After RAW on Monday, you’d think that Michael Cole and Shawn Michaels would be doing whatever they could to ensure that John Cena and Randy Orton were never under the same roof in the WWE again. However, despite all the problems on Monday, Orton is scheduled to appear tonight on Friday Night SMACKDOWN where he could well come into contact with John Cena again – just two days before the Royal Rumble. After Cena’s win in the ‘RAW Rumble,’ he is sure to be considered one of the favourites for the victory in the Rumble but the presence of Orton on SMACKDOWN could lead to problems for Cena tonight.
WILL CHRISTIAN’S DREAM COME TRUE IN TWO DAYS TIME?
After almost fifteen years in the wrestling business, the majority of it with the WWE, Christian finally gets his big chance to wrestle with the World Heavyweight Champion this Sunday when he faces CM Punk looking to win the big title for the first time ever. Christian has had some close efforts in the past but this surely represents his best chance yet – one on one, crowd favourite and against a distracted CM Punk who appears to have his eyes on WrestleMania when there could be larger problems in store in the close future. Tonight, Punk and Christian are scheduled to appear in a main event tag team match – who will get the upper hand heading into Cleveland this Sunday?
After months and months of issues, Undertaker challenged his brother, Kane, to a Buried Alive match on SMACKDOWN this week just two days ahead of the Rumble. Although Kane has not officially accepted, he is unlikely to back down from the challenge and we will see two of SMACKDOWN’s best meet in a devastating, brutal match. Will either of them be able to walk out of the arena by the end of the night? And how will the match impact on them as they prepare for the Rumble this Sunday?
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS IN ACTION!
Michael Cole has confirmed that he is allowing the Tag Team Champions, the Major Broskis, the chance to select their own opponents tonight as they look for a morale boosting win ahead of the Tag Team Turmoil match at the Rumble. After they were beaten by Evan Bourne and Mark Henry on a recent edition of NXT, Ryder and Hawkins found themselves demoted to the early starters in the Turmoil match and they face an uphill task to retain their titles on Sunday. Can they get back on track tonight?
Cody Rhodes vs. Kofi Kingston
Michelle McCool vs. Natalya
Buried Alive Match: Undertaker vs. Kane
***** JOIN US FOR FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN LIVE THIS FRIDAY! *****
I can't wait until Smackdown especially with my man Randy Orton being on Smackdown, which means if he is on Smackdown he will get his hands on John Cena
And Christian/Punk it could be Christian's last chance because if he loses against Punk on Sunday, he will never get another World Heavyweight Championship match, not as long as Cole is the GM
Undertaker/Kane Buried Alive, I see Kane getting buried alive and why I say that is because Taker just came back after all those months of being gone and then to get buried alive to take him off TV, no not going to happen, Kane needs to be off TV for at least until Mania and bring him back as Masked Kane
And for the Tag Team Champions, the Major Broskis I can't wait to see them
And as for your other matches Natalya facing Michelle McCool, I can't wait to see that as well as Cody vs Kofi
Cole appears on the titantron and the heat is instant from the crowd although it appears that the SMACKDOWN General Manager is now addressing the crowd live rather than via a recording as he has done in previous weeks ...
You may have misheard me, I said ... Can I have your attention ... PLEASE?!
Louder boos and jeers for Cole now and a ‘You Suck!’ chant begins in the arena which causes Cole to look flustered and annoyed ...
And people wonder why I recorded this greeting before? Louisville, Kentucky, you are disgracing and embarrassing yourselves, now be quiet and take heed of what I have to announce!
Cole misjudges things and completely gets it wrong as he tries to get the crowd to quieten down and listen to him ...
I can wait all night for you. The show will not start until you listen to me.
More jeers for Cole as he stands with his arms folded waiting for a hush. As the noise level drops, Cole tries to begin ...
Thank you! Now, I would like ...
More jeers and heat for Cole, the crowd really do not like him here in Lousiville ... Cole leans out of shot to speak to the sound technicians who are recording him ... Although he is not clear, we hear snippets of what he is saying ...
... turn them down ... morons ... people at home want to hear ... turn me up ... mute them ...
Cole straightens up and smiles as he prepares to start but now the jeers of the Louisville crowd have been turned down significantly so that they cannot be heard as well at home live on SMACKDOWN. Despite the vigorous attempts of the crowd in attendance, Cole can now address the WWE Universe who are viewing SMACKDOWN on their TV sets at home ...
WWE Universe, around the world, welcome to Friday Night SMACKDOWN – which is, as always of course, live and exclusively. Now that these morons here in Kentucky have been quietened down, let me share with you some thoughts about the state of play here on SMACKDOWN!
The jeers and boos of the crowd are just audible but not loud enough for Cole to be interrupted no more ...
Many of you will have tuned in tonight fearing the worst. I know that what you want to see this Sunday at the Royal Rumble is a fit and healthy SMACKDOWN roster ready to challenge in the Royal Rumble. What you want to see is one of Michael Cole’s loyal SMACKDOWN army win the Royal Rumble and prove that SMACKDOWN is now the Number 1 show in the WWE. What you want to see is every single one of SMACKDOWN’s biggest stars battling in the Rumble, proving their loyalty to me and ensuring that the whole world knows that I, Michael Cole, am the greatest General Manager that the WWE has ever seen!
Cole smiles to the camera and shows off his pearly white teeth, he clearly thinks that this is all about him ...
Now it is my duty to provide you with a vintage night of action here on SMACKDOWN but it is also my duty to ensure that the SMACKDOWN roster can challenge at the Rumble. Therefore, I have made two big decisions. First of all, the proposal from the Undertaker last week that he should face Kane tonight in a Buried Alive match? I am cancelling that match ...
Despite being turned down, the boos of disappointment in the arena come through clearly at that decision ...
... Down a little more, Joe, please.
Cole signals to the sound guys to turn the crowd down even further ...
If Undertaker and Kane are allowed to beat the living daylights out of each other tonight, SMACKDOWN’s chances of victory in the Royal Rumble are severely affected and I cannot allow that to happen. However, I do understand that Undertaker needs a match to prepare himself so he will face ... someone who is in no danger of winning the Rumble ... erm, oh yeah! Undertaker will go one on one with ... Matt Hardy!
Cole laughs to himself, he is pleased with that decision!
As if he is likely to win the Rumble, right? Secondly, as you will be aware, RAW superstar Randy Orton is here on SMACKDOWN tonight. The subject of Mr. Orton’s mental stability of late has been questioned but I have allowed Orton to appear on SMACKDOWN tonight on two conditions. He will not physically involve himself with anybody tonight unless it is during his match. Also, for the protection of SMACKDOWN superstar John Cena, I have allowed Mr. Cena to take the night off to prepare himself for Sunday ...
More boos from the arena can be distantly heard ...
Randy Orton will abide by the no physical contact rule as well – if he does not, he will be handed the Number 1 spot in Sunday’s Royal Rumble match.
Cole again laughs to himself after these announcements ...
You’re probably wondering what tonight’s main event will be then? Well, it will feature the afore mentioned Randy Orton as he teams with the Number 1 contender for the World Championship ... Christian ...
Cole shakes his head at the thought of Christian as Number 1 contender ...
And they will face the pairing of two of the greatest champions in WWE history! The World Champion CM Punk ... and the Intercontinental Champion and SMACKDOWN’s fastest rising star ... Alberto Del Rio!
Cole fixes the screen with a smile as we digest the idea of a main event of Orton and Christian against Del Rio and CM Punk tonight on SMACKDOWN.
Turn the volume back up, Joe ...
The sound of the crowd in the arena is turned back up and the Louisville crowd jeer Cole once more but he isn’t bothered now ... He shushes the crowd and then speaks once more ...
Todd Grisham and Mick Foley welcome the WWE Universe to SMACKDOWN and they discuss the announcements made by the General Manager, Michael Cole – no Undertaker vs. Kane in a Buried Alive match, Cole wants to keep his top stars fresh and fit heading into the Rumble. Instead it will be Undertaker vs. Matt Hardy as well as a main event of Orton and Christian against Del Rio and Punk with no John Cena tonight, he is taking the night off.
*** SMOKE AND MIRRORS ***
Marietta, Georgia | 223 pounds
The ‘Dashing’ one heads out and he appears determined to get a big win as he prepares to participate in this Sunday’s Rumble match. Grisham says that this is what makes the Rumble special – anybody can win, even a young guy like Cody Rhodes who is just starting out on his journey to the top. Foley agrees with this but he predicts that Rhodes will not be victorious this Sunday ...
*** S. O. S. ***
Ghana, West Africa | 212 pounds
However, says Foley, this man could win the Rumble and headline WrestleMania 27! Kofi bounds out into the arena with his pyro exploding and he bounces towards the ring ready for another important match ahead of Sunday. Grisham reminds us of the problems Kofi has been having with Show and replays the Knockout Punch from SMACKDOWN last week in the parking lot as well as their confrontations in the ‘RAW Rumble’ this past Monday night. Will Kofi have any problems tonight with Big Show?
MATCH 1 | SINGLES MATCH
CODY RHODES vs. KOFI KINGSTON
An even start to the match as Cody and Kofi trade holds but it is eventually Kofi who gets on top in the contest as he begins to control the tempo. Cody has a brief flurry of offence and this leads to an attempted Beautiful Disaster kick from the Dashing One but Kofi ducks underneath it and hits a standing dropkick to regain control. This is followed by the Boom Drop before an attempted SOS from Kofi; Cody counters though and goes for Cross-Rhodes instead but Kofi counters out of this and hits Trouble in Paradise instead! BOOM! Kofi makes the cover!
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
KOFI KINGSTON (4:38)
Delight in the arena as Kofi Kingston gets another dominant victory as he continues to roll on towards the Rumble. The crowd in the arena are right behind Kofi as he celebrates the win and he salutes them with the ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ in the corner ... He looks all around but there is no sign of Big Show which must mean he is safe from trouble tonight. Kofi shrugs his shoulders and he heads up the ramp as SMACKDOWN heads into its first commercial of the evening.
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
THE ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA 27 BEGINS ... THIS SUNDAY!
Who will win the Royal Rumble and advance to WrestleMania 27? *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
*** NEW FOUNDATION ***
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
SMACKDOWN returns with the daughter of former WWE superstar Jim ‘Anvil’ Neidhart in the ring, the niece of Hall of Famer Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart. Foley expresses his delight that he will get to see Natalya in action tonight and his admiration for all members of her illustrious family ...
*** NOT ENOUGH FOR ME ***
Palatka, Florida | with Kharma
Accompanied by her bodyguard, the behemoth Kharma, Michelle heads out into the arena to boos but smiles a sweet smile as she heads for the ring. She points out the spot where she wants Kharma to stand and then slides into the ring to display her sexy moves as Grisham shoots to a replay of NXT on Tuesday – he informs us that McCool and Kharma finally made their presence felt as they interrupted the Divas Championship rematch between Maryse and Layla. Their attack on the two Divas is shown as well as Michelle standing tall over both ladies ... The camera returns to the ring and McCool is smiling as she points to Natalya’s fate in this match ...
MATCH 2 | SINGLES MATCH
MICHELLE McCOOL vs. NATALYA
Quick paced match where Natalya gives as good as she gets to McCool and appears to be getting the upper hand when she hits a suplex to McCool that leaves her crashed out on the mat. As the crowd get behind Natalya, she throws her arms up in the air and calls for more support before she goes for the Sharpshooter on the former Divas Champion. As Natalya steps through, Kharma menacingly steps up onto the apron and the Canadian Diva is forced to pause for a second whilst she watches the gigantic Kharma on the apron. The referee demands that Kharma gets down and Natalya goes to lock in the Sharpshooter but the delay has given Michelle chance to recover and she fights out of the hold. As Natalya then hits the ropes looking for a big clothesline, Kharma catches her foot and trips her and this causes the distraction that allows McCool to smash her in the side of the head with a huge boot ... McCool makes the cover ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
MICHELLE McCOOL (3:12)
Michelle celebrates her victory over Natalya by slumping in the corner and holding her hand up in the air although she looks annoyed with almost being placed in the Sharpshooter. Into the ring climbs Kharma and the referee tells them to leave Natalya be but they ignore him – Kharma shoves the referee out of the way and out of the ring. Kharma drags Natalya to her knees and then feeds her to McCool who smashes her in the side of the head with a stiff kick. Natalya is again dragged up by Kharma and fed to McCool – this time, she sets up and hits the Wings of Love before the intimidating pair take their leave and exit the ring. Natalya is spark out in the ring as McCool and Kharma leave, they’ve made their presence felt once again.
The camera switches backstage to the interview area where Matt Striker is waiting ...
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time ... KOFI KINGSTON!
A grinning Kofi comes into shot and he looks delighted after his earlier win over Cody Rhodes in the first match of the evening ...
Kofi, thanks for your time. Tonight, you beat Cody Rhodes, you’re on a tremendous roll. Are you confident that you can go out on Sunday and win the Royal Rumble?
Kofi grins further before answering ...
Matt, you can never be too confident about heading into the Rumble. I hear all these guys shouting the odds, telling the WWE Universe that they will eliminate twenty nine other guys, they will dominate the ring and win the Royal Rumble. I’m not naive enough to think that I can do that, Matt. Am I confident that I will do well in the Rumble? Yeah, too right I am. Am I confident that I can win? I know I can win, I know I have a chance but that is a promise I cannot make. I’ll go out there, I’ll give it my best shot and who knows? With a little luck, a kind draw when I choose my number, maybe, just maybe, I can win the Royal Rumble!
Striker shakes hands with Kofi and appears to appreciate an honest answer for a change. However, a commotion breaks as Kofi is suddenly grabbed from behind ... It’s the Miz! Miz locks his arms and legs round Kofi, he falls forward ... SKULL CRUSHING FINALE ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR! Loud boos and jeers echo around the arena as Miz straightens up and stands over Kofi with a look of annoyance in his eyes. He looks into the camera and then clicks his fingers at Striker to hand him the microphone which he does ...
You see, that is why Kofi Kingston will not win the Royal Rumble. He lacks confidence in himself, he doubts himself, he knows that there are people in the Rumble that he ... can’t ... beat. People like me, for example. I am the most must-see WWE superstar of all time, I am heading to the Rumble this Sunday in my home town of Cleveland, Ohio ... and I guarantee that I will win the Rumble, I will be going to WrestleMania and I will win the WWE or the World Championship in the main event.
Miz looks down at Kofi who is stirring a little and he smirks ...
Kofi says that if he gets lucky, he could win the Rumble? I say that if Kofi gets lucky, he won’t be in the ring at the same time as me. Because, if he is, he will get more of what he just received, he will be tossed over the top rope and out of the ring, he will be nothing but a statistic on my road to ultimate glory ... because I’m the Miz ...
The crowd boo as Miz’ voice drops to a barely audible whisper again ...
... and I’m ... awesome.
Miz looks down on Kofi again who is trying to get to his knees. With a smirk, Miz walks over to the left and grabs his Money in the Bank briefcase and he positions himself a few steps away from Kofi as he slowly gets to his feet. Miz is poised, ready to strike with the briefcase, Kofi staggers to his feet and Miz goes to smash him in the skull ... BAM! WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION! BIG SHOW SAVES KOFI! Miz is knocked cold and the WWE Universe cheer their appreciation, has Big Show come to his senses? Kofi looks at Show with a strange look in his eye but Show extends a hand to his former friend ... Kofi hesitates but then reaches out to shake the hand of Show and the WWE Universe cheer for a split second ... BAM! BIG SHOW KNOCKS KOFI COLD AS WELL! With both Kofi and Miz laid out cold at his feet, Big Show picks up the discarded microphone and looks at the camera as WWE officials pour out to tend to the unconscious stars on the floor ...
Luck will play no part in it. Home advantage will play no part in it. The winner of the Royal Rumble?
Show fumes as the camera zooms in on his face ...
Jeers from the crowd again for Show as he throws the mike aside and heads out of shot as SMACKDOWN heads into a second commercial ...
72 DAYS TO GO! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns with the Tag Team Champions sat in a backstage area with their Tag Team Championships draped over their shoulders. However, they have worried, concerned looks on their faces and they do not look in the best of moods ...
Bro, this is serious now. We’re just two days from the Rumble, we’ve got to get a win tonight and get some momentum back ... and quick!
You’re right, Zack, man. We’ve got to find somebody who we can face tonight and it needs to be somebody ... it needs to be somebody like ...
Into shot walk Evan Bourne and Mark Henry, one of the team’s challenging for the Tag Team Championships this Sunday in Tag Team Turmoil and a team that last week on NXT defeated the champions to place them in an earlier spot in the match – making it much more difficult to retain their titles.
Can we help you out, boys? After all, we were the ones who beat you last week ... Maybe we could face you again tonight and show you that we real serious about gettin’ dem Tag Team belts?
Hawkins looks a little worried about the prospect of facing the World’s Strongest Man and Evan Bourne but Ryder jumps in quickly and accepts ...
Sure thing, Mark. You’re just the guys we need to face tonight to get ourselves back on track!
Bourne and Henry smile and they turn to leave ...
Well, I guess we’ll see you out there then, Bros!
Bourne and Henry disappear as Ryder looks on with a pleased look in his eyes. His partner, however, doesn’t look so impressed. He turns to Ryder in dismay ...
Bro, what are you thinking? We don’t wanna’ go out there tonight and face that freak, he could seriously injure one of us!
Relax, bro, relax. They’re perfect. We need a win tonight that will make all the other teams sit up and take notice of us. We can beat them, we can get back on track tonight, bro, trust me!
Hawkins doesn’t look convinced but he accepts Ryder’s idea ... reluctantly!
I guess you’re right, bro!
Oh, I’m right! You know it!
Ryder grins at his partner and readjusts his Tag Team Championship as the cameras switch back to the ring where the ring is empty apart from the referee for the next match and ring announcer, Tony Chimel ...
*** LIVE FOR THE MOMENT ***
Cameron, North Carolina | 235 pounds
An apprehensive Matt Hardy heads out to the ring with a look of concern in his eyes – anybody would if they were facing Undertaker wouldn’t they? Hardy salutes the fans and heads for the ring but Foley expresses concern for him – things just aren’t going right for him, Michael Cole seems dead against him and he seems to be getting further away from achieving his dream not closer to it. Grisham reminds Foley that back in October, Hardy threatened to walk away from the WWE for good if he didn’t feel he could get the job done and he asks Mick if he thinks it might be on Hardy’s mind again. Foley doesn’t answer but the silence speaks volumes ...
*** GRAVEYARD SYMPHONY ***
Death Valley | 299 pounds
The bone-chilling entrance of the Deadman brings the WWE Universe to their feet and they revel in the spectacular nature of it – an entrance seen all too infrequently of late due to the actions of the Big Red Monster, Kane. However, Taker slowly makes his way to the ring tonight – not for the planned Buried Alive match with his brother – but to get into shape ahead of the Rumble this Sunday. Grisham points out to Foley that the Undertaker has only ever won the Rumble once – in 2007 – and even then he needed to enter at Number 30 to do so. Foley says that whatever number Undertaker draws this Sunday, he is a definite contender to win the match and head for the main event of WrestleMania – and we all know how good he is there!
MATCH 3 | SINGLES MATCH
MATT HARDY vs. THE UNDERTAKER
Hardy and Taker go at it from the very first bell as Matt looks to prove that he belongs in matches like this at the very top of SMACKDOWN. The match is even in the early stages as Hardy looks to take Undertaker down and he manages this on several occasions but cannot get the big move that would take his opponent down. Hardy attempts to go for a Twist of Fate but Undertaker responds by grabbing Hardy by the throat and choking him before lifting him high ... CHOKE SLAM! UNDERTAKER HITS THE CHOKE SLAM! Undertaker makes the cover to Hardy ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** HARDY KICKS OUT! **
Undertaker looks around in shock that Hardy just kicked out – he can’t believe it as he looks down on the determined Hardy. Undertaker shakes his head and drags Hardy to his feet and begins to wear down his opponent with his usual array of moves, Snake Eyes, clothesline, big boots and the Old School. However, Hardy refuses to quit and he keeps kicking out of any pinning combination that Undertaker puts him into. Taker signals for the Tombstone Piledriver and it appears that Hardy’s time is now up but he manages to wriggle clear of it and hits the Side Effect to Undertaker instead. Hardy quickly scampers up the ropes and stands on the top turnbuckle before hitting the Hardy Leg Drop that crushes the chest of the Deadman. A 2-count follows but Hardy stands back and sets himself ... Hardy waits for Taker to get to his feet and he goes for the Twist of Fate but Taker shoves him away roughly and hits four big right hands and then scoops Hardy up for the Tombstone again. However, Hardy again counters as he escapes from Taker down his back and as Taker spins round ... TWIST OF FATE! HARDY HITS THE TWIST OF FATE! It’s over! Hardy hooks both of Undertaker’s legs and makes the pinfall ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** UNDERTAKER KICKS OUT! **
Hardy can’t believe it this time and he holds his head in his hands as looks down on the body of the Undertaker. He considers what he needs to do next and gets a look of determination in his eyes, he needs to do even more and he grabs Taker to drag him up. Hardy drags Taker to his knees but once again his opponent responds as he grabs Hardy by the throat and shoves him back to the corner. Hardy fights as hard as he can but he cannot trade right hands with Undertaker, a silly move from Hardy, Taker takes control as he knocks Hardy down to his knees once more. Undertaker looks to have had enough of this and he yet again scoops Hardy up for the Tombstone and this time Hardy does not counter but ...
... Kane is here! The Big Red Monster makes his way down to the ring and he jumps onto the apron to distract Undertaker who drops Hardy down. Kane comes through the ropes and looks to clobber Undertaker but the Deadman ducks ... CHOKE SLAM! UNDERTAKER CHOKE SLAMS KANE! Kane rolls out of the ring as Taker watches him go but as he turns around, Hardy is ready and goes for the Twist of Fate again ... HELL’S GATE! TAKER LOCKS IN HELL’S GATE FROM NOWHERE! Hardy is fighting hard to get to the ropes but he is dead centre of the ring and struggling here ... Can he make it?
** TAP **
** TAP **
** TAP **
THE UNDERTAKER (10:10)
The match ends after a thrilling fight between Hardy and Undertaker that had the crowd transfixed for over ten minutes – an amazing SMACKDOWN match. Kane is sat on the floor at ringside staring in shock after he was nailed with the Choke Slam by his brother during the match. Kane is furious and he re-enters the ring where Undertaker is getting gingerly to his feet and attacks his brother from behind. Kane pummels Taker with heavy right hands and staggers him into the corner before going for a heavy clothesline in the corner ... Taker ducks! With Kane off balance, Taker scoops him up for a Tombstone! Can Taker hit it? Kane is fresher though and he wriggles free and scampers out of the ring to safety in the ramp. For the first time, Kane appears to be showing signs of fear and Undertaker further proves his dominance ... he raises his hands and the arena falls into darkness apart from two bolts of lightning that crash down onto the stage with a huge explosion. Kane staggers up the ramp in fear as the lights return and Taker steps over the top rope and begins to stalk the Big Red Monster out of the arena as we head into another commercial ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
When SMACKDOWN returns, a melancholy looking Matt Hardy remains in the ring after his defeat to Undertaker moments ago. He is looking down at his feet with a microphone in his hand, he looks dejected and upset. As a ‘Hardy! Hardy!’ chant begins, Matt looks up with forlorn eyes and he ushers the crowd to stop.
Please, please, I don’t deserve the chants. For months now, my career has been going nowhere, I am slipping away into mediocrity. I make big claims that I am going to one day win the World Championship – but I can’t defeat Christian to earn the chance. I make claims that I deserve the chance to prove myself as a top contender here on SMACKDOWN – but I can’t beat the likes of the Undertaker.
Matt is incredibly upset with himself – unjustly after a superb match with Undertaker that could have gone either way – but he appears to be wallowing in self pity here.
People, in two months time, after WrestleMania 27 is finished, Matt Hardy is out of contract with the WWE. For over fourteen years, I have been here, I have been battling my way up the ranks of the Tag Team division ...
Cheers for mentions of this phase in his career ...
I’ve been involved in hellacious matches like TLC, I’ve been involved in deeply personal storylines here in the WWE. I’ve kept going, I’ve always believed in myself – whether I’ve been forcing you to like me or forcing you to hate me – and I’ve never doubted that I’ll reach my goal one day. Until recently.
Hardy looks uncomfortable but this appears to be what he has to do ...
I always said that if I ever doubted myself, that was the time when I would leave. Maybe that is what I should do? I’m stuck here on SMACKDOWN, I’m further away from being World Champion than ever, I’ve got a boss who doesn’t believe in me ... So ...
There are words of encouragement being shouted up to Hardy but they don’t appear to be helping the veteran ...
So ... this Sunday, what is the point? If I’m going to leave after WrestleMania, maybe I need to ... you know, just get it out of the way ... maybe I just need to ...
Hardy is interrupted as the arena flashes purple ... JEFF HARDY IS BACK ON SMACKDOWN! The crowd go wild as Matt’s brother returns to the WWE and raises his hands ‘Hardy style’ before running to the ring and joining his brother. Matt watches as Jeff bounds around the ring and takes in the adulation of the fans before he signals for his music to be faded. Jeff has a microphone and he is ready to speak to Matt when a huge ‘Hardy! Hardy!’ chant goes up ...
Hold it right there, sir! I can’t believe what I am hearing!
The fans cheer the words of the returning hero, they are ready to hear Jeff sort Matt’s mood out ...
Now, I was going to wait until the Royal Rumble this Sunday to make my return, Matt, but I heard you pouring out your heart and I thought, you know, I gotta’ go speak to my bro. So, here I am, Matt. Here to talk some sense into you, man!
More cheers as Matt smiles for the first time tonight at the words of his younger brother ...
I want you to think back, Matt, think back before the TLC matches, before the WWE, before the Hardy Boys, I want you to think back to way back when we were both little boys growing up in Cameron, North Carolina ...
Matt thinks back as Jeff waits for a second ...
Matt, tell me, what was our dream? When we were just two little boys, what was our dream? Was our dream to win the WWE or the World Championship? Was our dream to win the Royal Rumble?
Matt shakes his head and Jeff smiles ...
You’re right, Matt, it wasn’t ... Tell the world, Matt, tell the world what our dream was!
To be WWE superstars ...
To be WWE superstars, Matt! That’s right! All we ever wanted to be was WWE superstars, all we ever dreamed about was being WWE superstars, all we wanted to do was live our dream ... together.
Another ‘Hardy!’ chant goes up and Matt seems to have perked up a little ...
So, Matt, I want you to forget all about the World Championship, I want you to forget all about the Royal Rumble and whether or not you can win it ... I want you to get back to that little boy, aged ten, who only dreamed of being a WWE superstar. And this Sunday, Matt ...
Jeff grabs his brother by the side of the head and pulls him closer ...
... this Sunday, to hell with winning, to hell with titles ... let’s just go out there and rock it Hardy style one more time, baby!
Jeff looks to his brother expectantly and the crowd cheer for the thought of a return for Team Extreme this Sunday at the Rumble ... Matt thinks for a moment ...
You’re on, Jeff, let’s do it!
Big cheers echo around the arena as the Hardy Boys hug and then they celebrate their reforming by saluting the fans in their usual way – it appears that the fun times are set to return for Matt Hardy instead!
The camera switches backstage and we see Randy Orton walking into the arena with an intense look on his face. He is walking down the corridors looking for his locker room when he is stopped by Josh Mathews who asks him if he can have a quick word. Orton stops and appears willing to speak to the interviewer ...
Thanks for the time, Randy. I just wondered if I could get your reaction to the news that John Cena is not here tonight and has been given the night off to prepare for the Royal Rumble?
Orton smirks before answering ...
It’s not secret, Josh, that John Cena is a coward. Whilst he might have pulled the wool over many fans eyes for an awful long time, it has been common knowledge in the locker room for a while. Cena pulls the strings here in the WWE and does what he needs to do to get the favours and the breaks. I heard his comments last week and they were a real load of bulls**t, Josh. John Cena has always known who to suck up to and it’s helped his career massively. One guy that Cena could never fool though, one guy who never took in his lies ... was me. I never trusted Cena, I didn’t trust him at Survivor Series but I was forced to team with him – and look what he did.
Orton fumes over the memory of Cena losing his WWE Championship ...
You see, the powers that be in the WWE now are tougher on Cena and he doesn’t like that. That’s why he has changed his attitude, they see through his crap – just like I do. However, they don’t appreciate just how much I want to punt him in the skull ...
Loud cheers from the WWE Universe for this idea ...
They threaten me with fines, suspensions and difficult situations but they don’t realise that none of these things is important to me. I am a man and John Cena has made me angry. And when I get the chance, when I get hold of John Cena ... he is going to pay for it with an R ... K ... What the hell do you want?
Into shot walks the Intercontinental Champion, Alberto Del Rio, a man who has been making a big splash of late since his debut four months ago ... He stands face to face with Orton and he smirks at him ...
ALBERTO DEL RIO
Randy Orton ... I just wanted to introduce myself to ju’ Orton ... My name ...
Jeers as Del Rio begins his now famous catchphrase ...
ALBERTO DEL RIO
... My name is Alberto Delll Rrrriio! But ju’ ... ju’ already know that! What ju’ don’t know, Randy, is that I am the man whose destiny it is to be the winner of the Royal Rumble ‘dis Sunday. Now I hear ju’ speaking about John Cena but, ju’ know, ju’ aren’t impressing me, perro. In the past weeks and months, ju’ have lost to Sheamus, Cena, Miz ... Nobody fears ju’ Randy ...
Del Rio winks in the face of Orton who is remaining calm – despite the throbbing temple that kind of gives him away a little ...
Let me tell you, Alberto, what you are! You are the man that, if he doesn’t shut the hell up and get out of my way, is heading for an RKO and a punt to the skull right now. I’d like to know how you plan on winning the Royal Rumble if I put you in a hospital bed?
Del Rio smirks again but he moves aside and allows Orton to pass. The Viper, watching Del Rio like a hawk as he passes, narrows his eyes as if to warn Del Rio to leave him well alone. As Orton continues to walk, Grisham reminds us that tonight, Del Rio gets his chance to prove himself against Orton in the tag team main event match – Orton and Christian vs. Punk and Del Rio. Orton turns into a locker room and there – stood in his path – is the other man he faces tonight ... World Champion, CM Punk!
Well, well, well, if it isn’t Randall Keith Orton from Monday Night RAW!
Orton tosses his bag into the corner and turns to face Punk with an infuriated face now. Punk though has the air of someone who knows he is safe from assault ...
As the World Champion here on SMACKDOWN, Randy, I thought it my duty to welcome you here to SMACKDOWN tonight. Now, I realise that later tonight, we are facing each other but I felt it was the right thing ... to do, if you get what I mean?
Orton smirks and he gets right into the face of the World Champion – to be fair to Punk, he stands his ground ...
What is it with you lot here on SMACKDOWN? You’ve got Cena pushing his luck way too far, Michael Cole crying out for an RKO, Alberto Del Rio wanting a punt to the skull ... And now you, CM Punk, the World Champion. Trying to make a name for himself off the back of Randy Orton?
Punk laughs – he clearly feels he doesn’t need to make a name for himself here tonight.
Wrong, Randy, wrong. I just wanted to get in your face tonight before you head to the Royal Rumble. You see, I realise that you could win the Rumble on Sunday night and then you might choose to head over to SMACKDOWN and challenge me for the World Championship. I realise that you might have that plan in mind because you want to get to the place where John Cena is ...
Punk chews his gum a little before continuing ...
I don’t care for you, I don’t care for John Cena. But I do care about this ...
Punk holds up the World Title for Orton to see ...
And I want to warn you that if you do win the Rumble, if you do come to SMACKDOWN, Orton ... Be prepared to be handed the beating of a lifetime at WrestleMania 27. I am the only ‘Straight Edge’ World Champion in history, Randy ... That makes me better than you. Remember that ... OK?
Orton smirks once more ...
Punk, I don’t need to be on SMACKDOWN to get to John Cena. If I want to get to Cena, I’ll just show up here whenever I want to. And you’re right, I plan on winning the Royal Rumble this Sunday ... but I plan on destroying John Cena even more first. So, you can stop worrying about your precious World Championship, I won’t be coming after it. However, you might want to concern yourself over your match this Sunday, Punk. I just get a feeling that ... well, you won’t have that title after Sunday. You see, Christian is one tough guy and I get the feeling that he is ready to be the World Champion. Good luck with that, Punk.
Punk looks a little affronted by Orton’s comments about Christian, he expected some more fired up comments from Orton clearly. Frowning slightly, Punk turns and exits the locker room to leave Orton alone in the locker room at last as SMACKDOWN heads into another break ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
“WRITTEN IN THE STARS” (Tinie Tempah featuring Eric Turner)
Official theme song of WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta, GA! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns with Evan Bourne and Mark Henry making their way into the ring for their match tonight ...
*** BOURNE TO WIN ***
EVAN BOURNE & MARK HENRY
Grisham reminds us that Henry and Bourne were challenged tonight by the Tag Team Champions who are looking to get back on track two days before they have to defend their Tag Team Titles in the Turmoil match. Henry and Bourne look confident and they signal that they are going to be the new champions as the crowd give them a warm welcome ...
*** RADIO ***
Long Island, New York | 450 pounds | Tag Team Champions
Foley suggests that this is one of the most important matches in the careers of the Tag Champs as they look to get a win that will take them to the Royal Rumble in a better frame of mind. We are reminded that, a couple of weeks ago on NXT, Bourne and Henry defeated the Broskis to earn a later entry into the Turmoil match. However, the Broskis will be forced to enter the match as one of the first three teams which makes their quest to defend their titles even more difficult. A look of determination accompanies Ryder and Hawkins as they head for the ring but Ryder is trying to gee up his partner as they look for a big win tonight.
MATCH 4 | TAG MATCH
EVAN BOURNE & MARK HENRY vs. MAJOR BROSKIS
Even back and forth contest as Evan Bourne and the Broskis trade high flying and fast paced action with the Broskis getting on top and grounding Bourne in their corner. However, Bourne manages to escape in the end and he rolls across the ring to make a tag to the muscle of the team, Mark Henry. As the World’s Strongest Man enters the ring, the entire mood of the match changes as he ploughs through the Tag Team Champions with shoulder blocks and big right hands before Zack Ryder is lifted high in the air in a Military Press and thrown out of the ring. Curt Hawkins looks to catch Henry off guard but he is caught and Henry counters ... WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM! Henry makes the cover to Hawkins but the referee doesn’t count as Curt is not the legal man right now, Ryder is. Frustration for Henry and he slams the mat in anger, as he turns around, Broski Boot! Ryder nearly takes Henry’s head off in the centre of the ring with a stiff kick to the side of his head and then he sets himself ... Ryder goes for the Rough Ryder but Henry ducks underneath it and he makes a tag to Evan Bourne who has recovered in the corner. As the referee tries to get Henry out of the ring, Hawkins catches Bourne unaware with a shot to the face and this allows Ryder to hit a standing drop kick to take Bourne down once again. The Broskis manage to dominate on Bourne once again as a groggy Mark Henry recovers in the corner after the Broski Boot. Ryder is back in the ring and he once again tries to hit the Rough Ryder, this time to Bourne, but Evan manages to counter by ducking under it and then hitting a Hurricanrana to buy himself some time.
Both Ryder and Bourne are down and crawling to their corner – Bourne desperately needs the tag. As Evan reaches out to make the tag, Ryder decides his need to stop Henry entering is greater than tagging in Curt Hawkins and he rushes over and crashes into Henry sending him falling off the apron where he crashes hard into the barricades and falls to the ground with a thud. The referee tells off Ryder who pleads innocence as Bourne struggles to his feet in the centre of the ring without a partner to tag right now. The ref is distracted though and he fails to see Curt Hawkins creeping in behind Bourne ... LOW BLOW! Down drops Evan Bourne as Curt quickly rolls out of the ring to the annoyance of the crowd ... ROUGH RYDER! ROUGH RYDER TO EVAN BOURNE! Ryder makes the cover ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
MAJOR BROSKIS (6:46)
The Tag champions slide quickly out of the ring and retreat as Henry comes back into the ring looking furious before checking on his partner, Bourne. The referee follows the champions and he clearly missed the low blow from Curt Hawkins that allowed the champions to pick up the controversial win. However, the Broskis appear to be indifferent to the controversy and just delighted that they managed to get a win heading towards the Rumble. They hold their title belts high in the air and walk backwards up the ramp. However, as they do, behind them appear another of their opposing teams on Sunday – the British Empire.
The Broskis do not notice the Empire until they walk backwards and collide with them. Turning round quickly, Ryder and Hawkins retreat a step from the Empire and look shocked to see them there. Regal, Ryan and Finlay do nothing but continue to stand in the Broski’s way staring at their Tag Title belts. Eventually, the Empire move aside and the Broskis move past them with a look of concern on their faces as they exit the arena ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN vs. RAW 2011!
In stores now! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
*** CLOSE YOUR EYES ***
Toronto, Ontario, Canada | 227 pounds
A fantastic reception for the Number 1 contender to the World Heavyweight Championship of CM Punk as he heads out ready for his final address before challenging for the title this Sunday. Christian has a huge smile on his face and he looks around the arena looking for his ‘Peeps’ while on stage and then heads for the ring. He is wearing his wrestling gear ready for the main event to come but he first wishes to address the WWE Universe and he grabs a microphone ready to do so ...
To all my Peeps around the world, I have one thing to say ... We are two nights away, just two short nights, before I finally achieve my dream ... and become the new World Heavyweight Champion!
Huge cheers for this announcement from Christian and he smiles as he looks around the arena ...
I’ve been here in the WWE for almost 13 years now and I have never won the WWE or the World Heavyweight Championship. When I debuted here with my ‘brother’ ...
Christian signals inverted commas as he says the word ‘brother’ ...
... Edge in 1999, I was just thankful to have a job doing something that I loved. Together with Edge, I won the Tag Team Championship on seven different occasions, we won the WrestleMania 16 Triangle Ladder Match, we won the first ever TLC match at Summerslam 2000 and we won the second TLC match at WrestleMania 17 – it was truly one of the greatest times in my life and I will be forever thankful for those days.
Applause and cheers for Christian as he reminisces over his days in the ‘Edge and Christian’ team ...
Unfortunately, I made the ‘mistake’ of turning my back on Edge in 2001 ...
Cheers for Christian splitting from Edge who is obviously not a favourite of the WWE Universe nowadays ...
... yeah? You remember that? Can you remember my theme tune?
Smiles from Christian as he prepares to sing it ...
CHRISTIAN Christian! Christian! At last ... you’re on your own!
Huge cheers for Christian’s out of tune singing! Christian laughs out loud ...
You people are crazy if you like my singing! Back to the story, if you don’t mind ... I won Intercontinental Titles, European Titles, Light Heavyweight Titles, I even won the Tag Team Titles again with people like Lance Storm ... and Chris Jericho ... I even won the ECW Championship, I held the ECW Championship longer than anybody else ever did ...
Loud cheers for all Christian’s accomplishments ...
But I’ve never won the big one, I’ve never managed to get my hands on one of the big titles here in the WWE. I’ve come close, I’ve come oh so close ... but not yet, never yet, have I managed to win one. But this Sunday, I finally have the opportunity that I’ve been working for, for so, so long!
More cheers for Christian ...
This Sunday ... Christian and the World Heavyweight Champion ... CM Punk ... one on one ... for the World Championship.
A look of determination and seriousness passes over the face of Christian as he contemplates the chance to win his first World Championship. He walks round a little as the WWE Universe show their support with a ‘Christian! Christian!’ chant that echoes around the arena, the support of the crowd is with the charismatic superstar ...
But you know, it is only a shot at the title. Right now, it’s a title opportunity and it means nothing unless I can head into Cleveland, Ohio, do my thing and find a way to pin CM Punk’s shoulders to the mat ... 1 ... 2 ... 3! Until I hear those words from Tony Chimel over there ... “Here is your winner ... and NEW World Heavyweight Champion ... CHRISTIAN!” ...
Loud cheers for this statement ...
... Until I hear those words from Chimel’s mouth, it means ... nothing. This Sunday, it is my dream, it is my shot, my opportunity to win the big one ... but it means nothing unless I win. If I don’t win, if I can’t beat CM Punk, it is nothing but a nightmare ...
Christian thinks hard about the match he has with Punk on Sunday ...
I’ve dreamed of becoming the World Champion since I was a little boy growing up in Ontario and now, this Sunday, I will be this ...
Christian holds his thumb and his forefinger up close together to show how close ...
... this close to fulfilling my dream. I’ve sat by and watched other people win the titles – I’ve seen Edge win it over and over, I’ve seen Jeff Hardy win it over and over, Chris Jericho, guys that I have competed with around the world but I’ve never ever been the man to hold the gold ... until this Sunday.
Cheers for Christian’s confident attitude ...
This Sunday, I fulfil my dream, it comes true in Cleveland and I’ll be damned if CM Punk is going to be able to stop me. I don’t care what he does, it’ll make no difference. However hard he hits me, I’ll hit him even harder. However clever he wrestles, I’ll wrestle cleverer. However long it takes, however many times I have to kick out of the GTS, however many times I have to fight my way to the ropes in the Anaconda Vice, I have worked too long, I have worked too hard, I have waited too long for this chance and CM Punk ...
There is a passion in Christian’s voice that is driving this promo and the crowd are fully behind him as he continues to speak his mind ...
... well, CM Punk, I don’t care if you’re looking past me to WrestleMania, I don’t care if you’re taking me 110% serious, I will not give up and I will fight harder than anybody has ever fought before, I will win the title and I will make my dream ... come ... true!
Huge cheers for Christian’s words as he climbs the turnbuckle and he looks out at the WWE Universe who are showing their support for Christian as he heads for the Rumble and his date with destiny. All of a sudden ...
*** CULT OF PERSONALITY ***
Chicago, Illinois | 222 pounds | World Heavyweight Champion
Christian drops back down to the mat and turns to face the stage where the World Heavyweight Champion, title belt around his waist, CM Punk heads out onto the stage ahead of tonight’s main event. Punk stands centre stage and he stares down to the ring where his challenger is stood staring right back. Eyes locked together, both men refuse to budge although CM Punk slowly unbuckles the World Championship from his waist and then raises it high in the air. It appears that Punk has listened to every word from Christian and he is showing that he is ready for Sunday’s match ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
THE ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA 27 BEGINS ... THIS SUNDAY!
Who will win the Royal Rumble and advance to WrestleMania 27? *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns with Todd Grisham and Mick Foley ready to run down the card for Sunday’s Royal Rumble match. They begin by showing RAW’s main event, the WWE Championship match between Wade Barrett and Triple H ...
Foley suggests that Kurt Angle’s actions on Monday night and the subsequent failure of Triple H to banish Nexus from the Royal Rumble PPV could come back to haunt him as he goes one on one with the leader of the Nexus this Sunday. Next up, Grisham brings up the NXT Battle Royale where one of the eight NXT competitors will earn themselves immunity from the first two eliminations in NXT ...
Foley predicts that there isn’t anybody else in NXT that can match up to the strength and power of the Punjabi Playboy, Great Khali, and that the Indian is his odds-on favourite to win the Battle Royale this Sunday. Next up, the match card for the US Championship Number 1 contender match is shown ...
Grisham reminds us that Justin Gabriel defeated former champion Daniel Bryan and Ted DiBiase at Vengeance to win his first title here in the WWE and that – whilst Gabriel participates in the Rumble match on Sunday – Bryan and DiBiase will face each other looking to earn the right to face Gabriel in the future for the title. Foley predicts that the former champion Bryan will have the upper hand in using the ladder and that he cannot wait to see Gabriel defend against Daniel Bryan in the future.
Grisham reminds us that we earlier saw the Tag Team Champions get a ‘major’ win over two of their challengers this Sunday, the Broskis Ryder and Hawkins will have to overcome all the odds and five other teams to retain their Tag Titles. Foley says that Chip Butty wants to find the WWE’s best tag team, a team to lead the tag division forward into the future and what better way to do it than this? Grisham next hypes up the actual Royal Rumble match where 30 men will be competing for the chance to headline WrestleMania 27 ...
Foley suggests that there are so many high profile contenders, so many of the 30 men will be amongst the favourites to win it and that it is impossible to identify one man who will be in the WrestleMania main event. Grisham asks Foley for a pick and he eventually plumps for Randy Orton if he can focus and not be too consumed with destroying John Cena ... Finally, the World Championship match card is shown ...
Foley suggests that tonight’s main event could be an excellent chance for Christian or CM Punk to gain some momentum ahead of Sunday’s big title match. Grisham reminds us that the main event is coming next as the cameras switch back to the ring where Christian is still in the ring ready and CM Punk is stood at the foot of the ramp.
*** REALEZA ***
San Luis Potosi, Mexico | 239 pounds | Intercontinental Champion
ALBERTO DEL RIO
His personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, introduces him as Del Rio heads out driving in yet another fancy car, this time an Audi worth over $200000. Del Rio waves his white scarf around as the gold rain falls behind him and the Mexican heads down the ramp to join CM Punk. Punk shakes the hand of Del Rio and they then step into the ring where Christian, to his credit, stands his ground. Punk and Del Rio attempt to intimidate Christian but as they advance towards him a little, Christian’s partner shows up and he isn’t in a very good mood tonight!
*** VOICES ***
St. Louis, Missouri | 245 pounds
A fired up and determined Randy Orton heads for the ring, the RAW superstar a guest here tonight on SMACKDOWN, desperate to get his hands on John Cena but finding himself in a match partnering Christian tonight as they team up against the World Champion CM Punk and the Intercontinental Champion Alberto Del Rio. Orton steps into the ring and joins Christian in the corner and Grisham and Foley remind us of what is at stake for Orton at the Rumble and his murky past with John Cena before the match can begin ...
MAIN EVENT | TAG TEAM MATCH
ALBERTO DEL RIO & CM PUNK vs. CHRISTIAN & RANDY ORTON
All four men give a great account of themselves in a superb match that goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Del Rio proves that he belongs in the kind of company he is now keeping here despite only being in the WWE for a matter of months and he provides the first big move of the match when he locks in the CROSS ARM BREAKER to Randy Orton to the delight of Punk who urges him to get the tap out – he hasn’t had to face up to Christian at this point. Orton isn’t a quitter though and he manages to slide over to the ropes where he can force the break. Del Rio holds on though and the referee counts him for the disqualification but Christian decides not to wait and he rushes in and drags Del Rio off his partner for the night. Christian batters the back and shoulders of Del Rio as Orton recovers but this allows Punk to sneak up behind the challenger for his title this Sunday and he dropkicks Christian in the back to stop his attack on Del Rio. Christian rolls out of the ring and he is followed by Punk and the two battle on the outside, trading punches, Christian getting the better of it. However, as Christian looks to whip Punk into the ring apron, Punk reverse and sends Christian crashing hard into the ring steps instead and this leaves the Number 1 contender down on the floor.
Del Rio and Orton resume their fight in the ring and Orton begins to get the better of things. He traps Del Rio in the ropes and drags him through ready for a DDT but the numbers game comes into play. With Christian down on the outside, Punk can come in uninterrupted and he strikes Orton to prevent the hanging DDT to Del Rio. As the referee ushers out Punk, Del Rio strikes with kicks to the arms and then an Enzuguri that leaves Orton groggy without the option of a tag. A tag is made to CM Punk who comes in to go after Orton and continue the domination and control of his team. He achieves this initially as he hits the high knee in the corner combined with the running bulldog and he gets a 2-count before setting for the GTS. However, Orton manages to counter out of it and sends Punk into the ropes ... Running scoop slam! Orton gets a breath of new life and he waits for Punk before hitting a belly to belly slam. Del Rio starts to jump in but Orton meets him coming through the ropes and hits Del Rio with a stiff kick before dragging him through the ropes again ... Hanging DDT to Del Rio! The Mexican’s head bounces off the mat and the crowd cheer as Orton starts to hit his stride. Punk throws a clothesline but Orton ducks ... Olympic Slam! Orton hits the Olympic Slam and he is completely in the zone now! He steps back away from Punk ... waiting, coiling up, ready to strike ... Orton is ready to hit the RKO when there is a commotion behind him ...
Cena comes through the crowd and slides into the ring behind Orton who is still waiting for the RKO to CM Punk here. He is unaware of Cena, like everybody else Orton believes that Cena has been given the night off and is not here tonight! Punk gets to his feet and Orton looks to hit the RKO ... Punk shoves Orton away straight into the arms of Cena who lifts him up ... Here comes the Attitude Adjustment! Orton wriggles clear of Cena though, slides down his back ... RKO! ORTON HITS AN RKO TO CENA! The crowd go wild as Orton hits the RKO to Cena who attacked him, there can be no repercussions for Orton here! The referee rolls Cena out of the ring and Orton is distracted as Punk and Del Rio attack him from behind. The World Champion and the Intercontinental Champion are pounding Orton in the back but he manages to fight back, Orton is trading blows with both men. Punk whips Orton to the ropes but he fails to hit the move he is looking for as Orton leaps over him ... High knee to an unsuspecting Del Rio! Orton is fighting hard here and he has knocked Del Rio for a loop. He ducks Punk’s clothesline ... RKO TO CM PUNK! Orton is on fire here ... RKO TO ALBERTO DEL RIO! Orton has Del Rio and Punk beat here but as he looks to see who is the legal man here, Cena slides back into the ring and he clotheslines Orton over the top rope.
Orton and Cena clash in the rampway and they trade blows, a bitter fight between the pair of them. Security ushers the two of them out of the arena and split their fight as the referee signals that as Orton went over the top rope, Christian made the tag and he appears to want to avoid the disqualification here if he can. As Punk gets to his feet from the RKO, Christian catches him unaware ... KILLSWITCH! CHRISTIAN HITS THE KILLSWITCH TO THE WORLD CHAMPION! Christian drops down and hooks the leg ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
CHRISTIAN & RANDY ORTON (8:51)
Del Rio and Punk look shocked on the outside as they realise what just happened – Christian celebrates as he looks down on the pair of champions from inside the ring. Punk looks concerned as he contemplates what will happen on Sunday if Christian is able to hit the Killswitch on him and make the pinfall. Christian grabs the World Championship belt from the timekeeper and he taunts Punk by standing in the ring and looking at it – Punk demands the belt back but he decides against going back in the ring to collect it. Christian tosses the belt over the top rope and down to Punk who catches it but he looks ruffled as Christian has made it clear – he intends to achieve his dream this Sunday and become the World Champion!
***** END OF SHOW *****
*** CONFIRMED ***
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP – TAG TEAM TURMOIL MATCH
Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder (c) vs. British Empire vs. Cyme Tyme vs. Evan Bourne & Mark Henry vs. Hart Dynasty vs. Usos
LADDER MATCH TO DETERMINE NUMBER 1 CONTENDER FOR US CHAMPIONSHIP
Daniel Bryan vs. Ted DiBiase
NXT BATTLE ROYALE – WINNER TO BE IMMUNE FROM FIRST TWO ELIMINATIONS
Chavo Guerrero vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Great Khali vs. Kaval vs. MVP vs. R-Truth vs. Vladimir Kozlov
CM Punk (c) vs. Christian
Wade Barrett (c) vs. Triple H
ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
Winner to get shot at the WWE or World Championship at WrestleMania 27!
GCB’s WWE – POWER 25
Just over three months into GCB’s WWE, it is time to look at who the most powerful guys in the WWE are right now heading into the Royal Rumble. With all members of the WWE roster given points for appearances, matches, wins, PPV matches and title reigns, the most powerful 25 superstars over the past few months have been identified below.
25: Vladimir Kozlov
A reign with Santino Marella as Tag Team Champion and a recent rejuvenation of his singles career on NXT sees the Moscow Mauler make the Power 25. A change in attitude from the Russian has seen him focus on his singles career – under jeopardy as part of the rules of the NXT competition – and he has ditched former partner, Marella, in favour of following the orders of JBL. It remains to be seen whether Kozlov’s new attitude will save his career but, if it does, it should help propel him up the Power 25 after WrestleMania 27.
24: Ezekiel Jackson
The Guyanan, Jackson, recently became the newest member of Nexus at the Survivor Series when he turned on Team Orton and played a huge role in Wade Barrett winning the WWE Championship. Since then, Jackson has gone from strength to strength as he has become Nexus leader Barrett’s ‘go-to’ guy when he needs something doing. Jackson has gone on a role of late and his rise to prominence shows no sign of slowing down now.
23: Ted DiBiase
Recent involvement in the United States Championship picture has elevated DiBiase to 23rd on the list and he could improve on that in the coming weeks as he chases the title. A Ladder Match with Daniel Bryan this Sunday at the Royal Rumble PPV could lead to a future US Championship match with Justin Gabriel, a sure fire way to leap up the Power 25 rankings. After a near miss at Vengeance, DiBiase has been impressive of late and many are predicting that he could be the next US Champion.
22: Alex Riley
After he shot to prominence over the summer as the new rookie of The Miz on NXT, the ‘Varsity Villain’ has recently parted company with Miz and is now seeking to go it alone. Riley’s association with Miz has allowed him to secure a place in the Power 25 and he will be hoping to establish himself as a major, independent player over the coming weeks – maybe an impressive Rumble performance could help him achieve that?
21: Evan Bourne
Tag Team Championship and Intercontinental Championship opportunities have handed Bourne chance to achieve a bigger role in the WWE of late but he failed in his bid to win either of those titles – or else he could have found himself even higher up the Power 25 rankings. The high-flier from Missouri has a bright future ahead of him but he needs to keep involving himself in these high profile feuds if he is to remain in the top 25.
20: Mark Henry
Bourne’s tag team partner for the past few months has been the ‘World’s Strongest Man’ Mark Henry and their recent past has been almost parallel. Henry challenged for the Tag Team Titles with Bourne and has also challenged Alberto Del Rio for the Intercontinental Title but came up short. Like his partner, Henry needs to ensure he continues to perform to a high standard over the coming weeks as WrestleMania approaches.
19: Matt Hardy
Hardy’s past few months has been checkered to say the least – from taking a month long sabbatical in October to challenging for the World Championship in November, Hardy’s mood is fluctuating wildly. Failure to defeat Kane at Survivor Series and Christian at Vengeance has led to Hardy falling out of the World Title picture but he was rejuvenated in the last SMACKDOWN before the Rumble when his younger brother, Jeff, returned to the WWE to pep him up. Hardy heads into the Rumble this Sunday desperate to win the match and earn himself a WrestleMania main event spot – he is many people’s wildcard to win. Can he finally live up to his dream?
18: Drew McIntyre
It’s been a tough couple of months for Drew McIntyre after he lost the Tag Team Championships and then went on a losing run. After his partner, Cody Rhodes, blamed him for losing the titles, Drew vowed to participate in and win NXT to get back on track – a high risk strategy considering that five of the eight guys on NXT will be fired from the WWE. It has been a mediocre start from the Scot to NXT as he currently lies in fifth place – a position that would see him fired – but he will be hoping to buck up his ideas in the coming weeks as WrestleMania approaches.
17: Cody Rhodes
McIntyre is desperate to get back on track to prove to Cody Rhodes that he can live with the big fish on SMACKDOWN. However, Rhodes appears not to care anymore and looks to be focusing now on his singles career. A run as a Tag Team Champion means that Rhodes holds a place in the Power 25 but he needs to get some big wins over the coming weeks to continue to hold his place – a defeat to Matt Hardy in the recent Number 1 contender match for the Intercontinental Title didn’t help. Can Rhodes live up to his potential as we head towards WrestleMania?
16: Daniel Bryan
The former United States Champion has made a positive start to life in the WWE – but he is desperate for more in the coming weeks and months. A high profile feud with The Miz over the US Championship after his time in NXT gave Bryan a good start but he recently lost the title to Justin Gabriel and, as yet, has not won the title back. He will be hoping to defeat Ted DiBiase at the Rumble and earn himself a shot at Gabriel’s title in the near future as he looks to break into the top ten of the Power 25.
Although Edge is likely to be disappointed with 15th in the Power 25, a month out suspended and numerous losing efforts caused by his ‘problems’ with the RAW General Manager Shawn Michaels mean that it is actually a good position for the Rated R Superstar to find himself in. As he approaches WrestleMania, Edge will hope to get back to what he does best – winning titles – and this should ensure that he moves back in to the Power 10 quickly.
14: John Morrison
For the past few years, John Morrison has teetered on the edge of fulfilling his potential but has never managed to make the final jump into the upper echelons of RAW. This was evident once again recently when Morrison faced - and lost to – his former partner, Miz, in a match that was seen as the chance for both to make that jump into the ‘big leagues’ of the WWE. An impressive Royal Rumble performance would get Morrison back in position to make the move up the ranks though and he will be desperate to prove that 2011 is the year of John Morrison beginning to realise his huge potential.
13: Justin Gabriel
Six months ago, very few people were aware of the South African Justin Gabriel. Now, he is a household name in the WWE – for positive and negative reasons alike – as well as being the United States Champion, his first title in the company. After bursting onto the scene with Nexus after NXT, Gabriel played a role in helping Barrett and his team dominate the RAW brand over the summer. It was actually Gabriel who scored the winning fall at Survivor Series over Cena that won the WWE Championship for the Nexus leader. However, Gabriel has recently grown disillusioned with the Nexus and he set his sights on an individual path that led him to the United States Championship at Vengeance.
12: Big Show
It appears that Big Show is frustrated with his current status with the WWE: despite winning his first World Heavyweight Championship on a recent episode of SMACKDOWN, his reign as champion lasted for just five minutes before he was defeated by CM Punk. Show has had an interesting few months – feuding with Punk, captaining Team SMACKDOWN to victory and his short title run – but he now appears to be fed up of smiling whilst he watches others with the title. Recent issues with Kofi Kingston have shown that Big Show’s frustration is growing and he is beginning to unleash his monstrous side once again. Will Show be the one to win the Rumble and head to WrestleMania?
Christian is desperate to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming the WWE or World Champion and this Sunday, at the Rumble PPV, he could fulfil that dream as he challenges CM Punk for the World Title. Sitting 11th in the Power 25 right now, a title win would see Christian rocket into the top ten and there are few guys in the WWE locker room who could be described as being more deserving of being champion. Whether Christian can win on Sunday remains to be seen ... but Christian’s ‘Peeps’ will be desperate to see their man climb up the ranks and win his first big gold in the WWE at last this weekend.
10: Triple H
Much of 2010 saw Triple H sidelined through injury and this has led to him struggling to cement a top ten place in the Power 25 – however, like Christian, he challenges for a big title this Sunday and a win and a new title reign would see him leap high into the top ten. A high profile return feud with Sheamus means that Triple H has had chance to accrue the points needed to be placed higher but Sheamus appeared to have his number until Vengeance when Triple H defeated the Celtic Warrior finally and won a shot at the WWE Champion, Wade Barrett. It would be Hunter’s fourteenth title reign in the WWE and his first for over a year and a half that could lead to him main eventing WrestleMania in two months time.
9: The Miz
A United States Championship reign and a win at the ‘Money in the Bank’ PPV means that Miz is on a roll of late and he continues to gain momentum ahead of what he describes as a ‘guaranteed future title reign’ coming soon. Miz still holds the MITB contract and can cash it in whenever he desires but he appears intent on winning the title at WrestleMania in another fashion right now – by winning the Royal Rumble this Sunday in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Should he fail, expect Miz to use the MITB contract sooner rather than later – his ego suggests that he wants to head into WrestleMania as a champion rather than carrying a red briefcase!
8: Kofi Kingston
Voted as the ‘Breakout Star of 2010’ in the recent Slammy Awards, Kofi’s meteoric rise of late has stunned many of the WWE locker room and he has come incredibly close to winning his first World Championship on a couple of occasions. Kofi is incredibly popular and continues to win matches although he still seems to need that one more big win to truly cement him as a top level player on SMACKDOWN. A jealous former friend, Big Show, has given Kofi problems of late but he will hope to put these problems behind him and complete his fairytale rise up the ranks this Sunday by winning the Rumble and going on to WrestleMania 27 to win the title. It would be a popular victory, indeed.
Another young star on a roll of late has been the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus. Despite losing his WWE Championship in the Six Pack Challenge at Night of Champions, Sheamus has since been involved in several high profile matches including a narrow defeat to Randy Orton for the title at No Mercy and three show-stealing matches with Triple H on PPV since, two of which he won. His recent link with Hornswoggle has allowed him to add a new dimension to his dangerous attack and there is no doubt that Sheamus is one of the favourites to win the Royal Rumble this Sunday and go on to headline WrestleMania. He has guaranteed victory and few would argue against his credentials – a win would surely lift him into the top five of the POWER 25 as well!
6: John Cena
A lack of title opportunities has led to Cena dropping down to sixth but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been involved in some huge angles over the past few months. From his feud with Nexus to his heel turn and feud with Randy Orton, Cena is still one of the most talked about superstars in the WWE, arguably the most, and his new attitude is making him more discussed than ever. Cena has recently cut loose on the WWE Universe and, with SMACKDOWN General Manager Michael Cole seemingly on his side, Cena is heading to the Rumble ready to head back into the title picture. If he does win the Rumble, there is no doubt that Cena could leave WrestleMania as the WWE or World Champion and regain his spot on top of the POWER 25.
5: Alberto Del Rio
The surprise name on the POWER 25 list is the name of the Mexican Intercontinental Champion, Alberto Del Rio. However, a close look at Del Rio’s progress since his arrival proves why he is in the top five. Beaten just once in singles competition by Christian on SMACKDOWN, Del Rio has won every PPV match he has been involved in, he has won the Intercontinental Championship and he appears to be heading into the main event scene to challenge the very best on SMACKDOWN in the coming months. He has put Rey Mysterio on the shelf with his devastating finisher, the Cross Arm Breaker, and he is a name being whispered by many as a real darkhorse to win this Sunday’s Rumble match. One thing is for sure, Del Rio has massive potential to be one of the most powerful men in the WWE in the future and he could well achieve greatness over the coming months.
A strong World Championship reign means that Kane is entrenched in the top five as he heads to the Rumble this Sunday with his feud with his brother, the Undertaker, still rumbling and looking to get a title match at the biggest PPV of the year. Kane’s dominance of SMACKDOWN lasted for four months until he lost the title to Big Show, then CM Punk, but there is no doubting the impact he made in those months – putting Undertaker out of action in the way he did proves that. The Big Red Monster is looking to get back on track this Sunday and few would bet against him doing just that!
3: CM Punk
The World Heavyweight Champion has made huge strides in the past few months as he has moved up the Power 25 into the top three spots. Over the last couple of months, Punk has shown that he is capable of beating the very best on SMACKDOWN as he defeated Big Show, Kane and Kofi Kingston to win the World Championship for the third time in his career. He has recently vowed to head into WrestleMania 27 as the World Champion and secure his place in history by retaining on the grandest stage of them all – however, he might want to focus on his match with Christian this Sunday first. If Punk retains at the Rumble, he will make further progress towards the top spot in the Power 25 and will take one giant leap towards the WrestleMania main event that he has been dreaming of for years.
2: Randy Orton
What a few months it has been for the Viper, Randy Orton. Back in September, Orton won the Six Pack Challenge to win the WWE Championship from Sheamus and he subsequently held the title for three months until losing it in controversial circumstances to Wade Barrett – partly thanks to John Cena who was the man pinned in the Survivor Series contest. Since then, Orton has pursued Cena for revenge but has stated that he intends to win back the title soon. With his place in the Royal Rumble now assured, Orton could win a spot in the WrestleMania main event this Sunday and could well be chasing the WWE Championship as well as the top spot in the Power 25 very soon.
1: Wade Barrett
Since their arrival in the WWE back in July, the Nexus have dominated the WWE roster and their leader Wade Barrett has played a major role in ensuring that they have reached the top. After targeting John Cena on their arrival in the company, Nexus and Barrett worked their way quickly to the top of RAW and at Survivor Series, Barrett finally won the WWE Championship after several near misses. Nexus’ domination is not to everybody’s liking but there is no doubt that Barrett, backed by his team, is the most powerful superstar in the WWE right now thanks to several high profile victories and a lengthy title reign. This Sunday, Barrett will face Triple H with his WWE Championship on the line but another win will further highlight how Barrett is the man to beat here in the WWE as he heads towards WrestleMania 27. If he continues along the road as WWE Champion, there is little doubt that he will probably be the top dog in next month’s Power 25 as well!
I loved just how you opened up Smackdown with Cole's introduction and then him being jeered and booed like Cole doesn't already know how the fans are going to treat him, we don't like him, plain and simple and I hope Chip Butty comes to his senses and fires Michael Cole as GM of Smackdown, and Chip in the words of Vince McMahon says Michael Cole YOU'RE FIREDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD and then we can see Cole in agony that he is no longer the GM of Smackdown because I can't stand him, and how did I know he was going to cancel the Buried Alive match but instead makes another match of Taker facing Matt Hardy instead and how about Kane, how come he doesn't have to compete in a match but yet his brother The Undertaker does
Kofi/Rhodes match I felt was too rushed, if anything I felt that the match should have went longer in my opinion because to me Rhodes he can definitely hang in there longer than 5 minutes with Kofi, that is for sure, and Kofi getting a lucky win, I felt that he should have had to work harder to get this victory, so wasn't a fan of this match
Natalya vs Michelle McCool, this match I couldn't care less about because Diva matches just don't interest me for whatever reason
And Kofi backstage he was getting interviewed and then out of nowhere from behind he gets attacked by The Miz, I thought that Miz was a RAW guy, so then what the hell is he doing on Smackdown? And then out of nowhere Big Show ends up coming backstage and he comes to Kofi's rescue momentarily by knocking Miz out and then out of nowhere he turns on Kofi again by knocking him out and then Show proclaiming how he was going to go on to win the Rumble was great, now this segment was actually one of my highs of the night
Ryder and Hawkins backstage with Bourne and Henry, I actually enjoyed that segment
Matt Hardy vs. The Undertaker, now this match-up I actually enjoyed more than anything because Matt actually held his own in this match against Taker and he nearly could have won this match-up a few times but Taker was so dominant during this match but Hardy pushed him to the limit but ultimately failed even with Kane trying to distract Taker trying to cost him the match, Taker makes Hardy tap to Hell's Gate and then Kane attacking Taker after the match only for Undertaker to turn it around on Kane and when he had Kane in the Tombstone Piledriver, Kane somehow gets out of it and shows fear, if anything I think Kane is afraid of The Undertaker and it shows
And Jeff Hardy making his return to WWE, I am so stoked right now, Hardy is back and I hope that since Jeff is back in the WWE, he ends up competing in the Royal Rumble Match and if he does, then I can see Jeff winning it
And my main man Randy Orton being interviewed backstage only for Del Rio to have the audacity to interrupt Orton, if anything I hope Orton punts Del Rio in the skull later on tonight and then Punk having the audacity too to interrupt Orton, I mean what is with the superstars on Smackdown? Are they trying to get in Orton's way, are they asking for punts because they are if you ask me, and Punk should be worried because if Orton does win the Rumble, Orton he could choose to challenge Punk for the title but that is if Punk is still the champion heading into Mania
And then the Major Broskis facing Evan Bourne & Mark Henry, and then after the match The British Empire show up and they actually allowed the Major Broskis to pass, if anything they should have beaten the living hell out of them so then that way they could have the advantage heading into the Rumble PPV
And Christian this is his last chance at being World Heavyweight Champion, because if he loses his match on Sunday at the Rumble, he gets no more title shots as long as Punk is the champion but if Christian should lose, I could see him asking for a trade to RAW wanting to work for HBK because at least if Christian is on RAW, he will have a better chance of being champion and he will be in better working conditions or Christian somehow enters the Royal Rumble Match and he ends up winning it therefore getting his 1 on 1 shot for the World Heavyweight Championship
And then you running the Royal Rumble PPV card and what matches will be taking place is perfect
And then the main event itself with Orton and Christian taking on the team of Punk and Del Rio and then Cena getting involved only for Orton to RKO Cena was great going on a rampage RKOing Del Rio and RKOing Punk and then Christian ending the show off getting in a Killswitch on Punk was great
Overall Smackdown for me anyway was a 9/10, it was great but it could have been better
Credit to JAM for the Royal Rumble logo. Thanks, man!
SUNDAY JANUARY 23RD, 2011 | QUICKEN LOANS ARENA, CLEVELAND, OHIO | Att: 15684
THEME: “Living in a Dream” by Finger Eleven (LINK)
*** OPENING VIDEO ***
We start in a dark room with just a TV screen providing any light. The screen is showing static as if a video is playing but there is nothing recorded on it. From the light of the screen, we can see the silhouette of a chair with somebody sat in it but the camera is behind it. The camera switches to show the screen closer as the static disappears and a grainy shot of Vince McMahon at the very first WrestleMania comes into focus ...
Welcome everyone ... to WrestleMania!
We now see that sat in the chair is Randy Orton ...
70 days ...
Orton’s face switches quickly into the face of Kofi Kingston who is sat in the same room in the same chair ...
70 days ...
The camera switches again into the face of Big Show ...
70 days and counting ...
Another switch, this time to Kurt Angle ...
70 days until your Olympic Hero returns to WrestleMania!
The camera returns to the TV screen which now shows The Rock hitting the Rock Bottom to Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18 ...
At WrestleMania ...
The speaker is revealed to be John Cena who is watching the TV now ...
... the ‘greatest WWE superstars of all time’ ... prove that they are ... the greatest ... of all time ...
The TV screen now shows Rey Mysterio winning his first ever World Championship at WrestleMania 22 when he beat Kurt Angle and Randy Orton ...
Dreams can come true at WrestleMania!
Rey’s masked face comes into sharp focus and he smiles ...
But you have to win the Royal Rumble first!
The video now shows Mysterio eliminating Randy Orton in the 2006 Royal Rumble ...
He did it! He did it! Rey Mysterio did it!
‘Living in a Dream’ by Finger Eleven begins its instrumental introduction in the background as several WWE stars – past and present - make comment about the Royal Rumble ...
The Royal Rumble ...
30 men in the ring all fighting for one chance!
One opportunity to be the man on the biggest stage!
I won it last year ...
For a shot at immortality ...
STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN
One of the highlights of my entire career!
And I’m gonna’ win it again!
We now see some great moments from the Royal Rumble’s history starting with the 1999 Royal Rumble when Vince McMahon eliminated Austin to win ...
The fact is that anything can happen in the Royal Rumble match!
Wait a minute! No! Nooo! Mr. McMahon has won the Royal Rumble match!
We see Vince’s arm raised high by Shane and his associates ...
You’re going to WrestleMania, baby!
A shot of the 2000 Royal Rumble is now shown ...
Oh, the Big Show’s over! The Rock has won the Rumble!
A smiling Rock is shown as he speaks ...
Headlining WrestleMania – it’s what every WWE superstar dreams about!
Royal Rumble 1992 is shown as Hulk Hogan assists Ric Flair in eliminating Psycho Sid to win the Rumble and the WWE Championship before we see Flair in an interview after ...
This is the greatest moment in my life!
Shawn Michaels is watching Flair’s interview and he nods his head in agreement ...
I won it twice ... and there is no other feeling to beat it. Knowing that you’re going to WrestleMania ...
1996 is shown with HBK celebrating ...
Shawn Michaels is going to WrestleMania!
Camera switches back to HBK ...
... Wow! Amazing!
We switch back to a shot of Rey Mysterio sat in the chair ...
Winning the Rumble was a dream come true for me ...
Camera switches to Christian ...
You don’t even have to be in the Rumble match for dreams to come true, Rey ...
Shots of Christian and CM Punk’s battles over the previous few weeks are shown ...
My dream comes true tonight!
CM Punk appears on screen and he snorts in disgust at Christian’s comment, he clearly thinks it will be a nightmare for Christian ... We switch to Royal Rumble 1994 with Bret Hart and Lex Luger battling and trading punches ...
The Rumble can be full of controversy ...
Bret and Luger’s feet touch the floor at the same time and we see both men with their hands raised before Wade Barrett comes into shot wearing a Nexus t-shirt ...
The Nexus ...
The other members of Nexus appear besides Barrett ...
... are no strangers to controversy!
Into shot comes Miz who has an arrogant but confident look on his face ...
I have home field advantage in Cleveland, Ohio ...
Shots of Miz handing out beatings to Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, Matt Hardy and John Morrison recently are shown ...
... as well as the momentum. This Royal Rumble ... will be ... AWESOME!
Miz smirks as he says his catchphrase before Stone Cold Steve Austin appears on screen with a smile on his face as he watches his 2001 winning move when he eliminated Kane ...
It’s over! It’s over! Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!
Shots of Austin celebrating his third Rumble win are shown ...
STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN
I won it three times! It’s 30 men but only one winner ... A shot at the WrestleMania main event, a shot at the title ... It doesn’t get any bigger than that ...
Quickly, lots of Rumble moments are shown: Triple H eliminating Angle in 2002; Cena’s return in 2008; Yokozuna throwing Macho Man out from the floor in 1993; Brock Lesnar eliminating Undertaker in 2003 ...
STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN
Oh hell yeah!
*** CLOSE VIDEO ***
The first PPV of 2011 is set to begin as the cameras spin around the arena as the pyro explodes and the crowd here in Cleveland, Ohio, go wild for the start of the Road to WrestleMania. ‘Living in a Dream’ by Finger Eleven blasts out around the arena and the crowd hold up signs declaring their support for their favourite stars: MIZ IS AWESOME, CENA FEARS ORTON and BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! are three of the featured signs as the PPV gets underway before the cameras settle on the announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, the usual RAW team, tonight for one of the most important PPV’s of the year!
Welcome everyone to the Quicken Loans Arena here in Cleveland, Ohio, what a night it is going to be here, the first pay-per-view of the year and we officially begin the ‘Road to WrestleMania 27’ here tonight – who will seal their spot in the main event of WrestleMania tonight, King?
Well, JR, that remains to be seen but I love the Royal Rumble match, it’s my favourite match of the entire year and what a way to start the road to the biggest event of the year!
We are just seventy nights away from WrestleMania 27 and tonight is the night where things begin to heat up every year here in the WWE – which superstars will begin their quest for WrestleMania glory tonight? We’ve also got several title matches where the champions will be determined to hold onto their gold until WrestleMania as well!
You know what, JR? I don’t think I can contain the excitement much longer! Wade Barrett and Triple H for the WWE Championship, Christian and CM Punk for the World Championship, the Royal Rumble match – let’s just get this started shall we?
It appears that the WWE are thinking the same and the camera focuses in on the ring where Justin Roberts, the RAW ring announcer, is stood waiting ...
The following contest is a Ladder Match ... and it will determine the Number 1 contender for Justin Gabriel’s United States Championship!
Cheers from the WWE Universe – although this feud has been a little quiet over the past week, both men are desperate for another shot at the US Championship and a Ladder Match is always an incredible way to start any event. The cameras show us a range of ladders around the ring as Roberts informs us of the rules ...
Now in this match, the aim is to take a ladder, set it up in the ring and climb it to retrieve the contract hanging up above the ring ...
The cameras show a clipboard hanging down from the roof with a WWE contract on it – a contract for a shot at the US Championship.
The man who retrieves this contract will be declared the winner and will face Justin Gabriel in a United States Championship match in the near future.
There is excitement in the air as Roberts finishes his announcements and all eyes now turn towards the stage area and the arrival of the first of the participants ...
*** RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES ***
*** DANIEL BRYAN ***
Out of the backstage area heads Daniel Bryan and he is dressed in burgundy trunks and a burgundy t-shirt, TAP OR SNAP emblazoned across it, as he sidesteps his way to the ring pointing to the WWE Universe who appear to be backing him this evening. He steps into the ring and climbs to the middle ropes to salute the rest of the WWE Universe in attendance and he receives a good ovation from the Cleveland crowd.
Here is a man who – back at Vengeance – lost his United States Championship to Justin Gabriel despite not being pinned himself. Due to the rules of the Triple Threat, Gabriel’s roll up of Ted DiBiase was enough to earn the South African the title ...
A replay of the closing stages of the Triple Threat at Vengeance is shown and we see Bryan kick out of Dream Street before being tossed out of the ring by DiBiase. Gabriel sneaks up behind DiBiase and rolls him up for the 3-count before we see him celebrating with the title and Bryan looking disappointed. The cameras return to the ring and we see Bryan looking disappointed still as he watches the replays but he nods his head determinedly , he is ready to take the first step to regaining his title tonight.
That’s the rules of a Triple Threat I’m afraid, Daniel Bryan was never pinned but he has to accept that he lost the title. He has a great chance though tonight to earn a rematch, one on one, with Gabriel and then prove that he should never have lost the title in the first place!
*** I COME FROM MONEY ***
West Palm Beach, Florida
*** TED DIBIASE ***
With the Million Dollar Title belt over his shoulder, a title never defended and just for show, the son of the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase heads to the ring looking chiselled and ready to go for a recognised WWE championship tonight. Ted heads for the ring looking supremely confident and he motions to his amazing physique and taunts the crowd in the aisle as he makes his way closer to the ring. Once in the ring, DiBiase steps up to the middle ropes and he shows off some more to mild heat as the crowd are going to back Bryan tonight for sure.
It looks like Cleveland are intent on cheering for Daniel Bryan tonight, what a match to begin!
There have been so many great Ladder matches over the years, King: Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, the famous TLC matches – this one could be up there with the very best. Both these men are suited to this match in my opinion!
It’s going to have the WWE Universe on the edges of their seats!
And King, the WWE Universe and ourselves are not the only interested spectators tonight ...
The cameras switch backstage and show that the US Champion, Justin Gabriel, is stood in front of a TV screen and is ready to watch his two potential challengers slug it out tonight in a match that can easily take its toll on the body.
The young South African Justin Gabriel is getting ready for the Royal Rumble later tonight but he is going to take a few moments to watch this match and see who he will be facing in the near future ...
That’s a wise move from the champion, JR, always scout your opponent. You should never assume that you know everything about them even if you’ve faced them a hundred times before!
Daniel Bryan and Ted DiBiase stand opposite each other in the centre of the ring and DiBiase talks some trash about winning the US Championship to Bryan who looks at him as if to say ‘Oh yeah? Prove it!’ The referee backs them away into their opposite corners and then signals for the bell and the match – and the PPV - can get underway.
LADDER MATCH – TO DETERMINE NUMBER 1 CONTENDER FOR US CHAMPIONSHIP DANIEL BRYAN vs. TED DIBIASE
The two men come together in the centre of the ring and both men look up to the clipboard and contract hanging over the ring, their prize for tonight, a chance to challenge for Justin Gabriel’s US Championship in the future. They tie up and grapple in the centre of the ring, DiBiase is the one who makes the break though, a kick to the gut of Bryan to break it. DiBiase launches a right hand at Bryan and connects but the former US Champion responds with a vicious kick to the side of the hip and follows it up with two more well placed shots to the ribcage. DiBiase stumbles and tries to get away but Bryan continues to kick the thighs and ribcage area of DiBiase who covers up and eventually manages to shove Bryan away. Bryan uses the ropes and comes off them at a run towards DiBiase who is ready for him, lifts him high, spinebuster! Bryan lands hard on his back and – just for a moment – DiBiase holds on for the pin before realising that he needs to get the contract down to win the match tonight. He rolls Bryan away and looks over towards the ladder set up at the end of ramp, he rushes towards the ropes and out of the ring whilst Bryan recovers from the spinebuster. Closing the ladder up, DiBiase heads towards the ring, he wants the ladder in the ring as soon as possible here. However, Bryan sees him coming and comes off the ropes again before hitting a dropkick to the ladder as DiBiase places it on the edge of the mat. The dropkick causes a huge collision and DiBiase is sent down to the floor, the ladder falling down as well and landing near his feet. Quick as a flash, Bryan climbs to the top rope, balances and waits for DiBiase to stand before jumping off towards his opponent and hitting flying knees to the face of the Fortunate Son. Bryan lands with a knee either side of DiBiase’s head and rolls through and away from him as DiBiase crashes down hard on the floor. The crowd cheer as Bryan backs up with a focused look of determination in his eyes, he has made the better start here.
Grabbing the fallen ladder, Bryan decides he is ready to make a move for contract and he slides the ladder part of the way under the bottom rope, the legs of the ladder into the ring first. However, whilst his attention is on the ladder, he misses a recovering DiBiase getting up and he catches D-Bry with a dropkick to the back. Coupled with the impact of the ladder end in his gut, Bryan drops to his knees and the ladder balances for a moment on the edge of the apron before dropping back to the floor. As Bryan is on his knees, DiBiase grabs his head and looks around for a moment before hitting a DDT that crashes him down face first onto the floor with a thud. The crowd groan but DiBiase is not for being swerved by their reactions and he drags a prone Bryan up and runs him into the barricades shoulder first – Bryan collapses to the floor in pain and this appears to be the first real chance for either man. He begins to load the ladder into the ring but he then notices that Bryan is getting up and catches him with a clothesline that knocks him back down. DiBiase looks down on Bryan and decides he needs to do more. Leaping onto the apron, DiBiase climbs to the top of the turnbuckles and he waits before hitting a diving clothesline to Bryan that crashes both men down to the barely cushioned floor, Bryan taking the bigger of the brunt as he lands first. Will that be enough for DiBiase to make an attempt at getting the contract or will he look to finish Bryan first?
He opts for the latter and he drags Bryan, clearly in pain, back to his feet. He sets himself behind Bryan and then looks to lock in the Million Dollar Dream, the move made famous by his father, the legendary Million Dollar Man. However, as he looks to transfer from the Dream to Dreamstreet, Bryan rolls and counters out of the hold, the submission expertise of Bryan coming to his rescue there. DiBiase spins, confused for a moment, Bryan rushes over and dropkicks him again sending DiBiase crashing back and shoulder first into the announce table. Both men are down and are already struggling as the match takes its toll early. Bryan looks to be feeling fresher of the two and he stalks DiBiase as he tries to escape by crawling towards the timekeeper area. Bryan catches his opponent by the foot and tries to drag him back but DiBiase kicks out and catches Bryan to create a break. Taking a moment to recover, Bryan spins back round and heads towards Ted but the break gave him a chance ... BAM! Chair shot to the gut of Daniel Bryan! As Bryan doubles over in pain at the ring steps, DiBiase gets to his feet and then BAM! Chair shot to the back of Bryan as well! A grin spreads to the face of Ted as he tosses the chair away and then he rolls Bryan back into the ring – surely he’d be better leaving him outside it?
As DiBiase rolls in after D-Bry, it becomes clear what is on his mind. He grabs the ladder and drags it into the ring as Bryan recovers a little and staggers up to the corner of the ring propping himself up on the ropes. DiBiase gets the ladder in his hands where he wants it and then rushes over at Bryan and jams the top rung of the ladder into the gut of the former US Champion which causes him to double up in pain. As Bryan sinks to his knees, DiBiase drops the ladder down in the centre of the ring and waits for Daniel to get back up ... Bryan swings at him as he makes an attempt to gain some momentum, DiBiase ducks and then scoops up his opponent and slams him down hard onto the steel ladder which rattles as Bryan lands on it. The crowd gasp as Bryan’s body is punished and they urge him to make a recovery as he writhes in pain. DiBiase laughs and drags Bryan up from the ladder before running him to the ropes and tossing him over the top to the outside where Bryan lands with a thud. If it was the Rumble later tonight, he’d be out! However, this is a ladder match, the clipboard and contract for a future US Championship match is swinging a little above the ring and DiBiase drags up the ladder. He positions it below the contract and ensures it is sturdy before starting to climb. Ted looks a little unsure on the ladder but starts to reach up for the clipboard, he is about to touch it when Bryan gets back into the ring and shoves the ladder over ... DiBiase is caught high up the ladder and as he falls towards the ropes, he puts a foot out, misses the top rope and ends up straddling it instead! The men in the audience wince as they feel DiBiase’s pain and he tumbles down to the mat clutching his crown jewels in pain. Bryan senses a weakness, a chance for revenge and he begins to use his ‘educated’ feet to kick at the fallen body of DiBiase before turning his attention towards the ladder. He rams DiBiase’s head into the ladder while it is lying on the floor before setting it up in the corner, perching it against the top buckle so it is almost vertical. He retreats and waits for DiBiase to stumble to his feet before running over and hitting a perfect drop kick to the chest of Ted and sending him crashing backwards into the ladder which he collides with with a crash. Bryan appears to have the edge now and he places the ladder on the mat again before grabbing Ted by the head and snap suplexing him onto the ladder – revenge for the American Dragon!
As DiBiase struggles on the mat, the pain etched on his face, Bryan heads outside with a plan forming. He grabs the chair that DiBiase used earlier and he heads back into the ring intent on causing some damage here. He stands over DiBiase with the chair in his hand and surveys him before calculating that strikes to the legs of his opponent are a good idea. Down the chair goes, over and over, crashing into the thigh muscles, knees and ankles of DiBiase – sound strategy, injure the legs and stop him climbing! With the crowd cheering him on, Bryan finishes with one last big shot to the knees of Ted before throwing the chair out of the ring with a smirk. With the ladder still laid on the floor, Bryan drags DiBiase up and whips him to the ropes, goes for a Back Body Drop that would see DiBiase crash down on the ladder ... DiBiase counters, thank goodness for him, and then responds with a drop kick that buys him a little time and space to recover. Quickly, Bryan looks to go back for DiBiase but he is caught with a kick to the gut and a quick DDT that crashes his head – and DiBiase’s back – onto the ladder ... Both men are down here and struggling.
It is Ted DiBiase who gets to his feet first, he sets up the ladder and starts to climb again. However, the difference this time is obvious – his legs are in pain from the chair shots that Bryan unleashed on him. A slow climb, there is no doubt about what is going to happen, Bryan is going to catch him – but can he stop him? Bryan reaches up and catches the leg of DiBiase before he gets close and pulls him down from the fourth rung. Quick as a flash, Bryan reaches round his waist and hits a perfectly executed German Suplex that crashes DiBiase’s head and shoulders down onto the mat. With DiBiase down, Bryan watches him roll to the ropes and then runs at him to hit a low dropkick that sends him out of the ring and down to the floor. Can Daniel Bryan now take advantage and make it up the ladder? Retrieving the ladder that wobbled onto its side against the ropes when he dragged DiBiase down, Bryan sets the ladder up and starts to embark it, his first time on the ladder tonight. Bryan gets closer and closer, he reaches out and touches the clipboard just as DiBiase drags himself onto the apron, the crowd sense Daniel has got the match won! DiBiase’s eyes widen in fear, he desperately goes through the ropes and rushes to the ladder ... which he drop kicks hard, the ladder wobbles furiously and then falls taking Bryan with it – no contract in his hand. Bryan lands awkwardly on the ropes and then tumbles through and DiBiase – a look of desperation on his face here – sets the ladder again. DiBiase begins the climb but he is not quick enough, here comes Daniel Bryan again!
Bryan climbs up behind DiBiase and halts his progress, the two of them are trying to force each other off the ladder and a bit of a slugfest begins. DiBiase gets the better of it, he locks in the Million Dollar Dream to Bryan whilst they are on the ladder and looks to go for Dream Street but Bryan manages to slither out of it and he uses an arm drag to take DiBiase and himself off the ladder and down to the mat again. As DiBiase swings for him on the mat, Bryan ducks and hits a backdrop suplex on the mat that buys him time to begin another negotiation of the ladder and the start of his route to the US Championship. However, he is only halfway up the ladder when DiBiase denies him again and the two of them are slugging it out on the rungs again, not as far up this time, punches are being thrown and Bryan, with the rung advantage, uses his feet well to kick DiBiase in the ribs and knock him off the ladder. Unfortunately, Bryan slips a little and drops to the mat as well but he is able to watch as DiBiase tries to roll out of the ring for a breather ... Instead, Bryan drags the ladder down and lays it down on the mat before forcing DiBiase between the two halves of the ladder. As the crowd anticipate something big, Bryan climbs to the top rope and he balances looking down on the ladder sandwiching DiBiase’s body. He leaps off the ropes, double foot stomp onto the ladder! Wow! Bryan twists his ankle a little on impact but DiBiase is in real pain now, agony is all over his face as he slowly gets out from between the ladder and rolls under the rope for his own protection. Or does he? Bryan sees him, runs to the ropes ... Suicide Dive from Daniel Bryan ...
... Misses! DiBiase saw him coming at the last second and moved out of the way! Bryan collides heavily with the barricades and his head and shoulders take the brunt of the collision. Both men are down, DiBiase was struggling already and moving only bought him time to recover, not time to win! However, it is DiBiase who gets to his feet first and he sees Bryan in pain. Dragging him vertical, Ted takes a deep breath, he is in pain when he breathes it seems. He runs Bryan with his hand on the back of his neck and smashes the former US Champion into the ring steps which clatter and fall apart from the impact, Bryan almost runs through them. Another time, DiBiase this time rams Bryan hard into the announce table, his back taking the majority of the impact this time. As Bryan is laid face down on the floor, a semblance of a smile passes across the pained face of DiBiase as a crowd chant of ‘Dan-iel-Bry-an!’ goes up, the crowd are willing him to get up but it isn’t looking good here. DiBiase climbs through the ropes as Bryan struggles to get up outside, he sets up the ladder but slowly due to the agony he is in from the match so far. Slowly, clutching his ribs, DiBiase climbs the ladder, one rung at a time ... He gets to the third rung and desperately reaches up for the clipboard. Ambitious, no chance from there, Ted! Another step up and he is within centimetres of the contract, can he do it? Here comes Daniel Bryan, Ted sees him and stretches as he gets up one more rung. He touches the clipboard and twirls it around as it hangs down. This is going to be close! DiBiase steps up one more rung and manages to get hold of the clipboard, he reaches up to unhook it but has to abort the attempt for a moment as his ribs pain him once more. A deep breath, another stretch, here we go, Ted DiBiase is going to win ...
Daniel Bryan gets there just in time and just does enough to prevent DiBiase reaching up and taking down the contract for the title shot. As DiBiase stumbles, he steps down the ladder and this gives Bryan a chance, he drags DiBiase down off the ladder and down to the mat ... LE BELL LOCK! DANIEL BRYAN LOCKS IN THE LE BELL LOCK! DiBiase is tapping out, he wants the hold to be released but there is no submission tonight of course. Bryan continues to hold in the submission lock, he refuses to release DiBiase however much he taps the mat. Eventually, he releases DiBiase who rolls away clutching his shoulder ... Bryan rolls away and takes time to recover from the pain he has been – and still is – enduring. Taking a deep breath, Bryan stands and heads for the ladder – this is his big chance now! He starts the long, arduous climb and – like DiBiase before – he is making slow progress. Bryan manages to get his hand on the contract but not enough to be able to tug it down, he needs to move another rung up to unhook it. He forces his feet to move again, here he goes ...
DiBiase drags him down at the last second!
Just in time, Ted DiBiase prolongs the match a little more! With Bryan on the third rung, DiBiase steps up alongside him and locks in the Million Dollar Dream again, halfway up the ladder. Bryan tries to fight out and the pair of them wobble on the rung but DiBiase keeps their balance and twists into position ... DREAM STREET! DREAM STREET OFF THE LADDER! Bryan’s back crashes down and he writhes in agony, what a huge impact move that was! The crowd are half cheering due to the intensity of the move and the way it surprised them. They resume their cheering for Daniel Bryan moments later though as DiBiase starts the climb towards the contract. He pulls himself up as Bryan is down on the mat struggling for and gasping for air as he finds breathing difficult after the impact of the Dream Street. Bryan spots DiBiase as he is reaching up, he starts to make his way up the ladder too but can he make it in time? Has he left it too late?
Can DiBiase get the contract this time?
– YES HE CAN! –
WINNER TED DIBIASE (12:56)
DiBiase stands astride the top of the ladder clutching the contract to his chest and balancing himself on the ladder with his other hand – he smiles a wide, beaming smile and then looks down at Daniel Bryan who is groggily resting halfway up the ladder where he was when the contract was unhooked. Bryan, groggy from the Dream Street off the ladder, looks disappointed but rolls away from the ladder, no sour grapes from him here, he was beaten fair and square. As Bryan backs away down the aisle, he looks back up to the top of the ladder at DiBiase and there is – for a split second at least – a sign of respect in both men’s eyes. DiBiase slightly spoils it though when he then laughs at Bryan and holds the contract up before pointing to himself and signalling that he will soon be the US Champion.
The camera switches to Justin Gabriel who has been watching on a TV screen and he is warming up and stretching ahead of the Rumble. However, he nods his head at the TV, he now knows who his next challenger for the US Championship will be: Ted DiBiase.
We’ll have to wait and see if there is an announcement on RAW tomorrow night, King, about when the US Championship match will be. However, we do now know: Ted DiBiase vs. Justin Gabriel will happen in the near future!
JR, that’ll be a great contest but I can’t help feeling that it would be even better with Daniel Bryan involved. What a great start to the night, a superb ladder match with an amazing ending!
A replay of the Dream Street is shown and King goes ‘Wow!’ in amazement at the impact of the move – Bryan’s back and shoulders slammed down onto the mat with a huge crash ...
A huge move from Ted DiBiase, is he about to begin to realise his unlimited potential and make his way up the ranks here on RAW?
If he carries on with impressive moves and wins like that, I can’t see why he wouldn’t, JR!
The camera switches backstage where Josh Mathews is stood ready for an interview. He smiles to the camera and then begins ...
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time ... the former Divas Champion ... LAYLA!
The beautiful Layla steps into view with a smile on her face, she is dressed in jeans and a sexy top as she prepares to answer Mathews’ questions.
Layla, last week on NXT, you had your rematch with Maryse for the Divas Championship but there was some interruption from your former Laycool partner, Michelle McCool, and her bodyguard, Kharma. Your thoughts?
Josh, ‘Chelle is just jealous of me, she has been since I beat her at Survivor Series and proved that I was the better Diva in Laycool. I don’t know why she has decided to get that ... that thing ... to protect her nowadays, Kharma, what is that? It’s obvious to me that Michelle is scared of me, she fears that she wouldn’t be able to beat me for the Divas Championship so she decided to ...
Layla is suddenly interrupted mid-thought by the Divas Champion herself, the sultry Maryse ...
De quoi parlez-vous, Layla? Vous avez perdu votre esprit?
Layla looks confused as Maryse addresses her in French ...
Il est clair pour moi que Michelle sait que je suis un danger pour elle. C'est pourquoi elle est intervenu dans notre match mardi dernier.
Maryse points to herself as she speaks, she is obviously speaking about herself ...
Elle veut me mettre hors d'action afin qu'elle puisse prendre mes Divas championnat sans en face de moi dans l'anneau.
Maryse adjusts her Divas Championship belt which she has around her waist and then she smiles at Layla.
You see, Layla ... Nobody really cares about you, ‘zay do not see you as a threat to ‘zem. On ‘ze other ‘and, Michelle knows ‘zat I am ‘er biggest threat. But I is ready for ‘er ‘ze next time she ...
Whatever Maryse was about to say, she never gets chance to finish as Kharma barrels into the Divas Champion and knocks her flying into the steel interview set face first. As Maryse hits the set, it topples over and lands on her as Kharma kneels over her and pummels away at her. Layla decides to do something about it and she attempts to drag Kharma away from Maryse but the gargantuan monster simply shoves Layla aside and down onto her backside. Layla gets back up and is about to try again when she is blindsided by a running boot from Michelle McCool.
Michelle now grabs Layla and smashes the back of her head down onto the floor over and over and over again, a heinous attack here from McCool and Kharma. WWE officials attempt to stop it but there is little they can do at first as Michelle and Kharma are relentless in their efforts to severely injure the pair. Eventually, Kharma and McCool are dragged off Maryse and Layla and WWE medics can get to them to check their condition. Michelle has a smirk on her face as she straightens her hair back out whilst Kharma stands beside her with a ferocious look on her face, she fumes that she has been stopped here. Stretchers are being called for as McCool picks up the fallen Divas Championship belt and she leans over the doctors to symbolically place the title belt back over Maryse’s fallen body before backing away with Kharma ...
JR and King look shocked as the cameras return to them at ringside ...
What a heinous attack there from Michelle McCool and Kharma, what was that about?
Absolutely no need for that, what a cowardly attack!
Replays of the attack are shown as JR and King speculate over why they decided to do that. The cameras return to the backstage area and we now see that Maryse and Layla are both being placed on stretchers and carried out of the interview area towards waiting ambulances. The WWE officials and medics are all busy as they tend to Maryse or Layla or rebuild the set which was damaged by the attack. The cameras return to ringside again and JR and King look sombrely into the camera ...
I guess you never quite know what is going to happen next here in the WWE, King?
What a mood kill that is. A huge night of action here at the Royal Rumble, a fast-paced start with DiBiase and Daniel Bryan and then Kharma and Michelle McCool do that. There was no need for it, JR, no need at all.
*** IF YA SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN’ ***
NXT Legend Mentor
*** THE ROCK ***
The roof comes off for the arrival of the legendary Rock as he heads for the ring with his chest puffed out and looking a million dollars as usual. He heads for the ring and smells the air in the corner as usual before grabbing a microphone and getting ready to address the crowd ...
Finally ... The Rock ... has come back ... to Cleveland!
Cheap pop for the Rock but he smiles widely ...
Now The Rock says this, tonight is not about the Rock, no, no, no, The Rock has spoken to each one of his four men competing on NXT, he has given them the advice that made him the People’s Champion, the tips and tricks that made him the most electrifying man in ALL of entertainment ...
Another pop for the Rock as he uses up one of his legendary catchphrases ...
Tonight, the four members of Team Bring It each have a chance to come out here ... and layeth the smack down on Team JBL’s candy asses ...
Another cheer for Rock ...
Tonight, they have the chance ... in front of the millions ...
The Cleveland crowd join in and shout ‘AND MILLIONS’ ...
... of The Rock’s fans, they have the chance to compete here in the NXT Battle Royal, they have the chance to earn immunity from the first two eliminations, tonight, Team Bring It will wipe the floor with Team JBL ... IF YA SMELLLLLLLLLL ... LALALALALALALALLLLL ... WHAT THE ROCK ... IS ... COOKIN ...
The crowd join in with Rock as he finishes his quick introduction of his team, Team Bring It, and they begin to make their way out from the locker room ...
*** IF I CAN GET THRU’ THIS ***
The following contest is the NXT Battle Royal ... The winner of this match will be immune from elimination from NXT for the first two eliminations. Introducing first, members of Team Bring It ... CHAVO GUERRERO ... accompanied by Vickie Guerrero, DOLPH ZIGGLER ... accompanied by Runjin Singh, THE GREAT KHALI ... and finally, R-TRUTH!
As each member of Team Bring It arrives in the ring, The Rock makes a point of shaking their hands and he utters a few words of encouragement to each member of his team. He then brings his team together and gives them a team-talk, he appears to want them to work together a little to eliminate Team JBL. However, there is a sullen look on the face of R-Truth and Dolph Ziggler reacts negatively as well as he questions Rock about his ideas ...
Very impressive, Rock, very impressive!
NXT Legend Mentor
*** JBL ***
Loud jeers echo around the arena as JBL steps out into the stage area and he is ready to speak his mind ...
Rock, a fine speech if ever I heard one, the problem is ... I don’t think your guys were interested. You see, let me explain ... Great Khali, well he doesn’t understand a word you say ... R-Truth heard you clearly but he doesn’t respect anything you have to say to him ... Dolph Ziggler is openly questioning you, I mean, this is the mentor who suggested that he dumped Vickie Guerrero ...
Cheers for this idea, it appears the Rock knows what the people want ...
... and as for Chavo Guerrero, he’s respects what you say, he’s just not good enough to do anything about it.
Chavo reacts angrily and makes to exit the ring and confront JBL but Rock holds him back and convinces him that it is not worth it ...
Listen to your mentor, Chavo, you don’t want to come near me ... I am a Wrestling Gawd!
Boos for JBL and he smirks with laughter as he prepares to introduce his team ...
Now, it is time for me to introduce Team JBL ... Three men who will outlast all other, three men who will destroy the rest of the competition and then battle it out between themselves for the prize of NXT winner. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Team JBL!
Loud boos for JBL again but he doesn’t care – his team, including the fourth member who he isn’t mentioning, begin to head out towards the ring ...
*** IF I CAN GET THRU’ THIS ***
Their opponents, representing Team JBL ... DREW McINTYRE ... KAVAL ...
JBL shakes his head in anger that Kaval has been introduced as a member of Team JBL. As Kaval follows Drew out towards the ring, he stops close to JBL and stares at him, there is real tension brewing between them – will Kaval snap and go after his so-called mentor?
... Montel Vontavius Porter – MVP ... and finally, the Moscow Mauler, VLADIMIR KOZLOV!
As Team JBL hit the ring, they join the Team Bring It members and finally we have all eight NXT participants in the ring ready for action. The eight of them spread themselves around the ring as Rock makes his way out of the ring to ringside and JBL gets the courage up to join him – despite staying on the opposite side of the ring.
NXT BATTLE ROYAL CHAVO GUERRERO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. DREW McINTYRE vs. GREAT KHALI vs. KAVAL vs. MVP vs. R-TRUTH vs. VLADIMIR KOZLOV
With their mentors watching on the outside, the eight men prepare – some jumping on their feet, others stretching, some people stood there still – waiting for the bell to be rung. The referee signals for the bell and all eight men come alive as they advance towards their fellow NXT competitors. Team JBL make a strange move though as their mentor points towards Kaval in the corner of the ring – McIntyre and Kozlov immediately head towards him and trap him in the corner where they begin to lay the boots and right hands to him despite his attempts to fight back. MVP watches on reluctant to join in and JBL stares at him, daring him not to help. As Team JBL have their own issues, Team Rock decide to fight with each other too – after all, it is not a team game tonight, this is about every man for himself. Chavo Guerrero pairs off with R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler has got guts as he goes after Great Khali instead. With seven of the eight men now involved, there is only MVP yet to make a move as he continues to watch the fight between McIntyre and Kozlov and the so called ‘runt’ of NXT, Kaval. JBL points to MVP and orders him to help and he realises that he has little choice here if he doesn’t want to be next to be turned on. MVP heads over towards the corner where Kaval is taking a beating but as he looks to help, Kaval shoves Drew McIntyre away and he collides with the oncoming MVP. A fight breaks out between those two to JBL’s dismay and this pairs all eight men up as Kaval looks to fight back against Kozlov. Eventually, Kaval is able to use his speed advantage as he ducks a shot from Kozlov and then catches him with a dropkick in the corner that buys him time to recover a little.
Kaval leaves Kozlov to it and goes in search of other people to fight with – Dolph Ziggler wanders into his path as he gets no luck out of Khali and the pair of them lock up and go at it. R-Truth is now fighting with Drew McIntyre, Chavo with MVP and this leaves the two big men, Kozlov and Khali, the top two in the current NXT rankings to come face to face in the centre of the ring. Kozlov attempts to pick up and suplex the Punjab but this is nigh on impossible and Khali manages to hit the Khali Chop to the top of the Russian’s head that sends him staggering away. Truth is on top in his battle with McIntyre right now though and he hits his corkscrew forearm that knocks the Scot down to the mat before coming off the ropes and hitting a Scissors Kick as Drew gets back up. The crowd cheer for Truth as he takes a moment to stare at Rock on the outside of the ring before he drags McIntyre up and heads him towards the ropes. Truth struggles but he manages to tip Drew over the top rope, he tries to lift his legs but the Scotsman is now struggling against him – can he do it? Wait a minute, JBL has jumped up on the apron here! Truth is distracted for a second as JBL taunts him a little before the referees pull JBL off the apron to the floor ... BAM! Big Boot from Drew McIntyre to R-Truth, he goes down like bag of potatoes and is now looking like easy pickings. Rock is unhappy on the outside and he attempts to come round to confront JBL but he is also held back by the referees as Drew picks up Truth and tosses him over the top ropes and out of the NXT Battle Royal.
R-TRUTH HAS BEEN ELIMINATED BY DREW McINTYRE!
As Truth hits the mat, JBL has a huge smirk on his face and he laughs at Rock who is being forced back to the opposite side of the ring. The referee in charge speaks to Rock and threatens to have him removed from the ringside area if he does not comply with his instructions. Reluctantly, Rock moves back to his corner and continues to watch although he looks really annoyed over JBL’s actions in causing R-Truth’s elimination. Meanwhile, in the ring, McIntyre now has Kaval and is beating him in the corner. JBL again orders MVP to support Drew and yet again MVP looks tortured by the order but knows he has to obey it. MVP and Drew McIntyre beat on Kaval in the corner until Chavo Guerrero comes over and gets involved by taking on McIntyre. This leaves Kaval and MVP – will MVP continue his assault on a man he appears to have a liking for? MVP looks to JBL who orders him to ‘destroy the little runt!’ and he looks to be fighting demons in his own head. However, the hesitation is enough for Kaval who realises that MVP is not going to have a choice. He starts to kick MVP in the gut and then follows up with a huge hurricanrana to take down the Franchise Playa. Scurrying to the top rope, Kaval quickly balances – he clearly knows the danger of being up there in a Battle Royal. WARRIORS WAY DOUBLE FOOT STOMP FROM KAVAL TO MVP! Landing hard on the ribs and sternum of MVP, Kaval shrugs his shoulders as if to say he had to do it. With MVP down, Kaval springboards from the middle rope into a moonsault as he begins to show off his impressive arsenal of moves. MVP staggers to the corner and Kaval stands back a little preparing for something big ... He handsprings towards MVP and then flies into a vicious kick to the side of MVP’s head that sends MVP over the top rope and hanging on desperately. Kaval grabs his legs and helps him on his way with a shove ...
MVP HAS BEEN ELIMINATED BY KAVAL!
A disappointed looking MVP looks up at Kaval who holds his hands out as if to tell MVP it was either him or himself and he had to do it. MVP looks annoyed for a moment but then his focus falls on JBL who is sarcastically applauding him. MVP argues with JBL but the Texan orders him to get out of the arena and MVP makes his way to the aisle. Kaval smirks at JBL and turns ... PUNJABI PLUNGE! KAVAL CRASHES INTO THE MAT HARD! A double hand choke drop from the Punjab and JBL appears impressed by the man who he campaigned to get rid of at the beginning of NXT. He urges Khali to eliminate Kaval but Khali misunderstands and he beckons JBL into the ring instead and this gives Kaval chance to roll away. With his back turned, Ziggler and McIntyre attack the giant from behind and begin to try and force him over the ropes – teaming might be the only way to take out the man from India here tonight! Kozlov joins them but he is struggling still after the Khali Chop before and he is elbowed in the face by Khali as he tries to fight back which sends him down on his back. Chavo senses an opportunity and he climbs to the top rope and shakes himself ‘Guerrero’ style in honour of his Uncle Eddie before attempting the Frog Splash ... Misses! The crowd groan as Kozlov moves but an ‘Eddie! Eddie!’ chant goes up anyway. Kozlov isn’t happy with Chavo though and he whips him into the ropes before catching him with a huge battering ram headbutt that knocks him down. Locking Chavo in his arms, more headbutts follow, this time to the chest, before Kozlov suplexes Chavo hard onto the mat with a crash. Kozlov thinks about something for a moment and then makes a decision – he heads for the top rope! He climbs slowly but gets to the top rope when Chavo suddenly manages to come to his senses a little. He makes a dive for the top rope and this causes Kozlov to topple and land a leg either side of the buckle and ropes and wincing in pain. Guerrero beats Kozlov over and over in the head, this could be the chance! He hits a step up enzuguri to the side of Kozlov’s head and it staggers the big man so that he is almost toppled off the buckle and out of the ring. However, he hangs on and Chavo mounts the ropes to try and knock him down with right hands. Over and over Chavo punches to Kozlov but he refuses to budge ... A shove to the chest of Chavo sends him sailing backwards and he crashes down on his back in the ring. Kozlov takes a moment to recover and then climbs off the buckle, both feet on the apron and he goes to re-enter the ring through the ropes ...
WAIT A MINUTE!
Santino Marella grabs Kozlov’s foot as he tries to go back into the ring, Kozlov spins the wrong way looking for who is stopping him ... Santino sneaks up onto the apron behind him ... COBRA! KOZLOV FALLS DOWN AND TO THE FLOOR!
VLADIMIR KOZLOV HAS BEEN ELIMINATED BY CHAVO GUERRERO / SANTINO MARELLA!
JBL is beside himself with rage as his star man has been eliminated from the Battle Royal here. He rushes round to check on the Russian as Santino – a huge smile on his face – dances back down the aisle. He stops underneath the titantron and waves to a furious looking Kozlov who gets up and goes marching after him. JBL turns and looks to Rock who is peering over and is laughing out loud, JBL curses and stomps off to his corner again to focus on Drew McIntyre as he attempts to secure immunity for two NXT eliminations. Kaval is down in the corner of the ring, still groggy from the Punjabi Plunge earlier as the other four men in the ring pause for a moment and take stock. Khali and Chavo look over to McIntyre who is listening to advice from JBL and they appear to be on the same page here. They look to Ziggler who realises what they want and he appears to be going with it. A look of terror appears on the face of the Sinister Scotsman as he realises that he is in big trouble now and he backs away to the corner as Khali, Ziggler and Chavo advance on him. Khali gets there first and slaps the chest of McIntyre hard, it reverberates around the arena. Chavo then uses some knife edge chops to McIntyre before Ziggler hits a drop kick to the Scot as his Battle Royal looks as if it is coming to an end. JBL is screaming to the referees about the triple team but they ignore him, the Battle Royal says nothing in its rules about triple teaming being illegal. Rock applauds his team but just as it seems a rosy garden, Ziggler decides to act selfishly and he drags Chavo away when he is least expecting it ... ZIG ZAG! ZIGGLER WITH THE ZIG ZAG TO CHAVO! Vickie Guerrero is hanging about near the announce table and she screams with delight as Ziggler looks proud of himself and looks down on the prone Chavo as he is down on the mat. As Ziggler’s cocky attitude shows, he doesn’t notice what is behind him. Khali is sneaking up on him and appears to be none too impressed with Ziggler’s lack of team spirit ... VICE GRIP! VICE GRIP APPLIED TO ZIGGLER! Dolph is screaming in pain as Khali squeezes the sides of his head and Ziggler tries to get to the ropes to cause a break. He manages it but there is no break – rope breaks do not happen in the Battle Royal either. As Ziggler’s energy levels begin to fade, Khali knows he has him beat and roughly throws him over the top rope as Vickie screams ...
DOLPH ZIGGLER HAS BEEN ELIMINATED BY GREAT KHALI!
Dolph’s elimination causes Rock to shake his head, he appears to be losing patience with the man who refuses to get rid of Vickie Guerrero and this latest act will have done him no favours with his mentor or his team mates. Khali stands close to the ropes, he is looking down on Ziggler as if to tell him that he made a stupid, stupid decision ... BIG BOOT! McINTYRE CATCHES KHALI WITH AN UNEXPECTED BIG BOOT! Khali’s balance is taken out and he staggers over the ropes forwards, he is in trouble here ... McIntyre realises that he has a great chance here and quickly goes through the ropes, grabs the huge arm of the Punjabi Playboy and pulls as hard as he can ...
GREAT KHALI HAS BEEN ELIMINATED BY DREW McINTYRE!
As Khali lands with a thud on the floor, JBL celebrates wildly before getting quickly out of the way of an angry Khali as he gets to his feet. Drew McIntyre has made himself scarce too and is back in the ring, we are now down to three men – McIntyre, Kaval and Chavo – but Khali doesn’t appear to be finished. He goes to get back in the ring but the referees try to stop him. In the end, a combination of Runjin Singh and Rock manage to talk him down off the apron before he can get himself into further trouble with the people who run NXT, Khali is still angry but stalks off towards the backstage area to leave the match ongoing without him. With just the three men left, we now appear to be heading for an unexpected winner with both the favourites, Khali and Kozlov, eliminated. The three of them go at it and their mentors cheer them on – well, except for Kaval of course – with the crowd behind Chavo and Kaval. The strength of the Sinister Scotsman pays dividends though as he gets on top and he manages to isolate Chavo when Kaval is knocked out of the ring – through the ropes though. With Chavo groggy and tiring, Drew takes his chance and looks for the finisher but Chavo counters it! Back Suplex from the Mexican! Drew crashes down on his back and shoulders and then stumbles to his feet as Chavo prepares for another attack ... he locks in for the suplex, here we go! THREE AMIGOS DELIVERED BY CHAVO GUERRERO! The crowd are going wild and another huge ‘Eddie! Eddie!’ chant goes up, his nephew Chavo appears to be channelling the spirit of Eddie as he attempts to win the Battle Royal and NXT! Chavo heads for the top rope, he is going to go for the Frog Splash now! However, JBL jumps up on the apron ... He grabs the foot of Chavo and stops him, the delay is costly as McIntyre is able to catch him up top and he hits a huge Back Suplex off the top ropes that folds up Guerrero like an accordion. Rock is pissed off now and he rushes after JBL but this isn’t going to help in the ring ... FUTURE SHOCK DDT! DREW McINTYRE HITS THE FUTURE SHOCK DDT TO CHAVO! This is over, folks! Drew drags Chavo up and tosses him with ease over the top rope ...
CHAVO GUERRERO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED BY DREW McINTYRE!
Loud boos in the arena as Chavo is eliminated thanks to JBL. However, Rock has his sights on JBL now and there is going to be no stopping him! He chases after JBL who tries to go through the ring to get away ... As JBL passes through, McIntyre attempts to stop Rock but he is hit with a spinebuster as he approaches the Great One. If this was a match for Rock, he would hit the People’s Elbow but he is intent on going after JBL instead. He continues after him and then JBL’s progress is halted ... by Kaval! ROUNDHOUSE KICK TO JBL FROM KAVAL! JBL is hurt and he staggers into the ring still trying to escape Rock but the writing is on the wall now ... Rock is setting himself in the ring despite the protestations of the referees ...
The Rock smashes JBL down hard into the mat and takes in the adulation of the crowd who have exploded here! Ushered out by the referees, Rock, who has no men left in the ring, exits and heads down the aisle to a rapturous reception from the WWE Universe. He turns to look back and Drew McIntyre is back up and looking out towards him with a look of concern on his face! McIntyre looks to JBL, then back to Rock, what has happened? The referees help out JBL and McIntyre is concerned for his mentor and assists them without taking a look around him ... He turns around, BAM! Springboard roundhouse kick to McIntyre from Kaval! The match is continuing and, in the confusion, McIntyre has forgotten about the presence of Kaval in the ring. Quickly, Kaval runs up and jumps to the top rope before diving off ... Crossbody to Drew McIntyre as well! Can Kaval do the impossible here and earn an immunity from the first two NXT eliminations? With Drew down, Kaval climbs to the top buckle again and here he goes! Warrior’s Way Double Foot Stomp coming up! Kaval jumps off the ropes and goes for it but McIntyre escapes at the last second, Kaval hits the mat and rolls his ankle a little which causes him to clutch it in pain for a second. He gets back up but he is locked up by McIntyre ... Time for the Future Shock DDT again! McIntyre has it set up ... FUTURE SHOCK DDT ... NOOOOOOO! Kaval reverses, hurricanrana take down ...
DREW McINTYRE IS TAKEN UP AND OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR!
DREW McINTYRE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED BY KAVAL!
WINNER KAVAL (11:17)
JBL is in shock in the aisle as he staggers to his feet after witnessing the elimination of Drew McIntyre – what a terrible night it has been for him! First off, he is hit with a Rock Bottom and now the member of his team who he wants to see eliminated, the so called ‘runt’ of his team, Kaval, has won the NXT Battle Royale and will be immune from the first two eliminations in the competition!
The underdog Kaval picks up a huge win here!
JBL has his head in his hands as he looks up at Kaval as he celebrates in the ring and taunts JBL from the turnbuckles. Back in the stage area, The Rock looks on with a look of satisfaction on his face – if he couldn’t have a member of Team Bring It be successful, it seems Kaval would be his next choice. Drew McIntyre tries to help JBL to his feet but the businessman refuses to be lifted and he slams his fist down hard over and over on the floor in frustration at what has happened!
Look at JBL’s face, JR, what a picture that is!
They say that a picture paints a thousand words, King. In JBL’s case, we know that none of those words are happy words right now ... Kaval is immune from elimination for the first two eliminations on NXT!
The cameras switch from a visibly furious JBL to the backstage area where Josh Mathews is stood waiting in the interview area once again. It has been tidied up although there are still signs of the earlier disturbance around and Mathews looks serious as the camera heads to him ...
Ladies and Gentlemen, I can confirm to you that both the Divas Champion Maryse and the former Divas Champion Layla have been taken away in an ambulance to a local medical facility here in Cleveland. Layla has a suspected concussion caused by Michelle McCool repeatedly slamming her head first into the floor whereas Maryse has pain in her ribcage area, possibly broken ribs, caused by Kharma. WWE owner Chip Butty informed me moments ago that action will be taken against Michelle McCool and Kharma in due course.
Mathews pauses before moving on to his next interview ...
As the old saying goes though, the show must go on so would you please welcome my guest at this time, the Olympic Hero ... KURT ANGLE!
A mixed reception for Angle as he comes into shot – his deliberate defeat in Monday Night RAW’s main event that cost Triple H the chance to remove Nexus from the arena tonight has not been forgotten.
Kurt, on Monday on RAW, you cost Triple H the chance to ...
Angle snatches the microphone from Mathews and prevents him from completing the question; it appears Angle wants to speak about the topics of his own choosing ...
Let’s get a few things straight, ‘announcer’ ...
Mathews looks slightly insulted by the sarcastic way that Angle calls him ‘announcer’ and Kurt smirks at him as if daring him to make something of it ...
... you do not speak to an Olympic Hero in that way. Don’t you know that I won the gold medal for the United States of America in 1996 with a broken freaking neck?
Angle looks at Mathews quizzically and then lifts his medal up from his chest ...
When you have these babies around your neck, you don’t need to earn respect ... you demand it from everybody that you meet. From now on, if I allow you to interview me again, you will address me as Mr. Angle and you will not ask me ridiculous questions like you were planning to ask me then, do I make myself clear?
Mathews nods his head sheepishly and then Kurt waves his hand at him and shoos him away so that he can focus on the camera and the WWE Universe watching him ...
Many of you people will be thinking – Why did Kurt Angle screw Triple H last Monday? It’s quite simple. Triple H showed me a lack of respect. Who does Triple H think he is? Does he think I need him to patronise me and give me another chance at the WWE Championship?
Boos and jeers are beginning to build for Angle who it appears is returning to his old, cocky arrogant ways from his previous WWE runs rather than his returning Olympic hero phase that he has been running with since returning to the WWE two months ago.
Now I don’t give a crap whether Triple H wins the WWE Championship tonight or if Wade Barrett wins the WWE Championship tonight. All I know is that I am determined that I will be challenging for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 27 and tonight, I guarantee my spot in that main event.
Angle again lifts his medals to the camera ...
WrestleMania this year comes from Atlanta, Georgia, the place where I won the Olympic gold medal. It is my destiny to return there this year and show that I am the best freaking wrestler in the world once again, I will win the Royal Rumble tonight and head to WrestleMania where I will defeat Wade Barrett, Triple H or anybody else who wants to get in my path. At WrestleMania, just like in Atlanta in 1996, Kurt Angle, your Olympic Hero, proves that he is the best in the world ... Oh, it’s true! IT’S DAMN TRUE!
Angle tosses the microphone away and stands there staring into the camera, a look of intensity in his eyes as the camera switches back to the arena and ringside ...
What an intense statement there from Kurt Angle, King!
Of course it was intense, JR, that’s one of Kurt Angle’s three I’s – intensity, integrity and intelligence! Don’t you remember them?
Intensity maybe, King, but I’m not sure how much integrity and intelligence Kurt Angle showed on Monday night when he attacked Triple H. Nevertheless, Angle is in the Rumble and he seems to be pumped up and determined to win and earn a WrestleMania main event spot tonight.
The cameras focus on the ring where Justin Roberts is stood waiting ...
The following contest is set for one fall ... and it is for ... the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP!
Big pop from the crowd, they are ready for the first of two big title matches tonight ...
*** WE ARE ONE ***
*** WADE BARRETT ***
Accompanied by his Nexus team-mates, Wade Barrett saunters slowly out into the arena and a cauldron of hate, jeers and boos – it doesn’t affect him at all though and he openly smirks and laughs in the faces of the WWE Universe as he approaches the ring. Beside him, flanked two either side, are David Otunga, Heath Slater and Skip Sheffield and the five of them make their way into the ring as Barrett removes the WWE Championship belt from around his waist and holds it high for all to see ...
Well, King, tonight Wade Barrett faces a tough test of his credentials as WWE Champion – but he faces the test with his four main men beside him after Monday’s main event ...
Replays of Kurt Angle’s attack on Triple H on RAW are re-shown and the Nexus’ hands being raised as they celebrated the fact that Nexus would be allowed at ringside tonight when Barrett defended his title ...
This man, our WWE Champion, should take a look in the mirror and consider what he’s actually doing right now, JR. If Wade Barrett is truly honest with himself, he’ll surely realise that he needs to prove himself alone and leave these four idiots back in the locker room so he can do just that!
There are many, many people in the WWE Universe who think that way, King, many say that Wade Barrett would not be the WWE Champion if not for the Nexus and I have to agree with them. There is no doubt about it, Barrett is a superb athlete and has stacks of potential, he could be a huge star in the WWE but right now, he isn’t impressing anybody.
Barrett and Nexus stand in a line and taunt the WWE Universe as they ‘salute’ them with the Nexus salute. The four members of Nexus not in the match exit on different sides of the ring and take up their positions on each side of the ring. This already looks like an impossible task for Triple H as he embarks on his quest for a fourteenth world title ...
*** TIME TO PLAY THE GAME ***
*** TRIPLE H ***
Green flashing lights permeate through the darkness as the crowd here in Cleveland go wild for the challenger for the WWE Championship. A spotlight falls on the Game as he stands in the stage area and looks out towards the ring before he begins pacing towards it, a determined look on his face ...
Triple H, the Cerebral Assassin, a man who doesn’t care how he gets the job done but, King, tonight, does he have too many obstacles to overcome – thanks to Kurt Angle?
Well, JR, we just heard from Kurt about his actions last Monday, he claims that the Game disrespected him when he allowed him a second chance to earn a place in this match tonight. I don’t know how he comes to that conclusion but his actions on Monday certainly mean that Hunter is against it tonight – all four members of Nexus are out here to support Wade Barrett!
Nexus are like a pack of wild dogs, King, if they sense a chance to gang up on Triple H, they’ll do it. And don’t forget, Wade Barrett has the title advantage which means ...
Exactly, JR! It means that he can’t lose the title if he gets disqualified tonight!
Triple H looks to both sides of the ring as he surveys the position of Nexus before he climbs up onto the ring apron, throwing away his water bottle, and looks out towards the crowd. Big mistake from Triple H! Wade Barrett decides to rush over the ring and he smashes into the back of the challenger who goes flying off the apron and crashes head and shoulder first into the barricades. The lights come up and the referee races over to back Barrett back away into the corner ... as the Nexus team attacks Triple H on the outside of the ring. Kicks are aimed at the chest and back of Triple H as he is savagely attacked before Nexus make themselves scarce as the referee turns around to see what is happening. He leaves the ring to check on Triple H and – of course – Nexus have moved away and are nowhere near HHH. Hunter struggles to get to his feet on the outside as the referee checks on him and asks him if he wants to continue with the match or not.
Unfortunately, King, tactics we have become used to from the Nexus ...
A totally unprovoked attack, JR! But what can the referee do about it?
Triple H is groggily getting to his feet but he assures the referee that he is ready to go, ready to compete for the WWE Championship tonight. The referee continues to check but the Game is stubborn and he begins to climb into the ring. As he does, Barrett strips off his Nexus t-shirt quickly and tosses it out of the ring along with his WWE Championship belt. As soon as Triple H enters the ring, Barrett attacks him and hits a Big Boot to Hunter as he steps through the ropes. With both men in the ring, the referee ushers Barrett back as the English WWE Champion steps back with a huge smile on his face. A groggy Triple H again assures the referee that he wants to start and he wearily makes it to his feet and allows the referee to signal for the bell so the title match begins ...
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP WADE BARRETT (c) (w/Nexus) vs. TRIPLE H
The referee tries to hold Barrett back at first but he can’t and the WWE Champion goes straight for the weakened challenger as he holds himself up on the ropes. A well placed right hand from Barrett staggers Triple H and he falls to his knees again, Barrett continues to assault with punches that take Hunter down to the mat and he continues to deliver these as he seeks an early and successful title defence. The referee finally manages to split the pair of them but Barrett is not going to stand back and he begins to deliver a number of stomp kicks to the fallen challenger, the threat of disqualification falling on deaf ears as JR reminds us that a DQ will result in retention of the title for Barrett. As Triple H covers up a little, Barrett stands back and admires his handy work as Heath Slater leads the applause on the outside – this causes Jerry Lawler to rant on the commentary about Nexus’ involvement here and he blames Kurt Angle once more for his betrayal last Monday. As Hunter rolls to the centre of the ring and tries to get to his feet again, Barrett sneaks up behind him and places his knees in the back of the 13-time champion before locking in a Surfboard Stretch. With Triple H on his knees and the knees of the WWE Champion lodged in his back, the pain is etched all over his face as he battles to escape. Things are not looking good for Hunter here as he tries desperately to break the hold by reaching the ropes. Can he make it?
Triple H struggles but he finally manages to release his legs and, in a seated position, he is able squirm towards the ropes. He locks a foot around the bottom rope and the referee demands that Barrett releases the stretch but this order is ignored – another reminder that a DQ win for Triple H is pointless tonight. After Barrett’s ignorance, the referee decides to physically break the hold and he manages it to the annoyance of Barrett. However, he refuses to dwell on it and he simply drags Triple H up to his feet before lifting him up and crashing him backwards with a back suplex. First cover of the match, maybe Triple H should just allow the defeat to happen right now?
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Kick out from Triple H! –
Barrett steps up and looks down on Triple H with a smirk – the failure of the pinfall attempt does not appear to concern him at all. He looks to his Nexus colleagues who cheer him on before he drags Hunter back up and looks him in the face with a mocking statement or two for good measure. Barrett lifts Triple H onto his shoulders and it becomes clear, he is looking to end it right now! With Triple H held up on his shoulders, Barrett is going for Wastelands! However, Triple H realises that he is in serious danger here and he manages to fight out, wriggles clear and drops down behind Barrett. Caught out, Barrett spins round and HHH reacts quickly – kick to the gut from the Cerebral Assassin, snap DDT! Barrett’s head bounces off the mat and Triple H takes a second to recover a little before looking to hook the leg of the WWE Champion. However, Heath Slater and David Otunga jump up on the apron here and Triple H is distracted for a moment as he spots the Nexus pair. The referee jumps towards them and demands they get down immediately but the distraction was enough for now. HHH drags Barrett up, pops him off into the ropes and lifts him high, looking for a spinebuster ... however, Barrett shoves himself clear just in time and catches the challenger with a right hand to the disappointment of the WWE Universe who appear fully behind the challenger, Triple H. Further punches follow but HHH responds with weak looking right hands of his own before he ducks underneath one of Barrett’s and hits the ropes himself ... SIDEWALK SLAM FROM BARRETT! A huge crash as Triple H’s back and shoulders slam down hard on the mat, the ring shakes before Barrett hooks the leg and makes the cover ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– HHH kicks out again! –
Barrett shakes his head, he believes that the challenger should give it up. He allows Triple H to stagger to his feet and he props himself up in the corner, Wade approaches him and mounts the ropes to deliver yet more right hands that sting the face of the challenger. Barrett is mocking the WWE Universe as they jeer him and he delivers each punch to Hunter as if he is personally punching the WWE Universe in the face instead. He drops back off the middle ropes and allows Triple H to slump on the ropes, Barrett is laughing now, he believes he cannot lose this match now! Triple H looks up at him, anger in his eyes and he goes on the attack but Barrett is ready and he back body drops HHH over his head and he crashes down once more. Barrett saunters over and goes for a lateral press cover, he is looking more arrogant every minutes that passes ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Kick out from Hunter late this time! –
Barrett puffs out his cheeks as he reflects on what is needed. He locks in an Abdominal Stretch on the challenger and HHH grimaces in pain as he is stretched out around the WWE Champion who looks calm and composed with no worries. The crowd begin to clap their hands, particularly annoying Heath Slater for some reason, and they begin to chant ‘Trip-le H!’ over and over as they support their favourite. Hunter begins to attempt to fight back and fight out of the hold, he manages to reverse it and locks Barrett into the Abdominal Stretch instead. Barrett powers over to the ropes immediately and clutches one of them, the referee has to order the break. Triple H holds it as long as he dare but he cannot risk a disqualification, the champion has that advantage, not the challenger. Barrett looks to stem the flow as he goes for a big clothesline but this misses as Hunter ducks below it and then clatters into Barrett with a barrage of right hands. Barrett hits the ropes and comes off them looking for a big crash into the challenger but this fails – Triple H spins him round and hits a pendulum backbreaker that crashes the back of the champion over his knee! First cover of the match for the challenger, has he done enough?
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Barrett kicks out with time to spare! –
The crowd rally around Triple H as he gets to his feet first, he grabs the WWE Champion by the head and he twists him into a neckbreaker that causes a roar from the crowd. For the first time tonight, Barrett looks in a bit of trouble and the worried looks on the faces of Slater, Otunga, Jackson and Sheffield confirm this. With Barrett down on the mat, HHH looks around and then smiles ... FIGURE FOUR LEG LOCK! ‘Woooooo!’ echoes around the arena in homage to Ric Flair as Triple H locks it in and Barrett’s face erupts with pain, he knows he is trouble here. Can HHH force the tap out? Barrett knows he has to escape as soon as he can and he looks to stretch out his considerably tall body to reach the ropes but he falls about a foot short. The referee is urging him to consider a tap out and he kneels beside the grimaced face of Barrett. Another attempt to escape as Barrett stretches for the ropes again, the referee is poised to break the hold or signal for the bell if he taps, Triple H realises that Barrett could get the ropes and he releases the hold. He drops an elbow to Barrett and then drags him to the centre of the ring again, FIGURE FOUR LEG LOCK again! Barrett is central in the ring and the crowd are excited now, he could be forced to tap out and give up his title to Hunter right here! Barrett is trying to roll over now but he can’t get the experienced Hunter over, the WWE Champion is looking more and more desperate now! Is he about to tap out? The crowd are getting more and more excited as we look set to crown a new WWE Champion ...
Behind the referee’s back, Skip Sheffield hits a right hand to the exposed face of Triple H who never saw it coming. Skip drops to his knees before the ref spots him and crawls back round the ring to his Nexus team-mates as the hold breaks and Barrett is able to free himself. As the referee looks round, he sees nothing but he looks suspiciously as Nexus are patting the back of the big Skip Sheffield. Barrett is now free and he rolls beneath the ropes and out of the ring where the Nexus team surround him and check on him. The referee demands that they leave him alone but they ignore this – what is the referee going to do? Disqualify Barrett? Nexus – safe in the knowledge that a DQ loss is fine – ignore the referee and help Barrett to his feet as the referee begins the countout ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– 3 –
– 4 –
– 5 –
The referee again beckons to Barrett to get back in the ring but he just waves an arm towards the referee, he is fine where he is. Triple H looks to go after him but the referee holds him back and the other members of Nexus stand up to him as if daring him to do just that. The referee continues to count him ...
– 6 –
– 7 –
– 8 –
Triple H looks pissed off as the crowd jeer and boo Nexus. Barrett continues to ignore the referee and, with a limp visible, he begins to head down the aisle to the disgust of the fans. The referee again has to hold back Triple H and it appears that Nexus are leaving ...
– 9 –
The referee looks to Nexus with a look of resignation in his eyes, they are not interested in coming back to the ring and he has only one thing that he can do now ...
– 10 –
He turns to signal for the bell when a voice echoes around the arena ...
Hold it there, referee!
All eyes turn towards the titantron where the RAW General Manager Shawn Michaels is stood looking out into the arena. He looks unconcerned about the situation in the WWE Championship match and is smiling as usual ...
No way, Wade, no way! You might have gotten your way – thanks to Kurt Angle – last Monday night, you might have your Nexus cronies with you at ringside but you are not walking out of this match. No chance, my friend!
Barrett and Nexus are halfway out of the arena but Barrett’s eyes are blazing as he looks up at the titantron. Triple H is in the ring and looks pleased with what his former DX partner Shawn Michaels has to say here ...
Barrett, you have ten seconds to get back in the ring. If you don’t get there, Triple H might not win the WWE Championship but I do have the power to strip you of the WWE Championship instead. So you better get your English ass back in the ring if you want to keep your title ... And if you think about deliberately getting counted out again, the same rule applies. Get moving, boy! TEN ... NINE ... EIGHT ...
The crowd begin to chant along and the referee signals the countdown with his hands ... SEVEN ... SIX ... Barrett looks dumbstruck with anger, he edges towards the ring a little, his limp still visible from the Figure Four Leg Lock ... FIVE ... FOUR ... Barrett realises that his title is in jeopardy and begins to run towards the ring as the crowd chant and countdown ... THREE ... TWO ... Barrett slides back into the ring just in time! Triple is waiting and he drops an elbow to his back before jumping to his feet, a new wave of energy coursing through his veins ... Kick to the gut from Triple H ... Neckbreaker! Another neckbreaker from Triple H and Barrett clutches his neck in pain as Triple H goes for the cover ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Kick out from Barrett! –
Groans from the WWE Universe as Barrett again escapes. He staggers up to his knees as he desperately tries to find a way to stop the momentum of Hunter, another kick to the gut from HHH ... Here we go! Could it be time for a Pedigree? Triple H begins to set up his big finish move, he looks set to become the WWE Champion here! He hooks the arms of Barrett and is about to strike when Ezekiel Jackson leaps up on the apron and distracts him. Hunter demands that he gets out of the way but the delay is enough and Barrett is able to summon all his strength to back body drop the challenger and escapes the Pedigree just in time to save his WWE Championship. Disappointment echoes around the arena as Hunter writhes on the mat in pain after crashing down, he has taken a beating as well tonight already. Both men stagger to their feet, Triple H looks for a clothesline but misses ... BIG BOOT FROM BARRETT! Triple H spins round from the impact and hits the mat with a crash. Barrett looks to take advantage and makes the cover, hooking the leg ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Nooo! Triple H kicks out! –
Barrett slams his hand down on the mat in anger before he argues with the referee over the ‘slow’ count and the decision of HBK just a moment ago. He looks concerned but he is back in control here, he grabs Triple H and for a second it looks as if he might be trying to Pedigree him – he isn’t and he lifts Triple H up high, POWERBOMB! A groan around the arena as they witness the impact of the Powerbomb and there is concern for Hunter here and Barrett rolls him up in another pinfall attempt ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Triple H kicks out just in time! –
A frustrated Barrett again pounds the mat with his fist, he is one unhappy WWE Champion right now. He signals to his Nexus team-mates that he is going to finish it, the match is ending now! He grabs Triple H and drags him up to his feet before lifting him onto his shoulders and setting himself. Is it time now? WASTELANDS! WADE BARRETT HITS WASTELANDS ON TRIPLE H! It’s surely over! As soon as Triple H’s body crashes down onto the mat, Barrett drops down, hooks the legs and is set to retain his WWE Championship ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– 3 –
No! Triple H kicked out at the last second!
A huge cheer around the arena as Barrett looks on in shock. He tilts his head towards the Nexus team around the ring and they look amazed as well. What has Barrett got to do to put Triple H away? A look of determination crosses the face of the WWE Champion and he gets up and drags Triple H up with him. He lifts Hunter up to his shoulders again, a second Wasteland will finish him for sure! However, Triple H begins to struggle and manages to elbow Barrett in the side of the head to force himself clear, Barrett turns in shock and Triple H hits the ropes before hitting a running knee lift that staggers the champion backwards and over as the crowd cheer now. Nexus still look amazed and in shock, how did Triple H kick out of the Wastelands finisher? As Barrett staggers to the corner, it is Hunter’s turn to mount the ropes and smash the punches into the face of the champion now and the crowd cheer along with them as they rain down onto him. Hunter steps back and grabs the arm of the Nexus leader, he whips him across the ring with intensity and Barrett smashes back first into the opposite turnbuckles with a crash. As he staggers out of the corner, Trips meets him and back body drops him up and over, crashing down hard on his back. Hunter is ready to strike now and he drags Barrett up, positions his head between his knees and sets up again. The arms are hooked ... PEDIGREE! TRIPLE H HITS THE PEDIGREE TO THE WWE CHAMPION! Hunter makes the cover ... new WWE Champion coming up!
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Wait a minute! –
Heath Slater clatters into the back of Triple H and breaks the pinfall as he begins to pummel the challenger hard in the face with right hands, over and over and over. Huge heat for the One Man Rock Band as he continues his assault on the Game, he steps back and allows Hunter up ... E MINOR! SLATER HITS HIS INVERTED DDT ON HUNTER! Loud boos around the arena but the Nexus team are applauding his efforts. The referee shoves Heath Slater away from Triple H as he taunts him and then looks over to the ringside team, he has no choice ...
... OR DOES HE? The referee turns back to Slater and waves his arms. He is refusing to disqualify Wade Barrett! He signals that Slater is out of here and orders him to leave the arena! The crowd pop as Slater’s anger shows, he refuses to leave but the referee is adamant and he is beckoning security to come out and escort Slater from the ring. As security head out, the referee ushers Slater towards the ropes but David Otunga has sneaked into the ring behind the ref’s back. Unfortunately, he is holding the WWE Championship belt of Barrett and he is measuring ... BAM! TITLE SHOT TO THE BACK OF TRIPLE H! The challenger was showing signs of life but he is now motionless on the mat, face down, thanks to that shot to the shoulders and back. More heat from the crowd and the referee turns and spots Otunga with the title belt. He orders Otunga to leave as well and the security head in. They surround Slater and Otunga and begin to escort them out of the ring as the referee also warns Jackson and Sheffield to stay out of this. They hold up their hands innocently and assure the referee that they are here to watch and not get involved. As Slater and Otunga exit, attention turns back to Hunter and Barrett. Barrett is crawling over the ring towards Triple H, he makes the cover when he rolls him over, surely not this way?
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Triple H gets his shoulder up! –
Huge cheer again as Hunter escapes! Barrett’s anger shows again as he gets in the face of the referee, he is complaining about the decisions tonight – HBK’s involvement, the removal of Slater and Otunga, the ‘slow’ counts – and he appears to be enraged by it. He menacingly traps the ref at the ropes but is stopped in his tracks when Triple H spins him round, kick to the gut and another Pedigree coming up? No! Barrett counters and flips Hunter onto his back instead, clothesline connects as the challenger gets to his feet. Barrett takes a moment to gather himself before he whips the challenger to the ropes and then lifts him up on the run and lets him fall face first ... Triple H smashes down hard face first into the mat and it looks ominous again as Barrett makes another cover ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Kick out from Triple H! –
Barrett kicks the ropes in frustration this time, he is in shock over the fight in Triple H here! He looks desperately to Skip Sheffield and Ezekiel Jackson on the outside but the referee affirms his authority again and orders them to stay out of the ring. They encourage Barrett instead and he grabs Hunter, whips him to the ropes ... SIDEWALK SLAM! A second sidewalk slam from Barrett and this time it looks as if he has the match won as he makes the cover and hooks the leg ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Noooo! Triple H kicks out again! –
Frustration yet again for Wade Barrett and it threatens to boil over as he goes to strike the referee. He comes to his senses at the last second as the referee covers himself up, Skip and Big Zeke talk Barrett out of it from the outside and he pulls back. He prepares to launch at Triple H again as he slowly gets up. Barrett spins and goes for a clothesline with some power behind it but Triple H surprises everybody by ducking underneath the arm of the champion ... kick to the gut from Triple H again ... PEDIGREE! QUICK PEDIGREE FROM TRIPLE H! NEW CHAMPION?
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Not again! Pinfall broken again! –
This time, Skip Sheffield is the one who stops it by dragging Triple H from the pinfall and out of the ring in the nick of time. How on earth is Triple H going to beat the numbers game here? Skip Sheffield is showing his freshness and his power as he connects with clothesline after clothesline, he then rams Hunter shoulder first into the barricades and the referee is yet again forced out of the ring to deal with it. Security spill out of the backstage area and they head for the Cornfed Collossus as he threatens to beat Triple H again. The security drag Skip away and the referee is directing them to remove him from the arena but this allows Ezekiel Jackson to sneak up on Triple H from behind. He drags him back to the ring and then follows him inside ... HUGE CLOTHESLINE FROM JACKSON TO TRIPLE H! He quickly exits the ring and goes after the crowd of security who are ushering Skip Sheffield away. The referee returns to the ring and sees that Wade Barrett is getting to his knees after the Pedigree and that Triple H is down and out in the ring. Barrett drags the challenger up ... WASTELANDS! BARRETT HITS WASTELANDS TO TRIPLE H! Cover from Wade Barrett ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– 3 –
WINNER WADE BARRETT (11:37)
The referee raises the hand of Wade Barrett as the crowd jeer and boo but the Nexus theme begins in the background – Wade Barrett has retained the WWE Championship here tonight! Ezekiel Jackson slides back into the ring and celebrates with his leader before ushering him out of the ring to the aisle. The pair of them back up the aisle and are joined by Otunga, Slater and Sheffield who help them to celebrate Barrett retaining the title ...
Yet again, King, Wade Barrett wins his WWE Championship match thanks to his Nexus colleagues!
Was there ever any doubt about it? As soon as Kurt Angle cost the Game the match on Monday Night RAW last week, Nexus were always going to get involved tonight.
The numbers game proves too much for Triple H, credit to the referee who tried to allow the match to continue but, in the end, too much ...
The camera focuses on a grinning Wade Barrett as he stands independently again and lifts the WWE Championship high in the air to huge heat but he doesn’t care. Wade Barrett is still the WWE Champion!
The cameras switch to the backstage area where a limosine is rolling into the parking lot slowly coming to a halt ...
Who is this arriving here, King?
No idea, JR, it’s bound to be somebody good though in a limosine like that!
The camera focuses on the door as the limo comes to a complete stop and the crowd fall quiet for a moment as they wait to see who is in the limo. The door slowly opens and the wait continues ...
Who is it, King?
Two feet appear beneath the door, sparkling glitter shines from the boots as they reflect the light. The camera pans up and over the top of the door, we see a muscled chest and a sparkling wrestling jacket. The camera continues to move up past wavy, long blonde hair ...
Chris Jericho is back in the WWE, King! But wait a minute, look at him ...
As Jericho steps away from the limo, he begins walking towards the backstage area and he has a smile on his face, he is greeting people with a wave of a hand or a handslap to people he knows. This doesn’t appear to be the serious Chris Jericho, the suit wearing guy who attacked a referee before he left just before Cyber Sunday. This appears to be a Chris Jericho that we haven’t seen for quite a few years ...
Oh my god, JR, could this be? Could we be witnessing the return of ... Y2J? Tonight?
Jericho disappears from view round a corner and the camera returns to the ring where an excitable King is smiling, he seems delighted to see Jericho back tonight.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the following contest is Tag Team Turmoil and it is for the Tag Team Championships. In this contest, two tag teams will start. When one of these teams wins via pinfall, submission, countout or disqualification, the next team will enter and the match will continue. Once all the teams have entered, the last remaining team will be declared the winners and will be announced as the Tag Team Champions!
Attention turns towards the titantron and we find out who the first team to enter Tag Team Turmoil tonight will be ...
*** RADIO ***
Long Island, New York
Tag Team Champions
*** THE MAJOR BROSKIS ***
Out head the Tag Team Champions looking worried about their titles being in grave jeopardy here as they start the match. They look less hyper than usual and they slide into the ring before complaining to the referee about something.
The Tag Team Champions start the match, JR! That’s not good for them, they need to survive five decisions just to retain their titles!
A couple of weeks ago on NXT, King, the champions lost a match to Evan Bourne and Mark Henry which meant that they were given one of the earlier spots in the match. Unfortunately for them, they appear to have drawn one!
Ryder and Hawkins hands over their Tag Team Championship belts to the referee and then they turn towards the titantron to see who they will be facing first ...
Now, we know that the next two teams to enter will be the Hart Dynasty and the Usos after they also lost matches on NXT. Question is, which team will come out second and who will get a little bit more respite and come out third?
*** GET UP ***
The Isle of Samoa
*** THE USOS ***
Jimmy and Jey Uso, the nephews of former WWE great Rikishi, head out looking excited by the opportunity tonight. They head for the ring and it seems that we are starting out with the Tag Team Champions, Ryder and Hawkins, against The Usos.
TAG TEAM TURMOIL FOR THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS FALL 1: MAJOR BROSKIS (c) vs. THE USOS
We’re going to start out with Zack Ryder and Jey Uso as this Tag Team Turmoil contest begins and the Tag Team Champions from Long Island look to retain – unfortunately for them, they have five other teams to see off. It is a fast start from Ryder and Jey Uso as they battle to establish superiority for their team. It is back and forth at first but then Jey Uso manages to hit a diving headbutt from the top ropes that looks to have given the Usos the first win in the match ... He hooks Ryder’s leg for the pin ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Ryder kicks out to retain the title for now! –
Jey appears to be unperturbed and he drags Ryder up and whips him to the ropes. As Ryder hits the ropes, Hawkins tags himself in off the back of Ryder but Jey misses this ... THRUST SUPERKICK FROM JEY USO! Ryder is down and out in the centre of the ring and he makes the cover. Jey looks confident he has the first match won but his brother is trying to warn him as the referee fails to make the count. Jey gets up confused and Hawkins hits him with a spear that he never saw coming. Bam! Hawkins drags the Samoan to his feet and sets up ... Belly to Back Suplex that crashes Jey Uso shoulder first down onto the mat and he writhes in pain. Here goes Hawkins with the first cover of the night for the Tag Team Champions ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Kick out from Jey Uso! –
Hawkins heads for a neutral corner and he climbs the ropes and measures Jey who is down on the mat. Here goes Hawkins ... HEAT SEEKING ELBOW ... Misses! Jey moves out of the way at the last moment and makes a tag to Jimmy who comes in like a ball of fire. He clotheslines Hawkins who staggers to the corner and sits there to recover. Big mistake! A running corner splash in the corner follows as Jimmy looks to put Hawkins away. With Hawkins in trouble, Jimmy slams him down in the centre of the ring and then heads outside and climbs to the top rope. Hawkins is showing no sign of moving like Jey did a minute ago, Jimmy stands on top of the ropes and he leaps off ... SUPERFLY SPLASH! JIMMY USO CONNECTS WITH THE SUPERFLY SPLASH! Jimmy hooks the leg ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Ryder to the rescue of Hawkins! –
Zack Ryder just makes it over in time and drags Jimmy Uso off the fallen Hawkins, he gets to his feet and a brawl begins with Ryder before Jey returns to the ring as well and all four men go at it. Jimmy Uso is taken down by Ryder and he falls with his head against the middle turnbuckle ... BROSKI BOOT FROM RYDER! However, Ryder is then taken down by Jey Uso and they spill to the outside of the ring as their brawling continues. With Jimmy struggling from the Broski Boot, Hawkins heads for the top rope again ... HEAT SEEKING ELBOW! THIS TIME HAWKINS CONNECTS! Curt Hawkins makes the cover to Jimmy, is it over?
– 1 –
– 2 –
– 3 –
WINNER MAJOR BROSKIS (4:38)
Ryder and Hawkins celebrate their win over the Usos as the Samoans roll away and make their way out of the ringside area. Ryder and Hawkins look delighted with their first win but the smiles are quickly wiped off their faces as their second opponents head out into the arena ...
*** NEW FOUNDATION ***
*** HART DYNASTY ***
Out head the Harts with Natalya accompanying them and they look confident of victory here tonight. After their defeat to the British Empire last week on NXT, David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd have been sent out third for the match but they have the skills to be able to outlast the opposition? Question is, do they have the stamina?
TAG TEAM TURMOIL FOR THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS (continued) FALL 2: MAJOR BROSKIS (c) vs. HART DYNASTY
When Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith enter the ring, the Major Broskis look to catch them unaware with a surprise attack but the Dynasty duck this and respond with their own. Kidd hits a dropkick to Hawkins who staggers through the ropes to the outside whilst Smith hits a German suplex to Ryder that crashes him down hard on the mat. Kidd hits the ropes and flies through the opposite ropes and connects with a Suicide Dive to Hawkins that knocks him back into the aisle as Kidd jumps back up clearly excited by the chance to win the Tag Titles tonight! As Kidd returns to the corner and the tag rope, Hart Smith begins to work on Zack Ryder in the ring. He hits three scoop powerslams to Ryder in a row and the Long Islander sells each one a little bit more, the pain etched on his face, before Smith locks him up in a suplex hold. He waits for a moment and then drops him down with a Brainbuster that crashes Ryder down hard on the mat. First cover for the Hart Dynasty tonight ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– A weak kickout from Ryder! –
Smith tags in Kidd who rushes to the ropes and springboards off into an elbow drop that connects with the chest of Ryder who is still down from the Brainbuster. Kidd looks really pumped up and he spots Hawkins trying to make his way back into the ring. His progress is halted as Kidd drop kicks him and knocks him back down off the apron to the outside once again before Kidd locks in a reverse chinlock to the fallen Ryder as he attempts to wear him down to a point where he can no longer defend himself. Ryder tries to battle out but he is beginning to struggle now and it looks as if Tyson is going to be successful in his aim. However, in the end, Ryder makes his way to his feet and runs towards the corner. Dragging Kidd along with him, Ryder drops his shoulder and Kidd, who was trying to hold the chinlock on, goes head first into the turnbuckles and collides painfully. Ryder looks for a quick roll up to Kidd ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Kidd kicks out! –
Ryder is first to his feet, just, and he decides to climb quickly to the top rope from the inside. He turns and leaps towards Kidd and hits him with a plancha from the top rope that takes the smaller member of the Dynasty down to the mat, another pinfall attempt from the Tag Team Champion here ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Kidd kicks out again! –
Ryder is growing in confidence again and he climbs up to the top rope once more as he waits for Kidd to get up as well. Once Kidd is up, Ryder leaps off the top rope and hits a missile dropkick that sends Kidd crashing down to the mat, great move from Ryder. He leaps over and hooks the leg of Kidd once again ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Another kick out from Tyson Kidd! –
Hawkins is now back in position and he takes the tag from Zack Ryder before heading into the ring. Kidd is trying to make a tag to his partner, David Hart Smith, but Curt catches him from behind with an Enzuguri kick that sends him down to the mat once again. With Kidd stunned, it’s looking dubious for him and Hawkins looks to take advantage as he locks in a headlock hold before lifting Kidd up ... LAUGH RIOT! LIFTING DDT FROM HAWKINS THAT CRASHES KIDD DOWN INTO THE MAT! Has he done enough here? Hawkins clearly thinks so as he arrogantly makes the cover to Tyson ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Nooo! Kidd kicks out again! –
David Hart Smith is delighted with his partner and applauds his guts and tenacity as Hawkins – annoyed with the kick out from Kidd – makes a tag to Ryder. Zack makes his way to the top rope where he sizes up his target and waits for his chance ... Off the top rope leaps Ryder looking for a huge leg drop but he wasted too much time, Kidd rolls away and Ryder crashes down to the mat as Kidd makes the tag to his partner. David Hart Smith wastes no time and he grabs the feet of Ryder, steps through, here we go ... SHARPSHOOTER! HART SMITH HAS RYDER IN THE SHARPSHOOTER! Curt Hawkins realises that the titles are in danger and he looks to come in and rescue his partner but Kidd is too quick and he connects with a springboard drop kick that knocks him down and out of the ring again. Ryder is able to reach out and grab the bottom rope and the referee orders Hart Smith to release the hold which he does. He steps back and allows Ryder time to get up, the Broski is looking to make a tag but Curt Hawkins is still not back in position. BIG BOOT! Hart Smith connects with a boot to the face of Zack and he spins in midair before crashing down. Hart Smith grabs Ryder and drags him across towards his corner of the ring where Kidd is waiting for a tag and a chance. David makes the tag to Kidd and then lifts Ryder up into a bearhug as Kidd powers up and hits the ropes ... HART ATTACK! KIDD TAKES RYDER DOWN IN THE HART ATTACK! Tyson makes the cover as Hart Smith exits the ring so the referee can count ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– 3 –
WINNER HART DYNASTY (4:13)
Ryder looks shocked as he kneels in the corner of the ring with a look of shock on his face – he cannot believe that he just lost the Tag Team Championships! Hawkins is outside the ring and he is looking at Ryder with a look of disgust in his eyes, he cannot believe what just happened either. As the Harts regroup in the corner, Ryder rolls out of the ring looking extremely disappointed and he holds his hands out to Hawkins. Curt looks him in the eye, shakes his head and turns and walks away from the Long Island Iced Z, he clearly blames Ryder for the loss.
You know what this means now, King?
We’re guaranteed new Tag Team Champions tonight!
Question is, King, will it be the Harts or will it be one of the other three teams?
As Ryder and Hawkins disappear out of the arena, attention turns to who will be the fourth team to head out into the match tonight. Will it be Cryme Tyme? The British Empire? Or will it be Evan Bourne and Mark Henry? The Dynasty look on as they await the fourth team to compete ... There is a long delay and the referee looks on with a confused look on his face. He heads out of the ring and back down the aisle as he looks to find out what is happening. Whilst he is out of the ring though, the next competitors are revealed ...
*** RULE BRITANNIA ***
*** WILLIAM REGAL & MASON RYAN ***
*** THE BRITISH EMPIRE ***
The referee confronts Regal and Ryan as they head out into the arena, he is annoyed with their delaying tactics, but there is a commotion in the ring ... Carrying a British flag, Finlay has snuck through the crowd and he cracks the flagpole across the back of the knees of Tyson Kidd. As Hart Smith turns round in shock, the flag is jammed into his stomach before Finlay quickly rolls out of the ring and hides on the outside. As the referee slides back into the ring, Finlay rounds the ring and joins the Empire team as if he was with them all along. The referee again looks confused but Regal and Ryan don’t waste any time in getting prepared so that the bell can be rung ...
TAG TEAM TURMOIL FOR THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS (continued) FALL 3: HART DYNASTY vs. WILLIAM REGAL & MASON RYAN (w/Finlay)
Despite Kidd struggling on the mat and Hart Smith being down on the outside, the referee has no choice but to start the match. Mason Ryan is the man who is going to start for the Empire in their first WWE outing. The Welshman grabs the injured Kidd, who is clutching his knee, and places his head between his knees. He lifts him high ... POWERBOMB! KIDD’S BACK CRASHES DOWN ONTO THE MAT! Ryan looks down on Tyson and smirks before tagging in Regal ... In come the British veteran and he goes to Kidd who is down on the mat. He doesn’t make a pin but instead he turns Kidd over ... REGAL STRETCH LOCKED IN BY REGAL! The cry of pain from Kidd is audible and he has no choice ...
– TAP –
– TAP –
– TAP –
WINNER (submission) WILLIAM REGAL & MASON RYAN (0:43)
The crowd boos as Kidd is forced to tap out and the British Empire advance to the fourth fall of the match. As the Hart Dynasty are hobbling away though, Jim Ross begins to receive some information in his earpiece ...
King, I’m hearing about some problems backstage here.
The cameras pan back to the backstage area and we see that there are several medics and WWE officials that are fussing over two fallen bodies – it is JTG and Shad Gaspart of Cryme Tyme. Both of them are squirming around in pain and appear to be struggling to stand and it seems as if they were supposed to be the fifth team to head out here to compete in Tag Team Turmoil.
I guess we won’t be seeing Cryme Tyme in action here tonight then, JR? Look at William Regal ...
The camera focuses on Regal who looks to be acting surprised over the fallen bodies of Cryme Tyme backstage – a little overly concerned it seems.
Do you think that maybe Regal knows something about the attack on JTG and Shad, JR?
JR doesn’t answer but Tony Chimel is speaking to the referee and then he addresses the crowd ...
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have just been informed that, due to injury, Cryme Tyme will not be competing here tonight. As a result, the British Empire will advance into the final fall.
Boos for the Empire who look smug and pleased with what has just been announced. Regal and Ryan laugh in the ring as they await their final opponents – whoever wins the final fall will be the new Tag Team Champions. Will it be the Empire? Or will it be ...
*** SOMEBODIES GONNA’ GET THEIR ASS KICKED ***
*** EVAN BOURNE & MARK HENRY ***
... Will it be Evan Bourne and Mark Henry? The big man – little man combination head out to the ring and they look to be perfectly fresh as they enter the match. They head for the ring with their eyes firmly on the British Empire who are stood in the ring waiting for them to reach the ring. As soon as Bourne and Henry slide under the bottom rope into the ring, Regal and Ryan rush over and attack and here we go, the match is underway ...
TAG TEAM TURMOIL FOR THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS (continued) FINAL FALL: HART DYNASTY vs. WILLIAM REGAL & MASON RYAN (w/Finlay)
As Regal and Ryan attack the pairing of Bourne and Henry, they try to pummel them and keep them down on the mat. However, Henry proves to be too strong for Ryan and he powers to his feet and shove the Welshman aside before they go face to face. Ryan tries to pick up and slam Henry but he simply laughs and then clotheslines him out of the ring with a huge grin on his face for the WWE Universe. He turns and sees that Bourne has utilised his range of kicks to take down Regal as well as the referee urges Henry to exit the ring and wait for a tag. He obliges as Bourne connects with a roundhouse kick that keeps Regal down before he hits a standing moonsault. Bourne makes the cover, could this be new Tag Team Champions?
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Regal kicks out! –
JR and King remind everybody that this fall will determine who the new Tag Team Champions will be as Bourne makes the tag to his huge partner, Mark Henry, who steps through the ropes looking determined to become a Tag Team Champion right now. Regal backs into the corner and Henry hits a headbutt before whipping him to the opposite corner and then running over to hit a huge splash in the corner. Regal is squashed in the corner and he is then shoved over by Henry who looks immovable here. He drops to his knees and makes a cover to the Brit ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Regal kicks out as Mason Ryan kicks Henry in the head! –
Ryan made the save despite Regal not needing it but this just annoys the World’s Strongest Man as he gets to his feet and grabs Ryan by the throat. A kick to the knee from Ryan gives him a break but not long enough as his punches fail to stagger the big man who responds with a scoop powerslam that squashes Mason down on the mat. Henry goes for the ropes as he looks for a splash but he is hit – unseen by the referee – by Finlay’s flagpole which connects with his lower back with a crack. Henry falls to his knees at the side of the ropes before Regal hits a knee strike to the face of Henry that takes him down to the mat. Regal tags in Ryan who comes in and stands back from Henry allowing him to get back up – a mistake? No, he launches at him and staggers him with a shoulder block, then another and finally a third with the ropes used for extra spring. Henry falls to the mat with a crash as Ryan waits again for him to get up ... BIG BOOT! Ryan’s big foot connects with the side of Henry’s face and he makes the cover quickly looking to finish this ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Henry powers out to the amazement of Ryan! –
Stood in shock, Mason Ryan appears to have no idea how to keep Henry down now and he swings a clothesline that misses ... Full Nelson from Mark Henry! Henry swings Mason Ryan like a ragdoll in the Full Nelson hold before swinging him round and crashing him down with a Full Nelson slam instead. Regal comes running in worried over his partner and is met with a huge headbutt from Henry before a scoop slam that leaves Regal rolling on the mat in pain. Henry shoves him out of the ring with his foot before heading over to Ryan in the corner. He slams him down as well and places him in the corner ready ... He climbs to the middle rope and then hits a Corner Slingshot splash that squashes the life out of Ryan and leaves him gasping for air in the corner. Cover from Mark Henry ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Finlay places Ryan’s foot on the rope! –
Mark Henry notices the foot on the rope as well and decides to leave Ryan down in the corner. He tags in Evan Bourne instead who rushes over and climbs the ropes, Mason is in perfect place for the big finisher of Bourne. Evan balances himself on the top rope and then sails off ... AIR BOURNE CONNECTS WITH MASON RYAN! It’s surely over now! New Tag Team Champions! Bourne makes the cover as Henry threatens Finlay to stay away this time ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Regal makes the save this time! –
Frustrated, Mark Henry stomps into the ring after William Regal and hits another head butt to send him to the outside. Henry continues to stalk him and he lifts him up and holds him in his arms ... WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM! ON THE OUTSIDE! Regal squirms in pain as Henry squashes him on the floor. Grinning, Henry stands back up and encourages Bourne to finish off Mason Ryan in the ring. However, Finlay sneaks up on him and is clutching his shillelagh ... yet again, out of sight of the referee, Finlay hammers his weapon into the knee of Henry who stumbles and falls down to the floor in pain. Bourne sees it and is furious, he runs across the ring and flies through the ropes ... Suicide Dive to Finlay! Regal is down, Henry is down, Finlay – despite not being in the match – is down ... Bourne slides back into the ring and looks down on the three men who are down with a grin. He turns around ... Huge clothesline from Mason Ryan! Bourne’s head snaps back and he crashes down to the mat with a huge crash, a furious clothesline from the big Welshman. This isn’t good, Mason Ryan drags Bourne up ... POWERBOMB! RYAN HITS THE POWERBOMB TO BOURNE! Henry is getting up slowly but he won’t make it in time ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– 3 –
WINNER & NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS WILLIAM REGAL & MASON RYAN (4:53)
Finlay staggers into the ring with the Union Jack flag, the crowd here in Cleveland are unhappy but the new Tag Team Champions are the British Empire – William Regal and Mason Ryan. The referee raises the hands of Regal – who is groggy but happy - and Ryan whilst Finlay joins them and hands them their new Tag Team Championship belts. With the belts raised above their heads, Regal and Ryan take in the heat from the Cleveland crowd with smirks on their faces – they’re not bothered in the slightest. Regal sarcastically waves to some people in the front row who are giving him grief ...
King, we have new Tag Team Champions, the British Empire!
Questionable tactics again, JR, it seems to be catching tonight!
There is a rise in the crowd noise all of a sudden as David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd head back out of the backstage and start making their way towards the ring looking furious. Kidd is hobbling in pain after Finlay’s flagpole shot to his knees but looks determined to get to the ring and the new champions whilst David Hart Smith is holding his midriff as he heads out too. Medics and security attempt to hold the pair back and reason with them whilst the Empire look on from the centre of the ring. The Hart Dynasty are held back in the end but they are shouting loud at the new champions, they are clearly unhappy over the way in which their title ambitions were ended tonight ...
When the Harts finally get their hands on the British Empire, JR, I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes!
I don’t know about that, King. The Empire are the new Tag Team Champions, I’m sure that they’re exactly where they want to be! And anyway, Mark Henry and Evan Bourne might also want to get their hands on the champions as well!
The camera focuses on the Empire in the ring who are still smirking as they watch the Henry, Bourne and the Hart Dynasty being shepherded out of the arena. The camera switches backstage again and we see Matt Striker stood in the locker room with a microphone.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time ... the World Heavyweight Champion, CM PUNK!
A mixed reaction for the World Champion who comes into shot with the World Championship belt over his shoulder and a cocky smile on his face. He looks to Striker waiting ...
CM Punk, tonight you go up against Christian who is looking to achieve his dream and become the World Champion. Question is ... Will he be able to defeat you?
Punk laughs out loud at the thought of being beaten by Christian tonight before he speaks ...
Defeat me? I doubt it, Striker, Christian has never managed to get the job done before and I don’t see any reason why that will change tonight. Do you know who I have beaten recently? I have defeated the Devil’s Favourite Demon, I have defeated the World’s Largest Athlete, I have defeated the WWE’s Breakout Star of 2010 – tonight will be a walk in the park in comparison. Christian is a veteran here in the WWE, he has made a good career for himself. But he has never ever managed to win the big one here – and that won’t change tonight ...
Punk smirks before continuing ...
Christian claims that his dream will come true here tonight in Cleveland, Ohio, he claims that he will defeat me and take away my World Heavyweight Championship. I have news for Christian, that will not happening. Tonight, his dream turns into yet another nightmare, yet another freeze on the big occasion, yet one more failed attempt to reach the top ...
Punk readjusts the title on his shoulder before continuing ...
And then, later on tonight, I will sit back, the World Championship still in my possession, and watch the Royal Rumble. I don’t care who wins – Undertaker, Kane, Cena, Kofi on SMACKDOWN, Orton, Edge, Angle or Miz on RAW – I’ll face any of them at WrestleMania. So, Striker, sit back, watch and enjoy – CM Punk’s time has come!
A sarcastic smile from Punk as he heads out of the locker room and begins to head towards the backstage area ready for his match ... A preview video begins to air to show the build up towards the World Championship match tonight between Punk and Christian. It features Christian’s rise towards the top of the WWE from his early days with Edge in the Tag Team division to his singles career featuring his time as European and Intercontinental Champion, his time as ECW Champion is also shown before cutting towards CM Punk’s questioning of whether Christian can ever make it to the top of the WWE and win the big title? Christian’s victory over John Cena to earn a shot at the World Championship is shown before the various confrontations between the pair of them building up to an intense ending to the video which shows Christian holding the World Championship belt on SMACKDOWN ...
The camera returns to the ring where Tony Chimel is waiting with a microphone ready to announce the World Championship match ...
*** THIS FIRE BURNS ***
World Heavyweight Champion
*** CM PUNK ***
The World Champion heads out first dressed in his wrestling trunks and his black custom made t-shirt showing his taped wrists and declaring his straight edge status. He has the World Championship around his waist as he stops in the aisle and touches the floor before shouting out that it is ‘clobbering time’ before he heads for the ring looking confident of victory here tonight. As Punk climbs through the ropes into the ring, he holds the title belt high to taunt the crowd.
CM Punk has been the World Champion for a couple of months now, King, he is determined tonight to stretch that run and turn Christian’s dream into a nightmare.
CM Punk is very confident, JR, but he needs to respect Christian – if he doesn’t, then Christian could end Punk’s reign right now!
Punk is determined to go all the way to WrestleMania as the World Champion and the run he has been on recently, I wouldn’t bet against him!
Punk hands the title over to the referee and removes his t-shirt as he awaits the arrival of his challenger, Christian. Punk’s music fades out and there is a lengthy silence as the crowd await the arrival of one of the WWE’s favourite stars ...
*** JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES ***
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
*** CHRISTIAN ***
Huge cheers for the arrival of the challenger who heads out looking determined and pleased to be challenging for the World Championship. He slaps hands with several members of the WWE Universe at ringside before he heads into the ring where he stands on the middle ropes and looks out around the arena for his ‘Peeps’ who are cheering him. Punk tries to talk trash to him as he heads for the opposite corner but Christian ignores him for now.
This is Christian’s chance for immortality, King, his chance to make his dream come true. He’s been here in the WWE for thirteen years and tonight could be the night when he finally wins the big one.
That’s right, JR – but it could also turn into Christian’s worst nightmare too.
Christian and CM Punk come together in the middle of the ring and they go face to face as the anticipation builds for the match to come. The referee holds up the World Championship belt in the air to signal that the match is for the title before he hands the belt over and asks for the bell to be rung ...
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP CM PUNK (c) vs. CHRISTIAN
Both men continue to eye each other as the bell rings and the World Championship match begins. Punk is talking trash to Christian who looks determined, this is his chance to win the big one that has eluded him for over 13 years here in the WWE. The crowd seem up for this one and a defiant ‘CM Punk! CM Punk!’ chant begins from the WWE Universe – the World Champion retains a pocket of dedicated followers at all times it seems. However, a louder ‘Let’s go, Christian!’ chant begins as the majority of the WWE Universe seem to be cheering for the challenger who is chasing his dream. Punk berates Christian for having the nerve to challenge him and claims that he doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring as him. Christian chuckles to himself and this infuriates Punk who slaps Christian around the face for it. A serious look passes Christian’s face now and he raises his head to a smirking CM Punk before slapping him back. The World Champion responds with an attempted clothesline but Christian is able to duck and starts forcing Punk back with forearm smashes to the chest and the jaw of the champion that stagger him back towards the corner of the ring. As Punk backs into the corner, Christian drags him back out and whips him across the ring to the opposite corner before rushing after him. Punk crashes back into the turnbuckles but is able to leap over the oncoming challenger before leaping up as he spins round and taking him down with a well timed and perfectly executed Frankensteiner. As Christian rolls over and back up, Punk springboards off the ropes and hits a clothesline to Christian before going for the first pinfall attempt of the match ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Christian easily kicks out! –
Christian is slow to get to his feet though and Punk comes off the ropes and attempts to hit the Shining Wizard knee to the face of his challenger. Christian manages to avoid the contact though and catches the foot of the champion before rolling him up into a pinfall of his own as he looks to surprise Punk here ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Punk rolls through and kicks out! –
Punk is again up quickest and he looks to drag Christian up but Captain Charisma is having none of it as he grabs Punk’s head and hits overhead kicks over and over to the side of the face. Punk manages to get clear but he takes time to shake out the shots he took, Christian is up and springboards off the ropes into a forearm smash that knocks Punk down to the canvas with a crash. As the champion rolls back to his feet, Christian is ready and waiting and he ducks the clothesline, grabs Punk in an inverted headlock and then crashes him down again ... Inverted DDT! Punk’s head and shoulders crash down on the mat and the crowd sense an opportunity here for Christian, he makes the cover ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Kick out from a dazed CM Punk! –
Punk rolls to the ropes and he rests on the middle rope – this gives Christian a chance to step up onto his back and, in effect, choke the Straight Edge World Champion over the rope. The referee orders Christian to step down but he slides out of the ring and faces Punk before hitting an uppercut that staggers Punk backwards and back into the ring where he is in danger of losing his title. Christian climbs to the top rope as Punk gathers himself and waits ... As Punk turns around, Christian leaps off and connects with a missile dropkick that catches the champion in the chest and knocks him down. Christian scrambles into the cover and hooks the leg ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Punk will not stay down, kick out! –
Christian is determined and he bounces back up quickly before dragging Punk up with him. Whipping him to the ropes, Christian lifts Punk high as he comes back and he plants him down on his back with a heavy hitting spinebuster and he holds on for the pin ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Punk rolls the pin over! –
As Punk rolls, the pair of them move into another pinning combination, this time it is CM Punk pinning Christian. These reversals continue for a few more pinfalls where the referee doesn’t get past one until Punk rolls out to the outside, he is tiring after the early stages and a counter pin reversal competition doesn’t suit him right now. As Punk groggily tries to recover on the outside, Christian refuses to give him time and he climbs the ropes and jumps to the outside with a well executed Plancha that takes Punk down once more. Cheers follow from the crowd as they will on Christian as he seeks to make his dreams come true, he has been the better man so far and the crowd recognise this. As he waits in the ring, at the referee’s request, he surveys the arena for his Peeps with a confident smile on his face. Punk looks to re-enter the ring as the referee reaches a count of 6 but he plays cat and mouse with Christian, threatening to enter, then stepping back until Christian goes out for him. Punk then slides into the ring so that when Christian comes back in, he can attack from above. It works perfectly, Punk is able to connect with a Shining Wizard knee to the side of the challenger’s head. Punk is shoved away by the challenger before he hooks both arms and lifts Christian up into a backbreaker across his knee that leaves him writhing in pain and rolling out of the ring himself. Punk smiles and takes his time to get his breath back before hitting the ropes and running towards Christian, Suicide Dive from Punk, Christian moves and Punk collides with the barriers instead!
Desperate to win the World Championship, Christian begins to bend the rules himself a little now as he uses his shoulder to drive Punk back hard into the ring so that his lower back collides with the ring apron. Punk is in pain from this move and then Christian rams him shoulder first into the steel ring posts before rolling him back into the ring, Christian still with the advantage here! Christian whips Punk to the ropes again before hitting another heavy hitting Spinebuster. This time, however, Punk is not reversing the pinfalls ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– However, Punk is kicking out of them! –
Christian drags Punk back up and locks him up for a DDT – he lifts him up and hits an Impaler DDT that crashes Punk’s forehead down into the mat with force, this is looking good for Christian now! Christian looks like he is going to pin CM Punk but he decides against it this time and stands looking over the World Champion. Instead, he heads for the top rope whilst Punk is down and out on his back. Standing on the top buckle, Christian prepares himself and then sails off ... FROG SPLASH CONNECTS! CHRISTIAN HITS THE FROG SPLASH ON CM PUNK! Could this be Christian’s moment? He makes the cover and hooks the leg of the champion ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– CM Punk kicks out again! –
Christian looks unhappy for a moment but then he recovers his composure and he steps back and waits for Punk to get to his feet as he holds his arms out. Clearly, Christian has made his mind up, here comes the Killswitch and, if he hits this, Christian would surely realise his dream of becoming the World Champion here in the WWE! Christian grabs Punk and sets himself for the Killswitch but he can’t hit it as CM Punk reverses and then uses his flexibility to kick the ribs and shoulders of Christian as he escapes once more. Christian staggers away and uses the ropes to launch another attack but Punk manages to catch Christian and lift him up ... POWERBOMB FROM CM PUNK! He holds the powerbomb as he makes the pinfall, Christian is all rolled up here ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Christian kicks out! –
A relieved sigh echoes around the arena as Christian manages to escape and another ‘Christian!’ chant begins as the Cleveland crowd rally behind him. However, Punk has the upper hand now and he hits a high knee in the corner of the ring as Christian stumbles back into the ropes. Punk smiles as he looks to hit the Bulldog next but Christian manages to throw him off instead, Punk lands awkwardly on the mat and then, as he gets up gingerly, Christian springboards off the ropes again and hits a crossbody that knocks Punk down. Christian lands on top of him and hooks the leg immediately ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Punk kicks out yet again! –
CM Punk will not stay down here! However, Christian is not to be put off and he scoop slams Punk down onto the mat and – yet again – heads to the top rope as he looks to use his best moves to finish this. Onto the top rope again, Christian sails off once more ... DIVING HEADBUTT CONNECTS! IS IT OVER NOW? Christian crawls over CM Punk and hooks the leg ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– No! CM Punk kicks out! –
A slight sign of frustration now from Christian but he yet again sets for the Killswitch. Clapping his hands together, Christian waits for Punk to get up and then he tries to twist Punk round for it ... Punk shoves him aside once more, this is turning into a real counter attack match, Punk comes off the ropes ... Christian hits a flapjack! Punk crashes down, Christian with the cover as the crowd’s excitement builds again!
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Punk kicks out! –
Christian slams his hand down on the mat – definite frustration now for the Canadian. However, his resolve is clear as well, he is not going to be denied tonight it seems. Christian goes for the top rope again, he looks to be going for a second Frog Splash right now! He sails off the ropes but this time CM Punk moves out of the way and Christian crashes and burns – how close is Christian going to get tonight to glory? Both men are now down and whoever gets up first could have an advantage here ...
What an effort so far from Christian, King, can he keep th ...
Wait a minute, JR! What is this jerk doing out here?
Boos erupt around the arena as the SMACKDOWN General Manager heads out and starts to make his way towards the ring with a look of worry on his face. He desperately does not want Christian to win the World Championship tonight and his appearance out here, when Christian is doing so well, is not a good sign for the WWE Universe’s favourite ... Neither man has noticed the arrival of Cole as they are recovering in the ring and they are on their knees as a slugfest begins between them. Cole, watching intently, removes the turnbuckle padding in the corner as Christian and Punk continue to brawl on their knees. They get up to their feet as Cole patrols the outside of the ring where he is now noticed by the referee who orders him to stay outside the ring. Cole looks annoyed and shouts to the referee that he is the General Manager and he’ll do as he pleases. Punk gets the better of Christian in the ring now and then he whips the challenger towards the corner. Christian slams hard back first into the exposed steel in the corner of the ring and he sinks to his knees grimacing in pain. Punk rolls Christian up as the referee realises that the buckle cover has come loose but he does his job and makes the count first ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Christian kicks out weakly! –
The referee grabs the padding from the buckle and he looks round at Cole who has now been spotted by CM Punk as well. Punk makes the connection between Christian’s pain, the exposed turnbuckle and Cole and he stares down at the General Manager with an angry look in his eyes. Punk argues with the General Manager and tells him to get out of the way, that he doesn’t need no help from a spineless weasel like him. Despite being egotistical and self centred, Punk is not interested in getting any help from Michael Cole and he wins a few admirers for this stance. Christian, still not noticing Cole, lifts himself to the middle rope and sees Punk distracted before catching him by surprise with another dropkick from the ropes. Punk crashes back, Cole looks worried as Christian makes the cover again ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Punk kicks out! –
Christian now notices Michael Cole and he tells him to get out of here as well. Cole tells Christian that he has no chance of winning this World Championship and that he is the General Manager and can go where he wants to. Christian goes for another DDT to Punk but he is distracted by the presence of Cole and he doesn’t manage to hit it as Punk reverses it and sets, for the first time tonight, for a Go To Sleep (GTS) that Christian has to wriggle clear of. As Christian comes off the ropes, CM Punk manages to hit him with a running scoop slam and crashes him onto the mat. At this point, Cole enters the ring and he is carrying the World Championship belt. This distracts Punk and he eyes Cole with disdain. Cole hands the title belt to Punk and points to Christian as the referee protests. Cole orders the referee not to disqualify Punk and then tells Punk to smash Christian in the face with the belt and to get the hell out of the city of Cleveland. Punk considers Cole for a moment and then smirks ... He tosses the World Championship belt down in the corner of the ring and makes it clear to Cole that he is ‘the best in the world’ and then orders him to leave him to it. Cole smiles to Punk after a short, tense moment and then demands that Punk wins the match or faces the consequences. Cole straightens his suit up and then exits the ring and heads back down the aisle. Punk watches him go before popping Christian off into the ropes ... Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker this time as Punk seeks to end the match successfully for him. He signals to the crowd that it is time for the GTS to a mixed reaction but – as he goes to get Christian up on his shoulders – the challenger wriggles clear and springboards off the ropes into a Sunset Flip that pins Punk’s shoulders to the mat again ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Punk only just kicks out! –
Surprised by Christian’s fight, Punk was almost caught out there and he knows it as he puffs out his cheeks in relief. He jumps up quickest and hits a barrage of kicks to the chest of Christian, that might have been the wake up call Punk needed. He hits a high knee to Christian in the corner again but this time the Bulldog does connect and Christian looks in severe trouble here. Punk goes up to the top rope now and then leaps off, elbow drop from the top rope! Punk lands squarely on the chest of Christian who is in real danger now, Punk makes the cover ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Weak kickout from Christian! –
Punk jumps up and waits ... Christian staggers up, Punk lifts him onto his shoulders ... GO TO SLEEP! CM PUNK HITS THE GO TO SLEEP ON CHRISTIAN! CHRISTIAN’S DREAM IS OVER! Punk signals that the match is over by crossing his hands before he hooks the legs to end Christian’s dream ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Christian kicks out again! –
The crowd explode with joy – how did Christian do that? He is not going to give up, Christian is fighting for his dream tonight! Punk looks shocked and staggers back with chink in his usual cool expression, he cannot believe what Christian just did! Punk again stands up and signals for the GTS, a second one would surely end this contest ... wouldn’t it? Punk lifts Christian up, he has him set up for a second time ... However, this time, Christian rolls himself clear and rolls CM Punk up for a pinfall instead ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– CM Punk just kicks out in time! –
Punk looks rattled and he completely misses with a reckless, uncharacteristically wild clothesline as Christian ducks it easily ... Punk hits the ropes instead, comes off them ... FLAPJACK! Christian hits a flapjack to Punk as he buys himself some time to breathe and recover. Another springboard from Christian next, he this time connects with a crossbody that takes Punk down, another pinfall ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Punk gets his shoulder up! –
Christian steadies himself now, a look of intense determination on his face, he waits and waits ... Up gets CM Punk, here goes Christian as he looks for something huge ... He twists CM Punk around ... KILLSWITCH! CHRISTIAN HAS HIT THE KILLSWITCH! HIS DREAM COMES TRUE! Christian savours the moment for a millisecond before falling down on the prone body of the World Champion, he hooks the leg and the referee makes the count ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– Punk reaches out and grabs the rope to save his title! –
Christian holds his head in his hands as the referee signals a 2 count and the crowd groans in disappointment. The dream is still alive but it hasn’t yet come true and Christian thought he had done it at last! Looking round at the support he is getting from the WWE Universe, Christian steels himself and looks like he is planning his next moves as he looks down at Punk and starts to lift him up ... Suddenly, Punk strikes though ... ANACONDA VICE! CM PUNK LOCKS IN THE ANACONDA VICE! Christian wriggles and squirms but Punk has the hold locked in and now the danger is that Christian will be forced to tap out and end his own dream before it comes true. Christian is struggling like crazy, he is desperate to get clear of Punk but he cannot do it ... As he begins to fade a little, Christian makes one more big concerted effort to escape as he stretches for the ropes with his right foot ... he stretches and squirms and wriggles ... GOT IT! CHRISTIAN REACHES THE ROPES WITH HIS FOOT! The referee orders a devastated CM Punk to release the hold, he thought he had the match won there! Punk rolls away from Christian and looks towards him, he is realising how big a challenge Christian is presenting him now ...
Punk waits patiently as Christian struggles and strains with himself and tries to get up. Wobbling, he reaches his knees, he looks like easy prey but Punk knows that nothing could be further from the truth now. He needs something big and, when Punk needs something big, it is usually sleep time. As Christian spins round, Punk lifts him high up again ... GO TO SLEEP CONNECTS! CM PUNK HITS A SECOND GTS! The crowd groan in disappointment as the head of the challenger snaps back, the dream is over now ... CM Punk makes a relieved cover ...
– 1 –
– 2 –
– 3 –
– NO! CHRISTIAN KICKS OUT AGAIN! –
What exactly does CM Punk need to do to beat this man tonight?
The crowd are roaring with delight! They now believe that it is Christian’s night, they believe that Christian is heading for the World Championship come what may! CM Punk cannot beat Christian! Punk’s eyes tell the story, he does not believe what is happening tonight and he looks fearful as he looks down on the body of Christian, breathing heavy, heart beating fast inside. Punk shakes his head, he is at a loss but he goes for a second Anaconda Vice attempt, Christian fights back out of it though and – groggily – looks to hit another Killswitch. Punk manages to escape with a kick to the side of Christian’s head though ... ANACONDA VICE! CM PUNK HAS THE ANACONDA VICE LOCKED IN ONCE MORE! Christian writhes and squirms as he feels the pain of the submission hold again and he fights desperately – trying to free himself or reach the ropes. He stretches out his feet and tries to wrap them around the rope but CM Punk sees this and drags himself and Christian inches further away to deny this escape route. Punk is screaming at Christian to tap out but there is no chance of that here, Christian is fighting for his dream. He tries to roll CM Punk over onto his back so that he can get some leverage to force an escape but every time he gets off the ground, Punk shoves him back as he uses his feet to push off ... How can Christian escape this? Is he going to be forced to tap out? Christian continues to struggle and continues to refuse to acquiesce to the request of the official who advises him to tap out. Christian struggles and struggles, fights and fights but there is no escape here for him. As Christian fights, he begins to weaken and he is going limp a little ... However, he keeps fighting back, he knows he has to escape or reach the ropes ... Christian fights some more but he has been in the Anaconda Vice for over a minute now, he has taken a real beating ... His hand flops down and Christian looks as if he might be about to tap out ... The crowd scream for him to keep fighting but he may have no choice. Christian’s hand flops again, he looks like he might have passed out now ... CM Punk continues to wrench the hold as much as he can, desperate to force Christian to tap out, desperate to get out of Cleveland, Ohio, with the title belt around his waist. The referee looks concerned now as he tries to ascertain whether or not Christian is conscious or not ...
The referee is checking on Christian again with a look of worry in his eyes ...
– THE REFEREE ELECTS TO END THE MATCH –
WINNER CM PUNK (16:29)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have just been informed by the referee that even though Christian has not tapped out to CM Punk’s Anaconda Vice, he has elected to end this match due to fears over the long term health of Christian. Therefore, the winner of the match ... and STILL World Heavyweight Champion ... CM PUNK!
As his music restarts, Punk releases the Anaconda Vice and rolls away to the corner of the ring where he sits propped up against the turnbuckle looking over to Christian with a look of – could it be? – respect in his eyes. Punk looks shocked at the fight that Christian showed here tonight and the way he gave everything for his dream. As Punk looks on, Christian is still laid out on the mat, on his back with several medics sliding into the ring to check on his condition. The referee heads to Punk with the World Heavyweight Championship and hands it to the champion who raises the belt in victory although he looks relieved rather than celebratory. Punk hobbles over towards Christian and the medics, fearing for their safety as well as Christian’s, plead with Punk to leave him alone. However, Punk is not there to attack Christian some more, he is simply there to look over Christian – it is as if he is checking on his challenger. A relieved Punk wipes away the sweat from his eyes and face before stepping back and raising the belt again and then he rolls under the ropes and out of the ring shaking his head slightly.
CM Punk retains, King ... but what a close call it was!
Christian gave it everything, JR, but he just fell short in the end. A desperately close run thing!
CM Punk is still the World Champion!
As Punk reaches the top of the stage, he turns and looks back towards the ring with a look of relief still showing in his eyes. Christian is now being helped to his feet and is conscious – but groggy – and is trying to shake off the combination of grogginess and disappointment at not being able to make the dream come true. He looks up to the stage area where Punk is stood and stares at the World Champion who returns the look. A respectful moment to end a great battle here tonight at the Rumble ... As Christian begins to steadily make his way out of the ring, the WWE Universe give him a great ovation and this raises a smile despite the disappointment of Christian ...
A great match, JR. What a shame that Michael Cole came down to try and prevent Christian from winning the title. I’m happy that CM Punk didn’t appear to be pleased with him!
When Punk realised what Cole had done, he didn’t react well. But, maybe we should have expected Cole to come down here tonight? He did tell Christian that he didn’t want him as SMACKDOWN’s World Champion after all!
I’m sure Christian will get another chance soon, even Cole can’t deny him after that epid battle! And I’m sure he’ll manage to win the World Championship one of these days. However, it’s time now to find out who is going to challenge for the title in the main event of WrestleMania 27, oh my!
That’s true, King, the Royal Rumble match is set to kick off the ‘Road to WrestleMania’ in a few moments time and the Rumble is always one of the most exciting events of the year!
A promo video is shown which highlights the importance of the numbers in determining the winner of the Rumble before we return backstage where Josh Mathews is stood waiting for an interview.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is almost time for the Royal Rumble match. Please welcome my guest at this time ... Cleveland’s own ... THE MIZ!
A huge reaction for Miz – mixed with many people cheering their hometown hero and others jeering for the heel – as his smirking, arrogant face appears alongside Mathews. He is holding the ‘Money in the Bank’ briefcase and is wearing a long coat as he is clearly ready and prepared for the Rumble ...
Miz, we’re here in your hometown, we’re moments away from the Royal Rumble match ... Many people are speculating that tonight could be your night ...
Miz grabs the microphone and cuts Mathews off before facing the camera and causing another mixed reaction from the people of Cleveland. He smirks again ...
Tonight, your local hero returns to show you the future of the WWE. Since I cast away that useless, talentless former partner of mine, John Morrison, I have gone from strength to strength here in the WWE. Last year, I dominated RAW – I was the most dominant United States Champion of all time, I won the ‘Money in the Bank’ contract in July – and now I am ready to step up to the next level and become the WWE Champion.
Miz holds up the briefcase again ...
Now, I may have this briefcase and I may be able to cash in my contract for a WWE Championship match at any time I choose but I think that there is something more to be said for becoming the WWE Champion for the first time at WrestleMania 27 ... as the Royal Rumble winner. I am the future most must-see WWE Champion of all time and my time has come to deliver at last.
Miz places the briefcase down at his feet and looks back to the camera ...
Tonight, I have the momentum. I have the hometown advantage. I have the talent. There are many people who would tell you that I am not worthy of being the WWE Champion but tonight I prove them wrong. Tonight, I prove to them all that I will reach the very top of the WWE ... because I’m the Miz ... and I’m ... AAAWWWWWWWEEEESSSSSSSSSSOOMMMMMMMEEE!!!!
More mixed reaction for Miz who smirks once again before heading off the camera and thrusting the microphone back into the chest of Josh Mathews. The camera returns to the ring where Justin Roberts awaits to explain the rules of the Royal Rumble match and the crowd begin to stand and cheer in anticipation ...
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is now time for the 2011 Royal Rumble Match!
The excitement builds in the arena as the crowd get to their feet ready to find out which man will head to WrestleMania 27 and the main event to challenge for one of the big titles ...
Oh boy, JR! Here we go!
Two superstars will start in the ring at the same time and every 90 seconds, a new participant will enter the match. Elimination occurs when a superstar is thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the floor. This will continue until all 30 participants have entered the match. The last remaining superstar will be declared the winner and will earn a championship match ... at WrestleMania!
Huge cheers as the camera focuses in on the WrestleMania 27 logo that is hanging above the ring ...
The most exciting match of the year, King, is about to get started!
Who is going to be first into the match though? Who’s it gonna’ be?
A hush falls over the crowd and attention turns towards the titantron as we await the first man in the Royal Rumble match ...
#1 *** VOICES ***
*** RANDY ORTON ***
The crowd go wild for the arrival of the Viper but there is a subdued, disappointed look on the eyes of Orton as he slowly steps out into the arena – he is clearly unhappy to have drawn number one tonight! He stops in the aisle for a moment and looks around at the crowd ...
Awful draw for Randy Orton, King, but if there is one man who can go from Number 1 to win the Rumble tonight, surely it has to be this man?
This is terrible, JR, I want to see Orton and Cena beat each other’s brains out! If Orton is out first and Cena is out later, we now have less chance of the two of them colliding here tonight!
Orton steps up the steps and through the ropes into the ring where he steps up onto the turnbuckles to salute the fans. He now has a look of determination that he can go on and win this still as he crosses the ring to salute the fans on the other side of the ring as well ... Orton’s music fades out and he stands looking around the arena as an ‘RKO!’ chant goes up to support him before the second participant in the Rumble makes his appearance ...
#2 *** GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES ***
*** JACK SWAGGER ***
The All American American heads out next to a negative reception and he drops down to do a few push-ups in the aisle before jumping up and the pyro explodes behind him. Swagger is looking confident as he paces towards the ring but his face changes slightly as he locks eyes with Randy Orton who is looking down to him from the ring with a smirk on his face. Swagger waits for the referees to usher Orton back from the ropes to allow Swagger to enter the ring and he bounces on the balls of his feet as he prepares for the bell ...
Jack Swagger, the All American American, King. One of a bunch of guys that nobody has mentioned but could be a darkhorse to win tonight?
If he’d entered in the 20’s, I’d agree with you, JR. But now he is starting out the match, I don’t know if he can make it through the 29 other men.
The referees exit the ring – three of them positioning themselves on different sides – and Swagger and Orton face each other across the ring. The excitement builds again in the crowd as the match is about to begin and the head referee, Mike Chioda, signals for the bell ...
ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH 30 MEN, WINNER GOES TO WRESTLEMANIA 27
Orton and Swagger both step forward towards each other and the All American American is talking trash to Orton who just smirks and smiles at him as he does. Swagger is not amused by Orton though and warns him that he is going to end his Rumble dream before it has even started. There is another loud ‘RKO!’ chant from the crowd here in Cleveland and both Orton and Swagger look around the arena – one impressed, the other in disgust – before Swagger goes for a cheap shot punch to Orton whilst he is off guard. However, Orton sees it coming and blocks before launching his own attack and catching Swagger with right hands that stagger him back towards the ropes. A kick to the mid-section follows and Orton takes a couple of steps back before going for a clothesline. Swagger ducks though as he is about to be quickly eliminated and he heads away from Orton with a look of concern on his face. Orton smirks again as he realises that he has got Swagger’s number early in the contest. Swagger looks angry and he storms over at Orton looking for a clothesline of his own but the Viper dodges him and allows him to hit the ropes before hitting a snap scoop slam that crashes Swagger down to the mat. Swagger arches his back before getting to his feet quickly and walking straight into Orton’s standing drop kick that topples Swagger once more. Fearing a quick elimination, the Oklahoma superstar rolls under the bottom rope and out of the ring to safety as the crowd cheer and applaud Orton’s fast start ...
Orton stands in the centre of the ring as the referees try to force Swagger to re-enter the ring and fight; however, Swagger is taking his time, he is in no rush. Orton dares him to get in the ring but Swagger walks around the outside of the ring instead and he is clearly disrespecting Orton as he does. Eventually, Orton snaps and he goes out through the ropes after Swagger and stalks him around the ring. Swagger steps up the pace to remain out of Orton’s reach and he then rolls back into the ring with the Viper on his heels. As Orton slides back into the ring, Swagger takes his chance and hits the opposite ropes before running to Orton, on his knees, and smashing him hard in the side of the head with his right boot. Another running strike, this time with the knee, follows and Orton is sent spinning to the mat. Swagger now exudes a degree of confidence as he spreads his arms wide as if to challenge the crowd to boo him. They respond with boos and jeers before Swagger returns to Orton and grabs him as he gets to his feet to hit a belly to belly suplex. Orton is down again and this time Swagger pulls him up and grabs him by the back of his neck as he leads him to the ropes and tries to force him over for the first elimination. Swagger has Orton facing down to the floor over the ropes but the Viper has enough left to hit a few elbows to the stomach and he escapes to the corner. Swagger spins round and rushes to Orton in the corner before hitting a corner clothesline that reduces the Viper back to his knees. As Swagger contemplates his next move, the crowd begin to count down to the next entrant in the match ...
*** 5 ***
*** 4 ***
*** 3 ***
*** 2 ***
*** 1 ***
#3 *** SMOKE AND MIRRORS ***
*** CODY RHODES ***
Out comes the cocky Cody Rhodes who looks happy to be heading to the ring right now. He pulls off his jacket and flings it to the floor as he approaches the ring ...
Here comes Cody Rhodes, a young man with a bucket load of potential, King ...
... and a man who used to team with Randy Orton a couple of years ago in Legacy!
Rhodes slides under the bottom rope and heads over towards the fallen Orton ignoring Swagger ...
Swagger watches on as Cody Rhodes begins to kick out at Orton who is forced to cover up. Rhodes appears to be intent on eliminating his former mentor as he continues to beat down on Randy before he is joined by Swagger as well who teams with Rhodes. Rhodes ushers Swagger away as Orton struggles to his feet and then he ducks his head down between Orton’s legs and lifts him up onto his shoulders – Alabama Slam! The back of Orton’s head and shoulders crash down on the mat as Cody steps back admiring his handiwork. Up now steps Jack Swagger who drags Orton to his feet and shoots him off into the ropes before lifting him high and dropping him over the top rope so that it chokes him as he lands on it. Orton bounces off and writhes on the floor clutching his throat near the corner and this allows Swagger chance to run over him and hit a slingshot corner splash where his body crashes down onto Orton. It’s not looking good here for Orton who is being double teamed by these two young WWE superstars and the beating continues as Rhodes takes over again. He lifts himself up onto the middle rope looking for chance to hit a bulldog but Swagger decides to end their brief partnership as he looks to shove Cody off and over the top rope. Rhodes hangs on for his life as he sits on the top buckle and this allows Orton chance to attack Swagger from behind. Rhodes jumps down and scarpers across the ring to safety as Orton takes some revenge on the All American. Ducking underneath a clothesline attempt from Swagger, Orton locks in a headlock and drops to his knees to drive Swagger’s back down over his own. As Orton gets back to his feet, Rhodes attempts to rush him and Orton is able to hit the same backbreaker move to his former protégé before he stands over the pair of them and taking in the cheers of the crowd. However, this is short lived as Swagger creeps up behind him and takes advantage of the ‘No DQ’ rules of the Rumble to hit a vicious low blow that leaves Orton winded and down and out of the mat clutching his crown jewels ...
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#4 *** BREAK THE WALLS DOWN ***
*** CHRIS JERICHO ***
Huge cheers from the crowd as the lights go out and then the familiar countdown signals the return of Jericho. They wait in anticipation for the fireworks and once the lights reappear we see the Chris Jericho that we used to know and love – all sparkles and wavy blonde hair ...
Y2J is back, JR!
Nobody has seen or heard anything of Jericho for three months since he stormed out of the arena after attacking a referee on RAW! It appears he has had a change of attitude in the meantime!
Jericho makes his way towards the ring high fiving the WWE Universe as he does and then he stands outside the ring looking at the three participants in the ring so far. He sees that all three of them are struggling to their feet and laughs before taking off his Y2J vest and tossing it away before heading into the ring ...
Swagger swings a clothesline at Jericho but he ducks underneath it on the run, hits the opposite rope and then smashes him with a running elbow to the side of the head. Swagger stumbles as Cody Rhodes looks to attack Jericho instead and he is hit with a running elbow as well. Jericho hits a drop kick to Swagger that staggers him back through the ropes to the outside and then hits a one handed bulldog on the run to Rhodes as well as the crowd go wild for his return. Jericho celebrates as he jumps up onto the middle rope and beams at the crowd before he drops back down and turns round face to face with the Viper, Randy Orton, who is now back on his feet. With Swagger out of the ring and Rhodes down in the corner, Jericho and Orton look into each other’s eyes, their rivalry set to renew. Jericho grins at Orton who doesn’t seem to know what to make of the returning superstar. As they stand facing each other, there is a buzz around the arena as two chants begin in earnest: an ‘RKO!’ chant and a ‘Y2J!’ chant. Both men look around before renewing their staredown when suddenly Swagger and Rhodes rush them. Swagger collides with Jericho, Rhodes collides with Orton and the fight is back on. As Swagger looks to hit a Gutwrench Powerbomb to Jericho, Rhodes springboards off the ropes and looks for the Beautiful Disaster kick to Orton. Orton ducks the kick though and he looks to toss Rhodes over the top rope but he hangs on desperately instead. Swagger’s attempted powerbomb fails as Jericho manages to escape over the All American American’s head and he then springboards off the ropes into a dropkick. With Jericho trying to force Swagger over the top rope and Orton doing the same with Cody Rhodes, the crowd begin to chant as another superstar is about to make his entrance into the Rumble ...
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#5 *** COOL ***
*** CARLITO ***
Huge cheers again from the WWE Universe as another superstar makes his return to the ring, this time the Puerto Rican, Carlito. He saunters out looking confident whilst tossing an apple up and down in his right hand ...
Carlito is back in the WWE, King! And he joins the Rumble at Number 5!
This is a surprise, JR, this man could easily cause an upset tonight here in the Rumble!
Carlito heads for the ring and takes a bite out of his apple and slaps hands with some of the WWE Universe as he approaches the ring ...
As Carlito steps up onto the ring apron, Swagger – who has escaped from Jericho with a few well placed elbows – approaches him. Swagger dares him to get into the ring and Carlito smirks at him confidently. Swagger throws a punch but Carlito ducks and then spits apple chunks into his face to the delight of the fans. The Puerto Rican steps through the ropes and goes on the attack with a spinning neckbreaker that plants Swagger down on the mat. He then springboards off the ropes and hits a rolling Senton bomb to Swagger before rolling through and springboarding off the opposite rope to hit it again ... However, Jericho is back in place now and he hits a clothesline to Carlito as he comes off the ropes instead! There are some boos for Y2J for this but it is every man for himself here in the Rumble! Rhodes goes on the attack next – he has managed to escape from Orton who is down on the mat - and he starts pounding away to the back of Jericho who is caught unaware. Cody chokes Jericho over the middle rope and the referees protest but there is nothing they can do about it. Over the other side of the ring, Swagger and Carlito have resumed their battle as they try to gain control and oust each other out of the ring. As Jericho struggles back to his feet, Rhodes springs off the middle rope and connects – CODY RHODES HITS THE BEAUTIFUL DISASTER TO JERICHO! Rhodes gets back to his feet with a huge grin on his face but that grins is quickly wiped off as Orton is waiting ...
Randy Orton clotheslines Cody Rhodes up and over the top rope and he hits the ground and the barricades hard!
– CODY RHODES HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Cheers for Orton as he looks down on the outraged Rhodes who slams his hands against the barricade in anger. He looks up at his former mentor and mutters as he is shepherded away by the referee towards the aisle. With Orton still in the ring with Carlito, Jericho and Swagger, he turns his attention towards the fallen Jericho and drags him up hoping to eliminate him next. However, Jericho has recovered from the Beautiful Disaster kick and he catches Orton by surprise with shove away before hitting a one handed bulldog that drives Orton face first into the mat. With Orton rolling over, Jericho has chance to go for a Lionsault but the Viper moves away and Y2J lands on his feet instead and catches him with a clothesline. Swagger has escaped Carlito and he sneaks up behind Jericho and catches him with a German Suplex that crashes him down to the mat on his back. With no pinfall, Swagger releases his grip on Jericho and decides to stomp away at the upper body of Y2J over and over forcing Jericho to cover up and retreat to the corner of the ring. Carlito decides to go after Orton and he starts pounding away at the Viper in the opposite corner as the crowd count down for the sixth entrant into the match ...
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#6 *** ONE OF A KIND ***
*** ROB VAN DAM ***
Explosions of pyro signal the arrival of the cocky Rob Van Dam who heads out smirking and lifts his hands to show off himself as the crowd chant along “R – V – D!” with him. He begins to run towards the ring eager to begin ...
Entrant number 6, King, Rob Van Dam!
The ring is filling up with some serious talent already, JR!
As RVD slides into the ring he stands in the centre and looks to both corners where the fights are ongoing and then he smiles and again points to himself with his thumbs as the crowd chant along ...
As RVD looks around to get into the action, the crowd chant ‘RVD! RVD!’ which yet again causes a grin from the Battle Creek, Michigan superstar. In the end, RVD goes after Orton who is trading punches with Carlito near the ropes. RVD springboards off the ropes and he hits a side kick to the Viper who slumps down in the corner of the ring. However, RVD doesn’t team with Carlito to try and eliminate Orton – he attacks the Puerto Rican instead. A windmill kick to the gut followed by a spin kick catches Carlito unawares and trips him up allowing RVD to hit the ropes and handstand over to splash down onto his chest. In the other corner, Swagger and Jericho split as the All American American fails to eliminate Y2J and Swagger heads over towards RVD now instead. Van Dam ducks under the swinging fist of Swagger and hits the ropes before attempting a spinning wheel kick. However, Swagger ducks under his feet and responds with a belly to belly suplex. Swagger looks impressed with himself as he gets back to his feet and shows off but this allows Jericho to attack ... CODEBREAKER! JERICHO HITS SWAGGER WITH THE CODEBREAKER! RVD stumbles back to his feet and sees Swagger down and out on the mat and the crowd cheer as a look passes his eyes. They know where he is heading and he leaps to the top rope ready for the Five Star Frog Splash! However, Jericho has other ideas and he pushes RVD’s legs from under him. RVD’s feet split the top turnbuckle and he lands painfully over it wincing as he tries to recover. Jericho senses a chance and he begins to try and push RVD from the top rope and out of the ring to eliminate him quickly. However, RVD holds on and Jericho is unable to eliminate him yet. Swagger, Orton and Carlito are back on their feet and they are trading blows between them now. Orton hits a short arm elbow to Carlito and then the same to Swagger as he gets on top before he drags Carlito through the ropes for a DDT. As Carlito’s face is planted into the mat, Orton is now on fire and he prepares to hit an RKO to Carlito. However, Swagger drops an elbow across Orton’s back and catches him by surprise. The crowd begin to chant once more, entrant number seven is on the way ...
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#7 *** AIN’T NO MAKE BELIEVE ***
*** JOHN MORRISON ***
A slo-mo entrance for Morrison as he heads out wearing his usual shades and long coat pairing to a decent reaction from the crowd here in Cleveland. He approaches the ring with a look of confidence on his face ...
Number 7, John Morrison, King! A man who has had a few issues with Mr. Jericho in the past!
But not this Chris Jericho, JR!
Morrison hands his shades to a fan at ringside before throwing his coat to a referee and sliding into the ring. He looks towards Jericho as soon as he gets to his feet and the pair opf them lock eyes – there is still a lot of tension between them clearly. Jericho holds out a hand, he seems to be apologising for his behaviour before he left the WWE a few months ago ...
Morrison reaches out and grasps Jericho’s hand for a handshake but then pulls him towards him and clotheslines him hard down to the mat. Morrison holds out his hands as if to say that Jericho deserved that and he leaves Y2J down on the mat and heads after RVD who is still holding his groin after the fall on the top turnbuckle moments ago. Morrison drags RVD to his feet and he hits a standing drop kick that knocks him down to the mat off the ropes. Morrison positions RVD in the corner, sat back against the buckles and then hits a running knee strike in the corner that leaves RVD groggy. Van Dam is struggling here and hasn’t recovered from his fall and this gives Morrison the perfect chance to set up for his big finish move. Morrison stands in the corner and looks out around the arena ... STARSHIP PAIN! MORRISON CRASHES DOWN ONTO RVD! RVD is in real trouble now, gasping for air on the mat as Morrison looks to drag him up again. Morrison pushes RVD over the top rope and RVD tries to fight desperately to retain his place in the Rumble. He is hanging on to the ropes as Morrison tries to lever him over the ropes and down but RVD refuses. Carlito heads over to join Morrison and the pair of them begin to work on RVD who is helpless now against two men. RVD goes over the top rope and lands on the apron, if he falls he is out. Morrison is about to deliver the final blow ...
Carlito shoves Morrison aside and hits a standing drop kick that knocks RVD down to the mat!
– RVD HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
RVD falls on the floor and he lies down still struggling after his recent skirmishes with Morrison and Jericho. Carlito smiles to RVD from the ring and tells RVD “Ju’d have done the same thing to me, man!” before turning back to the ring where Morrison is back on his feet. Morrison isn’t happy with Carlito shoving him aside though and he shoves Carlito hard in the chest. Morrison forces Carlito back into the corner as he hits forearms to the face of the Puerto Rican and he pounds away angry with him. However, Jericho sneaks up on Morrison and lifts his leg off the mat ...
Jericho tosses Morrison over the top rope and out of the ring!
– JOHN MORRISON HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Morrison was caught completely unaware and he looks unhappy as he turns around in shock to see a grinning Chris Jericho staring down to him. Jericho, Carlito, Orton and Swagger are still in the ring and the match continues without Morrison and RVD who are both hobbling back down the aisle towards the backstage area after their eliminations. Jericho and Carlito pair off in one corner, Orton and Swagger in the opposite corner and it is Swagger who takes the advantage there. Ramming Orton’s head into the turnbuckle several times, Swagger clotheslines the Number 1 entrant and knocks him down to the mat before springboarding off the corner ropes and hitting the Swagger Corner Splash not once, not twice but three times to the dismay of the WWE Universe. With Carlito and Jericho preoccupied with each other, Swagger beckons for Orton to get to his feet as the crowd countdown to the next wrestler to enter the match ...
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#8 *** LONGHORN ***
*** JOHN BRADSHAW LAYFIELD ***
Huge boos erupt around the arena as we get another surprise entry into the Royal Rumble as the NXT mentor, John Bradshaw Layfield, JBL for short, heads out waving his cowboy hat and grinning inanely. He is dressed to compete in his black trunks and with a towel around his neck and he slowly makes his way to the ring as he proclaims his greatness to the people at ringside ...
JBL! John Bradshaw Layfield in the Rumble, JR?
We haven’t seen JBL in PPV action since WrestleMania 25, King, maybe he is here tonight to show his NXT team just how to get the job done!
JBL shakes hands, disingenuously, with many members of the WWE Universe as he makes his way all the way around the ring. Some people would consider that JBL is wasting time, others would believe that he truly appreciates the support of the fans here in the WWE in Cleveland, Ohio, tonight.
Swagger and Carlito are now trading blows in the ring after the Caribbean stopped Swagger from continuing his attack on Orton just before JBL’s entrance. With Orton down in the corner, JBL slides into the ring and he looks delighted to see that he has no challenger – until Y2J Chris Jericho comes into his view from the other corner. JBL talks trash to Jericho who is tonight receiving cheers from the WWE Universe with his apparent change of attitude but Jericho refuses to get into a verbal contest and swings for the face of the New York businessman. JBL covers up as Jericho forces him back pounding away at him but then Jericho swings for a clothesline that JBL ducks underneath. An Atomic Drop from JBL to Jericho leaves him struggling and JBL hits the ropes before hitting a devastating CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL that turns Jericho inside out and causes the crowd to release an astonished gasp at the ferocity behind it. JBL taunts them and brags about laying out their favourite but then the crowd get to their feet as Orton sneaks up behind him ... Orton goes for the RKO but JBL shoves him away – another CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL FROM JBL! This time, Orton is left in a crumpled heap on the mat and yet again, JBL looks incredibly impressed with himself and he even now signals that he is going to be the next champion. JBL surveys the situation now before rushing over at Carlito and Swagger in the corner. Carlito ducks out of the way but JBL smashes a huge boot into the face of Swagger that leaves him reduced to his knees in the corner – he decides instead to roll out of the ring to safety. Carlito responds to JBL’s attempted boot to the face by firing right hands at him and he catches JBL several times before going for the Backstabber. Unfortunately, JBL holds the ropes and Carlito cannot hit the move ... BAM! CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL AGAIN AS CARLITO GETS UP!
JBL has single-handedly decimated the opposition here in the Royal Rumble within a minute of his return. The crowd boo and jeer but they surely can’t help but be impressed with this return, JBL looks like he has never been away. JBL summons for a microphone which he is handed by the timekeeper. As he passes Jericho and Orton, he drives the microphone into the tops of their heads as they attempt to make their way back up, both men crashing back down clutching their heads in pain ...
Just like I have been telling all of you and all of the competitors on NXT, I am now proving that I am a ‘Wrestling Gawd’ – I demand your respect and admiration!
The crowd are not going to do that! They boo him incessantly ...
Typical Cleveland, the city that has no sporting icons of its own so it boos and jeers the winners instead ...
The crowd are getting real hot now with JBL as he insults their city ...
Look at the ring! In one minute, I have taken out Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Jack Swagger and Carlito. I’ve been gone for three years but I come back as if I’ve never been away! And now, I’m going to win the Royal Rumble and make my journey back to the main event of WrestleMania!
JBL climbs to the middle rope and continues to brag about himself as the crowd begin to chant the countdown again ...
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#9 *** WRECK ***
*** MICK FOLEY ***
Huge ovation from the WWE Universe as yet another surprise entrant heads out towards the ring – this time the SMACKDOWN colour commentator, Mick Foley! He heads out with a huge grin on his face and with his arm in the air and the crowd cheer him wildly as he makes his way towards the ring where JBL is staring down at him with a smirk on his face ...
The WWE Hall of Famer, the Hardcore Legend is back in action, King!
SMACKDOWN commentator Mick Foley! Will he be able to shut JBL up?
As Foley steps through the ropes into the ring, JBL launches the attack immediately as he tries to catch Foley unaware with a kick to the side of the head that spins Foley round. JBL drops to his knees and begins to pound and pound away at the man who was once known as the ‘Hardcore Legend’ and is a bona-fide WWE hall of famer. Pummelling away, JBL has a look of anger on his face that suggests he is unhappy with Foley taking the spotlight away from him. Foley is trying to fight back but JBL continues to pound his right hand down into Foley over and over. A loud ‘Foley! Foley!’ chant goes up to try and inspire him but he is unable to get away from JBL until Randy Orton makes his way over and kicks JBL in revenge for the microphone shot before. With Jericho now joining him, Orton drags JBL over to the corner and they launch an assault to the delight of the Cleveland crowd. Orton and Jericho are hammering away at JBL whilst Swagger and Carlito have resumed their fight in the corner, Foley is recovering from his beating from JBL. Jericho and Orton take it in turns to hammer at JBL before Jericho decides to try and eliminate the New Yorker over the top rope. Orton wants the glory for himself and he starts to fight with Jericho now as well and they leave JBL alone in the corner to recover as they fight.
With Jericho and Orton fighting, Swagger – who has got on top in his battle with Carlito – decides to go after the WWE Legend that is Mick Foley instead. He drags Foley up from the mat and starts to swing punches at him but the Long Island veteran is able to counter with forearm smashes of his own that stagger Swagger backwards. The crowd get behind Foley as he kicks Swagger in the midriff and then underhooks his arms before hitting a DOUBLE ARM UNDERHOOK DDT that crashes Swagger’s face down hard into the mat. The crowd roar with approval as Foley reaches down into his sweatpants and pulls out Mr. Socko! There is a huge cheer from the crowd as he places the sock over his right hand and then he stalks Swagger preparing ... MANDIBLE CLAW! FOLEY HOOKS IN THE MANDIBLE CLAW ON SWAGGER! As Foley forces Swagger back towards the ropes, his claw jammed in the gullet of the All American American, the crowd anticipate that he is about to be eliminated. Swagger is pushed against the ropes and he teeters on the brink of elimination ... However, JBL is back on his feet and he looks over at Swagger and Foley’s battle with interest.
JBL rushes over and hits the Clothesline from Hell to an unsuspecting Foley which knocks him up and over the top rope!
– MICK FOLEY HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
The crowd groan in disappointment as Foley tumbles down to the floor and lands with a thud whilst Swagger is able to drop down to the mat clutching at his throat from the Mandible Claw. JBL beams around at the arena who jeer him but he isn’t bothered as he holds his hand up with delight at eliminating Mick Foley from the match. Foley tries to get back into the ring to get at JBL but he is held back by two referees who manage to restrain him and convince him to head back to the backstage. JBL is distracted by Carlito who surprises him with an attack from the side but JBL is able to shove him away and is then able to poke him in the eye. With no recourse from the referee for his actions, JBL waits for Carlito to spin back round and then lifts him up for a powerbomb that crashes the Caribbean down hard onto the mat. Carlito rolls away is distress as JBL again boasts to the crowd who are desperate to see JBl get some as the count down to the next entrant ...
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#10 *** IF YA SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN’ ***
*** THE ROCK ***
The crowd go wild as the familiar music of the other NXT mentor blasts out and JBL freezes in terror in the ring. Pacing out looking determined, Rock heads towards the ring, a word of encouragement from Foley as he passes him, and his eyes are locked on JBL in the ring. As JBL holds up his hands to plead for respite from Rock, he nears the ring and is clearly ready to kick the businessman’s ass here tonight in the Rumble!
Here is a man, King, who can never be counted out of the championship hunt whenever he is around in the WWE, a man who has main evented WrestleMania on four occasions and held the WWE Championship on nine different occasions during his time. He makes his return to the ring tonight to compete for the first time in seven years!
Oh my God, JR, The Rock is back in action!
The Rock enters the ring up the steps and through the ropes and he stands face to face with JBL as the electricity fizzes around the arena and a huge chant of ‘Rocky! Rocky!’ echoes around the arena. JBL has fear in his eyes but he stands his ground as Rock approaches him.
The Rock is talking trash, as only he can, to JBL as he stands face to face, the chant continuing and Rock ready for action. He waits for JBL to make the first move and then ducks the clothesline as it comes at him. Rock kicks JBL in the stomach and hits a DDT to the delight of the crowd who love seeing Rock dominating JBL here. Swagger tries to make a name for himself as he attacks Rock but he is lifted up high into a Spinebuster and crashed down hard onto his back in the middle of the ring. Excitement builds as Rock stands over a fallen Swagger and it appears to be time for a People’s Elbow. However, JBL is back to his feet and he goes for a Big Boot to Rock as he prepares. Rock ducks again and locks JBL up ... ROCK BOTTOM! ROCK HITS JBL WITH A ROCK BOTTOM! This allows Swagger time to escape the ring and he rolls away out of the ring again whilst Rock stands over JBL with a look of excitement in his eyes. Rock surveys the crowd and then sets himself up for his big finishing move. He throws an elbow pad into the crowd before running to the ropes. Off one rope, a jump over JBL ... RKO! RANDY ORTON WITH THE RKO TO THE ROCK!
The crowd are stood in shock!
Orton stands over Rock who is down on the mat and clutching his neck – it seems that the ‘Legend Killer’ has made a one night return! Orton looks around and there are a few boos from the WWE Universe although most realise it for what it is, Orton just wanting to make a stand in the Rumble. JBL slowly gets to his knees and looks at Orton and a smile appears on his face. He motions to Orton that they should team up and the Viper appears to be considering his offer. He helps JBL up to his feet and then goes to shake hands with Layfield who has a huge smirk on his face now. There is baited breath around the arena as people begin to worry that Orton might be serious here – and then suddenly, Orton levels JBL with a right hand. Orton whips JBL into the ropes and hits a snap powerslam to the self-proclaimed ‘Wrestling God’ as he comes off the ropes. Orton begins to stalk behind JBL ready to strike, coiled, on his knees, waiting for his chance ... RKO TO JBL! ORTON HITS THE RKO TO JBL! Orton drags JBL to his feet and starts to try and push him over the top rope but JBL begins to resist a little. He starts to hit a few reverse elbows as he fights back against Orton and he manages to knock Orton down to his knees and starts to move away from the ropes. JBL looks impressed with himself as he turns around ...
The Rock rushes over and clotheslines JBL over the top rope!
– JBL HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
The WWE Universe cheer as Rock eliminates JBL and the New York businessman looks up at Rock in shock that he just eliminated him. However, Rocky does not dwell on eliminating JBL and he goes after Orton, the man who just hit him with the RKO. Orton and Rock go at it in a sort of ‘dream match’ for the WWE Universe who roar both men on. Jericho, Carlito and Swagger are also back in the ring and Swagger and Carlito are now teaming up to try and take out the dangerous Jericho over in the corner although most of the attention is on the Orton/Rock fight. Rock attempts to hit a Rock Bottom but Orton fights out with elbows before hitting a drop kick that knocks Rock out through the middle ropes to the outside. The referee is quick to signal that Rock is not eliminated as he has not been thrown over the top rope but Rock is quick to scramble back through the ropes into the ring. Orton hits a kick to stun him as he comes through the ropes and then drags the Hall of Famer into the ring so he is hanging on the middle rope ... DDT! Orton plants Rock face first into the mat as the crowd begin the countdown to the next entrant into the Rumble ...
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#11 *** AWESOME – I CAME TO PLAY ***
*** THE MIZ ***
Despite the usual reaction that Miz induces, there is a huge cheer from the WWE Universe as their hometown hero heads out into the arena. Despite the cheers, Miz strides out with a smirk on his face and he raises his hands in his usual cocky, arrogant way before starting to make his way towards the ring determined to win the Rumble and earn himself a place in the WrestleMania main event ...
Here he comes, JR! The Miz, the self proclaimed ‘awesome’ one!
Hometown advantage for the Miz, King. Can he win the Royal Rumble tonight?
Miz slides into the ring after depositing his jacket with one of the referees and he stands looking around as he takes in the situation and begins to decide who and where he will go after first of all.
Six men are now in the ring – entrant number 11, Miz, The Rock, Randy Orton, Carlito, Jack Swagger and Chris Jericho. With Orton’s attention on The Rock, it is Carlito who leaves Swagger with Jericho and heads over to Miz running. Miz sees him coming and he ducks the attack before a slugfest begins between the pair of them. Miz reverse whips Carlito to the corner before running in afterwards to hit a jumping clothesline in the corner, his feet through the ropes as he jumps for extra momentum. A backbreaker-neckbreaker combination follows from Miz as he looks to get off to a fast start in the Rumble to the cheers of many of his fellow Ohioans. With Carlito struggling, Miz looks to take advantage and he stalks up behind him ... SKULL CRUSHING FINALE! MIZ HITS THE SKULL CRUSHING FINALE TO CARLITO! More cheers for Miz as he hits his big move and he looks round with a cocky look on his face. He looks determined as he drags Carlito up and glances towards the ropes. Running with Carlito held by the back of his head, Miz runs towards the ropes with his opponent.
Miz throws Carlito up and over the top rope and out of the Rumble!
– CARLITO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Cheers for Miz, boos for Miz – a truly mixed reception! Carlito is down on the outside after hitting his head hard on the announce table after his elimination at the hands of Miz. Miz looks well impressed with himself as he takes in the adulation or the jeers of the WWE Universe. Miz looks down on Carlito as he clutches his lower back before turning to go after Chris Jericho next. Jericho and Miz begin to fight and Miz manages to get on top in this battle as well as he uses a drop toe hold before slapping the head of Y2J in a disrespectful fashion. Jericho gets to his feet in anger and ducks Miz’ clothesline before hitting a back suplex to the MITB contract holder that crashes him down hard on his back, the first time Miz has suffered in the match. Swagger attacks Jericho with a running forearm before continuing on to attack Orton who has just broken free of Rock in the corner. Swagger begins to try and oust Rock out of the ring in the corner as he props the Great One’s leg up over the top rope and sets about trying to lift Rock up and over. Orton gets to his knees and starts a fist-fight with Miz but a kick to the side of his head from Jericho stops him building momentum again. Jericho then comes off the ropes, grabs the Miz by the head and hits a running bulldog that crashes Miz’ face down into the mat. Jericho then springboards off the rope ... LIONSAULT TO MIZ! WALLS OF JERICHO! Chris Jericho has the Walls of Jericho locked in to Miz and the crowd – despite still being split – become excited as another exit could well be on the cards shortly after Carlito’s. With Miz tapping out, Jericho – realising that he cannot win via a submission – releases the hold and drags Miz up as he clutches his lower back. Jericho forces Miz over the top rope and it appears that he is about to be eliminated when Orton rushes Jericho and clotheslines him up and over the top rope ...
However, Jericho is able to hang on to the top rope and he manages to stay in the Rumble as Miz and Orton begin to battle once again. Fortunately for Jericho here, the other four men are paired off and he has chance to recover and then step back through the ropes into the ring. The referees are signalling that Jericho is still in the contest as the countdown to the next entrant begins ...
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#12 *** JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES ***
*** CHRISTIAN ***
Still looking very shaky and groggy from his battle with CM Punk earlier in the night, Christian heads out into the arena ready to compete in the Rumble. As he hobbles slightly as he nears the ring, Christian signals to the WWE Universe that he is here to earn another title match with his hands to his waist.
After a gruelling battle earlier tonight against CM Punk, here comes Christian to try and earn his spot at WrestleMania 27! But King, is this a good idea or not?
I don’t know, JR, Christian hobbled out of this arena just half an hour ago after passing out in the Anaconda Vice. Is he in a fit state to enter the Rumble?
As if to answer King’s question, there are two medics following Christian as he heads to the ring and one of them appears to be trying to make Christian reconsider his entry into the Rumble. Christian ignores the advice though and he shakes off the medics and slides under the bottom rope into the ring ...
As Christian rolls into the ring, Jericho hangs back and looks to be questioning whether or not he should go after the man who earlier challenged for the World Championship. Christian gets to his feet and looks at Jericho before going after him with several right hands that stagger Jericho backwards in shock. However, Christian is not right here and still appears groggy as the punches aren’t hitting Jericho with the usual sting and eventually Y2J is able to shove Christian aside before delivering a dropkick that crashes him down. The medics are trying to inform the referee that Christian is not fit to compete but there is little they can do now that Christian is in the match. Orton goes to stomp on the exposed limbs of Christian next as the guys in the match sense a weakness but Y2J, concerned for Christian, tries to convince Orton to leave him as he points out the medics. Orton misunderstands and he starts to deliver right hands to Jericho now which leaves Christian recovering against the ropes. He slowly pulls himself up using the ropes when all of a sudden ...
... Christian is dropkicked by Miz over the top rope and eliminated!
– CHRISTIAN HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Another quick elimination from Miz who has now taken out two of the competitors since he arrived in the contest just a few moments ago. He looks very pleased with himself but he then turns around and comes face to face with Rock! As the medics help Christian away from the ring, Rock begins to unload on Miz who drops down and decides to run for cover as he exits the ring instead. Rock hotfoots after him and follows him around the ring. When Miz dashes back into the ring, Rock follows and he is met by a vicious clothesline from Swagger who catches him completely unaware. Swagger locks his hands around Rock’s waist and hits a perfect German Suplex that crashes Rock’s shoulders down onto the mat before he gets up to his feet and signals for the Ankle Lock. Swagger lifts Rock’s leg and he attempts to lock in the hold but Rock twists and mule kicks his way out before meeting Swagger as he comes back off the ropes with a Samoan Drop! The crowd roar every big move that Rock is performing and particularly when he goes after someone like Swagger! As Rock and Swagger fight it out in the centre of the ring, Orton and Jericho continue their feud in the corner whilst Miz stays out of the way recovering from his near escape from Rock. The ‘Great One’ has the upper hand over Swagger but the All American American – who started the Rumble match – is able to use his amateur background to prevent himself from being placed in a situation where he could be eliminated. Coupled with a few questionable moves, Swagger has survived over 15 minutes already and he uses a rake of the eyes to stun Rock once more before hitting another suplex that crashes Rock back onto the mat. Swagger locks in the Ankle Lock and Rock writhes in pain this time, unable to escape. He is forced to head for the ropes and look for a break but there is no DQ in the Rumble and Swagger relentlessly holds on. Screwing his face up in pain, Rock pulls himself through the ropes and manages to create some leverage to escape before falling to the floor to leave Swagger frustrated. As Swagger turns, he walks straight into Jericho ... CODEBREAKER! JERICHO HITS SWAGGER WITH THE CODEBREAKER! However, Jericho is struggling after his battles so far and he falls to his knees for some recovery time. Orton is also propped in the corner and the only man looking fresh is Cleveland’s own Miz. He stands surveying the situation as the crowd count down to the next entrant, some hoping it is somebody to go after the Miz ...
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#13 *** WE ARE ONE ***
*** DAVID OTUNGA ***
Wearing his black and yellow Nexus t-shirt, out heads David Otunga, the A-Lister, married to Jennifer Hudson, for his first ever Royal Rumble appearance. He looks confident as he heads towards the ring and he takes his time as the crowd jeer him ...
Oh no! Not the Nexus!
Four of the Nexus are scheduled to compete in the Royal Rumble tonight, King, here is the first of them!
Otunga steps through the ropes and removes his shirt which he tosses to the outside as he is ready to begin ...
Spotting The Rock sliding back into the ring, Otunga decides to try and make a name for himself and he goes after Rocky who he stomp kicks hard in the chest and the back. Rock struggles to avoid the boot of Otunga and he tries to slither clear as the boots continue to rain down on him. Miz has now gone to work on the Viper in the corner and is delivering right hands and trying to lift him over the top rope but is unable to manoeuvre him enough to get into a position for elimination. Swagger and Jericho have also resumed their rivalry and it is Y2J who – after his Codebreaker moments ago – has the upper hand over the All American. With the six men in the Rumble paired off, the crowd are able to take a short breather as the action takes a lull for a second and the six men involved go through some of the Rumble motions of battling it out and trying to eliminate each other but not really looking dangerous. Otunga continues to beat down on Rock and he has now stepped back and is waiting for Rock to get to his feet whilst he poses cockily, winding his right arm up, ready to strike. As Rock pulls himself up in the corner, Otunga looks to strike but Rock has far too much experience and he ducks before slapping the taste out of Otunga’s mouth and launching a beating on the Nexus member. A stunned Otunga tries to cover up and tries to escape but Rock is laying the smackdown here, he is handing Otunga an ass kicking. Rock whips Otunga into the ropes and then hits another Samoan Drop that crashes the Nexus man down on his back before Rock steps back and waits to pounce ... Up stagger Otunga ... ROCK BOTTOM! OTUNGA IS HIT WITH THE ROCK BOTTOM! The crowd are loving it as Rock stands over the fallen Otunga and he reaches down to pull him back up. He holds Otunga by the neck but the A-Lister tries to shove Rocky away ... Is Rock about to eliminate David Otunga?
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#14 *** WE ARE ONE ***
*** EZEKIEL JACKSON ***
Loud boos from the WWE Universe as a second member of Nexus rushes out to enter the Rumble!
Ezekiel Jackson! Could he be the saviour of David Otunga here?
He’d better be quick, JR!
Keeping his t-shirt on, Big Zeke is quick and he slides into the ring just in time to rescue Otunga as he distracts Rock ...
However, Rock spots Zeke coming and he catches him with a right hand before going to work on a second Nexus member, throwing right hands at him and stunning him. Jackson staggers round ... ROCK BOTTOM! ANOTHER ROCK BOTTOM, THIS TIME TO EZEKIEL JACKSON! Rock is completely owning the Nexus here tonight! Rock stands over Jackson and looks around at the crowd who appear to be demanding it ... Is it time? Yes, it is! Rock sets himself for the People’s Elbow! With the crowd going bananas, Rock hits one rope, then the other, prepares to deliver the elbow drop ... LOW BLOW! David Otunga catches Rock with a vicious low blow, there is no disqualification! Jericho looks to break off from Miz and he confronts Otunga. Otunga shoves Y2J away and this fuels his anger, Jericho responding with a heavy right hand. Otunga is shocked and Jericho goes after him but Ezekiel Jackson now rescues him again and pulls Jericho round before hitting a huge clothesline that drops Jericho. Here comes Orton! RKO! RKO TO EZEKIEL JACKSON! The crowd roar as Orton steps over the body of Jackson, past the struggling Jericho and Rock, advancing towards David Otunga who looks petrified here. Orton is grinning maniacally as Otunga steps back, his back against the ropes, the crowd sense that the end is near for Otunga ... BAM! The crowd tried to warn Orton but too late! Miz – steel chair in hand – stands over Orton as he slumps down on the mat after taking a huge chair shot into the back. Boos and jeers for Miz from his hometown crowd, despite a few cheers remaining, he smirks as he holds the chair high. Miz looks down as Rock is trying to get back up ... BAM! Another chair shot to the back, this time Rock is taken down and he grabs his back in pain. Otunga points out Jericho to Miz and the Money in the Bank contract holder smirks as he looks down at Y2J. Miz changes his grip on the chair and waits for Jericho to get to his feet before jamming it hard into the stomach of Jericho ... and then ... BAM! Another shot to the back, this time for Jericho, Miz throws the chair down and out of the ring with a huge grin on his face as the jeers multiply. Otunga helps Jackson up and explains things to him, Jackson nods his head towards Miz and there appears to be an alliance forming between Miz and the two members of the Nexus in the ring ... As the crowd begin to chant down for the next entrant, Swagger also staggers into the mix and it looks as if he is accepted by Miz and Nexus as part of their crew ...
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#15 *** AFRICA RISING ***
*** JUSTIN GABRIEL ***
A worried looking Justin Gabriel heads out as we reach the halfway point of the Royal Rumble with the South African. Checking his wrist tape, Gabriel walks towards the ring where his former Nexus team-mates Otunga and Ezekiel Jackson as well as Miz and Swagger are watching him ...
This does not look good for Justin Gabriel, JR!
Gabriel might be the United States Champion, King, but he left the Nexus under a cloud and he might be about to regret it!
Gabriel unhooks the US Championship from around his waist and he hands it to a referee as he looks up into the ring at the pack of wolves waiting ...
Rock is stirring near the ropes and is pulling himself up but Otunga notices and he runs over and hits a kick to the side of the head which sends Rock down to the outside again – no elimination though. Jericho is already down on the outside of the ring after the chair shots and Gabriel steps around him as he looks to find a way in. Miz breaks away from the group next as he spots Orton getting up and he locks him up ... SKULL CRUSHING FINALE! MIZ HITS THE SKULL CRUSHING FINALE TO ORTON! Any potential friend of Gabriel is now down and out and the South African steels himself up, realising that he has no choice, this is what the Royal Rumble is all about. He slides into the ring and it is Swagger that attacks him as he does. Kicks to the back and knees to the stomach, Swagger drags Gabriel to the corner and hits a series of right hands to the gut as Otunga, Jackson and Miz watch on. Gabriel is down on the mat and Swagger steps back before hitting the Swagger Splash in the corner that leaves Gabriel gasping for air. Grinning, Swagger drags Gabriel up and positions him near the ropes. He smiles to Miz and Nexus before attempting to eliminate Gabriel when, suddenly, Otunga and Jackson attack the All American instead. Pummelling Swagger unexpectantly, they drive him to the corner where Jackson shoulders him hard in the midriff. Miz looks on in surprise but Nexus appear to have an issue with Swagger here and he has no intention of getting involved. Jackson, aided by Otunga, lifts Swagger onto his shoulders ... TORTURE RACK! Swagger is being wrenched around the huge shoulders of Big Zeke and he begins to tap out – unfortunately for Swagger, submission does not count in the Rumble! Jackson, realising that Swagger is toast, walks to the ropes ...
Jackson drops Swagger from his shoulders and out of the ring!
– JACK SWAGGER HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
There is an air of confusion around the arena as Jackson and Otunga high five each other, they are clearly happy that they eliminated Swagger. But why? Otunga now heads over to Gabriel and helps him to his feet and it is clear that the young South African is just as shocked. A questioning look on his face, Otunga and Jackson step back from Gabriel and they point to the Nexus bands on their biceps and it all becomes a little clearer. They were helping Gabriel out because he used to be in the Nexus. Gabriel looks annoyed and he points to the Nexus logo and clearly tells them he isn’t interested. The conversations are interrupted though by the returns of Randy Orton and Chris Jericho who go after the two Nexus members – Miz has strangely disappeared out of the way and is walking around the outside. Orton and Jericho have revenge in mind as they take Jackson and Otunga individually and begin to get the upper hand. As Jericho beats down on Otunga in the corner, Miz causes a distraction and yet again, Otunga takes a cheap shot as he rakes the eyes of Jericho before kicking at his knees to send Jericho down.
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#16 *** LIVE FOR THE MOMENT ***
*** MATT HARDY ***
A great ovation for the ever popular Matt Hardy who comes out looking fired up and ready to go after his reunion with his brother Jeff last Friday on SMACKDOWN ...
You can never ever count this man out, King!
Matt Hardy has always claimed that he is living his dream here in the WWE! Tonight, can he take the first step towards living his ultimate WWE dream and becoming the champion at WrestleMania?
Matt slides into the ring as Otunga moves away from Jericho and the WWE Universe cheer as Matt creeps behind the A-Lister ready to strike ... TWIST OF FATE! Otunga never saw it coming and the crowd go wild with excitement! A ‘Hardy! Hardy!’ chant goes up as Matt drags Otunga back up and runs him towards the ropes ...
Hardy tosses Otunga up and over, he sails over the ropes!
– DAVID OTUNGA HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
An excited Matt Hardy jumps up on the middle turnbuckle and he strikes a Hardy pose as the crowd go wild for the elimination of one of the Nexus members. However, Hardy does not see Miz sneaking up behind him. The ‘Awesome’ one appears to be trying to be incredibly opportunist this evening and he tries to rush Hardy and knock him down to eliminate him. Hardy is shocked and topples over but he grasps the top rope tightly as the WWE Universe will him to hang in there. Miz desperately tries to shove Hardy over and out and it looks as if Hardy is heading out. As he teeters on the apron, Hardy suddenly manages to hit a shoulder through the ropes to Miz’ midriff and then manages to scramble through back into the ring. Miz is annoyed and he beats down on Hardy but an irate Chris Jericho is back in the ring and he rushes into the back of Miz and knocks him flying. Jericho looks increasingly fed up on Miz’ antics tonight and he is ready to make him pay. However, he is soon joined by Randy Orton who is also upset with Miz and the double team is on. Rock also manages to re-enter the ring and he heads off towards Ezekiel Jackson as Justin Gabriel drags himself up. The South African goes after Matt Hardy and the competitors are all involved with each other again. The WWE Universe are enjoying it right now as Miz is getting his comeuppance from Jericho and Orton but eventually the pair of them suffer from their egos and end up trashing each other as well. As Jericho and Orton – both now in the Rumble for almost 20 minutes – fight, Miz manages to roll out of the ring and he takes a break to the annoyance of the crowd at ringside. He staggers towards the announce table and he perches himself on the edge of Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross’ desk as he recovers.
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#17 *** WE ARE ONE ***
*** SKIP SHEFFIELD ***
More jeers and heat for the arrival of the third member of Nexus as the ‘Cornfed Collossus’ makes his way out to the ring. With Otunga out of the way, Skip Sheffield will be joining forces with Ezekiel Jackson who is currently taking a beating from Rock ...
Another Nexus member?
Another one of Wade Barrett’s henchmen, here comes Skip Sheffield. Can he cause a shock and win the Rumble?
Sheffield removes his Nexus t-shirt as he approaches the ring and he sees his Nexus team-mate taking a hammering from Rock ...
However, Rocky spots Skip coming and diverts his attention to the bald Nexus member as he slides into the ring. Rock tries to kick Skip’s head off but misses and this allows Skip and Ezekiel Jackson to drag Rock into the corner where they can double team him. The pair of them achieve their aim as they take it in turns to stomp and kick Rock in the knees and stomach before they hit him with huge clotheslines. However, despite their attempts, Rock refuses to be eliminated from the ring as he hangs on. Orton and Jericho are now both down as they are beginning to struggle and JR and King begin to question whether or not either of them can last the entire Rumble to win it. Orton manages to hit a backbreaker on Jericho before plotting an RKO but Jericho sees it coming and responds by shoving Orton away ... CODEBREAKER! ANOTHER JERICHO CODEBREAKER! Jericho – looking worse for wear – looks to try and drag Orton towards the ropes but he is met by a dropkick from Gabriel and he falls down beside Orton. Gabriel smiles as he sees the positioning of Orton and Jericho, both men laid down on the mat, perfectly positioned ... Up he climbs to the top rope ... 450 SPLASH! GABRIEL HITS THE 450 SPLASH TO BOTH ORTON AND JERICHO! Miz, yet again, looks to creep up on Gabriel whilst he is unaware but Matt Hardy notices him and he stops Miz’ progress over the ring. Hardy scoops Miz up and slams him down on the mat and the crowd cheer again, the Rumble is filling up and it is time for the 18th entrant in the Rumble ...
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#18 *** WE ARE ONE ***
*** HEATH SLATER ***
The fourth and final member of Nexus heads out to jeers ...
Another member of Nexus, King!
Is he the last one, JR?
The ‘One Man Rock Band’ rushes into the ring and he immediately joins Ezekiel Jackson and Skip Sheffield beating down on Rock in the corner. A three on one attack begins and they now appear to have weakened Rocky enough to start to make progress in terms of eliminating him. Rock though manages to fight back once again with several back elbows and this allows him to turn and attack Nexus once again. Heath Slater is knocked over by Rock and then Justin Gabriel comes over to aid Rock as he drags Slater away. Gabriel stomps his foot down into the stomach of Slater in the corner over and over despite the protestations of his former Nexus friend. After they knock Rock down again, Jackson and Sheffield notice the fight between Gabriel and they head over to drag the South African away. Gabriel is pulled off Heath Slater but Jackson and Sheffield fail to attack him. Gabriel looks confused again as Nexus appear to be trying to get him to join with them – again, Jackson points to his Nexus band. Gabriel is not impressed and he lashes out at Jackson with a right hand but Skip pulls Gabriel away once more. Another protestation ends in Gabriel fighting back against the Nexus before Gabriel ends up tussling with Matt Hardy once again. Hardy manages to get the upper hand and he manages to knock Gabriel down long enough to climb to the top rope to hit the Hardy Leg Drop. Spotting that Gabriel is in danger, Heath Slater drags him out of the way at the last second and Hardy lands hard on his backside. Nexus’ attention turns towards Hardy and they go to work on him as the crowd begin to chant down to the next entrant into the match ...
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#19 *** NO MORE WORDS ***
*** JEFF HARDY ***
Matt’s brother Jeff, aware of the danger he is in, rushes out and runs towards the ring ...
Here comes Jeff Hardy!
He’ll rescue his brother won’t he?
Hardy tosses his shirt away and leaps into the ring to head to the rescue of his brother Matt ...
Jeff jumps Nexus from behind as they try to eliminate Matt and all hell breaks loose as the Hardys fight against Nexus. The numbers tell a little as Nexus’ three get the upper hand until Matt and Jeff suddenly strike back – Matt hits a neckbreaker to Ezekiel Jackson, Jeff drop kicks Skip Sheffield in the chest and then Slater is whipped into the corner of the ring. Matt drops to his hands and knees and Jeff runs over, steps off the back of his brother and leaps into Slater in the corner. Jeff continues to beat down on Heath Slater in the corner and hits a mule kick against the turnbuckles. Rocky is back in the action as well as he goes after Ezekiel Jackson ... ROCK BOTTOM! ANOTHER ROCK BOTTOM TO EZEKIEL JACKSON! The crowd cheer once more as Rock prepares once again ... He hits both ropes ... PEOPLE’S ELBOW! JACKSON IS SURELY FINISHED! Rock stands over the Nexus muscle and looks around the arena as the crowd go wild with delight at his action. Rock’s attention is turned towards Matt Hardy who is stood opposite him and has just beaten down Skip Sheffield. Rocky clearly beckons to Hardy to help him eliminate Ezekiel Jackson and they lift his dead weight up off the mat. As they drag him towards the ropes, Matt and Rock prop Jackson over the ropes and begin to ease him up and over the top rope. However, they’ve missed something as Skip Sheffield sneaks up behind them ...
Skip Sheffield catches Matt by surprise and heaves him up over the top rope!
– MATT HARDY HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Matt looks up in shock and Rock looks annoyed as well – he diverts his attention towards Skip Sheffield and goes after him with a series of right hands. This allows Ezekiel Jackson time to recover and he falls off the ropes and down to the mat. Jeff looks over to his brother in surprise and he holds his head in his hands. Matt looks distraught at losing his WrestleMania opportunity but he urges Jeff to win instead. Heath Slater looks to catch Jeff by surprise as he launches an attack. Annoyed at the Nexus’ actions so far, Matt leaps up onto the apron and distracts the ‘One Man Rock Band’ who aims a clothesline ... Matt ducks, Jeff grabs Slater and rams his head into the top turnbuckle several times ...
Jeff then drags Slater and tosses him over the top rope to elimination!
– HEATH SLATER HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Matt grabs Slater as he hits the mat and runs him towards the barricades before ramming him into it shoulder first and getting some form of redemption. As he heads towards the aisle, Jeff reaches out and slaps hands with his brother. Matt looks annoyed still but accepts that he is out of the Rumble and he heads towards the entrance. Rock is fighting with the remaining two Nexus members – Skip Sheffield and Ezekiel Jackson – in the corner of the ring and Jeff heads over to help him out. In the other corner of the ring, Orton, Jericho and Gabriel are fighting it out between the three of them, taking it in turns to try and eliminate each other without really getting close. Hardy suddenly hits a quick kick to the gut of Skip Sheffield and this sets him up ... TWIST OF FATE! Hardy heads for the top rope as the crowd get really excitable but Ezekiel Jackson breaks clear of Rock and catches Hardy out. He shoves his legs from underneath him and Hardy falls hard on the top turnbuckle with a wince from the audience. Ezekiel Jackson tries to shove Hardy from the top ropes and out of the ring but Hardy hangs on desperately and ends up hanging onto the ropes like an orang-utan. Skip Sheffield tries to help but yet again Rock is there to the rescue of Hardy ... Rock ducks Skip’s clothesline attempt and goes to try and shove the Nexus man over the top rope when all of a sudden Miz sneaks up behind ...
Miz grabs Rock by the legs and lifts him unexpectantly over the top rope!
– THE ROCK HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
The crowd groan in disappointment as Rock hits the deck whilst Miz backs away from the ropes with a gleam in his eye! Rock cannot believe it and he has to be prevented by the referee as he looks to go back in and go after Miz. The Miz has made a huge statement here, he has eliminated the People’s Champion, he has taken out the Great One! Rock disappointedly heads down the aisle shaking his head to a huge applause from the fans as Miz slumps in the corner of the ring pleased with himself. The crowd begin to count down to the next entrant after a quick flurry of eliminations there that saw Matt Hardy, Heath Slater and The Rock all eliminated ...
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#20 *** SLOW CHEMICAL ***
*** KANE ***
Darkness falls over the arena apart from an eerie red light near the titantron that signals the arrival of the Devil’s Favourite Demon himself, the former World Champion Kane ...
Oh my word, King, here comes the Big Red Monster!
Matt Hardy and the Rock might have gone but here comes a really serious contender to win the Rumble tonight!
Kane steps up onto the apron and raises his arms high before crashing them down with a huge, red explosion that shocks the crowd and the other competitors in the Rumble match. He steps over the top rope menacingly and heads into the match ...
Miz sees Kane coming and he drops down to his knees and rolls out of the ring where he sits back against the barricades out of the way to the disappointment of the crowd at ringside. This doesn’t deter Kane as he confronts Jeff Hardy instead. Jeff swings a punch at Kane but he hardly makes an impression and Kane grabs him by the throat instead ... CHOKE SLAM! Chris Jericho now also rushes over at Kane and looks to hit the Codebreaker but Kane shoves him aside instead. As Jericho comes off the ropes, Kane grasps his throat again ... CHOKE SLAM! Here comes Orton! BIG BOOT FROM KANE TO ORTON! Kane is dominating here within seconds of entering the ring and next up is the South African, Justin Gabriel. He tries to rush Kane and he succeeds as he hits a series of kicks. However, Kane manages a recovery and catches Gabriel’s foot and then floors him onto the mat with one right hand. Kane reaches down and picks up Gabriel with his throat and drags him towards the ropes. Jackson and Sheffield see what is coming and they head over to try and save Gabriel again. They punch Kane in the kidneys and this causes him to release the former Nexus member but Kane is not impressed. Kane grabs Jackson by the throat but Sheffield stops him from hitting another choke slam as he kicks Kane in the side of the stomach. Kane is angered and he grabs Skip and throws him down to the mat in temper whilst Jackson checks on Gabriel again. Gabriel shoves Jackson away yet again though, he is refusing to accept any help from any Nexus member tonight! As Jackson is shoved away, Kane hits the BIG BOOT to the Guyanan and he crashes down to the mat. Kane now locks eyes with Gabriel who looks worried here – he bravely goes after Kane but to no avail as Kane catches him with a heavy right choke thrust ... Kane grabs Gabriel with the throat again ...
He lifts Gabriel high and choke slams him over the rope to the floor below!
– JUSTIN GABRIEL HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Gabriel crashes down hard on the floor and the crowd groan in sympathy as Kane stares down at him with a look of defiance in his eyes. He laughs before turning his attention towards Jeff Hardy in the corner as he struggles to recover from the earlier choke slam. Orton heads over and he attacks Kane and finally the Big Red Monster is slowed down a little as he teams with Hardy to beat him down. Jericho is also struggling up after his Choke Slam from before and he drags himself up with the ropes. The two remaining Nexus guys are eying Jericho up but they hang back as Y2J spots them and is distracted by their presence. Yet again, Miz sneaks up behind an opponent ...
He drives Jericho hard over the top rope and sends him flying down to the floor!
– CHRIS JERICHO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Another popular member of the WWE has gone, Jericho this time lands hard on the floor. After being in the match for over 25 minutes, Jericho’s efforts are appreciated by the WWE Universe but he looks disappointed as he makes his way down the aisle. We’re now down to six people in the ring – the first man in the match Randy Orton, Miz, Ezekiel Jackson and Skip Sheffield from Nexus, Jeff Hardy and Kane. Orton and Kane are fighting it out in the corner, Jeff Hardy is down on the mat nearby. Miz is out of the way as Jackson and Sheffield contemplate their next move in the corner and the crowd chant down to the 21st entrant ...
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#21 *** SEXY BOY ***
*** SHAWN MICHAELS ***
The WWE Universe go wild as they see the RAW General Manager heading out in his wrestling gear – a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble! He drops to his knees as the fireworks explode behind him ...
HBK! What is he doing here in the Rumble?
HBK retired last year at WrestleMania 26, King, this is a one night only deal here tonight!
Strutting his stuff, Shawn Michaels climbs the steps and through the ropes with a look of confidence on his face ...
However, unfortunately for HBK, his entrance has been noticed by the two remaining members of Nexus and they have spent the past minute watching HBK enter the ring whilst contemplating what they plan to do to the General Manager. As soon as he enters the ring, Skip Sheffield rushes over at HBK with a clothesline but he ducks and goes for Sweet Chin Music immediately. Skip catches his foot and then swivels him round ... Huge clothesline from Ezekiel Jackson that sends HBK crashing down onto the mat. The crowd are silenced as they see the General Manager take a shot for the first time in ten months and they look on in concern for him. Skip Sheffield grins and starts to kick the chest and gut of HBK over and over as Jackson watches ready to take over. HBK is holding his stomach as he tries to get up but he is unable to. He is rescued by Jeff Hardy though who attacks Skip Sheffield with a dropkick off the top rope that sends Sheffield down to the mat with a crash. Jackson looks to attack Jeff but fails this time and Hardy responds with a reverse mule kick that staggers him back. Clutching the ropes as he holds himself up, Jackson tries to recover himself but then ...
SWEET CHIN MUSIC! HBK superkicks Jackson up and over the top rope!
– EZEKIEL JACKSON HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
The crowd cheer wildly as one of the remaining Nexus team goes over the top rope and falls to the mat with a thud. Looking down at him, HBK waves sarcastically to the Guyanan before turning his attention towards Skip Sheffield instead. Sheffield is unaware that his team-mate has been eliminated as he fights with Hardy in the corner but HBK is ready for revenge on him and he drags him away from Jeff and starts unloading right hands and knife-edge chops. Skip drops down and rolls out of the ring, he is desperate to escape HBK ...
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#22 *** REALEZA ***
*** ALBERTO DEL RIO ***
Ricardo Rodriguez comes rushing out from backstage clutching a microphone with his greasy hair around his round face. He appears excited that he is about to introduce his man to the Rumble, a late entry could mean that he is in with a great chance of winning here tonight ...
Seńoras y seńores! Es mi gran honor presentarles a ustedes. Él es el hombre que llevará a la victoria en este partido. Es la esencia de la excelencia! Una verdadera leyenda! Él es ... ALBERTOOOO DELLLLL RRRRRRRIIIOOOOOOOOOOO!
A silver Porsche car heads out into the arena and comes to a halt in the entrance before the Intercontinental Champion himself heads out with his title belt strapped around his waist. Looking confident, he slowly ambles to the ring as he shows off his title belt and talks Spanish to the crowd as he heads for the ring – he clearly isn’t handing out compliments ...
This man, King, could be a real darkhorse to win the Rumble tonight! In the past few months, he has lost just one match since his debut, he has captured the Intercontinental Championship and he has beaten some of the biggest names in the WWE ...
All very impressive, JR, until you realise that he is still a complete idiot, his attitude to the other superstars is a disgrace ...
Del Rio hands his title belt and his white scarf to a referee and then he jogs quickly up the steps and clambers into the ring ...
Meanwhile, HBK’s pursuit of Skip Sheffield continues, he has caught up with him on the outside and is beating the hell out of him. Skip manages to create a break when he shoves HBK into the steps and then he re-enters the ring. HBK follows him in and nearly has his head kicked off his shoulders immediately ... Del Rio strikes with a stunning kick! Jeers for Del Rio’s actions as he pompously begins to kick and stamp at the body of the RAW General Manager. Miz joins Del Rio in the attack on HBK now – the crowd are getting rather annoyed at the way Miz is dodging and weaving although Lawler refuses to condemn him for it (anybody who remembers the Rumble in 1996 will understand why). Orton continues to struggle with Kane in the corner as he gets closer to seeing the Rumble through to the conclusion – or maybe more importantly, Cena – and Skip Sheffield and Jeff Hardy have resumed their battle in the corner. Del Rio is working the right arm of the General Manager and is clearly setting up for his submission finisher. The problems for him begin when he allows Miz to drag HBK up for the Skull Crushing Finale though. HBK manages to counter Miz’ attempt and he rams him shoulder first into the Mexican aristocrat to cause a break for him. SWEET CHIN MUSIC TO MIZ BY HBK! Oh, the crowd enjoyed that! Del Rio manages to barrel into HBK from behind again and he tries to force him over the top rope. However, HBK is a veteran, an expert, in managing to hang on in the Royal Rumble and he wraps his arms and legs in the ropes to deny Del Rio the honour of eliminating him. Skip Sheffield tries to assist Del Rio in eliminating HBK as he realises that his Nexus team-mates have now all gone and he is on his own. When Jeff Hardy picks a fight with Del Rio, this leaves the ‘Cornfed Collossus’ with HBK and a shoulder block through the ropes knocks him down. HBK looks to take advantage as he waits for Sheffield to stagger back up ... He goes for Sweet Chin Music but Skip ducks it, HBK responds quickly though ...
Clothesline over the top rope by HBK!
– SKIP SHEFFIELD HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Finally, the Nexus involvement in the Rumble is over – thanks to the RAW General Manager! Michaels stands near the ropes and he stares down over the top rope at the angered face of Skip Sheffield. Caught unaware, Michaels is almost eliminated by Miz who sneaks back into the ring looking for revenge for the recent superkick he just received from the General Manager. Again, HBK holds on to the ropes tightly and it makes it impossible for Awesome One to eliminate him at this point. Miz starts pummelling away at the back and shoulders of Michaels as he tries to weaken him down for another elimination attempt. Over the other side of the ring, Kane and Orton are still fighting it out, the Big Red Monster has the upper hand over Orton who has now been in the Royal Rumble for over half an hour now and is suffering from fatigue. However, he manages to fight off Kane as he grasps him around the throat looking for a choke slam. Shoving him aside, Orton waits for Kane to spin back round and come towards him, he lifts him up and drops him down face first onto the top turnbuckle. As Kane spins round stunned, Orton waits ... RKO! ORTON WITH THE RKO TO KANE! This gives Orton chance to recuperate a little as the other guys in the match are now paired off, Miz with Michaels and Jeff Hardy with Alberto Del Rio. Hardy and Del Rio are exchanging right hands in the corner, the Mexican kicks Hardy’s knee and drops him down to his knees. Del Rio hits the ropes and then dropkicks Jeff in the side of the head and sends him spinning towards the edge of the ring as the crowd begin to chant down towards the next entrant ...
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#23 *** METALINGUS ***
*** EDGE ***
Heat for the Rated R Superstar as he heads out looking maniacally around and tearing at his hair ...
Here comes the man who won the 2010 Royal Rumble, King! Can he win the 2011 Rumble match as well?
More importantly, JR, Shawn Michaels has been claiming that Edge is not worthy of a place in this year’s event – and he is in the ring right now!
Edge seems to have realised this as well and he slides into the ring on his front with a grin on his face ...
Miz notices Edge and he stands back to allow the Rated R Superstar the chance to take revenge on the GM. Edge nods his head at Miz and then stands over HBK ready to attack and enjoying the moment of power he has here. HBK drags himself up on the middle rope and then looks up at Edge with a look of dawning realisation coming onto his face. He grins and this appears to infuriate Edge who launches his right boot into the chest of HBK to knock him back down to the mat. He starts stomping away and HBK is forced under the bottom rope where he falls off the apron and down to the outside where he hits the mat hard. Edge follows him through the ropes and goes after him determined to get some revenge and he grabs hold of the GM and rams him into the barricades to a groan of disappointment from the WWE Universe. Edge is certainly enjoying himself and he drags HBK back up before slamming him shoulder first into the barricades a second time and causing his boss on RAW to writhe in pain on the floor. Meanwhile, in the ring, Orton is desperately trying to drag Kane up and over the ropes after his RKO, Miz is stood back watching and waiting for a chance and Del Rio has Hardy in the corner where he is tying his right arm around the top rope and kicking at it trying to set up for the Cross Arm Breaker. With seven very capable men now in the ring, seven legitimate winners of the Rumble, it’s anybody’s guess how this is going to pan out.
With Shawn Michaels struggling on the floor, Edge continues to stalk the RAW General Manager as he crawls past the announce tables. The Rated R Superstar aims several kicks to the GM and has him right where he wants him it seems. Edge decides that anything is fair game in the Royal Rumble and he grabs a steel chair from the timekeeper area and stands over HBK with a grin. He raises the chair high and is ready to plunge it into the ribs of HBK but he counters with a stiff kick to the crown jewels of Edge to the delight of the fans. With no disqualification, HBK is allowed to do what he needs to do and he takes time to recover. As he does, Shawn climbs back into the ring where Alberto Del Rio spots him and seems to think that he has a chance to make a bigger name for himself. Del Rio goes for a stamp on the back of Shawn but he sees it coming and catches the Mexican’s foot. HBK stands up and Del Rio tries to escape as he holds his right foot looking determined to teach the WWE’s brightest new star something about respect. HBK spins Del Rio around and then ducks under his arm, off the ropes, flying shoulder block! Del Rio goes down, HBK nips up and goes after him and starts launching right hands. Miz looks to blindside HBK but Jeff Hardy makes the save and he whips Miz into the ropes ... dropkick! Miz tries to escape again but Hardy is realising Miz’ tactics now and he prevents him from leaving. He drags him over towards Kane and Orton and shoves him hard into the Big Red Monster who turns, not amused ... CHOKE SLAM! KANE CHOKESLAMS MIZ ONTO THE MAT! This lapse allows Orton to escape out of the corner though and he takes advantage ... RKO TO KANE! ORTON WITH AN RKO! Jeff looks at Miz and Kane who are both down on the mat, laid side by side after the Choke Slam and the RKO and a smile creeps over his face ... Jeff quickly climbs to the top buckle and prepares ... SWANTON BOMB! JEFF HITS THE SWANTON TO BOTH KANE AND MIZ! The crowd are going wild with delight here and they explode when suddenly, out of nowhere, Del Rio tries to escape Shawn Michaels. However, Jeff and Orton are stood in the way, Del Rio turns ... SWEET CHIN MUSIC! DEL RIO IS SUPERKICKED BY THE RAW GENERAL MANAGER!
Orton, Michaels and Hardy are now all stood in the ring and looking from one to the other as the three heels are down and rolling out of the way in pain. They nods their heads in acknowledgement of each other and then seem set to lock up with each other when Edge inadvertently rolls back into the ring, half out of it, stands up and then realises the situation he has just re-entered to. A look of disbelief passes over his face, Hardy, Orton and Michaels are all eying him like a juicy piece of steak, they are ready to take out the 2010 Rumble winner! All three men decide to go for Edge at the same time and the crowd love it as each man hits a blow to the Rated R Superstar. Jeff is the first to hit a big move though as he hits the Whisper in the Wind in the corner to stagger Edge down to the mat. Edge tries to escape to the outside but Orton is ready ... He grabs Edge and drags him back through the ropes, his feet hanging on the middle rope ... Hanging DDT! Edge’s face plants down hard on the mat and the crowd love it. As Edge rolls in pain on the mat, Hardy and Orton both point to HBK to finish the job. Smiling as he remembers all the trouble he has had from Edge lately, HBK stands back and starts to tune up the band as the crowd cheer him on. However, there is a loud countdown chant as well, entrant 24 is coming soon ...
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#24 *** WRITTEN IN MY FACE ***
*** SHEAMUS ***
The fired up Celtic Warrior heads out towards the ring with a determined look in his eye, no Hornswoggle near him tonight!
My, my, my, JR! Another fearsome competitor entering the Rumble late!
Former WWE Champion on two occasions, Sheamus has been on a roll the past six months or so, King! He is a legitimate danger!
Sheamus is rushing towards the ring and he clambers the steps and through the ropes ...
Jeff Hardy immediately goes for Sheamus but the Celtic Warrior is ready and he ducks the move and Hardy crashes into the corner turnbuckles instead. Sheamus comes off the ropes opposite and then back towards Jeff ... BROGUE KICK! Jeff Hardy is completely floored immediately but Sheamus’ attention is taken by Randy Orton who goes after him next. These two have recent history, it was Orton who won the title from Sheamus at Night of Champions a few months ago and they trade right hands to and fro, Sheamus getting the advantage with his extra power coming from Orton’s fatigue. HBK is still waiting for Edge to get to his feet ... SWEET CHIN MUSIC! HBK LAYS OUT EDGE WITH A STUNNER OF A KICK TO THE JAW! Edge is surely finished! HBK drags Edge up and positions him over the top rope, a groggy Edge cannot fight back after the recent battering he has taken ...
Shawn Michaels tosses Edge up and over the top rope!
– EDGE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
The crowd go wild for the elimination of last year’s Royal Rumble and HBK looks down on Edge from the ring with a look of vindication on his face. He signals that he was right all along, Edge was not Royal Rumble winning material and this dawns on Edge as he comes around a little. Edge is seething and he tries to go back into the ring for the General Manager but the referees restrain him instead and force him back to the ramp as HBK smirks to him. The crowd yell out a warning to HBK though as the Mexican Alberto Del Rio sneaks up behind him ...
Edge pulls down the top rope as Del Rio bundles HBK over the rope ...
– SHAWN MICHAELS HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Boos and jeers around the arena as Edge looks down on a surprised Shawn Michaels with a look of revenge in his eyes now. Edge taunts HBK who looks disappointed and then shakes his head at the way in which he was eliminated. Looking up at Del Rio first, then to Edge, HBK tries to stay calm and not rise to their taunting. He applauds Del Rio and Edge before clearly motioning to Edge that he is the General Manager and now that he is out of the Rumble, his fighting is over. Edge refuses to accept that though and he shoves HBK hard in the chest. HBK looks annoyed but controls his anger and simply warns Edge to back off. As HBK tries to walk back to the backstage, Edge grabs him and spins him around. HBK almost snaps but again controls himself. Edge goes another step though and he continues to shove HBK in the chest, staggering him back towards the ring, Edge is clearly still upset over his treatment from HBK recently. Suddenly, Michaels snaps and starts to launch right hands at Edge on the outside. Unfortunately for him, Del Rio is still watching on and he exits the ring and drags HBK off. HBK tries to fend this off but Del Rio has hold of him tight ... when Michaels does escape, he isn’t prepared ... SPEAR! EDGE HITS A SPEAR TO MICHAELS! Edge now looks satisfied and starts to back away as Del Rio looks down at HBK with a smirk and decides to make a name for himself ... CROSS ARM BREAKER! HBK IS TAPPING OUT! The action in the ring is not important right now, the treatment of HBK by the eliminated Edge and the cocky SMACKDOWN Intercontinental Champion is the main talking point here! Eventually, Del Rio does release the hold as medics head out to see to HBK. Del Rio swaggers back into the ring just as the countdown to entrant 25 begins ...
Yet again, Alberto Del Rio does not care about injuring people, King! How many more people will he hurt before he is happy?
Maybe number 25 can teach him a lesson, JR?
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#25 *** BOOYAKA BOOYAKA 619 ***
*** REY MYSTERIO ***
Huge pop in the arena as the music of the returning luchador, Rey Mysterio, hits ...
Maybe this man, King?
Definitely this man, JR! The first man that Alberto Del Rio sidelined with the Cross Arm Breaker!
The colour has drained from the face of Alberto Del Rio as the pint-sized Rey Mysterio has appeared in the aisle with his yellow and purple colours protecting his identity ...
Del Rio is shocked, he is stunned but he begins to regain some composure – just in time for Mysterio to start running towards the ring. The crowd are roaring Mysterio on as he slides under the bottom ropes and back into the Rumble, a match that he won back in 2006! Del Rio launches a kick to his head as he enters the ring head first and, for a moment or two, Del Rio has the upper hand with kicks to the head and shoulders. However, Mysterio fights out and he ducks under a clothesline, hits the ropes and then takes Del Rio down with a headscissors. Del Rio tries to respond quickly but Mysterio’s quick feet launch into his thighs as he is kicked over and over ... Miz locks Rey up and looks to hit the Skull Crushing Finale but Mysterio is able to counter out behind Miz and he dropkicks him in the lower back and through the ropes to the outside. As Del Rio tries to capitalise on the distraction, he rushes at Rey but a dropkick to the knee stumbles him and he lands on the middle rope – perfectly set up. Here goes Mysterio ... 619! 619 TO DEL RIO! Del Rio staggers to his feet as Mysterio leaps onto the top rope and goes for a jumping hurricanrana but he swivels in mid air and instead of taking Del Rio down ...
He sends Del Rio spinning over the top rope and out of the Rumble!
– ALBERTO DEL RIO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
The crowd go wild as Del Rio is eliminated from the Rumble by the returning Rey Mysterio who simply stands in the ring looking down at the man who injured him months ago – vengeance is certainly sweet for Rey Mysterio! Rey adjusts his mask as Del Rio looks up stunned and continues to watch as Ricardo Rodriguez, Del Rio’s announcer, comes rushing to Del Rio and starts to usher him away, convincing him that the fight is for another day. Del Rio backs away and Mysterio has a huge grin on his face, visible under his mask, what a return for the Mexican! However, the Royal Rumble is not a place to stand admiring your achievements and Rey is clattered from behind by the brute known as Sheamus. The Celtic Warrior begins to pound away at Mysterio in the corner and the Rumble begins to get back to some kind of an order. Orton and Miz are now battling away as finally the ‘Awesome One’ is forced to fight for his chance to win the Rumble whilst Hardy and Kane are now trading blows as well. Hardy is not faring so well against the Big Red Monster as Kane’s extra power is telling and he is reduced to his knees in the corner as Kane takes control. Every time Hardy tries to get to his feet, Kane swings his right hand and hits a thrust to the throat of Hardy that knocks him back down. Eventually, Kane drags Hardy out of the corner and he lifts him up by the throat with a double handed choke and tries to deposit him over the top rope. The crowd roar Hardy on to hold on and he manages to twist himself around the ropes as Kane drops him. Kane is furious and he tries to beat Hardy as he is in the ropes, not safely back in the ring yet, with kicks and right hands. However, a bruised Hardy manages to hold on and swerves his way back through the ropes and into the ring. Kane is at first annoyed but then a maniacal grin spreads across his face and he steps back to wait ... As Hardy gets up, Kane grabs him by the throat and lifts Hardy high ... Hardy counters out of the Choke Slam though and jumps away before hitting a standing drop kick to a surprised Kane that wobbles him backwards. A second drop kick staggers Kane again before Hardy climbs the buckles to hit a Whisper in the Wind as Kane comes after him. Jeff stands over a fallen Kane and the crowd love it, he looks to the top rope thinking of another Swanton Bomb but he is prevented from doing this by Miz who runs him to the corner instead and shoulder first through the ropes and into the ring post. A groan of disappointment from the crowd as Hardy’s shoulder connects with the steel and he winces in pain as he crumples in the corner in pain ... Miz looks pleased with himself again and he waits ready to pounce as Hardy gets up ... SKULL CRUSHING FINALE! Miz drops Hardy down on his face and yet again Miz has taken advantage of shock and surprise tactics. He now begins to try and eliminate Hardy despite being in the ring for half an hour himself now. On the other side of the ring, Sheamus and Mysterio are battling – Mysterio’s speed and quickness against Sheamus’ power and strength – with the Celtic Warrior mainly on top. Kane is getting to his feet slowly and Orton looks to take advantage of this as he heads out of the corner and hits a kick to the head of the Big Red Monster. With Kane down on the mat, Orton strikes stiff stomps to the exposed limbs of Kane, his arms, his knees, his shoulders ...
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#26 *** MY TIME IS NOW ***
*** JOHN CENA ***
The roof blows off the Quicken Loans Arena as the most controversial man in the WWE makes his appearance at last!
Here he comes, King! John Cena!
This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, Orton and Cena in the ring at the same time!
Cena takes his time as he heads for the ring staring up at Randy Orton who is not focused on Kane anymore!
Suddenly, Orton has had enough of waiting – he is ready to fight. He climbs through the ropes quickly and heads down the aisle towards Cena and they begin trading punches, the crowd are going wild as they cheer on Orton and jeer Cena. Orton is fatigued though, he has been in the Rumble now for almost 40 minutes and his punches lack some zip that Cena’s don’t. Getting on top, Cena begins to pound away at Orton with right hands and reduces Orton to his knees. Cena drags the Viper up and looks to whip him into the barriers in the aisle but Orton is ready, he reverses and Cena smashes into the barriers instead, the crowd behind them going wild. Cena is down and clutching his back as Orton, looking tired but ready to fight, smirks as he looks down on his foe. Dragging Cena up, he walks down the aisle away from the ring towards the titantron area where Cena is rammed shoulder first into the mini-screens displaying the Royal Rumble logos. All eyes are on Cena and Orton as the guys in the ring continue to battle for supremacy – unfortunately for them, the attention isn’t with them right now! Orton stalks after Cena as he tries to crawl away towards the technical area where the sound guys are stood watching. Orton approaches Cena looking to make him pay for all the recent problems he has caused him but, out of nowhere, Cena finds a metal bar and swings it into the gut of Orton. Cue a loud groan from the watching audience and Cena rolls away, he has bought himself some time. The pair of them resume their trading of blows and they battle back into the WWE Universe who are held back – in a fashion – by the stewards. Cena is on the run a little and he is staggering away from the Viper who looks crazy, intent on hurting Cena, as he stalks after him. Cena leads them up some steps and they continue to battle through the crowd as Cena manages to get a knee to the gut of Orton in and again creates some space between them. Persisitent, Orton follows Cena as he heads through the gangway and out into the concourse area where the crowd are still being held back. The cameras are following as Cena and Orton spill into the open space and the fight continues. Orton ducks an attempted clothesline from Cena and then throws him up onto the top of the sales area for the WWE Shop where merchandise is sent scattering all over the place. A Cena custom made ‘You can’t see me now!’ t-shirt is caught up in the battle and Orton grabs it, looks at it with disdain and spits on it in disgust. He then proceeds to smash it into the face of Cena who falls down the back of the counter. Orton jumps up on the counter and jumps down towards Cena with a double axe handle that staggers Cena into the wall before the camera suddenly goes fuzzy and we lose the feed for a moment ...
Back in the ring we head where all is a little quieter despite the five guys that are there. Sheamus and Mysterio are still fighting it out, Kane is back to his feet now and Miz is still trying desperately to eliminate Jeff Hardy. Kane is unhappy with Jeff after he took him down initially and he shoves Miz aside to go after Hardy who is now struggling with a pain in his shoulder thanks to Miz. A look of fury in his eyes, Kane grabs Hardy by the throat, there is no messing this time it seems ... CHOKE SLAM! CHOKE SLAM TO HARDY! Miz applauds Kane but the Big Red Monster doesn’t care for anybody it seems and he grabs Miz by the throat as well ... CHOKE SLAM TO MIZ! Kane is clearing house here! Sheamus is next up to try as he rushes over looking for a Brogue Kick but Kane ducks, grabs the Celtic Warrior by the throat as well ... CHOKE SLAM TO SHEAMUS! Kane stands looking pleased with himself and he approaches Rey Mysterio who is just struggling up after his battle with Sheamus ... Kane scoops him up, he sets for a Tombstone Piledriver ... But Mysterio counters and takes Kane down with a headscissors and sets him up on the ropes ... 619! MYSTERIO HITS THE 619 TO KANE! He leaps up onto the top rope and then lets himself fall ... WEST COAST POP! Kane is downed by Rey Mysterio who is now able to take a few seconds to recover, all five men are down as the crowd begin to chant down towards the next entrant ...
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#27 *** SOS ***
*** KOFI KINGSTON ***
Huge cheer for the popular Kofi Kingston, a man who many people believe could win the Rumble tonight, as he heads out and jumps forward, the pyro exploding around him as he beams in anticipation.
In Rumble history, King, the highest number of winners have entered at Number 27! Tonight, Kofi Kingston looks to add his name to that list!
What an opportunity for Kofi, JR! But what is happening with Cena and Orton?!!!
Kofi leaps up onto the apron and through the ropes surveying the scene – everybody is down and recovering!
There are five men in the ring who are down on their back or on their knees, Kofi who has just entered and two more guys who are still in the Rumble – officially – but appear to be more intent on destroying each other instead! As Kofi decides to go after a weakened Miz, the camera switches to the car park where Orton and Cena have spilled out now. The stewards are keeping the fans locked inside but the pair continue to fight around the side of the arena and are followed by the new cameraman as they do. Orton has the upper hand and is getting some measure of revenge as he rams Cena face first into the wall and then shoulder first into a sign that brightly flashes the news that the Royal Rumble is taking place in the arena tonight! They continue to stagger round the arena and into the parking lot where the WWE Universe were not able to get access and continue their fight between the WWE’s trucks. Orton holds Cena’s head against a truck with Cena’s image on it and shouts down at Cena, “Not so cocky now, Cena?” before dragging him up and running him into the side of a limosine. Cena is really struggling here and there is a trickle of blood running from his nose as Orton continues the beatdown. Cena appears to be on the run now and trying to escape rather than fight – Orton stalks after him determined to make him pay. Orton follows Cena through the parking lot and into the backstage area before they head into the interview area. Orton grabs hold of Cena and goes to drive him into the metal piping displays but Cena holds on and blocks before hitting an elbow to the ribs of Orton to cause a break. The Viper halts for a second and then straightens back up to go back on the attack ... BAM! CENA LEVELS ORTON WITH A STEEL CHAIR! The groan from the crowd can be clearly heard here in the backstage area and Cena smirks as he looks down on Orton. Wandering through the backstage area with his wrestling gear on, Kurt Angle halts as he passes Cena and Orton’s business, laughs to himself and then continues on – he must be one of the remaining three men to enter the Rumble. Cena watches him leave and then he picks the chair up again and stands over Orton before driving it hard into his ribs and gut over and over. Orton is gasping for breath but the security and officials back off when Cena threatens them with the chair as well. As Randy rolls over onto his stomach, Cena begins to crash the chair over and over into the back of Orton until finally the officials pull the chair away from Cena who looks possessed. A referee tells Cena to “Leave it, John, go back to the ring!” but Cena ignores him. Laughing to himself, Cena drags Orton up and lifts him onto his shoulders as the officials wave their hands begging Cena to stop. He ignores them ... CENA HITS THE ‘FU’ TO ORTON ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR!
In the background, the crowd can be heard chanting and the cameras switch back to the ring where nothing much has changed and the rest of the men left in the Rumble continue with their battles ...
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#28 *** MEDAL ***
*** KURT ANGLE ***
Red, white and blue pyro explodes as Kurt Angle – the man who just ignored Cena’s heinous assault on Orton – makes his way out towards the ring looking confident ...
Olympic gold medal winner, King. Has vowed to win his first Royal Rumble tonight!
Kurt Angle has never won the Rumble? Are you sure?
Angle jogs towards the ring and enters before going straight after Jeff Hardy who staggers into his path ...
ANGLE SLAM! KURT IMMEDIATELY HITS THE ANGLE SLAM ON JEFF HARDY! Hardy rolls away in pain, he has taken a real hammering tonight, as Angle leaps to his feet, he is pumped up and ready here tonight. JR is right, he has never won the Rumble – he has come excruciatingly close on several occasions but never actually winning. As Angle looks for his next victim, the camera returns to the backstage area and the interview pit where there is now no sign of Cena but Orton is being helped onto a stretcher by the medics, he is not moving and there is genuine concern in the eyes of the doctors and officials stood around him. Cena has done the damage tonight and has now scarpered ...
King, it appears that Randy Orton’s evening is over.
It might not be his evening, JR. A beating like that can take you out for months. I doubt we’ll be seeing Randy Orton for a long time.
What about the man who did the damage, King? Do you think Cena will come back out here?
I’m not sure, JR. Cena might have done the damage he wanted to do tonight, he did take a hell of a beating from Orton in the first place!
As Orton is helped onto the stretcher, the camera returns to the ring where Angle has the Ankle Lock in place on Jeff Hardy who is really in trouble here. As Hardy struggles, Angle appears to be in the mood to show no mercy. Hardy slithers towards the ropes and Angle makes no effort to stop this – there is after all no rope break in the Rumble. As Hardy clutches the ropes, Angle twists the lock in further and Hardy is in real pain now. Realising that there is now no rope break, Hardy taps out thinking that this will cause Angle to break the hold. However, Angle relentlessly holds on and he causes Hardy to scream in pain now as he wrenches it in further. Instead, Jeff uses the ropes to pull himself up and then hopping on his other leg, he manages to twist and hit a reverse mule kick to Angle that causes a break at last. As Angle spins back round, Jeff gives himself even more time to recover as he leaps up and hits a drop kick to the former Olympian but he clutches his ankle in pain afterwards. Undeterred, Hardy waits for Angle to get back up ... TWIST OF FATE! HARDY HITS THE TWIST OF FATE! Angle is down on the mat and in big trouble just moments after entering the match. Jeff climbs to the top turnbuckle, he is ready to fly ... SWANTON BOMB ... misses! Angle moves out of the way at the last moment and Hardy hits the mat hard on his back, both men stagger up, Hardy clutching the ropes ...
Angle clotheslines Jeff up and over the top rope!
– JEFF HARDY HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Loud heat for Angle as he eliminates the returning Jeff but he isn’t bothered at all as he drops back to a seated position and laughs to himself – another potential danger has gone. As he gets up however, Angle is in trouble again, this time from Kofi Kingston who attacks him and starts pounding away in the corner. Kurt covers up, he is caught unawares here but then Sheamus turns up and he drags Kofi off Angle and hits him with the Irish Curse backbreaker that leaves Kingston writhing in agony. Angle and Sheamus appear to strike a bit of a bargain with each other as they lay the boots to Kofi whilst Miz and Rey Mysterio fight it out in the opposite corner. Five men in the ring, two men still to come and two other guys officially still in the Royal Rumble match, we’re getting down to the latter stages of the match now. Who is heading for WrestleMania 27?
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#29 *** CRANK IT UP ***
*** BIG SHOW ***
A very confident looking Big Show heads out with a menacing look in his eyes after his recent change of attitude.
Big Show at Number 29, JR? Can I change my pick to win?
How on earth is anybody going to be able to eliminate this man?
Big Show steps up onto the apron and he stares at Sheamus and Angle as they move away from Kofi, it appears that the Ghanaian is in big trouble here!
Sheamus and Angle continue to back away and they allow Big Show chance to advance on Kofi with a mean look in his eye. However, Sheamus and Angle are now realising that the end of the Rumble is near and they cast knowing looks to each other before attacking Big Show when his back is turned. Catching him by surprise, they force Big Show away from the fallen Kofi and into the corner where Miz hops over and joins in with the beating being handed to Show. The World’s Largest Athlete though is not in the mood for this and he violently shoves the three of them away and roars out loud as if daring them to try again. It is Sheamus that dares ... BAM! WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION! There are some cheers for Big Show despite his recent actions as he levels the Celtic Warrior who is in no way popular with the WWE Universe of course! Angle and Miz back away a little and this allows Show to go after Kofi again but he is bouncing back to his feet just in time to fight off Show with a series of stiff kicks to the ribs. Big Show staggers to the corner and Kofi bounds up and leaps onto the middle ropes so that he can strike Big Show over and over and over in the corner to the delight of the fans. Show is too fresh though and he senses a chance and shoves Kofi over the rope and down ... Kofi desperately hangs on to the ropes as he lands on the apron – if anybody can knock him off the apron, he will be eliminated. Big Show swings a huge right hand at his head but Kofi ducks well and shoulders Big Show in the ribs again, sore from those kicks, and this buys him some time. He looks to head back into the ring when Sheamus comes flying towards him instead and clatters into him. Kofi flies off the apron and lands with both feet on the steel ring steps and, as he topples forward, he reaches out his hands and grabs the barricades. Hanging on desperately to ensure his feet do not hit the floor, Kofi manages to twist back around and he stands on the ring steps looking up at an angry looking Big Show and an angry looking Sheamus. Bad times! Kofi contemplates the impossible task he has of managing to get back into the ring past these two monsters – it appears th on the ring steps looking up at an angry looking Big Show and an angry looking Sheamus. Bad times! Kofi contemplates the impossible task he has of managing to get back into the ring past these two monsters – it appears that Sheamus has forgotten the WMD punch he just took from Big Show just a few moments ago! The crowd begin to chant ‘Kofi!’ but the prospect of him continuing looks bleak here. Sheamus holds open the ropes and invites him to come back into the ring – he is clearly ready to knock Kofi straight back out and Kofi laughs at his offer. Suddenly though, Mysterio runs over and he cannons into the back of Sheamus who is caught off guard. A drop kick from Mysterio staggers Sheamus before he hits the opposite ropes and rushes towards a groggy Sheamus again, leaping up into a Hurricanrana ...
Mysterio uses the Hurricanrana takedown to send Sheamus over the top rope and out of the Rumble!
– SHEAMUS HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
The crowd go wild at the elimination of the Celtic Warrior as Rey spins round back into the ring ... BAM! WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION TO MYSTERIO! Big Show clatters Mysterio’s jaw and sends him crashing down to the mat but this diversion is all the time Kingston needs to rush up the steps behind Show and re-enter the ring. With Big Show’s focus elsewhere, Kofi leaps onto the top rope and leaps up high ... Crossbody to Big Show! The ring shakes as Big Show is taken down and Kofi clatters him over and over with right hands again. It is Kane this time that drags Kofi off, the monstrous opponents just keep coming for Mysterio and Kofi here don’t they? Kane grips him tight around the throat but Kofi knows Kane well these days and he is able to counter out of the attempted Choke Slam and hits a series of kicks to Kane that stagger him. Miz is sensing an opportunity to eliminate Mysterio now and he drags his unconscious body up and drapes him over the ropes before lifting his legs up and over. Mysterio looks to have had it but he comes to his senses just in time and as Miz looks to heave him over, Rey manages to swing over the top rope and back round through the ropes and into the ring. He slides through the legs of the Miz and then catches him with a drop kick, Miz is draped over the middle rope ... Mysterio runs off the ropes ... 619! MYSTERIO HITS THE 619 TO MIZ! Miz spins off and is down on his back struggling as Mysterio leaps up onto the top rope ready for the West Coast Pop ... As he leaps off looking to hit Miz again, Kane catches Mysterio by the throat ... CHOKE SLAM! Kane is back up, he is ready to destroy everybody ...
*** 5 ***
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#30 *** GRAVEYARD SYMPHONY ***
*** THE UNDERTAKER ***
As the lights in the arena switch off, there is a quick look of worry that appears on Kane’s face as the Phenom begins his entrance ...
Oh my, King! Number 30 is the Phenom!
The Undertaker is the final man in the Rumble! Can I change my pick again?
The mist swarms around the entrance to the arena and the blue spotlights light up the entrance as the dark body of the Undertaker makes his way through and slowly heads for the ring. Thunder and lightning sounds echo around the arena as Taker nears the ring, Kane is stood waiting for him to enter the ring as Taker brings up the lights to huge cheers ...
Taker takes off his coat and hat and leaves them on the ring steps before heading through the ropes and into the ring where he immediately goes face to face with his brother, Kane. The tension in the air is electrifying as the two of them stare deep into each other’s eyes, a look of fury on Kane’s face, a look of utter contempt on the face of his brother, the Undertaker. Kane blinks first and swings a right hand but Taker blocks and starts pounding at Kane with rights and lefts of his own, he forces the Big Red Monster backwards with the ferocity of his strikes and the crowd go wild cheering for him. Twisting Kane’s arm, Taker steps up the ropes and is quickly heading for the Old School move – a real risk in this type of match! Miz is the one who sees a chance for glory and he rushes over and knocks the ropes and Taker falls, one leg either side of the rope, a groan of pain goes up – particularly from the males – from the audience as Taker lands awfully. Kane rolls away as Miz tries to pelt the Phenom with his hands and feet desperate to eliminate the legendary Undertaker here. However, his punches make little mark and Undertaker suddenly strikes a back elbow that staggers Miz away and allows him to climb back over the top rope and into the ring. Angered by Miz’ efforts to take him out, Taker stalks after Cleveland’s own who, judging by the look on his face, fears for his life and takes off like a frightened rabbit. Taker follows him and Miz continues to run before trying to catch Taker out by sliding back into the ring. As he tries to dropkick Taker coming in, the Phenom dodges and drags Miz out of the ring and grips him tight around the throat on the outside of the ring. A look of incredible anger is on his face as he applies more and more pressure and Miz sinks to his knees struggling ... BAM! A boot to the head by Undertaker who is going to make Miz pay here. As Taker goes to work on Miz on the outside, Kane takes a moment to recover in the ring and he watches as Taker begins to destroy Miz. Mysterio and Angle have now paired off and they are working each other in the corner with Angle desperately trying to force the luchador over the top rope and failing as Rey wraps himself around the ropes to deny him. That leaves two men who have had major issues of late – Big Show and Kofi Kingston. They come together, Show smiling at the prospect of denting Kofi’s dreams, Kofi looking determined to remove this huge obstacle. Show swings a huge right hand and catches Kofi in the stomach before forcing him back into the corner and slapping him hard on the chest to the jeers of the crowd watching on. A loud crash on the outside of the ring takes attention as Miz is rammed shoulder first into the ring steps by Undertaker but Big Show focuses himself on Kingston once again. He slaps the chest of the young Ghanaian again before whipping him across the ring to the opposite corner of the ring ... SPLASH! Show hits a splash to Kofi in the corner and Kofi is reduced to his knees as he takes the full brunt of the World’s Largest Athlete. A scoop slam follows and Kofi is looking wobbly here ... He attempts a weak comeback with a few right hands but Show swats him away and then whips Kofi to the ropes ... he lifts Kofi up with ease and flapjacks him backwards, Kofi’s neck catches on the top rope and snaps his head back.
Show is in no mood for showing mercy and he then stands on Kofi’s chest deliberately as he tries to force the energy and the breath out of his foe. Kofi is gasping for air as Big Show shouts out “Alley-Oop” to the WWE Universe before he grabs Kofi by the neck. He lifts Kingston high as if he is going to powerbomb him and sets up for the Alley Oop move, a falling facebuster. Kofi though manages to wriggle clear and he drops behind the behemoth. A dropkick to the knee of the big man staggers him and he rushes off the ropes with the crowd getting behind him again ... Nooo! Show grabs Kofi by the throat ... CHOKE SLAM! KOFI SMASHES DOWN HARD ONTO THE MAT! Big Show appears to be enjoying this and he takes his time as he allows Kofi back up before whipping him to the corner again – surely not another 500 pound splash in the corner? It is! He goes for it but Kofi this time sees it coming and escapes so that Show slams hard into the turnbuckles instead. Staggered, Show spins round looking round for Kofi but the quickness of Kingston deceives him as he shoots up the ropes and stands on the top buckle ... Diving Crossbody! Kofi takes Show down and the crowd cheer as Kofi steps back waiting for Show to get up ... TROUBLE IN PARADISE! KOFI CONNECTS WITH THE TROUBLE IN PARADISE! Show staggers to the ropes and he drapes over the top rope, here is Kofi’s chance! Using all his strength, Kofi lifts Show’s leg up to the top rope and manages to perch it over ... Can Kofi Kingston do it? Can he eliminate the Big Show?
Kofi comes off the opposite rope and dropkicks the side of Big Show and he topples over the rope and down ...
– BIG SHOW HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
A huge reaction for Kofi as he drops to his knees in the centre of the ring and watches as Big Show angrily gets up with froth coming out of his mouth. Kofi does not have time to revel in his achievement, he needs to stay away from Big Show who is seething with anger over the elimination. The referees force Show away from the ring but Kofi is caught out by Kurt Angle who barrels into him from the side. Angle begins to hit Kofi with several different types of suplex and Kofi, still off guard, is unable to defend himself against it. The crowd are enjoying the match as it heads towards the conclusion – there are just six men left in the ring now. However, the crowd suddenly react near the titantron and the volume in the arena goes up. The camera switches over to the aisle and we see a grinning John Cena heading back out after his destruction of Randy Orton earlier tonight. Cena is taking jeers from the crowd but he is not bothered in the slightest, he is simply delighted with his work so far. He steps up the ring steps and removes his t-shirt. As the crowd near the ring get excited about the chance to catch his shirt, Cena looks over and goes to throw it ... but then tosses it down to the floor with a smirk. He steps into the ring and sneaks up behind Rey Mysterio who is completely unaware of his presence. Cena lifts Mysterio up onto his shoulders before Rey can react and he looks around the arena with a look of confidence in his eyes ... CENA HITS THE FU TO MYSTERIO! Mysterio crashes down onto the mat and Cena stands over him laughing. He waves across his face and motions to Mysterio that he can’t see him. Mysterio is down and out though, Cena drags him up and shoves him against the ropes. Waving across his face again, Cena is mocking Rey ...
Cena clotheslines Rey over the top rope and out of the Rumble!
– REY MYSTERIO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
We’re down to six men now – Cena, Miz, Kane, Kofi, Angle and the Undertaker – as we head towards the climax of the match and the discovery of which man will be heading to the main event of WresstleMania 27 in Atlanta. A loud ‘Cena sucks!’ chant begins as we see Mysterio being helped out of the arena in shock at the way he was eliminated by his former friend, Cena. Taker drags Miz back into the ring after he laid down a real beating to the Cleveland native on the outside but as soon as he follows Miz in, his brother, the Devil’s Favourite Demon Kane, takes his chance and kicks Taker hard in the head. Miz scrambles out of the way and leaves Kane to it whilst Angle continues to lay the boot into Kofi. Cena stands at the ropes and watches the exit of Mysterio whilst taunting the Mexican and grinning round at the WWE Universe. Cena then heads over towards Angle and Kofi and looks to the Olympian before joining in with him in attacking Kofi who has annoyed him recently on SMACKDOWN. Miz rolls out of the ring and he sits up against the announce table recovering and surveying the scene in the ring. Taker and Kane are trading blows as they look to destroy each other and their history of late means it is getting very personal between them. Kane, starting to lose out to his brother, decides to resort to dirty tactics as he rakes the eyes of Taker and then rams his head into the turnbuckle several times. However, Undertaker is determined to beat the pain threshold and get some revenge over Kane and he simply stands up, his eyes bulging in anger. He ducks Kane’s attempted clothesline and hits the ropes, BAM! Big boot to the face of Kane and down he goes.
Undertaker cuts across his throat and the WWE Universe rise as he prepares to finish Kane off. Taker waits for Kane to get up but, as he is waiting, Taker’s attention is distracted by Cena who stands staring at him. There is a fusion of electricity around the arena as two of the WWE’s biggest legends come face to face. The distraction though costs Taker and Kane barges into him from behind. As Taker comes round, Kane grabs him by the throat ... CHOKE SLAM! KANE CHOKE SLAMS UNDERTAKER! Undertaker is down and Kane stands over him laughing maniacally. Jeers echo around the arena but then they turn to roars of excitement as Undertaker sits up. Kane uses his boot to knock Taker back down, he has seen all of this before. Taker is down again but then he sits up again. BAM! Kane knocks him down again with his boot but again Taker sits up a few moments later. Another attempt at knocking him back down by Kane but this time Taker catches his boot, twists it so that he is off balance and then gets to his feet quickly. Undertaker launches right hands to Kane that catch him in the throat area, he staggers Kane back and then grabs his arm – time for another attempt at Old School! Up goes Taker, balancing on the ropes, Kane cannot react this time and Taker drops a heavy arm across his back and shoulders. Kane staggers back to his feet and Taker scoops him up ... Huge anticipation around the arena, they are on their feet – here we go! TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! UNDERTAKER DROPS HIS BROTHER ON HIS HEAD! Kane is flat out and not moving as Undertaker kneels over him – he’d normally pin his opponent now but not in the Rumble. Cena is now busy fighting it out with Miz who is back in the ring, Kofi and Angle are still fighting and Undertaker has his chance to take out the Big Red Monster once and for all. Kane gets to his knees and Undertaker forces him back to the corner, lifting his leg up over the top rope, looking to eliminate him. Kane tries to fight back but Undertaker is too strong here. Undertaker realises that he is struggling to heave his brother over the top rope but he reconsiders his approach, comes off the ropes ...
A Big Boot from Taker sends Kane crashing over the rope and down to the mat as the crowd go mad!
– KANE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Undertaker looks down on his brother who is down and out on the floor. He drops to his knee and cuts his throat, his tongue snaking out, he is delighted to have eliminated his brother. As Taker gets back up, it is Cena who comes over towards him and attacks. Cena has finally decided to show some guts and go after the biggest dog in the yard. As Undertaker is stumbling back, Cena taunts him and looks to be making out that he is the big dog on SMACKDOWN now. Cena goes to the top rope and waits for Undertaker to get to his knees before coming off the top, leg drop to the back of the Undertaker’s head and shoulders again, it drives the Phenom down into the mat. Cena senses a massive opportunity and he lifts Undertaker onto his shoulders, here it comes ... NO! Cena cannot hold Taker, he wriggles clear and comes off the ropes. Cena ducks the attempted clothesline and Undertaker is caught by a huge right hand from Kane who is back on the apron and dismayed at the way he was eliminated. Up onto Cena’s shoulders goes Undertaker again and Cena positions himself near the rope. This time though, Kane has hold of Undertaker as well to prevent him escaping. Cena goes for it ...
CENA FU’S UNDERTAKER OVER THE TOP ROPE WITH KANE’S ASSISTANCE!
– UNDERTAKER HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
The WWE Universe is in complete shock, Kane and John Cena have teamed up to eliminate Undertaker. With Undertaker down on the floor, Cena taunts him from the ring by waving his hand across his face – what a huge moment that was! Kane makes his way back down the aisle with a smug look on his face with his brother, the Deadman, in pain on the floor. Miz is the next to make his way over to Undertaker, he suffered a beating from Taker earlier and he takes his chance to rub it in. He tells Undertaker that he is going to win the Royal Rumble because he is the main man in the WWE! Undertaker responds by grabbing Miz by the throat to the delight of the fans at ringside ... CHOKE SLAM ON THE FLOOR OUTSIDE THE RING! Miz writhes in pain on the floor and Undertaker now decides to go after Kane who is still in view. Cena is stood in the ring and watching Taker leave, he arrogantly waves to him as he leaves. However, as Kane and Taker disappear, Cena’s face drops in shock as he notices something else. The WWE Universe are going crazy, they have seen it too ...
HERE COMES RANDY ORTON!
Orton is struggling but is heading for the ring, he is determined to get revenge on Cena and this could be his only chance to do it. Cena backs away to the centre of the ring and beckons to Orton to get in the ring if he dares. It appears that the Viper does dare and he rolls into the ring where he is met by the right boot of Cena. He kicks him over and over and it is clear that Orton is nowhere near 100% right. He has been in the Rumble since the very start and has maybe had ten minutes where he has not been fighting it out – and that was after Cena had beaten him senseless backstage. On the other hand, Cena is fairly fresh and he is in control of the situation despite his shock at seeing Orton return. Cena lifts Orton to his feet and then hits a succession of shoulder blocks on the run, the move that used to get him thousands of cheers in the past but doesn’t now. Cena then uses his patented Protoplex suplex to drop Orton on his back once more and then he stands over the Viper with a knowing look in his eyes. Boos erupt as Cena looks down onto the face of Orton and he waves his hands across his face = “You can’t see me!” – before lifting his head and doing the same to all the WWE Universe at ringside as well ... FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE FROM CENA TO ORTON! Cena steps back and waits for Orton to get up but his opponent knows him too well and, despite a draining past hour, Orton still has the energy to roll and scramble out of the ring. Cena looks annoyed but he follows his foe and stalks after him. He rushes up behind him and grabs his neck before running him towards the announce tables and flinging him into them. Orton flies over the top and collides heavily with the Spanish announce team who are knocked over in the mayhem. Angle and Miz are continuing to work on eliminating Kofi in the ring but the attention is on the outside as Cena and Orton’s feud gets real personal now. Cena drags Orton up and throws him onto the top of the announce table. He scrambles up as well and he looks pleased with whatever he is thinking of here. He lifts Orton onto his shoulders and positions himself to FU Orton through the other table. The crowd realise what is coming and scream in dismay, Cena sets himself but Orton fights his way out and shoves Cena hard. Flung forward, Cena jumps from one table to the other, turns to go back towards a wounded Orton ... RKO! ORTON RKO’S CENA ON THE ANNOUNCE TABLE! The announce table where Lawler and JR are commentating begins to break under the impact of Cena but doesn’t completely cave in. Cena is writhing in pain on top of Lawler’s notes and JR’s iPad that are still on the table ...
A ‘Holy Sh*t!’ chant breaks out and both Cena and Orton are down unable to appreciate the chant. It is Orton that finds the energy to slide off his table first and he stumbles to the corner of the ring where he proceeds to loosen the ring steps now as well. The crowd urge him on as Cena begins to move and fall off his announce table. Orton musters all the strength he has and lifts the steps up with both hands. Holding them in front of him, Orton waits for Cena to stand up and rushes over ... BAM! STEEL STEPS TO THE FACE OF CENA! But Orton took a whack as well, he was weakened so much that they slipped and connected with his face too, both men are down on the outside. The WWE Universe take a breath as the camera focuses back on Miz, Angle and Kofi in the ring, three of the five men left in the Rumble. By the look of Cena and Orton outside the ring, one of these three will be going to WrestleMania 27 as the Rumble winner! Miz and Angle have teamed well but they cannot eliminate the flexible Kingston as he wraps around the ropes like Spiderman! Frustration rears its head for the tiring Miz as he suddenly shoves Angle hard in the chest and complains about his efforts. Angle, despite his recent heel turn, doesn’t take kindly to this and he shoves Miz back. A fist fight ensues and the pair of them trade right hands for a while until ... suddenly, Kofi comes flying off the top turnbuckle, DOUBLE DIVING CROSSBODY! Kofi takes both Miz and Angle down with a crossbody from about twenty feet in the air – OK, OK, slight ‘wrestling’ exaggeration there! The crowd get behind Kofi, he now looks to be in with a chance of taking out one of the disliked two left in the ring. Kofi sets and it appears that Angle will be up to his feet first, he is fresher than Miz of course. Up gets Angle, Kofi spins ... TROUBLE IN PA ... No! Angle ducks! Kofi is stuck with his right leg over the top rope, can he get back in time?
Miz barges into Kofi as he is over the rope and eliminates him!
– KOFI KINGSTON HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Huge boos in the arena, many wanted to see the underdog win the match but Miz has eliminated Kofi Kingston now and we are down to four men. Miz, Angle, Orton and Cena on the outside – although Orton is now scraping his way back into the ring. A disappointed Kofi is seen making his exit as Angle and Miz consider resuming their fight or going after Orton instead? However, Orton has no eyes for them, he has seen Cena scrambling back into the ring and coming through the ropes! Orton grabs Cena by the head and drags him in, feet positioned on the middle rope ... HANGMAN DDT! Orton appears rejuvenated here, he has found a second wind from somewhere even though he has now been in the Rumble for almost an hour. Miz heads over to Orton ready to pounce ... RKO! ORTON HITS AN RKO TO MIZ! Wow! Orton turns and sees Angle coming, he adjusts himself ... OLYMPIC SLAM! ORTON HITS ANGLE WITH THE OLYMPIC SLAM! That will not go down well with Kurt Angle of course who uses that move himself – namely the Angle Slam! Orton gets slowly to his feet and surveys the damage he has caused now, he waits and it is Angle who gets up first. The Olympic Gold Medal Winner is infuriated by Orton’s use of his move and he rushes towards Orton looking for a clothesline. Orton ducks, Angle hits the ropes and heads back towards the Viper ...
Orton lifts Angle into a flapjack move and untidily drops him back over the top rope!
– KURT ANGLE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
Huge cheers now for the Viper, he is in complete control! Angle lands with a huge bump on the outside and he is down and out and eliminated! We are down to three men! WHO WILL WIN THE RUMBLE? Orton looks down on Angle with a tired but arrogant smile on his face, he is ready to win the match now! BAM! Cena barrels into the Viper and catches him off-guard, Cena pounds away at Orton yet again. However, Orton is desperate to win, he begins to trade punches with Cena, the crowd cheering Orton’s strikes and jeering Cena’s. Orton goes for yet another RKO to Cena after he staggers him but Cena shoves Orton aside this time and the fist fight continues. Cena tries to set Orton up on his shoulders for the FU but again Orton wriggles clear, both these men are desperate to win! Suddenly, here is Miz, staggering and bewildered, confused and disorientated. He stumbles between Orton and Cena who look to each other. A thought flashes over both their eyes and Orton nods his agreement to Cena. Miz staggers towards Cena who lifts him on his shoulders ... Here we go! FU TO MIZ! CENA HITS THE FU! Miz crashes down on the mat, he is really in trouble now. A ceasefire has broken out between Cena and Orton, their fight has ended and Orton is now stalking Cleveland’s own. He waits and waits ... RKO! RKO TO MIZ! What a destruction of the Awesome One this is! Cena and Orton look to each other once more, they each grab Miz and drag him up to his feet ...
Orton and Cena throw Miz over the top rope and out of the Rumble!
– THE MIZ HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
FINAL TWO MEN!
Can Randy Orton win from Number 1 in the Royal Rumble?
Can John Cena destroy Orton’s dream and make good on his promise to win the Royal Rumble?
As Miz staggers away, Orton and Cena resume their fight, the crowd are on their feet now! Yet again, Cena goes for an FU but Orton, tired and running off the last dregs of adrenaline, manages to wriggle clear again! He whips Cena to the ropes, snap scoop slam and Cena’s back crashes down to the mat. Slowly, Orton gets up, he can’t get to Cena as quick as he wants to.He calculates which limb to target and then he stomps down on Cena’s right knee. Round Cena he walks, striking and stomping every exposed limb of SMACKDOWN’s last survivor in the Rumble. Orton looks down at Cena and a look passes his eyes, the WWE Universe understand. He retreats to the corner of the ring, Orton stands in the corner holding the ropes and winding himself up, bringing himself to boiling point ... Cena slowly gets to his knees, he is down on all fours and struggling up, head exposed, here is Orton’s chance ... Orton lets go of the ropes and goes to strike with the Punt to Cena’s skull ... Will he knock Cena cold and win the Rumble?
Noooo! Wait a minute! What is Kurt Angle doing? Angle trips Orton as he starts to head towards Cena to hit the Punt. Orton trips and stumbles down to his knees before turning and glaring at Angle on the outside. Orton gets to his feet, he is seething with rage. He looks down at Angle from the ring and talks trash to him. Angle is angry still, that is clear, he jumps up on the apron and Orton goes for him. On the ring apron, Angle fights Orton over the top rope, Orton in the ring and fighting hard ... The crowd are screaming at Orton but he is too busy fighting with Angle ... Behind you, Randy! Behind you! BEHIND YOU!
Cena sneaks up behind Orton, lifts his legs up and tosses him over the top rope!
– RANDY ORTON HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! –
WINNER JOHN CENA
Orton is up and ovvverrrr ... Cena! Cena! Cena wins the Rumble!
Orton sinks to his knees on the outside with his hands on his head as the head referee slides into the ring and raises the arm of the Cena who is now heading for WrestleMania 27 as the winner of the Royal Rumble match. The referee has to help Cena to stand as he is a little beaten after the Rumble but he realises what has happened and smirks with his hand raised as his music, ‘My Time is Now!’, begins to blare out around the arena ...
At WrestleMania 27, King, it will be John Cena challenging for either the WWE or World Championship!
Thank goodness he is on SMACKDOWN, JR, he’s going to be unbearable about this! Poor Orton!
Cena locks eyes on Orton who is in despair on the outside of the ring, the number one entrant into the Rumble came so close to winning the whole thing. As the Viper looks up at Cena in the ring, Cena laughs and points up to the WrestleMania 27 sign which angers Orton once again. Orton gets to his feet and he begins to climb into the ring but the referees swarm around him and begin to hold him back. Cena continues to stand in the ring and taunt the Viper but he cannot get into the ring due to the referees. Finally, Orton breaks clear and heads through the ropes but Cena makes his exit and heads off into the aisle as Cena’s music fades out. Orton jumps back through the ropes and makes to chase Cena down the aisle towards the titantron but yet again the referees hold him back and are now joined by security who also stand between Cena and Orton.
Remember, King, Orton was told he cannot touch Cena unless it is in an official match!
The rivalry between these two is so intense, Orton cannot be punished if he gets his hands on Cena right here!
As Orton is held back from Cena – stood near the entrance into the arena – the WWE owner Chip Butty makes an appearance beside Cena. He says something to Cena before heading over towards Orton who is still being restrained by security. Butty stands in earshot of Orton and he says something that we can’t hear but it appears to calm Orton down although he still looks incredibly annoyed ...
An incredible effort from Orton, he just came up short but it will be Cena who heads for WrestleMania 27 to challenge for the title ...
As the security shepherd Orton past Cena, Kurt Angle – the man who caused the damage to Orton for Cena to eliminate him – heads past too. Orton sees him coming and quick as a flash hits an RKO to the Olympic Hero!
Orton stands over the fallen Angle as Cena makes his way backwards back towards the ring and stares down the aisle towards the man he eliminated to win the Rumble. Loud boos echo around the arena as Cena slides back into the ring and begins his celebrations again with his music restarting as well. As Cena stands pointing to the WrestleMania sign, SMACKDOWN General Manager Michael Cole slides into the ring and congratulates his man on winning the Rumble for SMACKDOWN ...
An intense night here in Cleveland, Ohio, Wade Barrett and CM Punk retain their titles, we have new Tag Team Champions in the British Empire and John Cena has won the Rumble, he will head to WrestleMania in ten weeks time to challenge for a title. Good night everybody ...
As the Royal Rumble logo pops up in the corner of the screen to signal the end of the PPV, Cena is shown with his hand raised by Cole as he continues his celebrations and the camera makes sure, as you’d expect, to include the WrestleMania 27 logo in the background ...
I really, really hope you enjoyed the show, it was a humdinger of a PPV to write. I’m sorry it took so long, the Rumble match seemed to go on forever and ever and I got very bogged down in the middle of it, i.e. 11-20. I’ve tried to forward a lot of feuds in the Rumble with some of the returning guys and some of the guys who were previously feuding. Next up, Elimination Chamber in four weeks time! I’m incredibly proud to write a really, really in depth Rumble so please, please, please leave some feedback! Now, I can start planning how to get to Elimination Chamber! Woooooooooo! GCB
p.s. If you think about doing a Rumble match, my advice – don’t! God, it takes some doing!
WOOO! It's finally here man. It'll be live feedback so yeah, here we go!
Interesting that you had the ladder match go on first. I think it's a pretty good one to go with since you'll have it out of the way. However, I kind of wasn't feeling this match. It was as if each guy threw all they had at one another but every time, the guy would recover rather quickly. Maybe it was a little low on details but with the Royal Rumble Match having to be written, it may have burnt you out. I did like that spot where Bryan performed the German Suplex on Dibiase from the ladder, that was cool. That part where you added in that Gabriel was watching who his opponent would be was good too as it really makes the belt something credible since Gabriel doesn't want to lose it. Hopefully after this loss, you're setting up Bryan for bigger and better things while building a new midcard or potentially main event star in Dibiase.
Glad to see that the Divas are getting some attention. Still not sure about the pairing of Kharma and McCool since they're pretty good solo but I'll just roll with it for now. The Divas Division is surely improving in this thread, slowly but surely.
Now for the NXT stuff. I like how your go about your NXT business. JBL is a great choice for a mentor and so is the Rock. JBL's team is superior to Rocky's team but you could pull out some surprises. What I take from that battle royal is that some, maybe all of those guys on NXT are here to stay. They just needed some air time and this was a way to do it. With the winner being Kaval, it's really interesting to see where you go from here. You had some physical interactions between the mentors and even Santino plays a part, all storyline going on here which makes me think everyone is here to stay.
This sure was a battle for the WWE Title. I kind of thought that Barrett would have called off his Nexus here and prevailed giving him the credibility. Kind of dislike Barrett a little now that you didn't use this chance to really build him up here. But I think that you have something in store for this so I wouldn't count this out just yet. I just thought that at the Royal Rumble, it would've been the perfect place and time for Barrett to be given the rub from HHH. I guess this whole idea where HHH buries talent exists here too? Lol. But it was a good written match GCB. This is not negative comments at all, just giving my opinion. And whaaat?! Y2J? OHHHH YEAAAAH!
Underhanded tactics sure are the trend right now just like JR said. Your tag team division is certainly going places and with you crowning new tag champions, I fully expect you to give us a show with your division. Don't mind the new tag team champions, it was kind of obvious that they would win but I also thought that the Broskis would've had a better shot with their winning streak and all. Not much to say about the tag team match, but good job here. Wanting more, but I'm sure you'll deliver on that.
No feel good moment here for Christian? Aww, but that's really the right decision as Punk needed to retain here. Having Cole come out made me think that either Christian would be far away from the World Title or he'll be even closer, don't know yet. And with how the ending went, it's all just cliffhanger here, and I don't mind that. This was definitely match of the night for me, but maybe the Rumble will change that. And good face time for Miz here. Hmm, maybe he really could win since you had him be interviewed. I'm really lost at who will win the Rumble, good job, haha.
Wow, what a Rumble. While I don't agree with Rocky being in it, since you could've used to for another purpose like putting over someone, I guess you didn't it to further the angst that he has with JBL. All the surprise entrants were really good. Interesting to see HBK come back but he surely wasn't going to win. The two people who I thought had the best showing were Edge and Miz. You've furthered their own storylines with the way that they got eliminated, which is all we can really ask for. I commend you on doing a Rumble match, it must've been a real pain. Seeing that Orton came #1, I was checking back and re-reading everything to see that he didn't get eliminated yet. What a tease you had with the final two being Cena and Orton, well played GCB, well played. I kind of did not like how Orton was eliminated, but this sets him up for something with Kurt Angle.
With all that said, I still don't think that this way your best Pay-Per-View. I still think that Survivor Series was your best and maybe you'd agree too. Up next is Elimination Chamber, you've got a lot of feuds that you can go with. It's just a matter of pulling the trigger. You set everything up nicely and thinking of it, you could go a ton of ways with Cena here. I definitely am amp'd to see what you come up with in the fallout of RAW. Kudos GCB. GREAT, GREAT JOB.
A recap show here, needed to get over this one and get it posted. NXT remains a detailed recap, SMACKDOWN will return to being a fully written show as will RAW after this one. Just needed to get this out of the way.
Monday January 24th, 2011 | U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
After the excitement of last night’s Royal Rumble PPV, Monday Night RAW travelled from Cleveland to Cincinnati to begin the build towards the Elimination Chamber PPV in four weeks time as well as the opening steps on the Road to WrestleMania 27. Last night’s PPV saw Wade Barrett retain his WWE Championship in controversial circumstances as Nexus conspired with him to eventually finish the challenger, Triple H. Despite a SMACKDOWN superstar winning the Royal Rumble in John Cena, there was talk that Cena may appear on RAW which set alarm bells ringing regarding the state of mind of Randy Orton after he managed to hang in the match from first entrant to final elimination. Unfortunately, Kurt Angle once again proceeded to get involved and it remains to be seen whether or not there will be more to come for the American Hero regarding Orton. Still in his home state of Ohio, the Money in the Bank contract holder, The Miz, was bound to have words of wisdom whilst we also have a new US Championship Number 1 contender crowned in Ted DiBiase – would he be looking to cash in that chance against US Champion Justin Gabriel sooner rather than later?
After the pyro explosions had died down, Triple H wasted no time in heading out towards the ring with plenty clearly on his mind. He didn’t look happy and it proved to be the case as he slammed Wade Barrett for being the worst WWE Champion of all time and demanded a rematch with the Brit. Challenging Barrett to prove he is a worthy champion, Triple H called him out to accept a match tonight for the WWE Championship, an idea that the Cincinnati crowd loved the thought of. However, they were soon to be disappointed when Kurt Angle headed out their way instead of the champion. Immediately, Triple H warned Angle that if he came down and got into the ring, he would hurt him. Wisely, Angle remained on the stage and began to mock Triple H for failing to win the title when he had his big chance. The Olympian stated that Triple H had “had his chance” and that the Game should now head to the back of the queue to allow a guy who had a successful Rumble to take his chance at the gold instead. This comment brought on the RAW General Manager Shawn Michaels, who didn’t stay on the stage, and he joined his friend in the ring. HBK told Triple H that unfortunately he had had his chance but he would get another before explaining that there would be four matches tonight to determine four RAW superstars who would face each other next week for the right to challenge Barrett at the Elimination Chamber PPV. HBK followed this by announcing that the RAW Elimination Chamber match would determine the Number 1 contender for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 27 after SMACKDOWN won the Rumble. Next week’s three losers will be given the first three spots in the Chamber match with three other places up for grabs in Qualifying Matches. Sensing that he would be involved, Triple H asked about his chance that HBK had just mentioned. To the delight of Triple H, HBK announced that the main event would be Triple H vs. Kurt Angle with the winner to be in next week’s Fatal Four Way.
TAG MATCH: Major Broskis Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins vs. Carlito & RVD
After losing their Tag Team Championships last night at the Rumble, Hawkins and Ryder seemed pumped up to get back on track as the match began with RVD and one of the surprise entrants in the Rumble, Carlito. Initially, the former Tag Champions seemed to be on course and came so close to victory when Ryder hit the Broski Boot and Hawkins narrowly missed with the Heat Seeking Elbow. However, a sudden Backstabber to Hawkins by Carlito changed the momentum and RVD took down Ryder with a series of kicks followed by the Frog Splash to earn the three count. WINNERS: Carlito & RVD (7:35) >>> After the match, a disappointed Curt Hawkins again turned his back on Ryder and walked away, a disgusted look on his face. What does this mean for the former Tag Team Champions? Carlito grabbed a microphone and thanked RVD for partnering him tonight and then announced that he had signed a new deal with the WWE and would be wrestling on RAW and SMACKDOWN in the coming weeks before announcing which brand he would join at the Elimination Chamber.
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed the new Number 1 contender for the US Championship, Ted DiBiase. DiBiase, who beat Daniel Bryan in a Ladder match last night, was understandably delighted with the win and declared that he was now on the path to superstardom in the WWE. He announced that he would decide later on when he would challenge Justin Gabriel for the US Championship but promised it would be soon and that he would become the US Champion when he did. The camera switched to show that Justin Gabriel had been watching all along and he looked amused by what he was hearing. However, that amusement left when he noticed the arrival of his former Nexus team-mates in the room with him. Confronting Heath Slater, David Otunga, Ezekiel Jackson and Skip Sheffield over their ‘defence’ of him at the Rumble, Gabriel demanded that they stopped and said that he had left Nexus and didn’t need them no more. He held up the US Championship as proof and told them to stay out of his way for good. Although they looked annoyed at first, the Nexus minions ended up smiling to each other as Gabriel left the room.
SINGLES MATCH: Chris Jericho vs. Ted DiBiase
Fresh off his win at the Rumble last night, DiBiase faced off against the returning Chris Jericho, complete with his old Y2J persona, looking to prove to the world that he was still one of the big stars in the WWE despite his recent absence. In the end, Jericho proved too strong for DiBiase as he locked in the Walls of Jericho and forced the Fortunate Son DiBiase to tap out. WINNER: Chris Jericho (6:32)
The crowd then went wild as Randy Orton made his way out into the arena – another WWE superstar who looked anything but happy following last night. Orton declared that he was sick of guys sucker punching him from behind instead of facing him one on one, face to face, like men. Citing Cena’s actions last night and the assistance he had from Kurt Angle, Orton declared that he had anger building up inside him that was eventually going to have to be allowed out. Orton announced that Angle would have to wait but there was an RKO coming his way very soon; first of all, he would be dealing with Cena once and for all whether Chip Butty liked it or not. Orton quoted Cena’s prediction that he would go unbeaten to WrestleMania and then declared that he believed him – when he receives his punt to the skull, he’ll spend most of the time in the hospital wing anyway. Suddenly, Cena appeared live on the titantron in his home town of Boston, Massachusetts. He taunted Orton for his bitter comments and then told him that there would be no punt to his skull due to the no violence stipulation still in effect. Cena informed Orton that he would be on RAW next week with a proposition for him.
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER: The Miz vs. Randy Orton
After Cena’s announcement and a commercial, Orton’s match against Miz was scheduled and it proved to be a great chance for Orton to begin to unleash some of the anger coursing through him. However, he was unable to hit the RKO to Miz who was in no mood to let Orton have a routine win tonight in his home state. Eventually, Orton seemed to have Miz in place and he was bashing his fists on the mat in preparation for an RKO when Cena’s music suddenly began to echo around the arena. Orton jumped up and waited for the arrival of his foe but he had to wait ... and wait ... and then Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale before hooking the leg to secure the win! WINNER: The Miz (7:57) >>> Miz quickly got out of the way of Orton, who looked ready to explode, safe in the knowledge that he was now guaranteed a spot in next week’s Number 1 contender match on RAW. As Orton looked around the arena in anger, Cena reappeared on the titantron laughing and declared that Orton was utterly predictable. Cena reaffirmed that he would be on RAW next week and that he would see Orton when he arrived.
Backstage, General Manager HBK and Chris Jericho were sat at a table with a slight awkwardness between them after Jericho’s actions a couple of months previous. However, a handshake followed between both men and Jericho signed a new contract to wrestle on RAW before HBK guaranteed him a chance to earn a spot in the Elimination Chamber match coming in four weeks time. Rudely barging in, Edge took the attention of the General Manager and demanded to know when he would get his chance. Edge suggested that HBK now knew how good a wrestler he was after the pair of them crossed paths in the Rumble and suggested that he be simply given the title match instead and he would forget about the way he was eliminated. HBK refused and told Edge that he was proud to have played a huge part in eliminating Edge as it showed he still had it. Finally, HBK announced that Edge would have a chance to earn a place in the Fatal Four Way next week as he would later go one on one with John Morrison.
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
With Miz already guaranteed his spot in the Fatal Four Way next week, former US Champion Bryan was looking to cause a mini upset as he went one on one with the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus. With Hornswoggle ringside as usual, Sheamus simply dominated the match and seemed moments away from victory at any given time. However, he could not land the Brogue Kick or the Celtic Cross and somehow ended up in the Le Bell Lock instead. With no choice but to tap out, Sheamus gave up a title opportunity to the much smaller Bryan and looked incredibly annoyed that he did so. WINNER: Daniel Bryan (6:49) >>> After the match, Bryan celebrated his win but was dragged off the turnbuckle by an irate Sheamus who proceeded to beat him down in anger. With Hornswoggle handing him a chair, Sheamus jammed the edge into the ribs of Bryan over and over and left him laid out in the ring needing medical attention as RAW moved on.
In the Nexus locker room, Wade Barrett and the other four members of Nexus were meeting with Barrett revealing his agreement with the words of Kurt Angle earlier – Triple H had his chance and failed. Barrett seemed to be encouraging his Nexus team to make sure Angle won tonight but then in walked Shawn Michaels with several security men. HBK informed Nexus that they would not be interfering tonight unless they wanted to feel the wrath of suspensions and the stripping of WWE Championships in the case of Barrett. HBK told Nexus to go home and leave Triple H and Angle to fight it out like men. The security began to usher a reluctant Nexus away and out of the arena to ensure no interference in the main event.
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER: Edge vs. John Morrison
An even contest with both men looking desperate to join Miz and Daniel Bryan in the Fatal Four Way match for the Number 1 contendership next week. Both had their chances to put the other away and missed but then Edge seemed to have the match won when he hit the Impaler DDT on Morrison and got the 3-count from the referee before he noticed the foot of Morrison on the bottom rope. Edge was upset but the right decision had been made. Moments later, Edge missed with a Spear and hit the buckles, Morrison drop kicked him and then hit the Chuck Kick before hitting Starship Pain. Controversy followed as the referee made the 3-count again but failed to spot Edge grabbing the rope with his right hand and it would be Morrison who would win the match and head for a shot at the WWE Championship next week on RAW. WINNER: John Morrison (8:04) >>> Edge was extremely unhappy with the decision but the referee remained adamant that he had not seen it and refused to reverse the call to the delight of the WWE Universe.
Back in the GM office, Michelle McCool and Kharma were the latest visitors. HBK was telling them that any more random beatdowns like the ones handed to Maryse and Layla last night would not be tolerated and they were lucky to not be suspended and fined. McCool turned on the charm and apologised to HBK before asking him if he had heard back from somebody and if he had an answer or not. HBK answered negatively and said he had heard nothing at all. As McCool left disappointed, an irate Edge reappeared in the GM office. The Rated R Superstar slammed the bias being shown towards him from the General Manager and the officials and he implored HBK to reverse the decision – refusal from HBK who said that the referee’s decision was final and it would be Miz vs. Daniel Bryan vs. John Morrison vs. the winner of the Triple H – Angle match later tonight in next week’s Fatal Four Way.
Kurt Angle was then interviewed by Josh Mathews as he prepared to head out for the main event. Angle claimed that he wasn’t interested in any help from Nexus and that he did not fear Triple H. Angle reminded everybody about the 3 I’s – intelligence, intensity and integrity – and claimed that they would help him defeat Triple H tonight. Saying that he didn’t need the cheers of the WWE Universe, Angle claimed that his time had come and that he would head to WrestleMania as the WWE Champion ... regardless of Nexus being in or out the arena.
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER: Kurt Angle vs. Triple H
Triple H attempted to make Kurt Angle pay for his betrayal last week as he controlled the early stages of the match and appeared to be heading towards victory. However, Angle came more and more into the match as his wrestling ability told and he then went on to control the match as he used a variety of suplexes. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t appear to be enough as Triple H managed to set up for a Pedigree to finish the match. However, a mystery man with red, white and blue trunks headed out and jumped onto the ring apron to cause a distraction. With the referee and Triple H distracted, another man with red, white and blue tights jumped in behind and hit a German Suplex to the unsuspecting Triple H as the referee continued to order the first man away. Having seen nothing, the referee turned to see Angle hit the Angle Slam to Triple H before making the cover and getting the 3-count to win the match. WINNER: Kurt Angle (11:25) >>> Who on earth were the two mystery men who just helped Angle to victory there? Angle appeared to know them as they raise his arm in celebration as he backed away up the ramp with the knowledge that next week he will face Miz, Daniel Bryan and Morrison for the right to challenge for the WWE Championship.
In the NXT Battle Royal at the Royal Rumble PPV, it was Kaval who was able to outlast all the other seven NXT competitors and earn himself a double immunity from the first two eliminations. Despite being ranked 8th in the early NXT rankings, Kaval can no longer be eliminated until the third elimination which means he is guaranteed to survive past the Elimination Chamber PPV. With next week’s NXT scheduled to include the first NXT Elimination Match, all the competitors will be desperate to avoid 6th and 7th place in the rankings, positions which would ensure a place in the Elimination Match next week. Currently, Drew McIntyre, R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler and MVP sit in the 4th to 7th places in the rankings and the WWE board of directors has indicated that these four men should meet in a Fatal Four Way tonight to fight it out for those ranking positions. Can Ziggler and MVP battle their way out of the danger zone? Find out on NXT!
THE ROCK AND JBL SET FOR A CONFRONTATION!
JBL is not a happy bunny. Not only did Kaval, the so-called ‘runt’ of NXT, earn himself two immunities from elimination in the Battle Royal, JBL’s involvement in the Royal Rumble match was shortlived as he ate a Rock Bottom from the other NXT mentor, the Rock! Tonight, JBL has demanded that Rock heads to the ring for a confrontation as the heat rises between these two in the battle for NXT superiority. Will JBL be able to win the war of words with the Great One?
NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!
At the Battle Royal, the British Empire team of William Regal and Mason Ryan managed to overcome the challenge of Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, as well as four other teams, to secure the Tag Team Championships in their first PPV appearance. Tonight on NXT, the new champions, accompanied by Finlay, will face the former champions, the Major Broskis, in a Tag Team Championship rematch. Will Ryder and Hawkins be able to overcome their recent problems to regain their titles?
MICHELLE McCOOL AND KHARMA SET TO EXPLAIN THEIR ACTIONS!
After their vicious attack on the Divas Champion, Maryse, and the former champion, Layla, at the Royal Rumble, Michelle McCool and Kharma will address their critics as they appear on NXT tonight. With many people angered by their assault on the other two Divas, McCool and Kharma have requested time to speak ahead of McCool’s match against the beautiful Kelly Kelly. Will Michelle and her bodyguard have a valid reason for their attack?
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
William Regal and Mason Ryan (w/Finlay) vs. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Michelle McCool (w/Kharma) vs. Kelly Kelly
NXT RANKINGS FATAL 4-WAY MATCH (#4, #5, #6, #7)
Drew McIntyre vs. R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. MVP
Tuesday January 25th, 2011 | Broadbent Arena, Louisville, Kentucky
RECENTLY ON NXT: A video package airs first that details the recent developments on NXT as the show begins to move forwards and the participants begin to get into position. Santino’s interference in the NXT main event last week between the top ranked participants, Great Khali and Vladimir Kozlov, is shown with snippets of Kozlov’s earlier attack on the Italian. Moving on, the video focuses on the NXT Battle Royal at the Royal Rumble PPV last Sunday night. The focus switches to the relationships between JBL and Kaval as well as his relationship with the other NXT mentor, The Rock. Highlights of the Battle Royal are shown before we see Rock hit the Rock Bottom on JBL and the subsequent elimination of Drew McIntyre by Kaval to earn the ‘runt’ of NXT a double immunity from elimination.
The crowd are looking excited over the latest episode of NXT as the yellow pyro explodes around the entrance. Striker and Mathews babble on excitedly about the latest developments with Kaval earning himself immunity from the first two eliminations despite his position of eighth in the NXT rankings at the moment. Striker reminds us about the NXT rankings and they flash up on screen ...
... before Mathews informs us that the first elimination will take place next week, the loser of a match between the two lowest ranked men in the competition that aren’t called Kaval will determine the first man eliminated from the show and the WWE.
*** EXPLODING HELMETS ***
*** KAVAL ***
Kaval heads out to a great reception, he looks in a fabulous mood after his victory at the Rumble. Once he is in the ring, he calls for a microphone and he begins to speak about how he has proved JBL wrong and now deserves respect from his mentor. He invites JBL to come out and shake his hand so that they can move on past this and work together which gets a few boos from the WWE Universe. However, Kaval waits and gets no response from JBL and moves on. He says that JBL can try whatever he wants, he is going to prove to the world that it isn’t the size of the dog in the fight that is important, it is the size of the fight in the dog. He vows that he is going to shock the WWE by winning NXT at WrestleMania 28 and then he will cash in his WWE Championship or World Championship match successfully as well. The crowd like the sound of this and they cheer for the underdog as he looks around at them with a look of determination. Kaval continues by saying that even though he is the smallest man in NXT, he believes that he can beat anybody and he intends to prove it tonight. He makes a public challenge to the NXT Rank 1, the Great Khali, to face him tonight one on one. Kaval awaits the response until ...
*** IF YA SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN’ ***
*** THE ROCK ***
A huge ovation for the Great One himself as he struts out with a huge smile on his face. He strides to the ring and then poses on the corner turnbuckles looking around the arena as the flashlights on the cameras pop. Rock takes a microphone and turns to face Kaval who is stood waiting for him to finish his entrance. Rock congratulates Kaval on winning the Battle Royal last night and tells him that he deserved to win in the end. Rock tells him that his luck ends tonight though and accepts his challenge to Khali – who is of course mentored by Rock. Rock tells Kaval that Khali is the man who has impressed him most so far on Team Rock and that he will destroy Kaval tonight. Kaval smirks at this and responds by telling Rock that he has spent his whole career so far proving people wrong. Tonight, he will prove Rock wrong as well.
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
THIS FRIDAY: FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN!
Royal Rumble winner John Cena returns to SMACKDOWN this Friday! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
*** CHAVITO ARDIENTE ***
*** CHAVO GUERRERO ***
NXT returns with Chavo Guerrero posing in the ring on the ropes after making his entrance. Matt Striker informs us that Chavo is currently ranked Number 3 in the NXT Rankings but is looking to make his move up the NXT ladder tonight.
*** PAIN ***
*** VLADIMIR KOZLOV ***
Out walks a focused and mean looking Vladimir Kozlov who is not impressed with recent events, clearly. After his failure to defeat Great Khali last week, thanks to Santino Marella, and his failure to win the Battle Royal, Kozlov walks powerfully to the ring and seems intent on taking out his anger on somebody tonight. Mathews reminds us that these two men are ranked #2 and #3 and, therefore, the winner will be ranked #2 at the end of the match with the loser ranked #3. Can Chavo Guerrero defeat the Russian and take his second place in the rankings?
MATCH 1 | SINGLES MATCH
CHAVO GUERRERO (3) vs. VLADIMIR KOZLOV (2)
In the early stages, Chavo struggles to make an impression as he is thwarted by the Russian’s power counters at every turn. It appears that Kozlov is all set for victory after he hits his trapping headbutts over and over to the Mexican’s chest and then suplexes him down to the mat. Guerrero kicks out of the pin though and then he launches a comeback that leads him to the top rope ready to hit a Frog Splash. With the crowd fully behind him, Chavo climbs the ropes and then leaps off looking to hit the Frog Splash but Kozlov rolls away and then hits a Battering Ram headbutt to the chest of Chavo. Kozlov then moves up to the top rope as well and hits a DIVING HEADBUTT that connects with the shoulder of the Mexican before he makes the cover ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
VLADIMIR KOZLOV (6:28)
Vladimir Kozlov stands up looking out at the WWE Universe with a look of defiance in his eyes as he reflects on the dominant victory that he just achieved. Striker reminds us that this victory means that the Russian retains his second place ranking in the NXT competition. As the Russian stands looking down on him, Chavo rolls out clutching his shoulder and out of the ring looking disappointed but Mathews reminds us that he is comfortable in third spot and is not in any danger of being eliminated from the competition next week. Mathews repeats the announcement that next week will see the first NXT elimination. He wonders whether or not Kozlov will be happy with being safe in second place right now but Striker suggests that he’d prefer to be in top spot instead ...
*** LA VITTORIA E MIA ***
*** SANTINO MARELLA ***
Suddenly, here comes Santino Marella!
The Italian is holding a microphone and he stays on stage as Kozlov looks towards him with an angry look on his face – Santino was the man who cost Kozlov top spot last week. Santino tells Kozlov that last week was the first part of his revenge for Santino turning his back on him when NXT began a few weeks ago. Kozlov continues to stare a hole right through Santino but he isn’t backing down from the stare and he continues on by challenging Kozlov to a match next week on NXT ... a Street Fight! Kozlov looks to Santino for a moment before smiling a sadistic smile and nodding his head ... It’s on! Next week, on NXT, Santino Marella vs. Vladimir Kozlov in a Street Fight!
The camera head backstage where JBL is sat in Team JBL’s locker room looking annoyed and subdued. He is sat back on the bench when Drew McIntyre walks in and sits beside him. McIntyre tells his mentor that he doesn’t need to worry – Kaval might be immune from elimination for now but he will not win NXT whilst he is around. JBL continues to stare straight ahead saying nothing. McIntyre continues and tells JBL that what Rock did to him at the Rumble was completely uncalled for and that he will take revenge on the so called Great One when he gets his chance. JBL turns and looks at McIntyre but doesn’t smile, he simply stands up and walks away as McIntyre looks after him with a look of concern on his face.
*** HOLLA HOLLA ***
*** KELLY KELLY ***
The camera returns to the ring where Kelly Kelly is in the ring and saluting the crowd ...
*** NOT ENOUGH FOR ME ***
*** MICHELLE McCOOL ***
Out heads the pair of Michelle McCool and Kharma to a lot of hatred from the crowd after their vicious assault on Layla and Maryse at the Royal Rumble PPV. However, McCool doesn’t appear bothered by the jeers and she laughs them off as she approaches the ring. Kharma follows behind looking menacing and sizing up Kelly as she nears the ring – this appears to be a tough ask for Kelly Kelly tonight. Michelle heads around the ring and takes a microphone before she gets into the ring. She looks up at Kelly and tells her to stand back and wait for a moment, she has a few words for the WWE Universe first. She says that Kharma and her attacked Layla and Maryse on Sunday because they wanted to make a statement. McCool claims that she is the most dominant Diva here in the WWE and that she intends to prove it by defeating Maryse and winning her Divas Championship. She also suggests that the WWE hierarchy are scared of giving her a shot at the title because they know that once she is the champion, nobody else will have a chance ...
*** HOPPIPOLLA ***
*** CHIP BUTTY ***
The WWE owner heads out onto the stage and he looks down towards the ring where Michelle McCool is still stood with the microphone across the ring from Kelly. Kharma is still on the outside of the ring and she is still staring at Kelly and making her feel uncomfortable. Butty has a microphone and he speaks to McCool directly – he tells her that she makes a good case for her to be given a Divas Championship match but she cannot just be handed one after her actions last Sunday night. McCool says that that proves it – the WWE hierarchy don’t want her to be given a chance at the title. Butty smiles and says he has a challenge for McCool instead – she will face a different Diva each week, starting with Kelly tonight, if she can go unbeaten until Elimination Chamber then she will face Layla and Maryse in a Triple Threat match for the Divas Championship. If not, then Layla and Maryse will face each other instead. McCool looks pleased with this announcement and looks confident ...
MATCH 2 | SINGLES MATCH
KELLY KELLY vs. MICHELLE McCOOL (w/Kharma)
After the announcement of Chip Butty, Kelly Kelly decides that her best chance of a victory is to attack from the off and she catches McCool off guard with a shot to the shoulders and back. As Kelly goes on the attack, she hits her ‘stinkface’ to McCool in the corner and then looks to hit a series of kicks to the grounded McCool. However, Kharma’s intimidation from the outside pays off as Kelly’s eye is on her for a moment and this is all the chance Michelle needs as she kicks out Kelly’s knee and goes to work. From that point on, the result is never in doubt as McCool dominates throughout and then hits the Wings of Love to crash Kelly’s face into the mat before making the 3-count ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
MICHELLE McCOOL (2:32)
After Kelly is pinned to the mat, Michelle stands up and arrogantly looks out around the WWE Universe with a smile on her face. She holds up one finger to signal that she has now defeated one Diva and then holds up three more fingers to signal what she has left to earn an Elimination Chamber Divas Championship match. Into the ring rolls Kharma and she stands over the fallen Kelly Kelly as McCool backs away a little. Kharma reaches down and drags Kelly up by the throat and forces her into the corner. Kelly is looking worried as she realises she is in trouble before Kharma whips her across the ring into the corner and then hits a running splash against the turnbuckle. Kelly slumps but Kharma reaches down to drag her up again and, holding her by the throat with two hands, she lifts Kelly up high before planting her down on her back with a double handed choke slam that crashes the blonde beauty down with bang. Kharma then rolls out of the ring and escorts McCool back up the ramp as NXT heads into a commercial ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
68 days to go! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
NXT returns with MVP heading out to the ring ...
*** I’M COMIN’ ***
*** MVP ***
As MVP heads towards the ring ready for action, Striker describes the stipulation involved in this match. The winner will be ranked fourth whilst the man who takes the final pinfall or taps out will fall to seventh spot – therefore guaranteeing themselves a place in the NXT Elimination match next week regardless of where Kaval ends the night. The other two spots will filled by the other two participants in the order they currently stand ...
*** I AM PERFECTION ***
*** DOLPH ZIGGLER ***
Accompanied by Vickie Guerrero, Ziggler heads towards the ring showing off to the WWE Universe as he nears the ring. Mathews suggests that Dolph’s relationship with the Rock has held him back so far from being one of the top players here in NXT and that he needs to sort out these issues as soon as he can. Striker says that winning tonight would be a start as would getting rid of Vickie as per the request of his mentor ...
*** BROKEN DREAMS ***
*** DREW McINTYRE ***
Slowly stepping out from the backstage area, the Sinister Scotsman heads towards the ring with a swagger as he looks to avoid a spot in the Elimination match next week as well. McIntyre nears the ring and Striker suggests that he is a guy who has all the potential in the ring but just needs to start putting it together to survive NXT. Can he move up the rankings with a win tonight?
*** WHAT’S UP? ***
*** R-TRUTH ***
Rapping along to his song, Truth sings and dances his way to the ring with the crowd chanting along with him. Truth is another guy, says Mathews, that hasn’t ignited here on NXT yet but needs a big win to set him on a roll. Truth enters the ring and shouts out to the people of Louisville, Kentucky, before the referee signals for the match to begin ...
MATCH 3 | FATAL 4-WAY MATCH
DOLPH ZIGGLER (7) vs. DREW McINTYRE (5) vs. MVP (4) vs. R-TRUTH (6)
All four men go after each other as they look to impress their mentors and earn an important win as they look to prolong their stays on NXT. There is tension in the air early as Drew McIntyre and MVP come to blows – both members of Team JBL of course – which McIntyre isn’t impressed about. However, Ziggler is the one who impresses in the early stages and he almost gets a big win when he takes MVP down with a Sleeper Hold. As it appears that MVP is about to pass out, Ziggler is denied victory by R-Truth when he kicks him in the head to break it and ensure the match continues. The match moves onwards with all four men desperate to get the win and when Dolph Ziggler hits the ZIG ZAG on R-Truth, things look good for Ziggler. He makes the cover on Truth but MVP breaks the pinfall and tosses Ziggler out of the ring. As Truth gets to his feet, MVP hits the DRIVE BY KICK that crashes him down to the mat. MVP looks for the cover but Drew McIntyre breaks the hold and then drags Truth out of the ring from the outside and then rams him shoulder first into the steel steps. As Drew gets back into the ring, MVP catches him an unexpected kick to the head but McIntyre kicks out at 2. MVP steps back before attempting to hit the PLAY OF THE DAY – however, the move is countered by McIntyre who spins round and hits a Big Boot and knocks him down to the mat before locking him up ready ... FUTURESHOCK DDT FROM DREW McINTYRE! He makes the cover and hooks the leg ...
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DREW McINTYRE (8:24)
McIntyre jumps up in celebration as he moves up to fourth place in the rankings thanks to this victory and avoids having to face the NXT Elimination Match next week. As Drew backs away up the ramp with a huge smile on his face, Striker informs us about how that impacts the rankings. McIntyre is now in fourth place thanks to the win, MVP has fallen to seventh after his defeat and that leaves Truth in fifth whilst Ziggler is sixth. Mathews informs us that next week’s Elimination Match will definitely feature MVP but his opponent is as yet undecided. If Kaval defeats Khali later, Khali will fall to eighth and will face MVP next week. If Khali beats Kaval later, Kaval’s immunity will mean that MVP will face sixth placed Ziggler instead.
Backstage, JBL is still sat down looking annoyed. He is now joined by Vladimir Kozlov who sits alongside him and speaks in very broken English. He tells him that he has decided to face Santino Marella next week in a Street Fight but JBL doesn’t react. He continues to stare forwards and Kozlov exits the locker room with a look of worry on his face before the cameras return to the ring ...
*** RULE BRITANNIA ***
*** BRITISH EMPIRE ***
WILLIAM REGAL & MASON RYAN (Tag Team Champions) & FINLAY
Waving their Union Jack flags, the Empire head towards the ring with the newly won Tag Team Championships around the waists of Regal and Ryan. They look delighted to be the new Tag Team Champions as they head to the ring taunting the WWE Universe as they give them grief. Mathews and Striker remind us of the way the Empire won the title on Sunday – in the Tag Team Turmoil match where they defeated Hart Dynasty in controversial circumstances and then Mark Henry and Evan Bourne as well as, allegedly, taking out Cryme Time before they had chance to come out from the backstage area.
*** RADIO ***
*** ZACK RYDER & CURT HAWKINS ***
The former Tag Team Champions head out together and they appear to be on the same page as they head towards the ring. Striker reminds us that they lost to the Hart Dynasty in the Tag Team Turmoil match but never actually met the British Empire ... Can they regain their Tag Team Championships tonight?
MATCH 4 | TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
WILLIAM REGAL & MASON RYAN (c) (w/Finlay) vs. ZACK RYDER & CURT HAWKINS
Ryder and Hawkins have the advantage of the fans on their side as the match kicks off and they look to be intent on taking back their titles as they work brilliantly as a team to go after William Regal. As Ryder looks to finish Regal off early, Finlay tries to distract him but Ryder just shoves him down off the apron and goes back after Regal. Ryder misses with the Rough Ryder though and it allows Regal to make a tag to the Welshman, Mason Ryan. In comes Ryan and he steamrollers over Ryder at first and forces him to tag out to Hawkins. Once Hawkins comes in, Ryan whips him off the ropes and then crashes him down to the mat with a huge spinebuster. Things are beginning to look bleak for the Broskis as Ryan lifts Hawkins up high and powerbombs him down to the mat before tagging in a confident looking William Regal. Hawkins is desperately trying to scramble to his corner to tag Ryder back in but the Long Island Iced Z is still getting back there himself, Regal catches him and locks in the REGAL STRETCH! The referee drops to his knees besides Hawkins as he tries to hang on, Ryder is about to come in and break the hold when Finlay strikes – out of the referee’s vision again – with a flagpole shot to the knee of Ryder. Hawkins squirms and tries to fight but it isn’t to be ...
** TAP **
** TAP **
** TAP **
WILLIAM REGAL & MASON RYAN (5:05)
As ‘Rule Britannia’ echoes around the arena once again, the crowd give a firm thumbs down for the dirty, cheating ways of the Empire as they are handed back their title belts by the referee. Holding them up high, the Empire then exit from the ring with their title reigns now confirmed and, with Finlay by their side, the Tag Team Champions head back to the backstage area. Ryder and Hawkins are still in the ring, Ryder clutching at his knee and Hawkins holding his shoulder. As has become the norm recently, Hawkins looks pissed off at Ryder and he lets him know it by pointing his finger at him and berating him. Ryder looks stunned but tries to verbally defend himself – Hawkins is having none of it. He theatrically tells Ryder to get out of his way and he heads towards the ropes ... But Ryder has had enough. He spins Curt back around and argues back, the crowd behind him, before Hawkins tries to throw a punch at his partner. However, it appears Ryder was expecting it, ducks and hits the ropes before hitting the ROUGH RYDER to a big ovation from the crowd. As a disappointed Ryder looks down on Hawkins on the mat, he smirks and looks around at the WWE Universe who seem to be happy with his turn here.
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
THIS MONDAY: MONDAY NIGHT RAW LIVE!
Catch the Fatal 4-Way match to determine the Number 1 contender for Wade Barrett’s WWE Championship! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
NXT returns with replays of the confrontation between Ryder and Hawkins from before the commercial break and then shows footage of Hawkins backstage swearing revenge on his partner. Striker laughs and says that it appears that those two needed the titles to keep them together before wondering what will be next on the British Empire’s list of intentions. The music hits for Great Khali though and it appears it is time for our main event match ...
*** LAND OF FIVE RIVERS ***
*** GREAT KHALI ***
The ever popular Punjab makes his way to the ring dancing and pointing as he smiles along with his brother, Runjin Singh, accompanying him as ever. As Khali approaches the ring, Mathews reminds us that Khali is the current NXT Number 1 but that by accepting this match tonight, he could tumble to eighth if he loses and end up facing MVP in the NXT Elimination Match next week.
*** EXPLODING HELMETS ***
*** KAVAL ***
For the second time this evening, Kaval makes his way towards the ring as the man who can be ranked anywhere he likes for now due to his double immunity earned in the Royal Rumble PPV on Sunday. Kaval looks to be motivated by his victory in the Battle Royal and he seems to be relishing the chance to prove the world wrong as he faces up to the giant Khali here tonight. Could Kaval make his way to Number 1 tonight?
MAIN EVENT | SINGLES MATCH
GREAT KHALI (1) (w/Runjin Singh) vs. KAVAL (8)
Kaval explodes out of the blocks and hits a series of kicks and flying moves as he looks to use his pace to outwit and disorientate his huge opponent. However, every tiny little move that Khali connects with makes a huge difference as it rattles Kaval to the core, every slap, every shove and every clothesline. Kaval continues to go at it but he cannot take Khali down and then he runs into a huge chop to the shoulder by Khali that threatens a three count but doesn’t deliver one. Finally, a series of kicks to the thigh and knees from Kaval to Khali manage to take the Punjabi Playboy down to a knee and then Kaval, quick as a flash, jumps to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick that knocks Khali down to his back for the first time. Kaval again rushes to the top rope and steadies himself before coming off it ... THE WARRIORS WAY DOUBLE FOOT STOMP! Connects! Khali clutches his chest and stomach as the two feet of Kaval drop down on him, he makes the cover ... Kick out from Khali! He throws Kaval off him as if swotting a fly! Kaval cannot believe it and misses with a roundhouse kick, this allows Khali to hit another chop to the head that reduces Kaval to a wreck on the mat. Khali drags him up and sets it up ... PUNJABI PLUNGE! It’s surely over now!
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GREAT KHALI (4:43)
Sportingly, Khali helps Kaval to his feet afterwards and shakes his hand before celebrating his victory and his retention of top spot in NXT by dancing his way up the ramp again and out of the arena. Striker informs us that the ranking places of these two don’t change and that – as a result of Kaval’s immunity – the lowest two ranked wrestlers eligible for elimination are ...
Dolph Ziggler and MVP who will meet next week in the first NXT Elimination match! As a wounded Kaval makes to leave the ring though, the stock market bell sounds and his mentor begins to head out ...
*** LONGHORN ***
*** NXT MENTOR: JOHN ‘BRADSHAW’ LAYFIELD ***
Shaking his head, JBL heads out – not in his limo tonight – and walks straight down to the ring. He marches up the ring steps and steps defiantly into the ring before staring straight at Kaval who has stayed there waiting. JBL smirks at Kaval and then ignores him as the eighth placed NXT competitor makes his way out. As he leaves, JBL begins to speak at last and he sarcastically congratulates Kaval on ‘another’ fantastic NXT performance before telling him that he was lucky to win on Sunday. Kaval thinks about rounding on him and heading back down but he decides against it in the end and simply walks out. JBL addresses the crowd and challenges the other NXT mentor, The Rock, to get out here. He goes on to suggest that Rock clearly has a problem with JBL being the better NXT mentor and that his actions on Sunday – costing his man, Drew McIntyre, the Battle Royal and then eliminating him from the Rumble – showed how scared he was of Team JBL winning the NXT competition. JBL again dares Rock to come out here and then waits for a response ...
*** IF YA SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN’ ***
*** THE ROCK ***
Another huge reaction for Rock as his music strikes and his entrance to confront JBL begins ... Or does it? Despite his music beginning, there is no sign of the Rock! JBL stands waiting in the ring but there continues to be no sign of Rock ... The camera switches backstage and we see that there is a commotion there. On the floor, with a steel pipe nearby, is the Great One, the Rock, laying face down and clearly injured as a result of an attack from someone. A crowd of medics and officials is gathering around him and they can be heard to shout to each other about ‘What happened?’ and ‘Who did this?’ although there appears to be very little information about it. Rock’s music dies out and the cameras focus on the injured mentor on the floor, not moving, completely out cold. Back in the ring, the cameras focus on JBL who is smiling to himself for the first time tonight as NXT goes off the air on an ugly note ...