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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
May 21st, 2007
ARCO Arena
Sacramento, California



”Join my team, be my fifth man… and when we win War Games… I’ll give you your title shot.”





The show opens with a brief highlights package from last week, starting with the announcement from John Cena to Kenny Dykstra that tonight, he’ll defend his Intercontinental Championship against the latest member of Team Linda, Carlito, in a Ladder Match. Fast forward to the main event, where after we see some of the hard hitting action between Ric Flair and Bobby Lashley, Flair strikes, locking Lashley in the Figure Four Leglock, only for Randy Orton to his the ring, causing a disqualification. Cena and Carlito hit the ring to make the save, only to be followed by Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, as The Redneck Wrecking Crew announce their entrance into the War Games Match by brutalising Cena and Carlito with steel chairs, before Orton drops Flair with the RKO, then Lashley puts Cena through the announce desk with The Dominator, the last sight being the four members of Team Vince standing tall in the ring, while Team Linda lay scattered around ringside.

We now see the usual Raw intro video, before we head into the arena, the Sacramento faithful giving us a loud welcome to the show, while we hear from our announce team…


Jim Ross: Last night, the stars of Friday Night SmackDown put on a helluva show at Judgment Day! But tonight, it’s Monday Night Raw’s turn, as we’ve got two huge title matches, two King of the Ring qualifiers, and the fallout from last week’s shocking announcement that The Redneck Wrecking Crew has joined up with Team Vince at War Games! Hello everyone, I’m Jim Ross alongside Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and Joey Styles, we welcome you to Monday Night Raw, live in Sacramento, California, and fellas, what a night we’ve got lined up!

Jerry Lawler: You said it J.R.! Not one, but two titles on the line tonight, including Kenny Dykstra defending his Intercontinental Title against Carlito in a Ladder Match! Dykstra managed to escape with the title at both WrestleMania and Backlash, but tonight, there’s no escaping for Dykstra, and we’re gonna have a new Intercontinental Champion.

Joey Styles: And what about the WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam? After having settled the score with Caludio Cesaro last week, Van Dam was nailed by a sneak attack from Shawn Michaels, the man who has challenged ‘RVD’ to a WWE Title Match. Tonight, Van Dam and Michaels meet in the squared circle in tag team action as they team up with the respective captains of Team Linda and Team Vince, John Cena and Bobby Lashley.

Jim Ross: All that, plus Beth Phoenix defends the Women’s Championship against Natalya Neidhart, CM Punk, Jeff Hardy, Charlie Haas and Chris Masters are all involved in the King of the Ring, and no doubt we’ll be hearin’ from Raw’s newest superstar, the afore mentioned Caludio Cesaro.

Brief silence, but then…

*SEXY BOY…*


The heat is ridiculous as Shawn Michaels slowly, coldly makes his way into the arena. Stopping at the top of the stage to open his hands and turns his eyes towards the heavens, Michaels makes his way down the ramp in that robotic fashion that has become trademark for him these last few months…


Jim Ross: He is without a doubt, the most chilling individual I have ever met. The demeanour of Shawn Michaels, I don’t mind admitting it, it scares me. It sends chills up and down my spine to see what this man has become. And if that wasn’t enough, it was confounded last week by not only the cheap shot to Rob Van Dam, but the eerie way in which Michaels coveted the WWE Championship.

Jerry Lawler: God that was just… bizarre. I mean, Michaels laid out ‘RVD’, then he just… he just touched the title, then he left it there laying. It was just such a strange thing to see, it was almost as if Shawn was afraid to touch the title. It just really creeped me out.

Joey Styles: It was the act of a coward if ya’ ask me. We’ve seen Michaels try to play these mind games with Van Dam over the last few weeks, and when he realised it wasn’t working, when he realised it wasn’t affecting the WWE Champion, Michaels has to resort to a cheap shot. Well we heard ‘RVD’ say it earlier tonight, if you want a title shot, look me in the eye and ask for it. I just don’t think this new Shawn Michaels is man enough to do it.

*HELL WILL BE CALLIN’…*


More heat as Bobby Lashley makes his entrance, and there’s a gasp of surprise as Randy Orton joins his fellow Team Vince member. Lashley snarls as he strides down the ramp, while Orton takes his time, scowling at the fans, all the while carrying his Money in the Bank briefcase…


Joey Styles: Now what is this? Why is Randy Orton coming out here, he’s got no business being out here for this matchup.

Jerry Lawler: I think Vince McMahon is the reason for that. I’m pretty sure he’s sent Orton out here as an insurance policy to make sure Lashley does a little bit more damage to John Cena after that powerslam through our announce desk last week.

Jim Ross: I think this stinks! There’s no reason for Orton to be out here. Lashley and Michaels are enough for any team to handle, never mind having ‘Mr. Money in the Bank’ being in their corner.

*MY TIME IS NOW…*


As always, the reception for John Cena is loud and mixed, but the majority cheer for him as he steps out onto the stage, offers up a salute to the masses, then he jogs down the ramp, stopping at the bottom, wary of entering the ring outnumbered three to one…


Jim Ross: What a response for John Cena, a man who tried in vain to save Carlito earlier tonight from the onslaught of Team Vince, and now, he gets to go after a little bit of revenge if he can get the better of Bobby Lashley right here.

Joey Styles: Well the night didn’t start off great for Cena, but it got better with the announcement that CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore are on Team Linda, and it can have a great ending if Cena can play his part in a victory in our main event. John Cena beat Bobby Lashley back at WrestleMania, but we’ve yet to see a confrontation between Cena and Michaels.

Jerry Lawler: And can you imagine what could happen if those two ever squared off?

*ONE OF A KIND…*


And a truly thunderous pop as the WWE Champion Rob Van Dam steps out. Looking around the arena, Van Dam nods with a smile on his face, before he leads the crowd through a chant of “ROB – VAN – DAM!” and then heads for the ring. Upon meeting up with Cena, the two exchange a quick high five… then they slide into the ring… and go for Lashley and Michaels! This one’s underway in a hurry!

Match 1: Tag Team Match
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam and John Cena vs. Bobby Lashley and Shawn Michaels w/ Randy Orton

And Van Dam quickly tackles Michaels to the canvas, hammering him with wild rights and lefts, while Cena and Lashley tussle into the corner, the two trading blows against the turnbuckle. Michaels manages to escape Van Dam’s grasp and rolls from the ring, while Cena has Lashley against the ropes… and then clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor! The crowd are on their feet as the faces clean house, and it takes an age for Lashley and Michaels to return to the ring, both men looking to kill the early momentum and take away the enthusiasm of the crowd. When things settle down, it’s Lashley and Van Dam who step forward, but ‘RVD’ quickly points at Michaels, saying he wants ‘HBK’ in the ring. Lashley offers Michaels the tag… but Michaels just stares blankly at him, his cold eyes unnerving Lashley, who turns and looks towards Orton for advice. Orton points and tells Lashley to focus on Van Dam, and that’s what happens as the match finally gets underway, the two locking up, Van Dam quickly going for a standing wristlock, only for Lashley to fire back with a stiff forearm to the face. Lashley then goes for a waistlock, but ‘RVD’ twists into a waistlock of his own, only for Lashley to back into the corner, squashing the WWE Champion. Elbows, uppercuts and knees to the body follow, before Van Dam is sent across… but he jumps to the second rope… springboard crossbody! Lashley storms back to his feet… right into an armdrag! Lashley is back up… another amrdrag… and a third… before he walks into a jumping roundhouse! Van Dam goes for the early cover… but Lashley easily powers out. And back on his feet, Lashley catches ‘RVD’ with a knee to the gut, then lands forearms to the back of the head, before going for the Irish whip… Van Dam ducks a clothesline, then goes for a kick, which Lashley catches… step over heel kick! Lashley is down in prime position, and now ‘RVD’ slings himself to the top rope… looking for the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH… but Lashley wisely rolls under the bottom rope to the floor. Orton quickly heads over to assist his War Games teammate back to his feet… but neither man sees ‘RVD’ shift on the top rope… then fly… CROSSBODY TAKES OUT BOTH MEN! Van Dam is on fire early on, and he quickly rolls Lashley back into the ring… then strikes with a SLINGSHOT LEGDROP! Another cover… 1… 2… but again Lashley kicks out.

Cena now tags in, tagging Lashley with right hands, but when he sends Lashley to the corner… Lashley explodes out with a clothesline! Cena is down, and this time Michaels does take the tag, shoving Cena to the corner, where he unloads with a series of chops to the chest. Michaels goes for the Irish whip… but Cena reverses… Michaels goes head over heels against the corner, stumbling back out… and then Cena hits him with a flying shoulderblock! Both men back up… another flying shoulderblock! Michaels back up… right into the sitout hiptoss! Cena bursts back to his feet… only for Lashley to storm the ring and bowl him over with a bodycheck! It’s a cheap shot from Lashley, one which draws Van Dam into the ring, but the advantage is back with Michaels now, who lays in with stomps to the body, then fires Cena off the ropes… flying forearm! Cena is down, Michaels hooks the leg… but Cena kicks out at two. Michaels stays on the attack, landing more chops, but when he sends Cena off the ropes, Michaels lowers his head… and Cena hits the fisherman’s suplex! Cena now crawls to his corner… and ‘RVD’ gets the tag! It’s Van Dam and Michaels in the ring, with the WWE Champion storming towards Michaels… but he puts on the breaks, as ‘HBK’… just stands and stares at Van Dam. The WWE Champions is as confused as the rest of the audience, as Michaels just stares blankly at him, both men standing their ground, neither man making that first move… until Michaels slowly backs away… and tags in Lashley. Nobody in the arena understands it, the crowd loudly booing Michaels, who casually steps through the ropes, and it’s on that very strange moment that we head for a commercial.

*Commercial*


And when we return, we see that during the commercial, Cena had tagged back in and was in control, only for Lashley to catch Cena with an overhead belly to belly suplex, regaining control. Lashley hammers Cena with right hands, before he takes Cena up… and down with a long, delayed vertical suplex! Lashley goes for the cover… and Cena kicks out at two. Lashley brings in Michaels, who again lands chops to the chest, then a few right hands to the face, before he drops Cena with a swinging neckbreaker. Michaels continues to target the neck, dropping knees and stomps, before he scoop slams Cena to the mat, heads to the second rope, and waits for Cena to rise… double axe handle to the back of the neck! Michaels goes for the cover… 1… 2… but Cena kicks out again. The tags between Michaels and Lashley become frequent now, with Lashley using his power to do plenty of damage, punishing Cena with forearms to the back of the head, using the ropes and his knee to apply pressure to the neck, before he sends Cena flying with a fallaway slam for a near fall. Michaels is back in, rocking Cena with a belly to back suplex, before he climbs to the top rope… and nails the FLYING ELBOWDROP! Michaels hooks a leg… 1… 2… Cena hangs in there! Frustrated, Michaels finally shows a sign of emotion as he unleashes with wild rights and lefts as Cena lays on the canvas, before he locks Cena into a standing version of the camel clutch, trying to apply more pressure to the neck. Michaels keeps Cena grounded, wrenching on the neck, and slowly but surely, Cena starts to fade… but the crowd rally behind him, urging Cena back to his feet, and after what feels like an eternity, Cena makes a move, getting back to his feet, driving elbows to the midsection to break the hold… before he takes Michaels up and down with the PROTOPLEX!

Both men are down now, crawling towards their corners, with Michaels reaching out… here comes Lashley… but here comes Van Dam! Van Dam bursts into the ring, ducking a clothesline… then he rocks Lashley with a jumping roundhouse! ‘RVD’ goes to work on Lashley, landing kicks to the chest, backing Lashley to the corner, before he drives two shoulders to the midsection, backflips away… then races back in with a third shoulderthrust! Van Dam now rolls back in… and sends Lashley flying with a monkey flip! Out of the corner of his eye, Van Dam sees Michaels, and makes a move towards him… only for Michaels to drop down and roll to the floor! Again Michaels escapes Van Dam’s grasp, the champion yelling for ‘HBK’ to face him, but Van Dam quickly gets hammered from behind by Lashley. Lashley pummels Van Dam in the corner, driving him down to the canvas… but here comes Cena, spinning Lashley around… kick… FISHERMAN’S SUPLEX! Lashley is down in the centre of the ring, and here comes Cena off the ropes… “You can’t see me!”… FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! Cena now stands, waiting for Lashley to rise… then he takes him up on his shoulder… FU… NO! Michaels is back in the ring… and he blasts Cena with SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Cena drops Lashley and slumps to the canvas, but as Michaels stands over Cena, he doesn’t see Van Dam climb to the top rope… DIVING SUPERKICK! ‘RVD’ finally connects with ‘HBK’, Michaels tumbling through the ropes to the floor, allowing Van Dam to go back to work on Lashley, tagging him with kicks to the chest, before he goes for an Irish whip… rolling… and sending Lashley flying with a monkey flip! Lashley is down, and here comes Van Dam… ROLLING THUNDER… INTO THE SOMERSAULT SENTON! Van Dam is building momentum, and out of desperation… Randy Orton jumps up onto the apron! Orton distracts Van Dam, and behind his back, Michaels reaches in, slaps Lashley on the back… that blind tag makes Michaels the legal man! Michaels drops back down, leaving a dazed Lashley to stagger back to his feet… to drill Van Dam from behind! The distraction works as Lashley hammers ‘RVD’… but here comes Cena… tackling Lashley into Orton… sending Orton flying to the floor! Cena and Lashley quickly tumble through the ropes, with Cena battering Lashley, even taking shots at Orton, the trio battling their way along the side of the ramp, and soon they fight all the way out of the arena… and that leaves Van Dam and Michaels alone in the ring! ‘RVD’ is down, the distraction from Orton costing him dearly, as when he staggers back up, Michaels is ready and waiting… SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! Michaels gets all of it, and he drops down into the cover… 1… 2… 3!

Winners: Bobby Lashley and Shawn Michaels @ 13.58

Wow. The crowd are stunned, as Shawn Michaels has just pinned the WWE Champion! After all the mind games, all the sneak attacks, Michaels has backed up by scoring a victory over ‘RVD’, albeit not without controversy. With Cena and Lashley nowhere to be seen, Michaels is left all alone with the fallen champion, Van Dam barely moving, with Michaels quickly back on his feet to stand over him…


Jim Ross: I may not like it, but I can’t deny it. Shawn Michaels has made a huge statement here tonight, he’s pinned the WWE Champion, although he got a huge assist from Randy Orton. At one point Van Dam had this match won, only for Orton to get involved, and it cost the WWE Champion dearly.

Joey Styles: And what does this mean for the WWE Championship? We know Michaels wants a title shot, we know he’s been playing mind games with the champion, well now he holds a victory over Rob Van Dam, and I’m sure Michaels is gonna be askin’ for his shot at the gold real soon.

Jerry Lawler: But what about Cena and Lashley? They battled right outta the arena, they might still be goin’ at it right now! War Games is shapin’ up to be one of the most violent matches in WWE history!

The crowd continue to jeer as Michaels continues to stand over Van Dam, the WWE Champion having not moved an inch, and it’s a look into the cold, lifeless eyes of Michaels that the camera lingers on as we head for a commercial.

*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*


We’re back, and it’s to the office of Mr. McMahon, boos greeting the arrival of ‘The Chairman’ and his son Shane McMahon to the screen. Vince and Shane are both all smiles, having watched what we just saw…

Mr. McMahon: I like it! I like it! That’s what happens when you sign up to go against me! Lashley and Orton, they just showed Cena exactly what he’s got in store come War Games! And what about Michaels, huh? Damn near kicked Van Dam’s head off his shoulders.

Shane McMahon: Wait, wait, rewind it! I wanna see it again!

Vince points the remote at the TV…

Shane McMahon: OK, OK, slo-mo it… oh! Aw that’s beautiful! That’s just-

Suddenly, the door bursts open and storming into the room comes Shawn Michaels to defeaning from inside the arena. Shane and Vince are instantly taken aback as Michaels gets right in their faces, breathing heavily, his eerie stare fixated on Vince, although Michaels just keeps on breathing, not saying a word, something which creeps out both McMahons…

Mr. McMahon: Ah… Shawn. What a… pleasant surprise. I uh… I saw the match with you and Lashley and Cena and Van Dam. And you pinned the WWE Champion. Very impressive. Very impressive, indeed.

Michaels continues to stare, with Vince turning to Shane, awkwardly hoping his son will take over the conversation…

Mr. McMahon: Is uh… is there something I can do for you Shawn?

Nothing. Not a hint of a change of emotion from Michaels…

Mr. McMahon: I suppose you’re here looking for a shot at Rob Van Dam and the WWE Championship? Am I right? Well, as much as I’d like to see that title away from Van Dam and around your waist as soon as possible… I’m afraid I just don’t have the authority to make that kinda match right now.

A scowl now crosses Michaels face as he turns away angrily…

Mr. McMahon: The WWE Board of Directors decided that decisions like that had to be made in agreement with both myself and my wife Linda. I’m sorry Shawn… my hands are tied.

A tense stand-off as both men look hard into each other’s eyes…

Mr. McMahon: But… I may have an even better proposal for you. Something that if you agree to, could lead to you getting that title shot.

A smirk on Vince’s face as Michaels looks interested…

Mr. McMahon: I’m sure you’re aware Shawn that at War Games, my team takes on my wife’s team, and which ever representative’s team wins, they gain sole control of Monday Night Raw. And that would of course mean that I… could start deciding who Rob Van Dam’s challenger would be. And I’m sure you’re also aware, Shawn… that I have one spot left open on my team.

With a glint in his eye, Vince presses on…

Mr. McMahon: You uh… you see where I’m going with this. Join my team, be my fifth man… and when we win War Games… I’ll give you your title shot.

For a second or two, Michaels ponders the offer, until Vince adds…

Mr. McMahon: Well that is course… after Bobby Lashley gets his shot.

That comment clearly draws the ire of Michaels, who turns away again, a look of anger on his face…

Mr. McMahon: Yeah… yeah. Bobby Lashley and Shawn Michaels, one on one for the WWE Championship. That’s the kinda title match I wanna see. That’s the kinda title match that’s gonna make me money.

Oblivous to Michaels’ reaction, Vince has a beaming smile on his face as he makes Michaels an offer…

Mr. McMahon: So… do we have a deal?

With a cold look in his eyes, Michaels looks at Vince, goofy smile and all, and then slowly turns his head… and simply walks away. Not a word is spoken from ‘HBK’, but it’s clear that he’s rejected McMahon’s offer, something at which ‘The Chairman of the Board’ just can’t understand. Throwing his hands up in annoyance, Vince turns to Shane, looking for answers, but Shane simply shakes his head in disbelief as Vince watches Shawn go, a stern look on his face, and it’s on that look we linger for a few seconds before cutting elsewhere.

And it’s to a backstage corridor where we see Carlito and Ric Flair walking along, ‘the two carrying bags and dressed in street clothes, clearly having just arrived at the arena tonight…


Ric Flair: Listen man, don’t you worry about tonight. Tonight, there’s no Torrie, no ‘Zeke’, nothin’ that’s gonna stand in your way of becomin’ Intercontinental Champion. Tonight’s the night you teach that punk Dykstra a lesson!

Too focused, Carlito doesn’t offer any response as he just nods his head and mutters to himself…

Ric Flair: Woo! I am excited tonight! I’m feelin’ it for ya’ brother, and hey, if anything goes down, you know me and Cena have got your back. Nothin’ is gonna stop you walkin’ outta this arena with-

Both men put on the breaks, stopping as if they’ve seen a ghost… and the camera pans to reveal who they’re both looking at… it’s Dusty Rhodes! A huge cheer breaks out as a show of respect for ‘The American Dream’, who has a young man stood next to him. Flair looks delighted to see his longtime friend, the two legends stepping towards each other…

Ric Flair: What the…? ‘Dream’! Hey, Dusty Rhodes! What are you doin’ here!? It’s great to see ya’, man!

The two exchange a handshake and a hug…

Dusty Rhodes: Hey ‘Naitch’, how ya’ been?

Ric Flair: I’m great, I’m doin’ great! Hey… Dusty Rhodes, I want you to meet one o’ the top young guys around here, Carlito!

And now Dusty and Carlito share a handshake…

Dusty Rhodes: You don’t gotta tell me who this is! Carlito, I know all about ya’! Great to meet ya’, kid!

’Lito nods in appreciation, but is clearly not in the mood to chat right now…

Carlito: Yeah, uh… nice to meet ‘ju. Listen, Carlito’s got a huge match tonight, so…

With a respectful nod of the head, ‘Lito quickly makes his exit, leaving Flair alone with Dusty and his young accomplice…

Ric Flair: Ah don’t worry about him, ‘Dream’. He’s just got screwed too many times these last few weeks, he ain’t lettin’ nothin’ distract ‘im tonight. But hey, what are ya’ doin’ here? How come ya’ didn’t call to let me know you were comin’ in?

Dusty Rhodes: They wanted me to keep it a surprise, baby. They brought me in here to talk about War Games, teach these kids exactly what that match is all about.

Pop from inside the arena…

Dusty Rhodes: And you know better than anybody ‘Naitch’ that nobody but nobody knows War Games better than ‘The American Dream’.

Flair laughs and nods in agreement…

Dusty Rhodes: But hey, talkin’ ‘bout kids, Ric… you remember my son Cody, right?

The young man identified as Cody Rhodes now steps forward, shaking hands with Flair and giving him a respectful nod of the head…

Ric Flair: Oh yeah, yeah… Cody Rhodes! I ain’t seen you in years, kid! How ya’ been?

Cody Rhodes: Just fine, sir.

Dusty Rhodes: Yeah he’s been workin’ out down in developmental. Real close to makin’ into the big leagues here, so I thought I’d bring ‘im along, let ‘im see what he’s workin’ for.

Cody nods with a determined look on his face, something Flair quickly picks up on…

Ric Flair: You stick at it kid, you’ll be up here in no time. Any kid of ‘The American Dream’ ain’t gonna be held back, I know that much. Listen Dusty, great to see ya’ man, but I gotta go make sure Carlito’s doin’ OK. I can’t wait to hear what ya’ gotta say later.

Dusty Rhodes: Alright, you take it easy ol’ timer!

Ric Flair: Hey! Easy with the old!

After a few laughs and slaps of the back, Flair exits the screen, leaving Dusty and Cody to watch on in admiration, the camera lingering on them for a few seconds before we cut back into the arena.

*LOADED…*


The arena is on its feet as the always popular Jeff Hardy makes his entrance, bouncing around on the stage before he heads down the ramp, looking confident ahead of this all important matchup…


Joey Styles: Wow, how about that? ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes is here tonight, and he’s got a thing or two to say about War Games!

Jerry Lawler: And some of our younger fans might not know it, but it was Dusty Rhodes who came up with the idea of the War Games Match back in his NWA days. I can’t wait to hear what he’s gotta say!

Jim Ross: Certainly gonna be great to hear from ‘The American Dream’, but right now, it’s time for another King of the Ring qualifier. Jeff Hardy set for to go one on one with Charlie Haas, and the winner of this match is goin’ to Saturday Night’s Main Event, less than two weeks away!

*WORLD’S GREATEST…*


And now the boos ring out as The World’s Greatest Tag Team strut out into the arena. Shelton Benjamin leads the way in street clothes, while behind comes the serious looking Charlie Haas, who lets Benjamin throw some trash talk Hardy’s way as the pair hit the ring…


Jim Ross: Both these men, Haas and Benjamin, have made it through to the last sixteen of the King of the Ring, but tonight, can Haas get that all important victory that’ll book his place in the final eight that’ll make their way to Boston?

Joey Styles: Well Haas picked up an impressive win over Tyson Kidd in the last round, while Hardy came through a tough test against Hardcore Holly. Both these guys have such contrasting styles, I’d struggle to pick a winner here, ‘King’.

Jerry Lawler: Well you’ve got the high flyin’, 100 miles an hour way Jeff Hardy wrestles, then you’ve got the great technical skills of Charlie Haas. I’m with you Joey, this one’s too close to call, but don’t forget, Haas has got Shelton Benjamin in his corner, and he could make all the difference right here.

Match 2: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 16
World Tag Team Champion Charlie Haas w/ Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy

The two come together for an initial tie up, and Haas shows off his impressive technical skills, quickly taking Hardy down with a belly to back suplex, before he floats over into a grounded headlock. Jeff manages to battle back to his feet, driving Haas against the turnbuckle to break the hold, before he lays in with a trio of rights to the head, then goes for the Irish whip across… Haas reverses and follows in… but Jeff uses the ropes to elevate himself, landing behind Haas… Haas hits the turnbuckle, stumbles… right into a sitout jawbreaker! The impact causes Haas to fall against the corner, his head resting on the middle turnbuckle, and here comes Jeff… rope-aided corner dropkick! Haas quickly rolls to the outside to recover, Benjamin quickly over to help him, but here comes Hardy… plancha takes out both men! Shoving Shelton aside, Hardy goes to work on Haas, hammering him with right hands, before he heads towards the barricade, nips up… DIVING CLOTHESLINE! Hardy takes Haas down, quickly rolls him back into the ring and goes for the cover… 1… 2… Haas kicks out. Hardy looks to keep working at a fast pace as he shoves Haas against the ropes, drills him with a few shots, then goes for the Irish whip… Hardy goes for the kick… but Haas grabs the foot… only for Hardy to hit back with a mule kick! Haas stumbles into the corner, where Hardy climbs to the second rope, raining down with right hands, the crowd counting along all the way to ten until Hardy drops down, catches Haas with a double leg takedown… then nails a double legdrop! Another cover… another kickout at two. Haas is in trouble, and Hardy looks to stay on the attack, slugging Haas with rights before he looks for the Irish whip to the corner… but Haas reverses… only for Hardy to go for the whisper in the wind… but Haas puts on the breaks… and Hardy crashes to the canvas!

Haas now quickly moves to take advantage of the mistake, laying in with stomps to the body, before he waits for Jeff to sit up… and delivers a stiff shoot kick to the spine! Haas now looks to take control, smacking Hardy with a trio of uppercuts, before he sends Hardy to the corner… no, Jeff reverses and follows in… but Haas sidesteps… and Jeff goes shoulder first through the ropes and into the ringpost! Hardy instantly grabs his left shoulder in pain, staggering backwards… into a release German suplex! Haas goes for the pin… 1… 2… but Hardy kicks out. Sensing a weakness, Haas immediately goes after the arm, driving several elbows to the top of the shoulder, then a few stomps, before he rears back and sends Hardy flying towards the canvas near the corner… causing Jeff to slide shoulder first into the ringpost again! Hardy groans in pain, but Haas doesn’t let up, heading outside to grab Jeff’s wrist, then he pulls the shoulder into the post, causing all kinds of pressure on the arm. The ref’s count finally gets Haas to relent, but back in the ring, the attack on the arm continues, with Haas hitting a single arm DDT for another near fall, then a textbook shoulderbreaker, before Haas goes for an armbar. Haas ups the pressure, keeping Hardy grounded, but eventually, Hardy is able to battle back to his feet, swinging shots with his free hand… but a well-placed fist to the shoulder stops any momentum. Haas hooks Hardy up for a side suplex… but Hardy goes all the way over, landing on his feet… but he swings and misses with a right hand… and Haas nails an INVERTED DDT! Haas hooks the leg… 1… 2… Jeff barely rolls a shoulder! Annoyed, Haas glares at the referee, then goes right back to the arm, using a snapmare to take Jeff down, before he drops a legdrop on the arm, then drives a trio of knees into the shoulder. Another armbar, again locked on for a good length of time, doing damage, but as the crowd raise the volume, Hardy rises to his feet, driving elbows to the midsection, trying to break the hold… only for Haas to slam Jeff to the mat! Haas now heads to the corner, climbing to the second rope… and he flies… right into a boot to the face!

Hardy counters in desperation, but as he staggers back to his feet, Haas beats Jeff to the punch… no, Hardy blocks it… and nails a right hand! Another right from Charlie… another block… and another right from Jeff! Now Hardy rattles off three in a row, backing Haas to the ropes, before going for the Irish whip… diving clothesline! Haas stumbles back up, misses wildly with a right hand… side Russian legsweep! Hardy goes for the split legged pin… 1… 2… Haas kicks out! Hardy is back on his feet, waiting for Haas to rise… kick… TWIST OF FATE… NO! Haas shoves Jeff to the corner, but Hardy runs up the ropes… WHISPER IN THE WIND! Jeff goes for the win… 1… 2… Haas rolls a shoulder! Haas is still down, and that prompts Jeff to head to the top rope… but Shelton jumps up onto the apron, distracting Jeff… until he eats a kick to the face… but here comes Haas, exploding to the top rope… for a RELEASE OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX!! Hardy is sent flying to the mat, and now Haas crawls over for the lateral press… 1… 2… Hardy somehow rolls a shoulder! Haas can’t believe it, but Jeff has hung in there and the match continues. Back on his feet, Haas decides he wants to end it now, dragging Jeff up… and he looks for the HAASTILE TAKEOVER… NO! Jeff twists free… then drops Haas with a sitout inverted suplex slam! But just as Haas is planted, Shelton jumps up onto the apron again, seething over that kick, and again he draws the attention of Hardy… who doesn’t see Haas sneaking up from behind… until the last moment when Hardy sidesteps… Haas runs straight into Benjamin… sending Shelton flying to the floor! Haas staggers backwards… kick… TWIST OF FATE! Haas is planted, but now Hardy moves quickly, heading to the top rope… SWANTON BOMB!! Jeff gets all of it, hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Jeff Hardy @ 07.29

Hardy gets the win, and in the process, he confirms his spot in the final eight at Saturday Night’s Main Event! As Hardy has his hand raised by the referee, Shelton slides back in under the bottom rope, looking to get his hands on Jeff, but Hardy sees him coming and wisely rolls out from the other side, slapping the hands on the ringside fans as he heads to the ramp. As Benjamin tries to help his partner back to his feet, he angrily kicks out at the bottom rope, while Jeff is all smiles knowing he’s made it to the last eight of the King of the Ring.

*Commercial*


We return, backstage, where Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin angrily stomp their way along a backstage corridor, neither man saying anything, the looks on their faces showing exactly how angry they are over what just happened during Haas’ match with Jeff Hardy. Haas rubs his neck in pain as Shelton strokes his jaw, until the two suddenly come to a stop… and the camera pans to reveal that standing in their way is The Hart Legacy! The fans inside the arena respond with a warm cheer for Harry Smith, Tyson Kidd and Natalya Niedhart, the young trio oblivious to the presence of the tag team champions as Smith and Kidd discuss some last minute strategy with Natalya ahead of her Women’s Championship Match. As Haas and Benjamin move forward, this draws the eye of Kidd, who gives his partners a nudge, with a devilish smirk quickly crossing Smith’s face…


Harry Smith: Hey champs. How did the match go? You make it to Saturday Night’s Main Event, Charlie?

Kidd and Niedhart stifle laughs, much to Haas’ annoyance…

Harry Smith: Or was it maybe that you just ran out of… luck… tonight?

Haas screws up his face at the mention of luck, harking back to Haas’ taunting of Tyson Kidd a couple of weeks ago…

Harry Smith: But seriously guys, seein’ as how you’ve not got the King of the Ring to worry about anymore Charlie… and seein’ as you’re not gonna have to worry about it for much longer Shelton… we think you two should start focusin’ on defendin’ those titles.

Tyson Kidd: We want that title match we asked for a couple of weeks ago. And we want it… at War Games.

A pop from inside the arena at the prospect of that match up, with Haas and Benjamin sharing an initial concerned look at each other, before a smirk crosses Benjamin’s face as he shakes his head…

Shelton Benjamin: Listen rookie, you ain’t got no right makin’ demands of us like that. I mean, what makes you two think you deserve a shot at us? I mean… who you guys beat? Masters and Morrison? You think ‘cause you beat those two losers you earned a shot at us?

Again Benjamin shakes his head…

Charlie Haas: You two punks remember one thing. We’re The World’s Greatest Tag Team. We’ve beat everybody over the years. You two? You’re not even on our radar right now.

Now Kidd and Haas square off, while Shelton takes a step towards Harry…

Shelton Benjamin: So to answer your question… no. No title shot… and no War Games. Why don’t you two try beat somebody worthwhile, then get back to us?

And as they make their move to leave, Benjamin very deliberately barges a should into Smith’s chest, before he stops and turns to look at Natalya…

Shelton Benjamin: Oh… and, uh… good luck tonight, ‘girl’. You’re gonna need it.

Haas and Benjamin smirk to each other and then head off camera, leaving The Hart Legacy behind to watch them go, stern looks on their faces before Kidd turns to Smith and says…

Tyson Kidd: We’ll get ‘em one day.

Defiant nods of the head from both men, clearly confident in their chances of earning a future title shot against the champions, before they turn to Niedhart…

Harry Smith: Yeah. Anyway… you ready?

Natalya Niedhart: I’m ready!

Tyson Kidd: Go get ‘em, ‘Nattie’!

Fist bumps all round from the young trio, before Niedhart heads off camera. But before her title shot, we spend a few seconds lingering on the confident looks on the fact of Harry and Tyson, before we cut elsewhere.

And it’s to the interview set we go, where we see Maria standing by…


Maria: Hi! I’m Maria! And ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time… the Intercontinental Champion… Kenny Dykstra.

Heat from the inside arena upon the arrival of Kenny Dykstra and his entourage, Torrie Wilson and Ezekiel Jackson. Dykstra gingerly walks into the frame, wincing with every step, grabbing his neck, clearly in pain after the Ladder Match with kicked off tonight’s show…

Maria: And Kenny, I understand that you requested this time to-

Torrie Wilson: Yeah, just gimme the mic and get outta here ‘Barbie’!

Torrie snatches the mic clean from Maria’s hand, then shoves her away, drawing more heat from the fans, before she hands the mic over to Dykstra…

Torrie Wilson: Champ?

Kenny Dykstra: Thanks babe. Alright, I want everybody to listen to me real closely. And I especially want you, Carlito, to listen up. This ladder match tonight… is a total joke. It’s a match that should never be happenin’. But if you want me to embarrass you one last time… then that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. And when I beat you tonight… that is it for you, man.

Jeers from inside the arena at that statement…

Kenny Dykstra: You had a shot at WrestleMania, you had a shot at Backlash, and you’ve got one last shot tonight. And each and every time, I’m the one that’s walkin’ out as the Intercontinental Champion.

A smirk from the champ as he laughs and shakes his head…

Kenny Dykstra: Face it, Carlito. You’re pathetic. You just can’t get the job done. And this ladder match, this is gonna be the last shot you’re ever gonna get at this title. After tonight, I am through with you… and I’m movin’ on to bigger and better things.

In the background, the menacing Jackson gives a confident nod while Torrie runs a hand across Dykstra’s torso…

Kenny Dykstra: I’m talkin’ about the King of the Ring. Now when I’m finally done messin’ around with Carlito, I can finally start to focus on takin’ the next big step in my career. And that’s gonna happen in less than two weeks at Saturday Night’s Main Event, when I beat seven other guys and become King.

More heat, but Dykstra ignores it and carries on…

Kenny Dykstra: Y’look at some o’ the names that’ve won the King of the Ring in the past. Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Triple H, Edge, Booker T… they’ve all been King… and they’ve all been world champion. And that’s where I wanna be. And at Saturday Night’s Main Event, that’s exactly what’s gonna happen. They already call me ‘The Future of Wrestling’. Well pretty soon, they’re gonna be callin’ me…

And with a final smirk, Dykstra wraps things up by saying…

Kenny Dykstra: ‘The King… of Wrestling’.

Dykstra lets that smirk linger into the camera for a few seconds, before he tosses the microphone down to the floor, heading off camera, with Torrie and Jackson following him, the cocky youngster making his intentions perfectly clear before we head back into the arena.

Where the silence is broken by…

*HART BEAT…*


That famous guitar rift draws a warm response from the crowd as Natalya Niedhart enters the arena, looking nervous yet confident ahead of her first Woman’s Championship opportunity tonight…


Jim Ross: Well there ya’ have it, folks. The WWE Champion Rob Van Dam, he’ll give Shawn Michaels his match at War Games, all Michaels has to do is step up, be a man, and challenge the champion. That’s sure as heck added a lil’ extra spice to our tag team main event tonight! But right now, the Women’s Title is up for grabs, and here comes the impressive youngster from Calgary, Natalya Niedhart.

Joey Styles: Like you said J.R., Niedhart is from Calgary, she was part of the famed last graduating class from the Hart Dungeon, and tonight she gets her first shot at becoming WWE Women’s Champion. I dunno about you two, but Niedhart really impressed me with her victory last week over Maria and Melina in that Triple Threat Match, and I think she’s got all the skills needed to end Beth Phoenix’s title reign.

Jerry Lawler: No doubt about it, Joey. I mean, she’s a member of the Hart family. Gold and championships, that’s in her blood. We just heard about Harry Smith and Tyson Kid, and there hopes to become World Tag Team Champions, Natalya might kick it off for The Hart Legacy right here and show the guys how to become a champion!

*GLAMAZON…*


And now the boos break out as Beth Phoenix steps out onto the stage, her Women’s Title held high in the air. As always, Beth is accompanied by Victoria, the pair looking on good terms so far tonight despite the slight problems they’ve been having in recent weeks…


Jerry Lawler: Lemme ask you two a question right here. I know that’s Beth Phoenix, and I know she’s been very impressive ever since she arrived here in the WWE. But… where is Mickie James right now? I mean, I know Mickie was distraught at losin’ to Phoenix at Backlash, but we haven’t see her since!

Jim Ross: I can’t answer that, ‘King’. I know Mickie James loves bein’ a WWE Diva, she loves wrestlin’, but I think the emotional level of this rivalry with Beth Phoenix has really taken a toll on her, and that all came to a head at Backlash.

Joey Styles: I’m sure Mickie James will be back, sooner rather than later. But right now, Beth Phoenix has to put her title on the line, not only is she thinkin’ about Mickie James and Natalya, but what about these disagreements she’s been having with Victoria these last few weeks? A lot on the champion’s mind right now, and that could play into the challenger’s favour.

Match 3: Women’s Championship Match
Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix w/ Victoria vs. Natalya Niedhart

As the bell rings, Beth has a smirk on her face, one that suggests she’s not exactly taking the threat of Natalya seriously. And as the two tie up, Beth wins the initial power struggle, backing Natalya into the corner, where she provides a clean break when asked for one by the ref, that smirk still etched on her face. The pair lock up again, and this time Phoenix works into a hammerlock… but Natalya catches the champion off guard, spinning through, dropping to her knees, taking Phoenix down with a fireman’s carry, before locking on an armbar. Phoenix struggles back to her feet and swings a right hand… but Natalya ducks it, releases her grip on the left wrist… then takes Beth up and down with a side suplex! First cover of the match… Beth kicks out at two, but she quickly scrambles to a corner, where Victoria moves in to give the champion a pep talk. After a few strong words, Beth is back up for another tie up, the challenger gaining the upperhand, until Beth shoves Natalya off the ropes… Natalya runs her over with a shoulderblock! Quickening the pace, Natalya comes off the ropes… clothesline knocks Beth down! Beth is back up… kick to the midsection… suplex puts her down again! Natalya is rolling here, and now… she’s going for the SHARPSHOOTER! Niedhart looks to end this one early… but Beth kicks and scurries to the ropes, causing the break, and then she rolls outside. After pausing for a second, Natalya heads outside… only for Beth to tackle here into the apron! Natalya doubles over in pain, and Beth takes advantage, laying in with a flurry of forearms to the lower back, before she slides back into the ring to distract the ref… allowing Victoria to lay in with a cheap shot to the ribs! Victoria rolls the challenger back inside, Beth dives into the cover… 1… 2… Niedhart rolls a shoulder.

Phoenix now starts to target the back, laying in with forearms and knees to the spine, taking Natalya up and down with a backbreaker, and then gaining a near fall from a slingshot suplex. Phoenix dominates this portion of the match, continually doing damage to the small of the back, dropping knees on the back, gaining another near fall with a belly to belly suplex, before she locks Natalya into a chinlock, driving her knee into the back as she pulls back on the head. Natalya groans in pain each time Beth ups the pressure, and it appears as if the challenger is starting to fade… until the crowd rally behind her, and with a burst of energy, Niedhart tries to fight back to a vertical base… and drills a pair of elbows to the gut, breaking free… only for Beth to grab a handful of hair… and slam Natalya hard to the canvas! The energy of the crowd is sapped, and now Beth stands over Natalya, laughing… until she’s caught in an INSIDE CRADDLE! 1… 2... Beth barely kicks out! Both women burst to their feet, with Natalya blocking a right hand… striking with one of her own! And another! And a third! The challenger goes for the Irish whip… then sends the champion flying with a back body drop! Beth staggers back to her feet… right into a dropkick! Niedhart goes for the cover… 1… 2… Beth rolls a shoulder! Sensing the champion is in trouble, Natalya grabs her legs, steps and twists… going for THE SHARPSHOOTER… NO! Victoria jumps up onto the apron, protesting, causing Natalya to release her grip and head to the ropes… where she sends Victoria flying with a running forearm! Victoria hits the floor hard, but the distraction has worked, as Beth now gets back on her feet… and hammers Natalya from behind! The challenger drops to a knee, but Beth quickly has her back up, hooked up… then up in the air… for the GLAM SLAM!! Natalya is planted, and Beth rolls her over to get the 1… 2… 3.

Winner: And STILL Women’s Champion, Beth Phoenix @ 05.18

A gutsy effort from Natalya, but ultimately it’s not quite enough as Beth hangs onto her title. The champion quickly pushes herself back to her feet, snatching her title away from the referee and clutching it closely to her chest, while on the outside, Victoria tries to shake off the big right hand she ate from Natalya, staring up at Phoenix, clearly looking annoyed at the total lack of concern for her from her friend. Again Victoria shakes her head before she rolls back into the ring, where upon seeing her, Beth rushes and hugs Victoria in a very over the top fashion. Initially taken aback, it takes a stern look from Beth to finally get Victoria to hug her back and celebrate in a similar fashion. After the hugging, the pair separate, allowing Beth to head to the corner where she calls for and receives a microphone…


Beth Phoenix: Y’know… I gotta hand it to Natalya. I mean, for a rookie, she sure ran me close. But once again, I held onto this title… and I did it all – by – myself.

A wry laugh from Victoria, who rolls her eyes behind the champion’s back…

Beth Phoenix: But it’s kinda sad that I’ve just beat Natalya like that, ‘cause now that I’ve beaten her… that means there’s nobody left for me to face. ‘Cause two weeks ago, I made Candice Michelle cry like a little baby… Natalya might’ve came from the dungeon, but she knows she’s no match for me… and I don’t think that stupid bimbo Maria is gonna put down that microphone anytime soon.

Beth pauses, laughing to herself as she shrugs her shoulders…

Beth Phoenix: So you people might as well just face it. There’s nobody left. I’ve beaten everybody, I’ve…

The crowd answer back with a “Mickie! Mickie! Mickie!” chant, something which draws the ire of the champion…

Beth Phoenix: Mickie? Mickie James!? Don’t make me laugh. Of all the people I’ve beaten here on Raw, Mickie has to be the most pathetic of ‘em all.

That comment draws a round of boos from the crowd…

Beth Phoenix: The last time anyone saw Mickie James, she was an emotional wreck. She was cryin’ her little eyes out after I took this title away from her, and nobody’s heard from her since. You people might as well get used to the fact that Mickie James… is history.

More jeers, at which Beth simply smirks at…

Beth Phoenix: Mickie’s too scared to come back and face me… and now that I’ve beat her, Candice and Natalya… I need some new competition. It’s my goal to put this title on the map, to restore some pride in women’s wrestling, to prove that WWE Divas can be both beautiful and powerful, and for that, I’m gonna need somebody to defend this title against.

In the background, Victoria raises her eyebrows upon hearing that last comment…

Beth Phoenix: And since there’s nobody left here in the WWE for me to beat… I guess I’ll need to find somebody from somewhere else. That’s why right now, I’m issuing an open challenge to ANY female wrestler around the world to come and face me for this title at War Games.

Hands on her hips, Victoria ruefully shakes her head and smiles, while Beth is oblivious as to what is going on behind her…

Beth Phoenix: I don’t care who you are, I don’t care where you come from… all I care about is that you give me more of a challenge that lil’ Nattie did right there.

The camera cuts to show the referee helping Natalya back up the ramp, something at which Beth gleefully gloats at…

Beth Phoenix: I’ll be waiting for an answer, and-

Suddenly, the crowd let out a surprised pop as Victoria places her hand on top of the microphone, silencing her friend. Shocked, Beth asks “What are you doing?”, to which Victoria motions for calm, gently removing the mic from Beth’s grasp…

Victoria: Beth? I uh… I don’t know how to tell ya’ this, but… there is one diva here on Raw that you haven’t beaten yet.

Still in shock, Beth looks at her friend, searching for a way to understand, while the crowd cheer this surprising turn of events…

Victoria: I mean, I know we’re friends and everything. And you know I’ll always have your back. But… if you’re gonna issue an open challenge for War Games… then I’d like to accept it.

Another pop, but Beth is furious, angrily shaking her head, quickly snatching the mic back from Victoria…

Beth Phoenix: Victoria? What uh… what are you doing? I mean, you’re supposed to be my friend. I don’t want… I mean, I don’t think this is a good idea. You’re focus is supposed to be on me and my title.

Victoria thinks it over and nods her head in agreement, but quickly asks for the mic to be handed over…

Victoria: Listen, Beth… we are still friends. All I’m sayin’ is… give me a shot at the title.

Phoenix shakes her head, struggling to come to terms with the request, which prompts Victoria to place a reassuring hand on the champion’s shoulder…

Victoria: How ‘bout this? I’ll even give you a week to think about it. Next week, you can just let me know, OK? Beth, this is nothing personal. This is just too friends, wrestling a match. Just like you and Mickie did all those years ago before your… accident.

That draws a fierce glare from Phoenix, you shouts “You know it wasn’t an accident!” in regards to the incident that ended the friendship of Beth and Mickie all those years ago…

Victoria: Only this time… it’ll be for that title.

Victoria points out a finger and touches the gold, which prompts Beth to quickly turn away shielding the title as she clutches it dearly…

Victoria: Just think about it, Beth. And next week… you can let me know.

*I AIN’T A LADY TO MESS WITH…*


And with that, Victoria hands the mic back to Beth and very casually heads for the ropes and then up the ramp. Beth is still shocked from what she’s heard, staring down the mat, shaking her head in disbelief, before she turns and stares as her friend walks away from the ring. The camera switches between both divas, with a smirk on Victoria’s face, while in the ring, Phoenix’s face shows a mix of fear and anger, with nobody quite sure of what Phoenix’s answer to Victoria’s challenge will be.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

We open to a blank, black screen, with dark, ominous violin strings playing. Slowly, heavy rainfall is heard, then the sound of police sirens and screaming women fade in, then we hear the whir of a helicopter as the picture cuts to news footage from what looks like some sort of disaster that’s hit a city…

Female Reporter: …and police are reporting a lone assailant, who rampaged through the city, leaving a terrifying path of destruction behind him…

More news footage, this time of overturned police cars scattered around a city street, while in the background, an ambulance is on fire...

Male Reporter: …we’ve heard he hit suddenly, he ripped through the heart of the city, and nothing would slow him down…

Now we see a man on the scene, who appears to be an innocent bystander in all this mayhem, being interviewed, blood pouring down his head, dust flying all around him as police cars whizz past in the background...

Man: …God, I dunno, he was a beast, he was huge! The guy was a monster! I’ve never seen anythin’ like ‘im…

We now see an Army truck pull up onto the scene, with a full squadron of soldiers jumping out of the back and then running in various directions…

Female Reporter: …and we understand police chiefs have called in the National Guard, in the hope they can do something about it…

More grainy interview footage from the news feed, this time from a man who we assume to be the Chief of Police, who stands in the middle of the mayhem, the rain bouncing off his hat as he ducks in fear of the explosions going off behind him…

Police Chief: So far, all our efforts haven’t phased him. We just can’t see to stop ‘im, and we’re runnin’ outta time…

We now cut to a news conference with the mayor of this city, who looks worried as he reads from the notes on the podium he stands behind...

Mayor: …with that in mind, I am declaring a state of emergency. Folks, this is not a drill. Please, leave your belongings, just grab your families and get out of the city as fast as you can…

Back to the mayhem, where the man previously interviewed is again infront of the camera, people screaming and running for their lives behind him…

Male Reporter: …if I can just ask you one last question. What on earth can stop this man?

With a look of fear in his eyes, the man offers no response, simply shaking his head until he’s able to mutter the words…

Man: I dunno man, I mean…

The screen now fades to black, until two dark red eyes slowly shine through the darkness, while we hear the man say…

“God help us all…”

"‘THE PREDATOR’ SYLVESTER TERKAY - COMING SOON TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW!"


*End Video Package*


We’re back into the arena, to silence… until…

”AME – RICAN… DRE – EEAAMMMM!”

*COMMON MAN BOOGIE…*


The arena erupts with a great, nostalgic pop as Dusty Rhodes enters the arena. Rhodes looks like he’s having a whale of a time as he struts his stuff, playing up to the crowd, with the Sacramento faithful lapping it up before Rhodes finally starts to gyrate his way down the ramp to the ring…


Jim Ross: He is without doubt one of the very best this industry has ever seen. A true legend of our sport, the three time former World Heavyweight Champion, an inductee in the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame Class, ‘The American Dream’, Dusty Rhodes! What an honour it is to have Dusty here with us tonight to talk about that huge upcoming match, War Games.

Jerry Lawler: And listen to this ovation, these people love ‘im! And you talk about War Games J.R., I never competed in one of those matches, but I remember watchin’ them back in the old NWA days. You wanna talk about brutal, barbaric matches, War Games was right up there with the best of ‘em!

Joey Styles: And it all came from the mind of that man, Dusty Rhodes! It’s been almost ten years since the wrestling world has seen War Games, but now it’s back to settle the family feud that is poised to tear Monday Night Raw apart. And if you ever wanted to know what to expect once those ten men step inside that steel structure, then ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes is the guy to listen to.

In the ring, Rhodes salutes the fans then heads to the corner where he’s handed a microphone. Upon returning to the centre of the ring, the music cuts, but as Rhodes tries to speak, he’s humbled by a deafening “Dusty! Dusty! Dusty!” chant from the crowd, with an almost emotional Rhodes nodding in appreciation of the fans…

Dusty Rhodes: Thank you. Thank you all very much. Lemme tell ya’ right now how much of an honour it is to be here, speakin’ to all you people tonight. The lights are shinin’ bright, this is history in the makin’ right now, live on Monday Night Raw… and ol’ ‘Dream’ is here to give y’all a lil’ history lesson on one thing, and one thing only…

And with a serious, cold blooded look, Rhodes stares down the hard camera and says…

Dusty Rhodes: War Games.

And with that chilling statement, Rhodes draws a loud pop from the crowd before he continues…

Dusty Rhodes: War Games… even the very mention of its name sends chills up and down my body. There’s been a lotta different evil, demonic structures in the history of wrasslin’. And lemme tell ya’, I’ve stepped foot in all of ‘em, baby. I have wined and dined with kings and queens… and I have looked the devil square in his eye. And I did it all… at War Games.

A hushed response from the crowd, echoing the seriousness of Rhodes’ words…

Dusty Rhodes: Now for all you kids out there, lemme give ya’ a lil’ history lesson right here. Y’see, there was a time when the very man y’all saw me huggin’ earlier tonight, ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair-

Rhodes is cut off by a “Wooo!” chant from the crowd, something which he nods and smiles at…

Dusty Rhodes: There was a time when ol’ Naitch’ and me… well, let’s just say we didn’t get along too well. Or to better put it, me and Naitch’… we hated each other. Y’see, as a lil’ kid growin’ up in Texas, this son of a plumber wanted nothin’ more than to one day make it to the very top of this sport. But there was always one man… or one group that stood in my way. That was Naitch’… and The Four Horseman.

Another nostalgia filled cheer from the crowd for the mention of the legendary group…

Dusty Rhodes: We danced that dance, we spilled a lotta blood, and at the end of the day, the scored had to be settled, and it was only ever gonna be settled one way, and that was inside a steel cage.

Pausing, Rhodes purses his lips, choosing his words carefully…

Dusty Rhodes: Now when you step inside a cage with The Horseman, you better be bringin’ an army with ya’. And just like I see John Cena do, I had to build a team to take on ‘The Dirtiest Player in the Game’. I went to battle, I stood toe to toe with some of the toughest men this business has ever known. The Road Warriors… Nikita Koloff… Lex Luger… Sting… through the years, we all fought The Horseman, we all shed blood together, we all fought like brothers… and we lived to tell the tale.

Another pop…

Dusty Rhodes: And year after year, be it NWA, Jimmy Crockett Promotions, or WCW, when a score had to be settled, you picked a side, and you stepped into War Games. And no matter what the outcome, I promise each and ev’ry one o’ ya’… nobody was ever the same.

Chilling words from Rhodes, who’s stare from beneath his cowboy hat pierce the screen…

Dusty Rhodes: And when I look at John Cena and I look at Bobby Lashley, I can’t help but feel like I did all those years ago. I know what’s goin’ on in their minds, I know what their teammates are feelin’ right now. There’s the fear of the unknown. And lemme tell ya’, until you step foot inside that cage, until you’re in that environment… you ain’t never gonna know what War Games has in store.

Rhodes solemnly shakes his head…

Dusty Rhodes: And that’s why, when I look at those teams so far… the fact that Ric Flair is gonna be alongside John Cena… I gotta give ‘em the edge. That experience, that knowledge, the fact that Flair’s been there and done it all before… and that he’s an ol’ snake who knows a trick or two… that’s gonna give Team Linda a big advantage.

Cheers from the crowd due to Rhodes’ endorsement of Team Linda thus far…

Dusty Rhodes: But lemme just say one thing to ev’rybody who signed up for the match… and to anybody who’s still thinkin’ about it… you’ve got the chance of a lifetime starin’ you straight in the eye. You’ve got the chance to become legends of this industry. The chance to alter the history of Monday Night Raw forever, the chance to leave your mark, long after your careers are over.

Rhodes looks off into the distance, almost reminiscing, before he stares sternly into the camera…

Dusty Rhodes: But it’s gonna cost ya’. It’ll take a toll on your body. It’ll break bones, it’ll make ya’ bleed, it’ll scar your very soul. But if ya’ make it… if ya’ survive… and more importantly, if ya’ win…

And with all the conviction he can muster, Rhodes stares into the hard camera and says…

Dusty Rhodes: You’ll never be forgotten.

Pop from the fans…

Dusty Rhodes: For a lotta guys, War Games is gonna be the biggest night of their career so far, the biggest match they’ve ever been in. Embrace that fear, go make a name for yourself, and-

*MIRACLE…*


Well this is a surprise. The crowd jeers in a rather confused fashion as the newcomer Claudio Cesaro steps out onto the stage. From the top of the ramp, Cesaro gives Rhodes a very sarcastic round of applause, then he slowly starts to swagger his way down to the ring. As Cesaro climbs the stairs, Rhodes can’t help but smile in wonder, confused just like the rest of us as to why Cesaro has chosen to interrupt him. In the ring, Cesaro gives Rhodes a nod of respect as he brushes past him and heads to the corner to grab a mic, before he turns back towards the middle of the ring and pauses, waiting for his music to come to an end, giving Rhodes a long look up and down…


Claudio Cesaro: Dusty Rhodes! ‘The American Dream’! ‘Der Amerikanische Traum’! A legend here in the WWE! You have no idea how good it is to see you here tonight, Dusty. It is truly… and honour to stand in the ring with a man like yourself.

Although Cesaro seems genuine enough, Rhodes, along with everyone in the arena, isn’t buying it…

Claudio Cesaro: Allow me to introduce myself. My name… is Claudio Cesaro. I haven’t been here on Raw very long, but did you know Mr. Rhodes that in my first two weeks here, I beat not only one… but two world champions?

Rhodes raises his eyebrows and nods, impressed…

Claudio Cesaro: But I was standing backstage, and I hear you talk about War Games… and I can’t help but be impressed with you and all you’ve done in your career. But… you are, how you like to say… a common man, yes?

Dusty nods in agreement…

Claudio Cesaro: A common man? A man of the people. A man of the streets. A man who every man can look up to, yes?

Again Dusty simply nods…

Claudio Cesaro: And this common man tag, this is something you are happy with. Well Mr. Rhodes, let me tell you something. The common man… this is something that Claudio Cesaro will never… ever be.



Claudio Cesaro: Because I enjoy the finer things in life. I bet you like nothing better than sitting back, drinking a beer, watching some football, being as ordinary and as… pathetic… as all these people in Sacramento.

Cheap heat…

Claudio Cesaro: And then there is this idea of… ‘The American Dream’. You, Mr. Rhodes, you are ‘The American Dream’. And looking around this arena… I agree. You are the embodiment of ‘The American Dream’!

Scanning the crowd, Cesaro points a few of the larger fans in the crowd, motioning as to how similar their bodies shapes are to Rhodes’…

Claudio Cesaro: That is… if the idea of the American dream is to be a fat, broken down has been, whose legacy is a dancing polka-dot man… then yes Dusty, you truly are ‘The American Dream’!

Cesaro has a laugh to himself as the crowd jeer…

Claudio Cesaro: Or maybe in your case… ‘The American Nightmare’!

Again Cesaro laughs, almost doubling over at how funny he is…

Claudio Cesaro: But seriously, Dusty… if you are ‘The American Dream’… then you are everything that is wrong with this country. The fact that a fat, out of shape man, whose only redeeming quality was to shake his fat ass in this ring… is somehow considered a legend? Or even a Hall of Famer? If you are all it takes to be a success in this company… then not only are you what’s wrong with America… you are also what’s wrong with the WWE.

The boos from the fans cause Cesaro to stop, but he strokes his chin and then starts again…

Claudio Cesaro: And if you are his only role model… then you’re the reason why your son will be an even bigger loser than his Dad.

And that’s too much for Dusty, as ‘The American Dream’ slaps the microphone clean out of Cesaro’s hand! Claudio is stunned as he quickly scrambles to pick the mic back up off the canvas, but before he can protest, Rhodes starts to speak…

Dusty Rhodes: Lemme tell ya’ somethin’ here, Cesaro. You don’t gotta come out here and tell me what ya’ all about. I know ya’, I seen ya’ these last few weeks. I heard what ya’ had to say to guys like Rob Van Dam and John Cena, two great champions, two guys with more class than any fancy European education’ll ever get ya’.

Fuming, Cesaro screws up his face in anger, but Rhodes isn’t done yet…

Dusty Rhodes: Ya’ walk out here, flappin’ ya’ lips, talkin’ about how great ya’ are… but at the end of the day, you ain’t nothin’ special boy. Y’see in this business, punks like you, who walk in the door and think they owed title shots, they owed a career, punks like you are a dime a dozen.

Pop from the crowd…

Dusty Rhodes: Ya’ ain’t got no resepct for nobody. Ya’ ain’t got no respect for the men who trailed a path to make this sport what it is today. If it weren’t for the sacrifices, for the years spent on the road, for the blood we shed, so that you can even stand in this ring right now and run ya’ mouth.

The passion with which Dusty speaks resonates with the crowd who give him another cheer…

Dusty Rhodes: And in all the time ya’ been here, that’s all I ever see ya’ do Claudio… run ya’ mouth. Those two wins over Cena and Van Dam? Flukes. What happened when it really mattered, what happened in a fair fight? Ya’ got beat. Ya’ flap those gums, but when it comes down to it, ya’ can’t back it up. But y’know… I’ll give ya’ credit for one thing…

Interested, Cesaro raises his eyebrows and listens intently…

Dusty Rhodes: Y’see my time to shine, my time has came and gone. I see a hunger in ya’ Claudio, I see it in those eyes. But until ya’ do some somethin’ to make a name for ya’ self, all it’s ever gonna be… is words.

With a real sense of conviction in his eyes, Rhodes continues…

Dusty Rhodes: Ya’ wanna make a name for ya’ self? Ya’ wanna get ya’ name on the map? Then how ‘bout backin’ up those words… and doin’ it at War Games?

A mixed response from the crowd, while Cesaro turns away, thinking things over…

Dusty Rhodes: How ‘bout you step into that cage… and ya’ try prove ya’ ain’t all talk? How ‘bout ya’ prove that underneath that fancy suit… there’s a real wrassler under there?

The crowd isn’t quite sure how to respond, and neither it seems is Cesaro. Taking an age to think it over, eventually Cesaro chuckles to himself and points a finger at Dusty…

Claudio Cesaro: War Games? You think I… Claudio Cesaro… should enter War Games?

With a sarcastic laugh, Cesaro shakes his head…

Claudio Cesaro: No. I don’t need to prove anything to you, old man. I don’t need to pay my dues, I don’t need to thank you for any sacrifices. I’m not some rookie, I’m not the… common… wrestler. I’ve won championships all over the world, ich bin der beste in der Welt, I am… the best.

Jeers from the fans…

Claudio Cesaro: But if you think I haven’t proved anything yet… then maybe I should start… with you.

BANG! Out of nowhere, Cesaro drills Rhodes square in the face with his microphone! ‘The American Dream’ hits the canvas, grabbing at his face, while Cesaro pounces, mounting Rhodes, hammering him with right hands square in the face, a flurry of fists landing on the Hall of Famer, until Cesaro gets back on his feet and starts laying in with the boots. Tearing the expensive suit jacket from his body, Cesaro roars to the crowd, who respond with boos, while the camera pans to show us that Rhodes has been BUSTED OPEN by the assault. Again Cesaro moves in, grabbing a handful of hair, landing more stinging right hands to the forehead, blood flying everywhere as Rhodes’ head snaps back, the Hall of Famer helpless in the middle of the ring… until suddenly a roar breaks out from the crowd… as Cody Rhodes is sprinting down to the ring! The young man identified earlier as Dusty’s son races down the ramp and slides into the ring… but Cesaro sees him coming and quickly rolls away from Dusty and under the bottom rope! Furious, Cody stands over the ropes and swings a wild right, desperate to get his hands on Cesaro, but Claudio smugly backs away, laughing at the youngster. Turning to his father, Cody tries to aid Dusty back to his feet, but as we head to commercial, we hear the ring of jeers from the crowd, while the camera focuses on the smug look on Cesaro’s face, who can now add the bloodying of a WWE Hall of Famer to his list of accolades.

*Commercial*


We’re back, and we’re in the War Room of Mr. McMahon, sat at a desk, with his son Shane McMahon and his confidant John Laurinaitis sat nearby. At the end of the desk sits Mr. McMahon’s Personal Assistant, Brooke Adams, while on the leather couches across the room, The Redneck Wrecking Crew sit, relaxing and throwing back a few cans of beers. At the table, Vince is reading over a folder of papers, and once he’s read enough, he closes the file, lets out a deep breath, before he looks at both Shane and Laurinaitis…


Mr. McMahon: Who do we go for? Huh? I mean, we need a fifth man here gentlemen, and I’m not really likin’ what I’m hearin’ out of you two right now. I mean… is this really the best we’ve got right now? Is that list really the best you two could come up with?

Annoyed, Vince searchingly looks at his two lieutenants, which causes Laurinaitis to sheepishly turn away…

Mr. McMahon: There’s gotta be somebody else.

Shane McMahon: We tried Dad. I mean, that’s it. That’s the best we’ve got.

Exasperated, Vince picks up the folder again, flicking through it, before he rubs his forehead in anger…

Mr. McMahon: What about down in developmental? I mean that’s your business Laurinaitis, you’ve gotta have some young kid down there with potential, somebody that would crawl over broken glass for the chance to be on my team. There’s gotta be somebody down there with that ruthless aggression we need!

John Laurinaitis: Not anybody I’d trust in a match of this magnitude, sir.

A tense, frustrated look on Vince’s face as he again flicks his way through the file…

Mr. McMahon: Wait… I’ve got it. I’ve got it! Shane! Yeah… Shane! You can do it! You’ve can be our fifth guy!

The younger McMahon shuffles nervously in his seat, clearly not enamoured with that suggestion…

Mr. McMahon: I mean, who better to represent me at War Games… than my own son!

Shane McMahon: What? Me? I uh… I don’t think that’s a good idea, Dad. I mean… yeah, I’ve done a lot of crazy stuff over the years… but War Games? I don’t… I don’t know about that.

And at this point, Vince is about ready to explode…

Mr. McMahon: Well… well if it’s not you, then who the hell else is there!?

And right on cue, the door swings open, clashing off the wall, the racket taking everyone in the room by surprise, including Cade and Murdoch, both men bursting to their feet in anger, ready to confront whoever this may be… and with a shocked look on his face, Vince rises from his seat, takes a few steps forward… and is quickly face to face with… Claudio Cesaro! The man we just saw assault Dusty Rhodes has now stormed into Mr. McMahon’s office, full of intensity, clearly a man with something important to discuss with ‘The Boss’…

Claudio Cesaro: Mr. McMahon! I need to speak with-

Mr. McMahon: What just a minute! Who the hell do you think you are!? You don’t come into my office like that!

Claudio Cesaro: Mr. McMahon, Ich entschuldige mich, I’m sorry, but… I need to speak to you.

McMahon turns to Cade and Murdoch, nodding, motioning for them to stand down, allowing Cesaro to speak freely…

Mr. McMahon: What do you want, Cesaro? I don’t have time for this right now.

Claudio Cesaro: If you’re short of time Mr. McMahon, I’ll make this quick. The fifth spot on your War Games team… I want it.

Vince lets out a hearty “Ha!”, but Cesaro doesn’t waver…

Mr. McMahon: What? You? No, no I don’t think so. Lemme tell ya’ somethin’ Cesaro, I heard what Dusty Rhodes had to say to you. And y’know what? He was right. You’re all talk. You’ve been here what, a month? I haven’t seen anythin’ that’s impressed me yet. Certainly not enough to make me want to put you on my War Games team.

Turning away with a shake of the head, Vince moves to head back to his seat…

Mr. McMahon: I’m sorry, but the answer’s no.

But as he steps, Cesaro reaches out and grabs Vince by the arm, taking a huge risk by stopping McMahon in his tracks…

Claudio Cesaro: But Mr. McMahon… Sir, you and myself… we’re not all that different.

A notion that Vince scoffs at…

Claudio Cesaro: We both come from great, powerful families. We are both part of great legacies, dynasties that go back for generations. We both enjoy the finer things in life. We prefer to do our business in the right way. But… we can both fight when we have to. We can both get our hands dirty. And Mr. McMahon, if I haven’t impressed anyone yet… if I haven’t impressed you yet… then give me that spot on your team… and I’ll impress you at War Games.

It’s an intense moment as both men stare hard into each other’s eyes, the seriousness of the moment clear for all to see. McMahon sizes Ceasro up, then he looks away, considering his options, before he turns back to Cesaro with a smirk on his face…

Mr. McMahon: Well… I guess the way you beat up ol’ Dusty out there was pretty impressive.

Another look into the eyes, before Vince slowly starts to nod…

Mr. McMahon: Yeah… yeah. I can see it. I see that… ruthless aggression. I see that spark. Yeah… you’re my guy, Cesaro. You’re my fifth guy. Welcome to Team Vince!

And with a firm handshake, the deal is sealed. The newcomer, the determined Claudio Cesaro is the final man on Team Vince. The camera lingers on the handshake as the jeers break out in the arena, while it’s all smiles in Vince’s office, with ‘The Chairman of the Board’ looking even more confident than he’s ever done, an ominous sight for John Cena and Team Linda.

Back into the arena where we hear…

*THIS FIRE BURNS…*


The fans give a good pop for the arrival of The Straight Edge Saints into the arena, with CM Punk standing hand in hand with Kelly Kelly as Nick Dinsmore brings up the read. As usual, Punk taps the imaginary watch on his wrist, hold’s it to Kelly’s ear, before the trio yell out “It’s clobberin’ time!” and then head to the ring…


Joey Styles: Wow. What a turn of events that is. Claudio Cesaro joining Randy Orton, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch and Bobby Lashley on Team Vince! That means Mr. McMahon’s team is set, he’s got his five men signed up!

Jerry Lawler: And what an impressive team it is. I mean, those five guys, that’s gonna be a tough ask for John Cena to find another two guys to help him match that.

Jim Ross: Never doubt John Cena, ‘King’. I’m sure he’s got a couple o’ guys in mind. But right now, it’s time for another King of the Ring qualifier, and here comes CM Punk, one of the most impressive youngsters I’ve seen in the WWE for a number of years. If Punk wins this one tonight against Chris Masters, this kid could easily go all the way at Saturday Night’s Main Event and become King.

*MASTERPIECE…*


The great physical specimen that is Chris Masters steps out, with Melina by his side, with Masters going through his usual routine of posing under the shower of pyro, shaking of his robe, with Melina fondling his muscles the whole time. With the posing and flexing over with, the pair make their way down the ramp to the ring…


Jim Ross: In recent weeks, Chris Masters has had to deal with some pretty distracting music playing during his matches. Last week it cost Masters in a tag team match with Kenny Dykstra against Carlito and Jeff Hardy, and earlier tonight, Masters and Melina, they went on the hunt for whoever is behind this music.

*Video Package*

EARLIER TODAY

We cut to inside the arena this afternoon, the stands empty, not a fan insight. The camera follows Chris Masters and Melina storm out onto the stage, where we see three men huddled on the stage, each man wearing headsets and looking at clipboards, clearly doing some of technical check before the show. As Masters and Melina approach this trio, the camera shows us that one of the men is the man identified last week as Kevin Dunn. With his back to Masters, Dunn doesn’t see Masters storming towards him, meaning he’s caught completely unaware when Masters grabs him by the collar and spins him around…

Chris Masters: Dunn! What the hell!? It happened again! That damn music, it happened again, and I wanna know why!

Kevin Dunn: I-I-I don’t know! I promise!

Not happy, Masters starts shaking Dunn violently back and forth…

Chris Masters: Who is it!? Huh? Who’s the guy that keeps playin’ that music?

Kevin Dunn: I-I keep tellin’ you I don’t-

Masters doesn’t even wait for Dunn to finish as he spins him around… and slaps on the MASTERLOCK!! Dunn’s torso starts shaking wildly back and forth, Masters ragdolling Dunn, while Dunn’s two colleagues desperately try and prise his hands free, but it’s no use as Masters had the hold locked in tight…

Chris Masters: How ‘bout now Dunn, huh!? How ‘bout now!? Melina, ask ‘im!

Melina: Give us his name, Kevin! Tell us who’s payin’ you off? Tell us who’s payin’ you to play those videos!

There’s no answers from Dunn as he cries out in agony, and finally we get some help as a group of agents and security rush to Dunn’s aid, doing their best to free him from Masters’ grip. Masters hangs in there, continuing to swing Dunn violently back and forth, until finally, mercifully, Masters tosses Dunn down to the stage. Masters is fuming, seriously pissed off, but as the agents do their best to create a barrier between Masters and Dunn, it’s more frustration for Masters as the video comes to and end with him still none the wiser as to who is behind the music that’s been haunting him these last two weeks.


*End Video Package*


Back in the arena, and in the ring, Masters and Melina are laughing having watched the footage on the titan tron, with Masters shouting “It ain’t gonna happen again!”…

Jim Ross: What a piece of work Masters is. Kevin Dunn, our Executive Producer here on Raw, he might oversee all the entrance music and the fireworks and such, but that doesn’t mean he’s got anything to do with the music that’s been distracting Masters there last few weeks.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah and Masters and Melina tryin’ to claim that Kevin Dunn’s been pair off by somebody to play it? That’s just ridiculous.

Joey Styles: But by the looks of things, Masters looks pretty confident that his troubles with the sound system are behind him. He better hope so, ‘cause the chance to go to Saturday Night’s Main Event and compete for the King of the Ring crown is on the line right here, and I’m sure Masters can do without any distractions.

Match 4: King of the Ring Qualifier - Round of 16
Chris Masters
w/ Melina vs. CM Punk w/ Nick Dinsmore and Kelly Kelly

From the initial tie up, Masters shows exactly what kind of mood he’s in right now, backing Punk to the corner, doubling him over with a knee to the midsection, before Masters drops three stiff forearms to the back of the head. The ref has to step in for the break, but Masters quickly charges back in… right into a boot to the face! Now Punk goes to work, shoving Masters to the corner, striking with kicks to the body and legs, before Punk puts Masters down with a snapmare… and delivers a dropkick to the back of the head! First cover of the match… but Masters kicks out at two. Punk then applies a seated hammerlock, but it doesn’t keep Masters down for long as he gets back up, shoves Punk off the ropes… but Punk ducks a clothesline… and takes Masters down with an armdrag! Punk hangs on for an armbar, his early strategy clearly to keep Masters grounded, but again Masters struggles back to his feet, drilling a pair of elbows to the midsection, before he sends Punk to the ropes… but Punk hangs on, prompting Masters to charge… Punk low bridges… and Masters crashes all the way down to the floor! Melina is quickly over to help Masters back up… but here comes Punk… SUICIDE DIVE! Punk takes Masters down and bursts back to his feet, the crowd giving him a great pop, before he starts laying with stomps, then rolls Masters back into the ring for another near fall. As Masters gets back to his knees, Punk lands kicks to the head, before he goes for the Irish whip… and catches Masters with a leg lariat! Punk hooks the leg… 1… 2… but Masters powers out. Masters crawls to the corner to try and escape, but Punk stays on him, yanking Masters up, shoving him to the corner, before he again unloads with kicks to the body. Punk then sends Masters across, follows in… but as he goes for the knee to the face, Masters moves… and Punk crashes into the corner!

A painful landing for Punk as he hits the turnbuckle then smacks off the canvas, and after clearing his head, Masters moves in, dropping knees to the chest, then he drops to quick elbows before yanks Punk up… and plants him with a scoop slam. Punk grabs his back as he crawls to the corner, and Masters zeroes in on this, dropping big forearms to the small of the back, before he goes for the Irish whip… Punk hits the opposite turnbuckle hard, stumbles forward… into a big clothesline! Masters goes for the cover… but Punk gets a shoulder up. Masters continues his attack on the lower back, drilling more forearms, rocking Punk with a backbreaker, taking him up and down with a suplex, before Masters shows incredible strength as he hoists Punk up… and drops him with a GORILLA PRESS SLAM! Masters goes for the cover… but Punk’s too close to the ropes, grabbing the bottom rope to break the count. Masters leaves Punk and heads across the ring, jawing at Dinsmore, which distracts the referee… and allows Melina the chance to deliver a cheap slap to the face! Masters turns back to Punk, drilling him with uppercuts to the jaw, before he scoops Punk up onto his shoulder… then drops him face first on the top turnbuckle! After another near fall, Masters drags Punk back up… but Punk strikes with a shot to the midsection! Punk now rattles off five fists to the face, staggering Masters, allowing Punk to go for an Irish whip… which Masters reverses… but Punk goes for a crossbody… Masters catches him… then sends Punk flying with a FALLAWAY SLAM! Masters scrambles over to hook the leg… 1… 2… Punk rolls a shoulder! Frustrated, Masters yells “C’mon!” at the ref, before he drags Punk up, lays in with another pair of uppercuts, before he sends Punk off the ropes… but Punk ducks underneath a clothesline, puts on the breaks, spins Masters around… and drops him with a DDT!

Both men are down, their respective corners willing them back to their feet, and as they struggle back up, Punk strikes first, smacking kicks to the thighs, before he grabs Masters by the head and starts drilling knees to the face. Punk then fires Masters to the corner… and follows in with a clothesline! Punk then sends Masters to the opposite corner and follows in… knee to the face! Punk hangs on… BULLDOG FROM THE CORNER! Punk quickly rolls Masters over, hooks a leg… 1… 2… Masters rolls a shoulder! Punk is quickly back on his feet, dragging Masters up, going for the Irish whip… which Masters reverses… but Punk avoids him with a baseball slide… then charges Masters into the ropes… for a rollup! 1… 2… Masters kicks out, the momentum sending Punk to the ropes… where he jumps to the second rope… then flies with a SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY! 1… 2… Masters barely kicks out! The crowd groan in disappointment, but Punk stays on the attack, waiting for Masters to stumble to his feet… for a STEP-UP ENZUIGIRI! Masters is down and out, but instead of going for the cover, Punk heads to the outside and climbs to the top rope… only for Melina to jump up onto the apron! The referee and Punk are both distracted by Melina’s screams, and before Kelly Kelly can get over there, Masters is back on his feet… and he shakes the ropes, causing Punk to fall, crotching himself on the top rope! The distraction works as Punk suffers a painful landing on the top turnbuckle, and now Masters climbs up… hooks up Punk… for a SUPERPLEX!! A huge impact, and now Masters crawls into the lateral press, not even bothering to hook the leg as he’s sure the match is over… 1… 2… NO! Punk rolls a shoulder at the last split second! Melina screams in annoyance, and Masters gets right in the referee’s face, demanding a three count, but being told it was only two. Masters turns back to Punk, stalking Punk, waiting for him to rise… to slap on THE MASTERLOCK!! Masters has his deadly submission move applied, shaking Punk back and forth, the match just seconds from being over…

*GUITAR RIFT…*

“NOW LISTEN… THIS AIN’T NO MAKE BELIEVE…

C’MON! OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE…”


No! For the third week in a row, the mystery music has burst into the arena! Masters is enraged, releasing his grip, tossing Punk down to the mat, turning to Melina, their eyes darting around the arena, trying to find out who is responsible for this music. Masters stares up at the entrance way, almost begging for someone to step out… but it doesn’t happen, there’s nobody coming… and then just like that the music stops… just in time for Masters to turn around… where Punk is ready and waiting, taking him up onto his shoulders… GO TO SLEEP!! Punk nails the GTS, hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: CM Punk @ 07.34

It’s happened again! Masters was seconds away from locking on the Masterlock, but that music has cost him again! Masters is still down and out in the centre of the ring as Punk heads to the outside, while Melina lets out a scream of anguish, head in her hands, almost in tears of rage at what just happened. Punk celebrates with Dinsmore and Kelly, the trio making their way up the ramp as Melina heads over to the timekeeper’s desk, snatching a microphone from Lillian Garcia’s hand, then sliding into the ring…


Melina: Chris! Chris, get up!

Masters to shake himself awake, staggering back to his feet…

Melina: This is has been going on too long, and we have had enough!

And to emphasise her point, Melina stomps her feet hard on the canvas…

Melina: I don’t know who you think you are Mr. Mystery Music Man, but this has gotta stop!

Melina screeches that last comment into the mic…

Melina: So I don’t care who you are, but you better show yourself right now!

Melina waits…

And waits…

Until…

*GUITAR RIFT…*

“NOW LISTEN… THIS AIN’T NO MAKE BELIEVE…

C’MON! OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE…”


The music plays again, and as is starts to kick in… a massive roar breaks out… as a seriously pissed off Johnny Nitro makes his way down the ramp! Well, it’s Johnny Nitro, but he looks different somehow. His hair flows differently, he’s wearing a different outfit, he just looks… different. And he’s got a new attitude too as he races down to the ring, slides under the bottom rope… and tackles Masters to the canvas! The brawl is on as Nitro mounts Masters, hammering him with a flurry of rights and lefts, only for Masters to manage to kick Nitro away. As Masters stumbles back to his feet, Nitro lines him up… and clotheslines Masters over the top rope to the floor! The crowd are on their feet as Nitro sends Masters packing, and then the pop grows louder as Nitro turns… and sees Melina along in the ring! Fear grips Melina as she pleads with Nitro for mercy, but Nitro’s having none of it as he charges at her… only for Melina to drop down and scramble to the safety of the floor! Quickly Melina staggers around the ring to join Masters, the duo looking back up at the ring, looking like they’ve seen a ghost, while a meaner, more serious Nitro stares at them, fire burning in his eyes, and just as we head to commercial, our commentators say…

”It’s great to see Johnny Nitro back!”

“Well, it’s Johnny Nitro… or is it?”


*Commercial*


We’re back, at the interview set, where Todd Grisham is standing by…


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time… he is the WWE Champion… Rob – Van – DAM!

A massive pop inside the arena as ‘Mr. Monday Night’ Rob Van Dam enters the frame. Clearly still smarting from what happened to him earlier at the hands of Shawn Michaels, Van Dam only offers Grisham a quick nod hello, a stern look on his face as he awaits Grisham’s question…

Todd Grisham: And Rob, obviously you’re disappointed after what happened earlier tonight in the tag team match against Bobby Lashley and Shawn Michaels. However… Shawn Michaels did score a victory over you, albeit a controversial one. Rob… does that mean a WWE Title match between the two of you is right around the corner?

Van Dam purses his lips as he thinks the question over…

Rob Van Dam: Y’know somethin’, Todd? I’m getting’ real sick and tired o’ Shawn Michaels and his crap. And I wanna take this time to make somethin’ clear to him. Like I’ve always said, I’ll put this title up against anybody who’s got the guts to step up, face me man to man, and ask for a title shot. Hell, that’s what got Claudio Cesaro his title shot. Now, I might not like the guy, but I gotta respect ‘im. Cesaro walked right into that ring, and he challenged me to a title match… and that’s exactly what he got.

A nonchalant shrug of the shoulder from the champion accompanies that statement…

Rob Van Dam: I mean, obviously it didn’t work out the way he wanted it to, but I at least he looked me in the eye and came lookin’ for a fight… unlike Shawn Michaels. See, that ain’t Shawn’s style. That ain’t Shawn’s way of doin’ business. That dude has stabbed so many friends and partners in the back… we’ll I guess that’s the only way he knows how to get anythin’. He wants a title shot, I get that… I’m cool with that. What I’m not cool with is him standin’ back here, runnin’ his mouth… and then jumpin’ me from behind.

Reminiscing, Van Dam rubs his jaw, a visual sign of the sting he felt at Michaels’ hands earlier this evening…

Rob Van Dam: And y’know, I stepped into that ring tonight with Shawn, hopin’ that he’d be a man, look me in the eye, gimme a fair fight. But… nah, he didn’t want that. He did everythin’ he could to avoid me, until that one split second when my back was turned. But I got a message for Shawn Michaels. I’ll take on anybody, I’ll fight any fight, and Shawn, if you want a match with me for my WWE Championship at War Games… all you gotta do is ask, dude.

Another pop from inside the arena…

Rob Van Dam: No talk of faith, no talk of God, none of those mind games you like to try pull. Just step into the ring, be a man… and ask. And lemme tell ya’ somethin’ Shawn, you want it… I’ll give it to ya’. But I promise, that this title… it ain’t goin’ nowhere. And that’s ‘cause I’m Rob… Van… Dam!

The crowd join in as ‘RVD’ wraps things up in determined fashion, staring hard into the camera before he turns and walks off. Grisham watches him go, almost marvelling at the calmness and composure of the champion during these troubling times, and it’s on the sight of Grisham that we cut away.

To the communal locker room, where sat on chairs are The Straight Edge Saints, a loud cheer from inside the arena as we see CM Punk icing down his neck, while Nick Dinsmore relaxes and Kelly Kelly hands Punk a bottle of water…


CM Punk: I did it man. I did it. I’m goin’ to Saturday Night’s Main Event! And hey, you’re gonna be there too man when you kick Kenny Dykstra’s ass next week.

Nick Dinsmore: You got that right.

Punk takes a swig of water before speaking again…

CM Punk: Y’know, nobody thinks either of us have got a shot at winnin’ King of the Ring. Nobody’s talkin’ about us. But y’know what? That’s cool with me, man. They’ll be talkin’ plenty when one of us becomes King.

Nick Dinsmore: Yeah. And hey, no matter which one of us becomes King… we’re still The Straight Edge Saints. No matter what.

Punk and Dinsmore share a fist bump, but both are caught off guard by something off camera. Bursting to their feet, nervous looks cross both their faces, and the camera pans to reveal that stood before them… are John Cena and Linda McMahon! Both of The Saints show Cena and Linda respect as they nod hello, almost in a nervous fashion, something which Cena picks up on…

John Cena: Hey, easy guys. Just relax.

Cena flashes both men a smile, trying to put them at ease…

John Cena: Hey Punk, helluva job tonight. That was a real gutsy win over Masters earlier. Congratulations on getting’ that spot at King of the Ring.

CM Punk: Thanks, John. Thanks a lot.

John Cena: Infact both of you guys, you’ve been doin’ a great job these last few months. You’ve had some real excitin’ matches, you came so damn close to becomin’ the tag champs at Backlash… you two are impressin’ a lotta people right now.

Linda McMahon: And that’s why we’re here.

Both Punk and Dinsmore perk up, interested to hear what’s coming next…

Linda McMahon: I’m sure you’re both aware that John is the captain of my team at War Games. And I’m sure you’re also aware that on my team… there’s still two spots we need to fill.

John Cena: And I’ve always said I’m lookin’ for guys who are hungry for success. We’ve got a veteran, a guy who’s been there before in Flair, we’ve got a guy lookin’ to right the wrongs of his career so far in Carlito, and then there’s you two. Two guys who are young, lookin’ for that first big break, lookin’ for that chance to really make a name for themselves. You two… you’re exactly who we’re lookin’ for.

Pop from inside the arena…

John Cena: So… what d’ya say? You in or out for Team Linda?

Linda McMahon: We’d really love to have you.

Taking a moment, Punk and Dinsmore both look at each other, then at Kelly who simply shrugs her shoulders and nods, before they again look at each other and smile…

CM Punk: I uh… I think I speak for both of us when I say… yeah. Yeah! We’re in!

Another cheer from the fans, with Punk, Dinsmore, Cena and Linda all quickly shaking hands…

John Cena: Great decision guys. You won’t regret it.

Linda McMahon: Welcome to the team!

Linda beams with pride, seemingly delighted with the five men she’s brought together to make up her squad…

John Cena: Listen, I gotta go, I wanna catch Carlito before his match. But hey, great job tonight Punk, best o’ luck for next week Nick. I’ll leave you to tie up the formalities with ‘The Boss Lady’, and we’ll talk strategy soon. Take it easy guys.

And with a pat of Punk’s shoulder, Cena turns and heads for the exit, leaving behind Linda and The Saints, who engage in some inaudible small talk while we head for a video.

*Video Package*

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

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

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

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

Narrator: A night where icons are created…

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

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

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

“WELCOME TO THE ERA OF AWESOMENESS!”

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

Narrator: A night to crown… a new king.

“BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR KING!”

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

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

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

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

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

Narrator: The King is dead…

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

“ALL HAIL KING BOO-KAH!”

”Long live… the King.”



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

*End Video Package*



Back into the arena, and to the announce desk…

Jim Ross: That’s right folks, we are just twelve nights away from Saturday Night’s Main Event and the 2007 King of the Ring, live on NBC! And that means we are getting’ ever closer to findin’ out which eight men will compete for one of the most prestigious prizes in all of sports entertainment. Let’s take a look at how the Raw half of the bracket stands after two qualifying matches earlier tonight.

Kenny Dykstra vs. Nick Dinsmore
Chris Masters vs. CM Punk

Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin
Jeff Hardy vs. Charlie Haas


Jim Ross: There ya’ see it, folks. Both CM Punk and Jeff Hardy have booked their tickets to Boston, they have made it to the final eight. But the Round of 16 continues next week, and I gotta ask ya’ guys, who do you think is gonna join 'em in Boston? Two of Dykstra, Dinsmore, Carlito and Benjamin are goin' to Boston. Who's it gonna be?

Joey Styles: Well, I think a lot is gonna depend on the physical toll that Carlito and Dykstra are about to put themselves through. They’re both gonna be less than 100% next week, and I think that gives the advantage to Nick Dinsmore and Shelton Benjamin.

Jerry Lawler: I gotta agree with ya', Joey. Not just the physical toll, but the emotional effects it can have too. The guy that wins this Ladder Match tonight, he'll find that extra burst of energy to compete next week. The guys that loses? He might too beat up both physically and emotionally to get it done.

Jim Ross: By the end of next week, we’ll know the four men who’ll represent Monday Night Raw in the King of the Ring. The King of the Ring 2007, it’s just twelve nights away, it’s gonna be a huge night in WWE history, and you won’t wanna miss it!

We now cut to the hard camera, which shows us that hanging high above the ring is the Intercontinental Championship, and that can only mean one thing…

”I SPIT IN ‘DA FACE… OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO BE COOL…”

*COOL…*


The loud vibe in the arena continues as Carlito steps out, a seriously focused look on his face, not even bothering with the usual toss up and catch of his apple, as instead he quickly tosses it aside, rips his t-shirt off over his head and then rolls into the ring, anxious to get things underway…


Joey Styles: Look at how intense, how focused Carlito is right now. You called it right ‘King’, Carlito was screwed at WrestleMania, he was screwed again at Backlash, but tonight, there’s no countouts, no disqualifications, all that stands between Carlito and the Intercontinental Championship is a ladder.

Jerry Lawler: And that’s why I think tonight is finally Carlito’s night. Dykstra has weaseled his way out of every situation with Carlito, but there’s nowhere for ‘im to run tonight.

Jim Ross: And let’s not forget, in order to get this opportunity tonight, Carlito signed up with Team Linda for War Games. Carlito is headin’ into war, but is he gonna do it as the new Intercontinental Champion? We’re gonna find out when we return to Monday Night Raw!

*Commercial*


We’re back, with Carlito pacing the ring, until we hear…

*IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW…*


The cheers quickly turn to boos as the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra steps out onto the stage, with Torrie Wilson and Ezekiel Jackson by his side. Dykstra looks down at the ring and puffs out his cheeks, shaking his head in annoyance before he turns and gives Torrie a quick peck on the cheek, then he heads down to the ring alone as Torrie and Jackson head backstage again…


Jim Ross: Welcome back everybody to Raw. There you see Kenny Dykstra, alongside Torrie Wilson and Ezekiel Jackon. But remember that stipulation added last week by Linda McMahon, that Torrie and ‘Zeke’ are both banned from ringside for this matchup. And for my money, that’s just another advantage for Carlito.

Joey Styles: Well it’s Torrie who was the difference maker at both WrestleMania and Backlash, and Jackson was brought in as nothing more than a security blanket for Dykstra. But with both of ‘em now out of the equation, it’s time for Dykstra to either prove that he really is a worthy Intercontinental Champion, ‘cause if he doesn’t, he’s goin’ home empty handed.

Jerry Lawler: And as much as I like seein’ Torrie out here at ringside, I think the fact she’s not gonna be here is what’s gonna make all the difference. No distractions, no interference, and that’s gonna work right in Carlito’s favour.

Main Event: Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra vs. Carlito

The crowd are electric as the referee calls for the bell, everyone on their feet as from across the ring, Carlito and Dykstra stare each other down, the tension building, until finally they come together with a tie up. Dykstra gains the upperhand with a headlock, but ‘Lito quickly shoves him into the ropes… but Dykstra bowls ‘Lito over with a shoulderblock. And showing straight away that isn’t going to be a classic, technical matchup, Dykstra mounts Carlito and starts hammering him with right hands to the face, then jumps up to start laying in with stomps to the body. ‘Lito crawls to the ropes, which only allows Dykstra to use them to choke the challenger, before he sends ‘Lito across with an Irish whip… but ‘Lito ducks a clothesline and keeps on running… jumps to the second rope…springboard back elbow! Dykstra stumbles back to his feet and into the ropes… and then ‘Lito charges and clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor! Dykstra lands with a splat at the foot of the ramp, and ‘Lito quickly follows him out, drilling Dykstra with a pair of right hands, before scooping him up… and SLAMMING HIM ON THE RAMP! Dykstra smacks off the steel, the crowd roaring it’s approval, but ‘Lito isn’t wasting time as he starts searching under the ring… and pulls out a ladder! The crowd pop big time for the appearance of the ladder, with ‘Lito then sliding it into the ring… but he’s not finished searching under the ring, as he looks again… and pulls out a steel chair! Dykstra staggers to his feet, turns… and CARLITO SMACKS THE CHAIR OFF HIS SKULL!! A massive pop as ‘Lito damn near takes Dykstra’s head off! Dykstra is down and out on the floor, and not wasting any time, ‘Lito heads back into the ring and starts to set up the ladder, looking to climb… but Dykstra is back on his feet, scrambling up the ladder… and he drags Carlito back down!

Dykstra stops the first effort at going for the title, and he starts clubbing ‘Lito with forearms, before he lines him up… and SMASHES CARLITO FACE FIRST OFF THE LADDER! ‘Lito hits the canvas, the ladder tumbles over, and now Dykstra lays in with boots to the chest, before he shoves Carlito into the corner and places the ladder infront of him. Dykstra then backs up and charges… but Carlito hurls the ladder into Dykstra’s path! Dykstra flops to the mat and rolls out to the floor, trying to shake off the cobwebs, but ‘Lito isn’t waiting, lining the ladder up, then coming off the ropes… baseball slide… SENDS THE LADDER CRASHING INTO DYKSTRA! Dykstra falls back into the barrier, and again Carlito stays on the attack, heading outside, smashing Kenny face first off the barrier, then off the steel steps, before he heads towards the announce desk… and rips off the hood! The crowd rise again as ‘Lito scoops up one of the monitors… THEN DRILLS DYKSTRA IN THE FACE WITH IT! The champion flops down to the floor, and again ‘Lito decides he’s going to climb the ladder, taking his time to set it up under the belt, then he slowly starts to climb… but the time taken allows Dykstra to recover, nipping onto the apron… slings himself to the top rope… then springboards onto the ladder! Dykstra now starts hammering ‘Lito, desperately trying to save his title, grabbing Carlito by the hair… and SMASHING HIS FACE OFF THE TOP OF THE LADDER! ‘Lito wobbles, hanging on… but Dykstra grabs him and smashes him again, causing ‘Lito to drop… but he lands on his feet… and tips the ladder… sending Dykstra throat first into the top rope! Carlito now looks to keep Dykstra down, rocking him with a few right hands, then a few kicks to the gut, before he places the ladder down on the canvas and rolls Kenny on top. ‘Lito then comes off the ropes… and looks for a running somersault senton… but Dykstra rolls to safety… and CARLITO CRASHES ONTO THE LADDER!

‘Lito takes a risk, but it doesn’t pay off as he smacks off the steel. Both men are down, until eventually Dykstra is back up, laying in with a few stomps, before he picks up the ladder, waits for ‘Lito to rise… then DRIVES THE LADDER INTO THE MIDSECTION! Carlito doubles over in pair against the ropes, then Kenny charges… and TOSSES THE LADDER AT CARLITO, SENDING HIM CRASHING DOWN TO THE FLOOR! The ladder follows ‘Lito out of the ring, but with the challenger down on the outside, Dykstra heads to the opposite side of the ring, heads outside… and pulls out a second ladder! Dykstra slides that ladder into the ring, before he heads around to where Carlito is laying on the floor. Dragging him up, Dykstra drills a few knees to the body, before he goes for an Irish whip… sending CARLITO INTO THE RING POST! Dykstra then reaches down and picks up the first ladder, straddling it across the gap between the barricade and the side of the ring, before he grabs ‘Lito and rolls him back into the ring. Dykstra then moves Carlito into position… and GOES FOR A SUPLEX ONTO THE LADDER… NO! Carlito fights it, landing on the apron, where he clubs Dykstra from behind with forearms… then he TRIES TO SUPLEX DYKSTRA ONTO THE LADDER… NO! This time it’s Dykstra who lands on the apron, desperately firing rights to the gut, doubling Carlito over… before Dykstra hooks him up… SIDE RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP ONTO THE LADDER… SNAPS THE LADDER IN HALF!! It’s a brutal landing for both men, the ladder shattering on impact, and now they both lie in a heap on the floor, their bodies in agony. Eventually it’s Dykstra who makes it back to his feet first, slowly making it back into the ring, grabbing the second ladder, setting it up and starting to climb. Dykstra slowly makes it up the ladder, rung by rung, but on the outside, Carlito makes a move, dragging himself onto the apron, sliding into the ring… and scrambling up the ladder… but Dykstra reaches out… fingertips on the title… no! Carlito drills him with shots to the midsection, doubling Dykstra over… then Carlito flies… SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB!! Both men crash and burn to the canvas, a booming “Holy shit! Holy shit!” chant breaking out around the arena, but on the sight of both men grounded, we head for our final commercial of the evening.

*Commercial*


And we’re back, with the crowd on their feet as Carlito slowly climbs the ladder, inching ever closer to victory… but here comes Dykstra, grabbing ‘Lito by the tights, yanking him down to the canvas… and then planting ‘Lito with a falling neckbreaker! With Carlito down, Dykstra now decides to punish the challenger, aiming stomps to the left knee and thigh, trying to do damage in an attempt to slow ‘Lito down. Dykstra continues his attack, grabbing the ladder… and SLAMMING IT DOWN ACROSS THE KNEE! Dykstra then puts the ladder on the mat, opens it up, places Carlito’s left leg inside… then stomps on the ladder, crushing the knee inside! Dykstra now opens the ladder up… and drives it down on the knee! And again! And a third time! Carlito groans in pain and crawls away, but there’s no respite as Dykstra scoops ‘Lito up… and SLAMS HIM DOWN, THE KNEE CRACKING OFF THE LADDER! With ‘Lito down, Dykstra sets up the ladder and again starts to climb… but Carlito drags himself up and scrambles up the ladder, yanking Dykstra back down… only for Dykstra to duck a clothesline… and go back to the knee with a chop block! ‘Lito is down again, and now Dykstra places the ladder against the turnbuckle, clearly with something in mind. Dykstra then shoves Carlito to the opposite corner, where he hangs the left leg up on the second rope, delivering a few kicks to the knee, before going for an Irish whip into the ladder… no! Carlito puts on the breaks, prompting Dykstra to charges… right into a BACK BODY DROP ONTO THE LADDER!! The champion writhes in agony, while the challenger grabs his knee, both men down and in pain. After a rest period, it’s Carlito who’s back on his feet first, grabbing Dykstra, slugging him with a few right hands, before he scoops Dykstra up… and looks for a RUNNING POWERSLAM ONTO THE LADDER… NO! Dykstra drops down behind… then nails the JUMPING STO!!

Dykstra hits the move that put Carlito away at WrestleMania, and with the challenger down, Dykstra sets up the ladder and starts to climb. Slowly Kenny makes it close to the top, reaching out, touching the belt… but here comes Carlito! ‘Lito scrambles up the ladder and starts firing shots at Kenny, until he gives Dykstra a shove… Dykstra falls from the ladder… but lands on his feet! The champion quickly pushes the ladder… but Carlito lands on his feet too… but his knee buckles! Leaning against the ropes, Carlito’s in trouble as Dykstra charges… but ‘Lito low bridges… and Dykstra tumbles to the floor! Carlito quickly heads outside, rocking Dykstra with shots to the face, before he looks for an Irish whip into the steel steps… but Dykstra reverses… and Carlito smacks knee first into the steps! Carlito flies over the steps, landing right next to the announce desk, and Dykstra moves quickly towards the timekeeper’s desk to grab a steel chair. The challenger staggers back to his feet… and Dykstra swings… SMACKING THE STEEL CHAIR OFF CARLITO’S SKULL! Carlito is down and out, allowing Dykstra a brief chance to gloat to the crowd, before in a surprising move, Kenny yanks ‘Lito up… then rolls him onto the announce desk. The crowd gasp in fear as Dykstra lays in with a few right hands to keep ‘Lito in place, before he heads back into the ring… and climbs to the top rope! The buzz of anticipation rings out, as Dykstra readies himself… then he flies… SKY HIGH LEGDROP… THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE DESK!!! For the second time tonight, the cry is “HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!” from the crowd, the announce table in pieces, both men down and out, their bodies broken in half after that death defying move from the champion. The announce team call for help from the back given that neither man has moved an inch, their bodies still strewn amongst the rubble.

It takes an absolute age, but eventually, somehow Dykstra manages to crawl towards the ring, using the apron to pull himself back up. In the ring, Dykstra sets up the ladder, and then he starts the long, slow climb towards the gold… but the crowd start to cheer, as somehow… here comes Carlito! ‘Lito starts to climbs the ladder on the same side as Dykstra, grabbing him, trying to stop Dykstra… but Dykstra kicks down… and knocks ‘Lito back down! Dykstra climbs again, reaching up… he’s got the title… no! Carlito again grabs the tights, drilling a few shots to the small of the back… before he steps up, grabs Kenny… BACKSTABBER!! THE BACKSTABBER OFF THE LADDER!!! An incredible, desperation move from Carlito, which sees Dykstra hit the canvas, bounce and roll to the floor! With the champion down on the outside, it looks like the title is Carlito’s for the taking as he starts to climb… slowly, rung by rung, inching ever closer… he’s got the belt in his grasp… but the crowd gasp in fear… as sliding into the ring… it’s THE REDNECK WRECKING CREW?! Cade and Murdoch storm the ring, and they drag ‘Lito back down, hammering him with stomps and right hands! What the hell are they doing out here!? It’s an absolute mugging as they hammer Carlito… but Carlito does his best to fight back, swinging wild rights and lefts, hitting anything that moves… and now here comes the cavalry! Here comes The Straight Edge Saints! Punk and Dinsmore sprint down to the ring, taking the fight to Cade and Murdoch, the two teams brawling it out… but now racing down to the ring… it’s Claudio Cesaro, Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley! Cesaro leads the way, sliding into the ring and tackling Carlito to the canvas, but before Lashley and Orton can make their presence felt, they’re clubbed from behind… by John Cena and Ric Flair! Cena and Lashley, Orton and Flair, they’re kicking off War Games early with a brawl on the floor! In the ring, the fight between The Saints and The Crew spills outside, leaving Carlito and Cesaro to go at it, with Cesaro swinging a right hand… but Carlito ducks… BACKSTABBER!! The backstabber sends Cesaro rolling from the ring, while at the base off the ramp, the other eight War Games participants are engaged in a frenzied brawl! The crowd are going wild, it’s mayhem out there, but in the centre of the ring, Carlito is slowly climbing towards glory… he reaches up… and touches the title… no! Wait! Dykstra is back in the ring… and he tips over the ladder… causing Carlito to fall… RIGHT ONTO THE MASS OF BODIES BELOW!! Carlito crashes and burns, wiping out every member of the War Games Match, meaning that all Dykstra has to do is reset the ladder, climb to the top… reach up… and grab his title! DYKSTRA HAS RETAINED THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!

Winner: And STILL Intercontinental Champion, Kenny Dykstra @ 16.47

Once again, Carlito has been robbed, and Dykstra is still the Intercontinental Champion! Bodies are strewn all over ringside, ‘Lito is down in a heap, while in the ring, Dykstra clutches his title close to his chest, but he quickly rolls from the ring and tries to pick his way through the bodies at the foot of the ramp. Dykstra stumbles up the ramp as the various bodies try to pick themselves back up, with Orton and Lashley on their feet first, while Cade and Murdoch stay down. Eventually, Cena, Flair and The Saints help Carlito back up, the five teammates looking dejected, and just as Dykstra disappears backstage, we see Cena with his hands on his hips, shaking his head in annoyance, while Flair comforts his former tag team partner…


Jim Ross: You gotta be kiddin’ me! Carlito, he’s been robbed once again of the Intercontinental Championship! Dykstra is still the champion, and it’s all down to Team Vince! Just what the hell were they doin’ out here? They had no business invovlin’ themselves in this matchup!

Joey Styles: I guess that’s what happens when you sign up to take on Mr. McMahon! Carlito joined up with Team Linda to get one final shot at the Intercontinental Title, and as a way of payback, Vince has sent his boys out here to make sure Carlito never became the champion!

Jerry Lawler: What a wild night this has been! We’ve seen Shawn Michaels pin the WWE Champion, we’ve seen Carlito have the Intercontinental Championship snatched from his grasp, and we’ve seen Team Vince and Team Linda almost explode!

Jim Ross: God, I can’t wait for next week. There’s gonna be hell to pay! Good night folks, we’ll see ya’ next week for more Monday Night Raw!

The crowd continue to jeer as from the stage, Team Vince stare down at Team Linda in the ring, all eyes focused on each other, the fury and anger from the ring contrasted with the smug satisfaction at the top of the ramp, the camera switching back and forth as we fade to black.

*End Show*




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

Location: TD Banknorth Garden; Boston, Massachusetts


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





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

Location: Target Center; Minneapolis, Minnesota


War Games Match:
Team Linda (John Cena, Ric Flair, Carlito, CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore) vs. Team Vince (Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch and Claudio Cesaro)



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




Last edited by iMac; 05-25-2014 at 04:47 PM.
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post #322 of 349 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 04:17 PM
Learning to break kayfabe
 
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

it's baaaaack
Will read it tomorrow, i can't believe this is back <3

Can't wait for the War Games <3
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post #323 of 349 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night SmackDown~
May 25th, 2007
Save Mart Center
Fresno, California






Five nights ago SmackDown played host to the Judgment Day pay per view, a night which saw two new champions crowned, tons of controversy, and perhaps one of the most shocking and dominating returns in WWE history.

Four men stepped into the ring at Judgment Day to do battle for the World Heavyweight Championship, with Batista, Edge, Chris Benoit and Mr. Kennedy engaging in a Fatal Four Match which saw all four men push themselves to the limit in a quest for the gold. But the biggest impact of the night was made by a fifth man, the suspended Umaga, who stormed the arena and laid out Batista, Kennedy and Benoit just as ‘The Animal’ seemed set to end the match. It was ‘The Ultimate Opportunist’ Edge who would take advantage, shocking the world as he put Batista away to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. All four men are scheduled to be on SmackDown tonight, but in what state they’ll be in is very much still up in the air. No doubt Edge will be prepared for a night of gloating and celebration, but at some point tonight, one or more of the three men that suffered at the hands of Umaga will no doubt have something to say to the newly crowned champion.

The second title to change hands at Judgment Day was the Cruiserweight Championship, where Bryan Danielson finally saw off Gregory Helms in a match which had to be restarted due to the interference of SmackDown commentator ‘JBL’. It remains to be seen what punishment General Manager Teddy Long has in store for Layfield, but for both Danielson and Helms, they’ll no doubt be quickly turning their attentions to the upcoming King of the Ring tournament. With Saturday Night’s Main Event just eight days away, both men will be looking to earn their place in the tournament proper over the next two weeks. Tonight, it’s Helms’ turn as he takes on Brian Kendrick, while the United States Champion Matt Hardy goes against Kane in the clear match of the round. Both Hardy and Kane had successful nights at Judgment Day, with Hardy retaining his title against The Miz, while Kane survived a tough encounter with Finlay, but only one man can advance tonight and book their spot in Boston in just eight days’ time.

It was also a successful night at Judgment Day for The Hooligans, albeit one shrouded in controversy. Near the end of their title defence against The New Breed, it appeared that Brian Kendrick grabbed a handful of Elijah Burke’s tights in order to help seal the champions’ victory. No doubt The New Breed will have something to say about the situation, but what about what this might to The Hooligans? The champions have had a strained relationship as of late, and it appeared that Paul London had no idea of the short cut Kendrick took to victory, although it certainly looked like Ashley saw it all. What could happen if London happened to find out about what Kendrick did, and how could it affect the champions… or even affect Kendrick’s King of the Ring match tonight?

Also scheduled for tonight’s show, Rey Mysterio makes his in-ring return to Friday Night SmackDown as he takes on The Miz, The Extremists look to bounce back from their defeat against The Coachman Coalition as they take on The Full Blooded Italians, and newcomer Doug Williams makes his WWE debut as he takes on Jamie Noble. And of course, we’ll no doubt be hearing from Mr. Kennedy and The Coachman Coalition as they discuss their respective nights at Judgment Day, we’ll also hear from the new Cruiserweight Champion Bryan Danielson, while Teddy Long will no doubt be keen to address the mayhem that occurred last Sunday night. All this and more as we experience the fallout from Judgment Day as Friday Night SmackDown continues the countdown to the King of the Ring.

Confirmed Matches:

Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz

King of the Ring Qualifying Matches – Round of 16
Brian Kendrick vs. Gregory Helms
Matt Hardy vs. Kane

The Extremists vs. The Full Blooded Italians
Doug Williams vs. Jamie Noble


Show posted on Tuesday/Wednesday-ish.

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



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post #324 of 349 (permalink) Old 06-02-2014, 07:53 AM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Raw was great, the build for War Games it's fantastic, the main event was quite awesome, same as RVD and Cena vs Lashley and HBK. ( and the poster for the War Games is so greeaaat).
Smackdown looks very interesting, Kendrick vs Helms match could steal the show. I expect an controversed ending with Kendrick winning by cheating or somehow.
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night SmackDown~
May 25th, 2007
Save Mart Center
Fresno, California



”I bet ya’ feelin’ pretty happy right now, huh?"





Cold opening, straight into the arena, where already stood in the ring is SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long, microphone in his hand, and a seriously ticked off look on his face…

Michael Cole: Uh, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Friday Night SmackDown. We uh… we’re not entirely sure what’s going on here right now. Obviously our General Manager, Teddy Long, is waiting in the ring, he’s obviously got something to say. But after last Sunday’s wild and chaotic ending to Judgment Day, there is nothin’ but confusion here tonight in Fresno, California.

Tazz: Aw’ you ain’t kiddin’! I mean, Umaga and Armando Estrada, they came oughta nowhere and got involved in our World Heavyweight Title Match, and they practically handed the title to Edge. And after ‘JBL’ damn near cost Bryan Danielson the Cruiserweight Title, ‘JBL’… he ain’t here tonight!

Michael Cole: That’s right folks, ‘JBL’ is not here tonight, we have no idea where he is. There was so much controversy, so many talking points from Judgment Day, none more important than the fact that Edge is the new World Heavyweight Champion! But obviously Teddy Long has something he wants to say, so let’s hand it over to our General Manager…

The murmur of the crowd dies down as Teddy gets his cue, bringing the mic up…

Teddy Long: Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sure everybody can agree that Judgment Day was one of, if not the most exciting pay per views in SmackDown history!

A pop from the crowd in agreement…

Teddy Long: However… it was not a night without a whole lotta controversy. And if ya’ ask me playas… it was just too much controversy. And that’s why tonight… I’m gonna do somethin’ about it.

Another pop, this time more in intrigue…

Teddy Long: First of all… we had a commentator, ‘JBL’, gettin’ involved in a title match, stickin’ his nose in business where it don’t belong, and as you can see lookin’ down at the announce desk right now, ‘JBL’… he ain’t here tonight. And that is ‘cause earlier today when ‘JBL’ arrived at the arena… I sent him home… ‘cause ‘JBL’ is suspended indefinitely, without pay!

A warm response from the crowd, obviously approving of the suspension…

Teddy Long: But lemme tell ya’, ‘JBL’ ain’t gonna be suspended for long. I’m gonna take a few weeks, I’m gonna think up a suitable punishment and then I’m gonna bring ‘im back soon… and he’s gonna pay for what he did at Judgment Day.

The stern look on Teddy’s face shows how serious he is about this, but that look soon turns into a smile…

Teddy Long: But allow me to be the first to say congratulations to our new Cruiserweight Champion, Bryan Danielson!

Another, much louder pop…

Teddy Long: I always knew that if anybody was gonna take that Cruiserweight Title away from Gregory Helms, it was gonna be Bryan. And I’m just glad that throughout all the mayhem, Bryan still got the job done, and now we got a Cruiserweight Champion we can all be proud of!

Long pauses as the fans voice their approval…

Teddy Long: And speakin’ of champions… I wanna talk about our new World Heavyweight Champion… Edge.

Big time heat for the mention of the new World Heavyweight Champion…

Teddy Long: Or more specifically… the manner in which Edge became champion. And that means I need to talk about Armando Alejandro Estrada… and Umaga.

And even more heat for the monster who proved so destructive at last Sunday’s pay per view…

Teddy Long: Now Umaga and Estrada… I already suspended you two playas due to your actions last month against The Undertaker. I suspended you two, and I kept you suspended ‘cause I wanted to punish you for your actions, but ‘cause I also wanted the World Heavyweight Championship Match to go off without any problems.

Long purses his lips and ruefully shakes his head…

Teddy Long: But since you two defied my orders… well, I ain’t got much choice. I ain’t gonna stand back while you two playas run wild on my show. It’s time for you two to get to steppin’. So Umaga… Estrada… I ain’t got no choice but to say… YOU’RE FIR-

*I WALK ALONE…*


This is a surprise. It seemed that Umaga and Estrada were just seconds away from being fired by Teddy Long, only for Batista to interrupt. The now former World Heavyweight Champion looks to be in a foul mood as he slowly walks down to the ring, dressed in street clothes with sunglasses over his eyes and a mean scowl on his face. Although the crowd cheer loudly for the arrival of ‘The Animal’, there’s an undercurrent of confusion as to why Batista is out here right now, a sentiment shared by the look on Teddy’s face as Batista enters the ring and heads to the corner to grab a microphone…


Batista: Teddy, Teddy… just hold on a second. I know you’re out here tryin’ to lay down the law, and I apologise right now for comin’ out here and interrupting you, but… I can’t let you go through with what you were about to do. I can’t let you fire Umaga.

Boos ring out from the crowd, their confusion matched by the look on Teddy’s face…

Batista: Now don’t get me wrong, I’d like nothin’ more than to see Umaga and Estrada outta SmackDown and outta the WWE. But those two aren’t goin’ anywhere… ‘til I get my hands on them.

And now a pop, but Teddy screws up his face, shaking his head slowly…

Batista: That sunnova bitch cost me the World Heavyweight Championship, he practically put the belt in Edge’s hands, and I’m not lettin’ him get away with that. You fire Umaga, Teddy? You go right ahead. But not before you get his ass in this ring with me.

Another pop…

Batista: And don’t think I’ve forgotten about Edge and about my World Heavyweight Championship. I know I get a rematch, and I’m not gonna wait long to get back my title. But before I get to Edge… I want Umaga… and I want him… tonight.

And now an even bigger cheer for the prospect of Batista and Umaga, one on one tonight. With a fierce look on his face, Batista stares at Long, waiting for an answer, but once again, Teddy just shakes his head slowly…

Teddy Long: Batista, I… I can’t sign off on that playa. I just can’t do it.

More jeers from the crowd, a feeling shared by Batista as he turns his head away in annoyance…

Teddy Long: I feel ya’, playa. I know ya’ hurtin’, I know how much the World Heavyweight Championship means to ya’, I know how badly you want that title back around ya’ waist. And believe me playa, I know exactly how much you wanna see both Edge and Umaga get the ass kickin’ they deserve!

’The Animal’ nods and mouths “I want Umaga tonight!”, at which Teddy raises a hand and calls for restraint…

Teddy Long: But you and Umaga, one on one, right here tonight? I can’t do that playa. I’m sorry, I just can’t give it to ya’.

More boos, with Batista throwing up his hands then shaking his head…

Teddy Long: But… there is somethin’ I can do for ya’. You right, I was about to fire Umaga and Estrada, but I’ll make ya’ a deal. I won’t fire Umaga… but I will uphold his suspension. You’ll get your hands on Umaga one day… but not yet, playa.

It’s not what he wanted, but it’s a start for Batista, who looks on intently…

Batista: But as for tonight Batista… there’s somethin’ we can do for each other. Y’see, you know better than anybody that Edge… well I don’t always dig what he’s sellin’, ya’ feel me? I ain’t his biggest fan.

Teddy pauses, thinking, choosing his words carefully…

Teddy Long: And what happened at Judgment Day with him becomin’ the new World Heavyweight Champion… that just don’t sit right with me. So what I wanna do… and what you can do for me, Batista… is that you can have that rematch of yours… right here tonight, in Fresno, California!

The biggest cheer thus far…

Teddy Long: What about it playas? Edge, Batista, for the World Heavyweight Championship, right here on Friday Night SmackDown?!

The crowd roar their approval… but then…

”YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME…”

*METALINGUS…*


The boos quickly break out as the new World Heavyweight Champion Edge enters the arena, a frantic, furious look on his face. Edge scowls as he takes a few steps towards the ring, but when he catches the fury in the eyes of ‘The Animal’, the new champion quickly backtracks, instead settling for a spot beneath the SmackDown fist…


Edge: What the… what the hell is this? Huh? What the hell is this!?

A frantic Edge starts pacing back and forth…

Edge: I mean, I know you’re the most biased, incompetent General Manager in WWE history, Teddy, but this is a new low even for you. You want me to defend my World Heavyweight Championship… tonight?

Cheers from the crowd and a nod of the head from Teddy, which draws a scowl from the champion…

Edge: You… you seriously think I should put my title on the line tonight? Are you kiddin’ me, Teddy? It’s my first night on SmackDown as World Heavyweight Champion, I shouldn’t be defending my title, I oughta be partying! I should be guest of honour at the biggest celebration this company has ever seen!

The camera cuts to ‘The Animal’, an intense look on his face as he stares down at Edge…

Edge: You people remember the way me and Lita celebrated when I won the WWE Championship last year right? I was planin’ to go one better tonight!

This comment draws a dejected groan from the male element of the crowd…

Edge: On second thoughts… I probably shouldn’t waste somethin’ like that on you morons from Fresno.

But the cheap heat comment soon draws boos…

Edge: But let me make something real clear for you, Teddy. Your little idea, your little plan here with Batista… it’s not happenin’. Not a chance. There is no way I’m defending this title tonight. Not against Batista, not against anybody. Infact, y’know what? I think… I’m gonna give myself the night off.

A smug smirk crosses Edge’s face…

Edge: I think after my brave, heroic, amazing title win last Sunday, I think I’ve earned a night off. I think I’ve earned the chance to celebrate the most important title win in WWE history.

That last comment draws a dry laugh from Teddy…

Edge: So Dave, I know you’re upset, I know you’re frustrated, I know you’re lookin’ to take a little anger out on somebody. And I hope you get the chance to do that. I hope you find Umaga… wherever he is. I hope you find him, and you two beat the living hell outta each other. But all the pent up anger and frustration… you’re not gonna take it out on me big guy. Not tonight.

Batista flares his nostrils, stepping towards the side of the ring, with Edge smirking again, knowing he’s gotten to ‘The Animal’…

Edge: And y’know what Teddy? I gotta admit… I’m a little disappointed in you. I mean, I’m your new champion. You should be doin’ everythin’ you can to impress me. Where’s my celebration, huh? Where’s my balloons? Where’s my streamers? Where’s my marching band? Why are the rest of this pathetic SmackDown roster not out here right now, singing my praises? I’m the guy that’s gonna take this B-level show and take it to a whole new level, a level that the guy in the ring stood next to you could only ever dream of gettin’ to.

Again Batista steps forward, this time Teddy placing a hand on his chest as a way of telling Batista to cool off…

Edge: You might be the G.M. Teddy, but I’m the World Heavyweight Champion, this is my show now and you better start showin’ me the respect I deserve. And it starts tonight… and it starts with me takin’ the night off. I’m gonna head backstage, I’m gonna get my party started. Dave… you go look for that big, angry Samoan. Tonight’s main event… it’s all yours big guy. I’ll be watchin’. But I’m damn sure not gonna be takin’ part, and there’s not a chance in hell I’m gonna defend this title.

More heat…

Edge: And if you try and make me… then I promise you… I’m gonna make you regret it.

Satisfied with what he’s said, Edge starts to head backstage, but Teddy has other ideas…

Teddy Long: Wait a minute Edge, wait just a minute. You might be the World Heavyweight Champion… but I am still the General Manager of SmackDown, and that means I’m the law around here, ya’ feel me?

A strong pop…

Teddy Long: And that means the you don’t get to decide whether or not you get the night off… I do.

Edge just laughs and shakes his head…

Teddy Long: But I tell ya’ what, playa. Maybe you got a point. Maybe all this talk about takin’ the night off… maybe you got somethin’ with that. Maybe I oughta take the night off… and let these people decide if we’re gonna have ourselves a title match tonight!

A worried look on Edge’s face as he hears the roar of the crowd…

Teddy Long: How ‘bout it Fresno? D’you wanna see Edge and Batista, one on one, for the World Heavyweight Championship, right here tonight?

A massive pop, despite Edge yelling “Shut up!” at the fans…

Teddy Long: The people have spoken, Edge. You’re puttin’ that title on the line tonight. And you betta learn somethin’ real quick playa… I ain’t gonna stand for nothin’ from you. ‘Coach’ left this show in a real mess, and I’m fixin’ to start makin’ things right. There’s too much mayhem goin’ on around here right now, too many guys thinkin’ they bigger than their boots, thinkin’ they can do whatever they want. But you better realise somethin’, playa. This ain’t your show… this ain’t my show… this is the people’s show.

Another loud cheer…

Teddy Long: And it’s time we start givin’ the people what they want. So if they wanna see you defend that title tonight against Batista… then that’s what they gonna get. And if they wanna see you defend that title each and every week… then that’s exactly what’s gonna happen.

Frustrated, Edge shakes his head…

Teddy Long: And Edge… Batista… and every superstar in the back… if ya’ don’t like it… ya’ better get used to it. ‘Cause this is Friday Night SmackDown… and we gonna make this show the A-brand once again!

*MACMILLITANT…*


And on that emphatic statement, Long heads to the corner and hands his microphone back to Tony Chimel, before he heads for the ropes… but as he does, he crosses paths with Batista, ‘The Animal’ which an uneasy look on his face, clearly happy to be getting an early shot at regaining his title against Edge, but at the same time, disappointment at not getting his hands on Umaga…


Michael Cole: Wow. What a statement of intent from our General Manager. Teddy Long laid down the law right there, he’s gonna clean up SmackDown and the mess left behind by Jonathan Coachman, and he’s gonna start here tonight by making Edge defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Batista!

Tazz: Yeah and SmackDown, we’ve been in a bit of a mess for a while now, things have been pretty chaotic around here, but it sounds like Teddy Long’s had enough and he’s gonna fix it. And that might mean Edge’s title reign is over real quick!

Now in the aisle, Teddy struts along until he comes face to face with Edge, the champion looking incredulous, shouting “What the hell are you doin’?!” as the G.M. walks on by. Edge nervously runs a hand through his hair and turns to look at the ring, where Batista now leans against the ropes, his eyes fixated on the champion, the camera darting back and forth as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


And when we return, we see the new Cruiserweight Champion Bryan Danielson, walking and talking with a member of the backstage team. We can’t hear the dialogue between the two, but it doesn’t matter as very quickly the talking comes to an end as they are soon engulfed by the cheers and applause of group of cruiserweight wrestlers. Faces and heels alike gather and show Danielson respect, with Jamie Noble, Shannon Moore, Daivari, Funaki, Jimmy Wang Yang and Scotty-2-Hotty all applauding, while newcomer Doug Williams steps forward and offers Danielson a handshake…


Bryan Danielson: Guys, guys… what’s this all about?

Doug Williams: Bryan, me and the rest of the boys just wanted to show our appreciation for what you did last Sunday. I might not have been here all that long, but I couldn’t stand listenin’ to that muppet Helms braggin’ anymore. Everyone’s glad you took that title away from ‘im.

Nods of agreement as Funaki now steps forward…

Funaki: Hai. Funaki happy you kick Helms butt!

Danielson tries his best to stifile a laugh as Funaki bows in respect, before the champion puffs out his cheeks…

Bryan Danielson: Uh, well… wow. Thanks a lot guys. I uh… I really appreciate it.

Danielson scans the room, taking in the smiles looking back at him, but the smile on Williams’ face quickly turns wry…

Doug Williams: But uh… don’t think that means we’re not comin’ after you now. You’re the new champ, that means the target’s on your back now. And I know I’m gonna have to wait in line and earn a title shot… but we’re all chasin’ you and that title.

Bryan Danielson: Well… I welcome the chase.

A focused smile on both men’s face as they stare each other down, but their attentions are soon taken by the approaching footsteps from behind, with the camera panning to reveal that The Coachman Coalition have entered the room. With Montel Vontavious Porter leading the way and Jonathan Coachman nearby, Danielson and Williams stand firm, despite the ominous presence of King Booker, Queen Sharmell and Mark Henry looming nearby…

Montel Vontavious Porter: Aw, ain’t that cute. All the wittle cruiserweights finally found somebody to beat that big, bad Gregory Helms. That’s a real hallmark moment right there.

An exaggerated “Hmm- mmm!” from Sharmell in response…

Montel Vontavious Porter: Just a real shame that I ain’t a midget like all of y’all. ‘Cause you wouldn’t be holdin’ that title for all that long, Danielson. But I guess I’ll just have to make do with beatin’ you next week in the King of the Ring.

A smug shrug of the shoulders from ‘MVP’…

Montel Vontavious Porter: So you betta’ make the most of this chance you got to celebrate, boy. ‘Cause you ain’t gonna be celebratin’ nothin’ next week. I ain’t some cruiserweight chump. And I ain’t some washed up commentator. I’m the real deal. I’m the highest priced free agent in WWE history, and I’m gonna be keepin’ that King o’ the Ring crown right where it belongs, and that’s in The Coalition.

A low, evil laugh from Booker as Henry menacingly rubs his hands together…

Bryan Danielson: That’s uh… that’s real nice, ‘MVP’. I mean, I know how important that crown is to you guys. Without it, Booker’s just a guy talking in a stupid accent.

Booker steps forward and mutters “Da’ hell you sayin’?”, but ‘Coach’ quickly holds him back…

Bryan Danielson: But I don’t think next week’s gonna turn out the way you want it to. Y’see, now that Helms isn’t the champion anymore, I’m plannin’ on puttin’ the cruiserweight division back on the map. For years the cruiserweights delivered night after night, some of the greatest matches SmackDown’s ever seen. But that doesn’t mean I’m just gonna stick to our weight limit. I’ll put me, or any one of these guys, up against anybody on the SmackDown roster.

Strong pop from inside the arena…

Bryan Danielson: And that means starting with you next week… and then winning the King of the Ring. Infact, when I become King… I’ll even take on you Henry. Just to prove us cruiserweights aren’t… chumps.

This time it’s Henry who steps forward, but again ‘Coach’ steps in, putting on the breaks, before he turns with a smirk towards Bryan…

Jonathan Coachman: Whoa, easy Mark. Look Danielson, for a skinny kid who hasn’t had a lot to say, you sure have a smart mouth. But that’s all you’ve got… your mouth. All those fancy kicks and submissions? They’re not gonna work against a guy like ‘MVP’. This ain’t the cruiserweight division anymore, you’re playin’ with the big boys now.

Danielson bites his lip, not rising to the bait…

Jonathan Coachman: You might not wanna admit it, you might like livin’ in this delusional world you’ve made for yourself where you’re the best cruiserweight in the world. And that’s fine. But just understand that when you step into that ring next week with ‘MVP’… being the best cruiserweight in the world… and being the Cruiserweight Champion… that means nothing.

That draws an intense look from Danielson, with Coachman smirking again, knowing he’s gotten under Danielson’s skin…

Montel Vontavious Porter: Look kid, just forget about me. There ain’t a chance in hell you’re gonna beat me next week, so you might as well not worry about it. You just worry about that title… and let me worry about bein’ King.

And with that, there’s smug grins all round from The Coalition as the group turn and make their exit, leaving behind a furious Cruiserweight Champion, the rest of the division looking on as the camera lingers on the shot for a few seconds before we cut away.

And we cut to the announce desk, to the very serious looking Cole and Tazz…


Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, obviously we are counting down to the 2007 King of the Ring, and that is shaping up to be a huge qualifying match next week between ‘MVP’ and the new Cruiserweight Champion, Bryan Danielson. But before we kick off tonight’s action, let’s take you back to last Sunday at Judgment Day, and the WWE Tag Team Championship Match. The Hooligans defended the titles against The New Breed, and the ending of that match… well, it was controversial to say the least.

Tazz: Let’s not sugar coat this Cole, let’s call it like it is. The Hooligans won, thanks to some pretty underhand tactics from Brian Kendrick. Kendrick… he cheated. That’s all there is to say.

Michael Cole: Yeah, and at the time, it certainly seemed like Paul London, he knew nothing about it. But earlier today, as Kendrick, London and Ashley arrived at the arena, The New Breed wanted to make sure London knew all about it. Let’s take a look at what happened.

*Video Package*

EARLIER TODAY

We cut to the parking lot, where stepping out of a car comes The Hooligans, with broad smiles on the faces of both Brian Kendrick and Paul London, the champions carrying their titles as they head to the trunk of their car to grab their bags, their victory last night clearly doing wonders to heal the recent rift between the pair. Ashley Massaro exits from a back door, a very tense and uneasy look on her face in contrast to London and Kendrick. Ashley slings a bag over her shoulder and walks ahead of the champs, forcing a smile as London rubs a hand on her shoulder…

Paul London: You OK, Ash? You were kinda quiet on the ride in.

Ashley Massaro: Yeah, I’m fine.

Another forced smile, but it’s enough to appease London as the trio continue to head towards the arena… until they come to a stop. Kendrick pulls down his sunglasses for a better look, London rubs his eyes in frustration, while Ashley lets out a loud sigh and looks to the heavens…

Ashley Massaro: Unbelievable…

And we soon see the reason why, as running towards the three comes the mystery brunette fan from Sunday night at Judgment Day. The fan runs right up to Kendrick, holding out a pen and autograph book, shrieking with delight at getting up close and personal with Kendrick…

???: Oh my God! Brian! Brian! Brian, I’m your biggest fan! Oh my god, I love you! Can… can I get an autograph?

Impressed, Kendrick smugly nods towards London, almost with pride at the fact that he’s got such a fanatic clamouring for his attention…

Brian Kendrick: Uh, yeah, sure. What’s your name?

???: It’s Rosa. Rosa Mendes.

The mystery woman, now identified as Rosa Mendes, squeals in delight as Kendrick signs his names in her book…

Brian Kendrick: To Rosa… love, Brian. Here you go.

Rosa can’t hide her delight as she takes back her book, looking at the autograph, before she grabs Kendrick for a hug…

Rosa Mendes: Oh my gosh, Brian, thank you so much! Good luck tonight, I just know you’re gonna win the King of the Ring!

Stepping aside, Rosa watches on in awe as London, Kendrick and Ashley continue on their way, with Kendrick taking a look back over his shoulder, he and Rosa sharing a quick wave goodbye with each other, before Kendrick slips his sunglasses back on and again smiles smugly…

Brian Kendrick: What d’ya think of that, huh? She’s a big fan o’ mine! And she’s smokin’ hot too! I oughta go back and get her number or somethin’-

???: There they are!

Again the trio come to a stop, but we don’t have to wait to find out why, as The New Breed storm into the frame, seriously pissed off looks adorning the faces of both Elijah Burke and Monty Brown, while Layla scowls as she leads the way…

Layla: There’s the cheaters right there! Y’know, you three should be ashamed of yourselves after what you did at Judgment Day!

Paul London: What… cheaters? What are you guys talkin’ about?

Fear and worry crosses Kendrick’s face, who almost tries to hide behind London, while Burke steps forward and gets right in London’s face…

Elijah Burke: Cut the crap, London. You know exactly what we’ talkin’ about. I knew we was gonna beat you two for those titles, but I didn’t for a second your boy Kendrick was gonna grab the ropes to save ‘em for ya’.

Confused, London turns and looks at Kendrick…

Paul London: What’s he talkin’ about, Brian?

Pleading his innocence, Kendrick shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head…

Brian Kendrick: I- I-… I have no idea. The guy must be bitter or somethin’. C’mon, let’s head inside, we don’t need to listen-

Paul London: No, no. Wait. Did you… did you cheat to win at Judgment Day? Did you cheat to save these titles?

Feigning disgust at the question, Kendrick acts speechless before finally giving a response…

Brian Kendrick: I can’t believe you’d even ask me that. I thought we partners, bro’. I’m not puttin’ up with this. I’m outta here.

Kendrick barges his way past Burke, but he only gets to take a few steps before Burke says…

Elijah Burke: Hey London… if you don’t believe me… maybe you oughta ask Ashley.

And just like that, Kendrick stops and turns, his and everyone else’s eyes now trained on Ashley, who nervously runs a hand through her hair. Biting her lip, Ashley turns away, unable to look at London, who stares at her, searching for an answer…

Paul London: Ash? Ashley… is it true? Did Brian cheat to win last Sunday?

Knowing the truth, Ashley looks close to tears as she just slowly nods her head, confirming The New Breed’s allegations. An evil smirk crosses Burke’s face, while Kendrick just shakes his head in disgust…

Paul London: I uh… I need to see the tape.

Elijah Burke: Yeah, you do that. But you ain’t getting’ away with this. We ain’t gonna let this slide.

But having said their piece, Burke, Brown and Layla head off screen back towards the arena, with Brown giving a menacing stare in Kendrick’s direction as they pass him. Kendrick still has his back to London and Ashley, too ashamed to look at them, before he lets out a sigh then walks off, leaving London and Ashley behind, with London looking like his entire world has just caved in as he puts an arm around Ashley’s shoulder and the video comes to an end.

*End Video Package*


We now cut back to our sombre looking announce desk…

Michael Cole: Obviously a very difficult situation for Paul London and Ashley to find themselves in right now. I don’t think for one second London knew anything about what Kendrick did last Sunday, but I know saw it, just as we all did, but I know Ashley saw it, and I’m sure she’s had plenty of sleepless nights this past week, tryin’ to figure out what to do.

Tazz: Well, yeah sure, but the truth’s gonna come out later tonight when London sees that tape. And I’m pretty sure he’s gonna be wantin’ to know what the hell Brian Kendrick’s playin’ at.

Michael Cole: And all this ahead of Kendrick’s scheduled King of the Ring qualifier against Gregory Helms tonight. It’s gonna be a busy night for The Hooligans, that’s for sure.

After a brief pause…

*BAD DREAM…*


We’re ready for our first match of the night, with The Extremists heading into the arena, Tommy Dreamer and Sabu opting to use the entrance way, while The Sandman makes his way through the crowd…


Michael Cole: A disappointing loss last Sunday at Judgment Day for Dreamer, Sabu and Sandman against The Coachman Coalition, but they get a chance to quickly put that behind them as they take on another team they’ve had some run ins with in the past, The Full Blooded Italians.

Tazz: Yeah and Tommy Dreamer in particular, he better put that loss behind ‘im in a hurry, he’s got a huge King o’ the Ring match next week against Mr. Kennedy!

Michael Cole: The final two spots in the King of the Ring will be decided right here on SmackDown, and who knows, Tommy Dreamer could pull off perhaps the biggest upset of his career by beating Kennedy and earning his place at Saturday Night’s Main Event.

*LA VITTORIA E MIA…*


Dressed as always in their ridiculous Mafioso garb, The Full Blooded Italians are led into the arena by their ‘Don’ Santino Marella, his main squeeze Trinity on his arm, while the three men competing tonight, Big Vito, Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke do their best to look intimidating…


Michael Cole: I’m sure you’ve seen these six men compete in a some shape or fashion back in the day in ECW, Tazz? All six former ECW alumnus, and all six part of the tag team scene here on SmackDown.

Tazz: Well you know Dreamer, Sabu and Sandman, they’re my boys right there. As for Vito, Nunzio and Mamaluke, well… I ain’t got nothin’ against ‘im, I just think they’re wastin’ their time with this clown Santino as their boss. But hey, if they’re happy, I’m happy.

Match One: Six Man Tag Team Match
The Extremists
vs. The Full Blooded Italians (Big Vito, Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke) w/ Santino Marella and Trinity

Sabu and Nunzio get this one underway, both men quickly circling the ring, but when Nunzio goes for a tie up, Sabu nips underneath and locks on a standing waistlock. Nunzio reverses into a waistlock of his own, but Sabu grabs a wrist, twists, turns and runs to the ropes… for a springboard armdrag! Nunzio stumbles back to his feet, but goes straight back down with a headlock takeover, which Sabu holds onto as he tags in Dreamer. Sabu holds Nunzio open, with Dreamer aiming a double axe handle to the spine, before he starts teeing off with lefts to the jaw, then floors Nunzio with a big right hand. After a falling neckbreaker gets a near fall, Dreamer tags in Sandman, who lands several shots to the face, but when he goes for an Irish whip, Nunzio reverses… and then Vito drills a knee into Sandman’s back! Sandman puts on the breaks, turns… and sends Vito flying with a big right hand… then does the same to Mamaluke… only to be blindsided by Nunzio with a dropkick. Nunzio quickly starts laying in stomps to the body, and when his partners recover, he tags in Vito. The big man lays in with more stomps, before he yanks Sandman up, takes him up in the air… then comes crashing down with a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. With Santino urging them on, The F.B.I. isolate Sandman from his partners, with Mamaluke rocking Sandman with a tornado DDT, while Nunzio comes close to victory with a Russian legsweep. Vito keeps up the pressure with a swinging neckbreaker, before he gets another near fall with a stiff savate kick to the jaw. After the two count, Nunzio gets the tag, and he lays in with well-placed knees to the back of the head, before he then locks on a camel clutch.

Nunzio does his best to force Sandman to submit, but with his teammates’ encouragement, Sandman hangs in there, repeatedly telling the referee “No!” when he’s asked if he wants to submit. Dreamer and Sabu stomp their feet, the crowd start to clap, and this prompts Sandman to summing the strength to get back on his feet with Nunzio still on his back… until he simply falls backwards, squashing Nunzio between himself and the canvas! Both men are down, but they start to slowly crawl to their corner… Vito gets a tag… but so does Dreamer! Dreamer bursts into the ring and runs through Vito with a clothesline, before he knocks Mamaluke off the apron with an elbow. Turning back to Vito, Dreamer rocks him with rights and lefts, but Vito swings a big right… Dreamer ducks… then drops Vito with an inverted DDT! Nunzio is still in the ring, and he clubs Dreamer from behind, then he stands and throws a little trash talk Dreamer’s way… but that means he doesn’t see Sabu burst into the ring, jump to the second rope… then catch Nunzio with a springboard leg lariat! The impact sends Nunzio scurrying to the corner, where Dreamer pushes himself back onto his knees… and Sabu uses him as a launching pad… AIR SABU! Nunzio hits the mat then rolls to the floor, and now Sabu, Nunziio, Sandman and Mamaluke pair off and brawl on the outside, leaving Dreamer and Vito in the ring. Dreamer starts rocking Vito with lefts to the jaw, but Vito drills a knee to the midsection, doubling Dreamer over… and then Vito looks for the CODE OF SILENCE… NO! Wait, Santino is up on the apron… and he’s holding Trinity’s purse in his hand!? With all the mayhem going on at ringside, the referee has his back to the ring, and he doesn’t see Vito hold Dreamer in place as Santino lines him up with the loaded purse… but when he swings… Dreamer breaks free… and SANTINO CLOCKS VITO!! The leader of The F.B.I. has just laid out Vito… and now Dreamer grabs Santino… and launches him from the ring. Looking groggy, Vito staggers to his feet holding his jaw… and then Dreamer takes him up… and down with the DREAMER DRIVER!! Dreamer plants Vito, hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winners: The Extremists @ 05.16

The ECW legends bounce back with a strong victory, Dreamer quickly back on his feet to celebrate with his teammates, clearly showing he’s ready for next week’s crucial King of the Ring matchup. As the three salute the fans, Santino and The F.B.I. slowly head back up the aisle, dejected, the team having suffered yet another defeat in embarrassing fashion…

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

We open to the faint sound of a slow paced version of ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’, the music heard as we see black and white footage from 1963, where Martin Luther King delivers the famous line from his speech at the Lincoln Memorial…

Narrator: History is littered with many great Americans…

“I HAVE A DREAM!”

Cut to more black and white footage, this time from 1969 and the Apollo 11 moon landing, where Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon…

Narrator: Men who dared to dream, men who pushed boundaries to their limits and beyond.

”THAT’S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND.“

1975, where Muhammad Ali knocks out George Foreman, bring an end to ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ and making Ali Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion once again…

Narrator: They will always be remembered for their greatness...

“I’M GONNA FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY AND STING LIKE A BEE!”

Still in black and white, we head back to 1961 where John F. Kennedy delivers his inauguration speech having been elected as President…

Narrator: But now it’s time for a new generation…

“ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU, ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY!”

Narrator: To show just how great they can be!

The music screeches to a halt and is replaced with a faster guitar tune, and the screen comes alive with colour as we see rapid fire shots of the stars of SmackDown, starting with Batista as he delivers a Batista Bomb to Finlay…

Narrator: The WWE Great American Bash! A night were we honour those who wore the stars and stripes in the past…

Cut to Great American Bash events from the WCW days, where we first see Randy Savage fly through the air to drop an elbow on Diamond Dallas Page, then Ric Flair slaps the Figure Four Leglock on Scott Hall…

Narrator: And celebrate those who will wear them with pride in the future!

Back to modern day, as Bryan Danielson locks the LeBell Lock in on Gregory Helms, then we see Matt Hardy dropping William Regal with the Twist of Fate…

Narrator: The countdown to SummerSlam is on…

More shots from the past, this time of past WWE incarnations of the Bash, with ‘JBL’ being handed the WWE Championship after his win over Eddie Guerrero, followed by The Undertaker sending Muhammad Hassan crashing through the stage with the Last Ride…

Narrator: And for the superstars of Friday Night SmackDown…

And back to current times, as ‘MVP’ rocks Sabu with the Playmaker, then Mr. Kennedy drops Jimmy Wang Yang with the Mic Check…

Narrator: The summer kicks off with a bang as we ask the question…

”WHO WILL BE THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN?”



"WWE GREAT AMERICAN BASH – JULY 15TH – LIVE ON PAY PER VIEW!"

*End Video Package*


We’re back, and we see Doug Williams pacing along the corridor, dressed to compete, no doubt heading to the ring with his match up next… until he comes to a stop, lets out a deep sigh and rolls his eyes… as into the frame step The Bluebloods. Jeers from inside the arena as William Regal, Paul Burchill and Dave Taylor menacingly approach Williams, the newcomer standing his ground as Regal peers down on him…

William Regal: Douglas, how are you? Charmed, I’m sure. I believe tonight is your debut here on SmackDown? A fine moment for you, a very proud night in your career no doubt.

Williams gives a rueful smile as he nods his head…

William Regal: And just who is your fist match against, Douglas?

Doug Williams: Jamie Noble.

William Regal: Ah yes, James Noble. A fine young competitor. Someone who no doubt will provide a stern test for you.

An awkward moment as Regal pauses for a response from Doug, who simply narrows his eyes…

William Regal: Well, we won’t take up too much of your time. Good luck, Douglas. Best of British.

Williams is taken aback as Regal stands aside, allowing Williams a clear path to continue. Williams is naturally hesitant, staring at Regal, who offers a smile and a nod towards the exit, ushering Williams to step forward… only for Burchill to place his imposing frame in Williams’ path, drawing another sigh from the newcomer, while the smile on Regal’s face turns to a far more sinister look…

William Regal: Of course, you wouldn’t need any luck had you accepted my offer last week of joining us in The Bluebloods. Now I’m willing to forget about that little… indiscretion of yours last week. We’ll just put that down to nerves, shall we?

Annoyed, Williams looks Regal square in the eye to emphasise his point…

Doug Williams: Listen Regal, I-

William Regal: And of course, I don’t expect an answer from you tonight. I’m more than happy to give you… all the time you need to make up your mind. But…

Regal rubs a hand across his jaw…

William Regal: Next week. Next week, I’ll be expecting you to give me the answer I want to hear. You know it makes sense, Douglas. You, me, Burchill, Taylor. Together, the four of us… we could be unstoppable. Together… we can all accomplish our goals.

A devilish look in Regal’s eyes as he continues…

William Regal: He may have only became a champion five nights ago… but I know you’ve already got your eye on Bryan Danielson and the Cruiserweight Championship.

Indeed, there’s a glint and a focus in the eyes of Williams as Regal mentions the new Cruiserweight Champion…

William Regal: Join us… and you’ll have title around your waist far quicker than you ever thought possible.

And with a smirk and a pat on the back, Regal leads his troops out of the shot, a conflicted looking Williams watching them go before he purses his lips and then continues on his way.

We go back into the arena and hear…

*PITBULL…*


Not much of a response for the seldom seen Jamie Noble, although ‘The Redneck Messiah’ looks confident as he strides to the ring, tonight a chance to re-establish himself in the cruiserweight ranks…


Michael Cole: Well what d’ya make of that, Tazz? For the second week in a row, William Regal has offered Doug Williams a spot in The Bluebloods, and I don’t know about you, but I think this week Williams looked kinda interested.

Tazz: Yeah, and why wouldn’t he be? I mean William Regal’s probably one of the most successful British wrestlers in history. Why wouldn’t ya’ wanna work alongside a guy like that? Why wouldn’t ya’ wanna learn from Regal, and have him, Burchill and Taylor help ya’ get to where ya’ wanna be?

Michael Cole: Well obviously Doug Williams wants to be Cruiserweight Champion someday, and the cruiserweight division here on SmackDown is looking better than ever. We’ve got a new champion, and the competition is really starting to heat up, and if Jamie Noble can grab a win here tonight over Doug Williams, Noble would really make a statement about his challenger credentials.

Tazz: No doubt about it, Cole. All the talk’s been about Doug Williams and how close he ran Randy Orton on Raw last month, and now he’s signed for SmackDown, people are talkin’ like he’s already gonna be next in line. Big chance right here for Noble to show it oughta be him people are talkin’ about.

*MADE IN ENGLAND…*


A rather generic rock entrance music for Doug Williams, but the crowd still rise to give him a nice welcome as he heads to the ring for his SmackDown debut…


Michael Cole: We talked about how Doug Williams might have his sights on Bryan Danielson, and actually there’s a lot of similarities between the two. Just like Danielson, Williams has fought all over the world, he’s won titles across Europe and Japan, he’s made a huge name for himself on the independent scene, and now he’s here in the WWE.

Tazz: And what a story it’d be if he wound up Cruiserweight Champion someday. I mean the guy got a shot as a kinda local competitor against Randy Orton when Raw was in England, he damn near won that match, but he impressed Teddy Long enough to earn a SmackDown contract, and now he’s here in the big time!

Match 2:
Doug Williams
vs. Jamie Noble

The bell rings, with Williams taking a few seconds to soak in the noise of the crowd, before he and Noble come together for a tie up. Williams drops down for a fireman carry takedown, slapping on an armlock, which Noble quickly twists into a hammerlock. Williams works back to his feet, escaping with an armdrag, and when Noble charges, Williams uses a drop toe hold, transitioning into a headlock. Mat wrestling dominates the early proceedings of the match, the action going back and forth, with waistlocks and headlocks being countered in and out of, until Williams twists into a wristlock, runs to the ropes and leaps to the second, sending Noble flying with a springboard armdrag. Now Williams looks to take control, rocking Noble with uppercuts, before he hits an inverted atomic drop and then drops Noble with an overhead belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Noble scrambles to the ropes and begs off, but Williams stays on him, drilling a boot to the midsection, before he fires Noble to the corner and follows in… Noble elevates Williams over the top rope… but Doug lands on the apron, smacks Noble with a right hand… then flies with a slingshot shoulderblock that bowls Noble over! Here’s the cover… 1… 2… Noble kicks out. Williams stays on the attack, dropping stomps, before he muscles Noble onto the top turnbuckle, then he climbs to the second rope looking for a superplex… but Noble drills rights hands to the midsection, then he shoves Williams down and then flies… but Williams counters with a sitout facebuster! Noble smacks off the canvas, Williams hooks the leg again… 1… 2… Noble kicks out again. Seeking some refuge, Noble rolls under the bottom rope and tries to regroup, but Williams doesn’t want to wait as he heads outside, grabbing Noble and looking to drive him face first into the barricade… but at the last minute, Noble slips through… and shoves Williams shoulder first into the ringpost!

The newcomer is down, and after Noble takes a few seconds to recover, he starts to target the arm, laying in with stomps, before he rolls Williams back into the ring. Noble attacks with more stomps, before he drops a legdrop across the shoulder, before he places the arm on the bottom rope, leaps up and drops all his weight across the arm, gaining a near fall. Noble stays on the attack, twisting the arm in all directions, using armlocks and hammerlocks to apply pressure, before he takes Williams up and down with a shoulderbreaker for another two count. From the kickout, Noble slaps on another armlock, placing the arm across his knee as he applies pressure, but Williams struggles back to his feet, rocking Noble with elbows as he tries to break free… but Noble fires back with a single arm DDT! Williams is down and in pain, Noble goes for the win… 1… 2… Williams rolls a shoulder! Noble now looks to send Williams to the corner, but when he follows in, he runs right into a boot to the face! Noble backs off, but charges again… another boot to the face… and then a running knee puts Noble down! Williams now goes on the attack, drilling kicks to the body, but Noble swings a right hand… Williams ducks… then nails a boot to the gut… before hitting a double underhook suplex! Williams goes for the cover… 1… 2… Noble barely kicks out! Williams is in control now, drilling knees to the face, before he goes for the Irish whip… Noble reverses… but Williams avoids his clothesline with a slide… then grabs Noble from behind, runs him to the corner… for a TORNADO DDT! Noble is down and out, but Williams isn’t finished yet, as he heads outside, quickly climbs to the top rope… then flies with the diving knee drop… BOMBS AWAY!! Williams gets all of it, hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Doug Williams @ 04.27

A very impressive first showing on SmackDown for Doug Williams as he comfortably puts Noble away. Quickly back on his feet, Williams has his hand raised by the referee, before he heads to the corner, climbs to the second rope and salutes the crowd…


Michael Cole: What a start to his SmackDown career for Doug Williams! A great win over Jamie Noble, and Williams has really put the rest of the cruiserweight division on notice tonight.

Tazz: Oh, absolutely. Williams looked real smooth, a great technical display, and that Chaos Theory was it ya’ call it? That move’s somethin’ else. He’s gonna put a lotta guys away with-

Michael Cole: Wait a minute… what’s this all about?

The shot quickly changes to show us that now standing under the SmackDown fist are The Bluebloods. The trio of William Regal, Paul Burchill and Dave Taylor look very impressed with what they’ve just seen, nodding and exchanging a few words between themselves. Williams spots them, a confused look on his face, and as he looks at them, searching for an answer, Regal… simply starts to applaud. Burchill and Taylor quickly join in with the clapping, while Williams looks perplexed in the ring, wondering what’s going on as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We’re back, and Josh Matthews is standing by…


Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Friday Night SmackDown. And please welcome my guest at this time… the man who tonight, will compete in his first match on SmackDown in almost seven months… Rey Mysterio.

A great pop as Rey Mysterio enters the shot, smiling and nodding at Matthews, but moving slowly, showing the impact of his match at Judgment Day…

Josh Matthews: Rey, welcome back to SmackDown. You made a triumphant return at Judgment Day as you beat Chavo Guerrero in a gruelling Last Man Standing Match. Rey I wanna start by asking you… is it finally over between you and Chavo?

Mysterio lowers his head, staring at the floor for a few seconds, before he slowly nods his head…

Rey Mysterio: I hope so, Josh. I really hope so. Y’know, for so many years, me and Chavo… we’ve had this rivalry that I never wanted. And I thought that after we lost Eddie, me and Chavo… I hoped we’d put all that behind us. But I got that one wrong, huh?

A rueful laugh from Mysterio…

Rey Mysterio: But now, after all we’ve been through this last year or so… and now after what happened at Judgment Day… I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to leave it all in the past. Me and Chavo, we might never be friends again, we might never be familia again… but it’s time to put our rivalry in the past and move on with our lives. And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.

Another cheer from inside the arena, which Matthews waits for to die down before continuing…

Josh Matthews: Well with that in mind, tonight Rey, you take on The Miz in your first SmackDown match in seven months. How does it fell to be back on Friday nights, and what’s next for you?

A beaming smile on Rey’s face as he takes a look around at his surroundings…

Rey Mysterio: It feels great to be back on SmackDown! SmackDown… this is my home, Josh. Esta es mi casa! I can’t even describe how great it is to be back here infront of these fans. When I had the surgery on my knee, I didn’t know if I was ever gonna get back here. But now that I’m back, I’ve got one thing on my mind… and that’s gettin’ back the World Heavyweight Championship.

Another cheer from the fans…

Rey Mysterio: It was Chavo who cost me the title in the first place, then he cost me my rematch. I never lost the title in fair match… and I never got a fair rematch either. I made it to the top once before… and it got takin’ away from me. But now I’m back, better than ever… Quiero ser campeón de Nuevo… I wanna be champion again!

A fire burns in Rey’s eyes as he stares down the camera…

Rey Mysterio: So I’m gonna be watching that match tonight between Edge and Batista very closely. ‘Cause whoever wins that match… I wanna be next.

A firm statement to end on as Mysterio nods at Matthews then walks off, Matthews watching him go with a smile on his face, while we cut elsewhere.

And it’s to the G.M.’s office where we see Teddy Long stood infront of a TV screen, with The Hooligans stood nearby. Paul London and Ashley Massaro stare at the screen intently, while a very nervous looking Brian Kendrick bites his nail as he paces behind them…


Teddy Long: London, I did like you asked, I talked to the boys in the truck and I got ‘em to pull the tape from the end of yo’ match last Sunday at Judgment Day. I you wanna take a look at it then-

Brian Kendrick: No, wait!

Desperately, Kendrick barges past Ashley and gets in London’s face…

Brian Kendrick: Paul… me and you, we’re partners, right? And as partners, that means we need to trust each other. So I want you to trust me when I say that I didn’t cheat last Sunday. I mean, I’m Brian Kendrick… I don’t need to cheat to beat guys like Burke and Brown.

Ashley bites her lip and shakes her head, while London stands with his arms folded across his chest, doing his best to keep his emotions in check…

Brian Kendrick: And you and me, we’re the champs! We don’t need to cheat to beat The New Breed! I mean, c’mon! Do you honestly think I’d do somethin’ like that?

Paul London: I really don’t-

Brian Kendrick: No, of course not! I didn’t cheat, ‘cause I don’t need to cheat. And as your partner… but more importantly… as your best friend… I’m asking you to trust me. Take me at my word… and don’t watch that tape.

Pausing, thinking, London wonders what to do, turning to look at Ashley, who just turns away, both clearly conflicted with all that they’ve heard and saw over the last week or so… before London lets out a loud sigh, looks towards the ceiling, and reluctantly says…

Paul London: Play the tape, Teddy.

Teddy Long: You got it, playa.

Kendrick’s head sinks as he sees Teddy point the remote at the screen and press play…

*Video Package*

WWE JUDGMENT DAY

Burke kicks the ropes in frustration, he quickly realises he needs to put Kendrick away. Dragging Kendrick back up, Burke grabs a handful of hair, holding Kendrick’s head up, throwing some trash talk his way… before he hooks Kendrick up… FOR THE ELIJAH EXPERIENCE… NO! KENDRICK COUNTERS WITH AN INSIDE CRADDLE!!

………
……
……… 1 ………
………
……
……… 2 ………
………
…..
BURKE KICKS OUT AT THE LAST SPLIT SECOND!!

Kendrick can’t believe it, almost a look of fear in his eyes, he just can’t put Burke away. On the outside, London starts to stir, and he grabs the apron, trying to pull himself up. Burke meanwhile has pounced on Kendrick, mounting him, landing stiff rights to the face, before he gets back to his feet. With Kendrick struggling back to his knees… and London only now using the ropes to pull himself up, Burke looks to come off the ropes… but he runs right at London… the two collide, sending London flying back down… but it’s enough to distract Burke… and Kendrick takes him down from behind with a ROLLUP!!

………
……
……… 1 ………
………
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……… 2 ………
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KENDRICK GRABS A HANDFUL OF TIGHTS??!!
………
……
3!!

Winners: And STILL WWE Tag Team Champions, The Hooligans @ 12.16

What just happened? London and Kendrick are still the champions… but did Kendrick really just cheat to win? Burke certainly thinks so, as once Kendrick releases his grip, Burke immediately protests to the referee that Kendrick had a handful of tights. The ref simply says “I didn’t see it” as he hands over the titles to a gleeful Brian Kendrick, who quickly hands one over to a rather dazed and confused Paul London, the pair celebrating with each other… but when they head outside to join Ashley… Ashley definitely isn’t happy. Infact, it’s almost a look of guilt on her face as London and Kendrick encourage her to join in with the celebrations… but she just can’t do it. Ashley saw what happened, she saw Kendrick grab the tights, and even though she puts on a brave face… it’s clear that she just can’t believe what happened…

Michael Cole: Uh, well… The Hooligans have retained the titles, but I dunno about you Tazz, but it looked to me like Brian Kendrick might’ve taken a shortcut there to Elijah Burke away.

Tazz: Shortcut? Are you kiddin’ me? He had a handful o’ tights! I mean don’t get me wrong, I love London and Kendrick, they’re one o’ the most excitin’ tag teams I’ve ever seen but… that was pretty low on Kendrick’s part right there.

*End Video Package*


We go back to Teddy’s office, where Kendrick has his head in his hands, almost too ashamed to look, while London, having seen that his partner cheated to save their titles, has a mix of shock and anger on his face…

Paul London: You… you did cheat. Burke and Brown were right. You grabbed the ropes… and you cheated.

Realising he’s been caught, Kendrick shrugs his shoulders, throws up his hands and tries his best to play it off…

Brian Kendrick: So I grabbed the ropes. Big deal! I did what I had to do to keep our titles. While you were busy rollin’ around on the floor, I was doin’ whatever it took to make sure we were still champions!

London looks incredulous at that last comment…

Paul London: I can’t… we need to give ‘im a rematch. Tonight. We need to give ‘em a rematch and beat ‘em fair and square.

Brian Kendrick: Uh, hello? I don’t know if you remember but I’ve got a King of the Ring match tonight. It’s kinda a big deal, y’know? I don’t have time to worryin’ about The New Breed.

Paul London: Next week then. Teddy, set up the match. Next week, we’ll give The New Breed another shot and-

Brian Kendrick: No! No, no, no! What is wrong with you? Why are you not thinking straight? We already beat ‘em! We don’t need to give ‘em a rematch.

Again, London can’t believe what he’s hearing, the anger growing inside of him…

Paul London: We beat ‘em ‘cause you cheated! I don’t know what the hell’s gotten into you lately, but I’m not that kinda guy. That’s not the way I win matches. That’s not the way we’ve ever won matches.

No response from Kendrick, who again turns his head away…

Paul London: Teddy… set up the rematch for next week.

Teddy Long: That’s very honourable of ya’, playa. I’ll make it happen.

Annoyed, Kendrick shakes his head…

Brian Kendrick: Alright, fine. Let ‘em have their rematch. We’ll just beat ‘em again.

Paul London: Fairly?

Brian Kendrick: Of course!

London raises an eyebrow, clearly not buying it…

Brian Kendrick: Trust me… I promise.

A laugh or cry moment for London as he has a brief laugh to himself…

Brian Kendrick: Now… can we please go get ready for my match tonight?

Kendrick motions towards the door, but London stands firm, causing Kendrick to turn back and look at him…

Paul London: I uh… I’m not gonna be out there with you tonight. Infact, to be honest… I don’t wanna be anywhere near you right now.

And with that, London barges past Kendrick and storms away, leaving Kendrick and Ashley behind…

Brian Kendrick: Aw, hey, c’mon Paul. Paul!

The calls are no use as Kendrick nervously runs a hand through his hair…

Brian Kendrick: Fine. Who needs him anyway? Looks like it’s just you and me Ashley.

Ashley scoffs in disbelief…

Ashley Massaro: Are you crazy? I’m outta here.

And now she too heads for the exit, leaving Kendrick alone with Teddy. Looking over his shoulder, Kendrick gets a cold stare back at him from the G.M., causing him to sigh loudly, dejected, annoyed, angry all at the same time at what’s going on, before he too heads for the door and we cut back into the arena.

Where we hear…

”OH YEAH!”

*LIVE FOR THE MOMENT…*


A thunderous cheer brings the United States Champion Matt Hardy into the arena, with Hardy stopping at the entrance way to salute the crowd before he heads down the aisle…


Michael Cole: What a controversial moment that was. Paul London has seen the tape, he’s saw the cheating for himself, and he’s offered to give The New Breed a rematch next week on SmackDown.

Tazz: Yeah and good job Paul London for doin’ the right thing, tryin’ to fix the wrongs of Brian Kendrick by offerin’ that rematch. I just ain’t got a clue how London and Kendrick are gonna get back on the same page after that.

Michael Cole: A lotta work to be done over the next week for the WWE Tag Team Champions. But right now, it’s time for King of the Ring action. And here comes the man who is on the roll of his life right now, the United States Champion, Matt Hardy! Hardy has had a great 2007 thus far, and it got even better at Judgment Day as he beat The Miz in his first pay per view title defence.

Tazz: And not only that, but if Hardy wins this match tonight, he’s goin’ to Saturday Night’s Main Event, and I gotta think he’s gonna be one of the favourites to be crowned King.

*BOOM!*

*SLOW CHEMICAL…*


And another big time pop from the crowd as Kane makes his entrance. Looking as imposing and as menacing as ever, Kane tugs on his elbow pad as he heads down the aisle, before stepping over the top rope and setting off a burst of pyro from each corner of the ring…


Michael Cole: Judgment Day was a big night for Kane too. He saw off the tough Irishman Finlay in a real smash mouth matchup. I dunno about you Tazz, but I’m really struggling to pick a winner here.

Tazz: Two guys at the top o’ their game right now, two guys who could easily go all the way and win this whole thing. I… I honestly don’t know, Cole. I’m with you, I can’t split ‘em right now either. But I can’t wait to see this one!

Match 3: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 16
United States Champion Matt Hardy vs. Kane

The bell rings, neither man willing to make that initial move as they stare across the ring at each other, but eventually the pair start to circle, sizing each other up, until the snap into a collar and elbow tie up. Hardy twists into a standing waistlock, but Kane quickly grabs tha hands, trying to use his power to break free. Hardy hangs in there, prompting Kane to smack him with an elbow to the face, and another, which allows him to back Hardy into the corner. Again Kane lands an elbow, then he turns and swings a right, but Hardy ducks underneath, shoves Kane into the corner, before he starts unloading with rights to the face and then the body. Kane shoves Matt away, but Hardy charges back in with a corner clothesline, then hangs on looking for the running bulldog… but Kane shoves Matt to the opposite corner and follows in… right into a boot to the face! Kane staggers back… then gets knocked down with a clothesline, gaining Hardy an early near fall. Hardy stays on Kane with a couple of stomps to the head then punches to the face that back cause Kane to crawl to the corner, where Hardy goes for the Irish whip across… but Kane reverses… and follows in with an engulfing corner clothesline! Hardy stumbles forward… right into a sidewalk slam! Kane goes for the cover… but Hardy easily kicks out in time. Now it’s Kane who goes on the attack, smacking shots to Hardy’s throat, before he drills a boot to the midsection, then plants Matt with a scoop slam. Kane then heads outside and climbs to the top rope, waiting for Hardy to rise… flying clothesline! Kane gets all of it, goes for the cover… 1… 2… Hardy kicks out.

Looking to press home his advantage, Kane goes for an Irish whip off the ropes… but he lowers his head, and Hardy drills a kick to the chest… but Kane swings a clothesline… Hardy ducks underneath… then takes Kane down with a Russian legsweep! Another cover… another kickout at 2. Neither man can gain control, but Hardy tries to do so as he heads to the second rope… then nails a legdrop to the back of the head! Hardy rolls Kane over… 1… 2… Kane kicks out again. Hardy starts raining down with rights and lefts to the back of the head, but Kane shoves Hardy against the ropes, the he charges… Hardy low bridges… and Kane goes crashing all the way to the floor! Kane quickly picks himself back up, but Hardy is already poised… flying down on Kane with a plancha! Hardy lands right on top of Kane and starts hammering him with right hands, the crowd loving the action between these two faces, and soon Hardy has Kane back on his feet… and he lands a kick to the gut… then he looks for a TWIST OF FATE ON THE FLOOR… NO! Kane shoves Hardy away… right into the steel steps! Hardy doubles over in pain and stumbles back towards Kane… who drills Hardy with a big boot to the face! Hardy is down, and Kane quickly rolls him back into the ring, following in where he again goes for the cover… 1… 2… but Hardy gets a foot on the bottom rope! Kane is frustrated, but he’s soon back on his feet, smacking more shots to the throat, before he goes for a short arm clothesline… but Hardy ducks underneath, hangs on… SIDE EFFECT! Hardy nails the side effect, but the impact of the move leaves both men down, the frantic pace of this match clearly taking its toll, and it’s here that we go to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We’re back, and we see Kane perched on the top rope, sizing Hardy up… only for Hardy to dive and shake the ropes, causing Kane to lose balance… and crotch himself on the top turnbuckle! Kane grimaces in pain, but Hardy isn’t hanging around, climbing to the second rope… SUPERPLEX!! A massive move from Hardy and he crawls over to hook a leg… 1... 2… Kane kicks out! Hardy can’t believe it, but he stays on the attack, backing Kane to the ropes with right hands, before he goes for the Irish whip… but this time it’s Hardy who lowers his head… and Kane hits a running DDT! Kane is quickly back on his feet, coming off the ropes as Hardy sits up… low angle dropkick! This time Kane goes for the cover… 1… 2… but Hardy rolls a shoulder! The match continues to swing back and forth, with both men coming close to victory, Kane nailing a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, while Hardy gets a long two count from an inverted DDT. Once again the match spills outside, where Hardy hammers Kane against the barricade with right hands, before he smashes Kane face first off the announce desk. Kane drops to a knee, allowing Hardy to nip up onto the apron, where he lines Kane up… and flies with a double axe handle… but Kane catches him… and drives Hardy spine first into the ringpost! Moving quickly, Kane rolls Hardy back into the ring, and after another near fall, he starts to target the spine, hitting a backbreaker, a scoop slam, and then another sidewalk slam, again hooking the leg… 1… 2… Hardy barely rolls a shoulder! More shots to the throat, but as both men are standing, Kane goes for a boot to the midsection… which Hardy catches… but Kane hits back… enzuigiri! A sick thud of boot on head, and Kane rolls Hardy over and goes for the cover… 1… 2… somehow Hardy kicks out!

Kane bursts back to his feet to go face to face with the referee, but after being told it was only two, he soon cocks his right hand in the air, waiting for Hardy to rise… and then he slaps his hand around Hardy’s throat… CHOKESLAM… NO! Hardy desperately drives a boot to the midsection, then a pair of right hands to finally break the hold, before he fires Kane into the corner and follows in… corner clothesline! Hardy hangs on… running bulldog! Hardy rolls Kane over and goes for the lateral press… 1… 2… Kane kicks out! Hardy now looks to build some momentum, climbing to the second rope… elbow drop to the back of the head! Hardy connects, and he gets back on his feet, waiting for Kane to rise… so he can nail the SIDE EFFECT! Hardy again goes for the cover… 1… 2… but again Kane kicks out! Sensing a chance to put Kane away, Hardy heads outside and climbs to the top rope, his back to Kane as he readies himself for a moonsault… but Kane drills a shot to the knee, causing Hardy to fall to the top turnbuckle. Kane heads to the second rope, and he muscles Hardy into position, looking for a SUPER BELLY TO BACK SUPLEX… but Hardy shifts his weight in mid-air… and transitions into a CROSSBODY! Hardy’s got the match won… 1… 2… no! Again Kane kicks out! Hardy can’t believe it, but he’s soon back on his feet, calling for Kane to get up… then he makes his move… kick… TWIST OF FATE… NO! Kane spins free… and again gets Hardy in a goozle… takes him up… CHOKESLAM… NO! Hardy escapes, landing on the mat behind Kane… spins him around… kick… TWIST OF FATE!! Hardy finally nails the move, hooks a leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Matt Hardy @ 12.19

A great match between two competitors, but somehow, it’s Hardy who’s going to Saturday Night’s Main Event. Both men stay down for a while after the bell, both men feeling the effects of the match, before Hardy rolls over and uses the ropes to pull himself back to his feet. The referee hands Matt his title before he raises his hand in victory, while across the ring, Kane stumbles back to his feet. The stare at each other from opposite corners, a tense moment… until Kane slowly nods his head as a measure of respect. The crowd cheers as Hardy nods back, the two appreciating the effort each man put towards winning the matchup, a mutual respect established between them. Kane nods one more time before he turns and looks to leave the ring, but just as Hardy starts to encourage the crowd to cheer Kane’s exit, the fans gasp… as through the crowd, scrambling over the barricade and into the ring… it’s Finlay!

Finlay is in the ring, shillelagh in hand, barging Hardy over, and just as Kane steps one leg over the top rope… FINLAY CRACKS THE SHILLELAGH ACROSS KANE’S KNEE!! Finlay takes Kane’s standing leg out from under him, and then he starts unloading with shillelagh shots to the knee, hammering Kane’s leg time and time again! Hardy struggles back to his feet, charging at Finlay, trying to help Kane… but Finlay sees him coming… and SMACKS HARDY WITH THE SHILLELAGH RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES!! Hardy is down and out, and now Finlay goes back to work on Kane, smashing the shillelagh into his body over and over, not even bothering to stop as a posse of referees and backstage agents slide into the ring. Finlay is like a man possessed, just unloading with shot after shot with the shillelagh, until finally, mercifully, he’s dragged away. The crowd boos furiously, but Finlay simply smirks as he looks down on Kane, ‘The Big Red Machine’ writhing in agony, and with his message sent, Finlay decides enough is enough as he drops down from the ring. A smug look of satisfaction on his face, Finlay flashes that toothy grin of his, backing up the ramp, looking back at the carnage he’s caused in the ring while we head to commercial.

*Commercial*


When we return, we see Kristal Marshall standing by, ready for another interview…


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

A loud, booming, very mixed response for Mr. Kennedy as he steps into the frame. Kennedy looks seriously ticked off as he scowls at Kristal, clearly not interested in taking part in this interview…

Kristal Marshall: Mr. Kennedy, last Sunday at Judgment Day you took part in the Fatal Four Way Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. We all saw Umaga hit the ring, decimating the competitors, which allowed Edge to become the new champion. Now that you’re chance at becoming champion has came and gone, how easy is it going to be for you to turn your attention back to the King of the Ring?

Kennedy pauses, pondering his response, tapping a finger on his chin and chewing his gum loudly…

Mr. Kennedy: Lemme ask ya’ a question there toots. You saw Judgment Day, right? You saw how Edge won the title. So lemme ask ya’… did Edge look like a champion to you? Huh? Did Edge look like a winner to you?

Kristal shakes her head…

Mr. Kennedy: Nuh uh. It seems like every – single – freakin’ time I get a title shot, somebody’s gotta stick their nose in. Somebody’s gotta get involved. It don’t matter if it’s Ric Flair or that Samoan freak Umaga, somebody’s gotta get involved. Well y’know what? I have… had it. I’ve had enough of this crap, and I’m not playin’ games anymore.

Kennedy scowls at the camera…

Mr. Kennedy: I’ve let people get in my way of becomin’ World Heavyweight Champion, but in eight days’ time at the King of the Ring… nobody… nobody… is gonna get in my way of becomin’ King.

A stern look of intensity in Kennedy’s eyes…

Mr. Kennedy: And y’know, I hear a lotta guys talkin’ right now about Edge and that title. I hear Batista, I hear Rey Mysterio, I know that whenever Chris Benoit finds a personality, he’s gonna be talkin’ about Edge too. Everybody’s takin’ about Edge, everybody wants that World Heavyweight Title… and so do I. But there’s one difference between all those guys and me. None o’ those guys… are gonna be King.

Kennedy turns to look at Kristal with a sneer on his face…

Mr. Kennedy: But you can take it to the bank that I am. I don’t care how many people wanna talk about Edge, ‘cause there’s only one man goin’ to Saturday Night’s Main Event to become King… and there’s only one man goin’ on to become World Heavyweight Champion… and that man, is none other than… MMMMIIISSSTEERRRRR… KENNEDY!

Kennedy snatches the mic from Kristal’s hand, tilts his head to the sky then yells…

Mr. Kennedy: KEN – NAH – DAY!!

Another loud, mixed response from the crowd, with Kennedy tossing the mic back to Kristal before he walks off and we cut away.

Back into the arena for…

*REALITY…*


Some pretty solid heat as The Miz and Michelle McCool emerge into the arena, with Miz already having a microphone in his hand…


The Miz: Cut it! CUT THE MUSIC!

The music quickly comes to a stop, with Miz snarling at the fans as they jeer him…

The Miz: Well, well… another pay per view in the books. Judgment Day has come and gone, and look what’s happened. I’m still not United States Champion.

Cheers from the crowd, which again causes Miz to snarl and shake his head…

The Miz: And it seems like I’m STILL not getting the respect I deserve from you people.

Again the jeers ring out…

The Miz: Everybody thought I had no chance against Matt Hardy at Judgment Day. Nobody believed in me, nobody thought I could do it, and y’know what? I might not be United States Champion right now, but you better believe that I took Matt Hardy to his absolute limit! I pushed him further than he’s ever been pushed before, I was so close to bein’ champion.

McCool uses her index finger and thumb to show the audience just how close Miz was…

The Miz: And that’s why I’m not finished with you yet, Matt. Oh no. Not a chance. I’m not finished with you, I want another shot at the US Title, and to prove just how much I deserve it… I’m gonna right another wrong from Judgment Day.

A twisted smirk crosses Miz’s face…

The Miz: I’m gonna do what Chavo Guerrero shoulda done… and I’m gonna put that stupid little circus act Rey Mysterio back on the shelf.

Big time heat...

The Miz: And I’m gonna do it, ‘cause I’m The Miz… and I’m STILL… AWE – SOME!

And more heat, Miz revelling in the boos of the crowd, but the smirk is soon wiped from his face as…

”BOOYAKA! BOOYAKA!”

*BOOYAKA 619…*


The arena bursts to their feet with excitement as Rey Mysterio explodes into the arena, a real sense of excitement in the air as the high flyer gets set for his first SmackDown match in over six months. Mysterio goes for side to side at the entrance way, firing up the crowd, before he sprints down the aisle for the ring…


Michael Cole: What a great sight to see Rey Mysterio back here on Friday Night SmackDown! It’s a sight I thought I’d never see again after the devastating injury Rey suffered at the hands of Chavo Guerrero all those months ago, but Rey is back, and he’s back in a huge way!

Tazz: Aw’, no kiddin’! What a war it was at Judgment Day, Rey and Chavo, two longtime rivals, finally puttin’ an end to things, and Rey did an unbelievable job in winnin’ that match. I honestly thought he was in trouble a couple o’ times, but credit where’s it due, Rey showed the heart of a lion and he got a huge win. And I can’t wait to see ‘im back on our screens every Friday night!

Match 4:
Rey Mysterio
vs. The Miz w/ Michelle McCool

There’s a buzz of excitement as the two men step forward, but at the opening tie up, Miz uses his strength advantage to back Mysterio into the corner. The ref steps in and calls for the break, which Miz provides with as much arrogance as possible as he gives Rey a shove in the face. The two men come together for another tie up, this time Miz working into a standing headlock, but Mysterio shoves him into the ropes… only for Miz to bowl Rey over with a shoulderblock, and he goes for a quick cover… but Rey easily kicks out at two. Miz moves to yank Rey back up, but Mysterio strikes with kicks to the thighs, then he goes for an Irish whip… but Miz reverses… and Rey ducks underneath a clothesline… then rebounds with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors! Miz scrambles for the corner, but Rey stays on him, landing more kicks, before he goes for the Irish whip across… Miz reverses… but then he follows into a boot to the face! Miz stumbles back, but charges again… into a drop toe hold, that leaves him prone on the second rope! Mysterio bounces off the far away ropes… looking for the 619… but Miz quickly drops down and rolls to the outside. McCool races over to check on Miz, who arrogantly taps the side of his head, but he doesn’t see Mysterio charging in the ring… suicide dive! Mysterio crashes onto Miz, firing up the crowd as he does so, and now Rey quickly rolls Miz back into the ring for a near fall. Mysterio stays on the attack, again striking with kicks to the thighs, before he goes for an Irish whip to the corner… but Miz reverses… only for Rey to try and elevate himself over Miz… but Miz catches Rey on his shoulder… but Mysterio twists this into a tornado DDT! Rey goes for the cover… 1… 2… but Miz kicks out.

Rey looks to quicken the pace as he comes off the ropes… but McCool reaches in and grabs Rey by the foot! Mysterio puts on the breaks and turns to McCool, but the distraction allows Miz to get back on his feet… and he hammers a turning Rey with a falling clothesline! Miz now looks to take control, delivering several stomps to the body, before he smacks Rey with a stiff kick to the spine. Miz then drills a few kicks to the ribs, before he fires Mysterio to the corner and follows in… with the awesome clothesline! Miz is well in control now, and he continues to target the lower back, dropping Rey with a stiff backbreaker, then he drives a series of knees, before he delivers his inverted backbreaker and transitions into a falling neckbreaker for a near fall. Miz now takes the match outside as he violently tosses Mysterio under the bottom rope, Rey hitting the floor with a thud, before Miz follows outside, drags Rey up… and drives him spine first into the barricade! Miz continues to drive Rey into the barricade, before he rolls Rey back into the ring and follows in, getting another two count. Miz now drives several knees into the small of the back, before he locks Rey into a seated chinlock, pulling back on Rey’s head as he uses his knee to apply pressure to the back. Mysterio grimaces in pain, but eventually, he fights his way back to his feet, trying to break free with elbows to the midsection, but when he breaks the grip and comes off the ropes… he runs right into a knee to the midsection that sends him flying! Miz goes for the cover… 1… 2… but Mysterio forces a shoulder up! Miz shakes his head in frustration, but he quickly mounts Rey and starts hammering him with right hands, before he goes right back to the chinlock.

Once again Miz wrenches on the head and applies pressure to the spine, but the crowd try to rally behind Mysterio, urging him to make a comeback, and he slowly manages to fight back to his feet, where he again drives his elbow into the midsection… and again… and a third time breaks the hold. Rey bounces off the ropes… jumps into Miz… then takes him down with a wheelbarrow victory roll! 1… 2… Miz kicks out, but both men burst back to their feet, with Rey charging… and ducking a clothesline, before he comes off the ropes… and avoids Miz again with a baseball slide… then hits a dropkick to the back… which leaves Miz hanging on the second rope! Rey tries once again for the 619… but again Miz sees it coming and avoids it! Miz then catches Rey with a boot to the gut, doubling him over, then he takes Rey up, looking for a powerbomb… but Mysterio counters… with a hurricanrana! 1… 2… but Miz kicks out again! Miz survives, but he’s still grounded, and this allows Rey to climb to the top rope… and he points to the skies… then he flies… FROG SPLASH… but Miz gets his knees up… and Rey crashes into the them! Mysterio is down, writhing in agony, and now Miz has him lined up, waiting for Rey to rise so he can finish him off… as he goes for the REALITY CHECK… but as he charges in, Rey hits a drop toe hold… and once again Miz is hung up on the second rope! Here comes Mysterio… 619!! Mysterio gets all of it, then he slings himself onto the top rope… SPRINGBOARD SPLASH!! Mysterio crashes down on Miz, hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Rey Mysterio @ 07.48

A triumphant return to SmackDown for Mysterio, but yet another frustrating loss for Miz in a match where he had chances to win. Mysterio quickly bounces back to his feet to have his hand raised, before he heads to all four corners to salute the crowd, while Miz rolls to the outside and is greeted by McCool, the two looking angry as hell as Miz kicks the ring steps on his way back up the aisle.

*Commercial*


We return to a split screen shot where on the left, we see the former World Heavyweight Champion Batista sat on a chair, pulling on a pair of knee pads, looking extremely focused and determined. On the other side, we see the new World Heavyweight Champion Edge, pacing back and forth, his hands nervously tugging at his hair, a look of worry and concern in the eyes of the champion…


Michael Cole: Welcome back to SmackDown folks. There you see the two men who later tonight will do battle for the World Heavyweight Championship. The former champion Batista, the current champion Edge. Will Edge’s title reign be over after just five days? Or can ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ find a way to hang on to the gold?

Tazz: God, look at Edge right now. He don’t look happy at all, he don’t look like a confident champion right now. I don’t think tonight’s gonna end well for ‘im. I think he might be havin’ one o’ the shortest title reigns in SmackDown history!

After a few seconds silence…

”LISTEN…”

*IT’S TIME…*


The former Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms strides into the arena, a serious scowl on his face as he heads down to the ring…


Michael Cole: For the first time in over fifteen months, Gregory Helms enters a SmackDown without the Cruiserweight Championship around his waist. Tazz, it was one of the greatest title reigns we’ve ever seen, the longest Crusierweight Champion in WWE history, but at Judgment Day, it all came to an end at the hands of Bryan Danielson.

Tazz: Yeah, no thanks to ‘JBL’ either! Listen, I don’t like Helms, I don’t like the way he tried to dodge Danielson, I don’t like the way he cheated to save ‘is title, but I do think he’s a heck of a wrestler. I think he’s got a shot to go pretty far here in the King of the Ring.

*SLICED BREAD…*


A very mixed response for Brian Kendrick as he sprints into the arena, with no sign of Paul London or Ashley Massaro anywhere. Kendrick pauses at the entrance way, taking a look over his shoulder, almost in hope of seeing his colleagues make a last second decision to support him after all, but it’s no use, nobody is coming, and this forces Kendrick to sprint down to the ring alone. Once Kendrick has done his usual backflip off the top rope, he spots Rosa Mendes, our now identified mystery brunette, who jumps up and down excitedly as Kendrick waves at her, all the while holding a sign that reads “KENDRICK OF THE RING!”…


Michael Cole: It was a sad night back at Judgment Day when we all witnessed Brian Kendrick pretty blatantly cheat to hang onto the WWE Tag Team Championships for The Hooliganz, and earlier tonight when Paul London found out about it, things just seemed to unravel for the champions. I realise this is singles competition and the King of the Ring, but Kendrick’s mind has gotta elsewhere right now, Tazz.

Tazz: I’m amazed he’s even out here right now, Cole. I mean, I just don’t get it. I just don’t get what’s goin’ on in this kid’s head right now. He and London, they’ve been great champions, but Kendrick, it’s like he’s scared of what might happen if they lose those titles. I never thought I’d see a guy like Kendrick stoop to that level, but it happened, and I don’t know if London and Kendrick are ever gonna recover from it.

Match 5: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 16
WWE Tag Team Champion Brian Kendrick vs. Gregory Helms

Clearly Kendrick’s head isn’t all there as this one gets underway, with Helms getting the better of the opening exchange as he catches Kendrick off guard with a knee to the gut, a pair of uppercuts to the jaw, before he plants Kendrick with a scoop slam. Instead of taking advantage, Helms arrogantly laughs at Kendrick, motioning for Kendrick to get back up, where the two engage in a tie up. This time Helms works Kendrick into a headlock, but Kendrick shoves Helms into the ropes… only for Helms to bowl him over with a shoulderblock! Again Helms doesn’t take advantage, smirking and again arrogantly telling Kendrick to get back up… and Kendrick bursts to his feet… and slaps Helms across the jaw! The fight is on now, with Kendrick drilling Helms with rights, then he goes for an Irish whip… but Helms counters… only for Kendrick to avoid a clothesline with a baseball slide… then rock Helms with a dropsault! The impact sends Helms to the corner, where Kendrick attacks with a new sense of aggression, smacking stiff right hands and boots, before he yanks Helms away from the corner… then sends him flying back in… shoulder first into the ringpost! Helms groans in agony, while Kendrick turns and yells “C’mon!” to the crowd, although again it’s that mixed reaction he gets in response. Kendrick drags Helms back out and looks to work on the arm, but as he wraps the arm around the top rope, the ref steps in and calls for the break, although Kendrick takes every second of the five count. As he moves back in, Kendrick is caught with an elbow to the jaw… and then Helms hammers him with a falling clothesline. Helms tries to shake some life back into his left arm, then he goes on the attack, driving knees into the face before he drops Kendrick with a neckbreaker for a near fall.

Helms now takes control of the match, targeting the neck by smacking stiff forearms to the back of the head, driving elbowdrops to the neck, before he hits an atomic drop… then rocks Kendrick with an enziguiri! Helms goes for the cover… 1… 2… Kendrick rolls a shoulder. Helms continues to target the neck, taking Kendrick down with a Russian legsweep, before he climbs to the second rope for a diving fist drop, getting another near fall. Helms then drags Kendrick back up, but Kendrick catches him with a right hand, and another, before he comes off the ropes… right into a swinging backbreaker! Kendrick is planted, and Helms goes for the cover again… 1… 2… Kendrick just gets a shoulder up! Annoyed, Helms gets back up and gets right in the referee’s face, demanding a three count, but it was only two. Turning back to Kendrick, Helms drags Kendrick back up and plants him with a scoop slam, before he climbs to the second rope and waits for Kendrick to stagger back up… before he goes for the diving neckbreaker… but Kendrick ducks… and Helms crashes to the canvas! Kendrick senses a chance to take control now, smacking Helms with kicks to the body, before he comes off the ropes… and nails a leg lariat! Kendrick now tries to build momentum, rocking Helms with uppercuts, before going for an Irish whip to the corner… but Helms reverses and follows in… only for Kendrick to run the ropes, backflip… and catch Helms with a kick on the way over! Helms staggers, and here comes Kendrick… TORNADO DDT! Kendrick crawls over and hooks a leg… 1… 2… Helms rolls a shoulder! Kendrick is rolling now, heading to the top rope and waiting for Helms to rise… MISSILE DROPKICK! Another cover… 1… 2… but Helms hangs in there again! Now it’s Kendrick who gets in the referee’s face, demanding a three count, but he too is told it was just two. Turning back to Helms, Kendrick again roars to the crowd, before he grabs Helms… runs him to the corner… and goes for SLICED BREAD… NO! Mid-move, Helms shoves Kendrick away, and when Kendrick gets back to his knees, Helms makes his move… SHINING WIZARD!! Helms damn near takes Kendrick’s head off, hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Gregory Helms @ 05.12

It’s a win for Helms as he advances and seals his place at Saturday Night’s Main Event, quickly rolling from the ring to have his hand raised by the referee. As Helms starts to back up the ramp talking trash to the camera, out of nowhere comes The New Breed sprinting down the aisle! Elijah Burke and Monty Brown barge past Helms and slide into the ring, where they start hammering Kendrick with stomps to the body. It’s a two on one mugging, and soon Layla joins them in the ring, directing traffic, screaming for her team to hurt Kendrick. Soon Burke picks Kendrick up, then he fires him off the ropes… while Brown comes off the adjacent rope… for the POUNCE!! Brown absolutely hammers Kendrick, leaving the tag champ down and out… but suddenly there’s a roar of approval from the crowd… as here comes Paul London and Ashley Massaro racing down to the ring! The New Breed seem them coming and quickly exit the ring, escaping just in time before a furious London can get his hands on them. The trio quickly start to head back up the aisle, laughing and pointing back at the ring, while London and Ashley stare on intently. With The New Breed at a safe distance, London and Ashley now turn back to Kendrick, looking to help Kendrick back up… only for Kendrick to shove London away! London can’t believe it as his partner shoves him aside, and neither can Ashley as she yells “We’re tryin’ to help!” at Kendrick. Kendrick just stares at their pair, rage in his eyes, until he screams “Where were you!? Huh!? WHERE WERE YOU!?”, before he again shoves London out of the way and drops down to roll under the bottom ropes. The crowd are in a state of confusion, not quite able to process what they’re seeing as Kendrick stomps up the aisle, not once looking back at his partner. In the ring, London and Ashley just stare at each other in shock, sadly shaking their heads, while London looks at his fellow champion disappearing backstage, lost, wondering what on earth has happened to their friendship in the last week, while 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*


Back into the arena and to the announce desk…

Michael Cole: That’s right folks, the King of the Ring, just eight days away! What a night’s it’s gonna be at Saturday Night’s Main Event, sixteen of the WWE’s brightest up and comers looking to win the tournament that launched so many careers here in the WWE.

Tazz: Yeah and earlier tonight, we found out the latest two guys from the SmackDown roster to book their spot. Let’s take a look at the bracket as is stands…

Tommy Dreamer vs. Mr. Kennedy
Matt Hardy vs. Kane

Gregory Helms vs. Brian Kendrick
Bryan Danielson vs. Montel Vontavious Porter


Michael Cole: It took a huge effort from Matt Hardy to see off Kane earlier tonight, but Hardy is indeed going to Saturday Night’s Main Event, as is Gregory Helms. Next week, two great matches lined up, with the new Cruiserweight Champion Bryan Danielson takin’ on ‘MVP’, while Mr. Kennedy goes up against the real Cinderella story of this tournament so far, Tommy Dreamer.

Tazz: Everyone was stunned when Tommy Dreamer beat King Booker, but I think the world might come to a stop if he beat Mr. Kennedy too. I love Dreamer, he’s my guy, but I just can’t see it happenin’ next week.

Michael Cole: And what about Danielson and ‘MVP’? Two of the most exciting youngsters here on the SmackDown roster, how do you pick a winner in that one?

Tazz: Uh… I got no idea. I mean, you got Danielson, he’s been great since day one here in the WWE, then you got ‘MVP’, he’s out for revenge for The Coachman Coalition. I can’t even give ya’ a prediction on that one Cole, it’s just too close to call.

Michael Cole: It’s gonna be one of the most exciting nights of WWE action all year. The 2007 King of the Ring, it’s just eight days away, and you can see it all live on NBC!

A brief pause, and then…

*I WALK ALONE…*


The arena burst to their feet as Batista makes his entrance. Full of intensity and focus, ‘The Animal’ crouches down under the SmackDown fist and sets off his usual pyro display, before he marches down the aisle, ready to regain his World Heavyweight Championship…


Michael Cole: Back at Judgment Day, it looked like Batista had things all sewn up as he tried to hold onto his World Heavyweight Championship, only for Umaga to make an unbelievable impact. Umaga might have cost Batista the title, but ‘The Animal’ has a shot to quickly regain the gold right here.

Tazz: And I think he’s gonna do it. Look in the eyes of Batista, you know this guy’s focused, but more important than that, you gotta think he’s real pissed off right now, and he’s about to take it out on Edge. I know one day he’ll get ‘is hands on Umaga, but right now, it’s all about Edge and the World Heavyweight Chamionship.

”YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME…”

*METALINGUS…*


It’s an incredible contrast from earlier in the evening as Edge steps into the arena, the anger and determination in his eyes from the start of the show replaced with fear and panic as the new champion slowly inches down the aisle…


Michael Cole: They call Edge ‘The Ultimate Opportunist’, and he certainly lived up to that name back at Judgment Day. Edge laid in went, he played possum as Umaga went on a rampage, and he took advantage to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. But tonight, it’s Edge and Batista one on one, and that could mean Edge’s title reign doesn’t make it past a week.

Tazz: And ya’ compare the look in Batista’s eyes to the look in Edge’s. He don’t look happy, he don’t look like he wants to be out here right now. I know Edge wanted the night off, he wanted to party and celebrate, but he better get in game mode quick, or else he ain’t gonna be champion much longer.

Main Event: World Heavyweight Championship Match
World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Batista

The bell rings, there’s a roar of excitement from the crowd, and Batista isn’t wasting any time as he bursts forward, dying to get his hands on Edge, but the champion quickly backs away and dips his head through the ropes, causing ‘The Animal’ to put on the breaks. The ref ushers Batista away, and Edge takes an eternity to step back into the ring, Batista calling him forward. Eventually, after more stalling from Edge, the pair lock up, with Batista yanking Edge into a headlock. Edge tries to break free, but has to shove Batista into the ropes… but ‘The Animal’ bowls him over with a shoulderblock! Batista makes a move to grab Edge… but the champion quickly scurries from the ring… and then he bolts towards the timekeeper’s desk, shoving people aside to grab a steel chair! Edge is trying to get disqualified… but here comes Batista… and he boots the chair clean out of Edge’s hands! Edge is stunned… and then he gets flattened with a clothesline! Edge thumps off the floor, but Batista soon has him back up… and smashes the champion face first off the announce desk! The champion is reeling, and when he’s rolled back into the ring, he quickly crawls to the corner to recover. But Batista isn’t interested in letting Edge rest, instead he drives several shoulders to the midsection, before he fires Edge to the opposite corner and follows in… corner clothesline! Edge staggers forward… right into a spinebuster! Batista is like a man possessed, full of intensity, and now he looks to finish Edge off as he gives the crowd a thumbs up… but before he can give the thumbs down, Edge rolls out of the ring once again… and this time he waves the match off and starts walking up the aisle! Edge is trying to get himself counted out!

The referee of course starts counting, but Batista wants that title back, heading outside and giving chase… and he grabs a handful of hair… and hurls Edge into the barricade! The champion is down on the floor, groaning with pain, but realising he’s against the count, Batista quickly yanks Edge back up and rolls him back into the ring. Batista heads back inside, but as he approaches Edge, the champion reaches up, grabs Batista by the waist… and hurls him forward, face first into the middle turnbuckle! Edge finally manages to mount some offence, and now he grabs Batista from behind… EDGE-O-MATIC! Edge plants Batista, and he takes this chance to recover as he lays on the canvas, before he again rolls outside. After making sure that Batista is down, Edge once again shoves Tony Chimel aside and grabs a steel chair, heading back into the ring… and Edge is about to end this by nailing ‘Tista with the chair… but ‘The Animal’ bursts to his feet… and runs through Edge with a SPEAR! The chair is sent flying as Edge is cut in half, but before Batista can go for a cover, Edge rolls to the outside for a third time. This though, Batista stays on him, grabbing Edge from behind… and smashing him face first off the steel steps! Edge flops to the floor, but Batista soon has him back up… and hurls him across the announce desk! Edge crashes into Cole and Tazz, sending the announce team tumbling to the floor, while the champion is down and out with chairs strewn across him. Batista digs through the wreckage and drags the champion back up, then he takes Edge up on his shoulders… and drops him face first across the barricade! Edge is down again, and as we go to the finally commercial of the broadcast, the champion is in a world of trouble against the dominant challenger.

*Commercial*


When we return, Batista is still in control, using his boot to choke Edge against the bottom turnbuckle. ‘Tista takes the ref’s count all the way to four, before he finally yanks Edge up… then sends him across the ring… and follows in… but Edge sidesteps… and Batista runs straight into the corner! Batista staggers back then turns… and Edge comes off the ropes… big boot to the face! Batista is down, and this gives Edge a chance to regroup, before he goes on the attack, landing a string of stomps to the body, before he shoves Batista against the ropes, using his weight to choke ‘Tista on the second rope. Edge again goes for stomps, before he drags Batista back up, drills a pair of uppercuts, then goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… but Batista reverses… and then misses with a clothesline… allowing Edge to nail a running crossbody! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… but Batista kicks out. Edge is in control now, landing clubbing blows to the back of the head, then more stomps to the neck, before he again drapes Batista across the middle rope and chokes him. Edge then backs up and comes off the opposite ropes… to drive his leg across the back of the head, once again choking Batista on the ropes. The challenger coughs and splutters, but the champion goes for another cover… and gets another near fall. Edge continues to apply pressure, dropping ‘Tista with a Russian legsweep, then a spinning heel kick, before he gets a long two count from a standing dropkick. Looking to wear Batista down, Edge goes for a bow and arrow stretch, looking to apply pressure to the spine. Batista tries to fight it, but Edge has it locked in tight… but eventually, ‘The Animal’ is able to battle back to his feet, and he breaks free of the hold with a string of elbows to the gut… then a side suplex! Both men are down now, but when they’re back on their feet, the challenger lands the first shot… and a second, before he goes for an Irish whip… but Batista lowers his head… and Edge nails the EDGECUTION!! Edge nails the DDT, rolls Batista over… 1… 2… ‘Tista rolls a shoulder!

Edge can’t believe it, sure that was three, but it was only two. Quickly going back to work, Edge lands more stomps to the back of the head, then he grabs Batista by the legs… and steps in, looking to apply the SHARPSHOOTER… but Batista kicks out, sending Edge flying to the canvas! Edge is quickly back up, racing in to keep Batista down… but ‘Tista burst back to his feet, takes Edge up on his shoulder… and drives him into the corner! Now the shoulderblocks land to the gut, before Batista sends Edge across the ring… the champion hits the turnbuckle hard and stumbles forward… into a huge back body drop! Batista now looks to build momentum, rocking Edge with right hands, before he shoots the champion off the ropes… into a swinging side slam! Batista goes for the cover… 1… 2… but Edge kicks out! ‘The Animal’ is rolling now, drilling Edge with boots to the body, before he again goes for an Irish whip… and Batista goes for a SPINEBUSTER… NO! Edge shoves himself off, lands behind ‘Tista and shoves him into the ropes… SPEAR!! Edge catches Batista on the rebound with a spear, and he goes for the cover… 1… 2… NO! Somehow Batista kicks out! Edge is furious, tearing at his hair, screaming at the referee, but it was only a two count! Batista is still down as Edge gets back on his feet, but he soon heads to the corner and crouches down, motioning for ‘Tista to rise. Slowly, Batista staggers back to his feet… and here comes Edge… SPEAR… NO! Batista counters… SPINEBUSTER! The champion is planted, but Batista is too worn down to take advantage. Both men are down as the referee starts to count… but soon there’s a commotion from the crowd… as storming through the crowd… it’s Umaga and Armando Alejandro Estrada! The two men who made such an impact at Judgment Day are back, and Umaga soon clambers over the barricade… just as Batista and Edge make it back to their feet… and Umaga charges… and runs through Batista with a bodyblock… then he takes Edge up and down with a Samoan drop! Umaga has just laid out both men, and the referee has no option but throw the match out!

Winner: No Contest @ 13.11

Umaga has done it again, he’s interrupted another World Heavyweight Championship Match, laying out both Edge and Batista in the process. With a roar of fury, Umaga stands tall in the centre of the ring, staring down at the mayhem around him, a delighted Estrada applauding the actions of his monster. Umaga turns to Estrada, looking for direction, and he soon gets it as Estrada ushers him towards the ropes, signalling that it’s time for the pair to make their exit… but just as they do so, Teddy Long and a posse of security guards race down to the ring. Umaga and Estrada see them coming and stand their ground at the foot of the aisle, and when Long approaches, Umaga steps forward, going face to face with the General Manager. Even Estrada realises this is a bad idea for his client, so he puts himself in-between the two, again motioning for Umaga to simply calm down and leave. It’s a tense standoff, with Umaga not budgining an inch as Teddy points to the exit and yells “You’re outta here!”, but eventually Estrada manages to convince Umaga to leave, the two turning and heading up the ramp… but then the crowd erupts… as Batista is back on his feet… bursting through the security guards… and he tackles Umaga from behind! It’s an incredible sights as the two beasts brawl on the aisle, the crowd going nuts as they trade wild rights and lefts in an all-out slugfest! The pair continue to battle, both men driving the other into the barricade, security guards sent flying, it’s total chaos on the aisle as the two battle their way up to the entrance way before they disappear backstage.

Back in the ring, Teddy now stands over Edge, the champion having dragged himself back to his knees, a smug look on his face as he realises that he’s held onto his title and in the process, Batista’s rematch for the title has come and gone. Edge sits on the mat, smirking up at Teddy, the G.M. shaking his head in annoyance, before Edge forces himself back to his feet… and incredulously, he orders the referee to hand over his title… and raise his hand in victory. The crowd jeers, Teddy just looks on in disbelief, but Edge is deadly serious, snatching the title away from the ref and then tapping his wrist. The ref is unsure, looking towards Teddy for guidance, with Long just shaking his head and saying “Don’t do it, playa”, which prompts the referee to step back. Annoyed, Edge just arrogantly shrugs his shoulders and fires the title up into the air in triumph, before he slings the belt over his shoulder and heads for the ropes. Stepping through and then slowly walking up the aisle, Edge looks like he doesn’t have a care in the world as he heads for the exit… but behind him, Teddy has called for a mic…


Teddy Long: Hey! Hey, Edge! Hold up a second there, playa. I bet ya’ feelin’ pretty happy right now, huh? I mean, thanks to Umaga, you gonna walk outta here still the World Heavyweight Champion, right?

Edge just nods and smirks again…

Teddy Long: And uh, I guess that means that Batista’s rematch clause for the title… that’s over with now. His shot just came and went, huh?

This time Edge yells “Damn right!”…

Teddy Long: But lemme tell ya’ somethin’ playa. You mighta survived Batista by hook or by crook, but that don’t mean I’m gonna ease up on ya’. You gonna defend that title Edge… at the King of the Ring!

A massive cheer from the crowd as Edge screams “What!?”…

Teddy Long: And you gonna defend it Edge… against this man…

*WHATEVER…*


It’s Chris Benoit! ‘The Rabid Wolverine’, he’s here, and he’s just walked into the arena! Edge slowly turns, his jaw nearly on the floor as he sees Benoit pacing towards him… and then Benoit charges… and tackles Edge to the floor! It’s another brawl, and the crowd are loving it as Benoit hammers Edge! The champion tries to roll and crawl to safety, but Benoit is all over him, laying in with shots to the face, stinging chops to the chest, before he rolls Edge back into the ring. The champion tries to scramble to safety, but Benoit pounces on him… and slaps on THE CRIPPLER CROSSFACE!! Benoit has the crossface locked on, and Edge taps almost immediately! The new World Heavyweight Champion is tapping out to the man he’ll defend his title against in just eight days’ time!


Michael Cole: Can you believe this?! Edge and Benoit for the World Heavyweight Championship at the King of the Ring, and Benoit has Edge tapping in the centre of the ring!

Tazz: Holy smokes! Man, Teddy Long ain’t kiddin’! He ain’t gonna give Edge an inch. First Batista, now Benoit.

Michael Cole: What the hell is gonna happen next? Could Edge’s title reign be over in just eight days’ time? Join us next week for more Friday Night SmackDown! Goodnight!

Benoit continues to wrench back, with Edge tapping furiously, until finally relents and let’s go, letting Edge flop down to the mat. Back on his feet, Benoit and Teddy exchange smiles, the pair looking down at the broken champion, and that’s the final image we see as SmackDown goes off the air.

*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

World Heavyweight Championship Match:
World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Chris Benoit





Current Card for WWE GREAT AMERICAN BASH:
Date: July 15th, 2007

Location: Verizon Center; Washington, D.C.

NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED YET

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



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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
May 28th, 2007
Scotiabank Place
Ottawa, Quebec, Canada






The road to war runs through the great white north as Monday Night Raw comes to Canada, where the emotional scars of last week’s show will be clear for all to see after the threat of War Games claimed another victim.

Both squads are set, as last week, Team Vince and Team Linda selected their final members and rounded off their teams ahead of the upcoming War Games Match. But during last week’s main event, the Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship between Kenny Dykstra and Carlito, it became clear that by drawing a line and choosing a side, it earns you a whole list full of new enemies. Carlito signed up with Team Linda for the chance to get one last shot at Dykstra and the Intercontinental Title, and he seemed just seconds away from grabbing the gold, only for Team Vince to storm the ring. John Cena would then lead Team Vince out for the save, but the mayhem at ringside was enough for Dykstra to take advantage and retain his title in a heart-breaking defeat for ‘Lito. Team Vince may have won the battle last week, but the war is far from over, and tonight both teams will do battle again as the legendary Ric Flair steps into the ring with ‘Mr. Money in the Bank’ Randy Orton. Both men are seeking victory for differing reasons, with Orton looking to continue Team Vince’s dominance, while Flair knows another defeat for Team Linda may ruin their chances of victory before we even make it to the pay per view. It’s a main event full of implications for War Games, a match that neither man can afford to lose with the big show less than three weeks away.

The on-going saga between Rob Van Dam and Shawn Michaels over the WWE Championship last week took another twist last week, as Michaels and ‘RVD’ came face to face in tag team action… yet they somehow failed to interact with each other until they very end of the match, where Michaels rocked the champion with sweet chin music to get the win. Post-match, Michaels made his intentions clear, with a WWE Championship Match at War Games firmly on his mind. However, with Michaels limiting his interactions with Van Dam to cheap attacks from behind, it was the WWE Champion who instead made a challenge to his would be challenger… if you want a title shot, meet me in the ring and ask for it. With Michaels shunning all who approach him, it’s unclear as to whether or not ‘HBK’ intends on taking Van Dam up on his offer, but if it proves to be the only way for Michaels to get the title shot he craves… it could lead to an explosive confrontation tonight on Raw.

The 2007 King of the Ring is just five days away, and this Saturday, eight men will enter the tournament that has historically altered careers like never before. So far, Jeff Hardy and CM Punk have sealed their places as two of Raw’s representatives in the tournament, and tonight, they’ll be joined by two others. After surviving with his title thanks to Team Vince last week, the Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra will look to book his place in Boston by seeing off Nick Dinsmore, while one half of the World Tag Team Champions, Shelton Benjamin, looks to take advantage of a weakened Carlito. Both Dykstra and ‘Lito will no doubt still be feeling the effects of the effort they gave last week, with Dinsmore and Benjamin both favourites to advance. Dinsmore will no doubt be looking to join his fellow Straight Edge Saint CM Punk at King of the Ring, while Benjamin knows the pressure is on him to ensure The World’s Greatest Tag Team are represented after Charlie Haas’ elimination last week.

Last week also saw us introduced to Cody Rhodes, a youngster from the WWE developmental system, and the son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes. While Dusty was on the show to discuss his memories of War Games, he was interrupted and then assaulted by Claudio Cesaro. After Cody came down to the ring to make the save for his father, the youngster was signed to a Monday Night Raw contract by the WWE Board of Directors and instantly challenged Cesaro to a match tonight. The youngster is no doubt in for a tough debut against the man who has claimed victories over Rob Van Dam and John Cena so far in his brief WWE career, but if Cody is half the wrestler his Dad was, Cesaro may live to regret his actions last week. We’ll also find out what answer Beth Phoenix has for the challenge from her friend Victoria last week to a Women’s Championship Match at War Games. Beth and Victoria bonded over their mutual hatred of then Women’s Champion Mickie James, but with Mickie nowhere to be seen this last month, and Beth taking on and beating all challengers in sight, Victoria felt she was the natural choice to be Phoenix’s next challenger. Tonight, Victoria takes on Natalya Neidhart, and if she can gain a victory over the youngster, that might be enough to convince Beth to grant her friend her title shot.

All of this, plus we’ll no doubt be hearing from Mr. McMahon ahead of War Games, Jeff Hardy will tell us of his hopes of becoming King of the Ring, and we might finally find out what the deal is with the new look Johnny Nitro… and find out what Melina and Chris Masters make of it all. War Games is less than three weeks away, the 2007 King of the Ring is this Saturday night live on NBC, it’s a Monday Night Raw you won’t want to miss!


Confirmed Matches:

Randy Orton vs. Ric Flair

King of the Ring Qualifying Matches – Round of 16
Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin
Kenny Dykstra vs. Nick Dinsmore

Claudio Cesaro vs. Cody Rhodes
Natalya Niedhart vs. Victoria

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



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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Monday Night Raw~
May 28th, 2007
Scotiabank Place
Ottawa, Quebec, Canada



”I’m gonna burn your dreams.”





As usual, we start the broadcast with a highlights package from last week, where we see some of the incredible action from the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match between Kenny Dykstra and Carlito, with particular reference being paid to the ending of the match, where ‘Lito is inches away from victory, only for Team Vince and Team Linda to hit the ring, leading to an all-out brawl in the arena, the mayhem enough for Dykstra to take advantage and retain his title. We also see from earlier in the evening, where Rob Van Dam and John Cena teamed up to take on Shawn Michaels and Bobby Lashley. After Cena and Lashley brawl their way out of the arena, Michaels and Van Dam do battle, with Michaels stunning everyone as he pins the WWE Champion to gain the win for his team, the image of a triumphant Michaels standing tall over Van Dam the last image we see as the video comes to an end.

Into the arena we go, to the sound of silence… until…

*SEXY BOY…*


The silence comes to an end, and the heat is loud and boisterous from the Canadian crowd as Shawn Michaels steps into the arena. Dressed all in black with black cowboy hat, Michaels has that lifeless look in his eyes as he scans the crowd, before he drops to his knees, turns towards the heavens, and then gets back on his feet and heads towards the ring…


Jim Ross: The 2007 King of the Ring is just five nights away, but tonight on Monday Night Raw, not only are we lookin’ towards the crowning of a new King, but we’re also marchin’ down the road to War Games! Hello everyone, I’m ‘Good Ol’ J.R.’, Jim Ross, alongside me as always are my broadcast colleagues, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and Joey Styles, and fellas, we are just five nights away from the King of the Ring, a night were one young man’s career is set to skyrocket!

Joey Styles: It’s always an exciting night when a new King is crowned here in the WWE, but tonight on Raw, the final two qualifying matches for our half of the draw take place. Both men involved in last week’s incredible Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match have to suck it up and go again tonight, as the champion Kenny Dykstra takes on Nick Dinsmore of The Straight Edge Saints, while Carlito has to try and put the heartbreak of last week behind him as he takes on Shelton Benjamin.

Jerry Lawler: I can’t wait for this Saturday night, live on NBC, the King of the Ring 2007! A night fit for royalty, a night for a King like me!

Jim Ross: I’m sure you’ll have a great night this Saturday in Boston, ‘King’. But not only are we lookin’ forward to the King of the Ring, we’ve got a huge pay per view on the horizon, as War Games comes to the WWE for the very first time. And no doubt that man right there, Shawn Michaels, he’ll be hopin’ that by the time War Games has come and gone, he’ll be the new WWE Champion. Michaels has made it very clear these last few weeks, he wants a shot at Rob Van Dam and the WWE Title.

Joey Styles: And last week, ‘RVD’ told Michaels to put up or shut up. Enough of the sneak attacks, enough of the mind games, if ya’ want a WWE Title Match, just step up, be a man and ask for it.

Jerry Lawler: Well, if I’m Rob Van Dam, I’d be careful what I wish for, ‘cause I just might get it! Shawn Michaels is kickin’ off tonight’s show, and I’m pretty sure we can all guess what he’s out here for.

Indeed as once Michaels has entered the ring, he heads to the corner and calls for a microphone, which he quickly receives from Lillian Garcia. Michaels then heads to the centre of the ring, his head lowered, his eyes hidden by his hat as he peers down at the canvas, until he slowly lifts the mic to his face and starts to speak…

Shawn Michaels: Y’know… when a man finds himself at his very lowest, they always say… he should turn to God.

Michaels now looks into the crowd with those cold eyes of his…

Shawn Michaels: When a man finds himself at rock bottom, when he can’t sink any further, when life can’t get any worse… he should find religion. He should place himself in the hands of the Lord… and he will be delivered to safety.

Pausing, Michaels purses his lips, thinking hard…

Shawn Michaels: Nine – years – ago… nine long years ago… I broke my back. I had to retire from the WWE. I hit my lowest point. I was at… rock bottom. And then…

Again Michaels pauses, looking into the distance…

Shawn Michaels: Then I found my faith. And then I went on a journey. I suffered pain, I lived through agony, my career was over, my life… was ruined. But what I didn’t realise at the time was… that I was being tested. I was being challenged… by the big guy himself. He wanted to know if I could make it back, he wanted to know… how strong my faith really was.

Michaels now slowly starts to pace the ring…

Shawn Michaels: And in those nine years, I’ve made it back from injury, I’ve been a champion, I’ve main evented WrestleMania… and I’ve cut loose the non-believers in my life.

Heat for Michaels’ nod towards his betrayal of Triple H…

Shawn Michaels: But soon… very soon… my journey is at an end. My journey back to happiness, my journey back to salvation… it’s at an end soon. And that means that soon… the Lord will deliver me to the top of my mountain… to the WWE Championship.

More heat…

Shawn Michaels: And that means that Rob Van Dam… for you… your WWE Title reign is over.

A pop for the mention of the WWE Champion quickly turns to boos…

Shawn Michaels: So Rob, if we need to make this official… then I don’t want to wait any longer. Rob Van Dam… step out of the darkness… and into the light… and let’s get this over with.

Michaels looks up at the entrance way, waiting…

Until…

*ONE OF A KIND…*


A massive pop welcomes the WWE Champion Rob Van Dam into the arena, with ‘Mr. Monday Night’ looking full of intensity, full of focus as he looks down at the ring, staring hard at Michaels, before he leads the crowd through a rendition of his name and heads to the ring. As ‘RVD’ enters, he and Michaels go face to face, with Van Dam trying to peer into Michaels’ eyes, but Michaels remains as cold and robotic as ever, which prompts Van Dam to give up and grab a microphone…


Rob Van Dam: Shawn! It finally happened, huh bro’?

A smirk crosses Van Dam’s face as he shakes his head and laughs…

Rob Van Dam: Finally, you and me, in the ring, face to face, man to man… and you can’t even look me in the eye.

A disappointed shrug of the shoulders from the champion…

Rob Van Dam: For weeks you’ve been attackin’ me from behind, you’ve been jumpin’ me when my back was turned, you’ve kicked me in the jaw more times than I can even remember, and now we’re finally in the ring together, toe to toe… you’re just gonna stand and stare at the mat?

Again Van Dam tries to make eye contact with Michaels, but to no avail…

Rob Van Dam: Y’know, I just don’t get you anymore, man. I mean, the Shawn Michaels I knew, that guy, he’d kick ya’ in the face, but he’d at least have the guts to stand across from ya’ and look ya’ in the eye like a man afterwards. At least when you weren’t hidin’ behind your religion… you didn’t act like such a little bitch, bro’.

And for the first time, Michaels raises his head and looks Van Dam in the eye, a fire lit…

Rob Van Dam: So if you want that title shot, Shawn… you’re gonna have to look me in the eye like a man… and ask me for it.

A pop from the crowd as Van Dam steps back and motions for Michaels to answer him, although ‘HBK’ pauses and again thinks long and hard before responding…

Shawn Michaels: Alright. I’ll ask ya’ for it, Rob. That’s fine. I ain’t too proud to do somethin’ like that.

Michaels now has his cold eyes firmly fixated on the champion…

Shawn Michaels: Y’know… you talk about me, you talk about how I’ve changed, you talk about how different I am… but at the end of the day, you and me… we ain’t all that different, Rob. You’ve changed too. You might not know it, and these people might not realise it… but I can see it. I know it’s happened.

Van Dam raises his eyebrows with intrigue…

Shawn Michaels: Y’think the old Rob Van Dam, the guy who had ‘em queuin’ round the block to get inside a bingo hall in Philadelphia, the guy who never needed to be ECW’s top guy to be their biggest star, y’think that Rob Van Dam… would’ve let ‘imself be so consumed by greed… like you are now?

The champion shakes his head at that notion, but Michaels presses on…

Shawn Michaels: I mean, in the past, it was never about titles for you, was it? It was always puttin’ on a show, pleasin’ the fans, sendin’ people home happy, makin’ sure the last name on everybody’s lips was… (Michaels mockingly performs Van Dam’s thumb taunt…) Rob – Van – Dam.

Both men exchange smirks after that…

Shawn Michaels: That’s who you used to be. But now? Now you’re all corporate. You’re all about the money, you’re all about the title. You’re all about… greed. You’re not about these people anymore… you’re all about yourself. And the only difference between you and me… is that at least I’ve got the… guts, was it?... to talk about it.

A hushed buzz rings out around the crowd, nobody quite sure how to respond to Michaels’ words…

Shawn Michaels: So you spare me the talk about how I’ve changed. I know I’ve changed, I’ve changed for the better. I’ve changed… to make myself better. To finally make myself happy. I’m not here for these people’s amusement. I’m not here to send them home happy. I’m here to get back MY WWE Title. And that means I need you in this ring… one on one.

Michaels now points a finger at the WWE Championship…

Shawn Michaels: So Rob Van Dam… you consider this an official challenge for that title on your shoulder. You and me… one on one… for the WWE Championship… at War Games.

A pop from the crowd…

Shawn Michaels: What d’ya say… ‘champ’?

And more cheers from the fans, desperate to see Michaels and Van Dam go at it. Van Dam wastes little time in nodding his head and bringing his mic to his mouth…

Rob Van Dam: Yeah. Yeah, you got it.

Another big pop, and with the match now set, Michaels turns and heads for the ropes…

Rob Van Dam: Whoa, whoa, whoa… wait. Wait. Before you go… lemme just tell ya’ somethin’, Shawn. I just wanna say that… in a way, yeah, you’re kinda right. Maybe I do wanna be the top guy now more than I used to. Maybe I do want titles. Hell, I might even go as far as to say yeah… I am kinda greedy. I wanna be WWE Champion, just like you. But the difference between you and me… is that I want it more, dude.

With his back still to Van Dam, Michaels steps back from the ropes with a look of confusion in his eyes, turning back to face Van Dam, expecting an explanation…

Rob Van Dam: You made it to the top, you got your WrestleMania moment… ten years ago, bro’. 1996, WrestleMania XII, you and Bret Hart, one of the greatest matches in WWE history. Y’know what I was doin’ back in 1996? I was packin’ out that bingo hall you were talkin’ about, puttin’ on matches that you could only dream of havin’. You were at the top of this business… and I was just startin’ to make a name for myself. So yeah, I am a little selfish. I do wanna be WWE Champion more than anything. But I’m not sorry about that.

Another shrug of the shoulders…

Rob Van Dam: I wanna be WWE Champion… and I wanna go down in history as the best WWE Champion in history. Even better than you.

Another pop, while Michaels narrows his eyes in annoyance…

Rob Van Dam: I’m not there yet, I know that. I’m not stupid enough to think I am. But night’s like beatin’ you and Triple H at WrestleMania… like beatin’ John Cena at Backlash… like comin’ out here week after week, night after night, takin’ on anybody who wants to step into the ring with me, givin’ new guys like Claudio Cesaro a shot and beatin’ ‘em… and nights like War Games, when I beat you, Shawn… it’s nights like that that’s gonna get me there.

Another pop…

Rob Van Dam: And I promise you Shawn… I’ll swear on every bible… I will get there… ‘cause I’m Rob – Van – Dam!

And with that, Van Dam tosses down his microphone and stands toe to toe with ‘HBK’ neither man giving an inch, neither man backing down, the tension the building, the crowd urging them on to go at each other, but Michaels… just simply tips his cowboy hat, turns… and heads for the ropes. Jeers of disappointment from the fans, but it seems like now that Michaels has his match, he isn’t interested in brawling with the WWE Champion…

Jim Ross: Well there ya’ have it, folks. Rob Van Dam has accepted the challenge, it’s Van Dam and Michaels one on one at War Games, and-

Joey Styles: Hey!

Just as it looked like Michaels was making his exit, he’s turned back to the ring… and now he’s poised, waiting for Van Dam to turn… SWEET CHIN MUSIC… NO! Van Dam was ready for it, ducking the sneak attack… and then he hammers Michaels with a jumping heel kick! Michaels is down, and Van Dam slings himself to the top rope, looking for the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH… but before he can fly, Michaels rolls under the bottom rope and scrambles up the ramp to safety. The crowd boo in dejection as Michaels starts to back away, both he and Van Dam staring a whole through each other, with ‘RVD’ heading back to the corner and climbing to the second rope, his eyes firmly fixed on his challenger. Michaels rubs his jaw in pain as he backs up onto the stage, while in the ring, Van Dam again leads the fans through a rendition of his thumb taunt, the crowd going wild as the WWE Champion came oh so close to getting his hands on Michaels…

Jim Ross: What a way to kick off Monday Night Raw! Rob Van Dam and Shawn Michaels, they almost came to blows, but what matters most, is that at War Games, it’s gonna be Michaels and Van Dam one on one for the WWE Championship!

Jerry Lawler: And for all the times we’ve talked about Michaels playin’ mind games, I think after that confrontation, it’s Rob Van Dam who’s in Shawn Michaels’ head. Van Dam has Michaels rattled!

Joey Styles: What a start to the night it’s been, and what a way for Rob Van Dam to finally get one over Shawn Michaels. For weeks it’s been Michaels who’s been layin’ out the WWE Champion, but tonight, ‘RVD’ has just sent Michaels runnin’ for his life!

The camera continues to switch between the dominant looking champion and the infuriated challenger, and it’s on those images that we go to a commercial.

*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*


We’re back, where we see Todd Grisham standing by at the interview set…

Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Monday Night Raw. And please welcome my guest at this time, the captain of Team Linda at War Games… John Cena!

A loud, boisterous welcome as an intense looking John Cena steps into the frame…

Todd Grisham: John, last week you and Linda McMahon announced the final two members of your team ahead of War Games, with CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore, The Straight Edge Saints, joining you, Ric Flair and Carlito. But John, during last week’s main event, Carlito was just seconds away it seemed from becoming Intercontinental Champion, only for Team Vince to race down to the ring and cost him the match. John, do you think that Carlito’s association with Team Linda is what has ultimately led to him not being Intercontinental Champion right now?

Cena sighs loudly and reluctantly nods his head in agreement…

John Cena: It uh… it looks that way, Todd. Listen, Carlito and Kenny Dykstra, that had nothin’ to do with War Games. Carlito’s issues with Dykstra and the Intercontinental Championship, that was none of Vince McMahon’s business. He had no right sending out his goons to cost ‘Lito that match. Vince McMahon’s fight is with me and his wife, it’s not with Carlito, and it’s sure as hell got nothin’ to do with the Intercontinental Championship!

A loud cheer from inside the arena for the intensity of Cena…

John Cena: And y’know, me, Ric, The Saints, we’ve spent all week tryin’ to console Carlito, tryin’ to talk some fight back into ‘im. And it’s just unfortunate that later tonight, Carlito’s gotta go into a King of the Ring not at 100%. But lemme tell ya’ somethin’, Vince. At War Games, Carlito’s gonna be back to full strength… and he’s gonna be out for revenge.

A real serious look in Cena’s eyes as he stares into the camera…

John Cena: You’re gonna have one seriously pissed off Puerto Rican comin’ after you, Vince! There’s a reason why this is called war Games. Week after week, attack after attack, you might get one up on us Vince, you might win a few battles, but you better believe it that when we step into that cage, good will triumph over evil, the light will outshine the darkness, we – will – win the war!

Another pop…

John Cena: So last week, yeah you won that battle. But tonight… tonight is the night we strike back. Tonight, Ric Flair and Randy Orton one on one. And tonight, Ric Flair, he fights for not only each and every member of Team Linda… but he fights for each and every WWE fan who wants to see the end of Vince McMahon reign here on Raw.

Cena pauses and clenches his jaw, before he wraps things up with…

John Cena: Tonight is the night we start the fight back… and Vince… you ain’t gonna know what’s hit ya’!

No smile, no pat on the back, just Cena walking off the set, full of intensity and determination, while Grisham can only look on with awe as Cena exits and we cut back into the arena.

Where we are greeted by the sight of our announce team…


Jim Ross: Strong words there from John Cena, and as you heard from Team Linda’s Captain, it is indeed Ric Flair and Randy Orton, one on one tonight. That’s a match that’s sure to have huge implications for War Games, with Team Linda lookin’ to answer back to last week’s attack from Team Vince.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah but J.R., we have a huge announcement to make right now. We’ve just gotten word that due to the uncertainty surrounding just who is in control of Monday Night Raw right now and in the run up to War Games, the WWE Board of Directors have ordered that Rob Van Dam and Shawn Michaels sign a contract to officially set in place their WWE Title Match at War Games, and yours truly is gonna adjudicate that contract signing tonight!

Joey Styles: Best of luck tryin’ to keep those two in check, ‘King’! It’s been quite the night so far, but now we’ve got a huge contract signing, Flair and Orton, not to mention Cody Rhodes, signed to a Raw contract just a few days ago, he’s gonna make his debut tonight against Claudio Cesaro!

Jim Ross: It’s gonna be a huge night, and we’re set to kick off the action with a King of the Ring qualifier!

*WORLD’S GREATEST…*


Indeed we are, and it’s The World’s Greatest Tag Team who step out first, with Shelton Benjamin ready for action, while his fellow tag champ Charlie Haas accompanies his partner down to the ring, the pair having plenty to say to the crowd as they go…


Jim Ross: Last week, it was Charlie Haas who was in King of the Ring action as he took on Jeff Hardy, but it was Hardy who booked his place at Saturday Night’s Main Event. If The World’s Greatest Tag Team are to be represented this Saturday night, the onus is on Shelton Benjamin to get it done right here.

Joey Styles: But not only that, Haas and Benjamin have been engaged in a war of words with The Hart Legacy over the last few weeks. Harry Smith and Tyson have previously challenged the champions to a title match, only to be told that they haven’t been here on Raw long enough to warrant a title shot.

Jerry Lawler: And how disrespectful is that? I’m pretty sure that Smith and Kidd are gonna find a way to earn a title shot pretty soon, but Shelton Benjamin better not be thinkin’ about the tag titles right now. He better have his focus on Carlito and the King of the Ring.

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

*COOL…*


A loud pop as Carlito steps out from the back, but it’s clear that the effects of last week’s Ladder Match are troubling him, as ‘Lito limps heavily as he gingerly walks down the ramp towards the ring…


Jim Ross: I honestly thought last week we had a new Intercontinental Champion, and we damn sure would have had it not been for Team Vince stickin’ their nose where it don’t belong. But Carlito, he’s gotta try and put that behind ‘im right here, he’s gotta get that focus back and try qualify for the King of the Ring.

Joey Styles: Yeah but look at Carlito right now, he’s clearly not 100%, he’s limping heavily, and that’s not a good place to be when steppin’ into the ring with a guy like Shelton Benjamin.

Jerry Lawler: He’s not 100% physically, but is he 100% mentally? I mean, when you think of everything that Carlito has had to put up with this year, the repeated losses to Kenny Dykstra, then the way he was betrayed by Torrie Wilson… I just don’t know if maybe last week was the final straw for this guy. I hope not, but I guess we’ll find out right here…

Match 1: King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Round of 16
World Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin w/ Charlie Haas vs. Carlito

Straight from the bell, it’s clear that Benjamin wants to target Carlito’s knee, quickly moving in, looking for a takedown, trying to get at the leg, but Carlito does his best to fight Shelton off… until Shelton slides under the bottom rope, catches Carlito off guard and drags him under the ropes… then hammers ‘Lito with a clothesline! Carlito’s head bounces off the floor, but Benjamin doesn’t waste any time in rolling him back into the ring, getting an early near fall. Benjamin immediately starts laying in with stomps to the left knee, then he starts driving his own knee into Carlito’s, before he drags ‘Lito up by the hair and knocks him back down again with a stiff right hand. Again a handful of hair helps ‘Lito back up, but this time Carlito strikes first, rocking Benjamin with shots to the jaw, before he goes for an Irish whip… but Benjamin reverses… only for ‘Lito to jump onto the second rope… springboard back elbow! Limping back up, ‘Lito lands stomps to the body and shots to the face, before he shoots Shelton to the corner… Benjamin tries to elevate himself… but ‘Lito catches him on his shoulder… and transitions into a fireman’s carry flapjack! Carlito goes for the cover… but Benjamin kicks out at two. Carlito looks to stay in control as he yanks Benjamin up, driving a few left hands to the face, before he again goes for the Irish whip off the ropes… but ‘Lito lowers his head… Shelton drills him with a kick to the chest, then goes for a boot to the gut… Carlito catches it… but Shelton nails the dragon whip! Benjamin crawls into the cover… 1… 2… ‘Lito rolls a shoulder! Shelton has ‘Lito down now, and again he goes for the stomps to the leg, before he takes the left leg and twists it into a single leg Boston crab.

Shelton sits in on the hold, applying pressure to the knee, causing ‘Lito to grimace and groan in pain. The referee checks in on Carlito, asking him a couple of times if he wants to quit, but Carlito says no. With Haas throwing trash talk at him from ringside, ‘Lito is in bad shape, but eventually, he manages to mount a compete, trying to drag himself to the ropes… ‘Lito reaches out… and grabs the bottom rope! Benjamin takes his time, but eventually he does release the hold, with ‘Lito crawling to the corner, trying to recover. Benjamin stays on the attack by landing rights to the head, then he heads to the far away corner, lines ‘Lito up… before he races in… SHELTON SPLASH… but Carlito dives out of harm’s way… and Benjamin smashes into the corner! Now Carlito starts to go on the attack, drilling a dazed Shelton with a boot to the gut to double him over, before he comes off the ropes… running knee… and then a clothesline! Carlito looks to build momentum, going for the Irish whip… but Shelton reverses… only to lower his head… Carlito flows over… into the DDT! ‘Lito hooks a leg… 1… 2… but Shelton kicks out! ‘Lito stays on the offensive, rocking Shelton with left hands, before he smacks an uppercut, then races at the ropes… and goes for a double jump springboard moonsault… but Benjamin rolls through… 1… 2… ‘Lito barely kicks out! Both men burst to their feet and race at each other… Carlito ducks a clothesline… then nails a sitout spinebuster! Carlito again goes for the cover… 1… 2… but again Benjamin hangs on. At this point, a seriously concerned Charlie Haas nips up onto the apron, calling out at the referee, and of course that draws the attention of ‘Lito, who charges and tries to catch Haas with a left hand… but Haas drops down out of harm’s way… but the distraction provides Benjamin a chance to recover, and when ‘Lito turns, Shelton is waiting… to nail the T-BONE SUPLEX!! Carlito is absolutely planted, and Shelton goes for the cover… 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Shelton Benjamin @ 05.49

The injuries from last week are clearly too much for Carlito to overcome as Benjamin, with a little help from Haas, takes advantage and gets the win. The tag champions quickly back up the ramp, sharing a hug and celebrating as they go, while a group of referees race past the pair and slide into the ring, clearly here to help Carlito to the back as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

We go back to March 25th, 2002, where the first ever WWE Draft takes place as part of the WWE Draft Extension. On the stage, a smug looking Mr. McMahon stands behind a podium, ready to make the first draft choice in WWE history…

”ON BEHALF OF WWF SMACKDOWN, I VINCE MCMAHON CHOOSE…”

Narrator: It’s one of the most shocking and unpredictable nights of the WWE year.

Footage from the 2004 WWE Draft Lottery, where Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff randomly chooses SmackDown G.M. Paul Heyman as the final pick of the night, only for Heyman to scream at Bischoff…

”ERIC BISCHOFF… SCREW YOU! I QUIT!”

Narrator: A night when careers can be changed in an instant.

We now see footage from the June 6th, 2005 episode of Raw, where the then WWE Champion John Cena is introduced as the first draft choice of the 2005 draft…

”THE CHAMP IS HERE ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW!”

Narrator: A night of tension and drama.

Fast forward to the June 30th episode of SmackDown, where then World Heavyweight Champion Batista is revealed as the final choice of the 2005 lottery, with Michael Cole screaming…

”SMACKDOWN HAS HIT THE JACKPOT!”

Narrator: A night when nobody… is safe.

Cut now to the March 15th, 2004 Raw, where Mr. McMahon tells us all that…

”IT’S TIME TO SHAKE THINGS UP AGAIN!”

Narrator: It’s the live, 3 hour special, 2007 WWE Draft Lottery!

We now see footage from some current WWE superstars, with Raw’s Rob Van Dam flying through the air to crash down on John Cena, while SmackDown’s Edge runs through Batista with a spear…

Narrator: And for the superstars of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown…

Rapid fire shots of young superstars like Matt Hardy, Kenny Dykstra, Mr. Kennedy and Bobby Lashley…

Narrator: A change is coming!

And then images of veterans like Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Ric Flair and Rey Mysterio, before the screen goes dark and the following appears.



"MONDAY NIGHT RAW 3-HOUR SPECIAL – JUNE 25TH - 2007 WWE DRAFT LOTTERY!"


*End Video Package*


Backstage, The World’s Greatest Tag Team are walking along a corridor, with Charlie Haas celebrating with Shelton Benjamin after Benjamin’s victory before the break. As Benjamin and Haas walk along, the smiles on their faces soon turn to intense stares, and the camera soon pans to reveal why… it’s The Hart Legacy. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, once again Harry Smith and Tyson Kidd stand before the tag champions, with the youngsters clearly not ready to give up on their hopes of a shot at the World Tag Team Titles…

Charlie Haas: What the hell do you two want?

Shelton Benjamin: Yeah, we told you last week, we ain’t got time for you two. Incase you didn’t see it, I just qualified for the King of the Ring this Saturday, and we ain’t interested in listenin’ to you two rookies whine about gettin’ a title shot.

And now Haas steps forward and goes face to face with Kidd…

Charlie Haas: So why don’t you two… get the hell outta our way?

Kidd stands his ground, until a confident looking Smith steps forward and gives his partner a pat on the back, at which Kidd takes a step back…

Harry Smith: Look guys, we uh… we thought about what you said last week. Y’know, what you said about us not bein’ here all that long, us bein’ rookies… and…

The Harts share a reluctant look at each other…

Tyson Kidd: We agree. You’re right.

And now the champs share a look of surprise with each other…

Harry Smith: Yeah. You got us. I mean, what, we’ve been here on Raw… three months? We’ve only been on pay per view once. We are rookies. We are new around here.

But now an intense Kidd steps back into Haas’ face…

Tyson Kidd: But that doesn’t mean we’re not good enough to take those titles away from you.

Pop from inside the arena…

Harry Smith: And all we’re askin’ for is a chance to prove it to ya’.

Tyson Kidd: So how ‘bout next week on Raw, you two… and us two… in a non-title match?

And another pop, with Benjamin and Haas both raising an eyebrow at each other, clearly thinking it over…

Harry Smith: And if we win… we get a shot at the titles at War Games.

Looking confident, the youngsters nod to each other, then they both develop rather sneaky smiles on their faces…

Tyson Kidd: I mean hey, this time next week… you might be King, Shelton. You might not even care about those titles anymore.

Harry Smith: But we care… and we’re ready. So how ‘bout you let us prove it?

Tyson Kidd: And I mean, it’d be easy for a King to beat a bunch o’ rookies… right?

Haas and Benjamin both step back, sharing a few whispers with each other…

Shelton Benjamin: We give you your match next week… and that’s it, right? No more talkin’ about title shots for you two?

Both Smith and Kidd nod in agreement…

Charlie Haas: Alright, you got it. You got your match. But next week, you two punks are gonna realise somethin’.

Shelton Benjamin: You two ain’t never gonna be ready to challenge us.

And with that, both Haas and Benjamin barge into Kidd and Smith as they walk past, although the youngster just laugh and watch the champions go, clearly delighted with the fact they’ve got their chance at the champions next week on Raw.

We now cut to the Team Vince War Room, where sat around an oak table are Shane McMahon, John Laurinaitis, Claudio Cesaro and Randy Orton, the four men engaged some inaudible chat. Sat on the couch infront of a monitor sits The Redneck Wrecking Crew, with Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch throwing back a few beers, while stood on his own is Bobby Lashley, wrapping black tape around his fists, despite not being scheduled for action tonight. Mr. McMahon and his assistant Brooke Adams then enter the room, a smug smirk on Vince’s face…


Mr. McMahon: Three weeks ‘til War Games! I dunno about you guys, but I am really starting to look forward to this. I mean, just three weks ‘til I finally get back my baby, ‘til I take back control of Monday Night Raw!

Laurinitis in particular looks pleased with that as he responds with a broad smile…

Mr. McMahon: Last week, I think we sent out a pretty strong message to that ingrate Carlito. You cross the boss, you stand against me… you pay the price.

Vince starts glancing across the room, making sure each member of his team pays attention…

Mr. McMahon: But I don’t want you guys restin’ on that. I want you guys to stay hungry, I want you guys to be desperate to hurt ‘em each and every week! I want the hurt and the pain they felt last week, to be exactly what they feel again this week. And it all starts tonight… with you, Randy.

McMahon now moves in close, getting in Orton’s face…

Mr. McMahon: I want you to go out there, and I want you make Ric Flair wish he’d taken retirement instead of comin’ back. I want him goin’ outta here on a stretcher tonight!

Orton nods slowly and cracks his knuckles…

Mr. McMahon: But it’s not just about your match with Flair tonight, Randy. I want their whole team regretting their decision. I want that whole team lookin’ over their shoulder, worryin’ about when we’re gonna get ‘em. Lance… Trevor… you understand what I’m talkin’ about, right?

Cade and Murdoch sit up from the couch, crushing their empty beer cans and start heading for the exit, clearly understanding what Vince is saying…

Lance Cade: Yeah. We hear ya’.

Lance Cade: We’ll take care o’ it, boss. You ain’t gotta worry about it.

As Cade and Murdoch leave, Vince again looks smug, before he then takes a few paces towards the intense Lashley…

Mr. McMahon: Good. Good. As for you three… Claudio, Bobby… I want you two out there tonight with Randy. I know Cena’s dyin’ for a win tonight, I know he’ll be in Flair’s corner, I want you two out there to make sure that doesn’t happen. You got it?

Both Lashley and Cesaro nod their understanding, with Lashley driving his fist into his hand, clearly ready to do some damage tonight…

Mr. McMahon: I’ve got a real good feeling about this. A real good feelin’.

And an evil smirk on Vince’s face as he scans the room, confident as ever, fully expecting his team to not only do well tonight, but to dominate at War Games in three weeks’ time, as we head back into the arena.

And we hear…

*I AIN’T A LADY TO MESS WITH…*


It’s a strange response as Victoria makes her entrance tonight, accompanied by the Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix, the two seemingly having put their differences from last week behind them, although Phoenix has Victoria shaking her head in annoyance as the champion takes the lead, thrusting her title in the air despite the fact that she’s not competing here…


Jim Ross: That’s certainly not a good omen for Team Linda. Vince has laid down the challenge to his team, they’ve to get out there and punish Team Linda for darin’ to stand against ‘The Boss’.

Joey Styles: It’s not looking good for Team Linda, so much resting on Ric Flair’s shoulders tonight when he takes on Randy Orton. But right now, we’ve got Divas action, and this partnership between Beth Phoenix and Victoria, it looked like it was in trouble last week when after hearing Phoenix say she’d defeated all challengers, Victoria pointed out that Beth hadn’t beat her yet, and that she wanted a title shot.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah and I don’t think Beth was all that happy about it. Victoria wanted an answer by tonight, and I guess she’s still waiting for it. And let’s not forget, we’ve still got no idea where Mickie James is. We haven’t seen her ever since Backlash, she’s gonna want a say in where the title heads at some point too.

*HART BEAT…*


A good cheer as Natalya Neidhart strides out and heads down the ramp, the youngster looking focused as she looks to atone for last week’s defeat to the champion…


Joey Styles: Last week Natalya put up a helluva fight against Beth Phoenix, but it was thanks to Victoria that the champion retained her title, and that’s what’s led to this match right here. Natalya asked for this match, she wanted Victoria, and she wants to prove she’s a real contender in the women’s division.

Jerry Lawler: I thought Natalya was real unlucky last week not to become champion. She maybe just got a little bit outsmarted by Beth and Victoria, maybe she doesn’t quite have the experience yet to handle a situation like that. But tonight, I think she can get her own back on Victoria, especially if there’s problems between Victoria and Beth.

Jim Ross: And if Natalya can get the win here, does she then get another shot at the champion, without the influence of Victoria at ringside. You never know, if Beth and Victoria’s relationship starts to fall apart, it might be the best thing to happen to Natalya’s title hopes.

Match 2:
Natalya Neidhart
vs. Victoria w/ Beth Phoenix

As we get underway, Natalya has her eyes fixated on the champion, but Beth reassures her that she’s not out here to cause trouble, stepping back from the ring and motioning for the two to get the match started. Natalya and Victoria lock up, with Victoria using her power to back Natalya to the ropes. The referee steps in for the break, which Victoria provides… only she drills Natalya with a boot to the midsection, causing her to fall through the ropes to the floor! Victoria quickly follows outside, smashing Natalya face first off the apron, but with the referee shouting at her, Victoria heads back into the ring, drawing the ref away from Natalya… which provides Beth with the chance for a sneak attack… but instead, the champion just stands there, unmoved by the situation. This forces Victoria to head back outside and roll Natalya back into the ring, but she yells “What are you doin’?!” at Beth, which draws an over-the-top look of confusion from the champion. Victoria then slides back in, but as she does, Natalya comes off the ropes… to hit a low angle dropkick to the face! Natalya takes advantage, going on the attack, drilling forearms to the face in the corner, before she fires Victoria across the ring, follows in with a clothesline, then as Victoria stumbles forward… Natalya nails a suplex! Early cover… just a two count. Natalya stays on the attack, smacking uppercuts, before she goes for an Irish whip… but Victoria reverses… Natalya bowls her over with a shoulderblock! Moving quickly, Natalya yanks Victoria back up, firing her off the ropes… into a snap powerslam! 1… 2… Victoria kicks out. The camera again focuses on the nonchalant Phoenix at ringside, before Natalya grabs a handful of hair and looks to fire Victoria to the corner… but when she races in, Victoria gets an elbow up… then levels Natalya with a hard clothesline!

A few stomps to the body land, then kicks to the ribs, before Victoria yanks Natalya up, then drops her with a backbreaker. The lower spine is Victoria’s target, landing more stomps and knees, before she sends Neidhart hard to the corner, Natalya slumping to the canvas on impact. Victoria drives a boot into the throat, choking Natalya, before she then drapes Natalya across the middle rope, applying pressure to the back of Natalya’s head, choking her again. The ref uses his five count to break the hold, and as Victoria backs away, there’s another great chance for Beth to get involved… but again she just stands and looks at the prone Natalya, again to the annoyance of Victoria. Victoria then drags Natalya to the middle of the ring, drills a boot to the midsection to double her over, before Victoria lands a gutwrench suplex for another near fall. Victoria then takes Natalya up for another backbreaker, keeping Neidhart on her knee for a pendulum backbreaker submission. Victoria presses down on the legs and chin, applying pressure to the spine, putting Natalya in all kinds of trouble. Natalya hangs in there, and eventually she’s able to swing a boot to the head… and a second finally breaks the hold. Natalya crawls to the corner to recover, but Victoria moves back in… but Neidhart drills a boot to the midsection, then goes for an Irish whip to the far corner… Victoria reverses… but Neidhart elevates herself over Victoria… then nails a BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX! 1… 2… Victoria barely kicks out! Natalya now looks to go on the attack, smacking Victoria with forearms, before she goes for an Irish whip off the ropes… but Victoria reverses… Natalya avoids a clothesline with a baseball slide, springs back up… standing dropkick… but Victoria ducks… and Natalya SMACKS THE REFEREE! The ref immediately goes down, and both Victoria and Natalya look at each other in shock… until Victoria flattens Natalya with a clothesline! Victoria checks on the referee, then she starts yelling at Phoenix for the champion to toss her the Women’s Championship… but Beth just raises her eyebrows and shakes her head, shouting “Just do it yourself!”, infuriating Victoria. Beth and Victoria now start arguing, but behind Victoria, the ref is starting to stir… and now Victoria takes her down with a rollup! 1… 2… 3!

Winner: Natalya Neidhart @ 04.13

The upset has happened, Natalya has got the win… and unbelievably, Beth Phoenix did nothing to stop it happening! The force of the kickout sends Natalya tumbling from the ring, but she’s quickly back on her feet to have her hand raised by the referee. As Natalya starts to back up the ramp in delight, Beth ignores the shouts at her from Victoria to casually walk around the ring and grab a microphone. As she walks up the steps and enters the ring, Victoria can only look at her friend in disbelief, throwing her hands up in amazement, shouting “Why didn’t you do anything?!” at the champion, at which Beth just motions for quiet…


Beth Phoenix: Wait, wait, Victoria… just calm down a second, OK? Just relax. I know you said you wanted a title match last week, I know you said you wanted to answer my open challenge for War Games… and I know that this week, you want an answer.

”Damn right I do!” yells Victoria…

Beth Phoenix: And, y’know, I’ve thought about it all week, and I just wasn’t sure. I mean, if I say yes… what might it do to our friendship. I mean, our friendship, it means so much more to me than this title… and I just didn’t know if you could handle me beating you. I didn’t know if our friendship could take it.

Despite Phoenix’s best efforts, Victoria clearly isn’t buying the sincerity with which she speaks…

Beth Phoenix: But… I decided that since you had this match tonight with Natalya… and since I beat her so easily last week… I decided that if you could beat Natalya tonight… that I’d give you your title match.

And then, with a sarcastic wince, Beth says…

Beth Phoenix: But… you didn’t.

And it’s a laugh or cry situation for Victoria as she turns away and shakes his head in disgust…

Beth Phoenix: So I’m sorry but… the answer’s no. I just don’t think you’re ready yet. Friends?

Beth opens her arms and offers Victoria a hug, encouraging her friend to step forward and accept it. Victoria just stares at Beth, almost in disbelief, before she just slowly shakes her head and turns to leave… only for Phoenix to hammer Victoria from behind! What the…? Beth Phoenix has just attacked Victoria from behind… and now she’s hammering Victoria with a flurry of stomps to the body! Phoenix then mounts Victoria and starts clubbing her with stiff right hands to the face, shaking off the efforts of the referee to separate the pair to continue to punish her now former friend. With Victoria down and out, Beth gets back on her feet, places her title back over her shoulder and picks up her microphone again…

Beth Phoenix: Did… did you honestly think I was gonna defend my title against a LOSER like you, Victoria?

A maniacal laugh from the champion as she stands over Victoria…

Beth Phoenix: Look at you. You’re pathetic! I don’t need you, I’ve never needed you! I’m the Women’s Champion! I did it all by myself!

Beth now reaches down, grabbing Victoria back the hair and staring wildly into her eyes…

Beth Phoenix: Y’know what Victoria? I used you. I used you to help me get back on Raw. I used you to get under Mickie James’ skin, I used you to help me become Women’s Champion. And now that I’ve got this title… I don’t need you… anymore.

Beth now drags Victoria by the hair back to her feet, then she doubles Victoria over… and hooks her up… ready to plant her with the GLAM SLAM…

But then…

*OBSESSION…*


It’s… it’s… it’s Mickie James! Mickie James, the former Women’s Champion, she’s back… and she’s sprinting down to the ring! For the first time since Backlash, Mickie James is in a WWE arena, and she’s making a beeline for Beth Phoenix… but Phoenix sees her coming… and just as Mickie slides into the ring… Beth drops Victoria, grabs her title and scrambles from the ring! Mickie yells down at Beth, shouting “C’mon!”, clearly here for a fight, but the stunned champion isn’t interested in giving it to her as she races back up the ramp. In the ring, Mickie leans against the ropes, looking up at the stage, fire in her eyes, dying to get her hands on Phoenix, while Beth looks like she’s seen a ghost! Victoria now too is starting to come back around, sitting up on the canvas, and she too can’t quite believe it, that Mickie James, her long-time rival, has come to her rescue tonight. Mickie turns and looks at Victoria, no love lost between the two, but with the crowd going wild, we head to a commercial on the sight of the returning Mickie James, the stunned Victoria, and the seriously worried Women’s Champion on the stage.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

We open to a blank, black screen, with dark, ominous violin strings playing. Slowly, heavy rainfall is heard, then the sound of police sirens and screaming women fade in, then we hear the whir of a helicopter as the picture cuts to news footage from what looks like some sort of disaster that’s hit a city…

Female Reporter: …and police are reporting a lone assailant, who rampaged through the city, leaving a terrifying path of destruction behind him…

More news footage, this time of overturned police cars scattered around a city street, while in the background, an ambulance is on fire...

Male Reporter: …we’ve heard he hit suddenly, he ripped through the heart of the city, and nothing would slow him down…

Now we see a man on the scene, who appears to be an innocent bystander in all this mayhem, being interviewed, blood pouring down his head, dust flying all around him as police cars whizz past in the background...

Man: …God, I dunno, he was a beast, he was huge! The guy was a monster! I’ve never seen anythin’ like ‘im…

We now see an Army truck pull up onto the scene, with a full squadron of soldiers jumping out of the back and then running in various directions…

Female Reporter: …and we understand police chiefs have called in the National Guard, in the hope they can do something about it…

More grainy interview footage from the news feed, this time from a man who we assume to be the Chief of Police, who stands in the middle of the mayhem, the rain bouncing off his hat as he ducks in fear of the explosions going off behind him…

Police Chief: So far, all our efforts haven’t phased him. We just can’t seem to stop ‘im, and we’re runnin’ outta time…

We now cut to a news conference with the mayor of this city, who looks worried as he reads from the notes on the podium he stands behind...

Mayor: …with that in mind, I am declaring a state of emergency. Folks, this is not a drill. Please, leave your belongings, just grab your families and get out of the city as fast as you can…

Back to the mayhem, where the man previously interviewed is again infront of the camera, people screaming and running for their lives behind him…

Male Reporter: …if I can just ask you one last question. What on earth can stop this man?

With a look of fear in his eyes, the man offers no response, simply shaking his head until he’s able to mutter the words…

Man: I dunno man, I mean…

The screen now fades to black, until two dark red eyes slowly shine through the darkness, while we hear the man say…

“God help us all…”

"‘THE PREDATOR’ SYLVESTER TERKAY - COMING TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW – NEXT WEEK!"


*End Video Package*


From the video, we now head to the communal locker room, where a loud cheer greets The Straight Edge Saints onto the screen. Nick Dinsmore does a few stretches, getting ready for his match tonight, while CM Punk and Kelly Kelly look on, with Punk throwing a few inaudible words of encouragement Dinsmore’s way. That all comes to a stop though as the Redneck Wrecking Crew enter the room, Punk and Dinsmore immediately on edge as Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch approach them…

Lance Cade: Easy there, fellas. Easy. We don’t want this to get physical when it don’t got to.

Trevor Murdoch: We ain’t here for a fight boys. Well… not right now, anyway.

Refusing to be intimidated, Punk and Dinsmore stand their ground…

CM Punk: Then what are you doin’ here?

Trevor Murdoch: Nothin’ much. We just uh… we just wanted to come here and wish ol’ Nicky here good luck for ‘is match tonight. Ain’t nothin’ wrong wit’ that now is there?

Murdoch turns and glares at Kelly, causing her to react with disgust…

Lance Cade: But uh, we heard you two signed up for Team Linda at War Games. And now that you two boys are standin’ against us, that means we got a bigger problem wit’ you than we used to.

Trevor Murdoch: And I know you boys saw what happened to Carlito last week. He took a real whippin’ fpr ‘is troubles. And I don’t know ‘bout you two, but we sure think it’d be an awful… awful shame if what happened to ‘Lito last week… happened to you, Nicky.

Annoyed, Dinsmore steps forward…

Nick Dinsmore: What, you think I’m gonna be scared by that or somethin’?

But Punk quickly steps in, putting an arm across his partner’s chest…

CM Punk: Look, we’ve beat you two more times than we can remember these last few months. I mean, to be honest… we’re getting’ kinda bored beatin’ you two. But hey, anytime you two wanna do it again… you just tell us where and when.

Punk and Dinsmore share a smile, while Cade and Murdoch screw up their faces, clearly annoyed with the losses they’ve suffered at the hands of The Saints…

Lance Cade: You sure got a smart mouth, don’t ya’ Punk? But for all that hollerin’ you two do… you ain’t that hot when it comes down to a fight are ya’? You two might be pickin’ up some wins… but it’s me and Trev’ who’s getting’ bored whoopin’ your asses ev’ry week.

A smug smirk crosses Cade’s face as he says that…

Trevor Murdoch: But I’m sure we can whoop your asses one more time… if you two don’t think about droppin’ outta War Games.

Heat from inside the arena…

Lance Cade: You two boys tell John Cena you’re a lil’ busy that night… or we might have ta’ pay you two another visit.

Trevor Murdoch: We’ll uh… we’ll let you two think about that for a while. Best o’ luck, Nicky.

With a menacing laugh, Cade and Murdoch both turn to leave, with Cade arrogantly blowing a kiss in Kelly’s direction as he does so. Punk and Dinsmore watch them leave, but the two soon turn to look at each other, a smirk crossing Punk’s face, clearly having just thought of something, but what that something is remains to seen as we head back into the arena.

”HEY!”

*BURN IN MY LIGHT…*


Tons of heat as Randy Orton enters the arena, carrying his Money in the Bank briefcase, and as per Mr. McMahon’s orders, he’s flanked by both Bobby Lashley and Claudio Cesaro, the trio looking very confident as they head for the ring…


Jim Ross: It’s certainly an intimidating sight to see those three men, Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley and Claudio Cesaro heading down to the ring. And that’s the challenge that awaits Ric Flair here tonight. It might be Flair and Orton one on one, but with Lashley and Cesaro here at ringside, the odds are gonna be stacked more than ever against ‘The Nature Boy’.

Jerry Lawler: Well this is all from the mind of Vince McMahon. He wants his team to intimidate the members of Team Linda, and we just heard what Cade and Murdoch had to say to CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore. But I don’t think they’re gonna let that phase them, and I hope Ric Flair doesn’t either.

Joey Styles: I think given all that Flair’s been through in his career, he’s not gonna be intimidated by these three men, but I don’t think it gives Flair much hope of winnin’ this match. Team Linda’s suffered a few disappointments these last few weeks, and a win for Flair right here would go a long way to restorin’ their confidence, but… I just can’t see it.

”WOOOOO!”

*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA…*


A tremendous outpouring of respect as the legendary Ric Flair steps out, dressed as ever in one of his elegant robes. Flair starts heading down the ramp, but halfway down, he stops, and turns back to the entrance way… and out steps John Cena! Flair’s bringing backup with him, with Lashley and Cesaro throwing a fit in the ring as they see Cena joining Flair on the ramp…


Jerry Lawler: Well I think Ric Flair just found the answer to Bobby Lashley and Claudio Cesaro. He’s bringing John Cena down to the ring with him!

Joey Styles: A great move from Team Linda! John Cena, he can have Ric Flair’s back here in this match, and now ‘The Nature Boy’ can take it to Orton without any fears of Lashley or Cesaro makin’ the difference.

Jim Ross: Listen to the ovation, listen to these people! There’s a lotta love for Ric Flair, but the roof nearly exploded off this building when they saw Cena join him on the ramp. God I’d love to see the look on Vince McMahon’s face right now, his plan to intimidate Ric Flair doesn’t look all that great right now.

Match 3:
‘Mr. Money in the Bank’ Randy Orton w/ Bobby Lashley and Claudio Cesaro vs. Ric Flair w/ John Cena

The crowd are buzzing as the ref calls for the bell, with Flair playing up to them, plenty of “Wooo!”’s being heard from ‘The Nature Boy’ as both men size each other up. Eventually the inch together, with Orton getting the jump on Flair, landing a boot to the midsection, following up with a pair of shots to the back of the head, sending Flair stumbling to the corner. Orton smirks as he slowly moves in… only for Flair to catch him with a chop to the chest! Orton recoils in pain, but Flair tags him again… and again… and again! Flair now yanks Orton into the corner, unloading with chop after chop, the crowd loving it as Orton’s chest turns red, before Flair starts alternating between chops and right hands, then he goes for the Irish whip to the opposite corner… but Orton reverses, and when Flair hits the turnbuckle hard… Orton sends him flying with a back body drop! Orton aims a few stomps to the chest, then he mounts Flair, pummelling the veteran with stiff rights to the forehead, before he yanks Flair up… but out of nowhere, Flair strikes with a thumb to the eye. Flair puts Orton down with a snapmare, then comes off the ropes… dropping a knee to the face! Orton rolls to the ropes, but Flair stays on him, again striking with chops, before he takes Orton up… and down with the shinbreaker! Flair now looks to target Orton’s left leg, aiming stomps to the hamstring, twisting the leg… and the crowd rise as it looks Flair is going for the FIGURE GOUR LEGLOCK… but Orton kicks Flair away… sending Flair tumbling through the ropes to the floor! Flair lands near Lashley and Cesaro, but Cena quickly heads over, keeping an eye on the situation as Orton heads outside.

Yanking Flair up, Orton drills a pair of rights to the face, before he goes for an Irish whip… but Flair reverses… and Orton smacks shoulder first off the ringpost! Orton staggers around the ring in pain, but Flair is right there… to smack Orton face first off the announce desk! Orton is reeling as Flair takes control, and it’s about to get worse as Flair hooks Orton up… for a suplex on the floor! Orton smacks the floor with a thud, groaning in agony, but there’s no let up as Flair yanks Orton back up, delivers another chop to the chest before rolling him back into the ring. Flair follows in, dragging Orton up, before he takes Orton up… and holds him… before crashing down from a delayed vertical suplex! Flair goes for the cover… 1… 2… but Orton kicks out. Flair quickly has Orton back up, delivering more chops to the chest, before he goes for an Irish whip… but Orton reverses… and this allows Cesaro to reach in and grab Flair by the foot… causing Flair to fall to the canvas! Cena protests to the referee, but he missed it, and now Orton moves in, dropping stomps to the body, then more rights to the face, before he helps Flair back up… then nails a textbook standing dropkick… that sends Flair rolling under the bottom rope to the floor! Flair lands right infront of Lashley and Cesaro, and Orton turns and picks a fight with Cena, which of course draws the attention of the referee. As the argument rages on, behind the ref’s back, Lashley and Cesaro are doing a number on Flair, unloading on him with kicks and punches, before Cesaro drags Flair up, shoots him towards Lashley… who levels Flair with a clothesline! Seeing this, Cena again tries to race round, the ref dropping down to stop him, but as Cena continues to protest, Lashley and Cesaro shove Flair back into the ring, and Orton moves to take advantage… but Flair strikes… LOW BLOW! ‘The Dirtiest Player in the Game’ cripples Orton with a shot to the groin, the ref seeing none of it, and as the match heads off to a commercial, this match could easily swing either way.

*Commercial*


We return to see Flair landing a chop, but Orton hits back with a right hand… chop… right hand… chop… right hand… chop… and another…. and a third, before Flair lines Orton up… for a chop block! Flair goes back to work on the left leg, again aiming kicks to the back of the leg, before Flair drops an elbow across the knee. Flair’s back up, still holding the leg… and he drops another elbow! Again Flair is back up, but out of the corner of his eye, he sees Cesaro nip up onto the apron… Flair charges… and knocks Cesaro down with a big right hand! Flair then turns back, but Orton is already back on his feet… and he rocks Flair with a clothesline! Flair is down by the apron, and he’s brought back into the ring through the ropes… with Orton going for the ROPE HUNG DDT!! Flair is planted, and Orton hooks the leg… 1… 2… but Flair rolls a shoulder! Orton is in control now, stomping his way around Flair’s body, before he yanks Flair to his feet and drives Flair into the corner. Orton again goes to work with the shots to the forehead, before he fires Flair hard to the opposite corner… where Flair goes upside down into the turnbuckle… then flops to the canvas! After another near fall, Orton lands a few uppercuts to the jaw, before he sends Flair off the ropes… into a POWERSLAM! Flair is down, Orton hooks the leg… 1… 2… but Flair kicks out again! Frustrated, Orton instantly slaps on that chinlock of his, looking to wear Flair down as he wrenches the hold on tight. Orton has the hold locked on for what seems like an eternity, but with Cena’s encouragement, the veteran manages to make a move, struggling back to his feet, where he drills a few elbows to the midsection in an attempt to break free… but Orton hangs on… and nails the INVERTED HEADLOCK BACKBREAKER! Another Orton cover… 1… 2… another kickout from Flair!

Frustrated, Orton goes right back to the chinlock, really locking it on tight this time, violently swinging Flair’s head back and forth, doing all he can to wear Flair out. Again, Flair is grounded for what feels like forever, but Cena gets the crowd on their feet, the noise building in the arena, until finally, Flair makes a move, back to a vertical base… and he breaks the hold with a side suplex! Both men are down, taking their time to recover, before they both use the ropes to drag themselves up and head to the middle of the ring, where Orton throws a right… Flair blocks it… and lands a chop! Another chop, and another, Flair is just unloading with chops to the chest, before he shots Orton off the ropes… into a back body drop! Orton is down, and now Flair is rolling back the years as he climbs to the top rope… DIVING DOUBLE AXE HANDLE! Flair is on fire now as Orton staggers back up, landing a right hand, a left, right, left… then a big chop knocks Orton down! Orton is in big trouble as Flair again grabs the left leg… then he steps, twists and drops… FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK!! Flair has it locked in, Orton flails in agony, but he’s trapped in the centre of the ring… and seeing his teammate in trouble, Cesaro again jumps onto the apron, distracting the referee… but here comes Cena… to drag Cesaro back down! But as they brawl, Lashley slides into the ring… and jumps on Flair, hammering him with right hands, breaking the hold! The ref doesn’t see it, with Lashley quickly escaping the ring, while Cena… sends Cesaro crashing into the steel steps! Flair and Orton are down once again, but Orton is back on his feet first, dropping to his knees, pounding his fists on the canvas, waiting for Flair to rise… to strike with the RKO… NO! Flair shoves Orton into the ropes, but Orton grabs hold to stop himself… but Flair comes from behind… and takes Orton down with a ROLLUP! 1… 2… FLAIR GRABS A HANDFUL OF TIGHTS… 3!

Winner: Ric Flair @ 13.19

‘The Dirtiest Player in the Game’ has just pulled a fast one on Orton, and Orton is furious, almost in disbelief as he realises he’s just been pinned! Lashley saw it all, and he flies into the ring… but so does Cena… to tackle Lashley to the canvas! The brawl is one, Cena and Lashley trading clubbing blows, and now Orton and Flair are going at it against the ropes! Lashley quickly rolls from the ring to safety, but Flair has Orton lined up… and he clotheslines Orton over the top rope to the floor! Flair has done it, he’s seen off Randy Orton, and in the process, he and John Cena have just sent a huge message to Mr. McMahon and the rest of Team Vince. On the outside, Lashley and Cesaro are furious as they help Orton back to his feet, while in the ring, Cena and Flair stand tall, with Cena encouraging the crowd to raise the roof for the legendary Flair. As the Team Vince members back up the ramp, Cesaro talks plenty of smack back at the ring, but it means nothing to Cena and Flair, the pair hamming it up with the crowd, engaging in a Woo-off, the fans loving it while we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


*Video Package*

We open to the sound of a doo wop song playing, the dark screen soon brightening into the image of a beautiful park. The sun is glistening amongst the trees, the birds can be heard chirping in the background, children play, while a group of young ladies skip along the sidewalk. However, the ladies are all dressed long, flowing skirts, almost as if this is a scene straight out of 1950’s America. And right on que, a pink Cadillac comes screeching into the screen, with two men in black leather jackets with slicked back hair sat in the front, while a bubble-gum blowing blonde sits in the back…

???: Oh! Hey! Would ya’ look at ‘dis! What a time to be alive, eh? ‘Da birds are chirpin’, ‘da broads are lookin’ hot, and da’ greatest tag team in WWE history is about to hit Monday Night Raw! Oh!

The two men exit the car and help the blonde out, who we now see if wearing a pair of roller-skates. The duo then start to comb their hair back, before they throw on sunglasses and start to slowly walk along the sidewalk…

???: Yeah, ‘dat’s right! I’m Deuce, ‘dis is my buddy Domino, and ‘da two of us, we a couple o’ throwbacks! We’re from an era when ‘da men was real men, and if ya’ mess wit’ us, ya’ gonna get a boot in ‘da patootie!

A trio of young boys run past, bouncing a basketball, until the man identified as Deuce kicks the ball clean out of their hands into the nearby park…

Domino: And ‘ey, ‘dat’s exactly what all ‘da tag teams need on Monday Night Raw. All ‘dese pretty boys wit’ ‘deir fancy moves, ‘dat ain’t how real men fight. A real man walks up to a guy and BAM! Smacks ‘im straight in ‘da mouth!

The pair come to a stop, with Domino driving his fist into his hand to emphasis his point…

Deuce: And we’re fixin’ to do ‘dat to each and ev’ry team ‘dat ‘de WWE’s got ta’ offer!

A pair of men in their early twenties, dressed in plaid shirts and wearing slacks walk past, and both young men eye up the roller-skating blonde, who can’t help but giggle, something which immediately draws the ire of Deuce and Domino…

Deuce: ‘Ey! You lookin’ at my girl man? You two punks better not o’ been lookin’ at Cherry!

Enraged, Deuce storms forward, but as the two youngster shake their heads in fear, Domino steps in and holds his partner back…

Domino: A’ight, a’ight. Why don’t you two bozos get outta here?

And on that, the pair turn and go to make their exit… until they’re clobbered from behind! Deuce and Domino viciously assault the youngsters, giving them a real beating, until both are sent flying over the nearby hedges. Settling down, both Deuce and Domino adjust their jackets and again comb back their hair, before Deuce casually places a toothpick in his mouth…

Domino: And for all you yo-yos on Monday Night Raw… ‘dat’s exactly what’s gonna to happen to you.

The three now stand square to the camera, and with a real sense of seriousness, Deuce says…

Deuce: And ‘dat’s ‘cause we… are untouchable!

And the shot continues to look at the trio, before the screen fades to black, the doo wop song’s volume increases, and the following graphic appears…

"THE UNTOUCHABLES - COMING SOON TO MONDAY NIGHT RAW!"


*End Video Package*


We again go to the interview set, where once again, Todd Grisham is standing by…

Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time, he is one of the four men who will represent Monday Night Raw this Saturday night at the 2007 King of the Ring… Jeff Hardy!

A loud pop as the camera pans to reveal Jeff Hardy, looking calm and composed ahead of one of the biggest nights of his career this Saturday…

Todd Grisham: And Jeff, 2007 hasn’t exactly been a great year for you. It started back at the Royal Rumble where you lost the 2007 King of the Ring, then at WrestleMania you missed out on the Money in the Bank briefcase, and then at Backlash you lost to Randy Orton. Contrast that with the great year your brother Matt is having over on SmackDown, including becoming the United States Champion. But Jeff, this Saturday night you’ve got a chance to become the King of the Ring. What would it mean to you to become King… and what do you think about the possibility of meeting your brother Matt in an all-Hardy final?

Hardy pauses, folding his arms and rubbing his jaw, considering his answer…

Jeff Hardy: Uh, well… yeah, I guess 2007 hasn’t been that great for me. But this Saturday, it’s the King of the Ring, a one night tournament where anything can happen. I’m not worryin’ about what’s happened in the past, all I’m worryin’ about is this Saturday… and becomin’ King.

Another pop…

Jeff Hardy: It’s time for me to take my career to the next level, and there’s no better way of doin’ that than walkin’ into Saturday Night’s Main Event… and goin’ all the way.

And now a wry smile crosses Jeff’s face…

Jeff Hardy: As for Matt… yeah, he’s had a great year. 2007, he’s been killin’ it. He’s the United States Champion, he’s been winnin’ matches all year, he had a great WrestleMania… he’s havin’ a huge year. Tell ya’ the truth, Todd… I might even be a little bit jealous.

Jeff smirks as he shrugs his shoulders…

Jeff Hardy: Don’t get me wrong, nobody’s more proud of Matt and what’s he’s done this year than me. But for all his accolades, for all he’s accomplished this year… he’s NOT gonna be King of the Ring.

And with a real sense of purpose, Hardy points a finger at his chest and says…

Jeff Hardy: I’m the guy who’s gonna be King. And if I’ve gotta beat my brother to do that… then that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.

Andd another warm cheer as Hardy wraps things up, giving Grisham a quick slap on the arm before he walks off screen, and we head back into the arena.

And we hear…

*IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW…*


The Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra steps out, with Ezekiel Jackson and Torrie Wilson alongside him. Just like Carlito earlier tonight, Dykstra gingerly heads down to the ring, still feeling the effects of last week’s Ladder Match, but the smug smirk on his face is definitely there after his victory last week…


Jim Ross: I’ve always been impressed with this young man in terms of his ability, but bah Gawd, Dykstra has to be the luckiest kid alive to still somehow be the Intercontinental Champion right now. So many time he’s held onto that title by hook or by crook, when is this kid’s luck gonna run out?

Jerry Lawler: Well not only is he lucky to still be Intercontinental Champion, he’s now got a chance to grab a shot at becomin’ King of the Ring. And while Dykstra might’ve survived last week on a lotta luck, I don’t think anybody can deny this kid’s got all the talent needed to become King.

Joey Styles: And it was interesting to hear what Jeff Hardy had to say about the King of the Ring being a one night tournament where everything else goes out the window. Dykstra’s the kinda guy who could easily win three matches in one night, especially with that monster Ezekiel Jackson in his corner.

*THIS FIRE BURNS…*


A great cheer as The Straight Edge Saints make their entrance, with Nick Dinsmore leading CM Punk and Kelly Kelly into the arena, with Punk allowing Dinsmore to take the limelight as he offers his partner some words of encouragement…


Jim Ross: CM Punk booked his spot in the King of the Ring tournament with a victory over Chris Masters last week, but now it’s Nick Dinsmore’s chance to join his partner at Saturday Night’s Main Event. This is a kid full o’ potential, can he live up to it tonight and see off one of the top young stars in the WWE in Kenny Dykstra?

Joey Styles: Well certainly since CM Punk helped Dinsmore get back on the straight and narrow, these two have impressed everybody as a team, but we’ve seen how impressive CM Punk can be in singles competition, but we’ve yet to really see that from Dinsmore. I dunno about you ‘King’, but if Dinsmore got the win tonight, I’d call that an upset.

Jerry Lawler: Well, I dunno if upset is the right term. I’d certainly be a bit of a surprise, but like J.R. said, Nick Dinsmore has a ton of potential, and he’s more than capable of seein’ off a guy like Kenny Dykstra. And it could happen right here…

Match 4: King of the Ring Qualifying Match – Round of 16
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra w/ Ezekiel Jackson and Torrie Wilson vs. Nick Dinsmore w/ CM Punk and Kelly Kelly

As the bell rings, neither man is quick to get the action going, both men circling the ring, until they lock together, jostling for position until Dykstra works into a side headlock. Seeking an escape, Dinsmore spins into a hammerlock, only for Dykstra to twist into a hammerlock of his own… but then Dinsmore drops, takes Dykstra down with a fireman’s carry takeover, before he slaps on an armbar. Dykstra quickly works back to his feet, backing Dinsmore to the ropes, before he breaks the hold by shoving Dykstra off the opposite ropes… and avoiding Dinsmore with a leapfrog… but Dinsmore puts on the breaks… and rocks Dykstra with a clothesline! Dazed, Kenny scrambles for the corner, where Dinsmore lays in with boots to the body, before going for an Irish whip… Dykstra hits the turnbuckle hard and stumbles forward… into a big back body drop! Dykstra staggers into the ropes, and Dinsmore charges… and clotheslines Dykstra over the top rope to the floor! Torrie and ‘Zeke scramble over to the Intercontinental Champion, helping him back up, which of course draws Punk and Kelly over. Dinsmore wants to keep up the momentum, so he heads outside, but of course Dykstra ducks behind Jackson, the hired muscle staring Dinsmore down, but here comes Punk, getting in Jackson’s face… only for Dykstra to smack Dinsmore with a cheap right hand, knocking him down. Moving quickly, Dykstra shoves Punk aside and grabs Dinsmore, rolling him back into the ring, where Kenny aims stomps to the body, before he shoves Nick to the corner. An angered Dykstra smacks Dinsmore with right hands, before he aggressively jams his elbow into Dinsmore’s face… then he delivers a stiff slap to the jaw! The crowd “Oooh!”, and Dinsmore is furious, yanking Dykstra to the corner… and then unloading with wild rights and lefts! Dinsmore then winds up for an Irish whip across and follows in… but Dykstra sidesteps… Dinsmore smacks the turnbuckle, staggers from the corner… then gets levelled with a standing dropkick! Dykstra quickly hooks the leg… 1… 2… but Dinsmore rolls a shoulder.

Dykstra now looks to take control, dropping a series of quick fire elbows, then a string of stomps to the body, before he yanks Dinsmore up… and takes him back down with a suplex. After another near fall, Dykstra shoves Dinsmore against the ropes, then starts hammering him with right hands, pummeling Dinsmore down to the canvas, before the ref finally manages to drag Kenny away. With the ref’s back turned, ‘Zeke sees a chance to get involved… and he reaches through the ropes to drill Dinsmore with a stiff right hand! Punk races over to confront Jackson, the ref making sure nothing happens, while in the ring, Dykstra again hammers Dinsmore with stomps to the body, before dragging him up… and then nailing a side suplex for another two count. Dykstra gets another near fall from a belly to back suplex, before he locks on a grounded headlock. Dykstra applies pressure, squeezing his arms around Dinsmore’s neck, but with Punk and Kelly urging him on, Dinsmore makes it back to his feet, and looking for an escape, he backs Dykstra into the corner… then finally breaks the hold with an armdrag. Both men burst to their feet and charge… Dykstra ducks a clothesline… then drops Dinsmore with a falling neckbreaker! Dinsmore’s head bounces off the canvas, and Dykstra hooks the leg… 1… 2… but Dinsmore rolls a shoulder! Dykstra slaps the mat in frustration, but he quickly shoves Dinsmore to the corner, again laying in with right hands, before he goes for the Irish whip across… and races in… right into a boot to the face! Dykstra staggers back, but charges again… another boot to the face… then Dinsmore explodes from the corner with a clothesline! Dykstra stumbles back up… right into a bridging German suplex! 1… 2… Dykstra just kicks out! Dykstra is reeling now, and he’s sent off the ropes again… tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Dykstra is down, and now Dinsmore climbs to the top rope… but Torrie jumps up on the apron! Dinsmore yells at her, but it takes Kelly Kelly to race over… and drag Torrie down! That draws over ‘Zeke… but here comes Punk, flying into him… and the two start brawling on the floor! But in the ring, Dykstra dives to the ropes, causing Dinsmore to lose his balance… and he crashes to the canvas! Groggy, Dinsmore stumbles back up, and Dykstra makes his move… JUMPING STO!! Dinsmore is planted, and the ref turns just in time to count the 1… 2… 3.

Winner: Kenny Dykstra @ 05.28

Dykstra gets the win, he’s going to Saturday Night’s Main Event, and the Intercontinental Champion quickly rolls from the ring, with ‘Zeke propping Dykstra up as Torrie grabs his title. In the ring, Punk slides in to console Dinsmore, the frustration for both clear on their faces after the distraction costs Dinsmore a shot at the King of the Ring. As Dykstra and his entourage make their way backstage, Punk helps Dinsmore back up, with Styles reminding us of that ominous warning from earlier tonight by Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch… but neither man makes an appearance as we head to a commercial.

*Commercial*


When we return, we again see The Straight Edge Saints, with a frustrated Nick Dinsmore and CM Punk walking along, Kelly Kelly by their side. As they walk, Punk takes a look over his shoulder, and although we can’t see anything there, Punk smirks to himself and shakes his head. The trio come to another corridor that turns off the one they’re walking along, but when Kelly goes to walk along it, Punk and Dinsmore stop her…


Kelly Kelly: Uh… what are you doing? Our dressing room’s down that way.

CM Punk: Yeah, but uh… let’s go this way.

Confused, Kelly follows as Punk and Dinsmore carry on down the first corridor, with Punk offering Kelly a reassuring smile. The pair continue walking along, looking from side to side and over their shoulders, until…

???: ‘Ey! Fellas!

From behind, a shout is heard, and when The Saints turn… they see The Redneck Wrecking Crew emerging from the shadows. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch both cut intimidating figures, especially seeing as Cade has a lead pipe in his hand, while Murdoch wraps a chair around his fist…

Trevor Murdoch: You two boys look a lil’ lost. You look like you don’t belong here!

Lance Cade: Just like you don’t belong at War Games. So… we gonna give you two one last chance. You fellas ready to drop outta that match and leave it to the big boys?

Fear grips Kelly’s eyes, but Punk and Dinsmore again smirk at each other…

Nick Dinsmore: There’s nothin’ that’s gonna stop us from goin’ to War Games.

Murdoch has a wry laugh as he steps forward…

Trevor Murdoch: I got somethin’ that’ll make you change your mind, son.

Murdoch wraps the chain tighter, the tension building, but still Punk just smirks in the redneck’s faces…

CM Punk: Actually… we were wonderin’ if you two could do us a little favour? Maybe… deliver a message for us back to Vince?

Lance Cade: And what’s that?

SMACK!!

Out of nowhere, Cade is hammered from behind with a steel chair… by John Cena! And just as fast, Murdoch is jumped… by Ric Flair! It’s an ambush! Punk and Dinsmore have set Cade and Murdoch up, and now the beatdown is on, the crowd going nuts in the arena as the four Team Linda members hammer Cade and Murdoch, with Flair smashing Murdoch face first off a nearby wall, while Punk and Dinsmore yank Cade up and hold him in place… so Cena can drill him in the face with a trash can! The boots continue to drop, until Cena disappears for a few seconds… and when he returns, he’s pushing a large trunk! Cena quickly opens the lid, and Punk picks up Cade, scoops him up onto his shoulders… then delivers the GO TO SLEEP… SENDING CADE TUMBLING INTO THE TRUNK! Now it’s Cena’s turn as he scoops up Murdoch onto his shoulder, but he pauses…


John Cena: Cade! Murdoch! You tell Vinny Mac that we ain’t gonna be intimidated! We ain’t gonna back down! We’re goin’ to War! And we’re ready, any time… any place!

And with that, Cena sends Murdoch flying… FU… RIGHT INTO THE TRUNK! Murdoch is unceremoniously dumped on top of his partner, and the lid of the trunk is slammed shut, with Punk and Dinsmore tightening the locks. Feeling pretty happy with the message they’ve sent, the four men and Kelly Kelly exchange a series of high fives, before the make their exit, the camera focusing in on the trunk, where from the inside, we can here the desperate pleads from Cade and Murdoch to be released, but there’s no one to help them as we cut back into the arena.

*MIRACLE…*


A furious Claudio Cesaro bursts into the arena, staring up at the tron, obviously having just witnessed what happened to Cade and Murdoch but helpless to do anything about it. Cesaro looks at the tron, hoping for an update, but the screen simply shows his entrance video package, prompting Cesaro to shake his head in annoyance and then head for the ring…


Joey Styles: What a statement of intent from Team Linda! CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore, they knew Cade and Murdoch had something in store after that warning earlier, but instead of being intimidated by it, they set ‘em up!

Jerry Lawler: And look at what it’s done to Claudio Cesaro! He’s just seen two of his Team Vince teammates try and send a message, only to be givin’ a message from Team Linda!

Jim Ross: The momentum heading into War Games just continues to swing back and forth! But right now, that man Cesaro, he’s set to take on the newcomer Cody Rhodes, a match that came about after the disgusting actions of Cesaro last week when he disrespected WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes. Let’s take you back and show you what happened…

*Video Package*

LAST WEEK

The passion with which Dusty speaks resonates with the crowd who give him another cheer…

Dusty Rhodes: And in all the time ya’ been here, that’s all I ever see ya’ do Claudio… run ya’ mouth. Those two wins over Cena and Van Dam? Flukes. What happened when it really mattered, what happened in a fair fight? Ya’ got beat. Ya’ flap those gums, but when it comes down to it, ya’ can’t back it up. But y’know… I’ll give ya’ credit for one thing…

Interested, Cesaro raises his eyebrows and listens intently…

Dusty Rhodes: Y’see my time to shine, my time has came and gone. I see a hunger in ya’ Claudio, I see it in those eyes. But until ya’ do some somethin’ to make a name for ya’ self, all it’s ever gonna be… is words.

With a real sense of conviction in his eyes, Rhodes continues…

Dusty Rhodes: Ya’ wanna make a name for ya’ self? Ya’ wanna get ya’ name on the map? Then how ‘bout backin’ up those words… and doin’ it at War Games?

A mixed response from the crowd, while Cesaro turns away, thinking things over…

Dusty Rhodes: How ‘bout you step into that cage… and ya’ try prove ya’ ain’t all talk? How ‘bout ya’ prove that underneath that fancy suit… there’s a real wrassler under there?

The crowd isn’t quite sure how to respond, and neither it seems is Cesaro. Taking an age to think it over, eventually Cesaro chuckles to himself and points a finger at Dusty…

Claudio Cesaro: War Games? You think I… Claudio Cesaro… should enter War Games?

With a sarcastic laugh, Cesaro shakes his head…

Claudio Cesaro: No. I don’t need to prove anything to you, old man. I don’t need to pay my dues, I don’t need to thank you for any sacrifices. I’m not some rookie, I’m not the… common… wrestler. I’ve won championships all over the world, ich bin der beste in der Welt, I am… the best.

Jeers from the fans…

Claudio Cesaro: But if you think I haven’t proved anything yet… then maybe I should start… with you.

BANG! Out of nowhere, Cesaro drills Rhodes square in the face with his microphone! ‘The American Dream’ hits the canvas, grabbing at his face, while Cesaro pounces, mounting Rhodes, hammering him with right hands square in the face, a flurry of fists landing on the Hall of Famer, until Cesaro gets back on his feet and starts laying in with the boots. Tearing the expensive suit jacket from his body, Cesaro roars to the crowd, who respond with boos, while the camera pans to show us that Rhodes has been BUSTED OPEN by the assault. Again Cesaro moves in, grabbing a handful of hair, landing more stinging right hands to the forehead, blood flying everywhere as Rhodes’ head snaps back, the Hall of Famer helpless in the middle of the ring… until suddenly a roar breaks out from the crowd… as Cody Rhodes is sprinting down to the ring! The young man identified earlier as Dusty’s son races down the ramp and slides into the ring… but Cesaro sees him coming and quickly rolls away from Dusty and under the bottom rope! Furious, Cody stands over the ropes and swings a wild right, desperate to get his hands on Cesaro, but Claudio smugly backs away, laughing at the youngster. Turning to his father, Cody tries to aid Dusty back to his feet, but as we head to commercial, we hear the ring of jeers from the crowd, while the camera focuses on the smug look on Cesaro’s face, who can now add the bloodying of a WWE Hall of Famer to his list of accolades.

*End Video Package*


Back in the arena, there’s a smug smirk on Cesaro’s face as he looks up at the tron, having seen his handy work from last week, clearly happy with what he did. Cesaro paces the ring, waiting for his opponent, and then…

*OUT TO KILL…*


Not much of a response for the youngster as Cody Rhodes enters the arena, a real fire in his eyes as he races down the ramp and slides into the ring, desperate to get his hands on Cesaro, only for Cesaro to nip out of the ring, keeping Rhodes waiting…


Jim Ross: I’m excited to see what this young man has to bring to Monday Night Raw, and earlier today, our cameras caught up with Cody to find a little bit more about this second generation superstar.

*Video Package*

EARLIER TODAY

We cut to the interview set where stood before us is Cody Rhodes, a mix of intensity and excitement in the youngsters eyes as he rubs his hands in anticipation…

Cody Rhodes: Y’know, last week when Claudio Cesaro assaulted my Dad, not only did he disrespect the legacy of ‘The American Dream’… he disrespected my entire family.

A look of pride crosses Rhodes’ face…

Cody Rhodes: There is no bigger legend than Dusty Rhodes, nobody has had a greater career, or a bigger impact on this business like he has. Wrestling fans all across the world respect him for what he accomplished in his career, and if can make it here in the WWE and become even half the legend his is… then I’ll have had one helluva career.

Pausing, Rhodes nods his head slowly…

Cody Rhodes: For years I’ve been training, workin’ hard in WWE’s developmental system, getting ready for my shot at the big leagues. Maybe I’m here a little sooner than me and my Dad had planned, but after what Cesaro did last week, nothin’ was gonna stop me from getting my hands on a WWE contract.

A real sense of fire in Rhodes’ words, the youngster showing exactly what his family name means to him…

Cody Rhodes: Tonight is my first night here on Monday Night Raw, my first WWE match, and lemme tell ya’ somethin’ Cesaro. Not only am I competing tonight for me and my future…

Rhodes pauses, and with a real sense of pride and conviction, says…

Cody Rhodes: But I’m competing for the legacy… of ‘The American Dream’.

And in a move full of aggression, Rhodes points square down the camera, holding the pose for a few seconds, before he smiles and the video comes to an end.

*End Video Package*


Jim Ross: Certainly Cody Rhodes is a real prospect in the WWE system. He’s been workin’ hard down at Ohio Valley Wrestling, but has this call up, prompted by the actions of Claudio Cesaro, perhaps came too soon for this young man?

Joey Styles: I know big things are expected of this young man, he’s a hard worker, a real humble kid, one who many are already predicting as a future WWE Champion someday. But let’s face facts here, he is still just 21 years old, and that lack of experience might put him at a disadvantage against a guy like Cesaro.

Jerry Lawler: Yeah but Cody, he sure sounds confident. And knowing that he’s probably spent his entire life learning from a guy like Dusty Rhodes, he’s gonna be a lot better than most 21 year olds when they step into a WWE ring. I don’t know about you two, but I’m excited to see this one play out!

Match 5:
Claudio Cesaro
vs. Cody Rhodes

Cesaro shows a serious case of arrogance as the bell rings, with Rhodes dying to get things started, Cesaro instead waves him back, doing a few stretches in the corner, letting Rhodes know the match will start when he’s ready. Finally the two go for a tie up, with Cesaro quickly working into a standing waistlock, using it for a takedown… and Cesaro gets back on his feet and gloats to the crowd over how easily he took the youngster down. Cesaro waves Cody back up, and the two lock up again, this time Cesaro uses his power to back Rhodes to the corner. The ref calls for the break, which Cesaro provides… until he goes for a right hand… but Rhodes ducks underneath… then he rocks Cesaro with a right of his own! Another pair of rights, before Rhodes opens up Cesaro’s chest… and delivers a stinging chop to the chest! Cesaro covers in pain, but Rhodes goes for the Irish whip across… Cesaro reverses and follows in… but Rhodes elevates himself, landing on his feet… then he takes Cesaro down with an armdrag! Cesaro back up… another armdrag, and this time Rhodes hangs on for the armbar. Cesaro fights back up, grabbing a handful of hair to back both men into the corner, where Rhodes is forced to release the hold… allowing Cesaro to drill a boot to the gut. More boots to the midsection follow, then uppercuts to the jaw, before Cesaro sends Rhodes across the ring and follows in… but Rhodes sidesteps… Cesaro crashes into the turnbuckle… then gets rolled up from behind! 1… 2… Cesaro kicks out, but the force of the kickout sends Rhodes back towards the corner, where he runs up to the top rope… then nails a picture perfect moonsault! 1… 2… Cesaro kicks out!

Looking to stay in control, Rhodes grabs Cesaro and smashes him face first off the top turnbuckle, before he grabs the left wrist, twisting on it, looking to work the arm… but Cesaro shoves Rhodes off the ropes… and low bridges as Rhodes comes back… sending Cody tumbling down to the floor! Moving quickly, Cesaro heads outside, driving Rhodes spine first into the side of the ring, then he rolls him back into the ring. A series of knees are dropped into the spine, before Cesaro yanks Rhodes back up, then shows impressive strength… to nail a delayed gutwrench suplex for a near fall. Cesaro looks to stay on the attack as he nails a double footstomp for another two count, before he rocks Rhodes with a vertical suplex. Showing more disrespect, Cesaro slaps Rhodes on the back of the head a few times, before he drills boots to the face, then he yanks Rhodes up and goes for a scoop slam… but Rhodes drops down the back, spins Cesaro round… and rocks him with a big right hand! Another two rights sting Cesaro’s jaw, before Rhodes turns and races off the ropes… but Cesaro counters… with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Rhodes is down, Cesaro hooks the leg… 1… 2… Cody barely gets a shoulder up! With Rhodes down, Cesaro looks to wear him out by applying a chinlock, swinging Rhodes from side to side as he does so. The crowd rally behind the newcomer, and eventually, Rhodes is able to struggle back to his feet, drilling elbows to the midsection to finally break the hold. Cody tags Cesaro with right hands, backing him to the corner, where he goes for the Irish whip… but Cesaro reverses… and races in… for a huge running uppercut! Rhodes slumps to the canvas, and Cesaro again goes for the cover… 1… 2… but somehow, Cody kicks out.

Cesaro glares at the referee, but he looks to go right back on the attack, yanking Cesaro up to nail another uppercut… but Rhodes twists through… and takes Cesaro down with a backslide! 1… 2… Cesaro kicks out, but he bursts back to his feet… Cody ducks a clothesline… then takes Cesaro down with a Russian legsweep! Rhodes is too worn down to take advantage straight away, so instead he crawls to the corner and heads to the second rope, waiting for Cesaro to stagger back up… for a DIVING BULLDOG! Cody goes for the win… 1… 2… but Cesaro gets a shoulder up! Cody now looks to build momentum, rocking Cesaro with a clothesline… and another… and a third clothesline, before he goes for the Irish whip… Cesaro reverses, but lowers his head… Cody drops down… and smacks Cesaro with an uppercut from the mat! Cesaro staggers away, then turns… right into an INVERTED SUPLEX SLAM! Cesaro sits up, but Cody comes off the ropes… running knee to the face! Again Rhodes goes for the cover… 1… 2… Cesaro barely kicks out! Cody senses a chance to win, so he again drags Cesaro up, yanks him in… looking for a ROLLING CUTTER, a move Styles tells us is called the CROSS RHODES… but before he can do it, Cesaro shoves Cody to the ropes… but Rhodes jumps to the second rope… and looks for a SPRINGBOARD ROUNDHOUSE KICK… but Cesaro counters… with the VERY EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! Cesaro damn near takes Cody’s head off, and now he drops down onto a lateral press… 1… 2… Cody rolls a shoulder! The crowd and Cesaro can’t believe as the gutsy youngster hangs in there, but it might soon be over as Cesaro drags Cody back up, hooks him up… then takes him up and down… with THE NEUTRALIZER!! Cody is planted, and this time there’s no coming back as Cesaro gets the 1… 2… 3.

Winner: Claudio Cesaro @ 08.28

A gutsy effort from Cody, but he comes up just short against the well-travelled veteran as Cesaro gets the win. The crowd let out a sigh of disappointment, knowing just how close Rhodes was to victory, and it looks like Cesaro knows it too as he angrily gets back on his feet, snatching his hand away from the referee as it’s raised in victory. Cesaro stands over Rhodes, a furious scowl on his face as he rubs his jaw in pain, but nothing comes of it as Cesaro just simply heads for the ropes and exits the ring, while we cut to a commercial.

*Commercial*


We’re back, with the always cheerful Maria standing by for another interview…


Maria: Hi! I’m Maria! Welcome back to Monday Night Raw! And please welcome my guest at this time… it’s, um… well… it’s Johnny Nitro?

A pop from the fans as the new-look Johnny Nitro steps into the frame, flashing Maria a smile as he does so. Just like last week, Nitro has the different hair style, and the much changed fashion sense, with Nitro looking like a real trend setter wearing a very stylish burgundy suit, the buttons open on his jacket exposing his chest and abs, while a flash pair of sunglasses finish off the look…

Maria: Now, Johnny, we hadn’t seen you in almost a month after your partnership with Chris Masters came to an end. But last week you returned, but… you don’t really look like you used to anymore. I was just wondering, what’s the reason behind the new look?

Nitro smiles and nods, removing his sunglasses to look Maria in the eye…

Johnny Nitro: Maria, I’m gonna tell you a little story here. You call me Johnny Nitro… but Johnny Nitro… is not my name. Johnny Nitro… is a myth. Johnny Nitro was a character created by my former girlfriend Melina. She took me and Joey Mercury, she brought us together as a team, but she wanted us to live a life that wasn’t meant for us.

Reluctantly, Nitro shakes his head…

Johnny Nitro: All the parties, all the Hollywood premiers, all the A-list friends… that’s not me. That’s not the real me. That’s not my reality, Maria.

Maria screws up her face in confusion…

Johnny Nitro: The real man you see stood before you is a laid-back kid from southern California. I like to surf. I like to do yoga. I’m like to exercise not only my body… but my mind. Spiritual fulfilment, that’s more important to me than getting my picture in the gossip pages of the tabloids. And now that life is behind me… it’s time to let you all meet the real me.

Pop from inside the arena…

Johnny Nitro: Maria, my real name… is John Morrison.

And another cheer, the fans seemingly reacting positively to the name change…

John Morrison: I am ‘The Guru of Greatness’. And I’m back on Monday Night Raw, to-

But Morrison puts on the breaks, looking off camera, and then into the frame steps Melina and Chris Masters to a chorus of boos. Masters stares at Morrison with fury in his eyes given the recent run of interruptions he’s suffered lately, while Melina just looks Morrison up and down and shakes her head in disgust…

Melina: Johnny. I mean… John. Nice to see you again.

No reaction from Morrison to Melina’s hello, which prompts a laugh and another shake of the head…

Melina: God, look at you. You’re pathetic. How many times have I told you, this whole yoga-loving, spiritual guy, that doesn’t get you into the coolest LA clubs. That doesn’t get paparazzi wanting to take your picture. That doesn’t get you a girl… like me.

Melina turns and smiles at Masters, who smugly nods his head…

Melina: And y’know, you oughta be thanking me for all I did for you. You were a nothing, a nobody when I met you. I put you and Joey together, I got you guys onto WWE TV, and I made you, what? A three time WWE Tag Team Champion? A two time Intercontinental Champion? You’d have never won a thing without me.

Heat from the crowd…

Melina: I made you John… and now Chris… is gonna break you.

Morrison raises an inquisitive eyebrow…

Melina: We want a match with you at War Games. You and Chris, one on one, no stupid music playing to distract us. We’ll put an end to this little… I don’t even know what to call this. It’s a damn joke, and it’s not gonna last.

Melina speaks with a real sense of anger, something at which Morrison just smiles…

John Morrison: Melina… I’ll give you and Chris your match at War Games. But after I beat Chris, I really hope you two… find a peace of mind.

And with that, Morrison casually puts his sunglasses back on then turns and heads off in the opposite direction, leaving Melina and Masters behind. Melina watches Morrison go, the anger building inside her, the look of annoyance clear on her face, before she says…

Melina: Ugh! What is wrong with him!? C’mon Chris, let’s go.

And then Melina and Masters make their exit too, the camera focusing on the confused look on Maria’s face, clearly still trying to understand the change from Nitro to Morrison, but it’s on that sight that we head for another video.

*Video Package*

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

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

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

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

Narrator: A night where icons are created…

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

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

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

“WELCOME TO THE ERA OF AWESOMENESS!”

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

Narrator: A night to crown… a new king.

“BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR KING!”

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

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

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

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

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

Narrator: The King is dead…

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

“ALL HAIL KING BOO-KAH!”

”Long live… the King.”



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

*End Video Package*


Back in the arena, we settle at the announce desk…

Jim Ross: That’s right folks, it’s all happening this Saturday night, live on NBC! It’s the 2007 King of the Ring, and now we know the four men who will represent Monday Night Raw at Saturday Night’s Main Event. Let’s take a look at ‘em…

Kenny Dykstra vs. CM Punk
Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy


Jim Ross: And there you see the four men, the four Raw superstars who will do battle this Saturday night, live on NBC from the Garden in Boston. One of those four men could be about to see their career take off, one of those four men could be King!

Jerry Lawler: And I think Raw has got a great chance of seein’ one of our guys crowned as King. We’ve got four young, hungry superstars, all of ‘em more than capable of goin’ all the way this Saturday night. I don’t know about you two, but I’m gonna put my money on the line… and I’m goin’ with Jeff Hardy! I think it’s Jeff’s time, I think he’s gonna be inspired by what his brother’s doin’ over on SmackDown right now, Jeff Hardy is my pick to win it all!

Joey Styles: Well to go all the way, Jeff’s gonna have to get past Shelton Benjamin, one of the most athletically gifted superstars the WWE has ever seen. And what about the other two Raw superstars, CM Punk and Kenny Dykstra? Week after week, Dykstra seems to pull victories outta nowhere, he ain’t gonna be easy to get past either. But if you’re askin’ me to make a pick… I’m goin’ for the real outsider of the Raw half, I’m goin’ with the ECW alumni CM Punk. I think this Saturday night is the night that Punk really announces himself to the world as a big time player here in the WWE.

Jim Ross: It’s gonna be an incredible night, but it just got a whole lot bigger folks. Earlier today, we got word from the WWE Board of Directors, that there’s gonna be a Six Man Special Attraction Tag Team Match! Three of Raw’s finest, takin’ on three of the best from SmackDown, and given the lack of leadership here on Raw, the WWE Board of Directors chose three men to represent us based on what they consider to be the fan’s best interests.

Jerry Lawler: And what a team they’ve lined up for Monday Night Raw! Check this out, Ric Flair… John Cena… and the WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam!

Joey Styles: It’s like the ‘Dream Team’ all over again! Flair, Cena and Van Dam will represent Monday Night Raw, and Teddy Long has ‘til this Friday night on SmackDown to announce the three men set to compete for his team.

Jim Ross: And not only that, but on SmackDown, we’ll find out who the final two entrants in the 2007 King of the Ring are gonna be! Make sure you watch SmackDown, you don’t wanna miss it folks, just 24 hours before we’re live on NBC for Saturday Night’s Main Event!

We now cut to the hard camera, where we see the ring is decked out with a desk and two chairs either side, which can only mean one thing…

*SEXY BOY…


Once again, the heat levied at Shawn Michaels is almost nuclear, but as stoic as ever, Michaels’ cold eyes simply stare out into the crowd, before he drops down and turns his eyes to the heavens…


Jim Ross: It’s that time folks. It’s time for Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam to sign on the dotted line for their WWE Championship Match at War Games. It’s Michaels and Van Dam, when we return live to Monday Night Raw!

*Commercial*


When we return, Jerry Lawler has now entered the ring to serve as the host of this segment, with Michaels stood nearby, Lawler constantly glancing at Michaels, clearly feeling uneasy at being in the ring with ‘HBK’…


Jerry Lawler: Alright! Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to sign the contract for one of the most highly anticipated title matches in WWE history! In less than three weeks’ time at War Games, the man beside me in the ring, the challenger, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels…

Major heat cuts Lawler off, but again there’s no reaction from Michaels…

Jerry Lawler: Shawn Michaels will challenge for the WWE Championship… against the champion… ‘Mr. Monday Night’… Rob Van Dam.

And now a massive cheer for the mention of Van Dam…

Jerry Lawler: So let’s get ‘im out here! Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you, your WWE Champion… ROB – VAN – DAM!

*ONE OF A KIND…*


A truly enormous cheer as Rob Van Dam strides into the arena, the fans lapping it up as the champion plays up to them, leading them through a rendition of his name before he heads down the ramp. As he enters the ring, Van Dam keeps his eyes firmly on Michaels, wary on any sneak attack, but eventually he heads to the corner and climbs to the second rope, again getting a chant from the crowd. Dropping back down, ‘RVD’ stands across the desk from Michaels, neither man all that eager to take a seat, another tense standoff ensuing between the pair…


Jerry Lawler: Alright guys. Uh… Rob, Shawn… if you could both take a seat, we’ll get things started.

Placing the WWE Title down on the desk, Van Dam is first to sit, and he motions for ‘HBK’ to join him in the opposite chair, and eventually Michaels does so…

Jerry Lawler: So let’s get down to the formalities. Guys, before you is a contract for a WWE Championship Match at War Games. It’ll feature the WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam, and the challenger, Shawn Michaels. And we’re here to sign the contract, and make it official. So Shawn, seeing as you’re the challenger… would you like to sign first?

Michaels slowly reaches over and grabs the contract, picking it up, flicking through the pages, before he turns to the back page. Michaels studies this page much more intently, and his eyes have clearly been drawn to something as a smirk cross his face, a rare hint of emotion from the challenger, an emotion that causes Michaels to put down the contract and grab the microphone that sits on his side of the table…

Shawn Michaels: Can I… can I take just a minute to read over somethin’ it says here in this contract. I just wanna get a few legal terms straight in my head if that’s OK with you, ‘Champ’?

Van Dam casually nods his head and says “Go ahead”…

Shawn Michaels: I uh… I just wanna check this part right here. It says… “both parties will enter into this legally binding agreement in good… faith.” Faith. I dunno how you can think about signin’ this contract, Rob. Faith… that’s not a word in your vocabulary. You don’t know the meanin’ of the word faith… because you don’t have any. And lemme tell ya’ somethin’… it’s that lack o’ faith that means when you sign that contract… you’re signin’ away the WWE Championship.

Jeers from the crowd, but Van Dam clearly isn’t fazed by what Michaels is saying, as he just laughs and shakes his head…

Shawn Michaels: I’ve heard all you’ve had to say, and all you had to say earlier tonight. You might think talent and commitment are enough… but you’re wrong. Dead wrong. I used to think just like you. I used to think if I worked hard, paid my dues, took my lumps, that one day it’d all be worth it. And what happened? What did I wind up with? A broken back. And then I got tossed aside. I was used up. I was worthless. And I didn’t have anythin’ to show for it.

Michaels now picks up his pen, again looking down at the contract… and he signs on the dotted line, before he places the pen back down and picks the mic back up…

Shawn Michaels: And if you don’t heed my warning, Rob… that’s exactly what you’re gonna end up with. Nothin’. No titles, no screamin’ fans… not even faith… just… nothin’.

A hushed silence from the crowd, with Michaels’ chilling words clearly having caught them off guard. ‘HBK’ puts his mic down and sits back in his chair, with Lawler moving in to slide the contract towards the champion. Like Michaels, Van Dam flicks through the pages, giving them a quick read over, before he too grabs his microphone…

Rob Van Dam: Wow. Faith, huh? Y’know… I actually used to have faith, bro’.

Intrigued, Michaels sits forward…

Rob Van Dam: Not necessarily faith in God, though. Well… not the God you’ve got faith in. But, at one point in my life… there was a guy I used to listen to like a God. I dunno, you mighta heard o’ him. Paul Heyman?

A major pop from the crowd for the mention of ‘The Father of Extreme’, but Michaels seethes with anger…

Rob Van Dam: Y’see, back in that bingo hall in Philadelphia, Paul Heyman used to stand every night like some kinda preacher and tell us how great we all were. And he’s tell us how the WWE and WCW were runnin’ scared of us, that they kept stealin’ our ideas, and that they kept tryin’ to steal all our guys. And y’know what? At one point in time, I’d have done anythin’ for that guy. I wrestled every night, I fought through every injury, I’d have literally ran through a wall for that guy. I had… faith… in everythin’ Paul said back then.

A wry smile and a shake of the head from the champion…

Rob Van Dam: When he told us that one day, the WWE and WCW would beat each other outta business, and it’d be ECW who’d take advantage… I believed ‘im. And when he said that my pay check was in the mail… I believe ‘im then too. I put my faith in Paul Heyman, and what happened?

Another wry, almost regretful shake of the head…

Rob Van Dam: The company that broke my body went outta business… and ‘cause I hung on to the end, I wound up losin’ out on thousands of dollars.

The crowd start to murmur, but Van Dam quickly motions with his hand for them to bear with him…

Rob Van Dam: And that was back in 2001. And then like some kinda idiot, I did all over again last summer. I let Heyman talk me into goin’ back to ECW, I let ‘im take me in with promises of buildin’ the show around me, about makin’ me the number one guy, about cementing my legacy in the new version of extreme. And what happened?

The champion shrugs…

Rob Van Dam: Heyman screwed me outta the title, then a few months later we got shut down again. And I had to come crawlin’ back to Monday Night Raw.

Michaels’ eyes are deeply focused on Van Dam, the challenger seemingly listening in on every word…

Rob Van Dam: And hey, don’t get me wrong, it’s all worked out great for me. I’m real happy where I am right now. I made it back to the top, I’m the WWE Champion again. But I put my faith in that guy… and it didn’t work out.

Van Dam now leans forward, staring hard into Michaels’ face as he says…

Rob Van Dam: And that’s why now, I only put my faith in one dude… me.

Big pop from the crowd…

Rob Van Dam: And y’know what? I’ve got faith that at War Games, I’m gonna hang onto this title, and I’m gonna prove somethin’ to you… that I’m better than you, bro’.

A stinging comment, one which causes Michaels to narrow his eyes in annoyance…

Rob Van Dam: So me signin’ this contract, this ain’t me signin’ away the WWE Championship. This is me signin’ on for the match of my career. This ain’t about faith, this ain’t about religion, this ain’t about God… and it definitely ain’t about Paul Heyman. It’s about ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels… ‘Mr. Monday Night’ Rob Van Dam… and the WWE Championship.

Another loud cheer…

Rob Van Dam: But more important that you, me or this title… it’s about puttin’ on one helluva show for these people. It’s about you bringin’ the best you got… and me showin’ you it ain’t good enough.

Again Van Dam cuts Michaels with his words…

Rob Van Dam: And that’s ‘cause I’m Rob… Van… Dam!

And with that, Van Dam emphatically slams his microphone down on the desk, rises from his chair and heads for the ropes. The crowd are going nuts for the passion and intensity with which Van Dam has just spoke, and with Michaels seething in silence, Lawler assumes this contract signing is over and moves to wrap things up…

Jerry Lawler: Well, it’s official folks. June 17th, at War Games, Rob Van Dam and Shawn Michaels, one on one for the WWE-

Shawn Michaels: Hey, Rob!

Van Dam quickly puts on the breaks as Michaels calls out to him…

Shawn Michaels: Lemme give you a little bit of advice before ya’ go. Just a few words for you think about these next few weeks.

With a sense of purpose, Michaels recites a passage from the bible…

Shawn Michaels: “I have fought the good fight… I have finished the race… I have kept the faith.”

The words catch Van Dam off guard as he gives Michaels a look of confusion…

Shawn Michaels: Your false God mighta had you bayin’ on ‘is ev’ry word back in that… hellhole, ECW. But you didn’t fight the good fight. You never finished that race. You never kept the faith. You believed in the wrong man. And you got burned for it, Rob.

A devilish smirk crosses Michaels’ face as he thinks about his next comment…

Shawn Michaels: And that’s why at War Games… I’m gonna burn your dreams. I’m gonna shatter your faith in yourself. I’m gonna make your title reign go up in flames… just like Vince McMahon did with your precious ECW Title.

The crowd “Oh!”, as it’s clear to see from the look on Van Dam’s face that Michaels has just struck a chord. ‘RVD’ turns, looking down at Michaels, fury etched on his face, vengeance in his eyes, the crowd baying for blood… but Van Dam slowly seems to be relaxing… until out of nowhere he charges, flying across the desk… and launching himself into Michaels! The fight is on! Van Dam has just sent Michaels sprawling from his seat, both men rolling around on the canvas, throwing wild fists at each other, with Lawler diving from the ring as the crowd goes wild. Van Dam is hammering ‘HBK’, laying in with everything he’s got, until Michaels manages to shove ‘RVD’ off of him. Michaels scrambles back to his feet, searching for a mistake… but he stumbles right into a jumping heel kick… no! Michaels ducks underneath… then he drills Van Dam with a LOW BLOW!

Michaels nails Van Dam with a shot to the groin, crippling the WWE Champion, causing Van Dam to collapse in a heap. With the champion down, Michaels takes a second to recover, before he starts rearranging furniture, tossing the two leather chairs from the ring and then he heads outside, shoves the timekeeper aside… and grabs a steel chair! The crowd gasp in fear as Michaels heads back into the ring, looking to nail Van Dam… but before he can strike, ‘RVD’ explodes to his feet… and nails Michaels with the VAN DAMINATOR!! Van Dam kicks the chair square into Michaels’ face, and now it’s the challenger who’s down… but not for long, as Van Dam quickly muscles Michaels onto the table! The crowd are going wild as they know exactly what’s next, as Van Dam slings himself ot the top rope… then he flies… FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH… DRIVES MICHAELS THROUGH THE TABLE!!!

The roof damn near blows off the arena as Van Dam and Michaels set off an explosion of wood as Michaels is emphatically driven through the table! Both men are down in a heap of bodies and limbs, but soon Van Dam is back on his feet, his music blaring loud amongst the cheers of the raucous crowd, the WWE Champion quickly grabbing his title and heading to the corner, where he climbs to the second rope and salutes the masses…


Joey Styles: Can you believe this!? Listen to these people, this crowd is goin’ nuts! Van Dam and Michaels, War Games, for the WWE Championship… and Van Dam has just put Shawn Michaels through a table!

Jim Ross: Shawn Michaels might be goin’ to War Games, but he’s lost this battle tonight! Rob Van Dam has let everybody know, he’s not givin’ up that title without one helluva fight! What a night it’s been, don’t miss Saturday Night’s Main Event, it’s the 2007 King of the Ring! Who’s gonna be King? Join us live this Saturday night on NBC to find out! Goodnight!

We cut back to the ring, where Shawn Michaels still lies amongst the rubble in the ring, not moving an inch, while over in the corner, the WWE Champion continues to celebrate with the fans, leading them through one final rendition of “ROB – VAN – DAM!” as we fade to black.

*End Show*




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

Location: TD Banknorth Garden; Boston, Massachusetts


The 2007 King of the Ring Tournament:
Quarter Finals

Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra vs. CM Punk
World Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy

SMACKDOWN COMPETITORS TO BE DETERMINED

Semi Finals
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra or CM Punk vs. World Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin or Jeff Hardy
SMACKDOWN COMPETITORS TO BE DETERMINED

Final
Intercontinental Champion Kenny Dykstra or World Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin or CM Punk or Jeff Hardy
SMACKDOWN COMPETITOR TO BE DETERMINED

World Heavyweight Championship Match:
World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Chris Benoit

Six Man Special Attraction Tag Team Match:
Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam, John Cena and Ric Flair vs. ???, ??? and ???





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

Location: Target Center; Minneapolis, Minnesota


War Games Match:
Team Linda (John Cena, Ric Flair, Carlito, CM Punk and Nick Dinsmore) vs. Team Vince (Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch and Claudio Cesaro)

WWE Championship Match:
WWE Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Shawn Michaels

Grudge Match:
Chris Masters vs. John Morrison


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



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post #328 of 349 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 01:09 AM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

Just joined this site and came across this Be the Booker diary. I've caught up on it and I must say I love it. You're doing a really great job so far. I'm surprised not many others have commented on the last couple of shows you posted. But oh well, I'm digging it.

I'm enjoying the Rob Van Dam/Shawn Michaels feud you got going on for the WWE Championship. Both guys are really similar in terms of showmanship so it's a feud I really think works. Love the self-righteous heel HBK. He seems like someone who could really pull it off and make the fans boo against him, which is hard because he's a respected veteran/legend. But that's a match that's really going to steal the show at War Games!

I was surprised that Shelton Benjamin won to advance in the King of the Ring tournament. But then again, Carlito has been having a run of bad luck with him losing out on his last chance at Kenny Dykstra's Intercontinental Championship. I wonder if this will eventually lead to a heel turn for him. Anyway, I don't expect Benjamin to win the tournament since it seems that a feud between the World's Greatest Tag Team and the Hart Legacy is set to take place for the World Tag Team Championships. That's going to be another stellar match when it does happen for the titles.

BTW, I'm looking forward to the draft! That's always an awesome show!

Smart move to have Natalya Neidhart upset Victoria in their match. It really sped up the break-up between Victoria and Women's Champion Beth Phoenix. I guess Victoria will eventually turn face and align herself with former enemy Mickie James.

Awesome vignette for "The Predator" Sylvester Terkay. I'm guessing you're going to be pushing him strong upon his redebut.

Great match between Randy Orton and Ric Flair to end the first hour. Flair winning really builds up momentum for Team Linda come War Games. But since the pay-per-view is still weeks away, I expect Team Vince to retaliate in some way.

Another awesome vignette for the Untouchables. You're already doing a better job of booking them than the WWE did. The vignette really shows who they are and what they're about.

I enjoyed the interview with Jeff Hardy. He hasn't had a good 2007 thus far. But I expect a strong showing from him in the KOTR tournament. Will he win? Not sure. I will wait and see what happens on the SmackDown side of things before I make a prediction.

Speaking of the KOTR, looks like Kenny Dykstra qualifies by beating Nick Dinsmore. It was pretty predictable as Dinsmore's partner CM Punk is already in the tournament. I wouldn't expect both partners to be in the tournament. But this really helps Dykstra's rise up the ladder. But the other story being the Straight Edge Saints setting up Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch for a beatdown from Team Linda. So it looks like Team Linda stands tall tonight, so I guess that means Team Vince will get some retribution on the next RAW.

Great match featuring Claudio Cesaro and the newcomer Cody Rhodes. I figured Rhodes wouldn't win this one, but he gave it a good try. Interested to see where he goes from here now that he's on RAW.

Another great interview with the former Johnny Nitro. Love how you properly introduced John Morrison to the WWE Universe. It really gets him across as a relatable face. Looking forward to his match with Chris Masters at War Games. I expect Morrison to go over in that one though, since he's just debuted this new character.

Great way to end the show with the RVD/HBK contract signing. Loved RVD's story about how he had faith in Paul Heyman and ECW and it bit him in the ass. It something like that that just makes me get into a feud like this. The night ends with RVD standing over HBK after a Five-Star Frog Splash through a table. This match is going to be insane!

Great edition of RAW. It really built up the matches going into War Games. Can't wait to see what happens next.
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post #329 of 349 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

~Friday Night SmackDown~
June 1st, 2007
Ricoh Coliseum
Toronto, Ontario, Canada






We’re just 24 hours away from Saturday Night’s Main Event and the 2007 King of the Ring, and SmackDown eminates from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the hometown of our World Heavyweight Champion Edge, just one day away from his scheduled title match with Chris Benoit… and the night on which one man’s career is about to change forever.

Six men have already booked their place in the King of the Ring tournament, with Raw’s Kenny Dykstra, Jeff Hardy, Shelton Benjamin and CM Punk being joined thus far by SmackDown’s Gregory Helms and Matt Hardy. Tonight, the final two spots in the tournament will be filled, as Mr. Kennedy takes on Tommy Dreamer, while Bryan Danielson squares off with Montel Vontavious Porter. Kennedy has long been considered a favourite to go all the way and win it all, while with his upset win over last year’s winner King Booker, Dreamer has shown himself to be the Cinderella story of this year’s tournament. In the other qualifier, Porter has been rejuvenated since he joined up with Jonathan Coachman’s Coachman Coalition, while Danielson finally managed to become Cruiserweight Champion just two weeks ago at Judgment Day after months of chasing the former champion Gregory Helms. All four men know the stakes involved and the potential career boost becoming King can bring, and will no doubt be giving it all for the chance to make it to Saturday Night’s Main Event!

But it’s not just the King of the Ring that’s scheduled to take place tomorrow night, as the World Heavyweight Championship is up for grabs as Edge defends the title against Chris Benoit. After winning the title at Judgment Day, Edge was informed by SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long that life for the new champion was about to become very difficult indeed, forcing Edge to defend the title last week in a match with Batista. The match went back and forth until just like at Judgment Day, Umaga came through the crowd and stormed the ring, laying out both men. ‘The Animal’ eventually was able to fight back, he and Umaga brawling to the back, leaving a smug Edge in the ring, believing he had just survived a very serious threat to his title… until Long informed him that at the King of the Ring, he’s be defending his title again against Benoit. Tonight, both Edge and Benoit have been given warm up matches, with Benoit taking on Finlay, while Edge is set to face an opponent of Long’s choosing. Whoever Long picks, it promises to be a real test for the champion, just 24 hours away from his latest title defence.

It was revealed on Monday Night Raw by the WWE Board of Directors that a special Six Man Tag Team Match would take place, featuring three Raw superstars taking on three SmackDown superstars. The Raw squad was announced as WWE Champion Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair and John Cena, a fearsome trio for anyone to face. But Teddy Long has responded by announcing his SmackDown team, namely Batista, Kane and Rey Mysterio! And those three will get their first chance to work as a unit tonight as they take on another impressive threesome in the shape of The Bluebloods. Clearly The Bluebloods will have the advantage of having previously worked together, but with three former world champions stood across the ring for them, it could be a long night for the Englishmen.

And finally tonight, the WWE Tag Team Championships are on the line as The Hooligans defend their gold against The New Breed. It looked like London and Kendrick were on the verge of falling apart last week after details of Kendrick’s cheating at Judgment Day were made aware of to London. Indeed, so disgusted by his partner’s actions, it was London who offered Burke and Brown this rematch tonight. As SmackDown went off the air last week, it seemed that The Hooligans would never be able to function as a team again, but we understand that a week of crisis talks between the two have lead the champions to arrive in Toronto tonight a close-knit unit than ever before. Things might be back to normal for London and Kendrick, but will it be enough to see of The New Breed?

All this and more as Friday Night SmackDown serves as the final spot before Saturday Night’s Main Event and the 2007 King of the Ring, two nights nobody will want to miss!

Confirmed Matches:

Edge vs. ???
Chris Benoit vs. Finlay
Batista, Kane and Rey Mysterio vs. The Bluebloods

WWE Tag Team Championships Match:
The Hooligans vs. The New Breed

King of the Ring Qualifying Matches – Round of 16
Bryan Danielson vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
Mr. Kennedy vs. Tommy Dreamer

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



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post #330 of 349 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 02:18 PM
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Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed

again,a nice card. looking forward for the show.
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