~Monday Night Raw~
January 15th, 2007
Bossier City, Louisiana
"You scratch our backs... and we'll scratch yours."
We kick off the broadcast with a brief recap of last week's main event, the battle between Bobby Lashley and Rob Van Dam, with particular emphasis being placed on the interference of Vince McMahon and Jonathan Coachman, with Vince tossing Lashley a chair, only for Lashley to hesitate before tossing the chair at McMahon. With John Cena coming out to remove McMahon and Coach, Van Dam is able to pick up the win, with last week's broadcast going off the air with Cena saluting Van Dam from the top of the ramp, giving the impression that we will see Cena/Van Dam for the WWE Championship.
Up next is the usual opening video and pyro display, but before J.R. or King can say a word...
*NO CHANCE IN HELL...*
We kick things off with the Chairman of the Board himself Mr. McMahon
, who struts his way down the ramp to a ton of heat, his Executive Assistant Jonathan Coachman
not far behind...
Folks, welcome to Monday Night Raw. We are live and we are being joined by none other than Mr. McMahon, a man who last week saw his plans for the decimation of Rob Van Dam backfire on him.
Absolutely right. I mean, Mr. McMahon offered to make life pretty sweet around here if Bobby Lashley could do some pretty serious damage, but Lashley, he didn't want anything to do Mr. McMahon's offer.
And then of course, the WWE Champion John Cena decided to interject himself in our main event last week, chasing McMahon and Coachman out of the arena.
And if I know Mr. McMahon, there could be some serious repercussions for all three of those men.
In the ring, McMahon plays up to the crowd, taunting them, soaking up their boos, while Coachman retrieves a microphone and hands it to his boss...
Well that's certainly a nice welcome. Just the sorta welcome you'd expect from a hellhole like Bossier City.
But y'know something... I... DESERVE
... better than that. I deserve
to be treated with dignity and class. I deserve
to be treated... with respect.
I mean, you Coach... you respect me, right?
McMahon thrusts the microphone under Coach's nose...
Just as I thought. You two (Pointing at J.R. and King)
... you two respect me, right?
The legendary announce team pause, glancing at each other, before both men nod (reluctantly) in agreement...
Uh... yeah, we respect you Mr McMahon.
I only respect you 'cos it says I have to in my contract.
Will you shut up J.R.? You're gonna get us both fired.
Unable to hear their comments, McMahon only sees the nods of heads, smiling at the response...
Y'see? They both respect me... because they know what's good for 'em. They know that if they disrespect me... there WILL
... be consequences. And last week, three men in particular had the nerve to disrespect me. The WWE Champion John Cena...
Good pop from the crowd, though as always there is a smattering of boos for the Champ...
The Eee-Cee-Dubya Champion Bobby Lashley...
Again cheers mixed with boos, although not on the same level as the response for Cena...
And of course... Rob... Van... Dam.
Nothing but cheers as RVD evokes a great response from the fans...
Last week those three individuals showed me absolutely no respect whatsoever. And that's why tonight... for the three of them... there will
be consequences. And last week, wasn't the first time one of those three have crossed me. I'm sure you all laughed and cheered two weeks ago when Rob Van Dam kicked me on the head and then hit me with a five star frog splash.
Cheers from the crowd at the memory of how we kicked off 2007...
Then last week, I made Bobby Lashley a very generous, very reasonable offer... and what happened? Lashley, he threw
a steel chair at me!
Pop for Lashley's actions last week, with McMahon's anger levels clearly rising...
And then, to top it all off... John Cena had the nerve
to try run me out of my own damn show last week!
Oh yeah. Oh yeah, you can cheer right now... but I guran-damn-tee each and every one of you, that by the end of the night... Cena, Lashley and Van Dam... none of those three will be cheering.
Heat, but McMahon arrogantly smiles...
You can boo all you want, it won't make a difference. Cena, Lashley, Van Dam... they will pay for their actions. And-
*THE TIME IS NOW...*
It's a great pop for the WWE Champion, but as always there's a fair amount of boos too for John Cena
, who charges out onto the stage, hoisting his Title belt high in the air before confidently making his way down to the ring, grabbing a mic, but before Cena can speak...
THIS! THIS is what I'm talkin' about! What's the meaning of this Cena? Who do you think you are, comin' out here and interrupting me like this?
Whoa, whoa, Vinny, Vinny, Vinny! Calm down! Jeez. Now, before I get into this with you... BOSSIER CITY... make some noise 'cos THE CHAMP... IS... HERE!!
Now Vince, you know somethin'? For once in my life... I actually agree with you.
Boos from crowd, prompting Cena to raise his hand apologetically at the crowd...
Now wait a second. Vinny... I do agree with you. You're absolutely right. I have absolutely NO
respect for you whatsoever.
Vince, each and every night I step through that curtain, I fight with all I've got 'cos I believe in hustle... loyalty...
Cena steps forward, getting in McMahon's face...
. He (Pointing at Coach)
may respect you. But he's got his head so far up your ass we'd never notice.
Laughs from the crowd, with Coach shouting "You can't say that about me!" at Cena...
He may respect you... but I sure as hell don't. You want my respect Vinny Mac? You gonna have to earn it. Just like I earn everything I got. Just like last week when I saw Rob Van Dam earn that WWE Championship opportunity he asked for.
The crowd responds positively to the prospect of Cena/Van Dam, while a scowl crosses McMahon's face...
I'm a man of my word, I told Van Dam that I felt that if he could beat Bobby Lashley in this ring then I'd be more than happy to put my WWE Championship on the line against him. Now I know you're the boss. And I know that it's you who makes all the decisions round here. But as far as I'm concerned, a challenge has been made, and you know I never back down from a challenge! The last time I faced Rob Van Dam one on one, it was in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Every way I looked, I had diehard ECW fans bayin’ for my blood! I faced RVD on his turf, and on his terms. Rob Van Dam may want a match with me... but I want that match just
as bad as he does.
McMahon strokes his chin, pondering Cena's words, choosing his own carefully before finally answering...
Well Cena... I do
make all the decisions here on Raw... and as far as making a decision on whether you and Rob Van Dam face for the WWE Championship... I don't really feel like making that decision right now.
The crowd boos, with Cena giving a slight laugh and mouthing "Really?"...
I just don't feel like I'm ready to make a decision of that magnitude at this moment. Now, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted... Cena... your actions last week will
lead to consequences for you. And that goes for RVD and Bobby Lashley too. Now, later in the evenin' RVD and Lashley will both be in action. But Cena, you're gonna feel the consequences of your actions... and you're gonna feel them... right now. I don't know what it is yet, but I know Coach here has somethin' special in mind for you. So I'll leave you to it Coach. And Cena... good luck... you're gonna need it!
McMahon hands his mic over to Coachman before leaving the ring to no music, the Chairman strutting up the ramp with a huge smile on his face. In the ring, Coach is also grinning from ear to ear, almost laughing, while Cena has a strong look of determination on his face...
Ah Cena. Y'know, it's not just Mr. McMahon who's not gettin' the respect he deserves. Oh no. I'm not gettin' the respect I deserve from you either. You've hit me with right hands, you've hit me with the FU... NOW
it's time for me to get some payback. Cena, tonight... you will
... run the GAUNTLET!!
"Ooohs" from the crowd, with J.R. incensed on commentary...
And it all starts... with this man...
The red carpet rolls down the ramp and the cameras start flashing as Johnny Nitro
, the man who Cena defended the WWE Championship against on New Year's Day steps out, Melina
as always by his side...
You gotta be kiddin' me! John Cena is bein' forced to run the gauntlet here.
And it all starts with Johnny Nitro. But if Cena can make it past Nitro, who knows who could be next?
The odds are stacked against the WWE Champion. John Cena runs the gauntlet when we return to Monday Night Raw!
Match 1: Gauntlet Match
WWE Champion John Cena
vs. Johnny Nitro
We return in time to hear the bell ring, and the two tie up, with Cena quickly gaining the advantage, taking Nitro down with a double leg takedown and then throwing a flurry of rights and lefts. Cena stands back, waiting for Nitro to rise, and as Nitro does, Cena hoists him up... FU... no! Nitro grabs the top rope, pulling himself off of Cena’s shoulders, managing to connect with a knee to the gut and then following with a clothesline that sends Cena down. With Coach shouting from the outside for Nitro to punish Cena, that’s exactly what Nitro does, mounting Cena to connect with a series of well placed fists. Cena is slow to sit up, and when he does Nitro is right there to attack, striking with a stiff looking running knee smash. The crowd “Oooh’s” but there’s no cover attempt from Nitro, as once again Coach tells him to continue to attack.
Nitro now looks to punish Cena, connecting with high impact move such as a springboard roundhouse kick and a split-legged corkscrew moonsault. There is still no sign of any cover, and as Morrison drags Cena to his feet, he goes for a standing roundhouse... but Cena ducks, grabbing Nitro from behind... and dropping him with the killswitch!! Cena goes for a cover, 1... 2... Nitro kicks out, but now it’s Cena who goes on the attack, running the ropes for a series of flying shoulder blocks before snapping Nitro over with a fisherman’s suplex. The crowd rises as Cena is quickly back on his feet, taunting Nitro with “You can’t see me!” before coming off the ropes... but Melina grabs Cena by the foot, tripping the champ up. Cena turns to face Melina, and this distraction is all Nitro needs, as he catches Cena from behind with a backbreaker quickly transitioned into a neckbreaker.
Nitro now stomps down on Cena, before backing away, motioning for Cena to get up. Slowly Cena grabs the ropes and pulls himself up, turning just in time for Nitro to strike... with the Nitro Blast... but Cena catches his foot... and turns it into the STFU!!
Coach and Melina scream “No!” as Nitro desperately scratches and claws for the ropes, but Cena has it locked in tight in the centre of the ring... and Nitro has no choice but to tap out!!
Winner: John Cena @ 06.57
Cena prevails, much to the chagrin of Coach, who stands up from his ringside perch to wave down the next competitor...
*SWEET AND SOUR...*
Cena's next opponent is one half of the Redneck Wrecking Crew Lance Cade
, who sprints down to the ring looking to get the jump on Cena...
Match 1: Gauntlet Match
WWE Champion John Cena
vs. Lance Cade
But Cena is ready and waiting, ducking under a Cade clothesline before rattling off a string of right hands. Cena backs Cade off to the ropes, before going for an Irish whip... but Cena lowers his head, allowing Cade to hit a kick to the chest before knocking Cena down with a clothesline. Cade now applies a series of boots, before pulling Cena to his feet and looking to send Cena to the corner... but Cena reverses, and as Cade staggers out of the corner, Cena runs the ropes... one-handed bulldog! Cena plants Cade, but Cade makes it back to his feet, but Cena sends him back down with a sitout hiptoss. Cena is back on his feet, waiting for Cade to rise... before hoisting Cade up... FU... no! Cade is able to slip down the back, spinning Cena around... and planting him with the Cade-bomb! Cade nails the sitout spinebuster, but as he gets back to his feet, Cade looks over at Coach who shouts “One more!”. Cade nods, dragging Cena up, readying himself... but Cena has a burst of energy, and he gets Cade on his shoulders... and plants him with the FU!! 1... 2... 3!
Winner: John Cena @ 02.12 ( Total Time 09.09)
Cena rolls off of Cade, perching himself on his knee, trying to catch his breath as...
*SWEET AND SOUR...*
As expected, it's the other half of the Redneck Wrecking Crew Trevor Murdoch
who's up next, with Cena now propping himself up in the corner to try and recover...
Match 1: Gauntlet Match
WWE Champion John Cena
vs. Trevor Murdoch
Murdoch slides under the bottom rope and takes the fight to Cena, charging at Cena in the corner... but Cena moves, seeing Murdoch running into the turnbuckle, allowing Cena to catch him from behind with a rollup... 1... 2... Murdoch kicks out, and he quickly gets back on his feet to strike Cena with a knee to the gut and then a clubbing forearm to the spine. Murdoch now looks to lay a beating on Cena, scooping the champ up for a backbreaker and then sending Cena crashing spine first into the corner with a hard Irish whip. Cena slumps to the mat, the effect of the gauntlet clear for all to see, while Coach is seen at ringside with a beaming smile on his face. Another hard Irish whip sends Cena to the corner, but this time Cena manages to hold on to the top ropes, keeping himself standing. Murdoch slowly moves in for the kill, hitting a pair of knees to the gut before pulling Cena across and sending him off the ropes... straight into a running boot to the face! Cena damn near collapses in the middle of the ring, and as the boos rings out, Murdoch glances towards Coach, who shouts back “Finish ‘im!”. Murdoch nods, pulling Cena to his feet, before hooking him up... for the ace of spades... no! Cena counters with an inside cradle... 1... 2... 3!
Winner: John Cena @ 02.49 (Total Time 11.58)
Having overcame three opponents so far, Cena is understandably tired, but an exasperated Coach franticly waves up at the ramp for the next opponent...
*HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW...*
Surprise throughout the arena as it's former ECW Superstar Hardcore Holly
who races down the ramp, making a first appearance on Raw...
Match 1: Gauntlet Match
WWE Champion John Cena
vs. Hardcore Holly
The notoriously stiff veteran slides under the bottom rope and immediately pounds on Cena, who had only managed to recover enough to make it back to his knees. Holly smacks Cena with a ton of hard rights and lefts, before beginning to drop a series of knees to the spine. Cena is barely motionless as Holly drags him back up, sending Cena off the ropes, straight into a perfectly hit standing dropkick that sends the champ back down again. Coach applauds at ringside, shouting “Now we got ‘im!” as Holly slowly drags Cena back up. Holly then hoists Cena up onto his shoulders, looking for the Alabama Slam... but before he can, Cena rolls through, looking for a sunset flip. Holly also rolls through though, but Cena is also back up as Holly charges... and Cena catches him, taking him up in the air... for the FU!! Cena plants Holly and flops on top of Holly for the cover... 1... 2... 3!
Winner: John Cena @ 01.38 (Total Time 12.36)
Suddenly, Cena has a burst of energy, jumping to his feet and walking to the corner of the ring near where Coach is sitting, defiantly staring down at Coach, taunting Coach with "You can't see me!". Furious, Coach calls out the next entrant...
Cena's expression quickly changes as Chris Masters
sprints down to the ring, with J.R. and King reminding us all of the damage Masters did in his losing effort to Carlito last week...
Match 1: Gauntlet Match
WWE Champion John Cena
vs. Chris Masters
Cena stands defiant as Masters enters the ring, and he beats the Masterpiece to the punch, catching Masters with right hands and going for an Irish whip. Bu just as it looks like Cena has found a second wind, Masters catches Cena in a bearhug! The life is sucked back out of the audience as Masters squeezes tight on Cena’s lower back, showing great strength to lift Cena off his feet to apply more pressure. Masters wrenches on Cena, shaking him from side to side, ever tightening his grip on Cena’s lower back. Eventually, the toll of the gauntlet and the pressure of the bearhug pay off, as slowly Cena starts to fade. The crowd tires to rally behind the champ, as a big “Cena! Cena! Cena!” chant brakes out, but it’s to no avail as the ref raises Cena’s hand... and it drops. Masters continues to swing Cena back and forth, but Cena looks out of it as the ref raises his hand for the second time... and it drops again. Masters smiles and nods, feeling certain he’s the one to have finally broken Cena’s resolve. One more time, the referee raises Cena’s hand high in the air, holding it for a couple of seconds before finally letting go... the hand drops... no! Cena somehow manages to clench a fist and raise the arm again, with the crowd erupting!
Masters now has a strained look on his face as he tries to squeeze tighter, but Cena stresses and strains to free himself from Masters’ grip, grabbing both of Master’s wrists with his hands. Slowly but surely, Cena is able to force a break in Master’s grip, pushing his hands upwards. Cena manages to break the grip, forcing Masters’ hands above his head, but Masters is quick to fire back with a knee to the gut, following that with a clubbing forearm to the spine. Cena drops to one knee, and Masters drops a pair of double axe handles to the back, before Masters pulls Cena up and launches Cena high in the air... for a big time delayed vertical suplex. Cena crashes to the mat, and Masters goes for a cover... 1... 2... Cena rolls the shoulder! The crowd cheers as Cena hangs on, leaving Coach exasperated on the outside. Masters is determined to finish the job however, and as Cena defiantly struggles to get back on his feet, Masters stands ready, his arms open wide, stalking Cena as the champ rises. Cena finally makes it back to his feet, and Masters makes his move, going for the Masterlock... but Cena blocks his arms, and somehow gets Masters on his shoulders... FU!!
FU!! A FU out of nowhere!
Exhausted, Cena can barely move despite nailing his signature move, while on the outside, Coach has seen enough, standing up and sliding the chair he previously sat on into the ring, it conveniently coming to a stop near where Masters lies. Coach then proceeds to stand up on the apron, shouting and talking trash at Cena, who has barely been able to get back to one knee. Coach continues his verbal assault, drawing the attention of Cena who has no idea a steel chair is in the ring. Slowly, Cena somehow makes it back to his feet, and he gingerly staggers towards Coach. Reaching out Cena grabs Coach by the tie, cocking his right hand, motioning he’s about to knock Coach out. However, while this is going on Masters has recovered, picking up the chair. The crowd screams, and Cena soon release his grip on Coach and turns to face Masters... who smashes the chair across Cena’s skull!!
Cena drops like a dead weight to the mat, while the ref immediately calls for a DQ .
Winner: By Disqualification John Cena @ 05.43 (Total Time 18.09)
Masters may have been defeated, but he doesn't care, with Coach encouraging him to continue to wear out Cena with the chair. Masters begins striking down on Cena, slamming the chair off Cena's spine, causing the WWE Champion to cry out in pain. After six stiff chair shots, Masters tosses the chair from the ring, and he drags Cena to his feet... and locks on the Masterlock!!
Masters wrenches on Cena, with the Champion trying his best to fight it. Exhausted from the Gauntlet and devastated from the chair assault, Cena quickly fades. Masters is unrelenting though, shaking Cena back and forth, before finally, mercifully releasing his grip, which sees Cena collapse to the mat.
On the outside, Coach snatches a microphone from Lillian Garcia and smugly makes his way up the steel steps and into the ring...
Cena... I told you that tonight I was gonna get my revenge on you. Well... much like you Cena, I'm a man of my word also. Cena... there's one more WWE Superstar you're gonna face in this gauntlet match...
Coach now stands over Cena, who is barely conscious and still laid flat out on the mat in the middle of the ring...
You're gonna face... ME
Boos ring out all across the arena, as it's clear Coach just wants to be the one who gets the pinfall...
Match 1: Gauntlet Match
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Jonathan Coachman
The damage has already been done, leading to a gloating Coach slumping to his knees and then on top of Cena for the cover...
Winner: Jonathan Coachman @ 00.05 (Total Time 18.14)
John Cena fails to run the gauntlet. After an unbelievable effort, Cena finally succumbs to the damage done by Chris Masters, although to look at Coach you'd think he did all by himself. Coach demands that the referee raise his hand in the air, with Coach soaking up every boo from the crowd. Cena has yet to move, clearly needing medical attention, and we finally fade into with Coach standing victorious over the fallen WWE Champion.
When we return it's to the locker room we go and to the sight of D-Generation X members Triple H
and Shawn Michaels
getting ready for their World Tag Team Championship match against Rated-RKO later this evening. The Game is busy applying tape to his fingers, while a visibly tense and nervous HBK sits nearby...
Listen, uh... I never really know what to say at times like this. I mean... uh... y'know...
Shawn, relax. It's not gonna happen.
How do you know? Huh? I mean, how do you know tonight's not gonna be the last night we team together as D-Generation X? How do you know that it doesn't all end for us tonight?
Flashing an annoyed look across his face, The Game rises out of his seat, prompting HBK to do likewise...
What is this Shawn? You havin' doubts now or somethin'?
Michaels is slow to respond, and when he does, he can't look Triple H in the eye...
I dunno. Maybe. I mean... I don't ever remember us talkin' about puttin' it all on the line. You didn't exactly give me any notice about that challenge you made last week. I guess I missed the memo on that one.
A smirk crosses the face of The Game...
Look Shawn, you wanna know why I made that challenge last week? You wanna know why I risked DX for another shot at Edge and Orton? I did it because I... AM... THE GAME!!
Pop from the arena, but Triple H isn't done yet...
I did because you are THE SHOWSTOPPER! You're the Headliner, the Main Event, the Icon, you're Mr... Wrestle... Mania.
Triple H pauses, with Michaels now looking him dead in the eye...
I did it because I know you and me together are the most dominant force this business has ever seen. Together, you and me, we gave this company attitude
. We helped revolutionize this industry. Randy Orton and Edge? (Scoffs)
Piece of cake Shawn. I believe in DX Shawn... do you?
Hey, hey I believe in DX, alright? I just remember a time when we acted as equals. Last week... you started acting like a leader
The Game holds his hands out in apologetic fashion...
Alright, Shawn I'm sorry about last week. We've had shots at Edge and Orton in the past, and we've never got the job done. I had to get them to agree to face us again. Shawn... I had
to raise the stakes.
Michaels again averts his eyes from The Game, slightly shaking his head...
Shawn... I know
we can do this tonight. I know
it. We win the tag titles tonight... then... either you or me win the Royal Rumble and go on to Wrestlemania. But tonight... we finish Rated-RKO once... and for all. You with me?
The Game extends his hand...
I'm with you.
The pair exchange a brief handshake, with a smile crossing the face of The Game...
Good. Alright, I gotta go finish up gettin' ready. I'll see ya later.
The Game turns to leave, with the camera staying focused on HBK's face. Despite the Triple H pep talk, it's not a look of confidence Michaels has. Instead, he looks concerned, almost worried ahead of what could be the last match we see him compete in wearing the DX colours.
We now cut to another backstage area, this time it's a corridor of the arena. We see Carlito walking down the corridor, dressed in street clothes, his left arm draped over Torrie Wilson's shoulder, a trusty apple in his right hand. The two are all smiles as the make their way through the arena, with Torrie even bursting into laughter after Carlito whispers something in her ear. Eventually the pair turn a corner, only for them to stop abruptly. The camera turns, and we see the reason for Carlito and Torrie stopping so suddenly... the World's Greatest Tag Team Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas stand before them...
Ju' uh... ju' guys lost or somethin'?
Benjamin gives a slight laugh while Haas merely shakes his head...
No, no. We ain't lost. But uh... we were wonderin' if maybe you lost your mind last week?
What ju' guys talkin' about?
We heard whatcha' said to Ric Flair last week man. And we didn't like it. I mean, I know you gotcha' head messed up by Chris Masters last week. I don't know man, maybe you suffered a concussion or somethin' last week... cos' nobody playin' with a full deck would wanna sign up with Ric Flair after what we did to him last week.
Carlito now takes his arm off of Torrie's shoulder, stepping infront of her to distance her from Haas and Benjamin...
What ju' two did last week? Carlito didn't see nothin' special. All Carlito saw was ju' two guys usin' chairs to beat up a legend of 'dis business. Dat's not cool. Dat don't impress Carlito... and dat don't scare Carlito either.
Benjamin now goes face-to-face with Carlito, with Haas also closing the gap, but Carlito stands his ground...
We're warning you Carlito. Don't mess wit' us.
Stay out of our business. You don't want what we did to Ric Flair last week to happen to you... or to your girl over there.
It may have been a brief confrontation, but Haas and Benjamin smile and turn to leave, satisfied they made their point to Carlito. 'Lito meanwhile turns to see a distressed looking Torrie, offering her a hug, all the while staring in the direction Benjamin and Haas walked off in, a stern look etched on his face.
Back into the arena for...
It's a good response as the Women's Champion Mickie James
bounces out and down the ramp...
Well that was certainly a very disturbing threat laid down to Carlito at the hands of the World's Greatest Tag Team.
I don't think there's any call for the kinda threat Haas and Benjamin just made. It's one thing to make threats to a guy you don't like, but it's another thing to threaten a man's girlfriend like that.
Well we'll try put that behind us, as here comes the Women's Champion Mickie James, and that means it's time for our first Title match of the night.
*I AIN'T A LADY TO MESS WITH...*
A fair amount of heat as Victoria steps out, as always carrying her clipboard. As Victoria makes her way down the ramp, she holds the clipboard up to the camera, and we can clearly see the names of the Divas of Raw, each name on the hitlist with a line scored through it... except for the last name, that of "Mickie James"...
I gotta be honest King, I can't ever remember a Diva in the history of the WWE who has been on such a dominant roll as Victoria has been on in recent weeks. She has taken on and taken out every member of the Divas division her on Raw.
And last week, we saw Victoria grab a pinfall over Mickie James, which set up this title match tonight. I dunno if I like Mickie James' chances of holding onto her title tonight.
Match 2: Women's Championship Match
Women's Champion Mickie James vs. Victoria
With her opponent decimating all opposition in recent weeks, it’s no surprise that Mickie is tentative in the early moments of the match. Victoria uses this to gain an early advantage, as she connects with kicks to the gut and forearms to the face before a scoop slam sends Mickie down. Victoria bounces off the ropes and looks for a splash, only for the Champion to roll out of harm’s way, and now it’s Mickie’s turn to attack, connecting with kicks to the head as Victoria makes it back to one knee before charging off the ropes with a dropkick that sends Victoria under the bottom rope to the floor. The match now heads out of the ring, as Mickie looks to stay aggressive, striking with forearms to the skull as Victoria staggers around the ring. Near the announce desk, Mickie grabs a handful of hair and goes for another forearm, but Victoria ducks, and she drives the Champion spine first into the announce desk. Mickie cries out in pain, but the challenger isn’t done yet, driving Mickie for a second time into the desk and then slamming the Champion face first off the top of the desk before the match finally returns to the ring.
Now Victoria is in charge, and she looks to pile on the pain, starting with a snap suplex and following with a stiff backbreaker. After a near fall, Victoria reaches back and locks on a bridging reverse chinlock, wrenching back on Mickie’s neck, causing the champion to cry out in pain. Victoria ramps up the pressure, and with Mickie far from the ropes, the Champion slowly begins to fade. With one last burst of effort, Mickie somehow manages to force herself onto her knees, and she quickly turns the chinlock into a backsldie... 1... 2... Victoria kicks out, and the challenger quickly jumps back on the attack, striking with a series of elbows to the back. Victoria drags Mickie to her feet, only to slam Mickie back down again. Now, sensing that one big move will put the champion away, Victoria slowly climbs to the top rope, facing away from the ring. Victoria steadies herself, takes one final look at Mickie, before launching herself... moonsault... NO! Mickie rolls out of the way, leaving Victoria to crash to the mat.
Slowly both women make it back to their feet, and now it’s the champions turn to attack, with Mickie scoring with a string of forearms, forcing Victoria to the ropes before going for an Irish whip... the challenger reverses... but here comes Mickie... Lou Thesz press! A huge burst of energy sees Mickie unload with a flurry of punches, before grabbing Victoria by the hair and slamming her skull off the mat. Mickie gets back to her feet, and again connects with shots to the face, but she swings once to many, as Victoria ducks, grabbing Mickie from behind... hooking the arms and hoisting Mickie up... Widow’s Peak!! We’ve got a new champion, 1... 2... NO! Mickie somehow reaches out and gets a foot on the bottom rope, to the disbelief of Victoria. The challenger immediately confronts the ref, demanding that it was a 3 count. Running out of ideas, Victoria drags Mickie to her feet and then sends her to the corner, but as Victoria charges in, Mickie gets a foot up... but Victoria catches it on her shoulder... only for Mickie to force her weight onto Victoria’s shoulders. No Victoria has Mickie in a perilous position, and looks like she’ll go for an electric chair... no! Mickie rolls forward... into a victory roll! 1... 2...3! Victoria kicks out, but not before the 3 count! Mickie retains the title!
Winner: And still Women's Champion, Mickie James @ 06.02
The crowd responds as Mickie James pulls off somewhat of a surprising victory. Victoria is shocked, as she screams "What?!" straight into the camera. Mickie doesn't waste any time in rolling out of the ring, waiting at the bottom of the ramp for the referee to hand her the belt and raise her hand. In the ring, Victoria kicks the ropes in frustration, screaming "This isn't over!" as Mickie slowly backs her way up the ramp, and we fade to commercial with Mickie feeling the effects of a hard fought title defence.
When we return, we go straight to another locker room, where Rated-RKO members Edge
, Randy Orton
and Kenny Dykstra
are deep in conversation...
Look Kenny, about last week... you really dropped the ball on that one junior. I mean, you lost that six man tag team match for us. I'm not bustin' my ass every week to make up for your mistakes. I think you owe us an apology Kenny.
Shocked, Dykstra can barely believe what he's hearing, while Orton looks away, obviously not in agreement with his fellow tag champion...
What the hell are you talkin' about Edge? You guys... you left me last week! You left me in the ring with three guys! Y'know what? Screw you two! I'm out of here.
As Dykstra goes to leave, Orton is quick to grab his arm...
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop, stop. Kenny, relax man. Listen... you're right. OK? You're absolutely right. We did
leave you in a bad situation last week. And on behalf of myself and Edge...
On behalf of myself AND
Edge... we apologize.
Dykstra looks at Edge, who reluctantly nods his head in agreement. Hearing what he wants to hear, Dykstra relaxes...
Alright good. Listen Kenny, you gotta admit, you have learned a lot
from us. We've helped you elevate your game. Hell, with our help, you've got yourself an Intercontinental Championship match with Jeff Hardy at the Royal Rumble.
Well, actually Dykstra earned that shot by pinning Jeff Hardy in a tag team two weeks ago. Regardless, Orton presses on...
We've been good to you Kenny, and tonight... we could use your help. If you help us Kenny... we can help you.
Now catching on, Edge enthusiastically jumps in...
I mean c'mon Kenny, you're talkin' to two of the greatest Intercontinental Champions of all time here. We know
what it takes to become Intercontinental Champion Kenny. We... can help you get there.
And all we need to know is that you've got our backs tonight. You scratch our backs...
And we'll scratch yours.
A smirk crosses Kenny's face, with the youngster nodding his head, seemingly on board...
Alright. Don't worry about it. I got your backs tonight.
Now it's Edge and Orton's turn to smirk...
Good. I'm glad we got that settled. You stick with us Kenny... and you're gonna have a huge
future in this business.
Edge and Orton now exit the scene, pleased with their work, while the camera stays focused on Kenny, who has an arrogant smirk etched on his face, and quite possibly stars in his eyes after the words from his two mentors.
Narrator: Every year, 30 men chase a dream...
Shots of historical Royal Rumble moments, starting with Shawn Michaels dumping The British Bulldog over the top rope and then collapsing to his knees in victory...
Narrator: 30 men who seek fight for greatness...
Triple H returning in 2002 and last eliminating Kurt Angle before celebrating in the ring...
Narrator: 30 men who strive for their spot...
Quick-fire shots of 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin's three Rumble wins, 1997, 1998 and 2001...
Narrator: In the annals of time.
We now see stadium-wide shots of past Wrestlemania's, with the flashing lights and pyro displays of yesteryear...
Narrator: They crave immortality...
We now see shots from last year's Royal Rumble, starting with Shane McMahon eliminating Shawn Michaels...
Narrator: They strive for prominence...
The iconic image of Rey Mysterio headscissoring Randy Orton over the top rope to claim victory...
Narrator: But only one...
Rapid-fire images of eliminations, with bodies crashing to the floor as the pace of the video quickens...
Narrator: Will fulfil their destiny.
"WWE ROYAL RUMBLE - JANUARY 28TH - LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW!"
*End Video Package*
In his office, Mr. McMahon is stood infront of a TV, smiling at what he has seen tonight. McMahon is quickly joined by Jonathan Coachman, who has a towel draped across his shoulders, dabbing his forehead, pretending to wipe away sweat obviously due to his exuberant performance against Cena earlier in the night ...
Jonathan Coachman: (Struggling for breath)
Mr... Mr. McMahon! Did you... did you see it? I mean, I... I... I took care of John Cena! Phew!
Overacting at it's finest ...
Cut the act Coachman. You look like your pitchin' for a job at ESPN or somethin'.
Anyway, Mr. McMahon... I got the job done. I taught John Cena a lil' lesson in respect. Just like you asked Sir.
Y'know, for once in your life Coach... you're right. I have to admit, you did what I asked. You taught John Cena a lesson. But y'know... now it's time for Bobby Lashley and Rob Van Dam to learn their lesson.
What did you have in mind Sir?
Smirking, McMahon places a reassuring hand on Coach's shoulder...
Oh don't worry Coach. You'll find out in good time. Infact, why don't we keep it a surprise? You can find out when everybody watching at home finds out... and at the same time Lashley and Van Dam find out about it.
McMahon now motions Coach towards the plush couches in his office...
Why don't we just sit back, relax and enjoy the show?
Y'know, that's exactly
what I need after I beat John Cena. Is that champagne?
Coach makes a move to grab the bottle chilling near the couch...
Don't push it Coach.
Coach quickly stops, awkwardly smiling and nodding his head before settling back into his seat.
We now cut to a backstage corridor, where once again Carlito and Torrie Wilson are walking. Gone are the walking arm in arm of earlier, instead this time Carlito walks with a purpose, Torrie struggling to keep up with him...
Car... Carlito! Would you stop?! Please?! Carlito!
Ignoring his girlfriend, Carlito charges on, a furious look on his face...
Carlito, please stop!
Finally relenting, Carlito stops and turns to face Torrie...
Look, ju' don't have to be with Carlito for 'dis. Go back to da locker room or somethin'.
Carlito begins to walk off, only for Torrie to grab him by the arm...
What? No, Carlito. I wanna be with you. But why are you so mad? And where
are we going?
Ju' and me? We goin' to see Ric Flair. Now let's go.
"Wooo's" ring out from inside the arena, as Carlito grabs Torrie by the hand, leading her down the corridor and off camera...
Back into the arena, and before J.R. and King can say anything...
*HELL WILL BE CALLIN'...*
It's a mostly positive response for Bobby Lashley
, who confidently strides down to the ring, despite having no idea what is ahead of him. Lashley wears a t-shirt with "Domination" printed across it, while the ECW Championship is draped over his left shoulder...
Tonight, according to Mr. McMahon, is a night for lessons to be learned and for respect to be given. Earlier tonight, John Cena was forced to run the gauntlet. And King, what on earth is Bobby Lashley gonna have to deal with?
I honestly don't know. I mean, Jonathan Coachman was the one who organised the gauntlet match for John Cena, but we understand Mr. McMahon personally
has put together this match for Bobby Lashley.
And who knows what the evil minded genius could come up with?
Lashley paces the ring, still looking confident. There is silence in the arena, and from J.R. and King, as the tension builds...
It's an extremely negative response that greets Shelton Benjamin
and Charlie Haas
, the amount of boos they receive noticeably louder than it has been in recent weeks. Benjamin and Haas arrogantly stride down the ramp, with noticeably both men looking ready for action...
Well obviously that's the World's Greatest Tag Team, Benjamin and Haas. Two great athletes, with two bein' the key word there.
J.R. I got a bad feelin' about this.
I think the feelin's mutual King.
Haas and Benjamin both enter the ring, huge smirks on their faces. The referee steps towards Haas and Benjamin, visibly gesturing that he wants to know which one of the pair will be in action here. Benjamin opens his hands, saying "You'll find out" while Haas points at Lashley and shouts "You gonna get it now!". In the ring, Lillian Garcia is on hand to make the announcement...
Ladies and gentlemen, I have been informed that by order of Mr. McMahon, this match... will be a two on one handicap match.
Oh come on! You gotta be kiddin' me! Lashley is gonna have to face Haas and Benjamin in a handicap match. That's just not right!
Especially after what we saw Benjamin and Haas do to Ric Flair last week. I mean they gave Flair a real beating, and that's what could be about to face Bobby Lashley right now.
Match 3: 2 on 1 Handicap Match
ECW Champion Bobby Lashley vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team
As the bell rings, neither Hass nor Benjamin makes for the apron, suggesting they’re both going to be the active men in this match. Indeed, both men slowly make their way towards Lashley, briefly backing the ECW Champion into a corner. Haas makes the first move and swings with a clothesline, which Lashley ducks by storming out of the corner, nailing Benjamin with a huge clothesline of his own. Lashley now turns to Haas in the corner, teeing off with big right hands as Haas tries to cover up in the corner. Benjamin is now back on his feet, and he charges from behind... big splash... no! Lashley moves, and Benjamin splashes into his partner! Lashley quickly grabs Benjamin and sends him crashing into the opposite corner, while Hass slumps in his corner, trying to recover from the splash. Lashley grabs Hass and sends him flying out of the corner with a release overhead belly-to-belly suplex, but as Lashley tries to get back to his feet, Shelton flies across the ring, driving down with a flurry of double axe handles to the back, managing to subdue Lashley long enough to allow Haas to recover. The pair now stomp down on Lashley with a frenzy of boots, far cries from the technical background both come from.
Having managed to keep Lashley grounded, Haas and Benjamin now look to do some damage, no doubts under orders from Mr. McMahon to inflict punishment. Haas and Benjamin start with Benjamin holding Lashley’s legs down on the mat, allowing Haas to drive a series of knees into the gut, with Lashley powerless to stop the assault. Haas then begins dropping elbows across the chest, delivering three well placed bombs before finally relenting. Shelton now drags Lashley to his feet, and the pair send Lashley off the ropes, before planting Lashley with a double flapjack. Much like what John Cena experienced, there is no attempt at a cover, as instead Hass and Benjamin look to put the hurt on. Lashley is sent to the corner, with Benjamin again looking for the big splash, this time finding his mark. Lashley crumples out of the corner to the mat, and when he tries to sit up, Hass is quick to deliver a series of stinging shoot kicks to the spine, with Lashley wincing at every kick.
Feeling cocky now, Benjamin demands Hass pull Lashley up, which he does. Benjamin then nails a great superkick, which Haas transitions into a release German suplex. The crowd boos as Haas and Benjamin share a high five, both men impressed with the job they’ve done so far. The duo drag Lashley back up, before once again sending him off the ropes, looking to nail a second double flapjack... but Lashley shifts his weight in the air... and brings both men crashing down with a double DDT!! Out of desperation Lashley is able to nail both men, but he struggles to get back to his feet, feeling the effects of the assault that has fallen on him. Lashley props himself up in the corner, only to see Haas rise up too, with Haas charging... but Lashley elevates Haas over the top rope to the floor! Now Lashley sets his sights on Benjamin, who turns straight into Lashley’s grasp... release overhead belly to belly! Benjamin goes flying, and now it’s Lashley who takes control, snapping off a string of clothesline before rocking Benjamin with a fallaway slam. The crowd now rises, with Lashley feeding off their energy. In the corner, the ECW Champion readies himself, looking to run through Benjamin with a spear... but from behind, Haas grabs Lashley’s foot, pulling him to the mat and then towards the corner... before smashing Lashley’s knee off the ring post!
Lashley cries out in pain as Haas slides back into the ring, attack the knee with vicious stomps. Benjamin is back on his feet, and he too lands a few kicks before the pair drag Lashley to the centre of the ring. Benjamin turns to Haas and shouts “Do it!” to which Haas nods. Slowly, Haas hooks up Lashley’s legs, twisting, turning, falling back into... the Haas off pain!! Lashley cries out in agony, all the while Shelton stands nearby, a sick smile etched on his face as he shouts encouragement at his partner. Lashley puts up a brave fight, managing to hang in there, but it’s surely only a matter of time until he submits. Until...
*ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA...*
Hass, Benjamin, the announcers, the audience, everyone is stunned to hear the music of ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
. Flair steps out onto the ramp, dressed in a sharp suit, of which he quickly discards the jacket. In the ring, Haas releases the hold, telling Benjamin to go out and deal with Flair. Shelton slides under the bottom rope and slowly walks up the ramp, not wanting to venture too fair though. Flair also moves slowly, neither man wanting to get too close. Flair undoes the buttons of his cuffs, rolling up the sleeves, yelling “C’mon!” at Benjamin. Shelton is hesitant to make a move, with J.R. pointing out Shelton isn’t too brave when he doesn’t have a steel chair in his hand. Flair and Benjamin posture at each other to make the first move, while the audience breaks out with a huge cheer... Carlito is in the ring!!
Having snuck through the crowd, ‘Lito now stands behind an unaware Haas, steel chair in his hand! Flair and Benjamin continue their standoff, while Carlito begs Haas to turn, which he does... into a sickening thud from the chair!!!
The arena erupts as Carlito damn near takes Haas’ head off. ‘Lito throws his chair to the outside and quickly leaves the ring, while on the outside the referee tries to convince Benjamin to return to the ring having missed every second of Carlito’s interference. By now though, Lashley is back up, and he scoops Haas up onto his shoulders... and drives to the mat with the dominator! The ref and Shelton both turn to see Lashley hooking the leg, and while the ref slides into the ring to count, Flair grabs Shelton as he tries to slide in for the save... 1... 2... Flair rocks Shelton with a right hand... 3!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley @ 07.13
It's a thunderous pop from the crowd as Lashley overcomes the odds thanks to a massive assist from Ric Flair and Carlito, who extract a measure of revenge on Haas and Benjamin. Lashley clutches his knee in pain as he's handed his ECW Championship, but he is able to raise the title in the air, before nodding up the ramp at a delighted Flair and Carlito, who back up the ramp to a series of "Wooo's", while we fade into commercial with the sight of Lashley standing tall over the fallen World Greatest Tag Team.
We return to the sight of the ever bubbly Maria
Hi! Like, I'm Maria! And I wanna welcome you all to the newest member of the Monday Night Raw roster... he is the 'Straight Edge Superstar'... C... M... Punk!
It's a huge pop as the popular CM Punk steps into the shot. Wearing a black hoodie with a white X across the front, Punk smiles at Maria, before looking around the interview set, soaking it all in as it were...
And CM Punk, I guess I'll be the first to say welcome to Monday Night Raw!
Well uh... thanks for the welcome.
So, CM Punk, what made you choose to sign for Raw instead of Smackdown?
Punk pauses, rubbing his chin, his taped fists clearly visible...
Well, y'know, unlike many other former members of the ECW roster... I wasn't in any rush to make a move anywhere. I was more than happy to sit back, relax, and see where the big boys of ECW wound up. When I saw guys like Bobby Lashley and Rob Van Dam show up here, live on Monday nights... I knew this
was where I needed to be.
Punk pauses, and a brief pop can be heard...
For those of you who don't know, I am the only Straight Edge Superstar in WWE history. I don't drink, I don't smoke and I don't do drugs. I have no addictions and I have no weaknesses... well, except, maybe one weakness.
Punk now turns away from Maria and stares straight down the camera...
My one weakness... is that I need
... I crave
... and I desire
Another pop from the crowd as Punk gets serious...
I mean, look at the names on the Monday Night Raw roster. John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Randy Orton, Edge, Ric Flair, each and every one of them, phenomenal wrestlers, guys who I want to face, guys who I want to be in the ring with. So here I am, ready to prove myself all over again. All those guys I just mentioned... I'm a nobody as far as they're concerned. But I guarantee each and every one of 'em... pretty soon...
Punk now turns away from Maria, staring intently into the camera...
You'll know EXACTLY
who I am.
The camera stays focused on the intense looking Punk, his eyes burning a hole in the screen as we fade into another video package...
APRIL 3RD, 2005
History is made in the first ever Money In The Bank Ladder Match, which sees six Raw superstars battle it out for a guaranteed title shot, redeemable at any point throughout the next calendar year. In what was the beginning of a Wrestlemania tradition, Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Benoit, Christian and Kane strived to climb the ladder and unhook the briefcase, only for eventual winner Edge to be the man to climb to the top of the mountain, becoming the first Mr. Money In The Bank and kick starting his rise to his first WWE Championship.
WRESTLEMANIA XXIII - 79 DAYS AND COUNTING
*End Video Package*
After the video, the camera settles on the announce desk...
It was certainly an unbelievable moment, a Wrestlemania moment if you will, two years ago when Edge won the first ever Money In The Bank ladder match.
And we all know what happened after that. Edge went on to cash in that briefcase on John Cena to become WWE Champion for the first time.
I know I can't wait for Wrestlemania XXIII, it's just 79 days away. But folks, just three weeks from tonight, we've got a special three hour broadcast of Monday Night Raw.
Absolutely. And that special three hour show is being billed as a "Night Of Champions" J.R.! Night Of Champions, where each and every Championship here on Monday Night Raw will
It's gonna be quite a night. Who's gonna be the WWE Champion come February 5th?
The camera quickly cuts backstage to the sight of Rob Van Dam walking through the corridors, ready for action as he makes his way into the arena...
Could it be that
man, Rob Van Dam? We still
haven't heard whether or not Mr. McMahon will give in to the demands of RVD and John Cena, who both want to face each other at the Royal Rumble.
Well right now J.R., RVD shouldn't be worryin' about John Cena, he should worry about who Mr. McMahon has chosen to face him tonight, especially after what we saw John Cena and Bobby Lashley go through earlier.
It's RVD against an opponent of Mr. McMahon's choosing, and it's coming up when we return live to Monday Night Raw!
As soon as we return...
*ONE OF A KIND...*
It's a deafening response for Rob Van Dam
, as the ECW legend confidently strides to the ring with a purpose...
It was just two weeks ago that Rob Van Dam signed on the dotted line here on Monday Night Raw, and since then, he has been making his presence felt among the major players.
Well it''s one thing to challenge John Cena for the WWE Championship, but it's another thing to mess with Mr. McMahon. I'm not sure RVD knows what he's gettin' into here.
I certainly learnt the hard way what happens when you cross the boss. And that's why I worry for what could be in store for RVD.
RVD paces in the ring, still lookin' confident, showing no fear. Silence...
It's a collective gasp from the crowd as the still
'undefeated' Samoan Bulldozer Umaga
makes his way down the ramp, as always being led by Armando Alejandro Estrada
Bah Gawd that evil bastard! Vince McMahon has just handpicked the 350lbs Samoan Bulldozer Umaga as Rob Van Dam's opponent here.
Well Armando Estrada has been demanding better competition for Umaga in recent weeks. There's few better than RVD.
Yeah but considering the names who have tried to fail to stop the Umaga in the past, can RVD pull it off tonight?
Rob Van Dam vs. Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada
Despite the imposing figure stood opposite him, RVD shows no signs of intimidation early on, as he’s more than happy to square up to Umaga as the Samoan steps forward. The two go nose to nose, before Umaga lets out a scream and swings with a right hand... which RVD blocks, before firing back with a right of his own. Van Dam continues to swing away, backing Umaga to the ropes and going for an Irish whip... Umaga reverses... but RVD ducks his clothesline... and rattle Umaga with a jumping spinning heel kick! The kick only staggers Umaga though, with the big man wobbling towards the ropes, allowing Van Dam to charge... running crossbody... that takes both men over the top rope to the floor! J.R. and King make a big deal (rightly so) over the fact that Van Dam managed to take Umaga off his feet, while as RVD is first back up, he does his thumb taunt while the crowd cheer “Rob... Van... Dam!”
The fight now takes place outside, with Van Dam smashing Umaga face first into the steel steps before rolling Umaga back into the ring. RVD quickly bounces up onto the apron, using the ropes to connect on a slingshot legdrop, hooking the leg, only for Umaga to emphatically power out at 2. And with that, Umaga is quickly back on his feet, but so is RVD, with Van Dam striking with kicks to the gut and thigh, but he kicks one time to many, as Umaga grabs a foot and spins RVD around... straight into a big time belly-to-belly suplex. Van Dam is left grounded, coughing as the wind is driven straight out of him.
Now Umaga senses a chance to attack, and encouraged by Estrada, he unleashes his arsenal of power moves, starting with a few stiff shots to the throat, before sending Van Dam down with a savate kick, earning Umaga a 2 count. Umaga now pounds on Van Dam, but RVD shows great resilience, managing to match the Samoan punch for punch, before Van Dam gets the better of the mini slugfest. Unable to knock the big man off his feet, Van Dam hits one last right hand before jumping up... spinning heel kick... no! Umaga catches Van Dam, twists and turns him... and then sends Van Dam crashing to the mat with a massive swinging side slam! 1... 2... RVD kicks out! After briefly shouting something in Samoan towards the ref, Umaga goes straight back to work, sending Van Dam hard to the corner. Umaga charges in, looking for a splash, only for Van Dam to move, which sees Umaga crash into the turnbuckle. ‘Mags staggers out of the corner, while RVD runs the ropes... over for Umaga to nail him with a huge clothesline! RVD does a 360 in mid air and crashes to the mat, but Umaga doesn’t go for a cover, instead noticing he has RVD near the corner. This prompts ‘Mags to drag Van Dam to the corner, positioning his head on the bottom turnbuckle. Umaga then slowly walks to the other corner, grabbing the ropes, bouncing high in the air... Samoan wrecking ball... no! Umaga rolls under the bottom rope, which sees Umaga crash into the corner.
A burst of energy sees Van Dam climb to the top rope, waiting for Umaga to turn and face him... so he can nail a spinning roundhouse from the top rope! Umaga goes down, and here comes Van Dam... rolling thunder!! 1... 2... Umaga rolls a shoulder! The crowd “aw’s” at the sight of Umaga staying in the match, while Estrada can only grab at his hat in despair. Van Dam has all the momentum now, but once again Umaga is back on his feet, with Van Dam swinging tired right hands at the staggering monster. Both men are showing the effects of the match, but it’s RVD who’s in control, searching for a way to put Umaga down. Van Dam again nails some kicks, before a jumping roundhouse knocks ‘Mags down. Van Dam quickly pounces up to the rope, steadies himself as the crowd comes alive... FIVE STAR FROGSPLASH!! Van Dam connects, hooking both legs tight... 1... 2... NO!! Somehow Umaga kicks out! Exhausted, RVD shakes his head in disbelief, wondering what he has to do to put Umaga away. Thankfully for Van Dam, Umaga stays down, allowing RVD to motion to the crowd... should he go for one more frog splash?! It’s a resounding response from the arena, so RVD obliges, again quickly pouncing to the top rope... but this time as he steadies himself, Armando Estrada jumps up on the apron! Estrada shouts at Van Dam, but RVD takes no notice, aiming a kick to the face that sends Estrada down! Sadly though, the distraction allows Umaga time to return to his feet, forcing Van Dam to go for a crossbody instead... but Umaga counters... SUPER SAMOAN DROP!!! Van Dam is down and he is hurt, but Umaga doesn’t wait around, quickly grabbing RVD by the neck and pulling him to his feet... Samoan spike!! Umaga damn near snaps Van Dam’s head off, and he quickly drops to make the cover... 1... 2... 3.
Winner: Umaga @ 08.28
A huge effort from Van Dam, but he comes up just short as Umaga remains 'undefeated', although it's no doubt the sternest test the Samoan Bulldozer has faced in a long time. Both men feel the effects of the match, with Umaga not his usual imposing self as he returns to his feet. Estrada is quickly in the ring to applaud his monster, and he moves to chase the referee away from the fallen Van Dam. Now Umaga and Estrada stand over RVD... and Estrada pulls out a cigar... and snaps it in half!!
Just like that, Umaga finds a sudden burst of energy, dragging Van Dam to his feet, cocking his right thumb in the air... and nailing another devastating Samoan spike!! Umaga nearly decapitates Van Dam, who instantly crashes to the mat, with Estrada laying in with a few cheap kicks with his white loafers. RVD is down and out, but Estrada isn’t done yet, as he orders Umaga to drag RVD to the corner. Umaga obliges, grabbing Van dam by the hand, slowly dragging him to the corner before propping his head up on the bottom turnbuckle. Umaga then retreats to the opposite turnbuckle, steadies himself, poised, ready to strike. Umaga bounces in the air, lands and charges... and connects with a devastating Samoan wrecking ball!!
“Bah Gawd! Enough’s enough!”
The camera zooms right in on Van Dam, who looks out cold, his head having snapped back against the bottom turnbuckle. Estrada finally calls off his monster, the damage clearly done, with the camera switching between images of the dominant Umaga and the grounded Van Dam as we fade into commercial.
When we return, Todd Grisham
is standing by, stood outside a doorway somewhere in the backstage area...
J.R., King, I'm stood outside the trainer's room right now. I was informed that John Cena entered this room about 20 minutes ago. I'm about to go into the trainer's room, and try to get a word with the WWE Champion.
Grisham cautiously knocks on the door, slowly opening it to reveal John Cena sat on the trainer's table having his ribs heavily taped. Grisham nervously approaches the WWE Champion, who lets out the occasional cry of pain as the tape is applied...
Uh... John? John it's obvious you're in a lot of pain right now. I was just wondering if we could get a few words with regarding the gauntlet match you took part in earlier this evening.
Cena angrily stares at Grisham...
You want my thoughts?
Cena shakes his head, before motioning to the trainer to help him to his feet...
My thoughts are that despite how it went down... Jonathan Coachman got a 3 count on me. Honestly? I'm disgusted at that happenin'. But Coach? Your time will come. I promise you that! Chris Masters? What ya' think hittin' me with a chair time and time again, crackin' a few ribs, slappin' the Masterlock on me, you think that's what it's gonna take to put me out of action? Masters... you may look a million dollars, but you got nothin' but two cents rattlin' around in that head o' yours. You can strike me down, but I WILL
come back fightin', night... AFTER... NIGHT!!
Another pop from the arena...
Coach, Masters... I will
get back at you two. As for Vince McMahon...
Cena stops dead in his tracks, as a presence is felt entering the room. Cena, Grisham and the trainer all look towards the door, and soon the camera follows... to see the sight of a beaming Mr. McMahon stood at the doorway, a huge grin across his face. McMahon strolls towards Cena, before stopping mere inches from his face...
Well Cena... what about me?
Knowing Cena is hurt, McMahon is now full of confidence, arrogantly getting in the face of the WWE Champion, a far cry from how we started the evening...
John Cena: (Breathing hard)
Cena laughs, shakes his head, grabs at his injured ribs before looking McMahon dead in his eye...
I'm gonna straight up kick your ass!
Huge pop from inside the arena, with Vince doing that famous 'gulp' at the sight of the furious Cena in his face...
Well... uh, Cena... believe it or not, I actually came here with some good news for you.
McMahon clears his throat, trying to regain his composure...
Y'see Cena, after watching you
get your ass kicked by Jonathan Coachman... and then after seeing Rob Van Dam get his
ass kicked by Umaga... I've decided that you both get your wish.
McMahon smugly smiles at Cena...
I feel that you...
McMahon takes a slight jab at Cena's ribs, at which the WWE Champion winces...
And Van Dam... (To the trainer)
He'll be here in just a few minutes... (Back to Cena)
I feel the two of you have learnt a very valuable lesson tonight. You don't cross the boss!
McMahon chuckles, with boos heard in the background...
So at the Royal Rumble... it'll be the WWE Champion John Cena... defending his title... against Rob Van Dam.
Pop from the arena, with Cena nodding his approval...
However, that match will only go ahead... under my
terms. So next week, there will
be a contract signing between you and RVD, that I will personally oversee. So you do your best to heal up John, and I'll see you in the ring next week.
McMahon flashes a smug smile and turns to leave, only for Cena to grab the collar of his suit...
Vinny... don't for one second think a few cracked ribs is gonna earn you my respect.
Oh don't worry Cena. This is about way
more than respect.
Once again McMahon smiles before exiting the room, leaving a bemused John Cena and Todd Grisham (remember he was there?) behind as we cut to another backstage area.
To see D-Generation X, Shawn Michaels and Triple H walking through the arena...
Well folks, tonight could be the night it all comes to an end. The World Tag Team Championships are on the line, as DX takes on Rated-RKO.
Yeah and for DX, the stakes could not be higher. Win and you're the new champions, lose and DX is disbanded forever
It's all on the line as DX go into battle, live when we return to Monday Night Raw!
As we fade back into the arena...
"ARE YOU READY...?"
*BREAK IT DOWN...*
It's a deafening ovation that greets DX, as Michaels and The Game confidently step out onto the ramp, both men posing and doing a series of crotch chops to set off a huge pyro display...
They have been a presence on Raw since the days of the Attitude Era. They reunited last Summer to fight the McMahons, but could it all end tonight for D-Generation X?
I can't imagine Monday Night Raw without DX. I mean, they've been a huge part of this show for a long time now. They've just gotta win tonight J.R., they've just gotta.
Now in the ring, Triple H is handed a microphone. The Game pauses, smiling, soaking in the cheers of the crowd before finally speaking...
Are you ready?
I don't think you hear me. I said BOSSIER CITY... ARE... YOU... READY?!!!
Even bigger pop...
Then, for the thousands in attendance, and the millions watching worldwide... lllllll-let's get ready to.... SUCK IT!!
Another good response, with Trips now tossing the mic to Michaels...
And if you're not down with that... we got two words for ya'...
What d'ya think J.R.? Is that the last time we're gonna hear that?
Well... I hope not. The Game sounded very confident earlier on, and I hope he and Michaels can get the job done tonight.
"YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME...
HEY! NOTHING YOU CAN SAY..."
*BURN IN MY LIGHT (RATED-R REMIX)...*
After an initial pop, the boos soon rain down on the World Tag Team Champions Edge and Randy Orton...
But for DX to survive, they must overcome the dominant champions, Edge and Randy Orton.
Yeah but J.R., the third member of Rated-RKO is conspicuous by his absence. I don't see Kenny Dykstra anywhere.
Oh he'll be here at some point, you can guarantee that.
Main Event: World Tag Team Championship Match
World Tag Team Champions Rated-RKO vs. D-Generation X
The match kicks off with Michaels and Orton squaring off, and HBK quickly gains the advantage, after working the initial tie up into wrenching on Orton’s arm. Michaels snaps his own shoulder into the arm, and continues to wrench on it, only for Orton to grab a handful of hair, allowing him to back Michaels into a corner. The ref quickly steps in calling for a break, and it’s a relatively clean one, with Orton backing away... only to slap Michaels in the face! The crowd “Ooohs” as a smug grin flashes across Orton’s face. That grin soon disappears though as Michaels grabs Orton and yanks him into the corner, unloading with a string of chops across the chest, before Michaels goes for an Irish whip... Orton reverses, but Michaels jumps to the second rope... and then twists in mid air to catch Orton running in with a perfect crossbody! 1... 2... Edge is in quickly to break up the pin, which immediately draws Triple H into the ring, and the match loses all control just minutes into it, as all four men are in the ring brawling. Orton and Michaels trade rights, while The Game runs straight through Edge with a clothesline. Edge staggers to the ropes on one side of the ring, which allows Trips to clothesline him over the top rope to the outside, while Orton is rocked towards that side by stiff rights from Michaels, only for Orton to swing and miss... Michaels hits an atomic drop, and The Game follows with a big time clothesline. Orton goes down, and Michaels quickly tunes up the band... but before Orton can stand up, Edge drags his partner out of the ring, and the champs look to regroup on the outside as we fade into the final commercial of the evening.
We return with the action still in favour of DX, as Triple H rocks Edge with a series of right hands before going for an Irish whip off the ropes... and planting Edge with a spinebuster! Michaels gets the tag, and he climbs upstairs... elbow drop connects! 1... 2... Edge kicks out, and he quickly scrambles to a corner, trying to distance himself from Michaels. HBK follows in, pulling Edge up and unloading with a few more stiff chops, but as the ref calls for another break, Edge grabs Michaels’ tights, falling backwards, pulling HBK forward, sending him shoulder first into the ringpost.
Feeling the effects of the punishment he’s taken, Edge quickly tags in Orton, who starts methodically wearing HBK down, snapping off a few stiff knees to the gut before striking with a pair of uppercuts. Orton then drops HBK with a standing dropkick, before stomping his way around Michaels’ body. Edge and Orton make plenty of quick tags as the work well together to wear HBK down, with Edge connecting with a big boot to the face in the corner while Orton snaps off his inverted backbreaker for a close fall.
Orton has one of his trademark chinlocks on tight in the middle of the ring, with Michaels struggling to break free. Slowly but surely, HBK fights back to one knee, then to both feet, rocking Orton with a pair of elbows to the gut. Michaels goes for an Irish whip, only to have Orton reverses it... Michaels ducks a clothesline and keeps running... to nail a flying forearm! Both men are down and Michaels slowly crawls towards his corner, much like Orton does. Orton makes it first, tagging in Edge... but here comes Triple H! The Game explodes into the ring, catching Edge with a series of big rights before sending him off the ropes... flying knee knocks Edge down! The crowd is alive as Trips now turns to Orton, rocking stiff rights off Orton’s head before he too is sent off the ropes... into a bigtime spinebuster! The crowd erupts as Trips runs riot on the champs, with The Game waiting for Orton to rise. Slowly Orton staggers back to his feet, with Triple H waiting... kick to the midsection... [B]pedigree!![/B} The Game nails the pedigree, and he hooks the leg... but there is no count... as Kenny Dykstra
is on the apron!! Dykstra argues with the referee, distracting him, stopping the count. Trips looks up, finally seeing Kenny, but before he can do anything about it, a commotion is heard from the crowd... Jeff Hardy
is racing down to the ring!!
Hardy flies down the ramp, grabbing the unaware Dykstra from behind and pulling him off the apron... to nail Kenny with a right hand! Dykstra and Hardy brawl on the outside, which draws the attention of the ref, while in the ring, Edge stands behind Triple H... steel chair in hand!
Edge readies himself, poised to strike, chair in the air... only for Michaels to yank it out of Edge’s hand!! Michaels saves his partner from a certain chair shot, and he swings at Edge... only for Edge to ducks... MICHAELS ACCIDENTLY NAILS TRIPLE H!!
The Game crashes to the mat, with Michaels having a look of sheer disbelief on his face. Stunned and still with the weapon in his hand, Michaels is blindsided by Edge, who bodychecks Michaels through the ropes to the floor, while Orton quickly pounces to cover Triple H, with the ref oh so conveniently turning around in time to make the cover...
“No! Not like this!”
“Don’t let it end this way!”
Michaels desperately slides back into the ring and dives to break up the cover...
But he’s just... too... late.
Winners: And still World Tag Team Champions, Rated-RKO @ 12.47
Bah Gawd I can't believe it! Somehow, someway, Edge and Randy Orton have managed to win this match and keep their titles.
Yeah and in the process, they've just killed off DX forever
Exhausted but somehow still standing, Edge drags his partner out of the ring, throwing Orton's arm over his shoulder to keep Orton standing. The ref hands Edge and Orton their belts, as the two slowly, painfully back their way up the ramp...
They did it. All those months ago, Edge and Orton joined forces to try and extinguish the flame that was DX. Well, they've finally done it.
They didn’t do nothin’ King! DX had this match won, if it wasn’t for the actions of Kenny Dykstra. And then poor Shawn Michaels, he was swinging for Edge.
I dunno J.R., I mean are you sure he was swinging for Edge?
Aw for Gawd’s sake, of course he was!
In the ring, Triple H finally starts to come too, while Michaels is down on his knees in the centre of the ring, his head buried in his hands, the dejection there for all to see...
Look at Shawn Michaels. He looks absolutely devastated by what just happened.
Despite his look of devastation, Michaels manages to pull himself to his feet and then help Triple H up also. The Game is initially shaky on his feet, but he soon steadies himself, standing next to Michaels in the middle of the ring...
These two, best of friends for as long as I can remember. And now, their dreams of being tag team champions together are over.
The crowd gives a warm response as the two sheepishly stare at each other, pride forbidding either man from wanting to show any emotion. It's Michaels who goes first, slowly offering Triple H a handshake. The crowd cheers, certain The Game will respond...
But he doesn't.
Instead, Trips stares at Michaels hand, before slowly making his way to the ropes, rolling under them and walking up the ramp, his back to Michaels the whole time.
What was... what was that all about?
I... I... I honestly don't know. Emotions are runnin' high but... I never expected to see somethin' like that.
Michaels walks towards the ropes, placing both hands on them, watching his former partner walk up the ramp. Slight boos follow The Games's movements, with the camera switching between the dejection on the face of HBK and the cold blooded stare of The Game. Soon though, both men's facial expressions change...
As The Game flashes a quick smirk...
While Michaels' face changes to pure rage...
As we fade to black.
Current Card for WWE Royal Rumble:
Date: January 28th 2007
Location: AT&T Centre, San Antonio, Texas
WWE Championship Match:
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam
World Heavyweight Championship Match:
World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. Finlay
Intercontinental Championship Match:
Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Kenny Dykstra
30 Man Royal Rumble Match:
Winner has automatic title shot at EITHER brand’s Champion at Wrestlemania XXIII:
Entrants in Alphabetical order:
Bobby Lashley, Brian Kendrick, Carlito, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Edge, Gregory Helms, Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro, Kane, King Booker, Matt Hardy, Mr. Kennedy, Paul London, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, The Miz, The Undertaker, Triple H, Umaga