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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
April 30th, 2007
Nashville Arena
Nashville, Tennessee



”For it has been written... and it shall be done."





As you’d expect, we kick off the broadcast with still images and soundbites from last night’s pay per view, Backlash, with the sound of dark, ominous music taking us through the brutality that Shawn Michaels and Triple H put themselves through, until ultimately, one final, crushing sledgehammer shot to the skull saw Michaels put Triple H down once and for all. The music then becomes more triumphant as we see from the WWE Championship Match, where a spirited match between Rob Van Dam and John Cena was disrupted by the presence of Mr. McMahon, Shane McMahon and Bobby Lashley, until ‘RVD’ managed to rid the ring of the trio, allowing he and Cena to battle until ultimately Van Dam hit the winning Five Star Frog Splash, retaining the WWE Title in the process.

From this we see the usual Raw opening video, and then head into the arena for an impressive pyro display. As the cameras scan the arena, we hear the buzz of the red hot crowd, and the words of our commentary team…


Jim Ross: It was a night that will live on in the memories of all who witnessed it! A night for the ages, a night full of tragedy and triumph, a night were Monday Night Raw, the backlash was and truly felt! Hello everyone, I’m Jim Ross alongside my colleagues Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and Joey Styles, and we are less than 24 hours removed from WWE Backlash, a night that I’m sure nobody sat at this table is ever gonna forget!

Joey Styles: Absolutely not! Rob Van Dam, the WWE Champion headin’ into Backlash, a champion under pressure, a champion looking to live up to the high expectations he places on himself, a champion looking to overcome the biggest obstacle, and he did that with a great victory over John Cena.

Jerry Lawler: It was a helluva match, despite the interference of Mr. McMahon, his son Shane, and of course, Bobby Lashley. I wanna know what those three thought they were doin’ stickin’ their noses in that match, especially given the fact that tonight, we’re gonna find out the decision of the WWE Board of Directors as to who’s gonna be in charge here on Raw. Is it gonna be Mr. McMahon, or his wife Linda? And I don’t think Vince did his chances any favours with his actions last night.

Jim Ross: It certainly remains to be seen which side that all important boardroom vote will fall on. Folks, we’ve got a huge night lined up, as the 2007 King of the Ring tournament gets underway with the first of the qualifying matches tonight. And of course, after the vile, sadistic fashion in which Shawn Michaels won last night’s No Holds Barred Match, we’re gonna have an update on the status of Triple H, and we’ll hear live from ‘The Heartbreak Kid’.

Joey Styles: I bet he’s got a lot to say for himself after his shameful actions last night. Pulling a helpless referee infront of him to save himself, and then that blessing of Triple H as he was bein' stretchered out of the arena, infront of Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley no less. Just absolutely sickening.

Jerry Lawler: It was definitely a disturbing incident, one that I thought I’d never see from a guy like Shawn Michaels. I just can’t believe what’s happened to him over these last few months, and I can’t wait to hear what kinda explanation he’s gonna offer for it all tonight.

Jim Ross: All of that to come folks, as well as a rematch of sorts from last night, as the ladies step aside as Tyson Kidd and Harry Smith square off against Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters-

*ONE OF A KIND…*


The music of the WWE Champion blares out into the arena, causing an explosion from the capacity crowd, and the noise level rises even higher as Rob Van Dam strides out onto the stage, a little sore, a little stiff, but still sporting a smile for the fans as he heads for the ring…


Jim Ross: But it seems we’re kickin’ things off with the WWE Champion himself, Rob Van Dam! What an incredible effort from Van Dam, not only having to survive the onslaught of John Cena, but then to see off the attack from Mr. McMahon and his cohorts. A huge effort from ‘RVD’, and a fully deserved victory.

Joey Styles: Headin’ into Backlash, there was doubts as to whether ‘Mr. Monday Night’ was gonna live up to the pressure of bein’ WWE Champion and the face of Monday Night Raw. But last night, Van Dam put any doubts to rest. Van Dam rose above the pressure, and now he can head forward and forge his legacy as champion.

Jerry Lawler: Credit where credit’s due, Van Dam saw off John Cena. But I’m pretty sure that there’s gonna be a whole host of challengers now lookin’ to take their shot at the WWE Champion, and we might even find out Van Dam’s challenger right here tonight. But for now, ‘RVD’ deserves to enjoy the moment, enjoy his victory last night… but I wouldn’t celebrate too much if I was him.

In the ring, Van Dam has a broad smile on his face as he soaks in the cheers of the crowd, before he nips up onto the second rope in the corner, lofts the WWE Championship high in the air before he leads the crowd through a chant of “ROB – VAN – DAM!” before he drops back down to the canvas. ‘RVD’ asks for and receives a microphone, waits for his music to die down, before he starts to address the crowd…

Rob Van Dam: I uh... I think I'm gonna have to owe you guys an apology.

A confused murmur breaks out, to which Van Dam simply shrugs his shoulders before carrying on...

Rob Van Dam: Y'see, about a month ago I came out here and I said I wasn't gonna be a champion who opened every Raw with some drawn out monologue. And that's somethin' I'm still plannin' on livin' up to. But...

Van Dam pauses and offers the crowd an exaggerated wince...

Rob Van Dam: I'm gonna have to go back on my word a little bit tonight. 'Cos I got somethin' I wanna say about Backlash last night... and John Cena.

A very loud, very mixed response, until eventually the cheers outweigh the boos, a reaction that Van Dam raises his eyebrows to...

Rob Van Dam: Hey, love 'im or hate 'im, I wanted John Cena at his best last night. I needed him to bring it, and I needed to prove to all of you... and maybe even to myself... that I could beat 'im. And y'know what?

Thinking for a second, 'RVD' nods his head assuringly...

Rob Van Dam: John... he brought it last night. He gave me his all, he gave me his very best. He gave me a helluva match for my first title defence and all I wanna say is... thank you.

A warm pop breaks out around the arena, Van Dam nodding his head in agreement...

Rob Van Dam: Thank you John for a helluva match, and any time you want a rematch, you just let me know, dude. Now, that might be all I gotta say about John Cena, but I still got somethin' else I gotta get off my chest, and that concerns... Vince McMahon.

Lots of heat for the mention of 'The Chairman of the Board'...

Rob Van Dam: Vince, Shane, Lashley... what's your problem, dudes? I mean, I get it the fact that you obviously don't like me, Vince. I'm not the typical poster boy, I'm not the marketing guy's dream. I get it... and I really don't care about any o' that.

Van Dam rubs his jaw and purses his lips, choosing his words carefully...

Rob Van Dam: I'm not in this business for the chance to get my face on video game covers, or on magazine covers, and I'm definitely not in this to host Saturday Night Live or anythin' like that. The reason I'm in this business, the reason I'm willin' to risk my body night after night, is to entertain these fans... and it's for this WWE Championship right here.

Another pop...

Rob Van Dam: Now Vince, I hope you can hear me when I say this. If you don't want me as WWE Champion, that's cool bro'. And if you want this title around Lashley's waist... that's cool too. But if you want Lashley to be the poster boy, to be the face of Monday Night Raw...

Again 'RVD' pauses and shrugs his shoulders...

Rob Van Dam: Then sooner or later, he's gonna have to step into the ring with me. And that's where we're gonna have a problem, Vince.

A much more serious tone for that last sentence, drawing another cheer from the fans...

Rob Van Dam: But I'm not gonna wait around, let Lashley try jump me from behind. I'm not gonna waste any time. Vince, if you want this title around Lashley's waist so bad... then why don't you make 'im come out here and win it... TONIGHT!

Big time pop, the fans clearly excited by the prospect of a Van Dam/Lashley title match live tonight...

Rob Van Dam: This time tomorrow, you might not be callin' the shots around here. If that boardroom decision goes against you, Vince McMahon means nothin' on this show anymore. So I'm here, willin' to put this WWE Championship on the line tonight, and all you gotta do Vince, with one last act of power, is make the match-

*MIRACLE...*


What the...? A tune is heard throughout the arena, but nobody knows whom it heralds the arrival off. Van Dam looks as confused as the fans are as he stares up towards the entrance way. The fans buzz with excitement and anticipation, and then a very loud cheer breaks out from the smarks in the audience... as outsteps Claudio Cesaro! OK, it's not a debut reaction of Jericho-esque proportions, but thanks to the month long promos, and the pure wrestling fans in attendance, there's enough people in the arena who know exactly who this man is.

Standing tall on the stage in a sharp suit, Cesaro scans the arena, removing a pair of sunglasses to better survey the land, before he slips the shades into the breast pocket of his jacket, adjusts his tie and then slowly makes his way down the ramp...


Joey Styles: Well, I guess we all know who that is! That's Claudio Cesaro, the man who we've been seein' in all those videos for the past month, and the man we saw watchin' on from the sky box last night at Backlash. We knew he was gonna make his Raw debut tonight, but I never thought he'd do it by interrupting the WWE Champion!

Jerry Lawler: Talk about makin' a good first impression. 'RVD' was out here challengin' Bobby Lashley to a WWE Title Match tonight, but instead he's the newcomer comin' out here.

Jim Ross: I can't claim to know too much about this man, but from what I've heard, he sounds very impressive. He's an aristocrat from Switzerland, he comes from a family deep rooted in the aristocracy of Europe, and he's had the best wrestlin' education money can buy!

Joey Styles: And not only that, but this man Cesaro has won titles all across the world. From Europe to America to Japan, he's won it all, and now he's here on Monday Night Raw, and he's lookin' the WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam, dead in the eye!

As Cesaro bursts through the ropes and holds his arms out wide, the crowd is still buzzing with excitement, the smarks again giving the newcomer a strong cheer. Looking rather perplexed, Van Dam looks Cesaro up and down, sizing the newcomer up, wondering why Cesaro has chosen now to make his presence felt, and it appears he won't have to wait long as Cesaro holds a hand up into the air, motioning for his music to stop...

Claudio Cesaro: Bonsoir! Guten abend! Buenas noches! Mr. Rob Van Dam, WWE Champion… good evening. My name… is Claudio Cesaro.

Another pop from the smarks, at which Cesaro smirks and holds his arms out wide, clearly revelling in the early response from the crowd...

Claudio Cesaro: Und ich bin hier, um Ihnen und all diese menschen zu erziehen ... und dann, dass WWE Championship wegnehmen.

Confused, Van Dam turns to the crowd as if to ask if any of them understood that, only to see a mass of blank faces looking back at him, something at which Cesato can't help but laugh at...

Claudio Cesaro: You didn’t understand that, did you Rob? You didn’t understand a word I just said.

Almost nonchalantly, the WWE Champion shakes his head...

Claudio Cesaro: No, of course not. That's because foreign culture means nothing to you and these fat, weak, ignorant people here in Nashville.

And now finally some heat, at which Cesaro simply shakes his head then carries on...

Claudio Cesaro: They think that the world starts at California and ends at New York. And they think that this country, America... is the world number one. And you Mr. Van Dam, you think that because you stand there wearing that championship... that you're the best in the world within this ring.

Cesaro shakes his head again and wags a finger…

Claudio Cesaro: But you... just like all of them... are mistaken. And that is why I am here. To educate you and all these people. Your country is not the best in the world... and neither are you... I am. Tell me Mr. Van Dam... what do you know of a little place called... Switzerland?

Looking to the crowd in search of an answer, all Van Dam can offer is a shrug of the shoulders…

Claudio Cesaro: I thought so. Nothing. And that is what’s wrong with this country of yours. You Rob, represent everything that is wrong with America. And you also represent everything that is wrong with the WWE today.

And now the champion perks up, raising his eyebrows and adjusting the title on his shoulder, clearly now paying much more attention to Cesaro’s words…

Claudio Cesaro: A small, slow, boring, hardcore wrestling darling, who couldn’t even lace my boots… and yet here you are, as champion of the biggest wrestling company in the world. Sie ekeln mich an!

Frustration overcomes the newcomer as he turns his head away for a brief second, gathering his thoughts before carrying on…

Claudio Cesaro: But right now, you, Mr. Van Dam, are the biggest wrestling name in the world. As for me… I am a hero back in Europe. A national icon in Switzerland. A man of great taste. A man whose bloodlines run from the very best of European aristocracy. In any other country, in any civilised way of life, I… am simply better… than you.

More jeers from the crowd…

Claudio Cesaro: But not in this country. In America… and in Nashville… you’re better than me. Right?

Cesaro turns to the crowd, who cheer their answer, Cesaro nodding and laughing, fully expecting that response…

Claudio Cesaro: Only in America. Only in this country would people think that way. Across the world, everyone would see that I am clearly the superior man… the superior athlete… and the superior wrestler. And these people… are going to find that out… tonight.

The camera closes in on Cesaro as he narrows his eyes in Van Dam’s direction…

Claudio Cesaro: Mr. Van Dam, I heard what you had to say earlier about defending that WWE Championship night after night. Well… I have decided to give you the honour of facing me in my WWE debut. I have built a reputation across Europe and the rest of the world as one of the very best… and I want the people of America to find that out first hand.

Cesaro pauses, taking a moment to smirk, before he speaks…

Claudio Cesaro: And… Ich fordere Sie auf, diesen Titel gegen mich zu verteidigen. What better way for these people to find out… than by becoming WWE Champion in my first match.

More jeers from the crowd, with Cesaro ignoring them as his eyes lock in on the champion…

Claudio Cesaro: So Mr. Van Dam… what do you say? Akzeptieren Sie meine Herausforderung?

Cesaro now steps forward, right in the champions face as he slowly says…

Claudio Cesaro: Do you… accept… my challenge?

Cesaro now steps back, a smug look on his face as the crowd again throws some heat his way. Thinking things over, Van Dam rubs his jaw, taking it all in, before he finally starts to speak…

Rob Van Dam: Wow. Uh… wow, Claudio, that was uh… that was quite the introduction, dude. I mean to come out here, live on Monday Night Raw, on your WWE debut, and to challenge the WWE Champion to a title match… that’s gotta take some guts.

Nodding in agreement, Cesaro smirks and waits in anticipation…

Rob Van Dam: And everything that you said, the icon in Europe, the man of taste, the great family history… that’s all really very impressive. I can tell you’re a man of taste by that suit you’re wearin’. Very nice, dude.

Opening his suit jacket, Cesaro shows off his clothes to the crowd…

Rob Van Dam: But uh… to me and all these fans, all the accolades across the world, all the fancy suits… that means nothin’, dude.

Pop from the crowd, much to Cesaro’s annoyance…

Rob Van Dam: Because this is America… and this is the WWE.

And with that, the crowd break out with a “USA! USA! USA!” chant, causing Cesaro to fume in annoyance…

Rob Van Dam: And in this country, and in this company… this title right here is all that matters. And I dunno what my rep is like in Switzerland, but in Nashville, I’m pretty sure these people think I’m a better man than you.

And a resounding cheer shows the fans in full agreement with the champion…

Rob Van Dam: And y’know, that’s somethin’ you’re gonna have to learn about to survive here in the WWE. Y’see, I wrestled all around the world, just like you. I made my name in this business against some o’ the biggest names in Japan.

An almost reluctant shrug of the shoulders from ‘RVD’…

Rob Van Dam: And then I came back to the States, and the WWE… they didn’t wanna know about me. So I had to prove myself to the fans in this country, and I did that in a little company called ECW.

”ECW! ECW! ECW!”

Rob Van Dam: And it was only after that I got the WWE to finally pay attention to me and give me a job. But for everythin’ I’ve done in my career, for every accomplishment, it all meant nothin’ until bro’ until WrestleMania XXIII where I won the big one on the biggest stage of ‘em all.

Another pop…

Rob Van Dam: So lemme give you a bit of advice, dude. The attitude, the baggage, the past accomplishments… check ‘em all at the door. You’re in the WWE. You’re on Raw now dude. And these people, their respect… that’s gotta be earned.

Van Dam points a finger squarely at Cesaro to emphasise his words…

Rob Van Dam: So I’m gonna accept your challenge, and I’ll put this WWE Title on the line against you tonight in your first match on Raw.

The fans let out a cheer, pleased to be seeing the WWE Title defended tonight, a fact at which Cesaro smiles and nods approvingly…

Rob Van Dam: But I promise you dude, you’re not comin’ into my show and makin’ a name off my back. To be standin’ here infront of you as the WWE Champion, in the last month, I’ve had to beat guys like Shawn Michaels, Triple H and John Cena. And if you wanna kick off your WWE career with a loss… then you got it, dude!

And a final cheer from the crowd, but as Van Dam lowers his mic, Cesaro takes the chance to offer a response…

Claudio Cesaro: Respect? You think I care… about these people’s respect? I don’t need to earn anything from them… and I don’t need to earn anything from you.

A tense moment as Cesaro pauses, he and Van Dam staring intently at each other…

Claudio Cesaro: And as for you accepting my challenge... I don’t need to earn that WWE Championship either. I’m just… going to take it.

And just like in the videos hyping his debut, Cesaro holds an open hand in the air…

Claudio Cesaro: You might have beaten Michaels, Cena and Triple H… but you won’t beat me. Das WWE Title ... ist mein.

*MIRACLE…*


And then Cesaro clothes his hand into a tight fist, clearly signalling his intentions tonight. The smirk is gone, replaced with a tense look of determination, a look echoed by Van Dam, the two burning a hole in each other with their eyes until finally, Cesaro turns and heads for the ropes, leaving the WWE Champion in the centre of the ring to watch the bold newcomer make his exit…


Jim Ross: Well there you have it folks. The newcomer Claudio Cesaro is set to make his debut here tonight on Monday Night Raw, and what a match to do it in! The WWE Championship is gonna be on the line tonight, as Cesaro takes on Rob Van Dam!

Jerry Lawler: And could you imagine if Cesaro wins tonight. I mean, we could be about to witness history right here! I mean, how many people can say they became WWE Champion in their very first match here in the WWE?!

Joey Styles: What a night this is shapin’ up to be! The King of the Ring gets underway, we’re gonna hear from Shawn Michaels, and now we’ve got a WWE Title Match! All of that to come when Monday Night Raw returns!

With Cesaro now at the top of the ramp, the camera switches between Van Dam and Cesaro, the determined look on the face of the champion a stark contrast to the smug smirk on the face of the newcomer. We continue to go back and forth, until Cesaro turns and heads backstage, the shot taking one last look at Van Dam before we head into a commercial.

*Commercial*


We’re back, and it’s straight to the office of Mr. McMahon, who paces back and forth, a tense, worried look on his face. The tension in the room is echoed by his personal assistant Brooke Adams who sits nearby, looking scared to even say anything. In the corner, the hulking figure of Bobby Lashley sits, wrapping tap around his fists, his eyes fixated on the floor, clearly feeling rather sheepish given his botched run during the WWE Championship Match at Backlash…


Mr. McMahon: Have you heard anything yet? I mean, I thought the board were meeting in the run up to the show? They should’ve made their decision already, we should’ve heard somethin’ by now!

Exasperated, Vince rubs a hand across his forehead, while Brooke can only offer a sympathetic shake of the head…

Brooke Adams: I’m sorry Mr. McMahon, I haven’t heard anything yet. I’m sure Shane will be back soon to give you the good news. After the way you put business ahead of your own family last night, the board of directors have gotta see it in your favour, Sir.

Wanting to believe her, Vince lets out a long sigh…

Mr. McMahon: Yeah, well there should’ve never been any doubt in the first place. This whole vote of no confidence is a joke, and it better come to an end tonight.

Off camera, the sound of a door swinging open is heard, and in walks Shane McMahon himself, his father relieved to see him, although Shane is clearly uncomfortable in entering the room…

Mr. McMahon: Shane! Finally! Well, what was the outcome? Just how badly did I beat your mother in the vote?

A nervous laugh from ‘The Chairman of the Board’, but the silence from Shane quickly turns that to a look of worry…

Mr. McMahon: I did win, didn’t I? The board voted in my favour, right?

Shane grits his teeth and rubs the back of his neck, taking an age to answer as he chooses his words carefully…

Shane McMahon: Uh, well… not exactly. I mean, I did my best, I spoke to every board member to try to convince ‘em to vote to for ya’. And John Laurinitus, he did a lotta good work too. But…

Vince raises his eyebrows and opens out his hands, desperate to hear the answer…

Mr. McMahon: But?

Shane McMahon: It was a split vote. They couldn’t come to a decision. They didn’t vote either way. But uh, they’re havin’ another meeting right now and they’re gonna figure out a way to make a decision, one way or the other.

Almost offended, Vince scoffs and shakes his head in disbelief…

Mr. McMahon: What’s that supposed to mean? What way? How are they gonna decide?

Clearly not privy to that information, all Shane can offer his father is a shrug of the shoulders…

Shane McMahon: Dad, I’m sorry, but I don’t know. They wanted everybody outta there so they could think o’ somethin’. I dunno what decision they’re gonna make, but they promised we’d find out before the end of Raw.

Worried and dejected, Vince slumps down onto a nearby coach, running a hand over his face, trying to gather his thoughts, before he looks back up at Shane and says…

Mr. McMahon: Just what the hell could have they have in mind?

But we’re gonna have to wait to find that out folks, the camera lingering on ‘The Boss’ as he continues to shake his head, clearly not able to figure things out, his grip on Monday Night Raw slowly slipping away it seems as we cut elsewhere.

And it’s too a dressing room, where we see the tense faces of Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters stood across from each other, the pair both on their feet with the arms cross across their chests. Keeping the pair separate is Melina, a rose between two thorns, albeit one with a seriously annoyed look on her face as she turns her head from side to side, looking up at both men, clearly with something she wants to get off her chest…


Melina: Last night… you two embarrassed me at Backlash. I mean, we lost to those kids The Hart Legacy. They’ve been in the WWE for about two minutes, and they beat us on pay per view? I don’t think so! It was you two that let it happen, and it better not happen again tonight.

Masters scoffs at those words, instantly on the defensive…

Chris Masters: Whoa, wait a minute. It the two of us? I think you’ll find it was Johnny here who lost the match. Infact, I’m pretty sure if you look back at a lot o’ our defeats, it’s John’s fault we lose.

And now it’s Nitro who’s offended, snapping the sunglasses off his face to look Masters in the eye…

Johnny Nitro: You tryin’ to say it’s my fault we keep getting’ beat?

Chris Masters: Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m sayin’!

Johnny Nitro: Well maybe if you didn’t get kicked outta the ring by a girl last night we mighta won!

Chris Masters: What’s that supposed-

Melina: ENOUGH!

Letting out one of her trademark screams, Melina pulls at her hair and starts firing fierce glares at both men…

Melina: This is exactly what I’m talkin’ about! All this fighting, all this arguing, it’s gotta stop! You two better work together and get on the same page tonight, ‘cause I am NOT watchin’ you guys lose another match.

Taking a moment to compose herself, Melina takes a deep breath and then continues…

Melina: Johnny… it was you who got pinned last night. You messed up. But Chris… I need you to try forget about that, put it behind you, and work together as a team tonight. You think you can do that?

Nitro rolls his eyes and shakes his head, annoyed at being blamed for last night’s defeat, while Masters shrugs his shoulders and reluctantly nods his head…

Chris Masters: Yeah. Yeah sure, I’m a big enough man to do that. How ‘bout you, Johnny?

And in a move reminiscent of the night they joined together as a team, Masters extends his hand and offers Nitro a handshake, but just like that night, Nitro takes an age to eye up the hand, and then take a good look at Masters, until finally, he accepts…

Melina: Good. Now, why don’t you two go get ready? Take a chance to cool off.

With peace and harmony restored, Masters and Nitro both agree and turn to head off in opposite directions, but as Nitro moves to make his exit, Melina grabs him by the arm and spins him back around…

Melina: Johnny… don’t disappoint me again.

And with that, Melina lets go her grip on Nitro’s arm, takes one last look at Nitro and then heads off in the same direction that Masters’ went. Watching her go, Nitro looks concerned, almost worried about what that ominous last statement, but there’s no time to ponder on it as we head back into the arena.

To hear…

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

*COOL...*


A pretty warm response as Carlito steps out from the back, not his usual smiling self, still clearly upset about how his Intercontinental Championship Match last night ended. Instead of his usual saunter down to the ring, ‘Lito is all business as he strides down the ramp, rolling under the bottom rope and quickly taking off his t-shirt, dying to get this match underway…


Jim Ross: Certainly some interesting developments right there, especially for Mr. McMahon and his struggle to stay in control of Monday Night Raw. But we’re gonna have to put all that aside for now, as it’s time to kick off the 2007 King of the Ring with the first of three qualifiers tonight.

Joey Styles: And you can see the frustrations of Backlash are still runnin’ high for Carlito. As far as I’m concerned, Carlito had the Intercontinental Championship won until Torrie Wilson caused the disqualification, saving the title for Dykstra.

Jerry Lawler: Well you talk about frustration, I’m pretty sure ‘Lito took out a lotta that frustration when he hit that second Backstabber on Dykstra after the match. But he’s gotta put that to one side right now and focus on becomin’ King of the Ring!

*DEATH GRIP…*


Not much of a response as the intimidating figure of Mike Knox makes his entrance, a fierce look of determination on his face as he makes a beeline for the ring…


Jim Ross: We haven’t seen a whole lotta Mike Knox as of late, but he is a very scary, and a very dangerous competitor. If Carlito’s mind isn’t on the job here, the power of Knox could easily lead him to a victory.

Joey Styles: I’d go further than that J.R., I’d even go as far as sayin’ that Mike Knox could be a real contender to win the whole tournament if he beat Carlito tonight and then got on a roll.

Jerry Lawler: I gotta agree with that. I mean, if I make it past Chris Masters and into the next round, Mike Knox is definitely a guy I’d be lookin’ to avoid. This one could go either way, especially if Carlito’s mind is still on Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson.

Match 1: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
Carlito
vs. Mike Knox

As the bell rings, Carlito quickly finds himself cornered as Knox inches forward, with Knox then lunging to squash 'Lito against the turnbuckle... but 'Lito sidesteps, allowing Knox to smack into the corner. Quick as a flash, Carlito starts throwing left hands to the face, snapping Knox's head back, 'Lito then goes for an Irish whip across the ring, only for Knox to reverse... Carlito hits the turnbuckle hard, and here comes Knox... charging right into a boot to the face! Knox stumbles away, turning his back on 'Lito who nips up to the second rope... then takes Knox down with a diving bulldog! Knox is driven into the canvas, and 'Lito goes for an early cover... 1... 2... but Knox powers out easily. Looking to stay in control, 'Lito grabs a handful of hair and yanks Knox up, but Knox quickly shoves him away to the ropes, then races towards him... but Carlito low bridges... and Knox tumbles all the way to the floor! Knox smacks off the floor with a thud, but as he gets back on his feet, 'Lito is already waiting to attack, coming off the opposite ropes... baseball slide! Knox goes stumbling into the barricade, and 'Lito is right on him, landing more rights and lefts to the face and body, before he rolls Knox back under the bottom rope and follows in for another near fall.

'Lito tries to keep Knox down by laying in with more rights and lefts to the back, but Knox forces himself back up, prompting Carlito to go for an Irish whip off the ropes... which Knox reverses... and then he lines 'Lito up for a big boot to the face... no! 'Lito slides underneath, nips back to his feet... and sends Knox sprawling with a headscissor takedown! Knox bounds back up... right into an armdrag! Knox is reeling, on his hands and knees by the ropes, and after 'Lito tags him with lefts hands to the face, he then sends Knox to the corner and follows in... only for Knox to elevate 'Lito over the top rope... but Carlito lands on the apron! More left hands cause Knox to back away, allowing Carlito to sling onto the top rope... and score a springboard flying clothesline! 'Lito hooks the leg... 1... 2... Knox kicks out strongly. Annoyed with himself, Knox rolls to the outside to try break the momentum, but Carlito follows him out, spinning Knox around and then tagging him with more left hands to the face... but he takes one swing too many, as Knox ducks underneath... and then drives 'Lito spine first into the barricade! Carlito groans in pain, but it's about to get much worse as Knox hangs on, lifts him up in a bearhug... and then drives Carlito spine first into the ring post! Carlito crumples to the floor in pain, but there's no chance to rest as he's rolled back into the ring and Knox crawls into the lateral press... 1... 2... 'Lito rolls a shoulder!

Sensing he has Carlito hurt, Knox now looks to target the lower spine, locking 'Lito in a three-quarter facelock that not only allows him to drive knees into the midsection, but also to drop clubbing forearms to the back. Big impact moves such as backbreakers and scoop slams follow, gaining near falls, before Carlito is fired hard to the corner... and then he staggers forward... right into a sidewalk slam! This time Knox hooks the leg... 1... 2... 'Lito again rolls a shoulder. Knox works at a methodical pace as he lands more forearms, knees and headbutts to the spine, but when he goes for another scoop slam, 'Lito lands on his feet behind Knox! Carlito throws desperate shots to the face, staggering the big man, and now he goes for an Irish whip... but Knox rebounds off the ropes... then nails the FLYING BEAR! Carlito is absolutely engulfed, with Knox staying on for the lateral press... 1... 2... again Carlito kicks out! Knox never hooked the leg, and it might have cost him the win right there. After protesting to the referee, Knox yanks 'Lito back up, lands a few more forearms to the spine, then fires him off the ropes... into a BEARHUG... NO! Carlito counters... using the momentum to twist into a TORNADO DDT!

Out of nowhere 'Lito finally lands some offence, leaving both down and subject to the ten count. The referee makes it to six before both are back on their feet, Knox swinging and missing with a big right hand... and now 'Lito snaps off three lefts in a row, allowing him to go for an Irish whip off the ropes... but Knox reverses... only for 'Lito to jump to the second rope... SPRINGBOARD BACK ELBOW! Carlito connects, then hooks the leg... 1... 2... Knox kicks out! Knox is hanging in there, but the momentum is with 'Lito, who again snaps off lefts to the face, then lands a kick to the midsection which doubles Knox over. 'Lito now heads for the ropes... running knee lift snaps Knox up... and Carlito keeps on running... running clothesline... no! Knox swings a clothesline of his own... but 'Lito ducks... and scores a FLOWING DDT! Carlito has Knox down, but he doesn't go for the cover, instead he rises and waits for Knox, looking to put him away. Slowly Knox staggers to his feet... and here comes Carlito... but Knox turns at the last second... and smacks 'Lito with a big boot to the face! Just like that, the momentum shits, and now it's Knox who's wasting little time as he yanks 'Lito up by the hair... fires him off the ropes... and then lines him up... BICYCLE KICK... NO! Carlito avoids it with a baseball slide... then nips back onto his feet before Knox can turn around... BACKSTABBER!! Carlito gets all of it, and he quickly crawls over to hook the leg... 1... 2... 3!

Winner: Carlito @ 06.29

A confidence boosting win for Carlito as he sees off Knox to advance to the next round of the King of the Ring tournament. Pushing himself back to his feet, Carlito leans against the ropes and tries to recover from the heavy hitting he received at the hands of Knox, but soon he’s reaching through the ropes and asking Lillian Garcia for a microphone…


Carlito: Hey… hey how ‘bout ‘dat? Carlito just advanced in the King of ‘de Ring tournament. ‘Dat’s pretty cool, right?

A few cheers from the crowd as ‘Lito pauses to catch his breath…

Carlito: But what wasn’t cool… was what ‘dat little bitch Kenny and ‘dat whore Torrie did to Carlito last night at Backlash.

The crowd agree, voicing their displeasure with some boos…

Carlito: So Carlito wants to send Kenny a little message right now. Ju’ might be holdin’ ‘dat Intercontinental Title right now… but as soon as Carlito becomes King of ‘de Ring… Carlito’s comin’ back after ju’ and ‘dat title… and NOTHIN’ is gonna stop Carlito becomin’ champion. Now ‘dat… ‘dat’s cool!

*COOL…*


A pretty emphatic statement from ‘Lito, clearly making his intentions known that the situation between he and Dykstra is far from over. After tossing away the microphone, ‘Lito heads for the corner, climbing to the second rope to and posing for the crowd, and it’s on that image that we head into the commercial.

*Commercial*


We return and see Todd Grisham standing by, ready for an interview…


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

Some very loud heat from inside the arena as Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson enter the frame. Dykstra has a serious scowl on his face, and Torrie looks just as annoyed, the pair showing no remorse for their cheap actions last night…

Todd Grisham: And Kenny, obviously last night you lost your match to Carlito by disqualification, but of course, you still left Backlash as the Intercontinental Champion. Given what happened last night, and what we just heard from Carlito before the commercial… surely, there’s gotta be another rematch between the two of you?

Dykstra flashes Grisham a look of sheer disgust, shaking his head in disbelief before he finally answers…

Kenny Dykstra: Rematch? Are you kiddin’ me? Rematch!? What the hell has Carlito done to deserve another shot at my Intercontinental Title? Two times now he’s tried and failed to take this title away from me, two times he’s ran his mouth, sayin’ how he’s gonna beat me, and both times, he’s left a loser. And not only that, not only did he fail to become champion, then he had the nerve to spit apple all over me.

Torrie shudders with disgust as she recalls the incident from Backlash, with Kenny shaking his head at the thought of it…

Kenny Dykstra: Carlito couldn’t get the job done at WrestleMania… and he couldn’t get the job done at Backlash. And you think he deserves a third shot?

Dykstra brings a hand to his forehead, showing how incredulous an idea he thinks that is…

Kenny Dykstra: And to make it worse, Carlito thinks so as well! I mean seriously, the guy is as deluded as you, Todd!

Becoming more animated, Dykstra throws his hands up in annoyance…

Kenny Dykstra: The way I see it, Carlito’s had his chance… and he blew it. Just like he blew his relationship with Torrie.

Dykstra turns and shares a quick laugh with Torrie, who drapes a hand over Kenny’s shoulder…

Kenny Dykstra: So I don’t care what you think, or what he thinks, I am finished with Carlito. I’m bored of goin’ into title matches with him and leavin’ the champion. I want to focus on becomin’ King of the Ring and then… then I want some new competition for my Intercontinental Title.

Taking a quick glance down at the belt across his shoulder, Kenny drops the smug look from his face and narrows his eyes in a show of how serious he is…

Kenny Dykstra: But lemme make this crystal clear. Carlito… has had his chance. He’s had two title shots… and he ain’t getting’ a third.

And now Dykstra turns back to the camera…

Kenny Dykstra: So sit back and watch next week as ‘The Future Hall of Famer’ takes the next big step in his career… by becomin’ the 2007 King of the Ring. And if you ever even mention Carlito in another one o’ my interviews… it’ll be your last interview. You got me?

Kenny steps forward, towering over Grisham, who meekly nods in response. Pleased with how he’s intimidated the interviewer, Dykstra has a quick laugh to himself, but before he can turn and walk off, Dykstra’s eyes bulge… and then he blindsided… by Carlito!

‘Lito storms the scene and tackles Dykstra into the interview set, causing the nearby TV monitor to crash to the floor while the background set quickly tumbles down around them, causing Torrie to let out a scream. Carlito absolutely hammers Dykstra, mounting the Intercontinental Champion to fire down with a flurry of left and right hands, Dykstra desperately trying to cover up, but it’s no use as ‘Lito unleashes all his frustration and anger on the youngster. Carlito continues to land wild shots to the head and body, but just like that, a group of referee’s and agents hit the scene, and it takes four of them to drag Carlito off of Dykstra. The young champion is helped back to his feet by Torrie, but as we see Carlito literally dragged kicking and screaming out of the shot, the fear in the champion’s eyes is clear for all to see as we hear Carlito shout “Ju’re mine Dykstra! ‘Dis ain’t over!” and after a few seconds of big eyes and heavy breathing from the champ, we head back into the arena.

And we hear…

*HART BEAT…*


That legendary guitar rift rips through the arena, the fans on their feet as The Hart Legacy make their entrance. Leading the way with a spring in her step is Natalya Niedhart, who confidently heads down the ramp, while Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd follow her down, high fiving with the fans, the trio looking much more happy than they have done in previous weeks…


Joey Styles: What a big night Backlash was for this young team, their first appearance on WWE pay per view and they picked up a very convincing victory. But tonight, Natalya and Melina are takin’ the night off as Smith and Kidd take on Nitro and Masters in tag team action.

Jim Ross: It was certainly an impressive display from The Hart Legacy, one that proved they belong here on Raw. If they managed to follow it up with another win right here, you gotta think they’d be in with a great chance of earnin’ a future title shot against Haas and Benjamin.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah but getting’ that win tonight might not be as easy as getting’ the win last night after that little pep talk Melina gave Nitro and Masters. I’m sure this is gonna be a much harder match for Smith and Kidd to win.

*PAPARAZZI…*


The red carpet rolls out, the photographers start snapping away, and Melina steps out arm in arm with Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters, with Masters still wearing that ridiculous fur jacket. As they approach the ring, Nitro and Masters seem to be back on the same page as they stand back and watch as Melina performs her trademark ring entrance…


Jerry Lawler: Well, I don’t know if Melina’s gonna finally be able to lead this team to a victory, but after seein’ that entrance, she could lead me anywhere she wants!

Jim Ross: Let’s try stay focused here, ‘King’. Nitro and Masters first joined forces to try and put their own individual losing streaks behind ‘em, but all that’s happened is that they’ve continued to lose as a unit. Can they rebound from another defeat at Backlash by finally getting’ a victory here tonight?

Joey Styles: I just wonder what’s gonna happen if they lose right here. I mean, they were close to blows last night, another defeat against The Hart Legacy could see this team pushed to breaking point. And I dunno if Melina’s charm is gonna be enough to keep ‘em together if it all breaks down again…

Match 2: Tag Team Match
The Hart Legacy
w/Natalya Niedhart vs. Johnny Nitro and Chris Masters w/Melina

In a reversal from last night, it's Nitro and Kidd who kick this one off, the two quickly moving in towards each other for a tie up, one which Nitro quickly turns into a standing waistlock. Kidd counters with a waistlock of his own... only for Nitro to wrench control back... and then take Kidd down with a waistlock takedown. Nitro tries to hang on, but Kidd slips free, quickly back on his feet to drill Nitro with a stiff kick to the spine, and then he charges off the ropes... low angle dropkick catches Nitro flush on the jaw! Here’s an early cover… but Nitro quickly kicks out. Kidd now strikes with kicks to the chest that back Nitro the corner, where he tags in Smith. Harry steps in and drills a few rights to the midsection and face, before he fires Nitro off the ropes… into a big back body drop! Nitro is quickly back on his feet… but a clothesline puts him straight back down! Again Nitro is up… another clothesline knocks him down! This time Smith has to drag Nitro back up… and then he hooks him up… and takes him up into the air… for a delayed vertical suplex! Smith crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Nitro kicks out. Smith now winds up and looks to send Nitro off the ropes, but as he rebounds off them, Masters slaps Nitro on the back for a blind tag… Smith traps Nitro and takes him down with a belly to belly suplex… but when he’s back on his feet, Masters clobbers him from behind!

It’s all legal, and now Masters lays in with a series of boots to the body, then he drops a trio of elbows, before he grabs Smith by the foot and drags him towards the heel corner. With Smith’s head against the bottom turnbuckle, Masters jams his foot into the throat, choking him, and when the ref calls for the breaks, Masters distracts him long enough to allow Melina to continue the choking from the outside. Masters continues to lay in with the power moves, showing impressive strength as he rocks Smith with a backbreaker, as well as landing more forearms and knees to the body. Nitro gets the tag, and he lays in with more stomps and then connects with a side Russian legsweep for a near fall, before he brings Masters back in who fires Smith off the ropes… straight into a sidewalk slam! Masters goes for the cover… 1… 2… Smith rolls a shoulder! Nitro and Masters now work to keep Smith isolated from Kidd, and again they look to do damage in the corner as Masters lays in with a string of shoulder thrusts that cause Smith to drop to a seated position, before Nitro tags in and smashes his knee into Smith’s face. The pair continue to make quick tags, with Masters getting a near fall from a Samoan drop, while Nitro gets a long two count with an enzuigiri. Nitro has Smith down in the corner, and seeking a way to put him away, Nitro leaps up and comes off the ropes with a SPLIT-LEGGED CORKSCREW MOONSAULT… but Smith gets his knees up!

Saving himself, Smith causes Nitro to crumble in pain, and now the young powerhouse starts to crawl towards his corner… Nitro tags in Masters… but Smith tags in Kidd! Masters charges across the ring, but Kidd sees him coming and slings himself to the top rope… springboard clothesline! Kidd quickens the pace as he comes off the ropes… running headscissors takedown! Masters is reeling, but here comes Nitro to try even the odds… but Kidd sees him coming, ducks underneath a clothesline… then comes off the ropes for a running leg lariat! Turning back to Masters, Kidd smacks a few more kicks to the chest, and then he sends Masters to the corner and tags in Smith… and then Kidd sends Smith to the same corner with an Irish whip… adding momentum as Smith crushes Masters against the turnbuckle! As Masters stumbles to the middle of the ring, Smith heads for the ropes… but Melina low bridges them… and Smith crashes to the floor! Melina stands over Harry, taunting him, but that means she doesn’t see Natalya racing around the ring… big clothesline levels Melina! With Smith down on the outside, Kidd is outnumbered in the ring, but he takes the fight to Nitro… clothesline sends Nitro to the floor! Kidd now turns back to the ring… only for Masters to hammer him with a massive spinebuster! Kidd is absolutely planted, and now Masters waits for him to rise, looking to lock on the MASTERLOCK… only for Nitro to tag himself in! Masters can’t believe it, wondering what on earth Nitro is doing, but Nitro pleads his case, saying he wants to get the win to prove himself to Melina… but as the pair argue, Kidd uses the ropes to drag himself back up, then slings onto them… SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK… TO BOTH MEN! The impact knocks Masters through the ropes to the floor, and now Nitro is left in the ring with Kidd… just as Smith slips back in. Kidd fires Nitro off the ropes… but Nitro jumps to the second and looks for a SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY… but Smith catches him on his shoulder… and nails the RUNNING POWERSLAM!! Smith plants Nitro, hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winners: The Hart Legacy @ 05.53

Another win for Smith and Kidd, but yet another defeat for Nitro as he again has his shoulders pinned to the canvas. Smith and Kidd are back on their feet, sharing a hug and having their arms raised by Natalya, while on the outside Melina lets out a scream of anguish. Seeing the seething Melina and Masters slide back into the ring, the Harts waste little time in heading for the outside where they celebrate with the fans with more high fives, while in the ring Masters stands with his hands on his hips, shaking his head in disbelief at yet another defeat.

Melina can’t seem to believe it either, ripping and tearing at her wild hair, but soon she drops down to her knees and tries to bring Nitro back around. A few gentle slaps of the face and a shove of the shoulders wakes Nitro up, with Johnny managing to sit back up, and then he’s helped back to his feet by Melina, with Masters clearly not interested in offering any help to his partner. Slowly Nitro is helped back to his feet, Melina propping him up, with Nitro rubbing his jaw and grabbing the back of his neck in pain. Looking apologetic, Nitro struggles for words, but his emotions clearly show how disappointed he is to have let Melina down again. Melina appears to show sympathy as she tenderly strokes Nitro’s face… until her look turns to that of sheer fury… and then MELINA SLAPS NITRO HARD ACROSS THE FACE!

The crowd is as stunned as Nitro is as he recoils and grabs his face… only for Masters to sneak up from behind… and LOCK NITRO IN THE MASTERLOCK!! Nitro is trapped in Masters’ arms, his head flailing as he’s violently swung back and forth, and Melina… she’s encouraging Masters! Desperately, Nitro tries to fight it, but there’s no escape, and soon he begins to pass out in Masters’ arms. Melina is loving it, shouting for Masters to keep up the pressure, but it’s pointless as Nitro is out cold… but before Masters can toss him to the mat, Melina lines up… and DELIVERS A SECOND SLAP TO THE FACE!! A few jerks of the Masterlock from Masters and then he finally flings Nitro down to the canvas, the partnership in ruins, but more than that, the years long relationship between Nitro and Melina seems to be over as well.

As Masters and Melina stand over Nitro, Melina places a hand on Masters’ shoulder, clearly pleased with what just transpired. The two look to each other and nod, exchanging smiles, clearly indicating that this whole thing was a setup of sorts. As the pair start to leave and head for the ropes, Masters sits down on the second rope and holds it open for Melina… but instead of leaving, Melina decides she has one last task to perform. Grabbing Nitro’s fur jacket that was hanging on the ringpost, Melina holds it over Nitro... and then carefully places it over his body. It’s a symbolic gesture, one that draws a strong level of boos from the crowd, but clearly Melina and Masters don’t give a damn, making their exit as they head up the ramp, while the last image we see before we head for the commercial is that of Nitro laid out in the centre of the ring, covered by a fur coat, his partnership with Masters and his relationship with Melina well and truly finished.

*Commercial*


And when we return, we see Johnny Nitro very gingerly walking backstage, limping, holding his neck, clearly in pain, his body and his pride having taken an absolute pounding in the previous segment. Nitro carries with him the fur coat that was laid over him, slowly walking along a corridor, looking like he’s almost close to tears. As Nitro continues his slow, silent walk, he’s comes across a trash can. Looking down on it, it looks like Nitro is searching for career inside of it, until suddenly he holds up the fur coat… takes a long look at it… and then down on the trash can… before he emphatically tosses the fur coat down into the trash. Taking one last look at it, Nitro shakes his head and then turns to continue to slowly limp away, the camera staying focused on the jacket in the trash can, before we cut elsewhere.

And now we see the always bubbly Maria standing by at the interview set…


Maria: Hi! I’m Maria! And welcome back to Raw everyone! And please welcome my guest at this time… ‘Mr. Money in the Bank’… Randy Orton.

Loud boos from inside the arena as Randy Orton steps towards Maria, the interviewer taking a slight step back in intimidation…

Maria: Now Randy, last night at Backlash you successfully defended your Money in the Bank briefcase against Jeff Hardy. But now that you’ve held onto your briefcase, and you’re not entered in the King of the Ring tournament… what’s next for you?

Orton rolls his eyes and crosses his arms across his chest, clearly not interested in answering the question…

Randy Orton: What’s next for me? What’s next for me is none of your concern, Maria. As far as the King of the Ring is concerned, I don’t need to win some tournament to prove my credentials. This right here…

Orton holds his briefcase up infront of his face for all to see…

Randy Orton: Is worth far more than any crown or sceptre might be. This briefcase guarantees me a title shot at any time, and now that I’ve managed to hold onto it… Rob Van Dam… and for that matter, Batista… now it’s time for the two of you to start looking over your shoulder again.

Now turning to the camera, Orton stares down the lens intently…

Randy Orton: You might think you’re finished with John Cena, but Rob, I just want you to know… that you’re far… from finished… with me.

Heat from inside the arena…

Randy Orton: So tonight in your match with Claudio Cesaro… you better worry about hanging onto that title against him… and you better worry about me. ‘Cause I am ready to strike at a moment’s notice… and I won’t make any mistakes. When I make my move… I will become a champion again.

Orton thinks about wrapping it up and walking away, but he stops himself, remembering that he has more to say…

Randy Orton: Oh… and while I’m here… I just want to take this chance to encourage the WWE Board of Directors to do the right thing tonight… and find in favour of Mr. McMahon and allow him to continue to run Monday Night Raw. We don’t need his wife Linda in charge, laying down more rulings like the one that bans me from using this briefcase as a weapon.

And now once again Orton stares a hole through the camera…

Randy Orton: Raw was doing fine before Linda stuck her nose in. She should go back to the boardroom and concentrate on the business side of things, and leave the in-ring side… to the professionals.

And with his message firmly made, Orton takes one last menacing look at Maria before he makes his exit, leaving Maria behind to watch him go as we head back into the arena.

To see the smiling faces of our announce team…


Jim Ross: Certainly an ominous warning from ‘Mr. Money in the Bank’, Randy Orton, towards our WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam. As if ‘RVD’ didn’t have enough to worry about tonight by defending his title against the newcomer, Claudio Cesaro, he now has to worry about Orton cashin’ in his Money in the Bank contract at any second.

Joey Styles: When you think about what Van Dam went through last night at Backlash, and then add in what he’s got ahead of him tonight with Claudio Cesaro, the unknown quantity, and now Randy Orton, poised to strike like a viper with that Money in the Bank briefcase, it’s been a pretty wild last 24 hours for the WWE Champion.

Jerry Lawler: Well while Backlash mighta been a success for Rob Van Dam, but for Shawn Michaels and Triple H, it was a night of hell. In a No Holds Barred Match, ‘The Game’ and ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ took part in their final battle… and it was one that Triple H didn’t survive.

Jim Ross: Let’s take you back and show some of the highlights of one of the most personal, hellacious matches I’ve ever seen. Let’s take a look…

*Video Package*

HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST NIGHT AT BACKLASH

We see a few quick fire images of the match, starting with the early goings when Triple H was in control, the fight heading towards the control area where Michaels is sent sprawling across a table and is then back body dropped onto the stage.

Back into the ring, where ‘The Game’ has a steel chair in his hand, and he unloads on Michaels’ spine time and time again.

The tide turns as Michaels wraps an electrical cable around Triple H’s throat, choking ‘The Game’, and then smacks a monitor off his skull.

The symbolic moment where ‘The Game’ is trapped against the ropes, almost in a crucifix position, allowing Michaels to relentlessly strike with a kendo stick to Triple H’s midsection, and then turns his attention to Triple H’s knee, smacking the stick off of it time and time again.

The battle heads back outside and spirals on top of the Spanish announce desk, where ‘The Game’ blocks a Sweet Chin Music attempt, then counters with a Pedigree that shatters the table.

Michaels does more damage to the leg, this time with a flying elbow drop onto a steel chair that was wrapped around the ankle of ‘The Game’.

Which is then followed up with a painful figure four leg lock, but ‘The Game’ shows incredible guts to somehow reverse the hold.

Both men defy the odds as Triple H kicks out of a Sweet Chin Music, while Michaels survives a Pedigree.

And finally the finish, as Triple H lines Michaels up for a sledgehammer shot to the skull, only for Michaels to drag the referee infront of the shot saving himself. This allows Michaels to attack the knee, and then he looks to finish off ‘The Game’… who gives Michaels a DX chop… before Michaels ends things with an emphatic sledgehammer shot to the skull.

And in the post-match, with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley in tears as her husband is carted out of the arena on a stretcher, Michaels crosses Triple H, only to receive a slap to the face for his troubles… to which ‘HBK’ simply offers an eerie smirk and then disappears backstage.


*End Video Package*


From the package, we cut back to the announce desk, where our announce team now look far more solemn than before…

Jim Ross: It was hard to watch live, and it’s just as hard to see it again. Shawn Michaels, his transformation, his metamorphosis if you will, was completed last night in the symbolic nature of his victory over Triple H. I thought there was a chance that Shawn could be saved almost, by Triple H, but I think any chance of us getting’ back the old Shawn Michaels, was well and truly lost at Backlash.

Jerry Lawler: It was a sad night for all of us who knew and who loved Shawn Michaels. A night I’ll never forget. And I… honestly, I’m worried about what could be next for ‘The Heartbreak Kid’.

Joey Styles: Well folks, as we mentioned earlier, Triple H is still in a Memphis medical facility, his wife, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley by his side, but Shawn Michaels is here tonight, and we are scheduled to hear from Michaels later tonight. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say…

And after a few seconds silence we hear…

*THIS FIRE BURNS…*


And the arena is on it’s feet once more as The Straight Edge Saints emerge from the back, with CM Punk dropping down to a knee, tapping the imaginery watch on his wrist, holding it up to the ear of Kelly Kelly before he yells out “It’s clobberin’ time!” and Punk leads Kelly and Nick Dinsmore down the ramp…


Jim Ross: Backlash was not a successful night for the Straight Edge Saints as they came up short in their quest for the World Tag Championships. But tonight, CM Punk gets a chance to redeem himself as he looks to advance in the King of the Ring tournament.

Jerry Lawler: All it took last night was just a moments distraction on the part of Nick Dinsmore and Haas and Benjamin took advantage to retain their titles. But for me, both Punk and Dinsmore have the chance to go far in this tournament.

Joey Styles: I’d even go as far as to say that CM Punk is a favourite to win the whole tournament. I’m pretty sure he’ll be headin’ to Saturday Night’s Main Event, and I think he’s gonna go far.

*SWEET ‘N’ SOUR…*


A pretty decent level of heat welcomes The Redneck Wrecking Crew into the arena, the two angry rednecks Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch striding to the ring with a purpose, both men pointing at the ring and throwing some trash talk in that direction…


Jim Ross: Last week, Lance Cade went one on one with Triple H, with Cade revealing that he was a former student of Shawn Michaels when Michaels ran his own wrestling school before returnin’ to the WWE. And while Cade vowed to soften up ‘The Game’ ahead of Backlash, it didn’t quite work out that way, as Triple H smashed both Cade and Murdoch.

Joey Styles: And Cade and Murdoch were both pretty ticked off about that, so much so that early today, they recorded these messages…

*Video Package*

EARLIER TODAY

We cut to the interview area where stood before us are The Redneck Wrecking Crew, with as stern, pissed off look on the face off Trevor Murdoch, while Lance Cade wears a brace around his neck, bookending his face with his cowboy hat. Feeling sorry for himself, Cade rubs his jaw and winces, leaving Murdoch to start the talking…

Trevor Murdoch: Y’know somethin’? Last week, that jackass Triple H, he embarrassed me and Lance. He made a fool outta us, and more important than that… he pissed off the wrong pair o’ rednecks.

Lance Cade: And now, it’s gonna be the so-called Superstars o’ Monday Night Raw that’s gonna pay the price!

A devilish smirk cross Murdoch’s face as he nods along with Cade…

Trevor Murdoch: That’s right. And it’s all gonna start tonight. Y’see me and Lance, we’re in this lil’ King o’ the Ring tournament. And we plan on goin’ a long, long way in it. And that means doin’ what we do best.

Lance Cade: Kickin’ ass… and smackin’ skulls.

An angry snarl now crosses Murdoch’s face as he points down the lens…

Trevor Murdoch: We AIN’T gonna be embarrassed no more! And that means CM Punk… you’re gonna get an ass kickin’ tonight… redneck style.

And in a show of aggression, Murdoch rips off his trucker hat and throws it at the camera, storming off the screen, leaving Cade behind, who flashes a stern looking smirk before he too makes his exit.


*End Video Package*


And now we’re back into the arena, where all four men are in the ring, the trash talking and finger talking continuing from Cade and Murdoch…

Jerry Lawler: Well certainly some strong words from Cade and Murdoch right there. I think the intensity of this match just went up a notch. Let’s see if Murdoch lives up to those words and advances to the next round of the King of the Ring…

Match 3: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
CM Punk
w/ Nick Dinsmore and Kelly Kelly vs. Trevor Murdoch w/ Lance Cade

After some initial circling of the ring, the two come together and snap into a collar and elbow tie up... which sees Murdoch shove Punk down to the canvas in the corner! A touch of arrogance from Murdoch as he doesn't take advantage, instead he waves Punk back to the centre of the ring, the two tying up once more, but this time Punk works into a standing waistlock. After trying and failing to break Punk's grip, Murdoch is then ran into the ropes as Punk locks for a rollup... but Murdoch grabs the top rope, sending Punk tumbling backwards. Punk bursts back to his feet, but here comes Murdoch... who runs straight into a leg lariat! Punk is straight back up, catching Murdoch with kicks to the thighs and chest, before a big standing roundhouse to the head sends Murdoch staggering backwards to the corner. More kicks land, this time to the midsection, before Punk winds up the Irish whip... only for Murdoch to reverse it and follow in... right into a back elbow! Punk now runs from the corner, ducking underneath a Murdoch clothesline and then rebounding off the far away ropes... flying clothesline! Murdoch burst back to his feet... but runs into an armdrag! Again Murdoch is up... another armdrag puts him down again... and then on the third occasion, a scoop slam makes sure Murdoch stays down. Punk now heads to the corner, climbing to the top rope... but before he can fly, Cade drags Murdoch under the bottom rope to the safety of the outside!

The crowd loudly jeer Cade's antics as he brings Punk's momentum to a halt, but as Cade and Murdoch huddle in an attempt to regroup, they don't see Punk charging off the far away ropes... SUICIDE DIVE... TAKES OUT BOTH MEN! Punk launches himself through the ropes, sending Cade and Murdoch sprawling to the floor, and he wastes no time in yanking Murdoch back up to roll him under the bottom rope. Punk then nips up onto the apron and slings himself onto the top rope... but before he can springboard into an offensive manoeuvre, Cade nips up onto the apron and shoves Punk... sending him crashing to the canvas! The ref never saw it, but Dinsmore did, prompting him to race round the ring to confront Cade, only for Cade to quickly sneak away. In the ring, Murdoch now looks to take advantage by dropping numerous stomps to Punk's midsection, following this up with a trio of elbow drops, followed by a near fall. As Murdoch yanks Punk back up, he repeatedly drives his knee into Punk's gut, backing him to the corner. Murdoch goes for the Irish whip across... but Punk reverses and follows in... looking to drive his shoulder into the midsection... but Murdoch sidesteps it... and Punk smacks shoulder first off the ringpost! Kelly Kelly winces as Punk groans in pain, and when he stumbles from the corner... Murdoch levels him with a massive boot to the face! Now Murdoch drops down into the lateral press... 1... 2... Punk kicks out.

Murdoch is in full control now, and he looks to target the left shoulder, driving the point of his elbow several times to the top of the arm, then drives his foot into Punk's face while trying to yank the arm right out the socket. Punk is then shoved to the ropes, allowing Murdoch to drape the arm across the middle rope and apply all his weight on top of it. As the ref calls for the break and backs Murdoch away, Cade races in and lands a cheap shot, again drawing the ire of Dinsmore who just misses out on getting his hands on Cade. Murdoch continues to apply pressure to the arm, landing elbow and legdrops across it, then aiming more stomps to the shoulder, before he finally takes Punk up and down with a shoulderbreaker for a long two count. Murdoch now slaps on a grounded hammerlock, determined to keep Punk down while causing damage to the arm. Murdoch continualy yanks on the arm, upping the pressure, causing Punk to goran in pain, but Kelly and Dinsmore try to rally the crowd, and the fans support feeds Punk's desire to make it back to his feet. Once there, Punk throws the elbow of his free arm in a desperate attempt to break the hold, and after landing three to the jaw, Murdoch finally lets go, allowing Punk to swing a right hand... but Murdoch ducks underneath, then hooks Punk up from behind... FULL NELSON SLAM! Punk is painfully driven to the mat, and now Murdoch hooks the leg... 1... 2... Punk barely kicks out! Murdoch storms to his feet and confronts the ref, demanding it was three, only for the two count to be confirmed. Punk uses the ropes to hoist himself back up, but a scoop slam plants him again, which allows Murdoch to head for the corner and climb to the second rope. Murdoch lines Punk up... then he flies... DIVING LEGDROP... NOBODY HOME!

Punk rolls to safety, leaving Murdoch to crash to the canvas, and now Punk is back on his feet first, smacking kicks to the head and body, driving Murdoch back to the corner, where he goes for an Irish whip... but Murdoch reverses and follows in... Punk avoids it... and Murdoch runs smack into the turnbuckle! Stumbling back, Murdoch doesn't see Punk charge off the ropes... running leg lariat! Murdoch crawls to the corner, but when he drags himself up, Punk makes his move... step up high knee... and then Punk hangs on for the bulldog! Punk rolls Murdoch over... 1... 2... Murdoch rolls a shoulder! Dejected but determined to carry on, Punk is back on his feet, waiting for Murdoch to rise... and when he does, Punk makes his move... scoops Murdoch up onto his shoulders... GTS... NO! Cade jumps up onto the apron, and almost on instinct, Punk drops Murdoch to the mat... but here comes Dinsmore... dragging Cade back down... then tagging him with a big right hand! Cade is down, but here comes Murdoch from behind... running big boot... Punk avoids it... and Murdoch kicks the ropes! A painful collision for Murdoch, and once again he's staggers right into Punk's clutches... GO TO SLEEP!! Punk gets all of it, and he hooks the leg for the 1... 2... 3!

Winner: CM Punk @ 06.28

A strong win for CM Punk, but as soon as the three count is made and the ref calls for the bell, Lance Cade picks himself back up… and clobbers Nick Dinsmore from behind! Dinsmore smacks off the floor, and now Cade slides under the bottom rope and starts hammering Punk with a series of boots and stomps! Despite the brace he wears around his neck, Cade shows his legs are perfectly fine as he absolute destroys Punk with the boots… but here comes Dinsmore sliding into the ring… and he tags Cade with a big right hand! Dinsmore comes to the rescue, saving his partner as he lands right after right to the face… until he’s blindsided by a big boot to the face from Murdoch!

Dinsmore is sent flying to the canvas, his head bouncing off the mat with serious force, with Cade and Murdoch both now laying into him with boots to the chest. Satisfied that they’ve laid Dinsmore out, Cade and Murdoch now start to circle the fallen Punk, standing either side of him, waiting for him to rise… and when he does, Kelly Kelly has her face in her hands… as Cade and Murdoch attack… SWEET ‘N’ SOUR!! Punk’s head is damn near taken off as he's hammered to the mat, the crowd throwing a ton of heat at the ring as The Redneck Wrecking Crew stand tall, their pre-match words coming to fruition as they’ve just laid out The Straight Edge Saints. Happy with the damage they’ve caused, the duo exit the ring and start to make their way backstage, leaving Kelly to bring her team back around as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We’re back from commercial, and straight back into the arena for a few seconds silence… until…

*SEXY BOY…*


The heat is nuclear, and it only grows louder as Shawn Michaels slowly makes his way out from the back. Limping slightly, Michaels shows the effects of the match from last night, but as usual there’s no emotion from the man dressed head to toe in black, his cowboy hat pulled down over his eyes, but as usual, we catch a glimpse of his emotionless face as he drops down to his knees, turns his head to the heavens and says a silent prayer, before gingerly getting back to his feet and then heading for the ring…


Joey Styles: Welcome back to Raw folks. There you see the man who at Backlash quite possibly could have ended the career of 'The Game', Triple H. It was bloody, it was violent, it was sure as hell personal, and when it was all over, it was Shawn who watched his former best friend leave the arena on a stretcher.

Jerry Lawler: Well, it might have been the most hate-fuelled match in WWE history, and it might have been pretty disgusting on Shawn Michaels' part given what he did after the bell, but credit where credit's due, Michaels did what he went out there to achieve. He said all along, he needed to take out Triple H, he needed that closure, and last night he got it.

Jim Ross: But at what price, 'King'? Was it really worth another man's career? Was it worth what Michaels did with that sledgehammer? I don't think so. Shawn can talk about faith all he wants, last night had nothin' to do with faith if ya' ask me. That was sheer, vile hatred. I felt sick watchin' it, and I don't think I'm gonna feel any better listenin' to Michaels right here...

In the ring, Michaels has a microphone in hand, his head still looking down as he waits for his music to end. As the music dies down, the heat from the fans is deafening, with Michaels barely acknowledging it, his eyes remaining distant and without emotion. Slowly the boos start to ease off, allowing Michaels the chance to speak...

Shawn Michaels: I did try to tell ya'.

A hush from the crowd as Michaels simply shrugs his shoulders...

Shawn Michaels: I did try and warn ya', Hunter. I said it all along... and you all thought I was crazy. You all said I wasn't thinkin' straight, that I wasn't right in the head, that this wasn't the same 'ol 'Aitch – Bee – Kay. But all along... I told ya' what was gonna happen.

Still not many boos, not that Michaels is caring as he starts to pace back and forth...

Shawn Michaels: I talked about faith, I talked about belief, and I talked about how it was faith that was gonna deliver me to a better place. It was faith that was gonna rid me of the evils in my life. It was faith... that was gonna make me happy again.

A wry smirk cross Michaels face as he pauses...

Shawn Michaels: And I knew this was gonna happen... 'cause of faith... and 'cause I'd seen it.

Still the crowd are subdued, not sure how to respond to Michaels' words...

Shawn Michaels: Call it a vision, call it a dream, call it a prophecy... it doesn't matter what ya' call it, all that matters is that when I lay my head down in bed at night and I closed my eyes... I could see it all. The pain in Hunter's eyes, the anger from Stephanie... and the sorrow in little Aurora Rose's eyes. I seen it all.

Michaels ruefully shakes his head...

Shawn Michaels: And that's why I tried to tell Hunter that the best thing he could do for his career, for his body... for his family... was to walk away. I told 'im to leave the WWE, to get outta my way, 'cause I knew what was gonna happen. But... Hunter chose not to listen. And now?

Pausing, Michaels purses his lips, thinking long and hard about what happened last night...

Shawn Michaels: Now he's stuck in a Memphis hospital, maybe with a broken neck, but definitely with a broken body... a broken spirit... and a broken career. And why? 'Cause he's too damn selfish to listen to what's best for 'im. Y’see, throughout his career, and throughout the time we spent together as D-Generation X… I always knew what was right. I knew that when Hunter put the future of D-X on the line to get another shot at the tag titles… that wasn’t right. But at Night of Champions when I smacked that steel chair off his skull and became WWE Champion… that was right.

Nodding, Michaels seems to believe every word he's saying...

Shawn Michaels: And how did I know that was the right thing to do? Like I’ve said all along… it’s all a matter of faith.

And now some heat from the crowd, a chorus of boos ringing out...

Shawn Michaels: And that’s why I know that my actions at Backlash… whether you people agree with ‘em or not… were the right thing to do. Not right for Hunter, not right for any of you, not right for the WWE… but right for me.

Michaels squarely points a finger to his chest to emphasis his point...

Shawn Michaels: And if Hunter wants to look for somebody to blame for what happened to ‘im… then he oughta look within ‘imself… and question his faith.

And more boos...

Shawn Michaels: You people can boo all ya’ want, but let’s be honest here… if we’re tellin’ a few home truths, it’s not like he didn’t deserve it. Just think of all the people over the years who he left broken and crippled. Just think of all the people he stabbed in the back. All the so called friends he turned his back on. For years he’s been one of the most selfish, egotistical men that ever stepped foot in this ring. And now that it’s finally all came back to haunt ‘im, now that his sins have finally all came back to bite ‘im on the ass… and just because it’s ol’ ‘HBK’ who was the man that told ya’ along he was gonna pay for those sins… you people boo me?

With his head down, the camera sees the look of disgust on Michaels' face as he shakes his head...

Shawn Michaels: Well, I’m gonna do the right thing, I’m gonna listen to what’s gotten me this far… and I’m gonna turn the other check. I’m gonna… absolve you of all this… and I forgive you.

Holding out a hand to the masses, Michaels soaks in the heat the fans throw back at him, but it doesn't affect 'HBK' as he carries right on...

Shawn Michaels: But while I forgive you fans for your opinion… don’t think for a second that I’m gonna start playin’ up to you people again. I’ve spent the last five years since I came back to this company tryin’ to please all of you, and it didn’t get me anywhere. Ever since I started lookin’ out for myself, and doin’ what I know to be right… I’ve been WWE Champion again… and I just sent my former best friend… and that guy who has done nothin’ but hold me back… into a permanent state of retirement. And I know that now I’m this close to getting’ back my smile… I’m not about to start listenin’ to you people again.

More heat...

Shawn Michaels: And as far as I’m concerned, now that Triple H is set for a life of pain and sufferin’… my issue with him is done… and I’ve got nothin’ else to say about ‘im.

Taking a deep breath and closing his eyes for a few seconds, Michaels composes himself then carries on...

Shawn Michaels: But right now, I’m on a journey. A journey back to happiness, a journey back to find my smile again. For a lotta years, I didn’t have it, then I found it, and then… at WrestleMania… I lost it again. But now I got Triple H outta my life… it’s time to go get my smile back. And that means one thing… the WWE Championship.

A real buzz of anticipation from the crowd, excited by the prospect of a Michaels/Van Dam title match...

Shawn Michaels: And that means that Rob Van Dam… you’re the right man… in the wrong place… at the wrong time.

A mixture of boos and cheers now...

Shawn Michaels: WrestleMania XXIII… I went out there like I do at every WrestleMania… and I stole the show. And you… just like Triple H, were lucky enough to come along for the ride. You’d never had that WrestleMania moment before Rob, and I gave it to you. But not only did you get that once in a lifetime moment you always dreamed off… you took my WWE Title too. And now… now I want it back.

Michaels delivers that last sentence with a real sense of desire...

Shawn Michaels: I’ve closed my eyes, I’ve said my prayers… and I saw the pain that Triple H suffered at Backlash. I saw that, but I’ve seen somethin’ else too. I’ve seen you Rob. I’ve seen the pressure you’ve been under. I’ve felt it. And I’ve seen the cracks startin’ to form. And I’ve seen that one day, somebody’s gonna take advantage o’ that.

Pausing, Michaels again smirks to himself...

Shawn Michaels: And y’know what else I’ve seen Rob? That somebody’s… gonna be me.

More heat...

Shawn Michaels: But Rob, I’m gonna give you a warnin’. The same warnin’ I gave to Hunter. Backlash… it didn’t have to be that way for him. And Rob…

Michaels emphatically looks straight down the lens of the nearest camera and says...

Shawn Michaels: It doesn’t have to be that way for you either. Triple H suffered ‘cause he chose not to listen. Don’t make that same mistake, Rob.

Staying near the camera, Michaels now points a finger...

Shawn Michaels: With Hunter at Backlash, it was personal. It was the most personal situation I’ve ever been involved in. You, Rob? It’s not personal… yet. And if you’re smart… you won’t make it that way. Let Backlash and the sight of Triple H leavin’ the arena on a stretcher be a warnin’… and you make sure you listen to it. ‘Cause if you make it personal between us Rob… that’s exactly what’s gonna happen to you.

And now Michaels turns away from the camera, the boos ringing out for his words...

Shawn Michaels: Hunter was my friend. I knew his wife, I knew his kid, I knew everythin’ about him. I don’t know the same about you Rob… don’t gimme a reason to find out.

With his head lowered, the camera zooms in to see Michaels close his eyes as he finishes that statement...

Shawn Michaels: After Backlash last night, when I got back to my hotel room, I lay my head down on that pillow and I closed my eyes…

A look of relief crosses Michaels' face...

Shawn Michaels: And for the first time in months, it wasn’t Hunter in pain that I saw. It was you, Rob.

Looking to the heavens, Michaels again simply soaks in the jeers before pressing on...

Shawn Michaels: It was you layin’ on the mat, a beaten man… and me standin’ over you, with the WWE Championship in my hands… and a smile… on my face.

No smile just now from 'HBK', who has that cold look in his eyes...

Shawn Michaels: But all that can change. I could close my eyes one night… and then I’m lookin’ at you, leavin’ an arena on a stretcher. I could see that pain on your wife’s eyes. I could see your body bein’ broken… just like your career.

The boos intensify now...

Shawn Michaels: You've had your WrestleMania moment, Rob. The dream came true. But I know better than anybody how that feels. I lived that dream once. 1996, WrestleMania XII... 'the boyhood dream came true'... fast forward two years, WrestleMania XIV... that dream became a nightmare. I broke my back, my body was a wreck, my mind wasn't clear... I was left just like I left Hunter last night.

Pondering, Michaels seems to be contemplating with himself over what happened last night...

Shawn Michaels: And if you're not careful Rob... if you don't heed my warnin'... that's exactly how I'm gonna leave you.

A real sense of venom in how Michaels delivered that last line, something the crowd picks up on...

Shawn Michaels: The whole fightin' champion, takin' on all comers, anytime, anywhere, I get it... I've been there, I've done it. Y'think you're doin' to entertain the fans, to please these people... but when I take that title away from you Rob, these people... they aren't gonna give a damn about you. So you take your matches with the new guy, you try and keep yourself busy for a couple o' weeks, and you keep tellin' yourself that you're doin' it for each and every person who bought a ticket.

Heat...

Shawn Michaels: You might have these people fooled... but it doesn't impress me. 'Cause I know it's all lies. I know... it's not right.

Michaels now heads towards the ropes, leaning against them, looking up the ramp at the entrance way...

Shawn Michaels: So 'RVD', I am officially puttin' you on notice. I want back what's rightfully mine, I want back my WWE Title. And if you don't give it to me?

And the promo comes full circle as Michaels offers up another shrug of the shoulders...

Shawn Michaels: I'm just gonna take it anyway. For it has been written... and it shall be done. Now hit my music.

*SEXY BOY...*


The microphone falls from Michaels' hand and crashes to the canvas, signalling a rather emphatic end to Michaels' words. With that blank stare and those cold eyes, Michaels lets his gaze linger into the camera for a few seconds, before he finally turns his head back down to the canvas and then moves to make his exit...


Jim Ross: Well... that was uh, pretty disturbing from Shawn Michaels. Emphatic, yes. Straight to the point, yes. But it was the manner in which Michaels said those words, the coldness, the lack of human emotion, that's gotta have the WWE Champion concerned. Rob Van Dam has been put on notice, Shawn Michaels is comin' after 'im.

Joey Styles: Rob Van Dam has always had an air of coolness about him. Very little seems to faze the WWE Champion. But even a guy like me who's known Van Dam for years... I gotta agree with you, Jim. I can't imagine hearin' somethin' like that and not havin' it effect me.

Jerry Lawler: I guess we'll find out first hand later tonight. 'RVD' is still scheduled to defend the WWE Title tonight against Claudio Cesaro. Not only has he gotta deal with the unknown Cesaro, now he's got the threat of 'The Heartbreak Kid' hangin' over 'im.

Jim Ross: And if Van Dam makes it past Cesaro tonight, he now knows what could be instore. It could be the deranged, the almost psychotic Shawn Michaels. And after what we saw Michaels do last night at Backlash... I don't like Van Dam's chances of makin' it outta a match with Michaels in one piece.

And with Michaels now at the top of the ramp, he takes one last look out at the fans, no hint of emotion in his eyes, before he finally heads backstage and we fade into a commercial.

*Commercial*


And we're back with Todd Grisham standing by...


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Monday Night Raw. And please welcome my guests at this time, they are the World Tag Team Champions... Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, The World's Greatest Tag Team.

A decent level of heat from inside the arena as The World's Greatest Tag Team step into the frame, with Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin standing either side of Grisham, both men with their titles slung across their shoulders and smug grins on their faces...

Todd Grisham: Charlie, Shelton, last night you defended your titles against The Straight Edge Saints, albeit in a match with it's share of controversy. As champions, you've always said that you want to prove without doubt that you're the best tag team in the world... do you think last night you did that?

Benjamin shakes his head and smirks, while behind Grisham’s back, Haas rolls his eyes and rubs his jaw in annoyance…

Shelton Benjamin: We won, didn't we? I mean, the whole reason Punk and Dinsmore even got that match was 'cause they beat all the other teams on Raw. So if we can beat the best o' the rest... then I guess that proves our point.

And now Haas takes over as he places a hand on Grisham’s shoulder to attract his attention…

Charlie Haas: And what d’ya mean controversy? There was nothin’ controversial about our win last night. We did whatever it took to win, whatever it took to hang onto these titles. Y’see, that’s what bein’ the best in the world is all about. You do what ya’ gotta do to make yourself a champion… and then ya’ do what ya’ gotta do to keep it that way.

Benjamin nods in agreement…

Shelton Benjamin: And to the rest of the… pretenders out there… any time you wanna step up and take a shot at us… we’ll be ready. As for who’s next in line, to us… it really don’t matter. We’ll let you guys figure it out for yo’self, and when you decide who’s gonna be the next team to try and fail at takin’ these titles… you come find us.

Both men pause as they let some boos from inside the arena ring out, before Haas carries on…

Charlie Haas: But right now, we wanna send out a little message. After beatin’ Punk and Dinsmore, and with no other challengers in sight, we’re gonna take a quick step back from tag team action… to focus on the King of the Ring.

Haas readjusts the titles on his shoulder, showing that despite focusing on the King of the Ring, the gold still means plenty to the champs…

Shelton Benjamin: Y’see both Charlie and me are entered in this year’s tournament. And we intend on provin’ that not only are we great tag team specialists… but we’re great singles competitors too. And we’re gonna do it by makin’ sure we both make it to Saturday Night’s Main Event… and then one of us is goin’ home with that crown.

There’s no hint of dissension or confusion from the champs as Haas nods in agreement, clearly confident that one of them will be winning the tournament…

Charlie Haas: Next week Shelton’s got Super Crazy. Then the week after that, I got Tyson Kidd. That’s two matches where we’re gonna prove just how big a threat we are to winnin’ the whole tournament. And then when one of us is crowned King, and we’ve proved we’re the world’s greatest singles wrestlers…

With a smirk, Benjamin wraps things up…

Shelton Benjamin: Then it’s right back to work provin’ we’re The World’s Greatest Tag Team. We just hope that whoever’s up next… has more to offer than Punk and Dinsmore.

And with more heat from inside the arena, the champs take a lasting look at Grisham and then head off in opposite directions, leaving the interviewer to watch them go, but we don’t stay focused on Grisham for long as we cut elsewhere.

To a locker room where we see the new Woman’s Champion Beth Phoenix stood before the camera, her title glistening around her waist, with Beth looking down on it lovingly, stroking and caressing it, a broad smile on her face. Standing nearby is Victoria, the two still clearly a partnership, but the scowl on Victoria’s face shows she’s clearly not happy about how the match ended last night…


Beth Phoenix: Well, well… look at this. I did it. Just like I said I would. I came back to Monday Night Raw, I went after Mickie James… and I took her precious title away from ‘er. And I did it all – by – myself.

Clearly not agreeing with that, Victoria raises her eyebrows and screws up her face…

Victoria: What are you-

Beth Phoenix: Not now Victoria, this is important. All the years of disappointment I suffered, all the pain I went through, all the hard work, all the sacrifices, all the effort it took to get myself back to the WWE… it was all finally worth it last night at Backlash when I finally became WWE Woman’s Champion. And y’know what the best part was?

Looking off camera, the champion rubs her hand and smirks with delight…

Beth Phoenix: I finally got revenge on Mickie James. She tried to rob me of my career, she injured me on purpose, she tried to keep me from ever makin’ it to the WWE, and now here we are… I’m the champion, while Mickie?

Beth laughs to herself then carries on…

Beth Phoenix: Mickie’s at home, cryin’ her little eyes out. She was too scared to even show up here tonight. Infact, I don’t even think we’ll ever see her again here on Raw. Not now she’s lost this title to me, ‘cause she knows she’s never gonna get it back. I took this title away from her last night, and now it looks like Mickie’s finally faced up to the fact that I have always been better than her.

Heat from inside the arena, but Beth doesn’t let that phase her as she turns to her partner…

Beth Phoenix: And I don’t know about you Victoria, but… I’m getting’ kinda bored of Mickie’s face to be honest. I think it’s time we gave somebody else a shot to challenge for this title. So next week, I’m issuing an open challenge to any diva… NOT named Mickie James… to face me in the ring for my Woman’s Title. I mean, as champion… it’s my duty. Right, Victoria?

With her arms folded across her chest, Victoria looks like through Beth with a look of annoyance on her face, but she goes along with what the champ is saying for now…

Victoria: Yeah, sure.

And oblivious to the tone of Victoria’s answer, the champion turns back towards the camera and again strokes the belt around her waist with affection…

Beth Phoenix: We’re entering a new age for women’s wrestling here on Raw. The days of Mickie James hogging the limelight are over. It’s the age of ‘The Glamazon’. An age where we can finally forget about Mickie James, and focus on the strength and the beauty of women’s competition.

More heat, at which Beth just smiles at, until something pops into her head that she remembers to say…

Beth Phoenix: Oh, and Mickie? If you’re watching this… I suggest you stay away. You might have been able to walk out of the arena last night and board the first flight home. But you ever show your face on Monday Night Raw again… getting home won’t be that easy. Let’s go, Victoria.

Phoenix makes a quick exit, fully expecting Victoria to be right behind her, but instead Victoria watches her friend leave, clearly annoyed about the fact that Beth pinned her last night, although she holds her peace for now, eventually following Phoenix off camera with a shake of the head, while we head back into the arena.

To hear…

*LOADED…*


Despite his defeat last night, it’s a warm welcome for Jeff Hardy as he gyrates his way down the ramp to the ring, slapping hands with as many fans as he can…


Jim Ross: It was certainly a gutsy effort from that man, Jeff Hardy, last night at Backlash as he tried to wrestle the Money in the Bank briefcase away from Randy Orton. Hardy may have came up short at Backlash, but I’m sure he’ll put that behind ‘im in a hurry and focus on becomin’ the next King of the Ring.

Joey Styles: And this tournament could be just what Jeff needs to get ‘im back on track. We’ve heard from a lotta the contenders tonight, but Jeff tends to be a little bit more reserved, and it’s that attitude that could see him go far.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah but he’s in for a real tough ride right here against Hardcore Holly. I mean, comin’ off a tough loss to Randy Orton the night before, the last guy you wanna see standin’ across the ring from ya’ is Holly. This is gonna be a real test for Jeff right here.

*HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?...*


Not much of a response, but still a decent level of boos as the grizzled veteran Hardcore Holly strides for the ring, a nasty snarl on his face as he has his eyes firmly focused on his opponent tonight…


Jim Ross: He’s tougher than a two dollar steak, and he’s more than capable of goin’ far in this King of the Ring tournament. He’s a brawler that brings a bowling shoe ugly offence to the ring, a real contrast to the fast paced, high flyin’ style of Jeff, and that could give Holly a real advantage right here.

Jerry Lawler: He’s got all the experience, he’s got all the toughness needed to advance and make it to Saturday Night’s Main Event. He might not have been on Raw all that much lately, but he’s gonna be comin’ into this match a lot fresher than Jeff is given Jeff’s efforts last night.

Joey Styles: Well Hardcore Holly made his King of the Ring debut all the way back in 1994. He’s had a few good runs, he’s gotten close on a couple of occasions, but he’s never gone all the way and became King. A win tonight over Jeff Hardy, and 2007 could finally be Holly’s year…

Match 4: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
Hardcore Holly
vs. Jeff Hardy

As the bell rings, both men circle the ring for a few seconds, Hardy clapping his hands as a method of getting the crowd into things, before finally the two come together for a collar and elbow tie up. The pair jockey for position, until the leg strength of Holly allows him to back Hardy to the corner. The ref steps in and calls for the break, which Holly provides... only to then hammer Hardy with a stiff elbow to the face! Another two elbows land, then a boot lands to the gut, allowing Holly to drop a pair of forearms to the back of the neck. Holly shoves Hardy to the ropes, then goes for the Irish whip... but Jeff reverses and drops down to avoid the rebounding Holly... and then catches him on the second pass with a hiptoss! Holly springs back up... into another hiptoss! As Jeff stands over Hardcore, Holly tries to kick Jeff away, but Hardy grabs the feet, spins Holly around on the canvas... and then nails the double legdrop! Here's the first cover... 1... 2... Holly kicks out easily. From the kickout, Holly crawls to the corner, where Jeff lays in with a few stomps to the chest, then he grabs the top rope and launches himself… Hardyac Arrest! Hardy is in full control, and now he waits for Holly to drag himself up in the corner… Hardy races in… but Holly elevates him over the top rope… but Jeff lands on the apron! Hardy swings a right hand… but Holly ducks underneath… then drops down… which causes the back of Hardy’s neck to snap off the top rope! Jeff tumbles all the way to the floor, a painful landing to add to the damage just done to his neck.

Holly quickly heads outside and looks to take advantage, smacking a pair of knife edge chops to the chest, before he grabs Hardy by the hair… and smacks him face first off the steel steps! Holly rolls Jeff back into the ring for a near fall, and now he looks to apply pressure to the neck, dropping his knee across it, then he yanks Hardy up and drops him with a scoop slam for another near fall. A vertical suplex is followed by a standing camel clutch, Holly applying more pressure to the neck in an attempt to make Hardy pass out. Hardy hangs in there, trying to pry Holly’s grip free, but Holly’s grip remains tight. Hardy manages to work back to his knees, then forces himself back to his feet, but Holly continues to hang on, until Hardy repeatedly drives his elbow into the midsection… but Holly stops the momentum by smacking a forearm to the back of the head… then hammers Hardy with a FULL NELSON SLAM! Holly goes for the cover… 1… 2… Hardy rolls the shoulder! Frustrated, once again Holly turns to a mat based submission move to wear Hardy down, this time going for a grounded headlock. Holly wrenches the hold on tight, but the crowd start to make some noise, and Hardy feeds off of it, rising back to his feet… and he breaks the hold with a side suplex! Despite the impact of the move, Holly is on his feet first, but when he approaches Jeff, Hardy catches him with a sitout jawbreaker! Now Hardy goes on the attack, landing right after right that backs Holly to the corner, before he winds up for the Irish whip across… Holly reverses… but Hardy runs up the turnbuckle… and flies with whisper in the wind! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… Holly kicks out! Hardy is on the attack now, snapping off kicks to the gut and rights to the face, Hardy looks for the Irish whip to the corner, but Holly reverses again and follows in… but Hardy uses the ropes to elevate himself over Holly… no! Holly catches him on his shoulders… and looks for the ALABAMA SLAM… NO! Hardy counters with a sunset flip… but Holly rolls straight through! Both men are on their feet and charge at each other… Hardy ducks a clothesline… kick… TWIST OF FATE! Holly is planted, but Jeff is already heading for the top rope… SWANTON BOMB!! Hardy gets all of it, crawls over and hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Jeff Hardy @ 04.52

A nice rebound win for Hardy as he puts last night’s disappointment behind him and advances to the final sixteen. Back on his feet, Hardy has his hand raised by the referee and celebrates for the fans, who respond with a nice pop, and as the commentators talk up Hardy’s chances of going all the way, we head for a commercial.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

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

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

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

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

Narrator: A night where icons are created…

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

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

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

“WELCOME TO THE ERA OF AWESOMENESS!”

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

Narrator: A night to crown… a new king.

“BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR KING!”

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

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

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

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

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

Narrator: The King is dead…

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

“ALL HAIL KING BOO-KAH!”

”Long live… the King.”



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

*End Video Package*


And from the video, it’s back to the smiling face of our announce team…

Joey Styles: That’s right folks, we are just over one month away from Saturday Night’s Main Event, the King of the Ring special. June 2nd, the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, and the contenders are startin’ to fall into place.

Jim Ross: The first three men into the round of sixteen qualified tonight, so let’s take a look at the bracket as it stands now…

Harry Smith vs. Kenny Dykstra
Lance Cade vs. Nick Dinsmore

Chris Masters vs. Jerry Lawler
CM Punk vs. Trevor Murdoch

Carlito vs. Mike Knox
Shelton Benjamin vs. Super Crazy

Hardcore Holly vs. Jeff Hardy
Charlie Haas vs. Tyson Kidd


Jim Ross: And there ya’ have it folks, Jeff Hardy, CM Punk and Carlito have all advanced, we’ll find out there opponents over the next few weeks.

Jerry Lawler: Oh boy J.R., I can’t wait to see how this tournament unfolds. It got off to a great start tonight, and I’m sure this Friday night when the SmackDown half of the draw kicks off, it’s gonna be more of the same.

And after a few seconds silence…

*MIRACLE…*


And now it’s time for the perhaps the biggest debut in Raw history as the newcomer Claudio Cesaro steps out from the back. Wearing a red sports jacket with the word ‘Swiss’ across the chest, Cesaro oozes confidence as he stops at the top of the stage, raise a fist in the air and then heads down to the ring…


Jerry Lawler: Oh here we go guys. I’ve been waitin’ for this all night! Claudio Cesaro has arrived here on Monday Night Raw, and he’s walkin’ straight into a WWE Title Match with Rob Van Dam!

Jim Ross: From the videos we’ve seen over the last few weeks, we’ve certainly gathered that Cesaro is a well-educated man, both in and out of the ring, a man of refined taste, and a man who’s extremely confident in his abilities. And tonight he could back all that up in the biggest way possible by becomin’ WWE Champion.

Joey Styles: I’ve heard about this man, I know he’s been successful all over the world, but this is a first for me right here. I’ve never seen this man wrestle in the flesh, and I doubt Rob Van Dam ever has either. This is gonna be a huge challenge for the WWE Champion, Cesaro claimed in his videos that he’d scouted the Raw roster, that he knew everybody’s strengths and weaknesses, and that could give him a huge advantage in his Raw debut.

*ONE OF A KIND…*


And a huge cheer breaks out as the WWE Champion Rob Van Dam strides out onto the stage. With a stern look on his face, ‘RVD’ pauses on the ramp, takes a long, hard look down at Cesaro in the ring, before he leads the crowd in a chant of “ROB – VAN – DAM!” and then heads down the ramp…


Joey Styles: Last night, Rob Van Dam overcame the challenge of not only John Cena, but also the interference of Mr. McMahon and his hired muscle, Bobby Lashley. But tonight, it’s a challenge of a very different kind, as he takes on a newcomer, a man he’s not scouted, a man who’s offence he knows very little about. Cesaro has come to Raw with an agenda, he’s sought out the WWE Champion, is Van Dam up to the challenge?

Jim Ross: We all know ‘RVD’ is always extremely confident, he’s never doubted his abilities, but we’ve seen in the past few weeks, Mr. McMahon questioned if the pressure of bein’ champion was starting to get to him. Van Dam proved McMahon wrong last night, but there’s gotta be some doubts in the back of the champion’s mind, given how little we know about the newcomer.

Jerry Lawler: I heard lot from Cesaro earlier, I heard all his credentials, I know he’s arrogant and cocky, but this is the WWE. This is a whole ‘nother level, and right now Rob Van Dam is the best we’ve got to offer. Maybe it’s a case of the new guy needin’ to learn his place in the new company, and ‘RVD’ is the perfect guy to do it, especially given how high the stakes are right now.

Match 5: WWE Championship Match
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Claudio Cesaro

The bell rings with both men in opposite corners, a very cagey first few seconds as the two size each other up, before they eventually come together and tie up… but Cesaro catches the champion off guards initially, working the initial tie up into a hammerlock. Van Dam twists and reverses into a hammerlock of his own, only for Cesaro to then spin through this and take Van Dam down with a northern lights suplex, hanging onto the wrist which allows him to bridge into an armbar. ‘RVD’ works his way back up, then rolls through, twisting into another hammerlock, but with it locked on tight this time, there’s no escape for Cesaro… so he simply drags Van Dam towards the ropes and grabs hold, forcing the break. As ‘RVD’ backs away, Cesaro arrogantly taps the side of his head, expressing that he has a far greater wrestling mind than the WWE Champion, something which ‘RVD’ calmly shakes off. Again the two tie up, and again Cesaro has the advantage with a standing side headlock, only for Van Dam to shove him into the ropes… Cesaro runs him over with a shoulderblock! Again Cesaro catches the WWE Champion off guard, and he snatches ‘RVD’ into another standing side headlock, but again Van Dam wastes no time in shoving Cesaro to the ropes… and avoids him with a leapfrog… before smacking a spinning heel kick right off Cesaro’s jaw! Cesaro crawls to the ropes, but Van Dam quickly sends him for the ride… into a hiptoss… no, Cesarp blocks it and goes for a hiptoss of his own… but ‘RVD’ lands on his feet… Cesaro goes for a kick to the gut… but Van Dam catches it… and nails the step-over spinning wheel kick! Here’s the first cover… 1… 2… Cesaro kicks out easily.

From the kickout Cesaro scrambles to the corner, but Van Dam is right back on him, drilling a pair of shoulder thrusts before he backflips out, then races back in… and sends Cesaro flying with a monkey flip! Van Dam now goes on the attack, striking with multiple kicks to the body, then he winds up for the Irish whip… but Cesaro reverses… and then lowers his head… but ‘RVD’ snaps him up with a kick… then lands a jumping roundhouse that sends Cesaro sprawling under the bottom rope! The crowd break out with a strong pop as ‘RVD’ seems to have rallied from the early disadvantage, and as Cesaro gets back to his feet, Van Dam doesn’t want to wait… as he flies to the floor with a plancha! ‘RVD’ crashes down on Cesaro, but he’s right back up to lead the crowd in a chant of ‘ROB – VAN – DAM!” before he snatches Cesaro up and smacks him face first off the barricade. With a shove, Cesaro is left prone across the barricade, allowing Van Dam to nip up onto the apron… then launch himself for the guillotine legdrop! Both men hit the floor with a thud, but the WWE Champion doesn’t let the newcomer rest, rolling him back into the ring for another near fall. With Cesaro still down near the ropes, Van Dam drops a snap legdrop, then races to the opposite ropes… and then goes for ROLLING THUNDER! Cesaro groans in pain, but Van Dam isn’t wasting any time as he heads to the corner, slings himself to the top rope… but when Cesaro rises, Van Dam changes tactic and goes for a flying crossbody… but Cesaro counters… with a powerslam!

A great counter from Cesaro, and he stays down for the pinfall… 1… 2… Van Dam kicks out. From the kickout, Cesaro now looks to mount some offence, landing a stiff kick to the ribs before driving a double footstomp into the midsection. Cesaro now looks to focus his attack on Van Dam’s core, aiming more stomps to the gut and chest, before he yanks ‘RVD’ up by the hair and drills a pair of knees. Cesaro then takes ‘RVD’ up with a fireman’s carry… then drops Van Dam gut first across the top turnbuckle… backs up and races in to deliver a stiff kick to the body! It’s Van Dam who now groans in pain, and it gets worse as Cesaro aggressively pulls Van Dam away from the corner to the canvas for a near fall. Looking to wear Van Dam down, Cesaro goes for a grounded waistlock, wrapping his legs around the midsection, trying to squeeze the life out of the champion. Van Dam tries to break free, but slowly he begins to fade, until the roar of the crowd spurs him on, and he tries to mount a comeback, trying to break the grip, but Cesaro’s impressive strength keeps the hold locked on. Van Dam then starts to throw elbows to the face, causing Cesaro to break the grip, allowing ‘RVD’ to stumble back to his feet against the ropes. Cesaro moves in, but Van Dam snaps off a right hand, and another one, only for Cesaro to drill another knee to the gut. Cesaro then goes for the Irish whip off the ropes... but Van Dam ducks underneath his clothesline attempt… and goes for a bridging German suplex! 1… 2… Cesaro kicks out, but ‘RVD’ tries to quicken the pace, heading for the ropes… jumping to the second rope for a springboard moonsault… but Cesaro gets his knees up… and Van Dam crashes down on them! ‘RVD’ kicks and grimaces, burying his face into the mat in pain, and as we head into a commercial, it seems like Cesaro has once again gotten the better of the WWE Champion.

*Commercial*


When we return, Van Dam is down in the corner, Cesaro hammering him with stiff boots to the chest, the referee finally stepping in to back Cesaro away. Cesaro moves back in… only for Van Dam to land a kick to the midsection, then a pair of right hands… but out of desperation, Cesaro drills a knee to the midsection, doubling ‘RVD’ over… allowing Cesaro to hit a gutwrench suplex! Cesaro floats over into the cover… 1… 2… Van Dam kicks out again. Looking to press home his advantage, Cesaro lands methodical boots and elbows to the chest, before he yanks ‘RVD’ by the hair into the corner, again laying in with stomps that causes Van Dam to drop to a seated position. Cesaro helps Van Dam back up, then fires him across the ring… no, ‘RVD’ reverses and follows in… right into a boot to the face! ‘RVD’ stumbles backwards… and then Cesaro levels him with a clothesline! Once again, ‘RVD’ is grounded by Cesaro, who slows the pace right down as he drops more elbows to the chest, then lands a well-placed legdrop, gaining another two count. Cesaro continues to attack the midsection, nailing a gutbuster and an impressive, long delayed vertical suplex, both netting two counts. Cesaro then locks on an abdominal stretch near the ropes, every now and then reaching out to grab the top rope for extra leverage. Once again, the crowd try to will Van Dam from the submission situation, and despite Cesaro dropping elbows and fists into the ribs, it seems to working as Van Dam tries to power free… and he finally does so with a hiptoss!

Both men stuggle back to their feet, with Cesaro beating Van Dam to the punch… but ‘RVD’ blocks it… and rattles Cesaro with a right of his own! Another pair of rights land, allowing Van Dam to go for an Irish whip… and then he sends Cesaro up with a flapjack… and catches him with a dropkick on the way down! Van Dam looks to build some momentum, seeing Cesaro on the rise… atomic drop… and then a bridging northern lights suplex! 1… 2… Cesaro kicks out! ‘RVD’ is in control now, smacking more kicks to the chest, before a big roundhouse knocks him into the corner. Van Dam moves in, for a pair of shoulder thrusts, then he backflips away and once again charges in… but this time Cesaro is ready for it and charges out for a clothesline… but Van Dam ducks underneath that and keeps on running… jumping to the second rope… then he nails a springboard superkick! Cesaro is down, and now Van Dam heads to the corner, slinging himself to the top rope… only for Cesaro to dives for the ropes, shaking them… causing ‘RVD’ to fall and crotch himself on the top turnbuckle! A painful landing for the WWE Champion, and it could get worse as Cesaro climbs up alongside him… and hooks Van Dam up for a SUPERPLEX… NO! Van Dam swings rights to the midsection, desperately trying to fight it off… and then he shoves Cesaro down! Cesaro lands on his feet though… only for Van Dam to fly with a DIVING TORNADO DDT! ‘RVD’ crawls over and hooks a leg… 1… 2… Cesaro rolls a shoulder!

Seeking a way to finally put Cesaro away, Van Dam drags the challenger back up, again drilling kicks to the chest of Cesaro against the corner. Van Dam shoves Cesaro against the ropes, then looks for the Irish whip… but Cesaro reverses… and looks for a bicycle kick… but ‘RVD’ avoids it with a baseball slide… then jumps up… and goes for a VICTORY ROLL… 1… 2… Cesaro shifts the momentum into a roll up… 1… 2… Cesaro has a handful of tights… Van Dam barely kicks out! Cesaro can’t believe it, he was sure he had the title won, but after being told it was only two, he pounces and keeps Van Dam grounded with a painful knee to the gut, followed by a string of forearms to the back of the head. Cesaro now quickly heads for the corner, climbing to the second rope, calling for Van Dam to rise as he holds a forearm high in the air… and as the WWE Champion stumbles up, Cesaro flies… DIVING EUROPEAN UPPERCUT… NO! Van Dam counters in mid-air… with a sitout facebuster! Cesaro is planted face first into the canvas, and now he’s down in the perfect position as Van Dam heads for the corner… slings himself to the top rope and readies himself to fly… FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH… NO! Wait, before ‘RVD’ goes for it, a chorus of boos breaks out with all eyes heading towards the stage… as Shawn Michaels has emerged from the back! Michaels may have come out onto the stage, but he’s just standing there, his blank stare looking down on the ring. Clearly distracted, Van Dam drops down to the apron and then to the floor, shouting “What the hell are you doin’?” up at Michaels… but he gets nothing in response, just that blank stare. Van Dam stands ready at the foot of the stage, anticipating an attack… but there’s nothing from ‘HBK’, just that cold stare… and that means Van Dam doesn’t see Cesaro coming from behind… where he clobbers Van Dam, knocking him down to the steel of the stage! Cesaro doesn’t pay attention to Michaels, instead he drags Van Dam up… hooks him up… and takes him up and down with a cradle belly to back inverted mat slam, a move Joey Styles tell us is called THE NEUTRALIZER… ON THE STEEL RAMP!! A devastating move, one that leaves Van Dam motionless, the referee enraged, screaming for Cesaro to get back in the ring. The ref threatens Cesaro with a disqualification, but Cesaro doesn’t care as he tries desperately to drag Van Dam back up… but ‘RVD’ is lifeless, a deadweight that Cesaro can’t shift… and after one final ultimatum from the ref, Cesaro backs away and heads back into the ring. The ref starts to count, making it to five… at which point Van Dam makes it back to his knees, desperately crawling towards the ring… 6… 7… 8… ‘RVD’ reaches the bottom of the ramp… 9… but he just can’t quite get there… 10!

Winner: Via Countout, Claudio Cesaro @ 13.38

The crowd boo loudly for the controversial finish, while in the ring, Cesaro has his hand raised in victory but quickly snatches it away, angered by the fact that he’s only won via a countout. On the floor, Van Dam is still down in pain, barely moving, while on the stage, Michaels stands and watches, his eyes firmly fixed on ‘RVD’. The camera cuts back to Cesaro, hands on his hips, a win on his debut, but it’s not a win that’s made him champion, a fact that clearly annoys him greatly. We again cut back to Van Dam, now being tended to by trainers and medical personnel, before we take one last look at ‘HBK’, the boos heard loudly in the background, Michaels’ eyes coldly staring down at the fallen WWE Champion as we head for a commercial.

*Commercial*


And we’re back, straight into the arena to hear…

*NO CHANCE IN HELL…*


It’s time for the big announcement, as here comes Mr. McMahon, leading out his entourage, which of course consists of his Personal Assistant, Brooke Adams, his son Shane McMahon, and the always intimidating Bobby Lashley bringing up the rear. Vince of course leads the way, that broad swagger of his on full display, with Shane nearby, he and his father both looking extremely confident ahead of tonight’s announcement. As they hit the ring, it’s smiles all round from Vince, Shane and Brooke, obviously expecting good news tonight from the emergency board meeting…


Jim Ross: Welcome back to Raw everybody. I guess it’s that time, time to find out just who will be in control of Monday Night Raw for the foreseeable future. For the last few months, Mr. McMahon has ruled Raw with an iron fist, especially where John Cena and Rob Van Dam have been concerned. But Linda McMahon has challenged that over the last month or so, and now, we’re gonna find out just what have the Board of Directors decided to do about it?

Jerry Lawler: You gotta admit guys, Mr. McMahon, he looks pretty happy with 'imself right now. I know he's got his supporters on the Board of Directors, maybe he knows something. Maybe he knows the decisions already been made and he's out here to announce that they voted in his favour.

Joey Styles: Yeah but we've seen that smug, confident look on Mr. McMahon's face before, only for something or somebody to come out here and wipe clean off. Maybe this time it's different, maybe Mr. McMahon has been chosen to run Monday Night Raw from here on out... but I'm just not that sure. I damn sure hope it's Linda McMahon who got the vote in her favour, otherwise... it's gonna be hell around here with Vince runnin' wild!

Shane heads for the corner and receives a microphone, turning and handing it over to his father. As the music comes to an end, Vince waits for the boos to die down, the smirk on his face barely flickering as the crowd make their opinion known, until finally there's a bit of quiet and McMahon starts to speak...

Mr. McMahon: So... Backlash. How 'bout that pay per view last night, huh?

McMahon opens his arms out looking for a response from the crowd, although he gets very little...

Mr. McMahon: I mean, what a show that was. It had everything. Action, drama, violence, blood, sweat, tears, it had it all! It was everything a WWE pay per view should be and more! It was shows like Backlash and WrestleMania that prove once and for all that when it comes to pay per view, nobody, and I mean nobody does it better than the WWE.

A bit of a pop for that, although many of the fans aren't buying what Vince is saying so far...

Mr. McMahon: And Backlash was yet another example of why the WWE is, and forever will be, the leader in pay per view broadcasts in all of professional sports. Ever since I launched the WWE onto pay per view with the very first WrestleMania, nobody has been able to touch this company.

In the background, Shane nods in agreement with his father, while Lashley simply snarls and scowls at the crowd...

Mr. McMahon: And why is that, huh? Why d’ya think that for over 20 years, this company has been the market leader in sports pay per view? You wanna know why? I’ll tell ya’ why. This reason this company has been so successful, the reason this company has made hundreds of millions of dollars over the years… is all because… of ME!

And now the boos break out, the fans realising this is nothing more than McMahon giving himself a pat on the back...

Mr. McMahon: It’s not because of the superstars that step into this ring, it’s not because of you fans, and it’s certainly not because of my wife Linda. I made the WWE, I moulded this company in my image, I created the WWE you see today in my vision, and I made it one of the biggest companies in the world! And hell, I made myself a lotta money in the process.

More heat, but Vince simply shrugs his shoulders...

Mr. McMahon: And what about this show? What about the flagship show of the WWE, Monday Night Raw? For 13 years now, Raw has been pullin’ in the highest ratings ever for whatever station it’s been on. And why is that? It’s all because of me!

Pointing a finger firmly into his chest, Vince smirks, knowing the fans can't prove him wrong...

Mr. McMahon: My creativity, my talent, my resourcefulness, my perseverance, that’s what’s made this company and this show what they are today. Linda? Huh. She was too busy livin’ off my success, too busy spendin’ my money, to contribute anythin’ meaningful. And yet somehow, she is the latest in a long line of people lookin’ to take control of my baby. Plenty o’ people have tried and failed to take all this away from me. I’m sure you all remember my most fiercest rival, Eric Bischoff.

Mixed response for Bischoff...

Mr. McMahon: Yeah, ol’ ‘Easy E’, he tried to run me outta business. That worked out well for him, didn’t it? Same could be said about Paul Heyman.

A much more positive response for the mention of Heyman , with a small “ECW!” chant breaking out...

Mr. McMahon: He and that group of thugs he called ECW, they had their hearts set on takin’ my spot. Then one day, I just bought ‘em outta business. Who else? Well… let’s see, my own daughter, Stephanie, she tried it once. She tried to take control, she tried to have me removed from power… so I took matters into my own hands and I dealt out a little fatherly advice, and she soon got back in her place. And what about Ric Flair?

A resounding “Woooo!” from the fans, at which Vince rolls his eyes and shakes his head...

Mr. McMahon: Yeah, woo! He arrived here in the WWE as the part owner of my company, and he tried to gain full control away from me. But I soon saw him off, hell, I even stepped in the ring with ‘im, and I beat ‘im at ‘is own game! It doesn’t matter who it is, or who they do it, anybody who’s tried to take control of Monday Night Raw away from me has found out the hard way that it’s just not gonna happen.

Vince heads to the side of the ring where he now points up the ramp at the entrance way...

Mr. McMahon: And I’m not sure if the WWE Board of Directors back there have made their decision or not… but if there was ever any prove needed of my credentials, then last night at Backlash… they got it.

Turning back towards the hard camera, Vince gives us a ridiculously fake look of sincerity...

Mr. McMahon: My own family, my son in law, Triple H, he had to be removed from the arena on a stretcher, but did I let family get in the way of business? Did I let my personal feelings of sadness and regret get in the way of doin’ the right thing for the fans of this company? Absolutely not! There was a show to finish, and I had to be there to see it through to the end. But Linda? She jumped in my limo, she and Stephanie raced to the hospital, and they let their personal lives effect business. And that’s why the Board of Directors should see sense, make the right decision, and let’s put an end to all this crazy talk about Linda runnin’ Raw.

More heat...

Mr. McMahon: I’m a very busy man, and quite frankly, all this business over the last few months, it’s been nothin’ but a distraction. I mean, to be honest, I don’t know how I managed to keep things runnin’ so smoothly with all this goin’ on around me. I just don’t know how I do it, sometimes I impress even me.

Vince turns and shares a hearty smile with Shane, with son giving father a warm pat on the back...

Mr. McMahon: So that’s why I’m callin’ on the Board of Directors to send a representative out here to the ring right now, and let’s hear the decision. Let’s hear that at Backlash last night, my commitment to the show, my commitment to the WWE, proved without a shadow of a doubt that there is nobody better equipped to lead this show forward. So c’mon, let’s get somebody out here, and let’s put all this to bed, and let me get on with running my creation.



Mr. McMahon: Come on, let’s go. I’m a very busy man, and I-

*RETRO WRESTLEMANIA…*


A groan from Vince as he rolls his eyes and shakes his head as his wife Linda McMahon steps out from the back and quickly heads down the ramp. Although not much of a reaction, it’s a warm response for Linda, who is at least welcomed into the ring by her son Shane, who clearly had no bad feelings towards his mother. After a quick nod of courtesy between husband and wife, Linda heads for the corner and is handed a microphone, then returns to the centre of the ring to stand opposite Vince. As the music dies down, the annoyed ‘Chairman of the Board’ holds his hands out, not so much in confusion, more in exasperation that he’s not going to get the answer he wants right now…


Mr. McMahon: Linda? What… I didn’t invite you out here right now. I wanted somebody from the Board of Directors out here, I wanted answers right now. What are you doin’ out here?

Standing tall in the face of her husband's rage, Linda pauses, composing herself with a slight smile before she begins...

Linda McMahon: Well Vince, that’s exactly why I’m out here. To give you answers.

Confused, Vince screws up his face...

Linda McMahon: Y’see, the Board of Directors wrapped up their boardroom meeting about 15 minutes ago. If you weren’t so busy sitting in hair and makeup, you might have been there to hear what they had to say.

A few laughs from the crowd, which prompts Vince to gently stroke a hand across his well-placed hair…

Linda McMahon: I was there Vince to hear the decision, and I gotta tell ya’… it was very interesting… if not a little bit… disappointing.

Again confusion from Vince and the crowd...

Linda McMahon: Infact, it was… very disappointing for me.

And the confusion grows as Linda turns her head away in disapointment, but of course Vince is convinced he's figured things out...

Mr. McMahon: You mean… ha! Ha ha! Yes! I knew it! They voted for me, didn’t they?! They saw sense and voted in my favour! I knew it! I knew it all along! I knew walkin’ out on the show last night was gonna cost ya’! I just knew-

Linda McMahon: Settle down, Vince. I wasn’t finished.

Pop for the interruption that stops Vince dead in his tracks...

Linda McMahon: It might have been a disappointing decision for me… but believe me, it was also a very disappointing decision… for you.

And now the look of fear starts to cross the face of 'The Chairman of the Board'...

Linda McMahon: Because the decision that the Board of Directors finally came to was that… well, they just couldn’t make up their minds. Just like two weeks ago, they just couldn’t decide who should be in control of Monday Night Raw. We’re at a stalemate, Vince.

Loud jeers from the fans, a sentiment echoed by Vince as he angrily shakes his head...

Mr. McMahon: Goddammit! Those incompetent idiots!

Linda McMahon: Well, let’s just remember, the majority of those board members were put there on your behest, Vince. You put a board in place, and only half of them have any confidence left in you.

Vince throws up his hands in annoyance...

Mr. McMahon: So… what? What now? We just keep on sharing power, getting in each other’s way, making decisions together. I don’t think so, Linda. That’s now how I operate, that’s not how I do business. I tell ya’ what… name your price. Just how much is it gonna cost me to buy to you outta my business. What’s it gonna take to get you to stay away from Raw?

Reaching inside his jacket pocket, Vince goes for what we can only assume is his wallet, but Linda quickly motions for her husband to stop...

Linda McMahon: Vince, believe me, this has nothing to do with money. This is all about what’s best for business. And by that I mean what’s best for the WWE… and more importantly, what’s best for it’s fans.

Pop...

Linda McMahon: But you’re right, we can’t carry on like this. We can’t continue to work together like this. And that’s one thing that the Board of Directors could come to an agreement on. We need to settle this. And they agreed that only one of us can control Raw moving forward. And to settle it, they wanted to do it the old fashioned way… in the ring.

And now more confusion, with Vince breaking out into a laugh...

Mr. McMahon: What? Me and you in the ring?

More laughter, although in the background Shane looks rather concerned by the thought of his mother and father in the ring together...

Mr. McMahon: Or wait, lemme guess. I pick a representative, you pick a representative, we let ‘em go at it, and the winner gets control of Raw, right?

Linda flashes Vince a fake smile and then says...

Linda McMahon: Wrong. One member of the Board of Directors said, and I quote… the WWE is bein’ dragged through a civil war. And then at that point, it seemed like a unanimous decision. There was only gonna be one way to decide who would control Monday Night Raw…

Moving in close, Linda gets right in Vince's face and shouts...

Linda McMahon: WAR GAMES!!

A major cheer from the crowd, many of whom are in shock at the announcement. Vince is stunned, giving us one of those trademark gulps of his while he scratches his head and tries to take in the news his wife has just given him...

Linda McMahon: They decided that I should pick a team, you should pick a team… and to the winners go the spoils. If my team wins… I take control of Monday Night Raw. If your team wins… I’ll step aside and leave you to it. I’ll let you and your maniacal ego run this show and this company into the ground. But believe me, I’m not goin’ out without a fight. And when you need a man to lead a team into war… well, I can think of only one man for the job…

And as Linda turns towards the entrance way, Vince’s heart sinks… as…

*MY TIME IS NOW…*


The excitement of the moment takes over as a truly thunderous reaction breaks out as John Cena strides out onto the stage. Soaking in the loud Nashville crowd, Cena takes a long look around the arena, nodding his head in agreement, before he offers up a salute and then charges down towards the ring.

As usual, Cena slides under the bottom rope and then bursts back to his feet, fully aware and on-guard as Lashley steps forward, the two WrestleMania opponents coming face to face once more. The music quickly cuts as Cena and Lashley stand toe to toe, tension in the air, both men with snarls on their faces, fists clenched, the crowd in a frenzy, cheering them on, dying to see a brawl break out right here and now. Vince looks furious, embarrassed that he’s been caught off guard with the announcement, and now he’s got his nemesis stood mere yards away from him.

The tension continues to build as both Cena and Lashley stand their ground… until… Lashley throws a right hand… Cena fires back… the fight is on! The two muscle bound warriors trade fierce and furious left and rights, then tackle each other to the canvas! It’s an all-out brawl, the two man trading violent shots that find their mark, and it seems there’s no end in sight, they could battle all night… only for Shane to try and come to Lashley’s aid as he jumps in, stomping on Cena! Breaking free from Lashley, Cena nips back up as Shane continues to land shots to him… but now Cena fires back! Right after right lands to Shane, backing him to the ropes… and here comes Cena… clothesline over the top rope to the floor! Shane is dumped outside, causing Vince and Brooke to make a sharp exit from the ring, but here comes Lashley, clubbing Cena from behind. The crowd boos loudly as the numbers game gets the better of Cena, and now Lashley winds him up for an Irish whip… but as Cena rebounds off the ropes, he ducks a Lashley clothesline… and then takes Lashley down with a flying shoulderblock! Cena bowls Lashley over, causing Lashley to roll under the bottom rope to scamper around to the base of the ramp to join Vince, Shane and Brooke.

In the ring, Cena is like an animal unleashed, muscles straining, full of intensity, dying for another piece of Vince and Lashley… but ‘The Boss’ decides it’s best to fight another day as he orders his crew to back their way up the ramp. Lashley of course isn’t interested, as he lingers near the ring, nostrils flaring, baying for Cena’s blood, but it’s not going to be tonight as we hear Linda say…


Linda McMahon: VINCE! Allow me to introduce to you the captain of ‘Team Linda’… JOHN – CENA!!

Cena throws up his hands to the crowd, a loud reaction for him while on the ramp, Shane does his best to hold back the seething Lashley...

Linda McMahon: We are gonna settle this once and for all. And at War Games, if ya’ want some…

Linda holds the mic under Cena's face as he screams with intensity...

John Cena: COME GET SOME!!

*MY TIME IS NOW…*


And another loud response from the fans as Cena and Linda have firmly laid down the gauntlet to Vince. As ‘The Chairman of the Board’ backs away, both he and Lashley share the same look of disgust on their faces, both clearly furious with what’s just transpired. As they back away, in the ring Cena raises Linda’s arm high in the air, pointing at her, clearly showing he’s fully on board with representing her at War Games, the crowd showing they too are in Linda’s corner as they give her a tremendous pop…


Jim Ross: My Gawd, can you believe it? War Games is comin’ to the WWE! It’s Team Vince again Team Linda, and John Cena’s steppin’ up for Linda McMahon!

Jerry Lawler: And, well… who’s gonna join ‘im? I mean, who else is gonna be on Team Linda? Who’s Vince gonna choose for his team? What the heck’s gonna happen next!?

Joey Styles: I guess we’re gonna have to wait to find out, but one thing’s for certain, War Games is on it’s way, and the Civil War in the WWE is finally gonna be settled. Who’s gonna run Monday Night Raw? Who’s gonna gain control of the WWE’s flagship show?! I guess we’re about to find out!

Jim Ross: What a night it’s been, and we thank you for joinin’ us folks! We’ll see ya’ next week for more Monday Night Raw!

In the ring, Cena and Linda continue to celebrate, with Cena heading for the corner and climbing to the second rope, firing up the crowd, while on the stage, Vince and Lashley stare back down on the two, angry scowls on both their faces, the camera switching back and forth as we fade to black.

*End Show*




Current Card for WWE SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT - KING OF THE RING SPECIAL:
Date: June 2nd, 2007

Location: TD Banknorth Garden; Boston, Massachusetts


The 2007 King of the Ring Tournament:
COMPETITORS TO BE DETERMINED





Current Card for WWE WAR GAMES:
Date: June 17th, 2007

Location: Target Center; Minneapolis, Minnesota


War Games Match:
Team Linda (John Cena, ???, ???, ??? and ???) vs. Team Vince (???, ???, ???, ??? and ???)


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WWE: The Evolution Of Greed
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:35 PM   #282 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Monday Night Raw Review

Opening Promo- Expected start for RVD especially after his victory at the PPV, but good idea to have him say it is out of the ordinary for him to give monologues. Pretty good of a face RVD to commend Cena for his efforts, shows respect between the two.
And then what the hell?? Cesaro debuts like this? Pretty cool but I can’t tell if this means you’re gonna put him straight into the main event scene. This is an awesome Cesaro challenge even though I didn’t really see it coming. I cant believe RVD accepted the challenge. I don’t know why but I am seeing a shock Cesaro victory here.

McMahon Promo- This is my first time reviewing this thread so I don’t really understand whats going on in the McMahon promo. But I assume theres a big vote between Vince and Linda for control of the company or something like that.

Melina/Masters/Nitro- Typical Melina yelling at her partners, that is very in character. The fight between Masters and Nitro was good to keep Melina’s steam rolling. Melina tries to be inspirational here but I don’t think that its gonna work out for the tag team.

Carlito vs Knox- I am anticipating a Carlito victory unless somehow Mike Knox has a huge push in this thread. I like the quick attacks by Carlito to put himself in control of the match. I expected Knox to get a little bit of offense in but good booking to have Carlito regain momentum with the Tornado DDT. Carlito gives the Backstabber and gets the victory.

Good little Carlito promo. He is trying to give himself the momentum that he once had.

Im really liking this Dykstra interview. He is sounding like a real douchebag which I think is the gimmick he has (cocky champion). I also like that you don’t have Torrie say anything, it makes Kenny look more powerful and over the top. Oh snap, I did not see Carlito making a sneak attack already. He just had his match and everything. This makes me think that hes gonna get eliminated from the KotR tournament and then end up challenging Kenny again.

Hart Legacy vs. Masters/Nitro- I am predicting a Hart Legacy win just because it seemed like the Masters/Nitro tandem wasn’t on the same page. I like the usage of Melina to keep choking Smith as Masters distracts the ref. Puts them really over as heels. Oh man just when it seemed like Nitro and Masters had the momentum, Smith really countered it with the Powerslam for the victory. Glad I predicted right as least.

Holy crap I did not think that they would actually turn on Nitro, I just expected some more arguments between the team. I guess this sets up a big match between the two soon.

I really enjoyed this Orton interview because it really puts him over to the point where him eventually winning the world title will seem natural rather than forced. I also think it was pretty clever that you put a political side into the interview with Orton talking about the Linda vs. Vince thing.

Punk vs Murdoch- If Punk doesn’t win this match then I will be extremely disappointed. Even if Cade is gonna interfere, I hope it doesn’t lead to a Murdoch win because he has no business in the Round of 16. The Punk dive onto Cade and Murdoch was pretty cool. Good ending to the match with Dinsmore able to keep Cade from taking what was CM Punk’s.

Man another aftermath attack? Seems like a recurrence in every match. Im guessing that this will be a small feud for the next month or so.

All Michaels promos after long matches are always awesome and Im liking the way this is going so far. Michaels seems really serious about proving that he was better than Triple H. I like that Michaels is trying to make himself the hero and saying that Triple H hurt so many people so it was ok for him to hurt him. And now the change of subject back to the championship and RVD. I see Michaels possibly getting another shot but definitely not winning it again. Man this was such a legendary heel Michaels promo. He seriously built up a lot of momentum and I wonder where he is gonna end up.

I guess the WGTT interview was ok. It felt like it was kind of forced just because they won their match the night before so it would be weird if they weren’t on Raw. Anyway, it seems like youre hinting at them facing each other in the tournament but I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

Holly vs Hardy- As much as I would love for Hardcore Holly to win this match, I don’t think that there is any way that Hardy loses. This is a surprisingly entertaining match for two totally different types of wrestlers. When I first saw the Alabama Slam in big letters I thought there was the chance that he’d win but obviously Jeff had to counter and get the victory. Good win for him. Could possibly see him winning this thing.

Van Dam vs Cesaro- This is a crazy opening match for Cesaro’s debut, if he could win then that would be crazy but Im banking on RVD winning here. Cesaro seems to be proving himself by being able to keep up with RVD. Before the commercial break it is pretty interesting that Cesaro has the advantage. He is definitely making this into more of a match than he was expecting. After the break everything starts getting crazy. It felt like there were finishers and big-time momentum moves being thrown out left and right. Wow I don’t know why but I shouldve seen Michaels interfering in this match. I think it ending in a count out is perfect to give RVD and Cesaro some credibility.

McMahon is really coming hard at the crowd and at everyone involved in the WWE really by trying to take credit for all of it. Haha at the shots being taken at Eric Bischoff and at Paul Heyman, and even at Linda (spending his money). It really adds to the shoot. McMahon shows his truest commitment to the business with that last section before Linda makes her arrival. I wonder what shes about to say. WHATTTTT War Games for control of WWE? That is crazy. That is going to be absolutely nuts. Then the Cena and Lashley brawl added so much tension to the mix. What a huge announcement by Linda. I am guessing that Lashley is going to be the captain of Vince’s team. I am really looking forward to this one. And it is nice to see Cena not in a championship position for once.

Overall this is show was a much fun read. I hope that one day I can book/write as entertaining as this.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:47 AM   #283 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

A very bold way to introduce Cesaro. I, like most readers, expected him to fit straight into the mid card - and although I believe eventually it’s a spot he’ll settle into for a period of time at least - he’s come straight in with a bang, and made an instant impact on Raw. Even if he had’ve lost in the main event, just being competitive in his opening match with the WWE Champion for the title would’ve instantly propelled him as a serious player. Winning via count out is just the icing on the cake. I can certainly envisage him walking out on Raw next week to declare himself the champion or something, before being interrupted by someone like Jeff Hardy or Carlito, unless he does indeed stick around with the top tier talent for the time being. A memorable debut to say the least for BTB - probably ranking just a fraction below how Legend introduced Punk in his thread.

I also thought Van Dams promo on Cesaro during the opening segment was a very strong baby face promo, setting himself as one of the every day guys in the audience when talking about Cesaros suit & the patriotism, telling him he‘s in America. All done very nicely without pandering to the fans. A good job all round. Just one point to make though, and I’m not sure if I’ve made it before, or just made it in a different thread, but when you have RVD (or anyone for that matter) say WrestleMania XXIII, it might be better to drop the roman numerals and write it as 23. Just, for me, I get thrown off and read it as RVD actually saying X-X-X-I-I.

I am certainly intrigued to see what you do to change up Nitros character. The symbolic sign of him dumping the fur coat in the trash after being double crossed by Melina and Masters certainly points to a change of thinking from Nitro, leaving behind the flamboyant days of MNM. Given his lack of character - and general rotten promo ability - it’ll be fascinating to see what you do to make him an interesting face, aside from his (overly) flashy in ring abilities. Another brave move IMO, splitting him from his crutch, Melina.

“Hunter was my friend. I knew his wife, I knew his kid, I knew everythin’ about him. I don’t know the same about you Rob… don’t gimme a reason to find out.”

That was just chilling. Once more, a splendid, masterful promo from Shawn Michaels, with his lack of emotion for Trips and lack of sorrow for his actions simply chilling. Now that The Game is out of the picture for a while, it makes sense for him to turn his focus back to RVD, and his presence during the main event certainly backs up this promo, and will likely see the two square off on the June PPV. The correlation between Michaels ‘96 take on all comers championship reign and RVD’s current take on comers reign was a nice mirror image for Michaels to play up to. I had reservations initially with how Michaels twisted character would transition from the Triple H feud into this likely RVD feud, but after this opening salvo to state his intentions, those reservations are squashed.

Solid night of action to kick off the King of the Ring tournament, albeit without any shocks or surprises. It appears Carlito should transition out of his Dykstra feud for the time being with a run in the tournament to keep him occupied, although the temptation to see TWGTT square off in the Quarters might be enough to have Carlito dumped in the next round by Benjamin. Either way, I see Haas and Benjamin making it as far as each other, and both men losing out to Carlito and Hardy in the second round is just as likely - two huge matches for the last sixteen (assuming TWGTT safely progress that far ) whilst the top half of the Raw draw isn’t quite as loaded, with Dykstra seemingly the most likely candidate to win that top half of the draw (I’d love to see him vs. Lawler in the Quarters) - and a potential showdown in the semi finals with Carlito-

TOO MANY VARIABLES!!!!

Which is a good thing, of course. Anyways, outside of the actual KOTR matches, the aftermath of the Punk match would suggest that the SES will transition into a feud with the RNWC in between the tournament matches. It could leave the tag champions in limbo, unless the Harts are to make an assault on the titles themselves, although IMO, it’s still too early for them to be considered a serious threat to the gold.

The build up through the show for the big announcement on whether Vince or Linda would have control was nicely executed, even if the announcement of War Games was rather predictable - nothing is wrong with predictable from time to time - it sets the stage perfectly for the June PPV, with high stakes in the War Games match. It needed a big stipulation for the match to mean anything, and you certainly provided the big stipulation to go with the big match. Cena as Lindas captain made sense, and I expect to see Lashley captain Vinces side, with Ortons comments on Linda earlier in the night putting him in the frame to be the next big name in the team. Shane could also be an outside bet to be part of Vinces team, given his reputation for big spots. All in all, the teams should be loaded by the looks of things, and I cant wait to see how the teams eventually flesh out.

I do hate providing feedback without any real constructive criticism, but honestly, I didn’t find anything overly offensive enough to criticise. A good job all round, with a memorable debut, a strong promo from HBK (again), and the show closing angle all doing their bit. That WrestleMania ‘hangover’ has certainly passed imo, with this perhaps being the strongest weekly show of yours that I’ve read - including the build toward WrestleMania itself.

Great job.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:45 PM   #284 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Going to go against the grain here, but fuck it. iMac, you know that I've been a fan of yours for a while now and whilst I may not have left you a ton of feedback, I've been reading all your work, and I've left predictions with feedback, so you know I've been following. I have to be honest though.

Much like the Wolfster below, I'll start off by saying I'm not going to comment too much on the whole show because most of your booking is solid. The midcard is looking great, the use of King of The Ring, War Games, that stuff all looks great. However, as the "bad cop" to Wolfy's good cop act below, I have a different opinion of Cesaro's debut, that being, I feel it was the wrong decision.

There are many times in booking when you have to make a judgment call on whether a particular segment will make Superstar A look better or Superstar B look weak. In this case, whilst you and Wolfy both think that the former is the result, I see the latter being the outcome, that being, that Van Dam has come out of this night looking weak, especially in his current role as WWE Champion. I GET you wanted to debut Cesaro in a big way. I GET that you wanted to thrust him into the main event, and I'm sure you thought that it would be okay for Van Dam to accept a challenge to a title match from a nobody because he's a babyface. But if I am to read your thread as a reader, and assume that I am a viewer, for me, personally, the WWE Championship has now been devalued, Van Dam looks like an idiot, and I think you may have now booked yourself into a position where as a viewer, it'll be very hard for me to buy Van Dam as a credible WWE Champion anymore.

I don't think it's just you, by the way. I think it's a common thing in BTB where bookers seem to think that faces can't reject challenges. This is the wrestling industry. It's NOTORIOUS for newcomers to pay their dues, to earn respect, and to WORK toward title matches. What does it do for the WWE Championship as a title when an unknown (yes, in WWE's "universe", at this point, he is unknown), waltzes on to the show, and the champion ACCEPTS his challenge for a title match? What's the point of number one contendership?? What's the point of everyone else fighting to earn their way to the top?? If it's THAT easy to get a title shot, why doesn't the entire roster line up and one-by-one challenge Van Dam to a title match?? And if you debut anyone else in this thread from now on, and they don't immediately challenge the WWE Champion, why wouldn't they when the champion will accept?? Won't they look inferior by debuting in a much less impactful way than Cesaro?? Again, I'm trying not to sound harsh because I like your efforts and I like this thread, but it just doesn't have any logic to me.

As for Van Dam - this is a guy who's been through all kinds of extreme violence, busted his arse (I can't say "ass", it doesn't sound right ) to get to where he is, been through hell, just like most main eventers on RAW, and he's just going to GIVE a debuting superstar a title match??? This SAME guy who went through a Road to WrestleMania tournament, who beat TRIPLE H and SHAWN MICHAELS in the main event at WRESTLEMANIA, is going to put all that hard work aside, all that effort aside, ignore it, as a character, and just give someone a title shot?? Again, I don't get it. Like I said before, maybe you think if Van Dam rejected it'd seem an odd move for a babyface, but I completely disagree. It'd make TOTAL sense for Van Dam to tell this necomer to fuck off and EARN his spot. A non-title match?? Sure. But not for the belt. This is all I have to say on that for now. Edit: Just remembered an extra thing I was going to say. Wolfy made a comparison between you and Legend and your debuts of Cesaro and CM Punk respectively. For me, Legend's worked because Punk debuted and beat a former world champion, which is a different situation to what you did.

Again, to disagree with Wolfy, I'm not sure about the Michaels/Van Dam program. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed Michaels' character transformation in this thread immensely. However, much like Chris Jericho in "real-life" WWE (if there is such a thing) in 2008, this particular character evolution, caused because of another particular character acting as a catalyst, has a very short "life-expectancy", shall we say. Basically, I'm not sold on how you transitioned Michaels from feuding with HHH to feuding with Van Dam. TO ME (I keep stressing that, because I feel that Wolfy and maybe some others will completely disagree with my comments ) it almost felt like you were struggling yourself to make that connection between Michaels' personal issue with HHH, and his career-issue with Van Dam. To give you an example off the top of my head, if you haven't seen it, take a look at (again) Chris Jericho's return at the start of 2012 and his first promo back on RAW, before the Elimination Chamber. It was obvious Jericho was back for Punk, back to claim back his "Best of the World" title, but because WWE booked Jericho and Punk in the Chamber match, they had to have Jericho make up some very vague issues with Miz, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler, and it was so obvious he was clutching at straws. To me, that's what the WrestleMania 12 reference felt like that, as did much of the second half of the promo.

Whilst my comments about Cesaro's debut and RVD were pretty much criticism , I hope that you understand that it was constructive criticism, and the fact I've bothered to write this much feedback (which I barely do for anyone anymore, ever), just goes to show how strongly I feel about it. You're a good booker so I hope you find some way of restoring Van Dam's credibility after this week. Like I said, I know people will disagree with me - after all, after Lesnar lost to John Cena last year in his return match, I never bought him as a true "monster" again, even when he "broke" Triple H's arm, but Alcoholic insisted I was wrong.

Oh, by the way, the part about the Michaels promo (and his character) isn't so much criticism, but just feedback, and perhaps a warning of what's to come. He's had such a strong character, that now the issue with Triple H is over, I can't see him lasting as a heel to the end of 2007. That's a long way off, but if I treat this as I would television, that's my prediction. Much like with heel Chris Jericho in 2008, who needed Shawn Michaels for his character to have its greatest working ability, and heel CM Punk in 2009, who needed Jeff Hardy, it's very difficult to keep these heels with PARTICULAR issues as over as they are as heels without that "match made in heaven" (ironically) opposing them.

I guess people see things in different ways, and right now I've just felt obliged to tell you how I see things. I'm intrigued to see how you respond, so I'll be waiting.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:36 PM   #285 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Jesus, that's a big old post. Thanks a lot King, very interesting reading. I can't comment on every part of it, but I'll do my best to give you some justification of my actions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KING. View Post
There are many times in booking when you have to make a judgment call on whether a particular segment will make Superstar A look better or Superstar B look weak. In this case, whilst you and Wolfy both think that the former is the result, I see the latter being the outcome, that being, that Van Dam has come out of this night looking weak, especially in his current role as WWE Champion. I GET you wanted to debut Cesaro in a big way. I GET that you wanted to thrust him into the main event, and I'm sure you thought that it would be okay for Van Dam to accept a challenge to a title match from a nobody because he's a babyface. But if I am to read your thread as a reader, and assume that I am a viewer, for me, personally, the WWE Championship has now been devalued, Van Dam looks like an idiot, and I think you may have now booked yourself into a position where as a viewer, it'll be very hard for me to buy Van Dam as a credible WWE Champion anymore.
Y'know, as a booker, I don't think there's ever anything wrong with a champion having a night where he looks weak. Nothing whatsoever. Champions, especially face champion, are as infallible as anybody else in my book. Maybe I never did a good enough job with those videos. I really wanted to emphasis that for all his pomp and pageantry, Cesaro is a real student of the game. He'd studied the competition, he'd identified their strengths and weaknesses. He's arrogant, he believes he's the best in the world, he's proven it across the world, and now he's here to prove it in the WWE, and he doesn't want to waste anytime, he knows the WWE Championship is the richest prize in the sport, and he wants it now. I don't want Cesaro to be some guy who talks a good game. I wanted to bring him in as a legit upper carder, a guy who could come in and hang with the big boys right off the bat. And without giving too much away, we've got another six weeks until War Games. Plenty of time for a rematch between the two, and a chance for Van Dam to pick up a convincing victory. But now, just like Chris Jericho has lived on those "I was the first ever Undisputed Champion" comments for so long, Cesaro has "I beat the WWE Champion in my WWE debut" to kick start his WWE career. And that, for me, is something that he can use as a character.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KING. View Post
I don't think it's just you, by the way. I think it's a common thing in BTB where bookers seem to think that faces can't reject challenges. This is the wrestling industry. It's NOTORIOUS for newcomers to pay their dues, to earn respect, and to WORK toward title matches. What does it do for the WWE Championship as a title when an unknown (yes, in WWE's "universe", at this point, he is unknown), waltzes on to the show, and the champion ACCEPTS his challenge for a title match? What's the point of number one contendership?? What's the point of everyone else fighting to earn their way to the top?? If it's THAT easy to get a title shot, why doesn't the entire roster line up and one-by-one challenge Van Dam to a title match?? And if you debut anyone else in this thread from now on, and they don't immediately challenge the WWE Champion, why wouldn't they when the champion will accept?? Won't they look inferior by debuting in a much less impactful way than Cesaro?? Again, I'm trying not to sound harsh because I like your efforts and I like this thread, but it just doesn't have any logic to me.
Well... I dunno really. That's just wrestling. I mean, to take a real world analogy, TNA's Open Fight Night. Why would anybody call out anybody other than Jeff Hardy or whoever the champion happens to be? It's just... wrestling. That's all it is. Some guys would rather settle a personal agenda, while others would rather chase success. I disagree with your notion that a blanket approach has to be taken with regards to guys debuting and going straight for the title. That's the complexity of characters in wrestling, faces show respect, heels don't. If everybody thought the same way, it wouldn't make for a very entertaining show. I take your point about lack of logic, but let's be honest, wrestling in general lacks logic at times. Different guys can have different opinions and different goals. Cesaro's is to come straight in at the top and challenge the top dog. That doesn't mean that the next guy to debut has to think exactly the same way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KING. View Post
Again, to disagree with Wolfy, I'm not sure about the Michaels/Van Dam program. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed Michaels' character transformation in this thread immensely. However, much like Chris Jericho in "real-life" WWE (if there is such a thing) in 2008, this particular character evolution, caused because of another particular character acting as a catalyst, has a very short "life-expectancy", shall we say. Basically, I'm not sold on how you transitioned Michaels from feuding with HHH to feuding with Van Dam. TO ME (I keep stressing that, because I feel that Wolfy and maybe some others will completely disagree with my comments ) it almost felt like you were struggling yourself to make that connection between Michaels' personal issue with HHH, and his career-issue with Van Dam. To give you an example off the top of my head, if you haven't seen it, take a look at (again) Chris Jericho's return at the start of 2012 and his first promo back on RAW, before the Elimination Chamber. It was obvious Jericho was back for Punk, back to claim back his "Best of the World" title, but because WWE booked Jericho and Punk in the Chamber match, they had to have Jericho make up some very vague issues with Miz, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler, and it was so obvious he was clutching at straws. To me, that's what the WrestleMania 12 reference felt like that, as did much of the second half of the promo.
Again, maybe this is me not emphasizing enough the point and Michaels motivation. If I go back to Raw: Night of Champions, Michaels never turned purely to get at Triple H. He turned for selfish reasons, he turned to be champion, and to hell with anybody who got in the way of that. He had achieved his goal, he had became champion, but between them at WrestleMania, Van Dam and Triple H took that away from him. Now his motivation has changed. He's gone from coveting a title to now seeking revenge. The feud with Triple H, that was personal, a necessary step, the big obstacle to overcome. And now it's done, now he wants back what he lost. He sees what Van Dam is doing, he's been the babyface champion, and he's decided that while the fans may appreciate it, he's not interested in them anymore. He's pandered to the masses, but now it's all about him and his desire, his obsession with the WWE Championship. Again though, there's still six weeks left until War Games, and I've got some interesting stuff (well, for me anyway) lined up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KING. View Post
Whilst my comments about Cesaro's debut and RVD were pretty much criticism , I hope that you understand that it was constructive criticism, and the fact I've bothered to write this much feedback (which I barely do for anyone anymore, ever), just goes to show how strongly I feel about it. You're a good booker so I hope you find some way of restoring Van Dam's credibility after this week.
Always appreciate constructive criticism, but I guess I've said it already, I know what I've got lined up and I feel I've got plenty of time to work with to restore Van Dam. Yes, he did look weak tonight. But as I said before, I'll never have an issue with a champion, especially a face one that's not all that physically imposing, having a night or two where the cracks start to show. I guess that's just a booking philosophy I have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KING. View Post
I guess people see things in different ways, and right now I've just felt obliged to tell you how I see things. I'm intrigued to see how you respond, so I'll be waiting.
And that's the beauty of wrestling. And it's pretty much summed up by this forum. That Raw discussion thread, one segment will get a bunch of "That was awesome" posts, while the same segment can receive an equal amount of "That was shit" posts. It's all about opinions, and I certainly value yours.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:33 AM   #286 (permalink)
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I anticipated Cena starting this one off following what went down at Backlash but Van Dam was always another strong option and it was a typical babyface promo. Nothing wrong with that at all, gotta be done sometimes and I liked the fact he was more than willing to put his title on the line again against somebody like Lashley despite having just overcome Cena. Really wasn’t expecting Cesaro at all, I assumed he’d slot into a midcard storyline but this exposure is huge for him, kudos for being brave and tossing him straight in like this. Also, fair play on chucking all the languages in for Cesaro, they could mean anything and I wouldn’t know but still, good effort. No surprise that Van Dam accepts the challenge and his words after Cesaro’s little speech were again really strong babyface words. Match later on should be gold, I’ll discuss my thoughts on the Wolfy/KING conflict after that.

Building the tension with the McMahon’s, expected this and it was delivered nicely. You got across Vince’s panic and worry well here.

Speaking of tension…saw the break up on the cards after Backlash and after this I don’t think we’ll be far off it now. Melina can be such a fun bitchy character to write and I think you got that down here as well as showing the divide between the partners.

Strong win for Lito here and putting his feud with Dykstra on the backburner might not be the worst move in the world. Would give it a chance to build all the more as well as giving both men a solid run in the tournament. The Lito attack on Kenny after his interview however suggests this could be a more imminent rematch, we shall see. I’d have personally left it to simmer a couple of weeks but no real qualms with Lito’s continued aggression.

Hart Legacy were always gonna get the win here. They looked strong last night and tonight’s no different, their momentum certainly building now. Main story is of course the break up of Nitro and Masters. Was a little surprised to see Melina so involved in it, I know she was the one who laid the challenge down to them to deliver but still, thought Masters would get more physical. Masters and Melina could be an interesting pair while I’m very interested in how you use Nitro as a face. The binning of the fur coat was very symbolic and a nice little touch. I’d expect Nitro to come out on top in a feud between the two moving forward.

Solid interview with Orton, seems to me like he’ll get involved in the McMahon saga now which I’d be all for, adds another big name to the mix and gives him something to do before cashing in that contract.

Punk takes this one to nobody’s surprise. I’d like to see a decent run in this for him, just as a little glimpse of what he’s gonna be capable of on his own down the line. Enjoyed the aftermath and would suggest a feud between these two teams is imminent which I can live with. I’m a fan of the RWC and would love to see them look legit in this feud. Think the SES would come out on top but a strong feud would do both teams wonders.

This was the thing I was looking forward to most. Michaels is the MVP of this thread right now and this didn’t disappoint in my opinion. His faith was evident here, musta been mentioned five or six times in the early stages and it really emphasised just how much he’s truly buying into it all, makes you feel like he really has got a screw loose which after his actions last night may not be wrong.

Him forgiving the fans was awesome, just such a great move. Shifting focus back to the WWE Title makes sense and the way you worded it was correct, the whole journey back to what made him smile is typical HBK right now. Some chilling words following this with the way he played up the Trips feud and how personal it got and especially that line that Wolfy highlighted, that came across as just pure evil. I felt the last little passage probably wasn’t necessary if I’m being honest, I get that you wanted to make a comparison but I think you shoulda just left it on that eerie line. Very enjoyable read and I’ve no doubts this Michaels/Van Dam feud is gonna really hot up in the coming weeks.

Standard promo here from WGTT. Them being more focused on KOTR isn’t a bad thing right now as like they put it, there’s nobody left for them to tick off. I hope you start to build maybe a little tension between the two in the lead up to KOTR, them meeting at some point would be mighty interesting that’s for sure.

Clever stuff here between these two ladies. Beth’s words were strong while Victoria’s slightly torn emotions were great and I’ve no doubts who’ll be accepting Beth’s open challenge next week.

Jeff wins this one all day, every day. I think he’s gonna need a strong showing in this one following his defeat to Orton. A bit of a rebuilding stage for the enigma right now.

First off, the match was strong and Cesaro comes out of it showing exactly what he’s capable of. You’ve now got yourself a legit upper carder right off the bat which is great, new challengers, new stars are always great to see and I’m sure Cesaro’s gonna flourish. I know there’s been a split decision in your first couple reviews and I’m more in the Wolfy camp to be honest. I think this has been a great night for Cesaro while Van Dam does slightly, slightly come out of it looking a little weaker in losing to a newcomer. It’s nothing major however as Michaels played it up earlier on that cracks were beginning to show whilst he also played in his part in the outcome, distracting his attention and that’s something Van Dam won’t take lightly. In my personal opinion, the only mistake here was making this a match for the title. I know you’re playing up that he’ll defend it anywhere against anybody but I think everybody knew Cesaro wouldn’t win the gold but couldn’t lose his debut either. If you’d have gone non title, you could’ve had Cesaro perhaps even pin the champion thanks to an even bigger distraction from Michaels and that then could’ve lead to a title match on an upcoming Raw where Van Dam does get the victory.

Classic Vince here. Loved how much he put all the company’s success down to him and the running down of all his competitors over the years was great and does establish just how strong he’s proved to be with the amount of challenges he’s come up against. I’m not a massive fan of Linda, I think I’ve said that before, I just think she’s very bland but I get the whole power struggle thing and as long as she stays somewhat in the background heading into this HUGE War Games showdown, I’ll be more than happy with the build to this. I’ve not seen a War Games match written before in the section that I can think of so I’m hugely excited to read it when it comes but the build should be great too with so much at stake. I’ve no doubts Vince will go all out to bring the big guns into his team. Cena and Lashley as captains I would assume and it may very well be those two who have the deciding say come June 17th.

On the whole a fantastic fallout show from Backlash. The last month was a tiny bit flat compared to your usual but Wrestlemania hangover was always likely, it’s certainly gone now. Michaels/Van Dam seems to be in motion while you got a main player now in Cesaro already. I hope the McMahon feud kicks up another level next week and that we start to get a couple more names in the teams, I’m thinking Orton’s the first to jump on board. A whole lot to look forward to and a whole lot accomplished with this one. Good job and looking forward to SD.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:40 AM   #287 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night SmackDown~
May 4th, 2007
Von Braun Center
Huntsville, Alabama






Last week London, England played host to Friday Night SmackDown and it's two title matches. While Matt Hardy registered a convincing victory over Finlay to retain his United States Championship, the World Heavyweight Championship Match between Batista and Mr. Kennedy came to an abrupt ending... all thanks to Edge.

As Batista and Kennedy were battling to a finish, Edge stormed the ring, delivering the spear to Batista and then to Mr. Kennedy, handing the victory to Batista albeit via disqualification. The issues between these three have been escalating for months now, and it appears that after Edge's recent actions, they could reach breaking point. Tonight, Batista and Matt Hardy to team up to face Edge and Hardy's opponent at Judgment Day, The Miz. With Batista desperate to get his hands on Edge, and with Edge desperate to get his hands on the World Heavyweight Championship, expect this one to be fierce battle, but of course, one question remains... just what role, if any, will Mr. Kennedy play in it all?

The 2007 King of the Ring kicked off on Raw last Monday, and now SmackDown joins the party with three qualifying matches. The WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans will collide, an intriguing matchup given the rather frosty relationship that has existed between the two since WrestleMania. No doubt Ashley will have both men ready for action, and they'll enter the match united and best of friends... but is that how they'll leave it? Elsewhere, expect a brutal battle between Kane and Finlay, the two heavy hitter so far suffering very different post-WrestleMania 2007s. Kane has been on a roll, picking up win after win, while Finlay has lost the United States Championship and failed to win it back in a rematch. Just one week after the brutal Belfast Brawl, Finlay may not be 100%, something which Kane will no doubt take advantage of. As for King Booker, he begins the defence of his crown and aims to become the first man to win the tournament twice. Tommy Dreamer will be no push over, but Booker should be able to make it through to the next round.

After weeks of bickering and back and forth between the Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms and his WrestleMania opponent, Bryan Danielson, tonight is finally the night that Danielson gets the chance to earn another shot at the gold as he is one of ten men competing in a Cruiserweight Battle Royal, the winner set to go to Judgment Day to face Helms for the title. Three members of The Full Blooded Italians, both Asian Rednecks and a host of other cruiserweights are set to compete, but surely now that he's so close to getting the title shot he craves, Danielson won't let this chance slip y him.

Last week, Chavo Guerrero started a retrospective of sorts of Rey Mysterio's career, starting by calling legendary cruiserweight Dean Malenko out to the ring. After harsh words were exchanged between the two, it appeared as if Chavo and Malenko would go their seperate ways with a showing of respect... only for Guerrero to sucker punch Malenko, then nail him with the frog splash, adding insult to injury. Tonight, Chavo vows to once again take us on a trip down memory lane by inviting an opponent from Rey's past into the ring. Just who does Chavo have in mind? Tune in to find out!

Confirmed Matches:

Batista and Matt Hardy vs. Edge and The Miz

King of the Ring Qualifying Matches – Round of 32
Brian Kendrick vs. Paul London
Finlay vs. Kane
King Booker vs. Tommy Dreamer

Chavo Guerrero vs. An Opponent From Rey Mysterio's Past
10 Man Cruiserweight Battle Royal
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:35 PM   #288 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Yeah, it's me again. Sorry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iMac View Post
Y'know, as a booker, I don't think there's ever anything wrong with a champion having a night where he looks weak. Nothing whatsoever. Champions, especially face champion, are as infallible as anybody else in my book.
A hero showing a weakness and a champion looking unworthy of holding their title are two separate things. For me, what happened with Van Dam on RAW fell into the latter of those two categories. But I guess we can agree to disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iMac
That's just wrestling. I mean, to take a real world analogy, TNA's Open Fight Night. Why would anybody call out anybody other than Jeff Hardy or whoever the champion happens to be? It's just... wrestling.
lolTNA. Don't try to make sense of it.


As for the Smackdown preview. KING KANE plz. Or I'll post more constructive criticism. I assume Edge will pick up the win in the main event, with some sort of Kennedy appearance, leading to a final triple threat match between those two and Batista for the title at Judgment Day, where the feud should be wrapped up for good. Fair enough. I'm guessing the cruiserweight from Mysterio's past is Billy Kidman. Bryan Danielson to win the battle royal, Helms perhaps to cheap shot him after the win? Regardless, Bryan will end up with the title soon enough anyways.

I'll be watching/reading. Toodles.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:26 PM   #289 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night SmackDown~
May 4th, 2007
Von Braun Center
Huntsville, Alabama



"The time for talkin’… is over."





We kick off with a video package from last week's show from the United Kingdom, highlighting the chaotic war between Matt Hardy and Finlay for the United States Championship that kicked off the show, with several of the hard hitting spots from the match shown until Hardy finally puts Finlay away. We then see clips from last week's main event, where Batista and Mr. Kennedy battled for the World Heavyweight Championship, the two engaging in a highly competitive match that was ruined as Edge stormed the ring and laid out both men with spears, the video showcasing the anger and desperation from Edge over the fact that he's still not World Heavyweight Champion.

From there, we see the usual SmackDown opening video, and then we're into the arena to take in the sights and sounds of the fans, before being welcomed to the show by our announce team...


Michael Cole: Last week, SmackDown emanated from the United Kingdom in what was a wild night from across the pond. Tonight, we're back in the good ol' US of A, but tensions are still runnin' high after the way we went off the air last week. Hello everyone, I'm Michael Cole, alongside me as always is the former WWE Champion, John Bradshaw Layfield, and the former ECW Champion, Tazz, and fellas, we started SmackDown last week with the chaos of the Belfast Brawl, but we ended with all kinds of controversy after Edge's actions.

Tazz: No kiddin' Cole. Matt Hardy and Finlay, they gave it everythin' they had, the beat the livin' heck outta each other, even that damn leprechaun came back and stuck 'is nose in it. But when it was all over, Hardy was standin' tall, still the US Champ.

Michael Cole: And 'JBL', what about the World Heavyweight Championship Match, last week's main event between Batista and Mr. Kennedy? A great back and forth match up, highly competitive, both men came close to victory on so many occasions, only for Edge to show up and ruin the match.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Edge has made it pretty clear all along, he feels like he's been robbed this last month or so, he feels like he oughta be champion by now, and I think all that frustration came out last week. And damn right too! I'm tellin' ya', Batista and Kennedy oughta count 'emselves lucky they didn't suffer the con-chair-to and wind up like Chris Benoit.

Michael Cole: Well we've got a helluva show lined up tonight folks, as the World Heavyweight Champion Batista teams up with the United States Champion Matt Hardy to take on Edge and The Miz, Chavo Guerrero is gonna continue his retrospective of Rey Mysterio's career, and we'll have a Ten Man Battle Royal to determine who's goin' to Judgment Day to challenge Gregory Helms for the Cruiserweight Championship. But right now, the 2007 King of the Ring got underway on Raw on Monday night, and now it's time for SmackDown to join the party...

*BOOM!*

*SLOW CHEMICAL...*


And we're joining it in a big way as the explosion heralds the arrival of Kane into the arena. With a tug of his elbow pad and a menacing snarl on his face, 'The Big Red Machine' strides down the aisle and reaches up to pull himself into the ring...


Michael Cole: And what a way to kick things off with the man who since WrestleMania has been on quite a tear. Kane has picked up win after win, he's had the number of The Full Blooded Italians the last few weeks, and now he's lookin' to advance in his first King of the Ring appearance since way back in 2001.

Tazz: Like you said Michael, Kane has been dominant since WrestleMania, pickin' up a ton o' big wins, and he's buildin' some real good momentum at the perfect time to be a real contender for this King of the Ring tournament.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I might not like Kane, but if he can make it to Saturday Night's Main Event, his style is gonna really lend itself well to a one night tournament like that. He'll smash your face, he'll kick your ass, and he'll look to do it in a hurry too.

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

*LAMBEG...*


And some pretty strong heat as Finlay makes his entrance, and for the first time, The Little Bastard is by his side. We soon see why as Finlay walks with a very noticeable limp, using the little guy almost as a crutch a couple of time to stop him losing balance as he gingerly enters the ring...


Michael Cole: Well there you see Finlay, obviously still suffering the effects from last week's Belfast Brawl when-

John Bradshaw Layfield: Exactly! He's hurt, he's injured, and now he's gotta go against Kane? How the hell is that fair?

Tazz: That's just the luck o' the draw, 'JBL'. Besides, Finlay ain't got nobody to blame for bein' hurt than 'imself. All those weeks he's been smackin' that shillelagh off Matt Hardy's skull final came back to bite 'im on the ass. Hardy took on Finlay at 'is own game, he beat 'im, and now Finlay's gotta suck it up and go.

Match 1: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
Finlay
w/ The Little Bastard vs. Kane

As the bell rings, Finlay still has his shillelagh in his hand, slowly placing it down in the corner, both men's eyes trained on the other, a tense start to the evening. As Finlay leaves the corner, he starts to circle Kane, then the two finally tie up, with Kane driving Finlay to the corner, the ref having to call for the break. As Kane backs off, Finlay barges out angrily and squares up to Kane, throwing trash talk... prompting Kane to smack Finlay with a shot to the throat! Kane grabs Finlay and smashes him face first off the turnbuckle, and then lands boots to the midsection and elbows to the face, but Finlay lands a thumb to the eye that causes Kane to stumble back. Finlay charges... but Kane sees him coming... and shows incredible strength as he takes Finlay up into the air... gorilla press slam! Here's an early cover... Finlay kicks out at two. Back on their feet, Kane doubles Finlay over with a boot to the midsection, then lands clubbing forearms to the back of the neck, before he takes Finlay up and down with a suplex for another near fall. More shots to the throat drive Finlay to the corner, where Kane winds up for an Irish whip across and follows in... right into a boot to the face! Finally Finlay is able to land some offence as he drills a trio of uppercuts, then follows with boots to the midsection, before he fires Kane to the corner and follows in... but Kane sidesteps... and Finlay runs chest first into the turnbuckle! Slowly Finlay turns and leans against the corner... where he's engulfed by a corner splash from Kane! Kane backs away as Finlay staggers forward... right into a sidewalk slam! Here's another cover... 1... 2... Finlay kicks out.

Kane is well in control, smacking more shots to the throat, before he takes Finlay down with a snapmare and comes off the ropes... low anlge dropkick! Finlay shows what a veteran he is as he quickly crawls to the corner, but when he drags himself up, Kane charges... looking for a big boot to the face... but Finlay avoids it... and Kane winds up kicking the turnbuckle! With his leg hung up on the top rope, it takes an age for Kane to finally get two feet back on the canvas, and when he does, Finlay sees an opening... and attacks the left knee with a chop block! Finlay quickly lays in with stomps to the knee, then he drives his own into Kane's, before he finally lands a few elbows across it and gains a near fall. Finlay now starts to target the knee, dragging Kane to the ropes, placing the left foot on the bottom rope... and then jumping up and dropping all his weight down across the knee! Finlay repeats this another two times, before he then heads outside and drags Kane towards the corner. Kane desperately tries to fight it, but it's no good as Finlay grabs his foot, rears back... and smashes the left knee off the ringpost! Kane groans in agony, but Finlay doesn't let go... and again the knee smacks off the steel... and a third time! Finally Finlay releases, allowing Kane to crawl away, and as the crowd boo Finlay for his actions, the veteran Irishman simply flashes them that toothy grin of his before rolling back into the ring for another near fall. More stomps to the knee, then Finlay yanks Kane up... but Kane fights back, swinging big right hands... until a drop toe hold takes him down, and Finlay quickly moves to lock Kane into a single leg Boston crab.

Kane is down in the middle of the ring, a long way away from the ropes, with Finlay yanking on the knee, every now and then rearing back to up the pressure. Kane claws for the ropes, but he can't get there, although the crowd to rally in his favour, encouraging Kane to power his upper body off the canvas... and then he twists onto his back... allowing him to kick Finlay into the corner! Finlay hits the turnbuckle hard, leaning against, which allows Kane a chance to get back on his feet... but when he approaches, Finlay drills a boot to the knee, stopping Kane in his tracks. Finlay then fires Kane to the opposite corner... then charges in... right into a boot to the face! Finlay stumbles back, and here comes Kane from the corner... big clothesline knocks Finlay down. Kane now lands shot after shot to the throat, before he sends Finlay off the ropes... big boot knocks Finlay down! Kane starts to build momentum, repeatedly knocking Finlay down with back elbows, before he fires Finlay off the ropes... into a tilt-a-whirl slam! Finlay stumbles to the corner, and here comes Kane... big corner clothesline! Finlay is dazed, and now Kane fires him off the ropes... into a huge back body drop! Kane is dominating, and now he stands and waits for Finlay to rise, hand in the air, ready to strike... Finlay stumbles back up... and Kane slaps a hand around his throat... CHOKESLAM... NO! Finlay drills a boot to the knee, breaking the grip... and then he smacks Kane with a short-arm clothesline! Finlay crawls into the cover... 1... 2... Kane kicks out!

Finlay slaps the mat angrily, but he's quickly back on his feet, waiting for Kane to rise... and then he hoists Kane up onto his shoulders... ROLLING HILLS... NO! Kane drops down behind Finlay and shoves him into the ropes... and then follows in with a big boot to the face... that sends Finlay crashing over the top rope to the floor! The fight spills outside, with Kane smacking more throat thrusts, before he winds up for the Irish whip... sending Finlay shoulder first into the steel steps! A painful impact for Finlay, and now Kane moves in, scooping Finlay up... and slamming him on the floor! Kane is unrelenting, but he soon rolls Finlay back into the ring and then he climbs to the top rope... looking for the FLYING CLOTHESLINE... but Finlay sidesteps it... Kane lands on his feet... but his knee crumples in pain! Limping back to his feet, Kane doesn't see Finlay coming... and this time he does take Kane up and down... ROLLING HILLS! Finlay drives Kane into the canvas, hooks the leg... 1... 2... Kane rolls a shoulder! Finlay can't believe it, storming to his feet, getting right in the referee's face, demanding the three count, but being told it was only two. Incensed, Finlay storms out of the ring and heads towards the timekeeper's table, shoving people aside and grabbing steel chairs, tossing them over the top rope into the ring. Finlay heads back in and picks up one of the chairs, looking to use it as a weapon... but before he can swing, the referee grabs it from his hands! The referee removes the chair from Finlay's grasp, and now he looks to eject the chairs from the ring... but it's all a ploy as Finlay heads to the corner, grabs the shillelagh... and behind the ref's back, he swings at Kane... but Kane ducks underneath... then slaps a hand around Finlay's throat... CHOKESLAM!! Kane plants Finlay to the canvas, and when the ref turns, Kane is already in position to get the 1... 2... 3!

Winner: Kane @ 10.48

Yet another strong win for Kane as he manages to put Finlay away. Quickly back on his feet, Kane sells the damage he suffered during the match, but he soon has both hands in the air and then snaps them down, setting off an explosion in each corner. The Little Bastard has slipped into the ring, checking on Finlay, but as Kane moves to make his exit, he and the little guy stare at each other, Kane laughing at the cartoon-esque growl on The Little Bastard's face. This makes for one angry leprechaun, as the little guy then takes a step towards Kane, ripping off his green jacket and throwing it to the mat, fists clenched, clearly challenging Kane to a fight. Again Kane laughs, as do the crowd, but the little guy is deadly serious as he starts to circle Kane, waving him on, looking for an opening... but as he runs circles, Kane reaches out and grabs him by the collar! The crowd gasp as Kane has The Little Bastard in his grasp... but it's all a ruse, as Kane doesn't see Finlay crawl to the corner, grab the shillelagh... and then SMASH IT INTO KANE'S LEFT KNEE!!

Kane crumples in pain, groaning in agony as he grabs his knee, but Finlay isn't finished as he stands over Kane and raises the shillelagh high in the air... then BRINGS IT CRASHING DOWN ON KANE'S KNEE! Again Kane cries out in pain, but Finlay doesn't care as he SMASHES THE KNEE AGAIN... AND AGAIN... AND AGAIN! The ring is flooded with referees and backstage agents, trying their best to talk Finlay down, but Finlay has snapped, he's lost it, and he's taking it out on Kane's left knee, relentlessly smashing the shillelagh into it time and time again until the damn thing snaps in Finlay's hand!

Tossing the handle aside, the refs and agents see their chance to move in, a few of them tending to Kane while the majority try and usher Finlay from the ring. The refs and agents form a barrier between Finlay and Kane, and it seems like the angry Irishman is finally ready to leave the ring... only to then burst through the barrier and jump on Kane! Hammering him with rights and lefts, Finlay unleashes a flurry of wild punches to the face, before he quickly nips back up to his feet and starts stomping down on Kane's injured knee! Like a man possessed, Finlay is intent on wrecking Kane's knee, until finally the referees manage to drag him away, and this time Finlay relents as he heads for the ropes and drops outside. In the ring, Kane writhes in agony on the canvas, and to add insult to injury, The Little Bastard stands over him, pointing and laughing, until he too scurries to the outside and joins Finlay, the pair being loudly booed by the crowd as they head up the aisle and we cut to a commercial.

*Commercial*


And when we return, we hear from Michael Cole...


Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Friday Night SmackDown. Before we went to commercial, we saw Finlay just snap, he lost it, and he decided he was gonna take all his frustrations out on Kane with a vicious assault. Our cameras kept rolling as Finlay went backstage, and during the commercial, this happened...

*Video Package*

DURING THE COMMERCIAL BREAK

The video opens to see Finlay and The Little Bastard walking backstage, a scowl on Finlay's face as he silently walks along, while beside him the little guy snarls and appears very happy with the assault just laid down on Kane. We hear footsteps in the background, walking quickly, close to running, and we soon see that they belong to SmackDown's General Manager Teddy Long...

Teddy Long: Hey! Hey, Finlay! Finlay!

Taking a quick glance over his shoulder, Finlay shakes his head in annoyance and ignores Long as he continues to pound a fast pace through the corridors...

Teddy Long: Hey, Finlay! You hold up when I'm talkin' to you, playa! Finlay!

Having heard enough, Finlay does indeed come to a stop, turning to face Teddy who jogs the last few steps to narrow the gap between the two. Still breathing heavily through his nose, Finlay looks in no mood to be messed with, but the serious look of anger in Teddy's eyes shows he's in a foul mood as well...

Teddy Long: What was that, huh? Just what the hell were you doin' out there, playa? I've warned you about usin' that shillelagh in the past, and you don't pay a damn bit o' notice, do ya'?

Turning his head and shaking it with disgust, Finlay seems enraged at what he just heard...

Finlay: What was I doin'? What the hell are you playin' at, Teddy? Last week, ye' stuck me in a Belfast Brawl, and then this week, ye' make me fight Kane injured. I coulda gone all the way. Ye' cost me the King of the Ring!

Stepping forward, Finlay shouts that last comment right in Teddy's face, but the GM stands strong...

Teddy Long: I didn't cost you nothin' playa, it was the luck o' the draw that meant yo' match with Kane was tonight. But lemme tell ya' somethin', you gonna pay for what ya' did out there tonight.

Finlay has a little laugh to himself, shrugging his shoulders as if to show he's not afraid of anything Teddy can throw at him...

Finlay: What are ye' talkin' about?

Teddy Long: I'm gonna give Kane a chance to rest up, and then at Judgment Day, he's gonna get the chance to repay the favour, ya' dig?

A loud pop from inside the arena as the fans react warmly to the thought of Kane and Finlay going at it once again at Judgment Day...

Finlay: Me and Kane at Judgment Day?

Teddy Long: That's right, playa. You and Kane, one on one. And if I see that damn shillelagh, or this little playa here gettin' involved, I'm gonna fire yo' ass, ya' hear me?

And another pop, the fans cheering as the General Manager lays down the law. Finlay again laughs and smirks, shaking his head and placing his hands on his hips before he turns and walks off camera. The Little Bastard meanwhile hangs around a little while longer, growling at Teddy, before he follows Finlay off camera, leaving behind a frustrated Teddy Long, who lets out a long sigh before the video fades to black.


*End Video Package*


And now we cut to the interview set, where the smiling Kristal Marshall is standing by...

Kristal Marshall: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time... Mr. Kennedy.

And it's a very loud, very mixed reception as Mr. Kennedy saunters into the frame, chewing his gum loudly, but with a seriously pissed off look on his face. There's no arrogant smirk, there's no cocky head shaking, instead Kennedy is all business, a look which somewhat intimidates Kristal...

Kristal Marshall: Uh, Mr. Kennedy, I was just wondering what your thoughts were after what happened during your World Heavyweight Championship Match last week in the United Kingdom? Edge hit the ring and delivered a spear to Batista, causing you to lose via disqualification, and then he hit you with the spear after the bell.

Kristal points the mic in Kennedy’s direction, with Kennedy slowly nodding his head, pursing his lips as he considers his response…

Mr. Kennedy: You want my thoughts, Kristal? I thought last week… was a freakin’ joke. I thought it was just a lil’ bit too convenient, y’know? I mean, is it too much to ask? Is it really that big a deal to get in the ring with Batista and not have some geriatric madman or some whinny little bitch stickin’ their noses in? Is it really too much to ask to just get one match for the title without all that crap happenin’?

Kennedy shoots a very sarcastic yet inquisitive look at Kristal, who offers a shake of the head…

Mr. Kennedy: And Edge… just what the hell is that guy’s problem? He got his shot at WrestleMania, a fair shot, which is more than I ever got, and he couldn’t take it. Two weeks ago, I ended any hope he had at the title, and yet here we are, still talkin’ about Edge and the World Heavyweight Championship.

Exasperated, Kennedy rubs his forehead and then starts pointing at the camera…

Mr. Kennedy: WrestleMania has come and gone, and Edge’s chance came and went with it. I beat Ric Flair at WrestleMania, I ended a legend’s career, and then I earned that shot last week, and my run at the gold ain’t endin’ like that. So Teddy Long, I know you’re hearin’ this right now, and I ain’t too proud to beg, I’m beggin’ ya’, gimme another shot at Batista.

Turning towards the camera, Kennedy speaks with a real sense of passion and injustice in his voice…

Mr. Kennedy: I don’t care if it’s in a steel cage, I don’t care if it’s in an empty arena, I don’t care if ya’ gotta wrap Edge up in damn straight jacket…

Pausing, Kennedy composes himself, taking a few more loud chews of his gum before he looks straight down the lens and very deliberately says…

Mr. Kennedy: Gimme Batista, one on one, for the World Heavyweight Championship. No excuses, no controversy, just me… and Batista.

With a smirk, Kennedy shakes his head in annoyance…

Mr. Kennedy: You’ve always said you wanna shut my big mouth, Dave. Well… now’s your chance, ‘champ’.

The smirk is snapped away, Kennedy again taking a very serious tone…

Mr. Kennedy: I’ll run my mouth, I’ll talk all night long, but damn it, at WrestleMania, I backed it up in a big way. I am one big win away, I am so close I can taste it, all I need is one… more… shot.

Kennedy raises a finger…

Mr. Kennedy: One more. No controversy, no crap, nothin’, just me… and Batista.

Pausing, Kennedy stares down the camera, before he wraps things up with…

Mr. Kennedy: And I promise… nothin’… is gonna stop me.

And there’s no cry of Kennedy tonight as the seriousness of the situation sets in, with Kennedy, staring into the camera, breathing heavily through his nose, before he turns and walks off camera, leaving a rather intimidated Kristal behind, watching him go while we cut elsewhere.

And it’s to the dressing room of The Full Blooded Italians we go, where we see Santino Marella, Big Vito, Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke sat around a table playing cards, the four exchanging in some general rabble as Trinity carries a tray, bringing Santino a drink. As the card games continue, the door bursts open and in walks the Cruiserweight Champion, Gregory Helms. Helms takes a look around, confused by his surroundings and what he sees infront of him, but after shaking it off and gathering his bearing, Helms approaches Santino from behind…


Gregory Helms: Excuse me, San-

Santino Marella: 21! Blackjack! I win!

Slamming his cards down onto the table, Santino throws his hands up in the air in victory, but around the table, his colleagues exchange awkward looks and shake their heads until finally Nunzio speaks up…

Nunzio: Uh, boss… we was playin’ poker. Not blackjack.

Santino Marella: What? I don’t-ah win? But I-

Gregory Helms: Hey!

Finally grabbing the attention of the room, all eyes turn towards Helms…

Gregory Helms: Santino… you got a minute?

Santino Marella: Oh look, it’s-ah ‘de Hamburgular!

A few laughs from inside the arena, but Helms fails to see the funny side…

Gregory Helms: What did you say?

Santino Marella: You, you are ‘de Hamburgular! I see it in-ah ‘de video last week.

Helms scowls, the embarrassing video commissioned by Bryan Danielson last week coming back to haunt him again…

Gregory Helms: I ain’t the damn Hamburgular! I’m Gregory Helms, the greatest Cruiserweight Champion that ever lived!

Santino eyes Helms up and down and then shrugs his shoulders…

Santino Marella: You sure-ah look like him. Maybe you are-ah in disguise?

Helms rubs a hand down his face, clearly exasperated, before he stands with his hands on his hips…

Gregory Helms: Listen, shut up about the Hamburgular and that damn video. I gotta talk to you. I got a lil’ business proposition for you fellas.

Intrigued, Santino motions for Helms to step forward…

Santino Marella: OK. We-ah listenin’.

Gregory Helms: Alright, we all know how much of a fraud Bryan Danielson is. I’ve already beaten ‘im twice, I’ve already proved he don’t belong here in the WWE. He don’t deserve anymore shots against me for this title. But you, Mr. Marella… you haven’t had a shot at this title since you arrived here on SmackDown, have ya’?

Santino ponders, then shakes his head…

Gregory Helms: No, you ain’t. You’ve been held back, held down by the authorities. Bryan Danielson might not deserve a shot at my title, but you Santino… you definitely do. And that’s why I’m here to make you an offer.

Helms now takes a seat next to Santino, getting up close to him…

Gregory Helms: The Battle Royal tonight, I don’t care if you win it, I don’t care if you get eliminated, I’m gonna give you a title shot regardless, Santino. On one condition. I don’t care when, I don’t care how, but you and the boys here, you eliminate Bryan Danielson… and I’ll give you a shot at the Cruiserweight Title next week. How’s that sound?

Marella thinks it over, but before he can answer, Helms reaches inside his trench coat and pulls out a brown envelope, tossing it down onto the table…

Gregory Helms: I’ll even sweeten the deal for ya’. A lil’ compensation for your troubles. A lil’ gamblin’ money for the next time you fellas play… whatever it was you were playin’. What d’ya say ‘Don’ Marella? You take care of Bryan Danielson… and you’ll get your shot… at this.

Helms holds the Cruiserweight Title infront of Santino eyes, the gold glistening, and Marella slowly starts to nod his head in agreement…

Santino Marella: Si. We will-ah… take care of it.

Gregory Helms: Good. Now hurry up, you guys are up next. Don’t let me down.

Standing up from the table, Helms heads for the exit, leaving Santino to pick up the brown envelope and look inside. Santino’s eyes bulge at whatever is inside it, no doubt a large amount of money, and with a smile The F.B.I. leader says…

Santino Marella: Ha! Looks-ah like I’m a winner after all!

The camera zooms out to show Nunzio, Mamaluke and Vito are sharing their boss’ delight, all four men nodding confidently as we cut back into the arena.

Where we hear…

*GONNA PUNCH SOMEONE TONIGHT…*


A pretty solid cheer as The Asian Rednecks burst into the arena, with Jimmy Wang Yang and Funaki firing up the crowd…


Michael Cole: Well, it’s time to determine who will go to Judgment Day to face Gregory Helms for the C ruiserweight Championship, but… did we just see Helms try and pay off The F.B.I. to try and eliminate Bryan Danielson?

Tazz: That’s exactly what we saw! He just put an old fashioned hit out on Danielson!

John Bradshaw Layfield: You can’t say that! That’s slander! You don’t know it was money inside that envelope! Helms is just tryin’ to make sure Santino gets the title shot he deserves!

Tazz: Aw get the hell outta here! Don’t even bother ‘JBL’, Helms is runnin’ scared and you know it!

Michael Cole: Well we’re just moments away from the Ten Man Battle Royal that’s gonna determine Helms’ next challenger. Join us when we return to find out who’s goin’ to Judgment Day!

*Commercial*


And when we return, we see that during the commercial, Daivari, Jamie Noble and Shannon Moore have made their entrances, while Joey Mercury is at the bottom of the aisle, just entering the ring. With Mercury inside, we now hear…

*LA VITTORIA E MIA…*


And now The Full Blooded Italians make their entrance, the always comical but now it seems very much richer Santino Marella leading Nunzio, Tony Mamaluke, Big Vito and Trinity down the aisle…


Michael Cole: Just before the commercial break, we saw Gregory Helms make a proposition to Santino and The F.B.I. with regards to Bryan Danielson. If Santino and his posse can eliminated Danielson, Helms has vowed to give Santino a title shot next week on SmackDown.

John Bradshaw Layfield: A shot that he’ll fully deserve. Santino Marella, hell, any of the guys in that ring right now are more deserving, more worthy of takin’ on the Cruiserweight Champion than Bryan Danielson is ever gonna be.

Tazz: I just can’t believe how desperate Helms is that he’s gotta pay off Santino and his goons to get rid of Danielson. Helms might like to call ‘imself the greatest Cruiserweight Champion ever, but he ain’t backin’ it up. And I dunno how smart it is to try rely on these guys. They ain’t exactly been model gangsters these last few weeks.

*RAGE…*


A fantastic pop as the always intense Bryan Danielson strides out and wastes no time in heading for the ring, ripping off a “Tap or Snap!” t-shirt and tossing it into the crowd…


Michael Cole: He came close at No Way Out, he came even closer at WrestleMania, but each and every time Bryan Danielson has Gregory Helms where he wants him, Helms uses every trick in the book to pull out the victory. But can Danielson earn himself one last chance at Helms and the gold by winning here tonight and going on to Judgment Day?

Tazz: If ya’ asked me at the top of the show, I’d have said without a doubt. But now he’s got a damn target on his back thanks to Helms payin’ off The F.B.I., now I’m not so sure.

John Bradshaw Layfield: What the hell is this guy even doin’ in this match right now? He lost at No Way Out, he lost at WrestleMania, he’s been proven as a fraud, he’s been shown to be a failure, he don’t even belong in this company, and yet somehow he’s still tryin’ to get a title shot. The guy’s obsessed, he needs to leave Gregory Helms alone and find another way to get on with his life!

All ten men are in the ring, we’re ready to go, until…

”LISTEN…”

*IT’S TIME…*


Big time heat as Gregory Helms steps out, the Cruiserweight Champion instantly locking eyes with Danielson, the two staring a whole through each other as Helms heads down the aisle, rounds the ring and heads for the commentary desk…


Michael Cole: It appears like we’re being joined here by the Cruiserweight Champion, Gregory Helms.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And I’m sure he’s got a perfectly good explanation for that little meetin’ with Santino and the boys. I’m sure it was all perfectly innocent, nothin’ like the kinda heinous accusations you’re makin’, Tazz.

Helms reaches the table and picks up a spare headset, placing it on, but before he takes a seat, he holds the Cruiserweight Title high in the air for all in the ring to see…

Michael Cole: Uh, Gregory, thanks for joinin’ us here. I gotta ask ya’, what was that-

Gregory Helms: You gotta ask me nothin’, Cole! Same goes for you too, Tazz. I’ll speak to Mr. Layfield, ‘The Wrestling God’, the only real announcer at this desk, but you two better shut the hell up and just focus on callin’ this match.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Haha! I tell ya’ what Greg, when you’re finished dominatin’ the cruiserweight division and you’re ready to hang up your boots, I see a bright future for ya’ right here at the announce desk as my partner.

Tazz: Are you kiddin’ me? You’re tellin’ me you’re gonna come out here Helms, after what we just saw between you and The F.B.I., and you expect me to not even ask ya’ about it?

Gregory Helms: Did I… hello? Did I hear somethin’ there? I think I got a problem with my headset, John. I think somethin’ ain’t workin’ right.

John Bradshaw Layfield: It’s the same damn problem I gotta put up with each and every week! Don’t worry about it, don’t let it affect ya’ Greg, you just focus on callin’ the match with me.

Michael Cole: This is ridiculous…

Match 2: Ten Man Cruiserweight Battle Royal
Bryan Danielson
vs. Daivari vs. Funaki vs. Jamie Noble vs. Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Joey Mercury vs. Nunzio vs. Santino Marella w/ Big Vito and Trinity vs. Shannon Moore vs. Tony Mamaluke

The bell rings and we're underway, and almost instantly Danielson goes on the attack, smacking forearms off the skull of all who come near him, with Mercury and Daivari bearing the brunt of the attack. The recent rivalry between The Asian Rednecks and The Full Blooded Italians is on display again as Yang and Funaki battle with Nunzio and Mamaluke, while Santino rather cagily lurks in the corner, staying out of trouble, but at the same time, waiting for his chance to strike and try to eliminate Danielson. The early action sees lots of hard hitting in the corner and attempts to muscle people out against the ropes, and we don't have to wait long for the first elimination, as Daivari tags Danielson with a few right hands against the ropes, then backs up and charges in... only for Danielson to elevate him over the top rope... all the way to the floor! Elimination #1: Daivari A quick exit for Daivari, but the action continues, with Danielson now embroiled in a struggle with Jamie Noble, while Santino is being targeted by Shannon Moore, but as Moore tries to force Santino out, the leader of The F.B.I. wraps his arms and legs around the top rope, screaming for help, and he hangs on long enough for Nunzio and Mamaluke to race over and smack Moore from behind.

With Danielson occupied by Mercury, and Yang and Funaki again tussling with Nunzio, Mamaluke and Funkai, Jamie Noble and Shannon Moore find themselves battling in the corner. After trying to muscle Moore out but not being able to do so, Noble lays in with a few boots to the midsection, and then he looks to fire Moore across the ring with an Irish whip... but when Noble follows in, Moore uses the ropes to elevate himself over Noble... but winds up wrapping his legs around Noble's head... and then uses this for a headscissor takedown... that sends Noble over the top rope! Elimination #2: Jamie Noble As he gets back to his feet, Moore is blindsided by Mercury, while Danielson is now in control against Santino, smacking him with forearms to the face against the ropes, and then he tries to muscle Marella out, but again Santino wraps as many limbs as he can around the ropes to save himself. With those two battles taking place at the side and corner of the ring, there's space for Yang and Funkai to go on the attack, and they fire Nunzio off the ropes... into a double back body drop! As Nunzio lands, Danielson gives up on Santino and moves to save Moore from Mercury, and this prompts Funaki to turn to Santino as Yang targets Mamaluke. Jimmy smacks Mamaluke with kicks to the body, then he goes for an Irish whip to the corner... Mamaluke reverses... but Jimmy runs up the turnbuckle... and flies with a MOONSAULT! But just as he lands, Funaki charges at Santino... who low bridges the top rope... and Funaki goes flying all the way to the floor! Elimination #3: Funaki

Yang's partner is gone, but he continues to take the fight to The F.B.I. as he now goes after Santino, pounding him in the corner. Danielson now charges off the ropes... flying forearm to Nunzio! Bryan now targets Nunzio, while Moore squares off with Mamaluke, allowing Mercury the chance to rest in the corner. The struggling against the ropes continues, and when Mercury makes his move to again target Danielson, this allows Nunzio to race over and target Moore, saving Mamaluke from elimination. The duo now head over to save Santino from the hands of Yang, but Yang fights the three on one situation, landing elbows and kicks... but when he swings a right hand at Nunzio, Nunzio ducks... and then from behind, he and Mamaluke simply pick Yang up... and launch him from the ring! Elimination #4: Jimmy Wang Yang The F.B.I. pause for a moment to regroup in the corner, but Santino quickly waves for Nunzio and Mamaluke to go on the attack, and they again work as a unit as they target Shannon Moore. Danielson and Mercury again go at it in the corner, with Mercury driving a boot into Danielson's throat, then he tries to force Danielson out, but Bryan swings with stiff elbows and manages to stay inside. As Mercury stumbles away, Danielson backs him to the ropes with forearms, then sends Mercury to the opposite side with the Irish whip... but Mercury reverses... only for Danielson to hang on to the top rope. Seeing this, Mercury charges... but Danielson counters with a back body drop... only for Mercury to land on the apron! Quickly Mercury lands a right hand, backing Danielson away, and now Mercury runs along the apron and looks for a clothesline... Bryan ducks... then rattles Mercury from behind with an enzuigiri... that causes Mercury to tumble to the floor! Elimination #5: Joey Mercury

We're down to five, but with Danielson down on the canvas, The F.B.I. pounce, all three of them laying in with stomp after stomp to the body. They then reach down and look to drag Danielson back up, but Bryan comes up swinging, elbows, forearms, headbutts, anything he do to buy some space... but then from the outside, Big Vito reaches in, trips Danielson up... and drags him from the ring! Clearly it's not an elimination, but the ref's are right over there to berate Vito, who pounds Danielson on the outside... then drives him spine first into the barricade! With Danielson taking a beating on the floor, Shannon Moore is left with a three on one situation in the ring, and he gets the life stomped out of him by Santino, Nunzio and Mamaluke. Nunzio and Mamaluke wind up and go for an Irish whip off the ropes... but Moore ducks underneath their double clothesline... and then hits back with a double clothesline of his own! Now he turns to Santino, drilling Marella with hard rights, before he fires him off the ropes... right into a picture perfect dropkick! Moore now grabs Marella... and starts to run him towards the ropes... but Marella hangs on... and Nunzio and Mamaluke sneak up from behind to dump Moore over the top rope! Elimination #6: Shannon Moore We're down to the final four, it's Danielson and The F.B.I.! But Danielson is still taking a pounding from Vito, until finally he's rolled back into the ring. The crowd boo loudly as Danielson is in no state to defend himself, and Santino again starts barking orders, telling Nunzio and Mamaluke to pick Bryan up and throw him out. They do just that, reaching down, hoisting Danielson onto their shoulder and heading towards the ropes... but Bryan kicks off the ropes and lands on his feet behind them... then smacks a double dropkick... that eliminates both Nunzio and Mamaluke at the same time! Eliminations #7 and #8: Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke

The fear has set in on commentary as from a position of dominance, Santino is left all alone with Danielson... and he damn sure knows about it as Santino's eyes bulge from his skull in fear, pleading, crossing himself, praying to God, begging for mercy from Danielson, but with the crowd baying for blood... Danielson smacks him with a vicious kick to the skull! Santino staggers into the corner, and Danielson goes on the attack, rattling him with forearms and elbows to the jaw, then he winds up for an Irish whip across... Santino reverses... only for Bryan to jump to the second rope... springboard crossbody! Danielson wipes Santino out, and now he grabs him by the hair... and runs him towards the ropes... and launches him clean over the top rope... right into the arms of Big Vito! Vito catches Santino, saving him from elimination! The crowd are in shock, and Danielson can't believe it, he's got the match won, but Santino's feet haven't touched the floor! With both referees over to again berate Vito, and Bryan pointing and gesturing, nobody see that at the announce desk, Helms has dropped his headset... slid into the ring... and then from behind... HE SMACKS THE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP OFF DANIELSON'S SKULL!! The crowd are enraged, Danielson is down and out, while Helms simply slips back out of the ring and retakes his position at the announce desk, putting his headset on and shouting “You didn't see nothin'!” at Tazz and Cole. Vito now rolls Santino back into the ring, and with Danielson down and out, all he has to do is eliminate Bryan to gain victory. A little dazed, a little confused, but Santino quickly gets it together and reaches down, grabbing Bryan by the hair and then running him towards the ropes... just as Helms declares “Money well spent!”... Santino launches... NO! Danielson counters the momentum... and it's he who LAUNCHES SANTINO OVER THE TOP ROPE!! Elimination #9: Santino Marella

Winner: Bryan Danielson @ 12.32

It's Danielson! Danielson has done it, he’s going to Judgment Day for one last shot at Gregory Helms! In the ring, Danielson drops to his knees and pumps his fists in the air, delighted with the victory despite the odds being stacked against him, while at the announce desk, there’s a loud thud, and the camera cuts to show us why as Helms has tossed his headset down and now sits with his head in his hands…


Michael Cole: Danielson has done it! Danielson’s goin’ to Judgment Day! It’s Danielson and Helms one last time for the Cruiserweight Championship!

Tazz: Hey, Helms! Ya’ hear me now? Looks like you made a pretty bad investment there, huh ‘champ’?

John Bradshaw Layfield: I… I… Greg? What the hell happened?

No response from the champion, instead we see the look of sheer fear in his eyes, realising that he’s going to have to defend his title against Bryan Danielson one last time, and it’s on the sight of Danielson looking down from the ring at the champion, full of confidence, ready to finally become a champion, that we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We’re back, and we see Josh Matthews standing by, ready for another interview…

Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to SmackDown. And please welcome my guest at this time… he is ‘The Rated-R Superstar’… Edge.

From the right, Edge the shot with his arms folded across his chest, looking every bit as upset as Mr. Kennedy did earlier in the night. Glaring in Matthews direction, Edge makes no effort to hide the fact that he isn’t all that interested in speaking right now, but Matthews presses on regardless…

Josh Matthews: Edge, last week you interfered during the World Heavyweight Championship Match between Batista and Mr. Kennedy, delivering the spear to both men. Edge, do you have any explanation for your actions last week?

Edge remains silent, giving Matthews a look of disgust and confusion, before he shakes his head and finally answers…

Edge: I don’t need any explanation for anything I do. I tell ya’ what, as soon as you can give me an explanation for why I’m not World Heavyweight Champion yet, then I’ll give ya’ an answer as to why I got involved in that match last week.

Feeling he knows the answer, Matthews pulls the mic back to himself…

Josh Matthews: Well it was because you lost to Batista at-

Edge: SHUT UP!

Enraged, Edge screams at Josh, his frustrations getting the better of him…

Edge: I should be the champion right now, I should be walkin’ about with that title around my waist, but instead, I’ve gotta watch Kennedy tryin’ to win MY title, the title I earned at WrestleMania. Y’think after all that, I’m gonna just sit back and let that happen? And y’know, I heard what Kennedy had to say earlier. I gotta know… what show’s he been watchin’ this last month?

Becoming more animated, Edge’s hands start to flail…

Edge: He didn’t earn that title shot two weeks ago, dammit, Batista practically handed it to ‘im!

Ripping at his hair, Edge runs a hand over his mouth…

Edge: Kennedy had his shot at No Way Out, I did everythin’ I could to help ‘im become champion and set up the match between us at WrestleMania, but he couldn’t get it done. He had his chance, and now it’s my time.

Regaining his composure, Edge pauses and takes a few deep breaths…

Edge: So if anybody’s getting’ Batista one on one, without any controversy, it’s gonna be me. Y’know, Chris Benoit tried to cut the line and get the next shot, and we all know what happened to him. I took him out… and if Kennedy doesn’t step aside…

Edge now turns to the camera, the fire in his eyes clear for all to see…

Edge: The exact same thing’s gonna happen to him. It ain’t gonna be Batista that shuts him up once and for all… it’s gonna be me.

Again Edge pauses, a smirk crossing his face as he changes his train of throught…

Edge: And speakin’ of Batista… tonight, I’m gonna take The Miz under my wing, and I’m gonna give him a lesson in how you put champions away. And I’m gonna show Batista, Kennedy… and especially Teddy Long, that there’s only one man who deserves to challenge for that World Heavyweight Title at Judgment Day…

Arrogance takes over as Edge places a hand on Matthews’ shoulder…

Edge: ‘The Rated-R Superstar’… Edge.

And with another smirk on Josh’s direction, Edge gives him a pat on the shoulder and then makes his exit…

Josh Matthews: Thank you Edge. Back to-

Edge: EDGE!

Mocking Kennedy, Edge re-enters the frame and repeats his name, smirking over the fact that he caught Matthews by surprise, before he walks off once again…

Josh Matthews: Back to… uh, back to you guys.

Matthews sighs with relief, wiping the sweat away from his brow as we head off to see a video.

*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*


From the video, we go back into the arena where we hear…

”OOOOOH CHAVO...”

*CHAVITO ARDIENTE...*


To a loud chorus of boos, Chavo Guerrero makes his entrance, ready to compete, his Aunt Vickie Guerrero by his side, with Vickie applauding her nephew as the pair head for the ring…


Michael Cole: That’s right folks, Rey Mysterio is on his way back to Friday Night SmackDown, and at Judgment Day, he takes on that man right there, Chavo Guerrero in a Last Man Standing Match. The last few weeks, Guerrero has been doin’ an awful lot of talkin’ about Mysterio, and last week he kicked off a kinda retrospect of Mysterio’s career, starting with him calling out the legendary cruiserweight, Dean Malenko.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And Chavo, he didn’t mine ‘is words, he called it exactly like it is. He talked about how for years guys like Malenko and Mysterio rode on the coattails of the late, great, Eddie Guerrero, and now Chavo’s out to right those wrongs.

Tazz: Well honestly, I think Chavo and Vickie oughta be ashamed of themselves. No class whatsoever from ‘em in the way they treated Malenko, and then to top it off, Chavo hit Dean with the frog splash. Just a real, classless act from Chavo, but I ain’t even surprised anymore at how low this guy can stoop.

In the ring, Vickie asks for and receives a microphone, which she quickly hands over to Chavo, ‘The Mexican Warrior’ waiting for the jeers of the fans to die down before he starts to speak…

Chavo Guerrero: Last week, I started to show you all just how big a mistake it is for Rey Mysterio to come back to the WWE. What I did to Dean Malenko last week is nothing compared to what I’m gonna do to Rey at Judgment Day.

The fans respond with heat, at which Chavo simply shakes his head…

Chavo Guerrero: So many times during his career, my Uncle Eddie had the chance to end your career. But believe me, when I get you in that ring, and it’s Last Man Standing… I won’t make the same mistakes Eddie did.

More heat…

Chavo Guerrero: But last week was also the start of my… tribute… to Rey Mysterio’s career. I’m gonna take you all on a little trip down memory lane, I’m gonna look back at some of the men and moments that really shaped Rey’s career.

Pacing the ring, Chavo starts to address the crowd…

Chavo Guerrero: Obviously last week, Dean Malenko was just the start of that, just like Dean was the start of Rey’s career in WCW. You’ve seen the video, you’ve all seen the footage of Rey beatin’ Dean to become Cruiserweight Champion for the first time. Well I beat Dean Malenko last week better than Rey ever could.

Again heat, this time Chavo laughs at it…

Chavo Guerrero: And tonight, I’m gonna take a look back at one of Rey’s most famous rivalries. A rivalry that started in ECW, continued into WCW, and then carried on into the WWE.

Chavo motions up the aisle towards the entrance way…

Chavo Guerrero: So I want you all to join me in welcoming to the ring… Psicosis.

*MUY LOCO…*


Not much of a response for the man they call Psicosis, although the former Mexicool does his best to play up to the fans as he pumps his fist and slaps hands at ringside, drawing a few cheers…


Michael Cole: Well this is certainly a surprise. That man is Psicosis, who as we heard previously wrestled here in the WWE and in ECW and WCW. Tazz, you were around when Psicosis and Rey Mysterio were in ECW together, I understand that’s where their storied rivalry all kicked off.

Tazz: Well actually, I think it all started back in Mexico between those two. But certainly ECW was the first time they fought each other in the United States. Mysterio and Psicosis, they used to have some incredible matches back in the day, stuff that nobody else in the US had ever seen before.

John Bradshaw Layfield: This guy’s a former two time Cruiserweight Champion, and if I’m right in sayin’, he and Rey Mysterio have fought damn near to 500 times in their careers. This guy has been such a big part of Mysterio’s career, he knows Mysterio inside and out, and I think this is a brilliant move on Chavo’s part. Bring in the guy who knows more about how Mysterio wrestles than anybody else, and beat ‘im with the whole world watchin’.

Psicosis steps through the ropes and raises his fists to the crowd, before he comes face to face with Chavo. Showing respect, Chavo opens his arms to show he isn’t going to try anything, although Psicosis is understandably on guard…

Chavo Guerrero: Easy there, mi amigo, easy. Psicosis, welcome back to the WWE. I wanna thank you for agreeing to join me tonight as I take this look back on Rey Mysterio’s career.

Psicosis nods his appreciation for the comments, but clearly isn’t buying it so far…

Chavo Guerrero: They say you and Rey, you faced each other nearly 500 times all across the world. You guys know each other so well, you know what the other guy is gonna do before they’ve even thought about it. As far as rivalries go, yours has been one of the most storied in all of lucha libre.

Again Psicosis nods in appreciation, perhaps starting to warm to Chavo a bit…

Chavo Guerrero: But after all those years, all those matches, when you look at it… Rey Mysterio’s a former World Heavyweight Champion, while you… you’re a nobody.

Angered, Psicosis steps forward, but the referee intervenes, trying to keep the two separated before their match…

Chavo Guerrero: Whoa, whoa, easy. It’s not your fault. No, all that happened to you is that just like my Uncle Eddie, Rey used you for his own selfish needs. He used you to advance his own career, but unlike Eddie who realised what was goin’ on and did somethin’ about it, for you Psicosis… it’s too late.

Again heat from the crowd…

Chavo Guerrero: But don’t worry amigo, that’s why you’re here tonight. I’m gonna give you one last night in the spotlight. But when I beat you, you’ll realise one thing… you wasted your career in Rey Mysterio’s shadow… and that’s just one thing no Guerrero would ever tolerate.

With one final smirk, Chavo stands across from Psicosis, taunting him… which prompts Psicosis to smack Chavo in the face! The match is underway!

Match 3:
Chavo Guerrero
w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Psicosis

And Psicosis unloads with a flurry of rights to the face, backing Chavo to the ropes, where he goes for the Irish whip... and avoids Chavo with a leapfrog... and then sends him flying with headscissor takedown! Chavo is quickly back up and charges... right into a spinning wheel kick! Chavo is reeling, caught off guard, and as he stumbles to the ropes, here comes Psicosis... clothesline sends Chavo over the top rope to the floor! The crowd responds with a great cheer for the fast paced early action, with Psicosis looking to take the fight outside, only for the ref to step in and keep him inside. On the floor, Vickie helps Chavo back to his feet, but here comes Psicosis... OVER THE TOP ROPE SUICIDE DIVE! A breathtaking sight as Psicosis flies through the air, taking the fight to Chavo with a right hands on the floor, before he rolls Chavo back into the ring. Guerrero crawls to the corner, and when Psicosis moves in, Chavo catches him with an elbow to the midsection, then a forearm to the back of the neck. Chavo winds up for an Irish whip across... but Psicosis reverses and follows in... only for Chavo to elevate Psicosis over the top rope... but Psicosis lands on the apron! A big right snaps Chavo back, and now Psicosis is on the top rope... FLYING HURRICANRANA! 1... 2... Chavo kicks out. Barely a kickout, but as Chavo uses the ropes to drag himself up, Psicosis moves in... looking for a rollup... but Chavo hangs onto the top rope. Psicosis rolls back, but is right back on his feet, racing at Chavo... who nails a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Finally Chavo finds an opening in the match, and he looks to take advantage by laying in with stomp after stomp to the body, before he yanks Psicosis up and smashes him face first off the top turnbuckle.

Chavo now looks to take over as he lands a string of uppercuts, then starts pounding the back of the neck, causing Psicosis to slump down into the corner to the mat, where Chavo lays in with the boots. Yanking Psicosis from the corner, Chavo fires him off the ropes... right into a flapjack... throat first onto the top rope! Chavo is firmly in control now, but there's no attempt at the pinfall, as Chavo seems determined to prove how dominant he is against one of Rey Mysterio's most storied rivals. Smacking uppercuts to the jaw, Chavo keeps Psicosis in check, before he hooks Psicosis up for a suplex... and hangs on, drags him back up... second suplex... again Chavo hangs on, drags Psicosis up... and this time completes the three amigos. The crowd boo loudly, but Chavo revels in it, his arms open wide as he kneels on the canvas, before he goes for the cover... 1... 2... took too long as Psicosis kicks out. Chavo stays on the attack, gaining more near falls from a northern lights suplex and a twisting neckbreaker, but when Chavo tries to take Psicosis up for a scoop slam, Psicosis lands on his feet behind Chavo and shoves him to the corner. Chavo smacks the turnbuckle chest first, but Psicosis wants the Irish whip to the opposite corner... Chavo reverses then follows in... right into a boot to the face! Psicosis heads for the second rope... then comes out of the corner with a tornado DDT! Both men are down, but the crowd will Psicosis back to his feet, and he lands a trio of right hands, allowing him to fire Chavo off the ropes... Chavo reverses... but Psicosis launches himself at Chavo... for a wheelbarrow facebuster! Chavo is down, and the crowd are on their feet as Psicosis calls to end things... looking for the SITOUT POWERBOMB... NO! Chavo fights it, landing right hands, enabling him to drop down to the canvas... and then drill a boot to the gut... and then hook Psicosis up... GORY BOMB! Chavo absolutely plants Psicosis to the mat, the match is over, but there's no cover, as instead, to add insult to injury, Chavo arrogantly uses his boot to roll Psicosis over, then he heads outside, climbs upstairs, and poses on the top rope for an eternity before he finally flies... FROG SPLASH!! Chavo gets all of it, driving a forearm into the face and not even bothering to hook the leg as he gets the 1... 2... 3.

Winner: Chavo Guerrero @ 04.37

A strong win for Chavo as he puts Psicosis away, a statement of intent from Guerrero as he gets a win over a man who was such a big part of Rey Mysterio’s career. Pushing himself off of Psicosis and back to his feet, Chavo has his arm raised by Vickie, before he turns to the hard camera and shouts “Your career’s runin’ outta time Rey!” and poses for the crowd, soaking in the heat being thrown at him while we cut backstage.

To see The Hooligans walking down a backstage corridor, both Paul London and Brian Kendrick dressed to compete, clearly on their way to the ring for their match tonight. Ashley Massaro is with them, a tense look on her face as she walks between the two men, who seem to be having some kind of debate…


Brian Kendrick: No, no, wait a minute… I’m gonna beat you tonight.

Paul London: No, I think it’s gonna be me who advances in the King of the Ring, not you.

Brian Kendrick: We’ll see about that. Ashley, who do you think’s gonna win?

Putting on the breaks, London and Kendrick both turn inwards towards Ashley, who simply throws up her hands and shakes her head…

Ashley Massaro: No way guys, I’m not getting’ involved. I’m gonna be standin’ in a neutral corner, and I’m gonna let you two go at it. And I’m definitely not gonna pick a winner.

Kendrick scoffs and shakes his head, the trio now walking again…

Brian Kendrick: Whatever. Look… it’s gonna be me, alright? We all know it.

London laughs to himself, which draws a pretty dirty look from Kendrick, but it’s Ashley who responds…

Ashley Massaro: Just promise me you two won’t let this get in the way of the team. It doesn’t matter who wins tonight, ‘cause at the end of the day, you’ll both still be the WWE Tag Team Champions. And that’s all that matters, right?

Both men look at each other, an awkward silence between the two, but before either can answer, they slam on the brakes as they’re approached by… Batista? A huge pop welcomes the surprise arrival of the World Heavyweight Champion into the scene, with ‘The Animal’ flashing all three a smile…

Batista: Hey, Paul, Brian, Ashley… how’s it goin’ guys? You uh… you’re on your way to the ring for your match right now?

London and Kendrick both nod…

Batista: Listen uh, I hope you don’t mind, but I was wonderin’ if I could cut the line here. I got somethin’ I really wanna get off my chest and I’d like to go down to the ring right now to say it. If you don’t mind, that is.

London seems to be OK with it, but Kendrick rolls his eyes…

Brian Kendrick: What? Are you kiddin’ me? No way! We’re up next and we-

Paul London: No, Brian, it’s fine. You go ahead ‘champ’, we can wait.

Clearly London doesn’t speak for the both of them as Kendrick turns to face his partner…

Brian Kendrick: What are you doin’? We’re not waitin’ for him just ‘cause he’s the champion.

London rubs his eyes in embarrassment as Ashley places a hand on Kendrick’s shoulder, trying to calm him down…

Ashley Massaro: Brian… relax.

Paul London: Yeah, listen, it’s no big deal. You go ahead, Dave.

Clearly not convinced, Batista takes a long, hard stare at Kendrick, before he turns to London…

Batista: Thanks a lot, Paul. I appreciate it.

And with that, Batista turns and makes his exit, clearly heading for the ring, leaving the tag champs behind. Annoyed, Kendrick fumes, hands on his hips, breathing deeply from his nose, and when London and Ashley walk off, he doesn’t follow straight away, instead he stands and shakes his head angrily…

Ashley Massaro: Brian… you comin’?

Eventually Kendrick agrees, turning and heading down the corridor with Ashley and London, although as he and London come close, Kendrick rather forcibly barges shoulders with London and walks past him. Clearly frustrated, Kendrick storms off, leaving London and Ashley to watch him go, the two sharing concerned looks with each other 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*


And we’re back, straight into the arena for...

*I WALK ALONE…*


A fantastic ovation as Batista enters the arena, a stern look on the face of the champion, and his attitude is reflected by the fact that he doesn’t play up to the crowd or set off a burst of fireworks, instead making a beeline straight for the ring…


Michael Cole: You are watching Friday Night SmackDown, and that man is the World Heavyweight Champion, ‘The Animal’, Batista! Just before we went to commercial, we heard Batista say he had somethin’ he wanted to say, Batista is not scheduled to be out here right now, just what in the world could he have to say?

John Bradshaw Layfield: Who cares what he’s gotta say? I wanna know just who the hell does this guy think he is? You don’t just cut the line, this ain’t high school! I can’t believe we’ve got a champion representin’ our show that’s as rude and obnoxious as this guy is. No class whatsoever!

Tazz: I think he was pretty respectful in the way he asked London and Kendrick if they were cool about it. But if he’s comin’ out here unannounced, then it’s gotta be somethin’ big. Maybe he’s finally heard enough of all the crap Kennedy and Edge have been talkin’.

Batista hits the ring and steps through the ropes, no posing for the fans, no heading to the corner, instead he simply calls for a mic and then waits for his music to die down. Dressed to compete, ‘The Animal’ starts to pace the ring, contemplating his words, before he finally starts to speak…

Batista: There’s a lotta talkin’ goin’ on tonight. I’ve heard from Edge, I’ve heard from Kennedy, and to be honest with ya’… I’ve heard enough.

A small pop from the fans as Batista speaks with a purpose…

Batista: I’ve heard nothin’ but whinin’ and complainin’ all night long, but I’ve yet to see Edge or Kennedy step up like a man and do anythin’ about it.

Continuing to pace, Batista speaks with a serious tone, expressing his frustration at how things have gone in recent weeks…

Batista: I’ve heard ‘em both say why they oughta be World Heavyweight Champion, why they oughta get another shot… but I’ve yet to see either of ‘em say it to my face.

Bigger pop, ‘The Animal’ staring intently into the camera before he turns and looks up the aisle…

Batista: So here I am, stood in the middle of this ring, microphone in my hand, so I guess that means it’s my turn to have somethin’ to say, huh?

’The Animal’ shrugs, suggesting he isn’t really all that interested in talking…

Batista: I could whine and complain and act like a little bitch, that’s what everybody else around here seems to do. But that’s never really been my style, that’s not how I handle business, so I’ll just say this…

With a cold blooded stare, ‘The Animal’ looks intently into the hard camera and says…

Batista: The time for talkin’… is over.

Big pop…

Batista: No more talkin’, no more words! Edge, Kennedy, you’ve ran your mouths all night, well now it’s time to put up or shut up! I’ve you two want a title shot so badly, then I say let’s forget about the tag match later tonight… and let’s do it right now.

Another big pop, the fans excited by the prospect of a brawl or match right now…

Batista: You want this title so bad? Then come and get it.

Batista removes his title from around his waist, standing at the ropes nearest the aisle, holding the title on display for all in the back to see…

Batista: I don’t care if it’s Batista and Edge, I don’t care if it’s Batista and Kennedy, hell, I don’t care if it’s a triple threat, but I ain’t listenin’ to anymore outta either of ‘em.

Another big pop…

Batista: So Edge, Kennedy… let’s see if either of ya’ can finally back up those big mouths of yours.

Backing up to the middle of the ring, Batista readies himself for one final line…

Batista: I’m right here waitin’… and I’m ready to fight.

Batista tosses his microphone aside and starts to pace the ring, anxiously looking up the aisle at the entrance way, snarling, ready to explode, and he soon gets his wish as…

”KEN – NAH – DAY!”

*TURN UP THE TROUBLE…*


A very loud initial pop soon settles into boos as Mr. Kennedy appears to be the first man to answer the call, and it looks like he’s ready for a fight too as he storms out the back and bursts down the aisle… only to then slam on the breaks, wag a finger and back up towards the entrance way. Batista can’t help but laugh, shaking his head in frustration, and the crowd boo again, thinking they were going to see a brawl only for Kennedy to disappoint them. Standing under the SmackDown fist, Kennedy rolls his eyes at the fans, then he reaches up and waits as his microphone is lowered from the rafters…


Mr. Kennedy: Oh yeah, yeah you’d like that wouldn’t ya’? You’d really like that, wouldn’t ya’ Dave? You wanna call me out, you want me to come down to that ring and fight, right?

In response, Batista shouts “C’mon!”, but Kennedy stands firm…

Mr. Kennedy: Y’see, that’s you problem right there. Yeah I ran my mouth earlier, I had a few things to say, but I didn’t challenge you to a fight like some common street thug.

Shaking his head and wagging a finger, Kennedy smirks as he tries to frustrate and get under the skin of ‘The Animal’…

Mr. Kennedy: I’m not gonna fight you tonight. But like I said earlier, you wanna shut me up… then go ahead and do it. I know that’s what you’re dyin’ to do. I talk trash about ya’, I bad mouth ya’, and you’re dyin’ to do somethin’ about it. It’s killin’ ya’ inside, it’s drivin’ you crazy, so dammit, do somethin’ about it!

Both men exchange fierce stares at each other, the tension building, especially in Batista as he grabs the top rope and squeezes it in frustration…

Mr. Kennedy: Shut my mouth, but make my day while ya’ do it, by puttin’ that title on the line.

With a slight laugh, Batista backs away from the ropes, pauses for a few seconds before he slowly nods his head…

Batista: You want a title match, right here, right now? You got it. Gimme a damn referee! Let’s do this!

A loud pop from the fans who are understandably excited by the impromptu title match they’re about to witness. Kennedy fires his microphone back into the rafters, but then takes the surpising move of heading backstage instead of towards the ring… but we soon see why as he yanks referee Jack Doan by the collar into the arena! Kennedy gives Doan and shove and points him in the direction of the ring, almost threatening the referee, with Kennedy ripping off his t-shirt and Batista doing likewise in the ring. As Kennedy and Doan make it to the bottom of the aisle, Doan pleads with Kennedy, trying to explain that this isn’t an authorised match, but before we go any further…

”YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME…”

*METALINGUS…*


Kennedy stops in his tracks and all eyes turn towards the entrance way as Edge storms out, microphone in hand, not even waiting for his music to end before he starts speaking…


Edge: Wait a minute! Just wait a damn minute! This isn’t happening! Just… hold on.

Despite having just entered the arena, Edge now heads backstage again… and just like Kennedy he re-emerges with a referee! This time it’s Mickie Henson who is shoved into the arena, with Edge being much more aggressive and with that wild, crazy look in his eyes…

Edge: No way, not a chance. Get that referee the hell outta here, and you go with ‘im Kennedy, ‘cause there’s no way you’re getting’ another shot before me.

Edge grips Henson by the collar, standing near the entrance way, wary of barging straight down the aisle…

Edge: You’ve been talkin’ all night about how I hit the two of you with the spear last week. Yeah, I did, but what you keep failin’ to mention to these people is that you were seconds away from goin’ down to the Batista bomb. I did what I did last week to make a statement, not to give you an excuse, and not to give you a reason to get another title shot.

And now Edge and Henson start to slowly make their way down the aisle, Kennedy staring a hole right through him…

Edge: If I didn’t do what I did last week, you wouldn’t even be here right now. You’d be an afterthought, you’d be nothin’ more than a loser. So take your ref there, and get the hell outta here, ‘cause I’m the one that’s steppin’ into that ring.

With Edge a few steps behind him, Kennedy moves to close the gap, walking towards ‘The Rated-R Superstar’, the two engaging in a tense staredown. Neither man budges an inch, until Kennedy rather forcibly snatches the microphone from Edge’s hand and calmly says…

Mr. Kennedy: Make me.

And the crowd are on their feet as an intense Kennedy squares up to Edge, the two engaged in a tense standoff, both men clenching their fists, daring the other man to make the first move…

Batista: Hey! I’m gonna make this real simple for you two. Instead of you two tryin’ to decide which one is gonna get their ass kicked first… why don’t you both just step into the ring right now… and I’ll kick both your asses at the same time!

Another big cheer as 'The Animal' makes a pretty emphatic challenge to the two contenders to this throne, and it seems to resonate with Edge and Kennedy as they end their standoff and now look to work together. Edge points for Kennedy to circle one side of the ring while he takes the other, the two closing in on the champion. Batista keeps his head on a swivel, poised and ready for the attack... Kennedy nips up onto the apron... but Batista knocks him down with a big right hand! Quickly 'The Animal' turns... and catches Edge trying to sneak into the ring! Like a dear in the headlights, Edge is frozen to the spot, caught on the apron, Batista roaring for him to get into the ring, but before things can escalate any further...

*MACMILITANT...*


Now it's the SmackDown General Manage Teddy Long who strides out into the arena, mic in hand, wasting no time in addressing the situation before him...


Teddy Long: Wait a minute! Wait just a minute there, playas. This ain't happenin' right now. This ain't how this gonna go down. I've been tryin' all night to keep order around here, and I ain't gonna stop now. There ain't a chance I'm lettin' the three of ya' run wild like this, so Edge, Kennedy, you two playas better stand down.

As Edge and Kennedy both turn and look up the aisle, Henson and Doan take the chance to slip away up the aisle towards safety…

Teddy Long: Now Batista, I hear ya' playa. Ya' heard enough of Edge and Kennedy complainin' about title shots they think they deserve. I fell exactly the same way. But you can't run around disrupting my show and havin' title matches whenever you feel like it.

In the ring, ‘The Animal’ shakes his head in annoyance, clearly desperate to get his hands on the two men stood just a few feet away…

Teddy Long: And Kennedy, I'll give it to ya', that title shot you had last week in London, you earned that, playa. I’ll give ya’ that.

Picking himself up off the floor, Kennedy barely manages a nod in acknowledgement of that…

Teddy Long: And yes, Edge might have got involved in that match… but if ya’ ask me, Edge did you a favour.

Pop from the crowd…

Teddy Long: You were about to go down to the Batista Bomb, and you’re title shot was about to be over.

Another pop, with Kennedy yelling “Shut up!” at the crowd…

Teddy Long: As for you Edge… I’ve had just about enough of you. Ya’ put Chris Benoit on the shelf, you get involved in title matches, ya’ do nothin’ but run yo’ mouth about how ya’ been screwed over. And I’ve heard all I wanna hear.

Edge rolls his eyes and shakes his head, running a hand through his hair as his frustration and desperation is clearly displayed…

Teddy Long: You three have been outta control for a while now, and I’m gonna do somethin’ about it.

Pop…

Teddy Long: Kennedy… you want another title shot? Edge… you want another shot too? And Batista… you wanna shut these two playas up, once and for all? I’m gonna make it happen for all three of ya’.

Intrigue all round as all three men stare up at Teddy in hope…

Teddy Long: At Judgment Day, it’s gonna be Batista defending the World Heavyweight Championship in a Triple Threat Match… against both Edge and Mr. Kennedy!

Massive pop from the crowd as Teddy announces a huge match for Judgment Day. The three men at ringside show a stark difference in opinion though, with Batista nodding and smirking, finally getting his chance to silence his challengers, while Kennedy grits his teeth in anger and Edge shakes his head, his mouth nearly hitting the floor as he softly says “No… no!”, clearly unhappy with the idea of the triple threat rules…

Teddy Long: But… we gonna do it under one or two conditions. That’s why next week, the three of ya’ are gonna be back in that ring, and we’re gonna sign a contract. But Batista, Edge, you two don’t gotta worry about that right now. You two are still scheduled to take part in our main event tonight.

Not much of a response from the crowd as they continue to react to the announcement of the Judgment Day title match…

Teddy Long: And Kennedy, since you seem so desperate to be involved… I am gonna let you be the Special Guest Referee in that matchup!

And that gathers a much larger response, the crowd mixed at that prospect, something which is echoed by Batista and Edge who both have suspicious looks on their faces, while Kennedy looks almost confused, unsure as to why Teddy has bestowed the responsibility upon him…

Teddy Long: You wanna run wild on my show? Be my guest. But next week… Edge, Kennedy… yo’ gonna suffer the consequences. Holla at me.

*MACMILITANT…*


Teddy quickly turns on his heels and heads backstage, leaving the champion and his two challengers near ringside with a mixture of tense and aggravated faces. In the ring, Batista remains on guard, expecting a sneak attack from either Edge or Kennedy, but it’s not going to be from Kennedy as he instead starts to make his way up the aisle, pointing at both men with a smirk as in tonight’s main event, he’ll be the man in charge. The camera continues to switch between all three men, with Batista again pacing the ring, while on the outside, Edge rips at his hair as he slowly starts to head up the aisle, shaking his head in anger at how things have unfolded, while we head into a commercial.

*Commercial*


And we’re back inside the arena for…

*SLICED BREAD…*


In a move that sums up their partnership, The Hooligans step out together as a unit, despite the fact that Paul London and Brian Kendrick are opponents this evening, and despite their disagreement earlier in the broadcast. With their usual masks over their faces, it’s hard to gauge any bad feelings between the two right now, but the body language suggests there might be, as when Ashley Massaro sends the pair towards the ring, London sprints down the aisle as normal, while it’s more of a fast jog from Kendrick as London easily beats him to the ring...


Michael Cole: Earlier this evening, London and Kendrick were on their way to the ring for this matchup, only for Batista to ask to come out first and speak his mind, and it seemed like while London was OK with it, Kendrick didn’t seem all that happy about it.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And can ya’ blame ‘im?! This is the King of the Ring, a huge opportunity for guys like London and Kendrick, and Batista wants ‘em to hang back and wait a while? Damn right he should be upset about it! Infact, I’m amazed that London was OK with it. What a total lack of ambition, stand up for yourself dammit.

Tazz: I don’t see it that way, ‘JBL’. I just think Paul London was showin’ respect to our World Heavyweight Champion. If ya’ ask me, Kendrick was pretty disrespectful, it weren’t like Batista was askin’ ‘em to take a rain check and save it for next week. It was only ten minutes, and I think London did the right thing in respectin’ that.

Michael Cole: Well after their defeat last week to the New Breed, and the argument earlier tonight, you have to wonder if all is well with the champions. I guess we’ll find out in how both men approach this matchup right here…

Match 4: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
WWE Tag Team Champion Brian Kendrick vs. WWE Tag Team Champion Paul London w/ Ashley Massaro

When the bell rings, London offers his hand to Kendrick, who takes a few seconds before he finally slaps hands and the pair start to circle the ring. They tie up, with Kendrick wringing on the arm… only for London to reverse this into a hammerlock. Kendrick reaches down, grabs a foot and sweeps the leg, only for London to kick him into the ropes… then nip up to catch Kendrick with an armdrag! Both men burst back to their feet, with Kendrick jumping at London… wheelbarrow victory roll! 1… 2… kick out, and now both men are back up, a standoff ensues, the two staring at each other from across the ring, the crowd applauding in appreciation for the fast paced start of the match. Again they circle then tie up, this time Kendrick working into a standing headlock, but again London works into a hammerlock, but this time Kendrick breaks free with a snapmare. He then races for the ropes and looks to deliver a kick to the face… but London lays flat to avoid it… then nips up to smack Kendrick with a dropsault! Another cover… another kick out at two. Both men now trade hard right hands, until Kendrick ducks one from London and goes for a side suplex… London lands behind him… and scores with a jumping kick to the back of the head! Another pinfall… but again, Kendrick kicks out at two.

London wrenches on the arm once more, but Kendrick manages to shove him off the ropes, and when London rebounds… Kendrick uses a back body drop to send London over the top rope to the floor! A painful landing for London, with Ashley right there to check on him, while in the ring, Kendrick looks conflicted, wanting to take advantage of this opportunity, but at the same time showing compassion for his teammate. London gingerly gets back to his feet, favouring the knee he damaged before WrestleMania, and that’s Kendrick’s cue as he charges… and flies through the ropes with a suicide dive! Mounting London, Kendrick lays in with right hands, then rolls London back into the ring, but before Kendrick can slide in, Ashley shouts “What are you doing?”, with Kendrick flashing her a confused look in return before he slides in and gets a two count. Kendrick now looks to slow things down a bit as he looks to work on the knee, twisting, wrenching and tying it up, with Cole and Tazz questioning Kendrick targeting his partner’s previously injured knee, while ‘JBL’ calls it great strategy. After a few different leg holds keeps the action grounded for a few minutes, London battles back to his feet, drills Kendrick with a boot in the midsection… then hooks him up for a double underhook powerbomb… but Kendrick rolls through with a sunset flip… only for London to roll through into a pinning predicament… 1… 2… Kendrick kicks out!

London thought he had it, but now both men spring back up, exchanging forearms to the face, until London rattles off three in a row, then he goes for an Irish whip off the ropes… but lowers his head… Kendrick snaps him up with a kick to the chest… then scores with a hurricanrana! 1… 2… London shits weight, now he’s he’s got the pin… 1… 2… Kendrick kicks out! Both men are back up, and Kendrick lays in with more forearms, before he goes for an Irish whip… but both men have the same idea and go for a running crossbody… and both collide in mid-air! Ashley hides her face as both men lay on the canvas, the ref starting the count, making it all the way to 7 before there’s any sign on life… and when they’re back on their feet, they trade tired looking forearms… until Kendrick rattles off a few in a row that allows him to back London to the corner. Kendrick fires London across… but London jumps to the second rope… springboard crossbody… but Kendrick catches London… and counters with a bridging fallaway slam! 1… 2… London barely kicks out. Kendrick can’t believe it, but now he looks to put London away, hooking him up and running to the corner… SLICED BREAD… NO! London shoves Kendrick away, but Kendrick lands on his feet, prompting London to charge… into an elbow from Kendrick. An Irish whip sends London back to the corner… and again he jumps to the second rope… this time for a SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT! 1… 2… Kendrick manages to rolls a shoulder! London now sees a chance to put Kendrick away, calling for Kendrick to rise… and he races in, jumps… and plants Kendrick with a TORNADO DDT! Kendrick is down and out, and now London is climbing upstairs… and he’s ready to fly… 450 SPLASH… NOBODY HOME! Kendrick rolls to safety, leaving London to smack face first off the canvas… and as he stumbles back up, Kendrick makes his move… SLICED BREAD!! Kendrick gets all of it, hooks the leg tight… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Brian Kendrick @ 07.29

It’s Kendrick who wins the battle of the tag team champions, bursting back to his feet and shouting with delight at his victory. Kendrick has his hand raised by the referee, but then proceeds to fire both hands into the air, jumping up and down, ecstatic with the win over his partner. It’s very over the top from Kendrick, and Ashley makes it clear she’s not happy with it as she slides into the ring, glares and yells “What are you doing?” at Kendrick before she tends to London on the canvas. Initially confused as to why Ashley is acting like this, Kendrick holds his hands out and asks “What?” before he settles down a bit and heads over to check on London. As Ashley helps him back up, Kendrick offers his assistance, helping to hoist London up. The two look at each other a little bit uneasily, the broad smile on Kendrick’s face clearly not sitting easy with London, and the uneasiness continues as Kendrick thrusts a hand forward with gusto, looking for a handshake. London rubs his neck in pain, obviously disappointed with the defeat, but he soon agrees and shakes Kendrick’s hand, with Kendrick very sportingly raising his partner’s hand in the air. All seems well again between the champions, the fans responding with a very warm pop, before the two share a quick hug. Back on the same page, London and Kendrick head for the ropes, but Ashley still looks confused, shaking her head at Kendrick as the pair exit the ring while we cut backstage.

And we see standing by is The Miz and Michelle McCool, Miz dressed and ready for action. The pair lean against a set of lockers, smug grins on both their faces, with Miz rubbing his hands, clearly excited about tonight’s main event…


The Miz: Y'know somethin', Michelle? It looks like tonight, Teddy Long has finally figured out what I've been tellin' him all these months. It's finally sunk into that head o' his.

Miz smirks, nodding his head, looking off camera as if he's speaking to the entire world right now...

The Miz: Tonight, The Miz delivers another reality check, but this time I'm gonna do it in my very first main event here on SmackDown. Like I've said all along, I've worked at my game, I've gotten better each and every time I step in that ring, and it's all goin' on display tonight when I team up with Edge to take on Batista and Matt Hardy.

Pop from inside the arena as the fans show their excitement for the main event, but Miz ignores this and quickly carries on...

The Miz: It's time to take my game to another level, it's time to shine on a brighter stage, and it's time to send a message to Matt Hardy, and all the other non-believers out there. You might not take my seriously now, but after tonight... you better.

The smirk leaves as Miz now glares into the camera...

The Miz: I looked into your eyes last week after that Belfast Brawl... and I know you're hurtin' right now... but you're gonna feel a whole lot worse at Judgment Day.

Heat from inside the arena...

The Miz: Every week I hear people say that you're the guy to watch in 2007. Every week I hear about how great a year you're havin', how it's taken you ten years of bein' a tag team specialist but now you're finally breakin' out on your own. Well guess what, Matt? I don't need to wait ten years to become United States Champion. I don't need the Hollywood story, I don't need the sympathy of those idiots in the crowd.

And more heat, but Miz pressed on, becoming much more heated in his delivery...

The Miz: I don't do fantasy, Matt, I deal with reality, and the reality of the situation is that beatin' up old Irish guys ain't gonna cut it when you step in the ring with me. At Judgment Day, reality is gonna bite for you, Matt, and I'm takin' that title away from you... and there's gonna be nothin' you can do about it.

Miz takes a step forward, his eyes piercing the camera, before he closes them, takes a deep breath and slowly says...

The Miz: 'Cause I'm The Miz... and I'm... AWE - SOME!!

Turning to McCool, the pair exchange a quick laugh together, the camera lingering on them for a few seconds before we head for a commercial.

*Commercial*


When we return, we are greeted by the sight of King Booker and Queen Sharmell already in the ring, with Booker's music playing in the background. Our 'King' gives the fans a very royal wave, despite them booing him loudly, while Sharmell has a microphone in hand and repeatedly yells “All hail King Bookah!”, which only serves to draw more heat. Eventually Booker motions for Sharmell to hand him the mic...


King Booker: Cut thy music! I said cut thy music!

Right on cue, the music stops and the boos are heard much more clearly, however Booker and Sharmell are oblivious to this as they continue to smile...

King Booker: Huntsville, your King in your presence. Bow down before him, as I, King Booker, start the defence of my crown in the King of the Ring tournament! As King, I have served you, my loyal subjects, for almost a year now, and I have done it with the utmost dignity.

There’s a smattering of boos from the crowd, but in defiance Sharmell shouts “Dat’s right!” at the fans…

King Booker: I have reigned over the SmackDown kingdom, and now I shall become the first King in WWE history to retain my crown.

Booker turns to Sharmell, the pair exchanging smug nods of the head…

King Booker: And I shall reign over you all for another year. Another glorious year of King Booker! And yes, you are all right… none of you are worthy of myself.

And now the heat breaks out…

King Booker: But fear not, your King shan’t let you down! I shall advance to Saturday Night’s Main Event, and I shall once again prove that I… am the King of the world!

Holding out his arms, Booker soaks in the jeers of the crowd and even says “Thank you” before he finishes by shouting…

King Booker: Long live… King Bookah!

*BAD DREAM…*


And finally Booker is shut up as the music of The Extremists hits the arena, with Tommy Dreamer leading out Sabu and The Sandman, the trio posing under the SmackDown fist before they head for the ring…


Michael Cole: It certainly sounds like King Booker is very confident that he’s gonna go all the way and become King of the Ring for the second year in a row. But let’s not count out Tommy Dreamer here, he’s more than capable of pullin’ off what, for my money, would be considered an upset win.

Tazz: Well, yeah, I guess it would be an upset. But hey, Booker might be confident, but he might be too confident. The guy lives in ‘is own world, he’s out his mind if ya’ ask me, and if he thinks he’s just gonna breeze through this tournament, he’s got another thing comin’.

John Bradshaw Layfield: As long as he beats Dreamer tonight, the guy can say and do whatever the hell he wants. I mean, can you imagine any of these three morons as King of the Ring? Sabu would probably look at the throne and start thinkin’ of ways to jump off it. Seriously, the sooner The Extremists are out of the tournament, the better.

Match 5: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
King Booker w/ Queen Sharmell vs. Tommy Dreamer w/ Sabu and The Sandman

Booker's arrogance is on full display from the first tie up, as he's full of theatrics before the two lock up, and when Dreamer backs Booker to the corner, Booker shoos him away, wiping the imaginary dirt from his shoulder, looking almost offended that Dreamer would even touch him. Again the pair tie up, this time Dreamer working into a standing waistlock... only for Booker to drill him with a big elbow to the side of the head. Booker fires Dreamer off the ropes... and knocks him down with a shoulderblock... then quickly drops an elbow. More arrogance as Booker is back on his feet, arms open wide, drawing boos from the crowd, which quickly turn to cheers as Booker goes for a second elbow... but takes too long as Dreamer rolls to safety! Dreamer now yanks Booker up, lands a few right hands to the face, then sends Booker for the ride... right into a hiptoss! Booker is back up... another hiptoss puts him down! Booker scrambles for the ropes, but Dreamer is right on him, landing more rights to the face before again going for the Irish whip... this time Booker reverses, but he lowers his head... Dreamer snaps it up with a running knee... then scores with a falling neckbreaker! Here's the first cover of the match... 1... 2... Booker kicks out strongly. As Booker gets back up, Dreamer snaps into a standing side headlock, but Booker forces both men to the corner. The ref calls for the break, which Booker initially provides... only to then drill Dreamer with a shoulder to the midsection! Several more shoulderthrusts land, before Booker goes for the Irish whip across... Dreamer reverses, and Booker hits the turnbuckle hard and staggers forward... allowing Dreamer to come off the ropes with a one handed bulldog! Another cover... 1... 2... Booker kicks out again.

Looking to build momentum, Dreamer heads for the ropes... only for Sharmell to reach in and grab him by the foot! Dreamer puts on the breaks and turns to yell at Sharmell, but the distraction gives Booker a chance to get back on his feet, and when Dreamer turns... he's smacked with a spinning crescent kick! Feeling rather besmirched after all of Dreamer's early offence, Booker mounts him and hammers Dreamer with stiff rights to the forehead, before there's more arrogance as Booker heads back to his feet and raises a pinky high in the air, drawing more jeers from the crowd. Dreamer is shoved to the corner, where a string of slaps land to his chest, before Dreamer is sent hard to the opposite corner... and stumbles forward into a big back body drop! Booker now enjoys a period of control, gaining near falls from a spinning heel kick and a sidewalk slam, before he takes Dreamer up and down with a suplex and then comes off the ropes... running kneedrop... no! Dreamer rolls to safety, allowing Booker to crash to the canvas, and now he lands rights to the face before going for the Irish whip to the corner... Booker reverses and follows in... right into a boot to the face! Booker staggers back, while Dreamer pushes himself onto the second rope... flying clothesline! Dreamer is back up, charging off the ropes... running crossbody! Here's the cover... 1... 2... Booker rolls a shoulder!

The momentum is back with Dreamer now, and he goes on the attack, landing yet more rights before going for an Irish whip off the ropes... Booker reverses... but Dreamer hangs onto the ropes, prompting Booker to charge... but Dreamer low bridges... and Booker tumbles all the way to the floor! Sharmell quickly heads over to check on her King, but she runs as Dreamer is on the apron... charging for a DIVING SOMERSAULT SENTON! The importance of the King of the Ring is on full display as Dreamer takes a big risk, but it pays off as he now rolls Booker back into the ring... and then Dreamer heads to the top rope... but before he can fly, Sharmell jumps up onto the apron! Dreamer yells at her to get down, as does the referee and The Sandman... and the distraction allows Booker to smack Dreamer with a right hand, causing him to lose his balance and crotch himself on the top turnbuckle! Booker now climbs upstairs, hooking Dreamer up... SUPERPLEX... NO! Dreamer fights it, drilling Booker with rights to the body... then he shoves Booker down to the canvas! Dreamer now stands on the top rope... FLYING SPLASH! Dreamer hooks the leg... 1... 2... no! Booker somehow rolls a shoulder! Dreamer can't believe it, but with the crowd behind him, and Sabu and Sandman slamming their hands off the canvas, Dreamer rises to his feet and readies himself as Booker stumbles towards him... Dreamer hooks him up... DREAMER DRIVER... NO! Booker shoves Dreamer into the ropes... and then hammers him with the HARLEM SIDEKICK! Dreamer is down and out, and now Booker leans against the ropes to recover, but this means he's standing over Sabu and Sandman. Looking down on both of them, Booker laughs and calls them “peasants”, mocking the two Extremists... only for Dreamer to sneak up from behind with a rollup! 1... 2... 3!!

Winner: Tommy Dreamer @ 05.38

Unbelievable! For all his talk, for all his confidence, King Booker has been eliminated in the first round by Tommy Dreamer! The crowd is stunned, on their feet, delighted for Dreamer, who rolls to the outside to celebrate with Sabu and Sandman. Sharmell can’t believe it, entering the ring with a furious scowl on her face, screaming at the referee, stomping her feet on the canvas, almost in tears, not quite able to believe what just happened. Booker kicked out but it was too late, and now he looks towards Sharmell in disbelief, his eyes bulging out of his skull, his jaw nearly on the floor, sat on the canvas in a state of bewilderment…


Michael Cole: God I… I… I can’t believe it! King Booker… he’s been eliminated from the King of the Ring! Booker’s gone!

John Bradshaw Layfield: No, no, no! No! There’s… that was a fast count! Booker had his foot on the rope! He wasn’t ready! Just… no!

Tazz: Save the excuses, ‘JBL’! Tommy Dreamer’s just dethroned King Booker!

We get a quick shot of Dreamer and his teammates as they back up the aisle, but the camera of course focuses on Booker and Sharmell, with Sharmell screaming and screeching in fury towards Booker, who simply sits on the mat, shaking his head, still not able to come to terms with the fact that his 2007 King of the Ring participation is over.

*Commercial*


And when we return, we see King Booker and Queen Sharmell walking backstage, Sharmell still berating Booker for his loss, while Booker walks as if he’s in a trance, his mouth still open wide in shock…


Queen Sharmell: …I mean dammit, Booker! You said you were gonna win! You said you were gonna be King again, and you didn’t even win a damn match!

No response from Booker, who just continues to walk along in a world of his own…

Queen Sharmell: Are you even listenin’ to me right now? Booker? Booker!?

Both Booker and Sharmell come to a stop, the pair looking off camera, and we soon see what they’re looking at as the camera pans… to reveal Montel Vontavious Porter and Jonathan Coachman stood before them. ‘Coach’ looks almost embarrassed, not wanting to point out Booker’s defeat, while ‘MVP’ hides behind his expensive suit and sunglasses. Coachman clears his throat and seems like he’s about to speak, but Booker raises a hand to stop him, looking dejected and as if he’s given up…

King Booker: You win, Coachman. You win. Judgment Day… I’m in.

A wide smile breaks out on Coachman’s face as he nods in agreement…

Jonathan Coachman: You know it makes sense.

Montel Vontavious Porter: Welcome to the Coachman Coalition.

Too stunned by defeat to fully take it all in, Booker simply nods at both men and then he and Sharmell walk off, with Sharmell giving ‘Coach’ a very inquisitive look before she leaves, something which makes Coachman laugh…

Jonathan Coachman: Alright, I gotta make a phone call.

’Coach’ reaches into his jacket pocket and brings out his phone, dialling a few numbers before he starts to speak…

Jonathan Coachman: Hey it’s me ‘Coach’ (…) Yeah, I got ‘im (…) That’s right big guy, we’re all set. The team’s in place, all we need is for you to show up (…) Next week? You sure? (…) Alright, that’s great news. I can’t wait (…) Alright, I’ll see ya’ next week (…) Alright, bye.

’Coach’ snaps the phone shut with a smile…

Jonathan Coachman: We’re all set. He’s in, you’re in, now Booker’s in… it’s all startin’ to come together.

’Coach’ and ‘MVP’ share a knowing smile to each other, the pair looking pretty smug over the fact that they’ve managed to secure the final member of their team for Judgment Day as the walk off and we head into a video.

*Video Package*

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

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

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

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

Narrator: A night where icons are created…

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

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

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

“WELCOME TO THE ERA OF AWESOMENESS!”

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

Narrator: A night to crown… a new king.

“BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR KING!”

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

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

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

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

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

Narrator: The King is dead…

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

“ALL HAIL KING BOO-KAH!”

”Long live… the King.”



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

*End Video Package*


And back into the arena and to the smiling sight of our announce team…

Michael Cole: The 2007 King of the Ring, a Saturday Night’s Main Event special, it’s just one month away, but we’ve been watching some of the first qualifying matches tonight, so let’s take a look at the SmackDown bracket and see where we stand…

King Booker vs. Tommy Dreamer
Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Mr. Kennedy

Matt Hardy vs. William Regal
Kane vs. Finlay

Gregory Helms vs. Shannon Moore
Brian Kendrick vs. Paul London

Bryan Danielson vs. Santino Marella
Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Sabu


Michael Cole: Well there you see it, three qualifying matches tonight, with Kane, Brian Kendrick, and perhaps the biggest shock of all, Tommy Dreamer, all advancing to the last sixteen.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I just… I just can’t believe it. How the hell did that happen? How the hell did he beat King Booker?

Tazz: You better believe it, ‘JBL’! Tommy Dreamer has advanced, he’s through to the next round, and King Booker’s been kicked outta the tournament! And what about that battle we saw with Kane and Finlay? I mean, Finlay did a real number on Kane after the bell, I hope that ain’t gonna affect ‘im in the next round.

Michael Cole: The King of the Ring continues this Monday night on Raw, you don’t wanna miss it. Find out who’s gonna take a step closer to Saturday Night’s Main Event!

And after a few seconds silence…

”KEN – NAH – DAY!”

*TURN UP THE TROUBLE…*


And the first man out is our referee, Mr. Kennedy, who wears a sleeveless ref's shirt on top of sweat pants, a confident smirk on his face as he heads down the aisle, cocking his head from side to side, revelling in the very mixed response of the crowd...


Michael Cole: Guys, what do you make of the call by Teddy Long to insert Mr. Kennedy into this match as the Special Guest Referee? I dunno if I can really agree with it, considering the history between Kennedy and Batista going all the way back to No Way Out. I just don't know if you can trust Kennedy to call this one down the middle.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Yeah but he wasn't exactly all that complementary about Edge earlier, was he? But what the hell was Teddy Long thinkin', Kennedy's too much of a loose cannon to take charge of a match, especially one with Edge and Batista involved. I don't think it's about takin' sides, I think he's gonna struggle to keep control, and this one could get wild in a hurry.

Tazz: I think just like Batista, Teddy Long's heard enough and decided to let Batista, Edge and Kennedy have it their way. They wanna get in the ring and fight, hell, let 'em! I hope this thing does break down, then we'll see if Kennedy can back up 'is words from earlier.

*REALITY…*


The boos break out as The Miz and Michelle McCool make their entrance, with Miz pausing under the SmackDown fist, taking in a deep breath or air, puffing out his cheeks with a smirk as he awaits his first main event appearance on SmackDown. As he hits the ring, Miz glares at Kennedy, prompting Kennedy to roll his eyes and shake his head as he slouches against the turnbuckle...


Michael Cole: Initially when he arrived on SmackDown, Miz was seen as a bit of a joke really. He was a reality TV star who was tryin' to learn how to cut it here in the WWE, something that you were very critical off 'JBL'. But you have to admit, Miz as definitely upped his game, he won the pre show Battle Royal before WrestleMania XXIII, and now he's appearing in his first main event match here on SmackDown against the man he faces at Judgment Day for the United States Championship, Matt Hardy.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I don't like this kid, I think he's a goof, but credit where it's due, the guy has improved night after night, he's gotten a helluva lot better in the ring, and I can't believe I'm sayin' it, but I think we're lookin' at the next United States Champion right there.

Tazz: I gotta agree with ya', 'JBL'. I mean, I think he's annoying, I think he's obnoxious, but the kid's got a real mean streak in 'im. This is a big chance for Miz tonight to show he belongs, and you wouldn't put it past 'im to somehow sneak the win here.

”YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME…”

*METALINGUS…*


And the highest level of heat all night is reserved for Edge, who bursts out into the arena, stops in the entrance way to fire his arms into the air, setting off a burst of pyro, before he storms down the aisle, tugging at his hair, a wild look in his eyes, clearly a man desperate and obsessed by his quest for gold. As Edge steps through the ropes, Kennedy steps forward, the two briefly going nose to nose before Edge brushes past him and heads for the corner...


Michael Cole: Ever since WrestleMania, Edge has been like a man possessed with regards to the World Heavyweight Championship. He's put Chris Benoit on the shelf, he attacked both Batista and Mr. Kennedy last week, quite frankly, the guy has lost it.

Tazz: For me, Edge is nothin' but a cryin' baby. All I've heard since WrestleMania is about how he got screwed outta the title, how he's should be champion right now. But the guy just ignores the facts, he lives in his own little world, and at Judgment Day, the real world's gonna kick 'im in the ass!

John Bradshaw Layfield: The guy was robbed at WrestleMania, and now he's gotta sit back and watch Batista walkin' around with a title that should be rightfully his. Wouldn't you be mad? Wouldn't you complain about it? I know I sure as hell would! Last week was a statement from Edge, and I think he's gonna follow that up with another statement right here, when he leads Miz to a victory.

”OH YEAH!”

*LIVE FOR THE MOMENT…*


A fantastic cheer as Matt Hardy bursts out into the arena, firing up the crowd and slapping as many hands as he can as he heads down the aisle. As Hardy hits the ring, he's naturally wary about stepping into the ring alone, but eventually he does so, staying on guard as he heads to the corner, then he approaches Kennedy to hand over his title, with Kennedy snatching it from his hand and tossing it at Tony Chimel, which draws a standoff between the two...


Michael Cole: We seem to say it every week, but 2007 has been perhaps the best year of Matt Hardy's career so far, and last week may have been the most impressive performance I've ever seen from him as he beat Finlay in the Belfast Brawl. An incredible display of heart and guts from Hardy, showing everybody exactly why he's the United States Champion.

Tazz: Yeah and what disrespect from that jerk Kennedy there. You see how he just tossed Matt's belt aside like that? That guy's a real asshole. Nice work ref, way to fire up a guy like Matt even more than he already was.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Aw stop your whinin'! Listen, Matt Hardy's 2007 has been nothin' but a fluke, he's gotten lucky all year. Well sooner or later, that luck's gonna run out, and it's gonna happen at Judgment Day when he loses that US Championship. Hell, it might even happen right here. It wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Miz put Hardy away in this matchup.

*I WALK ALONE…*


And the biggest pop of the night is saved for the World Heavyweight Champion, as Batista charges out into the arena, crouches down beneath the SmackDown first and sets off a massive explosion of pyro, before he heads down the aisle. With a stern scowl on his face, Batista hits the ring and gets right in Kennedy's face, the two standing nose to nose, before Batista unhooks the title from around his waist and rather forcibly shoves it against Kennedy's chest, making sure tonight's referee has the title in his hands before 'The Animal' heads to the corner to pose for the fans...


Michael Cole: For months now, Batista has heard Edge and Kennedy complain and state their case as to why they should be World Heavyweight Champion. 'The Animal' has kept his cool, he's acted with the dignity of a champion, but after last week, Batista has had enough. No more talkin', no more complainin', 'The Animal' is here to fight!

John Bradshaw Layfield: The guy's lost his cool, he's not focused on the title anymore, and at Judgment Day, that's gonna cost 'im. He agreed to a Triple Threat Match, a match where he don't even have to be pinned to lose his title. Does that sound like a focused champion to you? Not a chance.

Tazz: I think he's plenty focused if ya' ask me. He's focused on kickin' Edge and Kennedy's asses all over San Diego in three weeks time! Hell, he might even start by kickin' Edge's ass right here! I don't think Edge and Kennedy are gonna know what's hit 'em at Judgment Day, that's one pissed off 'Animal' right there, and he's gonna take out all that frustration and he's gonna retain his title doin' it.

Main Event: Tag Team Match
World Heavyweight Champion Batista and United States Champion Matt Hardy vs. Edge and The Miz w/ Michelle McCool
Special Guest Referee: Mr. Kennedy

Kennedy calls for the bell, and this one's underway, with Hardy and Edge stepping forward to kick things off. The pair step forward to the middle of the ring, both keeping one eye on Kennedy, but eventually they snap into a collar and elbow tie up. Edge manages to drive Hardy to the corner, but Kennedy is right there, calling for the break, which Edge eventually provides... only to then smack Hardy with an elbow off the jaw! And now Edge hammers Matt with right hands, but again Kennedy calls for a break from the corner... and when Edge doesn't give it... Kennedy simply grabs him by the shoulders and yanks him away! The crowd give Kennedy a pop, but Edge is furious, storming up to Kennedy, going nose to nose, but Kennedy simply points to the WWE logo on his chest, reaffirming the fact that he's currently acting as a referee. When Edge is finished glaring at Kennedy, he then heads back towards Hardy... who drills Edge with a boot to the midsection! Now Hardy exits the corner with a string of right hands that back Edge to the ropes, where he's sent for the ride... into a shoulderblock! Edge is back up... clothesline knocks him down! Again Edge bursts up... another clothesline knocks him down! Now Hardy grabs Edge by the wrist and again goes for the Irish whip... but Edge reverses... only to see Hardy avoid his clothesline with a baseball slide... then Hardy nips up and catches Edge from behind with an inverted DDT! Here's an early cover... 1... 2... Edge kicks out, and he crawls to his corner to tag in Miz. Taking his time to enter the ring, Miz slowly steps through the ropes, he and Hardy tying up, with Miz going for a hammerlock, only for Hardy to counter with a hammerlock of his own. Hardy continues to wrench on the arm, dragging Miz to the corner… where Batista gets the tag! Hardy holds Miz open… and Batista drills a big boot to the midsection.

‘The Animal’ now goes to work on Miz, smacking him with a few rights, then he fires Miz to the corner… Miz hits the turnbuckle hard and stumbles forward… right into a huge back body drop! Batista now races at Miz, tackling him into the corner, where ‘The Animal’ lays in with shoulderthrusts to the gut, before he looks to fire Miz across the ring… but Miz reverses and follows in… right into a boot to the face! Miz stumbles back… and is then levelled with a big clothesline! Batista is in control, and he looks to press this home by firing Miz off the ropes… but Edge makes a blind tag… and after Batista takes Miz up and down with a thunderous spinebuster… Edge strikes with a spinning heel kick! Edge now lays in with boots to the body of the champion, before he drags Batista up, smacks him with a few right hands, then Edge looks for an Irish whip across… but Batista runs him over with a shoulderblock! Now it’s ‘The Animal’ who goes on the attack, drilling Edge with rights and lefts to the body, before he scoop Edge up, slams him down, and tags in Hardy. Matt pushes himself to the second rope and waits for Edge to get back to his knees… elbow drop to the back of the head! Hardy goes for the cover… Edge kicks out at two. Hardy snaps Edge’s head back with repeated rights to the face, before he goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… but Edge reverses… and then Miz drills Matt with a knee to the back! Hardy puts on the breaks and turns… and sends Miz flying off the apron with a massive right hand… but that allows Edge to sneak up from behind… EDGE-O-MATIC! Edge drives Hardy’s skull off the canvas, and goes for the cover… 1… 2… Matt rolls a shoulder! Hardy hangs on, but as we head for the final commercial of the broadcast, it seems the momentum has shifted in our main event.

*Commercial*


And when we return, we see a highlight from during the break, where Hardy had battled back, only for Edge to hammer him with a big boot to the face, ending the momentum. Edge lays into Matt with a series of stomps to the chest, then mounts Hardy to hammer him with stiff right hands, before he shoves Hardy to the heel corner and tags in Miz. Using his boot, Miz jams it into Hardy’s throat to choke the United States Champion, before he backs up and lines Matt up… swinging corner clothesline! Hardy stumbles down to the mat, Miz hooks the leg… 1… 2… Hardy kicks out. Edge and Miz now make plenty of quick tags, working well together to isolate Hardy from Batista and wear Matt down, with Miz hammering Hardy with kicks and stomps against the turnbuckle, and then Edge wraps the tag rope around Hardy’s throat, choking him again. Edge and Miz look to target the neck, with Edge connecting with a side Russian legsweep, while Miz hits the inverted backbreaker into a neckbreaker, both moves gaining two counts. Further near falls are gained as Edge hits a textbook dropkick, while Miz connects with a snap DDT. Edge is back in the ring, and he has Hardy trapped in a camel clutch. Hardy tries to fight free, but Edge does a good job of keeping him grounded in the centre of the ring, far away from a tag to Batista. ‘The Animal’ tries to rally the fans, the crowd making noise, and Hardy manages to struggle back to his feet, but Edge still hangs on… Hardy drills him with an elbow to the midsection… and another… and he manages to shove Edge off the ropes… double clothesline!

Both men are down and out, taking their time to shake off the impact of the move, but when they reach six, Edge is already tagging in Miz… who races across the ring to smack Batista with a right hand! Hardy can’t make the tag as Miz pounces, locking him in a headlock and dragging him to a neutral corner, where Miz lays in with rights to the face and boots to the body. Miz then looks for the Irish whip across the ring… and then charges in… right into a boot to the face! Hardy now explodes for the corner with right after right, then he shoots Miz to the corner… follows in with a clothesline… and hangs on to come out of the corner with a bulldog! Both men down again, crawling for their corner… Miz tags in Edge… but here comes ‘The Animal’! Batista explodes into the ring, running through Edge with a clothesline… and another… and a third, before he fires Edge off the ropes… big back body drop! Batista now smacks Edge with right hands against the ropes, but Miz comes from behind, clubbing Batista… only for Batista to level Miz with a swinging side slam! As referee, it’s Kennedy’s responsibility to remove Miz from the ring, and he tries to do so… but this means he’s not looking as Batista charges at Edge… and drills him with a SPEAR! Batista wipes Edge out, hooks the leg… but there’s no Kennedy! Batista can’t understand why there’s no three count, but he soon sees why, and gets back on his feet, spinning Kennedy around, asking him what’s going on. Kennedy shrugs his shoulders and petulantly says he was busy with Miz, but now there’s a chance for Miz to take advantage… as he shoves Kennedy into Miz! Kennedy could easily call for the disqualification… but before he gets the chance, Matt Hardy charges… clothesline… that takes both he and Miz over the top rope to the floor!

It’s all gone crazy on the outside as Hardy and Miz battle, with Hardy gaining the upperhand, smacking Miz around the ring… and as the right hands continue to land, both men start heading up the aisle! Hardy is absolutely pummelling Miz, and eventually the two disappear backstage! That leaves us with Edge and Batista alone in the ring, but with Batista and Kennedy both struggling back to their feet, Edge is crouching in the corner, primed, ready to strike… here he comes… SPEAR… BUT BATISTA SIDESTEPS… AND KENNEDY EATS THE SPEAR!! Totally accidental, but our referee has just tasted a spear! Edge can’t believe it, running his hands through his hair, but there’s no time to worry about it as Batista grabs Edge from behind, smacks him with a trio of right hands, then he shoots Edge to the corner… and follows in with a corner clothesline! Batista goes for an Irish whip across the ring… but this time when he follows in, Edge uses the ropes to elevate himself over Batista… but Batista catches him on his shoulder… then nails a huge RUNNING POWERSLAM! The crowd is alive as ‘The Animal’ bursts back to his feet, shaking the ropes, before it’s thumbs up… thumbs down! Batista now waits for Edge to get back on his feet… kick doubles Edge over, and now he’s hooked up… BATISTA BOMB… NO! Edge desperately throws right hands, enabling him to drop back down to his feet! Batista stumbles away, and out of nowhere, Edge again makes his move… SPEAR… NO! Again Batista avoids it… and Kennedy is back on his feet… but before he tastes a second spear… KENNEDY DRILLS EDGE WITH A BIG RIGHT HAND! Edge staggers and turns… right into the path of ‘The Animal’… kick… then it’s up and down… BATISTA BOMB!! Batista finally lands it, and now he goes for the cover, he and Kennedy locking eyes as Kennedy counts the 1… 2… 3!

Winners: Batista and Matt Hardy @ 14.28

A strong win for ‘The Animal’ as he shuts up Edge, for tonight at least, but all eyes are on Kennedy as he quickly rolls under the bottom rope and storms up the aisle, a stern look on his face as he turns and locks his eyes on the ring. Batista pushes himself back to his feet and stares back up at Kennedy, who just carries on backing his way up the aisle, clearly no love lost between the two despite the fact that Kennedy just provided an assist for the champion. With Edge still down, Batista is handed his title and heads for the corner to celebrate with the fans, while Kennedy comes to a stop under the SmackDown fist, staring down at the ring, clearly with the World Heavyweight Championship that Batista holds high in the air in his sights…


Michael Cole: What an explosive situation! Kennedy, he tasted a spear from Edge, and then he nailed Edge with a right hand right before Batista put Edge away!

John Bradshaw Layfield: What the hell is he doin’?! He was a damn referee, he can’t put his hands on a guy in the middle of a match!

Tazz: What a match, what a night! Miz and Hardy, they fought all the way backstage, they might still be fightin’ now! And Kennedy… he snapped! He lost it, and he took it out on Edge!

Michael Cole: Batista is standin’ tall, he’s the World Heavyweight Champion, but will that still be the case come Judgment Day?! We’ll see ya’ next week for more Friday Night SmackDown!

The camera cuts between Batista in the corner, holding his title high in the air, posing for the fans who are responding with a great round of applause, and then there’s Kennedy, stood near the entrance way, his eyes burning a hole through the champion, the two staring each other down before Kennedy decides to disappear backstage and the screen fades to black.

*End Show*




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

Location: iPayOne Center; San Diego, California

World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match:
World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. Edge vs. Mr. Kennedy

United States Championship Match:
United States Champion Matt Hardy vs. The Miz

WWE Tag Team Championships Match:
WWE Tag Team Champions The Hooligans vs. The New Breed

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

Last Man Standing Match:
Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Grudge Match:
Finlay vs. Kane

Six Man Tag Team Match:
The Extremists vs. King Booker, Montel Vontavious Porter and ???




Current Card for WWE SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT - KING OF THE RING SPECIAL:
Date: June 2nd, 2007

Location: TD Banknorth Garden; Boston, Massachusetts


The 2007 King of the Ring Tournament:
COMPETITORS TO BE DETERMINED


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



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Smackdown Feedback


Always nice to see a match start off a show and this was a really strong choice to go with. Very strong contest between these two veterans and to be honest I could’ve seen it go either way, both men could’ve done with the win but Kane’s not a bad choice at all and he has been on a strong roll of late. Aftermath was cleverly done with the use of the Little Bastard and a ruthless assault from Finaly that gives him all his heat back following defeat. Must say I was a bit surprised you didn’t utilise the Little Bastard during the match considering you acknowledged he was out there with Finlay, instead waiting til after, effective but thought maybe he could’ve tried it during the match.

Finlay/Kane, Judgment Day, awesome. Expecting nothing but a straight up fight in that one, hopefully Finlay getting back on the winning trail to go with it. Well worked, simple segment.

Decent Kennedy interview, not surprised to see him voicing his frustrations and everything he had to say was a valid point. I did like the fact that you played up just how serious Kennedy was here which isn’t always the norm and I’m sure we’ll finally settle the World Title debate tonight.

Great stuff with the F.B.I, got a good laugh out of the Hamburglar stuff with Helms. Clever stuff with regards to Helms wanting their help although I sense that won’t end all too well…

No surprise that Danielson started this one off as the man on fire, quickly getting one out of the way in Daivari. Noble being next out was a little disappointing, thought he’d get a bit more than that but facts are this was never gonna be about anything but Danielson’s quest for another opportunity and the F.B.I. trying to thwart that. Really surprised that the F.B.I DID look this strong, they had an awful lot of eliminations compared to what I expected although when it came down it to it Mr. ‘YES!’ man was always gonna walk out victorious. A nice little story to this match though and some solid action throughout. Good job.

Much preferred this Edge interview to the Kennedy one. You played up his frustrations even better than KK with him still believeing he shoulda won at Mania. The way he interacted with Matthews was great and the mocking of Kennedy at the end had me.

This whole Rey Mysterio ‘tribute’ thing is a heck of an idea and it’s just nice to see a few of these old faces popping up. Guerrero’s really been on a roll since this feud picked up, his promos have been great and this one was solid if unspectacular. Trouble is it gets a little repetitive what with the fact Rey isn’t there to respond. It’s probably gonna be similar every week but this challenging Rey’s past will no doubt be the most intriguing part and Psicosis is a great shout. You gave him a few moments too which was nice to see but Chavo was always walking out on top and it’s yet another emphatic message to Rey Rey ahead of Judgment Day, it’s one that could really steal the show.

Hit and miss here for me. I like the fact that it portrayed the tension between London and Kendrick, you’re doing a good job with the slow, subtle build of a break up. However I think you could’ve just had Ashley maybe be the one to set Kendrick off a bit, have her maybe say she sides with London on this one or imply it. The Batista thing just was a bit random to me, I can see why you did it but it just seemed a little out of place.

Really strong stuff from all three here. You got Batista’s no nonsense written well whilst Kennedy and Edge were on point once again, Kennedy goading Tista into that match was smart heel booking. I anticipated the Triple Threat announcement at the end of the show so wasn’t entirely surprised that it happened here, gonna be a huge match come Judgment Day. As for the other announcement, Kennedy being Special Guest Ref tonight makes sense and allows him an ‘in’ with regards to the two men’s business tonight, expecting shenanigans.

Absolutely thrilled that Kendrick won this one. I thought you’d give it to London and Kendrick would eventually snap but this is great in going the other way. Sense that Kendrick’s arrogance is only gonna rise now and lead to the inevitable break up. Aftermath was well played on and the little details were nice, Ashley’s involvement in this only adds to the situation also.

Nice bit of hype for Miz here and your slow, progressive build for him is certainly coming across well. A main event tonight will no doubt continue to help in furthering him.

I was absolutely shocked that Booker went out here. BUT…then I thought about it and realised he has been on a downward spiral of late and a win here would’ve put an end to all that so my shock soon turned to ‘you’re a clever so and so’. Promo with Booker and Coach made perfect sense and the Coachman Coalition is certainly looking like it’s gonna be one mighty strong group come Judgment Day.

Very strong main event and the use of Kennedy in it went exactly as I thought it would. Costing Batista would’ve been all too predictable so to cost Edge especially after the tension between the two and the Spear to boot made a ton of sense. Was a tad surprised it wasn’t Miz eating the pin at first but the fact it was Kennedy playing the deciding factor was totally the right call. Think that contract signing next week will be a wild one what with the way this is panning out.

On the whole a really progressive show. The World Title scene developed nicely and the Edge/Kennedy tension was a real highlight for me. Kendrick/London also had some nice development tonight as well as Booker’s recent decline. A lot of positives and I think you’re gonna crank it up another notch come the next one. Good job fella.
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