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…”
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.
Strong words from William Regal, but here comes a man all the more outspoken – one of his opponents this Sunday, the Game, Triple H.
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.
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.
Will, I’m gonna skip over what you said about my wife’s management skills… and get straight down to it.
See, nobody’s afraid of you. It’s all in your head.
The Game’s finger to his temple.
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.
…then we got a problem.
A pop from the crowd.
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.
You’ve got a lot of nerve, sunshine –
Pipe down, I’m not done.
Regal purses his lips as the crowd cheers again.
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.
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.
This Sunday, you’re not gonna hurt me.
The Game clenches a fist, and then, as menacing as can be…
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.
Are… are you finished now? Hm?
Tripper raises his eyebrows. Regal holds up an innocent hand.
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.
Hunter – aren’t you a miserable little man.
More boos as the Game stares and stares.
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.
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.
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…
We – we could be about to see a preview of this Sunday, folks… Regal and the Game are –
“I AM PERFECTIIIIIOOOON!!!”
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And I’m gonna tell you somethin’ else – this Sunday, what Cena felt last
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
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?”
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.
What did you say to me?
Regal flares up as well, pointing his spare finger on to Ziggler’s chest.
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.
This… this isn’t right.
Regal folds his arms.
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.
For now, we gotta be a team.
Vickie mutters something to him, and he nods.
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.
Fine. And while we’re there…
He turns back to face the Game.
We might show you
a little something – about the threat I… we
Nice correction there, William. Triple H raises his mic.
…I don’t care.
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.
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.
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.
Dolph Ziggler and William Regal are by no means the perfect team, but…
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?
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…
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.
To a quiet arena. The bell rings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Introducing first, the challenger… from Toronto, Ontario, Canada… GAIL – KIM!
Another decent pop from the crowd as Gail grins and raises an arm.
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.
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!!!
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!!!
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.
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…
Daniel Bryan’s a wreck, I mean, that’s his girlfriend in there…
…and Raw goes to a much-needed 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.
Really, Lawler… really?
Lawler looks in no mood for games.
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.
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.
I’m not gonna do that.
Big pop from the crowd; The Miz pouts further.
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.
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 –
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.
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.
BIG pop from the crowd! The Miz’s eyes bulge in horror, but he collects himself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And his opponent, accompanied by The Convoy… from Chicago, Illinois, weighing in at two hundred and twenty pounds… C – M – PUNK!
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 –
The crowd boos wildly, JR being cut off in the process.
Oh, here we go.
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.
Faith is stronger than any man, YOU included.
He points to Khali, who turns to Singh because he doesn’t understand.
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
“NO!” comes the reply.
I believe in C – M – PUNK.
Loud heat there – these people DON’T believe in CM Punk, it seems.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
leave Seattle in an ambulance, and that’s not a promise…
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.
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.
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!!!
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!
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…”
AND THE CROWD JUST GOES WILD AGAIN!!! RANDY ORTON sprints out from backstage, wielding that chair, ready for war…
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!!!
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!
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!
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!
Oh – oh good gawd almighty – Punk might not make it to Sunday!
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!!!
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…
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!
And now the security – Lawler’s defusin’ this situation whether those two men or these fans want it or not!
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.
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.
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.
On Raw’s return, we’re backstage in the interview set with 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
…and I sat. And I watched. Just like he did to me.
Real, genuine heat for that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Folks, it’s been a heated night already, but we just saw some startling honesty from John Cena to continue an evening of surprises.
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?
Indeed, there’s still a lot of questions to be answered, but –
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.
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Buffalo, Iowa, weighing at two hundred and five pounds… TYLER – BLACK!
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.
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.
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.
And his opponent, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, weighing in at one hundred and ninety-five pounds… TYSON – KIDD!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I… I don’t think so.
A cheer from the crowd – Sheamus scowls, furious he couldn’t get at his challenger.
The end is – it’s coming, man.
Black struggles up to the second rope, bouncing a little on the tension.
I saw what you were trying there. I know… I know you now.
Sheamus shakes his head.
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.
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.
Well, that dream world is crashing down, Sheamus. This Sunday, get out of your world of white…
He frowns, deadly serious.
…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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Melina, a couple of questions…
She shoots him a glare but motions him brusquely on. She continues walking.
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.
Scott, it’s not because I caught a lucky break tonight… it’s because I’m the best.
Some heat from the arena.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The following is a tag team contest, set for one fall!
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.
Introducing first… at a combined weight of four hundred and sixty-four pounds… the team of R-Truth… and Johnny – CURTIS!
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.
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…
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.
And their opponents… first, from Blackpool, England, weighing in at two hundred and forty-three pounds… WILLIAM – REGAL!
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.
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?
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!!!”
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.
And his tag team partner… accompanied by Vickie Guerrero… from Hollywood, California, weighing in at two hundred and thirteen pounds… DOLPH – ZIGGLER!
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.
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
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.
The questions were asked of Dolph Ziggler and William Regal, whether they could work together or not, and folks, tonight they answered the call.
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!
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 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!
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!
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…
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.
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!!!
But he's not alone this time!
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!!!
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.”
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?
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?
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.
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...
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.
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.
You don’t understand, officer, I have to –
No, there’s no excuse for speed, sir. Speed kills.
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.
This expiration date doesn’t look good to me, sir. I’m gonna have to ask you to come downtown with us.
Wait, hold on a sec! You don’t understand, I’m late!
(intrigued) Late for what?
The Miz thinks about it, then comes clean.
I need to get to Over The Limit.
The officers look at each other, then nod.
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:
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...
Where anything goes... WWE – Over The Limit!
Raw returns to the announce desk…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*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…
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Los Angeles, California, weighing in at two hundred and twenty pounds… JOHN – MORRISON!
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.
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.
*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.
And his opponent… from Cleveland, Ohio, weighing in at two hundred and thirty-five pounds… he is the WWE CHAMPION… THE MIIIIZ
This man disgusts me, Josh. Makes me physically sick to my stomach.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
…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.
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!
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.
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
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
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
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
Jack Swagger versus Big Show