helms/Danielson keeps on flourishing. Good job mate, keep the goods coming.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:07 AM   #245 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~WWE.COM ANNOUNCEMENT~

After her victory over Mickie James last week, it has been determined that Victoria is deserving of a Women’s Championship opportunity. Therefore, at Backlash, Mickie James will defend the title in a Triple Threat Match against both Beth Phoenix and Victoria. This leaves the Backlash card as such:

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

Location:FedEx Forum; Memphis, Tennessee

WWE Championship Match:
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Bobby Lashley OR John Cena

No Holds Barred Match:
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H

World Tag Team Championships Match:
World Tag Team Champions The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The Straight Edge Saints

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

Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match:
Women’s Champion Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix vs. Victoria



*****


~Monday Night Raw~
April 16th, 2007
The Cajundome
Lafayette, LA






Monday Night Raw emanates from Lafayette, Louisiana on a night that could prove to be one of the most historic nights in WWE history... especially if your name is Vincent Kennedy McMahon.

Last week, Linda McMahon returned to Raw, which ultimately led to a power struggle that could come to a conclusion tonight on Raw when the WWE Board of Directors meet to hold an emergency meeting that could see a vote of confidence passed in Vince's leadership. And the power struggle continues into tonight's main event, the WrestleMania rematch between John Cena and Bobby Lashley. Since Cena's victory over Lashley at WrestleMania, Cena haw campaigned for a WWE Championship opportunity at Backlash against the WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam. 'RVD' clearly echoed those sentiments, viewing Cena as the more worthy candidate. However, with Vince backing Lashley and Linda supporting Cena's claims, it seems tonight is the night we not only find out who Van Dam's Backlash opponent will be, but also who will control Raw for the foreseeable future.

Backlash is just thirteen days away, which means just thirteen days until Triple H and Shawn Michaels engage in a No Holds Barred Match that has been referred to as 'The Final Battle'. Last week, despite pleas from his wife Stephanie not to go through with his challenge, 'The Game' called out Michaels and demanded an answer. Michaels agreed, the match being set, and now both men gear up for could be the most brutal fight of either man's career. Tonight, we'll hear from Triple H during a sit down interview he conducted with Jim Ross earlier in the week, while Michaels is scheduled to be in action against Jeff Hardy, but all eyes are already set on Backlash and the final conclusion to one of wrestling's greatest rivalries.

The tag team division is heating up on Raw, and after their victory last week, The Straight Edge Saints look to keep building momentum ahead of their showdown with The World's Greatest Tag Team as they take on The Redneck Wrecking Crew. Punk and Dinsmore saw off three other teams last week, including Cade and Murdoch, with the angry rednecks clearly out to prove a point tonight. We'll also hear from Haas and Benjamin on their thoughts about their future title defence at Backlash. Another development from last week's Fatal Four Way Match was the in-fight brawl that broke out between The Hart Legacy and Johnny Nitro, Chris Masters and Melina. Even Natalya and Melina were going at it on the ramp last week, and it's those two who meet tonight in a match that is sure to have plenty of attention at ringside from their respective tag teams.

Elsewhere, Carlito teams up with Mickie James for a tag team bout against Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson, a match that could have serious implications with regards to Carlito's claims for an Intercontinental Championship Match at Backlash. We'll hear from both Beth Phoenix and Victoria after it was announce they'll be involved in a Triple Threat Match at Backlash for the Women's Championship, and no doubt there'll be more from Raw's newest roster member, Claudio Cesaro.

All this and more on what's sure to be a huge night in the careers of many of the Monday Night Raw roster!

Confirmed Matches:

John Cena vs. Bobby Lashley

Shawn Michaels vs. Jeff Hardy
Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson vs. Carlito and Mickie James
The Straight Edge Saints vs. The Redneck Wrecking Crew
Melina vs. Natalya

Plus!! Jim Ross sits down for an interview with Triple H regarding his upcoming match with Shawn Michaels at Backlash. We'll hear from The World's Greatest Tag Team and Beth Phoenix and Victoria ahead of their respective Backlash matches. The Battle of the Boardroom will see if Mr. McMahon is able to continue his reign of terror over Monday Night Raw, and of course, the WWE Champion Rob Van Dam will be in attendance!
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:54 AM   #246 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
April 16th, 2007
The Cajundome
Lafayette, LA



"It’s not just these people that are countin’ on you tonight… I’m countin’ on you too."





We start with a recap video of last week’s main points of interest, starting with some brief highlights of John Cena putting away Kenny Dykstra, then we hear a few sound bites that confirm the No Holds Barred Match at Backlash between Triple H and Shawn Michaels, then we see highlights from the main event where Rob Van Dam sees off Randy Orton, only for Mr. McMahon to appear, poised to announce Bobby Lashley as Van Dam’s next opponent… only for Linda McMahon to appear, announcing that a new Number One Contender will be crowned when Lashley meets John Cena in a WrestleMania rematch.

After the usual Raw opening video, we head into the arena for an impressive pyro display, before we scan the crowd, taking in some of the more creative signs from the raucous Louisiana crowd, before we hear from tonight’s announce team…


Jim Ross: The Cajundome is rockin’ tonight as Monday Night Raw brings you one of the most anticipated WrestleMania rematches in WWE history! Hello folks, welcome to Raw, I’m ‘Good ‘Ol J.R.’, Jim Ross, alongside me as always, WWE Hall of Famer Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and Joey Styles, and fellas, what a night this promises to be. Just three weeks after their titanic battle in Detroit, John Cena and Bobby Lashley are set to face off one more time, the winner goin’ to Backlash to face Rob Van Dam for the WWE Championship!

Joey Styles: There is tension in the air for what could wind up goin’ down as one of the biggest nights in WWE history! Not only will John Cena and Bobby Lashley do battle, but let’s not forget tonight’s showdown in the boardroom. Both Vince and Linda McMahon will state their cases to the WWE Board of Directors in an emergency meeting, where the board will decide just who will gain control of Monday Night Raw.

Jerry Lawler: And as if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got some other great matches lined up too. Shawn Michaels and Jeff Hardy are gonna go at it, the new Number One Contenders to the World Tag Team Championships, The Straight Edge Saints, take on The Redneck Wrecking Crew, and Carlito has called in a favour from Mickie James as they take on Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson in an Intergender Tag Team Match!

Jim Ross: And not only that, earlier in the week, I conducted a sit-down interview with the man who will face Shawn Michaels in a No Holds Barred Match at Backlash, ‘The Game’, Triple H. It was a fascinating conversation I had with ‘The Cerebral Assassin’, one you won’t wanna miss. It’s gonna be a huge night folks, so much is in store…

*MY TIME IS NOW…*


A loud, boisterous, yet mixed response welcomes the arrival of the always controversial John Cena into the arena. Cena pauses at the top of the ramp, looking out into the crowd, almost blown away by the volume of his welcome, before he offers up a salute then races down the ramp to slide into the ring…


Jim Ross: And it appears we’re gonna kick things off with John Cena! What a night this could be for Cena, a huge challenge ahead of him as he takes on Bobby Lashley. Cena beat Lashley at WrestleMania, can he do it again tonight on Raw?

Jerry Lawler: Well with all that’s goin’ on right now, from the challenge Cena laid down to Rob Van Dam, to the bombshell Linda McMahon dropped on us all last week, you gotta wonder if Cena’s mind is gonna be focused enough to beat Lashley tonight.

Joey Styles: If there’s one thing John Cena is, it’s focused. The only worry I have is that after getting somewhat of an assist from ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin at WrestleMania, when it comes down to Lashley and Cena one on one with no such interference, will the outcome be the same? If Cena can deliver another performance like he did at WrestleMania, I’m sure it’ll be enough to send him to Backlash.

In the ring, Cena calls for an receives a microphone, smiling at the loudness of the fans, with Cena almost taken aback by it all. Cena waits for his music, and then for the crowd to die down, before he finally speaks…

John Cena: Wow. Looks like we’ve got a loud bunch in here tonight.

Cena laughs as he scans the crowd…

John Cena: And I guess it’s pretty easy to understand why. John Cena, Bobby Lashley, one o’ the biggest WrestleMania rematches in WWE history, and it’s goin’ down tonight, right here in Cajun Country!

Cheap pop…

John Cena: But not only is tonight the night me and Lashley meet in a rematch… but backstage right now, the real movers and shakers are gearin’ up for one of the most important decisions they’ll ever make.

Cena walks towards the ropes at the foot of the ramp, pointing towards the back…

John Cena: Backstage, there’s a whole lotta lobbyin’ goin’ on, there’s deals bein’ made, votes are tryin’ to be bought, and you can beat your last dime there’s one man sweatin’ like crazy right now. I am of course referring to a certain Mr. Vincent Kennedy McMahon. A man who loves nothin’ more than to brag about the size of his grapefruits, but I promise you folks, right now, those grapefruits ain’t as big as they usually are.

Cena sarcastically winces…

John Cena: ‘Cause Vince McMahon knows that tonight, in this very arena, his empire could crumble right before his very eyes. After all the years of Vince runnin’ things his way, givin’ title shots to his favourites, holdin’ people down, it could all come back and bite ‘im in the ass tonight! Linda McMahon is takin’ Vince into the boardroom, and they’re gonna air it all out. And that’s why tonight could go down as one of the biggest nights in the history of Monday Night Raw. ‘Cause tonight could be all about… redemption.

The crowd cheers as Cena raises a finger…

John Cena: Redemption for all the lies, all the cheatin’, all the back stabbin’, it all gets aired out tonight! Now I know that since Vince is ‘The Boss’, he’s gonna have his guys on the Board of Directors. I know he’s got a great business mind, he’s made a lotta people in this company very, very rich.

Cena paces to the centre of the ring, a determined look on his face…

John Cena: But there’s one thing Vince forgot about you… and that’s you.

Pop as Cena points to various sections of the fans…

John Cena: You fans, you people, the WWE faithful, the people who spend their hard earned dollars to come see us perform, the fans who watch it all unfold week after week on TV, Vince McMahon day after day, week after week, never gave a damn about what you all wanted.

Cena reluctantly shakes his head…

John Cena: He made that crystal clear last week. The last two weeks, John Cena, Rob Van Dam, we’ve wanted a match at Backlash for the WWE Championship, and you people made your voices heard, you said it loud, you wanted it too!

Pop…

John Cena: You wanna see Van Dam and Cena for the WWE Championship at Backlash! But Vince… he didn’t wanna give it to ya’. He wanted to force a match on ya’ that you made clear you didn’t wanna see. He wanted his boy Bobby Lashley as his Number One Contender.

Heat for the mention of a possible Van Dam/Lashley title match…

John Cena: And that’s what tonight’s all about… what you people want.

Another pop…

John Cena: And I just hope that Mrs. McMahon can go into that boardroom tonight and give you people what you want and what you deserve. But sadly, I can’t control that. The boardroom, that ain’t my speciality. But right here, in this ring… this is what I can control.

Cena nods confidently…

John Cena: And that’s why I’m gonna let Mrs. McMahon handle the corporate side of things… and I’m gonna focus on Bobby Lashley.

Another pop…

John Cena: WrestleMania XXIII, Lashley had it all stacked in his favour. He had Vince as the referee, he had Shane in ‘is corner, he had it all goin’ for ‘im… until a certain ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin showed up.

Massive pop for Austin…

John Cena: And with things evened up, I put Lashley away… and I got my own back at Vince.

Cena laughs as he reminisces…

John Cena: Now I made it pretty clear that I wanted another shot at the WWE Championship, but to get there… I’m gonna have to beat Lashley one more time. I want Van Dam and the WWE Championship at Backlash, and I know what I gotta do to get it.

Cena ponders, stroking his jaw, before a smile crosses his face…

John Cena: And y’know somethin’? I really… don’t feel like waitin’ anymore. I say we have our main event right here, right now!

Huge pop, with Cena becoming more animated…

John Cena: I say you and me Lashley, we kick this show off, and we kick it off right!

Another pop…

John Cena: I say we put Cena and Van Dam at Backlash in the books, and let the legal side o’ things take care of itself. So Lashley… lemme hear it man.

Cena again approaches the ropes, almost willing Lashley to come down to the ring…

John Cena: Leave Vinny Mac backstage, let ‘im handle his business, but you finally show you can stand alone, you can be your own man, and you get out here right now and let’s settle this! So, c’mon Lashley! Let’s do this right-

*ONE OF A KIND…*


It’s not Lashley, as instead Cena’s call is answered by none other than the WWE Champion Rob Van Dam. It’s a fantastic response that greets ‘RVD’ into the arena, with Van Dam pausing on the stage, leading the crowd through a cry of “ROB – VAN – DAM!” before he heads down the ramp. When he hits the ring, Van Dam and Cena exchange a nod and a smile with each other, before Van Dam heads for the corner, grabbing a mic…


Rob Van Dam: John, John… I, uh… I hate to interrupt, bro. But I gotta a few things I wanna get off my chest. Y’see, when I won the WWE Championship, I said that I wasn’t gonna come out here week after week and deliver some openin’ monologue. But…

Van Dam shrugs his shoulders almost apologetic…

Rob Van Dam: It seems to me that lately, a lotta people are doin’ a lotta talkin’ about the WWE Championship… and it ain’t me. And to be honest with ya’ dude… I’m startin’ to think guys like you and Lashley are lookin’ past me a little bit.

Cena raises his eyebrows at the comment, with ‘RVD’ motioning for Cena to hear him out…

Rob Van Dam: I mean hey, don’t get me wrong dude… you, me, Backlash, the WWE Championship… it’s what I want, it’s what you want, it’s what the fans want, and that’s cool and everythin’. I’m totally on-board with that. But if you’re gonna make that happen dude… I gotta know if you’ve got your priorities straight.

Cena looks disappointed in the question, but Van Dam looks determined to press on…

Rob Van Dam: I mean, last week, you bring in Linda McMahon, you set up this match with Lashley, you’ve got a power struggle goin’ on… where’s your head at, bro? I wanna make sure you remember somethin’ man. It’s not just these people that are countin’ on you tonight… I’m countin’ on you too.

Van Dam stares at Cena for a few seconds, trying to gauge his response, before he continues…

Rob Van Dam: I made these people a vow that I’d be a fightin’ champion. I said I’d take on anybody, I’d put this title up against anybody that challenged me. First night as champion, you challenged me and I agreed… but this ain’t goin’ quite how I imagined it. So if I’m gonna keep my word to all these people, I need you to make sure you get the job done tonight, I need to face you at Backlash, and then…

And now Van Dam steps forward, making sure Cena knows how serious he is…

Rob Van Dam: I gotta beat you, dude.

Strong pop from the crowd, with both men looking into each other’s eyes, neither man backing down, until eventually Van Dam steps back to speak again…

Rob Van Dam: I’m not stupid, bro. I know how it is. You’re the poster boy. You’re the guy. And at WrestleMania, you backed it up. So if I’m gonna prove myself as champion, I gotta start knockin’ off names like you.

Cena turns away, pursing his lips, deep in thought over what Van Dam is saying to him…

Rob Van Dam: So lemme give ya’ a little pep talk here, dude. Forgot about Linda McMahon, forget about Vince, forget about what’s goin’ on in the boardroom… and focus on Lashley… and then you can start focusin’ on me. Just make sure… you get the job done.

Van Dam points at Cena add emphasis, before he turns and heads towards the ropes…

John Cena: Whoa, whoa… what, you’re leavin’?

Van Dam puts on the breaks, looking over his shoulder at Cena…

John Cena: You’re gonna come out here and say all that, then just up and leave? You’re gonna question my focus, my commitment? Did you question my focus last week when I ran down to the ring to save you from a Bobby Lashley attack? You and me at Backlash, it’s what we both want, it’s what these people want, and I’m damn sure gonna make it happen!

Pop…

John Cena: But Rob, believe me, the last thing I need is-

*HERE COMES THE MONEY…*


And it’s another interruption as this time Shane McMahon shuffles his way out onto the stage, and he’s quickly followed by the hulking image of Bobby Lashley, both men dressed in sharp suits. After a few seconds of posturing, Cena and Van Dam step away from each other, then turn to look up the ramp at Shane, a cocky grin on the younger McMahon’s face…


Shane McMahon: My, my, my… isn’t this interesting?

Shane starts to pace back and forth on the stage, with Lashley standing firm…

Shane McMahon: It’s a big night, one of the most important in the history of Raw… and you two are startin’ to get at each other.

Cena and Van Dam turn to look at each other, neither looking particularly happy right now…

Shane McMahon: Is it maybe… that the tension… is startin’ to get to you two?

Cena and Van Dam cautiously look at each other, almost sizing each other up, before Cena breaks the stare by turning to face Shane…

Shane McMahon: I mean, these last two weeks, you two have been pretty tight. Cena makes a challenge, Van Dam accepts, you both want rid of my Father, it was all great between you two.

Shane smiles as he wags a finger…

Shane McMahon: But tonight… it’s all changed, hasn’t it? We’ve got Cena worryin’ about what’s goin’ on in the boardroom, we’ve got Van Dam worryin’ about what Cena’s doin’, we’ve got pep talks and threats, and I gotta be honest with you, I am absolutely lovin’ watchin’ it all! But havin’ listened to the two of ya’ say your piece right here, there’s one thing I noticed. One thing both of ya’ seem to have forgotten.

McMahon looks down at the ring, shaking his head with a smirk…

Shane McMahon: You two shouldn’t be worryin’ about each other… you should be worryin’ about this man right here.

Shane turns and points at Lashley, with ‘The Dominator’ cracking his knuckles as Shane does so…

Shane McMahon: ‘Cause despite what you two might want, and despite what these people want, there is absolutely no chance in hell of you ‘RVD’ puttin’ that WWE Championship on the line at Backlash against your buddy, John Cena.

Heat…

Shane McMahon: John, WrestleMania XXIII… that was an anomaly. A mistake. And it was caused by one man. And believe me Cena, that one man, it wasn’t you.

Shane shakes his head ruefully…

Shane McMahon: It was ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.

Another big pop for the mention of Austin, which causes both McMahon and Lashley to snarl at the crowd…

Shane McMahon: But tonight, there is no Austin. There is no Special Guest Referee to save you. And even though my father is currently preparing a presentation to show he’s clearly the right choice to lead Raw and the WWE forward… he’s always thinkin’ about business… and he’s still the law around here.

McMahon pauses, smirking, nodding his head in anticipation of what he’s about to say…

Shane McMahon: And that’s why my Father has decided… that you, ‘RVD’… are BANNED from ringside tonight!

Van Dam rolls his eyes and shakes his head, while an irritated Cena removes his hat to scratch his head…

Shane McMahon: And just to make sure there's no outside interference, I personally will be in Lashley's corner, just to keep an eye on things.

Cena leans against the ropes, laughing and shaking his head, while behind him, Van Dam rolls his eyes once more…

Shane McMahon: So yes, tonight will indeed by a historic episode of Monday Night Raw. A huge night that could shake the WWE to it's very foundations. But John, 'RVD' has it right. You shouldn't be worrying about what takes place in the boardroom... you need to worry about what's gonna happen to you tonight in that very ring.

A more serious look crosses Cena’s face as Shane points down at him with determination…

Shane McMahon: At WrestleMania XXIII, you and 'Stone Cold' worked together to screw me, to screw my family... and to screw Lashley. And we're not gonna let it happen again.

Shane now stands next to Lashley, pointing down at the ring once more…

Shane McMahon: So tonight John, and then in thirteen days Rob, you two simply put, are gonna feel... the backlash!

*HERE COMES THE MONEY...*


And with one final smirk, Shane looks down at the ring before he turns and heads backstage, leaving Lashley on the stage for a few seconds, a fire and passion to inflict pain in his eyes as he burns a whole through Cena, before he too disappears behind the curtain. In the ring, Cena and Van Dam turn back to each other, neither man particularly pleased with what has been said so far. Cena steps away from the ropes, turning and saying a few words to Van Dam, who answers back with a few of his own, the two coming closer together, strong words being exchanged in a tense situation…


Jim Ross: Well, I… gosh, you hate to see that. These two have been campaigning to have a match with each other, and I’m sure it’ll be one heck of a show if it ever happens. But you look at ‘em right now, Cena and Van Dam, they look like the understanding they once had is startin’ to fall apart.

Joey Styles: And I hate to say it, but you’ve gotta hand it to the McMahons… they’ve played Cena and ‘RVD’ off against each other, and it’s only given John Cena more to worry about ahead of his match with Lashley tonight.

Jerry Lawler: And that can only be bad news for John…

The words continue to be heated between Cena and ‘RVD’, with Van Dam eventually giving up on the argument, the camera close enough to hear Cena shout “I’ll get it done!”, to which Van Dam stops halfway through the ropes, turning back to look at Cena and say “You better.”, before he drops down and starts to head up the ramp, the camera switching between the two as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We return to boos, as the image of a slightly concerned looking Mr. McMahon walking along a backstage corridor fills the screen, his assistant Brooke Adams walking behind him, a stack of papers and folders in her arms. McMahon cuts a fierce pace, not even bothering with the passersby who stare at him. McMahon begins to slow as he approaches a door, the camera panning to show us a sign on the door that reads “WWE Board of Directors” on it. Vince stops, a sneer of disgust on his face as he looks at the sign, before he breaths deeply through his nose…


Mr. McMahon: Alright, let's do this...

Vince quickly snaps his game face on, adjusting his tie and collar before he holds out a hand towards Brooke...

Brooke Adams: Good luck, sir.

Brooke places a folder of papers in Vince's hand...

Mr. McMahon: Luck? I don't need luck. I'm Vince McMahon, dammit! And I...

Vince puts on the breaks as the sound of approaching footsteps is heard... and then Linda McMahon enters the frame. Vinc sneers at his wife with contempt, while Linda simply flashes Vince a smile...

Linda McMahon: Vince... are we ready?

Vince nods his head angrily, taking a few steps forward to square up to his wife...

Mr. McMahon: Just you wait and see, Linda. I'm gonna wipe the floor with you in there!

Linda has a quick laugh to herself, before she holds open the door...

Linda McMahon: Somehow, Vince... I don't think so. After you...

A few words are muttered under Vince's breath before he accepts the invitation and walks through the door, followed by Linda. As the door closes behind them, the camera turns back to a nervous looking Brooke, who bits on a nail, obviously concerned that tonight could see the end of Vince McMahon's reign of power.

And now we cut back into the arena to hear...

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

*COOL...*


A warm reception for the always popular Carlito, who steps into the arena with a certain look of fire and determination on his face. 'Lito casually tosses his apple up and catches it, before he slides into the ring and salutes the crowd to another pop...


Jim Ross: We're gonna return to the boardroom as the night progresses, we'll try to keep you up date on what's goin' on back there. But right now, we're gonna kick off the in-ring action with a Mixed Tag Team Match, and this is a chance for Carlito to extract a little revenge on Kenny Dykstra after Dykstra jumped him backstage last week.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah, and you look at Carlito, he's not his usual self right now. Usually Carlito's all happy, smiling, talkin' to the fans, but he looks all business right now.

Joey Styles: I'm sure Carlito knows what an opportunity this match could turn out to be. If he can lead his team to victory tonight, that rematch he wants for the Intercontinental Championship could be a lot more closer to happening.

*OBSESSION...*


A pretty solid cheer welcomes Mickie James into the arena, the Women's Champion bouncing her way out onto the stage and then down to the ring. After sliding under the ropes, Mickie heads for the corner to raise her title to the fans, before she drops down and she and Carlito share a friendly hug...


Jim Ross: It was Carlito who challenged Dykstra and Torrie to this match up, but of course, 'Lito needed to find himself a partner. And who better than the Woman's Champion, Mickie James!

Joey Styles: And I'm sure tonight is gonna prove to be a welcome distraction for Mickie, given all she's gone through with Beth Phoenix and Victoria in recent weeks.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah and it was announced earlier today on wwe.com that at Backlash, Mickie's gonna defend that Women's Championship against both Beth Phoenix and Victoria in a Triple Threat Match. I dunno about you two, but I don't like Mickie's odds in that one...

*IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW...*


A strong level of boos as the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson step out arm in arm. Looking as cocky and confident as ever, Dykstra flaunts the title belt wrapped around his waist, before he rips off his sunglasses and glares at ‘Lito as he and Torrie enter the ring...


Jim Ross: They referred to themselves as the new power couple here on Raw. Dykstra has always been cocky, he’s always been arrogant, he’s always been conceited, but ya’ gotta hand it to the kid, he’s always been impressive too.

Jerry Lawler: And perhaps no more so than last week when he ran John Cena all the way. It might have been a defeat for Dykstra, but he’s really startin’ to make people sit up and pay attention to ‘im.

Joey Styles: But for every great performance he delivers in the ring, Dykstra’s true colours shine through when he jumps people backstage. Last week, Torrie and Kenny set Carlito up once again, and I think it might come back to haunt Dykstra right here...

Match 1: Mixed Tag Team Match
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson vs. Carlito and Women’s Champion Mickie James

As the bell rings, ‘Lito and Kenny snap into an aggressive tie up, the two jockeying for position before Carlito works into a waistlock, only for Dykstra to quickly rattle him with an elbow to the face, then land a pair of right hands. Kenny goes for a third right, only for ‘Lito to block it… then snap off a big right of his own! Another two rights land to the head, before Carlito goes for the Irish whip… then sends Dykstra flying with a back body drop! Early cover… only a two count. ‘Lito stays on the attack with right hands that drive Dykstra to a neutral corner, but Dykstra dips his heads through the ropes, causing the ref to step in and call for a break. ‘Lito backs off, but when he moves back in, Dykstra strikes with a boot to the midsection. A clothesline knocks ‘Lito down, and this allows him to lay into Carlito with a flurry of boots to the chest, then Kenny drops down to grab a handful of hair and land well placed shots to the forehead. Dykstra drags ‘Lito up then smashes him face first off the top turnbuckle, Torrie shouting encouragement as Dykstra pummels ‘Lito against the corner with boots to the midsection. Dykstra looks to stay in control as he goes for an Irish whip to the corner, then follows in… but ‘Lito gets a boot up to the face! Kenny stumbles back, allowing Carlito to jump onto the second rope… springboard back elbow!

Both men are down, crawling for their corners… and Mickie and Torrie get the tags! Both women storm into the ring, but Mickie has more momentum… and she flies with the Lou Thesz press! Mickie grabs Torrie by the hair, smacking her head off the canvas, before she gets back to her feet, waiting for Torrie to rise. Mickie goes for an Irish whip, but Wilson reverses… Mickie avoids a clothesline with a baseball slide… then hits a jumping clothesline of her own! Both are back up… another jumping clothesline! Forearms now land to Torrie’s face, allowing Mickie to go for another Irish whip… but again Torrie reverses… only this time Mickie hangs on… armtrap neckbreaker! Mickie crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Dykstra steps in to drag Mickie off of Torrie! ‘Lito storms the ring, distracting the referee, with Dykstra looking to take advantage as he drags Torrie towards the corner, then slaps his hands together, giving the ref the impression that he’s just heard a tag… and now Dykstra barges past the ref… and hammers ‘Lito with a clothesline! The ref questions the legality of the attack, but Dykstra motions that Torrie made the tag, and with the ref convinced, he goes back to work, laying in with more stomps to the chest. Dykstra yanks ‘Lito up and looks for an Irish whip… but Carlito reverses… but then lowers his head… snap swinging neckbreaker! Dykstra rolls ‘Lito over for the cover… 1… 2… Carlito rolls a shoulder!

Dykstra glares angrily at the ref, but he soon has ‘Lito back on his feet, landing uppercuts against the ropes, before he looks to fire Carlito across… but ‘Lito ducks underneath a clothesline… then takes Dykstra down with a hurricanrana! ‘Lito sits in for the pinfall… 1… 2… Dykstra kicks out… but the force of the kick sends ‘Lito towards the corner… where he tags in Mickie! Mickie races into the ring, but Dykstra tries to stop her… but Mickie runs right under his clothesline… and takes out Torrie with a clothesline of her own! Torrie is back up, but now Mickie rocks her with forearms, then goes for the Irish whip to the corner… but Torrie reverses then follows in… Mickie uses the ropes to elevate herself, wrapping her legs around Torrie’s head… MICK-A-RANA! Torrie is sent flying, but across the ring, ‘Lito charges at Kenny… only for Dykstra to elevate ‘Lito over the top rope to the floor! Carlito is down on the outside, Torrie is down in the ring, and now Mickie turns towards Kenny… Dykstra flattens her with a clothesline! The crowd boo loudly, the ref admonishing Dykstra, but now Kenny heads for the corner, telling Torrie to tag him in. Torrie obliges, with Dykstra now dragging Mickie up… and he holds her in place to allow Torrie to slap her! Torrie smiles, looking like she’s going to enjoy this as she lines up… but Mickie drills her with a kick to the midsection, then a kick to the face… that knocks Torrie under the bottom rope to the floor! Mickie tries to break free of Kenny, but Dykstra grabs her by the hair… but this means he doesn’t see ‘Lito sneaking back into the ring from behind… BACKSTABBER! Carlito catches Dykstra unaware, hits his finishing move, then hooks the leg to get the 1… 2… 3!

Winners: Carlito and Mickie James @ 06.25

What a win for Carlito as he manages to put Dykstra away, finally getting one over on the young champion. Carlito pushes off of Dykstra and gets back to his feet, he and Mickie again sharing a hug, this time in celebration of their victory. The referee raises both their hands, before ‘Lito offers Mickie a respectful round of applause. Dykstra rolls to the outside, grabbing his neck and back in pain, Torrie struggling to keep him on his feet, the power couple slowly backing their way up the ramp, with Dykstra looking disgusted as Carlito taunts him from the ring as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*


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

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

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

John Cena: Had sins committed against me...

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

Rob Van Dam: Witnessed travesties of justice.

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

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

Orton drops Ric Flair with the RKO...

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

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

Kenny Dykstra: And on this night...

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

Carlito: On 'dis night...

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

Shawn Michaels: But on this night...

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

”Thy Backlash shall be felt...”



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

*End Video Package*


We return to see Todd Grisham standing by...

Todd Grisham: That’s right folks, Backlash is just thirteen days away, Raw’s first single brand pay-per-view of the year. And right now, please welcome my guest at this time, the man who will be defending his Money in the Bank briefcase at Backlash... Randy Orton.

The camera pans to reveal Randy Orton standing nearby, arms folded across his chest, briefcase clutched in his right hand, with a furious scowl on his face. Orton barely acknowledges Grisham or the boos from the crowd, ‘The Legend Killer’ looking off camera with his a look of disdain on his face...

Todd Grisham: And Randy, after your defeat last week to Rob Van Dam, it was made official, you will defend your Money in the Bank privileges at Backlash against Jeff Hardy. Your thoughts at this time?

Orton now turns towards Grisham, that same look of disdain still on his face...

Randy Orton: My thoughts? My thoughts are that the fact that I have to defend my Money in the Bank contract is as corrupt a decision as what’s going on in that farce of a boardroom right now.

Orton shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head, showing his displeasure…

Randy Orton: Why should I defend my contract against Jeff Hardy, a guy who had the exact same chance I had to win at WrestleMania... but couldn’t get the job done?

Orton stares at Grisham for a few seconds, receiving no answer to his question, so he carries on…

Randy Orton: I proved myself at WrestleMania, I earned this briefcase, and now thanks to Linda McMahon, I have to defend it at Backlash, when I should be preparing for the moment I cash this contract in.

Orton stops, taking a breath, composing himself…

Randy Orton: But if I decide that after I beat Jeff Hardy at Backlash, I want to cash in my Money in the Bank contract… then I’ll be ready.

Orton smirks and turns away, with Grisham pulling the mic away to ask a follow up question…

Todd Grisham: Well, Randy, you mentioned the decisions that are being made in the boardroom tonight. It could prove to be one of the most historic episodes in the history of Monday Night Raw, with both Mr. McMahon and Linda McMahon making their case for control of the WWE and Raw. Randy, do you have any thoughts on who you’d rather see in control here on Raw?

Orton uses his free hand to purse his lips, pondering a response…

Randy Orton: To be honest Todd, I don’t really care either way. My only focus right now is hanging onto this briefcase, and picking my moment to become WWE Champion.

Orton now rubs his jaw, thinking again…

Randy Orton: But… if I had to choose one way or the other… I hope the WWE Board of Directors see sense and vote in Mr. McMahon’s favour.

Heat from inside the arena…

Randy Orton: ‘Cause after the stipulation she placed on me last week, saying I couldn’t use this briefcase as a weapon, in my opinion Linda McMahon…

Orton leans in, speaking softly…

Randy Orton: Is just not fit for office.

And with one final smirk, Orton turns on his heels and heads off camera, leaving Grisham behind to watch Orton go, a worried look on the interviewer’s face as we head back into the arena.

And after a few seconds of silence…

*HART BEAT…*


The crowd is on their feet for the sound of that familiar guitar rift as The Hart Legacy make their entrance. As it’s she who is set to compete, Natalya Niedhart leads the way down the ramp, while Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd slap hands with as many ringside fans as they can…


Jim Ross: Certainly some rather cold words from Randy Orton, but that match was indeed made official last week, it will be Orton and Hardy at Backlash for the Money in the Bank briefcase. And speaking of last week, during a match to determine the new Number One Contenders to face The World’s Greatest Tag Team, The Hart Legacy got involved in an altercation with Nitro and Masters, one that even saw Natalya and Melina brawlin’ at ringside!

Joey Styles: And that’s led to this matchup here, as Natalya and Melina are set to square off in what is going to be Natalya Niedhart’s official in-ring debut here on Monday Night Raw.

Jerry Lawler: Well given that Natalya managed to survive the Hart dungeon, and the time she’s spent competin’ in Japan, I’m sure Natalya’s ready to compete on a stage like this.

*PAPARAZZI…*


The red carpet is rolled out and the photographers snap away as Melina steps out arm in arm between Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters. Masters is again adorning a ridiculous fur coat, one he doesn’t look particularly happy to be wearing, although the camera is close enough to hear Melina say “You look fabulous!” before the trio enter the ring…


[b]Jim Ross:[/] Melina has tried numerous ways to get this team of Nitro and Masters to finally pick up a win, but last week, once again Nitro and Masters were unsuccessful. You have to wonder if the pressure of tryin’ to get the monkey off their backs is startin’ to tell for these three?

Joey Styles: I think it definitely is. Melina was furious last week after Nitro and Masters brawled their way out of contention for the victory. I’m sure she had some strong words for her team after their match last week.

Jerry Lawler: And who knows, Melina might even show Nitro and Masters how it’s done by pickin’ up a win here tonight. Unless of course the negativity of all these defeats has spread to her too…

Match 2:
Melina
w/ Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters vs. Natalya Niedhart w/ Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd

As both ladies circle the ring, the jawing starts from the men at ringside, with all four shouting words at each other from across the ring. In the ring, Melina and Natalya come together for a tie up, with Niedhart working it into a standing side headlock, then a headlock takedown. Melina wraps her legs around Natalya's head, allowing her to take control, but Natalya quickly flips over into a pinning predicament... but at 2, Melina bridges up, both ladies on their feet.. only for Natlaya to counter with a backslide... 1... 2... Melina kicks out, and she let's out a scream of frustration as she kneels in the corner. Natalya waves Melina forward, but this only serves as a cue for Masters to jump up onto the apron, momentarily distracting Niedhart, and here comes Melina... but Nattie sidesteps her... and Melina crashes into the corner! Natalya now moves in, scoring forearms to the head, before she goes for the Irish whip across... but Melina reverses and follows in... right into a boot to the face! Melina staggers back... then gets rocked with a big clothesline! Melina is quickly back up... another clothesline knocks her down. Again Melina stumbles up... scoop slam plants her to the canvas! Natalya now looks to charge off the ropes... but Nitro reaches in under the ropes... and trips Natalya up! Niedhart's face smacks off the mat, but the ref somehow missed it, allowing the action to continue. Smith and Kidd race around the ring, but the ref dips his head through the ropes, order them back to their corner.

Melina now looks to take control, stomping Natalya with vicious boots, before she drops down and grabs two handfuls of hair, repeatedly smashing the back of Niedhart's head off the canvas. Natalya tries to crawl for the safety of the corner, but Melina stays on her, jamming her foot against Natalya's throat, finally releasing when the ref's count reaches five. Melina yanks Natalya by the hair to the centre of the ring, then shows impressive power to take her up and down with a suplex, gaining Melina a near fall. More stomps to the body land, then Melina grabs a handful of hair, allowing her to hammer Natalya with forearms to the head. Looking to wear her opponent down, Melina goes for a bodyscissors, using her legs to try squeeze the life out of Natalya. Niedhart cries out on pain, but refuses to submit, and with the backing of Smith and Kidd, she tries to pry open Melina's legs... but Melina's grip is too tight. Again Natalya tries to break free, this time swinging elbows to the face, a flurry of blows that finally breaks the hold. Both girls scramble to their feet, with Natalya striking first, catching Melina with a trio of forearms, backing Melina to the ropes. Niedhart goes for the Irish whip... kick to the midsection stops Melina in her tracks... then Natalya takes her up and down with a double underhook suplex! Natalya crawls into the cover... 1... 2... Melina rolls a shoulder! Sensing victory is near, Natalya drags Melina to her feet, then hooks her up... for a big time vertical suplex! Melina looks down and out, and now Natalya grabs her by the legs, steps, twists and turns... looking for the SHARPSHOOTER... but Johnny Nitro jumps up on the apron! The ref calls for Nitro to stand down, and that means he doesn't see Natalya coming... big forearm sends Nitro flying! And now here comes Smith and Kidd... taking the fight to Masters and Nitro! Just like last week, these four are brawling all over ringside once again, but in the ring, as Natalya watches it all unfold, Melina sneaks up from behind... and takes Niedhart down with a rollup... 1... 2... 3!

Winner: Melina @ 04.28

Melina steals one, grabbing a victory that could provide much needed confidence to Nitro and Masters. At first Smith and Kidd don’t even realise that the match is over, but when they do, the pair quickly slide back into the ring to console Natalya, while Melina slips outside and gathers Nitro and Masters, the three celebrating the win. Natalya kneels on the canvas, hands on her hips, trying to figure out where it all went wrong, while Melina, Nitro and Masters smile as the back their way up the ramp, a few words of trash being thrown back at the ring, the camera switching between the angry Natalya and the smug Melina as we head off for another commercial.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

The video opens to a rather expensive looking tailors, where an elderly man pulls a measuring tape from his pocket, pushes his glasses down his nose, then goes to work, running his hand across a broad shoulder. The camera follows the tailor’s hand, revealing the face of Claudio Cesaro, the man we’ve seen in recent weeks, who apparently is being fitted for a new suit...

Claudio Cesaro: My name… is Claudio Cesaro. Y’know, there are many benefits that come with being part of such an elite social circle. Fine dining, a keen taste of the arts, and of course, the finest fashion money can buy.

The tailor dips out of the shot to continue his measurements, with Cesaro being handed a glass of champagne by a stunning blonde...

Claudio Cesaro: For me and the Cesaro family, we expect nothing less. Anything less than the highest standards will not be tolerated. But of course, high standards are something you Americans would know nothing about.

Cesaro takes a sip, handing the glass back over, before the tailor now begins to measure across his chest...

Claudio Cesaro: You buy your cheap suits and cram your fat bodies into your SUVs and think you are living the American dream. But you lack class, you lack dignity, you lack…

We now cut to see Cesaro stood infront of a mirror, wearing his new custom made suit, adjusting the cuffs before he looks into the mirror and smiles…

Claudio Cesaro: Style. And that comes from poor upbringing and education. But don’t worry. Soon, Claudio will be arriving in your land, and I will educate you all. I… will better you.

Pleased with his new look, Cesaro walks off camera, and we again cut ahead in time, this time to the outside of an old, beautiful theatre, with Cesaro and a stunning brunette entering through the old oak doors…

Claudio Cesaro: But you people will only be bettered if you open your ignorant minds. I can teach you about decorum, style, dignity, but class… that cannot be taught. And that is why I, will always, be better than you

An orchestra being to play a stirring rendition of some classical music, with the audience rising to their feet to applaud the conclusion of the music...

Claudio Cesaro: And this is why I am coming to Monday Night Raw. I know there is nobody in the world who can compete with me inside the ring, and I intend on proving that.

Cesaro also stands, joining the applause, but he smirks at the camera as he speaks over the cheers...

Claudio Cesaro: So to all the WWE wrestlers, enjoy your last few weeks of ignorant bliss. For when I arrive on Raw, I will gain control… and I will crush anybody who stands in my way.

Cesaro stops applauding, holding a hand high in the air in a uppercut position as he says…

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

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


*End Video Package*


After the video, we cut to see the smiling Maria standing by…

Maria: Hi! I’m Maria! And please welcome my guests at this time, the World Tag Team Champions, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, The World’s Greatest Tag Team.

Boos break out from inside the arena as The World’s Greatest Tag Team enter from either side of the frame, both Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin wearing white tracksuits with their title belts slung over their shoulders…

Maria: Charlie, Shelton, now we know that at Backlash, you two will defend your titles against The Straight Edge Saints. After all your talk about a lack of competition in the tag team division, just how big a threat do you think Punk and Dinsmore are going to be to your titles?

Benjamin looks to the ceiling, laughing, while Haas lowers his head and has a chuckle to himself…

Shelton Benjamin: Lemme explain this for ya’ girl. Last week, Punk and Dinsmore, they proved they were best of the competition. I mean, we’ll give it to ‘em, they earned the chance to face us for these titles.

Haas reaches across, pulling the mic towards him…

Charlie Haas: And credit where credit’s due, they beat three other teams, and we were right there to see it happen. And to be honest… it was impressive. They earned their shot last week, and they fully deserved that round of applause we gave ‘em. But just ‘cause they showed they were the best of a bad bunch… doesn’t make ‘em threats to us.

Benjamin nods in agreement…

Shelton Benjamin: Exactly. The Hart Leagcy? The Redneck Wreckin’ Crew? Nitro and Masters? They ain’t nothin’ compared to us. Put us in that ring last week, and it’s a whole different story.

Benjamin lets out an over the top wince, shaking his head in fake sympathy…

Shelton Benjamin: And that’s the problem we’ve got right now. If Punk and Dinsmore think that just ‘cause they won last week, just ‘cause they knocked off those four other teams, that they’ve got a shot at takin’ these titles away at Backlash… then we’re just gonna have to disappoint ‘em. ‘Cause at Backlash, the competition steps up a notch. It ain’t pretty boys, dungeon survivors or drunk rednecks anymore… at Backlash, they steppin’ into the ring with the best. The greatest.

Haas smirks as he hears heat from inside the arena…

Charlie Haas: Like we keep sayin’, it ain’t just a name… it’s a fact.

More heat, with Haas and Benjamin looking extremely smug with each other…

Shelton Benjamin: We are the World’s Greatest Tag Team, and at Backlash… we’re gonna prove it again. At Backlash, CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore are gonna find out first hand why we really are… the greatest.

Benjamin nods at Haas, who finishes things off with…

Charlie Haas: And when we’re done with Punk and Dinsmore… they’re gonna need somethin’ a lot stronger than booze to take away the pain.

The champions laugh, both men walking off the screen from the side they entered, leaving an angry looking Maria behind, the announcer simmering at the lack of class shown at the end of the promo, the camera staying focused on her as we head back into the arena.

To hear…

*LOADED…*


The arena is on their feet as Jeff Hardy bursts onto the stage, his body gyrating back and forth to the music before he races down to the ring. Hardy slides under the bottom rope then springs up to the corner, posing for the crowd who show they’re clearly in Hardy’s corner…


Jim Ross: I don’t think that last comment was all that necessary from Haas and Benjamin, but be that as it may, they will indeed face The Straight Edge Saints at Backlash for the World Tag Team Championships. But right now, two men who are also on their way to Backlash square off, with Jeff Hardy set to meet Shawn Michaels.

Jerry Lawler: And of course, Jeff has a huge opportunity at Backlash when he takes on Randy Orton for Orton’s Money in the Bank briefcase. Jeff gave a great performance at WrestleMania, he came close to grabbin’ that briefcase a couple o’ times, and I think he’s finally gonna do it at Backlash.

Joey Styles: But what about the opportunity he’s got tonight? I mean, imagine what a win here tonight over Shawn Michaels would do for Jeff’s career. Jeff might go into this one as a bit of an underdog, but he’s more than capable of pulling out a big performance here to grab a huge victory.

*SEXY BOY…*


A loud level of heat as the cold, robotic like figure of Shawn Michaels slowly emerges from the back. Dressed all in black with that black cowboy hat pulled down low over his eyes, Michaels drops down to his knees, his arms open wide as he turns his head up to the heavens, silent in prayer, before he stands up and heads for the ring…


Jim Ross: Last week, Shawn Michaels had a very simple message for Triple H. He told ‘The Game’ in no uncertain terms to listen to his wife, after Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley pleaded with her husband not to step into the ring with Michaels at Backlash.

Joey Styles: If ya’ asked me, Michaels went too far last week. Some of the things he had to say, some of the comments regarding crippling ‘The Game’, about making Triple H suffer pain doin’ simple tasks like picking up his children, it was just a step too far for me.

Jerry Lawler: Well, maybe Michaels was sayin’ all those things because deep down inside, he really doesn’t want any part of this No Holds Barred Match. Maybe there is doubt in Michaels’ mind, maybe ‘The Game’ has gotten to him, and he’s tryin’ to scare Triple H away from the match. Either way, I think all Michaels did last week was anger Triple H, and that’s not gonna do ‘im any favours at Backlash.

Match 3:
Shawn Michaels
vs. Jeff Hardy

As the bell rings, there’s very little movement from Michaels, the cold, lifeless stare of his piercing through Hardy from across the ring. Jeff is almost taken aback, unsure of how to approach things, but eventually both men start to inch towards each other, and then go for a tie up. Jeff gains the upperhand as he takes Michaels down, but Michaels quickly wraps his legs around Jeff’s head, causing the two to break and return to their feet… Michaels swings a right hand… Jeff ducks underneath… then takes Michaels down with a backslide! 1… 2… Michaels kicks out, both men charge at each other… and again Hardy uses the headlock takedown! Once again Michaels uses his legs to break free, both men back on their feet… and Michaels delivers a stiff slap to the face! The first sign of emotion from Michaels as he aggressively slaps Jeff across the face, but this only stings Hardy into action... as he delivers a slap of his own! Michaels staggers back to the ropes, and here comes Jeff… clothesline puts Michaels over the top rope to the floor! Michaels flops to the outside, but when he picks himself back up, Jeff is ready… plancha takes Michaels down again! The crowd cheer as Jeff takes the fight to ‘HBK’, tossing Michaels back into the ring to stay on the attack. Michaels stumbles to the corner, with Jeff following in, climbing to the second rope… to then hammer down with right hands! The crowd chant all the way along, with Jeff pausing… then delivering a big right for ten in a row! Hardy steps down, with Michaels then flopping down to the mat, his head against the middle turnbuckle, which prompts Jeff to race in… Hardyac Arrest!

Jeff drags Shawn to the middle of the ring, hooks the leg… 1… 2… Michaels kicks out. Jeff is in control, and he looks to keep it that way as he fires Michaels to the corner and follows in… right into a back elbow! ‘HBK’ now aggressively yanks Jeff against the turnbuckle… and lights him up with a stinging chop to the chest! Another two chops land to the chest, before Michaels looks for the Irish whip across… Jeff reverses… and sends Michaels upside down into the corner! Michaels lands on his feet, stumble towards Jeff… sitout jawbreaker! Michaels staggers back into the corner, where Jeff returns the favour, delivering a trio of chops of his own, before he looks to send Shawn to the opposite corner… but Shawn reverses… only for Hardy to run up the corner… then fly with the whisper in the wind! Jeff crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Michaels kicks out. Both men once again stumble back up, with Jeff going back to the standing side headlock, only for Michaels to shove him off the ropes… Hardy bowls him over with a shoulderblock! Hardy runs the ropes… another shoulderblock! Jeff looks for a third shoulderblock… but this time Michaels side steps him… and launches Jeff over the top rope… no! Hardy hangs on… then skins the cat… but when he turns… Michaels takes his head off with a clothesline! Hardy is down, with Michaels looking to shake off the cobwebs, the former WWE Champion back to his feet first, looking like he could take control as we head for a commercial.

*Commercial*


And when we return, Michaels is indeed in charge, a split screen showing us that during the commercial break, Hardy tried to rally, taking the fight outside where he ran the barricade then launched himself, only for Michaels to counter with a powerslam on the floor. Back to real time, and Michaels is relentless in his attack, targeting the spine, smacking repeated double axe handles to a prone Jeff, before he drops a pair of quick elbows to the lower back. The pace of the match slows right down as Michaels shoves Hardy to the corner, then winds up… and sends him flying across the ring… with Jeff smashing into the opposite turnbuckle, the impact causing Jeff to slump to the canvas. Michaels repeats the trick in the opposite corner, before he starts to lay in with multiple knees to the small of the back, on the final one keeping the knee pressed against the back, pulling on the legs and chin for a bow and arrow stretch. Michaels keeps Jeff grounded in the hold for a fair amount of time, but eventually Jeff is able to break free thanks to a pair of elbows to the head. Michaels stumbles away, but as Jeff makes it back to his knees, ‘HBK’ takes him up and down with a backbreaker for a near fall. Hardy is again shoved into the corner, more chops landing to the chest, before Michaels goes for a scoop slam… but Jeff lands on his feet behind Shawn, then runs him to the ropes… rollup… no! Michaels hangs onto the top ropes, sending Jeff sprawling away. Both men race at each other, with Jeff going for a boot to the gut… which Michaels grabs… Hardy looks for the mule kick… but Michaels ducks underneath, hangs onto the foot… and goes for a single leg Boston crab!

Michaels sits in, applying all kinds of pressure to the small of the back, Hardy writhing and crying out in pain. Once again, Hardy is caught in a painful submission hold, and he desperately scrambles for the ropes, but there’s no luck as Michaels sits in, keeping him firmly in the middle of the ring. Michaels has the hold locked on for what feels like an eternity, with the crowd desperately willing Jeff to reach the ropes. Slowly Hardy crawls towards safety, dragging Michaels with him, and somehow… he makes it close enough to grab the bottom rope! Michaels hangs onto the hold though, taking every second of the ref’s five count before he finally release. Back on a vertical base, Michaels looks down on Hardy with disdain as he helps Jeff up… only for Jeff to nail an elbow to the midsection, then a right hand, before he again tries a boot to the midsection… but once more, Michaels catches it… but this time Jeff nails an enziguiri! Hardy changes up tactics, and it works on the second try, with both men now down on the canvas. Michaels crawls for the corner, using the ropes to pull himself up, but Jeff quickly drills him with a boot to the gut. Another two boots land, before Jeff goes for the Irish whip across… Michaels reverses then follows in… but Jeff sidesteps… and Michaels spears the ringpost! Shawn’s shoulder smacks off the steel, and now Hardy looks to take advantage as he hoists Michaels onto the top turnbuckle and follows up, hooking Michaels up for a SUPERPLEX… NO! Michaels drills shots to the midsection… then a headbutt causes Jeff to fall to the canvas! Michaels now lines Jeff up, the flies… DIVING ELBOW DROP… NO! Hardy rolls to safety, Michaels crashes to the canvas!

Both men take an age to drag themselves up, with Michaels landing a chop to the chest… Jeff strikes with a right hand! Chop to the chest… right to face! Chop… right hand… chop… right hand… and another… and a third right on the trot! Hardy sends Michaels off the ropes… into a kick to the gut… then Hardy takes Michaels up and down with a sitout inverted suplex slam! Hardy rolls Michaels over, hooks the leg… 1… 2… Michaels kicks out. Hardy looks to build momentum, grabbing both of Michaels’ legs… double legdrop to the midsection! Hardy is full of life now, on his feet, waiting for Michaels to rise… clothesline puts him down! Michaels is up again… another clothesline knocks him down! Once again Michaels stumbles up, and Jeff snaps his head back with right hands, backing Michaels to the ropes, before he goes for an Irish whip… Michaels reverses… but Jeff avoids him with a baseball slide… then takes Michaels down with a double leg takedown… into a bridging pin! 1… 2… Michaels kicks out again. Jeff is in control now, and he looks to press that home as he again goes for the Irish whip… but Michaels ducks underneath a clothesline… then connects with the flying forearm smash! Both men are down… until Michaels kips up! The crowd boos mercifully as Michaels arrogantly returns to his feet, and now he stands and waits in the corner, stomping his right foot, readying himself, waiting for Hardy to rise… and here goes Shawn… SWEET CHIN MUSIC… NO! Hardy catches the foot, spins Michaels around… kick… TWIST OF FATE! Hardy plants Michaels, and now he heads outside, climbs to the top rope, then flies… SWANTON BOMB… NO!! Michaels rolls to safety, leaving Jeff to crash painfully to the canvas, and when he stumbles back up, Michaels is waiting… SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! Shawn takes Jeff’s head off, and he drops down to go for the pinfall… 1… 2… 3.

Winner: Shawn Michaels @ 12.07

Another great display from Hardy, but unfortunately he comes up just short as Michaels gets the win. Stepping back to his feet, Michaels stares down angrily at Hardy, before he has his hand raised by the referee, dropping to his knees once more to say another prayer before Michaels exits the ring and heads backstage, barely even acknowledging the boos of the crowd. In the ring, Hardy manages to pick himself back up, the crowd giving him a good hand for his efforts, with Jeff responding appreciatively… but the cheers soon turn to gasps, as from through the crowd… Randy Orton has slipped into the ring… and he waits for Hardy to turn… RKO!! Orton comes out of nowhere to add insult to injury, taking Jeff down with the RKO, the crowd shitting all over Orton’s actions. Orton looks down on Hardy, a sneer on his face, revelling in the jeers of the fans, soaking in all the boos as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


And we're back, and once again we're in the presence of Todd Grisham, who's ready to conduct another interview...

Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, my guests at this time, they are the challengers to the Women's Championship at Backlash... Victoria... and Beth Phoenix.

A pretty decent level of heat as Beth Phoenix and Victoria approach from either side of the camera, the two powerful divas making Grisham feel slightly uncomfortable as he stands between them...

Todd Grisham: Uh... Victoria, Beth... last week it was announced on wwe.com that the two of you will challenge Mickie James in a Triple Threat Match for the Women's Championship at Backlash. I guess with the odds stacked in your favour, you must be feeling pretty confident that at least one of you is going home with the title that night?

Both divas laugh and nod, with Victoria rubbing her hands as Beth speaks...

Beth Phoenix: Confident? We're more than confident Todd. We know] that at Backlash, one way or another, Mickie's title reign is coming to an end.

With a smug grin on her face, Victoria takes over, still rubbing her hands together...

Victoria: Y'see Mickie might've defended the title against both of us in the past... but those matches were nothin' but flukes. And now at Backlash, poor Mickie's gonna have to deal with both of us.

Beth nods in agreement...

Beth Phoenix: Exactly. At WrestleMania, she got lucky. She caught me by surprise, but two weeks ago, we returned the favour. We caught Mickie by surprise, and look what happened... she wound up face first on the canvas... and she looked like exactly what she is, a loser.

Victoria makes a rather sarcastic sad face...

Victoria: And last week when she brought her little buddy Candice down to the ring with her. How'd that work out for ya' Mickie? Oh wait, that's right... you still lost.

Victoria wipes away an imaginary tear, smiling at Beth as she hands the interview back over...

Beth Phoenix: And that's exactly what's gonna happen at Backlash. When I came back to Raw, I promised myself I would get revenge. And at Backlash, it's finally gonna happen when I become Women's Cham-

Victoria: Whoa, whoa... wait. You? You're gonna be Women's Champion?

Beth looks surprised, almost offended by the interruption...

Beth Phoenix: Uh, well, yeah. That's what we agreed.

Victoria: What? I never agreed to that.

And now that look of surprise turns to a look of shock...

Beth Phoenix: Are you tryin' to tell me you're not gonna help me get the title?

Victoria scoffs, crossing her arms defensivly...

Victoria: Hey, I've said all along that I'd help you punish Mickie and get revenge for what she did to you. And at WrestleMania, I did my best to help you become champion. But now I've got a shot at the title too, I'm not gonna hand you Mickie on a plate. I wanna win too.

Beth drops her hands to her side, shaking her head in disbelief...

Beth Phoenix: I can't believe this! So what are you saying, that you'd stab me in the back for the title?

Sheepishly, Victoria shrugs and turns away...

Victoria: Well, let's be honest Beth... you'd do exactly the same to me... wouldn't ya'?

Beth stammers, taken aback, before she composes herself, before an argument breaks out between them, the pair talking over each other...

Beth Phoenix: How dare you! I can't believe-

Todd Grisham: Uh... ladies?

Victoria: You know damn well how much I-

Todd Grisham: Excuse me, ladies?

And now suddenly both snap at Grisham...

Beth Phoenix: What!?

Victoria: What!?

Grisham cowers for a few seconds, then finally finds the courage to speak...

Todd Grisham: Uh, I was just gonna say, we can wrap this up here if you want?

Both women step back, taking a deep breath, with Victoria running a hand through her hair...

Beth Phoenix: Y'know somethin', Todd? I'll give you one last comment. I'm know for a fact that the Women's Championship is goin' home with either me or Victoria. Who that's gonna be? We'll decide on the night. But one thing I know we both agree on is that we're gonna do everythin' it takes... to make Mickie suffer... and then we'll make her suffer some more. Right, Victoria?

Victoria nods in agreement, still not happy, but at least back on the same page...

Beth Phoenix: So Mickie, enjoy the last few weeks of bein' champion. 'Cause at Backlash, we're takin' that title away from you... I guarantee it.

Now both divas sneer at the camera, before Beth is first to turn and leave the area. Victoria takes a lingering look at her friend, a clear sign of distrust shown towards Beth, before she shakes her head and exits at the other side, leaving a relieved looking Todd behind, who puffs out his cheeks and wipes the sweat from his brow as we cut elsewhere.

And it's to the boardroom we go to see Mr. McMahon standing up out of his chair alongside a long table, a host of suits and important figures in the WWE hierachy sat around the table, listening on intently as Vince finishes off his presentation. Also sat at the table is Linda McMahon, who looks unimpressed with that Vince is currently saying...


Mr. McMahon:... and that's why I know when you esteemed members of the board come to make your votes, your do the right thing for business... and choose the right McMahon.

Annoyed by that last remark, Linda rolls her eyes and shakes her head...

Mr. McMahon: And just remember, it was under my stewardship that Raw saw it's highest ratings, the WWE made record profits, and of course, this company reached levels of greatness like no other.

As Vince speaks, the camera pans around the table, showing us the various members of the board, with the figure of Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley being one that stands out...

Mr. McMahon: I can deliver that and so much more again, if you all just agree to vote out this stupid takeover attempt by my wife Linda, and let me get on with the job of doing what's important... making us all boatloads of money.

The Vince supporters in the room are easily identified as they laugh and nod in agreement at that last comment...

Mr. McMahon: Thank you very much.

Vince respectfully takes his seat once again, the camera now turning to a man sat at the head of the table, who we assume is the man chairing this meeting...

Chair: Well, thank you Mr. McMahon for your presentation. Both you and Mrs. McMahon have certainly given this board a lot of food for thought. I guess we'll throw it open to the floor. Are there any further questions for Mr. McMahon?

A few murmurs are heard as heads turn from side to side, but nobody actually offers up a question, until Stephanie finally speaks...

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley: I have a question. I think it's safe to say that for years now, Dad, you've abused your power here on Raw. Mom made the point that Monday Night Raw should be about giving the fans what they want, not what you want. How do you propose to make sure that happens?

Vince takes a quick sip of water, a smirk crossing his face as he ponders his answer...

Mr. McMahon: Well, with all due respect, Stephanie, it wasn't those fans who turned this company into one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates in the world. It wasn't those fans who knew how to market and launch some of the biggest names the world of sports entertainment has ever seen. And it wasn't those fans who knew how to generate the profit that's been lining your pockets through your share options for all these years either. That was me. So how about we worry a little less about what the fans want... and worry more about what I think is best. Huh?

Vince reclines in his seat, a rather smug look on his face, convinced he’s handled that question well...

Chair: Uh, yes, well... we of course will take the fans into our final consideration. I suppose if there's no other questions then-

Linda McMahon: I have a question, actually.

Vince glares at his wife, the two sat across from each other, the camera cutting between the two...

Linda McMahon: I'd like to ask a question that was actually raised last Friday night on SmackDown by the returning General Manager, Teddy Long. Now Vince, for weeks Teddy was medically cleared to resume his duties, a fact you and your former Executive Assistant Jonathan Coachman knew about... yet not I, nor anybody else sat at this table, knew about it. Why was that, Vince?

Vince fumbles through his papers, taken aback, almost searching for an answer, but his facial expression suggests he knows he’s been caught out here...

Mr. McMahon: There's actually a perfectly good explanation for that. Uh... having read Mr. Long's medical report personally, I felt that he was in no fit condition to return, and could have used another month or two at home to recover. I mean, what do these doctors know anyway, huh? Am I right? Huh?

Vince lets out a very nervous rendition of that big old chuckle of his, looking around the boardroom for a positive response, but he finds none forthcoming...

Chair: Is that your response, Mr. McMahon?

Mr. McMahon: Yeah, yeah. That's all I got.

Vince rubs his brow in frustration, clearly angry and almost afraid after how badly that last question went for him...

Chair: Alright. Well, Mr. and Mrs. McMahon, thank you for your time. If you could both please wait outside while we try and reach a decision. We'll call you when we're ready.

The meetings breaks up as everybody pushes back their chairs and rise to their feet, with a confident smile adorning Linda's face as she shakes a few nearby well wishers, while across the table, a dejected looking Vince has his head in his hands, realising his time in charge appears to be quickly running out as we head into another video.

*Video Package*

Our video opens at the King of the Ring ’96, where ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin stands victorious, delivering the interview that launched his main event career…

Narrator: It’s a night where future legends make their mark...

“AUSTIN 3:16 SAYS I JUST WHIPPED YOUR ASS!”

We now head back to King of the Ring ’93, where Bret Hart puts Bam Bam Bigelow away with the winning victory roll...

Narrator: A night where icons are created…

“I’M THE BEST THERE IS, THE BEST THERE WAS, AND THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE!”

King of the Ring ’01, where Edge puts Kurt Angle down with the Edgecution then crawls into the pin to get an emotional victory…

Narrator: A night when the stars of tomorrow shine bright...

“WELCOME TO THE ERA OF AWESOMENESS!”

And we now go to last year’s tournament final, where Booker T grabs the win over Bobby Lashley…

Narrator: A night to crown… a new king.

“BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR KING!”

We now see flashing images of some of this year’s contenders, starting with Jeff Hardy, Montel Vontavious Porter, CM Punk and Matt Hardy…

Narrator: And this year, live on NBC, the WWE King of the Ring returns! It’s the one night Saturday Night’s Main Event spectacular where one man’s career is set to skyrocket!

More flashing images, this time it’s Bryan Danielson, Kenny Dykstra, Johnny Nitro and Mr. Kennedy…

Narrator: Eight men will battle to join the most exclusive of WWE clubs. Who will take King Booker’s crown and become the 2007 King of the Ring!?

Another round of flashing images, this time of former winners such as Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Edge, Bret Hart and King Booker…

Narrator: The King is dead…

More clips from last year, this time from Booker’s coronation ceremony, then a quick shot of him close to tears after his victory to clinch the World Heavyweight Championship…

“ALL HAIL KING BOO-KAH!”

”Long live… the King.”



"SATURDAY NIGHT’S MAIN EVENT – THREE HOUR KING OF THE RING SPECIAL – JUNE 2ND - LIVE ON NBC!"

*End Video Package*


And from the video, we head to the announce desk, where our announce team are ready to speak to the camera…

Jim Ross: It’s certainly all goin’ on in that boardroom right now. Who knows what kind of decision the WWE Board of Directors are going to take when they have their vote. But as you just saw folks, the King of the Ring is on its way back to our screens as part of a special three hour edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event. A 32 man tournament, and it all kicks off the night after Backlash.

Joey Styles: Last week we found out the first four entrants from Monday Night Raw. They of course were CM Punk, Hardcore Holly, Jeff Hardy and the Intercontinental Champion, Kenny Dykstra. But ‘King’, I understand you’re about to give us the next six names representin’ Monday Night Raw in the tournament.

Jerry Lawler: Oh boy, you’re absolutely right, Joey! Alright, here we go. The next six Raw participants in the 2007 King of the Ring tournament, are… Nick Dinsmore, Chris Masters, Mike Knox, both Tyson Kidd and Harry Smith, and get this, the sixth man announced tonight is… wait for it… it’s ME! Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler!

Jim Ross: What!? How on earth did you manage to weasel your way into this one?

Jerry Lawler: Hey, you know what they say… “It takes a King, to know a King!”… and who better than to become the 2007 King of the Ring than me!?

Joey Styles: Well, best o’ luck to ya’, Jerry! I’m sure you’ll do great!

Jim Ross: Oh absolutely. I think it’s safe to say who the announce team is gonna be rootin’ for when this thing gets underway. And folks, we’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you all that next week, Raw emanates from the United Kingdom!

Joey Styles: That’s right, Monday Night Raw next week comes to you from the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England. And I know you’re lookin’ forward to bein’ back in the U.K., ‘King’.

Jerry Lawler: Oh I can’t wait! Y’know, I’m always made very welcome by the Queen when we go over there. Us royal types, we’ve gotta stick together. It’s gonna be great for the WWE to be back in England!

Jim Ross: We’re all certainly lookin’ forward to takin’ the trip across the big pond. But folks, I wanna take you back to late last week, where up in WWE Studios in Stamford, Connecticut, I conducted a sit-down interview with ‘The Game’, Triple H. We spoke at length about his history with Shawn Michaels, the breakdown of their friendship, and of course, their upcoming ‘Final Battle’ at Backlash. Let’s take a look at it…

*Video Package*

We cut to the previously mentioned WWE studios where sat opposite each other in nearby chairs are Jim Ross and Triple H. ‘The Game’ looks tense, a fierce look of determination on his face, while Ross has his head looking down on a clipboard, going over the questions he wants to ask. Eventually Ross brings his head up, and after Trips takes a swig of water from his water bottle, Ross begins…

Jim Ross: Thank you for joining us folks. I am of course sat her alongside the man who in just thirteen days will take on his former best friend, Shawn Michaels, in a No Holds Barred Match that both men have called their ‘Final Battle’. I am of course referring to, Triple H. Hunter, I want to thank you for joining me here this evening.

Triple H: No problem. Glad to be here.

Ross takes a look down at his clipboard, then he motions to ask his first question...

Jim Ross: Hunter, as I alluded to, Backlash is just thirteen days away. Thirteen days until you and your former best friend, Shawn Michaels, step into the ring for a No Holds Barred Match. ‘The Final Battle’, if you will. One last battle to settle a rivalry that has been on and off for close to a decade now. But Hunter, go back just four months ago, and you and Shawn… you were still best friends. You were still a united D-Generation X. Where did it all go wrong?

Triple H has a little laugh to himself, looking up into the ceiling as he composes himself to answer...

Triple H: Where did it all go wrong this time, huh? I guess it all went wrong when I made an error in judgment. I’m not afraid to admit it, but those few short months ago, I honestly believed 100% in DX… and I thought Shawn was too. I thought he wanted the same as me, I thought he wanted those tag team titles away from Edge and Randy Orton. I guess not.

Jim Ross: You mentioned there Edge and Randy Orton, Rated-RKO as they were known, and at the time things started to fall apart for DX, Edge and Orton were the World Tag Team Champions. To earn an opportunity at their titles, you agreed to the stipulation that if DX lost… they would disband… forever. However, it was a stipulation that Shawn Michaels… didn’t agree with.

‘The Game’ screws up his face and shakes his head, clearly still not happy with how things went down back then…

Triple H: That sounds about right. Listen, like I said, I believed in DX. I believed in me and Shawn as a unit. I was willin’ to risk DX to become champions ‘cause I knew we could get it done. But then… then Shawn had other ideas I guess. He started havin’ doubts, he started doubtin’ our team… and that’s what killed us. We went into that match hearin’ all the whisper and the talkin’ behind our backs… and it got to Shawn. It got to him mentally, his head wasn’t focused, and then he made a… well, he calls it a mistake… but either way, he hit me with a steel chair… and it cost us the match, it cost us the titles… and it cost us DX… forever.

Ross nods reluctantly, while Trips takes another swig from his water bottle...

Jim Ross: You touched on the first chair shot, the accident as Shawn Michaels said it was. It was the shot that brought DX to a premature end. A sickening chair shot that put you down, and allowed Edge and Orton to retain their titles. But let me take you forward from that to Raw: Night of Champions. A three hour special show that saw both you and Shawn as challengers to John Cena and the WWE Championship. During the match, an assault led by The McMahon’s took Cena out of the equation. You and Shawn fought off The McMahon’s and their security team… only for Shawn to turn on you and strike with another chair shot. And this time… it was no accident.

A look of anger crosses the face of ‘The Game’ as he takes a deep breath, composing himself before he answers…

Triple H: You’re damn right it was no accident. Shawn saw a chance to grab the WWE Championship, he knew he had it if he just swung that chair and took my head off. And hey, credit to ‘im, he took it. He was ruthless. A few years earlier, I’d have done exactly the same. And maybe that was my problem. Bein’ part of DX, teamin’ with my best friend… maybe all that made me soft. Maybe I wasn’t as ruthless as I used to be. Maybe… I lost my edge. But if that’s what Shawn wanted, if that’s the price he was willing to pay, if he wanted to give me back my edge and really piss me off, if that was worth it to be WWE Champion again… and for him to find his smile once more… then I guess he did the right thing. But I want Shawn to think about one thing. When he struck me with that chair, when he found his smile, when he became WWE Champion again… was he ready… for the backlash?

Triple H gives the answers, shaking his head as he leans forward in his chair…

Triple H: If ya’ ask me, he’s never gonna be ready for what I’m gonna throw at ‘im this Sunday. Shawn mighta ended DX… and ended our friendship… but this Sunday… I’m gonna end him.

Jim Ross: Well, based on that last statement, I wanna take you back to somethin’ you said two weeks ago on Raw. You talked about your previous altercations in the ring with Michaels, and you stated that in hindsight, you should’ve finished off Michaels when you had the chance. I take it that’s something you still believe, very strongly.

‘The Game’ sits back, pursing his lips, considering his answer…

Triple H: Like I said before, we've had a lot of matches in the past. Cage Matches, Street Fights, Ladder Matches, even... Hell in a Cell. People call me a sadistic sunnova bitch, and that's exactly what I am. But I look back and I think... I ended Mick Foley's career... why didn't I do the same to Shawn? I dunno what ya’ wanna call it. Compassion? Sympathy? I dunno. But somethin’ always held me back from finishin’ the job... but not this time.

Jim Ross: Lemme ask you about the history between you two. It all started back in 1997 with the formation of DX. I think it’s safe to say that back in those days, Michaels, as the WWE Champion at the time, was very much the leader.

‘The Game’ rubs his jaw, clearly stung by the truthfulness from Ross...

Triple H: At the time it was two buddies havin’ fun, sticking it straight up the establishment’s ass, and winnin’ titles in the process. But y’know, lookin’ back at it... DX was never about me. It was all about Shawn. It was all about makin’ sure he stayed champion. I lost count of the number of times I had to interfere in his matches, but did ya’ ever see him return the favour for me?

Triple H shrugs his shoulders, knowing the answer, while Ross shakes his head ever so slightly...

Jim Ross: Let’s fast forward a few months to WrestleMania XIV. Shawn defended the WWE Championship against ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, already suffering from a debilitating back injury. Michaels lost the match, and the title, and then he retired from action for four years. When he finally returned in 2002, you were there to greet him... but it wasn’t an peaceful reunion.

Triple H: Well, you were there Jim, you remember what happened while Shawn was away. I went from bein’ the guy Shawn tossed the European Championship to when he couldn’t be bothered defendin’ it anymore... to the number one guy in this industry. I made it to the top, I became WWE Champion, and here comes Shawn back, lookin’ to rekindle our friendship. I knew DX was about him in the past, and now that I’d made a name for myself, I wasn’t gonna carry him anymore.

J.R. pauses, then looks to press on...

Jim Ross: And so it started, a series of hellacious matches, battles that raged over a number of years, until it finally ended in Hell in a Cell. But then last year... there was reconciliation. There was a common enemy. You and Shawn reunited, DX was back together... and you seemed to be enjoying it.

Triple H: Yeah, I can’t argue with that. This time around it was different. Shawn knew I’d become a much bigger deal than the first time around, and he respected that. We were partners. We were equals. Vince McMahon tried to break us... but he couldn’t do it. We fought off everybody he threw at us, ‘cause we were a unit. A real team. There was no animosity, the past was in the past, and we were focused on becomin’ champions again.

Jim Ross: But that of course, has lead us to this. Thirteen days, Backlash, No Holds Barred. It’s quite the turnaround from just three months ago. I know I’ve seen firsthand the bizarre transformation Michaels has underwent. As the man who knows him best in this business, what’s it been like for you to see Michaels become the man he is today.

Taking another sip of water, Triple H thinks long and hard...

Triple H: Honestly? It makes me sick to my stomach. I’m not a particularly religious person. A guy can believe anythin’ he wants, doesn’t bother me. But for Shawn to claim he’s got somebody watchin’ his back for ‘im, that this is all part of a bigger plan, that it’s his destiny to end my career at Backlash... that’s a crock.

Becoming more animated, Triple H starts to raise his voice...

Triple H: It’s all nothin’ but a sham for Shawn to hide behind and justify his actions. I don’t need to hide behind anything. I’m ruthless, I’m selfish, I’ll do whatever it takes to win... and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I don’t need religion to hide behind. I’ll tell it to ya’ straight, but I might stab ya’ in the back afterwards, but I’m not gonna make excuses about it. It’s not about destiny, it’s not about faith, it’s about whose got that killer instinct. Two weeks ago, I stood in the ring on Raw, I came out to answer Shawn’s words, and I made him a challenge. And when I did... I looked him dead in the eye. And I saw nothin’ but a cold, empty, emotionless guy. There’s no fire in his eyes anymore... and there damn sure ain’t no killer instinct. But these last few months, after evrythin’ I’ve been through with Shawn and ‘RVD’... I got my fire back. The laughs and the jokes of DX are a thing of the past... and now Shawn’s gonna suffer the consequences.

‘The Game’ looks down at his hands, cracking his knuckles...

Triple H: Backlash... ‘The Final Battle’... I’m gonna end him.

‘The Game’ pauses again, allowing us to linger on the seriousness of that statement...

Jim Ross: Well, we all know how huge a matchup it’s gonna be at Backlash. I think it could be a real match for the ages. But Hunter, I have to ask you... what about what your wife Stephanie said last week? Stephanie pleaded with you not to go through with this, not to face Shawn... because she was scared of what he’d become. It was a cry that Michaels encouraged you to agree with. Yet here we are, the match has been signed... are there any worries? Any fears? Or even any... regrets?

Triple H: Worries? Fears? Listen, what Stephanie said to me last Monday... that was unfortunate. It’s not somethin’ any husband wants to hear. But as if that wasn’t enough, Shawn walks out to there and says he’s gonna cripple me, make me life out my life a suit chained to a desk. He says he’s gonna make it so each and every time I bend down to pick up my daughter... I’m in pain. When Shawn started talkin’ about my family, it didn’t make me scared... it didn’t make me reconsider... it just made me more determined to cave his skull in with a sledgehammer.

Once more Triple H sits forward, his fire and determination clear for all to see...

Triple H: That sunnova bitch brought my family into this! He started talkin’ about my wife and my kids! If it wasn’t personal before, it damn sure is now! I’m shown Shawn mercy in the past, but I’m not gonna make that mistake again. At Backlash, there’s no regrets... no mercy... no remorse... NO – HOLDS – BARRED! This interview’s over...

Sitting back in his chair, ‘The Game’ takes one last swig of water before he starts to rip off his microphone, before he stands up and leaves the interview set, leaving J.R. to wrap things up...

Jim Ross: Uh... well, thank you for your time, Hunter.

Ross can only look on and watch with awe ‘The Game’ disappears from sight, with J.R. now gathering his notes together as the video comes to an end.


*End Video Package*


And as we exit the video, the shot is off a monitor backstage, the camera looking at the screen which clearly shows that the Triple H interview has been playing on it. Slowly the camera zooms away from the monitor, and somebody is seen to be staring at the screen... it's Shawn Michaels! A ton of heat breaks out from inside the arena for the reveal of 'HBK', with Michaels clearly having heard every word 'The Game' had to say. Michaels is as cold as ever, his eyes piercing the screen from under his cowboy hat, not a hint of emotion of his face, until when the screen fades to black, the video at an end, and Michaels' eyes drop to the floor every so slightly. Pondering, Michaels brings his eyes back up, then quickly glances up to the heavens, before he turns and slowly walks off camera, leaving us looking at the static of the monitor before we fade into a commercial.

*Commercial*


Straight back into the arena for...

*THIS FIRE BURNS...*


A much loudly pop for the team who could be named tag team champions at Backlash, The Straight Edge Saints. CM Punk steps out hand in hand with Kelly Kelly, with Nick Dinsmore by their side, tryin' to fire up the fans. Punk drops down to a knee, taps the imaginary watch on his wrist, holds it up against Kelly's ear, then encourages her to yell out “It's clobberin' time!” before the trip head for the ring...


Jim Ross: One of the most exciting and dynamic young teams in the WWE, The Straight Edge Saints, set for tag team action against the team they ultimately put away last week to earn their shot at Haas and Benjamin, The Redneck Wrecking Crew.

Joey Styles: Punk and Dinsmore have been on a real roll as of late, and it continued last week when they won the Fatal Four Way to earn the right to go to Backlash, with Punk puttin' Lance Cade away, which has led to this rematch of sorts tonight.

Jerry Lawler: I gotta admit, I love these two as a team. I think ever since CM Punk brought Nick Dinsmore back to Raw as a rejuvenated man, they've been impressin' a lotta people. I can't wait for Backlash, I think they're match up with The World's Greatest Tag Team has a real shot at stealin' the show that night.

*SWEET 'N' SOUR...*


Some decent heat as The Redneck Wrecking Crew stomp their way out into the arena, wasting no time in heading down the ramp. Trevor Murdoch leads the way, looking especially angry, even going so far as to throw his trucker hat at a ringside fan, while Lance Cade brings up the rear, his eyes more focused on the team already in the ring...


Joey Styles: Two big ol' angry rednecks, and two guys who sure know how to fight. Cade and Murdoch will certainly have the power advantage in this one, and they're gonna be a big test for Punk and Dinsmore ahead of Backlash.

Jim Ross: The Straight Edge Saints have gotta fight a clever fight here. They've got the quickness and the technical advantage, and they're gonna have to use it, otherwise they might wind up in a world of pain thanks to these two.

Jerry Lawler: What is you call it J.R., bowling shoe ugly? I'm tellin' ya', that doesn't even come close to describin' how hard and how violent these two can hit ya', especially with the mood they're in given what happened to 'em last week.

Match 4:
The Redneck Wrecking Crew
vs. The Straight Edge Saints w/ Kelly Kelly

Cade and Dinsmore are the two men kicking off the match, the pair snapping into a collar and elbow tie up which sees Cade use his strength advantage to back Dinsmore into the corner. The ref steps in and calls for the break, which Cade initially provides… only to then move back in with a stiff elbow to the head. Right hands land to the face and midsection, before forearms smack down on the back of Dinsmore’s head. Cade drags Dinsmore from the corner, then looks to fire him off the ropes… but Dinsmore reverses… and takes Cade down with an armdrag! Both men are back up… another armdrag puts Cade down… and a third, this time Dinsmore hanging on for an armbar. Cade slaps his hand of the canvas in frustration, before he forces himself back to his feet, then twists the armbar into a hammerlock… only for Dinsmore to counter this into a hammerlock of his own, then grab a standing side headlock. Cade backs both men to the ropes, then shoves Dinsmore off the opposite side… and takes him down with a hiptoss! Early cover, 1… 2… Dinsmore kicks out. Cade now wrings on the arm and drags Dinsmore to his corner, tagging in Murdoch, holding Dinsmore open so Murdoch can deliver a kick to the midsection. Murdoch looks to wring on the arm again, but Dinsmore snaps off a pair of right hands, then goes for an Irish whip off the ropes… back elbow puts Murdoch down… and then an elbow drop connects! Dinsmore crawls to the corner… and tags in Punk! Punk waits for Cade to rise before he slings to the top rope… springboard clothesline! Punk hooks the leg… 1… 2… Murdoch kicks out.

Looking to gain control for his team, Punk smacks a series of kicks to the thighs and chest, before a big roundhouse to the side of the head sends Murdoch stumbling back into the corner. Punk goes for the Irish whip across… then follows in… step up knee to the face! Punk hangs on and looks for the bulldog… but Murdoch shoves him away down the ring of the ring… right into a massive lariat from Cade! Cade strikes from the apron, nearly taking Punk’s head off, and once Murdoch shakes off the cobwebs, he tags Cade in, who instantly goes for the cover… 1… 2… Punk kicks out. Cade now hammers Punk with stomps to the chest, then he drops repeated elbows, before he waits for Punk to rise… textbook standing dropkick! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… Punk rolls a shoulder. Punk now becomes isolated from his corner as Cade and Murdoch look to wear him down, making quick tags and using plenty of high impact moves as Murdoch does damage with a big vertical suplex, while Murdoch gets a near fall from a full nelson slam. The Redneck Wrecking Crew also make use of a number of double team moves, with Murdoch hitting a jawbreaker followed by Cade landing a falling neckbreaker, and then coming close to victory after Murdoch hoists Cade into the air for an elevated legdrop. Punk is in bad shape as another quick tag brings Murdoch back in, more stomps landing to the chest, before Murdoch takes Punk up… scoop slam puts him down. Murdoch now climbs to the second rope, looking for a fist drop… but Punk gets a boot up to the face! Both men are down, slowly crawling to their corners… here comes Cade… and here comes Dinsmore!

Dinsmore sees Cade coming, dipping his head between the second rope to catch Cade with a shoulder thrust, before he enters the ring and runs through Cade with a clothesline. Murdoch now charges… right into a back body drop… on top of Cade! Both Cade and Murdoch stumble to their feet in pain, Murdoch against the ropes… clothesline puts him over the top rope to the floor! Dinsmore now turns back to Cade, rocking him with right hands to the face, before he fires Cade off the ropes… snap overhead belly to belly suplex! Dinsmore crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Cade kicks out. Dinsmore has all the momentum, and he stays on the attack as he yanks Cade up, he looks for the Irish whip to the corner… but Cade reverses and follows in… right into a boot to the face! Cade stumbles back, and Dinsmore charges from the corner… double leg takedown… and now Dinsmore twists and steps in… TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Dinsmore locks on his submission move… but Murdoch clobbers him from behind! Murdoch now quickly lays in with boots to the body, but here comes Punk… STEP UP ENZUIGIRI! Murdoch slumps to the mat then rolls under the bottom rope, with Punk heading back to the corner, where he gets the tag from Dinsmore. Punk now climbs upstairs, while Dinsmore stays in the ring, yanking Cade up, then taking him high into the air on his shoulders… as Punk flies… DOOMSDAY DROPKICK! Punk takes Cade’s head off, sending him crashing to the canvas, and all that’s left to do is for Punk to roll Cade over for the 1… 2… 3!

Winners: The Straight Edge Saints @ 05.39

Another confident victory for The Saints as they continue to build momentum towards Backlash. Punk and Dinsmore help each other back to their feet, the pair hugging with Kelly in celebration before Kelly raises their hands in the air. Cade rolls to the outside, where Murdoch helps him back to his feet, the pair looking furious at the defeat as they slowly back up the ramp, while we cut elsewhere.

And it's back to the boardroom, and we join it just in time as the WWE Board of Directors welcome Mr. McMahon and Linda McMahon back into the room. Both Vince and Linda re-take the seats they were in earlier, with Vince looking particularly worried at what the outcome might be...


Chair: Mr. and Mrs. McMahon, we want to thank you for your patience, we apologise for keeping you waiting. Well, unfortunately, after much deliberation... we were unable, as a board, to come to a conclusion.

Both Linda and Vince look confused, although the worry of Vince's expression slowly starts to fade...

Chair: We obviously considered what was said by both of you, but there was a motion tabled from the Vice President of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis, for a postponement.

A beaming grin of shock says it all as far as Vince is concerned, with the camera now turning towards the man identified as John Laurinaitis, who gives his boss a knowing wink...

Chair: Mr. Laurinaitis felt that he had insufficient evidence to make a decision tonight, and he motioned for a further two weeks to consider the testimonies put before us. The motion was seconded then carried, so I'm afraid we have no other choice but to reconvene two weeks from tonight. I apologise for the inconvenience.

Linda turns to her daughter Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, shaking her head in disbelief, with Stephanie unable to look her in the eye, clearly angry with the decision. Vince meanwhile is delighted, but he fakes a sense of sympathy with the board...

Mr. McMahon: Hey, c'mon now, I know how difficult a decision this all must be for you. If Mr. Laurinaitis feels he needs more time to come to a decision, then I think we should grant him that. Let's give everybody a chance to go away, think about things, then we'll meet after Backlash when everybody can make their decision with a clear head. How's that sound?

Half the table nods their heads in agreement, but it's Stephanie who speaks out...

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley: I think it sounds like a sham...

Vince shakes his head in annoyance...

Mr. McMahon: Hey, Stephanie, there's no need for that. Besides, don't you have more important things on your mind with regards to Backlash? Shouldn't you be more concerned with what kinda state your husband is gonna be in two weeks from now?

Stephanie breaks the eye contact with her father, turning her head away, rather solemn look on her face...

Mr. McMahon: I thought so. Well, I guess all that's left to say is meeting adjourned!

Vince pushes back his chair and stands up, a few of his supporters on the board doing likewise, with McMahon seeking out Laurinaitis to give him a handshake...

Chair: Uh, I say that... meeting adjourned.

And now the rest of the table pack up their notes and stand up to leave, with Linda now rubbing her forehead in disappointment, the contrast in emotions from the start of the night clear for all to see...

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley: Don't worry Mom... it'll all work out.

Stephanie reassuringly places a hand on Linda's shoulder, before she too stands up and leaves. In the background we hear Vince and his cohorts sharing a few laughs, while the camera stays on Linda, who shakes her head once more, seemingly all out of ideas of how to end her husband's reign of terror over Monday Night Raw.

We now cut away from the boardroom to the backstage area where the sight of John Cena walking, ready for action, brings a big pop from the fans inside the arena. Clearly unaware of the outcome of the board meeting, Cena looks calm and focused on his upcoming match with Bobby Lahsley...


Jim Ross: Well there ya' have it, there will be no decision tonight from the WWE Board of Directors on the future of Mr. McMahon and his running of Monday Night Raw. But there you see the man who in just a few short moments is set for a WrestleMania rematch of epic proportions. It's Cena and Lashley when we return to Mon-

Suddenly Cena puts on the breaks, and an even louder pop is heard as he's ran into the WWE Champion Rob Van Dam! Clearly the tension between the two still exists as both men glare at each other, with Van Dam standing in Cena's path, arms folded across his chest. Van Dam eyes Cena up and down, and then he nods his head and stands aside, indicating that he's allowing Cena to carry on towards the ring. Cena slowly steps forward, his eyes locking in on Van Dam's, before he continues on his way, not a single word exchanged between the two, but the message from Van Dam to Cena is clear, another reminded from the WWE Champion as to how important the upcoming match is...

Jim Ross: God, what an explosive situation this could be! It's Cena and Lashley, and it's next!

The camera lingers on Van Dam, his eyes fixed on Cena off camera, a tense, almost nervous look on the face of champion as we head for a commercial.

*Commercial*


We're back into the arena for...

*MY TIME IS NOW...*


As always it's a very loud, mixed response for John Cena, who quickly marches our onto the stage. Cena has his hands on his hips as he scans the crowd, before he offers up a salute and then races down to the ring, a very stern, serious look of determination in his eyes...


Jim Ross: One thing that can never be denied about John Cena is the level of intensity he brings to a WWE ring. But earlier tonight, Rob Van Dam questioned, almost challenged Cena's level of focus tonight. Can Cena prove he's got his head in the game here, or will everything that has surrounded him tonight prove to be his downfall?

Jerry Lawler: He better make sure he’s got his head in the game, or this could wind up real ugly. Lashley’s too dangerous a competitor to not focus 100% on.

Joey Styles: I’m sure Cena doesn’t need any reminder as to how important this match is, especially not after what Rob Van Dam said to him at the top of the broadcast. I think Cena’s gonna have his head on straight, and after all that went down with regards to referees at WrestleMania, this one’s gonna put to rest any doubts about who’s the better man.

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


Heat quickly breaks out as the always intimidating Bobby Lashley menacingly steps out onto the stage, with Shane McMahon shuffling his way out behind him. Shane applauds Lashley as he heads for the ring, 'The Dominator' looking determined to gain a measure of revenge this evening...


Jim Ross: What an absolute freak of nature this man is. A incredible athlete, a real powerhouse, with unlimited amateur wrestling ability. I've always questioned Lashley sellin' 'imself out to the McMahon's, but I can never question his skills within the square circle.

Joey Styles: Absolutely not. And ya' have to wonder, if there was no shenanigans, if there was no Mr. McMahon or 'Stone Cold' as duelling referees, just what would've happened at WrestleMania? Tonight we're gonna find out, and I'm sure Lashley's out to set a few people straight.

Jerry Lawler: And don't forget he's got Shane O'mac in his corner, and Rob Van Dam is banned from ringside. I think everythin' goin' into this one is in Lashley's favour, but I said that at WrestleMania too, and we all know how that turned out...

Main Event: WWE Championship Number One Contenders Match
Bobby Lashley
w/ Shane McMahon vs. John Cena

The crowd is buzzing as the two powerhouses stand across the ring from each other, before the bell rings and the two come together in the centre of the ring for a staredown. Both men snarl at each other, before the trash talking starts to flow, both men trading words back and forth... until Lashley swings a right... Cena blocks it... then scores a right of his own! Cena lands right after right, backing Lashley to the ropes, before he goes for an Irish whip... Lashley reverses... Cena runs through him with a shoulderblock! Instead of pressing home the advantage, Cena stands in a fighting stance in the middle of the ring as Lashley pushes himself across the canvas to the corner, both men wary of each other. Cena keeps his guard but allows Lashley to drag himself up, 'The Dominator' now stepping forward, hands out infront of him as he challenges Cena to a test of strength. Again Cena is wary, but he agrees, offering his own hands up as the two lock fingers, straining and struggling to gain the upperhand... Lashley drills Cena with a knee to the midsection! Lashley now goes to work, hammering Cena with forearms to the back of the neck, before he uses his shoulder to drive Cena to the corner. There Lashley lays in with a series of shoulder thrusts, before he sends Cena for the ride across... then follows in... Cena sidesteps... and Lashley runs into the turnbuckle! Lashley stumbles out, but Cena is already coming off the ropes... one handed bulldog! Cena rolls Lashley over, hooks the leg... 1... 2... Lashley powers out.

Cena now looks to take control of the match as a worried looking Shane watches on, with Cena grabbing Lashley and smashing him face first off the top turnbcukle. Rights and lefts land to the body, before Cena goes for the Irish whip across... then follows in... Lashley gets up a boot to the face! Cena stumbles backwards... and Lashley smacks him with a clothesline! Now it's Lashley who looks to take control, hammering Cena with boots to the chest, then he drops knees to the midsection, before shoving Cena up against the ropes. With Cena draped over the middle rope, Lashley applies all his weight to the back of Cena's neck, choking Cena, the ref admonishing Lashley as he finally relents after a five count. Clubbing forearms land to Cena's spine, before Lashley hooks him up for an overhead belly to belly suplex... but Cena blocks it... and hits a twisting belly to belly of his own! Both men struggle back to their feet, with Lashley swinging a big right hand... Cena ducks underneath and comes off the ropes... flying shoulderblock! Cena springs back up, comes off the ropes again... another flying shoulderblock! Both men are back up... Cena hits the protobomb! Lashley is down in the centre of the ring, the crowd on their feet as Cena peers down at him... “You can't see me!”... and then he comes off the ropes... but before he can hit the five knuckle shuffle, Shane reaches in... and trips Cena up! Cena stumbles but stays on his feet, looking furiously at Shane... and now Cena slides under the bottom rope... and chases after Shane! McMahon takes off, running around the ring, but Cena follows him... meaning he doesn't see Lashley slip under the bottom rope... to nearly take Cena's head off with a massive lariat! Cena's head smacks off the floor, a sickening thud, and as we head to final commercial of the night, it's Lashley who looks more likely to go to Backlash.

*Commercial


We return from commercial to hear that during the break, Lashley has been targeting Cena's spine, and we see highlights off Lashley scooping Cena up with ease for a backbreaker that gets a near fall. The live action shows Cena trapped in an abdominal stretch, with Lashley reaching out to grab the top rope for extra leverage, letting go before the referee catches him. Lashley lays in with elbows to the ribs, and he wrenches on the hold, with Cena slowly beginning to fade... until he has a burst of energy, shows some life, tries to break free... and finally does so with a hiptoss! Now Cena goes on the attack, landing more rights and lefts, before he turns and comes off the ropes... crossbody... no! Lashley catches Cena... then launches him with a fallaway slam! Lashley crawls across the ring for the cover... 1... 2... Cena kicks out. Lashley now enjoys a period of dominance as he continues to target the spine, hitting another backbreaker, then a side suplex, then a long, delayed vertical suplex for a near fall. Lashley continues to pile on the punishment to the spine as he drives elbows and shoulders to the upper back, then shoves Cena chest first into the corner, allowing him to aim shoulder thrusts to the lower back. Lashley then walks Cena backwards from the corner... and drops him with a falling neckbreaker! Here's a cover... 1... 2... Cena rolls a shoulder, much to Shane's annoyance. Lashley looks to continue to work on the lower back as he sends Cena crashing into the corner with a hard Irish whip, then races in... Cena gets up a boot to the face! Lashley stumbles backwards, and now Cena comes fighting out of the corner, landing right hands to the face, before he turns and races off the ropes... right into a bearhug! Lashley traps Cena in the painful submission hold, squeezing and wrenching on Cena's body, 'The Dominator' locking the hold on tight in the centre of the ring.

Slowly but surely, Cena appears to be fading, with Lashley upping the pressure as he violently swings Cena's body from side to side. The referee now steps in, and a bit of prompting from Shane, he raises Cena's hand... and it drops. The arm goes up again... for the second time it drops. The hand goes up a third time... but as it drops... Cena catches it! The crowd cheer loudly as Cena stays alive, and now he desperately tries to break free as he strikes with elbows to the side of the head. Eventually Cena breaks the grip, only for Lashley to shove him to the corner and follow in... into a back elbow! Now Cena goes on the attack, landing rights and lefts that drive Lashley across the ring to the opposite corner, where Cena goes for the Irish whip across... Lashley hits the turnbuckle hard... then stumbles out into a sitout hiptoss! Cena bursts back to his feet, looking to build momentum, drilling a boot to the gut... and then the fisherman suplex! Instead of going for the cover, Cena heads to the corner and climbs to the second rope, waiting for Lashley to rise... legdrop bulldog! Cena goes for a cover... 1... 2... Lashley kicks out! Cena has all the momentum now, and he bursts to his feet, waiting for Lashley to get back up... throwback! Cena plants Lashley once more, and now he stands tall, waves a hand over Lashley's face... “You can't see me!”... before he comes off the ropes... and connects with the FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! Cena roars to his feet, only for Shane to jump up onto the apron... right hand sends Shane flying! But here comes Lashley from behind... Cena sidesteps him at the last moment... Lashley crashes into the turnbuckle! And when he stumbles out, Cena is ready and waiting... to lift Lashley up onto his shoulders... FU... NO! Lashley pushes free, landing on his feet, then shoves Cena into the ropes... and Cena rebounds right into... SPEAR!! Lashley cuts Cena in half with the spear, and now he hooks the leg... 1... 2... 3... NO! Cena got the shoulder up! Lashley can't believe it, sure he had the match won, storming to his feet to confront the ref, only to be told it was only a two count. Seeking a way to end things once and for all, Lashley drags Cena to a vertical base... then hoists him up on his shoulders... and races from the corner... DOMINATOR... NO!! Cena drops down behind... traps the leg... takes Lashley down... reaches forward... STFU!!! Cena has it locked on in the centre of the ring! The Cajundome is going wild as Cena desperately wrenches on the neck, trying to make Lashley submit, but Lashley fights it... and tries to reach the ropes... but he can't get there... and Lashley taps! Lashley taps out!

Winner: Via Submission, John Cena @ 12.08

Cena has done it, he’s going to Backlash! A great effort from Cena as he overcomes the attentions of Shane to book his place in the WWE Championship Match against Rob Van Dam. Exhausted, Cena rolls free of Lashley and manages to sit up, wincing as he grabs his ribs and neck, selling the effects of the match. Cena then uses the ropes to haul himself up, his hand raised high in the air by the referee, the crowd showing their appreciation for the victory...


Jim Ross: It's Cena! Cena has done it! It's Cena and Van Dam at Backlash for the WWE Title!

Jerry Lawler: God, what a match, what an effort from John Cena! He finally managed to take Shane O'Mac outta things, and then he put Lashley away once and for all.

On the outside, Lashley has rolled under the bottom ropes, and he assists Shane in getting back to his feet, McMahon looking dazed and confused as he holds his jaw in pain. Lashley yanks Shane up and supports him as the two turn to walk backstage, only for the crowd to raise the volume further... as Rob Van Dam has stepped out onto the stage! Van Dam looks down at the ring, nodding his head towards Cena, before he takes the WWE Championship from off his shoulder and hoists it high in the air...

Joey Styles: It's official now folks! Thirteen days time, Backlash, Van Dam and Cena for the richest prize in all of sports entertainment.. but will either man survive the backlash of Mr. McMahon? Join us next week in the United Kingdom to find out. Goodnight!

Lashley now finds himself between Cena and Van Dam, a snarl on the face of 'The Dominator', while all eyes are on the staredown between Van Dam and Cena, the WWE Champion standing tall on the stage, while in the ring, Cena heads for the corner and climbs to the second rope, throwing up a salute towards Van Dam, the crowd going wild as we fade to black.

*End Show*




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

Location:FedEx Forum; Memphis, Tennessee

WWE Championship Match:
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam vs. John Cena

No Holds Barred Match:
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H

World Tag Team Championships Match:
World Tag Team Champions The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The Straight Edge Saints

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

Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match:
Women’s Champion Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix vs. Victoria

__________________
WWE: The Evolution Of Greed
2007 King of the Ring Has Been Posted!!!




Last edited by iMac : 09-12-2012 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:04 AM   #247 (permalink)
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Thought you did a great job with Cena here. I could totally buy every word he was saying, captured his character perfectly, be it focusing on Lashley or the board room shenanigans, good stuff. Van Dam coming out was a tad surprising, though I knew we wouldn’t get the main event there and then. Van Dam playing the ‘overlooked’ card I wasn’t sure on at first but I guess it does make sense considering it’s still all about Cena’s quest to face him and again you caught Van Dam’s character very nicely. Clever use of Shane here, very clever and a great way of furthering the Van Dam/Cena tension. Very intriguing and enjoyable start to the show, good building block for later on.

And so the board room battle begins…

Big win for Carlito here, albeit Dykstra was distracted but that doesn’t take away from the fact he just pinned the champion. This feud is ticking along nicely but I feel it could do with a little more ‘oomph’ so to speak next week, something a bit bigger.

Pretty short, sweet and simple interview from Orton here, did what it needed to do and I particularly liked the last line regarding Linda.

The women getting some spotlight here tonight, very refreshing stuff and a nice win for Melina. Having these two teams feud while they are out of the tag title spotlight is a good call, gives them something to do while keeping the spotlight on them and if the women get more involved like this then all the better.

Really looking forward to Cesaro, guessing he’ll appear after Backlash?

Very good stuff here with the WGTT, I’m enjoying the way you’re utilising them at the minute. They’re heels but they only every now and then with subtle comments come across as it, they’re fighting champions and I’m excited to see them do battle with Punk and Dinsmore. Last line from Haas was a beauty by the way.

Enjoyable contest here with HBK and Jeff. Definitely the right call in having Michaels win but you had Hardy look strong in defeat. I was a tad disappointed we didn’t hear anything beforehand from Michaels though regarding Trips come Backlash, would’ve liked maybe a small bit but that’s nitpicking. Aftermath was simple yet smart in Orton laying Hardy out, keeps their feud building nicely. Good job here.

Certainly a lot of attention for the ladies and a good bit of bickering here between these two. Standard heels/partners going into a triple threat situation.

Interesting start to the board room battle here. Vince trying to pull the ‘ratings’ and money card was to be expected and his points are valid. Linda’s little curveball with the Teddy Long stuff was well thought up and the reaction from Vince was great. Not sure which way this is gonna swing right now.

Highlight of the night for me here with this Trips interview. I thought you captured him perfectly, his intensity, his words, everything. I thought as well as the character, you captured the feud itself and the history between the two men beautifully also, the European title incident being thrown in the mix, Shawn‘s turn to religion. Really enjoyed it and this is ticking along very smoothly indeed. I didn’t like how we heard nothing from Michaels earlier but this more than made up for it I think.

Always gonna be a win for Punk/Dinsmore here. Right call and a decent match up. Would love to see a bit more from the RWC but at the minute I know that’s tough to do.

Well that certainly wasn’t what I expected and Mr.Laurinaitis appearing into things. Is that a sign for the future perhaps? Hmmmm. Meeting adjourned, not a fan of it to be honest. I get why you’re doing it and this was just a little teaser, build suspense but personally I feel like it was all a waste now if you’re just gonna do it again in two weeks time. Has my interest though that’s the main thing.

Very strong main event here, some thoroughly enjoyable action, no doubt about it. But I gotta be honest with you, I HATE the result. Cena knocking Lashley off again and CLEAN to boot. Don’t understand it at all. I felt as though you killed a fair bit of Lashley’s momentum at Mania but I thought you’d definitely build him back up but another loss to Cena and to tap out, not for me. I understand that you’ve been building towards Cena/Van Dam but I think you could’ve and probably should’ve gone with a Triple Threat at Backlash and kept the wait going for Van Dam and Cena to finally meet. Hey, you’ve still got time to change things, I don’t know your long term plans so you may surprise me but it wasn’t what I expected out of that.

On the whole it was another strong show as ever. I may have criticised the end but that was all I didn’t like really and truly as well as the delaying of the board room battle. Thought the in ring action was all very good tonight while Trips interview was awesome. Main event now set for Backlash and it will no doubt deliver, looking forward to how you go about the build now so onwards and upwards to next week. Keep it going mate.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:18 AM   #248 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night SmackDown~
April 20th, 2007
New Orleans Arena
New Orleans, Louisiana






Last week SmackDown saw the return of General Manager Teddy Long, who certainly shook things up by firing Interim General Manager Jonathan Coachman, suspending Umaga and then making a main event to find a challenger to Batista's World Heavyweight Championship... but it seems like Edge had no desire to embrace change.

As Edge, Mr. Kennedy and Chris Benoit battled in a Triple Threat Match to determine who would face Batista on tonight's show, it appeared Edge had the match won, only for an out of place referee to again cost 'The Rated-R Superstar'. It would be Benoit who profitted from this, as he recovered to snatch the victory and the title shot... only for Edge to strike with a one man con-chair-to, despite the best efforts of 'The Animal' to overt the assault. With Benoit now ruled out indefinitely through his injuries, tonight's title match has been postponed, and instead Teddy Long has decided to let Edge and Kennedy have it, the pait meeting to decide who will face Batista on next week's show from London, England. With no love lost between Edge and Kennedy due to their dealings with each other prior to WrestleMania, this promise to be a fiercely contested main event, with Edge no doubt determined to finally earn another crack at the champion.

Now that he's United States Champion, Matt Hardy knows he's a marked man, with two potential challengers already making themselves known in the shape of Finlay and The Miz. Finlay made the first move last week, attacking Hardy after his match, laying a beating on the champion, making his intentions clear, while Miz has been more cautious, wanting to wait and see who out of Hardy and Finlay emerges as champion once they're done with each other. Hardy isn't scheduled to compete tonight, though he'll no doubt be watching on as Finlay takes one Tommy Dreamer, and of course, the loudmouth Miz will no doubt want everyone to hear his opinion on the matter.

Another issue Teddy Long vowed to fix this week is the actions of The New Breed in their quest to face The Hooligans with the WWE Tag Team Championships on the line. Two weeks ago, Elijah Burke and Monty Brown jumped London and Kendrick from behind, with Long reprimanding the pair last week. This week, Burke and Brown will take on a team of Teddy's choosing, but with Long granting London and Kendrick the night off to allow London's injured knee a chance to heal, just who will Teddy choose to take on the newcomers?

Elsewhere, Kane looks to continue his recent winning ways as he takes on Montel Vontavious Porter, a match that is sure to have the full attention of King Booker. Bryan Danielson is in action again as he takes on Joey Mercury, with Gregory Helms no doubt continuing to canvas for signatures for his petition to have the Cruiserweight Championship retired in his honour. And we'll hear more on the situation brewing between Chavo Guerrero and the impending return to SmackDown of Rey Mysterio.

Confirmed Matches:

Edge vs. Mr. Kennedy

Kane vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
Finlay vs. Tommy Dreamer
Bryan Danielson vs. Joey Mercury
The New Breed vs. A Team of Teddy Long's Choosing

Plus!! We'll have an update on the status of Chris Benoit, and we'll hear from Chavo Guerrero with regards to the upcoming return of Rey Mysterio!

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Old 09-21-2012, 12:00 PM   #249 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Hey there, Mac daddy. Hadn't checked in on this thread for a while it feels like, but just here to leave a thought or two

Everything's running pretty smoothly with the post-'Mania debris flying around, although I will say I'm more intrigued right now in Smackdown's situation over RAW's, but that's to take nothing away from the red brand. Your tag team division is really starting to build on itself in a very nice way, and your main event scene is further shaping up to be rather good as well. I'm wondering what you're gonna do with Lashley, though, following two huge losses on his part. You're throwing some life into the Diva's division, which is very, very nice. And while things aren't as fast developing on Friday nights, the world title hunt is very intriguing now that you've possibly thrown Benoit's retirement somewhere in the mix of that whole thing.

All in all, you're still keeping things very much afloat and chuggin' in this thing. Hope all is well in the personal life and, again, keep this thing blazin', maan
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #250 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

JAM's Review

For some reason, I really liked this opening segment, it just felt organized and made a lot of sense. You had Cena start us off explaining what would be the main theme of the night then you have RVD come out and question Cena where his head really is. It was just beautifully written. I thought it couldn't get any better but Shane's promo made the segment even better. Quite interested to see how the rest of the night pans out just because of the opening. If there was a way to start the show, this is how it should be done. Really likin' your dialogue for RVD, he sounded good here. Great opening to the show.

Carlito and Dykstra are two of Raw's rising stars so it was good to see them in the ring against one another. Don't know about that clothesline Dykstra landed on Mickie but this was when WWE wasn't PG. But anyway, Torrie seemed to be really good in the ring here, which I doubt she is in real life. But the real story was between Carlito and Dykstra. They put on a good match along with the ladies and I hope they see each other in the ring again soon for the title!

Liking the way that you portray Orton here. Him vs. Jeff Hardy will definitely be a show stealer anytime that it happens. I want to see how creative you get when you have Orton cash in though. Women's wrestling was still pretty good back then and this was no exception. Melina and Natalya are two talented divas so it was good to see them in the ring.

I really like Haas and Benjamin, they've come far from being known at Team Angle to The World's Greatest Tag Team, they may actually live up to that moniker. I would've personally liked to have seen the The Hart Legacy pick up the win since I think they could put on an impressive match with WGTT, but Punk and Dinsmore are good wrestlers as well. Hope we get more tag teams to be honest as the ones you have now don't seem to pose a threat to WGTT. The HBK/Jeff match was beautifully written once again. The exchanges that they had were great but the aftermath was rather interesting. HBK getting in touch with his religious side huh? Had a feeling Orton would make his presence felt and what better way than with an RKO. I'm calling it right now, Hardy/Orton, match of the night for Backlash.

First we had Melina/Natalya, now we have Victoria/Beth? The divas were quite good in this time period huh? Liked the back-and-forth that they had, definitely had some tension there. Certainly think that Mickie retains causing Victoria/Beth to feud while Mickie finds another opponent. Interesting bit we got there in the boardroom. Was good to see Vince baffle a little but in the end, I do think Vince gains the vote. Please, no more Linda.

King of The Ring, always been a good concept and one that I'd like to see brought back. Announcing names for the tournament is a good touch, keeps it exciting. Even Lawler gets himself into the match but nonetheless, should be a good tournament. That HHH/JR video was just wow. It made me think of the way ESPN do their interviews in their show called E:60, pretty good by the way. You captured HHH mannerisms and dialogue really well. I did like you running down how all of this started since I wasn't sure because I haven't read your thread from the beginning. Was hoping we'd get a response from HBK but him appearing to watch it was a nice touch as well. Maybe next week we get a separate interview that JR conducted with HBK? But anyway, this has been the highlight of the night for me just like what cp954 said, really good interview.

Good job showcasing the #1 contenders to the tag team titles. That Doomsday Dropkick is a helluva finisher for the duo who no doubt were going to win this match. Hopefully you don't use RWC as a permanent jobbing duo, they're actually quite decent in the ring.

Postponing the decision, Big Johnny does it again! But anyway, really interesting that you've introduced Johnny as a personality this early and should actually provide some rather good storyline if ever. Him and Vince seem to be in cahoots so it'll be interesting to see what you do with them. Loving this storyline a lot.

Main event was awesome! I just knew Shane would play a factor in all of this and it was nice to see Cena win. Interesting idea that cp954 brought up though. Maybe a triple threat would've done good for Lashley since he definitely has lost steam. Don't know what Lashley will do but now that I think of it, maybe Linda gets herself someone to fight for her and we get another Vince vs. Linda showdown, wouldn't be surprised if you went this way. But the main event was surely a treat.

Overall, a lot of things I liked on this edition of RAW. The exchange between RVD/Cena has been great and they should put on a show at Backlash but I don't see that ending cleanly for some reason. The whole HHH/HBK stuff has been great, really good interview with JR. I change my mind, HHH/HBK for match of the night at Backlash Good job with the episode, now onto Smackdown
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