Great episode on RAW, I really really loved it when you started it off with Nexus, and Barrett talking about the people who he has beaten as of late for the WWE Championship including Angle last night and how at the Royal Rumble he plans on beating Triple H to retain his WWE Championship and once again still remain the WWE Champion, until HHH cuts him off telling him like how it is in that Barrett during his title reign he did beat all those guys but he sure as hell had a lot of help to do it, pretty much making Barrett look weak in that he can't beat anyone all on his own, and that at the Royal Rumble he will beat Barrett to become the new WWE Champion
Orton beats Riley in convincing fashion, I love how my man Orton beat Riley, and Orton can't be in a good mood especially after what Cena did by getting a fluke win over my boy, using tights as leverage to win, and Orton wants Cena again, and I sure hope Butty makes it happen and we do get to see that match at the Royal Rumble
And Orton with the protest not moving not going anywhere until he gets his match with Cena, and then HBK comes out and tells him that personally he would have made the match if he wanted to but he can't because Cena is a Smackdown superstar and it is all up to Michael Cole and apologizing to him about that and that Cena is banned from RAW and Orton is banned from Smackdown, that ruling sucks
Sheamus & The Miz beating John Morrison & Santino, I loved it when Edge interfered and he spears Morrison, Edge is back on RAW and more destructive than ever
Edge & HBK segment I loved it, Edge will be in the Rumble mark my words
And Cole comes into the ring, I hope Cole one of these days he gets what's coming to him, he either gets Knocked Out by Big Show with that right hand or Undertaker gives him either the Hell's Gate submission hold or Undertaker gives him a Tombstone Piledriver or he gets an RKO
Kharma is impressive, she's not someone to mess with
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP @ ROYAL RUMBLE
It appears that WWE is building towards a Royal Rumble clash between WWE Champion Wade Barrett and the Number 1 contender, Triple H. However, on RAW this week, the waters were muddied by the victory of Kurt Angle over the Nexus leader, Barrett, in the main event. With many speculating that it would be Triple H to pull out the upset when the match altered to a 5 vs. 2 contest, Angle getting the 3-count opens the storyline up to a possible Triple Threat match instead. Although the WWE are yet to confirm anything about next week’s RAW, it will be interesting to see how Kurt Angle acts next week to see if there will be an extra man in the title hunt or not.
ROYAL RUMBLE ON THE HORIZON
WWE confirmed on Monday night that the Royal Rumble will not be expanding to a 40-man contest as recently rumoured – RAW General Manager Shawn Michaels clearly mentioned that it would be a 30-man match when he confronted Edge. With the event emanating from Cleveland, Ohio, The Miz is obviously being built up as a potential victor in his home town although few believe WWE will waste the Money in the Bank contract by having Miz win the Rumble match as well. Others who appear to be in the frame – at least based on what we know from RAW – are Sheamus, Edge and RVD whilst the situation remains unclear about SMACKDOWN which could go in all kinds of directions following the appointment of Michael Cole as General Manager. With Randy Orton being refused a shot at John Cena by Cole, this could lead to the Viper entering the Royal Rumble and could be a story line to take him to a WrestleMania match with the afore mentioned Cena if he won the title at Elimination Chamber.
UNDERTAKER RETURNS TO SMACKDOWN
As announced by Michael Cole on RAW this week, The Undertaker returns to action this Friday night on SMACKDOWN after his appearance at Vengeance to deny Kane the World Heavyweight Championship. Whether the Brothers of Destruction will feud again is unclear but there are strong rumours coming out of the WWE that the pair will not meet on PPV after poor viewing figures for SMACKDOWN during their feud around Summerslam and Night of Champions. SMACKDOWN is certainly now stacking up the talent with Undertaker back, Cena joining and World Champion CM Punk all on the blue brand. With other SMACKDOWN superstars receiving pushes as well – Christian and Kofi Kingston – it is becoming an exciting time to watch SMACKDOWN with many speculating that Friday nights are more entertaining than Monday nights right now.
NXT SEASON 3!
After the recent skirmishes on RAW and on PPV, it appears that Rock and JBL, the NXT Legend Mentors, are prepared to get physical on NXT Season 3 as they lead their teams into the show which starts tonight. Great Khali and Vladimir Kozlov were announced as the final participants on the show with Khali joining Kaval, Drew McIntyre and MVP on JBL’s team and Kozlov joining Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth and Chavo Guerrero on Team Rock. WWE are promoting the idea that three of the eight will retain their jobs with the WWE and the rumours are that this is really happening – all eight men have contracts expiring and WWE are going to use NXT to assess their positions with the company. The early favourites appear to be Drew McIntyre as JBL’s favourite, Kaval as the underdog and Chavo Guerrero. It is – as yet – unclear how the characters of MVP, R-Truth and Dolph Ziggler will be used and whether there will be any face/heel changes to fit with their mentors.
Here is the first NXT show. It is in recap form but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the storylines and how the show plays out. It isn’t my best writing like I do for RAW and PPV’s but I think it is an important part of building some new stars in my BT and focussing on some of the less established aspects of the WWE – for example, you’ll see a lot of Divas Championship action on NXT as well. Hope you enjoy!
Tuesday December 28th, 2010 | Amway Arena, Orlando, Florida
A video is played before the start of NXT that highlights the success of the NXT participants in Season 1 of NXT as the voiceover speaks about how Wade Barrett won the first season and then led the other members of that show into the WWE where they have dominated since. Soundbites of Wade Barrett’s comments from RAW are played where he outlines the success of the Nexus since they arrived on RAW and there are shots of him securing big WWE Championship wins over Randy Orton on RAW and over Kurt Angle at Vengeance. Also shown are Daniel Bryan and Justin Gabriel with their United States Championships and the voiceover comments on the achievements and feuds that have spun off from their NXT days. The tone of the video then changes as Kaval is shown winning NXT Season 2 and the lack of achievement by him. Clips from SMACKDOWN are played where Michael Cole questions his hopes of a career in the WWE. The voiceover questions the success of NXT Season 2 and then shows Chip Butty whilst announcing his decision to ensure NXT Season 3 is more successful – and to force Kaval to prove that he deserves to be here in the WWE after all. It also announces seven other men who will enter the NXT competition with their WWE futures on the line before showing the legendary mentors chosen to ensure that the highest WWE standards are met by any of the men who wish to remain and establish themselves as WWE superstars. Clips of the legendary careers of JBL and The Rock are shown before the video announces that it is time to get started on the road to success or failure, the road – for these eight men – to WrestleMania 27 and the chance to prove themselves as deserving of being known as one of the best in the WWE ...
After the usual shots of the excited crowd are shown, NXT begins with Matt Striker leaving the announce table to introduce the new season of NXT. He welcomes everybody to the show and tells us that gone are the silly gimmicks and competitions, this show will be all about proving that you are able to get the job done in the ring and are a future WWE or World Champion. Striker informs us that NXT Season 3 will feature a rankings system and that the superstars need to try and stay away from the bottom of the rankings where they will be in danger of elimination. He announces that the way to move up the rankings will be by defeating those already in those positions – for example, to become the Number 1 rank, you have to challenge and defeat the current #1 rank. Striker identifies that people are probably wondering how the first rankings will be established: over the next three weeks, there will be a series of matches to determine this. Tonight, there will be two 4-man elimination matches – one between the members of Team JBL, the other between the members of Team Rock. The first men eliminated will face each other to determine Rank 7 and 8, the two winners will face each other to determine Rank 1 and 2 and so on ... There will also be a number of other matches featuring other WWE superstars – tonight we will see a Divas Championship Number 1 contender match between Maryse and Natalya for example - but Striker says that it is now time to get the action started with the first of the 4-man elimination contests.
*** IF YA’ SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN’ ***
The People’s Champion
The crowd go wild as the first of the two legend mentors heads out – and it is the home-state hero, The Rock! The Great One heads for the ring with a determined look in his eyes, dressed in his usual attire of black sports trousers and a custom made ‘TEAM BRING IT’ t-shirt and seems oblivious of the crowd reaction until he stands in the middle of the ring with a microphone. Drinking in the ‘Rocky!’ chants, Rock waits for a while before he begins to address the crowd. He tells everybody that he is pumped up for NXT and that finally he is back in Orlando! He talks about his career in the WWE and how he wants to pass on his experiences, how he wants his team to learn from one of the very best and become the next WWE legend. Rock speaks of his desire to ‘layeth the smacketh down’ on any candy-ass that either gets in the way of this or that fails to heed his advice. A loud ‘Excuse Me!’ follows and out walks Vickie Guerrero to the obvious displeasure of Rock. He cocks his eye towards her and she proceeds to introduce her man – Dolph Ziggler!
*** I AM PERFECTION ***
Hollywood, Florida | 223 pounds
Vickie and Dolph walk to the ring with Ziggler looking immensely confident that tonight is the start of his NXT dominance. They enter the ring where Rock remains and the music fades to allow Vickie to speak more towards Rock. She tells Rock that the only person around here who will be kicking candy-asses will be her man, the man of perfection, Dolph Ziggler. She hands the microphone over to Ziggler and he looks around the arena here in Florida. He butters them up and reminds them that the two greatest men to ever come out of Florida are in the ring right now. He then turns to Rock and tells him that one day, if he keeps trying hard, he might reach Dolph’s level. He laughs off the idea that he has anything to learn from the ‘Great One’ and proceeds to bad mouth Rock as he tells him that he has been away from the WWE for over 6 years now and that he is clearly scared of being in the ring with him. Rock laughs at him before coming back with his usual patter including cutting Ziggler off with ‘It doesn’t matter what you think!’ which gets a great reaction. Rock tells Ziggler to listen hard – if he works hard and listens to him, the world is there for him. He can be the star man of NXT, win at WrestleMania and use the show as the springboard to superstardom. Rock takes the chance to inform every one of his team that they can win NXT if they make the right choices – he turns to Ziggler and tells him the best thing he could do right now would be to dump Vickie Guerrero right now! Vickie looks unimpressed and she slaps the Rock hard across the face ... Ziggler stands in front of Vickie as Rock recovers and heads towards her ... Rock considers his actions for a moment ... ROCK BOTTOM TO DOLPH ZIGGLER!
With Ziggler down and Vickie screaming at him, Rock heads out of the ring and starts to make his way back up the ramp when JBL appears on the titantron. He tells Rock to stop and asks him if he has considered his proposal from earlier. Rock stops and thinks for a moment before growling into the microphone – “You’re on!” JBL smiles a wide smile as Rock heads backstage and he proceeds to inform us that Rock and himself have made a trade. On one hand, Rock has taken a complete and utter loser onto his team whilst he, the great JBL, has taken a man who he thinks could win NXT Season 3. He doesn’t name the name but says that Orlando, Florida, a city full of morons, should get ready to laugh at the man that he has traded to Team Rock ...
*** LAND OF FIVE RIVERS ***
Punjab, India | 347 pounds
Khali, who couldn’t understand JBL anyway, heads out dancing and waving whilst his younger brother and interpreter, Runjin Singh, looks thoughtful as he heads down to the ring. Khali climbs over the top rope and into the ring where he dances near Dolph Ziggler who is on his knees and looking furious after being on the end of a Rock Bottom. Khali looks down on Vickie and smiles; he goes to kiss Vickie but she screams in terror and manages to escape instead to the amusement of Khali.
*** CHAVITO ARDIENTE ***
El Paso, Texas | 215 pounds
The popular Mexican makes his way to the ring and he stands in the corner ropes pointing to the heavens towards his Uncle Eddie. Striker and Josh Mathews remind us that Chavo has promised to win NXT Season 3 and then win the World or WWE Title in homage to his Uncle Eddie Guerrero as the crowd chant ‘Eddie!’ to Chavo. Chavo claps his hands in appreciation before the last member of Team Rock heads for the ring as well ...
*** WHAT’S UP? ***
Charlotte, North Carolina | 220 pounds
Rapping and dancing as usual, R-Truth heads for the ring looking ready for the competition ahead of him. The crowd sing along with Truth as he raps before he dances his way into the ring and encourages Orlando, Florida, to shout ‘What’s up?’ to him. Truth hands over the microphone and prepares for the match.
MATCH 1 | 4-MAN ELIMINATION MATCH
CHAVO GUERRERO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. GREAT KHALI vs. R-TRUTH
Immediately, Truth and Chavo gets into a competitive grapple as they look to get off to a good start here on NXT leaving the still recovering Dolph Ziggler and Great Khali. Vickie Guerrero, angered by Khali trying to kiss her, yells to Dolph to go after Khali and make him pay but Ziggler looks a little reluctant at first. Eventually, Ziggler goes after Khali but he gets knocked down quickly with a chop to the head that delights the fans. Chavo has gained the upper hand over Truth as he lifts him up for a back suplex but Truth rolls through and counters with a Bicycle Kick that sends Chavo crashing down. Truth continues to control their fight as Khali dominates Ziggler with a headbutt followed by a nerve hold that keeps Ziggler down on the mat in agony. Realising that her man is in a little trouble, Vickie jumps up on the apron and distracts Khali. However, she picks a bad moment to be up there as Chavo is whipped across the ring by Truth and he collides with her and knocks her off the apron to the floor. Khali and Chavo stop and look down on Chavo’s Aunt Vickie and both of them laugh in amusement. Truth though is focused and he catches Chavo with a calf kick to retain control. Khali is not watching Dolph and he is up on his feet, slowly. Recovering from his beating pre-match and from Khali during, Ziggler finds some energy to rush over and jump onto Khali’s back to lock in the Sleeper. Ziggler has defeated Khali before with this move but this time Khali manages to stay on his feet and he holds the rope. With the referee trying to break Ziggler’s sleeper, Khali drags him down anyway and slams him down on his back. As Dolph gets up, Khali grabs him with the double choke hold ... PUNJABI PLUNGE TO ZIGGLER!
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
DOLPH ZIGGLER (3:06)
Truth and Chavo stand over the opposite side of the ring and they look over at Khali who has just eliminated Ziggler. With a knowing look to each other, they both rush over and catch the Indian by surprise with a barrage of hands that stagger him back into the corner. Truth and Chavo double-team Khali for a while but he never seems to be down and beaten as he occasionally shoves them away and tries to fight back. However, in the end, TRUTH HITS THE CORKSCREW SCISSORS KICK that leaves Khali down and out on his back. Truth goes for the cover ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** Khali manages to kick out! **
Staring at each other in disbelief, Truth and Chavo cannot believe it. Truth kicks Khali a few times to keep him down but now it is Chavo’s turn to try and finish the big man. Climbing to the top rope, the crowd chant the name of ‘Eddie!’ again as Chavo looks for his big finisher. Chavo sails off the top rope looking for the FROG SPLASH ... but he misses! With Chavo down clutching his gut, Khali gets to his feet and he chops Truth in the head to stagger him back. He whips Truth into the ropes ... Fallaway Slam! Khali doesn’t cover Truth though and he turns his attention towards Chavo Guerrero instead – scooping Chavo up, he delays for a while before slamming him down on his back. With Chavo down, Khali waits for Truth to get up before hitting a massive boot to the side of his head. Khali is in control and he covers Truth ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
As Truth rolls out of the ring, Josh Mathews and Matt Striker remind us that the order of elimination is important as it determines the ranking match each superstar will be in next week. Ziggler is in the match for ranking 7, R-Truth is now in the match for ranking 5 and these two men will now battle for the place in the top ranking match. Chavo looks worried though and he has every right to be. A dropkick from the Mexican staggers Khali back and Chavo mounts him in the corner to launch unsophisticated right hands to the big man. However, Khali manages to shove Chavo away and down to the mat. A short arm clothesline follows and Chavo is down on the mat with Khali stood over him dancing again. Khali drags Chavo up again and he clutches him with a double choke hold ... here it comes! ANOTHER PUNJABI PLUNGE FROM GREAT KHALI! Chavo is down and out, Khali with the cover ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
GREAT KHALI (8:37)
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN RETURNS THIS FRIDAY WITH A NEW YEAR’S EVE SPECIAL!
Catch the first official night of the Michael Cole era as well as World Champion CM Punk speaking about his win at Vengeance! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
A replay of the ending of the previous match is shown and Khali is shown dominating the other three men in the match. Striker and Mathews discuss how dominant Great Khali seemed to be tonight and whether or not JBL might be regretting his decision to trade Khali away. They have deduced that the man that Rock must have traded away for Khali is Vladimir Kozlov – he is the Team Rock member that didn’t come out for the match – and this is confirmed as the camera switches backstage for a shot of the locker room where four-fifths of Team JBL are stood: mentor JBL, Drew McIntyre, Vladimir Kozlov and an uncomfortable looking MVP. They are discussing something in heated whispers but it seems as if JBL is laying down the law to his team ahead of their main event elimination match later tonight. In walks the other member of the team in Kaval and the rest of the team break apart. Kaval asks what they were discussing but JBL dismisses it and tells him that he’d better be concentrating on impressing him tonight – he isn’t impressed with what he has seen of Kaval so far in his WWE career. Kaval tells JBL that he should not underestimate him due to his lack of size but JBL isn’t buying that and he tells Kaval that he prefers to have big men ... Kaval s......s at this comment and it takes JBL a second to realise what he has just inadvertently said. JBL asks Kaval if he thinks it is funny to disrespect him and advises him not to go down that road. He tells him that if he gets his way, Kaval will be the first man eliminated from NXT and the WWE and that he is not going to be wasting his time on him. JBL suddenly slaps Kaval around the face and then walks out of the locker room where McIntyre and Kozlov immediately follow. MVP looks at Kaval a little helplessly and follows as well – Kaval stands in the locker room feeling his face and looking angry over what he just heard.
*** NASTY GIRL ***
With her Divas Championship belt, Layla heads out from backstage with a huge smile on her face as she waves to the crowd. She heads for the ring slapping hands with the fans at ringside before climbing up the steps and then into the ring. She is handed a microphone and she tells the WWE Universe that she is delighted to be here on NXT tonight. She has a message for the WWE Divas – she is the Divas Champion and she is willing to defend it against anybody – including Michelle McCool when she has earned her chance. Layla says that her former Laycool partner is clearly aware that she is not as good in the ring as her which is why she has brought in the bodyguard that she introduced to the world on RAW. Layla says that she is moving on from Laycool now though and she is out here to watch the Number 1 contenders match between two Divas who are determined to prove that they are worthy of challenging her. Layla heads out of the ring and sits beside Matt Striker and Josh Mathews at the announce table.
*** POURQUOI? ***
Montreal, Quebec, Canada | 126 pounds
The arrogant but beautiful French-Canadian diva, Maryse, heads for the ring holding her hands up to the fans in her usual way. She struts to the ring refusing to look or speak to any of the WWE Universe and heads into the ring where she removes her coat and drops it over the ropes. She smiles fakely at Layla at the announce table and signals for the Divas Championship; Layla challenges her to earn her shot and then the music of Maryse’s opponent interrupts her ...
*** NEW FOUNDATION ***
Calgary, Alberta, Canada | 140 pounds
In contrast to Maryse, Natalya slaps hands and waves to the WWE Universe who are cheering her on her way towards the ring for the Number 1 contender match. She salutes the crowd as she rolls into the ring and then smiles to Layla and points at the Divas Championship – Layla smiles back as Natalya is not threatening her. The referee holds Maryse back as she looks for a cheap shot to get control early – he is going to ring the bell and start the match in his own time.
MATCH 2 | SINGLES MATCH TO DETERMINE DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP NUMBER 1 CONTENDER
MARYSE vs. NATALYA
The referee signals for the bell and the match gets under way. In the early stages, Natalya gets on top and begins to dominate with her hard-hitting, traditional wrestling moves that she has learnt from many of her family members like Uncle Bret, Grandad Stu and her father, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. Nattie shows her strength as she lifts Maryse and slams her down onto the mat hard before waiting for Maryse to get back up. German suplex from Natalya gets her a 2-count before Maryse kicks out. Natalya looks to hit a discus clothesline and connects – Maryse crashes down to the mat. Nattie looks to lock Maryse up in the Sharpshooter and manages to get her turned over onto her front. However, Maryse is too near the ropes and she manages to drag herself and Natalya to the bottom rope before she can get set in the submission move. The referee orders Nattie to break the hold – which she does – but Maryse doesn’t respect this clean break and slaps Natalya hard in the face. With Natalya stunned for a second, Maryse whips her to the ropes and spins her round for a side backbreaker that leaves Natalya writhing on the mat. Maryse gets a 2-count before dragging her opponent to her feet and hitting a forward Russian legsweep that crashes her down. The Camel Clutch is locked in by Maryse and this submission hold is locked in properly – Maryse rips the hair of Natalya though and the referee catches her and breaks the hold. A fortunate moment for Natalya who was struggling to escape. Maryse argues with the referee and Natalya takes advantage with a kick to the gut and then a snap suplex that gets her a 2-count. Again, Nattie looks to lock Maryse into the Sharpshooter. Maryse panics and struggles to escape but Natalya is too strong as she starts to step through. A yank of her hair – behind the referee’s back – allows Maryse to escape from Natalya and she rolls her up for a surprise pin – Maryse holds on to the ropes to increase the leverage ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
‘Pourquoi?’ blasts out as Maryse quickly rolls out of the ring and backs her way up the ramp with a huge smile on her face. Natalya complains to the referee that Maryse held the ropes and Layla also joins her in the ring to point this out. The referee is not listening though, he didn’t see it and he heads out of the ring and raises Maryse’s arm. She pulls it away from him and tells him to leave her alone before she looks up at the defeated Natalya and the Divas Champion Layla as they stand in the ring watching her leave. Layla shakes her head at Maryse, she is unimpressed. However, Maryse doesn’t care and she signals to Layla that she is going to become the new Divas Champion when they meet in the future.
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
THE ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA 27 STARTS HERE – FOUR WEEKS AWAY!
Join us in Cleveland, Ohio, as 30 men look to win the Royal Rumble and advance to WrestleMania 27!
Which man will outlast the other 29 and earn a shot at the title? *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
NXT returns with Todd Grisham backstage with the winner of the last match, Maryse, who now has a future shot at the WWE Divas Championship. He announces that Layla will defend the title against Maryse in two weeks time on NXT and then asks her if she thinks that she can beat Layla for the title – Maryse looks unimpressed. She ignores him and snatches the microphone before holding her hand up to him to shoo him away. She looks at the camera and starts speaking French but the message is clear – she will defeat Layla and become the Divas Champion.
The cameras switch back to the arena where a WWE superstar who is not a part of the NXT competition is on his way to the ring ...
*** LA VITTORIA E MIA ***
Santino is his usual happy-go-lucky self as he heads to the ring interacting with the fans as he does so. He rolls into the ring and throws his ‘Cobra’ puppet from his hand out into the WWE crowd before beckoning for a microphone. In broken English with an Italian accent, Santino tells the WWE Universe that he has come to visit NXT to wish his former tag team partner Vladimir Kozlov luck as he tries to win the competition. Santino tells the NXT audience that he loved his time working with Kozlov and that he was his favourite partner. He talks about their success as the Tag Team Champions and beckons for his former partner to come out so he can wish him luck.
*** PAIN ***
Moscow, Russia | 302 pounds
Vladimir Kozlov heads out to the ring dressed ready for the ‘Team JBL’ Elimination Match which is due to start next. Kozlov heads into the ring and he stands opposite Santino who greets his former partner with a hug. Kozlov smiles a little and Santino speaks to him and wishes him luck. He says to the Russian that when he wins NXT, he would be honoured to team with him again when he returns to RAW and SMACKDOWN. Kozlov smiles and he looks happy that his friend is here to wish him luck. Another theme plays though and out comes Kozlov’s mentor ...
*** LONGHORN ***
NXT Legend Mentor
JOHN BRADSHAW LAYFIELD
JBL heads for the ring with a microphone in his hand looking annoyed. As he approaches the ring, he signals for his music to be turned down before he speaks – he tells Kozlov that he could win the NXT competition and that he has high hopes for him over the coming months. JBL questions Kozlov’s recent run with his partner, Santino. He tells JBL that Santino Marella made him a laughing stock. He points out to Kozlov that when he first arrived in WWE, he was a wrecking machine, a man who was trying to win the WWE Championship. Since he teamed with Santino, he has become a fan favourite who nobody fears. Kozlov studies his mentor as he speaks and JBL tells him that if he continues to let Santino make a joke out of him, he has no chance of winning NXT. Santino tells JBL to stop being a ‘party pooper’ and that Vladimir Kozlov will win NXT! Suddenly, Kozlov grabs Santino and lifts him into the Iron Curtain – KOZLOV HITS THE IRON CURTAIN ON HIS FRIEND, SANTINO MARELLA! The WWE Universe boo and jeer the actions of Kozlov but JBL smiles widely as he drops out of the ring and heads for the announce table. He grabs a steel chair and he throws it into the ring towards the Russian with a knowing look on his face. He speaks to Kozlov once more – he tells him that he is not a joke, he is a wrecking machine! Kozlov nods in agreement and he waits for Santino to get to his feet – BAM! Santino is levelled by Kozlov ... Three more chair shots to the back of the Italian follow and Kozlov then stands over his former partner with a disgusted look on his face. He throws the chair down and raises his arms up as the crowd jeer him. Medics head out and they start to help Santino out of the ring as Kozliv stands in the corner ready for the Elimination Match coming next ...
NXT returns with Kozlov still standing in the ring and Josh Matthews and Matt Striker replay the footage from before the break as Kozlov turned on his former partner, Santino. JBL is now on commentary as well and he justifies the actions of the Russian and tells the WWE Universe that Vladimir Kozlov is now a major threat to the rest of the NXT participants ...
*** BROKEN DREAMS ***
Ayr, Scotland | 254 pounds
As Drew McIntyre heads for the ring, JBL also praises his Scottish ‘Team JBL’ member and says that he believes that the ‘Sinister Scotsman’ could rival Vladimir Kozlov to win the competition. As Drew steps into the ring, he looks towards Kozlov and nods his head – Drew approves of the actions of Kozlov in taking out Santino. McIntyre tells the referee to ensure that he is treated fairly tonight and reminds him that he is the ‘Chosen One’ ...
*** I’M COMIN’ ***
Miami, Florida | 252 pounds
M. V. P.
Still looking uncomfortable and agitated, MVP heads out towards the ring as JBL tells us that he is still unconvinced that MVP has what it takes to win this competition. JBL says that MVP needs to go back to how he was when he first entered WWE – just like Kozlov just did – rather than kissing up to the WWE Universe like he has been doing. MVP looks out towards JBL and his mentor stands up and tells MVP that he should do what he needs to do. MVP looks agitated again and shakes his head ...
*** EXPLODING HELMETS ***
Brooklyn, New York | 174 pounds
The WWE Universe cheer loudly as the ‘underdog’ heads for the ring with a look of worry on his face. He heads for the ring as JBL berates him on commentary and says he is a complete runt and he has no chance to win NXT and should be fired immediately. Kaval salutes the fans as he enters the ring but McIntyre, MVP and Kozlov are all looking towards him. The referee signals for the bell but JBL stands up with the microphone before the bell rings ... He tells MVP, Drew McIntyre and Vladimir Kozlov that they know what he expects them to do. As JBL sits down, the referee looks confused and signals for the bell ...
MATCH 3 | 4-MAN ELIMINATION MATCH
DREW McINTYRE vs. KAVAL vs. MVP vs. VLADIMIR KOZLOV
As soon as the bell rings, with JBL looking on intently, Kozlov and McIntyre immediately begin to slowly advance towards Kaval with menacing looks in their eyes. MVP hesitates and glances over towards JBL who looks back at him as if daring him to defy his orders. Reluctance spread all over his face, MVP heads towards Kaval as well and it appears as though Kaval will be subject to the numbers game as the rest of Team JBL attack him. Backed into the corner, Kaval decides to try and fight and he attacks McIntyre with a right hand. It catches the Scot by surprise but Kozlov manages to grab Kaval and fling him back into the corner. Kaval’s attention turns to the Russian and he starts firing right hands at him forcing him onto the backfoot. With a grimace, MVP takes an opportunity and steps up off Kaval’s leg for a Drive By Kick that flattens the small guy and sends him down to the mat. Drew drops to his knees and starts clobbering Kaval hard with right hands whilst Kozlov stomps at his midriff instead. Eventually, with Kaval struggling, they ease up and drag him to his feet for Drew to take control. He sets up for his finisher ... FUTURE SHOCK DDT TO KAVAL. With his face crashed down into the mat, Kaval is beaten but that isn’t enough for JBL. He orders Drew to feed him to Kozlov instead – IRON CURTAIN DELIVERED BY KOZLOV TO KAVAL! JBL is stood now and he again orders Kaval to be dragged up but this time he wants MVP to finish him off. MVP has a pained expression on his face, he really doesn’t want to do this to Kaval. The NXT Season 2 winner drags himself to the corner as MVP hesitates and sits with his head resting on the bottom turnbuckle. MVP decides that he has to do as he is told and rushes over and hits the Playa’s Boot to the head of Kaval in the corner. MVP drags Kaval to the centre of the ring and makes the pinfall ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
The crowd are booing and jeering JBL and his team although there is an apologetic look on the face of MVP who is clearly uncomfortable with what just happened. As Kaval is helped out – he will face off against Dolph Ziggler in a future NXT show for ranking place 7 – MVP, Drew McIntyre and Vladimir Kozlov turn their attentions to each other as they look to win the match. MVP now seems to be the target for Kozlov and McIntyre as they get started with what is now a Triple Threat match. For a few minutes, McIntyre and Kozlov work together on MVP but this ends when McIntyre takes an opportunity to hit a Big Boot to Kozlov as he works on MVP. Drew goes for a cover and gets a 2-count. Kozlov fights back against McIntyre as he tries to go for the Future Shock DDT and he catches Drew with trapping headbutts before getting a 2-count of his own. This allows MVP time to recover and he does so – when Kozlov clotheslines Drew out of the ring, MVP catches him by surprise with another Drive By kick. Kozlov kicks out easily though and it is clear that NXT has a monster here in the Russian. MVP tries to hit the German Suplex on him but fails and Kozlov responds with a Fallaway Slam that sends MVP halfway across the ring and rolling under the bottom rope. McIntyre drags MVP to his feet on the outside and rams him hard into the steel steps before going back after Kozlov in the ring. A suplex to the Russian gives Drew the advantage but he is unable to lift Kozlov for the Powerbomb. However, as Kozlov goes for a Torture Rack, Drew fights and wriggles clear before a kick to the gut sets up a FUTURE SHOCK DDT TO KOZLOV! Drew appears to have Kozlov beaten ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** Kozlov kicks out! **
McIntyre is in a little bit of shock now and he goes after the referee to complain and moan. MVP slides back into the ring and grasps Drew around the waist. German Suplex! MVP jumps up quickly and whips McIntyre into the ropes before hitting a running belly to belly suplex that crashes Drew down to the mat. Perfect position for MVP to go ‘Ballin’ as he drops a hard fist down onto Drew after some theatrics. The crowd are right behind MVP here and he sets up and hits the PLAY OF THE DAY! Drew McIntyre looks finished, MVP with the cover ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
DREW McINTYRE (9:59)
MVP is delighted with himself as he has eliminated Drew McIntyre from the match and has ensured that in the first NXT rankings, he will be in the top four places at least. In the battle for 5th and 6th in the next two weeks, Drew McIntyre will be facing R-Truth. However, MVP celebrates and admires his work for a second too long as he is caught by Vladimir Kozlov. With the winner set to battle Khali for the first top ranking spot (the loser will face Chavo Guerrero for 3rd place), Kozlov looks to make a statement as he starts to dominate MVP. A Northern Lights suplex gets Kozlov a 2-count as he wears down MVP before hitting an inverted DDT that crashes MVP down back first onto the mat. MVP counters with a sudden kick to the head of Kozlov after he misses with a clothesline and tries to set up for the Play of the Day. However, Kozlov escapes and shoves MVP away from him before hitting a Battering Ram headbutt to MVP as he turns back round. Kozlov now picks MVP up ... IRON CURTAIN! Cover from the Russian ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
VLADIMIR KOZLOV (11:42)
So in the first rankings battles, MVP will face Chavo Guerrero for the right to be third in the first ranking list whereas the two big men – Kozlov and Khali – will face off for the top spot. Striker and Matthews hype up the excitement for the first rankings and quickly recap what happened tonight: Khali dominant for Team Rock, Kaval seemingly outcast by Team JBL, Maryse the new number 1 contender for the Divas Championship and Kozlov’s new attitude as he follows the advice of his mentor, JBL. NXT ends with Kozlov stood on the middle ropes shouting to the crowd in Russian as JBL stands back and applauds him. It appears that Vladimir Kozlov is one of the men to beat in Season 3 of NXT!
Well, this NXT show went very well I thought; you took the little budding stories we've seen on the main shows and brought them onto here, which is very good.
You definitely made the right choice by starting off the Season with the biggest star on the show, that being Mr Johnson. I liked the interaction between him, Dolph and Vickie, and Rock was right in the sense that Ziggler would probably be a lot better without Vickie, and I think that maybe if you even then have Rock tell Dolph that Vickie is the reason that he is even on the show would put in an extra dynamic and then give Dolph a little more of a character.
Khali being on Team Rock is good, and should make for some funny moments between Rocky and Khali. As for the Battle Royal, having Ziggler out first will obviously mean that he can only get Rank 7 AT BEST, which gives him a lot of room to move and grow into as the Season progresses, so having Ziggler take the few early losses and then maybe even put him at Rank 8 will give him the much required kick up the arse and the realisation that he should depart from Vickie's clientèle. Khali winning this battle royal proves that this show is about second chances, and that having the chance to go on Team Rock was a good move and has kind of now blown right back into JBL's face.
Was a funny little innuendo about JBL liking 'big men', and you're already putting out that Kaval is most definitely the outsider on Team JBL, and I hope this culminates in some form of revenge for Kaval later on down in the Season.
Good to see somewhere for the Divas to be, where the division will get some proper exposure. I'm not going to analyse what happened here with them, but do know that I think it is good you now have a place for the division to grow.
Wow... all I can say for the Santino/Kozlov segment. bringing back the monster 'Moscow Mauler' is always a good move (I'm doing something similar in my BTB, but I'm going for a face version of this, still with Santino). JBL getting to Kozlov here is a good move, and further solidifies who you are making us know who JBL's favourites on his team are; after all he proposed the trade to get Kozlov onto his team.
Battle of the giants to decide number one rank!!! Sounds good and both team captains have came out well from this trade, with both of their giants winning the elimination matches.
Just a quick little prediction thing here that I can get for the first show.
First Elimination: R-Truth
Winner: From the first show, it has to be Khali, Kozlov, Ziggler or Kaval
Was a good start to this new season of NXT, and a great addition to your great thread. I can't wait for your Rumble by the way Top stuff, bro.
Me either, I cannot wait until your Royal Rumble either especially since it will be 30 men, and it will be a star-studded Rumble with such names like Orton, Cena, RVD, Edge, Christian, Matt Hardy, the Nexus members of Sheffield, Jackson, Slater, etc., Angle, Miz, Del Rio, Mark Henry, Sheamus, Kane, etc., the list goes on and anyone can win it
Royal Rumble I see Barrett retaining against Triple H somehow, and Barrett going to the Elimination Chamber to defend his WWE Championship inside the Elimination Chamber where Nexus can't help him inside the Chamber, and Barrett loses his WWE Championship that way
And for CM Punk I see him defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Christian and against Matt Hardy in a Triple-Threat Match, with the odds being really stacked against Punk with Punk retaining at the Rumble by pinning Matt Hardy, and then at the Elimination Chamber Punk has to defend his championship at the Chamber inside the Chamber against Kane, Big Show, John Cena, Christian, and Matt Hardy with Cena winning the championship and becoming champion going to Mania as the champion
Friday December 31st, 2010 | Pensacola Civic Center, Pensacola, Florida
Before SMACKDOWN’s opening credits roll, the face of Michael Cole appears on screen in front of a blue SMACKDOWN sign in the backstage area. There are no boos or jeers as this is pre-recorded footage. Cole is smiling and he introduces himself as the new General Manager of SMACKDOWN. He identifies himself as the ‘Voice of the WWE’ that will lead SMACKDOWN into a new era of live Friday night transmission in 2011, the man who will take SMACKDOWN to never before seen heights and the leader of the soon to be most superior brand in WWE. Cole suggests that he has the full backing of the superstars on SMACKDOWN who are committed to ensuring that SMACKDOWN becomes the A-show here in WWE. Cole finishes by declaring that it is now time for the “Michael Cole SMACKDOWN era” to begin!
It appears that Todd Grisham will be the lead commentator on SMACKDOWN and that Michael Cole has made the decision that he will now remain backstage as the General Manager. Grisham and Foley welcome us to a new era on SMACKDOWN and recap what Michael Cole just promised as we head into 2011. Foley wishes everybody a happy New Year as it is New Year’s Eve tonight and Grisham informs us that from next week on, SMACKDOWN will be live on Friday nights. As the crowd start to settle a little though, “Can I have your attention please?” rings out around the arena and the new General Manager starts to make his way towards the ring ...
SMACKDOWN General Manager
As Cole heads towards the ring, he welcomes everybody to the ‘Michael Cole Era’ on SMACKDOWN and again makes promises about SMACKDOWN being the number 1 brand in the WWE and how he will ensure that he does a much better job as SMACKDOWN General Manager than Teddy Long ever did and a much better job than Shawn Michaels is currently doing on Monday Night RAW. Jeers and boos are greeting Cole but he doesn’t seem interested and he steps into the ring with a huge, beaming smile on his face, he is proud to be the SMACKDOWN General Manager. He speaks about how he has achieved his lifelong goal in taking charge of SMACKDOWN and says his next intention is to establish SMACKDOWN as the best brand in the WWE so that he can run both RAW and SMACKDOWN when Shawn Michaels inevitably gets himself fired. He declares that he has the full support and backing of every member of the SMACKDOWN locker room as well as some of the RAW locker room as well – Cole next announces that tonight, his friend The Miz has agreed to appear on SMACKDOWN to help Cole start life on the blue brand with a bang. It appears that Cole has forgotten how Miz left him high and dry at Cyber Sunday when he had to face Jerry Lawler in a ‘Loser Leaves RAW’ match. Cole now moves on to the World Championship and he congratulates CM Punk on winning the Fatal 4-Way at Vengeance to retain his title. He declares that it was a fitting way to end such a historic PPV and says that CM Punk is a champion that SMACKDOWN can be proud of. Cole declares that he hopes to see CM Punk involved in a match at the Royal Rumble that will show just how much better SMACKDOWN is in comparison to RAW. Cole declares that everybody in the SMACKDOWN locker room needs to show that they deserve the chance to compete for the World Championship and that should be their aim over the coming weeks and months. Cole identifies that there are some people on SMACKDOWN who believe that they just have a right to be handed a World Championship match because they have been with the WWE for so long and that they must earn his respect if they want to face CM Punk for the title ...
*** CLOSE YOUR EYES ***
Out comes Christian to a great reception from the WWE Universe; however, he is not smiling and he looks concerned about something as he heads for the ring. Cole doesn’t look pleased that Christian is interrupting him tonight and he stares at Christian as he nears the ring. Christian enters the ring and takes a microphone before standing facing the new SMACKDOWN General Manager. Cole demands to know why he has interrupted him in his first address as GM. Christian responds by reminding Cole that at Vengeance last Sunday, he defeated Matt Hardy and earned himself a shot at the World Championship. Christian is worried that Cole appears to be saying that any of the SMACKDOWN roster could be getting a shot at CM Punk at the Royal Rumble when he clearly became the Number 1 contender when he beat Matt Hardy. Cole laughs and shakes his head at Christian – he informs Christian that when Teddy Long made the match, he stated that it was for an opportunity at the World Championship. Christian looks confused and Cole continues by saying that he is going to respect the decision of the former SMACKDOWN General Manager and give Christian an opportunity. Christian suggests that this means that he is the Number 1 contender but Cole cuts him off. He tells Christian he will get his opportunity tonight here in Penascola. Christian is happy with this and tells Cole that he is going to defeat CM Punk tonight and win the World Championship at last. However, Cole smiles a wicked grin and tells Christian he has misunderstood. Tonight, he gets an opportunity to be the World Champion – because he will be participating in a Number 1 contender match. Christian looks a little deflated as Cole continues by telling Christian that he thinks he didn’t do enough at Vengeance to convince him to give him a shot at the title. However, if he wins tonight, he will face CM Punk at the Royal Rumble. The crowd boo as Christian asks who he will be facing. Cole announces that tonight’s main event will be a Number 1 contender match for the World Championship and it will be Christian ... against John Cena! Cole exits the ring as Christian stares around the arena in disbelief – the WWE Universe believe that Cole has just screwed Christian out of what he deserved, a shot at the World Championship. Christian watches Cole walk away up the ramp and then calls for him to wait. He tells Cole that he can try and hold him down as much as he wants but he is determined to be the World Champion and he will make it to the Royal Rumble. Cole laughs at him mockingly before Christian informs him that he will beat Cena tonight for all the Peeps in Penascola. The crowd cheer him on as Christian finishes by telling Cole that whatever faults Teddy Long may have had, he knows that Cole will never be half the General Manager he was. Cole looks angry as Christian’s music blasts out around the arena – Grisham and Foley speculate about whether Christian just made a huge mistake or not by upsetting the new boss of SMACKDOWN?
Foley and Grisham hype up the first contest of the night as a graphic is shown – it will be the World Heavyweight Champion himself, CM Punk, going one on one with the Devil’s Favourite Demon, Kane. They also hype up the return of the Undertaker who will face Jack Swagger later tonight as well ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns with the World Champion, CM Punk, stood with Josh Mathews in the interview area with his big, gold belt around his waist. He is dressed ready for action in a custom-made CM Punk t-shirt as Mathews begins the interview by asking Punk how hard it was to retain the title last Sunday at Vengeance. Punk says that he realises that Sunday night’s match was a tough one but that Fatal 4-Way matches usually are. He says that little things happen that have big consequences – like the return of the Undertaker for example or like somebody breaking up a pinfall or submission hold. However, Punk suggests that when you are a good person, good things will happen to you. He suggests that his lifestyle of no drinking and no drugs, the ‘Straight Edge’ lifestyle is what makes him have a slight edge over the competition here on SMACKDOWN. He suggests that he was in the right place to take advantage of the situation at Vengeance because he chooses the right path. Punk says he doesn’t care if the WWE Universe cheer him or boo him – he says that he knows that some like him, others don’t – it doesn’t matter to him. He cares about himself and being the World Champion and going to WrestleMania 27 as the champion. Mathews asks him about who he would prefer to face between Cena and Christian and Punk doesn’t like the question. He says that he doesn’t care, he will do what he needs to do to defeat either man. He is confident that he can defeat them both. Josh thanks Punk for his time and the camera pans back to the arena ...
*** SLOW CHEMICAL ***
Eerie red lights flood the arena as the former World Champion heads out towards the ring for the first match of the Michael Cole era here on SMACKDOWN – Kane will get his chance to earn respect from Cole by facing the World Champion, CM Punk, in a match made by the new General Manager. Kane looks menacing as he heads into the ring as Grisham and Foley discuss the re-emergence of the Undertaker on SMACKDOWN tonight and how this will impact on Kane as he heads into 2011. Kane causes the huge, red pyro to explode before staring around the arena with a wary look in his eyes ...
*** CULT OF PERSONALITY ***
Chicago, Illinois | 222 pounds | World Heavyweight Champion
A positive reaction from many in the crowd tonight – no doubt, his opponent has a bearing on this as well as Punk’s core supporters – as the World Champion heads out to the ring. He has a new theme tonight which interests the WWE Universe as he heads to the ring with the World Championship around his waist after retaining it against Big Show, Kofi Kingston and tonight’s opponent, Kane, at Vengeance on Sunday. Punk stands on the outside of the ropes in the corner and holds the World Title up high in the direction of Kane to some cheers. Kane doesn’t look impressed but does look determined – a victory here would put him right back in the World Championship picture.
MATCH 1 | SINGLES MATCH (NON-TITLE)
CM PUNK vs. KANE
An even start to the match with the crowd more behind the World Champion as he sets about proving to Kane that he deserves to hold the belt. The match is going back and forth at first before the arrival of the General Manager as he walks down to study the match from the bottom of the ramp. Punk looks suspiciously at Cole and this allows Kane to take advantage with choke thrusts and then a sidewalk slam that gets him a 2-count. With Cole looking on, Kane begins to dominate proceedings as he batters CM Punk with some heavy hitting moves and gets several close 2-counts that the World Champion is forced to kick out of. Punk however is showing a resilient side and he launches a comeback that allows him to hit a high knee in the corner followed by a bulldog that takes Kane down to the mat face first. It appears that Cole is impressed with the action taking place in the ring and he applauds both men as they trade moves and control of the contest. At one point, Punk manages to lift Kane onto his shoulders for the GTS but Kane counters this by wriggling clear and hitting a devastating big boot to Punk and getting a 2-count on the Straight Edge superstar. When Kane then tries to go for a choke slam, Punk counters by rolling through and out of the choke before a flurry of kicks crashes Kane down. Punk locks in the Anaconda Vice and it appears Kane could be in danger of tapping out until he manages to reach the ropes and break the submission hold. With the referee’s attention not on him, Kane hits a low blow to CM Punk though and this angers the crowd who are into the match despite it not being two of their favourites. Punk winces on the mat as Kane stands over him and looks out at Michael Cole – it seems that Cole is not worried over Kane’s illegal moves and he fails to inform the referee.
Kane signals that it is over for CM Punk as he stands back ready for another choke slam ... BAM! CHOKE SLAM FROM KANE TO THE WORLD CHAMPION! However, Kane doesn’t go for the cover and he signals for the Tombstone Piledriver instead. Cole has seen enough and he begins to head up the ramp believing the match to be over with Kane victorious. However, as Cole reaches the stage and Kane positions Punk for the Tombstone, the lights go out and the WWE Universe go wild. A pause of a few seconds in the darkness before a single, echoing gong is heard and the arena has eerie blue lights appearing within it. Suddenly, the lights return with Kane staring at Cole on the stage. Stood behind Kane is the Phenom, the Undertaker! The crowd go wild as Cole points this out to Kane ... Slowly, he turns around but before he can spot his brother, the lights go out again. Another gong sounds in the arena before the lights return. Undertaker has disappeared from behind Kane and is now stood behind an unsuspecting Michael Cole on the stage to the delight of the WWE Universe. Kane spots him and he freezes whilst Cole realises that somebody is behind him – slowly, Cole turns round and stares into the face of Taker who rolls his eyes into his head. This freaks Cole out and he runs out of the arena and backstage as Taker stares down to the ring where Kane is stood. Another gong sounds and the darkness falls again ... After a few seconds, the lights return and the Undertaker has disappeared. Kane looks around desperately seeking where the Phenom has gone, as does the referee ... Low blow from CM Punk! The crowd cheer this one, Punk gets revenge on Kane with a low blow of his own! Kane is down on his knees in pain and Punk manages to lift him up onto his shoulders ... GO TO SLEEP! CM PUNK HITS THE GTS TO KANE!
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
CM PUNK (11:27)
The World Champion rolls out of the ring with a satisfied look on his face as he heads up the ramp with his belt in his hand. Kane looks furious that his brother has cost him yet another victory over Punk and he stares out at the World Champion yelling at him. Punk grins and holds the title belt up high again before turning his back and exiting the arena to leave Kane in the ring contemplating what has just happened ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
CATCH MONDAY NIGHT RAW LIVE!
How will the WWE Champion Wade Barrett respond to Kurt Angle’s victory over his groups last week? *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
*** S. O. S. ***
Ghana, West Africa | 221 pounds
SMACKDOWN returns with the popular Kofi Kingston heading out into the arena and heading for the ring with a grin on his face. He bounces down the ramp with his usual yellow and green pyro exploding behind him before he gets into the ring and salutes the crowd with his ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ gesture before he takes a microphone and stands ready to address the WWE Universe. Kofi thanks the Penascola crowd for their support tonight and he says that he is out here to address an issue from Sunday night at Vengeance. He refers back to the World Championship match and how he came so close to victory and his first ever reign as a World Champion – still images from the PPV are shown to highlight this further. Kofi suggests that he is so close to achieving his dream of becoming the World Champion and he promises that 2011 will be his year, the year he finally wins the big one. He tells the WWE Universe that he has seen his future – winning the Royal Rumble in January. Kofi says that although the Rumble is a difficult, career-changing match, he is confident that his time has come and that he can defeat the 29 other WWE superstars to earn a WrestleMania title shot. The crowd cheer Kofi’s enthusiasm and he smiles wide before moving on. Despite the positive aspects of his career right now, Kofi says something annoyed him about Sunday. It wasn’t the fact that he lost the match, it wasn’t that the Undertaker interfered – it was the way he was treated by his so-called friend, Big Show. He refers to Big Show hitting him when his back was turned. Although he understands that the Fatal 4-Way match was every man for himself, Kofi is upset that Big Show felt the need to hit him when his back was turned. Kofi says he would like to speak to Big Show and settle their differences as he hopes that Show just caught up in the heat of the moment ...
*** CRANK IT UP ***
Tampa, Florida | 485 pounds
In his home state, Big Show heads out for the ring where Kofi is standing to address their issues. The Florida crowd cheer Show to the ring and he waves to them before entering the ring and standing opposite from Kofi. Big Show grins at Kofi and says that sometimes in the WWE, you get caught in a moment and you take a path you wouldn’t normally take. Show says he respects Kofi and how far he has come in the past few months and says that, on any other night, he would be delighted to see Kofi Kingston win the match and become the World Heavyweight Champion. However, he was in the match and he did what he needed to do. Kofi quizzes Show over it – why did he need to attack from behind? Show grimaces. He tells Kofi that he was desperate to win back the World Championship – he says that Kofi has never felt the pride of being the champion. He had it for a few moments on SMACKDOWN a few weeks ago before CM Punk defeated him and wrenched it away from him. Kofi refuses to accept the reasoning of Show though and he tells Show that he would never have attacked him from behind. Show looks a little annoyed and reminds Kofi – again – that until he has been World Champion, he can never understand. Kofi says that he fully intends to understand very soon but Big Show looks at him with a shake of the head. Kofi challenges what he is looking like that for. Show is reluctant to say but in the end he tells Kofi that he doesn’t think he will ever understand how it feels to win the World Championship. He says that Kofi is great at what he does but he hasn’t got that last little bit he needs to reach the very top of the WWE. Kofi looks upset at Show’s words and he says that he will prove Show wrong. Show says he doubts that he will and that Kofi will not win the Rumble as he is also entering and he is intent on going to WrestleMania, not Kofi Kingston. Kofi says that he will prove to Big Show that he is the better man, that he can beat him and that he can win the Royal Rumble right now. Show laughs but Kofi re-iterates the challenge again. Show accepts and it appears that we are going to have an impromptu match right now here on SMACKDOWN ...
A referee runs out as both men prepare themselves and Grisham and Foley discuss how big a win this could be for Kofi Kingston in convincing people that he is a main event player here in the WWE ...
MATCH 2 | SINGLES MATCH
BIG SHOW vs. KOFI KINGSTON
The bell rings and Kofi and Big Show slap hands before heading into their wrestling stances ready to compete. Early on, Kofi is on the move and he comes in for quick kicks as he looks to use his pace to duck in and weave away – Show is struggling to lay a hand on him. However, Show eventually manages to catch the leg of Kingston and he grabs the Ghanaian by the throat. Kofi fights clear but misses with another kick and Show manages to chop Kofi in the chest. Forcing him back to the corner, Show then quietens the crowd before slapping Kofi’s chest hard twice, the noise reverberating around the arena. Kofi is wincing in pain and Show starts to gain control as he whips him into the corner. Kofi dodges Show as he tries to splash him in the corner and hits a standing dropkick to stagger Show back but Show responds with a huge sidewalk slam as Kofi tries to hit a clothesline. This gets a 2-count but Show now has control. He lifts Kingston up into a military press and slams him down to the mat but again Kingston kicks out at 2. Show drags Kofi up and locks in a bearhug that leaves Kofi struggling in the middle of the ring. With the referee asking him if he quits, Kofi struggles and tries to fight out but Show is too strong. A loud ‘Kofi!’ chant goes up from the WWE Universe and Show looks a little annoyed at this as he looks round. However, he has control and he tries to wrench the bearhug tighter around the ribs of Kofi as he looks to force him to tap out. Kofi manages to turn a little and this allows him to get in some right hands that start to loosen the grip of Big Show. Kofi manages to escape and he heads off into the ropes but Show counters with a spear like move that cuts Kofi off again and sends Kofi out of the ring through the ropes. With the referee counting him out, Kingston forces himself up and back into the ring at 7 but he is met with a choke hold from Big Show ... CHOKE SLAM! SHOW CHOKE SLAMS KOFI KINGSTON!
It looks all over for Kofi as he staggers back to his feet, Big Show waiting with his fist pulled back ... As Kofi turns towards Show, he looks to hit the Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) but Kofi ducks again and springboards off the ropes to hit a diving crossbody that knocks Show down but only gets Kofi a 1-count. Kofi is back in the match though and he leaps onto Big Show’s shoulders in the corner and delivers a series of right hands that rock the World’s Largest Athlete and draw cheers from the supportive crowd. Kofi rolls back and positions himself ready for his big finishing move – Trouble in Paradise. However, Big Show manages to swot him away and Kofi is unable to deliver it. Another drop kick from Kofi allows him time to get to the corner and he climbs to the top rope – he sails off looking for a huge diving crossbody – reaching heights that only Kofi dares – but Big Show catches him in mid-air instead. Readjusting slightly, Show has Kofi where he wants him and he drops him back for the Alley-Ooop that crashes Kofi down into the mat face first. Show thinks he has it won as he makes the cover ... 2 count! Big Show looks a little frustrated but the WWE Universe cheer the heart and the desire of Kofi and Show again looks annoyed with the cheers that Kofi is receiving. Big Show steps back again signalling that the match is over and he is looking for the WMD one more time. Kofi gets up and looks to be walking into it when the WMD punch heads towards him ... Kofi ducks again ... TROUBLE IN PARADISE! KOFI HITS THE TROUBLE IN PARADISE TO SHOW! Big Show stumbles through the ropes and to the outside of the ring and this allows Kingston time to recuperate. Kofi looks around and hits the ropes before sailing through in a Suicide Dive that crashes into Big Show and both men crash into the announce table as the crowd cheer and scream. The top of the announce table has come loose and both men need time to recover; Big Show picks up the table top and throws it away in anger. He grabs Kofi by the throat as both men get to their feet and looks at the table – surely not? Big Show wouldn’t choke slam Kofi through the table would he? He tries to but Kofi is too smart and he manages to wriggle around into a DDT that he delivers to drop Show down head first onto the floor. Both men are struggling though and Kofi takes time to sort himself out despite the control he has at the moment. The referee is encouraging both men to return to the ring and he heads back into the ring himself to begin a count-out. Kofi wants to win the match and he goes after Big Show who is pulling himself up at the announce table ... BAM! WHAT THE HELL!
** The referee signals for the bell, Big Show is disqualified! **
KOFI KINGSTON (8:49 via DQ)
Grisham and Foley are in shock and the WWE Universe boo loudly as Big Show stands with a TV monitor in his hand that he has just clocked Kofi Kingston with. The referee berates Show who accepts it and looks shocked with himself and his actions. Kofi is rolling on the floor clutching his head and Big Show seems to come to his senses as he drops to his knees besides Kofi and checks on him. Worried over whether Show is going to inflict more damage on Kofi, the referee ushers him away and Show heads around the ring shaking his head and apologising to people. The WWE Universe are not impressed with him but Show looks genuinely apologetic as he heads onto the ramp looking shocked at his actions tonight ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
JEFF HARDY RETURNS!
Coming soon to Friday Night SMACKDOWN! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns with Big Show walking backstage looking around. Replays of his disqualification in his match with Kofi are shown as the cameras follow him. He walks towards the medics who are tending to Kofi in the medical room and he tries to enter to speak with Kofi. The medics and security hold him up and tell him to leave it for now. Show is trying to tell Kofi that he is sorry but the security tell him to speak to him later ...
The cameras return to the interview pit where Josh Mathews is stood with a man who had a disappointing night at Vengeance, Matt Hardy. Josh speaks to Matt about his loss to Christian and how he sees his future in the WWE now that he has failed to earn a shot at CM Punk’s World Championship. Matt is surprisingly upbeat and says he has a lot to look forward to in the near future. He tells Josh that – as we just saw in the adverts – his brother will be returning home to SMACKDOWN soon and that he is going to be entering the Royal Rumble in a few weeks time. Hardy tells us that he is determined to be the World Champion and that he will win the Royal Rumble and go to WrestleMania 27 to live his dream. However, he is now interrupted and – as Michael Cole promised – The Miz is on SMACKDOWN tonight. Holding his Money in the Bank briefcase, Miz uses his ‘Really?’ questions to question Hardy’s comments about winning the Rumble. Miz informs Matt that the Royal Rumble is in his home town of Cleveland, Ohio, and that he will return to be the conquering hero and the man who earns his spot in the main event of WrestleMania. He informs Matt that the MiTB contract is just an insurance policy and that he will be in the main event of WrestleMania 27 come hell or high water. Matt smirks and reminds Miz that he is just another reality show goof that thinks he is worth more than he is. Matt tells Miz that if he gets in his way at the Rumble, he will eliminate him from the Rumble because he is going to be the World Champion. Michael Cole appears to huge heat and says that the argument between these two has given him an idea. Tonight, Miz will team up with Alberto Del Rio and Cody Rhodes to face the team of Matt Hardy, Mark Henry and Evan Bourne in a match that will truly show who the major players are heading into Cleveland for the Rumble in three weeks time. The cameras focus on Miz smirking to himself whilst Hardy also looks pleased with the decision ...
*** MY TIME IS NOW ***
Again, without the usual ‘Hustle, Loyalty, Respect’ merchandising and the soldier saluting, the all new John Cena heads out towards the ring. He is looking determined as he heads for the ring to speak about the main event tonight when he will face Christian in a Number 1 contender match for the World Championship of CM Punk at Royal Rumble. Cena slides into the ring and he stands on the ropes but doesn’t salute the crowd, he simply stares at them. Taking a microphone, Cena begins his address by stating his desire to publically welcome Michael Cole to SMACKDOWN as the General Manager. He says he couldn’t think of a finer choice to replace the incompetent Teddy Long. Cena reminds everybody that on Sunday night at Vengeance, he defeated Randy Orton and he tells us all that he is now finished with the Viper. Cena says that whatever Orton wants to say over on RAW, he isn’t interested and he is not going to face him at the Royal Rumble. Cena says that tonight he will defeat Christian and become the Number 1 contender instead and at the Rumble he will defeat CM Punk and win the World Championship. Cena thanks Cole for the opportunity and the support he has shown him so far whilst he has been the General Manager of SMACKDOWN. Cena reminds us all that Randy Orton is banned from SMACKDOWN – and he from RAW – and that they will not be crossing paths. He claims that he beat Orton fair and square in the middle of the ring, 1, 2, 3! Cena states that he is going to become the World Champion and that he is not going to allow anybody to defeat him in 2011 ...
*** CULT OF PERSONALITY ***
World Heavyweight Champion
To another split crowd, CM Punk emerges onto the stage. He is proudly wearing the World Championship around his waist and he heads down to the ring with a smirk on his face. He has a microphone and he begins to address Cena’s comments: he says that he doesn’t really care too much for the WWE Universe but that pales into insignificance when compared to how much he detests John Cena. Punk berates Cena for being the ‘Face of the WWE’ for so long, for holding him and so many others down and then having the audacity to think that he can complain and bitch about things now. Punk tells Cena that the WWE Universe got bored of seeing him winning the title with the same old storylines and the same five moves – that is why they turned against him. Cena warns Punk to watch what he says and tells him that he is coming for his World Championship – whatever he damn well thinks. Punk welcomes that and says he would love to face Cena at the Royal Rumble because he would love to destroy him. Punk tells Cena that he doesn’t care whether he loves the fans or hates the fans, he is going to kick his ass all over Cleveland if he needs to. The crowd are beginning to really rally around CM Punk now and a ‘CM Punk’ chant springs up. Punk then spoils things with the crowd by telling them that he isn’t interested in hearing them cheer for him and chant his name. All he is interested in is his World Championship. And whether it is Christian or Cena that he faces at the Rumble, it doesn’t matter – he will remain the champion afterwards. With that, Punk turns on his heels and his music sounds as he exits the ring and heads up the ramp leaving Cena looking annoyed in the ring ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
CATCH NXT SEASON 3 THIS TUESDAY NIGHT!
Who will earn the top spot in the first NXT rankings? *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns with Evan Bourne and Mark Henry in the ring as they prepare for their six-man tag team match that is about to begin next. Across the ring are Cody Rhodes and the man that has defeated Bourne and Henry in the last two PPV’s, the Intercontinental Champion, Alberto Del Rio. Last Sunday, it was Henry that could not dent the impressive start that Del Rio has made to life in the WWE as the Intercontinental Champion continued his reign as champion ...
*** LIVE FOR THE MOMENT ***
Cameron, North Carolina | 235 pounds
There are loud cheers as Matt Hardy heads for the ring looking defiant after a devastating loss to Christian at Vengeance. Hardy looks pumped up as he gets set to begin the Road to WrestleMania by gaining momentum before the Royal Rumble. He heads into the ring and salutes the crowd with his Hardy salute on the ropes before removing his coat and turning to greet his partners, Bourne and Henry. Grisham and Foley speak of Matt’s journey in the WWE and how desperate he must be to finally climb the mountain, win the Royal Rumble and go to WrestleMania to capture the World Championship ...
*** AWESOME – I CAME TO PLAY ***
Cleveland, Ohio | 231 pounds | Money in the Bank contract holder
However, here is another man who is desperate to win the Royal Rumble as well. Holding his red briefcase, he holds his arms in the air with a cocky smirk as he looks around the SMACKDOWN arena. The RAW superstar heads for the ring looking ready for action and he shows off to the crowd with his briefcase and declares that he is going to be the next WWE Champion and that he is going to headline WrestleMania 27 ... Foley speculates that he believes Miz will head out of Atlanta’s WrestleMania with the WWE Championship around his waist – he suggests that it isn’t because he will win his ‘hometown’ Royal Rumble though, it is because he has the Money in the Bank contract.
MATCH 3 | 6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
ALBERTO DEL RIO, CODY RHODES & THE MIZ vs. EVAN BOURNE, MARK HENRY & MATT HARDY
An even contest as each of the six men are given their time to shine in the match. We start with Mark Henry getting some revenge over Alberto Del Rio after his defeat to him at Vengeance and it looks dangerous for Del Rio when Henry manages to hit the World’s Strongest Slam to the Intercontinental Champion. However, Cody’s interference saves Del Rio from the pinfall. Cody then gets a tag and he shows no fear as he goes after Mark Henry and manages to stagger the big man from Texas – the Beautiful Disaster kick has Henry down but he just manages to kick out at 2! The tag is made to Evan Bourne and he is able to start flying around the ring as he starts to hit the air attack on Rhodes and then Miz – unfortunately, Miz is able to avoid the Shooting Star Press (Air Bourne) and he crashes down hard on the mat and is hit with the Skull Crushing Finale instead. Matt Hardy interrupts the pinfall and a fight breaks out between him and Miz that spills outside. With Del Rio and Henry now fighting ringside, Cody goes to help out the Mexican against the big man whilst Evan Bourne, the legal man, is left in the ring. The other legal man is Miz who is fighting with Hardy and he manages to ram Hardy into the steel ring steps before heading back into the ring. With Hardy down on the outside and Henry busy with Del Rio and Rhodes, Miz manages to drag Bourne up again ... SKULL CRUSHING FINALE! Miz with the cover ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
THE MIZ, ALBERTO DEL RIO & CODY RHODES (7:37)
Another big win for Miz as he seals the victory for his team and continues to build momentum ahead of the Royal Rumble in three weeks time. Miz, Del Rio and Rhodes head up the ramp together celebrating the win whilst Matt Hardy stares out at Miz who threw him into the steel steps to put him down. Miz mocks Hardy from the ramp and shouts that he is past it, that he’ll never ever be the World Champion ... Hardy looks on unimpressed with Miz’ comments ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
“WRITTEN IN THE STARS” (Tinie Tempah featuring Eric Turner)
Official theme song of WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta, GA! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
As SMACKDOWN returns, Todd Grisham tells us that there has been word from the backstage area that Michael Cole has agreed to allow Matt Hardy to go to RAW on Monday night where he will face Miz in a one on one match. Replays of the last match are shown and Foley suggests that he is looking forward to seeing Matt Hardy on RAW kicking the Miz’ ass this Monday.
*** GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES ***
Perry, Oklahoma | 263 pounds
A focused Jack Swagger heads out into the arena and the former World Champion looks as if he is determined to show the world what he can do tonight. Grisham speculates that Swagger needs a huge victory over somebody to take him to the next level and springboard him into the main event again. Foley agrees and suggests that a win over Undertaker on his return would be a perfect way to do just that. Pre-recorded comments of Swagger are played and the All American American suggests that tonight he is going to show the Phenom of the WWE that he cannot intimidate everybody here in the WWE, that Jack Swagger does not fear him and will defeat him tonight to set himself on track to regain the World Heavyweight Championship. As Swagger listens to his comments in the ring, he smiles to himself before spreading his arms and jogging around the ring. Swagger’s music ends and a few seconds of silence follow as the crowd anticipate the return of one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time ... Then, the lights go out and a gong echoes around the arena ...
*** GRAVEYARD SYMPHONY ***
Death Valley | 299 pounds
Slowly, the Undertaker makes his spine chilling reappearance on SMACKDOWN as he makes his way to the ring amongst the darkness, the fire and the dry ice smoke with the WWE Universe going wild. A camera catches a look on the face of Jack Swagger – a moment ago showing confidence – which now shows fear and anxiety as he watches his opponent heading towards him. Dressed in a long, black coat, Taker stands on the steel ring steps and he raises the lights to the delight of the fans in the arena who have missed his presence. After his actions earlier in the night to cost Kane a defeat against CM Punk, it now appears that Undertaker is officially back in the WWE and on Friday Night SMACKDOWN with the Road to WrestleMania just around the corner. Staring over the ring towards Swagger, Taker slowly removes his hat and coat and hands them to the referee before making his final preparations for the match. Despite the look of concern on his face, Swagger urges the referee to ring the bell and he talks trash towards Undertaker ...
MATCH 4 | SINGLES MATCH
JACK SWAGGER vs. THE UNDERTAKER
As the referee rings the bell, Swagger gets brave and he steps forward towards Taker and continues to talk smack to him – Swagger clearly says that Taker is an old timer and that he should have stayed away. Undertaker turns towards him slowly and takes a step over and Swagger’s real feelings are shown as he quickly moves back. Undertaker stalks after Swagger and he makes a run for it, through the ropes and around the ring. Taker follows Swagger who shows that he is not completely afraid as he lulls Taker into the ring again and then attacks him with a savage kick to the back of the head. With Taker down, Swagger continues to stomp down on the back of Undertaker with hard right boots until he steps back and allows Taker a little room to get to his knees. Running knee from Swagger and down goes Taker to the mat and it seems that Taker has a little ring rust here as Swagger is taking charge. The All American American then whips Taker to the corner and rushes in to splash him in the corner. A big boot follows and Taker is down in the corner as Swagger looks around with his arms spread. Jack hits a slingshot corner splash once to Undertaker and then decides to follow it up with a second as he is so much control. Mistake. Undertaker senses what is coming and as Swagger lands on him, Taker grabs Swagger by the throat and starts to drag him to his feet. Swagger manages to escape the choke hold and he hits the ropes looking to hit Taker hard on the rebound ... Sidewalk Slam from Undertaker! Gets a 2-count! Undertaker is on his feet quickly and the tide has turned here as Taker begins to dominate the contest now – a series of elbow drops and then a big leg drop from Undertaker leave Swagger down on the mat once again and the Phenom gets another 2-count. To his credit, Swagger is refusing to lie down though and he hits a flurry of offence as he manages to fight back with right hands before an attempted German suplex fails and Taker manages to counter with a DDT that crashes Swagger down to the mat. Swagger rolls out of the ring to escape for a moment and Taker stands in the centre of the ring and stares at him. He cuts his throat to Swagger and the crowd go wild once again as the referee orders Swagger to return to the ring ...
With the referee counting, Swagger is forced back into the ring at 8 and he hesitantly enters the ring and stands up. He tries to catch Taker off guard with a clothesline but Taker ducks it and they both hit opposite ropes. Big running clothesline from Undertaker that crashes Swagger down onto the mat once more. Swagger again rolls out of the ring but this time Taker has had enough. He hits the ropes and heads towards Swagger, sailing head first over the top rope, suicide plancha connects with Swagger to knock him down again. Taker delivers a number of heavy choke thrusts on the outside of the ring before rolling Swagger back inside the ring. Jack catches Taker off guard though as he gets back into the ring and connects with a belly to belly suplex that crashes Taker down. Swagger with the cover ...
1, 2, Kick out from Taker!
Swagger is not finished though and he drags Taker to his knees and sets up. Surprisingly, Swagger is able to lift Taker up and over, GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB! Swagger looks pleased with himself as he makes another cover ...
1, 2, Taker kicks out again!
Swagger is getting frustrated and he starts stomping away at the left ankle and knee of Undertaker with stiff kicks. Swagger yells out in fury and then grabs hold of Taker’s foot and locks in his submission move! ANKLE LOCK TO UNDERTAKER! Jack Swagger has the Ankle Lock in place and he wrenches as much as possible at Taker’s foot but making the Deadman tap is near impossible. Taker is in pain but he will not tap out despite the Ankle Lock being held in place now for almost a minute. Taker manages to swivel around on the mat and he kicks Swagger away. Limping a little as he gets up, Taker is caught again by another German Suplex ...Swagger holds on to the pin but can only get a 2-count! An ‘Un-der-ta-ker!’ chant begins as the crowd try to will on their preferred winner in this match and Swagger tries to quieten them down by insisting that they respect him. Jack tries again to go for the Gutwrench Powerbomb but this time Taker counters into a Sidewalk Slam and both men are down on the mat.
Swagger slowly gets to his feet and he looks down on the Undertaker wondering how he can defeat him despite being seemingly in control. However, a look of shock passes over Swagger as Taker sits up. Swagger looks for a running knee strike but he is caught by the throat by Undertaker ... CHOKESLAM! Undertaker pulls down the strap on his wrestling gear now and he is now serious as he stands over Swagger and signals for a Tombstone. Dragging Swagger to his knees, Taker lifts him up and over and steadies himself ... TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! TAKER HITS THE TOMBSTONE! Undertaker drops down to Swagger and crosses his arms across his chest ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
As darkness and eerie blue lights surround the arena again to signal a victory for the Undertaker on his return, Todd Grisham and Mick Foley discuss the valiant effort of Jack Swagger before moving on to the unstoppable force that is the Deadman. Foley suggests that Undertaker is the greatest ever WWE superstar and that he continues to be unbeatable – or so it seems. Suddenly, the darkness is broken a little as there is an explosion of red flames around the arena ...
*** SLOW CHEMICAL ***
Out strides the Undertaker’s little brother and the Devil’s Favourite Demon himself, Kane. After Undertaker cost him his match earlier in the evening, Grisham says he is surprised Kane has taken this long; Foley speculates that Kane is afraid of his brother. Kane stands on the stage and he stares down at Undertaker screaming at him that he should have stayed away and that he will now have to destroy him once and for all. Since Kane’s attack on Undertaker on Memorial Day, there have been issues between the Brothers of Destruction and it appears they are set to continue. Kane starts to make his way down the ramp towards Undertaker but suddenly, lightning bolts crash down from the ceiling. Kane is startled back as he realises that Undertaker signalled for them. Kane takes another step forward again ... more lightning bolts. A wall of flames also ignite in front of Kane and Taker appears to have all his legendary powers back in place and ready to frustrate Kane to get inside his head. Kane is frustrated and is screaming at Taker now but Undertaker simply cuts his throat to taunt the Big Red Monster ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
ROYAL RUMBLE 2011
Live and Exclusive from Cleveland, Ohio – January 23! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
SMACKDOWN returns with Michael Cole stood in the ring holding a microphone again ... He reminds us that tonight’s main event is a Number 1 contender match with the winner set to head to the Royal Rumble to face the World Champion, CM Punk, in three weeks time. Cole joins the announce table and he starts to argue immediately with Foley over his treatment of Christian. Cole says that – as General Manager – it is not a difficult decision to identify that John Cena deserves a title match much more than Christian does. However, he defends himself by recognising that he has given Christian his opportunity tonight. Foley suggests that power is going to Cole’s head and Cole threatens to sack him from the WWE if his attitude towards him does not improve.
*** MY TIME IS NOW ***
West Newbury, Massachusetts | 240 pounds
Cena comes to the ring with Cole on commentary singing his praises and saying that the new attitude of John Cena is a joy to witness. Gone are the days of Cena kissing up to all the morons here in the WWE Universe, he is out here to win titles and make money. Cole says that is what the WWE is all about – making money off the idiots who are willing to pay it. He says that having Cena as champion would be good for business as people will buy PPV’s to see him get beaten – but he won’t be beaten. Grisham asks Cole about CM Punk and Cole replies that he sees Punk as somebody who has potential but needs to show more respect to him if he wants to continue his success here on SMACKDOWN ... Cena is in the ring now and he points to Cole and applauds him which causes the WWE Universe to boo Cena as loud as they ever have done – turning his back on the WWE Universe and the Cenation was one thing but supporting Michael Cole? Terrible!
*** CLOSE YOUR EYES ***
Toronto, Ontario, Canada | 212 pounds
The 12-year WWE veteran heads out into the Penascola arena with cheers ringing in his ears as his Peeps prepare to cheer him on to victory and a Royal Rumble World Championship match with CM Punk. After vowing to defeat Cena earlier, Christian is looking confident and determined that this is going to be his time to shine. He gets into the ring and surveys the arena looking for his Peeps before staring down at the announce table where the SMACKDOWN General Manager is sat. Cole stares back and goes on to tell the world that Christian is a talented guy but he is not charismatic enough to be the World Champion. He says that Christian makes a decent Tag Team Champion and can have the occasional good match but the idea of him as World Champion makes his blood run cold. Cole suggests that there is no way in this world that Christian can defeat John Cena and then CM Punk to win his first ever World Championship. Foley disagrees and says that it will be difficult but that Christian has worked too hard and too long for his chance and he will not let it pass him by.
MAIN EVENT | #1 CONTENDER SINGLES MATCH (For the right to face World Champion CM Punk at Royal Rumble)
CHRISTIAN vs. JOHN CENA
Christian goes for the jugular immediately and he completely dominates Cena in the early stages of the match after catching him off guard. After hitting several hard hitting clotheslines and running forearms, Christian goes for a springboard shoulder block off the ropes that crashes Cena down and gets him the first 2-count of the evening. Cena is stunned and he retreats out of the ring and up the ramp but Christian follows and he clobbers Cena in the back before ramming him into the security wall. Cole is apoplectic at the announce table and says he would disqualify Christian right there and then – however, it is the referee who gets to make that decision. Christian drags Cena back to the ring and goes for a Killswitch but Cena wriggles clear and hits a standing drop kick to buy himself some time. With Christian down, Cena recovers but then misses as he looks to hit an Atomic Drop and Christian again begins pummelling Cena’s face with hard right hands. The referee – to Cole’s relief – breaks this up but Christian takes his chance to head for the top rope in the corner and sails off for a beautiful missile drop kick that crashes Cena down. Pinfall from Christian ...
1, 2, Kick out from Cena!
Christian waits for Cena to stagger up and then he springboards off the ropes again to hit a flying forearm. Christian is dominating so far but Cena manages to counter another Killswitch attempt as he shoves him away and then catches Christian with a belly to belly suplex to buy some more time. Cena gets to his feet and waits for Christian ... he then hits several shoulder blocks to Christian and the boos and jeers begin as Cole declares this vintage Cena and calls the crowd morons for jeering this after they cheered it for most of the last five years! Christian looks for a clothesline but Cena ducks and hits the Prototype sit-out suplex to set up his next move ... Cena looks around the arena and smirks as he raises his hand to his face. He tells the WWE Universe that they can’t see him and then repeats it for Christian. However, Christian is playing possum and he catches Cena with a surprise roll up pinfall ...
1, 2, Cena kicks out!
Cena is incensed with Christian and he kicks him hard in the chest to send him down on his back again. This time, Cena manages to hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle and he has Christian where he wants him. Cena heads for the corner and climbs to the top rope as the crowd continue to boo him ... Leg Drop from John Cena to the back of Christian’s head and shoulders. Face first into the mat goes Christian and it isn’t looking good here for the veteran. Cena waves his hand in front of his face again and Cole applauds this as Cena looks to lift Christian onto his shoulders which he does. Could be time for the Attitude Adjustment – Christian hangs onto the ropes though and Cena cannot hit it. As Christian wriggles clear, Cena looks for a clothesline counter but he misses and Christian manages to catch him by surprise with with an inverted DDT instead. Christian into the cover, he is desperate to win this match ...
1, 2, Cena cannot be kept down yet! Another kick out!
Both men get quickly to their feet and a double clothesline follows to leave both men down and struggling to get back up. Cole informs Grisham that the Attitude Adjustment has been renamed again – it is now to be known as the ‘FU’ again – however, this time it is the ‘FU-All’ which causes Foley to groan in amazement. Cena gets to his feet first andhe hits a right hand but Christian hits one of his own and they begin to trade punches in the centre of the ring. The crowd cheer Christian and boo Cena as they punch but it is Cena that gets the upper hand again when he kicks at Christian’s knee and causes him to fall. A DDT to Christian on his knees gives Cena chance to get a cover and Cole gets excited ...
1, 2, Christian escapes!
Cena isn’t to be stopped though and he jumps onto the back of Christian and locks in the STF which Cole renames the ‘STFU-All’ ... Christian is in grave danger whatever the move is called and Cena has it locked in and he is crying out to Christian to tap out. Christian is battling hard against the intense pain and somehow he inches towards the rope and manages to just grasp it. Cena holds the submission for as long as he can without being disqualified. Cole is incensed and he jumps up from the commentary and goes to confront the referee as he believes that Christian tapped out. Cole orders the referee to get out of the ring and they begin to argue on the outside as Cena looks on confused. Cole threatens to sack the referee if he doesn’t improve his performance and Cena applauds him. However, there is now a commotion elsewhere in the arena and the cameras pick up somebody coming through the crowd on the opposite side of the ring ...
Randy Orton climbs over the barricade and he steps up the ring steps and Cena spots him. Cena looks like a rabbit in the headlights as Grisham and Foley question why Orton is here – he has been banned from appearing on SMACKDOWN! Orton stands on the apron and stares into the eyes of Cena but now Cole has noticed and he heads around the ring to order Orton out of here. Cole shouts at Orton that he is going to demand that he is fired and he grabs the ankle of the Viper and drags him off the apron. Orton responds immediately with an RKO TO MICHAEL COLE! The crowd go delirious as Cole’s head is smashed down onto the floor by Orton who now stands looking at Cena as if daring him to leave the ring and fight him. Cena cannot believe what is happening here. Suddenly, Christian grabs Cena from behind and twists him round ... KILLSWITCH! CHRISTIAN HITS THE KILLSWITCH! Cover from Christian!
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
WINNER & #1 CONTENDER FOR THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Christian celebrates in the ring as the WWE Universe in Penascola go crazy for the victory. Randy Orton smirks at ringside but Grisham and Foley suggest that there may be some consequences to be had for the Viper after he defied orders to be on SMACKDOWN tonight. However, despite the protestations during the match from Michael Cole, Christian will be the man who will face CM Punk for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble. Cena is coming round in the ring after his defeat and he looks furious at the role of Orton. The Viper heads up the ramp and he raises the arm of Christian in a gesture of mocking to Cena. Cena kicks the ropes in frustration and looks to complain to Cole but he is still down and out after the RKO he took from Orton. As SMACKDOWN comes to a close, Christian is left by Randy Orton and he is beaming with pride as he stands on the stage looking around the arena. Behind him appears the current World Champion, CM Punk. Punk stands facing Christian and appears to congratulate him for becoming the Number 1 contender before he raises the World Championship belt high in the air. Christian looks up at the holy grail and SMACKDOWN ends with CM Punk and Christian looking up at the World Championship that they will feud over come Royal Rumble in three weeks time ...
Todd Grisham and Mick Foley wish all the WWE Universe a happy New Year and they state their hope that people continue to tune in to WWE as it enters 2011 next Monday night with RAW. Grisham also reminds us that SMACKDOWN goes live from next week when we will see what John Cena will have to say about what went down tonight!
Thursday December 30th, 2010 | Amway Arena, Orlando, Florida
***** RESULTS *****
TAG TEAM MATCH: Husky Harris & Percy Watson vs. David Otunga & Heath Slater
Otunga and Slater get Nexus back on track as they defeat Harris and Watson after Otunga hits the Verdict to get the pinfall on Watson.
SINGLES MATCH: Ted DiBiase vs. Tyson Kidd
After his defeat at Vengeance, DiBiase gets the victory over Kidd to put him back in the US Championship hunt.
SINGLES MATCH: Cody Rhodes vs. Matt Hardy
Hardy hits the Side Effect followed by the Twist of Fate to secure the victory over Cody Rhodes.
MAIN EVENT SINGLES MATCH: Ezekiel Jackson vs. RVD
RVD hits the 5-Star Frog Splash to pin the Nexus behemoth to hand another defeat to Nexus.
***** END OF SHOW *****
*** PREVIEW ***
HOW WILL NEXUS REACT TO THEIR DEFEAT LAST WEEK?
In the main event of RAW last week, Kurt Angle upset the odds as he hit the Angle Slam on WWE Champion on Wade Barrett to secure the win for himself and Triple H after they ended up in a 5 vs. 2 situation. It was the first defeat for Nexus in a long time and many are speculating that Kurt Angle deserves a WWE Championship shot after his victory over the Nexus leader. Many people are worried about the Nexus revenge this Monday night and General Manager Shawn Michaels is quoted to be monitoring the situation. With Barrett preparing for his title defence against Triple H in three weeks, how will he react to last week’s defeat?
DOES PUNISHMENT AWAIT FOR RANDY ORTON?
After he interfered in the SMACKDOWN main event last Friday, Randy Orton could face trouble for ignoring the ban that had been placed on him and John Cena about appearing on each other’s brands. With Orton banned from SMACKDOWN, Cena faced Christian in a Number 1 contender match for the World Championship believing he was safe from the Viper. However, Orton showed up through the crowd on SMACKDOWN and distracted Cena to allow Christian to get the win. Many people are speculating that Orton could face trouble when he arrives on RAW this weekend – fines and suspensions could be handed out. The question remains – how bad will the punishment be?
CAN THE MIZ CONTINUE HIS MOMENTUM ON THE TRACK TO THE RUMBLE?
The Miz was a guest on the first edition of SMACKDOWN in the Michael Cole era and he made an enemy of SMACKDOWN’s Matt Hardy during their 6-man tag team match. With Miz getting the pinfall victory over Evan Bourne, his war of words with Matt Hardy led to Hardy being invited to RAW this Monday night to go one on one with the Awesome one. With the Rumble in his home town, Miz is looking to back up his cocky words and build the momentum ahead of the big event. Can he continue his progress this week on RAW?
CAN DANIEL BRYAN REGAIN THE US CHAMPIONSHIP?
After Justin Gabriel’s victory over Daniel Bryan and Ted DiBiase at Vengeance, the new United States Champion will defend the title against Daniel Bryan in a rematch this Monday night. Former champion Daniel Bryan and Gabriel had tensions between them last week and ended up brawling out of the arena during the main event 10-man tag match against Nexus – General Manager Shawn Michaels has therefore decided that the pair will meet this week to end their feud. Although word is that Ted DiBiase is unhappy not to be involved, we will be finding out whether or not Justin Gabriel can back up his Vengeance win and prove that this is no flash in the pan. Can he defend the title successfully or will Daniel Bryan regain it?
*** CONFIRMED ***
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
Justin Gabriel (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Christian becoming the #1 Contender beating John Cena for the right to face Punk at the Royal Rumble, it will make for a great match at the Rumble
Big Show attacking Kofi the way he did, I smell a Big Show heel turn coming with Punk turning face in the process
As for Jeff Hardy returning to the WWE next week, Jeff Hardy returns to Smackdown, wow I cannot wait until Jeff Hardy makes his return and when he does, will Jeff return as a face or as a heel? I think it would be interesting if Jeff made his return as a heel with his theme music of Another Me
Taker returning and facing Swagger and beating him was great
And Kane losing to Punk was great
I love how you are making Punk like the way he is now, changing his theme music to Cult of Personality and Punk becoming "The Best In The World" with his custom-made T-shirts, love Punk the way he is now in real life and if you make him like how he is now, it would be great
And as for Orton showing up on Smackdown when he wasn't supposed to, love that, Orton doesn't play by anybody's rules
Miz getting much needed momentum, Miz is my pick to win the Rumble
Last edited by Terry Gyimah : 12-22-2011 at 06:19 PM.
I like that from the get-go, Cole is being made out to be the total #!+* that he is. Kissing up to The Miz as usual, as well as then brown-nosing CM Punk just adds to the total chicken-shit heel authority figure that I think you want him to be. I liked Christian coming out here then, as it was the perfect window for him to prove that he SHOULD be in the main event scene, and Cena being his ultimate test to prove himself. This opening segment was written well, as it seemed that Cole only decided to give Christian the opportunity for an opportunity at the title because he felt that due to Teddy Long's decision before Vengeance, and that Cole didn't actually want Christian to have the opportunity. A great chance for Captain Charisma to make his mark.
Good Punk interview. We all know that he has the skills to beat either man, and it was written well as Punk came across confident; like a champion should be.
Ooh, Cult of Personality, I like Seems like you're transitioning Punk into his current real life character, which is awesome! Cole coming down and watching the match is interesting, I wonder what part he is going to play? The match was well written, but one part didn't make much sense (Just a bit of nitpicking), when Kane hit the Low Blow, what was the referee doing? You said his attention was somewhere else, but where? Aha, sorry for being picky Undertaker appearing was good, as a Brothers of Destruction feud works if it is written well, and I know you have the capabilities to write it well. Well turnabout is fair play! I think you're giving Punk a face turn, which I like, or he could work as more of a tweener character. But the other thing to be taken from this match is that Undertaker is up to his usual tricks, messing with Kane.
Kofi as a Royal Rumble winner? Sounds good, but even though you've given him his first Championship Match, I'm not sure he's ready to win the Royal Rumble match. Possible #1 entry would be good for him, and then to put in a 30 minute plus performance would definitely do wonders for Kofi. Strong words from Show, so I'm sensing a heel turn here, would make sense, if you're turning Punk face; need to keep the 'sides' equal. The match itself had a good flow to it, and the ending.. wow! Heelish move from Show or what? I liked that he showed regret afterwards though, this is the start of a good little storyline, plenty of ways this can go, even with the little history the two men have had previously... Bragging Rights 2009 anyone?
Jeff Hardy.. meh. Never been that big on the guy, but I'm interested in where he is going to fit in on Smackdown, but please don't let him win the Royal Rumble. I'll still read if he does, don't worry
Interesting looking 6 man tag for later tonight, I hope Miz does eliminate Matt in the rumble. If I've not made it clear by now; I'm not that big on The Hardys. When Jeff comes back I'd rather he be placed back into a team with Matt, as I don't really want to see either of them in the Smackdown title scene, especially with Kofi Kingston and Christian moving up the card. Miz getting the victory was a good move, as Cole's special boy has to get the win on Cole's show. I hope that Miz was right in his comments to Hardy after the match, sorry I just don't like Matt Hardy haha. Though I do see Matt as a good stepping stone for The Miz, as an established veteran (See, I admit he is established) such as Hardy would be good to put Miz over.
That was a very good match to read, and the Undertaker getting the win was inevitable. Swagger wasn't a pushover though, which is good because the youngster has nothing to lose from this match at all. Kane appearing here was also definite, but the only thing that took away from Taker's return match was having him appear earlier during Kane's match. Even though all the fans would still be excited seeing him again, they maybe would have enjoyed it more, if Taker's return was the main event (all the matches on this show could very well be a main event btw), and then Kane appearing afterwards to close the show. But the way you did it worked just fine, and that was just me being picky again.
The main event was great to read, and I do like the renaming of the STF! Very smart writing, and also just reinforcing Cena's change of heart in this thread, and he does make a very good heel, from Superman to just a spineless coward really. Oh that was such a good ending! Orton in this thread is reminding me of Stone Cold a little, he just doesn't care. And then the RKO to Cole?! Vince/Austin is what I'm seeing here, and it bloody works. Then the icing on the cake with Christian winning because of Orton. This Cena/Orton rivalry has gone on for a while now, but it is in no way stale, as now the inclusion of Michael Cole has added in another element, as we all now want Orton to get the better of this just so Cole will be in despair. I wouldn't mind if Cena and Orton finally settle it all at Wrestlemania personally, as the match would be a show stealer, as well as freeing up both main championships. This feud is still very much alive, and you've garnered support for Randy Orton even more here. But the big story here obviously being that Christian has his shot against Punk at the Rumble, that is going to be a great match for sure, knowing you're writing capabilities
Well as usual mate, a fantastic show, read through it a couple of times, and onwards to the Royal Rumble!!! Well done, GCB
Monday January 3rd, 2011 | St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
Clips from the rise of the Nexus and their subsequent domination of the WWE are shown as RAW starts out with a recap video. The arrival of Nexus on RAW is featured, the beatdowns handed out to the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton are shown and the moment where Justin Gabriel pinned Cena at Survivor Series to win the WWE Championship for Wade Barrett is also featured. Barrett is shown holding the WWE Championship with Ezekiel Jackson, Heath Slater, David Otunga and Skip Sheffield in the background. A soundbite of Jim Ross questioning if anybody can stop the Nexus is played before we roll into footage of the final RAW of 2010 last week. Words are heard from Jerry Lawler about how Nexus and Barrett have dominated 2010 and then we see that Triple H and Kurt Angle have been left all alone against the entire Nexus in their main event tag team match last week. Quick clips of Daniel Bryan and Justin Gabriel fighting out of the arena and Edge spearing RVD into the steel steps are shown before we see HHH and Angle stood across the ring from the five Nexus members. JR questions whether or not Triple H and Kurt Angle should focus on simply getting out of the match unharmed; Lawler suggests that they have zero chance of winning. A clip shows Jackson and Sheffield beating the hell out of the Number 1 contender, Triple H, on the outside before we see Barrett attempt to finish Kurt Angle ... ANGLE SLAM! Kurt Angle pins Wade Barrett and, for the first time in ages, Nexus are defeated, Nexus are not invincible. The video ends with Barrett and the Nexus looking furious in the ring but holding the WWE Championship before we see Triple H and Kurt Angle celebrating on the ramp and Angle signalling that he wants to be the WWE Champion still!
JR and King welcome us to the first show of the New Year and they promise that 2011 will be a huge year in the annals of the WWE. They look forward to the Royal Rumble which will be in just under 3 weeks time and they speculate as to the damage that last week’s defeat may have had on the confidence of WWE Champion Wade Barrett and the Nexus. JR also reveals that there will be some amazing matches tonight as a New Year treat to the WWE Universe – he confirms that Miz and Matt Hardy will face each other one on one as announced on SMACKDOWN last week; also tonight, we will see a United States Championship rematch as Daniel Bryan looks to regain the title that he lost to the new US Champion, Justin Gabriel.
*** SEXY BOY ***
RAW General Manager
Tampa, Florida greets HBK with a raucous reception as the WWE legend and the RAW General Manager heads for the ring to start of 2011. Once in the ring, HBK takes a microphone and thanks the WWE Universe for their continued support of him and Monday Night RAW and promises to make 2011 an amazing year for the WWE. He says that – despite what Michael Cole thinks – he has been assured by the WWE directors that he is doing a good job of running RAW and that his job is safe. He does identify that he needs to restrain himself from physicality though and that his superkick to Sheamus at Vengeance was wrong. He moves onto the WWE Championship and – to the delight of the crowd – he announces that for tonight he has banned Nexus from the show. HBK suggests that he has done this to ensure that there is no retribution towards Triple H and Kurt Angle after they defeated Nexus last week. HBK speculates that if he had allowed Nexus here tonight, Kurt Angle in particular would have been in danger of assault and that he wasn’t willing to risk that considering the main event that he has decided on. HBK points out that it was the Olympic gold medal winner that actually defeated Wade Barrett last week and that, as a result of pinning the WWE Champion, he would deserve an opportunity to earn a WWE Championship match. HBK takes the cheers of the audience and then announces that tonight it will be Kurt Angle ... one on one ... against the Number 1 contender for the WWE Championship, Triple H. If Kurt Angle wins the match, he will be entered into the Royal Rumble title match and it will become a Triple Threat between Barrett, Hunter and Angle for the title. The crowd seem pleased with this announcement and they continue to cheer HBK as his music sounds and he exits the ring ...
JR and King hype up tonight’s main event – Triple H vs. Kurt Angle – as HBK leaves the ring and heads backstage and they discuss how a win for Kurt tonight could make the Royal Rumble WWE Championship match even better than it already is. They also discuss how Barrett must be feeling about the news – he will be desperate to see Triple H win tonight, suggests King. The cameras switch from HBK to the backstage area where Josh Mathews is stood waiting for an interview ...
Josh welcomes us backstage and wishes the WWE Universe a ‘Happy New Year’ before introducing his guest ... THE MIZ! Miz’ cocky smirk appears on camera and he is dressed ready for action tonight as he holds the MITB briefcase. Miz says that due to Barrett not being in the arena tonight, he doesn’t really need the MITB briefcase with him. However, he believes that he doesn’t need the MITB briefcase anyway and he goes on to confirm that he sees it as more of an insurance policy. Miz reminds us that in just 20 days time, the Royal Rumble will be heading to his home town of Cleveland, Ohio, where he will win and become the Number 1 contender for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 27. He moves on to say that tonight he faces Matt Hardy and he will continue with his momentum towards the Royal Rumble. Miz promises victory and suggests that the WWE Universe better get used to hearing that he has won his match. He says that at WrestleMania 27, the ring announcers will be finishing the show saying ... “Here is your winner and the NEW WWE Champion ... THE MIZZZZZZZZ!” ... and that is because he is ... AWWWWEEESSSSOMMMMME! Into the shot strides Matt Hardy chuckling to himself, there is a pop from the crowd for the appearance of the veteran. Hardy reminds Miz that he has already entered the previous two Royal Rumbles – and in total has lasted just 1 minute and 35 seconds! Miz looks furious with Hardy for mentioning that but Hardy continues by identifying that the average time Miz spends in the Rumble is just 57 seconds! Hardy laughs at the look on Miz’ face and says that tonight he will show Miz why he is the man who has more chance of winning the Royal Rumble when he stops the Miz’ momentum – and that will be awesome!
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
*** AWESOME – I CAME TO PLAY ***
Cleveland, Ohio | 220 pounds | Money in the Bank contract holder
Greeted by jeers, Miz holds the MITB briefcase high and begins to make his way towards the ring with an arrogant but determined look in his eyes. JR and Lawler show replays of Friday Night SMACKDOWN when Miz hit the winning pinfall during a 6-man tag match – Skull Crushing Finale to Evan Bourne – and they discuss the momentum that Miz is building ahead of his home town Royal Rumble match. Jerry Lawler says he doesn’t like Miz but he thinks he’ll last a lot longer than 57 seconds in the Rumble this year and that he could be a danger, maybe a winner ...
*** LIVE FOR THE MOMENT ***
Cameron, North Carolina | 235 pounds
As Hardy heads for the ring, JR and King discuss the long career of the former member of the Hardy Boys and the accomplishments in his career. They mention his reigns as US Champion, Hardcore Champion, Cruiserweight Champion, ECW Champion and 8 times as the Tag Team Champion – but then point out that he has never won the big one, the World or WWE Championship. JR reminds us that Matt had a golden chance to earn an opportunity at the World Championship at Vengeance but he lost to Christian, the man who is now set to challenge CM Punk at the Royal Rumble. King says that he is desperate to see Matt Hardy finally climb to the mountain top and become a champion here in WWE – but he says he doesn’t think it will ever happen. Hardy is in the ring and saluting the fans as he prepares to face Miz here tonight ...
MATCH 1 | SINGLES MATCH
MATT HARDY vs. THE MIZ
A back and forth contest that allows both men to showcase their abilities as they hit their best moves on each other but are unable to finish off their opponent when they are on top. The contest spills outside and this allows the Miz to get control as he uses some dirty tactics to put Matt down – a whip into the barricades, a ram of the head into the announce table and a shove into the ring post allow him to gain the control needed. Miz rolls Hardy into the ring and he hits his running clothesline in the corner before standing back and preparing to hit the Skull Crushing Finale. However, Matt manages to fight out of this and he goes to counter with the Twist of Fate. Miz counters into his backbreaker and neckbreaker combination move and goes for the cover ...
1 ... 2 ... Matt kicks out!
A DDT to Matt as he gets to his knees allows Miz to retain the edge in the match but again he fails to pin Hardy as he kicks out at 2 once more. Miz lifts Hardy onto his shoulders, Matt is sitting there stunned as Miz looks to hit the Electric Chair drop; however, Matt adjusts in the air as Miz starts to fall back and manages to drop a leg over Miz instead. He catches the Miz’ legs and tries to hold the cover ...
1 ... 2 ... Miz kicks out!
Hardy locks in the Scar submission hold instead as Miz is wobbling on his feet and he wrenches Miz down to the mat. Miz screams in pain but doesn’t tap as he readjusts and manages to get his feet on the ropes. The referee breaks the hold but Hardy hits a quick elbow to a grounded Miz before heading for the top rope. Standing looking down over Miz, Hardy hits the Hardy pose before dropping the leg over Miz with great impact from the corner. The crowd go wild and count along as Hardy makes the cover ...
1 ... 2 ... 3! Nooooo!
Miz kicks out at the last second and Hardy cannot believe it. Hardy gets to his feet frustrated but waits for Miz ... Hardy goes for the Side Effect but Miz gets free ... SKULL CRUSHING FINALE! MIZ TAKES HARDY DOWN! Cover from Miz ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
THE MIZ (8:39)
JR and King bemoan the fact that Hardy couldn’t quite get the victory but begrudgingly praise Miz for another solid win as he continues to build momentum towards the Rumble. Miz stands outside the ring on the ramp holding his briefcase high as the referee raises his arm and he stares at Hardy who is sat in the ring disappointed again. Miz smiles as he turns and walks out of the arena and leaves Hardy to his thoughts as he suffers another big defeat tonight ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
THE ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA 27 BEGINS ...
Who will win the Royal Rumble and advance to WrestleMania 27? *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
RAW returns with Justin Gabriel preparing for his match tonight, a United States Championship match with the former champion, Daniel Bryan. He picks up the title and he looks at his name on the title before turning to head out of the locker room. His route is blocked though as in walks his opponent, Daniel Bryan. There is tension in the air, these two got carried away last week in the main event and ended up fighting out of the arena. Bryan tells Gabriel that he wants to apologise for what happened last week, he shouldn’t have got carried away. Gabriel apologises too and says that these things happen in the heat of the battle – the pair of them shake hands. Daniel Bryan continues by saying that he doesn’t know why he got so angry with Justin, after all, he won the US Championship fair and square at Vengeance. Just like tonight, he will win it back – fair and square. Gabriel chuckles and says that he respects Bryan but there is no way he is going to lose the title tonight. The tension mounts again but it is broken as in walks Ted DiBiase – holding a referee’s shirt. DiBiase informs the pair of them that he has spoken to HBK and that he has ‘persuaded’ him to allow him to be the Special Referee in their match tonight. Both Gabriel and Bryan shake their heads in disbelief. DiBiase continues by informing them that he believes that he deserves to be involved in the rematch – after all, he was in the match at Vengeance. However, HBK suggested that he could be the Special Referee instead and then he would be able to go after the US Championship in the coming weeks. DiBiase tells both men that whoever wins, they need to watch their backs because he intends to win the US Championship off them.
The cameras head back to the ring and we see the Special Referee making his entrance to the ring ready for the match ...
This match is set for one fall and it is for the United States Championship!
*** I COME FROM MONEY ***
A surprising pop for DiBiase as he enters the arena – he is from West Palm Beach though so it is understandable. DiBiase is wearing jeans and a custom-made t-shirt but he is carrying a referee shirt which he puts over his head and on over his t-shirt. He signals to the ring announcer to bring the two competitors out for the match ...
*** RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES ***
Aberdeen, Washington | 192 pounds
The former US Champion heads out into the arena and side steps to the ring whilst slapping hands with the WWE Universe. He stops at the ring and looks up at Ted DiBiase with a confused look in his eyes but shakes his head and enters the ring. DiBiase decides to check him immediately for foreign objects and he warns Bryan to ensure he fights fair tonight. Bryan looks unimpressed but allows this before awaiting his opponent ...
*** AFRICA RISING ***
Cape Town, South Africa | 223 pounds | US Champion
The newest champion here in the WWE heads out to the ring proudly wearing the US Championship belt around his waist. He leaps over the ropes into the ring and he jumps onto the corner ropes to salute the crowd. However, DiBiase interrupts and insists that the South African gets down so he can check him out for foreign objects too. Gabriel isn’t impressed either but allows it. DiBiase insists on him handing the US Championship to him and then he raises it in the air to signal that this match is for the US Championship. As he lowers it, DiBiase looks longingly at the title belt before glancing to Gabriel who is eying him suspiciously. DiBiase hands the title over to the ringkeeper and then the match can begin ...
MATCH 2 | SINGLES MATCH FOR THE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
ALEX RILEY vs. RANDY ORTON
Ted DiBiase actually makes a fair and uncompromising official as he ensures clean breaks and fair treatment for both men in the early going of the contest – although King speculates that means nothing and that both men should be on guard anyway! Bryan wins out in the early stages and he takes charge with a missile dropkick to Gabriel. Bryan controls the match from this point and he uses a number of suplexes to try and win the match but he is unable to get a better count that 2. DiBiase is counting fair and consistent and Daniel Bryan can have no complaints but he is caught off guard when Gabriel counters another suplex attempt with a springboard moonsault that allows him to roll up Bryan for victory ...
1 ... 2 ... Bryan rolls through for a cover of his own ...
1 ... 2 ... Kick out from Gabriel!
Gabriel is quickest to his feet and he springboards off the ropes into a sunset flip to take Bryan down again ...
1 ... 2 ... Bryan escapes in time!
Gabriel steps back and waits for Bryan to get to his feet before hitting a perfect Superkick to the face of Bryan that crashes him down in the corner. Gabriel’s fans are on their feet as he climbs to the top rope and goes for the 450 Splash; however, Bryan moves out of the way at the last second and Gabriel crashes down. Bryan takes advantage and locks Gabriel into the Cattle Mutilation and it appears that Gabriel’s reign as US Champion is going to last just 8 days as he squirms in pain. Gabriel desperately tries to reach the ropes but he is inches away, agonisingly close but not close enough. It appears he is about to tap out when suddenly DiBiase kicks Daniel Bryan hard in the head and causes a break. The crowd boo and jeer as Gabriel falls to the mat and Bryan gets up and confronts the referee. DiBiase points to the badge on his shirt and tells him to stop complaining and to get on with the match. However, Bryan continues to stalk DiBiase. Groggily, Gabriel gets to his feet and – not knowing what has happened – he rolls Bryan up from behind ... DiBiase goes down to count ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
WINNER & STILL US CHAMPION
JUSTIN GABRIEL (7:21)
It was a quick count from Ted DiBiase that has allowed Justin Gabriel to retain the United States Championship. Far from feeling celebratory, Gabriel realises that DiBiase is up to no good and was the reason for him retaining the US Championship. He looks annoyed and apologises to Daniel Bryan for beating him that way. As the pair of them discuss what has happened, DiBiase exits the ring and he starts walking away up the ramp laughing. JR and King speculate over why DiBiase decided to help Gabriel to retain the title whilst Bryan and Gabriel look after him with a frustrated look on their faces. Will there be another rematch soon?
RAW switches to a review of last week’s first show of NXT Season 3 ...
NXT SEASON 3 – EPISODE 1
Quick sound clips from Matt Striker explaining about the process of NXT Season 3 – no gimmicks, no silly competitions, just wrestling and earning a right to be named the best wrestler in the competition to earn a WWE or World Championship match after WrestleMania 27. Team Rock and Team JBL are introduced quickly before we hear Striker announcing how the ranking system will work and how the initial rankings will be determined over the next three shows. The ‘Team Rock’ 4-man Elimination Match is shown first with Rock hitting the Rock Bottom to Ziggler beforehand and then Ziggler being eliminated quickly by Khali. We also see Chavo Guerrero and R-Truth teaming to try and take out Khali but they fail and Khali also eliminates R-Truth as well. The final elimination of the match sees Chavo fall to Khali as well and Khali looks a good bet for NXT victory in the first match!
Striker and Mathews are played discussing who will face the Team Rock members from Team JBL when the first rankings are determined. We see each of the four members of ‘Team JBL’ shown as well as a clip showing the locker room discussion that Kaval was barred from. The beatdown of Kaval is shown and MVP reluctantly eliminates him. We also now see Kozlov taking out his former partner, Santino – on JBL’s orders – before the rest of the JBL match is shown. McIntyre is eliminated next and then we see MVP falling to Vladimir Kozlov thanks to the Iron Curtain. The clip ends with Striker and Mathews speculating over the force of Great Khali and Vladimir Kozlov and whether or not anybody else can stop these two men fighting out for the NXT win at WrestleMania?
THIS WEEK ON EPISODE 2
Rank 5 and 6 Match: Drew McIntyre vs. R-Truth
Rank 3 and 4 Match: Chavo Guerrero vs. MVP
Plus action from the Divas and an announcement over the future of the Tag Team Championship!
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
CATCH NXT SEASON 3 THIS TUESDAY NIGHT!
Who will get the early momentum on the road to the NXT Final? *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
RAW returns with HBK backstage talking to the Bella Twins when they are interrupted by two men who have issues with the General Manager recently – Edge and Sheamus. The Celtic Warrior tells HBK that he is amazed that he managed to keep his job after he twice hit him with Sweet Chin Music – he says that he deserves to be treated better and he should be the Number 1 contender for the WWE Championship, not Triple H. HBK tells Sheamus that he has a chance tonight to earn a shot at the WWE Championship and Sheamus nods his head in approval. HBK says that Sheamus will face John Morrison tonight and if whoever is the winner, he will be entered into the 2011 Royal Rumble match. Sheamus’ smile fades and he says that wasn’t what he was thinking. HBK butters Sheamus up a little and says that the Celtic Warrior could win the Rumble and earn a chance to win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania – think about it ... Sheamus smiles and he accepts HBK’s offer and goes off to prepare. HBK smiles and turns to Edge who still looks annoyed. Edge wants to know what HBK is going to do to show he respects him. Shawn considers the request and says that Edge will also have a match tonight – he will face a rematch with RVD who beat him at Vengeance. Edge looks unimpressed and says that he’d better get a spot in the Rumble if he wins. HBK tells him that he hasn’t decided if Edge will be in the Royal Rumble yet – he says that he’d better get out there, win the match and impress him by doing it fairly and squarely. If Edge cheats to win, he will not go to the Royal Rumble. Edge looks furious as HBK turns and walks away ...
*** AIN’T NO MAKE BELIEVE ***
Los Angeles, California | 224 pounds
Out comes John Morrison with a determined smile on his face – this is his chance to win himself a place in the Royal Rumble match. JR and King suggest that Morrison has been on a roll of late but he is unable to make the jump into the main event by getting that one big win he needs. Maybe the Royal Rumble could be the match where Morrison gets that one big win and ends up headlining WrestleMania 27? Morrison enters the ring and removes his coat and shades before awaiting the Celtic Warrior for his match ...
*** WRITTEN IN MY FACE ***
Dublin, Ireland | 272 pounds | With Hornswoggle
Out heads the Celtic Warrior and he beats his chest to boos and jeers from the WWE Universe in attendance. Around his heels is Hornswoggle who jumps around his excitedly at the prospect of his friend earning his place in the Royal Rumble. Sheamus heads for the ring where John Morrison is waiting for him as King says that the Celtic Warrior is definitely somebody who he thinks could win the Royal Rumble this year and go on to headline WrestleMania 27. JR says that, like him or not, Sheamus took Triple H to the absolute limit in their recent PPV matches and could easily have been the man challenging Wade Barrett for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. Sheamus stands opposite Morrison in the ring and he mouths at him that he is going to win tonight and become the first man guaranteed in the Royal Rumble ...
MATCH 3 | SINGLES MATCH
JOHN MORRISON vs. SHEAMUS
John Morrison comes out of the blocks fast as he rocks Sheamus with right hands and a range of kicks that crash him back into the corner and allow him to get off to a flying start. Morrison is in control as he hits a tilt-a-whirl DDT to Sheamus that crashes him down on his head as he looks to gain a quick victory ...
1 ... 2 ... Kick out from Sheamus.
Morrison tries to keep control as he goes for a corkscrew plancha to Sheamus who is now on the outside of the ring. He misses though as Hornswoggle pulls Sheamus out of the way and Morrison lands hard on the floor outside the ring. Angered from Morrison’s fast start, Sheamus hits a huge Brogue Kick outside the ring and flattens Morrison. He drags Morrison’s prone body around the ring and slams him into the ring steps to the annoyance of the referee who orders them back into the ring. Sheamus does as told and covers Morrison for the lateral press pin ...
1 ... 2 ... Morrison kicks out!
Sheamus is in control now despite Morrison kicking out and he hits the Irish Curse backbreaker for another 2 count. Morrison scrambles to the ropes and Sheamus drags him up so he tied up in the ropes before thumping him over and over in the chest. Sheamus then allows Morrison to crawl back into the ring and waits to hit another Brogue Kick but Morrison dodges and Sheamus’ leg ends up over the top rope. Morrison hits a calk kick and Sheamus falls out of the ring to the floor. Morrison springboards from the outside of the ropes towards the Irish man and hits a moonsault that ends with both men crashing into the barricades. Rolling Sheamus back into the ring, Morrison has control and he slides into the ring and then runs at Sheamus to hit a running knee to the side of his face. The crowd go wild thinking Morrison has the match won but Hornswoggle leaps up onto the apron and distracts him for a second. Morrison hits a kick to the little fella’s gut and knocks him down to the floor again before covering Sheamus ...
1 ... 2 ... 3! No!
Sheamus amazes everybody by kicking out! Morrison is annoyed but he hits the ropes and then dropkicks Sheamus as he crawls up. Sheamus lands perfect for Morrison’s finishing move and he stands in the corner ready to strike. Leaping onto the ropes, Morrison spins round for Starship Pain ... Sheamus moves at the last second! Morrison hits the mat hard and he is dazed from it as Sheamus gets to his feet, bounces off the ropes and hits a BROGUE KICK! Morrison is down and Sheamus has control now ... He lifts Morrison up and sets up for the finisher ... IRISH HIGH CROSS FROM SHEAMUS!
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
Sheamus celebrates as the ring announcer confirms that he will be heading to the Royal Rumble match. The Celtic Warrior thumps his chest and shouts out that now he is guaranteed his place in the Rumble, he will go on and win and headline WrestleMania 27! Morrison staggers away as Hornswoggle joins the Celtic Warrior clutching his gut but happy that Sheamus is in the Rumble. JR and King hype up Sheamus’ entry to the Rumble and suggest that he could win the Rumble and go to WrestleMania!
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
“WRITTEN IN THE STARS” (Tinie Tempah featuring Eric Turner)
Official theme song of WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta, GA! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
RAW returns with the camera zoomed right in on the face of Michelle McCool’s new bodyguard, Kharma. She is looking mightily annoyed about something and the camera zooms out to show her face more. As the camera zooms right out, we see that she is stood with Michelle McCool and they are in the General Manager’s office waiting. In walks the General Manager, HBK, and he stops short as he spots the pair stood in his office. Michelle acts real friendly towards the GM and she tells him he is doing a wonderful job – HBK asks her what she wants. She says that she has a proposition for him but HBK cuts her off and says that if she wants to be the Divas Champion, then she is going to have to continue beating the Divas until she earns one. Michelle says that wasn’t what she wanted to ask him about – she says this is a different proposition regarding a lot further down the line ... WrestleMania! HBK looks interested and Michelle sidles up beside him and begins whispering in his ear – HBK’s expression turns from inquisitive to excited about whatever Michelle is telling him about. Eventually, HBK had heard what Michelle is proposing so he tells her that she needs to keep wrestling against the other Divas and he’ll see what he can do. Michelle looks satisfied and she beckons Kharma to follow her and they leave the General Manager office ...
The camera returns to the ring where it is time for our next match ...
*** METALINGUS ***
Toronto, Ontario, Canada | 241 pounds
Out heads the Rated R Superstar through the smoke on the stage and he looks ready to destroy RVD this evening after their match at Vengeance. He throws up the rock star symbols as the pyrotechnics explode behind him before sliding into the ring and removing his coat. He hops from one foot to another as he awaits his opponent and JR and King discuss whether or not he is being treat unfairly or not by the General Manager, Shawn Michaels. King says that Edge deserves what he gets as punishment for the way he walked out on RAW at Survivor Series but JR thinks that maybe Edge deserves his chance to earn himself a Royal Rumble place.
*** ONE OF A KIND ***
Battle Creek, Michigan | 237 pounds
ROB VAN DAM
A huge pop for RVD as he heads out to face Edge for the second time in eight days. Replays of the five-star Frog Splash at Vengeance are shown as we are reminded that RVD defeated Edge at Vengeance followed by footage of Edge spearing RVD last week on RAW and causing Rob to hit the back of his head on the steel steps to take him out of the 10-man tag match. JR and King both agree that these are two of the most exciting talents on RAW and they cannot wait for this match ...
MATCH 4 | SINGLES MATCH
EDGE vs. ROB VAN DAM
Fast paced action as two of RAW’s finest lock up in a fascinating contest. After an initial flurry of back and forth offence from both men, it is Edge that gains the upper hand with a flapjack to RVD as he comes off the ropes – RVD lands chest and throat first across the top rope with Edge insisting it was an accident but most people not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt either. Edge certainly takes advantage of the situation as he hits a series of right hands to RVD before a standing drop kick takes him down again. Edge goes for the first cover of the night ...
1 ... 2 ... Kick out from RVD!
Edge is back to his feet quickly though as he waits for RVD – he pops his opponent off into the ropes and then hits a spinning wheel kick that catches RVD square on the chin to crash him down again for another 2-count. Edge clotheslines a stunned RVD out of the ring over the top rope and then hits a baseball slide to RVD as he attempts to return to the ring. RVD rolls down back to the bottom of the ramp and Edge heads out to him where he starts throwing right hands in the aisle. The referee calls to Edge to return to the ring but Edge ignores him and decides instead to ram RVD head first into the barricades. The referee comes out and demands Edge return to the ring and threatens him with disqualification if he doesn’t adhere. With HBK’s earlier comments ringing in his ears, Edge decides to get back into the ring and he allows the referee to begin counting out RVD.
1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6 ... 7 ... 8 ... 9 ... RVD rolls back into the ring just in time!
Edge looks annoyed but he goes after RVD with a determined look in his eyes. He lifts RVD on his shoulders and steadies himself before dropping back – Electric Chair Drop! With RVD crashing down on his back, Edge goes to the corner and climbs to the top ropes where he perches for a moment awaiting his chance ... As RVD gets to his feet, Edge sails off looking for a missile drop kick but RVD manages to duck out of the way and the Rated R Superstar crashes down hard on the mat. RVD hits a combination of kicks to a stunned Edge as he fights his way back into the match and then manages to knock Edge down with Monkey Flip. With Edge down on his back, a cartwheel splash follows before RVD makes a cover of his own ...
1 ... 2 ... Edge kicks out!
RVD is back in the match now though and he kicks Edge in the gut before a windmill kick to trip Edge and send him down onto his back again. RVD now goes for Rolling Thunder but he hasn’t done enough damage to Edge to get away that as he brings up his knees and RVD has an awkward landing ... Roll up from Edge ...
1 ... 2 ... Kick out!
Both men struggle up and RVD goes for a steamroller slam but Edge wriggles out and catches Rob off guard as the bottom falls out and Edge hits the Edge-o-matic to crash RVD down onto his back. Edge clutches the legs of RVD and pulls them back as his legs hold down the shoulders for a cover ...
1 ... 2 ... RVD escapes just in time!
Edge is quickest to his feet and he steps back as RVD gets up ... Big Boot! Edge sends RVD crashing down to the mat with the boot and then retreats to the corner as the WWE Universe – despite not cheering for him – chant ‘Spear!’ to Edge. The Rated R Superstar pulls at his hair and summons RVD to his feet, getting more and more wound up. As RVD spins round, Edge hurtles towards him but Rob moves and shoves Edge on his way and he collides head first with the middle turnbuckle instead. Clutching his mouth, Edge stumbles back towards RVD who springboards off the ropes to hit a side kick to send Edge down to the mat. RVD goes again, here we go ... ROLLING THUNDER! This time, Edge cannot escape and RVD’s body weight drops south onto the stomach of Edge who is writhing in pain on the mat. RVD senses his chance and he jumps quickly up onto the top rope as the crowd chant his name ... ‘R-V-D!’ chant the crowd as RVD wastes time on the top rope pointing to himself. RVD goes for the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH ... and misses! Edge rolls out of the way just in time and RVD hits the mat with a thud. Stumbling up, RVD is clutching his midriff ... SPEAR! EDGE SPEARS RVD! The crowd jeer but Edge makes the cover ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
Edge celebrates his first victory in a while – he has been placed in some difficult situations recently to be fair – and the referee raises his arms as Metalingus blasts out. RVD clutches his stomach as he staggers up the ramp and JR and King speculate over Edge’s chances of winning the Royal Rumble. King reminds us that HBK has not guaranteed Edge’s place yet but admits that on that performance tonight Edge does deserve his chance in the Royal Rumble – after all, he did win the 2010 Royal Rumble last year!
The camera switches to footage of Randy Orton walking backstage is shown as the Viper walks around preparing to come to the ring. JR and Jerry Lawler hype up Orton’s comments that are going to follow after the break as RAW heads into another commercial ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
ROYAL RUMBLE 2011
Live and Exclusive from Cleveland, Ohio – January 23! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
*** VOICES ***
Randy Orton begins to saunter down to the ring with the cheers of the crowd ringing in his ears. JR and King remind us of Orton’s actions last week on SMACKDOWN – when he was banned from appearing on SMACKDOWN remember – and identify how it cost John Cena the chance to become the World Champion at Royal Rumble. Instead, CM Punk will be defending the World Championship against Christian after the Canadian surprised a distracted Cena. Orton, dressed in a custom made Orton shirt and jeans, poses in the corner of the ring and he is a maniacal smile on his face. Whatever punishment is coming to him over his action, he is clearly pleased with himself as he prevented Cena having a World Championship match at the Royal Rumble event which means he is one step closer to a match with Cena himself. Orton takes a microphone and he begins to speak to the WWE Universe despite the ‘RKO!’ chants in the background. Orton comments that on Friday night, he cost John Cena a shot at the World Championship before reminding us that it was John Cena who lost him the WWE Championship back at Survivor Series. Orton says that Cena must be furious with him and he appeals to Cena’s sense of competition – he says that it must be eating away at Cena’s insides, he must be dying to get back at him and he can do just that. Either show up on RAW or agree to face him at the Royal Rumble. Orton even suggests that Cena can choose a stipulation, any match choice that he wants, as long as he faces him at the Royal Rumble. Orton challenges Cena, if he is in the building tonight, to come out and accept his challenge ...
But it isn’t Cena that heads out!
*** POPPIHOLLA ***
Owner of the WWE
There is a mixed reaction for the new WWE owner after his recent actions in firing Teddy Long from SMACKDOWN and replacing him as General Manager with Michael Cole. Butty comes out smiling and waving to the WWE Universe in attendance as well as shaking hands with those at ringside. He is wearing a suit tonight and he enters the ring where Orton is staring at him. A grave look comes across the face of Butty as he steps through the ropes into the ring and it is clear that he is here to reprimand Orton for his actions. Butty signals for his music to be faded out and then he turns to the Viper. First of all, says Butty, if Orton lays a finger on him tonight, he will be fired on the spot. The crowd boo this decision but Butty says it was necessary to mention that before he started as he doubts that the Viper is going to like what he is about to hear. Butty tells Orton that last week he was clearly told not to go on SMACKDOWN and he shows a replay where HBK told Orton this ... Butty asks Orton if he accepts this comment and Orton nods. Butty then moves on to explain that Randy Orton ignored that instruction and not only appeared on SMACKDOWN but also interfered in the first main event of Michael Cole’s reign as SMACKDOWN General Manager. Furthermore, Orton RKO’d Michael Cole – huge cheers for this from the WWE Universe and King praises the Viper’s actions here. Orton is smiling widely and he interrupts Butty by suggesting that he watches a video he has prepared in his defence. Orton shows a video where Cena has hit him with uncalled for Attitude Adjustments, lost him his WWE Championship and then interfered in the rematch to cost him the title again. He says that Cena cost him another shot at the title when he interfered in the tournament on RAW to determine the Number 1 contender and then at Vengeance, Cena cheated to defeat him in their grudge match. Orton says that Cena has gotten off lightly with one distraction on SMACKDOWN when, in all reality, he should have punted his head off.
Butty listens to Orton’s point of view but shakes his head. He says that Orton disobeyed a direct order from the WWE Board of Directors and that cannot be allowed. Orton says that he is happy to take the punishment and Butty pauses for a moment as he considers what he is about to say. He says he thought about suspending Orton but that would be bad for business so he has made another decision – Randy Orton will not be allowed to compete, in any way, shape or form, at the upcoming Royal Rumble PPV. He will not be involved in a match and he will not be participating in the Royal Rumble. Orton looks furious but Butty insists that his decision is final and he leaves the ring where Orton fumes with rage. As Butty walks away up the ramp, there are more jeers for the WWE owner and Orton looks ready to explode ...
*** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
CATCH SMACKDOWN LIVE THIS FRIDAY!
Christian will challenge CM Punk at the Royal Rumble – find out his thoughts this Friday! *** COMMERCIAL BREAK ***
JR and King remind us of the monumental ruling from the WWE owner Chip Butty moments ago as he banned Randy Orton from competing in any kind of match at the Royal Rumble PPV in three weeks time. There are loud boos from the WWE Universe as Chip Butty is shown backstage quickly walking to his limosine. As he tries to get in, somebody calls out ‘Chip!’ and Butty turns round with a look of terror thinking that Orton is after him. Into the picture though walks the RAW General Manager Shawn Michaels. HBK asks Butty if he is sure about what he just announced – HBK says the WWE Universe aren’t going to be happy about this. Butty says that Orton has to learn that he cannot go around acting the way he likes. If HBK isn’t going to keep him in line, then he will. HBK looks annoyed with that comment as Butty gets into the limo, closes the door and the car speeds off out of the arena ...
*** MEDAL ***
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | 240 pounds
King excitedly reminds us that we have a major main event tonight as well as attention turns towards Kurt Angle who is heading for the ring ready for action. He stands with his hands up as the pyro explodes red, white and blue behind him before heading to the ring looking pumped up and ready. King reminds us that if Kurt Angle wins tonight, HBK is going to insert him into the Royal Rumble WWE Championship match so it will be a Triple Threat between WWE Champion Wade Barrett, Triple H and Kurt. However, if Angle loses, it will stay as Barrett vs. Triple H. JR suggests that not only would Wade Barrett want to keep it down to just him and Hunter, so would the Game. He says he expects Triple H to be at his best tonight to defeat Kurt and ensure he gets his WWE Championship opportunity as a one on one contest. King agrees and says that he believes the Game will go to WrestleMania as the WWE Champion ...
*** TIME TO PLAY THE GAME ***
Greenwich, Connecticut | 260 pounds
Green lights and spotlights accompany the Game to the ring and Jim Ross suggests that we are looking at a future hall of famer. King agrees and they discuss the history of Triple H and his staggering thirteen championship reigns. King speculates that Triple H is focussed on making sure he matches or betters the number of titles won by his friend, the great Ric Flair, who has a tally of sixteen championship reigns. JR says that Triple H is one of the greats but that he is certain that he’d feel happier facing Barrett one on one than with Angle in the mix as well. King points out that facing Barrett is very rarely a one on one contest anyway with Nexus around. JR reminds us that Nexus have been given the night off by HBK tonight to keep them away from a revenge attack on Angle after he beat Barrett last week on RAW.
MAIN EVENT | SINGLES MATCH
KURT ANGLE vs. TRIPLE H (if Kurt Angle wins, he will be involved in the WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble)
The bell rings and we are about to get started as two legends of the WWE and multiple time champions get set to square off. Although these two teamed up last week, it is well known that they do not get on that well – their lack of trust in each other stems back to Angle’s early WWE years when the pair met regularly with the WWE Championship on the line. However, they do respect each other and they both know that one false move tonight could lead to a defeat just like that. In the early stages of the match, both men are wary and there is some mat wrestling in which Kurt specialises. In the end, Triple H breaks this as he whips Kurt into the ropes before hitting an Atomic Drop. He follows this with a clothesline and he sends Kurt over the top rope to the outside – just as he did, JR reminds us, at the end of the 2002 Royal Rumble to end Kurt’s Rumble dream. Is that an omen? Kurt steps back into the ring and catches Triple H with a perfect belly to belly suplex before a back suplex as Hunter gets back up. Kurt makes the first cover of the match but there is no way he is keeping him down with two suplexes and Hunter kicks out at 1. Angle tries to stay on top and he takes down Triple H a number of times before sending him into the ropes again and trying to catch an overhead German suplex throw that fails when Hunter manages to shove Angle away. Clothesline from Hunter rocks Angle and crashes him down again. Hunter whips Angle into the corner with authority and Angle hits the buckles hard before another clothesline from Hunter in the corner. Triple H then locks in a Sleeper hold and he tries to wear down Angle as they drop down to the mat ...
With Angle in the sleeper, Hunter has control and he slows the match right down as he continues to hold Angle in the hold. Angle tries to fight out but fails and the referee starts to worry about Angle and checks on his arm. Unsurprisingly, the third arm check gets results as Kurt holds his arm up and fights back to his knees where he uses elbows to the gut to create a break. Angle rushes to the ropes and comes at Triple H but he is rocked again as Hunter hits a big time spinebuster to knock the wind out of the Olympian. Hunter with the cover ...
1 ... 2 ... Angle kicks out at 2!
Triple H stomps on Angle’s mid-section before grabbing the legs of the man who is hoping to earn a chance at the WWE Championship by winning the match. The crowd know what is coming and they begin to ‘Wooooooooooo!’ as Triple H begins to lock in the Figure Four Leg Lock made famous by Ric Flair. Angle yells out in pain as Hunter locks it in and the referee begins to check if Angle wants to give it up. Angle tries to roll out of the hold and also tries to get to the ropes but he cannot and he is forced to take the pain. Hunter wrenches back and almost gets counted down for 3 but he lifts up just in time. This moment of worry for Hunter allows Angle to edge closer to the rope and he now is within touching distance. Somehow, Angle finds the energy to get to the ropes and the referee orders Triple H to break the hold. He does as he is told but a little reluctantly. Hunter drops the knee onto the exposed head of Angle now as he tries to build towards ending the match and securing a one on one match with Barrett at Royal Rumble. A snap DDT follows and Hunter goes for a cover ...
1 ... 2 ... Angle escapes!
Triple H is now taking his time here and he locks in another submission hold with an Abdominal Stretch to Kurt. Again, Kurt refuses to give it up and Hunter tries to wrench him back and increase the tension but he cannot force a tap out. Triple H ends up releasing the hold as he realises it won’t win the match and he pops Angle into the ropes instead. Backbreaker from Triple H and he has Angle down again and goes for a cover ...
1 ... 2 ... Angle kicks out!
Angle staggers to the corner and Triple H mounts his opponent there and begins to hit him with some heavy right hands as the crowd chant along. At 10, Triple H jumps back and he waits for a groggy Angle to fall forward which he does. With Angle face down in front of him, Hunter lifts him up and starts positioning for the Pedigree for the first time. However, Angle counters with a back body drop instead and then hits a German Suplex to surprise the Game again ...
1 ... 2 ... Triple H kicks out!
Angle grabs Hunter for another German Suplex but the Game fights out instead and goes for a clothesline. Angle ducks it before taking Triple H down and rolling through with his opponent’s ankle in his grasp. The crowd realise that Angle is in place for an Ankle Lock and there is a mixed reaction as he tries to lock it in. However, Hunter fights hard to escape and he manages to kick Angle off him. Kurt is not to be put off though and he hits another suplex to Triple H before pulling down the strap ... ANKLE LOCK! KURT ANGLE LOCKS IN THE ANKLE LOCK! Excitement builds in the arena as Angle is this close to winning the match now – will Triple H escape? He is stretching for the ropes but struggling to get there. With his fingers almost there, Angle suddenly drags him back and grapevines the hold to make it more difficult to escape. Hunter is desperate to reach the ropes but it isn’t looking good. There is a commotion in the arena now as somebody is coming through the crowd near the ramp. The camera picks up former Nexus member Michael Tarver climbing the barricades and he comes towards the ring but the referee notices. The referee orders Tarver to leave but he refuses and the referee comes out of the ring to order him away. Behind the referee and behind Angle, there is another commotion – this time, we see Barrett entering the ring on the blind side with the WWE Championship in his hands. BAM! WADE BARRETT LEVELS KURT ANGLE WITH THE TITLE BELT! Quick as he came, Barrett exits the ring and escapes through the crowd. Conveniently, Tarver also decides to leave now and the referee can turn back to the ring where Kurt Angle and Triple H are both down with the Game the only one showing signs of life.
The referee begins to count both men out but Hunter slowly gets to his feet and looks in shock at Angle who isn’t moving. Not realising what has happened, Hunter drags Angle up and positions him ... PEDIGREE! TRIPLE H WITH THE PEDIGREE! Hunter falls down on top of Angle for the cover ...
** 1 **
** 2 **
** 3 **
TRIPLE H (9:25)
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are incensed by what they have just seen and JR claims that Angle had the match won and he had a place in the WWE Championship match. King won’t commit to that but he says that Nexus were banned tonight – what were Tarver and Barrett doing here? They speculate on what Tarver’s appearance means for Nexus before the camera focuses on Triple H who is bewildered as he stands with his arm raised by the referee. Kurt remains face down on the mat as RAW comes to a close with no change to the Royal Rumble WWE Championship match ...
***** END OF SHOW *****
CONFIRMED MATCHES FOR ROYAL RUMBLE
Wade Barrett (c) vs. Triple H
CM Punk (c) vs. Christian
30 man Royal Rumble match
CONFIRMED ENTRANTS: Sheamus