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Old 03-03-2013, 09:55 AM   #291 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

First time I recall leaving feedback for Smackdown in the thread - but I have been reading. A bit like Raw, I wont be commenting on each segment in order...

With Kane, Finlay, Hardy, Kennedy, MVP, Helms, Danielson & Booker all involved in the King of the Ring tournament, it's safe to say the Smackdown half of the draw is pretty loaded. Interesting to see someone like Kane involved in the KOTR tournament at this stage of his career, although he just seems to be treading water at present on Smackdown - albeit winning matches almost every week - maybe a solid run in the tournament could help springboard him into doing something meaningful. I guess the problem with Kane is that he's just about feuded with everyone over the years - as both face and heel, and despite his tenure etc, a Batista vs Kane feud, or Edge vs Kane, or even Kennedy vs Kane feud doesnt hold a lot of appeal personally, and perhaps that's why he's just floating along as a big name at present without any real direction.

The win over Finlay keeps him looking strong to build off the recent wins over MVP & Booker, while Finlay was allowed to look equally strong, brutalizing the Big Red Monster after the match, setting the stage nicely for an undercard match at Judgment Day. I expect Kane to win that one, and probably get a good run in the KOTR tournament to go with it - although the likely meeting with Hardy in the next round could see his run end prematurely. I'll be interested to see just where you go with Kane in the long run, and if you do indeed do something with him to freshen him up and seem relevant, as he could still potentially be a strong player in the main event scene for you.

Loving the slow burn Kendrick heel turn at present. The line a few weeks back when he wanted to take off early because he had a date cracked me up. He's starting to become a LOT more selfish, and blatantly disrespecting the World Champion (albeit with good reason) before running to the ring slower than London to be fresher for the match were great little creases to add. The heel turn is coming, and it's building to that point nicely. I was a little surprised he didnt put his feet on the ropes to win the match - but I was also quite pleased he didnt either, as it would've been too easy to go down that route. Instead, over-celebrating his win before shaking Londons hand was a much more inventive and clever way to go about it, rather than the obvious heelish move he could've made. I see them still retaining the titles at Judgment Day, before dropping them further down the road (perhaps to the team that Coach is assembling) as I feel it's still too early to split the pair, given how much fun it is teasing the break up. I'd love to see it go on for another month at least - it's damn entertaining for this reader to follow

The poster boy for the KOTR tournament and defending King - OUT!!??

Now, that was a shocker. Despite Bookers struggles of late, I firmly expected him to navigate his way to the final eight at least, with Tommy Dreamer jobber fodder really. It just goes to show how far the former champ has fallen recently, and I see the end of the 'King' gimmick now that he's agreed to join Coach and MVP (and Mark Henry, right? ), although it would allow you more comedy type interaction between the group if he did keep the act up, I suspect this group will want to be taken seriously. Not sure what the end game is exactly for Coachmans Coalition, but given the way he's been treated by Teddy Long, I wouldnt rule out a power struggle for the GM position on Smackdown. It's a mightily impressive group he is forming - one that could potentially dominate Smackdown if booked correctly.

The continued use of 'Don' Marella and the FBI has been a particular highlight for me when reading Smackdown. I couldn't quite use Marella well in a comedy role, but you're pulling it off nicely with him leading this group. His interaction with Helms was funny, and the pair coming to an arrangement to stack the deck against Danielson was smart. Shocked to see Shannon Moore get a solid run in the match, eliminating Noble early on, but the match was all about Bryan Danielson and him earning his shot at the gold. Overcoming the FBI (even though they are positioned as more of a comedy act) was still impressive enough to put him over, especially after being attacked by Helms.

I was glad when you didnt do the title change at WrestleMania between Helms and Danielson. It would've been lost in the shuffle with everything else, and seeing as Helms is the longest reigning CW champ ever, it would mean a lot more to do the switch at Judgment Day where it has the opportunity to get 1) More time, 2) Make more of an impression, 3) Potentially steal the show, 4) End the 15 month reign in a more meaningful, memorable way. That's if Danielson wins though ...

... But I'm sure he will this time

The stuff you've been doing with Chavo as of late has been pretty awesome too, I must say. I'm digging the angle to hype Mysterios anticipated return, although I would've rather it be a one on one match for his return and save LMS for another time - however, back to the angle itself. As I said, I'm digging the angle, and the stuff you've been doing with Chavo has been inspired, and it feels like something different and fresh to build toward the match at Judgment Day - and more importantly, make Rey seem like a big deal even without having to be at the show. The beatdown on Malenko last week topped the lot if I'm honest, but bringing in Psichosis this week was good too. Not too hot on Chavo mentioning Eddie as a way to get heat, but that's just me. Looking forward to what he has planned for next week, and I just wonder whether perhaps Rey will make a surprise return in the next two weeks just before the PPV and surprise Chavo to run him from the ring. Either saving his first appearance for the PPV itself or having him do a surprise run in would work for me, the angle has been enjoyable for sure.

And so, onto the main event angle. Both Edge and Kennedy are in prime position to take the belt from Batista IMO with the way both have been booked as of late. The repeated mentions of Benoit by Edge makes me think you might just bring him back for one (or two) match(es) before his real life exit at the end of June, which is why I expect Edge to NOT take the title at Judgment Day, with Benoit possibly costing him the gold to further infuriate him. Kennedy's interview made a lot of sense (although he was about to be beaten anyway it seemed last week) and him vs Batista in a cage would make a lot of sense too, given how the matches between them have panned out last week and at No Way Out.

"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."

That's a great line - the exact type of thing you'd expect to hear from a guy like Batista. Batistas in ring rebuttal to both mens interviews was pretty standard, typical cave-man Dave. Although (maybe I'm about to channel KING with this) I didnt like how he said he didnt care if he defended the title in a triple threat. Given he wouldn't have to be involved in the decision to lose the title, I cant see why he wouldnt care if it was a triple threat. I'd have much rather hear him say he'd face them one after the other, as for me, while still somewhat dumb (he'd be pretty tired after the first match) it still makes him sound tough and with plenty of belief in himself that he can beat both guys, and they cant beat him. But still, I get where you'd be coming from with having him say that, as at this point he just wants both of them out of his sight I guess, I just dont see the logic in him not caring about defending the title in a match where he doesnt have to be involved to lose.

All that aside, the triple threat announcement made sense, as both guys are equally deserving of the shot at Batista. I'm intrigued as to what Long has up his sleeve for both Kennedy and Edge next week, in addition to the contract signing. At this point, it doesnt feel like we're coming quite to the end of the line for Batistas run with the belt, and as it stands, I see him retaining the title at Judgment Day, but I guess my opinion could well change before then. Obviously, while it might be a good idea for Kennedy and Edge to come together and take out Batista before going at it ... it appears that idea wont be on the table, with Kennedy getting at Edge to cost him the tag match main event.

It was interesting to see Miz in the mix, main eventing Smackdown, as you've invested quite a bit in him as of late - as mentioned on commentary, with his win prior to WM and run since then. The McCool alliance doesnt strike me as a natural fit, but I'm sure I'll slowly coming around to them as a pair, although despite his recent upswing, I dont see any way in which he takes the U.S title from Hardy - I think he's just getting started on a LONG run with the belt.

Overall, Smackdown is coming along nicely imo. It's not as buzzworthy as Raw has been at times, but it's been a solid show every week that I'm getting plenty of pleasure in reading.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:38 PM   #292 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

I smell the makings of THE Brian Kendrick, which was a character I always enjoyed. Hopefully, if that is the route it goes, you book him better than WWE did.

I am quite shocked to see King Booker out of this tournament so soon, but it certainly adds a swerve in during the early stages. It brings the audience in and tosses things into the air as to who could win this. I know who I wish to win, but I will hold off on saying until we get down to a final 8 or 4.

Overall it was another great show, your video packages are amazing. Some of the best I have ever read. I love those extra touches to the shows, along with the return videos, it adds the realism to it that just brings it over the edge.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:46 AM   #293 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
May 7th, 2007
Bryce Jordan Center
State College, Pennsylvania






Last week, Linda McMahon made an announcement that shocked the WWE to it's very foundations. The civil war threatening to tear apart Monday Night Raw is going to be settled one way or another inside one of the most famous matches in wrestling history... War Games.

With the WWE Board of Directors again unable to come to a decision as to whether it should be Vince or Linda McMahon who should be granted control of Monday Night Raw, Linda interrupted her husband to personally deliver the Board's recommendation, that a War Games Match at the upcoming pay per view would settle the issue once and for all. With Vince and Bobby Lashley caught off guard by the announcement, John Cena was able to clear the ring, meaning the early advantage went to Team Linda and it's captain. Tonight, Cena has promised to announce the second member of Team Linda, something that Mr. McMahon will no doubt be very interested in hearing... and perhaps even upstaging as he begins to form his own team.

Claudio Cesaro made a rather shocking debut on Raw last week, interrupting the WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam, and challenging Van Dam to a WWE Title Match. Ever the fighting champion, Van Dam of course accepted, and seemed well on the way to victory until Shawn Michaels, the man who was victorious at Backlash against Triple H, made his intentions clear. Appearing on the stage during the match, Michaels echoed his words from earlier in the evening... namely that he wants the WWE Championship back in his possession. The distraction would cost Van Dam though, as when he dropped out of the ring to confront Michaels, Cesaro attacked from behind, giving him a countout victory over the WWE Champion in his first match. Tonight, Van Dam teams with young guns The Straight Edge Saints in six man action as they face Mike Knox and The Redneck Wrecking Crew. Van Dam will no doubt be determined to lead his team to victory, but just what will he have to say with regards to Michaels, Cesaro, and the WWE Championship.

The first three members of the Raw half of the King of the Ring advanced last week, with Carlito, Jeff Hardy and CM Punk all making it through to the last 16. Tonight, three more qualifiers take place, with Jerry Lawler dropping the headseat to take on Chris Masters, Harry Smith squaring off with the Intercontinental Champion, Kenny Dykstra, while Shelton Benjamin goes against Super Crazy. After ditching Johnny Nitro last week, Masters and Melina now seem set to focus their sights on becoming King of the Ring, while Dykstra will no doubt be looking over his shoulder for Carlito, who attacked the Intercontinental Champion during an interview last week. It promises to be a fascinating night as the Raw bracket continues to shape up as we head ever closer to Saturday Night's Main Event.

And finally, having issued an open challenge last week, just who will respond to Beth Phoenix and face her for the Women's Championship? Will it be former champion Mickie James? Or will she heed Phoenix's warning and stay far away from Monday Night Raw? All this and more, tonight on Raw!


Confirmed Matches:

Rob Van Dam and The Straight Edge Saints vs. Mike Knox and The Redneck Wrecking Crew

King of the Ring Qualifying Matches – Round of 32
Chris Masters vs. Jerry Lawler
Harry Smith vs. Kenny Dykstra
Shelton Benjamin vs. Super Crazy

Beth Phoenix's Open Challenge for the Women's Championship

Plus! John Cena will announce the second member of Team Linda, we'll find out who Mr. McMahon has lined up for his squad, and we'll hear from Claudio Cesaro and Shawn Michaels!
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:22 AM   #294 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
May 7th, 2007
Bryce Jordan Center
State College, Pennsylvania



”Let's see Cena try and top that!”





We open with a recap video from last week highlighting the two major stories from last week's show, namely the debut of Claudio Cesaro and his challenge to Rob Van Dam, with the appearance of Shawn Michaels during the match leading to a shock countout victory in Cesaro's first WWE match over the WWE Champion. We then see footage from the announcement by Linda McMahon that the power struggle over control of Raw will be settled in a War Games Match, with Linda announcing John Cena as the captain of her team, the show ending with a brawl between Cena and Bobby Lashley, with Cena clearly Lashley from the ring, he and Linda standing tall as the video comes to an end.

From here, we bypass the usual Raw opening video and instead go cold into the arena, where after a few seconds of silence we hear...

*MY TIME IS NOW...*


The silence is ripped apart by a thunderous, yet as always, mixed response as John Cena steps out onto the stage. The cheers outweigh the boos, and Cena appreciates this as he takes a look around the arena, before he offers up a salute and then charges down to the ring...


Jim Ross: Last week, Linda McMahon made announcement that has shocked the WWE right to the core. The McMahon power struggle for control of Monday Night Raw will be settled in a War Games Match, and that man right there, John Cena, will be the captain of Team Linda. It's an announcement that all of us Raw are still reeling from! Hello everyone, I'm Jim Ross alongside me, as always is Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Joey Styles,and we're kickin' things off with the man who will lead Team Linda into battle in six weeks’ time, John Cena.

Joey Styles: It was an announcement that shocked us all, for the first time in almost a decade, the War Games Match has returned to professional wrestling, and the stakes could not be higher. For John Cena, Mr. McMahon has been the bane of his existence these last few months, but War Games provides Cena with the chance to remove all power and authority from Vince's grasp.

Jim Ross: Last week was certainly a huge night, a night that could change the course of the WWE and Monday Night Raw forever! But tonight is already shapin' up to be another huge night, with a Six Man Tag Team Match featuring the WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam, teaming up with The Straight Edge Saints, to take on The Redneck Wrecking Crew and the always dangerous, Mike Knox.

Jerry Lawler: And not only that J.R., we've also got an open challenge by Beth Phoenix for the Women's Championship, and three King of the Ring qualifiers, and yours truly is steppin' into the ring tonight!

Jim Ross: And we'll all be rootin' for ya' 'King' when you take on Chris Masters later this evenin'. But right now, let's here from the captain of Team Linda, John Cena...

Cena steps into the ring and heads to the corner, where he's handed a mic by Lillian Garcia, then he heads to the middle of the ring and waits for his music to die down. As the music stops, the crowd continue to be loud, again the cheers outweighing the boos, Cena nodding in appreciation before he brings the mic to his mouth...

John Cena: Wow. You guys are pretty loud tonight, huh?

A small pop from the fans...

John Cena: And I think I know why. I'm pretty sure it has a lil' somethin' to do with the announcement that in six weeks’ time, Monday Night Raw... we're goin' to war.

Another pop, with Cena staring straight down the hard camera, the intensity in his eyes showing how much War Games means to him...

John Cena: The McMahon power struggle was way too big to be settled by a regular one on one match. Oh no. It had to be two teams, ten men inside a cage, winner – takes – all.

Cena pauses to emphasise how serious he is, before he then turns back to the fans...

John Cena: And I know you guys are as pumped up about it as I am!

Another pop, with Cena's excitement coming through as he paces back and forth...

John Cena: I can't wait! I can barely sleep, I am so excited, 'cause I know I am so damn close to finally endin' Vince McMahon's reign of terror here on Raw.

Cena nods his head and smiles as he considers that prospect, dreaming of a McMahon-free future for Raw...

John Cena: I am so close, but I know I can't do it alone. I know I gotta pick four other guys to be on Team Linda. And that's why I'm out here right now. I wanna say this to all the boys sittin' in the back.

Turning towards the entrance way, Cena points backstage...

John Cena: This is an opportunity not to be missed. For some of you, this could be the biggest chance you'll ever get to make a name for yourself.

And now Cena steps towards the ropes and looks straight down a nearby camera...

John Cena: We stand just six weeks away from makin' history. Just six weeks away from endin' thirteen years of Vince McMahon dominatin' this show.

Pop...

John Cena: At War Games, it all comes to an end for Vince, and dammit, now's the time to be part of that! I'm offerin' the chance to be part of history, to go down in WWE folklore as part of the team that finally stood up to Vince McMahon and said... no more.

Bigger pop...

John Cena: If Vince ever screwed you over, if he ever knocked you back for a raise, hell, if ya' smiled at 'im the corridor one day and he just looked at ya' with disgust, then I wanna hear from ya'!

More intensity and enthusiasm from Cena, who now starts to pace the ring...

John Cena: But most importantly, I wanna hear from guys who've got those three qualities that mean so much to me. Hustle... loyalty... and respect. That's what it's gonna take to win a match like War Games.

Changing tact, Cena now turns back to the fans...

John Cena: And as captain, I know how important it is to get the right balance. We need to be young, hungry, athletic, but at the same time, we need that experience, we need to be smart and we need leaders. And with all that in mind, the second member of Team Linda will be revealed... tonight.

Another pop, the fans clearly excited by that prospect...

John Cena: Y'see when Raw went off the air last week, I got a phone call. I gotta admit, I wasn't expectin' it. It caught me off guard. But I listened to what this guy had to say...

Pausing, Cena narrows his eyes and again stares into the hard camera...

John Cena: And I heard it in his voice. I heard the passion, the desire, the hunger, the pain this guy's suffered at the hands of Vince in the past, and I knew there and then... I'd found my first teammate.

Pop...

John Cena: And that's what I need from all the boys in the back. If you wanna be a part of history, me and Linda have got an office back there, kick the damn door down and show me how badly you wanna be a part of this.

Bigger pop...

John Cena: Or better yet, come-

*MIRACLE...*


Just like last week, the fans break out with an initial loud pop that quickly turns to a ton of heat as Claudio Cesaro decides to interrupt the opening segment. Wearing a sharp suit, Cesaro stands in the entrance way, a smirk on his face, before he raises a fist in the air and then heads down the ramp. As he enters the ring, Cesaro is again all smiles, holding his arms out wide, soaking in the jeers of the crowd. Turning towards Cena, an awkward standoff ensues between the two, Cena standing firm, his eyes fixed square on Cesaro, while Cesaro smirks again and looks Cena up and down, then he heads for the corner and asks for a mic...


Claudio Cesaro: John Cena! Guten Abend, mein Freund! How are you?

Again Cesaro laughs, shaking his head as Cena simply stares at him in response...

Claudio Cesaro: Mr. Cena, I've been wanting to meet you. It's an honour, a pleasure to be stood in the ring with you.

Cena offers a wry smile in response, clearly not buying Cesaro's words...

Claudio Cesaro: But tell me... did you see my WWE debut last week? Did you see my match with the WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam?

Cena nods, saying “Yeah, I saw it.”...

Claudio Cesaro: You did? Then you know only too well that last week... I beat the WWE Champion in my very first match.

Again Cena nods, although this time very begrudgingly...

Claudio Cesaro: And that means that you know... that right now, I should be WWE Champion. And that means you know that I should be facing Rob Van Dam tonight in a rematch, for the WWE Title. You know this, yes?

In response, Cena shakes his head, but Cesaro ignores this and simply carries on...

Claudio Cesaro: And you also know that the fact that instead of defending his title against me tonight, Rob Van Dam is competing in a Six Man Tag Team Match... well that makes him a coward.

A loud negative reaction for the fans, which causes Cesaro to glare at them...

Claudio Cesaro: For all his talk about taking all on challengers, he escaped last week with his title. And this week, I show up at this arena, expecting a rematch... and I get nothing. That is no way to do business. But then... I wouldn't expect any less from such an ignorant country.

And more heat...

Claudio Cesaro: America... you're very good at starting fights... not so good at finishing them. And then there's you, John. You are the big star here in the WWE. Your name is known around the world, you've been on television, movies, you make music... but you are what's wrong with this country. You represent what's wrong with America... and what's wrong with the WWE.

Raising his eyebrows in surprise, Cena mouths “Really?” and shakes his head...

Claudio Cesaro: They put your face on-

John Cena: Alright, wait a minute. Enough. I'm not listenin' to this anymore.

The fans pop, pleased to hear Cena put an end to Cesaro's tirade...

John Cena: Lemme tell ya' a thing or two about how we do things around here. This is the WWE. Around here, people pay their dues, bust their asses night after night to get an opportunity like the one you got last week. Nobody walks up to the champion of this company on their first night and demands a title shot, and lemme tell ya', your damn lucky that Rob Van Dam's the kinda guy that never backs down from a challenge, 'cause most guys would've laughed your chocolate lovin' ass right outta the ring!

Again the crowd pop, with Cesaro narrowing his eyes, seething at the insult...

John Cena: Now 'RVD', he ain't my friend, he ain't my buddy, but I respect the hell outta that guy, and I know one thing for sure... Rob Van Dam is anythin' but a coward.

Cena's burns a whole right through Cesaro with an intense stare, pausing to emphasise how much he means that last remark...

John Cena: Van Dam had you down, he had you beat, he was ready to put your ass away with the frog splash, and if it wasn't for Shawn Michaels comin' out here, you'd have lost your first match, and you wouldn't even be out here havin' this conversation with me.

Another pop...

John Cena: Rob's got another match tonight, that's fine, that's his business, but if you're at a loose end tonight and you're lookin' for a fight... then you look at me.

Taking a step forward, Cena gets in Cesaro's face, a serious challenge made to the newcomer. At first Cesaro looks intimidated, but when he takes a step back and creates some space, that smirk soon crosses his face again...

Claudio Cesaro: Ah, John... So vorhersehbar. You’re so predictable! I knew you would say that, John. That's exactly why I came out here.

Looking into the distance, Cesaro ponders a dream scenario for himself...

Claudio Cesaro: My first week in the WWE, I beat Rob Van Dam. My second... I beat John Cena. Nobody could ever claim to have such success in such a short period of time.

Another smirk, and even a sense of excitement in Cesaro's eyes as he imagines what his winning record could look like at the end of the evening...

Claudio Cesaro: And that's what makes me so different than everybody else. Pay my dues? Ha! Do you accept cash or credit card?

Cesaro laughs to himself, but Cena is clearly not amused as the defiant look on his face remains in place...

Claudio Cesaro: I don't wait to earn opportunities... I take them. I'm not going to start at the bottom and work my way up... when I know that I'm better than anybody who steps in the ring with me.

A nonchalant shrug from Cesaro, but before he can continue, Cena brings his mic to his mouth and cuts in...

John Cena: Well that's your problem right there. Now I'll give it to ya', yes, technically, you did beat the WWE Champion on your first night here. That sounds very impressive. But the boys in the back, and all of these fans in this arena and watchin' around the world... they're not fooled. Hustle, loyalty, respect, that might not matter where you come from, but it damn sure matters here, and right now, you ain't showin' no respect to this company, you ain't showin' no respect to Rob Van Dam and the WWE Championship, and you ain't showin' no respect to any of these people.

Cesaro shrugs, clearly not caring, but again Cena narrows his eyes and points a finger in Cesaro's direction...

John Cena: And until you beat, and I mean shoulders to the mat 1-2-3 beat, until you beat the very best this company has to offer... you ain't better than nobody.

Another cheer from the fans, appreciating the fire and passion in Cena's voice as he says those words...

Claudio Cesaro: Alright, John... fine. Have it your way. Heute abend , du und ich ... eins zu eins!

Cesaro runs a hand across his jaw, nodding to himself...

Claudio Cesaro: But just like I promised Rob Van Dam last week, I'm gonna make the same promise to you. I will beat you, Mr. Cena. And when I do... then everybody will know... I'm better than you.

And now Cesaro turns to leave, but puts on the breaks to turn back to Cena and say...

Claudio Cesaro: And when I beat you... I want Rob Van Dam... and the WWE Championship. Ich werde der champion!

*MIRACLE...*


And with that, Cesaro now does indeed head for the ropes, stepping through them and onto the apron, taking another look back at Cena, before he again smirks then drops down to the floor and walks up the aisle. The camera cuts to Cena, his eyes fixated on Cesaro's back as he walks away, an intense look in his eyes piercing the screen as we head into the first commercial of the evening.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

"]We open to grainy, black and white footage from back in the NWA days, where we see one of the first War Games matches, where Dusty Rhodes has Ric Flair locked in the figure four leglock, Flair writhing and screaming in pain, but there’s no sound as over the top we hear extracts from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous address from 1936...

Narrator: For years, many men entered it’s caged walls…

“I HAVE SEEN WAR… I HATE WAR.”

We now see more footage from early War Games, where Road Warrior Animal viciously jams one of the spikes from his shoulder pads into the eye of The War Machine, causing him to submit...

Narrator: But no man ever left the same.

”I HAVE SEEN WAR ON LAND AND SEA.”

More black and white footage, this time from Fall Brawl ’95, where Hulk Hogan leads his Hulkamaniacs team to victory over The Dungeon of Doom by forcing The Zodiac to submit to a camel clutch...

Narrator: And now, with a civil war threatening to rip the WWE apart…

“I HAVE SEEN CITIES DESTROYED.”

And now Fall Brawl ’97, where Curt Hennig turns his back on The Four Horsemen, smashing the cage door into the skull of Ric Flair, handing victory to the nWo…

Narrator: The most barbaric of matches has returned.

“I HAVE SEEN THE AGONY OF MOTHERS AND WIVES.”

We now cut to modern day footage to see Vince and Linda McMahon stood across from each other, tense looks on both their faces…

Mr. McMahon: The reason this company has made hundreds of millions of dollars over the years… is all because… of ME!

“I HAVE SEEN BLOOD RUNNING FROM THE WOUNDED.”

A shot of a busted open John Cena, blood streaming down his face as he struggles to use the ropes to try pull himself to his feet…

John Cena: Tonight is a night to fight!

Slow motion shots of the brawling John Cena and Bobby Lashley have done over the last few months, each punch that lands being accompanied by the sound of a bomb dropping…

Linda McMahon: Both myself and the Board of Directors feel that you, Vince… have seriously abused your power lately.

We now see John Cena scooping Vince up onto his shoulders, then deliver a thunderous FU, an explosion sound echoing out as Vince strikes the canvas…

Mr. McMahon: I’m Vince McMahon, I’m ‘The Chairman of the Board’, dammit!

And now finally we see rapid firs shots of Linda, then Vince, then Lashley, before a final shot of Cena…

Narrator: The battle for power on Monday Night Raw can be settled only one way…

“I HAVE SEEN WAR… I HATE WAR.”

”WAR GAMES!”



"WWE WAR GAMES – JUNE 17TH – LIVE ON PAY PER VIEW!"

*End Video Package*


From the video, we cut to what appears to be an office, but we are focused in on a large white board on the wall, the names of various Raw superstars scribbled on the board in marker pen, with pictures of said superstars stuck to the board nearby. The camera pans to reveal a large table, and sat square in the middle is none other than Mr. McMahon, leafing through a set of papers held inside a folder. To his left sits the man previously identified as John Laurinaitis, the Vice President of Talent Relations, while to his right, Shane McMahon has his eyes focused on a laptop screen, while Brooke Adams sits with pen in her hand, ready to take notes. Vince lets out a sigh and tosses the folder down onto the table, pursing his lips, pondering his next move in what can only be described as an NFL draft war room type setting…

Mr. McMahon: So... John Cena's planning to announce the second member of his team tonight, huh? Well I wanna beat 'im to the punch. I want us to start as we mean to go on. I want us to get our first two guys announced before Cena gets the chance. I wanna put him under a bit of pressure. Make 'im realise that we mean business here.

Vince scans the table, with everyone nodding their head in agreement...

Mr. McMahon: Now you're all here because I trust you to help me make the right decisions here. I trust your instincts, I trust your judgment, but above all that... you've all shown me a great deal of loyalty these last few weeks. And that's somethin' I won't forget when we win War Games and I take back control of Monday Night Raw.

Again it's nods from the table, this time of an appreciative nature, with Vince now turning towards Laurinaitis...

Mr. McMahon: Now, John, you're my Vice President of Talent Relations. You're the guy who knows this roster better than anybody, you know these guys inside and out, and you know who's gonna be on board with me on this.

Nervously Laurinaitis takes a sip of water, realising the pressure of getting the right men signed up for Team Vince…

Mr. McMahon: Now obviously Bobby Lashley is gonna be my team captain. But... I want us to come to a decision on a second member in the next hour or so. Let's come to a decision and let's get that name out there before Cena has his match tonight. So John, who have ya' got for me?

Slightly nervous, Laurinaitis fumbles a few more folders, looking through them until he finds the right one...

John Laurinaitis: Uh, well Mr. McMahon... I've got a few names in mind. Now, Shane and myself have read all the reports, we've crunched all the numbers, we've scouted the guys who we think are gonna want to be on your team... and we think we can put together a squad more than capable of destroying any team John Cena can put together.

Vince smiles, reflecting on the good news...

Mr. McMahon: Good. Yeah, I like the sound of that. So who's first? C'mon, gimme a name.

Looking up from the folder, Laurinaitis looks across the table at Shane, the younger McMahon nodding and motioning for John to pass their choice on to his father...

John Laurinaitis: Well... if you're lookin' to make a big splash with this first pick... then we were thinkin' this guy would be a great choice.

Laurinaitis now slides the folder he was looking through towards Vince, the camera unable to see any of the information contained within it. Vince picks up the folder and scans the page, his eyes lighting up, obviously intrigued by what he's reading...

Mr. McMahon: Do we know if he's on board with us yet? I mean, this guy's a bit of a loner. He tends to do his own thing.

Vince turns to both Shane and Laurinaitis, with his son responding with a confident smirk...

Shane McMahon: I'm sure with a little gentle persuasion he'll sign up.

And now it’s Vince who smirks, delighted to hear that…

Mr. McMahon: Good. Alright, Ms. Adams could you send out a memo please? I'd like to speak to this gentlemen.

Vince now passes the folder to Brooke, who takes a look at it and then starts scribbling on her pad of paper...

Mr. McMahon: Let's see Cena try and top that!

John Laurinaitis: Not a chance, sir!

And now that evil smirk of Vince is on full display as he chuckles to himself...

Mr. McMahon: Y'know... I'm startin' to get a very good feelin' about this, fellas.

Again Shane and Laurinaitis nod along with their boss, the Team Vince camp having come to their first decision, and it's clearly one their all pleased with as we cut elsewhere.

To see Todd Grisham standing by, ready to conduct and interview...


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time... he is the Intercontinental Champion... Kenny Dykstra.

Plenty of heat as Kenny Dykstra and Torrie Wilson step into the shot, both looking pretty angry and annoyed, especially Dykstra who almost looks offended by the fact that he's stood infront of Grisham for the second week in a row...

Todd Grisham: Kenny, tonight you're set to compete in a King of the Ring qualifier against Harry Smith, but before we get to that, I'd like to ask you about your altercation last week with-

Kenny Dykstra: What did I tell you last week, Grisham? Huh? What did I specifically say you were NOT allowed to talk to me about? I made it perfectly clear, no more questions about Carlito! But I knew you wouldn't listen to me. And that's why I had my attorney draw up this statement.

Dykstra reaches back and is handed a piece of paper by Torrie, which he then firmly thrusts against Grisham's chest...

Kenny Dykstra: Read it.

Looking confused and dishevelled, Grisham grabs the paper and takes a quick scan of it, flashing Dykstra a look of disbelief...

Todd Grisham: You can't be serious. I mean-

Kenny Dykstra: I said read it!

Grisham shakes his head and lets out a sigh, then he clears his throat and rather reluctantly starts to read...

Todd Grisham: Due to the recent attack on my clients by the named Mr. Carlito Colon, my clients Mr. Dykstra and Ms. Wilson have sought a restraining order against Mr. Colon in a court of law. My clients feel that Mr. Colon is nothing more than a lover scorned, and his physical attacks on them must cease and desist immediately. Furthermore, my clients have brought forward a court action against the WWE for the failure to provide a safe working environment. As the Intercontinental Champion, Mr. Dykstra faces enormous pressure in his day to day life, and feels that the strain of knowing he could be assaulted at any time by Ms. Wilson's jealous ex is effecting his ability to perform in the ring. Therefore, Mr. Dykstra has hired himself a bodyguard, whose salary shall be met in full by the WWE until such time as Mr. Dykstra feels no longer threatened by Mr. Colon's presence.

Grisham folds up the paper and gives Dykstra a confused look...

Todd Grisham: A bodyguard? You... you hired a bodyguard?

And right on cue, a smug Dykstra snaps his fingers and motions for someone off camera to approach... and in walks the hulking figure of a man dressed in a suit, broad shoulders, a bald head and a mean scowl on his face. This man stands over Grisham, intimidating the announcer, but Dykstra pats him on the shoulder and motions for him to take a step back...

Kenny Dykstra: This is Ezekiel Jackson, a guy I had to hire for protection. Not for me, though. Carlito doesn't scare me. I hired him to protect my poor, sweet, innocent Torrie.

Torrie blushes as Dykstra gives her a playful little jab on the cheek, the two sharing a moment as they stare lovingly at each other, before Dykstra turns to face the camera...

Kenny Dykstra: So Carlito, you listen up... and you listen good.

With his eyes piercing the camera, Dykstra emphatically points a finger down the lens...

Kenny Dykstra: I... am finished... with you. There is nothin'... and I mean, nothin' you can do to get another shot at my title. You had a shot at WrestleMania... and you had another shot at Backlash... and I'm still standing here as the Intercontinental Champion. And that's all the chances you're gonna get.

And now Dykstra turns to look at Grisham...

Kenny Dykstra: And you listen too, Todd... if you ask me one, just one more question about Carlito... I'm gonna set 'Big Zeke' here on ya'. And you don't want that... believe me.

Grisham looks over Dykstra's shoulder at Jackson, the big man cracking his knuckles into his hand, causing Grisham to gulp...

Kenny Dykstra: If you'll excuse me... I've got a crown to go win.

Having said his piece, Dykstra walks off the set, with Torrie following close behind, a wicked smile on her face as she revels in the fear in Grisham's eyes as once again Ezekiel looks down on him menacingly, snarling at the interview before he too makes his exit. Grisham breathes a sigh of relief, loosening his tie from around his collar and wiping the sweat from his brow as we head back into the arena.

To see that Super Crazy is already in the ring, his music playing out, a slight pop from the fans as he's announce by Lilian Garcia, one which Crazy recognises with a wave. As his music comes to an end, we then hear...

*WORLD'S GREATEST...*


A pretty solid outpouring of heat as The World's Greatest Tag Team emerge, with both Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas dressed in white tracksuits, even though it's only Benjamin who is in action right now. The pair hit the ring and raise their titles high in the air, before Benjamin rips off his tracksuit and readies himself for the match...


Jim Ross: What a ridiculous notion from Kenny Dykstra. Hirin' a bodyguard? Really? That's what that kid decides to do after the way he and Torrie have treated Carlito these past few months?

Joey Styles: Well, Dykstra said he hired this Ezekiel Jackson for protection, and after the beatin' he took from Carlito last week, I can't really blame 'im! But right now, we've gotta focus on the first of our three King of the Ring qualifiers. Super Crazy is takin' on Shelton Benjamin, a guy who I think has a great chance of goin' all the way and becomin' King of the Ring.

Jerry Lawler: I think both Benjamin and Charlie Haas are gonna do well this year. That's two guys I definitely wanna avoid at Saturday Night's Main Event.

Jim Ross: I take it you're feelin' pretty confident ahead of your match with Chris Masters tonight, 'King'?

Jerry Lawler: Oh boy, I can't wait! It's the King of the Ring, how can ya' not be excited about it!?

Match 1: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
Shelton Benjamin
w/ Charlie Haas vs. Super Crazy

Seeing as we haven't seen much of Crazy lately, Benjamin is understandably a bit arrogant as the match starts,and it shows as from the first tie up, Benjamin takes Crazy down with a waistlock takedown and then delivers a few cheap slaps to the back of the head, drawing the ire of the crowd. Again the pair tie up, but this time Super gets Benjamin in a headlock, only for Shelton to shoves Crazy into the ropes... then avoid him with a leapfrog... but when he tries the move a second time, Crazy puts on the breaks... and smashes Shelton with a big right hand! Crazy now goes to work, landing kicks to the midsection, before he winds up for the Irish whip... into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Here's a cover... Shelton kicks out at two. Looking to stay in control, Super yanks Benjamin to the corner and lays in with right hands to the face, before he looks to fire Shelton across and follow in... but Benjamin uses the ropes to elevtate himself and avoid Crazy. Super puts on the breaks before he hits the turnbuckle and turns... Shelton swings a clothesline... Super ducks underneath and heads for the ropes... springboard crossbody! Another cover... 1... 2... Benjamin kicks out again. It's all Crazy right now, and he looks to press this home by hooking Shelton up for a suplex... but Benjamin lands on his feet behind Super, and runs him to the ropes for a rollup... but Super hangs on! Benjamin rolls back, but is straight back on his feet... to catch the onrushing Super Crazy with a beautiful northern lights suplex! 1... 2... Crazy kicks out, but Benjamin pounces, jumping on Crazy to keep him grounded, then laying in with a flurry of wild forearms to the back of the head.

Back on his feet, Shelton lays in with stomps to the chest, before he yanks Super up and fires him off the ropes... into a Samoan drop! Another cover... another kick out by Super Crazy at two. Shelton now looks to wear Crazy down as he locks on a grounded headlock, wrenching on the neck, trying his best to make Crazy fade. The crowd try to rally Crazy back into the match, and after a while, he manages to struggle back to his feet, drilling elbows to the midsection in an attempt to break the hold... then he swings a right hand... Benjamin ducks... and sends Super flying from behind with a release German suplex! Benjamin hooks the leg... 1... 2... another kick out! Frustration gets the better of Benjamin as he slaps the canvas, but now he stands and waits as Super crawls to the corner then drags himself up... prompting Benjamin to charge... SHELTON SPLASH... NO! Crazy dives to safety... and Benjamin smacks off the turnbuckle! Now Super Crazy goes on the attack, nailing right after right before he fires Benjamin off the ropes... huge back body drop! Here's a cover... 1... 2... Shelton kicks out. Super is in control now, and as Shelton stumbles to the corner, Crazy follows him in and climbs to the second rope, cocking his fist... and then raining down on Shelton with stiff right hands! The crowd counts along, but when Super reaches nine, he stops and turns to the fans, building suspense before he lands the big number ten... only for Shelton to grab Crazy by the legs... and drop him face first off the top turnbuckle! A nasty landing for Crazy, and as he staggers towards the centre of the ring, Benjamin makes his move... hooking Crazy up... T-BONE SUPLEX!! Benjamin plants Crazy into the canvas, and hooks the leg for the 1... 2... 3.

Winner: Shelton Benjamin @ 04.07

A convincing win for Benjamin as he comfortably puts Super Crazy away. Quickly back on his feet, Benjamin and Haas share a quick high five, before Haas raises Shelton's hand in victory, the two looking very happy with themselves as we head for a commercial.

*Commercial*


And we're back, and it's to the smiling face of Maria, ready for another interview...


Maria: Hi everyone! I'm Maria. Welcome back to Monday Night Raw! And please welcome my guests at this time... Chris Masters... and Melina.

Stepping into the shot come Chris Masters and Melina to some pretty decent heat from the crowd, with Masters flexing his arms while Melina stares intently at Maria...

Maria: Guys, last week the two of you attacked Johnny Nitro after your match with The Hart Legacy, with you Chris locking Johnny in the masterlock, and then you Melina slapped him across the face. I guess that means you're partnership is over. Do you two have any comment on what happened last week?

Both Masters and Melina turn to each other and share a smirk, before Masters pulls the mic towards him...

Chris Masters: Last week was months and months of frustration finally comin' to a head. Y'know, I'll admit, when me and Melina first spoke all those months ago about me and Johnny becomin' a team, the two of us were stuck in a rut. We didn't win all that often, and I honestly thought it would be the best thing for me and Johnny to team up and get back to winnin' ways. But lately?

Masters screws up his face and shakes his head...

Chris Masters: Lately I've been the one doin' all the work while Johnny stares at the lights. Time and time again he cost us matches, time and time again it was Johnny gettin' pinned. And quite frankly... I just had enough of it.

And now Melina takes over...

Melina: I warned Johnny last week not to disappoint me again, and guess what? That's exactly what he did. Y'see, me and Chris, we're winners in life. I mean, look at us. We're young, good looking, successful. We get invited to all the right parties with all the right people. Johnny?

Melina scoffs...

Melina: He was only ever successful because of me. I made MNM. I put that team together, I took two nobodies and I gave them the Hollywood lifestyle and I made them stars. Then I brought Johnny to Monday Night Raw, and I made him an even bigger star. Y'think Johnny would've ever been Intercontinental Champion without my help?

Melina glares at Maria and shakes her head...

Melina: Not a chance. But i just got so sick and tired of him gettin' beat all the time, and then moping around the place, feelin' sorry for himself. To be honest with you... it was pathetic.

Masters lets out a quick laugh in the background...

Melina: So last Monday, Chris and I decided to give Johnny one last chance. One last chance to prove he deserved to be with us. And just like he always did... he let me down. And that's why he why we did what we did. Johnny's bad attitude was just holdin' us back. And now I'm gonna do for Chris what I did for Johnny... and make him a star. And it all starts with the King of the Ring.

Turning to Masters, Melina runs a head across Masters' shoulder, with Masters again flexing his arms towards the camera, before Melina turns back to speak again...

Melina: As for Johnny... let's face it... he's finished. He can't win a match, and I'm pretty sure he's gonna be too depressed and embarrassed to ever show his face around here again. I think it's safe to say... that you'll never see Johnny Nitro compete in a WWE ring... ever again.

With one final smirk, Melina turns and makes her exit, with Masters following to a few boos, Maria watching them go, a concerned look on her face as we head back into the arena.

And we hear...

*HART BEAT...*


That famous guitar rift rips through the arena, and out walk The Hart Legacy, with Harry Smith, the man in action tonight, leading out his stablemates Tyson Kidd and Natalya Niedhart, the young trio slapping hands with the ringside fans before they enter the ring...


Jim Ross: Certainly some strong words from Chris Masters and Melina, but of course, for Masters to become King of the Ring, he's gonna have to get past our very own Jerry 'The King' Lawler later on tonight. But right now, we've got another King of the Ring qualifier featuring two of the young guns here on Raw. And what an impressive few months it has been for that young man, Harry Smith, and The Hart Legacy.

Joey Styles: Oh absolutely. Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd have set the tag team division on fire with their blend of speed and power, but now it's a chance for Smith to impress in singles action. Obviously this is Harry's first King of the Ring tournament, but his father, the late, great Davey Boy Smith, 'The British Bulldog', he appeared at the King of the Ring pay per view back in 1996, where he almost became WWE Champion in a great matchup with Shawn Michaels.

Jerry Lawler: Well Harry's father was a great Intercontinental Champion, a great WWE Tag Team Champion, but I think Harry's got the potential to be even better than his dad and go one further by becomin' King of the Ring, and then one day maybe even WWE Champion.

*IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW...*


Looking even more cocky than usual due to his added backup, Kenny Dykstra walks out onto the stage arm in arm with Torrie Wilson, the two pointing down at the ring and laughing, with the previously introduced Ezekiel Jackson bringing up the rear...


Jim Ross: He's the Intercontinental Champion, he's an unbelievable athlete, but for my money, this kid's duckin' the challenge of Carlito, and I think he's runnin' scared. He's used every trick in the book to save his title, and I think he knows that if he steps into the ring with Dykstra for a third time, his luck's gonna run out and he's gonna lose that title.

Jerry Lawler: I think you're absolutely right. I think that if somehow, someway, Carlito can a match where Torrie, and I guess this Ezekiel too now, aren't at ringside, if he could get a fair shot at it, we'd have a new Intercontinental Champion. I just don't know what it's gonna take for 'Lito to get that opportunity.

Joey Styles: I'm sure Dykstra is gonna have one eye lookin' over his shoulder during this match for Carlito, and maybe that's something Harry Smith can take advantage of. But then again, I suppose that's why Dykstra has Jackson out here, to watch his back. This one could really go either way...

Match 2: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra w/ Torrie Wilson and Ezekiel Jackson vs. Harry Smith w/ Tyson Kidd and Natalya Niedhart

As the bell rings, Smith is naturally wary of the massive Ezekiel at ringside, but as he and Dykstra tie up, Smith shows he has a clear power advantage as he shoves Dykstra down to the canvas in the corner. Grabbing the ropes, Dykstra yells at the ref and tells him to order Smith to back away, Harry giving Dykstra plenty of space as the Intercontinental Champion returns to a vertical base. Again the two tie up, this time Dykstra wrings on the arm… but Smith twists into an arm wringer of his own, then drives his shoulder into Dykstra’s, knocking Dykstra against the ropes, where he again yells for a break. Smith has no option but to let go, and as Dykstra steps back to the centre, it looks like the pair will tie up for a third time… only for Dykstra to drill a kick to the midsection… no! Smith catches it, spins Kenny around… then hammers him with a clothesline! The fight is on as Smith sends Kenny to the corner with punches and boots, before he goes for the Irish whip across and follows in… right into an elbow to the face! Smith stumbles back, Dykstra charging… right into a release overhead belly to belly suplex! Smith crawls over for the first cover of the match… but Dykstra kicks out at two. Dykstra scrambles to the safety of the corner, where Smith unloads with big uppercuts, before he then drives in a pair of shoulderthrusts to the midsection. Dykstra is then fired across the ring, and Smith races in after… corner clothesline… but Dykstra avoids it! Smith hits the turnbuckle hard, and as he stumbles backwards… Dykstra takes him down with a falling neckbreaker! Dykstra crawls over and hooks the leg… 1… 2… Smith kicks out.

Dykstra now looks to target the neck, dropping knees and elbows upon it, before he then aims stomps to the head and shoves Smith in a seated position against the ropes. More stomps to the head, then Dykstra drapes Smith’s throat across the second rope, sitting on him, choking Smith. Dykstra then comes off the ropes… and drives his body down across the back of Smith’s head, choking him once more. Dykstra continues to attack the neck, showing impressive strength as he scoop slams Smith then drops several elbows, before coming off the ropes for a snap legdrop for a near fall. More near falls follow as Dykstra connects with a dropkick and a swinging neckbreaker, before he yanks Smith up, tags him with right hands, then looks for an Irish whip off the ropes… but Smith reverses… then sends Dykstra flying with a back body drop! Smith grabs his neck in pain, but now he looks to build some momentum, snapping Dykstra’s head back with right hands, before he fires Kenny off the ropes and goes for a big boot… but Dykstra slides underneath, then nips back up… boot to the midsection doubles Smith over… allowing Dykstra to nail a legdrop bulldog! Dykstra rolls Smith over, hooks a leg… 1… 2… Smith kicks out! Dykstra slaps a hand off the mat in frustration, but soon he’s back on the attack, dragging Smith to his feet and sending him off the ropes… into a SLEEPER HOLD! Dykstra locks the hold on in the middle of the ring, squeezing, applying pressure, and slowly but surely, he manages to make Smith fade, with Smith dropping down to a knee, and then to a seated position. Dykstra has the hold locked on tight, but on the outside, Kidd and Natalya try to encourage the fans to make some noise, and Smith feeds off this as he battles back to his feet. Smith drills a pair of elbows, but Dykstra hangs onto the hold… forcing Smith to finally break it with a side suplex!

Both men are down, slow to get back to their feet, but when they do, Dykstra swings a right… Smith blocks it… and scores a right of his own! Again Dykstra swings… again Smith blocks and lands a right of his own! Smith now rattles off three in a row, before he fires Dykstra off the ropes… big boot to the face… then Smith comes off the ropes… big legdrop! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… Dykstra kicks out. Smith now goes on the attack, rocking Dykstra with uppercuts, before he again goes for the Irish whip… right into the powerslam! Another pinfall attempt… 1… 2… Dykstra rolls a shoulder! Smith is in control now, and he looks to press this home as he grabs Dykstra by the feet… then steps in, looking for the SHARPSHOOTER…NO! Dykstra desperately fights it, kicking and flailing his legs, managing to scramble to the ropes, where he kicks out and drills Smith in the midsection, doubling him over, which allows Dykstra to come off the ropes… SNAP SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Dykstra drapes an arm across Smith’s chest… 1… 2… Smith rolls a shoulder! Dykstra can’t believe it, sure he had the match won, but now he decides to climb to the top rope, readying himself… and then flying… SKY HIGH LEGDROP… NO! Smith rolls to safety, leaving Dykstra to crash to the canvas! Quickly back on his feet, Smith makes his move again… grabbing the feet, stepping, twisting… and sitting in for the SHARPSHOOTER… WAIT! Torrie Wilson is up on the apron! The referee spots Wilson and heads over to the side of the ring, ordering Wilson down, and the distraction is enough for Smith to release the hold… but here comes Natalya and Kidd… Natalya yanks Torrie from the apron! Torrie screams at Natalya, but quickly Ezekiel Jackson barges past Natalya… and hammers Tyson Kidd with a massive bodyblock! Kidd is totally wiped out, with Jackson doing what he’s paid to do, protect Torrie, while in the ring, Smith now sticks his head through the ropes and shouts at Torrie and Jackson… which means he doesn’t see Kenny get back on his feet behind him… and Dykstra sneaks up from behind… JUMPING STO!! Dykstra drives the back of Smith’s skull off the canvas, and then he hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Kenny Dykstra @ 06.37

A strong win for Dykstra as he puts Smith away, the investment in bringing Ezekiel Jackson into the fold paying off with the way he destroyed Kidd on the floor. As 'Zeke' steps up onto the apron and holds the ropes open for Torrie, the trio are quickly reunited in the ring, Dykstra being handed the Intercontinental Title and raising it high in the air to celebrate his win... but the boos of the crowd quickly turn to cheers... as through the crowd comes... it's Carlito! 'Lito sides into the ring... and he clobbers Dykstra from behind! Carlito doesn't care about the numbers game, he just wants to get his hands on Dykstra as an all-out brawl breaks out between the two on the canvas, 'Lito swinging wild rights and lefts... only for Jackson to tackle 'Lito to the canvas! Carlito does his best to fight Jackson off, scratching and clawing to get his hands on Dykstra, but Dykstra quickly rolls from the ring and then he and Torrie escape over the barricade, the two racing away up the stairs of the stands.

Carlito and Jackson continue to brawl, with Jackson getting the better of things, keeping 'Lito down with massive right hands, before he yanks himself up and starts laying with boots to the chest. Dykstra and Torrie come to a stop just infront of an exit, and now Dykstra likes what he's sees, watching as Jackson lays in with more stomps. Dykstra is liking it so much that he even takes a few steps back towards the ring to get a piece of the action as Jackson now hoists Carlito up and looks for an Irish whip off the ropes... but 'Lito avoids his bodyblock with a baseball... then nips back up... BACKSTABBER!! Carlito puts down Dykstra's hired goon, and now he scans the crowd... spots Dykstra... and the chase is on again! Carlito dives through the ropes, leaps over the barricade... and starts sprinting through the masses and up the stairs! Dykstra and Torrie quickly make their exit out of the arena into the concourse, but Carlito shows how desperate and determined he is to get his hands on Kenny and the Intercontinental Title, as he's still chasing after Dykstra as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We return to see all three members of The Hart Legacy walking along a backstage corridor, with Harry Smith being supported by Natalya Niedhart as he grimaces in pain and holds the back of his neck, while Tyson Kidd clutches his ribs and coughs in pain. Suddenly the three come to a stop, and the reason is soon revealed, as the camera pans... to show us that The World's Greatest Tag Team are stood infront of them. Leaning against some storage units, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin both have wide smirks on their faces, with Haas even laughing to himself, before the pair push themselves off the unit and walk towards the young trio...


Harry Smith: What the hell do you guys want?

Shelton is taken aback almost by the sternness of Smith's words, turning to Haas with surprised look on his face as they two share a quick laugh together...

Shelton Benjamin: Whoa, hey... relax junior. We just wanted to say that was bad luck out there, man.

Smith, Kidd and Niedhart all turn to look at each other, nobody buying Benjamin's words...

Shelton Benjamin: No, hey, really, you were unlucky, Harry. I mean, me and my match earlier, I didn't need luck to advance in the King of the Ring. I just went out there and got the job done. But with you guys bein' so young and inexperienced... you need a bit o' luck every now and then.

Annoyed by that last remark, Smith takes his arm from around Natalya's shoulder and steps forward to square up to Benjamin, but Haas quickly cuts in and speaks straight at Kidd...

Charlie Haas; But lemme tell ya' somethin'. Next week when it's me and you, Tyson, one on one... luck ain't gonna cut it. Harry's already been knocked out of the tournament, and next week... I'm endin' any interest you two might have had in becomin' King.

Heat from inside the arena, with Shelton now looking at Harry with a arrogant smirk on his face...

Shelton Benjamin: And just like how we've been dominatin' the tag division... we're gonna do the exact same thing, and dominate this tournament too.

The champs turn to each other with smiles then look to turn and walk away, but Natalya calls them back...

Natalya Niedhart: Don't be so sure about that, guys.

Almost insulted, Benjamin removes his sunglasses and looks down on Natalya, while Tyson steps forward and gets in Haas' face...

Tyson Kidd: You guys might be champions for now, but you've never stepped into the ring with us... and that means you've never stepped into the ring with me, Charlie. And sooner or later, we're gonna come after you guys and those titles. And when we do...

Kidd glances at the title slung over Haas' shoulder, then looks him dead in the eye and says...

Tyson Kidd: You're the guys that are gonna need more than Lady Luck in their corner.

Pop from the fans, with even Haas and Benjamin feeling slightly intimidated by the serious look in Kidd's eyes. Warily, Benjamin taps his partner on the shoulder and starts to leave...

Shelton Benjamin: C'mon man, let's get outta here. We'll see you two next week.

Haas hangs around for a few seconds more, he and Kidd staring each other down, before he turns and follows Benjamin off screen. Tyson turns back towards Harry and Natalya, with Harry again receiving some support from his teammates as the three make their exit and we cut away.

We go straight back into the arena to hear...

*GLAMAZON...*


A pretty decent level of heat as the Women's Champion Beth Phoenix emerges, holding her title high in the air for all to see, accompanied as always by Victoria, who every now and then has a rather subtle glance up at the gold. As Victoria slides under the bottom rope, Beth performs her usual entrance of climbing to the top turnbuckle, again raising her title high in the air, before she backflips into the ring...


Jim Ross: I think that moment between The World's Greatest Tag Team and The Hart Legacy shows exactly what this King of the Ring tournament means to the competitors involved. So much tension, so much aggression on display, and that promises to be a great matchup next week between Charlie Haas and Tyson Kidd.

Joey Styles: It certainly does, but right now, here comes 'The Glamazon', Beth Phoenix, who of course became Women's Champion at Backlash. Beth saw off both the champion Mickie James, and her friend Victoria in a Triple Threat Match, and we haven't seen Mickie since.

Jerry Lawler: Right, and last week, Beth made an open challenge for this evening for any diva to challenge her for the Women's Title... aslong as it wasn't Mickie James, of course. I'm sure Mickie's at home right now, preparin' herself to come back and challenge for the title again, and when she does, I don't think Beth's gonna know what's hit her.

In the ring, Beth points Victoria towards the corner, telling her to get a mic, and after a brief shake of the head in annoyance, Victoria obliges, receiving the mic from Garcia and then handing it over. Beth gives Victoria a confused look, quietly asking “What's wrong with you?”, before she shakes her head and motions for Victoria to stand aside so she can have the spotlight...

Beth Phoenix: Last week, I told Mickie James that if she knew what was good for her, she'd stay as far away from Monday Night Raw as she possibly could. And seeing as I haven't seen or heard from Mickie all day... I guess she decided to listen.

Heat from the fans, with Beth turning towards Victoria and smilling, but Victoria gives her a rather fake smile back...

Beth Phoenix: Mickie if you're watching this... well done. You finally managed to do something right. You just stay at home, sat on your sofa, and let a real Women's Champion have her moment.

More heat, but Phoenix wastes no time in continuing...

Beth Phoenix: But also last week, I issued an open challenge for any diva to come out here and challenge me for my Women's Title. So ladies... here I am.

Turning towards the entrance way, Beth stands with her arms open wide...

Beth Phoenix: Let's see who was brave enough... or stupid enough... to accept my challenge.

The crowd start to chant “Mickie! Mickie! Mickie!”, something at which Beth simply laughs and shakes her head at, choosing to ignore the pleas of the crowd...

Beth Phoenix: Come on, I haven't got all night. Who is it?

It's gonna be Mickie, isn't it?

“Mickie! Mickie! Mickie!”

Well...

*WHAT LOVE IS...*


A slight feeling of disappointment, but a cheer nonetheless as Candice Michelle answers the call, stepping out into the arena and heading for the ring, with Beth almost breathing a sigh of relief...


Jim Ross: Well it seems that it's gonna be Candice Michelle who's gonna step up and take on the challenge of the champion. Candice has never been WWE Women's Champion, what a great opportunity for her to do so right here.

Jerry Lawler: It's definitly a great opportunity for Candice Michelle, but I think these fans made it clear who they wanted to see. They wanted Mickie James!

Joey Styles: We know Mickie's sat at home, probably still trying to come to terms with the fact that her former best friend just took the Women's Title away from here... but surely if Mickie James is watching this tonight, she's gotta realise that the fans wanna see her and Beth Phoenix go at it for the title again.

Match 3: Women's Championship Match
Women's Champion Beth Phoenix w/ Victoria vs. Candice Michelle

As the bell rings, Phoenix shows a sign of arrogance as she points at Candice, laughing and shaking her head, mouthing “Is that it?”, before the two snap into a collar and elbow tie up. Beth shows he dominance as she wrenches Candice into a standing side headlock, then uses that for a takedown, before she floats over for a seated reverses chinlock. Beth laughs again as she wrenches on the hold, but Candice struggles back to her feet, trying to break the hold with shots to the midsection… only for Beth to grab a handful of hair… and smash Candice head first off the canvas! A painful impact for Michelle, but as she crawls to the corner, she catches Beth by surprise, grabbing her by the tights and yanking Beth face first into the middle turnbuckle. Looking to take advantage of this, Candice drills a boot to the midsection, then hooks Beth up and heads for the corner… looking for a springboard bulldog… but Beth shows incredible strength... then counters in mid-air with a side suplex! Showing her annoyance, Beth mounts Candice and hammers her with right hands, before she goes for a cover… but Candice kicks out at two. Beth now drags Candice up, synchs her in and takes her up and over into a modified torture rack. Beth presses down on Candice’s chin and legs, applying pressure to the spine, trying to make Candice submit.

Beth squeezes on the hold, but Candice does her best to fight free, kicking and flailing her body, and eventually she’s able to counter… turning the torture rack into the Candylicous! Candice locks on a submission move of her own, and now it’s the champion who’s in trouble, desperately trying to escape… but Beth again shows impressive strength as she grabs Candice and violently throws her around… but Candice counters and takes Beth down with a sunset flip! 1… 2… Beth kicks out. Now Candice goes on the attack, striking with kicks to the legs and forearms to the face, before a spinning heel kick knocks the champion down. Candice now climbs to the outside and heads upstairs, waiting for Beth to rise… FLYING CROSSBODY! Here’s the pinfall… 1… 2… Phoenix barely kicks out! Michelle now has some momentum, and she looks to press this home as the champion is sent to the ropes with the Irish whip… into a spinning wheel kick! Candice bursts back to her feet, calling for the champion to rise… and then she charges… into a tilt-a-whirl headscissor takedown… but Beth hangs on… then drops Candice with a sitout facebuster! A painful landing for Candice, but after shaking off the cobwebs, Beth makes her move, yanking Candice up, hooking her arms… then taking the challenger up and down… GLAM SLAM!! Candice is planted to the mat, with Beth floating over to get the 1… 2… 3.

Winner: And STILL Women's Champion, Beth Phoenix @ 04.28

Phoenix gets the win, retaining her title in the process, although she certainly got a scare as Candice came close to victory on a few occasions. Back on her feet, Beth snatches her title away from the referee, giving a hug and squeezing it tight, before she demands that her hand is raised in victory. Phoenix now points for Victoria to get the microphone again, which she does, handing it over to the champion, who despite breathing heavily, clearly has something to say...


Beth Phoenix: I... I just wanna say to all the divas here on Raw... that that is exactly what's gonna happen to you if you step into the ring with me.

The referee now drops down to check on Candice, the challenger grabbing her lower back in pain, trying to crawl towards the ropes to leave the ring...

Beth Phoenix: This isn't the Mickie James' time anymore. This is MY time, and this is a new era for women's wrestling. This is the era of 'The Glamazon'!

The ref encourages Candice to stay still, motioning to the back that Candice needs help, a fact Beth notices... and then it seems like the lightbulb goes off in her head as she comes up with an idea...

Beth Phoenix: And Mickie, you better stay away, 'cause if you don't... infact, why don't we show Mickie what's gonna happen if she comes back? Victoria! I want you to make Candice here suffer!

Initially not sure about it, Victoria looks slightly confused, but when Beth points down and shouts “Hurt her! Make her cry!”, Victoria gets the idea, bending down, hooking her arms under Candice's chin and wrenching back with a bridging reverse chinlock. The hold applies all kinds of pressure to the neck and back that Beth targeted during the match, so much so that Candice groans and screams in agony, a sight that Phoenix rather disturbingly takes delight in...

Beth Phoenix: Yeah! Yeah, that's it! Make her cry! Cry for me, Candice, cry!

Phoenix now drops down next to Candice's face, holding the microphone under her mouth, letting us all hear the pain and misery that Candice is going through...

Beth Phoenix: C'mon, Candice! Cry!

Candice begs for mercy, over and over again shouting “Please! Stop!”, but it's no good as Beth continues to shout for Victoria to apply more pressure, a desperate Candice struggling to breathe through the tears running down her face, until finally Victoria decides enough is enough and breaks the hold.

Beth isn't exactly happy about this, wanting Candice to suffer more, but as the beaten challenger writhes on the mat in agony, she decides to let it go, instead turning to look down the hard camera...


Beth Phoenix: It might have been Candice tonight, but if you ever show your face around here again, Mickie... that's gonna be you in Candice's place.

*GLAMAZON...*


A disturbing moment, one which even Victoria felt was too much, but the victorious champion doesn't care, revelling in the boos of the crowd before she motions for she and Victoria to leave. Phoenix exits the ring without a second glance at Candice, but Victoria stands over Candice, looking down on her, feeling almost sorry for her, and as she follows Beth up the ramp, the look of annoyance is clear for all to see as Victoria's eyes are trained dead on the champions back while we go to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We return, straight back into the arena for...

*ONE OF A KIND...*


The crowd erupts with a huge pop as the WWE Champion Rob Van Dam strides out onto the stage. Looking as confident as ever, Van Dam leads the crowd through a rendition of a “ROB – VAN – DAM!” chant before he heads down the ramp to the ring…


Jim Ross: What better way to welcome everybody back to Monday Night Raw than with the WWE Champion himself, Rob Van Dam! Last week, we saw Van Dam take on the newcomer Claudio Cesaro in his WWE debut, and ‘RVD’ had the match well in hand and was just seconds from putting Cesaro away, only for Shawn Michaels to make his presence felt, and the distraction cost Van Dam as Cesaro walked away with a countout victory.

Jerry Lawler: And he hasn’t shut up about it since! I know we all heard Cesaro say earlier that he wants another shot at ‘RVD’, well I’m pretty sure Van Dam wants another shot at Cesaro just as badly.

Joey Styles: You better believe it, ‘King’! I spoke with Rob earlier today, and he was already pretty angry about suffering that countout defeat. I can’t imagine what he’s feelin’ now after hearin’ what Cesaro had to say earlier, but I’m sure he’ll be lookin’ to take it out on Mike Knox and The Redneck Wrecking Crew in this matchup.

*THIS FIRE BURNS…*


And another strong cheer as The Straight Edge Saints step out, with CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore firing up the crowd, before Punk crouches down, taps the imaginary watch on his wrist, holds it against the ear of Kelly Kelly before the trio shout out “It's clobberin' time!” and then head down the ramp...


Joey Styles: They're one of the most exciting young teams here on Raw, they're both entered in the 2007 King of the Ring, but tonight, revenge is on the minds of CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore after the beating they received at the hands of Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch last week.

Jim Ross: It was a great performance by CM Punk as he put Murdoch away and advanced to the next round of the King of the Ring, only for Cade and Murdoch to jump Punk and Dinsmore as they celebrated. I know these two are hungry to make amends for that right here, and next week as Nick Dinsmore takes on Lance Cade in another King of the Ring qualifier.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah but tonight, what an opportunity for these two guys to team up with the WWE Champion. I know they're gonna be excited, but there's gonna be some nerves in there too. Let's see if these two are inspired by the added pressure, or if it gets to 'em and affects their performance.

*SWEET ‘N’ SOUR…*


The country tune is greeted with heat as The Redneck Wrecking Crew stomp out onto the stage, with both Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch snarling at the fans, before their eyes see Punk and Dinsmore, which prompts the two to point and chuckle, clearly reminiscing about the beating they gave out last week...


Jim Ross: They are two big, tough, angry rednecks, who will come at ya' with nothin' more than bowling shoe ugly offence. These two like nothin' better than when it all breaks down into a brawl, and bah gawd, they fancy their chances in a fight with anybody.

Joey Styles: Last week we heard from Cade and Murdoch that they weren't gonna be embarrassed anymore, that they were goin' back to what they did best, and that's beatin' people up. And I think it's safe to say that when they left the arena last week, nobody thought they'd embarrassed themselves.

Jerry Lawler: Oh absolutely not. CM Punk might have won that match last week, but he certainly didn't look like a winner when it was all over. And I'm sure they'll be lookin' for Lance Cade to do somethin' similar to Nick Dinsmore when they meet next week.

*DEATH GRIP…*


And finally, the always intimidating Mike Knox makes his entrance, that deranged look in his eyes and a menacing sneer on his face as he wastes no time in striding down the ramp and into the ring, barely even acknowledging the fans at ringside...


Jerry Lawler: Well, you talk about guys who like nothin' better than to beat people up, what about this guy. Mike Knox is a scary lookin' guy, he's done plenty of damage in the past, and he's gotta be pretty ticked off right now after losin' his King of the Ring qualifier to Carlito last week.

Jim Ross: I think back to the punishment he gave CM Punk a few months ago, the battles he and Punk had over Kelly Kelly, where Knox really did a number on Punk. Such a dangerous athlete is Knox, and he's presented with a huge opportunity right here to step into the ring with the WWE Champion.

Joey Styles: There's always been somethin' slightly strange about this guy, but ever since his break up from Kelly Kelly, the guy's startin' to go over the edge. I think he might even intimidate Cade and Murdoch during this match, and they're on the same team! Knox can do a ton of damage, and that's somethin' 'RVD' is gonna have to be very careful about.

Match 4: Six Man Tag Team Match
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam and The Straight Edge Saints w/ Kelly Kelly vs. Mike Knox and The Redneck Wrecking Crew

‘RVD’ is the natural choice to start for his team, and he steps into the ring opposite Lance Cade, and from the first tie up, the big Texan catches Van Dam by surprise with a big knee to the gut, following with a pair of forearms to the back of the head. Shoving Van Dam to the corner, Cade rears back and lights him up with a trio of stinging chops to the chest, but the third chop seems to spark 'RVD' to life, as the WWE Champion comes firing out of the corner with right hands, backing Cade to the ropes, where Van Dam sends him for the ride... into a spinning heel kick! Cade is right back up, but is knocked down again with a clothesline. Again Cade is up, charging at Van Dam... but 'RVD' ducks a clothesline... then plants Cade with a release German suplex! Cade is down by the ropes, in perfect position, and here comes Van Dam... ROLLING THUNDER! Van Dam gets all of the senton, but he quickly moves to come off the ropes again... only for Murdoch to drill a knee into the spine of the champion! 'RVD' puts on the breaks... then sends Murdoch flying from the apron with a jumping roundhouse... but when he turns back to Cade... Cade plants the champion with a scoop slam! Backing up, Cade lines up for a jumping elbow drop... but 'RVD' rolls to safety... Cade crashes to the mat... and now Van Dam tags in CM Punk! Punk slingshots into the ring and starts unloading with kicks to the legs that backs Cade to the corner, where Punk starts laying in with repeated elbows to the chest, then he goes for the Irish whip across... but Cade reverses and follows in... right into a boot to the face! Cade stumbles to the ropes, where he's subjected to more kicks to the thighs, then Punk fires him off the opposite side... where Trevor Murdoch makes a blind tag... Punk lowers his head for a back body drop... but Cade clubs him with a forearm to the back of the head, then takes Punk up and down with an inverted atomic drop... allowing Murdoch to come off the ropes and level Punk with a massive boot to the face!

Punk's head violently smacks off the canvas, and Murdoch moves to take advantage of this, mounting Punk to hammer him with a flurry of right hands, before he then drops a pair of double axe handles on Punk's neck. Knox gets the tag, with Murdoch holding Punk in place, which allows Knox to drill a few boots to the midsection. Knox delivers plenty of high impact, smacking massive rights to the face, then he fires Punk off the ropes... into a big time back body drop! The heels now look to isolate Punk from his corner, with Murdoch getting a quick tag, and he continues to target the neck with another pair of forearms... but Punk fires back with a kick to the thigh! Right hand from Murdoch... another kick from Punk... right... kick... right... kick... until Murdoch drills a knee to the midsection... then takes Punk up and down with a scoop slam! Cade gets the tag, and he Murdoch again show off the double team prowess, with Murdoch hitting a jawbreaker... which Cade transitions into a falling neckbreaker, gaining a near fall. Knox comes back in, the heavy hitting continuing, until he fires Punk off the ropes and looks for a bodyblock... but Punk avoids it with a baseball slide, then nips back up... and smacks Knox with an enzuigiri! Both men are down, but Punk staggers to his corner... and tags in Dinsmore! Dinsmore storms into the ring and unloads with big right hands to Knox, backing him to the ropes, where he goes for an Irish whip... takes Knox down with a drop toe hold, then comes off the ropes... running senton! Dinsmore again comes off the ropes... but this time Cade low bridges... and Dinsmore tumbles all the way to the floor!

Van Dam and Punk are furious, storming the ring, but that only serves as a distraction as Cade and Murdoch drop down and lay a beating on Dinsmore, clubbing him with forearms and boots, before Murdoch scoops Dinsmore up with a bearhug... then rams him spine first into the ringpost! Cade quickly rolls Nick back into the ring, where Knox drops down for the cover... 1... 2... Dinsmore kicks out. The punishment is now focused on Dinsmore's spine, with Knox delivering a stiff backbreaker, while Cade takes Dinsmore up and down with a long vertical suplex. After Murdoch gets a long two count from a full nelson slam, Knox gets the tag, and after delivering a trio of elbows drops to the lower back, he then locks Dinsmore in an abdominal stretch. Knox wrenches on the hold, applying all kinds of pressure, even reaching out and grabbing the top rope, causing Dinsmore to groan in pain. Kelly Kelly starts to slam her hands off the mat, and 'RVD' and Punk encourage the crowd to rally behind Dinsmore, and he slowly shows signs of life... and then finally manages to break free with a hiptoss! Dinsmore now looks to go on the attack, smacking Knox with right hands, before he goes for the Irish whip... Knox reverses... but Dinsmore ducks a clothesline... then rattles Knox with a leg lariat! Dinsmore stays on the offensive, landing kicks to the chest, before he again sends Knox for the ride... but this time Knox explodes with the FLYING BEAR! Dinsmore is wiped out, Knox has the cover... 1... 2... Van Dam makes the save! The heels protest as the crowd cheers, with Knox now yanking Dinsmore to the corner to tag in Murdoch. After landing more shots to the spine, Murdoch yanks Dinsmore in, hooks him up... and looks for the ACE OF SPADES... NO! Dinsmore counters with a desperate back body drop! Both men are down, crawling to their corners... here comes Knox... and here comes Rob Van Dam!

'RVD' bursts into the ring and immediately starts lighting Knox up with kicks to the body, driving him to a neutral corner, where he lands one, then two shoulder thrusts... then back flips out... and races back in for a third! Murdoch storms the ring, but Van Dam sees him coming, avoiding a clothesline... then planting Murdoch with a DDT! Knox is back up, and he looks for a boot to the midsection... which Van Dam catches... then counters with a step over spinning wheel kick! The force of the kick sends Knox down into a seated position, his head resting on the bottom turnbuckle, and this prompts Van Dam to sling himself to the top rope... then fly... VAN TERMINATOR!! 'RVD' gets all of it, but as he stumbles back to his feet... he's levelled by a Lance Cade clothesline... but Punk storms the ring and tackles Cade to the canvas! Punk lays in with wild rights and lefts, before he's grabbed by the hair by Murdoch, who looks to fire Punk to the corner... but Punk reverses and follows in... step up knee to the face... and Punk hangs on for the bulldog! Murdoch rolls from the ring, but now Cade tags Punk with a boot to the midsection... only for Dinsmore to spin Cade around... double leg takedown... and now Dinsmore steps and twists... TEXAS CLOVERLEAF!! Dinsmore locks on his deadly submission move, with Cade screaming in agony... until he's saved by a massive boot to the face from Knox! Dinsmore hits the canvas, with Murdoch quickly dragging his partner to safety, and as Knox turns... he's rocked by a springboard super kick from Van Dam... that causes him to stumble into the clutches of Punk, who takes Knox up on his shoulders... GO TO SLEEP!! Knox is planted to the mat, and now Van Dam, the legal man, slings himself to the top rope... and flies with the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH!! Here's the cover... 1... 2... 3!

Winners: Rob Van Dam and The Straight Edge Saints @ 11.24

A great performance from ‘RVD’ and The Saints as they combine to put Knox away. Cade and Murdoch are already backing up the ramp, shouting abuse back down at Punk and Dinsmore, while the WWE Champion celebrates with his two partners, the trio having their hands raised by the referee. Van Dam then heads for the corner and calls for a mic, waiting for his music and the cheers of the crowd to die down before he starts to speak…


Rob Van Dam: Thank you, thank you very much. Hey, how 'bout a hand for these two guys right here, CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore, The Straight Edge Saints!

The crowd instantly rise and give a great cheer and round of applause for Punk and Dinsmore, the pair nodding in appreciation...

Rob Van Dam: You two guys were awesome. I'm pretty sure... no, wait... I know for a fact that one day, you two are gonna get another shot at the World Tag Team Titles, and you're gonna be walkin' away with that gold around your waists, dudes.

'RVD' exchanges high fives with both Punk and Dinsmore, before they head for the ropes and make their exit, leaving Van Dam behind to carry on with his announcement...

Rob Van Dam: And y'know, after what happened last week with Claudio Cesaro, it was nice to just come out here, team up with two young, hungry guys, and pick up a great victory.

Van Dam nods to himself, but then a look of reluctance crosses his face…

Rob Van Dam: 'Cause yeah, whether I like or not, I did lose last week. And I'm gonna be honest with all of ya'... last week, I underestimated Claudio. I thought he was new, he was actin' like a jerk, and he was showin' a total lack of respect to this company and to the Monday Night Raw roster.

’RVD’ holds his hands out and shrugs as a show of apology to the crowd…

Rob Van Dam: The way he strutted in here and demanded a title shot, that's not cool. That's not how it's done here in the WWE. But I decided that the best way to teach the new guy a lesson was to get 'im in the ring... and beat 'im.

Pop from the fans…

Rob Van Dam: And I woulda done too if I didn't take my eye off the ball for a split second and focus on Shawn Michaels. But I ain't gonna cry about it, I ain't gonna complain. I lost the match. But what I am gonna do is try make it up to all you fans... and to myself.

Another pop…

Rob Van Dam: Claudio, last week ya' walked in here and made a challenge, and ya' caught me off guard. Well this week, I'M the one makin' the challenge.

Van Dam firmly points a finger to his chest…

Rob Van Dam: I owe you one, bro', and I'm not listenin' to anymore talk of me bein' a coward or me tryin' to avoid you. So I say next week, me and you step into this ring, and we go one more time with the WWE Championship on the line!

And another point, with Van Dam motioning for the cheers to grow louder…

Rob Van Dam: I don’t care what happens tonight between you and John Cena, I want you in this ring next week dude, ‘cause you’re runnin’ your mouth way too much for a guy who just got in the door, and I’m the guy that’s gonna shut it!

Turning to the hard camera, a much more serious look crosses Van Dam’s face…

Rob Van Dam: And when I’m done schoolin’ the new guy... Shawn Michaels... you’re up next, bro’.

A much more louder, intense cheer from the crowd, clearly excited by the prospect of Van Dam and Michaels going at it…

Rob Van Dam: I’m not gonna be intimidated, and I ain’t gonna be freaked out by all the faith and the mind games you try to play. You cost me that match last week, but believe me, that was a mistake that ain’t gonna happen again.

Van Dam stares into the camera, letting that last comment linger…

Rob Van Dam: I don’t need the speeches or the sermons about god or faith or what you might see when you close your eyes at night. I gave up on religion a long time ago, so you can save all that. And you can save the threats about makin’ it personal too. ‘Cause believe me dude, you stick your nose in another one of my matches...

Cold blooded, Van Dam stares straight down the barrel and says…

Rob Van Dam: It’s gonna be more than personal.

Another big pop…

Rob Van Dam: So Claudio, Shawn, I’m right here waitin’ dudes. I’ll take on anybody who steps up and challenges me... and one way or another... I’m gonna beat ‘em. And that’s ‘cause I’m ROB – VAN – DAM!

*ONE OF A KIND...*


The crowd are on their feet once again, loudly cheering for the WWE Champion, who heads to the corner and climbs to the turnbuckle, hoisting his title high into the air, celebrating with the crowd. The fans and Van Dam continue to toast his victory, but the shot quickly cuts backstage… to see that Shawn Michaels is stood infront of a monitor, and clearly watched every word of what ‘RVD’ just said. The cold blooded look in Michaels’ eyes shows little emotion, but as his eyes narrow, Michaels is clearly contemplating something… but just like every other time we’ve seen Michaels these last few months, he gives nothing away… but it’s clearly something ominous for ‘RVD’ that Michaels has in mind, but as we head into a commercial, we aren’t going to find out what that is just yet.

*Commercial*


We return to see Todd Grisham standing by for another interview…


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Monday Night Raw. And please welcome my guest at this time... Jeff Hardy.

A warm welcome for Jeff Hardy as he enters from the right, nodding a hello at Grisham before he folds his arms across his chest and waits for the question...

Todd Grisham: Jeff, last week you advanced to the final sixteen in the King of the Ring tournament, and now you're just one more win away from going to Saturday Night's Main Event. Many people have already singled you out as one of the favourites to go all the way and become King. Jeff, what are you feelings on that, and do you think you can become King?

Pondering his response, Hardy runs a hand across his chin and purses his lips, before finally answering...

Jeff Hardy: Well... it's always nice to hear your name bein' mentioned among the favourites to win. 'Cause winnin' is exactly what I plan on doin'. Y'know, I've been in this company a long time now. I've been a tag team champion, I've been Intercontinental Champion... but I've never made it to the very top. I never really got my chance to challenge for the biggest prizes around here. And that's why I plan on winnin' the King of the Ring... and then I'm plannin' on becomin' a world champion.

A passion burns in Hardy's eyes as he answers...

Jeff Hardy: Guys like 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, Triple H, Edge, Brock Lesnar... they've all got one thing in common. They all won the King of the Ring... and they all became champions.

Hardy now turns to the camera to add emphasis to his next statement...

Jeff Hardy: And this year... it's gonna be MY year.

Big pop from inside the arena...

Jeff Hardy: I look at my brother Matt, and I can't tell ya' how happy I am for all the success he's havin' on SmackDown right now. But hey, we're brothers... we've always gotta compete with each other.

A little laugh as Jeff shrugs his shoulders...

Jeff Hardy: I'd like nothin' better than to face Matt in the King of the Ring final... and beat 'im. And after that...

Hardy pauses, turning towards the camera, where he very seriously says…

Jeff Hardy: I'm not gonna waste any time in challengin' the WWE Champion... whoever... that might be.

And another cheer from the fans as Jeff gives Grisham a quick slap on the arm then turns and leaves. Grisham watches him go, smiling and nodding, convinced that Jeff can indeed become champion someday, the camera lingering on him for a few seconds before we head back into the arena.

To hear...

*THE GREAT GATE AT KIEV...*


The arena is on its feet as an excited Jerry Lawler stands up from the announce desk and starts to remove his jacket...


Jerry Lawler: Here we go! I know this is the one you've been waitin' for, J.R.!

Jim Ross: Go get 'em, Jerry! Give 'im hell!

Joey Styles: Best of luck, 'King'! I'm sure you'll do great.

Lawler tosses down his headset and heads for the ring, appreciating the warm response from the crowd before he performs a few stretches to loosen up...

Joey Styles: Well folks, it's time for another King of the Ring qualifier, and it's our very own WWE Hall of Famer, Jerry 'The King' Lawler, set for action as he takes on 'The Masterpiece', Chris Masters.

Jim Ross: I've known 'King' a long time, I've never seen him as focused, as fired up for this as he is tonight. He's a rank outsider, he's a long shot, but if anybody can pull off the fairytale story and make it all the way to Saturday Night's Main Event, it's gonna be Jerry 'The King' Lawler!

*MASTERPIECE...*


Now that his association with Johnny Nitro is over, the fur coat has been ditched, and it's a return to the traditional robe as Chris Masters and Melina step out, with Masters doing his usual flexing and posing infront of the shower of fireworks, before he shakes off the robe and heads down to the ring...


Jim Ross; He's a great physical specimen, incredibly powerful, and now, with Melina in his corner, Chris Masters has a chance to be more dangerous than at any point in his career. He's always had the physical tools to be a great competitor here on Raw, and maybe with a bit of guidance now, he can go far in the King of the Ring.

Joey Styles: Well I think it's obvious who we're rootin' for in this one, but while I hope 'King' can pull out the win, I don't know how you can look past Chris Masters. He's got a meaner attitude, he's removed what he felt was excess baggage in Johnny Nitro, and now he looks focused and determined to do some real damage. I hope I'm wrong, but I can't see any way for 'King' to see off 'The Masterpiece'...

Match 5: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
Chris Masters
w/ Melina vs. Jerry Lawler

The bell rings, and after Masters again flexes his muscles, the two snap into a collar and elbow tie up, with Masters backing Lawler into the corner. The ref calls for the break, and Masters obliges, but he gives Lawler a stiff shove to the chest before he backs away… only for Lawler to burst from the corner and smack Masters with a stiff right hand! Lawler now goes on the attack, landing right after right, backing Masters to the ropes, where Lawler lays in with kicks to the midsection, then goes for the Irish whip… but Masters rebounds and runs through Lawler with a shoulderblock! Lawler tries to get back on his feet quickly, but Masters jumps right on him, going for a standing side headlock… only for Lawler to grab the wrist and twist it into a headlock of his own! Lawler wrenches on the hold, but Masters manages to shove him off the ropes… Lawler rebounds with a shoulderblock… but Masters stays standing! Lawler quickly comes off the ropes again… and ducks underneath a Masters clothesline… then smacks him with a dropkick to the face! Masters stumbles back to his feet, where Lawler is waiting, landing a trio of left jabs… before he winds up and knocks Masters down with a big right hand! Lawler drops into the cover… Masters kicks out at two. Looking to build some momentum, Lawler turns and comes off the ropes again… but Melina reaches in and grabs him by the foot! Lawler puts on the breaks and looks down on Melina, and when he turns back to the action… Masters hammers him with a massive clothesline!

Masters gains control now, stomping down on Lawler’s chest, before he drives a boot into Lawler’s throat, choking him until the ref counts for the break. Yanking Lawler up, Masters takes him up and down with a suplex, then floats over for a pinfall, but Lawler kicks out at two. Masters then mounts Lawler and rains down on him with right hands, before the arrogance of Masters is again on display as he flexes his arms, drawing more heat from the fans… but he poses too long, and from his knees, Lawler lands two rights to the gut… but a big knee to the face from Masters stops any momentum. Masters now lays in with a backbreaker and a sidewalk slam, both moves gaining near falls, before he starts to try wear Lawler down by landing clubbing forearms to the back of the neck and the small of the spine. Masters then lands headbutts to the spine, before he takes Lawler up and down with a another backbreaker… but this time he holds Lawler in place for a backbreaker rack. Pressing Lawler’s body down across his knees, Masters applies all kinds of pressure to the spine, Lawler trying to pry free the grip, but Masters is just too strong as he keeps it locked on. The crowd start to make some noise, much to Melina’s annoyance, and now Lawler tries to make a move to break free, swinging a leg to repeatedly kick Masters in the head… and the third kick finally breaks the hold! Masters shakes away the cobwebs and moves back in, but Lawler beats him to the punch, catching Masters with a trio of right hands before he goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… into a back body drop! Lawler now looks to build momentum, snapping off shots that drive Masters to the corner, where more punches land, before Lawler goes for the Irish whip across… but Masters reverses and follows in… right into a boot to the face! Masters falls to the canvas, which prompts Lawler to push himself up onto the second rope… take down that strap… and then he nails the DIVING FIST DROP! Lawler hooks the leg… 1… 2… Masters rolls a shoulder! Lawler can’t believe it, but now he’s back on his feet, right hand ready, waiting for Masters to rise… but when he swings the right, Masters ducks underneath… and then hammers Lawler from behind with a double axe handle to the back of the head! Lawler is down, and now Masters stands and waits for Lawler to rise, poised and ready to lock on the MASTERLOCK… until the entire arena is launched into a state of confusion as we hear…

*GUITAR RIFT...*

”NOW LISTEN... THIS AIN'T NO MAKE BELIEVE...

C'MON! OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE...”


And with a whoosh, the music comes to a stop, leaving everybody in the arena stunned and confused. Masters turns to Melina, searching for an answer as to what in the hell that music was for, but all Melina can do is shrug her shoulders. Standing by the ropes, looking up at the tron, Masters just shakes his head... until he's caught from behind by Lawler with a rollup! 1... 2... NO! Masters barely kicks out! Lawler nearly caught Masters by surprise, and now both men are on their feet... and Lawler beats Masters to the punch with a boot to the midsection... then he pulls Masters in... and looks for the PILEDRIVER... NO! Masters counters with a back body drop, and after shaking off the cobwebs, he again stalks Lawler from behind... then makes his move... MASTERLOCK!! This time Masters has it locked in, violently shaking 'King' back and forth, no escape for Lawler... and eventually the referee steps in... Lawler's out cold! The ref calls for the bell! This one is over.

Winner: Via Submission, Chris Masters @ 05.14

It's a win for Masters, but as he lets Lawler drop to the canvas and is joined by Melina, the pair of them look at each other in total bewilderment, wondering why on earth that music started playing during the match. They turn to the referee and shout “What the hell was that!?”, but all the ref can do is shrug his shoulders and shake his head, he as clueless as everybody else. Melina looks pretty spooked out by it all, constantly turning and looking over her shoulder, and as the pair make their way back up the ramp, Masters may have been the winner here... but there isn't a hint of celebration as he tries to figure just what in the hell is going on.

We cut away from inside the arena, and it's back to the previously seen 'War Room' where once again, sat around the table are Mr. McMahon, Shane McMahon and John Laurinaitis, although this time they've been joined by Bobby Lashley, who is dressed in a suit just like every other man in this scene. The four sit to one side of the table, their eyes all trained on something or someone off camera, and soon Vince starts to speak to this mystery person who we have yet to see...


Mr. McMahon: So... what d'ya say? I mean, I think I've made you a very attractive offer. And I think it would be in both our best interests to work together on this.

There's tension all around the desk as Vince does his best to sell the prospect of being on his team to whoever this may be...

Mr. McMahon: I mean, you and Bobby here, you two could take on any five guys Cena puts together and beat 'em by yourselves! With you in my team, I can't lose!

Vince lets out a nervous laugh, clearly not sure which way this conversation is going to go...

Mr. McMahon: And of course, if I get control of my company back, if I get full power over Monday Night Raw... well, let's just say it would make your life a whole lot easier.

Now Vince leans forward, a look of sincerity in his eyes as he says...

Mr. McMahon: Help me... to help you. That's all I'm askin' for. So... do we have a deal?

And now finally the camera pans to reveal... it's Randy Orton! Big time hear from inside the arena as Orton sits and stares at Vince, very little expression on his face, clearly pondering what to do. Orton looks down at a few papers laid out infront of him, before he looks back up... and slowly starts to nod...

Randy Orton: I'm in.

Mr. McMahon: Fantastic! Johnny, let's get the paperwork signed!

Laurinaitis slides a contract towards Orton, while Vince reaches inside his jacket and hands Orton a pen. Taking his time to read things over, Orton eventually does sign on the dotted line, which prompts Vince and the rest of the table to rise, with McMahon grabbing Orton by the hand to give him a hearty handshake...

Mr. McMahon: Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton on the same team! I've got this in the bag! There's no chance in hell Cena's ever gonna top this!

As always, Orton doesn't show much enthusiasm, but he does starts to shake the hands of the rest of the table, starting with Laurinaitis, then Shane... and then there's the awkward moment where Lashley and Orton come face to face. The two pause, puffing out their chests, staring each other up and down... before Orton extends his hand... and Lashley offers his too. The two share a long, firm handshake, and this is what the camera focuses on as we cut to 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*


We’re back into the arena, this time to see the faces of our announce team, although it’s only Styles and J.R. sat at the desk now, Lawler no doubt backstage recovering from his defeat to Chris Masters…

Jim Ross: Yes folks, the King of the Ring in live, Saturday, June 2nd, less than one month away. We had three qualifiers last week, we’ve had another three tonight, so far six men from Raw have advanced to the final sixteen.

Joey Styles: And with that in mind, let’s take a look at what the Raw half of the bracket looks like right 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


Joey Styles: Chris Masters, Shelton Benjamin and Kenny Dykstra all advanced earlier this evening. Who stood out and impressed you the most, J.R.?

Jim Ross: I really liked the look of Dykstra durin' his victory over Harry Smith. I've always said it, I may not like the kid, I think he's arrogant beyond belief, but nobody can doubt the kid is talented. He's gotta be one of the favourites to go all the way.

Joey Styles: Of course last week, Carlito, CM Punk and Jeff Hardy all advanced, and we heard from Hardy earlier tonight, he's determined that this year is gonna be his year and that he's gonna turn a King of the Ring triumph into finally becomin' a world champion.

Jim Ross: I've always felt Jeff Hardy's had all the talent in the world, it's all about his attitude and motivation. If Jeff can get the mental part of the game right, he's a huge threat to win it all.

Joey Styles: Well we've got two more qualifiers next week on Raw, Lance Cade takes on Nick Dinsmore, while Charlie Haas meets with Tyson Kidd. But don't forget, the King of the Ring continues this Friday night on SmackDown, you won't wanna miss that one folks!

After a few second silence, we cut backstage to see John Cena and Linda McMahon walking along a corridor. Cena is clearly heading for the ring for tonight's main event, although as they walk, it seems that both he and Linda and discussing their reactions to the announcement that Randy Orton is the second member of 'Team Vince'...

John Cena; Listen, don't worry about Orton. The guy we've got lined up knows all about him, hell, he pretty much taught 'im everythin' he knows.

Cena tugs on his wristband and straightens his cap, trying to prepare himself for action while on the move...

Linda McMahon: I know that but... well, are we sure this is the right thing to do? I mean, nobodies heard from this guy in weeks, we don't know what kinda mind-set he's in right now.

With a knowing laugh, Cena comes to a stop and turns to face Linda, placing a hand on her shoulder in a reassuring fashion...

John Cena: Ms. McMahon, trust me, alright? He's fine. It was his idea, he wanted to do it.

Knowing this, Linda nods, but as she ever so slightly looks down at the ground, there's still clearly an element of doubt in her mind...

John Cena: Look, I won't let ya' down, I promise. We're gonna win War Games, and then you're gonna restore this show to how it used to be.

This time Linda smiles, nodding her head...

Linda McMahon: Alright. When are you going to make the announcement?

Again Cena fidgets with his cap, then adjusts his kneepad, before he performs a few arm stretches...

John Cena: First, I'm gonna teach that punk Cesaro a lesson in respect for this company and how we do things around here. Then after that... I'll let everybody know. I'll see ya' later.

As Cena exits the frame, Linda watches him go, a look of concern on her face, but that soon turns to a confident smile as she then turns and heads in the opposite direction and we cut back into the arena.

And hear...

*MIRACLE...*


A ton of heat as Claudio Cesaro steps out, just like last week wearing a sports jacket that reads “Swiss” across the chest. Cesaro stops at the top of the ramp, looks around the arena with a sneer of disgust, before he then raises a fist into the air and then marches down to the ring...


Jim Ross: Certainly John Cena sounds extremely confident with how he has lined up as the second member of 'Team Linda', but its' gonna take a huge name to better Mr. McMahon's signing of Randy Orton.

Joey Styles: Well... who do you think it is, J.R.? Who could Cena have lined up?

Jim Ross: I haven't the faintest idea, Joey. But I guess we're all gonna find out at the end of this matchup. Here comes Claudio Cesaro, a man who looked very impressive early on in his match last week with Rob Van Dam, a match that Cesaro did indeed get the victory in.

Joey Styles: It was a match in which Cesaro certainly had the better of in the early goings as 'RVD' struggled to adapt to the offence of the newcomer, but Van Dam eventually got 'im figured out, and he was just seconds away from finishing Cesaro off, only for Shawn Michaels to get involved.

Jim Ross: Well the challenge has been made by 'RVD', he wants a rematch next week, he wants to avenge that defeat, and I'm sure that's an offer Cesaro is gonna take 'im up on. But will he do it with another big win under his belt, namely a win over John Cena?

*MY TIME IS NOW...*


The loudest pop of the night so far, pretty much entirely cheers for John Cena as he strides out onto the stage. Cena takes a long look around the arena, and then when the camera moves in on him, Cena is overheard saying “School's in session!” before he offers up a salute and then races down to the ring...


Jim Ross: In six weeks’ time, John Cena will lead his team into war! But tonight, it's all about pride, it's all about honour, as John Cena takes on Claudio Cesaro. It's our main event, and it's live when we return to Monday Night Raw!

*Commercial*


Main Event:
Claudio Cesaro
vs. John Cena

Just like last week, it’s a cagey start to a Cesaro match, as just like ‘RVD’, Cena takes his time in sizing Cesaro up, before the two finally snap into a tie up. Both men struggle and jockey for position, until Cesaro twists into a waistlock, then uses it for a takedown, which he then transitions into grounded headlock. Cena struggles back to his feet, and he breaks the hold by shoving Cesaro off the ropes… only for Cesaro to knock Cena over with a shoulderblock! The crowd gasp in surprise, with Cesaro pausing for a few seconds to gloat, before he comes off the ropes again… but Cena lies flat on the canvas as Cesaro runs over him… then nips up to send Cesaro down with a hiptoss! Now Cena looks to build momentum, coming off the ropes… flying shoulderblock! Again Cena comes off the ropes… another flying shoulderblock… but this time it’s Cesaro who drops down… leaving Cena to crash to the mat below! Cesaro had it scouted, and he quickly pounces to lock Cena in a standing headlock, allowing him to drill a few knees to the face. Cesaro shoves Cena into the corner, unloading with rights and lefts to the body, before he goes for an Irish whip across… Cena reverses… Cesaro hits the turnbuckle hard and stumbles forward as Cena comes off the ropes… one-handed bulldog! Cesaro down in the middle of the ring, and now Cena turns to the crowd, then looks down on Cesaro… “You can’t see me!”… before he comes off the ropes…but before he can deliver the FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE, Cesaro wisely rolls from the ring! The crowd don’t like as they boo, but it’s a wise move from Cesaro as he paces around the ring, taking a chance to catch his breath and slow the momentum. Cena calls for Cesaro to re-enter the ring, but Cesaro waves him off… which prompts Cena to head outside! Coming up on Cesaro from behind, Cena spins him around… and levels him with a massive right hand!

The fight is now on the floor, with Cena grabbing Cesaro by the head… and smashing him face first off the steel steps! Cesaro sprawls on the floor, but Cena has him up again… this time it’s face first off the announce desk! Cena now grabs Cesaro by the wrist… Irish whip… shoulder first into the steel steps! Cena roars to the crowd, who respond with a cheer, loving seeing Cena teach the newcomer a lesson. Cena rolls Cesaro back inside for a two count, before he yanks Cesaro against the ropes and unloads with right hands, before going for the Irish whip… kick to the midsection, and Cena comes off the ropes… throwback connects! Another cover… another kick out at two. Cena is in control now, and he lands alternating left and right jabs that back Cesaro to the corner, where Cena looks to fire him across… then follows in… right into a boot to the face! Cena stumbles back, and Cesaro charges… but Cena traps him… belly to belly suplex! Cena again crawls into the cover, 1… 2… Cesaro kicks out. Sensing a chance to finish this one in a hurry, Cena is back on his feet, waiting for Cesaro to rise… Cesaro stumbles up… and Cena takes Cesaro up onto his shoulders… FU… NO! Cesaro counters, throwing elbows to the side of the head, dropping down to the canvas behind Cena… and then dropping him with a falling neckbreaker! Now it’s Cesaro who hooks the leg… 1… 2… Cena kicks out. Cesaro now lays in with a few stomps to the body, then he yanks Cena to the corner, where more stomps to the body land, Cesaro laying in until the referee finally drags him away. Cesaro then moves back in, but Cena bursts to his feet, grabs Cesaro by the leg… takes him down… and looks for the STFU… NO! Again Cesaro has it scouted, as he kicks Cena away to break the hold… with Cena falling through the ropes to the floor! Both men take their time to recover, but when Cena makes a move to re-enter the ring, Cesaro nails him with a baseball slide! Heading outside, Cesaro takes the fight to Cena, landing a pair of uppercuts, then he scoops Cena up… and looks to lawndart him into the ringpost… no! Cena fights to get back on his feet, then he spins Cesaro around and hooks him up for a suplex… no! Cesaro blocks it… and takes Cena up and down with a suplex on the floor! Both men are down, although the last sound we hear before the final commercial of the evening is that of John Cena, groaning in pain as he grabs the back of his neck.

*Commercial*


We’re back, with Cesaro having Cena grounded on the canvas, his legs wrapped around Cena’s neck with a legscissors, and we see that during the commercial, Cena tried to go on the attack, only to be thwarted by a big boot to the face that brought Cesaro a near fall. Cesaro continues to squeeze on the hold, but the crowd now try to urge Cena back into the match, and slowly he starts to fight back to his feet… with Cesaro still clinging to his neck! Unbelievably, Cena forces himself back onto his feet, with Cesaro sat on his shoulders… and Cena turns this into an electric chair! Finally breaking the hold, Cena makes it back to his feet first, clubbing Cesaro with rights against the ropes, before he goes for the Irish whip… Cesaro comes off the ropes into a kick to the gut… then goes up and down with a fisherman’s suplex! Cena is back on his feet, and now he heads for the corner, waiting for Cesaro to make it back to his knees… looking for the diving leg drop bulldog… but Cesaro rolls to safety… and Cena crashes to the canvas! Cena now stumbles back up, and Cesaro is waiting… kick... gutwrench suplex! Cesaro goes for the win… 1… 2… Cena rolls a shoulder! We now enter a period of dominance for Cesaro as he looks to wear Cena down, landing a double foot stomp and then a sitout scoop powerslam, before Cesaro shows impressive strength as he delivers a long giant swing, gaining another near fall. Cesaro continues to apply pressure, laying in with stomps to the chest and then elbow drops, before he yanks Cena up and looks for the Irish whip off the ropes… into a sleeper hold! Cesaro gets the hold locked on tight, and slowly but surely, he gets Cena to fade, with Cena falling to a seated position on the canvas.

The crowd urge and will Cena back to his feet, and after much struggle, he manages to force himself back to a vertical base. Cesaro hangs in there, keeping the hold locked on tight, but Cena tries to break free by drilling elbows to the midsection, but Cesaro hangs onto the hold… until Cena breaks free with the PROTOBOMB! Cesaro is emphatically planted to the mat, but Cena can’t take advantage, both men down, the referee delivering the count. Both men stay down until six, when they make a move back to their feet. Both men back up, and Cena beats Cesaro to the punch, landing a trio of right hands, before he goes for an Irish whip… Cesaro reverses and swings a clothesline… but Cena ducks underneath and keeps on running… flying shoulderblock! Cena is quickly back up… another flying shoulderblock! Again Cena is back up, coming off the ropes… one handed bulldog! And he’s left Cesaro in the perfect spot, standing over him… “You can’t see me!”… off the ropes… FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! Cena hits it this time, and now he’s back on his feet, waiting for Cesaro to rise… Cesaro stumbles up… and Cena takes him up… FU… NO! Cesaro drops down behind, hooks Cena’s arm ups… and hits the strait-jacket suplex, a move Styles tells us is called the RICOLA PLEX! Cena is down and out, and Cesaro crawls over to hook the leg… 1… 2… Cena rolls a shoulder! Cesaro can’t believe it, sure he had the match won, back on his feet to get in the referee’s face, until to be told it was just a two count.

With Cena still down grabbing his neck, Cesaro now heads to the corner, pushing himself onto the second rope, waiting for Cena to rise, and when Cena finally does, Cesaro launches himself… looking for the DIVING EUROPEAN UPPERCUT… NO! Cena counters… with a SPINNING SPINEBUSTER! Out of nowhere Cena pulls out a counter, and now he’s back on his feet, waiting for Cesaro to rise… flying shoulderblock! Cena bursts back to his feet, waiting for Cesaro to rise… and he takes him up onto his shoulders… FU!! Cena nails the FU… but Cesaro lands dangerously close to the ropes… and when Cena goes for the cover… 1… 2… CESARO GETS A FOOT ON THE BOTTOM ROPE! Cena can’t believe it, head in his hands, he planted Cesaro but it was just too close to the ropes. Dejected, Cena is back on his feet, wondering what to do next, and eventually he decides to climb to the top rope, waiting for Cesaro to get back to his knees… before he flies… DIVING LEGDROP BULLDOG… NO! Cesaro dives to safety, and once again Cena crashes to the canvas! Cesaro now moves quickly, grabbing Cena… and hooking him up… looking for the NEUTRALIZER… NO! Cena kicks his way back to his feet, and then he traps Cesaro’s arm… takes him down… and steps… STFU!! Cena gets it locked on in the middle of the ring, wrenching on the hold, Cesaro desperately trying to hang in there, the crowd going wild, urging Cena to gain the submission win… and CESARO STARTS TO TAP… BUT THERE’S NO BELL?!! The referee is distracted… and we soon see why… as Bobby Lashley is on the apron! The ref tries to get Lashley back down, but he’s got a hold of the ref by the shirt, and when Cena releases the hold and wonders what the hell is going on, the crowd gasp and frantically tell Cena to turn around… and when he does… Randy Orton is in the ring… RKO!! Orton plants Cena with the RKO and flees the ring, and when Lashley drops down to the floor, Cesaro crawls over and drapes an arm across Cena’s chest… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Claudio Cesaro @ 14.22

Unbelievable! A stunning upset as thanks to Orton and Lashley, Cesaro has just beaten John Cena! The crowd can't believe it, booing loudly, and the boos now intensify as Lashley and Orton re-enter the ring and start laying into Cena with a vicious assault. Cesaro is soon back on his feet, and he joins in with the attack, before Lashley drags Cena back to his feet, holding him up so Orton can smack Cena with stiff right hands to the face and body. Cesaro now takes a turn, laying in with kicks to the midsection, a three on one mugging here...

Until...

”WOOOOO!”

*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*


What the...? It's... it's Ric Flair! 'The Nature Boy', he's back! For the first time since WrestleMania, Ric Flair is in a WWE arena, and he's charging down the ramp to come to the rescue of John Cena! Lashley tosses Cena aside, his eyes bulging out his skull, he and Orton going insane with worry, so much so that Orton grabs Cesaro and shouts at him to meet Flair on the outside. As Flair rips off his suit jacket and tie, Cesaro, almost on instinct dives through the ropes to the outside and then races up the ramp to meet Flair... but he runs right into a massive right hand! Now Flair unloads with quickfire rights and lefts, until a big chop to the chest knocks Cesaro down to the steel!

Flair now sets his sights on the ring, rolling under the bottom rope... but Orton and Lashley pounce, jumping on Flair, hammering him with clubbing blows to the back, doing their best to try keep Flair grounded... but Flair fights it, working back to his feet... and now he's laying in with rights and lefts to both Orton and Lashley! Flair fights back, and now he's smacking chops to the chest... and Cena is back on his feet, spinning Orton around... clothesline puts Orton over the top rope to the floor! Now Flair lines up Lashley... a huge chop to the chest... and Lashley goes tumbling to the floor! Flair and Cena have cleaned house! The crowd is going wild, and as Orton and Lashley try to regroup on the outside, Flair grabs a mic...


Ric Flair: Hey! If you two wanna know who the second member of on John Cena's team is, then... WOOOOO!... YOU'RE LOOKIN' AT 'IM!

Another huge pop, the crowd going wild, with Cena now moving close to Flair to shout into the mic…

John Cena: Orton! Lashley! You tell Vinny Mac we're ready for ANYTHIN' he can throw at us! And remember one thing... diamonds are forever... and so is RIC FLAIR!

*MY TIME IS NOW...*


The crowd is going wild, not quite able to believe it, Ric Flair has returned to Monday Night Raw and he's joined John Cena as a member of 'Team Linda'. Cena and Flair share a hug in the ring, before Cena raises Flair's hand high in the air to yet another pop, with Orton and Lashley stood on the stage, the two looking at each other with a sense of fear and trepidation...


Jim Ross: Bah Gawd, I can't believe it! Ric Flair, he's back! And he's signed up with 'Team Linda'!

Joey Styles: And if you're goin' into War Games, who better to have in your team than the man who's been in more War Games Matches than any other?!

Jim Ross: Mr. McMahon thought he had things all wrapped up with the signing of Randy Orton, but John Cena and Linda McMahon, they've evened up the odds in a huge way! Ric Flair is back, and he's goin' to War Games! Thank you all for watchin' Monday Night Raw. Goodnight!

In the ring, Flair and Cena continue to celebrate with the fans, who are still on their feet, euphoric at the face that Flair is back, while on the stage, Lashley and Orton fume as they look down on the ring. Tonight was meant to be their night, but they've been trumped by the re-appearance of 'The Nature Boy', and it's on the sight of Flair that 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, Ric Flair, ???, ??? and ???) vs. Team Vince (Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, ???, ??? and ???)


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



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Old 03-29-2013, 12:00 PM   #295 (permalink)
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I think it’s fair to say you’re a Castagnoli fan, no? You’ve already gotten your fair spread of criticism and praise for the way he’s popped up in here, and like Wolfy said, the first thing that came to my mind when I read the way you debuted him was ‘Legend’s CM Punk’. TKOW has since debunked that notion, but it still stands that you’ve begun this guy’s tenure perhaps not with a rocket launcher and are ready to shoot him to the top, but definitely with a MASSIVE firecracker. I’ve got no real quams with how you handled his debut, really. I’m all for getting guys a splash of a debut, making an impact, and being different. But with that said, you almost definitely do have to watch how you handle him. It’s obvious you’re putting him in quite the forefront already, but much like the WWE or even TNA in real life, if you cram him too much down we reader’s/audience’s throats, it doesn’t matter how well you write him, the way you book him just might turn us off on the guy.

With that said, I turn my full attention towards the opening promo, which didn’t have much of anything special from out of the mouth of Cena until Cesaro came out. This is what I was talking about with the whole ‘watch how you handle him’ thing, and just given the situation presented, I’m almost certain Claudio will walk out with a win tonight. That said, with what Cena said, it sounded like he was the voice of reason in all this. He almost sounded like he really was speaking for any reader who didn’t like the way Claudio popped up. This was certainly a nice way to go around and justify what happened last week and gives you a main event that will almost surely and truly solidify Cesaro’s real place on the card.

You’d better make that War Games match half as brutal as I had planned the War Chamber out to be…

I liked this set up in Vince’s office. It almost feels like a dastardly sports team front office meeting trying to discuss a trade or a draft pick or something. There’s quite a few aimless guys roaming around, so all those question marks surrounding the end of Backlash should start taking shape and making sense now more than ever. The ‘loner’ instantly makes me think of Orton, which wouldn’t be that bad of a name to follow up Lashley on. DAT BREIFCASE and all.

Don’t think I recall using a restraining order in a feud, so it’s grabbed my attention in that way. And now it looks like you’re investing even more in Kenny D, essentially making him a current day Dolph Ziggler – a chick, a big scary black guy, and a prop. I see nothing but promise here, and Kenny’s an obvious favorite to get to the tail end of the KoTR. Just hope D gets a little bit more character depth and doesn’t just rely on so many other things. On the match after that, Benjamin over Crazy every day of the week. Not much else to write home about rather than that, but it might be nice to see the WGTT’s next challengers emerging over the course of this tourney.

Masters and Melina laying it on thick after dissing Johnny is just what it should have been and that was a grasp at justification from them. It makes them look like total tools because they were in a TAG TEAM, where it’s never just one person’s fault, so kudos on the natural heat on that one. The play towards Johnny is nice since you’re pretty much going the face Nitro/Morrison route. It’ll be really nice to see how he develops and add some depth to a midcard that’s riddled with tag teams, but not much else beyond Carlito, Dykstra, and possibly Cesaro. This is actually a tag team break up that might have been needed as far as roster depth is concerned.

This was a nice display of everything Dykstra has going for him – he’s solid in the ring, Torrie played her role very effectively in being the blonde and beautiful distraction, while Ezekiel immediately pays dividends and blocks out some outsiders. Thought Jackson would be more in the spotlight here given he has just shown up tonight, but what he did was fine. The Jumping STO is a good enough finisher for Kenny for now, but here’s to hoping you’ll find something better for him as his character evolves.

Ah. That’s why Jackson didn’t do so much in the match. I’m not sure how I feel about Carlito downing Kenny’s hired help in their very first meeting, but Carlito does need some bright spots in this feud. A sub-program with Jackson/Carlito might be on the horizon, and I’m really hoping neither one of these guys gets put in the War Games match. When you’re gonna have as big a main event match as you’re gonna have then, the PPV then will probably be more of a chance for your midcard to shine and where we may finally get a blow off between these two. Carlito needs to grow a little bit characterwise past ‘lover scorned’, but I’m sure that will lead him down some other path in coming weeks.

Oh great. We’re both about to probably end our Danielson/Helms feuds and now it looks like we’re both picking on the Harts/WGTT tree. The Legacy are too fresh right now, I think, to truly take the titles off of the WGTT, but this was nice to set up some backstory and a little bit more enthralling overall story for the match next week. And plus I’m glad you’re giving it a little more attention than most others seeing as how this is the match I was most looking forward to. Maybe you read me right….

Love you going with a more sinister Beth Phoenix after her title win. She and Natalya’s ‘cry for me’ shtick could’ve been much deeper than it was in real life, and this looks like you taking note of that. With the way she’s throwing out challenges and dominating, I almost wanna say she may be on track to be the women’s division version of perhaps Kurt Angle. These open challenges will go on for a while I suppose, but I fully expect Victoria to be a surprise challenger and set up another challenge. Either that or a debuting diva will do it. It’s nice, because the story has an obvious trajectory, but not an obvious result. Oh, and it’s nice to see Candice dropped on her face.

Very feel-good match for the Saints and RVD here, although I will say the character analyzer in me absolutely cringes on straight-edgers and an infamous pothead being together. Van Dam seems like a very scatterbrained fellow who needs to get his priorities straight, something that I would imagine falls in line with I suppose a ‘stoner’ persona that he’s been pulling forever and ever. I don’t like him giving Cesaro another shot when he’s got HBK waiting in the wings, and seeing as how you seem to have a penchant for giving people big wins after help from interference, there could be a case made that next week, Claudio could be WWE Champion. But I don’t think you’re gonna go that route, and I think that HBK/RVD will pick up something or another instead. If you’re gonna let Claudio beat Cena tonight, I beg you not to let him walk out with that title next week. But I’ll reserve all judgment critique for when things actually happen. You’re just making me worry my pretty little head.

Jeff Hardy for King of the Ring? Certainly sounds like a possibility. He’s probably the guy who could benefit most from the KoTR direction wise, so I expect him to make it at east to the quarters or semis. Or it could just a nice segment to not make us forget about him. Moving on…

Lawler being involved in the KoTR is a little bit stretching it, but I’ll take it, especially if it gives Masters a solid win. I’m glad that just the Morrison music hit but not an actual interference because we’ve already seen stuff like it tonight and probably will later on, but also because it would kill Master’s remaining credibility to lose to Lawler, no matter how much interference he got. Interesting set of mind games that might be on tap with this one and I’m really interested to see how it plays out in this midcard spotlight feud.

DAT ORTON~!! Team Vinnie Mac is looking effin’ sick right now.

Cesaro’s ring work has been very solid so far, and you’ve made him look like one smart cookie by being able to counter virtually all of Cena’s signatures for a majority of the contest. You’ve given him very solid ‘fundamentals’, I would say – he’s very ring aware (the rope break after the FU), got the smarts to always look out (again, jamming Cena’s moves at many turns), and he’s got an impressive moveset to boot. He’s also pretty good at getting cheap heat, and as I figured, you give him a HUGE stock boost by letting him defeat the Superman. I can see how some might not like this, but I can’t complain b/c of the number one complaint of Cena during this time was, of course, how much he hogged the spotlight and came across as indestructible. It’s nice to see him out of the title hunt and no longer the premium focus even if he’s still featured, and this was him putting someone over. The interference way avoids him losing too much credibility, especially considering he technically did make the rookie tap out. You’d better play up this kid getting a win over the biggest name in the company, but I’m sure you already know that. The Flair announcement, while not nearly as big as the Orton confirmation, still sets up a big name and a guy who almost would have to be included for the sheer legacy of the match. Cena’s next ally had better be a decent name, though, or Team Linda might not have the juice on paper to stack up.

---
All in all, a show that went to a formulaic route, but was still a clinic on Booking 101. The biggest praise I have about introducing Cesaro the way you did on the previous RAW was that yeah, your shows had been getting by-the-numbers and Wrestlemania hangover feel all over it, but his introduction has breathed a good bit of life into the show as far as unpredictability of both character and booking. Cesaro’s not in the King of the Ring, but whomever wins he almost seems certain to be on tap for a feud with them. But still, I’d keep a keen eye on how you handle him as to not ram him down our throats. As for everything else, still a very solid show that I’m sure you already know about and the War Games situation is setting up nicely, and I’m hoping within the next week or so you start to focus more on the WWE title match before it’s too late. But I’m sure you’ll do more than fine. After all, you’re getting consistent feedback from WOLFY by now, so what I’m saying is probably more of a nuisance than noteworthy I’ll be keeping more of an eye on how you handle Kenny/Carlito and Nitro/Masters because your midcard probably needs that more. But still a very enjoyable show indeed, Mac daddy
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:56 AM   #296 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~WWE.COM ANNOUNCEMENT~

World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of the following superstars:

Viscera
Snitsky
Tatanka
The Boogeyman
Balls Mahoney
Stevie Richards
Kevin Thorn
Ariel
The Great Khali

*****



~News, Notes and Spoilers~

It appears there will be several shake ups with regards to both the Raw and SmackDown rosters in the upcoming weeks, as with the announcement earlier today of several releases added to the prospect of more debuts taking place in the next few weeks, the make-up of the WWE roster could look far different come the end of the summer.

As reported earlier today, several of the former members of the ECW roster who were yet to find a home on Raw or SmackDown had their contracts terminated, although there are two names missing from that list. Former ECW ring announcer Justin Roberts has been assigned to the SmackDown brand, where he will work house shows until ultimately replacing Tony Chimel as SmackDown’s ring announce. The second name is a far more interesting scenario. Former SmackDown and ECW competitor Sylvester Terkay had his profile very quietly moved over to the Raw section of wwe.com earlier today, sparking rumours that he will soon be making his debut on the red brand. Terkay had previously been portraying an MMA gimmick at the tail end of 2006, but it remains to be seen what kind of character he will portray if he does indeed make his return to WWE television on Raw.

Elsewhere, Doug Williams has wrapped up his remaining independent commitments and will soon be making his debut on the SmackDown brand, presumably as yet another addition to the cruiserweight division. There was talk of perhaps Williams being assigned to development territory OVW initially, but it seems that given his experience and his impressive performance on Raw against Randy Orton a few weeks ago, Williams will be fast tracked straight to the main roster. Speaking of OVW, there are more arrivals rumoured from development to the main roster over the next few weeks. Tag team Deuce and Domino are set to arrive on Raw to further increase the depth of talent in the tag division on the show, while Cody Rhodes, son of ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, is also scheduled to make his debut on Raw soon.

There are also reports of a bidding war between WWE and rival company TNA for the services of female wrestler Kia Stevens. Stevens, who wrestles in the independent circuit and in Japan as Amazing Kong, has been approached by both companies in recent weeks with regards to signing with them. For TNA, they view Kong as potentially the star attraction alongside Gail Kim in the women’s division they plan on launching later in the year. For the WWE, Kong would be a huge departure from their usual diva signings, although it is believe that with Triple H spending the summer working behind the scenes more and increasing his influence over talent policy, that several wrestlers like Kong who the WWE previously wouldn’t have looked at are now under consideration. We’ll keep you up to date as the battle to sign Kong continues over the summer.

*****



~Friday Night SmackDown~
May 11th, 2007
Mellon Arena
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania






Friday Night SmackDown rolls into Pittsburgh just nine days away from Judgment Day, with tensions running high on the blue brand, causing General Manager Teddy Long to try and re-establish order before things spiral out of control.

For months now Batista, Edge and Mr. Kennedy have in one way or another all had confrontations with each other. From before No Way Out, through WrestleMania and beyond, these three have always been in close proximity to each other, and now at Judgment Day, it’s time for the trio to put up or shut up. Last week, Teddy Long announced that the three would meet in a Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Tonight, all three will be in the same ring as they sign their names on a contract that will make the match official. Be it Edge’s whining and complaining, Kennedy’s smart mouth, or Batista’s determination to let his actions in the ring do the talking, these three have been waiting for a chance to step into the ring together, and tonight they get their chance… although Teddy Long will no doubt be doing all he can to ensure they keep their hands off each other and save it for Judgment Day.

Batista will be in action earlier in the evening though as he steps into the ring with Finlay, G.M. Long’s way of punishing the veteran Irishman after his vicious attack of Kane last week. Finlay and Kane will meet at Judgment Day, but tonight, Batista and Finlay revive their rivalry from earlier in the year, with ‘The Animal’ no doubt looking to do Teddy Long a favour, and at the same time, prove once again just why he’s been such a dominant champion. Another member of the Triple Threat Match is also in action tonight, as Mr. Kennedy takes on Jimmy Wang Yang in King of the Ring action. Kennedy is understandably a favourite to become King, and he had no intentions of dropping out of the tournament despite the chance to become World Heavyweight Champion in just over one week’s time. Last week, Kane, Brian Kendrick and Tommy Dreamer all advanced, and this week, six more men look to follow them into the last sixteen. With ‘MVP’ now associated with Jonathan Coachman and King Booker in The Coachman Coalition, his match with Sabu now takes on extra meaning as he looks to restore the pride for his group after Booker’s loss to Tommy Dreamer last week. Meanwhile, the United States Champion, Matt Hardy, will be looking to keep the incredible run he’s been on going as he faces Regal, although he’ll no doubt have one eye on Judgment Day and his showdown with The Miz.

Elsewhere, Chavo Guerrero will continue his Rey Mysterio career retrospective as he takes on another opponent from Rey’s past. Last week it was Mysterio’s long-time rival Psicosis who stepped into the ring with Chavo, only for Guerrero to make quick work of him. Tonight, Chavo has invited another man with a storied history with Rey to the arena, and will no doubt be looking to send another message to Rey ahead of their Last Man Standing Match at Judgment Day. We’ll also be hearing from both champion and challenger as the Cruiserweight Champion, Gregory Helms, steps into the ring with the Number One Contender, Bryan Danielson, for an in-ring interview conducted by John Bradshaw Layfield. ‘JBL’ has never hid his dislike of Danielson, and this one is sure to be far from impartial, but Danielson has confirmed he will accept the offer of a chance to let Helms know exactly what’s in store for him come Judgment Day.

All of this, plus Teddy Long has granted an interview where he will give an update on the whereabouts of The Undertaker, Umaga and Chris Benoit, one month after the three were taken out of action in one way or another.

Confirmed Matches:

Non-Title Match: Batista vs. Finlay

King of the Ring Qualifying Matches – Round of 32

Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Mr. Kennedy
Matt Hardy vs. William Regal
Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Sabu

Chavo Guerrero vs. Another Opponent From Rey Mysterio’s Past

Plus! Batista, Edge and Mr. Kennedy will all sign the contract for their World Hevayweight Championship Triple Threat Match at Judgment Day, and ‘JBL’ will conduct in an in-ring interview with both the Cruiserweight Champion, Gregory Helms, and his Judgment Day opponent, Bryan Danielson!
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night SmackDown~
May 11th, 2007
Mellon Arena
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania



"Now I wanna hurt you."





We kick off the broadcast with a quick highlights package from last week, showing us brief soundbites of the complaining from Edge and Mr. Kennedy with regards to their World Heavyweight Championship opportunities, then we hear soundbites from the champion, Batista, who's had enough of hearing his challengers whine and complain. We then see the announce from Teddy Long that at Judgment Day, the three will meet in a Triple Threat Match, before we cut to the main event, a tag team match featuring Batista and Matt Hardy against Edge and Miz, with Mr. Kennedy as the guest referee. After Miz and Hardy battle to the back, Batista and Edge fight with each other, and Edge looks for a spear... only to catch Kennedy! The match continues, until Kennedy is back on his feet... and he smacks Edge in the face... which then leads to the Batista Bomb! The video package ends with 'The Animal' standing tall, he and Kennedy exchanging tense looks at each other, while Edge is down and out as we fade to black.

From this, we head into the arena, no pyro, no music, a cold opening... until...

*I WALK ALONE...*


The arena goes wild as the World Heavyweight Champion himself, Batista makes his entrance, firing up the fans as he slaps his chest and encourages them to up the volume. Batista then crouches down, sets off an impressive bursts of fireworks, before he heads down the aisle to the ring...


Michael Cole: Welcome everybody to Friday Night SmackDown! And what a way to kick things off, with none other than the World Heavyweight Champion, 'The Animal', Batista! Hello folks, I'm Michael Cole, alongside me as always John Bradshaw Layfield and Tazz, and we are kickin' things off in a big way with Batista set to take on Finlay in one on one action. We've got a huge night in store, as Batista will sign on the dotted line alongside Edge and Mr. Kennedy for their Triple Threat Match at Judgment Day!

John Bradshaw Layfield: And after the way last week's main event went down, with Edge takin' a cheap shot from Kennedy, pratically handin' the win to Batista, I know Edge is gonna be in a helluva mood by the time he gets in the ring with those two!

Tazz: Well, I gotta admit, if I was Edge, I'd be pretty pissed off about what happened last week, but at the same time, Edge brought it on 'imself. He hit Kennedy with the spear, and Kennedy reacted to it. I don't think Edge can have anybody but 'imself to blame for losin' last week.

Michael Cole: Well that's to come later on, but right now, Batista is in action against Finlay, and I'm sure we all remember the war these two had back at the Royal Rumble. Batista was victorious that night, retaining the World Heavyweight Championship, and he'll be lookin' for another victory right here.

Tazz: And this match came about after Finlay lost his match to Kane last week and then decided he was gonna try smash Kane's knee into a thousand pieces with that shillelagh. Teddy Long's tryin' to lay down the law with Finlay, and he's hopin' 'The Animal' is gonna be the guy to do for 'im.

”MY NAME IS FINLAY... AND I LOVE TA’ FIGHT...”

*LAMBEG...*


And now a loud outpouring of heat as Finlay slowly emerges from the back, a stern look on his face as he stares down at the ring, shaking his head, clearly not happy about being involved in this match up. For the second week in a row, The Little Bastard is by Finlay's side, snarling and growling in the direction of Batista...


Michael Cole: Well we now know that at Judgment Day, Finlay will step into the ring with Kane, but I guess the question right now is, will Kane even be ready to go by the time we hit San Diego? He took a lot of damage to his knee last week.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And the blame for that lies at the door of one Theodore Long. He scheduled Finlay and Kane in the King of the Ring qualifier just one week after Finlay competed in a Belfast Brawl? Gimme a break!

Tazz: Like Teddy Long said, it was the luck o' the draw that meant Finlay had to go last week. And that ain't no excuse for his actions either. The guy just lost it. I mean, he missed out on the United States Championship, the next week he misses out on the King of the Ring, and he decided to take it out on Kane. Well now he's gonna pay for it, tonight at the hands of Batista, and then at Judgment Day at the hands of Kane.

Match 1: Non-Title Match
World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. Finlay w/ The Little Bastard

The bell rings to get us under way, with both men emerging from their respective corners to circle the ring, before Batista now looks to narrow the gap, trying to trap Finlay in the corner. The two go for a tie up, and Batista overpowers Finlay, backing him to the turnbuckle, where the ref steps in for the break. Batista obliges, backing off and waving Finlay towards him, the two tying up again, this time in the centre of the ring. ‘The Animal’ works into the standing side headlock, only for Finlay to shove Batista off the ropes… and he rebounds with a hard shoulderblock! Finlay scrambles to the corner, calling for space, and he takes an age to finally get back on his feet. The pair tie up for a third time, and now Finlay has the standing side headlock, wrenching it on as Batista tries to break free. Eventually Batista shoves Finlay off the ropes… into a big back body drop! Again Finlay scrambles to the corner, but this time Batista goes on the attack, driving shoulder after shoulder to the midsection, before he sends Finlay for the ride… and follows in with a corner clothesline! More shoulder thrusts follow, before ‘Tista takes Finlay to the centre of the ring and nails a sidewalk slam for a two count. Looking to stay on the attack, Batista takes Finlay up for a scoop slam… but Finlay lands behind him… and shoves ‘The Animal’ into the corner. Finlay quickly moves in, landing right hands and uppercuts, before he fires Batista across the ring… ‘Tista hits the turnbuckle hard… but then explodes out to hammer Finlay with a clothesline! Almost on instinct, Finlay rolls under the bottom rope to the floor, but ‘The Animal’ isn’t interested in allowing him to recover, quickly following outside to grab Finlay… and smash him face first off the steel steps! Finlay hits the floor and starts to crawl away, desperately trying to distance himself from Baitsta, but ‘Tista stays on him, yanking Finlay up, taking him up on his shoulders… then he drops him face first off the announce desk!

Finlay is reeling as he’s rolled back into the ring, where Batista gets a near fall, and now ‘The Animal’ takes Finlay up and down with a backbreaker for yet another two count. Again Finlay seeks respite in the corner, but Batista stays on him, landing more right hands, before he brings Finlay to the centre of the ring and sends him off the opposite side… but Batista lowers his head… and Finlay snaps it up with a kick to the chest… then levels ‘The Animal’ with a clothesline! Finally a chance for Finlay to go on the attack, and he starts with some stomps to the chest, then jumps up to land a double foot stomp. Grabbing the champion, Finlay drags Batista to the ropes, placing his throat across the middle rope and sitting in, choking ‘Tista. Finlay stands up then holds Batista open, landing forearms to the chest, before he knocks Batista down with a short-arm clothesline. Finlay then pushes himself up to the second rope and launches… but Batista gets a boot up! Finlay staggers and tries to shake it off, but here comes Batista, rocking Finlay with multiple clotheslines, before he fires Finlay off the ropes… into a swinging side slam! Finlay is planted, and now Batista hooks the leg… 1… 2… Finlay kicks out. Looking to stay in control, ‘Tista snaps off a few right hands to the face, then he goes for the Irish whip… but Finlay reverses… and The Little Bastard grabs Batista by the foot! ‘Tista puts on the breaks and angrily glares at the little guy, but here comes Finlay to take advantage of the distraction… but Batista sees him coming… and sends Finlay over the top rope and crashing to the floor with a back body drop! Finlay hits the floor with a thud, and now Batista heads back outside, looking to keep the momentum going. The champion drags Finlay back up, hooks him up for a suplex… but out of desperation, Finlay drills a few right hands to the midsection… then he drives Batista spine first into the barricade! Batista crumples in pain, but Finlay soon has him by the wrist… Irish whip… into the steel steps! ‘The Animal’ hits the steps knees first and goes flying over them, and as we head to a commercial, it appears that this match has now turned in Finlay’s favour.

*Commercial*


And we return with Finlay having Batista locked in an Indian deathlock, clearly targeting the knee, causing all kinds of damage and pain to the World Heavyweight Champion. Batista grimaces, trying to reach the ropes, but he’s just too far away. Every now and then, Finlay reaches forward and pulls back on Batista’s chin, further upping the pressure, but with the crowd now starting to make some noise, Batista tries to break free, pushing up with his hands, trying to force a break in the leg hold. Finlay sees this and release the leg, but he quickly slaps on a sleeper, desperate to keep Batista on the ground… but it’s no use as ‘The Animal’ powers back to his feet with Finlay still wrapped around his neck… until a snapmare finally sets him free! Limping heavily, Batista moves in and clubs Finlay with a few right hands… but Finlay quickly tackles Batista to the corner. Placing Batista’s leg on the second rope, Finlay rears back… and delivers a stiff kick to the back of the knee! Another two kicks land, until Finlay now grabs the boot and drags Batista to the centre of the ring… dragon screw! A painful takedown, and now Finlay goes for the cover… but only gets two. Finlay now lays in with stomps and kicks to the leg, before he places the foot on the bottom rope, jumps up… and drives his bodyweight down on the knee! Finlay repeats this another two times, before he then heads outside, grabs the leg and drags Batista to the corner. ‘Tista tries to fight it, but Finlay hangs on tight, rears back… and smashes the knee off the steel ringpost! Batista cried out in agony, but Finlay hangs on… to smash the knee again… and off the steel a third time!

Batista crawls away, writhing in pain, while the camera sees Finlay flash that toothy grin of his before he slides back into the ring for a near fall. A seated senton and a double foot stomp across the knee cause further damage, and then Finlay gets another near fall from a suplex. With the champion down and struggling to get back on his feet, Finlay now goes for a kneebar, looking to hyperextend the knee, trying to make Batista submit. ‘The Animal’ groans in pain, unable to reach the ropes, but he does his best to hang in there, fighting through the pain as he tries to escape. Eventually though ‘Tista seems to be fading, but the fans again rally behind him, making the presence felt, and slowly but surely, Batista crawls towards the bottom rope… until he finally reaches out and grabs it! Finlay takes ever second of the five count before he finally release, but clearly he’s not happy about it as he storms back to his feet and confronts the referee. Dragging Batista up, Finlay again aims a few kicks to the back of the knee, then he hooks Batista up for another suplex… but Batista blocks it. Again Finlay tries… again Batista blocks it… then he counters with a suplex of his own! Both men are down now, the referee giving them a count of ten, and at about six, Finlay is back on his feet first. Batista has to use the ropes to drag himself up, but when Finlay moves in, ‘Tista rocks him with right hands… then scoops Finlay up with a spinebuster… to drive him into the corner! Shoulders land to the gut, before Finlay is sent for the ride… hitting the turnbuckle hard and Batista follows in… right into a boot to the face! ‘Tista stumbles back, allowing Finlay to push himself onto the second rope… then he flies with a crossbody… Batista catches him… and then hits a massive running powerslam!

The impact of the move causes Batista to grab his knee in pain, but he soon crawls into the cover… 1… 2… Finlay kicks out! Annoyed, Batista is quickly back on his feet and back on the attack, driving Finlay to the corner with rights, then he fires him across… and follows in with a corner clothesline! Again Finlay is sent across the ring… and another corner clothesline! Finlay has rubber legs as he stumbles forward… into a sidewalk slam! Another cover… 1… 2… again Finlay kicks out! Sensing he can finish things off, Batista fires Finlay off the ropes… straight into a huge SPINEBUSTER! Finlay is down and Batista is on his feet, roaring to the crowd… but now he sees The Little Bastard has jumped up onto the apron! Batista points and shouts for him to drop down, but the little guy stands his ground, prompting the ref to move in and try get him away… but the distraction allows Finlay to pick up his shillelagh! With the ref’s back to the action, Finlay waits for Batista to turn… then SWINGS THE SHILLELAGH… NO! Batista ducks underneath… then Finlay turns… into another MASSIVE SPINEBUSTER! Batista bursts back to his feet, kicks the shillelagh aside… then sends the little guy flying with a big boot to the face! Turning back to Finlay, Batista yanks him up… then brings him up in the air… BATISTA BOMB… NO! Finlay desperately throws right hands to the face, allowing him to drop down to the canvas… and then he takes Batista up on his shoulders… and looks for the CELTIC CROSS… NO!! Batista drops down behind, shoving Finlay to corner… who strikes the turnbuckle chest first, then staggers back to the centre of the ring… kick to the midsection doubles him over… then he’s taken high into the air… BATISTA BOMB!! ‘The Animal’ emphatically plants Finlay, and now he hooks the leg to get the 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Batista @ 14.21

A great win for Batista as he goes about his business in confident fashion, no controversy, no run ins, just a solid win for the World Heavyweight Champion despite a gutsy effort from Finlay. Pushing himself back to his feet, Batista is handed his title and has his hand raised by the referee, before the champion heads to the corner and celebrates with the crowd, while we head to a commercial

*Commercial*


We return to see Finlay waling very gingerly along a backstage corridor, shaking his head, hands on his hips, in pain and annoyed at his latest defeat. With The Little Bastard by his side, the pair slowly make their way along the dark, dingy corridor, not a soul around them... but then, all of a sudden... the lights go! The whole area is plunged into total darkness, causing the little guy to gasp in fear...


Finlay: What the...? Hey! What's goin' on!?

Not a sound in response, but instead, through the darkness comes an eerie red glow, just bright enough to illuminate the pair but no more, the two looking like something out of a horror movie...

Finlay: What's goin' on!? Kane? Kane!?

Finlay feels about infront of him, fumbling in the darkness, but his hands come up empty...

Finlay: C'mon, Kane! I know it's you! C'mon, show yer'self!

And then just like that... the red glow disappears, and the lights return to normal. In a moment of comedy, we see that The Little Bastard has wrapped himself around Finlay's leg, hanging onto it as if his life depended on it, frozen by fear. Finlay is too busy looking around, searching for Kane, to notice at first, but he eventually looks down and sees the little guy shaking like a leaf...

Finlay: What are ye'...? Get off me!

Finlay shakes himself free, and now he takes another look around, making sure Kane isn't lurking in the shadows somewhere. After satisfying his curiosity, Finlay lets out an angry sigh, before he grabs The Little Bastard by the collar of his jacket...

Finlay: C'mon, let's go...

And the two make their exit. The camera stays focused on the area, searching for a sign as to what on earth was going on with the lights... but there's nothing there, and after a few seconds, we cut elsewhere.

And it's to Josh Matthews and the interview area we go...


Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time... he is one of the participants in the Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship at Judgment Day... 'The Rated-R Superstar'... Edge.

A ton of heat as Edge enters the frame, scowling at Matthews, clearly still pretty upset over the manner of his defeat last week...

Josh Matthews: Edge, later tonight, you, Batista and Mr. Kennedy will all sign your names to a contract for the Triple Threat Match at Judgment Day for Batista's World Heavyweight Championship. But Edge last week, you teamed with The Miz to take on Batista and Matt Hardy, with Mr. Kennedy serving as the Special Guest Referee, and near the end of the match, you hit Kennedy with the spear... and then suffered defeat at the hands of the Batista Bomb. Given all that's happened between the three of you these past few months, what's your mindset heading into Judgment Day?

Matthews turns the mic towards Edge, who shakes his head in annoyance...

Edge: What do you think my mindset is? I'm headin' into Judgment Day with one thing, and one thing only on my mind... to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.

With a smirk, Edge pauses, then carries on...

Edge: But like I keep saying, I should already be champion. I mean, I won the Royal Rumble. I earned my shot at Batista at WrestleMania. And then I had our World Heavyweight Champion down for a three count. Those are both facts, Josh, and not you, or anybody else can deny that. And y'know, it's kinda funny. Not funny ha ha, more funny in a laugh or you'll cry kinda way. It was an incompetent referee that cost me the title at WrestleMania, and then last week... the exact same thing happened all over again, only this time it was Kennedy wearin' the stripes.

Edge runs a hand through his hair, then strokes his chin as a sign of confusion...

Edge: And to be honest, I still don't understand why Teddy Long has put Kennedy in this match. I mean, what's he done that's so great? What... he beat Ric Flair? That's all you've gotta do to get a title shot around here?

A scoff and a shrug of the shoulders from Edge...

Edge: And then that match between the two of us a couple of weeks ago... he sure as hell didn't beat me. Not without Batista's help anyway. Face it, the guy just doesn't belong in this match. We're dealin' with the big boys now, and all Kennedy's doin' is actin' like a spoiled little kid who lost his lunch money.

Again Edge shakes his head, his frustration at the whole situation clear for everyone to see...

Edge: As for Batista? Yeah, nice speech last week, 'champ'. The time for talkin' is over, now it's time to fight? Well guess what, I'm not a fighter... I'm a wrestler. You wanna get into your little brawls with guys like Finlay? Fine, go ahead. After all, he loves to fight. But me? It's gonna take more that power and brute strength to beat me. And that's somethin' you just don't have, and I proved that at WrestleMania. And I'm gonna prove it again in two week's time at Judgment Day.

Heat from inside the arena, which Edge ignores...

Edge: I'm not happy about the fact that it's a Triple Threat Match, I think everybody knows that. But... I'm not gonna let that ruin my moment. I'm gonna finally get what's mine, I'm gonna finally become World Heavyweight Champion.

For a moment, Edge looks off into the distance, dreaming of the day he finally gets his hands on the gold, before he turns back to Josh and says...

Edge: And when I do... SmackDown will officially be... Rated-R.

More heat from the fans as Edge wraps things up and makes a quick exit, leaving Matthews behind to watch him go as we fade into 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*


And from the video we head back into the arena, to see that Chavo Guerrero and Vickie Guerrero are already in the ring, the pair looking towards the tron, both shaking their heads as they look on in disgust, clearly having just watched the same video that we all just saw. With her hands on her hips, Vickie shakes her head and scowls, while Chavo smirks and holds his hand up, motioning for his music to come to an end...

Chavo Guerrero: I see uh... I see they're still playin' that video. So I guess that means that you're still plannin' on comin' back, huh Rey? And I guess that also means you didn't listen to me when I warned you to stay away.

Chavo ruefully shakes his head...

Chavo Guerrero: And I guess that means you also didn't pay attention to what I did last week to Psicosis. The guy you've fought over 500 times, the guy who knows what you do in this ring better than anybody... and I beat him in less than five minutes.

Heat from the crowd, but Chavo simply shrugs, knowing the fans can't deny the facts of his victory last week...

Chavo Guerrero: But hey, if you don't wanna listen, Rey... that's fine with me. If you still wanna commit career suicide, if you still want me to shatter your knee so badly, you'll struggle to even walk, never mind wrestle again... then that's exactly what you're gonna get.

More heat...

Chavo Guerrero: Nine days’ time, Judgment Day, Rey Mysterio's career comes to an end, in his hometown, San Diego, California. Infront of all his family and friends, I'm gonna write the wrongs, I'm gonna restore the legacy of Los Guerreros, and I'm gonna do it by causin' Rey as much pain and embarrassment as possible.

Turning to Vickie, Chavo and she share a laugh together, before Chavo turns back to the fans...

Chavo Guerrero: And you know, that's why this look back at Rey's career is so important. You people shouldn't be booing me for doin' this, you people should be thanking me.

A comment which, ironically, draws more boos...

Chavo Guerrero: In nine days’ time, Rey Mysterio is gonna be permanently consigned to the history books, and videos like that, that's all you'll have left. Dean Malenko, Psicosis, my opponent tonight, when Rey fades into obscurity... so do they. But Los Guerreros... ma familia... we'll live on in lucha libre folklore... forever.

Soaking in that last remark, Chavo closes his eyes and nods for a second, before he now looks up the aisle at the entrance way...

Chavo Guerrero: So right now, I wanna bring out a guy who for many years, was Rey Mysterio's tag team partner. Back in WCW, these two had many battles for the Cruiserweight Championship, then they teamed up and became WCW Tag Team Champions. Together they were known as... The Filthy Animals.

A small pop from the few fans in audience who remember said tag team...

Chavo Guerrero: So please welcome... Billy Kidman.

*YOU CAN RUN…*


Much like last week, it’s not a great response as Billy Kidman steps into the arena, but it certainly grows louder than the response Psicosis got as Kidman smiles and plays up to the crowd, slapping hands with the ringside fans and showing an excitement and enthusiasm for being here tonight…


Michael Cole: Well it’s certainly great to see Billy Kidman back here on Friday Night SmackDown! Tazz, you and I called many matches while Kidman wrestled here on the blue brand, and he had a lot of success in both singles and tag team action.

Tazz: No doubt about that, Cole. If I remember right, Kidman’s a former seven time Cruiserweight Champion, he won tag titles in WCW, he won another right here on SmackDown with Paul London, the guy’s held plenty of gold in his career. And for my money, one of the most excitin’ guys to ever step into a ring.

John Bradshaw Layfield: They called ‘im ‘The Master of the Shooting Star Press’, but I remember this guy losin’ his nerve after he hit that move on a certain Chavo Guerrero and causin’ him a concussion. Billy Kidman might have a history with Rey Mysterio, but he’s got one with Chavo too, and I think that might add a little somethin’ extra to this one. Last week he beat a guy who’s faced Rey more times than anybody, and this week he’s gonna embarrass a guy who Rey teamed with. I love it!

As he hits the ring, Kidman climbs to the second rope and salutes the crowd, before he jumps back down and comes face to face with Chavo. Chavo nods a welcome in Kidman’s direction, one which a wary Kidman responds to, before Chavo brings the mic back up to his mouth…

Chavo Guerrero: Billy, allow me to welcome you back to Friday Night SmackDown. Like I just told everybody here, you and Rey Mysterio, you two teamed together back in WCW under the name The Filthy Animals, and you guys had a lot of success. I mean, Rey was a former Cruiserweight Champion, you were a former Cruiserweight Champion, it was only a matter of time before you’re high flyin’ style led you to become Tag Team Champions, right?

Again Kidman nods...

Chavo Guerrero: Infact, you and Rey, you were champions together when WCW finally closed its doors. That's a night you, me, Rey, we all remember that night so well. I dunno about you, Billy, but I know that night, I was very nervous about my future in this business. But thankfully, you and me, our contracts were brought over to the WWE, and we kept our jobs. But uh... that's not what happened to Rey, was it?

Chavo rubs his jaw tentatively...

Chavo Guerrero: I mean, me and you, we both came to the WWE, while Rey… he sat at home and saw out his fat WCW contract. He got paid more for sittin’ at home and doin’ nothin’ that you and me made bustin’ our asses every night. And then when he finally did sign a WWE contract… he was promoted as the star of the cruiserweight division.

Shaking his head ruefully, Chavo pauses, while Kidman rolls his eyes in disdain...

Chavo Guerrero: I dunno about you, Billy, but me? I was pretty angry about the fact that Rey could just walk in here… and straight away, he got opportunities that me and you never got.

Realising what Chavo's trying to do, Kidman turns away and laughs for a brief moment, before he turns back towards Chavo...

Chavo Guerrero: And it wasn't long until Rey was once again tryin' to make a name for myself of my family's legacy. When he first got here, he came after me, then he tried to turn my Uncle Eddie against me. Hell, he even had the nerve to beat my father, Chavo Guerrero Sr., for the Cruiserweight Title! Just like he always did, he tried to drive a wedge between my family, and that's why this Sunday... I'm gonna gain revenge for all the Guerrero family.

Heat, which Chavo ignores, but Kidman quickly motions for the mic to be passed his way...

Billy Kidman: Well, Chavo... that's not really how I remember it. I mean, yeah, Rey joined the WWE about a year after us, and yeah, he was promoted as a star. But that's because.. well, the guy's one helluva wrestler.

A strong pop as Chavo rolls his eyes...

Billy Kidman: And if anybody was gonna drive a wedge between the Guerrero Family... it was you, Chavo.

Both Chavo and Vickie raise their eyebrows, surprised by that last remark...

Billy Kidman: You got so jealous of Eddie, you made your Dad choose between his brother and his son. You got some serious issues, Chavo, and it hurts me to see a guy I used to call a friend act this way.

Annoyed, Chavo shouts “I'm not jealous!”, before he yells at the crowd to be quiet...

Billy Kidman: I mean... you're obsessed! Rey and Eddie... they were friends... and you hated that! You couldn't stand it!

Chavo shakes his head in defiance, while Kidman's eyes drop as he looks at Guerrero with regret...

Billy Kidman: I'm sorry Chavo, I came here tonight hopin' I could try talk some sense into ya', but... I don't think anythin' I say or do is gonna make any difference. You've lost it, man. I'm sorry, I can't do this anymore...

With a sad, reluctant look on his face, Kidman presses the mic against Chavo's chest and turns to leave, making it as far as the ropes... but just before he can step through them... Chavo hammers Kidman from behind! Kidman hits the canvas and Chavo lays in with a flurry of stomps to the chest, before he grabs the referee by the shirt and screams “Ring the bell!” right in his face... and reluctantly, the referee calls for the bell, and this match is underway.

Match 2:
Chavo Guerrero
w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Billy Kidman

And quickly Chavo yanks Kidman into the corner, laying in with more stomps to the body, before he starts landing vicious right hands to the forehead. A real aggressive streak on display from Chavo as he now shoves Kidman against the ropes, drilling him with knees to the midsection, before going for an Irish whip off the ropes… but Kidman ducks underneath a clothesline and keeps on running… flying crossbody! Kidman finally scores some offence, and he looks to press this home, smacking forearms into Chavo’s face in the corner, before firing Chavo to the opposite corner and following in… corner splash… no! Chavo avoids it, Kidman hits the turnbuckle and stumbles out, only for Chavo to grab him… and launch Kidman shoulder first into the ringpost… the momentum causing Kidman to fall all the way to the floor below! The vicious streak of Chavo is on display again as he targets the left shoulder with stomps, then sends Kidman for the ride… shoulder first into the steel steps! Kidman writhes on the floor in pain, but Guerrero wastes no time in rolling him back into the ring, unloading with uppercuts against the ropes, before he places Kidman’s neck across the middle rope and applies pressure to the back of the head, choking Kidman. The ref backs Chavo away, and from his knees, Kidman desperately throws rights to the midsection, trying to fight back. Chavo quickly drills a knee to the head, then he goes for an Irish whip… and takes Kidman up and down with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker!

There’s no cover from Chavo, instead he revels in the jeers of the crowd as he makes it clear he’s out to hurt Kidman, not just beat him. Again Chavo chokes Kidman on the ropes, before he hooks Kidman up… suplex… but Chavo hangs on, gets back on his feet… second suplex… again Chavo hangs on, back on his feet… and looks to complete the THREE AMIGOS… NO! This time Kidman lands on his feet behind Chavo… and goes for the backslide… 1… 2… Chavo kicks out, and both men burst to their feet… Kidman ducks a clothesline and comes off the ropes… flying forearm! Now Kidman finally gets a chance to go on the attack, landing forearms to the side of the head, then he goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… into a back body drop! Chavo stumbles back up… into a sitout scoop slam! Kidman stays on for the cover… 1… 2… Chavo rolls a shoulder! With Chavo down, Kidman now sense that he has a chance at victory, and he climbs to the top rope, steadying himself… but before he can go for the SHOOTING STAR PRESS… Chavo nips back up and smacks Kidman with a right hand… crotching him on the top turnbuckle! Chavo quickly climbs up top… and sends Kidman flying with a FRANKENSTEINER! Kidman crashes to the mat, and now Chavo wastes no time in yanking him up… and taking Kidman up and down with the GORY BOMB! It’s all over, but of course, Guerrero isn’t satisfied yet, rolling Kidman over, leaving him in perfect position as Chavo heads upstairs… then flies… FROG SPLASH!! Chavo gets all of it, and he doesn’t even bother to hook a leg to get the 1… 2… 3.

Winner: Chavo Guerrero @ 03.27

A pretty sickening display, but a dominant win nonetheless for Chavo. Back on his feet, Chavo demands that his hand is raised by the referee, an act which draws even more boos from the crowd. As Vickie steps through the ropes, she congratulates her nephew, but Chavo quickly tells Vickie to grab him a microphone...


Chavo Guerrero: REY! Rey, I want you to take a look at this piece of crap right here!

Standing over Kidman, Chavo looks down upon him with a smirk...

Chavo Guerrero: You see this, Rey? Huh? You see what I've done to your former tag team partner? I left him layin' like the rat that he is!

Heat from the crowd, but Chavo talks over it as he yells down the hard camera...

Chavo Guerrero: And that's exactly what I'm gonna do to you at Judgment Day!

More heat, but Chavo looks as if he's said enough... until an idea pops into his head...

Chavo Guerrero: Infact... Vickie... let's show all these people exactly what's gonna happen to Rey...

Chavo tosses the mic towards Vickie, and then he places a foot on the motionless Kidman's chest, before he uses his fingers to count to ten as Vickie shouts...

Vickie Guerrero: Uno... Dos... Tres... Cuatro... Cinco... Seis... Siete... Ocho... Nueve... DIEZ!

It's relentless heat from the crowd, but Chavo and Vickie don't care, simply smiling through it. Still stood with one foot on Kidman's chest, Chavo opens his hands and soaks in the jeers, before he stares at the hard camera and yells...

“You're history Rey! History!”

And it's to the sound of boos that we head for a commercial.

*Commercial*


We return to see a smiling Kristal Marshall, stood outside an office door, which has a nameplate on it that reads “SmackDown General Manager”...


Kristal Marshall: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to SmackDown. I'm standing outside the office of SmackDown General Manager, Teddy Long, and I'm going to try and grab a word with him.

Kristal knocks on the door and pushes it open, and when she enters the room, we see Teddy Long stood talking to someone. As the camera focuses, we see that it’s Doug Williams, the British competitor who faced Randy Orton on Raw a few weeks ago during the WWE’s tour of the United Kingdom. Williams and Teddy are in conversation, sharing a smile about both something, until both turn and see the surprised Kristal standing in the doorway…

Kristal Marshall: Oh! Oh, Mr. Long, I’m sorry, you’ve got company. I can come back at another time, or-

Teddy Long: Nah, nah, c’mon right in Kristal! While you’re here I want’cha to meet somebody.

Waving her cameraman forward, Kristal approaches the two men…

Teddy Long: Kristal, I wanna welcome you to the newest member of the SmackDown roster, Doug Williams.

There’s a small pop from inside the arena as Doug and Kristal exchange pleasantries…

Teddy Long: After I saw Doug’s performance on Raw a few weeks ago, I thought I would try see if I could bring ‘im in. And what with all the confusion goin’ on over on Raw just now, I managed to pull it off.

Doug and Teddy share a smile...

Kristal Marshall: Oh, great! Uh… Doug, do you any words for us on your first night with SmackDown?

Surprised, Williams rubs his jaw for a few seconds, pausing to find the right words...

Doug Williams: Uh, well… you’ve caught me a little off guard here. All I can say is that I can't wait to get myself in the ring and compete with some of the talent here on SmackDown. It's a great roster, and I'm excited to be a part of it.

Pop from inside the arena...

Teddy Long: Alright. Well, hey, listen Doug, I promised my girl Kristal here an interview, so we’re gonna have to cut this short. But welcome aboard, it’s great to have ya’ here on Friday nights!

Understanding completely, Williams picks up a folder of papers from off Teddy's desk, before he offers Teddy his hand...

Doug Williams: Thanks for the opportunity, Teddy. I won’t let you down.

Teddy Long: I know you won’t, playa.

And with a shake of the hand, Williams heads for the door, flashing a quick smile at Kristal as their paths cross. Teddy watches Williams leave, nodding to himself, proud of his latest acquisition, before he snaps back into things and turns towards Kristal…

Teddy Long: Now, Kristal. You wanted to talk to me about somethin’?

Kristal Marshall: Well Teddy, it’s been one month now since you returned from your medical suspension and regained control of Friday Night SmackDown. And that means three things. It’s been one month since The Undertaker vanished, it’s been one month since you indefinitely suspended Umaga for his actions… and it’s been one month since Chris Benoit was injured by Edge. Do you have any comment or update on any of those situation?

Pausing, Teddy let's out a sigh...

Teddy Long: Well, let’s see… The Undertaker? I really don’t have anythin’ to add to that. I mean, you know how it is wit’ him, he does his own thing. He vanished, and nobody’s seen or heard from ‘im since. I’m sure he’ll be back at some point, but when that might be… I just don’t know.

Teddy shakes his head, annoyed about the next subject matter...

Teddy Long: As for Umaga, I’m still tryin’ to figure out what kinda punishment to give him and that handler of his, Estrada. I’ve been real busy this month tryin’ to clear up the mess Jonathan Coachman left behind to deal with those two playas right now. Maybe after Judgment Day I’ll sit down and see what I can come up with. And Chris Benoit…

A loud pop from inside the arena cuts Teddy off, something the G.M. acknowledges with a nod and a smile…

Teddy Long: Chris Benoit… well, we all know how passionately Chris spoke about wantin’ one more run at the title before hangin’ it up this summer. And I’m gonna help him in any way I can to make sure that happens.

Kristal looks to bring the mic back towards her, only for Teddy to move to continue talking...

Teddy Long: And lemme give ya’ a lil’ exclusive right here, Kristal. I can reveal that at some point tonight, somebody big is gonna make his return from injury… just in time to insert themselves into a match at Judgment Day.

A massive cheer from inside the arena, the fans clearly assuming Teddy means that Chris Benoit is on his way back tonight, something that Kristal feels as well...

Kristal Marshall: Wow, really? I mean… it’s Chris Benoit, right? Benoit’s comin’ back tonight and you’re gonna put him in the World Heavyweight Championship Match at Judgment Day, right!?

Laughing, Teddy holds out his hands, calling for calm...

Teddy Long: Whoa, whoa, whoa… hold on a second there. Now, I never said that. Listen, it’s just like I said… somebody big is comin’ back tonight. And I’m sure you and everybody else are gonna find out soon enough.

Oh Teddy, you tease. Disappointed that she couldn’t get the full scoop, Kristal looks down on the ground and ponders, saying to herself over and over again “Somebody big?”, which causes Teddy to chuckle, and it’s on the confused face of our interviewer that we cut away.

And it’s to the communal locker room we go, where we see Finlay sat on a chair, untying the laces of his boots, while nearby, The Little Bastard has a towel wrapped around his waist and is drying his hair with a hand towel, having clearly just stepped out of the shower. As the little guy dries off and Finlay removes his boots, a shaddow is cast over the pair, with Finlay looking up and the camera panning to reveal... that The Full Blooded Italians have entered the room. With Santino Marella stood upfront alongside Trinity, Big Vito stands behind, constantly looking over his shoulder, while Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke scout the room, looking inside lockers and behind clothes for something...


Finlay: What in the...? What the hell are you eijits playin' at? She's not even allowed in here! Get the hell out!

Santino and Trinity turn and look at each other, but Santino quickly shakes it off and presses on with business...

Santino Marella: Ah, Mr. Finlay, I can-ah see you are-ah stressed. 'Dis is of course-ah natural given your recent... problem.

Standing up from his chair, Finlay steps forward to get in Santino's face...

Finlay: What are ye' talkin' about? What problem?

Santino Marella: Your-ah problem with Kane. But I, 'de great Santino Marella, can-ah help you with 'dis.

Looking Santino, and then Vito up and down, Finlay flashes that toothy smirk of his, shaking his head in disbelief...

Finlay: I don't want... or need your help.

Turning his back on them, Finlay moves to return to his seat, but Santino steps forward and grabs Finlay by the arm, something which draws a glare from Finlay...

Santino Marella: Mr. Finlay, please-ah... hear me out. You are of course-ah scared of Kane, there is no shame in that. But 'De F.B.I., we can offer you... protection... from Kane. For a small fee, of course.

Exhaling loudly from his nostrils, Finlay rubs his jaw, stifling a laugh, but at the same, considering things with a sense of intrigue...

Finlay: You five... are gonna protect me... from Kane?

Santino Marella: Si.

Finlay: And this small fee... how much are we talkin'?

Big Vito leans forward, whispering in Santino's ear...

Santino Marella; We will-ah protect you for-

All of a sudden, the lights go out just like before, and once again we're plunged into darkness except for that strange red glow. Screams and shrieks are heard, a loud commotion breaking out, people running around like crazy in the darkness... and then just like that... the lights come back. Finlay of course has stood his ground, looking around, shillelagh in his hand, ready for an attack... but there's no sign of anybody. Indeed, it looks as if Finlay is alone... until he turns and looks in the far away corner of the locker room... where we see the entire membership of The F.B.I., and of course The Little Bastard, all huddled in the corner, holding each other dear, shaking in fear. There's a few laughs from inside the arena, but Finlay fails to see the funny side, as he cracks his shillelagh of the chair he was sat on then storms out the room, the camera hearing him shout...

Finlay: Some bloody protection!

Another set of laughs, with the camera looking back on the huddled mass of bodies in the corner, everyone still shaking with fear, with Santino too scared to even open his eyes, and it's on that ridiculous sight that we head back into the arena.

And hear...

”OH YEAH!”

*LIVE FOR THE MOMENT...*


A great cheer as the fans rise for the arrival of Matt Hardy, the United States Champion bursting into the arena, firing up the crowd. Hardy encourages the crowd to up the volume, before he flashes the “V1” hand signal and then heads for the ring...


Michael Cole: Wow, what a statement from Teddy Long. Somebody is making a return to Friday Night SmackDown tonight, and it looks like me and Kristal Marshall were on the same page. Could it be Chris Benoit?

Tazz: Naw, I mean... naw. Really? You think so?

Michael Cole: I think there's a chance!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Will you quit talkin' about Chris Benoit? Honestly, you sound as stupid as that bimbo with the microphone. Benoit's done, his career is over, just forget about him. C'mon, we've got a King of the Ring qualifier here, how 'bout we act professional and do our jobs here, huh?

Michael Cole: Nothin' wrong with a little speculation, partner. But you're right, Matt Hardy is in action right now in a King of the Ring qualifier with William Regal. These two fought on the first SmackDown after WrestleMania, and it was a real hard hittin' matchup.

Tazz: Damn right it was. And now, with the stakes so much more higher given there's a chance to advance in the King of the Ring, I'm expectin' more of the same right here.

*VILLIAN...*


And now a pretty decent level of heat as The Bluebloods make their entrance, with the man in action tonight, William Regal leading the way, while the menacing figures of Paul Burchill and Dave Taylor follow him down the aisle...


Michael Cole: As we said, it was a very hard hittin’ matchup the last time these two met, and that’s exactly the kinda style Regal excels at. A stiff, crafty veteran, Regal made his first King of the Ring appearance back in 2002, and of course last year, he was ‘knighted’ by King Booker after Booker’s victory, spending most of 2006 as a member of King Booker’s Court.

Tazz: Yeah and don’t let that accent or that stiff upper lip fool ya’. This guy is as tough as they come, a real legit fighter outta the streets of England, and he’s got a real shot at winnin’ this whole tournament.

John Bradshaw Layfield: And what an honour that would be. An English king, a real sense of class, a true vision of royalty. Just imagine a SmackDown ruled by King Regal, what a glorious sight that would be! Better than anythin’ this idiot Hardy could come up with…

Match 3: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
United States Champion Matt Hardy vs. William Regal w/ Dave Taylor and Paul Burchill

Wary of the presence of Burchill and Taylor at ringside, Hardy's eyes dart around the ringside area, meaning he spots when Burchill nips up onto the apron... but as Hardy chases him away, it allows Regal to club him from behind to get the match underway. An early advantage for Regal as he clubs Matt with stiff forearms to the back of the head, then lays in with knees to the face, before he shoves Hardy to the ropes. Shots to the body follow, before Regal sends Hardy across the ring... but Hardy avoids the clothesline with a baseball slide, nips back up... and takes Regal down with an inverted DDT! First cover of the match... Regal kicks out at two. Now it's Hardy who lands right hands to the face, before he fires Regal hard to the corner... and Regal staggers forward... into a big back body drop! Regal again staggers to his feet by the ropes... and Hardy then clotheslines him over the top rope to the outside! Regal hits the floor with a thud, with Burchill and Taylor quickly over to check on him, and with the numbers game on the floor not in his favour, Hardy waits and calls for Regal to get back in the ring. Eventually Regal is back on his feet, kicking the steel steps in annoyance, before he slowly re-enters the ring and calls for a test of strength from Matt. Both men offer up their hands... only for Regal to drill Hardy with a knee to the midsection! Once again Regal smacks his forearms repeatedly of the back of Matt's head, then he goes to work with those trademark uppercuts, before he hooks Hardy up for a suplex... but Hardy lands on his feet and shoves Regal into the ropes... into a hiptoss! Regal is back up... another hiptoss, and now Hardy comes off the ropes... snap legdrop! Another cover... another kick out at two by Regal.

Hardy now yanks Regal to his feet, landing a few forearms to the jaw, before Regal is sent to the corner and Matt follows in… corner clothesline… and Hardy hangs on… to nail the bulldog! Instead of going for the cover, Hardy heads to the corner, where he pushes himself onto the second rope and waits for Regal to make it back to his knees… elbow drop to the back of the head! And this time Hardy hooks the leg… 1… 2… Regal kicks out. Looking to stay in control, Hardy calls for Regal to rise, then he hooks him up… looking for the SIDE EFFECT… NO! Regal desperately throws elbows to the side of the head, breaking the hold… and then he takes Hardy down with a hard clothesline. A chance for Regal to regain control, and he starts by jamming his boot into Hardy’s throat in the corner, before he again tags Matt with those uppercuts. Regal then fires Hardy across the ring… but Hardy reverses and follows in… only for Regal to elevate him over the top rope… but Hardy lands on the apron! Hardy fires rights to the face, backing Regal away… only for Burchill to yank Matt off the apron, causing him to smash face first off the canvas! The ref never saw it, and now Hardy is writhing on the floor in pain, with Regal quick to head outside and take advantage. Kicks to the gut cause Hardy to slump against the barricade, and he’s in bad shape as Regal backs away, lines him up… and races in… KNEE TO THE SKULL... NO! Hardy avoids it… and Regal smacks off the barricade! Regal limps in pain, and now Hardy fights back to his feet, knocking Regal down with a right, then he fights his way free, throwing wild elbows and punches to Burchill and Taylor who were loitering nearby. With all three of The Bluebloods shaking away the cobwebs, Hardy nips up onto the apron, climbs to the top rope… steadies himself… then he flies… MOONSAULT… TAKES OUT ALL THREE! An incredible risk from Hardy as he comes off the top rope with a moonsault to the floor, and as we go to a commercial, all four men are down, although Hardy is already dragging himself back to his feet.

*Commercial*


But when we return, Hardy is down and trapped in a seated surfboard, and we see footage from during the commercial that shows once both men made it back into the ring, Hardy looked to come off the ropes, only for Dave Taylor to trip him up, allowing Regal to gain the upperhand. Regal has the hold locked in tight, stretching Hardy’s body, with Matt struggling to find a way to break free. Regal now falls onto his back, lifting Hardy skyward, increasing the pressure, with Hardy repeatedly saying “No!” when asked If he wants to submit. Regal continues to apply the pressure, but with the crowd urging Hardy to escape, Matt tries to shake himself free… and eventually he manages to roll all the way over and break the hold! Both men back on their feet quickly, with Matt tagging right hands… until a knee to the midsection stops the momentum! Regal quickly hooks Matt up… for a double underhook suplex! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… Hardy kicks out! Annoyed, Regal quickly yanks Matt up then tosses him through the ropes, before he then grabs the attention of the ref. This allows Burchill and Taylor to move in, laying into Matt with a flurry of stomps, before they yank the US Champion up… and ram him shoulder first off the ringpost! Hardy cries out in pain, but Burchill rolls him back into the ring and Regal goes for the cover… another kickout at two. Now Regal looks to target the left arm of Hardy, aiming boots to it, then dropping knees across it, before he scoops Matt up and takes him down with a shoulderbreaker for another two count. Regal continues to try and wear Hardy down with high impact moves, nailing a German suplex and then a single arm DDT, both for near falls, before he ends a Hardy rally with a falling neckbreaker.

Regal is firmly in control now, and he again tags Matt with uppercuts against the turnbuckle, before going for the Irish whip across… but when Regal follows in… he runs right into a boot to the face! Regal stumbles back, but charges again… another boot to the face! Now Hardy fights from the corner, tagging Regal with right hands, before he goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… but Regal hangs on, twists the arm… then takes Hardy down with the REGAL CUTTER! It could be over… 1… 2… Hardy rolls a shoulder! Regal groans in frustration, adamant it was three, but he’s told it was just two as Hardy survives. Realising he has to wear Hardy down some more, Regal goes back to work on the arm, driving the point of his elbow into the top of Hardy’s shoulder, then he grabs the arm and drops down into a hammerlock. Hardy cries out in pain as Regal wrenches on the arm, trying to make Hardy submit, but Matt fights it, hanging in there, not giving in to the pain. Regal shouts “Tap! Hurry up and bloody tap!”, but time and time again Matt shouts “No!” when asked the question by the ref. The crowd again do their best to lift Hardy, encouraging him, and eventually Hardy is able to make a move, struggling back to his feet, drilling right hands to the face in an effort to break free… only for Regal to smack another uppercut to the jaw! Hardy stumbles back, but Regal grabs the wrist and looks for the Irish whip off the ropes… but Hardy hangs on… and counters with the SIDE EFFECT!

Both men are down and facing the ref’s count, but finally there’s a way for Matt to get back into the match. At the count of seven, both men make it back up, with Hardy beating Regal to the punch, landing three rights in a row, backing Regal to the ropes, before he fires him off the opposite side… no, Regal reverses… only for Hardy to nail a flying forearm! Hardy bursts back to his feet, knocking Regal down with a clothesline… and a second clothesline puts Regal down once more. Kicks drive Regal to the corner, where he’s sent to across the ring… and Matt follows in with a clothesline… and hangs on for the bulldog! Hardy hooks the leg… 1… 2… Regal kicks out! Looking to build momentum, Hardy plants Regal with a scoop slam, before he climbs to the second rope… FLYING LEGDROP connects! Another pinfall… 1… 2… this time Regal rolls a shoulder! Sensing the end could be near, Matt is back on his feet, calling for Regal to rise… but once again, Paul Burchill is up on the apron! Hardy sees him, and points and yells for Burchill to get down… but this distraction allows Regal to charge… but this time Hardy sidesteps it… and Regal crashes into Burchill… sending him flying to the floor! Regal stumbles back to the centre of the ring… kick… TWIST OF FATE… NO! Regal twists through, drills Hardy with a knee to the gut to double him over, then Regal comes off the ropes… KNEE TREMBLER! Regal crushes Hardy’s skull, and now he rolls him over and hooks the leg… 1… 2… Hardy somehow rolls a shoulder! Regal can’t believe it, furious that somehow, Hardy rolled a shoulder before the three count! Storming back to his feet, Regal gets right in the referee’s face, and soon Taylor is on the apron to protest as well. As the ref tries to get Taylor to drop back down, he’s got his back to the ring… which allows Regal to reach into his tights and bring out a pair of BRASS KNUCKS! Regal casually slips them on, and now he waits for Hardy to rise… before making is move… POWER OF THE PUNCH… NO! Hardy ducks underneath… kick… TWIST OF FATE!! Hardy gets all of it, the commotion enough to cause the referee to turn around just as Hardy hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Matt Hardy @ 13.38

Hardy gets the win in what was a highly competitive match, once again impressing all with his spirit and resilience. Hardy rolls free of Regal and then makes it back to his knees, before he’s handed his title by the referee. Hardy is back on his feet, his hand raised in the air, accepting the cheers of the crowd… before suddenly the cheers turn to commotion… as The Miz has stormed the ring…a and he clobbers Hardy from behind! Miz knocks Hardy down to the mat, and he lays in with stomp after stomp, Michelle McCool alongside him, encouraging Miz to lay in with the boots, before Miz now drops down and scoops up the United States Championship. Calling for Hardy to rise, Miz stands ready, poised to strike… and when Hardy stumbles up… MIZ CRACKS THE UNITED STATES TITLE OFF HARDY’S SKULL!!

All kinds of heat breaks out as Miz damn near takes Matt’s head off with his own title, and now Miz stands over Hardy, title high in the air, revelling in the jeers of the crowd, before he’s handed a mic by McCool…


The Miz: Really, Matt? Really? NINE days from Judgment Day, NINE days ‘til that United States Title is mine… and you’re worryin’ about the King of the Ring?

Looking towards McCool, the pair shake their heads…

The Miz: REALLY? You’ve battled all your career to win a title like that, and now you’re this close to losin’ it… you’re not even payin’ me your undivided attention?

Miz now crouches down, grabbing Hardy by the jaw, straightening his head…

The Miz: Do I have your attention now, Matt? Huh? How ‘bout all you people? Huh? Have I got your attention now?

Reaching down, Miz gives Hardy a slap across the face, but it does little to rile Hardy from his unconsciousness…

The Miz: When are you gonna wake up and realise Matt that I’m not just a reality star… I’m the guy that’s gonna take that title away from you? And you know why I’m gonna take that title away? ‘Cause I’m The Miz…

Miz now stands triumphant and yells…

The Miz: And I’m… AWE… SOME!!

And now Miz scoops up the United States Championship from off the mat, staring down at it for a few seconds, before he holds it high above his head and says…

The Miz: And I’m the next… United States Champion.

*REALITY…*


A chilling statement from Miz, fully emphasising just how serious a threat he is to Matt Hardy and the United States Championship. Lingering in that pose for a few more seconds, Miz finally brings the title down from above his head and arrogantly drops it across Hardy’s chest, before he and McCool make their exit, leaving the referee to try and bring Hardy back to life as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We're back, and for some reason we hear the snap of a camera shutter going off, and a photographer calls out instructions. As the camera pans, we see that we're in the presence of a photo shoot featuring the WWE Tag Team Champions, The Hooligans. Stood infront of a backdrop, the trio of Paul London, Brian Kendrick and Ashley Massaro pose it up, although in-between snaps we see a glimpse of their true feelings about the occasion. While Kendrick seems to be revelling in the attention he's being paid, and Ashley seems to be enjoying it, in-between the fake smiles we see that Paul London is clearly feeling uncomfortable. As another round of snaps is taken, the photographer then calls for makeup, which draws a young lady into the frame, brush in hand, applying a dab of blusher to Ashley's face, giving everybody a chance to relax for a split second...


Brian Kendrick: So… what d’ya think, Paul? This whole photo shoot stuff’s pretty cool, huh?

Full of enthusiasm, Kendrick looks around the set in awe, while London nervously rubs the back of his neck...

Paul London: Uh, yeah… I guess. But, I mean, what’s this all about? Why are we in a photo shoot? I mean, we’ve never been in one before, and I don’t see-

Brian Kendrick: Exactly! We’ve never been in one before! The Hooligans, Brian Kendrick and Paul London, the WWE Tag Team Champions… and we’ve never even had a photo shoot before! I mean, we’ve never been on the front cover or the centrefold of WWE magazine, not even an article on wwe.com!

Two more women now approach the scene, handing London and Kendrick new shirts to put on, with both men continuing their conversation as they go through a wardrobe change...

Brian Kendrick: And do you know what’s comin’ up in nine days’ time?

Paul London: Yeah… Judgment Day.

Brian Kendrick: Uh huh. And you know what happened at Judgment Day last year, right?

Wardrobe change complete, the two girls look to make their exit, but as the one who was attending to Kendrick turns to leave, Brian slips her a card and makes the motion of a telephone beside his ear, mouthing “Call me...” as she goes...

Paul London: Yeah. We won these titles.

Brian Kendrick: Exactly! Think about it, a whole year as WWE Tag Team Champions, and not one photo shoot! I mean c’mon, guys like Batista get this kinda thing happenin’ to ‘em all the time. Just 'cause he's the champion, while we're the guys out there bustin' our asses to entertain the fans. Why isn’t there more attention bein’ paid to guys like us?

Unable to answer, London simply shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders...

Brian Kendrick: That’s why I scored us this feature with WWE Magazine. I want them to highlight and recognise out achievements, just like we deserve.

Having finished with Ashley, the makeup artist now moves onto Kendrick, which immediately draws Kendrick’s attention, the two locking eyes together, with Kendrick giving the girl a quick wink and a smile, causing her to giggle and blush…

Paul London: Yeah, but… do we really need all this? I mean, isn’t bein’ champions and holding these titles recognition enough?

Getting annoyed now, Kendrick turns and glares at London...

Brian Kendrick: No, Paul… it’s not. We deserve better than we’ve been gettin’. And I’m gonna make sure it happens for us. I mean you're havin' fun, right Ashley?

Kendrick turns back towards the makeup artist as she applies the finishing touches...

Ashley Massaro: Oh, yeah. I love photo shoots.

Brian Kendrick: Y'see. And Ashley and the rest of the divas get to do this kinda thing all the time. I mean come on, the eye candy gettin' more photo ops than the tag champs? I don't think so, right Paul?

Kendrick laughs to himself, clearly finding that situation funny, but it's no joke for Ashley who looks shocked, almost in disbelief at what Kendrick just said...

Ashley Massaro; Excuse me? Eye candy?

???: More like dumb bimbo.

A voice is heard off camera, and the camera quickly reveals it was the words of Layla... who is accompanied by The New Breed. Looking as smug as always, Layla can't help but scoff as she looks Ashley up and down, with Elijah Burke shaking his head in embarrassment for the champs, while Monty Brown stares as serious and intimidating as always...

Layla: I mean honestly, who'd want to see someone like you in a photo shoot? If they put you on the cover it'll probably be the worst selling issue of WWE Magazine in history.

Ashley glares at Layla and looks to take a step forward, only for London to put an arm across her chest, keeping Ashley in place...

Elijah Burke: And what are you two meant to be doin'? Modellin'? Is this what you're gonna fall back on after we beat you for those titles?

Burke and Layla share a laugh...

Elijah Burke; You already two damn small to be wrestlers, you might as well find out you're too damn ugly to be models.

Annoyed, London and Kendrick both shake their heads and grit their teeth, but Kendrick is soon being eyed up and down by Layla, who stares at Brian with a glint in her eye...

Layla: Oh, I don't know Elijah. I think Brian here could grace the cover of any magazine he wanted to.

Proud of the compliment, Kendrick turns towards London and Ashley and nods in approval, with Ashley rolling her eyes...

Paul London: Look cut the crap. What are you guys doin' here? What do you want?

With Layla and Kendrick both engaged with each other, it's left to Burke to nonchalantly shrug his shoulders and protest his innocence...

Elijah Burke: Nothin' man, nothin'. We just wanted to make sure you boys were doin' alright. I mean, we saw that match you had last week. Well... I did. Monty here got so damn bored he fell asleep half way through.

Again Burke laughs, this time Burke joining him with a smirk...

Elijah Burke: But I was watchin' closely... and you two... you ain't exactly on the same page now, are ya'? I mean, you ain't exactly all that much of a team anymore. And we don't want that. We don't want any excuses, we don't want any cheap outs. We want you two united as one... so we can break you in half at Judgment Day.

Hearing this, Kendrick breaks his gaze with Layla and gets back to business...

Brian Kendrick: Hey, listen... you don't need to worry about that. The Hooligans are stronger than ever, and we're gonna prove it when we kick your asses and hang onto our titles.

Taken aback, Burke can't help but laugh and raise his eyebrows...

Elijah Burke: Oh really? Well... you make sure you stay that way. You try not to let all those flashin' lights distract you now, ya' hear? C'mon guys, I think I've seen enough.

Burke and Brown give the champs once last menacing stare before they make their exit, with Layla following, until she puts on the breaks and turns back towards Kendrick...

Layla: Y'know, I really don't know why you bother with these two, Brian. If last week taught me anything... it's that you don't need them. I mean, by winning last week you clearly proved you’re the better man. I just don't really see the attraction in these two.

Hearing those words, you can see that they play on Kendrick's mind as he considers them closely, but when Layla innocently shrugs and turns to leave again, she has time for last comment...

Layla: See you around, cutie.

And with a flirtatious smile, Layla makes her exit, leaving Kendrick behind, in a total daze, a huge grin on his face, looking like he's on cloud nine...

Brian Kendrick: Wow... cutie?

London and Ashley both sigh and shake their head, annoyed that Kendrick bought what Layla was saying, with Kendrick quickly snapping out of it...

Brian Kendrick: Alright. How 'bout we finish this photo shoot then?

And that's the final straw as London and Ashley decided they've had enough...

Paul London: No way.

Ashley Massaro: Not a chance.

And both storm off the set, leaving a stunned Kendrick behind...

Brian Kendrick: What? Guys? Aw, c'mon! Don't listen to 'em guys! It's not my fault she thinks I'm cute!

But his shouts are no use as London and Ashley are long gone, leaving a disappointed Kendrick behind. Throwing his arms up in the air, Kendrick sighs and shakes his head, but he soon perks up again as the wardrobe girl from earlier re-enters the scene with a hanger in her hand...

Brian Kendrick: You think I'm cute too, right?

The girl blushes and turns away, unable to speak, but it's clear that she's smitten with Kendrick, the two smiling at each other, and it's on that rather nauseating image that we head elsewhere.

And we go back into the arena to hear...

”ONE, TWO, YOU HEAR THE CLOCK TICKIN'...”

*I'M COMIN'...*


Out through the inflatable tunnel bursts Montel Vontavious Porter, as always with his sunglasses and bling on, a far greater look of confidence on his face than we've seen in recent matches. The reason for that confidence soon becomes clear as following him out of the tunnel comes Jonathan Coachman, King Booker and Queen Sharmell, the members of The Coachman Coalition present for the first time as a united front...


Michael Cole: Ever since WrestleMania, there's not been a whole lot of success for those two men, King Booker, and the man who's in action tonight, 'MVP'. Infact, it perhaps sunk to a new low last week when Booker was knocked out of the King of the Ring tournament at the first hurdle. What I wanna know is can Jonathan Coachman get these two men back to winning ways now that he's in their corner?

Tazz: I dunno about that. I mean, what a moment it was last week when Tommy Dreamer knocked Booker outta the tournament, but tonight, 'MVP' is gonna need all the help he can get to make it past Sabu. I think The Extremists just might have these guys' numbers, and I don't think anybody would be shocked to see 'MVP' follow Booker outta the King of the Ring.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I sure as hell would! I can gurantee ya', it ain't gonna happen. Tazz, your boys got lucky last week, but this week your lucks gonna run out. Last week was a fluke, it was a mistake, and I know 'Coach' has got 'MVP' ready to make sure it doesn't happen again.

*HUKA BLUES...*


A pretty respectable pop asThe Extremists step into the arena, with the three men stopping under the SmackDown fist as Sabu crouches down and points to the heavens, Tommy Dreamer lets out a roar, while The Sandman smashes a beer can off his forehead then thrusts his kendo stick high in the air...


Michael Cole: You talk about some of the biggest upsets in sports history, and I think Tommy Dreamer beating King Booker last week has to be up there with 'em. I didn't give Dreamer any chance last week, but he got the job done. Can Sabu overcome the same odds and advance to the final sixteen of the King of the Ring?

Tazz: Damn right he can! Sabu is nuts, he's insane, he's fearless, he don't give a damn what he puts his body through as long as he gets the job done. Booker underestimated Tommy Dreamer last week, and if 'MVP' does the same thing this week, Sabu's gonna advance.

John Bradshaw Layfield: I can't believe I work on the same show as these three. I mean, look at that idiot Sandman! I hope that when these three step into the ring with The Coachman Coalition at Judgment Day that we finally see the end of these three. I'd love it if 'MVP' did more than kick Sabu outta the King of the Ring, I wanna see 'im kick 'im outta the WWE permanently!

Match 4: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
Montel Vontavious Porter
w/ Jonathan Coachman, King Booker and Queen Sharmell vs. Sabu w/ Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman

Both men circle the ring until they come together with a tie up, which ‘MVP’ quickly turns into a standing waistlock, then into a takedown, looking to keep Sabu grounded. Sabu manages to slip free and nip back up, rocking ‘MVP’ with right hands before he goes for the Irish whip to the corner… ‘MVP’ reverses, only for Sabu to jump to the second rope… springboard back elbow! Sabu looks to quicken the pace, tagging ‘MVP’ with rights, before he fires him off the ropes… ‘MVP’ reverses… then sends Sabu flying with a back body drop! Quick to pounce, ‘MVP’ yanks on a headlock, wrenching on the neck, again trying his best to keep Sabu grounded. Once more Sabu struggles back to his feet, and this time he shoves ‘MVP’ into the ropes… but ‘MVP’ bolws him over with a shoulderblock! ‘MVP’ now heads for the ropes, looking for a high impact move… but Sabu avoids him with a leapfrog… then sends him flying with a hiptoss! ‘MVP’ staggers back to his feet… but Sabu nails a dropkick to the back… that sends ‘MVP’ tumbling through the ropes to the floor! Booker and ‘Coach’ quickly head over to help ‘MVP’ back to his feet, but as the huddle takes place outside, Tommy Dreamer grabs a steel chair… and slides it into the ring? The ref questions what on earth is going on, but we soon find out as Sabu sets up the chair… comes off the ropes… jumps onto the chair… then the top rope… before he wipes out everybody with a SOMMERSAULT SENTON! The crowd love the high flying nature of Sabu’s offence, with Sabu quickly dragging ‘MVP’ back up, rolling him into the ring… then using the ropes for a slingshot legdrop! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… ‘MVP’ kicks out. Looking to stay on the attack, Sabu lands stomps to the body, then he yanks ‘MVP’ up, tags a few right hands, then goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… ‘MVP’ reverses… but again Sabu jumps to the second rope… and this time flies with a SPRINGBOARD TORNADO DDT! ‘MVP’ is planted to the canvas, Sabu hooks the leg… 1… 2… ‘MVP’ kicks out!

‘MVP’ is reeling, and Sabu tags him with kicks and rights against the ropes, before he goes for the Irish whip… ‘MVP’ reverses… but misses with a clothesline… but he doesn’t miss the snap overhead belly to belly! Moving quickly, ‘MVP’ pounces, laying in with stomps to the body, before he drops down, grabs a handful of hair, and lays in with stiff shots to the forehead. ‘MVP’ then starts to target the ribs, dropping knees and elbows, and laying in with more stomps, before he takes Sabu up and down with a backbreaker. Porter then tosses Sabu through the ropes, distracting the referee as Booker moves in, yanking Sabu up… and driving him spine first into the announce desk! Dreamer and Sandman race around, but Booker quickly backs away, allowing ‘MVP’ to head outside and roll Sabu back in for a near fall. Further near falls come from a release German suplex and a flapjack, before Sabu is shoved into the corner, kept in place by a few well-placed right hands, before ‘MVP’ backs up… races in… big boot to the face! Sabu slumps to the canvas, ‘MVP’ drags him away from the ropes and hooks the leg… 1… 2… Sabu rolls a shoulder! Seeking a way to pile on the punishment, ‘MVP’ now hooks Sabu up with a single leg Boston crab, again applying pressure to Sabu’s core as he sits back and bends Sabu in half.

Sabu reaches out for the ropes, but he’s a long way from safety, although with Dreamer and Sandman acting as cheerleaders on the outside, the crowd try to rally Sabu back to a vertical base… and it appears to be working as he scratches and claws… and finally grabs the bottom rope. Frustrated, ‘MVP’ lays in with more knees and stomps, before he yanks Sabu up and looks for the Irish whip to the corner… but Sabu jumps to the second rope… and nails ‘MVP’ with a springboard leg lariat! Both men are down, the ref giving them the count, and at six there’s finally some movement as both make it back up, trading right hands, until Sabu rattles off three in a row, backing ‘MVP’ to the corner. Sabu then sends Porter for the ride and follows in… right into a boot to the face! Sabu stumbles back, and ‘MVP’ charges… into a big back body drop! Sabu now rattles off right hands, but ‘MVP’ ducks one… then takes Sabu up and down with a side suplex! ‘MVP’ is now back on his feet, and he comes off the ropes… “BALLIN’!”… and goes for the BALLIN’ ELBOW… but Sabu rolls to safety! ‘MVP’ stumbles back up, only for Sabu to plant him with a scoop slam. Sabu now heads outside and climbs upstairs… and goes for a MOONSAULT… NO! This time it’s ‘MVP’ who rolls to safety, and as Sabu makes it back to his knees, Porter makes his move… DRIVE-BY KICK!! ‘MVP’ damn near takes Sabu’s head off, and he crawls into the lateral press for the 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Montel Vontavious Porter @ 05.38

A confidence boosting win for 'MVP' as he advances to the next round, much to the delight of 'Coach' and Booker as they enter the ring and celebrate with the victor. On the outside, Sandman checks on Dreamer, but with no response from Dreamer, the rage starts to build inside of Sandman, and he soon picks up his kendo stick... and slides into the ring! 'MVP', Booker and 'Coach' are oblivious to the fact that Sandman is stood behind, cane in hand, ready to strike... until Sharmell starts to desperately shriek for the trio to turn around... and when they do... 'MVP' gets the KENDO STICK SMACKED OFF HIS SKULL! Booker is slow to react, but when he does, Sandman drills the KENDO STICK INTO THE MIDSECTION... AND THEN CRACKS IT ACROSS BOOKER'S BACK!!

Sandman is going crazy here, the crowd loving it... and now he's spotted 'Coach' cowering in the corner! Waving the cane, Sandman points towards 'Coach' the crowd on their feet, cheering Sandman on, dying to see him dish out some punishment to 'Coach'... but soon those cheers turn to gasps, as in the ring, stood behind Sandman... it's Mark Henry! The returning Mark Henry is in the ring, and when Sandman turns to see what the commotion is... HENRY WIPES SANDMAN OUT WITH A MASSIVE BODYBLOCK! A thunderous collision, with Sandman sent flying to the canvas, the crowd booing like hell, while 'Coach' is loving it, back on his feet, encouraging Henry to do damage... and Henry obliges as he yanks Sandman off the mat, scoops him up... and delivers THE WORLD'S STRONGEST SLAM!!

Henry absolutely crushes Sandman, leaving him flattened on the canvas, and pretty soon, 'MVP' and 'Booker' are back on their feet, delighted to see that Henry is back from injury and on their team. Sharmell soon joins the quartet, and with 'Coach' stood in the middle, all five link hands and raise them high in the air. The heat is loud as hell, but The Coachman Coalition don't give a damn, as their final member has been revealed, and now they're standing tall while the bodies of their Judgment Day opponents lay down and out around the ringside area...


Michael Cole: Oh my God, I... I can't believe it! Mark Henry, we haven't seen him for almost a year, and now he's back, and he's the third member of The Coachman Coalition!

Tazz: And I guess he's the big return Teddy Long was talkin' about earlier? God, what a sight that is. King Booker, 'MVP' and Mark Henry, all on the same page!? You gotta be kiddin' me!

John Bradshaw Layfield: Ha ha! I think you just saw your boys' chances of winnin' at Judgment Day just go up in smoke! 'Coach' is a genius! He's had enough of people kickin' 'im when he's down, so he went out and found the biggest pick me up there ever was! I love it!

The heat continues to rain down on the ring, with 'Coach' looking delighted at how tonight has went. Having posed for long enough, Booker, 'MVP' and Henry all decide to make their exit, but the camera catches 'Coach' laying in with one last cheap shot with the boot on Sandman, before we head to a 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*


From the video we once again cut to the corridors of the building, and once again we see Finlay and The Little Bastard walking along them. This time though, both are dressed in street clothes and are wheeling their suitcases along the floor, although in comical fashion the little guy’s suitcase is far too big for him to wheel at the same pace as Finlay. Stopping every now and then to mutter “Hurry up!”, Finlay has a stern look on his face, while The Little Bastard is worried, continually looking over his shoulder, no doubt fearing the worse...

Finlay: Hurry it up, will ya’? I’m not hangin’ around here any longer.

Still struggling with his bag, the little guy eventually drops it and falls over, causing Finlay to groan in frustration...

Finlay: Give it here! I’ll carry it. Next time, get a smaller-

And once again the lights go out, save for that eerie red glow. Finlay instantly stands on guard, readying himself, squinting, trying to see through the darkness...

Finlay: Kane! I know it’s you! C’mon, show yer’self!

There’s no response, as Finlay now starts reaching out and swinging his hands in the darkness, trying to find an answer as to what’s going on...

Finlay: Where are ya’, Kane? I’m not afraid of ya’!

And just like that, the lights come back on... and Kane is stood behind Finlay! The fans inside the arena let out a huge roar, but Finlay doesn’t hear it, as instead he continues to search infront and then side to side... until he finally turns... and Kane nails him with a massive right hand! The fight is on!

A brawl instantly breaks out, Kane and Finlay trading vicious shots with each other, but Kane starts to gain the upperhand, rattling off three shots to the face in quick succession, causing Finlay to stumble away. Kane is right on him though, grabbing Finlay by the head... then smashing him face first off a concrete wall! Finlay slumps against the wall, but as Kane moves back in, the crafty Irishman tackles him… and drives him into a nearby catering table! The table shatters from the weight of both men on top of it, and it gives Finlay a chance to stumble to his feet and try to escape.

But Finlay doesn’t get very far, as Kane grabs him from behind… wraps both hands around his throat… then launches Finlay spine first into a ladder! Finlay crumples to the floor in pain, but Kane is on the warpath, not letting up as he drills a big boot to the side of Finlay’s head. Still desperate to make an escape, Finlay’s starts to crawl along the floor, an evil laugh leaving Kane’s mouth as he follows… only for The Little Bastard to grab Kane by the leg! Kane drags the little guy along, trying to get to Finlay, but once again that damn leprechaun proves enough of a distraction… as from his knees, Finlay rears back… and nails Kane with a low blow!

Now it’s Kane who’s down on the floor, but this time there’s no attack from Finlay, as instead he grabs The Little Bastard and the two start running along the corridor, bursting through a door and then into the parking lot. Reaching into his pocket, Finlay grabs his keys and points at a nearby car, the lights flashing to suggest the doors are open. Finlay yells “Get in!”, and he and the leprechaun scramble inside… but as Finlay puts the keys in the ignition and turns… the engine doesn’t spark to life! Finlay tries again… and again… but he just can’t get the engine to turn over… BANG! Oh my God… Kane kicks in the passenger side window! Through the glass and carnage, Kane reaches in, grabbing Finlay, trying to drag him out through the broken window, but Finlay struggles to stay in his seat… and finally he gets the car to start! Sparking the engine to life, Finlay slams the car into drive and takes off, managing to lose Kane in the process! The car speeds off into the distance, leaving a frustrated Kane behind, but as he watches Finlay go, that sick, evil laugh of Kane breaks out once more, the laugh growing ever louder and more menacing, the camera staying focused on Kane as he maniacally laughs his head off, until we head back into the arena.

Where we hear…

*GONNA PUNCH SOMEONE TONIGHT…*


A pretty decent cheer as The Asian Rednecks enter the arena, Funaki and Jimmy Wang Yang heading down the aisle with matching cowboy hats, the pair slapping hands with as many ringside fans as they can…


Michael Cole: God, things are gettin' outta hand back there between Kane and Finlay! If that's what they're like just now, imagine what it's gonna be like when they meet at Judgment Day! But right now, we've got our final King of the Ring qualifier of the evening, and it features one of the men walking down to the ring right now, Jimmy Wang Yang.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Yeah but let's remember who he's up against. He's steppin' into the ring with one of the favourites to win whole damn thing, Mr. Kennedy! I don't know why he's even botherin' to come out here, this one's over already.

Tazz: Yeah, well you said that last week about King Booker and Tommy Dreamer, and we all know how that turned out. Jimmy's definitely got a chance here, he's got such a different style that he could catch Kennedy off guard, but even I gotta admit, if Jimmy pulls this off and beats Kennedy, it's gonna be an even bigger upset than Dreamer beatin' Booker.

”KEN – NAH – DAY!”

*TURN UP THE TROUBLE...*


As always, there's a loud initial pop as Mr. Kennedy strides into the arena, before the boos are soon heard, although perhaps not as much heat as in recent weeks, no doubt because of Kennedy's actions towards Edge last week. Stepping through the ropes, Kennedy takes one look at Jimmy and Funkai and can't help but let out an arrogant laugh, before he heads for the corner and climbs to the second rope to soak in the mixed response of the fans...


Michael Cole: I agree with you, Tazz, that Jimmy Wang Yang does indeed have a chance here, and I think it all has to do with the fact that Kennedy is so preoccupied right now with Judgment Day and the World Heavyweight Championship. We've seen Kennedy in recent weeks battle with Edge and Batista, we know he'll be involved in the contract signing later tonight, it could be the case that Kennedy doesn't have his full focus on the King of the Ring, and that could be the chance Jimmy needs.

Tazz: Exactly right, Cole. You see it all the time, guys underestimatin' their opponents, or they got their minds on other things and it winds up costin' 'em. I think that could happen right here, and I think Jimmy could take advantage.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Oh please, stop clutchin' at straws. I might not like the way he handled things with Edge last week, but I think this guy is the future of SmackDown, and he could be nine days away from becomin' World Heavyweight Champion. I don't think it matters what's on the line, the guy's just focused on winnin' right now, and that's bad news for anybody who steps in the ring with him.

Match 5: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 32
Jimmy Wang Yang
w/ Funaki vs. Mr. Kennedy

Taking a look at both Jimmy and Funkai, Kennedy can’t help but laugh to himself, before the pair start to circle the ring then snap into a tie up. Kennedy works into a standing side headlock, wrenching on the hold, until they back into the ropes and Jimmy fires Kennedy across… only for Kennedy to run Jimmy over with a shoulderblock! Quickening the pace, Kennedy heads for the ropes, but Jimmy nips up, avoids Kennedy with a leapfrog… then he knocks Kennedy down with a leg lariat. Kennedy crawls to the corner, where Jimmy snaps him back with a pair of rights, then he sends Kennedy for the ride… Kennedy reverses and follows in… right into a boot to the face! Kennedy stumbles back, allowing Yang to push himself onto the second rope… then fly with a diving headscissor takedown! Kennedy staggers to the ropes… and Jimmy puts him over the top rope with a clothesline! Kennedy sprawls on the floor, but when he’s back up, Jimmy is ready… and goes for a plancha… but Kennedy sidesteps… and Jimmy crashes to the floor! A painful landing for Jimmy, and Kennedy wastes no time in taking advantage, laying in with stomps to the body, before he rolls Jimmy back into the ring. Yanking Jimmy’s head against the bottom turnbuckle, Kennedy uses his boot to choke Yang, taking every second of the ref’s five count before he finally backs away. Kennedy then lines up… races in… and smashes Yang with the facewash! Kennedy quickly drags Jimmy from the corner, hooks the leg… 1… 2… Yang rolls a shoulder.

Kennedy now goes on the attack, laying in with boots, knees and rights to the face and body in the corner, before he takes Jimmy up and down with an inverted suplex, then follows with a snap DDT, both moves getting near falls. After a side slam backbreaker for another two count, Kennedy then locks Jimmy in an abdominal stretch, looking to wear Jimmy down. Jimmy groans in pain, but with Funaki urging the crowd to show their support, Yang feeds off the energy, and he starts searching for a way to break free… but Kennedy hangs in there. Jimmy tries for a hiptoss, but Kennedy blocks it… then he shoves Yang to the corner and follows in… right into a boot to the face! Jimmy now bursts from the corner… tornado DDT! Kennedy is planted, and now Jimmy goes for the cover… 1… 2… Kennedy kicks out! Jimmy yanks Kennedy up and uses kicks to back Kennedy to the corner, before he sends Kennedy across the ring… and follows in with a spinning wheel kick against the turnbuckle! Kennedy drops to a knee, and now Jimmy climbs to the top rope… looking for the MOONSAULT… NO! Before he can fly, Kennedy pushes Jimmy… crotching him on the top turnbuckle! Kennedy now grabs Yang… and brings him back down with a hangman’s neckbreaker! Jimmy is down and out, but Kennedy moves quickly, yanking Yang up… and hooking him in… MIC CHECK!! Yang is planted to the canvas, and Kennedy jams a forearm into Yang’s face as he gets the 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Mr. Kennedy @ 04.33

After a scare, Kennedy finally puts Yang away, safely through to the next round of the King of the Ring. Pushing himself back to his feet, Kennedy stands over Jimmy and looks down on him, rubbing his jaw in annoyance, before he heads for the corner, climbs to the second rope... and then reaches up to the rafters, calling for his microphone...


Mr. Kennedy: What you just saw... is the start of a history making month for me.

With an intense look in his eyes, Kennedy stares into a nearby camera...

Mr. Kennedy: A month that is gonna go down as one of the most dominant periods in WWE history.

Closing his eyes for just a second, Kennedy lets that last remark sink in, before he now looks out into the masses...

Mr. Kennedy: Y'see, I'm just nine – days – away from becomin' World Heavyweight Champion. Nine days 'til I roll into Judgment Day and fulfil my destiny. But I'm not done there. Oh no. Not a chance is that where it ends. I'm gonna do somethin' that's never been done before.

To emphasise his point, Kennedy wags a finger and then carries on...

Mr. Kennedy: 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, Triple H, Bret Hart, they've all got somethin' in common. They all used the King of the Ring as a platform to bigger and better things. Well I'm gonna do things just that little – bit – different.

With a confident smirk, Kennedy pauses, building some anticipation...

Mr. Kennedy: I'm gonna go to Judgment Day, I'm gonna beat Batista and Edge, I'm gonna become World Heavyweight Champion, and then... then I'm gonna win the King of the Ring.

Another mixed response from the fans, some clearly wanting to see that while others can't think of anything worse...

Mr. Kennedy: And when I sit down on that throne, with the World Heavyweight Title on my shoulder, and they place that crown on my head, it will literally be...

Again Kennedy closes his eyes, almost as if he envisioning his coronation in his head...

Mr. Kennedy: The crowning moment... of the greatest run the WWE has ever seen.

Suddenly Kennedy snaps into a far more serious demeanour...

Mr. Kennedy: You're lookin' at the next World Heavyweight Champion... and you're lookin' at the next King of the Ring. And you better believe you're lookin' at the man who's gonna prove he's 'The Exellence of Execution', 'The Game', 'The Next Big Thing', all rolled into one, 'cause I am none other than... MIIISSSTTTEEERRRRRRRRR... KENNEDY!!

Pausing, Kennedy cups a hand to his ear, heating the smarks in the crowd yell “Kennedy!”, before he ever so slowly says...

Mr. Kennedy: KEN – NAH – DAY!!

*TURN UP THE TROUBLE...*


An emphatic statement of intent from Kennedy, a man determined to become World Heavyweight Champion and then cap it off by becoming King of the Ring. Kennedy points to the crowd, shouting at them “This is history in the makin'!”, before he finally drops down and heads for the ropes, and on that we head for another 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*


We now cut to the announce desk to see the smiling faces of our commentary team…

Michael Cole: The King of the Ring continues to roll on, another three men advanced earlier this evening and took one step close to Saturday Night’s Main Event. Let’s take a look at how the SmackDown side of the bracket is shapin’ up…

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: It’s startin’ to get very interesting in there, such a highly competitive field, especially given the fact that we’ve not only saw the United States Champion, Matt Hardy advance, we also had Mr. Kennedy and ‘MVP’ make it through.

Tazz: The SmackDown side of things is really startin' to heat up! I mean, we've got Kane, Brian Kendrick and Tommy Dreamer from last week, and now this week it really went up a notch with guys like Kennedy and Hardy makin' it through. I think we might have the next King of the Ring right here on SmackDown.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Ya' damn right we do, and his name's Mr. Kennedy! Forget guys like Hardy and Kane, Kennedy's your winner. The guy's too focused, the guy's too intense right now to let a chance like this pass 'im by. King Kennedy is comin', I guarantee it!

Michael Cole: The King of the Ring continues this Monday on Raw, and next week on SmackDown we've got the final qualifiers in the round of 32, we'll find out who the last two men to make it into the final sixteen are gonna be, you won't wanna miss that!

After a few seconds silence...

*LONGHORN...*


The music of John Bradshaw Layfield begins to play, obviously signalling that it's time for his interview with Gregory Helms and Bryan Danielson. From behind the announce desk, 'JBL' stands up from his chair, and just before he removes his headset he says...


John Bradshaw Layfield: It's that time, folks! This is the one you've all been waitin' for! You two idiots oughta pay attention to this, see how a real broadcast journalist does things.

With a thud, 'JBL' drops his headset onto the desk and heads over to Tony Chimel, grabbing a microphone and then heading into the ring. As he stands in the middle of the ring, 'JBL' waits for his music to end, and when it does, we hear some pretty loud heat, something which annoys 'JBL' greatly as he slowly shakes his head...

John Bradshaw Layfield: You people really don’t deserve me. You don’t deserve a ‘Wrestling Gawd’ like myself. You didn’t deserve me when I dominated this sport, and you don’t deserve the benefit of my wisdom when I’m sittin’ behind my desk. But right now, you’re all gonna sit down, shut up, and listen to what I have to say.

From beneath the brim of his cowboy hat, 'JBL' sneers at the crowd as he slowly starts to pace the ring...

John Bradshaw Layfield: In nine days’ time, Friday Night SmackDown presents Judgment Day. A pay per view brought to you from the mind of the most incompetent general manager in the history of wrestling, Teddy Long. And somehow, that idiot managed to get the WWE Board of Directors to sign off on this sham of a show.

Ruefully, 'JBL' shakes his head...

John Bradshaw Layfield: And the reason I say Judgment Day is a sham… is a very simple one. The fact that Gregory Helms has been forced to defend the Cruiserweight Championship not once, not twice, but now for a THIRD TIME against Bryan Danielson is an absolute joke. But you morons in Pittsburgh oughta be used to jokes in sports given how bad your city’s teams play.

Cheap heat...

John Bradshaw Layfield: But not only has Bryan Danielson already had more chances than he’ll ever deserve… a few weeks ago, he then had the nerve to put his hands on me. He put his hands on a Wrestlin’ Gawd! Who the hell does he think he is!?

Loud pop from the crowd, enjoying seeing 'JBL' getting so riled up, but in an attempt to calm down, 'JBL' pauses and adjusts his tie before continuing...

John Bradshaw Layfield: Well I’m fixin’ to find out, and I’m gonna give him a piece of my mind when he steps into this ring. But first, I wanna bring out the man who has carried the cruiserweight division on his back for over a year now.

And now the boos start...

John Bradshaw Layfield: For four hundred and sixty eight days, this man has reigned as Cruiserweight Champion. He’s carried that title with dignity, with honour, he’s taken on all challengers, and he beaten each and every one of ‘em! He is, quite simply… the greatest cruiserweight to walk the face of God’s green earth.

Turning towards the entrance way, 'JBL' looks to give our Cruiserweight Champion a dramatic entrance...

John Bradshaw Layfield: Ladies and gentlemen, get off your fat asses and get on your feet, and join me in welcomin’ your Cruiserweight Champion… the greatest cruiserweight who ever lived… GREGORY… HELMS!!

”LISTEN…”

*IT’S TIME…*


And the build up from 'JBL' works as it's pretty loud heat as Gregory Helms makes his entrance. Wearing jeans and a shirt and with his skullcap on as always, Helms cuts an intimidating look as he saunters towards the ring, but he's soon all smiles as he and 'JBL' lock eyes together. Stepping up the steps and onto the apron, Helms acts honoured as 'JBL' holds open the ropes, the Cruiserweight Champion gleefully stepping through. In the ring, Helms and Layfield share a hearty handshake, the two all backslaps and smiles, but when the music dies down, the jeers of the crowd continue, something which causes Helms great annoyance as he scowls at them...


John Bradshaw Layfield: Just ignore these people, 'champ'. They wouldn't know success if it came up and bit 'em on the ass. Gregory, I wanna thank you for takin' time outta your busy schedule to join me here.

Helms nods and mouths “You're welcome.”...

John Bradshaw Layfield: But now... seein' as I'm contractually obliged to do so... let's bring out the biggest fraud in WWE history. The man who claimed he travelled the world, perfectin' his craft, when he really was nothin' more than a WWE reject who got a second chance he didn't deserve. Just like he's gotten more chances at the Cruiserweight Title than he's ever deserved. Let's bring out... the Internet's favourite... Bryan Danielson.

*RAGE...*


A great pop welcomes Bryan Danielson into the arena, looking as confident and as serious as ever, but given the fact that he's stepping into the ring with both Helms and 'JBL', Danielson is understandably wary. There's no 'JBL' holding open the ropes this time though, as Danielson steps through them himself and heads for the corner, posing for the fans, before he drops down and cautiously stands across from Helms, the two fierce rivals staring each other down...


John Bradshaw Layfield: Alright 'Mr. Youtube', you just stand there, shut up and listen. You'll get your turn in a minute. I'm gonna start with you, Greg. You are the champion after all.

'JBL' sneers at Danielson with that last comment, something which draws a fierce stare from the challenger...

John Bradshaw Layfield: I know you agree with me that at Judgment Day, you're bein' forced into a match that is just beyond belief. A match that shouldn't even be happenin'. A match we've seen before, and each time with the same outcome... you, Greg, walkin' out as Cruiserweight Champion.

Heat from the fans, but Helms simply shrugs and nods in agreement with 'JBL'...

John Bradshaw Layfield: You campaigned tirelessly all across the country to get that title retired, purely because havin' beaten Bryan Danielson at WrestleMania... there was nobody left for you to face. Nobody could touch you, nobody could take that title away from you. If ya' ask me... it's a conspiracy. A conspiracy cooked up by Teddy Long and Bryan Danielson to take that title away from you. Hell, it ain't your fault that every bit o' competition Teddy Long's thrown at ya' ain't been good enough, nobody's good enough! Ya' just can't be beat!

More heat, with 'JBL' pausing, composing himself before he speaks again...

John Bradshaw Layfield: So Greg, tell me and tell these people... just how badly are you gonna beat Danielson at Judgment Day? How much pain are you gonna put him through? And just how sweet is it gonna feel when you beat Danielson for the third time and walk outta San Diego still... Cruiserweight Champion?

Handing the mic over to Helms, 'JBL' takes a step back, marvelling at the Cruiserweight Champion, allowing Helms to now take centre stage...

Gregory Helms: Y'know, I think it's safe to say that in my year long reign as champion, I've always been a fair guy. I've taken on everybody that Teddy Long could find to challenge me. And I've always treated my opponents with dignity, and respect.

Danielson can’t help but laugh and roll his eyes, but ‘JBL’ nods along with the utmost sincerity…

Gregory Helms: But dignity and respect, that's somethin' I never got in return. And I think you hit the nail on the head, John... it IS a conspiracy. Teddy Long couldn't stand the fact that every guy he signed, every challenger he had to offer... I beat 'em. It almost as if, for Teddy... it became personal.

Helms now turns to look at Danielson…

Gregory Helms: He couldn't stand to see me successful, he couldn't stand to see me win. Face it, Bryan, the only reason you even got a WWE contract was 'cause I'm so damn good! You were the best he could find, you were the guy the independent wrestlin' fans raved about. You got brought in for one reason, and one reason only... to take this title away from me. And you just – can't – do it, can ya'?

Stern faced, Danielson stares Helms down, with Helms smirking, testing Danielson, looking for a reaction…

Gregory Helms: And that's why this match at Judgment Day... it's gonna be the last chance at this title that you ever get. 'Cause when I beat you once and for all, you think Teddy's gonna wanna know about you? You think he's gonna care? He brought you in, he gave you the hype, and you had one goal... beat Gregory Helms. And when he finally realises that you can't do it... he ain't gonna want a damn thing to do with you.

Heat from the crowd, while Helms pauses, thinking, laughing briefly to himself…

Gregory Helms: It's kinda funny that SmackDown's next pay per view is called Judgment Day. 'Cause it's gonna be Judgment Day for your career. I'm gonna hurt you, I'm gonna embarrass you, I'm gonna make you suffer. You think those matches you had in Japan were tough? There ain't nothin' like what I'm gonna put you through. All the anger, all the frustration I've got towards Teddy Long for what he's put me through, I'm gonna take it all out on you. And when I'm finished...

And now Helms steps forward, getting right in Bryan’s face as he says…

Gregory Helms: You're career ain't gonna be worth a damn.

Big time heat for that, but Danielson doesn’t flinch, prompting Helms to back away…

Gregory Helms: So you enjoy your last week as a star here on SmackDown. You make sure you take it all in, you savour every moment. 'Cause after Judgment Day... you go right to the back o' the line. I'll still be champion, Teddy Long'll find some other wannabe for me to beat, but you? You'll be nothin'. Just another name in the long list of people that tried and failed to take this title away from me.

A smirk crosses the face of ‘JBL’ as he again nods in agreement, saying “That’s right!” as Helms pauses…

Gregory Helms: You were the great hope, Bryan. You were the last chance. But years from now, when people look back, all you’re gonna be… is the man I cemented my legacy against. They never remember who got second place. And after Judgment Day… nobody’s gonna remember you.

Major heat from the crowd as Helms wraps things up, handing the mic back to ‘JBL’. As he receives the mid, Layfield offers Helms a brief round of applause, before he now turns to address Bryan…

John Bradshaw Layfield: I think that sums it up. But I guess you’ve got somethin’ to say too, Bryan. Some words of wisdom that these idiots can hope cling onto, in the hope they actually come true. A light at the end of the tunnel, a glimmer of-

Having heard enough, Danielson snatchers the mic clean out of Layfield’s hands, much to the delight of the crowd and the shock of ‘JBL’ and Helms…

Bryan Danielson: I actually do have somethin’ I wanna say, ‘JBL’. I’m not much of a talker. I’d rather let my actions in the ring speak for me. But, I gotta admit… you’re right, Greg. I was brought here to SmackDown to give you a challenge. Teddy Long, he searched high and wide, he looked all over the world, and of all the applicants, he chose me. And I’m pretty sure he chose me for a reason.

Helms scoffs and rolls his eyes as Danielson purses his lips and chooses his words carefully…

Bryan Danielson: Y’see, as a young wrestler, I always dreamed of makin’ it here in the WWE. And you two are right, I was under a developmental contract, and I was released from that. But since that day, in every match I’ve had, every time I’ve stepped into a wrestling ring, be it infront of 30 fans in a high school gym, or 20,000 people in Japan, I fought every match with a passion and a fire, tryin’ to prove people wrong, dreamin’ of another chance to prove myself in the WWE.

Pop from the crowd…

Bryan Danielson: And when I faced you at WrestleMania… that was one of the greatest nights of my career. OK, the record books will always say that I lost. And I guess that’s why you’ve been champion for so long. You always find a way to make sure that at the end of the night, you walk out with that title.

All Danielson can do is shrug as the crowd boo, with Helms smugly nodding his head, shouting “That’s what gonna happen at Judgment Day too!”…

Bryan Danielson: But right now, you and me standin’ across the ring from each other… there’s fear in your eyes, Greg. That’s why you hit me with a low blow at No Way Out, and that’s why you had to grab the ropes to pin me at WrestleMania. There’s fear in your eyes… ‘cause deep down inside, behind all the talk, behind all the front… you don’t know if you can beat me fair and square.

Now it’s Danielson’s turn to step forward and get in Helms’ face…

Bryan Danielson: WrestleMania was a great night, but it should’ve ended with me walkin’ outta Detroit as the Cruiserweight Champion. Well… Judgment Day is the biggest opportunity of my life. And I promise… I’m gonna deliver. And you, Greg? You’re gonna tap… or snap.

Another loud pop as Bryan turns and rather forcibly presses the mic against Layfield’s chest, before he turns and heads for the ropes… only for ‘JBL’ to call him back…

John Bradshaw Layfield: Hey! Hey, Danielson! You hold on just a minute there, son. I ain’t finished with you yet. I’ve got a few things I wanna say to you, things that I’ve been wantin’ to get off my chest for a while now.

Bryan puts on the breaks, stopping to hear ‘JBL’ out…

John Bradshaw Layfield: Y’know, you represent everythin’ that is wrong with this industry today. You are the very embodiment of what I hate about the independent wrestlin’ scene. Guys like you walk outta school, ya’ get your first match, ya’ get paid ‘bout $2.50 and a hot dog, and suddenly ya’ think ya’ belong here in the WWE. But the fact of the matter is, guys like you… you’re a dime a dozen. You’re nothin’ special.

Heat, with the words prompting Danielson to take a few steps towards ‘JBL’…

John Bradshaw Layfield: I mean look at ya’! Look how skinny ya’ are! You oughta try eatin’ some meat, son! And those stupid plain tights, and that goofy lookin’ haircut. What’s the matter, your momma still cut if for ya’?

Helms nearly falls over himself in laughter, while the rage starts to build inside Bryan as he angrily grits his teeth and clenches his fists, although ‘JBL’ is having too much of a rant to notice…

John Bradshaw Layfield: Face it, you don’t belong here! You don’t belong in this ring, you don’t deserve to wrestle in our arenas. You’re not a real wrassler, and you certainly ain’t championship material.

And now Layfield steps forward, and with a sneer on his face, he leans in, nearly nose to nose with Bryan, and forcibly says…

John Bradshaw Layfield: So how ‘bout when Gregory Helms here beats your ass for a THIRD time at Judgment Day, why don’t you do us all a favour, pack your bags, walk out the door… and never come back.

Flashing that trademark smug grin of his. ‘JBL’ stares into Danielson’s eyes, looking for a response, preactically daring Bryan to hit him… and Danielson responds as he hammers ‘JBL’ with a MASSIVE FOREARM TO THE SIDE OF THE HEAD! The crowd goes wild as the fight is on, with Danielson unloading on ‘JBL’, landing forearm after forearm to the face and jaw, sending a rubber legged ‘JBL’ to the ropes… but here comes Helms from behind, jumping on Bryan, landing a few shots to the back… but Danielson fights back! Danielson now unleashes on Helms, snapping uppercut after uppcerut to the jaw, and now he tackles Helms to the mat! Bryan throws wild lefts and rights, Helms covering up as best as he can, but Danielson is landing shots like a man possessed… until ‘JBL’ blindsides him with a HUGE BOOT TO THE SIDE OF THE HEAD!

Danielson is down, and now it’s ‘JBL’ who goes on the attack, pouncing on Bryan, mounting him and grabbing a handful of hair, laying in with brutal rights to the forehead. ‘JBL’ quickly gets back on his feet, removing his jacket and taking off his tie, and this allows Helms to move in, he now leading the assault as he continues to land the right hands to the forehead. With Danielson down and dazed, ‘JBL’ shouts for Helms to get Danielson up, and when he does, Layfield back up, rears back… and moves in… CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL!!

‘JBL’ damn near takes Danielson’s head off, leaving the number one contender down and out, with ‘JBL’ now standing over him, peering down, shouting “You don’t put your hands on me, boy!”. Danielson is a mess, sprawled out on the canvas, but Helms isn’t done yet, grabbing Bryan by the head, helping him back to his knees… before he SLAPS DANIELSON ACROSS THE FACE… then comes off the ropes… SHINNING WIZARD!! “Enough is enough!” cries Cole on commentary, and it seems that with Danielson down, unconscious, not moving an inch, Helms is satisfied. Picking up his Cruserweight Title, Helms has his arm raised high in the air by Layfield, the two standing tall in the ring in the face of monster heat, and it’s on that image of the triumphant champion that we cut elsewhere.

And we see a three way shot of Batista, Edge and Mr. Kennedy, all three walking along seperate backstage areas, heading for the ring...


Michael Cole: What the hell is wrong with those two?! 'JBL' and Gregory Helms, it- it was a setup almost! They invited Bryan Danielson down to the ring for an interview, and now look what's happened! Danielson's out cold!

Tazz: Yeah Helms is feelin' pretty tough right now, but at Judgment Day, it's just gonna be him and Danielson one on one, and I don't Helms is gonna be smillin' when it's all said and done.

Michael Cole: Well folks, there you see the three men involved in our World Heavyweight Championship Match at Judgment Day. It's a Triple Threat Match featuring Batista, Edge and Mr. Kennedy, and those three will sign the contract for that match, when we return to Friday Night SmackDown!

*Commercial*


We return to see that Teddy Long is already standing in the ring, which is set up with a black carpet covering the canvas, while a wide table sits in the middle, with four chairs around it, presumably for our three competitors and the General Manager. Motioning with his hand, Teddy calls for his music to stop, before we begin...


Teddy Long: Alright, alright. It’s that time, playas! Time for the three participants in the World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match at Judgment Day to sign on tha’ dotted line! So first, I wanna bring out the challengers. He is the man who won the 2007 Royal Rumble… and he is the man who unsuccessfully challenged Batista at WrestleMania… ladies and gentlemen… Edge.

”YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME…”

*METALINGUS…*


Loud, seriously loud heat as Edge storms out into the arena, a wild, fierce look in his eyes as he scans the crowd, before he pauses under the SmackDown fist and sets off a burst of pyro. Edge then heads for the ring and slides under the bottom rope, quickly back on his feet to glare at Teddy as the two cross paths…


Teddy Long: Alright, Edge, just take it easy and takes a seat, playa. Up next, the second challenger. The man who was also unsuccessful in challengin’ Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship back at No Way Out. Ladies and gentlemen… Mr. Kennedy.

”KEN – NAH – DAY!”

*TURN UP THE TROUBLE…*


And just like earlier in the broadcast, there’s a loud initial pop that then breaks into heat as Mr. Kennedy makes his arrival. Now dressed in street clothes, Kennedy swaggers into the arena, strutting down to the ring, confidently chewing on gum as he always does. Upon entering the ring, Kennedy immediately stands over Edge from across the table, which prompts Edge to burst to his feet for a staredown, the two still clearly angry at each other given what happened last week, although Teddy moves quickly to diffuse the situation…


Teddy Long: Hey, wait a minute there, playa! You just settle down now Kennedy, ya’ hear?

With both Edge and Kennedy’s eyes firmly locked on each other, the two initially ignore Teddy, until finally with a smirk, Kennedy relents and takes his seat…

Teddy Long: Good. And now finally… he is the two-time and current World Heavyweight Champion… he is ‘The Animal’… he is… BATISTA!

*I WALK ALONE…*


And a tremendous cheer as Batisa steps out from the back, dressed in s harp white suit, sunglasses on, but a stern look on his face as he looks down the aisle at the ring, Pausing, Batista runs through his usual routine of crouching down and setting off his pyro, before he heads for the ring. Stepping through the ropes, ‘The Animal’ stands over both his challengers, holding the title high in the air, before he lays the belt down on the table and takes a seat. With all three men in the ring, Teddy begins…


Teddy Long: Alright, now before we get started, I got an announcement I wanna make. I-

Mr. Kennedy: Aw, nah, nah, nah! C’mon! You gotta be kiddin’ me! What the hell, Teddy!? We don’t need any more announcements!

Picking up the microphone sat on the table infront of him, Kennedy rubs his face in frustration…

Mr. Kennedy: Announcement after announcement, talk after talk, I’m sick of it!

Taken aback, Teddy pauses, shaking his head knowingly, but willing to let Kennedy have his say…

Mr. Kennedy: How ‘bout we don’t make any announcements, huh? How ‘bout we just do what we came here to do, sign this damn contract and get this over with?

Looking at his two opponents, Kennedy doesn’t get any answers, but he presses on regardless…

Mr. Kennedy: ‘The Champ’ over here said last week that there was too much talkin’, and believe or not, I actually agree with ‘im. So c’mon, let’s hurry up and get this done.

Again Kennedy looks towards Edge and Batista, but both remain guarded, prompting Kennedy to take matters into his own hands…

Mr. Kennedy: Infact, y’know what? Here, watch this, I’ll get it started. I’ll sign my name on this thing right now!

Pulling the contract towards him, Kennedy picks up the pen, turns to the back page and signs his name on the contract, slamming the pen down on the table when he’s done. Sitting back in his chair and folding his arms across his chest, Kennedy points at the contract and shouts “Your move!” at his opponent…

Teddy Long: Well, uh… I really wish you woulda heard me out before you signed that, playa. But I guess, what’s done is done.

Teddy rubs his forehead in frustration and sighs, but he realises he can’t change things now so decides to carry on…

Teddy Long: Edge… you’re up next. Over to you, playa.

Edge slides the contract towards himself and picks up the pen… but instead of signing, Edge decides he wants to have his say first…

Edge: Too much talkin’? That’s kinda ironic, comin’ from you, Kennedy. All you’ve done since you’ve got here in the WWE is run your mouth, with nothin’ to show for it.

Kennedy rolls his eyes, clearly not interested, instead he points to the contract and urges Edge to sign…

Edge: Y’know, when I came to SmackDown from Raw, and I decided to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship, I was determined that it was you I was gonna face at WrestleMania.

Pointing at Kennedy, Edge almost shakes his head in disbelief…

Edge: I didn’t want Batista here, ruining MY WrestleMania moment, and for some reason, I saw somethin’ in you that made me think you’d be the better option.

The camera cuts to a shot of Batista, the champion hiding behind his sunglasses, taking it all in…

Edge: I mean, I did everythin’ I could to help you, I practically handed you the title at No Way Out… and you screwed it up. Just like you screwed up bein’ a referee last week.

Now Edge has Kennedy’s attention, with Kennedy sitting forward and placing his elbows on the table…

Edge: I dunno what the hell I was thinking doin’ all that. You’re nothin’ but a loudmouth, who never backs it up in the ring. The thought of me even steppin’ into the ring with you at WrestleMania, it just makes me sick! And honestly, I can’t believe that at Judgment Day, when I finally become champion, you’re gonna be involved in it!

Laughing to himself, Kennedy now reaches forward and slowly picks up his mic…

Mr. Kennedy: Why don’t you just shut the hell up… and sign?

And that actually draws a pop from the crowd, Edge acting insulted at being spoke to in such a way…

Edge: Oh, oh you want me to sign? Huh? Alright… here…

Scooping up the pen, Edge quickly flips to the back page and aggressively signs his name, before he too slams the pen down on the table…

Edge: There’s your damn signature! I’ll see you two at Judgment Day! Teddy, I’m outta here…

Standing up from his chair, Edge makes for the ropes, only for Teddy to step infront of him and place a hand on his shoulder…

Teddy Long: Edge! You hang on there! You just sit down, I have somethin’ important I need to tell all three of ya’, and you’re gonna hear me out.

For a brief moment, Edge and Teddy stand nose to nose, neither man backing down, but it seems that the stoic nature of the G.M. wins the day as Edge relents and retakes his seat…

Teddy Long: But first, Batista… why don’t you sign next?

But just like his opponents, Batista instead first of all picks up the microphone…

Batista: Y’know somethin’? I just wanna say that Judgment Day, for you two… it’s gonna be hell. ‘Cause for all the crap I’ve had to put up with from the two of you, for all the chairs shots I’ve took to the head from you, Edge, and for all the stuff you did to my friend Ric Flair and his family, Kennedy, Judgment Day… is when it’s all gonna come back and bite you two on the ass!

Loud pop from the crowd…

Batista: I mean, I see that video, week after week, I see that won crier talkin’ about how your actions in the past come back to haunt ya’.

The champion smirks at both his challengers…

Batista: That’s kinda ironic, y’know what I mean? It’s kinda funny that you have done so much to so many, and you’ve both just signed your names on a contract that guarantees me the chance to kick both your asses at the same time!

Another loud pop…

Batista: So you two have got nine days left until I serve as your judge… your jury… and your executioner. And believe me… I will show no mercy.

And with that, Batista flips to the back page and emphatically signs his name, before he calmly picks up the contract and hands it’s over to Teddy. The General Manager turns to the back page, looks at it, then sighs, before he speaks again…

Teddy Long: Alright! I guess that means-

Edge: SHUT UP!

Boos from the crowd for the interruption…

Edge: I’m not finished yet! I don’t care about your stupid announcement. You- you think I’m afraid you, Batista? Huh? You think I’m scared of you?

Slowly the champion nods…

Edge: Y’think I’m scared of the guy who at WrestleMania, I had down and out for a three count? The guy I had beat if I had a referee there?

Batista can’t help but laugh at that…

Edge: Why would I be scared of that?

Removing his sunglasses, Batista stares coldly at Edge and picks up his mic…

Batista: Because the difference between Judgment Day and WrestleMania… is that it’s not just about this title anymore. Now…

The champion leans forward, looking Edge dead in the eye as he slowly says…

Batista: Now I wanna hurt you.

A huge cheer from the crowd, and the comment certainly seems to have struck a chord with Edge as he immediately pushes back his chair and stands up… and Batista does the same! Batista and Edge, stood across a table from each other, a tense standoff, ready to nail at each other at a second’s notice, and Mr. Kennedy is loving it, a big grin on his face, almost as if he’s urging them on…

Teddy Long: Let’s- let’s just hang on there a second. This is startin’ to get a little bit outta hand here, playas. I think you two need to cool off a bit and just relax, this is supposed to only be a contract signin’. Let’s save the hostilities for next-

Mr. Kennedy: Aw, Teddy! Sit down and shut up!

And now Kennedy is on his feet, microphone in his hand, right in Batista’s ear…

Mr. Kennedy: I say if they wanna fight, let ‘em fight! I won’t even get involved, I promise.

Teddy Long: Kennedy! That’s enough!

Teddy stands on the other side of the champion, pleading with him to save the violence for another night…

Mr. Kennedy: You wanna hit ‘im, don’t ya’, Dave? You’re dyin’ to hit ‘im!

Teddy Long: I know what you’re tryin’ do Kennedy…

it’s like the angel and the devil on each shoulder as Kennedy and Teddy speak to ‘The Animal’…

Mr. Kennedy: C’mon, all these people, the whole world watchin’, they all wanna see it! Just hit ‘im!

Teddy Long: Kennedy! Enough!

Edge runs a hand through his hair wildly, with Batista clenching his fists and gritting his teeth, ready to snap, ready to hit Edge square in the face…

Mr. Kennedy: Just pull back and-

BANG!!

Batista hits someone alright… he CRACKS KENNEDY RIGHT ON THE JAW!

And then Edge throws over the table… and he and Batista tackle each other, the brawl is on! All hell has broken loose, the tempers are gone, and now Edge and Batista are rolling on the floor, both men desperately trying to get a good shot in on the other, but unable to do so… and now Kennedy has picked himself up… and he dives in! Jumping on Batista and tackling him off of Edge, Kennedy now tries to lay in on the champion, who battles from his back… only for Edge to now tackle Kennedy! It’s every man for himself, none of the three of them give a damn about how they hit, they just want a piece of each other! It’s wild, it’s mayhem, it’s all gone crazy here, the crowd are on their feet going wild… and the shit hits the fan when…

*WHATEVER…*


What the fuck!? It’s… it’s Chris Benoit! BENOIT IS HERE AFTER ALL! AND HE’S SPRINTING DOWN TO THE RING!!

It’s Edge who hears the music first, his eyes nearly bulging out his skull, in utter disbelief, the man he put out of action a month ago is making a beeline for the ring! Benoit sprints and slides under the bottom rope, and Edge tries to get the jump on him, landing forearms to the back of the neck, but Benoit struggles back up… and grabs Edge by the arm… then takes him down… CRIPPLER CROSSFACE! THE CROSSFACE APPLIED TO EDGE!!

The arena is going wild as Edge taps furiously, but it’s no use as Benoit keeps the hold locked on tight, while across the ring, Batista fires Kennedy off the ropes… INTO A MASSIVE SPINEBUSTER!! Kennedy quickly rolls under the bottom rope and flails about on the outside, while Benoit finally release his grip on Edge, allowing him to do the same. Bursting back to his feet, there’s a tense standoff between Benoit and Batista, the two breathing heavily, the crowd loud as hell, urging them on, but before things get even more out of hand, Teddy Long picks up a microphone…


Teddy Long: Edge! Kennedy! Batista! I really wish you three playas had let me make my announcement before you started puttin’ names on that contract!

Edge is stunned, he can’t believe he, crawling up the aisle, looking back at the ring, shaking his head furiously…

Teddy Long: Y’see, you three haven’t signed up for a Triple Threat Match. Oh no. At Judgment Day, it’s gonna be Batista defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Edge… Mr. Kennedy… and CHRIS BENOIT… in a FATAL FOUR WAY MATCH!!

The crowd love that one, letting out perhaps the biggest cheer of the night…

Teddy Long: And further more… since I feel it’s only fair that Benoit gets in a little pre-Judgment Day workout… he WILL be in action next week on SmackDown!

And with great satisfaction, Teddy points a finger up the aisle and says…

Teddy Long: When he takes on YOU, Edge!

Another tremendous cheer, with Edge sitting on the concrete shouting “No! NO!”, while in the ring, Benoit nods and licks his lips, knowing his chance for revenge comes next week…

Teddy Long: Holla at me, I’ll see ya’ next week playas!

*WHATEVER…*


Benoit and Batista continue to look at each other, both men poised and ready to attack, but uable to do so due to the friendship that exists between them. On the outside, Kennedy rubs his jaw in pain, while Edge sits on the concrete in despair, looking like his whole world has just crashed around him…


Michael Cole: Oh my… can you believe that!? Chris Benoit is back, he’s in the World Heavyweight Title Match at Judgment Day… and he’s got Edge next week on SmackDown!

Tazz: Holy smokes! What the hell is goin’ on around here?! What a match that’s gonna be next week!

John Bradshaw Layfield: How the hell can Teddy Long do that? How is that right? How is that fair?

Michael Cole: I don’t think it matters! What a night it’s gonna be next week, you won’t wanna miss the final stop before Judgment Day, folks! We’ll see ya’ next week, goodnight!

In the ring, Batista and Benoit continue their standoff, neither man budging, but both glad to see each other, while on the outside, Kennedy looks back in at the ring, shaking his head in annoyance, while on the aisle, Edge looks like he’s seen a ghost, head in his hands in despair as we fade to black.

*End Show*




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

Location: iPayOne Center; San Diego, California

World Heavyweight Championship Fatal Four Way Match:
World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. Chris Benoit 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. The Coachman Coalition




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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Always nice when a match starts off a show and this was a huge one at that. World Champ opening the show is always big and I guess that gave this match that feel about it. Was a very strong contest and as hard hitting as anticipated. Obviously Tista was gonna retain but Finlay certainly didn’t look any weaker in defeat. It’s a shame he’s taken a few losses recently but in saying that, he hasn’t been completely run over and I’m hopeful he knocks off Kane come JD. Strong showing from the champ however.

Mind games beginning eh? I’m all for it, shows that this feud is beginning to really pick up.

Strong promo from Edge here and I liked the way he said he’s not a fighter, he’s a wrestler. It was just a nice little phrase to use and shows his line of thinking in not needing the power, the strength of Tista, he’ll just outdo him elsewhere.

Chavo’s promo work has been excellent during this feud with Rey and it’s had to be seeing as Mysterio’s not there to do anything about it. The message was well presented but it was a little repetitive, however that is very understandable. There’s only so much you can do without Rey being there and I think you have done a great job of it, just this time I found it a bit more of ‘Same old, same old’. Of course a victory for Chavo and in convincing style. Aftermath was a nice little touch and Vickie counting it in their native tongue just added to that. I can imagine the crowd’s reaction to THAT voice dragging on to the count of ten lol.

Doug Williams is certainly a solid addition to the Cruiserweight ranks, look forward to seeing how you use him. VERY intriguing tease from Long here, I think it’s simply a red herring though and we’ll be seeing somebody else returning other than Mr.Benoit.

Haha, nice job with this F.B.I segment. You’ve done well with the comedic aspect of the group and this was no different. Pretty sure we’ll be seeing the Big Red Machine before the night’s out.

Very good contest here between Hardy and Regal, probably topping the Tista/Finlay match for me which I didn’t expect, good job here fella. Hardy’s momentum continuing doesn’t surprise me and was definitely the right call, I sense a strong showing from him in this KOTR. Aftermath was very simple yet very effective stuff. Challenger attacking champion, making a statement, simples. Miz’s words were likewise and the way you had him tell Hardy to shift his focus away from KOTR and onto him was definitely smart. Good to see this one blossoming.

Awesome stuff here with London and Kendrick. Obviously I’ve got a slightly similar situation in my thread with tension between two partners and I know I really enjoy writing it and by the looks of it I’d say you do too? Kendrick’s really been a highlight for me recently and this was no different, the way he played up their achievement to calling Ashley eye candy was great and the arrival of Burke and Brown on the scene added even more to this. Layla trying to cause more dissension in the ranks was clever and I think these guys definitely achieved it. This one’s really brewing nicely and I can’t wait to see what you bring to the table at JD.

I know Booker lost last week and I was fine with that but if MVP lost here it would’ve been a REAL shocker. Thankfully he didn’t and it’s a much needed win for him and for the Coachman Coalition to get under their belts.

There he issssssss. Finally we get the Kane appearance and it was certainly a big one. This one’s getting very heated and I’m expecting a straight up fight come Judgment Day between these two. From simple mind games to resulting in car windows getting smashed? Very different lol but I liked it. I think the Irishman may bite back next week.

Hmmm, wonder who’s winning this one. Shock horror it’s KK in emphatic style. Post match promo was nothing to really write home about but did its job nicely. Makes a good point about KOTR generally being a platform but his spin on it was well worked and it would certainly be a change to see it, not that I expect it to happen!

Was really looking forward to this and it didn’t disappoint. JBL is just all kinds of awesome and this was no different, he’s a joy to write and a real pleasure to read, no different here. The way he speaks about Helms is gold, their chemistry together is really great. Helms’ piece was fantastically written, the way he talked up Danielson as being so damn good yet still not good enough to knock him off was great and you do really get a sense from his words that Judgment Day truly is Danielson’s day of judgment, his last chance to prove his worth. Wasn’t the flashiest or greatest response in return from Danielson but he made it clear his talking is done inside the ring and you certainly believe him when he says it. Conclusion to this with Bradshaw was again, excellent. Just classic JBL trash talk and the ambush that followed wrapped this up beautifully. Really enjoyable segment and this has been THE feud for Smackdown, for me personally anyway. Just keeps on building and getting better, can’t wait for the finale at JD.

Closing segment was a typical contract signing. All three men said their piece, ran their mouths as expected and I did like the way they all pretty much told Teddy Long where to stick it. Especially liked Kennedy in wanting Tista and Edge to beat the crap out of each other. Must admit, Benoit returning caught me off guard, thought Henry’s return was the swerve but then ya go and swerve me again!! I guess it always appeared to be a Fatal 4-Way that was coming BUT with Benoit’s injury I really was expecting a Triple Threat with Benoit to return after the PPV and get his final roll of the dice. Well done on having me fooled, whether you now have the time for Benoit to REALLY make his mark is the only thing I’d say is a worry for me but I guess the injury lay off takes care of that in giving him an even bigger motive ahead of the title showdown.

On the whole an excellent show with the undercard REALLY shining for me and really capturing my excitement right now. Hardy/Miz, the Tag ranks and the Helms/Danielson feud are really progressing right now and long may it continue. I think you need a big finale next week regarding the World Title situation. It’s been brewing and building slowly and with Benoit’s return this week I think you need something on the final stop to really kick it up another level. I’ve no doubts you will! Keep the goods coming.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:14 PM   #299 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Gonna give some condensed comments on the two shows, not quite as detailed as I’d like, but rather than focus on just one of the shows, I’ve comments on both, but there will be a few segments/matches I’ll not be commenting on.

I’m really intrigued as to where Cesaro is going to eventually settle on Raw. He’s come in and immediately rubbed shoulders with (and beaten) the top two faces in two weeks, so obviously the sky is the limit. Given the way in which he has picked up those wins though could suggest that after this initial instant impact, he may well settle in, just in and around the upper mid card for a period in order to solidify himself as a genuine contender with some clean wins, although simply beating RVD and Cena in two straight weeks may well be enough to solidify him anyway. Whether it’s in the main event or the upper mid card, it’s obvious Cesaro will be prominently featured week after week - especially if he keeps cutting lines like “Pay my dues? Do you accept cash or credit card.” That was tremendous.

Sticking with Cena though (and by proxy, The War Games set up) he made a good point about the high number of people that should be banging down the door to be on Lindas team, given the amount of people Vince has fucked over. As an aside, I know very little is ever really spoken of the video packages to hype PPV events, but I really liked the theme for the War Games PPV video. In addition, having Vince and his administration scouting the roster in a boardroom type environment is a brilliant little touch to adapt, especially with Big Johnny and Shane ‘crunching the numbers’. I fully expected Orton to be part of the team after his promo last week, and I’m glad you got him on board early to add more depth to Vinces team. While it might not necessarily be logical to have a non-wrestler on the team, I do hope Shane takes a spot also - simply for the fact he’s a spot monkey, and I’m sure you could incorporate something crazy with Shane in the War Games environment. Personally, I think Flair is the PERFECT choice to run alongside Cena inside War Games, given his own history in the match.

Dykstra issuing a court order against Carlito is a perfect dog shit heel thing to do, and I must say, the letter itself was nicely written, padded out with bullshit about the pressures Kenny faces as I.C Champ. It will most certainly lead to an eventual blow off match down the road between the two, but the chase for Carlito now is what will most certainly MAKE this angle even sweeter. Bringing in Big Zeke as Dykstras muscle makes me think that you most certainly are going for Kenny as a big part of Raw in the long haul, and the court order/bodyguard addition breathes new life into a feud that could’ve easily extinguished. I’m now quite interested to see where the Kenny/Carlito saga goes next. Nice job. In saying that, I’m not sure how good an idea it was for the bodyguard to get dropped by ‘Lito on his first night. He really ought to be protected for a month or two at least imo. After losing out to CCC on his first night, he already comes across as incompetent.

No big surprises in the KOTR results this week, although for a moment, I was convinced Lawler would progress past Masters thanks to the musical distraction - which, I hated, if I’m honest. Not the actual music distracting Masters, but the premise of the direction Nitro’s character looks set to take, as I DETEST the Morrison character. So, while I’ll reserve judgment until I see what you’ll actually wind up doing with Nitro, and how he’ll metamorphosis’ into his new gimmick - or whatever way it turns out, I’m not holding out much hope.

I think Mickie might just stay off screen for longer than a few weeks, as I can see a feud emerging between Beth and Victoria eventually, with the notes that even Victoria was slightly uncomfortable with the post-match attack on Candice going too far. I think it’s safe to say that sooner or later, Victoria will stand up to Beth, and hey presto - womens title feud. The Mickie angle is the big one though, and I’m intrigued as to why she’s no-showed. Is it fear? Or something else?

The WWE Champion competing in a random six man tag feels a little odd to me, and perhaps was just there as a means to get him on the show, but I would’ve settled just for him to cut the promo he cut after the match. As you’d expect him to, Van Dam was too proud to just take the loss to Cesaro last week and get on with things, but offering to put the title on the line was … interesting. Very ballsy move from RVD, but it just accentuates the fact that he wants to be a fighting champ I guess. There’s no way Cesaro wins the belt, but I’m not convinced he’ll suffer a loss either, so no doubt the finish will be positively shady.

---

I certainly wasn’t expecting events to transpire the way they did on Smackdown regarding the World Championship, but it’s great to get a genuine, big ass surprise every now and again like you provided with Benoit on this show. I’ll save my ramblings as to who I think (actually, I have no idea who I think - that’s why I’ll be rambling) will win the Four Way at Judgment Day for prediction time, but there are solid reasons for ANY of the four guys to win the belt - and that’s a good thing. None of the four guys are simply involved for the sake of it, no one appears to be there ‘just to take the fall’, it’s set up four stories; Batista seeing off yet another challenge, Kennedy winning his first title, Edge righting the wrong of Mania, Benoit riding off into the … uhm, sunset. Next weeks final show might help me work out just where things are heading…

The first Finlay backstage vignette was funny, with the Little Bastard holding onto his protector … but the others turned (for me) his feud with Kane into a bit of a hokey comedy angle, after it was treated so seriously last week as a hard hitting feud. BUT - to be fair, the last segment, where Kane put through the window to try and drag him back out of the car was pretty sweet. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to come across as hokey, but the red lights in a backstage environment etc just reminds me of the ridiculous days of The Boogeyman, and killed the seriousness of the feud for me.

Chavo was - again - perfectly written. It remains a highlight of the show for me, and it’s a bit of a shame tbh that next week will be the end of this excellent run of great segments. Although he slipped up by saying the match would be THIS Sunday, rather than next, when talking to Kidman.

Doug Williams isn’t a great talker, and you definitely captured that part of him well here with one hell of a bland promo . While talking isn’t his strong point, I fully expect Williams to tear shit up in the cruiserweight division, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing how you utilise him in the coming weeks & months.

I’m still struggling to take Miz seriously as a threat to Hardy, but it might be more to do with just my own mindset, rather than a knock on how you’re building Miz. I just see him as more of a chicken shit heel at this point, that would hit and run, but I can appreciate what you’re trying to do with the reality star by trying to make him more of a serious threat.

Continued brilliance from Kendrick - but I think you’ll already know that. You’ve got his persona NAILED on at this point, and while I hope he and London somehow keep the belts at Judgment Day (just to keep the build to his eventual all out heel turn going) I think it’s curtains for the champs at that event - especially after Layla just got in the head of Kendrick with her mind games. Typical woman

I got a prediction right Good to see you bringing in Mark Henry to round off one HELL of a group for The Coach. I suspect he’s eyeing Teddy Longs job, and he’ll use his group - which is truly well rounded with charisma, talent and muscle - to try and shoulder the GM out of his job. The Coalition should be a tremendous addition to the Smackdown roster, and could very easily slide into a top feud, given the talent involved in the stable. Very excited about this group. Don’t disappoint!!

Much like on Raw, the King of the Ring results were pretty straightforward, but for me, the Kennedy promo just sold me on the winner. It would be AWESOME (but I don’t think it’ll be the case) to see Kennedy do as he suggested he might, and win the World Title AND be crowned King within a month of each other. The promo itself was terrific, and it’s why I’m now calling Kennedy as KOTR, and possibly even using that win to propel himself into a title match at Summerslam. But definitely, I’m jotting in Kennedy as the clear favourite … for now

But that wasn’t the only golden promo to savour. The JBL, Helms, Danielson meeting was a fantastic build up to Judgment Day, giving the Cruiserweights a chance to shine and build that feud ending match, which could well steal the show at Judgment Day. It makes perfect sense for JBL to stand by Helms, given the way he always championed him on commentary back in the day, and his bullying persona, coupled with a disdain for small guys working up from the indy scene makes him a perfect foil for someone like Danielson. I really thought it was a genius move to include JBL in this segment, as, while it would’ve worked fine without him, he truly did make it something special and memorable. Danielson falling to the two men had to be expected in the end, but I imagine - it has to happen … surely?? - he’ll have the last laugh. But please, try and find a way to have Danielson and JBL interact again in the future. To me, it’s potentially golden. I’d even be tempted to bring JBL out of retirement for a match with Danielson at some point, just to put Bryan over.

Sorry for the haphazard manner I’ve thrown out this feedback
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:49 AM   #300 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
May 14th, 2007
Tucson Convention Center
Tucson, Arizona






Monday Night Raw rolls into Tucson, Arizona with the prospect of a WWE Championship Match, and the continuing suspense around the upcoming War Games Match which stepped up a gear thanks to the return of the one and only, Ric Flair.

Last week, Flair returned to the WWE after being absent from our screens ever since WrestleMania, and ‘The Nature Boy’ looked better than ever as he stormed into the arena to save John Cena from a two on one assault at the hands of Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton. With Orton being announced earlier in the night as the second member of Team Vince at War Games, Raw concluded with Cena announcing that Flair would be his teammate on Team Linda, the two standing tall as Raw went off the air. Tonight, we’ll hear from Flair on his return to action, and just why he stayed away from Raw ever since that historic night in Detroit. And of course, as we continue to count down to War Games, more names are likely to be revealed as both Team Vince and Team Linda continue to take shape.

But while Flair’s return is a huge story, another man who made an impact last week was newcomer Claudio Cesaro. In his first two weeks in the WWE, Cesaro has now picked up wins over both John Cena and the WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam. Granted, his victory over Van Dam was via countout, and his defeat of Cena last week had plenty to do with Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton, but the record books don’t lie, Cesaro is 2-0 and tonight, he gets another shot at ‘RVD’ and the WWE Championship. Unlike his first night on Raw when it was Cesaro who made the challenged, last week it was Van Dam, ever the fighting champion, who offered to put the title on the line to put the rookie firmly in his place. Tonight, both men meet with the gold on the line in a match where by ruling from the WWE Board of Directors, any outside interference will result in an immediate suspension. With no excuses available, just who will be leaving Tucson as the WWE Champion?

Eleswhere, the Round of 32 of the King of the Ring comes to a conclusion this week, with Raw wrapping up it’s half of the bracket tonight with two matches that could have a big impact of the tag team division. One half of the World Tag Team Champions, Charlie Haas, takes on Tyson Kidd from The Hart Legacy, the two teams exchanging words backstage last week, giving this one a little bit extra meaning as both men look to one up the other duo. As for the match between Lance Cade and Nick Dinsmore, The Redneck Wrecking Crew and The Straight Edge Saints have repeatedly clashed over the last few weeks, with Punk advancing in the King of the Ring with a win over Trevor Murdoch, while The Saints gained victory over The Crew as part of a Six Man Tag Team Match last week. It may be for a spot in the next round of the King of the Ring, but these two matches carry much more meaning for these four teams.

All this, and we’ll crown a new number one contender for the Women’s Championship as Maria, Melina and Natalya do battle in a Triple Threat Match, the winner set to face the champion Beth Phoenix next week on Raw, although many still wonder where exactly is the former champion Mickie James? And we’ll hear more from Kenny Dykstra and Carlito after Dykstra announced last week that he’d hired a bodyguard to protect himself from ‘Lito, plus there will be appearances from two men already through to the next round of the King of the Ring, Jeff Hardy and Chris Masters.


Confirmed Matches:

WWE Championship Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Claudio Cesaro

King of the Ring Qualifying Matches – Round of 32
Charlie Hass vs. Tyson Kidd
Lance Cade vs. Nick Dinsmore

Maria vs. Melina vs. Natalya
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