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Old 02-08-2013, 03:28 PM   #121 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Back in the btb section and first thing i checked was this thread. I really enjoy your writing alot. Hopefully you can keep doing these shows constantly bc i really enjoy them. Raw looks really good this week. The streak vs streak is appealing I'm gonna go with Tyler Black. The matches for over the limit look good especially Core vs Edge and Christian. Hoping Barrett doesnt look weak maybe Edge and Christian break up and start a feud?
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:18 AM   #122 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Apologies for the wait; formatting always takes longer than I expect. That being said, it’s done, as is SmackDown, so I’ll get to work on Over The Limit. My priority for feedback is cp954, who I truly owe some thoughts (I’m talking a proper in-depth essay here, you know the type), and then I hope to spread some feedback around to people who aren’t in my usual route, simply because I’m getting a bit lazy, and I think some threads in the section need a little bit more feedback-wise than shitty one-liners without any kind of in-depth analysis. Unfortunately, last time I did that, I fear I ran Coolquip out of the section, so we’ll see how it goes this time.

Thanks to OML and the original jobber Stoj for their comments, I hope both of you keep your threads going so I can throw some feedback your way as well.

Enough rambling – like Percy Watson, it’s showtime.


Monday Night Raw
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas | 16th May 2011


Raw opens in a pitch black arena tonight. The crowd boos for some reason, perhaps simply because they can’t see, but we’re LIVE in San Antonio, Texas, according to the graphic that pops up in the bottom left corner.

Jim Ross:
Folks, this isn’t a technical issue – we’re live, this is Monday Night Raw... I…

The lights suddenly come up – standing in the middle of the ring, frowning with a mic in his hand, is WILLIAM REGAL, wearing his classic black and gold robe. He immediately gets some very loud boos from these San Antonio fans, but he merely tilts his head and exhales. Up comes the mic.

William Regal:
I… am William Regal.

Loud, loud heat for Regal’s antics here.

William Regal:
If anyone remembers the days when this show began from the dark, I’m impressed. Genuinely, I am.

He adjusts his robe, tightening it.

William Regal:
That was all once upon a time. The influence that I once had went down the drain. I became an afterthought.

A frown as a few cheers answer that.

William Regal:
Since my days as General Manager, everyone and their dog has attempted to follow me. Unfortunately, not Vickie Guerrero, Mike Adamle, Bret Hart, Stephanie McMahon nor Jerry Lawler… has held a candle to the impeccable job that I did.

Boos – even a few “JERRY! JERRY!” chants to try to draw Regal’s ire. He’s far too refined, however.

William Regal:
People are content to forget William Regal because they are afraid. They’re afraid of what I’m capable of, if I’m allowed the chance. The power that I have is very intimidating to some… understandable. I have more power – than anyone ever bloody well thought I would.

He weighs that left fist into the air, symbolising who he is, that very power.

William Regal:
Last week, you all saw my power again. I felt – free.

Regal smiles a little, then sweeps his hair out of his eyes.

William Regal:
I rose to my feet after making young Evan Bourne tap out… and I was disgusted to see that nothing had changed. Legions of people giving me the dreaded ‘thumbs-down’, or jeering my performance. That is hardly the sportsmanship I embody, but again – you wanted to forget me. Because you, each and every one of you…

Another small, small smile.

William Regal:
…are afraid.

Boos of disagreement from these fans.

William Regal:
This Sunday, I will team with Dolph Ziggler, and I will unleash every ounce of pent-up frustration at my disposal. I assure you of that. I plan to hurt John Cena. I plan to hurt Triple Haitch.

More heat for Regal’s dark tone.

William Regal:
And when the dust settles, I will be moving on… and I will become WWE Champion.

He takes a long sweeping look around the AT&T Center.

William Regal:
William Regal will once again be on top.

The crowd boos fiercely as Regal nods his head. He raises the mic again –

“IT’S TIME TO PLAY THE GAME…”


*THE GAME*


BUT THE CROWD GOES MENTAL!!! Regal lowers his mic with a frown, turning to face the stage… where TRIPLE H walks out, looking like he means business! Clad in that classic leather jacket above his jeans, the Cerebral Assassin whips off his shades and SPITS water everywhere, before he paces down towards the ring.

Jim Ross:
Strong words from William Regal, but here comes a man all the more outspoken – one of his opponents this Sunday, the Game, Triple H.

Josh Matthews: And though we talk about William Regal’s experience in that ring, JR, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more decorated and noteworthy man in the WWE… than the Game.

Jim Ross: Decorated though he may be, Josh, but he’s also stubborn. We witnessed that last week, when he left towards the end of John Cena’s match, allowing him to be attacked by Regal and Dolph Ziggler… and then simply watched the carnage. The WWE fans call for answers.

The Cerebral Assassin walks around ringside, stepping to the outside apron and staring coldly at Regal. Not to be outdone, the Englishman stares right back into his eyes, though he looks unimpressed that the Game has interrupted his important moment. Hunter steps in, snatching a mic from ringside, and turns back to face Regal. The music fades, but Triple H just continues to look at Regal, refusing to turn his head to acknowledge the “TRIPLE H! TRIPLE H!” chants reverberating around the AT&T Center.

Triple H:
Will, I’m gonna skip over what you said about my wife’s management skills… and get straight down to it.

Regal shrugs.

Triple H:
See, nobody’s afraid of you. It’s all in your head.

The Game’s finger to his temple.

Triple H:
It’s about your ego. You wanna stand here and flap your gums about anybody else, fine. But you start tryin’ to judge ME…

He takes a step forward, trying to intimidate the Englishman.

Triple H:
…then we got a problem.

A pop from the crowd.

Triple H:
And lemme get this straight, huh – you think people forgot you because you’re being held back… but the real reason people forgot you is because you SUCK.

Triple H throws him the CROTCH CHOP (~!) and begins to pace around the ring, as a pop goes up and the crowd begins to chant his name again. Regal tilts his head and scowls again.

William Regal:
You’ve got a lot of nerve, sunshine –

Triple H: Pipe down, I’m not done.

Regal purses his lips as the crowd cheers again.

Triple H:
What I saw last week – it doesn’t change my opinion of you. You know damn well that the difference between you and me isn’t just the titles. It’s an attitude thing.

Another mild cheer as Regal folds his arms.

Triple H:
We are men from the same generation. We’ve been through a whole lot in our careers, and to be honest, at one point or another, you did your job well. But this isn’t 1999 anymore. We’re standin’ here in 2011 and the fact is, you don’t make the grade.

Ooooh. Regal puts a tongue in cheek.

Triple H:
This Sunday, you’re not gonna hurt me.

The Game clenches a fist, and then, as menacing as can be…

Triple H:
All that’s gonna happen… well, let’s just say it’s gonna become very clear why I’m thirteen World Titles ahead of you.

“OHHH!” comes the reply from the crowd, but Regal seems more unimpressed than insulted. He looks around the arena, taking it in, before he turns back to the Game.

William Regal:
Are… are you finished now? Hm?

Tripper raises his eyebrows. Regal holds up an innocent hand.

William Regal:
Of course you are. There are only so many empty threats you can throw before you run clean out.

Some heat from the crowd there. Regal brushes his long hair away from his eyes.

William Regal:
Hunter – aren’t you a miserable little man.

More boos as the Game stares and stares.

William Regal:
Isn’t it a little ironic that you come out here, and talk to me about not being good enough? No? Frankly, sunshine, you aren’t worthy of lacing my boots, and this is just your defence mechanism for that.

Boos of disagreement from the crowd – “YOU SUCK!” they cry. Triple H doesn’t react.

William Regal:
It’s just as I said. I am an individual with power that you shall never possess. You’re just one of those men who jokes themselves into thinking they run the show, but you’re sadly, sadly mistaken, Hunter.

Heat again.

William Regal:
But perhaps you want proof. Proof I will happily provide; I could give you a thrashing on this very spot, six days early.

Triple H clenches a fist, nods his head. Regal clenches his signature left fist in response, as these two square up a little bit, the crowd chanting “TRIPLE H! TRIPLE H!” in the silence that follows…

Jim Ross:
We – we could be about to see a preview of this Sunday, folks… Regal and the Game are –

“I AM PERFECTIIIIIOOOON!!!”

*PERFECTION*


The AT&T Center FILLS with heat, although Regal and Hunter don’t end their stand-off immediately, until the booing increases and even they must turn their eyes to the stage… to see Dolph Ziggler making his way out with the biggest shit-eating grin on his face you’ll ever see. Alongside him, Vickie Guerrero wildly applauds her boyfriend as he spins to show the cameras the ‘PERFECTION’ branding stitched into his silver vest. He runs his hands through his wet hair, flicks it at the nearby fans, and he turns… to take a MIC from the hands of Guerrero.

Jim Ross:
After a possibly career-defining win against John Cena last week, Dolph Ziggler’s out here – oh jeez, I wonder what he’s gonna talk about, a real tough one there, Josh…

Josh Matthews: The so-called ‘Perfection Artiste’ doesn’t mince words, and that’s not helped when he wins big matches, JR. Hey, he’s a talent though, give the devil his due.

Ziggler, still on the ramp, casts that big grin around the arena and raises the mic.

Dolph Ziggler:
Oh BABY, can we even try to follow last week?

Boos surround the Perfection Artiste; his back arches as he leans over backwards with the pure enthusiasm of it all.

Dolph Ziggler:
I mean, it’s not enough that I BEAT John Cena – oh wait, let’s see that one again, shall we? I think so!

Ziggler spins on a heel and points to the Tron…

…where, of course, we get a “LAST WEEK” on the screen, showing Triple H walking out on the main event of Raw a week ago. When John Cena stops to ask the Game why he’s leaving, Ziggler capitalises with the Zig-Zag to win the match. We conveniently skip out the bit where Regal adds the Knee Trembler, ending on a shot of Ziggler, by himself, standing over Cena.

Back to the arena, then, where Ziggler approaches ringside with his smile, were it possible, even bigger than before. The crowd boos his needless highlight reel.


Dolph Ziggler:
It’s not enough that I beat Cena, but I looked good doin’ it! And Hunter, clearly… CLEARLY, you weren’t lookin’ closely enough, because if you had…

The Game is exchanging words with Regal, both men at each other’s throats a little as Ziggler and Vickie circle ringside.

Dolph Ziggler:
Hey, HEY! Eyes here!

Ziggler hops up to the apron, announce desk side, capturing Regal and Triple H’s attention again. It’s hard to tell who looks more annoyed by his interruption.

Dolph Ziggler:
I said, if you HAD been watchin’ closer, you’d have seen that your biggest threat… it’s not William Regal, oh no…

He steps inside the ring, as Vickie Guerrero does, though she climbs the steps instead. Ziggler runs his spare hand through his hair and flicks the water sideways.

Dolph Ziggler:
It’s ME.

Wild boos for Ziggler’s arrogance. The Perfection Artiste steps in front of Regal, making sure HE’S the one capturing every facet of Triple H’s POV.

Dolph Ziggler:
And I’m gonna tell you somethin’ else – this Sunday, what Cena felt last week, you’re gonna feel. And it’s gonna be a revelation, the kind that tells you I’M the new man, gets it done every single night and –

William Regal: Hang on just a moment, hang on.

Regal steps in between Ziggler and the Game, SHOVING Dolph slightly to create some distance between them. Ziggler takes a look at Vickie, then back to Regal – “did you just push me?”

William Regal:
Just, just one second there, sunshine.

The Englishman forces a disbelieving smile.

William Regal:
Your head has expanded to twice its size as well, young man. If I have to hurt you to win this Sunday, you bloody well better believe I will!

A mixed reaction for that, but Ziggler squares up to him immediately.

Dolph Ziggler:
What did you say to me?

Regal flares up as well, pointing his spare finger on to Ziggler’s chest.

William Regal:
I said, if you get on my wrong side, I put you in the same boat as him (pointing at Triple H), and the same boat as Cena, whenever he has the bollocks to show his miserable face.

Heat for that. Ziggler shakes out his shoulders and scowls.

But before these two future partners can touch each other, “DOLPH! DOLPH!” comes the screeching of one Vickie Guerrero, pulling Ziggler away from Regal. Triple H, meanwhile, watches the partnership collapse with no emotion, neither pleased nor saddened by the argument. Vickie starts whispering quick and fast in her boyfriend’s ear, and the Perfection Artiste begrudgingly nods. The mic again.


Dolph Ziggler:
This… this isn’t right.

Regal folds his arms.

Dolph Ziggler:
We shouldn’t fightin’ each other, Regal. That’s what he and Cena are doing, and it’s getting them nowhere. You know that.

Boos as Ziggler holds up his free hand to calm the Englishman. Triple H just stares.

Dolph Ziggler:
For now, we gotta be a team.

Vickie mutters something to him, and he nods.

Dolph Ziggler:
Tonight, we should have a match. You and me, and anyone Lawler can cook up, so we can trust each other. To get us to Sunday, alright?

A pause. Regal tilts his head back, even casting a glance at the stoic Triple H, before he nods.

William Regal:
Fine. And while we’re there…

He turns back to face the Game.

William Regal:
We might show you a little something – about the threat I… we… pose.

Nice correction there, William. Triple H raises his mic.

Triple H:
…I don’t care.

Mixed reaction.

Triple H:
The only thing I learned last week was that I can take you both on – myself. Because to be honest, I wasn’t impressed.

Starting to sound like Emperor DC here, but nonetheless, he presses on.

Triple H:
Neither of you impress me, neither of you are worth a damn, and on top of that, you’re outta your depth.

Ziggler and Regal exchange a glance. Hunter begins to fire up.

Triple H:
It doesn’t matter what you do tonight – I will still be the Game, and I will still win this Sunday, and I will still be THAT – DAMN – GOOD!

That gets a MASSIVE pop from those fans in attendance… BUT WILLIAM REGAL NAILS THE GAME WITH HIS MIC!!! Down goes Hunter in a heap, boos suddenly flooding the arena as Ziggler and Regal pounce on the Game with a series of stomps! Vickie Guerrero just stands there with a look of delight, as Regal throws his robe violently out of the ring, and falls to pound on Tripper with those nasty left hands. Ziggler removes his own vest, his hair splaying about now as he loses his cool, and it’s not long before the two of them pull the Game up…

…BUT HUNTER KNOCKS ZIGGLER BACK WITH A RIGHT HAND – AND ONE FOR REGAL TOO! The crowd goes wild again as the Game snarls, Ziggler hitting the ropes and getting MAULED with a clothesline on the return! Regal clubs Triple H from behind, and though he staggers, he turns and boots Regal in the gut… HOOKS THE ARMS – but Regal spins out of it, hits the ropes… ONLY TO GET DRILLED INTO THE CANVAS WITH THE DOUBLE A SPINEBUSTER!!! The Game stands, ROARING out at the cheering crowd, then turns to beckon Ziggler up… but VICKIE GUERRERO’S in the way this time! Boos ring around as Vickie screams in the face of the Cerebral Assassin… and Ziggler takes advantage, diving round his girlfriend to tackle out Triple H’s knees!

Again, the Game goes down, wincing, but he struggles back up – straight into a Dolph Ziggler Dropkick! Hunter bares his teeth and tries to get up, falling to a bent-over position… so Ziggler capitalises on the FAME ASSER!!! That puts Triple H down and out for the moment, as the Perfection Artiste flicks water down at him, and now Regal gets up, trying to click his back into motion again. Though he seems to be in pain, he falls on Tripper again with those vicious lefts, as the crowd begins to chant…

“CENA! CENA! CENA!”


…but no-one’s forthcoming this time, as the atmosphere darkens and Regal begins to go to work, his rage giving way to methodical violence. He directs his punches, putting Hunter through some real pain before he pulls him up… AND FEEDS HIM TO ZIGGLER FOR THE ZIG-ZAG!!! The noise in the arena just DIES on a dime, cut horribly silent with the impact; Ziggler enjoys every second, that smile forming on his face again, though much more devilish than before. Regal, meanwhile, isn’t done, stalking Triple H and telling him to get up one more time… the Game manages to find a knee, then plants two boots – BUT REGAL RUNS THROUGH HIM WITH THE KNEE TREMBLER!!! That knocks Hunter out, surely, as his body splays flat-out against the canvas, his hair strewn about the place and his eyes unfocused. Regal stands, collecting himself and trying to look classy.

The chants continue, but Ziggler and Regal stand tall with no-one to challenge them. Dolph points to Vickie, nodding his head, while Regal simply stares condescendingly down at the King of Kings, dethroned tonight by that harrowing assault. Ziggler looks to Regal – he’s still unsure, but something sits better with him now.


Jim Ross:
Dolph Ziggler and William Regal are by no means the perfect team, but…

Josh Matthews: I thought maybe we’d see John Cena, JR – I thought he’d come out and intervene, but Triple H didn’t do it on his behalf last week, so was this… was this payback?

Jim Ross: I’ve never known John Cena to hold petty grudges, Josh, but maybe, just maybe, his will was broken this time. Triple H is out cold, this could be exactly what we see on Sunday.

Ziggler and Regal exchange looks, uncertain but nonetheless on top…

Jim Ross:
And I’m getting word, these two men will be action together later tonight, so stay tuned to see how they co-operate in a sanctioned contest – Triple H looks in a bad way, Josh…

…and we go to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

To a quiet arena. The bell rings.

Justin Roberts:
The following contest is set for one fall… and it is for the WWE DIIIIIVA’S – CHAMPIONSHIP!

A mild pop, as various people are seen leaving their seats in the background.

*STRONG*


There’s a few cheers around the AT&T Center as Gail Kim arrives, pointing out at the crowd with a big smile. Unsurprisingly, she’s buzzed for her big shot at becoming the next top dog in the Diva’s division, and she can’t wait to get to the ring, though of course she spares a moment to greet the fans along the ramp. We cut briefly backstage to see DANIEL BRYAN, who gets an ALMIGHTY FUCKING POP from these fans in San Antonio, looking on to watch over his girlfriend’s big match. Think it’s dodgy that I put his name in all-caps and not hers? Absolutely it is, but that’s the irrelevance of modern women’s wrestling for you. Hopefully things will change soon.

Jim Ross:
Welcome back to Raw, folks, where we’re set for a Diva’s Title Match, but Josh, thinking back before the break, we’re yet to hear on the condition of the Game, Triple H.

Josh Matthews: William Regal’s Knee Trembler was the final exclamation point to a cold assault from he and his tag team partner this Sunday, Dolph Ziggler, and believe me, I don’t envy anyone who endures that move. I think he was unconscious, JR.

Jim Ross: We hope to give you more on that as it develops, ladies and gentlemen, but on a happier note, this is Gail Kim’s big night, and we should give her credit.

Josh Matthews: Absolutely, JR; Gail overcame a little bit of both Bella Twins last week to secure this title shot, and if her title resolve is anything like her boyfriend’s, we could be in for a great match.

As Gail heads for the ring, the stage suddenly has become clogged with photographers, as the music is replaced…

*PAPARAZZI*


Flash go the cameras, but only once they have their target – the Diva’s Champion, Melina, complete with the usual oversized feathers she wears on important occasions. There’s no red carpet, but nevertheless the Red Carpet Diva looks in fine form, smirking as she struts through the crowd of eager photographers towards the ring. She seems completely unfazed by the challenge of Gail Kim, who now stands in the corner waiting for her.

Jim Ross:
Well, no matter how strong Gail Kim’s resolve, she’ll have to overcome a great Diva, though her skill is about as great as her ego, in current champion Melina.

Josh Matthews: Melina prides herself in not having to do things by the book, JR; it’s how she won the title from Eve Torres in the first place, and Gail faces an uphill battle, no doubt. But if she wins, no-one will say she doesn’t deserve it.

Melina discards her feathers at the foot of the ramp, and a host of crew members rush to carry them dutifully away. She clambers to the apron, handing her title to referee Justin “THE PIMP” King, who must officiate all female contests so he can check the competitors out. Melina grabs the top rope… and NAILS the splits, impressive as always, before she slips under the rope and into the ring. Her music dies down, though she fills the silence with her own trash talk – “You wish you were THAT flexible, honey.” Justin Roberts is still hanging around.

Justin Roberts:
Introducing first, the challenger… from Toronto, Ontario, Canada… GAIL – KIM!

Another decent pop from the crowd as Gail grins and raises an arm.

Justin Roberts:
And from Hollywood, California… the Red Carpet DIIIVA and the current WWE Diva’s Champion… MELINA!

The cheers turns to boos as Melina points to Gail – “You’re mine, sweetie. All mine.” Justin Roberts leaves the ring, Justin King raises the disgusting butterfly belt to the crowd, then hands it to ringside and calls for the bell.

Match One – Singles Contest – Diva’s Championship
Diva’s Champion Melina versus Gail Kim


To business; after perhaps six, six and a half minutes, we join the ladies as they battle back-and-forth. Melina hits harder, but Gail has the slight edge when it comes to in-ring IQ, so it makes for a good match (by WWE Diva’s standards) and has some decent reversals, mostly from the challenger’s side of things. One such reversal can be seen as we jump in, with Melina tormenting Gail with a side headlock on the mat, but the challenger manages to swivel, getting her legs up around Melina’s neck… and choking her so hard she has to release the headlock! A few cheers go up for Gail’s ingenuity, but Melina’s quickly out of the choke, so both ladies get up, hitting the ropes… Gail ducks the clothesline, then hits a Spinning Back Kick to the champion’s gut. Gail measures her target, hooking Melina’s arm across her chest – and connecting with the Straight Jacket Neckbreaker! It’s sweetly executed from the challenger, who wastes no time basking in the mild praise from the announce desk, and crawls into the cover… one… two… but Melina kicks out!

Gail sweeps her hair out of her eyes. She’s a little tired, but she’s come too far to give up, so she forces herself up and measures Melina again. When the champion finds the energy to get up, Gail SWINGS – and misses – on the big Roundhouse Kick, so Melina hauls her down… SCHOOL GIRL… NO! Gail manages to roll through that, back to her feet, hitting the ropes – but Melina bridges spectacularly under the clothesline, Matrix-style, and when Gail turns around… BAM! MELINA STRIKES WITH THE SUPERKICK!!! Gail goes down like a sack of potatoes, and surely that’s lights-out as Melina holds up three fingers and hooks a leg… one… two… BUT NO! KICKOUT BY GAIL! Melina turns to look at Justin King, stunned that her signature ‘get-em-from-behind’ move didn’t work for once! It shows just how Gail Kim is more than your average competitor, but Melina’s not happy, having a bit of a tantrum as she gets up.

A few “Let’s go Gail!” chants start, but they die, mostly because her name doesn’t lend itself well to chants; regardless, the woman in question finds her feet, shaking out the cobwebs. Melina, meanwhile, stalks her, possibly calling for the end. Gail Kim turns, looking a little dizzy, so Melina launches the SUPERKICK AGAIN – NO GOOD THIS TIME! Gail ducks it, then lines up EAT DEFEAT – ONLY FOR MELINA TO REVERSE THAT! The Diva’s Champion spins away, kicking her challenger in the gut and bending her into the inverted facelock – she SCREEEAAAMS out at the crowd – but Gaul gets out of the Primal Scream attempt… AND KICKS HER FUCKING HEAD IN!!! The arena pops BIG as Gail nails her Roundhouse Kick, channelling her inner Daniel Bryan, but in her exhaustion, even she has to fall to a knee. Melina’s unsure where she is, crawling about on the mat and trying to recover, while Gail gets to her feet and calls for the end! A pop goes up as Gail raises an arm to fire up the fans, and as Melina puts her hands on the ropes, it could be time for a new champion…

…but the crowd is booing – AS ALEX RILEY SLIDES INTO THE RING… AND CLUBS GAIL KIM DOWN FROM BEHIND!!! Gail hits the deck hard – what just happened? Justin King is stunned, and he has no choice but to throw this one out, as Alex Riley stands above a downed Gail Kim! The arena is in all kinds of confusion!

Result: Gail Kim bts. Diva’s Champion Melina via DQ at 8:57

The bell chimes, but although Gail has won, the title doesn’t change hands, and the heat is HUGE for Alex Riley, wearing his Varsity Villain jacket, as he smirks down at Gail.

Jim Ross:
What in God’s name – what the HELL is Alex Riley doin’ down here?

As Melina rolls from the ring and hurriedly grabs her title, the attention remains in the ring, where Gail Kim struggles up to her knees, clearly in pain. Riley isn’t done, though, yanking her to her feet… and HOISTING HER ON TO HIS SHOULDERS!!!

Jim Ross:
No – NO! Somebody stop this guy! He’s lost his gawd-damn MIND!

Gail’s screaming, but Riley marches her around the ring, smirking his face off – “Hey Bryan, got any words for me NOW?”… AND DRILLING GAIL KIM WITH THE VARSITY BLUES TKO!!!

Jim Ross:
Son of a BITCH!

Josh Matthews: (frantic) Alex Riley just TKO’d Gail Kim, he laid his hands on… he can’t do that!

The crowd gives Alex Riley HELL, but the Varsity Villain doesn’t care in the slightest. Gail Kim is motionless on the mat, destroyed by Riley’s finisher… AND HERE COMES DANIEL BRYAN, getting a MASSIVE pop from this crowd – BUT RILEY SCARPERS UNDER THE BOTTOM ROPE! Of course, A-Ry wants no piece of Bryan, who slides to check desperately on his girlfriend.

Jim Ross:
The Miz… Miz has gone too far this time, ladies and gentlemen. That was despicable.

As Riley backtracks up the ramp, Bryan turns to look at him with a look of pure and utter hatred. The Varsity Villain holds up his hands as if to say ‘What did you expect?’ and stands on the stage to admire his handiwork, as the crowd roars “YOU SUCK!” at him. Bryan holds Gail’s hand and shakes his head. EMTs and referees sprint to the ring to help him…

Jim Ross:
Daniel Bryan’s a wreck, I mean, that’s his girlfriend in there…

…and Raw goes to a much-needed break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

And now, it’s time for SMACKDOWN REBOUND!

The weekly recap from Friday night has Kofi Kingston’s opening promo, during which he declares that he’s waited and worked his entire life for a shot at becoming legendary, and at Over The Limit he’ll finally get his chance when he faces Alberto Del Rio for his World Heavyweight Title. Of course, Del Rio arrives to dispute that, telling Kofi that he beat him earlier this year at Elimination Chamber, and he’ll do so again very soon, with SmackDown’s greatest prize on the line. He tells Kofi that he’ll probably choke on the big stage, but Kingston is defiant otherwise; the Alberto Administration go to attack the Ghanaian, but Rey Mysterio makes the save. Later in the evening, Kingston and Mysterio team up against Del Rio and Cody Rhodes, with Kofi picking up the win with Trouble in Paradise to the Disfigured One, and sending a huge message to Alberto Del Rio ahead of their big title match just nine days away.


---

Back to Raw now, where we’re backstage with Raw General Manager, Jerry “The King” Lawler, who inevitably gets a good ovation from the fans in the arena. He frowns at the runsheet in his hands, clearly unsatisfied, but suddenly, BANG goes the clatter of the door against the wall. Lawler looks up in surprise… and the WWE Champion, The Miz, stands pouting in front of him.


The Miz:
Really, Lawler… really?

Lawler looks in no mood for games.

The Miz:
Let’s take a look at last week. Daniel Bryan’s conduct wasn’t that of a champion… it was that of, as I keep telling everyone, a rookie. He’s a danger to himself, and more importantly, to anyone around him… namely, the most must-see WWE Champion… of – all – time.

Heat from the arena, as Lawler narrows his eyes.

The Miz:
I came here tonight thinking you would reprimand Bryan for nearly breaking my protégé’s arm, but apparently I was wrong. He tried to injure Alex and he showed ME disrespect… for that, he should have his title shot revoked.

More heat, but the GM ain’t buying it.

Jerry Lawler:
I’m not gonna do that.

Big pop from the crowd; The Miz pouts further.

Jerry Lawler:
In fact, after what Alex Riley did out there, I think you should be punished!

Again, the crowd loves that, but The Miz looks around in fury.

The Miz:
What? I – I had nothing to do with that, he’s a grown man! He’s responsible for HIS own actions, Lawler, I can’t be held –

Jerry Lawler: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I see where you’re goin’. But just to make sure, I’ve had Alex Riley escorted out of the arena. And why? Well, because tonight, we still don’t have a main event, and you’re gonna volunteer.

Lawler points at The Miz’s face; the champion steps back.

The Miz:
Oh really –

Jerry Lawler: Yes, really. And you’re gonna face a guy who knows a thing or two about you…

Lawler finally smiles a little.

Jerry Lawler:
John Morrison!

BIG pop from the crowd! The Miz’s eyes bulge in horror, but he collects himself.

The Miz:
You’ve gotta be… wait, wait. Y’know what? … Fine. You wanna play it that way, then that’s… just… fine.

He calms himself even more, dropping to his more sinister, classic tone.

The Miz:
But know this, Lawler. You’re walkin’ a very thin tightrope with me… and one day, it might just SNAP.

Some heat as The Miz leans in, staring at an unflinching Lawler, before he storms out, grumbling furiously on his way. As soon as the WWE Champion is gone, Lawler exhales, clearly a little shaken even if he didn’t show it at first. Slowly, he steps backwards, collapsing into one of the sofas that GMs have in their offices for some reason.

Lawler sits for a moment, then he squirms uncomfortably. Wincing, he shifts out of his seat, and grabs something that he was sitting on – a stopwatch. The GM frowns.


Jerry Lawler:
Where…

He holds it in front of his face and tries jabbing one of the buttons to start the timer, but again, he frowns. He hits the button a few more times, then shrugs and throws it in a nearby bin. Getting up, the General Manager heads out of his office, as the camera zooms in on the stopwatch, now lying on a bed of waste paper in the bin…

…and the display reads one… point… nine.

To the arena again…


*LAND OF FIVE RIVERS*


In the ring stands The Great Khali, accompanied by Ranjin Singh, both of them bopping to the beat of the annoying music. The bell rings, as Singh takes a lap around the ring to invite everyone to join in.

Justin Roberts:
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first… standing seven feet tall, weighing FOUR hundred and twenty pounds… THE GREAT KHAAAALIIII!!!

A decent pop for Khali, who waves a giant paw at the crowd. His music dies out, however…

*THIS FIRE BURNS*


We’ve seen woman-beating and mindless two-on-one assaults, but the heat for this man dwarfs it all – the AT&T Center almost unanimously rises to its feet to boo CM PUNK as he arrives, the WWE’s new deadliest villain nodding his head and holding a mic. Either side of him come his own giants to counter Khali in the form of The Convoy, Mason Ryan and Skip Sheffield, both looking geared up for a fight here, even if they’re not competing. Punk soaks up the heat, allowing his introduction to be done before he speaks.

Justin Roberts:
And his opponent, accompanied by The Convoy… from Chicago, Illinois, weighing in at two hundred and twenty pounds… C – M – PUNK!

Jim Ross: Last week, folks, this man stooped to whole new levels, with one of the coldest assaults we may ever see, beating a defenceless Ted DiBiase in front of Randy Orton’s very eyes –

CM Punk: Faith.

The crowd boos wildly, JR being cut off in the process.

Jim Ross:
Oh, here we go.

CM Punk: For those of you who didn’t hear, or are in denial, I said – FAITH.

A spiteful delivery by Punk there, met by spiteful heat from the crowd. Punk begins to walk down the ramp.

CM Punk:
Faith is stronger than any man, YOU included.

He points to Khali, who turns to Singh because he doesn’t understand.

CM Punk:
Faith is about self-control. Faith is letting yourself have the ability to whole-heartedly believe in an ideal. Do you people want to know which ideal I believe in?

“NO!” comes the reply.

CM Punk:
I believe in C – M – PUNK.

Loud heat there – these people DON’T believe in CM Punk, it seems.

CM Punk:
I have faith in Mason Ryan and Skip Sheffield. They have faith in me. Unfortunately, none of us have faith in Jerry – Lawler.

Again, heat for the remarks made towards the GM. Punk heads up the steel steps, directing this half at Khali, half at the crowd. The Convoy patrol ringside.

CM Punk:
Jerry Lawler is prone to overreactions, and he’s a fraud. That’s why it’s impossible to have faith in him, and it’s why it’s impossible for him to make sensible decisions.

Punk enters the ring, staring through narrowed eyes at Khali.

CM Punk:
What I did last week was a demonstration of the power of faith, but Jerry Lawler misinterprets who I am, what I do. He doesn’t understand CM Punk, so he tries to punish me by putting me in the ring with – well, this overrated, oversized, waste of space that moonlights as a (air quotes) “wrestler” to cover up his day job as a police roadblock to stop bank robbers.

“OHHH!” cries the crowd, followed by the inevitable heat, but Punk doesn’t care. Khali turns to Singh again, asking (we presume) what Punk said.

CM Punk:
I’m about to show you the power of faith, Khali. But it’s not just an education for you, or Lawler, it’s an education for a man who I won’t see until this Sunday because of what I did to his mind… Randy Orton.

HUGE pop for the Viper.

CM Punk:
I have messed with Randy Orton’s psyche to the point of collapse, and I’m not sorry for it. What I did to Ted DiBiase last week wasn’t an indulgence, it was a necessity, and even then, it’s only a fraction of the sick and twisted things I have in mind for Orton in our Stretcher Match this Sunday.

Some really loud heat rains down from the crowd.

CM Punk:
Randy, wherever you’re hiding… I’ve broken your spirit, I’ve broken the last man who would stand beside you… and this Sunday, I’m going to break your body.

He points into the hard camera.

CM Punk:
You will leave Seattle in an ambulance, and that’s not a promise…

He smirks.

CM Punk:
Randy, that’s just the power of FAITH.

The crowd boos the SHIT out of Punk here, but the nonchalant Second City Saint throws his mic to ringside, runs his hands over one another and checks an invisible watch – he didn’t get a chance on the stage, so he mutters it now… “It’s clobberin’ time.” As Ryan and Sheffield watch intently from ringside, Ranjin Singh whispers some advice to Khali and leaves, so referee Jack Doan can get us underway.

Match Two – Singles Contest
The Great Khali versus CM Punk


This bout doesn’t last long, with Punk the more agile man of the two and pretty much out for blood here. As we join the match after roughly two minutes, the Second City Saint is picking his shots, firing kicks to the side of the big man. Khali winces, then makes a clumsy grab for his opponent, but Punk ducks easily under it and stings a few more sharp kicks to Khali’s knees! At ringside, Ryan and Sheffield look hungry, but they can’t get at the Punjabi Playboy while this match is still going. Khali looks to grab Punk again, but he’s just too quick, and he ducks under the big man’s grip. Punk into the ropes… Dropkick to the knees! Khali tumbles to the ground in shock, landing on all fours, so Punk rebounds on the ropes again… AND NAILS ANOTHER DROPKICK, THIS TIME TO THE SIDE OF KHALI’S FACE! The crowd groans with the impact, as Punk throws himself over the giant for the cover… one… two… but Khali shoves Punk off! A small pop goes up as Khali tries to get up, and Punk stumbles back to the corner… so Khali staggers over to him, presses him to the turnbuckle and goes for that stinging overhead slap – but Punk ducks yet again, Khali’s momentum carrying HIM into the corner… AND PUNK CLOCKS HIM WITH THE SHINING WIZARD!

Of course, Khali’s a tall guy, so the knee doesn’t land flush, closer to the jaw than the face, but Punk still manages to get a grip around the giant’s neck… he pulls him back to the ring – and gets him with the Bulldog too! Standing, Punk takes a long, disapproving look of the arena, garnering him some heat from the fans in San Antonio, before he checks his imaginary watch and crouches to call for the finish. With Ranjin Singh shouting all kinds of advice to Khali on the outside, the big man just tries to find his feet, at the very least finding a knee – BUT CM PUNK BOWLS HIM OVER WITH A BIG, BIG CLOTHESLINE! Punk absolutely barrels through Khali there, bringing the Punjabi Playboy back down to the floor… AND NOW PUNK APPLIES THE ANACONDA VISE!!! Boos build in the AT&T Center, as Khali flails madly, in considerable pain here… Punk bares his teeth, enjoying every second, and it doesn’t take long before Khali taps out.

Result: CM Punk bts. The Great Khali via submission at 3:51

*THIS FIRE BURNS*


Justin Roberts:
Here is your winner as the result of a submission… C – M – PUNK!

The arena fills boos yet again as Punk releases the hold and rises to his feet. Jack Doan looks a little disconcerted by Punk’s very presence, but he raises his arm anyway. The Convoy quickly enter the ring to scare the referee off, and Punk allows himself a dastardly grin, nodding at both of his huge colleagues either side of him.

Jim Ross:
Folks, CM Punk called Randy Orton a psychopath last week… ironically, I don’t think you have to look much further than Punk himself for evidence of one. He takes pleasure in other people’s pain, he… Josh, we should all wary of what this man is capable of.

Josh Matthews: It was an impressive showing, JR, but as you said, where does CM Punk draw the line? I think he’ll do literally anything to win a match, and anything to play with Randy Orton’s mind… oh, come on…

In the ring, Khali is struggling up to all fours… but Punk, flashing him a smile, heads to the corner, grabs the top rope either side – and starts tugging at the ropes, like Randy Orton before the Punt! Again, the crowd boos loudly, but Sheffield and Ryan are nodding, with the latter having to tell Ranjin Singh to stay out of their business. Khali’s eyes are unfocused from the submission hold, and now he turns his head to see Punk lining up for a killer blow…

…but the TitanTron comes to life?

Heads turn to the big screen, where for some reason we’re in the arena parking lot… and a huge red pick-up truck screeches into view… AND RANDY ORTON STEPS OUT!!! The crowd goes INSANE!!!


Jim Ross:
HE’S HERE! ORTON IS HERE!

Orton looks like he’s out for BLOOD, abandoning his own car to storm straight down the hallway, as Punk stands stunned in the ring! The crowd is chanting “RANDY! RANDY!” to Punk’s disbelief, while Orton hurtles down the corridor, only to stop, looking at something… he SHOVES Zack Ryder off the steel chair he was sitting on, getting another big pop – and now he snaps the chair shut and heads for the ring again!

Jim Ross:
Punk put this man down, he put this man out, but HERE HE COMES!

As Ryder screams “Hey bro, I was SITTING there!”, Orton of course ignores him, and now he scowls… “GET OUT OF MY WAY!” at the next man… someone’s saying “Randy, wait…” SO ORTON SHOVES THE MAN TO THE GROUND… THAT’S JERRY LAWLER!!! ORTON PUSHES THE GENERAL MANAGER OUT OF HIS WAY! The feed goes black, though, as Orton continues his march…

Punk’s looking all around, turning to The Convoy and saying “How the hell did he get here?” The Convoy themselves are way too fired up, though, flexing their muscles and exchanging glances to prepare for an all-out fight here. The arena continues to chant Orton’s name, the atmosphere building before –

“I HEAR VOICES IN MY HEAD…”


*VOICES*


AND THE CROWD JUST GOES WILD AGAIN!!! RANDY ORTON sprints out from backstage, wielding that chair, ready for war…

Jim Ross:
BUSINESS – IS ABOUT – TO PICK UP!

…but CM Punk sends Mason Ryan to deal with it! The Welshman rolls from the ring and charges up the ramp to meet him – BUT ORTON NAILS A CHAIRSHOT TO RYAN’S STOMACH! Ryan keels over – so Orton CRACKS THE CHAIR OFF HIS BACK!!!

Jim Ross:
IT’S RETRIBUTION! WE ARE WITNESSING REVENGE IN THE FIRST DEGREE!

Despite JR having some kind of orgasm at the announce desk, the arena is RED HOT now, as Orton leaves Ryan to collapse in a heap, and now he heads for the ring again! This time it’s Skip Sheffield’s turn, the ferocious look on his face telling the whole story as he rolls from the ring and immediately throws the MEATHOOK – but Orton ducks it, and Sheffield turns – BANG! CHAIRSHOT TO THE SHOULDER!!! Sheffield tumbles sideways, clutching his arm in agony, and Orton hurls the bent chair to the side… BEFORE HE SLIDES INTO THE RING!

Jim Ross:
He slayed Ryan, he slayed Sheffield – NOW ORTON’S GOIN’ FOR PUNK!!!

Orton sprawls back to his feet, and Punk raises a right hand – BUT ORTON TACKLES HIM TO THE GROUND AND STARTS MAULING HIM WITH RIGHT HANDS!!! The crowd LOVES it, with Orton pummelling away at his nemesis like there’s no tomorrow… but the two men roll sideways, and Punk escapes, so both men get up – Punk throws the Roundhouse – DUCKED by Orton, who goes for the RKO… NO GOOD! Punk shoves Orton away, so the Viper hits the ropes… AND NAILS PUNK WITH A CLOTHESLINE!!! That turns the Second City Saint inside out, and now Orton writhes madly, dropping to all fours and calling for his final retribution!

Josh Matthews:
What has CM Punk unleashed?

Orton stops – he shakes his head, and gets up. He looks around the arena, as the “RANDY! RANDY!” chants build again… AND HE HEADS TO THE CORNER. CM Punk is out of it, dazed on the canvas after taking a beating from the Viper, who now shows us the ORIGINAL preparation for the PUNT, lining it up on his worst enemy!

Jim Ross:
Oh – oh good gawd almighty – Punk might not make it to Sunday!

Josh Matthews: Orton has been – wait a minute!

Orton’s head whips to the side, as MASON RYAN slides back into the ring, and Orton rushes to meet him – RKO!!! ORTON STRIKES WITH THE RKO!!! The crowd goes MAD yet again with that, Orton dealing out his unique brand of justice tonight, and as he gets up, he shakes out his arms in pure anger – AND HERE COMES SKIP SHEFFIELD NOW… WHO FLATTENS ORTON WITH THE MEATHOOK THIS TIME!!!

Jim Ross:
NO!

Down, down, down goes Orton in a heap, his body folded over from the impact, and the atmosphere dies in the AT&T Center. Orton’s red-hot streak is ended with one big move from Sheffield, who now helps Punk back to his feet, with the Second City Saint having to blink out the cobwebs and pat Skip on the chest as thanks. Slowly, he turns back to face Orton, shaking his head in disgust, and pushes himself away from Sheffield to keep himself upright without help. Skip looks to Punk, almost as if he’s asking permission, and Punk nods his head. Sheffield grabs Orton, and the boos fill the arena again as the Viper gets yanked to his feet, undoubtedly for Shell Shocked…

Jim Ross:
Dammit, I thought maybe somethin’ had changed, folks…

…Sheffield grabs Orton by the jaw, observing him, trying to measure what makes this man so dangerous – BUT ORTON PUSHES HIM AWAY – AND SCORES WITH THE RKO!!! The crowd goes wild, as Orton leaps to his feet… BUT PUNK SCOOPS HIM FOR THE GO TO SLEEP – ONLY FOR ORTON TO ESCAPE! The Viper fires a series of right hands, forcing Punk back into the corner, and starts to just UNLOAD – BUT HERE COMES SECURITY!

The crowd begins to actually boo, because Raw General Manager, Jerry Lawler, is marshalling the security team on, holding his face to sell Orton’s earlier push! In the ring, Punk and Orton continue to exchange bombs, oblivious to the security – who SWARM the ring, pulling the two men away from each other! The boos intensify as that happens, though, with Punk and Orton wide-eyed as they flail to get at one another’s throats!


Jim Ross:
And now the security – Lawler’s defusin’ this situation whether those two men or these fans want it or not!

Josh Matthews: Well, you can’t blame him, JR, but there’s no doubt these two have unfinished business… I guess we’ll have to wait ‘til Sunday!

‘Wait ‘til Sunday’ is not a phrase Punk or Orton seem familiar with, both scrambling against their restraints to break free, but it’s no good, as the dozens of security staff keep them on opposite sides of the ring, and Punk’s group force the Second City Saint out of the squared circle. Orton roars “JUST WAIT! YOU’RE A DEAD MAN, PUNK! DEAD!”, but Punk just shakes his head, tapping his imaginary watch as the security force him up the ramp. Jerry Lawler watches with a scowl, but the arena is filled with chants of “LET THEM FIGHT!”, much to the GM’s annoyance. His usually-jovial exterior has been replaced with an eerie, cold attitude here.

Jim Ross:
Folks, in just six days’ time, CM Punk and Randy Orton face off one last time, to settle their differences – it’s a Stretcher Match, guaranteed to be brutal, this Sunday at Over The Limit. Ya don’t wanna miss that one, Josh.

Josh Matthews: Punk has messed with Orton’s mind, Orton has messed with Punk’s, and believe me, they’ve hurt each other, but I think this Sunday, they could take it to a whole new level.

As Punk (ignoring the recovering Convoy, who are also martialled away by security) stares down at Orton, he’s forced behind the curtain and we fade to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

On Raw’s return, we’re backstage in the interview set with Scott Stanford.

Scott Stanford:
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I’m Scott Stanford, and with me at the moment… is John Cena.

Indeed, John Cena steps into the shot to a MASSIVE pop from these fans. He gets a few boos, but they’re barely audible here tonight. The former ‘Champ’ looks tired.

Scott Stanford:
John, earlier this evening, your partner this Sunday, Triple H, reaffirmed his position that he’s only out for himself at Over The Limit… what are your thoughts on that?

Cena rubs his hair, tilting the cap up as always, before he places it firmly back on his head.

John Cena:
Well, first Scott, in case anyone doesn’t understand, I’d like to clarify somethin’. What some people might think, is that I didn’t help Triple H earlier because I wasn’t here at the start of the show, or that I was somehow… I don’t know, unavailable. That’s not true.

Boos for what Cena’s implying there.

John Cena:
To be completely honest and frank, my reasonin’ is petty. Triple H didn’t help me last week… he just walked out, and then he watched. He watched as I got beat down.

Some heat there.

John Cena:
It wasn’t because he enjoys my pain, or because he’s a bad person… he just did it because it was, in his mind, none of his business. That’s how Triple H operates nowadays. What happened to me had nothin’ to do with him, so he stayed put. Simple.

Again, a few boos as Cena looks a little frustrated.

John Cena:
Problem is, what he did isn’t the behaviour of a good tag team partner, and this Sunday, that’s what we gotta be. I was angry. So earlier tonight, I let that anger get the best of me, and I betrayed my three rules…

He points to his red shirt – “Hustle. Loyalty. Respect.”

John Cena:
…and I sat. And I watched. Just like he did to me.

Real, genuine heat for that.

John Cena:
We used to respect each other. If nothing else, we had that. I mean, ya don’t go out at Wrestlemania 22 and wow the world without finding a little respect for your opponent by the end of it.

He shrugs.

John Cena:
But last week, I let that respect go. Maybe he lost his respect for me a long time ago, and I just never realised. He might respect my performances but he doesn’t respect ME. That’s the problem, Scott. And at the end of the day, if we can’t respect each other, if we can’t even team together – well, this Sunday, we’ll lose. We will lose.

Heat; the fans don’t want a Ziggler or Regal victory.


John Cena:
And I don’t wanna be lying on my back with Ziggler or Regal lookin’ at their title shot. So I know – it’s on ME now.

Cena stares into the distance, reflecting.

John Cena:
I’ve gotta look at myself in the mirror and I ask myself if I can get past it. ‘Cause since Wrestlemania, I haven’t been able to trust anyone I see. Not The Rock, not The Miz, not Triple H, not even the GM and his decision to make this match in the first place.

A mixed reaction as Cena shakes his head.

John Cena:
And unless I do something to turn this all around, I can’t consider myself the John Cena I know and believe in… I’m just a coward.

He turns and stares into the camera.

John Cena:
So Hunter, it’s time for change.

Cena walks out without acknowledging Stanford, who just watches him leave with a look of surprise.

To the arena, where JR and Matthews look a little surprised.


Jim Ross:
Folks, it’s been a heated night already, but we just saw some startling honesty from John Cena to continue an evening of surprises.

Josh Matthews: John seems to have lost his fire recently a little, JR, but from what we just heard, I gather that maybe he’s ready to turn things around. Sure, his relationship with Triple H isn’t the greatest right now, but who knows what could happen this Sunday?

Jim Ross: Indeed, there’s still a lot of questions to be answered, but –

*BATTLE ON*


The crowd gives a very healthy pop indeed as Tyler Black makes his entrance, in his black wrestling gear tonight with his straggled hair rolling down the sides of his face. He raises an arm to the crowd to thank them for their support, then STOMPS on the stage with both feet to set off a burst of pyro before he heads for the ring, slapping the hands of the nearby fans. The bell chimes.

Justin Roberts:
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Buffalo, Iowa, weighing at two hundred and five pounds… TYLER – BLACK!

Jim Ross: Well, I was just about to talk about this young man – Tyler Black is Raw’s newest competitor, a very talented one at that, and this Sunday, his hard work thus far pays off, when he gets a shot at Sheamus’ United States Title.

Josh Matthews: I think it’s become about more than just the title though, JR – many superstars have come and gone in the WWE having had plenty of title matches, but it means even more when you’ve got a heated rivalry with your opponent, and Tyler Black’s got that with his very first title shot.

Jim Ross: Black and Sheamus haven’t held back their dislike for one another, certainly not Josh – Black has been tryin’ to “inject a little good” into the WWE, but Sheamus has been the complete opposite, stooping lower than ever before to make a statement. Well, tonight Tyler Black gets a chance to make a statement, because he’s undefeated so far in the WWE, and he’s goin’ up against a man who hasn’t been beaten in several months.

Black scurries up the steps and slingshots athletically into the ring; he plays to the crowd a little bit more, making some title belt motions, before he retreats the corner. His music dies down and the crowd begins to chant “TYLER BLACK!”, which makes him smile a little. He focuses on the stage, though, as another tune kicks up…

*BED OF NAILS*


There’s a few boos, but they only intensify into an actual reaction after Tyson Kidd has strolled out on to the stage, spreading his arms wide. The technical expert flashes a grin at the crowd, then points to Black in the ring and tells him to “Get ready for pain, jerk!” before he struts down the ramp. Black is now pacing left and right, looking genuinely pleased to be given some real competition here, easily his biggest challenge yet before he faces Sheamus on Sunday.

Justin Roberts:
And his opponent, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, weighing in at one hundred and ninety-five pounds… TYSON – KIDD!

Jim Ross: Last week was Tyson Kidd’s first taste of defeat in a long time, Josh, but crucially, he wasn’t pinned or made to submit, meaning he’s still on one of Raw’s best runs in recent memory.

Josh Matthews: I think Tyson Kidd’s had a great start to 2011, JR – the last graduate of the Hart Dungeon has garnered a lot of attention, though we know he’s been campaigning for more and more matches on Raw. Well, if he can beat the number one contender to the United States Title, I daresay he’ll get just that.

Kidd also slingshots over the top rope, matching Black’s athleticism to a tee, and making sure that the former ‘Agent’ knows it. He heads to the turnbuckle to simply stare out, another smirk flickering on his face before he steps down and spins to get down to business. The referee is Mike Chioda, who checks both these men are good to go before he calls for the bell.

Match Three – Singles Contest – ‘Streak versus Streak’
Tyler Black versus Tyson Kidd


These two guys are as quick and as talented as they come, so we’ve had a pretty good match as the timekeeper notes us rolling past twelve minutes. In the ring, Kidd is in the corner, resting from the toils of this contest, while Black holds his ribs after a string of reversals. Kidd is catching his breath, so Black hurtles in – BOOTS UP! Black staggers away again, Kidd hoisting himself up to the second rope… he jumps off, but Black ducks under him, and Kidd turns into a Black SUPERKICK – ducked by the Canadian, who answers with his own SUPERKICK – but Black ducks that, smoothly grabbing Kidd into the inverted facelock… Kidd spins out, however, scooping Black up AND DRILLING HIM WITH THE BRAINBUSTER! The crowd groans as Kidd puts an exclamation point on the back-and-forth there, and now he hooks a leg… one… two… but Black gets a shoulder up, and Kidd rolls away! Up get both men, Kidd hitting the ropes and coming back with a Sunset Flip as Black bends down… but Black rolls through it, rebounds off the ropes himself, and runs over Kidd as he slides to the deck. The Canadian is up, leapfrogging Black, who rebounds again and rolls under a Kidd clothesline, charging for the corner – he scales – AND THROWS HIMSELF BACK WITH THE DIVING MOONSAULT, TAKING KIDD TO THE DECK! The crowd pops as Black desperately grabs the near leg… one… two… but no! Kidd kicks out!

We catch a couple of replays of Black’s impressive move there, and now the former ‘Agent’ rests on his knees, watching Kidd rolling to the corner. The Canadian has a hand on the ropes, trying to pull himself up, so Black sweeps his hair out of his eyes and goes after him, yanking him to his feet. Kidd fights back with a right hand to the gut, but Black affirms himself with a knee right back to Kidd’s stomach in turn. With the last graduate from the Hart Dungeon reeling, Black sends Kidd across the ring, to the opposite corner. Kidd hits the buckles, so in comes Tyler with the Corner Forearm Smash! That considerably dazes Kidd, and now Black spins out of the corner, beckoning the dizzy Canadian towards him… Kidd staggers into his reach – so Black puts him DOWN emphatically with a clothesline, then scales the ropes into the Springboard Moonsault… Kidd rolls out the way, but Black lands on his feet. Black sets himself, then goes right after Kidd in his new position… HE NAILS THE STANDING SHOOTING STAR PRESS!!! Again, Black’s athleticism gets a big pop from the crowd, so he hooks a leg, hoping that’ll finish the job… one… two… but Kidd’s resilient, he kicks out again!

Black looks at the ceiling – how far does he have to go? The emotion in his eyes tells you he knows he must fight harder, so he forces himself to his feet and clenches his fists. Kidd is wavering, struggling back to his feet with unfocused eyes, and Black measures him on his way up. Kidd turns, into Black’s grip on the inverted facelock, perhaps looking for the PAROXYSM – NO! He gets Kidd into the air, into the vertical, but Kidd squirms out and lands behind him! The Canadian shoves Black into the ropes – SCOOPED UP – ROLLING THUNDER ON BLACK! Kidd takes a knee after nailing that sweet move, and he almost manages a grin before he stands, and heads to the outside apron. He points to Black, then grabs the top rope to get some air… SPRINGBOARD ELBOW DROP ON THE DIME! Kidd nods, more to himself than anyone else, and hooks a leg… one… two… but this time it’s Black on the kickout! Kidd struggles up, frustrated but ready to continue, and he dusts his hands off to keep them nimble before he crouches. Black, hair strewn across his eyes, finds his way up, but Kidd’s got him in his sights… a Spinning Heel Kick to the gut takes Black off-guard, so he falls to a knee, allowing Kidd to backtrack to the corner, hopping to the second rope. Kidd raises his arms to balance himself, as Black stands upright, and Kidd launches, grabbing Black and twisting – TO SPIKE HIM INTO THE MAT WITH THE TORNADO DDT!!! The crowd groans as Black’s body lies motionless, and now it’s on Kidd, who manages to fight through fatigue to roll his opponent on to his back… one… two… BUT NO! BLACK KICKS OUT, TWO AND A HALF!!!

A big pop goes up there, with Black staying alive in this contest, but Kidd looks at Mike Chioda like he’s crazy! The technical expert is sweating, having mixed his high-flying and ground-and-pound skills as much as possible in this match, but his efforts have been fruitless, and as he stands, the exhaustion gets to him a little and he has to use the ropes to stay upright. Black, meanwhile, is crawling for the corner, trying to refocus himself after that big shot to the head. Throughout the AT&T Center, the chants begin to build again, as “TYLER BLACK!” rings around the arena, and Tyson Kidd shakes his head, disbelieving Black’s resilience. The former ‘Agent’ is still crawling for the ropes, but Kidd gets back to the action by moving over to him, and grabbing him by the legs! Kidd looks around the arena, narrowing his eyes at the booing fans, then steps in on Black, looking for the Sharpshooter – BUT BLACK BOOTS HIM AWAY! The crowd cheers as Kidd’s Sharpshooter attempt is negated, and the Canadian staggers into the ropes, before he turns to face Black again – BAM! YAKUZA KICK RIGHT TO THE FACE FROM BLACK!!! That sends Kidd spiralling into the canvas, selling the shot like he’s been mauled by a train, and though Black staggers, he manages to find his way to the apron, heading for the top… he takes a deep breath… THEN, LIKE A COMET TO EARTH, LETS HIMSELF SOAR DOWN – AND SCORES WITH THE FROG SPLASH! Surely that’ll do it, as the crowd roars and chants along… one… two… THR-NOOO!!!

Unbelievable – Kidd kicked out! Black simply rolls to the side, lying on his back and trying to get some air back into his lungs, his hair a mess across his face now. Tyson Kidd lies on his side, clutching at his stomach, before he finds the energy to inch towards the ropes and yank himself clumsily up. Black sits up, then shoves himself to a vertical base, as Kidd turns round – into a thumping right hand from Tyler! Kidd staggers, but comes back with a kick to the side, copping a right hand, and then knocking Black away again with a forearm! Black stumbles, but he’s got the wherewithal to stand upright, not looking before he leaps – on the LEAPING ENZUIGIRI… NO GOOD! Kidd ducks the shot, and Black can’t find his footing quick enough… SO KIDD FEEDS HIM THE LEG – AND NAILS HIM WITH HIS OWN ENZUIGIRI!!! Kidd answers back in kind here, showing his classic ability to match his opponent blow for blow, but with Black down in a heap, he decides to go for the big finish, again heading to the outside to take the aerial route to victory! A buzz runs through the AT&T Center as Kidd finds his labouring way to the top, showing the strains of this long match, and though he stumbles, he manages to find some sort of foot placement… BUT TYLER BLACK IS UP… AND HE SCALES THE TURNBUCKLE – AVALANCHE FRANKENSTEINER TO KIDD!!! WHAT A REVERSAL!!! Both men go down in a heap, the crowd in pure awe, and JR is out of his mind at ringside – “THESE GUYS ARE LEAVIN’ IT ALL IN THE RING!”

That they are, because after we see some replays, we head back to the squared circle, where poor Tyler Black tilts his head up and spots Kidd lying still. Black begins to crawl across to him, laying an arm over his chest for the cover, his head collapsing into the mat… one… two… THR- BUT NO! Kidd gets a shoulder up, keeping this bout alive! Black is disconsolate, blinking out his disbelief, before he forces himself to his knees and stares at Kidd. The Canadian manages to sit against the ropes, breathing heavily, and as if they’ve exchanged a silent message, both men get up for the 12th round. If it’s not the end soon, these two may never leave the ring, having thrown almost everything at the other man and neither giving an inch. They meet in the middle, and Black tries to whip Kidd to the corner, but the Canadian sets his feet, and sends Black there instead. Tyler hits the buckles with a gasp, but he bares his teeth and stays on his feet. Kidd puts him in his crosshairs, then charges in… but Black gets an elbow up to send him staggering away! A pop goes up as Black hoists himself up, seated on the top rope and he prepares for something big… but Kidd comes back, using the middle rope to launch himself up into the SPRINGBOARD FRANKENSTEINER… BUT NOOO!!! Tyler Black is going nowhere, stopping Kidd matching his offence on this occasion, and now Kidd is jammed, stuck on Black’s shoulders… SO BLACK STANDS – AND DRILLS KIDD INTO THE CANVAS WITH AN INSANE TOP ROPE POWERBOMB!!! HOLY SHIT – BLACK PULLS ONE OUT OF HIS LOCKER!!!

The impact is jarring, and although you might expect Kidd to lie flat, he’s actually spasming to the side a little – we get a replay, and his left arm, flailing as Black launches the move, gets caught underneath his body. Tyson Kidd looks legitimately hurt here, with Mike Chioda crouching beside him, but still the “HOLY SHIT!” chants battle the “TYLER BLACK!” chants, and of course we see more replays of Black’s insane counter. The man himself looks practically out of it, but he manages to stand, though his knees almost buckle under his own weight. Kidd’s frantically grabbing his left wrist, clearly in serious pain, though the crowd isn’t looking at him, so Black guides him back to his feet… inverted facelock, and Black roars to the crowd – PAROXYSM CONNECTS!!! Black is rewarded with a big pop, and Kidd lies still for long enough for Black to make a cover… one… two… THREE! Black ends Tyson Kidd’s undefeated streak in style!

Result: Tyler Black bts. Tyson Kidd via pinfall at 19:48

*BATTLE ON*


Justin Roberts:
Here is your winner… TYLER – BLACK!

What a reaction! Black collapses backwards, lying on his back but raising his arms to the ceiling – he had to work hard for it, but what an impressive win for Raw’s newest star! Tyson Kidd, now free from having to take the fall, is being checked on by Mike Chioda again because that wrist looks genuinely damaged, held limply by Kidd as the official talks to him in the corner. Black, meanwhile, has to grab the ropes to pull himself up, and he grins as he raises an arm to this cheering crowd! It’s a terrific ovation for both men after that marathon contest, far longer and with far more content than our first two matches this evening, and though Tyler Black looks beaten and bruised, he couldn’t be happier. Finally he can enjoy the feeling of being in front of this crowd, and he does, heading around the ring and casting a concerned glance at Kidd, now helped to the outside.

Jim Ross:
Say what you like about how Tyler Black got here on Monday Night Raw, but ya can’t doubt his commitment, his dedication to the cause – he just pulled one outta the bag there, Josh. What a performance and what a contest.

Josh Matthews: We knew Tyson Kidd wasn’t going to be beaten without a fight, JR, but it was a fight he got! Those two matched each other almost move for move at times, but I mean – (as the replay flashes into view) what a Powerbomb from Tyler Black, that almost certainly tied it up for him. It took something big to keep Tyson Kidd down.

Black is on the second rope, pointing out at the crowd on the announce desk side…

…but the crowd stops cheering and there are screams of protest – Black turns… AND CHARGES ACROSS THE RING TO WARD OFF – SHEAMUS! The Celtic Warrior had rushed down the ramp, looking for the post-match attack, but Black CAREERS into the ring ropes, swinging a wild fist as Sheamus tries to climb to the apron! A pop goes up as Sheamus backtracks, realising he’s bitten off more than he can chew, and he stands with a conflicted expression – he wants a piece of Black, but Tyler, even after twenty minutes in the ring, will happily fight the Irishman! Sheamus snarls, baring his teeth in frustration, as Black paces the ring, warding the United States Champion firmly off. He takes a few steps back, and starts beckoning to ringside for a mic.


Jim Ross:
Sheamus! The United States Champ thought he could get the jump on his challenger, but Tyler Black had him scouted! Not today! NOT TODAY!

The good folks at ringside get Black a mic, and he moves back towards the ramp-side to keep Sheamus from entering the ring still… he’s panting, but he manages to point at Sheamus.

Tyler Black:
I… I don’t think so.

A cheer from the crowd – Sheamus scowls, furious he couldn’t get at his challenger.

Tyler Black:
The end is – it’s coming, man.

Black struggles up to the second rope, bouncing a little on the tension.

Tyler Black:
I saw what you were trying there. I know… I know you now.

Sheamus shakes his head.

Tyler Black:
But if you keep doin’… if you keep doin’ things this way, it’s gonna come back to bite you – I PROMISE.

A pop for that, as Black’s heavy breathing makes him stop to recover, though he keeps his eyes on Sheamus all the while.

Tyler Black:
You’ve spent way too long in your dream world, where everythin’ is perfect… and not one guy will stand up to you and say… no.

Black shakes his head, his hair splaying all over the place.

Tyler Black:
Well, that dream world is crashing down, Sheamus. This Sunday, get out of your world of white…

He frowns, deadly serious.

Tyler Black:
…and welcome to the world of BLACK.

The crowd pops, as Black steps off the ropes and HURLS the mic at Sheamus – it misses, but the ‘CLUNK’ echoes around the arena, and the Irishman is forced to stare as Black roooaars out at the crowd, firing them up!

*BATTLE ON*


Jim Ross:
This Sunday, Sheamus enters that world of black, folks – it’s Sheamus, one on one with his challenger, the unconquerable Tyler Black, for the United States Title, and it’s gonna be huge!

Josh Matthews: Sheamus hasn’t lost since becoming champion, JR, but Tyler Black ended the streak of a very talented Tyson Kidd there, and now he’s as fired up as ever – could this be the end for Sheamus’ dominating title reign?

As Black circles the ring, he soaks up the “TYLER BLACK!” chants ringing around the AT&T Center, then hits the turnbuckle to point up the ramp at Sheamus; the Irishman unstraps the title from around his waist and hoists it high. He shakes his head, saying “All mine, fella…” as Black smiles, knowing he’s got the upper hand in the mind games going into Sunday.

Jim Ross:
Sheamus’ days as champion may be numbered… Tyler Black is comin’ for the United States Title, and he looks ready! He looks as prepared as he’ll ever be, to make Sheamus pay for everythin’ he’s done! At Over The Limit, these two men are gonna make history!

Black and Sheamus have their staredown, as the chants continue to support the challenger in the upmost, and Raw fades to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK


MONDAY NIGHT RAW – A THREE-HOUR DRAFT SPECIAL
NEXT WEEK | TACOMA DOME, TACOMA, WASHINGTON


---

We return backstage, to see the Diva’s Champion, Melina, walking with her title over her shoulder. She looks a little roughed up from earlier, but nonetheless pleased with herself. Scott Stanford comes up to her with a mic, as uninvited as always.

Scott Stanford:
Melina, a couple of questions…

She shoots him a glare but motions him brusquely on. She continues walking.

Melina:
Let me jump in right there, Scott. What you want to know is if I’m happy to still be Diva’s Champion, and the answer is yes – yes I am.

The Red Carpet Diva raises a solitary finger.

Melina:
But Scott, it’s not because I caught a lucky break tonight… it’s because I’m the best.

Some heat from the arena.

Melina:
And I don’t care what anybody says – there’s not a Diva in this company who can beat me, not when…

She stops dead in her tracks, like she’s seen a ghost. Stanford looks where she’s looking, perplexed… and the camera pans sideways to reveal BETH PHOENIX, normally of SmackDown! The crowd gives a surprisingly-decent pop for a now-rare Raw appearance of the Glamazon, who stands there with her arms folded. For a few moments, the two just stand motionless, with Melina stunned by the sight of the WWE’s most imposing (and most in-form) Diva. Looking around, Melina recomposes herself, clears her throat, and hurriedly makes her way out of shot, with Phoenix watching her leave.

To ringside, now, where JR and Matthews are still at the desk.


Jim Ross:
Welcome back to Raw, ladies and gentlemen, and perhaps a foreshadowing of things to come… Beth Phoenix was apparently scouting our Diva’s Champion tonight, and in the form she’s been in, Josh, who knows what could happen next week, when she’ll be here again for the WWE Draft Special.

Josh Matthews: One night after Over The Limit, JR, things get mixed up again, with the entire competing WWE roster here next week to see who ends up on which show… can you imagine if Beth Phoenix was drafted to Raw, or Melina to SmackDown? We know how much the Glamazon’s been desperate for a worthy challenge… there’s no-one better than the champion.

Jim Ross: Absolutely. And next week – well, it’s gonna be an action-packed night, folks, full of surprises, and one you do not wanna miss, that’s a given.

The bell chimes, and Justin Roberts is in the ring.

Justin Roberts:
The following is a tag team contest, set for one fall!

*WHAT’S UP*


A decent pop goes up as the familiar tune begins, and R-Truth and Johnny Curtis are the men stepping out from behind the curtain. Truth bounces about to the beat of the music, dancing wildly and trying to get the crowd behind him, while Curtis tries to stay focused, keeping his eyes on the ring and slapping a couple of fans’ hands half-heartedly. The crowd chants “What’s up?” in time with the music, despite R-Truth not rapping, though he enjoys the reception nonetheless; the pair roll into the ring and talk tactics.

Justin Roberts:
Introducing first… at a combined weight of four hundred and sixty-four pounds… the team of R-Truth… and Johnny – CURTIS!

Jim Ross: Well, after what happened to start Monday Night Raw, we’re still waiting on word about Triple H’s condition… but I’m hearing that these two men will step up to try to rain on the parade of Dolph Ziggler and William Regal, courtesy of Jerry Lawler agreeing to make this proposed tag team match a reality.

Josh Matthews: And you can’t underestimate the ability of R-Truth and Johnny Curtis, JR – they’re still a relatively new team, but Curtis won the fourth season of NXT and they put up an admirable showing in a bout for the Tag Team Titles two weeks ago against The Corre.

Curtis retreats to a neutral corner, but R-Truth is obliged to go to the centre of the ring – their music dies down, so he yells (no time for a mic) “WHAT’S UP?” at the crowd, getting a pretty loud reply before he heads back to join Curtis. They continue to talk quietly, as the next theme strikes up…

*VILLAIN*


And the crowd begins to boo, as loudly as they did first thing this evening, as William Regal strides out. As usual, he takes a long look around the arena to disapprove of the crowd, before he starts wandering down the ramp, keeping one hand on his robe to show how refined he is.

Justin Roberts:
And their opponents… first, from Blackpool, England, weighing in at two hundred and forty-three pounds… WILLIAM – REGAL!

Jim Ross: William Regal told us earlier that he’s got a lot of aggression just waiting to be let out at Over The Limit, but first he’s gotta prove that he can work with Dolph Ziggler, Josh. God knows they’d make a formidable team if they can do that.

Josh Matthews: This is possibly the most ambitious William Regal has ever been, JR – he really wants his shot this time, and he doesn’t care who he has to hurt to get it. He’s a dangerous man usually, but these past two weeks… well, who knows what he’s going to do this Sunday?

Jim Ross: As we heard, Josh, he’s been waiting a long time for his first ever World Title, and frankly, he might not have much longer left in him, so the clock may be ticking for this man. This Sunday could well be – his last shot.

Regal arrives to ringside, but he stops before entering the ring. His music dies down, and is replaced by…

“I AM PERFECTIIIIIOOOON!!!”


*PERFECTION*


The inevitable boos begin in response as Dolph Ziggler arrives with Vickie Guerrero in tow – the Perfection Artiste flicks water from his hair, then makes quick-time towards the ring, his gaze switching between Regal and his opponents in the ring… who is he more wary of? Ignoring the abuse he gets from the nearby fans, Ziggler tugs on his silver jacket and meets Regal at ringside. They trade an unsure glance.

Justin Roberts:
And his tag team partner… accompanied by Vickie Guerrero… from Hollywood, California, weighing in at two hundred and thirteen pounds… DOLPH – ZIGGLER!

Jim Ross: And a talented man is Dolph Ziggler, Josh, who’s come so close to winning the big one, only to narrowly lose out at every turn so far.

Josh Matthews: Dolph was World Heavyweight Champion for all of ten minutes earlier this year, JR, but only thanks to Vickie Guerrero’s influence – he’s yet to win, as you said, ‘the big one’ on his own merit, but he’s close, Jim. He’s close.

Ziggler and Regal nod at each other finally, and head for the ring as a unit. Truth and Curtis look at them all the way, with Regal wiping his feet on the apron and Ziggler on the other side, staring dangerously into the hard camera like a man who means business. They meet again in the ring, taking the classic ‘heel corner’ as Vickie Guerrero shores up at ringside, clapping obnoxiously in the meantime. The referee is Rod Zapata, who checks both sides as Regal lines up to fight a very game Johnny Curtis. Ring that bell.

Match Four – Tag Team Contest
R-Truth and Johnny Curtis versus William Regal and Dolph Ziggler


Around three minutes in, Regal and Ziggler are basically putting on a clinic, but that’s not to say Truth and Curtis haven’t got in some offence; the general theme is Regal and Ziggler trying to show off their prowess a little. They still team better than Triple H and Cena would at this point, but Ziggler especially is having the time of his life. The Perfection Artiste has Johnny Curtis cinched in a headlock, which he has to turn into a HEADSTAND because that’s how he rolls; the crowd whistles and groans as Ziggler manages to talk a little trash upside-down, still showing Curtis a thing or two about style. Regal leans on the top rope and watches with a completely blank expression, apparently unimpressed. Ziggler winds down to his feet, casting a glance at Regal before he pulls Curtis up – wait, elbows to the gut from Johnny and the youngster’s off to the ropes. He gets some pace… but Ziggler slips around him, wraps his arms around with the waist lock – German Suplex on the money! Ziggler bounces to his feet, proud of his work, and Curtis writhes in pain; Ziggler takes a moment to admire his opponent lying prone, then hauls him back up and runs the Fame Asser – NO! Curtis ducks, so Ziggler staggers away… he turns – JOHNNY KICK TO THE FACE! The Spinning Wheel Kick knocks Ziggler down, but Curtis has taken some hits and he collapses too… but Truth is stretching – can he get the tag?

The crowd livens up, as Ziggler – as usual, selling that hit way beyond the call of duty – whips his head to the side to look at Regal. He begins to crawl, but Curtis is doing the same, searching for his mentor’s outstretched hand for the tag. William Regal looks determined to fix things now, frowning with disapproval as Ziggler gets closer, finally managing to leap into that tag… but SLAP goes Curtis’ hand to Truth, and it’s game time! Truth and Regal both step inside and head for each other – they trade blows, with cheers for Truth’s shots and boos as Regal connects with his nasty left-handed bombs. Regal gets the better of it, forcing Truth into the ropes and sending him to the other side – no, Truth sets his feet and sends Regal instead! The Englishman throws a clothesline, but Truth does the SPLITS underneath it… CORKSCREW HOOK KICK! Regal gasps in pain but up he gets, straight into a couple of punches from Truth, who lines up that sick Vertical Suplex Stunner… but Regal’s a little too heavy for Truth’s range, so the Zookeepah gives it up and throws him with a Hurricanrana! Another pop goes up at the sight of Regal sprawling, so when he gets up, Truth cries “WHAT’S UP?” and throws himself INTO THE LIE DETECTOR – NO GOOD! Regal ducks that killer blow, then measures Truth as he scrabbles for his footing – left hand, left hand, left hand… Regal sweeps in behind him… AND DELIVERS THE REGAL-PLEX!!! He hits that move inch-perfect, as you’d expect, and even Ziggler has to look impressed there, with Regal sticking in that pin… one… two… but Truth kicks out!

Regal rolls sideways, breathing heavily as he recovers his position. Truth looks dazed and confused, cradling a right hand around his neck to sell the suplex. The crowd is cheering, egging Truth on following the kickout, and slowly the Zookeepah finds his way towards the ropes. He hauls himself up, staggering, and turns – right into another series of left hands from Regal. The Englishman picks his spots, mainly around the stomach, before he knees him right to that gut to force him over… then lines up the big knee – “TAG ME IN! TAG ME IN!” – and turns his head to look at the rascal, Dolph Ziggler, who’s reaching for the tag! Regal scowls like a four-year-old caught stealing from the cookie jar, then looks back to Truth and considers the finish again… then reluctantly, heeding the screams of Vickie Guerrero, steps sideways and makes the tag to his eager partner. Ziggler steps inside, grinning again – AND CATCHES TRUTH ON THE FAME ASSER! He hits the move flush, casual as you like, then stands above Truth to gloat a little – he checks an invisible watch, a classic Perfection Artiste pose, then leaps into the Perfect Elbow Drop! He hits that, then rolls back up and points to Curtis. The NXT winner looks concerned, as Ziggler tells Regal to “enjoy the show” and stalks Truth for the Zig-Zag…

…but here’s CURTIS intervening! The crowd pops as the rookie leaps into the fray, driving Ziggler back to a neutral corner and just nailing him with left and rights! Ziggler can only shield himself weakly against Curtis’ wild bombs, the NXT winner going to town here, before he steps away and THROWS himself at Ziggler… AND SLAMS INTO THE TURNBUCKLE! Ziggler’s dived out of the way, and he’s trying to recover himself, but William Regal’s still got the legs on him, and he’s suddenly in the ring as Curtis reels back – KNEE TREMBLER TO THE FACE!!! It’s lights out for Johnny Curtis, who collapses and flops to the side, as R-Truth struggles up and knocks William Regal away with a sluggish right hand… AND HERE COMES DOLPH ZIGGLER WITH THE ZIG-ZAG, BOUNCING TRUTH’S HEAD OFF THE CANVAS!!! R-Truth lies flat, his night finished for sure, and Ziggler lies across him, holding up three fingers and screaming “BUSINESS AS USUAL, BABY…” One… two… three!

Result: Dolph Ziggler and William Regal bt. R-Truth and Johnny Curtis via pinfall at 7:44

*PERFECTION*


Justin Roberts:
Here are your winners… the team of William Regal… and Dolph – ZIGGLER!

Boos greet Dolph Ziggler’s victory celebrations, the man rising to his feet like the ascension of a King to his throne – it occurs to me that metaphor is darkly accurate for the BTB section at the moment, but nevertheless, back to the thread, where Ziggler has his arm raised by Zapata and soaks up the heat from the crowd. William Regal takes a staggering step but recollects himself and stands tall as well. Johnny Curtis pulls R-Truth from the ring, patting him on the shoulder and telling him to keep his head up, as Ziggler turns to Regal… and the two men just aren’t sure. Not yet. Zapata tries to raise both their arms, but Regal tugs his away and stands back. As the official leaves, the two heels stare each other down, though Ziggler points to Truth as if to say ‘Look what I did here’ to Regal, as Vickie Guerrero enters the ring, applauding and shrieking with delight.

Jim Ross:
The questions were asked of Dolph Ziggler and William Regal, whether they could work together or not, and folks, tonight they answered the call.

Josh Matthews: You can’t underestimate the challenge presented by Johnny Curtis and R-Truth, JR, and this wasn’t easy street for Ziggler and Regal, either – (cue the replay) look here – Dolph Ziggler couldn’t let his partner steal the spotlight!

Jim Ross: And ya gotta ask, Josh – will Dolph Ziggler’s ego come into play on Sunday?

This is the question evidently on Regal’s mind – the two men stand across from each other, with a couple of “Let’s go Ziggler!” chants from the smarks, and a couple of “You both suck!” ones as well, but mostly it’s just noise as the pair square up. Vickie Guerrero is screaming, trying to separate the pair of them, who begin to trash talk, possibly about Ziggler’s glory-hunting…

“IT’S TIME TO PLAY THE GAME…”


*THE GAME*


THE CROWD LOSES IT!!! Ziggler and Regal’s heads snap to the side in unison, shooting their eyes to the stage – WHERE TRIPLE H STEPS OUT TO A HUGE OVATION! The Game has a strapping around his neck… but he TEARS it off furiously, and starts marching down the ramp, though he’s half-hobbling!

Jim Ross:
THE GAME! Triple H throwin’ off his bandages, throwin’ aside any help – HE’S GOING IT ALONE, AND HE’S COMIN’ FOR REGAL AND ZIGGLER!

Josh Matthews: This can’t be good, JR – he’s been in the doctor’s office all night, what’s gonna happen if…

Josh tails off – and his worries are realised, as Triple H hits ringside – but Ziggler and Regal are inviting him on, happy to beat him down 2-on-1 again, crouching and readying themselves for a fight one more time before Sunday! The Game stares at them through the ropes, the lights flashing all around them and keeping the fans baying for heel blood…

Josh Matthews:
JR, this just isn’t smart, Triple H isn’t ready! He’s outnumbered!

Triple H exhales… AND SLIDES INTO THE RING! Ziggler and Regal exchange a glance, raising their fists and weighing up the Game’s threat, but it’s evident that Hunter isn’t 100%, and his music dies down, leading to a series of “TRIPLE H! TRIPLE H!” chants all around the arena! Ziggler shakes his head, disbelieving that Tripper’s even made it out here – AND NOW TRIPLE H KNOCKS HIM BACK WITH A RIGHT HAND! The crowd pops big, with Hunter nailing Regal as well, and starts switching between the two men, right hands traded either side… but Regal blocks a bomb, then ROCKS Triple H back with a left hand! Hunter staggers back – BAM! Ziggler catches him with a Dropkick! The buzz in the arena disappears again, as Ziggler and Regal don’t bother to confer before falling on the Game with lefts and rights, stomps and heavy-handed blows.

Jim Ross:
Ziggler and Regal… it’s a carbon copy of earlier tonight, this has gotta stop…

The crowd is booing wildly, telling Ziggler and Regal exactly what they think about them, with the heels showing no signs of stopping, pounding on the Game to put him out of contention for Sunday…

*MY TIME IS NOW*


AND A MASSIVE POP RUNS THROUGH THE ARENA!!! Thousands of fans surge to their feet, all roaring with approval, as once again Ziggler and Regal must turn their eyes to the stage… HERE COMES JOHN CENA!!!

Josh Matthews:
But he's not alone this time!

Jim Ross: Thank GOD for John Cena! Cena’s no coward!

Cena takes a moment, just a moment, at the top of the ramp, but he wastes not a second longer… BECAUSE HE SPRINTS FOR THE RING! Vickie Guerrero is screaming yet again, this time in horror, as Cena slides under the bottom rope – AND FLOORS REGAL WITH A CLOTHESLINE!!! The Englishman rolls sideways, and now Ziggler LEAPS on to Cena with the SLEEPER HOLD… BUT CENA SENDS HIM FLYING WITH THE SNAPMARE… AND THEN CLOTHESLINES HIM OUT OF HIS BOOTS TOO!!! Cena is PISSED, but he turns to Triple H… and helps the Game to his feet! A pop goes up as Hunter shoots a look at Cena and turns – Regal and Ziggler are both against the ropes, on opposite sides of the ring… SO TRIPLE H AND CENA CLOTHESLINE A MAN OVER ON EITHER SIDE!!!

Jim Ross:
GOODBYE! Over and out for Ziggler and Regal!

Cena and Hunter turn to face each other again, the crowd going wild as Regal and Ziggler collapse awkwardly to the outside… but they go nose-to-nose again! The pair exchange a few low-toned words, with Hunter shaking his head in frustration as Cena simply stares. Ziggler is against the announce desk, holding his head in pain, while William Regal lies against the fan barricades on the opposite side. Cena keeps his eyes on Hunter, saying “I helped you… now you gotta help me.”

Jim Ross:
We know these guys have their issues, Josh, but John Cena’s ready to put them aside for something bigger now! Triple H doesn’t have to like it, but… who knows what could have happened if Cena hadn’t stepped in there?

Josh Matthews: John Cena may have just saved this Sunday’s match six days early, JR, making sure he’s got a partner to even team with… for now, we’ve gotta ask though – will these two guys be able to put their differences aside in six days’ time?

Jim Ross: A good question for sure, ladies and gentlemen – Tag Team Attraction’s gonna be one hell of a match-up, with these four men battling it out for a WWE Title shot, but it could all come down to teamwork, and maybe, just maybe, their ambition is going to get in the way.

As Cena and Hunter engage in their staredown, Vickie Guerrero tends to Dolph Ziggler, while William Regal retreats sluggishly up the ramp… and we go to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Our shot starts with a car’s wheels; the rims spin at a ridiculous pace, and the roar of an engine can be heard in the background. We smash cut to the car stereo, which is conveniently playing ‘Help Is On The Way’ by Rise Against, and at the wheel, we can see a hand tapping to the beat. The camera pans slowly upwards from the wheel and we can see The Miz, nodding his head to the beat as the car window behind him shows us that the car is flying down the highway, late at night. Suddenly however, blue and red lights flash in his rear view mirror, and he looks up at it with a frown...

The Miz:

Great... what now?

His car pulls over to the side of the road, and the police car slides in behind it. Out from the car walks two cops, both wearing hats, and they arrive at The Miz’s window. One of them looks curiously like Christian, and the other uncannily resembles Edge.

Long-haired officer:

Sir, do you know what speed you were going?

The short-haired officer (the Christian lookalike) takes a notepad, flips it open, and starts making unnecessary notes.

The Miz:

You don’t understand, officer, I have to –

Short-haired officer:
No, there’s no excuse for speed, sir. Speed kills.

Long-haired officer:
That it does. I’m gonna have to see your licence, sir.

Begrudgingly, The Miz gets out his licence and gives it to Edge the officer.

Long-haired officer:

This expiration date doesn’t look good to me, sir. I’m gonna have to ask you to come downtown with us.

The Miz:
Wait, hold on a sec! You don’t understand, I’m late!

Short-haired officer:
(intrigued) Late for what?

The Miz thinks about it, then comes clean.

The Miz:

I need to get to Over The Limit.

The officers look at each other, then nod.

Long-haired officer:

Well, that changes everything. Let’s get this man an escort!

The Miz smirks, and now we cut to the sight of him driving his car at an even faster speed, with police cars surrounding him as he speeds towards a stadium in the distance. We briefly cut back to Edge and Christian’s car, where someone who looks a damn lot like Sheamus pleads from the back seat:

Ginger criminal:

I’m tellin’ ya, I didn’t know she was a fella!

Edge and Christian’s doppelgangers shake their heads with disapproval, then we watch the police escort speed towards the stadium, before we sweep into the graphic...

Narrator:

Where anything goes... WWE – Over The Limit!




---

Raw returns to the announce desk…

Jim Ross: Folks, we’re a short six days away from our second pay-per-view of a new wrestling calendar, when WWE Over The Limit broadcasts live from Seattle, Washington, and Josh, what a night to look forward to.

Josh Matthews: A bundle of good matches from both Raw and SmackDown, JR, and possibly no more so than the WWE Title Match between The Miz and Daniel Bryan.

Jim Ross: Both great performers, Josh, but so vastly different in their personalities – I mean, ya saw earlier how The Miz is happy to do his business, Alex Riley attacking Bryan’s girlfriend… while Bryan’s a man ready to just flat out compete in that ring.

Josh Matthews: The Miz is well known as a man who tries to get in the head of his opponents, JR, as he has done over the last six months – but recently he’s crossed the line, and this Sunday, it’s on Daniel Bryan to pay him back for that, and take the WWE Title in the process.

Jim Ross: I, for one, wish him the best of luck, but a man who won’t need an ounce of luck in six days’ time… is Randy Orton, who showed us earlier tonight that he’s willing to do anythin’, go as far as he need to, to beat CM Punk and have him carried out on a stretcher.

Josh Matthews: Make no mistake, JR, Punk wants blood just as much as the Viper does, and if there’s one thing we know – it’s that these two will hurt each other a LOT before that contest sees an end.

Jim Ross: And on the SmackDown side, take a look at this one, with Alberto Del Rio defending his World Heavyweight Championship against young, and very game, Kofi Kingston.

Josh Matthews: Kofi Kingston’s waited a long time for his first ever shot at the gold, JR, and Over The Limit may well be remembered for two first-time World Champions in the form of himself and Daniel Bryan. Of course, though, that’s easier said than done, because Alberto Del Rio will again count on the help of his Administration to keep Kofi’s title hopes as just a pipe dream.

Jim Ross: And likewise, ya talk about dreamin’ big, Edge and Christian are still hurtin’ over the title shots they never got, thanks to Wade Barrett and The Corre – this Sunday, we’ve got a 4-on-2 Handicap Match as Edge and Christian reunite to take on twice their numbers.

Josh Matthews: The odds are against the famous tag team, JR, but you know Edge and Christian have proven themselves in the past, and this Sunday might be no different. After what we saw on SmackDown, they’re still on the hunt for that famous World Heavyweight Title, but now they’ve turned things up a notch by hurting the men who got in their way – you should have seen their Con-chair-to!

Jim Ross: Oh I did, Josh, and this Friday night, it’s gonna be huge too, because the fans’ favourite Canadians team up yet again to take on Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel with the WWE Tag Team Titles on the line.

Josh Matthews: That’s a lot of momentum they could pick up there, and speaking of momentum, it’s all on the side of Tyler Black, who seems to have Sheamus’ number ahead of their match this Sunday.

Jim Ross: I tell ya, I’m startin’ to really believe that Tyler Black could be the next big thing on Raw, the next United States Champion. His win over Tyson Kidd earlier tells you that he’s got the fire lit inside him – he’s comin’ for Sheamus this Sunday, and I’ll be damned if he’s not the biggest challenge to the undefeated champion yet.

Josh Matthews: Tyler Black is ready to make an impact all right. Meanwhile on SmackDown, Jack Swagger’s been making quite an impact himself, and this past Friday night he went even further by trying to break the Big Show’s ankle.

Jim Ross: At Over The Limit, though Josh, they’re gonna square off, with SmackDown GM Teddy Long givin’ Big Show a chance at some retribution, and if I know the big man, he’s gonna make Swagger pay.

Josh Matthews: Well, if anyone can, it’d be the World’s Largest Athlete, JR. We might not see him this Friday for SmackDown with his recovery and all, but I have no doubts we’ll hear from the man who tried to put him on the shelf.

Jim Ross: And Josh, ya wanna talk about career-changin’ injuries, Cody Rhodes has gone completely crazy ever since the day he strapped that ‘mask’ to his face, and come Sunday, he settles his score with Rey Mysterio.

Josh Matthews: It’s been one of SmackDown’s defining rivalries in 2011, absolutely, and we finally get the conclusion we’ve been waiting for – Rey Mysterio has a chance to take away Rhodes’ Intercontinental Title, with the match being announced over this past weekend.

Jim Ross: We could see Rey Mysterio take back his place as a champion, a couple years since he last held that prestigious belt, but standin’ in his way is a man who’s given him a lotta grief – Rhodes and Mysterio are gonna go hammer and tongs to settle their issues for sure. And finally, folks, probably the match with the most combustible elements… it’s Tag Team Attraction, with four very different men colliding on opposite sides of the ring. Whoever gets the pin, goes to Capitol Punishment to fight for the WWE Title.

Josh Matthews: Triple H and John Cena have had their issues, JR, born mostly from their desperation to fight one another rather than their opponents on Sunday, but try as Jerry Lawler might, we may not see an end to their problems regardless of the outcome in six days’ time.

Jim Ross: Cena and the Game have a stern test in front of ‘em in the form of Dolph Ziggler and William Regal, two men who want a WWE Title shot as much as they do, and if there’s one thing ya can say, Josh, it’s that whoever walks out with the title shot on Sunday – I don’t envy the champion who’s gotta contend with ‘em.

Josh Matthews: It’s too close to call for me, JR, but who knows what we could see when these four men get in the same ring – Cena came to Triple H’s aid tonight, but that could all go down the drain on Sunday.

Jim Ross: Somethin’ ya don’t wanna miss, ladies and gentlemen – a lotta questions to be answered, live and in high definition come six days’ time, Over The Limit’s gonna be huge, no doubt.

And now we head back to the ring, with the bell chiming.

“…NOW, LISTEN!”


*AIN’T NO MAKE BELIEVE*


The psychedelic colours light up the TitanTron to a good pop from the crowd, and John Morrison enters with a small smile on his face. He whips out the classic coat into the slow-mo, as Justin Roberts pipes up with the main event introductions – oh, I forgot to add that it’s MAIN EVENT TIME…

Justin Roberts:
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Los Angeles, California, weighing in at two hundred and twenty pounds… JOHN – MORRISON!

Jim Ross: And earlier tonight, we heard from Raw General Manager Jerry “The King” Lawler – after Alex Riley’s heinous actions against Gail Kim, The Miz will face consequences by taking on John Morrison here, and while it’s not an easy challenge in the Prince of Parkour, Josh, I can’t be the only one hoping for a bigger reprimand.

Josh Matthews: No – I mean, not to take anything away from King, who I think has done a good job since taking over, Jim, but I think it’s a valid point. After what The Miz pulled earlier, the fans could be forgiven for asking for more in the way of The Miz’s head. If John Morrison can beat the WWE Champion here, and he really, really could, maybe we’ll see the method in the so-called ‘madness’, if you will.

As Morrison heads down the ramp, he gives his sunglasses to a young girl in the front row as usual, then heads for the ring, showing off the fur coat too. He heads to the turnbuckles and raises the arm to the crowd in his typical fashion, then hops down and slips out of his coat, setting up in the corner. He begins bouncing on the balls of his feet, testing the spring of the ropes – he looks game for an important main event contest here, seeing as it could launch him to much bigger things.

“…AWWWWWWEEESOOOOMMMEEE!”


*I CAME TO PLAY*


It’s furious, LOUD heat for Raw’s most egotistical man, who comes out looking like he’s been slapped by his momma; I refer, of course, to the WWE Champion, The Miz, who could be happier about his situation, but nevertheless raises the belt to the world and shakes his head at Morrison in the ring. The Shaman of Sexy has begun to pace left and right, as The Miz, sans Alex Riley for obvious reasons, heads down the ramp slowly, making sure to take his time – he’s in no hurry to face Morrison.

Justin Roberts:
And his opponent… from Cleveland, Ohio, weighing in at two hundred and thirty-five pounds… he is the WWE CHAMPION… THE MIIIIZ!!!

Jim Ross: This man disgusts me, Josh. Makes me physically sick to my stomach.

Josh Matthews: I doubt you’re the only one with that feeling, JR, but that’s just it – The Miz has never catered to public opinion, and as much as hate to quote the man in question, he’s been his own man since day one. He’s never thought of anyone but himself, he’s constantly taken the underhanded way forward to get inside Daniel Bryan’s head – but crucially for tonight, John Morrison knows all of this and more.

Jim Ross: Indeed, Morrison and The Miz as former tag team partners, Josh. They teamed together for a long time, but like many things with The Miz, it ended badly, and tonight – well, tonight, John Morrison might just be able to get one over on an old enemy of his.

The Miz saunters up the steel steps and swings inside the ring; he casts a nonchalant smirk across at Morrison and heads to the second rope. He raises that WWE Title high, the camera bulbs flashing around the arena as he smiles under the attention, the ‘W’ turned into an ‘M’ on the belt as always. Finally, The Miz steps down and faces facts, that he actually has to go through with this match, and after he’s handed the belt to referee Scott Armstrong, we look set to go.

Main Event – Singles Contest – Non-Title
John Morrison versus WWE Champion The Miz


Though they have contrasting in-ring styles, these guys always seem to have great chemistry when they compete, so this is another good bout to the unofficial ‘series’ that seems to stretch several years. As we join the bout, The Miz has Morrison in the corner, driving his shoulder into the Prince of Parkour’s gut with a series of thrusts. Once he’s contorted Morrison’s body between the buckles a little, The Miz steps back, takes a quick turn, and HURLS himself – RIGHT INTO THE SWINGING CORNER CLOTHESLINE! The crowd groans as the WWE Champion hits that perfectly, throwing Morrison back into the ring in the aftermath. The Miz stays in the turnbuckle as usual, staring out at the crowd with a sick smirk, then detaches himself from the ropes and stalks Morrison again. The Prince of Parkour looks dizzy, but he pounds the mat a few times and struggles back up. He staggers, but stays upright, long enough for The Miz to charge in for the Running Knee Lift… NO GOOD! Morrison spins right out of it, grabbing the WWE Champion in the inverted facelock, transitioning back to face-to-face and BAM, nailing him with a European Uppercut! Miz reels back, stunned, hitting the ropes lightly and walking back to face Morrison – WHO KILLS HIM ON THE CRACKING ENZUIGIRI!!! The audible ‘crack’ echoes around the AT&T Center, and now Morrison sprawls over a floored champion for the win… one… two… KICKOUT!

Morrison’s mouth hangs open as he looks across at Scott Armstrong’s signal of ‘two’ to ringside, and stands with a shake of his head. The Miz struggles up across the ring, too, then turns to face a Morrison ROUNDHOUSE – NO! He ducks that, then fires those left hands, driving Morrison back to the corner! That aggression of the Awesome One comes out again here, but now The Miz tries to send Morrison with the Irish whip – reversed by the high-flyer, he sends Miz to the opposite corner instead. Morrison charges – INTO THE SOLES OF THE MIZ’S BOOTS! The crowd groans as Morrison reels back, falling to a knee, so The Miz clubs him down a little more and grabs him in the facelock – BEFORE HE SPIKES HIM WITH THE SNAP DDT!!! That move always looks devastating, but Morrison sells it to a tee as you’d expect, with The Miz rolling him on to his back for the cover… one… two… but NO! Morrison kicks out! A pop goes up as the two men separate, Morrison’s resilience shining through here, and they meet again with sluggish blows. They go back and forth, the crowd cheering Morrison’s kicks and right hands, booing The Miz’s thumping left hooks. Morrison stumbles on one of them, but he shoves The Miz away and catches him with the PELE KICK! The crowd sits in total awe as The Miz goes down, and Morrison wastes no time, heading to the outside apron. Almost certainly, he’s thinking Flash Kick, and he waits for The Miz to haul his tired frame up before he springboards… THERE’S THE FLASH KICK – NOBODY HOME! Morrison stumbles as he lands, The Miz ducking that kill-shot, but he manages to turn… RIGHT INTO THE KNEE LIFT FROM THE MIZ – REALITY CHECK CONNECTS!!! The Miz turns back the clock with his finisher from when he teamed with Morrison, though it’s become less frequent these days, but JR still notes it at ringside, as The Miz hooks both legs and waits on the count… one… two… thr-NO! Morrison kicks out!

A pop resounds around the arena as Morrison springs loose out of the pin, and the pair roll sideways. Miz scowls over at Armstrong, then pushes himself up again. Morrison throws a sluggish hand on to the middle rope and begins to yank himself to his feet, although The Miz hurries over there, boots his old partner in the gut and drags him back to middle of the ring in a front facelock. He slugs a few elbow shots to the back from there, then shoves him over to the ropes – Morrison comes back with a right hand, but The Miz ducks – BAM! ROUNDHOUSE BY MORRISON WHEN THEY BOTH TURN!!! Miz collapses in a heap, and Morrison may fall to a knee, but he has the fire lit inside him, just enough to force himself up and drag Miz by his arms to the corner. The crowd pops as Morrison points out at the fans, lines up his finishing blow, and hoists himself up with the top rope… and into STARSHIP PAAAIIIIN… BUT NOOO!!! It’s crash and burn for the Prince of Parkour, who goes spasming across the ring floor with a face twisted in agony… but it’s looking up for The Miz, who rolled out the way, and now hauls himself up, glowering at Morrison. The WWE Champion stalks his former partner, crouching a little, forgoing the trash talk this time to stick with serious business – up gets Morrison, right into the fierce clutches of The Miz… WHO DRILLS MORRISON INTO THE MAT WITH THE SKULL-CRUSHING FINALE!!! Miz lays Morrison out flat, then rolls him on to his back for the cover, wasting no time… one… two… three!!! Another hurdle down for the champion!

Result: WWE Champion The Miz bts. John Morrison via pinfall at 13:53

*I CAME TO PLAY*


Justin Roberts:
Here is your winner… the WWE Champion – THE MIZ!

He rises to his feet – he’s done it again! The Miz wears the kind of expression that says he’s been smacked around a little bit, but nevertheless that smirk forms again, and he has his title handed to him from ringside. Morrison rolls to the outside, holding his jaw and barely able to stand after taking that crunching finish. With the crowd booing, the arena filling with heat, The Miz takes every opportunity to soak it in, raising his title into the lion’s jaw to tell them all he doesn’t care – the champion stands tall once more.

Jim Ross:
As much as I hate to say it, folks, The Miz has done it yet again – Alex Riley was escorted from the building for his actions earlier, but tonight, the WWE Champion didn’t need him, Josh.

Josh Matthews: This time he didn’t, JR, and he’ll tote that win whenever questions are asked, but it doesn’t change what we saw earlier – The Miz is still a questionable individual, even if tonight, he overcame John Morrison and continued his path, as he would say, as the most must-see WWE Champion of all time.

As The Miz heads to the turnbuckles, telling them “This is Monday Night Miz, tonight and any other night…” however, he hasn’t got long to celebrate before…

*RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES*


…he has to step down, because out steps DANIEL BRYAN, and the crowd goes MAD! The American Dragon looks INCENSED, but he’s not charging down the ramp like The Miz is preparing for; the champion has his title in his hands, clearly wary of Bryan’s willingness to fight, but Bryan hasn’t moved a muscle yet. He has a mic in his hand, in fact, and he takes a cold, quiet step forward on the ramp. His music dies down, and the crowd is calling for blood, chanting “DANIEL BRYAN!” as they wait for him to go after the wary champion…

Daniel Bryan:
You… you are… there are no words for the kind of man you are, Miz.

A slight mixed reaction as Bryan shakes his head. The Miz is still recovering, breathing heavily as he slings his title over his shoulder.

Daniel Bryan:
And I’m not a man of many words, either, but some things have gotta be said.

As a small pop resounds around him, Bryan begins a slow walk down the ramp, still brimming with emotion after what he had to deal with earlier.

Daniel Bryan:
You’ve got an obsession with ruining the things I care about. You hurt my girlfriend, you told me I was a rookie, and you’ve put these people through six months of – to be honest, tyranny.

In the ring, The Miz scoffs at Bryan’s hyperbole, but the crowd agrees, chanting “YOU SUCK!” at the champion.

Daniel Bryan:
This Sunday, it all comes to an end, and I’m the man who’s gonna end it. For Gail, for me, and for each and every person who hates your guts as much as I do.

BIG pop there, though The Miz scowls in response. Bryan reaches ringside, stepping up to the apron as the Awesome One watches him all the way.

Daniel Bryan:
We’ve had a lot of history, but it ends in six days. The final chapter in our rivalry, the final chapter in your title reign. ‘Monday Night Miz’ has to DIE.

Again, the crowd pops with that, and Bryan steps into the ring.

Daniel Bryan:
In fact, if Jerry Lawler hadn’t told me I’d lose my title shot if I touched you, I’d come over there right now and kick your head in.

“Oh really?” snorts The Miz, but Bryan is a picture of seriousness. The fans are fully behind Bryan, as they have been these past few weeks, and the submission expert stands nose-to-nose with the WWE Champion.

Daniel Bryan:
So I just have to wait, but not for long, Miz. Not for long. On Sunday, I’m going to end Monday Night Miz – and I’m going to do it by making you tap…

He raises a fist.

Daniel Bryan:
…OR BY MAKING YOU SNAP.

The crowd roars their approval, and Bryan tosses the mic aside. The Miz shakes his head and slowly brings his title belt into the air, as the crowd kicks off on the “DANIEL BRYAN!” chants again, and the tension builds between two men who hate one another to their cores.


Jim Ross:
It was early last year that we first met Daniel Bryan, folks, under the tutelage of The Miz, who wouldn’t give him the time of day – tonight, he was showin’ tremendous courage, tremendous fortitude, and this Sunday, they are gonna settle every last issue they’ve ever had, because the WWE Title is on the line… and by gawd, The Miz has got it comin’ to him!

Josh Matthews: The Miz calls himself the most must-see WWE Champion of all time, but his former so-called ‘rookie’ is ready to change that, JR – The Miz went after Bryan’s girlfriend tonight, he crossed the line… Sunday, Bryan’s going to pay him back, and we could be looking at a breakout moment for one of the best wrestlers in the world.

Jim Ross: You heard it right there – either Monday Night Miz collapses, or it jumps to a whole new level! Over The Limit, Daniel Bryan’s got a title to win… is The Miz’s reign of terror over?

As former rookie and former pro give each other the death stare, the end-of-show logo appears in the corner of our screens… The Miz tells Bryan he doesn’t stand a chance… and we fade to black.

END OF SHOW

Quick Results
Gail Kim bts. Melina (via DQ)
CM Punk bts. The Great Khali
Tyler Black bts. Tyson Kidd
Dolph Ziggler and William Regal bt. R-Truth and Johnny Curtis
The Miz bts. John Morrison




WWE Championship
The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan

World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) defends against Kofi Kingston

The Final Encounter – Stretcher Match
CM Punk versus Randy Orton

Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio

United States Championship
Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black

Four-On-Two Handicap Match
The Corre versus Edge and Christian

Tag Team Attraction; No. 1 Contender
John Cena and Triple H versus Dolph Ziggler and William Regal

Singles Contest
Jack Swagger versus Big Show
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:01 AM   #123 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Monday Night RAW Review
The opening promo was great, loved Regal's character. Good to see him in a position of power on the roster, he could work very well in the main event and it's great seeing him associate with someone like Triple H or John Cena. He earned that heat at the start and you definitely put over his brawler skills with the knee. I'm hoping you do something with him as you've positioned him greatly. John Cena not turning up I liked, I'm curious for the answer... if there is one from him.

Gail Kim vs. Melina was fine, I'm not crazy about the divas however the aftermath was good. That would give Riley huge heat and Danielson would be the last person to do that too. I can't wait to see Danielson get his hands on Riley who's hot now because of that.

Miz and Lawler's confrontation was good, was kind of hoping it'd be Bryan (just realised I wrote Danielson before) to face Miz just to make an example but I do like Morrison so he'll definitely do. I'm also wondering what the relevance of the 1.9 thing was too, unless I misinterpreted something.

Punk's prematch promo was well done, it had great meaning and covered the subject too, it wasn't just your usual I'm gonna beat you stuff. LOVED Punk beating Khali by submission, just to cement him as serious. The Orton scenario was done perfectly, the intensity was fantastic, I enjoyed the Ryder bit too but the security coming out to break it up always makes the feud seem that much more personal and huge. Great segment.

Cena's reasoning was exactly what I expected. It's good to see him with a little bit of an edge every now and then it makes his character more interesting.

Tyler Black I love and Kidd I appreciate. Great match with great spots, it was good to have them fighting for something as well with the streaks so it made it a more realistic reason for two (former) indies to just cut loose and leave it all in the ring. Well booked. Sheamus' presence at the end adds to the seemingly bitter feud between him and Black. Great final line in the promo too, haha!

Fun match with Regal/Ziggler vs. Curtin/Truth, the basically reluctant communication between the two was well done and good to see Ziggler get the pin as Regal doesn't need it with the heat he's getting. Hunter's appearance was fine and Cena's appearance was good for a pop, no issues there.

The main event was well done, Miz and Morrison do always click well in the ring. There was a nice few spots from Morrison in the match but Miz did need to win that one and he did. Danielson's speech at the end was alright, a bit bland but it got his point across.

Well booked show, very well booked. I enjoyed it. You've lead up to this PPV great. Will keep reading.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:01 AM   #124 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

FINALLY…THE KIRBS HAS COME BACK…TO MELVIS’ RAW…!!


You do have a knack for highlighting midcarders; it’s virtually become a hallmark for this thread by this point. I thoroughly enjoy you giving Regal the spotlight here (as ironic as that is considering the darkness and all), even more especially so because he’s not a ‘young guy’, but very much still a midcarder with talent in need of direction and character definition, which puts him on par with any other young stud at your disposal. But he’s also such an easy guy to make credible due to his prowess and experience, as well as his natural aura which you captured in spades in his opening. The props remain large on Regal because of the fact that, well, he is the weakest looking guy going into that tag team contest. The short back and forth between Trips and Regal before Zigs came out was quite possibly the classiest trash talking segment I’ve ever seen, seeing as how it took place with the under-the-skin aggressive Haitch and the ‘classhole’, if I should use a term, that is Regal. Liked Ziggler here, easily honing in on an idea that obviously has already blown up in Trips’ and Cena’s face, but loved heel Regal not playing buddy-buddy with him right off the bat. But then again, you know how much I love to toy with dynamics like that, so you could just be pandering there. Everyone’s words were short and simple, and the message delivered by Cena not showing up was wonderful, getting back at Hunter for last week (year?) Much like your promo to open Smackdown, nothing that blows me out of the water, but did a great job setting the tone for the rest of the show and the players involved, as well as adding to the groundwork of what should be one of the more interesting matches come OTL.

Before the match even begins – props on that HUGE FUCKIN’ POP for D-Bry and for recognizing Black Referee’s swag. On to the actual stuff…

The contest obviously wasn’t the highlight, although it’s brief description still had some very solid action. But of course, it’s the interference that’ll get all the gab. I’m thrilled to not be the only sick bastard around to lay out women like that (although now that I’ve seen you do it, I’ll have to one-up ya ), although I will throw up a penalty flag and bust our my ‘realism police’ badge – 2011 WWE would, realistically, never take that chance and outright lay out a woman at the hands of a man like this. I think this was one of their conditions with Mattel, but even if it’s not, they played it ridiculously PR friendly in that year, and this could be seen a bit much to break that. Riley clubbing Gail from behind is probably the extent they would go, but a full on finisher that looks sick at that might be a little too much at once for them to go for. BUT I’m not gonna be anal about that and just go with the story and let it be known that this is a great, if not classic, way for things to just get that much more intense for Bryan come Sunday. It also leaves a great deal of animosity that wouldn’t be quelled by winning or losing a title match and could very well keep these two/three together for some time.

Hypocrite douchebag heel logic, front and center. I had to cringe a little bit at the prospect of Miz SNAPPING on anyone, though. Angry Miz does nothing for me. As for the stopwatch…1.9…? Could it be…? If you move the decimal place one space, you get 19. If you add the one decimal space plus the 19 and you get twenty! Now, take that twenty and add the number of weeks between now and Capitol Punishment…which is five, so you get twenty-five! As a bonus, if you look at the stopwatch, you can smelt the watch down and mold it to make….A SCORPION!! What does the twenty-five mean? That’s approximately the number of years Sting’s been a professional wrestler!! IT’S STING!! MELVIS HAS STING~!! BAH GAWD~!!

And now I FINALLY get to comment on your CM Punk for the first time since Extreme Rules. While Khali’s disposal by submission was absolutely powerful enough, it’s of course everything he’s done for weeks that’s made him so sick. You’re no stranger to writing CM Punk well – hell, the guy’s won you EoY Awards before and if he keeps on this path (and from what you’ve told me you have in store for him), he’ll surely win you more. So to be fair and honest, I’m not surprised nor all that impressed, in a way, in that you’ve done all this with the Second City Saint. I am impressed, however, at just how sick his character is. You know where the basis of my Jericho character comes from and I can see how Punk draws from that as well – he’s a master manipulator; the puppetmaster and a man, as Jerry Lawler has said before, ‘has brainwashed everyone even himself’. You’ve captured that essence to a disturbing degree, but more importantly, you’ve captured his essence to disturb to an even more disgusting degree, if that makes any sense. He’s legitimately a cult leader by this point, breaking everyone in his path inside and out before leaving them as nothing but shells of themselves that he can just impose himself on. Ryan and Shef are simple minds, so I’m sure it didn’t take much for them to give into his ‘faith’ along those lines. I feel like the window is open for DiBiase to follow that line should you want (or just leave him written off; it’s not like the guy has whole lot else going for him with daddy cutting him off and all) because of that very fact, and hell, he’d be a prime catalyst to perhaps drive Orton back over that edge like he did in the post-match pursuit and brawl. But the biggest thing about your Punk that I know will be built upon more than anything is, of course, his anti-authority attitude that got him so hot around this time that year. You’ve planted the seeds with Lawler and, well, the seeds are just in him naturally by this point, really. He’ll fight the barriers that he loves to break and that we all love to follow a character on, but he’ll just be so obviously twisted and demented and delusional, it’ll almost impossible to root for him. Even so, he’s the perfect guy to fight those barriers, almost as if we have no choice but to let him fight them when that time comes. It was “Messiah” Punk that won you that award some years ago; it’s “Dark Messiah” Punk that’ll probably do the same if this road goes on. And yes, I am being overanalytic, because that’s just with three weeks of extra build on his character. God help RAW if Punk pulls out the win Sunday (which he’d better.) If you couldn’t tell, I’ll be watching C(omplete) M(onster) Punk very closely over the remaining course of the thread.

Diggin’ the added layers on Cena here, and his reasoning was very much in line with what I figured from the start. ‘Betraying HLR’ could be a reoccurring theme for him if this marches on, but we’ll keep going…

Tyler Black is a guy you obviously have a soft spot for, although I’m really glad you gave him the chance to highlight the one aspect he hasn’t actually shown as his forte and that’s in ring (which it is his forte). Based on his interaction with Sheamus the week before - which, not gonna lie, felt like it was a little bit of you reaching for a reason to cover up his ‘agent’ character – he’s a vulnerable character right now. I do like how you’re using the notion that he’s an indy talent with as much of a glass ceiling to break as Punk or DAT SUPAHERO D-BRYAN, while at the same time keeping him in line. He’s a little generic, but with a purpose, if that makes sense, but at the same time, his push does feel a little bit…forced, maybe even rushed. But then again the ‘E’s lack of much of a midcard at this time may have contributed to that feel. Anyway, a great match with Kidd here that was very fun and put both men over very well. Kidd’s ‘genuine injury’ is something I appreciate on the realism of, but seeing as how you don’t do throwaway stuff, I’m sure it’ll have something to do with a means to an end down the road. The mini-promo from Black was nice, that killer last line setting the tone for their match.

DAT DRAFT that evidently I will love…

Phoenix > Melina. Every damn day of the week.

Curtis and Truth got thrown to the dogs here just a little bit, but I suppose to properly show Ziggles and Regal getting it on with guys who formerly, and legitimately, challenged for the tag team titles would be a sound way to go. Their chemistry was a little off and that’s to be expected, especially in closing when Regal just didn’t want his hand being raised beside Ziggler’s. Cena and Trips cleaning house is a nice way to go, perhaps paving the way for a Ziggs/Regal win come the day of the big dance. Either way, I still enjoy the dynamics you’ve played with this ‘strange bedfellows’ match. PS –I’ll see your comparing certain Kings to a ‘Perfection Artiste’ as raise it by saying “DAMN, I’M GOOD!!”

PPV rundown and main event were bon, although again, the main event itself wasn’t a huge focal point of things. It’s not like JoMo will be doing much of anything at OTL. Anyway, it was an entertaining match, but as noted, it’s Bryan looking to go gung-ho for Miz that takes it away. The only thing I didn’t like about Bryan’s dialogue was the ordering of some of his grievances (putting ‘you hurt my girlfriend’ before ‘you called me a rookie’ sort of leads the mind to infer that the latter was the more insulting when I don’t think you were intending that), but that’s being petty and anal again. The closing line was a work of art, tbh. It lined up beautifully with the idle threat Miz gave earlier as far as their words, as well as more than tying into Bryan’s entire character. Usage of arch words and echoes is so bon.

Overall, really not much to complain about as far as actual critique goes besides the petty things I mentioned, although I will say I’ll have to take a few notes from you regarding take-home shows. You didn’t give away too much, but you started tying things up without wrapping them up, in a sense. I gushed a good deal on Punk and Black and I could easily do the same thing on Bryan to the point that I honestly could see you giving him the title come the PPV. Everything seems set in place on the RAW side of things, so I’ll stop my random spieling and just say another excellent show on all fronts with a few caution spots, but all the more PPV enticing. I’d give the stamp of approval, but if I use it too much, I just might go…Over the Limit
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:49 PM   #125 (permalink)
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Yeah, still soldiering on. Over The Limit is halfway done (meaning I’m writing faster than I did for Extreme Rules, though the differences between those two may become clear when you read it ), so when I’ve written five matches I’ll post SmackDown, and when I’ve written six I’ll post the show preview. That then gives me a bit of time while people predict, and 619IDH dazzles us all with copious amounts of in-depth character analysis, during which I can write the last two bouts.

Then it’s on to DAT DRAFT

Huge thanks to the King and EYELRAK for their insights on Raw, too.

EDIT: Just realised I didn't put Superstars in. I'll add it at the top of SmackDown when I post it.


---


Friday Night SmackDown
American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas | 20th May 2011

Just two days before the superstars of SmackDown head to Seattle for Over The Limit, tonight they have one more hurdle; we’re in Corpus Christi tonight, and there are still dozens of questions yet to be answered.

Primarily, the question on everyone’s minds; will Kofi Kingston ‘choke’ during his first ever World Heavyweight Championship Match on Sunday? Current champion Alberto Del Rio seems to think so, telling the Ghanaian in no uncertain terms last Friday that he’s simply NOT ready for such a huge occasion. Kingston answered back with a great performance in the show’s main event, however, when he pinned Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes to send a huge message to the Mexican Aristocrat, dealing him his first defeat in a while in the process. Still, however, Del Rio remains confident, and tonight we’ll hear from both men ahead of their clash on Sunday. Last time they fought one-on-one at Elimination Chamber, Del Rio was victorious, but Kingston has a new fire lit inside of him, and maintains that he will take the World Title despite Del Rio’s reliance on his Administration. He has a chance to get some payback on that organisation, too, as tonight he faces the Man of Mayhem, the destructive Brodus Clay, in singles action in our main event. Can Kofi Kingston silence his doubters and loosen the Administration’s stranglehold on SmackDown in the process?

Elsewhere, Cody Rhodes is sure to be smarting after that loss last week, especially seeing as he needed to win to avoid dealing with Rey Mysterio again. The Ultimate Underdog told Rhodes that their business wasn’t completed, a saga that has run since before Wrestlemania, and tonight, Rhodes and Mysterio will enter the ring to air their grievances. This is because over the weekend we heard from SmackDown GM Teddy Long to confirm that these two men WILL face off again on Sunday, almost certainly for the final time, with the Intercontinental Title on the line. Now that Cody Rhodes MUST face Mysterio, will he see it as a chance to finally get his true vengeance on the luchador? Or will he want no part of a man who has chased him for weeks? Two very determined competitors will share their thoughts in the same ring, tonight on SmackDown.

Another match announced for Over The Limit was one sure to delight any old-school fans; Edge and Christian will reunite on pay-per-view for the first time in years to face all four members of The Corre in a Four-On-Two Handicap Match. This match spirals from Wade Barrett colluding with his comrades to eliminate the Canadians from a Battle Royal that might have got one of them a World Title shot; since then, we saw how much Edge and Christian felt aggrieved when they gave Heath Slater a con-chair-to last Friday night. After fooling The Corre with a pre-recorded VP on the TitanTron, the Canadians seem to have their number, and tonight they get the chance to go even further, when they take on Slater and Justin Gabriel for the WWE Tag Team Titles. At ringside will surely be the other members of The Corre, including Edge and Christian’s main focus in the unstable but conniving Barrett, and with just forty-eight hours until these six men collide, the famous tag team have a chance to strike a huge blow by entering Seattle as champions. The question is; is it truly written in the stars for Edge and Christian to become Tag Team Champions for the first time in ten years, or will the very-capable team of Gabriel and Slater knock off yet another challenge?

Sin Cara has been on fire since his debut, but last week he was stopped in his second match against Drew McIntyre, when the Sinister Scotsman caught him with a surprise Future Shock to pick up the win. These two stand at a victory each over the other, but tonight they engage in a rubber match to determine which one of them truly has the brighter SmackDown future. Many people have pointed to Sin Cara’s inability to lock in La Mistica on McIntyre – can he change that tonight? It’s Sin Cara and Drew McIntyre, the decider, and one of them will certainly be walking out of Texas as the ‘better man’.

Also tonight, Jack Swagger is in action ahead of his match with the Big Show on Sunday, and the ‘Rule-Breaker’ Curt Hawkins takes on another high-flying daredevil in the form of Trent Barreta!


~ Announced For SmackDown ~

We’ll hear from Alberto Del Rio and Kofi Kingston
Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio in the same ring


---

~ MAIN EVENT ~
Singles Contest

Kofi Kingston vs Brodus Clay

Tag Team Contest – WWE Tag Team Championships
WWE Tag Team Champions Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater vs Edge and Christian

Singles Contest
Trent Barreta vs Curt Hawkins

Singles Contest
Drew McIntyre vs Sin Cara
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:51 PM   #126 (permalink)
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WWE Superstars
American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas | 19th May 2011

Match One – Tag Team Contest
South Beach Party Boys bt. The Usos via pinfall at 11:48
Percy Watson and Darren Young got a big win alongside Trent Barreta last week on SmackDown, and they carry that momentum forward to tonight’s show. Across the ring are the formidable Usos, also on a high after they put away former title contenders R-Truth and Johnny Curtis last week. The great start to the South Beach Party Boys’ tag team career continues, however, when Jimmy Uso misses his huge Diving Splash, allowing Darren Young to strike with the Heat Wave for the vital three count. After the match, the Party Boys are attacked by Down With Zack and Primo, two men still hurting from the embarrassment they suffered at the hands of the newcomers. Ryder and Colon leave their rivals laying tonight, despite the fact that the Party Boys remain undefeated since their arrival.

As usual, the first match is followed by a short promo; that promo is delivered by Evan Bourne, set for action against Yoshi Tatsu later tonight, and interviewed by Todd Grisham. He says he’s made a short career out of wowing the crowd and going further than what’s safe… or reasonable. Tonight, he’ll show everyone what it means to be a ‘Superstar’, when he takes on… he stops, because Yoshi Tatsu steps into shot to bow to him. Behind him is his tag team partner Goldust, who says that Tatsu also wants to put his name in the headlights because (doing the weird breathing-in thing as he touches himself) he’s – “GOLDEN.” Bourne says he has nothing but respect for them both – he bows to Yoshi – and he says he plans to put on a show tonight. Tatsu and Bourne shake hands, as the face-versus-face encounter looms.


---

Match Two – Singles Contest
Chavo Guerrero bts. David Hart Smith via pinfall at 6:12
Easy day at the office (mostly) for Chavo Guerrero tonight. The Mexican Warrior is accompanied to the ring by Hunico, who plays along to Guerrero’s awesome theme song on his trumpet, while David Hart Smith is given no such pageantry when he arrives. Regardless, the Canadian brings his fighting game, only for Chavo Guerrero to capitalise on an Hunico distraction to Dropkick Smith to the mat, following up with the Frog Splash for the win. Guerrero and Hunico celebrate in the ring after the bell, as the Alberto Administration looks to strengthen its ranks – and its winning record – heading into its business on Sunday night.

Raw Rebound is a brief recap of Alex Riley’s disgusting actions on Monday night, in which he interrupted a Diva’s Title Match to deliver the Varsity Blues TKO to a defenceless Gail Kim. We see Daniel Bryan rushing down the ramp to help her, then the number one contender’s march to meet The Miz later on in the night. Bryan says that he will kill Monday Night Miz on Sunday, either by making him tap, or by making him SNAP, as the crowd roars his name, and we edge closer to a famous rookie-versus-mentor clash.


---

Match Three – Singles Contest
Evan Bourne bts. Yoshi Tatsu via pinfall at 13:37
Just like Bourne promised earlier, these two guys just go nuts to make sure the fans get a show. He and Yoshi go back-and-forth here in Corpus Christi, including a pinfall-reversal sequence that sees about five or six pinfalls in a row. On commentary is Goldust, who does a stellar job of putting both men over as the match progresses, making sure to talk a little bit more about his tag team partner in Tatsu; however, despite the Bizarre One singing his praises, Yoshi can’t quite beat Bourne here. The end comes when the two are at the end of their tethers, firing kicks back and forth, before Tatsu misses his signature Roundhouse Kick and gets struck with one of Bourne’s in response. The St. Louis native then goes up top and launches with the Shooting Star Press to score an impressive win in the main event of Superstars, by no means his first in recent weeks. After the match, Bourne and Tatsu shake hands, and Goldust leads a (bizarre) round of applause for the young pairing, who went all out here in Texas.


---


Friday Night SmackDown
American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas | 20th May 2011


We start with a few brief highlights from last week’s show, in which Kofi Kingston quite blandly tells us all his reasoning for hungering after the World Heavyweight Title. Referencing his childhood days as a WWE fan, the crowd is behind him, even more so when he stands up to an interrupting Alberto Del Rio and his Administration. Just as the Mexican Aristocrat is about to utilise his considerable numerical advantage to give Kofi a preview of Over The Limit, Rey Mysterio rushes down the ramp to make the save; Kofi and Rey clear the ring, and then we’re swept forward to the main event. In the tag team bout that closes the show, the faces come out on top in a heated contest, Kingston catching Cody Rhodes with Trouble in Paradise to send a message to Del Rio… he’s coming for the belt, and he stands a real chance.

From those highlights, we sweep into SmackDown’s opening VP, complete with ‘It’s Your Last Shot’ by Politics and Assassins to amp up the adrenaline – we finish with Del Rio kissing the belt as usual, then sweep into the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, where the crowd pops big and the camera pans over the hundreds of signs in the arena. We cut to ringside, where Josh Matthews, Matt Striker and – prepare to be dazzled – Booker T await us.


Josh Matthews: Two days, folks, two days – Over The Limit is within touching distance, and we’re set for a big night, because we have a couple more questions to answer before we head to Seattle. That being said, a big night needs some big commentary, and I have just the two men for that – your teacher, Matt Striker, and the Bookerman himself, five-time WCW Champion Booker T.

Matt Striker: A pleasure as always, Josh, glad to be with you both, and indeed, it’s going to be a night full of excitement. I can’t think of better evidence of that than what we’ve got to start… two on two, the Tag Team Titles on the line, and it could be the first time Edge and Christian hold those belts in more than ten years.

Booker T: Awww, ya know that I can’t wait for when we get nostalgic up in here! Lay it on me, dawg!

Almost immediately, we turn to the stage…

*YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME*


THE CROWD ROARS THEIR APPROVAL!!! The arena lights go into overdrive, frenzied flashing drenching the crowd, and as the bell rings, EDGE AND CHRISTIAN make their entrance... to their old music – AND THEY’RE WEARING THE SHADES! Okay, so Christian can’t grow his hair all the way back, and there’s no more chairshots to the head, but Edge and Christian are still “LIVIN’ LIKE IT’S 2001, DUDES!” according to the Rated R Superstar… and now they march for the ring, looking as game as they did ten years ago!

Matt Striker:
Do not adjust your sets – it’s not 2001, you’re really seein’ this! Edge and Christian teaming together, going for the Tag Team Titles… what a moment! I’m getting goosebumps!

Booker T: Dis is – dis is amazin’! I’m so jazzed right about now, I’m feelin’ da atmosphere up in here… it’s electric, baby! Dis crowd goin’ mad!

Josh Matthews: And Edge and Christian want those titles badly, guys – last week, they fooled The Corre by hitting them with our live video cameras, catching Heath Slater with a vicious con-chair-to, and this week, they look to strike another blow to the heart of SmackDown’s most despicable foursome, both tonight and in two nights’ time.

Edge and Christian hit ringside, with the Rated R Superstar sliding into the ring as Christian trots up the steps. The crowd are eating it up, with Edge hitting the turnbuckle to raise his rock star pose and Christian searching for his peeps; then it’s Edge to the middle ropes on the hard camera side as Christian bounces between the ropes. The deadly duo are having the time of their lives all over again, and even the commentators are applauding them as they prepare for their first title shot in years. Turning to one another, they whip off their shades and trade a few words under their breath. This is a special moment, and they enjoy it here, as their music subsides and the crowd chants “EDGE AND CHRISTIAN!” in sweet rhythm, echoes around a jubilant American Bank Center.

“I’VE HAD ENOUGH! I MAKE ‘EM SEE…”


*END OF DAYS*


But now, the crowd changes its tune and the moment is killed; Edge and Christian turn, throwing off the leather jacket and ‘Flip The Switch’ tee respectively, and focus their attention on the stage. From behind a now-lit-up red electronic curtain steps The Corre, for once fronted by the WWE Tag Team Champions, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater, with Ezekiel Jackson standing in between them but slightly behind, a menacing presence to back the champions up. A few paces behind is the suspicious Wade Barrett, pacing tentatively towards the ring with folded arms.

Josh Matthews:
I’m not going to pretend Wade Barrett has a spotless record in the WWE, but what he orchestrated two weeks ago was possibly his worst act yet.

Matt Striker: I’d apply a lot more certainty to that, Josh. Barrett acted out of jealousy and plain anger in that Battle Royal, and he ruined the dreams of these two men in the process; and let’s be honest here, he’s in no fit mental state to be taken anything less than seriously.

Booker T: Ya better believe it, dawg – mah boi Wade’s lost his mind, he gettin’ paranoid, he thinkin’ the whole world’s against him, and it’s makin’ him do crazy things! Ya just can’t trust dis man, he’s a headcase right now and anythin’ he does is a danger to everybody else, man.

Josh Matthews: And folks, no matter what Wade Barrett’s been doing to raise questions about his sanity, there’s no doubting the efficiency of the Tag Team Champions, Gabriel and Slater, who defended their titles as recently as less than three weeks ago, twice in two nights. This could be a great contest, guys.

Indeed it could, with the crowd continuing to boo, or else chant for Edge and Christian, and the atmosphere is pretty good as Gabriel and Slater approach the ring. They enter the squared circle, showing their bronze titles to the Canadians for the sake of acting like douchebags, though Slater goes the extra mile by attempting to play his belt like an air guitar. The Corre’s music begins to fade away, as Gabriel retreats to a corner with his title resting across his chest, and Edge and Christian cast cold stares out of the ring at Wade Barrett. Jackson is pacing around the ring, but Barrett isn’t moving, planted at the foot of the ramp and staring with hollow eyes right back at the Canadians. Meanwhile, however, the titles have been handed to referee Charles Robinson, who lofts them into the air, while Heath Slater yells obnoxiously that Edge and Christian should be focusing on HIM, not on Barrett. Still, as E&C turn their attention back to the champions, they keep stealing glances at Barrett; the Englishman begins to form a solid scowl as Tony Chimel steps up for some introductions.

Tony Chimel:
The following tag team contest is set for one fall, and it is for – the WWE… TAG – TEAM – CHAMPIONSHIPS!

A good pop goes up.

Tony Chimel:
Introducing first, the challengers… from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, weighing in at four hundred and eighty pounds… the team of EDGE – AND CHRISTIAN!

Big, healthy cheer as the Canadians become the camera’s focus; they, however, have their gazes locked on their opponents now, despite Edge occasionally throwing a wary look at Barrett. Like Jackson, the Englishman is now pacing restlessly, eerily silent tonight.

Tony Chimel:
And their opponents, representing The Corre… at a combined weight of four hundred and twenty-nine pounds… they are the current WWE Tag Team Champions… Heath Slater… and Justin – GABRIEL!

And now the boos – despite the unusual lack of trash talk from Barrett, Heath Slater is his usual bouncing self. He may have been battered with chairs last week, but it’ll take more than that to shake his infuriating attitude to his opponents; Gabriel, as usual, remains stoic. Tony Chimel leaves the ring, as do the title belts, and with Edge gearing up to face Gabriel (a recent competitive match comes to mind), Charles Robinson calls for the bell.

Match One – Tag Team Contest – WWE Tag Team Championships
WWE Tag Team Champions Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel versus Edge and Christian


The clock ticks over seven minutes, with Christian pressed into the mat by a Heath Slater headlock. On the apron, Edge stares at the scene with bared teeth, clearly frustrated with how this match is going; Christian squirms and manages to get some better footing, but Slater yanks him up and shoves him to the ropes. Christian wasn’t expecting that, so he rebounds half-heartedly and walks into a Slater Dropkick! Down goes the Livewire, but Slater isn’t done, adding a big Knee Drop and making a cover – one… two… but that’s all, with Christian forcing a shoulder up. Slater, scowling like a teenager, pulls Christian up again and this time sends him to the corner. He lays the boots in to the gut, then fires Christian across with another whip… but the Canadian sends Slater the other way! The One Man Band slams into the turnbuckle, then staggers back – CHRISTIAN TAKES THEM BOTH DOWN WITH A CLOTHESLINE! The two men roll away, with crowd cheering as Christian looks to even this contest out, and now Edge is bouncing on the apron, feeding off the energy as the Livewire begins to crawl for his partner, reaching for the hot tag… but sluggishly, Slater’s up! The champion wraps his hands around Christian’s ankle and starts to tug him away from the frantic Edge – the crowd must boo, naturally, as Christian works his way up, the ankle still gripped by Slater. Christian turns and manages to pepper Slater with a couple of right hands, getting his foot free before he gets some pace into the ropes – BUT SLATER DROPS HIM ON HIS CHIN WITH THE FLAPJACK! “Oh!” cries the crowd as Christian bounces off the canvas, and now it’s Slater rolling into the cover… one… two… kickout! Christian keeps his title hopes alive!

Slater rolls back to his feet, staggering to his own corner and tagging Gabriel in, rather than try his luck against Christian again. The South African is content to join the fray, slingshotting into the ring – Christian is wavering, finding his slow way to his feet and immediately taking some stiff kicks to the side. He reels, so Gabriel throws in some more shots, this time to the stomach, then adds two to the knee and rolls the momentum into a BIG finish on a THUMPING ENZUIGIRI TO THE HEAD! Christian collapses in a heap, so Gabriel heads to a neutral corner to watch Christian’s struggle on the floor. At first, it seems odd that he’s not making the cover, but as Christian wobbles up, it’s evident that Gabriel wants to string some big moves together, handstanding up into the Hurricanrana attempt – NO! Christian comes to life, running to the edge of the ring and unceremoniously dumping Gabriel to the apron! The Livewire circles away, holding his head to sell the various blows he’s taken, then turns as Gabriel composes himself, right into the springboard – GABRIEL SOARS… RIGHT INTO A MID-AIR DROPKICK FROM CHRISTIAN! TERRIFIC IMPROVISATION!

The crowd goes wild, with both men spiralling into the canvas after the collision, but it’s Gabriel who caught the worst of it, Christian’s two boots meeting the South African’s gut flush on the money. We get a couple of replays, including in slow-motion to see just how Christian pulled it off, then we’re back to the arena, where this Texas crowd is hot, egging Captain Charisma back to his corner in this vital match! At ringside, Barrett remains restless, looking a little concerned, maybe pissed, maybe unsure – hell, it’s all in the subtleties with him at the moment, so who knows what he’s thinking, but nonetheless this is a turning point. Gabriel hauls his body to the corner, managing to scrape a tag to Slater – BUT HERE COMES EDGE OFF THE TAG, AND THE ARENA ROARS!!! The Rated R Superstar comes in like a house on FIRE, walloping Slater into the deck with a MASSIVE clothesline, then another, and when they meet for a third time it’s the BIG BOOT THAT PUTS SLATER DOWN! The crowd is loving it, Slater selling it like a pro to show off one of his better attributes, before he begins to show the heart of a champion by hauling himself up… but maybe that’s stupidity, because Edge is awaiting, and the former World Champion measures Heath all the way into his grasp – EDGECUTION! NAILED IT! Edge is rolling here, maybe even more than that, as he presses Slater’s shoulders to the floor and nods with the count… one… two… BUT SLATER KICKS OUT!

Edge runs his hands through his hair and takes a deep breath. He’s a little tired from a long match, but considering he’s been on the apron for a decent portion of it, he’s probably the freshest man in there, so he finds the energy to get up – AND HEAD TO THE CORNER. The crowd livens up again, as does the Rated R Superstar, throwing his hair out of his eyes and telling Slater to “Get up! GET UP!” so he can meet his maker – Slater wobbles to his feet… so Edge thinks SPEAR – NO! Slater leapfrogs it, and Edge has to stop himself colliding with the turnbuckle! Edge turns, charging back rashly at Slater, who, unusually for him, shows some composure and kicks the Canadian in the gut… TURNED INTO A NECKBREAKER! It’s firm execution from one half of the Tag Team Champions, and he gets up, for once not grinning his face off after narrowly avoiding the Spear. He paces the ring, exchanging a quick look with Gabriel on the apron before he crouches and waits for Edge to get up. The Canadian looks pained, holding his neck as he rises – Slater grabs him by the head but Edge comes back with a right hand or two, then hits the ropes… Big Boot ducked by Slater – Edge rebounds again… SPINNING SPINEBUSTER FROM THE ONE MAN BAND!!! That drills all the air from Edge’s lungs, and Slater knows that’s no set-up move, that’s a killer blow, crawling back over the challenger for the cover… one… two… THR-NOO!!! Edge with the shoulder up! We’re still going!

Slater looks at Charles Robinson, then to Gabriel – he doesn’t know what to think! Turning back to Edge, who has the wherewithal to pull himself towards the ropes, Slater scrunches his face in annoyance and drops a couple of stomps to the Canadian’s lower back. He has Edge gasping, so he pulls him up and gets the inverted facelock… no, Edge spins out and throws the clothesline… ducked by Slater, who watches Edge towards the ropes and thinks Dropkick – only for Edge to stop himself by holding the top rope, meaning Slater lands hard on the canvas! Slater works his way back up, wincing – so Edge measures him and hooks him up… INTO THE ELECTRIC CHAIR! The crowd pops as Edge hoists Slater on to his shoulders, the One Man Band flailing frantically… but he manages to get off a couple of right hands to Edge’s head, and the Rated R Superstar wobbles, accidentally staggering towards Gabriel, who gets the tag off the flailing Slater… and Edge, not noticing the tag, stumbles back the other way, trying to keep the move under control – he hits his OWN corner, with Christian getting the tag off his shoulder… and as Gabriel and Christian enter the ring again – EDGE DROPS SLATER WITH THE ELECTRIC CHAIR FACEBUSTER!!! Edge gets up amidst the cheers of the crowd – AND GETS HIS LIGHTS KNOCKED OUT BY A GABRIEL SUPERKICK!!! Down goes Edge, rolling from the ring, but Christian’s on it, wiping Gabriel out with his signature Running Forearm Smash! Gabriel gets flattened, and Christian roars out to the crowd to get them as fired up as he is… before he heads to the corner and hoists himself to the second rope! In the middle of the ring, with Slater also rolled out, Gabriel is alone as he gets up – AND GETS WIPED OUT WITH THE FLASHPOINT FROM CHRISTIAN!!! The sweet Diving European Uppercut connects, with both men hitting the floor, but Christian manages to sling an arm over him for the cover… one… two… KICKOUT!

The crowd groans – we don’t have new champions, at least not yet, but as Christian and Gabriel begin to find their feet, it’s clear that the challengers are still game, with Edge back up to the apron already, albeit with a tired expression. Christian, too, clenches a fist and looks ready to go, catching Gabriel with the right hand to knock him back down, though the South African gets up again. The two measure each other, and Christian misses on the next shot – ducked, of course, by Gabriel, who takes the opening and floors Christian with a Spin Kick, the ‘reverse roundhouse’! The pace quickens, Christian getting up and catching the champion on the Dropkick, but both men get up and Gabriel leapfrogs Captain Charisma’s lurching attempt at a grip… they turn to meet each other again – REVERSE STO FROM GABRIEL – AND THEN HE TRANSITIONS STRAIGHT INTO THE KOJI CLUTCH!!! Gabriel’s got it locked in, the fearsome hold that he’s integrating more and more into his repertoire choking the life out of Christian – could this be the end of the title challenge for the Canadians? Edge looks concerned on the apron, trying to shout some encouragement, but even he’s low on energy… the man who ISN’T is Justin Gabriel, who has come alive after getting the hold in place, nodding his head and screaming “TAAAAP! TAP ALREADY!” as Christian struggles for breath! The Livewire attempts to pull himself towards the ropes, but the whole of Gabriel’s weight is pressing down on him, making every inch, every lurching movement, an extra struggle. For a second, he raises that hand, to the crowd’s despair, perhaps going to tap, but he clenches it into a fist and carries on… until FINALLY, he gets that hand on the bottom rope! A pop goes up, as we cut to see Wade Barrett on the outside, turning his head away from the ring – he can’t even watch, as if every setback is a personal insult. Ezekiel Jackson is far more over-the-top about it, complaining and stomping about the place; in the ring, Gabriel is forced to release the hold with a scowl.

Christian may be down, but he isn’t out, putting a hand on the middle rope and pulling his tired frame back up. He turns, and Gabriel looks to KICK HIS TEETH DOWN HIS THROAT – NOOO!!! The Superkick misses this time, Christian stooping under it, and when Gabriel turns around, Captain Charisma turns him into the inverted facelock – REVERSE DDT!!! Christian flattens the South African, falling on top of him and lying there, managing to lethargically hook a leg as well… one… two… BUT NO! Gabriel kicks out! Christian falls to the side a little, then rests briefly on his knee before he stands. With Gabriel having the energy to kick out but not to find his feet right away, Christian can think through his next move – so he raises his arms and begins the pincer motion! The crowd pops as Edge manages to smile for the first time tonight, watching his best friend prepare for the Killswitch… BUT HERE COMES SLATER ON THE BUZZKILL! The One Man Band bundles Christian over with a series of right hands, then charges to the corner and cheap shots Edge as well! The crowd boos wildly as Edge tumbles desperately from the apron – he was gearing to step in, but Slater caught him off guard – and now referee Charles Robinson is all over Slater’s case, yelling and instructing him to get out of the ring! Slater argues with him, having to make a scene as usual, but Christian, dazed, struggles back up and slumps over the top rope for support. Gabriel is up too, but he also has to rest against the ropes; as Christian tries to recover, WADE BARRETT clambers to the apron… AND CATCHES THE LIVEWIRE WITH THE BIG BOOT!!! Furious heat resounds around the arena as Barrett hops down, staying completely stoic, as Christian reels – RIGHT INTO A GABRIEL SUPERKICK!!! Slater finally gives in and leaves the ring, but the match is in The Corre’s hands, as Gabriel drags Christian a little closer to the corner, then heads to the outside and goes up high! Edge is down on the outside, being pounded on by Slater to keep him occupied, while Gabriel crouches amongst the boos, glaring at the nearby cameras as usual… BEFORE HE LAUNCHES INTO THE 450 SPLASH ON CHRISTIAN!!! The huge move takes the wind out of Gabriel, but it destroys poor Christian, who can only crumple over, holding his stomach before Gabriel forces him on to his back… one… two… THREE! The champions do it again!

Result: WWE Tag Team Champions Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater bt. Edge and Christian via pinfall at 17:08

*END OF DAYS*


Tony Chimel:
Here are your winners, and STILL the WWE Tag Team Champions… Heath Slater, and Justin – GABRIEL!

The American Bank Center FILLS with boos immediately after the bell rings to signal the end, but as always, you can expect complete indifference from Heath Slater, who left Edge alone as soon as Gabriel hit the finish, and now he’s rolling into the ring to throw his arms into the air! “WE DID IT AGAIN, BAH-BAY!!!” On the outside, Edge sits against the barricade and scowls at Slater’s celebrations, while Gabriel stays on a knee, eyes locked on Christian as the Livewire clutches at his stomach, crumpled in a heap in the corner. Into the ring comes Ezekiel Jackson, titles in hand, and he thrusts them in the direction of the champs; Slater lofts his high, Gabriel simply nods and shrugs it over his shoulder.

Josh Matthews:
Another challenge seen off by Gabriel and Slater, folks, but by no means was it honest – Wade Barrett struck when the referee’s back was turned, helping Justin Gabriel drop that devastating 450 Splash. Yet again, the champions escape with their titles.

Matt Striker: They get results, Josh. Between these four men, you have four very different personalities, very different styles, and that’s what makes them dangerous. I wouldn’t trust a single one of them, and who knows what we could see from them on Sunday, when they’ve got all four of them in one ring?

Booker T: Hell, it sure ain’t fair – but who da hell’s gonna stand up to The Corre? Justin Gabriel done injured Kane with dat Splash, Big Show busy wit his own thing, Kofi fightin’ another battle too – dese guys might be all we have left, man! Dey gotta stem da tide!

By the time that exchange is over, Barrett has joined the champions in the ring. He stands on the ramp-side of things, nodding when Gabriel asks him something that we can’t catch, before Big Zeke grabs Slater and Gabriel’s arms and raise them into the air. Gabriel looks to Barrett, and lightly takes the Englishman’s wrist to bring his arm up as well, though Barrett looks distracted. He keeps looking around, up the ramp and in the crowd, still completely paranoid, but the focus is on The Corre as a whole, standing tall after another tainted victory...

…BANG!!! EDGE HAS A CHAIR, AND HE CRACKS IT OFF SLATER’S BACK!!!


Josh Matthews:
OH!

THE CROWD GOES WILD! The arena booms with sound, suddenly elated as Edge breaks up the celebrations, and it’s CHAOS suddenly, as Barrett immediately bails, the scent of danger sending him scurrying – Gabriel spots Edge and also gets the hell out of dodge, but Jackson’s not quick enough… AND HE COPS A CHAIR TO THE GUT – AND THEN A SERIES OF SHOTS TO THE BACK!!! The big man roars in pain and falls to his knees, booted firmly away by Edge, who now turns back to poor Heath Slater, still writhing in agony on the deck – he took a con-chair-to last week, and Edge wants to make things worse tonight, a genuine expression of rage on his face as he tees up the shot… Slater struggles up, as Barrett holds back Gabriel from intervening, the second week in a row – SO SLATER TAKES ABOUT FIVE CHAIRSHOTS TO THE SIDE!!! Each shot puts Slater a bit closer to the mat, until he’s floored, and Edge kicks him from the ring! The crowd are loving every second, so Edge raises the chair to get their full reaction, a huge ovation, before he rolls from the ring and helps Christian up.

Josh Matthews:
You asked who could stand up to The Corre, Book – well, Edge is, and he’s got the equaliser, the chair, to help him… this is the Rated R Superstar when it really matters to him!

Matt Striker: The Corre stole Edge’s chance at getting the World Title back, so Edge is unleashing everything he has on these guys – and he’s not done yet. This Sunday, he might go even furth– wait…

Not only has Edge helped Christian up (the Livewire nods and heads for the ring), the Rated R Superstar has a MIC passed to him, and he rolls back into the ring. He checks on Christian, who still sells the 450 as he leans against the ropes, then raises the mic.

Edge:
I’ve… I’ve had enough of these guys – Slater, Gabriel, Jackson – SCREW IT.

BIG pop as Edge gets fired up – Christian slumps against him, throwing an arm over the Rated R Superstar to keep himself upright. A real show of friendship, closer to brotherhood, from these two. On the ramp, Barrett’s face is pale, while Gabriel stares from under his fringe and Jackson sells the chairshots. Slater’s dead.

Edge:
Barrett, I want a piece of YOU, and I’m gonna get it.

Another cheer there for Edge’s trademark aggression. Christian’s nodding, and Edge turns his head to observe his beaten-down amigo.

Edge:
We’re – we’re gonna get it. This Sunday, you have the four of you, but it doesn’t matter to us. Christian and I – we had somethin’ to shoot for… you killed that. Titles are just titles, but you went further, so let us pay you back. That’s YOU, Wade.

The Englishman looks shaken, but doesn’t he always at the moment?

Edge:
So we might not have your titles, but it’s still gonna end the same way. SPEAR.

A few “SPEAR! SPEAR!” chants echo in the arena, as well the obligatory pop.

Edge:
And we’re gonna have a night to remember on Sunday, too. Christian and I don’t need titles for that – all we need is two chairs and a couple of heads to crack.

Managing a smile, Christian points to The Corre, saying “A symphony, man.”

Edge:
Yeah, yeah. You guys go ahead and run – two nights, and you’re gonna get what you deserve, Barrett. And –

Christian pulls the mic his way.

Christian:
And it’s gonna be… RATED… R.

*YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME*


Another BIG pop greets Christian’s determination, fighting through more than ten minutes of targeted attacks to send one more threat at his opponents on Sunday. Edge nods and dumps the mic, as Jackson helps the wounded Slater up the ramp, and Barrett stares and stares and stares. Eerily, it’s as if no-one else exists in the world for Barrett, eyes locked on the Canadians in the ring – a whisper of something. Mouthing.

“Let them come.”

With that, we fade away from Barrett’s cold stares to a break.


COMMERCIAL BREAK

We return backstage, but not at the interview set – somewhere else. The room is dark, and as the camera tilts from the ground, there is a Mexican flag hung on the back wall; not like a waving emblem of joy, more as a fearsome statement – it hangs by a couple of hooks, it does not fly. Elsewhere, a couple of kit bags lie on the ground, a punching bag on a rusting chain, and piping that runs through what is probably some kind of boiler room or the like. The camera pans slowly to the right and sat in the chair is the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio. The crowd boos, but Del Rio raises a hand as if he saw the reaction coming a mile away. Wearing just a basic white shirt and trousers, he looks surprisingly plain tonight. He is alone.

Alberto Del Rio:
My name... is Alberto Del Rio.

Heat from the crowd. He neither smiles nor frowns.

Alberto Del Rio:
Last week, I said I come from wrestling royalty. Dat is true – but I did not mean dat I had it easy. I had to work… for my art.

Some boos from the arena, as Del Rio stands into the noir-ish darkness of the room.

Alberto Del Rio:
Dis… dis is how I used to live. When I was starting, the fact dat my father was a legend meant nothing. In Mexico, dey respect heritage but you still must prove yourself.

He looks wistfully up at the flag behind him.

Alberto Del Rio:
Tonight, for you all, I recreate the world I used to live in. I used to prepare for my matches in a room half dis size, looking at dis flag, praying for de win dat would make my father proud of me.

And now the back of his hand runs down the flag’s surface.

Alberto Del Rio:
I was more driven than de others. I won de matches, I made my name in a country where to wrestle well… is to be a GOD.

He smiles at the mere memory.

Alberto Del Rio:
So sitting here, in a room just like dis, I made myself dat man. My father, a God himself, was proud of what I had done. El Hijo del Dos Caras. So he rewarded me with money – I became de Mexican Aristocrat, king of many trades. I became a businessman, because I could. I became an icon in my home country, because I could.

Boos from the crowd as Del Rio lands a faint punch on the tired punching bag.

Alberto Del Rio:
And so when you people judge me for de Administration…

He pauses to show that there will be no trumpet tune – he stands truly by himself here.

Alberto Del Rio:
…remember dat I am no coward. You all may not agree with me, amigos, but I am more than just money and class – I am a deeper man than dat.

The Mexican Aristocrat walks leisurely to one of the kit bags, and takes out – the World Heavyweight Title. He lays it at the foot of the Mexican flag and nods. He reflects for a moment before turning back to the camera.

Alberto Del Rio:
De Administration may embody my class, my influence on dis show – but dey do not make me who I am. Alberto Del Rio is made by Alberto Del Rio. Never fool yourselves into thinking dat I am not the best, simply because I have men behind me.

The classic Del Rio smirk.

Alberto Del Rio:
I would be just as unconquerable… by myself.

Heat as he follows it up with the signature wink.

Alberto Del Rio:
I do not need numbers to keep my title. Kofi Kingston, you should realise dat, but you don’t. If I am a demon to you all… well then, I am a noble… demon.

Oh hey 619IDH.

Alberto Del Rio:
And like de noblest of demons, I will stay true to my principles. If I lost those, all de money in the world would not save me.

Deadly serious, he stares into the camera lens, right through you.

Alberto Del Rio:
Like the flag behind me – like Mexico – I endure. From humble beginnings to glorious victories. Dat includes dis Sunday, and on and on, until my name is in every history book.

He wanders towards that chair again.

Alberto Del Rio:
Kofi Kingston – you will choke. You don’t realise yet, but mi amigo, you are part of something much bigger. The rise and rise… of Alberto Del Rio.

He takes a seat.

Alberto Del Rio:
So Viva Alberto.

Heat in the arena, but Del Rio remains indifferent, wrapped up in his moment.

Alberto Del Rio:
And now, if you please…

His eyes return to the flag.

Alberto Del Rio:
…a moment alone.

The cameraman understands, and after a brief lingering shot on Del Rio, encompassed in his old world, we fade back to the arena.

*LET’S ROCK*


The atmosphere in the arena picks up, the bell chiming, and out rushes Trent Barreta to get the crowd buzzing yet again. He runs his hands through his hair then shakes it out like a madman, showing how excited he is to get going – he charges down the ramp, slapping as many hands as he can, then heads for the ring. The smile on his face, especially after last week, tells the whole story.

Tony Chimel:
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Mount Sinai, New York, weighing in at two hundred and fifteen pounds… TRENT – BARRETA!

Josh Matthews: Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen – we caught some honest words from Alberto Del Rio there ahead of his match with Kofi Kingston in just forty-eight hours, but for now, let’s turn our attention to Trent Barreta, set for action.

Booker T: Mah boi Trent comin’ off a big win last week in dat Six-Man Tag, I know he got what it takes to pick up another win here tonight – but ya better believe he ain’t gonna have an easy ride, he up against a RULE-BREAKER, baby!

Matt Striker: Am I the only one who doesn’t get how Curt Hawkins is breaking any rules?

Josh Matthews: Erm… let’s get to that when he arrives, Matt.

Back to Barreta, who charges down the ramp and slides into the ring – he immediately heads to the turnbuckles, slingshotting into a position from which he can play effectively to the crowd. He cracks a smile at the cheers he receives, enjoying his period of – well, relevance – recently, and he hops down as his music fades away. He bounces on the balls of his feet and tests the ropes, showing that he’s ready as he’ll ever be.

*IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW*


Some light heat is audible, but still nothing spectacular, as Curt Hawkins prances into view; he’s got the cane, the sunglasses, and of course, the leather jacket with the bald eagle’s head on the breast. He spins to show us the “RULE-BREAKER” emblazoned on the back, then begins to walk towards the ring, holding his cane high (slightly defeating its purpose) and yelling “ENGAGE HAWK MODE, IT’S TIME TO REDEFINE STANDARDS!”

Tony Chimel:
And from the BIIIIRD’S NEST, weighing in at two hundred and twenty-three pounds… THE RUUUUUULE-BREAKER… CURT – HAWKINS!

Matt Striker: There’s not even a place called the Bird’s Nest!

Booker T: Dis is just what Curt’s fightin’ against, man, da guys like you who don’t believe in da boi, Matt! Dis guy’s redefinin’ standards, pushin’ envelopes, droppin’ Heat-Seekin’ Elbows, breakin’ rules and – wait, I forgot one… uh… oh, flyin’ like da eagle, dat’s it.

Matt Striker: None of those things – none of them mean anything! He’s just chaining catchphrases together and pretending they mean something!

Josh Matthews: Well, Curt Hawkins is certainly impressing, what with his win over JTG last week and in weeks beforehand on Superstars – maybe there’s some method to the madness?

Matt Striker: Am I alone here? Does no-one else think it’s kinda stupid that the guy has all these sayings but he doesn’t actually do anything? There’s no ‘greater meaning’ behind all this! He’s the most stupidly overconfident guy in the company!

Josh Matthews: You don’t watch Raw much, do you?

This prompts a quick plug of The Miz’s WWE Title defence set to come on Sunday, a man who IS the most overconfident guy in the company, before we focus on Hawkins and Barreta in the ring. Hawkins has passed his jacket and cane to the outside, brushing his hair away from his eyes and pointing to Trent – “Get ready to face the eagle, my man, I DON’T PLAY BY YOUR RULES!” Referee John Cone checks that these two former Dudebusters are ready to go (check out the 2010 FCW knowledge right there), then calls for the bell.

Match Two – Singles Contest
Trent Barreta versus Curt Hawkins


Trent has done the sensible thing as we jump in around four minutes – he’s flat out ignored every one of Hawkins’ catchphrases and taunts, and stayed focused on the task at hand. Into the action, with the two men exchanging blows, but Barreta mixes things up with the kicks, driving Hawkins back to the corner. The high flyer takes a few steps back, visualising his move, then leaps into the air to pump himself up, sprinting into the ropes to get high, and finally rocking the Rule-Breaker with the Springboard Corner Elbow! As Hawkins reels again, Barreta’s off to the ropes, Hawkins staggering into his path – the Eagle bends over… BUT BARRETA ON THE SUNSET FLIP, AND THE PIN – one… two… KICKOUT! Hawkins says no, forcing Trent away, and both men get up – Barreta throws a forearm, but Hawkins is swiftly under it, hitting the ropes for the springboard… nah, he just gets a bit of stylish air to no-look leapfrog back over the head of the charging Barreta! Trent has to stop himself colliding with the ropes, and as he turns, Hawkins is pumping his arms, YELLING out with adrenaline… THEN BEHEADS BARRETA WITH THE MASSIVE CLOTHESLINE!!! Hawkins has one of the best-looking clotheslines in the company, and he shows it again there, knocking Trent for six and covering his limp frame… one… two… BUT NO! Again, Barreta kicks out, and this match continues!

Getting up, Hawkins sticks his tongue in cheek and audibly sighs in exasperation. Barreta is proving a sterner test than JTG last week, but he stays determined, pulling Trent up as Striker jokingly asks if he’s broken any rules yet at ringside. Hawkins lays Trent out with a quick Snap Suplex, but when the high-flyer tries to get up, Hawkins scowls and throws some stomps to keep him down. He heads to the outside, going up top, but again, Barreta is too quick, forcing himself up and throwing himself at the top rope to make Hawkins lose his footing! The crowd groans as Curt gets crotched on the turnbuckle, and Barreta wastes no time clambering up the buckles to join him… he pulls him back up, adds a couple of right hands to the gut – THEN HURLS HAWKINS OFF THE TOP WITH THE SUPER FRANKENSTEINER!!! INCREDIBLE!!! The crowd pops HUGE, and we’ll get about three or four replays of Barreta’s ingenuity, with the high-flyer going above and beyond as usual, now slowly managing to haul himself to a vertical base again. The arena is chanting his name, but he can’t acknowledge them yet, too busy focusing on business, and in that vein, he’s off to the apron, preparing to go aerial yet again! Hawkins is a wreck, wincing heavily as he holds his back, but he struggles up to an empty ring, with Barreta nowhere in sight… because he’s behind him, springboarding and FLOORING THE RULE-BREAKER WITH A SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!!! Hawkins goes down, and Barreta senses the win, hauling him onto his back and hooking both legs… one… two… but the three evades him! Kickout by Hawkins!

Back and forth we go, these two trading moves like men with a definite sense of familiarity from their FCW days, and Barreta knows the end could be in sight. Forcing himself up, he takes to the edge of the ring and waits for the opening he needs; Hawkins wavers up, straight into Trent’s grip, for the Springboard Tornado DDT perhaps… but as Barreta tries to tug Hawkins towards the ropes, the Rule-Breaker shoves him away! Barreta rebounds back at Hawkins, who throws one of his huge clotheslines, only for Trent to duck it – the Mount Sinai native hurtles into the ropes to get some pace… THEN SENDS HIM SPIRALLING WITH THE GOBSTOBBER!!! The Busaiku Knee Strike has Hawkins crashing to the canvas, and Barreta makes another cover… one… two… THR-NOO!!! Hawkins kicks out of it, despite taking a huge hit there! Trent can’t believe his luck, running a hand through his hair and standing up. Hawkins again struggles back up, though it takes much longer this time and he stumbles, the Gobstopper having rattled his brains. Barreta weighs up a kick, then throws it – but Hawkins sweeps to the floor suddenly, standing without checking on Trent’s location and HURLING HIMSELF BACK ON THE PELE KICK – WHICH CATCHES BARRETA IN THE FACE!!! It’s Barreta’s turn to get sent flying, but rather than collapse, he flops over the top rope to keep upright – Hawkins is up again, sweeping his straggled hair out of his eyes once more, as Barreta detaches from the ropes and staggers towards him… Hawkins with the grip of the arm, Trent’s leg above his head, then lines it up AND TOSSES HIM INTO THE TASTE OF PAIN, THE HANGMAN’S FACEBUSTER!!! The crowd groans as Barreta gets planted with Hawkins’ most visually impressive move, and the Rule-Breaker heads straight to the outside, knowing like clockwork what he must do next. He finds the top rope, then crouches to weigh up the finish – “FLY LIKE THE EAGLE!” – AND NOW HE DRILLS BARRETA WITH THE HEAT-SEEKING ELBOW!!! Hawkins with the elbow to his opponent’s heart, and as always, he doesn’t taunt after the elbow, knowing when time is precious… one… two… three!

Result: Curt Hawkins bts. Trent Barreta via pinfall at 8:31

*IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW*


Tony Chimel:
Here is your winner… the RUUUUULE-BREAKER, CURT – HAWKINS!

Boos resound around the arena as Hawkins stands, stretching his jaw out after a lengthier bout than his recent ones, and he manages to smile as John Cone raises his arm in victory. Trent Barreta, holding his chest to sell the elbow, rolls to the outside with a face wrecked in pain, and nods at Hawkins; his fellow former Dudebuster has impressed him tonight.

Josh Matthews:
Trent Barreta is no slouch, Matt – are you convinced?

Matt Striker: You misunderstand me, Josh, I have as firm a belief as anyone, excluding maybe Hawkins thinking more, that we’re looking at a talented individual. That was a great match and I can’t deny a strong performance from Curt Hawkins, but what really lived up to his catchphrases in that contest?

Josh Matthews: Hawkins certainly living up to his own high opinion of himself, folks, if not backing up all those labels we constantly hear from him – nonetheless, the self-proclaimed ‘Rule-Breaker’ came out on top tonight, and who knows what this guy could achieve if he keeps this form up.

Booker T: Yeah dawg, but take nuthin’ away from mah boi Trent Barreta, he gave his all like always – gotta believe dat kid’s goin’ places too, ya know?

As Hawkins heads to ringside to slip back into his jacket and swirl his cane about, he gloats a little to the crowd – “Still redefinin’ standards, bring on the next one! Keep flyin’ like the eagle!” – and SmackDown goes to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

When we return, we’re in the arena…

“WOOOOOOAAAAAAAHHHH…”


*DISFIGURED*


The stage turns a sickly shade of murky blue, and some loud heat heralds the arrival of the Intercontinental Champion, Cody Rhodes, who has his dark hood over his face, and keeps his head down so we can’t see him. There is no bell – this man is here to speak, not to compete, and as usual, he makes a minimalistic entrance, simply selling his isolation by holding a hand in the way of the camera to stop himself from being filmed, and heading for the ring.

Tony Chimel:
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome… the Intercontinental Champion, Cody – RHODES!

Josh Matthews: This man won’t be happy with how last week turned out – he was pinned by Kofi Kingston in our main event, after Rey Mysterio had asked for one more shot at his title earlier in the show. To make things worse, Teddy Long announced in this past week that this Sunday, we would indeed see Rhodes versus Mysterio for a third and final time, with the title on the line to boot.

Matt Striker: Certainly not a week that Cody will want to remember, Josh, but keep in mind that this is a man who remembers everything. He’s been at Rey Mysterio’s throat since the beginning of this year, and every day since then he’s had the same agenda – hurt the Master of the 619.

Booker T: Hell, we all know how sick ‘n’ twisted dis boi right here is, man. He ain’t got a conscience, he just crazy outta his mind right about now. Question is, can Rey Rey beat a guy like Cody Rhodes when he’s like dis, and can he take dat title right outta his hands?

Rhodes steps up to the apron, allowing us a slightly better scope for a camera angle on his lowered head, but he quickly denies us a better view by stepping inside the ring. He picks up a mic that is passed under the ropes from ringside, then waits as the music dies away. The crowd is mostly booing, though a few chants echo around of various denominations, but Rhodes cuts through them all – his head remains arched down, so we can’t see his eyes or any of his face.

Cody Rhodes:
Someone dim the house lights.

A few boos, but his head twitches sideways; he’s serious.

Cody Rhodes:
I said, someone dim these lights. DO IT.

After a moment or two, a production member somewhere hastily drops the lighting level in the arena. The crowd is plunged into a gloom, something Rhodes clearly prefers. He breathes easier, but he breathes into the mic, giving us an eerie effect as those sounds get broadcast through the arena speakers.

Cody Rhodes:
Good. No-one deserves to look at me. This… this is too important.

Some heat there.

Cody Rhodes:
At the start of this year, I was a rising star – I was THE rising star, as the most Dashing man around. That was all once upon a time, though. Tonight I am Intercontinental Champion, still a rising star, but it’s not how I planned this – not… NOT at all.

Again, boos as Rhodes’ fractured, mental-patient voice reverberates through the mic to the arena.

Cody Rhodes:
It hasn’t gone to plan because of Rey – Rey Mysterio.

A pop and some “619!” chants, but there’s a shake of the head from Rhodes. A growl behind the mask.

Cody Rhodes:
He’s taken every chance to interfere in my business. At every turn, Mysterio has tried to hurt me, starting with breaking my nose, and he couldn’t leave well enough alone from… that… day… on.

Heat for Rhodes’ slanted thinking.

Cody Rhodes:
That’s why I punished him at Wrestlemania, and it’s why I punished him… at Extreme Rules. I have a flair for the dangerous style now, and I can put it to good use. Hm.

His head tilts to the side, and for a moment we catch an eye, but he lowers his head down again and continues.

Cody Rhodes:
But amidst all the deserved punishment, it’s not enough yet. In two days’ time, I will end this… this ‘saga’… in as violent a means as I need to. If I have to break you, Rey… I will.

The crowd boos again, this time for Rhodes’ threats.

Cody Rhodes:
It’ll end. The day I put on this mask, I knew no-one deserved to see my ruined face, and that stays true. My former self was corrupted by Rey Mysterio – he ruins everything he… everything he touches.

Almost a tilt up, but he stops himself.

Cody Rhodes:
Rey… you ruined my life – and now I’m going to ruin yours.

Again, big heat for the Intercontinental Champion, who lowers a hand to the belt around his waist and taps it twice, just assuring himself that it’s still there.

“BOOYAKA, BOOYAKA…”


*619*


But he doesn’t get much longer to reflect, because the arena lights come DAZZLING back up, blinding most everyone, but the crowd pops regardless! The contrast is clear, darkness blasted away by thousands of rainbow-coloured lights on the Tron, the electronic curtain, the sideboards around the arena… and here comes Rey Mysterio, throwing up an arm to the delight of the crowd!

Josh Matthews:
Now there’s a man who’s heard enough!

Matt Striker: You can’t help but feel Cody Rhodes sounds even more determined to hurt Rey than ever tonight, but the Ultimate Underdog doesn’t sit back and let other men talk him down, so he’s out here to say his piece, and there’s no better time than two nights before they settle things for good.

Rey doesn’t take much time playing to the crowd; it’s not about that tonight, it’s about business, so he does a quick round of the children wearing replica masks and heads briskly to ringside. He grabs a mic and rolls into the ring – Rhodes’ head is upright, and although he’s in shadow a little, we can just make out his eyes, staring a hole through the Master of the 619. Rey’s music subsides, giving way to an array of “619! 619!” chants from this crowd in Corpus Christi, before the luchador begins to speak.

Rey Mysterio:
Yeah, I’m here. Whether ya like it or not, man, ya can’t live your life in the dark. The world’s in colour, when you stop and look around.

Rey follows that with a sweeping pointing finger, with the camera following to see the waving crowd that cheer and rise to their feet in response. Back to Rey.

Rey Mysterio:
I’m out here to clarify somethin’ for you, Cody. I’m gonna say somethin’ you don’t wanna hear, ‘cause it messes up your whole theory about me, but get ready – ese, I never meant to break your nose.

Rhodes’ eyes bulge behind the mask – “Don’t lie to me!” comes the off-mic reply.

Rey Mysterio:
Nah, I never had anythin’ against you. It was just a match. We had a match, and an accident happened. Things go wrong, that’s the way we live. The reason we’re standin’ here, still talking about this … is because of you, Cody, and you alone.

He shrugs, but again, Rhodes looks at him like he’s diseased, shaking his head.

Rey Mysterio:
Flat out, you overreacted. You strapped on that mask and you lost your mind.

A mixed reaction; Rey is totally serious, those crystal-blue eyes telling you how honest he’s being. Rhodes, conversely, has burning eyes behind the plastic, almost pacing with built-up anger.

Rey Mysterio:
And I hate to break this to ya…

He looks around, holding up a hand as if to warn everyone he’s about to do something dangerous.

Rey Mysterio:
…but Cody, we can all see your face.

A pop goes up in agreement in the arena, but Rhodes looks dumbstruck; what the hell is Mysterio getting at? Rey pauses to let that sink in, and Rhodes stands still for a moment, then OVERREACTS to the extreme, pinging about the ring with those bulging eyes – “YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH! SHUT YOUR…” He remembers his mic…


Cody Rhodes:
You shut your MOUTH, Rey! You’re a liar, and you don’t have a clue what you’re talkin’ about… I OWE it to myself to hide away my weakened image. I was irrevocably altered and nothing will ever change that.

Now it’s REY’s turn to look at his opponent like he’s mad.

Cody Rhodes:
I have become a shut-in, a hideaway, because of YOU. And whether you accept blame for that or not, Rey, I’ve got a whole lotta anger in here…

He points to his heart, seething now.

Cody Rhodes:
A whole lotta anger, and I’m gonna unleash all of it this Sunday. That’s what you deserve.

Mysterio shakes his head – he can’t believe his ears.

Rey Mysterio:
I… I haven’t DONE a damn thing! It’s all on you, Cody! You overreacted to an accident, you chose the mask, you abused it to win that title, you stood in this very ring, ese, and claimed I was responsible for what’s happened to your mind.

Boos there, but Rhodes still paces, restless. Mysterio frowns behind his own mask, tonight a shining blue.

Rey Mysterio:
Fact is – Cody Rhodes, you are CRAZY.

The crowd pops in agreement, quite loudly in fact. Is that Rhodes narrowing his eyes beneath his hood?

Rey Mysterio:
Unarguably, without a doubt, you are asylum-level, out of your mind insane, man. You’ve spent so long dreaming up some kind of revenge for what I did to you, but I’m not the man your mind has made. I’m not the enemy you think I am. You told the world you hid yourself away because we didn’t ‘deserve’ to see you…

A tilt of the head from the Ultimate Underdog.

Rey Mysterio:
…are you sure you didn’t hide because you were afraid?

Oooh. Rhodes turns fully to face Mysterio now, violently shaking his head. There’s a long pause before Rhodes speaks again, much quieter and chilling this time.

Cody Rhodes:
No, I’m not afraid… I’m just SCARRED –

Rey Mysterio: What scars?

Silence between the two again. Rhodes stands and thinks it through, never taking his eyes off his opponent in two days’ time… then he breaks the gaze, tilting his head down… he reaches up, flipping his hood back and removing his MASK… he tilts his head up again – AND…

…his face is fine?
There’s a loud mixed reaction from the crowd, with the camera getting a look at Rhodes’ bare face for the first time in months, but just like all of us, Rey is stunned.


Matt Striker:
Am I missing something?

Cody Rhodes: (in a low, menacing tone) Now… now do you see what you’ve done to me? Huh?

Rey’s eyes flicker all around Rhodes’ face, from his perfectly-recovered nose to his fiery eyes, his unblemished skin… the man is perfectly fine by all accounts. Mysterio shakes his head.

Rey Mysterio:
Cody… there’s nothing… there’s nothing wrong with your face.

Rhodes exhales.

Cody Rhodes:
You don’t understand. You haven’t grasped the scars on this face, but you will.

Rey, and the crowd, stand in confusion.

Cody Rhodes:
This Sunday… (pointing to his face) you will pay… for THIS.

With that, Rhodes slips the mask back on to his face, throws his hood back on… and leaves the ring.

*DISFIGURED*


The boos follow Rhodes up the ramp and towards the ramp; the Intercontinental Champion is furious, but Rey is just dumbstruck… what was that about?

Josh Matthews:
Cody Rhodes removed his mask… but that face is as fine as it was on New Year’s Day… how can Cody truly believe…

Booker T: I’m tellin’ ya, da boi is messed up in da head!

Matt Striker: Rey Mysterio tried to convince Cody Rhodes of that very fact, guys, but our Intercontinental Champion will not be persuaded – this is no longer a physical issue, it’s a mental one. Cody Rhodes has truly, as Rey said, lost his mind.

Josh Matthews: I shudder to think what Cody Rhodes is capable of now, deluding himself into... regardless, folks, Rey Mysterio has his hands full come Sunday against a mentally-scarred champion.

Matt Striker: Could go either way, Josh, but one thing is for sure – no single match can change what has happened to Cody Rhodes recently. This is a man who isn’t sound of mind, plain and simple.

Rhodes seethes down at Mysterio, who still looks a little confused by Rhodes’ self-delusions, and now we head backstage… to see Sin Cara and Drew McIntyre either sides of a split-screen – and they’re both WALKING~!

Josh Matthews:
Well, after the break, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the rubber match – Drew McIntyre and Sin Cara both have a win over the other, but in just a few moments, they’ll go head to head one more time… it’s one you don’t wanna miss, don’t go away!

SmackDown goes to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK


MONDAY NIGHT RAW – A THREE-HOUR DRAFT SPECIAL
THIS MONDAY | TACOMA DOME, TACOMA, WASHINGTON


---

The bell rings on our return…

“WHAT’S THAT METRONOME I HEAR…”


*BROKEN DREAMS*


The arrival of Drew McIntyre gets some heat from the crowd, but the guy is nothing special in terms of drawing the ire of the fans at the moment; it makes no difference to him, however, unbuttoning his trench coat and heading down the ramp as the picture of indifference. He looks focused on the ring, as if he was blinkered to the entire world around him, the fans, the commentators and anyone else – all that matters is getting this win tonight.

Tony Chimel:
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Ayr, Scotland, weighing in at two hundred and sixty-five pounds… DREW – MCINTYRE!

Josh Matthews: Drew McIntyre set to go tonight, looking to win the third match of this mini-‘series’ he’s been involved with against Sin Cara – there’s a real difference between these two men, guys, and this match could decide who’s the better man, maybe who’s got a better chance of scaling the SmackDown ladder.

Matt Striker: Well, I think both these men have bright futures, Josh, but certainly the man who wins here is giving themselves a great mental boost going forward – I know Drew McIntyre needs this win, he thinks he’s outright better than Sin Cara in the ring… and this is his chance to prove that.

Booker T: Drew Mac gotta a mean streak a mile long, dawg, but he gotta beat Sin Cara tah-night or he’s gonna start doubtin’ himself, dis is a guy who does his best stuff when he WINNIN’, and if ain’t winnin’, Drew Mac ain’t doin’ himself justice.

As McIntyre steps into the ring, he removes his badass trench coat and hands it immediately to ringside – he’s in a hurry to get going, mostly because he’s hungry to face Sin Cara for a third time, and more importantly, WIN the rubber match. To the stage, where the electronic curtain lights up in a stunning shade of bright blue…

*ANCIENT SPIRIT*


A great pop goes up as the steam rushes from the entranceway, and through it steps the mystical figure of Sin Cara, unclipping his sleeveless trench coat (‘war of the trench coats’, I call it), and he dumps it on the stage.

Tony Chimel:
And his opponent… from Mexico City, Mexico, weighing in at one hundred and eighty pounds… SIIIIN – CARA!

Sin Cara raises an arm, then SPRINTS for the ring, going miles into the air off the unseen springboard – the pyro explodes off the stage, with Sin Cara rolling and heading straight for the turnbuckle to play to the crowd! Both arms go into the air, and he seems to be enjoying himself, pumping a fist before he leaps down; Drew Mac is scowling, however, clearly pissed off with the time the Mexican Idol is taking to enjoy the fan reaction.

Booker T:
Awww, I love dis dawg Sin Cara – everythin’ looks ten times better when he do it, ya know, everythin’ look damn good. Last week, dat was only his second loss in da WWE, he gotta keep dat record goin’.

Josh Matthews: Indeed, Sin Cara’s been on a great run of form, though he was stopped by Drew McIntyre equalling that form last week – I think the Mexican Idol being the ‘new thing’ on SmackDown has annoyed our resident Scotsman, Matt.

Matt Striker: Let’s not forget, this is a guy who was labelled ‘the Chosen One’ when he first arrived on SmackDown, and a few weeks ago, he called himself so again… but it just didn’t have the resonance. Drew’s momentum has become halted over this past year, but Sin Cara’s stock continues to rise. Yeah, I think that frustrates him, guys.

Sin Cara finally squares up to the Sinister Scotsman, raising his hands up to show that he’s ready. Referee Rod Zapata is set to go, checking both men and waiting for the Mexican Idol’s music to die down before he checks both men and calls for the bell.

Match Three – Singles Contest
Drew McIntyre versus Sin Cara


Considering the two have been working house shows as well (not that we’re acknowledging that this isn’t only the third match between them), they know each other pretty well by now, so things work even smoother this time. This is very helpful for Sin Cara, seeing as the Mexican Idol isn’t always the crispest executor of moves, but as we join the match, he’s doing a fine job, pulling Drew McIntyre down with a Headscissors through into an Arm Drag! The Scotsman rushes back up, and Sin Cara comes at him again, but this time, McIntyre sends him up and down with a Back Body Drop! The Mexican Idol writhes as he lands hard on the canvas, and McIntyre takes a moment to sell the arm before he lays a few stomps in. He forces Cara to the corner and continues the stomps, before he pulls him up and bashes him a couple of times against the turnbuckle! Sin Cara reels, unable to stop the Sinister Scotsman manhandling him, until Drew lets him go, taking a step back before he drives into him with a knee to the gut! A groan goes up from the crowd as McIntyre begins to really thump the luchador, showing some more of his usual aggression tonight, but he’s not content with that, looking to take an even bigger run-up on another knee… here he goes on the charge – NOTHING BUT BUCKLE! Sin Cara dives out the way, so McIntyre’s head cannons off the top turnbuckle, as the luchador scrambles to the outside… here’s the springboard, as Drew turns… AND SIN CARA GETS HIM ON THE HURRICANRANA!

McIntyre goes scrambling, but he’s back up, throwing a clothesline but seeing it ducked – Sin Cara heads for the ropes, but handstands, legs off the ropes, back to his feet and using the momentum for the HANDSPRING BACK ELBOW! The crowd pops as Sin Cara turns on the style, but again, Drew Mac manages to find his feet, though it takes him longer and he staggers this time… the Mexican Idol throws a boot to the gut, then hits the ropes and tries for the Sunset Flip – but he can’t pull McIntyre down! Drew staggers, but won’t topple, staring down at Sin Cara between his legs and looking to boot him in the face… but the high-flyer gets out the way just in time, and finds his feet – to the ropes, AND HE WIPES MCINTYRE OUT WITH THE SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT! Cara gets the crowd on their feet, as well as McIntyre off his, and he sells the impact briefly before hooks a leg… one… two… kickout by Drew! The crowd sighs with disappointment as both men roll sideways, scrambling up – Sin Cara throws a kick, but McIntyre grabs his leg… and spins him out. The luchador can’t adjust in time, so McIntyre answers back with a move of his own – THE HANGMAN’S NECKBREAKER! Sin Cara’s head bounces off the Scotsman’s knee, as Drew steals the momentum back his way and HE makes the cover this time… one… two – kickout by Sin Cara too! These two continue to trade blows, those pinfalls coming in quick succession, but this time it’s McIntyre faster to his feet. He bares his teeth, evidently tired from weeks of dealing with a quicker man, but he knows what he’s doing… up struggles Sin Cara, right into the hooked arms for the FUTURE SHOCK… NOOO!!! Sin Cara wiggles free, then hits the ropes for another Moonsault – this one misses, the Mexican Idol landing on his feet despite it – so McIntyre hits the ropes and looks to BOOT SIN CARA INTO NEXT WEEK – NO GOOD! Again, Sin Cara ducks, so he speeds into the ropes… HE’S GOT THE HEADSCISSORS, AROUND THE WORLD HE GOES… AND FOR THE FIRST TIME, DREW MCINTRYE IS SLAMMED INTO THE DEVASTATING LA MISTICA!!! The crowd goes WILD, the luchador’s primary finisher coming into play for the first time in weeks, and McIntyre screams out in pain as Sin Cara wrenches away on his arm! The Scotsman is trapped in the middle of the ring, with Cara’s weight pressing into his back… AND EVENTUALLY HE TAPS OUT!!! Sin Cara wins the rubber match!

Result: Sin Cara bts. Drew McIntyre via submission at 9:15

*ANCIENT SPIRIT*


Tony Chimel:
Here is your winner as the result of a submission… SIIIIN – CARA!!!

A great pop goes up as Sin Cara wins the ‘series’, popping out of the pin and heading for the turnbuckles immediately to celebrate! Rod Zapata doesn’t get a chance to raise his hand, so he makes himself busy checking on a bruised Drew McIntyre. The Scotsman holds his arm and narrows his eyes at the celebrating luchador, but suddenly… he nods, and rolls from the ring. He’s clearly hurting, but he steals one last glance at Sin Cara and leaves him to his celebrations. For now, it seems, he’s willing to step aside. He was bettered.

Josh Matthews:
Sin Cara pulls out another huge win out from under that mask of his, guys, and look at Drew McIntyre – he knew the Mexican Idol put in a great shift there.

Matt Striker: Well, for a few weeks we’ve been questioning if Drew McIntyre would be able to withstand La Mistica if he came face-to-face with it… tonight, we got an answer, and if the Sinister Scotsman has to tap to it, the SmackDown roster should be on guard against a very dangerous hold, and a very talented man in Sin Cara.

Booker T: Hell Matt, we could be seein’ Sin Cara on Raw very soon, ‘cause it’s da Draft next week, time to shake things up again ya know? Dat boi could be flippin’ and flyin’ over on Monday nights!

Matt Striker: I’d hate to lose him, Book, but it’s a valid point.

Josh Matthews: Absolutely, don’t forget that next week is the WWE Draft, folks, live on Monday night – we could be seeing some serious change-ups, and after that match, I hope that SmackDown can keep hold of both men involved, both great competitors.

Matt Striker: Josh, you work both shows…

Josh Matthews: (interrupting) After the break, we’ll hear from Kofi Kingston, so don’t go away!

Sin Cara continues to celebrate, as we catch a look from Matthews to Striker at ringside, while the crowd cheers on the luchador’s success… and indeed, we’ll take a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

As Matthews noted, we return backstage with Todd Grisham.

Todd Grisham:
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time… Kofi Kingston!

A really good, loud pop resounds in the arena as Kofi Kingston shows his face, nodding.

Todd Grisham:
Kofi, last week you were victorious in SmackDown’s tag team main event, and tonight you face Brodus Clay ahead of your first ever World Title Match at Over The Limit. How are you feeling in the build to, if you’ll forgive me for saying so, the biggest match of your career?

Kofi shrugs as the mic comes his way.

Kofi Kingston:
I’m ready. Two nights, Todd.

He closes his eyes to imagine it, then opens them with a smile.

Kofi Kingston:
Two more sleeps ‘til the big one. Two days until I get my shot. Two days until I realise a dream I’ve had for a long, long time. Since I strung up ring ropes in my back yard and tried jumping off the turnbuckles I made.

His face scrunches in thought.

Kofi Kingston:
Okay, so that didn’t end so well. But things are looking up – I have a World Title Match in a ring that won’t collapse when I go up top, and this time, I don’t have to beat my little brother. To get that big gold belt, all I gotta do is beat… what, six guys?

The Ghanaian frowns; boos from the crowd.

Kofi Kingston:
What’s up there, Alberto? Are you just too scared to face me one on one, man, or is it somethin’ else? See, I don’t buy what you said – you wanna hide behind your buddies because you can’t beat me without them. You couldn’t beat Edge without them and that title on your shoulder is tainted ‘cause of it.

He thumps his chest – boos aimed at Del Rio.

Kofi Kingston:
But it’s time to mix things up. ‘Cause I’ve sat around and waited for a chance – now I’m taking it. It took me half an hour to win a Battle Royal but I did it, to get my shot on Sunday. I don’t care if I have to knock six people down, six people out… I’m coming out of it champion, Alberto.

A big pop as Kofi lays down his intentions.

Kofi Kingston:
So you go on ahead. Tell the world about your noble demons and your daddy issues, but we all know who you are. Me? Well, every word I say… that’s not “wrestling royalty” and big displays talkin’… Alberto, that’s just me. That’s who Kofi Kingston is, plain and simple.

Kingston’s staring down the camera lens now, the fire lit inside him for all to see.

Kofi Kingston:
We are different, you were right when you said that. You don’t deserve to be World Champion, but every inch I’ve crawled to get here, it makes me very deserving indeed, man. I’ve been livin’ for this Sunday for a long time, so I’m gonna do it right, and take you off that pedestal.

Another pop.

Kofi Kingston:
Last week, I showed you what I can do. Tonight against your guard dog, and then this Sunday, it’s the same. Kofi Kingston’s gonna punch above his weight.

He nods his head, almost smiling in the moment.

Kofi Kingston:
Bring everyone you got, Alberto. Bring cars, bring money, bring your ‘A’ game. Just make sure you bring that title… ‘cause I’m walking out of Seattle with it.

Kofi finishes up with DAT TITLE BELT MOTION (~!) and heads out of shot, getting a good pop on his way.

We fade back to the arena…

Josh Matthews:
It’d take a brave man to tell Kofi Kingston otherwise, gentlemen.

Matt Striker: I can’t think of a guy more deserving of that title, to be honest, Josh –

“CHECK, ONE TWO… OH YEAH!!!”

*GET ON YOUR KNEES*


Striker is silenced, as the American flag waves on the TitanTron and out steps Jack Swagger, pounding his chest like he means business tonight. As always, the All-American American looks in fine shape, adjusting his singlet straps as he nods his head in time with the music, and heads for the ring. The bell chimes, as Michael Cole gets a series of boos (on top of Swagger’s own heat) by following him in a sharp suit. The ‘Voice of the WWE’ looks particularly smug tonight… oh God, and he’s holding a mic.

Josh Matthews:
Well, talking of men who think they deserve the world…

Matt Striker: Jack Swagger nearly broke Big Show’s ankle last week, Josh, but yeah, he thinks that’s a sign of greatness in the making. It’s the kind of aggression the so-called ‘Phenomenal Athlete’ is known for, his willingness to prove all kinds of things about his talent… frankly, I just wish he didn’t have to go so far every time.

Booker T: I ain’t defendin’ what he did to da Big Show, Matt, but don’t try to change da All-American American! Dis man is who he is ‘cause he does what he want, WHEN he want, so don’t try to hate on a man who just doin’ his own thing, dawg.

Striker considers piping up about Booker’s speech mannerisms, but thinks better of it. As Swagger enters the ring, he heads for the turnbuckles to proclaim “ON YOUR KNEES!” as the music does the same, before he steps down. The All-American American stands in the centre of the ring with his arms folded, staring into the hard camera with a blank expression, maybe the slightest of frowns. Cole, however, joins him in the ring, waiting for the music to disappear before he speaks.

Michael Cole:
May I have your attention please…

HUGE boos for Cole’s trademark heat magnetism. He touches up his hair.

Michael Cole:
I’d like to introduce you all to a man you may not have seen before… or, if you have, you sure haven’t been taking him seriously – the amazing, the astounding, the All-American American – JACK – SWAGGER.

Again, some loud heat – these people know exactly who Swagger is and why they should hate him.

Michael Cole:
It’s come to my attention that Jack Swagger is severely underrated by both Teddy Long in the SmackDown administration, and also by you, the paying fans.

“YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!”

Michael Cole:
Exactly. However, like many of the issues I have with the WWE fanbase, I presume much of this undervaluing comes from a lack of knowledge on the subject. In that sense, we are about to set things right.

Swagger nods, perhaps getting a little impatient with his manager – “Tell ‘em.” Cole adjusts his tie.

Michael Cole:
While the Big Show claims to be SmackDown’s strongest, most imposing man, extensive research has proven that moniker belongs to the Phenomenal Athlete stood behind me, folks. There is no-one quite like Jack Swagger, and the great man himself is about to prove that…

Cole swings on a heel and points to… ringside?

Michael Cole:
…as he takes on three men – AT ONCE!

A groan goes up in the crowd, this impressive feat yet-to-come garnering some attention… but as the camera swings sideways, there’s three very skinny men standing at ringside in their wrestling gear.

Josh Matthews:
Oh come on.

Michael Cole: Gentlemen – step inside the ring and meet your maker!

Tentatively, one of the three men trot up the steps, and the other two, seeing it’s safe, join him. Eventually, we get all three of them in the ring, huddled in one corner. Cole can’t hold back a snort of derision; he hands the mic over to Tony Chimel and exits the ring.

Tony Chimel:
The following contest is a Three-on-One Handicap Match! Introducing first… from Perry, Oklahoma, weighing in at two hundred and sixty pounds… the All-American American, the Phenomenal Athlete… JAAAAACK – SWAGGER!

Heavy boos as the All-American American shakes out his arms and prepares to go to work.

Tony Chimel:
And his opponents… Hayden Stojkovic, Roland Tkowski, and Kevin Kirbster!

Booker T: Aww hell, dis is just a mess, man – dese guys couldn’t find their way outta a paper bag, dawg!

Josh Matthews: Some shameful stacking of the deck from Cole and Swagger… but what did we expect?

The three skinny jobbers try to talk through some tactics, but in general they’re fairly uncoordinated. TKOWski tries to lead the pack, but the other two don’t seem too keen and he quickly gives up without really trying. Tony Chimel leaves the ring, as referee Justin “The Pimp” King tries to wrap his head around MEN being able to wrestle instead of Divas as he’s more used to, and calls for the bell.

Match Four – 3-on-1 Handicap Match
Jack Swagger versus Hayden Stojkovic, Roland Tkowski and Kevin Kirbster (local “talent”)


The bell chimes, and it’s Tkowski who charges in first – RIGHT into a Big Boot from Swagger! The jobber gets flattened, rolling sideways and basically giving up on his idea because he has no motivation. Up next goes Stojkovic, who has slightly more energy in him, if only he knew where to use it, pacing slowly towards Swagger and trying to weigh him up. Swagger doesn’t pay him much heed, though, getting in behind on the waist lock and HURLING him on the German Suplex! Stojkovic’s body crumples in the corner, and as Swagger stands, he can’t help but pound his chest with two fists… SPRINGBOARD ENZUIGIRI OUTTA NOWHERE – wait, that was from young Kirbster, who let his creativity get the better of him, and he completes misses the shot when Swagger ducks. The All-American American knocks the King jobber down with a right hand, but Kirbster actually has the willingness to get up and try again, rather than just lie around and do nothing like the other two. Away from my sly, genius jabs at people I do actually like (), you get the gist here. Enough weak satire.

Swagger hauls Kirbster on to his shoulders – GUTBUSTER. Here comes Tkowski, but Swagger throws him into the corner, telling the crowd to ‘Shhhhh!’… AND CAVING HIS CHEST IN WITH THE BIG SHOW-ESQUE SLAP!!! The poor lad collapses to his knees, then to the floor, so off Swagger goes to the middle of the ring… charges… SWAGGA BOMB! Swagger stands, but he sees Stojkovic coming at him too – so he throws him into the Oklahoma hold, bashes him into the turnbuckle, then completes the Oklahoma Stampede – RIGHT ON TKOWSKI WITH THE SLAM!!! Swagger stacks the two layabouts in as powerful a fashion as he can imagine, then takes a few steps into the middle of the ring… SWAGGA BOMB TO BOTH MEN STACKED!!! The crowd groans as Swagger really lets his imagination run wild here, turning back to the centre of the ring and hauling Kirbster up. Knee to the gut has him reeling, so Swagger sends him up – AND DOWN, THERE’S THE GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB!!! The poor lad lies motionless, wrecked by the All-American American here, who goes and grabs Stojkovic up… arms round the stomach… GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB, DOWN ON TO KIRBSTER’S BODY TOO!!! Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, Swagger wants Tkowski too, hauling him to his feet and giving him a knee to the gut as well. Michael Cole is laughing his head off on the outside, as Swagger sends Tkowski up and down – GUTWRENCH ON TO THE OTHER TWO AS WELL!!! Swagger has made himself a fine pile of local talent, and though Cole’s suggesting “Ankle lock?”, Swagger frowns – “They couldn’t tap if they wanted to, son” and puts a foot on the top of the mound of men… it’s probably not even an official cover, but Justin King doesn’t want to argue with the Phenomenal Athlete… one… two… three.

Result: Jack Swagger kills Hayden Stojkovic, Roland Tkowski and Kevin Kirbster via pinfall at 2:13

*GET ON YOUR KNEES*


Tony Chimel:
Here is your winner… the All-American American, the Phenomenal Athlete… JACK – SWAGGER!

Boos greet Swagger’s easy victory, not his first against local talent since Wrestlemania, but maybe a little more impressive in that he destroyed three men tonight, no matter their size. Cole enters the ring again, giving him the slow clap with a nod of the head, as Swagger shoves the jobbers out of the ring with the sole of his boot. Justin King clearly disapproves of Swagger’s disposal methods, but he offers to raise his hand; Swagger briefly lets him, then turns to Cole with a raised eyebrow.

Josh Matthews:
Jack Swagger sent a message right to the Big Show tonight – the World’s Largest Athlete may be just that, but Swagger is just as dominating, just as capable of making the big hits… guys, it could be one hell of a collision on Sunday.

Matt Striker: And let’s not forget, Josh, Jack Swagger isn’t a small guy – he stands six foot six, two hundred sixty pounds… he lives up to many of the monikers he’s known for. Sure, he’s a terrible person, but since when has that mattered in this business? He goes too far, and I don’t like it, but if he wins matches, he wins matches, and who are we to tell him otherwise?

While these guys were talking, Swagger takes a slow victory lap, his arms spread wide to soak up the heat. Michael Cole goes to raise the mic again, but before he can, Swagger snatches it out of his hand, much to his surprise…

Jack Swagger:
Yeah, you spoke, now it’s my turn. This ain’t a circus, there’s no ‘roll up, roll up’ stuff here.

Cole holds up innocent hands.

Jack Swagger:
I’m-a start to sound like a broken record, but if nobody’s gettin’ it, I’ll have to say it again – as an athlete, I am just PHENOMENAL.

AJ Styles can suck it, it’s a free country and I’m allowed to use any adjective I want.

Jack Swagger:
And what I just did… that was to show you all just serious I am.

Some heat there.

Jack Swagger:
But it wasn’t only for you people, it was for everyone in that locker room… and to narrow down, one man who couldn’t be with us tonight ‘cause he probably can’t even WALK.

Louder boos this time, as Swagger goes after a fan favourite.

Jack Swagger:
Last week, I coulda broke Big Show’s ankle, but I held back. That was the only display of generosity you will ever see from me.

He shakes his head amongst the boos.

Jack Swagger:
But this Sunday, Show – and I know you’re watchin’ – if you turn up, if you make the stupid decision to come and face me… I already told you, I have no problem SNAPPIN’ that ankle into little pieces.

Loud heat for Swagger’s deadly threats, as Michael Cole keeps a sinister smile in the background.

Jack Swagger:
Ya don’t have to be a hero for these people, Big Show. Just accept when you’ve been outdone and sit this one out. ‘Cause let me make you a promise – and I am deadly serious – I am by FAR a superior athlete, and I will embarrass you. If you really can make it to Seattle, think about how much you wanna fight me.

Swagger turns to the hard camera, staring right into Big Show’s home.

Jack Swagger:
And think hard… ‘cause if you make the wrong choice… I will END you.

‘Clunk’ goes the mic against the canvas…

*GET ON YOUR KNEES*


…and Swagger leaves to a heavy chorus of boos, quickly followed by Cole, who scurries after his ‘client’ because it’s evident Swagger has no issue with leaving him behind. Despite the crowd booing, Swagger ignores them and points into the camera – “Don’t do somethin’ you’ll regret, Show.”

Josh Matthews:
An ominous warning from Jack Swagger – he’s telling the Big Show to stay at home… or else he might go even further than he did last week.

Swagger heads behind the curtain, Cole hot in pursuit, as SmackDown goes to its final break of the evening.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Our shot starts with a car’s wheels; the rims spin at a ridiculous pace, and the roar of an engine can be heard in the background. We smash cut to the car stereo, which is conveniently playing ‘Help Is On The Way’ by Rise Against, and at the wheel, we can see a hand tapping to the beat. The camera pans slowly upwards from the wheel and we can see The Miz, nodding his head to the beat as the car window behind him shows us that the car is flying down the highway, late at night. Suddenly however, blue and red lights flash in his rear view mirror, and he looks up at it with a frown...

The Miz:

Great... what now?

His car pulls over to the side of the road, and the police car slides in behind it. Out from the car walks two cops, both wearing hats, and they arrive at The Miz’s window. One of them looks curiously like Christian, and the other uncannily resembles Edge.

Long-haired officer:

Sir, do you know what speed you were going?

The short-haired officer (the Christian lookalike) takes a notepad, flips it open, and starts making unnecessary notes.

The Miz:

You don’t understand, officer, I have to –

Short-haired officer:
No, there’s no excuse for speed, sir. Speed kills.

Long-haired officer:
That it does. I’m gonna have to see your licence, sir.

Begrudgingly, The Miz gets out his licence and gives it to Edge the officer.

Long-haired officer:

This expiration date doesn’t look good to me, sir. I’m gonna have to ask you to come downtown with us.

The Miz:
Wait, hold on a sec! You don’t understand, I’m late!

Short-haired officer:
(intrigued) Late for what?

The Miz thinks about it, then comes clean.

The Miz:

I need to get to Over The Limit.

The officers look at each other, then nod.

Long-haired officer:

Well, that changes everything. Let’s get this man an escort!

The Miz smirks, and now we cut to the sight of him driving his car at an even faster speed, with police cars surrounding him as he speeds towards a stadium in the distance. We briefly cut back to Edge and Christian’s car, where someone who looks a damn lot like Sheamus pleads from the back seat:

Ginger criminal:

I’m tellin’ ya, I didn’t know she was a fella!

Edge and Christian’s doppelgangers shake their heads with disapproval, then we watch the police escort speed towards the stadium, before we sweep into the graphic...

Narrator:

Where anything goes... WWE – Over The Limit!




---

Holy shit, that’s the last time you’ll ever have to read that ad. Anyway, back to ringside.

Josh Matthews:
In the words of Kofi Kingston – just two nights, guys. Over The Limit is less than forty-eight hours away, and it could mean big things for SmackDown. And speaking of Kofi, he could be the main factor for change, if he can dethrone Alberto Del Rio as World Heavyweight Champion after just a month of being champion.

Matt Striker: I genuinely can’t pick a winner, Josh; both these men have great reasons to be champion, they’ve both worked hard to get where they are today. This is Kofi’s first major title shot, it’s Del Rio’s first major title reign… if nothing else, I think we’ve established SmackDown’s future is bright.

Booker T: I’m still rootin’ for mah boi Kofi to get it DONE, ya know? Alberto’s been hidin’ behind dat Administration, he won da title like a sucka at Extreme Rules, and now he gonna have to PAY for dat.

Josh Matthews: Well, that leads us nicely into another match on the card – will Rey Mysterio be ‘paying’ for the crimes Cody Rhodes claims he’s committed? It’s either that, or we’ll have a new Intercontinental Champion.

Booker T: Cody’s a dude totally off his rocker, dawg. He lost his mind, there ain’t a thing wrong with dat boi’s face, and if Rey Rey can put him in his place, I think we’ll all be a little happier, ya know?

Matt Striker: I’m as excited to see those two end their saga as anyone, but if possible, I’m more excited about this one, if only because of the impending end to Monday Night Miz – I’m predicting a Daniel Bryan win to claim his first WWE Title this Sunday.

Booker T: Mah boi D-Bryan! DA SUPA-HERO!

Josh Matthews: We watched The Miz cross a serious line on Monday, too, when his protégé Alex Riley attacked Bryan’s girlfriend Gail Kim – the submissions expert has a fire lit inside him, and he’s coming for The Miz’s title… I think his anger might just lead him to the famous belt as well, Matt, I agree. Elsewhere on Raw, too, we’ll find out who the WWE Champion will face at Capitol Punishment… this is as combustible a contest as you’ll ever see, it’s Tag Team Attraction.

Matt Striker: I genuinely can’t see John Cena and Triple H working together, but we also saw cracks in the team of Dolph Ziggler and William Regal on Monday night, Josh, so who knows? Either team could cave under the pressure on Sunday, but the issues between Cena and the Game might just prove too much.

Booker T: Ya heard what John said, too – he said dey lost their respect fo’ each other, now dey can’t work on da same page… dat could be the decidin’ factor. Gotta believe dat they’re talented guys on their own, but hell, if Ziggler and Regal ain’t a dangerous pairin’ as well!

Josh Matthews: Absolutely, but as we saw before the break, we may have a dangerous man right here on SmackDown – Jack Swagger promising to put the Big Show on the shelf for good, guys.

Matt Striker: I think you have to remember, Josh, despite all of Swagger’s bragging and big performances, you can never underestimate the Big Show. He’s the World’s Largest Athlete for a reason, countless accolades, and he wants retribution for what we saw last week – an angry Big Show is about as deadly as they come.

Josh Matthews: I don’t doubt we’ll see a heavy-hitting contest if the Big Show is, indeed, cleared to compete. And this is an intriguing one – in a pay-per-view of first chances, newcomer Tyler Black takes on Sheamus for the United States Title… and Black’s really had the Irishman’s number of late.

Booker T: Ya know I’ve been watchin’ Raw, and I’ve been keepin’ an eye on Tyler Black – the kid’s got real skills between the ropes, and ya gotta respect da guy standin’ up for da things he believes in. Gotta lotta time for da kid, Josh, he ready to take down a man who NEEDS to be taken down.

Matt Striker: But Sheamus won’t make it easy for him, Josh. Undefeated as champion.

Josh Matthews: Very true – possibly the most brutal match to come of 2011 so far, it’ll be Randy Orton and CM Punk in a Stretcher Match… these guys just wanna kill each other.

Matt Striker: If that’s what it comes to, that’s what it comes to, Josh. I mean, I’m kidding, but with the Viper involved, and CM Punk the way he is at the moment… these guys could genuinely take things beyond any level we’ve seen before on Sunday. Two very twisted minds colliding.

Josh Matthews: And in terms of twisted minds… I know you guys are as excited as I am about Edge and Christian’s pay-per-view reunion, but what’s going on inside the head of Wade Barrett?

Booker T: Bad things, man. Bad things.

Matt Striker: To elaborate, Josh, it just hasn’t been a good couple of months for Barrett – he lost his Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules, plus he’s been haunted by the lights going out in his matches… The Corre are both disjointed and united at the same time, and I think Wade’s just trying to convince himself that he’s in control, when he really isn’t.

Josh Matthews: Indeed, it certainly seems like Wade Barrett is trying to keep tabs on everything surrounding his life, to no avail, but he has the numerical advantage come Sunday, and he could certainly douse the fire that’s being built behind Edge and Christian’s recent resurgence.

Booker T: Can we start da show yet? I can’t wait, man, it’s gonna be OVER DA LIMIT, I just got tingles, dem goosebumps all ovah, ya know?

*REALEZA*


As if on cue, the Spanish theme strikes up and the crowd begins to boo heavily… but it’s Brodus Clay who appears, not the World Champion. The Man of Mayhem cracks out his knuckles, then starts to pace down the ramp… but here comes the cavalry in the form of Hunico (with trumpet), Chavo Guerrero and even Rosa Mendes, apparently just here to take notes on her clipboard. Crucially, there’s no Del Rio, and no Rodriguez, because Clay evidently doesn’t want his intro in a language he doesn’t understand. The bell rings, it’s MAIN EVENT TIME…

Tony Chimel:
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, accompanied by Hunico, Chavo Guerrero and Rosa Mendes… from Pasadena, California, weighing in at three hundred and seventy-five pounds… the Man of Mayhem… BRRRRROOODUS – CLAY!

Josh Matthews: And ahead of this Sunday’s festivities, Kofi Kingston has one more hurdle to jump, one more test before he can challenge the World Heavyweight Champion – he’s said a lot over the last couple of weeks about the influence of the Alberto Administration, and tonight he gets a chance to take on one of its key members.

Matt Striker: Don’t think any less of Brodus Clay because he’s Alberto Del Rio’s muscle, either, Josh. The so-called Man of Mayhem has a real mean streak – he doesn’t have the same flair for showmanship as our World Champion, he just enters the ring, completes his business and leaves. Kofi could be in for a real test, especially with the Administration out here to give Brodus some… er, moral support.

Brodus heads straight for the ring – his only piece of ‘showmanship’ is a ferocious ROAR to the crowd, flexing his arm muscles downwards, before he ignores the boos on his way to the corner. Chavo, Hunico and Rosa sweep around ringside, but Brodus is totally focused on the task at hand. The music dies away and now the crowd buzzes…

“SOS… I HEAR DEM SHOUTIN’! SOS… I HEAR DEM CRYIN’!”

*SOS*


What a difference a few weeks makes – it’s a GREAT pop for Kofi Kingston as the stage turns green and the Ghanaian leaps into view! He looks ready to compete, throwing his arms for the thunderclaps, as we get various shots of the crowd joining in. The pyro explodes behind him to back up his taunts, and now he starts to jog down the ramp, slapping fans’ hands on his way.

Tony Chimel:
And his opponent… from Ghana, West Africa, weighing in at two hundred and twenty pounds… he is the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship… KOFI – KINGSTON!

Josh Matthews: Well, when Kofi Kingston was eliminated by Rey Mysterio in his pursuit of the Intercontinental Title at Extreme Rules, he probably never imagined he’d be competing for the World Heavyweight Championship in three weeks’ time.

Matt Striker: Maybe not, Josh, but believe me, he deserves this – we’ve heard from him about his boyhood dream, how he’s been waiting his whole life to make it to the top tier, and I believe he could just do it on Sunday.

Booker T: Ya know Alberto’s been shakin’ in his boots ‘bout facin’ Kofi, he’s unorthodox, don’t do things by the book, he gets it done no matter da situation… he won dat huge Battle Royal, then he won last week against two big champions – dis is his time, man, it’s break-out city right ‘bout now.

Kofi jogs up the steps to the ring, then swings inside. He looks at Brodus, but rather than gear up for action just yet, he heads to the turnbuckle to throw up the thunderclaps, just to enjoy his hot reactions. Thousands of hands are in the air, clapping along and crying “BOOM!” as Kofi does, and the Ghanaian can’t help but smile. Finally, he acknowledges there’s a match on tap, stepping down to face up to the bigger man with a nod. He raises his fists, as Clay does likewise – it’s actually quite evident that the Man of Mayhem is happy to be getting back in the ring, one on one rather than just playing lackey – and referee Jack Doan gets us started.

Main Event – Singles Contest
Brodus Clay versus Kofi Kingston


Despite the size advantage Brodus has, Kofi’s put up an excellent fight in the early stretches of this match; as we join the bout, Kingston’s firing away with right hands to stun the big man. Clay can take hits like a champ, however, and shoves Kofi away. Kingston has to weigh up his options, not for the first time in this match, so he bounces on the balls of his feet and circles the beast. Clay lunges to get a grip on him, but Kofi ducks under it, heading for the ropes and getting some AIR TIME – BUT BRODUS CATCHES HIM MID-CROSSBODY! There’s some awe-inspired groans from the crowd, as Clay walks around the ring to show off his strength… then swings Kofi vertical – “SHEE-WAAAH!” – AND TOSSES HIM WITH THE EXPLODER SUPLEX! Kingston’s body contorts on the canvas, as we maybe ask the question of whether or not Kofi can really topple this giant, and Clay is all-business, walking across the ring to drop into the cover… one… two… but Kingston kicks out! We have some resilience from the Ghanaian, who immediately starts crawling to the ropes and pulls himself up. Clay moves over to continue his attack, but Kofi lashes out with a Heel Kick to the gut to stave him off. Kofi puts his hands on the top rope… then has a ‘light bulb’ moment and uses that top to springboard up… AND HE TURNS, SPRINGING BACK AT BRODUS TO KNOCK HIM DOWN WITH A MISSILE DROPKICK! It’s incredible improvisation from Kofi, taking the big man off his feet, but now the Ghanaian’s jogging around the ring, feeling the adrenaline surging through him! The number one contender is feeling it, the crowd totally on his side as he slams into the ropes and stops beside Clay… “BOOM”… “BOOM”… BOOM DROP TO THE BIG MAN! The crowd pops for Kingston’s signature there, and this time Kofi throws himself over Clay for the cover… one… two… BUT CLAY SHOVES HIM OFF AT TWO AND A HALF!!!

Kofi goes sprawling with the force of Brodus’ kickout, and now the Man of Mayhem forces his huge body up, rubbing his jaw as he recovers from Kofi’s offence. He looks outside the ring, where Rosa is shouting advice at him, but he rolls his eyes and turns away from her. Chavo and Hunico are in mid-discussion elsewhere, while Kofi Kingston gets up, surprised he couldn’t capture the win, and notes the “LET’S GO KOFI!” chants that now echo in the American Bank Center. He’s not quite in the smiling mood here, because he looks across the ring – Brodus Clay looks a little roughed up, but for the most part he’s a tough bastard and Kofi knows he still has a real challenge on his hands. Brodus moves across the squared circle, locking his hands around Kingston’s hair and throwing him into the corner. Kofi’s taken off-guard by Brodus’ ready aggression, giving the big man the time to take a few steps back – then ROCK the Ghanaian with a thundering Body Avalanche! Kofi gets squashed, the crowd groaning as Clay now charges across the ring and RATTLES THROUGH KINGSTON WITH A KNEE LIFT. Kofi goes down – but he’s not done, smacking the mat with a fist and struggling up again… so Clay whips him into the ropes – AND KOFI WALKS RIGHT INTO THE HEADBUTT! Brodus finds it so easy to cause pain, and he’ll look to take advantage again here, dropping beside the number one contender and hooking a leg… one… two… BUT KOFI SAYS NO! Kingston’s shoulder up gets the crowd popping, and Clay looks stunned!

It’s a surprising moment whenever Brodus Clay looks lost, but he does here; he wasn’t expecting Kofi to survive that, but he did, and this bout continues. The Man of Mayhem shoves himself up once more, dragging Kingston up as well… and now he locks in the Tongan Death Grip. There’s some boos as Clay stares into Kofi’s eyes, watching him suffer for half a second before he ends this once and for all… he sends Kofi up for the MAYHEM SLAM – BUT KOFI COMES ALIVE WITH THE HEADSCISSORS, AND SENDS CLAY TUMBLING TO THE FLOOR! Brodus looks bewildered, scrambling to find his footing to get up, but he’s lost his usual composure, and now Kofi launches into a Low-Angle Dropkick – bringing Brodus DOWN. Kofi’s got the American Bank Center on his side, his ingenuity shining through, and now he brings his hands into the air – to begin the thunderclaps! The crowd joins in as Kingston begins to fire up, now himself calling for the end… BUT CHAVO GUERRERO’S ON THE APRON! Kofi stops his preparations, sprinting over to send Chavo flying off the apron with a right hand… but now HUNICO’S up there too, trying to buy Clay some time! The trumpeter’s waving his instrument all around the place, trying to draw Kofi’s attention – and he’s got it, because here comes the Ghanaian to knock him off with a sensational Dropkick! He sends the trumpet right into Hunico’s teeth with that one, a lovely piece of athleticism, then turns back to face Clay as the big man storms to his feet – the clothesline misses from Brodus, so they turn… KOFI’S THINKING SOS – but it quickly becomes evident that THAT won’t work, because Clay is nearly four hundred pounds and Kingston can’t get him off his feet! Brodus has his focus back, so he hoists Kofi up into the Oklahoma… RUNNING POWERSLAM – NOOO! Kofi ducks out the back, then hits the ropes – SPRINGBOARD, THERE’S THE SENTON – only, Brodus ducks, and Kingston heads into the corner!

Brodus turns and smells blood. The Man of Mayhem charges in – BUT KINGSTON SLIPS BETWEEN THE ROPES… PENDULUM KICK!!! Back reels a stunned Brodus Clay, so Kofi re-enters the ring and lines it up… Clay staggers back to face Kingston – WHO DRILLS HIM WITH TROUBLE IN PARADISE!!! Down goes the big man, much to the despair of the Administration on the outside, and Kingston throws himself on Clay, hooking a tree trunk of a leg… one… two… THREE! Kingston topples the giant!

Result: Kofi Kingston bts. Brodus Clay via pinfall at 10:08

*SOS*


Tony Chimel:
Here is your winner… KOFI – KINGSTON!

Great effort from Kingston, and the crowd gives him a strong ovation as he stands, getting his arm raised by Doan and wearing a very satisfied smile. He heads almost immediately to the top turnbuckle, whirring up the thunderclaps so the thousands of fans here in Corpus Christi can join in. Brodus is helped through the ropes by Chavo and Hunico, both looking fairly annoyed that Kofi brushed them aside, while Clay shoves them off; he doesn’t need their help, his only lord is Del Rio.

Josh Matthews:
Kofi Kingston said he wasn’t fazed by the numbers game tonight, guys, and he showed that there – Hunico and Chavo tried to influence the outcome, but Kofi sent them both packing and managed to keep Brodus Clay down for the three count.

Matt Striker: With everything that Kofi’s accomplished in the last few weeks, I’d say we have a very deserving number one contender, gentlemen. He’s said what he needs to say, done what needed to be done, and he only has one more challenge, though it’s his biggest ever.

Booker T: Gotta win da big one, da money match – but I gotta believe mah boi’s got what it takes.

Josh Matthews: Absolutely, Kofi Kingston’s coming for his first World Title, and if there’s –

*REALEZA*


Kofi’s head shoots sideways, back towards the stage… because the electronic curtain and the Tron have lit up in a glorious gold, and the crowd are booing heavily. A figure walks out… and of course, it’s the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio, who starts pacing down towards the ring! Kofi crouches, keeping an eye on the assorted Administration members on the outside, but stares up at Del Rio and beckons him on. Del Rio makes quick time down the ramp, saying “You want me, I’m right here, amigo!”

Josh Matthews:
But – Kofi may be coming for the title, but maybe the champion’s coming for him! Del Rio’s here, he wants a statement of his own – AND HERE WE GO!

Indeed we do, because Del Rio reaches the bottom of the ramp, laying his title ominously down on the floor… THEN SLIDING UNDER THE BOTTOM ROPE AND MEETING KOFI WITH RIGHT HANDS! The two men light the American Bank Center up with frenzied cheers as champion and challenger collide – they’re trading bombs but neither man is giving an inch!

Booker T:
Dese guys don’t wanna WAIT ‘til Sunday!

Del Rio starts getting the upper hand, possibly because he hasn’t had a ten minute match, driving Kofi back to the corner… but the Ghanaian slips out, forcing Alberto against the buckles and firing away like a man possessed! The “LET’S GO KOFI!” chants are filling this arena… BUT HERE COME THE ADMINISTRATION! Boos suddenly replace the chants as Clay, Chavo and Hunico swarm the ring, and Kingston manages to knock down Chavo, but Hunico gets a glancing blow with the trumpet to send him sideways, and now Clay knocks him down with a clubbing forearm!

Josh Matthews:
No! The Administration don’t know how to play fair!

Del Rio has to take a moment to peel himself out of the corner, as Clay measures Kofi again for another big shot… BUT – DEL RIO STANDS BETWEEN THEM? A mixed reaction goes up, as Chavo kicks Kingston in the gut… BUT THE WORLD CHAMPION SHOVES CHAVO AWAY! There’s no mistaking it, Del Rio is protecting his challenger, telling the Administration to “Back off! You do it when I TELL YOU TO!”

Matt Striker:
What… what is Alberto Del Rio doing?

Hunico and Chavo fall back, stunned, as Del Rio points to the unmoving Clay. “Out of the ring,” says the World Champion, breathing heavily as he recovers. Slowly, the Man of Mayhem edges away, to the ropes, and Del Rio pulls Kofi up with a grip on his neck…

“I… am no… coward. With them, without them – you… will still… CHOKE.”


With that, he hauls Kingston to his feet and goes for the CROSS-ARM BREAKER… BUT KOFI SPINS THROUGH AND OUT – THEN KNOCKS DEL RIO AWAY WITH A DROPKICK!!! The crowd pops BIG as Del Rio stumbles back, falling to the floor and accidentally rolling under the bottom rope! He tries to get back in the ring, but Ricardo Rodriguez has arrived on the scene, along with Rosa Mendes from before, and both of them have their hands in the air, trying to stop him. Ricardo is babbling in Spanish, while Del Rio stares above him, to the ring in which Kofi stands on the second rope, inviting him back in. The Ghanaian looks exhausted, but he’s still up for a fight, a thousand fights, and it’s an invitation that Del Rio genuinely looks like taking. Meanwhile, ringside fills up, as Chavo and Hunico rush over to stop the World Champion re-entering the ring, and Brodus Clay stands beside him to say “Boss…”


Josh Matthews:
I think Alberto Del Rio’s tryin’ to prove something to himself, guys – did Kofi Kingston get under his skin a little bit?

Slowly, at the behest of the other members of the Administration, Del Rio begins to step back. The crowd boos him loudly, then the “KOFI KINGSTON!” chants start booming here in Corpus Christi. Alberto picks his title up from the foot of the ramp, and holds it high, as the rest of the Administration fall in behind him. Kofi, however, looks fired up, standing on that second rope to get some height and asking the question – “Without them, Alberto, who are you? Huh?” Del Rio doesn’t look sure, but as Ricardo pats him on the shoulder, he regains his cool, forming that trademark smirk and shaking his head at Kingston. He won’t be riled.

Matt Striker:
Kofi Kingston asking the valid question tonight, of just how dangerous Alberto Del Rio is without his henchmen… I’d still argue quite a lot, but he might have got inside the champion’s head, and that could be crucial, Josh.

Josh Matthews: Folks, Alberto Del Rio has a huge challenge coming his way on Sunday, and it’s a challenge he’ll have to face alone… at Over The Limit, it’s one-on-one, and Kofi Kingston could be on his way to making history in Seattle.

Booker T: Mah boi Kofi’s done everythin’ right, dawg – naw he just gotta finish da job and walk out WORLD – HEAVYWEIGHT – CHAMP, baby!

Josh Matthews: We might have seen the biggest blow struck yet to Alberto Del Rio, ladies and gentlemen… to the one thing he has in spades… his confidence. The question is, can Kofi Kingston get the job done on Sunday? Will he choke as the champion has predicted? And finally, finally, will the Administration be beaten? We’ll see in forty-eight hours; I’ve been Josh Matthews, with Matt Striker and Booker T… goodnight!

Our final image as SmackDown goes off the air is Kofi Kingston standing tall in the ring, staring up at the retreating Administration… Del Rio kisses the belt, his shaken confidence restored – and we fade to black.

END OF SHOW

Quick Results
Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater bt. Edge and Christian
Curt Hawkins bts. Trent Barreta
Sin Cara bts. Drew McIntyre
Jack Swagger bts. Local talent
Kofi Kingston bts. Brodus Clay




WWE Championship
The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan

World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) defends against Kofi Kingston

The Final Encounter – Stretcher Match
CM Punk versus Randy Orton

Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio

United States Championship
Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black

Four-On-Two Handicap Match
The Corre versus Edge and Christian

Tag Team Attraction; No. 1 Contender
John Cena and Triple H versus Dolph Ziggler and William Regal

Singles Contest
Jack Swagger versus Big Show


---

Quick note: Over The Limit is rolling. Currently on the sixth match of eight, and as soon as I’m done, I’ll post a show preview and a prediction ‘contest’, not that there’s really anything up for grabs other than pride, but hey. Hold tight ‘til then.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:55 PM   #127 (permalink)
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It’s that time of year again – that’s right, Melvis is posting a pay-per-view. See you all for Capitol Punishment sometime around 2016…

Two matches to write then it's up. Any predictions or thoughts are welcomed and appreciated.



Over The Limit
Key Arena, Seattle, Washington | 22nd May 2011


WWE Championship

The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan

“I’m going to end Monday Night Miz – and I’m going to do it by making you tap… OR BY MAKING YOU SNAP.”

The Miz is, by far, the longest reigning champion currently in the WWE, with a reign stretching back to when he cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase in November; since then, he’s taken pride in the fact that he’s become the WWE’s new ‘poster child’, carrying his title belt on to various talk shows and making copious amounts of media appearances. He’s seen off many challengers, including Randy Orton, Jerry Lawler, John Morrison, John Cena and Triple H in title matches, but he may face no greater challenge than tonight, when he faces his former apprentice Daniel Bryan. Bryan assured us all that he would end the so-called ‘Monday Night Miz’ saga tonight in Seattle by picking up the WWE Title on his first ever attempt, and given the performances we’ve seen from him recently, this could very well be the beginning of Bryan’s time as champion. The Miz, as usual, has tried his hardest to get inside his challenger’s head with a series of mind games, none perhaps as serious as when his associate Alex Riley hit Bryan’s girlfriend Gail Kim with a TKO on Raw.

Tonight marks a big occasion – a year ago, these two men were just mentor and so-called ‘rookie’ on the first season of NXT, Bryan fighting against his chains to show how good he was, but when Daniel Bryan took the United States Title from The Miz late last year, he figured he’d changed perceptions of himself. The Miz went on to become WWE Champion, and as we’ve heard, he still thinks little of Bryan – tonight, if the submissions expert can end a second Miz title reign, he’ll well and truly be acknowledged as one of the best performers in the entire world. Bryan has a huge task on his hands to dethrone a man who’s fought tooth and nail to keep his title in his grasp, The Miz desperate to keep his position on top of the WWE’s pile, and of all people, it would hurt the Awesome One the most to lose his title to possibly his greatest rival. Don’t underestimate the lengths he may go to if it means walking out of Seattle with his only validation, the one thing keeping him in the limelight. Tonight, these two men go toe-to-toe to settle which one of them truly deserves that role as the WWE’s biggest star. For Bryan, it’s about payback, about proving himself; for The Miz, it’s all he knows.



World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) defends against Kofi Kingston

“I… am no… coward. With them, without them – you… will still… CHOKE.”

At Elimination Chamber this year, Royal Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio faced Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston, making the Ghanaian tap to the Cross-Arm Breaker in just over ten minutes. While Kingston would go on to be screwed out of his title by the Corre, Del Rio found himself unsuccessful at his first hurdle, but collected the World Heavyweight Title under dubious circumstances when he beat Edge in a Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules. Now, these two men collide again… but things couldn’t be more different.

Alberto Del Rio’s influence continues to grow. He has steadily increased his following to five other members of his Alberto Administration, a group that helped him win his famous World Title, but has been quick to dismiss accusations that he needs men like Brodus Clay to keep his title. Kofi Kingston, meanwhile, has gone through a resurgence, kicking on from a disappointing Extreme Rules to win a Twenty-Man Battle Royal three weeks ago, lasting half an hour to claim his shot. He beat Del Rio in tag team action the following week, then Clay two nights ago, all setting into motion a momentum swing that should lead Kingston into Seattle full of confidence. Del Rio has claimed that Kofi will ‘choke’ on such a big stage, while Kofi has tried to get under the champion’s skin as well, suggesting that Del Rio would be nothing without his associates.

As for tonight, Del Rio walks into Seattle asking questions about his own value – he described himself on Friday as a ‘noble demon’, that the world didn’t have to like him as long as they respected that he was the best, while Kofi maintained that he was out to fulfil a boyhood dream. Del Rio needs to show what he’s capable of without his henchmen, Kingston that he can break through the glass ceiling, and tonight of all nights, the stage could be set for either one of them to make history. Will Kofi choke and allow Del Rio to continue his “unconquerable” march as the best of the best, or can the Ghanaian answer his critics and start a new era for SmackDown?



The Final Encounter – Stretcher Match
CM Punk versus Randy Orton

“Faith is stronger than any man.”

Prepare for a war tonight. When CM Punk tied Randy Orton in the ring ropes and ordered his associates The Convoy to bludgeon Ted DiBiase into unconsciousness, he invoked a rage inside the Viper unlike any before. Punk has made it his mission in recent months to pay Orton back for past wrongdoings, but it’s fair to say he’s taken it too far; the Second City Saint, now working through the apparent ‘power of faith’, considers himself the judge, jury and executioner of everyone in the WWE, Orton especially. With Mason Ryan and Skip Sheffield alongside him, Punk has been able to get away with almost anything, making The Great Khali submit on Monday night to show just how lethal a competitor he’s become. The night after Extreme Rules, Punk’s creative offence on his nemesis prompted the announcement of their final match, contested under Stretcher Match rules. Punk heads into Seattle tonight not just to win, but to punish Orton, and to send a message about just how much influence he might have over every single one of us.

Orton, however, has other plans. With this match touted as the last ever between these two madmen, Orton will want to leave his mark… and the Viper has a peculiar way of getting the last laugh more often than not. Despite the almost inevitable presence of The Convoy, Orton will look to make good use of his surroundings, in a match where the referee is there only to watch a stretcher roll over a line. Randy has had to put up with a lot over the course of this bloody rivalry, with possibly the straw breaking the camel’s back when the only man willing to fight The Convoy with him, former ally Ted DiBiase, was viciously punished by Punk for his courage. Indeed, on Monday, Orton dealt chairshots to both Ryan and Sheffield as he hunted the Second City Saint, and it’s all leading us towards a violent conclusion tonight. Will Orton finally get his well-deserved vengeance, or can Punk cut the snake’s head off to solidify himself as one of the WWE’s most dangerous men ever?



Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio

“Rey… you ruined my life – and now I’m going to ruin yours.”

Another match with ties to past ‘crimes’ is Cody Rhodes versus Rey Mysterio, as the Intercontinental Champion puts his title on the line for Mysterio’s final chance at the gold. When Rey accidentally broke Rhodes’ nose back in February, no-one could have predicted how far Cody’s mental state would decline, to the point that the man refused to show his ‘ruined’ face, covering it with a plastic mask and keeping his hood up whenever possible. At Extreme Rules, Rhodes used that mask to get the upper hand on Mysterio, allowing him to win the Intercontinental Championship at the luchador’s expense, but tonight, it’s one-on-one for the title, and Mysterio can finally end this rivalry in the perfect way; by beginning a third reign as champion.

However, in his way stands a man that on a show of braggarts, plotters and villains, has still managed to stand out as particularly twisted. Cody Rhodes’ obsession with keeping his face hidden finally ended somewhat on Friday night, when under heated questioning from Mysterio he exposed his bare face – which showed no signs of the supposed devastation Rey was accused of causing. As the world questions Rhodes’ mental health, it’s become quickly obvious that Rey Mysterio will not be facing any regular opponent tonight. He’s got a lot of reasons to be angry himself, but Cody Rhodes has reached a new place, completely cut off from logic and sensible thought, and if Rey isn’t careful, tonight’s match could very quickly spiral beyond just a title bout. Tonight, Rey Mysterio has a score to settle, but if he wants the title and some closure to boot, he’ll have to overcome a man who is in a very unpredictable place.



United States Championship
Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black

“This Sunday, get out of your world of white… and welcome to the world of BLACK.”

Undefeated since winning the United States Title back before Wrestlemania, Sheamus has his methods and sticks to them. At Extreme Rules, John Morrison tried to beat him at his own game, claiming that he had the killer instinct and ‘edge’ to match the Celtic Warrior between the ropes; this turned out, quite emphatically in fact, to be untrue. Following that pay-per-view, it seemed almost certain that Sheamus would be truly kicking off a long and dominating title reign, but that was immediately brought into doubt by Raw’s newest star in the making.

What makes Tyler Black different to previous challengers to Sheamus’ title is that Black doesn’t want to play the Irishman’s game, nor beat him at it – in fact, Tyler has explained on many occasions that Sheamus’ methods appal him. No, what makes this bout interesting is that these two men are TOTAL opposites. On one side of the ring, Sheamus has left a trail of beaten bodies in his wake, a man who measures his matches by how long his opponents lasted and how well they took their post-match beating. Black, on the other hand, came to the WWE looking for competition and the thrill of the live crowd, only to be shocked by the actions of the reigning United States Champion. Black originally started off pretending to be an ‘agent’, in his words trying to “inject some good into the WWE,” but that fell under scrutiny from Sheamus.

In some ways it seemed inevitable that these two men would cross paths; Sheamus wants to punish those weaker than him, Black just wants to do ‘good’ and keep the WWE’s beating heart – competition – alive. Black claims he was initially afraid that the company would chew him up and spit him out, but now he’s fighting back, and tonight in Seattle, he gets his chance to make his own mark by overcoming a man who wants to pound his bones to dust. That said, Black has done a terrific job in recent weeks keeping Sheamus at bay, with the Irishman trying on many occasions to beat down his challenger like he’s done to so many other men, Black’s friend Mark Henry included. Tonight though, Black gets his chance to show Sheamus a new system, one in which the good guy wins… but to do it, he’ll have to snap a streak several months long.



Four-On-Two Handicap Match
The Corre versus Edge and Christian

“You’re gonna wish you hadn’t screwed with US.”

For the first time in ten years, Edge and Christian team together on pay-per-view tonight – a lot has changed in that decade, from things as simple as the length of Christian’s hair to the arrival and departure of mega stars, countless episodes of Raw and SmackDown… and as always, there’s no shortage of men trying to make a name for themselves. This is perhaps most true of the calculating Wade Barrett, who has an unmistakeable eye for any opportunity to propel himself to glory. The Englishman, winner of the inaugural season of NXT and former leader of the fierce Nexus stable, now stands as a member of The Corre, and it’s these four men who got on the wrong side of one of the WWE’s most famous tag teams.

Ever since Edge lost his World Title to Alberto Del Rio at Extreme Rules, he has longed for a fair rematch. Christian, meanwhile, was inches away from facing Edge at the same pay-per-view, but was screwed by an appearance from Jack Swagger. These two men have a single dream; to square off against each other, with the World Heavyweight Title on the line. Christian, who has never held the ‘big one’, especially deserves that chance, but at every turn, these two fan favourites have been thwarted by men who want to destroy their vision. When they had a chance to win a Battle Royal three weeks ago for a title shot (a shot Kofi Kingston now hopes to take advantage of), Wade Barrett led The Corre in a heinous attack to make sure neither of the Canadians would be given another chance to grasp for that dream.

Two weeks ago, Edge and Christian got a measure of payback when they ambushed the foursome, hiding as cameramen as Barrett talked of The Corre’s dominance over SmackDown. They added a con-chair-to to Heath Slater, but crucially Barrett slipped away, once again showing that it doesn’t matter if you hurt the limbs… you have to cut off the head so the body will fall. Two nights ago, Barrett’s influence yet again proved costly, providing the boot that allowed Justin Gabriel to pin Christian after a 450 Splash to retain the Tag Team Titles. Tonight, however, all of that is in the past – Edge and Christian know they’re at a two-to-one disadvantage, with Gabriel’s recent inspired form and Barrett’s masterminding at every turn also stacked against them, but these two Canadians have a habit of turning it on when it’s least expected, so anything could happen tonight, when old school meets new school.



Tag Team Attraction; No. 1 Contender
John Cena and Triple H versus Dolph Ziggler and William Regal

“Maybe he lost his respect for me a long time ago, and I just never realised.”

John Cena has nine World Titles to his name. Triple H has thirteen. Dolph Ziggler, by the letter of the law, was World Heavyweight Champion for roughly ten minutes earlier this year, while William Regal is considered one of the most talented in-ring technicians never to win the so-called ‘big one’. Cena hasn’t held the title since June last year, and has been hunting for it again ever since, including competing in the main event of Wrestlemania Twenty-Seven for it but being screwed by The Rock. Ever since then, luck hasn’t been on Cena’s side, coming into conflict with Triple H after both men were unsuccessful in winning the title at Extreme Rules. The Game and Cena were ready to fight to settle who was the better man, but past chaos between the two prompted Raw General Manager Jerry Lawler to choose an alternative solution; making the two team together tonight in Seattle. Lawler, who has come under a lot of criticism for various decisions since becoming GM, told Cena and Triple H that if they could team together, one of them would get their prized WWE Title shot.

However, these two men needed someone to face them, and they may have got more than they bargained for in the form of Ziggler and Regal. Ziggler, the self-proclaimed ‘Perfection Artiste’, interrupted a confrontation between Cena and Triple H to stake his own claim to the WWE Title after he narrowly lost to Daniel Bryan at Extreme Rules. Ziggler has only had a slight taste of the glory of being World Champion, but tonight is his chance to prove just how perfect he is by overcoming two future Hall of Famers. Certainly, the Show-Off has the skills between the ropes to take himself to the top of Raw, but talking of deserved success, William Regal’s recent aggression has showed us how much the British Brawler needs to win a World Title before his storied career ends. Regal has claimed that the world is ‘afraid’ of his potential if he’s given a fair shot, but he might not get a better chance than he has tonight. For all the talk about Cena and Triple H’s issues in co-operating, Regal and Ziggler seem to be mostly on the same page, despite the latter’s ego problems, meaning that even if Cena and Triple H CAN work together… it might not be enough.



Singles Contest
Jack Swagger versus Big Show

“Think about how much you wanna fight me. ‘Cause if you make the wrong choice… I will END you.”

When Jack Swagger lost to Christian in an ‘I Quit’ Match at Extreme Rules, something new was awakened inside the All-American American. Flushed with embarrassment after ‘quitting’ in the face of a career-shortening con-chair-to, Swagger has re-found his form, and he’s done it emphatically. The man who has suffered most of this newfound deadly focus is the Big Show, who taunted Swagger after his loss and became a target in the Phenomenal Athlete’s eyes. It started with Swagger collaborating to remove Show from the all-important Battle Royal three weeks ago, but swiftly became about more than that when the World’s Largest Athlete fell on his ankle and Swagger smelled blood. Keen to prove that he’s still a prominent World Title challenger, Swagger deliberately threw out his match against Show the following week, smashing the big man’s ankle off the ring post and putting him on the shelf.

Much to Swagger’s dismay, however, Teddy Long arranged this match when he found out that Big Show would be medically cleared by Over The Limit, and now Swagger will have to contend with a very angry big man. Swagger has maintained that he’s unfazed by the possibility, though, defeating three men in one ring on Friday, and warning the World’s Largest Athlete that if he turns up to fight him tonight, Swagger will finish the job he started. With the very real chance that Big Show could suffer a broken ankle for real, will he still make the gamble and step inside the ring to face the Phenomenal Athlete? It’s no secret that Show has a mean streak and is capable of hurting Swagger just as much – if this match goes ahead, who knows what it’ll take to keep one of these two down and out.


---

~ Prediction Template ~

WWE Championship

The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan

World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) defends against Kofi Kingston

The Final Encounter – Stretcher Match
CM Punk versus Randy Orton

Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio

United States Championship
Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black

Four-On-Two Handicap Match
The Corre versus Edge and Christian

Tag Team Attraction; No. 1 Contender
John Cena and Triple H versus Dolph Ziggler and William Regal

Singles Contest
Jack Swagger versus Big Show

~ Bonus Questions ~
1. Predict the match order.
2. Who will score the falls in the Handicap and Tag Team Attraction matches?
3. How many titles will change hands?
4. What will be the shortest match?
5. What will be the longest match?

PREDICTIONS NOW OPEN.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:04 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

~ Prediction Template ~

8- WWE Championship
The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan
There's (cue pun) 'no chance in HELL' that Miz is losing the WWE Championship. I'm not quite sure where you're going with Miz as champion, whether or not you have a "finish point" for his title reign, but there's no way he's losing the belt just yet. I expect Bryan to show a lot of fight, to even make Miz tap out during a referee bump perhaps. Ultimately though, Miz will retain the title.

6- World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) defends against Kofi Kingston
First off, I'm glad that you've put a stable around Alberto Del Rio, because I always felt (when he was a heel) that he needed one. He's not a "bad ass" or a "monster" who stand alone. He's a rich snob who WOULD surround himself with henchmen and lackeys. Anyway, despite Kofi winning a battle royal in which he lasted half an hour, obvious filler match is obvious, and with Del Rio having only just won the belt, it's not changing hands on this night - ESPECIALLY not to Kingston.

7- The Final Encounter – Stretcher Match
CM Punk versus Randy Orton
I just can't see Orton winning this one. He COULD, if he's staying on Raw and Miz needs a challenger, but that feud already happened earlier in 2011, and as well as that, this storyline is not about Orton anymore - it's clearly about Punk. What's interesting about this in general - even if it is filler - is that all your heels look stronger than your babyfaces right now, which says a lot about the kind of story you're trying to tell overall. As a matter of fact...you actually remind me...of me.

:kane

No, stop, put the knife down, think about what you're doing... Anywho, back to the predictions...

My POINT (yes I do actually have one, despite my usual ramblings) is that one of the problems you will encounter is that you can't book all heels at the top without someone having to drop slightly. That being said, after my initial comments about Miz, I now have a feeling that your next main event will be Punk, Cena, Trips and Miz, with Punk stealing the title and transitioning him into the top heel spot on Raw. I could be wrong, but that's what I'm guessing. Anyway, Punk wins, ala interference from his peeps.


4- Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio
I see no reason for Mysterio to win this match, let alone take the Intercontinental Championship. This one is an easy pick for me.

3- United States Championship
Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black
Although you could go with a "shocker" and have Black win the title, he's still a newbie, and after being unsuccessfully pushed by WWE as a main eventer, Sheamus needs to keep the title for a while longer.

1- Four-On-Two Handicap Match
The Corre versus Edge and Christian
On this heel-win-heavy show you will need a few babyface wins, and I predict this match will see one of those wins. Yes it's a four-on-two situation and so if E&C lost they wouldn't lose steam because you can say that the odds were too "overwhelming", but to be honest, I hate the Corre, I think it was one of the worst stables ever, and the sooner you get rid of it, the better. That's really down to personal preference, but you know if I say something it's truth. Use the draft and split them up or have the group self-implode post-match. On a side note, I think this Edge/Christian reunion is probably just a short run, and will be ended by the draft too.

5- Tag Team Attraction; No. 1 Contender
John Cena and Triple H versus Dolph Ziggler and William Regal
Here's the thing that bugs me about this match. I can't see Dolph and Regal winning purely for the fact that Raw is way too heel-heavy at the moment, and even if they were to win and get "drafted" to Smackdown with title shots, they'd still come up against Del Rio, who is again a heel champion. Yet, you seem to be going SOMEWHERE with the Triple H/Cena issues. Is it all just filler to distract them whilst Miz gets a few more wins over others? I don't know. I can't see either of them turning heel, and especially not in such an insignificant match, to be honest. I'll say that the main eventers "SOMEHOW" manage to stay alive and win to set up that four-man WWE Title picture I think is coming.

2- Singles Contest
Jack Swagger versus Big Show
Obvious rub is obvious, Swagger will beat the giant.

~ Bonus Questions ~
1. Predict the match order. I hate this fucking "question" but done.
2. Who will score the falls in the Handicap and Tag Team Attraction matches? Edge pins Slater, Triple H pins Ziggler.
3. How many titles will change hands? None!
4. What will be the shortest match? Swagger/Show.
5. What will be the longest match? Punk/Orton.



PS...even if Capitol Punishment is posted in 2016, you'll still get to SummerSlam before me.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:26 PM   #129 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust



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~ Prediction Template ~

8. WWE Championship

The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan

4. World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) defends against Kofi Kingston

6. The Final Encounter – Stretcher Match
CM Punk versus Randy Orton

3. Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio

7. United States Championship
Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black

1. Four-On-Two Handicap Match
The Corre versus Edge and Christian

5. Tag Team Attraction; No. 1 Contender
John Cena and Triple H versus Dolph Ziggler and William Regal

2. Singles Contest
Jack Swagger versus Big Show

~ Bonus Questions ~
1. Predict the match order. Done
2. Who will score the falls in the Handicap and Tag Team Attraction matches? Christian to pin the ONE MAN BAND BABY! Triple H to pin Ziggler.
3. How many titles will change hands? One
4. What will be the shortest match? Tyler Black vs. Sheamus
5. What will be the longest match? CM Punk vs. Randy Orton



This was a difficult one, I applaud what you've done with Daniel Bryan & Kofi Kingston but I just can't see them winning the big prizes yet. Was very hard to choose the outcome to most of the matches as I picked heels to win the majority so that also made the match order a difficult choice since there probably needs to be some kind of flow between heels and faces winning their respective bouts. That said, even if it turns out to be HEELMANIA, should be a great show as always. I'll pop in and give it a read.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:46 PM   #130 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust



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~ Prediction Template ~

8. WWE Championship

The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan

4. World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) defends against Kofi Kingston

6. The Final Encounter – Stretcher Match
CM Punk versus Randy Orton

3. Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio

1. United States Championship
Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black

5. Four-On-Two Handicap Match
The Corre versus Edge and Christian

7. Tag Team Attraction; No. 1 Contender
John Cena and Triple H versus Dolph Ziggler and William Regal

2. Singles Contest
Jack Swagger versus Big Show

~ Bonus Questions ~
1. Predict the match order. Done.
2. Who will score the falls in the Handicap and Tag Team Attraction matches? Edge pins Barrett, Cena pins Regal.
3. How many titles will change hands? One.
4. What will be the shortest match? Cody Rhodes vs Rey Mysterio
5. What will be the longest match? The Miz vs Daniel Bryan


Just read your last Raw and Smackdown. But still kind of just taking guesses here. Looking forward to Over The Limit though!
__________________


Shay Mitchell says join PWC, WF's OFFICIAL e-fed! It'd make her very happy, She might even take off the rest of her clothes.

http://www.wrestlingforum.com/wrestl...wfs-e-fed.html
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